A digital magazine on sexuality in the Global South

Let’s Talk Sexuality

A man looking outisde through window blinds, as light filters in from it into the darkened room.

The Editorial: Let’s Talk Sexuality

“There is no sexuality without knowledge.” -Slavoj Žižek, Agitating the Frame Philospher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek writes and talks extensively on desire, anxiety, and the boundless manifestations of sexuality, conscious all along that knowledge of sexuality is bound to a collective language, a collective code. What happens when the code is unspoken, stunted? Buried…
Comic panel. A school teacher offering an apple to a girl and a boy student, while both of them look at it skeptically.

“DON’T LET YOUR FOOT SLIP!” : MESSAGES ON ‘APPROPRIATE’ FEMININITY BY SCHOOL TEACHERS IN MUMBAI

“In Hindi, though there is a word for rape (balaatkaar), it is rarely used by women. Instead they say izzat lootna which translates as ‘losing one’s honour’” Viswanath (1997:323). The above quote illuminates the importance of the concept of honour or izzat in Indian society. Crucially, honour is a gendered concept as women are repositories…
Video still. YouTube star Superwoman has a disgusted expression on her face. She is wearing a light orange Indian suit.

DIASPORIC VALUES // Part II

As far as diasporic identity goes, you don’t just have to be raised on foreign land to be confused about what you stand for. Desis bringing up their children in an environment with values at odds with their own also have quite the task at hand, as Superwoman has demonstrated. This heart-warming mother, however, seems to have struck…
Painting of crows attacking red-coloured grass.

Bandar Aur Insaan Reloaded

Last year, I received a research fellowship from the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society (IASSCS) and the Ford Foundation. Through this fellowship, I conducted a yearlong qualitative study of the experiences of queer students during their school life in India. The word ‘queer’ as you may know, includes but is…
A young woman smiling. She is wearing a white top, and has her hair open.

“IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ASK ME?

A lot of research concludes that globally, young people aren’t learning enough about sexuality, and that they would like to learn more. My own PhD research will probably conclude something similar, at least in part. But I thought I would take this idea as the starting point for my post, rather than the conclusion –…
Doodle. A long O shape with three x's drawn on its very top, one over the other.

Damage

When I was younger, someone took a knife to my clitoris and cut out a small but significant part of me. I blamed my mother. I despised her. I loved her. Washington D.C., July 2010 The first and only time I had sex it did not go well. I was twenty-two, a late bloomer by…
Screenshot of a computer screen, on which is opened a webpage titled, "Kama Sutra for parents of young children."

Issue In Focus: This Thing We Call Freedom

Chandra Deo Singh, a name not necessarily familiar to many of us, spent time in prison in1945 for taking part in India’s freedom struggle. This is not the reason I mention him, though it is connected to what happened after he passed away. However, way before that, while he was still in prison, his wife…
Two women wearing full black clothing and a headscarf sitting in a cafe. The photo is taken from other side of a glass door, such that they are blurred.

A Critical View Of Sexual Health Education In Iran

When I was 16, I thought: ‘Some topics in physics have no benefit for students throughout their life. For instance, we had a chapter in physics regarding ‘mirrors.’ My question is how important is it to know about the type of pictures in a curved mirror, for instance? I think that these topics can be…
In Plainspeak English Audit In Plainspeak English Audit 100% 10 Two girls in school uniforms with pleated hair. One says something to another in her ear, giggling. Screen reader support enabled. Two girls in school uniforms with pleated hair. One says something to another in her ear, giggling.

Why Is Menstruation A Woman’s ‘Worst Kept Secret’?

This post is part of TARSHI's #TalkSexuality campaign on Comprehensive Sexuality Education in collaboration with Youth Ki Awaaz. The author chose to remain anonymous. Menstruation was a very confusing experience for me when I was growing up. The reason I term it ‘confusing’ is because just after my menarche, my mother had an open discussion with me about it. She sat…

DIASPORIC VALUES // Part I

Different cultures have different codes of sexual expression and permissiveness. What happens to desis born into Indian families living in a more sexually liberal country? In the first of two segments, we feature a video by Indian-origin YouTube star Superwoman (known to her parents as Lily Singh) from Canada, doing what she arguably does best…
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