Podcast Season 1 Episode 13
Host: Karen Yates Running Time: 38:57 min
Bisexual? Pansexual? Heteroflexible? What’s up with that?
Sarah Sloane joins Karen Yates to sort through the nuances of “bisexual,” “pansexual,” and “heteroflexible” in collaboration with #open, the dating app for ethically nonmonogamous people and their partners.
Plus, our panel—kinkster and dom MksThingsHappin, sex writer Jera Brown of Rebellious Magazine, and sex-positive therapist Elmo Painter, answers questions about kink, queerness, and LTRs from a live audience. Storyteller David shares spicy episodes from his erotic life. Then, a Sermon on the Pubic Mound® on comparisons, the stories in our heads, and owning the responsibility for our own pleasure.
Wild & Sublime Podcast Transcript
#13 | Anything That Moves
[Wild & Sublime theme music]
David: I had a close friend since kindergarten. We started to pretend to hypnotize each other. And whoever was hypnotized had to do everything the hypnotist said...
Mksthingshappin: You know, you can't tell that you suspended four people from the rafters — like literally — to your coworkers and your family.
Sarah Sloane: There's this inherent distrust of people who are bisexual. The guys that I have talked to say that they hear that a lot from potential female partners.
Karen Yates: Welcome to Wild & Sublime, a sexy spin on infotainment®, no matter your preferences, orientation or relationship style. Based on the popular live Chicago show. Each week, I'll chat about sex and relationships with citizens from the world of sex positivity, with spicy additions from storytellers and musicians. I'm Karen Yates. Today: Bisexual? Pansexual? What's up with that? Plus, the highlights reel from one storyteller's sexy life, audience Q&A, and my Sermon on the Pubic Mound®. Keep listening. Wild & Sublime is sponsored in part by Uberlube, long-lasting silicone lubricant for sex, sport and style. I highly recommend it. Go to Uberlube.com.
Before we dive in today, I wanted to wheel back to Episode 11 from two weeks ago, when Sarah Sloane defined the word "queer." On identifying as queer, Sarah had said, "It can also mean choosing to not define yourself, because desires are fluid and you want to leave as much space as possible." So we posted that quote on Instagram. And by the way, you can follow us on Instagram @wildandsublime. And we got some really nice comments, and I wanted to read a couple. Nick Heap wrote, "The reason I chose to use Queer as both a gender and sexuality identifier is that as a trans person who has been intimate with partners of both genders, partners who have changed genders, and those who claim no gender or fluid in their gender, it is nearly impossible to label myself with any of the binary labels. Which time in my life, at what point in my transition or theirs, would I be considered gay or hetero? And it's only been recently that terms like 'pan' have entered the public discourse. So 'queer' worked to describe the totality of my experience as literally outside the norm. It also was a reclaiming of a pejorative term as a sign of pride. You can't hurt me with something that's just factually true, and that I carry no shame in owning." Thank you, Nick.
And by the way, Nick is an artist and his work is really cool. You might want to check it out. Just Google Nick Heap, H-E-A-P. We also heard from Sam, one of my favorite people on the Chicago scene. And Sam wrote, "I choose Queer as an identity to show those who would use my otherness against me and mine that I am not afraid of them and their xenophobia. I use the word queer as a descriptor of myself as a human and my lived experience, not of my gender and sexuality. I am a butch who identifies as a dyke. For some reason, the word lesbian sounded too clinical to my ears." Thank you, Sam. And I have to say that as I was reading those two quotes, I was thinking to myself, "Wow, the audience of Wild & Sublime is so flippin' smart." Just so insightful. It's really thrilling. So yeah, keep 'em coming. You can write to us at , you can chat with us on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook, @wildandsublime.
Now it's time for What's Up with That? the segment where we discuss words in the sexual lexicon that might be confusing. We will be joined again by Sarah Sloane, the Director of Communications and Operations at #Open, the dating app for ethically non monogamous people and their partners. Wild & Sublime is partnering with #Open on these current What's Up with That? segments. You can learn more about #Open and their fantastic dating app in the show notes. And now, Sarah Sloane. Hey, Sarah, welcome.
