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?  

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.

What happens in Men’s Behaviour Change Programs?

It’s a wintry Tuesday night in Melbourne and you’d like to be home watching TV. Instead, you’re sitting in a circle with a dozen guys, trying not to get called on during your first session at a men’s behaviour change program.

There’s one other new guy who, like you, has been ‘directed to attend’ by the courts. But unlike you, he has an attitude problem, interrupting and cracking bad jokes. The facilitator is blunt. He can’t guarantee the man’s partner will take him back, he says, but if he keeps attending he might get to see his kids again.   

Does brain training really work?

(I first published this one in Australian Women’s Health. Loved you in Dead Calm, Our Nic)

On the outside, I am calm and ordered. I’m a massive fan of lists. I keep three jobs on track – uni tutor, writer, yoga instructor. I rapidly switch between tasks without missing any major deadlines. But on the inside … inside my brain there is a pack of wild brumbies, careening out of control.

The ritual every parent should do with their kids before the age of 7

Do all new parents have that ‘better do this perfectly so they don’t complain about me to their shrink’ paranoia? Though I’m gradually learning to accept that I’ll mess this stuff up, here’s my interview with a few people with more wisdom than I on what all parents can do to raise emotionally stable and happy kids. (and if you have any other tips, let’s hear ’em!)

How to deal with a well-meaning naysayer

The well-meaning naysayer is here to help. They are here to ensure you don’t put off having a baby (‘If you leave it too late they’ll come out deformed or not at all!’), or a wedding (‘I know he’s not perfect, but you don’t want to be left on the shelf, do you?’), and don’t even think about upgrading or switching careers (‘be realistic, competition will be tough, there’s no security!’). “I’m just saying it because I care,” is their motto and heaping fear is their method.