Journal article / Nalini Jameela and the Itinerant Sex Pedagogy of a Veshya

Saha, Aritra, and Hemachandran Karah. ‘Nalini Jameela and the Itinerant Sex Pedagogy of a Veshya’. Sexuality & Culture. Published ahead of print, 14 May 2021.

Abstract: Nalini Jameela (1954–) is a sex worker and activist from Kerala. She is also an autobiographer. Sex workers are treated as the other of ideal Indian womanhood. In regular parlance, the other is known by the term ‘veshya’ (prostitute). Jameela willfully embraces the cultural other.

We give details of Jameela’s feminist sex pedagogy, especially of an itinerant kind. Jameela knows for a fact that her male clients always see her as a veshya figure. Their transferences on her are based on the cultural imagination of the veshya. Also, due to constant battering her mirror of the body is not totally predictable and speckle-free. In fact, it remains broken.

Via transferences, Jameela’s male clients open up to her. In the process, they learn a good deal about sex, intimacy, and mutuality of pleasure. She offers an alternative worldview about sex to her male clients who are by and large driven by stereotypes and taboo concerning heterosexual intimacy.

In psychoanalysis, mirroring or transference signifies non-judgmental listening on the part of the therapist who also reflects back psychological projections of the patients. Although Jameela is not a trained psychotherapist, she deploys them unwittingly. Eventually, she rehabilitates ill-conceived cultural notions concerning the veshya figure.

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Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup
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