In a new Eavesdropping conversation, sex coach Tazima Parris asks Karen about kink myths, and the ways kink can be used to reframe and heal from negative life experiences.
Wild & Sublime Podcast Transcript
#S3E2 | Eavesdropping: Kink Misconceptions
[Wild & Sublime theme music]
Tazima Parris: The less judgment I have about whatever — whether it's my activity, someone else's activity — the more that I can appreciate and enjoy what it is, without the judgment, there's just sensation. And do I like this sensation? Do I like this scenario?
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. I chat about sex and relationships with citizens from the world of sex positivity. You'll hear meaningful conversations, dialogues that go deeper, and information that can help you become more free in your sexual expression. I'm sex educator and intimacy coach Karen Yates. In this Eavesdropping episode, I have an impromptu conversation with sex coach Tazima Parris about kink and the old misconceptions we once had. Keep listening.
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Hey, folks. Cranking back into podcast operations since we began the new season has been a challenge, I tell you. And I'm watching myself and realizing hey, enough with the crazy overwork. Crazy overwork is not good. It is pretty hard on the body and quality of life. But I have been noticing this and also making changes, moving toward pleasure and relaxation every day as I am able. Because what I am realizing is that work and pleasure and relaxation, these concepts, they are not mutually exclusive. And guess what? I am feeling pretty good now as I orient toward relaxing and feeling into my body as I work. So that is my thought for the day. Stop punishing yourself... unless you want to. Which leads me to our conversation today. Pretty good transition, huh? The following Eavesdropping episode, where a guest comes on and asks me a question without my prior knowledge, was recorded last fall. But it's only now that I was able to put it in the lineup. Sex coach Tazima Parris, who has been with Wild & Sublime since the second live show in 2018, has been a fixture on the show, and I love talking with her. In this conversation, we get completely silly, as you will hear, but also cover a lot of ground about kink and the attitudes and assumptions we had about it prior to our sex-positive enlightenment, as it were. Enjoy.
Welcome, Tazima Parris.
Tazima Parris: Hello, Karen Yates. Thank you for having me today.
Karen Yates: I'm really excited about this. So, Tazima. What's on your mind?
Tazima Parris: It's a two-parter.
Karen Yates: Oh, god.
Tazima Parris: [cackles] You knew I would bring it!
Karen Yates: I know, I know!
Tazima Parris: So, a couple things have come up in my world recently. And that is the two parts of BDSM that are on my task list of my adventures in sex coaching, slash sexy world. Yeah, it's BDSM, misconceptions around BDSM, and healing through BDSM. Like BDSM for healing. So your thoughts on sort of the misconceptions first, because I hear a lot of stuff coming at me like, oh, it's supposed to be this, or it's supposed to be that. So, your thoughts on the misconceptions?
Karen Yates: Oh, my God. I love that question. Because I can talk about my own journey here. For me, it certainly has been a "take what you like and leave the rest." And that's been the big thing. I think the first misconception I had, oh my gosh... Like, You're weird.
Tazima Parris: There's something wrong with you.
Karen Yates: I'm just putting it straight on the table. Like, you're weird. Like, there's something off. Something's off. Something's wrong.
Tazima Parris: Yes. Emphasis on the weird, and there's something wrong with the people. Because I had my own misconceptions of there's something weird, something wrong - specifically there's something wrong with the people who participate. That was my own misconception. And you know, wrong-right is so, so black and white, so binary, so not creating any space for any other possibility. And then several years ago, this is probably like a little bit as I was starting to explore kink, I came across, like an old-ass study, like an old survey or something that happened like in the '50s. And they asked the question, you can tell how dated it is because the question was something like, how often do you have, or do you have abnormal sexual thoughts? Are you attracted to abnormal sexual activities? And do you know, 70% of the respondents said yes! And I was just like, by the way, like, you're not a sexual minority if 70% of the people are also thinking, quote, unquote — and I'm just like, what?? [laughing] was the? I mean, I don't have any. Personally, I don't have any, like, romantic feelings about a pure time of the '50s. Like, I am aware that that was all BS, it was all bullshit. There was never a pure time ever with humans, period. [laughing] There were just times when we did different things. And there were societies that decided this is okay and this is not okay. So, yeah, that always strikes me, and that struck me and it sticks in my mind as, like, no, the vast majority of people — that's a C, by the way, if you are graded, that's a C! Like, we didn't get an F for kinky, we got at least a C for kinky over the whole population that they checked out. And, I mean, I feel like it's just a normal thing to have kind of non-standard, non-societally-sanctioned thoughts and fantasies. I just think it's normal to do that.
