Welcome to Modern Anarchy, the podcast featuring real conversations with conscious objectors to the status quo. I'm your host, Nicole. On today's episode, we have birth worker and writer Chaney join us for a conversation all about healing through kink. So together we talk about virginity coins, being completely unaware that you're kinky, and stepping into radical embodiment.
First, I want to start this episode with a really big thank you to Chaney. These are topics that can be really hard to talk about, very vulnerable, and given everything that we did talk about the taboo of these things. Thank you, Chaney, for coming in here and being vulnerable because what I know is that you are not the only one with this experience of finding healing through kink. I will be the first one to echo that sentiment of, you know, talking about learning to have conversations about boundaries and pleasure and limitations and how healing it can be to step into a space where that is normalized and to be in a space where you can really reclaim your embodiment and write a new narrative in terms of your relationship to your body, in terms of pleasure, in terms of connection and intimacy to other people.
Oh, there are so many stories in this space that I think need to have more light, need to have more conversation around for the healing nature that they are. And especially when we think about the collective trauma that we've all experienced in this world of a society that is so afraid to talk about sexual intimacy, a world like Chaney had talked about in their early childhood sexual education, the tape test and saying that you're gross and used if you have sex with multiple people. Now, I would say that is a trauma that we have all experienced. So part of healing in that journey is writing our own narratives of sexual embodiment and connection with other people. And I will certainly say that exploring kink and all the ways that we can be in connection, loving connection with other people has been such a transformative journey for me that it is a pleasure to share this story on the podcast.
And I know that there will be many more like this as this becomes a more normalized conversation. Y'all, I have been thinking a lot about how attention and presence is one of the biggest gifts that we have in this world, you know, with computer AI and all these other radical things that are coming out in our time, being able to actually be with another human and be present in that is really one of the biggest gifts we can give. And so I just want to say thank you for tuning into this podcast. Thank you for coming with me on this journey each week and for growing with me in this space. Your presence, your company, this community that we're forming is giving me so much joy and hope for the world that we are building together. And yeah, it's really just such a pleasure that I get to have these lovely conversations with beautiful souls out there and to share it with the world. So I really, I really feel that today and I am thankful for all of you dear listeners and I hope we can continue to grow and explore and step into some radical embodiment and pleasure y'all. I know that we deserve it.
I hope that you enjoy today's episode and tune in. Yeah, so then the first question I would ask is how would you introduce yourself? I would introduce myself as being like a queer, iracial, intersectional feminist.
I'm also a full spectrum doula and I have an MFA in creative writing poetry. Wow. Wow.
Wow. So what does your life look like? So basically right now I'm doing a lot of like freelance writing and then doula work as well. So full spectrum doula work is basically everywhere from like the spectrum of birth and like preconception to miscarriage, loss, abortion.
Wow. So you get to have that full spectrum of the experience with people. That has to be very meaningful work.
I really love it. I'm kind of on a break right now from doing like certain aspects of it like labor support because I'm having a lot of chronic health issues and my back, I'm having a lot of back pain. So I can't do labor support like I usually would be able to do because you can be at a labor for like a couple days sometimes and you're just like at the hospital or at the home. So that's something I'm navigating right now but I'm getting more into herbalism which is really cool.
Yeah, what does that mean? I actually just apply to like a master of science program and clinical herbalism in Maryland. I just applied on Friday so I will be finding out soon which is exciting. Yeah, good luck. Thank you because I've been dabbling in herbalism for a while and this was like the right path especially with the kind of support I want to give. Yeah, I'm sure those two things could definitely collide and be a part of your doula work.
They do. They intersect so much and my like the clients I like to work with especially are people who are like me from marginalized communities so like BIPOP people, LGBTQIA plus, that's the support I want to give because I don't think there's a lot of herbalists out there who represent those communities like I do. Yes, yes we need more people like you in that front for sure. Yeah, thank you for doing that work and I hope you get in. I hope you get some good news very soon. Thank you. Yeah, and I know today we're going to be talking specifically about kink.
Which I'm excited about. Yeah, yes, yes, yes. I guess one of the first questions I wanted to ask you that I didn't even put this on the questions I was going to ask but going with the question, how would you define kink in your life? For the question, I feel like it's so different for different people and there's such a wide spectrum and it's really based on the dynamics and the boundaries are set in place beforehand that develop as it goes. So I mean I kind of think of how I would want to explain it. I feel like every dynamic is just different in my life and I'm also polyamorous. So I think that's a really big portion of it as well especially with kink because if there's, I don't have to put all, I hate to say X in a basket with like one dynamic, I can find it in a wide array of different things. Yes.
