Dive Deeper with Leah Carey
I have been through the fire and come out the other side. Now I’m here to walk with you as you do the same.
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What kind of touch do you enjoy? Have you thought about the ways, and places? Touch is a many-splendored thing.
Public Service Announcement: If you don’t know what kind of touch you like, there’s nothing wrong with you—but you have some (really great) homework to do.
LEAH: Welcome to Good Girls Talk About Sex. I’m sex educator and sexual communication 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. Today, we’re talking about people’s favorite kind of touch. Going back through the answers from all the previous interviews, I was interested to see how many people didn’t understand the question when I asked it. Now I’m very willing to entertain the idea that I didn’t ask the question well, but I also think that it points to a bigger issue. We don’t often think about the types of touch we receive with any specificity.
For instance, you might think, “I don’t like it when my partner goes down on me.” But have you ever thought about what they’re doing that you don’t like? Is it that their tongue pressure is too firm or too light? Is it that they move too quickly or too slowly? Is there too much saliva or not enough?
Similarly, if you think, “I love it when my partner touches my breasts!” Do you know specifically what you’re responding to? If you were suddenly with a new partner, could you describe what about the touch you enjoy so they could do it too? Could you describe the places you like being touched because your breasts are made up of lots of different planes, each of which may experience sensation differently. Could you describe the speed and pressure with which you enjoy being touched and the quality of the touch like being playful or being aggressive that turns you on?
So, let’s jump to the answers of previous interviewees. As a reminder, these are taken from the extended lowdown Q and A.
All of which you’ll find for free at Patreon.com /goodgirlstalkaboutsex
And I’ll be back with my own answers in a few minutes.
SPEAKER 1: When I`m getting turned on, I like to be gently touched, sort of like the fingertips kind of light touch. And then when I get warm, I tend to like more vigorous touch.
SPEAKER 2: I love massage. I love, love, love, did I mention love?
SPEAKER 2: Love massage.
SPEAKER 3: Gentle touch usually. Although I recognize that in my relationship with my partner, I am the strong one in our relationship and he’s the sort of soft spoken gentle person in our relationship and in bed, I really like to reverse those roles. So that’s not necessarily touch, but sometimes I want him to be more firm with me than he would normally be.
SPEAKER 4: During sex, during the buildup phase of sex, up through orgasm, I love to be grabbed and held tightly. I love that passionate, energetic enthusiastic touch. But then afterwards I love being held and being caressed.
SPEAKER 5: I like things being in my vagina.
SPEAKER 5: Whether it’s fingers, tongues, penises, that’s what I prefer. Just go right there. Take me and do it.
SPEAKER 6: I’m one of those people who are hyper productive so it’s not like I want to get it over with for sure, but just don’t waste any time. Let’s just go for it.
SPEAKER 7: Soft, sensual touch. I don’t like the hard, physical touch. Yeah.
SPEAKER 8: Pinpointed touch. I don’t like a [floaty – 5:03] kind of thing. Put your hands on the part of my body and be specific. I’m going to give you directions.
SPEAKER 9: I like the soft touch. I like soft tickles. It makes me melt.
SPEAKER 10: Soft and firm.
SPEAKER 11: It depends. Mostly it has to be something that I’m expecting. If I’m not expecting it, I can’t enjoy it.
SPEAKER 12: I like to be dominated by someone who knows what they’re doing. That’s the caveat there because a lot of people think they’re doms and they’re not.
SPEAKER 13: So I do like a little bit of rough domination sometimes but ultimately I think the touch that I like the most is soft and sensual touch. That definitely gets me going along quicker than anything rough. If we’re going to do some rough domming, where I’m being submissive and I’m being dominated, I need to start slow and erotic and sensual to get me warmed up. So probably I guess the answer would be like sensual touch is probably my go to, my number one.
SPEAKER 14: At the beginning, I prefer lighter and then as I become more and more aroused, I want more intense. If you were to slap my ass right at the beginning, I probably won’t like it. But once I’m good and warmed up, I would like to be paddled.
SPEAKER 15: Oh, I like all touch.
SPEAKER 16: I want to say even non-sexual touch I love.
SPEAKER 17: That depends how warmed up I am. So if I’m not very warmed up, I like, sort of a medium kind of touch, not too light, not too hard and then as I relax, I could handle some light touch. But once I’m good and warm, I really like amazingly strong touch. I love to get a good spanking. I love to have my nipples pinched and the hotter I get, the more it gets harder.
SPEAKER 18: I love making out. That gets me really horny. That’s like my favorite kind of foreplay.
SPEAKER 19: Oh, gentle, sweet, loving touch. Pain is not a deal. I do not want to get hurt or bruised.
SPEAKER 20: My nipples basically. Not aggressively touching my nipples but [unintelligible – 7:40] my nipples is something I enjoy most. .
SPEAKER 21: Holding, I think. Just kind of like spooning or something like that where I feel like your arms, your hands or whatever on me just makes me feel secure I think in a way. And I guess if we’re talking about straight up sex, I guess I don’t really know. I have a lot to figure out about sex. I love a lot of stuff. I held a lot of ideas and things that I didn’t think were the greatest for somebody and so I’m still trying to figure that out.
SPEAKER 22: I loved being snuggled. I love my back to the person and just being scooped up.
SPEAKER 23: I hate to say it but I kind of like all of it. I mean soft and gentle, aggressive and hair pulling, biting, flicking. Not spanking. It’s funny we’d joke about that. It’s a running joke, we’ll say, “Spanking, nah.”
SPEAKER 23: But anything with her, I’m up for trying it and reporting back. I think the closest we come in this union of sex is her on top of me with her vibrator in between us and I can control my orgasms. I can hold off and wait. It’s much harder for her to have an orgasm. So I can hold off and if I can tell that she’s about to orgasm, then I will allow myself to orgasm and it’s beautiful. There’s screaming and yelling and pulling each other’s clothes and it’s just beautiful.
SPEAKER 24: Can it be kissing?
LEAH: Absolutely. It can be anything.
SPEAKER 24: But I really do enjoy being kissed all over.
SPEAKER 25: That depends really. It probably depends on where I am on my cycle and where I am in the sex process because sometimes I need it gentle to start and then I want to get it harder to go so it really is just kind of dependent on how I’m feeling and sometimes I want hard rough and sometimes I want it softer.
SPEAKER 26: You know it really depends on my mood. Lately, I have found myself really wanting to be aggressive. Put your fingers in my hair and just lay one on me and me against the wall type of touch. But sometimes I just want you to run your fingers up and down my thigh, down my spine and just be real gentle, kiss my neck. It really just depends on I guess where I’m at in my life emotionally. Right now, I’m feeling very confident so I need someone to come at me even harder.
SPEAKER 27: I like soft touch but only in areas that don’t tickle me. If I get an area where someone tickles me, I immediately get angry.
SPEAKER 28: I want a wide array of touch. I want a soft touch but then again I like a rough touch. So I like different kinds of touch. But it just depends on what mood I’m in. I might be in a let’s make love kind of mood and then I might be in a let’s fuck kind of mood. So it just depends on what mood I’m in and my husband reads that very well so he knows what type of touch I’m into at the moment.
SPEAKER 29: Grabby. There’s no other words that I could use other than grabby. Soft is good but what I enjoy the most is when I feel compressed like someone is trying to like squish you in a loving way.
SPEAKER 30: I guess the kind of touch would be alternating touch because I love really soft, tender, sensual touch that’s very light but I also love really rough, hard, scratching, leaving marks, being thrown about kind of touch. What I don’t like is too much of either.
SPEAKER 31: Slow touch and I’ve often thought if I were to give advice to straight men, any sex advice, whatever you’re doing, just slow it down a little bit. Whatever it is, it doesn’t even matter.
SPEAKER 32: I’m a touch junkie. I love all the touch.
