join the Love Bird email list.

Twice-monthly reminders that love is for you.

How To Be An Ethical Hookup with Yana Tallon-Hicks

Subscribe on Spotify
Subscribe on Google Podcasts
Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Click for other subscription methods

I’ve always considered myself to be an ethical hookup. Until I came across this list that sex educator, therapist, and columnist Yana Tallon-Hicks posted on her Instagram. After looking at the 11 ways of being a more ethical hookup, I realized I had a bit of work to do. But let’s be honest, we all do.

So I drove to western Massachusetts to sit with Yana and go over this ethical hookup list. You’ll learn how to share your STI status, how to consider others’ feelings, how to respect your and your partner’s boundaries, and more. Don’t miss this one, this is the sex ed we should have gotten in school.

Here’s the ethical hookup list that teenagers aged 16-19 came up with during their summer camp Sex Talk.

Ethical Hookup

The Ethical Hookup Key Takeaways (or what we talk about in the show)

  • 1How to bring up your STI status and a sexual health script
  • 2Know and be clear about your intentions ie. If you’re a one-night stand person – say it.
  • 3How to respect your own boundaries and your partners boundaries
  • 4How to seek ongoing consent in a hot sexy way

The Ethical Hookup Show Notes and Resources

Yana Tallon-Hicks is a couples & relationships therapist and a consent, sex & sexuality writer and educator living in Western Massachusetts. Her work centers around the belief that pleasure-positive & consent-based sex education can positively impact our lives and the world.

Find her on her website and on Instagram.

Find all the great Oh Joy Sex Toy comics and toy reviews on the web here.

Check out here  Ted Talk: Is the Porn Brain our new Sex Educator?

This show has been produced by Shaun Galanos with help from Gilford Street Studios.

The Ethical Hookup Transcript

Yana Tallon-Hicks: My name is Yana Tallon-Hicks. I use she/her pronouns. I’m a sex educator, sex columnist and therapist. We are going to talk about how to be an ethical hookup and we’re also probably going to talk about a lot of offshoots.

Shaun Galanos: Let’s get into how to be an ethical hookup and why it’s important to be an ethical hookup. Shall we go down the list?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: This list was actually made by a group of teenagers 16 to 19 years old at a summer camp that I used to go to, and this summer camp is one of those sort of colty sort of camps in a way where you go there as a teenager, which I did; then you end up working on staff; which I did; and now I just go back every couple of years and I do their sex talk. I just actually did it yesterday.

So this was part of our pre-camp planning session. So what you do is you go with some of the campers that are in staff sort of positions. They’re called spirits. They’re like youth leaders. It’s very darling. So the spirits and the other staff members and I came up with this list.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah, all of it. So I think that young people actually are the best people to be telling us about what makes an ethical hookup. I think they know, maybe more than we do. I think having adult guidance when making these lists is always a good idea, but this content was really from them.

Shaun Galanos: Why is it important to be an ethical hookup?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I mean, I think it’s important because, first of all, we fuck it up all the time. Second of all, hooking up should be fun and positive and there are too many avenues for it to be negative and shitty, as we know. And also, being ethical as a human being is something we should be striving for. I don’t think it’s anything that we ever hit. I look at this list and I’m like, “Oh, have I done all of these 11 points every single time I hook up with somebody? No.”

Shaun Galanos: Definitely not. I mean, I don’t know that you don’t, but I definitely don’t. I think I’m pretty ethical but I have work to do.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Okay. Same.

Shaun Galanos: Okay, great.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: But I’m more ethical than you, probably.

Shaun Galanos: Definitely. There’s no doubt about that. Why though?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Probably because of our social position in the world.

Shaun Galanos: What is your social position?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I’m a woman and you’re man.

Shaun Galanos: Right. That’s true. And how does that make me less ethical?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Because you have been raised with a certain set of power standards that probably let you breach ethics more often without you thinking about it.

Shaun Galanos: So I had a recent conversation with someone that said that men and boys are conditioned to push boundaries until we reach…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Your goal.

Shaun Galanos: Well, until we reach our, yes, the goal or some significant pushback.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Mmm.

Shaun Galanos: Because people don’t do what is in this list. They don’t talk about their intentions and their boundaries. We’re getting better, but historically men have been taught to just…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Achieve.

Shaun Galanos: To do whatever you can to get that thing.

Click below to read the full transcript.

Read The Full Ethical Hookup Transcript here.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: My name is Yana Tallon-Hicks. I use she/her pronouns. I’m a sex educator, sex columnist and therapist.

Shaun Galanos: What are we talking about today?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: We are going to talk about how to be an ethical hookup and we’re also probably going to talk about a lot of offshoots.

Shaun Galanos: Let’s do it. I love offshoots.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Because I cannot stay on track to save my life.

Shaun Galanos: That’s my job.

Let’s get into how to be an ethical hookup and why it’s important to be an ethical hookup. Shall we go down the list?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Sure. Yeah. Well, can I tell you about this list?

Shaun Galanos: Well, I want you to tell me about the list and I want you to tell me about why it’s important for us to be an ethical hookup.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Sure. This list was actually made by a group of teenagers 16 to 19 years old at a summer camp that I used to go to, and this summer camp is one of those sort of culty sort of camps in a way where you go there as a teenager, which I did; then you end up working on staff; which I did; and now I just go back every couple of years and I do their sex talk. I just actually did it yesterday.

So this was part of our pre-camp planning session. So what you do is you go with some of the campers that are in staff sort of positions. They’re called spirits. They’re like youth leaders. It’s very darling. So the spirits and the other staff members and I came up with this list.

Shaun Galanos: Okay.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: And so they’re all younger folks, which is cool, because I think that a lot of the time adults don’t like to let younger folks be in charge of their own sex education, which is very misguided because we don’t know everything. Do you know everything?

Shaun Galanos: We’re also not doing a great job, historically.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: We’re not doing a great–look around.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Not even historically. Open CNN.

Shaun Galanos: Or right now.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Or right now.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, historically and right now.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah, all of it. So I think that young people actually are the best people to be telling us about what makes an ethical hookup. I think they know, maybe more than we do. I think having adult guidance when making these lists is always a good idea, but this content was really from them.

Shaun Galanos: Why is it important to be an ethical hookup?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I mean, I think it’s important because, first of all, we fuck it up all the time. Second of all, hooking up should be fun and positive and there are too many avenues for it to be negative and shitty, as we know. And also, being ethical as a human being is something we should be striving for. I don’t think it’s anything that we ever hit. I look at this list and I’m like, “Oh, have I done all of these 11 points every single time I hook up with somebody? No.”

