Broaching the Sex Talk With podcasts
This is a guest post and a curated list of podcasts by Cameron Poter, host of Sex Talk with My Mom
Never in a million years did I think I’d be willingly podcasting about my sex life to thousands of people on a twice-weekly basis. Even more-far fetched would be the notion that I’d be doing this alongside my mother. Nevertheless, the Sex Talk With My Mom podcast has been going strong for five years now and shows no signs of stopping. Why have I decided to torture myself in this way? The inherent nature of podcasting — the intimate recording and anonymous listening — lends itself perfectly to difficult conversations and makes them almost unavoidable.
Podcasting has given me the access and encouragement to acknowledge the most vulnerable parts of my life. If you’ve ever gone to therapy, you’ll know that the mere process of sitting with someone in a room (physically or virtually) on a consistent basis for an extended period of time inevitably leads to deeper discussions. In fact, it’s almost exhausting to remain in surface-level dialogue for that long. The conversations that are generated often coalesce around the most intimate parts of our lives, which can (if we’re blessed) involve sex.
Unlike other art forms, the relatively private nature of recording podcasts can trick our brains into forgetting that the entire cyberspace has the potential to be listening. Without obtrusive cameras or an in-studio audience, it often feels like we’re just having a conversation with a friend. The discussion can really grow as intimate as the relationship between the co-hosts and/or guests allows.
The ease and anonymity of downloading a podcast also grants our listeners the chance to engage in these conversations on their own terms. The simplicity of streaming a podcast with one simple click requires a very low amount of energy necessary to tune into the world’s leading sex educators and therapists. If someone is uncomfortable being seen as interested in conversations around sex, they can simply slip in their earbuds and no one on the subway is the wiser. Since most people listen to podcasts alone, listeners can experience the conversations in their own safe space where they can observe their reactions to the content. Noticing their own response, whether in body or mind, can lead to deep insight about their relationship to sex.
Shame lives in the conversations that we avoid. When we stop being able or willing to discuss sex with our family and friends, we inevitably develop the feeling that the act itself must be wrong. This avoidance creates a cycle of stigma, shame, and even less conversation around sex. Without these talks, we cannot share knowledge around sexual safety, assault, and pleasure.
Luckily, podcasts are uniquely suited to break the repressive cycle and spread wisdom about sex. My five years of podcasting, coupled with my research and listening to other sex podcasts, has removed a lot of the shame and discomfort I experienced around talking about sex. Moreover, it has expanded my capacity for challenging discussions across a variety of topics from drug use to social justice. Podcasting has made me more comfortable getting uncomfortable, even alongside my mom.
So, here are some of my top shows that broach the conversation around sex. Click here to view this list in the Stitcher App