Love, sex and Relationships

Single Ladies

It's okay to be a spinster*

Are women only able to lead respectable single lives when they have the power of refusal?

Sara Eckel   *As long as you're still wanted by men.

Are women really too modest to take compliments?

"Women in the main are great at giving compliments, lousy at receiving them."

Natalie Reilly   Some of us know that, in certain environments, deflection is a weapon of stealth.

Chained Women

The 'chained women' whose husbands refuse them a divorce

Lana Krain remarried after her first husband refused her a gett, but chose not to have children because they would be considered illegitimate.

John Safran   In thrall to an ancient religious law, Jewish women face a lifetime in limbo when their husbands refuse to hand over a special divorce certificate.

Get Cliterate

This awesome project is helping everyone get 'cliterate'

Sophia Wallace: "It's pretty shocking to think, 'okay, we have achieved nuclear fusion...' and yet we discovered the clitoris in 1998."

There are no more excuses for failing to get educated about female sexuality and the clitoris.

Wife Bonus

What is the 'wife bonus' and why do we find it so disturbing?

Women "with a business degree but no job" mentioned waiting for the "year end" to shop for clothes, or buy a table at a charity event.

Jenny Noyes   It's the controversial term that has social commentators and business circles talking marriage, money and sexism.

Coming out stories

Who cares if a celebrity is gay?

Cate Blanchett during a photocall for her film <i>Carol</i> at the 68th Cannes Film Festival.

Maeve Marsden   If someone's sexuality doesn't matter to you, that's great. But it doesn't mean it can be swept under the carpet.

Bad boys

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Wendy L. Patrick   An American prosecutor specialising in sex crime lists the red flags that signal when you should get out of a relationship - fast.

Yes woman

Why I'll never be a 'yes woman'

The word "compromise" seems to feature highly in people's relationship rule book, but I see it as an anachronistic kill-joy.

Helen Croydon   The word "compromise" seems to feature highly in people's relationship rule book, but I see it as an anachronistic kill-joy.

Prom don'ts

Teen girls don't need boys to 'protect their character'

According to The Crossing of Manitowoc County, the organisation that supplied the posters, 'Prom time seems to present particular risks for teens'.

Kasey Edwards   A US high school made headlines by informing students prom was 'a night to protect her character.'

The thrill has gone

Maureen Matthews.

Maureen Matthews   A menopausal woman has lost her sex drive and wonders if it will ever return.

Too few good men

Ticking down: In Australia there are almost 100,000 more women than men.

Jane Messer   Wanted: single, available man in his 30s, ready to be a father. But what happens when one is not forthcoming?

Kerri Sackville: What does 'loving life' even mean?

"The sad truth is that 'I love life' is a filler."

Kerri Sackville   In my year or two of online dating, I've concluded that people who "love life" actually don't – at least, not to the extent that it is a defining characteristic.

Masked ball

In the swing of things: Killing Kittens founder Emma Sayle (at right).

Laura Jackel   Elite orgies and the pursuit of female pleasure are big business for entrepreneur Emma Sayle.

Should we be allowed to read famous people's love letters?

 Mexican artist Frida Kahlo

Claire Cohen   Frida Kahlo's love letters will be up for sale next week. But I can’t help but think that such intimate messages should remain private.

Pay it forwards

Good deeds: don't wait to be on the receiving end.

What we all need is a little more kindness, writes Linda McSweeny.

Sex and the older woman

Research shows many women in their 60s, 70s and 80s have more time for sex than ever before.

Clare Kermond   Study debunks myth that older women aren't interested in sex, finding many encourage their partners to experiment.

Why we've all fallen for the 36 questions that promise true love

Stocksy couple love

Claire Cohen   Can a simple questionnaire really make two strangers fall in love?

What happens when women accept compliments online

Gweneth Bateman, 18, who conducted the social experiment of responding to compliments online

Clementine Ford   Man, confidence can be such a boner killer.

Switching sides

What I learned from my year of being bi-sexual

dating women

Brooke Hemphill   The idea of switching sides is an idle thought for most, but some time after hanging up my speed-dating hat, I tested the theory by spending a year dating women.

Friendship at 29

What it's like to reach 'peak friendship'

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Erin Munro   A reflection on friends and a lifetime of friendship.

Online dating

Would you pay someone to design your Tinder profile?

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 09:  Models check their phones backstage ahead of the Flannel show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia Spring/Summer 2013/14  at Carriageworks on April 9, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Rebecca Mitchell   How to navigate a dating scene where the height of seduction is a sepia-toned snapshot of one’s genitals.

Love my ways

Living with your partner's weird obsession

Sunday Life. Portrait of Julijana Trifunovic with her husband 'Alice Cooper' and son Zeppelin at their family home in Newtown. Tuesday 17th June 2014. Photograph by James Brickwood. SHD SUNDAY LIFE 140724

Jo Hartley   Meet three women for whom romance has involved tolerating, and even learning to love, their partners' obsessions.

'It's not you'

Why I waited until I was married to write a book about being single

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Sara Eckel   Do you need a 'happy ending' to write about the solo life?

Exaholism for beginners

Exaholism and other love 'conditions' you probably don't have

Mindy Kaling from the tv show The Mindy Project

Clem Bastow   There sure are a lot of afflictions to try and avoid when it comes to love and dating.

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Rise of the man-child

Young Bizzare Man with Toys

Paul Chai   Why are some guys commitment-shy, and as likely to opt for a night of video games with the lads as a date with you?

Anne Summers

Anne Summers on the men in her life

BOSS.  Pic of Anne Summers for Boss Dress Code Section.  Pic for article by Sam Hutchinson.  Pic by Nic Walker.  Date 24th March 2014.

Robyn Doreian   "It's men like him who breed optimism about the future," Anne Summers on her long-term partner Chip Rolley.

Wedding photo etiquette

Sorry, but kissing in wedding photos is gross

Bride and Groom kissing in studio, (B&W)

Ben Mathis-Lilley   What Ben Mathis-Lilley finds unnerving about posed PDA photographs.

Toy boy

Women who date younger men

Women with younger men - Melinda and James

Joanne Brookfield   A man with a much younger woman raises few eyebrows, but reverse the situation and everyone's got an opinion.

Tracey Spicer

An ode to good neighbours

neighbours

Tracey Spicer   Making time to connect with those around us can lead to a much richer life.

Irreconcilable geography

Can where you live ruin your marriage?

Woman in stylish clothes walks away with her back to the camera with a hat and small suitcase in her hands.

Paul Chai   If my marriage fails it will be due to “irreconcilable geography”.

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The successful dumpee manifesto

How to be a boss at getting dumped

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Alyson Portlock   Want to rise like a phoenix after being dumped? Here's what not to do. Starting with the mentionitis.

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Sex myths

Debunking myths about women who have a lot of sex

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Marrie Lobel   It's time to expose reality by shattering outdated perceptions of women who enjoy an active sex life.

Online dating

You can really find love on the internet, photo series shows

internet love

Effie Mann   'We Met On The Internet' is photographic evidence.

'Cohabitation effect'

There's no such thing as the 'cohabitation effect'

Young couple holding hands in garden, close up

Jessica Grose   No, living together before marriage does not lead to divorce.

The matchmaking trap

People play matchmaker to make themselves happier

couples

Kasey Edwards   Think that blind date your friend set you up on had your best interests at heart? Think again.

Unplug for love

Relationships suffer when we don't unplug

PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 25:  Fashion Blogger Elvira Abasova wears a vintage coat and jacket, Nadia Gabriella bag and Topshop shorts on day 1 of Paris Collections: Women on February 25, 2014 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images)

Thea O'connor   Friday is the National Day of Unplugging when families, parents and couples are encouraged to unplug and reconnect.

Study finds men and women retire for different reasons

RV

Cosima Marriner   Men think about their bank balances or their health when deciding when to retire while women quit work when they need to care for their spouse or want to spend more time with their families, research shows.

Self sabotage

Why do people self-sabotage new relationships?

woman

Alice Williams   If you watch sitcoms or beer ads, you’ll be used to seeing this kind of behaviour written off with a shake of the head and a ‘women be crazy’, but it's much deeper than that.

Difficult relatives

When your sibling is an ass

girls

Alice Williams   Difficult relatives are easy to manage when they’re in your extended family, but what if the issue lies closer to home?

