Sex & Relationships

Love at first lust: A young writer explores a lasting love denied… or is that deferred?

Jared’s profile read 34 years old, six foot one, and muscular. As he opened the door, I saw an honest person. I didn’t fall in love with him immediately, but every visual detail indicated that I could. He looked beautiful in the most masculine ways: broad shoulders, full hair, a confident presence, immaculate posture and a seductive half-smile. At 19, I didn’t understand love—I usually hid from it—but I could still pick it out of a lineup. “He’s the one,” I thought immediately.

Once I Came Out, Dating Suddenly Became So Hot... And Complicated

Now, it appeared to me that gay men would rather entertain sex without chemistry than the grueling burden of getting to know each other. This was new for me. Being closeted had made my pursuits of vaginal intercourse gradual, to say the least. Usually, a girl would have to throw herself on top of me. I never felt like I had the option to say no then, and to a certain extent, I didn't now.

I wasn’t opposed to casual sex, but I wanted romance, too. I craved everything: the white picket fence with a sex swing inside the house.

As a gay man, I partied with only queer women for the first time. It changed the way I act in gay spaces.

I watched Monica affix black tape "X's" to her nipples and don a translucent crop top that showcased her arm tattoos of a tiger and a snake. I realized that my appreciation for her body art — rather than her breasts — was yet another confirmation of my homosexuality.

"Will there be cute guys tonight?" I asked hopefully.

Monica, applying pink eyeshadow, responded matter-of-factly. "It is a lesbian party.'"

Investigating the Who and Why of Body Hair

Some cultural norms are so deeply rooted that it feels like they've always been the law of the land. However, America's obsession with body hair—or the lack thereof for women—didn't begin until the 1920s. During this time, sleeveless dresses became popular and magazine ads began targeting women, selling them the importance of getting rid of unsightly underarm and leg hair.

A few years later, a booming industry took root. Fast forward to today, and the global hair removal products market size is

After my friend died in high school, her parents became my 2nd family. Many didn't understand our relationship.

• The death of my best friend permanently bonded me to her family, even when my own didn't understand.
• Her family helped me channel my grief into action.
• Over a decade after her death, I'm still in touch with her family.

I stopped believing in God, became an alcoholic, returned to God, signed up for a gym membership, and even wrote poetry. I've coped with the death of my best friend in all sorts of ways. Yet she remains simultaneously one of my most cherished and anguished memories, and I'

Being a third wheel is actually so much fun that I followed my best friend and her boyfriend to Colombia for the summer.

I have always dreamed about traveling the world with the love of my life. Unfortunately, he hasn't yet appeared, so now I'm doing it with my best friend, Camila. OK, to be honest, she had been living her best Julia Roberts "Eat, Pray, Love," expat-style life in Medellín, Colombia, for four months already with her boyfriend, Tyler. But when she suggested I join them in July for the remainder of the summer, I pounced at the opportunity.

I gave up casual sex and dating apps to try and find a deeper connection.

• There's nothing wrong with casual sex, but I realized it's not what I'm looking for right now.
• A year ago I decided I wanted to try to make deeper connections with people.
• Since then, I've stopped having casual sex. I'm still single, but I'm optimistic about my future.

A lot goes through your mind when you're having sex. Much of it is speculation about what the other nude person in bed with you is thinking, desiring. Maybe you're preoccupied with wishing you would've had time to properly

Though my family loves celebrating the holidays at home, we discovered the joy in dining out.

• My mom enjoyed going out all for the holidays, including cooking meals.
• One year she asked my five siblings and me if we'd like to go out for dinner instead.
• She taught us there's no right way to celebrate except by making the most of our time together.

My mother used to carry the magic of the holidays like a human-sized wooden cross on her back. "Making it special" for the family meant she wouldn't experience rest for the days leading up to the new year; every day in December arrived wi
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