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Seizing your pleasure — oh, and a beginner’s guide to anal play

Tasked with picking a fun and fluffy topic for my pre-Valentine’s Day column, I sat down to write around 1,200 words on anal sex — and found myself lacking in motivation. Musings on plugs and pegging were soon overshadowed by news about bushfires, plane crashes and impeachment trials. How am I supposed to write a fun-filled article about […]

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From the ‘naughtiness factor’ to a search for power, erotic fantasies follow a formula

Think back to the first time you felt sexy feelings. I’m pretty sure my first “tingly” thoughts involved watching David Bowie in Labyrinth, with his very impressive bulge. I also distinctly remember sneaking a peek at softcore porn on staticy channels like HBO or Cinemax late at night. (Think of the TV screen in Poltergeist, but instead of a swirly ghost […]

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Fight fatphobia — stop commenting on other people’s bodies

“When you’re overweight, your body becomes a matter of public record in many respects,” wrote Roxane Gay in her book Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. “Your body is constantly and prominently on display. People project assumed narratives onto your body and are not at all interested in the truth of your body, whatever that truth might be. […]

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Shalisa Gladney of RVAP talks relationships, ‘consent culture’ and writing your own rules

I gave Shalisa Gladney a hug when she emerged from her office to greet me at the University of Iowa Women’s Resource and Action Center. During our conversation, much of which focused on relationships and consent, Gladney admitted she is not a hugger — I had neglected to check before going in for an embrace. But she […]

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‘Not tonight, dear’: Reconciling discrepancies in desire

Glenn wants sex every day; Joe wants sex once a week. Heidi wants sex twice a week, while Robert wants it twice a month. Angela wants sex once a year, Paige wants to have sex — never? Perhaps you’re lucky enough to match with a person or persons with the same sexual appetite as you, but odds are your moods and cravings won’t always line up.
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The joy and pain of longing

Maybe it was the news of Luke Perry dying at 52, or this never-ending goddamn winter, but I’ve been overcome recently with a desire to do something drastic, frivolous, adventurous. I feel an urge to escape the discomfort of my body, the constant thinking, the routine, anything unpleasant and say, “Fuck it! I’m bustin’ out of these chains.” […]

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‘Sex Education’ and you

My new favorite show is Sex Education on Netflix. The series follows the insanely adorable and awkward Otis, who teams up with his brilliant, badass classmate Maeve to start a super secret sex therapy clinic. Otis uses knowledge picked up from his mother’s sex therapy business to guide his classmates through their sexual insecurities and quandaries.

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The issue of accountability

From the election of Donald Trump to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to a seat on the Supreme Court, I and other assault survivors have been deeply triggered and overwhelmed by recent and ongoing national rhetoric. Kavanaugh’s angry denial of all impropriety — except the occasional overuse of beer — was perhaps the most disheartening aspect of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the allegations against him, during which his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, recalling her assault decades ago, was dignified and credible.
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