In our mid-month issue, we add context to our perceptions of and dealings with risk in our day-to-day lives. Collating and interpreting responses we received on a survey taken by small group of random individuals, Shikha Aleya looks at the transactions around risk foregrounded on the interplay of our location on the axes of gender and sexual identity, disability status, belief systems, and availability of support, amongst others.
Risk by itself is not a stigmatised subject, but sexuality is, and has been for generations. This has led to closeting, to shutting the door, on many necessary conversations about the risks to rights that millions of vulnerable individuals and many vulnerable communities live with, across the globe.
The scope for unsafe sex, as discussed earlier, extends to STIs and STDs and therefore, the feeling of ‘un-safety’ during sexual intercourse must expand itself to actively include infections as an equally important factor for using contraceptives, as are unwanted pregnancies.
While navigating hook-up culture, we may exercise our agency to express our sexuality but at the same time, may face risks to our safety and bodily integrity as well as obstacles engendered by misogyny, rape culture, heteronormativity, and double standards.
Some nights I worry that if birth control for men is indeed released, clinical trials of which were suspended in 2016 as its side effects, incidentally the same as what women have been dealing with for ages, were just not worth it, it would be named Fuckboi.
I want it, I got it. Right? Except, what I often get is some approximation of erotic pleasure, which has more to do with my own conditioning about what good sex looks like, and little to do with my body’s erotic mechanisms. This very peculiar condition is often lumped under ‘sexual frustration’, when it should really be addressed under safety.
We all talk of ‘safe’ as some place where we are not in danger. Well, the truth is there is danger everywhere. So, maybe before we even delve into the subject of safety and sexuality, it is imperative that we take a moment to pause and see what safety and sexuality could even mean.