Shaun Galanos: Definitely not. I mean, I don’t know that you don’t, but I definitely don’t. I think I’m pretty ethical hookup but I have work to do.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Okay. Same.

Shaun Galanos: Okay, great.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: But I’m a more ethical hookup than you, probably.

Shaun Galanos: Definitely. There’s no doubt about that. Why though?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Probably because of our social position in the world.

Shaun Galanos: What is your social position?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I’m a woman and you’re man.

Shaun Galanos: Right. That’s true. And how does that make me less ethical?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Because you have been raised with a certain set of power standards that probably let you breach ethics more often without you thinking about it.

Shaun Galanos: So I had a recent conversation with someone that said that men and boys are conditioned to push boundaries until we reach…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Your goal.

Shaun Galanos: Well, until we reach our, yes, the goal or some significant pushback.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Mmm.

Shaun Galanos: Because people don’t do what is in this list. They don’t talk about their intentions and their boundaries. We’re getting better, but historically men have been taught to just…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Achieve.

Shaun Galanos: To do whatever you can to get that thing.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah. Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: Until you receive pushback.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Sure.

Shaun Galanos: And then you can make a decision whether you care or don’t care.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Sure.

Shaun Galanos: Whether you’re an ethical hookup or not.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: Okay, so you’re right. You’re probably a more ethical hookup than I am.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: It’s okay. Don’t feel too bad about it.

Shaun Galanos: Let’s talk about something that I do know something about, which is step one, which is “know and share your STI/STD status.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: “Tell me what you know.”

Shaun Galanos: And “know and share ways of managing risk of transmission.” I think those…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: These two go hand-in-hand.

Shaun Galanos: They do go hand-in-hand.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: It’s a great conversation. These two go hand-in-hand. Yes, okay.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Mm-hmm.

Shaun Galanos: What do I know about this? Is that from a very early age, I was diagnosed with HPV when I was really young,as in I got warts and it was lame. I think I got it from the first person I hooked up with. I think…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I got HPV when I was 14 also.

Shaun Galanos: Well, okay, then you got it a year before–you win again.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yes! In your face.

Shaun Galanos: So I have had to have this discussion since an early age and I didn’t always–there were some years in my early teens where I wasn’t good at having this discussion. And so what I realized early on is that if I don’t bring up my status my partner won’t bring up their status, for the most part.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yes. I will often tell, and also I tell this to young people a lot and also–so part of my job is that I go around to high schools and colleges and I talk about consent and pleasure and sex toys and stuff like that. I don’t talk about sex toys with the high schoolers as much, college students for sure. But I usually talk to them a lot about how one person has the power to set the tone in a hookup scenario, right? So if we’re sitting here waiting for the other person to be consent-forward or ask about boundaries or share STI status, we’re like waiting for somebody to give us permission to do that, the other person, but we can do it. We can just be like, “Hey, consent’s really important to me. This is how I like to play.” And more often than not, the person that you’re hooking up with will follow suit. They’ll be like, “Oh, great. Cool. I want to talk about this stuff, too.” Or, they’ll be like, “Ew, consent?” and then you can be like, “Gross. I don’t want to hook up with you.”

Shaun Galanos: Right. Yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Or whatever.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: I mean, I found that when I am honest about my status it allows other people to be honest about their status.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Totally. Well, and it’s a shame-reducing practice.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, and normalizing.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: So the way I do it, before there’s any genital contact. It has to be before a zipper goes down.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah. Unzips.

Shaun Galanos: Unzips, or a hand goes up a dress or whatever.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Uh-huh.

Shaun Galanos: Because once that happens, it’s a lot easier to just kind of say, “Well, fuck it. We’re too far gone.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah. Your lusty brain is triggered.

Shaun Galanos: The lizard. Yeah, the lizard brain.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah. No, your lusty brain.

Shaun Galanos: My lusty brain.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Your lusty lizard.

Shaun Galanos: My lusty lizard. And I’ve been in that situation where we just kind of blew through the moment where it was the best time to have the talk, which is before you touch genitals.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah. Yes.

Shaun Galanos: And so I usually say, “This seems like a really good time to have a discussion about sexual health and sexual health practices and status,” and then I will say something like, “I’ll go first. I was last tested X months ago. I’ve had this many partners.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Oh, you give out your partner numbers?

Shaun Galanos: Since then, yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Oh, got you. I was like, wow, that’s so complete a dossier.

Shaun Galanos: Well, that’s too much. I think no one wants to know that number, actually.

“I’ve had two partners since then. We’ve practiced–we’ve used barriers for intercourse, no barriers for oral sex, but I knew their status as being negative,” and if I have a thing like, “Oh, I have HPV. I haven’t had a wart in however many months or years. And that’s what I know about my status. What about you?” And then they’ll tell me about them and then we can move that conversation forward into mitigating risk transmission. Because often, as someone who has HPV, people are curious about what that means and what their risks are.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I also find that, so I once hooked up with somebody who had an STI that was, I don’t even remember honestly which one it was, but they were like, “All right, this is the STI that I have,” and then they were like, “Here’s the deal. Here are our options on how we can proceed. We can do this with minimal risk. We can do this with medium risk. We can do this with high risk. Here are the ways that I tend to navigate those risks, da da da da da da da da,” and just like them having like a little package of, “Here are your options. Now that you know the elevated risk of this thing, here are the things that we can do.” And their confidence with it and them feeling safe with it and them knowing how to manage the risk of transmission just cooled my jets a lot. It made me feel really safe and comfortable with them. And I think it’s also like a shame-reducing thing to be like, “Here’s the deal and here’s how we can blah blah blah blah blah,” just like you might if you have strep throat or something. You’re going to be like, “Listen, we could make out, but I just want to let you know that I have strep throat.”

Shaun Galanos: Yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: ”So maybe we shouldn’t be hot and heavy making out. Maybe we can do a massage instead or whatever.”

Shaun Galanos: Mutual masturbation.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Mutual masturbation. “Let’s just ramp this shit up. I have strep throat. Let’s masturbate.”

Shaun Galanos: “We can fuck, just don’t kiss me.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: “Don’t fucking kiss me.”

Shaun Galanos: “And I won’t give you head.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: So in my experience, whenever I have told someone that I have HPV and I tell them what they need to know about it or what I know about it, because it’s hard to really know everything about it because there’s so much misinformation out there…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Oh, side note.

Shaun Galanos: Side note.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Do you follow Erika Moen’s comic, Oh Joy Sex Toy?

Shaun Galanos: No.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: You should.

Shaun Galanos: I will.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: They have really good, very short digestible comics about stuff like HPV, and I really like to give people comics and be like, “Here’s the deal.”

Shaun Galanos: “Go read this.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah. It takes five minutes.

Shaun Galanos: “I’ll be having tea in the bedroom. Come and find me.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: “Go read this comic.”

Shaun Galanos: “Come and find me.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Why can’t you read them together?

Shaun Galanos: Because maybe they’re going to have a reaction and you need to give them space, yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Okay, want to give them space. Okay.

Shaun Galanos: So in my experience, nobody, none of my hookups after I’ve given them the information, said, “Oh, I don’t really want to hook up with you anymore.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Uh-huh. Blinded by your good looks.

Shaun Galanos: Blinded by my good looks and my ability to communicate effectively.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: That’s probably really what it is.

Shaun Galanos: I mean, it helps.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Combo pack.

Shaun Galanos: Combo pack. Go ahead, drink your coffee.

Okay, so that’s part of being an ethical hookup, is knowing your status and being able to talk about it and also having transmission mitigation strategies and information.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yes.

Shaun Galanos: I feel complete about that.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Check. Next.

Shaun Galanos: Number three says, “Consider others’ feelings.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I love the jump from STIs to considering feelings.

Shaun Galanos: It’s nice.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: It’s so sweet.

Shaun Galanos: It’s very sweet.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Mm-hmm. It’s a good arc.

Shaun Galanos: So how does that play into the whole hookup scenario?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I mean, I think, okay, so keeping in mind that this was designed for teens, not that it doesn’t apply to all of us because it definitely does, but I think that teens in particular–well, I don’t even know if this is true. But you know, teenagehood is pretty complicated. There’s a lot happening.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: And I think that sometimes sex and sexual activity and hookups in general when you’re younger and when you’re older can really feel like it’s very focused on achieving a thing, like getting the thing. I think this is especially true for people raised as boys.

Shaun Galanos: Right.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Right? Like you were saying, designed to push, push, push until you get your goal.

Shaun Galanos: So how do we consider others’ feelings when we’re talking about hooking up?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I mean, I think sex and hooking up can mean a lot of things to a lot of people and I think that’s why “know and be clear about your intentions” comes after this one, is because some people feel like sex is very precious and it’s a connection and they’re going to feel attached to you and they’re going to want you to text them the next day or check up on you or wish them a happy fucking birthday or whatever; other people are just like, “Whatever. It’s raining. I’m bored. I’m going to go have sex with this person, la-di-da.” Both of those options and all the spectrum in between are totally fine. But I think if you’re not on the same page about that stuff, feelings are going to get hurt.

Shaun Galanos: If you’re someone who feels intensely about the person that you have sex with and you’re hooking up with someone who will do it because it’s rainy out and sees it as an extracurricular activity that doesn’t need to involve feelings, there can be a mismatch in how you’re going to feel after a hookup.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Expectations.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, and expectations and what the intention of the hookup is.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: And I think it’s okay to have a disproportionate amount of feelings being exchanged because we can’t be like, “Oh, do you feel a medium amount about me? Cool, me too.”

Shaun Galanos: Right.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: “Great. So now we’re even.” I don’t think that’s going to be how it works, but I think that letting people manage their own expectations is part of the deal. So if you’re leading somebody on and being like, “Oh yeah, we’re definitely going to go out to a romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day because we had sex three weeks ago,” that’s fucked up.

Shaun Galanos: Well, that’s where “know your intentions and be clear about them” comes into it, because I have struggled with how to be clear about the fact that if we’re going to have sex it might only be for one time.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Right.

Shaun Galanos: I think that’s a really hard one to say.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: How do you do that?

Shaun Galanos: Well, I’ve never really been that great at it.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: So what do you do?

Shaun Galanos: I don’t do it.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Confess your sins to me.

Shaun Galanos: I don’t do it.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: So you’re just cool–but you travel a lot, so are they really expecting you to be like…

Shaun Galanos: So they know. People know…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: There are some contextual cues?

Shaun Galanos: There are contextual cues. They also know that I’m not probably the guy that’s going to stay in the city that we’re in on my road trip and I’m just going to build a life with you.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Right. Mm-hmm.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, exactly. So there are some contextual cues and I think I sort of have a bit of a reputation that might precede me.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Your reputation precedes you.

Yeah, might precede me because I haven’t had a lot of partners in my life, especially in the last nine years.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Romantic partners, you mean.

Yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: We’re not talking about sexual partners.

Shaun Galanos: I’ve had a lot of those.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Okay, great.

Shaun Galanos: Not a lot of romantic partners.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Uh-huh.

Shaun Galanos: And I think people know that. I think if you know me for any length of time…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: That’s your deal.

Shaun Galanos: I mean, I desperately want a love partner.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Uh-huh. I mean, I could bill you later for this session because I ask questions.

Shaun Galanos: Okay. Actually, this whole thing was under the guise of getting a free session. “Oh yeah, we’ll record a podcast for sure.”

So I don’t say, “I find you incredibly attractive. I would be thrilled if we could have sex–I would just love that so much–and I want you to know that it might only be a one-time thing.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: You don’t say that.

Shaun Galanos: I do not say that.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Why not?

Shaun Galanos: I don’t know.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: You could.

Shaun Galanos: Because I’m scared of not getting…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Rejection.

Shaun Galanos: No, it’s not rejection. I’m scared of not getting what I want, which is different than rejection, I think.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Uh-huh. This is going to be a therapist question. What makes you so afraid of not getting what you want?

Shaun Galanos: Because I want sex. Well, okay, because I probably get validation from sex. Also, sex feels great.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: So what would you do? Let’s play out the scenario. Let’s say you’re like, “Listen, I think you’re incredibly attractive. I would love to have sex. It’s probably only going to happen once. Is that cool with you?” And the person was like, “Actually, it’s not cool with me. I want to get married,” or whatever. What would you do?

Shaun Galanos: I would say, “I am so not available for marriage with you right now and maybe in the future, I just don’t know. That’s not where I’m at right now. So I’m not available for potentially getting married to you. But I think you’re a smoke show and would love to have sex with you.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: And then that person’s like, “Sorry, hard no.”

Shaun Galanos: “Well, let’s high five and it’s a hard pass for both of us.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: And then what would you do?

Shaun Galanos: Hug it out and peace.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: And then what would you do?

Shaun Galanos: Meet somebody else.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Oh my God.

Shaun Galanos: Or not.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Or not.

Shaun Galanos: That’s the thing. That’s the concern, is that here’s a potential hookup that could be a hookup if I didn’t tell her that it was only going to be a one-time thing.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Right? Shitty informed consent practices.

Shaun Galanos: Very. Yeah, I agree.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Not considering other people’s feelings.

Shaun Galanos: And not being clear about my intentions.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Mm-hmm. But that makes sense. I think people get really attached to their game. Socially and culturally, we’re trying to be suave about shit.

Shaun Galanos: Mm-hmm. My game is to just say the thing.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah, just say the thing. And also, saying the thing is much better in terms of consent practices. I think being suave often buries the lead and I don’t think that’s very good consent work.

Shaun Galanos: What does burying the lead mean?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Burying the lead, meaning to be suave, to sort of more or less pretend like you’re not going to try to make out with somebody.

Shaun Galanos: Right.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: It’s like when you pick some lint off someone. You’re like, “Oh no, now I’ve fallen onto your mouth,” rather than just being like, “I think you’re hot. We should make out,” or whatever, or you can do it in a more suave way. It doesn’t have to be that blunt.

Shaun Galanos: Well, I did it recently where I asked someone if she would like to go out into the woods and make out with me.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I think that’s great game.

Shaun Galanos: And then she said yes, and then I said, “Should I have asked you this an hour and a half ago?” And she said, “Absolutely.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah, great. So cute.

Shaun Galanos: And that’s the thing. That’s just saying what you want.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: I mean, that’s part of being an ethical hookup, is being able to articulate what you want. First of all, figure it out, and then articulate in a way that’s not creepy.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yes. Okay.

Shaun Galanos: Okay, so know our intentions and…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: So now we all know that you’re one-night stand only and now you don’t even have to worry about it.

Shaun Galanos: I’m a one-night-stand-only guy except for I’m not.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Oh.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, I’m not. I was a one-night-stand…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Uh…

Shaun Galanos: Oh, is this awkward? One-day stand.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: One-day stand.

Shaun Galanos: I totally want partnership and…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: You’re just working on your blocks.

Shaun Galanos: I’m working on my blocks. And this was a fun…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Aren’t we all?

Shaun Galanos: This was out of the blue, totally not prepared, because I told you why, that there’s an extra added element of not being prepared at all.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Uh-huh.

Shaun Galanos: I didn’t bring condoms to the wedding.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Oh. Mm-hmm.

Shaun Galanos: Because I was like, that’s how far casual sex is in my mind now. It’s like I don’t even prep for it.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Oh.

Shaun Galanos: Though, I did shave my balls.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Weird.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: So part of you knew. Part of you was like, “I better shave these tan balls before I go to this wedding.”

Shaun Galanos: They were so tan and so hairy.

Shaun Galanos: All right. So we know about intentions.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Of your hairy balls.

Shaun Galanos: Of my hairy balls.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: You’re welcome to take that glow-in-the-dark condom with you. It’s been on my windowsill for two months.

Shaun Galanos: I have condoms.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: That one glows in the dark and is probably very faulty at this point.

Shaun Galanos: No, thank you.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Come on, roll the dice.

Shaun Galanos: It’s a no, thank you. I already did that recently, so I’m good.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Uh-huh. All right, cool.

Shaun Galanos: Anyways.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Anywho.

Shaun Galanos: Five and six.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Five and six.

Shaun Galanos: I feel like we can clump these together.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yes.

Shaun Galanos: Respect your own boundaries and respect your partner’s boundaries.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yes. Well, okay. So respecting your partner’s boundaries I feel like is definitely up in the cultural atmosphere these days what with all the consent work.

Shaun Galanos: Right.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: At least at my workshops. We’re usually there to talk about consent. But I think a lot of the times people actually breeze past “respect your own boundaries.” I don’t think people often check in with themselves about what their boundaries are all the time, in an intentional way. And I think that like you’re saying, “Know what you want, know what you don’t want, and then move forward with intention,” is part of the deal and you can’t really do that unless you’re thinking about what your actual boundaries are. And I think also when people hear “boundaries,” they hear some sort of Debbie Downer scenario. They’re like, “Oh, boundaries. That means where I can’t go.”

Shaun Galanos: “Yeah, your ass.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: “Oh, I’m sad.”

Shaun Galanos: I mean, boundaries could literally be, “I’m down for anything, please don’t touch my butt.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah. Totally. Or, boundaries can also be not negative. I think when people hear “boundaries” they hear, “No this, no that, can’t go here,” but boundaries can also be like, “I’m super-fucking into the Hitachi Magic Wand and I want to use it all the time. My enthusiastic yes is Magic Wand all the time.”

Shaun Galanos: Right.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: And it’s part of a negotiation process, right? So if my person is like, “I’m afraid of vibrators. I don’t want to use it.” Then it’s like, “Cool. That’s totally fine. You say the boundary, I say the boundary, now we’re somewhere in the middle.”

Shaun Galanos: “I’ll be over here with my wand…”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: “I’ll be over here with my wand. Don’t look at me. Don’t talk to me.”

Shaun Galanos: I agree about blowing past your own boundaries because we’re not used to figuring out what it is that we want and what we don’t want, and there’s this idea that sex is this. Sex is, “I blow you, I go down on you, you stick your penis inside me, you come, it’s over.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yes.

Shaun Galanos: Whereas that’s one very specific type of sex, and people feel like that’s how sex should go when really it can be anything.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yes. I agree with all of those points.

Shaun Galanos: Okay, great. And your point is?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: And my point is, respect your partner and their boundaries. No, but really I think that, okay, so I feel like one of the reasons why I’m being a little bit quiet about this point is because as a consent educator I can talk your entire face off about the finer points of consent.

Shaun Galanos: And you’re trying not to do that.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: And I’m trying not to do that. But I will say that I think that part of respecting our partners and their boundaries is building what I like to call a culture of consent, and part of that is if a partner shares with you, “I don’t want to do this thing,” or, “No, this is a boundary for me,” to acknowledge that that takes a lot of courage. Especially if you consider your social status and your social power, if someone is saying no to you or stating a preference, this could be really scary for that person and it’s really great to reward them by being like, “Great. Thank you for telling me that. What else would you like to do? What do you want to do instead?” Whatever, right? Instead of being like, “Aww, but I wanted to like, me.” I think the way that people respond to nose is really shitty a lot of the time.

Shaun Galanos: They’ll try to renegotiate.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah, or not even negotiate but just be coercive shitheads or just take it personally or make it about them when in reality your partner’s boundaries are about them protecting themselves. And so I think that rewarding that behavior more and more is really important.

