Sex Gets Real: Talking Sex, Relationships, and Kink with Dawn Serra

This episode is sponsored by HotelsByDay. Save 5% with code SGR5off.

I made a Patreon for the show! YAY. If you want to support the show, check it out. There's even a $1 option.

Sometimes, you luck into an incredible opportunity. That happened to me when I heard Mariya Karimjee's story on The Heart or This American Life. It's about her experience with female genital mutilation and having part of her clitoris removed when she was a young girl.

I reached out to Mariya and invited her on the show to talk about being an FGM survivor, what it's been like in her life since her story went global, and she also brings some voices of other survivors to share with us.

We talk about Muslim women, sex, changing relationships with our parents, patriarchy, and the importance of sex education.

It's an important conversation that I hope you'll enjoy. I know I did.

Oh, and if you're looking for the details on submitting a listener confession, I created a guidelines page for you. February theme is surprises.

Resources discussed in this episode

Mariya's episode on The Heart podcast

Mariya's story on This American Life

Additional voices on FGM

"I’ve asked your mother many times since this occurred, why an educated woman who resides in a country where this is illegal subjected her daughter to this practice? I never received a valid reason. Simply saying that “it’s in our religion” is not a good enough answer for me to accept that my daughter went through this." Anonymous father

"I had started to understand the terrifying implications of the practice which differed from person to person and the physical and mental trauma some of my own sisters and close friends had to go through, and are still going through. I also came across many justifications for the practice, some from my family elders which went along the lines of, 'This is done to curb a girl’s sexual desire so that she can put her mind to other things', among many others." Insia Jaliwala

"It may have been just a pinch of skin, but it was a part of me, a part of my femininity and a part of my womanhood." Mariya Ali

"I also don’t know whether girls from other communities enjoy better sex or not. There have been many reports about this that I am unsure of. There is actually a lot of vagueness on this topic that I would like to have some clarification on." Ummehani, from India

"One of my main insecurities about sex was that I felt like I was driving without the headlights on. Often times, I didn’t know where to go or how to guide my driver. I felt like a failure. To this day, I still have not experienced orgasm. While sex is enjoyable for me and I could describe what I can achieve as a “mini-climax”, I am bothered by the fact that I may never get to experience this wonderful part of life. While it’s no secret many women who have not been “circumcised” struggle with the same issues, a part of me will always wonder if that would have been true for me had this not happened. I will never know." Anonymous

"For the record, I have never been mutilated. I am not traumatized, damaged, or broken. Yes, something unfortunate happened to me that I wish had not; but I do not want to be labeled a survivor. Personally, I feel the word is inappropriate to my situation because my life was never at risk. What I do want is to live in a world where what happened to me no longer happens to others. The reason I want this is because although I have come to forgive my loved ones, accept what has happened to me, and move past the trauma, not everyone who has undergone khatna has been so fortunate." Anonymous, age 30

About Mariya Karimjee

Mariya Karimjee is a freelance writer based in Karachi, Pakistan. She's currently working on a memoir about home and identity to be published by Spiegel and Grau.

You can learn more at MariyaKarimjee.com, and follow along with her adventures on Twitter @m_karimjee and Instagram.

Be sure to also check out Sahiyo for more information and voices/quotes from survivors and people impacted by FGM.

Listen and subscribe to Sex Gets Real

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Follow Sex Gets Real on Twitter and Facebook. Oh! And Dawn is on Instagram.

Hearing from you is the best

Call or text: 747-444-1840 (standard messaging rates apply)

Contact form: Click here (and it's anonymous)

Direct download: Episode_146.mp3
Category:Health, Sexuality -- posted at: 10:04am EDT

This episode is sponsored by HotelsByDay. Save 5% with code SGR5off.

I made a Patreon for the show! YAY. If you want to support the show, check it out. There's even a $1 option.

This week there are two listener confessions - one at the beginning of the episode and another at the end after the interview.

And who am I chatting with this week? The incredible Erika Lust about being an erotic filmmaker, the porn industry, evoking powerful performances from her actors, and her new non-profit helping parents to talk about porn with their kids.

Of all the erotic filmmakers doing ethical porn in the world, Erika's videos are some of the most arousing for me. I adore the humor and shamelessness of her stories. She seamlessly incorporates beauty, eroticism, and playfulness into each and every video in a way that I find endlessly delicious.