Karen Yates: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, and then that comes to the next misconception I had, which, I thought all kink was BDSM. I thought that was the sum total. If you are not into bondage, discipline, or sadism, or masochism, you are not kinky. And this gets into, I think, the next part, which is, I think things that I think are not kinky, some people... you know, it's like, what is kink? Right? Like some people think group sex is kinky. I'm like, well, it's just a bunch of people having sex together. Is that kinky?
Tazima Parris: It's just more of the same!
Karen Yates: Right? Just... More! [laughter]
Tazima Parris: Some is good, more is better.
Karen Yates: Are you going to KFC and buying the bucket? Or just the little box? You know what I mean?
Tazima Parris: Right? More thighs for everyone! [laughter]
Karen Yates: And you know, it was so funny because one of my mentors said, for some people, like, edge play is having sex with the lights on. You know, and so like, for you, in your explorations, did you have that same misconception, that like it was BDSM, or nothing, or like, anything else?
Tazima Parris: I don't think I knew enough about it before I kind of got introduced to the community. Like, I knew there were people who dressed up. I knew that there were activities that people were doing that I would never do — which, you know, we know how that goes. [laughs] I appreciate when I was introduced to the community the like, "don't yuck anyone else's yum." You know, what I'm into, you know, my kink may not be your kink, but like, it's cool. So fairly early on. I was there with it. Yeah, I didn't even know all the letters or like, you know, what everything stood for, what the names of different things were. But as a sort of scientist, researcher, my scientist-researcher nature was like, Oh, what about this? What about this? What about that? And I'm like, researching all this stuff. And I'm like, okay, got it. And with the backdrop of don't yuck anyone else's yum, I was like, Okay, I don't want to watch that. Or I don't want to look at that, or I don't want to participate in that or, Okay, this one is, seems like it might be okay for me. But like, let me check it out. Like there was a lot of shrugging shoulders like, maybe, possibility, more than anything else. I had — I won't call it a blank slate. I definitely had judgments coming in at first. And then the people that exposed me to this world, they were very positive about everything, and they held space for whatever other people were into, even if they weren't into it. So I had a good model for the folks who I first met in the scene.
Karen Yates: I want to get back to the evolution or the development — I won't say evolution, I'm going to say the development of kinkiness. Because I always come back to some of the questions on OKCupid because I think they're so indicative of the zeitgeist. One of the questions is, have your sexual interests gotten kinkier as you've gotten older? Yes/No, because they only allow you Yes/No. Which is ludicrous.
Tazima Parris: Yes/No??
Karen Yates: So let me ask you: Have they?
Tazima Parris: Fuckin' absolutely. And let me say this, because there's no such thing as a kinky race. There's no such thing as the kinky awards. I mean, yes, there are contests and performers and like, all this stuff. But like, there's no barometer for how kinky you are, like kink meter, there's no kink meter. This is a very individual thing. And everyone has their own spectrum of what their own personal potential is. So while yes, my life has gotten kinkier, as the years have passed, there's not a goal for me. The more I feel open to express myself, the more that that manifests in something that is truer and more pleasurable for me. And sometimes I try something and it's not pleasurable, so like, no, not this time. Like maybe I'll try it again in the future. But like, right now, that's not interesting at all to me. Like, for example, electro stim. A friend of mine was doing a demo at a party, a BDSM kink demo, and she had her toys, and you know, it was great, like, the whole big ol' bag and stuff, it was great. And she had an electro stim tool. And I had watched her do a scene with another person. And this person with the electro stim was all like, whoo-woo-woo-wooo! It was really exciting to watch. Like, the person went into subspace, which means the endorphins and all the lovely chemicals came up so high that like, they're kind of high with the stimulation, and it was beautiful to watch. And I appreciated seeing that, and then I was like, okay, like they completed, and I was like, okay, try it, just give me a little something right here. Right on my arm. Let me just see it. Okay. Okay, what? No, no, uh uh, I don't like it. There's nothing about that. I don't like that stimulation, I don't like that sensation, no! [laughing]
Karen Yates: It's like, I look at that. I'm like, "Oh, no way. No way!" But then, here's the other thing — I was given a tour of GD2 here in Chicago. And there was this—
Tazima Parris: Beautiful space.
