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

Representation and Sexuality

An illustrated poster depicting a black woman with exaggerated body parts, wearing a yellow bandana, carrying a stick in her left hand, and facing sideways. She is wearing a patterned half-robe and smoking. On her hip rests Cupid, toying with their bow, and a speech bubble saying 'Take care of your Hearte' in cursive. They are on a green path of grass.

Freak Shows: Looking at Human Bodies on Exhibit

No two human bodies are alike, and our different bodies arouse curiosity. But our fascination for the aesthetics of the perfect human body has historically created a space within art, science and religion for the examination of the ‘abnormal’ and the ‘imperfect’.  As a result, some bodies are normalised while others become oddities. Freak Shows, and to a large extent, circuses and even exhibits in medical or anthropological museums particularly stand out for dehumanising and objectifying these different anatomies, and oftentimes subjecting these bodies to violence and discrimination.
A screenshot of an advertisement. It depicts a woman in a red saree with a dark blue blouse. She is wearing necklaces. She is squatting and seemingly washing clothes. Beside her, to the left, is a steel bucket.

Review: What Does Clothing Have to do with Sexuality in the Media?

Attire and sexuality in the common imagination and approach as represented (and also as received) by the mainstream media tell us a lot about prevailing attitudes to both. Advertisements bombard us with all kinds of representations, negative and positive, of human sexuality, sexual expression and desire. In the creation and marketing of attire and fashion, there is a great awareness of sexual buy-in or rejection by the market – that’s us.
A screenshot from Robot Hugs' comic. The background is purple and has a figure wearing a darker purple shirt and grey pants. Their hair is green and they are looking curiously and confusedly at the illustration of the female reproductive system to their left. The figure of the reproductive system is coloured in light and dark shades of pink and has a black question mark in the middle. The text, to the right of the figure, says "But I am already whole and complete, and I am not full of empty spaces."

Brushstrokes: Dear Sex-Ed Textbook

Robot Hugs gives us a glimpse into the doubts and confusions they grappled with while growing up, and unravels the tightly wound preconceptions in culture influenced by, and at the same time, influencing scientific and medical imagination.
A screenshot of Kalki Koechlin's rendition of 'The Printing Machine'. The background has a fade-effect of newspaper headlines. To the left is Kalki's face till the beginning of her shoulders. She is looking directly at the camera. Her hair is tied with strands across her face. To the left, in big red lettering: KALKI an underneath it, in black and strikethrough: UNBLUSHED. 'BLUSH' is bold.

Video: Kalki Koechlin: The Printing Machine | Unblushed

Sharp and evocative, Kalki Koechlin’s spoken-word poem The Printing Machine lays bare the cycle of ceaseless and desensitised consumption engendered by the media. Kalki’s short and hard-hitting sentences, keys tap-tap-tapping, and the chrrs and grrs of printing machines bring out the urgency and sensationalism media narratives embody, turning incidents of violence into a stream of headlines that make us gasp and forget, gasp and forget.
The cover image of the article with the typography, in white, 'On Sexuality, Representation, and Being a Lonely Brown Girl' and under it in smaller font: September 12, 2017 / Nisha Eswaran' The background is a fade-effect illustration of a brown woman wearing a white-lilac top with black hair open. She is standing in a field of sunflowers, yellow and brown with green leaves and brown-black mountains far back. The woman's face has been made without any features.

On Sexuality, Representation, and Being a Lonely Brown Girl

I long for much more than a greater representation of brown women. I long for a complete overhaul of the racial, gendered, and economic systems that structure our suffering. But I also long for representation of all people, including brown women, who are in love, who are loveable, and who are — in the absence of love — lonely.
An abstractly made illustration of a landscape with mountains depicted in yellow, and below, a blend of green-blue to depict oceans. The texture of the colours evokes waves as well as ice. On the left is a paper boat, yellow-white with blue-green hues, carrying a red rose-like flower in the middle.

Swipe me left, I’m Dalit

Dalit women are primarily viewed as victims and survivors of various kinds of violence. Reification of the Dalit identity has led to the boxing of our existence whose dimensions are solely defined by the savarna (dominant caste) gaze. Our self-assertions of identity are commodified to create a warped limiting of our lives, creating an image that is voiceless in the minds of our potential suitors. We are not seen as being capable of desire, love or happiness; we don’t exist as individuals outside of violence.
An illustration of three women against a blue background with bubbles in white. The three women are looking in different directions and close together. The front-most woman has long purple hair and is wearing a black top. Her face is turned towards the left. The woman behind her has short yellow-blonde hair and her eyes are not visible. She is wearing a black top too. The woman behind both is staring into the camera and has purple eyeshadow. She has short copper hair. On the right-most corner, in white letters, is written "(gaysi)"

The Legend Of The Invisible Lesbians

Of course, one needs to acknowledge that this word did not magically turn up in the vocabularies of the ‘good girls from good families’ that came to a convent school to learn ‘good things’ everyday. The extensively gendered environment which promised to manufacture highly-marriageable ‘young ladies’, aided by the insistence of middle-aged spiteful teachers to absolutely destroy any kind of existence that does not constantly bow it’s pretty, two-plaited head to the heteronormative male gaze, created a suffocatingly toxic atmosphere.

मीडिया और दायित्वपूर्ण चित्रण 

यह बात 2013 की सर्दियों के समय की है। एक शाम मैं और मेरे पिता, घर की बैठक में सोफ़े पर साथ बैठे टेलीविज़न देख रहे थे। टीवी पर उस समय प्राइम टाइम की न्यूज़ डीबेट में समलैंगिकता के विषय पर गर्मागर्म बहस चल रही थी। यह एक ऐसा विषय था जिस पर हम, पिता…
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