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116. How Conversations About Our Vaginas Will Change the World with Lindsay Wynn

Nicole: Well then the first question I would ask you is how would you introduce yourself to the listeners?

Lindsay: Yeah, how do I introduce myself? My name's Lindsay. Um, I'm the co-founder and c e o of Mom, Tara Apo. As a person, I usually describe myself, you know, as a photographer, first and a, you know, business owner and kind of second mom, Tara Aica was created out of necessity.

So this business in general is like a very human experience for me. Yeah,

Nicole: I'd love to hear about that. What is that human experience? I'd love to hear the whole story. Gimme all the details.

Lindsay: Yeah. Yeah. Trigger warning for listeners, this is kind of a. A spicy story and just in general, what we do is, um, we definitely don't hold back in any, in any ways.

Um, I started mom taro, I guess like five or six years ago after going through cyclical infections myself, everything from yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, UTIs, kidney infections, and that started because I had sex and hot. Spring. Oh man. Sounds hot. Yeah, it's not highly, do not recommend even if you're in the middle of nature, the hot springs are kinda cesspools and so yeah, I got really sick, obviously.

Yeah. I, you know, got like the worst yeast infection and the first yeast infection I had ever had went directly to kind of your, your standard, like over the counter options, you know, drugstore, fem care, if you will, like with a capital F, got a monos stat, um, which is a type of ail. It's a intravaginal suppository.

I am highly allergic to those apparently, which I did not know. And so it, yeah, it just started this six month relationship with trying to figure out with like, quote unquote what was wrong with me, you know, that turned into bv, which turned into a uti and, um, If you're somebody that's familiar with these types of infections, that's really, really common.

We're given these really hard hitting prescription drugs, antifungals, antibacterials, that really take your system not down to zero, but back down, like kind of below that, right? So my, my vaginal microbiome, my gut microbiome, all of these things were really just like, I feel like running at a hundred miles per hour just to try and keep up.

And it really wasn't working. So after that, if you can Google it, I have done it. I started to look to alternative medicines Yeah. And alternative therapies. The, you know, everything from, you know, like green tea, chamomile, vulva masks to yogurt, soak tampons to shoving garlic at my vagina, like really kind of offensive and like not modern world.

Practical therapies, right? Like I was a 27 year old woman trying to like live my life as a freelance photographer on the go. Like this was not a reasonable way to treat my body, talk about my body. And it just turned into this like, also like shame spiral. These issues are really psychosomatic and it ends up affecting your, you know, mental health, your emotional health in so many other different ways, your relationships, et cetera.

Nicole: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. It sounds like it's been a journey and a half and I'm, yeah. I'm happy that we can talk about it because I think first off, there's not enough space for these conversations and what it's like, especially the psychology of what it's like to go through that journey.

Lindsay: Right?

Totally. Yeah. I mean, that's a huge part of it and it's a huge part of our, our business now, just in general as a platform, like when you go into try and resolve these infections and discomforts yourself, you're met with a ton of shame, a ton of shit stigma, a ton of fear around your own body being gross and being embarrassed, and the industry doesn't help that.

It actually, I feel like, really perpetuates that shame by, by misnaming our bodies, not using anatomically correct words by. Telling us. And a lot, a lot of the products you see, say in the like, fem care aisle and, and we don't use gender language are like summer breeze wash. Like make your vulvas smell like a cupcake, right?

And it's like, wait, that's, that's not baseline normal. Like, that's not what our bodies should smell like, feel like, and definitely not how we should be talking about them. So that really became an intrinsic part of how we wanted to create new solutions and came up with Monta apo.

Nicole: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Yeah. I've seen ads, you know, on my own social media where it's like, oh, you, it's all heteronormative language.

Just like your male partner doesn't wanna go down on you cuz you smell bad. Oh yeah. Like, who would wanna do that? You can take this little gummy and you'll smell juicy and all these things. Right? And it's so that like, targeted shame, shame, shame, shame. And here we are being able to capitalize on that if we use that.

And that's been used in capitalism for centuries, right? Just that like, let's profit off of someone's fear, insecurity and use this to sell them a product.

Lindsay: A hundred percent. And that was a big part of like, me feeling like I, I needed to leave photography. I was working primarily in cosmetic spaces. And I was like, wow, I'm, I'm making imagery.

Of people that are these like, you know, Eurocentric, like hyper thin body types, telling people that they need this type of cosmetic to make them feel beautiful. And, and this was really at like, I feel like the big boom of social media where, you know, influencer culture was starting to get huge and, and, and it really maligned with my own feelings about how we should be communicating with the world, creating products and.

And helping like people understand what they need versus what they want, et cetera. Mm-hmm. I do think it's getting better, but yeah, it's really toxic.

Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. And I feel like once you wake up to that, it almost becomes intolerable to be in that space. Right. I'd be curious what it was like for you when you started to realize in that photography business how that was going down that path and like Yeah.

Where was your soul at in that process of starting to feel that discomfort? Yeah. Well,

Lindsay: I felt bad, right? Like it begins to, it begins to mess with your own mental health. You're like, you know, showing up and shooting for these, these big brands arguably was having a lot of commercial success as a photographer and was, was really proud of myself in some regard.

Cause I was like, had these big names on my resume and in my portfolio. But I would show up to these shoots and I just like, you kind of are, are faced with your own, your own humanity. You're like, wow, this person doesn't look like me. And they're complaining about how ugly they are or how fat they are, and you're like, oh, oh my God, if this person is saying this, what am I like a monster?

You know? And so you're, you're just confronting all of these other like, Again, aspects of your own, own, own self while just trying to create work and still knowing, you know, like I am a, like relatively thin white woman. Even the privilege that I experienced based on those pieces, like, and how more, how much more expansive the world is and identities are, and bodies and diversity are like even beyond me.

And just, I knew I was, I really truly was like, oh, I'm part of the problem if I'm going to continue to perpetuate this with my own work. So, you know, Yeah, you like have to make a change. And then, and then sexual health on top of that, those experiences are even more, are even more diverse, right. And even more intimate, right?

This is our sexual health. This is, you know, our gender identities, our, like, all of our sexuality, all of these pieces. And those tend to be even more temp taboo than the frameworks of like, beauty, right? It's like, you know, I am a, you know, queer woman that operates in, you know, all of these different spaces.

And then you also have the, like, systemic pressures, right? You've got, you know, racial, sexual political freedoms all very specifically tied into this space, right? And, and this was. Yeah, it's just very complicated and and important and, and really important to talk about, and especially if you're gonna change the industry in itself.

Nicole: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I want you to go with the monologues and go there and tell me that frustration because it's true. And I think there needs to be conversations about how this affects our psychology, right. When we think about mm-hmm. We look out into the world, and like you said, you see the example of that person there, who's complaining, and then how that affects your sense of self.

