Hey, dear listeners, today's guest is the writer, director, actors, comedian and musician Carrie Brownstein. You know, Carrie from Portlandia, Transparent and as a founding member of the influential grunge rock band leader Kini. Carrie and I both grew up in Washington State. And even though we're the same age, I always looked up to Carrie as one of the cool girls. Later in the episode, I am excited to welcome Dr. Emily Morse as our newest guest expert.
Dr. Emily is a doctor of human sexuality, author, host of the incredibly popular Sex with Emily podcast and frequent contributor to publications like The New York Times, Men's Health, Cosmopolitan, Glamour Assman and Harper's Bazaar. As always, thank you for sharing your stories with us. It means so much to hear from you. If you have a question and you think we may be able to help, please go to the link on our website at Unqualified Dotcom.
And now here's Carrie.
Ladies and gentlemen, you are listening to Unqualified with their host ionospheric. Hey, Carrie. Hey, how's it going? Good, how are you doing? Hey, are you in Portland? I was living in L.A., but now I'm back here for a while. Are you in L.A.?
Yeah, I'm in L.A. and I want to get into Northwest Talk. I grew up in Edmonds, Washington.
I know you grew up in Washington. How do you know that? I remember reading an article about you maybe in The New Yorker profile. Remember that?
Yeah, I do. That was a very stressful experience in my life.
I had it one, too. And it is stressful because even though you're excited, you're like, here it goes. Here's my New Yorker profile. It's very exposing.
Yeah, I felt probably more panicked like the week before it came out when the fact checker called than I have maybe in my life. Yes, I was resigned to never working in Hollywood again.
I was like, I cannot remember what I told this man. Yeah, it was terrifying.
Well, first of all, Jerry, I have admired you from afar for a very long time, so I'm delighted to be able to talk to you and get to know you over this podcast. And I can't thank you enough for doing it.
Yeah, no, the feeling is mutual. I know that there are times where I think we tried to get you on Portlandia and the scheduling didn't work. Anyway, I'm happy to talk to you.
So, Terry, how has the last seven months how has it been for you? I'm doing OK. I mean, I should start by saying I just feel lucky. My health is good. I don't have covered currently. I haven't had it. My friends and family are healthy. So in that sense I'm doing fine. But obviously it's a strange time, psychologically, very disruptive and yeah, just vacillating between inertia and mania and just despondency probably. Yeah.
We're so adjusted to, I don't know, planning in a way through like the anxiety. There was a feeling of liberation a little bit because we didn't know what to do, what tomorrow would bring. Felt like toilet paper was the main concern and that was good to focus on that one thing. Yes. Has there been a shift in your personality or. I don't know, hobbies?
Both. I think one is just the embracing of stillness. I am kind of a nomad, so I like to travel and be out in the world. And then I like to miss home and sort of have home be something that I'm looking forward to getting back to. And then I'm there for a little while and leave again.
I kind of had to reconstitute things like on a cellular level, it'd just be like, no, you're not going anywhere. Like, I haven't been on a plane since March 2nd. I've just learned how to sort of embrace the not doing. I guess it's a way of being in the present and I haven't doing things. But just in a context like sometimes I think you can trick your brain, like just the movement is a thing like, no, I'm not really moving around that much.
I'm just have to figure out ways of, like, expanding these parameters in my own house or city. And then, yes, I've become a better cook. Do you cook? I do. You do. So when things were very much shut down and you just had to be at the grocery store, I was like, I need to start cooking again. And I had it in a while and I really enjoyed it. Although when restaurants started opening up again for takeout, I was like, oh, my flavor profile is very narrow.
I realize it's like I've gotten used to my own cooking and then was like, you know what? I have made strides, but not as far as I could go, but weight.
What's your favorite flavor profile? Well, I would just say that, like, you know, you eat out and you're like when people describe things, it's like, oh, it's so complex, the Amami and this and that. I'm like, I'm just trying to get to a place where it's just seasoned correctly, you know, just at that base level. Like, I'm really good with pasta, I'm good with breakfast, great with breakfast. My French toast is very solid pancakes, very solid eggs with like tortillas and cheese, very solid.
Some of my dinners getting their rice bowls, really getting the hang of arrestable, trying to make those more complex. And I couldn't even describe to you what it is about other people's food. It's just better. It's just better. But mine is fine.
Yeah. I'm kind of with you. I'm a pretty good cook. I've got some staples. I love other people enjoying it, but I don't relish it the same way, just like you.
So we were going to say and also I was going to say that I've also learned how to make a good cocktail, which is like I feel like you shouldn't really brag about that, but I'm not a big drinker.
But I did enjoy, like, meeting friends for a drink. And you realize, like when you don't go out for drinks, that you're sort of limited to beer and wine. If you're not going to put any effort into it that can get boring, you have to find new ways of like celebrating things are demarcating like a weekend or, you know what I mean. Like so all this formality that I feel like we had to bring into our homes, it's like, oh, if we want to have a night that feels different from another night, then I guess I need to make us a drink tonight, you know what I mean?
Or do something. And like you used to be able to do something, go somewhere, externalise, like an event. And now it's just like, how can we make this Monday different than the last ten Mondays?
I don't know how long you've been in your new place. But do you feel a sense of home about it? I mean, yes and no. It's lacking a certain familiarity, although I obviously have things here that remind me of home and that feel familiar and comfortable. It is within Portland. So that makes sense. I got rid of my place in L.A., which was kind of weird. That happened like during this whole thing. And it was sort of like saying goodbye for like another planet, like the whole move and selling of the house, like, happened remotely.
That must have felt strange. I felt like I was on a ship, like waving goodbye to shore. There was like a weird distance to it.
Can we talk a little bit about the comparison between these cities? I've been to Portland many times, but I've never lived there. I like to think a lot about the distinction and personality of different areas. I like to generalize.
That's fine. That's normal. So you're very loyal to the Pacific Northwest.
I mean, for lack of a better term, it feels kind of like my spiritual home. Like I understand the weather here. I feel like I understand sort of the way things work and it feels comfortable. But I always thought of it as a place kind of like I was saying earlier, like I take a break from it and I come back and then I really appreciate it because as you know, it gets dark here very early. Like there's no sun coming out of that window.
Like it's a dreary day, like those kinds of things I think do wear on you. And when I was living in L.A., I did like the weather and I have great friends in L.A., which is why I think I miss it the most. So I don't know if I'm loyal to the Northwest or is just sort of what I know. And if I'm going to travel, which ostensibly, inevitably we all will again, if we can, is a nicer place to return to for me than L.A. like it's quieter.
I like to walk around like I can bicycle, like those kind of things I like, but I don't want to be anywhere full time. I'm kind of restless in that way, but I do like it as home. Seattle is a different story. I grew up outside. Seattle is a very weird place. I don't really recognize it.
You mean because it's shifted so much? Yeah, I don't know. Will you were in edmans. I was in Redmond, both outside of Seattle, but it's just so techie up there is just a different kind of city. I thought of it as a little quieter, a little like outside the sort of spectrum of the mainstream. And now it just feels different. But I have a lot of friends out there that still love it, but they've all been pushed out.
Oh, yeah, I'm sure.
But can we go through a little bit of your teen years into college?
A little bit. Sure. OK, yeah. Where did you go to college? I went to University of Washington. Yeah, right there in Seattle. Yeah. It was too big of a school for me.
Was huge. Yeah. Yeah. I went for a guy we were dating. I know a classic reason to go to college man. And you guys are still together, right.
Of course you're like my fiancee. We've gotten married a couple of times since. Third time's a charm. That stuff always works out.
That stuff always works out.
OK, so here's what I read. So when you started playing guitar, well, maybe you started before, but you started taking lessons with and forgive me, I don't know how to pronounce his last name. Jeremy Đinđić. Yeah, I'm from Sunny Day Real Estate and that was at fifteen. Yes, that was at fifteen. OK, as a person who's never successfully played an instrument, OK, can you describe your attraction to music in general?
Well, probably. I mean, I think you're a little bit younger than me, but similar era the angry times.
