Podcast

Spinning the Lazy Susan Of Sex and Dating

Amy directs conversation to the topic of Charna’s private life. They visit a variety of stories from Charna’s past including how much she hates swiping right, kissing tips, hairy chests and finding your Cinderella aka the perfect fit. There’s also mention of the elusive Sex Ninja, voicing your desires, and learning to ask for what we want. There’s also an exercise for managing dysregulation and how to come back to the present moment.

Amy MacClain is a social storyteller and healer, committed to building a more resilient, equitable and accountable world. She trains, consults and designs to help others create change that lasts and is relevant in real life – raising consciousness, building community and bringing justice into unstoppable action. She does this by narrating the healing journey in song, coaching white folx to dismantle systemic oppression and offering engaging interactive experiences within which we can heal and explore. 

Charna Cassell photograph courtesy of Candace Smith.
Amy MacClain photograph courtesy of Andrea Scher.

Show Notes

Hello and welcome back to Laid Open podcast. I’m Charna Caselle, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and master somatic coach. I’m joined by my friend Amy McLean, who’s a master facilitator, executive coach and a curriculum developer. 

Last week, we were talking a little bit about my dating experiences. Should we pick up where we left off?

Okay, what was your favorite swipe right encounter in the last month?

While I was telling you about this? The other day, there was somebody that I was with that I’ve known for six years, known for a while. So this wasn’t really a swipe right? No, no, this this is I definitely prefer build up, right. I have a little bit of first kiss phobia. Right? When people lean in to give me a kiss the first time I’m on a date with them. There’s that moment of oh, God, the conversation has been so awesome. Oh, he’s a spiritual guy. Or he’s funny, or, you know, he’s got kids and I like that. And then he kisses me. And he stabs me with his tongue. 

Torpedo tongue.

Yeah, parakeet tongue. When it’s like hard and pokey.

Let’s make a distinction. Okay, torpedoed tongue is more like, you know, hard and thick and pushed in there. Versus parakeet tongue, which is just like hard and Jabby

And flicky flicky. flicky that, you know, tongue is I feel like it’s trying to communicate.

Thrusting, which is interesting.

It’s like, it’s like, this is my cock inside you. And it’s so it’s like, their idea of foreplay of this is supposed to turn you on. And as, as I said to you, I wanted to my Lala Not In My Mouth

Thrusting below the belt. Thank you, please. We don’t need to be thrusted anywhere else. Thank you, please and thank you. 

There’s there’s a feeling this is Stan the topic of kissing for a second. So when someone is kissing, I like to feel that they are listening with their lips, right that there’s communication. And I think that there’s a premature big tongue action that happens with a lot of men because their level of turn on escalate so much faster. Good. Good point right there. Like, they go from zero to 100 for and for me. Like once I’m really turned on. I’m down with more tongue. But until then, I really like to feel someone’s lips, and I can feel electricity through their lips. But if there’s too much tongue, it feels assaultive and it feels like a drive by tongue.

What did you say? Drive by tonguing? We want a Hollywood kiss just to start out. Right? I mean, when you say I mean, I want a Hollywood kiss. When I want kisses.

Hollywood kiss? Well, usually in Hollywood kisses there is a lot of buildup, there’s about two hours of Lifetime’s of activity before the kiss is allowed. That’s right. Yeah, I think you know, sometimes there are people that you’re sitting with, or that I’m sitting with, and there’s a fullness to their lips, and there’s an energetic connection, and I want to go there. And then other times, it’s not there, and I’m open to the possibility and sometimes really terrible kisses with feedback can be transformed.

Oh my god, Dun dun dun who likes giving feedback? Not me. Alive. Given my I know, I know. I’ve got to get better at this. Whenever I have a date. Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, you got you got someone who will be your cheerleader when it comes to giving hard feedback. Oh, thanks. Yeah, I think a really nice way to give feedback. And so there’s just going to be like this, this brush fire of give feedback around this across the nation is my hope but saying I really want to feel your lips. Your lips feel really good, I think is a really nice way of giving that feedback for saying like what you want more of and what feels good, versus just saying what you don’t like.

So side note, this is not relevant to this podcast necessarily. But I have spent many years working with kindergarteners and You know, kindergarten to fifth graders, and we’ll just say as far as feedback goes, is one of the number one things that we talk about, which is positive language, which is how do you say what you want to see instead of what you don’t want? And so, so many of us, I think, are trained to say what we don’t want, you know, to be like, can you stop that, or that’s annoying, or I don’t like that, or whatever, you know, and kids do it all the time. They’re really trained to say, I don’t like that. I don’t like that. I don’t like that, instead of being trained to say what they want.

Right? And actually, I want to along those lines is really important, because I work with the couples that I see around this, have them do this exercise. And it’s the practice of saying something that you like, then giving some feedback or making some making a request. And then saying something that you like, saying something that you like, again, then making a request and then giving, you know, saying, like, so approval request approval, approval request approval, you can merchants to n step, approval, request approval, approval request approval approval request, actually, there is some research that for children, at least it’s a five to one, ratio, five, so it’d be like approval, approval, approval, approval, Approval Requests.

That’s, that’s awesome. And I don’t think you can you lose when you do that, because when someone is getting feedback about what feels good, they want to they want to please you even more. Yeah, versus so this is where masturbation homework or doing your own work is so important. Because you need to know what what does feel good. What do you like? And sometimes you you know, you have to do your own research before you can give that feedback.

And so for you, yeah, I would say sighs let’s just, let’s just be size Queens for a second. 188. So I’m talking about like, what you like you just were saying, you got to know what you like. And for you, it’s like, Okay, do you have a size requirement? And I think, you know, for me, I’m like, Okay, there’s a personal fit. There’s a personal fit issue. And I think every woman has a personal fit, right? Do you need to say anything about size. So many years ago, I went on a couple of dates with somebody. And we had this kind of sweet spiritual connection. And I was playing him different songs that I loved. He was a musician. And, and in the middle of telling the story about my grandmother had just died and I was starting to tear up. Suddenly, he went in for the kiss. It was like, he was a sex ninja. He kissed me. Then suddenly he was going down on me. And then before I knew what we were, we were having sex. And he was what I call my Cinderella. He was sex ninja. He was a sex ninja. So he was what I call my Cinderella. Just the right fit exactly. Like the slipper fit. My neighbor. He was like my, my gay brother that I never had. It was my best bud who lived in the house in front of my house. And the next day said, was that you that I heard? So I told him, I was like, Oh, my God, I’ve met my Cinderella. It was the most exciting thing. And it was so sweet. Because he he was like, I want to find my syndrome. Honestly, it was, it was unfortunate, because he something happened for him. He actually tell the story. After we had sex, I actually asked him to leave, I needed to get a good night’s sleep. And I didn’t realize that that really hurt his feelings. It’s a lesson in like, if you have feelings, and you feel like you need more connection, it’s okay to ask for that. Because I would have let him stay over. I just, I didn’t need that. But I would have, I would have negotiated that and been cool with him staying. But long story short, he spun out as a result of that, and totally bailed. Like he kept canceling plans. I was so excited. And honestly, to this day, like thinking about that slipper. So you were asking about size, and my take on size is that everything is good for something. And honestly, yes, women and men may have an ideal size, and fit. And it’s really magical when things fit together. And it can be challenging when you’re really in love with somebody and you’re in a relationship and the person’s way too big or they’re or they’re smaller than you would like. And there are creative ways that you can work around things, but it’s really why you need to have an expansive relationship to sex and how you have it.

Do you think men have size? Oh, yeah, issues the way women do? Like do you feel like men have the right policy, the right size? Oh my God, there’s so much cultural shit around women being loose or them needing to do key goals and there’s so much shaming. I mean, there’s just as much shaming I think about for women around their vaginal elasticity. I mean, vaginal rejuvenation, that’s a whole thing. Huh, seasonings, yes. Oh my God.

Is that like stick cucumbers down there to make the no people freak and have surgery to get things tightened up so that they have virgin like, pussies. You people knew about this already. It’s you know, it’s why a lot of the men are obsessed with buttholes like having anal sex. Uh huh. It’s tight. So I think that as much shame as men feel and self consciousness as men feel around their cock sighs women also get shamed for their labia right there put puts his looks so different, right? There’s bigger lips or smaller lips. And you know, people give them feedback about what their poses are supposed to look like.

I think back to the locker room, and I said I was a former athlete. I’ve spent plenty of time in women’s locker rooms. And this is just not something you say you did. You didn’t lay down on the floor and look at people’s women’s policies, you know, in the locker room?

Well, right, you don’t get the same kind of self consciousness that young men who are maybe growers, not showers or smaller sized men feel but women get feedback from their lovers. And are they or because of porn, there’s a certain idea of what your pussy supposed to look like or how it’s supposed to be shaved or blah, blah, blah.

Is there a different feeling to a circumcised penis versus a uncircumcised penis? That you’ve noticed in your adventures? I mean, I’ve had both how?

I think it’s, I’m 78 years old. I know. My voice doesn’t sound that old. But that’s how old I am. Okay, so give me a fucking break. Okay. I hope we’re buds when you’re 70. I know. A mate. Let me tell you a story. I had some sex at the home the other night and I moved to New York. So I sound like this. And then let’s move to Florida. And be snowbirds together. Snowbird, CAC. That’s the next episode. Oh, there’s actually an uprise in STDs among the older generation. Oh, the chumps. Yeah, baby boomers are bringing the boom back way past the boomers. Dude, we’re talking their parents.

I’m not gonna talk about my mom going on a date recently. She’s about to be 70.

My mom’s older than your mom. Oh, hi.

My mom could take care.

My mom got some Yeah, and they got stolen calm the next day. I’m like, Dude, we’re 72 fucking years old. How could you not know this about women that call the next day?

Yeah, I have to say I appreciate the last person that I had sex with. He texted me right after he left. And that was good form. Because honestly, it’s like, it’s like when someone brings you your meal at a restaurant and you say thank you, like you really treat people’s people in the service industry. Well, if you want to, if you want them to bring you water on a regular basis, you gotta be grateful. Approval approval requests. Yeah, to bring the approval on both directions during sex and practice. When you’re not having sex. Practice the approvals. I think it’s hard for me during sex to be vocal. I will just be honest about that. Like, I am very quiet in that way. Which is funny because I don’t I don’t, I’m not a quiet person. I love that about you. Really not a quiet person. But in sex. I’m very quiet and restrained. I think that has to do with my trauma. We’re not talking about that at this moment. Okay, let’s go back to date.

This is important. So sound for me. And I think it’s important to be able to weave between trauma and talking about sex, because it’s all part of the same pot growing up listening to my mom have sex. That was terrifying to me, my freeze, I felt angry and I felt kind of tortured by those sounds, I now can listen to those sounds of my neighbor having sex or whoever and get kind of turned on and be okay with it. But it produced in me a concern about what are the sounds I’m creating? Sometimes? How are they going to affect if if there is a child nearby, but I really like to have sex in places where I can be as vocal as I need or want to be and not feel self conscious for that reason.

Would you recommend for people who are vocally challenged in the bedroom that we practice? I mean, what do you just start like practicing even though you don’t necessarily feel it?

Well, this is another one of those microcosm moments and I know that your stunning singer, a teacher, you know, very vocal and skillful communicator. So I know it doesn’t, it doesn’t show up in that way for you think about it. Your diaphragm is in your third chakra right underneath your ribs. And so this really relates to personal power. So how empowered Do you feel to make sound and be vocal briefly? When you’re in your window, you’re regulated, you’re your age, you have all the skill you have. When you’re out of your window, you’re usually a different age, hyper arousal increase in sensation Students were turned on lifts. So remember, other wires for excitement and anxiety can get crossed. Right? So when you’re there, as you feel turned on, there might be anxiety or you might freeze because that’s the habit that your body’s in. And when we freeze, our voice freezes as well, doesn’t always have to, but it can, which means you don’t have access to making sound. So it’s I’m not saying that’s exactly what’s happening for you. But that’s one possibility, in terms of my trauma, being more domestic violence related, it wasn’t just domestic violence wasn’t just hitting or kicking or slapping, there’s a lot of humiliation and sarcasm. And I was always waiting for that, always waiting for the next space where whatever I did would get me humiliated. And so I think when I get in those really intimate moments, that’s where I sort of, yeah, just get kind of shut down.

I think that’s really important. Because, again, we’ve been talking about how sexual traumas not only related to child sexual abuse or sexual assault, but that these other experiences that we have in our life that are traumatic, unconsciously get activated in our system is when there’s an increase in sensation.

I think when you say that what gets confusing for me as like, just the increase of sensation doesn’t actually feel like an increase of sensation in my body. So I guess I need to start practicing becoming more aware of that, because often it just feels like more like shutting down.

Super important. And I’m glad you’re bringing it up. What can happen for people who tend more towards hypo arousal, you have to be able to go into it to go to sleep at night, right? So when people go into hypo arousal, they get really, they can get really sleepy and tired. Like, I know, I’ve gotten into that in the middle of a conversation with a lover who’s like wanting to process at 11 o’clock at night. And it’s not just that it’s late. It’s that I’m like, oh my god, I’m overwhelmed. And suddenly I feel like I’m narcoleptic. And then once I have the emotions, I’m wide awake. But so what can happen for people who tend more towards hypo arousal, they don’t even feel the hyper arousal, it doesn’t even register it is so fast, it like shoots up into hyper arousal and falls quickly down into hypo arousal, because it’s going numb is your primary way of regulating yourself. Ah, good to know ya. So versus mine was much more constantly living outside my window almost all the time. I was like hyper arousal, hyper arousal. Very rarely would I go into hypo. But it was interesting, I started tracking that when I look back, I was writing a play for my thesis in college. And I can distinctly remember sitting at the library and I would start to write and I would be overcome with what I called narcoleptic exhaustion. I’d be like, What is wrong with me, like I couldn’t keep my head up, it would fall on the table. And I just have to like nap out.

Maybe that is what’s happening with me right now. Because I mean, not in this moment, not in this moment. I’m not falling asleep right here. I’m just talking about it in my life. Like I’m at this very big transition point in my life, I have this new record that I’ve been working on. And I don’t want to release it as a record. Because it’s a healing journey. So these 19 songs really are tracking me stepping out of depression, me stepping out of some of my trauma over the last two and a half years of really deep work I’ve been doing and all the songs are related to that. And so I’m trying to write either like a Broadway musical or a workshop or the story behind all these songs to create a show. And every time I go to do it, I’m like, fall asleep. I want to play video games on my phone. I’m like,

Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. So healing. It’s happening right now. Right now. It’s awareness. Awareness. Step would be embodiment. Noticing when I’m narcoleptic. And yeah, yeah. What would you say have the feelings right there and just be like, Wow, that makes me feel bad?

Well, I mean, you know, if you need to set an egg timer, be with the feelings for two minutes. And see, wait, I was with them for two minutes. Can I be with them for two minutes more? Or even 30 seconds to see if you can be with what’s happening for just a little bit longer, and then be like, and then I give myself complete permission to play Candy Crush or whatever it is that you play for themselves here. Yeah, yeah, Solitaire. And what you’re talking about is a form of dissociation. And rather than making dissociation your enemy make it your friend to me. No. I really encourage people to learn how they do it. Get to know when they’re doing it, how they do it. And then and ask yourself, Do I want to come back or do I want to go further away and if you want to go further away, go away. And if you want to come back for a bit, see if you can bring yourself back. But but don’t make yourself wrong. And the more permission you give versus the you know, the shaming of yourself for going there and dissociating, it’s much harder. If you don’t want to come back and you keep reinforced Saying I’m bad. If I go away, you want to go further away.

I want to say for myself that what I have learned after suffering with depression, and I think this is specific to depression, yeah. Particularly because I think depression is so mobilizing that, you know, I did that I do really did a practice years back of letting myself go and follow whatever the impulses are. And I did that for about six months. And by the end, I was I was so suicidal, I could barely get out of bed, you’re right. With a history of depression, there’s a specific way, you have to get yourself up and wake your system up and actually give you a little practice around that that is different than a more hyper aroused system. So the two things like if your system tends to be more hyper aroused, right, which is over stimulated, yeah, my system, like, how do you calm your system you want to do and we’ll, we’ll get to this and maybe another time, or I could do it right now. Actually, it’s a breathing exercise versus I want to answer your question, which is if your system is more hypo aroused. Yes, something called cupping, right? So could Qigong practice, and I would encourage you, since you can’t see it, I’ve shown you this before, but but I would encourage you to Google something on YouTube. But it’s basically like, like, if you’re gonna cup some water in your hand, and then move your hand down the length of your arm, extend your arm out, move it down, from your shoulder, to your pinky, down your shoulder to your pinky, but what you’re doing is you’re making it and you’re gonna hear the sound. Right, you’re like, it’s like you’re padding, but your hand is a little bit of a cup. Okay? Do that repeatedly, then you do the inside of your arm from your armpit to to your palm. So you do your arms. Yeah. Then you do the sides, from your hips, down your IT bands from down the sides of your legs all the way to your ankles, then up the inside of your legs, from your ankles all the way up to your groin, down the backs of your legs from your butt, all the way down the backs to your heels up the insides. So again, like the inner seam of your pants leg up into your groin, so you’re doing that you can do the top of your head. So what you’re doing is you’re waking up the meridians, you’re waking up the energy in your body, clap your hands, notice the sensation that you may or may not feel on your hands. When I’m working with a couple and one person starts to go offline and gets really drowsy like that. We have an agreement. It’s like okay, stand up, you know, you know what you need to do for yourself to bring yourself back and present. Like, get up, wake up, while the other person who gets super dysregulated and shoots off. We have a breathing exercise. Should I talk about the breathing exercise? Yeah. Okay. So this is for for those of you when you get into a consciously hyper arousal state, right, people who are hypo aroused, once again, may self regulate so quickly, they don’t even register the hyper arousal, the anxiety. So, if you do and you know that you feel anxious, what you can do is you can, so you’re inhaling, inhale very slowly, through your nose, you feel your belly, Feel your belly so full that your belly presses against your ribs. What’s that, what that’s doing is to activate your vagal nerve. So rather, it’s helping to press it and relax it which brings relaxation to your body as you inhale that way. When you all the way up to it, fill your chest as you exhale, purse, your lips and slowly sway slower than you think. Exhale the air as if you’re blowing sand through a straw and you’re controlling the grains of sand moving through the straw. If you’ve seen Tibetan monks making sand paintings, like they’re discern amount of control, you really have to go slow. At the end of the exhale, pause, counter for inhale again, filling your belly slowly, slowly, slowly. Don’t do this over there, Amy, because I don’t want you falling asleep on me. Yeah, oh, yeah, it’s compelling. But this so if, if I, if you could see me and maybe I’ll do a video or something at some point, doing a brain gym hook up that can go with this. Do you cross your ankles, the arms are a little trickier to describe, but put your arms out in front of you. Palms up, cross your arms so that your hands are are then clasp your hands so that they’re crossed and clasped. And then bring your hands through your arms and press them against your chest. So you’re folded in. So you have these hook hook up points. And what this does this brain gym hook up which you can look up as well. Is calming for the nervous system. It creates communication between the left and right sides of the brain. I had a client years ago who used to from trauma shit himself, like that was how dysregulated he would get Wow. And this was one of the only things that when he started doing this, it acts Please stop that which was profound. So I know it works. It’s Ben’s proof is in the pudding, no pun intended.

