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Intimate Interactions

Author: Victor Salmon

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Improve your relationships, get confident asking for what you really want, and have more intimate, satisfying sex! These lessons from non monogamy and consensual kink can improve any relationship and help you connect more with yourself and others. Check out
73 Episodes
Happy New Year, Intimates! It’s 2020, the year where “partying like it’s 2020” will likely mean turning in around 10:30 pm so you feel rested the next morning. Just kidding - it’s the year of hindsight, and even with perfect hindsight, people stay up later than they say they want to and experience more motivation to commit to hard things the further away they are. I’ve always found that a bit embarrassing personally - or perhaps as a species? New Years is a time of new beginnings, which brings us to Imposter Syndrome, one of those things from which many of us (myself included) suffer when starting something new or even after many years. Someone once said to me “imposter syndrome is colonialism” and it got a lot easier to take off the sweater vest that is imposter syndrome. I personally cope by reminding myself that people I respect chose for me to be where I am and since I respect them, I respect their opinion of what they saw in me. Which brings us to today where I made a podcast for all of 2019 and some of 2018 every week for you folks. Here we are talking with Yana Skorstengaard about colonialism, moving, and grad-school, three related topics.
Do deterrents work? If you make a deterrent awful enough, does it stop crime? Has capital crime ended where the death penalty exists if you don’t count executions as murders? Yana, a criminology researcher from the University of Ottawa is here to help us unpack these things. Since it’s six figures per prisoner per year in our current system, and if these very expensive, punitive deterrents don’t successfully deter crime, what does? What programs exist that reduce criminals reoffending - that’s called recidivism. So how can we take people who have committed a crime and have them not commit crimes anymore - that’s called rehabilitation. We pose the question: does knowing you’ll be caught for certain deter crime? And if so, with technology evolving, how easily can we catch people and then offer a small consequence that is enough to deter but not so much it eats through public funds in the wasteful, harmful way our current punitive system does. Keep in mind we’re spending this much on prisons while simultaneously talking about situations in which people are constantly exposed to violence by guards and other inmates. Rape and assault are not uncommon in prisons and in no way rehabilitating. I don’t think anyone would ever make the claim someone deserves to be raped regardless of what they’ve done. What if I told you that some of your taxes every year funded programs that resulted in non violent offenders being raped? Yeah. Think about that as we talk about motivations, crime, and punishment. Keep in mind there’s no chance even if it’s possible that we get non violent offenders out temporarily that the Correctional Services of Canada would ever consider letting out dangerous or violent offenders. They are very conservative on their stance and are likely to stay that way in their pursuit of public safety with the ineffectual, expensive, and time-consuming systems and laws we’ve given them. Link for petition - Petition/List of Demands Fundraiser to support prisoners and their families in Ontario: Correctional Service of Canada
My father visited from India recently. He turns 70 in 9 days. With chronic fatigue, heart attacks, and trans-ischemic attacks - they’re like ministrokes - I felt a sense of urgency to connect with him. I invited him to podcast about his childhood as it seemed like a good way to learn more about him, and I think it’s important to humanize a parent as just another person where you get the opportunity. These recordings of my parents, in this case of my father, serve as a record for my nieces but also insights about how I became who I became. This recording provided me an opportunity to get to know someone important to my formative years and also still important to me today. My father was sick when he arrived to visit and four weeks later was still sick so we recorded through the coughing because it seemed like the best opportunity I was going to get.
Because giving anal sex is my primary form of penetrative sexual expression, it became essential for me to make it easier and pleasurable for others. Coaching someone who is receiving anal sex is more an art than a science, but there are certain skills that are useful. You can also coach yourself while you’re receiving anal sex, something I do frequently given my experience coaching others. Another skill I forget to mention in the episode is using one hand (or two) to hold the shaft of the insertable be it a dildo or a penis to shorten it. It’s a great way to control penetration depth on the road to full insertion. The other option if you aren’t using a penis is to use smaller insertables at first. I find the interruption of changing insertables though to be maybe too disruptive of the experience for me, so I currently prefer a bigger insertable with a hand around the base for when I want more. There is also such a thing as too deep in my experience giving and receiving. Some recta (or rectums) are only so long. If your insertable (or penis) is too long for the butt you’re inside, it will only quote unquote “turn pleasurable” for a certain length inside before it’s just uncomfortable. That can be sexy in the context of enduring something uncomfortable for someone else as a fetish, but isn’t a best practice in my honest opinion. Ideally you want to be sized for the person you’re fucking or if you have a bio cock like I do, you can adjust their position to change the shape and length of the rectal canal. On their back with their legs up will be shorter inside than on their stomach with their legs along the floor. Jazz Goldman returns in this session to discuss pegging as well - that is to say strap-on sex in the bum. Since we’ve both given and received anal sex with each other, we have a lot to say about the experience. Enjoy! Questions You mentioned group sex before as facilitating anal sex; would you talk more about that? What’s your experience with pegging and fucking people in the ass? How do you coach others when they’re receiving pegging from you? How was your experience getting ass fucked by me? How was your experience pegging me? Would you offer any advice to people curious about anal sex?
