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.
In this episode of Good Girls Talk About Sex, we talk with Terri, a 32-year-old, cisgender female who describes herself as Pakistani, straight, married and monogamous.
Terri was born in Pakistan and for the first ten years of her life, she lived in a culture where physical affection was not seen and it was assumed she would have an arranged marriage. When her family moved to the United States, everything changed. Terri provides us with a fascinating glimpse into what it’s like to live with a foot in two worlds.
LEAH: Hi, I’m Leah Carey. This is a place to share conversations with all sorts of women about their experience of sexuality.
Before we get started, I want to tell you this. 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: In today’s episode, we’ll meet Terri, a 32 year old cisgender woman who describes herself as Muslim, heterosexual and in a monogamous marriage. Terri was born in Pakistan and for the first ten years of her life she lived in a culture where physical affection wasn’t seen and it was assumed that she would have an arranged marriage.
When she moved to the United States, everything changed. Terri provides us with a fascinating glimpse of what it’s like to live in a foot in two worlds. Our conversation went for over an hour and there’s so much we couldn’t include in this episode. You’re going to want to hear the whole thing, including the story of how a friend helped her buy her first sex toy. So now is the time to head to patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex to access all of the full uncut interviews featured on this show.
I’m so pleased to introduce Terri! Thank you so much for being here. I’m so excited to talk to you and hear about your story. You’ve teased me with a little bit of information and now I’m super excited to hear your whole story so thank you for being here.
TERRI: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for having me. I’m actually excited to do this. I love what you’re talking about so I’m really excited.
LEAH: Awesome. So the first question that I ask every guest is what is your first memory of sexual desire?
TERRI: Oh boy, that’s a good one. I think for me it stems from a very early age and it’s probably because in respect to me and my background, the topic of sex, the topic of any conversation related to being intimate was very forbidden.
So I’m Pakistani, I’m Muslim and in our culture, in our household we just didn’t talk about these things and nor were these things ever brought up. There was no discussion about what is age appropriate to talk about it.
I do remember watching I think it was Aladdin as a little girl and my aunt forwarded this scene at the end where Jasmin and Aladdin were kissing because that was not okay for me to watch. Because there’s no such thing as intimacy. You cannot talk about it at all and they would forward the scene. And so I remember being extremely curious and just being like, “Why can’t I watch this?” and the times I get when they weren’t around, I would watch that scene over and over again.
LEAH: Oh my goodness. Wow. [LAUGHTER]
LEAH: So what did you see in your household in terms of affection? Between your parents, did you see them hug or kiss or anything?
TERRI: No, we just didn’t do that in our culture. I mean you don’t touch your husband. You don’t give your husband hugs or kisses. I never saw that. The intimacy and being able to show physical affection was something that just wasn’t present.
LEAH: Wow, so how are you in your culture meant to understand like when you go from one moment you’re not married and then the next moment you are married, how are you supposed to bridge that gap from not knowing anything to knowing what you’re supposed to do and how you’re supposed to do it?
TERRI: So I didn’t personally go through that because I learned so much being in North America but I remember as a kid, one of my cousins and she was about 6, 7, 8 years older than me.
So she was in her late teens and she was getting married. It was an arranged marriage and after she got married, she actually told me that her aunts had sat her down and went through the whole process. “Tonight you’re getting married. You’re going to have to have sex. This is how sex happens and you have to do it and that you can’t say no because this person will now be your husband and you’re going to have to have sexual intercourse.” And basically it’s just getting her ready that you’re going to have to start having kids. And this girl is probably 17 or 18 at this time.
LEAH: Wow, so it’s presented as, “This is what you have to do and not this is something that you are going to enjoy doing. And you have to do it and you have no option not to do it.”
TERRI: Exactly. I remember talking to my girlfriends and their sisters and it was all, “This is so bad. I don’t want to do it but I’m going to have to do this. I’m going to have to have sex with this guy who I don’t even know.” Because essentially, for most people you didn’t know your husband until the day you got married, after the marriage. In some families, they were more flexible and back in that time, considered really advanced that they would let the couple talk, have full on conversations before they got married.