Yeah, when I used to teach kids to do that brain gym, I would, I would just have them put their arms straight out with their fingers pointing out and their palms pointing inward, and then I would have them so their thumbs are pointing up. And then I would have them flip their thumbs down. So now your palms are facing outward. Then you cross over, clasp again, tighten your fingers and weave your arms up. Great. So thumbs up, thumbs down, over clasp, technically, it takes 20 minutes for our nervous systems to calm, people will start yawning and feel a difference within four minutes of doing this or less. And so you can try it. I mean, it depends. Often when people are super dysregulated. They’re like, just work, you know, want to fix so quickly. But focus your attention on the sand or the straw or your lips pursed breed slowly, when cortisol comes into your system, which is a stress hormone that that can take up to 48 hours even to move out of your system. Depending on how stressed you are, like if you’re really stressed.

No doubt. I don’t I don’t know the facts there. But I wouldn’t doubt that in cortisol. This is the thing that happens with PTSD, if there’s been some kind of complex trauma from childhood developmental trauma versus like, it’s something that happens once is an incidental trauma your system is stuck with it’s like your foots on the gas and if your system is being flooded chronically by cortisol and adrenaline and, and your system doesn’t know that it’s not in danger, so that you’re just like, that’s what can cause chronic inflammation in the body. Right? It’s yeah, lattice dress.

Cool. So we were talking about dating.

So this is I think, for me, my one of the reasons I love Amy and one of the things that is like, the weight of my heart is depth and humor. So being able to ride the to ride between those two states is really important. My favorite people have that in common. And you I went to my favorite things that makes me happy dating you we were just talking about sexual encounters and like describing certain sexual encounters, and then of course, we got into trauma. Not all sexual encounters ended trauma char No, definitely not.

Okay, what was one of your favorite sexual encounters recently?

Oh, okay. So there’s been some build up. It’s really always fun when you have a crush on someone for a long time to finally get to kiss them. And I would still being the responsible girl that I am like, oh, I don’t know, got to get up early in the morning and do some writing and I had some plans. But when I felt him press his, you know, he didn’t actually didn’t press I pressed. He was saying how hard he was. That was like, well, maybe the writing doesn’t need to happen. And I got a little less rigid and driven and let myself be written. Let him get rigid and driven. You’re like yes, that’s that’s tourist page rolls here.

