Columns

June 12, 2019

How Pittsburgh is at the forefront of HIV awareness, prevention, and care

Originally published in Pittsburgh City Paper. Growing up in the 1980s in California, my earliest memories of learning about sex were in relation to the AIDS crisis. As a child, I remember being told how HIV is transmitted, what sort of sex puts you at greater risk, and how to protect yourself against it. While […]

June 5, 2019

The importance of the all the letters and identities of LGBTQIA+

Originally published in the Pittsburgh City Paper. June marks Pride Month, a celebration of LGBTQ identities that has its origins in the 1969 riots at Stonewall Inn, famously led by trans activists of color Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. During the 50th anniversary of the beginning of America’s gay rights movement, it is worth […]

May 29, 2019

We’ve come a long way since the first International Masturbation Month

Originally published in Pittsburgh City Paper. This week marks the close of International Masturbation Month. Dedicating time to celebrate masturbation may seem trivial, but the month has political roots that are particularly significant given the current attempts to repress sexual freedom and bodily autonomy. In 1994, after a speech at the United Nation World AIDS […]

May 22, 2019

Fat models face more online policing despite not violating rules

Originally published in the Pittsburgh City Paper. For a time, social media promised to be an open space that would allow for diverse representations of both bodies and ideas — a digital arena where marginalized folks could build platforms, audiences, and communities. Today, however, regulations are tightening across social media platforms, narrowing these possibilities and […]

May 15, 2019

The six-week abortion ban reveals a shocking lack of knowledge on part of lawmakers

Originally published in the Pittsburgh City Paper. On May 7, Republican Governor of Georgia Brian Kemp signed HB481 into law. The so-called “fetal heartbeat” bill not only outlaws abortion starting at six weeks, but also redefines “natural persons” to include “an unborn child,” giving embryos beginning at six weeks full legal personhood with all the […]

May 8, 2019

Being clear about your needs is the key to a satisfying sex worker experience

Originally published in the Pittsburgh City Paper. Dear Jessie, Do you have any advice for a 29-year-old virgin with Asperger’s syndrome and not a lot of money? I have never had a romantic relationship with a woman, and it is a little hard. I have thought about saving up and seeing a sex worker, though […]

May 1, 2019

Bizarre sex toy feature has foot fetishists walking in the other direction

Originally published in Pittsburgh City Paper. Last week, luxury sex-doll company Silicon Wives launched a new toy aimed at foot fetishists. Made of medical-grade silicone, these $199 sex toys are supposed to be a realistic representation of human feet; that is, if an amputated human foot included a built-in vagina that could be accessed through […]

April 24, 2019

Meet the founder of Sex Tech Space Women in Tech PGH

Originally published in Pittsburgh City Paper. In March, my partner and I gave a talk at Carnegie Mellon University’s Ethics for Technologists lecture series on the impact of the controversial anti-trafficking law FOSTA/SESTA on technology. It was there that I met Alison Falk, founder of the monthly digital publication Sex Tech Space (STS) and the […]

April 17, 2019

The ins and outs of cannabis-infused lube

Originally published in the Pittsburgh City Paper. Melody Kush was on vacation with her husband in Spain the first time she decided to try cannabis-infused lube. “We were out for a night on the town and found a shop that sells weed lube, made with sativa oil!” she said. “We went back to the hotel […]

April 10, 2019

There ain’t no shame in our bodily fluids’ game

Originally published in the Pittsburgh City Paper. Ashley Addison vividly remembers the first time she squirted. “A girlfriend of mine was using a Bodywand on me while she held down my bucking hips and out of this beautiful building intensity came three huge squirts from me,” she says. “It was truly magical!” Though she was […]