Tee is unhappily married, and unhappy with her sex life—like so many people. Also like too many, she experiences the lingering impacts of sexual assault. She’s doing the work of setting boundaries, trying to provide a good example for her kids, and is still hoping someday she’ll find a communicative and loving partner.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT (CLICK TO OPEN)

LEAH: Hey friends. Quick note before we get started. The Internet connection for today’s episode was not fantastic. The audio is still completely listenable, but I wanted you to know in advance that it’s not quite as stellar as we usually go far. But I thank you for your patience in advance and hope you enjoy this conversation with Tee.

[MUSIC]

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. You know, it’s actually not hard to find people who want to talk with me about how wonderful and amazing their sex life is. It’s a lot harder to find people who are willing to record an interview about being in an unhappy partnership, having a sexless marriage or having a difficult or painful sex life. But, in fact, those are the stories that are most frequently requested by listeners. We all want to hear stories that mirror or own circumstances, so that we know we’re not alone. It’s an interesting conundrum. People want to hear the real gritty difficult truth, but they think they should only tell their story if it’s pretty, shiny and happy.

That’s why I’m always so grateful when I get an inquiry from someone like Tee. She told me that she’s in an unhappy marriage and she wanted to talk about it. So, as a reminder, if you’d like to record an interview, click the Be A Guest link in the Show Notes in the app you’re listening on now. And now, let’s jump in.

Tee is a 46 year-old, cisgender female who describes herself as African American, straight, monogamous, married, and pre-menopausal. She has two children at home and describes herself as tall with a few extra pounds. I’m so pleased to introduce Tee!

Tee, I am so pleased to talk with you today. Thank you for joining me.

TEE: As I am also. This is an awesome idea.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Thank you. I’m really pleased that you want to be a part of it. So, let’s just jump right in, right from the beginning. The question that I always start with is, what is your first memory of sexual pleasure?

TEE: I want to say I was 16. Yeah. I was about 16.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: And it was strange because, of course, boys do what they always do, they hit you.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: When they like you.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. They pull on your pigtails and just sort of, yeah.

TEE: And I remember this gentleman who kept messing with me, and then finally we were at the back of the school yard, and he just walked up to me and kissed me. And it was just like this I don’t even know how to describe it, just this feeling through my whole body. And I didn’t know what that was, so I was just afraid. But then, I hit him, and then I ran away.

LEAH: Oh.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: I mean, other than the fact that you didn’t know what was going on.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Were you excited by the kiss? You had that body feeling, but were you like, “Oh, something important just happened”? Or were you just like, “Nope. I’m out of here”?

TEE: I was scared. I ran for my life.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Had you liked him? Were you interested in him?

TEE: Yes and no because I didn’t understand why he kept hitting me. So, whatever feelings that developed towards him, I was just like, “Okay. I just want this dude to stop hitting me.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. When you say hitting you, how hard was he hitting you and in what part of your body?

TEE: He would punch me in my arm. He would do things like if we were jumping rope, he would grab the rope and hit my legs with the rope. It was just weird in the way he thinks.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Oh my gosh. Yeah.

TEE: It hurt. But it was like little brother annoyed.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah, which is not really sexy.

TEE: Exactly.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: Oh my goodness.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, you ran away. Was there a point at which you were like, “Oh, maybe I want to do that again”? Or was that it for him?

TEE: It took a while. I want to say maybe, this was in the middle of the school year, towards the end of the school year that that’s when I kind of let him get close enough to me to where he kissed me again and I didn’t resist.

LEAH: Yeah. Was the second time fun? Did you enjoy that?

TEE: Yes. Yeah.

LEAH: Yeah. Okay. And did anything happen from there?

TEE: Not really. It was kind of more like just kissing.

LEAH: Yeah.

TEE: And walking home, holding hands.

LEAH: And you said that first time you got sort of that electric feeling through your body. Did that continue as you continued kissing him?

TEE: Yes.

LEAH: Yeah. Was there any part of you that wanted more of that?

TEE: Yes, but I just was really confused on what was happening, and I just kind of staved off.

LEAH: Yeah. So, let’s go back a little bit further. Was there any physical affection in your home? Like when you say you didn’t know what was going on, how much kissing had you actually seen? How much had you been exposed to?

TEE: Watching movies and little stuff. My parents, they smooched here and there, but it wasn’t anything too involved. Both of them worked. They were busy. Missing each other here and there, but they weren’t too involved as far as in front of me. I mean, I have accidentally heard them having sex one time.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: When I was 17 or something. But other than that, yeah.

LEAH: Yeah. And did you have any siblings?

TEE: No, just me.

LEAH: Just you. I see. So, it’s not like you had an older sister who would come home from a date and you got to hear what was going on or something.

TEE: No. No. What’s funny is most of my cousins, I have cousins that are kind of like siblings to me, but they’re all boys.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: I’m the oldest girl. So, like, “Oh. Okay.”

LEAH: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, did your parents talk to you about your body or about sexuality at all?

TEE: My mom was more on the portion of hygiene, but it was more like, “Don’t let boys touch your body.” And I was like, “Uh, okay.”

LEAH: Yeah. So, it wasn’t necessarily informative. It was just like, “Don’t let things happen.”

TEE: Yes.

LEAH: Yeah. Sure. And you mentioned that you went to a Baptist congregation. What kinds of messaging were you getting from your religion about femininity and sexuality?

TEE: Well, as far as Church goes, they encouraged waiting until you were married. But my congregation was like literally aside from us kids, everybody was married, literally.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: So, it was like, “Oh, okay. So, that doesn’t seem so hard.”

LEAH: So, it wasn’t like you were saying, “I don’t want to wait until I’m married.” It was just like, “Yeah, that’s kind of just how it is.”

TEE: Yeah. Because most of the people in my Church and many of the older congregation, they were married for 40, 50 years. So, it’s like they were married since they were teenagers.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: So, it was like, “Oh, okay. That’s not hard to do because I’m already 16. What’s two or three more years?”

LEAH: Sure. Sure. And what about your parents? Did they get married young?

TEE: There was a 9-year age difference between my parents. My mom was 21.

LEAH: And did they have a happy marriage?

TEE: Not really. And that’s probably part of what my anxiety was because they argued a lot, of what I being there as a child is a lot.

LEAH: Sure. Was it loud? Was it scary to you as a kid?

TEE: It was loud. It was some things were really disrespectful and I would just go upstairs because we had a two-family house. I would go upstairs to my grandmother’s house. Yeah.

LEAH: Yeah. That’s hard. And we don’t even realize how much messaging we’re taking in as kids when we hear that stuff.

TEE: Absolutely. And that’s part of an issue that I deal with now because I don’t argue. I choose not to. If we can’t sit down and have a grownup conversation without throwing insults, without making harsh references, it’s not necessary. Okay. You feel one way. I feel another. How can we work that out? But that seems to be an issue because my partner is a yeller and a screamer.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. Sure. And so, because you have different fighting styles or conflict styles, do you feel like you’re able to get heard? When you’re upset about something, are you able to be heard by your partner?

TEE: No.

LEAH: Oh, that’s hard.

TEE: Yeah.

LEAH: Yeah. So, how do you handle that?

TEE: Meditation.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: Unfortunately, it resulted in my blood pressure being all over the place. But I deal with it the best way that I can. And I try to minimize what the kids are exposed to. 

LEAH: Yeah, yeah. Well, I’m sure we’ll end up back here. But let’s go back to where we were in the timeline. Was there a point which you discovered your own body? Did you start masturbating at any point?

TEE: I guess late, more close to 17. Yeah. I was kind of late with everything.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: But once I got to that point of exploring and dealing with the feelings that I was feeling from kissing this gentleman, it was just awkward.

LEAH: How do you mean?