LEAH: Had you not come to the United States when you were 10, this is how your life would have proceeded as well?
TERRI: I don’t think my life would have proceeded this way just because I’ve always been, “This wasn’t for me at all.” Maybe who knows? Maybe I would have been forced to get married to someone that I didn’t want to.
That’s really reality but hearing stories back home from friends and family, I still know that this exists and the main purpose of a woman is to get married and have kids. So if there are any single girls in my family or extended family, I don’t really have close family there anymore. But I hear often my mom talk about this, someone so and so is in her thirties now and she’s still not married so who’s going to marry her? How are we going to find her a husband?
LEAH: You came to the United States when you were 10 years old. How did your life change? What did you see or hear or know that was different coming to the United States at that age?
TERRI: I found more openness from conversation about the stuff in respect to my people and my culture. So the friends I made who were also Pakistani or Indian, they were already doing things with their boyfriends. They were kissing. They were making out. They were giving blow jobs. They had hickeys. And those things even at that age were, “Oh my God I can’t believe this is happening”.
It was a culture shock for me. I was open to it but I had limits because I’m a good girl. I’m not going to do this. I’m going to stay on the right path. And the interest started growing in different boys I had crushes on soon. I started crossing one bridge at a time. “Okay, maybe I’m just going to kiss. Maybe I’m just going to let him suck on my tits.”
TERRI: As long as I’m not having sex it’s okay. And many, many girls I know to this day at that age in high school like going from middle school to high school, they drew some boundaries that they’re going to do everything except for having sex because that was such a big sin.
LEAH: So you said that the friends that you made here were already kissing and making out and all of that. How old was that? Was that at 10 or was that at 14?
TERRI: Actually that was around 14. That’s right. I don’t think I was talking to anybody about this stuff before then before high school. This wasn’t a conversation I was having with anyone even though I knew it was happening.
I remember being in high school. It was in Grade 9. It was in Houston, Texas and I was helping this one guy, he was in the football team, with a project. We were in American Sign Language together so he basically left me his email and said, “Can you call me?” And through the email, he said, “Can you call me when you get a chance?” And I was like so nervous. I don’t know what it was about but I couldn’t call a boy because that wasn’t allowed in our house. You couldn’t talk to boys. There were no guy friends allowed. And I remember him calling me and he just straight up said to me and he was a senior. He said to me, “I think you’re really hot and I think you’re so attractive and I really want to fuck you.”
TERRI: Yeah. That straightforward. It was crazy. [LAUGHTER]
TERRI: And I remember saying to him, “I guess thank you but I can’t do this because I’m not married yet. In my culture, we don’t do that until we get married.” So he tried to convince me otherwise, he’s like, “No one has to know. Nobody will find out.” And I said, “But yeah, God will still know.”
So it was interesting because I’m not that religious and I don’t think I was that religious then either because I wasn’t practicing Islam religiously. But I knew in my head that something has been put in my head that I can’t do these things until I get married.
LEAH: So when you decided you were going to push the first boundary and kiss a boy and then push the next boundary and let them feel you up, how did you navigate those for yourself in terms of what was God going to think and how did you think about that in terms of your parents and your culture?
TERRI: In terms of my culture, I’m just like if they don’t know I’ll be fine. And I wasn’t having that conversation with myself at that point about what’s God going to think. I think in my head I was thinking, “I’ll make up for my sins later. I’ll just pray.”
LEAH: And so do you remember your first kiss? TERRI: I do. It was horrible.
LEAH: That was my question. Did you enjoy it?
TERRI: It was horrible. It was a boy who looked like Nick Carter because I was obsessed with Nick Carter, Backstreet boys at that time. So oh my God, he had no idea what he was doing. He just shoved his tongue in my mouth and he wasn’t even moving it around, nothing.
