Most people don’t assume I’m gay – Jenna

In this episode of Good Girls Talk About Sex, we talk with Jenna, a 34-year-old, cisgender female who describes herself as white, lesbian, monogamous, and engaged to be married.

Jenna knew from an early age that she was attracted to women, and jokes that she “experimented with boys” when she was in her early 20s. The sex life she shares with her fiancée is helping Jenna to sort through and release some of the sexual trauma she experienced earlier in her life.

FREE audio extras:

Good Girls Talk About Sex
Good Girls Talk About Sex
Most people don’t assume I’m gay – Jenna
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  • The first time Jenna realized she was attracted to breasts
  • How she felt when her father compared lesbianism to alcoholism and drug addiction
  • How women are required to remember every detail of an assault from years ago when most of us don’t remember what we had for breakfast
  • The important place masturbation holds in Jenna’s relationship with her partner
  • The positive connotation Jenna now has for the words “good girl”
  • The Quick Five

Resources

Full episode text

LEAH: Hi, I’m Leah Carey and this is Good Girls Talk About Sex. This is a place to share conversations with all sorts of women about their experience of sexuality. Before we get started, I want to tell you this. These are unfiltered conversations between adult women talking about sex. If anything about the previous sentence offends you, turn back now! And if you’re looking for a trigger warning, you’re not going to get it from me. I believe that you are stronger than the trauma you have experienced. I have faith in your ability to deal with the things that upset you. Sound good? Let’s start the show!

[MUSIC]

LEAH: In today’s episode, we’ll meet Jenna, a 34-year-old cisgender woman who describes herself as white, lesbian, monogamous, and engaged to her girlfriend of 2 years. Jenna knew from an early age that she was attracted to women and jokes that her rebellion was actually experimenting with boys when she was in her early 20s. The sex life she shares with her fiancée today is helping Jenna to sort through and release some of the sexual trauma she experienced earlier in her life.

Our conversation went on for well over an hour and there’s so much we couldn’t include in this episode. You’re going to want to hear the whole thing including a conversation about hormones and the phenomenon of lesbian bed death. So now is the time to head to patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex to access all of the full uncut interviews featured on this show. I’m so pleased to introduce Jenna!

I’m so excited to talk to you. Thank you for being with me today.

JENNA: Thanks for having me. I’m excited too.

LEAH: So the first question that I ask everyone I speak with is what is your first memory of sexual desire?

JENNA: So people don’t tend to believe me when I say this story. However, my mom used to do like a Jenny Craig type style of dieting. So it was a Saturday and we went to one of her meetings and she was meeting with her personal counselor. And I was probably about I want to say 6 or 7, and her counselor bent over and was saying something to me, I have no idea what she was saying, pretty typical I think in this situation. But she was wearing a lowcut shirt and I could see her breasts hanging down. And I just remember looking at them and being like, “Oh my gosh, what is that? I want them”, and not in the way that a little girl wants boobs to have for herself. I was automatically attracted to them.

So I was pretty young when I had that first experience. And to this day, I still say that I am definitely boobs over ass. So I pretty much always reference that story as my reasoning for being more gravitated toward the upper region than the bottom, I’ll say.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: I love that story. That’s amazing. And I think it speaks so clearly to people will say, Oh, how do you know that you’re gay when you’re that young?” Well, how do kids know that they’re straight when they’re that young? You just know what you like looking at and what’s interesting.

JENNA: Yes, I’m very visual so when even my fiancée now, so if she’s getting changed or anything like that, and I’ll just stare. And she’s like, “It’s okay. What do you want to do?” And I’m like, “I just want to look at you.”

So it’s part of me always feels like that’s my initial story and that has really started dictating some of the ways that I feel. It’s like sexual pleasure or when I start getting aroused, it’s usually more of a visual beginning than it is anything else.

LEAH: Oh, interesting. So let’s just launch right into conversation about sexuality. Have you always known that you were primarily or exclusively attracted to women or did it take you time to sort of navigate the social aspect, the cultural aspect of that?

JENNA: I thought boys were cute, but then it would be time to kiss them. I would be kissing and then I would want nothing to do with them after that. I would get this pit in my stomach. I would feel really uncomfortable being around them in a sexual way.

