Savita Bhabhi does Bollywood

India's first X-rated starlet is ready for a cultural showdown.

Topics: Broadsheet, Love and Sex,

Savita Bhabhi does Bollywood

Savita Bhabhi

Despite outlawing smut, India has its first porn star — but she isn’t a real woman. Not in the sense that she has fake breasts, an orange glow or bleached Barbie hair that make her look unreal, but rather that she’s a cartoon. This virtual woman goes by the name Savita Bhabhi and draws 60 million viewers every month to her virtual domain (NSFW, obvs). In a series of comics, the horny housewife seduces a door-to-door salesman, a Bollywood celebrity, neighborhood cricket players and countless others. Neither her buxom breasts nor her raging libido can be contained by her sheer sari.

It sounds a whole lot like run-of-the-mill Western porn. In fact, she’s the Indian equivalent of a MILF, according to the Global Post. “Bhabi” translates to “sister-in-law,” but her allure is broader: “For an Indian youngster his first fantasy is normally the newly married hot woman in the neighborhood who is referred to as a hot Bhabhi. Hence it seemed only natural that our hot heroine whom the entire neighborhood lusts after be called Savita Bhabhi,” says Deshmukh, the comic’s creator.

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Despite the well-worn scenario, the series has hit a very particular cultural hot spot: The conflict between tradition and modernity. Savita Bhabhi is a conventional housewife — except that she has the sexual drive, fantasies and forwardness of a modern woman. “It plays upon a well-established male anxiety and desire — wanting and being scared of the modern woman,” says sociologist Sanjay Srivastava, author of “Passionate Modernity: Sexuality, Class and Consumption in India.” “It’s good to have a modern woman as a girlfriend, but [as the serial cuckolding of Savi's husband illustrates] it’s dangerous to have her as a wife.”

I guess the wife-whore paradigm is a fail-safe formula for all the world’s porn.

Tracy Clark-Flory

Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter and Facebook.

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