Tenisha is a 29-year-old, cisgender woman who describes herself as black, heterosexual, monogamous, average body type, currently in a relationship, and Christian.

A few months ago, Tenisha interviewed me for her podcast Choose Love. During that conversation, Tenisha mentioned that she was a practicing Christian who chose a period of intentional celibacy as an adult. So of course I wanted to interview her here!

In this conversation she talks about her early conversations in internet chat rooms, needing alcohol in order to have sex, her choice to become celibate at age 23, and the relationship she’s in now.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT (CLICK TO OPEN)

LEAH: Welcome to Good Girls Talk About Sex. I’m sex educator and sexual communication 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: In today’s episode, we’ll meet Tenisha, a 29 year old cisgender woman who describes herself as black, heterosexual, monogamous, currently in a relationship and Christian with an average body type. A few months ago, Tenisha interviewed me for her podcast Choose Love and we immediately a deep bond over the death of our mothers who were also our best friends.

During that conversation, Tenisha mentioned that she is a practicing Christian who had gone through a period of intentional celibacy as an adult. So of course, I had to interview her here. In this conversation, she talks about her early conversations in Internet chat rooms, needing alcohol in order to have sex, her choice to become celibate at age 23 and the relationship she’s in now. I’m so pleased to introduce Tenisha!

Tenisha, I’m so excited to talk to you. I had an opportunity to speak with you already when you interviewed me for your show and it was such an interesting conversation that I wanted to turn the tables and have you on here. So thank you so much for being here.

TENISHA: Thanks for having me. It was a pleasure talking with you and I’m glad to follow up that conversation with a little bit more detail.

LEAH: Awesome. So because I love the concept of your podcast, can you just quickly tell us the name of it and how and why you chose to start it?

TENISHA: Yeah for sure. The podcast is called Choose Love podcast and we essentially just chronicle love stories and I mean that’s a simple description of it. But really how it started was as kind of my profound search for love in the world and it happened really after my mom passed away in 2017 and I was in this sort of toxic relationship.

And it just was not good and I finally built up enough courage to break up with this guy. And I was feeling like the relationship was going nowhere because I didn’t have love in my life. I didn’t know what

love was anymore. And that happened really as my mom passed away and she kind of just took a piece of my heart along with her.

And so literally I just started asking strangers. I was trying to find love and to see if it really existed and if the people’s relationships that we see if there was really love there or if they’re faking it. And so that’s what we do. We talk to couples and now we’re starting to talk to singles about their questions about love, about their journey through love, the good times and the hard times. So yeah, that’s what we’re doing.

LEAH: I love it and I felt so connected to you when you first told me that because I also lost my mom at 2015 and she was my best friend and I similarly felt like she took a piece of my heart with her. She will always a piece of my heart and I remember thinking at the time she passed that oh this is why people say I’ll never love again because this is so painful. The idea of going through this kind of loss again is kind of unimaginable. But then for me the idea of not having love in my life became more painful than the idea of losing that love.

TENISHA: Yeah, and that’s so interesting that you said that because when I actually opened up myself to love again, it was really under that premise like, “Are you willing to lose it? Are you willing to be hurt again?” Because that’s what you’re signing up for, the good and eventually it’s going to end whether that’s in death or the breakup or however, but are you willing to endure that part? Just so you can have the good that comes along with it.

LEAH: Yeah. Well so I’m super excited to talk to you because I also know that you have a really interesting story around sexuality. So let’s switch our focus from love to sex.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: I love to talk about love.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So the first question I ask everyone is what your first memory of sexual pleasure?

TENISHA: I don’t know if I would consider this sexual pleasure but I remember when I was in, it had be elementary school, we were on the bus going home and I was near the front of the bus and I was with my friend. There was this boy sitting in the seat in front of me and out of nowhere, he just jumps up and kisses me and it was a huge deal. It was like “Oh my God! What is going on?” And I had to be about 7 or 8 at the time and it was just this big deal and the whole bus started laughing and making fun of the situation and I was just embarrassed. And so I actually think that might be an important part of my story.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: It sounds like it. Were you embarrassed by the kiss itself because you did want the kiss or were you embarrassed by the attention the kiss brought to you?

TENISHA: It was definitely about the attention. Definitely. Any attention like that still makes me uncomfortable to this day.

LEAH: Interesting. So if we could remove the response from everyone else on the bus, do you remember what your reaction was to the kiss itself?

TENISHA: It was a real shock to me. But I honestly think that sparked my curiosity a lot more. [LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: And I remember it was around the time of AOL coming out and I got deep into these chat rooms like acting like an older person.

LEAH: And you were still 7 or 8?

TENISHA: I got an email when I was 8 years old. LEAH: Wow.

TENISHA: I was a latchkey kid so I would get home and there would be no one else there so I remember logging onto AOL with their dial up and getting in these chat rooms and acting as an older person. I guess I could type really well for an 8 year old.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: But we had typing classes and things.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: I mean I was definitely 8 because my email address because I remember I made it 08 at the end of it.

LEAH: Oh, wow.

TENISHA: Yeah. And so it was like chatting with these older guys and sometimes it would be kind of sexual but I never chatted like meet up with anyone. I was just very interested in what is this world that is not friendship that is not family you put that as something more.

LEAH: So what kinds of chat rooms were you going into? And how old were these guys? Were they teenagers or do you think they were adults?

TENISHA: I think they were adults. I hope they weren’t because I was 8. [LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: You have to know that I’m 8. I can’t imagine I was hiding that very well.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: But I mean I would go into chat rooms about different interests and I do remember them having women seeking kind of chat rooms. I’ve never been a smooth talker so Lord only knows what I was saying.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: I mean I probably was just talking about my interests and then it would escalate from there but yeah, I’m not smooth.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Do you remember the conversations? Do you remember them what they might have said to you as come ons or anything like that?

TENISHA: I don’t remember any specifics but I do remember there were people that you would build up a relationship with so I would like talk to this person and it ended up being multiple people but you talk to them for a period of time like a week, a couple of months, every day after I get out of school. I’m logging on and they’re my friends on the chat so they can see I’m on and we’ll chat and connect. But I don’t remember the content. I just know it couldn’t have been that deep. I was 8.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And you said you were interested in these relationships that weren’t family and weren’t exactly friends but what were you learning about sex through these conversations and any other explorations you were doing?

TENISHA: I mean I think was just trying to find out more information. My parents didn’t talk about sex to me. I was watching R rated movies when I was very young so I mean I’ve seen clips and things but nothing ever up close and personal other than these chats. But I think these chats pushed me a little bit to go even further and so I remember just with friends and my cousins even, we would play show me yours, I’ll show you mine.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: I remember doing those things but nothing ever really happened. It was just more so we wanted to see. We wanted to maybe touch but never any penetration and no oral or anything like that.

LEAH: So at some point in here did you discover masturbation?

TENISHA: I think I discovered it a little bit later. I mean later meaning probably 12 or 11. [LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: I think it’s probably when I first discovered it. I actually don’t remember much about that but I mean I have masturbated probably majority of my life at this point.

LEAH: And is that a pleasurable experience for you? Do you enjoy masturbation?

TENISHA: So I enjoy it. I think it’s pleasurable but I also have this guilt about it and the guilt comes from

a couple of places.

One part is from my religious background. I’m Christian and you’re not supposed to masturbate. You’re not supposed to have any premarital sexual thoughts or actions or anything of that nature so there’s guilt from that part.

But there’s also just this guilt where it was not something that was talked about or welcomed in my house so I always kind of hid it so guilt from hiding it, from religious and just from familial or societal expectations.

LEAH: Yeah. It’s super confusing to have that pleasurable response at the same time that you’re like, “I’m not supposed to be doing this.”

TENISHA: Yeah, and I think another part of this for me was like when I got older, I started to question. Why do I need to do this to myself when I could have someone else do this to me? So that’s even another layer. Can I not find someone who would do this to me or what’s wrong with me that someone is not doing this to me?

LEAH: Even though your religious upbringing will tell you that you’re not supposed to do that with someone else unless you’re married, right?

TENISHA: Right. But the body wants what the body wants. LEAH: Absolutely.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Like hormones are a real thing.

TENISHA: Seriously. [LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: The urges are real. They are real and so we’ll probably get to this later. But when I became celibate, I had urges that I was like, “I’m not going to fulfill this with a sexual partner but I need to satisfy this urge in some way” and so that is what I did.

And I kind of punished myself and there were long stints in between the masturbation and I would feel so guilty after I’d done but like the reality is that it happened and I felt like I needed it that bad.

LEAH: Interesting. So yeah, I hadn’t thought about this before but the idea of celibacy is not just celibate with a partner but celibate with yourself as well.

