Self-Isolation, Sex Work, and Stigma

With lockdown seeming to stretch on indefinitely, the nation has been coming together in common interests and activities, as everybody but key workers have been confined to their homes. Amongst this, a few key activities have stood out, from sharing instagrams of home baking to taking part in Joe Wick’s PE classes and, less wholesomely, pornography. Isolated from partners and dates, it’s no surprise that an increase in consumption of pornography has occurred. According to Pornhub’s own analytics, traffic increased by 18.5% on the 24th of March “when it was announced that Pornhub’s Premium service would be free to all visitors worldwide for one month to encourage people to stay at home and help flatten the curve of new Covid-19 cases.” Continue reading Self-Isolation, Sex Work, and Stigma

Coping with the New Long-Distance: Relationships in Lockdown

Long-distance is a daunting concept. More often than not this word is filled with myth and misunderstanding. During the current situation, many of us have now been thrust into (short-term!) long-distance relationships without a lot of choice which can be quite scary. But maintaining a healthy, sexy, loving relationship is absolutely possible from a distance – it’s just about adapting to your new circumstances. Continue reading Coping with the New Long-Distance: Relationships in Lockdown

Interview: RAZZ x Recognise Red

During RAZZ’s SHAG Week (Sexual Health and Guidance week), online deputy editor, Holly McSweeney had the wonderful opportunity to interview Campaign Manager Abigail Hartshorn and Publicity Officer Emily Black from the anti-sexual harassment campaign Recognise Red as an extension of our recent collaboration. Their discussion covered the origins of the campaign and getting it off the ground, the incredible work it does to sustain engaged discussion surrounding sexual harassment and the main challenges faced within that goal. One thing that seemed to come up across the conversations was the challenge of  making specific positive change on the Exeter campuses while remaining connected to broader national and international movements too. Their discussion follows: Continue reading Interview: RAZZ x Recognise Red

Interview: Dolly Padalia from Sexplain

As part of RAZZ’s SHAG (Sexual Health and Guidance) Week, Ellie Foulds interviews Dolly Padalia, from Sexplain. Committed to bringing sex and relationships education “into the 21stcentury”, Sexplain “support[s] young people & those working with them to ensure everyone has access to a complete, inclusive and comprehensive sex education.”. Dolly offers advice on a range of aspects to sex and relationships, from breakups to taboos around masturbation and sex toys to what it’s like to work in sex and relationships education. RAZZ appreciates the continued support from Sexplain. Continue reading Interview: Dolly Padalia from Sexplain

Arty Nudes

There goes the age-old art centric debate; what constitutes nude and what naked? Nudity is often viewed as the artful posing of the naked human form, whereas nakedness is often perceived as more vulnerable, unrefined and bare – in such a sense nudity is often elevated to a higher artistic and cultural standing, with nakedness being largely associated with censorship and stigmatisation. The terms are often used interchangeably, and while this may not be 100% linguistically correct, I would argue that it is important to destigmatise the taboos surrounding nakedness; a naked body is just that, whether it can be perceived as sexually attractive should not be central to the manner in which we address it. As demonstrated, both words mean the unclothed human body, so how did such a differentiation in contextual understanding occur? Art critic John Berger previously argued the meaning of the nude has changed over the years; in his 1972 book ‘Ways of Seeing’  he says that the nude has been continuously utilised to portray the female body in a manner that is sexually pleasing to the viewer, whereas a ‘naked’ piece of art depicts a sitter embodying their own space and pleasure. Whether this is true is dependent on the subjective opinion of the viewer, something that has undoubtedly changed throughout history. Continue reading Arty Nudes

Strategic Essentialism and Queer Identities: Validation or Exclusion?

From general terms like queer, to gay slang like cishet, there are so many labels now that the majority of people, both inside and outside of the LGBTQ+ community, have no idea most of them even exist. And yet, queer people often find that their label, or lack thereof, defines them both within and outside of the LGBTQ+ community. Of course, in many ways, this can be empowering, giving queer people validation and an opportunity to express their identity. However, the minefield of personal opinions, ignorance, casual homophobia and exhausted indifference which surrounds the concept of strategic essentialist queer identities means that the topic becomes a lot more complex. Despite being proud of their identities, a lack of understanding and even homophobia can lead to strategic essentialist views of LGBTQ+ people that are deeply problematic. Continue reading Strategic Essentialism and Queer Identities: Validation or Exclusion?

Sexiest Non-Sex Scenes on Screen

What’s not to like about sexy, non-sex scenes? An unsung hero, they’re spicy enough to have you on the edge of your seat and carry a lower risk of a parent making an excruciating comment than the classic sex scene. From period dramas to comic book films, here are six of the sexiest non-sex scenes where the tension was through the roof. Continue reading Sexiest Non-Sex Scenes on Screen

Your “Body Count” Doesn’t Define You

I was recently chatting to some guy I vaguely knew through mutual friends and social media – one of those very casual, getting-to-know-each-other, testing-the-waters kind of talks. “How are you finding your course?” “Are you up to anything fun this week?” Stuff like that. Then, out of nowhere, he asks how many people I’ve slept with. The conversation literally went something like: Continue reading Your “Body Count” Doesn’t Define You