Karen Yates: Oh my gosh, so beautiful. And off in the corner, a person I knew was getting, you know, fire stimulated. Now if you told me prior: "Fire!" I'd've been like, okay, fire, fire's, cool. I'm a pyro, sure. But this idea of like, not knowing what it was. I'm like, wait, does someone like, set you on...? No clue. No clue! But then I saw it done. And I was like, Oh, my God, that looks so flipping. cool.
Tazima Parris: [coyly] I have a question.
Karen Yates: What? [giggling]
Tazima Parris: I have a question about fire play!
Karen Yates: I didn't do it, but I saw it! Okay. What's your question? Oh my god, it feels like we're in sixth grade! Like, what did you see?!
Tazima Parris: I've seen it done before, but one thing that comes up in my mind is like, all the little body hairs along the place. Because I also know some fire spinner people as well. And like, you know, there's a whole thing about the clothes they have to wear...
Karen Yates: Right, right.
Tazima Parris: And like, their facial hair and their top of head hair, and all this stuff, body hair. And I'm always like, does it singe off your body hair? Like, in the places where it's close?
Karen Yates: Like your poobs? Pube... I just said poobs. [laughing]
Tazima Parris: We're definitely in sixth grade. [laughing uproariously] We're totally in sixth grade. So awkward!
Karen Yates: Like your poobs?
Tazima Parris: Pubes? What are they??? Your coochie?? [laughter]
Karen Yates: That's my favorite word, cochie. I think I was talking to my friend afterwards. I think there is singeing that occurs, but I don't know about the pubes. But like—
Tazima Parris: Pubes are tough stuff. Y
Karen Yates: They're very, very tough.
Tazima Parris: They are built for the long haul.
Karen Yates: And if there's a fire person out there who's, like, rolling their eyes at our naivete, contact me! Be on the show, get in touch.
Tazima Parris: Let us know!
Karen Yates: But like this idea of what I have seen happen to me over the years is I just have become so much more like you, what I heard you say, is kind of more of a neutrality. Like, things that used to like flip me out because I was coming from this place of, there's something wrong with you if you like this, is no longer that, because suddenly one day it was like, oh, people are doing this because they like it. And their nervous system likes it. And this is a preference, and Oh!
Tazima Parris: Yeah.
Karen Yates: Oh, is it really that simple?
Tazima Parris: And it's so good. And I think also, the other piece for me that is really real about these experiences is dropping the judgment about it increases enjoyment of it.
Karen Yates: Yeah.
Tazima Parris: The less judgment I have about whatever, whether it's my activity, someone else's activity, like, the more that I can appreciate and enjoy what it is, for the people participating, if I'm watching, or for me, if I'm participating in it, like, without the judgment, there's just sensation. And do I like this sensation? Do I like this scenario? And when I drop the question, why? Who gives a shit why? Like, then I'm not in my head. If I'm not like, Oh, why do I like this? I don't give a shit. I know I do. Or, you know, a partner likes this. Oh, wow. Okay, great. Am I into it? Do I want to participate with them in the thing? Like, it doesn't matter. So why, and the judgment — if we can put those two pieces on the side, like, then it's just sensation, then I can be like, am I participating? Or do I not want to participate? And then it's a yes/no.
Karen Yates: Yeah. I like what you're saying here about the judgment, because it's like, you know, Peter/Mksthingshappin, who's on the show a lot, always talks about, stop asking yourself why. But I like the fact you're adding this piece of the judgment, because when we start getting into judgment of self or judgment of others, we're starting to get so oppositional — this energy of opposition starts building. And so, let's say you're someone who really wants to be beaten. And this is like a recurring fantasy for you. But you have so much shame and judgment about it, it drives it deeper. And it's sad, because there's a lot of people out there like that, who have a particular kink that's not so unusual. Like you said, maybe 70% of the people on the planet have the same damn thing. But this self hatred that starts to get generated can be so problematic. And I love you just saying, like, if I stop judging myself, do I just like this thing that is happening to me?
