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.
Talk about coming full circle: when your friends-with-benefits from age 12 comes back around to become your life partner and literally make your deepest taboo fantasies come true. Rachel shares how she started kissing in daycare, experimented sexually in her teens, tried marriage and polyamory, learning BDSM and psychedelically-enhanced role playing along the way.
Rachel is a 38-year-old, cisgender female who describes herself as white, pansexual, monogamish, and partnered. She describes her body as very curvy or fat, depending on the person she’s talking to.
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: Hey, friends. I am so excited about today’s interview because we dive into some territory that we haven’t talked about yet on this podcast. And I’m going to do something that I almost never do, offer you some content notes. And because I make a statement at the beginning of every episode that I don’t do trigger warnings, I want to talk for a minute about why, why I don’t usually do them and why in this episode, I actually think it’s appropriate to offer some cautions.
Let’s start with the numerous reasons that I don’t usually do them. When talking about sex, it would be impossible to know what topics or words or thoughts are going to be triggering to all of my various listeners. Everyone’s wounds around sex are so varied that I could spend five minutes at the top of every episode parsing out all of the many ways someone might be triggered or offended and still not got everything.
So, in terms of logistics, it just doesn’t make sense. My feeling is that if you’re choosing to listen to a show about sex, at some point, you’re probably going to hear something that makes you uncomfortable. If that’s a type of discomfort that you can’t tolerate, this probably isn’t the right show for you to be listening to.
Second, I’m not convinced that trigger warnings actually do much good. One of my goals in life is to encourage conversations and communication in places where it isn’t currently happening. Trigger warnings tend to shut conversations down rather than opening them up. The goal of trigger warnings as they originally came into use was to help people prepare themselves emotionally before encountering difficult material.
But research is beginning to show that trigger warnings are actually increasing anxiety rather than decreasing it. In fact, the clinical consensus is that avoiding triggers actually worsens PTSD. My belief is that trigger warnings reinforce the idea that people are victims of their experience, that if something difficult has happened to you, you are forevermore at the mercy of that difficult thing. It becomes such a specter in your mind that you will forever be running away from any thought of it lest it undoes you.
I think you’re stronger than that. I don’t want to live in fear of my own brain and I don’t want you too either. I don’t get to make that choice, of course, but I can offer you this space where we’re not afraid of what goes on in our brains where we look at it with empathy and grace. A friend recently made the distinction between a safe space and a brave space. This podcast is a brave space where we talk about hard things and get into the nitty gritty. Okay, so that was a long explanation of why I don’t do trigger warnings.
So, why am I choosing to offer a content note on this episode? Because there is one set of behaviors that can be triggered simply by hearing someone else talk about them, self-harm. People who have an unresolved history of self-harm can be at-risk when others talk about it. For that reason, I want you to know that about halfway through this episode, there is some talk about knife play. I’ll break into the conversation at that point and suggest that if this is a potential trigger for you, you should fast forward approximately two minutes.
Second, we have an extended conversation at the end of this episode on a topic that is far enough outside the box that I want you to have the opportunity to opt in or opt out without being surprised. Specifically, we talk about the parent child roleplaying Rachel and her partner sometimes do during sex.
If you have a history of sexual abuse by a parent or family member, you’re likely to find this either deeply fascinating or deeply horrifying. Please honor your needs to listen or not listen to this as you see fit. I will also break into offer you a warning when that conversation is about to start. Okay, that is enough talk of triggers. Let’s get into the meat and potatoes of the episode.
Today, we’re talking with Rachel, a 38-year-old cisgender female, who describes herself as white, pansexual, monogamish, and partnered. She describes her body as very curvy, but also says that if she’s with people who are part of the movement to remove body shame, she calls herself fat. I am so pleased to introduce Rachel!
Rachel, thank you so much for being with me today. So that listeners have a perspective with which to hear this interview, you and I are really good friends, so we talk about sex a lot.
LEAH: But I think there are a lot of parts to your story that I’ve never heard. And you are using a pseudonym so that you can be completely honest and no one will go find you through my Facebook profile.
LEAH: So, thank you for being here.
RACHEL: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
LEAH: So, the first question that I ask everyone is what is your first memory of sexual pleasure?
RACHEL: I think the first memory I can remember other than dreams that were sexual or waking up after a dream that was sexual where someone takes off my clothes, that was at a young age.
LEAH: What is young to you?
RACHEL: Grade school. Probably after seven, I guess until my dreams or fantasies would get more specific around 12, so somewhere between 7 and 12, and around age 11 is my first actual memory. I was having a sleepover at my house and I had friends there. And everyone was asleep and I started touching myself. And I don’t know what drove me to that, but I tried to do that as quietly as possible with everyone asleep and that’s also my first memory of an orgasm, which I had no idea what that was yet.
LEAH: That’s so interesting that you would do that with other people in the room for the first time.
RACHEL: Yeah. And I got into the idea of trying to sneak that while other people were in the room for quite a while after that. So, maybe that defined a kink.
LEAH: Yeah. So, does secrecy do something for you today still?
RACHEL: Yeah. I’d say that trying to get away with something certainly is part of it. It’s certainly part of fantasy play. My partner that I live with was also my first boyfriend. So, he and I used to ages 12-14, we were on and off again, we used to sneak around. We used to do things in secret. And so, that can come up now. It’s part of play.
LEAH: Yeah, in your dirty talk or sharing fantasies with each other, that’s something you talk about?
LEAH: Yeah. So, you’re at this sleepover with some girls. I assume they were all other girls. It was not a coed thing and you have this experience. Do you remember anything about the next morning people waking up and being like, “I have a secret?” What do you remember about it?
RACHEL: I have no remembrance of the next morning. My memory is much more around being surprised because I did not know that an orgasm was going to happen and I didn’t know what it was. So, I was not prepared for that. I liked it and I know that I started masturbating after that, but yeah, I don’t remember the next morning, sorry. I remember thinking that I didn’t assume anyone else there had done that.
LEAH: At this point, had you already started kissing boys, kissing the man who’s now your partner?
RACHEL: No. I did not start kissing him until about a year later or something like kissing.
RACHEL: But I think my first kissing was my mom ran a daycare out of our basement and there was a boy there that I was into as much as one can be as a 5-year-old or 4-year-old. And he and I used to go under a blanket and kiss there for long periods of time. I guess that was a secrecy thing.
RACHEL: My mom would go upstairs to make us all lunch. And he and I would hide under a blanket and we would kiss for long periods of time or what my 5-year-old brain understood as long periods of time.
LEAH: What kind of kissing was it? Was it on the cheek, closed mouths, what was it?
RACHEL: I think it was a very awkward extended close mouth kissing that’s very long.
LEAH: That’s very cute. And was there any touching other than your lips?
RACHEL: Nope. It was just that. It hadn’t occurred to me to do anything else, but I thought we should be under a blanket. It was absolutely my idea and not his.
RACHEL: We should be under a blanket and this is kissing. So, we should do this.
LEAH: Was he your first boyfriend? Did you use that kind of language then?
RACHEL: No, I don’t think I did. And I don’t know why I chose him other than maybe just that he was a boy who was my age at my mom’s daycare.
RACHEL: Social circle. No, I don’t think I used the word boyfriend until it was now my current partner. And that even took a while because we started, I don’t know, being friends with benefits at 12.
RACHEL: No, wait. At 12, there was a week where we were “dating” and that meant very little other than talking on the phone. But after that, we were friends with benefits. And then, at a certain point I think before 14, he was my boyfriend for a while.
LEAH: So, I think that we should just clarify for people who are listening that Connor has come in and out of your life several times. And so, it’s not that he was your first boyfriend and he is now still your partner. It’s that the two of you have come back around together.
RACHEL: Correct, yes through a very roundabout way, yeah.
LEAH: Yeah. And we’ll go through that. Okay, so 12 years old, friends with benefits. What kind of benefits does a 12-year-old have?
RACHEL: Right. I know that we talked on the phone all the time and there was phone sex, which he imitated much more because he knew much more what he was talking about. I’m not sure where. Maybe he was seeing porn and I had never seen it. But I wanted so badly to reciprocate in these, I just didn’t have the language. I didn’t know how, but I would be very receptive to it. So, we would have phone sex.
LEAH: How explicit did the phone sex get?
RACHEL: I think it was pretty explicit in that it was fantasizing about foreplay, I don’t remember specifically what, but definitely foreplay-related stuff and all the way through actual sexual intercourse, penis in vagina, yeah. But it was also very basic understanding of these things because he didn’t have a huge understanding before.
LEAH: Sure. When the two of you were together in person, did the benefits go up to penis in vagina intercourse or was that just a talk thing?
RACHEL: That was just a talk thing and when were friends with benefits, that also meant we did not kiss on the mouth, which I think I had seen Pretty Woman for the first time and I got the idea in my head.
RACHEL: And that made sense to me and made sense to him. And yeah, so we would mess around, which was mostly over the clothes type of touching or some dry humping eventually. And then, when we were more around 13 or 14, I remember it was the first time I took any clothing off.
LEAH: What was that like? Was it exciting, scary?
RACHEL: It was both because I had a lot of body image issues. I had a button-up shirt that I was wearing that I would only unbutton just lower than my breasts, so I did that. I took off my bra and he went downstairs and came back up with a cup of ice cubes because he was a smart 14-year-old and put them in his mouth and used them on my nipples, which was divine. Yeah, so that was very exciting and I was super into it, but I was also really held back by an idea that I didn’t want him to see me naked.
LEAH: Okay. I have to ask. Was he watching a lot of porn? Did he have other partners before you? Where was he coming up with these things?
RACHEL: I don’t know. I know he watched porn. I know that other boys he hung out with and had sleepovers with watched porn. I imagine he would have gotten it from there, but yeah, I don’t know.
LEAH: That’s very advanced for a 13-year-old.
RACHEL: I know.
RACHEL: He’s always been experimental even from a pretty young guy.
LEAH: Yeah. And it sounds like you were having pleasure pretty much right away in your experimentations with him.
RACHEL: Yeah. I was very easily excitable with him. I was very turned on with him from a very young age. We had a very natural chemistry, so the things that we did were incredibly pleasant. At some point, I did want to start kissing on the mouth, maybe not in that moment.
LEAH: And so, what did you do? Did you go from friends with benefits to actual relationship so you could kiss on the mouth or did you find some other way?
RACHEL: We went on a trip. I went on a trip with him and his family, who did not somehow realize that he and I were together in some way and we just build it as I’m his best friend. I can come with, so I did. And we went camping and one night, this was the first time I had oral sex, actually now that I think about it.
LEAH: And you’re what? 13, 14 now?
RACHEL: Right around 14, yeah. And we went for a walk down by the beach and we started making out without kissing on the mouth.
RACHEL: Just like kissing everywhere else on the beach and people kept walking by and that was annoying. So, we moved to a women’s bathroom out for people on the beach and he went down on me for the first time. I went down on him for the first time in there. People tried to come in at least once. I slammed the door closed as I had my mouth on him. Yeah, that was fun.
And then, I think the next day or the day after that was actually my first kiss because we never kissed on the mouth. So, he and I kissed a couple days after that. I think we went out to eat. His parents were hanging out for dinner and making their own food. And he asked whether we could go to the restaurant they had at the campground. They said sure, so we went. And then, afterward, we went and walked around and he kissed me on the mouth. And it was very romantic and very unexpected.
LEAH: Wow. So, you had oral sex before you had your first kiss?
RACHEL: I did, yeah.
LEAH: Wow. So, going back to the women’s bathroom, not necessarily the most comfortable place to give or receive for the first time.
LEAH: But did you enjoy it?
RACHEL: Yes and no. I really enjoyed going down on him, that I really enjoyed. He put his mouth on me when I was still up against the door, so I was standing up. And I didn’t have a whole lot of context for how that was supposed to work and it felt funny or interesting, but good. But I don’t know. And we didn’t do that for too long, but we moved on to him pretty soon, I think. And I’m pretty sure that was my idea.
LEAH: And did you take him all the way to climax that first time?
RACHEL: I don’t remember, yeah.
LEAH: And so, then after you have your first kiss, does that mean that you’re now officially dating?
LEAH: Okay. And how was that for you?
RACHEL: Dating or the first kiss?
RACHEL: First kiss, I was incredibly nervous for because I had been wanting it so badly and I’m pretty sure I had very dry mouth. I know I had really sweaty hands.
RACHEL: But it felt very romantic and I was really excited with what that felt like it meant to me. And then, after that, he and I got closer for only I think a couple months. And then, he became interested in someone else and started spending time with her and that just drifted off in that direction.
LEAH: And that must have been hard, I imagine.
RACHEL: Yeah. It was my first heartbreak. I still consider him my first love and I was seriously heartbroken and very embittered for a 14-year-old and I started to repeat a lot of relationship patterns based on that one for the rest of my life. So, it was pretty significant at the time.
LEAH: What kind of patterns?
RACHEL: I tended to date men who had a wandering eye. Put up with it while still wanting very desperately to get their affection back and it was just something I kept trying for and trying at. And I often wondered whether doing so was just me wanting so badly to go back and make that situation go differently because I did that for later relationships with people I cared lots about.
LEAH: So, let’s back up a little bit to your childhood home. What were you hearing at home about sex and being female and female sexuality?
RACHEL: My mom and my dad, and probably my dad more than my mom, talked to me from a young age about safe sex, about what sex was, and about safe sex. I remember them at least doing it a handful of times, I’m sure more than that. And because it was often coming from him, I didn’t remember getting any information on a female sexual experience at all. My mom is a sexual trauma survivor and she as far as I can tell is not super into sex and she certainly shies away from that subject as female pleasure. I can’t even imagine her talking about it. I don’t think she experiences a lot of it. So, I got most of that from my dad.
LEAH: So, you got some technical information about sex? What kind of messages did you get about being a girl, about you were supposed to do these things or you were not supposed to do these things?
RACHEL: I remember when my parents found out that Connor and I were engaging in sexual activities at the time, which was not full intercourse yet, but they found out about that and were very, very angry. My dad told me that people were going to get the idea that I was easy. My mom backed that idea up. I rejected that idea saying that I don’t think that’s how people viewed me anymore and said, “Yes I was.”
So, there was a lot of shame around that on top of which once they found out about it, I think they stopped having healthy good sex talks with me and instead there was a lot of shaming around that time. Connor and I weren’t allowed to be in our friends’ houses together unless there was a parent and a door open or something like that. My dad would call ahead and talk to the moms of my friends when I’d be over at their houses to let them know that I engage in activities that aren’t considered wholesome and that they need to keep and eye on me. So, there was a lot of shame. I think actually the point of that was shaming.
LEAH: Yeah. It certainly sounds shaming. And I imagine that you and Connor being the industrious young teenagers that you were probably found ways around those restrictions.
RACHEL: At that point, I think that’s where our relationship started petering out. If I’m remembering timeline correctly, probably because they were making it difficult and I think his 14-year-old boy brain was very engaged in the idea of getting to see someone regularly and without restriction and went after another girl in his neighborhood. I don’t think they dated, but they started playing or whatnot. I never got the details on that, but I think it was because of the restrictions and the shaming. My parents made it very difficult.
LEAH: So, when the two of you were no longer together and you were going through this heartbreak, were you interested in dating anybody else or were your eyes still on Connor? How was that for you?
RACHEL: No, I was not interested in still dating Connor at that point. I think I felt like I really needed to dig my heels into some righteous indignation to get over him.
RACHEL: And so, I just banished him from everything. It sucks too because I keep pretty detailed journals going all the way back and that one, I burned after we broke up, so I don’t have any of those memories anymore. It’s just like he and I have pieced it together from what we can remember. But no, I was spitting nails for a long time, I think the first three years of high school.
Interestingly though, when I got to high school, I got really into the idea that I wanted to have sexual intercourse. I had never had it before. I only had up to oral sex before. I had never had it and it wasn’t about a desire to be sexual. It was about a desire to not have virginity anymore because it’s like it was burning a hole in my pocket. It was making me crazy having it and I just wanted knowledge and I wanted to be past a period where I was a virgin.
LEAH: So, how did you lose your virginity? Which is just a terrible phrase, by the way.
RACHEL: It’s just awful. I’m conscious of this image of a precious flower.
LEAH: Being sundered.
RACHEL: I had a boyfriend who was horrible and I dated him for a year and a half. He was 21 and I was 17. He lived with his parents, but he could be home anytime. And we could be together anytime and they were off at work. So, I would go over there in my free periods during high school.
I remember I knew that us having sexual intercourse was coming up. I knew it was going to happen and I started getting these terrible nightmares for a couple of weeks beforehand about tremendous pain like getting stuck with a pin or something like that and being in pain. And it was always this very phallic idea of something pricking me and then me hurting. And I received a lot of messages from I’m not even sure where that it really hurts the first time you have sex. So, as much as I wanted to no longer be a virgin, I was also really scared of how that experience would go.
LEAH: Are you aching to explore new vistas of your sexuality? Do you hear me talk about concepts on the 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 in. 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.
RACHEL: And so, he and I were in his bedroom and there was nothing glamorous or romantic about it whatsoever. Pillowcases with holes in them and he just was grungy.
RACHEL: And I remember I got a cramp in one of my thighs as we were doing it, a muscle cramp and it was intense, but I didn’t want to say anything because I’m like maybe this is just part of it. And it tore me up pretty good. I was not adequately lubricated. He was slightly larger and it really felt not about my experience at all. It felt like about his. So, it tore me up and I remember just really physically hurting afterward for a day.
LEAH: Was he aware of how much pain you were in, do you think?
RACHEL: No. I would not have told him about it. He’s five years older than me, so I really wanted to seem, I don’t know, sophisticated. Even though I didn’t know what I was doing, he knew that I was a virgin, I still had enough knowledge or something like that. And despite the physical pain afterward, I was elated afterward to finally have that behind me. We went and visited some friends afterward and I just couldn’t wait to tell them. I was just so excited about it. I’m not sure why virginity as a concept felt like a burden, but it had felt like a burden that was taken off me at that point.
LEAH: Did he know that you were a virgin?
LEAH: And so, did you continue having intercourse with him after that first time?
RACHEL: Yeah, a lot, very frequently.
LEAH: And did it get better?
RACHEL: As far as I understood it at the time, it got better. It got less painful much of the time, but not always. He’s 21. I don’t know that he knew a whole lot about me being properly lubricated. So, sometimes, I was and sometimes I wasn’t. And I don’t think either of us quite knew what caused that or didn’t. But yeah, we started having sex a lot. He had told me that he was really into anal sex. And I was 17 at that point and I was like, “Okay, is that something you’d want?” And he said that he did. And so, we tried it three times, not at the same day, three different occasions.
RACHEL: I knew when to quit, but each time, I stopped him because it was really, really painful and I’m perfectly fine with the concept of anal sex, but when it’s being done to me, it has always felt like something’s being taken from me. And it has not felt emotionally good at all for me ever. Not sure what the source of it is other than maybe these experiences. I know that they were very painful. I was not at all relaxed and the only reason we tried it three times was because I was hell bent on being able to be all of his sexual fantasies.
LEAH: Yeah. Were you using any lube?
RACHEL: I was just trying to remember that. Maybe, but most of the time, we didn’t have any around. So, very possibly not. You know what? He was using saliva as lube.
LEAH: Oh God, I’m so sorry. Yes, no wonder it hurt. That fucking sucks.
LEAH: So, I asked you that question about pleasure and you answered it in terms of intercourse. But what about the rest of your body? Did you have pleasure with him from touching, from closeness?
RACHEL: Yes. And I really believe that I loved him at the time. He was not so great to me, but I got very attached to him. And so, I was very thrilled by him. Furthermore, him being five years older, I really just couldn’t be bothered with doing things with most high school boys that I knew. And so, that idea was very exciting to me. So, I was very thrilled by his touch and by his attention, by all of that. And I did feel like I loved him at the time. I don’t in retrospect think that I did.
LEAH: So, how did things end with him?
RACHEL: He cheated on me a bunch. That was just throughout our relationship. And finally, he told me that he was polyamorous and that after a year and a half that we needed to be or else we wouldn’t be together and that he also wanted to be with me and this other girl, who was my age that he was dating. He also had been cheating on me with her for quite a while.
He brought that all up on my birthday. And it was a terrible introduction to polyamory, which I went into a briefly poly lifestyle quite a few years after that. But despite that introduction to it, which was just the worst way to put any of that, we decided to take a week break from each other.
And after I think about five days, I drove down to see him and I asked him to meet me in a parking lot. I was in college at the time. I asked him to meet me in the parking lot and we did. it was the Barnes & Noble. We made out in my car some. We said sweet nice things to each other, and then we talked about our relationship. And it just became very clear that it was not going to work anymore and I was crushed and we just went our separate ways.
LEAH: Yeah. Was that heartbreak on par with the first heartbreak?
RACHEL: Probably. And also, probably in both those scenarios, it was always that there was another person that he was more interested in at that point that he was moving along, which was a terrible way to have an end of a relationship.
LEAH: That’s a hell of an ego buster and to have it happen twice in a row, yeah.
RACHEL: And at a young age.
LEAH: Yeah. So, what happened next?
RACHEL: In my sexual experience?
RACHEL: I decided that I wanted to put as much distance as I could between me and that ex-boyfriend. And so, I started very indiscriminately having sex with as many people as I could. I remember the second person. I remember him because I have a picture I took of him while drinking as he was just putting his shirt back on after we had sex on the floor of a party I was at freshman year of undergrad. And I only ever refer to him as Timmy Tommy Jimmy Johnny because his name was one of those.
RACHEL: I have no idea and I have that one picture. That’s it to remember that. That was my second person. I met him that night. I knew him for 45 minutes and never saw him again. Other opportunities started presenting themselves. I started drinking a whole bunch around that time. I became just a very, very heavy drinker and was partying a whole lot.
I have no problem with the concept of wanting to have sex with many different people. At that time, I was doing it very unhealthily. It was pursuing it in a way that was somehow meant to, I don’t know, continue to put distance between me and that first guy that I had sexual intercourse with. I don’t know if that would make me somehow wiser and more experienced and I was drunk or stoned for most of them through age 23.
LEAH: I remember you saying to me once that you had sex with a lot of men because it was easier than saying no.
RACHEL: Yeah, definitely. It was an odd experience because it was like I was on a mission to get myself in a situation where let’s see if I’m going to have sex with this guy. And I really think what I wanted was the validation or the attention or something that just validated me as a person, as a sexual being, as someone who you could want. That was very much tied up in having felt really unwanted from my boyfriend that I had first sexual intercourse with and with Connor a few years before that.
And I would get myself into these situations generally where it will be like, all right. Are we going to do this? Be at a party. I would often be the one to start something, start making out, we’d get to the point where it’s like, are we going to have sex? And at that point, I had no interest anymore because what I had wanted to accomplish, I think, was done and I didn’t know how to get out of that situation, so I would just acquiesce.
A lot of them were friends of mine, so I wanted to smooth things over and I didn’t want to get known as someone who didn’t follow through. I often described myself at the time as a real good sport and was proud of that, my ability to just get through it. And it was increasingly damaging every time, but yeah, it was always easier.
In situations where I did say no to a guy, also that’s just so much ugliness would come out and especially because a lot of it was in a drinking environment. So, they were drinking, so it heats things up a little bit. If I’m going to say no to a guy at that age especially, I better be ready to be told I’m fat and ugly and they didn’t really want me anyway and insinuate that they were doing me a favor or that they really didn’t want it or whatever. And so, it was incredibly damaging to hear that stuff. And I think I often just deemed it as more damaging than just getting through sex and that was what it was. It was just getting through it.
LEAH: Yeah. It sounds like what you needed was to know that people wanted you, but you didn’t actually want to follow through on it.
RACHEL: Yeah, because I had no interest in those people. I actually hated most of them, especially in the moment. I found a journal entry from myself at around age 20 and I was talking about sex and I was just listening all these things that sex is, just a bunch of concepts. Sex is a weapon, sex is a cruelty, and I kept listing all these things and none of them were about pleasure.
I was very deeply confused and embittered and I walked around angry all the time. I used to have balled fists and I would just be angry. And the anger was good. I think it was very energizing because around that period, I also got very depressed. And my senior year of undergrad, after having done that enough, I lost sexual response such that I went and talked to my gynecologist. I talked to a few people, my gynecologist at the time, and said, “I feel nothing during sex really. I feel that I’m having sex, but I can’t even masturbate to completion myself almost ever. And I have very little sex drive and I can’t feel pleasure at all. And I think there’s something wrong with me.” And she thought I was depressed, which I absolutely was. It wasn’t physical.
LEAH: So, when you started dealing with the depression, did your sensation return?
RACHEL: That was a many year process. I was able to start masturbating to completion I think again regularly after I graduated, but didn’t actually enjoy sex until I started having sex with my now ex-husband when I was 24.
LEAH: Okay. So, there was a couple year gap in there, it sounds like.
RACHEL: There were a couple years where I just continued doing what I had being doing, which was having a lot of sex with people usually on a substance or two and not enjoying it, just pursuing the same thing just more deeply into it.
LEAH: What made your ex-husband different?
RACHEL: So many things. He was very much into me and I felt that. It wasn’t just like a hookup at a party because we happened to be there. I don’t know. It felt so good to just be seen and I felt like I was with him and that he wanted to be sweet with me. And from the very first sexual encounter, which was also our first date and our first kiss, that very first night, we were super into some kink already and that was thrilling so he was exciting.
I just remember my heart used to race when I would see him and that was so novel to me. I hadn’t felt like my heart alive with not just a person, but it just felt dead in most situations for years. And he was very much about my pleasure which people before that had not been.
I remember one guy specifically in undergrad who went down on me and gave me oral sex. I remember him not because I remember who it was because it was a one-off with someone I only knew for a couple hours, but because he went down on me. And that was so novel at the time. No other guys were doing that. So, my ex-husband being into my pleasure, really into my pleasure at the time, I felt very touched by it. It felt very heartwarming to me.
LEAH: You mentioned that you were into kink with him right away. Had you been having kink experiences with other people?
RACHEL: Maybe some tying up or something like that. With my boyfriend at the end of high school, he and I used to do some roleplay and I think we talked about kink a lot, but I hadn’t really gotten into kink until a year before I started dating my ex-husband.
And that was just on my own. I remember I first read a blog about being a sub and it was a blog post. It was a very long one and it was talking about all these things that you might be into as a sub and what that mindset is like and the idea of pain. And I just fell in love with this blog post. I loved it. I printed it out. And I started absorbing as much as I could. I remember I saw the movie Secretary and I was so into it. I slept next to the DVD the night I saw it.
RACHEL: It felt so personal and it was just so great. So, I developed kink like that in a vacuum because I wasn’t actually experiencing that with anyone. I just read it and saw it and recognized it as me at the time.
LEAH: So, with your ex-husband, what kind of kink was he introducing you to?
RACHEL: Our first date led to us walking back to my apartment, our first kiss on the way to my apartment, and we got to my apartment. And shortly after we got there, just I don’t know, some sort of sexual something exploded in that room.
RACHEL: And it was like three hours of just sexual shenanigans.
RACHEL: He actually showed up with a backpack that I hadn’t questioned on our first date. He just had a backpack, okay. And he opened the backpack and he had handcuffs and blindfold and a few other things that I don’t even remember anymore, some sensory items like one of those vampire gloves. That’s like a glove that has those little scratchy things on it and he used those on me, which was very exciting. He spanked me pretty hard, which I was super into.
