New Internationalist

Aunty Ji, how do I kiss?

May 2014

Loreza Bacino investigates a new Hindi-language site giving answers to all the questions Indian youth were afraid to ask.

kissing.jpg [Related Image]
'We can break this culture of silence that leads to discrimination and injustice'. Kevin Dooley under a Creative Commons Licence

An item from the Agenda section of the magazine, where we look beyond the news curve with reports and comment on breaking stories.

In India, talking about relationships and sex remains taboo. So it is little wonder that the question googled by the most people – 37 million – is ‘how do I kiss?’

But since 2011, a Dutch-inspired website has helped millions of young people to find answers to some of the questions they never dared ask.

Love Matters is the first ever Hindi-language site to offer frank and friendly information on sexuality and sexual health issues, in a country where most girls are married before 18 with no sex education.

‘Aunty Ji’ is on hand to give tips on kissing, masturbation and safe sex to young adults aged 15-30.

‘Hindi has no words to describe “female masturbation”,’ explains project founder Michele Ernsting from Radio Netherlands Worldwide, ‘so local groups helped us find the right words to talk about sex and pleasure.’

To date, five million people have visited the site. Vithika Yadav of Love Matters India says men – nearly 80 per cent of visitors – are a vital target group. ‘How will you end sexual violence if you never talk about sex?’ she asks.

‘Equality can only occur if everyone is equipped to claim it for themselves,’ adds Vithika. ‘Sex education is an inherent human right. We can break this culture of silence that leads to discrimination and injustice.’

Love Matters has also launched sites in Latin America, Kenya, Egypt and China.

Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 472 This feature was published in the May 2014 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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