For a long time Indians have been hush hush about matters of sex.
A population that is young and exposed because of the internet and travel, it is surprising how we’ve delayed the impending flourish of a pornographic industry. Surely, that energy is going somewhere else and those dollars too. However, it seems the dawn is here now and we can finally break our fast with a Sunny side up.
Who is Sunny Leone, where does she come from?
For the uninitiated, Sunny Leone is an Indo-Canadian porn-star who has been doing the rounds on your daily magazine sections recently and the internet browser for quite some time now. That’s because she hit our households by entering the all so popular Bigg Boss.
Sunny Leone who lick-started her career by being the Penthouse Pet at 19 years , moved to porn girl-girl titles and gradually opened up to the boys in the industry. Here’s one, “The Dark Side of the Sun”, but wait – ,don’t you go piratebay-ing just yet, there’s more..
Why must we talk about her?
Ok, so she’s a porn star in a popular reality show and..?
Well what we see is a macrocosm to this micro incident of having an Indian origin porn star in a show that is topping ratings and has a diverse audience. Sunny Leone is what many people describe as “being in the right place at the right time” phenomenon.
So, let’s scratch the surface on the phenomenon or rather peal it tenderly (to each his own) because suddenly the world around us is not the same.
Making it into the Bigg boss house, Sunny seems like a smart cookie. Was there a better way of waltzing into this new market? If this is an accident, well it’s a very happy one, but if it isn’t, there is a market entry case study right there. What is important though is where she goes from here, and in a way where we go from here? Is she going to be another top import after Sonia Gandhi and Katrina Kaif hit our shores for completely different reasons and made a serious dent in their fields or is it just well conceived hyped for the show . It might seem preposterous to talk about her in the same breath as the women mentioned. But, if one thinks about it, just like them she has brought an important debate in the main stream, one about pornography and nudity.
While the drama plays out in front of the nation, does Sunny know that she might be at an inflection point? She might open doors, break conventions of the entertainment industry?
From being the Red Carpet anchor for Mtv India Awards to being cast in a mainstream movie, the girl’s come a long hard way. The buzz around her is boggling.
November Mid is the time she entered Big boss household. The numbers don’t lie.
SEX SELLS. Neha Dhupia, another significant piece of flesh in the model turned actress carcass said at the starting of her career, “Only Sex and Shahrukh Sell”. (un)fortunately Shahrukh dropped out of that list with RA.One, giving viewers a Dirty Picture to drool over .
Be it Katrina Kaif strutting her stuff in Sheila (or the latest Chikni Chameli), Kingfisher Calender Models, sexy spreads of Maxim, internationally renowned Penthouse & Playboy or the multi-billion dollar porn industry any call to the primal instincts is answered by gusto and loads of credit card transactions. So SEX still rules.
Here comes the Sunny.
Last time I saw her, she was the basanti on Bigg Boss dancing to the tunes of Andrew Angry Symonds. How austere. At the house, she probably wears more clothes in one shot than she has in all her previous footage put together.
Mahesh Bhatt saw potential as he often does in anything that smells of vulnerable feminity and offered her Jism 2. Super move. For her though, is it but a minor aberration in her otherwise successful porn career or does the lady have plans to stick(y) around.
Sunny Leone the brand is at crossroads. Degree of success it tastes in the country that gave her those genes will depend on the road she picks.
The Big Choices
OPTION 1 – SunnyWood- The lure of Films
Film business especially the Bollywood variety is a funny place to be. There is no established formula for success. Demure Rani was a superstar, bold Bipasha too has lasted almost the same decade. Unlike the brat pack of the industry when it comes to the leading ladies, they come with an expiry. Stick to an image and you will be lucky to last 5 years. Sunny comes with one. In fact, it can be described more as baggage of being a porn star. Opinions on her are polarized. But more importantly there are opinions. Jism 2 is already on her platter.
If she does take this film plunge, would she be type-casted the next item girl. Did Mallika Sherawat just turn uneasy in her bed (ok shower), “Did i not do enough?” she wonders. It would be interesting to see if and how Sunny approaches films. For all you know she might be in this for a fast buck, one she would have already made.