TERRI: Horrible. I do remember sadly.
LEAH: Yeah. So did you continue kissing him or did you move on to others?
TERRI: Oh yeah, I stopped with him. We did not kiss after that.
TERRI: I moved on to other boys and it got better. The more practice I got, it was better and some of those boys were just so good at making out, oh my God, so yeah, it did get better.
LEAH: So you didn’t feel guilty about it while it was happening?
TERRI: No, I think I was more fearful. What are my parents going to do if they find out? And I really
hadn’t considered what were those options. I think at some point, I thought what if they send me back?
I’ve seen that happen to many people that because they got involved in relationships with other boys, this is in high school and whatnot. And they got involved in relationships and they were white boys. That was a big no. So this wasn’t even someone who is Muslim and I’ve seen many girls who got sent back home.
In fact I still remember in high school one particular girl I know. She was a friend of mine. She was interested in someone. She was in love with someone. This was in university. This was not even when she’s 18. This is after and she was in love with this guy and she came forward and she shared that information with her parents, “There’s a guy I’m actually in love with and he does love me back too. I would like for him to ask his parents to come see you guys so we can get a marriage arranged.”
Because the proposal stuff didn’t happen, the parents discussed and arranged the marriage. And her mom basically said, “How dare she do this. She doesn’t have the right to pick her partner. They do. That’s their right.” And I think about six or seven months later, she went back to Pakistan and she married a boy there. She’s happy now, just want to put it out. She’s happy now but this wasn’t her choice.
LEAH: Yeah, I don’t think that having an arranged marriage and being happy are necessarily mutually exclusive but it is kind of heartbreaking to hear that somebody has found something that they believe will make them happy but then is told, “No, you’re not allowed to have that.”
TERRI: Yeah, that would infuriate me. That infuriated me back then too.
LEAH: Yeah. So I assume that if the boys who you were attracted to looked like Nick Carter, you were
probably fooling around with white boys.
TERRI: I was. And that was a big no too. I mean, okay, so I did date one brown guy. My only brown guy that I legitimately dated and I remember being fifteen I think. And we messed around a lot like I mean at that age, I gave him blow jobs. We did everything besides having sex pretty much.
And I remember one time we got into a fight and he said to me, “No, you don’t get to do that because one day you’re going to be my wife and you’re going to have to do anything I tell you anyway.” This is when we were 15. So he already had that embedded in him because of the way that everyone is being raised in our culture and society. The male role versus female role and I said bye bye to that relationship so fast. I was like, “I’m done. This ain’t happening.”
LEAH: So how did you keep all of this from your parents? I mean it sounds like you had an active dating life. How did you keep that from your parents?
TERRI: You get really good at this. In our culture, you get really good at lying and we covered for each other. Me and my girlfriends we cover for each other. We planned dates and all these sexual moments and stuff at the same time.
So if my girlfriend was going out to see a guy and she was going to be late with him and they would be messing around, I probably would be doing the same thing with some other guy at the same time. And what we would do, we would tell our parents that we were going out together. So we’d leave together. Both of our parents would think we’re leaving together and then we’d go home together too. So whenever the date ended, we’d basically meet at the same place. We’d get picked up at the same place and it seemed in fact like we were out with each other.
LEAH: Wow, that is amazing. TERRI: It’s a lot of work. [LAUGHTER]
LEAH: It does sound like a lot of work. [LAUGHTER]
LEAH: Also, you’d have to be really close with your girlfriends and really trust them in order for something like that to work.
TERRI: Even when you weren’t close with someone, this was one of those things you just didn’t tell your parents because we all had something on each other. So even if the trust was lost, you were not going to have a girlfriend who was going to go tell your mom or someone that this was what you were doing because the truth is, she was probably fucking around and messing around anyway. So we were all doing it, nobody just wanted to talk about it. That was the biggest difference.
