Goody & Adam: When You Have a Sink Full of Dildos
Goody Howard and Adam Maurer are sex-positive therapists who know all the “ins-and-outs” of the industry and aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. They talk about unpacking sexism and privilege in the bedroom, why there’s no such thing as “normal,” and why sex education needs to be as accessible as porn. Plus, Goody reflects on learning the difference between sex and love while Adam lauds Blanche from “Golden Girls” for modeling healthy non-monogamy back in the 80s.
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Goody, Adam, Claire Jones
You meet people that think they can do our jobs because of sex, right? They’re having sex they think they can do our jobs. That’s like going to a Michelin star restaurant and thinking you can make the food because you eat the food.
Get a girl Hey everyone, this is Adam, I’m a straight friendly therapist from Austin, Texas.
What’s up y’all? My name is Goody Howard, MSW, MPH, my pronouns are she/her, and boss, and you are listening to GOOD SEX.
I started moontower counseling, which is my practice in 2013. So almost a decade now of working with people who are kinky or more than monogamous or queer.
I am a sexologist, educator and consultant. And I teach workshops. So I teach sexual skill building workshops, oral sex on a penis, oral sex on the vulva, how to ride dick with your vagina, your anus, […] to have all this together, like all of the things.
So, you were doing your workshop for lick, which is a workshop for pleasing people with penises.
I was sucking your fake dick.
You’re holding a dildo, and you’re sucking it in front of colleagues and clients.
That was always, that was teambuilding.
Listen, I was like, Is this the answer to my mom’s prayers of 20 years? Like what is happening in this moment? Goody, I have a question for you girl, you have such an amazing passion for this work. And I am curious about like what keeps you going through all the challenges that we face as sex positive professionals like in a sex phobic world?
Honestly, I feel like sex education has to be as accessible as porn. Right? And if it’s not accessible, it’s not revolutionary. And I consider myself a revolutionary. I actually started doing this work because of my love for Black people. And I feel like freedom is what other people give you. liberation is what you do for yourself. This is liberation work that we do. Right? You and I, we get people free. And another thing too, as a parent, part of parenting is planting seeds for trees, you’re never gonna sit on it. I’m passionate about this, and what keeps me going and my why and all of that, you know, fun stuff, is because I don’t want our children to have the same struggles that we have.
It’s so wild to me, I think that oftentimes, you know, we first think about sex is kind of dislike silly or flippant, or like animalistic thing. And so it kind of gets seen as something that’s not very serious. But as someone who’s been in the field of doing sex positive therapy now for a decade, how often it’s transformative for people. And the ability to see the richness that comes from being curious and exploring pleasure and just being a part of that like world where you can be seen and celebrated just as you are. That is like the liberation from sexuality.
And like connecting people to pleasure, right, but also connecting people to the impediments to their pleasure. And the why of it. Why do you even feel like you can’t say anything? Why do you feel like this may be wrong? Or why are you feeling shame? You know, I don’t know what I don’t know, we were having a conversation. And I said, that shame and stigma with the parents of anxiety and depression. I can’t I’m here that in my own head, you know what I’m saying? Like, it’s just the way that it brings people together, the way that sex brings people together, the way that the expression of oppression or repression, the way that creates community, just in and of itself. I’m always in awe of that. One of the most common challenges that individuals and couples face, that they come to see you for like aside, you know, because they anybody asking you for advice, or as many people asking you for free advice on the DMS. So what are like some of the common things that people do seek you out for?
Yeah, I think a big thing that people seek me out for it, and they don’t always, they’re not always aware of this, but there’s a lot of sexism and sex for folks who haven’t had to unpack, you know, some of the privilege that might walk in. So, you know, what’s really common is to have a straight presenting couple be like, well, you know, she never wants it. And I’m like, okay, well, what’s it like, I’m not there. So can you tell me about what you want? And this dude will just like, freeze the fuck up and be like, like, never has been vulnerable with himself to think about what he turns himself on for, doesn’t have skills to communicate it. And when that’s the vibe, right, when I when I kind of set them up for that and they freeze up. I’m like, look, it’s okay. We just live in a society that hasn’t valued this or taught you these things. And so we’re going to talk about you know what is going on here and undo some of these narratives. So it’s not you versus her, there’s not a right amount of sex to be had. It really it’s about like pleasure. So if you want to have enveloping sex with this person, you can have to listen to how they turn themselves on how their body responds. And what it really comes down to and this is some of the research on kind of lingus. So a lot of straight men won’t do it, specifically, because they don’t know how, and they’re anxious about asking.
