How to Overcome Masturbation Shame

When I was 12 or 13, my mother gave me and my sisters a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves. It was a revelation: a whole chapter on having sex with other women! Diagrams of vulvas! Frank discussions of birth control! My favorite chapter was the one on masturbation. It was any hormonal, nerdy bisexual teen’s dream: an instruction manual … Continue reading How to Overcome Masturbation Shame

What Is “Skin Hunger”?

Kory Floyd has never been more popular. A professor of communication at the University of Arizona, Floyd researches affection and loneliness. Since the pandemic began, friends and journalists have been asking him: Why are we so hungry for touch? “I’m hearing a lot from people that this has been one of the biggest surprises about the pandemic: … Continue reading What Is “Skin Hunger”?

A Guide to Respectful No-Strings-Attached Sex

Around 2011, casual sex once again hit the headlines. From sex-friend flicks like No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits, to vaguely censorious journalistic deep dives and scholarly analyses, pop culture was obsessed with no-strings-attached sex. Young women were, the breathless reports detailed, having more sex without romantic commitment—and some of us were even liking it. 2011 also happened to be my … Continue reading A Guide to Respectful No-Strings-Attached Sex

How to Spend Valentine’s Day If You’re Single

Whenever I read a self-help article that advises women to “put yourself first,” or “cultivate self-love,” I want to throw my laptop out my fourth floor apartment window in despair. (I don’t actually do it, of course, because laptops are expensive.)  Often, these seemingly empowering pieces of advice come with subtle directives about what we … Continue reading How to Spend Valentine’s Day If You’re Single

How to Reclaim Your Sexuality After Trauma

Ending an abusive relationship felt like being reborn: slowly, painfully, sharp as shattered glass. My body had been rearranged, Mr. Potato Head-style, into something new, simultaneously more sensitive and blunter, more empathic but liable to shut down unexpectedly—on the sidewalk, in the bedroom, in the grocery store. Many of us, especially women and queer people, have survived some … Continue reading How to Reclaim Your Sexuality After Trauma