Leah shares a coaching session with client Caitlin to give us an in-depth experience of what coaching looks and feels like. Caitlin is divorced and currently in a friends-with-benefits heterosexual relationship. She and Leah had discussed fantasies and BDSM in previous private sessions; here they focus on Caitlin’s new (or perhaps not new?) sexual attraction to women, and how she might begin to explore that in real life.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT (CLICK TO OPEN)


LEAH: Welcome to Good Girls Talk About Sex. I am sex and intimacy coach Leah Carey and this is a place to share conversations with all sorts of women about their experience of sexuality. These are unfiltered conversations between adult women talking about sex. If anything about the previous sentence offends you, turn back now! And if you’re looking for a trigger warning, you’re not going to get it from me. I believe that you are stronger than the trauma you have experienced. I have faith in your ability to deal with things that upset you. Sound good? Let’s start the show!

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Hey friends. My name is Leah and I am a recovering perfectionist. Some days, I’m recovering better than others. In the last ten years, I’ve been trying to embrace the fact that while there are many things I’m very good at, there are some things that I am absolutely dreadful at. For instance, anything to do with maps. I simply cannot give you directions, remember directions, or follow directions. I am convinced that GPS is the sign that God loves me.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Another thing I’m not great at, letting people know that I’m not just hosting a podcast about women’s sex lives. I’m also coaching women to more fully embrace their sex lives. I mention it each week at the top of each show. But we’re now on our third year of this podcast, and I still have people say, “I don’t mean to bother you with this, but do you ever do any coaching?” Why, yes, I do.

In fact, that’s a major part of the work that I do. There are lots of questions people have about what coaching might be like. For instance, “Am I going to have to take my clothes off and try things while we’re talking?” No. Definitely no. We both remain fully clothed. Or, “If I’m not enjoying sex with my partner, are you going to tell me I have to leave them?” No. Definitely no. First of all, I’m never going to tell you that you have to do anything. And second, my goal is to help you more fully embrace your sexuality no matter who your partner is.

And there are a ton more questions. So, rather than trying to answer them all, I decided to do something new. I’m giving you a sneak peek into some actual coaching sessions. I reached out to a handful of previous clients and invited them to return for a one-off coaching session to dive into what’s going on with them now. They agreed to let the sessions be recorded, so you can hear what a coaching session with me sounds like.

Today, I’m talking with Caitlin, a white woman in her early 30s who lives in Florida. She’s divorced with two young children and has a friends with benefits relationship with a man we’ll loosely refer to as her partner. You’ll hear more about that as the conversation goes on and you’ll also hear directly from him in a few weeks when I share a couple session that I did with the two of them. I’ll tell you more about coaching options at the end of the episode but for now, I’m so pleased to introduce this coaching session with Caitlin!

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Caitlin, I’m so excited to talk with you. It’s been a while. So that people know sort of the history here, we’ve worked together a couple of times. And I think the most recent one, you can correct me if I’m wrong, I think most recently was in the group session program.

CAITLIN: Yes. I did two. I did the group coaching and a pajama party.

LEAH: That’s right. Yes. Okay. Great. So, I know you and you sort of are familiar with this coaching style, but I want to catch up with you and see where you’re at, and what’s going on with you that we can work on now.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, how are things and what would you like to talk about today?

CAITLIN: Things are excellent. We did the group coaching class. I had just left my marriage. And so, I was figuring out sex as a whole new world because I got married very young and hadn’t had a lot of partners or experience. And so, the growth, and that was nice because it sort of set the stage for a healthy way of viewing sex, and moving forward, and exploring it over the past year and a half, I guess it’s been.

But what has happened in that as I have explored more comfortably what I’m interested in, what does turn me on, and what I like or don’t like. So, I have a friend who has left the Mormon religion. This is the best analogy I have, so bear for me for a moment.

LEAH: Okay.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: And so, his describing of leaving, he shares with everyone who knows who has left the faith is

“There’s a glass shelf breaking.” That’s the descriptor they use, and that’s this moment where all the little things that don’t add. Yup, there’s one moment that breaks your glass shelf, so everything you think Truth, you realize isn’t, it shatters.

LEAH: Oh, wow. Yeah.

