7 Ways You Haven't Thought About Sex Before

"No erotic work of art is filth if it is artistically significant; it is only turned into filth through the beholder if she/he is filthy."– Egon Schiele

As a country, it wouldn’t be too tall a claim to say our history has been both rich and sexually-charged. India has consistently tied sex to the sacred, and this can be seen in multiple mediums of expression, from the now-clichéd but obvious mention of the epic Kamasutra text to the elaborate art and murals of temples like Khajuraho.

And if we’re honest, the ritualistic worship sexuality once received fared us far better than the overwhelming hypersexualization and objectification of women, especially when coupled with the contradictory repression in India today. How else can we explain misrepresentation of women and the criminalization of homosexuality in India?

Considering how many individual identities are fueled by our notions of gender and sexuality the world over, it’s no wonder that these are themes that artists have explored throughout history — whether male or female, gay or straight. In India, too, artists have become pioneers in shaping progressive mindsets either by challenging realities or simply holding a mirror to society’s attitudes.

However, with clampdowns on (and sometimes even violence against) the creative freedom of artists — such as the controversy surrounding MF Husain’s paintings depicting Hindu goddesses — it is not just artistic freedom that is at stake these days, but also progress towards an egalitarian society. Because we're constantly attempting to navigate hypocrisy and complex gender issues, we decided to highlight a few modern Indian artists who are tackling these themes via multiple mediums.

Check out their projects ahead.