Leah Carey: A “good girl” who now enjoys and talks about sex
Note: this episode contains adult content.Leah Carey tried to be a “good girl” for decades before waking up sexually in her early 40s. She had a rough childhood. Her dad was an alcoholic and emotionally abused Leah and her mom. He spoke to Leah sexually about her body and told her she was fat and ugly. Later he said he was going to lock her in her room until she was 30 and break the kneecaps of any boy who showed interest in her. This combination of verbal abuse and protectiveness led her to feel confused.When her dad died, it sent Leah into a black hole of depression, sinking further until she was nonfunctional. When she started having suicidal ideations, she realized that she was not okay. Because she had very little money, she went to a free health clinic and got the medication that she needed. By the time her mom passed away from cancer in 2015, they had formed a healing relationship. She sold her mom’s house in New Hampshire and took a solo road trip around the US. During that trip she realized she had never had pleasurable sexual sensations. She experienced great healing from tantric massage in New York City, which set her on a new path: "you are not broken." Her massage therapist gave her homework to "play with sensation,” so she used the road trip to do that. She didn’t have to be the "good girl" anymore. She had incredible experiences, discovering she is allowed to be sexual.Leah believes that taking control of our sexuality, speaking up for our needs and talking honestly about what really matters, is the essence of goodness, kindness, and integrity….and that’s the kind of good girl she wants to be.After Leah shared herstories with her girlfriends, they started telling her their sex stories, too. So she started a podcast a few years ago called “Good Girls Talk about Sex,” in which she interviews women, queer, and nonbinary folx about their sex lives, usually anonymously. Leah offers sex and intimacy coaching to people who grew up socialized as little girls; hosts “Good Girls Talk About Sex” PJ parties; and leads training. She helps people find their authentic sexual selves and teaches how to communicate with their partners.Leah shared her own recent challenges with sex in “My Pandemic Sex Life,” in which she “gets raw and real about how her intimate life has weathered the storm of a year-long international crisis, and about how confronting her partner’s depression spiral turned out to be a better strategy than enduring it competently.” We spoke about the damage the pandemic is having on people who lack physical touch. When I asked Leah which grit and resilience story has been an inspiration for her, she mentioned the stories of Harry Potter. She is still trying to ascertain how to engage with those stories and their meaning while making peace for herself (because of JK Rowling’s transphobia). Leah and I also geeked out about the Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast. At the end of that podcast, the co-hosts choose a character in the chapter they’re discussing to bless. Leah mentioned that in the first episode, Vanessa chose to bless Harry’s mean, verbally abusive Aunt Petunia. She tries to see people who have done wrong as people who have been harmed. The vast majority of people who become abusers were hurt themselves as children.I suggested that our homework, in light of this conversation, should be to bless JK Rowling. She’s our Aunt Petunia.Next week I interview Stefanie Bonastia, who suffered with eating disorders for over 20 years. After decades of extensive therapy, she created her own formula for healing and made a full recovery. She started her own business to help others do the same.