Sarah Sloane: Hello, how are you today? [laughs]
Karen Yates: I am doing quite well. And we're guffawing because we just ended the last segment three minutes ago, and now we're pretending like we're just starting fresh a week later!
Sarah Sloane: It's roleplay. We're roleplaying
Karen Yates: We're roleplaying being upbeat! So Sarah, today we're going to be discussing bisexual, pansexual, or hetero flexible. Are they the same? What's up with that?
Sarah Sloane: Ohhh. You know, it's interesting, because I had actually never heard the term "pansexual" applied to a person's sexual identity until probably about 12 years ago. So it is interesting to me that this term was starting to get more popular, in a way that I didn't even know about it. When I came into the kink community in the late '90s, all of the groups that I was visiting were pansexual groups. And they used that term to say, "Hey, our group is open to people of all sexualities, everybody is welcome here." So, yeah, so that was my original exposure to the term "pansexual." So I've had to do a little bit of a reeducation on myself over the past few years. But in essence, let's look at what each of those things kind of says. Bisexual is a term that I think has gotten a lot of crap from people. And I will own up to the fact that I was a person that misinterpreted it for a while. I used to think that bisexual meant that you liked both men and women, and was excluding nonbinary gender. I have had some really wonderful, very patient friends of mine who have educated me on the fact that actually that's not what bisexual is at all. Bisexual, according to the original pieces of work that started the bisexual movement, is: "I am attracted to people both like me and different from me." So it can be very inclusive of people who are trans, or gender nonconforming or non binary. So bisexual is kind of... There was the magazine out decades ago, called "Anything That Moves," that was like, the bisexual magazine. [laughter] A little tongue in cheek, I love that. I love that title. But I think that a lot of people, you know, as we've become a lot more cognizant that there aren't just two genders on the planet, we've kind of had this reaction to the term bisexual, because we feel like it's reinforcing a binary. And I would ask people to maybe do some of the research that folks encouraged me to do, and read about the beginnings of the bisexual movement and find the original words of the people who were creating—
Karen Yates: And you might be also about to talk about this. But the other way that bisexuality gets trash-talked is this idea that like, "Oh, you're just en route to being gay, and you just can't admit it."
Sarah Sloane: Yeah, it gets seen as a gateway. Like, "Oh, this is your transitionary phase." I think the other thing that happens is, particularly as bisexuality relates to this idea of monogamy, is that inherently bisexual people can't be trusted. Because if you have attraction to more than just one gender, then you're going to ditch the partner of one gender that you're dating to go date somebody of a different gender. Sothere's this inherent, in a lot of communities still, a distrust of people who are bisexual. And the unfortunate thing is, I think that affects everybody, but I think the guys that I have talked to, that ID as bisexual say that they hear that a lot from potential female partners. That there's like a distrust, because the guy is saying, "Hey, I'm bisexual." And the guy might be bisexual and monogamous, and and say, "No, it's not like, I have to have sex with both genders or all genders all at the same time, or I'm going to explode or something." You know, it's like, bisexuality is a range of attraction. It's not a requirement for living. So I think that, you know, there's a lot of knee-jerk reaction to bisexuality, that if we sit back and think about what it actually means, it can defuse a lot of that confusion.
Karen Yates: So again, like on the last segment we did, is this an invitation for a dialogue with someone, or not?
Sarah Sloane: It absolutely is. It absolutely is. When somebody says "I'm bisexual," that can mean lots of different things. Because it simply is, what genders I'm attracted to. It doesn't even get into how I'm attracted to different people. There are a number of people that feel more relationally attracted to a particular gender and more sexually attracted to a different gender. There are people who strongly prefer one gender, but occasionally will dabble with a different gender. So nobody is ever a 50-50 constantly. So asking people like, "Tell me about your journey to discovering your bisexuality?" Or "Tell me about why bisexual is the term that you like to use to describe yourself" can be a really great way of hearing their story.
Karen Yates: Right. So let's move on to pansexual. Because we were talking about how it used to mean more about, say, we welcome people of all sexes or all orientations, we are pansexual. But now it's really an identification individually. So what does it mean? How does it differ from bisexuality?
