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Coping with Lockdown Libido Loss

It has been a year of actively avoiding physical touch. When we walk through the supermarket we duck and dodge the elderly ladies with inexplicable death wishes, we cringingly recoil from welcoming hugs offered by old (and apparently stupid) friends, and, like Lady Macbeth, we relentlessly scrub at the library desk before we sit down to prevent touching others by proxy. So, it only makes sense that touching sexual partners has somewhat lost its appeal. Continue reading Coping with Lockdown Libido Loss

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Is Vanilla the New Frigid: TikTok and Coercion

Is ‘Vanilla’ the new ‘Frigid’? Having now been on TikTok for a while I was unsurprised when a section of the app called KinkTok or FreakTok came under fire in a recent VICE article by Lucy Robinson, and 19-year old Lily, interviewed for the piece, made this link between the terms. This thriving subculture on the app may have originally started as a safe place for the Kink community to share experiences and tips but it has recently been overrun with some very problematic and even dangerous content. Some of the top videos in this community often cover knife play, choking and rough sex of all levels and there have been frequent instances of the term ‘Vanilla’ being used as an insult. This term may not be familiar to those not in the kink community or in the younger generations, but we will all be familiar with the insult ‘Frigid’, a fan favourite of secondary school boys everywhere. But really, what is wrong with liking non-kinky sex? Continue reading Is Vanilla the New Frigid: TikTok and Coercion

Interview: Kia from Nudes By Kia

As part of RAZZ’s SHAG Week, Caitlin Barr had the privilege of interviewing creator Kia, the founder of the queer owned UK business Nudes By Kia, which turns “people’s own nudes into wearable art”. Caitlin and Kia spoke about the genesis of their business, and why they think that reclaiming and celebrating your body is so important. Their discussion follows: Continue reading Interview: Kia from Nudes By Kia

Controlling Our Narratives: Overcoming Pain During Sex

From the very dawn of my sexual journey I experienced pain. I will never forget him touching me and repeatedly demanding, “does it hurt? Does it hurt?!”. I felt too afraid to say yes. Was I exaggerating? Maybe it was because it was my first sexual experience; I’d heard stories of people bleeding and hymens getting torn, so perhaps this was normal. Fast forward a year and I was out of what I recognise now to have been an abusive relationship and enveloped in the warming embrace of my loving boyfriend, who actually knew what he was doing in the bedroom because he listened. But yet, despite the pleasure I felt during foreplay, penetrative sex would not work. Not even a bit. Biologically I was ready, mentally and emotionally I was ready, yet every single time we attempted penetrative sex it was like hitting a brick wall. It made me feel like a freak: how could my body betray me like this? Continue reading Controlling Our Narratives: Overcoming Pain During Sex

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Stop Fetishising My Sexuality

Many of those who identify as bisexual will be intimately familiar with the stigma and fetishisation that comes hand in hand with our sexual identity. Whether you are out to friends and family or not, the world cannot seem to end its fixation with bisexuality, and specifically bisexual womxn. For many mxn, a bisexual womxn is the gateway to a fantasy land of hypersexuality where anything goes. But how did we end up here? Continue reading Stop Fetishising My Sexuality

“6ft and Over”: Does it Really Matter?

It has become a recurring joke that women will only date men over 6ft. But are women really that bothered about height? Or has the media and dating apps programmed us to be that shallow? The concept of women being supposedly “preoccupied” with height got me thinking and certainly opened up a multitude of questions. Continue reading “6ft and Over”: Does it Really Matter?

Authentic and Awkward: The Best Onscreen Representations of Sex

A good sex scene in a movie or TV show can take several different forms. Steamy, rough, graphic, or tender, there’s a whole selection far superior to anything porn can provide. But, for a long time, sex onscreen was inauthentic and a fantasy, always between a straight, white, cisgender couple. Diversity and believability were not a priority. However, with the rise of indie cinema and … Continue reading Authentic and Awkward: The Best Onscreen Representations of Sex

The Business of Patriarchal Passion: How the Porn Industry has let Women Down

Womxn and the pornography industry have always had a tumultuous relationship as both consumers and active participants in the creation of videos. It is no secret that womxn masturbate, but society treats it like the biggest secret since the illuminati. As sexually active people, those who identify as womxn seem to face stigma at every turn. Whether it is the act of masturbation or having … Continue reading The Business of Patriarchal Passion: How the Porn Industry has let Women Down

It’s a Sin: Depicting HIV/AIDS On-Screen

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 virus in December 2019, there have been three vaccines approved for use in the UK. It was labelled as a pandemic by WHO on Wednesday 11 March 2020, just over five months later. A disease as high profile and universally affecting as COVID-19 has received masses of the attention and funding that it requires to tackle the virus. To date, the pandemic has claimed over 2.3 million lives. Continue reading It’s a Sin: Depicting HIV/AIDS On-Screen

Rewriting the ‘Bodice Ripper’

Racing heartbeats, open shirts and heaving bosoms; I’m sure we can all picture those tacky and titillating cover illustrations that make the Bodice Ripper so infamous within the realm of romance fiction. Popularised in the 1970s, the genre is commonly associated with patriarchal ideals of dominant men fighting for the heart of the passive woman, where the hero’s rape of the virginal heroine acts as a catalyst for her undying love. Increasingly formulaic in their historical settings and adventure orientated romances, publishers of the 1970s and 1980s knew what seemed to work for their female readership. Continue reading Rewriting the ‘Bodice Ripper’