Shaun Galanos: I’m an ethical hookup in this respect.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Okay.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Thank God.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, thank God. But what I mean is that when you tell me that this is a boundary for you, I always say, “Thank you so much for telling me.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Great.

Shaun Galanos: Because I don’t know unless someone tells me.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Totally.

Shaun Galanos: Well, first of all, I have to ask. That’s a great way of finding out stuff.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Right, asking questions.

Shaun Galanos: Asking questions is the the best way actually of learning things about your partner.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Even if you’re scared of getting an answer that you don’t want to hear.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah. That’s part of being an ethical hookup.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Like you saying, “I want this to be a one-night stand,” you’re scared of getting an answer you don’t want to hear.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah. Well, I don’t necessarily want it to be a one-night stand. It could be more than a one-night stand. It just might not be. I don’t know.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Okay. Wait, so can we go back then to knowing your intentions? Because this is something that was a little chat on my Instagram about “know and be clear about your intentions,” is that your intentions are like a moving target. So your intentions might change. You might go into it being like, “Oh, I’m a one-night stand dude. This is what I’m going to do, da da da.” But then you might be like, “Oh shit, I like this person. I wanna hook up with them again. Maybe I will move to their city or whatever.” You don’t know what’s going to happen.

Shaun Galanos: It changes.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: It changes.

Shaun Galanos: Just like boundaries change.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: Boundaries, even in the scope of a hookup, can change.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Sure. Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: Someone told me, “I will not suck your dick,” and I was like, “Great, no problem.” Halfway through the hookup, “Actually, I would really like to suck your dick,” and I’m not going to be like, “Uh, well, you said no, so it’s no.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: But you could, okay, so because people’s adrenaline gets elevated and their decision-making gets lowered.

Shaun Galanos: Hmm.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: If you heard someone say, “Okay, I’m definitely not going to do this thing,” and then you’re halfway through a hookup and they’re like, “Mmm, actually, I do want to do this thing,”

it’s not a bad idea to be like, “Hey, are you sure? Because you said earlier that you didn’t want to do that. Just checking in with you. I’m into it, but you said a thing…”

Shaun Galanos: Right. “Need I remind you?” Yeah.

This was a woman who had never slept with a man before and she was like, “I definitely don’t want to do oral sex. That’s not something I’m into,” and then halfway she was like, “Actually, that would be pretty exciting.” So who am I to not…?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: But at the end of day, she’s going to make her own decisions.

Shaun Galanos: Right.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: So you being like, “Just checking about this thing that you said,” isn’t the worst thing.

Shaun Galanos: It’s not the worst thing.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: No.

Shaun Galanos: Okay.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: But also, we’re not going to be flawless humans in every interaction.

Shaun Galanos: We’re not Beyonce.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: We are not Beyonce, sadly.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: No shame in your game.

Shaun Galanos: No shame in your game.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: And then subpoint, no slut-shaming.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah. What does that mean?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: What does that mean? It rhymes.

Shaun Galanos: It does.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I think “no shame in your game” means don’t be a shaming asshole.

Shaun Galanos: Oh, is that…? Oh, “no shame in your game.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah, your game. Your, what do you call it? What do you call it?

Shaun Galanos: Your steez.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Sure.

Shaun Galanos: Your way of interacting with people.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Your way of interacting with people that you want to bang.

Shaun Galanos: That you want to bang. There you go.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: It’s like “not be a shameful turd.” So don’t shame people for sharing their STI status. Don’t shame people for wanting what they want. Don’t yuck their yum, as I like to say.

Shaun Galanos: Right. When has shame ever been a good strategy for getting laid?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Oh, God. Never, I guess.

Shaun Galanos: So why would there be shame in your game? I think it’s just to make yourself feel better.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Well, it’s coercive. If you push on people’s shame buttons, they will feel shitty and act in a way to avoid the shame. So if the shame is like, “Oh God, I can’t believe you’re still a virgin,” then someone might be like, “Oh my God, you’re right. Being a virgin is shameful. Okay, fine. I’ll have sex.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah. Okay, that’s a good example.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah. And no slut-shaming. Obviously, don’t shame sluts for being sluts. Slut to slut, don’t shame me.

Shaun Galanos: So I have a pickup truck that I drive around Burning Man.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Of course you do.

Shaun Galanos: Yes. It’s my Burning Man pickup truck, and on the back of it it says, “S’up, sluts.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Whoa.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: No shame in that game.

Shaun Galanos: And I creep, I’ll just drive by people real slowly, I’ll be like, “What’s up?”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Wow.

Shaun Galanos: And then I’ll point to the back…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Does that work for you?

Shaun Galanos: No, I just keep driving. It’s not to pick up people. It’s just to say, “What’s up?” I used to do it with a friend of mine who’s also a rabbi. And so we’d just drive around real slow just being, “What’s up, sluts?” We just keep driving.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Wow.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, very…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I want to shame you for that game, but I’m going to resist the temptation.

Shaun Galanos: You can’t, because that’s number five.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I’m going to obey my own rules.

Shaun Galanos: You didn’t make this. Okay, so no shame in your game. I mean, number eight, honor consent and seek it actively and ongoingly.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Covered it.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, except for the ongoingly part.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Mmm. Yeah, what do you want to say about that?

Shaun Galanos: I want to say that–so the concept of seeking consent ongoingly is something that I have some practice in but that isn’t obvious. It’s not obvious to say every time, “Would you like me to continue?” or “Would you like me to?” or “What would you like me to do?” So, how can we get better at ongoingly seeking consent throughout the hookup?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I mean, I personally think that getting a enthusiastic affirmative feedback during sex is pretty great. So if I’m banging somebody and they’re just not making a peep, that’s concerning to me. I would much rather be like, “Hey, do you like what’s going on?” and have them be like, “Yup, sure do.” I just don’t think it’s that complicated. I think when people think about seeking consent ongoingly, they’re like, “Oh, womp womp.” It’s like this, “Oh, do I still have your consent?” and the person’s like, “Yup, you do. Continue.” It doesn’t have to be like that. It can be hot. It’s hot to be like, “Do you like that?” and have your person be like, “Oh my God, I love it so much!”

Shaun Galanos: “Do you want me to put my mouth on your pussy?”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah!

Shaun Galanos: “Do you want me to stick two fingers inside you and caress your G-spot?”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah. Yes. I mean, dirty talk can really be a part of it.

Shaun Galanos: The more I talk about sex, the more sex I have. Just side note.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: The better you are about talking about sex, the hotter it is. It turns people on, makes you an effective communicator.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: As in the older you get, the easier it gets to be good at sex.