Which is what I love about Polly. Yes. Say more to that, especially I think in terms of kink, that might not be something that is talked about enough of that. Okay.
Having the space to explore all of your interests, put eggs in one basket. Yeah. Tell me more what you mean by that. I feel like, so for me, there's so many different interests I have and different kink parts of myself. And so like one part, like one dynamic may look completely different from other dynamics I have. And so like part of that is I identify as a brat and also like a sub and certain dynamics I'm in that works like the brat comes out and I've really been exploring a lot lately how I think my bradiness is more switchy energy than I've realized, which I love. And it's fun to explore and play with, but it's all very different depending on the people. Like I have people like partners in my life who are like FWPs, which is great. And like our dynamic looks completely different from like other people, I would say. Like I have a person I call like my daddy too, which sounds, I don't know, that's just like a name I call it. It's like very long distance and virtual. And they're just like a really good friend as well. But like that dynamic, how it expanded since we like first met, which, wow, that was like 2019, which is wild to think about.
But that dynamic looks completely different from other dynamics I have, because it's mostly virtual. Mm hmm. Yeah. So then it has a whole different space to it and kind of what I'm right. And kind of what I'm hearing is how in these different relationships, maybe there's different parts of you that come out in these dynamics.
Yes. And that's what I was trying to get to. And I totally lost my mind.
That's OK. But like I've realized, especially in the last couple of years, that depending on the dynamics I'm in, like relationships, it's just because it's with a different person or people. And so there's a totally different flow, which I love that, that I get to explore that because I am polyamorous. And I'm not just like, I don't want to say boxed in because I'm not calling monogamy being boxed in.
But for me, that's how I would feel. And I really like having the space to explore and play with different relationships and styles. And it's just, I don't know, it's really exciting because I like that. Like it's not something I have to be like, OK. I can live my authentic life.
And that's so refreshing and wonderful and freeing. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Yeah. And I think psychology has held space for that sort of dynamic in parts of our self coming out in different relationships and that being normal and a part of our identity. But because of the world we live in and the social conditioning, that sort of space with sex and our own sexual identity, I don't think has really been talked about. Not to bash monogamy because that's a way to form that identity and have that sort of exploration of yourself. And at the same time, I think there needs to be a discussion about how different parts of our identity can come out in different relational dynamics with sex. Yes. Yeah. And like, I think another big part, something when I was pretty new to the King World I didn't realize was that there doesn't have to be explicitly sex in those relationships.
It can just be like impact play or something like that. And that's like that shift in the last couple of years because I didn't have those resources growing up because no one really does. And I grew up in central Kentucky, which is very southern Christian.
There were definitely a lot of constraints to how I was raised, not by my curse per se, but like our community that I lived in. Yeah. Yeah. What kind of messaging did you receive around sexuality in that community? I know that might be a big question. No, no, no.
This is like one of my favorite questions because it really. I'm lucky in the sense that like I didn't have those messages from my home. Like my parents, I would say are very open and sex positive and like we're like use condoms and stuff that like I don't think people heard in my community a lot. And there was like a really open dialogue that felt really safe and comfortable with them and like really good boundaries. But like when I was I think seventh grade in our health class, I still have it. It gave us a virginity coin, which is wild because I was 12.
Wow. And like even at the time I was like, what were you going to say? I said, I had a pin. I had a little pin.
So I'm with you. I mean, I was 12 and I was like, yeah, I was like, this is ridiculous. And I like showed it to my mom and I was like, why would you want to be in a relationship with someone like marry them, but not experience that beforehand? That was like my mindset. I think that's fine if that's not how people want relationships to be. But I was like, I could never do that. I don't want to like I would always be like, what if you marry this person and you guys aren't compatible in that way? And I was like 12 thinking that.
Which wise, wise, 12 year old because it was different. Yeah. Right.
Yeah. And then in high school, we had another sex education class, which was not really that at all. They just showed us pictures of STI's and they brought in people who were from like pregnancy crisis centers who were teen moms. Which felt really gross and icky because they were really shaming people for teen pregnancy.
And we didn't have any resources at all or education. They like did this thing called the tape test. Do you know what that is?
Oh, okay. The tape test is where they give everyone our class a piece of tape, like clear plastic tape. And then they had us go to other people in the room and press the tape against theirs.
And then after they were like, look how dirty the tape is. This is what happens when you have multiple partners. That's your body. And I was livid. Like I was very pissed because it just, first of all, yuck and icky. And it's just disturbing to think about teaching that to people about their bodies. And like it really bothered me because I knew people in the class who were literally pregnant at the time in this class and they were shaming them.