TENISHA: Yup. That’s all a part of it. It’s all the same.

LEAH: Wow. Yeah, I definitely do want to talk about that but let’s back up a little bit before we get there.

And talk about the home you grew up, was it a Christian home?

TENISHA: So it was Christian for a bit but honestly I didn’t become a Christian myself until I was 23. So my family went to church for a part of my childhood and we had those beliefs in our household the fundamentals like not lying, not cheating, so on and so forth, although they were not always followed.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: We didn’t go to Church so to speak as I got older but the values still remain.

LEAH: When you say they weren’t always followed, you mentioned lying and cheating. I just want to follow that up and ask does that mean that you saw your parents lying or cheating?

TENISHA: Yes. So my parents were never actually married and they were never actually together so I grew up in a house with a single mother. I have another sister who has a different dad. My dad wasn’t really in my life as a child but my sister’s dad became a part of my life as we got older.

And there were all kinds of lying and cheating happening with him and my mother. And then my mom’s biggest love relationship, 20 years they had been together on and off, but the entire time he was married. And so these were the contradictory messages that I was getting about relationships. Those still not align with our Christian values.

LEAH: That’s super confusing.

TENISHA: It was very confusing and then my mom’s belief about love was always so jaded. So I don’t

know I was just a very confused child.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: It sounds like you had every reason to be.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: Yes. I was definitely.

LEAH: And if it’s okay with you I’m going to call them your parents just to make it easier for the conversation, is that okay? Your mom and it sounds like he wasn’t exactly your stepdad.

TENISHA: Yeah, that’s what I call him. Yes.

LEAH: Okay. So what were you seeing between your parents in terms of affection and intimacy like were they affectionate with each other in front of you?

TENISHA: No. Never, I don’t have a ton of memories of them together other than a couple of trips we took but like the biggest memory I have of them is them fighting like a physical fight, really domestic abuse and so that wasn’t a good example for me. And I felt like I shouldn’t even have been around that so young. But yeah, my mom would have black eyes and it was just not a good situation.

LEAH: And add that on top of all the confusion you already had to look at this primary relationship and see that this is what happens when you love someone, you get hit or it becomes physical.

TENISHA: Yeah, luckily I never had any situations like that but I mean I could see my mom struggling and I don’t know if that’s what she felt she deserved or what was going on in her head but I know she had a reason and I want to respect that.

LEAH: Sure. Oh yeah, no judgment on her for staying. I also had a mother who stayed in a different kind of abusive relationship and I didn’t understand so my father was emotionally abusive as opposed to physically abusive and he was sexually inappropriate.

And I was really, really angry at my mom through my teen years for staying with him. Because I thought, “Why doesn’t she leave? Why doesn’t she take me and protect me from him?” It wasn’t until I was an adult and my father had passed away that she told me that when I was a baby, he had said to her, “If you ever leave me, I will take Leah and you will never see her again.”

And he had the kinds of connections and skills to make that a threat that one would believe. And so her way of protecting me was to stay. If she had left, she’d potentially left me alone with a mad man. And so I am eternally grateful to her now for staying and I have a great deal of empathy now for any mother who does choose to stay in a relationship because we have no idea what the calculus is that they’re dealing with.

TENISHA: Yeah, that’s so true and I had to add that to the list of things that I would have asked my mother but yeah, I never even thought to ask. But I certainly understand that she wouldn’t have stayed just to stay.

LEAH: Yeah. I’m really sorry that you had to see that and that you and your mom and your sister had to go through that. It sounds really difficult.

TENISHA: Thank you. [MUSIC]

LEAH: You’ve probably heard it on all your favorite podcasts. If you rate and review this show, it makes it easier for other people to find it. And while it really is helpful to have those reviews, there’s another

even more important reason to do it for Good Girls Talk About Sex. It helps people who need to hear these conversations know that they’re safe to listen to them.

I clearly remember the days not so long ago when I was terrified that an alarm would go off if I took a book from the Human Sexuality shelf at Barnes and Noble and mark me as perverted. People who are new to this podcast need to know that they’re not alone and they’re not perverted to wanting to listen to it.

And you can help them know that by leaving a review telling them what you get out of it. So here I am asking, I would be incredibly grateful if you would go to www.ratethispodcast.com/goodgirls. That’s a new link, ratethispodcast.com/goodgirls. This link will work no matter what platform you’re listening on. You can find that link in the app you’re listening on right now. Here’s a wonderful review that was left for the show recently.

