Interviewed for Playboy article on “Fifty Shades of Grey”

Check out Adam Howard’s great piece on the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise over at Playboy It’s a great examination of the contradictory appeal of this very contradictory franchise—featuring some commentary from yours truly: I do think it’s an interesting franchise because it’s premised on this whole idea of the forbidden,” Reina Gattuso, a columnist for Feministing who writes about gender,…

How Psychology Stigmatized Female Orgasm (and How We Got It Back)

Read the full article at Talkspace. For most of us, orgasms are, simply, awesome. Yet from the origins of modern psychology in the late nineteenth century, a combination of cultural stereotypes, pseudoscience, and plain old misogyny created an enduring notion that women’s orgasms were a problem to be solved, rather than a normal part of sexual…

How Mental Health Activists Are Fighting Racism

Find the original article on Talkspace. During the Civil Rights Movement, white psychologists invented a so-called mental illness. Dubbing it “protest psychosis,” these psychologists used the racially-motivated “syndrome” to explain away the reasonable rage of black Americans demanding an end to segregation. Sixty years later, racial disparities in the mental health care system remain, including lack of…

Broad City’s Amorphous Partiality

Read the original article at The Advocate. Adrienne Rich was not writing in an age when women could video chat each other while riding their male partners cowgirl-style. But when she wrote about existence as a spectrum of decentralized pleasure—about the hands and the clit and the cunt, about the wrists and the toes rather…

The Nation in Our Underwear

A piece in Nat Brut on the work of Azita Moradkhani “It started the first time I walked into Victoria’s Secret.” Azita Moradkhani, an artist who has lived most of her life in Tehran, begins our phone conversation by excusing her English. She just learned it, she tells me, a few years ago to move to…

Seeking Sunny Leone: Academic Writing on Indian Erotica

Read the full piece at Critical Collective, a global India-based web journal of fine arts.  One sweltering Delhi May, hot on the research trail of visual and cinematic erotica, I wandered through the back lanes and offices of the B-film marketers of Chandni Chowk. A family friend—we’ll call him Deepak Uncle— had agreed to show…

Wonder Woman’s Vision of Empire

Originally published at Feministing  So I saw Wonder Woman last weekend with my grandma, and oh my god guys, I exited that theater like a classy martini—shaken. Now if you’re like many of my friends, you probably never want to hear anything uttered about the Wonder Woman movie (hey, maybe the entire franchise) ever again. That’s real. But even if…