A digital magazine on sexuality, based in the Global South: We are working towards cultivating safe, inclusive, and self-affirming spaces in which all individuals can express themselves without fear, judgement or shame

Anniversary Issue – January 2018

Editorial: The Anniversary Issue

Happy New Year! May we all have more to celebrate, enjoy and be happy about! We bring you this anniversary issue of In Plainspeak with a selection of articles from older issues. As we walk into a new year, many of us reflect on the journeys, both actual and metaphorical, that we have made in…
TALES OF THE NIGHT FAIRIES

REVIEW: WHAT SEX WORK TAUGHT FEMINISM: TALES OF THE NIGHT FAIRIES

Five sex workers – four women and one man – along with the filmmaker/narrator embark on a journey of storytelling. Shohini Ghosh’s Tales of the Night Fairies explores the power of collective organising and resistance while reflecting upon contemporary debates around sex work. The labyrinthine city of Kolkata (Calcutta) forms the backdrop for personal and…

ILLEGALLY ADULT: THE STRANGE CASE OF ALISHA MAJOR

She was 17 when she was rescued from a dance bar. Now she’s 18 and she wants to go back. As an adult. And dance again. That’s what Alisha wrote in a letter to the Child Welfare Committee. Alisha’s letter may be one of a kind. It doesn’t matter. It may even be a scam of sorts, in that she…

BEAUTY

And all my life I’ve lived alone. What it means to be beautiful, I’ve never known. I’ve had partners but I pushed them all away, My sense of ugliness was like a fort to keep love at bay. Now, at fifty three, I take marriage vows again. Love can kiss wrinkles, scars and sagging breasts.…

ISSUE IN FOCUS: LEAVING HOME AND RECLAIMING SELF

As I sit to write this piece, somehow the song Aap Ki Yaad Aati Rahi Raat Bhar from the 1978 Hindi film Gaman keeps coming back to me. The film was about urban migration and has stayed with me all these years because apart from the lovely songs and the actors (the then-heartthrobs Smita Patil…

COMING UP FOR AIR: WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE TO GROW UP QUEER?

Why are boys afraid to cry? Why don’t people associate boxers with women? Because ‘boys don’t cry’, and fighting ‘like a girl’ is considered an insult. When parents tell their children to do things a certain way, they don’t realise that they’re setting a precedent that the child will likely follow for the rest of…

I COLUMN : FICTION AND SEXUALITY

Her eyes are open now, she looks at him. There is sadness there. “What my love? What happened?” he asks. “Nothing,” she lies, her heart not in the lie. “Something, tell me,” he holds her, insisting. “The bull,” she whispers, “I dreamt of her.” He stares at her, mute. Rolls out of bed and walks…
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