Question: have you heard of a Genital Interview?
This is a practice I developed and invite clients to do. It is one that features strongly in my Quintimacy weekend workshops, too. Genital Interviews have even happened in Zoom breakout (breakthrough?!) rooms during Quintimate Parts workshops.
A Genital Interview is what it sounds like…we address your genitals directly and ask them a series of questions. We then carefully listen to (and record) the answers.
You may be asking how we ‘talk’ to a body part that does not have a voice of its own and cannot speak with words?
Well, we, as the owner, are the VOICE for the genitals—the translator, if you like.
Eight learnings from interviewing genitals (including my own)…
1. Energy and psychic genitals often make themselves felt and known
I got to know mine during this practice, and many people find that they notice sensations, energy shapes and pleasure that appear to be ‘outside’ of their physical body. Or, energetic orifices that appear to exist within what we would think of as a physically solid fleshy body. In the kind of space we have created for each other, we can spend time finding the words to describe this phenomenon, and even wave our hands around and indicate whereabouts all this is happening in and around us.
2. It can support the owner in noticing the inner world of their body, including sensation and arousal
(In other words it can make you horny, or at least help you to notice when you are horny!)
So, it’s a great alternative to ‘foreplay’ or a wonderful stand-alone practice without any goals. It is an unconventional way of connecting with another person, and encourages a different kind of presence and attention. Human eroticism is fuelled by novelty, curiosity and coming at things from new angles. Genital interviews can be a gentle way to do this.
When we are cut off from our arousal, feel disconnected or lacking in sex drive, sometimes it’s because of all the noise. This noise can come from stress, thinking, rushing, being in our heads and other things that drown out what might actually be a constant presence and sensation—if only we were aware of it. Genital Interview (especially done lying down with eyes closed) asks us to be quiet and listen.
3. It can instantly improve the attention your genitals receive (disclaimer; no guarantees)
Genital Interviewing can be a really useful step into receiving intimate touch from a practitioner, such as a Sexological Bodyworker, or a partner. This is a great thing to do with a partner or someone you’re going to intimately share your genitals with.
This is an opportunity for your partner/s to hear all sorts of useful information about how your body likes to be talked about (which helps to prevent misgendering at delicate moments), touched, looked at, what lube you prefer, and what works for your body. It can help a partner move forward with confidence, and gives you both something to refer back to (whether it’s the memory of your interview or an audio recording/written notes).
4. You don’t have to be spiritual or ‘in touch with your body’ to benefit from a Genital Interview
I created a scale of engagement for many of my practices so that people can choose where they want to be, and can negotiate this with their interview partner.
Eyes open——————eyes closed
Gazing at face————-gazing at genitals
Here and now————–immersive/transporting
This practice can range from writing the answers for yourself in a solo writing exercise, interacting with a partner in a matter of fact, chatty way, right through to going into a more immersive state, going on a journey into the inner awareness of body, sensation and experience.
Perhaps we want different things at different times, with different people. The important thing is that useful information is learned and shared, however we do this practice.
5. It can combine further practices, such as genital gazing
Genital Gazing is a meditative practice where someone gazes quietly at our own genitals, or those of another person. This involves breathing and being with whatever comes up and changes. The person who is being gazed at is also breathing and noticing what they can feel. They might want to share how the genitals experience being looked at and what sensations and emotions are there.
In a Genital Interview practice, there is the opportunity for the genitals to be seen AND heard. They are not just being looked at as a passive body part; they have a voice, needs, preferences and desires too.
6. Detachable’s ARE welcome in a Genital Interview
Whether we are gazing at them or not, people’s detachable body parts, toys, prosthetics, packers, tucking devices, jockstraps, lingerie and underwear all seem to ‘speak’ in this practice.
These detachable’s pop up and reveal themselves as an important and integral (and often flexible) part of a person’s sexual identity, expression and sense of embodiment. Others tell a story of dislike or rejection of the whole idea of the detachable genitals.
We can welcome all of these stories of diverse queer experience with open ears, hearts and minds.
7. A Genital Interview does not have to be a one time thing
The practice of Genital Interviews can be repeated over time…we might find we discover something new, or that something important has changed.
The genitals might be physically, functionally changing through ageing, use of hormones or surgical changes. And they also change in our connection and relationship to them too..somatically and…sensationally! Perhaps we learn something about the personality of our genitals and this might change over time. In this way, we can develop our relationships and ‘get to know each other’.
8. Genitals are often surprised and pleased to be asked
“How do you like to be looked at? Energy Genitals? What’s it like to be listened to? How do you like to be touched? What names and pronouns would you like me to use?”
So many times I hear ‘Wow! Noone has ever asked me this before’.
- What do you think you would find out through doing a Genital Interview?
- Do you think you have opinionated genitals? Would they have a loud voice or a quiet one?
- Perhaps you have done a Genital Interview practice? What did you find?
- Would you like the opportunity to do this practice one day?
Genital Interviews in Action
On Day 2 of a Quintimacy event, there will be a whole room full of queers interviewing each other’s intimate parts! It’s a great starting point as to what will unfold for the rest of the day.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about the Genital Interview. When will you do yours?!
Note: Credit for the top image in the post is to vielma.at.