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Polyamorous couple start a podcast to openly talk about sex

De-stigmatizing kink: can a new podcast take the first step toward normalizing the taboo?

5 min read
caption Turn Me On Podcast promo photo for iTunes.
Matthew Manhire
caption Bryde MacLean, co-host of the “Turn Me On” podcast.
Matthew Manhire

Bryde MacLean was never encouraged to talk about her sexuality.

Jeremie Saunders has always been an over-sharer.

caption Jeremie Saunders, co-host of the “Turn Me On” podcast.
NXN Photography

This creative duo wants to open listeners’ minds about their sexual needs.

Whether someone likes to dress up like a dog and “have a tail inserted in their ass via a butt plug,” or discuss early sexual experiences with the same sex — MacLean and Saunders say they want it freed through their new podcast.

The married couple launches “Turn Me On” on Feb. 15. They are promoting sex-positive conversations by encouraging listeners to start an open dialogue at home, or by “being the soapbox for people to stand on and share.” 

“For people that are into some super wild, wacky shit, they just can’t talk about that stuff,” says Saunders. “I can only imagine that it would feel really isolating.”

The idea for the show came from the couple’s choice to explore an open relationship and polyamory — the philosophy of being romantically involved with more than one person at the same time. MacLean says once the two decided to openly share their sex life with others, they “realized how much other people wanted to talk about sex.”

The content on “Turn Me On” varies from conversational interviews about planning an orgy to open deliberations about sexual orientation. 

“We had this really interesting conversation with this guy that was like, ‘I don’t know if I was born gay or if I was conditioned to be gay,’” Saunders says that Andrew, one of the show’s first interviews, hadn’t talked about that with other people.

In preparation for the launch, MacLean and Saunders tested the waters and found a way to engage their potential audience. As a way to start an open dialogue about sex, the couple asked for some booty pictures.   

Saunders says one Instagram account stood out in particular.

“She said, ‘here’s my ass. I wish I could be way more vocal and contribute to (the kink) community, but if I did it would put my job at risk,’” Saunders says.

He notes that the Instagram page is completely anonymous, but filled with body positive images.

“We are definitely having these conversations that feel really taboo, but I don’t want them to be,” says Saunders. He would also like to reach a point where they can “de-stigmatize kink.”

MacLean says some of the interviews have exceeded was she was looking for.  

She was expecting “vanilla” conversations to “just have people articulate things on a public platform.” She thinks of her four younger sisters and wants them to hear these conversations and to be comfortable “with their bodies and own wants and desires.”

“I don’t need crazy shock value to be interested,” MacLean says and, for her, this podcast is about allowing guests to feel like they can express these desires “whether they’re wacky or not.”

MacLean and Saunders’ ways of approaching the podcast compliment each other. He gets to be the “reactive” personality where her natural instinct is to listen quietly.

Saunders says he hosts the show “with the least amount of knowledge” possible to provide a space for discovery, both for the host and for the listener.

MacLean, on the other hand, is a researcher. For inspiration, she looks to relationship experts like bestselling author and psychologist Esther Perel — who writes on the future of monogamy and if it will “need to be negotiated” and not just assumed.

“I just want to curate my own sexual education,” MacLean says. “It’s very cathartic for me.”

The next book on MacLean’s reading list is “More Than Two” by Franklin Veaux, a writer, polyamory activist and sex educator.

In an interview with The Signal Veaux says that people like Saunders and MacLean, who are willing to talk openly about sex, are “doing the world an incredible service.”

“Sexual shame is toxic,” says Veaux.  “It undermines people’s happiness and self-esteem, prevents them from being able to understand what they need and advocate for it and hinders intimacy.”

He says he believes Saunders and MacLean can “absolutely” encourage people to become more open through “Turn Me On”.

The first 15 minutes of each podcast will feature MacLean and Saunders’ own sexual history, which Saunders says can be awkward for the couple.

“We’re having this sexual therapy session, but putting it on blast for the world,” he says, adding that he couple hopes this openness will start conversations with couples in their own relationships.

They will also be doing a 15-minute pre-episode chat on Valentine’s Day at Good Robot Brewing Co.

“I think we’re talking about gangbangs,” says Saunders.

MacLean interrupts.

“I don’t know if we’re talking about gangbangs or male-male-female threesomes,” she says. “I’m still on the fence. I’m preparing a pitch for Jeremie.”

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  1. V

    Vance Gilbert

    Such a great topic for discussion around Valentine's Day! Help take the mystery (or guess work!) out of your sexual partners expectations and talk about new intimate experience making ideas? Awesome! I would completely enjoy mature conversations on the subject.
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