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151. Stepping Into the Next Playfully Erotic Version of Yourself with Nicolle Hodges

Nicole: On today's episode, we have Nicole Hodgins. Join us for a conversation about exploring our erotic psychology.

Together we talk about the transformation of looking at your vulva in the mirror. The joy of sexual worldbuilding, and the curiosity and courage needed to play in the erotic. Hello, dear listener, and welcome back to Modern Anarchy. I am delighted to have you tuning in to another episode, and if you're new here, See you Welcome.

You are joining an expansive community of pleasure activists around the world who are challenging the status quo when it comes to our pleasure. And today's conversation is another step towards that liberation. As a psychotherapist who works with trauma, we know that we have moved out of trauma when we are able to play again.

And so many people feel tight. Restricted, unsure, insecure when it comes to sexual and erotic play. And I dream of a world where we feel expansive, where we feel embodied, where we feel the ecstasy of this relational play and meditation. I know there are so many difficult things going on in the world right now, and when I think about large systemic change, I think about the ways that we are all capable of pulling a little thread of these larger tapestries of these systems.

And in that, we're going to have different corners of the tapestry we're working on. And for me, with my life, and my work as a psychotherapist. I am dedicated to ending rape culture. It's a wild goal to do in a lifetime, but dear listener, I am gonna put the largest dent in this that I can do. Until I breathe my last breath on this earth, I am dedicated to studying and being with you in this space.

for us to together work on ending rape culture and stepping into erotic play and embodiment. And so dear listener, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for tuning into these conversations. Thank you for opening your heart. Thank you for getting curious about these conversations, and when you notice that tightness in your chest about something that is said from me, or from one of the guests, getting curious about where that's residing in you.

There is no end to the unpacking of the status quo around sex, relationships, and our pleasure. And so, I am dedicated to being in this space with you each Wednesday. Being vulnerable, raw, and authentic about this journey. I am also working on theories of combining my psychedelic psychotherapy work with sex therapy.

There are so many crossovers, and you're gonna start to hear it in a lot of these episodes that are coming out, right? For example, Set and setting, right? What is the set and setting of the psychedelic, that non specific amplifier that you're taking, right? Or the set and setting of sex, you're stepping into that amplified state of pleasure when you're in that deep meditation, finding that flow state.

with someone else or with yourself. Both of those things are deeply impacted by the set and setting. If you're tense and worried about your set and setting for the psychedelic, it is impossible to relax and fully feel the experience. I've seen that clinically in my work, regardless of the dose that we can give people.

You won't feel it if you're really tense and holding on to reality. And I think about sex in the same way, right? When you're tense, when you're in scripts of negative self judgment and monitoring, you won't be able to feel the pleasure and ecstasy in your body. Dear listener, I'm working on so many beautiful episodes, resources for you and our expansive pleasure activist community.

And so, again, thank you for tuning into these episodes. I hope you continue to find sexual play that isn't orgasm focused. What is pleasure focused? As Nicole said in her, uh, description of one of her experiences, I wasn't having an orgasm, but I was laughing so hard. Y'all, the amount of sexual experiences that I've had where I'm just rolling in giggles and laughter.

Ugh, if I could tell my younger self the worlds of joy and pleasure that are possible. I don't think I would have believed me, to be honest, uh, but that's where my work is, y'all. I hope you can hear it in the way that I talk about it, in these guests and the ways that they talk about it. I mean, the past me would have never understood the capacity for pleasure that was possible.

And so as I was moving through these different versions of myself, I had to let go of past sexual identities. The ways that I understood myself, how I showed up in spaces, in dynamics. That past version of myself is dead. We are constantly changing and evolving. And that's going to mean that you are going to let go of the past versions of your sexual identity.

Self, as you step into that more evolved, more experienced, more expansive sexual self. So I hope you can take time to meditate. Be you with that next version of yourself. Take time to slow down and speak to that past version of yourself, right? What did they need? For me, I probably needed a hug and someone who was embodied enough to say, Hey, pleasure is possible.

I promise you, you can get there. And so I hope you can take the time to also say those words of affirmation, whatever you might need. To your past self as you meditate and connect with them as well. Mm. Dear listener, know that I'm sending you all of my love and let's tune into today's episode.

So then the first question I like to ask each guest is, how would you introduce yourself to the listen?

Nicolle Hodges: Oh, very cool. My name is Nicole Hodges. Most people, uh, know me as Nicole double L, or if they read my Instagram handle only, they think it's Nicole Dubelle, which sounds French and exotic. And so I never correct them. Um, I am a sexual freedom philosopher. I am a BDSM facilitator and I am a writer slash journalist.

And so by trade, I'm a journalist by, by trained profession, but I'm a writer in the sense that I'm also a, a creator where I tend to go outside of just the confines of journalism, which is. Feels more like a scribe, right? Like they're more documenting the times. As a writer, you get to also create what you hope can be.

So yeah, I would say, I would say sexual freedom philosopher definitely encompasses most of what it is that I do, which is the exploration of the question of how can we be more free through Our sexual energy.

Nicole: Exciting. Here we go.

So my first question that I'm thinking about in terms of freedom and sexuality is the ability to play. Yes. Yeah. I'd love to hear if you'd be willing to share a little bit about your journey stepping into play with these things.

Nicolle Hodges: Yeah. So I think something that I'll preface by saying. With is most of what I will reference will be BDSM and that has been where I found my relationship to power my freedom, my sexual expression, and.

Really my sense of play. Uh, it is in these darker realms. You might say it is kind of playing in the shadows. It is going into darker aspects of the human psyche. It is the eroticization of shame. It is seeking discomfort. It is using pain as a teacher. So these have all been the areas where I have found my ability to play.

And. If I were to say kind of what my, what my in was into that, maybe that knowing, you know, you started this off by reminding me, uh, that, you know, there are no wrong answers and that this is my unique story. And I think that that's really important for people to know as well, which is like, when you're listening to this and you're hearing my story, it's not something that can necessarily be replicated because there's so many small ingredients dating back to my childhood that.

Got me to the point that I am, but I think there's still something that can be taken from listening to anyone's story. Um, and so just listening to my own story, if something stirs you or moves, you, like, that's an indicator of how that particular thing might actually apply to your own life. So. For me, um, you know, I, I'm the oldest sister of two younger brothers.

I grew up in a pretty tumultuous household with a violent, mercurial mother. And I feel that these, being in that type of tense environment all the time, I was on high alert, which, uh, Actually helps me hone my intuitive abilities because I didn't have the physical strength to keep myself safe. And so it was almost like I created this borderline psychic ability, or one might call it pattern recognition, really be able to keep myself and my brother safe.

I don't like to draw too many parallels between. Trauma or violent upbringings with my desire for in particular, but what I can say on the positive side of it is that so much about my ability to play in a space where there's. Um, the eroticization of violence, like in BDSM actually comes from my intuitive abilities.

