Dive Deeper with Leah Carey
I have been through the fire and come out the other side. Now I’m here to walk with you as you do the same.
I will help you take a stand for yourself, your desires, and YOUR PLEASURE.
How can kink un-kink you? Cate is a sex educator who discovered for themselves that kink can be therapy for chronic pain, emotional overwhelm, and neurodivergent patterns. Cate shares how they manage being ADHD, demisexual, non-monogamous, and pansexual, after surviving growing up Catholic.
If you spend time thinking about gaming, fruit snacks, or ADHD you may already know Cate. You can find them on Twitch, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and more under the handle Catieosaurus.
Cate is a 33-year-old non-binary person. They describe themselves as white (though they’re adopted so they don’t necessarily know that’s true), bisexual and demisexual. They are ethically non-monogamous with two partners and grew up in the Catholic church. Cate describes their body as average.
Dipsea Stories – go to www.dipseastories.com/goodgirls to get a 30-day FREE trial!
Kindra – try out Kindra at www.ourkindra.com using code goodgirls20 for 20% off your first purchase.
Planned Parenthood Direct – download the app to get convenient and affordable birth control delivered to your door: http://www.ppdirect.app/api/safelink?name=inf_leahcarey_1121
To sign up for notification when it’s available in your state, go to: www.plannedparenthooddirect.org
Find Catieosaurus on all their channels:
For more on using BDSM or other high impact play as a pain management tool, check out this episode – https://www.goodgirlstalk.com/posts/podcast/pain-and-pleasure-cum-together-caz/
Cate’s favorite sex toy – The Dame Eva – https://www.sheboptheshop.com/dame-eva-ii.html#partner=goodgirlstalk (affiliate link)
Myoclonic dystonia – https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/7139/myoclonus-dystonia
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!
LEAH: If you spend time thinking about gaming, fruit snacks, or ADHD, you may already know today’s guest. You can find them on Twitch, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and more under the handle @catieosaurus. When I posted in my Instagram stories that I had just recorded an interview with @catieosaurus, one of my followers reached out to say that he and his partner were freaking out with excitement because they love Cate’s content. By the way, are you following me on Instagram or Twitter? I’m @goodgirlstalk on both.
So, Cate reached out to me recently to ask since I had been addressing disability and sex, would I consider talking about neurodiversity in sex? Not only was the answer a, “Hell, yes!” on its own terms, but the timing was remarkable because that same week, my primary care physician had suggested to me that I should get tested for ADHD. As I record this, I was just diagnosed two weeks ago. I’m still very much in the learning curve of what that means for me and how to deal with it. This conversation with Cate has been really helpful in confirming for me some of the places that I need to look. But rather than talking a lot more, let’s get into this fascinating interview.
Cate is a 33-year-old non-binary person. They describe themselves as white, though they’re adopted, so they don’t necessarily know that’s true, bisexual and demisexual. They are ethically non-monogamous with two partners and grew up in the Catholic church. Cate describes their body as average. I’m so pleased to introduce Cate!
Cate, thank you so much for being here. I am so excited to talk to you. When you reached out, you said all these things and I was like, “Oh, we definitely need to talk.” So, thanks for being here!
CATE: Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here. This is a new type of interview for me, so I’m very excited.
LEAH: Yes. So, let’s start where I start every interview, which is what is your first memory of sexual pleasure?
CATE: My first memory of sexual pleasure is one of my also funniest stories because it is how I realized that I was kinky. Yeah, this is like a whole thing. I’ve been kinky since I was seven years old.
LEAH: I love it.
CATE: It’s like a whole thing. We were watching Meet Me in St. Louis.
CATE: Oh, wait. There’s more. But in Meet Me in St. Louis, there’s this scene where Judy Garland is getting laced into a corset. It was like this whole thing. And it’s not like a kinky scene, but if you’re a kid and you’ve never seen anything like that before. I was like, “Oh, what’s this?” And I started feeling funny and I was just like, “Huh.” And I remember thinking that I felt funny and I thought I was getting sick. And then, as I got older, we have internet like the old dial-up internet and stuff.
CATE: I would go and I would look up corsets. And then, I would look up leather. And I would look up pretty women in corsets, all this stuff. And I realized that, oh, that feeling that I had when I was seven was my first experience with physical arousal from a visual medium. And I still remember that. I don’t know why, but that is such a vivid memory for me, and then being able to connect to it later on in life and being, “Ah! I’ve been this way my whole life. I’m not broken. There’s nothing wrong with me. It’s just how I am.” It’s been weirdly validating to have that memory.
LEAH: Yeah. I love that so much. So, as an adult, are you into bondage and leather?
CATE: Not leather because leather is way too fucking hot honestly.
CATE: I’m like, “I’m not trying to sweat all night. Come on.”
CATE: I wear very breathable bondage fabrics, but yes, I’ve become like a kink educator. I’ve actually literally just got back from a kink convention yesterday. So, yeah, it’s weird how kinky my life has become accidentally.
LEAH: I love that. And it’s so interesting that you say like, “I realized it at seven or I had my first indication at seven” because I remember one of the first kink classes I took, they talked about how often our kinks do show up as very, very young children. We just don’t have a language vocabulary or context for it at that point.
LEAH: And I’m not sure of the age, but I think I was probably about nine when I asked a friend to tie me up and spank me. And, oh my god.
CATE: I was literally going to say the same thing.
LEAH: She looked at me like I had six heads.
LEAH: And rightfully so, if you ask that of a kid, who’s not into that.
CATE: They’re like, “Oh, excuse me. What?” I know. That’s so funny that you said that because that was going to be the next thing. And then, I remember I would construct these just ludicrous scenarios in which like, “Okay, you guys. I heard about this really fun game that these other kids at this other school that’s like really far away, so you’re probably never going to hear about it, but they play it all the time.”
CATE: I would always come up with these just overly exaggerated, over complex things because I just wanted to explore it. And I had this weird notion for getting tied up and spanked and stuff. And I remember doing that as a kid. And that’s so funny. I was like, “Okay. I feel very vindicated and less alone.”
LEAH: So, that happens around seven. Do you have other memories of similar types of things that you now recognize as kinky that, at the time, you were just like, “Oh, I feel funny?”
CATE: I remember very specifically definitely wanting to get tied up. And I remember very specifically really wanting to know what the spanking felt like. I had this fascination with spanking.
LEAH: Me too. And my parents didn’t spank, so I thought that was the reason.
CATE: Yeah, exactly. So, this is where I bring down the room a little bit, but recently I have started realizing that I think there is more sexual trauma in my past than I may have remembered. And so, I actually don’t have a lot of really specific memories for a while. You know what I mean? But I do remember there was always that thread of I knew that I wanted to be restrained. I knew that I wanted physical sensation on my body. Yeah, I think that’s my answer.
LEAH: Yeah. So, do you want to talk about those potential memories and those blank spots?
CATE: I’m not going to talk about that by talking about that because the really interesting thing is realizing that there are blank spots. For a really long time, I just didn’t know that there were. And then, when I started doing work to become a certified sex educator and I started educating and talking about kink and stuff, I would get questions about like, “When kids do this thing,” whatever, I started realizing that there were just places where I was like, “Huh, it’s weird that I don’t ever think about that or that I haven’t ever really spent time.” And then, I started realizing that, “Oh, I haven’t spent time around these thoughts because I’ve really walled them up.” I’ve really started actively trying to not think about them because they caused me pain. They caused me harm.
And so, the fun cool thing is you can fix that with therapy. And so, I’ve been working on it for a while and it’s just been really interesting working through a lot of it because a lot of it is just very much based in a very religious upbringing and that shame and that guilt surrounding my body and sexuality was this bad, wrong thing.
