Expanding contexts give the word ‘movement’ different meanings and value. Physical, conceptual, technological, relationship, emotional, mental, power, knowledge, ability, access, may be amongst the contexts immediately identified.
While sex workers face repeated harassment by the police, many young couples face threats in a one-off incident if the police finds them with their partner/lover. They may face police surveillance of expressions of intimacy and affection in public.
100 issues, 8 years! Thank you, dear readers and contributors! As we planned for this issue to put on our…
As a girl, I was made to believe that pleasure was something that existed outside my body, something that I had to seek out, something that was necessarily a product of a partnered experience. I don’t think I was even allowed to want pleasure, especially in its sexual forms.
Every part of life, the world too, is storied. Stories are the thread that hold histories and truths together. Stories are at the core of myth-making. Everything that we know is part of multiple crisscrossing relational storylines that we raise and those that we have no power in raising.
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.
Taboos in relation to female desire, sexuality and the body are often addressed in my work. My recent artistic interest focuses on rituals that are primarily centred on agricultural communities in Bengal that involve the veneration of fertility symbols and celebration of feminine sexuality.
If we are to reimagine coupledom and sexuality, we need to expand and challenge our ideas about togetherness, romance, love, intimacy, desire, sex, attachment, and so on.
Coupledom may or may not be for everyone, and does not mean the same thing to everyone. Importantly, coupledom does not hold the same value or position in our lives, even in the lives of the individuals perceived to be parts of a couple structure.
Contemporary and predominant imaginations of intimacy focus primarily on a sex-centric (romance-centric?) model which assumes that sexual desire exists and holds the same value for every person and every relationship regardless of their subjective positions. Sexual intent and desire are often the cruces of how relational aspects such as intimacy are socially constructed.
Both rejections and affirmations of the couple are skewered on this doubleness: It is the fullest expression of love and proximity available to us, and it bears all the insufficiencies of present social relations. Monogamous romantic commitment, like infallible lifelong attraction to only men or only women, is surely a minority tendency expediently elevated to a general social principle.
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.
I now feel comfortable entertaining the thought that my ease with my selfhood does not necessarily have to be threatened by the possibility of love in coupledom. Indeed, comfort with one’s self can actually evolve into healthier forms of love towards the other(s).