CAITLIN: And so, as I’ve been discovering things about myself, I’ve also been unlearning everything that we’re programmed to think about sex and know about sex. And so, what I have realized in those process is I am perhaps also attracted to women, and not just men, but I don’t know what to do about that information.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Okay.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Well, this is exciting.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: So, here’s a fun realization, but now what? And I don’t know. In a pandemic, I’m not seeing people, so I can’t do anything with this realization. So, it’s an unfortunate time to have a realization. But preparing for after the pandemic, what do I do with that information?

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: As a straight woman.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, first of all, welcome to the club.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And I would say that of the women I’ve worked with who have started calling themselves straight.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: A huge proportion of them have at some point have been like, “I’ve actually been thinking of women for a while.”

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: Actually. And it’s one of those dawning realization where I was literally lying in bed one night, and I was trying to masturbate, and then a women popped in my head. I’m like, “Well, that’s fascinating. Maybe I’ll go with that.”

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: Then, after I said out loud to myself like, “Oh, fuck.” Because now what? What the hell am I supposed to do with that? But then, as I remembered back, maybe at that time, I was 17, and I really liked that girl. I didn’t really just want to be her friend a lot.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: But I had no box for it. I didn’t have the framework for that meaning something. I could tell you about a crush on a boy. That was very clear.

LEAH: So, that actually would be my first question. If this moment lying in your bed, masturbating, and the woman shows up, was that the first time you had ever had a thought like that or is it just the first time you put that name on it?

CAITLIN: I don’t know. That’s an excellent question. So, I definitely had a phase in high school of making out with girls, but it was always in sort of the guise of that appeals to boys. And so, it was easy to just sort of ignore the part that also enjoyed it, independent of it appealing to boys.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Sure.

CAITLIN: So, it’s not a totally new idea. I don’t know if I’d ever really thought about it intentionally. So, there would be times that I would think about if I’m masturbating, and then there’s a third person who is a woman, there’s always a man involved. So, I think that was a first time that it was like just a woman.

LEAH: Yeah, yeah. And that’s a very safe entry point for a lot of people. I want to explore women, but only in the context of there also being a man there because then I’m not going too far outside the prescribed lines of the box. And for some people, that’s really all that is. It’s just sort of a thing they want to explore with their male partner. And for other people, it is an entry way because it feels a little safer. So, when you think about it now, how long ago was this masturbation experience?

CAITLIN: Two months, not very long. It’s relatively recent.

LEAH: Okay. Since that event, have women shown up in your fantasies more often?

CAITLIN: I don’t know. I don’t actually also masturbate as much in general because I have a robust sex life with a man.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: I don’t think more. Now, the difference has shifted as I notice women in the same way that I’ve always let myself notice men. And the way that when you’re shopping for a minivan, you start noticing minivans everywhere, I guess. Whatever phenomenon causes that.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: Now, I’m like, “Oh, that women is attractive”, in a way that before I just would’ve noted that not in the same way as noting a man. So, I think it’s just that permission.

LEAH: That’s huge. And so, something that I think is important because a lot of people will get to this moment, and freak out, and be like, “Oh my god. I have to turn my life upside down. I have to make completely different decisions. I have to blow up my relationship.” And none of that is the case.

CAITLIN: No.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: That seems like the wrong answer.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, one thing that I think is important to recognize is that we are all socialized and sexualized to images of women because the female form is used to solicit everything from cheeseburgers to cars. Sometimes, cheeseburgers on cars.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: And at such a young age.

LEAH: Exactly.

CAITLIN: As someone with a young daughter, I’m so aware of that now and it’s constant.

LEAH: Yeah. So, sometimes when that impulse arises to be like, “Oh, that woman is really beautiful”, it can feel like maybe this is a romantic attraction, sexual attraction, when really what you’re doing is responding to all of that sexualities to find the female form more beautiful, to find it more visually pleasing. So, if that is what you’re experiencing, then cool. Great. Another thing to look at and enjoy.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: But if you’re feeling like there might be some actual attraction there that is sexual as opposed to visual, then there’s more conversation to have. So, where do you feel like you’re falling on that? Do you feel like it’s a more sexual energy that comes up for you or do you feel like it’s visual appreciation?

CAITLIN: I think it is more of the sexual energy. I would like to date a woman.

LEAH: Okay.

CAITLIN: Not that I have any idea how to go about that, I realize.

LEAH: That’s okay.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: And I can’t. We’re in a pandemic, so all of this is very hypothetical until I could date anyone.

