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

The Space to Be

Every year since I was 20, I’ve been visiting an entirely new place on my birthday as a way of simultaneously celebrating an internal process of self-exploration. In November 2020, I turned 28 in a Vipassanna centre during an 11-day sojourn at the Mastery of the Mind and Wisdom course through meditative techniques which at…
An illustration of a blue flower. The tips of its petals are dark blue and lighten as they meet at the yellow-brown centre. A long spindly green stem supports the flower and has three dark and light green round leaves and a dark green bud.. Behind it, on a grey-blue background is a cityscape dotted with buildings and palm trees with muted colour and grey overtones.

Camouflage

I cannot let anyone see the stretch marks, the cellulite, the saggy breasts. I cannot reveal my hideous body. I feel anxiety well up inside me even as I visualise this eventuality. I read about ten ways for a fat person to have meaningful sex. I learn that throwing a cloth over the bedside lamp will help hide my flaws.
A photograph of a water body. The sky is tinged with pink-mauve-yellow and is reflecting yellow on the different shades of blue of the waves.

Burnout, Boundaries, and Better Self-Care

My self-care journey has only just begun and I have a long way to go. I do have bouts of self-doubt, anxiety, and panic, and I still go through periods of feeling overwhelmed. However, more than anything, I have learnt that self-care, for me, is a subversive act, and caring for myself gives me the strength to challenge the status quo and play my part in social justice movements.
A photograph of a person's arm and hand. The background of a couch with a blue duvet is blurred, and the focus is on the person's hands, with brown nail-paint, and a blue pen in their hands. They are writing in a spiral bound notebook. Beside them is a black cup.

Dear Diary: The radically feminist creative journalling practice that nobody talks about

My journal has many entries that are speculative and fantastic. Writing about the mundane leads me to question the way the world operates and from there I frog-leap into a world of ideas where I imagine a radically different way of being. In my journal, I imagine a politics of care, community, and compassion. I become grand, valuable, and unstoppable, even in a world where I am sometimes made to feel small.
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.
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