Censex Survey / Vitamin Stree
Submitted By Nandini Godara
This film is part of a series of 5 films that talks about sex - something that is still considered taboo in India - with this episode focussing on Sexual Health. The films were based off extensive research and a survey conducted by Vitamin Stree. India has a population of over a billion people and the fact that sex is not being spoken about openly is mind boggling. So we decided to talk about it. Growing up, I don’t remember receiving proper Sex Ed in school. I also remember it being shrouded in a lot of mystery and it didn’t help that most parents skipped “The Talk”. With the responses we got, we realised it was a similar story everywhere. It is difficult to quantify what effect this has on a population, how it shapes the way we think about sex, consent, sexual health. But the effects are present and part of our societal fabric. And placing a cultural gag order on such a topic only harms us. And as with everything else, the dominoes fall hardest on marginalised communities.. This is why this topic is important to me. What we unearthed in the research was fascinating and troubling in equal measure, and it only strengthened my belief that this conversation has been long overdue.
Vitamin Stree conducted a survey tackling all aspects of sex - health, consent. porn & masturbation, and pleasure. The idea was to understand how people felt about these issues, and the objective of the films was to spread awareness, and to start a conversation rooted in knowledge.
This was the first time a survey like this had been conducted by Vitamin Stree, and the kinds of obstacles we faced, were a reflection of it. With over 2500 respondents, the research was extensive and carried out by a small team. Whittling it all down to a script was definitely challenging, given the short turnaround time. In terms of tone, we got a lot of respondents that spoke on consent and we wanted to handle those anecdotes with sensitivity. There was also a conscious effort on my part to move the conversation as far away from heteronormativity as possible. Overall we made sure the humour wasn’t punching down and was engaging a larger audience while also being informative.