And I was really into masturbation. I was just fascinated with masturbating, but I was also very smart kid. And so, when I was in school, I went to Catholic school. And so, they would have the catechism like the Bible and stuff just around. And I remember very specifically looking at the catechism and being like, “Oh, masturbation is a sin. You’re not allowed to masturbate. If you masturbate, you’re going to go to hell.”
And I remember being terrified because I was like, “I like doing this thing so much”. And I understood what I was doing and I knew that I was actively choosing to explore my body and masturbate, but also, I was like, “If God’s going to find out and I’m going to get in so much trouble.” And so, there just wound up being this echo chamber of both religious repression, but then also at the familial level just like a really unhealthy attitude towards sex and intimacy and that kind of thing, which I am still unpacking to this day.
But I’m honestly grateful for it because it’s one of those things where I struggled for so long. And then, when I started doing this work and I started really wanting to have conversations, I was like, “But I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to be the kid who’s terrified that someone’s going to find out that you touch yourself.” You know what I mean? And so, it’s like it’s been really enlightening to know that there are so many people out there who feel the same things and go through the same things. And we all carry that community of Catholic guilt about the audacity of wanting to understand how your body works. How dare you?
LEAH: So, there’s so much in there that I want to go back and talk about. Let’s start with masturbation. How did you discover masturbation and when?
CATE: It’s a very good story.
CATE: Okay. It’s important to note that I still have it, which is awful. So, I had this soccer ball pillow. It was this round soccer ball pillow and it was pretty firm. And at some point, I realized that if I ground on the soccer ball pillow, I could cum. I have it. I still have it. I don’t use it anymore for that to be clear. I just kept it because it’s like a very fond memory. You know what I mean?
But when I was moving, my partner was going through some boxes and he pulled out the soccer ball and he went, “What’s this?” And I went, “Don’t touch that. Put that down. That’s fine.” And he was like, “It’s a pillow. Why are you being so weird?” And in my head, I’m like, “When I was nine, I used to hump that thing twelve times a day. That’s fine.”
CATE: And I’m trying to trace it back because I remember that I had heard from a teacher that masturbation was a sin. But I didn’t know what masturbation was. We were just told that it was bad, but they didn’t define it. So, I went to the dictionary.
LEAH: Because, of course, you’re still a child. They can’t do something and they’re like, “What is it?”
CATE: I was like, “What is it? I want to know what it is. It’s so bad.” And so, I literally went to the school library and the big dictionary on the stand. And I opened it up and I looked up masturbation. I was like, “Okay.” I was piecing the puzzle pieces together. And then, at some point, my school got internet access before. Because I’m old, this was before everybody had internet at their house. And so, I remember sneaking into the school computer lab to look, “What is masturbation?” And then, I figured that out. And then, I was like, “How to masturbate?”
CATE: And I was looking for a five-step wiki guide. It didn’t exist yet. And so, I remember I found some just bananas porn site. Just really graphic descriptions of male masturbation and I remember being like, “I don’t have a penis. I can’t do this.” And so, I spent three or four years puzzling out the mystery of masturbation and it was really funny.
LEAH: Wow. So, how old were you when you went looking at the dictionary?
CATE: Probably eight or nine. I’ve been humping my soccer ball for a while. And I realized like, “Oh, this is the thing that I’ve already been doing. Oh, damn it. Nobody told me that that’s what it was. I’m going to get in so much trouble with God.” And I was just so mad because nobody had told me that pillows were part of it.
LEAH: I love this. It is. It’s such a disconnect that they were saying to you, “Don’t do this thing.” And you were like, “Okay. What is the thing I’m not supposed to do? Oh, it’s the thing I’ve already been doing for two, three years.”
CATE: Exactly. It was so interesting. I just remembered that, just that moment where I was like, “Wait. So, I hump the pillow. Oh, no. I’m in so much trouble.”
LEAH: I’ve been doing some work with another woman, another sex educator, around how young kids begin masturbating, female children. And I went through the archives of this show and pulled out the ages that the various guests said that they started. And I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, but it was something like 8% began before the age of five, 25% began before the age of eight, and something like 80% began before the age of 12.
CATE: Yeah. No, I totally believe that.
LEAH: Yeah. This idea that girls don’t explore their bodies, while it is true for some people and I don’t want to dismiss that, it is also widely inaccurate for I think a lot of people.
CATE: Yeah. And I think it’s predicated on this very puritanical idea that if you know your body, it’s going to somehow turn you into this sex-crazed monster. It’s like no. Being informed about your body is a safety thing I think more than anything. I have a whole rant about it.
LEAH: We can rant together. But let’s keep going with your personal story. You’ve mentioned a few times that you grew up in a religious home. Let’s first talk about your church, and then let’s talk about your home. What kinds of messages were you hearing at church including that masturbation is bad and you shouldn’t do it, but we’re not going to tell what it is?
CATE: Man, I’m trying to do this, not overthink my answers because I always overthink, but the immediate one that popped into my head when you asked that question was the terrible sin of abortion. Because our parish priest was obsessed with abortion in a way where he figured out a way to talk about brazen women and abortions in any situation.
I remember my babysitter got married and we got invited to the wedding because she was my babysitter for years and years. And at her wedding, the priest in the speech-y part literally found a way to be like, “And now that you’re married” and started talking about the terrible sin of abortion at her wedding. And I remember even my mom, who’s very conservative, she was like, “That was inappropriate. He did not need to bring that up then.”
And so, I remember very early on sex was a fearful thing. It was this thing where if you have sex, you’re going to get married and you can’t have an abortion because if you have an abortion, you will go to hell and you will go to hell so fast. And so, I remember just living in this very strange place where I didn’t really understand my body. I didn’t really know that O was allowed to understand my body and I was just hearing over and over and over again that as a woman, it is my job to get married and have babies.
But even as a kid, I knew I did not want kids. I’ve always known that. I love kids. I love other people’s kids. And my favorite part is when I hand them back. I just don’t have that instinct in me. And just hearing over and over and over that it’s the woman’s duty to get married and raise a family and all of this stuff, I just always felt like a little bit out of place, a little bit weird, a little bit, “Am I the only one who feels like this?” And then, when I started realizing that I was attracted to all genders, then it was like, “Oh, god. Now, I’m gay and I masturbate and I don’t want babies? Oh, boy.”
And so, that was the more that I learned about myself, the more time that I spent understanding myself and understanding my body and learning about my needs and my wants and my desires, the farther and farther away I got from this idea of God and religion because I just keep hearing over and over and over that there wasn’t a place for me. I didn’t belong. I wasn’t right.
LEAH: I did not grow up in religion. And so, every time I hear these stories, the heat rises for me. Isn’t it one of the precepts of Christian/Catholic thinking that God doesn’t make mistakes?
CATE: Yes. But also, there’s a loophole in that. God doesn’t make mistakes, depending on your specific brand of Catholicism or what you’re taught and even just Christianity as a whole. A lot of times, the conversation is, “God didn’t make mistakes. So, God made you gay on purpose,” if you even get to the point where being gay is not a choice because that’s a whole other conversation where a lot of times, it is.
But then, the conversation becomes, “God doesn’t make mistakes. So, God made you as you are and He made you this way to challenge you. Because it is a sin to be gay, so we can hate the sin. We can love the sinner, but we have to hate the sin. And so, God was calling you to a life of celibacy. God is calling you to a life of sexual dissatisfaction. God is challenging you with this because this is part of your personal mission and plan with God is that you cannot act on these urges or then you will be sinning, and therefore then you will burn in hell for all eternity. But he didn’t make any mistakes. It’s just you are going to actively choose to walk counter to the path he has deigned for you, which is one where you could be secretly gay, just shut up and don’t talk about it because it makes us uncomfortable.” Yeah.
