Category Archive: bodies

Breastfeeding, asexuality and trauma: Our editors’ picks for 2019

We’ve made it to the end of 2019 already. How did that happen?! We’ve published some really great pieces this year, and we’ve seen some of our old favourites maintain their popularity. To celebrate the end of 2019, we’re sharing with you some of our editors’ picks: a combination of our most-read pieces of 2019, …

Abortion and ambivalence: The parthood model and sadness (but not guilt)

Content warning: This piece contains highly graphic descriptions of abortion   My mental health plan says I suffer from anxiety. I don’t think that quite covers it but it’s all there is to say. The words are hard to find, hard to choose. I’m not victimised. It’s not grief in its popular sense, but it’s …

Creating art in a post #MeToo climate

Something shifted two years ago, when the first #MeToo found itself pinned to an alluding tweet. Unwittingly, we had stumbled into a new uprising: one laced with belated anger and hot breath. One that was necessary and tingling. One itching to be found in the pages of future history books. Art, business, hospitality, sport: every …

Pure OCD and the Groinal Syndrome: Body beyond control

Human bodies are trouble. They’re frightening and chaotic and often riddled with insurmountable paradox. All at once they are us – the site of our sensations, experiences, identities – not us – governed by unconscious, primordial systems, sometimes fiercely at odds with our desires and internal self-concepts – and perhaps most frighteningly, ours – like …

Queer nightlife: The urge to congregate

This article was first performed under the title ‘Unity’ at Queerstories for Newcastle Writer’s Festival.   That space between leaving high school and starting the next thing is bizarre. Whether that be uni, work or just, you know, taking up residency on a couch with a bong in one hand and a pipe dream in …

Queer birth stories: Diversity in families

In The Argonauts, Maggie Nelson reflects that ‘whenever anyone asked me why I wanted to have a baby, I had no answer. But the muteness of the desire stood in inverse proportion to its size.’ Wanting to be a mother with my partner, Claire, felt like a need. Yet, like Maggie Nelson, I couldn’t give …

Neuroqueer and tattoos: Entangled and disembodied

The clenched buzzing of machines, music, innumerable knickknacks and bric-a-bracs, embellished walls, the aroma of disinfectant and glare of LED mag lamps—entering a tattoo studio can assault the senses. It’s the kind of sensory barrage neuroqueer artist, activist, and academic, Alison Bennett, habitually guards against. “A lot of neuroqueer people find it difficult to be …

Queer-friendly tattoo studios: Disrupting the straight masculinity of the tattoo industry

The first time I walked into a tattoo parlour, a brawny and stand-offish middle-aged man was scoffing at a young female client, telling her that her tattoo idea was never going to happen. I could barely hear him over the aggressively loud metal blasting through the shop speakers. Disheartened, she left, and I was next …

Masculinity and weightlifting: Gender in the gym

In the morning I study piano and in the afternoon I lift weights. The piano part is unremarkable for me. My childhood home had a piano, and I studied music through high school. Playing music isn’t just a thing I do: it’s part of how I see myself. It’s part of how I want to …

‘Together’ an image essay by Luke Austin

‘Together’ an image essay by Luke Austin

‘Together’ is an image essay from photographer Luke Austin, which originally appeared in Archer Magazine #11, the GAZE issue. Luke spoke to Hailey Moroney about the series.  Your imagery and body of work as a whole is inherently inclusive – not only of the gay community but of the LGBTQIA+ community at large. Is this …

Living with HIV and the politics of AIDS

I contracted HIV from the partner I shared a terrace with in Sydney almost twenty years ago. I realised the virus had entered my blood while I lay in his arms watching ads on the television for the upcoming Sydney 2000 Olympics. My partner cradled me while I complained of fevers and chills. That night …

Aroma therapy: The smell of my vagina helped me overcome shame & love sex

I want women to smell their underwear everyday. Why? I overcame shame and learned to love myself by getting high off my own supply. Many women recoil at the smell of their vagina, I know, I was one of them for many years. Too many “smells like fish” jokes around the lunch table from awkward pre-pubescent …

Changing the story of living with HIV

HIV for me has always felt simultaneously impossible and inevitable. Impossible, because like so many of us who are young and privileged with good health, we feel invincible. Although we know something could happen, we doubt that it will happen. This is where impossibility sat, in the arrogance of youth and the privilege of good …

Being queer and body positive

Being queer and body positive

Growing up in Australia in a time when fad diets and homophobia were all the rage, for me, the 90’s and early 00’s meant crash diets and sneaking off to Sydney to make out with girls on the weekend. I hid my sexuality and forced myself to have relationships with men to appease society, I …

Sam Stoich Image Essay: Shot in the Dark

This series by 20-year-old HIV-positive American photographer Sam Stoich confronts a subject that has long been misunderstood, and remains burdened with ­stigma even today. Q&A with Jess Desaulniers-Lea   Shot in the Dark has a sense of continuum; is this series on­­going? If so, how has it evolved so far and in what direction do you see it …

Archer Asks: Kelli Jean Drinkwater, director of Nothing to Lose

Nothing to Lose is a cinematic celebration of the possibilities and capabilities of fat and queer bodies. The documentary follows a powerful cast of performers as they train and rehearse for an award-winning groundbreaking dance production entitled Nothing to Lose. Seeing the film on its opening night at ACMI  late last year, you could feel the …

Trans women in sports: End the discrimination now

Wading into the deep end of the pool as a trans woman athlete has been fraught with problems. I was only three years into my transition when I made the decision to return to sport in 2004. Prior to this, I had been a competitive athlete since my 5th grade of school. All I had …

Fat femmes to the front: Pushing back on false representation

Society teaches us the word fat is a negative: something to be gawked at, and to shame each other for. Fat people like me are seen as lazy, judged for eating in public, and ignored by our doctors for serious health issues that aren’t related to our weight. We are told again and again that if …

Queer body horror: On the grotesque dysmorphia of self

I loathe horror films. I was never able to sit down and watch the trailer for films like Paranormal Activity or The Conjuring. That small glimpse is enough to keep me up at night and afraid to look in mirrors (because everyone knows that’s when the creepy thing appears behind you, especially if you have …

Staying Positive: Condoms, stigma and HIV advocacy in the age of PrEP

For 35 years, gay men have been told one thing: wear a condom. In my work as a journalist and broadcaster, I have specialised in covering gay men’s sexual health issues, and have always encouraged listeners to be responsible for their own health and wellbeing. Now, new forms of protection that do not involve latex …

Shame, gender and ageing ‘gracefully’: Musings from a 66 yr old androgynous bodybuilder

I recently upgraded my bodybuilding regime because I wasn’t hitting certain muscle groups, and today I’m getting on with the new program. After my warm-up I completed four sets of pullups, before heading to the Smith Machine for a weightless squat session. And then the day goes to shit. Green-arm Tattoo Guy walks away from …

A love letter to stripping

A love letter to stripping

I’ve only been in Japan two weeks and I miss you so much already. I’m not saying I didn’t think I’d miss you, but I definitely didn’t think I’d miss you this much, this quickly. The girls called me from the dressing room at the club last night, and I was so jealous. They were …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity