Chay Magazine: Lifting the Lid on Love and Sexuality in Pakistan

by Anisa Benmoktar on May 20, 2010

Pakistan’s Chay Magazine is different. Focusing on sex and sexuality in Pakistan, South Asia and Abroad, this online publication boldly goes where few Pakistani websites have gone before: to the heart, soul and nitty gritty of the big existential questions.

Chay Magazine

Liberal, open-minded and candid, the mag covers love, sexuality, religion, health, class and even harassment, offering a forum and a meeting point for young Pakistanis and other internets from around the globe with an interest in reading and being read. Chay features are predominantly English.

Looking Up Love and Sex

Chay isn’t a dating site: it offers news updates, featured articles, reviews, poetry, and wide-ranging opinions, all of which revolve around life, love and sexuality in Pakistan, India and further afield.

The website is not for the fainthearted, nor conservative: it openly tackles controversial issues, particularly those regarding love and sex, embracing all orientations and persuasions.

Mission: From Pakistan with Love…

Entirely run by volunteers, it was launched, according to its mission, to dispel some of the fear and shame around issues of love, sex and sexuality within Pakistani society:

The founders of Chay Magazine feel that sex and sexuality should enter the public discourse. The taboo and silence around sex and sexuality are oppressive on all of us, irrespective of gender, and lead, at the very least, to unhappiness in our daily lives and, more often, to violence, shame, depression, ill health and general social malaise.

We at Chay Magazine endeavor to bring to the Pakistani reading public a place to converse about those things we are most shy of. Our hope is that, through this, we can become braver and stronger, more powerful, self-assured, and just and fair members of society.

Everything under one URL

Scrolling through the feedback on the site, there’s a gamma of responses from readers, mostly positive and affirming, occasionally outraged and appalled. The latter is an obvious occupational hazard when dealing with sensitive issues.

With its solid body of info and opinions, admirable reading list, blog, and resources section of useful links, I think Chay Magazine is a fantastic forum and information source for those who wish to speak, listen or investigate further on love and sex in Pakistan and the surrounding region. It seems especially relevant for readers who may not be sure where to look or if it’s ok to ask.

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