LEAH: Yeah. Okay.
CATE: And the thing that sucks honestly and they’ve gone like, “Be careful about what you say.” But the thing is I’ve gotten so far away that I don’t even know if that’s the messaging anymore. You know what I mean? Because I don’t care to. I don’t care to go back to an organization that so wholeheartedly told me over and over and over that I was not worthy and I was not right and I did not belong. And so, it’s really interesting because I’m like I wonder what it is now today, but also, I just don’t care.
LEAH: Yeah. That sounds like a really healthy attitude.
CATE: It’s a boundary I set for myself. I was like, “If you’re not going to have healthy attitudes and I need those healthy attitudes to feel okay and safe in my body, then my boundary is you don’t get to hang out with me.” That’s pretty easy.
LEAH: Are you aching to explore new vistas of your sexuality? Do you hear me talk about concepts on this show and think, “It makes sense, but I need help applying it to my particular situation?” That’s where personalized sex and intimacy coaching comes. When you work with me, I promise to help you feel safe exploring your sexuality.
Together, we’ll look at your needs and desires without judgment and help you figure out how to fulfill them. There is no single answer that’s right for everyone. So, I’m going to help you discover what’s right for you. And we’ll go at your pace. That’s the pace that respects your emotional needs, your boundaries, and 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 what’s right for you.
I work with clients who are motivated to explore many different areas of sexuality including things like expressing your sexual desires to current or future partners, exploring if you might be queer, challenging body image insecurity in sexual relationships, dipping your toes into BDSM, exploring consensual non-monogamy, learning to date after a long time out of the dating pool, exploring your sexuality for later in life virgins, and so much more. I want you to have a deeply fulfilling intimate life and together we can help you get there. For more information and to schedule your discovery call, visit www.leahcarey.com/coaching. That’s www.leahcarey.com/coaching.
LEAH: So, what were you hearing at home about sex and sexuality and being female?
CATE: Oh, boy. Okay. I need to preface this with an explanation. My mom was, at the time, a state’s attorney. And so, my mom’s job was prosecuting people for the state. My mom’s specific job was prosecuting sex crimes, specifically against children. So, I grew up in a house where every single day my mom would come home and tell me stories about the four-year-old who had gotten raped or the baby who had gotten horrifically abused or whatever over and over and over.
So, we didn’t have conversations about sex because I think my mom thought, and I have spent a really long time resenting my mom for this, and recently I realized that she did this I think to protect me. But I think my mom thought that if she didn’t talk about sex and she didn’t acknowledge sex, if she didn’t really talk about sex as a thing that could be done for pleasure, then I wouldn’t put myself in a situation where I could be in danger. I think that was the thought process.
But what it actually meant was that we just really didn’t have conversations. I had a very cursory birds and the bees when I got my first period. She explained what that deal was and all of this stuff, but all of this very much grounded in both my mom’s experience growing up in a very Catholic family and sending that knowledge down to me. Marriage is between a man and a woman. We have sex, so we can make a baby.
And I remember having fights when I was a teenager being 14, 15, 16 and being like, “Okay. But does marriage have to be between a man and a woman? Why can’t two women get married? Why can’t two men get married? Why can’t three women get married? If you’re talking about love and commitment, why does it have to look this certain way?” “Because God.” “Okay. If we take God out of the equation, then you know what I mean?” It’s like this whole thing.
And then, the second side of that was my mom has a massive confirmation bias towards a lot of people are predators. A lot of people are dangerous. Men, especially. You can’t trust the babysitter. You can’t trust the whatever. They’re all rapists, all of them. And so, there was a lot of not speaking. And I think the silences often spoke a lot louder than what we actually talked about. Like I said earlier, I’m still really unpacking that and unpacking how damaging it can be to just not have conversations because you’re uncomfortable. I’m sorry. I’m just going on and on and on.
LEAH: No. This is so good.
CATE: So, I’m neurodivergent and I didn’t know that I was neurodivergent until literally three years ago, my 30th birthday I found out. But one of the things that neurodivergent people really excel at is pattern matching like pattern recognition. Even in life, I’m not talking about red, yellow, blue. I’m talking about, “Oh, we don’t talk about this thing and we never talk about this, so this thing must be bad.” That is pattern recognition.
And so, unlearning how much unspoken communication was going on in my household was fascinating. And now, I’m just very interested in it in just a purely clinical sense of like, “This is so interesting. My upbringing was so strange.” And so, yeah, it was a really weird learning about sex as a kid.
LEAH: Yeah. So, it sounds like you grew up with a lot of messaging about sex is bad, sex is scary, sex is evil, even presumably until the moment you get married. And then, it’s going to be wonderful and perfect.
LEAH: Yeah. That’s its own whole drama. But you also are recognizing that you’re interested in other activities and other genders than the one you’re “supposed” to. When did that awareness come up for you?
CATE: When I was 11. I remember very specifically 11 was the first time that I went to my mom and I said, “I think I’m gay.” And my mom basically said, “No, you’re not.” That was the conversations. I said, “Mom, you know how some people like boys and some people like girls?” Because we had had the gay talk. My mom at least had the foresight to just introduce the concept of being gay, but it was always in conversation about, “And we really can’t support that lifestyle because it’s not what God wants for us.”
And so, I remember being like, “Mom, I think I’m one of those people.” And my mom said, “No, you’re not.” And so, I just went off and I was like, “Okay. My mom knows me and she’s my mom and she’s in charge.” And so, then I was 13 and I said it again. And then, I was 14. And then, I was 15. And then, I was 16. And then, I was 21. And then. I was 25.
I don’t think it was really until I was, I want to say, 27 or 28 when I think my mom, to her credit, has done a lot of work to shift her preconceived and internalized biases about homosexuality, LGBT in general. She’s just now gotten the point where she’s cool with it, but she’s cool with it in a very much like, “We’re not going to talk about it way.” But she recognizes, she will say, “Oh, my daughter is bisexual,” that kind of thing. So, she’s grown a lot.
But I remember very specifically just being told multiple times throughout my childhood like, “No, you are not gay. You are going through a phase. You’re just mixing up friendship and feelings and you’re wrong about what you are feeling. You are not this way.” And that has informed so much of who I am as a person. And we don’t even have time to unpack all of that.
LEAH: I’m interested that you now identify as bisexual, but you are saying to your mom, “I’m gay.”
CATE: I didn’t know that there were other terms. I just thought it was either you were straight or you were gay. And it’s the same way where, and I know I said this before we started recording, but I didn’t realize that there were such specific terms to describe me. Because in reality, I think a better term for what I am is pansexual because I am attracted to all genders, I just grew up with the label bi as that was the only option. You were gay. You were straight, and then there was this third magical option that fit me more, which was bi.
And so, now I always say I’m bi in that I am attracted in men and any other gender representation that there may be in the world. That’s how I use my bi like there’s two, but it’s one and then a big one. But I think pan is actually far more of a correct descriptor, but at some point, I just got too tired to try and win every argument there is.
LEAH: It’s so funny. Our stories are very similar because I grew up knowing that straight was okay and gay was okay. In my home, gay was always going to be okay. I had no idea there was a third option. So, as soon as I discovered I was attracted to women, I was like, “Oh, I guess that means I must be gay because people who are attracted to the same sex are gay.” And then, at some point, I discovered bi and I was like, “Oh my god, that’s me.” And now, the whole pansexual thing, I also am attracted to all genders, but I’m so tied into this word bi because it was the first thing that felt like, “Oh, somebody sees me.” So, I define it as I’m attracted to people whose bodies look like mine and people whose bodies don’t look like mine.