Yeah. But before that I was definitely like 80s and early 90s, like MTV, pop music, loved all that stuff.
And then I think as I was transitioning into adolescence, I remember starting to realize that I was not fitting in as well with the mainstream kids high school at the time. I don't even know what high school's like now, but there was a lot of like clicks then. You know, things were just seemed like less sort of tolerant.
It was so compartmentalized. And so I started to kind of like hanging out with their were called back. Keevers Yeah.
That was before the word like alternative. It was pre nirvana. So like Nirvana sort of made it like, OK, like it was like, oh, now everyone's sort of like alternative, but all the weirdo kids had to hang out together.
That's what they called our drama club Bat Cavers. Yeah, we were the bad cavers.
I wonder if that was like in Northwestern because I don't know anyone else that knows this. True. But I was like the Goth. I'm shocked. I know. Yeah. So it was the bat cave, so we hung out. And anyway, so those kids listen to punk music and indie music, and there was something that just matched what I was feeling in those songs, all the kind of clichéd stuff.
It was angsty, it was emotional, it was messy. And I just really was drawn to it. And then some of my friends were playing mostly guys, but some girls who are singing or playing guitar, drums. And it just felt like a way of being around people, just like when you're doing like theater as a kid, like half of it is just being able to hang out with people and share some. The thing kind of emotional and a little more vulnerable and raw than you get to in other areas of your life, that process is very intriguing to me.
I guess the solitude of actually getting good.
Yeah, I think it was just really the first thing that allowed me to express myself in a way that had felt foreign or a hurdle for me.
And it was like I liked writing.
So it was a way of writing in a way that just felt more immediate because I could put lyrics to a song. My earliest stuff, I mean, it was pretty bad.
But luckily that music there was something, especially at a time where there was like this ethos of like sort of a. professionalism, especially in punk, which was very helpful this time because it just meant that you didn't have to wait until you were at a certain level to get out and perform.
It was like, oh, you guys have been a band for a couple of weeks or you've been playing for a few weeks. Go play a show that was kind of in the water then. And that was a nice thing about being outside of like L.A. or New York, where like there was a gene or polish the northwest. It was very all the scenes in the US that the music scenes were not about the Polish or the Ch'ien, but about like the feeling.
Can I read your Wikipedia quote on your mind? What if it's beautiful? OK, ok. Music has always been my constant, my salvation. It's cliche to write that, but it's true from dancing around a Michael Jackson and Madonna as a kid to having my mind blown by the first sounds of punk and indie rock, to getting to play my own songs and have people listen. Music is what got me through over the years. Music put a weapon in my hands and words in my mouth.
It backed me up and shielded me. It shook me and scared me and showed me the way music opened me up to living and being free and feeling. That's beautiful, Carrie.
Things I relate to that through acting a bit. I enjoy escaping through a character, you know, and using a character in someone else's words to express myself.
That's what I really relate to with that quote, the empowerment of sort of disappearing through another form of expression. I'm very, very envious of musical ability, not envious enough to actually try anything. I did buy a cello. Oh, wow. That's a hard. How's it going? It's not great, Carrie. It's in my bathroom. That's a hard instrument. It's felt dramatic.
It felt like I have this big thing in between my legs and I could soar away at it. It hasn't gone very well. Do you have an instrument that you would love to master overall?
Oh, gosh, actually, yeah. I mean something like violin or like the saxophone.
I feel like it would be like a brass instrument or maybe a wood.
You would make a cool saxophone player. So what was your high school experience like?
I feel like in high school I was so partially formed.
I was such a follower and pretty shy and I think not very assertive.
I because I remember going to college and all of my professors would say, you need to speak up more in class. I would get very nervous, which is weird because now I can perform on stage or in front of people and not be nervous, but I could not raise my hand to just give a comment about anything. And so I think in high school I was still like that too. Just very understated, just not wanting any attention in school at home.
I think I just came home and just tortured the rest of my family with performances.
I'm always trying to understand how high school affected me. I had like a C minus social status. Yes. Theater felt so much more fulfilling in school was I think I recognized at a young age that it was just the time to pass and I was really excited to get out of Washington.
Would I have ever seen you in a play at the Seattle Children's Theater or at the Seattle Rep?
Did you see Arthur Miller's Danger Memory?
No. No, I did not. Oh, all right.
Did you see Heidi? Oh. Or To Kill a Mockingbird? I might have seen Heidi. My parents had season tickets to the Retno, and often my dad especially would not go. So I would get to go with my mom to the rep, which I did really enjoy. I saw Hedda Gabler there, which is very shocking to have a gun go off. I was like, oh, my God, that's amazing.
Of your parents, though, were they really supportive of your musical ambition? No.
What do you mean? I mean, they were supportive, but I think they thought my dad especially put a huge premium on education and sort of being a pragmatist about things. So when I went to college, I think he wanted to make sure that whatever I was doing was a means to an end. And it was practical in terms of making a living. And I think it wasn't until I had started playing music and it was kind of doing OK.
There were like markers, you know, like you get a certain thing and suddenly your parents. Aha, OK. Now, like, I'm sure from my parents it was like Time magazine or something. They could tell, like their parents or their friends and their friends be like, yes, TIME magazine, you know, like just something like that. Then I think my dad is like, OK, I guess this is OK. You want me to be happy?
I think it was just a. A concern like you're going down this path, it's very uncertain and of course, everyone learns later is all the paths are uncertain. Just I think art sometimes seems more uncertain to parents who have traditional jobs.
And then you went to western Washington first and then to Evergreen. Yeah. Were you happier at Evergreen? For our listeners who don't know, Evergreen is a school where you design your own curriculum. And it's a great school from my impression, right?
It is. I think it's become more mainstream.
But definitely at the time, which was like the 90s, it was fully an alternative kind of education, like Hampshire College in New York, like experiential qualitative grades or so actual like.
No, it was like the dream then. It definitely defined a type like if you grew up in the 90s in Washington State, the Evergreen College has a very specific image.
Yeah, it definitely was more like hippie dout than I ever dipped into. There's definitely that element. Like I said, I think it's gotten a little more mainstream, but for sure, I don't think my parents were just super excited about Evergreen because it's hard to sort of explain to people. But now it's, I guess, a little more normal.
Now, college is only accessible to some people anyway, but I think it's like there's a lot of people that are choosing not to go to college anyway. Like it's very vague whether college is even worth it for people, especially if you're going to be in student debt for the rest of your life.
I know. I don't think anybody for I don't know. Twenty five years has asked me in any kind of job like where do you go to school?
What were your grades in college? Yeah.
Yes, exactly. I was always a three point four kind of student, which is kind of hard to decipher, like what that means in terms of drive or intelligence.
That's kind of where I was to. Yeah, slightly higher than my social status, but still pretty vague. I'm not great with standardized testing and that kind of stuff. But I did also think about graduate school, like for me, like I just felt like I was figuring it out for a long time.
So at Evergreen is when you formed Sleater? Yes, I formed Sleater Kinney with my friend and band mate Corin Tucker, who had also gone to Evergreen. I think she had graduated by the time we formed the band.
Is the guitar in your background a favorite? In fact, it just it's kind of a new guitar and it's like one of the only things in the room. It's a Fender jazz master. It's beautiful. It's like a blue, which is one of my favorite colors.
But I brought it in here because it's new and because I thought, oh, maybe it'll be need to sort of get to know it, getting to know it, meaning simply playing it.
But that idea is strange to me because I've never played an instrument. But I know now that you said must mean that every guitar or every instrument has its own feel like a car.
Yeah, exactly. Like what is the next feel like? Is it smooth? Is it like I mean you can adjust things like you can adjust the bridge, not adjust the action. Like how far are the strings are off the neck. But they do have different feels like even if you adjust the action like the next feel different, the frets feel different, the weight of it feels different. And I don't know, sometimes I'll get like a different effects pedal, like for guitar that's like distortion or flange or chorus or any number of things.
