Articles about Sex and Relationships

Feminist views on sex and relationships.

 Sex after rape: sharing survivors' stories

Rape survivors looking for help to cope with their bodies and sex after rape face a vacuum in the information and services available. Pavan Amara speaks to survivors who all wish they had known they weren't the only ones

Pavan Amara // 27 February 2014

Categories: Body and Health, Features, Interviews, Sex and Relationships, Violence

 Why feminists need to talk about the pleasures of sexuality

The lack of education on healthy, pleasurable sexuality and the growing prevalence of pornography are distorting young people's attitudes to sex, relationships and women's bodies, argues Erin Lane

Erin Lane // 28 October 2013

Categories: Features, Sex and Relationships

 The long walk to equality

Musician and singer Sabrina Chap talks to Karren Ablaze! about putting the joy in the fight for LGBT rights and how same-sex marriage is by no means the end of the road

Karren Ablaze! // 31 May 2013

Categories: Features, Interviews, Music, Politics and Current Affairs, Sex and Relationships

 What have I done: escaping domestic violence

When Amanda Prowse set out to write a novel about an abusive marriage, she spoke to women who had experienced violent relationships. The number of women who came forward to talk to her confirms how widespread domestic violence is

Amanda Prowse // 22 April 2013

Categories: Features, Sex and Relationships, Violence

 The poly-feminist manifesto: towards a feminist non-monogamy

Some argue that non-monogamous relationships are inherently patriarchy-busting. But in practice that's not the case. A group of workshop participants pieced together this manifesto to change all that

Various Authors // 23 May 2012

Categories: Sex and Relationships

 No access to the women's room

Going clothes shopping as a disabled woman is a nightmare, says D H Kelly

D H Kelly // 30 January 2012

Categories: Body and Health, Fashion and Image, Sex and Relationships, Stereotypes, Work and Play

 She gives me fever

Porn is not for everyone: but it can be for feminists, Mia Engberg tells Sophie Mayer, as her programme of shorts screens in London

Sophie Mayer // 13 January 2012

Categories: Body and Health, Culture and Media, Features, Interviews, Sex and Relationships, Work and Play

 On a planet far, far away...

The gender politics of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was eye-rolling enough. But some people look beyond the solar system entirely for their guidelines on sex and relationships, to a fictional planet where men are dominant and women are wives, sex slaves or rebel 'panthers'. Kit Marsters reports

Kit Marsters // 20 December 2011

Categories: Sex and Relationships

 You can be anti-porn and pro-sex

I'm no censor, says Lisa Saunders. She talks through some common misconceptions about anti-porn/pro-sex feminism

Lisa Saunders // 13 December 2011

Categories: Culture and Media, Feminism, Sex and Relationships

 Breaking up with romance

It's not you, it's me. Lex Delaney explains why she is taking a 12-month break from romance to concentrate on herself

Lex Delaney // 28 June 2011

Categories: Sex and Relationships

 Empowering just one person: An interview with Zoe Margolis

The outspoken feminist and author of Girl With a One Track Mind and Girl With a One Track Mind: Exposed spoke to Catherine Redfern about feminism, sex, activism and writing

Catherine Redfern // 16 September 2010

Categories: Activism, Features, Feminism, Interviews, Sex and Relationships

Painful vagina? Your poor husband!

S's experience with vulvar vestibulitis - which makes penetrative sex painful - highlighted the phallocentric medical establishment and limited definitions of sex

S // 14 March 2010

Categories: Body and Health, Men, Sex and Relationships, Soundbites

Piggy banks and budget cuts

Cuts have become politically popular again, but the new thrift is targeted at the most not least vulnerable, says Clare Gould

Clare Gould // 16 December 2009

Categories: Family, Politics and Current Affairs, Sex and Relationships, Work and Play

 Feminism and the vampire novel

Much has been written about sexism in the Twilight books and film. Here, Caitlin Brown puts the series in context of other popular vampire fiction

Caitlin Brown // 8 September 2009

Categories: Culture and Media, Feminism, Language, Racism, Sex and Relationships, Stereotypes

For the good of the species?

