Interview with TheNakedAdvice Blogger, Liz LaPoint
Liz LaPoint is a sex, dating, and relationship advice blogger on TheNakedAdvice.com. She also writes about topics related to politics, culture, feminism, race, and psychology. Her YouTube channel tackles everything from sexual fetishes to trigger warnings in college. She is also a fine art model for her photographer husband, and just completed writing a memoir!
What sparked your interest to write a blog and host a YouTube channel about sex, relationships, and all that yummy fun stuff? My husband Terry encouraged me to start a blog after hearing all my dating stories. He said “You should be sharing these experiences with the world, there’s a lot to learn from these stories!” He helped me realize all the conversations we had about how sexually repressed our culture still is, and how many myths there are still floating around affecting how we treat each other, I had a lot to say and shouldn’t keep it to myself. Plus, I had a background in studying the social sciences and health. So I started The Naked Advice with Liz LaPoint on tumblr and began receiving letters from people asking for relationship advice, but it was sporadic so I had to think of something to get my blog noticed more. It hit me like a ton of bricks one day: “I could reach a wider audience if I started a YouTube channel!” With my channel, I began researching different sexual fetishes and sharing what I learned, because I found them fascinating. What “perfect storm”, for lack of a better term, has to occur for someone to develop a sexual fetish? My channel’s most viewed videos are about fetishes, in particular foot fetishes.
As a woman giving advice about sexual health, what’s the most challenging thing that you struggle with? First, that some men mistake my discussing sexual fetishes in my videos with being personally involved in them. I have no fetishes. Second, I receive many letters from men who have a sexual fetish and don’t want to have it anymore, for their own specific reasons, so the toughest thing for me is a letter asking me for help in treating their fetish. These men feel like their fetish is a disorder and they feel shame, they feel like their life would be easier without it. I am not a doctor or a psychologist, and I’m certainly not an expert in treating people with sexual fetishes, so for those letters I defer to psychotherapist Rob Peach, who has a practice that specializes in these things.
What frustrates you about our society and culture as a whole? That people are shamed for things that are unconventional, that close-minded people actively persecute and shame people for things like being homosexual or having a sexual fetish. For some, there’s an automatic judgment of these things and that’s it. They don’t think about it any further, there’s no seeking information in an attempt to understand. This mindset poisons a lot of aspects of life. Also, in the U.S. there’s this black-or-white attitude toward nudity. Nudity is porn to these types, there’s an inability to appreciate our natural state without making it “dirty”.
How was sex talked about at home when you were a kid? It wasn’t! My sister and I used to joke when we were younger that our mom should’ve been a nun; she was so repressed that if there was a romantic kissing scene in a movie she would get grossed out and change the channel. It’s this ultra-conservative attitude in general that I find sad and damaging. But I’ve since come to understand why she was like that.
What obstacles did you overcome when exploring your own sexuality? How did that make you feel? I am one of the 80% of women who cannot orgasm during intercourse, but for a while in my twenties I was frustrated by that inability, thinking there must be something I’m doing wrong or a trick I haven’t learned yet, because I was unaware at the time of the aforementioned stat. When you see women orgasm during intercourse in movies all the time, as if it’s the norm, you wonder what’s wrong with your body. I tried everything! Different positions, different tempos, etc. I finally came to terms with it at some point in my late twenties, appreciating that at least I can orgasm from cunnalingus.
Being a pelvic health therapist, I’m curious to know if you’ve ever experienced anything other than pleasure “down there” (i.e., pain during intercourse, painful periods, leaking, etc) If so, how did you deal with the situation? Not pain, other than a UTI I had once, but I used to have a very weak bladder. Like, when I was a kid I would pee my pants from laughing hard! And I wonder if that’s related at all to why I need to get up to pee 1-3 times every night. I never have uninterrupted sleep! Maybe I just have the world’s tiniest bladder?
What’s your definition of a healthy sex life? Having a healthy relationship with your sexual desires and needs (no guilt or shame), not hurting others without their consent (people into S&M can be very healthy people), and balancing your sex life with proper boundaries and limits (your sexuality is just one aspect of your life, not your sole identity, etc).
I get this question asked all the time, so why not ask the sexpert! How many times a week should you orgasm? However often you want to! The only number of times I would find problematic is 0.
What’s the most interesting question you’ve ever been asked and how did you respond? This one’s tough. I get A LOT of interesting questions! One of the more interesting ones is related to the video I did exploring the psychology behind Financial Domination Fetishes. I still receive emails and messages from submissive men who ask if they can buy me gifts and send me money, usually in exchange for telling them they’re losers. It’s a masochistic fetish, they get aroused by being humiliated. The most common question I get, however, is some variation of “I enjoy XYZ but my partner doesn’t. What can I do to get them to at least try it?”
Does size really matter? Yes and no. It can depend on body size. For example, a very petite woman might prefer not to have partners with larger-than-average penises! But for the most part, I believe it doesn’t matter. The vagina has an incredible ability to conform to differing penis sizes. It just depends on the individual’s desires and feelings.
When buying “toys” what do you recommend women/men look out for? I’ll be honest here, I have very little experience with sex toys! When I was younger, I didn’t want my body to get used to orgasming from vibrations, concerned it would inhibit my ability to orgasm from being with my boyfriend (especially regarding my previously mentioned issue with trying to achieve orgasm during intercourse). So I avoided sex toys for the most part.
In April 2016, Time featured an article on the cover called Porn and the Threat to Virility What are your thoughts about porn and it’s impact on sexual health? I actually have that exact magazine issue and it inspired a video for my channel titled “Is Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction Real?” Generally, I believe pornography can be a healthy part of an adult’s life, as long as your partner is not being ignored because you’ve developed a preference for watching porn. Many couples watch it together for fun. But this article and my video discuss the wave of young men who discovered online porn when they were too young and how it affected their adult sex lives negatively. But besides the possibility of porn-induced erectile dysfunction, some young adults mistake what happens in porn for reality, not recognizing it’s portraying fantasies. It’s important they understand that real-life sex is different. Do not assume porn is a manual for sex tips!
How can my followers connect with you? My blog: www.TheNakedAdvice.com,
Twitter: @liz_lapoint, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheDatingAdvice/,
YouTube: www.youtube.com/LizLaPoint, Instagram: @liz_lapoint