laura holliday

freelance culture journalist in vice, dazed, i-d, wired. i like to write about sex and relationships, unusual kinks, social media trends, digital nostalgia, online communities and internet aesthetics. 

5 Relationship Red Flags to Look Out For, According to Experts

My actual therapist, on the other hand, was more realistic. She recognised a string of potentially problematic behaviours in this person that were visible in previous partners – emotionally unavailable, bad at communicating, avoidantly attached. But she never used the term “red flags”. It was more about why me and this particular person wouldn’t chime – my inability to select someone compatible was something that I, equally, needed to work on. We’re only slowly starting to critically reexamine t

What is frutiger aero, the aesthetic taking over from Y2K?

Shiny globules, green fields, tropical fish – memories of an era dominated by glossy, naturalistic design are taking over

It’s 2008 and the sweet smell of plastic fills the air, as you unwrap your first-ever touchscreen phone. You boot it up, and are greeted with a melodic chime, before being lulled into stock images of sunflower-filled fields and oversaturated blue skies. In the next room, your parents are taking their first intrepid steps towards becoming technologically literate by trading t

Ethical Porn: What It Is and Sites to Check Out

“The term ethical porn, unfortunately, brings up the same connotations as corporate social responsibility,” says Cindy Gallop, founder of MakeLoveNotPorn, a user-generated adult video platform that runs on a paid subscription model. (She prefers to use the term “social sex” to describe her platform.) But while the name might sound pretty drab, ethical porn in reality is far more exciting – and all-encompassing – than it sounds, covering everything from BDSM to blockchain-enabled porn. Here’s wha

Salad Fingers creator never meant for the seriously creepy character to be scary

“It's weird to think how primitive the technology was,” David says of that era. “I think you might have had to copy the link from MSN Messenger into your browser. Before the days when you could even have multiple tabs.”

“I don't really think about that as being an appeal,” he says. “I don't think 'people are going to be scared by this', but kids are. It's hard to think like a little kid. Kids are scared, and they'll share something that's scary.”

Eighteen years on, David continues to expand th

Gay Garden Gnomes: Pandemic Protest Grows Thanks to TikTok

While some of us were baking banana bread or growing sourdough starters during the first quarantine, Maura Bennet-Martins was laying the groundwork for a different kind of hobby: turning straight garden gnomes into queer icons. Two years later, Super Gay Gnomes is a thriving small business selling hand-painted, glitter-coated garden gnomes in a rainbow of colors.

Bennet-Martins, who lives in Boston with her wife, explains that the business started out as a silent protest against a bigoted neigh

How Spit Became a Kink: A History of the Latest Trend

Discovering I was into spit was one of those life-altering realisations, like deciding I didn’t want kids, or that I should probably take out a pension plan. It began innocently, dribbling its way into my most intimate moments — an overdrawn kiss here, a little excess saliva there — before peaking, triumphantly, on the best date of my life, where myself and a vegan chef spent the evening at [redacted pub] in east London, pre-fuck, spitting rum and coke into each other’s mouths like two disgustin

Why you so obsessed? The online safe space for the infatuated

On r/limerence, members gather to share advice on how to manage their overwhelming feelings of obsessive longing – but is it

“It’s a longing. It’s like a pining. The dopamine hit is insane. Nothing else, no substance can give me that same euphoric feeling.” Ashley* isn’t addicted to alcohol, drugs or gambling, though she’s seen people compare her own affliction to these things in the past. Instead, she’s been working hard to overcome a lifelong reliance on something – or rather someone – else.

A Teenager Has Remade Myspace and Everyone Is Loving It

Your best friend had one. Your older sister had one. Most of the bands clogging up your iTunes library had one. Even enduring teen icon Effy Stonem had a Myspace page — her Top 8 placements hinting at a preference for Cook over Freddie (we knew it!). By the end of the 00s, just about everyone you ever met was on Myspace, backcombing and spraying the shit out of their hair for that all-important upside-down profile pic.

Myspace was most closely associated with the alt scene, functioning as a hea

FarmVille Is Closing Forever and Hardcore Fans Are Devasted

In case you’ve forgotten, FarmVille was a browser-based game accessible via Facebook that was hot shit from around 2009 – when it launched – to around 2011. The game had a simple premise: you’d create a farm, plant crops and raise animals. The more products you harvested, the more “Farm Coins” you would earn to once again repeat the dopamine-inducing cycle, this time with an extra cow. Everything happened in real-time, earning FarmVille a reputation for being mindless and repetitive, but also we

Bloody crime scene cleanups are going viral on TikTok

Grace*, a 17 year old from Arkansas, has also recently made the jump to TikTok, after following a crime scene cleanup account on Instagram for three years. For her, the appeal of the videos is a mixture of fascination with the macabre, and a genuine desire to learn about the practicalities of the job.

“It’s something I’m drawn to because of the morbidity of it, I guess,” she says. “I’ve always been really obsessed with death and understanding what happens to us physically when we do pass, so it

Love Island’s Ban On Masturbation Is Not Only Ridiculous, It’s Incredibly Harmful

It was 2008 and I was at my first party with alcohol. The conversation had turned to what was only referred to as the “M word” – a subject so taboo that to even say it in full was virtually impossible.

The truth was, I had. But I was too terrified to admit it. At 14 years old, I had been taught about sex at school and seen it on TV, but I was never taught about masturbation, let alone whether it was OK or not. I am sure that some of the girls in that room were in the same boat as me, and I am c

contact me

email me @