Dive Deeper with Leah
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.
Caz is an open book with a ton of chapters: a non-binary disability advocate kink-loving trauma survivor pain/pleasure early wayfinder who left live sex shows for the dating apps. The extraordinary roads they had to navigate led them to know themselves intimately, and helped them learn to accept, manage, and finally enjoy bodily pain.
Caz is a 40-year-old, non-binary person who was assigned female at birth. They describe themselves as queer, non-monogamous and single. They’ve had a hysterectomy, so they no longer have a period but believe that hormonally they are probably peri-menopausal. They grew up in the United States and describe their body as curvy.
Caz is a disability activist, and is particularly involved in education around sexuality for people with disabilities, including kink activities.
You can find them on Instagram at www.instagram.com/cazkilljoy
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. When I first started this podcast, I approached people to ask, “Can I interview you about your sex life?” And they looked at me like I had three heads.
LEAH: It makes sense. It’s a topic most people don’t talk about freely and I had no track record to prove to them that the conversations would be handled with sensitivity and discretion. So, the first batch of episodes is made up of a lot of conversations with people from my sex positive community and others in the sex education field. Those early episodes did an amazing job in demonstrating my vision and prompting other women to contact me to say they wanted to do interviews.
But I also learned pretty quickly that listeners weren’t interested in the conversations with sex educators. I got numerous emails from people saying the same thing, “I don’t want to listen to someone telling me what they figured out and lecturing me about how to get there. I want to hear people talk about being in the middle of their mess, just like I am.”
Now, if you go to the website page where you can contact me to be a guest, which wink, wink is at goodgirlstalk.com/guest by the way, if you go to that page, you’ll see a note that says I no longer interview sex educators except by invitation in specific cases. Those are cases where the person involved has a story that I feel is important to tell and I don’t have an avenue to a non-sex educator who could tell that story in the same way. Episode 67 with Jocelyn is a great example. She’s a sex worker who does sex surrogacy work. No one can tell that story except a person who is actively working in the sex field.
Today’s guest is Caz. I invited Caz on the show because their health history impacts their sex life tangentially. It is completely intertwined their sex life. Caz is a disability activist and is particularly involved in education around sexuality for people with disabilities including kink activities.
Caz is a 40-year-old, non-binary person using they/them pronouns who was assigned female at birth. They describe themselves as queer, non-monogamous, and single. They’ve had a hysterectomy, so they no longer have a period, but believe that hormonally they are probably perimenopausal. They grew up in the United States and describe their body as curvy. I am so pleased to introduce Caz!
Caz, I’m really excited to have you here today. We know each other a little bit, but we’ve never actually had a real deep conversation, certainly not of the type we’re going to have today. So, thank you for being here with me today.
CAZ: Thank you for having me, Leah.
LEAH: Absolutely. So, I want to set this up with a couple of requests. Part of the reason that we’re going to talk today is that you have a lot of physical and medical things that you deal with that I know almost nothing about. And I also know that you are non-binary and that language is really important to you. The way that things are communicated is really important to you. So, I would like to ask you that if I mess up, if I say things incorrectly, I’d like you to let me know, so that I can learn and so that the audience can learn with us. Is that something you’re cool with?
LEAH: All right. Great. Thank you. So, let’s start. I start every interview in the same place, which is what is your first memory of sexual pleasure?
CAZ: I was probably 4 or 5 and I got busted masturbating in the living room.
CAZ: And I got told, “We don’t do that here. We do that in our bedrooms.” And so, it was a pretty positive experience. I got up to go to my bedroom and then my parents were like, “What are you doing?”
LEAH: So, they didn’t shame you, but they also didn’t necessarily give you the, “Yeah. Go ahead and do that.”
CAZ: Right, exactly. I can think of a lot of instances before I learned how to quiet things down where I hear being yelled down the hallway, “Cut that out!”, stuff like that
CAZ: So, even though it was somewhat positive, it was not assuringly positive. It was not encouraged. It was definitely discouraged.
LEAH: And what did that leave you with? Was there shame or was there just a sense that this is something that I need to keep separate?
CAZ: It wasn’t shame. It was a sense of, how can I do this, so that I don’t keep getting yelled at?
CAZ: I didn’t feel shame around it. I just felt like it was something that I had to sneak my way around into doing and no one explained to me. I didn’t get a talk at all at any age. So, I wasn’t told what I was doing. I wasn’t told what was going on. I was just continually being busted for doing it.
LEAH: So, you said that started when you were around 4 or 5, you think?
CAZ: I believe this was before I was in kindergarten, so I would have been 4 or 5.
LEAH: Yeah. Do you have a recollection of whether you came to something you would now recognize as an orgasm?
CAZ: So, I was not able to reach orgasm until I was about 30. I was just continually frustrated. And I knew it felt really good, but it never went anywhere. And so, definitely no orgasms at a young age.
LEAH: Yeah. When you were that young, did you have a sense that there was something you were building to, but not getting to? Or was this just like, “Oh, it feels really good and I’m happy with what it is?”
CAZ: As I got a little bit older, I started to realize this is going somewhere, but I can’t quite figure out where it is going nor could I figure out how to get there. It wasn’t until I started becoming sexual with a partner that I started realizing like, “Oh, okay.”
LEAH: So, how old were you when you started becoming sexual with another person?
CAZ: 13, 14.
LEAH: Yeah. And what was that experience like for you?
CAZ: It was very positive. So, receiving pleasure was a thing that I didn’t know anything about for my body and fortunately my partner and partners eventually knew what they were doing. And that was both eye-opening and eye-crushingly close for me. It was great. On the other hand, I was molested when I was young and so I had a great deal of difficulty reciprocating. And when it came to having intercourse, I had a great deal of pain and it took me a long time to figure out what was going on with the pain and everything.
LEAH: Did you have memories of the molestation?
CAZ: So, there were stuff that happened before 4 and then again, when I was 11 and I definitely remember when I was 11, and the early developmental stuff is just blacked out. I have no memory, which is good, but also troubling.
LEAH: Yeah. I am fairly sure that I was not physically molested. There was a lot of sexual impropriety going on in my home, but I also have massive dark spots in my memory. And I spent so many years just obsessed with the idea of recovering what might have happened to me that can be so painful. Yeah. I’m sorry that you’ve been through that as well.
