It’s our 100th episode!!!!!

Ar Blia is a listener-turned-guest who has been untangling early experiences of trauma, limiting cultural beliefs, and confusing desires to first explore and then advocate for her own pleasure. Even within the constricts of a conservative community, she has been able to find adventure, find herself, and find a partner who truly works for her.

Ar Blia is a 27-year-old cisgender female. She describes herself as straight, monogamous, and partnered with her boyfriend of five years. She describes her body as average (though by white American standards many of us would probably consider her petite.)

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. I can hardly believe it, but today’s episode marks a huge milestone. It’s number 100! When I launched this show back in January 2019, I couldn’t imagine this far into the future. I was excited that I had a 13-episode first season. Getting that first season done was a challenge because approaching women who didn’t know me well to say, “Will you have a conversation with me about your sex life?” elicited looks that ranged from puzzled to scandalized. I had nothing to offer them to demonstrate the depth or sensitive with which I wanted to handle the topic. So many of them assumed understandably that it would be terribly salacious. And the rest said, “I don’t have anything interesting to talk about.”

Now, I have a track record. So, fears about salaciousness can be quelled pretty easily, plus I love it when listeners let me know they want to be guests. But it remains a challenge to convince people that I’m not looking for wild stories about orgies, though I’ll happily accept them if they show up. I’m just looking for ordinary, everyday women to talk about a topic that has been hidden under the covers for far too long.

So, here we are 100 episodes later. I’m incredibly proud of this collection of stories and raring to start the next 100. In fact, as I record this, the next 11 interviews have already been recorded. So, thank you for joining me in this journey. If you’ve never left a rating or review, I’d be really appreciative of you doing that. I don’t ask often anymore, but those ratings and reviews are really meaningful as social proof to others that this podcast is worthwhile. Okay. Let’s dive into today’s episode.

When I finished this interview with Ar Blia, I went onto Instagram and posted in my stories, “Every once in a while, someone crawls into my heart during an interview and I don’t want the conversation to end.” I just had one of those. I’m so happy to finally be able to share this conversation with you and for it to land as our landmark 100th episode.

Ar Blia is Asian Hmong American. It can be challenging to get Asian women to speak with me both because of cultural prohibitions and also because Asian women experience such intense sexual fetishization that this conversation is exponentially more vulnerable for them than it is for a middle-class white woman like me. So, when Ar Blia contacted me to say that she’s a fan of the show and was considering doing an interview, I made sure we got a time on the calendar immediately before she could change her mind. And I’m so glad we did because I got a glimpse into a world that I knew nothing about.

One important note before we get started. In this episode, you’ll hear a story that might lead you to make assumptions about how all Hmong families function or how all Hmong men treat girls and I want to caution against that. Ar Blia is one woman with one story. Her experience is not representative of an entire culture or ethnic group any more than you and your family are representatives of your entire culture, race or religion.

Ar Blia is a 27-year-old cisgender female. She describes herself as straight, monogamous, and partnered with her boyfriend of five years. She describes her body as average, though by white American standards, many of us would probably consider her quite petite. I’m so pleased to introduce Ar Blia!

Ar Blia, I am thrilled to have you on today. I told you before we started recording that it’s a challenge to find women of Asian descent who are interested in doing this podcast and there are a lot of reasons for that and I understand them. But it makes me all the more excited when an Asian woman steps up and says, “Yes, I would like to do an interview.” So, thank you for being here.

AR BLIA: Thank you so much for everything that you do. Your podcast was the reason I’m here.

LEAH: I’m very excited to talk to you and hear your story. As you know because you are a listener, I start all of my conversations in the same place, which is what is your first memory of sexual pleasure?

AR BLIA: Yeah. I love this question because it was the question that did it all for me that everything started making sense. Yeah. Because I’d never thought of it. The more episodes I started listening to, the more I start answering along with your guests in my own head.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: I’m like, “Oh, I know this. It’s all coming together.” But my first memory of sexual pleasure was around four or five years old. And my parents were newly immigrants and I had three other siblings, so there were four of us. So, I came here when I was seven months old. All of my siblings, we were all born back-to-back and I think it happened during bath time. Kids are annoying during bath times.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: You just want to get them in and they don’t want to go in. But when they’re in, they don’t want to come out. How my mom would give us baths, she would just have all of us go into the tub and then she would go down the line like the assembly line, shampoo our hair down the line. Then, when she was soaping our body and she must have accidentally slipped a finger down there or something and it was totally innocent. I’m just like, “Oh, that tickles.” It felt good. But I’m just like, “Okay. Cool. Whatever.”

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: And soon after that, I was just trying to replicate that feeling and I started masturbating at that young age. Yeah.

LEAH: And so, did you come to something that you would now recognize as an orgasm?

AR BLIA: Probably, yeah.

LEAH: What did you think about what you were doing? Did you have any sense that this was something that was maybe not to be talked about or did it not cross your mind?

AR BLIA: No. It didn’t cross my mind at first until my dad made fun of me for it.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: Yeah. He made fun of me for it because I was just doing it out in the open during TV, dinner. And the way that I masturbated, I would lay on my side and then I would cup my vulva with my hand. And then, I would with my thighs tense them up, back and forth, just to create that vibration down there and I looked like a little kid seizing on the floor.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: And then, one night, we were having TV dinner and I was probably on the floor doing that. And they probably know I was masturbating, but they didn’t really know how to go about it. So, my dad ended up making fun of me. He was just like, “Why do you do that?” And then, he mocked the way I was masturbating. Yeah. He said, “Why do you do that? Don’t do that.” I’m like, “I don’t know why I do that. I don’t know.” I guess I didn’t realize. At the time, I didn’t know it was for pleasure. It just felt good. And I’m just like, “Oh, I don’t know. I guess I shouldn’t do it out in the open.” And I still did it out in the open, but under a blanket.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: It sounds like he said that in a way that was joking enough that you didn’t take on a huge amount of shame about it. Is that true?

AR BLIA: Yeah.

LEAH: Good for dad.

AR BLIA: Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: My dad’s a pretty funny guy. He jokes around a lot. I knew that I shouldn’t be just doing it out in the open. And for some reason, my five, six-year-old brain thinks doing it under the blanket, nobody would see.

LEAH: I love that.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And did you see any of your other siblings doing anything that looked like masturbation?

AR BLIA: Probably just my brother playing with his penis, but other than that, I don’t have any memory of my younger sisters doing anything.

LEAH: Yeah. So, you were the rebel in the group?

AR BLIA: Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Did any of them come to you at any point and say, “What is this thing you’re doing?” Were they curious?

AR BLIA: No. Everyone’s doing their own thing. Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. So, you come from a very different culture than my own. So, there are going to be some questions I don’t even know to ask. But just at the beginning, I want to ask what kinds of cultural messages were you receiving about sex and sexuality as a child and a teenager?

AR BLIA: Sex and marriage is a package. You either get married to have sex or you have sex to get married. Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: In the Hmong culture, it’s saving face and saving your name is a very big thing. So, if there’s these two lovers who aren’t allowed to be together because the parents don’t like each other or, I don’t know, dumb issues. Sometimes, they would have sex because once you have sex for a girl in the Hmong culture, premarital sex, you’ll lose your value. And if the guy doesn’t marry you, then you’re out of luck because nobody wants you because you’re no longer a virgin. You’re no longer pure.

LEAH: So, in the Hmong culture, is the same emphasis put on that for boys? Once you’ve had sex, then you are done?

AR BLIA: No. Boys can do whatever the fuck they want. Yeah. It’s so annoying.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Did you grow up in a Hmong community surrounded by other people who had the same values and belief system?

AR BLIA: Yeah. It’s mostly family because in the Hmong culture, family’s a big thing and we gather in large, large groups and gossip happens. So, if you have premarital sex, people are going to talk. Everyone’s going to know. And then, you’re out of luck. And if you’re lucky if maybe a widow man would want you and that’s the best you could have, which is really sad.

LEAH: Yeah. So, this sounds like the kind of messaging that’s so pervasive, you would have gotten it even as a young child. Is that true?

AR BLIA: Yeah. And even in movies like Hmong movies, that’s all it’s about, relationship, sex and the culture around it all.

LEAH: Yeah. Sure. So, at what point did you start hearing that message and thinking, “I don’t know if this works for me?” Because I’m assuming since you’re in a five-year relationship, that this is a message you have not taken on because you’re not married. So, at what point did you begin to think, “Maybe not?”

AR BLIA: Before my current boyfriend, I was dating for four years with another guy and we were fresh out of high school and we were going to college. And we didn’t have sex. We wanted to wait for marriage because we wanted to do it “right.” And there was a lot of sexual tension though like a lot, but if I were to have premarital sex, then my parents would lose face because they didn’t raise me right. So, it reflected on the parents’ parenting and their morals and all that stuff.

We had sex once towards the end of our relationship because I thought, “Oh, you know what? I’m going to marry him anyways.” And there was just so much sexual tension built up and I was off to college. I had my own place. My parents aren’t there. Nobody will know. It was just between the two of us. It was consensual. Both of us agreed. Yeah. It wasn’t impressive as what I thought it would be from all the stories.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: I want to go back again because I took you into the future a little bit. You said that you’re inside a Hmong community that is made up largely of family groups, so where would there have even been somebody for you to meet who was appropriate for you to date?

AR BLIA: Marriage within relatives is actually traditionally preferred, not my first cousins or anything like that, but it’s okay for me to marry my mom’s cousin or my mom’s uncle or something like that. It’s okay for my brother to marry my dad’s aunt’s daughter or something like that. Yeah. So, the reason for that is mainly just to keep the family close-knit, tight. And if drama ever comes up, they could keep it hush-hush because it’s within the family. Yeah.

LEAH: So, it sounds like this prohibition on premarital sex is a cultural and social edict rather than a religious edict. Is that true?

AR BLIA: Yes.

LEAH: So, there’s not this idea that “God will be mad at you if?”

AR BLIA: No. Our religion is shamanism and that’s more the spiritual worshipping of our ancestors for good luck and for wealth and all that stuff. Yeah, nothing other than that.

LEAH: Were you going to an American school or were you going to a school within the Hmong community?

AR BLIA: No. it was just a regular public school.

LEAH: Public school, that’s the word I was looking for.

AR BLIA: Yeah.

LEAH: Thank you.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Did you get sex ed in school at all?

AR BLIA: Just the typical separate boys and girls and this is the vulva, vagina. Don’t do drugs. Don’t have sex, pregnancy, that stuff.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: Yeah. Just the very typical stuff.

LEAH: Yeah. Pregnancy prevention, disease prevention. That’s about it. Yeah.

AR BLIA: Yeah. That’s about it.

LEAH: Yeah. So, what did you know about birth control going into your first relationship? Did you understand what the various options were and did you have access to them?

AR BLIA: No because it was clear to me that I wanted to wait for marriage. So, I didn’t care to look up anything about birth control where I didn’t need to worry myself about all that.

LEAH: Yeah. So, you mentioned that you had a boyfriend in high school.

AR BLIA: Yeah. We were together for almost four years.

LEAH: So, you were with him from your junior year through your sophomore year of college?

AR BLIA: Yeah, right about there.

LEAH: Okay. Do you remember your very first kiss?

AR BLIA: Maybe it was with the boy before my freshman year. I think it was him, yeah. We went to a college prep program three hours away from home. I think he was my first kiss. Yeah. I was very forward with my sexual desires.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. Tell me more.

AR BLIA: I think that scared him a little bit. Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: It was just a lot of body-to-body like hugging. And I remember the girls stayed on the first floor and then the boys two floors above us at the dorm college that we were at. And everybody hangs out in the basement where all the activities, the lounges, and all that. He would walk me up to my floor and we were in the stairway. And I just wanted to touch and be close and intimate. I wanted to be pushed against the wall like in the movies or French kiss me.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: But no, I think I was the one that had to push him against the wall.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: I think I was the one that kissed him and I just wanted to body slam him, I remember.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: And I remember him commenting, “Well, isn’t this a little too fast?” But I don’t remember saying anything else in return. I just continued that for a couple of minutes and then we just went our ways. But yeah, I must have scared him a little.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Did you enjoy the kiss itself? Do you remember?

AR BLIA: Yeah. I adored him a lot. So, yeah, it was fun.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And was he from the same culture that you are?

AR BLIA: Yes.

LEAH: So, that piece of it made sense.

AR BLIA: Yeah. So, he was a little bit younger than me by a year and a half.

LEAH: No wonder you had to initiate.

AR BLIA: Yeah. You’re right.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: That’s actually such a sweet story. I love it.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: I still wonder how he’s doing today if he remembers that at all.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Maybe when this is done, you can send him this episode.

AR BLIA: Yeah. We’ll see.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, that happens before your freshman year. Then, does anything else happen between freshman year and junior year when you meet your first boyfriend?

