High‑Profile Women Talk Flavored Condoms, Period Pain in New Podcast


Mar 7, 2019


Sex tapes, flavored condoms, endometriosis, STD testing are only a few of the subjects the new podcast She Says She’s Fine tackles, with high-profile guests such as comedian Kaneez Surka, and Gaysi founder Sakshi Juneja getting candid about their health and experiences.

“The main objectives of this podcast are to eliminate patient-doctor hierarchy, bust myths, stop the spread of misinformation and create an open and honest discussion about women’s health issues in the context of changing lifestyle choices, advancements in medical technology, social taboos and more,” said Mae Mariyam Thomas, founder of Maed in India, which produces She Says She’s Fine. “This is a show that isn’t just for women to understand women, but for men to understand, too.”

Three episodes in, each of which tackle sex and periods, the podcast serves up more unreserved conversations about social mores than it does information about women’s health. Instances of correcting misinformation might be few and far in between, but Dr. Kapadia succeeds in creating a comfortable environment for his guests who don’t shy away from recounting their sexual encounters or menstrual experiences in Indian society.

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For example, Surka talks about attaching shame to sex, which sent her into depression after her first sexual encounter. Now, she tackles such subjects in her comedy, adding, “If you remove the shame and guilt around sex, you can’t use it against me. When I have no dignity to lose, your power goes.”

Also featured is 20-year-old poet Aranya Johar, whose spoken-word poem “A Brown Girl’s Guide to Beauty” resonated with audiences nationwide, in an episode that traverses porn and its effects on people’s sex lives. Slamming sex education in the country, Dr. Kapadia says, “[Porn] has ruined a generation of men who think of sex in a very porn format. It has taken years of unlearning — what to do, what not to do, what to expect from your partner and what to expect from yourself.”

Such conversations are occasionally peppered with the doctor’s own biases — how men take sex more lightly than women do, or how most women are mean to each other, both of which instigated a major eye roll, to be honest. He does manage to bust some medical myths around endometriosis (when the tissue that makes up the uterine lining grows outside the uterus) and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS (when an imbalance in hormones disrupts ovulation).

The main purveyors of health information, albeit anecdotal and experiential, are the women. Johar talks about about how flavoured condoms are not good or you, and how people can be allergic to certain condom materials. She emphatically advises listeners to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Rapper Sofia Ashraf explains her switch to the menstrual cup, and delineates the health and environmental benefits of her choice. Founder of queer blog, Gaysi, Sakshi Juneja highlights the medical community’s inadequacies in caring for mental and sexual health among members of the LGBTQ+ community. Fitness expert Chitra Balachandran opens up about her struggle with endometriosis, and how her career has been affected by stigma surrounding period pain.

With podcasting on a slow rise in India, podcasts exploring health through an Indian lens are rare. Marbles Lost and Found combine discussions surrounding gender and mental health, and The Alternative Story explores accessible therapy options, Scroll reports. She Says She’s Fine, available on Apple Podcasts, is a rare foray into Indian women’s inner lives — both physiological and experiential. While less informative than expected, its loose structure allows Indian women to be candid about their health in a way that is admirable, occasionally funny, and constantly relatable.


Written By Rajvi Desai

Rajvi Desai is The Swaddle’s Culture Editor. After graduating from NYU as a Journalism and Politics major, she covered breaking news and politics in New York City, and dabbled in design and entertainment journalism. Back in the homeland, she’s interested in tackling beauty, sports, politics and human rights in her gender-focused writing, while also co-managing The Swaddle Team’s podcast, Respectfully Disagree.


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