NOTCHES: (re)marks on the history of sexuality

NOTCHES is a collaborative and international history of sexuality blog that aims to get people inside and outside the academy thinking about sexuality in the past and in the present.

Since its launch in January 2014, NOTCHES has attracted over 1.5 million views, been profiled on’s Sexuality site, the History News Network, and was Freshly Pressed three times by WordPress. NOTCHES is sponsored by the Goldsmiths Centre for Queer History, and we are committed to opening up discussion about histories of sex and sexualities to the widest audiences. Our goal is to create a collaborative and open-access blog that is intellectually rigorous and accessible, historical and timely, political and playful.

We engage with histories of sexuality across all regions, periods, and themes. Posts are only limited by the interests and specializations of our contributors, who explore topics as varied as human sexual experience. NOTCHES is likewise strengthened by the diversity of our contributors, who come to the blog from a range of professional and personal backgrounds.

Each of our features reflect the diversity and vibrancy of historical research on sex and sexuality:

Original Blogs are captivating and focused posts that explore topics on the history of sexuality. Our writers work both inside and outside the academy, using historical perspective to shed light on our past and present. NOTCHES also publishes feature series of original blogs focused on a single issue or theme, such as our series on food and the history of sexuality.

Archives of Desire posts illuminate the history of sexuality by showcasing how we can interpret primary source documents and objects. Writers select a single source to show how anything from a memo to a newsletter, a manuscript to a stained glass window can be analyzed to strengthen our knowledge of sex and sexuality in the past and present. Archives of Desire is historical research in action.

Author Interviews are conversations with authors of recent books on the history of sexuality. Interviews probe the implications of cutting edge research for our understanding of sex and sexuality in the past and present. Authors also reflect upon the process of historical research and writing, offering insights into everything from choosing a topic to choosing the right words to talk about sexuality.

Comments Policy

Our aim is to make NOTCHES a space for discussion and debate about all aspects of the history of sexuality. Comment threads are a place for people to engage with ideas and topics arising from blog posts. Please read our comments policy carefully before contributing to the site.

We encourage lively and engaging discussion and aim to make Notches a space where anyone with an interest in the history of sexualities can participate. Difference of opinion is encouraged but only when expressed with respect and thoughtfulness. NOTCHES will not tolerate any of the following:

  • Homophobic, transphobic, racist, sexist, ageist, sizeist, ableist commentary.
  • Plain malice and personal attacks.
  • Pulling rank. We encourage anyone with an interest in the history of sexualities to participate, regardless of academic status, institution, or whether you are a professional historian or not. Dismissing someone’s comments by pulling rank is therefore not acceptable.
  • Derailing. NOTCHES is a blog dedicated to discussion about the history of sexualities. While we take a broad view of what is included under this umbrella term we ask that you keep comments relevant and on-topic.

This list is not exhaustive. Please exercise common sense and common courtesy. It is up to the editorial team whether a comment breaks these guidelines.

If you see a comment that violates our policy, or if you have any questions regarding this policy, please let us know .


For permissions to reproduce posts from the NOTCHES blog, in whole or in part on another site, please contact the editors.

Every effort has been made to contact and secure permissions from rights holders of images used on the NOTCHES blog. If you find an image that has been used in error, please contact the editors and we will resolve the issue immediately.