NSFW Lesbosexy Sunday Is Never 100% Risk-Free

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!

+ What matters most in relationships is not the good time you have when you’re alone in a bubble together for weekends, but true compatibility across whether you want the same things and shared time and the worlds that you move through alone and together, writes Lori Gottleib at the Cut:

“You learn about compatibility, on the other hand, through shared dailiness, and you two haven’t experienced the dailiness of each other. It’s like the difference between color and black and white, or three dimensions and two. Long-distance is ‘always laughing together.’ It’s not, ‘who’s doing the dishes and picking up towels from the bathroom floor.’ It’s not, ‘I need my space’ — or, ‘I need a smile when I walk in the door at the end of the day, even if you just had a fight with your mom.’ It’s not experiencing bad days, bad moods, or annoying habits that you can hide to a degree in a weekends-only situation. It’s not about the richness and texture of logging regular hours together. Compatibility is all of that, and it’s also knowing what it’s like to integrate your lives into your larger worlds — friends, family, acquaintances, and colleagues. […]

A relationship may seem like it’s just about two people, but it’s about the confluence of your respective worlds as well. How do your larger worlds mesh? How do they add context to the person you see only through your own lens?”

+ How do you turn an ex into a best friend? Break up as many times as you have to, take some space, change your life, be as sad as you need to be, learn to share public space, start with low-stakes hangouts, and then learn how to show up for each other just as you are:

“Sooner or later, you’ll need each other. The world is too cruel to let any of us go without crisis for long. When your friend is in the psych unit, when the felony charges come down, when you break up with someone else, when they can’t sleep because of anxiety and terror, when too many of your friends are lost in a horrific fire, you’ll both remember that you know each other like no one else does.

So show up, however you can. Scrub floors. Hold them while they sob. Stay with them at the hospital. Feed them. Give them dating advice. Take space when you need to, but have faith that your heart knows how to heal and keep coming back.
When you’re ready, say “I love you” again.”

+ It’s okay to care deeply about love if you care deeply about love, writes Ask Polly at the Cut (and this piece is so heterocentric but it does touch on important ideas, namely that it’s okay and good and important to acknowledge what you love, whatever that thing is; that caring deeply and passionately about something is a strength and not a weakness; that some people get mad if you care about anything and fuck those people or rather, don’t; and that you might as well just feel and embrace your feelings instead of beating yourself up for even having them in the first place. It also contains a nuanced reading of The Love Boat if you wanted one.):

“If you want to believe in love and not have it destroy you, you have to resolve not to take other people’s words and your own private longing and mix them together to form a big ugly philosophy of yourself as a beggar who has something deeply wrong with her. You have to lay out why you believe in love so much and why you deserve to own your passion for love instead of always trying to hide it. You have to feel comfortable with the depth of your need and your longing, recognizing it as the energy that keeps artists and writers and philosophers bringing more beauty into the world. You have to see that feeling things as passionately as you do is a strength, not a weakness. Not feeling anything is the real weakness, but somehow people still get rewarded for it.”

+ Sometimes you can only orgasm with a full bladder. When that happens, “My experience with people who like bladder pressure is that they sometimes find they can add downward pressure on their lower belly, just above the pubic bone, and that basically pushes the bladder down into the nerves that are situated between it and the phallus. Adding G-spot or prostate stimulation may help,” writes Dr. Carol Queen at Bust.

+ “From Hindu Goddesses and Pagan rituals to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the c-word has had an ancient and powerful history that spans centuries and cultures. Why then, is ‘cunt’ still considered one of the most offensive words in the western hemisphere?,” asks Mina Green at the Establishment.

+ Sex ed should start in kindergarten.

+ At Oh Joy Sex Toy, Erika Moen discusses safer-sex barriers, because “no sexual activity that involves physical contact with another person can ever be 100% risk-free, but you can make it safer by using different barriers for different activities.”

+ “In the case of STD horror, one could describe the fear factor as our anxieties around sexual health set to ominous music. Most people would rather not contract STDs and some are downright terrified of the prospect. But in a society that heavily stigmatizes conditions acquired through sex, what people fear is often worse than the thing itself,” writes Sarit Luban at Broadly. STI horror is a subset of horror that focuses on sex-spread or -induced illness, and it makes the prevalent stigma about actual STIs worse:

“[T]he problem with these depictions is that they perpetuate the notion that people who spread STDs are deceitful, ill-intentioned, and necessarily aware of their capacity to transmit. In reality, STDs are often passed on by people who don’t know they’re infected, as many of these conditions can be asymptomatic. And while it’s true that some people fail to disclose their infections to sexual partners, many folks who know their positive status doinform partners, communicate about boundaries, take precautions to reduce the risk of transmission, and lead fulfilling lives. Stereotypes that paint people with STDs as irresponsible bolster a stigma that makes people reluctant to get tested, seek treatment, and disclose their infections—which hurts everyone.

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

Carolyn has written 1128 articles for us.

2 Comments

  1. That article on The Cut was fantastic! Such a good way of putting my college relationships and current relationship into perspective. I started a relationship (foolishly) with someone I met one weekend in college who lived a 12 hr drive away. We would skype all the time and send each other packages but when I went to visit them for the first time, it was a hot mess Bc we didn’t actually know each other! Just the romanticized versions of each other.

    Thanks for the great articles!

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