When we look into media, into our ads and we see certain types of bodies, certain types of presentations of that sort of stuff. Mm-hmm. It will affect you inherently, we're social creatures. Mm-hmm. It's impossible to go through this world and not see that, and then kind of check yourself and do I fit in with the herd?

That's like a natural evolutionary process. Do I fit in with the herd here? Mm-hmm. And when you don't see yourself represented, then what happens is I'm different. Something's wrong with me. Shame, shame, shame. And like you said, when you add something like sex on top of that, then we're just talking about, whew, a really knotted spiral here that so many people are struggling internally and feeling so bad about themselves when the majority of what we're experiencing are normal things that everyone experiences.

Lindsay: Yeah. The lack of representation within the sexual health space and b health space is, is tenfold worse, right? Because it's one experience for the most part and a single narrative. And it goes back to that piece in the, like again, quote unquote, like capital F MCare aisle, like your vagina is a dirty place.

It should smell like a summer breeze. Like BV is uncomfortable, which is actually totally the opposite of what these experiences are. One in three people have, uh, with vaginas have bacterial vaginosis. 70% of people. Uh, will get a yeast infection in their lifetime of 40 to 50% of those people getting them re currently like UTIs pervasive across, you know, all identities.

And then beyond that, there's of course like lifestyle, right? Like sex, like our, our lack of sex education, you know, from, from being kids until now. So like, what does that mean? There's a ton of shame around pleasure, right? Yeah. People with vaginas like don't know how to ask for pleasure. There's this massive orgasm gap.

Like all of these things end up playing into Yeah. Our relationship with sexual health. And I, you know, even beyond the beauty industry. Yeah. Like there is so much. So much less there, right? Like the conversations are so linear, so you know, so small and, and, and sex and sexual freedom and, uh, liberation affects so many parts of our life every day.

It doesn't have to be necessarily this like, I'm a sex person. I talk about sex fucking, and you know, I am like free and polly and blah, blah, blah. This is, this is every person you have a relationship with your, your sex and your sexuality every single day. Even when you just like wake up in the morning because you're making a choice one way or the other.

That could mean you are, you know, asexual. That could mean your whatever. It is that spectrum. Will affirm you in some way or another and how you operate and wanna be interactive within the world.

Nicole: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Yeah. We all have a relationship to our sexuality, right? Yeah. And that relationship can take so many different shapes, but the reality is we all have one.

And so opening up spaces where we can have conversations about these sorts of topics, I think is how we're gonna change the narrative, right? When we hear other people say, yeah, I had sex in a hot spring and this is what happened to me and this was my journey, then someone hearing that says, wow, like I've experienced that.

I felt so gross about my body. I'm not the only one.

Lindsay: Yeah, totally. I mean, empathy is huge, right? Like I didn't aim to, and I felt a lot of shame around this and. And had a lot of like, and I still continue to have these big road bumps with my own relationship with my business and like essentially putting my vagina on blast.

I'm like, cool. Do I wanna tell every partner I've ever had that I, I've had six months of a raging? He's like, absolutely not. But now I'm like, it's funny, like I don't care. And just cause this is like so nuanced and anecdotal. I'll see like, you know, people I've dated in the past, people I've had sex with in the past, like looking at these stories and like, you know, if you have like more than one Instagram account.

Cause I don't always do social media for Mama Mataro. You know, I accidentally posted something the other day onto my name and I went right into a yoga class after Oh no, I didn't, I didn't realize, and it was this like, it was this like, oh, you wondering why we started Roka? And it's been like me in front of like, like a Google search of like hot springs and it just kinda like, honestly like kinda looks gross and, and I come outta this yoga class and I'm like, oh my God.

I'm like every person. Has, I've, you know, I've ever dated as like seen this, but I'm like, I mean it's, it's been years. I've been talking about momar, apo forever, but it's still like, kind of hit that. I was like, oh yeah, reminder, this is about your body. But most people now, they're so supportive that because of that empathy piece, they're like, oh my God.

Like, I had, you know, back to back chlamydia from a partner who was cheating on me and I wasn't getting tested, and I was so embarrassed about it. I was like, yeah, dude, chlamydia happens. It's like having a cold. It's like so, so common, you know? And just like the ability to like empower people to share and, and for them to like de-stigmatize themselves and their own experiences really nice and super powerful.

And, and I'm really, I'm really grateful we have become a place that feels safe for people to do that. Yes.

Nicole: Absolutely. Absolutely. Did you keep the post up on your personal account?

Lindsay: It wasn't for a couple hours, but then I switched, I did Toro because it like, I should have just kept it up. It was more that I didn't want the, the content to be super repetitive.

I'm like, I'm so tied to my business. But yeah, I mean they, it's, it's everywhere now. Like I, I have no shame, but it, that was like a good reminder of that. I'm like, oh, yeah, used it. When I first started this business, actually, I didn't tell people it was my business. I told them I worked for someone. There was like multitudes of why is embarrassed.

I was like, who am I to start a business like this? And oh my God, I don't wanna tell everybody. And so it took me like a year to be like, no. This is mine. And, and again, we did, we did years of r and d and years of formulation. So like we didn't necessarily come out with what we, what we know now as our brand, right at the beginning.

Right. I was been building social channels, beginning to have conversations, learning about this space because, you know, I, my background is not in sexual health. My background is not in product formulations. So there was a lot of, a lot of areas I needed to learn about before even trying to launch this brand.

Nicole: Mm, yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. So what was it in that year that it took for you to like, finally come into it, to step into that with pride?

Lindsay: Yeah. It was, it was a lot of things. It was one, getting formulations, right? So, you know, after going through this like, D I Y I'm gonna try and make a solution, I was like, okay, there's a, there's all these things I want to hit.

Why isn't there like a universal product that is addressing itching, that's addressing, uh, inflammation that I can. You know, apply topically and it's immediately cooling and like, feels good that is antimicrobial and addresses all of these, um, kind of issues that I'm having. And I was like, we can, we can totally make this.

So we brought in a ton of methodologies. We look at Ayurvedic me Medicine, we look at, uh, traditional Chinese medicine, we look at Western pathologies and things like that. And, and really the, the clinical trials and putting this like one product and, and now we have like seven or eight together. So I, we needed to create this amazing product.

And then it was, it was really the community and it was how we began to share with other people and sampling out this product and, and having conversations and realizing, you know, it's very much what we're doing now, how common these things are that I was like, You know, oh yeah. Like, I can do this. And, and I've been very politically active since I was a child.

My mom, you know, and I marched in environmental rallies together and she always told me to vote with my dollars and things like that. And so it gave me a place for my politics as well. And that was really empowering. And so that's where it started, is building community and knowing that like it wasn't just me and, and feeling really empowered by that and knowing I could be this voice and wanting to talk about it.

And I do continue to want to talk about it, even if sometimes I have a. A twinge of embarrassment. That's part of life. That's everything we do. Right. You can't expect to wake up and feel perfectly empowered every morning. Right. You need to, there's, there's an ebb and a flow and a like, you know, it's, it's all part of it.

