Lust Stories 2 To Astitva: Movies That Threw Light On Female Sexual Desires

Avishka Tandon
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films on sexual desires of women
Women have always been harshly criticised for voicing or even having sexual desires and preferences. Society shames them for prioritising their sexual needs as they are expected to serve their partners only. However, movies have attempted to portray sexual desires of women and normalising them.

Cinema plays an important part in shaping society and that is the reason why filmmakers try to send out some important messages using movies and series as a catalyst. Among many social films aimed at promoting ideas and messages considered taboo in society, the sexual desires of women are the idea behind many popular ones. For men, sexual desires are considered natural, while for women they are considered vile and impure. Movies like Lust Stories tackle this problematic notion and try to normalise women prioritising their sexual needs and not being shameful about it. Here is a mention of a few such movies.

Suggested Reading: Pride Month: 10 Queer Films And TV Shows To Watch

Films On Sexual Desires Of Women

Lust Stories 2


Releasing on June 29 on Netflix, this movie is the second installment of the popular 2018 anthology Lust Stories. The teaser of the movie released recently that gave a glimpse of the plot of the film. We can see Neena Gupta talking about taking a test drive before marriage and referring to women exploring their sexuality as a sensible act. The movie is a four-story anthology starring Kajol, Tamannaah Bhatia, Mrunal Thakur, Vijay Varma, and Angad Bedi that will explore female sexual desires and pursuits.

Lust Stories

This anthology portrayed the sexual desires of women from different walks of life. The movie narrates four stories that portray age-gap relationships, extra-marital affairs, employee-boss relationships, and the self-pleasure of women. The movie questions the treatment of female sexual satisfaction, how men often neglect what their partners want, normalises women exploring their sexuality and not being ashamed of their desires.

Memories Of A Machine

This was a rather controversial Malayalam short film that raised questions about normalising child abuse. The movie is about a woman who narrates her sexual experiences to her husband and admits that a school attendant touched her inappropriately when she was 8-years-old but she liked that. She recalls many such experiences and the movie shows them as normal but against the norms of the traditional society which hence makes them wrong.

Lipstick Under My Burkha


This movie showcases the story of four women who are living double lives, one complies with the patriarchal norms of society, and the other explores freedom and independence. The burkha is a symbol of society's restriction while the lipstick is a form of rebellion to seek freedom. Sexual desires play an important part in the lives of these women as they have to keep them hidden to not bring shame to their families. However, they are not ready to give them up.


Dubbed one of Tabu's best performances, this movie is about a married woman whose husband is ignorant of her decisions and desires. He is often out for work and refuses to let her work as an escape from her lonely life. She is lonely as she watches couples happy around her but she cannot express it to anyone. She ends up having an extra-marital affair with her music teacher which is revealed years later. When her family shames her, she confronts them about how society shames women for their desires but not men.


This 2005 movie explores the sexual desire of women through the life of widows. The movie is about a young widow played by Lisa Ray who lives a simple, colourless life as per the Hindu norms and rules for widows. She is forced into prostitution but when she meets a young upper-class man, played by John Abraham, she can't resist falling for him. Their taboo romance, the widow's desire for a happy future with him, and the cruel treatment of widows is the theme of this movie.


Parched is a film about four women living in the remotest part of Gujarat. In the film, the women talk about men, sex, and life as they struggle with their individual demons. The film touches on pleasure, consent, and respect considering sex.

Lust Stories 2