If you believe one story on a popular science news site, there's proof that older men "chasing" younger women benefits humankind (or should that be mankind?) Eirwen-Jane Pierrot considers the impact of these sensationalist claims on women in the real world

Eirwen-Jane Pierrot // 15 April 2009

Categories: Culture and Media, Men, Sex and Relationships, Stereotypes, Violence

 Challenging sex object culture: definitely needed, definitely lively and definitely a key issue for 2009!

A recent feature in The Times labelled protests against the Miss University London beauty pagaents "old fashioned". But, argues Sandrine Levêque, if anything campaigns against the objectification of women and girls are more relevant today than ever

Sandrine Levêque // 4 January 2009

Categories: Body and Health, Culture and Media, Feminism, Racism, Sex and Relationships, Stereotypes, Violence, Work and Play

Now That's What I Call Misogyny!

Molly Lavender is exasperated at gender segregation in music – and the way pop songs valorise abusive relationships

Molly Lavender // 4 December 2008

Categories: Culture and Media, Sex and Relationships, Stereotypes, Violence

'The useless organ'

Maggie Lee tells of the devestating effect her hysterectomy had on her sexuality and more

Maggie Lee // 2 November 2008

Categories: Body and Health, Sex and Relationships

 Incitement to rape

Denying women's sexuality won't prevent rape, argues Victoria Dutchman-Smith

Victoria Dutchman-Smith // 13 October 2008

Categories: Sex and Relationships, Violence

HPV vaccination - the debate isn't over yet

St Monica's in Manchester does not want girls vaccinated against HPV on school grounds. Kit Roskelly argues that all schools have a responsibility to protect their pupils' health

Kit Roskelly // 10 October 2008

Categories: Body and Health, Culture and Media, Sex and Relationships

 In the name of the father...

For many women, getting married still means changing their name. Sarah Louisa Phythian-Adams has an alternate proposal

Sarah Louisa Phythian-Adams // 20 August 2008

Categories: Family, Feminism, Language, Sex and Relationships

What a load of wank

Hordes of girls dream of becoming glamour models, but are too embarrassed to even talk about masturbation. Sophie Platt rages against a taboo which only affects girls and women

Sophie Platt // 14 July 2008

Categories: Body and Health, Sex and Relationships

Kink 101

BDSM may set off red flags for feminists, says Kit Roskelly. But so does sitting in judgment on women's sexual preferences

Kit Roskelly // 5 July 2008

Categories: Sex and Relationships

 Cartoon special...

In a break from our usual text-based programming, a selection of cartoons on the theme of men and women, by Yvonne Howard

Yvonne Howard // 9 June 2008

Categories: Men, Sex and Relationships

A slice-by-slice attack on women's right to choose

The campaign to ban women from terminating pregnancies after 20 weeks is only the beginning, says Kit Roskelly

Kit Roskelly // 11 May 2008

Categories: Body and Health, Sex and Relationships, Work and Play

How to get an activist movement to keep women in prostitution

What use are sex worker groups that give out condoms and showers, but can't help women who want to exit prostitution? Ekis reports from Barcelona on prostitution and the campaign for legalisation

Ekis // 16 March 2008

Categories: Body and Health, Feminism, Language, Politics and Current Affairs, Sex and Relationships, Violence, Work and Play

 How the word 'slut' oppresses women

Ever been called a 'slag'? How about 'frigid'? Jennifer Drew explains how such derogatory language is used to keep women in their place

Jennifer Drew // 31 January 2008

Categories: Language, Sex and Relationships, Violence

The F Word Podcast - episode three!

Episode three of The F Word podcast - on the tricky topic of pornography - is out now!

Jess McCabe // 14 January 2008

Categories: Body and Health, Culture and Media, Feminism, Podcasts, Sex and Relationships

Against censorship

Porn should be reformed, not banned, argues Laurie Penny

Laurie Penny // 2 January 2008

Categories: Body and Health, Culture and Media, Sex and Relationships, Violence

Glamour models made me sick

Lads' mags are responsible for my eating disorder, says Hannah Whittaker

Hannah Whittaker // 2 January 2008

Categories: Body and Health, Culture and Media, Fashion and Image, Sex and Relationships

Abortion: still a feminist issue

It is 40 years since abortion was legalised in the UK, yet our right to control our own bodies is still under threat. Irina Lester reports

Irina Lester // 6 October 2007

Categories: Body and Health, Culture and Media, Family, Politics and Current Affairs, Sex and Relationships

Crinolines and corsets... again

Period drama concentrates almost exclusively on the bonnets and Bennets universe of the 19th century novel, while there are few adaptations of more recent material dealing with gender politics and the sexual revolution. Cazz Blase makes some suggestions

Cazz Blase // 5 October 2007

Categories: Culture and Media, Sex and Relationships

Sexual healing?