Sarah Sloane: I think that it's an... I don't want to minimize it by saying it's the more updated term for a lot of folks, than bisexual. I know that a number of friends of mine that identify as pansexual do use that term because they feel that it is very inclusive of all kinds of genders and all kinds of orientations that they might be attracted to or interested in. I also know some folks who will use pansexual because they're interested in different kinds of sex with different kinds of people. So that might include kink. But generally, it is used for people who don't necessarily want to limit themselves on what genders they are attracted to.
Karen Yates: So in a way, you could say it's the queering of bisexuality.
Sarah Sloane: Well, but then isn't bisexual, kind of...?
Karen Yates: I would say it is. [laughter] But you know...
Sarah Sloane: I think it's a language that, you know... I see people who identify as pansexual tend to be younger than people who identify as bisexual. Although it's not a hard and fast rule. But I think it's a little bit more au courant.
Karen Yates: Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking.
Sarah Sloane: Were you thinking in French too?
Karen Yates: I was. Oui, oui.
Sarah Sloane: So anyhow, I think that for a number of people, pansexual has a little bit more of a freedom from any kind of binary. And that's why they choose to use it. It feels a little bit more reflective of what their own values are.
Karen Yates: So let's move on to heteroflexible, which I'm seeing a lot of.
Sarah Sloane: Yeah. I think heteroflexible—
Karen Yates: Can I just say, you know what I always interpreted it as? If I'm in bed with two guys, they're not gonna freak out about being in bed with each other.
Sarah Sloane: [laughs] It's like, they'll touch then. Yeah.
Karen Yates: When I see heteroflexible, I'm like, oh, okay.
Sarah Sloane: I usually think "bending over backwards." But you know, that's me. So heteroflexible is an interesting word, because it basically says, you know, I'm mostly heterosexual, but I'm willing to do a little exploration with somebody who's not the gender that I would normally be interested in. So I think people who are comfortable having more of a group sex or a three-way kind of a situation, or even people who might enjoy occasionally kissing or making out with, or having some kind of sexual contact with somebody who's of their own gender, might feel really comfortable with heteroflexible.
Karen Yates: If a person is using the term heteroflexible, or identifying as such, do you think it naturally assumes that this person does have a rather open sexual lifestyle? I'm not saying "open" as in polyamorous, but that they are conversant with non-normative forms of behavior around sexuality?
Sarah Sloane: I would say that it's a start at the very least. Somebody who's willing to identify themselves as heteroflexible, has already at least evaluated this kind of hetero/homo binary, and said, "You know, I'm not on either one of these two polar ends of the spectrum." And so to me, anything that gets us outside of those two points on that — well, we would think of them as a line... Anytime we start expanding our language, and we start kind of saying like, oh, what might it be if I'm not held to be in this one place on this fake binary system? I think that there is a process of questioning ourselves. It's like, hmm, you know, I've always had sex with people who are male. Might I be okay with making out with a woman? Might that be something that would turn me on? Can I see a world in which I might do that? And I think that's kind of the place where we start asking ourselves the bigger questions of like, what is my attraction when it's separated out from what the world expects it to be? So yeah, I would say somebody who identifies as heteroflexible is in a process, at the very least, beginning a process of thinking about "What is my sensual attraction? What is my sexual attraction, when it is outside of having to be at one point or another on this line?"
Karen Yates: Okay. Thank you, Sarah.
Sarah Sloane: You're welcome. Anytime.
Karen Yates: At every live Wild & Sublime show, the audience gets to write out anonymous sex and relationship questions that our panel then answers. I thought I'd include a panel Q&A from our July 2019 show. Today you'll be hearing from, in order, Chicago kinkster and Dom Peter, aka MksThingsHappin, sex-positive somatic psychotherapist Elmo Painter, and Jera Brown, sex and relationship columnist from Rebellious Magazine. I'll also be responding to one of the answers afterwards, with a current Covid hack.
[in front of audience, reading] "What if I think I'm not kinky or queer enough? Is there such a thing?" I love that question. Have at it, panel.
