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New podcast brings conversations about sex to the forefront

 May 16, 2023 at 12:48 PM PDT

S1: It's time for Midday Edition on KPBS. The new podcast , Everybody's Doing It with Missile Alley explores sexual health. We'll talk about it. I'm Jade Hindman. The Thursday Conversations that Keep you informed , inspired and make You think. It's something most people do yet rarely talk about in the open.

S2: It's like a PSA , you know , like let's everybody's doing it and we're all having fun with it. And if you're not , you should be sex.

S1: And it's benefits to the mind body and overall wellness.

S3: I mean , from a health care perspective , just I mean , sex is beneficial to your mental well-being , your physical well-being , your cardiac health.

S1: The new KPBS podcast that lifts the taboo around sex. That's ahead on Midday Edition. A note to listeners. Today's conversation is about sex. Some content may not be appropriate for children. Sex. Everyone is doing it , but no one really talks about it , at least not publicly yet. The cultural influences on sexuality and the role sex plays in our daily lives shapes who we are. So exactly how do we bring up a topic that's so basic to our being yet considered so taboo ? While a new KPBS podcast is doing just that , it's called Everybody's Doing It with Ms..

S4: Lolly , I have this phrase saving the world one orgasm at a time because we often think our sex lives are superfluous. They're extra , they're not important to pleasure in general is often viewed as who's got time for that ? I'm busy raising my kids. I'm busy making a living When we don't allow ourselves to feel pleasure. We're just we're sort of flat. We're not living our best lives.

S1: Miss Lolly is a licensed marriage and family therapist who uses her expertise to create a safe space for intimate conversations with strangers. She is joining us along with a couple of guests from our episodes. Mistress Sweet Tea , who is a dominatrix , is featured on the episode called Old Folks Like Sex two. And Nurse Ryan , who is a sex and disability advocate featured on the episode called Sex and Disability. Welcome to you all. It's really great to have you on Midday Edition.

S2: Thank you.

S1: Miss Lolly , I'm going to start with you first.

S2: I like to keep my professional therapist life separate from this life. So Ms.. Lolly is a name that I've had since I was little. My family has called me Lolly since my sister was two. And everybody that is close to me calls me Lolly. So I became Miss Lolly about 20 years ago , and so that's my other life.


S2: But if I'm going to be publicly honest and open , I like the idea that the people that I work with professionally , that I'm there for them and that they're not there for me , you know what I mean ? And so if they know too much about me , then I may not be able to do my job properly for them. So I like Ms.. Lolly and Ms.. Lolly is so much a part of who I am that it it follows me on stage when I play music. It follows me at home with my close friends and family. So yeah , I get to feel very much so myself as Ms..

S1: Lolly Yeah. Okay. So I mean , everyone is thinking about and talking about sex behind closed doors , but your podcast offers people a chance to move those conversations out into the open.

S2: We are all doing it , you know , and even if you're not doing it , you are consciously not doing it. It's like a choice you make , like being vegan. It's not something that you just never think about. And so the fact that there are so many taboo things out there is really kind of sad to me. And I would love it's like a PSA , you know , like let's everybody's doing it and we're all having fun with it. And if you're not , you should be. And here are some people to talk to who can help you figure out how to have more fun in your sex life.

S1: I mean , why do you think so much taboo exists around the topic of sex when I mean , well , everyone's doing it.

S2: Oh , there's so many reasons for that culturally , you know , religiously. There's a lot of shame attached to sexual acts and , you know , a lot of focus on on sex being just for a couple or a married couple or procreation. It's supposed to be done a certain way. And a lot of people have have emotional damage from those boxes that they're put in and that their sexuality is put in. And I also feel like culture , our society makes money off of people having shame in some ways , you know , So there's a big industry out there telling you how you're supposed to feel about yourself. And they they function off of us not feeling very good about ourselves. And so having people talk about sex openly and describe their own personal experiences , it makes it just more accessible. And then you get to kind of just live in your own skin and go , Yeah , I am sexy in my skin , I am sexy when I do this thing or that thing. And it's okay that I enjoy this.

S1: It's empowering to have these conversations. I mean , do you think that this shame and this hush hush attitude towards sex is just.

S2: And where it's not shameful and where it's celebrated like it should be.

S1: And Mr. Sweet. I see you nodding your head there.

