“I wish to find a partner that it was 80% of the time just us. I really want to create a lot of shared experiences. I want to go to sex parties together; I want to go hunt girls and guys together. That’s one of the things I love to do the most — that we go out together, we see if there are cute boys and cute girls, and we’ll be like, ‘Let’s get her naked!’ And we strategize, you know we formulate a strategy, and we go and try to court this girl, together.”
“I want my partner to be just like my stuffed sea turtle, that will always be there, regardless where I go, wherever I go, whatever I do.”
“It’s such a horrible myth, and it causes women — the world over — so much pain, this myth that sex is over when the man comes. Even in my very egalitarian relationship, still sometimes it happens that if I haven’t come, and he’s come, we kind of, just, end it. Or, what happens more often now is that I take the matter into my own hands and I masturbate after he’s come, because he hasn’t been able to control his orgasm for long enough for me to come with him, so as I start to climb, he often climaxes, and I haven’t, I haven’t peaked yet. What I will ask for going forward is some assistance afterwards, right. I have had some — when I started learning to speak up — I have had some success with saying, ‘We’re not done yet … where do you think you’re going!’ But it’s unfortunate that we even have to do that. Why, why aren’t men taught to pay attention to the pleasure of their partners?”
Welcome back to horizontal with lila, the podcast about intimacy (sex, love, and relationships of all kinds) that’s entirely recorded while lying down. Many episodes (like this one), are recorded in bed on my Casper mattress at Hacienda Villa, a sex-positive intentional community.
In this episode, I lie down with my housemate Elaine.
Elaine is a consummate world traveler — it’s quite the feat to catch her at home, but on one of her brief stays at the Villa I got lucky. In between jaunts to her home country of Taiwan and remote islands, outdoor sailing adventures and the climbing of mountains, running races in Europe and engaging in other extreme sports and endurance activities (as she puts it, “like sex”), we had the chance to don some robes and get horizontal.
Elaine holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering and has done 10 years of stem cell research and patent prosecution for Biotech Startups. She cooks Taiwanese food that would make you wish she were your wife, and she has a deep and abiding love for turtles — so much so, that she doesn’t travel the world alone. Even when she’s by herself, she always brings her stuffed turtle along. The turtle’s name is Dr. Turtle. [pictured right]
I experience Elaine as unfailingly kind, possessing an incredible amount of grit, and her candid explicitness, combined with a voice that sounds like it belongs in an anime cartoon, delights me to no end.
In the second half of our episode, recorded in my loft bed, we talk about Elaine’s first experience with public sex, Taiwanese marriage rituals, swingers vs. polyamorous people, discovering bisexuality, breasts, and climbing Kilimanjaro.
Come lie down with us!
Links to Things:
You Call It a Sex House, I Call It Home, Lila’s article for BUST Magazine about living at the Villa
Show Notes (feel free to share quotes/resources on social media, and please link to my iTunes, this website, or my Patreon!):
website link: https://horizontalwithlila.com/
Patreon link (the crowdsourcing of patronage!): https://www.patreon.com/horizontalwithlila
[1:30] The scene at Elaine’s very first fetish party. “I felt like I was new meat walking in a filth market. And everybody was doing their normal kinky shit. […] Some people were tied up, some people were in suspension, and there were people whipping people, there were people torturing people, there were people on the floor worshipping other people’s foot, and there were people doing people, there were people watching. And tying up and just doing things that I didn’t understand at the time.” – Elaine
[2:36] What is it like to have your foot worshipped? “He took off my dress because he said it’s — I shouldn’t be wearing that. He said, ‘It’s beautiful, you’re every man’s dream, but let’s take it off.’ So um, he took off my dress and my pink underwear with bows— big bows on top — also didn’t help, so he was like, ‘Let’s take that off, too.’ So I … was then naked, like five minutes entering the party. And I thought, ‘Oh, ok, I guess, you’re supposed to be kind of naked maybe, when your first time?’ And then there were obviously lots of people looking at me, and a guy came ask, came asking me if he could worship my feet. And I didn’t know what he meant, so I look at Sam and Sam said, ‘Well, you can try, and if you don’t like it, you can say no later. So I said, ‘Ok!’ Then this man then took my foot and then completely like carefully massaging it, kissing it, and basically worshipping it like how I would with my sea turtle. I mean, I have this sea turtle stuffed animal […] which is my biggest treasure. My safety blanket, kind of. Yeah, so there was a guy worshipping my foot. And then a guy came to me and said he wanted to draw a rose on me, do some body paint, uh, so I let him do it, Sam was then fingering me, and then Selin was kissing me, right in the middle of the party, and, then I had a orgasm. And I felt really, really sexy coming in front of a lot of people. […] At the time I didn’t date much, I almost didn’t date, and I thought, ‘This is what New Yorkers do.’” – Elaine
[5:44] What is Elaine’s definition of a proper threesome?