CAZ: Thank you. I’m lucky I got a really good therapist in the past several years and we’ve reached early on this point of, “Well, if you can’t remember, but this is how you’ve behaved since that age, we’re going with what happened and do some care around that, but without having the specific memories. We’re just going to do a basic I don’t even call it a reparenting of the self to learn to trust other people and to feel comfortable.”
LEAH: Yeah. I remember in college, I don’t if you’re familiar with the book Courage to Heal. It was a very big deal back in the 1990s and I think there was a workbook. There were several different versions of it and I remember in one of them the thing that made the most sense for me was this idea that if somebody breaks into your house and tosses your closets and all your drawers, you don’t wait to find out who did it and how before you start cleaning up the mess.
You may never find out who did it and you’re still going to clean up the mess. That was helpful for me. Yeah. So, you mentioned when you had your early consensual encounters that they were really painful. Are you talking specifically about penetration or about other things as well?
CAZ: So, penetration was always really painful. But I also have had always a very sensitive clitoris and so too much direct stimulation is painful. And I had to learn through trial and error and different partners who knew better about what they were doing how I could be touched without it being painful.
LEAH: I’m going to be curious to hear more about that hopefully as we go on.
LEAH: But I have a bunch of other questions first. So, you’ve mentioned a couple times now that you had partners who knew more than what you did. Does that mean that you were engaging with people who were significantly older than you?
CAZ: Not at the time. So, at that time, it was within a year or two age difference.
LEAH: And they knew how to touch a vagina, vulva, the whole situation? That’s very impressive.
CAZ: Well, it didn’t come that soon. Let’s just say that. It took a few years and with different partners to get to that point.
LEAH: And do you think now looking back on that time that the pain around penetration, I know we haven’t gotten there yet, but I know you also have physical issues, was that related to physical medical stuff or was that related to emotional and physical storage of the earlier trauma?
CAZ: I would say that it was both, yeah. Because it’s so hard to separate them.
LEAH: Of course.
CAZ: And I eventually reached a point in, let’s say, around 20 where things were less painful, but that’s also around the time that I started experiencing a physical numbness and I feel like they balanced each other out.
CAZ: It doesn’t hurt so much, but also now I have less sensation.
LEAH: Yeah. Oh, man. That’s one hell of a trade-off.
LEAH: Yeah. All right. So, let’s address the physical medical stuff, so that then we have that as a base for the rest of the conversation. And quite frankly, I have no idea what questions to ask you. So, I’m just going to open the floor and I’ll ask questions to clarify as we go.
CAZ: Okay. Oh, boy. Do you want it in chronological order?
LEAH: Sure. Whatever’s the easiest for you.
CAZ: Okay. So, when I was 21, I was having a really amazing one-night stand and I’m hyperflexible. And I had my legs wrapped around my neck while I was being fisted. Not only were my legs wrapped around my neck, but they were being held backward. So, extra pressure on the pelvic floor.
And the next day I was like, “Whoa. I’m in so much pain.” Well, that should probably be expected. I had this experience, but the thing was the pain was extremely excruciating and it had nothing to do with my genitals. It was in my, at the time, what I was referring to as the left buttock of my ass. I had grown a grapefruit-sized lump overnight in my butt. And I was already in some therapy. So, I went to my physical therapist and I was like, “I have this new problem. It really hurts.”
LEAH: Did you just say, “I just got fisted last night with my legs behind my head?”
CAZ: I did not. I don’t think that would have gone over well.
CAZ: And it just got worse over the years and that injury sparked when I started feeling numbness. So, it’s vaginal, but it’s also clitoral and it’s along the left side of my mons pubis. So, basically the whole left side is just numb. And it’s not fully numb, but I don’t feel sensations the way I ought. So, that increased and the pain increased.
And nine years later, I finally found a doctor who was like, “Oh, we know what’s going on with you.” And it turns out I had torn the cartilage in my left hip. And that injury and the length of the time that I had it spurred other injuries, so it caused me to tear holes in my ligaments. I grew a giant bursa on the side of my hip. I had an impingement. I forget what else I had. It’s been a while at this point. But my whole leg was fucked up. It was terrible.
So, I had surgery and the surgeon said I had the most amount of inflammation of any patient he had ever seen. But when I woke up from that surgery, I was like, “Oh my god. It’s gone. It’s not the pain meds. It’s gone.” And it really was for a couple of months. And then, it came back and it hasn’t gone away since. And the surgeon said that it’s probably basically muscle memory, so after having had the injury for so long, my body just can’t seem to figure out how to reset itself. And the reason this is important sexually is because do you remember that old song the hip bone can make it to the knee bone or whatever?
CAZ: Yeah. The rift on this is the hip bone is connected to the pubic bone. And the musculature crosses from the hip flexor across the pelvis and that’s where your pelvic floor is. And a lot of people have issues with their pelvic floor and I’m one of them. And it all stems from this hip injury. So, I have what’s known as a hypertonic pelvic floor, which means my pelvic floor is super, super tight and causes pain into itself.
But then, I also have a condition. It’s very rare called pudendal neuralgia and the pudendal nerve comes off the sacral nerve root and it has three branches. It goes into in AFAB people, so people who are born female and assigned female at birth, the three branches are in the clitoris, the vagina, and the anus. And I had or have rather damage along all three branches. And it stems from the hip injury and all of the muscles and the ligaments and everything being all tight. I wish I was a doctor sometimes. And something about the way the sciatic nerve goes through the piriformis muscle. I don’t know.
Basically, everything below the waist. And then in addition, I mentioned a bit earlier, I have a condition called, I always mispronounce this, I think it’s Clitorodynia and that is when your clitoris is painful and mine is painful. It’s overly sensitive. And then, the hood sticks in one spot, so it doesn’t refract all the way. And so, that’s painful. And then, I have little keratin growths and the rubbing of the hood over the growths leads to too much friction and it’s painful.
LEAH: Wow. If somebody knew how to touch your clit in a way that didn’t activate all of that, is there pleasure for you there?
LEAH: Yeah, there is. Okay.
CAZ: Oh, god. Yeah.
LEAH: But it must be a real fine balance between pleasure and pain.