CATE: Yeah. You just said something so powerful. It’s like when you don’t have the words, that first time that you feel seen, the first time you hear the word. And I remember too I think part of it is that I’m also very much demisexual. I cannot do the like, “Oh, that celebrity is so hot. I’m sexually attracted to them.” It doesn’t work like that. And growing up, when you’re a kid and everybody’s got the crushes on The Jonas Brothers or whatever. It was NSYNC for me, it wasn’t The Jonas Brothers.
CATE: The Jonas Brothers was way later. I said Jonas Brothers like I’m trying to pretend like I’m not as old as I am with fucking NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys. You had the NYSNC girls and the Backstreet Boys girls and they did not cross. It was West Side Story shit.
CATE: But that was a thing. And I remember being like, “I don’t get it. Cool, it’s a picture. I don’t know that guy. I don’t know this person. He might be a jerk. He might be really mean to his dog. You don’t know.” And so, then once I found the label demi, I went, “Oh my fucking shit. Yes. That’s me.”
More than the bi, more than anything else, that is who I am. It’s like I am a person who has to know you before I can be sexually attracted to you. And realizing that and realizing that that is a normal, okay way to be has been so powerful for me. Like I just came back from a kink convention and it’s really hard watching all these people do pickup play. And then, I’m just like, “Yeah, this is fun, but tell me your hopes and dreams. And can we date for five weeks first? What’s up? Pickup play, let’s go.”
LEAH: I love it, yeah.
CATE: But knowing that and knowing that that is a really fundamental part of who I am has really, I think given me the freedom to, like you were saying, feel seen, feel validated, be like, “Oh, there is a place for me.” It’s just taken me a while to find the words, so I can yell for all the other demisexuals in the room and we can hang out.
LEAH: Yeah. So, different people as with any term in the field of gender and sexuality, different people define terms different ways. So, some people talk about demisexuality in terms of how you needing to feel connected before you feel attraction. Others talk about it in terms of their level of sexual appetite. So, when you say demisexual, where do you fall on the libido scale?
CATE: That’s why I love the term genuinely. It’s used very much in two completely different concepts, but they both absolutely apply to me and it’s a very common thing with neurodivergent people that their sexual desire can be very peaks and valleys, depending on the situation and the conditions surrounding the desire that they’re experiencing. And so, that has always been a thing that I struggle with. It’s like I will be in the mood for weeks at a time, and then I don’t want to have sex for eight months. There’s no controlling it. There’s no working through it. It’s just I am either deeply horny or I would, “Fuck off, let’s watch Netflix.”
But then, on the other side of it is also the relationship aspect, which is also very much me. It’s like even in those moments where I’m very fucking horny and I want sex, I only want sex from people that I feel like a very strong emotional connection to and who are interesting and cool and fun. I’m not going to go seek out a random hookup. So, it’s like for me, it’s very much the perfect term because it’s absolutely both things at the same time and that’s why I love it so much.
LEAH: So, I’m going to skip around in the timeline a little bit just because it feels appropriate. You mentioned before we started recording that you have two partners. Am I correct that they are both male-bodied people?
LEAH: Okay. So, how does this demisexuality play into having multiple partners? If you have those three weeks of high sex drive and you can play that out with both your partners, and then you go through the eight months of, “Let’s cuddle,” how does that work with your partners?
CATE: I got really lucky in that both of my partners are also neurodivergent. My husband is autistic and my other partner is ADHD. And so, it’s really nice because they both get it. And both of them have frankly a much lower sexual desire spectrum I think than I do. And so, what I find is that sometimes what is hard is that they’ll be on month six or seven of not being interested and I’m the one being like, “Hey. Can we do a thing?”
But also, I’ve been with my husband for almost eight years and I think we started off the way that everybody starts off where you’re having sex all the time. I don’t want to say everybody, but at least that’s what I always do. I’m just banging constantly because I’m excited. But I think we’ve fallen into a very comfortable rhythm.
And I think honestly, sometimes it’s a little too comfortable. I wish we had more intimacy, but also honoring that in each other and being like, “Hey, I totally understand that you are in this low zone where you’re not necessarily as interested, so I’m going to respect that. I’m not going to pressure you. I’m not going to put expectations on you.” That has been really powerful. It’s learning that I’m not going to disappoint anybody. I’m not a bad partner for honoring my needs and finding ways around it is also a thing. Because my second partner, Erik, I don’t feel bad about naming him because we talk about this all the time on our podcast.
CATE: We really struggle and it’s because of that. It’s because we both have a very low desire a lot of the time, and so ways around it. We find clever and creative ways around it. A lot of times, it will involve one of us masturbating, just sharing space with the other person, which can be as meaningful. But recently, I’ve started realizing I have a very specific definition of the type of intimacy that fulfills me and that’s really, really useful information to have because it means that I can say, “Okay. I need this specific thing to happen in order to feel connected, in order to feel intimacy in this way.”
And so, it’s been I’m not going to say the easiest conversations to have all the time, but it’s been really validating to just finally have partners in my life who don’t pressure me and who don’t look at me like I’m a “bad” wife or “bad” girlfriend or whatever because I’m not in the mood all the time because I’m not a sex dispenser. And so, I feel really lucky in that way honestly. It’s one of my favorite things.
LEAH: Yeah. So much of what you just said is so amazing. You said, “There are certain things that you need in order to feel intimacy.” What are some of those things?
CATE: I need somebody inside of me honestly. To put it in as graphic way as possible, in a kink way, I’m a switch. Sometimes, I like to be a top. Sometimes, I like to be a bottom and it just really depends on how my neurodivergency is doing that day. But for me, it’s a penetrative, you know what I’m trying to say, thing, hands, whatever it may be, but that’s what I need.
LEAH: So, it doesn’t need to be a penis, but it does need to be some type of penetration by the partner?
CATE: Yeah. Honestly, listen. Mom, if you’re listening, just pause for a second.
CATE: I really love fingering. I would rather get fingered than have sex. 99% of the time, P in V sex, I should clarify, said the person who teaches sex on the internet.
CATE: But for me, it’s much more intimate and I think it’s because you can usually figure out a way to look them in the eye and talking and having a conversation at the same time. And so, that’s really, really important to me is that feeling inside more because I’m also very touchy person in general. And so, I always want to be touched. I always want to be cuddled. I always want head scratches. That is a very different type of intimacy than the sexual act of fingering or P in V insertable sex, if that makes sense.
LEAH: Yeah, absolutely. You also said that when you and your husband are in different places or you’re both in the low libido place, you find other ways of being intimate. So, what are some of those things that you do?
CATE: We go to escape rooms.
CATE: That’s the thing is for me, as somebody who was previously in a relationship where I was pressured into sex all the time, it is really, really important to me that I don’t feel like that and also that I never make my partners feel like that, if that makes sense. And so, one of the really big ways that I have realized that I can share intimacy is it doesn’t have to be a sex act. It’s just about spending time and feeling valued and seen and appreciated in a good partner.
I swear I’m not trying to get your podcast to sponsorship, but HelloFresh has literally changed our relationship. I’m not even joking. It’s because I went through this really long period of not really feeling connected with either of my partners. I was like, “How do I have two partners if I’m having less sex than I’ve ever had in my entire life? How does this work?”
CATE: But I got a subscription to HelloFresh. And I started making dinner for my partners every night. And it’s been wonderful because I get this moment of, I feel like I’m doing this nice thing for them and honoring. And I love to care for people. It’s like an act of service. And then, we sit and we talk about our days and what happened. And we have this really intimate thing and it’s been wonderful. And it’s literally because I like to fucking subscribe to HelloFresh.
CATE: And so, yeah, sometimes it’s clever and creative sex stuff. I’ll be like, “Hey, can you pull my hair and choke me a little bit while I touch myself if you’re not feeling up for sex?” And that works, but honestly a lot of the time for me, it’s far, far more about the time and feeling valued and appreciated more than anything else. And so, I’m like, if I can make you feel valued and appreciated by spending an hour cooking dinner, and then I get to share this time with you, really honestly, I feel closer to both of my partners than I have a really long time. And it’s because I found this thing that I can that centers me. And it’s fucking HelloFresh. Who the fuck knew? I don’t know.
LEAH: So, you mentioned kink several times. Is kink always a sexual experience for you or is kink sometimes its own experience that doesn’t result in sex penetration orgasm?
CATE: Thank you for asking that question. I fucking love that question so goddamn much because my answer is no, I have a really weird relationship with kink. I deal with a lot of chronic pain. And I also have depression on top of ADHD and I have a condition myoclonus-dystonia, which basically means that I twitch. It’s like a thing, but it also means that I have a lot of muscle spasms that you can’t necessarily see on the surface, but it does mean that I’m in constant pain all the time, especially my hands, my back, and a lot of my joints just hurt all the time. And it sucks.
And one of the reasons why I love kink is so much is because my relationship to the pain changes. And I use it in a very I don’t want to say therapeutic, but it is. It is a therapeutic methodology that I use because I’m a heavy impact bottom. I play at a pretty high level and that’s not a humble brag. That’s just a fact because my nerves are all decked up, so I have to get hit really hard to feel anything.
But most of the time, for me, kink is not sexual. Kink is a pain management tool. It is a neurodivergency management tool. It is a way to get my head on straight and to feel connected to my partner, but I don’t necessarily want or expect sex at the end. Sometimes, I literally just want to be hit and it sounds really funny to look at a partner and you say, “Hey, can you hit me to show that you love me?” Thankfully again, I have two really understanding partners who get it and understand that a lot of times I’m saying, “I’m really in pain. Can you help and this is how you can help?”
But yeah, it’s honestly probably 80/20. I think 80% of the time, I’m doing kink because I enjoy the sensation. It puts me in my head. It puts me in my body. It helps with my pain. It helps to a certain extent my trauma even. And then, 20% of the time, at the end of it, I’m like, “And please wreck me up.”
CATE: But I don’t ever expect. It’s nice if it happens, but if it doesn’t like, “Hey, at least I got beat.”
LEAH: For listeners who are interested in this topic, also check out the interview with Caz. I believe the title of that episode is Pain and Pleasure Come Together because we talk about some of these same things. And also, I’m thinking back to a conversation that I had with a friend that’s not on the podcast, just a conversation out in the wild where she was talking to me about how, for her, kink is an emotional management tool because she has a really hard time crying or getting angry or expressing those bigger emotions because of her own past trauma. And so, when she gets heavily beat, that is what allows her to actually get the tears going. And then, she can have the full letdown that she needs. And that may sound really awful to some people, but to her, it is incredibly healing.
CATE: That makes perfect sense to me because I do the same thing. I was like, “Yeah, that’s a valid thing.” Good on your friend.
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LEAH: I never want a guest on this show to be surprised or upset by the questions I ask. So, I require informed consent before we begin an interview. Either they’ve listened to an episode or we’ve had a detailed conversation about the topics we’re going to cover. And if I ask a question they’re not comfortable with, they know we can pause the interview to renegotiate.
The same should be true in our bedrooms. We should know what we’re getting into before we begin and how to make adjustments if it’s not going the way we expected. But it’s rare for anyone to teach us how to have those conversations. That’s just one of the reasons I love Dipsea so much.
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LEAH: So, you’ve also mentioned neurodivergency a bunch and I know that there’s more here because this is why you first reached out to me was to talk about this. And I don’t even really know the questions to ask. So, instead I’m just going to open the floor and say please tell me all the things you want to tell me.
CATE: Yeah. So, basically, I just got my certification as a certified sex educator. And the reason why I decided to, I have a TikTok where I talk about sex and ADHD all the time. That’s how the whole thing got started, but what I realized was more seriously was that there have been a lot of times in my life where because of my neurodivergency, I have put myself in danger and I’ve gotten hurt.
And I have had some pretty bad shit happen to me because the conversations about how neurodivergency can change your relationship with kink and can change your relationship with sex and it can change your relationship with relationships in general was just not being had at the level to where I knew anything about it. I had no idea that your sexual desire could be impacted with ADHD. I had no idea that orgasms could be impacted by ADHD and depression, just on and on and on.
And the more I started pulling at this thread, the whole sweater started to go in that. I was like, “Holy shit. There’s so much here. This is so interesting.” And I was like, “If nobody’s talking about it, then I guess I’m going to.” And so, I’ve really started educating a lot about neurodivergency, specifically in kink. Because sex as a whole is a giant thing, but I think kink is a little bit more manageable.
And it’s been really interesting to see just the overwhelming amount of support from the community. I’m teaching classes at conventions and stuff now which was so, so gratifying. Honestly, there’s so much to talk about. There’s just so much, especially in conversation with understanding your brain because everybody’s neurodivergency, every mental illness, any brain is different. And so, if you know one autistic person who is into kink, you know one autistic person and their needs may be very different than some other person.
And so, opening those conversations and really starting to say like, “Hey, it is okay to advocate for yourself. It is okay to have to use separate systems and tools and all sorts of different things in order to have the most safe and rewarding experience.” That’s what I’m trying to do. I’m not trying to change the world. I’m just trying to let people know it’s okay to keep post-it notes in your backpack, if you need notes.
CATE: A really good example that I give when I’m doing this kind of stuff is I talk about time blindness is such a thing where we make jokes. We say, “Oh, it’s so funny. I lose track of time and I get distracted. I get hyper focused and oh, I’m always five minutes late to the party.” I’m like, “That’s great and that’s fine.” But if you have time blindness and you’re a heavy impact bottom and you think you’ve been playing for ten minutes and in reality, it has been forty or fifty or an hour.
I have permanent physical damage that has happened because I didn’t understand that my brain perceives time differently. I didn’t know that and it is part of neurodivergency. And it’s not like a cutesy like, “Oh, we’re always five minutes late.” It is, “No. We can quantifiably say that people with a neurodivergency have very interesting relationship to time.” But again that’s me. I lose track of time. Some people are very spot on to time and it can go in a lot of different directions. But that’s a big thing. It’s like safety concerns and with time blindness and I’m just going to harp on this because I just think it’s a really good example.
The time blindness could also mean if we have a conversation yesterday, depending on what happens today, that conversation can feel like it was a million years ago or it can feel like it was five minutes ago. Now, if we had a conversation about say, oh, I don’t know, your boundaries or your likes or your dislikes six months ago, that can be an eternity to somebody.
And so, advocating for really specific communication and checking in before anything starts to happen because it can change on the day to day, but feeling like you had a conversation. If you look at me and you say, “I really feel like we need to have more intimacy and I’m really feeling disconnected from you,” I can go, “Yeah, that’s great. Tomorrow, we will totally smash tomorrow.” But then, tomorrow to me feels like it’s an impossibly long way away and I don’t have to play. You know what I mean?
And so, it can spiral into this absolutely harmful situation where one partner or both partners are really being impacted by this understanding of time and this sense of time and how time works. And that’s just one thing. That’s just one facet.