Tazima Parris: The stimulation of sensation that I'm feeling, is this pleasurable? Do I want more of it? Do I want to keep it the same? Do I want to change something about it? Is this angle right? Is the pressure right? Is the sensation is the temperature right? Like, what would feel better? And I think when we — I'll speak for myself. When I follow the sensation that is most pleasurable in the moment — which changes, by the way. Totally from the beginning of a session, you know, where I'm with someone, to the middle to the end to the after, the after care, which is what you do after you're done doing some BDSM activities, you do the aftercare, like, there are different things that feel different at different times. And if I can stay present to that, then I'm having more enjoyment, because sensation is enjoyable. Even the things that are uncomfortable — recognizing, oh, that's uncomfortable right now. Like, I think I want to — keep it? I don't know. Maybe I want to keep the discomfort that's happening right now... Like, and if I don't judge the discomfort, and it's safe for me, and it's safe for my body, I'm not, you know, unconscious about what's happening. Like, if all of those things are present, then my enjoyment of whatever the stimulation is, whatever the sensation is, increases. It's really, I found that there's, like, basically no limit to the amount of enjoyment that can be had. Like, I've tested personally, like, I don't think there's a limit too much as a judgment. You know?
Karen Yates: I would 100% agree about that. 'Too much pleasure' is a judgment. It's like a ceiling. You're creating a ceiling on your pleasure. And, you know, I just want to keep going back to this idea of things that are kinky. You know, I had Lois Lane on the show a while back about erotic hypnosis. Now, that is considered pretty kinky, but you don't have to be doing anything kinky within the hypnosis. You know what I mean? I guess maybe the theme of this is: Is kinky even kinky? Should we take kink off the table? Will there be a day when there is no more kink?
Tazima Parris: Yeah. And sometimes there are times in situations where people use kink as a judgment. Like kinky can be a judgment in and of itself.
Karen Yates: Oh, right. Like, "You're kinky."
Tazima Parris: It's othering whatever that activity is. And again, when 70% of the people in the '50s had this — I wish I knew that, maybe I'll find it again. But if there are a lot of people, like, is it really kinky? And that's a question. Is kinky a judgment? Yeah, it's really interesting. I would love for there to be a time when you don't ever have to say the word kinky. Like, that would be great.
Yeah, I would agree, because then it doesn't have to be this revelation. Like, I really, really want you to, uh... You know, right? We wouldn't have those kind of conversations anymore. Right? It'd be a little more on the board. This is what I like, you know?
Here's what's up. Are you into it? Let's negotiate. If you're not into it, cool. I'll find someone who is actually into it. And then you can carry on and find someone who's really, really into it.
Karen Yates: Right. Right. This also reminds me of, you know, getting back to my very first misconception, which is, there's something wrong with you, which is still held by members of the therapeutic community. Like, there's something wrong with you if you're kinky. And so, I remember Carrie Jameson was on the show, talking about kink-affirming therapists, and how you have to be really looking, if you're going to be wanting to get into therapy, and you really want to be talking about your whole life, not just like, I don't know, your your mother, and you're kinky, or sexually, you know, you're expansive, I like to say sexually expansive, you got to be finding folks that are going to be like, onboard with you and not thinking that you're a weirdo and that there's something problematic in your past.
Tazima Parris: But if you call yourself a marriage and family therapist, and you don't talk about sex, there is a problem! When people come to me and they say, Well, we had a couples counselor, and they didn't talk about sex, I'm like, 'What the fuck?' Like, what's happening? So I understand that we're all made differently. So, I'm the sex person. I'm happy to talk about sex. So you can talk to someone else about, you know, your history and like all the stuff, you can talk to someone else. But when you, if you want to be turned on, talk to me.
Karen Yates: Because I mean, I do know some therapists who are like, you'd be shocked at how few clients bring up their sex life. And so it's like, if you're a therapist who's letting the client guide you, and the client's never bringing up sex — like, I think with... my therapist... [laughing] Suddenly, I was just like, "So let me tell you about this!" And I could just see on his face, he's like, Oh, my God, she's going for it! Yes! We're gonna be talking about—! And I'll still bring up stuff, and I can just see it in his face. I mean, I'm sure he's listening to this, and he'll be laughing. Just like, Oh, wow. She's talking about this. Like, yes!
I'll return to my conversation with Tazima Parris in a moment. Wild & Sublime is supported in part by our Sublime Supporter, Full Color Life Therapy, therapy for all of you at fullcolorlifetherapy.com. In the next part of our chat, Tazima and I talk about healing through kink, and how kink can inform vanilla sex practices. Have a listen.
