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S2, Ep10 Rain Dove Dubilewski: Breaking the Chains of Gender

Season 2, Ep. 10

It’s the SEASON 2 FINALE people! Not only has it zipped by, but we added on TWO MORE EPISODES from season 1 for your pleasure. Don’t say we don’t treat you well.


And are we finishing this round with a bang or what?! (we are, yes) We have an extraordinary, golden guest for you to see us out. Welcome Rain Dove Dubilewski. You’ll likely know them better by face than by voice, but that’s soon to change… Rain Dove was the first model EVER to be in both male and female magazine covers at the same time and have been using their hefty social media platform (350K+ followers on IG) to defy gender norms and raise awareness about social issues including women’s rights and mental health. Rain is an open-minded, self-aware, funny interviewee who is open and giving with their unusual, moving life story and their hopes for society. You’re going to get a lot out of it. PROMISE.


 Rain joins us to talk about the impact of growing up whilst fitting into the aesthetic expected from women despite the F on their birth certificate. It wasn’t until working as a firefighter in an all-male team who thought Rain was a man, that they realised they were able to present both as male and as female. Living as a man during this time allowed them a sneak peek into what they thought would be a bed of toxic masculinity. What they learnt there would change how they understood the power dynamics at play when it comes to the currency of emotion.


 You ought to know that when Rain is presenting as either male or female or simply themselves, they are absolutely drop dead gorgeous.

 We talk about the benefits and drawbacks of presenting as either gender, and what being a ‘a Gender Capitalist’ really means. Rain tells us about their often harrowing experiences of using male and female bathrooms and why unisex toilets are in fact the safest loo option for everyone. What struck me most about her story is how despite having Trump supporting parents and leaving home at 18 to save face for the family after coming out, they believe in empathy with the people who most ostracise them. Their message of acceptance and kindness is paramount and is quite frankly, inspirational.


 Rain is making a mockumentary series Queers Without Fears developed entirely by the queer community. It’s a fun sci-fi venture which seeks to readdress the balance of highly sexed and violent portrayals of queer folk that presides in film and TV and it’s out in December!

 They are also releasing a mockumentary in response to Piers Morgan’s insistence that if you can choose your pronoun, then he chooses to identify as a penguin. It’s going to be very funny but with an undoubtedly important message about love and kindness at its heart.

Enjoy and we’ll see you next year with more terrific guests and topics on pleasure and the body for Series 3. 


You can watch Rain’s TedX talk on Gender Capitalism here

CW: misgendering and violence

We would love to continue the conversation and hear from you, our listeners: email us at hello@thepleasurepodcast.com or tweet us @ThePleasurePod.

 *

Social Media:

Rain Dove @raindovemodel

Naomi Sheldon: 

9/7/2020

S4, Ep 9 Sangeeta Pillai: The Price of Indian Feminism

Season 4, Ep. 9
Today on the Pleasure Podcast we welcome Sangeeta Pillai, founder of feminist online platform Soul Sutras and fighter of Indian Patriarchy! Sangeeta developed SoulSutras to be a safe space for South Asian womxn to tell their stories openly without shame or fear, connecting with one another, sharing a common cultural identity.Soul Sutras has developed into a feminist platform hosting the award-winning taboo-shaking Masala Podcast to developing Masala Monologues, a series of writing workshops and theatre shows in the UK and US.Sangeeta talks to us about her childhood, growing up in the slums of Mumbai and expected to follow the narrow familiar trajectory planned and expected for South Asian women of obedient daughter, wife, and mother. Sangeeta pushed against traditional expectations from a very young age, being the first woman in her family to work and decline marriage, but not without significant personal cost.We discuss the cultural drive for purity and the responsibility of women to guard that safely between her legs. Sangeeta received the message from her family that physical pleasure is not for her, that sex will be the ruin of the archetypal good Indian woman. The strongly conditioned links between nudity and sex and shame at an early age limited access of even simple intimacy.Having a breakdown led to Sangeeta's sexual awakening and eventually her drive to create a safe space for women to speak to each other and open up. A blog became a writing workshop which developed into a theatre space and an award-winning podcast.We talk about reclaiming the sexual heritage of India such as the Kama Sutra for a great seductive sexual experience, and look at India as a liberal secular place of openness and possibility. We discuss the deification of boys that is endemic in Indian culture and how growing up feeling like you are somehow better is harmful for both men and women. We discuss how her more traditional extended family have responded to her work by silence, how to move forward when you are not seen as a success by your family, and how the price she has paid for the path she has chosen is loneliness.Sangeeta keeps pushing the boundaries, recognising the importance of keeping challenging the silence and taboos in Asian culture to allow us all to normalise sex and intimacy and affection.Learn more about Soul Sutras here and catch Sangeeta’s wonderful Masala Podcast on Spotify, iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts!*We would love to hear from you: email us athello@thepleasurepodcast.comor tweet us@ThePleasurePod.Please do rate, review, and share the podcast, it helps other people find us.*Social Media:Sangeeta Pillai: @Soul_SutrasNaomi Sheldon:@NaomiSheldon1Anand Patel:@therealdranandFollow us at@ThePleasurePodand visit us atwww.thepleasurepodcast.com
8/31/2020

