Category Archive: sex

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 …

Sex positivity and the question of sexual experience

Once, while discussing a friend’s sexual experiences and motivations at the pub, he swivelled the conversation into a comparison with my own sex life. When expressing that sex didn’t seem to play as a big a role in my self-image as it did for him and others more widely, he asked, in that case, why …

Polyamory: The love of many

Polyamory: The love of many

It’s late. I pull the back door of my house closed behind me, taking about four times longer than normal. I can still smell my girlfriend’s perfume. We had a great date, drinking Malbec and smoking cigars on her porch. My back is sore from sitting on the floor as she read Salman Rushdie aloud to …

Archer Asks: Performance artist Mish Grigor

Sydney performance artist Mish Grigor’s work engages with issues of gender, identity and politics and is an ongoing examination into the intersections between populist entertainment and experimental performance practices. She is one third of the collaboration POST, formed in 2003, with Zoe Coombs Marr and Natalie Rose, whose credits include Oedipus Schmoedipus, Sydney Theatre Company …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity