Natalie Vartanian and Bob Schwenkler can’t have kids with each other so they decided to create a podcast about sex instead.
Let’s be real – we are all here because of something barely any of us talk about.
You guessed it! Sex!
For many ostensible reasons, our culture has placed sex firmly and squarely in the taboo category. We feel guilt and shame and keep our lips tightly shut. We create experiences in our sex lives that reinforce those feelings and the paradigm of keeping our challenges, fears, and shame in the closet is perpetuated.
Yet we can’t get support to grow if we don’t communicate! Ignoring problems doesn’t make them go away. It does the opposite.
This is why we are big proponents of opening up the dialogue around sex and sexuality. It is one of the reasons we created Sex the Podcast after all.
Know that when we speak to “talking about sex”, we are referring to a certain quality of conversation. Because we can talk about sex all day long, yet it still can feel empty, disconnected, and shallow. What we want to see are conversations where we share our stories, our personal experiences, our fears, our desires and open up in such a way that it creates intimacy and community. We are talking about vulnerability, which leads to connection, which leads to the thing that we’ve all gathered here on this web page to read about. Sex.
Speaking of authentic and intimate conversations, let’s talk about sex shall we?
The following are three reasons we feel it is important to talk about sex:
1. Know You’re Not Alone
Natalie: So much of our angst comes from feeling like we are alone or that no one else will understand. A lot of times we feel like we are ‘freaks’ or ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ because of our desires, fantasies or experiences.
When we talk to others about sex, we find that others may have similar wants, fears, thoughts, desires, etc.
When I first told someone that I had been masturbating since junior high and they shared that they had as well, I felt immense relief. Apparently it’s pretty common but I had no idea. Same went for a specific fantasy I would envision during masturbating. I thought I was weird for being turned on in that way. Turns out I was not the only one.
Even if it is one other person, it strips away that feeling of isolation. The mere voicing of our fears can show them to be unfounded. The more I surrounded myself with people who were willing to have those conversations, I felt supported, understood and even encouraged. I realized I did not have to go through this journey alone.
I cultivated a whole crew of amazing people to experience the ups and downs of life with me and the arena of sex was no exception.
Bob: There are a few moments that stand out in my memory, one of which is an extraordinary experience of sitting in a circle of 30 men, all of whom were gathered to share things that most of us would never even tell another individual, let alone a room full of men we’d only known for 24 hours.
Something powerful happened as we went around the circle and spoke our greatest fears, shames, and desires out loud: We grew stronger. We experienced a lightness that, perhaps, many of us had never felt. We felt more ourselves. We felt more connected. We felt free.
2. Know What’s Possible
Natalie: You don’t know what you don’t know. Considering the fact that we barely talk about sex within our families, at school, in our communities, that leaves the amount we DO know to be very small. When we create more dialogue around sex we are actively expanding our horizons. There is a wealth of information out there if we choose to open the door to it.
I know my experience of this first started by secretly checking books out at the library. I was struggling with my sexual attraction to women and the notion of being bisexual. Was I bi, was I a lesbian, was I asexual? I had so many questions and had no idea what to make out of any of it. Could I possibly be attracted to men and attracted to women? What if I did not want to be in a romantic relationship with women, only with men, what then? I had so many questions. I still do.
But for so long I did not know who to go to for those answers (and this was pre-internet days). The more comfortable I felt knowing I wasn’t alone (see reason #1) the easier it was to have the conversations with other people.
I learned so much from others: what to do, what not to do, what was okay or not okay, what was available to me, what ways I could play and experiment, what were boundaries I could enforce, etc.
These are things I never would have known had I not gone outside of myself and connected with other people. Those conversations around sex really taught me so much and continue to teach me as I expand my network.
The possibilities around sex are endless, literally.
Bob: There’s an idea I love which states that the only thing we need to create growth and forward movement in our lives is to raise our expectations.
When we talk to others our horizons are broadened. We see more opportunity for growth, pleasure, excitement, joy, and connection. In that wonderful moment when we realize that something we never knew was possible IS possible, we gain access to our purpose, happiness, and ability to connect in the ways we deeply crave.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned that’s possible is, simply, that I don’t have to settle.
You might read that again, because I believe that it’s true for you too. Neither you nor I have to settle for anything less than the most amazing, connected, universe expanding, loving, blissful sex that we will never be able to imagine until the moment we experience it.
My hope with these words is that you can open up even more to believing that this is true for you, because as you do your life will change. And though the process of change can sometimes be painful and challenging the rewards will be a thousand times more beautiful for the contrast you’ve experienced.
3. Know Yourself
Natalie: The biggest benefit I have found to communicating around sex and sexuality is that I know myself more than I ever have in my life. I am learning what it is I want every day and were I to stay quiet that would never have happened.
I find that those open, honest, vulnerable conversations with others mirror what is inside of me, whether those things were dormant, hidden, wanting permission, afraid, etc. Every time I voiced aloud an experience I was having it gave me an opportunity to reflect and also gain support. If you have a good crew around you they will be curious, as well as offer information to help you gain a clearer idea of who you are and what you want.
I have found the following to be powerful and true: The more you know yourself, the more you can have the kind of sex you want, not the kind someone else wants. Or what porno movies want.
You can more confidently ask for what you want and be open to actually receiving it. Novel concept right?!
Bob: These days I would consider myself a very confident person. For much of my life that hasn’t been true. Confidence is sexy and appealing to others. And most importantly, it feels good to me!
I believe that true confidence comes from knowing of one’s self. We learn who we are partially through our own internal inquiry, but there’s a different kind of reflection that can only be gotten from the outer world.
I’m an extremely introspective person, I always have been and I’ve learned a lot about myself this way, but I owe so much of who I am today to past lovers and girlfriends, my current girlfriend (Hi Natalie!), and the community of brave hearted lovers and life-livers I’ve cultivated around me.
What did I ever have to lose really? Only my fear. I’ve gained a full and rich community that I trust has got my back, a partner I’m ecstatic to be building a life with, work I wouldn’t quit even if you paid me, and an unimaginably fulfilling experience of life.
Your Parents Had Sex Too
Really, considering that EVERY one of us arrived in this world because of sex, has it ever struck you as strange that so few of us share our own personal stories?
It has us, which is why we decided to create a whole project, Sex the Podcast, based upon honest and authentic conversation around sex.
Through our own past honest and authentic conversation we’ve both experienced something far beyond what we ever knew to be possible. And we’ve only really caught a glimpse of what’s really available.
We believe this is possible for anyone who’s ready to face their fears, open up to a new possibility, and share their experience with others.
We’re not saying you need to do something as dramatic as share your story with the whole world… You get to start at the next step for you. Whether you’re extremely comfortable talking about sex, or this is the first article you’ve ever read on the topic, there’s a next step that’s right for you.
You get to choose it. You get to make it. You get to experience what it’s like to know that you’re not alone, to see a greater vision for what’s possible, and simply, but perhaps most importantly, to know yourself better.
And, if nothing else, it can turn you on!
Consider it intellectual foreplay.
Interested in Sex the Podcast? Click here to listen to the latest sexy episode!