AR BLIA: No, not really. I was talking to guys, but I didn’t want to talk to them. My cousins were trying to hook me up with some of their boyfriends’ friends. And I was in a time where I was not interested in guys and I just didn’t like male attention because it’s part of the culture that it just made me dislike the attention from men. I was just not interested at all in guys. So, nothing much happened.

LEAH: Were you ever interested in any of the white boys or the boys around you?

AR BLIA: I always thought they were cute, but that’s as far as it goes. Because at the time, interracial relationship was a big no-no in the Hmong culture. Yeah.

LEAH: Is that still true?

AR BLIA: Yeah. There’s still stuff going on. People still shame especially on women who are married to other races.

LEAH: So, next is the boyfriend who you met junior year. How did that relationship start?

AR BLIA: I think we had a school club for Hmong students and we had a meeting. And I must have seen him around school a couple of times, but I did not take notice. I don’t take notice of guys. And I think that one day, I noticed him like, “Oh, he’s cute.” So, I guess you could say I started stalking him.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: I’m trying to figure out when his last class is, so I can accidentally bump into him and make him notice me. Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: It was that kind of story. I was very obvious. So, one day, he walked me down to my locker and I’m just like, “Holy shit. Something’s happening. Whoa, whoa, whoa.” And then, he had asked me if I had anything to say him and I was so nervous. I just stayed quiet the whole time. And then, after that, I stopped. I didn’t see him in the hallway as much anymore and I was just like, “Holy shit. Is he avoiding me?” I was so brokenhearted by that. And I’m like, “Oh, maybe I should have said something. It could have gone somewhere.” And then, a couple days later, it felt like weeks, but probably just a couple of days later.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: He walked me down again and he asked me the same question. And I said, “I like you very much.” And he’s like, “Okay. I know that.” I’m like, “Wow. That was a dick move, I think.”

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: I’m like, “Okay. Well, you made feel all this anxiety just to say I know.”

LEAH: That was really, really brave of you to say those words, super brave.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: Yeah, especially for a girl growing up where we’re discouraged to express our feelings or to speak our mind, hold our tongue or be that docile, submissive. Yeah. And so, yeah, that was really hard for me to say, but I said it. Yeah. We started dating a little bit after that.

LEAH: And you said that there wasn’t sex. Was there fooling around?

AR BLIA: No, just more hugs and just lots of kisses, touching, but we never went down to the genital area. I don’t remember him being around my breasts at all I think because I think we were trying to respect that boundary. So, just lots of make out sessions.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. So, you said with the boy before freshman year that you just wanted him to throw you up against the wall. Was that something that they did in high school?

AR BLIA: Yeah. I wanted that. I even had dreams about that strong sexual feeling. I even had dreams where I would set up something in the garage or something and we accidentally stumbled upon it. And then, oops, we’re accidentally more intimate than we should be. Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, did you tell him that these were your fantasies?

AR BLIA: No. Because when I was with him, he was more mature, I guess. And I felt like I had to be mature with him. And that’s the reason why I broke up with him because when I moved out for school, I realized who I really want to be. But when I was with him, I just felt like I have to be this prim and proper, I can’t speak my mind. I didn’t allow myself to have an opinion with him. And he’s a great guy, but he would try to ask questions to stimulate conversation. But because I was so scared that he was going to judge me for speaking my mind, I always end up really not answering his questions or just saying, “I don’t know.” So, it was four years long of that. And I thought I was going to marry this guy.

LEAH: Before that last period when you said you started to realize who you wanted to actually be, were you happy in that relationship or was there a sense of dissatisfaction?

AR BLIA: I think there was a sense of dissatisfaction. I want to think of myself as I’m more fun and more joking kind of a person, but he was more serious. So, we were opposites. Yeah. So, definitely I wanted someone to flirt with and just be fun with. But I remember sending him a music video because I love music. I love K-pop. I love music and I sent it to him for the first time. And he’s like, “Why did you send me that?” And I think that small moment just solidified that, “Oh, I shouldn’t share who I am with him because he’s going to take it the wrong way” or that’s something about me having to win his approval.

LEAH: Yeah. I’m thinking about what a big deal that is as a very young woman to recognize that this isn’t the person that I want to be in a relationship. There are so many of us who didn’t realize that until much, much later. And so, partially I just want to say, wow. That’s really cool.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: But also, I guess I’m curious. What do you think allowed you to have that level of self-knowledge?

AR BLIA: It was because of my current boyfriend. My ex-boyfriend and I, we went to different colleges. So, it was a long-distance relationship for a year and a half. I thought we were doing okay. I thought I was okay with who I was. And honestly, my best friend at the time, I shut her out ever since I started dating my ex-boyfriend. She could tell I was different, but I wasn’t able to. But she couldn’t have the heart to say it to me because she didn’t want to lose me at the same time because she was already losing me. Yeah. And I didn’t realize that until I moved here for college and meeting new people, new friends. And my boyfriend now, he started taking interest in me. He started pursuing me and I guess dare I say we got into an entanglement.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: Yeah. I was emotionally drifting away from my four-year relationship. I’m getting a little emotional here because it means a lot to me. And who I am today was because of meeting him. I didn’t break my up with my ex for my current boyfriend. I realized that I love who I am when I was with him and it’s just as simple as that. Loving myself a lot more and I liked myself being around him and who I am. Yeah.

My ex-boyfriend at the time, he obviously knew something was going on and he didn’t like that I was with all these new people because I think he felt like he was losing me. So, he was trying to take control. And then, he ended up breaking up with me first actually. And a few days later, he called me like nothing happened. And I’m like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, no” because I guess I’m a person who if it’s over, it’s over.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Are you aching to explore new vistas of your sexuality, but you’re not quite sure how to proceed? Are you wondering if your desires are normal? Are you afraid you’ll have to blow up your existing relationship to have the kind of sex you want? Or maybe you’re hearing these conversations every week and thinking, “I understand what she’s talking about. I just don’t know how to do it in my life?” Well, that’s where personalized sex and intimacy coaching comes in.

When you work with me, I promise to help you feel safe exploring your sexuality. I promise that your sexuality is not shameful and together we’ll help you see yourself, your needs, and your desires without judgment. Now, I’m not going to tell you what you should do or feed you answers. That’s not what coaching is about. Instead, I’m going to walk with you in the process of discovering what’s right for you in a way that respects your emotional needs, your boundaries, and the pace that’s right for your nervous system. Because going too fast can send you into shutdown, while going too slow can be infuriating and exhausting. The goal is to find the right pace for you.

I work with clients who are motivated to explore many different areas of sexuality including things like learning how to talk about your sexual desires with current or future partners, learning to date after a long time out of the dating pool, questioning if you might be queer, challenging body image insecurity in sexual relationships, dipping your toes into BDSM or consensual nonmonogamy, exploring sexuality for later in life virgins, recovering from infidelity, and so much more.

I believe this work is deeply important and should be available to every woman regardless of your financial situation. That is why I know offer variable pricing. Whether you’re experiencing financial challenges, are financially stable or have some extra to pay it forward, there’s an option for you. And I give the same level of care and support to you regardless of the pricing level you choose. For more information and to schedule a discovery call, visit www.leahcarey.com/coaching. That’s leahcarey.com/coaching. Now, let’s get back to the conversation.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: I really liked what you were saying a minute ago about how you felt about yourself with your boyfriend. That is how I chose my partner. I was dating a bunch of different people. I was in my time of wild exploration.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And I had gotten to the point where I was dating two people, my partner and another woman more seriously than anybody else. And it became really clear to me seeing the two of them in comparison with each other that when I was with her, I was so uptight. I was always afraid of saying the wrong thing. I was constantly stressed out. And when I was with my current partner, I had fun. I liked the person who I was with him and that allowed me to make that choice. I wonder if I hadn’t had those two people in opposition if I might have ended up spending a lot longer with her because I didn’t realize that there could be something better for me.

AR BLIA: Yeah. I think he came at a very good time in my life because I think if it wasn’t for him, I would have definitely married my ex and I’d probably have four kids by now because it’s normal for a 24-year-old to have at least 3 kids. Yeah.

LEAH: Oh, wow. Yeah. So, let’s talk about your current boyfriend. How did the two of you get together? You said he started pursuing you.

AR BLIA: Actually, he knew my younger sister first because he’s three years younger than I am. And at first, that was very weird for me and I was not comfortable with that. Especially in the Hmong culture, you want an older man, so that he can take care of you. But he started pursuing me and he was just fun and flirty and we had the same interest in almost everything. We can just have free conversations. I’m not so uptight. I can just be who I am. Yeah. I just enjoyed myself so much.

LEAH: Were you aware of how much he liked you?

AR BLIA: Oh, yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: Yeah. He was very straightforward with it and he tried to do all these chivalrous gentlemanly stuff and that won me because I never got that. Yeah. And that’s what I want. Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. Is he also Hmong?

AR BLIA: Yes.

LEAH: Okay. So, big points in his favor. He’s the kind of guy you’re looking for. You feel good about him and he’s from your culture. Amazing. Does he push you up against walls?

AR BLIA: Oh, yeah.

LEAH: Brilliant.

AR BLIA: Yes. I know.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: Yeah. I think when he first said it, I’m like, “Oh, okay. I thought about this before and this is what I want. So, okay. It’s cool. Let’s do it.” Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, you had had sex once before him. Had he had sex before you?

AR BLIA: I’m his first and I told him I was his first also because of the culture fear that I had. I was scared that if I told him I had sex, he was going to look me differently. Now my value isn’t as high as it’s supposed to be. We were getting it on. He made a comment. He was like, “Haven’t you done this before?” And I’m like, “No.” Partially because I got offended too because like, “Whoa, who do you think I am? I’m not this easy girl or whatever.” And plus, I was scared that he was going to look at me differently if he knew that I had already had sex. So, I held that from him for almost four years.

LEAH: Wow.

AR BLIA: Yeah. I did not tell him the truth until just really, really recently, maybe sometime last year.

LEAH: What gave you the courage to tell him? What changed?

AR BLIA: Okay. It was more of my internal issues with myself, but we were okay. I stopped wanting to have sex with him. When we first got together, we had sex like rabbits.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: He was 19, 20 years old and I was 22, 23. Sex was fun. Sex was new. Sex was good. But then, eventually the age thing, it’s only three years difference, but it keeps creeping back up on me because my parents actually didn’t really like him. They liked my ex-boyfriend because my ex-boyfriend and I were perfect on paper. We were the perfect couple on paper. It would be the couple that my parents would be proud to present to the relatives.

But with my current boyfriend, first of all, he can’t really speak Hmong because he came from a more modern upraising with his family and I’m more traditional and my ex-boyfriend was much more traditional. So, my parents were like, “Why would you leave your ex for this guy who isn’t as good looking or as smart, all that stuff?” I remember my dad saying something about, “Dating a young guy, eventually you’re going to get old and he’s going to want a younger girl.”

And that’s a big impact part of the culture, older guys want younger girls and that knowledge of that part of the culture affected my body image a lot. Yeah. My dad said that. And yeah, it started getting to me where I’m like, “Oh, what if he’s only using me? What if he’s only with me because I will give him sex?” Yeah. So, it was all in my head.

LEAH: You just mentioned body image. And so, I’m curious to know what your relationship is with your body. How do you feel about your body?

AR BLIA: Right now, I’m doing okay with it. There are days where I’m just like, “I don’t want my body.” There are days where I’m just not comfortable with my body. And I look at myself and I’m like, “If only my shoulder was a little smaller and I look more petite and cute.” Because Hmong girls are usually petite and short and cute and I’m not that.

And my mom actually she made a comment when I was much younger. My aunt bought me a shirt and I wore it to show my parents and my mom said, “Oh, your head is too small for your body and your calves are as big as your dad’s.” And at first, it didn’t really dawn on me too much. But then in high school, when I was in this Hmong dance group, we were practicing to perform and then we went to one of the girls’ aunt to take our measurements for our costumes. And after measuring up all of our measurements, she looked at the paper. And she’s like, “Oh, who’s this girl with the broad shoulders?”

LEAH: Oh, God. Yeah.

AR BLIA: Yeah. And everybody just looked at me and giggled like, “Oh, that’s you. She’s talking about you.” And I think that just solidified what my mom had said. Today, if I look at someone, the shoulders would be the first thing I would look at if I see someone. Yeah. I don’t do it consciously. I just do it and I’m like, “Oh, if she’s petite and she’s cute, then she’s automatically beautiful.” Yeah. And I look at myself and I’m like, “Oh, I wish my shoulder was a little smaller. I wish my frame was a little smaller, so that I’m cute and beautiful.”

LEAH: Yeah. I do the same thing with my legs. My father made a lot of comments about my legs and how they were ugly. And the first thing I look at any woman that I see is her legs and it’s not a sexual thing. It’s not like, “Oh, I want you because of your legs. It’s because I’m fascinated by what pretty legs look like and what would it be like to live with those?”

AR BLIA: I’m the same with legs too. Yeah, because I do have muscular calves.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: I would probably admire your legs.

AR BLIA: Thank you.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Because to me, that’s beautiful.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, you said that petite girls are considered beautiful. How tall are you?

AR BLIA: I’m around 5’2, 5’3, around there.

LEAH: That’s pretty petite.

AR BLIA: Oh, is it? I’m actually considered tall for a Hmong girl.

LEAH: Wow. Oh my goodness.

AR BLIA: Yeah, because a lot of Hmong girls are either 5′ below. Yeah.

LEAH: Wow. Okay. We’ve circled all around the block here.

AR BLIA: Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Let’s go back to talking about sex with your current boyfriend. You said in the beginning you were having sex like rabbits.

AR BLIA: Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Was it good right away or did it take some time to get there?

AR BLIA: It took time. I pretended that it was good.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: Yeah. It was a lot of performing at the beginning. But yeah, it eventually got better.

LEAH: Do you have a sense of what happened that allowed it to get better? Was there conversation between you? Was it just one or both of you relaxing? What happened?

AR BLIA: I think it was probably conversation. Not really because we’re open talking about sex, but at the time, I was less open to exploring myself and it was more about his pleasure. Yeah. I remember the first time I gave him a blow job, I did not want any penis in my mouth. Blow jobs I thought was disgusting and that shouldn’t go in my mouth, but he really wanted it. And eventually, I caved in and it didn’t last long. It was just a little bit and then, I said, “No. that was disgusting. I’m done.” I didn’t tell him I didn’t like it. I just told him that I wasn’t ready for it, but I know that he liked it a lot. He really wanted it. So, I did it for him.

He would go down on me too and I remember I think I was starting to focus on my pleasure where he had to go down on me first or pleasure me first. I think he said something along the lines of, “Must I pleasure you before I get anything out of it?” or something like that. And it took me aback and I’m just like, “Wait a minute. I was pleasuring you all this time and once I started focusing on me, it’s not fun anymore or something.” So, I felt I have to give him pleasure before he can attend to my pleasure, but we’ve totally grew from there. Now it’s all about me first. Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: He’s good with that?

AR BLIA: Yeah. He’s perfectly okay with that now. But at the time, he was also very young and all his sexual concept and ideas were whatever he learned from porn.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah, exactly. That’s very much what that sounds like. Yeah. I wondered. So, you mentioned that I think you said it was about last year, the two of you went through a period where you weren’t really interested in sex. What was going on? Was it a physical thing? Was it an emotional thing?

AR BLIA: I still wanted a lot of physical touch and physical intimacy, but I just didn’t want to have sex.

LEAH: That’s a really important distinction by the way, incredibly important. Yeah.

AR BLIA: Yeah. My family was going through some situation where my younger brother was arrested and it brought up some old trauma that I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about. I was just uncomfortable in my body and I just didn’t want to have sex with him. And I felt like we were starting to distance a little bit because he would try to initiate, but I would be like, “No. not now, not today. Maybe tomorrow.” And that would go on for quite a bit and I felt bad for him because he’s been so patient with me and so good to me and he didn’t shame for any of it. So, that’s when I was like, “I need to get my shit together.” Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Can I ask you a sensitive question that you’re welcome to not answer if you want?

AR BLIA: Mm-hmm.

LEAH: Does this old trauma have to do with non-consensual sexual touch?

AR BLIA: Yes. There were two distinct incidences that I remember. I’m very wary about Hmong men, older Hmong men because in our culture, it’s very common for an older Hmong man to marry a younger girl. If I were to go out with my dad, people would question if I was his mistress or his daughter. Yeah. And so, I’m very wary of Hmong men and just the fact that I could get snatched up to marry an old guy that I don’t want to. And so, I’ve always felt watched by older relatives, men as a growing adolescent. My body’s growing. It felt like they were just waiting for me to blossom. And so, I was just always uncomfortable with the male gaze.

So, it affected me to the point where it affected the way I walk and I didn’t realize this until when I started exploring myself. If I had to walk past a group of Hmong men, I don’t do it consciously, but my shoulders would slouch. Yeah. I would straighten my walk, so that my hips don’t sway even though I’m not curvy. I don’t have hips, but I don’t want any unwanted attention towards me at all.

And so, it happened when I was a little younger. We hosted in our home and stuff. We had relatives over all the time from different cities and stuff. So, when that happens, they would usually sleep over. And I was sleeping in the living room with the kids, so that the adults can take our beds. And this man came. It was in the middle of the night and just laid next to me and he placed his hand on my stomach. I don’t quite remember what happened, but I remember shouting in my head like, “Please no. Please don’t.”

I was probably in my early years of middle school. But I was paralyzed. I didn’t move. I didn’t wake up. I just let it happen and hoped it’s quick and that he goes away. And I remember him brushing over my breasts and my genital area, but it was over my clothes. But when he put his hand on my stomach, it was under my shirt. And that didn’t last long, but that was all I remember of that. And I knew it happened, but it didn’t really come up for years after. Yeah.

LEAH: I want to check in with you. Do you know how common it is to freeze in that situation, to have that internal screaming that’s going on, but at the same time, be like, “I am going to pretend that I’m asleep and maybe it will stop?” Do you know that that’s common?

AR BLIA: I think now I do. Yeah. But at the time, I didn’t know what was going on. Yeah.

LEAH: Yeah. It’s really easy to judge ourselves for that response when so much of what we hear is, “Scream. Say no. Did you say no? If you didn’t say no, then you must have said yes.” And none of that is true. Yeah. I’m really sorry. And the fact that it happened over your clothes doesn’t change any of it. Yeah. I’m sorry. So, all this stuff comes up last year. And I know you said that there were two instances, but I don’t want to take you down the road of the second one unless you really want to go there.

AR BLIA: I don’t mind talking about it.

LEAH: Okay.

AR BLIA: It must have been in middle school too. A lot of stuff happened in middle school and it happened at these family gatherings. And now that I think about it, how easy is it to target kids at these family gatherings where everybody is just busy doing their thing to make sure the ceremony goes well. And at the time, the house that I lived in, I lived upstairs. I had relatives living downstairs, so all the adults were downstairs doing the thing and the kids were upstairs playing around, goofing around, whatever. And every now and then, an adult would come up to check on us or to use the bathroom.

And I think I remember I wanted to go downstairs to check what the adults were up to and I went through the back stairway. And this man, he was a boyfriend of a relative. I felt like he came out of nowhere. He came up behind me and gave me a back hug. Yeah. He gave me a back hug, but he made it sound like he was greeting me like, “Hey, kid. What are you up to?” Whatever. But his right hand was on my breast. Yeah. And again, I froze up. And you can’t mistake it for anything else, but that I was groped because it was a firm grab on my breast and I didn’t have a big breast then because I was still growing. But it happened so quick, but it felt like slow motion. He made it so casual that I didn’t know if it really happened or not.

But I know that my body froze up. And after that, he went downstairs and instead of going down, I ran outside and I ran to the school playground and I was trying to hide by the slides. I think I just sat there and I don’t remember thinking about anything. I was just blank, I think. I don’t remember, but I must have sat up there for a while. I remember feeling the sensation of his hand around my breast still and I think I was just confused also. It just validated how I felt about Hmong men that they’re always out for the younger girls. They’re always out for younger pussy and I felt very uncomfortable with that even though I’ve only dated Hmong men because that’s where I was comfortable in and it was right in the traditional sense.

LEAH: It makes all the more interesting that you’ve chosen a partner who’s younger than you are because he will never be that older Hmong man at least never older than you.

AR BLIA: Yes. That makes sense.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, when all of these memories came back and I understand that you hadn’t actually forgotten them, but maybe they had been put away in a closet, when they all come flooding back, what did that do to you? Were you able to go to therapy? Were you able to talk this out with somebody who could help?

AR BLIA: No. I was figuring it out by myself and I thought something was wrong with me. This was just a me issue. I’ve only recently talked about this trauma with my sister and my boyfriend, just very recently. But other than that, I’ve never told anybody or talked about it or done anything with it. And when that was happening with my family, especially I think in my breasts area, I know my boyfriend loves my boobs, but I have issues with my boobs where I don’t want them touched all the time, but he loves my boobs. Now I’m okay with it. And at the time, I just didn’t want to be touched or nothing. I want to be hugged and all that, but I didn’t want the focus to be on my breasts.

LEAH: That makes all the sense in the world. Yeah. So, I don’t want to ask you to tell anything personal about your sister, but I am curious. When you told her these stories, did she respond with, “Something similar happened to me?”

AR BLIA: Yeah. I knew something happened to her, but I didn’t say anything because I don’t know. I don’t know why I didn’t and I was telling her that I was sorry that she had to deal with that alone when I could have shared my experience her and we could have done it together. But I think I was just partially in denial. I think a part of me felt like if I talked about it, it became too real and I didn’t want it to be so real.

LEAH: Yeah. While it might have been helpful for the two of you to be able to go through it together, you also did not have a responsibility to other people to share before you were ready because your nervous system can handle what it can handle at any given moment. And it sounds like your nervous system was just not ready to handle talking about it until later and that’s okay.

AR BLIA: Yeah.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Friends, let’s talk about Patreon. It has been quite an evolution over the last two and a half years. For a long time, I took cuts from the episodes and put them on Patreon for people who financially supported the show. But by mid-2020, that no longer felt right because I was hearing from listeners who said they wanted to hear the Patreon extras because the show was making such a difference in their lives, but they couldn’t afford to donate. It really doesn’t feel appropriate to withhold this material in exchange for monetary support. That’s just not what I’m about.

So, from July 2020 through April 2021, I made all audio extras at Patreon free for everyone and that has worked well. I’ve been pleased to see that my Patreon support didn’t drop when you were supporting the show because you appreciate it rather than paying it to get something in exchange. And now, I’m evolving again. Instead of pulling clips out of the show for Patreon and keeping the main episode as close to 50 minutes as possible, I’m letting the conversations play out in full in the main episode.

If my work is meaningful to you and you have a few dollars to support it each month, I will gratefully accept your patronage at Patreon. If you have more than a few dollars, consider donating extra in honor of women who need this material, but aren’t in a position to contribute. And I donate 10% of all Patreon contributions to ARC-Southeast, an organization that supports women in the southeast United States to access reproductive services that are currently being legislated out of existence. I appreciate every one of you whether you’re a client, a contributor, a social media follower or a silent listener. I trust you to know what’s right for you. Thank you for being here. You can find more and become a community member at patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex.

And if your finances are tight, but you still want to support the show, I would love it if you would take a screenshot of this episode on your phone and post it on Instagram. Tag me in your post and I’ll send you a personal thank you. Or send your favorite episode to a friend and invite them to chat about it with you. Use this show as a jumping off point to deepen your conversations around intimacy and sex. Now, let’s get back to the conversation.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: You made a comment before we started recording about how when you started listening to this podcast, things started making sense to you. And I’m curious what that means?

AR BLIA: Just putting all of this together and I was always sexually seeking to pleasure myself, but I never talked to anybody about it or that it was wrong and I don’t know. I think just finally putting together, making sense of why I am the way I am.

LEAH: Yeah. How’s your sex life with your boyfriend now?

AR BLIA: It’s good. It’s pretty great. Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: I’m glad to hear that. And how is your interaction with your family given that you have chosen to have sex with a man who is not your husband?

AR BLIA: My parents don’t know.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: I don’t think I’ll ever tell them, which is funny because I found out that my mom had had me before she got married. Yeah. And it was because I think at the time, I was following my school financial aid and it asked for their marriage date and my mom gave me a date that was a few months before I was born. And I’m like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. The calculations did not make sense.”

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: And I’m like, “Mom, what?” And my mom’s just like, “Yeah, whatever.” But that was as close to talking about sex as we ever got with my parents.

LEAH: Do you any questions or concerns about sex or your sex life?

AR BLIA: No. Not right now. I’m just very open to exploring. I’m listening to a lot more sex podcasts and presenting ideas to my boyfriend and just having fun and he’s like, “Okay. That’s cool, but okay.”

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: Because it’s like this new me who’s just like, “I want to be sexual and it’s fun to talk about it openly and it’s okay.” He’s very open about it too. Going back to when he made the comment in the car, I did actually ask him why he assumed that I had already had sex and he’s like, “Oh, well. All my friends around me, they were all having sex.”

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: When I told him actually, I was so nervous. I was so scared that he was going to be upset and be mad that I held this for him for so many years because these men mentality that they have to be the first penis. I don’t know what’s with men and virginity. And every day I go home from work, I tell myself, “This is the day I’m going to tell him and it’s going to be okay. I’m going to tell him.” And then, I just ended up not telling until I text him. I’m like, “I have something to tell you. Just keep myself accountable.”