But whenever I was around women, I had this pull to them so even before it was a sexual desire, it was more of an attraction from an internal perspective. And the first person I slept with was a woman, so I like to say that I actually experimented with men when I was 21, 22.

[LAUGHTER]

JENNA: I had already been with a few women by then, so for me it wasn’t this situation of “I have to test it out with women.” It was very natural for me to have that experience with a woman first, similar to I would imagine a straight woman wanting to have that experience with a man. I didn’t even question it. I was nervous. I was excited. I had butterflies.

But it wasn’t the same when I would even come close to doing any of that with a man, so 21, 22 had a few bad relationship experiences, and I thought, “You know what? If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it now so let’s just pick somebody and go with it.” And we had fun, it wasn’t something that I dreaded or didn’t enjoy for the most part but once it was over, it was clearly over and I haven’t looked back.

LEAH: Interesting. So did you grow up in a family and in a town or a school where you felt able to explore with women out loud or did you feel like you had to hide all of that?

JENNA: I definitely did not grow up in a family that was supportive of that at first. We have since turned a huge corner I would say over the last probably 8 or 9 years.

But I went to a Catholic school growing up, and I lived very close to the public school, and I had a bunch of friends that went to the public school as well. And for some reason, when I was 15 going on 16, being gay became the new thing to try out. My neighbor is the one that I ended up experiencing all of this first with my kiss, my first sexual experience, were all with her and nobody in the public school really cared. And I told my friends and they were nervous, but they were all very supportive.

I would say about a year later that relationship had ended and I started one with somebody else who went to the same school that I did and I received some, I would say, hate from that. One time I was walking up to the front of the classroom as a junior in high school and that’s nerve wracking in and of itself. Everybody’s sitting and you’re called up and you have to go and give this speech. I had to read a poem from a paper. I had to do something.

And as I was walking up, one of the boys was like, “Dyke.” And I just whipped around, and this is kind of the side of me that really doesn’t give a fuck, and I was just like, “What did you just say?” Because I was so surprised, I couldn’t believe that that happened to me.

But outside of that, there was hiding of course because you’re still trying to figure it out on your own, so it’s tough to be in a situation where you don’t know how it’s going to be received. You’re trying to figure it out and then all of a sudden, you’re supposed to just talk about it. So it wasn’t something that I came right out and said to a bunch of people, but I told close friends, and everybody was really open to it and just wanted to know more and ask questions.

LEAH: So people listening to this will not be seeing a photograph of you. So I think we need to clarify that you are a fairly feminine presenting person. Is that appropriate to say?

JENNA: Yeah. Yes, that’s definitely appropriate. [LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So did you get a lot of that dyke response because you are feminine presenting or were there other slurs that were used?

JENNA: It’s funny I think that’s the only time I’ve really been called a dyke. There may have been one or two other times but they don’t stick out in my head.

So I think that when you talk about body image and what you present to the world and how that impacts your privilege, I think that I did receive a sense of privilege in the sense that I didn’t actually present as gay. So most people that meet me, they don’t assume I’m gay. I would imagine they would assume I’m straight.

And now, I pretty quickly present myself as a lesbian, so Britney and I talk about this all the time, it’s like we’re coming out in every new interaction we have with somebody. We’re saying like my fiancée and then we say their name, and it’s kind of an experience each time not knowing how that’s going to be

received. So it’s not an outright assumption for me, maybe a little bit for Britney, but I’ve never presented myself as anything other than feminine. So I don’t know how it would be like for somebody who is a little bit more on the butch end.

LEAH: You mentioned that you grew up in a Catholic family. Can you talk a little bit more about how sexuality in general was approached in your family and how in particular your sexuality was approached?

JENNA: I feel like my sexuality in general was approached like from what I’ve experienced, like most people’s sexuality is approached at. It’s assumed from the time that you’re born that you are going to be with the opposite sex or that you’re going to identify with the gender that you were born with, so it wasn’t a topic of conversation. I do remember saying to my mom one time in a fight, I think I’ve said this multiple times. I don’t know why I came out with this. I think it was my subconscious way of saying that I’m gay, but I used to say, “I’ll fix you. I’m going to be gay and I’m going to date a black person.”

[LAUGHTER]

JENNA: And my girlfriend was black. [LAUGHTER]

JENNA: I don’t know if it was premonition, I don’t know if it was a feeling, I don’t know if that’s subconscious, but all of that kind of ended up coming into fruition. And in the beginning, my mom just thought I was just doing something get back at her.

To say I was pushed out of the closet, my dad saw me kissing my girlfriend at the time and we didn’t know about it. And it was a family friend’s house so we left shortly after that and my dad drove home and he was really quiet, and then as soon as my first girlfriend got out of the car, he was like, “Looks like we got a couple of girlfriends on our hands.” And I just remember like my whole soul sinking into the backseat and my mom was like, “Oh, really?”

And my dad and I were really close, so I was pretty surprised at his initial reaction to it. And my mom I knew she would be so angry. And what I found interesting about the way that I grew up is we weren’t really practicing devout Catholics. I didn’t go to Church on Sundays. My parents went through stages where they would go more and then they wouldn’t go at all for months and months at a time so it was like religion was this huge, prominent figure in our household, but it did become a little bit more of a crutch when it came to my sexuality and not understanding it.

So that whole thing happened in the car. We get home and my mom’s just like really mad at me and my dad was in the basement watching TV. And I’m crying upstairs in my room and I go downstairs to talk to him. And my dad’s pretty transparent with me and he just said, “I shouldn’t have done it the way that I did. I was just so surprised.” I didn’t really have control basically over what he was saying and how he was saying it. And then he says to me, and at the time I was feeling a little understanding of his position, but now I’m a little bit annoyed when I think back to it about his response.

[LAUGHTER]

JENNA: But he’s like, “You know Jen, you prepare for a lot of things. You prepare for teenage pregnancy. You prepare for drug or alcohol addiction, but you don’t ever really prepare for this.” So I understood where he was coming from and how he said that. I would say the analogies he used to compare my being gay to something like “I need psychological help because I have a drug or alcohol addiction” or “I’m now pregnant with this life altering huge moment that I’m never going to be able to not have in my life anymore.”

It was a very weak comparison. Being gay is not the same as having a drug addiction. I think there’s a lot of stigma attached to addiction anyway, so the fact that there’s addiction that runs in my family, so it was a very interesting moment to share with him. But I do understand his point in that as a parent, he has just never prepared him for the possibility that his daughter could be gay. And my dad is famous for saying that he is the definition of status quo.

He is a liberal. He does believe in progressive stances. But when it comes to his own life, he doesn’t know how to handle that, so I was his challenge, I like to say, I was his gift at accepting things that are different the status quo. Him and I are still very close and he loves Britney so it’s not something that is a factor in our lives any longer but it was definitely a rough go of it for about a year after that.

LEAH: How has the sexual aspect of your relationship grown over the time that you have been together? JENNA: So I would say our sexual relationship has grown or evolved I would say to even more than any

other relationship I’ve ever been in.

I had a realization not too long ago. Shortly after we got engaged actually, that I’ve experienced my own sexual trauma, so I was really working on that for a long time. And then I took an authentic body confidence course with Jessi Kneeland and it really helped me get back in touch with my own feelings, not even just sexual but everything like skin touching.

I didn’t know how much I was turning off those reactions physically because of the trauma that I had been through until I really started touching back into it. And I would say that our sex life for the last at least few months has really come to this whole new place, because I’ve been feeling more safe even though I knew I was always safe with her. I was finally like my body was able to relax into that safety and it’s reacting in a whole different way than it ever has. I’m able to stay tuned in ways that I’ve never been able to do before and we’re just really playful. We talk. We talk about it afterward and it’s like typical women, right? We want to talk about everything.

[LAUGHTER]

JENNA: “Let’s debrief on the sex we had last night so that we know what worked, what didn’t and let’s make sure that we do all of the stuff we liked again.”

[LAUGHTER]

JENNA: It kind of is like that, but of course, in a much more intimate way. So we do talk about a lot of stuff in general in and outside of the bedroom. And that communication has carried over and we both have removed, I would say some armor, so we’re both very vulnerable. And if something works, that’s great, we talk about it and if it doesn’t, that’s fine. We talk about it too and we switch up the next time. It’s kind of fun I feel like I’m learning about sex all over again and in a much more conscious way than you do when you’re 16. You kind of just jump in with the feelings. You just go with them and you don’t really think about it and that’s fun. But as an adult, when you start developing some baggage, I think that it can feel a little bit different when you’re starting to get back in touch to that side of you.

LEAH: Yeah, it’s so interesting. You said that you felt safe with her but it sounds like the transition you went through was that you began to feel safe inside yourself and those are two really important but completely distinct things.

JENNA: I agree and I think that’s a really good call out because when you’re in a situation, I’ll never forget something that I heard at one point, consent is not truly consent unless you can say no. And I love that saying because that just hit me very hard in the sense that you can say yes, but if you can’t ever take that yes back, then is it truly consent?

And Britney and I have done a really good job at her checking in with me and making sure that I’m okay and then also not only just saying, “Are you okay?” but then not caring what the response is, it’s an, “Are you okay? And if I have to stop, then we stop.” And it’s never a question, it’s not defensive, it’s not personal. It’s just a, “Let’s make sure you feel good.”

So you’re completely right in the sense that she’s proven to me over and over again before any of this stuff came to light that she is a safe space, but I have to also feel like I can trust myself that I’m listening to what my body needs at that moment and then acting accordingly. So if I don’t trust myself to do that, then am I really consenting to anything at that point? If that makes sense

LEAH: Oh, absolutely, yeah, I love that. One of the things that we talk a lot about in the sex positive space is if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no. And I love that as a concept, and it has to be taken a step further that that’s not just true in the first moment. That’s true in every moment after that too and so one of the things that can be really hard is saying no after you’ve said yes the first time.

JENNA: I agree 100% and I think that for me, that was where my hang-up was that in the moment, I felt like, “Yeah, I do, I absolutely do. I do want to have sex.”

And then as time would go on, I would realize that something would trigger me, not realizing it was a trigger, but something would end up triggering me, but I would still go because I didn’t know how to say no again. I already said yes so if I already said yes that must mean that I’ve just given it in.

And now it’s a much different conversation with myself like, “Do you want to do it now? Yup, I do. Let’s go.” And then we work on different positions that can be triggering, so we don’t do those. We’re able to

navigate the space in a much different way with the understanding and the explicit conversation, communication, and expectation that we can both stop at any time.

It’s not just something that’s understood. It’s talked about fairly regularly, and I think that’s important for any couple. There shouldn’t be this expectation that just because you’re married or you have had sex a certain way or you have had sex, that it’s always just an understood yes. Being able to be open and communicate that, “You’re not feeling like you want to do this because” or “I know we typically do it this way but now I’m feeling uncomfortable” is just so important.

LEAH: Oh, I so agree. [MUSIC]

LEAH: Interviews for this podcast often run at least a half hour longer than what we can include in an episode. Want to listen to the full unedited interviews? Become a community supporter at Patreon by visiting patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex. There are a bunch of cool extras there, plus you’ll be supporting open and honest conversations about female sexuality. If you enjoy these conversations, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts. It will help more people find the show. And don’t forget to tell your friends!

[MUSIC]

LEAH: You’ve mentioned trauma a few times and I want to give you a leeway to decide how much of this you want to talk about. But one of the questions that I do ask people is have you had nonconsensual sexual experiences?

JENNA: Yes, I have. It’s scary for me to talk about it because I have just identified it. I’ve only shared it with a few people and now I’m on a podcast sharing it.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no.

[LAUGHTER]

JENNA: No, it’s a hell yes and even with the hell yes, of course, comes some nervousness because I’m about to enter into total state of vulnerability.

But I have done a lot of work in processing through my trauma. I’ve hit a point where I am more comfortable sharing it, and I’ve come to share a lot of things, my battles with depression and anxiety, sharing them in other spaces. So I feel like this is a good time to share this.

So one of the first experiences I’ve ever had with sexual assault was with somebody that I was dating. It felt weird because we were together and I would say yes but sometimes I was just really tired and I

didn’t want to or sometimes I didn’t feel like reciprocating or sometimes I didn’t feel like having sex for hours at a time. But I knew based on some past moments that I shared with this person that if I said no, that it was going to be a fight or she was going to shut down or it was going to become this very awkward tension between the two of us.

And I would say that that was a lot of sexual coercion that took place. So there was consent that was given but it was drilled and based off of this desire to not displease and also to avoid confrontation. And then there were times, I think it happened twice where she was on top of me, and I just didn’t want it to happen. And I told her I wanted to stop and she wouldn’t. And luckily, she was smaller than me, so I was able to push her off.

But in those moments, it’s scary because most of the time people are going to be bigger than me. I am 5’2. I’m like a 130 pounds, so I’m not that big and people could very easily overtake me. And I think that that message gets lost sometimes when we’re talking about it in a male and a female relationship. Men are typically bigger and that naturally comes with a power dynamic that is not in a woman’s favor. So from a physical perspective, sometimes women say yes and they feel uncomfortable because they’re scared that they could be physically harmed if they don’t or if they try to stop it, it could turn into a situation where they’re forced which feels more traumatic than if you just say yes even if you don’t feel great about it.

So I was pretty fortunate that she was smaller than me I’ll say. And I was able to end it the way that I was able to. But it was really hard for me to identify that as sexual assault or sexual coercion because she was my girlfriend, so can that happen in a relationship? And the answer is a 100% yes.

And then I was raped at one point. I was fooling around with a guy when I lived in San Diego. This was during my experimentation with men phase and I’m pretty sure this was the last man I was ever with. But we were fooling around, and I think this is a classic example of “It’s never too late to say no.”

We were fooling around, we were making out, we were taking off our clothes, we were both naked and I was totally fine with that. But I was very clear the whole time we were doing it that I was not having sex with him. And we were sitting there, and he just inserts his penis and I’m like, “No, stop it.” And he stopped.

So at that point, it’s identified as rape because we did have penetration. I did say no many times before that, and I never identified it as rape because he stopped when I told him to stop afterwards and it wasn’t violent. I wasn’t dragged somewhere and something happened to me. I wasn’t hit. I wasn’t yelled at. It was very calm and that’s just not the way rape has ever been presented to me so I just thought I was kind of lucky that it ended the way that it did. And I still feel lucky in the sense that it ended the way that it did compared to how it could have because he was in the military, very strong. Even though we were close to the same height and he could’ve very easily overtaken me.

However, I got out of that piece of it and we put our clothes on after that and it was just never talked about again. I don’t even remember his name. I could barely even tell you what he looks like. I can so clearly remember that moment though that we were on the couch and I looked down and I saw him

penetrate me and I just looked back up at him and I was like, “No, I don’t want to do that.” I got the Plan B pill the next day because he didn’t have a condom on, and I didn’t know if I could get pregnant. I didn’t know what could happen at that point. The sex education isn’t really that strong in the Catholic schools.

[LAUGHTER]

JENNA: So I wasn’t quite sure what could come of that so I wanted to take every precaution possible.

LEAH: I’m sorry you went through that and I’m really grateful that you’re talking about in the way that you are because I think it is so common to think, “Oh well, I put myself in that position so it’s my fault”, and it’s not.

JENNA: No, and it’s not shocking that a woman feels that way because we’re told that we have to figure out ways to avoid being sexually assaulted and rape. It’s the messaging that we’re given. “Don’t wear clothes that are too tight. Don’t wear skirts that are too short. Don’t walk alone at night.” And so if it does happen, no wonder all these women are internalizing it and feeling like it’s their fault and it’s something that they’ve done, when our messaging our entire lives is that you have to look for ways to avoid this.

LEAH: I’m really interested that you said you can’t remember his name. You can’t remember so much about it but you can remember that moment so clearly. And it reminds me of the Christine Blasey Ford testimony that had the United States so riled up where she said, “Yeah, I don’t know what date it happened. I don’t know the exact address but I remember them laughing. I remember the sound of what happened. I remember the physicality of what happened.”

And so many people were quick to jump on the bandwagon of, “Oh, she should be able to remember all the facts and statistics of it.” And from my own experience, I can say absolutely not. I know sort of around the time one particular experience happened to me, where I was a young teenager and my father had sent me out with this guy who was in his mid-20s, what the hell my father was thinking? I don’t know.

But this guy took me out into the woods with one of his friends and “nothing” happened except that I was certain that I was going to be raped and killed because they took me out into the woods and every time I asked them to take me home, they laughed at me and said, “Oh no, we’re just going to spend a little while longer. Oh, we’re just taking the scenic route.” And I felt completely out of control of my own safety.

I don’t remember much of anything. I don’t remember what the guys looked like. I don’t remember when it happened exactly. I don’t remember the car we were in, but I remember the sound of their laughter. And I think that that is so common and again, that we are told, “Well, if you can’t remember chapter and verse about it then you don’t have anything to say about it.”