You're not going to reinvent the wheel just because you have a new sound, but it allows you to hear something in a different way. It's like the English language or something like we know that there's only a certain amount of words. And sure, we can put together sentences that are unique all the time. But sometimes you just have to refresh that and just be reminded that there's new things to write. Like when you look at a blank page and the same with guitar, like I just want to get a feel for it because maybe I'll write something new on it because it just feels different.
It feels novel, which is rare.
I love it that you're kind of like smiling through this as though you enjoy the part you cause you must enjoy the rest.
I do still enjoy it. Yeah. Yeah. I mean I guess what's the analog with you for that.
Like I guess it's like how do you make this dialogue sound like you're just thinking it or you know, if it's slightly awkward how are you going to piece it out of your mouth. But you know this too. You're an actor.
But no, I've not. I mean, that's just something I feel like out of the things I do that's sort of like Portlandia. Like I basically have like a narrow strand on which I can sort of operate in that world. And it kind of has to be specific, whereas, like you have a range of things and approach things like as an actor, I don't know, I'm auditioning for a period piece.
And I was told a while back that I'm a very contemporary actor and it's really in my head. It makes me uncomfortable and terrible with accents. I think my range is really limited.
I cannot agree with you there, but I will say that sometimes I'll look at someone in a period piece and think like I have to make more of a mental hurdle.
Sometimes I think people in that category is like a Julia Roberts. I, I'm just like Julia Roberts doesn't exist in the eighteen hundreds. She only existed from nineteen eighty three on. Or whatever, but I feel like you could slip into another era. Thanks, Gary. If you don't mind, I'm going to ask you a series of life questions. Sure. What was your first boss like?
Oh, well, I don't remember my first boss, but my first job, which is a movie theater, because we never really met the boss. The boss was always some other kid that was just like a year older, was like a real power trick going on.
But my boss after that was a woman that worked at Crown Books, which was used to be like a chain, like a book chain. You remember Crown? Yeah.
Yeah. Which one? It was in Olympia. I was 18, so my job after high school and she did not like me because I did not read all those like mass-market fiction books. And she was like, how can you possibly sell a book if you're not reading, you know, F is for.
Right. Right, right. Right, Bill. Or whatever those novels are like Sue Grafton or whomever. Like, I just didn't read that stuff.
And so she was very harsh. But you know what? I probably was a real pill.
So this episode of Unqualified is brought to you in part by Mercouri, tired of meeting strangers in dark alleys or empty parking lots and wondering if they brought the goods or the money with no need for in-person meet ups, Mercouri is the safest way to buy and sell that extra stuff you have lying around or filling your closet. MAKARIOS The Marketplace app that makes it easy to say goodbye to your unused stuff so someone else can say hello. It's the simplest way to give items a new life and make some money from home.
All you have to do is download Mercouri, take pics of your stuff, add a description and it's on the way to being sold. Mercouri makes it easy by emailing you a shipping label so you can box up your item and send it with over fifty million app downloads. Your items actually sell Mercouri and shopping on Mercouri saves you money with practically new items. Add up to 70 percent off your stuff. Might be exactly what someone else is looking for.
So turn your Gabbi into their hello Mercouri. Start buying and selling when you download today from the App Store or at McCary Dotcom. That's me. Are c8 are I McCary your marketplace.
Whatever your funny peacocks got it exclusively stream tons of comedy hits from iconic sitcoms to brand new originals. Bears' beats the office on Peacock Catch all two hundred and one episodes of the office right now, plus drin bonus extras and exclusives. Whether you're a super fan or new to Scranton, you'll find something to love. And if you're looking for more classic hits, you can stream every episode of Parks and Recreation, Two and a Half Men, plus every season of Saturday Night Live.
In the mood for something brand new. Check out Peacock's original comedies like The Amber Ruffin Show, AP Bio and the new Saved by the Bell. Don't miss all these hits and so much more gets started for free at Peacocke TV.com and start streaming today.
Do you have a favorite movie or TV show that you watch on rainy days, OK, Moonstruck. Oh, that's a great one. I love that movie. I could watch that all the time. I find it very uplifting. It's funny. It's very heartening and. Yeah, so well-written.
And then I don't know about if I have a TV show that I watch on rainy days, I feel like rainy days to me are more like movies or watching things. Maybe the office. I feel like I can just bring up like Seasons one through four of the US office and pretty much enjoy it every time.
Carrie, I've asked that question to a lot of our guests and most of them are in L.A. So as I realize, asking you about a rainy day movie, like what do you watch every day in the winter?
It's fine. It still works, OK. On what occasion do you lie? Oh, to not hurt someone.
But I think a true lie can be nefarious and have bigger consequences. But if somebody is asking me about something and it's just going to be easier to say, like, no, I do like this food. I think this tastes great. I think that's not hurting them. Like, yes, they're a professional chef or they were going out for a job. And I didn't like the food, but I feel like sometimes that kind of lie of just not disrupting life, I think those are OK.
Where do you envision yourself at age seventy three.
Oh gosh. If I'm alive, I would like to be out in the country somewhere. I really would love to live a little farther out from a city. I have some animals. Like what kind of animals. Well I already have two dogs. I think I would add horses. Goats. All right. Yeah. Maybe a third dog, a barn cat, but yeah, like out with my family and people I love just on a little bit of property.
Nothing crazy, but just a little more space.
I think if you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be? Probably France.
Ampere, I would love to live in Paris for a year, I think. Yeah, Paris feels very unknowable to me. Same.
But I think in a way that like a year there would be nice to just get a sense of it. Like every time I go there, I feel really in awe of it. It just seems like a great world city. Yeah. What's the best advice you've been given?
Probably to not overthink things.
Do you remember who gave it to you? I do.
Is actually Lorne Michaels. He was the executive producer of Portlandia.
That is jarring coming from him. I like one of the most intimidating people in the world, but he does have sage advice.
And, you know, obviously there's a lot of ageism in all industries. And there's definitely times where I think we can honestly say, like people have aged out or people's ideas are no longer relevant or we've heard from them so much and let's let someone else in the room.
That's all true. But one thing I really admire about people who've done anything for a long time is they've just rode out these vicissitudes.
They've rode out these ups and downs and phases and all that stuff. So they just have this perspective of just not worrying about certain things that we all get really caught up in, whether it's work or other things. And I think a lot of us overthink things. And I think about that a lot, not really just with work, but just it takes you out of the present, you know what I mean? You just you get so stuck in something and just like, why am I stuck here in this mental space?
Just move on. I love that.
What's a trait you dislike and others possessiveness? Oh, interesting.
I don't know. It is interesting because a lot of people will talk about arrogance or selfishness or deception, but possessiveness of something else, possessiveness over creative material. I guess now that we're elucidating on it, it feels like a form of selfishness, like a form of sort of like lack of generosity about space in a room and like a dynamic. I think I'm just like wary of when I feel like people are sort of like controlling, I guess. But there's sort of a selfishness about being like possessive or controlling of ideas and other people.
I find that very toxic.
That makes sense. I'm trying to think with a more fundamental trait of that is I ultimately guess it's selfishness. I think selfishness does really bother me, that lack of like graciousness and generosity. So maybe I'll just say selfishness and possessiveness is an offshoot of that because I just prefer people to be thoughtful. I even have another one that bugs me the most. What lack of self-awareness is that overrides everything when people just don't have the ability to say, like, I made a mistake or like I can't own this, I find that really tricky because it kind of just excuses everything.
You're like, OK, you don't know yourself.
You haven't done the work enough to sort of be able to, like, come to the table with, like, who you are. In an honest way, Kerry, I'm worried that I may fall into that category, but we all do sometimes, and let's be honest, like usually traits that we abhor in other people are things that we see and feel in ourselves sometimes.
Yeah, well, I was about to ask you, what is a trait you just like in yourself? Oh, I would say in decisiveness. Look, I just changed my answer on the last thing. I mean, I'm already going to beat myself up over that. And in decisiveness, I think is like an extension of, I don't know, his insecurity or just people pleasing. Sometimes I feel like I'm too worried about pleasing. I don't like that in myself.