So it actually comes from my ability to really be able to take in a large quantity of information all at once beyond the intellectual processing, because in some BDSM scenes, you actually lose your ability to speak and you have to be able to understand and pick up cues in a different way that, yeah, go beyond.

Sure. Sure. And so, you know, with the, the upbringing portion, um, I equated sexuality with chaos and all I wanted in my life was order because I was constantly surrounded by chaos, which is unpredictable environment. And so. I did a couple of things. I won. I put my sexuality in a box. I thought that I could lobotomize that part of myself.

And for some reason, it wouldn't affect the rest of my life. But I just said, I'm not going to allow myself to explore this at all, which, which caused me, obviously, to. Become quite numb. And it wasn't until I was 27 that I opened myself up and had a conversation with my, with my, I guess, my vagina, my, my pussy, my vulva, however, you kind of want to say it.

But I, I read the book come as you are. Yeah. She told me to go look at myself and I tried to turn the page and was like, no, no, no, I won't do that. And I felt like. A presence over my shoulder, looking at me going, you're not allowed to proceed until you go do this. And so I went and looked at myself in the mirror for the first time in my entire life.

And I felt this voice rip through me that went. Where have you been?

Oh, um, so that was the opening. That was the crack in the numbness in the wall that I'd built up since I was a child. And so there's that component. And then the other side of it, and this is all leading into how BDSM.

Nicole: I love it. Give me more

Nicolle Hodges: part of it.

Was that because I was seeking order, I put myself in situations that I'm I could explore what almost would be considered like doming myself or creating my own protocol. So I put myself into cadets because I wanted, and I remember like, I was just telling a friend this the other day. I remember standing at attention for an hour.

While the warden came around and slowly inspected you top to bottom. And I remember standing there in perfect attention, posture, feeling this overwhelming sense of pride, like, yeah, you know, and, but I, so I love that order because it was the counterbalance to all the chaos that I felt at home and then the other side of it is that I.

I asked to be put into French immersion because I heard that the teachers were more strict. So I constantly in my life where it was looking for these ways to be put in my place in a sense. And I also feel like putting such strict parameters around my sexuality was my own way of creating order and structure within myself.

Which again, in the kind of like BDSM vernacular would be, I was doming myself. I was creating my own protocol. I was submitting to myself by following my own strict instructions. And so I was playing with these things before I even knew what they were. Excuse me. Again, a life is a life and there's so many different things that I can give you, but let's just use that as kind of the basis.

And so fast forward to, oh my gosh. You know, 29 or 30 and I'm, I go on a date with this, with this guy and I can usually get a read on someone really quickly. It's a yes or a no right away. I can figure the whole thing out. I can see our whole life unfolding.

That's why I always show up to my dates two minutes late so I can stand in the corner of the restaurant and watch them for a second. Just get a little clinical data, data. How do you behave when I'm not there? And so. Anyway, I, uh, I couldn't get a read on this guy. It was like a fog and it was the 1st day.

It was great. 2nd day was great, but he didn't make a move. I couldn't get a read and I was like, whatever I'm I'm done here. So I send him a message at the end of the 2nd date. And I was like, listen, I just don't feel like this is going to work. Sorry. And he's like, okay, you know, that's fine. It doesn't put up a fight.

So I go to text my friend. I finally got rid of that guy. I'm pretty sure he's gay and just doesn't know it, but I accidentally sent that to him. Oh no. And so, and so, you know, the little, what are the ellipses pop up and you're just, and I'm sitting there like, you're such an asshole. Whatever this person says to you, just.

You're going to take like you deserve. And so I was, I was, but I was in a receptive state. And I think that's why this worked because what happened next, he sent me back two words that changed my life. And all he texted back was go on. And it was like, I had these gears that had been turning in my body, my life.

And all of a sudden they just clicked into place. And I felt this like shockwave. From my toes to my head, and I knew exactly what he wanted it. This person wanted to be humiliated and I felt perfectly equipped and I can't explain to you in some formula what it was, but all I can say is that it felt like my whole life.

I had been wandering down the hallways of my mind, opening up all of these doors, searching for this energy, this, this thing that I felt was inside of me that I couldn't. Quite like no amount of French immersion teachers or wardens inspecting me or strict mothers or anything could show me this thing that I knew that I had, that I was looking just like, where is it?

Where's that vial of energy? Where is that place that I get to that just feels like, ah, there it is. Yeah. When those gears clicks into place, I heard a click and I looked down and I realized. It was a cellar door that I was missing. And so I opened up this cellar door inside of me, and I just remember peering down into this darkness that felt so nourishing.

And I walked down into the darkness and that's where I finally took a deep breath. And I was like, Oh, there she is. Uh huh. Yeah, so this play, if I were to summarize it in the years that I've been exploring, like, what does play mean in the dark? It feels like the realm of BDSM. Allows for the temporary suspension from the burden of selfhood, all of the ideas that you have about yourself, all of the constructs, all the identity, all the obligation when you are engaging in power dynamic, when you are engaging in the active dominance or submission or playing with power, or you're playing with different.

Identities, if you're desiring to be a puppy or a pig or a slave, when you step into this place, when you step into the dark, you can't see. Um, everything that you've been, so you just feel into what is true right then and there. And that is freedom.

Nicole: Mm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Yeah. You understand as a psychologist in training why I love this topic.

I'm so fascinated by this topic.

Nicolle Hodges: Yeah. So much there. That's my short answer.

Nicole: There's so much there. There's so much there. Right. So, so thank you for sharing your story and for talking about this and trusting me to hold the space and the listeners today. So thank you. Yeah, I, you know, thank you. Even taking it back to that first, you know, come as you are looking in the mirror, I mean, damn, my, my brain's like psychedelic experience.

That's a psychedelic experience right there, right? That first time that you look into the mirror to actually see your body, right? And actually see that part of yourself and to connect with that. I'm, you know, when I work with people who are like struggling with eroticism, I'm always like, damn, like, could you look in the mirror and seduce yourself?

Nicolle Hodges: Yeah, that moment was so defining for me because I, I really realized how much I had severed that connection between my, my body and my mind. And so this wall that I had built up. You know, we often hear about the walls that we build that we think are keeping things out are actually keeping us in. And it had not been more apparent to me than it was in that moment because this voice came ripping through and it pierced this wall.

And I just imagine like old castle walls around me. And all of a sudden I walked up to this, the wall and I. Looked through this tiny little hole that this voice had created when it said, like, where have you been? And I realized that there was this whole, I kind of call it the, um, you know, like a field of flowers.

It was like all of this space existed on the other side of shame. And I began the process of, of taking down those walls and psychedelics helps with that. I, the, the, when, when my pussy asked or said to me, you know, like, where have you been? I've been waiting for you. I burst into tears because I felt that.

The voice wasn't my own, you know, it didn't feel like it was my thought. It was something deeper than that. And I knew that what I was about to engage in or the path that I was about to start walking was going to be scary. Um, it was going to be foreign to me because it was going to be coming from a place of deep connection.

