In theory, the concept of the app is a great one – it provides women, queer people, and people belonging to oppressed castes the tea-stall, cigarette-shop type of public spaces for conversation that are available to upper-caste cis het men. The relative anonymity acts like a safe cover, and the app affords a certain autonomy and agency to marginalised people to regulate the kind of conversation that goes on in rooms moderated by them.
I can recall my experiences in the washrooms of different gyms that I have been a member of. A men’s washroom is an interesting place in terms of how sexuality manifests itself in its various aspects. It was not unusual to see men of various kinds with strange energies in these washrooms.
In this write up, we’d like to share a sense of what emerges from a compilation of these responses. This is based on the thoughts and feelings that come through for those of us here at In Plainspeak who have had the joy of reading the original responses as they came in to us. (Some of the quotations that follow have been slightly edited for flow and to help connect themes.) We know that most things in the realm of art, information and ideas lend themselves to a wide range of inferences and insights depending on the individuals making the inferences.
Practicing polyamory comes with the struggle of breaking down value systems and non-acceptance that may lead to ostracism not only from the heterosexual world but also from the queer and trans community. Claiming oneself as queer depends not only on how one identifies, but also, in society’s eyes, on who one’s partner is; being single does not qualify and neither does being polyamorous as the latter is considered ‘non-serious’.
I was not simply stuck within the binaries of “same-sex” or “opposite sex,” assuming that any reference to “same-sex” is in itself already revolutionary. But the call to recognise friendship, is a call to recognise so many forms of community that are made invisible by the emphasis within a liberal or conservative framework on “marriage” as the only path to family making.
Sexting is ALL about consent. Consent to RECEIVE a sext, consent to portray yourself in one. Keep this in mind, because one of the reasons sexting receives such a bad rap is because of what might happen after – dissemination of intimate images and content WITHOUT CONSENT.
We must all care for ourselves and be discerning about when and where and with whom we show our cards…but those who can hold our emotional and sexual vulnerability are out there, and we can find them and be all of who we are.
It is true though that ageing has brought home realities about my body that I ignored when I was younger. It has made me mindful of what I value, and what I choose to let go of, without too much of thought or unnecessary angst.
The most satisfying spiritual and sexual experiences I’ve had were not in my twenties, thirties or even forties. They have been in my 50’s. The most insightful spiritual insights, and the most orgasmic orgasms have both arrived in middle age.