TEE: Because I didn’t have anyone to really conversate with because some of my friends started early, 13, 12. So, they’re well-advanced past me. So, they’re like, “Oh, you just do that? Well, how come you don’t do this and this?” So, all these things instead of try to explain them to me, just criticizing me for not knowing what they are.

LEAH: Yeah. What kinds of conversations were your friends having that you were listening to about sex and sexuality?

TEE: Conversations about fellatio, full blown intercourse. Some things that I just weren’t comfortable with because the way they described it, it didn’t seem like it was fun. Yeah. So, maybe they didn’t mean it to come out that way, but that’s how they came across like they weren’t really enjoying it. They were just doing it because that’s what was asked of them.

LEAH: Yeah. Well, I actually think that that’s probably pretty true. That is very common for all women and particularly, in the high school age that we just do what we think we need to in order to get the attention and intimacy and affection that we desire.

TEE: Yes.

LEAH: So, listening to your girlfriends talk about all this, did it make you feel even more like, “I’m not sure that this is for me”?

TEE: Yes and no because by that time I actually met a gentleman who I lost my virginity to and it was just awkward.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. So, did you want to have that intercourse?

TEE: I did. It was just, and you’re probably going to laugh at this because I laugh at this myself, I should have picked someone a lot smaller. But his was kind of a big football stature.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Sure. Yeah.

[LAUHGTER]

TEE: So, that whole thing and he wasn’t gentle about it.

LEAH: I’m sorry. That is a lot to deal with the first time. You’re like trying to figure out your own body and feeling overwhelmed by the person you’re with. That’s hard.

TEE: Yes.

LEAH: Yeah. Why did you choose him?

TEE: He was really sweet. He was attractive. He was tall, really nice, athletic, very smart. The one thing I did realize throughout my life was I was always attracted to guys that were into education. So, it was like, “Okay. If you start talking about something I’m interested in or whatever, you have my attention.” And it’s like, okay. I’m sitting there. And we’re talking and just getting engaged with each other and it was really nice. He was really a good guy.

LEAH: So, that first sexual experience, it sounds like was not super fulfilling for you.

TEE: No.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Did you continue seeing him after that?

TEE: Not for that long, no.

LEAH: Yeah. What happened next? You said that there was another guy who was much older than you.

TEE: Yes. He was, by the time I was a junior in high school, he was a sophomore in college. And he was really nice also. He was really smart and like I said, I would just sit there in awe and just listening to him was like amazing to me. But he was really sweet, very chivalrous, he would open doors for me. It was just amazing. Bring me flowers, all type of things. So, it was really a nice experience with him.

LEAH: And how was the sex in that relationship?

TEE: It was different because he did take his time and he kind of would explain things. So, it was a lot more of a better situation because I explained what happened before. So, he took it as, “No, this is really going to be your first time because that’s not what’s supposed to happen.”

LEAH: Oh, that’s lovely.

TEE: Yeah, yeah.

LEAH: So, the first guy was of the punching you in the arm variety.

TEE: Yes.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: But it sounds like you course corrected and the next two guys were sweet and gentle and kind.

TEE: Yes, yes.

LEAH: Well, I’m really glad.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: It’s funny because now that I’m in my 40s, I’ve had a lot of guys. You run back into your old classmates and things like that. They’re like, “I had the biggest crush on you.” I’m like, “Well, why did you hit me? Why didn’t you say, let’s go out on a date?”

LEAH: Oh, god.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Right.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, you had a lot of people who were interested in you. How did you feel about yourself? What did you think about your own body and your own attractiveness?

TEE: I was a little awkward because as I said, I’m six foot. And by the time, I was 13, I was pretty much close to that height. Probably as big as the pencil.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: I had no shape as I got a bit older once I got towards 16, I started to get a little shape. But I just thought that I was too skinny and suffered a little bit of acne so like girls like, “Ahh.” Trying to clear that up. I didn’t have that much self-confidence until maybe that relationship with the gentleman from college. I didn’t have that much self-confidence because it was like, “Oh well, nobody wants me.” And part of me believes that’s why I didn’t recognize that the other gentleman wanted to talk to me or date me or anything because I didn’t think that much of myself.

LEAH: Yeah. Absolutely. So, you said that you started to get some more self-confidence in the relationship with the older guy. What do you think changed? What do you think happened in that relationship that helped you to see yourself differently?

TEE: I think he provided me with validation of the things. Looking at myself in the mirror, I’m like, “I think I’m cute but I don’t think anybody else thinks I’m cute.” And he was actually able to verbalize, “No. you’re beautiful.” And that was like a clicker for me like, “Oh, okay. Somebody is actually telling me that. And verify what I see.” So that was a great help to me.

LEAH: How long did you see him for?

TEE: That was junior year, senior year, almost two years.

LEAH: Oh, you were with him for quite a long time.

TEE: Yes.

LEAH: And did it continue to be a good relationship throughout?

TEE: Towards the end, it was difficult because he kind of believed that women should be seen and not really heard. But I hadn’t identified that in the beginning.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. That’s interesting to hear after you’ve said that in sex, he really wanted to bring you along. Although, actually, maybe it is the next step of that same behavior like he sees himself as the teacher and the one to bring you along. And therefore, he is sort of in control. He is the one who is leading the situation and you should just happily follow. I can see how that would be the next step in that behavior chain.

TEE: Yes. Like I said, I wish it would have been a better situation, but things happen. Now, he’s happily married and has children. Who knows? Now, we’re able to be friends.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Oh, good.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, what happened next? It sounds like this was the end of high school for you?

TEE: Yes, yes. So, I started college. I dated. I didn’t touch anybody.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: After that, I was just like, “Ugh.” I’d go out on a date but that’s it. And then, my mom got sick. She stopped working. So, I went to my sophomore year. But then, after that I kind of dropped out to make sure that she was okay. So, I started working and then, my former fiancée, I bumped into him. He used to work at pizzeria on the other side of the strip mall that I worked at. And he was really arrogant and I remember like, “This guy is really gorgeous, but ugh, his attitude.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: But if you got engaged to him, you must’ve been with him for a little while.

TEE: Yes, yes. We were together for a while. We met and we hung out and maybe it took us about five to six months before becoming really intimate.

LEAH: So, when you say five to six months to get intimate, does that mean that you didn’t have any physical contact or does that mean you didn’t have intercourse?

TEE: We didn’t have intercourse.

LEAH: So, what were you doing during those five or six months?

TEE: Kissing, making out, a lot of times just hanging out, really. Just hanging out, talking, getting to know about each other. I didn’t feel pressure.

LEAH: Yeah. Were clothes coming off during the making out?

TEE: No.

LEAH: No. So, it really was pretty chaste.

TEE: Yes.

LEAH: What made you decide that you were ready to go that next step with him?

TEE: It was just a feeling of being comfortable and being able to just let go. And just let it go and relax. I guess it was the same way for the both of us. He asked was I ready? And I said yeah and it’s what followed from there.

LEAH: Yeah. So, was it good right away or did it have to develop?

TEE: Yeah. That was weird. It was quite instantaneous. It was kind of like a lock and key type of thing.

LEAH: Oh, wow. Nice.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: It was really amazing.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Imagine this. You’re in your comfiest, coziest pajamas drinking a glass of wine and talking about sex toys. That’s exactly what my PJ parties for grownups are all about. Fun, comfort, connection, and lots of talk about all things sexy. And if the isolation of COVID has got you feeling not so sexy, we can have that conversation too. Even if you’re lucky enough to be isolating with a partner or other loved ones, finding deep connection outside your pod can be difficult and can leave life feeling a bit flat.

Every time I host a PJ party, the participants talk about how nourishing it felt to spend time talking with other women about things they don’t have the space to talk about these days. One participant said that she talks to her partner about her sex life a lot, but she’d forgotten how much she misses talking to and getting support from other women.

My PJ parties for grownups are a place for you to have the kind of conversations we have on this show, to dish about the stuff that’s great in your sex life, commiserate about the things you wish were better, and ask questions you would never dream to ask in the light of day. I facilitate the two-hour gathering, so it’s designed to help you feel safe, comfortable, and connected. Each PJ party is limited to 7 people, so there’s plenty of room for everyone to participate. And because consent is primary, you will never be pressured into talking about anything you’re not ready for. You can participate as much or as little as you’re comfortable with. You may begin as a group of strangers but you might just meet your new best friend.

Registrations are currently open for a party on Wednesday, March 24 at 7 PM Pacific. Information and registration is at leahcarey.com/pjparty. That link is in the Show Notes in the app you’re listening on now. And it’s leahcarey.com/pjparty. Spaces are limited, so register today! I hope to see you there.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: This week at Patreon, we’ve got the full extended lowdown Q and A with Tee. As a reminder, since July 2020, all audio extras have been free at Patreon. I decided to move from a You Pay Me To Hear The Audio Extras Model to a You Can Listen To Everything Free On Patreon And Support Me If You Want To Model because I know that this material can be lifechanging and even lifesaving for some people. And the people who need it most, may not have access to funds. And for those who do have money, it may not be safe to have a paper trail connecting them to a cause for female liberation.

So, audio extras are free. I’m still hosting the audio at Patreon because it’s really convenient. You’ll need to create a free Patreon sign in to access my page because the material is 18+. But once you’re there, the audio extras and extended Q and A’s are openly accessible. 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’m bringing back around something I did in the early days of the podcast. Donating a portion of the proceeds to ARC-Southeast, an organization that provides financial and logistical support to people seeking reproductive health services in the Southeastern United States, where safe and even lifesaving services are being legislated out of existence. I believe passionately in a woman’s right to make medical decisions about her own body. And even though I’m grateful that the United States no longer has a madman at the helm, we still have a very conservative Supreme Court to deal with. Organizations like ARC-Southeast are as important today as they have ever been. You can find out more and become a community member at patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex and that link is the app that you’re listening on now. Now, let’s get back to Tee.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: So, you said that you got engaged.

TEE: Yeah. That was probably about a year and a half later. Around that, I was pregnant a month after.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Oh, wow. After you got engaged?

TEE: Yes. And I guess, sometimes first pregnancies, things like that, I think was 5 months and I miscarried.

LEAH: Did you want the baby?

TEE: Yes.

LEAH: Oh, I’m sorry. That had to be really, really hard.

TEE: Yeah.

LEAH: Yeah. Did you stay together after that? I mean, sometimes losing a baby can really create chaos in a relationship.

TEE: And it did because I went through a lot of emotions and he didn’t know how to deal with that. So, he was saying that he had two children and he didn’t want me to go through anything like that again and he was saying that I should try to find some type of permanent work to do because he didn’t want any more kids and I said, “But I do.”

And then, we broke up. I tried to give him his ring back and he wouldn’t take it back. He let me keep it. And I kind of took care of my mom after that. And so, she passed away. I had a friend that I went to high school with and kind of pretty much we were using each other for sex. And then, he was getting ready to go on to the military, so it was, “Okay. You’re getting ready to leave so whatever.”

LEAH: Yeah. How old were you at this point?

TEE: By then, I was 25.

LEAH: Okay.

TEE: And so, that didn’t last long. But like I said, that wasn’t a relationship. So, I kind of did what I did and that was that. And then, after my mom passed, my then ex fiancée came back and he surprised me at work. He called me and he was like, “Hey. What you doing?”

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: And I’m like, “I’m working. What do you think I’m doing? You called me during my work hours.”

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: He was like, “Oh. You don’t look too busy to me.” And I’m like, “What?” And I looked up and I saw him at the door because he’s in the military.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: He was at the odor with the whole uniform on.

LEAH: Oh my goodness.

TEE: Yeah. So, he waited until I got off and we went out and had dinner and we just talked. And eventually, we ended up back together, which was short-lived because I guess that he was in the military, so he wasn’t home. So, we were writing letters back and forth and the whole baby thing came back up and that’s when he told me, “Well. I had a vasectomy.” And I’m like, “Ugh.”