That's basically what they were doing. It made me really sad. And like I remember I was 14 and like I have a journal where I'm like writing about it. And I saw it like a couple of years ago and I'm just mad. It still makes me really mad that they taught us that. But like it was just so shaming. So that was like the predominant culture in our community was those kind of teachings.
But I was very privileged because I had a really great group of friends who we were all kind of weird, I would say, like in outliers and we were very connected and we still are. Yeah, I mean, that is not. sex education in the slightest right when all you're doing is talking about the outcomes of sex that can happen. Like you're not talking about the full informed consent. No, there's no consent. There was no talking about like safety or pleasure or just anything. It was just like these are pictures of STIs.
This is what'll happen to you and you don't want to end up like this. And that's so shamy. I think that was a really big thing. I had to navigate even though I didn't have those messages at home. But realizing, I don't know, I think it put a lot of fear in me. Yeah, because of course it would.
Of course it would. And I wasn't like sexually active really until like college because I did not want to. And I made that conscious decision which I really am proud of myself for.
But I think also it was a lot of based on a fear being like I don't know how to protect myself because there's nothing to learn about. Right. Yeah. You were just giving so many messages about all the bad things that could happen. I mean, I think that makes a lot of sense why you would feel fearful about that. And yeah, and it's so sad that unfortunately this is like the normal story of sex education in America, especially during, you know, that time period and still now to this day, which is really scary. It breaks my heart.
It really breaks my heart. And like a big shift for me was when I was 16, I read the bus guide to the New Girl Order. Have you read that before? It's like a bunch of essays and poems by Bust Magazine. I think it came out in the late 90s. And that was like so freeing and transformative to me and like my relationship with myself and my body.
And that was a really big eye opener for me, that and Life Journal. Yes. Yeah.
Yeah. Life Journal was totally a thing where I was like, because where I grew up, it was just very isolated. And like what I was saying, the messages from the community weren't like that.
So it totally opened me up to people in other places who had different ways of thinking, which was great. Yes. Yes. To talk about the pleasure that can be sex. I mean, that's radical then to hear that message and to have a whole different paradigm of understanding the beauty of this act. It gave me a lot of autonomy, I would say, over myself and my body.
And being like, okay, like I, I think a lot of the sexually active, like not engaging in anything in that way also came from not feeling ready and not like wanting to rush into it and wanting to be really intentional. And that was really important to me. And I don't think it has to be important for everyone, but for me that was, and I just didn't want that at the time.
My life was already very chaotic. Right. That makes sense.
I want to add more to that like pile of responsibilities and things going on. Yeah. Yeah. I know like the word trauma is, is used in a lot of different contexts. Sometimes people will say like, oh, capital T, little T trauma, right? But like, I do think collectively we've all experienced a trauma in the type of education that we had around sex, right? When you come in to learn about something and you're thrown with all the bad things, all the like fear thrown, thrown, thrown at you, like that is not okay. We should have had an education.
You don't feel empowered or like you can't get informed choice. Right. Right. Because you can't.
Yeah. Because you weren't given and a lot of us weren't given the proper education that showed both sides of the experience. You only saw the risks, the fears and the bad. Like that is not how you inform anybody properly about anything. Growing up like Catholic, my parents were, as I said, they didn't send us those messages, but like I left the church when I was 13. And a lot of that had to do with the messages they were giving about like, pretty culture and virginity and just really wild stuff that I did not agree with.
And I was like, I can't do this. And I think it's also interesting because it's, I reclaimed a lot of that, especially in, I would say, like my king practice as well, which is something that's developed in like the last year, which is really cool. But there is a lot of religious trauma layered in there as well with that shame. Yes, that Catholic guilt life. Yeah, as someone who had a purity ring, right, I was fully in this and a part of that culture.
And yeah, I mean, losing my virginity and crying on the floor that I am now no longer worthy because I lost my one shot at this, you know, virginity life. I mean, I think we could talk about that as a form of trauma, especially like you said, a religious trauma that we all experienced. Because it is, it is trauma. It's trauma from society and like the community you're in and the culture because I don't know, I think another aspect of it that really bothered me a lot too was when you navigate like not having consent with that as well or like rape culture. And that is so disgusting to me to think that like, because of purity culture, people feel that and it had nothing, even if it didn't have anything to do with them, but like, they had no choice. And the shame that comes from that that I've talked to people about or know, it's just, that was a thing that was really present with me too. And like middle school and high school and being like, this is fucked up, just to say the least and like scarring and like I've seen it in other dynamics and relationships where people also have religious trauma and they're still navigating that as adults, like not feeling pure. And that's so hard. That's so hard, like the shame that comes along with that. And the healing that you have to go through to step into sexual embodiment.
Yes. And like, that's a whole thing I could go into as well. But yeah, I mean, I would say like a lot of my healing from kink has come from sexual trauma and having to navigate that and like working on connecting to my body again and reclaiming it and not being like completely dissociated in life.
And that'll intersect so much. And that's why it's been such like a healing space for me. Because of the control I can have. Yeah. Yeah, say more about that, the control that you have and how that connects to your healing journey.
So okay, let me think. I'm really bad at timelines. But because the years like all run together. But when I was 25, I was sexually assaulted. And how my brain works is when that happens, I can I don't realize that's what's happened, even though everyone else around me has, it's like a protective thing I do. And I started therapy after being diagnosed with PTSD in 2007.
17 and That was completely transformative for me because I had a really awesome therapist who I still adore she Was at a like violence prevention center, so it was completely free which was amazing and she was trained in EMDR which I Never got how you know Could work like she explained it to me, but it was really confusing But once I started doing it it completely transformed my life It's like she explained it as like when you start EMDR the trauma is like you're in a house and it's right outside your window and Then after you've done sessions of EMDR. It's like the trauma. It's always present, but it's like a couple neighborhoods away It'll resurface sometimes, but you have that distance And I didn't get how it would work until I did it and it completely shifted me we also she was really cool because She was very like affirming about like thinking poly life too even though she was not at all Like she would come back from conferences and be like hey like I attended this really cool Like lecture and like workshop about poly life and like poly am stuff and that was just so amazing to have the affirmation as well as I was navigating that because I would say I really realized that about myself During that time that I was polyamorous Yeah, so it's an identity piece for you that you discovered.
I love that. Yeah And she was like willing to not willing. She was very affirming about it great Because I think a lot that came along with my trauma was like not trusting myself And like not trusting my body or my intuition or feeling in control at all But like affirming those parts of my identity really helped navigate that and being like okay Like this is something about myself that I know and I don't have to explain to anyone else because I know it And it is me and my body Yes, I love this.
I love this. Yes When you were saying that you couldn't trust your body could you say more if you'd be willing about like what did that look like at that time? But that time I did not date for like two years. I would not let anyone touch me at all which was Made sense to me at the time but that was just not something I felt comfortable with and so a really big part of like healing for me was getting on dating apps because it's been like exploring things but also being very comfortable about asserting my boundaries and what felt comfortable to me and I had like this thing I would call the talk because I was really new to Being back and like dating apps and stuff like that because I took like a very conscious time off of them and my therapist was really great because she helped me navigate that as well and I don't know like I just totally shifted things because I felt more comfortable about talking to people about my wants and needs and desires which I'd never done before And I think that was a really big shift as well because it made me connect to my body again and not dissociate and like I would even talk to people and I still do this But like what it looks like when I dissociate and like how I need people to check in frequently And that's something I've also realized If I have like warnings not warning signs, but like if I don't feel comfortable Discussing that with someone then I don't feel comfortable with that person And that's something I am trusting Because I think I ignored that a little at first Because I was still learning and figuring out what felt good to me But figuring that out and being like okay, like you are having this feeling about this person for a reason trust yourself and I don't know ghost people I would say but there have been instances where I have because it was a safety thing for me sure being able to Have the language to navigate that territory And those boundaries came a lot from like kink spaces I would say too, right because practice makes perfect, right?
We don't just like get up on the bike and and ride, you know a marathon, you know It's just you have to start small and if and if you know, we've experienced, you know Education that didn't provide us that sort of model of how to do that or experiences that took away our power to do that Oh, you know, there's so much rebuilding through practice and Like you said kink is a great place to be practicing that right? So this is something that you stepped into within the last year. Yeah, tell me what that experience has been like for you It's interesting because I never realized until I started diving into that and had friends who were already in those spaces That I was like, I didn't know I had no idea like I just I just thought it was like And I think it's interesting because a lot of people that I have like physical connections with We just aligned in that way. So I never thought it was outside of the social norms even like in college.
I just didn't know that And then when I started diving into it and doing research and like educating myself and reading books. I was like, oh Most people Don't consider this to be like their norm With stuff which was interesting and I didn't know I think having a place to explore that was really important to me, especially while healing through trauma because being polyamorous exploring the language and like concepts about like Just having a word to identify with Like that's a really big thing for me. And I know it's not with everyone But for me it is and having that language and being like, okay, like I can Ask people if they're comfortable with it. Like, what are your boundaries?
What does this look like for you? What are you into and I can say very clearly what I am into as well And that was a completely big shift especially from being like 19 or 20 where I just didn't ever have those conversations Because no one ever told me that or like discussed it with me, which is wild Yeah, and there's no examples of it anywhere in the media, you know And all of the sort of like fantasy sex that we see out there So unless someone's coming to educate us about how to do this or if you have community I mean, you know, that's where they can't community steps in because then you start to learn and have that community where that is The norm and then you suddenly start to speak and have those conversations But yeah, so much of you know, the world is not even having conversations about what they like Like even between partners that have been married for years because that's a tough conversation to have for a lot of people Which is scary to me It is scary. It's mind-blowing because like I don't know it opens up a whole new avenue of exploring for people and And a big thing I do and like I've done for probably like I did it for the first time in college because I was in a book club where we were reading What you really really want By Jacqueline Friedman. So I was like 21 And I'd never, they had all these questions about like, what are things you're interested in? Or like soft limits, hard limits, et cetera.
I never thought of that, like ever. And so I made like a whole list of my journal, I still have it. And it's interesting, because I've looked back at it because I've really, I don't want to say grown since then, but I have and like explored more. And that book like totally shifted things for me as well. Because it made me really think and like consider things and like feel more comfortable with bringing up those conversations. But I will say it's interesting. I did not really bring up those things until after trauma.
Oh, say more, yeah, why? Yeah, okay, I think I really had to reclaim my voice a lot after experiencing trauma and like make my body a home again. And that was part of that journey for me was like expressing those needs.
Cause I think I had a lot, I don't think I did have a lot of fear or would just be like, I'm going to be like go with the flow or like, what happens, we'll figure it out. And now I can't do that. That is not something I can do for my body. It doesn't feel safe to me. And what does feel safe is having those conversations with people beforehand. That's how you find out things about people.
And it's so important. And I don't want to use the word bread flag, but it is like a yellow flag to me if people aren't after establishing trust aren't able to put those into like text or something like that. If I asked like, okay, like what kind of things do you like for aftercare? Or like, what's your aftercare practice or something like that? And they're like, whatever you want.
God's not going to fly. Yeah. Well, right, because they're not stating what they need, which if someone can't state what they need, it can be a risky interaction because you don't know, especially in kink when you're playing with boundaries, if someone's not going to communicate there, then you're both at risk for causing each other harm. So like, yellow flag is accurate, right? Yes, yes. And it's like, okay. And it's exactly what you said, like you're both at risk for causing harm because I don't want to interact with someone where they won't discuss those things with me after establishing trust because I won't know. And I think for me, it's a really big safety issue, especially because I'm someone who's experienced trauma or like just certain responses to things I've happened, people I'm dating after, I'm just like, this isn't going to work. Yeah, right. And then trusting your gut with that.
Yes, absolutely. That's been a whole embodiment practice for me. And I have sympathy for the people that don't know what aftercare looks like too because I think, yeah, for me even in this journey as well, someone who would have been asked that question said, I don't know, what do you like? I don't know, when you're first stepping into this. Yeah, I've been there. Yeah, exactly.
When you're first stepping into that world, like not even having language or anything to know how to describe it because again, of the capital, little t trauma that we all have experienced with the lack of education around sexuality and pleasure. I think something that's also shifted is when I ask those questions, I'm a lot more detailed. And I'll be like, hey, do you like to like have quiet time after? Do you like to take it fast? Do you like to cuddle? Do you like touch?
Do you like to eat or like things like that? Because I think you're right. A lot of people don't know those phrases.
I know I didn't for a really long time. So I try to reframe it in a way where it's more specific. So I can get to the root and be like, oh, this is just a thing where they don't have exposure to it, which is fine.
But I think the big difference is like if people aren't willing to have those conversations, that's where it puts my safety at rest. I agree. Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. And that's a great way to like be a part of other people's journey to like give them sort of options.
Because like, yeah, we all come at different levels of awareness to this, but yeah, if someone's still not willing to talk about it, that is a risk to yourself again, like you said. And so like honoring that because you need to be able to communicate, especially in King. Yeah. Yeah.
I mean, it's the foundation of it. Mm hmm. Yes.
Which I think is kind of like you were saying earlier, maybe a part of why it was so healing for you. Yes. Because I think having those very set boundaries and being like, OK, this is how things are going to look. This is what's going to happen.
These are the things that are on the table that are not on the table and having those really detailed discussions beforehand. It makes me feel safe. It does. Like it just really does and being really detailed about stuff. I don't want to be like go with the flow about stuff because of how my trauma brain is. I can't do that anymore. It makes me very anxious. And like with other parts of my life, that's fine. But with this part, it is not something I will negotiate about. Like there has to be communication beforehand and meeting someone. And like I have certain, like I would say, rules about meeting people, too.
Yeah. And it provides you a safety that you feel embodied and are able to enjoy the pleasure that you deserve. Yes, I think a really big part of it for me as well is like the release and being able to like surrender into my body and surrender to trusting another person or people.
That's so huge. Because I built that trust beforehand and we've had all those conversations. So I'm like, I can go into the place I want to. Mm hmm. Yeah, I love that.
That's a huge piece of this, right? By having all the communication beforehand, all the trust, the open communication. Like you said, the amount of surrender that you're able to have in that experience because of all that and how that is actually a healing experience on the journey.
It is because like it's such a big release, I would say, as well. And like sometimes I have an emotional reaction like I've cried before because it's just like I'm not sad per se. And like I always talk to people about that before him.
Like that could be a possibility where I may cry just because of like the sensation, like the impact sensation, like the reaction to it and the big release that comes after. Yeah. And that's also been like a guiding thing for me, too. Like if people aren't comfortable with that, then that's probably not someone I should interact with in that way. And that's kind of like a guideline for me, too, I would say.
Because it may happen and how I prep people is being like, this is what I like to happen. Like I use the color scale. So like I'll say blue or something like that. I need emotional check in or. For me, like I like to be touched, like I just want to be like swaddled, basically.
Because it feels like a cocoon that feels like safe. If that is something that I need at the time. And when you say that you're heard and people respond and give you what you need. Yeah, because, and I think that's like another part of the healing aspect of it as well is feeling seen and heard and respected. Especially when I was younger, I was like, I tell people that this is something that I am into.
They're gonna think I'm really weird. And so there was a lot of fear there. And I think another big part of this being healing for me as well is being able to have a safe space to explore that with people and not feel judged because they get it.
Or if they, it's not something they're into, they have the awareness to be like, that is something I'm not into, but these are things I am and they don't, it doesn't feel shaming. Yes. And I just like the great part about the community that I love. Mm hmm. Yeah, you knew that these were parts of yourself that you wanted to explore with other people. And so yeah, to be met with a whole community of people who look at you and are like, yeah, I know people who do that.
I'm one of them, you know what I mean? Like that, letting go of that shame then because of again the societal messaging that said this is the only way you can explore, you know, intimacy with another person. You know what I mean? In any sort of touch or play with another person in an adult, you know, consensual context. Yeah, there's so much more than that.
Yeah. And like, I think another big part of it is also having like that room to explore as well and a place that will save. That's just healing too, because it like I would say it makes you feel seen. And I think a lot of my life I felt very other because I have a lot of different identities.
And I grew up as a biracial kid in the south where there weren't a lot of people who had families like mine. So with all those things, it's been a really good healing experience for that as well. And I don't think I could have navigated that without the community and therapy, like the combination of it.
Yes, I love that you mentioned that too, right? Because it's not like when we experience these traumas that we can just go straight into kink and everything's going to be magically fixed, right? You mentioned that too, having therapy, you know, as a part of this healing journey and being an important piece. Yeah, I mean, and I've never really thought about it actually until now that like it coincided with when I started therapy. Like I think I realized I was probably like the spring before. And then I started really intense therapy in the fall. And that like was a really great unraveling for me of like all these things that piece together because of the shame and trauma and like breaking it all down in a safe space as well with my nervous.
Yes, yes. And I think that can be such profound healing work and it breaks my heart that the field of psychology in terms of trauma kind of stops at, you know, processing the narrative, making meaning of the experience of moving forward and exposure therapy, all these things we kind of stop there and we don't really go into the next part of, you know, healing, which I would say is pleasure, having pleasure in the body. And so there needs to be more conversations about what do we do beyond the initial processing, right, the EMDR and beyond that, how do we step into pleasure. And I think you're speaking today about how like kink has been such an integral part of that process of learning to communicate so you can surrender and feel, you know, yes, I think for a long time, I also had realized that I felt the most in my body when I was having impact sessions with people I trusted, and then spreading that out and letting it flow into other places of my life, which has been something I've been working on like the last couple years. And it feels so good. And I don't think I would have had that experience without therapy and the kink community.
