Bonus: A Meet-Cute with Sex Outside

Bonus: A Meet-Cute with Sex Outside

Interview with Laura Borichevsky

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Laura Borichevsky wants to open up more conversations about sex, gender, and love: all through digging into the many connections we can find between them and the outdoors. Gale links up with Laura to learn more about her vision for her exciting new podcast, Sex Outside.

About Sex Outside: A podcast peering into all the nooks and crannies of sex, gender, and love—and their connections to the natural world around us.

Full transcript available after the photos and resources.

Banner image by Alexandra Keeling.

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Featured in this episode: Laura Borichevsky

Hosted by Gale Straub

Music is by Gracie & Rachel licensed via MusicBed.

Resources


Featured in this Episode

Laura Borichevsky

Photo of Laura Borichevsky by Alexandra Keeling @alexandra_abroad on Ute land

Photo of Laura Borichevsky by Alexandra Keeling @alexandra_abroad on Ute land

Laura Borichevsky with Kelsey Williams in 2009 at a healthcare for all march in Seattle WA

Laura Borichevksy prepping for a student health care advocacy event on campus in 2009 in Bellingham, WA.

Laura Borichevsky, today.

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TRANSCRIPT

Note: This transcript was lightly edited and created using a transcription service. As such it may contain spelling errors.

Gale Straub – Narration:

I’m Gale Straub and you’re listening to a bonus episode of She Explores.

Laura Borichevsky:

One of the most persistent questions is like, what is Sex Outside going to be about? Which is a really great question. And there are a wide range of topics that I think over time, Sex Outside will continue to expand upon and dive into.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Did you know that lilies can reproduce in more than six different ways, aside from seeds? Or that certain types of coral wait to spawn at night, sometimes under a full moon? Have you ever thought of water as a sensual force? Gotten a UTI on a backpacking trip? Fallen in love with a landscape? Stood outside on a hot summer night, the air thrumming with cicadas? ….. That’s all Sex Outside.

Laura Borichevsky:

I’m still learning more about what Sex Outside can be. But I guess I want to start off by saying that the world seems pretty endless in terms of how we can look at sex outside, because it is the intersection of two really big or many really big things when it comes to sex, gender, and relationships and the outdoors in nature, right? Like those are things that a lot of us can relate to on some level. So there are going to be many points of intersection.

Gale Straub – Narration:

This is Laura Borichevsky. You might recognize Laura’s voice from the podcast she started and hosted for years, Women on the Road, which was recently rebooted as Nomads at the Intersections, produced by the Diversify Vanlife team. And if you’re a longtime listener of She Explores, Laura’s guest hosted several episodes, most recently one at the end of 2020 about menstruation and the outdoors. And today, she’s filled with anticipation to launch the first episode of her new podcast, Sex Outside, on February 11th. I’m excited too. Laura is an experienced podcaster. She’s recorded over a hundred interviews, but she was nervous to talk about this project mostly because she cares so much because it’s a subject that she doesn’t take lightly.

Laura Borichevsky:

This is not unfamiliar territory for me, but it’s new in a lot of ways. And in that it is also a little bit unfamiliar and I need to take my own advice because nobody needs to have credentials to talk about sex. And I definitely feel like I’m going to inherently want to keep learning more and more about how to be a good, an effective conduit for having conversations about sex and gender. So I don’t feel under-prepared, but I think I also just feel like a little bit anxious about that, which is probably like, I think healthy, but I also don’t want that to translate to people being like we can’t trust that this is like a good place to like put our energy. I do think this is a community effort and it does take everybody’s voices and anyone can step into a role of being someone who talks about sex, because we can speak from our individual perspectives, knowing that everyone has their own individual perspective. And I’m a good listener, so I can do this.

Gale Straub:

Yeah. And the, the podcast is ultimately hopefully going to empower more conversations, like the ones that you have on the show with people, but we are getting ahead of ourselves.

Laura Borichevsky:

Yeah. Yeah. But thanks for asking. I think that was a good place to start, just to be able to express that

Gale Straub – Narration:

There are a lot of reasons I admire Laura for launching Sex Outside with Ravel Media. For one, the digital age that we live in often means that we are actively reinforcing our identities and our interests on a daily basis. It’s easy to get pushed into one lane. For a while, Laura’s work was synonymous with road travel. By starting Sex Outside, Laura’s taking a leap, making herself uncomfortable. And it’d be tempting to say that she’s turning a new page with this project, but it’s more like she’s dusting off a notebook that sat on her shelf for a while.

Gale Straub:

So where did the idea come from to start sex outside? Both as a podcast and as a community platform?

Laura Borichevsky:

What a lot of people don’t know about me and my background, I’ve talked before about road travel a lot. And sometimes I’ve talked about my journey in human resources, which was the career I had before I hit the road. But moving further back, one more chapter of my life is this whole world of sex, education and advocacy around reproductive justice. And that started when I was in my mid teens all the way through early adulthood and led to some really amazing jobs and experiences. And then I kind of left that for no particular reason. I was still very passionate about it. Always have been, but travel called and I started doing some other things in my, my focus shifted a little bit. So about a year and a half ago, I started really thinking about things I was passionate about that I hadn’t returned to in a while.

Laura Borichevsky:

And if there were any intersections of those things that I loved and how they would maybe blend together, if I looked at them through that lens and I randomly, one day in August of 2019, came up with an idea that I called sex outside, that I wrote down in a random note pad and thought it would be really cool. And I texted a couple of friends and I was like, what do you think if there was like some type of a podcast or content that blended sexual health and hygiene and reproductive justice and advocacy and all these topics and, you know, discussions of gender and relationships with the outdoors. And I got a lot of question marks back in my texts and people were like, well, that sounds interesting, but I don’t really know what that looks like. And I was like, okay, okay, well, I’ll keep thinking on it.

Laura Borichevsky:

And you know, we’ve been really busy as, as you know, Gale, we’ve been really busy as a team. I didn’t even bring it up to you. I just put the idea away. Like physically, literally put it away. And it wasn’t until this last summer. So fast forward one year we’re, you know, in July, August of 2020, the idea came back. Suddenly someone asked me like, what are you passionate about? If not road travel? Like, what else are you passionate about? And I was like, well, human relationships. And like the human experience is important to me as a whole. And suddenly I was like, Oh my gosh, I have this whole notepad full of ideas for this thing called Sex Outside. And the person I was with didn’t even believe that what I was saying. They’re like, wait, you you’ve had this. And I was like, I’ve had it. I just literally forgot. And so the idea came from, I guess, a lot of years of being passionate about certain topics and somehow being able to hold onto it long enough to be able to revisit it at the right time, which happens to be now.

Gale Straub:

Hmm. And it definitely feels like a good time across the board. Like there is something in the air almost where it feels like this is the time to be, to be talking about this. Could you speak a little bit more to that?

Laura Borichevsky:

Yeah. I’m glad that you said that because the more I’ve been digging into what sex outside can and will be the more I’ve seen that there is this huge need for conversations around sex and gender within the outdoor community, as well as the greater whole of us. And the sum of all of our parts, you know, everybody has their own unique journey and experience and perspective when it comes to sex and gender. And I haven’t heard that many conversations in the outdoor industry about it, which seems like a huge missed opportunity for all of us, because there are so many points of connection between the outdoors and feeling good in our bodies or being connected to our sexuality or exploring what gender means to us for ourselves or strengthening relationships or forming them for the first time. And I think that there is an inherent need for us to have these conversations.

