Can men and women ever be just friends? I wondered this out loud on Saturday night as I was sitting down to dinner with a girlfriend. "No" she told me, matter of factly. "No?" I asked. I was a little crushed. I love men as friends. In fact, sometimes I prefer their company over women's. They generally think from a logical place rather than an emotional one, and they are often the voice of reason.
Having spent most of my formative years getting riled up over the fact that my ovaries reduce my pay packet in comparison to my male peers, it's hard to get turned on watching something which is grounded in the idea that women exist for the sexual gratification of men. However, as much as I'd like to claim that I selflessly stopped watching porn because I'm a committed feminist, that's not strictly true.
The story I'm going to tell concerns three individuals, whom we'll call (with a hat-tip to Mr Tarantino) Mr Pink, Mr Orange and Mr Black. The reason I'm telling these stories is that last week during my HIV clinic, three of my patients were diagnosed with acute viral hepatitis C. This is how it happened.
Just before Valentine's Day, a hot new TV advert is celebrating the joy of SAFE sex. The provocative ad has certainly got people talking - but what is its message?
The truth is the huge void in the understanding of nutrition and health is an economic problem. This means fundamentally that the financially advantaged tend to be better educated on healthy eating and have more access to personal trainers and nutritionists to help them. However that does not mean that the resolve to follow a healthy diet and exercise plan can be bought and paid for-that's down to you and it always has been.
Enrique casually leans on one woman's nearly naked bottom, while another woman grinds hers into his right ear. He buries his handsome face in the crevice of the first woman's arse. The camera pans across a room filled with women in bikinis, lacy lingerie, and see-through underwear. The men are fully clothed.
Women in the sex trade don't have the protection of the police. Often when reporting crimes against them they fear being charged with something related to prostitution, not being believed, being blamed, losing their standing in the community, losing custody of their children.
Men far too often get caught up in a million things, including their crack phone habit, to stop, look and listen to their mate. Women are about as obvious as a train coming through the room when it comes to what they want. So unless you are brain dead, take notice and ask how they are.
The eruption of 'mommy porn' typified in E.L James' 50 Shades series has been argued by some as a marker for female sexual empowerment. I will agree that it has enlightened a change in coffee table conversation, in a similar way to the emergence of Ann Summers' parties; but here's the rub - the series isn't actually representative of BDSM or female empowerment - it's simply about male possession.
When I heard 'Same Love' for the first time, it blew me away. I had never heard anything like it, and I never hoped to imagine hearing anything like it in my lifetime. The fact that it was by a straight man, whatever his colour, made those words all the more pertinent and, for me, touching.
The Guardian recently published an article titled 'Rape culture at university needs urgent action' which opened with the author, a Cambridge fresher, describing various dreadful incidents her friends had experienced at university, namely drink spiking, sexual assault, and most tragically, rape. So far, so fair...
Let's go back to the beginning and start with Madonna and me. Against what some people think is the gay 'stereotype', I'm not really one of her fans. However, my actions after watching her arrival on the red carpet and then performance, I played true to stereotype and took to social media to comment on her appearance.
What I have done is sex. Even as a female comedian. Against all odds. It's a miracle. I haven't had sex with enough people to call it academic research (unfortunately), but just about enough for a theory to emerge from my funny little brain.
"My boyfriend bought me a vegetarian cookbook for Christmas...even though I'm not one," she laughed. Our eyes met and we smiled. Funny, but if a man I was hopeful about gave me a vegetarian cookbook for Christmas, knowing that I'm not one, I think I would run faster than you could say "Jack Rabbit".
I am very aware that I am lucky to be gay in the UK now, and we are so lucky that spaces such as gay clubs exist, however the sexual systems within which we move in these spaces are problematic for someone like me: here, I feel as though I don't sexually belong.
During the Christmas period, the number of sexually suggestive perfume advertisements doubles in number. Such famous examples are Jean Paul Gaultier whose naked vixen wakes up alone after a night with a sailor suggests that sex with an unknown companion is perfectly acceptable. At least over 75% of perfume adverts give that same message to young people.