Fake boyfriends

The times you need a fake boyfriend

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 15: Social Media Assistant Alex Blythin wears everything by Boohoo on day 2 of London Collections: Women on February 15, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images)

Jean Hannah Edelstein   Every single woman knows that a fake boyfriend is always there for you in times of social awkwardness.

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The best friend problem

Maybe nobody should have a BFF

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Annie Stevens   Why having one best friend is a flawed concept.

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Gay couples on film

Stunning photographs depict gay couples across the globe

gay couple

Effie Mann   Photographer Braden Summers travelled to six countries to prove that no matter where you are, love is love.

Sex after 70

Sex in your 70s might be the best of your life

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09:  (L-R) Ilona Royce Smithkin, Joyce Carpati and Lynn Dell Cohen attends Investigation Discovery's 'Inspire A Difference Awards' on September 9, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Glamour)

Iris Krasnow   We're really looking forward to our "Giddy Golden Girls" period

Single ladies

Stop telling single women they're fabulous!

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 26:  (UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS OUT) Beyonce Knowles performs at the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 26, 2011 in Glastonbury, England. The festival, which started in 1970 when several hundred hippies paid 1 GBP to watch Marc Bolan, has grown into Europe's largest music festival attracting more than 175,000 people over five days.  (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

Sara Eckel   Being unmarried is now a life choice that gives women power. Can we all collectively drop the air of condescension?

Against all odds

Finding love when you least expected it

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Amy Mills   Sometimes relationships flourish in the most fragile of circumstances.

Single Swedes

Those poor Swedish singles

Family values: Crown Princess Victoria Of Sweden with her daughter Princess Estelle.

From afar, the Nordic countries look like the promised land...

Male escorts

The women who hire male escorts

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Benjamin Law   And the men who fulfill their needs.

The breakup season

Does rejection sting more in summer?

promo shot of Puberty blues(the series)

Megan Nicol Reed   It can happen to anyone, at any time, anywhere, and it never goes away.

Happy relationships

Are gay couples happier than straight ones?

My idiot brother

Alecia Simmonds   Three things gay couples do better than the heteros in their relationships.

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Wedding trends 2104

Six wedding trends to watch out for in 2014

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Pip Doyle   When I say watch out, upon reading this article I mean to say, ‘Watch out!’

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Amateur porn

How amateur porn hurts women

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Rebecca Hiscott   Can sites that share user created porn be properly policed so as to protect its participants?

Kinky cities

Cairns is Australia's sexiest postcode

Couple in bed, low section

Annie Stevens   Who knew the folk up north were so adventurous?

Introvert v extrovert

When your partner is more popular than you

MaintenanceSex_TN

Effie Mann   When opposites attract you make room for friction and friends.

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Is polygamy the next frontier?

sister wives

John Schwartz   Polygamy as a lifestyle choice, and a reality television brand name.

Relationships

"Is he going to propose on your holiday?"

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 21:  (L-R) Nico Jackson and Pippa Middleton seen departing Mr Fogg's on May 21, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/FilmMagic)

Annie Stevens   All of the problems with this question, and the uprising of holiday proposal fever.

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Crazy women

Stop labelling women 'crazy'

Laura Dern as Amy Jellicoe in Enlightened.

Harris O’Malley   "It's a habit that we men need to break; it's damaging to relationships... and hurts women."

The bisexual debate

When bisexuality is seen as a 'cop-out'

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JULY 28:  Tom Daley of Great Britain stretches his arm during the Men's 10m Platform Diving final on day nine of the 15th FINA World Championships at Piscina Municipal de Montjuic on July 28, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Michael Schulman   Why do so many people still see bisexuality as a form of being in the closet?

Couple re-create scene from Up for their 61st wedding anniversary

up

Laura Vitto   And it's completely adorable and heart warming.

Happy wife code

The problem with 'happy wife, happy life'

Retro couple smiling while washing dishes

Kasey Edwards   When keeping your wife happy is a form of emotional abuse rather than romantic investment.

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Secret of successful relationships?

Is monogamy really flawed?

THE PLANNER OCT 26 Dan Savage   Savage_CAASpeakers_Photo1 credit LaRae Lobdell.jpg

Neil McMahon   Everybody's favourite sex columnist Dan Savage on life, love and having a successful relationship.