NSFW Lesbosexy Sunday Is Into Safe Sexting

All of the photographs in this NSFW Sunday are from Shutterstock. 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! Join me in having this song stuck in your head.

  • It’s challenging to genuinely connect with someone else’s pain, without taking it on like it’s yours or without hardening yourself to it. At the Cut, therapist Ellen Hendricksen writes about compassionate empathy as the solution:

“This type allows us to feel alongside another, understand what they might be going through, and, crucially, move us to help. But how do we switch on the compassionate empathy? If we don’t want merely to cry together, nor sit with coolly detached understanding, how can we activate the altruism of compassionate empathy? […] As a novice psychologist, I focused on the tragedy. I focused on the horror of what had happened and pictured my boys in their place. What I didn’t do was look forward.

And this is the crucial difference. Before, I focused on the suffering; now, I focus on the relief. Before, I felt helpless; now, I feel hopeful. These days, when I hear a story, I look forward — to what we can do to relieve their suffering, how we can work together to help them feel better, how we can push the car out of the mud.”

  • It’s important to hang out with yourself sometimes! (And not with yourself and your phone.) (I know.) Spending time alone can help you better understand who you are and what you want, strengthen relationships, be calming and more:

“Recently, Nguyen found that spending time alone can blunt high-arousal emotions, both positive and negative, meaning that it can have a calming effect. Other research has found that solitude is linked with increased creativity and helpful for sharpening problem-solving skills. Since there’s more space for you to focus on one thing at a time when you’re alone, there’s also more room for daydreaming and epiphanies to occur, says Larry Rosen, author of The Distracted Mind and a psychology professor emeritus at California State-Dominguez Hills. “In order for those things to happen, the brain’s default mode network has to be activated, something that can’t happen when we’re switching from task to task,” he says.”

  • Online dating is changing society, from blowing up our social networks to creating brand-new ties to feeling overwhelmed by too much choice to potentially leading to stronger bonds between people:

“After interviewing tons of committed couples in this age of “options,” I’ve held the hope of stronger bonds for quite some time. Although online dating can be a bumpy ride—the swiping, the ghosting, the unknown—it can also expose you to tons of different ‘types.’

Dating lots of different types, much of which is done via apps today, is now almost a modern-day rite of passage for many. If you’ve dated around, determined what you need and what you like, you can more easily tell when a relationship has the mettle to go the distance. Not to mention, you’re more likely to be confident of your decision to commit, which makes all those bad Tinder dates and ghosting episodes totally worth it.”

  • “There’s an unsettling pressure that accompanies being someone’s main source of motivation and happiness,” writes Nicole Schmidt at the Establishment:

“Some relationships can be consuming to the point where any real sense of perspective vanishes. Mary Andres, a professor of clinical psychology at the Rossier School of Education, described it to me as your brain going into crisis mode: When you’re busy reacting to the emotional demands in front of you, trying desperately to hold up another person, it’s easy to feel depleted. Eventually, you can reach a point where you stop using your frontal lobes, which are responsible for problem solving and judgement. Andres spoke about one woman she worked with who spoke about her own life as if she wasn’t the protagonist — her partner was front and center in every problem and every thought.

‘When you’re involved with a toxic person and they’re telling you that you should be able to make them feel okay, that’s a fallacy,’ Andres says. ‘If we listen to them, we’re letting them define our reality…It’s difficult to make decisions when you’re in that place.’”


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

Carolyn has written 865 articles for us.

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