Mksthingshappin: No such thing. I mean, what yardstick are you using to measure if you're kinky enough? All that matters is that you live as authentically as possible, and your partner or partners consent to what you're doing. Other than that, have a good time.
Elmo Painter: What I really love is vanilla kink. Because vanilla is also delicious. And sometimes, you know — because my kings go real deep — so sometimes, when I'm having kind of more vanilla sex, I'm like, "Yeah, this is my kink right now. So I mean, you could also just do that.
Karen Yates: Oh, I like that. That's awesome. [reading] "Do sex-positive people really want to meet new sex-positive people? I have been to enough sex-positive events to glimpse the same people conversing only between themselves. Vanilla venues, where sex..." Oh, they're talking about munches, and probably poly events, where you go, and no one's dressed up, like in fetish wear, where you go and you just meet other people, and you're sex positive together. So again, "Do sex-positive people really want to meet new sex-positive people?"
Jera Brown: So I think there's this weird double standard, where like, "Where else do you meet people that are potentially interested in non monogamy and kink?" But then you get to these places, and then people immediately talk about "Let's not turn this into a meat market." And the advice that I typically give new people is just go make friends. Don't think about it as a place to meet people to date, or to sleep with, or to play with. And like, you might, and that might happen. But it makes any interaction feel really inauthentic. And agenda-heavy, which makes everybody uncomfortable, right? And also, we're all just people. So like, we end up going to these events if we're in these communities to see and talk to our friends. And it's not necessarily that we don't want to meet new people, but it's...
Karen Yates: Tribalism.
Jera Brown: It's tribalism, and it's not about you. But there's problems with these communities. There's problems with being inclusive and being open to new people. And so yeah, it is an issue, but I think that if you go try new things, to find places that feel more welcoming — try workshops. Especially workshops. And just go with this friendly, I'm gonna make friends attitude. And I think that it takes the pressure off.
Karen Yates: Yeah.
Mksthingshappin: Let me chime in. A lot of times, people who are sex-positive or kinky are closed. They are really not sharing this part of themselves with their family and friends, or potentially even their partners. So when they go to an event, it quite often is the only opportunity they get to be closer to their true self, and talk about things that they actually want to talk about. You know, when I first joined the community, I went to these events to pick up people. I mean, to be honest, I wanted to meet other kinky people and I wanted to do all the things. But over time, 95% of all my true friends come from the community. And it's really not about the kink anymore. It's really about the friendship, and being open. And you can actually talk about what you did over the weekend. Versus, you know, "What did you over the weekend?" "Oh, I hung out with friends." You know, you can't tell that you suspended four people from the rafters — like, literally — to your coworkers and your family. So it's really nice to be in a situation where you can just be yourself and talk. So, that's a little bit off topic. But I wanted to kind of talk about the real benefit of going to these events.
Karen Yates: Thank you. [reading] "My partner used to initiate sex almost on a daily basis, and it really turned me on. As we've gotten older, late 30s, he doesn't initiate as much. It doesn't turn me on as much being the initiator. I wanted more sex!" Exclamation point. Any advice?
Elmo Painter: Yes. Talk to him. Tell him that you liked it when he did that, and it really turns you on when he does that.
Mksthingshappin: Yeah. I'm not sure why the age was thrown in there. To be honest. I am 52 years old. I literally have more sex now than I ever did in my 20s. I am more energetic now. It goes to having better connection, better communication, connecting with my partners. So I'm not sure why age was a factor in that question. It has nothing to do with age, it has to do with the interpersonal relationships.
Jera Brown: Age affects everybody differently. But one thing that does happen when you're with somebody for a while, typically physiologically, the chemicals that your body produces because of that person changes with time. I was thinking about this, going back to this idea of like normal, everyday sex. And that, like, the beginning of relationships are super exciting. And cause a lot of hormones. And maybe some people tend to initiate more during that stage for so many reasons. Because of the newness of the relationship, because of the hormones, because of all these things. And I wonder about... I agree with Elmo about talking to the partner. But I also would caution that, like, not chasing something... Like, if that partner then starts to feel obligated or burdened to be initiating more than they feel comfortable. There's other ways of setting up or stimulating fun obstacles. Like, maybe they don't want to initiate all the time, but you can re-spark some of that chemistry by being like, let's do a sex weekend. Or let's try new things that reengage that spark, that maybe is sort of a compromise where it's not all on one person to be the initiator.