CAZ: Yeah, it is. And that’s definitely part of how I’ve gotten involve in kink is, where does the pleasure reach too painful that it’s no longer pleasurable? Well, I know what that line is, but there’s pleasure and pain at the same time. So, I might as well enjoy both.
LEAH: Friends, recently I told you about the erotic story telling app Dipsea and I’ve been using it a lot lately. My partner has been working out of town for up to two weeks at a time, so I’ve got a lot of time on my own to explore. Dipsea is an audio app full of short, sexy stories designed to turn you on.
What I love most is that each story is like a radio play. I’m fully immersed in the scene and you hear everything including the climax. And there are stories that will get you going no matter what your preferences are. Vanilla, kinky, twosomes, threesomes, moresomes, there’s lots of queer material including people all over the gender spectrum. There are even stories where the main character is talking to you, so you can imagine yourself directly into the scene.
Currently, my favorite series is Lecture Me featuring teachers and students all of age. You’ll find it in the categories in public, off limits, and dirty talk. For listeners of this show, Dipsea is offering an extended thirty-day trial when you go to dipseastories.com/goodgirls. That’s thirty-days of full access for free when you go to dipseastories.com/goodgirls. That link is in the Show Notes, so go to dipseastories.com/goodgirls today.
LEAH: Let’s go back to you have this one-night stand and it sounds like there was a lot of pleasure involved in that. When you started having pain and then started having other sexual partners, how did you and they navigate that pain discomfort that you were having?
CAZ: Well, after that one-night stand, about a month later I entered into a relationship with someone. So, I was 21 and he was 40. And we were together three, four years, something like that. And he wasn’t really concerned with my pleasure, so that’s one way.
CAZ: And then, it was an abusive relationship and I rebounded quite heavily out of that into another one, which lasted 2006 to 2014. And again, that was another instance of this person wasn’t particularly sexual at least didn’t have as high as a need or desire for it as I do and did. And so, we never really got down to the process of, what’s a good way for me to be touched? It became more of a, “Okay. Where’s my toys? Let me go find my toys now.”
CAZ: And then, the person would be like, “Why are you doing that?” I’m like, “Because I need it.”
LEAH: Yeah. And was there any shaming in that?
CAZ: Definitely a bit from his side, yeah. I wanted to incorporate toys into our time together and he was like, “Yeah. Absolutely no. That’s not happening.” And that was devastating for me because it was during this relationship toward the end of it that I finally realized, “Oh, hey. Here, I can orgasm. I know how to orgasm now. And it’s really difficult, but I can get there. And wow, have I been missing out.”
CAZ: And so, now that’s what I want to happen or at least to try and get there. And my partner at the time was just like, “Yeah. No. We’re done.”
LEAH: So, what was the process of learning how to orgasm for you or what changed?
CAZ: Anyone listening, I don’t recommend this.
CAZ: I was on Effexor. I had been on a really high dose of Effexor and my doctor started weaning off of it. So, I had been on 400 mg a day.
LEAH: Is that a painkiller?
CAZ: No. Sorry. That’s an SSRI.
CAZ: Yeah. So, it’s for depression and I had been on more than is recommended. And SSRIs can cause a lot of sexual difficulty and I had been on Effexor since I was 20. So, the doctor and I started weaning me off. And even though I was getting depressed as we were coming off of it, I wasn’t telling my doctor that I was getting depressed because my sex drive was like, “Hello.”
LEAH: Yes, yeah.
CAZ: And I thought that was great. And the lower the dosage I got, the more stimulation I was able to feel. And so, then through that process and my exploring with my own hands and vibrators, I was able to finally reach orgasm. And I remember talking to a friend of mine during that time frame and telling her, “I don’t think I’ve ever had an orgasm. What is it like? Because I know what people say they’re like and my body just reaches a point where it’s too painful.”
And she’s telling me what’s it like and I’m like, “That sounds really fantastic. I don’t know why I can’t get there.” And as the medication came down and I started being able to get there, sometimes there’s pain involved with getting there and sometimes there isn’t, but I generally consider it worth the process, the trial and error. Yeah.
LEAH: It’s so interesting because I have had to make the conscious decision several times in my life because I’ve been on an SSRI for the last 14 years. It has saved my life without question. At the same time, I know that my libido and my sexual sensation are suppressed and I continually have to make the decision that for me, my mental stability at this point in my life is more important to me than being able to orgasm easily.
And there are moments when I wonder if I’m ready to shift like if I’m ready to make a different decision. But thus far, I have not. And I have been thinking lately like, “Maybe I should try a different medication and see if I can get the same effect without the side effects or not.” But I think it’s something that a lot of people deal with and we don’t talk about nearly enough. So, I’m glad you brought it up.
CAZ: You’re welcome.
LEAH: So, there are multiple things happening here. You have medical issues. You’ve just started learning how to orgasm. It sounds like you’re near the end of an abusive-ish relationship. Somewhere in here, I know you also discovered that you were non-binary and you discovered kink.
CAZ: No. I’ve known that about myself since I was a kid.
LEAH: Okay. Do tell.
CAZ: So, a lot of people have an origin story for kink. I don’t. I know that my first sexual fantasies that I can recall involved kink and I was in 3rd grade, so that would have been 8.
LEAH: Do you remember what the fantasy was?
CAZ: I do.
CAZ: It involved there was a beach and there were genderless headmaster type people, taskmasters really, not headmasters. And, this feels weird saying, girls, but I was a girl at that age. I was young. So, I was fantasizing about girls around my age who were on the beach and they each had their own bathtub. And in each bathtub, they were masturbating and the taskmasters were there to say, “No, you can’t stop. You have to keep going.”
LEAH: Wow, yeah.
CAZ: That’s the first fantasy I can recall.
LEAH: Yeah. I remember taking a class as I was starting to explore the kink scene where the teacher talked about how often, we can trace our kink fantasies back into childhood. But at the time, we didn’t understand that that’s what it was like. And I was like, “Oh my god. I still can’t even wrap my head around how this happened, but that’s why when I was about 9 years old I asked one of my friends to tie me up and spank me.”
LEAH: And she looked at me like I had three heads.
LEAH: Yeah. So, at what point did you start incorporating something that you would now call kink into your actual play with other people?
LEAH: And what did that look like?
CAZ: Neither one of us knew what we were doing.