LEAH: Oh, yeah.

TEE: So, he said, “I want to be with you but I do not want you to have to go through that again.” And between the time that we were apart, I had a cyst that was the size of a decent-sized grapefruit that I had to remove. And so, I had a C-section before I had a C-section.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Wow. Oh my goodness.

TEE: Yeah.

LEAH: But that’s a hell of a decision for him to make on your behalf. It’s one thing for him to say, “I don’t want any more kids. And therefore, I’m getting a vasectomy.” It’s a completely different thing for him to say, “I don’t want you to go through that again, so I’m getting a vasectomy.” That really removes your autonomy from the situation.

TEE: Yes. And I don’t think it had anything to do with that. I think he just really wanted to make sure that he didn’t get anybody else pregnant, whether it was me or anybody else.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. Yeah. So, it didn’t last long with him.

TEE: No.

LEAH: So, what happened next for you?

TEE: For me, probably I want to say two years after we broke up. I bumped into one of my childhood friends, his older brother. And we started talking, which is, of course, the man I’m married to now. But we were kind of an on and off type of thing. We got into an argument, and then we just don’t call each other. Cell phones weren’t really the big thing back then.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: So, you didn’t call somebody and just out of sight, out of mind. So, we were bumping into each frequently, and then start all over again. And then, break up because we were in an argument, and then start all over again.

LEAH: That sounds pretty volatile.

TEE: Yeah.

LEAH: That would be exhausting for me. How did you experience it?

TEE: Well, like I said, if he didn’t call. I didn’t call.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: If I’m not in the mood, I’m not going to. I’m not going to drive myself crazy.

LEAH: So, what point did the two of you decide you wanted to actually be together?

TEE: I said to him, I was like, “Look, either you’re going to stay and we’re going to figure out the arguments or we can have fun this one time and you can go on about your business.”

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: So, I kept him in check.

LEAH: Interesting what a boundary can do.

TEE: Yes.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, how was the sex in that relationship? Was it satisfying?

TEE: Yes. And then, I don’t know, somewhere, it kind of turned and I presume that was me just growing, but it’s so weird because he considers me sexually immature. I did agree with that a little bit, but I had to look at my relationship. I wasn’t running around town, jumping on everybody. So, that was kind of a point for us that we still deal with today.

LEAH: When he says sexually immature, what does that mean? Does that mean just that you have less experience? Does it mean that you don’t do things that he wants you to do? What constitutes immaturity?

TEE: Probably all of that, and then so much more. I think it’s more so stated with those meanings, but also as a dig towards me because I don’t have a lot of experience and you can’t just talk me into anything. I have been violated in the past. I didn’t get into that part, but you’re not just going to talk me into any old thing.

LEAH: Yeah. I remember doing an interview, this was near the beginning of this podcast with a woman who talked about her husband who had a lot more “experience” than she did because he slept with a lot more people. But she had more experience in that she had fewer but deeper connections. And that those two things really aren’t on the same spectrum. Just because you’ve had a lot of sex doesn’t mean you’ve had great sex. It just means you’ve had a lot of sex.

TEE: Exactly, exactly. Because I know in talking to women that there are a lot of women, what do they call it? The dead fish. They’re like, “Oh, no. I don’t do that and I don’t do this and I don’t do that. I just lay there.” Huh?

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. Lay there and watch the ceiling fan and wait for it to be over. I was that woman for most of my life.

TEE: Oh yeah. That’s hard. I mean, I’ve been there. There are times that yeah, that’s what I’m doing.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. So, it sounds like you said, it started out pretty well and then it shifted. Do you know when the shift happened? Was it around when your kids were born? Was it before that, after that? Was there some impetus for it?

TEE: It was before that. I think that there was a time where I took him out for his birthday and we were at this place, really nice, and the energy that he gave off and the way that he came at me was really aggressive. And it gave me the feeling that I had when I was violated. And I shoved him off, pushed him back and explained why. He was inebriated so he wasn’t understanding that. And I think that is the pivotal point where things kind of got weird for us.

LEAH: So, there was a break in trust and safety for you and there was potentially some resentment that started for him.

TEE: Yeah.

LEAH: Yeah. And that’s really hard to overcome if you don’t have a great foundation for communication about what’s going on between you.

TEE: And we don’t.

LEAH: Yeah. But you stayed together.

TEE: And I think that’s more on my side. He is ill at this point and I feel like I don’t want to just throw him out there to the wolves.

LEAH: Sure. If he were not ill, would you stay together?

TEE: No.

LEAH: That’s a heavy load to carry.

TEE: And I’ve told him this. He knows it.

LEAH: Wow. So, what is your relationship like today?

TEE: Awkward.

LEAH: Yeah. Is there any affection between you?

TEE: He tries. I don’t.

LEAH: So, when you say, he tries, do you mean for sex or do you mean for affection?

TEE: Well, he stopped at maybe the affection part he still shows me affection. But anything else that stopped maybe two years ago.

LEAH: And what was the catalyst for that stopping entirely?

TEE: There was an intimate at a friend’s party and there was a young lady at the party who was really inebriated. She couldn’t stand up when we got there. The party had just started.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: And she wasn’t even the birthday girl.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: So, I knew her. So, I was making sure that she was okay and she was falling all over guys and everything and she had this really short dress on. So, my stepdaughter was with us and we were out on the floor dancing and he was drinking. Everybody was drinking, VIP. So, she throws his legs across his legs and it just became a little weird. And it was a comment made that was a little disturbing towards the end of the night which was, “Oh, well. She’s asking for it.”

LEAH: Your husband said that?

TEE: Uh-huh. And he suggested that the gentleman that were going to take her home, take her to a hotel. I said, “She doesn’t know her name. Why would you do that?” So, we got in the car and he made some comments. And as I said, I’ve been violated and we recently found out that his daughter had been violated. So, making the statement that well, people that rape has happened to is because they want or whatever the case might be. I’m like, “She was a child. What are you talking about?” And me, I was a teenager, but I was just walking along. And I said, “So, I don’t understand how you can say somebody wanted it.” And just from that point, it was like I don’t know.

LEAH: Yeah. Oh, yeah. That makes sense to me. It’s hard to trust when you know that somebody can hold that view, even if it’s not of your body, it’s of somebody who has a body like your body and therefore, it’s hard to trust.

TEE: Yes.

LEAH: I’m sorry. What do you think will happen in this relationship? Do you expect that you will stay together long term given that he is ill?

TEE: I don’t think so. I’m trying to figure out a way to move forward.

LEAH: What would it take for you to be able to leave?

TEE: Just to know that he will be okay.

LEAH: Yeah. Yeah. And the two of you have kids together?

TEE: Yes.

LEAH: And how old are the kids?

TEE: 10 and 11.

LEAH: What do you think that they are learning about sex and relationships from watching the two of you?

TEE: Not much.

LEAH: Yeah.

TEE: What I try to do is to talk to them about their feelings. So, if they witness something, I usually pull them to the side and ask them how do they feel about that? And just I try to my best to have positive reinforcement and just showing them what with their girlfriends and their relationships too, things like that. Just showing them positive reinforcement.

LEAH: Yeah. So, let’s sort of project into an unknown future for a moment. One in which you have found a way to extricate yourself from this relationship. What do you hope for yourself in terms of relationships and sex, if they’re separate, because for some people they are?

TEE: Someone that will be able to see me and actually understand where I am coming from. I know some folks use that I don’t understand what you’re saying to kind of kick you off balance, so that you’ll just shut down. I’m tired of feeling like that. I just want to be heard and seen. I’m not a lot. I’m not over the top. I am a simple person and all I want is just to be able to be seen for my side. For me, I feel like I’m a great listener and I listen to so many people. I’m like the secret squirrel. I have so many secrets.

