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Parents, teachers, feminists, conservatives, lawyers, the concerned citizen – pornography raises everyone’s hackles. Author Richa Kaul Padte approaches pornography with a combination of light-hearted...

Parents, teachers, feminists, conservatives, lawyers, the concerned citizen – pornography raises everyone’s hackles. Author Richa Kaul Padte approaches pornography with a combination of light-hearted camaraderie and intellectual curiosity instead. Taking seriously the notion that every individual has sexual rights, Kaul Padte explores the twinned fates of gendered representations and subjectivity in our digital age. Cyber Sexy: Rethinking Pornography (Penguin Random House India, 2018) is smart and funny in equal measure. Discussions on the need to move away from obscenity clauses in the Indian constitution to a more nuanced understanding of consent, and the questions of inequality that lie at the heart of consent, are punctuated by first hand accounts of online sexual experiences (including some of Padte’s own). Never pedantic, the book closes with a call for radical empathy as we collectively struggle towards a more open and accepting social order.

Richa Kaul Padte is an independent writer currently living in Goa, India. She edits and writes for Deep Dives, a longform digital imprint working at the intersections of sex, gender and technology. Cyber Sexy is her first book. Find Richa on Twitter @hirishitatalkies.


Madhuri Karak holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of her work can be found here.