A digital magazine on sexuality 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

Attire and Sexuality

Drawing of lipsticks, nailpolish, eye lash curlers, mirror, and Q-tip scattered everywhere.

The Editorial: Attire and Sexuality

Where perhaps attire traditionally demarcates community identity (one’s tribe, religion, caste, class, etc.), it has in more recent times (along with other identifiable commodities) come to also be used to express, assert, assess, control and contest individual identity. How does sexuality come into play in matters of attire and identity? And how do they all relate to how we live and connect with each other?
Bright, goddy-coloured shawls lying in a messy, scattered way. Screen reader support enabled. Bright, goddy-coloured shawls lying in a messy, scattered way.

लिबास का चयन और सहजता

पहनावे से जुडी नैतिक पुलिसिंग व लैंगिक भेदभाव को लेकर एक लंबा इतिहास रहा है। जहां पुरुषों के लिये उनका पहनावा उनके सामाजिक स्टेटस को दिखाता है वहीँ दूसरी ओर महिलाओ के लिये उनके पहनावे को लेकर मानदंड एकदम अलग है! जोकि महिलाओं के पहनावे के तरिके की निंदा करते हुए एक व्यक्तिगत पसंद पर नैतिक निर्णय बनाते हैं! भारत में कई राज्यों में महिलाएँ या लडकियां कुछ खास तरह के कपड़े नहीं पहन सकती है या फिर मैं ये कहूंगी कि ऐसे कपडे जिसमें वो ज्यादा आकर्शित लगती हों! जबकि पुरुष वही तंग जींस पहन सकते हैं पारदर्शी शर्ट पहनते हैं और धोती पहन सकते हैं!
Selfie by a woman showing her striped, bright-coloured top, blue capri, and black and white sneakers.

Ah, the Seductive Lure of Instagram! #OutfitOfTheDay

Personally, I don’t know if it’s because of how Instagram has evolved, or the people using it, or, well, me. Among its most wonderful sights – jaw-dropping beautiful travel destinations; delicious-looking home-cooked South Indian food neatly arranged on a stainless steel plate; doodles and handicraft – what I love about the platform is watching people, mostly women, dressed up.
Artwork showing two women sitting, both wearing saree and heavy jewellery. Screen reader support enabled. Artwork showing two women sitting, both wearing saree and heavy jewellery.

बदलती छवियों के साथ बदलती पोशाके

वह एक ऐसे परिवार में बड़ी हुई थीं जहाँ बनने संवरनें की सराहना की जाती थी, इसलिए कपड़ों के प्रति उनकी चाहत को कभी भी विलासिता की तरह नहीं देखा गया। उनकी माँ की शख्शियत की एक विशिष्ट पहचान, उनकी बड़ी सी बिंदी और सूती साड़ी हमेशा अपनी जगह पर रहती थी, चाहे दिन का कोई भी समय हो, चाहे वो खाना बना रहीं हों, धूप या बारिश में बाहर गई हों, सो रहीं हों या बस अभी ही जागी हों, हंस रहीं हों, या रो रहीं हों। उनकी और उनकी बहन के लिए, उनकी माँ की फैशन को लेकर एक ही सलाह थी, “हमेशा ऐसे तैयार होकर रहो जैसे आप बाहर जा रहे हों, भले ही आप सारा दिन घर पर ही हों।” अपनी माँ की सलाह के बावजूद, वह घर पर ‘गुदड़ी के लाल’ की तरह और बाहर जाते वक़्त ‘सिंडरेला’ की तर्ज़ पर चलने वाली बनी।
A brown leather shoe with thick, high heels. On the bottom right corner is written "BATA shoe museum".

Why Did Men Stop Wearing High Heels?

It was the beginning of what has been called the Great Male Renunciation, which would see men abandon the wearing of jewellery, bright colours and ostentatious fabrics in favour of a dark, more sober, and homogeneous look. Men's clothing no longer operated so clearly as a signifier of social class, but while these boundaries were being blurred, the differences between the sexes became more pronounced.
Pooja Hegde in film 'Mohenjo Daro' wearing a big headdres with white and blue roses, and feathers popping out of it.

From Horses to Headgear, Everything the ‘Mohenjo Daro’ Trailer Has Got Wrong

Bollywood’s period dramas have a history of misrepresenting the past. From Mughal-e-Azam (1960), where the story of Salim’s rebellion is wrongly attributed to love, to Bajirao Mastani (2015) portraying Balaji Bajirao as a Marathi superman, Bollywood cannot seem to get the history right in historical fiction. The trailer and posters of Ashutosh Gowariker’s Mohenjo Daro indicate that this tradition will be perpetuated.
A woman sitting on a bed in her room wearing shorts and a tank top, looking out the window.

How I Dress Has to Do with My Relationship with Myself

I did my schooling and higher studies in Delhi. Thanks to a compulsorily uniform attire at school, the differences in socio-economic backgrounds of students were successfully erased. But as one enters college, one’s attire gets significant attention, especially for a person from a weak socio-economic background. This transition period from school to college is also the age of sexual anxieties, experiments and experiences.
A self-conscious white woman with her arms crossed uncomfortably, wearing an Indian dress of bright orange-coloured suit with a green khadi jacket.

I Spent a Year in India and I Looked Ridiculous!

Despite the intervention of many well-meaning aunties and friends over cups of chai, I don’t think I was aware of how truly strange, let’s even say ridiculous, I looked at the time. Because although I was wearing kurtis nearly every day, I didn’t really understand the ‘rules’ of wearing kurtis.
A right profile of Alok Vaid-Menon with a stub, wearing red lipstick, yellow nosering, big golden and black earrings, and hair parted by the side - with right side "manly" hair, and left - longer and curlier.

Brushstrokes: Alok Vaid-Menon’s Stunning Trans Attire

Alok Vaid-Menon is one half of the trans South Asian performance duo from New York, DarkMatter. Vaid-Menon was gender-assigned male at birth, identifies as transfeminine (that is, identifies with femininity to a greater extent than with masculinity) and prefers the pronouns ‘they’ and ‘their’.
Portrait of a group of people dressed in traditional attire from a part of Africa.

The Various Hues and Hemlines of African Women’s Attire

Sub-Saharan Africa itself is very diverse. There are Muslims, Christians and people whose cosmological beliefs and practices hark back to the thousands of years before the arrival of the monotheistic faiths. South Asia has also had some cultural impact, particularly in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. Against this general background, it is not surprising that notions of feminine modesty, which influences the regulation of dress, vary across regions and religious traditions.
A posterised image of a woman walking down a supermarket isle with a bag slung over

Extra Large

“Large will not fit you.” / She is scoping me, up and down, eyes / Flicking fast and darting away / From the roundness of my breasts / To the happy jiggle of my thighs.
Pianting of Shakuntala of Mahabaratha, pretending to remove a thorn from her foot, while actually looking behind her for a husband/lover.

वस्त्रों की सलाखें

पहनावा किसी भी व्यक्ति की छवि का एक महत्वपूर्ण हिस्सा होता है। समाज में किसी भी व्यक्ति की पहचान उनके पहनावे से भी की जा सकती है। कपड़े एक मनुष्य की पहचान का सबसे स्पष्ट हिस्सा होते है। कपड़े शरीर का घूंघट होते हैं। वे शील और यौनिक मुखरता के, अस्वीकृति के और अभिराम के, जश्न के खेल के नियमों को समाहित करते हैं। वे आइना होते हैं समाज के पदानुक्रम का, यौनिक विभाजन का और नैतिक सीमाओं का।