Stories about: bodies

My whole life, I have relied on other people to help open jars for me – something conventional Western narratives of manhood, and most 90s sitcoms, would designate as a one-way ticket to Emasculation Station. A lot of guys have a problem with admitting they are physically weak, or worse still, deferring their jar-based tasks …

If you were to Google my story, you would find some lovely photographs exhibiting some “hideous” scars that make up 70-80% of my torso, front and back. I was told that I was lucky that the scars can be hidden by clothing and that my handsome face was left unmaligned. These battle scars are detritus …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

At lunch time, the mother and daughter behind me in the queue pointed and whispered. They thought I couldn’t hear them, but I could. On my walk home from work I got stares – a few of them were accompanied by winks or smiles, but most felt highly judgmental at best, hostile at worst. It …

I remember the first time I really noticed that sexuality was important to older people. I was working as a nurse unit manager in a residential aged care unit when a nurse reported that John, one of the male residents, was masturbating while she assisted him to shower. She felt she “shouldn’t have to put …

BUY ARCHER MAGAZINE #5 HERE “There is a strange combination of terror and freedom I feel when objectified…” Love affairs with our bodies. The stigma associated with butt sex. How religion impacts sexuality. Plus, stories of sexuality and gender from Malaysia, China, USA, rural Australia, Zimbabwe and more… Welcome to Archer Magazine #5. * Marriage equality by Dennis Altman * Sex …

As a sexologist and sexuality coach, clients ask me all the time why they can’t orgasm during penetration. I tell them it’s the same reason a lot of people with vaginas can’t. Penetration is not a great way to stimulate the clitoris, and the clitoris is the most common way to bring on a climax. When delivering …

Sex over 70: Better with age

The author of Sex in your seventies spoke to dozens of septuagenarians to find that sexuality is still varied and complex later in life. When two people, as a couple, do not have intimacy, it makes their relationship less warm. There can be too much sexual contact, or too little – you must draw a …

Whenever we think of AIDS, we are immediately drawn back to the 80s when its emergence was at the forefront of Australian media. To say that it was a difficult period would be a major understatement – people were getting the virus left and right, casual sex received a bad reputation and our government hoped …

Sex on premises

I passed by a familiar face at the top of the stairs. He smiled knowingly at me.   I remembered him from a one-time fuck some months ago – a face that had popped up on apps a few times, but had never materialised in the flesh again, until now. We spoke openly, the silence …

For all its downfalls and erasures, the coming out of Caitlyn Jenner did bring the discussion between the language of medicine and transgender people into my lab. A colleague recently approached me, I’m guessing because of my gay aura, to ask some questions about transgender issues. They didn’t have any opinions or judgements. They just …

Over the past year, I’ve found my party second wind. After a few years of being horrified at the thought of going out two or three times a week, suddenly I won’t consider anything less. As a result, I go to a lot of different parties. Gay parties, lesbian parties, queer parties. Parties in warehouses, …

Holding the Man: 20 years on

There are many books we queers hold sacred. For many of us they are mementos of our troubled and tormented adolescence. These might include Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar (1948) or James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room (1956). While these books reflected my own angst-ridden, introspective teen years, they only seemed to offer antiquated portraits of homosexuality, as their …

Sexuality - Gender - Identity