sex

Up For the Weekend: A Conversation with a Chem Sex Regular

imagesChem sex has been in the headlines recently, but how many of us know what really goes on? Artist and writer Sally Wyatt talks to an ex-chem sex regular. 

“Gay and bi men are being killed by seduction, and sex sites are letting this happen” he said, taking a sip of his skinny latte.

I look at Paul, a social worker in his 30s, who looks like a model from the autumn/winter Gap catalogue. I wonder if I have heard him correctly.

“How do you mean? “  I say.

“Sites like Grindr. People on there. They practically advertise chem sessions.”

“Sorry what’s a chem session?” I ask.

Paul gives me an astonished look.

“You know, where everyone comes, gets high on meth and has lots of sex.”

At this point, I have to confess I’m out of my depth, as I am a complete failure when it… Continue reading

Seven Myths About Asexuality, Debunked

2000px-asexual_flag-svgAsexuality – not experiencing sexual attraction – is one of the least widely understood sexual identities, and myths abound. In honour of Asexual Awareness Week, we’ve rounded up eight of the most common misunderstandings, ripe for debunking.

MYTH: Asexuality is just a made up new sexuality.

FACT: Leaving aside that all sexual identity labels are ‘made up’ at some point, the word ‘asexual’ has been used in its current sense since the 1890s. That’s exactly the same length of time as ‘homosexual’ has been around.

MYTH: Asexuality is just a fancy way of saying abstinent or celibate.

FACT: Abstinence is a behaviour. It is the choice not to engage in sexual activity. People who have chosen abstinence or celibacy still experience sexual attraction. By comparison, asexuality is defined by a lack of sexual attraction and is not a choice.

 

MYTH: Asexual people never have sex.

FACT:… Continue reading

Flirting Without Fear: Your Guide to Getting It On

download (1)There’s one workshop at BiCon that’s always completely packed: Flirting. We did a little flirting of our own and got Kate Harrad who runs the workshop to let us in on a few of her secrets…

Why do people flirt? There’s often a perception that flirting is a bit dishonest, a bit like beating around the bush; if you fancy someone you should just tell them so. But flirting is a vital tool in the pursuit of romantic/sexual connection. It’s not for everyone, but it is incredibly useful, because the fact is, many – many –  people are not confident enough to walk up to someone and say ‘I fancy you, please date me.’

And the truth is, many people aren’t comfortable with being told that, either. It can put you on the spot, and if you’re not good at saying no, you might find yourself going out with… Continue reading

We Need To Talk About Intimate Partner Abuse in the Bisexual Community

downloadIn 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the results of a survey into domestic- and intimate partner violence (IPV) in the USA. It found that 38% of bisexual men and 75% of bisexual women and had experienced physical or sexual or mental abuse from a partner. In the UK, Stonewall research has also found 75% of lesbian and bisexual women have experienced domestic abuse. Two thirds of the perpetrators were female.

We asked four bisexual survivors of domestic- and intimate partner violence to tell us their stories, and this is what we learned. [Contains frank descriptions of abuse in survivors’ own words]

We don’t have a frame of reference for our experiences

Stereotypes abound when it comes to partner violence. We believe men are abusers and women are abused and we believe same-sex relationships are by their nature free from violence. We believe abuse must… Continue reading

Four Bisexual Movies from the Golden Age of Cinema

Sex in Chains still
The Golden Age of black and white cinema doesn’t seem like the likeliest of places to find a film with overt bisexual themes, but there are a handful of examples that are required viewing for any wannabe queer movie buff. Don’t expect anything original here; each of these films follows the same basic plot, the classic bi love triangle in which an existing relationship is threatened by bisexual urges. Just like in modern bi films like Basic Instinct (1992), Pretty Persuasion (2005) and Y Tu Mamá También (2001) bisexuals here are depraved Casanovas or tortured souls, destroying lives. Here’s  where those cinematic tropes began.

 Michael / 1924

Adapted from a 1902 novel, it’s rumoured that the married director Carl Theodore Dreyer’s drew on experience of his own same-sex affairs when making Michael, the story of an acclaimed artist known as The Master who struggles with his relationship… Continue reading

Eight Myths About Pansexuality, Debunked

downloadIt’s hard to deny that ignorances and misunderstandings about pansexuals exist, and the bisexual community is not immune – despite facing plenty of myths of our own.  Myths around bisexuality and pansexuality overlap, but pansexuality also attracts some unique prejudices. It’s time to put them all to bed, starting with eight of the most common panphobic myths.