LEAH: Yeah. And actually, that is kind of the beautiful thing because many of us, and I count myself among these people, have the tendency when something new pops up to go just all in and be like, “I want to date all of the people and do all of the things.” That’s part of my sexual awakening story. I did all of the things.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And when there’s a little bit of a damper put onto it, then you have some time to settle into it and not make those really rash decisions that end up blowing up your life.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: It’s like force self-reflection. It’s like I’m at a zoo with a bird cage. You have to go through the wall and door and pause and it has to close before you get to the next door. The pandemic is just this zone where it’s like, “Stop and think about what you’re doing.”

LEAH: Yeah, yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, you mentioned that you have a male partner, and we’re actually going to do a three-way, threesome session with the two of you.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, where is he in terms of knowing of this and supporting it and is he aware?

CAITLIN: Yes. So, we have abandoned labels and true millennial in fashion.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: So, I don’t even know how to define non-monogamous, but it’s a pandemic. So, we are monogamous because we’re each other’s bubble, so we only see each other, so we have no other options. And so, we’re friends outside of that. And so, it’s sort of friends first, sex second relationship. And so, we have great sex and we end up communicating a lot about sex. And so, he’s the first person that I told this realization to. I was like, “Hey, guess what? I think that girl when I was 17, I actually had a crush on her.” And he’s like, “Well, what’s she doing? Add her up on Facebook.”

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: It turns out she is in fact a lesbian and a professor at another university across the country, inconveniently. I was like, “Well, that’s unfortunate.”

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: But again, I don’t know what to do with that realization.

LEAH: Yeah, yeah. I love that he’s supportive though. That gives you a really open play space to look at this without the pressure of, “I have to keep this from my partner and I have to sit down low.”

CAITLIN: Absolutely.

LEAH: So, let’s talk about how you can engage with this during a time when you cannot actually engage with people.

CAITLIN: I cannot actually engage in anything, right?

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: What’s your fantasy life like in general? How much do you engage with your fantasies just any of them?

CAITLIN: I would say a lot. I think that’s part of what brought this on as I wasn’t, really. And then, with my current partner, we did start talking more about it and we did both get honest with what we wanted. And so, we ended up sort of falling into BDSM stuff. And then, we both went down rabbit holes and researched. And then, it’s just our personality type. And so, it’s a lot of conversations and sort of exploring things and researching things. So, there isn’t much that I’ve thought about trying that we haven’t tried. Potentially adding a third person, but again, a pandemic so that’s as complicated as anything. And then, women, since that’s a relatively recent revelation in my world.

LEAH: Yeah. So, how do you feel about reading erotica to indulge your fantasies through somebody else’s story, so it’s not your own brain making it up?

CAITLIN: So, that I have. I don’t know how many years ago, I stumbled upon erotica online and I’m like, “This is so much better than porn. This is so much better.”

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: And so, actually, I have not thought about it until this moment. But I have read gay erotica this entire time.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: I’ve been reading both. But I was just like, “Sex is sex. Everything turns everybody on.”

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: And potentially, there’s signs.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: When I told my partner, too, I was like, “I have this revelation.” He’s like, “Yes, I probably could have told you. This is not a revelation for anyone who knows you.”

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: And so far, my response from my few best friends who I have had this conversation with too, they were like, “Yeah. Yeah. I can see that. That’s not shocking.” So, I’m the only one surprised by this information.

LEAH: I remember having that exact same conversation with one of my friends in college when I came out to her. I think at the time, I actually had thought I was a lesbian because I didn’t know you were allowed to be interested in multiple genders at the same time.

CAITLIN: Right.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: But I came out to her and she was like, “Yeah, and?”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And she’s like, “I kind of knew.” And I was like, “Well, why didn’t you tell me?”

CAITLIN: Right.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: Sort of in my mind, I was like, “Okay. But.” And then, I have such a hard time too that I can’t, maybe I’ve just abandoned labels all the way around, or maybe because we don’t have labels in our current relationship now, I just push back against all of them. Because it really does feel the more that I sort of let myself be into what I’m into like, “I can be into anyone. I could be into a transgender man or transgender woman or woman or man like equal opportunity.” So, I don’t know what label that would be, and then, any label feels wrong.

LEAH: So, the technical term so that you know what it is, is pansexual. That means that you are attracted to people regardless of their gender.

CAITLIN: All the people. This feels fitting.

LEAH: All the people.

CAITLIN: All the people.

