One of my recent series explores the trope of the "submissive desi woman" through the lens of racialized and queer/gendered power and pleasure. As brown women and femmes, we find our bodies and sexuality defined outside of our agency as soon as we're visible- we are inscribed with docility, naivety, novelty, disgust (particularly for those of us who fall outside the realm of "desirability" or hold multiple marginalized identities). In the vulnerable and intimate space of a sexual/sensual encounter, kink provides an explicit framework to communicate of power dynamics and boundaries that can be really powerful as someone routinely silenced by external conditions- the power dynamics of control, authority, pain, and pleasure continue to exist outside of these encounters, but we don’t often get the ability to control and manipulate them safely. In public spaces, I am fetishized and dehumanized without my consent. In the visceral moments of an intimate encounter, I can consent and become the subject of my own experience. I can return your gaze and still demand that you objectify me. By contrasting motifs around bondage and sensuality with symbols of idealized South Asian femininity and domesticity (such as traditional desserts and elaborate gold jewelry), these images create an exploratory space that asks us who is in control. What does it look like to reclaim the tired trope of the south asian femme, submissive and devoid of pleasure? Does the "submissive" still hold appeal if willful? What is the relationship between south asian femininity and sexual agency? Where is the boundary between exotic, erotic, and exhausted?