And then, you start talking about stuff like rejection sensitive dysphoria, which isn’t recognized by science as an official diagnostic criteria, but when we say rejection sensitive dysphoria, we’re actually talking about a group of trauma symptoms that we can point to and say, all of these traumas had manifested in this thing that we’ve made a term for, so it’s like a little shorthand for a bunch of different trauma symptoms.
LEAH: I don’t know that term, yeah.
CATE: Okay, great. So, rejection sensitive dysphoria again it’s a colloquial term for a bunch of different trauma symptoms that basically show up as extreme people pleasing and an extreme fear of rejection. And so, the example that I always use is a person who doesn’t deal with rejection sensitive dysphoria if they got an email from their boss and the email just said, “We need to meet on Thursday.” They would go, “Oh, we need to meet on Thursday and that’s great and whatever.”
A person with rejection sensitive dysphoria who gets that email with the period instead of the exclamation point or without the explanation of why they’re meeting or whatever can instantly spiral in a way that if you don’t have it, you go, “You are being fucking ridiculous.” But if you do deal with rejection sensitive dysphoria, it’s awful and I do. And it’s, “I’m going to get fired. The boss hates me. I’m losing my job. I’m going to be homeless. I’m a terrible person. I’m a terrible employee.” And then, you go to the meeting on Thursday and your boss goes, “I just wanted to let you know we got a really nice compliment about you. Good job.” And you go, “Ah!” You spent three days agonizing and spiraling and whatever.
And so, for a lot of people, it shows up as people pleasing. You will do anything to avoid those uncomfortable feelings of being rejected up to and including saying yes when you actually want to say no, doing stuff you don’t want to do sexually or otherwise, not feeling like you can articulate your needs, every slight, every rejection, every whatever is a huge deal and going out of your way to avoid it can really put you into dangerous circumstances.
And again, that’s something that I have personally done. I have done a lot of kink scenes that I didn’t want to do. I have played with a lot of people that I didn’t want to play with because I didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. I didn’t want to be the stick in the mud and that kind of thing.
And so, first, learning that that’s a thing that not everybody deals with, but then also unlearning that and really getting to the root of those different traumas and saying, “Okay. Where is this coming from? Why am I like this? Let’s understand ourselves better in order to support ourselves later on down the line.”
LEAH: This is so interesting partially because I’m recognizing myself in so much. I’ve actually had three different people say to me over the past year, “Have you ever been diagnosed with ADHD?” And I’m like, “No.” I have all these ideas about myself, but then when they start talking about actual symptoms and manifestations, I’m like, “Oh, shit. I actually recognize a lot of that.” And I recognize a lot of what you just said as well. So, let’s dive back into your relationships with your partners. How are those relationships set up? Are you cohabiting with either or both of them? How are splitting your time with them, etc.?
CATE: Oh, that’s a great question. So, I’m married. Like I said, I’m married to my husband, and then I have another partner as well. My husband also has another partner. And so, my husband and I live together, and then my other partner has an apartment. But also as it happens, he is the co-host of my podcast. And so, he’s over at our house every single day. My husband’s partner, I don’t see her as much only because she runs this really cool fabulous business. And so, she’s off doing that a lot of times.
But honestly the really boring answer is we usually just go, “Hey, do you want the house tonight? Do you need the house tonight? What do you want to do? That’s fine.” And also, sometimes, there have been nights where one or both, it has happened that both of our partners on the same night are both having a really bad anxiety attack or depression or something and so we just, “Hey, fuck it. We have guest rooms. Let’s just all get together.” And so, somebody will be up in the guest room. Somebody will be in the master.
We really are pretty flexible about it only because I think we got really lucky in that we’re all really committed to communicating and negotiating equitably and so making sure that everybody feels seen and heard. I think at some point, I would like it if we had a polycule house, but also because my husband’s partner and my other partner are not in a relationship. They’re not dating. They just know each other because they know us, but because we’re not all dating each other, it’s a little bit like, “Wouldn’t it be weird if we all live together?” I don’t know, so yeah.
LEAH: Do your other partner and your husband’s other partner also have other partners or is it a closed four person?
CATE: It’s closed, but only because that’s just the situation right now. I would be totally fine if either of our partners wanted to. But just right now, I have said this very publicly. I was like, “I feel like I have met my people.” It’s like I feel like I have found these two incredible people that I just want to spend the rest of my life with until I’m open in that if I met somebody super cool and we wanted to hang out and get to know each other, sure. on the table. Especially with how demi I am, I’m not actively, “Oh, no, I need seven more people in the club or anything.”
LEAH: And being the kind of demisexual who needs to feel close with somebody before you engage, I imagine you’re not out trolling for other partners.
CATE: No. I don’t care. I can’t. I’m so bad at it. I’m laughably bad at it. I don’t even know how I wound up married because I just go to parties and I just stand in the corner and go, “Oh, god. There sure is a lot of noise here. Oh, boy.”
LEAH: Friends, if you love these conversations, I would love your help to keep them going. There are three ways you can participate. Two are free and one is for listeners who got a few extra dollars each month.
Number one, take a screenshot of this episode right now and post it to your Instagram stories. Tag me in your post. And if it’s public, I’ll reshare and send you a personal thank you. Word of mouth is the best way to build buzz for an independent show like Good Girls Talk About Sex. And the more people listening, the healthier our collective sexual experiences will become.
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LEAH: How did you discover your non-binariness and what does it mean to you?
CATE: Oh, man. I discovered it very late in the game. In fact, it’s still an identity that I’m actively working through. But for a really long time, it was with the demi thing as well, but I had always heard people talk about being a woman or being a girl or being a boy or whatever and I was like, “I don’t feel like that. I don’t feel like a woman. I don’t even know what that means.” I cannot conceptually understand what that means. I know that I have ample bosoms and a vulva.
CATE: But I also know that I feel an immense amount of joy when I’m doing drag and I feel fucking hot and shit and empowered. And just the fact that I cannot on command grow a luxurious beard just fills me with disappointment every day. But I started realizing this. I don’t feel like a gender. I don’t feel like I’m tied to womanhood in this particular way. If a magic fairy came down tomorrow and was like, “You can’t be a girl anymore. You have to be a boy.” I’d be like, “Fucking rad. Do I get a beard?”
CATE: Because it’s just not part of my identity. It’s really not. And the more I started thinking about that, the more I started delving and exploring, I realized there was this entire community of people who feel similarly. And so, the way that I always describe it is I don’t feel like a man. I don’t feel like a woman. I feel like Cate. I feel like myself. I feel like I am living my life in this body with my own experiences and yes, I have what people would commonly call female parts, but I’m more than that. I’m more than my gender. I’m not defined by it necessarily.
And so, I really just like the idea of opening that conversation and saying, “What does gender mean? Why do we have to pick? Why do we have to choose?” And so, I’ve been really unpacking that lately about what does gender mean? And what does having pretty privilege mean in conversation with being perceived as a woman or whatever? And it’s been really enlightening and it’s been really educational both in allowing me to unpack a lot of my own internalized biases about gender and sexuality, but also, it’s just given me a lot more freedom to just wear whatever the fuck I want and not worry about it.
LEAH: I love that.
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.
LEAH: Do you have sex during your period?
CATE: Not P in V sex. But I will do sexual things during my period because I’m a horny, horny boy during my period.
LEAH: So, why not the P in V part?
CATE: Honestly, because I have really expensive sheets and I’m lazy.
LEAH: I love that answer.
CATE: And also, I have a UID. And so, I have horrific fucking rain of blood periods. I have the worst fucking periods like bleeding through a fucking ultra-tampon in 15 minutes periods. And so, I’m just like, “I’m not here to mess with that, but if you want to make me cum, it helps my cramps.” So, I’m not going to say no.
LEAH: Yeah, cool. What’s the approximate number of sex partners you’ve had?