LEAH: Yes. And you can choose to embrace or reject that label just as you have any other.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah, that’s something that I wanted to say to you that just because you’re examining this now, you’re looking into it, and feeling it out, doesn’t need to mean any particular label. It doesn’t have any great meaning. It’s not like, “Oh, I’m going to look into this and then, I have to commit to it and that’s who I am.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: No.

CAITLIN: It’s not a contract. There’s not a handbook.

LEAH: Yeah. Exactly.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: There is no gay agenda.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: I thought there would be a membership card, like a T-shirt.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Unfortunately, there’s not. It would be easier if there were.

CAITLIN: Membership card, right? You would just distribute it.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: So, I went to this hike the other day with a friend who is bi and openly bi. And so, ironically, on this hike, he’s been in relationships with men and just recently he’s like, “I think I might go back to dating women for a while.” And I’m like, “Really? Me too!”

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: And he’s like, “Okay. This is a new conversation I think we’re going to have on this hike.” That was important. So, we saw this woman who is very attractive who stopped and said hi as we were walking out. And I got back to the car and I was like, “I should’ve said something to her. She was really cute.” And he’s like, “She was really cute. You should have said something to her.” And I’m like, “But I don’t know how to flirt with women.”

This just seems like such a silly thing to say, but I’ve had no issues in confidence. I’m very fortunate throughout my life that if I wanted to hit on a man, I would know how to do it. And I’ve had no issues hitting on men, or going out with men, or I don’t worry about going on dates. I don’t worry about not getting dates. Now suddenly I feel like a 12-year-old boy. I’m like, “This is why all 12-year-old boys are assholes. This is anxiety-inducing. I don’t know what to say to you.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yes.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yes. It feels completely different. Ultimately, it’s not that different because basically the rule is don’t be an asshole.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: That’s fair. That’s a good rule.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: But it does feel different because we are taught that men and women have totally different needs and have totally different desires, which is actually not true. But if you had seen an attractive man on your hike, what would you have said to him?

CAITLIN: I don’t know. That’s a good question. I think I probably would have just commented on something in general, though that did make sense because the friend that I was with is like, “You are both wearing cute boots. You should have told her she had cute boots.” And I was like, “Oh, that would have been so easy. I should have said she had cute boots.”

LEAH: Well, but what happened is you saw a cute person and your brain went, “Ha!”

CAITLIN: Right.

LEAH: And that’s so natural. That’s exactly what is supposed to happen.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: I was like a teenager again. I am a grown ass adult.

LEAH: Yes.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: But in this particular case, you’re not. Your hormones are like, “Ha! New thing. New thing. I don’t know how to do this. I know all the things, but I don’t know how to get any of the things.” And it just goes into overwhelm. So, if you can have the grace for yourself that you would have for a teenage boy, you will be doing yourself a great favor.

CAITLIN: Okay.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: That will be the goal for 2021. All the graces of a pre-pubescent boy.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Exactly. So, I have a bunch of friends who are transgender who are at various stages of their transitions or have been living their lives for extended periods of time in their correct gender and every one of them talks about going through a second puberty. Now, this is largely because of the hormones that they’re getting, but I think it’s a really useful idea for us to carry, which is when something new starts to percolate in us, all of the hormones are like, “Wooh! There’s something new. Let’s play!”

CAITLIN: Right.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, okay. So, how can you put yourself in a space. Now, understanding, right now, we’re in a pandemic, so it’s not going to be a physical space. How can you put yourself in space to allow you to explore this some, to interact with women in a way that feels flirtatious and feels fun?

CAITLIN: I don’t know because I don’t see people. And it seems silly to get on an online dating thing like, “What am I going to do on Tinder when I can’t see people?” And so, that’s part of it. I feel like I’m just waiting. There’s this realization. And now, I’ll just stick with it until I see people again. And even when I can’t see people again, I’m afraid it’s going to be like the dog that caught the car. What if I get it that I am with a woman, and I’m like, “Well, now, I don’t know what to do. So, this has been fun.”

LEAH: And that will happen.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: Oh, fabulous.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And it’s okay.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: That’s my instinct. Oh, shit. We’ll get into bed and I’m like, “I don’t know what to do. This is not what I’m used to working with.” And the other part of me is, “But you’re both consensual adults and sex should be communicated anyway. And so, you shouldn’t assume you know what anyone likes.” So, I can do both sides. I go back and forth.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, yes, all of those things. And right now, you’re at step A. And actually being in bed with a woman is step M.