Shaun Galanos: Sure, you have more experience.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Well, you have more experience, but you also know yourself better.

Shaun Galanos: Right.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I personally think that about myself.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Next.

Shaun Galanos: I’m going to jump and I’m going to connect consent and “seek it actively” with checking regularly.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yes. I support that.

Shaun Galanos: Because that seems to be the same thing, which is, “Are you still having fun? What can I do to make this more awesome? Do you want to take a break?” I’ve been enjoying breaks the older I get for sex.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah. Yes. Yeah, fruit. I like to eat fruit during breaks.

Shaun Galanos: Fruit, pastrami, whatever.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I like to have a blood sugar lifter and some water. Sometimes I like to talk about politics.

Shaun Galanos: That’s hot. Oh, if you’re too cranked up and you need to turn it down a little bit?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: No. I don’t know. Well, I think that people’s intelligence is very hot, so I like to hook up with intelligent smartypants.

Shaun Galanos: What’s that called?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Sapiosexual.

Shaun Galanos: Okay.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Even though I–honestly though, when people are like, “Oh, I’m a sapiosexual,” I’m like, “Duh, dude.” I don’t know. Maybe that’s what I take for granted. I’m like, who is not attracted to intelligence?

Shaun Galanos: Yeah. Well, some people just want to fuck and they don’t care if the person is smart or not.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I guess. Oh, jeez. Okay.

Shaun Galanos: I’ve been there. Come on, don’t shame. Let’s not shame nonsapiosexuals.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: No, you’re right. You’re right!

Shaun Galanos: Some people, they just want to get laid.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Whatever. So anyway, it’s part of my sexual experience to be like, “Oh, damn, you’re smart.”

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, and then engage in some smart talk to turn you on.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: I love breaks. I just think breaks are–it doesn’t have to go all the way through. We can take a break.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: You don’t have to take a break the whole time.

Shaun Galanos: We don’t have to take a break the whole time because that’s not having sex.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Five seconds and you’re like, “Oh, break time! Talk to me in two hours.”

Shaun Galanos: I mean, endurance. Also, I’m getting older and so there’s one. If I’m going to orgasm, it’s a one-orgasm situation. There’s no…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah, you need a break.

Shaun Galanos: Well, I need a break sometimes just to turn it down.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Your tan dick gets tired.

Shaun Galanos: Well, no it gets too excited.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I’m sorry, am I really crushing your high school shame?

Shaun Galanos: Is that a good thing?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: No, I’m asking you.

Shaun Galanos: There was no high school shame around my tan dick.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Oh, there wasn’t.

Shaun Galanos: I never cared.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Oh, you didn’t care?

Shaun Galanos: No.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Congratulations.

Shaun Galanos: If she had called me two-minute man because that’s what happened, that might have been different. But tan dick, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Okay, cool.

Shaun Galanos: Tan dicks of the world unite! I’m your spokesman.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Okay, I thought you were talking about it like that was a thing that they were calling you as a way to shame you and that you felt deep shame about your tan dick.

Shaun Galanos: I think they tried to and it didn’t work.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: It just bounced off your tan dick.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, exactly, my strong foreskin armor. I walked into a market and this guy was like, “What’s up, tan dick?” Actually was a girl. “What’s up, tan dick?” And I was like, “What’s up? That’s so weird that you know the color of my penis.” And that’s it. It didn’t really bother me.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Well, that’s good.

Shaun Galanos: Or maybe it did back then, I don’t remember and I used…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: You processed it.

Shaun Galanos: …drugs and alcohol to tamp it down. That’s when I discovered ecstasy at the same time also.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Your tan dick was on ecstasy.

Shaun Galanos: Well, not when I lost my virginity, but shortly thereafter.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Okay. That would have been wild.

Shaun Galanos: Oh, losing your virginity on ecstasy?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah. Don’t know anything about that. Anyways, I’ve never found that I wanted to have sex on ecstasy. I wanted to fucking dance my face off and chew my face off at the same time with glow sticks and a pacifier and Vicks VapoRub in my facemask…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: That’s how I lost my virginity, dude.

Shaun Galanos: No…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Shaun Galanos: People do it weird over here.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: You know what?

Shaun Galanos: I don’t want to yuck your yum.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: There’s something for everybody.

Shaun Galanos: All right. So, “know how to use a variety of safer sex tools and risk management techniques.” Oh, does that mean barriers and ways of protecting yourself?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: That is what that means.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: So, okay, for example, when I was talking about the person that had an STI and they were like, “Here are all the ways that we can manage this risk,” it was really great to know that information.

Shaun Galanos: What were the ways? Or how did they have the talk?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I mean, I don’t want to get too much into the details, but it was just about stuff that we can do, things that we can use, ways to manage the risk.

Shaun Galanos: Right. Why don’t you want to get into the details?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: It’s personal.

Shaun Galanos: Oh, but talking about that, I don’t want their name.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Are you pushing my boundaries until you experience pushback?

Shaun Galanos: No. I’ve been conditioned as a man and a boy.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah, well, here I am.

Shaun Galanos: I’m just curious…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Conditioning you to recondition.

Shaun Galanos: I’m curious what that dialogue looks like just in a general way, not that particular…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Well, so the dialogue looks like, okay, for example, let’s say that you do experience a herpes outbreak and you’re like, “Oh my God.” You’ve already had your really precious one-night-stand chat and then you’re like, “Listen, I’m in the midst of a herpes outbreak.” So we can’t do certain things without your risk being very high. Here are some ways that we can mitigate the risk. We could do this list of sexual activities. We could use these kind of barriers. We could blah de bluh de bluh.

Shaun Galanos: Right. Okay.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: You know what I mean?

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, have options and then present those options.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Blah de bluh de bluh is the official…

Shaun Galanos: I know. We’re really getting down to brass tacks here.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: That’s how I educate people. I’m like, “You’ll figure it out.”

Shaun Galanos: So know your risk, know the tools and know how to use them.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: Okay. Number 11, “ask for preference regarding pronouns, body parts, no zones, and triggers.” I have very little experience with this.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Mmm.Mm-hmm.

Shaun Galanos: Because I am a 99% hetero-cis dude.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: What’s the 1% about?

Shaun Galanos: I like blew some dudes just to see if I liked it. I thought I was gay for a long–I thought I might be gay for some length of time in my life.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Why?

Shaun Galanos: Because I was super-turned-on by penises, specifically…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Mmm. Like in porn?

Shaun Galanos: Well, there needs to be penis in my porn. Lesbian porn just doesn’t do it for me.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Lesbian porn or girl-on-girl porn? Because those are two different things.