Laura Borichevsky:

So, you know, one way to think of it is that it’s timely. And another way to think of it is that it could have been happening a long time ago, right? Like it’s always been timely, you know, without giving away too much. Like I’m really excited about the premiere episode of Sex Outside, because not only do we have a lot of voice submissions from people who are listeners and I guess future listeners given that we haven’t premiered a full episode yet. Um, but also I end up sharing a audio clip of a home, um, when I was about six or seven and my mom is teaching me about sex because we found two snails in our backyard that were mating. And, and so it, it reminded me that while a lot of people might not happen to have that audio or video available to them, a lot of us have learned about, you know, like quote unquote, the birds and the bees through being outside or through witnessing nature. So, yeah, it’s a timely conversation because I think it’s long overdue and it’s a timeless conversation because all of us can and probably have been having these conversations to be in with.

Gale Straub :

Hmm. Oh, absolutely. It actually, when you first started talking about the kind of relationship between the outdoors sex and gender, it actually made me remember a quote from an interview that I did with Elyse Rylander. And I want to say it was like, it’s probably like September, 2018 and she’s the founder of Out There adventures in any case, she mentioned something about how there’s nothing straight about nature. There’s like, not even physically, when you think about it, there’s so few just like straight lines, you know? And, um, she just talked about like the queerness of it all and it was pretty cool. And I think I can imagine that there’s gonna be a lot of conversations that touch on that within Sex Outside.

Laura Borichevsky:

Absolutely already. I’ve been really amazed, you know, one of the many components of sex outside, if you check out the social media platform, as it stands right now, since we don’t have full episodes out yet, we’ve been delivering content on Instagram, especially, and something I’ve been digging into a lot is just looking to other species of plants, animals, insects, fish, what have you, and looking at the sexual behaviors. And even as far as we know anything about gender, um, or can, you know, determine about gender of other species. And there are just so many different ways that other species have sex reproduce, you know, express themselves sexually, even through plants, which I hadn’t even thought too much about to be honest that, yeah, there is this even wider spectrum than a lot of us might recognize. And the more that we look to other species and just the world around us. Yeah. Like even the fact that yeah, in nature, there are rarely straight lines, right? Like everything has its own unique kink or twist to it in some way. And yeah, we can apply that to ourselves too. So I, I think that that was such a great quote to bring up and, and a great idea that, yeah, it definitely is incorporated into what sex outside is all about.

Gale Straub:

Hmm. So what are some of the topics, you know, I know you’re still in planning mode, but you’re having a lot of conversations with people to kick off the season on February 11th, I believe right before Valentine’s day. So what are some of those topics that we can expect to hear about when we tune into the show?

Laura Borichevsky:

I’m still learning more about what sex outside can be, but I guess I want to start off by saying that the world seems pretty endless in terms of how we can look at sex outside, because it is the intersection of two really big or many really big things when it comes to sex, gender, and relationships and the outdoors and nature, right? Like those are things that a lot of us can relate to on some level. So there are going to be many points of intersection that said some of the things I know we’re going to be starting off from the premiere on, we’ll be starting off sex outside with our hearing from other people’s voices. Right? One of my biggest goals right off the bat with sex outside was to get more people talking about sex and feeling maybe not comfortable, but I’ll say comfortable enough in sharing their own perspectives on sex and what it means to them or their observations about it.

Laura Borichevsky:

So the very first episode is listener voice submissions, where we asked a couple of questions about sex. So I’m really excited to be sharing that with everyone just to kind of break the ice. But outside of that, we have some really cool stories lined up. One of my favorites, um, that, uh, Gale hears me talk about a lot is the concept of mythological creatures that have an intersection with sex that we haven’t maybe dissected very much since we were first introduced to them in childhood. So the classic example that I’m spending a lot of time on right now is thinking about mermaids mermaids are hyper-sexualized oftentimes and oftentimes in a very heteronormative body prescriptive way as well. And I wanted to think more about that and have us all think more about that. So there’s a whole episode on mermaids where we’re hearing from a few different folks that I don’t want to give away right now.

