On Pleasure

With writing from Alicia Bunyan-Sampson, Mollie Coles Tonn, Colleen Conroy, Lizzie Derksen, Jaime Eisen, Margeaux Feldman, Ruchika Gothosar, Carvela Lee, Brooke Manning, Maria Isabel Martinez, Kyisha Williams, and Kristen Zimmer.

Illustrated by Violeta Noy, photography by Alison Maxwell.

When we are children, we seek pleasure without shame, without the impulse to measure “too much of a good thing.” It’s as if we instinctively understand the word as the dictionary defines it: a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment. So why then, as we grow older, does the concept of pleasure become more and more complicated? If desire is universal and pleasure is something we all want, why do we hide?

In this collection of poetry, creative prose, visual art, and honest conversation, 14 contributors talk about pleasure: where to find it, who gets to access it, and what keeps us from asking for what we truly desire.

Without fail, the sun rises every morning. We can make room for lovely things. We are thirsty for goodness, and there is water everywhere.
— On Pleasure

Mollie Coles Tonn

Mollie Coles Tonn has been published in several journals including: CV2, Event, Room and The Antigonish Review. She won third place in the 2016 Bliss Carman Poetry Award Contest by Prairie Fire and has work forthcoming in both Grain and Arc Poetry Magazine. She loves creating immersive experiences that allow people to connect with their senses, deepen their conversations and build community. She lives north of Toronto with her family.

alicia bunyan-sampson

Alicia Bunyan-Sampson is an independent filmmaker, writer, counsellor/advocate and academic based in a small suburb outside of Toronto. She focuses her work primarily on her identity as a black woman, love, trauma, sexuality and non-monogamy. Her current academic and creative research focuses on the intersections of sexual trauma, race and gender identity. She has a forthcoming book, No Filter: Diary Of A Polyamorous Black Girl, set to be published by Thorntree Press.



Lizzie Derksen

Lizzie Derksen is a writer and filmmaker from the Canadian prairies. She is a 2018 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Emerging Artist Award (Alberta), and is one of many authors featured in the collaborative novel Project Compass (Monto Books 2017). She lives on Treaty 6 territory in Edmonton, Alberta, where she is currently at work on her first novel.


Colleen Conroy

Colleen Conroy is a writer, producer and visual artist based in California. Her work explores themes of memory, stillness and the intricacies of the mundane. She finds inspiration largely through travel, color, and conversation, and is fascinated with weaving the three together through both words and shapes. Her work has been featured in Feels Zine, Sea Together Magazine, Herewith magazine, and limited releases of self-published zines.



Margeaux Feldman

Margeaux Feldman is a writer and educator living in Toronto. She's nearing the end of her PhD in English Literature and Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. Her writing has been published in The Vault, The Puritan Magazine, GUTS: A Canadian Feminist Magazine,  Minola Review and various zines across the city. She's currently at work on a memoir, The Bed of Sickness: Essays on Care.


Jaime Eisen

Jaime Eisen is a co-founder of gf content, a PR firm with a  highly personal, collaborative approach to public relations. A hardcore nerd who talks too much, she has put these traits to good use, working extensively to build relationships and start conversations about brands and issues that matter. Jaime holds a B.A. in Journalism from Concordia University and a Master’s degree in Media Studies from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Her work has been published in The Link, Canadian Living, Dazed, and The Montreal Mirror, among other publications. She is also a cam girl and sex work advocate.



Carvela Lee

Carvela Lee enjoys vegetable gardening, RuPaul's Drag Race, and wandering the seasonal aisles at Canadian Tire.


Ruchika Gothoskar

Ruchika Gothoskar is currently the Managing Editor of Sophomore Magazine. She is also an Associate Editor at Nuance, a grassroots group of first and second generation (im)migrant folks creating content surrounding sexuality, identity, mental health and sexual health in the context of our native cultures and Canadian upbringing. When she’s not editing, Ruchika is a student at McMaster University, a bookstore employee, and a dog mom.



Maria Isabel Martinez

Maria Isabel Martinez is a writer based in Toronto. Her work explores transformative care and politics, intimacy, sexuality and the feminine. Her work has appeared in Ephemera Magazine, Koffler.Digital, cléo journal and Noisey Music.


Brooke Manning

Brooke Manning is a poet and musician. Her work has appeared in So Far From The Water and Thirsty, The Queen's Journal, You Care Too Much, His/Hers, Lighthouse magazine, The 4 Poets and various other places of light.



Violeta Noy

Violeta Noy is an illustrator, author and lecturer from Barcelona who loves printmaking and bookbinding. She recently published her first picture book, The Right One, with Templar Publishing. Violeta collaborates with Núria Pla under the name of Tàndem and, lately, she has been working with Ellie Robinson-Carter on Sophie's Project. Violeta is scared of outer space and the deep sea.


Alison Maxwell

Alison Maxwell is a photographer based out of Toronto, Canada. Her work focuses on the concepts of gender, sexuality and technology. Using tangible items, she distorts her images and invites an intimate experience between viewer and image.



Kristen Zimmer

Kristen Zimmer is an English literature student at the University of Toronto. She has poetry and prose published in Feels Zine, and articles published in The Varsity. She has performed her poetry at the Tranzac Club and at The Sophisticated Boom Boom. She studied Margaret Cavendish as a Jackman Scholar-in-Residence in 2018, and is continuing her work as a digital humanities research assistant.


Kyisa Williams

Kyisha Williams is a Black, queer femme artist whose primary mediums are filmmaking, acting and dance. Kyisha also has a Master’s degree in Public Health and works with Black, queer, trans, youth, racialized, criminalized, HIV+ communities. Kyisha fuses her experience as a health promoter with her work as an artist, creating socially relevant content that discusses health, and promotes healthy sexuality ,including consent culture. Her writing has been featured in Dear Sister, Critical Approaches to harm reduction, Shameless, Peak and mimp magazines.