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

Pleasure

A photograph of two yellow flowers blooming amid grass. Dark green leaves are emerging from behind the flowers' petals.

Editorial: Representation and Sexuality

We are, all of us, trying to hold steady, and to hold space for each other and for ourselves. And so, instead of trying to put together a collection of ‘all new’ articles, this time we are republishing some ‘ever fresh’ ones on the theme of Sexuality and Representation.
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.
Wall-art of a face till the bridge of the nose. The face is coloured in peach, grey, and shades of blue. The eyes, green, are lined in black and have spots of yellow, brown, and blue colour around them. Under the left eye, there are yellow dots. The hair is streaked with purple and blue.

Probing the Screen: Pleasure in the Virtual World

The virtual world allows me to challenge the hold of patriarchy on my ‘effeminate’ body; in a sense, it allows me to evade the policing of desire that my body shares with another, its flows and slippages, the messy and the unkempt. While virtual sex offers a window to revisit the sensual, it is also not immune to limitations and insecurities.
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.
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.
Poster of the Netflix series ‘The Bold Type’ Three girls can be seen standing confidently. On top of the poster, the tile ‘Bold Type is written in purple colour

Circle of Trust

None of these characters is perfect but in their imperfections we can learn more about body positivity, gender sensitivity, privilege, consent, unconscious and implicit bias, sexuality, masculinity, their intersections with class, religion, race, age, and more.
A photograph of a lush oak tree, its branches sprawling across a field of green.

Editorial: Ageing and Sexuality

Ageing is often associated with a loss, a lack of ability and strength. When combined with sexuality, in the popular imagination, fed especially by market forces, youth is to be lauded and ageing regarded as the impending horror that must be evaded for as long as possible.
A photograph of an old tree, its roots spread out on the surface, entwined.

Being of Queer Age

The conversion of the noun (adult) into the verb form (adulting) implies that ‘adulting’ is more performance than inevitability. Which is to say, there is no intrinsic understanding of ‘adulting’; it is something that can be learnt over time.
A black and white photograph by Arianne Clément of Marie-Berthe.

Brushstrokes: ‘The Art of Aging’

As Clément subverts ageist norms around beauty with her camera-work, the women and men (ranging in age from 70 to 102 years) who reveal themselves in this project give us a glimpse into their inner world and the rich and vibrant ways in which they experience sensuality.
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