Yeah, yeah. How has it been flowing into other aspects of your life? I mean, I think a lot, a lot of the time because of my trauma, I would go into avoidance mode. And having to have conversations with people about my wants and needs and desires and boundaries has really been a good practice for like friendships as well, that have nothing to do with that it's just flown into everything. Yes, which I'm so appreciative of because I don't know like when I think about how my life was before I had those skills and like knowledge.
I wasn't living my best authentic life. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think that makes sense to like in terms of, you know, what are the hardest conversations to have people usually say what sex and money right and so to talk about sex and so openly and so directly when it is a difficult conversation for many people again because of the society we live in.
I know once you've crossed that barrier, you're like, I could talk about anything. Yes. And like I agree with that because I think it was like ripping the band-aid off a lot for me.
Yeah. Like it was a really big relief and being like, oh, I can do this and I can trust myself and my intuition in my body and that is huge and it's so it's affected every part of my life. I love that. It should build out.
Yes. Again, another aspect of this that I don't think is talked about enough, you know, how it changes other aspects of your life, even outside of kink, right? And changes your whole experience in that way.
It's made me a more confident autonomous person, I would say. I love that. I love that. I love that.
You can pleasure in other places as well. Yes. Yes.
I love that too. Once you start stepping up for yourself to say this is what I want, it's maybe a little bit easier to take up space and to claim your wants and desires for pleasure in other areas. Yes.
Yeah, I agree with that. Are there any scenes or experiences that come to mind when you think about healing through kink that you'd want to share? I guess like a really big part of feeling seen for me has been like a long distance dynamic I have that I mentioned before because it's giving me the room to explore and play. It's really grounding for me and it's someone that I can discuss parts of my everyday life with as well as explore different scenes or things that we're both interested in exploring and then taking it into other places. We've known each other for so long and there's a lot of trust that's been built up there. But also we get each other a lot. I think it's like one of my best friends I would say.
Which is lovely. But there's also other aspects to the dynamic that are really important to me. I can talk to him about dates I'm going on or thoughts and stuff about different issues in my life. So it's very much like my friend described it as like we call him my daddy do looks he's like doing me through that role, which I love.
I love that and I appreciate that. Yes, yes and being able to have them that you know experience of intimacy both through kink and outside of kink. I would imagine that that would create even more intimacy to make it even more.
and safer to explore deeper. Cause a lot of kink is exploring and trying different pieces on. And so like to have that intimacy both in and outside. And I think like a big part of it also is that like, when I started exploring kink was around the time I met him and like met him in person. And so it's just like gradually gone, more exploring has been done, but it's also good to be able to like reflect about how it was before with him too, which is awesome. I would also say I think another big one for me is like the first time I had like an impact session because I had never really thought about, I didn't know that's what it was called when I was into, but having like the informed conversation before and being like, okay, this is what I want.
I want you to like hit me in the face and things like that. And it felt very like the release I had afterwards and like the aftercare, it was just so healing for me. And I think that was 2019 too. Like that was a really big step for me where I was like, wow, like this is something I'm into and people don't think it's weird and I can actually talk about it. Right. And so this- Yeah, it was very cathartic. That's what I was. Yes, having that release afterwards, being the healing part of that and all the trust and all of that altogether in the lack of shame then to honor this aspect of yourself. It was just a really big relief as well, I would say, because it made me feel, I don't know, seen what I was saying. Like it made me feel really seen and not judged and it felt comfortable to just be like, this is what I would like you to do. Yes, yes. I've never felt that before.
Or like, it's interesting because like the journal I was talking about with the book club I had been in, I had listed those things in like 2011 and I never felt comfortable enough to explore them until like 2018, 2019. So that was really healing too. That was really good. Yeah, yeah, to be celebrated, you know, for these aspects of yourself that you were afraid might cause disconnection with other people.
Yes, or like judge or anything like that. And I think that's a really great thing about the community is it's very welcoming, but also, I don't know, it's just a really great inclusive space overall. Like yes, there are some people who can be predators, but that exists everywhere. Right. But I think it's like really important how there's a lot of transparency as well in the community.
And that's so huge because that's not everywhere else. Like one of the things I do is like, I used to be on other dating apps, now I'm only on field because I love field and I've been on field since like when I first came out. So like 2019 and it's really grown since then. But it's one I like refer a lot of people to because it's just a really great inclusive space. And I look how you can like list your desires and like your biomes, stuff like that. And I've met everyone from like partners on field to people I'm best friends with now. We like went on a date, we're like, oh, we are totally meant to be best friends and I love this.
Yes. And like that's a really cool thing about it. Like I have, wow, I have like two or three best friends from dating. I love that, yes. And like I've known them for forever, it's great. And like that's a cool thing also about being calling Amorous is like there's that openness to being like, we can see how the dynamic develops and navigate it and not having to be like, this is exactly what is going to happen.