LEAH: Hey, friends. If you don’t want to hear about knife play, please skip forward 1 minute, 45 seconds.
RACHEL: And at one point, he had my wrists bound together and he told me to go into the kitchen and I was naked and get a kitchen knife. And I had two thoughts as I walked across my living room like that, one, I have no shades. And so, all my neighbors can just see me walking naked from one room to the next with my hands bound.
RACHEL: And two, my ex-husband, I had known him for years. Not very well, but I had known him for years and I started considering, how well do I know this person? Because he’s about to do something with a knife. And while that’s very exciting to me and it was, it was very thrilling, am I sure I’m not going to be killed?
RACHEL: Then he tied me to my bed facedown naked and arms over my head tied to the top of the futon. He told me exactly what he was going to do and he was going to drag the knife just down my body like my back and butt and everything. And he said it was not about pain, that this was about being sensual. This was a deep trust kind of activity. This is really the idea of me surrounding myself to him to do this.
And the thrill of that, it’s very much more about intimacy than anything having to do with pain because it didn’t hurt. He dragged it very lightly and that was so thrilling. I loved that so much and that had never occurred to me to do with anyone before. And rightly so before him, I truly didn’t know whether any of those people would kill me.
RACHEL: I didn’t know them. Most or a lot of them, I didn’t know them. The ones who were my friends, yeah, that’s not something I’d bring up with them.
LEAH: I’m curious. So, he shows up with this backpack, which by the way, puts all of those young men to shame. I should say it makes it sound silly when we shame guys for showing up with a condom.
LEAH: But he showed up clearly with intent. What kind of conversation did the two of you have about consent before he started tying up and dragging a knife over your body?
RACHEL: Absolutely none. Because before him, the sex I had was so risky anyway. I wasn’t using a condom a lot of the time because I was usually pretty wasted. And it just didn’t come up. We should have.
We honestly should have because one thing that did bother me tremendously in retrospect about that sexual experience that very first time was that on two or three occasions that night before he actually entered me, PIV, I had made the comment like two or three times, “I have condoms over on the window sill.” I had them on a container. And he noted it, but didn’t say anything about it.
We’re still doing foreplay. And when it came right before sex, I felt like it was coming up and I said to him, “Again, I have condoms over there.” And I didn’t say use one, I said, “I have them” because I was in a very passive place at that point in my life as far as what I felt was right to say during sex. And despite my having said that a few times, he did not use one. He didn’t address it either. He just didn’t use one and that is something that bothered me all throughout my marriage, just the memory of that.
LEAH: It’s like he broke trust that very first time.
RACHEL: He did. Overwhelmingly, it was a positive experience. I was super into him and it was exciting, but that was a red flag then that I ignored and I shouldn’t have.
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LEAH: I don’t know. Did you begin your relationship as a monogamous relationship or did you immediately become polyamorous together?
RACHEL: No. We were non-monogamous right from the start. My dating history tends to thread itself all into itself. The guy that I was dating at the end of high school, he left me for this other girl when he decided he was polyamorous. That girl was now the living girlfriend of my ex-husband, yeah.
LEAH: Are you shitting me?
RACHEL: No. And that’s how I knew him. I knew him through a group of friends and she was with him, not with my ex-boyfriend anymore. Yeah, so that was interesting.
RACHEL: I had never met her in person, but I knew of her because she was the girl who had taken my boyfriend at the beginning of undergrad.
LEAH: I have never heard that before.
RACHEL: Yeah. She and I became very good friends. So, he was living with her full-time, but he started staying up with me one or two nights a week.
LEAH: And were they just roommates or were they partners?
RACHEL: They were partners and he had, I would say, a secondary partner in Florida that was a woman he had been with for a very long time, longer than anyone else, but really only very much in a secondary fashion who was also his best friend, who also is the person who, married my ex-husband, and moved in the day we got married, yeah.
RACHEL: And so, I was his third girlfriend at the time, but I say third that way because there was an order of succession. I think he fell in love with me, we fell in love with each other pretty early on in our dating, but I still ranked below both of the others for a very long time. But I hung out with his other girlfriends and they were great and they became friends.
LEAH: And what were you doing? Were you dating other people?
RACHEL: At the time, this is me at 24 now, I said for about a year and a half with him, I said, “I want to be with you. I want to date you.” I’m not a polyamorous because I had had such a bad taste in my mouth after the end of high school experience where my boyfriend just announced that he was cheating on me already. I said, “I’m not polyamorous, but I will date you, just informally. Sure.”
And then, after about a year and a half of that, I decided that I didn’t want to leave him. I dated other people during that period. I had a few sexual experiences with a few other people, but really I only wanted to be with him at the time. He felt safe for me and I hadn’t felt safe with a person in a very long time. And after about a year and a half, it became clear that we were permanently in each other’s lives or seemed so at the time. We were together 11 years total. And I had to make a decision that this was going to be a lifestyle that I would be into having and decided that it was because I knew that he was always going to be polyamorous. And I thought at the time, I’ve done this pretty well so far, so I think I can keep doing this. This is fine.
LEAH: So, there’s a term poly under duress or PUD and I wonder if you feel like you were in that poly under duress situation or did you get to the point where you thought, “No, this is actually who I am and it was just a twisty road to get here?”
RACHEL: I got eventually to where I owned it much more as my own, but I think it was in retrospect always a poly under duress situation mainly because in retrospect, I don’t think he was terribly good at it. I really didn’t feel very safe with him. I felt safe with him sexually for the first time ever, but I didn’t feel safe with him in relationship style.
He broke up with his primary girlfriend and he and I moved in together. And at that point, I just didn’t feel safe that he wasn’t going to cheat on me because he broke the rules of our relationship, which he did at least a couple times probably more than that. So, he didn’t feel like a secure relationship to me, but I knew that this is what I needed to do to stay with him.
So, I really tried to make it my own from the get-go. Once I decided I was going to be in this lifestyle and live with him, I joined a poly support group and started going without him. I wanted it to be mine. I wanted to absorb and just understand it. And I definitely warmed up to it and I definitely had some good experiences with it.
I started dating mostly women while I was with him, mostly women. And yeah, I started enjoying some of that, but there was never a real sense of security in the relationship. By the time I started dating Connor, my current partner, by the time I started dating him again, I was still married and the marriage, the love had fizzled out slowly over time. And I started seeing Connor again. And that was very thrilling. And then, I was able to enjoy it more because at that time, we were living in a poly household, it was the three of us.
LEAH: So, the three people in that house were Connor, you, and your ex-husband?
RACHEL: Yup. And they were both with me, but not with each other. And at that point, I was able to very easily, but it was because I had really removed the need to trust my ex-husband because we weren’t as invested in each other anymore, so that didn’t hurt. Really some of the experiences before really did. I don’t think he lived a lot of good principles of poly lifestyle and I really tried hard to do that and be very ethical and fair and consideration and he was often not ethical, fair, and considerate.
