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

The I Column

A photograph of a white bedsheet with blots of maroon-burgundy lipstick stains smudged across it.

Following Aladdin’s Genie

The lip colour then enters into a rather queer state of existence as it refuses to stand by the label it is expected to conform to. It moves and escapes categorisation. In its queerness, it renders itself as a paradox. At the heart of paradoxes is the understanding that something is what it is also not. Similarly, the colour of this lipstick is nude, but it is also not. It is possible that it is because of this slippery nature of the paradox that my sexuality as my identity too remains slippery, in motion and fluid.
A photograph of a smartphone on a wooden surface. The sides of the phone are black, and the display has a white background with a kissing-face emoticon in the centre and two red heart emoticons on either side.

Are they people or just a number?

You see, numbers are tricky, data is tricky. More importantly, data is dehumanising. Add sexuality and intimacy to this and the waters get even murkier. Maybe it’s good to leave a few things unaffected by too much data. Maybe we do not want to talk about data and sexuality. Maybe we instead want to talk about why data around gender and sexuality must not be recorded, and instead, maybe focus on why we should honour every kind of sexual preference which is within the purview of the safe and consensual.

Redefining Femininity

Surrounded mostly by women while growing up, and even now, my idea of femininity looks like masculinity and femininity combined. Or, at least, the idea of what ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ means in a largely patriarchal society. Gender roles were flipped for the most part in our household, as my mother worked as well as took…
A photograph of the author, Di Sands

Tomboy Femininity

When I finally came out to myself at age 16 and made it to a free queer youth space, I couldn’t wait to be accepted among folks who didn’t play by society’s heterosexist rules of masculine and feminine as polar opposites.
Two dandelion flowers in a glass vase on a pink background.

A ‘girly’ feminist

Desiring motherhood meant veering into a more ‘girly’ territory, a notion that I had simultaneously been fighting and trying to embrace since childhood. I had understood that to be a feminist I had to be independent, be wary of men, dislike families and relationships.
A photograph of two individual’s hands, from their forearms. One of the individuals is clasping the others’ hand in theirs.

How much support is enough?

In the middle of this pandemic, can one seek sexual support in the form of a hook up with one’s best friend, ‘just because’? Is it redefining boundaries, is it sympathy sex, is it simple indulgence, or is it something that one or both might later resent?
A photograph of differently coloured cloths hanging from poles in front of a train station in Mumbai, at night

The Last Local To Vashi

I gave myself the freedom to choose. And I chose to re-examine my assumptions. Maybe it was possible to ask strange men for directions without being afraid of seeming vulnerable. Maybe I could plan my outfit without bothering about the fact that I would be travelling on public transport.
An image of a DIY candle jar with a jute ribbon and a chalk tied around it

Do we dare?

Exploring sexuality is innovative in itself. What does that mean? Well at the outset, the very fact that we are willing to explore our bodies, their sexual expression, their ability to experience pleasure in so many different ways, and that we go beyond social norms is groundbreaking in itself.
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