S5: Uh , I do agree that it is not just an American thing. I would say in more patriarchal cultures there tends to be a lot of shame , especially around women. And tied with that , our beauty standards and ageism that are often tied to women and some religious cultures. There is some shame and things tied around. You know , sex is for procreation and abstinence and marriage. And we're starting to see some waves of that in the current polarized society we're in with these laws that we have around our bodies and reproduction. But there are other cultures around the world that explore and welcome sex and sexual objects are very common. Hinduism , Buddhism , Taoism. You know , it's not uncommon to be in Bali or Indonesia and see penises as like charms available , like wooden charms or keychains or souvenirs. And it's , it's , it's a culturally acceptable thing. And you see statues of people embraced in different , you know , different acts and different like lovemaking positions. And as Ms.. Lawley said , it's celebrated. But then there are very repressive cultures in other parts of the world for women where they can't show their bodies and they basically don't have sexuality. Their sexuality is owned by , you know , their husband or their their family. And that's very unfortunate.


S3: I mean , as a woman with a disability , I kind of come from a background , whereas I am not expected to have sexual thoughts or feelings because of my disability. I use a wheelchair. And suddenly as soon as I was on four wheels instead of two legs , it was like all aspect of my sexual. My sexuality was non-existent and no longer mattered. I have been a wheelchair user for the past five years , but I've been working in health care for the last 15. And so I also saw that throughout my healthcare career that there as soon as we see people with chronic illnesses , any kind of physical differences , suddenly that sexuality is taking into question so much more to the fact that for me and my advocacy work , you know it and it really doesn't matter as far as borders go , like anywhere around the world , like find me a place where a disability is , you know , accepted as people who are allowed to be sexual. And so I definitely agree and I agree with today's culture where any interesting spot where people who were previously neglected as far as being thought of as sexual beings are kind of coming out of the woodwork and saying , hey , you know what ? No , I am here and I am deserving of pleasure and of love.

S1: And Ms.. Lolly , you know , you're a marriage and family therapist.

S2: Just like question , answer , question , answer. It's more meant to be like , Here's a setup for a conversation , and then I'll go through and I'll edit the conversation and pick the pieces out. But really , I'm not asking for an answer to a question. I'm looking for a full blown conversation where that might end up someplace different from where we started. And I feel like the place that we end up is where the real conversation needs to be had. Sometimes we're talking for two hours and I got to find ten minutes out of that two hours. But the real , real stuff is in the nooks and crannies. Even sometimes when I'm like , All right , we're done , I'm going to turn off the microphone and then we're still talking. And I'm like , No , wait , I'm turning it back on , you know , because now we're going , Now we're getting , we're getting cooking like and if there's laughs , I know that we're also doing we're doing something good for a good service , public service , because we are really bringing the joy of sex into the conversation.

S5: I want to echo something Ms.. Lawley said. I found when screening clients , they come to me and they say certain things , but they're not used to talking about sex. We're not used to. Having these conversations and we're not comfortable using the language sometimes that we need to We don't know the language to use. Right. So it seems , especially talking to older gentlemen , they're very uncomfortable with some of the language and they don't know also if they're saying like appropriate PC language as well. So when it comes to seniors , they know what they like and they know physically what they like and they know visually what they like. But you have to really have open conversation with open ended questions. And sometimes people will present to me they're heteronormative. But I kind of like this little kinky stuff. I want to try this. And then it's a full blown 360. They actually want something completely different than what they came to me for and they know why they came to me. It just took all this stuff to get it out. And I also find with females , sometimes it's even harder because they don't know how to describe the pleasure that they want and they don't know how to describe this feeling that they have. A lot of times women want to be submissive , but it's not something that they can do in their normal lives in a way that's accepted. But it's funny because we often think or we say or we identify as something because that's what we're used to saying in our vanilla or regular persona , identify as a strong female or what have you. But when it comes to sex and intimacy and pleasure , we have maybe the total opposite. And that's perfectly fine. And it takes exploration often to find that. But we don't often have language , and I'm sure Ryan can relate to that in the medical field that you often have a hard time talking with people sometimes that aren't in connection with their body or in touch with their body , or they don't know how to describe their body and mental failing. Sometimes they don't have the language around it.