CAITLIN: I’m worried about halfway up the alphabet.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Exactly. So, you’re going to have lots of time to figure out what you might want to do when you get to step M. And you’re still not going to know and it’s still going to be a, “What the fuck am I doing?” when it actually happens.

CAITLIN: Fabulous.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: But right now, let’s just focus on A. I actually think that getting on the apps is a great idea.

CAITLIN: Really? Even when I can’t really see people?

LEAH: Yeah. Even though you can’t see people because it will give you an opportunity to get the nerves out.

CAITLIN: That’s fair.

LEAH: To have the conversations, and practice, and see what works for you, see what doesn’t, without any pressure whatsoever of actually having to meet these people.

CAITLIN: Do I tell them that? That I’m not going to meet in person? I mean, with women or men, I’ve had this debate because I was kind of on them before. And then, when the pandemic started, I was kind of talking to a couple of guys. But then, I just felt like I was wasting people’s time. Because I’m in Florida, where the pandemic does not exist.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: So, our bars are packed and everyone is proceeding as life is normal, except that also our ICUs are full and lots of people die every day. So, I’m definitely the outlier in that we are being socially distant and cautious.

LEAH: Yeah. I think you put that in your profile. You just say right up front like, “I have these particular boundaries. I’m not going to meet you in person until”, whatever your boundaries are, whether your boundaries are, “until we’ve been talking for a certain amount of time and I’m really certain that I want to invite you into my bubble” or “until our numbers go down to X.” Whatever your boundaries are, just be upfront about them.

CAITLIN: That’s fair.

LEAH: And then, people can opt in or opt out because you may very well find that there are other people who are like, “Oh, thank God.”

CAITLIN: That’s true.

LEAH: I am not interested in meeting up, but I’ve been talking to all these people who are like, “Second date. Let’s do it.”

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: Right. It’s a strange, strange world in Florida right now.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: It’s a very strange world. Yeah. So, I think that getting on the apps is a great way for you to practice.

CAITLIN: Do I say I’ve never dated women?

LEAH: Sure. And remember, you can put a profile today and change it next week. It’s not forever.

CAITLIN: That’s true.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: This is not a life commitment.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, put up what feels really true and authentic to you today. And then, if you’re not getting the responses and not having the conversations you want, you can reevaluate in three days, or two weeks, or whatever. But yeah, for right now, say, “This is brand new to me.” I remember when I was wanting to date women and was living in rural New Hampshire, had no fucking idea how to meet anybody.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And I had this very strong belief that if I let anybody know that I didn’t have experience, they were going to brush me off and be like, “She’s just a baby.”

CAITLIN: Yes! You don’t want to train someone, in the same way that I don’t want to keep saying to them like, “You don’t have to train me.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: In fact, there are a lot of people who would be very, very happy to train you.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Baby lesbians are a whole thing for a certain group of people.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: That’s not surprising because part of it is that insecurity of maybe, “I’m not for real” or “I’m going to waste someone’s time” or “I don’t know what I’m doing.”

LEAH: Yeah. And one thing that you might want to be aware of is to really focus on other bisexual women as opposed to lesbians, not because lesbians are in any way less desirable for where you are, but because there is a feeling in the lesbian community, for some people, that I’m not going to fool around with anybody who is just exploring because they’re just gong to break your heart. They always go back to being straight.

CAITLIN: That’s interesting.

LEAH: There are plenty of women who end up either becoming lesbians or bisexual after their sort of exploratory period, but so many lesbians have been so deeply hurt by women who have not been honest with them that I think it would be wise to sort of stay out of those waters, so as not to make it any harder for yourself or for those women. So, if you stick with bisexual women and say, “I’m just sort of exploring and trying to figure out what this means”, other bisexual women are probably going to respond to that because they’ve been there too.

CAITLIN: That makes sense. I think that is part of the fear is that I don’t want to be this person because I don’t technically know, and I’m pretty sure, sure as I can be without being completely sure.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: But for all I know, maybe I’ll be like, “Oh, this was my imagination, being imaginative.”

LEAH: It might be. Yeah. So, I think you and I have had this conversation before, but you don’t have to be all in to any given label. So, I am bisexual. It probably would be more appropriate for me to say I’m pansexual, except that I grew up at a time where the first word that I had access to was bisexual, and I very tightly grabbed onto it.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: But I am not equally interested in both men and women. I think there is an idea that if you are bi, that means you are always wanting one of each. And there are a lot of men, specifically, who will be very vocal about their fear, “Well, if you’re bisexual, then you’ll never be satisfied by just me. You’re always going to want somebody on the side.” Not actually true. For some people, it is true. For me, not true at all.

