A digital magazine on sexuality, based 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

sexual orientation

Three people are seated at a wooden table - two are reading and one is writing.

Shouldn’t The World Be Big Enough?

We live in a world where resilience is celebrated and given priority over attempting to resolve factors that force one to be resilient. Campuses shouldn’t aim to merely be inclusive of diverse individuals – they must strive to not only affirm them but also celebrate them.
A photograph of a number of multicoloured rainbows against the background of a blue sky.

Interview – This is what you bring to the table!

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.

Haunted by Shame: The Struggle of Being Rendered Invisible

Where did my body go? This is a question I have asked myself repeatedly over the last two years. My own body became invisible to me after enduring abuse that was physical, emotional, and perhaps even sexual. It is too much to continue to endure pain, to feel it in its fullest as you flinch,…
A photograph of a purple-coloured board on grass. The board, in white, has a symbol for a person using a wheelchair and underneath it, the typography: Step free Route. Below it is an arrow pointing to the right.

Editorial: Disability and Sexuality

Both sexuality and disability are complex terrains, offering a realm of possibilities that are often made unnecessarily complicated and unattainable by the mental maps we draw of them and the artificial barriers we erect.
A photograph of disability rights activist Srinidhi Raghavan. She is wearing a blue top with a white pattern, black-rimmed spectacles, and a yellow hair-band.

Interview – Srinidhi Raghavan

Disabled people might not have many spaces where they can speak openly about their sexual experiences or even sexual curiosity. There is a heavy monitoring of disabled young people especially, and this can mean that exploration, which is often how many of us discover sexuality, can be limited. Moreover, since the experiences of disabled people are not seen in popular media such as films, we can (and probably do) imagine we will have the same or similar experiences as non-disabled people  – which is often not possible.
An illustration of a blue flower. The tips of its petals are dark blue and lighten as they meet at the yellow-brown centre. A long spindly green stem supports the flower and has three dark and light green round leaves and a dark green bud.. Behind it, on a grey-blue background is a cityscape dotted with buildings and palm trees with muted colour and grey overtones.

Camouflage

I cannot let anyone see the stretch marks, the cellulite, the saggy breasts. I cannot reveal my hideous body. I feel anxiety well up inside me even as I visualise this eventuality. I read about ten ways for a fat person to have meaningful sex. I learn that throwing a cloth over the bedside lamp will help hide my flaws.
A graphic illustration of a pattern. The dominant colours are yellow, orange, grey, blue, and black. Blocks of colour emerge from a cluttered centre and emanate upwards.

Violation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR): Where are the Women With Disabilities?

What vindicates the argument that women with disabilities (WWDs) should be deprived of sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights is scary. Harmful stereotypes of WWDs include the belief that they are hypersexual, incapable, irrational and lacking control. These narratives are then often used to build other perceptions such as that WWDs are inherently vulnerable and should be ‘protected from sexual attack’.
A poster of the Netflix film 'Rising Phoenix'.

Despite all odds

In the spirit of the Games, I watched the Netflix film Rising Phoenix which documents the history of the Paralympics and its impact on the world in making visible the topic of disability. It also tracks the personal and professional journey of some of the top Paralympic athletes who share their challenges, frustrations and motivations.
x