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» the asterisk The Asterisk

Cemetery poem by Mary Frye

Moving from the Core

On Saturday I was lucky enough to attend a workshop on the fundamentals of Lindy Hop, run by the inspiring Shane McCarthy of Swing It! It was about how to lead movement from the core of our bodies, rather than from our limbs. How we should be travelling (in whatever direction) by keeping our centres […]

Unpacking paraphilias

Following on from the previous post, I was curious to find out how prevalent paraphilias are amongst the general adult population. Not surprisingly, there is scant evidence on this although conservative estimates range from 10% to 15%.[1] There is no evidence on the percentage of men compared to women who have a paraphilia. Anecdotally, it […]

Paraphilias in Popular Culture

Paraphilias – that is, sexual attractions (‘philia’) to things outside the normal range (‘para’) – are seeping into popular culture in a disarming way. Have you heard of ‘plushies’, ‘looners’ and ‘feeders’? I hadn’t either until relatively recently, while watching a couple of TV shows. In season three of the endearingly quirky HBO series Bored […]

Three taxis

Over the past week I have been blessed with some wonderful insights from three taxi drivers… The first conversation was with a Chilean man in his 50s, a former mining engineer who moved to Sydney 15 years ago. He fretted that his new car smelled of vomit (I assured him I hadn’t noticed). He rarely […]

Mr Hamble

It was only the smell of freshly poured concrete, warm bitumen and humming construction sites that lured Mr Hamble away from his desk at Plim & Co chartered accountants each day. As soon as the clock struck one, he would take his ham and pickle sandwich (on white bread) and a packet of prunes (on […]

Cabbage drop

Sleep spindles

I have often wondered why some people have no difficulty falling asleep on a plane or bus, maintaining their blissful slumber impervious to light, noise and movement, whereas others will be woken by the squeak of a mouse or a toilet flushing, and are highly sensitive to light and other disturbances. Unfortunately, I happen to be on the extreme […]

What’s your word?

I love learning new words, especially ones from other languages that have no equivalent in English. For all the brilliant specificity of the English language, there is still so much it fails to capture and convey. Here are a few of my current favourites: Schnorrer: a Yiddish word for someone who’s a sponger or freeloader. Sometimes […]

Billiant!