And there were still people who weren’t doing anything, they were the pious people and we usually just avoided them anyway because they were just not your group. But I did probably have conversation with myself now that I think about it because in my heart that what I’m doing is so wrong and again, I would just go back to oh well, I’m just going to start praying , which I never got around to do.
LEAH: Again, that was what I was going to ask.
LEAH: It was putting it off to the future but the future never actually came.
TERRI: Yeah. That was the whole plan like, “You know what? I’m young. I’m just going to do this. It’s okay. In the future, I’ll start wearing a hijab one day. I will straighten my shit out one day and I’ll become more religious. I’ll wear a hijab, I’ll pray. I’ll fast. I’ll do all those things. I’m not doing any of things but I’m okay with that.”
LEAH: So how old were you when you first had sexual intercourse?
TERRI: I waited until I was 18 and then I gave it to my then boyfriend as his birthday present. [LAUGHTER]
TERRI: Because we were dating for 6 months. He was older than me. He was in university and I was still in high school. But I waited. I don’t know why I decided if I’m going to do this, I’m going to wait until I’m 18 then that just means I’m just more responsible, right?
TERRI: And it was great because it was someone I trusted and again, he was white and I was in love with him. Everything about him was perfect. I wouldn’t change it in any way. And I really enjoyed the sex even for my first time. I’ve heard so many people that their first time it really sucks but it was really enjoyable. Just finding that chemistry, sometimes it takes a while to get that right chemistry in, but I had it with him. And I did have that with another guy who was my fuck buddy through these on and off
periods and I just consistently went to the same people and occasionally to other people depending on how much I was drinking.
LEAH: So this sounds like a very sort of typically white American story but you grew up in a very different culture with a very different ideas and messages and I’m still curious to know how you squared that with yourself. You’ve talked about, “Well I’ll just pray more later.” But were there moments where you thought, “This is really not okay what I’m doing?”
TERRI: I didn’t have those moments because I saw how people in my culture treated me and I realized that forget the religion, what they are doing is not okay. So I remember this is in high school, one of my uncles he kind of almost adopted me since I was 10, I moved to the US, my dad was working a lot and he took care of me. I was his favorite niece but when he found out that I was dating my then boyfriend who was white, he basically gave me an ultimatum. And at that time, he was going to cover for my university tuition and he gave me an ultimatum. He said, “You have to pick dating these boys or you have to pick me.” So I basically said that “I’m not going to pick you because if you’re going to use this against me right now, you will use this in anything possible in life. That means your love is conditional.”
LEAH: How in the world when you were a teenager, did you have the strength and the fortitude to say that to an elder person? That’s amazing.
TERRI: That was the shift. What happened to me was I realized that the religion is between me and God. It’s not between me and these people and these people have shown me over and over and over again how much they despise the things I’m doing to this day.
Ten years later, I’m still with my husband and we’re so happy. To this day, my dad’s side of the family, even though the way they look at me, it just makes them cringe at the person I’ve become, the fact that I even hug or kiss my husband around them. So I came to terms with it because they were horrible to me.
I went through a period of questioning myself, “What is wrong with me? Or is this all happening to me because I’ve sinned? And is this just payback? Is this just karma showing me that these people are not loving me anymore, I can’t please them?” If I don’t do things their way, it’s just not going the right way because probably I’m sinning but I didn’t know how to stop.
So that was the other thing. How do I stop “sinning” when I enjoy it so much, when it feels so good? And that’s when I had to reflect and realize. Fuck these people. They’re the ones who are wrong. They’re following the religion the wrong way because you don’t treat people like shit because of the choices they’re making that are not even impacting you.
LEAH: Wow. That was just a remarkable sense of self-awareness I think for a young woman to have. I’m just stunned.
TERRI: Oh, thank you. I think more often I’ve kind of come to realize over time because up until now, I can say I don’t care but it still bothers me that my dad’s side of the family they’ll never accept me. I’ll
always be a stranger and I’ve had to reinforce, really train myself to not care and just not give a shit to what they’re saying and what they’re doing.
