Sex Gets Real: Episode 68

Kate McCombs on all things sex and communication.

We have the amazing Kate McCombs on the show today. Sex and communication are her bread and butter. She is incredibly skilled at helping people develop communication skills in their relationships, so that they can have better sex.

From empathy to kangaroo vaginas to blowjobs with a cold rock on your anus, we have a really fun and informative chat with her.

Kate can be found at and also on Twitter and Instagram. If you want to find a Sex Geekdom near you, visit the website to see what your options are for connecting with other sex geeks.

In the DC area in August? Then join Dawn at the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit from August 13-16. Learn more on their website.

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Episode breakdown

  • 0:42 – So excited to have Kate McCombs with us this week.
  • 0:54 – You can find Kate at and
  • 3:49 – What exactly is Sex Geekdom? Obviously it’s about sex. And there’s geeks. But what else?
  • 4:40 – Can you imagine a sexy scavenger hunt through the Met museum in NYC with a bunch of other sex geeks? Sounds amazing.
  • 5:59 – Dylan wants to know how many creeps try to join the groups. Sadly, it sounds like this is a big problem for them.
  • 7:27 – If people interested in connecting and talking about sex would just be cool and stop being so creepy, they’d actually have a chance to connect with some super awesome people.
  • 8:13 – Kate helps people have conversations around sex that are easy and approachable.
  • 8:39 – Dylan and I talk about something we wish our 16-year-old selves had known about sex.
  • 9:40 – You never ever ever never owe anyone sex, even in a marriage. You don’t have to explain or make excuses for your boundaries.
  • 10:12 – WishIdLearned is Kate’s hashtag for her new blog series on stuff people wish they’d learned about sex when they were younger.
  • 10:45 – Dylan talks about how you don’t have to have sex in order to be accepted or to be popular when you’re in school.
  • 12:27 – Even comprehensive sex ed tends to be disease focused and shaming, but what people really want to know, especially when they look back at their younger years, is stuff like finding your voice, setting boundaries, getting needs met, pleasure, etc. We have a long way to go when it comes to sex.
  • 12:48 – New phrase – sex adjacent feelings. How juicy is that?
  • 13:22 – It’s not just about your feelings, but how to show up for someone else when they tell you how they feel about sex or the scary stuff.
  • 14:34 – Empathy workshops! We need more of those.
  • 15:04 – What’s the most ridiculous sex advice you’ve seen in mainstream media?
  • 17:00 – Kate wows us with a story about a blowjob and a cold stone on an anus.
  • 17:51 – You should never surprise someone with something really bizarre that hasn’t been pre-negotiated, unless you know it’s something they really are interested in and you have that trust.
  • 18:57 – How not to finger someone’s ass, by Dawn’s friends.
  • 20:30 – What’s the biggest barrier people face in talking about sex with their partners?
  • 20:50 – If sex isn’t a part of your relationship conversations, then doing it the first time feels really risky.
  • 22:05 – Allowing for imperfection is so important.
  • 22:40 – We never see healthy sex conversations modeled for us, so most of us have no idea how to do it.
  • 23:05 – This dangerous belief that adults are magically supposed to be sexperts makes a lot of us feel bad when we start to realize that we aren’t.
  • 24:00 – Dawn had a moment of feeling embarrassed for not knowing how to do something a few months ago, but being able to recognize that and come back and have an open discussion about what happened is the piece so many people miss.
  • 25:36 – Kate has the BEST phrases. How about “awkward resilience” and being able to sit in awkward moments to allow feelings and experiences to happen.
  • 26:02 – Kate wrote about “sexpert” and how she doesn’t care for that phrase/title. Let’s talk about why she prefers “sex geek” to “sexpert”.
  • 26:57 – Often people think sexperts know what the best kind of sex is for other people, but no one can know that, so Kate talks about why sex geek allows for more curiosity.
  • 28:41 – Imagine a ComicCon for Sex Geeks where we all get together and geek out over the stuff we love in an intellectual way.
  • 29:41 – Kate talks about being a beacon of permission. This is a really beautiful and powerful concept when it comes to helping people remove embarrassment and shame around sex. Are you a beacon of permission?
  • 31:54 – Dylan and the anal bleaching.
  • 32:51 – One way to be a beacon of permission in your relationships is to spread your curiosity about sex.
  • 33:06 – Bring up an article that you read about sex that’s pretty approachable as a way to start having those conversations.
  • 34:50 – Empathy is being able to read how someone is reacting to what’s going on and allowing for those feelings.
  • 38:07 – When we are in a high state of anxiety, we can’t learn or take new information in, so shocking someone or coming at them aggressively with something that makes them uncomfortable can shut them down.
  • 41:30 – So much of our sexual thoughts and feelings are internalized because we really don’t have safe spaces to talk about this stuff.
  • 42:47 – Kate has some wild sex facts to share. Let’s dig in.
  • 43:10 – Kangaroos have got some SERIOUS awesomeness going on.
  • 47:02 – Koalas are super violent when they mate which is why there’s a chlamydia epidemic in koalas right now – blood transmission. Dylan found this video.
  • 47:20 – Kate also saw a norwhal penis The Icelandic Phallological Museum.
  • 48:46 – Dawn’s party trick? Her bunny would have sex with the family cat.
  • 50:28 – We ask Kate for advice on what to do if you want to try something new in the bedroom, but your partner or spouse keeps shutting you down.
  • 50:46 – You, yourself, need to have the communication skillset to have those conversations – to approach it with empathy, to be patient, etc.
  • 52:57 – Kate has “tea and empathy” workshops to help people practice their empathy skills. How awesome is that?
  • 53:35 – Dylan needs to work on her empathy, while Dawn wants to work on her assertiveness. Together we kind of get it right.
  • 56:45 – Asking whether you want advice or empathy is such an important and validating question. If someone offers advice when you just want to be heard, it can feel really dismissive and hurtful.

And be sure to pin, share, and Instagram this bad boy

On this week's episode of Sex Gets Real, we have  a fun and informative interview with Kate McCombs. Kate is all about sex and communication and making both fun and easy. Prepare to learn and to crack up.

  • Dawn
  • July 19, 2015