When you hear the word “massage,” what comes to mind? One of the most popular images is of a thin, white woman relaxing on a table. “Massage therapy is so often put on a pedestal in a privileged way,” says J Sheffield, a body worker, massage therapist, and sex educator based in Washington, D.C. In popular … Continue reading How Affirmative Consent Can Up Your Massage Game
Recently, I realized I’d never had casual sex. Let me clarify: I’ve had a lot of sex with people I didn’t have an intimate or committed relationship with. At the time, I would have called it casual. But something nagged at me. Most of those experiences felt unfulfilling, often boundary-violating, and left me emotionally hungry. … Continue reading Is Casual Sex for Me?
It’s February again, and love is in the air. And by “love,” I mean, “the sweet buzz of my favorite vibrator.” Valentine’s Day, with its many corporate advertisements commodifying romantic love, can be a grating holiday. But it doesn’t have to be. Whether single, partnered, polyculed, or somewhere in-between (we see you, situationships), we can take … Continue reading The Art of Gifting a Sex Toy
Every couple of months, I’ll have a twinge of anxiety. “I’m a sex writer,” I’ll think. “I’ve written about sex, for a living, for years.” And yet, my own desires often feel like little hummingbirds I’m just waiting to alight on my hand. Do I actually want to have sex with that person, or do I just … Continue reading A Guide to Learning What Turns You On
WHEN JAQUELINE ANTONOVICH FIRST SAW the flag, her body flooded with fear. She would recognize that flash of red anywhere. Antonovich is a historian at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania, and she had recently purchased a mid-1800s-era farmhouse in Allentown. Antonovich’s new house kept offering her small gifts from its long history—an antique glass baby bottle, an … Continue reading What Should You Do With a Captured Nazi Flag?
When Charmee Taylor, an LA-based actor, came out as bisexual two years ago, she hoped it would be a climactic moment. “A band is going to play, people are going to be like ‘Go Charmee, you’re out!’” she says. But the euphoria was tempered by a sinking realization: As a Black bi woman, Taylor would be coming … Continue reading How to Deal With Bi Erasure
NOT MANY COOKBOOKS KICK OFF with the creation of the universe. Yet that’s where Monique Fiso begins Hiakai, a groundbreaking new book on Māori cuisine. First, there was nothing. Then, in the nothing, there were two lovers, Ranginui and Papatūānuku. Ranginui and Papatūānuku held each other so close that their children were trapped between them. Craving light and … Continue reading Feast on This Guide to Modern Māori Cooking
ON NOVEMBER 4, 1857, A notice appeared in the Cambridge Democrat, the local newspaper of Cambridge, Maryland. Submitted by one Dr. Alexander Hamilton Bayly, it offered a $300 reward for anyone who could locate and kidnap a 28-year-old woman named Lizzie Amby, whom Bayly had enslaved. She had fled Bayly’s house some days before, bound north, along with her … Continue reading A Historical Dig Sheds Light on the Food of the Underground Railroad
Between the constant campaign news and the repeated calls from phone bankers to get to the polls, U.S. presidential election season is always hectic. This election season, however, is truly unprecedented. A pandemic, a severe economic downturn, natural disasters, and nationwide Black-led racial justice protests, have left many of us needing a moment to step back … Continue reading How to Keep Your Cool — And Make a Difference — This Election Season
WHEN KATIE DIEZ TALKS TO me from her home in rural Oregon, the world is red with smoke. It’s mid-September, and wildfires have been raging across the West Coast for weeks. “The air quality is in the hazardous level,” says Diez. “I keep looking out the window hoping that the smoke will start to clear.” Inside … Continue reading The Newest Addition to Denmark’s Happiness Museum: Tomato Seeds