Who decides about young people’s pleasures? Is pleasure factored into the research we do on young people and their love/sex lives? How does this affect the policies, curricula and laws that we create for them? The Love, Sex and Data (LSD) conference was a 3-day digital conference that explored why pleasure is the missing ingredient that could make data truly useful - to our lives, our work and essssspecially to young people!
Brought to you by The YP Foundation and Agents of Ishq, LSD explored how we can take pleasure seriously (along with a dash of sugar, spice and everything fun, sexy and nice) in our practices as students, activists, educators, NGO workers, researchers, writers or whoever you are! And of course - in our own lives!
Pleasure - what brings us joy and satisfaction - usually isn’t foremost in our mind when we think of work, research and data, but we think it should be. Thinking about what gives us and others pleasure has a transformative power for our research and data. What would happen if we accepted pleasure as one of the important aspects of life and looked at the world through that frame? What new truths would it reveal? And what can happen when we approach research on adolescents and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) through this frame?
Some questions that we explored over 3 days were: why we are scared of pleasure (dil mein mere hai darr-e-disco), what is the transformative power of incorporating pleasure into our practices, what’s the information young people are missing in their love/sex life (woh data hain kahaaaaa?!), how do unheard communities make their own data and use it to advocate for themselves (atmanirbhar bharat aka you’re all alone), the histories of data and knowledge, and how to locate ourselves in it.
These are some of the questions at the heart of LSD which we have explored through the work of doctors, activists, writers, academics, artists, researchers, data scientists, grassroots communities, teachers, mental health practitioners, digital experts from across the world who have looked at people’s desires and pleasures in their work, have thought hard about the data we need, the data that gets ignored (and who gets ignored in the process) and how we can do research that’s genuinely relevant in people’s lives.
Agents of Ishq is a multi-media project about sex, love and desire. We make cool videos, beautiful images, podcasts, informational material as well as compelling personal narratives of intimate life on everything from consent to masturbation to mental-sexual health. Our work aims to create a new Indian language for talking about desire and sex in a pleasure positive and intersectional way that draws on popular culture and the power of art to counter narratives of sexual violence and danger.
Website - www.agentsofishq.com
The YP Foundation (TYPF) is a youth development organisation that facilitates young people’s feminist and rights-based leadership on issues of health equity, gender justice, sexuality rights, and social justice. TYPF ensures that young people have the information, capacity, and opportunities to inform and lead the development and implementation of programmes and policies that impact their lives and are recognised as skilled and aware leaders of social change.
Website - www.theypfoundation.org