CAITLIN: So many things that I’m unaware of that I’m learning.

LEAH: Yes.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: It’s so good that we’re having this conversation right at the beginning of your exploration.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, my bisexuality manifests as I am sexually attracted to the female form a little bit more than I am attracted to the male form. Just like passing a woman on the street, I am much more likely to be like, “Oh, she is hot!” than I am to see a man on the street and have that response. I am very drawn to touching a woman’s body, less interested in having much of anything to do with the penis.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: it’s not a huge desirability point for me. However, I am more attracted to the masculine energy for forming a long-term relationship. So, when I become involved with a man, and I sort of see the fullness of who he is, I am much more likely to commit to that than I am in that same situation with a female. And in that situation, I begin to develop a lot of attraction to the penis.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: That I didn’t necessarily have right one the surface. So, I call myself bisexual and heteroromantic, meaning that I am very much attracted to both forms, but I have a particular attraction to a romantic attachment with one of the genders.

CAITLIN: That’s an interesting distinction. It never would have occurred to me to make that distinction.

LEAH: Yeah. And different people have that breakdown in lots of different ways, so the romantic attraction and the sexual attraction do not always go hand in hand. For some people, they do. For some people, they are a complete 100% match. But for some people, they don’t at all.

CAITLIN: That’s so interesting.

LEAH: So, if you discover that this isn’t working out the way that I thought it would, it’s not because you’re doing it wrong.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: That’s good to know.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. It’s just because bodies and brains are weird.

CAITLIN: Right.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: This is the root of all of it is we’re all weird.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yes.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: I think if I had to guess, I would almost say I’m the opposite, which I think is interesting because I’ve never thought about it in that context. But if I’m thinking of sort of the energy that I am drawn to, it is more of that feminine energy for that actual relationship versus I’m very attracted to penises, like really enjoy the penis and the male form.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: And I’ve joked with friends and argued about the physical design of each penis is straightforward and classic and this way.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: There’s no utility there.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: But that energy attraction, I think is actually even more of what pulls me to women. If we’re just going physicality, I think I would care less what women look like than men. The attraction is more than that, that makes them attractive.

LEAH: Yeah, fascinating.

CAITLIN: It is fascinating.

LEAH: It’s going to be really exciting to see how this plays out for you.

CAITLIN: Yes, that is a word for it.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And I love that you’re in a relationship with somebody who is going to support you in these explorations, so that if you do decide that your entry point is to have a threesome with your partner and another woman, so you can sort of get the lay of the land, as it were.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: That he’ll probably jump on board that train with you. That’s another conversation we should have if you decide you want to do it.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: That’s a whole other coaching session.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: That’s a whole other big.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: Let’s cover threesomes.

LEAH: Yes. That’s a whole other conversation because there’s a lot of stuff that you just need to be aware of, not least of all so that you don’t hurt the third person that you bring into the situation.

CAITLIN: Right. Absolutely, I imagine.

LEAH: So, yes. So, we can hold that conversation when you’re ready.

CAITLIN: Let’s table that discussion.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yes. So, what else do you need today? What else do you need clarity on? Questions? Comments?

CAITLIN: I don’t know. That distinction, I’m going to be really chewing on that distinction, I think, between the physical attractiveness and sort of the energetic attractiveness for a while. That’s fascinating. Are there resources I should be reading or listening to or looking at? I’m one of those people who definitely just gathers information like the more information, the better. I can sort of sort through it and see what applies. With some of the stuff, I don’t even know where to start.

LEAH: I kind of don’t want to refer you to a lot of other people telling you what your experience could or would be.

CAITLIN: That’s fair. I can appreciate that.

LEAH: Yeah. Not to say there aren’t some great books, but instead of going down the non-fiction, let’s analyze this route. I would highly suggest that you go down the erotica route. If you want to buy books, buy all of the lesbian erotica, all the bisexual erotica, which there is some. My favorite thing are collections of erotica. So, you buy one book and you get like 15 stories by different authors because then, even if you don’t like 13 of them, you may find your new favorite author in the other two.

I highly recommend Rachel Kramer Bussel. I’ll send you the information. I’ll put it in the Show Notes, so that you can find those. But yeah, just really exploring your fantasies. Literotica, which I think you’re already familiar with.