S3: Oh , absolutely. I mean , time and time again. And that , interestingly enough , for me , wasn't even just my patients. I was finding this in my practitioners and my physicians. And if I had a patient that was here , you know , for something even remotely sexual , they were just so incredibly uncomfortable broaching that information , especially with somebody who is either sick or disabled or some reasons and hospitalized to the point where I had to be like , guys , we went to med school for a reason. We can talk about like talk about sex , like grown ups. But it really is just this this stigma that it doesn't matter really who you are or what your background is. We have this just idea surrounding sex that it's something that it's taboo. We are not allowed to talk about it. We're not supposed to ask questions. You certainly shouldn't be asking your doctor sex advice. Oh , my goodness. So I have clients that come to me that are in their 20s and 30s , 40s , born with a disability , who have never had a medical or health care practitioner discuss sex or intimacy or anything safe sex discussions or even anything other than that. And with , you know , disability , you're coming into play with different types of sensation , different ability levels , different things that you would call quote unquote , sex. It takes discussion. But as a unfortunately , as a as a community , as a country , right now , I work heavily with the medical practitioners I run into. But it's just something you see across the board. It's this just general feeling of uncomfort. And I think that's why I absolutely adore being on as well as podcast , because it is a subject that is so near and dear to my heart. And I grew up with a family that just talked about sex like it was talking about was for dinner. But not everybody grew up like that. And so having access and seeing that those people do exist and that is a way that you can live just helps kind of open that door and give a little bit more of a comfort level.

S1: We'd love to hear from you all. What are your thoughts on sex and what does it mean in your life ? Give us a call at (619) 452-0228. You can leave a message or you can email us at midday at

S3: Coming up , I mean , just that act of exploring is a part of getting to know yourself. But I feel like we overlook a lot.

S1: More of our conversation when we come back. You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. Welcome back to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman , joined by the host of Everybody's Doing It with Miss Lolly and some of her guest featured on her show , Nurse Ryan and Mistress Sweet Tea , A note to listeners. Today's conversation is about sex. Some content may not be appropriate for children. Nurse Ryan , are there any stories that you've heard from patients that have really resonated with you ? Absolutely.

S3: One that I bring up a lot , and I have permission to tell this story because it was quite a few years ago I was working at a teaching hospital , and I remember my patient had advanced multiple sclerosis. So she was bedbound. She was maybe in her early 50s. She was in a long term committed marriage , very healthy sex life , no issues. Husband was her full time caretaker , didn't think anything of it until the medical students arrived at my office door asking , Hey , you know , we were worried that this patient has been sexually assaulted. I said , What ? Like I just gotten out of the room ? Yes , she is Bedbound , but she's completely alert and oriented. Her husband is a caretaker. I said , what ? What made you think that this woman is has been sexually assaulted ? You know , that's quite quite an accusation. They said , well , her labs and her chemistry and her urine is coming back with things in it that would only be there if she was sexually active. And so I'm just staring at him , staring at him , said , okay , did you ask the patient if she was sexually active ? She's been married for 30 years. He said , Well , did you ? She's she's bedbound. She uses a wheelchair. I'm sitting there in a wheelchair looking at him going , So march back down there and asked that poor woman if she is having sex with her husband before you start accusing him of sexually assaulting her. Sure enough , she thought luckily got a huge kick out of it , thought it was hilarious and why she allows me to tell this story. But it was just so comical because it was just absolutely out of the realm of possibility that this woman who was so far advanced in her diagnosis could possibly be thinking about pleasure or sexuality.

S1: Yeah , that's a huge misconception that folks with disabilities aren't enjoying sex and can't enjoy sex. What other misconceptions do you all find when having conversations with people ? Ms.. Lawley , I'll start with you.

S2: Well , I mean , those misconceptions are the entire point of this podcast , this sex and disability , sex and age , you know , sex with yourself , sex , you know , kinky sex , whatever it is. I think there's misconceptions with that come with all of that. And I think the biggest one , I guess , would be that everybody that not everybody is doing it , you know what it's like. But yeah , yeah we are , you know , or that if you are into things that are not using the term the norm because I feel like the norm is kinkier than people think , you know , like it's just nobody's talking about it. So like if you really ask people like , what are your kinks ? More people than you think are into some stuff that's fun and exciting and and not , you know , missionary with your clothes on and the lights off.

S1: Right , Right. And now mistress , sweet tea. I've got to rewind it because you mentioned BDSM first.

S5: And what that means is that people have other types of activities that are sexually erotic to them and they can include any of all of those areas. There is a big mental component to BDSM as well as a physical component. Oftentimes there is not penetrative sex involved with BDSM and that is one of the reasons why I have most of my clients over the age of 40. The misconception around BDSM that I want to speak on today , actually there are two of them. One is that people are mentally damaged , abused or mentally ill that participate in BDSM. That is not the case. Um , the second thing is that BDSM is all about violence and it is not empowering to women. Clearly I'm here to say it is very empowering to women and you don't even have to be in a power role like I am as a dominatrix.

S1: Well , I mean , okay , so you are a dominatrix and you were featured in this this episode. Old folks like sex , too. How did those two things come together ? Because there is a huge misconception that those two things don't go together.