SPEAKER 32: All touch. I want it all. In addition to being a touch junkie, I’m also an intensity junkie with sex and so I had to say I always want this kind of touch, I want something that’s super intense with impact. So spanking, biting, hitting, something like that. But then I don’t want sex to only be that.
SPEAKER 33: I certainly like gentle touch but I like a little bit of a firm hand in the right time at the right place. I like to play with a little bit of bondage and I enjoy a good press up against the wall.
SPEAKER 34: This light almost ticklish touch and then this previous partner and I explored using it’s called a vampire glove, where it’s this glove that kind of has these lights on it and so we played with using that and wow, that was amazing.
SPEAKER 35: There’s something with my neck, I don’t understand what it is, but he does this thing where he’ll just like kiss me right at the back of my neck and I’m like, “Ugh, yes, that.” That’s like my go button.
SPEAKER 36: I want to say like non-sexual touch but just hands grazing against my body or just very softly touching me wherever anywhere is great. But at the same time, I also like aggressive stuff so it’s like most of the time I would say I like anything soft.
SPEAKER 37: More specifically, my waist and I don’t like him to be gentle because I’m very ticklish and I don’t like to feel tickled so I like it more, not aggressive, but more like you’re holding me like I could feel you holding me and it isn’t ticklish. I don’t like being tickled at all.
LEAH: My turn. My favorite kind of touch is feather light touch anywhere on my body. It actually takes me back to the moment I discovered that touch long before I had any idea what to do about it.
I was sitting in my freshman biology class in high school. There was a boy that I liked near the front by the windows so I could gaze at it without arousing too much suspicion. One day, I was wearing a V-neck shirt and while I was thinking how to do, I don’t know, description of dissecting a frog or something probably, I was fiddling with my pencil. It drifted down to the skin exposed to the V-neck. And I started very gently rubbing the eraser against my skin. I never felt anything like that before.
I’d been masturbating for a couple of years by then, but the thrill of orgasm was totally different from the butterflies that ignited when that eraser brushed ever so gently against my decolletage. Ever since, I’ve been a sucker for that type of whisper soft touch against my skin. And if you have a feather, oh Lord! Oh Lord!
Interestingly, it’s also a good indicator of how safe I’m feeling at any given moment. If I’m in a good space in a partner and feeling safe, that touch will light me up like nothing else. If I’m feeling distrustful or scared with a sexual partner, I can’t stand the feather like touch. It sets off all of my alarm bells ringing and all I want to do is lash out at the other person and scratch my own skin to get rid of the feeling.
Speaking of wanting to lash out and scratch someone’s eyes out, let’s get to this week’s podcast recommendation. Okay. That might not have been the best segue, but it’ll make sense in a minute.
Back in 2016, I was grieving the loss of my mother and I wasn’t reading much. I had always been a voracious reader before that but I lost my appetite for it as I swam through the well of sadness. But there was one subject that caught my attention and very quickly turned into a new obsession.
Memoirs of people who have been indoctrinated into cults and then find their way out. I read every story I could get my hands on. From former members of Scientology and the FLDS, which is the fundamentalist sect of Mormonism whose “profit” is the notorious Warren Jeffs. I couldn’t get enough. And I was puzzled, really and truly puzzled, why the hell were I fascinated by these stories? Of people who had been brainwashed, discovered that the teachings no longer worked for them, and then found the internal strength to leave. Why was I so obsessed?
At the end of 2016, horrifically triggered by the reaction of the United States president of a man who had brazenly admitted to sexually assaulting women, I started seeing an amazing therapist named Susan. She helped me pull apart the pieces. The election had horrified me not just because of the sexual predation, though that would have been more than enough on its own. But also because watching Trump on television reminds me intensely of my father.
My dad was much smarter but the behaviors are all the same. Saying something one day and then claiming the next that he never said any such thing. Telling me that I had said things I hadn’t, believed things I didn’t, and acted in ways that I hadn’t. And treating me, his daughter, as a sexual being rather than off limits person. Remember the picture of Ivanka sitting on Trump’s lap? Or him saying that if she weren’t his daughter, he’d be dating her?
