Tips on Queer Dating When You Come Out Later in Life

It started, as many queer stories do, with a woman at a bar. Anne-Marie Zanzal was 19 years old, and when she saw the beautiful woman that day, something moved in her. “Wow!” Zanzal, now an author, grief counselor, and ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, said to herself. But as quickly asContinue reading “Tips on Queer Dating When You Come Out Later in Life”

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 myContinue 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 weContinue 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 someContinue reading “How to Reclaim Your Sexuality After Trauma”

How to Orgasm Without Being Touched

Many of us have woken up from a sexy dream, throbbing with excitement. Some of us are even luckier, and can climax from nipple stimulation, or dry humping, or even intense genital-free makeouts. Sex worker, artist, sexologist, and world-famous sex legend Annie Sprinkle details seven types of female orgasm on her website, including some that happen without touch.Continue reading “How to Orgasm Without Being Touched”

Why Bisexual Women Are at a Higher Risk for Violence

It feels strange to admit this, but when I first read that bisexual women are more vulnerable to sexual and intimate partner violence than people of other orientations, I felt relieved. It wasn’t the butterfly-winged relief of good news. It was the lightness of finally being able to breathe. Or perhaps, of feeling that I still couldn’tContinue reading “Why Bisexual Women Are at a Higher Risk for Violence”

How to Tell if Polyamory is Really for You

No matter what love style you choose, all relationships have one common denominator: They’re super-complicated. First, society imposes rigid definitions of gender, sexuality, and love. Add that to the personal baggage we pick up along the way, and you’ve got one explosive cocktail.  Polyamory is no exception. Based on the belief that we can be sexually andContinue reading “How to Tell if Polyamory is Really for You”

How to Master Affirmative Consent (It’s Hot, We Promise)

“I’ve never been with anyone who talks so much during sex,” he said. I was midway through an R-rated romp when this sexy someone’s comment stopped me in my tracks. What?! I thought. What could be better than alternating oral sex with oral expression?  As a feminist writer, I spend a lot of time talking about sex, andContinue reading “How to Master Affirmative Consent (It’s Hot, We Promise)”