S5: So the misconception. Number one that comes to mind is that old people aren't interested in sex and stop having sex and that things don't work and that ageism is kind of tied to that's gross And we don't talk about that. And specifically , women are thought to lose interest in sex after menopause or in perimenopause. And in fact , health wise , you know , Nurse Ryan can speak on that. You know , as she said , talking to a doctor about sex. Forget it. So things change as you age , right ? Ed is a problem for men and vaginal dryness is a problem for women. Well , there are many things you can do to help those issues , but also you can explore other things. And intimacy is important to be refreshed and maintained at any age and whether you find new ways new. And we said something on the podcast about old dogs , new tricks and new toys. If you find new ways through BDSM or using toys or using role play or using different types of activities that are not the typical missionary , you know , penetrative sex because your body maybe doesn't tolerate that anymore , then that is still an intimate and physical and pleasurable sensation. Most of my clients are over the age of 40 , although I do say clients that are 18 and up , I find that older people are more comfortable for various reasons and start exploring kinks and other activities in BDSM. They are retired oftentimes , so they have time and money to spend on these activities as well. I also have a 27 year age gap in my relationship , so have a partner that's much older than myself and we have sex multiple times a week and there's a misconception that we don't have regular sex and then we don't have sex at all or other things around that.

S1: I'm curious from all of you , you know , like Ryan , for example , you are a disability and sex advocate.

S3: My bachelor's was in human sexuality and I was fascinated with just understanding why sex was such a taboo subject. And when I was diagnosed with my disability , Ellas Danlos syndrome when I was 16 , I kind of started to slowly realize the same thing. Whereas people with disabilities in movies , you know , music videos , what have you , they're never the sexy one. They're never the one that is the desirable one. You're the one you feel sorry for and all of that. And so when I went looking for information for myself as a patient as far as sexual changes , I should expect on the line , you know , anything like that. I was horrified to find out that there was little to none. And so my advice to people who are new and wanting to explore further in any kind of sexuality , whether it be BDSM or just interested in what's out there , I say explore. There are so many incredible resources out there like this Lollies podcast. I have my own video series that I started because of this that is specifically only about the intersection of disability and sexuality. And speaking to that.


S3: So the one place that you think of as being sexual , you're like , Well , that's right out. That doesn't work like it's supposed to anymore. The thing is , those same medications that we are prescribing for our older generations , there are medications that can be prescribed for our disabled people with penises. We have the same misfires , dryness , medications. The thing from that is there so much more to sexuality and intimacy. And a lot of times with a neurologic issue like a spinal cord injury , you're the things that you're finding pleasurable , you're touches. They're completely different. Now. You may have been someone who was very , very into kisses on your inner thigh , for example. Well , you can't feel that anymore. So we have to change that , find it up. And your body is full of erogenous zones that no one thinks of behind the knees and inside of your elbows. I mean , just anywhere. I've had clients that now , since there's spinal cord injury , they can reach an orgasm at state just from being kissed on the neck or playing with their nipples because that's what they have left to work with. There's also just broadening the mind as far as what you are thinking of as sex. Helps tremendously. So if you can't have traditional penis vagina intercourse , like you are saying , you know , there's just there are toys , there are , you know , verbal play , there's sensory play in general with a disabled population , I often turn them towards BDSM specifically for the sensory play issues that people get turned off. They see BDSM , they think , well , I don't want to be whipped and chained. No , there's so much more to it. And so I always encourage to just research , look and see what what's out there , what the possibilities truly are , because there's more out there than one would think.


S2: You know , to just be honest with yourself about your needs and wants and desires so that you can feel safe in exploring and , you know , because then you can open conversations , you can look for the toys , you can , you know , look at different types of porn. You can meet people and try to make connections. But first you have to be okay with the fact that that's something that you need in your life.


S5: Just do it. If you want to say what it feels like for nipple stimulation , just try it. If you aren't sure and you want to do something more complicated , you can find it on the internet , you can find it literature , you can find things about it. Simply just think about what you would like to try. What turns you on ? What's interesting to you , what's curious to you or what feels good to you. Spend some time exploring in your body and feeling good. You don't have to have a partner to do that. The other advice I would give for people that are as they're starting to age or change and believe me this with our stress these days , this can happen earlier than you think is a big problem for men. And women should encourage them to , you know , explore and find ways to navigate that. On the other side of that , women don't think that you are not sexy just because you are an age or a certain size , or you put on weight or you don't. You know , just because you don't make babies anymore , you don't have to worry about that anymore. Now it's about you and it gets greater later. To quote my friend Mr. Fabulous , Ms.. Baby Smith , it gets greater later. And you don't have to worry about all that. You can just be fully yourself and a beautiful woman and know that your pleasure is your partner's pleasure. That's the other piece of advice I have. But if you don't have a partner , that's okay to find something you want to try and explore it.

