Love, sex and Relationships

How well does 'feminist Tinder' work, really?

So, "feminism" aside, how does Bumble stack up from the perspective of the users on the other side of the 24-hour match window?

Clem Bastow   'Bumble' worked for Amy Schumer, but how does it actually stack up in real life?

Love at 60

Are you ever too old for another great love?

I understand that dating in middle age can be incredibly difficult but am I naive for believing that someone like my mother shouldn't feel limited?

Olivia Clement   The idea of 'settling' has negative connotations. But, as we grow older, is it sensible to look for a stable partner rather than a passionate love affair?

Dangerous liaisons

"The gods were angry, the way they can be with lovers."

Victoria Thompson   Victoria Thompson played with fire when she began an affair with her therapist.

Moving in

Living alone, I learned to be happy single. So why move in with my boyfriend?

"This apartment is where I learned I don't need a man to be happy," writes Daniela Petrova.

Daniela Petrova   "This apartment is where I learned I don't need a man to be happy," writes Daniela Petrova.

Jenna Price

What it's like to stay with one person for three decades

"Your relationship won't be like mine. Or like your parents. Or like anyone else. It definitely won't be like any fictional relationship you see on screen."

Jenna Price   Jenna Price on what she's learned from 33 years of marriage.

Break-ups

Learning to love what you thought you lost in a breakup

"The pleasures we took together were no longer pleasures at all, but painful reminders of the relationship I no longer had."

Penelope Wilson   When you break up with someone, there's a lot you have to learn to let go of - but there's also a lot you have to take back, writes Penelope Wilson.

Friend dating

Why are so many friends commitment-phobes?

"It's almost impossible to find someone who can commit. "

Eva Harder   Here are a few trajectories Eva Harder's promising friendships have followed.

The people-pleasing trap

Women are more likely to be people pleasers, experts say.

Antonia Hoyle    Do you so want to be liked you'll say "Yes" to (almost) anything? Was that a "Yes" we heard?  If so, it's time to break the habit and put yourself first.

The awkward politics of wedding invites

"Genuine invitations aside, a good portion of guests are asked along to avoid causing offence."

Miran Hosny   "Genuine invitations aside, a good portion of guests are asked along to avoid causing offence."

Dating 'advice'

Eight places women should forget about going to 'meet men'

Grocery store romances are grossly over-represented in cheesy rom coms.

Clem Bastow   Single women who are actively 'looking' are inevitably directed to certain locations to 'find' someone.

Love on the spectrum

How autism brought one couple together

Autistic couple Dave Hamrick and Lindsey Nebeker.

Lisa Bonos   Like all couples, Dave Hamrick and Lindsey Nebeker have to work on their relationship. But they're also proof that being 'on the spectrum' needn't get in the way of love.

Fast love

The under-appreciated value of short term relationships

It's possible to feel more in a few months with one person than in a few years with someone else. So why do we judge relationships by their length?

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen   It's possible to feel more in a few months with one person than in a few years with someone else. So why do we judge relationships by their length?

Date the Nerd

Why telling women to date nerds is misguided

revenge of the nerds

Stacia L. Brown   "I'm just really sick of "nerds" still being set forth as idealised relationship partners."

Old friends

The irreplaceable bond of decade-long friendships

Decades-long friendships will always be irreplaceable.

Fiona Gibson   Author Fiona Gibson has found her mates from 30 years ago are the ones she can always turn to.

Real life dating

What I learnt from three months without dating apps

"My app hiatus was a much-needed break, but not everything about it was wonderful."

Lisa Bonos   "My app hiatus was a much-needed break, but not everything about it was wonderful."

Sex education

Five ways sex ed failed to prepare me for life

Sex ed in Australia continues to be woefully inadequate.

Penelope Wilson   A list of things Penelope Wilson wishes she didn't have to learn by experience.

Relationships

Why I'd rather be an option than a priority

Being an option versus a priority in relationships.

Suzannah Weiss   Why Suzannah Weiss is happy not to be the most important person or thing in her date's life.

Why can't we recognise my aunt's lifelong love?

Julia and Annie in 2001 at the author's wedding.

Monique Farmer   The section of my aunt's death registration, asking for her partner's name and other details, was left sadly blank. As if she'd never loved or been loved.

Third wheel

Five reasons I love being the third wheel

"Some of my healthiest and most satisfying relationships are with couples."

Elizabeth King   Some of my healthiest and most satisfying relationships are with couples, writes Elizabeth King.

Holiday blues

Singles, want to know how to survive the holidays?

christmas

Vicki Larson   ... Stop reading survival tips.

The 'kids' talk

Does online dating make the 'kids' talk easier?

woman computer

Suzannah Weiss   Dating profiles allow us to be upfront about issues that may be deal-breakers down the track.

'There's nothing wrong with me, I'm just asexual'

Robin Dibben launched a podcast called Pieces of Ace.

Robin Dibben   In an increasingly sexualised world, what is it like 'coming out' as someone who has no interest in sex?

Life & Love

Adults with disabilities have a right to intimacy too

Rachel Larson and Nicholas Hamilton

Chris Serres   Adults with disabilities must overcome constant barriers to pursue a fundamental human right – loving relationships.

Heteronormativity

What straight couples can learn from how LGBTI people have sex

Why you might have better sex by being less heteronormative.

Olivia Clement   An interesting perspective from two trans people on the way a lot of us are having sex – and having orgasms.

Ball-and-chain

The irony of calling women balls-and-chains

"As a female partner of a man, I was the 'ball-and-chain'."

Natasha Monday   The concept of women as men's captors is bizarre because, unlike women, few men are actually forced into marriages.

You shouldn't need to choose between your children and partner

An old picture of the couple

Andie Fox   Literary couple Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon open up about the very real impact of children on marriage.

Marriage health

The number that measures the health of a marriage

A new study takes us one step closer to discovering which marriages make us sick.

Jenna Price   A new study takes us one step closer to discovering which marriages make us sick.

Are sex robots really a 'commercial inevitability'?

Ex Machina

Tracey Spicer   A future in which 'sex dolls with feelings' will have complex moral, legal and social ramifications.

Grief & Loss

The second loss of getting rid of a loved one's things

Nothing prepares you for the emotional force of the things people leave behind.

Lesley Garner   Nothing prepares you for the emotional force of the things people leave behind when they die, says Lesley Garner.

Are men only attracted to smart women in theory?

When these men were informed that they were about to meet a woman who out-performed them on intelligence tests, they became reluctant.

Natalie Reilly   Let's call it the "Stay in Your Lane" theory of the fragile male ego.

Gay PDA

The double standard on displays of gay affection

For same-sex couples, even a simple kiss may be viewed as provocative or flaunting.

Steven Petrow   For same-sex couples, even a simple kiss may be viewed as provocative or flaunting.

Textual relations

Are our archived conversations causing us unnecessary heartache?

Those of us prone to replaying conversations in our minds are entirely likely to endlessly rake over a message archive or inbox to see where it all went wrong.

Clem Bastow   Clem Bastow is familiar with the awkwardness of revisiting on painful old texts.

Why don't some men realise it's over until it's too late?

"Men hope [the problem] will go away, while women get fed up with the lack of emotional connection and simply cut the knot."

Natalie Reilly   "Men hope [the problem] will go away, while women get fed up with the lack of emotional connection and simply cut the knot."

Dom's married

Ten things that happened at my wedding in India

Dom sets off on his quest for enlightenment, only to abandon it shortly afterwards.

Dom Knight   "I can promise no more mopey columns about being single. From now on, I'm going to be one of those infuriating smug marrieds," writes Dom Knight.

Funny girls

Why aren't women allowed to be funny on dates?

Sorry, funny women. Your wit is unlikely to win you any dates with men.

Natalie Reilly   A new study reveals the different dating outcomes for funny men v funny women.

Clem Bastow

Why do we still care so much about 'meeting the parents'?

Bach

Clem Bastow   "It's 2015; surely we can judge a relationship's seriousness (or lack thereof) independently of whether our partner has met our parents yet?"

Why race is not a sexual preference

Discussing sexual racism is not about making anyone feel guilty, but about learning to understand where these 'preferences' came from.

Maxine Tuyau   It may feel like our attractions are inherent, but in reality our desires are influenced heavily by the world we grew up in.

Body Image

Why I stopped asking partners to validate my body

"Starting conversations about my size only fed my irrational thoughts."

Suzannah Weiss   It took a fight with her boyfriend for Suzannah Weiss to realise she couldn't rely on others to tell her what she wanted to hear.

Friend dates

When you know you've reached your friend limit

Being a friend-collector means that you also need to know when to stop.

Lisa Bonos   Being a friend-collector means that you also need to know when to stop.

