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’t breathe, but at least I knew it wasn’t because my lungs were faulty: It was because our culture had never given us enough oxygen.
COPENHAGEN IS ABOUT TO BECOME the embodiment of grab-and-go snacking. In a recent vote, the City Council resolved to introduce free, portable, city-wide munchies: public fruit trees. They’ll opt to plant edibles, from blackberry bushes to apple trees, wherever city planning calls for greenery.
For Astrid Aller, a Copenhagen City Councilor from the Socialist People’s Party who helped spearhead the initiative, this interactive urban orchard is a way of connecting residents to their communities. “We think of the city as something that we all own,” she says. “We want all this collectively owned area to be something that people can use and interact with.”
Marie Kondo taught America how to clean out objects that don’t spark joy. But who can you turn to when you need to clean semen and menstrual blood off your couch after a hot romp and you only have an hour before your family arrives for dinner? Never fear: I’m here to help you tidy up all things messy and sexual.
WHEN CONQUISTADOR HERNÁN CORTÉS REACHED Tenochtitlan in 1519, he beheld a floating city. The temples and palaces of the Aztec capital gleamed white from an island in the middle of a vast lake, all spread under a searing blue sky. With an estimated population of 200,000, roughly the size of contemporary Paris, the city overflowed with people. Around the metropolis, an archipelago of lush islands emerged from the lake’s glassy surface, overflowing with plants.
WE DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT Takei Nekketsu. The proprietor of a dry-goods store, he was one of the many small business owners who made up the thriving Japanese community of early 20th-century Honolulu. But Nekketsu had a number of special talents. He wrote some of the earliest Japanese-language histories of Hawai’i, and he made maps.
One map in particular, from 1906, shows his skill. Census records don’t tell us if Nekketsu had formal cartography training, but the map’s precisely labelled lines, crisp angles, and delicate calligraphy reveal a practiced hand. And the contents of the map reveal a practiced palate.
IF YOU HAD MET HIM the year his famous book was published, you might have mistaken William Hughes for a mild-mannered gardener. By that time, he had settled into his role at the country estate of the Viscountess Conway, a noblewoman and philosopher, and had published a book on grapevines. But the old man was more than a tottering plant enthusiast. When his treatise on New World botany, The American Physitian, dropped in 1672, its contents revealed a swashbuckling history.
THIS STORY ENDS WITH AN eccentric entrepreneur distributing 2,500 maps of the United States in the shape of a pig to a gala of Civil War veterans. It begins with sewing machines. Grover and Baker sewing machines, to be precise.
The year was 1980, and feminist activist Ellen Pence had just moved to Duluth, Minnesota. Since 1975, with the tide of the feminist movement rising across the United States , Pence had been involved with organizing against domestic violence — work she furthered with friends when they founded the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP) in Duluth. When a brutal domestic violence murder shook the small community, the group sprung into action.
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 and romantically involved with more than one person in a healthy, consensual way, polyamory is a type of ethical non-monogamy. Unlike cheating, which is nonconsensual, ethical non-monogamy requires thateveryone enthusiastically consents to the arrangement. There are lots of different definitions of polyamory, but most people distinguish it from more casual open relationships, like “monogamish” arrangements or swinging, because polyamory includes emotional as well as physical or sexual intimacy.
TWELVE-THOUSAND YEARS AGO, THE GLACIERS receded from modern-day British Columbia, leaving the land to bleed silt into the sea. In the salty shallows hugging the coast, bivalves struggled to survive, growing slow and dying small in the fluctuating temperatures of the newly thawed ocean. Their shells fell to the floor and built up on beaches, forming layers of calcium carbonate that, today, archaeologists in galoshes dig through, deciphering the story of this land in clamshells.