So here is me, geeking out over getting to chat with someone I deeply admire.

Oh, and if you're ooking for the details on submitting a listener confession, I created a guidelines page for you.

Follow Sex Gets Real on Twitter and Facebook. It's true. Oh! And Dawn is on Instagram.

Resources discussed in this episode

Erika's IKEA video, which is very funny, is in the XConfessions Volume 1 set.

About Erika Lust

Erika Lust is a filmmaker, mother, writer, blogger, owner and founder of Erika Lust Films where she offers an alternative to the mainstream porn industry. She is also the creator of groundbreaking audiovisual project XConfessions.com, the first crowdsourced series that brought adult film to cinema screens.
 
Born in 1977 in Sweden, she studied political sciences, feminism and sexuality at the University of Lund. Tired of chauvinistic and tacky mainstream porn, she moved to Barcelona in 2000 where she took classes in film directing before bursting into the adult industry in 2004, with the indie short film The Good Girl - a humorous statement of principles using the “pizza delivery boy” trope. The immediate success of this first attempt encouraged her to pursue a career in adult cinema. Erika has directed four multi-award winning features: “Five Hot Stories For Her”, “Barcelona Sex Project”, “Life Love Lust” and “Caberet Desire”, and has also written five books including “Let’s Make A Porno” and her acclaimed erotic novel “La Canción de Nora” (“Nora’s Song”).

In 2013 Erika began the XConfessions series, a site where users watch short films based on their own anonymous sexual confessions. Every month Erika Lust picks two of her followers’ fantasies and turns them into erotic explicit short films. Now in it’s third year, Erika has filmed over 100 short films, released XConfessions seventh volume and has now invited guest directors to be part of the project, supporting the burgeoning alternative talent across the globe.

In 2015, she gave her “It’s Time for Porn to Change” talk at TEDxVienna which gained her notoriety for her campaign to change porn. Erika’s philosophy for a new adult cinema is based on 4 main ideas: women’s pleasure matters, adult cinema can have cinematic values, we need more body types, different ages and diverse races and the production process has to be ethical. She defends the importance of the female gaze and the need of having women behind the camera in all key positions.

Erika lives in Barcelona with her partner and husband Pablo and their two daughters, Lara and Liv.

You can also see Erika's new project bringing together erotic filmmakers at eroticfilms.com and her non-profit helping parents talk to their kids about porn at thepornconversation.org. Want to connect on social media? Erika is on Twitter @erikalust and on Instagram.

Listen and subscribe to Sex Gets Real

  1. Listen and subscribe on iTunes
  2. Check us out on Stitcher
  3. Don't forget about I Heart Radio's Spreaker
  4. Pop over to Google Play
  5. Use the player at the top of this page.
  6. Now available on Spotify. Search for "sex gets real".
  7. Find the Sex Gets Real channel on IHeartRadio.

Hearing from you is the best

Call or text: 747-444-1840 (standard messaging rates apply)

Contact form: Click here (and it's anonymous)

Direct download: Episode_145.mp3
Category:Health, Sexuality -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

Looking for the details on submitting a listener confession? I created a guidelines page for you.

As you know, January's theme this year for confessions is FIRSTS. It felt wonderful to be able to have Amber Keyser, author of The V-Word, join in the fun this week as her book is an anthology of 17 stories all about first time sexual experiences.

But what does first time sex mean? The V-Word explores that with beautiful depth and diversity, including trans voices and queer voices among the many stories.

We dive into virginity and what a dated, patriarchal concept it is. Amber even has a phrase I've become obsessed with: the cult of virginity. We talk about teenagers and sex, resources for young people that offer possibilities rather than prescriptions about what sex should be, and dive into her new novel.

Be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get details on next month's confession theme, too.

Follow Sex Gets Real on Twitter and Facebook. It's true. Oh! And Dawn is on Instagram.

Resources discussed in this episode

"Beast" by Brie Spangler, which is a YA novel centering a trans character

About Amber Keyser

Amber J. Keyser is an evolutionary biologist-turned-author, who writes both fiction and nonfiction for tweens and teens. In addition to The V-Word (Beyond Words/Simon Pulse, 2016), she is the author of The Way Back from Broken, a heart-wrenching novel of loss and survival (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), Sneaker Century: A History of Athletic Shoes (Twenty-First Century Books, 2015), and the forthcoming Pointe, Claw, a novel about claiming the territory of the body (Carolrhoda Lab, 2017). She is the co-author with Kiersi Burkhart of the middle grade series Quartz Creek Ranch (Darby Creek, 2017).
 