CAITLIN: I am.

LEAH: Yeah. Just going down that rabbit hole of reading the different lesbian and bisexual material to really soak yourself in it and feel, not figure anything out, you’re not going to figure anything out until you’re in the room with a female body.

CAITLIN: Right. This is a learn by doing activity.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yes.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So that you can really sort of feel through what is maybe going to work for me? What am I interesting in? What am I not interested in? And then, you’ll have a great base of knowledge when you do begin exploring. You don’t have to go through all of those things like, “Yeah, I’m not into that. Not that into that.”

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: So that actually does lead me to a question. So, if I do get on a dating app just for the sake of talking and exploring that side of it before meeting anyone, if I am focused in on bisexual women as opposed to lesbians, is that a setting? Do I just say only interested in bisexual women? How does that framing happen?

LEAH: It’s probably going to depend on the app and it’s been a little while since I’ve been on the apps because I’m in a monogamous relationship. So, I don’t know the specific answer, but I do think that on most sites, on most apps, you’ll be able to do a search for bisexual women.

CAITLIN: Okay.

LEAH: I’m not saying you should avoid lesbian women all together. I’m just saying, “Be kind. Be a little bit aware of that.” If there’s a lesbian, who is like, “I love to train baby dykes”, great! Go for it!

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: All in!

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: As soon as you show me your vaccine card, sign me up!

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Right. Exactly.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: But there are going to be just as many women who will put on their profile, “Not interested if you’re exploring.” Just avoid those people.

CAITLIN: That is my hope that that would be. I didn’t know if it was the norm in the community, so that actually makes me feel better that this is sort of an open conversation.

LEAH: And if you put on your profile that you’re exploring, that will probably weed those people out anyway because they’ll be sensitive to that.

CAITLIN: Okay. So just being cognizant of that is really my responsibility.

LEAH: Yeah. As with anything, you be as open and upfront as you can today, and when you figure out the mistakes you’re making, do something different tomorrow.

CAITLIN: That seems so simple when you say it.

LEAH: I know.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: Sure thing.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: But it is that simple. I do know it’s that simple.

LEAH: It is in theory. It’s that simple. In the doing of it, our feelings and our hormones get all mixed up in it.

CAITLIN: And with practice, I assume. Everything is better with practice.

LEAH: Yes.

CAITLIN: I would give myself a pep talk. I would give the teenage boy.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yes, exactly. Is there anything that you would like to hear me say to you before we finish up?

CAITLIN: I don’t think so. This has been so helpful.

LEAH: Oh, good.

CAITLIN: I appreciate it immensely.

LEAH: I’m glad. I’m glad we got to have this conversation right now at this moment.

CAITLIN: Me too. They’ve all lined up when you did the group coaching, which was also fantastic. It was exactly what I needed in that moment. It’s worked out well.

LEAH: So, Caitlin, thank you so much for doing this. And we’re going to talk again soon because we’re going to have a conversation with you and your partner to talk about your BDSM experiences.

CAITLIN: So many exciting conversations. A year ago, in the group, I was like, “I don’t know how to masturbate in front of someone.” So, we’ve come so far in a year and a half, Leah.

LEAH: Exactly.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, I love that you just said that because I think there are people who are like, “I could never do the things that she’s talking about.”

CAITLIN: No!

LEAH: But really, you did walk in and you’re like, “I can’t do it.”

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: Yes. I forget why you even suggested that, what the hang-up was. You’re like, “Well, could you masturbate in front of him?” So, I made him stand on the other side of the room. I made him stand on the other side of the room, and keep his hands to himself, and not say anything, and I close my eyes, and then I can manage it. And now, I’m like, “Let’s have a coaching call about our BDSM.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yes. Awesome.

CAITLIN: And dating women.

LEAH: And dating women because why not?

CAITLIN: Yeah.

LEAH: All the fun.

CAITLIN: So, this was my unsolicited plug.

[LAUGHTER]

CAITLIN: Well, everyone should sign up because you’re amazing.

[LAUGHTER]

[MUSIC]

LEAH: I hope you enjoyed that deep dive into Caitlin’s burgeoning desire to date women. As you can hear, my coaching is completely client-led. We only go as fast and as far as you are prepared for. I will never push you into space that you’re uncomfortable with, unless it’s the kind of good discomfort that gets you excited because you know you’re growing.