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LEAH: When your parents came to the United States, when they brought you to the United States when you were 10, what do you think they were hoping?
TERRI: I think they were hoping that they would still be able to control us, make sure that they can raise us so no boys were going to be our friends. That was one thing. We can go out. Only a few friends’ houses we can visit but we can’t go out with them in public because what if we run into boys?
I remember when I started working at a mall like a store at a mall, my uncle, I was like his daughter, he basically bitched out my parents for letting me work at the mall. He said, “That’s how they meet the boys.” So it was like this thing of control until they were ready to arrange a marriage for me and then I’m somebody else’s problem. But their job is done, and then it’s the husband who can take care of all the shit.
LEAH: Wow. So it sounds like under that system, had you gone along with that. You never get to actually be your own person. You are always somebody else’s responsibility.
TERRI: Absolutely. And even if I had decided to pick a partner, I wouldn’t be able to date them properly had I gone along with that system. I would have to be arranged with the same partner and they wouldn’t tell the family or extended family or the people in the community that this was a “love marriage” because that’s how we distinguish the two.
Love marriage or arrange marriage and love marriage is when you find a guy for yourself, so they would still put it out as this was “arranged” and they’d have a lie ready for it because I’ve seen it happen to so many people. When it wasn’t like that, the couple was dating. They just want to project that this was arranged.
LEAH: So a love marriage is not acceptable in your culture?
TERRI: It’s getting a lot better now. And every household is different. My dad’s side of the family, they’re honestly just fucked up. They have this sense of religion, if you don’t do things their way, you’re just a horrible human being. My dad also away from his family is totally different I think. And my husband
always says, “I think he’s more accepting of all of these things than you think.” And I wouldn’t know that because I didn’t have a relationship with him until l was in my 20s.
So now, I don’t care what I wear in front of my parents. I’m still respectful. I’m not going to show up in their house in really short shorts and short skirts but if they’re coming to my parties, they know I’ll be serving alcohol. They know we’re probably smoking or something and they know I’m going to wear what I want to wear. My mom just tries to warn me, “Okay don’t go out and drink too much.” That’s her limit and I have to say, “Yes, okay.” I don’t argue with her.
LEAH: So do you feel like you have a comfortable relationship with them now?
TERRI: Yeah. I have a great relationship with hem and I think they’ve had to really advance their thinking in order to get to this point because their kids are different. They’ve just come to accept that it’s okay because they’ve seen people in our culture in arranged marriage, following the path you were supposed to follow, just have really unhappy lives and a lot of stress and a lot of heartache that’s existed. Physical abuse and all of that, that’s existed. And my parents are just like, “We don’t care who you pick as long as their person is straight.” I think that’s the only thing they draw the line at and as long as you’re happy, it doesn’t matter if this person is brown, black, white, Asian. It doesn’t matter.
LEAH: When you mean straight, you mean heterosexual or do you mean something else? TERRI: Heterosexual.
LEAH: Okay. So you are married now and you’ve mentioned that you’re happily married. So can you tell me about meeting your husband?
TERRI: I met my husband when I was 21-ish and he used to be a manager at a bar and I used to frequent that bar with my girlfriend. And we would get drunk. At this time, my parents were thinking I was in my classes but I was just out getting drunk.
TERRI: So that was fun too. It started off with us just having sex and it was just supposed to be sexual. I was officially ending with my ex-boyfriend like completely ending everything and he had just come out of a really long relationship so we were just going to be fucking around. Until seven, eight months later, we realized that there was more to it than we thought. So then we’ve been dating since and we were on off for a couple of years at that time too. But we’ve just been strong since 2009 probably.
LEAH: So how did you know that this was just more than just fucking around?
TERRI: We wanted to spend time with each other when we weren’t having sex because in the beginning,
we just had sex all the time. So okay, this is so bad. This is so bad in our culture. [LAUGHTER]
TERRI: So I remember this was Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslim calendar. It’s so holy that you cannot think dirty thoughts at all during the day even as a married couple. You cannot have sex until after sun down because you’re not eating. You’re not drinking from sun up to sun down. It’s like you changed the way you dress.
