Porn you can feel good about

*Feels like I’ve been writing 6,000 articles on sex and porn lately. My search history is starting to resemble a teenage boy.*

Ok, you’re not one of those sex addicts but you do occasionally glance at porn. On Fridays. And maybe Sundays. But it’s all good because the sites you access are free, no one needs to know, and it’s not like you’re supporting that dirty, nasty industry, is it?

A teen girl’s guide to getting off

Teenage girls, whether they’re spruiking bondage couture in Vogue or boffing men twenty years their senior in Woody Allen movies, are surely the most over-sexualised creatures on the planet.

So do we really need to be teaching them ‘sex positive’ messages about taking charge of their sexuality? Surely they’re not missing the memo to get out there and put out?  

‘What making porn taught me about real sex’

Australians love their porn. We’re accessing it earlier on in life, and sex educators are tell us that porn is playing an increasing role in how young people form their ideas about sex.

But who knows more about the reality of porn than the performers themselves? I spoke to three Australian porn performers to get their views on how porn sex differs from real sex, the porn ‘look’, speaking up and … ‘plunging’.

How women can negotiate better

 If anyone needs to be negotiating better terms and conditions on life, it’s women. Women earn less than men, yet pay more for basic goods and services. We get a raw deal on housework and are more likely to retire in poverty.

But despite being told to ‘lean in’ research shows that women are less likely to negotiate than men.

Mad life skills from an FBI hostage negotiator

Empathy. It’s a soft, fuzzy word you’re more likely to associate with social workers than the high stakes world of international hostage negotiation. But for Chris Voss, the former head of the FBI’s international kidnap and hostage negotiation team, ‘tactical empathy’ was his number one tool.

The ‘secret’ habit leading women to the poorhouse?

Ever since The Secret spilled the magic beans on manifesting (if you can imagine it, it will happen!) vision boards have been popping up on personal altars like Pulp Fiction posters in a share house.

Manifesting, for the uninitiated, is the art of imagining what you want to being into your life and then acting as if it’s already there. It’s an energetic thing; instead of focusing on the lack of a Russell Brand lookalike in your life, you act as if he’s already there. This cosmically shifts your energy to the point where the Universe plants Rusty 2.0 in your local coffee shop, and when this happens you write a gratitude list and tell all your friends.

The ‘mental load’ burning women out

It’s 6.30pm. The kids are in their high chairs and you’re trying to coax them to eat while keeping an eye on the stove. Your partner comes home, dumps his bag on the floor, pats the baby on the head, and tells you about his day. “That’s great,” you reply, “can you feed the cats?” Two minutes later, “that’s great, can you put this stuff back into the fridge?” “That’s great, can you give the baby something to eat?” “Awesome, can you set the table?”

Is status anxiety ruining kiddie parties?

Two weeks ago I was at a ‘cake smashing party’ – for one-year-olds. Ten babies were lined up in front of ten cakes as ten excited sets of parents hovered with their iPhones.

Unfortunately, one-year-olds are not terribly advanced. Most prefer grabbing at other babies or singing and clapping with people they know over orchestrated photo-opportunities. Instead of cutely gobbling cake as he was meant to, the birthday baby immediately started howling and begging to be picked up. As did the baby next to him. Within seconds all ten babies were crying and crawling away from the cakes while their parents pleaded with them to ‘just smile and smash the cake once, please darling, then I’ll pick you up, ok?”

Is the gender pay gap a myth?

Ever wondered what to say to that friend / relative / co-worker who tells you repeatedly that the earnings gap between men and women is BS because ‘they’ve never seen it’? All the rebuttals at your fingertips. Happy International Women’s Day, everyone! 

I know it’s International Women’s Day because there was a free morning tea at work. By the time I got there the ladies had already scoffed the best muffins, with no thought to me or their waistlines. I left when they started banging on about the Pay Gap …

Don’t you mean the ‘so-called’ pay gap?

Yes! It’s a myth just like the three-breasted woman.