LEAH: You mentioned that during that time, you were primarily dating women. So, I’m curious what your sexual experiences have been with women? Are they as enjoyable? Is that something that you desire or crave?
RACHEL: Yeah. And actually, I’ve realized in the last few years that I’m much more oriented toward women than men. I fall much harder for women much faster and that especially from my youngest fantasies, I remember even having always about women at the beginning and have more often than not been about women all through adulthood.
And yeah, I dated some women I was super into and sex was enjoyable and very fulfilling. And with one exception, I tended to trust women I was with tremendously. They just felt very trustworthy and we could have very intimate engagements with each other while not being full-time partners or people who were dating.
LEAH: Do you feel like you have a better picker with women than you do with men or did it just happen that way?
RACHEL: No, I definitely have a better picker with women than with men in general.
RACHEL: With Connor, it’s beautiful and he’s great. Otherwise, I tend to go for just really great very sweet, very intelligent, really interesting and trustworthy women. I feel very much at home in feminine sexual energy.
LEAH: Yeah. Okay, I’m going to skip around in the timeline for just a little bit because your ex-husband is an ex-husband. He is now gone.
LEAH: And you and Connor, that’s your primary relationship. How do you interact with women now? Do you have extracurricular or open relationships with women or how do you get that piece of your desire filled?
RACHEL: That’s difficult entirely to say because a lot of it’s in theory. When my ex-husband left, Connor and I had about a year that it was now suddenly just him and me and it was a very much honeymoon period. We were so fixated on each other, and then went through a few hardships that year that made it very difficult. So, I really was not for the most part dating during that time period. And then, COVID.
And so, the experiences I’ve had with other people, sexual experiences, have been with Connor there and have been very few and far between because being very choosy, very selective with COVID and not dating anyone for the first half year of it or sleeping with anyone, so a lot of it is in theory, what we can do. I do wish to have further intimate engagements with women and with and without Connor.
At some point, in the year after my ex-husband left, it occurred to me that Connor and I were already grandfathered into a poly relationship. And so, that’s just we maintained status quo after my ex-husband left and for a while in that first year somewhere, it occurred to me that I can craft what relationship I want now because I’m not in that marriage anymore. It just had to be that way or nothing.
And so, Connor and I had conversation where I was like, “Listen, I do want to still be able to date other people and have fun sexual experiences and intimate experiences and lovey experiences, stuff like that, but I’m really not looking to have very full relationships with other people. I’m looking for very close intimate friends that we can share experiences with that I keep in my life as very close intimate friends and sweet and lovely and all of that, but I don’t want to be dealing with all the scheduling anymore.”
That was really something that tripped up a lot of before. I felt like I was spread way too thin when I was in a committed relationships with several people at once. It was not good for me. And I told Connor, “That’s how I was going to approach things because that’s just what I want.” I said, “I don’t require you to do that as well, but just so you know, that’s where I’m at.” And he said that that sounds good to him and he wants to do that if that’s where I’m at.
He really wasn’t seeking to have a very committed relationships with other people as it was, so that’s fine with him and we identified as monogamish since then. So, very, very selective about the situation. I’ve had a few lovely experiences with some women. They’ve been while Connor was around.
LEAH: When you say that, do you mean like threesome or moresome where he was involved or just that he was in the general area and aware of what was going on?
RACHEL: Both. The first was a threesome with a mutual friend, a woman. Then a foursome with her and her boyfriend at the time, and then there was another there in there and I’m not recalling it right now.
LEAH: It’s okay. So, what is your sex life today with Connor?
RACHEL: We have a very healthy sex life. This incarnation of our relationship, we’ve been together, we just passed five years. And we still are incredibly excited by each other, which is fun and I did not expect that. It certainly wasn’t how my marriage went. By year five, it was not exciting.
But the one thing that has been a little detrimental, a lot of sexual spontaneity, so we moved into a house that we now own. We went from having two separate bedrooms in our last house that we rented when we would spend somewhere between two and four nights a week generally sleeping together, and then the other nights spent apart. And that was so good for our prelateship and so good for sexual spontaneity.
And we have gone temporarily just down to one bedroom since we’ve been here and now that’s been about half a year and we still have amazing sex. It’s great, but it’s not as frequent and not as spontaneous. I really just chalk that up to going to sleep next to each other every night.
Before when we had separate bedrooms, it was like the nights that we were together really together, there was intimacy usually or just it felt like going over and spending the night at his place where this evening is about us. And now, there’s much more commonplace element to sleeping in the same bed where it’s just like that’s what we do every night. No, it’s definitely weird for me now to get dressed up in lingerie or something like that with him because we assume sex when there’s nothing necessarily implied about it. We’re just going to be going to bed together.
RACHEL: And he might not be in the mood and it just might not go that direction. And before, it was like it’s going to be an occasion. We’re going to spend the night together and absolutely it would make sense for me to wear lingerie or something like that. So, it’s just spontaneity issues, but what’s interesting with him is that I had never before him had sex that I would describe as feeling terribly personal.
I was with my ex-husband for 11 years and I was in love with him for the majority of that and we had good sex, but it was very emotionally detached most of the time and it never felt terribly personal. It felt like he wanted to have sex, but it didn’t feel like he was craving having sex with me during it. Sex with Connor is so deeply personal, so deeply intimate. There’s so much eye contact. We use each other’s names and it’s not about just having sex. It’s about exploring each other and I’d never done what I consider to be the concept of making love. I’ve never done that until Connor. I’d never had that.
RACHEL: I had sex with so many partners for years and I never experienced that. And now, I have that. So, in some ways, although the spontaneity has gone away, the sex gets better over time because we just closer. That’s really exciting. I feel so, so safe with him, which is a big deal for me because that comes up a lot because I didn’t feel safe with almost any of those people I was having sex with before.
Almost any of the men, I felt safe with the women by and large. But with any of the men before, and I don’t know, sex with him feels like home. It’s really nice. It’s very stimulating. We do a lot of fantasy play. We do a lot of roleplaying. And while I’m not as into pain anymore, I am into it to a lesser degree. I still love being a sub. And now for the first time ever, I love being a top. I dominate him now sometimes if I’m in the mood, in that mental place really, and then that’s exciting. I had not really enjoyed that before ever.
LEAH: One other thing that I know the two of you do together is you use drugs to enhance your sex life. Is that something you’d be willing to talk about?
RACHEL: Totally, yes. We use the drugs and they do enhance the sex life, but the point is not to enhance the sex life. We plan for that because we know that that’s going to come from it, but that’s not the point.
LEAH: Okay. Thank you for that distinction.
RACHEL: What would you like to know about it?
LEAH: How you use them, what the effects are. It’s just not something we’ve ever addressed on the show before.
RACHEL: Really? Okay, yes. So, he and I are into psychedelics and these aren’t ones that we do all the time and they haven’t really had negative impacts on us. They’ve been generally very positive experiences. We do mushrooms. We do LSD and molly. And the impacts of those are very different.