A lot of people even the ones who were drinking regularly and just having sex regularly with random people, they’ll stop doing all of these things. I remember I would wake up from my fast 3 or 4 in the morning because that’s when I would get to eat and he’s just closing the bar and he’d basically send the cab over so I could get in the cab, go to his place, and then fuck. And in the beginning, I remember just being like, “We can’t have sex. No, we can’t have sex. Let’s just mess around and do everything else but have sex.” But just the thrill of doing something that you couldn’t do, oh, that made me more horny. So we’d have sex more that time and then he’ll be like, “I thought you couldn’t do it.” And I’ll be like, “Just once.”
LEAH: So it sounds like you’re a woman who thrives on, I don’t know if it’s danger or the things you’re not supposed to do.
TERRI: Yeah. Absolutely for sure, it’s just more exciting. It makes the sexual experiences so much more exciting.
LEAH: That’s fascinating. I’m the exact opposite.
TERRI: Are you?
LEAH: Totally. I need to feel safe and warm and everything is okay in the world and then I can really relax. If I think that anything is not okay or anybody is judging me or any of those things, I just can’t relax.
TERRI: Oh, I’m not like that and I think that worked in my favor because I was mostly dating white guys. I don’t think I’ve been with somebody, I’ve been with one Asian person in my life, but generally I haven’t been with any guy sexually beside someone who’s white. And for the white guys I was with, they were always curious about me because they’ve never been with a Pakistani girl before and they were shocked with all the freaky things I was willing to do. It was a lot of fun.
LEAH: So what were some of the freaky things you were willing to do?
TERRI: Well, okay, so most of the sex would be in the car because I didn’t want to go see their parents. We were young at this time so I don’t want to go into their house and face their family. I was just coming for that and other times I probably just had limited time being out from my house and so all the sex had to be in the car. So I remember one time one guy my husband doesn’t know this story, I hope he doesn’t listen to this.
TERRI: So I’m not going to let him listen to this. So one time, I remember this one guy I was dating, he basically handcuffed me to his car to the side handles in the back seat. Both my hands were handcuffed away. He fucked me first with a vibrator and then when I couldn’t take it anymore, then he fucked me himself with his dick but it was just so exciting. It was so hot.
LEAH: So in your relationship now, you’ve been together for a while, do you feel like you have sort of more “normal” sex or are you still finding ways to keep it spicy and exciting or to use your word freaky?
TERRI: Freaky, yeah. But we went through a period where the sex got really dull just with the kids and stuff and I’m recently spicing things up more with just using toys and he was never willing to choke me before but now he is so he knows I enjoy that and he’s getting into it. So we’re just taking it one step at a time. We’re probably going to want to invest in more toys and try more things with toys just to keep things spicy. But with the two kids, it’s just hard. But we’re still enjoying it and honestly I guess I don’t give up my sex as much anymore to him because I’m tired.
TERRI: It’s a reality. I’m married. It is what it is.
LEAH: So that’s interesting. How did you get into choking or breath play?
TERRI: Oh, I didn’t know it was called breath play. I don’t know. I just thought it was something that I would want to try and when we would have sex just his hands going towards my neck just made me feel like it would just make me more horny. So I knew it was something that I wanted to try. And the guy who used to handcuff me in the car, he used to choke me so I knew I had and this is something I tried and he said, “Tell me what your limits are.” And I said, “I’ll tell you what my limits are as I find them out.” And I realized that choking was not something that was off limits to me.
LEAH: So before we started recording, you mentioned to me, I asked you what your sexual preference is and you said I’m heterosexual but. Can you tell us about that but?
TERRI: Okay, so I’m not big on porn. I’m not really a porn watcher. However, there are times I’ve definitely watched porn especially when I was pregnant, which made me horny all the time. So I would watch porn and I found that any porn that I watched which disgust me to see all the shit they were doing. It was way too much close up.