[to Tazima] So what was your second — did you have a second part? Or have we moved into a second part? You said it was a two-parter.
Tazima Parris: Healing. Yeah, I think this is the part where we talk about BDSM for healing. Yeah, it's great. Because maybe for some people, maybe there was something, quote unquote, wrong, where maybe they are wanting to rewrite a story, a narrative.
Karen Yates: Yeah, I would love to talk with you about this. Because healing, the sexual healing that I have encountered personally, has been more around like Tantra and energy, sexual energy healing. And, you know, I went into depth about this one encounter I had in Tantra school, with a couple, who basically like, we went way back to childhood, and it turned out to be the most astonishingly, one of the most profound healing experiences I've ever had in my life. But I haven't had the same experience in a kink context, but I do know many people who have, and who have rewritten scripts, and I would love for you to like, have you personally had that happen for yourself?
Tazima Parris: I would say — I wouldn't call it healing. I would call it being able to reconcile something specific. So I had an experience where — so, my nature, my personal nature, is fairly gentle. As bold and, you know, as big as my personality is, I'm really like, I'm really nice. And I'm really gentle. And I want to love on people, and like — so causing someone pain intentionally was a big barrier for me. Like, some people want to be hurt, and I didn't — I mean, I like some pain on a certain level. Like spanking, Yay, but like, we're only gonna go so far with spanking. They're not going to draw blood. It's not gonna, you know, and I prefer spanking on my butt. It's not my face. It's not an insult or whatever, you know. So I had this kind of wall/ceiling on what level of pain I could deliver to someone, because I had this whole thing about like, don't hurt anyone. Not necessarily a people pleaser, but definitely like, be kind, so that I am not the cause of someone else's pain. There's a certain level of kind of emotional responsibility, and I keep my emotions, I hold my emotions and my experiences responsibly, generally speaking. Every now and then, you know, I'm still human. But I work really hard at that.
So I had a specific instance where I had become really angry about a bunch of things that had happened, and I had an opportunity to slap someone. And this person was game, into it, and they wanted it, they agreed.
Karen Yates: Did they request it, or did you request it?
Tazima Parris: I requested it, because it was something that I thought about wanting to do. It was one of those like, kinky things, you know, quote-unquote kinky things like, smack me! I'm gonna slap you! Like, slapping is kinky? Is it really kinky? But for me, someone who doesn't want to cause anyone pain, it's super fucking kinky. Like, it's super edgy. And my face is sacred, do not hit my face. Do not hit anywhere. Really don't hit anywhere. Don't get me anywhere except my butt. Like, you know what I'm saying? And I didn't — when I was young, I wasn't disciplined by a slap in the face. Some people got slapped in the face. Like that, to me is just the ultimate disrespect, that was my framework. And so I have this opportunity, this person is into it, they're game, they want to. So we do a couple of test runs, of like, okay, is that okay? Is that okay? They haven't even really felt it yet! But I'm like— [laughing]
Karen Yates: It's a brush of the fingers on the face. I'm so sorry! I am so sorry, AHHHHHH! [laughing]
Tazima Parris: So, I'm calibrating. I'm calibrating. So we do a couple more. And then they're like, "You can go for it." And I was like, Okay, here we go. Cuz I also had to aim, because, you know, it's not something I do. I don't know where my arm is, like, I don't have any spatial awareness.
Karen Yates: Right. And then, you know, as a former actor, I'm thinking about the face slaps that have to happen on stage. And like, you can really fuck up someone's jaw if you don't know what you're doing.
Tazima Parris: Yeah, you can. Yeah, it can be bad. So I was like, Okay, I'm gonna do it. So one thing that I did, and I've done a lot of l emotional work to express fully emotionally, so not just oh yay, I'm happy, but like, I'm really fucking pissed. And so I allowed the 'I'm really fucking pissed' to sort of — this is the experience that I had. I let the anger of XYZ situations fill my body up. There was this, like, whooo, of like, anger. And then I allowed my arm to deliver the anger through this slap. So it felt almost like the arm is filling up with the anger, and I'm just distributing it across this person's face. And then to see their face just like, swing, and I was like WOOOOWWWW! I didn't climax just because of that, but like, it was climactic. And for it to be that good, I was like, damn, like I get it on a cellular level, like, uuughgghhh! And then! And then, the person gave me feedback, it was like, "That was good. But not too much harder than that." I also said, "How dare you?"
You gotta set it up!
Karen Yates: So is this the new kink? Has this now been rolled into your repertoire?
Tazima Parris: I think it is. One thing I'm working toward is like a backhand slap. But I need to get technique, because bones, you know. And that's why I'm not interested in punching anyone.
Karen Yates: That's a very Joan Crawford move, I think.
Tazima Parris: Or like a glove or whatever.
Karen Yates: Oh, yeah. The glove. The glove!
Tazima Parris: Probably a glove would be really great. Get a good — I mean and then I would — okay, I'm getting some ideas now. So—
Karen Yates: Leather gloves. That would have a snap to it.
Tazima Parris: Long leather gloves, but also, kitchen rubber gloves could also be really hot, because they have a certain heft to them, or like I could get—
Karen Yates: That's a mommy thing, that's a mommy fantasy.
Tazima Parris: Like, you know those ones that you can really deal with like heavy stuff, you know that they have those really heavy ones that are like an oven mitt? Yeah, I have silicone oven mitts! Maybe...!
Karen Yates: Yeah, maybe. Yeah. I mean, I don't have a response. I'm like, I'm tracking you here. And I'm like, silicone, yeah. But someone else might be 'silicone!' They're thuddy.
Tazima Parris: Thuddy. So even in this moment, I've never thought of that. But like, potentially, that could be a thing. And I can find someone who might be into it, you know, to potentially experience that. But that's live, like how this stuff and the sensations emerge. I've had this one experience that I was reluctant to do, because I had my own judgments about it. But I have a willing participant, we do the thing, I have an experience, and now it's opening up into Oh, what about this? What about that? And then I get curious. And it feels like my creativity is flowing. And that's just, whooo. Like so good.
Karen Yates: Yeah, I this is really interesting you're bringing this up, because I was talking with Peter in the first Eavesdropping episode about a sexual roleplay. And it's this idea of what really interests me is doorways opening, right? Because of taking action. And so that's what I'm hearing you say. And just around exploration of kink. So you tried this whole slapping thing. So now this is opening up like a fantasy with the gloves and the kitchen, maybe. And who knows? But you don't know. You're just gonna keep going with it. So with your clients, are you still working primarily with, like, cisgender female folks?
Tazima Parris: I am. That's my primary focus.
Karen Yates: So like, do you help introduce kink to folks, as a coach?
Tazima Parris: I'm not introducing, like, you should do spanking. You may not be into that. What I do introduce from BDSM, from the community, from kink, is scenes, containers, negotiations, and your yes,/no/maybes. Those are things that I bring to cishet people who wouldn't, in their quote, unquote, normal life be exposed to these aspects. So that you can create a safe space to explore. But there's this entrenched script of what's supposed to happen between heterosexual people, do everything you can to get the penis in vagina and the penis got to be super hard, and the vagina has to be like super wet, and the, the female needs to be like, panting, and like, ready to come at any moment. I need to help these women like, create a boundary of safety, like, a container, that's what I call the container, of we are going to have some sexual activity during this time. It sounds nerdy and contrived. But when you set it up, just like, you say, Okay, I'm gonna set up Friday night. Friday night is date time for me and X person or whatever, or I'm going to go to the spa. We make time slots for everything else in our life. We have appointments for everything else. But somehow, there shouldn't be any discussion or negotiation about when and what we're going to do? No! You decide where you're going to eat, you decide where you're going to go, what movie, what entertainment, this is part of things that could be entertaining, so why not plan it? So the container is, this specific time for this amount of time, and these are the things we're going to do. And when the time is done, then we will do other things, or we will close the container. So that is just that. I also talk about communication before, during and after. So there are things that you've set up before you enter sex. And there are things that happen during sex — simpler, the better. Then you can review and give feedback after. Wait till after—
Karen Yates: Right? Yeah, rolling out of the — not in the bed. You know what I mean?
Tazima Parris: No! Put some clothes on, like, sleep on it, talk about it over breakfast or whatever.