CAZ: We didn’t have a talk beforehand about boundaries or safe words or any of the things that really need to be discussed. I just got a pair of handcuffs put on me and I was just like, “Oh, okay. Here we go.”
LEAH: Did you partner know that that was something you would be into or did they just do it?
CAZ: No. We had weeks prior just been talking about fantasies and that would have been one of them. But it was at the time a surprise like, “Oh, okay.”
LEAH: Was it fun?
CAZ: It was fun. Yeah.
LEAH: Did you continue exploring kinky activities with that partner or with other partners?
CAZ: With other partners. By the time I was 15, 16, I had a partner who loved being tied up. And so, that was something we would incorporate as much as possible when mom was asleep.
CAZ: And then, from there I started exploring more of the pain route with giving and receiving.
LEAH: Was pain as pleasure something that immediately made sense to you or did you have to mentally and emotionally work your way into that?
CAZ: It immediately made sense to me. And if you want to include this in the recording, it’s fine. I’m fine with that, but it might be triggering for some people. So, I had been self-harming myself around the age of from 12 to 15 and I had figured out that the endorphins that you would get from self-harming came from the pain and the exhilaration and all these other chemicals happening in your brain. And I started to realize this is pain management. And I switched from harming myself in that manner to navigating consensually painful practices.
LEAH: I actually think this is an incredibly important conversation to have. Has there ever been a time when the consensual kink activities or the consensual pain led you back in the direction of self-harm or once you made switch did you stick with the consensual activities with other people?
CAZ: So, I would say making the switch, I didn’t go back to laying hands on myself. I had other activities that were harmful with eating patterns as I got older with drinking, things of that nature, but not in the classic sense of self-harming.
LEAH: Yeah. I have a question and I really don’t have any idea how to ask it. What do you think you were getting out of the self-harm that you then got out of the kink activities?
CAZ: Yeah. So, what I was getting from self-harm was emotional regulation. I would start off, I was so high in anxiety, depression, phobias, panic and just I was a mess. I was agoraphobic. I couldn’t leave the house and I was having flashbacks and real intense PTSD. And I was using self-harming techniques. I preferred that to taking a Xanax which, of course, none of my providers approved of.
LEAH: Did you providers know that you were self-harming?
CAZ: They did. Yeah. And again, don’t practice what I’ve done.
LEAH: No. This is not meant as endorsement or instructions, but I do think again it’s important to talk about because it is so rarely talked about. So, go on.
CAZ: Yeah. So, from I wouldn’t say I was learning emotional regulation, but I was getting emotional regulation. I was receiving a calming effect. And around the time that I got out of the self-harming, I got into the more partner-based BDSM practices. And that gave me the same thing. Not just a regulation of my emotion, but also a greater sense of control of my life.
And sometimes when people self-harm, they’re looking for control. I know when I was 13 especially there would be times where I would hurt myself and flaunt it in front of my mom. “What are you going to do?” And then, she would just ignore the fact that it was happening because she didn’t know what to do. And so, that made me feel, well, at least I have control over this in my life. And getting away from with findings ways of controlling at least my kinky sex life was a really important step for me in finding ways that I could start to assert myself that felt safe.
LEAH: Any time I have a conversation with somebody who is involved in kink on this podcast, it always feels so important to talk about how people think that kink is this depraved activity and you must be mentally unstable, when in fact so many people are getting such positive benefits from it. Not to say that everyone will, but for the people who engage in it, it can be really profoundly healing in some instances. I’m really glad that you found something that works for you.
CAZ: Thank you.
LEAH: Are you aching to explore new vistas of your sexuality, but you’re not quite sure how to proceed? Are you wondering if your desires are normal? Are you afraid you’ll have to blow up your existing relationship to have the kind of sex you want? Or maybe you’re hearing these conversations every week and thinking, “I understand what she’s talking about. I just don’t know how to do it in my life?” Well, 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. I promise that your sexuality is not shameful and together we’ll help you see yourself, your needs, and your desires without judgment. Now, I’m not going to tell you what you should do or feed you answers. That’s not what coaching is about. Instead, I’m going to walk with you in the process of discovering what’s right for you in a way that respects your emotional needs, your boundaries, and the pace that’s right for 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 the right pace for you.
I work with clients who are motivated to explore many different areas of sexuality including things like learning how to talk about your sexual desires with current or future partners, learning to date after a long time out of the dating pool, questioning if you might be queer, challenging body image insecurity in sexual relationships, dipping your toes into BDSM or consensual nonmonogamy, exploring sexuality for later in life virgins, recovering from infidelity, and so much more.
I believe this work is deeply important and should be available to every woman regardless of your financial situation. That is why I now offer variable pricing. Whether you’re experiencing financial challenges, are financially stable or have some extra to pay it forward, there is an option for you. And I give the same level of care and support to you regardless of the pricing level you choose. For more information and to schedule a discovery call, visit www.leahcarey.com/coaching. That’s leahcarey.com/coaching. Now let’s get back to the conversation.
LEAH: How did you learn to start doing things like negotiation and all of the stuff that goes along with making kink a safe activity or safer activity?
CAZ: Well, Borders Books and Music.
CAZ: So, the one near me was quite big and they never kicked me out of the sexuality section, even though I was clearly underage. And so, I spent a lot of time from a young age in the sexuality section and the LGBT section, sometimes in the women’s studies, buried under women’s studies would always be the sexual assault stuff back then. So, I was always in those shelves, that department. And it had a little alcove. And so, I would just disappear for hours at a time with a book and didn’t necessarily get to buy the book.
CAZ: I was able to start reading. And one of the earliest things I can remember reading about kink was Patrick Califia’s work and there wasn’t necessarily anything about boundaries, negotiation, things of that nature, but it was a lot about sexual politics and kink and some of the ins and outs, depending on which book you read. And the great thing for me about those books is that there would be not a bibliography, but basically acknowledgements of other works. And so, I would comb through the back. I’m like, “Is that here? Is this here?”
LEAH: It’s like a graduate course in sexuality, sitting on the alcove of Borders.
CAZ: Yeah. And I wish I could tell you where I finally landed on negotiations, but that was the jumping off point. And then, by that point, I was on Usenet. In Usenet, I was particularly on the goth forums. And there’s a lot of crossover between people who follow the goth subculture and who are kinky. And I started making friends that way and from there, on IRC, and then that finally translated to real life.
LEAH: Wow. That’s quite a journey.
CAZ: All before the age of 17.
CAZ: Oh, sorry. 18, I was 17.
LEAH: So, what were some of your favorite activities? Were you going to clubs? Was this all one-on-one within a partner’s bedroom? How were you doing it?
CAZ: Back then, it was all one-on-one because I was very underage. And so, by that point, I was 17 and change, it was just before my 18th birthday. My parents had kicked me out and I was living in another city. And my roommate was 6 years older than I and his friends were that age group. I’d start hearing things and learning through conversation, not necessarily one-on-one activity all the time, and it’s like being a little sponge. You just absorb everything around you. And so, they, being older, were able to go to clubs that I couldn’t get into. And so, then I’d get to hear his stories afterward and lived vicariously and that was my greater entry into community activities.
LEAH: And where in here did you discover that you were queer?
CAZ: I came out the summer I turned 13.
LEAH: Wow. You did a lot of stuff a lot younger than most people would even know it’s a thing.
CAZ: Yeah. It’s true. It makes me feel old sometimes.
LEAH: No. I think it’s amazing. So, how did you discover that about yourself?
CAZ: This is so embarrassing.
CAZ: So that summer, there was an Aerosmith video that was really popular on MTV and I wasn’t allowed to watch MTV, but that didn’t mean that I didn’t do it after my parents had gone to bed.
CAZ: Anyway, Liv Tyler is in that video mimicking her father who is Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and I just realized, “Oh my god. I have such the hots for Liv Tyler.”
CAZ: Yeah. And looking back, I could’ve figured out a lot earlier, but it wasn’t until that video where I was just like, “Oh, yeah. Okay. Yeah. There’s definitely things going different ways here.”
LEAH: Okay. So, we’ve identified that at that point you had been raised as a girl, so I’m going to say it at that point. At what point did you have your first same sex interaction?
CAZ: That’s a good question. So, the first couple were not particularly consensual. So, I would say consensually, I would’ve been in my 20s.
LEAH: Do you want to talk about the nonconsensual stuff or do you want to leave that aside?
CAZ: I’ll talk about it a little.
CAZ: So, when I was younger, when people are younger before they get to know themselves better, before I got to know myself better, I was not capable of being assertive. And there were a couple of situations where basically it was like, “Oh, hey. It would be really hot if you two did whatever” and it was group situations.
LEAH: Boys asking the girls to do things for the boys’ benefit?
CAZ: Basically, yeah.
LEAH: Yeah, that sucks.
CAZ: And I would just be like, “okay.” And then, the other girl would act on it and I would just be like, “Oh, okay.” And then, I’d go home and have a panic attack. So, yeah, not particularly great experiences
LEAH: Yeah. I’m sorry to hear that.
CAZ: Thank you.
LEAH: Teenage boys suck sometimes.
LEAH: Just to be blunt. And at what point did you recognize that your gender identity was maybe not female?
CAZ: In the genital area from mid-20s onward, I knew that I would just say that there’s something off and I had written multiple life journal entries about, “I’m off. There’s something about my gender that is off. I don’t know what it is. And then, I can’t girl properly and I don’t know that I want to.” When I was younger, this was the 1990s. I didn’t know what I was saying was highly problematic, but I would say things like, “I really just should have been born a man who likes to dress up as a woman. That makes more sense to me.”
CAZ: Yeah. To me, that is what made sense to me.
LEAH: Can you talk about why? Yeah. I have so many questions. Please go.
CAZ: Well, I was a tomboy. My friends were almost always boys. Very rarely especially after hitting puberty did I have female friends. I didn’t have any in retrospect, yes, but at the time didn’t know anyone who was transgender. No one was out yet. And so, I thought these were my options. And I just knew I didn’t fit the option I had been given and I really wanted to be masculine stereotypically so. I wanted to be jacked and have muscles.
LEAH: Did you want a penis?
CAZ: I’ve definitely had a lot of fantasies about that. Yes. But it’s not been a constant. And I think a lot of that has to do with past sexual trauma. There were several times where I was just like, “I don’t want to see that. I don’t want to think about that.” And then, if I had one myself, it would be “Oh, no. What would I do with this?”
CAZ: Yeah. So, it’s hard to say one way or the other. But listeners can’t see me right now, but I have on a purple eye makeup and purple lip makeup. And back then, I would say I was dressing in drag, which I know now to be problematic. But the only way that I would be able to get myself to go to school in high school because I had such bad social phobia and agoraphobia would be to dress like a drag queen. I would have all kinds of glitter and platform boots and wild makeup and just very loud and bright and that made me feel comfortable.
LEAH: Was it like your armor?
CAZ: It was my armor. Yes. But it was also a welcoming armor because when I dressed in that manner, people would come up to me and say, “Oh, wow. Where’d you get that? Where’d you get this? That looks great. I’ve never seen you before. Let me introduce myself,” stuff like that versus the days when I wasn’t dressed like that and felt miserable. I would hang my hair in my face and slump over and wear lots of layers of clothing and just try and disappear.
So, it was not just armor. It was confidence. It was also an invitation that I didn’t realize I was giving an invitation, but it turned out to be one. And I’m glad in retrospect that people took it that way. Because otherwise, I would never have probably talked to anyone during high school.
LEAH: You mentioned a moment ago that the word drag is problematic and I would like to ask you to educate me because this is not something I’m familiar with.
CAZ: Yeah, sure. So, because I’m an AFAB person, assigned female at birth, if I were to drag, that would mean I would be dressing up to appear more masculine. And then, if I was assigned male at birth if I were doing drag, I would be dressing up to appear more feminine. And there’s no drag for non-binary people. Yeah. So, if you feel the urge, you can google why is it problematic when I think most of the articles say, “Women say they’re dressing up in drag and what they’re really doing is they’re just looking like Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous.”
CAZ: They’re just really intensely throwing on all the heavier makeup and the bigger hair and the higher heels and all of those things. And the drag community or at least the vocal members of the drag community I should say have said that they find it highly problematic when people call that performing drag.
LEAH: Fascinating. Thank you for explaining that.
CAZ: Yeah. You’re welcome.
LEAH: How has your non-binariness affected your sex life if at all?