Penetration is not the be-all and end-all of sex, argues Jennifer Drew, so why does the medical establishment seek to pathologise women who just don't like it?

Jennifer Drew // 1 October 2007

Categories: Body and Health, Sex and Relationships

No porn is good porn?

Is it possible to reconcile an appreciation for porn with feminism? Searching for answers, Abby O'Reilly interviews Anna Span, the UK's first female porn director

Abby O'Reilly // 1 October 2007

Categories: Culture and Media, Sex and Relationships

'Who... me? I'm just a housewife'

Feminism is not just for women with high-flying careers, and feminists must do more to engage women who feel alienated from the movement, argues Samantha Jay

Samantha Jay // 30 September 2007

Categories: Activism, Family, Feminism, Sex and Relationships, Stereotypes, Work and Play

Maid of the manor

Despite all our advances, men still dominate public life. But if they are so smart, asks Amity Reed, why can't they fathom how to do the housework?

Amity Reed // 30 August 2007

Categories: Men, Sex and Relationships, Work and Play

Abby Lee - girl with (not just) a one-track mind

Sex-blogger Abby Lee faces down the double standard that would label her a slut on a regular basis. She speaks to Abby O'Reilly about being 'outed' in the press, fan mail and her new role as spokesperson for the next sexual revolution

Abby O'Reilly // 8 August 2007

Categories: Sex and Relationships

Coitophobia: who do you trust?

Maria Roberts explains why she bypassed writing about the experience of domestic violence, to craft a play about two women pulling themselves together after their escape

Maria Roberts // 8 August 2007

Categories: Culture and Media, Sex and Relationships, Violence

'Honey! Your vagina needs a mint'

The Vagina Institute purports to provide a public service to curious women. But Samara Ginsberg detects a rather different agenda

Samara Ginsberg // 7 July 2007

Categories: Body and Health, Fashion and Image, Feminism, Sex and Relationships

I did it my way

The word spinster seems woefully out-dated. But, when Emma Hadfield exited a long-term relationship, she found some people still can't come to terms with women who choose to stay single and child-free

Emma Hadfield // 7 July 2007

Categories: Family, Feminism, Sex and Relationships, Stereotypes

Yummy-mummy or pramface?

Baby-making has become a high-pressure pursuit, argues Abby O'Reilly. Celebrity 'yummy-mummies' only raise the stakes further and obscure the realities of child-birth and motherhood

Abby O'Reilly // 7 July 2007

Categories: Body and Health, Culture and Media, Fashion and Image, Sex and Relationships

A Bride by Any Other Name

When Eleanor Turner announced that she would not be changing her name after walking down the aisle, and instead her new husband would take on her surname, reactions ranged from shock to annoyance. She considers why breaking with tradition provokes such strong feelings

Eleanor Turner // 2 May 2007

Categories: Family, Language, Sex and Relationships, Work and Play

The farmer wants a wife, the wife wants a wife

Women don't want to be lumbered with the housework, but men aren't willing to pick up the bucket and mop. Right? JC Sutcliffe asks why women perpetuate the myth that men are incapable of doing domestic chores

JC Sutcliffe // 29 March 2007

Categories: Men, Sex and Relationships, Work and Play

Flicking the Bean

Thanks to the media and canny advertising agencies, we are surrounded by sexualised images of women. Abby O'Reilly asks why actual female sexual pleasure is still taboo

Abby O'Reilly // 1 March 2007

Categories: Body and Health, Sex and Relationships

Sex and the Music Video

Like the rest of us, Fay Bound Alberti can't seem to escape the soft-core pornography that's become part of everyday life. She ponders what it all means for women, men, girls, boys, and relationships.

Fay Bound Alberti // 1 February 2007

Categories: Culture and Media, Sex and Relationships

A Real Alternative?