That’s right. That’s right. Yeah, it was just so deeply it was deeply satisfying. To suffer alone long time I have to say I had an aversion to Cox right until I was like 30 basically and to feel so much turned on in joy when I feel someone hard so this is like your guys were just sitting there or what was going on here? You were standing at the door. I mean, paint the picture here first saying goodbye to him. I was we had had a nice full evening of other things. Like as brisket movies, conversation. Oh, actually, it was pretty funny. I made I’ve made Hanukkah fudge every year for the teachers and loved ones in my life since I was nine. And so I said I’d said earlier in the evening, something about how I’d already packed the fudge was coming I knew that was heavy. You were there. But it was that kind of fudge people so anyways, I’d invited him up for some fudge as we were walking towards the door. I was totally not even expecting to I was having a hard time reading him wasn’t expecting even a kiss goodbye and he went in for a kiss. And then we were we just kind of stood in the hallway for a really long time making out and then making out against the wall and then finally I was like, Okay, maybe let’s go sit on the couch for a while. And I sat on him instead and then things progressed. And then she felt the harm that though that happened in the hallway that was the mind that was that’s where I wanted to see where did you feel it when did it happen?

That was in the hallway when you’re making on you’re just like, because it was you know he’s busy guy travels a lot And now it’s like, well, now or in two weeks, my eyes will fill up the camel humps now. It’d be a long couple of weeks.

I could go so many directions, friends, I’m saving you right now from the insides of my mind. So that was just a wonderful experience. Yeah, it’s always great to see you, you just never know what people’s level of experience and openness is based on even having a conversation with them. So until you’re actually naked, and inaction, you know, I like that moment of revelation.

So many people do. So when they go to church, what was your big? What was your biggest mismatch? Like, recently? So I would say when I say mismatch, either, like the sex was incredible, but then, like, talking afterwards, or something, you know, and personality wise just didn’t match up, or the personality was incredible, and the sex didn’t match up?

Well, let’s just say that writing a book is a lot of work.

And I am so curious to see where this is going in answer to my question.

Just say like, it’s not like I, you know, I get a lot of offers, but I don’t take a lot of people up on it, because I’m so selective about where I put my time and energy, you know, so as much as I crave sex, I’m pretty selective at this point. In my life, there has been an interesting trend in very young men writing to me. And I normally swipe left. And this guy wasn’t like, like, ridiculously young but but young enough, early 30s, this guy was in town to visit a newborn, and he was a nurse. And he wrote me this really sweet email that felt like it had enough depth that caught my attention versus when people write to me online, and they say, you’re beautiful, or hey, it’s not, it’s not when they say you’re beautiful, or hey, granted, people don’t always have words, but I feel like I’ve given you enough to say something about like, come on, meet me halfway, please. So I agreed to meet him, right. Normally, when people are passing through town, I don’t usually respond. So we met for dinner. And I really enjoyed our conversation and had this really beautiful mouth. It’s like really full lips. And, and he was actually kind of a short guy, right? What I discovered, as the evening unfolded was a surprise. I actually, I left him on the street corner, he was going to walk back, take the train back to his friend’s place, and I got into my car, and I ended up texting him and said something like, It’s too bad. I would have liked to kiss you. And he was like, damn. So long story short, we started making out in my car for a while and we had a hairy chest. She likes that. I don’t know if you can call it a kink. But that’s my thing. For me. That was the moment where the tides turned I always seem to be wrestling with I really like productivity. And I want to have a full day of like yoga and writing or whatever. But then I’m like, hardcore. Oh, here, he just okay. Slippery slope productivity line slipped into something else. Oh my god. Okay, so that’s relatively early in the evening. And he came back to Oakland with me. And boy, was I surprised.

Good things come in small packages. Oh, yeah. packages come in small packages.

That’s right. Big things come in small packages, rather big packages come in small packages. So he not only was that the case, but he was like a bionic man. And so humble about it all, like, just really played the humble card. And he could go and come and go and come and go and come with no Viagra. And maybe some of that youth. So it was really amazing. It was like satisfying size and skill in all ways, not just p IV. But the fact that it never seemed to go down was kind of insane. I use non latex condoms. They don’t unroll very well, and they’re not great on bigger decks. And he was also uncircumcised so he was trying so hard to unroll it but it like wouldn’t go over all of his business. It was really an unfortunate scenario and the fact that he was like so cool about the whole thing was really sweet. So anyways, he was I really appreciated how verbal he was. I knew how turned on he was and this was the from the from the minute we started kissing in the car. He was just there’s this level of intensity that he brought, and he’d go,

Oh my God, you’re so hot. Just so hot, but I’m doing more New York, Boston, the Boston x hat Hat. Hat. He’s like, Oh my god, oh my god, it’s so hot.

He just kept saying that. He would just look at me with this level of intensity. Like he was gonna like he was like a praying mantis who’s gonna bite my head off and hit me. He would grab me Look, you look at me, he would grab my shoulders and be like, just so hot.

It was it was writing the line of like comedy and then I would laugh and be like, what? And I was just so funny, but he didn’t get how funny it was. Felt like I was in a certain Live skit, but I was super turned on at the same time.