I don't like that of myself at all.
Yeah, I have that same quality, although I think that it's dissipating a little bit as I get older.
Same, which is great. Not caring, caring about things that matter and like putting everything else into the periphery I think is really important. And then it allows you to give more to the people who really actually care about you.
What qualities do you look for in a romantic partner? Honesty, sense of humor, kindness. And just for them to be passionate about something, ideally something that I like to, you know, and intelligence.
Yeah. What's a skill or a talent? And for the sake of this, maybe outside of music that you would love to master, like visual art or drawing, I'm so bad at it. I mean, my sketches are like a child's.
I can't draw it all. OK, what qualities do you look for in a friend? I always feel like friends serve different purposes.
Yeah, they do. I like loyalty from friends and I like a sense of humor is important and compassion. Yeah, similar but a little different.
When and where are you happiest. That's a tough question because I'm very grass is always greener person like when I'm traveling I want to be home and when I'm home I want to be traveling. So maybe I'm happiest when I'm about to do the next thing. Then when the next thing arrives, forget it. Just sheer anxiety and depression.
But right before I'm happiest on a precipice, I guess I am so like that to what's your least favorite holiday? I think Easter because growing up Jewish but very secular, I was always like, I like my friends are busy. It's an arbitrary Sunday and I've got the whole day and I don't get chocolate. I don't get to look for eggs. I'm not dressed up in some fancy outfit going to church. I'm just home. I understand it from a biblical standpoint, but it always was like a little foreign to me.
But can I ask you what your relationship with religion is? Very minimal. And in fact, I sometimes resent you grew up in the northwest. It's not the same along the West Coast because obviously there's a lot of practicing Jews in L.A. But in the Pacific Northwest, it's like the last stop or something. It's just people kind of go there and there's sort of a blandness to it in terms of like I wouldn't call it like assimilationists, but I think there's kind of it's own culture to adopt there in a lot of ways.
And there weren't a lot of like practicing Jews there. So my parents were like, let's do Christmas like this as soon as they could, which was, of course, very exciting for my sister and I were like, yeah, let's get the tree in here as soon as we can go out and get those decorations.
So I sort of wish that they had stuck to their guns a little more. I mean, they grew up getting bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah and they just let that stuff slide. So when I got older and I had friends with a much deeper relationship to religion or spirituality, I felt like, oh, I kind of am missing the foundation. I wish I had known enough about Judaism to either reject it or embrace it or figure out where my place was in it.
From a practicing standpoint. So long story short, my relationship to it is very tenuous.
I like Passover, bitter herbs, bitter herbs. I was watching a panel with you and Fred regarding Portlandia and you said something so great. You said that something that you really proud of is saving essentially the last feminist bookstore. Right.
But was gone now, though. Oh, no. Yeah, I'm sorry. It's OK. There's a lot of things gone now. What do you miss about Portlandia in general?
I miss the writers. I miss being in a writer's room with people who I really respect and admire and getting to do that for weeks on end and also immersing myself in the city. We didn't have stages, so we shot on location. So great. That was such an interesting way of being in the city, seeing parts of it I would never get to see otherwise. I think also it's one of those things where when you're doing it, you know, you're on a show for a very long time to like you're thinking about the work and you're thinking about the things that are hard.
I mean, you're enjoying it. You don't take it for granted, but like you don't realize until it's over, like how lucky to get to do anything past, like, two years or three years. You know, it's so rare.
Yeah. Carrie, if you were to completely generalize. A member of a band like personality type in a very stereotypical way. OK, drummer, lead guitarist, what's a drummer like? Truly be insulting.
OK, well drummers like the jokes about drummers or that they're like the dummies in the band, which usually isn't true, but like. But wait. Why? Because it's like they're like cavemen just like back. They're just like wailing on skins with sticks.
I mean it's primal. So I think there's always like this association with them is kind of like the knuckleheads, but often attractive, you know, muscular. They're like the jocks. Are they always late? Oh, that's another cliche, but they're not always late. Who's late?
I think lead singers, lead singer will be like the prima donna of the band. The guitarist would be like the kind of secretly wanting more attention than the singer because they feel like they're the ones that are like doing the heavy lifting. Actually, they wish that the audience would pay attention to them. Why are they looking at the singer? I wrote the song if it wasn't for this great riff.
So if those two are fighting and everyone's like waiting for them to shut the fuck up, so like rehearsal can continue, what's the basis up to at this point?
Yeah, they're just holding down the fort over there, slow and steady. That's the rhythm section. If you were twenty three, I would definitely encourage you to date the bass player.
Really, I was that that was like the person to avoid y and listen.
I mean, the kinds of cliches and generalizations we're making are based on probably like Led Zeppelin and we should have progressed past that. But I think those like stereotypes are very cemented for bands. I don't know. You're right. The bass player also could be like the secret kind of serial killer.
I feel like it seems like the safety. Yes. But then it's like the thing where it turns out, like, really dark shit, right? Yeah. Truly, Carrie, I know nothing. I was going to start this out because I know that you interviewed musicians and wrote for what was that magazine called The Believer. Yeah.
I was going to ask you if you could help guide me and what questions you'd like to be asked regarding music. But OK, stay away from the bass player.
Like, yeah, you could do the keyboard player, you could do a backup singer, you could date the percussionist.
But if you were twenty three, you just want to do the lead singer. That's what everyone wanted to date.
I do have a list of people and it's exclusively for men because in my limited imagination I feel like men potentially fall prey to identity with their career a little bit more, at least in my world. But no one is magician and number two is musician, with the exception of a classical musician. But it cannot be like first chair violinist or something.
You can't be that these people that you should always avoid dating. Yeah, well, yes. A magician. One hundred percent. Totally right. What I did. A magician. No, no. I feel like it's OK. I mean, one thing I was twenty and ruling that out, but I think in my forties I can tell you with a lot of clarity, that's not going to happen.
There's a whole category for actors as well. Yes.
Or like, say I'm older and I find myself single and I go on a cruise once we get the vaccine and there's a magician on the cruise.
Oh, yeah. All right. You know. Right.
Yeah, he might tell you the secrets. That seems fun. Yeah. Yeah. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party.
OK, James Baldwin and Dorothy Parker, just for the intellect and humor. And then I would like throw in like a Gilda Radner. I mean, she's gone now, but, you know, like a comedian, Carol Burnett, that's a good list.
For what historical figure would you start a fan club? Yeah, good question. I couldn't answer this one.
I mean, that's a lot of work. That's a lot of work. I mean, I feel like historical figures have a fan club just by being historical figures, the fact that we even know about them.
But like I always think it's weird when people I remember a friend of mine sent me a photo from like a gay pride parade, and someone had held up like a sign of like iconic and inspirational bisexuals. And Anne Frank was on there. And I was like, now.
And Frank, bless her, was a child, you know what I mean? Like, and maybe they're inferring something from her diaries.
But I was like, it always feels weird to sort of pull somebody from the past until, like a present day context and then kind of worship them. And I was like, good for you for getting out there to that pride parade. Good for you for making your own sign. But I would call that inclusion questionable carry.
I read something personal and I want to ask you about it. Well, it was about at age twenty one. I read that you were outed by Spin magazine. Yeah. Did your family not know?
No, my family didn't know. So I feel like we have to contextualize this because you know, that era I was nineteen ninety five, very different era, definitely pre Internet and definitely a different time for being LGBTQ like.
Gay marriage wasn't legal, and obviously people still struggle with all these things, but I just did not have the vocabulary or the recognition, like I didn't see myself in the world the way that a young queer person might be able to see themselves in the world from a very early age right now.
So having a sense that I might not be straight was scary for me.
And even though I was in a community of friends and musicians that were very accepting, I didn't really know how to talk to my parents about it. So anyway, we did this interview for Spin magazine, which also doesn't exist anymore. I was a music magazine. That was a huge deal. It was a huge magazine magazine. And basically the writer made reference to the fact that my band mate and I had been dating my band was was wasn't is a woman anyway.