My dad did it very differently, but the base instinct was the same. That’s when the pieces clicked in for me. My father had brainwashed me. He had convinced me of all things I then took as gospel. I was fat. I was ugly. I was unlovable. No one would ever value me. I would justify and defend any shred of any self worth or self dignity that I had and so much more.
The reason I was so entranced by these memoirs of ex-cultists is that I was teaching my brain that it was possible to be unbrainwashed. And because I was listening to people whose situations were so much more extreme than my own, my brain was able to hold onto the possibility that maybe I could do it too. It’s hardly a coincidence that my journey to sexual healing came so quickly on the heels of naming the gaslighting and the brainwashing I experienced with my dad.
Those memoirs provided a life line for me and honestly, I’m still fascinated. I watched every episode of Leah Remini’s Scientology series on a&e. And I’ve been devouring the recent HBO series about NXIVM. I’m actually feeling the pull to read some more of these memoirs which suggests to me that I maybe be headed towards another period of unlearning.
Now, I’m telling you all of this to explain why I’m so, so, so excited to discover this week’s podcast recommendation. Two Sisters and a Cult. In the show, Jada and Alesia talk about their own experience of growing up in a cult and discuss all things cult-related. Here’s a clip.
INTERVIEWER: So Jada, what are some other things that were a bit culty about the camp?
JADA: They taught me only things that would help you to meet expectations that they had of you. You had no skills to survive off the grounds. The 18 month program originally would always turn to a much longer time period. For us it was ten years, for other people it was five, for some it was twenty.
ALESIA: I think the reason for that is the idea, this is why I considered it a cult, is that they didn’t teach you or enable you to live on your own. It was very reliant on them for all direction, for all information, from God or otherwise, and for all life choices. Like you were only reliant on them to make the next step in your life which was, that was cult 101.
JADA: Remember when we weren’t allowed to have phones or any Internet access or talk to people who were not on the approved list?
ALESIA: There was a really abusive atmosphere and not just logically. A lot of kids got hit by someone who was not their parent and a lot of kids only got hit by their parents but their parents would just go out on them so that nobody would think they were too nice or too lax.
INTERVIEWER: Do you think that has changed your approach as a parent?
JADA: Oh my God, absolutely! We tried spanking. It’s never going to work for us. It never has. So we don’t do that anymore. We talk a lot about why things happen when they happen and have to deal with it next time. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll try to figure something out.
LEAH: That was Two Sisters and a Cult, which you can find on all the major podcast platforms. And by the way, I mispronounced Alesia’s name in the intro, so sorry about that Alesia.
If you have any unlearning to do, which I’m inclined to think that we all do given how strong our cultural conditioning is, I highly recommend diving into their show and starting to draw your own connections about ways you’ve been indoctrinated and what it looks like to question things you’ve always accepted as obvious reality.
LEAH: That’s it for today. If you’re enjoying the show, please take a moment to leave a 5-star rating and review on Apple podcasts or, if you’re using another podcast app, go to www.ratethispodcast.com/goodgirls.
And remember there is a treasure trove of audio extras available FOR FREE at Patreon. Go to www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex. While listening to those extras is free, producing this show is not. If my work is meaningful to you and you have a few dollars to support it each month, I’ll gratefully accept your patronage at Patreon. I donate 10% of all Patreon proceeds to ARC-Southeast, an organization that supports women in the Southeast United States to access reproductive services that are increasingly difficult to obtain.
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Good Girls Talk About Sex is produced by me, Leah Carey, and edited by Gretchen Kilby.
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Transcripts are produced by Jan Acielo.
Before we go, I want to remind you that the things you may have heard about your sexuality aren’t true. You are worthy. You are desirable. You are not broken.
As your Sex and Intimacy coach, I will guide you in embracing the sexuality that is innately yours, no matter what it looks like. To set up your free Discovery Call, go to www.leahcarey.com/coaching.
Until next time, here’s to your better sex life!
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