They don’t even, it doesn’t even dawn on them that that’s where you go. So it’s therapy is where you go, if you’re trying to maybe navigate this thing with your partner, or navigate it within yourself, because sometimes you got to get yourself together before you can talk to somebody else.
One, I think two of the interplay of our everyday experiences and our sexuality and how they inform each other. So let’s say you and I are an item, and I have all this sexual energy. And I’m always like, Goody, you want to have sex? And sometimes yeah, it works. And it’s fun. And sometimes you can’t, because you have a business, you have a baby, you have all these things, and you’re just not able to meet me there. Well, over times, we don’t learn how to negotiate that let down. Easier to turn to certain towards porn, because they don’t have to feel that. And then so then we’re not having sex. And one day you come in and I’m like, jerking off to porn, you’re like I knew it.
You don’t have a sense of me, which we haven’t say about yourself. And part of comprehensive sex ed is navigating negative emotion. So if I feel rejected, because my partner doesn’t want to have sex, because they have all these other things going on, and they can’t seem to focus, how do I handle that? How do I communicate that to my partner? How do I communicate my overwhelm? And so therefore, it lessens my desire for sex. How do I communicate that and the fact that I don’t want to disappoint you? But my body is like it’s not today.
The spirit […] the body said no.
Like, oh, you know, quick hands off or something. But I wouldn’t, you know?
And people, here’s what’s like wild to me when we start talking about like sensuality pleasure that you experienced in the world, a lot of people have so divorced themselves from the idea of having pleasure, that it seems to them maybe selfish or trivial, right.
My definition of sensuality is experiencing non-sexual pleasure through all six of the senses, okay, sight, sound, taste, touch, scent, and feel, an emotional component. And it’s ever present whether you have a penis or a vulva or something in between. And so when you move to the world experiencing non-sexual pleasure through all six of the senses, when it’s time to have sex, you’re gonna experience sex through all six of the senses. And it makes you more receptive to the more than 18 different kinds of orgasms that the human body has to offer. And so I teach that workshop called Central Intelligence that walk people through that. So is everybody.
Goody, I have another question for you, girl. What movie or scripted TV show do you think gets sex the most right? And why?
Okay, so currently, I think P Valley is killing it. It’s about the life and times of strippers and it started that way. But it’s gotten so deep. It is on stars. If you haven’t ever seen it, you should absolutely see it. And it’s there on season two right now. And so uncle Clifford is a non-binary, beard mustache, pink wig, sequins. He runs the pink which is a strip club. And as a gangsta rap name, […]. They’re in a relationship. […]. Of course, he’s a gangster rap. So they have I mean, when they have sex, there’s always condom use. There’s always lubricant. There’s passion. There’s versatility kissing in the mouth, like it’s first, an uncle Clifford was biting him for a little murder. Then when they wanted to have sex, they have sex another time, little murder, got tapped by Uncle Clifford. And then they had the conversation about using a condom versus not no, I want to feel you inside me. And like they navigated the intersexual space, right? They’re […] and they talk about condoms.
Yes. You know what, I came up with this question. I was like, what would I say? You ready for this. It’s so good. The fucking Golden Girls. Like one, you have a group of like sex positive friends who support each other. And they’re going on dates and they talk about what’s up, they help each other, they listen to each other, they get each other ready. But my favorite as someone who works with relationships that are other than monogamous is for a long time Blanche had Mel Bushman, the zipper King, and that was like this, you know, guy that she would see every now and then when dates fell through. And one time she tries to reach out to him and he’s not there. It’s the first time he’s not there. So she flips out and goes, I missed you so much. He was on vacation, he comes back. And she’s like, I missed you so much. We should be dating. They go on one day and it’s just a fucking mess. And in that like moment when they break down that scene, they’re like, oh, we function best when we are like this. And we don’t have to be this kind. Have a thing that we’ve been told we ought to be if we like each other, and just liberation to think to like the late 80s, early 90s. Here’s this representation of people living in a relationship that makes sense to them. If you could go back in time, and teach teenage you anything about sex or sexuality? What might you teach teenage you?
