NSFW Lesbosexy Sunday Is Getting Good At Boundaries

Feature image of Mona Wales and Natalie Chen in Crash Pad Series episode 271. All of the photographs in this NSFW Sunday are from the Crash Pad. The inclusion of a visual here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the model’s gender identity or sexual orientation. If you’re a photographer or model and think your work would be a good fit for NSFW Sunday, please email carolyn at autostraddle dot com.

Welcome to NSFW Sunday!

Selphie Labrys and Tessa Wreck’d in Crash Pad Series episode 265

“You can, believe it or not, choose to be cool and respectful to your partners and yourself—and expect the same back from the people you date,” writes Amy Rose Spiegel. In one of a few stories on what it would have been good to know going into early relationships, Krista Burton notes:

“What I really wish I would have known in my first relationship is that you should never, ever have to convince someone to date you or stay with you. If your person seems ambivalent about y’all’s relationship, or they let you take care of everything when it comes to planning dates or romantic gestures, or they assume you will (or casually let you) pay for everything, or if you consistently don’t feel as if they like you as much as you like them… run, sweets. Run for the hills. That is the person you do not want to date.”

Mona Wales and Natalie Chen in Crash Pad Series episode 271

You need boundaries — lines of respect around undesirable behaviours — for any relationship to function. Figure out what yours are, and then have a conversation about them. “Explain to the person why you’re setting the boundary, and how their behavior(s) have upset you in the past. Discuss the boundary as something that will help improve your relationship, rather than push the two of you apart,” writes Leila Ettachfini at Broadly:

“You’ll have to confront the possibility that your friend, family member, or whoever it is may not take your attempt to set a boundary well. According to Dr. Henry, this is quite common. ‘Up until that point, they’re used to being able to have a certain amount of leverage with [you]—a certain kind of lenience. The minute you start to change that tide and say, This isn’t okay with me, you should expect some resistance and pushback,’ she says. ‘You should expect there to be some conflict and tension around whatever it is you want to change.’ If you find yourself in this situation, Dr. Henry advises you to maintain the boundary anyway and have a series of conversations with this person about what this boundary means to you. ‘It doesn’t have to be, It’s my way or the highway, but, Here’s what emotional injury you were causing me before; here’s why I need this to be different in order to remain in this relationship with you,’ she says.”

Maxine Azula and Valerie Paige in Crash Pad Series episode 270

“I would suggest not focusing on hiding things you consider flaws—instead, pick the things you love about yourself and try to accentuate them,” says Kira Noir in this collection of advice from cammers on how to take a good nude.

Getting a UTI every time you have sex sucksssssss.

Who gets to use the term “partner”?

It’s also fine to not have partners.

Friends don’t let friends ghost, but here’s what to do if it happens to you.

You can say no as a sex journalist.

It’s hard to have sex during eating disorder recovery.

Sometimes people see colors when they come.

Not sure about that lube? Here’s a cheat sheet.

Mystic Minaxxx and Nyxeris Omega in Crash Pad Series episode 268

How do you know when you’re ready to date after a breakup? At Refinery 29, Kasandra Brabaw writes:

“Juarez suggests taking at least three months after a major breakup to heal and to start thinking of yourself as a single person again, because bringing grief and volatile emotions into dating is never a good idea. But once you’ve done that, setting up a dating profile (even if you don’t plan to go on any actual dates) can help take you from 80% ready to date to fully ready. ‘Mentally, getting matches on dating profiles can help you feel the realistic possibility of someone else,’ Dr. Carmichael says.

Once you have the profile, it’ll be pretty clear when you’re totally ready to get back into the dating pool, because you’ll start noticing people who you think would make good partners. ‘It’s almost like after a person is sick, and then their appetite returns,’ Dr. Carmichael says. ‘That’s usually a positive sign.’ So if you find yourself salivating over the cute barista at your local coffee shop, that’s a pretty good indication that you’re ready to date again.”


Are you following us on Facebook?

Carolyn Yates is the NSFW Consultant, and was formerly the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor, for Autostraddle.com. Her writing has appeared in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. She recently moved to Los Angeles from Montreal. Find her on twitter.

Carolyn has written 884 articles for us.

8 Comments

  1. Boundaries can begin from a positive as well as a negative.

    It can be the creating of a focus: for example “I want to spend time with you doing (x) at (x) time when I usually feel more energetic and able to engage” versus “I don’t want to do (x) at (y) time”.

    Or “I like how I feel when my identity is affirmed, and want to be in situations and with people who support that” versus “I don’t want to go to family dinners every week”.

    And also “Taking time to do (x) really helps me feel good and this is when I will be busy because of that.”

    Creating good boundaries in reaction to negative experiences is really important, but we can also set up boundaries to prioritize our well-being and create the kind of relationships we want from the onset.

    Signed, someone who needed to learn this much earlier.

  2. That article about the term partner is so interesting. I’m married to a man but I sometimes refer to him as my partner because I feel like all sorts of weird cultural assumptions come with (a woman) having a husband. And in queer spaces I’ll simetimes say partner to signal I’m queer without getting into the whole bi woman married to a man thing.

    • Yeah, I also found the article really interesting.

      I personally LIKE when straight people also use the term partner since to me it normalises to not necessarily gender another human all the time and without thinking. I feel more at ease when I’m not the only one in non-queer spaces to refer to a partner.

      Maybe it’s also a langugage / cultural thing. In Germany, the term for boyfriend/girlfriend is just “MY friend” which just weirdes me out every time. So, I prefer people calling them their partners if they want to talk about their romantic/sexual/intimate/domestic/… life.

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.