And, but that voice felt like guidance, it felt like wisdom. And when I. Began when I embarked on this journey of, you know, the next 2 or 3 years of my life, essentially, what led me to the next checkpoint, which was that person saying, go on was guided by this question. What if everything you think you know about yourself is wrong?

And the reason it was that question is because I had built my entire life with trying not to become my mother. And so my whole life was built on not being, not being, not being, rather than who am I, who am I, who am I really? And so when I. You know, I went to Burning Man and I had never tried a psychedelic ever.

Wow. I, you know, like I had, I barely smoked weed. I think I tried it a couple of times. Sure. So I go to Burning Man with this question, what if everything you think you know about yourself is wrong? And I decide to begin answering that I'm going to try every single psychedelic I can get my hands on in the course of five days.

Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. Bold goal, bold goal, uh, and also check .

Nicole: And spent many years in the desert .

Nicolle Hodges: Oh yeah. These five days. We lived a thousand lives out there.

Nicole: Yes, you did .

Nicolle Hodges: And I remember there were two very distinct moments. Um, so at that point, I had never, I'd made a promise to myself that I would never, I wouldn't sleep with more than, you know, it was like five people in my entire life.

Oh, wow. Um, and then, and then I, you know. The audacity, but I bumped it up to 10. Once I ended, I was in a 7 year relationship and he was number 5. So I was okay. Let's be realistic. 10. Let's do 10. Wow. Yeah. Uh, actually, it was a really as a, as a little side note for listeners, it was a really beautiful experience for me to, um.

No longer count to actually stop counting. It was a celebration when I realized one day that I had forgotten the number. Um, and so, but at the time, you know, I was like, no more than 10 people had never done a psychedelic, had never let someone touch me who I wasn't. Deeply, you know, in a relationship with, I had never gone there and so I go to burning man and I remember I said, you know, there's 2 distinct moments.

And 1 of them was, I went to someone called the orgasm doctor and he's kind of this. It's kind of this infamous character out on the playa and, you know, he always has a lineup, you know, he gives you a shower and I, so, so 2 things. 1, I had just taken mushrooms for the 1st

time,

a heavy dose of mushrooms and 2, now in this man's quote office.

About to have a shower. And then he gives you a cervical orgasm. And I'm like, what is that? And so he showers me off and I'm laying on this, you know, I'm laying on this table and this is the first time I'm letting a total stranger trust me. He starts touching me. And I feel nothing, you know, he, you know, he's putting his fingers inside of me.

And of course, there's communication the whole time. And he's going like, is this okay? Is this okay? I'm like, yeah, it is. But I'm also feeling nothing. And I'm like, all right, Nicole, just relax. And the mushrooms start kicking in and they're just like, you're safe. The choice, like, why don't you just allow yourself to experience what this is?

Just allow this to be unexperienced. So I was like, okay. So I, you know, do some deep breaths and. As I'm doing my deep breaths, each inhale and exhale is actually taking me higher above my body. And so I'm floating above my body and I'm looking down and I'm realizing that I have the biggest smile on my face.

Then I realized that I'm laughing and I'm not having an orgasm, but I am laughing so hard. And. That was it. There was no, there was no big orgasm. And you know, he finishes up and he's like, thank you so much. I was like, thank you. And I get on my bike and I'm biking across the playa laughing. And I can't wait to tell my friend that I just let a man put his fingers inside of me.

And I felt nothing except I was laughing. So that was the first experience. And then the second one was that. It was the 1st time I was coming up on MDMA and I was wearing a giant heart jacket. I was dancing on the top of a submarine and the sun was coming up across the playa and the way that it looked like it was coming up, it looked like it was just coming up right out of the earth.

Sure. And the M is kicking in. And this, and I'm looking at the sun and I'm dancing and I feel it move through my body. And as it's moving through my body, it gets to my ovaries and it almost feels like it stops. And that's where all of the shame I've been carrying for my whole life. Was, and it felt like these like calcified snags, um, that was stopping the energy from moving through me.

And the sun got there and it just slowly burned through, and I felt all of these blocks just disintegrate. And my heart felt like it. Exploded like it felt like I all of a sudden all of this stuck sexual energy moved up through me and I just started hysterically laughing and I looked down at my friends and they were looking up at me and they were going like, yes, keep going.

And I was like, wow, this is it. Like, I'm. I'm free. I'm free from the stories. I'm free from the numbers. I'm free from the shame. And I don't think I would have had that experience had it not been for truly being brave to ask myself the question and to really go for it, you know, and to really trust that there was this guidance system inside of me that was going to take me to the places that I needed to go.

But it was, you know, it It was scary because I had to let go of this identity I created that was based on control. Control came from a place of needing to keep myself safe. Letting go into the chaos of the unknown meant venturing away from all of the ideas that I had around what it was that I required to keep myself safe in this world.

Nicole: Yeah, so powerful. I was getting emotional just thinking about like, seriously, right? Just, just thinking about how much is, is tied up in shame and these various parts and how Much. It disconnects us from pleasure and truly embodiment and right intimacy in our relationships. And, uh, there's so much there and I'm, I'm so glad that you had those medicine experiences and we're in such a safe container that you could connect with yourself in that way, right?

And psychedelics are so powerful to allow us to feel safe in ways that maybe we've never felt before in our ordinary states of consciousness and the ways that that can connect us to parts of ourselves. I mean, I've, um, come from a trauma background and that's kind of how I got into all this stuff. And so having like my first like breath orgasms on acid and other sorts of experiences that really like opened my body up to levels of, you know, things I was holding that I didn't even know, or one of my first, like, um, a yoni massage or like a sexological body work session, I did it on cannabis, right?

And that helped me to relax and open up my bodies in ways to trust That random person in front of me, right? And so I'm probably just feeling a lot of resonance with you of the ways that these substances can be when done safely, right? Obviously, you need those safe containers. But when you're in that safe container, the ways that that can help us to reconnect to parts of ourselves that are so cut off is just, oh, it's so powerful.

And. Even that question of like, what if everything I know about myself is wrong? I mean, Jesus, Nicole, I, I came from a very purity culture background. So I was like, homosexuals are sinners, you know, I'm going to marry a pastor, you know, and then you get out and I'm like, Oh no, I'm gay. Oh no. I really like the sex thing.

And Oh, I like multiple people. Oh no. It's like, Jesus, what's next? You know what I mean? Like I, I opened myself up to all the BDSM categories that I'm sure I'll unpack at some point and want that I don't think I want now, you know what I mean? So, I mean, yes. And I think just the space that you've allowed yourself to reconnect with those parts, you know, that were so cut off.

I can, I can only imagine you were talking about how scary it is, but the place of pleasure that you're embodying now.

Nicolle Hodges: Yeah. Yeah. Life like it's so interesting that it. Began with recognizing the numbness and there was a, there was a grief and mourning process too, which I almost don't feel is talked about enough when you are letting go of who you have been.