So I was so excited. It was like one of our first big pieces, like kind of we talked about this earlier, like those moments where you're like, oh, I get to tell my parents I'm in Rolling Stone or Spin or whatever. We had done this big photo shoot and you are super exciting. You know, all these things. I was so young and really eager and I remember going to pick up the magazine, but before I could, my dad called and I was like, how is it?
And anyway, he said, Oh, there's something in there you want to talk about it. And I was just it was really hard because I just felt like the agency was taken away for me to be able to determine, like when and how I presented that information to my family or to the world. And I think instead of helping me move forward, it kind of put me back a few steps, made me hesitant and shy. And I think instead I just had a lot of internalized homophobia for a long time.
I think I just didn't want to talk about it. I'm still a private person, but I definitely felt more shame than I needed to, I think, because of that.
And I think that it's unfortunate that a cool piece in Spin magazine, you know, at age twenty one, sort of the emotional memory, I imagine, is kind of now hinged with that other feeling, probably with your dad. Like how defining. Because people like me ask you things like that too.
No, no. It's what if I was so long ago. I think it's just trickier to like because it has to be so contextual. I think the idea of outing someone is such a rare concept now is a little bit more of a foreign concept. There's obviously still plenty of like stigma and discrimination, especially more like transphobia. But at the time, there is still a lot more stigma about just being gay, which has dissipated a lot. So it was very fraught.
Yeah. What is your greatest extravagance? Probably just convenience. Like, I'm just addicted to convenience the way most of us are. That feels extravagant to me. Just hitting buttons to get food or hitting buttons to get clothes. I mean, it is extravagant, just anything extravagant because people have such disparate lives. But I'm not buying like cars or yachts, expensive shoes, but just it does feel extravagant. Just the level of, like, convenience that I've become accustomed to is very strange.
And it's kind of worse with the pandemic, because obviously those are the people that have actually done really well, like Amazon and all those places like their dislike of convenience. Welcome to our world. But it feels extravagant and indulgent to me in a way that I hope to come back from a little bit. One reason I liked living in Portland pre pandemic and one reason I moved back here is because it is easier, I think, to avoid some of that easy kind of convenience, extravagance of just like one button and then everything shows up.
I'm like, oh, it's fine to walk somewhere and buy groceries or it's fine to do this or that. Like, I like the experiential.
Do you consider yourself a solitary person, like on a scale of one to ten?
Yeah, I'm definitely an introvert and I have learned that compared to other people, I can be pretty solitary without suffering too much. I put me at an eight or nine.
Wait, did you watch the show alone by chance?
Yes, because that's what I realized. No, I wouldn't survive a night out there. But that's more than alone. That's like alone. And also like you're hunting your own food.
Yeah, that would be a mental challenge. I don't think I would succeed at.
Yeah, but you put on a sweatshirt or sweater. I did. As a cold. Yeah.
But in general I like feeling cozy even if it's hot.
Yeah I do. My least favorite sensation is being cold. That's your least favorite sensation. Physical sensation. I hate being cold. What about pain. Cold is pain to me. What's the coldest you've ever been. I don't know. It's like blocked it out. I just hate it so much. The pain is terrible too.
So death by fire is preferable than death by freezing. Yes. Terry, do you have a greatest or great regret?
I don't think I have a biggest regret. I think I try not to live like that. I think it's easy to get stuck or into kind of like circular. Thinking, yeah, I mean, obviously, I feel like there's things I could have done better. There's ways I could have moved through the world that were kinder, more generous. But I feel like there's not one thing that I think I wish I could undo that I think things happen for a reason.
And I think apologies are important. I think you can move through the world and make mistakes and own up to them. And you don't have to necessarily regret them. But I think you can take accountability for them and move forward.
I consider myself pretty good at apologizing. I don't have an issue with it, even if it feels slightly unjust. I think getting older helps. Yes, as well. I have some regrets with some of my performances. Oh, right. Yeah. I haven't thought like that, you know what I mean?
Like, there are definitely some things that I think I could have finessed better. I shudder when I think about hosting SNL.
I feel like that's the kind of show that everyone, maybe not everyone, but I feel like ninety five percent of people who have said probably are just like, oh, I should have done this or I should have gone that way.
But the rest of us just were like that. That was great.
I feel like it shaved a decade off of my life. Oh God, I can't imagine. I mean, that's like walking a high wire.
What was your living arrangement like when you first lived on your own?
I moved in in between Western Washington and Evergreen. So my dad was very disappointed. He was like great year college dropout.
I was like, no, I'm transferring schools.
But yes, technically I have lived one college and I'll be going to another. So he was like, you're not moving back home. You get a job. And it was like kind of the harshest because he's kind of a softy. He was mad. I moved back home to Redmond for like a second. And then my dad was like, please get a job. You're not just sticking around here until you go to Evergreen. So I got a crappy job as a telemarketer in Seattle in the district.
I moved in with a friend of mine who I met like a woman I met at a rock show, like at a breeder show. And we lived in a duplex on Capitol Hill. We had no furniture. I took the twin mattress from my house and there's nothing that just infantilizes and just makes you feel less like an adult than a fuckin twin bed mattress on a floor on the floor with like sheets from goodwill.
Remember that era of things where you think that, like, emulating kid stuff is like sort of cool and ironic. I like Sesame Street sheets.
It's like I'm an adult. I'm a human adult with fucking Big Bird on my sheets, sleeping on a floor.
And I remember we were so clueless that we decided to make blueberry muffins like we never cooked. I mean, we obviously did out, but I don't remember what we could do. I thought, like, oh, we're going to bake. That's very adult. And we didn't bother to check the expiration date on the milk, so. Oh, God. And then I probably ate like five or six blueberry muffins and was sick for days. So that's really what I associate.
Just a carpeted house or duplex with a twin bed on the floor and bad muffins. And at that time, Capital Hill. I haven't been there in years, but in the nineties, Capitol Hill was gritty. Seems like the obvious word.
Yeah, we lived in a really shit duplex. And I also remember a stray cat, like we found a stray cat.
And I did that thing where I just was like, Hey, Dad, can you take this cat now? I would, of course, like try to figure out where the owner was or put ads up or take it to a shelter, Humane Society. And I was just like, hi, dad, here's your new cat, which had worms, you know, like, I just should not have been living on my own. It seems I should have been in college.
I had the mental and emotional maturity of a freshman in college, both living on my own in an apartment.
I usually ask in one word, how would you like to be remembered? But I'm thinking about revising it to just how would you like to be remembered.
Oh, but one word. I like the parameters of one word. OK, good, decent. Just decent is fine. Decent. Yeah, she was decent. I always carry like decent you know a decent is like that is just you're hitting the middle real hard.
Wow. She was decent and depending how you say it, it's like decent can be like not good enough or it could be like she was a decent human being. So it really gives people such a range they can be trashing me or exalting me. Either way, that's the only word they get.
That answer kind of became amazing. Carrie, dear friends, compliment you on your impressive vocabulary.
It's pre Internet. My vocabulary, I think, has decreased since the Internet. But I was such a voracious reader in my twenties. And before you could just look up words on the Internet, I would just underline words and novels I was reading and I was reading all these early like twentieth century novels or mid 20th century novels. So some of the vocabulary gets a little arcane or other times is just flowery for the sake of being flowery. But I do like words and I studied sociolinguistics in schools.
I was always interested in the ways people communicated and wrote and spoke anyway. So I would underline things and look them up. And I think my. Rain just was elastic and nimble enough at the time, and it was a formative time that those things got stuck in my head. Now I think I forget things quicker, like if I stumble upon a word and I don't know it because I don't have to go through the process of, like, underlying and then writing down the definition in a little notebook.
It's just like I look it up and then a day later I'm like, what was that word?
Anyway, my dad will often use words that are archaic or outdated, but it kind of comforts me. Were there any authors or musicians who influenced you in high school?
I think at the time I was only reading what I was required to read in school. Oh, this is like too cliche and on the nose.
But we did read to the White House by Virginia Woolf, and I do remember thinking, well, this woman can write and I loved her story.
