Hello Dear Cumpanions,
We would like to welcome you to Aftercare, a new space to cuddle after the episodes and post-coitus to dive deeper into the subjects discussed on How C*m Podcast with Remy Kassimir and her marvelous guests.
I have the honor of writing this amazing blog that I hope my fellow Cumpanions will enjoy, so allow me to introduce myself: I’m Roxana González, from Mexico City, I’m 26, a cat lover, and I’ve been a faithful Cumpanion for a bit more than two years. I’m so glad to have fallen into this journey. Like so many others, I found the How C*m Podcast after watching The female orgasm on Netflix’s Explained. It was the first podcast I’d ever listened to and it instantly hooked me.
How C*m podcast
A fun and approachable way of learning about the most intimate parts of yourself.
How Cum is a 4 season podcast (so far) hosted by Remy Kassimir. She’s a stand-up comedian from New York who, by the time of her 28th birthday, couldn’t cum. Like many women who face any type of sexual “dysfunction,” she had stopped trying and accepted her fate: “I guess I’ll just never cum”. Eventually, she opened up to her younger sister, Charlotte, who had no problems with orgasm, and Remy started asking, for real now: “why the hell can’t I cum?”.
She started the conversation and received the response everyone gets when being open about any kind of stigmatized issue: “Really? You’re 28, and you haven’t cum?”, “You’re just a lazy masturbator”, “Omg, you just need to get out of your head, get over yourself,” “Just watch weird porn”, and “Why don’t you find what you like”, “Why don’t you try new kinky stuff…?”
The Cumming chronicles of Remy Kassimir
Of course, our girl Remy thought, “I can’t be alone in this”, so she started a fearless public journey of self-discovery into her sex life. There’s a distinct change between the first episodes when our host was still using sex-negative language we all grew up with, interviewing guests with little laughs of shyness, and when she broke out of her shell through some hard-earned pleasure. She became more confident, a lot funnier, and a lot more political. Her guests became a lot more professional, and the podcast started to have a more informational (but always fun) take.
The thing I love most about Remy is her ability to be authentic. My favorite thing about Remy is that she’s always been a great interviewer that asks away with curiosity and cero judgment.
The four seasons of this podcast show an incredible growth that becomes contagious. You can’t help but learn, laugh, cry, and grow with the Kassimir sisters and Robyn (the producer who joined the team in season 3) and eventually Robyn (the producer that joined a couple of years ago) as they discuss the very diverse subjects that subset sexuality.
In this journey I've learned a lot, so let's kick off Aftercare with some of the big lessons How C*m has brought us:
Normalizing masturbation for women is a revolutionary act.
Yeah, sure, there are tons of healthy reasons why we should masturbate: stress release, producing endorphins, sleeping better, regulating your mood, increasing your sexual confidence and desire, increased sensibility, cardio, pelvic floor workout (which is great for all kinds of things like reducing endometriosis pain, reducing the intensity of menstrual cramps, less painful childbirth, etc., etc., etc.), and many more. But why is it significant for women?
Because in a violent and sex-negative society where we don’t learn about our bodies, our bodily functions, we don’t understand pleasure, and we don’t know how to interact with ourselves, women need self-exploration more than anyone. Mainstream porn is everyone’s sex-ed (because schools don’t give comprehensive sex-ed) and it is tailored made for creepy boomer men, around a very narrow-minded view of what sex is. Porn teaches that consent is negotiable (at best) (at best), that childlike vulvas are the only ones that are “pretty” (hairless and with almost nonexistent inner labia), and that penetration is fundamental for sex, oh, and also foreplay ain’t necessary.
The consequences? Women grow up feeling self-confident about their genitals because we know nothing about how they work. We get extreme anxiety when someone is going down on us, so much so that we can’t lay back and enjoy that someone IS LITERALLY GOING DOWN ON US.
In my personal experience, I remember having a full emotional breakdown when I started growing body hair because I couldn’t fathom how fast it grew and how I’d have to shave every three days until I died! I’ve always been overwhelmed with the minimum amount of minimum maintenance required to be considered feminine. Someone made fun of my arm hair, and I cried for weeks. I didn’t want to have to shave my arms.
I clearly remember that I went into the shower with scissors because I wanted to cut my inner labia. I thought my vulva. My vulva didn’t look “pretty”; it didn’t look “normal,” it didn’t look like it’s supposed to, it didn’t look like it was “supposed to”. I must have been 12 years old. I remember thinking I was a damn coward for not lacerating a part of my body in the name of female aesthetics. After all, shaving, waxing, lasering, injecting, cosmetic surgeries, cosmetic surgery, makeup, makeup removers, the creams it’s what society taught me about womanhood.
I masturbated from a very young age, but I could never bring myself to touch myself. I’d hump everything, and (like Remy always says) I was a very horny child, but I could never actually touch my body without feeling extreme guilt, shame, and most of the time, disgust.
To this day, I'm still not comfortable with it. It’s not the easiest way for me to orgasm. But I’m working on it.