You can learn all about Amber at www.amberjkeyser.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @amberjkeyser.

Listen and subscribe to Sex Gets Real

  1. Listen and subscribe on iTunes
  2. Check us out on Stitcher
  3. Don't forget about I Heart Radio's Spreaker
  4. Pop over to Google Play
  5. Use the player at the top of this page.
  6. Now available on Spotify. Search for "sex gets real".
  7. Find the Sex Gets Real channel on IHeartRadio.

Hearing from you is the best

Call or text: 747-444-1840 (standard messaging rates apply)

Contact form: Click here (and it's anonymous)

Direct download: Episode_144.mp3
Category:Health, Sexuality -- posted at: 8:30am EDT

Hey you! If you're looking for the details on submitting a listener confession, I created a guidelines page for you.

This week, we have our first listener confession from CK all about the first time she ended a relationship. Heads' up that it contains themes of abuse within BDSM.

Then, Sarah Pappalardo from Reductress is here! If you haven't seen Reductress yet, get thee over to their satirical site immediately and be wowed.

We talk about media literacy, mainstream feminism, white feminism, and all the ways feminism has been co-opted by commercialize and media. Sarah talks about using satire and comedy to confront a Trump presidency, companies like Dove with their empowerment branding, and when satire goes too far.

There is a ton of laughter and misandry mixed in with the very heartfelt and serious topics we dive into. Plus, what are Sarah's thoughts on Amy Schumer as a feminist? Sarah's response is incredible, and something all of us should be more aware of in our "feminist" icons.

Follow Sex Gets Real on Twitter and Facebook. It's true. Oh! And Dawn is on Instagram.

About Sarah Pappalardo

Sarah Pappalardo is the co-founder and editor of Reductress, and the author of How to Win at Feminism - The Definitive Guide to Having it All - And Then Some!
 
You can follow Sarah on Twitter @yourpappalardo.

 

Listen and subscribe to Sex Gets Real

  1. Listen and subscribe on iTunes
  2. Check us out on Stitcher
  3. Don't forget about I Heart Radio's Spreaker
  4. Pop over to Google Play
  5. Use the player at the top of this page.
  6. Now available on Spotify. Search for "sex gets real".
  7. Find the Sex Gets Real channel on IHeartRadio.

Hearing from you is the best

Call or text: 747-444-1840 (standard messaging rates apply)

Contact form: Click here (and it's anonymous)

Direct download: Episode_143.mp3
Category:Health, Sexuality -- posted at: 1:41pm EDT

It's New Year's Day, 2017. It seems appropriate to start the year off with an intimate show between you and me, including a diary entry of my very first kiss. If you'd like to share your own confession on January's theme of FIRSTS, then scroll to the bottom of this week's episode page for details.

So many of you have written in with heartfelt thanks, and I share a few of them this week.

Then, in response to Embarrassed's email from a few weeks ago, listener Hannah writes in about the trauma of her labiaplasty and Sarah from yaysex.ca shares her struggle with accepting her vulva appearance.

I also field listener questions about consent and what consent looks like if you need a partner to talk you into sex, whether to stay in a relationship if your partner never wants sex, and what kind of anal vibrator to invest in if you are getting started with butt play.

It's a packed week and I can't wait to share it with you.

Follow Sex Gets Real on Twitter and Facebook. It's true. Oh! And Dawn is on Instagram.

Resources from this episode

Emily Nagoski's book on desire, "Come As You Are," as well as her blog, The Dirty Normal.

LadyCheeky.com

Barbara Carrellas' book "Ecstasy is Necessary" on all the ways we can have ecstasy, including without sex.

 

Listen and subscribe to Sex Gets Real

  1. Listen and subscribe on iTunes
  2. Check us out on Stitcher
  3. Don't forget about I Heart Radio's Spreaker
  4. Pop over to Google Play
  5. Use the player at the top of this page.
  6. Now available on Spotify. Search for "sex gets real".
  7. Find the Sex Gets Real channel on IHeartRadio.

Hearing from you is the best

Call or text: 747-444-1840 (standard messaging rates apply)

Contact form: Click here (and it's anonymous)

Direct download: Episode_142.mp3
Category:Health, Sexuality -- posted at: 10:49am EDT

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