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Leeza Mangaldas talks about sex, female pleasure, consent, safety and more - a refreshing breath of air in a society that still views talking about sex as taboo.
There was a myth that Instagram and Youtube are spaces for entertainment only. Then came a time when they became sources of information as well – be it science, news, history, geopolitics or ideologies – these two popular social media spaces became spots where intense debates took place. Here’s where Leeza Mangaldas comes into the picture!
Call it a clash of viewpoints or voices demanding more inclusivity- we love that there is a safe space for everyone to have an opinion.
Leeza’s Instagram bio reads – Imagine a world where all sexual experiences are consensual, safe, and pleasurable.
Now that’s inspiring, isn’t it?
A few days back, I saw the comments section of one of her reels on Instagram. Honestly, while I did expect more comments from women – it was the men whose comments made me smile.
The comments section was full of positive and uplifting comments, and it feels great to see Leeza doing her bit in making digital space a safer place to have conversations that most Indians never had before.
And we Indians are loving it!
Usually, any dialogue on sex happens more in whispers, is restricted to private messages, and is riddled with shame. It never happens in homes, classrooms, or even on TV.
I followed Leeza two years ago. I clearly remember it was during the pandemic, and I had come across a video where she talked of how she wasn’t comfortable asking basic questions about sex to her gynaecologist because she felt judged by the individual.
It felt so relevant that I immediately followed her.
In a country like ours, where most girls do not know about basic menstrual hygiene, there are very, very few who can even afford to see a gynaecologist.
To be judged by one, when there are so few doctors considering the number of women all over the country, is both sad and worrying.
But then, women’s sexual health revolves not just around the uterus but extends to every part of our being, and that is what Leeza talks about which is why her work is so incredible and revolutionary today.
Leeza Mangaldas talks about everything – from how hormones work and affect a woman – from the glow on her face to her mental peace to how consenting adults need to communicate and shed all stigmas.
Let us see how this pleasure-positive content creator is doing us all a favour through her platform.
Leeza’s platform is about giving tips on how to worship your own body and your partner’s body. Many of her videos talk about orgasms, sexual toys, oral sex, anal sex, foreplay, pleasure points, stimulation, lubricants, masturbation, gender inclusivity and communication between consenting adults.
She emphasizes how one’s pleasure is one’s responsibility and how one can communicate (and teach) their partner what one wants/desires. And that this is very normal and must feel natural.
Women are often seen only as bodies meant to please men. Any woman who talks about sex, or seems to be wanting sex, is immediately labelled as a slut.
Why women should talk more about pleasure and their needs, and how this makes them only human, is what safe sex dialogue centres around; it emphasises that clitoris, vagina and dildos are not no-no words. In her words – we need to decolonize our sexuality.
But I guess that will not happen unless we decolonize our minds, right?
A lot of times Leeza cleared common myths about penis size as well. She has also talked about other important issues revolving around men’s sexual health – from low libido to erectile dysfunction, from mental health to habits – everything that can affect a man, his mood, health and actions.
She also smashes false pride and ego that attaches to and burdens men in society, in marriage and in bed. Men too are humans with basic needs. They, too, have problems that need to be solved and questions that need to be answered.
Condoms are important, and all the more so when either partner wants to use them. And safe sex does not in any way mean unpleasurable or unpleasant sex. What is unpleasant are unwanted pregnancies and the risk of sexually transmitted disease.
In one such video, Leeza emphasizes the uselessness of the ‘pulling out technique’. There is no such reliable technique that can guarantee protection or prevent ejaculation – there is a lot (and a lot) of room for error.
Other than the mentioned topics, Leeza has also often talked in detail about topics such as diverse as menstrual cups and safe abortions. Moreover, she has also spoken about about sexual molestation, ethical porn and unsolicited, sexually graphic pictures as cybercrime.
Her conversations about PCOS, anxieties around intimacy, sexual organs, (both male and female) health and diseases, and why we need to end fake orgasms are awesome.
Talking about sex and female pleasure is still taboo in India, and Leeza is breaking new ground with her work. Mangaldas was named one of GQ’s 25 Most Influential Young Indians in 2021.
She was the recipient of the Google x SheThePeople Digital Women Award for Content earlier this year. She also won the Cosmo India Blogger award – Sexual Health influencer of the year (editors choice), 2022.
In her interview with Elle, Leeza says, “I wish that it (conversations around sex education) would start in our homes. Even when a toddler is being taught the names of parts of the body, some parents will tell them that the genitals are called shame instead of teaching anatomically correct names.”
She further adds, “We are then already inculcating at such a young age that this is an area that we don’t talk about, that it is bad, dirty or shameful. I feel like whenever an opportunity for learning arises, adults in the family should engage with it rather than just shoving it under the carpet.”
Leeza Mangaldas sheds light on an important issue, when she states: “Studies globally suggest that young people who can talk to a parent, caregiver or teacher about sex, sexuality, and sexual health are more likely to delay having sex and less likely to make decisions that may put their or another person’s health at risk. We have this misconception that sex education will make young people have more sex, and that’s not true. You remove a lot of the intrigue around things by talking about them instead of building an environment of stipulation and fear around it.”
Trust, consent, respect and safety are as important as feelings when it comes to any act of intimacy.
In the land where the Kamasutra was born, and in the country that has almost the highest population in the world, it is astonishing that sex education is not a part of our school curriculum as of yet.
And so, until we do not have any other means of sex education, let’s hail this woman’s work and platforms like hers for not just navigating, but for making a direct plunge into something that is complicated, which address the lack of conversation around it.
A more pleasure-filled, vocal and communicative world is, after all, a more gender-equal world too. Here’s to voices that make others positively aware. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.
Image credits Leeza Mangaldas’ Instagram
Mostly writing, other times painting. Here to celebrate little wins. I am on the same page as you, just a different book - you read mine, I'll read yours.
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