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.
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Timari is a 37-year-old, cis-gender woman who describes herself as white, straight, monogamous, married and the mother of two children.
She is a listener who contacted me to say that she’d like to talk about her history with abortion, because it hadn’t been addressed much on the show yet. Along the way, we also talk about being raised in the Mormon church, being in an abusive marriage and cheating, and her sex life with her current husband.
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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: In today’s episode, we’ll meet Timari, a 37 year old cisgender woman who describes herself as white, straight, monogamous, married and the mother of two children. Timari is a listener who contacted me to say that she’d like to talk about her own history with abortion because it hadn’t been addressed much on the show yet. Along the way, we also talk about being raised in the Mormon Church, being in an abusive marriage and cheating, and her sex life with her current husband. If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please do exactly what Timari did. Go to leahcarey.com/guest and fill out the form to let me know. I’m so pleased to introduce Timari!
I am so excited to talk to you. You are a listener who contacted me to say you wanted to do an interview. So the first thing I want to know, I’m curious what about this made you think I want to be part of it?
TIMARI: Part of the reason why I wanted to be part of your podcast specifically is that I have always been that friend who was very open, very honest. I’m the one in high school who always had condoms in the glove box.
TIMARI: I’ve been an advocate for women to be confident and take initiative of their own sexuality and I just feel like this is an amazing platform to help push that through for women of all shapes, sizes, cis, not cis, just all of it.
LEAH: Awesome. Well, I’m thrilled that you reached out and to all listeners who are listening to this, please hear this as a call to let me know if you want to be interviewed. And let’s dive in, so the first question is, what is your first memory of sexual pleasure?
TIMARI: As I’ve listened to the podcast and listened to other people talk about their experiences, I was like, “Oh yeah. I was that kid who was constantly being told to stop rubbing themselves on things.” And I couldn’t tell you the first time I actually had an orgasm because I was probably really young like 4, 5 years old. But I do specifically remember one time being told when the family was out chopping wood and whatnot and I’m a little kid, toddler, preschool sized being told to not do that as I was rubbing myself on something out on the forest.
LEAH: Do you remember the tone with which that instruction came? Was it a “We don’t do that kind of thing” or was it a “You know honey, that’s the kind of thing that you keep in your bedroom”? Do you remember?
TIMARI: I don’t really remember the tone specifically. I don’t believe I was necessarily chastised for it but I don’t remember it being, “Oh, that’s something we do in private.” I just remember being told not to do it at that time.
As a parent now, when my boys were little, it was always, “That’s something you do in private. You do that in your room on your own.” Because they were boys and they touch themselves a lot.
LEAH: So did you continue to masturbate as you grew older?
TIMARI: Yes, actually I did. I don’t remember a time as a child or an adolescent that I didn’t. As I’ve gotten older and been more tired from life, there have been periods where I have not. But growing up, it was a pretty consistent thing for me. It would help me go to sleep. It would help me relax. It was just kind of a normal thing. I thought it was normal. And I know now as an adult, that it actually is normal but people don’t talk about it enough.
LEAH: Yeah, absolutely.
TIMARI: Break the stigma.
LEAH: And one of the things we talk about masturbation, one of the reasons that sex educators are big on masturbation is because especially for young women, it helps us to learn our bodies before we invite somebody else in to touch our bodies. Was that something that was helpful for you?
TIMARI: I think so. It helped me know what was good and what wasn’t for me specifically. And when I was younger and wild and sowing my oats, because why should that be a male term exclusively?
TIMARI: I know that I was a one and done kind of person like if we got together and you didn’t do it for me, didn’t bother asking questions, then we were done.
LEAH: Oh wow. That is very sort of centered in your body and your experience in a way that I don’t think many of us had the opportunity or the knowledge to be.
TIMARI: Right. Most women aren’t confident enough to say, “You didn’t do it for me. You didn’t bother asking how I felt. You didn’t bother asking if I even got off.” Kick rocks.
LEAH: Yeah. So what was your first experience of inviting somebody else to come in and share that sexual experience with you?
TIMARI: I started exploring that at a pretty young age I think. The first time I was intimate with a penis, I was probably 12. And I had gone over to a boy’s house to do homework and watch movies. And there was a lot of touching and kissing and he put my hand down his pants.
LEAH: And were you okay with that?
TIMARI: I was okay with that. I knew what I was doing but that didn’t change the fact that it was the first, so my heart was racing. There was a lot of anxiety tied up in it. And I think that was really just the start of me taking initiative in my sexuality.
