“Ever since I was a kid, I never understood why the topic of sex explored on hot websites similar to porn 7 xxx is kept so hushed and considered a taboo,” says Apurv Nagpal, author of Eighteen Plus. This sets the premise for his new book, Eighteen Plus Duets, which he has co-authored along with 18 women. Belonging to the erotica genre, the book promises to explore sex in a naughty and humorous way. Each short story has been co-authored by first-time writers, with fresh, free-spirited voices of their own. The sole idea behind the book is to bring in the male and female perspective with a twist of humour.
We met up with Apurv Nagpal and the three saucy ladies from Pune who have penned down their tales. Asha Aggarwal, Bhawna Mohile and Urjita Kulkarni never even thought of getting published and now they are gearing up for the Pune launch of their book. “I’ve been writing since I was 11 years, I have a lot of poems and stories that I haven’t shown anyone but my husband,” says Aggarwal. Mohile and Kulkarni were nervous in the beginning as well and had their own qualms. Apart from their personal inhibitions to write erotica, the toughest nut to crack for most of the authors was the cceptance of family members. “I can name at least 50 women who backed out because they got cold feet, had husband issues or due to some upcoming event in their life couldn’t do it,” states Nagpal. The otherwise outspoken Aggarwal narrates her own apprehensions, “My daughter thought I would be writing porn and she was completely against it. For a long time, I thought that I would have to shelve it.”
Bringing together women from diverse backgrounds with varied voices, wasn’t entirely an easy process. Despite this, Nagpal has managed to rope in 18 women ranging from the age of 24 to 49 years, with professions varying from a housewife to a sexologist. “With such a mix of women, readers will identify and relate to at least one story and character in the book,” Nagpal believes. A common brief that forms the crux of the book, given to all the co-authors by Nagpal was to “keep it sensuous, naughty at the same time fun.” “Apurv would never impose his ideas, but show you a new perspective that would make the story better. Except he emphasised on the fact that every story should have a surprise element in the end,” says Kulkarni. According to the only male co-author of the book, “We are not trying to preach or prove a point. We are keeping it light and easy.” Though, Mohile and Aggarwal feel that women breaking the mould and openly talking about sex which is otherwise spoken about in hushed tones in society is one of the subtle messages of the book. Laughing in unison, the two bold and vivacious women describe the book as “Humour with a little of sex thrown in.”
Nagpal who dreamed up the idea of the book firmly believes that “the world of publishing can do with a vigorous, thorough shake-up!” This is why, he has decided to self-publish the book which will be available online as well as on Kindle. An entrepreneur, consultant, and visiting faculty at IIM-A, Nagpal is known for his flair for innovation and marketing. Incorporating his knowledge to promote the book, Nagpal has designed a video game based on the memory concept to put across his book’s message. Adding to this, he has curated a website dedicated to Eighteen Plus Duets with interactive options. Each of his book launches at Pune, Delhi and Mumbai will showcase a sensuous art exhibit, as each art work is paired with one story. The Pune launch which will take place today (Sep 1) with a cross-section of discerning Puneites in attendance.
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