Nicole: Right? Absolutely. And you hit on such like a crucial piece that noticing that you weren't the only one, right. We were talking about earlier, other people feeling that, but even you as the creator in this, being able to bounce this idea off of other people and get that feedback. And I think that is what is so transformative.

I mean, I think that's a lot of what the power of the internet is, right? It has a lot of dark sides, but much of the light is that we can share these common experiences and then have that received back and that changes our psychology. When now, you know, in the normal day-to-day world, we don't get that mirrored back.

But on the internet space we can see that so quickly, thousands of people responding and then that changes everything. We start to move in a little bit of a different way, knowing that.

Lindsay: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it really does change our psychology and sociology and, and, and it begins to affirm you in different ways and like mm-hmm.

It, it's, I just wanted to live my life and not have to think about my, like, below vaginal pain every single day. Right. And so, like, just be the option, be the repository for people's discomfort, talk about it, be expansive. Mm-hmm. And, and show up, show up every single day. And, and we're really proud and we have a really passionate team that's like, excited to do that, you know?

Good, good.

Nicole: Good, good, good. Yes. Absolutely. I'm curious if you could tell me a little bit more about the pain and the shame that you experienced in your personal journey with all of this. I know we talked about it gently, but I think that getting into that pain point and really what that was, I think people will resonate.

Lindsay: Yeah. I mean, well to, to like dive in, into like a very intimate part and like. Of this business is, is my, my romantic partner at the time that I had, had this sexual experience in the hot spring with mm-hmm. You know, he, he's my business partner now. Mm-hmm. We are no longer, we are no longer romantic partners.

Like, and we weren't very, very soon after that. Like yeah. You know, we dated for about a year and it like, Maybe halfway through this, you know, physiological experience I was having with, with all of these infections and stuff began to take a massive toll on my relationship. Mm. And like, you know, you begin to withhold because you're embarrassed, right?

I'm like, I don't wanna have sex. I'm like, all I can think about is what my vagina smells like and like, If I'm gross and if he thinks that, and sure. Like, you know, his background is in biosciences and he's a huge part of formulation. I'm lucky because we had that, but like it didn't change. Mm. The interpersonal experience that we were having together, right.

Where I'm like, I didn't wanna have sex so he felt unwanted when I did have sex, I wasn't engaged or I, like, I was potentially in pain and like that doesn't feel good for either party. And then, and then you begin to try and talk about it. And I think this is also, I feel like the conversations that's happening right now is we've begin to like therapize and medicalize our conversations, right?

We've democratized the way we've, like, we're able to care for ourselves and like therapy speak is so common now in our daily lives that I almost felt like sometimes that took away from. Kind of a more intimate nature of the human experience. And I don't know if that makes sense. This is like themes. I'm just kind of beginning to work through that, like breaking this like clinical, I was, I was speaking about my way myself in a way that was clinical, that took away the human element as a form of like self-defense almost.

Because I'm like, okay, if I can pathologize myself, I can separate myself from the experience. That I think is something that like we're beginning to do in our relationship when we talk about like, well, I can't hold space for you right now. It's like, okay, yes, I understand what that means, but like what does that actually feel like?

You know, maybe why can't you do this? I understand that, but that doesn't help me be a better person. And so like that was really like a big pain point. I'm like, how do I, how do I vocalize that I'm not feeling good and that like this doesn't feel good, whether it's physically or emotionally, and I don't know how to talk to you about that.

Like I really needed to like dumb down the conversation for myself and just focus on. The feelings. And, and I do, I, I really encourage people when they're going through these experiences to do that. Don't put a, you know, don't make yourself a, like medical diagnosis. Make yourself human. Be like, I'm feeling really bad.

And I know I maybe don't have to because this is common, but like, I'm just still feeling embarrassment and I'm still feeling like this is something I'm new at. Like, we do a ton of work in, um, STI spaces mm-hmm. Around diagnosis and shame there. And like, yeah. Yeah. Take the, like, diagnostics away and just like, kind of be in your body about it, feel it, and mm-hmm.

You know, those are still things I work through every day. I've got this like, um, and not to use this term lightly, but like, you know, this like kind of P T S D around my own body that I'm like, does it work right? Can I, am I, you know, did I have sex? And, and you know, and is this going to make me irritated and am I gonna develop bv?

And like, I have, you know, I have lots of different types of partners, you know, you know, cis female partners, male partners, you know, lots of different queer partners. And so like, I am always having a different conversation with myself about how various partners are affecting my body and whether it's toys or whether it's lube, or whether it's latex or, you know, different.

It just, I'm always having a different conversation with myself and my body, and sometimes I need to like, let that go, right. And feel, feel more joyful and know in my body, like we teach at this, at our job, and at this company that like, these experiences are normal. And so, yeah, dumbing down, not dumbing down, but taking away the like, Medicalized experiences has been really important for me and it's important work I do like every day in terms of like my myself, cause yes, you don't wanna put a number on your head or a label on yourself.

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Nicole: Mm-hmm. Yeah. As you were speaking, I was recalling times in my own experience where my vulva has felt itchy or dry or other sorts of things. And I think earlier on in my sexual journeys, like at that sort of thing, I'd go silent about. I wouldn't say anything. I felt like I couldn't even express that to my partner at the time.

I would just either go through the pain, right and just kind of accept it or just. Keep it all to myself and say like, I'm not feeling it right now. Mm-hmm. And I wouldn't explain why. And all of that was I, at least for me at the time, it was so based in fear and the shame. Yeah. That was deep there. That, what does it mean if my vulva is itchy?

Like, like kind of what you talked about is it, is it gross, is something wrong? All of that sort of stuff. And so being able to first, you know, let go of that shame enough to have the conversation and then, like you said, not necessarily intellectualizing. Right. Yeah, totally. Being able to be human about that and say, I, I feel insecure.

I feel gross. I feel this way. And that's how we connect with people. Not from this like fact, fact, fact, but how do you feel? I feel this way and this is what it's causing for me. And then our partners can understand and connect with us and understand that emotional experience we're having rather than the like factual experience.

Lindsay: Totally. And I think it's really important to note because in a dating perspective, we think about like confidence as being so important for like maintaining a good relationship and we don't think of vulnerability, vulnerability. With the context of confidence. Right. But I do think it is, and if you can reframe that for yourself and that being vulnerable is actually an incredibly confident thing to do because it's very human and it's part of who we are.

You can't just pretend you're like this OneNote human that doesn't have ups and downs. Like, be confident in that. Be like, look, it's admitting where maybe you aren't sure and you can be unsure about yourself and still confident. I feel itchy and it makes me feel a little bit embarrassed cuz I don't really understand what's happening.

Mm-hmm. And that's co that's confidence, right? Like, hey, uh, or, and it, and it could be about pleasure too, potentially, right? You're like, Hey, I actually don't really like the way that feels and I'm not quite sure why, but can we try this? It might not work, but that's okay. That's really confident. Admitting when you don't know something and admitting the way it makes you feel.

Super real, it's super vulnerable and it will let you connect in a different way and that creates confidence. That's how you build in so many aspects. Mm-hmm.

Nicole: Vulnerability is so brave. It is such a strength. I mean, as you're speaking Brene Brown, it's just like popping up into my head and I'm like, yes, you go into the arena and you put yourself out there when you do that.

Lindsay: Yes. And that is empowering, that is confidence. You're like, oh my God. Like, you know, I've used an infection and it sucks. And you're like, oh, wow. And all of a sudden, and I think it's cuz people are then met with their own vulnerability, which is why, you know, at times we like, we have a target on our back in these spaces, right?

You're talking about sex, you're talking about gender, you're talking about all of these, you know, race and socioeconomic structures and people are like, oh, all of a sudden I have to deal with that as a conversation. Right. Where it's like, I have to, I have to think about my own sexuality. What does that mean?

Oh, you're disrupting the idea of. Like cis, heteronormative, monogamy. And that makes me feel uncomfortable because I have rested all of my laurels into this, that this is the bienal. And it's mostly just not, not that we have to dive down that, but like that's all these, these, these things are all a part of what we talk about since we talk about sex and relationships and bodies.

Nicole: Right. And when I was a. Christian, a fundamental Christian growing up, shouting at homosexuals that they were sinners and going to hell. You know what ended up happening? I was queer. And you know what ended up happening? You look back on those and exactly what you said. When you've placed so much of your sense of self in these things, that you see someone else doing it differently, those things bring up so much rage in you.

Those unconscious parts of yourself that you haven't even processed yet of what does it mean if that could be me? I'm telling you, the people who are confident in themselves and know what they're doing in their world, they don't care what other people do. Go do what you wanna do. It's the people who have not yet looked in the mirror and thought, wow, what does that mean for my world?

And why is that so inherently destabilizing? For my world and my sense of self,

Lindsay: a hundred percent. There is a girl who, you know, I grew up in San Diego, which can be pretty conservative. The town I grew up in is conservative. I was so unhappy. I dropped outta high school, I moved to New York and like yeah, of course had this like queer awakening and just like really connected with what I needed at community and people I'm still so close with, but I still go back home, right?

Mm-hmm. And I still see people there and there's, there's, it's funny, there's this one person there that is like inherently irritated by me. Like everything I do just bothers them. And, and it can be pretty offensive and it can kind of sometimes be a traumatizing experience. You know, we experience homophobia or ex, you know, especially in that, in that instance, if you're experiencing that, look at those people and it's like, what are they missing?

You know, they haven't looked in the mirror, like you said. And, and again, it's hard to do. And you know, I don't think that those. The lack of looking at yourself should result in homophobia and racial injustice and these things. But like if you're somebody experiencing that, like on the receiving end, no, that person is a lot, well, probably a lot more unhappy with themselves than they are with you.

Mm-hmm. You know?

Nicole: Yeah. Coming out as a queer, kinky, non monogamous person, I've got some interesting comments. You need Jesus gross. Like you could just throw a slew of those comments out there and it's like, yeah, what are you, okay. Like, are you okay? Like, are you okay? Why? Why is my authenticity scaring you?

Lindsay: Yeah. What, what is that? You know, like, and I've even have it, not to say that that doesn't even happen in, in like queer spaces too, right? Like totally. You, there's so many different, like Yeah. Why is this disruptive to you? I haven't like di Diiv fully like, dove into like what my polyamory feels like. Sure.

And like, I'm still kind of unpacking that and I've had queer partners that are like, no, we fought so hard to have like marriage equality. I wanna get married and this is what I wanna do. And I'm like, why? And it's, again, it's, it's because of that narrative. It's what makes us feel safe. And, and unpacking that is complicated.

And, and that can happen. And I say this for queer folks because there's, there's things we have to continue with. To unlearn in our own identities all of the time. Right. And it's not just that like cis heteronormativity, it happens all over in beauty in our expectations there. All of these pieces have that have a need to be unpacked daily.


Nicole: mm-hmm. Yeah. As you were talking about, I was thinking about the history of career culture and really pathologizing and bisexuals, right? Like you're either, yeah, you're either lesbian, you're a gang, there's no in between, right? And all of that movement that had to happen to even create another space for that.

So all of these things, yeah, were always constantly evolving. And part of that is humanness. Like we have thoughts that we later look back on. We're like, duh, that wasn't great. When I was condemning homosexuals, I looked back on that and I was like, that wasn't great. You know? And we evolved

Lindsay: and admitting that.

I mean, so like someone like yourself, I think that's such a powerful, powerful story, right? And, and we've seen a little bit of that, but I feel like it is so rare where you're like, yes, I was. Literally condemning homosexuals and having to admit that is hard. I can't even imagine the journey. I mean like that first step, like I don't e where do you go?

How did you even start that? Just outta curiosity.

Nicole: Which part? Talking about it or, or

Lindsay: like come coming out in some regard

Nicole: like, oh God, I remember watching gay porn throughout my entire upbringing and like never ever actually processing that. That might have meant something. I don't, I like it just like didn't, there was so much cognitive dissonance that I was like, yeah, this is what I watch and turns me on, but like I'm so straight.

Like I'm so straight. And I think, yeah. And I think part of what it was was getting into college and having experiences where I was further away from home, right? And then being able to live in Chicago away from my family and have this sort of space where I could explore and do things and try things.

And then the first time I had that sort of experience, it changed my whole life. I was like, wow, my body has reacted in ways that I never could have predicted. And it's kind of impossible once you go through that and then you're like, okay. And then after that it was. Telling my mom who's more Mormon about it, because I couldn't imagine a world where I wasn't gonna be myself with her.

And so that resulted in her not talking to me for a few weeks and for her telling me that she was deeply afraid of me, that I was gonna go to hell and that she couldn't sleep at night and all of these things. So that wasn't easy. But I will say where I'm at now with my mom is being able to talk about my queer identity, my non-no non-monogamous identity, and gently my kinky identity Gently.

Gently. Mm-hmm. And, and, um, she had told me that she went to, uh, church with the Mormon community and she actually got up in front of all of the people and was talking about how we need to be loving queer individuals. And she said that she had the message, she did that up there and people didn't really talk to her afterwards.

And. That's sad to hear, but it gives me hope, right? That someone like my mom, even through that journey of like first really condemning and being very upset to being able to speak in the church, I think that when you have relationships with people in your lives, it changes that othering. I had talked to my sister who was Mormon and as her like, have you ever talked to a gay person?

And she said, no. Right? Like there's just so much othering. And then when it comes to someone in their world, that's what changes it. These deep, intimate relationships and then people start talking, right? And things start moving. Things start changing. And so I think there's a lot of hope in that journey.