Right. Because it's, those were as much as they held you back in so far as once you get to the other side of it, you look and you say like, Whoa, that was, I was operating in such a small world. Those were also things that. Helped you and, you know, I've had to, I've had to have some really healing conversations with the 15 year old version of myself made the promise.

Like, I remember the moment standing in my kitchen where my mom was screaming at me and I, it moved and she moved in slow motion almost. And I just remember, like, you know, in my mind, she had spit coming out of her mouth and her veins were popping out of. Her neck and like, P. S. Mom, I love you now. And you're different.

And our relationship is, um, there's so much healing that's happened there, but the, but these are the, these are the facts that helped shape me. And, you know, I remember looking at her and just going, like, I promise to do everything to be the opposite of you, because if I do the opposite of you, I'll be happy.

And so I went back to that 15 year old self who made that promise. And I. You know, it was interesting. I, uh. I used to wear my shoes on in the house because when she'd come home, it was safer for me to have shoes on in case I had to run. And even to this day, sometimes I'll find that if I'm feeling unsafe, not in my home environment, but in my own body, I'll look down and I'll still be wearing my shoes.

So it's kind of a, it's a, it's a sign for me. And then I'll go and I'll, you know, do some breath work and I'll kind of calm myself down and I'll make it almost ritualistic and taking off the shoes. So when I went and did this, you know, we call it inner child work for me. It was more kind of inner teenage work.

Um, I. Got down on my hands and knees and I slowly took off 15 year old Nicole's shoes and I kept saying, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for creating these rules for us to follow. I love you. You did what God, it makes me emotional every time I go for it. Yeah. You did what you needed to do to keep us safe, but like, we don't, we don't do that anymore.

And we can move on and we can take our shoes off. And it's so funny because. One of my submissives actually has a bit of a foot fetish and he's not the only one who's come into my life. That's like, they love my feet and they just want to massage my feet and worship my feet. And I'm like, when I made the correlation, I was like, oh, my God.

Subconsciously, I had been attracting these people into my life that want to get down on their hands and knees and they want to worship my feet and it feels so healing for me. It's so beyond this act of, you know, submission. It's, it's, it was actually this reminder on a deep level that I was safe and that I created a life around myself where I am finding safety and healing in the acceptance of myself as this.

Sexual being.

Nicole: Yes. Yes. Like you said, to go from that space where like the shoes, you know, really meant safety, right? Because of the dynamics with your mom, right? To keep those on then to years later have that space where someone is worshiping your feet and the power that you have in that dynamic, right? I mean.

That is a complete 180 and such a healing journey that involves play.

Nicolle Hodges: And I think it also highlights how the relationship between a dom and their sub or dominance and submission is a cyclical, it's an exchange of energy, right? I am healing. As much through that interaction through self acceptance as the person that is serving me is also healing through self acceptance in their role.

And it is only through that mutual exchange of energy that. You heal your relationship to power and that it actually does what it's meant to do, where the power actually resides, which is that both are benefiting by giving and receiving an equal measure. It's just the expression of that looks, mm-Hmm, different.

Nicole: Mm-Hmm . Mm-Hmm . Mm-Hmm. . . So powerful. So powerful. And there's so much tied up there in terms of, like you said, healing.

Nicolle Hodges: Yeah. And, and I think, you know, again, like play, play can be healing. Play doesn't also have to be healing. It can just be fun and silly and for play. And that's wonderful. But really where I found so much healing in play.

Is through these really distinct roles and I think that is part of what, again, makes it such a powerful round to play in because there's no ambiguity. There's the Dom and the sub and you. Fill that role and you expand fully into the narrow scope of that role and you interact from those places, which yeah, allows it to be void of almost nuance.

And like I said, ambiguity, which can also be really good for, uh, the, the brain in a sense. And I guess what I mean by that is you're not thinking. Necessarily, or you're not analyzing every part of that interaction through the, like, how does this fit into the larger context of my life? How does this, how might this change our dynamic?

We move through the world. We have interactions. There tends to be a power dynamic of some kind in each interaction, even in a conversation. Someone leads, someone follows. You hope there's an exchange. Your brain in the background is, is Analyzing and processing in real time, all of these minute details.

And a lot of it has to do with, you know, will we be better off for this interaction? Do I still belong? Am I liked whatever when you can take away all of that noise, you can just be in one role. So much of that noise goes away. So you become almost hyper focused on one thing. Which I would say feels more like a flow state than anything else.

And so you go into a sense of flow where in the dominant state, the flow feels more like hyper focused. You have one goal that you're accomplishing. And so all of these other peripheral things seem to fade away. Your only focus is on the submissive and what I kind of call, like, world building. Sure. Yeah.

Getting back to them, all of the things that, you know, will help them become more like themselves. And that is a powerful state. Then in the submissive state, the attention is inward. It's an inward journey where you might also experience things like time distortion, or you're able to take on more pain. Or like I said, with that kind of a inward exploration, you're not worried about how you're being perceived, which you spend so much time doing in regular interactions.

And so the, the submissive is just meant to go inside and feel. Or the dominant is putting their attention outward. And so when you're in those 2 states, and there's nothing else to think about, but just those 2 things, that is where the meditative aspect of these exchanges come in. And so I look at BDSM as.

As a form of relational meditation, hell, yeah, we are realizing that we are creating these states of meditation through our interaction. And that's why I often refer to this power exchange as a way to heal our relationship with power, because it's not about having power over. It's not about subjugation.

It's not even about worrying whether or not you're maintaining power. It is just being in relation with one another in this agreement that you are going to fulfill to the fullness. The again, narrow scope of the roles that you're embodying and having those work in tandem, which is again, where that power comes from.

So, you know, you can go out on a run and achieve flow state, you can meditate by yourself and achieve flow state. But I think. Again, where the power of BDSM comes from, if we're going to look at it as how can this translate into the broader scope of our existence and our lives outside of these scenes, is that it is relational meditation and we realize how much we can heal in relationship.

Nicole: Beautiful. Mm. Yeah. And I'm hearing it for me. You kind of hit on this too. It's so clear to me these days how power is prevalent in every single dynamic. And if you don't understand that, right, usually it means you're not consciously aware of it. And then that's where we get, you know, things that happen, right?

So it's, it's this intentionality around it. Right. And, and what I'm hearing is. The benefit of, like you said, we're able to quiet the mind when we have an intention of the way that we're going to show up in this dynamic. It's not the, you know, all things flowing into whatever it's a, I'm going to show up as this.

And by doing that, that means my mind can quiet. I can go inward or I can focus on giving. Right. And so, yeah, rather than that power over dynamic, it's that people are playing very specifically. Roles in this energy exchange that creates pleasurable experiences for both parties.

Nicolle Hodges: And you can even think of it as if the Dom as the lead, you know, let's say, or I, you know, like I said, I like to say like the world builder, the one acting back to the sub, what it is that they desire.