S4, Ep 8 Julia Schönstädt: The Feminist Porn Movement

Season 4, Ep. 8
This week on The Pleasure Podcast we welcome German portrait photographer, music video and lesbian feminist porn director Julia Schönstädt. Julia is passionate about platforming unheard voices, working with prisoners, refugees as well as sex workers, helping the world to see them beyond their labels. Her 16 Bars Project, a prisoner's portrait series that aimed to raise awareness for the penal system, led to a Guardian award.Her work as a guest director for Erika Lust, the pioneer in feminist porn, was her first foray into the adult film world. Fed up with the mainstream representation of girl on girl porn, Julia’s work centers on authentic content for the LGBTQ community. She sent us a couple of her films and they are breath taking, fusing a music video aesthetic with erotica to create a delight for the senses, far removed from mainstream porn.You can access the films we discuss All Eyez on Me and Pleasure Seekers . Warning...they are very sexy.We discuss the problems of mainstream porn and how ethical porn is fighting to counteract them, from consent and sexual health, to making sure that women are behind the camera as well as in front.Julia shares her experience as a porn director on and off set; how language is key when making sex scenes believable and why revealing that she works in the sex industry was more scary than coming out.We look at the importance of speaking openly about porn, why we should be paying for it, and how porn has a role and a duty of care to teach about consent, diversity and sexuality to a whole generation of kids who rely on porn for their sex education.Julia has a production company @sugartowngirls and you can access Julia's films we discuss here:ALL EYEZ ON MEPLEASURE SEEKERS1953You can find out more about Julia's other work on her website: www.schonstadt.com*We would love to hear from you: email us athello@thepleasurepodcast.comor tweet us@ThePleasurePod.Please do rate, review, and share the podcast, it helps other people find us.*Social Media:Julia Schönstädt: @j.schoenstaedtNaomi Sheldon:@NaomiSheldon1Anand Patel:@therealdranandFollow us at@ThePleasurePodand visit us atwww.thepleasurepodcast.com
8/24/2020

S4, Ep 7 Paapa Essiedu: Lads Mags, #MeToo and how men are moving on.

Season 4, Ep. 7
This week on The Pleasure Podcast we welcome actor Paapa Essiedu. He’s been named a BAFTA breakthrough Brit and won huge acclaim for his performance as the RSC’s first black Hamlet. In Michaela Coel’s series I May Destory you he plays the sex positive Kwame, a gay man whose assault is ignored by the Police – a beautifully nuanced performance. But Naomi will always think of him as the man she met at the RSC who in one memorable show played a singing seal as her understudy – a role she'll never let him forget.Paapa grew up in east London, and was raised by his Ghanaian Christian mother, after his father left for Ghana. Her upbringing had a long-lasting impact which made him the man he is today.We talk to Paapa about growing up in the 90s, poor and Black on a London estate and what happens if your only sex education is learnt from lads’ mags and fumbles behind the bike shed. We look at how lad culture can forge desires that don’t match up to the girl you fancy in Geography and the unlearning men must do to discover their own tastes.Paapa tells us how sometimes not having your dad breathing down your neck can let you be free to be your own man and the privilege of emotional vulnerability when being strong and hard can act as a mode of survival. We touch on how Black men are pushed towards hyper sexualisation and how the #MeToo movement has impacted the conversations men are now having.How willing are they to engage with past behaviours?CW: RacismIf you would like to know more about groups that are supporting men and their role in society do check out the following organisations:The Good Men Project: A website that examines what it means to be a goodmanin today's society.Good Lad Initiative: specialising in helping men and boys to contribute to improving gender relations.*We would love to hear from you: email us athello@thepleasurepodcast.comor tweet us@ThePleasurePod.Please do rate, review, and share the podcast, it helps other people find us.*Social Media:Paapa Essiedu: @PaapaEssieduNaomi Sheldon:@NaomiSheldon1Anand Patel:@therealdranandFollow us at@ThePleasurePodand visit us atwww.thepleasurepodcast.com