Category Archive: sex

The ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feminist: Coming to terms with my kinks

“Are you choking me?” my partner asked me, pausing in the middle of sex. His expression was somewhere between shock and confusion. Caught off guard while on top of him, I found both my hands wrapped, perhaps a little bit tightly, on his neck, so I quickly released them. He laughed and, in my embarrassment, …

Gender affirming sex: Paying for sex as a non-binary person

Carving out my non-binary identity felt like going through a second adolescence. I found myself experimenting with various styles, spaces, activities and relationships – I was trying everything on for size to see if it fit. Much like my first adolescence, sexual exploration was a formative rite of passage, full of nervousness and a bit …

Sex and sterilisation for women with disabilities

Content warning: sexual assault, ableism and surgical procedures. In Australia, non-consensual sterilisation is lawful if a court decides a woman with a disability “lack[s] mental capacity to consent to medical procedures.” Courts authorise the sterilisation of a woman with a disability and claim it’s not discrimination. If the case brought to them passes the ‘best …

Navigating intimacy and post-coital dysphoria

I’ve been crying in the bathtub for the past half-hour. The tub is bone dry, but the sink is running in hope to stop my sobs from passing through the paper-thin walls and into the bedroom next door. I’m completely naked, covered in a stranger’s semen. A knock at the door forces me to lift …

How to talk about sex with your parents

The plan was to gift my mother a vibrator for Mother’s Day. She was frank in her confession that since splitting from my father ten years ago, she hasn’t had sex with anyone else. She wasn’t particularly forlorn about it. Nor does she seem especially frisky. But for me, sexual pleasure and masturbation are hugely …

Trauma and homophobia: Becoming sexual in my late forties

Content warning: this story discusses instances of sexual assault and homophobia.   For most people, their only understanding of being a virgin at 40 is the Steve Carell film. Not me. After living through years of homophobia – both internalised and not – and trauma, I recently experienced my first sexual encounter, at 48. I’m …

No justice for sexual assault victims: Sex workers ‘less than citizens’

Content warning: this article discusses sexual assault. One Summer afternoon in February 2018, Anna* sat opposite a police officer in the interview room of a suburban station in Brisbane. As her husband waited at reception, Anna explained that only hours earlier, she had been sexually assaulted. The response was unexpected. “Where’s the crime? What is …

Prevention or pleasure: Sex after vaginismus

“Are you okay?” “Yeah, are you okay?” “Yeah.” “Okay, keep going. It’s okay, I promise.” It was hardly the lustful, passionate exchange I had imagined would accompany my ‘first time’ (an archaic concept that needs to be erased from our collective conscious). But it was the exchange I needed. Since I was diagnosed with vaginismus, my …

The asexual spectrum: Sex education, stigma, and silence

Have you ever been part of a conversation where people talk about their sexual escapades with a brazen confidence? Ever tried to slink away from such a conversation because you don’t have anything to add, or are embarrassed to say what you feel? That’s me in the corner, losing my confidence trying to keep up …

Gay rape fantasies: What do our kinks say about us?

content warning: this article discusses rape and sexual trauma. I remember trying to work out how he made the typo. “I want to rape your cock with my hole.” How could he make such an error? He wasn’t to know how triggering that statement would be to me, so I bit back angst to calmly …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity