Karen interviews returning guest sex coach Caitlin V, whose new show “Good Sex” on Discovery+ helps couples looking for better sexual connection by using cameras in the bedroom to diagnose issues.
Wild & Sublime Podcast Transcript
#S3E21 | “Good Sex” with Caitlin V
Caitlin V: One of the coolest things for me is — you know, I was a sex coach for many years before ever seeing anyone's bedroom footage, and I didn't really think I needed it. And in that moment of watching their bedroom footage, I instantly know how to coach them in a way that they could never have articulated to me, and I could never have articulated back, what needed to happen without the actual camera. Those conversations that people have, that they only have when the doors are closed and the lights are off — that's when we let out our truest, deepest, least polished part of ourselves.
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. This week, I interview sex coach Caitlin V. about "Good Sex," her new streaming show on Discovery+. We chat about her evolution as a public sex educator, common sex problems, and vulnerability. Keep listening. Have you considered joining our monthly membership site on Patreon? Benefits start at just $5 a month, and you'd be showing your love for Wild & Sublime and helping us meet our monthly expenses. Go to the link in our show notes or patreon.com/wildandsublime. Hey, folks. Celebrity sex tapes have been a part of our culture for years, and a recent high-ranking politician — okay, former president — may have a sex tape of his own luorking somewhere. Have you ever wondered what would happen if your sex escapades became public? But what if you wanted to make them public, for your betterment and for the good of others? Today, I will be talking with a guest about her new show where couples have elected to place cameras in their bedroom in order to make their sex lives better. "Good Sex" with sex coach Caitlin V. debuted last month on Discovery+. In this series, we watch Caitlin work with five couples whose sex footage gives tantalizing information as to why they are having problems in bed. Caitlin V. has a robust YouTube channel as a sex coach and educator, and also works with clients privately. She was also a recurring guest on the early live shows of Wild & Sublime in Chicago, and will be returning to Chicago for our October 8th fourth anniversary show. Get your tickets. I loved talking with her, and I think you will enjoy it, too. Hey, Caitlin.
Caitlin V: Hi, Karen! Thank you for having me on. So good to see you again.
Karen Yates Oh, my gosh, we — Caitlin and I have not seen each other face to face — well, we're on Zoom. But face to face in a couple of years, I think. And this is our first in-depth conversation since you left Chicago for LA, which was... three years ago?
Caitlin V: It was six weeks prior to lockdown in 2020 when I landed in LA.
Karen Yates Okay. [laughs]
Caitlin V: So, it was an interesting time to move to LA.
Karen Yates Interesting time, yes. Two and a half years ago.
Caitlin V: You and I, we have a history of really rich, deep, and fun, and playful and light, and professional and personal conversations between us. So I'm really excited to be bringing that to an audience today.
Karen Yates I know. I'm really excited about it. So, let's start with a land acknowledgement. What native lands are you on right now?
Caitlin V: I am the native ancestral lands of the Tonga people, primarily. And I also want to just express gratitude for this question in particular. I feel that the land acknowledgement, in addition to the integrity that it holds to acknowledge the land, it also is part of acknowledging the body and the physical space that we occupy, both individually in our body, which is symbolized by the land, and the land that we are on. And Los Angeles has a very rich history. It's not just the Tonga people. There are other groups of people that claim this land historically. And I just — thank you for that invitation.
Karen Yates What a lovely response. And I am so excited that you talked about the intersection between the land and the body, that it is basically one. That is a subject that's very close to my heart. And I am on the unceded lands of the Ojibwe, Potawatomi and Odawa nations, also known as the Council of Three Fires. And there are many, many tribal nations that were in this area before they got forcibly moved. So, I'm glad we got to begin the conversation with the lands. Now, let us move on to Caitlin V. You have had a meteoric rise. The last time I saw you in Chicago, you had a very thriving sex coach business. You already had quite a YouTube presence. And then I watched you, over time, totally grow your YouTube presence, and then put out a deck of cards for couples. And then — I had a sense something was going on, just by some very surreptitious posts — and then boom, the show. "Good Sex" on Discovery+, which we will talk about in a moment. So, first off, congratulations on all of it.
Caitlin V: Thank you.
Karen Yates For folks that don't know you, you were on the show, when it was first known as Super Tasty. It's now Wild & Sublime. But you were a regular on the live show, in the very beginning, the very first episode, very first show in October of 2018. But for folks that don't know you, talk a little bit about the history, your history that led to sex coaching in general.
Caitlin V: I was one of the very rare human beings that knows from an early age exactly what they're going to do in this lifetime. Like, I had a really clear job, like, soul assignment, to help people have better, more pleasurable, more consensual sex. I realized that in high school, but even prior to that, I was a horny kid. I learned how to masturbate at a really young age. No one ever stopped me or told me what I was doing was wrong, thankfully. So I had an experience, a very organic, embodied experience of pleasure. And when I got to high school, and I saw the way that sex was taught as this, like, disease-focused, pregnancy-focused model, instead of a pleasure-focused one, I instantly knew that there was so much more to the story that people were not sharing, and that my peers and my high school classmates weren't getting access to the good stuff. Like, the reason that anyone would have sex to begin with was just completely left out of that conversation. I started identifying as bisexual and queer as early as high school, and I knew that this was just going to be a part of what I did. It wasn't quite so clean of a journey. I ended up studying comp lit studies, queer theory, women's studies, political science, biology, and I ended up going to graduate school at Indiana University, becoming a professional sexual health researcher. I went on to start my doctorate at the University of Texas School of Public Health, and I was looking at sex through this public health lens — which is, also again, pretty disease-oriented, because that's where the money is. That's where the funding is to do research. Always working with these really cool, really progressive researchers that were using the funding to create interesting tools to measure sex and sexuality. A sexual event log — which is interesting, because now here I am on the other side, like, the show actually is the sexual event log I always wanted, right? Because of the cameras — but we can talk about that in a minute. Did all this research and development, and then realized I was super miserable in academia, and that if I was successful, I was going to just end up trapped in a career that I didn't love. And you know, when you're successful at something, and you hate it, that is really a recipe for disaster and long-term resentment. Since then, I've realized, don't get good at things you don't like doing. And I left my doctorate, started my coaching business. And that was about seven years ago now. And like you said, I enjoyed a very meteoric rise on YouTube. I went from one video to, you know, now we have almost 400 videos total.
Karen Yates Can we just stop and say — THE VIDEO.
Caitlin V: The squirting video...
Karen Yates Just kind a little aside— I gotta explain the...
Caitlin V: It's the internet's favorite subject. It's what rose me to instant internet fame. You know, I never thought in a million years that I would be like, the squirting queen of YouTube. And I'm not — you know, it's not me. I'm not doing a physical demonstration. It's a PG-13 video. But a friend invited me to be on his YouTube channel. He already had a quarter million subscribers. He was like, I'd love to do a video, we could talk about squirting. I was like, yeah, sure, whatever. I thought nothing of it. Turns out, squirting is the internet's favorite subject, when it comes to sex and sexuality. And so, it just blew up overnight. It had six million views in six months, which in those days was quite a large number. Today, that's still good. But then, it was viral. And yeah, so I went from like, I think I'll take some coaching clients, to having literally thousands — and interestingly enough, thousands of men — cisgender, heterosexual men with performance anxiety that was manifesting as premature ejaculation. And that was who was coming to me, because that was who was watching the squirting video. They wanted to learn this trick.
Karen Yates Okay. See, I never knew that part. I never knew that that's how your coaching base started.
Caitlin V: Yeah.
Karen Yates Okay.
Caitlin V: Because I came from doing research with women who have sex with women and men, right? So the sort of like sciency term for like, behaviorally-bisexual women. On vulvas and on coregasms — like, orgasms with exercise. And I was doing research on the transmission of bacterial vaginosis. And like, none of it had to do really with cisgender, heterosexual men. And certainly none of it had to do with premature ejaculation or performance anxiety. I naturally assumed that I was going to continue to work with people inside of that community. That's my community too. As a queer, bisexual woman, that's who I thought I would work with. And then, the universe just had totally different plans for me. But what I love about answering the calling of working with men with performance anxiety — it's been such a privilege, actually, because my experience of men and their sexuality has changed so much. My feelings towards male sexuality and how it is expressed in our culture today, I have such a nuanced experience of men and masculinity that I would not have gotten otherwise. And I do see this as my gift. Because this is my gift to the women that I would have been serving, right? Instead of working directly with them — which, so much is directed at cisgender women, right? Don't get raped. Don't get assaulted. What were you wearing? Were you drinking? What did you say to him? Et cetera, right? And also, you look at Cosmopolitan, and so much of the media, is like, 'Here's how you get better at sex: give a better blow job! Be better, do anal because he likes it!' Right? All of this nonsense. And I get to work with the counterpart of that. You know, I get to work with the male counterpart in the heterosexual relationship, to make him a better, safer lover, who has a thorough understanding of consent, who understands his own boundaries, and therefore can respect her boundaries; who has a relationship with his own body, and so isn't trying to, you know, use her body as an expression of his sexuality. So I see this as — it came all the way back around, anyway.
Karen Yates Well, when, you know, I looked at your work on YouTube and saw your base, I just thought it was genius, for exactly everything that you just said. And, you know, as I work with men more, I'm realizing the same thing, that cis hetero men are sort of left out of the picture of the sex-positive conversation. It's a lot more aimed toward queer populations, cis hetero female populations. And so, there's just so much negativity directed towards cis hetero men — understandably, historically, patriarchaly, if that's a word. But at the same time, it's a real problem. And it's not getting addressed by enough people.
Caitlin V: And not everyone should have to address it. I've I've this incredibly privileged experience. I've been able to work through a lot of my own traumas around cishet men, especially around their sex and sexuality. I've had the gift of having some really great healers, teachers — yourself included. And so, I'm happy to take that on, because I have the capacity to do it. And I know there's plenty of people out there who are like, I can't begin to explain anything to cishets, especially white men. And like, rightfully so. I love taking that on for a larger community of folks, because it's something that I feel I have the capacity to take on.
Karen Yates So, let's talk about the show. Yes. The concept being cameras — three cameras total are placed in a couple's bedroom — and then you get to watch the recordings, and the couples come in from all over the country. And you have sessions with them, and you show them things, and healing happens. And it's a lovely, lovely thing. So, let's talk some nitty gritty first, before we talk about the show. How did this come to happen? Were you already in talks, when you were still in Chicago? Like, how did this whole thing manifest?
Caitlin V: Yeah. In September of 2019 — so, from this date of recording, two years and 11 months ago, almost to the day — I was approached for a casting call. They said, we're working on a show about a sex coach, we found you on YouTube, and we'd like to do a casting call with you. Which by the way, was like the third similar email I'd gotten at one point or another. And I spoke with the, I think he was the VP of development of the show. And he shared with me this vision that they had, based on some other media that was coming out, and they really saw this opportunity to look into coaching sessions and look into bedrooms as well. So they really saw that there was this, like, cool opening for a show that had never existed before, where we could use the emerging format of streaming to show things that maybe couldn't be included on cable, couldn't be included in traditional media, but could be included in a streaming platform. And all this very much emerged over time. But I fully got that this was not just a voyeuristic production, that the producers were interested in actually talking about what was going on in people's bedrooms and making a difference for the viewing audience while entertaining them. And so, I was fully on board, and totally aligned with the vision. I flew to LA to film the teaser. It was a wild day. I think I saw like, 14 people back to back or something, you know. And then I moved to LA thinking, if the show sells, I'll already be in LA, easier to produce. And if it doesn't sell, well, this is the best opportunity I've ever had to make the cross-country move that I've always wanted to. So might as well get out of here, and like, now's the time. Which, you know, looking back on it, was foolish. I'm glad that I did it. But you know, I moved 3000 miles on the chance that a show would sell. I had no idea at the time how unlikely it is for a show to sell.
Karen Yates Just packin' her bags.
Caitlin V: I'm like, I've got a TV show now! You know, little did I know, anyone in Hollywood would have been like, you do not show! Do not uproot your life! I think it's something like — I want to say 2% of shows ever get a first season. Two to four percent. I mean, it is a really small number. Yeah. So again, like, a once in a lifetime chance. And I was just on that train, and there I went. Little did I know, six weeks later, lockdown. But so anyways, the answer to your question is that we filmed the show, the whole show was filmed during the pandemic, over the last — it was filmed almost all in 2021, during the summer of 2021. And we had excellent COVID coordination and safety. And it was a very safe environment to shoot the show in, but also unique environment. But anyway, so that's how it came about. They found me. Next thing I know, we're in LA and we're shopping. I got to be part of the shopping of the show to the various networks. And it was picked up by TLC for Discovery+, because they saw the opportunity that lived within the streaming platform, to do stuff that was further outside of the box than they had ever been able to go, being on cable.
Karen Yates Were you part of the guest choosing? Like, how did that whole thing happen? Because there is such a variety of couples.
Caitlin V: Yes, a beautiful variety of couples in every which way. And you'll even see more variety in the one-off sessions that I have in the remaining episodes, three through six. But I gave the producers a list of the most common challenges that I see as a sex coach. And I said, like, here are the top 10 things that people are going to resonate with, here are the things that people want to talk about. And I want to focus on these things, because that's going to make the biggest impact. So episode one, session one, erectile dysfunction. Forty percent of men age 40. And it's this huge taboo subject that people with penises don't usually have a lot of spaciousness to talk about in a shame-free way, in a public way. And Ben, my client with ED, is such a perfect spokesperson for the struggle that so many men and people with penises deal with, which is that it's not a testosterone issue. It's not a physiological issue. It's not a bloodflow issue. There's nothing physically up to explain the erectile dysfunction. The medications don't always work. And you know, what we don't talk about is that actually, almost all of the ED that I see as a coach, you know, as opposed to maybe what a urologist sees, but as a coach, it's almost all psychological. It's all emotional.
Karen Yates When you said that. I was like, wow. Yeah. Okay, I kind of knew this, but when it came out of your mouth, I'm like, wow, yes. Okay. I want to get back to him. He was amazing. Their story is amazing. Yeah. So.
Caitlin V: We also have a person who can't reach orgasm. She couldn't have an orgasm without the assistance of a vibrator. What was interesting about her is, you know, as a sex coach, we say like, well, a lot of people with vulvas can't have an orgasm just from penetration, right? And we try not to problematize that, because usually seeing through a problem-based lens leads us to have a solutions-focused lens instead of a pleasure-focused lens and addressing that, right? Like, how can we enhance pleasure? But what was interesting about her is that she was getting so close. She was getting to the point where she knew she could have an orgasm, but she was right at the edge of the orgasm, and then it would disappear. Right. And I think that's a really different lens. And it's very common, also very common for people with vulvas especially, but with cock-body folks too, to get close to an orgasm and then, gone. So they're a really interesting, super beautiful story throughout the season. We're gonna uncover a lot about her history of abuse. She's very open about that. And I think again, that's very resonant for a lot of us. We have some form of trauma that affects our ability to access pleasure and safety in our body around sex. We have couples with mismatched libidos, and then we have a couple, Adam and Alana, where one person, the male individual in that heterosexual couple, is pursuing sex beyond, and pushing past the boundaries of the female person in that couple. And it's so beautifully nuanced. And I'm so glad that their story is a part of the show, because I think for a lot of heterosexual couples, that is how sex happens. And so, we get to see this very young woman — she's 22 at the time of filming — we get to see her reclaim her voice, her power, her body, her boundaries, her ability to say no, and we see what a positive impact that has on him and on their relationship. And it just goes on from there.
Karen Yates Well, yeah, it was fascinating watching their journeys, because I was able to watch the first three episodes which have dropped currently. And everyone, in these scenarios that you've just mentioned, changes. I mean, Alana, I was beginning to see her starting to claim herself, even in the early kind of prompts you were giving her to take, you know, homework, their dates, their like — no sex unless Alana initiates. I mean, that was just fascinating, because she was so young. I mean, she's 22, you know, and he was a recovering heroin addict. So there was that piece of it. But let's get back to Ben and the ED, because I was really struck — like, he really was this amazing composite of the typical guy with ED. You know, like, I think late 40s, fairly confident, fairly with it. Great relationship. And you had him do — which I thought was — first off, it blew me away that everyone was so vulnerable. Like, I just couldn't even get over how vulnerable — so this guy, you give him this assignment. A masculine erotic persona. Explain. And then let's chat about this.
Caitlin V: So the erotic personas come from my lineage with my mentor, Jaiya, who also created the Erotic Blueprints — we see those in the show as well. And she really birthed this idea of the erotic persona, which is like creating an alter ego, a different identity, a different persona, that allows you to step into and expand and integrate a part of your eroticism. So for Ben, because of a traumatic experience that a close member of his family went through during his childhood, he had repressed a lot of the forceful, aggressive, masculine nature of his sexuality. And so I invite him to create an erotic persona that allows him to fully embody that part of him. Now, the great irony, which you'll see in the show, is that actually, he has very little trouble embodying that part of him.
Karen Yates Right? It was just like, boom.
Caitlin V: But is it funny — I've thought about this a lot since the show came out, too — how sometimes, in order for us to become conscious of what we're already doing, but it's unconscious, in order for us to become conscious of it, we have to choose it consciously. So even though Ben has a lot of — he instantly accesses this like, kinky, erotic, masculine persona. Like, he's just right there in it. And we see it — like, I'm sitting in my office going, okay! You know, I thought this was going to be a challenge for you. It turns out, it seems like it's coming to you very naturally. But it was coming to him unconsciously, until he turned it on and made it conscious. And once it became conscious, it was able to integrate into him. And the erotic persona work, I 10 out of 10 recommend it. You don't have to go into the thing that is the most challenging for you. Here's an example of how I've used it in my own life. I don't really cook. And I don't feel like a ton of joy out of making food. It's kind of like fuel for the body for me. I enjoy a good meal. But like, it's just not my highest bliss. But I really wanted to cook more, and I really recognize the power, coming back to the body, coming back to the land, I really saw the power of being intentional about the food that I was fueling my body with, and also what a gift it was to the people that I love, for me to make meals with them in mind. Kitchen witchcraft. So I created a persona — I'm Caitlin, she's Chloe — and Chloe cooks, Chloe cooks, and Chloe can follow recipes with ease. Chloe knows just how to work a kitchen, and I tell you — I gave her some physical cues, apron and glasses. And Karen, when I became Chloe, not only do I know how to read recipes, I'll read like five or six recipes, and make up my own recipe, and it's better. Caitlin — lost in the middle of the recipe. She gets frustrated reading the ingredient list. The chicken comes out burned every time, whatever it is. But Chloe doesn't. And it was so powerful and so profound, just to make that one little switch for me, that now I have a whole cast of erotic personas. And they all have an eroticism, but you could just call them personas, without the erotic bit. But you know, I developed one because I wanted to learn how to ski. So Christine is my persona that's very athletic. And she skis, and she loves it. She loves hitting the mountain all day. And whereas Caitlin feels clumsy, but Christina, you know, she probably played lacrosse in high school. Like, all of these personas that I get to like step into an experience. And this is so powerful, particularly when we have stories about ourselves in the bedroom, what's okay, what kind of pleasure we're allowed to experience, the way we're allowed to express ourselves. Like, even just stepping into a different persona erotically, even just in solo sex. You don't need a partner. In fact, I recommend that you don't introduce your persona to your partner until you've experienced them in a self-pleasure capacity. Just some of the coolest work, most transformative work I think you can do.
Karen Yates Wow, that is so great. Because, you know, as you're talking, I'm thinking about aspects of myself that have come out. But you know, as I'm listening to you, I'm like, yeah, our souls are infinite, right? And so, we're pulling in information that we already possess. Like, when you talk about Chloe or Christine, I'm thinking about, it's knowledge you already possess, a knowledge of — it's almost the collective unconscious. You're pulling it all into you. It's incredibly empowering, because you're tapping into the interconnected nature of consciousness, which is 100% where I'm at right now.
Caitlin V: You can break out of the story of who Karen is, or who Caitlin is. I have a really limiting story!
Karen Yates Who we think we are as individuals is very limiting! I'm sitting here dancing around. [laughs] [To listener] I'll return to my interview with Caitlin in a moment. Are you looking to improve erotic communication with your partner? I help couples 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 and to receive my free publication, "Say it better in bed: Three practical ways to improve intimate communication." And now, back to my interview with sex coach Caitlin V. In the second half, we discuss what actually happens when you put cameras in people's bedrooms. We also chat about the growing sex-positive movement. [to Caitlin V] Let's chat a little bit about — because I had written to you and I'm like, you know, I'm doing intimacy coaching now with couples, and I'm working on the three-minute game, do the Betty Martin work, and I work with couples on mats. And I watch them. You know, that's the whole session, of watching people negotiate, communicate. And you've had this ability to watch people on camera. What was it like? Because, as we both know, you can give people all sorts of assignments, but a lot of times, folks, when they go home, it kind of all breaks down. So here you are, watching the recordings. And what was coming to you as you're watching folks?
Caitlin V: As you mentioned earlier, there's cameras. We put security cameras inside of the bedrooms of all the couples that I worked with for the duration of the show. So we had months' worth of footage. Because you know, at first you're aware of the cameras, but then over time, they sort of sink into the background. And then we really got to see how people behave when the doors closed. And you're so right. It's one thing to be in session with your coach, practicing, and is quite another to take it home. Because again, coming back to those limiting stories of ourselves. We don't want to be awkward, we don't wanna mess it up. We don't want to be the one who enforces that we got to do our homework today. There are a lot of obstacles. But one of the coolest things for me is — you know, I was a sex coach for many years before ever seeing anyone's bedroom footage. And I didn't really think I needed it. I didn't think that it was going to significantly change my coaching. And it's true for some couples — my coaching probably would have been exactly the same, with or without the bedroom. Ben and Annie is a good example. Because it wasn't so much about the way that they were having sex as it was about things that were going on unconsciously. But for Erica and Thomas, for example, which we see in the first episode, when they get into bed, they are hitting it hard. From the minute that they get into bed, they're like, full force, full out, like porn stars, right? Just high intensity. And in that moment of watching their cameras, watching their bedroom footage, I instantly know how to coach them in a way that they could never have articulated to me. And I could never have articulated back what needed to happen, without the actual camera. Because no one has the baseline to say, we're going super fast from the jump. Right? We're all just having sex the way that we know how to have sex. And like I alluded to earlier, when I was a professional researcher, the woman I was studying under, Vanessa Schick, she developed a sexual event calendar, because we wanted to be able to pinpoint where an STI or an STD was transmitted. That was the end goal of that research. It was very nascent in its development at that time. But we had a tool that was like a matrix of people's body parts, toys. You know, and it was very clinical, to say, okay, Body Part A went into Mouth B. Body Part C touched Toy A... It was very difficult to create that event calendar, especially in retrospect. And especially if you've only been having the kind of sex that you know how to have, how do you explain to a coach what's actually going on? And the same is true also for those conversations that people have, that they only have when the doors are closed and the lights are off. That's when we let out our truest, deepest, least polished part of ourselves. And often it is our intimate partner that gets the least polished part of us. I mean, it's so many of us, myself included, are guilty of just being the worst. I say stuff to him — I have in the past, I've done a lot of healing around this, but I've said stuff to partners that I would die for someone to know I said later. And that was really interesting to me too. In addition to just the physical acts of sex, the conversation that takes place before, during, and after, and the subtleties that — and of course, this is three months' worth of footage that we collected. And you know, in the show it's little snippets here and there, but I got a really complete picture of what was going on in everybody's bedroom.
Karen Yates Yeah. It was incredible. And, oh, there were just some, like ouchy moments as I watched couples — like, oooh. The couple who just had a baby, and he's tentatively, like, touching her shoulder, and she's kind of rolling away... And I was like, Oh my gosh. And then the dog! You know, the dog jumping on the bed. I was thinking about my own dog. I'm like, uhhh...
Caitlin V: The now famous dog. Yeah.
Karen Yates The now famous dog...
Caitlin V: Infamous dog.
Karen Yates You know, the other thing I was really interested in was — how did people get... I mean, I don't think all of them were exhibitionists. But like, that's very vulnerable, and very intense, to like, be seen. Did you have any insight into why various folks agreed to do this? Like, Alana and Adam seemed like they had an Instagram kind of following. Like, there might have been a reason around that, there was more publicity, but like, was everyone different about why they answered the call?
Caitlin V: I think there is a bit of a baseline of exhibitionism, just to be willing to put a camera in your bedroom at all. But I want to highlight how courageous and generous each of these couples were. Because by being willing to put a camera in their bedroom, no matter what, the generosity of allowing all of us to learn by their example, and the humility of being willing to watch your sex clips with your coach. Like, it takes a lot. It really takes something to be willing to do that. And I was so honored to be coaching these folks, because they gave huge gifts. I mean, they gave the gift of their intimate life so that other people could learn. They gave the sacrifice of their privacy so that other people's bedrooms could also be transformed for the better. And I think, you know, some of them knew me before, some of them were already in my sphere. And so this was an opportunity for them to work with me in a way that they would never have otherwise gotten. And others just really sincerely saw the opportunity that existed for their own sex life. And then others — you know, Erica is a great example of someone who took this on because of the religious, restrictive environment that she grew up in, and that she wanted to help others who had similar upbringings to be able to reclaim their sex and pleasure too.
Karen Yates Oh, my gosh, their story, Erica and Thomas, blew me away. We had just covered a bit of religious trauma on one of the episodes recently. And the fact that she was a preacher's kid. And the thing I really loved about their segment is — these aren't just standalone segments. They take place over time. We see these couples develop. But like, there were these beautiful conversations between Erica and her sister about church culture, and always being under surveillance as a preacher's kid. And then Thomas was having this conversation with his best friend. And it's funny, because it's like, you can tell they're staged, but they're also very real. And I'm like, Yeah, you don't get to see like, two cis hetero men talking like, real talk about like, yeah, we have these problems in the bedroom. And we went to see a coach — and like the friend's just like, Okay, wow, all right. And it's like, yeah, that's what it takes. I don't know what happened to Erica, you know, I'll watch the other episodes, but like, knowing that those were the stakes for her to come out to her family that she and her husband were seeing a sex coach, because of all of this culture, was like, wow. Wow.
Caitlin V: It's so normalizing. Which was one of my biggest wishes for the show, was just that people walk away from it with a sense of like, I'm normal. What I'm into, when I'm dealing with, my challenges, you know, the fact that our sex isn't perfect, like, that's actually normal. And watching them have those conversations with their friends — which, you know, I didn't get to see any of that until the show came out. So that's new for me, too. And I think Erica says it so clearly at one point, she's like, everyone has a relationship to sex. And most people like it. And so, why wouldn't we have these kinds of conversations? And I couldn't agree more. Yeah. Yeah. As I was, like, realizing that all of these people had signed up for the assignment, I was like, it was one of those moments — because, you know, like, as a sex educator, sex coach, I don't know what — sometimes, I like, just fear for all of us. I'm like, will we ever move through this, you know, in light of everything? In light of, like, Florida, and abortion, and every day, I'm like, are we ever gonna, you know, move through? And then you see folks, real folks, signing up to bring their lives under scrutiny, and not from like, highly sensationalistic, but like, really real vulnerability, like at the most vulnerable. I'm like, Okay, there's hope. There's hope. We haven't addressed that the show is cut with all the transitional periods between segments of a show — they use old sex ed footage from like the '50s and '60s, right? And so this is this is video footage that is sex positive. And it is sex education from decades prior. And what I love about that, and what hit me as, you know, someone who's pretty much an early millennial, was — then, so sex education has been fraught my entire life. My high school sex ed, public school in Michigan, it's only worse today. As you said, like the "don't say gay" bill in Florida. And you know, we actually are seeing books being banned. And sex education has actually only gone downhill in my lifetime. Seeing this older footage of Sex Ed was so relieving, because it actually made me feel like things used to be better, and they could be better again, whereas I think most of us grew up thinking that we are in the most progressive, most advanced era that has ever existed, right? I mean, we all have this sort of foolish notion that things have only ever followed a linear progression of getting better and better. And when it comes to sex, that is not the case. Couldn't be less the case. We are more Victorian, and our notions of sex and sexuality than we have been since the actual Victorian era. Yes, seeing that footage placed it in a context of timelessness. It was like, oh, yeah, you know, my parents, my grandparents before them, they may have had really empowering conversations about sex and pleasure. It may just be in my generation that those conversations are absent. Absolutely. So this moves us into something I wanted to talk about with you, since you're talking about the archival footage. Okay, this is going to be a leading question, but I have to ask it. You know, we had this one couple near the end of — I think it was in episode three. I can't recall their names at the moment. But you had to explain what foreplay was. So uncomfortable. The male in the couple was a heterosexual. Caleb.
Karen Yates Yeah. And I was like, Oh, wow. I think you even said on camera, "Okay. These folks are gonna require a lot of work." I was like, yeah, sex education, pleasure-based sex education. This is why it needs to happen! Any comments?
Caitlin V: I mean, this is why I love my YouTube channel so much, is because I get to do sex education for adults all day. And the comments that I see in the YouTube videos, are like, Wow, I wish I had known this, this may have saved my marriage. This may have saved me a lot of heartache and pain and suffering. I didn't know that things could be different. I thought that sex was just this way. You know, the number of men that deal with premature ejaculation — the number of cisgender men, I should say. Of cisgender women who deal with regular pain with sex. Regular pain with intercourse. This is the thing that is not supposed to be painful, but the conversation is like, more around managing pain than alleviating it. And we as adults have just accepted that this is the way things are. And then when someone realizes that there's more to it than that, that it doesn't have to be that way, the freedom — and you know, like they say, the truth will set you free, but first, it'll piss you off. I mean, the real anger that people move through when they realize that it doesn't have to be the way, that they've been lied to, that their upbringing, for cultural or religious reasons, left important stuff off of the table. We needed it. We've never needed it — probably never needed it more. And there's such a rich opportunity there in giving people access to pleasure. And I think, you know, we live in the information age, we have more information available to us on literally everything than we've ever had before. Why shouldn't sex be any different? Why shouldn't we elevate pleasure? You know, something I've been using a lot on is how persistent and omnipresent the message that pleasure is bad is.
Karen Yates Oh, my gosh.
Caitlin V: You know, I grew up in the Midwest. Like, pleasure is bad. Pleasure is bad!
Karen Yates Well, you know, 'pleasure' is one of those words that's a flag in social media.
Caitlin V: Right?!
Karen Yates And I'm like, Oh, wow. Wow, eating this sandwich is pleasurable. Ding!
Caitlin V: Watching for this sunset is pleasurable. Riding a bike is— right? There's such a tyranny around pleasure. You're not allowed to admit that we have pleasure. It's so ridiculous. There's nothing that is so obviously, inherently—
Karen Yates Self-evident.
Caitlin V: So self-evident
Karen Yates Yeah.
Caitlin V: Pleasure is so self-evidently good. And what a colossal hood that's been pulled over our eyes, that we've begun to believe and have been forced to believe that pleasure is somehow bad.
Karen Yates So, there are six episodes in this particular run of "Good Sex." Yes?
Caitlin V: Yep, that's right.
Karen Yates And three have dropped.
Caitlin V: Three have dropped. There'll be one coming out each of the next three Fridays. You can get a free trial, free weeklong trial with Discovery+, if you've not signed up before, and it's $7 for a month without ads. So, it's worth the cost of — I don't know, in LA that's a latte. It's worth the cost of a latte to get all six episodes. They each include a lot of information and education.
Karen Yates Oh my gosh, it felt like a firehose of info.
Caitlin V: It's a lot. You may want to plan to buy two months so that you can watch them twice. Because there's a lot.
Karen Yates There really is. I was like, Oh, my God, you are working hard, my friend! Workin' hard! So, are we thinking there's a second season?
Caitlin V: You know, the more people that watch it...
Karen Yates Gotcha. Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha!
Caitlin V: You know, you don't know. It was a groundbreaking format, to work in this way, with this particular creation, to have the cameras in the bedroom, to have it come out on streaming. I was part of an article on Variety that's entitled "Can Sex Save Streaming?" That talks about all the very sex-positive and edgy programming that's come out on streaming services. I hope so, because this first season of "Good Sex," which is six hourlong episodes, we had five couples come in for three sessions each. That's it. And you know, as a coach, as I know, as anyone listening knows, three sessions is not a lot of time to work with a professional, whether that's a coach or a therapist or a doctor. Right?
Karen Yates Oh my God. Wow.
Caitlin V: Karen's making faces on Zoom. Yeah. So that's what we did in three sessions.
Karen Yates Wow. Wow.
Caitlin V: Imagine what we could do in six sessions. So imagine what we could do — I would love to have more variety in terms of gender, I'd love to have some trans folks, I'd love to bring in my somatic healers, I'd love to bring in my queer sex therapists, I'd love to bring in my kink educators. I'd — you know, we're sex coaches, we've got a network of people. I know a lot about a lot of things, but I don't know the depth that, say, you know, someone who's a professional Domme, or who owns a sex toy shop — I'm thinking back to my co-collaborators on early, Super Tasty. You know, just the amazing people that you had on — like, how cool would it be to have a trauma-informed specialist, someone who can speak to what it's like to have sex with a disability? Like, I don't want to be the expert on all things, because I'm not. And I just see this incredible opportunity to bring in even more diversity of sexuality and gender orientation. Let's keep it going, and let's broaden it. If you look at everyone for long enough, you will see that you actually are them, and they are you. The differences make us interesting and distinct and fun, and allow us to have polarity so that we can cross the bridge and get to know each other. But at the end of the day, we are one. But representation matters. And a diversity of representation matters. And it matters that even inside of this show, which is already boundary-pushing and already edgy for its conversation around sex and sexuality, that we do an even better job of incorporating the galaxy, the spectrum, the universe, the fields of sex and sexualities.
Karen Yates Yeah, I appreciate you saying that. Because, you know, of course, when you're working in the field, you're aware of everything. Right? I was also aware, as I was watching the show, I'm like, this is pretty boundary-pushing. And... there could be more boundary pushing in the future! You know what I mean? We can go farther with this, you know?
Caitlin V: And, you know, I think for us, as professionals who have been doing this for a while — certainly true for me; I'll speak for myself — I'm watching the show with my friends. We had a little viewing party. And people who are very sex-positive and very progressive in their thinking are going like, what? I didn't know this, I didn't know that. And so I'm — you know, when you're an expert in something, you forget what it really means to be a beginner in it. Even as we try to maintain that perspective, you just can't, because you're just inundated with it. I've been talking about sex, at least as a peer educator, since I was 15 years old. This is my entire world, always has been. So when I hear people saying, you know, 'That was entirely new to me.' I've never thought to have that conversation. It didn't occur to me that foreplay could be this, didn't occur to me that I could touch a vulva like that. Like, I really get the power. And this is Discovery+, right? This is the home of the Oprah Network, of Magnolia TV, of HGTV, of Animal Planet. This is not HBO or Cinemax, or like — TLC, who originally the show was under; now it's under all of Discovery+. But they are the largest-reaching cable network in North America. Right. So the show, actually, in order to keep people engaged, has to start at the very basics and building that very basic vocabulary. Absolutely. And professionals are still saying they learned something from it. So it's got something for everyone.
Karen Yates Absolutely. And there were definitely things I was watching — as a fellow coach, I was like, Oh, wow, okay. I remember that. But then there were also there a couple of moments where I was like, Oh my gosh, I don't know that move. I don't know that move. Oh, that's interesting.
Caitlin V: And that's what I'm most excited about. The show is like — it's a tool for education, but I think it remains really entertaining at the same time, which is I think a line that you have very, very graciously walked with your own show.
Karen Yates Thank you. So, more to come. I think that's the final thought here: more to come. Caitlin V. "Good Sex." Check it out. Discovery+. free trial. No strings attached. Very easy. You can jump right in today. Caitlin, thank you so much.
Caitlin V: Thank you. What a delight!
Karen Yates For more information on Caitlin V, go to our show notes. "Good Sex" is on Discovery+, and you can find that link as well in our show notes. And if you will be in Chicago, click the link to grab tickets for our October 8 anniversary show. It will sell out. Wild & Sublime is supported in part by our Sublime Supporter, Full Color Life Therapy. Therapy for all of you at fullcolorlifetherapy.com. Well, that's it, folks. Have a very pleasurable week. 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.
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- Good Sex – Streaming now on Discovery+! (Try a free trial.)
- More about Caitlin’s coaching practice
- Listen to Caitlin’s appearances on our early live shows
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