OPTION 2- Sunny side up: Party like a Porn star
Films in India are an established competitive space now. If she makes this choice just to keep more clothes on as she wished to retire from porn at 30 (which she is now) it might end up being a short lived one. So the other option she has is to do what she does best, have a lot of sex in front of the camera, except differentiate. Retarget.
Here’s the new plan –
TG – the Indian male, age 15 onwards
Need – Satisfy Sexual Fantasies that he’s is familiar with. Meaning Indian Sexual fantasies
Key words read -> Aunty, Bhaabi, Saaree, Wet Saree, Waterfall, Kitchen, mms.
Adapt virtually every Savita Bhaabi comic ever written to video. Hire top technicians, make it come alive (think we need to get paid to join these dots).
This ends up being her core product.
She already lists among the top porn stars in America , a stride towards the sub-continent can only be an extension to her already booming career. There she would compete with scores of other up and coming porn stars, here the playing field in high quality porn is empty.
With her own studio SunLust Pictures, she can look at customizing and churning out products that are specific to the South Asian market. And she could very well do it from the US/Canada to avoid the legal hassles that might arise in India.
This shouldn’t kill you with shock, Indians are amongst the biggest consumers of porn ( don’t tell me we became a billion plus reading religious texts), and you thought the obsession with white skin was a colonial hangover, if only we had better Indian porn.
Having said that, there is no porn out there tailored for the desi perv. Clean, good quality porn which caters to the largest porn consuming nation. That is the opportunity size Sunny is sitting on.
Of course there is competition from white skin and large bosoms but think that would be offseted by the demand for good quality porn even abroad.
Her big advantage apart from being of the Indian origin is that she is here now in our midst. People are seeing her on a personal level, parents are perhaps having to explain her. She is a real person, not just a pair of divinely shaped yet distant bosoms on the computer screen. No porn star has ever had that.
Imagine, if the first porn title that she comes out with after finishing the Bigg Boss Assignment – “Big Boss and Sunny” where she struts her stuff in a Bigg Boss like setting. We’re not playing conspiracy theorists. All of this and more is well within Sunny’s grasp.
It’s up for argument but we think that Sunny Leone, can single handedly (with a little bit of help from the other parts of her anatomy) usher in a porn industry targeting India and Indian Diaspora. There is an entire plethora of ideas she could use starting with –
themed porn, Sex- ed videos, online sexy toys sales, relation ship advise on her website. etc.
It’s all in the Art:
Once she gets this core product right and becomes a mainstream celebrity other options could open up for her. Parallel cinema where she can explore more aesthetic nudity will add to her charm and the cash registers of an offbeat film. JISM 2 is fine as a platform, but we believe Sunny should not get carried away by the opportunity and use it simply as a PR tool.
The Soft Marketing warhead for Brand Sunny Leone can reposition her meaningful adult cinema career. It would be equally momentous for the parallel or mainstream cinema as it would be for her.
Of course, there are other Brand avenues
i. “Lacing it up” with a lingerie line which makes you feel like a porn-star? She is planning on entering the footwear as well as the jewellery line.
ii. Sweet Surrender A natural fit with brands of Contraceptives and Deo’s. “Sunny Condoms”, tested OK by Sunny herself. Throw in a public interest endorsement of a contraception, anti teenage pregnancy stuff and the brand wagon gets more fuel.
iii. Online adult toy sales Now sex toys are treated like contrabands and I’m sure most law enforcement agencies confuse between a dildo and a bomb ( how else would you explain frequent blasts in our blessed country). But Hoping for a saner, sexier future, we can only wait and watch on this. However, if she is here, she will sell the moment a door opens up.
Expert commentary She could be advising your next door neighbor on his/ her dormant sex life in one of those personal advisory coloums in Cosmo or Vogue or a blog. That gives her a marketing platform with an earning avenue and you, noisy neighbors.
This is serious business. In our effort to map the future course of Ms. Leone’s India adventure we have stumbled upon changing dynamics of our own society. How, this could be an inflection point or just one of those momentary flashes with promise is any one’s guess.
Where you seek answers is your choice, so we ask you:
- Is this the beginning of a new era in Indian Porn?
- Is it the beginning of the end of the sterile entertainment era? Are we ready to acknowledge more?
- How would you react if your neighborhood girl became the bookmark on your browser?
Use the comment box to tell us what you think. Say whatever.
Meanwhile, we’ll just bask in Sunny light.