17 May, 2021

Sanjay Srivastava

The anthropologist presented a paper on pornography at the Kovalam lit fest last week

Sanjay Srivastava

What’s pornography doing at a lit fest?

Pornography gives a peep into our intimate lives in a way that nothing else can: it is a sociologist’s wet dream.

How did your interest in the subject begin?

It began when I read Srilal Shukla’s Raag Darbari, with his characters reading porn. I wanted to study neglected literature that tells us about changes in our realities.
As an anthropologist, what does our porn say about us?

It tells us about the changing nature of our fantasies and transgressions.

Do you get a lot of nudge-nudge, wink-wink for your work?

I was embarrassed, especially when I went to sex clinics and pavements in search of material.

Is there a popular figure in Indian porn?

The woman is often a whisky-drinking, cigarette-smoking, pillion rider with legs astride who loves to eat omelettes—an object of both desire and anxiety.

Omelettes! Why...

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