Yeah. As things like the internet keep allowing us to connect with others and close down that othering that might be happening.

Lindsay: Totally. And, and I think. You know, just, you know, knowing you very briefly via only the internet, like seeing like love and seeing happiness too, and like that is universal and, and your family seeing that on you and feeling that on you and your mom, of course wanting the best for you, I'm sure it's like, it happens naturally.

Like there, there is way less resistance to like love and growth than there is like, you know, hatred. Like you, you, you, that's hard to do. You're creating walls. It doesn't feel natural like that love that fluidity, that, that positive presence is, is enigmatic and just like, I'm sure like. Again with the othering piece too.

Like they're like, oh yeah, this is totally normal. I'm seeing my child that I created or my sibling and they're happy and living free and they're not dangerous or scary and like, I want that not only for them, but I want that for myself. How do I feel so free and, and full of love and beautiful and all of those things?

And so, yeah, I mean it's, again, it's a big ask and everybody you know, is gonna have a different relationship with say, coming out right? Or like talking about these things. But when you can, even just a tiny, tiny bit too, you have no idea whose life that, that may change your, your mother brought. Including queerness to the Mormon church.

Like that is incredible. Know, like one person might have heard that, right? One person who may have a queer child might have heard that and it might change one single solitary interaction that, that may and makes that childs life better. Mm-hmm. Or they find that queerness or they see that in themselves and just feel a tiny, tiny, more bit accepted.

So yeah, it's a really beautiful story.

Nicole: Yeah. It makes me emotional just like thinking about it. Yeah. Cause I think it's, it's hard like when you go through that journey of like, Being told that like, yeah, I'm so afraid for your salvation. Right? Like it's hard to then like see your parents in like such a like loving way.

And so I try to take that perspective a little bit of like the growth that has occurred, right? Because I think that, yeah, when we go through these relational traumas, I would call them relational traumas where you open up to yourself and then get that sort of response, it's hard to keep opening up to your family and feel safe in that way.

And so it takes a little bit, at least for me, I try to like reframe of like, yeah, where are we at now? Like presence, right? Mindfulness, like where are we at in our relationship now and how can I continue to, yes, protect myself, but also like acknowledge all the growth that has occurred. And I think even in society, one of my, um, one of my professors is this gay man and he was talking to me.

And I was kind of asking him like, you know, you're, you're in your seventies, like you've been in the field of psychology for this long. Like what do we gotta do? Like, tell me the secrets, you know, tell me the secrets. And he was saying like, I'm just so frustrated. I feel like the things that I was fighting for back in the day were, you're still dealing with, and I have no energy to keep doing this.

And yet also he was telling me that, and I think this is where history always kind of like hits me really intensely. He was thinking, he was talking about how when he was in the field of psychology and just coming up. Homosexuality was still a pathologized diagnosis. And so he was moving through the field trying to understand how out can I be without losing my license to do this career that I want to do.

So when he looks at me and says, we're still fighting for the same things, I say yes and no. Do you know what I mean? I can be out now as a queer individual working in clinical psychology, I can talk about that in my interviews as a point of strength of being able to understand and work with that community.

We have come so far, but it's also, it's, it's that perspective of yes and right, like there's still so many atrocities and so much growth to do. But also man, we have come a long ways from homosexuality being a pathologized diagnosis.

Lindsay: Yeah. No, a hundred percent. That's, that's really good perspective to have.

And I think it's important, especially right now where I think, you know, the internet and News con continues to perpetuate these atrocities. Right. And I feel like we do have more access to them, so they feel incredibly pervasive. Yeah. Um, which of course they are. Um, but we're, I think we're ingesting them in a different, more personal way, like daily, so it feels really, really heavy.

So, you know, I think, I think talking about that and, and just, you know, speaking to the piece where it's like we have made incredible strides. Yes. We, we do continue to make strides back, but, but try and celebrate like some small wins. It's really good Right. For your brain and good for your spirit and, you know, find community and, and talk about that.

I think that's, that's really important just because it's, it's, it is, it's hard. It's, it's, like you said, it's a dark kind of, the internet can be a dark place. The world can be, you know, challenging and. Yeah. Oh, but no.

Nicole: Right. Exactly. And I think, yes. And I think that that's like good, like let's use all that fire, let's do all of that and like, and fight for the liberation.

I mean that word actively like fight for the liberation that we all need. Yeah. And also what does it mean to do that in a joyful way where you don't get so sucked into the, this whole world as a hell Fire. Because that's where I've been at times, where I'm especially coming into clinical psychology and working and seeing systems of oppression affect people across various socioeconomic backgrounds and seeing all of that in my office, and I'm just like, holy fuck.

And then all of a sudden, the whole world just looks so dark, and then what ends up happening is then I'm crying, you know, in a corner and not being able to do the fight. And so, mm-hmm. I read an interesting book called Joyful Militancy, which I think kind of like touches on Ooh, yeah, I know, right? I love it.

Love that. It had some like queer trans activists and all these people like talking about like, how do we do that? Like that in between of like seeing the joy, but also fighting and not being Pollyanna about this world being all pretty and rainbows, you know?

Lindsay: Mm-hmm. I, I think that's a, I mean, that's awesome.

I'd love to read that book, um, because I feel very, very connected to that within my own personal narrative. I was so. So angry for so long, and I mean, I still, I still maintain a lot of that anger and a lot of that fire and, and it turns into fight, right? Yes. That I am able, I don't feel, I wasn't even able to get my point across, like people were not listening because I was just yelling and, and granted, you know, I'm sure you experienced this yourself.

I know I do with my work, I've learned how to communicate like calmly and effectively and, and in such a different way. And it also allows me to have a better relationship with these pieces where sometimes I do have to set them down and go have a beautiful dinner and, and enjoy a glass of wine and like release some of that.

Cause you do, you need that strength, you need that energy and. Yeah, it's really, really important I think for, for myself to be able to have a little bit of, um, yeah, like a healthier relationship with the fight. I feel incredibly passionate about, like, you know, the socioeconomic pieces. That was something that affected me very dramatically as a child.

I, you know, the neighborhood I grew up in was different, or like school I went to was very different than the neighborhood I grew up in, right? Like I was arguably poor comparatively, and like, it was so, so traumatic. Having to go through these very different life experiences as a child along people that were incredibly wealthy and realiz, realizing the disparity of what I was going to experience first, what they were going to experience and what I had access to.

And even still now, like with, you know, I feel very lucky that I was able to get into a good college, but like, You know, my student loans will affect me for the rest of my life. Right. Like, totally. That's, that's a very different thing, like how we end up, you know, can you buy a home? Like there's, those pieces play such a big part into how you take up space in the world and what you're able to do just based on.

Where you were born and the cash you have in your pocket. Mm. And the cash for, you know, your family had in their pocket more so, right. Like inherited wealth is huge. Um, and we talk, try, we try and address that as a business a lot as well. Like how do we create more access to these pro, you know, these products.

