Popaganda: Let’s Talk about (Talking About) Sex

Popaganda’s HEAT season marches on this week—and walks right into the bedroom. In the second episode, we talk to sex educators, sex-positive feminists, and writers covering (you guessed it) sex about the language of desire, how language shapes rape culture, and how we can build a better sexicon.

Ten years ago, Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape, a groundbreaking feminist anthology, rewrote the script on sex. However, in the midst of the #MeToo movement, it’s clear that we’ve all still got a lot of work left to do to change the conversations we’re having around desire and sexuality in order to smash shame, shatter silence, and end violence. So host Carmen Rios decided to pull a Carrie Bradshaw—and ask experts what it will take to finally make it happen.

In this episode, Amanda Montell, author of Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language, breaks down the sociolinguistic power of talking about sex differently. Sex educator and former rape-crisis counselor Mala Munoz connects the dots between preventing violence and teaching kids about sex in a classroom free from shame. Playboy’s features editor—and a former Ms. magazine editor—Anita Little calls for a feminist sexual revolution, and shares her strategy for pulling in the folks who need to get on board to instigate it. And Jaclyn Friedman, coeditor of Yes Means Yes and author of What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety, reflects on the last 10 years in sexual empowerment and envisions what could come next.

Along the way, Carmen looks back on her own feminist awakening and coming-of-sluttiness—and realizes just how necessary sexual liberation is to smashing the patriarchy.

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by Carmen Rios
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Carmen Rios is the host of Bitch’s Popaganda podcast. She’s also the Managing Digital Editor at Ms. magazine and co-host of Trigger Happy, a weekly webseries about women’s issues on Binge Network. She has been described as “petulant and idiotic,” “intimidating to some,” “vapid and uninteresting” and “brazenly misandrist.”