When I actually lost my virginity, I was dating the guy and we had talked about it. And I was actually in my own bed which I don’t think is common. So I was very comfortable in the setting. And not to say I haven’t had experiences where it was uncomfortable for me that I was not happy about the outcome because those have happened too, but I just feel like I was always assertive when it came to my sexuality and the things that I wanted to do.
LEAH: So with that boy when you were 12 years old, how far did it go? How much were you comfortable with at that point?
TIMARI: That was all. He didn’t climax. I didn’t climax. I don’t even remember if he touched me down there. It was kind of exploratory and then I think his mom was like, “What are you doing?” And we’re like, “Nothing, nothing.”
LEAH: You mentioned that you knew what you were doing. This was consensual. How did you know about penises? Was this from reading or what?
TIMARI: I of course did the typical American 4th, 5th, 6th Sex Ed stuff and at 12, that’s when you learn about the opposite gender. I think most of what “knowledge” that I had was from speaking to friends, speaking to not friends who you just conversations at school and people talking about what they’ve done or what they’ve seen their siblings do or so on and so forth. And I have a large family. I have brothers. I have sisters. So I knew about the human anatomy and what it was for I guess you could say. But most of my knowledge probably just came from talking with my friends.
LEAH: You mentioned Sex Ed. What kinds of Sex Ed did you get at school?
TIMARI: The basics in 4th grade, you learn about your own sexual orientation and your own lady bits and boy bits and you’re going to bleed and this and that. And then in 5th grade, you learn that the male penis becomes erect. And then in 6th grade, you have the whole conversation with everyone in the room together and it’s super awkward.
TIMARI: But it’s all abstinence based education. It’s “Here’s what your body is going to change into but don’t you dare share it with anybody else.” And I’ve always been against that. I think it’s the worst form Sex Ed because it’s not Sex Ed, it’s gender education I guess is what you could say. It’s reproductive education, it’s not sex education and I’ve always been against that.
LEAH: It’s pregnancy prevention and disease prevention. There’s nothing in there at least in my experience, there was never anything about how to have a healthy relationship or how to have a healthy sexual relationship. None of that stuff. Not that any of that stuff is unimportant but there was a whole lot of other stuff that would have been really useful to add on top of that.
TIMARI: Right. And I understand they’re afraid of promoting it, like my husband and I are currently having discussions about my oldest having their partner over to spend the night and whether or not we’re promoting them to have sex. And I’m like, “I’ve always had an open conversation with my children about sex, why would I shut them down now?” We still have an open conversation about it and it’s really nice. It’s refreshing. I always tease that according to my parents, I was virgin until my oldest son was born.
TIMARI: And I like the fact that I can have an open conversation with my oldest and that they are educated and responsible and respectful to their partner and I know that they have a conversation before, during and after and I know the reason it happened is because of the way I have had an open conversation with them their whole life.
LEAH: How old is your oldest?
LEAH: So you know that they’ve already had sex.
TIMARI: Yes. I know that they’ve done it at least once. I was not surprised by it. I had to take a minute to process it but I know that they made an educated decision about that that they used protection and that from here forward, they’re going to take actions to continue to prevent pregnancy and diseases.
And I appreciate the fact that not only is my son very open with me about it, but so is his partner. And to me, that feels good. I’ve always been one to believe that adolescents are going to have sex. To continue to wag your finger and say “Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it” is naïve. I’m just grateful that I had taken strides to educate myself in disease and pregnancy prevention and did not end up pregnant as a teenager because I did have a lot of sex as a teenager. And a lot of my friends did end up pregnant. And I think I just had a whole lot of fear about it so I just made sure to double up.
LEAH: Yeah. So you mentioned that there was not talk in your home about sex and sexuality.
LEAH: You also mentioned before we started recording that you grew up in a Mormon home.
TIMARI: I did.
LEAH: So I’m really curious to hear. What were the messages that you were hearing growing up potentially not from your family because you weren’t talking about it within that context but from your community around sex?
TIMARI: In the household, it was always “Wait for marriage. Save your body. Your body is a temple. Don’t let anybody defile your temple.” And out in the community, in school, and in the neighborhood and whatnot, again, it was hormone driven conversations. To expect teenagers and adolescents to have all these hormones surging through their bodies and to just be told “Don’t act on that. I know what you’re feeling. You’ve got to wait 10 to 15 years to do anything about it.”
TIMARI: It just seems like an ostrich move, sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the problem for what it really is. And it’s not a problem if you approach it correctly. And in the community, at first it was “Did you start your period? Have you started your period? What was it like?” Until you get your own. And then, hearing the boys talk about “I finger banged this girl” and “Oh, we 69-ed this” and it was like “Well, what is that? What is 69? What is finger bang?” And I was like “Bang, bang like with finger guns, what?”
TIMARI: So it was just that kind of talk until somebody actually had sex and then you hear about what the sex was like and that just kind of snowballs from there.
LEAH: And did you go to a public school?
TIMARI: I did.
LEAH: So you were not in a religious school?
LEAH: So let’s talk about your first time. There was the 12 year old experience where there was some groping but it didn’t go further than that. How old were you the first time that you had what you would now call sex whether that would be intercourse or something else?
TIMARI: It was actual intercourse. And I was just shy of my 15th birthday so I was late 14 which is in my mind, pretty young and similarly to my child and his partner, we talked about it and I was comfortable with the idea and it was kind of my idea and he was a year or two older. We had actually been dating just two, three weeks. That’s the crazy part. This is the part where I’m saying I was so assertive in my sexuality. I dated this guy for two to three weeks and I was like, “Hey, let’s do this thing.”
TIMARI: And we were together for a little bit after that but that’s one thing I commend my child on. He has been with his partner for years at this point. So that’s part of why I feel comfortable with what they’re doing. I was flighty and would be with somebody for a little bit and then get bored, moving on.
LEAH: So how long did you stay with that person?
TIMARI: Three months. My average was at 3 months probably at that age.
LEAH: And was your first experience a good one?
TIMARI: Yes. I mean it wasn’t fireworks and the parting of the heavens or anything like that.
TIMARI: But it was not a negative experience. It didn’t hurt. He was very gentle and kind and we cuddled and talked and kissed and I think we only had sex two or three times in that three month period and then I was on to the next one.
LEAH: And so what was the next one like? You’ve described your pattern of dating. What was your pattern of sex like?
TIMARI: I wouldn’t necessarily have to be in a relationship with someone to have sex and I actually had a friend. He was my fuck buddy so we never dated. We would hang out. We’d go to parties together and if I was feeling needy and needed someone to cuddle and touch me and for me to touch, I’d call him.
And so my dating pattern was I knew after 3 months whether or not this was going to last, 3 months and done. That’s why I always tell people, “Don’t waste your time in a relationship. You should know in a second if it’s going to last, if it’s worth your time.”
Yeah, so 3 month relationships were pretty good but I was not one who had the mindset of “I had to be in a relationship to have sex with someone.” And I actually think that I experienced the most sexually with my fuck buddy.
LEAH: And so how were you accomplishing just logistically given that you did not have a sex positive home, where were you going to have these sexual adventures?
TIMARI: Friends’ houses, boys’ cars, the mall.
LEAH: The bathroom at the mall?
TIMARI: Like the service corridors behind the shopping stores?
LEAH: That’s awesome.
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LEAH: You already had children when you met your current partner.
LEAH: So let’s go back to the relationship where you had your children. How did your relationship to sex and your body change when you had kids?
TIMARI: So interesting, as I have said that I was very assertive with my sexuality. I was not comfortable with my body and if we were having sex in light, I was wearing a shirt because I’ve always been a bigger girl, curvy and round and pudgy and whatnot. And after I had my first son, all of that went out the window. Lights on, daytime, I don’t care.
LEAH: Interesting. What do you think the difference was?
TIMARI: I was empowered by childbirth. I realized what my body could do. I gave birth to my first born son in a room full of people. I gave birth to my second son in a room with even more people.
I have two older sisters. Both of which had children. They got pregnant out of wedlock and got married while they were pregnant and they both ended up in very abusive situations. Mine wasn’t much better. Pregnancy really resonated with me at an energetic level and I saw my sisters at some of their weakest points being beat down by narcissistic, alcoholic, drug addicted assholes and I wasn’t going to let the narcissistic, alcoholic, drug addicted asshole I lived with to take that control from me.
LEAH: How long did you remain in that relationship?
TIMARI: My boys’ dad and I were together for 11 years. And it was about 4 years too long. I was fucking other people and he was doing drugs behind my back.
LEAH: Oh, so neither of you was completely committed to this relationship.
LEAH: Where were you in your head that you decided to make what sounds like on the surface, looked like a monogamous commitment but not a monogamous commitment that you were keeping.