And then of course, access to education, the sexual health education, right? Like, and you talked about porn. You know, porn is one of the, uh, most democratized aspects that we can or democratized parts of sex education. And it is mostly not sex education. So how do we create ethical porn? How do we create, um, better narratives there because that's where people access information about how we treat each other, how we talk about our bodies, how we give them care, um, what you see in porn, what types of bodies.

And so we work very closely with, um, various porn sites and a ton with sex workers trying to, um, Create better, more inclusive conversations and representation there. Cause yeah, that's, that's what we have access to. And that's, oh yeah. That's our first way we learn. Yeah. Hell yeah.

Nicole: When I see those kinky scenes, I wanna see that conversation before and after.

Okay. Mm-hmm. I wanna see the prep, I wanna see how that went down to create that scene. And so much of that is left out. And then we don't exam. Get examples of how, how did someone talk about negotiating what they were comfortable with in that space, right? Mm-hmm. Because that's a crucial piece that I always just feel, and I get it's entertainment, but the reality is, it's also where most people get education.

And then, so what is the ethical requirements there to show a different world?

Lindsay: And simple things too. Like, I mean, it could be a tiny, and like, again, I, I worked in photography and video quite a bit, so I'm like, where did that person keep that condom? Where is this person's conversation about like a quick, like, Conversation about, um, you know, sexual health history and things like, and it can, it can be so quick and so hot.

Half a second, right? Mm-hmm. You're, you know, it doesn't have to be this big thing and, and just that tiny like, Piece that a person watching will absorb that in their subconscious sense of being really important for the real world and real, real time experiences.

Nicole: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I appreciated you sharing about that difference of the socioeconomic background that you had and going through that and the difficulties of that.

And I think that kind of like we were talking about earlier, the problem of othering people. And I know that that is something that I feel like happens in the social activist space of othering, the people who have money and I think it, mm-hmm. It's hard to. Remember that the people who do have that money are experiencing a radically different world.

Mm-hmm. The person who takes the CTA every day is having a different view to the, the CTA is the public transit in Chicago. Mm-hmm. That person has a different view of the world than the person who has a car that drives to their work with their private parking spot. You just radically see different things, and so I don't know how we like avoid the potential of like othering those people and hating their perspective when the reality is just like my Christian self, I was in a world that showed me this and that was my world, and these other people are also in that world.

We need to be shattering those communities in that way to have more access, to see more things, but in a way that doesn't, you know, like you said, how do you speak to those people? It's not attacking, it is not yelling at them. Our nervous systems are gonna flare up and that person will not listen to you.

And so, mm-hmm. I don't know. Maybe it's, it's connection, it's conversations, right. That humanness, being able to tap into that vulnerability to get people to see that we're not so different and like feel connected in that way.

Lindsay: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's so hard. I'll never forget a girl I grew up with. And this was like at the very beginning of Mom Haro.

And I was just so, so entrenched in the politics of it all. And we were talking a lot about white privilege and socioeconomic privilege. And she, you know, she went to USC undergrad, London School of Economics grad school, not a single loan, like, I mean, just like grew up riding courses. And, and she was so furious at me for even suggesting that she had privilege and she's like, I worked so hard to get where I am.

And I'm like, yes, of course you did. You, you still got into that school. But I'm like, you, you can't, you can't tell me that. You don't see the difference between where you went to college and, and the fact that you do not have a single student loan. So every single dollar that you make now goes into your pocket and all.

And, and so I was like, that was a really formative conversation because I mean, she was truly blind to the idea of privilege. And, and so you like kind of gotta come in through the back door. I'm like, well think about how different it is for. You in, in the money that you make. You've, you've graduated now and you're making, you know, 67 cents on the dollar.

Right? Like that, that, man, that's a different type of privilege. Right? Ma like tried to explain like, even in some form of like, you know, this her cis heteronormative perspective that like male female workplace privilege and like, she, she kind of got it, but she was, it was so hard for her to, willing for her to, and she was.

Excuse me, like wasn't even willing to admit, and we see this a lot in the US that like this, that men had privilege over them as well. Right? Like, you see, especially like if we think about like what happened in elections and white women being such a crucial part of like, say electing Trump back whenever that was and, and how they continue to perpetuate really harmful legislation because like, you can't even admit that there's this system that plays against you in other ways because then it's going to unfold and deconstruct all of these other pieces, right?

And, and so it's like once you pull the thread, but how do we get people to start to pull the thread and have it not be this, like, of course, sure. Maybe it's life altering, but it's just perspective.

Nicole: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Yeah. I think a really good metaphor that I would like to use to that person who said, you know, like, Hey, I, I did work to get here.

I did work right. You did. Right. And I think a good metaphor for that is thinking about it as, you know, a race, you're doing a relay race, and we all start at the line, right? And then someone like her got about, I don't know, maybe we say a 32nd head start. Maybe whatever frame we wanna put it into, 30 a minute headstart to go, you did run that race.

I don't disagree. You ran, you, you did things and it wasn't like it was just handed to you, but man, did you get a headstart in front of everybody? And so like, being able to hold that nuance of that. Yes. And, and I think that's why it's so critical to talk about equity, right? Instead of equality because you got a 30 minute headstart.

And that to me doesn't seem fair, to be clear.

Lindsay: I know education plays a huge part in, in my perspective and in my experience, cuz I'm like that person in particular, I think about them. Cause I'm like, okay, you, I, I literally dropped out of high school after junior year. I wasn't getting the grades that I needed to get to college.

That system. The school, this kind of college prep ideology really didn't work for me. I'm incredibly dyslexic and so I was like getting math, math and chemistry wrong, and I didn't know why. Cause I thought I understood material. I digress on that part. But I had to go to, I had to go to a job every day after school.

I went, I got outta school at two 15 and I went to work at four o'clock. Of course I wasn't getting tutored. I didn't have any way to figure out that I was dyslexic. And then I went to, I went to work where I worked with people who were, you know, I was, I was, I started working since I could, but this one job in particular, you know, I was 15 years old.

I'd walked to it. I, I served food at a retirement home, like in their, in their dining hall essentially. And I worked with ex-convicts. I worked with people that were 40 years old. I worked with people that were 70. I mean, just like people, they didn't care who I was. I was just another employee. And I get home at nine o'clock.

Okay, and then you want me to try and study and, and you're, my friends are judging me because like, I have to find an alternate path because I don't have the opportunity to learn and grow in the way that you do. Of course, I didn't get into U S C out of high school and now I'm the black. She, because I'm like having to find this alternate way and I'm not getting the grades that you're getting, like, you don't even understand how different our lives are.

You know, so mm-hmm. It's, yeah. Uh, the, the education system, you know, does, doesn't work for everybody in that way. And it's hard. Right. I feel that's my ne that's my next job. How do we tackle education at large?

