Keys to Success: A Loving Marriage, a Vibrator named Bunty and an Unforgettable Samosa
By Sheba Siddiqui
Leena is a good Indian wife and daughter. She spends her evenings cuddling on the couch watching TV with her husband and her weekends making samosas with her mother. After five years of marriage, her mother, along with the aunties in her community, are pressuring her to have a baby and her husband has become more like her roommate. Until her best friend Mahjong drags her to her first sex party.
After learning more in one night than in her entire year of high school health class, Leena realizes that she must make her needs a priority if she wants to feel true happiness in her marriage and within herself.
In this comedic romance aptly titled “Sex and Samosas”, author Jasmine Aziz takes us on a journey of self-discovery as we watch shy Leena blossom into a self-assured young woman. No longer putting her sexuality on the backburner, Leena learns about a whole new world of toys, lingerie, lotions and of course, crotchless panties. As her sex party host Clarissa says, “…you wear these panties and if you were depressed before you left the house, you won’t be by the time you come home. It has nothing to do with sex, and everything about making you feel good.”
As Leena embarks on this adventure to learn about herself and her relationship with husband Manny, she also discovers that a samosa has a lot in common with a vagina.
Growing up a South Asian female, Leena’s mother’s only focus was making her daughter the best potential bride possible. Once she achieved that goal, the next goal became having a baby. In this never ending cycle of South Asian life, we watch this young woman transform from overweight and insecure to confident, athletic and fully aware of her sexuality. By taking control of what she wants out of life, both in and out of the bedroom, Leena teaches us that it’s okay for a woman to ask for what she wants.
Leena’s love of her new vibrator, who she nicknames Bunty, her sex board game that even surprises Manny and her trip to the grocery store wearing her crotchless panties and standing in the freezer section, all allow us to fall in love with Leena and root for her on her quest for self-discovery.
Aziz tells us Leena’s story with as much laugh out loud humor as make you blush sex scenes. Her message is clear: take control of your life and your sexuality and be proud of it. Expressing her message through Leena’s character allows us to relate to her in many ways.
Showing the bond between three generations of South Asian women, Leena, her mother and her grandmother, Aziz demonstrates that good Indian family values are still possible, even as an independent and sexual being. Her informal style of writing will have you laughing till it hurts. From the hair removal, to the nosy aunties and the lack of sex talk, Aziz manages to reveal the similarities that South Asian women everywhere share and coax out the Leena that is inside us all. Aziz is able to keep us laughing while teaching us a few tricks in the bedroom as well–over a plate of samosas.
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