Shaun Galanos: Girl-on-girl porn or girl-only porn.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Uh-huh.

Shaun Galanos: Penis-less porn doesn’t do it for me.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yes. Not even silicone dicks?

Shaun Galanos: Not even silicone dicks or phalluses.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Okay.

Shaun Galanos: So I gave it the good old college try.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yes.

Shaun Galanos: Several times, just to see, and it did not do it for me.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: And, nothing.

Shaun Galanos: Like sucking on an elbow. Yeah, like just not hot. So, I don’t have a lot of experience…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I would pay to see that.

Shaun Galanos: The elbow part?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yup.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, okay. Well, we can make that…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: You sucking on an elbow is doing it for me in my brain.

Shaun Galanos: I think a lot of people would like to see me give a blowjob. I’m pretty sure.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah!

Shaun Galanos: I think a lot of my followers.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Niche. I think you could really develop a good side biz.

Shaun Galanos: A side biz.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I know you were wondering how to beef up your Instagram presence.

Shaun Galanos: That might be a way.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: A number one piece of advice.

Shaun Galanos: Is start blowing dudes?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: And record it.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: Membership site.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: The Love Drive Blows America.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: So I don’t have a lot of experience asking people for their pronouns because I often just date cis women.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: So you think.

Shaun Galanos: So I think.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Because pretty soon we’re going to get to “respect the gender and sexuality identities of your partners and support their continued journey.”

Shaun Galanos: I love that.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: In the sex talk that I gave yesterday, we decided that, so this item says “ask for preferences,” we decided that it should be “ask for boundaries, needs and preferences” because preferences and pronouns, it’s not necessarily a preference.

Shaun Galanos: Right.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Right? It’s who you are.

Shaun Galanos: It’s the thing that you–it’s your identity.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah. So that was an edit that we liked to make. And also, triggers are very important. Triggers aren’t necessarily a preference, right? That’s a strong boundary. So what this means is, know your person. It’s really important to be like, “Hey, these are the types of things that we might do together. What are some places that you don’t want to go? Are there any body parts you don’t like to be touched? So you might be like, “Listen, I’m really into rough sex. These are the things that I’m into. Just don’t put your hand around my throat.” So that’s a no zone.

Shaun Galanos: Right. And they could say, “Rough sex actually is a trigger for me because of some of my past trauma. I don’t think I can actually fulfill that part of what it is that you want.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Totally. Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: “So if you’re okay with gentler sex that doesn’t involve slapping and calling you names, that would work for me as well.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Well, and also, who wants to fucking trigger somebody that they are sleeping with? That’s terrible. It’s terrible for them and it’s terrible for you.

Shaun Galanos: It doesn’t sound hot.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: It’s not hot. So know that situation before you walk into it.

Shaun Galanos: I mean, this also is just more communication.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: A lot of these is “learn how to ask and talk about sex,” which is, this stuff can be very intimate and it could lead you into vulnerable territory, especially when you’re talking about no zones and triggers, because sometimes there’s an explanation behind that trigger or that no zone.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Mm-hmm.

Shaun Galanos: And so that stuff can be a little tricky in a hookup if it’s your first time hooking up with somebody, although being an ethical hookup doesn’t mean that this is just a one-night stand. You can be an ongoing hookup.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah.

Shaun Galanos: But all this to me means that it becomes more intimate. So learn how to ask about pronouns, body parts, no zones, and triggers.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Well, and the nice thing about ongoing hookups, I don’t know if you know this…

Shaun Galanos: Uh-huh. Nice.

Shaun Galanos: I want an ongoing hookup. I really do. I totally want a partner.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Maybe your next podcast should be, “How do I remove my blocks at having an ongoing hookup?”

Shaun Galanos: I’m working with my therapist on that.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Oh, good.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, of course. And I met a friend who lives next door to me and she does, osteopathy?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I don’t know what that is.

Shaun Galanos: It’s a thing that people do in Canada. It’s not that popular over here. But it’s a form of bodywork.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Okay. You’re releasing your trauma?

Shaun Galanos: Mm-hmm, and my blockage, and she did a little heart check and she put her hand on the front of my chest and the back…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Uh-huh, and?

Shaun Galanos: And yeah, kind of squeezed the heart.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: How’s it going?

Shaun Galanos: She said she undid some sticky stuff.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah?

Shaun Galanos: Yeah. She felt that there was some friction there.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: And did you shave your balls before or after that session?

Shaun Galanos: They were pre-shaved.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Hmm.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I wonder if that’s what did it.

Shaun Galanos: Well, maybe. Yeah, I don’t know. But thanks for that.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: You’re welcome.

Shaun Galanos: I love this. Number 12.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Number 12. How did we get to…? I think you’re making up some numbers.

Shaun Galanos: Oh.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Oh no, you got it.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, I rewrote them. Yeah, I rewrote them. “Respect the gender and sexual identities of your partners and support their continued journey.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Someone’s gender and their sexuality identity is very personal to them–it’s not up to you to decide–and people change all the time. These things develop, and you should respect that and not be a jerk. So I slept with a primarily cis man for a long time and then I ended up sleeping with some women in college, and the cis dudes that I had slept with previously that were still in my social circle, their masculinity got really alarmed and they were like, “Yana’s not bisexual. This isn’t real.”

Shaun Galanos: But why would they care?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Because they’re freaked out. They’re freaked out that their dick turned me gay.

Shaun Galanos: Oh, really? You think that’s why?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I know that’s why because of one of them, I heard that through the grapevine that one of them actually was scared that me dating them made me gay. Air quotes are happening.

Shaun Galanos: Right. I would be proud.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: And I actually told him that that was true just to fuck with him because I was so fucking pissed.

Shaun Galanos: Great.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: But it was really invalidating.

Shaun Galanos: Well, as in you can’t make your own decision about who you want to sleep with?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yes. Yes.

Shaun Galanos: That a man has to push you to being gay?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Ridiculous.

Shaun Galanos: Totally ridiculous.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: All of it is so ridiculous.

Shaun Galanos: I mean, how presumptuous.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: How presumptuous, and then I married a woman and was like, “In your fucking face.”

Shaun Galanos: I mean, his dick was bad but it wasn’t that…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I know. I was like, “Relax, your dick is not that powerful.”

Shaun Galanos: “It was not great, but it didn’t push me to…”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: It was not tan enough to make me gay, I’ll tell you that.

Shaun Galanos: Do you think tan dicks make people gay?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Oh, yeah.

Shaun Galanos: Wow. Maybe that’s why it’s only one-night stands, because they just go gay.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah, because they’re like, “Yeah, fuck it.”

Shaun Galanos: “I can’t deal with that tan penis.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: “Fuck it.”

Shaun Galanos: All right, so this is a thing.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Well, and also, okay, so now we also know in the queer community that body parts and gender and sexuality are not necessarily presumptuous. You can’t really presume anything. So it’s really important to check in with people about how they want their bodies to be referred to, what their relationships with their bodies are like, etc, etc.

Shaun Galanos: And all this takes is a short conversation.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Short conversation.

Shaun Galanos: Actually, all these little points are very short conversations.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Not with me they’re not, but…

Shaun Galanos: Well, at least at the beginning.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah. I know. No, they are short.

Shaun Galanos: Not everybody is in a session with you, okay? Sometimes it’s just regular people living their life, trying to hang out, trying to get laid.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Just trying to get fucking laid, not try to get lectured.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, I think having sex with you sounds like a lot of fun.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Ridiculous.

Shaun Galanos: It sounds like a lot of fun, a lot of chatting.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: A lot of chatting. Just getting it out of the way.

Shaun Galanos: All these little things, it’s not very challenging, but you do have to talk about it.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: The last thing I want to say about gender and sexuality identity is it’s not a very long conversation and literally all you have to do is ask and they will tell you, and then just believe them. I think people have weird pushback against how they perceive people’s identities to be and that’s unnecessary.

Shaun Galanos: I mean, I have friends who do not understand using the gender pronoun “they” and say that it’s an aberration on modern literature because how–okay, this is literally his argument–how is he supposed to understand anything that he reads now? Every time he reads “they” he’s not sure if it means a group of people or a person. And I was like, “I don’t know, maybe read the fucking context around the “they”.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: It sounds really hard for him.

Shaun Galanos: If we’re talking about a group of people going sailing and then it says, “They got in the boat,” it’s probably talking about the group of people going sailing and not someone who wants to be referred to as “they.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: You know what? I would challenge this friend by saying, “Imagine that you found somebody’s hat in a movie theater and you were like, “Oh, look, somebody left a hat here. I wonder if they miss it. How will we get it to them?” Or, would your friends say, “Oh look, somebody left his or her hat here. I wonder how he or she will get it back?” Is that how he fucking talks? Because chances are no.

Shaun Galanos: He doesn’t.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: No, and also, he already does it then. He already uses the pronouns. He already does it.

Shaun Galanos: Maybe, but he may be like, “Oh, someone lost their hat. I wonder how we’ll get it to him.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Would he say that though?

Shaun Galanos: Maybe.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: “To him?” I would challenge him, because chances are he already uses the pronouns. What is aggravating him is that someone is asking him to intentionally use those pronouns for a queer person and he doesn’t get it and it scares him.

Shaun Galanos: Right.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: So really his grammar is about bigotry and I don’t think it’s cute.

Shaun Galanos: Shannon? We’re calling you out. You’re being fucking challenged right now. It was a challenging conversation to have because…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: It is a challenging conversation to have and, also, it’s fine to feel confused and overwhelmed by the world changing around you but it’s also boo-fucking-hoo, these people are literally discriminated against all the time. Nobody gives a fuck about your confusion about a group of people on a sailboat.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, it’s true.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Sorry.

Shaun Galanos: Read the context. Read the room. Also, it just doesn’t cost anything to accommodate people that have not been accommodated.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: No. Totally.

Shaun Galanos: The opposite of being accommodated, actively discriminated against.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Mm-hmm. It is not that hard.

Shaun Galanos: It’s not. Okay, anyways.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: And if you fuck up, that’s fine. If you fuck up because you’re learning, that’s fine. Just correct yourself quickly without drama, move on.

Shaun Galanos: I was at Lake George, on this lake with a bunch of older white people, and I brought this thing up real quick. I said, “How do you feel about people wanting to be referred to as ‘they’?” And one lady goes, “You know what? It was really hard at first, and then I realized, just doesn’t matter.” And so if rich old white people…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Well, and also it doesn’t matter to her, but to the person using that pronoun it matters a fuck ton.

Shaun Galanos: Well, that’s what she was saying, “It doesn’t matter to me to just change a thing.”

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Right, to her. Right, just do it.

Shaun Galanos: And also, she said that her daughter helped her in figuring out how to talk about things that change.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah. Change is hard. Get over it.

Shaun Galanos: And lastly, don’t stir drama.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Don’t stir drama. Use the correct pronouns. Don’t fucking stir drama for no fucking reason.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah. Don’t be like Shannon.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Don’t be like Shannon. Fucking Shannon.

Shaun Galanos: He listens to the show.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I hope they do.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah. Oh!

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Ooh! How does it feel, Shannon?

Shaun Galanos: Well also, Shannon…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Confusing name!

Shaun Galanos: Confusing name!

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I’m sure you’ve been misgendered plenty of times.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: How does it fucking feel? What if I was just like, “You know what, Shannon?

Your name sounds kind of girly to me, so I’m just going to use she/her pronouns for you because it’s too hard for me to decide to do something different, Shannon.

Shaun Galanos: We love you.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: This is actually about you.

Shaun Galanos: We love Shannon though. He’s a good person.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Do you have trauma about your first name, Shannon?

Shaun Galanos: Oh, probably.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Is that why you’re so upset about pronouns?

Shaun Galanos: Yeah. Yeah.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Poor Shannon.

Shaun Galanos: Poor Shannon. Shannon, we love you.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I don’t love you, but I also don’t know you.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, that’s right you don’t. We, I meant…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Look at us. We’re stirring drama.

Shaun Galanos: No, that’s true. Poor guy.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Don’t stir it.

Shaun Galanos: Don’t stir drama. Okay, do we have resources?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I have a lot of resources available. You can read my sex column. You can watch my TED Talk, unlike some people sitting at my kitchen table. You can write a sex or love or relationship question into my sex column and I will answer it. You can book Skype sessions with me, we have a little face-to-face time. I will lecture you to your face about pronouns for money.

Shaun Galanos: Yeah, great.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: My website is www.yanatallonhicks.com. My Instagram is @the_vspot, V like vagina. That’s it.

Shaun Galanos: That’s where we find you?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: That’s where you find me.

Shaun Galanos: Do you have a parting word or a parting thought for our listeners?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: No.

Shaun Galanos: Boom.

If you liked this episode, you’ll love this one:

Shaun Galanos

Shaun Galanos is a love coach and course creator. He teaches communication and intimacy tools for better relationships and more love.

Pin It on Pinterest