So even saying lead is kind of funny, but if they're self conscious, That means their attention is actually going inward because now they're worried about how they're being perceived. They're no longer in the dominant state and if the sub is, if their attention is going outward, and they're actually wondering, like, oh, does the Dom like me, uh, am I, you know, am I doing a good job at, uh, That's not coming from that place of submission that's coming from that place of unworthiness or or self consciousness and it's in a different way.

Their attention is now outward. They're not actually submitting and allowing that energy to go inward. And so you can feel. If a dynamic feels off, it's usually because one person is not actually directing the flow of energy in the correct manner. Yeah,

Nicole: and, and just I'll say from my own experience, you know, the things that you learn about yourself in those states.

Nicolle Hodges: Oh, yeah, there you go. Um, so what I found, so what, you know, the interactions that we have in the world, as we've mentioned. Every day they're filled with. Yes. Ambiguity. Naturally nuance. Those, those wheels are always spinning in a conversation. Let's say where there feels like there's some sort of block. It might be because.

The flow of energy is not doing what it's meant to do because there's, there's fear somewhere. And so if someone has a fear of relinquishing power or control, that will create a block. If someone has a fear of going inward and doing inward exploration, that will create a block. So. When you engage again, in the context of dominance and submission, you can feel within yourself.

If you are prohibiting the flow of energy by holding on to something, or being afraid of Like, letting go or not going inward, or, you know, if you're afraid to, if you're afraid to direct, if you kind of lack that feeling of confidence to be able to do something, if, if you feel that you're afraid to step into your power, if you fear your power.

And your ability to move energy, then you will have a harder time stepping into that role. If you fear that inner exploration, if you fear, you know, kind of like, letting go of this identity or letting go of control, you're going to have a difficult time going into a state of submission. And so. In exploring these things in this context, you get a really good read on who you are and where you're at, what your relationship is to power that when you go out into the world and other interactions, you're like, Ooh, I feel myself actually holding on to something right now.

And so the responsibility that you can take for your own life. Becomes greater, and once you can take on more responsibility for your life. You have more power to change it. Oh, yeah. Mm hmm. I move through the world very differently these days Yes, and I you know and I and I've said I've said it before you know in some of my writing But when you change how you move through the world the world changes how it moves for you you recognize that how powerful you really are to create all of the circumstances around you in order to give yourself what it is that you need or what it is that you want in order to become more like yourself.

Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. We call this play therapy. Question mark.

Adults play therapy, right? Because play therapy usually is with kids, but it's like, damn, okay, first off, let's acknowledge the fact that we all need the play. And so I think that, you know, we grow in relationships and we heal in relationships. And so for me, when I'm thinking about sexuality and psychological healing, I think this is a huge space of, you know, just in general, when we talk about trauma, like we know when people get out of a trauma, It's when they start to feel safe enough to play, to take risks, to actually put themselves out there, and that's when we've gotten out of that trauma state, right?

So when we're thinking about our sexuality, I'm, I'm asking that question of like, when does it start to become play? Because that's when we know we've gotten to a certain point. And then once you still get there, then you find out so much more about your psyche and, and continue to unpack each day and every day deeper and deeper.

And, and in that point, then it is like a psychedelic experience of its own kind, right? The internal reflection that you learn about yourself through that process is wild.

Nicolle Hodges: Note on play too. So this is an interesting distinction. It's, you know, some people will say, well, well, I don't like to role play. Yeah.

Nicole: Yeah.

Nicolle Hodges: I'm like, ah, yes. Okay. Yes. So this is the distinction I do want to make between yeah, we'll play and what I would consider BDSM to be, which is. Complex roleplay. So, and embodied roleplay. So, with this idea of roleplay, we often think of people putting on a maid's outfit or putting on, putting something on and behaving in a way that's unlike themselves.

Complex roleplay in BDSM is actually play that allows you to be more like yourself. So you're not you're not putting something on to move away from who you are. You are putting something on and that could mean literally putting on something, which again, you know, we see, we see typical totems of BDSM.

You could call them leather latex. These are symbols that we have charged with meaning that we might put on that helps us step into an identity for someone. It might be. A tail, it might be a set of ears. It might be whatever it is. You can charge item with this ability to help you transform. There's a lot of ritual around, you know, and and scenes and spaces.

So you're putting something on literally, or you're putting on a new identity. That allows you to explore what, you know, to be more true about, you. Rather than putting something on and saying, okay, well, now I'm going to, you know, try being this, or I'm going to act into this. You're not acting into something is complex role play.

You are actually acting out. Who you are, right?

Nicole: Right. And the fact that it feels foreign to, so, so right. So is it parts, sides, aspects of ourself, whatever we want to call it, right? Whatever they are, if it feels uncomfortable or hard to step into that, let's go back then to the psychological discussion of like, Okay.

Well, is that showing up in other areas of your life or that feels like a hard thing to step into, right? So it is channeling into these parts, aspects, sides of ourselves, you know, and I don't think that, you know, small sample size on this research, but most of my community, you know, Theater people, you know, being able to channel these different things in themselves.

And I'm like, wow, all of my people around me are theater people. And interesting.

Nicolle Hodges: All the theater nerds are the kinkiest people I've ever met.

Nicole: Yeah, because they know how to channel emotions and different aspects of themselves in different ways and find that right, which makes me wish I studied theater.

And I probably eventually will hopefully try to incorporate some of the lessons into the work that I do on the podcast space. Right? Because I think there's a lot of wisdom there in terms of play and tapping into. And so, yeah. Yeah, I'm a hundred percent with you. And I think that, that, that space of the listener who's tuning in, that's going, Oh, I couldn't, I couldn't tap into that.

It's like, okay, let's get curious about that. What is it about that? What, you know, what's that sticking point. But I think what I hold for is, you know, Nicole, Nicole here, you know, my journey is if you try to tell me this. You know, like five years ago, I would have just, I couldn't even comprehend this conversation.

And I would have been like, what do you mean? Like, how do I do that? Right. And so it's just like, when I try to remember that so many people are just on such a different spectrum of this journey, right? Like there's a listener who still hasn't looked into the mirror, right. And seeing their vulva in that way.

And then there's, Other listeners who've explored the edges of edge of edge, you know, and so it's just like, it's such a journey that I hope more of us can step into with, with curiosity for unpacking these parts of ourselves.

Nicolle Hodges: Yeah. And, and I would say curiosity and courage, right? Because you mentioned play.

And I think that that's really the core of what it is that we're talking about. And play being able to Safely explore the unknown, right? Like play the beauty of play. And we might remember this as kids is like anything could have happened. And when something happened, you just moved from that point to the next point of something happening.

And, and you made up, you made up rules as you, as you went and. That requires a lot of trust. Yeah. As adults playing in the sexual space, the environment that we need to operate in for play to be possible has to be one of trust. Yeah. And trust is that. Kind of empty space. That's not really empty at all between us.