Nicole: Totally. I'm always sitting there with capitalism. I'm like, this isn't, this isn't good. Hold on.

Some people got some really big head starts are capitalizing on all of us at the bottom here doing all of that labor and, and wondering like, what is a different paradigm? What does that future look like? And I don't, I don't know if that will be in our generation or not, right? But just trying to think about a different world or maybe that's not the system that we live in and mm-hmm.

Boy, oh boy, when I'm sitting in class and a friend is complaining, uh, about their high school experience and being so stressed out about having their a c t tutor after class and it being so stressful, I think it's hard for someone to hear that and not be like, fuck, like, You're annoying, right? Like, how, how, how, not, like, how do you not like sit with that and just be like, mm-hmm.

Do you see your privilege that you're complaining about? And like, I've complained about privilege as well, right? Like we all do that, but like we do. Yeah, exactly. So being able to like, try not to other that and understand like, oh, it's hard to just hold that distance. And I'm sure people feel that about me, right?

All the time. Yes. On this podcast space, talking shit over here, right? So it's like, how do we have like space for the humanness that we all have with our limited existential perspectives in a way that invites more growth, more collective expansion and evolution.

Lindsay: Yeah. How, that's the question, right? Yeah. And you know, I hope it is through, through conversation, right? Right. Like I think that idea of limited existential perspective is actually, like, it sounds really big and it's, but it's also like I can only see my own human experience. Yes. If, if that's what I choose to look and have around me.

Right. But if I go to, to. To all of these people all over the world. That's why travel's important. It's about why creating and finding your own pathways is really important, right? Like getting out of the rat race, getting out of the structures that we put ourselves into, be able to hopefully empathize and, and have that bigger perspective in general and the world as we know it, is not going to, has not necessarily given us those tools.

So it's, it is up to us to find them and to have the conversation and to be empathetic and to be vulnerable because I think those places can be cat, you know, the catalyst for expanding that perspective. Mm-hmm.

Nicole: That's why I started the podcast, right? That's why those conversations I had with my family, with my mom, those earlier conversations and feeling that disconnect and the ability to to be human, I think that's, that's the hope is that every guest that comes on here can talk about that humanness.

When you're talking about all the feelings that came up with your own health journey, all the difficulties in your relationships, all the difficulties in your experience, I think it gets really hard to not hear that human voice, feel that pain and connect. I think that gets kind of hard to just look past that.

Even sometimes on the internet, you just see text and that, I don't think gives us enough of the humanness that hearing a voice, hearing those inflections, hearing the stories really hits.

Lindsay: Yeah, I mean that, that one piece, right? You're like, okay, if I can relate to that one thing because this inflection, cuz that story, like, think about that as a, it's a seed, it's a seed for all the other experiences.

And that's a, I mean that is really when people are like, why do you do all this stuff at Mamata the way you do it? I'm like, it's cause of that seed, my one tiny seed. I definitely have privilege, I have all different types of privilege, right? And, and we all do. It's all on a, on a, you know, kinda spectrum, right?

Totally. Of, of pretty privilege or thin privilege or white privilege or socioeconomic privilege. But like I have, I still have my seed and my like discomfort with something. That was my experience. And if, you know other people have that, I think we can all grow together like a little bit more, right? Like these play together in different ways and these play together in different ways.

Absolutely. How do we. Yeah, work, work through those together collectively in a way that is more inclusive and empathetic and kind and loving to, to one another, knowing we all have those pieces.

Nicole: Yes, absolutely. And I think my heart is thinking about not to say that this is the be all, end all for all things, cuz I know it's not in a hundred million ways, but I do think about the fact that I am training in psychedelic assisted psychotherapy and the ego death that occurs.

The ego death I get, I don't wanna be the person if it's like, I don't wanna be that person that's saying everyone needs to do this, everyone needs to do this. It's gonna save the world because that's not realistic. But I will say the ego death that you experience is pretty interesting in terms of how you have that and then look at the world a little bit different and how you connect to other humans.

Lindsay: Uh, we have to have a whole separate conversation about that. Cause I actually wasn't aware, and, and I'll share this briefly so you know, but my, my brother and my father died during the pandemic and I did some. Psychedelic assisted psychotherapy after, um, with, actually it was, um, like a program M dose, so, Maybe, and I don't even, I guess I, I dunno if I should be sharing this or not.

I haven't really thought about it, but here we're, you know, it's like 200 milligrams I think of pure M D M A. It was an aggressive experience, but, uh, because of the choice of psychedelic it, you know, you're meeting so much trauma with an excessive amount of love, you're unpacking like all of that, and like, ego death is real.

And it's just, it was such a wild experience that I did once and, and I don't actually feel the need to do it again. Like, so people, if you're thinking about that, don't think it has to be this big dive into psychedelics and like, it's totally a therapy and it can be a one off. And you, I'm still unpacking that singular experience.

And it was a year and a ago, right?

Nicole: Yeah, it's pretty wild. That's what we call integration, right? Like yeah, we have it. Cause that's part of my work of what I'm doing right now is we have these really powerful experiences and how do we continue to take the downloads from those, how do we integrate that into our lives?

So like you said, a year later, you're still feeling connected to what you had in that experience and using that to move forward. And we, we have psychedelic experiences all the time. Right? Even outside of the medicine too. Right? These moments where you change your reality. The moment I came out to my mom and my reality ruptured, right?

The walls start to bend and things are different, right? So being able to integrate those experiences that we have and take them. I, it breaks my heart that we're so disconnected from a spiritual world, right? Like growing up mm-hmm. In Christianity, it was very common to have like stories and those be passed down and yet mm-hmm We live in this world where we'll have transformative stories like this and just stay disconnected to them.

But like that was a spiritual experience. To stay connected to that and integrate that story throughout the rest of your life can be a part of your story, your journey, your connection to the universe and the divine and your inner healing capacity that we all have.

Lindsay: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Well, and I think, I think there's ways too, like to reconnect that back for some people.

And because I had, I've had a, like a touch and go relationship with spirituality in some regard. I didn't grow up religious in any way, shape or form. Yeah. But was very oddly really connected to, uh, like plant medicines in nature in a spiritual way since I was a child. I remember going to like, just so funny what I do now, like these kind of like bizarre Wiccan bookstores and I was like eight and I'm like finding these plant medicine books and I wish I really wanna find this original plant medicine book that I had that I was just so interested in the way we were interacting with nature and how, how it was healing us.

And, and I spent, again, we didn't have money. I spent a lot of time alone out in each area in these canyons. And this is like, you know, you're talking to yourself and you're having this different kinda like spiritual experience if you think about ritual and routine and what that does chemically for the body.

When you say have an experience like you did with your mom where you're breaking down systems and you're having this positive thing, that is something. You're not only having a chemical reaction in your body that can be positive, but then also this like spiritual one that's helping the, your soul and interacting in such a different way.