CATE: Okay. My real answer is 11, but there’s an asterisk in that I also spent five summers working as a professional orgy organizer.
LEAH: That’s so cool.
CATE: I don’t count that. I was just at work.
LEAH: Did you participate in the orgies that you organized?
CATE: Honestly, not usually. There were a couple of times where I would jump in because something seems like this is going to be a really good story. But for the most part, I abstained because it felt unprofessional.
LEAH: There’s so much more there.
LEAH: Have you ever had sex with someone with a different racial identity than your own?
CATE: Oh, yeah.
LEAH: What’s your favorite sex toy?
CATE: Oh my god. This, right here. I have it. This is so good for oral fucking medium of your podcast, but it’s the Eva. It’s the Dame Eva. It’s the best fucking $80 I ever spent in my entire fucking life. This changed my sex life forever. I am obsessed with this fucking thing.
LEAH: Hot damn. Okay. I will put a link into the Show Notes, but can you tell people?
CATE: Yeah. So, basically, it’s like a little tiny mini bullet vibe, but it has these flexible wings attached to it. So, how it works is you can put it on your clit, and then the wings flip under your labia, so it’s held in place. And so, you can have sex in any really direction because it’s being held in place by gravity and dreams.
CATE: But literally because I need a lot of stimulation to cum, I just do. And so, that was one of the ones where I was like I have this really simple thing and it’s got a pretty powerful little buzz on it too, but it literally changed sex. I orgasmed for the first time because of this toy. Yeah.
LEAH: Wow. And is it more rumbly or more buzzy?
CATE: Definitely buzzy. It’s a little tiny small toy, but it’s just for some reason especially if somebody’s on top of you, the weight is pushing it in, it’s just fucking chef’s kiss.
LEAH: I love it. What’s your favorite sex position?
CATE: Goddamn. Honestly, probably I don’t even know what it’s called where you’re sitting up and your legs are across each other, so you can look each other in the eye, but then also you could cuddle. It’s like a hug, but sex, but cuddles and also you can have a conversation, if you get bored because I do.
LEAH: Do you prefer to initiate or for your partner to initiate in the bedroom?
CATE: Definitely partner. I’m terrible at initiating. I’m so bad at it. It’s one of the things I’ve been working on for so long, but I’m awful at initiating sex. It feels so uncomfortable every single time and I’m a fucking sex educator and I still feel awkward about it.
LEAH: Are you generally more active or more passive during lovemaking?
CATE: It depends on where I am that day as a switch. Sometimes, I just want to be passive. I don’t want to have to make decisions. I don’t want to have to fucking think about it. But sometimes, I absolutely want to be in control. I absolutely want to be in charge. It just really depends on my headspace for the day.
LEAH: Do you prefer clit stimulation or penetration?
CATE: It has to be both. That’s a real thing. It’s like it has to be both for me or it doesn’t work, so I don’t have one answer.
LEAH: Do you enjoy G-spot stimulation?
CATE: I thought multiple orgasms were a miss for a really long time until I found a partner who was just very G-spot interested and I will never go back.
LEAH: Do you enjoy having your breasts played with?
CATE: Weirdly no. I shouldn’t say weirdly. If you’re not into that, that is totally okay and acceptable, but it always surprises me. I don’t know why. I just consistently go like I have these things. I wish they would get into the party, but they just don’t. So, I just think that’s fascinating.
LEAH: Do you think it’s generally easy or challenging for you to orgasm?
CATE: So challenging. Oh my god. Are you joking? If fucking neighbors starts mowing his lawn, I’m not going to cum for a week.
CATE: It’s honestly so hard to where I make a lot of jokes, but I carry a lot of shame and guilt about this expectation that I’ve put on myself to just cum when the wind blows. And it’s like it takes a concerted amount of effort to get me to cum.
LEAH: Have you ever faked an orgasm?
CATE: Oh, yeah. I used to fake a lot of orgasms. I had a couple of really awful sexual partners, so I would fake it. And then, I learned that’s not helping anybody. It’s not helping the situation. They’re not learning. And I remember the first time I heard that, I was like, “Ph my god. That’s so much smarter than what I’ve been doing.”
CATE: But nobody had ever said it. Nobody had ever gone, “You could just not, and then they would know that they’re doing a bad job.” And I was like, “Fuck, that’s so smart.”
LEAH: Do you prefer the orgasm from masturbating or from sex with another person?
CATE: Sex with another person definitely. It’s more intimate.
LEAH: What’s your favorite thing to do to a partner during sexual play?
CATE: Just as much closeness as possible even if we’re doing penetrative sex or whatever. I just really like touching them as much as I can to the point where I’m not unwilling to just crawl all the way on top of you. It’s like a whole thing. I’m just obsessed with touch.
LEAH: What kind of touch do you enjoy receiving most?
CATE: Either exceptionally hard like thuddy touch or scratchy. I love head scratches or just getting my back scratched.
LEAH: What are your hard red lines?
CATE: Nothing stingy. I fucking hate stingy. Get that shit out of here.
LEAH: So, for people who aren’t familiar with kink terms, there’s thuddy and there’s stingy. Could you do a 15-second recap on what that means?
CATE: Yes. So, stingy is think about getting flipped by a rubber band, that stingy. Now, think about getting hit with something heavy like a, I don’t know, I was going to say a bat, but even that could be stingy.
LEAH: Like a rubber mallet.
CATE: Yeah. A rubber mallet. Something that has a thud to it, but stingy is like a very different sensation. Slapping is different than getting punched. I don’t like to get slapped. I like to get punched is maybe the most succinct way of putting it.
LEAH: Great. Thank you very much.
CATE: Oh, no worries.
LEAH: So, we were talking about hard red lines.
CATE: Yeah. So, I have a lot just in terms of sensation. So, I hate stingy. I don’t do any sort of electro play because I hate it. I really don’t like degradation, especially in conversation with just my body. And also, this is fun, I feel like we don’t talk about it enough, but I fucking hate oral. I will give all day. I love giving oral. It doesn’t matter your gender. It doesn’t matter your parts like, “Let me please.” I hate people going down on me. I cannot stand it. It makes me so uncomfortable.
LEAH: Interesting. So, that was one of my next questions. What is it about oral that makes you so uncomfortable or just you don’t enjoy it?
CATE: I think it’s because it takes me so long to cum. Honestly, that’s it. It’s like at some point, I start getting in my head about, “Oh my god. They’ve been down there for so long. I’m so sorry. I really am enjoying myself.” Because it feels good. It doesn’t feel bad. It’s just the amount of time that it takes to get me to cum, I’m just like, “It’s been 25 minutes. You have to be in pain. It’s fine.” Whereas giving is I just fucking hyper focus on that shit until the job is done. It’s great because I can just turn my brain off and there’s one task to be done and I will do it.
LEAH: Yeah. If this is of any use whatsoever, I have always been super self-conscious about receiving oral because of the whole smell, taste, blah, blah, blah. And just in the last year, because my partner loves giving oral and it’s something that he hasn’t had the opportunity to do with me because I’ve always been, “Get your head away from that area.”
LEAH: So, what we did, my decision was it’s time to start creating new neural pathways because right now the neural pathway says, “Face in crotch equals bad smell, gross.” So, the new neural pathway is, “Head in crotch for 30 seconds feels good and that’s all it’s going to be.” So, he literally now has an internal 30-second timer I think.
LEAH: First, it was an actual timer and then he’s like, “I don’t need that.”
LEAH: And so, he will go down for 30 seconds and for those 30 seconds, I can feel good because I know that it’s not going to go on forever. He has instructions that if it does not smell good, he is to leave.
