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25 MIN READ TIME

Human Relations

Mark

is in a thruple – a committed relationship with two other men.

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In this super-hot Sex Issue, we are celebrating sex positivity and body positivity, all of the good stuff, basically. In a host of incredible interviews and opinion pieces, the community speaks about the issues that matter to them. The fabulous Evvol talk about showcasing lesbian eroticism in their work, while a special report details the afterparty scene for gay men. We speak to Mary Shannon, the custodian of the Irish Names Quilt, while iconic photographer Wolfgang Tillmans talks about his latest exhibition. In recognition of the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, we highlight the activists and volunteers of ACT UP and KnowNow and look at key moments in Ireland's battle against the virus. We also speak to people from across the spectrum of varying relationships about why theirs works for them. We think you'll enjoy this one!

Other Articles in this Issue


Editor’s Letter
Welcome to GCN’s third annual Sex Issue. This time around
It’s the Sex Issue, so this month we asked some of the What’s your favourite sex scene from the movies or television?
HIV+
I WAS BORN WITH CEREBRAL PALSY IN MY LEGS AND WALK WITH CRUTCHES. I KIND OF FELL INTO BEING AN ACTIVIST BUT I DO IT BECAUSE WHEN I WAS YOUNGER THERE WAS NO ONE DISABLED I COULD REALLY LOOK UP TO IN THE COMMUNITY
I WAS BORN IN ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, WHICH IS VERY CONSERVATIVE. I WAS ALWAYS INTERESTED IN THE EDGIER KIND OF STUFF, EVENTUALLY, I FELL INTO THE LEATHER WORLD. I COMPETED IN MR LONG BEACH AND WON. FROM THERE I COMPETED IN NATIONAL MR LEATHER AND I WAS THE FIRST PAKISTANI AMERICAN TO DO SO. SINCE THEN, I’VE SPOKEN AT DIFFERENT CONFERENCES TRYING TO SPREAD THE MESSAGE OF EMPOWERMENT
FEELING GOOD ABOUT OUR BODIES, HAVING GOOD SEX, AND OWNING OUR PLEASURE REQUIRES FEELING COMFORTABLE FIRST; COMFORTABLE IN OURSELVES, COMFORTABLE WITH WHOEVER WE’RE WITH, COMFORTABLE WITH THE SEX WE’RE HAVING. THOSE THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS EASY TO COME BY AS A TRANS PERSON NAVIGATING THIS WORLD
As we approach the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, and take a moment to acknowledge almost 35 years of HIV/AIDS activism in Ireland, it’s also time to critically acknowledge how we negotiated what I call ‘the war’ - our experience of the AIDS pandemic in Ireland
ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the HIV/AIDS crisis. Photograph by Stephen Moloney
What’s keeping Stephen Boylan up at night this month?
Author of 2013’s much-admired The Panopticon, Jenni Fagan’s latest is
Feature: Music
Sometimes when a new band arrives on the scene, their success is partly because they understand the power of knowing their music history. When the Scissor Sisters began their European chart dominance with ‘Take Your Mama’, that much soon became clear to their legions of fans. An unapologetically queer five-piece formed out of the underground electroclash New York music scene, Scissor Sisters emerged at a time when interchangeable indie bands and slick American R&B were the main players on the charts
With an eight year gap between album releases, Robyn’s Honey
“It’s very much the ‘aſter party’ scene. The word chemsex is a dirty word. It’s not a word that, definitely in Dublin, or Ireland, we’re comfortable using here.” Adam Shanley, outreach worker with the Gay Men’s Health Service (GMHS) and manager of Know Now, the rapid HIV testing service, speaks with Stephen Moloney about men having sex with men on drugs
With their groundbreaking video for their single ‘Release Me’, Evvol proclaims the beauty and authenticity of queer intimacy. They speak to Katie Donohoe about the under-representation of queer women in media and how they looked to remedy it
Sponsored Content
Prior to December 2017 the only way people in Ireland had access to PrEP (Pre Exposure Prophylaxis) was to bring it with them physically across the border, or risk ordering it in the post and potentially having it seized by the HPRA
Five years ago, Ernest Slickus arrived in Ireland from Lithuania, hoping to build a better life but found himself being hunted by a criminal gang. He speaks to Aoife Moriarty about his experiences and how another migrant helped him to come out. Photograph by Hazel Coonagh
Feature: Interview
“Queerness is not here yet” writes Joe Esteban Munoz in Cruising Utopia, “Queerness is an ideality.” According to the theorist, the aesthetic provides a blueprint of the worlds proposed and promised by queerness. For many young people who stumbled across Wolfgang Tillmans’ photography in magazines, books or galleries, it offered just that, a portal into another world. Here he speaks to Róisín McVeigh
As broad as the spectrum of our community is, equally as wide ranging can be the different types of romantic and sexual relationships we enjoy. Peter Dunne speaks to different couples about their relationships and why they work for them
Photo Essay
Created in honour and remembrance of those who died in Ireland from AIDS and HIV related illnesses, each panel on the Irish Names Quilt represents a life lost too soon. Sections of the quilt will be hung at GCN’s event to mark 30 years of World AIDS Day - ‘Panti Bliss & Professor Mulcahy in conversation: The Legacy of AIDS Activism in Ireland’. Mary Shannon, the custodian of the quilt, will also be on hand. Here she speaks to Peter Dunne about its history. Photos by Brian Teeling
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, here are some notable moments in the battle against HIV and AIDS in Ireland. Considering the huge amount of work being done by the community, activists, charities and researchers amongst others, the list is obviously far from exhaustive but gives a flavour of the long fight. With thanks to HIV Ireland, ACT UP and Positive Now for advice and images
Offering free, confidential, rapid HIV testing, KnowNow can be accessed in bars, clubs, saunas and community centres across the country. These peer-led, non-clinical sessions deliver results within 60 seconds, thereby eliminating the stress and waiting-times you might find in a doctor’s office. Sarah McKenna Barry sat down with some of the volunteers who make the service possible
community chest
Every year, the Dublin Bus Community Spirit Initiative awards voluntary
Start your Christmas celebrations on a musical note, as a
Our friends at AIDS West will hold their annual World
Winner of the Time Out Performer of the Year in 2010, queer writer and artist Scottee has created challenging works across theatre, fine art and installation. His latest piece Fat Blokes challenges the desexualisation of fat people. Photograph by Brian Teeling
Tyson McConnell ‘placed himself’ in a fingerless glove and