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: And he’s like, “Okay.” And then, that night, I kept saying, “I’m so scared. I’m so scared that you’re going to be mad. I’m so scared.” And it was to the point where he thought that I was going to confess I was cheating him or something. I don’t know. Yeah. And he’s like, “Kust tell me.” I’m like, “You’re not my first.” And he’s like, “Oh, that’s it?”

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: I’m like, “Holy shit. Has it always been this okay?”

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: And he was like, “Yeah. That’s cool. That’s fine. It doesn’t bother me. We’re together now, so it doesn’t bother me.” I think that took a huge lift off my shoulders and I think that also allowed me to be explorative with our sex life.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. Do you think the two of you will get married?

AR BLIA: I would like to see it happen because of what happened with my ex where I was a little more wary about marriage. Because with my ex, it was like we will get married. It’s this or nothing. But a part of me is also afraid that if we don’t end up together, just protecting myself from being disappointed if we don’t end up together. Yeah.

LEAH: Yeah. I understand that.

AR BLIA: But I think we’re both in the same mindset. We’re just not quite there yet. Yeah. And my parents are very frustrated because I’m 27 years old and that’s considered very old for a Hmong girl to get married. You’re supposed to have three kids now, but whatever.

[LAUGHTER]

[MUSIC]

LEAH: And now, it’s time for the Lowdown, the things 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?

AR BLIA: Not yet, but I think I’m slowly starting to be open to the idea.

LEAH: Yeah. What’s the approximate number of sex partners you’ve had?

AR BLIA: Two.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: It’s easy when the number is like that.

AR BLIA: Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: We’ve already talked about some of these a little bit, but I’m going to ask you anyway. Have you ever had sex with someone with a different racial identity than your own?

AR BLIA: No.

LEAH: And does that interest you at all or is your preference to stay within your culture and your race?

AR BLIA: Right now, it’s to stay within my race, but I do fantasize. But other than that, yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: What’s your favorite sex toy?

AR BLIA: I’m still exploring, but right now probably my hand.

LEAH: Great answer. What’s your favorite sex position?

AR BLIA: What is this position?

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: Like on my side, laying down on the side. I don’t know.

LEAH: With him in front of you or behind you?

AR BLIA: Behind me.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. Do you prefer to initiate or for your partner to initiate lovemaking?

AR BLIA: For him, because I prefer to be the submissive one.

LEAH: Yeah. Are you generally more active or more passive in the bedroom?

AR BLIA: A little bit of both, but probably a little more passive.

LEAH: Do you prefer clit stimulation or penetration?

AR BLIA: Let’s see. Both.

LEAH: Do you enjoy G-spot stimulation?

AR BLIA: Yes.

LEAH: Do you enjoy having your breasts played with?

AR BLIA: Every here and now. Sometimes.

LEAH: Yeah. Do you know what it is that makes it a time when you’re, “Yes, I want to have this” versus when you’re feeling like, “No, not really?”

AR BLIA: Most likely when I’m really turned on and if he’s touching me right, then yeah. And my body is okay with it, then he can go in and play with whatever.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: I love it. Do you think it’s generally easy or challenging for you to orgasm?

AR BLIA: Challenging. Yeah. It takes me quite a bit to get there.

LEAH: Have you ever faked an orgasm?

AR BLIA: Yes, many. Not so much anymore.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Okay. So, under what circumstances would you fake an orgasm?

AR BLIA: Usually if I just want it to get over with, yeah. And a lot earlier in our relationship when he wanted it, I’m just like, “Okay. Come and get it and then be done with it.” Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Do you prefer the orgasm from masturbating or from sex with another person?

AR BLIA: Masturbating.

LEAH: What’s different about it for you?

AR BLIA: I think just the pacing and just it’s faster.

LEAH: What kind of touch do you enjoy most?

AR BLIA: Very light, featherlike touch.

LEAH: What are your hard red lines, things you absolutely don’t want to do?

AR BLIA: Age play.

LEAH: Is that something that’s come up?

AR BLIA: No, but I’ve looked into it, but it wasn’t for me.

LEAH: Yeah. I only ask because that’s something I wouldn’t necessarily expect to hear unless that had been requested of them. Yeah.

AR BLIA: Yeah. No. My boyfriend, he’s not that explorative, so I come up with new ideas.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Awesome. Are there sexual things you’ve tried that you never want to do again?

AR BLIA: No, not really. Nothing that I can think of. I know for anal, we’ve tried it once. Actually at the time, I didn’t really want to do anal and he just wanted to try it. And I was just like, “Okay.” And he just stuck it in and after a few pumps, he’s like, “Yeah, yeah.” My body was not ready for it. And after a few pumps, then he’s like, “Never mind. It don’t look like you enjoyed it.”

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: And after that, I had asked him if he’s interested in trying again because I think eventually, I might be open to it, but he tells me no. But I feel like that’s just him trying to be respectful of me and what he did to me.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. That, “Let’s do it and dive in,” that is not going to be pleasant.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: There are lots of ways to warm up the area and gradually introduce that kind of play that makes it a lot of fun for anal.

AR BLIA: Yeah.

LEAH: Yeah. How do you feel about porn?

AR BLIA: I’m fine with it.

LEAH: Do the two of you watch it?

AR BLIA: We did once together earlier on our relationship. And at the time, I was in denial of watching porn. So, I didn’t really respond to him much with that. Because for me, I think porn is such a private thing. So, it felt weird watching it with him. Even though porn in my childhood growing up was actually very funny and not traumatizing. Yeah.

LEAH: When you say funny, what does that mean?

AR BLIA: My dad, he loves porn.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: Yeah. My siblings, we actually found his stashes of porn magazines and porn movies and we watched it together. We looked at it together and it’s just of a curious fun thing. There was no sexual anything about it. It was just curiosity. Yeah. Actually, my brother and I one night, we snuck out, climbed out to the roof to look through the window and my dad was watching porn. And he caught my brother because I ran inside first. And my brother was so mad that I didn’t get in trouble, so he’s hold that against me until now. Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: I love your family stories. They’re amazing.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: Yeah. So, porn has never been a bad thing. My dad doesn’t want us to watch them, but it’s always been a curious fun thing.

LEAH: Yeah. Do you have hair down there or are you bare?

AR BLIA: I have hair. Yeah. It’s too much work to go bare.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. I’m going to assume from everything that we’ve talked about that you’ve never had a threesome. Do you have any curiosity about threesomes or group sex?

