The Soho Sex Column: Have you got a question for our new contributor?

The Soho Sex Column: Have you got a question for our new contributor? | Soho House

Welcome to the very first Soho House sex column. Publishing here every week, journalist Olivia Petter will digest and discuss sex, Soho House, and all the dirty laundry in between. The best bit? She wants to hear from you…

Saturday 4 June 2022    By Olivia Petter

It’s 11.23pm on a Friday night and I can’t sleep. It’s not because I’m jet-lagged from an 11-hour flight. Nor is it because I can hear the thrumming bass of a nearby house party. And it’s certainly not because I’m furiously texting someone I fancy. No. It’s because I haven’t figured out how to use my new vibrator – and I’ve been trying for 20 minutes. In case you couldn’t quite identify the subtext: hello, my name is Olivia and I’m not having sex. I realise that is a slightly odd confession to make at the beginning of something titled ‘sex column’, but bear with me.  
Last month, I broke up with my boyfriend of three years. A few days later, I hop-skipped across the Atlantic to stay with my dad in California in search of, well, I’m not quite sure. Whatever it was, I didn’t find it. Now I’m back in London in a new house, with a new job, and a new relationship status. It’s been a lot, to say the least. 
But here’s the reassuring bit: I am told that this is all very normal because, well, it’s written in the stars. Yes, I’m aware of how that sounds. You see, at the tender age of 28, I’m at the start of what is known as a Saturn Return. The astrological nerds among you will be very familiar with what this means. But for those who don’t, it’s an astrological event that happens roughly every 27 to 29 years, which is the length of time it takes for Saturn to return to the sign and degree that it was at when you were born. Synonymous with engagements, career changes, and major personal developments, it’s a time of turbulence and transition. One that is known to coincide with major life shifts, including break-ups.
The Soho Sex Column: Have you got a question for our new contributor? | Soho House
Up until recently, the Saturn Return was considered a niche subject reserved for starry-eyed hippies. But today, it’s widely spoken about with legitimacy and relatability. Many celebrities have given the Saturn Return credence by referencing their own, including Katy Perry and Adele, who even has a tattoo of the planet to honour hers, revealing in an interview with Vogue that she ‘lost the plot’ at the time. 
‘When that comes, it can rock your life,’ she told the magazine. ‘It shakes you up a bit: Who am I? What do I want to do? What makes me truly happy? All those things.’ The singer added that she believed her divorce from Simon Konecki was even as a result of her Saturn Return. 
So, if the Saturn Return is a time of seismic shake-ups, characterised by self-discovery, emotional chaos and personal journeys, what does all this mean for our sex lives? Is it about uncovering new kinks? Or discovering what you enjoy in bed? Or could it be more profound things, like finally learning to accept your body and coming to terms with your sexuality? And how does all of this differ among those who are in long-term relationships and those who, like me, have just left one? 
These are just some of the questions I’m going to be exploring in my new column for Soho House and, frankly, I can’t wait. To be clear, I’m not coming at this with any sort of expertise. In fact, quite the opposite. But I’m hoping that’s just what this column will be about: curiosity. exploring issues, asking questions, and hopefully learning a thing or two. And I’m very keen to hear from you, too. So please get in touch with any questions you want to ask, topics you’d like to discuss, or anything really. Let’s dive in deep, pun intended.  
If you want to get in touch, please email me at All submissions will remain anonymous. 
Olivia Petter is the relationships writer at The Independent and author of Millennial Love, which is out now in paperback with 4th Estate
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