TIMARI: So this goes back to the way I was raised. I was raised LDS and everybody has this image. It’s all about image in that religion. It’s all about income and what you have and who you have and how clean your family is and what clothes you wear and it was all about image.
I wanted the image of the forever family, the solid family unit, the one mother, one father, two kids, just a typical American family. As far as the LDS looks, their structure of it and for that, I fought. I fought and I fought and I fought for the relationship while still going in finding my happiness somewhere else or what I thought was my happiness. It was artificial happiness but whatever it was, it was making me feel good at the time.
LEAH: So the marriage was an LDS marriage?
LEAH: Oh, it wasn’t?
TIMARI: He was not LDS and at that point, I was not either. I walked away from the LDS church when I was probably 16. A large part of what turned me off from the Mormon Church is the way it is patriarchally driven. It’s all male oriented. Everything is run by the men and the women are second class citizens and I was not okay with that. And the straw that broke the camel’s back was when not one, not two, but three of my friends were excommunicated for being homosexual and I was like, “Peace, I’m out.” I was done at that point.
LEAH: Okay. So your marriage was not religious, it wasn’t even a marriage. You said that you weren’t actually legally married but your relationship was not a religious relationship but it was still built on the ideas that you had learned in your religion or religious upbringing. So when you were going out and having it sounds like affairs with other people, how did that feel to you internally? I understand that you were getting some needs met through that but how did it make you feel about yourself?
TIMARI: There were moments where I would feel like absolute shit but it was more internal spiritual battles inside of me because of the upbringing that I had. Some residual leftover crap because I don’t believe a lot of the stuff that they taught with regards to sexuality and being with one person your whole life and all this. It’s always bothered me because fuck whoever they want.
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Now let’s get back to the show.
TIMARI: I am in a monogamous relationship and every relationship that I’ve ever been in has had at least a premise of a monogamous relationship. I’ve never been in an open relationship. I’ve never been in a poly relationship but I do feel like I have poly tendencies that I probably could be in a polyamorous relationship, I just haven’t been with a partner who could or would or was even interested. And I know that because of the things that I went through in my 20s because I wasn’t just fucking other people behind my husband’s back, I built relationships with some of these people.
And it’s weird to look back at it and think of how I was and who I was and I know I’ve healed from all of that chaos because I can talk about it now and not break down. And I’ve had recently had someone bring up some of the crap that I did 8, 9 years ago when I was in the middle of the breakdown of the relationship with my ex-husband and I’m like, “You know what, you can think whatever you want about me because that’s not who I am now and you don’t know what the situation was then so you can judge me all you want. You can think I’m a gross whore, whatever. That’s your problem, not mine.”
LEAH: So what is your relationship with monogamy today?
TIMARI: I am monogamous with my husband. I choose to be that way because we are happy in where we are sexually and romantically and that’s what so nice is that I know what my needs are and he fulfills all of them. That’s something that I learned from my first “marriage” is that I have more than just physical needs because my ex and I would have sex a lot but I needed more than just that. And my current husband fulfills the emotional stuff, the romantic stuff, the sexual stuff, it’s a full package with him and I just love him so much.
LEAH: In your email to me, one of the things that you highlighted was that you have had to terminate some pregnancies. And that this was something that you wanted to talk about because you hadn’t heard it addressed on the show before. And so I’m opening the floor because I’m very interested to hear what you have to share.
TIMARI: I have been pregnant 5 times. I have two living children. I have had one miscarriage and two abortions. The two abortions were while I was married to my ex-husband and neither one of them were his, which was the driving factor behind me deciding to terminate, because I still had it in my head that I wanted to make it work and stay with this man even though the relationship was very toxic.
I just had it so driven into me that the family unit needs to stay together forever from being raised LDS. My parents had married for 54 years and it’s just a stigma almost that was hanging over me that I had to have this thing that none of my other siblings have accomplished. My younger brother is actually with his first wife, only wife, they have two beautiful children. I see the two of them spending their whole lives together but yeah, at that point, I was still in denial of where my first marriage was going.
And even though I was consciously making the decision to sleep with other people to fulfill whatever void my husband was not, I wasn’t ready to let go. And so I had made the decision to abort the two times that I got pregnant and I have no regrets over that. And I don’t feel bad about it and I shouldn’t be made to feel bad about it and so many women are and it’s unfortunate.
LEAH: I just want to go back and put a pin in something, which is that I’m asking the questions about your abortion experience because I knew from your early email that it was something that you were not ashamed of and I think that there is so much of a narrative right now as people are fighting for reproductive rights in a really pretty scary atmosphere. That the narrative is generally about “Thank God, I had to have an abortion and it was an awful experience and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone but thank God It was available and I still regret it.” That is the story of the good abortion getter and there needs to be a voice for another story, which is that people can have abortions and not have it ruin their lives and not have it be this huge traumatic experience, but it’s just an experience.
LEAH: So thank you for being willing to share that.
TIMARI: You’re very welcome.
LEAH: So what is your sexual relationship with your current partner like today?
TIMARI: Now, we get to talk about the fun stuff.
TIMARI: We went on our first, second, third, fourth date in one weekend, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday he came over for dinner and never left.
TIMARI: And that first night that we had sex, it was like three and a half hours, taking water breaks, I got to tap out.
TIMARI: Lost count of how many orgasms I had, I was like, “Who are you?”
TIMARI: You’re never leaving.
TIMARI: My ex-husband maybe got me to orgasm twice, maybe. Between my ex-husband and my current husband, I had two other partners get me past that. I think the most I ever had was 4. And then with my current husband, I can’t keep track. It’s just one after another after another and I’m like, “So this is what everybody’s been talking about.”
LEAH: So it was good right from the beginning?
TIMARI: Oh, right from the beginning and I don’t know if it was just his body and my body communicate well with each other or if we communicate well with each other but I always say his dick is the perfect key for my hole.
TIMARI: There’s something about it. I don’t know. And what’s nice is here we are 6 years later and I still get excited to have sex with him.
LEAH: Before we finish up, let’s get the Lowdown, the questions we’re dying to know but would usually be too polite to ask any good girl.
LEAH: What kind of touch do you enjoy the most?
TIMARI: It really depends on my mood. Lately, I have found myself really wanting the aggressive, put your fingers in my hair and just lay one on me, pin me against the wall type of touch. But sometimes, I just want you to run your fingers up and down my thigh and down my spine and just be real gentle and kiss my neck. It really just depends I guess where I’m at in my life emotionally. And right now, I’m feeling very confident so I need someone to come at me even harder.
LEAH: What are your hard red lines?
TIMARI: Define a hard red line.
LEAH: Your absolute “no”s.
TIMARI: My absolute “no”s is when I give head, I have to be in control. Don’t put your hands on me like on my head. You can touch my leg or my back or my ass or whatever, but don’t touch my head.
LEAH: Are there sexual things you’ve tried that you never want to do again?
LEAH: All right then.
TIMARI: There’s a lot of things that I haven’t tried that I do want to try that I’m working on talking my husband into and he’s been very open to the conversation which is nice.
LEAH: Like what?
TIMARI: Well, recently we brought a toy into play. When he and I first got together, I threw everything out because everything I had, I had with my ex and that was weird. And the sex was so good that I had no interest in getting anything new. It wasn’t recently that I was like, “Hey, babe. Maybe I could get a vibrator.” And he’s like, “Why?”
TIMARI: “Well, sometimes you’re asleep and I’m an insomniac.”
TIMARI: And we’ve played with that. We’ve played with me masturbating while he’s awake and that was new. That was a recent thing. But we’ve been talking about me being tied up or getting a “yoga swing”.
TIMARI: Things like that, starting slow, mild stuff and building up, just opening up the conversation and seeing what his thoughts are and it’s nice to see him not shut them all down. He hasn’t shut anything down. He has to kind of process it slowly because he’s the vanilla in the relationship.
LEAH: Yeah. Well, thank you so much for doing this. Thank you so much for getting in touch with me to let me know you wanted to do this and it’s been a real pleasure talking with you.
TIMARI: It’s a pleasure talking with you too, Leah. Thank you.
LEAH: That’s it for today. If you’re enjoying the show, please take a moment to leave a 5-star rating and review on Apple podcasts or, if you’re using another podcast app, go to www.ratethispodcast.com/goodgirls.
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Good Girls Talk About Sex is produced by me, Leah Carey, and edited by Gretchen Kilby.
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Transcripts are produced by Jan Acielo.
Before we go, I want to remind you that the things you may have heard about your sexuality aren’t true. You are worthy. You are desirable. You are not broken.
As your Sex and Intimacy coach, I will guide you in embracing the sexuality that is innately yours, no matter what it looks like. To set up your free Discovery Call, go to www.leahcarey.com/coaching.
Until next time, here’s to your better sex life!
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