Now streaming is steaming - Times of India

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Remember the days when Bollywood hid behind metaphors of buzzing bees and touching flowers? Cut to the current crop of web shows breaking our prudish norms with everything from bisexuality to bondage. Homegrown streaming platforms such as MX Player, AltBalaji, Vikram Bhatts VB On the Web, Ullu and hoichoi are. . . Read MoreEarlier this year, when actress Flora Saini was getting an ice cream in Mumbai, the cashier said shed seen her somewhere. Saini asked her if she was referring to her role as a ghost in last years critically acclaimed film Stree. No, shed recognised her from the web series Gandii Baat 2, where Saini plays a domestic worker who has an affair with her male employer and when he betrays her, she transfers her affection to his wife. The two women then rule the household. I didnt think a woman would be watching it, says Saini, who is part of a growing tribe of actors unafraid to dare-bare on screen. That tells you a lot about how society is changing. In a country where Bollywood showed two flowers touching as a metaphor for a kiss and sanskaari censor boards snipped smooches even from a James Bond film, homegrown streaming platforms such as MX Player, AltBalaji, Vikram Bhatts VB On the Web, Ullu and hoichoi are churning out potboilers on couple-swapping, threesomes, friends with benefits, same-sex relationships and bondage. Apart from the freedom of censorship online, Paromita Vohra, a filmmaker who runs a digital sex educationproject called Agents of Ishq, says it also has to do with the privacy of the internet. Things you could not watch with the entire family are more comfortably watched alone on your phone, tablet or laptop. While theres no denying that some shows are using sex to get eyeballs, it does go beyond that. Flora Saini, who has also starred in erotic web series such as XXX: Uncensored and Wanna Have a Good Time, says that the growing number of women directors, producers and writers
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