CAZ: I would say it’s affected it in good ways because I put it on my dating profiles and then that tends to scare away the type person that I don’t want to have anything to do with anyway.
LEAH: That’s brilliant.
CAZ: And it’s not intentional, but that’s what happens. And in fact, I’ve had my full vaccination process for COVID and so I got back on dating websites and I experimented. I was like, “Okay. If I’m not binary, how much traffic do I get? How many people swipe on me? versus if I’m a woman because they don’t really have that many options?” And sure enough, if I get rid of the non-binary and that’s the only part that I change, then I start getting all of these likes I want nothing to do with.
CAZ: So, it’s a really good way. It goes to show that if you are yourself, you are more likely to meet your people.
LEAH: So, what is your dating/romantic/sex/kink life look like today? That was a lot of slashes.
CAZ: There’s so many slashes to be had.
CAZ: Well, during COVID, during the pandemic, I’ve had basically the same partner who’s really just a friend. I shouldn’t say just, that’s a terrible way of saying it.
CAZ: Who is a friends with benefits, but this is someone who I’ve known for five years. We used to date and realized we don’t feel that way about each other, but the sex was really good and the friendship was really good. So, we became pandemic partners.
LEAH: I love it.
CAZ: Yeah. It worked out great because we already knew each other. We are comfortable saying, “Okay. I need some space because you’re on my nerves.”
CAZ: So, we recently both entered the dating field again and I’ve been on four dates so far. It’s only been a week.
CAZ: No. It’s been two weeks because the first two dates were socially distanced. And so far, I’m not meeting anyone that I care to get to really know in that manner. And normally, I shouldn’t say normally, let me say past me, would have seen that as, what is wrong with you?
CAZ: And now, I’m realizing, no. This is a very good thing. I’ve become pickier and I’ve become choosier about who I want to let into my life. I’m not settling. I’m not taking what I can get just because this is available. Yeah. No. This is not what I want. I’m moving on. And this is really the first time in my life that I’ve really been actively doing that and I love it.
LEAH: That’s awesome. Where are you in terms of your kink life now? How does that express itself?
CAZ: Well, so in two ways. The first way, my friends with benefits and I, we do some exploring. Mostly I bottom, but occasionally I’ll top. And then, on the other side of it is the dating side of coming up with a new rule that I’ve really stuck to and it seems to be really benefitting me so far. I say in my profile that I’m kinky. And then, when people want to talk about what I’m into like on the third message, I’m like, “Yeah. No. I don’t do that. I like to get to know people first before I start laying out everything I’m into.” And that I feel like has really helped me weed people out as well because I’m pretty happy with my play life, but I don’t have an emotional partner of any sort.
And it’d be great to find someone I have an emotional connection with who’s also kinky, but at the same time I’m not monogamous, so it’s not a must for me. I’m happy to date people who are asexual. I’m happy to date people who aren’t kinky as long as we really get along and really connect. You don’t have to be kinky to make me happy basically. And so, when people want to know about that from the start, I’m like, “Yeah. That’s not where this is going for me. And if you’re not okay with delaying that conversation, then we’re not going to work out.”
LEAH: Yeah. How much of your actual sexual activity would you describe as kinky versus and I wish there was a better word but “vanilla?”
CAZ: So, right now I have the sex life that I have with myself and I have the sex life that I have with my friends with benefits. I would say that the sex life with myself is I guess very vanilla.
CAZ: And the sex life I have with my partner is not always about kinky play, but I would say maybe 50% of the time.
LEAH: Friends, let’s talk about Patreon. It has been quite an evolution over the last two and a half years. For a long time, I took cuts from the episodes and put them on Patreon for people who financially supported the show. But by mid-2020, that no longer felt right because I was hearing from listeners who said they wanted to hear the Patreon extras because the show was making such a difference in their lives, but they couldn’t afford to donate. It really doesn’t feel appropriate to withhold this material in exchange for monetary support. That’s just not what I’m about.
So from July 2020 through April 2021, I made all audio extras at Patreon free for everyone and that has worked well. I’ve been pleased to see that my Patreon support didn’t drop when you were supporting the show because you appreciate it rather than paying to get something in exchange.
And now I’m evolving again. Instead of pulling clips out of the show for Patreon and keeping the main episode as close to 50 minutes as possible, I’m letting the conversations play out in full in the main episode. If my work is meaningful to you and you have a few dollars to support it each month, I will gratefully accept your patronage at Patreon. If you have more than a few dollars, consider donating extra in honor of women who need this material, but aren’t in a position to contribute.
And I donate 10% of all Patreon contributions to ARC-Southeast an organization that supports women in the southeast United States to access reproductive services that are currently being legislated out of existence. I appreciate every one of you, whether you’re a client, a contributor, a social media follower, or a silent listener. I trust you to know what’s right for you. Thank you for being here. You can find out more and become a community member at patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex.
And if your finances are tight but you still want to support the show, I would love it if you would take a screenshot of this episode on your phone and post it on Instagram. Tag me in your post and I’ll send you a personal thank you. Or send your favorite episode to a friend and invite them to chat about it with you. Use this show as a jumping off point to deepen your own conversations around intimacy and sex. Now let’s get back to the conversation.
LEAH: I know that one of the things that you’re pretty passionate about is talking about accessibility in the sexual world in general and also in the kink space. I’d love for you to just talk for a couple of minutes about what that means to you and what that looks like.
CAZ: Yeah. That’s a good question. One of the things it looks like for me is I tend to avoid clubs, dungeons, play spaces. I’m more likely to go to a hotel party and the reason for that is not because of what’s available, but because what’s not available. By that, I mean accessibility. So, in my area if you go to a public space, most of them are very inaccessible. I tried going to one in this town near me as a volunteer. And they showed me around the space and told me what I was going to do. And then, I said, “Great. So, what are your emergency plans? What’s your evacuation strategy?” And they just looked at me and I was like, “Where’s your fire extinguisher?” “Over by the fireplace.” “No. Where else in the building? It’s a big building. Do people know where the exits are? Are they unlocked?” And I just got looks like I had grown three heads all of a sudden.
And for me, that is a dangerous situation and an inaccessible situation for a lot of people with various disabilities, not just mobility disabilities, but if you think about cognition, if you think about anxiety. There were lots of different scenarios. So, one of the things I do is teach how to make kink more accessible for people with disabilities and working on an accessibility guide that includes how to make play spaces more accessible as well.
