After 365 Days, here is another Polish original creating quite a stir on Netflix. Since the premiere, Sexify, an eight- part sex comedy series has been trending on Netflix India. This isn’t the first or the last of content created with an underlining motive that sex sells. But the difference between most of what has been made in the past and Sexify is that the show focuses on three college students, all women, and their exploration of sex and sexuality.
A rather light-hearted and sex positive approach is used by the writers of the show. The story revolves around the three leads who are focused on developing a new innovative app, the purpose of which is to optimize the female experience of sex and orgasm.
Sexify isn’t just tackling the subject of female pleasure but is also a story about agency, choice, female friendships and knowing what one wants for themselves. The show is set in a university campus and moves around Natalia (played by Aleksandra Skraba) who aspires to win an academic competition by developing an app.
When her initial idea of an app about sleep is rejected by her guide Dr. Krynicki ( played by Wojciech Solarz), she is left with an advice to think of something “sexier”. Thanks to the howling and sexual screams of the students around her dormitory, she is convinced that nothing consumes the adult mind more than sex.
Since Natalia is a virgin and has no-experience of sex, she decides to confide in her bestfriend and ex-roommate Paulina who she hopes will be her subject for the study. Another addition to their team is Monika (played by Sandra Drzymalska), a rich spoilt brat, who had to re-enroll in the university because her corporate giant father cut her off. She is seen having sex with random men she meets on different apps or casually encounters. She also juggles the control of her sexuality, the only aspect which she thinks she is in control of.
Sexify, thus, is an account of three women struggling with a host of obstacles trying to make it big with the app.
The major drawback of the show which remains is that the approach to sex is heterosexual in nature. There is no portrayal of same sex relationships or the layers of sex within non-binary relationships. The female orgasm is also filtered and looked at from the same heterosexual lens. Even though the perspective of the story is that of the female protagonists, its gaze is anchored on that of a cisgender heterosexual man as the camera traces the female bodies of the actresses as passive objects of male desire. There are more nude scenes with women’s bodies than the male ones in the show.
Even as these inadequacies persist, the question remains, why is there a need for an app of this nature in the first place? Isn’t the experience of sex pleasurable and satisfying already for women?
As American radical feminist and scholar Catherine A. MacKinnon claims in her article Sexuality, Pornography and Methods: Pleasures under Patriarchy, “One version of the de-repression hypothesis that purports feminism is: civilization having been male-dominated, female sexuality has been repressed, not allowed. Sexuality as such still centers on what would otherwise be considered the reproductive act, on intercourse: penetration of the erect penis into the vagina (or appropriate substitute orifices) followed by thrusting to male ejaculation.
“We had sex three times” typically means the man entered the woman three times and orgasmed three times. Female sexuality in this model refers to the presence of this theory’s ‘sexuality’, or the desire to be treated in biological females; female is between an adjective and a noun, half possessive and half biological ascription. Sexual freedom means women being allowed to behave freely as men to express this sexuality, to have it allowed, that is, to (hopefully) shamelessly and without social constraints initiate genital drive satisfaction through heterosexual intercourse. Hence, the liberated woman. Hence, the sexual revolution.”
The same is portrayed through the character Paulina (played by Maria Sobocinska), who has moved in with her boyfriend/fiancé Mariusz (played by Piotr Pacek). Paulina has plenty of sex. Their sex comprises of no foreplay and thrusting till he comes on the top of her, while she lies beneath just waiting for him to finish. Therefore, Paulina feels unattended and unsatisfied.
Sexify packs a bit of everything in this show which is generally considered a taboo for the Indian viewership. There are trips to the sex store, descriptions of various types of sex toys, a sex-expo, nude sex scenes, masturbation scenes, depiction of porn and kinky lingerie. But, the narrative is shaped in such a way that there is little space for judgments or apprehensions the viewers may have about the characters or the content.
In fact, through the journey of the characters the ideas of sex, sexuality, desire, self-exploration and how young adults struggle to comprehend their own needs and navigate their bodies are brought into conversation in a fun yet serious tone.
Though the performances by the lead actors are appreciable, what really strikes through is the theme song comprising of remixed female moans which is used as the background score throughout the series.
The 50 minute long episodes could have been shorter to make the content crisp. Nonetheless, Sexify is binge-worthy. Though the app is based on the assumption that women often don’t orgasm after sex, there is an investigation of the same within the series, followed by a conclusion that a great orgasm is an intersection of emotions, spirituality and anatomy.
Also read: Women And Orgasm: Ours Should Come First Too
The central theme of Sexify, even as a concept sounds great and feels like a dream. If there would be a ‘Copulation-Station’ for real and we had surveys about sexual experiences filled by women in India, it would be much easier to comprehend why there is a need for such an app in the first place. It would also emphasise why we must understand that sex is much more than penetration. It wouldn’t be shocking if someone actually came up with an app like this in the near future.
It is time women get what they deserve in every domain, including orgasms.
Featured Image Source: Lets OTT