NSFW Sunday Is a Love Letter to Queer Sex

The feature image of Ashley Paige and Ava D’Amore and all of the photographs in this NSFW Sunday are from fetish site Mondo Fetiche. The inclusion of a visual here is not an assertion of a model’s gender or orientation.

Welcome to the last-ever NSFW Sunday.

Selene Sun and Dr. Elody Rose

Selene Sun and Dr. Elody Rose for Mondo Fetiche

On Friday 6 May 2011 at 7:34 pm, Riese sent me an empty email with the subject line, “would you ever want to write a nsfw sunday?”

I said yes.

And today, over a decade later, it’s time to say goodbye.

On the surface, the NSFW Sunday doesn’t seem to be anything deeper than a sprinkle of links about some sex content with a sprinkle of queer porn mixed in. It doesn’t have an arc. It will never be a collected anthology or a book. Despite a knock off or two over the years, it can only live here, week to week. There is no useful way to collect what is past. There is no good way to stockpile it into the future. Over the decade I wrote it, I would sit down to do the NSFW Sunday. I would do it. I would put it into WordPress. And then I would sit down to do it again.

Valentine Boudreaux, Lain Arbor, River Gray

Valentine Boudreaux, Lain Arbor, and River Gray for Mondo Fetiche

In Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, Gretchen Rubin writes, “Habits are the invisible architecture of daily life. We repeat about 40 percent of our behavior almost daily, so our habits shape our existence, and our future. If we change our habits, we change our lives.”

Which means that to me as its author, and I hope to its thousands of regular readers, the NSFW Sunday asked the question, what does it mean to make queer sex a habit?

What does it mean to make writing and reading about queer sex part of the rhythm of the week? What does it mean to talk about it? What does it mean (for allosexuals) to have it, or to commit to having it, alone and together, week after week after week?

Ashley Paige, Ava D'Amore

Ashley Paige and Ava D’Amore for Mondo Fetiche

Later in the same book, Rubin writes, “As a writer, my great interest is human nature, and in particular, the subject of happiness. A few years ago, I noticed a pattern: when people told me about a ‘before and after’ change they’d made that boosted their happiness, they often pointed to the formation of a crucial habit.”

A habit has the power to change your life. And I have found no habit more life-changing, for me, than committing to queer sex and desire and above all pleasure.

selene-sun-and-dr-elody-rose

Selene Sun and Dr. Elody Rose for Mondo Fetiche

If you’d like to keep in touch, I’m at rl.yates (insta), rlyatesofficial (twitter), rlyates (venmo if you want to buy me a coffee), or rlyates.com. It has been an utter pleasure to be here with you.


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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.

46 Comments

    • Hi Topshelf,

      When we learned that Ryan was concluding writing NSFW Sundays after a decade, the editors got together to weigh a variety of next steps (including, as you suggested, continuing the link roundup under a new author), but as a collective we decided that it was best to let the column end under their voice and leadership.

      We look forward to all the other ways we will regularly continue to bring queer sex content to Autostraddle, and we’re wishing Ryan all the best on their next exciting chapter!

  1. Ryan, “Thank you” doesn’t begin to cover it. This column has been a part of my Sundays “religiously” since I first arrived at AS. Always thought-provoking, enlightening and entertaining. And subversive too, LOL, because I just loved reading this column on a Sunday and hearing my little catholic roots squeal in dismay.

    NSFW Sunday brought an affirmation of my sexuality : talked about in the open, playful and curious and exploring. Oh, and not afraid of the hardships ! How much I’ve learned it’s incredible.

    Thank you for sharing your process. Rather than mourn the loss of this ritual, your thoughts make me realize that now I must continue to procure for myself, what you so unerringly brought right to me week after week.

    Wishing you the very best in your new endeavours.

  2. Thank you so much Ryan, this column has been one of my favorite parts of the site, since like many queer people I’ve had a lot of shame to unpack around sex and this made a big difference in helping, as well as being fun and informative!

    I really hope there’s a way to carry this concept on in the future, with a different staff, it’s really useful and meaningful! Even in 2021 it’s hard to find anything else like this online.

  3. As a baby queer/bisexual lady, this column was a savior for me. I’ve learned so much!

    It’s been my weekly tradition to check for new NSFW Sunday posts for at least 8 years. Ugh I will miss it!

    Thank you thank you. It’s a sad loss, but a very happy experience.

    My heart aches, but it thanks you. Thank you for helping me to see myself.

    Lots of love from Canada

  4. Oh wow, I so appreciate the closure and thoughts on ritual, and I will miss this column and spot of a way to love and remember the desire in myself. Thank you so much Ryan, for all of it, and this work will truly be missed.

  5. I’ll miss this column and your voice in it, Ryan! This was where I originally found out about Crashpad and subscribing to that was a perspective-altering experience to say the least. Sending good vibes for wherever you’re headed next ✨

  6. Wow, I’m having a bit of trouble imagining AS without NSFW Sunday. I think I’ve read every post since the beginning, and it has certainly helped me shape new ways of being in the world. Thank you so much, and all the best in the future.

  7. Ryan, thank you so much for providing us w thought provoking, sexy, helpful, educational, boundary pushing, awareness-raising and highly stimulating food for thoughts and eye candy!!! Im unsure if you will stop your Lit column as well but these two columns def paced my weeks for years (!) and often reminded me of what day it was (oops). I looked forward to reading NSFW Sunday each week and even when i was super tired and it was extra late, id still check it out bc YES! Anyway i will miss it as well as your other contributions but I wish you all the best in the next endeavours! Cheers!

  8. Ryan, so glad to have this column exist in the archives of autostraddle. I wish you the best in whatever comes next. This column has enriched my life in so many ways, and made me feel comfortable in my own sex life. Thank you for sharing this with us for all this time.

  9. Ryan thank you thank you THANKYOU. WOW! What an accomplishment, what a decade ❤️ I can’t imagine my AS experience without NSFW Sunday. I started reading these columns before I was comfortable enough to admit to myself that I wanted to read the whole dang website. Thank you for “pacing my weeks” to borrow the words of another commenter above— there’s really nothing like this column on the Internet, and you will be so missed. ❤️ Wishing you all the very best in whatever you may pursue next. ✨

  10. Thank you so much for giving us this every week! Countless articles that have guided me as i figure out what i want. I instinctively check the site on Sundays for this, so it’s really bittersweet. Gotta find something else to remind me each week and hopefully something new and exciting can come from this for Ryan, AS, and readers :)

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