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.
While we are struggling with the vicissitudes brought on by the pandemic we are also forced to spend more time online, to look for resources in terms of health care or caregivers, to reach out to people and build a communities of care, to take a break, or to try and hook-up online for a while.
Apart from systematic exclusions faced by individuals, evidently the mandatory use of a biometric-based digital ID has also reshaped the understanding of an individual’s agency and right to bodily autonomy. Gender and sexuality seem to no longer be matters of an individual’s right to privacy. With digitisation, disclosure of one’s gender and sexuality has become a hindrance to accessing one’s rights.
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.
Online dating can be great fun but it comes with some risks. This quirky and in-depth Digital Security Guide by Access Now on How to Date Online Safely tells us how we can engage with fellow dating-app users while making sure we are safe from harm.
Japleen Pasricha, founder of Feminism in India, lays bare the violence women, LGBTQIA+ folks, and historically marginalised communities face in online spaces, ranging from identity theft, bullying, trolling, to having our private photographs and details disseminated without our consent and being blackmailed.
Period tracking applications can also inform you about your general reproductive health and also caution you in case of an anomaly with respect to it. As menstruators in our undergraduate years, the primary reason I saw my friends using period trackers were to keep a track of when to carry menstrual products to college or avoid the risks of pregnancy.
For so long, private has meant a place that I was forced to create, claim and carve out to hide away from the public violence. And if I’ve been allowed to further wallow in it then I don’t want to – thank you very much.
So, what are the risks in a marriage? Well, the first and the most obvious one is that you don’t know if the partner you’ve chosen or has been chosen for you will make you happy. In the Indian context, even if they do make you happy, the family might not be too thrilled about the match.
On the other hand, in Abhay’s newly discovered wonderland, everything seemed to be awfully right. Soon, he began receiving proposals for sex-dates. Initially such proposals shocked him; for it took him a few months to get used to the fact that sex with men was only a click away.
Around the world, LGBTQ+ activists, queer ‘sex-positive’ feminists, sex-workers, artists and educators are leading the charge against the increasingly complex webs of regulation and censorship of sexuality online, where corporate policies intersect with restrictive state law.
In our mid-month issue, we have Mamatha Karollil writing about how she asserted herself after an incident of privacy violation when a nude picture of herself was seen by someone from work without her consent, and how ripping through, or not getting into, the cocoon of shame and dishonour, can prevent much distress…
One summer afternoon some moons ago, a man at work assigned to help me move numbers on an excel sheet…
If students of such young ages can have the agency to work around hard-wired issues of sexuality and privacy, bearing in mind consent, choice and failure as part of life, we see no reason for this sense of agency to not expand one’s sense of belonging and easily create change.