Category Archive: bodies

As an androgynous-looking person, I’m misgendered every single day of my life. Bathrooms, pubs, on the bus, at airport security — you name it, I’ve been misgendered there. Tall, masculine girl or well-dressed teenage boy? No one knows, but they sure want to find out. Perhaps I make things harder for myself by working as …

The medicalisation of gender fluidity: Forget me not

I had my first instance of gender confusion when I was around eight years old. I was skiing with my family in a little snow-capped town called Ohau in New Zealand. Having just got dressed, I passed the mirror on the way out and I was startled by my own reflection. I suddenly realised that …

Painful love: Sex, disability and vaginismus

I lost my virginity at the age of twenty-eight. I hadn’t planned on waiting that long, but I did always plan on waiting till the right man came along. It just took longer than expected. I was glad I waited, because it was everything I had expected. Four years down the line and we are …

Sex and fluids: Navigating bodily secretions

Doesn’t everyone remember their first time? Good, bad or ugly, we are socialised to remember it, and expected to. I can’t remember my first time, but I do remember the feeling: the stickiness that told me it wasn’t her cum. The grainy feeling under my nails that wasn’t her wetness. The colour crimson, bright, bold …

Image Essay: ‘For the Love of Hair’ by Leila Koren

I have been thinking a lot lately about my own body hair, hair in general, and how media censorship is particularly harsh on pubic hair.   Canadian artist and writer Petra Collins had her Instagram account deleted over an image of pubic hair. She responded with a great article on censorship and the female body …

Boxing for bravery: Risk, transitioning and a warrior’s spirit

I became truly fearless the day I returned to the old school, no frills, male-dominated boxing gym that I had attended for years as a female. My friend had outed me to a huge, burley macho guy. But I stood strong before him without showing any fear while awaiting his reaction, even though I was terrified …

Gender diversity represented in sexual health campaign

Strolling up and down Oxford Street, you don’t have to think too hard about who advertisers are trying to target. On one corner, two perfectly coiffed, blonde-haired, blue-eyed boys soap each other down on a poster for a foam party. Across the street, a flyer depicts a sea of half-naked, white, muscled men packed onto …

Choice and agency: Non-monogamy and STIs

I remember it clearly: falling for a Leo in the heat of summer. It was a season of trespassing, skinny-dipping, telling secrets on rooftops and sharing sloppy kisses when no one was looking. Winter had hurt me. Years of putting others first, of unspoken things, had caught up to me. I was exhausted. On the …

Letting go, a little: Living with vaginismus

It’s half past five on a Saturday night and I’m in bed, surrounded by books and pens and cups of tea, tapping away on my laptop. It’s been a long time since I shared this bed with anyone, so long in fact that an imaginary line divides it in half, one side for sleeping, the …

Hairy legs don’t make you more queer: Body positivity, and why it’s okay to be grossed out sometimes

The proliferation of the term ‘body positivity’ in queer and feminist circles has enabled a radical change in the ways beauty is constructed, understood, and obtained. Queer communities reject heteronormative love and beauty standards. As a result, discussions of body positivity have a much larger presence in these areas. This determines how body positive discourse …

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The Australian journal of sexual diversity.