Mushrooms, it’s a very earthy experience. I’d say earthy because I can envision myself having vines that are pulling me into the bed and riding around my body. It feels like it and the sex can be very drawn. Everything would just be drawn out so long and you don’t get bored. It’s just endless fascination. And that’s lovely.
And then, acid, LSD is my favorite. We started having sex on acid to cope with the coming up because it’s pretty long experiences. It’s many hours and first few hours of it, you are coming up. And if you take a good amount of it, you’re coming up pretty steeply and I felt before like I can barely catch my breath and it can be very exciting, very thrilling, but there also can be a lot of anxiety during that because your brain, everything just feels very alive and very awake and your heart is pounding.
And to cope with that, he and I, the second time we did acid together, just started touching on each other and it felt amazing. It felt so good. And we proceeded to do that for three or four hours and it is an incredibly sensual experience. And it’s also a lot of fascination with each other and the sensations. And it’s like there’s nothing that exists outside of this bubble that we are in. Everything is amplified and we’re connecting.
I would never call it a party drug how we use it. That’s so not the point of it. We connect so deeply and we connect deeply during sex without it too, but the experiences on it have been profound. They’ve been major moments in our relationship. The sex has been raw and nuts and I feel like infatigable on it. I think I gave a blowjob for 45 minutes definitely once, maybe a second time. This is a very long time to be doing that and I had to stop not because I didn’t want to do it anymore. I stopped because my jaw was failing.
RACHEL: It was actually the muscles were done. They’re done. It’s like you just throw up lights, and so you create atmosphere. You have lights. You have music and it’s loud and you just indulge in each other and it’s like a little planet of us. And I love it. I love those experiences and the sex typically is between two to three and occasionally a little bit more than that long and that’s just everything all combined. That’s from first touching on each other. And often, he generally doesn’t have sex more than once in a 24-hour period. But on those nights, it’s usually two or three times. We start around nine at night and we go to sleep around 5 AM and sleep in the next day.
RACHEL: It’s delightful because we do trust each other a whole lot. We do have good chemistry. And so, just that extra boost of everything is everything feels amazing, everything looks amazing and we just can’t keep our hands off each other. It’s lovely. It’s delightful. And also, there are times during sex on acid where I can start feeling very anxious during it. My heart starts pounding because we’re really engrossed in each other and we’re doing all sorts of things to each other. And occasionally, we too can get very animalistic. I don’t know it feels like wolves or something going at each other.
RACHEL: And that can get me a little bit anxious in the moment. And then, in those occasions, then we stop and we cuddle up with each other. We’re naked, so the skin contact feels nice and we just chill and let our hearts calm down and reconnect, which is what we say, “I just need to reconnect right now.” Because the idea is staying as connected and open and raw as possible through the whole experience.
And molly tends to be his favorite. I’ve done ecstasy before, which is molly with something with it that amps you up too. But molly itself, it’s not so amped. It’s not like meth, something like that. I don’t generally want to do ecstasy, but molly is very lovely. It can be a very gentle drug and we have sex on molly. It’s mostly just foreplay.
What we really love doing, he really loves me just stroking his cock gently as we talk about our lives to each other. It’s very sweet. It’s very intimate where we just say these really boldly honest and deeply sweet things to each other. It’s very lovely and none of it’s manufactured because that’s all already in our relationship with each other. I could see where that stuff could get manufactured doing it with someone else and I don’t do it with anyone else for that reason.
But all of them really just enhance, magnify things that are already there. Occasionally, especially on acid, I occasionally will just break into tears right around when I orgasm. It’s very emotional. There’s so much energy running through my body, so much sexual energy that it’s like it needs some place to go. And that’s the only way you can release itself, it is. And the first time it happened, it really shocked me because I had never cried during sex.
RACHEL: Suddenly, I was just like I couldn’t stop. I was just doubled over, but it was good. It felt good from such a release and I’ve had that experience a number of times now and I welcome it. It’s like a full emotional experience and it’s really precious that I get to have it with him.
LEAH: Yeah, wow. Thank you for sharing that.
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LEAH: Hey, friends. We’ll be discussing parent child roleplaying for the remainder of this episode. If you don’t want to hear that, I recommend you stop the episode now and I’ll talk to you again next time.
You’ve told me a little bit about some of the fantasy play that the two of you do, but I don’t even know exactly the questions to ask. So, I’m going to ask you just to start talking and I may break in if I have specific questions.
RACHEL: Sure. So, the fantasy play that we do, we go through a bunch of different topics with fantasy, but by and large, what we tend to stick to is me doing mother play with him and him doing father play with me and not either of us as little kids or anything like that. It tends to be more around the age that he and I started seeing each other, around age 13-ish. That tends to be where the brain is that was his first sexual experience as far as it did with me and he’d never had oral sex before and my first any experience for the most part. And I think it’s someplace we go in our brains.
And he and I both have, certainly on my end, difficult and difficult at times on his end relationships with our parents. Mine being a tremendously fraught relationships with my father. He’s been very overbearing a lot of the time and gaslighting and can be a bully at times when he’s mad and it can be very intense. Connor has a relationship with his mom where he has an immense distrust of her, I think, for a lot of the time and there is something that happened in their relationship that he’s not entirely sure how it got to this. But Connor has a very strong block against her in a lot of ways.
I think that we seek to explore parental relationships with each other. Now, he doesn’t play my father. I would not be into that at all. I don’t play his actual mother. He doesn’t play my actual father, but it’s like a fantasy father, fantasy mother situation. And it’s often the idea that the parent is in one way or another taking advantage of this person whose sexuality is just blooming. The person into it, it’s not rape play in the sense of forcible rape, although it’s statutory play, now playing non-consent generally.
LEAH: You’re not doing a, “No, daddy, don’t” kind of scene?
RACHEL: No. So, for my fantasy that we would play out with him being a father or father figure, some kind of stepfather, whatever, it’s often him trying to just get away with whatever he can get away with and I’m into it, but not terribly experienced that I’m enjoying it.
LEAH: And maybe you have to hide it from the other people in the families?
RACHEL: Sure, yes.
RACHEL: Yeah, definitely.
LEAH: Like the whole hiding things comes back around again?
RACHEL: Yup. And he was my first sexual experience back when were kids like 12, 13, 14. So, we had to hide then and that plays in there. I actually did mother play with him once we were staying his mother’s house. We did it very quietly, so she didn’t know.
RACHEL: He didn’t expect me to, but I did that and that was fun. It was thrilling and novel, but it’s usually mother taking advantage of her son when he’s the son. And he gets very into that idea.
LEAH: It’s interesting because I had a conversation with somebody recently where we talked about her fascination with incest porn and how this is actually an incredibly popular category on the porn sites. And it’s not about actually wanting to have an incestuous relationship with your parent or anyone in your family, but there’s something about that dynamic that has some juice for a lot of people. And it sounds like what you’re playing out is a version of incest porn.
