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

self expression

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.
A still from the film 'A Kid Like Jake'. In a city-background with houses to the right and a car to the left, three figures: a blonde woman wearing a black and white striped t-shirt, blue jeans, and a beige coat, carrying a brown bag on her shoulder is holding a child's hand from the left. The child is wearing a purple, glittery tutu and a blue shirt. Their arms are outstretched and on the right side, held by a man wearing a peach shirt, blue hoodie and blue jeans. He has black hair. Both the man and the woman are looking at the child.

Review: I see you

My friend’s son, too, likes wearing tutus and frilly skirts. Every time they go shopping for clothes, he heads to the girl’s section and picks out the frilliest outfit. At check out, invariably the cashier asks if the pretty outfit is for his sister and he confidently says it is for him. Often he wears these outfits to school. His confidence comes from his mother’s acceptance of him and her understanding of his gender expansiveness. It helps that she is a sociologist, but there is a constant pushback from society including from his peers at school who bully the little boy. But it is the constant support from his mother and family that allows him to remain confident and thrive whilst being different.
A screenshot of an advertisement. It depicts a woman in a red saree with a dark blue blouse. She is wearing necklaces. She is squatting and seemingly washing clothes. Beside her, to the left, is a steel bucket.

Review: What Does Clothing Have to do with Sexuality in the Media?

Attire and sexuality in the common imagination and approach as represented (and also as received) by the mainstream media tell us a lot about prevailing attitudes to both. Advertisements bombard us with all kinds of representations, negative and positive, of human sexuality, sexual expression and desire. In the creation and marketing of attire and fashion, there is a great awareness of sexual buy-in or rejection by the market – that’s us.
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.

Sexuality and Spirituality – Coming Full Circle

What do we create for ourselves in that moment of acute awareness? Do we create empowerment, love, care, self-expression; or do we manipulate it to create abuse, distrust and disharmony? For, what is spirituality if not the uplifting of the human spirit? If sexuality is the medium for someone, what’s the problem?
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