A digital magazine on sexuality in the Global South
CategoriesEditorialSex and Sexuality

Editorial: Sex and Sexuality

Prisms cause rainbow effects because they refract light into its constituent colours. What this means is that the prism itself does not create the colours we see, but that they are already present in what appears to be colourless or ‘white’ light. What’s that got to do with sex and sexuality? By itself, nothing, but it seems like an apt metaphor to understand that the way we look at things determines what we see. Of course nothing is neutral, especially not something as visceral, intimate, political and intense as sex, but then neither is it monochromatic. And so, in this issue of In Plainspeak each of our contributors shows us what comes through their prism.

Nidhi Goyal writes about love, lust, desire, women, disability and, of course, sex that as a comedian she is often asked, by corporates who invite her, to not talk about! Shikha Aleya interviews Richa Kaul Padte about much more than her recently released book, Cyber Sexy, on online sex cultures and they talk about wellness/illness, feminist porn, online scammers and cats (yes, miaow!).

Alankrita Singh uses the prism of the law to refract how certain laws, court judgements, rules and legal entities may be aiding society to impose restrictions on adults exercising personal choice in matters of love, sex and marriage. 

Asmi, with her usual candour, busts some common myths about kink and penetrative sex and Elsa talks about the reaction her being an unmarried successful woman elicits. And through the prism of the intensely personal, Pavel Sagolsem shows us his best love-affair and why he loves sex.

Vani Viswanathan followed Jon Ronson’s The Butterfly Effect, on the rise of the free porn industry and the ways in which it touched the lives of disparate people, with initial trepidation that was soon converted to fascination. She tells us why.

On the Video page, Tess Joseph tells us about her First Time and a wry humour sparkles through her prism. In Brushstrokes, Agents of Ishq explains How Ideas of Purity Damage Our Mental Sexual Health (And Happiness) making the case once again that it’s the ways of seeing that determine what we see!

Our Hindi section has a translation of Swagata Raha’s article that discussed the role played by the judiciary in implementing the POCSO Act, 2012 and how it seemed to limit the sexual agency of young people below the age of 18 years.

These days tech is not only sexy, it is also ‘making sex’. So, would having sex with a robot count as infidelity? Read more in the Tech corner. And if robots are not your thing, watching and listening to videos of people whispering or eating or tapping or scratching might give you a ‘brain orgasm’. That’s in the Wellness corner because apparently it helps reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression and loneliness. Get your headphones!

In the mid-month issue, Kaustav Bakshi (text) and Arnab Adak (photos) show us how androgynous divinity aka the symbolism of the Ardhanarishwarahas found its way not only into Kolkata’s Durga Puja celebrations but also into political discourses on gender and sexuality. In Hindi, we have a poem by Salil Saroj, and  three new translations as part of Navintam Lekh: one on personal grooming as a feminist stand, one on mental health and being a transman, and an interview with disability and sexuality rights activist Kiran. And then there are interesting blogs on how women in villages navigate desire and seek pleasure; be it information or porn or conversation and connection; on the uses of technology to enhance sexual pleasure; and a highly recommended article by Paromita Vohra on why we need to acknowledge the Yes, No and Maybe of consent.

Comments

Article written by:

TARSHI supports and enables people's control and agency over their sexual and reproductive health and well-being through information dissemination, knowledge and perspective building within a human rights framework.

x