• Relationships

    How To Be Vulnerable

    There are two things I’ve discovered while learning how to be vulnerable recently: it’s really fucking hard, and really fucking worth it. I could never have known how to be vulnerable through most of my twenties; I’m not sure I really knew what vulnerability was. Or perhaps I did, I just didn’t realise that sharing my softest parts could lead to more depth in my relationships. The thing with allowing yourself to be vulnerable is that it allows the most scared, fragile, and young parts of you to be seen, and this process of showing all of ourselves to those we love is what creates the most real intimacy. With…

  • Sex

    How to Make Sex Better: Lessons From the BDSM Community

    Whether you’re into floggers and rope or vanilla as it gets, there’s a lot to be learned about communication, boundaries, and consent from those in the BDSM community. Although these may not be the first things many people think about when asked what makes for the most memorable encounters, they can make sex so much better if we get good at them. So why is that? One thing I’ve learned during my own explorations is that relaxation is everything when it comes to pleasure. And in order to relax, we need to feel safe. If there’s one thing experienced BDSM enthusiasts know about, it’s safety. Knowing how to ensure everyone…

  • Relationships

    What Is Intimacy?

    I read a quote recently which really stuck with me: “People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’ – that’s intimacy.” Taylor Jenkins Reid Before I’d really given it much further thought, I suppose I would have said that ‘intimacy’ between two people meant a kind of sexual closeness; intimate massage, intimate relationship, intimate touch. ‘Intimacy’ becomes one of many euphemisms for sexuality without us having to think twice about whether it’s actually separate, and…

  • Relationships

    When To Say, “I Love You”

    Last Valentine’s Day I sent messages to everyone in my life who I loved, who I wasn’t already in the habit of telling regularly, and told them so. This included family, housemates, close friends old and new. This is not a common thing for me to do. Sending those messages made me feel nervous; a fluttery kind of embarrassment around the vulnerability of being seen. And, of course, the fear of being laughed at, rejected, or ignored. But those were platonic relationships. Easy! (Relatively.) What about lovers? What about those with whom we have no intention of jumping on a relationship ladder with? Or even those we do? How and when…