JENNA: Right, which is a very interesting perspective to take considering most people wouldn’t remember every detail about any situation that they’ve ever experienced.

LEAH: Of course.

JENNA: Or the date or the time.

LEAH: We can barely what we had for breakfast yesterday.

JENNA: Exactly, like our minds move in a thousand different directions and we’re constantly distracted yet once again, the expectation is on the woman to produce this undeniable infallible representation of her sexual assault or rape.

And I think it’s another example of how all of this is on the woman to be the one to produce the safety that she exists in and everybody will say, “Well, why didn’t the woman do this and why didn’t the woman do that? Or why don’t you remember? How could you not?” And my response is, “I’m sorry but I’m not the one who did this and it’s not on me to prove it to any of you. It happened and this is where I’m sitting with it, and I remember this, and I remember that. And if you can remember every detail of even the most beautiful day of your life, then I challenge you to.”

It’s a very interesting I think moment that we’re living in and I think that we’re hitting a point in our existence in a country where it’s very difficult to navigate it, but it’s so important that we start. So I bring on the uncomfortable conversations and the difficult wording and the “we don’t know because we’ve never had to before”, so the expectation is that we’re just trying to figure it out and I’m okay with that.

LEAH: Yeah. So again, I’m going to jump back to sort of the basics if you’re comfortable talking about it. How did you discover masturbation?

[LAUGHTER]

JENNA: I think my cousin taught me. LEAH: Really?

JENNA: Yeah. So it wasn’t like she touched me or anything like that. I think she just told me that she figured out this really great way to feel good and I want to say, I was really young like 6 or 7 again, I was just like, “Oh, really?”

And I tried it and it felt great and I used to sneak into the other room and do it and in this really odd way, I would lay on my stomach and just push on my clitoris. And then my parents would be like, “What are you doing in there? Why are you lying so flat?” And I would be like, “Ah!” and then I would run out so embarrassed and ashamed.

So yeah, I mean I can’t even tell you how many times I would sneak into another room just to do it because I would get this urge or desire and I would go to the bathroom or go to my bedroom for like five ten minutes and have it out.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And at 6 or 7 were you having something that you would now identify as an orgasm? JENNA: Yes, definitely.

LEAH: And so now that you’re in a committed relationship, how does masturbation play into it?

JENNA: So I would say because of the realization of the sexual trauma that I’ve been in, my sex drive definitely took a hit from all of it. And the way that Britney would say it is like, “It’s like a muscle, you got to rework. You got to build it back up.” So she’s like, “If you masturbate, it’s going to make you want to do it more. It’s going to make you want to have sex more. You’re going to get used to acting on those urges.” So it’s highly encouraged I would say in our relationship and I don’t think I can be luckier that I have somebody who’s like, “No, no, no. Go masturbate because you’re going to want to have more sex with me.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Aww. Well, so you know the name of this podcast is Good Girls Talk About Sex. So what did the words good girl mean to you as a child and what do they mean to you now?

JENNA: Good girl I would say as a child was being polite, staying in your place, getting good grades. I played sports a lot growing up so being good at what sport I was playing. My parents were really supportive in that sense of, what do I need to do to get to school, what do I need to do to get to practice and showing up to all my meets and all of my games. So being a good girl was making them happy and it was not disappointing them and I figured out ways to navigate and change my life to make sure that I did that. I would say especially my mom, so it was basically, I’m going to say, being a good girl felt very suffocating to me and I had always been kind of an outspoken, know the difference between right and wrong from a morality perspective, all people should be treated with respect and kindness, and I was really vocal about or vocal when people wouldn’t behave that way and that they were wrong in that.

And then I lost a lot of that I think growing up and especially coming out. That experience really shook a lot of my identity and I would say pushed me to a pretty low place. But now, I would say, it’s so funny because when I think of good girl, I still get that twinge in my stomach of, “Oh, but I don’t want to be a good girl. A good girl means you’re following what society wants you to do.”

But now, when I think about it in terms of the different things that I’ve learned and the conversations we’ve had, being a good girl is just being good to yourself and it’s about listening to what’s going on inside of you, and then just acting upon it because that’s what makes you feel good. And the more we can get in touch with what we want in life and living according to that, the better we’re going to feel.

LEAH: I love that! That’s awesome!

[LAUGHTER] [MUSIC]

LEAH: Before we let Jenna go, let’s do the Quick Five. Five quick questions that we’d usually be too polite to ask any good girl.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Approximate number of partners that you’ve had?

JENNA: 9. I just added that the other day.

LEAH: All right then.

[LAUGHTER]

JENNA: I didn’t even think you would ask it. I just did a quick math in my head like, “Am I still under double digits or did I cross over?”

LEAH: You know it’s so funny, so the connection that you and I share is Jessi Kneeland. And I’ve been working with her for over a year and she’s incredible and she’ll be a guest a little bit later on this season as well.

And I remember a conversation with her early in my sexual journey where I actually had an opportunity to have sex with someone who I had just met. And I was saying to her, “If I did that, would that be an awful thing to do?” And she said, “Why are you thinking of it in terms of awful? Why aren’t you thinking of it in terms of would this be a fun thing to do?” And I was like, “Oh, it’s because I’m 42 and I’m still in single digits and so I guess I’m somehow attached to this idea of having a low number and what is okay as a number?” And Jessi said to me, “I think the best way for some people.” She was not advocating anything in particular but she said, “I think for some people, the best way to get over your number is to have enough sex that you don’t know what your number is anymore.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: I was like, “That’s brilliant.”

JENNA: That’s great. I definitely had to be like, “Am I forgetting somebody in here?” [LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Do you have sex during your period?

JENNA: I do not internal.

LEAH: But you’ll have external play during your period?

JENNA: Yes. I have no problem doing that unless it’s like one of those really awful days, but I have found

that either masturbating or using a vibrator.

LEAH: I assume that you are both of menstruating age. How does that work in your relationship if your cycles are not synced up?

JENNA: They’re not synced up and it’s really annoying, if I’m being perfectly honest. [LAUGHTER]

JENNA: But I don’t know if it would be better for us to be PMS-ing at the same time either. [LAUGHTER]

JENNA: So we’re getting closer, so we actually were completely opposite like I would get mine. Two weeks later, she would get hers, so it was like two weeks out of the month where sex was limited and now we’re actually a little bit more overlapped recently. My period just decided to be late for five days for no reason so we’re much closer than we were before but yeah, I would prefer not to be PMS-ing at the same time. But I also don’t want to spend two weeks out of the month being concerned with the periods, so it’s not fun. But I’ll take that over having sex with a man.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: That’s fair.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Do you have hair down there or are you bare?

JENNA: I shave but I don’t wax so I shave everything like maybe twice a week.

LEAH: Oh, that’s a lot of maintenance.

JENNA: Is it? I’ve been doing it for so long, it doesn’t feel that way.

LEAH: Well, I don’t shave down there at all, so it sounds like a ton of maintenance to me. [LAUGHTER]

LEAH: My skin can’t handle it. So it’s just normal for you.

JENNA: Yeah. I’ve been doing it, oh gosh, probably since I was 16, I guess at this point.

LEAH: And is that because you like it or because you heard a message at that point that that’s how it’s

supposed to be?

JENNA: I definitely started doing it because that’s how it’s supposed to be. I prefer now for my partner to shave so I usually do the same thing and I know that’s her preference too, so we just basically handle it that way.

LEAH: Do you prefer penetration or clit stimulation?

JENNA: Penetration.

LEAH: Do you prefer to be the giver or the receiver of sexual pleasure?

JENNA: The receiver.

LEAH: Awesome. So Jenna, this has been amazing. Thank you so much for talking with me today. I have loved every second of it.

JENNA: Thank you. I hope it was at least informative for anybody who’s interested in this side of the tracks. Our lesbian agenda holding meetings take place every Sunday night, I’m just kidding.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Good to know.

[LAUGHTER]

JENNA: No, but it’s truly been a pleasure and I feel really lucky to be a part of something like this. [MUSIC]

LEAH: Thanks for joining me today on Good Girls Talk About Sex. If you have questions or comments about something you heard or if you’d like to record a voice memo for use in a future episode, send them to leah@goodgirlstalkaboutsex.com. Also, let me know if you’d like to be a guest on a future episode! You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at IamLeahCarey. Links to any people and resources mentioned in this episode are in the Show Notes.

I’m Leah Carey and I look forward to talking with you again next week. [MUSIC]

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Episode credits:

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Music – Nazar Rybak

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