Category Archive: bodies

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 …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity