“Deaf U” star Alexa Paulay-Simmons gets candid about who she is (and always has been) as a sexual person, and how that’s shaped her life—both on the inside through her choices and experiences, and on the outside with the tight-knit Deaf community and the show’s global audience.

Alexa is a 24-year-old cisgender female. She describes herself as white, straight, monogamous, with a sporty body.  She was featured in the Netflix series “Deaf U”.  At the time of this broadcast, she is dating fellow Deaf U cast member Braxton.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT (CLICK TO OPEN)

LEAH: Before we get started today, I want to give a quick explainer of what’s happened with this week’s episode and why it’s going to sound a little different than I expected even 72 hours ago.

A different version of this episode was loaded into the feed as usual on Thursday morning. However, it quickly became clear that I’d made an error in the production of the episode. So, in fairness to our guest, Alexa, I pulled the episode so we could fix it.

As you’ll hear in the full intro in a moment, our guest, Alexa, is Deaf and we did the interview through an ASL interpreter.

It was my first time doing an interview with an interpreter, and it didn’t occur to me to send the transcript to Alexa in advance of the release to confirm that the translation accurately reflected what she said.

As soon as she saw it, Alexa emailed to let me know there were some issues.  We’ve taken the last three days to go through the issues and discovered that while long portions of conversation are fine, there are some significant mistranslations that cannot and should not stand. 

There is too much misunderstanding and misrepresentation of women’s thoughts and feelings in this world already; I do not wish to be part of continuing that harm.

I considered hiring an actor to revoice the interpreter’s entire half of the conversation so it would sound seamless for you.  But no matter how good an actor is, they’ll never be able to capture the freshness of having the conversation in the moment. 

So instead, I’ve decided to leave Courtney’s translation intact for most of the interview. But I am going to break in several times to read you the corrected version that Alexa has provided me over the last couple days.  Each time I do that, you’ll hear this sound so you can keep track of what’s happening [DING]

Many thanks to Liz Zirk and Gretchen Kilby for helping to get this episode reworked on the fly.  And, of course, huge thanks to Alexa for your grace and understanding through this topsy-turvy process.

I think you’ll find this episode fascinating and I’m so glad that you finally get to hear it!

Okay, now on to the show…

 

[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. If you watched the Netflix series “Deaf U” that premiered in October 2020, you almost certainly remember Alexa. With long blonde hair and an electric personality, she was the breakout star of the show. Her storyline was buzzy because it involved raw conversations about getting pregnant by another cast member and having an abortion. She also talked about her difficult relationship with her father, describing herself as having daddy issues that make romantic relationships challenging.

 

Watching the show, I immediately knew that I wanted to interview Alexa because she spoke so openly about dating and sexuality, plus I’ve been wanting to have a Deaf or hard of hearing person on the show for quite a while. But public figures are often reticent to talk openly about their sex lives, so I sent Alexa a DM without much expectation of hearing back from her. Imagine my delight when she said yes to doing an interview!

 

As you’ll notice, the rhythm of this conversation is a little different than usual. It’s the first time I’ve ever done a conversation through an interpreter, and it took some time for me to relax into that flow. Many thanks to our fantastic American Sign Language interpreter Courtney Farbman. Courtney explained to me before we began that the grammar structure between ASL and American English is different, so there would be times when she’d have to wait until Alexa or I were done with the thought before she could begin translating. That naturally results in lots of long silences. There were also pauses in the midst of translating when Courtney would finish parts of Alexa’s thought, then wait to take in the next piece of what she was saying before translating that. We’ve edited out most of those blank spots, but it still doesn’t flow in the same way a conversation between two hearing people does. In the spirit of diversity and representation, we have not been overzealous in trying to make this sound like a conversation between two hearing people.

 

Okay. Alexa is a 24-year-old cisgender female. She describes herself as white, straight, monogamous, with a sporty body. At the time of this broadcast, she is dating fellow “Deaf U” cast member Braxton. I am so pleased to introduce Alexa!

 

So, Alexa, welcome. Thank you for joining me today.

 

ALEXA: Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here for this.

 

LEAH: Awesome. And so that people know, the person whose voice you’re hearing is our interpreter Courtney.

 

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

 

ALEXA: The first memory that I have of actually feeling horny or trying to figure out what are these sexy feelings. Are you asking about specifics? The first time I felt horny or the first time I had an orgasm? What is it that you’re looking for?

 

LEAH: Some people will talk about being four years old and humping their teddy bear, and other people will talk about their first kiss and having those feelings, so it’s whatever it means to you

 

ALEXA: Hmm. Well, I know growing up, I was a very sexual kid. I’m trying to figure out how to definitely talk about this. I’m trying to figure out how to identify myself. It was a young age, but it was common. It’s common for kids around those ages to start figuring out what feels good and everything else going on.

 

[DING]

 

LEAH: Hey it’s Leah with the first audio break-in, as promised.

Here is the rest of Alexa’s response:

“My mom noticed that I started self-gratifying at a very young age. I was doing it everywhere, even when she had guests over. I was around 6 or 7 and I remember her telling me that it was okay to do these things but that it should be done somewhere private like a bedroom.

I didn’t really understand why I needed to stay in the room when we first talked about it.  But later I understood sex and sexuality is a personal decision, and private. Many people are uncomfortable with the topic. So I kept it in the bedroom going forward with my self-pleasure.

And then, as I got older, I developed into a woman. Men began to notice that and started testing my boundaries, and I went along with it because I wanted to explore that too.

And then having to figure out how to talk about boundaries in a way that everybody understood, and what kind of impact that could have, figuring what is and what isn’t good. Looking back, I guess it was when I really started growing up, probably around the age of puberty when I noticed, “Oh, this is how I interact with boys. This is what makes me feel embarrassed and this is what feels good.”

 

Okay, now back to the interview.

ALEXA: And I think it’s really important, the reason why I’m so open on TV, I feel like if you keep it on private, people keep seeing sex as a taboo topic, and it’s not.

 

And at first, that’s how I felt when I first started, figuring out what I shouldn’t tell anybody. When is it too soon to start having these conversations? And how I can and can’t go about it? How do I talk about these feelings of arousal that I’m having, or anything else? But once I started making these decisions for myself, it got easier to decide.

 

LEAH: I completely agree with you. Part of the reason I do what I do is because sex was such a taboo subject for me well into my late 30s and early 40s. And then finally, in my early 40s, I started learning how to talk about it, and I don’t want women your age to have to go through all those years.

 

ALEXA: Yeah. I really, really appreciate that you do something like this, and I feel a lot of people do feel like you have to keep sex hidden and that it’s such a taboo topic, but it’s really not. It’s a very normal part of life and I feel like people need to have these conversations, because it’s important to be able to talk to each other especially if you’re going to be intimate.

 

LEAH: Yeah. So, were you exploring your own body? You said that you were a very sexual kid. Were you exploring your own body before you hit puberty?

 

ALEXA: Oh yeah. Way before puberty. I think I actually started around three or four. I was riding in the car and I’m like, “Oh this feels good! We should go on longer rides.” It was great.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

LEAH: I love that.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

LEAH: And so, at what point did you think I can mimic these feelings from the car myself like with your hand or with some other object that you controlled?

 

ALEXA: Well, I got my first toy

a year ago and before then, I was using my hands of course, which is natural. But I really felt I get more out of the toy. I was like, “Oh, this is interesting. It’s a different kind of feeling.” And of course, there are so many options.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

LEAH: Yes. Do you remember how old you were when you first started using your hands?

 

ALEXA: I think maybe I want to say 14, 15, somewhere around there.

LEAH: And did you enjoy it right away or did it take some practice?

 

ALEXA: It was just so weird. I felt so awkward doing it. I was like, “I can’t do this again.” I had to stop for a while. And then, I realized, “Oh, I kind of need to do this. I need something to satisfy myself.”

 

LEAH: Yeah. And were you coming to something that you would recognize now as an orgasm?

 

ALEXA: No, actually I didn’t. It definitely felt good, but I think there was a little bit of a disconnect for me because I was still feeling awkward so I didn’t get to orgasm for a little while, and actually didn’t start to have regular orgasms until I had a partner. So, I actually use a vibrator when it happens and that definitely helps, but I only figured that part out last year.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

LEAH: Yeah. And that’s perfectly normal during those early explorations to not come to an orgasm, which is one of the reasons I ask about it.

 

So, when did you have your first experience with a partner?

 

ALEXA: I think around 15, it was.

 

LEAH: How did you decide you were ready to do that?

 

[DING]

 

LEAH: Alexa said: “I was at a very low point in my life at the time, I thought I needed male attention to make me feel better.”

LEAH: And when you actually had sex, did it make you feel better?

 

ALEXA: No. It made me feel more sad actually because that guy didn’t care about me, so now I felt more like I’m being used and not being taken seriously and just not cared for.

 

LEAH: I’m sorry.

 

ALEXA: Thank you. It’s fine now. It was in the past.

 

LEAH: Yeah, but it still sucks for that to be your first experience.

 

ALEXA: Yeah, it definitely did and I really thought that a lot of women had these amazing first-time experiences, and I was wondering why I wasn’t having that, and everything else. It was horrible. It was just awful. It was short. It didn’t feel very good and I was just trying to tell myself that it was fine but it wasn’t.

 

LEAH: Did you continue seeing him? Did you have more sexual experiences with him?

 

ALEXA: Well, we only slept together that one time, and that was enough for me.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

And then, afterwards, I had to try and figure out how to reconnect with boys, and how to set up these boundaries I would say, so that I can have these experiences without getting hurt again. I want to get what I want and give what he wants, but not give too much of myself.

 

LEAH: Yeah. Did you have sex education in school?

 

ALEXA: Yes. I had two – I don’t remember very much about it though but there were two classes dedicated to it in elementary school. One in elementary school and one in high school.

 

LEAH: When you say classes, do you mean like an hour or do you mean a semester?

 

ALEXA: It was for a full semester in high school.

 

LEAH: Was it useful?

 

ALEXA: I don’t remember too much about it.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

ALEXA: They showed us how to put a condom on it. They used that whole banana trick. It was a fake penis. They showed us what it looked like. They showed us what birth would look like, but not what it really looked like, what it’s like having a kid.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

LEAH: Did you get any information about how to have a healthy relationship? Not just like the penis goes into the vagina, but all the stuff that goes with that?

 

ALEXA: Nope.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

ALEXA: Not that I can remember. But like I said, I don’t remember much of that class anyway, but I don’t think there was a lot related to relationships. I do think it’s important to discuss though.

 

LEAH: Yeah, absolutely. Sex Ed in general, I think, not everybody gets it and those who do generally get something that’s about the penis goes in the vagina and here are the diseases you can get as opposed to here’s how you can have a healthy, sexual relationship.

 

ALEXA: Yeah, I agree.

 

LEAH: Yeah. Were there any other places in your life that you were getting messaging about sexuality like church? You said you didn’t go to church, but any sports, anywhere else?

 

ALEXA: Well, like I said, we didn’t go to church. I didn’t feel a lot of connection to that. My family wasn’t either, so I didn’t get any of the standard church message related to sex. Me and my friends would talk about it: Who had this experience first? Who did drugs first? Who was flirting with who? Do you have a boyfriend? Stuff like that, not very educational. There was also that pressure. My friends are doing it, so I should be doing it too.

 

LEAH: Yeah. When you had sex the first time, was it partially because there was pressure in your peer group?

 

ALEXA: Not really, because my friend group didn’t really have a lot of experiences at that time because we were still so young. But also, I was the first person in my group to do anything, so maybe I influenced them?

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

LEAH: And once you had done it, were they asking a lot of questions about what it was like and how it worked?

 

ALEXA: Oh, yes, they were. Well, I was the first person and I was like, “It’s awful.” So we talked about what was and wasn’t really important for their first time. But after that, I was like, “Oh, there’s a little bit of blood”, and I freaked them out.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

LEAH: Oh, so you had blood your first time?

 

ALEXA: Yeah, a little bit.

 

LEAH: It sounds like you had a couple of experiences that were not great. At what point did you have an experience that was enjoyable?

 

[DING]

 

LEAH: Alexa said: I finally had a good, satisfying experience when I realized that men need to give me pleasure too, and could communicate that clearly. My first time realizing that was quite a few years ago. And one time we went for it, and I was like, “Hey buddy, it’s my turn!” And it was great from there.

I learned that I could tell someone “North, south, a little lower, to the right, to the left, slower.”

They can never find the clit on their own. I have to give directions, like a road map!

It was hard for me to orgasm for a very long time. What helps is when a guy takes the pressure off.  One time with a guy, we went for an hour and there was nothing. But he was so patient with me, and then eventually I was able to have an orgasm. And it was great because it didn’t feel like I was under a magnifying glass.

 

ALEXA: But if you’re with the same guy for a while, there’s time to try to different things and figure out what feels better. Of course, it was a two-way street. It was a conversation that we would have, and we both had to figure out how to learn about our bodies, what I like, what I don’t like, and how to tell him about that, because if you don’t tell them, they’re not going to know.

 

LEAH: Yeah. And so, what kinds of things did you discover you really enjoy?

 

ALEXA: Kind of hard to explain because what I liked at first started to change over time and actually kind of changes with the partner, so you have to keep going for a while to figure out what’s good with this person and what’s good with this person may not be good with another person. And depending how experienced both of you are at sex, it changes.

 

LEAH: Yeah.

 

ALEXA: But if you’re pretty straightforward with sex, you can talk about, “Oh, that hurts. Oh, I’m kind of dry. You need to do something to make me a little bit more wet here.”

 

LEAH: Yeah.

 

[MUSIC]

 

LEAH: This week for audio extras, we’ve got the full Lowdown Q and A with Alexa. We talk about sex on her period, her old belief that spitters are quitters, and the types of porn she enjoys watching.

 

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 life saving for some people and the people who need it most may not have access to funds to pay for it. And for those who do have money but are in an unsafe situation, it may be dangerous to have a paper trail connecting them to a voice of female liberation.

 

I’m still hosting the audio at Patreon because honestly, it’s 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, all audio extras are freely 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. This show is not free to produce. And 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. 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 out more and become a community member at www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex. And remember, if your finances are tight, but you want to support the show, please recommend the show to a friend. Word of mouth is always the best advertising. Send them your favorite episode and invite them to chat about it with you. Use this podcast as a jumping off point to deepen your won conversations around intimacy and sex!

 

[MUSIC]

 

LEAH: I want to ask you about hands because sexuality or intimacy often involves hands a lot and the way that you talk involves your hands. So, I’m curious how that informs your experience of sexuality?

 

ALEXA: I’ll be honest. It’s pretty awkward. It can be. It’s a discussion that definitely has to happen beforehand. It’s not typically great to surprise somebody with that because then you’re on your back and you’re like, “Oh, I need to switch” and they’re like, “Oh, is it a switch or is it a go?” And then it’s a stop. Are you saying stop or are you saying something else? Sometimes, it can get confused if you’re trying to touch somebody, or if you’re trying to talk to somebody, and sometimes it takes away from the experience because it can bring you out of the moment.

 

LEAH: Do you tend to partner with people who are also Deaf or hard of hearing?

 

ALEXA: I mean I don’t really have a preference.

If it’s a good lay, it’s a good lay. I don’t really care if they can hear or not.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

LEAH: I’m mostly wondering about the hands thing if the people who you are with generally understand the need to differentiate between speaking and touching?

 

ALEXA: No, I get that. So, you’ve seen the part of “Deaf U”, there’s a lot of times where people have to stop what they’re doing, stop touching each other, talk, then go back to cuddling or something like that and if you’re spooning, your facing away from each other so you have to take yourself out of the moment to talk to each other. Or you’re laying in these awkward positions. Oh, yeah, this is fine. I just need to see your eyes, and now my neck hurts, and now I have to figure out how to lay comfortably again. I’ve had to stop sex itself and I’ve had to stop foreplay to be able to have this communication run smoothly. It can be awkward.

 

LEAH: How much do you talk with your partners before you have sex about, “Here are the things I want to do. Here are the things I don’t want to do”, that kind of thing?

 

ALEXA: Sometimes I forget to do that all. If it’s a spur of the moment type of deal, things just kind of happen, but I do feel like it’s important to maybe have a partner that’s used to what you want already. That way, you don’t have to worry about doing this super often. It really depends on what your own preferences are too. So, if you’re like, “Hey, this is what I like. This is what I don’t like.” The conversations can get easier, you’ve already had them.

 

LEAH: Yeah. Sure. So, I want to ask you some questions about things that came up in “Deaf U”. Is that okay with you?

 

ALEXA: Yeah, sure.

 

LEAH: One of the things you talked about was the difficulty in the relationship with your dad. And I wonder how that impacts your relationships, specifically your sexual relationships?

 

ALEXA: Well, I noticed before and a little continuous, that I do have a hard time expressing myself to my boyfriends, and I don’t do very well with communication. I’ve noticed that sometimes I get caught up in the playing of games and not communicating clearly and really just distancing myself and making myself emotionally unavailable in these relationships. I don’t really have much communication with my father at this point and that was typical for me, so that’s just kind of how my set up is with men in general.

 

But with my sexual experiences, it really hinders me from being able to communicate certain things so sometimes, I’ll just opt to not say what I’m feeling and not disclose if there’s something happening that I don’t like and I’ll just wait until he’s finished, and then get mad at him for it later, but I’ve never told him something was wrong. So, I’ve noticed stuff like that.

 

LEAH: Is that something that you want to work on, want to change?

 

[DING]

 

LEAH: Alexa said: “During my first year at college, I was in an entirely new environment, and I felt a huge pressure to fit in and get male validation. I thought the way to do that was to not respect my boundaries and allow men to walk over me. Then later I realized that I wasn’t being fair to myself, I wasn’t respecting my own needs and desires. So I started putting my foot down and saying no, walking away and stuff like that. It wasn’t easy at first, but it got easier over time.”

ALEXA: I don’t want to be afraid of hurting somebody’s feelings when I’m communicating my needs, so that’s something that I’m also trying to work on, because as I said, often times I’ll just clamp up instead of speaking up for myself. So now I’m doing more talking on my own, and I’m getting more comfortable in exercising my control of the situation, because I know that it’s important to be able to do that.

 

LEAH: One of the things that was a major piece of your story in the show and I recognize that it’s edited so this wasn’t necessarily your whole story, but was the conversation around having had a pregnancy. It sounded from what they showed that he maybe removed a condom.

 

I’m not interested in making him the bad guy in asking these questions. I’m curious about what that experience was for you of discovering that maybe your consent wasn’t a primary consideration for your partner in that experience.

 

[DING]

 

LEAH: Alexa said: “Yes, that entire situation was really awful. It was just a terrible experience overall and it was such a hard time for me. And for the first few months, I really was convinced that he did it on purpose. It was a conversation we had several times, and it was just a terrible time. It was a very sticky situation overall and it was very confusing for both of us. I was really pissed off, and scared, and I don’t think that was very healthy for me at that point.

Here’s what happened: I started birth control the week Daequan and I got together. I communicated that with him, explaining how birth control doesn’t go in effect until a week or so after. He was fully aware of that.

Protection is obviously very important, it’s huge. And I decided to make that decision because you have to be careful and take your own health into consideration. If I want to have kids, it’ll be up to me, but I don’t want to do that now.

I consented to having unprotected intercourse, but I did NOT consent to having him ejaculate inside me. I never wanted him to finish in me. I wanted the pull out to happen, and I just feel like a lot was broken. The conversations, the promises – it was really messed up.

 

He never treated me like he loved me, he never treated me like a partner. We agreed to be friends with benefits. He never mentioned anything about starting a family.

But in our conversations later, he openly admitted he did it on purpose. By doing that he violated so many parts of me.

I struggled to move forward from his behavior. It has hurt many parts of me. I am trying to figure out how to move on from it.

After the show aired, a few of my friends reached out to me explaining how that was actually rape. It took me some time to process it but I finally understand why, in the eyes of some, that was rape. I consented to have unprotected sex but never consented to having him come inside me.

I struggled with trusting him after this happened, and it still affects me with my current relationship. I doubt my partner’s truthfulness and him promising that he would never do what Daequan did. I can have a full-on meltdown if I think a drop of cum came inside me.

But my boyfriend now is mindful of what happened to me so he does a great job at reassuring me, and giving me as much validation and reassurance as I need. He buys plan B, even though he knows he didn’t come inside.

 

Hey everybody, this is Leah speaking in Leah’s voice again for just a moment. I want to address something Alexa just shared – that her friends told her it was rape and that was a new idea for her.

You might be wondering how it could be considered rape if she consented to having intercourse.  Here’s how I would talk about it:

If you give consent to someone penetrating you with their fingers or a sex toy and they proceed to penetrate you with their penis, that penile penetration is non-consensual activity. That’s assault.

If you give consent to someone penetrating you with a condom and they take the condom off, anything that happens after the condom comes off is non-consensual activity.  That’s assault.

If you give consent to someone penetrating you without a condom with the understanding that they will pull out before ejaculation, if they don’t pull out, that ejaculation is non-consensual and it is assault. 

You wouldn’t be able to take these definitions into a court. In the United States, our courts rely on the idea that once you say “yes,” you’ve said “yes” to a whole range of generalized activities.  But that’s not how our brains process things. Our brains are much more granular.  Think of a child who says they want apple slices and you sneak in a piece of pineapple. They will scream bloody murder because they DID NOT CONSENT to that intrusion.  But our legal system would say, “They wanted fruit, you gave them fruit, case closed.”

That’s why I would agree with Alexa’s friends that she was assaulted.  That wouldn’t stand up in court, but I think it’s important to call a thing what it is, and ejaculating inside her was a non-consensual act.

 

LEAH: Have you been able to trust other men that you have slept with since then?

 

ALEXA: Well, before Daequan, I had trouble trusting men. But that was something that I was already aware of, it was already internalized and I did notice that coming out to play in sex. I don’t think I could ever fully trust men. Between my first experience being so bad,

my relationship with my father, what happened with Daequan.

 

LEAH: You mentioned that you are in a relationship now. How is the communication there?

 

ALEXA: It’s actually very good. My current relationship, I feel like we can talk about almost anything. And there’s been a lot of focus on our communication, which I think is just so important and we’re able to have our disagreements, and talk it out even something as simple as we’re not agreeing on where we want to go for dinner. But there’s a lot of room for us to talk and it’s been great.

 

LEAH: Why do you think that it’s so different with your current partner?

 

ALEXA: I think I have finally figured out my own internal stuff and now I know my own mind and after everything that happened with Daequan. After my trust was broken, I’m finally starting to figure out how to take care of what I need in a situation and how to have these conversations in a way that doesn’t discourage the other person.

 

LEAH: Yeah. When we were talking before the interview, you mentioned that you would like to talk about how you are seen in the Deaf community after having done the show and talked about sex so openly.

 

ALEXA: The Deaf community is very small. And now, I’m on the show, and I’m talking about sex, and I’m still talking about sex. It’s considered a taboo topic, even still, so I’m having these frank discussions in a small, judge-y community.

 

And I don’t want to start breaking my relationship to the Deaf community just because I’m comfortable having conversations about what I’m doing with myself. I don’t want them looking at me saying, “What’s wrong with this woman?” I’m just being me. I started young and it’s my personal choice to share these stories – the first time I’m having sex, the first positive experience, when I lost my virginity and what that seemed like. I don’t want to be dismissed by the Deaf community for being willing to have these conversations with the entire world.

 

So, I just wanted to make sure that I’m still being seen as a person, and not just somebody who is on a TV show talking about what I thought other people wanted to hear. I’m a very go with the flow person and I just want to make sure everybody knows who I am.

 

LEAH: Yeah. What parts of yourself do you feel like people don’t know?

 

ALEXA: I feel like I’m a very open-minded person. I can’t say that I don’t like you if I’ve never even put in any effort to like you. It’s just not something that I believe in. I am very open-minded and I feel like we should get to know each other.

 

And how can you say you don’t like something if you’ve never tried it before? I don’t know. Maybe this will feel good, but I’ve already decided that I don’t like it, so now I’m not going to try. I’m not going to get that experience. So, I have the ability to have different perspectives, and I’m not a closed off person.

 

I’m a very upfront, “Here’s my picture. Here’s my name. Let me do an interview about sex.” And I think it can often get misconstrued as to be something that it’s not, and that could set up a disconnect from the world. So that’s why I think it’s important for us to talk about stuff like this, and that people who are disconnected from their community have a way of getting information.

 

LEAH: I love that and I’m grateful that you’re willing to do it.