And so when we do collide and something happens, it's like, ah, okay, but there's trust here. So we can figure this out and we can move with this, you know, again, coming back to kind of a theater reference. It's in a sense, improv, right? It's being able to move with what is rather than having. a constructed idea of what is and adhering to that so staunchly that Veering away from that actually feels like a threat or a failure, but of course, that starts with yourself and your own, your own trust with yourself.

And that is deepened through self awareness. So the curiosity to explore the depths of yourself. And then the courage to go out into the world and test that out.

Nicole: Right, right, right. To have the space with a partner, right, or partners to explore that being a crucial piece of it, right? Because it can do all the inner work, but it comes back to, like you said, that relational meditation, right?

Getting back into a space where you have someone that you feel safe enough with to actually test that out and play. I agree. I agree. I just, you know, I always struggled with perfectionism and I went to like one improv class and I about like cried. I was like, they want me to just make stuff on the spot.

Like, I, I can't do that shit, you know? So, but like, I, I just, these days see how closely related that is when you're playing and again, world building, right? You're, you're, you're talking with someone, you're creating this world and it really requires. Um, and so I think that requires that level of improv, like to just go with it.

And so, you know, when you have a partner who understands that with you and like, we'll joke with you, even if you say something that doesn't land, right, maybe you made a comment. It's not that great. And it just fell flat. And like, they keep playing with you versus that partner who goes, why did you say that?

Like, that's, oh Jesus, you know, that will shoot you down so fast. And so I think part of this too, is like finding someone that you feel safe with enough to actually build that relationship. Yep. And test out playing and then you keep building that muscle

Nicolle Hodges: and before you might be able to get to that place of play something with again with with BDSM in that there's a structure and play can happen within it, but you can also allow that structure to be the entirety of the experience, which still actually helps.

So for people that. Have had trauma, I've experienced complex trauma or capital T trauma, the predictability of a scene through pre negotiation can actually help them take those small steps towards being able to play in a sexual context. And so, you know, them knowing exactly what's going to come next, them knowing that, okay.

You know, I'm going to have you crawl across the floor towards me, uh, then we're going to do a small part of the scene where I'm going to tie your wrists to your ankles. I'm going to walk around you 3 times. Like, you can get so granular. So in their brain, they go like, hey, there is nothing unpredictable about what's going to happen.

And you adhere to that. You don't. Hear from that at all. And then they can actually relax into the small spaces between each thing that they know is coming next. And eventually that space increases. There's more trust more trust until that space becomes big enough. Where they don't need to know as much about what's going to happen next.

And then that space allows for play to happen. But 1st, they need to know exactly what's going to happen.

Nicole: Yep.

Nicolle Hodges: And that's part of the healing potential of BDSM, which is that You can also still safely explore your sexual expression and reconnection to your body through intense predictability.

Nicole: Yeah, when I'm doing psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, we start off with the.

Low dose, the handshake, we don't drop people off in that high, you know, like we start with the low dose where there is that control because ultimately what we need is that nervous system regulation, which especially with trauma, right? Might not be there. So being able to have that control so that you can feel safe enough in your body to actually be there and feel it right.

Like that is a huge piece of the process of learning to come back to the body and be in play.

Nicolle Hodges: Yeah, absolutely. And this is kind of a well known idea, but again, it really does apply to BDSM too, is Are you someone who is safe to say no to? So, someone says no, and how do you, how do you respond to that?

Because that is just as important as them being able to say no. Now, whatever journey they had to go on internally to get to the point that they said no, because if you're a person who's, People pleaser, or you don't have a strong connection to your voice, or even you don't have that immediately, that immediate feedback in your own body, that something's a no, and it kind of lingers for a second and you're like, Oh, but now it's been too long.

And I don't really want, you know, so to honor someone's no is honoring the journey that they had to go through to say that. And then, so to be the recipient of that and to say, you know, thank you,

Nicole: yes.

Nicolle Hodges: Or to even. And this is what's interesting too about dominance is that you can't falter, right? So your world building and sometimes you might get it wrong.

And if someone says no to you and they see you shake or they see you kind of like recoil, that's coming from a place of ego. That's because you actually believe that what you've done is so perfect. And you're so intuitive and perceptive that you can't be wrong. You have that feeling with inside of yourself.

You've actually kind of misguided the power. You're not using the role in the way that it's meant to be used. So if you as a dom in that state say, thank you and just keep, you know, keep the energy moving, then you're signifying to that. You are safe and that your ego is not caught up in this, that you are indeed reflecting back to them their own.

Inner world, and that's the rule there. So, being someone safe to say no to when you take on the dominant state is part of what makes it's part of what defines the difference between dominance and domineering, or even being in the dominant state and abuse. If you go in with your own predetermined agenda of how something is supposed to go, then you're now imposing your will on the dynamic, and you are no longer safe.

Nicole: Mm hmm, mm hmm, mm hmm. And right, so when done in the context of this, Right? There's so much empowerment. Yes. With that. No. So much empowerment. And I think that's the healing space for some people who maybe have never had their note listened to, right? To have a Dom who comes back and says, thank you. Let's keep creating together.

That whoo.

Nicolle Hodges: Yeah. Huge. Where is that? That moment could change the trajectory of someone's life again, because life is created by how much we know of ourselves. Reflected back to us and everything that we do. And so that moment could really change someone. So, fundamentally, because they drop into their own trust their own sense of being able to express themselves.

And so, when you, when you receive a no. As a dom, or even a hesitation, which again, sometimes it's not a explicit. No, sometimes it's just a, like, ooh. That didn't feel good to have someone notice you to have someone be so attuned to the movement of your body or the way that you're breathing, or whether or not you're tensing or relaxing into something times.

The no is not even expressed verbally. It's expressed as a sense of, um, almost disembodiment or where the mind and the body separate as a dom you're in tune to that. And so to have. You know, to be in the submissive space and to, to be like, wow, I am so held in attention right now that they notice that that is also a beautiful thing.

And then obviously, in aftercare, that's an opportunity to both to come back down to a quality and also to parse what felt good. Maybe what didn't feel good without a sense of blame. Um, because when you're, when you're playing, you're collaborating and it's an opportunity to talk through what happened in the scene as if it's something that exists outside of both of you.

So now you're sitting back in your, you know, let's call it human form, looking at this world that you just built together and you're going like, Hmm, okay, what can I take of this? Yeah. As a reflection of where I'm at currently, based on what happened, and that is what's so beautiful as well about these dynamics in these worlds is the sense of responsibility almost feels like.

In a psychedelic experience, when you, you can, like, hold out a problem and you can examine it from almost a subjective perspective. We're just like, oh, interesting. I'm seeing this from a new angle because I'm not attached to it. It's something that happened to me. It's something that happened for me, depending on what language you like to use around that.

It's like, you know, it's. It's a, it's a situation in my life, whatever it is, uh, a scene in a BDSM in a, in a, in a dominant submission to submissive dynamic. A scene is also something that you can now hold out as a microcosm of who you are as a person and where you're at and examine it with that same objective, but empathetic.