LEAH: And so, I trust that if he’s down there, it’s because he’s enjoying it. And we’re making some progress.
CATE: That’s a really good idea that I may actually steal.
CATE: I’m not going to lie. I was sitting here going like, “That’s got some fucking legs on. All right.”
LEAH: All right. So, we’ve talked about oral sex. How do you feel about receiving ass play?
CATE: I fucking love it so much. I didn’t know that I did for a really long time. And then, one of my partners, I’m not going to out them, but they are very, very, very into it. And I have since come to learn that I enjoy it very, very much as well.
LEAH: So, when we’re talking ass play, are we talking entirely external? Are we talking some internal? Are we talking full-on anal sex?
CATE: Oh, full-on anal toys. All sorts of fun shit back there.
LEAH: All right. How do you feel about giving ass play?
CATE: I actually really enjoy it as well. I put myself through grad school being a professional dominatrix. This is a fun trivia fact.
LEAH: How did we not end up talking about that?
CATE: I can come back. It’s fine.
CATE: So, I put myself through grad school being a professional dominatrix. So, I got very comfortable with ass play on other people. And then, now I have a partner who again I will not out which one it is, but they are very, very into both giving and receiving. And so, it’s really nice because it’s like an act of service. I don’t know. It’s hot. They make nice noises and stuff. It’s great. I love it. It’s really good. I’m getting all thirsty over here.
LEAH: Okay. Understanding that everyone’s kink scale is completely different, what do you consider the kinkiest thing that you enjoy?
CATE: I really, really like heavy impact play, but it’s all relative. You know what I mean? That’s the thing. I have done some pretty intense. There’s one that involved a canoe paddle. That was pretty fun. That was a good night. I had bruises for three weeks.
LEAH: Do you get off on the bruises?
CATE: I do.
CATE: Sometimes, I’ll just specifically ask. I’ll be like, “I don’t want this seen. If it is physically safe for you to do so, I don’t want to leave until I’ve got at least a few good bruises because I just think it’s really hot.”
CATE: I’m trying to figure out what’s the kinkiest thing I’ve ever done and I really don’t know if I have any answer because I just feel like the umbrella is so broad.
LEAH: That’s fair.
CATE: I did get suspended by a luggage cart on Sunday. There’s a friend of mine who’s really into shibari and they were kind enough to be like, “Yeah. You want to be suspended?” And I was like, “Sure.” And so, I was hanging off of a luggage cart for a while. That was fun.
LEAH: They just wheel you around the conference center?
CATE: They didn’t. And then, I was like, “Fuck. I should have asked for that” because that’s fucking funny as shit.
LEAH: Do you enjoy dirty talk during sexual encounters?
CATE: Yeah, but it has to be good dirty talk. That’s the thing. I had two Master’s degrees in Shakespeare. I come with a very specific understanding of what is and is not good dirty talk.
CATE: I’m unreasonably picky about my dirty talk.
LEAH: Noted. If it’s not in iambic pentameter.
CATE: Listen. There’s this one unfilled fantasy that I have never had. So desperately I want to get fucked while doing a scene from Shakespeare. I want that with every part of my being.
LEAH: Any particular scene?
CATE: I have a couple, but it just really depends on how fucking weird I’m willing to get, but I think that the Kate scene would be really fun. I also think there’s a couple of Lady Macbeth, Macbeth scenes that would be really good. And honestly though, if they didn’t want to memorize lines, just like a chorus speech from Henry V would just be fucking chef’s kiss.
CATE: I’ve spent a lot of fucking time thinking about how hot it would be to get fucked while doing Shakespeare. It’s fine. I’m a very particular type of person.
LEAH: Wow. I love that.
LEAH: Have you ever felt a sexual urge that confused you?
CATE: Yes, a lot. I mean all of the kink stuff. For a really long time, I was like, “There’s something wrong with me.” The weirdest one happened, this is just a dumb story, but I have to remind him not to listen to this podcast, but one of my partners has this antique razor that belonged to his grandfather. And so, for his Christmas present, I’m restoring it for him. So, I’ve been watching antique razor restoration videos online. And there’s this one guy who had this voice and he was wearing these latex gloves and he was cleaning this razor. And I was like, “Why am I so fucking turned on right now? What is happening?”
CATE: I’m not into blood play. I’m not into super extreme cutting play or anything. I was just like, “Oh my god. I want this man to ruin me.” It was so funny. I was just like, “All right. Sorry, you random YouTuber. That was not consensual, but all right.” I got a little thirsty there for as second.
LEAH: This won’t come out until after Christmas, if that’s what you’re doing it for.
CATE: Okay, good.
LEAH: What’s your favorite part of your body?
CATE: I really like my mouth. It’s a good answer. I have a nice smile and I can do a lot of fun stuff with it.
LEAH: What’s your least favorite part of your body?
CATE: Probably my stomach. I’m really self-conscious about my body. I’m working through it, but it’s an ongoing battle.
LEAH: Yeah. What’s something about your current sex life that isn’t quite as satisfying as you’d like it to be?
CATE: I’m absolutely in a desire upswing right now. And both of my partners absolutely are not. And so, I want to cum all the time. I want to cum every day and I’m not getting that, which is fine. But that is the thing is I would like to cum more with my partners much more than I am right now. But I also know give me two weeks, I’ll be like, “No, absolutely not. Don’t touch me. Eww, gross.”
LEAH: What belief did you have about sex as a child or teenager that you wish you could go back and correct her on now?
CATE: Oh my god. Literally every single thing I believed. Every single thing. People have asked me that question before a lot about just being neurodivergent. What would you say to yourself if you could? And I was just like, “You’re not fucking broken. There’s nothing wrong with you. You are not a bad person. You are not a freak. You’re not a sinner. You’re not a terrible person for wanting this stuff. You are totally normal and your needs and your wants and your desires are so valid and embracing them is going to give you so much power over your sexuality and your body and respect.”
I don’t even know if I could ever go back in time because I would just lecture this poor child for three hours and I’d just be like, “What the fuck? I just want to read Nancy Drew. I don’t even like sex. Get out of here. What are you talking about?”
LEAH: Yeah. That is it. You do a lot of really interesting things. So, please tell people whatever you want them to know about what you do and how to find you.
CATE: Sure. I talk a lot about neurodivergency and kink on all sorts of places on the Internet. I go by @catieosaurus on all social media. There, I outed myself. It was me the whole time.
CATE: There’s seven people listening to this going like, “I’m pretty sure I know who this bitch is.” It’s me, @catieosaurus. And I also have a podcast. It’s called Catie and Erik’s Infinite Quest: An ADHD Adventure. We talk about life with ADHD and depression and navigating life as neurodivergent adults. We talk about sex and kink. I’m also writing a book about sex and neurodivergency and kink, which will be out hopefully in the next couple of years. Let’s see what happens because I have ADHD and writing a book is hard.
CATE: And I have a TikTok. I do Twitch and all that stuff. But the famous takeaway is the podcast because we talk a lot about ADHD and sex and intimacy and relationships and it’s a pretty good time.
LEAH: Cate, thank you so much. This conversation has been amazing.
CATE: Thank you so much for having me. It was seriously an honor to be here. I am such a fan of this podcast, so this is surreal. It’s like, “Oh, I get to be one of the people.” So, I was just really excited. But yeah, thank you so much. I really, really appreciate it.
LEAH: That’s it for today. If you’re enjoying this show, please take a moment to leave a 5-star rating and review on Apple Podcasts or if you’re using another podcast app, go to www.ratethisapppodcast.com/goodgirls. And remember, there’s a treasure trove of audio extras available for free at Patreon. Go to www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex.
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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.
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