 

ALEXA: Yeah. I love having these conversations. I love to be able to share my experiences.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

LEAH: How did your parents respond to you talking so openly about sex on the show?

 

ALEXA: My dad wasn’t very happy.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

ALEXA: Yeah, he seemed less than thrilled.

[LAUGHTER]

 

ALEXA: He’s like, “Alexa, what are you doing? Why are you talking about these things?” And it was hard for him to grasp why I was. So, he prefers to pretend that I don’t know anything about stuff like that. He still looks at me like I’m a child. He just goes, “Wow, huh.”

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

LEAH: Do you have any particular questions about sex that you haven’t had a chance to ask anybody yet?

 

ALEXA: I noticed that I had a few painful sexual experiences, and I want to know why that was, and if it was something serious. But I did talk to one of my girlfriends about it and we talked about vaginismus actually. And then, we talked about symptoms, signs, what else could possibly be causing pain so that helped. We talked about maybe needing more foreplay to lubricate. Maybe how people figure out if a painful thing is serious or not, what should or shouldn’t hurt, and why.

 

LEAH: So, there’s a misunderstanding for a lot of people that the person with the penis and the person with the vagina should both be ready at the same time. And in fact, the male turn on cycle tends to happen very quickly and the female turn on cycle is much slower.

 

Like you said, it can take a lot of foreplay or that warm up time for the female to get lubricated so that sex feels good. And if the female is not lubricating, either because there hasn’t been enough warmup time or because you just have a drier body or there’s something else going on, lubricant is your friend.

 

ALEXA: Oh yeah.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

ALEXA: I love lube. It’s great. It’s awesome.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

LEAH: Yeah. A lot of women have been told that if they need lube, it means that they’re somehow failing like their body is not doing the right thing, and I really want to break that stereotype and that myth.

 

ALEXA: I forgot. I had read something once. It was related to foreplay for women. I can’t remember exactly what the name of the article was, but they were talking about being wet means that your cervix is ready to stretch, and that’s helpful for giving birth and if it’s not, that’s why it’s painful because you’re not stretched enough and ready to receive the penis or whatever.

 

LEAH: So that warm-up process, the lubrication means all of your bits down there are swelling with fluids, and it does make it easier for you to receive the penis. So, your original question was how do you know the difference between not wet enough and something being wrong?

 

So, the answer is lube, and if you use more lube and it’s still uncomfortable, then it’s a good idea to get things checked out. But if the lube takes care of it, then it’s probably just that you weren’t wet enough.

 

ALEXA: Oh, okay. That’s good to know. I wish I’d known that earlier. I wouldn’t have been as worried.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

ALEXA: I mean we’re all down to time, but if I had known that earlier, I would have had a lot less panic in my life.

 

LEAH: And that’s why it’s important.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

ALEXA: And then maybe I would have smacked my boyfriend a little harder and told him to get work.

 

LEAH: Yes.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

LEAH: And that’s why these conversations are important, because we all walk around thinking that we’re the broken ones, when in fact it’s just our bodies doing what our bodies do.

 

[MUSIC]

 

LEAH: Back when the pandemic was still new and we thought transferring our lives to Zoom was a temporary condition, I read an article about one of the reasons why Zoom can be so fatiguing. It had to do with how our animal brain expects that if we can see something, it means that we can also touch it.

The disconnect of being able to see people we care about without being able to reach out and hug them causes an added layer of fatigue onto our new reality of video communication.

 

Now, I can’t promise that participating in a video PJ party for grownups will ease that disconnected. Honestly, it won’t. But you’ll be amazed at how being part of this gathering will leave you feeling seen, heard, and connected in a way that helps break through the Zoom fatigue. My PJ parties for grownups is a place for you to have the kind of conversations we have on this show to dish about the stuff that is 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 a 2-hour gathering that’s designed to help you feel safe, comfortable, and connected. Each PJ party is limited to 7 people each, so there’s plenty of time for everyone to participate. And because consent is primary, you will never be pressured to 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 may just meet your new best friend.

 

A recent participant said that while she talks to her male partner about sex a lot, she realized during our PJ party how much she misses having these conversations with other women. She said, “This group is making me aware of 10,000 more things I want to share and process.”