And people don't understand that those are real things. Yeah. Like you can attribute scientific changes in the body to those experiences, whether we talk about oxytocin or serotonin and things like that. That is real. So I don't know that that's a bit of a tangent, but,

Nicole: but it's all on point. And the amount of times that in the research of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, the people who go in wanting and experience wanting to have this be what happens and then have this inner healing wisdom that comes through and brings up that thing that they didn't want to talk about.

Mm-hmm. That comes through, right? These experiences. Yeah. There is a whole part of this as someone who has been very, especially after my spiritual journey, then very like, Screw anything that doesn't have clinical research and is backed by science. Yeah. To get into the psychedelic space and see these inner healing experiences where things come up and that not be the thing that someone wanted to talk about, but the thing that they needed.

Oof. It's hard for me. I'm trying, I'm letting go of that like hard hold on to rigidity because mm-hmm. The science is showing that there are experiences that fall outside of that framework, like these ones we're talking about.

Lindsay: Yeah. I also fall into a place of rigidity around that because of my, the own chip on my shoulder about my education and my own like relationship with being smart or not people that I was really stupid cause I was dyslexic.

So like I have created this system of like, Hypervigilance around rigidity and education because I feel like I'm constantly having to prove myself. Mm-hmm. That can be toxic in some ways and having to release some of that because of all these other like anecdotal experiences, um, around humanness that are not necessarily as clinical.


Nicole: yes. And that's why I'm so thankful for you to share your experience with the MAPS research with M D M A. And I think, you know, we're hitting into phase four. I do think that certainly within our lifetimes it's gonna be out there as a therapy and as someone working in the sex and relationship space, I am.

So excited for what mm-hmm. You know, M D M A relationship therapy might look like, you know, helping people to create, connect back to pleasure. I do a lot of work on, um, sexual trauma. Right. What is that gonna look like in that sort of space of helping people to connect back to the pleasure that is possible in your body?

I think there's gonna be a long career, and I'm excited.

Lindsay: Oh my God. That's, I mean, that's amazing. Like we, yeah. You talk about like, uh, psychoactive experiences. What is an orgasm? You know, like how do you get there? What happens to your body? Like Yeah, the pleasure. That's so interesting and I'm, I'm excited for that journey for you.

I, I hope to, to stay in touch and see how that develops. It's so interesting.

Nicole: Totally, totally, totally. Yeah. It's all, it's all very fun. And even the kink spaces, I've been reading Radical Ecstasy, um, a book talking about like, yeah, the altered states of mind that occur even when you're playing in these sorts of spaces and doing that.

So really all these altered states of consciousness, meditation, psychedelics, kink, all these other things, it's really fascinating. So yeah, we'll have to stay in touch over the years.

Lindsay: Yeah, totally. That's amazing. Yeah. Um, really, really exciting.

Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I wanna hold a little bit of space as we come towards the end of our time in case there is anything that maybe you had on your heart that you wanted to hit.

Otherwise I have a closing question that I ask every guest on the podcast.

Lindsay: No, I'm just, I'm, you know, I'm very grateful to be here and thank you so much for taking the time to record with me and talk about the various aspects of this business and, and who I am and kind of how we got here. Because I think, I mean, I'm so incredibly passionate about the work we do at Mom Mataro, and it's so connected to, again, my humanness and it's, I, I just encourage anybody to like, reach out and, you know, there's anything that we spoke about today that resonates.

Um, you know, we're a really small team and we're very easy to get ahold of. So like please reach out

Nicole: and yeah, thank you for bringing your humanness. I think that's one of the bravest and most beautiful things to do in this world. Yeah. So the one question that I ask everyone on the podcast, and you can take this in any direction that you want, is, what is one thing that you wish other people knew was more normal?

Lindsay: I have a few answers for this. Mm-hmm. The one that first came is Intrusive thoughts. Mm. And then doing a, doing a, a lot of thinking about intrusive thoughts and we're, we constantly question our identities and our morals about them when we have them. So like, the things you think are bad, are they bad? And so you are not necessarily your thoughts.

We are all these like interesting experimental beings. And yeah, take that whoever's listening for what you will, you're, and then, yeah, I guess our, what I also think is obviously very normal, this pertains so specifically to this business is our. Discomfort or discomfort around sexual health, be it physiological, uh, or emotional or sociological.

That discomfort is super real and the more we put it out there, I think the more comfortable it can get. So. Mm-hmm. Whether you've got bv, you know, you've had it five times this year, one on three people get it. Normal yeast infections, normal. Mm-hmm. Unsure about what you like or what you want, or your queerness normal.

You know, like these are all parts of life.

Nicole: Yes. And being able to normalize that is how we're gonna get to pleasure. Right. Once we're able to let go of that shame and to step into our embodiment in all these different areas mm-hmm. And the intrusive thoughts being a huge one. Right. If you've had that running line of thoughts of going, going, going, going, going, going, it can be so uncomfortable to try and sit in silence mm-hmm.

For just a moment and to stop that and to realize that you have the autonomy. To let those thoughts pass on by and not engage. And even the thoughts of fear and like, you know, can I do this? I don't know if I can do this. You can also take that moment to take a step back and do it anyways. That's a lot of the work that I feel like I'm doing with clients is like hearing those thoughts that are just constantly running and the benefit of being able to come back and realize we aren't those thoughts.

Oh, whew. Life changing. Life changing.

Lindsay: Life changing. Life changing. Life changing. Lifechanging.

Nicole: Yes. And so that's why I'm always like mindfulness people, mindfulness. But I mean, a, I'll be the first to say that. That that's hard,

Lindsay: you know? Yeah. That's hard. Yeah. And don't let, don't let per perfection be the enemy of progress.

Right. Amen.

Nicole: Amen. Amen. Uh, yeah. It was so, so lovely to have you. Where do you wanna plug so that people can find you, connect with you and everything that you talked about today?

Lindsay: Yeah, yeah. Our website and, you know, company we're mom taro I'm sure that will all be linked in the, in the notes. Please find us there.

Um, just, you know, to mention the chat bot is actually a real person on our website, so when you go there, we are like very present with you if you are looking for, you know, solutions and products for these very normal conditions. Our Instagram is at Love Momotaro. Um, I am in the DMS quite a bit. You can see me making a fool of myself on reels there all the time just talking about my experience.

Um, and then of course, by email I am just lindsey momotaro Um, again, we love speaking with our community. We love. Sharing stories. Um, everything that we do is really for you, for our customers. We've formulated products, we create education. All of that, like the more expansive we can be, the more effective we are.

So please reach out. Questions, comments, concerns. Um, we are really excited to continue to learn and grow as a business and of course, unlearn.

Nicole: Yes. Yes. Thank you for coming onto the podcast and being vulnerable and sharing your humanness with all of

Lindsay: us. It was my pleasure, Nicole. Thank you so much for having me.

I appreciate your massive wealth of knowledge. It's been an absolute pleasure today.

Nicole: Yeah, thank you.


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