The secret world of sex addiction

As a writer, you don’t always finish a piece and think ‘Jeez, I’m glad I did that one’. But was fascinating and humbling to talk to these three lovely people about their experience, and I hope some readers get something out of it:

WHAT comes to mind when you think of sex addicts in recovery?

Sleazy men in trench coats trying to have sex with nymphomaniac Girls Gone Wild? Platoons of strippers who love their jobs more than is healthy? Or perhaps it’s the image of yet another celebrity caught in a cheating scandal, vowing to “get help”?

The benefits of getting a ‘signature look’

(My personal signature look is currently ‘Pregnant Scozzer’. Think coral Target maternity t-shirt paired with diamente earrings and a tight pony-tail. That’s #practicalglamour)

THE ‘French chic’ look has become a bit of a cliche. Target’s Jean Paul Gaultier collection — striped tops, capri pants, ballet flats — almost designs itself.

But in reality, it’s not that there’s one thing that all French women do well — it’s that they all do one thing (whether it’s hair, wardrobe or make-up) so well that the rest doesn’t matter. In short, they understand the power of a signature look.

How to double your wardrobe without buying a thing

This piece first appeared over at news.com.au. I’ve been wanting to write about sustainability, but since that’s kind of boring/worthy to read about, I figured ‘doubling your wardrobe’  was a good trojan horse. What you reckon?  

We all have those ‘old reliables’ in our closets we turn to on our fat days, our ‘don’t have anything to wear’ days and our ‘can’t be arsed but want to feel presentable’ days.

What your doctor is really thinking

Ever wondered how ER doctors treat a Viagra overdose?* They see us at our most vulnerable yet they don’t bat an eye. But what’s really going through your doctor’s mind as you peel down your pants? I interviewed a ER doctor for this piece; we chatted embarrassing bodies, anti-vaxxers, the ‘worried well’, drugs and addiction.

(*they ‘cut it to let the blood out’)

Why ‘good manners’ disadvantage women

If the foundations of good manners are caring for others’ comfort, listening more than you speak, and glossing over the poor manners of others, “good manners” actually grossly disadvantage women.

Two days after I moved into my house, our new handyman Pete came to fix the windows. After showing him the problem, I made a polite retreat to my home office. Pete called out a regular commentary on all things window, and when he was done making them worse (“I’ll need to come back and take the whole frame apart!”) I got up to politely see him out.

Must motherhood kill your creative career?

I found out I was pregnant the same day a literary agent agreed to represent the manuscript I’d sent her.

Friends and family were ecstatic – about the baby. I interpreted this as ‘having a baby is more important than that writing-hobby-thing you do’. Having a baby is undoubtedly more life-changing, yet I felt a much greater sense of achievement about the book. Finishing it required huge sacrifices and – regardless of the outcome – altered me as a person. Getting pregnant required functional ovaries and a calendar.

5 Japanese life hacks for health and happiness

Every nation has something they do exceptionally well. The Swiss have their chocolate, the Dutch their legalised marijuana, and Germany their amazing cars and wonderful sense of humour (ok maybe not the last). And Zen-loving Japan? Stress free simplicity.

When you consider that Japan squeezes five times our population into a country one twentieth of our size, there is not an extra inch of space for junk. No surprise that their hottest export right now is de-cluttering expert Marie Kondo, who can fold a t-shirt like nobody’s business.

Clean, polite & trusting: surviving Japanese culture shock

The first thing I notice when I got to Japan was how nice everyone on the peak hour Tokyo subway smelled. Like the delicate fragrance of clean hair and freshly washed linen. The second thing I noticed was that the carriage was so quiet I was afraid to blow my nose, and a third of the passengers wore face masks.

“It’s not because they’re afraid of catching your germs, it’s because they’re sick and don’t want anyone else to catch theirs,” my partner explained.

To an Australian used to riding with the great unwashed, negotiating junkies, violent ticket inspectors and clouds of teenage girls’ Impulse, the Japanese are unnervingly respectful of other people’s personal space. Stand still and look confused, and within 30 seconds someone will have either offered you help, or else queued politely behind you (queueing is a phenomenon in Japan) for no apparent reason.

As much as I loved the consideration and the neatness of Japan, the manners and orderliness were so surreal I felt like I was living in some kind of Japanese-themed Disney snow globe the entire time I was there. Here’s what to prepare for:

Capsule dressing: why fashionistas swear by these simple 10 pieces

Confession: somehow writing about minimalist dressing inspired a powerful urge to run out and toot suite and buy a whole lot more stuff (aka ‘essentials’). PS. That’s my gorgeous student in the main photo and former travelling pal in the second. Who says columnists are lazy?

Tell the truth. When you read about the New York art director who wore the same simple but stylish outfit to work every day for three years, didn’t part of you think it was an act of genius? No more mornings madly trying on every combination in your wardrobe. No more forcing yourself to wear the NQR pieces you bought on sale to ‘shrink into’.