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The five lessons Abbie Chatfield’s learnt about sex, settling and being single

IMAGE VIA VUSH
WORDS BY SUNNY CHISHOLM

“I’ve realised that there’s no shame in wanting something that feels good.”

If the Sex And The City series was filmed in 2021, Carrie would have a podcast and Samantha would have launched a line of eponymous vibrators. Insert Abbie Chatfield, the Australian media personality who does both (and then some). Much like these inimitable (albeit fictional) women, sex is Abbie’s brand.

When I asked Abbie “Which SATC character are you?”, the question that’s escaped my lips hundreds of times before (my own litmus test of sorts), she swiftly answered with “Samantha, always. Not even a question.” But I’d argue, that like all women Abbie is an amalgamation of Candace Bushnell’s characters – far too exceptional and varied to be defined by just one.


Want to read more about how others navigate the world? Try our Life section.


Take Carrie’s vivacity sans the self-righteousness and kink-shaming (strange for a sex columnist, no?) with Samantha’s chutzpah and feminist perspective and you get the modern-day “thirst trap with a message” as one of Abbie’s Instagram captions reads.

But what is her message? Beyond facilitating orgasms all around the country and sticking it to the patriarchy one sex toy collaboration at a time, of course. “It’s not like I think to myself ‘I want to be the sex girl’, or ‘I want to be the body positivity girl’ or ‘I want to be the vaccination girl’… I’m not an actress, this is just my personality… it’s more like, I’m pissed off about people DMing me calling me a slut as an insult, and [as a consequence] I’ll talk about it.

“If I’m pissed off at the anti-vaxxers I’ll talk about that, and people who are trying to shame people for their bodies, I’m like well fuck off [and will address that too]. It’s more that I’m outspoken and I don’t have the ability to shut my fucking mouth and it’s worked out for me,” she explains.

Throughout our call, I realise the reason I’m so drawn to Abbie is that she reminds me it’s okay to want to have fun and seek out pleasure. In many ways, I see Abbie Chatfield as this generation’s Samantha Jones, with lessons (on everything from masturbation to vaccinations) to impart on young womxn. Here are just a few.

 

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A post shared by ABBIE CHATFIELD (@abbiechatfield)

Lesson #1: It’s better to be alone than settle for less

Abbie preaches that when you’re stuck in a less than satisfying relationship you’re doing yourself (and the other person) a disservice because being single largely means deciding how you want to live your life and who you want to spend it with.

“At the start of lockdown, for the first time in my life, I was devastated [about being single] and felt so lonely… but I don’t want to be with someone just because they’re nice to me or just because they treat me well. I want someone because I’m obsessed with them and they also do those things. I see a lot of people settling for someone because they get along with them, but I’d much rather be alone and spend my time investing in friendships that I know are valuable, rather than dating people who are just nice enough.”

Lesson #2: Stop shaming yourself for what you like

Abbie was only 23 when she first appeared on our screens as a contestant on The Bachelor and in addition to copping the villain edit, Abbie was subjected to slut-shaming and your standard tabloid-type misogyny. In reality, Abbie is just a young woman completely and unapologetically comfortable with her sexuality and sexual desire. But in a world where girls are taught that pleasure and promiscuity is wrong, how did that come to be? How does one become a Samantha?

“People think my mum must’ve been some sex tantric always talking about sex and dildos but really, we didn’t talk about sex unless I asked about it… it wasn’t like sex was in my face, but it wasn’t taboo [growing up]. It was just like a thing that exists,” she explains. But Abbie says the main reason she’s so comfortable with her sexuality is that she imposes a judgement-free rule whenever she has sex.

“In the past year and a half, I’ve been completely shame-free when it comes to sex and masturbation and all things sexual. I’ve realised that there’s no shame in wanting something that feels good, and the abundance of pleasure and lack of shame in sex has helped me be less judgmental and kinder to myself [in other elements of life]. Abbie adds that “I’ve fucked someone from every, like every, walk of life,” proving that exposure to different kinks, preferences and practices (whether that be partnered or solo) certainly counts for something.

Lesson #3: Your sexual pleasure is yours and yours alone

Abbie is a woman that knows what she wants, and on any given day probably knows where her next orgasm is coming from. “People think I have this wild sex life and I really don’t, I enjoy sex [I just don’t really have it as much as people would expect] but I love using sex toys,” she tells me.

This is what made her the perfect person to develop her own namesake vibrator in collaboration with Vush. “We agreed that an insertable toy was missing from their range, and talked about what previously I’d been frustrated with… because with so many [sex toys] it’s like they’ve been made by someone who’s literally never used one,” she says.

Luckily for us, Abbie is a seasoned professional in that respect and has road-tested enough vibrators to ensure that hers doesn’t (ahem) “burn your clitoris off… even with ski pants”. “It’s made to be easy to manoeuvre around, and the colour was important to me [as to not be gender exclusive]… because people who don’t have vaginas are also using it,” she adds.

 

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A post shared by ABBIE CHATFIELD (@abbiechatfield)

Lesson #4: Good sex can be hard to come by (and that’s okay)

According to Abbie, a good root comes down to chemistry and circumstance, suggesting that nobody can be universally labelled as being quote-unquote bad in bed.

In a self-assessment of sorts, Abbie admits that “there’s some awful reviews out there of me, and I probably wasn’t that into it at the time and found it really boring. But people I’ve really enjoyed fucking have had glowing reviews. Someone who I was recently seeing was amazing in bed although we just had normal, vanilla sex… he could just lie there and I’d think it was the hottest thing in the world, because the chemistry was there, you know?”

Lesson #5: You can’t change someone into wanting something they don’t

If there’s something Abbie knows now that she wishes her younger, wide-eyed self would’ve known it’s that “you can’t change someone into wanting something they don’t”. And yes, that’s in reference to when she was runner up on Matt Agnew’s season of The Bachelor.

Nothing anyone told Matt was going to change anything, it was going to end up the same way no matter what. That’s the one thing that I wish I had known because it would’ve saved so much anxiety… I think about how anxious I was at rose ceremonies and it kind of weirdly does help me in my ‘real life’, because I tell myself ‘You were so freaked out at the time and it turned out for the best so calm the fuck down’.”

But that advice can also be applied to situationships too, she continues. “A lot of people, me included, don’t want to listen when someone says they’re not looking for anything serious. I’ve ignored it before, but I’ve learned now that when someone says that to you, they really mean it and if you don’t respect that warning, you only have yourself to blame when you get hurt.”

In a world riddled with reality TV stars and self-promoting media personalities, I can’t help but wonder, is the advice of Abbie Chatfield really worth taking? My gut (and orgasm) tells me abso-fucking-lutely. So next time you find yourself feeling shy, awkward or shameful in the bedroom, ask yourself: what would Abbie do?

You can keep up with Abbie here.

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