Category Archive: sex

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 …

Lessons in sex: Porn performers and sex education

I am lying on one end of a massage table, naked from the waist down. My head is nestled gently on the shoulder of Wendy Delorme – Wendy is a French porn artist and star of Much More Pussy! Feminist Sluts in the Queer X Show. She wears red lipstick and smells like musky perfume. …

Archer Asks: Jazz singer and activist, Mama Alto

Mama Alto is a gender transcendent diva, cabaret artiste, and community activist. She is a non-binary trans femme person of colour who works with the radical potential of storytelling, strength in softness & power in vulnerability. Bobuq Sayed sat down with them at Hares and Hyenas to talk queerness in the arts and the challenges …

Skin contact: Respectability, desire and the repression of sexuality

Women in my family do not talk openly about sex. Talking about sex openly is perceived to be unacceptable, impolite and crude. The place a woman occupies in Sri Lankan society is complex, and even more complex is the place her sexuality occupies. Sri Lankan society has carefully regulated women’s bodies to separate the acceptable …

Archer Asks: André Aciman, author of Call me by your Name

André Aciman is the critically acclaimed author of Call Me By Your Name and the sprawling Enigma Variations. Ava A spoke with André at the Sydney Writer’s Festival about the thematic elements he uses to produce his powerful prose and the novel-turned-movie that tugged the world’s heart strings. Ava: Can you speak to the significance of exploring queer, …

Born out of fire – The Hellfire Club rises again

Just months shy of celebrating their 25 year anniversary, legendary Sydney kink party The Hellfire Club made the shock announcement that they would be having their final party, prompted by the sudden closure of their most recent Oxford Street home, iconic gay Sydney club The Midnight Shift. Party-goers were devastated, some having attended for most …

Age play stigma: Defending kinky relationships with fiction

“These ‘daddy’s boy’ collars are hot!” declared a friend and fellow female age player as we passed through the aisles of the leather sex shop, “but when I asked them if they could order one for me that said, ‘daddy’s girl’ they looked at me like I was some sort of pervert. In here, of …

Sexuality workshops and play spaces lubricated my gender fluidity

The first time I was asked which pronoun I use for myself was at a sexuality workshop run by Curious Creatures. Being asked this at the beginning of the workshop gave it the unexpected benefit of empowering me on my gender journey. I was later empowered through play parties and experiencing the rich diversity within …

Anorexia and sexuality: pleasure and control

Content warning: this article discusses eating disorders.   I was having dinner with two friends. Well, they were having dinner; I was going to eat something when I got home, made within the safe confines of my small kitchen, where I was able to meticulously measure every last element before it passed my lips. One …

A love letter to stripping

A love letter to stripping

I’ve only been in Japan two weeks and I miss you so much already. I’m not saying I didn’t think I’d miss you, but I definitely didn’t think I’d miss you this much, this quickly. The girls called me from the dressing room at the club last night, and I was so jealous. They were …

Archer Asks: Nic Holas, co-founder of The Institute of Many

Nic Holas is a writer, activist and the co-founder of The Institute of Many (TIM), an advocacy platform and grassroots movement for People Living with HIV. TIM has the largest membership of any HIV organization in Australia. We chatted with Nic to talk about U=U, TIM’s latest campaign aiming to highlight the message that an …

Fanfiction: Coding homosexuality as a teenager

When I was about 15, I was up to my neck in the fanfiction community. I had read the epics, masturbated to the smutty ones, and even dabbled in penning my own teen angst romance creations about the Canadian cartoon, Total Drama Island. They’re still online, but I’ll take my username to the grave. I …

Asexuality and the politics of memory, abuse and consent

I had sex for the first time when I was sixteen. My boyfriend and I had a hotel for the weekend. The first night he set up candles and turned down the lights. It was respectably romantic. I faked a headache. At this point we had been dating for nearly a year and I had …

“Writing had been my vice all along”: Louis’ Story

This story was first published on Staying Negative, a website that aims to emotionally engage and inspire gay/bisexual men, including trans men, through the sharing of personal stories. Read more about how you can share your story here. Content note: this story discusses mental health and suicide.   I was born and raised in Melbourne. Even before …

Cruising: Public sex and the queer resistance to gay assimilation

He’s been paddling in the pool for 20 minutes, locking eyes with every member of the water polo team. I’m reclining by the edge of the water with my shirt unbuttoned. When he gets out to sit on the grass, I get up slowly and walk towards the showers. A few minutes later, he follows me …

Sexuality - Gender - Identity