[6:46] What were the attitudes towards sex during Elaine’s upbringing in Taiwan?
[8:29] What is the Taiwanese engagement ceremony like?
[16:22] Young Elaine’s curiosity about sex and secret watching of manga (cartoon) porn. What Elaine drew…
[17:37] What was sex ed like at school in Taiwan?
[18:14] What sex ed did Elaine receive at home?
[19:38] “To this date, my parents are still incredibly supportive to me and everything I do, which is a very very privileged thing to have in a world like this.” – Elaine
[19:57] Do Elaine’s parents know about her relationships with couples?
[21:25] How did Lila tell her mom about living at the Villa and what the Villa is about? How did she react when Lila shared her article in Bust magazine?
[23:57] Elaine’s advice about dealing with a mother from another culture.
[27:00] What Elaine’s mother couldn’t forgive her for.
[27:52] What Elaine never told her parents.
[28:40] An orgasm myth.
[30:05] What kind of lover is Elaine now?
[30:33] What sexual act won’t Elaine do?
[31:57] “He has fingers. His fingers will always be hard.” – Elaine
[32:12] Elaine on cuddling.
[34:01] “I was in a sexually unsatisfying relationship where supposedly there was a lot of love. But then I went into a phase where I just wanted to explore sex and lots of sex. Didn’t want any love.” – Elaine
[34:31] How Elaine observed love from couples in the swinger community. “Then I met my ex-partner and that’s when we had the healthy relationship where we will fuck other people … and that’s when I feel like, ‘Oh, maybe this is love.’ Also after seeing so many couples in the community, how they love each other […] then I will know ‘Oh, maybe this is love. Love is like this.’ They stick together, they satisfy each other, and they have fun together — with other people too, and if there’s any problem, they openly talk about it. There’s nothing that you can’t talk about. So that’s what I learned from all the couples I dated. ‘Cause in my relationship before exploring here, […] there had not been a relationship in which I could openly discuss — talk about feelings. There were always a lot of guessing or second guessing or, wanting something from him but didn’t know how to say it. Wanting to say something but didn’t know how he will perceive it.” – Elaine
[36:08] Elaine on neglect.
[36:55] Elaine was never hugging parents, cuddling, and her stuffed animals.
[38:40] Is Elaine a swinger? “People who identify themselves as swingers are romantically exclusive but nonmonogamous — ethically nonmonogamous. On top of that, they don’t have sex separately with other people. They function as one unit. They date people together.” – Elaine
[39:23] Elaine on team spirit.
[39:44] The 70s image of swingers and key parties. The biases that poly people have towards swingers and swingers have towards poly people.
key parties (noun) = gatherings at which heterosexual couples play a partner-swapping game. At the outset of the night the males placing their car or house keys in a bowl, and at the end of the night, the females pull a set of keys from the bowl, and go home with the key owner. Popular amongst middle class white couples in the 70s.
[42:50] A challenge of being a unicorn in the swinger community.
[44:24] “My sense is that a lot of people in the sex-positive community, a lot of people wind up thinking that they can handle something that actually doesn’t make them very happy.” – Lila
[44:49] Elaine on the shifting of relationship structures. “I also learn from my own experience that relationship structures change over time, depending on you feel over the day, over the month, over the year. Depending on how you two feel, over the day, over the month, over the year. Like with my ex-partner David, when we are in a good place, we were so adventurous, we will go to sex parties together, we will have sex with other people, we would celebrate our sex positivity, and we — it will make us grow stronger and it will make us really really happy to do that. But when we are in a bad place, when the trust was shaken, when the relationship was threatened, then, any form of relationship with other people, even if it was just flirting on Facebook, will make me feel uncomfortable. So, it really depends. It’s the same person, but, it could change.” – Elaine
[47:20] What the boundary shifts in Elaine’s relationship brought up.
[50:34] What is Elaine’s ideal relationship structure?
[51:30] What preference does Elaine have for her ideal partner’s sexuality?
[52:15] “I want my partner to be just like my stuffed sea turtle, that will always be there, regardless where I go, wherever I go, whatever I do.” – Elaine
[52:36] Orgies once in a while.
orgy (noun) = group sex consisting of sexual interactions between five or more people
[53:30] Can Elaine love more than one person?
[54:43] Discovering bisexuality, and our obsession with breasts.
[56:09] Elaine’s experience at an all-girls high school.
[56:39] 18 year-old Elaine’s confession, and act of revenge.
[59:26] “As I said, now I’m very very selfish in bed. I want to feel sexually satisfied, every single time and I have huge appetite, so, I need a penis, so, my partner has to have a penis.” – Elaine
[1:00:17] Elaine tells Lila a story about Kilimanjaro and her wild ride.