Understanding that you don't really get when you're caught up in life, right? Integration, right? Yes, exactly. Exactly. It follows a lot of the same. It's parallel quite similarly to a psychedelic experience.

Nicole: Yeah, exactly. Right. So. So having that container for safety where you can process an aftercare, right?

Like the world that you built together in that dynamic and to be held in that and safely able to express what felt good, didn't feel good, all of that. I mean, and then for me, I just start to think about how, like, we're, we're doing that in all of our relationships, whether it's play, you know, BDSM or not, like.

When we create these relationships with people, we're world building, we're creating a narrative and hence why it's so important to check in and have conversations about that. And so I don't know, when I think about like BDSM and these sorts of play, like I just, it's so beautiful. I know it's transgressive.

I know all of those things, but at the same time, like, I feel like it is also so much light and beauty and love and narrative.

Nicolle Hodges: Oh, yeah. And, and it's, and, and process it's, again, it's the darkness that nourishes, it's not the darkness that hides it is so full of healing potential. And you know, again, it just comes back to all of these, I think of something like, you Healing modalities that kind of work in the light.

Yeah. Yeah. And then I think of BDSM, which maybe operates more in the shadows and both of these ways of healing and processing and moving energy. They're just drawing from the same well. They're just different expressions of the same well of how do we generate more love in the world by accepting all aspects of ourselves.

Nicole: Mm hmm. And then once you do that, or once, it never ends, right? The continual exploration of that allows the space to play with those sides for the fun that it is. Right? You know, it is. That ellipses that you got, you know, say more fun, let's go, you know, like once I can sense there, like to be able to, cause those are things that we don't do in the ordinary world.

Right. So to be able to have this play space where you can tap into that side that is held back for good reasons in the day to day, to be able to channel it here, to explore and plan, oh, you know, it's so much fun.

Nicolle Hodges: I don't love the parts of yourself that are, you know, you use the word you, I think you said transgressive.

There's something about BDSM is transgressive. It's like, but that's part of where its power comes from. And so I'm protective over BDSM in the sense where I, as it kind of starts to become a little bit more self accepted on the mainstream, whatever, I don't want it to be scrubbed clean It's transgressive nature.

Like, it's a place where you can be gross and you can accept parts of yourself that in usual context might not necessarily be loved or accepted or safe in the regular world, right? It's like, you have to have a place that you can go and be like, there's something about humiliation that arouses me. And there's something about Shame that arouses me and here's a place that I can explore these parts of myself that actually contribute to more love.

And that's the beauty of this work in the shadows, because then that doesn't seep out into other areas of your life. In unsafe ways, you know, and I, I love the feeling of shame. I love the way that it makes me feel vulnerable and small. And there's something credibly erotic for me about that feeling. And before I knew how to get that itch scratched in the context of BDSM, I would create situations in my life where I could feel shame, What the problem was is those were actually having a net negative impact on my relationships.

Yes. And all the work I had to do to create these complex scenarios that I could get what it is that I wanted, rather than being in the scene and get exactly the feeling that I want in agreement with somebody else. And then that scene ends and I'm like, okay, great. That bucket is now full. I don't have to try to create situations that I'm getting the feeling that I want, even though I'm subconsciously not understanding.

Mm hmm. Why I'm doing.

Nicole: Right, which is how powerful we are. Yeah. And I think this is where then it becomes a question of like social justice, right? And larger scale things of what does it mean to create a world where we understand the transgressive nature of BDSM in a light context so that people can embrace these parts of themselves and do it in, as you said, Conscious ways rather than unconscious ways where consent is not there, right?

Because we all have these sides, so being able to actually advocate for these things, I think, is a larger social justice important thing to think about too.

Nicolle Hodges: Exactly. I don't know if your listeners will agree, but like, whatever, take this for what it is. I'm going to introduce a Jordan Peterson quote into the discussion, but I actually think this is a, a fantastic perspective.

So if you can just, if you're not already, like, hold on Nicole, just like take it out of this and like, please try to listen to this for the, like, for the wisdom. Yeah, that is separate the person from the words if you must, but he said something along the lines of. A harmless man is not a good man. A good man is a very dangerous man who has that under voluntary control.

So, the reason why I like that quote is because I think it really speaks to exactly what we're talking about where if you have a place that you can safely and consensually tap into these dark, devious, strange, by any other context, desires, Then you're not going to try to wield your power. And that doesn't mean that doesn't always mean wielding your power as in you're trying to control someone else, but that can be wielding your power as in creating situations, which I had done to create shame circumstances in my life.

It's just wielding your ability to move energy. You're not going to do it in a way that actually has a negative impact on yourself or others. So. It's not about pretending that these things don't exist inside of us. It's about acknowledging that they do and finding ways to play with that safely.

Nicole: Right. Right. Yes. Exactly. So let's rewrite the quote ourselves here, right? In that a good woman, a good person, right? Like I am vicious. Totally. Like, I just, I, I, when I think about, like, women's liberation, I think there's, for so many different reasons, like this, like, demure and the soft and the whatever, and it's like, are you kidding me?

There's so much rage, fire, and fury that is tapped inside this body that I can unleash. And I think that we need to create that narrative as feminists, too. It's like, it's not this soft, lovey thing, like, we have that side.

Nicolle Hodges: Right. You know, like, Oh, definitely we do. And so it's, you know, a harmless woman or a harmless person is someone who doesn't have that.

It's someone who recognizes that they do and then find safe ways to play with it. And yeah, it's, it's interesting to the rage component, because I think there are, there are a lot of women who are really mad at. Men as a, as a concept, um, and I did this interesting exercise where I had a submissive man stand in front of a woman.

Well, I'll take 1 step back. I had 2 women. Playing out dominance and submission. And when the woman in the submissive state was kneeling in front of the other woman, you know, the, the woman in the dominant state was so attentive to her and was like, I don't want to cause you harm. I want to help you play into submission.

Then I switched out the submissive woman for a submissive man. Okay. Now what? And she just stopped and she tensed up. And I was like, can you tell me what you're going through right now? She's like, I want to hurt him. And it was like, Yeah, you want to hurt him because you want to harm him. You want to impose upon this male body as a representation of all of the times that you've been hurt and wronged, not just by a man, but by the system of patriarchy, which we all know.

Love to talk about and so how then can you be safe and how can you be trusted? So if you're moving through the world and you're saying, I'm not getting ahead or I'm being wronged or why can't I find a partner if that desire to actually cause harm because there's a hatred festering inside of you for men, they're going to sense that.

And so how can women rise into our power and ask to be. Allowed to express our power in our own unique ways. If and I'm going to say we, but if many women actually harbor a desire to cause harm, and once they get into a position of power, the 1st thing that they want to do. Is subjugate in the ways that they've been subjugated, right?

Replicate the harm, right?

