Category Archive: relationships

Intimacy and Anxiety: Natural Enemies

The clouds are grey and heavy, compressing the ground and my mood with their weight. I’m sitting by an electric heater, drinking pale ale, in Eleanor Dark’s studio at Varuna, in Katoomba, where she herself sat and wrote, trying to find uninterrupted time to write amongst the demands of work and home. I’ve put aside …

Safer sexting: Abstinence isn’t the only way

Our breakup had been awkward but civil. I was confident that in a few months we could begin a friendship and the subtle bitterness he felt for me would begin to fade. I exited the relationship with my long-distance boyfriend feeling sad but healthy and excited for the future. It wasn’t until a few weeks …

Conceptual Polyamory: the social and political weight of keeping options open

It was 2011 and I was in the Hunter Valley. I’d just had a very expensive indulgent meal and was ungrateful, scribbling furiously in my journal about how my family didn’t understand me. This is pretty standard fare for a seventeen year-old nearing the end of their high school life and dating a girl living …

Polyamory: The everyday realities of being in love with two people at once

I was 35 when I met my wife.  Madelina was dazzling and charming and utterly refreshing, not to mention 11 years my junior – a cute and sexy pastime, I imagined. Except that when I met her, I had a girlfriend.  Ruth and I had been together only two months or so.  She initially asked …

Feeding my desire: Intimacy and breastfeeding

I have always been fascinated by lactation. By breasts, breastmilk, the art of feeding.  As a queer person being raised in a fundamentalist Christian home, I’d gotten used to hiding such bizarre anomalies about myself. But in March 2008, the canopy concealing this unusual prepossession (even from myself), was blown wide open by a person …

Religion, sex and polyamory: A cross to bear

“MUM, WHAT ARE BUTT-PLUGS FOR?” my 12-year-old son asks at the dinner table. I yelp at the question before admitting I’m curious myself. “Some of those things are huge,” says my 20-year-old stepdaughter, helping herself to another serving of Caesar salad and recounting her recent excursion to a sex-toy shop, to “satisfy her curiosity”. Later, as I clear …

Coming out: Tips for parents and families of gay kids

I’LL ADMIT, I can be an impulsive person. That particular personality streak is likely the reason I came out to my parents over Thanksgiving dinner, back in 1998. I was 17, and although it may seem like a bold move to an outsider, for me it was simply a panic-induced, impulsive reveal – “Mom, Dad, I’m bisexual!” …

Rekindling old flames: Reflections on Tinder, dating, and relationships

Jack* was late. I sat in a plywood booth off to the side of the small bar, worried that the dimly lit atmosphere was too romantic. Would he get the wrong impression? Should I move? I didn’t move. I pretended to write in my notebook, but my eyes were glued to the door. Finally, he …

Choosing to live: Family, sacrifice and domestic violence in a lesbian relationship

Trigger warning: story contains a personal and sometimes graphic recount of family violence. For 24/7 support, please contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800respect.org.au. Alternatively, see QLife for early intervention and counselling support specific to LGBTI people.  I remember one night, the final night, I sat on our …

Archer’s MQFF picks: Traversing gender, sexuality and disability on the big screen

Deciding which films to attend with the myriad on offer at this year’s Melbourne Queer Film Festival? Don’t stress – we’ve made this painstaking task easy. Here are our top picks: Chemsex London’s hedonistic gay club scene is saturated with drugs, thumping music and men who want to fuck. Documentary Chemsex examines the intersection between sexuality …

The Australian journal of sexual diversity.