Tag Archives: sexuality

When do intimate relationships work?

I raise this question more as a kind of self-reflection than a hard-and-fast recipe of sorts. The latter cannot be supplied by anyone, for the “simple” reason that human beings are very complex creatures. While the interpersonal areas I reflect on below may indeed be important in all intimate relationships (and I do believe that…

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We’re all born naked, everything else is (a) drag

By Pierre Brouard When Caitlyn Jenner recently visited the Academy for Young Writers, an LGBTI-friendly school in a working-class New York neighbourhood, she was expecting some flak. In particular, from two youngsters, living non-binary lives, who had been vocal in their criticisms of her. Caitlyn was privileged, they said, had made disparaging remarks about “men…

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Sex is complex: Gender, HIV and Charlie Sheen’s disclosure

By Pierre Brouard So Charlie Sheen is in trouble again — this time because he has been forced to disclose his HIV status to be one step ahead of the tabloids, and to cut off the money supply to extortionists who had him over a barrel. The competing narratives around his disclosure have been fascinating:…

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Racism, sexism and homophobia: Which prejudice is worse?

By Matthew Beetar Racism is more of a problem than sexism. But sexism is more of a problem than xenophobia, which is less of a problem — occasionally — than homophobia. Transphobia we deal with sometimes, and ageism — what is that even? And dealing with ableism — let’s not take this “reconciliation” thing too…

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Of birth rights and gay rights

By Steven Hussey “Nobody is born gay” reads the headline of a billboard by a so-called “pro-ex-gay” non-profit in the United States. The ad shows identical twin brothers with the revelation, “One gay. One not.” Profound. Ironically, the openly gay South African model featured in the ad, who has no twin brother and whose image…

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‘I am penis, hear me roar’: The threat of lesbianism

Men seem to labour under the misapprehension that sex is about them. This is not a hastily made statement, there is some evidence behind it. Exhibit A: The idea that men think they’re “putting the D” to or “giving it” to someone. The rhetoric gives the impression that the rest of us come to the…

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The ancient Greeks’ wisdom regarding sexual orientation

As history unfolds, people tend to regard earlier eras as being surpassed in practically all areas of cultural activity, the most obvious one being technology — “progress” regarding which, incidentally, seems to me to be proportional to retrogression in other spheres of culture, specifically self-understanding: the more gadgets there are to be fascinated by, the…

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How to challenge your whiteness…

I am a white South African man, and when I wrote about the problems of white masculinity I faced a barrage of abusive tweets, threats and even a phone call to one of my work colleagues to complain about my writing. Ironically, all of this proved the argument I was making. More importantly: it proved…

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Now for the 21st century round of South African sex panic

Twenty years into democracy and the battles to capture and define South African identities are at fever pitch. Race seems to have a new lease on life and, unexpectedly, so does sexuality. Some say that South Africa’s future is black, in the sense that state power will never be in the hands of a white-defined…

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What is a lesbian?

“What is lesbian now?” I begin explaining “queer theory” to my grandmother and the diffusion of human rights and international instruments that hold states accountable. These terms and phrases mean nothing to her. I try to tell her about Michel Foucault and she asks if he is my husband. Suddenly all those hours spent in…

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