Life Interrupted. I think that’s the title of the chapter of the memoirs I’ll never write about 2019 and 2020. The novel coronavirus has probably produced more global anxiety, depression, stress, and grief than just about any other single event I can think of right now in my lifetime. It has brought so many in the global community together in our isolation from even the closest neighbours. Yana is back to chat about how the pandemic has affected her personally. We talk about emotional intelligence, coping strategies, what advice we’d give ourselves in the past, and my personal views on grief as a response to searching for meaning, value, and celebration of those we love. Get ready to call your loved ones and remind them how special they are; you might find yourself reaching for the phone after this session of Intimate Interactions. Link for petition - Petition/List of Demands Fundraiser to support prisoners and their families in Ontario:
Today, Yana Skorstengaard, a masters candidate at the University of Ottawa in criminology discusses how we relate to crime and are intimate with the criminal punishment. It has the power to come into our lives and take everything we have. We trust that it will be just and fair with us even though we know it isn’t like that with lots of other people. Why do we assume we’ll be treated fairly? Is it only white folks who assume they’ll be treated fairly? We have a good conversation that I’m excited to share with you.
Trauma is everywhere, even in power exchange. Relationships can be traumatic, and total power exchange is no different. Healing can take years and adversely affect relationships, kink, and sex. When processing trauma, I think it’s important to work through any mistaken beliefs first, and to come to different conclusions about yourself before moving on. I’ve found cognitive behavioural therapy to be helpful in changing those beliefs in myself. I also didn’t find CBT healed much other than offering me some peace from the harm I was continuing to visit upon myself. When processing through the experience again, I was mindful first not to overwhelm my body with trauma, but rather to fill it with only the portion of the trauma I could safely process at once, using breathing and mindfulness to help anchor myself and control the experience. Those are also skills I learned with a counsellor - a somatic therapist this time. Finally, I try to put myself in a place that’s beautiful and can stimulate me in an aesthetic way - somewhere that smells nice, sounds nice, and looks nice. Hopefully somewhere that feels transitionary. I picked the seaside village of Steveston, British Columbia, located on Lulu Island, the main body of the city of Richmond. Jazz Goldman speaks about their journey out of a power exchange that wasn’t meeting their needs, and we talk about the unspoken power dynamics that exist underneath our negotiated ones. The focus was placed on their healing, not on the podcast session, but I’m grateful we captured it for you to experience, here on Intimate Interactions.
What cultural change would improve the health and wellness of your society? Today we chat with Yana about cultural ideas such as retributive or punitive justice - Yana is a criminology researcher after all - and discuss social leadership. When I’m gaming and see anti-social or harmful behaviour from a teenager, what responsibility do I have to intervene or improve the culture? We ask important questions like: Is it possible to release only non-violent offenders for a temporary indefinite leave of absence where they are under house arrest with relatives if they have somewhere to go? Should we be releasing our non-violent offenders to save them - and us - from COVID-19? How would such a release reduce COVID-19 in the non-incarcerated population? And how would a release like that affect our way of thinking about imprisonment and punitive justice if letting them live under house arrest doesn’t increase crime? I also incorrectly say that in Manitoba, 98% of girls incarcerated are indigenous. In Saskatchewan, 98% of girls incarcerated are indigenous. In Manitoba it’s 82% of girls and 81% of boys. Keep in mind that the population of Saskatchewan that is indigenous is about 15%. These numbers are less than two years old as I write this and linked in the long episode description. But let’s hear more about society and criminology from the expert herself, here on Intimate Interactions. Indigenous stats (98% of girls incarcerated in Saskatchewan are indigenous; 92% of boys) Link for petition - Petition/List of Demands Fundraiser to support prisoners and their families in Ontario: Here’s some numbers of COVID cases in Canadian prisons if people want to take a look at them:
This month we’ve focused a lot on two alternating threads in the show: more talking about sex, and more talking about the relationship to oneself. As I try to tackle harder concepts and try recording more outside and in less ideal environments, I’m continuing to experiment with different kinds of show ideas. Let me know what’s working for you and what isn’t by commenting on or on twitter @intimatevictor or on instagram at @intimatevictor or by emailing Today we talk about suicidality: what being close to suicide felt like for people who’ve had major depressive disorder and who have lived with depression for a very long time - in my case my whole life. I’ve also lived with suicidal ideation my whole life and think about it in a very granular fashion: am I just thinking about hurting myself? Just about suicide in an unrealistic situation because it helps me get through the day? Thinking about suicide in a semi serious way but with unrealistic means? The caution bulb goes on. Thinking about suicide in a semi serious way with things that are accessible to me? Now the alarms are going off that I have missed my ideal window to intervene and I really need to get help. And then there are serious plans for suicide that one intends to carry out. That’s probably the last stage before actually committing suicide for me. Fortunately today, I’m not experiencing any suicidal ideation and it has legitimately gotten better; and while no one can guarantee it will get better, it usually does provided you’re working at making it better. Effort to change and time often lead to better places. Of course, it’s rare things improve on their own but occasionally we luck out and they do. Also occasionally something bad just happens that changes our life circumstances and a depressive or suicidal episode gets triggered. We’ve talked in episode 70 what the experience of depression is like, and in episode 72 about coping methods without meds. Today we’ll talk about suicidality and touch a little bit on mental wellness medications. We’ll be back later to talk more about mental health medications and their side effects though we touch on it briefly at the end of today’s episode. Wherever you are and whatever your struggles are, I hope you find your way to something better. Genuinely, if you’re listening to this, it’s not over yet. From my heart to yours, no matter where you find yourself, there’s always, always a way home. Best of luck finding less self resentment and more will to continue even by degrees. I honestly believe it’s worth it to keep trying. Please see the show notes for mental health resources. (scroll to the bottom for mental health resources including Vancouver specific ones) Image1 Image2 Image3
Anal sex is one of my favourite topics because I enjoy giving anal sex, and have recently been attempting to enjoy receiving anal sex with limited success. Jazz Goldman is also a veteran of giving anal sex to others but they have recently become quite successful at enjoying receiving anal sex. We discuss our bodies, our strategies, and our outcomes. If you wanted a high level conversation about the ins and outs of anal sex, this is it.
“If you say mental wellness three times, some asshole in a ‘Live, Love, Laugh’ t-shirt will appear and tell you to go outside.” - sign at BitF 2019 Relationship to the self is critical when considering mental wellness. Often we think of that relationship being purely a mental one, but many things comprise one’s relationship to the self including sleep, hydration, diet, and exercise. Dax is my guest today as we discuss the evidence based approaches to coping with struggles in mental wellness. We discuss our real life experiences of coping with depression and hopefully throw in some insight that might help you understand of people with depression if not help you gain insight into your own human experience. (scroll to the bottom for mental health resources including Vancouver specific ones)
Hi Intimates. Today we’re talking with Yana, the criminology researcher, about why it’s important we start looking at issues like homelessness and the conditions in prisons. If we each of us is to be safe in our quarantine from COVID-19, the sooner we reduce the number of new infections, the better. So, let’s talk about why keeping ourselves safe means taking care of social issues we’ve ignored with Yana Skorstengaard on Intimate Interactions. Link for petition - Petition/List of Demands Fundraiser to support prisoners and their families in Ontario:
Alternative relationship spaces like polyamory groups or kink organizations sometimes struggle to see when Racism is going on in the space because it tends to be more subtle than traditional violence. Jazz Goldman is a mixed Black-Jewish American, and I’m a mixed British-Indo Canadian. We bring our mixed experiences of our heritages to this conversation about Racism. I try to document how Racism looks to us in these communities and what recommendations Jazz has for organizers looking to make these spaces more inclusive. There is, in my opinion, a great importance of making a concerted effort to change culture among several organizers or events at the same time. Posters, policies, and hands-on education is the way to go in my opinion. It’s worth hiring an anti-oppression consultant if you can, and it’s always more effective when it’s more than one organizer. Good luck taking an anti-Racism stance in your community, friends! Jazz mentioned microaggressions as bee stings during the episode and it turns out it was microaggressions as mosquito bites. I also just started reading an article about dealing with microaggressions as a POC here:
Note: This episode published a day early so it could be in time for Halloween even though it's focused primarily on Diwali. As time goes on I'm going to continue to try to rush themed episodes to you in time for the appropriate dates but may not always be able to do this.  Hey Intimates. I wanted to do a Hallowe'en episode because it’s such a popular holiday and I’ve been challenging myself to create and release special episodes around festivals or holidays. It turned into a Diwali episode because despite being descended from a half Roman Catholic family, I have been far more interested in my Indian heritage recently. This year, I’m celebrating both dates. Before getting into the Indian celebration, I do my best to explain and do justice to Allhallowtide, a three day festival where Hallows Evening or Hallowe'en is just one part on October 31 involving a vigil for the Catholic saints in heaven (hallows is synonymous with saints). Irene joins me today as an Indo Canadian woman who hasn’t lived in India like I have, but who has in my opinion had a far more traditional Indian upbringing as I haven’t. Our different perspectives as parts of the Indian diaspora hopefully offer one incomplete and imperfect portrait of folks grappling with culture and community in a very Canadian way: perhaps slightly distanced from it for likely different reasons, balancing different ideas of what it means to be from a place, and practicing culture as a form of identity. If you want to learn more, feel free to wikipedia Diwali and the Ramayana or throw it into google and check out some of the awesome images of this Indian Festival of Lights. I wish you a Happy Diwali, and many cozy Autumn evenings with family and friends. Enjoy the episode, Intimates. 