Laura Borichevsky:

That’s really exciting. But outside of maybe the more mythological world, we’re also going to be doing some episodes and stories. And when it comes to polyamory, there’s a very interesting like cross-sector between outdoor communities and polyamory, which I’m excited about. One of my dear friends, Jeanette Cassollary, who, uh, recently did a little mini episode that aired on the Sex Outside RSS feed about being comfortable in outdoor intimate portraits and like boudoir photography. She has a lot of thoughts on pleasure and embodiment, and also some really interesting conversations about sex that she and I even being close friends hadn’t had before. That’s going to be a really great episode. And then we also have been talking a lot about doing more conversations around body hair, sexual hygiene, really kind of unpacking and providing some helpful tips and information and research around some of these things that maybe feel, I guess I’ll say more practical from like a going outdoors sense.

Laura Borichevsky:

Um, so there’s definitely some stuff around that as well as like STDs. And then to your point about gender Gale, there’s a huge level of conversations around like, how can we talk about, or what stories are there and perspectives are there around queerness in the outdoors and what are we unpacking there? And then lastly, I think from more of like a, I guess maybe like a global perspective or an environmental perspective, I’m also really excited to dig into more conversations around sustainability in sex products. So whether that’s menstrual products, sex toys, things like that, as well as gosh, their recent events that we had last year with the wildfires being sparked by gender reveal parties. Like that’s a Sex Outside story too. So the more there is to unpack with Sex Outside, the more stories we are going to keep finding. And I’m really excited about that.

Gale Straub :

Oh, me too. I’m also personally excited about all the puns that I get to read and likely hear on the podcast and social media.

Laura Borichevsky:

I love a good pun and I love a good outdoor pun. And I also love a good sex pun. And I didn’t realize until I started writing the social media copy that I get to put those together now. And it brings me a lot of joy.

Gale Straub – Narration:

So Sex Outside is a lot of things. It doesn’t fit in a box nor should we try to cram it into one. And the biggest feeling I took away from my conversation with Laura is the ways in which sex outside is buzzing with potential.

Laura Borichevsky:

I think the biggest hope that I have with sex outside is the community and the conversations that do develop around it. And those are conversations that are both going to be public on like the podcast or on social media. And then also are going to be private, right? And might be internal like conversations and development. We all have within ourselves or conversations we have with friends, family partners, you know, what have you. And I think that there is a lot for all of us to explore together and individually. And I’m really excited to be in a space with everyone that is for every gender that is for everybody who is interested in hearing about or talking about sex. And for a lot of folks, this might be the first sex podcast that they ever listened to. So I just wanted to also say that that like, this is meant to both explore topics that might feel completely like something you haven’t heard of before, which is great because there’s always more for us to learn when it comes to sex and gender.

Laura Borichevsky:

And then also might feel introductory and more approachable to someone who hasn’t listened to a sex podcast before. So that’s, I think one kind of funny message and I’ve been leaving a lot of people with, like, this might be your first sex podcast and in that not every episode might be meant for you today. And that’s okay. This is going to run really wide gambit that I think will be really exciting to a lot of folks. And hopefully it will be something that we all get to kind of walk away with feeling a little bit more comfortable and maybe a little bit more confident in our own skin and with talking with other people about sex.

Gale Straub :

Sex Outside launches on February 11th. But if people want to get a taste of sex outside in the meantime, what can they do? Laura?

Laura Borichevsky:

We’re really excited about the premiere on Thursday, February 11th. But in the meantime, there is a ton of stuff happening on the sex outside Instagram handle. So you can head to sex outside pod and see lots of stuff there. And additionally, if you subscribe to sex outside right now, anywhere podcasts are found, you can get access to biweekly five to 10 minute audio clips that I’m calling nature quickies. And they’re just short, practical tidbits of information on topics that are specific to our bodies and the outdoors in some way. So there’s a few of those already in the feed. There’ll probably be one more around the time that this drops and I hope that everybody enjoys them and gets involved in the community because it’s already really great. So come see what we’re up to.

Gale Straub:

Oh, thank you so much, Laura.

Laura Borichevsky:

Yeah. Thank you, Gale. Woo.

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