The only thing that I liked was lesbian porn because normally it involved somebody trying to kind of encourage somebody who’s straight to try having a sexual encounter with a lesbian. Once I got into the
whole sex thing, I would just turn it off because it wasn’t for me. But just the buildup of two girls just kind of experimenting their boundaries was just something that got me horny. That was the only porn I enjoyed. And I remember asking my girlfriend like, “What if I’m a lesbian? Or what if I’m bi?” She said, “I think a lot of girls watch lesbian porn but it doesn’t make them bi or a lesbian. I mean maybe you are who knows?” I don’t think I am because I love my man. So I’ll go with that.
LEAH: Yeah, this is a conversation I have with a lot of people, a lot of people get really weirded out like, “Oh my God what am I? Am I lying to myself?” And I’ve been through that period myself and honestly, most of the time I’m not sure that it really matters. If you enjoy watching porn with two women and that gets you excited, great, it’s what gets you excited. Would you actually go out and do that? If the answer is no, then fine just enjoy it for the excitement.
TERRI: Oh yeah, the answer is no.
LEAH: If yes, then yeah. So I think that we get a little bit too caught up when trying to label things when really the question is what do you enjoy? And if that’s something that you want to pursue, great, go pursue it. If not, it’s perfectly fine to watch it and not want to pursue it.
TERRI: Yeah, I think so too. That’s a really good point.
LEAH: Yeah. So I want to ask you because the name of this podcast is Good Girls Talk About Sex. What
did the words good girl mean to you when you were a child and what do they mean to you now?
TERRI: Oh my God. That’s a great question because it’s a whole flip that’s happened to me with that meaning. So as a good girl, as a child, it meant to me that I’m religious, that I dress appropriately, I listen to my elders, I listen to my parents, and I don’t do things that are not allowed of me by religion and the rules set by my parents. That is what good girl meant to me then.
Now, things are different. Today, good girl means to me someone who has got a good heart, you do good things for other people, you don’t try to be rude, disrespectful or hurtful to other people. You don’t betray other people. And who cares about what you’re doing in your own life in that sense like if you’re not hurting people, you’re not hurting yourself, and you’re just going out and doing actual good deeds, is what I would describe as a good person and a good girl. And that’s how I feel.
LEAH: Awesome. I love that. I love how you distinguished that change because I feel the same way very much. I chose the words “good girl” very intentionally because I grew up, very different circumstances, but I grew up with this idea that I have to be very straight laced and I have to be a very good girl. And now I still think I am a good girl and I can also enjoy sex.
TERRI: Yeah, exactly. [LAUGHTER]
TERRI: And that was I think the biggest thing for me with the religion too is realizing, I mean I still believe in Islam. I believe everything that Islam says to the extent that I’ve been able to portray it and perceive
it, what I realized is that no matter what religion you are, God will never be okay with you treating other humans like garbage.
And I was like if this your Islam, this was more towards my dad’s side of the family, if this your Islam that you think you can treat people like shit because they’re not like you, that they’re not following the religion the way you think it should be followed, then that doesn’t make you a good Muslim. And that’s why I have so much respect for my mom and my mom’s side of the family because they are religious people but they don’t judge me and they don’t mistreat me or anybody in my family because of the choices we’re making.
Because that’s between us and God, their religion is between their God and them and as long as we’re happy and we’re just being good people that’s all that matters and that’s the stance my mother hast taken for the last almost 10 years.
LEAH: Wow. So you’ve mentioned that you have children. How are you raising them?
TERRI: So with us, we’ve talked about this. We’re not really raising them with any religion. We’re raising them with the best of both worlds. We’re raising them with the religious holidays which are just more traditions, where neither of us are practicing our religions. He’s Catholic. I’m Muslim. We’re not practicing so that’s not something we talk about.