And I will say it's influential. I didn't necessarily love or appreciate it at the time, but it opened up my world to Virginia Woolf in the Bloomsbury group.
And later, when I actually enjoyed reading know, I went back and read the waves in a room of one's own and just felt like, Oh, OK, this is somebody from that time who I can appreciate on a different level at my own pace and a new lens through which to see it. Yeah. And then musically, I will say, because it just changed everything for me and it's not even one of my favorite records. But when I was 15 or 16, I had a student teacher in chemistry class and I was just kind of transitioning away from like trying to fit in to just like doing my own thing, but didn't really have friends on either side.
So it was like sort of trying to, like, dress a little differently. Like I had my cut off and very like Washington State grunge, like I had my kind of jean shorts with, like, long johns underneath her, like some black and white striped tights and combat boots and stuff. And this student teacher came up to me and was like, you know what? I brought you a record today that I think you might like. And it was the jam and their album, All Mod Cons and History, were looking at these guys on the front, like Paul Weller with his little, like, mod shirt on his cool haircut.
And I was like, who are these guys that are so cool? And I just put on the record. I think the first song is All Mine. It's really fast. Just a couple of chords. And I was like, holy shit, this is exciting music. And it just opened up everything for me. Also, it gave me sort of like a pass key or something. Like I felt like I had this like secret key to like other people who were listening to that kind of music because I suddenly possessed knowledge.
And you kind of needed that knowledge at the time, again, sort of pre Internet, like you couldn't just go home and cheat. You know, you really needed to, like, glean the knowledge from, like books or record stores or other people. So I felt like I had just been given, like, this secret code. I was like, I had the jam.
Now I can learn about The Clash and the Ramones and Patti Smith and television, you know, just sort of spirals out from there. So that is a very specific record. I still have that exact recording. I mean, that's amazing.
Can I be selfish now and ask you, like, three favorite albums?
Well, oh, gosh, it's too hard of a question for me.
I can't I could name three records I listened to this year. Yeah. Yeah. I loved the Fleet Foxes record that came out this year. I loved Fiona Apple's record that came out this year writing and I loved the Waxahatchee record that came out this year. Three great records. All right. Those are all good records. I will check those out. OK, Carrie, I can't thank you enough. Truly, this is amazing. I've loved talking with you.
It's such a pleasure to talk to you. I hope I wasn't boring or repetitive.
No, no, you're fascinating and I love you.
Well, it was such a pleasure. Thank you for asking me.
Truly. Thank you. I really hope our paths crossed and person.
Me too. I love that. Take care. Hopefully I'll see you on the other side. Thanks, Karen. You have a wonderful night. You too. Bye bye.
This episode of Unqualified is brought to you in part by Netflix in honor of Valentine's Day this year, take a trip down Firefly Lane, the new series from Netflix starring Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke. As decades long best friends Kate and Tilly watch a friendship develop over three decades through ups and downs, successes and failures. When an unthinkable betrayal breaks them apart, the two women go their separate ways, and it's unclear whether they will be able to reconcile. Firefly Lane is relatable and authentic, bittersweet and uplifting.
It will make you laugh, cry and then laugh some more. Sometimes the greatest love story of all is between two best friends. Firefly Lane is based on the novel of the same name by New York Times best selling author and co executive producer Kristen Hannah. Watch Firefly Lane now only on Netflix. Hey, everyone, I'm excited to welcome Dr. Emily Morse as unqualified newest guest expert, Dr. Emily is a doctor of human sexuality, author and host of the extremely popular Sex with Emily podcast.
She also has a brand new masterclass on sex and communication, which, as you'll find out, she knows a lot about. You can learn more about Dr. Emily Morse and our other experts by visiting our website, Unqualified Dotcom's. Hi, Dr. Emily. Hi. Thank you so much for doing this. Should we call Sarah? Let's do it. Hello. Hi, Sarah. Hello, how are you? Well, you know, pretty good, Sarah, I wanted to introduce you to Dr.
Emily Morse, who's here with us today. Dr. Emily is a doctor of human sexuality and the host of the Sex with Emily podcast. Hi, Sarah.
Hi. Thank you for having me on. I'm so excited to speak with you and just get any tips I can from you both.
Sarah, will you tell us what's going on? So my dilemma is that for my husband and I are sexual experiences. They tend to stop when he has an orgasm and that just ends the whole experience. And she's always disappointed and really apologetic when it's over, quote unquote over. So I told them that our sex doesn't have to revolve around him having an orgasm and that it doesn't need to end there. And so she asked me what she could do for me after he's finished.
And I told him an example has to go down on me, but now I feel like it's too fast, I'm not as sexy and that she just feels obligated to get me off after he's done. So I just really want to improve this for both of us. I want him to enjoy his orgasms and not feel so bad about it. And I want to have orgasms in a sexy environment and not in like a obligated transactional manner.
Sara, can I ask you a quick question? How long have you been married? About a year and a half. So it's still a relatively new marriage. How old are you, Sara?
I am twenty eight. And your husband? He's the same age. Yes.
OK, so just so you know, this is a very common scenario. You know, you're young, you've been together a year and a half. I'm going to guess that maybe you haven't had a ton of conversations about sex, maybe even outside the bedroom about what you're into and what turned you on.
I'm very open about sex and I initiate conversations like that. But I think she's just too shy about, like talking about what turns them on and all that. So she's just kind of. Yeah, dismissive.
OK, well, here's the good news is that there's a lot of room for you guys to explore right now and to learn about each other, because, you know, what I see so much with couples is that it's just a lack of sex education. This isn't even your problem or your husband's fault. It's comprehensive. Sex ed is not really available anywhere, definitely not in the States. So what he's got to understand is about this thing that we like to call the orgasm gap.
You know, women, we just require foreplay to be turned on, get her brains on board for sex and then will be ready. So I totally understand. You're like, well, that's obligatory oral. Then why would I even you know, it seems like it's already past the fact. So it sounds to me like there has to be a little bit of communication. Do you know maybe what it's about? Like his upbringing was culturally not safe to talk about sex.
We've had a lot of conversations about this in particular. And I think I just got frustrated because I told her a few nights ago, like, oh, I said this to you many times. So I don't know why nothing is changing. So I just think that she needs some more help, like specifics.
Well, you know what's interesting here, too, Sarah, I feel like your conversations about sex are really stressful, probably to both of you guys.
I mean, this is a thing it's that it's having these conversations and also being patient with him and saying, you know, and I always recommend that we have these conversations outside the bedroom when you guys are just hanging out, maybe you're relaxing, maybe you're going on a walk, you're doing something where you're feeling connected, making dinner together, and then you just say like this, I always say the things to remember our timing, tone and turf. So the oh, my God, that's brilliant.
Outside the bedroom. OK, like, we often think, oh, I should have this conversation in the bedroom because sex just happened. If we were cooking, we'd have it in the kitchen, you know, we wouldn't talk a recipe. It's very different. And then your tone is light and curious.
And then, you know, the timing is just when you're relaxed, so you're hanging out, you just say, you know what, I would love to kind of start a conversation about our sex life and what we're both into.
And I know that we've talked about it. And this is really uncomfortable for me, too. I've never had these conversations, but we've agreed to be life partners and I think we could both agree we want to be great lovers to each other. Would you be willing to go on a journey with me? We can both explore and learn and educate ourselves, because what I'm hearing is that he doesn't know. And the reason why I said this is common is because most of us don't come from environments where we talked about sex, where it was, OK, we're parents, we're talking about our friends were.
So I just want to give you permission to understand that this is a starting point. And would you feel comfortable kind of opening up that with him? Sarah saying, look, let's just kind of talk about it. Oh, yeah, of course, I never heard that before, like talking outside the bedroom in the forefront, because I always start these conversations when I'm, like, very frustrated. So I thought that my tone isn't great. Yeah, well, exactly.
So you know how it is when we when we we say to our partner, you never do you you never take the trash out so hard because automatically you say you never to someone there on the defensive.
But if you're like, you know what, I know that I've talked to you in the past about my desires in the bedroom.