Karen Yates: I like that. Thank you. [reading] "How do you address conflict between things you find erotic — for example, being called a slut — in sex, and your everyday life as a feminist or activist?"
Elmo Painter: That's another one of those taboos that we're talking about, but it's kind of the other side of the culture. It's like, the counterculture taboo. So it's like, I'm part of this culture, and it's wrong to be this. So even rebelling against your own counterculture can be fun.
Karen Yates: Yeah, okay,
Elmo Painter: And also, reclaim that shit.
Karen Yates: I've got an additional response to the one question about "Do sex-positive people really want to meet other sex positive people?" During these times, obviously, many poly and kink events are not happening in person, but things are happening online, which might be new information for people who aren't already plugged into the scene, but might have an interest in exploring. So here's the thing: you can make this time work for you, especially if you're on the shy side, by attending webinars and Zoom meetings, tutorials where you might have a little bit more anonymity. Plus, you can plug into sex communities all over the world, because now everybody is online. And that can be really useful if you live in a small town and not near a big scene, or if you're frankly a little sick and tired of the people already in your scene. Go to our resource page at wildandsublime.com for links and ideas. And we also had an audience question from this last panel on sustaining sexiness in long term relationships. You can hear the nice juicy answer our panel gave by signing up for our Lounge Level on our Patreon site. Lounge Level gets you unreleased content on the regular. And I'm very excited to announce a new benefit for all members. Starting November 1, each month all Patreon members get a chance to ask anonymous sex and relationship questions, just like the live show, that a wide variety of sex and relationship experts will answer. How do you have better sex? Explore kink safely? Communicate more clearly in bed? And everything in between? If this new membership benefit sounds like something you'd be interested in, check out the Patreon link in our show notes.
Now we will hear a story from David, an audience favorite, as he serves up a smorgasbord of — how do you say that? Smor-gas-bord. Smorgasborg? Smorgasbord of erotic experience. David is the founder of OUTspoken, an LGBTQIA storytelling series in Chicago. He was battling laryngitis that night, as you will hear, This recording is also from our July 2019 show.
David: So, um, when I was a teenager, I only dated women, but I had some sexual experiences with guys. I don't know how they happen. They just kind of happened. But I was really glad. Like, when I was 15 and 16, I had a close friend since kindergarten, and we started to pretend to hypnotize each other. And whoever was hypnotized how to do everything the hypnotist said. And you weren't responsible, because it wasn't your choice. You had to do it. So that's when it kind of began. And we ended up at various times — we were teenagers, we had no privacy, so we messed around in my parents room, in the basement of my house, one time we even skied to the out of bounds area and messed around on the ski slope, out of bounds. And it was wrong and naughty, but really fun and exciting. And when I was 16 at one point, I was at my dad's health club, and I was working on a universal machine. When I was 16, I probably looked about 12. And this guy walked through the gym on his way to the pool. He was wearing just a Speedo. He was blond and well built and the Speedo was packed. I must have accidentally stared at him without realizing it, 'cause I was a teen, I don't know. But he had a movie-star-good-looks face, which makes sense, because I later found out he is a movie star. But after working out I went into the steam room, and I was the only one in there. And this guy walked in, he just walked right over to me and gave me a blow job. And I was so thankful. [laughter] It was like the best thing that happened in my