1. Can you give a brief explanation of what Diwali is about in three sentences or less? 2. Could you explain to folks who don't already know: what is the Ramayana about? [Itihasa] 3. How many days long is Diwali? 4. What sorts of rituals do you take part in over Diwali (do you do any rangoli, pujas to Lakshmi)? 5. Are you aware of any other variations of Diwali rituals that you don't participate in? 6. Who celebrates Diwali with you? 7. Does Diwali build a sense of community for you? 8. Do you relate your experience of Diwali to hope in the context of colder, literally darker days? 9. Do you draw strength in your identity from your culture as an Indian? 10. How does your sense of Indian culture relate to mental wellness in your experience?
Race is a complicated topic to discuss, because there are quite a few misconceptions out there. I want to tackle how white a lot of alternative spaces are because of how inhospitable they can be for people of colour. This episode discusses what races are, how eugenics impacted ideas that we internalize today, the supposed scientific basis of eugenics, and who gets to be white. Despite our best efforts, I think we both agreed that this episode centered whiteness too much for our own liking, but it is my hope that it’s a great episode for you to listen to if you are a White person or are looking for some basics around Racism in alternative spaces like a polyamory community or a Kink community - of course depending on city. Jazz mentioned people who survived the Bubonic Plague (Black Death) may carry a mutation that resists HIV infection! Jazz mentioned a book on stereotypes which turned out to be called Typecasting and is written by Ewen and Ewen (not bowen and bowen). It’s a researched book on eugenics and Racism. Jazz mentions a Sweedish girl who protested the government’s inaction on climate change. Her name is Greta Thunberg and her story is here:
Person on the internet: “Wow you’re so mature for your age.” Other person on the internet: “Thanks, it’s the lifetime of depression and self-isolation.” Intimate Interactions is about relationships and intimacy. I can’t think of a more important relationship than the one to yourself. Some educators talk about self relationship from the perspective of being your own partner first and foremost, before you partner with anyone else. I like that view. Speaking as a person who has lived with depression and anxiety his entire life, I have to ask: are you in an abusive relationship with yourself? It’s worth reflecting on your internal conversations. If you have an abusive internal voice, who does that abusive voice remind you of? As a person who has been through years of counselling and has unlearned very harmful beliefs about competence, intelligence, elitism, etcetera, I have to ask: What mistaken beliefs did they teach you if any? Could you come to new conclusions about those things and start to cultivate the self awareness to monitor what you’re saying to yourself, to catch yourself, to confront yourself and change your own mind about those things? Depression to me is often the consequence of a mind divided against itself, and that’s not a long term ideal situation. It’s often unsustainable long term. Today my guest is Dax, a person with a degree in Psychology who is a long time depression sufferer. Fact check and research time. tl:dr, everything we say in the podcast is correct but we lacked the confidence to say so definitively and I’ve done the research and shared the links in the show description to confirm what I found. To restate: a psychotropic drug is one that affects the mind or mental process. A psychedelic drug is one inducing hallucinations like LCD or as I correctly guessed, psilocybin - the compound in magic mushrooms. Thus psilocybin is a psychotropic drug that is psychedelic. Ketamine is a tranquilizer and it is used by veterinarians on horses as well as other animals. An eponym is a thing something else is named after. For example, a dog in India is named Victor after me. I am his eponym. He is my namesake. (scroll to the bottom for mental health resources including Vancouver specific ones)
Have you ever heard of non monogamous people having “comet” partners? Today we’ll discuss what that means and how it’s different from long distance relationships. Jazz Goldman and I talk about what a comet partner relationship might look like between the two of us. We talk about sustainability, and make a distinction between being community-oriented non monogamous folks, and being individual-oriented non monogamous folks. One way to think of community-oriented non monogamy is how focused we are on our greater collection of lovers and our lovers’ lovers - that is to say on our polycules. One way to think of individual-oriented non-monogamy is more like solo polyamorous folks, though not all solo polyamorous folks are individual-oriented. I mean to say if we take a radically personally autonomous stance - that we are each responsible only for ourselves, we would be embodying more of an individual-oriented philosophy rather than a community-minded one. Sustainability of relationships and thinking about how they fit in the context of one’s polycule is an important assessment for me, even if I do have strong needs for autonomy and independence. I think the information is good to have for everyone, even if they are quite individual-oriented in how they practice their consensual non monogamy. And now, the conversation with Jazz Goldman about Long Distance Lovers on Intimate Interactions.
