The website content incorporates humor and is mild compared to Western adult content, but it seems "to have hit a nerve with young middle-class Indians becoming more open about sexuality," according to a report from U.K.-based newspaper The Independent.
SavitaBhabhi.com is ranked at 1,157 by Alexa.com, with the most traffic — 82.6 percent — coming from India, followed by 3.9 percent from Pakistan and 3.5 percent from the U.S.
Launched in March, the site already has 30,000 registered users. It appears in English and several Indian dialects. The copyright holder for the comic website is Indian Porn Empire, whose website is for an affiliate program that sells hardcore DVD content.
That affiliate program is “actually defunct,” a webmaster who identified himself only as “Deshmukh” wrote in a response to a query from XBIZ. Savita wasn’t planned as a gateway to more hardcore content, he added.
The Independent speculates correctly the popularity of the online comic book may be attributed to its explicit content being presented in a non-threatening cartoon format, which allows a large demographic of culturally conservative Indians to indulge in it.
“Until now, porn in India has been considered ugly, dirty and as something to hide,” Deshmukh wrote. “Savita Bhabhi has changed this. We have tried to incorporate humor and fun in our comics, not just hardcore wham-bam stuff and this along with its uniqueness is what I feel is the reason behind Savita Bhabhi's resounding success.”
Delhi-based sociologist Patricia Oberoi said in The Independent’s report.that India was waiting for some mature and contemporary pornography.”
The cartoon is based on the adventures of frustrated housewife Savita Bhabhi — “bhabhi” is either aunt or sister-in-law in Hindu — as she tries to cope with boredom while her husband is at work. The comic often finds Savita seducing "door-to-door salesmen, local cricketers and even a cousin visiting from the U.S."
The story is presented in a serialized format that is updated daily, with each adventure lasting about month. More explicit scenes are usually held until the end of each adventure, encouraging users to revisit the site in order to keep up with the cartoon’s plot.
The writers and illustrators are anonymous, and perhaps for good reason: they could be running afoul of cyber law.
An Indian cyber-expert, Na.Vijayashankar, suggested in an article for Indian-based I.T. journal CyberMedia News that the site may be in violation of Indian cyber laws.
Vijayashankar, who apparently is conservative, filed a complaint to have the site blocked due to the adult nature of the content and also because of potential stereotyping of Indian women as “bhabhis.”
Deshmukh wrote that the creators hope to make Savita a “recognizable star around the world — basically, India’s first porn star.
“What we are trying to build now is a brand, not just a website,” Deshmukh wrote. “Only once we have achieved that can we think of monetizing her popularity.”
Deshmukh also wrote that he was looking for U.S. partners that “might be interested in helping take this concept further.”