And I feel that maybe I haven't done it in a way that's really kind and that maybe it made you feel bad.
Let's start over. Let's just say, like we're going to explore each other together. And this is when it's like he's not expecting it because it's not after. He already feels like he may be let you down, you know, in the bedroom again. And so that's really. What is it then? It's an ongoing conversation.
Sarah, it sounds like you guys are doing foreplay after he's orgasms. Is it difficult for him to not come quickly? Oh, no.
We do foreplay in the beginning, too. Is it difficult for him to not come quickly?
Well, I just wonder if he can get hard again or if it takes him a long time to get hard again after he's come.
Oh, he's like one. And she can't get hard again after work. After she's found. And sometimes he's. Get hard on the. During foreplay, he gets up and he can't get hurt again. So, you know, I think she's in his head a lot, maybe. Yeah, I am too.
Yeah, we all are. See, this is why it's like if we talk about it, that we're at our heads. Let's listen. We are all humans. We're going to be in our heads. So the other thing that might be interesting to explore with him is this whole notion of she comes first. It's a great book written by Dr. Ian Kerner. And I would I recommend it to a lot of men who are just getting to understand female body and pleasure.
And you guys could even read it together. And so the whole concept is, yeah, he pleases you first. He gets you going. And I understand that maybe he won't have his erection, but you guys are 28 years old. Maybe you go down on him again, grab some lube, grab a toy, tease him. It's like it's not so finite. Maybe it went down. But I have a feeling that your sexy self and your connection with him, it would come back and then you would feel good knowing that you already got there.
Maybe you have an orgasm or you're really turned on. It's just kind of reframing the paradigm, I think.
Dr. Emily, you really touched on something that it seems to me, Sarah, that your your conversations and your relationship with sex is kind of stressful right now and is framed in like this negative, like, highly pressurized situation. We would love for it to be fun and relaxing and intimate. And so I think it should start with these conversations. And I want to plug Dr. Emily's book, Hot Sex, over 200 Things You can try tonight, reframing this whole discussion in a more playful, less stressful way where you both aren't anticipating having an orgasm to early or something that can draw you closer around it.
Right now, it feels like it's kind of just a tough topic for you both, which it shouldn't be.
Yeah, we were talking about that a couple nights ago. It's been a lot less exploring each other and more like about, OK, who got to come this time? Oh, I definitely work on conversation.
Yeah. I mean, I think that's great that we've been having those conversations like you guys understand now you've identified like we haven't quite got our, you know, our orgasms matched up. And then something that I'm hearing in talking to Sarah, it might be fun to say you use the word explore. And since you're just your new new really, you know, been together a year and a half, what if we, like, just started from scratch again?
Because I'm sure at the beginning, right, Sarah? There was a lot of making out and anticipation and excitement. And I like to think about maybe even take penetration off the table. And then you're like, I'm just going to give to you and I'm going to give you a massage. We're gonna make out we're going to play some games together and we can have penetration. And then you'll get to learn like what is his arousal? Like, what turns you on?
And it's playful and it's fun and it's novel. Something new you can explore together. It's like you're really learning together.
Yeah, I love that idea.
This is what I want for so many couples. It's fun, you know, for you both. Is that like anything it does, it's gotten kind of complicated and now it's become stressful. But that doesn't have to be your state. Like, you don't have to stay in this place and you can just say, let's both work on it together, you know, let's figure it out. And then this week, it could be we're going to just focus on foreplay, then see where that gets you.
And then you guys could talk about it. We what did we learn? And, you know, where can we go from here? And I've got tons of, you know, ideas for that. But how does that sound to you starting. Oh, I love that idea. I think we were, too.
Yes. Wait, a willing partner. I love it.
Hey, Sarah, would you be open to us sending you Doctor Emily's book, Hot Sex Over two hundred things you can try tonight.
Oh, my gosh. Of course. Thank you.
Yeah, we could totally send it to you. And the other thing I was thinking that might be fun. And this is going to this just launched on my website. It's free. It's a free downloadable and it's called a pleasure planner. You know, pleasure is sometimes the first thing that goes right. We think about work and the kids and all the things. So it kind of asks you these prompts, when was the most memorable time we've had sex or when do we have the most pleasure last year?
What gives me pleasure? And then you get to kind of look at the next year and it gives you months and gives you prompts to really get into it. But it's a fun. You could say once a week we're going to fill out the plan or you can binge and do it in a night and then you have it set up and you have these conversations and then you have it like kind of laid out and there's prompts and suggestions. So that's another thing.
I think that it's we put so much pressure on ourselves to sort of solve the sex problem. And what I've known in all these years is that it's really hard to have these conversations. It's not easy to understand the stuff. And you can't just go watch a YouTube video on and unfortunately, everything else you can because it's also individual. So the both of you can kind of explore. You probably haven't thought about, well, what does feel good and what I.
Borb, what's my what's my fantasy that I've never told anybody or can we create new ones together? That might be another thing.
I like to pretend I'm a lady of the night. Yes, costumes. Oh, you just you dress up.
I've got some wigs. Oh, yeah. I love it. Yeah, exactly.
Do I'm telling you, I met a woman once at a store and I told her what I did. She was probably like 65 years old. She said, honey, I got the best advice for you. And I said, what? She said, wigs get a whole closet of wigs, but then you show up and you're I mean, it sounds silly, but you're different. You can show up as an alter ego if you have some insecurities, like not this woman in the blue wig.
She doesn't it's just it's playful. That's we want to make it fun for you guys. Not this like we ought to sit down and plan our pleasure. But, you know, Dr. Emily, I'm really close to my parents.
We never talked about sex. So I had a very, like, slow and jarring. Well, no, it wasn't slow. I had a jarring introduction, I think, to sex, which is probably pretty typical, though. And like that has been one of the great things about getting older. I'm forty four now. I feel so much more comfortable, of course, talking about sex and and being sexual than I did in my 20s. I wish that I had felt more comfortable then.
I didn't neither. I mean I, I didn't till my thirties. I started doing my podcast in my thirties because I was like I've never talked about sex. And, and so that's why I want to give you permission, because it sounds like you've chosen each other, you know, to be to be each other's partner. Sarah.
And the cool thing is that you can recognize that maybe culturally where we grew up, it wasn't accepted. Maybe there were some messages in the home that were more shame based or fear based. And then the two of you, Sarah, get to decide these were our messages around sex. You know, how about this? I grew up thinking, oh, men should just know how to please me. They just went off to a secret school and they learned everything.
And so it's sort of a little bit of unlearning, recognizing that maybe the messages about sex aren't true anymore. Let's make our own decisions about what sex means to us and that this is a journey you get to go on in your relationship. You know, because most of us I'm telling you, like, not just and not just myself, I would say, Sarah, it sounds like you and your partner, even if our parents were cool with it, they still weren't talking.
Like what I'm talking about. That's my mission, is to get everyone to talk about it. Sex, like they're talking about the weather because there's so much suffering around it and it's OK to talk about it. It actually improves your life, your health.
Sarah, in your letter, you say that your husband does feel a lot of pressure and guilt, which probably doesn't help.
Yeah, I think that a part of that comes from our conversations about the differences in our sex drive. So I have a much higher sex drive than he does and he knows that. So I think that pressure lowered his sex drive even more.
You know, I think there's a lot of pressure on men. Yeah, it's really common. And just so you know, in every relationship, Sarah, just to to understand that there is a high desire partner and a lower desire partner, unfortunately, they don't typically match up to high desires and to low desires, but just know that it's very common.
It's not addressed in our society very much now because I feel like I've been the high desire partner in most of my past relationships. And I kind of associated with rejection.
Yeah, we think, oh, what did I do? Or am I not sexy enough every time they don't want to have sex. And so it's a mind trick. This is also I mean, this is what's going to be fun for you, Sarah. See, this makes me excited that that you're even calling like it's so brave for you to call in to the show right now because, well, not only is it helping everyone else, but most importantly, you to realize it like it's OK, that you're a higher desire and he's lower desire.