Oh, my teenage me was already fucking. Listen, I mean, my mother is a nurse. And she taught us about sex very medically. So I knew about everything. She trained me up about, you know, reproduction stuff, don’t get pregnant. STIs all the things. We talked about the physicality of sex; we didn’t talk about the social impacts of sex. We didn’t talk about just because they fucking you don’t mean they love you. We didn’t talk like we didn’t talk about those parts, right? Like that emotional. This person does make you feel good. This is a problem. So if I could go back and talk to teenage me about anything, I would want to talk to her about the separation of love and sex. And how that’s it’s a thing. And that, you know, just because they have sex with you doesn’t mean they love you. Just because they say they love you doesn’t mean they love you. What does love even mean to you? You know what I’m saying? Like, I would have more conversations about the emotional and mental impacts of sexuality, than the physical stuff. Because I mean, I was busy.
Yeah, it’s wild to me, like I have grown so much in this field, right? There’s a lot of times where I’m like, Am I just a curious person, or, you know, expanding my wealth of knowledge around sexuality, or am I just a horny person. In all of that, I, you know, I’m very fortunate, like, I’ve grown into seeing my own sexuality, really, like, get defined as a relationship anarchist, and push against these notions of this hierarchy of love, that like a love of a partner is somehow more meaningful than love of a friend, when you know, a friend could do just the same behavior. Like it takes just as much energy to take you to dinner and listen to your problems.
Even more so because we’re not fucking, I don’t even, I didn’t get to have sex with […]. What is the most asked question you receive about sex? And how do you respond to it?
I mean, I think the most common one we get is this normal. Everyone who everyone is worried that like, whatever pleasure they are feeling or liking is somehow not normal. And you know, I get to be like, nope, but sexuality is not normal. And I say, you know, there’s a lot of things that are common, but there’s a lot of things that are common that we don’t talk about. So for example, fetishes, right, a lot of people fetishize abs, and I’m like, those don’t have anything to do with sex, just cuz someone has abs, but if someone fetishize his feet, because that’s less common in America to enjoy, even though we know from research that like one in seven people in America are down for feet, in some way, shape, or form. We teach people to feel shame around that and to feel like they are other. When in reality, you know, it’s more like, this is just a big old buffet. And maybe you really liked it. Yeah, maybe you really liked this. And that’s okay.
Yeah, I tell people, the concept of normal is subjective. It’s normal on any given day for me to have a sink full of dildos. That’s not normal for most people, right? So the concept of normal is subjective. So once people say, am I normal to me? I say well, what’s normal for you and normal for me. So yeah, it’s normal for you. If I had $1, for every time, a woman said she didn’t have a vaginal orgasm, and she had never had one initially normal. I would be a bazillionaire. Like, and I tell him, you know, you watch too much TV because a vaginal orgasm is not. You know, no one’s coming from just this in and out motion. I love what you call it enveloping sex. But it’s a perfect storm of angle and rhythm and pressure and stroke and girth and firmness and wetness and softness. And I’m just like child, it’s the perfect storm that creates the vaginal orgasm. Do not think that there’s something wrong with you. Because you’re not achieving this unicorn of an orgasm, that TV has told you that chocolate will come at the same time together.
Listen, I really recommend to folks that like you’d have to think for yourself like what does your sexuality mean to you? How important is it to you? Some people it’s like, not as important because they’re more or asexual or what have you some people what’s very important to them and knowing that and going cool if I can own that then what is it like to connect with the world and connect with others? And how do I be seen and vulnerable but also hold space for people to like do the same?
Right, because this is okay when I do it, but that kind of problem what other people you can’t.
GOOD SEX is a Lemonada Media Original. The show was produced by Kegan Zema and Dani Matias our supervising producer is Xorje Olivares. Executive Producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs and Jessica Cordova Kramer. Music is by Dan Molad and APM music. If you like GOOD SEX, please rate and review us. Listen and follow for new episodes each week, wherever you’re listening right now. And if you want more good sex, subscribe to Lemonada Premium for some quickies additional conversations between our guests only on Apple podcasts.