And like relationship escalatoring it. You're telling me, yeah, absolutely. It's the freedom, the freedom that comes with it.
Absolutely. And the beauty of creating an organic relationship that doesn't have to fit into one box. And when you have that space, you have all the space to create and it's a whole different world at that point when you're not looking for one person to fit all these boxes. Yes. And like that's the huge thing I think for me with it as well is having that realization that like for me, I don't want to have to have one person just to do all of that.
And that's what works for me specifically. But no one ever talked about that as being an option as a kid. And it's so cool, especially like seeing how kids are being raised now and with the awareness and like openness of like having open polyam families and being surrounded by adults who love them. Who, I don't know, it just, it makes me really emotional too. It makes me really emotional because it's like, it's just beautiful.
It's really beautiful. Yes, yes. To have expansive love, you know? Yes, yeah, yeah. It's just like a whole community of people who love you.
Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, yeah. And I think kind of what you said is the key piece of all of this is that, again, we were not given informed consent when we were presented with the ways to go about relationships. We were not said, hey, there's monogamy and there's also non-monogamy and all these other ways and you get to choose yourself.
Yeah, you get to pick what you want to do because it's your life. That was not what we were told. And unfortunately, it's still not a lot of what we're all told today, even with the media and other sorts of stuff and a lot of the judgment and the stigma that comes with polyamory, right? So it's like, I hope we get to a world where we have more space for all people to say like, yeah, you'll get to decide what you want to do with this lifetime and there's a lot of different ways to do it and I'm not here to tell you the right way. I'm just here to say there's multiple ways that are not being talked about, you know? Exactly, there's options. There are so many options and you get to make your own unique life and that's so beautiful.
That's so beautiful. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm, yeah. And then kink being in a beautiful space to explore all those different relationships that you have and to play and to have that ability to, yeah, interact with multiple partners in that space is another way to be more connected and have that expanse of love. Yes, it's interesting because if you would have told me when I was 13 that my life would be this way, it'd be like, no, it wouldn't. But I think part of me always knew because even looking back, I remember being in middle school and I never had one crush at a time. I know, we knew it. I did, but I just thought everyone was like, yes. And they weren't. Yep, yep.
Everyone was. That's so funny. Yeah, but thinking about it now, I'm just like, this is right.
This is how it should be. Right, the signs are there. Yes, and little Chaney would be very happy for me now, which I love that. Yeah, yeah. One of the other questions I wanted to ask you to when we're talking about kink is, is there anything that you wish other people knew about kink?
There's a couple. I think a lot of people think that kink is something that's come out of specifically people who have experienced trauma, which is not true. That may be the case for some people, but it's not. And the other thing is that like kink explicitly has to be true. involved sexual activity all the time, which I didn't know, like I was saying earlier, like when I was younger, like it doesn't have to be like, this will bring me to my other one, like it's not 50 shades of gray for everyone.
That is actually a really toxic thing. You get to make your own unique dynamic and relationships, and it can look how you want it to look as long as consenting adults are involved and everyone can sense to how it looks. Yes. As long as you're not harming anyone. Right.
Because at that point, we're talking about adult play and intimacy. Yes. Yes.
Yes. There's a difference between adult intimacy and play and abuse. And I think that's the big thing. That's the big thing.
Yeah. And like you said, you know, being conscious that there are always going to be people who are in spaces in all spaces that are doing the wrong thing. And it's not always going to be a perfect space, but bringing in consent, doing it when you're sober and sane and having safer sex.
All these other pieces that are so integral to the community in terms of going about this in a safer way to be able to explore these things. It's definitely possible to do this and to enjoy it and to above all find healing in it. And there is research specifically talking about how it is not people coming from trauma. We have statistical research that has looked into this and says, no, it is not just people coming from trauma. There are tons of people who have never experienced trauma that come into kink. Although if we talk about the big trauma of social conditioning around sexuality, we've all experienced a trauma in that way.
Right. So like, talking about how we define that variable of trauma, but like a sexual violence trauma, no, it is not just that. There's so much more than just that.
Yes. Like I've honestly always been this way. I mean, I have even before I experienced trauma, which and it has nothing to do with that. I just think what I had to do with like healing work because of therapy through trauma after experiencing it is what gave me the lens to be like, I want to reclaim my life in a way that is authentic to me.
And it gave me the power to do that. Yes. Yes.
And explore those things. Yes. Yes. Yes.
And if you're anything like me to find new aspects of your own identity through that as well. Yeah. Yeah.