Sounds like a fun time. It was a fun. It was a fun sounds like a fun yes, that was not a mismatch, the Everlasting cocktail, it was the everlasting gobstopper the infamous look at you.

It was it was really sweet. So this is like a call out praising being verbal letting people know what you like and what you like about them and what they’re doing right. Yeah, and not being judgmental. And you just takes one experience like that to be like, oh, yeah, five eighths. Swipe right. hairy chest on take. Oh, yes. Oh, honestly. Oh, this was really cute. Actually, he sent me this photo holding the baby, but he was wearing a tank top. So I saw his hairy chest. And I told him later that it kind of did me in and he was like, I knew it would be awesome. The baby in the heritages. Anyways, what’s the biggest mismatch? There’s so many possibilities. But the one that comes to mind since we were talking about parakeet kissing earlier, this is this. There was again, this is somebody that I’d had a crush on. I’d seen him in some dance classes, who is my friend’s friend. And I don’t even remember all the circumstances. But I was hanging out with him and cuddling took a right turn. And I was super turned on until we kissed and also I think right around then I was actually just out of dating women and I wasn’t really dating men yet.

Do you find women in general are softer kissers?

I don’t know, if I’ve ever had a bad kiss with a woman.

I’m just gonna take credit for the entire feminine gender right here and be like,

I know that there have to be they have to be out there. Because I know that. Men have said to me I’m a good kisser. And then they’ve had these other experiences. So I know that they’re just as many bad women kissers out there. Have you ever had somebody who is like a puppy dog kiss like they’re just kind of licking your whole face, you know? Or they’re like, on the outside and you’re low, not attractive. It’s like, Wait, if I had chocolate on my face, I might understand it. I might credit porn, but I think the porn is more of like the hard weird tongue thing. Or just tongues, like tongue sword-fighting. That’s tight. And it’s like a parakeet kiss. Just immediately, a turn off. And where something could go in one direction of like, yeah, yeah, no. And I think what I did in that that scenario that I was mentioning earlier, is I came up with an excuse in the moment where I was like, you know, I’m starting to think this is not a good idea. Because we have a mutual friends. Like I just totally made up historical friend, excuse. I like you so much. As a friend, I don’t want to compromise that. This is the thing like, you know, I do think that people are quite busy. But if you really want it badly enough, you make it happen.

Case in point sit and write. must not want it badly enough.

Yeah, there was a period where I was struck by a lot of ghosts, a lot of ghosts haunting my dating life. And I just was like, Okay, I think that part of that is a result of Tinder and, you know, lack of social skill around communicating and saying hard things and saying, you know, actually, I’m, I’m no longer interested or whatever. I think there’s part of that going on, but also I like to take responsibility for Well, I think I there’s a certain level of ambivalence on my part, where I’m like, you know, I feel really torn and I just actually feel very driven to focus on my book right now. And so when a lot of people start flaking out, how much of it is, is their ambivalence versus my ambivalence?

I was going to ask you what it goes COC feels like well, it feels like my silicone dildo plus my imagination, which is pretty good. Okay. All right. Oh, you know, actually, that’s a whole other topic discursive cock. Right? So discursive cock. Yeah, define? Well, when I was in college and dating this witch woman, and this was before, having sex with dildos was really a thing in my life. It was like some some lesbians don’t want to have sex with an object that is a phallus. Right, so she was masterful with her mouth and her hands and she really kind of taught me much of what I like. And she would talk about her, you know, her imagined clock was getting hard. And so she would talk about how turned on she was in those in those ways. And so I feel at times because I identify as a switch, which is equally kind of toffee and bought me that it wasn’t just that I like to be the person who is being fucked by women. But I also like to do the fucking so like what you can kind of imagine in your mind, and it’s an extension of you.

I have a boyfriend for several years who I described as my, my, my Barry White. You know, he had a really deep voice and he could use it. Oh, you know what I’m saying? Like he knew how to talk. And there I have had different men that have talked already to me and and I’ve liked it, or I’ve not liked it. And I think what I liked about this man was that there wasn’t a power dynamic in it. It was just a sweet, full on expression of what he wanted and what he was feeling and what the you know, there was something reciprocal in it. So felt more connected. Yeah. And more like it woke up my whole system and woke up my whole being I was like, Yeah, you know, I was slightly embarrassed, but it’s okay. I like it, you know, like, Okay, this virus is me. And I’m a little too serious to take this kind of thing seriously. And then I had another man who I was in a much more serious relationship with who was so aggressive with it, that it felt disembodied, and it felt, I mean, penetrative is not appropriate word, but you know, just felt disembodied. And felt like yeah, like almost humiliating.