[LAUGHTER]

TEE: People always telling me all of their things, their stories. And so, I just want that for myself. And just to be able to once again feel that magic where it just feels like somebody’s sprinkling pixie dust over me.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: It sounds like you do hope to have another long term committed relationship.

TEE: Yes.

LEAH: Yeah. I hope that for you.

TEE: Thank you.

LEAH: Yeah. Do you have any questions about sex or sexuality that you’d like to ask or talk about?

TEE: The one thing I hear a lot is about men wanting to bring another person in or to watch you with someone else. For me, that makes me feel uncomfortable. I have had a situation where that happened but it wasn’t another male. It was a female. But it was kind of uncomfortable at certain points because I guess the feelings of jealousy like, “Okay. You’ve been over there for whatever amount of time like I’m still here.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah, sure. Yeah. So, are you asking if that is something that is common?

TEE: Yes.

LEAH: For some people, it is a fantasy or something that they make into a reality that they really enjoy but that doesn’t mean that it is a requirement. You are certainly going to be able to find partners who are not looking for that. I have had a couple of partners myself who’ve been like, “Nope. I’m never doing that.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And then, there might be partners who say that, “That is something I would enjoy but as long as you’re not comfortable with it, we’re not going to do it.” And that’s what I would want for you is somebody who, if your boundaries and your wishes and desires are different from theirs, that they can see you and they can say, “I see that you’re uncomfortable. I feel that you’re uncomfortable with this, so we’re not going to do it. And if you ever change, you can tell me, but I’m not going to pressure you for it.”

TEE: Yes.

LEAH: Yeah. And you can absolutely find that. You are not doomed to have to find a partner who is going to demand this of you.

TEE: Ugh.

LEAH: Yeah. That’s not a requirement at all.

Tee, that is the end of the questions. Thank you so much for doing this. I’m really grateful to you for having this conversation and for being so honest about where you’re at right now. And I wish for you that you will find peace and happiness in a relationship that really works for you.

TEE: Thank you so much. I appreciate that.

[MUSIC]

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

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

And before we go, I want to remind you that the things you’ve probably heard about your sexuality are not true. You are worthy. You are desirable. You are not broken. I work with women just like you to reflect their 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:
  • 3:33 – Tee shares her first memory of sexual pleasure around age 16, having an electrifying first kiss with an annoying boy.
  • 9:13 – Tee talks about growing up in a conservative Baptist congregation, then opens up about seeing her parents’ marital difficulties and the lingering impacts that has had on her relationships even to present day.
  • 12:22-  She is aware of the impact of spousal/parental yelling on her own kids.
  • 12:45 – Tee is a masturbation late-bloomer. She felt behind her peers growing up, in all sexual matters.
  • 15:05 – She loses her virginity and discovered that too much size matters.
  • 17:33 – Her next lover takes his time and explains things.
  • 18:50 – Tee talks about body image, being a tall woman.
  • 25:13 PJ Parties for Grownups!
  • 30:40 – A month after she gets engaged, Tee discovers she is pregnant. She miscarries at 5 months. The relationship doesn’t survive.
  • 35:31 – She bumps into a childhood friend.
  • 37:23 – Tee delves into the downturn in their sexual relationship. He tells her she is sexually immature. A quantity vs quality discussion ensues.
  • 40:34 – A birthday dinner for her husband leads to sex gone awry and a lot of resentment. Communication was never good and has since broken down. He is ill and she stays out of obligation.
  • 46:08 – Tee is contemplating a different future, for herself and her children.
  • 49:42 – Men wanting to engage in three-ways with her and another woman makes her uncomfortable. Do all men want that?

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

PATREON:

This week at Patreon we’ve got the full extended Lowdown Q&A with Tee.

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

I’ve done this because not everyone has the means to pay for access, and I know this additional material can be deeply important for some listeners. But 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.

I donate 10% of all Patreon income to ARC-Southeast, an organization that provides financial and logistical support to people seeking reproductive health services in Southeastern United States where safe and even life-saving services are being legislated out of existence.

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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