And that's something to to think about. When are we most in the mood when you're having these conversations that I encourage you to have often with him? Kevin, think about it, because he's probably never thought about he's like, well, it's typically after a workout, right? Or maybe it's when I have less stressed with work or it's the weekends and. Well, this might not sound sexy to many people. Is that scheduling it sort of having an idea.
And I used to say, oh, God, that's so boring. I got to look at my calendar and be like, dry cleaning sucks. You can also pivot and say, OK, Saturday night it's going to happen and then you gotta get in your body. And what makes me feel sexy and maybe masturbate please yourself. And then he knows it's happening and maybe there's a little bit of playing and foreplay and you just start to understand who you are together, like what works for both of you?
What does get him going? What gets you in most mood and and how do we match that up?
Sarah, does your husband is he good at bringing you to orgasm?
He is. It's just been a little off. And I think because of the conversations we've been having together, maybe I just didn't have the right tone. I know his love language is worth of affirmation and he'd like to be praised and all that. So maybe I. I think I just. Has off the right wing in those conversations, maybe. I love Sarah that you know his love language, because now when you have that conversation, when you're in the kitchen or having dinner, you want to do the compliment sandwich, right?
Do you know about that, sir, where you lead with, like, something's really hot moment or what you find really sexy about him? Some stuff he's done in the bedroom that are fabulous. You could say, God, last time we had sex, when you were kissing my neck, that felt so good. Or I love when you went down on me. I've been thinking about that all week. The middle part of this is when you say and I thought it would be really cool if we could start sort of talking about what you're into as well and when you want to have sex so we can make this, you know.
And then the last part is so because I know we want to be great lovers to each other. Right. So it's that positive because people who have words as affirmation as their their love language, our egos get involved with sex and it's a problem. But to know that he disappointed you, he believes or he's not adding up or he's not measuring up to what you want just to kind of keep reinforcing it. We're in it together and it is tone.
And you can and you didn't do anything wrong. But now we're learning. I think we can turn this around, you know, like, baby, I love you.
Oh, yeah, exactly. It could be whatever you love about him, make a list. You could write him a note. These are all the things I love about you, Sarah.
Remember how I was saying that I grew up in a like a household that didn't talk about sex and now my parents are listening to my podcast more frequently.
I am interested in the pressure that men put on themselves in this particular arena. They really do.
I mean, it's like they grow up thinking, I have to lead with sex. I have to know what to do. And there's a lot of pressure. And then there's also the notion that men wanted all the time.
So when they don't, they just feel less then. So, yeah, there's just a lot of pressure. There's so much pressure for men. You're right. And telling them you understand that he wants to be a wonderful husband and he wants to understand your body. And, you know, we haven't even scratched the surface yet. We can have so much fun, you know. Yeah. Get my book. You flip it around, you'll be like, look at this position.
Or we could try this. And then I just think often with sex, we don't know what's on the menu. We don't even know where to go, what is even possible. We know penetrative sex, which is focused on the male orgasm, which is also in your email. Sarah, you know, that's what you talk about. And that's really all we mostly see.
It's a part of thinking, OK, well, what else? We could just give each other massages or make out, and that could be arousing, you know what I mean? It's like anything's possible.
This is slightly off topic. But I have a friend who doesn't like doggy style because she thinks it's disrespectful and she wants her husband to look at her face. And it just makes me think that there is societal pressure there, too.
I've heard that as well because it feels less intimate. So I understand your friend. And then I also understand it feels you can feel great. It feels pretty good. Right, exactly. And so what I think is like for your friend, it's like there's other ways to work around it, too. But we're not we don't have to solve doggystyle, but it's just that it's that we all get to taste what's on the menu and think, do I like this position?
Do I not? And I would say, Sarah, you probably don't even know yet because you haven't explored it all together. So now you get to figure it out. But we are also different. And that's also the challenge, is that, you know, and if you didn't know more about sex and have this show and all the things, all the life you lived, you might think, oh, shit, yeah, I better not do the doggystyle anymore.
But, you know, like, we're all different. You put 100 hundred women in a room and you ask them all what they like, like maybe half would like doggy have, wouldn't have would you know, it's just this is it. So that's why it's an invitation to say what is possible, what positions do I like, what don't. I mean do you know Sarah. So I want to know if you had to tell us right now what is like a position or something that's really turned you on the most with your husband.
Could you name, like, your hottest sexual movie, as we call it? Was there a moment that you just like. Oh, yeah, that was amazing.
I don't know what name of the position.
Anything like like when he's sitting down and I'm on top facing away from him. Oh no.
If that's hot. Yeah. Reverse cowgirl.
Oh OK. But when he's sitting up is a twist to it like it. That's a he's so he's sitting on the bed or on a chair. So you have to like that because tell me what it is about that position.
I think because we get to that position maybe three move then and I don't know, I think because he can like he has full access to my upper body. Yes. In that position. OK, yeah. This is my custom. Yeah. Kisu So this is the thing about these positions and even Doggystyle reverse cowgirl. We think it's not intimate, but yeah, you can turn your head, he can kiss your cheek, he can play with your breasts, he can still stimulate your clitoris that way, which is key to orgasm.
That's why penetrative sex doesn't work lot. So. Oh, I love that. You know that. So what would be fun is you could even lead and say, I keep thinking about that time I was on your lap. It feels so. Great that you're behind me and you have access and I can feel your arms and you put your you know what I mean, just play and then that becomes a visual of what you're into.
So now it's like he can be thinking, oh, well, Sarah likes this. Let's try to move into that position again. And then you could ask him, you know, this is why it's like a fact finding mission, like saying, well, what was your most memorable time? You know? Well, we both like that. I had no idea. You like the time when I you know, when you spanked me that felt so great or when I dressed up.
And so this is just why you guys have the information. It's just a matter of giving each other permission to explore it together without shaming and without blaming and letting him know how much you love him and you care about your sex life and that if you've ever offended him in that way, you don't need to. And that's why it's like a a clean slate of a judgment. Free shame free zone.
Sarah, I'm weirdly excited for you and I am to restructuring their sex life into this exciting adventure and adventure.
It should be an adventure. I want that for everybody. You know, pleasure is our birthright. We all deserve it right now, especially. We deserve to understand this. It's like we all could have incredible intimacy and and sex and not have it so centered on the male orgasm. And it's just it's a process of learning and unlearning. But I think mostly if you think, well, what does feel the most good to me and what feels good to you, babe?
And it's just that tone. You know, Sarah, it's kind of like we're in this.
Sarah, I love what Dr. Emily said about, like the compliment sandwich and the continual reinforcement, because the idea that he feels guilt and frustration and with enough reassurance and positivity and like compliments and you can shift that framework in his head so it won't be stressful for him.
Yeah, I'm so excited to share all this with and she's actually in the other room and she's like, this is good that you're talking to them because we need a room.
This is all good. I love it that you told him to that you wrote in and that you're having this conversation.
And my podcast has a lot of couples listen to it together and whether it's my podcast or something else, but it's about educating yourself, taking it outside of you guys, just the two of you fighting more stimuli, more things to educate. You understand and unlearn and relearn and get some Wiggs.
Sarah gets away was really fun. I love that he's outside, that he's ready for it.
You know, he's ready to hear. Oh, yeah. You're going have a good day.
It's going to be a good afternoon.
Thank you both so much. Really good to hear, especially about the tone and the compliments. And I think that's what you call it and the low penetration experiment.
Let's try all of that timing, tone and turf. Just remember what's my tone. Yeah, I love that timing, tone and turf. Sarah, I want to thank you for sharing with us, because I know that we'll get a lot of feedback from our listeners. A lot of people, of course, experience all of these sexual issues. And you were kind enough to share yours. And I just know people will find it really helpful. So thank you very much.
Oh, thank you, Sarah.
All right, Sarah, go hop on him. Wait, no, wait a week. Hey, Sarah, have a wonderful rest of your day.
Thank you. You too. Thanks. Bye, Sarah. Bye bye, dr. Emily. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. Goodbye, Dr Emily. Bye.