Stories about: shame

I think about sex a lot. If you could take a microscope and peer inside my brain, you’d assume I was obsessed with sex and, in a way, I am. But it’s not the thought of actual sex that runs rings around in my head and tortures me in my sleep. It’s the fact that …

Content warning: This article discusses rape, trauma, and ways of healing.   A year ago, I was raped by two men I went home with after a party at Sydney’s Vivid festival. Afterwards, I denied my trauma until I finally hit breaking point. Something within me felt wrong, and that feeling hasn’t changed even now. …

Growing up in an Islamic household, I had no clue what sexuality entailed.  Love wasn’t really about love – it was about making your parents happy. My grandmother’s desire was for my mother to have an arranged marriage, and so my mother dutifully complied. All I knew about love was that it occurred within a …

Franz Kafka’s seminal literary work, The Metamorphosis, has crept into my world at three crucial points. It’s tangled with my psyche and influenced the course of my life as an observer, a performer and a writer. I was a naïve and impressionable thirteen-year-old student at an all-boys high school on Sydney’s Northern Beaches when first …

I want women to smell their underwear everyday. Why? I overcame shame and learned to love myself by getting high off my own supply. Many women recoil at the smell of their vagina, I know, I was one of them for many years. Too many “smells like fish” jokes around the lunch table from awkward pre-pubescent …

I am a lucky one. In many ways I never really ‘came out’; I was always openly bisexual. I never questioned that aspect of myself, I was who I was and as a rough and tumble tomboy it seemed entirely acceptable. I kissed a girl at the age of eight and kissed a boy that …

I recently upgraded my bodybuilding regime because I wasn’t hitting certain muscle groups, and today I’m getting on with the new program. After my warm-up I completed four sets of pullups, before heading to the Smith Machine for a weightless squat session. And then the day goes to shit. Green-arm Tattoo Guy walks away from …

I keep interrupting him to ask if the condom is still on. He pauses for a second. “Yeah dude, I’ll let you know if it comes off.” We started speaking on Grindr two hours ago and now I’m in his apartment in Carlton North, long hairy legs sprawled open around his neck. Something about the …

Exactly one week after the Pulse nightclub shooting, my cousin Tariq and I drive into downtown Orlando for a drink. I’ve just flown into Florida for a writing workshop, and my Dad reached out to his old friend Tariq to show me around in the meantime. In Afghan culture, we refer to people like Tariq …

Every year, queers from around Australia descend on Sydney for the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. For gay men it is a pilgrimage, one that leaves a trail of glitter and the smell of amyl nitrate in its wake. The parade is one of the most recognisable gay pride events worldwide, dwarfing smaller …

After I had penetrative sex for the first time, I did not feel whole. Not in the way the young adult pulp fiction I furtively devoured as a pre-pubescent tomboy promised me I would. Nor did I feel more like a woman. Not in the way a flower blooms, tilting towards the sun when a …

On Tuesday, sitting in a room in Parliament House, among community members and advocates, I watched the Premier of Victoria deliver a public apology to men convicted under since-repealed laws criminalising homosexuality. In this state at least, the decriminalisation process ended in the early ‘80s (before I was born) but as the Premier’s speech eloquently acknowledged, …

Sexuality - Gender - Identity