 

Registrations are currently open for a party on Thursday, February 25th, at 7 PM Eastern and 4 PM Pacific. Register by yourself or register with a friend and get 20 dollars off. Information and registration is at www.leahcarey.com/pjparty. That link is in the Show Notes in the app that you’re listening on now. And it’s leahcarey.com/pjparty. Spaces are limited, so register today!

 

[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: What’s the approximate number of sex partners you’ve had?

 

ALEXA: Probably around 10 or 15.

 

LEAH: That’s funny because the show made it out to look like you had a lot of partners just during the taping of the show.

 

ALEXA: Yes, I noticed that as well. I did date a lot, but it doesn’t mean that I have sex with everybody that I date, and I don’t sleep around.

 

LEAH: Yeah, sure. What are your hard red lines, things that you won’t do?

 

ALEXA: Yeah,

choking for me is a no-go. I won’t do that. It’s scary, no, thank you. I’ve tried it once and I hated it. I would never do that again.

 

LEAH: Yeah.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

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

 

ALEXA: I wish I could tell her sex is not everything. You don’t need it to be happy. You don’t need it for a functioning relationship. All of this stuff is just internalized, and that it’s okay if you don’t want to do it. It’s okay. You’re your own person and you can make those decisions. You don’t need it. But if you want it, you go for it.

 

LEAH: Yeah. We’ve mentioned a couple of times that things that were portrayed in the TV show that weren’t maybe exactly the way they are in real life. Are there any other things that you’d like to clear up, anything else you’d like to say about how you were portrayed in the show?

 

ALEXA: Just remember it’s a show. It’s edited. Not everything is true. Not everything is the way that it seems. You’re not getting the full story.

 

LEAH: Yeah, excellent. Alexa, that is all. I am so grateful to you for taking the time to do this.

 

ALEXA: Of course, thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed this. It was fun. It was definitely a new thing for me to get to do.

 

LEAH: Excellent. I’m glad.

 

ALEXA: I loved it.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

LEAH: Great.

 

ALEXA: Thank you.

 

LEAH: And also thank you to Courtney for being such a wonderful interpreter.

 

COURTNEY: Thank you.

 

[MUSIC]

 

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

 

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

 

And before we go, I want to remind you that the things you’ve probably heard about your sexuality are not true. You are worthy. You are desirable. You are not broken. I work with women just like you to reflect their true sexual nature back to them without the judgment, shame or fear that can get in the way of us seeing it for ourselves.

 

As a coach and PJ party hostess, I will guide you in embracing the sexuality that is innately yours no matter what it looks like. I’m here to help you sink so deeply into your true sexuality that the version of yourself that was scared to speak up for her own needs feels like a mirage from another lifetime.

 

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

 

[MUSIC]

BOOKMARK MOMENTS:
  • Alexa shares her first memory of sexual pleasure and asking her mom questions at age 6 or 7.
  • Alexa finally has good sex—with someone she can give instructions to.
  • She talks about how it can be awkward to use your hands for dual purposes—talking and pleasing—during sex.
  • Daddy issues: Alexa struggles with game-playing, distancing herself, and a lack of communication with her sexual partners. With self-awareness, she chose to develop healthier habits.
  • Leah and Alexa discuss the conversation on Deaf U around the unintended pregnancy, and consent (especially around ejaculating inside a woman). Alexa talks about power imbalances and ignored communication in the relationship, and how his wants began to supersede her needs.
  • Alexa’s current relationship is full of communication and thereby trust.
  • She shares how the Deaf community has responded to (and judged) her openness about sex.
  • Her father is less than thrilled.
  • Vaginismus is discussed; lubricant is your friend. (If it still hurts even with lube, it’s a good idea to get it checked out.)

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Our American Sign Language interpreter for this episode is Courtney Farbman.  If you would like to engage Courtney for ASL interpretation, you can reach her at courtneyalainaintrepreting (at) gmail (dot) com.

THE LOWDOWN:
  • What’s the approximate number of sex partners you’ve had?
  • What are your hard red lines, things that you won’t do?
  • What belief did you have about sex as a child that you wish you could go back and correct her on now?
  • Are there any other things that you’d like to clear up, anything else you’d like to say about how you were portrayed in the show?

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

PATREON:

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

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

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

BE PART OF THE SHOW:

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WORK WITH LEAH:

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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