And unless that’s your thing, right? Unless you want to be humiliated. And that turns you on. You need to be mindful of that. I think that some sometimes it’s when you’re saying it’s disembodied, I think sometimes people adopt scripts from from porn or from from things that they watch, and that they’re just repeating stuff. And they’re not feeling or listening to the person on the other end and finding out what they want or what they’re interested in. I think that’s an epidemic in online dating.

Do you think that’s more of a feminine thing, though? Like, because I think it’s, I think as women were more oriented to listen for what someone wants than men are more oriented to generate something,

I think it can be gendered that way. But then there’s also there’s always exceptions to every rule there plenty of women that are not listening, and not present and not tracking. They’re the sensitive dudes out there that are doing a great job of I’ve had a lot of lovers who are like, my pleasure is your pleasure, you know, who are more oriented towards, like, I get turned on if you’re turned on, but I think that whole topic of dirty talk is a great one. I’m a big, big fan. But it’s fascinating how some people just like, if you’ve had this experience, certain people you’re really funny around and another people it just doesn’t like the well is dry. Yes. The same thing with dirty talk. I feel like I’ve had different partners where I’m like, oh my god, what am I channeling right now? Holy moly.

There’s a rep parte, it’s just flowing, like the dirty talk, which is flowing through me, wow. While with other people, it’s being generated by the back and forth. I think it’s good to get creative with it. In terms of, you know, it’s always nice to hear the specificity of what somebody enjoys about you. I will say that so much of this is a switch that’s turned on once I actually have a rapport with somebody, and that I’m not inviting or interested in in this from a stranger before I’ve met them. It is ridiculous. How many people try to go there before I’ve met them. And I’m absolutely disinterested, and it makes it in probability that we’ll meet it’s a very rare occurrence that that started before we’ve met and that I actually ended up meeting somebody. Some young guy sent me your giant dick pic. Yeah, he made it sound like that’s what all the young girls want. Like they’re out there asking you’re asking for it. Well, maybe in some of them may actually it’s like if you have an agenda. I mean, it makes sense right? If you’re buying a couch on Craigslist, you’re not going to go and drive to buy a couch you’ve never seen before. So for some people if that’s what their agenda is, then you know they want the pic first.

I think it’s so important though to hear this from you in particular because you’re so because you’re so sex positive and because you actually are so sexually self expressed. There is a place where hearing for me hearing you say I don’t want to see that dick pic before I’ve met you before I have some kind of frame of reference for whether or not I want to have sex with you. To me that feels empowering because there’s a place where it’s like, oh, if I was sexually free, I would want the dick pic. Right and I actually know a lot of young women who are getting assaulted by gazillion take pics, you know? And it’s like, like people are sending them. Like, it’s just part of getting to know you. And it’s like, yeah, it’s it’s a later part of getting to know you don’t send that to me right now sometimes I feel concerned, especially for young women where there’s just such a focus on this digital exchange. You know, be okay being like, no, actually, I’m a totally sexually free and positive person. I don’t want to see your dick pic until we’ve had a few minutes.

And I want to talk to you about what I like sexually until I decide whether I want to have sex with you. Yeah, it can feel like there’s there’s a big Lankan culture out there in terms of people wanting distraction from whatever they’re working on it, you know, in the moment, and so they’re like, let’s see how far I can push it with this person. And that’s fine. I, you know, like, go for it. But if someone makes it clear that that’s not what they’re interested in, then respect that. So I posted an ad on Craigslist to rent my office. And I got a dick pic from somebody else’s a trauma therapy office being rented. And I got this dick pic. And what did I do in response? I sent him a very impressive dick pic. From somebody sent me a dick. Just so you know, you better watch out who you send your dick to. So I sent him this massive Dick back and let him know that I was well taken care of. And I didn’t need what he had to offer. So you know, you can get creative and response. Because Come on. Like what do you why do you think I want to see that? 

Quit sending your dick everywhere. Good job. Good job. Yeah. Well, it’s getting late.

It feels like Time to wrap things up. We covered a lot of ground in my life. And I hope you enjoyed this conversation because I certainly enjoyed having it. Thanks so much to my co pilot and bestie Amy McLean. If you have additional questions around sex and trauma you can send them to late open podcast@gmail.com Follow me at laid open podcast on Instagram and Facebook and read more about my work at passionate life.org or late open podcast.com. Until next time, take good care.

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© 2022 By Charna Cassell, LMFT. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. MFC 51238.

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