My favorite clients are people like Caitlin, who are motivated to explore new realms of your sexuality like questioning if you might be not straight, dipping your toes into BDSM, exploring consensual non-monogamy, exploring your sexuality at all for the first time, whether it be a repressed background or even later in life virgins, and so much more.

If you’re intrigued by this, click over to www.leahcarey.com/coaching. There, you’ll find all of my coaching offerings including individual, couples, and group coaching. And, if you’re someone who wants to dip your toe in the water before diving headfirst, the PJ parties are a great way to spend a couple hours getting a sense of whether you feel safe and comfortable with me before committing to a full coaching package. All of this information and more is at leahcarey.com/coaching and that link is in the Show Notes. I look forward to sharing more coaching sessions with you in the coming weeks.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: That’s it for today. Good Girls Talk About Sex is produced by me, Leah Carey, and edited by Gretchen Kilby. I have additional administrative support from Lara O’Connor and Maria Franco. Transcripts are produced by Jan Acielo.

And I’m incredibly grateful for the financial support from Good Girls Talk About Sex community members at Patreon. If you’d like to support me in telling these stories and answering your questions, head over to www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex. You can find Show Notes and Show Transcripts at www.goodgirlstalk.com. To ask a question about your sex life, your desires, or anything to do with female sexuality, call and leave a message at 720-GOOD-SEX.

And before we go, I want to remind you that the things you’ve probably heard about your sexuality are not true. You are worthy. You are desirable. You are not broken. I work with women just like you to reflect their true sexual nature back to them without the judgment, shame or fear that can get in the way of us seeing it for ourselves. As a coach and PJ party hostess, I will guide you in embracing the sexuality that is innately yours no matter what it looks like. I’m here to help you sink so deeply into your true sexuality that the version of yourself that was scared to speak up for her own needs feels like a mirage from another lifetime.

Until next time, here’s to your better sex life!

[MUSIC]

BOOKMARK MOMENTS:
  • 2:15 – Leah explains what coaching does—and doesn’t—involve. She introduces Caitlin, the coach-ee!
  • 4:44 – Caitlin catches Leah up on a big realization she’s had since their last coaching sessions: she’s sexually curious about women too.
  • 10:21 – Leah helps Caitlin hone in on whether her attraction to women is a leftover effect of our hyper-sexualized-female-form-loving culture, or a deeper sexual attraction.
  • 14:40 – The conversation turns to fantasies; they’re a great way to safely explore new thoughts and desires. Erotica is another.
  • 16:51 – What “pansexual” means.
  • 19:31 – Dating women can feel new to women. Leah assures Caitlin that the rules are basically the same: “Don’t be an asshole.” Also, exploring sex with a new-to-you gender can feel like a second puberty.
  • 23:34 – When navigating COVID risks with dating apps, be clear up front about your risk tolerance and boundaries.
  • 26:55 – There are some sensitivities to know about for women who are new to dating women. Leah talks about bi vs lesbian. Also, there’s a difference between sexual attraction and romantic attraction.
  • 33:40 – Threesomes can be a fun way to try sex with a woman, if approached with sensitivity. Leah recommends more resources.
  • 36:39 – They talk about how to find someone who wants to explore with you on the dating apps.
  • 40:30 – Leah talks more about what coaching looks and feels like, in solo and group options.
RESOURCES MENTIONED:
  • Erotica collections – I recommend the collections edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel
  • Literotica – A site featuring erotica submitted by primarily amateur writers.  I love it because no matter what your interest or fetish is, someone is writing about it here.  Because it’s all amateur, though, you may have to wade through a bunch of stories that are terribly written before you hit on one that tickles your fancy!  Start by searching the tags for topics that interest you – https://tags.literotica.com (be aware that this site does show ads from porn sites so it is NSFW, but the pictures are generally not X-rated)

Don’t forget – ALL audio extras are FREE at Patreon!

PATREON:

As of July 2020, all Good Girls Talk About Sex audio extras are now FREE!  They can be accessed at www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex

I’ve done this because there are people who need this material but don’t have the financial means to access it behind a paywall.

But there are many costs associated with producing this show, so if you’d like to support the work I do, I am grateful for your contributions at www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex.

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EPISODE CREDITS:

Host / Producer – Leah Carey (email)
Audio Editor – Gretchen Kilby
Administrative Support – Lara O’Connor, Maria Franco
Music – Nazar Rybak