As feminists fight to expand the frontiers of sexuality beyond the one-size-fits all, bland world of lad-mag culture, do 'alternative porn' sites have something to offer the feminist cause - or are they the same old objectification with extra tattoos? Jessica Bateman discusses some of the possible pros and cons of 'alt-porn'.

Jessica Bateman // 3 January 2007

Categories: Sex and Relationships

The Food of Love?

When a man insists on paying for all your meals, what's the real motive? Claire McGowan examines why she fights for the right to pay her own way.

Claire McGowan // 16 November 2006

Categories: Sex and Relationships

Declaration of Independence

You're female, successful, single, and prefer your life that way. So why are you still seen as an object of pity? Abby O'Reilly argues that women are still put under immense pressure by friends, family, and the dominant culture to 'bag a man'.

Abby O'Reilly // 26 September 2006

Categories: Sex and Relationships

New Rights, Old Wrongs

Civil Partnerships being restricted to same-sex couples is more than a strange and irritating political decision - it's an indefensible refusal to create real legal equality for all citizens. Susan Hunter explains how the Equal Partnership Campaign is fighting to end 400 years of sexual segregation - and how you can help.

Susan Hunter // 29 May 2006

Categories: Politics and Current Affairs, Sex and Relationships

Oh, Mr Darcy!

Why do so many heterosexual women still find the Darcy figure attractive? Sheryl Plant ponders the influence of romantic fiction on women's expectations of love and relationships. She discusses how lusting after the dominant male archetype can be interpreted both as resistance to patricarchy and compliance with it.

Sheryl Plant // 29 May 2006

Categories: Sex and Relationships

Why men suck (and the women who have to)

When teaching English in Cambodia, a country with a pervasive, exploitative sex industry, Laura Carr was shocked to discover that almost all her western male friends were happy to participate.

Laura Carr // 17 September 2004

Categories: Men, Sex and Relationships

Just a Stripper

Can sex work ever be truly radical when money is involved? Exploring how feminists and feminist sex workers are often forced into opposing camps, Natasha Forrest argues that a simplistic 'for or against' divide does not reflect the true complexity of the issue.

Natasha Forrest // 11 August 2004

Categories: Sex and Relationships, Work and Play

Every Girl Wants a Stalker

Films, pop songs and mainstream popular culture all push the same message: that men must pursue women to ridiculous extremes, even if the attention is unwanted. Yet if women pursue men, they are seen as desperate, needy, and sad. Rachel E exposes the double standard.

Rachel E // 1 August 2004

Categories: Men, Sex and Relationships

Why It's time for the 'battle of the sexes' to end

Lad culture has done nothing more than perpetuate petty hatred between the sexes. Enough is enough, says Laura Baldwin.

Laura Baldwin // 20 July 2004

Categories: Culture and Media, Men, Sex and Relationships

Growing up or giving in?

Ms Razorblade is sick and tired of being told that being a lesbian-feminist and a vegan is boring, prudish, and dull, dull, dull. Is refusing men, meat and porn a sign of immaturity - or is 'growing up' really just giving in?

Ms Razorblade // 20 July 2004

Categories: Body and Health, Feminism, Sex and Relationships

Contraception and Control - Teenage Rights

Megan argues that teenagers deserve the same control over their bodies and rights to contraception as any other women - without having to go through their parents.

Megan // 1 June 2004

Categories: Body and Health, Sex and Relationships

A Perfect Delusion

What effect are men's magazines having on men's views of women and heterosexual relationships? Samantha Lyster thinks men who fall for the magazines' propaganda about women are setting themselves up for a fall.

Samantha Lyster // 19 April 2004

Categories: Culture and Media, Fashion and Image, Men, Sex and Relationships

Are you married? If not, why not?

Why isn't she married? Because it's a patriarchal, homophobic institution, and always will be, says Victoria Dutchman-Smith.

Victoria Dutchman-Smith // 19 March 2004

Categories: Sex and Relationships

The Feminist Minefield?

Lorraine Smith doesn't think feminism is incompatible with a penchant for pornography. She argues that the industry is finally beginning to benenfit women, both as participants and viewers.

Lorraine Smith // 19 December 2003

Categories: Culture and Media, Sex and Relationships

Body Language Speaks Volumes

Reading feminist research on the subject of non-verbal behaviour was a revelation to Anna Sandfield. Here she explains how women and men's subconscious body language (touching, sitting, even smiling) can reinforce gender roles - without even being aware of it.

