Erotic mythology caressing through bodies in ritual union
by Opashona Ghosh
Sexual Agency, Radical Vulnerability & Fantasy As Tools for Self-Knowledge & Self-Care
In a time of commodification of self, our experiences of sex, sexuality, and love have, of necessity, hardened into weary transactions. Discarding the emotional, sensual, and spiritual aspects of the “creative life force,” we don imaginary armour that benumbs the body, depersonalising it and detaching it from desire.
This tendency, to shun the feminine and construe the emotional as weak, cannot be separated from toxic heteronormative culture that is “fear[ful] of sexual desire and of human need.” A false choice – between masculinity and femininity, strength and vulnerability, survival and pleasure – has fragmented ideas of sex, sexual agency, and emotional labour, rendering us unsatisfied, performing bodies.
Out of a history of loss and disorientation, comes KIN: an urgent argument for a new vocabulary of sexuality. Using erotica as a means of transcending gendered normativity and expanding agency, KIN dives into the peculiar world of fantasy as coping mechanism; the fantasy that responds to the need to heal. Informed by my origins in India and formalised in my later experiences living between the two hemispheres, the series emerged through my meditations on healing after sexual trauma and coming out as queer. Each image was a therapeutic response to a time of vulnerability and loss of faith. Over ten months, KIN enabled me to consciously transform feelings of shame, fear, and anger into a mindful manifesto of pleasure as an irreplaceable component of the self.