Stories about: relationships

I was twenty-two when my best friend asked me to promise I’d never love my boyfriend more than I loved her. It wasn’t hard to promise. I’d met this boyfriend while Sarah and I were fighting. I wouldn’t have gone on a second date if we’d been speaking. I would have favoured Sarah’s critical observations …

Sugaring and mental health

I started sugaring for the money. Living out of home and watching your bank account decrease with every bill is a tiring experience, and after a gut-wrenching and generally nauseating break-up, I decided it was time to change that. Men my age were clearly incapable of giving me what I wanted, so I did what …

Identifying abuse or violence in relationships can be tricky for anyone, but LGBTIQA+ communities face a unique set of challenges when it comes to spotting healthy and abusive behaviours. We spoke to Karen Field, CEO of drummond street services and queerspace, and a partner in WithRespect, the first LGBTIQA+ specialist family violence service funded by …

At a party earlier this year, an acquaintance asked me if I was queer. “I don’t know,” I said. This person had been telling me about the Queer Beers event she was holding, and I was fascinated by her openness. Most openly queer people I had met looked bold. They didn’t look like Jo, with …

Content warning: This piece contains discussion of intimate partner violence. When I tell people about continued ‘low-level’ harassment in a domestic violence situation, I’m not talking about harassment that has less effect on the victim. Instead, I’m talking about a sneaky and insidious tactic used by perpetrators to maintain control over their partners or ex-partners, knowing …

Content warning: This piece contains discussion of intimate partner violence. There’s a myth of queer solidarity – an idea that here, in this community that values alliance and acceptance above everything, people have got your back. But a few years ago, when I found myself on the receiving end of violence, I realised that the …

Ronnie Scott and I sit in our respective homes, connected over Skype. He’s clean-shaven, his hair thrown back. Outside it’s overcast with a faint bloom of sunlight and the suggestion of rain later. When our video stream loads, he launches into a thought about the impacts of the pandemic. “It just hits you, how the …

A highlight of my adolescent diary was the lead-up to my birthday, when Mum and I would go clothes shopping together. I’d look forward to it as much for the quality time as for the fashion, and I was lucky to have a solid, strong mother-daughter relationship and a middle-class budget, both of which could …

Content warning: This piece describes intimate partner violence. Let me tell you when I realised you were hurting me. It was in our old house, the one filled with the type of furniture four nineteen-year-old students can afford. I sat on the two-seater lounge with my friend Iris across from me on the recliner. “How …

Monday night – hardly prime real estate for a date, but it was December, and so the days were bleeding into each other, weeknights taking on that languorous pace usually reserved for weekends. We sipped our beers, ran through the standard topics. I didn’t particularly like the way he put his hand on my thigh …

I remember my very first time. As I walked up to the house my mouth was dry. I knocked on the door, nervously clutching my character sheet and bag of dice. I was 27, going through a painful and messy divorce, and about to live out a long-held dream: I was going to play Dungeons …

  I want to show her one poem which is the poem of my life. But I hesitate, and wake. —Adrienne Rich, from the second of Twenty-One Love Poems   Of all my loves, my love for women is my most complicated. You could describe this love using phrases from psychiatry text books—hypervigilance; belief that …

Aboriginal queer motherhood

I’ve always known I wanted to be a mum. The only other parts of myself that I’d ever been so sure about were that I was black and queer. I became a mother in January 2016 to a healthy, gorgeous daughter. My Napanangka Nangari, a skin name given to her by two of her aunties. Becoming …

It was a modern beginning. We matched on Tinder then met at a local bar where we drank enough gin to sink a ship. Summer was heating up and I was ready for anything, having finally escaped a difficult marriage. Plus, the brazen way he rested his hand on my leg beneath the table made …

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 …

I’m concealing a crop underneath my clothing. It peeks out of my skirt as I move into the car, pressing painfully into the flesh of my thigh. “Where are you folks off to tonight?” “Just a club,” we both mutter, looking anywhere but at each other. The driver nods and says no more. He doesn’t …

‘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 …

Ethical porn and submission

The desires to perform for the camera and for a Dom partner are comparable – and complicated. Naked, adorably chubby and covered in white body paint, I turn to the camera and shout, “I think it’s time for a spaghetti shower!” The footage jump-cuts to show my 24-year-old self pouring canned spaghetti over my trembling body while screaming, “Spaghetti shower! Aaah, I’m gonna get so clean!” This continues for …

I didn’t think of myself as homeless when I finally did stop going home. It didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t feel bad. Over New Years my partner and I went camping. Some nights we were so lazy setting up a tent that we slept in the middle of a private farm under just the …

I had always considered myself a very empowered person who was able to be assertive in my relationships and maintain healthy boundaries with the people around me. Actually, my boundaries could sometimes be described as more robust than healthy. It often took people months to get beyond arm’s length. A year or so ago, I …

To celebrate my resignation from my first full-time job after college, I booked a flight from the Philippines to Singapore for a break. I brought one bag with me for a month-long stay. When I landed I realised how reckless my decision was. I had no idea what I was going to do there. I …

I was recently caught in the revolving door of the closet. During small talk with an acquaintance, I’d mentioned my girlfriend. After a meandering chat about household chores, she dropped the word ‘friend’ into the conversation, the cogs turned, and I realised we were on different wavelengths about what my girlfriend was to me. As …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity