Lingerie and My Gender

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen some photos of me in lingerie. You may have enjoyed them a lot, and I hope you have. You may also have wondered to yourself, “How does all that work with being nonbinary?” and if you have, this post is for you.

My gender is complicated. I find it difficult to explain to cisgender people, and even some binary trans people, how my gender feels. I find it easiest to explain in somewhat abstract terms, with reference to fairies and princesses, but a lot of people don’t know what I mean when I say, “Today, my gender is a boy princess,” or, “I’m an ineffable, ethereal being whose gender is as intangible as the wind.” Nonbinary people often do, and I’m grateful for that, but it’s hard to put words to my gender in a way that doesn’t make me sound, um, nuts.

That said, I’m moving away from the idea that I have to justify my gender identity to anybody. Being nonbinary doesn’t necessarily mean gender neutrality; for me, it means genderfluidity, which includes moving from femme to masc to too-tired-to-have-a-gender to gender experiences I don’t yet have the words for. That means, surely, that I’m allowed to express myself in as femme or masc or tired a way as I like, and that includes lingerie.

Lingerie doesn’t make me dysphoric. Knowing that people will read me and my outfit and my body as “female” makes me dysphoric, sure, but bits of fabric on their own don’t. I wear lingerie a lot in kink spaces, where people’s approach to gender is a lot more forgiving than it is in the wider world, and I thrive on the attention that my outfits garner me. In some ways, it’s an affirming experience, and one I treasure.

Lingerie, for me, can be femme or masc. When I see a man in lingerie, I don’t see the lingerie as femme; I just see it as a way to highlight that person’s body, the curves of it, the enviable strength in testosterone-influenced thighs. When I’m feeling masc, lingerie can either feel neutral, or it can feel like a small, sexy humiliation, a vulnerability, a way of someone (or multiple someones) seeing my body, eyeing it up and evaluating it… It can feel sexy in a dangerous sort of way to be masc and in lingerie. I don’t play a lot with forced feminization, mostly because I’m not prepared for the dysphoria I imagine it would bring me, but the humiliation comes from much the same place: a little alarm bell ringing that says, People are looking at me! I have toyed with the idea of forced feminization, and even wondered whether it would make me feel more masculine, since I would be starting at a place of not-feminine, but the risk of psychological hurt and weirdness keeps it in the “Maybe” section of my Yes/No/Maybe list.

I do experience some femininity, though, and lingerie is super affirming for those days. Pulling on stockings or wriggling into a lacy bodysuit feels like suiting up into my superhero identity, Confident Morgan, who likes their body a little more than I do and who can seduce anyone, given enough time. I often do my makeup along with wearing lingerie, painting myself into the ultimate, glittery femme fatale. I think I like the performativity of it, and again, drawing eyes onto me to make me feel either empowered or vulnerable. I also think it’s very cool that lingerie gives me access to both of those emotions, depending on context (including my gender feelings for that day).

The short answer to the question at the top of this post is, “It’s complicated.” Gender is complicated, and lingerie will remain gendered in our culture whether I experience it that way or not, meaning that other people will perceive my gender in a particular way when I don my latest Lovehoney purchase. But I love playing in that space, both as a way to affirm my inner femme and as a way to subvert people’s gendered expectations of what lingerie “means”, especially when I feel like a fairy prince in my new negligee or bodysuit.


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I Gained Weight And The World Didn’t End

Content note: This post talks about disordered eating, the fact that I’ve gained weight and the disordered thoughts that this has triggered. It also has loads of pictures of my naked body! If any of that is going to be difficult for you, give this one a miss and look after yourself 💙


Like a lot of people during lockdown, I have gained weight. This is a normal and natural thing that happens to our bodies during times of stress, and I’ve been hella fucking stressed. Moving deeper than that, it’s just a natural thing that happens to our bodies when we put more fuel in than we’re using right now; our bodies store extra energy for later, because they’re clever like that. It’s normal. It’s natural.

The naked body of a white, mid-sized person (Morgan) who has boobs and a vulva pre-installed.

It’s not the end of the world.

I’ve gained weight because I’ve been exercising less and maybe eating a little more. That’s okay. Even though this weight gain has coincided with the coronavirus pandemic, which feels like the end of the world, my weight gain is entirely neutral. It’s just a thing that happens, like time passing or rain falling.

It’s not the end of the world.

I don’t know whether I can call myself a recovered anorexic, because my, um, anorexic brain always insists that I never got skinny enough to have “real” anorexia. My periods stopped for a little while, and people told me I looked unhealthy, and I was definitely exhibiting the behaviours of an anorexic person… and yet, of course, my brain insists that I wasn’t ill enough, because anorexia makes you push yourself beyond every limit in front of you. All I can say with authority is that I’ve been to a lot of therapy about the eating disorder I supposedly don’t have, and I’ve picked some stuff up. Like: our value as people has literally no relation to the size we are. Like: I probably want to control my weight because it’s the only goddamn thing I can control.

Like: it’s not the end of the world if I’ve gained weight.

I keep telling myself that. Nothing has changed as a result of me gaining weight except that some of my clothes don’t fit me. Downing Street hasn’t exploded. The White House is not burning. My support network still loves me. Right?

