Pleasure and data? Is there such a rishta? We said yes, oui, haan!

How does acknowledging that young people want pleasure change the questions we ask and the research we do on their love/sex lives? Can taking pleasure seriously, transform the programmes, policies, curriculums and laws we create? #LoveSexAndData asked - is Pleasure the secret ingredient that data needs in order to be useful and relevant to our life and create a more just society?

The Love, Sex and Data Conference: A 3-day digital conference that took place from 7-9th October, 2021 was organised by Agents of Ishq and The YP Foundation to deep dive into these questions through keynotes, panels, workshops, performances, afterhours interactions and more!

3 days, 36 events, 60 speakers - thank you to everyone who joined us in bringing in the pleasure lens to our work (and our life!) as students, activists, educators, NGO workers, researchers, writers or really, whoever you are!

A first-of-its-kind conference dedicated to sex and pleasure in India? We said - you need to come ya (in more ways than one if you like *wink wink*) and you did - all 1663 of you!


Click on each to know more!


Suhas Misra

Suhas Misra has been an entrepreneur before. More than once actually. After a brief post-MBA corporate stint (joined Coca Cola from IIM Calcutta in 2003, and then was at Nokia briefly), he co-founded his first company, ChannelPlay with two very close friends in 2006. ChannelPlay is now arguably India’s largest retail marketing company. In 2009, he exited ChannelPlay to start, with another very close friend, Hector Beverages, that eventually found success and fame as the maker of Paper Boat, probably India’s most loved beverage brand. And then he retired in 2014-15. Although in hindsight, it was more a sabbatical than retirement, as he was back to trying out a rural health-tech platform that aimed to address the problem of access to healthcare. While there was significant interest in terms of consultations, they could not figure out a proper monetisation model. The failure of that business—Tardigrade—made him look around, explore and think. The landscape of upcountry India is dotted with these wall paintings that advertise traditional sex clinics. He was intrigued that these are absolutely unchanged from what he remembered seeing from the train window during summer vacations when he was a kid. “How could a space be so unchanging given the grand sweep of the internet?” became a question he found himself intrigued by. So, he started going to these sex clinics as a mystery customer to understand their role, and it was dehumanising, as one would expect. The sales pitch there is based on leveraging the stigma that defines this space so the customer is really made to doubt his masculinity, to set him up for products that are ridiculously overpriced (and often not what they are presented as.) Those experiences were sufficient to start thinking about a business in this space. The category is obviously massive, but also intellectually compelling and so he reached out to Gaurav, a friend from the Coca Cola and Nokia days who had run a very interesting content venture before a return to the corporate world, and Saurabh, who was part of the Tardigrade co-founding team, to explore working together on this, and both of them found it exciting enough to join forces.

Rukmini S

Rukmini S is an independent data journalist based in Chennai. She is the former Data Editor of The Hindu and HuffPost India. Her work focused on inequality, gender, caste, crime, politics and health. She also hosts a pandemic podcast, The Moving Curve. Her first book, 'Whole Numbers and Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India' will be published by Amazon Westland in November this year.

Bhanupriya Rao

Bhanupriya is the founder of Behanbox - a digital multimedia publication for gender journalism which produces deep evidence driven reportage on women and gender diverse persons in India.

Judy Amina

Judy Amina is a young woman passionate about the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of young people in Kenya. She has been pivotal in steering SRHR projects targeting youth, women, and vulnerable populations in the country. She is currently the Advocacy officer at the Center for the Study of Adolescence working to improve the SRH of young people through advocacy programmes to include Comprehensive Sexuality Education in the Kenyan School Curriculum. Previously, Judy worked as the Youth Country Coordinator for the Kenya SRHR Alliance an international network of Civil Society organisations present in 7 different countries globally all working towards achieving SRHR for all people.

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