A year after listening to this podcast was the first time I could cum from manual self-stimulation over my underwear. It was only because I really couldn’t sleep and my vibrator was out of battery (note to self: always charge your vibrator).
Allowing myself to feel pleasure was a life-changing moment that opened my eyes to a more positive world. And in the context of this fucking pandemic, we all need it. (note to self: always charge your vibrators).
Self-exploration is key to understanding what brings you pleasure.
We are all different, and our nerve endings, trauma, and personal histories are individual. We must self-explore and use everything within our reach to find out what makes us feel pleasure to communicate it effectively and clearly during partnered sex. Being sex-positive is essential: leave all judgment at the door when having a sexual experience and allow your body to dictate what feels right to you.
After a lifetime of shame, guilt and disgust put onto your body; it is okay to need tools to masturbate.
As I said, being sex-positive is about being open to whatever feels good. Orgasm with a vibrator, with your hand, or with a partner is still an orgasm. A dry orgasm, a squirting mess, or anything in between is still an orgasm. An orgasm while high is still an orgasm. And even more importantly, sexual play without an orgasm is still a vulnerable, brave, and beautiful moment that deserves to be treated with honor and respect. A sexual interaction without orgasm can be a pleasurable experience. You’re hardly going to reach that orgasm if you can’t enjoy the journey towards it.
Understanding consent is necessary for not getting raped/raping anyone.
This was a hard pill to swallow. I had no idea I had been date raped so much during high school and my first years in college. This Women’s International Day, I saw a rise of posts accusing their abusers, and I also saw many abusers saying they had never raped someone. Who’s lying? No one is. We have no comprehensive sex ed, and we don’t understand consent, we don’t know what it means, and we don’t know how it works. The very toxic sexual culture promoted by mainstream media and porn gives us the understanding that consent is negotiable and optional, but it isn’t. When the word “rape” comes up, we think of very violent dominance, of an unmistakable scream saying no, a victim defending themselves with all of their strength. But it’s a lot more nuanced than that. First of all, we forget that the body’s response to threat can be fight, flight, or freeze. Consent must be enthusiastic, specific, explicit, and voluntary. This involves understanding power dynamics and implicit social scripts regarding the interactions of men and women. It also includes how men are expected to be sexual at all times, so they are forced to perform even when they don’t want to.
I was sexually abused as a child and I live the consequences every day
Trauma is erased from the brain, and with the right environment, it gets deleted and normalized. I had no idea how sexualized my childhood had been. By the time I was 22, I had no idea I own the power of consent, and I grew up normalizing physical, psychological, and sexual violence. I have no idea how many times I was date-raped because I didn’t even know that existed. And I could not be able to count the times I was slut-shamed and victim-blamed for just wanting to have validation and acceptance. From a very young age, I learned that the only way for me to have those things was through my body and my availability to have sex. It had become an unfortunate and frustrating cycle of hope, disappointment, betrayal, and going over it again and again. I never realized I could say no, and that if I was scared or uncomfortable, I could just… Refuse. I had no idea that “the point of no return” doesn’t really exist.
I´ll repeat this: at any point during a sexual encounter, you can say no, and NO always means NO.
Differences in libido
Toxic masculinity portrayed in mainstream media also taught us that men are these sexual beasts that ought to be ready to go at all times, while women are mere sources for sex. It leaves us with a severe problem. What happens when my male partner doesn’t want to have sex, but I do? Well, first, I feel like a slut for wanting something I shouldn’t want, and secondly, I feel profoundly rejected by my partner and, of course, introject this rejection as a personal failure. “He doesn’t want me. I’ve gained weight, I’m gross”. And I heard this from Jameela Jamil, which I’ll paraphrase: we don’t get hungry at the same times, we don’t eat the same amount, we don’t go to the bathroom at the same time; so why the fuck are trying to force each other to have sex at the same time, in the same amount? We have different needs, and we are each responsible for them.
My pleasure. My responsibility.
This was a hard pill to swallow for me. For YEARS I tortured every sexual partner I had because I couldn’t be satisfied sexually. I blamed them for my frustration and my inability to cum. Sometimes I just faked it. It depends on the nature of the relationship. And guess what, Roxana? No, it’s not my boyfriend’s fault nor his responsibility to make me cum because to do so, I had to understand that most of the time, I wasn’t even after an orgasm or even sexual pleasure. I just wanted love, validation, acceptance, care. I had to remember that I was sexually abused during childhood. I had to learn and understand the consequences of that trauma. I had to understand and heal from my first abusive relationship. I had to regain sensitivity and get to know my body. None of those things could be done by my partner, but it was way more comfortable for me to blame it all on him (a big shoutout to couples therapy).
Reaching orgasms and learning to feel pleasure in a body that has known violence is a very personal journey in which everyone single of us is responsible for our baggage.
Success in sexual interactions means pleasure, not an orgasm.
Another myth we got from porn: “A successful sexual interaction can only happen when the parties involved orgasm, preferably at the same time”. Very frustrating fake news, my friends. Success in a sexual interaction means being vulnerable and open enough to feel pleasure. It’s not about reaching that big O.