Just a tic

I have Tourette's and my partner didn't know about it

A master at concealing the twitches, tics and grunts, Brian Conaghan even fooled his wife.

Brian Conaghan   A master at concealing the twitches, tics and grunts, Brian Conaghan even fooled his wife.

Smugly married

How to avoid becoming a smugly married friend

When I was single, smug married people drove me nuts. Then I became one.

Sara Eckel   When I was single, smug married people drove me nuts. Then I became one.

What I know about men

Daddy's girl: Rachel Zoe.

Jane Rocca   Stylist and designer Rachel Zoe reflects on her relationships with the important men in her life.

When your sex life doesn't follow the script

I was not religious, and I knew I wasn't a "loser," but I nonetheless felt horribly ashamed of the fact that I wasn't sexually active.

Rachel Hills   I was not religious, and I knew I wasn't a "loser," but I nonetheless felt horribly ashamed of the fact that I wasn't sexually active.

Compatibility

The tiny thing that predicts the success of any relationship

"All it takes is a particular show of kindness.

Natalie Reilly   A new study contains the answer to the question of the ages: what makes love last?

How many close friends do we truly need?

Lola Kirke and Greta Gerwig in 'Mistress America' -- a film about a close female friendship.

Neha Kale   Turns out numbers can't quantify the forces that galvanise our closest friendships.

Sexual intimacy

Why sex is better in your 40s

Having sex makes me ... jump for joy.

Samantha Evans   Samantha Evans tells why sex is better now, at 47, than when she was in her 20s.

A life more ordinary

"The best day of our lives."

Kathleen Burns   Kathleen Burns remembers the day she married her long-time girlfriend.

D-I-V-O-R-C-E

When will we start celebrating divorce?

'Purity certificates' may be extreme, but the concept isn't too far from mainstream society's obsession with women's sexual histories.

Andie Fox   "As someone who didn't make it last, I find it increasingly odd that a marriage can be celebrated simply for enduring."

Are we too forgiving of the men who cheat?

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 19: Actors Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner attend the 2nd annual Save the Children Illumination Gala at the Plaza Hotel on November 19, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Natalie Reilly   When a man cheats, the media looks at the wife. Was she boring? Was she a nag? Was she a bitch?

Wedding season

I went to 11 weddings this year

Wedding

Jessica Salter   $13,000 later, here is what I learnt.

Internet porn

What kind of porn do women like to watch?

Ilana gets in the mood on Broad City.

Clem Bastow   Newsflash: women dig porn, too.

No Means No

Why consent must be taught in black and white terms

Most young people do not get irony, subtlety or grey areas

Nelly Thomas   I know from experience that, when it comes to sex education, it's best to avoid grey areas.

Online dating

Does online dating make us more promiscuous?

The research is well and truly out when it comes to online dating.

Caitlin Dewey   Another day, another moral panic over The Kids and their "hook-up culture".

The cost of waiting

The price my family paid while marriage equality stalled

"I was always looking forward to celebrating marriage equality with my sister. I imagined saying to her 'thanks Gis, your struggle has been worth it'."

Ali Benton   I was always looking forward to celebrating marriage equality with my sister. I imagined saying to her "thanks Gis, your struggle has been worth it."

I dated my teacher during my teens

"I did feel coerced into something I didn't want."

Sabine Durrant   I feigned a confidence and sexual experience that was far from the truth, and he either believed me or chose to.

Childhood sexual development

Why we need more authors like Judy Blume

Judy Blume led the exploration of teen sex in young adult fiction writing in the 1970s, with books that covered topics like masturbation and menstruation.

Erin Courtney Kelly   There's plenty of writing around teen sexuality, but stories about sexual development in childhood? Mostly tumbleweeds.

Status update

Five ways to shut down the question, 'Are you seeing anyone?'

Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids: Nope, this is not one of the ways.

Clem Bastow   For singletons, it's the question that never stops coming. Clem Bastow has some useful responses.

About last night: New partner condemns BDSM

Maureen Matthews.

Maureen Matthews   A colourful past raises problems for a new partner.

Tehran bride

"For all its magic, Iran has pushed us into exile."

Jennifer Klinec   In Iran there are women for fun and women for marriage. I was not in the latter category.

Pregnancy loss

We need to share our stories about miscarriage

Change is going to come when we force the words out of our mouths, and tell people our stories.

Ann Zamudio   Change is going to come when we force the words out of our mouths, and tell people our stories.