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!


Dr. Kavita Mangnani (HAQ)

Dr. Kavita Mangnani is a clinical psychologist by profession and has completed her Ph.D in psychology in 2018. She is currently working in HAQ: Centre for Child Rights as Director: Restorative Care. HAQ: Centre for Child Rights is a Delhi based non-profit organisation working for the rights of children. She has extensive experience of dealing with children with psychiatric illness and disabilities. She has been active in the field of child protection from the last 7 years and has provided psycho-social support to children who are victims of abuse and violence. She has provided training to various key stakeholders such as teachers, students and principals on the issues of children sexual abuse and its psychological impact. She has also been a part of various capacity building programs for different stakeholders dealing with cases of abuse and understanding its effect on the mental health of children.

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.

Saptarshi Mandal

Saptarshi Mandal is an associate professor at the Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, Haryana. He researches how the law shapes our intimate relationships, and how we in turn shape the law.

Akanksha Kadam

Akanksha Kadam is a Mumbai based Lavani artist. She is known for her playful, sensuous adakari which captivates her audience within no time. She has been practising this art form for over 20 years. She conducts Lavani workshops by Kali Billi Productions and has trained many girls and boys in footwork and adakari. She has won numerous awards. She has choreographed Lavani songs for Marathi and Hindi films. She has also appeared in TV reality shows. Akanksha currently works as a freelance Lavani dancer.

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