Maita is a men’s coach living in Victoria who teaches healthy relationships between men. We talk about emotional labour, exercises you can do with your friends or at home, strategies with intimate partners, socially acceptable ways men share intimacy with other men, and about the challenge of restoring intimacy between men if they’ve received gender messages that have poisoned their relationships or have been “toxic” in some way to them. We hope you enjoy the session. It might be somewhat binary at times but is designed for people who identify as men, and I think gender non conforming and non binary folks who present as masculine or men in any amount could still get some use out of the content. Content warning: when talking about depression and men, suicide may come up. Please resource yourself appropriately. Would you offer a definition of toxic masculinity? How do you convince men to buy out of toxic masculinity? What would you want to see more men buy into? (themselves, relationship skills) Could you define emotional labour? Could you talk about your witnessing exercise? How can men get stronger at emotional labour of self improvement without relying on women or their intimate partners? How does non-monogamy impact a man’s search for intimacy? What are the socially acceptable ways men share intimacy with other men? How do we restore intimacy with other men? What are some of the realms where men can have intimacy with other men? How does homophobia play into men sharing friendship and intimacy with other men? Restore stress regulation. Restore relationships within ourselves. Restore relationships amongst men. Restore relationships with people who aren’t men. Resources The Pyramid of Regulate-Relate-Reason from Dr. Bruce D. Perry ( The Window of Tolerance Image from Dr. Marie S. Dezelic (reposted on my site because her links appear broken). Read her article.
What Are We? (Jazz Goldman)

What Are We? (Jazz Goldman)


Relationships can be thought of as strategies for meeting our human needs with each other. They can also be thought of as the sum of our interactions. That might sound complicated - and it is! That’s why it’s much easier to think of them in cookie-cutter, pre-set ways. We are given scripts and categories. This is what “friends with benefits” looks like. This is what “getting serious” looks like. The problem with categories is often their inability to manage the spaces between them, the liminal spaces. Accordingly, we have a concept called the relationship elevator that shuttles us between our preset categories, but always in one direction. Have you ever tried to call off an engagement to go back to solidifying a relationship before marriage? I certainly have. Spoilers: it ends the relationship. Jazz Goldman and I discuss today what our relationship is, the sum of our interactions. We talk about our boundaries, our expectations, and our intentions. Enjoy! Left Brain vs Right Brain
Welcome to the second session of the Tillie-Victor Friendship Project - or TVFP. We’re recording outdoor sessions documenting our friendship as it progresses. This is a continuation of our first session and as such it was accidentally recorded on our H1N Zoom recorder as a low quality MP3, but we solemnly swear to be up to higher fidelity good in future sessions. Today we chat about Liminality, possibly our favourite topic; we mention the c̓əsnaʔəm Musqueam city before Vancouver; we discuss mental health, bipolar disorder, and suicidality. I share a breakthrough I had on valuing myself; and of course: content warning: we talk about indigenous rights, rapid cycling bipolar disorder, depression and suicidality. That sounds about right for our second session of getting to know each other as friends, right? The village of musqueam folks living here before settlers like ourselves called it Vancouver was called c̓əsnaʔəm. Here are notes on the pronunciation: The first letter /c̓/ sounds very much like "ts" in the word nuts. Note also the apostrophe which causes /c̓/ to have a slight popping sound. The /ə/ is similar to the "u" sound in "but." The /ʔ/ is a consonant with no sound, like the space in "uh-oh." (Source). There’s even a film about it (
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