Msbossy18 wrote, “This show has blown my mind on a number of occasions and led to insights that I have applied in my own exploration of pleasure and sexuality, which in turn has created incredible moments of connection and intimacy with my partner. Thank you.”

Thank you so much Msbossy18. I’m thrilled that this show is part of your explorations into healthy pleasure and sexuality. That’s exactly what I hope will happen to listeners. If you’re also feeling inspired by listening to Good Girls Talk About Sex, consider joining the community of supporters at patreon.com.

There are audio extras from every episode available to supporters. This week Patreon supporters will hear Tenisha talking about her relationship with alcohol and what sex was like when she quit and the relationship she’d ended after her mom’s death.

Learn more and become a community supporter at Patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex. And if you want to support the podcast in non-monetary ways, please think of a couple of your girlfriends who you can share it with. You can even host a listening party.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: You weren’t really learning anything about sex at home it sounds like. Were you getting any kind of sex education at school?

TENISHA: I think the first time I heard about sex at school was 9th or 10 grade. We had a health education class but other than that I hadn’t really learned about sex. I did discover porn before that.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Thanks to AOL I’m guessing. [LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: I mean I didn’t really enjoy watching it but I was curious at the time and so I watched a little bit but nothing really came of that.

LEAH: So it sounds like you were curious because you were seeking out information at 8 years old, where were you getting information about sex?

TENISHA: I think I’m still getting education now, let’s be honest. [LAUGHTER]

LEAH: That’s fair.

TENISHA: There never was a time that it really happened. Other than that class in 10th grade, I don’t ever remember having a conversation with an adult about sex that was not about pleasuring about me from a partner but no, I never really had any education. Is that weird?

LEAH: No, unfortunately it’s really not. I mean is it weird? Yes. Is it uncommon? No. It’s part of the reason that I think that we have a such difficult marriages or relationships in this culture. And I can’t speak of any other culture because this is the only one that I know but we even kids who get sex education in school are primarily getting disease prevention and pregnancy prevention. They’re not getting any information about how to have a healthy relationship.

I know that a lot of people would be super uncomfortable of school teachers teaching how to have a satisfying sex relationship but we could at least be teaching kids how to communicate effectively and have a healthy conversation with a partner and that would bleed into how we, that’s a really terrible word to use in this context.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: But that would osmosize itself into being able to have conversations about sex and to really communicate our desires.

TENISHA: That’s a great point. I mean really the only thing that I learned in that health education class was that I did not want genital warts because it looked like cauliflower.

[LAUGHTTER]

LEAH: Yes.

TENISHA: Yeah. That is pretty much all I got. [LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: There was no dating in our house. We were not allowed to date ever so I don’t even remember having a boyfriend until college. My first sexual experience was pretty traumatic. When I

think back to this, I was just a mess. But I remember in high school, a small group of my friends were like 4 or 5 of us. One of them, their parents were going out of town and so somehow we got alcohol. It’s my first time being drunk and later that night, I blacked out and then next morning, I realized I had been violated. I mean I honestly did not remember anything. I didn’t know if we had sex. I didn’t know if he just fingered me like I really did not know anything and he went to my school. And my school was so small. There were a hundred people in our grade.

LEAH: So you knew which one of the boys had done this?

TENISHA: Yes. I knew him. But to me, it was just a shock that it even happened because there was never anything between us so I don’t know what the deal was but I don’t think my friends realized that I was violated. And so I mean I just kind of ignored it and it just kind of put under the rug for a long time.

LEAH: So how do you think about it now?

TENISHA: When I talk about it now to people, I mean I talk about it in the sense that I was raped essentially or I say I was assaulted but I think it was an unfortunate situation. I don’t want to blame myself but I think I partially do just for being so stupid like more ashamed of myself for having put myself in that situation.

LEAH: So that is a fairly common response to blame ourselves for not being smart enough or coherent enough, not having said no loud enough, whatever. You have a right to get drunk and still assume that your body is your autonomous body that no one is going to violate you. You definitely have a right to assume that if you get drunk, your friends will advocate for you and not in some way stand by and watch or know that something is going and not intervene. It’s not okay in any way.

TENISHA: And after that, when I did have sexual encounters with people, I really did have to get drunk in order to do it or at least that’s what I would tell myself. They weren’t like pleasurable experiences it was just like I was doing this because I was supposed to be doing it which was quite unhealthy. And I think it was a reaction to that situation.