LEAH: Awesome. I love it.
LEAH: And now it’s time for the Lowdown, the things we’re dying to know, but would usually be too polite to ask any good girl.
LEAH: Prior to your hysterectomy, did you have sex during your period?
CAZ: Yes, I did.
LEAH: What’s the approximate number of sex partners you’ve had?
CAZ: I couldn’t tell you before my separation with my now ex-husband, but I can tell you that since the separation it’s 32.
LEAH: Okay. All right. Have you ever had sex with someone with a different racial identity than your own?
LEAH: What’s your favorite sex toy?
CAZ: Oh, dear. Probably just the magic wand.
LEAH: What’s your favorite sex position?
CAZ: That is contingent on how my body is feeling. So, if my joints are staying in place, then I really like to do reverse person, me on top in reverse. If my joints are not staying in place, then I like doggy style. And then, when I’m receiving oral, I prefer to be flat on my back. And when I’m giving oral, it depends on how much pain I’m in.
LEAH: You just said reverse person. I was like, oh, right. Reverse cow person? What is that?
LEAH: Do you prefer to initiate or for a partner to initiate in the bedroom?
CAZ: Probably 50/50. Yeah.
LEAH: Are you generally more active or more passive during sex?
CAZ: I’m a pillow person.
LEAH: Right. Do you prefer clit stimulation or penetration?
CAZ: I don’t have a preference.
LEAH: Has penetration become less painful for you over time?
CAZ: Yes. Thanks to pelvic floor therapy and lots of different surgeries that I’ve had and got to shoutout to Ducky DooLittle for helping me get a pair of Blush Novelties Dilators. Those have been really helpful.
LEAH: Oh, great. Okay. Do you enjoy having your breasts played with?
CAZ: I don’t.
LEAH: Okay. As a non-binary person, do you call them breasts?
CAZ: I do or chest.
LEAH: Okay. And do you not enjoy it because there’s limited sensation or is there any body issue going on there for you?
CAZ: It’s mostly limited sensation. It’s also a lot of people like to suck on nipples and there’s something about that that just for me, I’m not judging anyone else, you do it if you want to do it. But it squicks me out.
CAZ: I don’t like it. Yeah.
LEAH: Do you think it’s generally easy or challenging for you to orgasm?
CAZ: Very challenging.
LEAH: Do you have a sense of satisfaction at the end of a play session if you haven’t had an orgasm?
CAZ: Usually, yes.
LEAH: Have you ever faked an orgasm?
CAZ: Not in years.
LEAH: But you used to?
CAZ: Oh, yeah.
LEAH: Yeah. Can you orgasm from intercourse or strap-on sex without any additional clit stimulation?
CAZ: About four times in my life.
LEAH: I love how precise you are.
LEAH: Do you prefer the orgasm from masturbating or from sex with another person?
CAZ: Usually from masturbating.
LEAH: What kind of touch do you enjoy most?
LEAH: And is that true regardless of the state of your body and pain levels?
CAZ: If you touch me lightly when I’m in pain, it hurts more.
LEAH: What are your hard red lines?
CAZ: Young age play and by young, I mean younger than adolescent. Body fluids of all kinds, every single kind. I don’t like any bodily fluids.
LEAH: You and me both.
CAZ: Yeah. It’s a hard red line.
CAZ: And I no longer like humiliation or degradation.
LEAH: You did at one point?
CAZ: I did. Yeah.
LEAH: What was the switch for you?
CAZ: I got very ill. I was in the hospital. I couldn’t sit up on my own. I couldn’t get to the bathroom. I couldn’t even use a bed pan. I was in so much pain. And I felt it was degrading and humiliating the way the medical establishment was treating me and a lot of worked-in internalized ableism in that as well in the sense of feeling like, “I’m not a full person if I can’t toilet myself and things of that nature.” And after that, I couldn’t do it anymore. Hard red line.
LEAH: Yeah. Are there sexual things you’ve tried that you never want to do again?
CAZ: I’m sure there are.
CAZ: Oh, yeah. Things to do with bodily fluid.
CAZ: That’s high on my list. And I don’t ever want to do forced orgasm edging again either. Talk about exasperating.
CAZ: If I can get there, let me get there because if you keep me from getting there, it’s not going to happen later.
LEAH: Yeah. So, there are going to be some people who don’t know what that means. So, can you give a quick description?
CAZ: Sure. So, edging is where you get really, really close to orgasm, but you don’t let yourself orgasm. And then, force edging is a form of orgasm torture, but orgasm torture can also be when you’re forced to have multiple orgasms. So, the linguistics can get a little confusing. But basically, it’s when someone starts withholding your orgasm from you. And they’re not doing it to be mean. Well, they are doing it to be mean.
CAZ: They’re not doing it to stop you from having fun. That’s better. A lot of people do enjoy that activity. I am just not one of them.
LEAH: Yeah. It’s a perfectly valid kink activity that some people will enjoy and other people will not. Okay. How do you feel about a partner masturbating without you being present?
CAZ: Have fun.
LEAH: How do you feel about a partner watching porn without you being present?
CAZ: As long as you’re paying for it.
LEAH: How do you feel about porn yourself?
CAZ: I’ve done it.
LEAH: Have you really? You’ve performed?
LEAH: I want to know. Tell me.
CAZ: I started in 2004. No, actually gosh, technically I was very illegal and I did a live show when I was 17. And then, started back up in 2004. I did that for a few years until 2006 or 2007 I guess. And then, briefly two years ago before the pandemic, I had an OnlyFans and I don’t even remember what that other site was, but was doing some of that for a while.
LEAH: When you say performing, what kinds of performing were you doing?
CAZ: So, everything from a live sex show to solo live to clip sites, briefly Snapchat, but I got really annoyed with that quickly.
CAZ: Someone called me at 3 o’clock in the morning on Snapchat and then got pissed off with me when I didn’t answer and cancelled their subscription. You know what? This is not for me.
LEAH: How was OnlyFans for you?
CAZ: It was okay. I actually got more subscribers through the other site that I’m blanking on right now. This was back when OnlyFans was more like a Patreon alternative. There were fans and writers and it wasn’t a very big platform. And you were allowed to do adult work, but it was not the place to do it. So, I didn’t get a lot of paid whatever through OnlyFans.