RACHEL: Yes. And yeah, it has nothing about my desire for my father. I don’t actually speak with him anymore, but maybe for a father figure that’s giving me positive attention, that’s being sweet to me, that’s seducing me in a way with something that feels good. He generally plays a pretty strong father figure. I generally play a pretty strong-willed mother figure, although sometimes very nurturing and sometimes very punishing, if that’s what he’s into at the moment. It’s been very cathartic for both of us at times.
LEAH: Is it something that you set up ahead of time or is it something that just develops in the moment?
RACHEL: The first time we did it, we set it up ahead of time. This was just over five years ago. It was at the very beginning of what we consider to be the beginning of this reincarnation of our relationship and we discussed that we were into that. We were actually on acid at the time and were feeling very honest and discussed that we were into that sort of thing.
And he asked me whether I liked to play that, was I interest in playing that out because I had never done that before. I had only ever fantasized about it. And I said, “Wow, maybe.” The idea of it made me really excited, but really nervous. It was a very charged thing because there’s always a lot of shame around it. Almost no one knows about it.
And we talked out the way it would go. He wanted to know like, “Okay, if we’re playing this, how old am I?” And I told him like, “I think I’m about 13. Okay.” And was this more forcible? No, it’s not. “How does that fantasy go for you generally?” He asked and I told him ways that it can go in my head.
I prepared myself from the bed. He left the room and he came back in. And once he came back in, it was like assuming this. He was really committed to it and so was I. And I was so turned on. It was so thrilling and it just felt so taboo. And it felt like something I was never going to be able to play out in real life with anyone like roleplay. I would never have admitted that to another partner at the time. But it felt really good with him and I almost never cum from a g-spot orgasm with him inside me and I did that time. I was so turned on. I was so ready.
RACHEL: And then, it was immediately afterward, he left the room. It was part of it. He left the room like he was going back to his room. As he was opening the door to leave, I called his name, his real name, Connor. He immediately turned around and came and scooped me up in his arms in the bed and just held me. And I remember it being a very emotional experience because I had never done that before. It felt dangerous. It felt incredibly vulnerable playing out something that felt so wrong.
And it was aftercare I needed and aftercare he needed from having played that role. And that was really powerful. We’ve done that since then, but trading off who’s the parent. Now, at this point, we don’t often need to negotiate the scene beforehand. We know each other very well sexually at this point. We know each other’s fantasies sexually. Occasionally, when we’re just talking in bed, not sexually, just talking, we’ll discuss, “Where are your fantasies at?” We do that sometimes, but not often.
Occasionally during it, there will be a little bit of negotiation, but that’s also very seldom like, “That’s not where I’m at right now,” switch tracks and we go to a different incarnation of that fantasy like a different temperament for the parent or whatnot. But that happens very seldom too.
Generally, we’ve gotten really intuitive with each other. I’m surprised how intuitive I’ve gotten during mother roleplay because that does not come naturally to me, the roleplay talking during sex, but that just flows out of me. I assume a character and I’m able to just wear it. I don’t know. It feels good. It’s brought us closer.
LEAH: So, you’ve talked about how it feels emotionally and sexually for you when you’re playing the daughter role. How does it feel for you emotionally and sexually when you’re playing the mother role?
RACHEL: I find it very emotionally satisfying to play the nurturing mother. That is gratifying to me in that way emotionally, it feels really good to nurture. I’m not a mother, so it feels good to nurture even though it is in a way that I would not condone outside of fantasy for reasons of statutory rape, but in a way that feels nurturing at the time.
It’s very nice to be sweet to him, to take care of him, to assume authority but not too authoritarian. But there are times when he wants more authoritarian. He wants to be shamed. And it’s not unpleasant for me, but it can take a lot to psyche myself up for that. Emotionally afterward, that tends to be one of the cathartic things for him. And then, he and I bond right afterwards, so it feels nice after.
I think when I first started doing it, it can be a little jarring to talk to him that way. Now, I make it my own. Now, it’s fun because we’ve played it out so many times that I can trust that he’s not taking this a certain way or that we know each other well enough to know when it’s gone too far, which it hasn’t.
LEAH: I’m curious. So, one of the things that I think gets people confused in any sort of dom sub interaction is that the dominant person and in this case, whoever is playing the parent, the parental figure would be the dominant person, they’re there to fulfill the needs and fantasies of the sub.
And I think in the popular psyche, it looks the other way around. People think that the sub is there to play out the fantasies of the dom, but in this case, when you’re playing the mother figure, you are there really playing out Connor’s needs. You are really fulfilling his psychodrama in that moment and his sexual drama in that moment. Is that a turn on for you? Do you get sexual satisfaction out of that or is it primarily for his benefit?
RACHEL: I definitely get sexual satisfaction with that. It’s a big turn on for me, just because it feels generally not allowed to do these kinds of things and that’s just fun. And it feels like a thing that we do with each other that we don’t do with anyone else, so that feels thrilling too. Yeah. No, it’s very sexually satisfying for me. But the point of it is playing out his sexual fantasy, giving him what he is seeking.
LEAH: And when he plays out the parental figure for you, do you have the sense that he is getting a lot of sexual pleasure out of that as well?
RACHEL: Definitely, but the same thing, he’s very much crafting it around where I’m at, how I’m responding, what the mood seems to be and what I’m wanting right then.
LEAH: I’m trying to imagine if I would play this out with my partner, he would actually, I think, be willing to do more fantasy play than we do, but we did it a couple of times and he was so good at it that I had a heard time separating out his actual self from the character he played. And then, for a couple days afterward, I was completely wigged out.
LEAH: So, this is not something that we’ve done and I’m trying to imagine if we were to do something like this, I think that I could play that nurturing character for him, but I’m not sure that I could do it from a sexual place. I think that I could do sexual things to him if that’s what he needed, but yeah, I feel like I would have to separate that for myself because apparently, I’m not great at knowing real life from fantasy.
RACHEL: It just means you’re very caught up in it, yeah.
LEAH: Yeah. Is there anything more to talk about there or anything else I’ve forgotten to ask?
RACHEL: I think he and I have developed good start stop rituals with regards to it that get me into the mindset and let me leave it right there and move past it.
LEAH: Please say more. Yeah, what does that mean?
RACHEL: There’s immediate aftercare and where immediately one or both of us has stopped and the experience is winding down and everything, but once that’s happened, a minute past that, we’re not talking to each other in that way anymore. And a lot of the time, we are checking in with each other, “How was that for you? Was this too much or was this okay? Did you enjoy this? You seemed to like that.”
And doing so immediately puts a separation between self and the role you’re playing and just signals to our brain we’re done. And we always like rehashing what just happened and everything that’s exciting, but there’s lots of aftercare like sweetness and holding. And I feel like it’s just a way of getting the brain to say, “This is a complete experience and I’m leaving it right here.”
LEAH: I love that. Rachel, thank you so much for this. I love you as a person and I’m so grateful to have had this chance to talk with you about all of this.
RACHEL: Yeah, likewise. Thank you for having me. This has been fun. I love this stuff, yes, and I love you too.
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