LEAH: Yeah, again, not uncommon.

TENISHA: I never really reflected on my sexual experiences like this but I mean I think honestly that is

what I was doing all before I became celibate. That was my M.O.

LEAH: So how old were you when you decided to become celibate?

TENISHA: I was 23 or 24.

LEAH: So it sounds like around the same time that you began to embrace Christianity as an adult? TENISHA: Yeah. I got baptized and I became a Christian and I went celibate as part of my whole rebirth.

LEAH: And was that your choice or was that something that somebody in the Church told you that you should do as part of your baptism?

TENISHA: No that was actually my choice, so funny enough, the guy that I was in a relationship with, I wasn’t in a relationship with him at this time but he introduced me to Church. And I started going without him at first. After the first time he brought me. But then we started going together, we would hang out after Church and the reason we had this conversation was we kissed each other and we were like, “Oh my God, this is crazy.” And I had to tell him at the time, I was like, “Look I don’t know what you’re about but I’m celibate and I need you to know that. If that affects where we’re going, I just need to put it out there.” And he was like, “Oh great I’m celibate too.” So this is very fitting.

[LAUGHTETR]

TENISHA: But there was a journey to get to that point. I had some pretty bad, low times in terms of sexual behavior. Again, I was drinking and seeking out these sexual experiences and I just got to what I would call rock bottom and I was just like I can’t do this anymore. So the reason that I was even open to the idea of religion and so I was like man, there has got to be something better out there for me.

And so I started going to Church and it really resonated with me and my life started to turn around and then I was like I guess I’m becoming a Christian and I want to embody all of what that means and so that’s why I ended up getting baptized and embracing this life of celibacy. So he courted for like a year and a half. We were just friends. My friends laughed at me they were like you guys are in a relationship but we technically weren’t.

I didn’t get into a relationship until after I was baptized and I had gone celibate and all this stuff. But nothing really changed in terms of what we were doing. We were still essentially doing the same things, hanging out and hanging out with friends. So I guess they were right, we were already in a relationship.

LEAH: You just hadn’t called it that.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: Exactly. He had met my family. We were being dumb.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And were you kissing, holding hands or anything?

TENISHA: We kissed. We held hands but that was pretty much. We did try to hump on occasion. [LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: That was the extent of it.

LEAH: And was that fun?

TENISHA: Yes, too fun. [LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So I want to hear the rest of what you’re saying but I also want to ask you. I assume at this point you were not drinking.

TENISHA: I still drank but not “white girl wasted.” [LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: I wasn’t trying to get “white girl wasted”. [LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: But I did have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and that persisted until just a couple of years ago.

LEAH: When you chose celibacy, did you have a period of time where you expected it to go on? Did you think it would be forever?

TENISHA: I mean it was until marriage. That was the game. That’s really what the Bible teaches is that you’re celibate until you’re in a married relationship and so that’s what I was planning to do and I was in a relationship I thought would lead to marriage.

LEAH: With this first guy who we’ve been talking about?

TENISHA: Right, which is why I think is part of why I was even willing to do it in the first place because I

had an end in my mind.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So it sounds like that relationship ended.

TENISHA: Yeah. I thought I was going to be single for eternity. [LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: But I was single for quite some time around a year and a half after that and I wasn’t even thinking about dating. I went out on a couple of dates and guys were interested in me but my mind was just not in it. I was just so uninterested like I could not be less interested and I started therapy. I actually worked through my grief. And so I remember one day, I was talking to my therapist on the phone and I told her, I was like, “I think I’m ready for love.” And she was like, “Okay whatever.” I’m like, “This is a big moment. This is huge. It’s been a year and half.”

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: She’s like, “So be open.” [LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: “You’re saying like this is a big monumental thing but I mean it’s really just you opening your heart and allowing the people in who perhaps have been trying to get in this whole time.” And so literally after I had talked to her, it had to be that same week, I noticed this guy at school and I mean spoiler alert that is the guy who is now my boyfriend.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: But yeah, I don’t know where you want me to begin there. LEAH: Okay. So my question is, are you still celibate?

TENISHA: So no, I’m not still celibate. That’s a good point. We quickly got into a relationship I would say within a month but I was forthcoming and I let him know that I was celibate. But I think in his mind he knew that wasn’t permanent.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: And funny enough when I told him I was celibate and I had told him it had been five years that had passed, I was like I didn’t even realize it had been that long. He told me he had been celibate for two years. I actually think he told me about his celibacy first. And I was shocked. To me he didn’t seem like the guy who would be celibate.

LEAH: And was his a chosen celibacy like yours was?

TENISHA: Yes. Not specifically religious related but more so he had been burned so he was like, “I’m

good.”

LEAH: “I’m done with women.”

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: Like, “You all are crazy. I’m good by myself.” [LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: So that was his celibacy and he talks about that all the time. He’s like, “Yeah I honestly learned how to cook. I can clean. I can do all the things myself so I thought I was just going to be by myself.” And I mean I kind of thought I was going to be by myself also but I didn’t.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So how did you decide what was the decision and the conversation for you to allow yourself to have sex?

TENISHA: So we had talked about the idea. I mean we actually kissed on our first date so we kissed but usually a peck or something like we would hang. We did start dry humping but what was the conversation? I’m trying to remember. So he dropped me off at the airport before I went and basically we were kissing and humping up on each other. He’s like, “So are we going to have sex when I come back?”

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: And I was just like, “Yeah, I do want to have sex with you.” And so I mean I hadn’t thought about the whole weekend I was gone then he picked me up at the airport and he was so excited.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Did you choose to have sex with him because you think he is a man who you’re going to marry? Or did you choose to let go of celibacy because you’re done with it?

TENISHA: That’s a great question. I chose to have sex with him because I’m done with celibacy. I mean the year after my mom passed, I spent a lot of time crying but I also spent a lot of time just learning about myself and religion and really questioning what it is that I believed and not just what’s in this book that was written a million years ago. And so I mean really just making the Bible real for me. It was that God has made us into these sexual creatures and I am a sexual person.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: And I enjoy being pleasured. This to me is a part of who I am and I mean I didn’t feel like I should just be sharing it with everyone but I did believe that I would share that with someone who meant a lot to me. And so yeah, I’ve given up celibacy in general because it just doesn’t align with what I believe God created us to be.

LEAH: Interesting and it sounds like you’re having pleasure now during sex. TENISHA: Yes.

LEAH: Yay!

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: We were talking earlier like, “Wow I don’t think I actually orgasmed before.” I mean not from a partner before this guy and now that is his priority is to make me orgasm, which is amazing.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: And I don’t always, not a 100% of the time. But he kind of gets upset when I don’t. [LAUGHTER]

LEAH: It’s totally okay, totally normal to not orgasm every time.

TENISHA: Right. I mean he’s happy when I’m happy in that way. And yeah, I think there’s still certainly some things that I am working through on the sexual side, sometimes I have to catch myself. I’ll say, “I don’t want to orgasm.”

And like I’ll shut my body down and so I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on there but I have noticed when I just let go, I have a great time but sometimes I don’t want to and I’m not sure exactly what that is related to.

LEAH: Sure. What is a question or concern that you have about sex or your sex life in particular? TENISHA: I wonder if I will ever be 100% healed. So I guess that’s a question that I have for the universe

is what that would look like for me and if it will ever happen.

LEAH: That’s fascinating that you should ask that because I’m actually right now, I’m working on doing a story telling event next weekend and my story is about exactly that question. It’s the dichotomy between is it possible to be 100% healed and what does that even look like? And is it really true that we are either broken or healed? Or are we somewhere on those ten thousand steps in between? And in fact it was my conversation with you when you interviewed me for your podcast that got me started thinking about that because you asked me the question, “You’ve had all this trauma. How did you get healed?” And I was like, “I’m not healed.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And that’s kind of I actually think as I’ve thought more about it, I realized that I’m so engaged with my body and my sexuality now because I’m curious. And I want to know what the next step of healing will look like that there’s almost a part of me that’s like I don’t want to get to a100% healed because I want to stay curious. I want to stay engaged. And so yeah, it’s just interesting that you should say that because that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking about since our last conversation.

TENISHA: That’s hilarious. [LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: I’m like, “Do I want to be healed?” I mean I think it’s a great question but now you have me thinking if I want to be healed. I don’t know.

LEAH: I mean healing, yes. Ongoing healing, absolutely. But is there an end point? I don’t know if there’s an endpoint.

TENISHA: Yeah. [MUSIC]

LEAH: Before we finish up, let’s get the lowdown, the questions we’re dying to know but would usually be too polite to ask any good girl.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Do you have sex during your period?