It’s one thing to recite to yourself things you brought home from therapy, and quite another to actually believe them. To me, my weight gain doesn’t say, “You put more food in your body than you currently need to use, so your body stored it for later,” in the entirely neutral tone that a therapist might use. Instead, it says – my anorexic brain says – “You have lost control of the world around you. Your body is morally wrong, and you don’t deserve to feel comfortable in it.” And that activates my fight-or-flight reflex.

The thing is, it gets tiring, being in fight-or-flight mode about your own body. I’m sick of looking at my own body and seeing the enemy. I’m sick of putting on clothes that are a little tighter than they used to be and having to talk myself out of disordered behaviours. I’m sick of feeling the world end every time my tummy folds in places it didn’t used to.

Anorexia and disorders like it make you believe that you don’t deserve food. You don’t deserve to be nourished, to be safe, to exercise your human rights, because your body is morally wrong. You are taking up too much space. You are ruining everything.

Except: you’re not ruining anything. It’s not the end of the world.

Being convinced that I deserve nothing, and especially not something as fundamental as food, makes me reluctant to ask for things. But right now, in this moment, I think I need to ask y’all for support. I need to ask for reassurance. I need to ask for compliments on my new, marginally bigger body.

The naked body of a white, mid-sized person (Morgan) who has boobs and a vulva pre-installed.

I need you to tell me that it’s not the end of the world.

What Playing The Violin Has Taught Me About Sex

Morgans pasty white body alongside their pretty pink violin. You can see most of their boob, but not their nipple, because... artsiness?

So, if you read my blog post about the coronavirus pandemic, you’ll know that I’m not exactly coping well with the apparent end of the world. 

So I bought a violin.

I could dissect why I bought a violin. I played violin for about a year when I was ten, almost entirely because my mum told me that if I could stick with it and learn the skills it was meant to teach me – reading music, tuning an instrument, doing things even when they’re hard – we could see about getting me an electric guitar. Except I didn’t stick with it, and when my mum did get me an electric guitar five years later, I didn’t stick with that, either. Maybe I bought a violin in the midst of the pandemic because I wanted to right that wrong and prove I can stick with difficult things. Maybe I bought a violin because I wanted something that reminded me of my childhood which, while turbulent, did not feature coronavirus at all. Maybe I just bought it because it was shiny and pink and matched my phone case.

It doesn’t matter.

What matters is that, so far, I am sticking with it. And I’m learning some skills which I’ve realised I can apply to sex – skills I’m going to tell y’all about, in case you were on the fence about your own ridiculous violin purchase. 

The first of these skills is, of course, perseverance. Whether it’s the BPD or just who I am as a person, I’m extremely sensitive to the feeling that I’ve failed, and will usually avoid activities I’m not already good at for the sake of my sanity. Avoidance works well, as dysfunctional coping strategies go, but it means that I never practice the skill of taking on the information I’ve learned from “failing” and trying something different. Practising violin has meant a lot of wincing at notes I’ve played “wrong” (as much as you can ever go wrong when doing something artistic) but then readjusting my fingers and trying again. Similarly, in sex, it’s important to be able to take feedback on board, readjust your fingers and try again, preferably without crying. Playing violin has taught me that I might not be instantly good at everything, but that I’m capable of improving and that trying again is worth the effort.

Playing violin has also taught me to slow down when something isn’t going my way, rather than to panic. Taking one’s time is important during sex, even during quick, desperate fucks, because it’s the difference between putting a condom on correctly or having it split on you, or between bumping someone’s cervix with a dildo and not doing that, or between sustaining an injury and coming out of the fuck unscathed. 

On the topic of injuries: violin is teaching me the hard way to listen to my body. I’m very good at ignoring or muscling through alarming levels of pain, but I can’t do that with the violin, because in the long term (“long” here meaning “a few hours” – I’m still not good at conceptualising the future beyond that) I know it will bite me in the arse. See, I’m excited to be learning the violin, and that means that I have to stop when it hurts, so that I can play some more later that day. (And oh my God, does it hurt – it works muscles in my back I didn’t know existed, and leaves me clutching my wrist or shoulder and wincing if I overdo it.) Stopping activities when they start to hurt me is not something I’m well-versed in, but it’s important even for a masochist like me to be able to read their own body and react accordingly. (Or accordionly… because, you know, musical instruments… I’ll show myself out.)

Then there are the “hard” skills violin is teaching me. My joints fucking suck, but I’m pretty sure I can already feel my fingers getting stronger and my shoulders stabilise a little. I’m also constantly improving my hand-eye coordination whilst playing, as well as my ability to multitask and do different things with each of my hands. (I will leave it to you to imagine why this might be helpful during sex.) I can also read music again, after more than a decade of refusing to even look at a stave; reading music isn’t a useful skill for sex, but it’s a useful skill to brag about to the people with whom you’re having the sex. And bragging about my violin progress has boosted my confidence! People find confidence sexy, or so I’ve heard, and all the skills I’ve learnt from the violin have made me more confident in every department – including the sex department. Maybe that’s what I needed from the violin: confidence.

It doesn’t matter, because my violin is shiny and pink, and I can play Mary Had A Little Lamb on it now.


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