Anna Sandfield // 19 October 2003

Categories: Men, Sex and Relationships

There is no Groom

Can a traditional wedding ever be compatible with feminist principles? Beth Anderson negotiates the minefield of surnames, dresses, cakes, throwing the bouquet and "bad luck" - and chooses not to blindly follow tradition.

Beth Anderson // 19 October 2003

Categories: Sex and Relationships

The Name of the Game

Can you be a 'Mrs' and a feminist at the same time? Mrs Angela Everitt explores.

Angela Everitt // 19 October 2003

Categories: Language, Sex and Relationships

Sexual Healing

Ben Thurgood wonders why the feminist concept of equality in sex hasn't entered into the mainstream - after all, equality is just common sense, surely?

Ben Thurgood // 19 September 2003

Categories: Men, Sex and Relationships

Reproductive freedom in the UK.

Andy Roberts wonders why so few of us are aware of the threats to reproductive choice in the UK.

Andy Roberts // 16 June 2003

Categories: Body and Health, Sex and Relationships

25 Burning Questions

Holly Combe answers the questions men are "too embarassed to ask"

Holly Combe // 16 April 2003

Categories: Men, Sex and Relationships

Dysfunctional, moi? The Myth of Female Sexual Dysfunction and its Medicalisation

Jennifer Drew tears apart the the myth of 'female sexual dysfunction', and looks at how female sexuality is becoming increasingly medicalised.

Jennifer Drew // 16 April 2003

Categories: Body and Health, Sex and Relationships

Smug Intentions: Richard and Judy on Chivalry

Holly Combe examines the hidden motives behind the calls for a return to chivalry. When Richard and Judy joined the debate recently, did they really have anything constructive to add?

Holly Combe // 16 February 2003

Categories: Men, Sex and Relationships

What's Up Baby?

Missmogga explains why she objects to the commercial sex industry and modern culture's representation of black women.

Missmogga // 16 October 2002

Categories: Culture and Media, Sex and Relationships

More responses to 'Whose Slut?'

Natasha Forrest's article "Whose Slut?" in The F-Word in July prompted many responses - probably the most on one specific article this site has ever had. Here are the latest comments received during August-October.

Various Authors // 16 October 2002

Categories: Sex and Relationships

Bend Over Girls - he's in Freak Mode

Society needs to stop thinking of men as slaves to their sexual urges, argues Holly Combe. She examines the damaging common idea that, once aroused, men become an unstoppable force that it would be rude - even immoral - to try to stop.

Holly Combe // 16 September 2002

Categories: Men, Sex and Relationships, Violence

Response to 'Whose Slut?'

Natasha Forrest's article "Whose Slut?" in The F-Word in July prompted many responses - probably the most on one specific article this site has ever had. Here are the comments received and below, Natasha responds.

Various Authors // 16 August 2002

Categories: Sex and Relationships

Whose Slut?

The female body has always been associated with sex, ensuring that even straight women find images of women sexy. Natasha Forrest explains why censorship is not the answer and how objectification is not necessarily a bad thing.

Natasha Forrest // 16 July 2002

Categories: Sex and Relationships

Big Brother, Virgins, and Female Singleness

Kristin Aune looks at society's attitudes to virginity and celibacy.

Kristin Aune // 16 June 2002

Categories: Culture and Media, Sex and Relationships

Pornography

Rearrange the words "worms", "can", and "of" into a well known phrase or saying...

Catherine Redfern // 16 January 2002

Categories: Sex and Relationships, Soundbites

Why Irma Kurtz is wrong about rape

In the June 2001 issue of British Cosmopolitan, the agony aunt Irma Kurtz replied to a reader's letter about rape. I think Irma's advice was irresponsible, insensitive, and re-iterates all the old myths about rape that we have tried so hard to break down over 30 years of feminism.

Catherine Redfern // 13 July 2001

Categories: Culture and Media, Sex and Relationships, Violence

The Morning After

In January Baroness Young tried to stop emergency contraception being sold over the counter in chemists. Here's why the House of Lords were right to reject her arguments, says Catherine Redfern.

Catherine Redfern // 18 March 2001

Categories: Body and Health, Sex and Relationships

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