Anonymity is highly undervalued. Here’s a book that has two usual photographs of Sunny Leone, its author, one in a deep red off-shoulder gown smiling gracefully on the cover; another in a satiny golden skirt, torn into a slit the length of her well-oiled leg. Now, it’s hard not to picture this pretty adult star as each of the female characters in this smorgasbord of bite-sized stories titled Sweet Dreams.
That Leone’s manicured-and-moisturised fingers have beaten those keys in unmentionable ways to give birth to this book, is a recurring thought. The first of the 12 chapters looks at a sexual encounter between strangers in an airplane lavatory. One does tend to feel freer across borders, especially in airplanes that are neither here nor there. This brief suspension of principles with absolute strangers has been thrillified. In fact, only in erotica can the inconvenience of such a proposition be ignored. Her legs thrown around his chest like a serpent, the unbuckling of a belt here, the unhooking of a bra there, shirts crumpled and top buttons of blouses ripped, the creation of sweat, the letting out of a scream, Leone has written out safe porn sequences.
The plots, like crispy-creamy white sheets, are wrapped around identifiable sexual specimens. For instance, call centre employees sharing a night of fun, a middle-aged housewife in a sexless marriage falling for a teenaged gardener, a fat-shamed girl finding herself through a man, a hooker who teaches a rich man to love. There’s nothing in here that you wouldn’t have seen in Bollywood and Hollywood combined. The writing may be simple, but it isn’t tasteless. She hasn’t added any wrong ingredient that distracts from the flavour of the book and serves the purpose of leaving the reader with a pleasant aftertaste. Nothing is far too morally conflicting, and before and after its descriptive detailing, lovemaking has been talked about gently and genuinely. Here, sex is not a mere meeting of sharpened organs in an act never meant to be talked about, except in jokes and judgment, it is a real human need. It is in death, in loss, in family, in friendship, in everybody’s ordinary every day.
The country guards a woman’s sexuality more fiercely than her integrity and doesn’t consider carnal desire a mainstream emotion, but who can stop anybody from having Sweet Dreams?
It’s like a porn film with mellow background music, featuring actors who look nothing like porn stars