LEAH: So, the performing, which we would consider sex work that you’ve done, has it been because you chose to, because you needed to? Where did that fall for you?
CAZ: Different times in my life I have really enjoyed it, really needed it or both.
LEAH: Okay. Radical change in topic.
LEAH: Do you have hair down there or are you bare?
CAZ: I’m currently bare. There’s a funny joke with that. This was done on a dare, so now we’re really rhyming here.
CAZ: There was someone I was talking with for four and a half months and we both finally were vaccinated. We decided we were going to hook up and he said to me, he’s like, “I think I’ve only seen someone waxed once in my life.” And I was like, “That’s because on the left, it’s a myth.”
CAZ: He’s like, “What do you mean?” I’m like, “Leftists don’t get waxed.”
CAZ: And he’s like, “Yeah. You know what? You’re right.” And so, I turned up waxed because I thought it would be funny to prove myself wrong.
LEAH: And are you now suffering the aftereffects of all the hair growing back in?
CAZ: It is a bit itchy, yes.
LEAH: Have you ever had a threesome or more?
LEAH: Do you enjoy giving blowjobs or oral sex?
LEAH: When you do give them because you mentioned that you do, when you do give them, do you swallow?
LEAH: What about it do you not enjoy? Oh, the fluids.
CAZ: The fluids and also it is very, very painful for all of the joints in my head and my neck and my shoulders and my face.
LEAH: Do you enjoy receiving oral sex?
CAZ: I do.
LEAH: Is the pleasure any different for you between oral sex versus penetrative sex versus fingers?
CAZ: Very much so. With oral, I can actually feel things because this is a different sensation. It’s a different touch. Everything else is, “Oh, that’s a thing that’s happening.” It’s not nearly as much fun.
LEAH: Okay. Do you ever worry about how you smell or taste?
CAZ: I used to when I was much younger. And now, the only time that I do is when I have to take a medication called Pyridium, which I take as needed for urethral and bladder pain. And anyone who uses it, it turns our urine orangey red. And so, I’m always like, “You might not want to do it right now because I get the feeling that I might have a little bit of an interesting taste and your face might dye.”
LEAH: Right. That’s fair.
LEAH: How do you feel about receiving ass play?
CAZ: I have a lot of gastrointestinal difficulties. So, on the days where I’m not having as much difficulty, I am for it. And the days when I am, I’m like, “Oh, no. Stay away.”
LEAH: Yeah. How do you feel about giving ass play?
CAZ: That’s a complicated one for me. We’re not talking about bodily fluids. We’re talking about bodily secretions and I’m just not a fan. I find it traumatic. And as long as someone is doing an enema beforehand and I have gloves and things of that nature, then I’m okay.
LEAH: What do you consider the kinkiest thing you enjoy?
CAZ: That’s a really good question. It’s all subjective. Yeah.
LEAH: Yeah. And this question almost always comes with a disclaimer that everyone has a different scale for what kinky is. For some people, it’s sex from behind. And for other people, it’s whips and chains.
CAZ: Yeah. So, I would say that for me, the kinkiest thing I’m into is different scents and those can be body odors or they can be colognes, perfumes, oils, whatever. But I’m very scent-sensitive, so different scents really change how I feel sexually. Gasoline and leather are two scents that just blow my mind in a good way. Things like hemp, I can’t stand the smell of. So, I would say scent play.
LEAH: Fascinating. I’ve never heard anyone talk about that before. Do you enjoy dirty talk during sexual encounters?
CAZ: I do with the caveat that there’s certain words that I don’t like used.
LEAH: Do you enjoy laughter during sexual encounters?
CAZ: Very much so.
LEAH: Have you ever felt a sexual urge that confused you?
LEAH: Are you willing to share?
LEAH: Okay. I love a person with good boundaries.
LEAH: What’s your favorite part of your body?
CAZ: Favorite part of my body is visually my eyes, sensation-wise my skin.
LEAH: What’s your least favorite part of your body?
CAZ: Probably my abdomen.
LEAH: What is something about your current sex life that isn’t quite as satisfying as you’d like it to be?
CAZ: Oh, man. Don’t tune in. My friend with benefits does not like to perform oral sex. And so, I basically went a year without and I was like, “Oh, this is not for me.”
LEAH: And finally, what belief did you have about sex as a child or teenager that you wish you could go back and correct her on now?
CAZ: That it’s always violent. And that it can be pleasurable and that it can be empowering. That it shouldn’t be used as a negotiation tool, that it shouldn’t be used as blackmail, that no one should ever force it upon you.
LEAH: Yes. Caz, thank you so much.
CAZ: You’re welcome.
LEAH: This has been an incredible conversation. Where can people find you?
CAZ: I’m on Instagram as @cazzkilljoy. That’s @cazzkilljoy.
LEAH: Right. And I’ll make sure that’s in the Show Notes.
CAZ: thank you.
LEAH: Thank you. I really appreciate all of the time you’ve today and also your willingness to share.
CAZ: Thank you so much for having me, Leah. It’s been fun.
LEAH: That’s it for today. Good Girls Talk About Sex is produced by me, Leah Carey, and edited by Gretchen Kilby. I have additional administrative support from Lara O’Connor and Maria Franco. Transcripts are produced by Jan Acielo.
And I’m incredibly grateful for the financial support from Good Girls Talk About Sex community members at Patreon. If you’d like to support me in telling these stories and answering your questions, head over to www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex. You can find Show Notes and Show Transcripts at www.goodgirlstalk.com. To ask a question about your sex life, your desires or anything to do with female sexuality, call and leave a message at 720-GOOD-SEX.
And before we go, I want to remind you that the things you’ve probably heard about your sexuality are not true. You are worthy. You are desirable. You are not broken. I work with women just like you to reflect their true sexual nature back to them without the judgment, shame or fear that can get in the way of us seeing it for ourselves. As a coach and PJ party hostess, I will guide you in embracing the sexuality that is innately yours no matter what it looks like. I am here to help you sink so deeply into your true sexuality that the version of yourself that was scared to speak up for her own needs feels like a mirage from another lifetime.
Until next time, here’s to your better sex life!
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