S1: You mentioned many men who have to navigate erectile dysfunction , and there are pills for that. But what about women who are post-menopausal , menopausal and in perimenopause who might be experiencing vaginal dryness ? It's hormonal and some things work and some things don't work.

S5: Hormones are something that are often discouraged for women , and that is a controversial subject that each person needs to make their own choice in getting hormone replacement therapy. But you can also buy copious and endless amounts of lube and find the one that works for you. At the end of the day , there should never be vaginal dryness and sexual play because they make lube all day long.

S2: I always say coconut oil you can get at a supermarket. It's , you know , absorbs into your skin. It smells good , taste good.

S1: And Nurse Ryan is over here in the Amen corner. Oh , yes , absolutely.

S3: I'm so for this. It's the first thing I tell all of my clients is lube.

S2: At the at the end of the day , it's supposed to be play. You know , this is just play. And whether you're with yourself , with a partner , with multiple partners at any age , any body , we deserve to have fun , you know , And the more you get to play , I feel like the happier your life is and whatever that play is to you. Mhm.

S1: Mhm. Yeah. So , I mean , Ms..

S2: But it's just , you know , you're a human and , and every human has sexuality in some form and that it's just part of who we are. And so exploring it and really diving into it is it just makes your life better.




S3: I mean , from a health care perspective , just I mean , sex is beneficial to your mental wellbeing , your physical well-being , your cardiac health. I mean , it helps balance your hormones. It releases oxytocin no matter your orgasm or not. I mean , the list of positive attributes of sexuality is just absolutely lengthy , but also just the peace of mind with someone who is learning to be comfortable enough to kind of explore their own sexuality and really get to know those sides of themselves , whether it's just what they like self-pleasure , what they like with other people , different things they've never thought about. I mean , just that act of exploring is a part of getting to know yourself that I feel like we overlook a lot. And.

S1: And. Mr. Sweet.

S5: Well , I think as we're living longer , we need to really embrace our sexual health and our sexual wellness and pleasure in general because of several different reasons. We know studies show that social connection is a key factor into aging well and better outcomes long term. And we also know that people who feel pleasure in their bodies tend to take better care of themselves. And I'm not saying you have to eat a certain diet way , a certain way and all none of that. I'm just saying when you feel pleasure and I made it a goal to have pleasure in my body every day. And that tremendously changed things for me , even as a middle aged woman having a different mindset. But we're living much longer. So the fact that , you know , we could spend a lot of our lives in as women in perimenopause and menopausal , we could spend more time now , as we live longer , with these new advances in health care and longevity and healthy living , we could spend more time as a perimenopausal menopausal woman then as a fertile woman. Now , that would be a damn shame to not have a sexual life for more of your life than not. Ms..

S1: Ms.. Lolly , I'll give you the final word here.

S2: I mean , they did a beautiful job of explaining the medical side of it , the physical side of it , the emotional side of it. And I just feel like it is a big part of who we are in general. And smashing it down or putting it in a box is , um , is really just diminishing a big portion of who we are. If we're going to live our best lives , we have to live our best sex life too.

S1: I've been speaking with Miss Lolly , the host of the new KPBS podcast. Everybody's doing it with Miss Lolly , along with Mistress Sweet Tea and Nurse Ryan , who are both featured in this season of the podcast. New episodes are released every Thursday. Find everybody's doing it with Ms.. Lolly on all podcast platforms. And again , thank you all for joining us today.

S6: Thank you. Thank you.

S5: Thank you so much.

S1: We'd love to hear your thoughts on today's show. Give us a call at (619) 452-0228. You can leave a message or you can email us at midday at And if you ever miss a midday show , you can find the podcast on all platforms. I'm Jade Hindman. Thanks for listening.

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An undated photo of two people holding hands.
Gregory Bull
An undated photo of two people holding hands.

Sex is something most people do, yet rarely talk about in the open. A new KPBS podcast looks to lift the taboo around sex.

We hear from the host of the new podcast "Everybody's Doing It With Miss Lolly", as well as some of the guests included in its first season.


Miss Lolly, host of "Everybody's Doing It With Miss Lolly"

Nurse Ryan, guest, "Everybody's Doing It With Miss Lolly"

Mistress Sweet T, guest, "Everybody's Doing It With Miss Lolly"