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Too Much or Not Enough? Navigating the Spectrum of Sexual Empowerment

at some point. Post night out, post first date, post random encounter at a festival, it feels like a natural follow up question. On the one hand, we’re very lucky that sex is such an open conversation nowadays. It isn’t shameful, it isn’t scandalous, and it doesn’t have to revolve around a relationship.  But I think there is also still a very formulaic approach to it. You either sleep with people or you don’t. In reality, I don’t think any one person has the exact same opinion on sex as the next, and so, the conversations around need it to be broadened. For something so deeply personal, is there really such a thing as too much or not enough? Continue reading Too Much or Not Enough? Navigating the Spectrum of Sexual Empowerment

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The Trials and Tribulations of Putting a Tampon in for the First Time

I have always been an early bloomer, something that was inevitable and happened to my parents too. In primary school, I was head and shoulders above the boys – which was slightly embarrassing for someone who also had braces and acne by the age of ten. When I was in year five, I had my first period, and by the summer before high school, it … Continue reading The Trials and Tribulations of Putting a Tampon in for the First Time

Like a Virgin: Is that such a bad thing?

*contains mentions of rape/sexual assault* Have you ever lied about your body count? And no, I’m not talking about the number of people you’ve murdered. Whether you were exaggerating it or underplaying it, if you have, you are definitely not alone.  The toxic culture around sex at university can be both pressurising and shaming. If you’re a woman, you can expect repeated attempts to get … Continue reading Like a Virgin: Is that such a bad thing?

Coping with Lockdown Libido Loss

It has been a year of actively avoiding physical touch. When we walk through the supermarket we duck and dodge the elderly ladies with inexplicable death wishes, we cringingly recoil from welcoming hugs offered by old (and apparently stupid) friends, and, like Lady Macbeth, we relentlessly scrub at the library desk before we sit down to prevent touching others by proxy. So, it only makes sense that touching sexual partners has somewhat lost its appeal. Continue reading Coping with Lockdown Libido Loss

Controlling Our Narratives: Overcoming Pain During Sex

From the very dawn of my sexual journey I experienced pain. I will never forget him touching me and repeatedly demanding, “does it hurt? Does it hurt?!”. I felt too afraid to say yes. Was I exaggerating? Maybe it was because it was my first sexual experience; I’d heard stories of people bleeding and hymens getting torn, so perhaps this was normal. Fast forward a year and I was out of what I recognise now to have been an abusive relationship and enveloped in the warming embrace of my loving boyfriend, who actually knew what he was doing in the bedroom because he listened. But yet, despite the pleasure I felt during foreplay, penetrative sex would not work. Not even a bit. Biologically I was ready, mentally and emotionally I was ready, yet every single time we attempted penetrative sex it was like hitting a brick wall. It made me feel like a freak: how could my body betray me like this? Continue reading Controlling Our Narratives: Overcoming Pain During Sex

Stop Fetishising My Sexuality

Many of those who identify as bisexual will be intimately familiar with the stigma and fetishisation that comes hand in hand with our sexual identity. Whether you are out to friends and family or not, the world cannot seem to end its fixation with bisexuality, and specifically bisexual womxn. For many mxn, a bisexual womxn is the gateway to a fantasy land of hypersexuality where anything goes. But how did we end up here? Continue reading Stop Fetishising My Sexuality

The Business of Patriarchal Passion: How the Porn Industry has let Women Down

Womxn and the pornography industry have always had a tumultuous relationship as both consumers and active participants in the creation of videos. It is no secret that womxn masturbate, but society treats it like the biggest secret since the illuminati. As sexually active people, those who identify as womxn seem to face stigma at every turn. Whether it is the act of masturbation or having … Continue reading The Business of Patriarchal Passion: How the Porn Industry has let Women Down

It’s a Sin: Depicting HIV/AIDS On-Screen

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 virus in December 2019, there have been three vaccines approved for use in the UK. It was labelled as a pandemic by WHO on Wednesday 11 March 2020, just over five months later. A disease as high profile and universally affecting as COVID-19 has received masses of the attention and funding that it requires to tackle the virus. To date, the pandemic has claimed over 2.3 million lives. Continue reading It’s a Sin: Depicting HIV/AIDS On-Screen

Rewriting the ‘Bodice Ripper’

Racing heartbeats, open shirts and heaving bosoms; I’m sure we can all picture those tacky and titillating cover illustrations that make the Bodice Ripper so infamous within the realm of romance fiction. Popularised in the 1970s, the genre is commonly associated with patriarchal ideals of dominant men fighting for the heart of the passive woman, where the hero’s rape of the virginal heroine acts as a catalyst for her undying love. Increasingly formulaic in their historical settings and adventure orientated romances, publishers of the 1970s and 1980s knew what seemed to work for their female readership. Continue reading Rewriting the ‘Bodice Ripper’