youth. It was unbelievable. But then these things stopped, because I had no idea how to make them happen. They just happened. And eventually, I graduated college, I started to come out. And I had an apartment, I had a bedroom, I started to date, I was a serial monogamist. I kind of followed the dating patterns of my straight friends. And would, you know, date a person, and we'd fool around in a bedroom, with privacy, one person at a time, we'd know each other. And it was a lot healthier in a lot of ways, emotionally, and every way possible. But it was nowhere near as fun. Like, the worst thing about coming out was sex was far less fun. Until sometime in the early 90s. I was in my early 30s. And a friend of mine came to live with me for a short time. And he brought a home computer. And I got my first AOL account. [laughter] Some people are anticipating. But I went into an AOL chat room called Chicago M4M Now. I'm in there and somebody contacts me, messages me, and they want to meet now. Thus the name. And all I know about him, all I think all I ever learned about him before meeting, was he was in his mid 20s, he was about 5'10", 170. And I was gonna meet him. He was a resident; he was in his last year of medical school, he was in a residency at a hospital not far from where I live. I was going to meet him at the hospital. I'm not comfortable in hospital settings. I don't really know medical stuff, or hospital stuff. But I said okay. So I go there and he meets me — because this is before you could text and do all that. Had to set up a time and place in the old days. And I go meet him, and he takes me to this room where doctors go when they have a long shift. And they have this room where they can take a little nap. And he takes me there and he gives me some scrubs to put on, gives me a stethoscope, and tells me what I should say in case anybody comes in. Then he goes to continue his rounds. I'm up there by myself. I don't belong there. I'm much older than this guy. And I'm thinking, What if he doesn't come back? What if somebody comes in? What if I get caught? This is such a bad idea for so many reasons. It was mental edging as I waited for him. And I kept thinking about leaving, but I waited. He came in. He was incredibly handsome. He was a tennis player, Puerto Rican, he was engaged. And would soon get married and start having kids. And this was kind of his last fling before getting married. So we both knew that this was a one-time-only deal. But when he talked to me, he looked me in the eye. He was very intimate and connected and kept that eye contact. We talked, we had a good time together, and we fooled around in this room where anybody could have walked in, who knows. And it was exciting and thrilling and fun. And I couldn't believe how good- looking this guy was. And then we talked afterwards. It was affectionate, it was sexual, it was interpersonal. It was everything you'd want. It was an amazing collision. Really, it was great. And then I left. And I felt like what I did — I broke so many taboos and rules in my head. And it was risky. I mean, I don't know in real life what the risk was. But it felt incredibly risky. It felt dangerous. And to this day, I don't know how to make things like that happen again. But let me say, if you ever — if you find yourself in a situation like that, it's totally worth it. Thank you.
Karen Yates: Wild & Sublime is also sponsored in part by our sublime supporter, Chicago-based Full Color Life Therapy, therapy for all of you, at fullcolorlifetherapy.com. If you would like to be a sublime supporter, showcasing you and your business and supporting us at the same time, contact us at .
And now it's time for my Sermon on the Pubic Mound. I've been thinking a lot about comparison lately, and I thought my sermon from September 2019 had some good points. It's always interesting when you either, like, read a journal entry that you wrote, you know, in the past, or like in this case, hear something that you said a year ago, and it's like, oh, yeah, I forgot about that. Those are some really good points. Thanks, self. Enjoy.