Karen Yates: What I think is interesting about what you're saying is, this is like a revelation, I think, for a lot of folks. But this is like, so necessary. And there's, for some people, and I certainly would have been one of those people years ago, this is already moving into threatening territory, you know, because of like, wait, what you mean like I, number one, have to assert myself, and number two, have to know where I'm at, like NOW. And something, like something set up maybe yesterday is maybe not going to be the same thing today. Maybe I'm going to be in a completely different headspace. And so like, I also feel like I want to say to people, look, it's enough. It's enough, if all you can say is, I'm feeling really tired today, can we just cuddle for this 45-minute period? Like, I know we were talking yesterday about banging, like, serious banging, but like today I just want to cuddle and maybe kiss. Yeah. How does that sound to you?
Tazima Parris: Exactly.
Karen Yates: That's enough. To start that kind of communication.
Tazima Parris: Yeah. And that's a no, that's where you found a no. And there's a negotiation. It's not just No, we're not gonna bang from the, you know, ceiling tonight. It's not just a regular No. It's like, I want contact with you. And I value the opportunity that we have enough for me to make this something that works for me. And what's in that that wasn't said like, I value what is possible, but these are the parameters that I need right now. And that's caring enough about the activity, honoring the space that was agreed to, and honoring yourself. Like, you don't have to take one for the team. No one ever has to take one for the team
Karen Yates: Ever.
Tazima Parris: Don't do it.
Karen Yates: Like, why.
Tazima Parris: It doesn't pay.
Karen Yates: Taking one for the team so does not work. It so does not work.
Tazima Parris: All it's gonna get you is resentment.
Karen Yates: Mm hmm.Yeah, a lot of resentment.
Tazima Parris: So fuck that shit!
Karen Yates: Mm hmm.
Tazima Parris: Like, what do you need right now? And being able to be with what one needs in any moment is a skill that needs to be developed. That's a skill.
Karen Yates: I would agree. Because you can set a boundary and say, you know, I don't want to bang today, I just want to cuddle. But if you know yourself well enough, and you're tracking well enough, sometimes the cuddling can lead to banging. And you're not taking one for the team if you are 100% with yourself. That's where the nuance starts developing. But it comes with relating to self — not relating to your partner, relating to yourself, first and foremost.
Tazima Parris: Yeah, I love that. And the more that we know what's happening moment to moment — again, skill, this is a skill that needs to be developed. The majority of the content of what I talk about during sex coaching sessions, or classes, or workshops, or whatever I'm teaching, it's not even about the sex, it's about everything around the sex that makes it possible for the sex to happen. If you don't get that stuff, I can give you all the party tricks. There are mad party tricks.
Karen Yates: Oh, my God
Tazima Parris: You can do party tricks all day long!
Karen Yates: Oh, my God, yes.
Tazima Parris: If doing party tricks is gonna fuck you up for the long term, I'm not interested in teaching you anything that's going to make you more resentful, or is not going to bring satisfaction to you. Like, I'm most interested in you being the best, most clear version of themselves so that they can be the best, most expressive version of themselves, so that they can have the most beneficial sensation that works for their body. That's what I'm interested in.
Karen Yates: Yeah, that's the bottom line. You got to know yourself, you've got to know yourself.
Tazima Parris: Period. There's nothing else. No, there's nothing else.
Karen Yates: And I think there's something to be said for just, people need permission. Like a lot of times people just need permission to want what they want, or to be what they are. And that's what I keep saying over and over again. I'm so glad you came on.
Tazima Parris: It's my pleasure.
Karen Yates: To find out more about Tazima Parris, go to our show notes, or her site, infiniterelating.com.
Are you looking to improve erotic communication with your partner? I work with couples in Chicago, helping them increase pleasure, learn how to express desires, and become more connected. All of this through dynamic body-centered sessions. Go to the show notes, or karen-yates.com to schedule your free consultation with me. Well, that's it folks. Have a very pleasurable week. Next week, a bonus episode: panelists discuss humor in bed. Don't miss it. Thank you for listening. If you know someone who might be interested in this episode, send it to them. Do you like what you heard? Then give us a nice review on your podcast app. You can follow us on social media @wildandsublime and sign up for newsletters at wildandsublime.com. I'd like to thank associate producer Julia Williams and design guru Jean-Francois Gervais. Theme Music by David Ben-Porat. This episode was edited by The Creative Imposter studios. Our media sponsor is Rebellious Magazine, feminist media, at rebelliousmagazine.com.
Want to rev up your relationship and bust out of limiting patterns?
Host Karen Yates is an intimacy coach who works in-person with couples in Chicago to help improve their intimate communication, increase pleasure, and deepen connection in a process that is embodied, meaningful, and fun.
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