MYTH: Pansexual is a new term

FACT: We’ve been seeing the word pansexual since at least 1924. It’s shifted in meaning since it was coined, of course, just like the words ‘bisexual’, ‘homosexual’ and even ‘furniture’, ‘girl’ and ‘manufacture’. That’s just how language works.

It was first used by contemporary critics of Freud such as Otto Rank and Wilhelm Reich in derision, as an ironic validation of Freud’s suggestion that “that the sex instinct plays the primary part in all human activity”; or that our libidos either directly or indirectly, drive… Continue reading

Community says gender is a spectrum, science finally agrees.

Prof._Dr._Dick_SwaabThe Medical University of Vienna this month released the results of a study that confirmed what we’ve known all along: gender is a spectrum.

The study was conducted by the Dutch Institute for Neurosciences in Amsterdam as part of a cooperation project between the Medical University of Vienna and brain researcher Prof. Dr. Dick F. Swaab, under the guidance of Rupert Lanzenberger. The study has been published in the renowned Journal of Neuroscience.

Gender is a complex concept, and certain sections of the LGBT community have been disparaging of trans identities, claiming that gender is, and can only ever be, socially constructed. This study provides evidence that gender is determined in the psyche and can be neurally represented

According to a press release:

It [is] now possible to demonstrate neural correlates (analogies) of the identity perception in the network of the brain.

It [is] furthermore possible to detect a strong relationship between the microstructure connections among these networks and the testosterone level measured in the blood. Lanzenberger: “These results suggest that the gender identity is reflected in the structure of brain networks which form under the modulating influence of sex hormones in the course of the development of the nervous system.

The study examined cisgender male and female subjects, and transgender people, revealing significant differences in the microstructure of the brain connections between male and female control subjects. Transgender persons took up a middle position between both genders.
Continue reading

Janis Hetherington – Part 2: "Breaking the rules of 70s family life"

On the way to make a baby, spring 1971

On the way to make a baby, spring 1971

Janis Hetherington was the first UK woman in an openly same-sex couple to be artificially inseminated… In this, the second part of her exclusive autobiographical series for Biscuit, Janis discusses the conception of her son.

Despite the amazing consequences of a decision my lover Judy and I made in September 1970 – for me to conceive a child by artificial insemination – in our household it wasn’t an earth shattering moment and didn’t seem like such a big deal. She already had a six-year-old daughter (although not the product of her estranged marriage) and I had been discussing AI for years with doctor friends and lawyers who made up the guest lists of the notoriously naughty parties I was famous for in the late 60s.

Although well known for my lesbian relationships I had been living with an infamous lawyer (his… Continue reading

The real thing: How to tell if it’s love or lust

Lujuria_Lust_Sensaciones_(3970127447)Megan Luscombe looks at the differences between love and lust

I’m the first to admit that I love all things romance. I’ve read all the classic love stories and watched every romcom that’s come out in the past 10 years, twice. Most people would say I fit into the ‘cheesy’ category sitting in the bleachers with all the Disney Princesses, but I don’t mind because I am lucky enough to understand what it is to call ‘real love’ and to know first hand what it takes to make it last.

Over the years I have come to understand and appreciate that love is a personal experience and topic. In fact I have learned that love is so completely individualistic no two people experience it the same, ever. I have been witness to the countless questions that come with understanding love and can say without hesitation that the one key confusion… Continue reading

When dating sites mix business & pleasure

businesscardfinalPete Langman networks while he flirts…

The key to success in business, or so they say, is building relationships, and the best networkers flirt their way into contact folders, tease out business cards and coquettishly demand direct lines.

I made an interesting connection recently. It began in the usual fashion. First contact. An introductory email. Formal, at first, then gradually, maybe a little furtively, the flirtation began. After a week, perhaps a few days more, we made an appointment. Arriving at the hotel-cum-golf club pretty much simultaneously, we parked, alighted and embraced, perhaps a little stiffly. ‘Shall we?’ she asked-cum-proposed, motioning towards the club house. I nodded and we walked towards the sprawling mess of a pseudo-ski chalet that held within it the bar and the promise of distinctly average coffee and the mystery that is the serving of an ‘americano, black’ with a small pot of milk.

We paused… Continue reading