Today’s episode is brought to you in collaboration with Wood + Weiher
, specializing in hand-poured candles crafted in small batches.
My interview today is with health and sexuality writer August McLaughlin. Our conversation takes a number of interesting turns from myths about sexual peaks, healing through sexual empowerment, what it means to be a “good girl,” sexual re-education as adults, sexual health and stigmas, self-defense, and importantly, consent. If you’re in the Twin Cities area next weekend, August will be launching her Girl Boner book tour at Boneshaker Books in Minneapolis and I’m leading the Q&A! So come on out and give us hugs on August 11 at Boneshaker Books. Details below.
The next day, I’d love to see you at the ModernWell Summer Pop Up shop! Free yoga starts at 10:30 and the vendors will be there until 1:00. I’ll be giving away a Feminist Book Club MegaBox and one of this month’s sponsors will be there too! Wood + Weiher provided a travel sized lemongrass and eucalyptus candle for this month’s box (there’s still a couple left!) and these candles are making the box smell like a SPA. You’ll get the most gorgeous olfactory experience when you open the box, I promise. Make sure you check out Wood + Weiher on Instagram at @woodweiher.
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She numbs by thinking too fast, thinking too much, absorbing all the information around her and constantly feeding it more . The messages she internalized at a young age taught her that productivity is honorable, her intelligence is her primary worth, and her body is not hers. So she disconnected from it utterly and lived her life in her mind. Because she truly believed there was no such thing as overeducation and even when her brain was at capacity, she relished pushing it to the limits. There was so much to think through, so much praise in intelligence, so much vibrancy in her internal world.
Until that’s all there was. Colors fade when they’re exposed to too much light. The shelter of the mind begins to crumble.
Trauma lives in the body. It cannot be rationalized and it cannot be unlearned without processing it through the body. Why is this lesson is so hard for her? She resists by creating a cozy cocoon in her mind, trying every way she can to think her way out of pain or, at least, not think about it at all.
It’s not that she refuses to feel, she’s just gotten too comfortable blocking the feelings that she’s forgotten HOW to feel. Rationally, in her mind, she knows she should be feeling through the blocks in front of her but there’s a barrier to entry. It’s her own mind. It’s connected to her body but she’s trapped. She can’t access the rest of her full self.
She feels claustrophobic in her own thoughts. This is how people lose it, she says to herself. She has to find a way out. She begins to move.
She moves again.
One step at a time.
She’s starting to dance.
She remembers how to feel.