What I have noticed, as I put the show together, is that there was a larger theme at work beneath this idea of a sex rut, or busting out of a sex or sensation rut. And the theme that I started noticing was around comparison. A lot of times, when we feel we're in a rut, we're comparing to some external idea of what we think we should be doing. It's like, if I think that I'm not having enough sex, it's because basically, I'm comparing myself to everyone else. And I'm telling myself, "Well, I know that the other 6 billion people on this planet are having really fucking great sex. And I'm not." I have this comparison going. Or if I'm getting sex, and it's okay, sometimes I'll cast my mind back to a couple of years prior, when I was having really great sex. So it's like, a personal best time of the best sex. And I'll compare myself now to myself then. And I'm like, oh, wow, I'm not having the same kind of sex I used to have. Or I'll cast my mind forward, like, oh, if I could get with that person, I'm sure the sex would be great. So it's like suddenly moving into the future. Or I will compare my body to the images that are being beamed at me 100,000 times a day via social media, magazines, what have you, telling me that I don't have a perfect body. And I fan the fires of that with feelings of insecurity, and it just gets really out of control. And, you know, a lot of times when I start having crappy thoughts of any sort, but especially sexual, I will want to rush in there and like, beat those ideas down with a frying pan. Like, "Stop thinking that way!" And I get angry. I mean, part of it is just shame that I have feelings like that, like I should know better. And as I resist these feelings, more and more, they keep growing, because I'm resisting them. And I'm fighting fire with fire. But I have found something: that if I just sit there — doesn't take a long time — if I just sit there and drop the tension, and just be like, yeah, this is what I'm feeling right now. I feel like I'm in a goddamn rut. You know, I feel like I have a lot of shitty feelings about this. I'm sad. I'm feeling sad. Yes, I am comparing myself to the neighbors next door that I hear having sex. Yes, I am. I am comparing myself. And you know, I'm comparing myself to a friend of mine, who's just told me something. Yes, this is what's going on. And if I can just kind of sit there and breathe into that tension — it might be in my chest, or my gut, or my shoulders, because I'm so tense — and just let it be... It's amazing. Because very quickly, I will start calming down. And I'll start feeling very neutral. And those are the moments then when I can ask myself, okay, well, so what is working? You know, what part of my sensual life is working right now? And if I go farther with it, it's like, okay, now that I'm feeling okay, is there a different choice that I want to be making? You know, it's really kind of simple. Is there a different choice I want to be making? And if I want to make a different choice, I can do it with myself, or I can ask a partner, and we can have a conversation. And it doesn't have to be fraught, you know? Because the real question is, I think, can I put the focus on myself? Can I put the focus on myself? Can I take responsibility for my own pleasure? Not "Can I put my pleasure first without dismissing or denigrating someone else's pleasure?" Because I think that's key. I think a lot of times we think so hierarchically, it's like, well, if I get what I want, you're not going to be getting what you want. And that's not necessarily true. So, what I've come to — and I truly do work really hard on this — every time I feel irritated, or angry at someone else, or some external thing, I'm like, you've just made the decision that you don't have a choice in this matter. You have put the power in somebody else's hands. And I really do believe that if I don't take responsibility for my pleasure, I am never going to be satisfied. Because I've given that power to somebody else. So I would love for you to just think about that in the next day or two. Just let it sit. Think about, notice: Are there points in my life when I am really just giving my pleasure power to somebody else? And what do I want to do about it? Thanks, everyone. It's been a great show. [applause]
Next week, I talk with Christie Tate, author of the highly-anticipated memoir "Group," about intimacy, sexual transparency, and addiction. Thank you for listening. If you know someone who might be interested in this episode, send it to them. And please, if you like what you heard, give us a nice review on your podcast app. I'd like to thank Wild & Sublime associate producer Julia Williams and design guru Jean-Francois Gervais. Theme music by David Ben-Porat. Our media sponsor is Rebellious Magazine, feminist media at rebelliousmagazine.com. Follow us on social media @wildandsublime, and sign up for newsletters at wildandsublime.com.
Want to rev up your relationship and bust out of limiting patterns?
Host Karen Yates is an intimacy coach and somatic sex educator who works with couples online and in person in Chicago to help improve their intimate communication and expand pleasure in a process that can be embodied, meaningful, and fun.
Go to karen-yates.com and set up a free Zoom consultation and to download her free guide: Say It Better in Bed! 3 Practival Ways to Improve Intimate Communication.
- WHAT’S UP WITH THAT: The nuances of “bisexual,” “pansexual,” and “heteroflexible” (3:59)
- AUDIENCE Q&A: Panel answers on kink, queerness, and LTRs (15:35)
From the July 2019 live show
- PERFORMANCE: Storyteller David on sexy interludes of days gone by (25:48)
- SERMON ON THE PUBIC MOUND® : Karen Yates talks about owning the responsibility for our own pleasure (32:08)
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- Elmo Painter
- Jera Brown
- OUTspoken LGBTQ Stories @ Facebook
- Sex-positive resources for joining communities and more
On Bookshop, you can find books we mention on the show, while supporting Wild & Sublime and independent booksellers at the same time! You can also check out the list on our website.
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