AR BLIA: Yes. I was actually talking to my boyfriend about this not too long ago. If we were to have a threesome, I would prefer it to be another girl and to want both of their attention on me. All about me.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: At first, he was iffy about it because he’s like, “Oh, pleasuring two girls is too much work.” And I’m like, “Okay, but both of your attention is on me.” And then, if it’s like that, then he might be open to it. Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. Awesome. Do you enjoy giving blow jobs?

AR BLIA: I do now. Yeah, because it’s gotten to the point where I see him being pleasured is pleasuring me, so yeah.

LEAH: Yeah. Do you swallow?

AR BLIA: Not really. Sometimes if I feel very hot and turned on.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: But a lot of the time, I don’t really swallow.

LEAH: Yeah. Do you enjoy receiving oral sex?

AR BLIA: Yes.

LEAH: Do you ever worry about your smell or taste?

AR BLIA: Yeah, sometimes. But with him, he’s fine to just go in at it even if we’re sweaty and smelly, but I prefer to be clean and smell good down there.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. What do you consider the “kinkiest” thing you enjoy with the understanding that everybody’s scale of kink is completely different?

AR BLIA: The kinkiest we’ve ever tried was probably dress up. Yeah. He’s very into the secretary, teacher kind of a dress up look, business woman. So, yeah. We’ve done that.

LEAH: I’m going to totally interrupt myself because I just had a question pop into my head that I don’t want to lose track of.

AR BLIA: Okay.

LEAH: You’ve mentioned that with your first boyfriend, part of what wasn’t working for you was this assumption that you should be docile and submissive and that that wasn’t exactly who you wanted to be. You’ve also mentioned that in the bedroom, you tend to be more submissive. So, I want to ask you. In your relationship with your current boyfriend, I’m imagining that the way that plays out is that you’re not submissive in the rest of your life, but you enjoy being submissive in the bedroom. Is that correct?

AR BLIA: Yeah. That’s correct. Yeah. I’m all over the place.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: That’s actually pretty common. Does that feel to you like it’s more true to who you are?

AR BLIA: Oh, yeah, definitely.

LEAH: Good.

AR BLIA: I like to have a lot of control and he lets me do my thing. And if I’m having a control and anxiety thing going on, he just lets me have that time and then try to work with me after that.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. Great. Thank you for taking that little detour with me. Back to the questions, do you enjoy dirty talk during sexual encounters?

AR BLIA: I think I would like more, but we’re not very good at it yet.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: Yeah. So, I think I would like it more though.

LEAH: Do you enjoy laughter during sexual encounters?

AR BLIA: Yeah. It’s fun.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Have you ever felt a sexual urge that confused you?

AR BLIA: Yeah. Looking up older men porn. Yeah, age play and porn sometimes, yeah.

LEAH: It’s so interesting given that you have so much discomfort around the idea of older men with younger women. It’s also I should say completely normal that some of the things that we’ve felt less control over or we feel uncomfortable about, then end up becoming some of our fetishes. That is a completely normal thing. But it’s really interesting to see it play out in that way.

AR BLIA: Yeah.

LEAH: What’s your favorite part of your body?

AR BLIA: I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it. Probably my face, but I’m slowly starting to be okay with my shoulders. Yeah.

LEAH: Oh, I’m so happy to hear that. Good. What’s your least favorite part of your body?

AR BLIA: My shoulders.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: What’s something about your current sex life that isn’t quite as satisfying as you’d like it to be?

AR BLIA: I’m not sure actually since we’re still in the explorative stage, so I feel like there’s a lot of potential.

LEAH: Great. What belief did you have about sex as a child or teenager that you wish you could go back and correct her on now?

AR BLIA: So much.

[LAUGHTER]

AR BLIA: Just everything until now that it’s okay and that it’s not your fault that you tried so hard to protect yourself from unwanted attention. And that even if it had happened, it’s not your fault, that you shouldn’t blame yourself that you didn’t try hard enough.

LEAH: Yeah. I hope that your inner little girl and teenager will be able to hear that. Yeah. Ar Blia, that brings us to the end of this conversation. Thank you so much for having this talk with me. I’m really grateful.

AR BLIA: Thank you so much for having me and for everything that you do. I believe in everything that you do and all your guests and learning so much for myself as well.

[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 the 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:
  • 6:12 – Ar Blia shares her first memory of sexual pleasure, at age 4-5, being aware of a pleasant tickle-ish sensation “down there” with a soapy touch. She innocently explores herself in the open until her father makes fun of her.
  • 11:20 – Ar Blia talks about her culture’s views on sex and marriage and how that impacted her while growing up.
  • 14:07 – She talks about her first boyfriend, with whom she planned to wait until marriage despite the copious sexual tension.
  • 21:30 – Ar Blia shares how some aspects of her culture and how they impacted her attractions and actions.
  • 26:08 – Ar Blia learns to make her personality smaller to accommodate her boyfriend, slowly losing herself over four years.
  • 29:00 – She talks about how her current boyfriend helped her see what had happened.
  • 36:08 – She shares how she met her current boyfriend, who happily pushes her up against walls. She discusses how virginity is prized in her culture and how she navigated that with the second boyfriend. She further details how her culture shaped this relationship with regard to age and expectations.
  • 41:27 – Ar Blia opens up about her struggles with body image.
  • 45:00 – Ar Blia discusses how she and her boyfriend found their way to pleasure reciprocity, and how they subsequently navigated a time of decreased libido.
  • 49:16 – She ties the decreased libido back to earlier culturally-informed traumas around non-consensual sexual touch. She recalls the two episodes, and talks about present-day impacts on having her breasts touched.
  • 1:04:30 – Ar Blia says listening to episodes of this podcast has helped her process what had happened, and get to a good place with her boyfriend now.
  • 1:09:51 – The Lowdown: Ar Blia answers questions about having sex on her period, sex partners and race, sex toys, positions, clit stimulation vs penetration, breast play, getting to orgasm/faking it, kinds of touch, hard red lines, anal play, porn (and discovering her father’s stash with her siblings), hair vs bare, group sex, oral sex, kink, role playing, dirty talk, uncomfortable desires, body image, and changing beliefs.
  • 1:20:17 – Leah and Ar Blia talk out being submissive in the bedroom vs in life, and the possibility of 3-way explorations.

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

PATREON:

Creating this show isn’t free, 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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WORK WITH LEAH:

Learn about coaching with Leahwww.leahcarey.com/coaching

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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