DO NOT FAKE YOUR ORGASMS, PLEASE.
It’s your responsibility to care enough about your pleasure to take it seriously. I know the drill, okay? We’ve all been there. For some reason, you’re under some guy you kind of like (maybe you don’t even like him), and he’s making porn moves he learned when he was 13, and you just aren’t feeling it anymore. So you fake an orgasm in the hopes that he might cum sooner rather than later. Or maybe it’s your significant other, and you love each other, but sex is a big taboo subject, so you just don’t talk about it. You have sex. You perform because you want to look sexy and attractive. He cums. You masturbate later. It will never be discussed. There is no place for real connection when you’re performing. Sex isn’t about giving a show. It’s about having a shared experience.
My sexual energy will never again be wasted on a guy who doesn’t know what to do with my body because I have learned the importance of my pleasure. Some people (and especially women) have been taught that sex has to be penis-centered and that our pleasure is merely foreplay or unnecessary. If you’ve read this far, then you know my ability to feel pleasure has cost me time, effort, and a lot of therapy, so no, I will not ignore my needs to please a man when both of us can just have an enjoyable time.
When you know, you know. But, do you?
I was so scared when Remy commented on the frustration of NOT knowing if she had cummed or not because she enjoyed sex, but she had never felt that. Everyone kept telling her, “oh, you’ll know if you’ve cum, when you know, you know”. But, some of us don’t know. I had cum since I was a little girl. I had cum so much and in so many unhealthy ways (abuse or compulsive masturbation) that I didn't’ even feel my orgasms anymore. My body would do all the physical processes of orgasm, but I couldn’t feel pleasure from it. Kind of like when you’re zoning out and disconnect from everything? I always dissociated when I orgasmed as a trauma response. As a result, I always wanted more, I was never satisfied, and I was still frustrated. Masturbating a lot this year has made me slowly but surely regain sensibility and create the neural pathways for pleasure. I can finally cum! And know when I’ve cum. And it doesn’t take an hour anymore unless I want it to.
The transition into feminism
As I listened aghast at these “radical feminist claims” talking about consent and healthy communication, I started having flashbacks about that older man who said I was smart and mature for my age only to ghost me after we had sex. I remembered all the times I’ve been touched without my consent. Or when my family mentioned my body or any changes I had been through (or lack thereof, I was a late bloomer). I remembered how ashamed I’ve always felt about every part of my body. As a result, I avoid mirrors because I cannot see my reflection without triggering very dark thoughts… Something was hitting me hard with every episode.
I listened to one episode a day at most because I had to digest and process this information. I had vivid nightmares and daydreams about the abuse I’ve suffered ever since I was six. I’ve had many existential crises, and I’ve found clarity a lot more times. I’ve been super high and taking advantage of my unemployed status because I deemed it very important to take the time to heal my sexual trauma. And I have the privilege to do so.
I’ve been in therapy for +10 years, and I had never dared (or had been pushed) to face these issues because our society doesn’t think it’s important enough. Or, well put: our society doesn’t think female pleasure is important enough.
You cannot learn about female sexuality without becoming political.
This podcast became unintentionally feminist and empowering, with a hilarious, smart, and relatable approach, making it a safe space for men. And, boy, are they necessary for this conversation.
And I mean, how can a podcast about reaching female orgasm become anything other than political? Sure, at first, this is just about opening up the conversation about sex and everything that goes down while you go down. But it opens a whole new world of subjects that range from reproductive health to how much women have been denied pleasure globally and throughout history. It’s like learning (from an impartial source) about world history and staying neutral to any colonizer. It’s impossible.
I did a lot of research to understand all the reactions I was having to this new information. I fell in love with learning about myself and my body. And a great source of inspiration was Betty Dodson, a 90-year-old woman who is a sex educator and teaches women to be comfortable with their bodies.
Women have been neglected profoundly in every field. Socially, medically, at work, and within their family. Self-exploration allows us to finally discover some self-worth, own our voices, and give intention to our dreams. Masturbation becomes political because female pleasure has been culturally repressed for centuries. Radical self-care becomes a form of revolutionary protest, and you can’t help it. You can’t help but defend yourself from someone overstepping their boundaries when you have learned to love yourself. You can’t stop yourself from being opinionated when you believe in the value of your ideas and your experiences. You can’t do something other than grow when you connect with yourself and remove decades of shame and guilt to touch yourself.
Masturbating is a revolutionary act, so we need to do more of it.
I’m sure Remy had no idea all of this would come out of a podcast designed to make her cum and laugh. But she created this safe space by talking about her life, her experiences, her relationship, and the relationship with herself in a very intimate journey. She is brave and vulnerable like we should all be with our sexuality, and it is changing lives all over the world because women everywhere needed to hear this.
The best way to go through this is with this humble guide that “only” did the one thing many of us fail to do. She was human. So once again, Dear Remy, thank you very much for being so brave in facing yourself publicly and letting us all join your journey while making our own.
Thank you for being yourself.