We’re going to teach them the good things about each religion or both the religions. And at the end of the day, from the religious perspective, they can choose whatever they want. They shouldn’t be forced into anything. As long as they’re good people, that’s really all that matters.
Now, on the other hand, there’s also the conversation around their sexuality. So our biggest goal, we never want our kids to feel that they have to come out to us for anything whatsoever. Their sexuality is their sexuality. Should they choose to be straight or they should choose just to be gay or bi that’s up to them and my job is to make sure that they’re growing up being respectful, kind and loving towards people. And that’s it. And I just hope my kids never grow up thinking that they’re going to have to come and sit down and tell me, “Mom, dad, I’m straight” or “Mom, dad,, I’m gay.” This conversation should never happen and they’re welcome to marry or date or do whatever they want in that aspect without the feeling that they are not going to be accepted by us.
LEAH: So when you say you don’t want them to feel like they have to come out, do you mean that it’s just such an ongoing part of the conversation that there shouldn’t have to be a good moment or are you saying that you feel like you just shouldn’t have to know?
TERRI: It shouldn’t have to be a big moment. And we need to get away from that as a society altogether. I think just because things have happened in some ways doesn’t mean they have to continue happening that way. And as a society, no matter what religion, culture we belong to, we need to start realizing that people are more complex than the binary we want them to be and nobody should fit in a box that tradition, culture, religion, society has asked us to be in.
And that’s something I strongly feel about and that’s why I never want my kids to feel that they have to justify who they’re dating to anybody. And it starts with home, so if they feel comfortable about their sexuality however it flows, and they know that we accept them for who they are, I think they’ll be far more confident and healthy mentally as they face the world.
LEAH: I love that.
TERRI: Thank you.
LEAH: Before we let Terri go, let’s do the quick five. Five quick questions that we’d usually be too polite to ask anybody.
LEAH: Do you have sex during your period?
TERRI: I think we did at some point a long time ago. We haven’t in the last five to six years.
LEAH: And is that because you’re not comfortable with it, he’s not comfortable with it or it’s just not something that happens?
TERRI: It’s too much work with the kids. We barely have time with the kids to do this now, and my oldest son is still in bed with us. It’s sad I know.
LEAH: So that makes a lot of difference to your sex life.
TERRI: Oh, for sure. I mean we move him to his bed. He doesn’t even notice.
LEAH: Do you have hair down there or are you bare?
TERRI: Right now, I am bare.
LLEAH: You say that as if that’s different than usual.
TERRI: I mean I let it grow and then I shave. I don’t grow like crazy but I shave regularly.
LEAH: Okay. During a blow job, do you swallow or not?
TERRI: I spit. I don’t need to swallow anymore. I’m married. I gave him two kids. I’m not taking that shit. [LAUGHTER]
LEAH: That’s awesome.
LEAH: And is he okay with that?
TERRI: Oh yeah. Okay so one time, we had a fight and I swallowed after that. And he’s like, “You never
have to do that. Don’t ever feel like you have to do that.” [LAUGHTER]
LEAH: Do you prefer penetration or clit stimulation? TERRI: It depends.
TERRI: I think just the mood, time, things like that. I mean sometimes I’ll be honest I’m too lazy for role play, I just want to get off, I just want to have sex and just get that out of the way because I want to feel good about it because it just takes away your stress. So at that time, I’m not interested in anything else just fuck me and we’re not making love right now. You’re just fucking me. So it just depends on what I’m looking at, what the mood is.
LEAH: Do you prefer to be the giver or the receiver of sexual pleasure?
TERRI: Receiver. That’s selfish.
LEAH: Terri, thank you so much. This has been such a fun and interesting and enlightening conversation and I’m so grateful to you for showing up and just being so open. Thank you for being here.
TERRI: Thank you so much for having me. This was a lot of fun. You were really good at asking the right questions to get the conversation really expanded.
LEAH: Thank you.
LEAH: Well, I look forward to hopefully talking to you more in the future.
TERRI: Awesome, me too. I can’t wait for this to come out.
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