Nicole: And this is where my therapist side comes in. And I'm like, hurt people hurt people in the sense of the men side, right? The men are hurting. Obviously they've paid, you know, we, we know that. That the patriarchy has hurt us, but I think it's an important part to remember that the people in the system are just as much hurt by the system that they didn't create.

Nicolle Hodges: Yes, right. And so we can recreate it together and that again, looking at a dominance and submission, submissive dynamic and what happens in that dynamic as a micro, you know, a microcosm of the, of the macro, then you can take. That interaction, you can say, okay, well, how I do 1 thing is how I do everything or how I feel about this particular interaction.

Maybe is how I feel about most interactions I'm having with men or with women. And you can actually learn from that dynamic. What your relationship to power is truly. Especially as a woman, when it comes to the male body.

Nicole: Absolutely. So much to explore. It makes me like excited. Like, let's check in in 10 years, see where we're at.

We're going to be like, we know so much more now, right? It's just a process.

Nicolle Hodges: Yeah. We're going to listen back to this and be like, Oh, sweet babies. But you know what? This is where we're at. I think this is a, I like to consider these conversations as, as, as artifacts, you know, these are. This is a touch point of this point in the journey.

And, um, of course, there's more to learn. And like you said, it never ends. And. But this is, this is where, yeah, this is, this is the calling. This is the path. Yeah. This is, yeah. The beauty of it all right here talking to you and, you know, we'll sign off and people might listen and the ripple effects of this will, we'll never know.

No. And we just continue to learn and to experiment.

Nicole: Yeah, that's why I've been starting my episodes with I'm like, we learn and unlearn and learn again. And that is, that is the process.

I want to ask two more questions. First one, and I know this is hard because when we think about just like journeys and growth and the process, but when you think back to that younger self that was looking in the mirror, I'm curious what you would want to say to her. Mm. When I looked at my, when I looked at my Volvo for the first time.

Yeah, knowing where you're at now, right? You've gone on this, this journey. If you were to go back to that part.

Nicolle Hodges: So, I have this. I have a few different ideas around what intuition might be, and of course, one of them comes from that more cerebral, rational part of me that goes, Oh, it's pattern recognition. I have a, I have a spiritual idea around what intuition is, and it comes more from this like, quantum idea of timelines and.

Sure. It's a belief that our intuition is actually our future selves whispering back to us. And so if I were to say something to her in that moment, I would say, where have you been? I would be the voice that I heard in that moment because that's exactly what I needed to hear then.

Mm hmm. So we're always speaking to our past selves in that way.

We're speaking to ourselves and when we listen to our intuition, it's us up ahead telling us exactly what it is that we know we need to hear to keep going. Powerful.

Nicole: And I'm so glad that you named the discomfort of that path because I think that's the other thing is people are like, Oh, it's going to be easy.

I want to explore and learn more. And it's like, well, sign up for a wild ride. Get on board, because it's not easy, you know?

Nicolle Hodges: It's not. It's not, but you'll find your people along the way. Your people find you. It's, yeah, you're, you're not, you're not going to be alone for long.

Nicole: No. Hello, Nicole. Where did, you know, what universe brought the two of us together?

Yeah. Yeah. So hey, I'm here for the ride. Nice to meet you. Uh, well, I want to hold some space too, as we come towards the end of our time. I do have that one closing question that I'll ask you and invite you to plug all of your stuff. But before I do that, I always like to check in with the guest and just make sure there wasn't anything else you wanted to say to the listeners before I guide us towards that closing question.

Nicolle Hodges: I just want to thank, thank you, whoever you are listening right now, you know, whatever led you to click play on this particular episode, whatever led you to finding Nicole's podcast, whatever led you to listening long enough that you're here at the end of it. I just want to say thank you for your curiosity and your courage, you know, two words that we've used quite a bit, but take what you want from this.

Leave the rest, but thank you for saying yes.

Nicole: Yeah, I get emotional. Like, I just really hope people can tap into play and pleasure, like truly, you know,

Nicolle Hodges: and pain.

Nicole: Yeah, yeah,

yeah, good, good, good, good, good. Uh, well then I will ask you if you feel good. The one question I ask every guest on the show. Okay. And it is, what is one thing? that you wish other people knew was more normal.

Nicolle Hodges: One of the things that comes to mind is that there is no normal.

Nicole: You pass the anarchist test every time.

I never know. Half the people are like, no, Nicole, no, no, no normal. And I'm like, yes, good job.

Yeah. Do you want to say more?

Nicolle Hodges: No, just that there's that the world is yours to create. But there is. No normal, I just think that that is such a beautiful way to to live, um, because, you know, even in this moving forward and exploration, uh, and maybe even playing on the edges. There's also nothing wrong or abnormal about wanting none of it.

So normal for someone could be. monogamous relationship, missionary sex, kids, a dog, a checklist. Whatever it is, that could be normal and that could be so fulfilling for somebody and I think we have this, we're kind of entering this phase where we're almost like being heterosexual and monogamous is somehow regressive, you know, it's somehow, we use the term vanilla, uh, with this kind of undertone of, ah, you're living in the past.

It's not. If that's your normal, if that's what feels good for you, then power to you. The only thing I would say is just make sure that it's what you want, and it's not what you're being told you should want in the same way that if you don't want to be queer and you don't want to be in an open relationship and you don't identify with polyamory and you don't really like BDSM and that none of that makes sense to you, then good.

Just make sure that it's what you don't want. In the same, you know, in the same way, it's like, just know what it is that you want and the reasons why you want it. And that is. That is you creating your life. Be vanilla, be kinky, anything in between. The only thing I would say is just know why you've chosen that.

Right, right. I'm always telling people to follow your pleasure, right? Always listen to that. Follow the pleasure. It will speak to you. Your body will speak to you. Mm. Nicole, it was such a pleasure to have you on the podcast. Thank you. Yeah. Where do you want to plug so that the listener who's connecting with you can find your stuff and yeah, reach out?

Uh, I would say right now the best place to get a hold of me is through my Instagram or through my email. Um, my Instagram is at Nicole double L. So it's N I C O L L E two L's in Nicole, the word double and L. Um, and they can also feel free to email me if that feels better if they don't have Instagram. Uh, and that's just Nicole Hodges at gmail.

com. Hodges is H O D G E S.

Nicole: And I'll have all of that linked in the show notes that listeners can go directly there to find you. So thank you. Thank you. Yeah. That was great. Hell yeah.

Nicolle Hodges: Yeah. Awesome. Good.

Nicole: Yeah. That was lovely.

I got emotional. Multiple times.

Nicolle Hodges: Same. Same. You know it's good. You know you're speaking from the heart.

Nicole: Yeah.

If you enjoyed today's episode, then leave us a five star review wherever you listen to your podcast. And head on over to ModernAnarchyPodcast. com to get resources and learn more about all the things we talked about on today's episode. I want to thank you for tuning in, and I will see you next week.

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