In this episode, I lie down with Dr. Zhana Vrangalova.
Dr. Zhana is a sex scientist, researcher, and professor of Human Sexuality at NYU. She has a PhD from Cornell in Developmental Psychology with a focus on casual sex. She co-founded The Casual Sex Project (thecasualsexproject.com), a website that allows people to share stories of real-life hookups - in a science-y, data driven sort of way. (If you listened to episode 3 with Mistress Leigh, this is the website that a dominatrix codes!)
In our event space at the Villa, Hacienda Studio, Dr. Zhana hosts Sex Science Socials, in which she wades through peer-reviewed studies on topics like Infidelity, Squirting, and Bi-Curiosity, and breaks the data down in a way we can all understand.
She believes that popular sex myths ruin lives, and spends her time both debunking those myths on DrZhana.com, and also replacing those messages - by working to make sex ed as accessible as porn. You can read her breakdown of scientific data on Facebook and Instagram. The Dr. Zhana icon, wearing her trademark glasses, is the stamp of “legit sex science.”
As I like to think of it, Zhana makes sex safer, saner, and better-informed. Because she uses her given name, and she's such a well-respected, badass female force for sex-positivity in the world, Zhana's example inspired me to “come out” in a way, to publicly proclaim my sex-positivity, and the fact that I live in a sex-positive community...a choice which led to this very podcast. I’m proud to call Zhana my friend.
In the first part of our conversation, recorded at Zhana’s apartment in Bushwick, we talk about sex ed in Macedonia, liking older boys, the jets at the recreation center pool, my first time, and the cartoon that inspired Zhana's very first masturbation session - and just a little bit about butt plugs. So heeey. *Come lie down with us.
*The second half of this episode will be released separately, by popular demand.
More horizontality, please:
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Horizontal’s badass theme music was created by Alan Markley, on Instagram as @plasticcannons.
It’s saucy cover art was designed and illustrated by Shana Shay. Hire Shana for character illustration and graphic design through 99designs.
Horizontal was mixed and mastered by Owen Muir of Self-Disclosure productions, right here in Brooklyn, New York. Stay tuned for Owen’s own podcast, Self-Disclosure, a show where people talk openly for the first time about their own experiences with mental health. Owen is on Twitter as @psychdisclosure.
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