TENISHA: No, I haven’t, but I want to try.

LEAH: Can you orgasm from intercourse alone without any other stimulation? TENISHA: Yes.

LEAH: What kind of touch do you enjoy most?

TENISHA: I have never thought about that.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: Can it be kissing?

LEAH: Absolutely, it can be anything.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: I actually don’t know but I really do enjoy being kissed all over. LEAH: Have you ever faked an orgasm?

TENISHA: I’m sure. I’m definitely sure I have.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: But not with this guy it sounds like?

TENISHA: No, I’m actually pretty honest about it. [LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: And I’m surprised I don’t know I actually don’t know why people want to go all night long. I haven’t discovered why yet.

[LAUGHTER]

TENISHA: I was like, “I’m tired now, can we stop?”

LEAH: I’m with you.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: In fact, most of the vagina owners that I have spoken with are the same way. Like, “I’m done now. It’s getting a little raw.”

TENISHA: Yes. Too much.

LEAH: What belief did you have about sex as a child or teenager that you wish you could correct now?

TENISHA: So I believed that having sex and sexual encounters made you a bad person. And now I mean I think I would tell myself to just be ready to have those kinds of interactions and to be a little bit more mature and know more about yourself and know how to advocate for yourself in the bedroom before having those experiences.

LEAH: Awesome. Tenisha, we’ve done it. Thank you so much. This has been an absolute joy to have this conversation with you.

TENISHA: Thank you so much. You’ve been great. I’m looking forward to listening to more of your shows. This is amazing.

LEAH: Thank you. [MUSIC]

LEAH: Thanks for joining me today on Good Girls Talk About Sex. If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please e-mail me at leah@goodgirlstalkaboutsex.com

You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube at GoodGirlsTalk

I was only able to step outside my good girl box when someone I respected told me it was possible to do it. If you would like to step out of a box that’s no longer working for you, I’m here to tell you it’s possible and I’d love to work with you. Join my mailing list to receive tools that help you name your desires and communicate them effectively to your partner or potential partners. Sign up at leahcarey.com.

I’m Leah Carey and I look forward to talking with you again next time. Here’s to your better sex life!

Here are some of the notable moments she shared with us:

  • 6:10 – Tenisha’s first memory of sexual experience – getting kissed by a boy on the bus and being embarrassed
  • 8:00 – Tenisha signed on to AOL chatrooms at age 8, pretending to be older
  • 12:00 – Her early “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” explorations
  • 13:00 – The convergence of masturbation and guilt as a result of her religious upbringing
  • 16:20 – Growing up in a home where Christian teachings are espoused, yet with parents who were lying and cheating
  • 19:00 – Tenisha talks about witnessing domestic violence as a child
  • 25:40 – The lack of sex ed at school and discovering porn online
  • 29:00 – Tenisha’s traumatic first sexual experience
  • 32:00 – Her history of having to get drunk in order to have sex
  • 33:30 – Embracing Christianity, getting baptized and deciding to become celibate
  • 38:35 – Realizing she’s ready for love again, meeting current boyfriend
  • 42:00 – Tenisha’s decision to end celibacy within her current relationship
  • 43:45 – Finally experiencing orgasm and sexual pleasure, while still having to deal with old trauma and issues around sex

The Lowdown (47:38):

  • Do you have sex during your period?
  • Can you orgasm from intercourse alone without other stimulation?
  • Do you prefer the orgasm from masturbating or sex with another person?
  • What kind of touch do you enjoy most?
  • What are your hard red lines?
  • Do you enjoy giving blowjobs?
  • Do you swallow?
  • What belief did you have about sex as a child or teenager that you wish you could correct her on now?

The Patreon extras for this episode are:

  • At the $1/month level, Tenisha talks about her relationship with alcohol and what sex was like when she quit
  • At the $5/month level, Tenisha talks about the relationship she ended after her mom’s death
  • At the $7/month level, that conversation plus the extended Q&A
  • At the $10/month level, all that plus a monthly Ask Me Anything!

Learn more and become a community supporter at www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex.

If you like this show, please leave a rating and review at www.ratethispodcast.com/goodgirls

Want to be on the show? Visit www.leahcarey.com/guest and let me know that you’re interested. I’d love to talk with you!

To learn about Sexual Communication Coaching, visit www.leahcarey.com/coaching

Host – Leah Carey (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, email)

Editor – Gretchen Kilby

Music by – Nazar Rybak