If you’re in or near any of these areas we’d love to see you! And if you want to help coordinate venues, get out the word, suggest sight-seeing adventures etc. please email email@example.com with your name and location and thoughts.
Nels repaired the roof vent that was worn out and worked on the water system while I business-interneted. We drove out of town to an Indian restaurant, ate, and then unrelated to the food – determined that Nels needed some medical care. Five’ish hours later at the hospital we were discharged without any good answers but he seems to be on the mend. We drove south where I satiated a guilty pleasure (Chick-fil-a) and grocery shopped for some healthier eats. I bought a basil plant that we call Marvelous Mrs. Basil. We finished watching The Wiz and then winded down to the somewhat terrifying sounds of a car repossession followed later by car drifting and police intervention.
Saturday January 12, 2019
Happy that we survived the night in a parking lot, Nels and I drove to a nearby RV village where we were able to empty our gray and black water tanks for only $10. We also cleaned out our fresh water tanks and did dishes in house for the first time! An hour later we were San Francisco at Aunt Linda’s. She made us brunch and talked to us about sex and aging, hormones, incontinence, impotence, and dating. I’m excited to turn the conversation into an episode of Sexplanations.
Aunt Linda then drove us to our next engagement – recording videos and a podcast at Mr. S Leather with Amp from Watts the Safeword. Amp had reached out on Twitter and I was so relieved. I wanted to keep going with the Sexplanations podcast and recording video episodes while on tour but we haven’t had time to sort out equipment or set it up. Amp had a studio in San Francisco with lights and microphones and cameras. He invited me in, made me tea, gave me all the time I needed to switch gears in to pro-mode, and then recorded everything for me to share with you. We did a podcast on sexhacks, an episode of Watts the Safeword on sex education, and an episode of Sexplanations YouTube channel about daddies. We just put my memory cards in his gear and voila, production! It was such a huge moment of feeling wrapped up by a safe person and validated as a creator. Amp didn’t judge me for needing his help. He just loved on me and needed that.
While we were there I also got a thorough tour of Mr. S Leather. I’d been 12ish years ago when I was in San Francisco for my doctorate but a lot had changed. Amp walked us through the showroom – gear for every fetish and kink you can imagine. Then as a super treat he took us behind the scenes where most of their products were manufactured, right there in the building! We saw the old latex room with patterns for full suits, the remains of a really comprehensive dungeon, and the shipping warehouse. I was astounded by the passion everywhere. There was so much attention to detail and care for the products! The foot and half long dragon cock dildo was made by someone who wants that experience to be perfect.
I left feeling all warm and gooey. Nels left with ideas for rafting wetsuits and a new sex education. We wandered down the street to a coffee shop we learned about at PatreCon called Wicked Grounds. They had offered to host a event but I hadn’t been able to follow-though. So I asked a table of friendly faces if they had any sexuality questions for the sexologist on tour. “Nope.” One of them actually had their own sex education channel and was very situated in their knowledge of the subject.
I walked away from the cafe feeling very comfortable that we hadn’t planned more in California. Cali has so many sex ed resources. So does Oregon. These places aren’t my classroom per se, they are my launchpad. Between Nels’ friends in Oregon wrapping us up emotionally and Cali grounding me professionally – it was like we were being nurtured for the experiences to come.
Nels gave me a burrito that he’d gotten for me while I was shooting with Amp and we walked to The Chapel twenty or so minutes away for a show. He treated us to the Red Room Orchestra performing the Big Lebowski. Margaret Cho was Walter, Kevin McDonald was the Dude, and James Adomian played the stranger. It was outstanding! Just incredible!
After the show we found late night Indian then took a Lyft back to the RV. The fridge wasn’t working because things weren’t so level on the San Francisco hills so Nels and I capped off the night stacking these really nice blocks someone got us on our Amazon Wishlist.
Sunday January 13, 2019
We went back to Aunt Linda’s, this time for showers. Then she took us out for lunch at a super cool restaurant called the Pork Store. After food we rushed back to the RV to get across town to a landscaping center to meet Dixie de la Tour for a podcast recording in. the. RV! Dixie showed up with her St. Bernard and we all climbed aboard to talk about her work running and mothering Bawdy Storytelling. She also has a podcast. 10/10 would recommend! We wrapped up our conversation 10 minutes before the landscaping center closed so I ran in with Marvelous Mrs. Basil in her inadequate two inch pot and paid a $2.00 re-potting fee to get her a new container and more soil.
It was a rush-rush day. Next on the list was dinner with three of my classmates from the institute where I did my doctorate. Jack drove an hour and half south, Danielle drove an hour north, and Nels and I drove the RV to pick up Ivy for us all to meet at Basil Canteen for Thai. The whole meal was perfect. I hadn’t seen these friends in more than a decade but there we were deep in conversation about sex of course, and buying a school to teach sexology! I think everyone left having to wake up in a few hours for work but grateful for the night.
Jack drove Ivy home (which I hoped would reignite a romance) and Danielle invited us to stop at her place the following day. We all said good-bye and then Nels and I strolled home happy. On our way around the block –because the RV was parked just down the street–we said hello to some gorgeous queens from the Imperial Sovereign Court and stopped at a gaming cafe for virtual reality. I love it. Nels was indifferent. And then he was awesome at it and we hung out for an hour getting some physical activity in by thrashing our arms around.
To conclude the day, we drove all the way the beach so we could listen to the waves from bed. It’s still really hard to push myself with work and travel but gifts like that are a reminder that were are right where we need to be and doing the best we can.
Monday January 14, 2019
I woke up wanting nothing more than WiFi so we set up our laptops in a cafe on the oceans and worked for hours. I was actually still on the phone planning stops when Nels courted me out to get to Sunnyvale by 3:00 to meet Danielle, my classmate from the night before. I kept working in the RV while he drove and we got there right on time.
Danielle situated us with rain showers, chicken soup, and tourist suggestions for the rest of our California route. That is until we learned that the coastal highway would be shut down for the week due to landslides. I was disappointed but only mildly. Being in Danielle’s care was delightful. She kept it simple and cozy, no pressure, no hassle. We got to explore her Somatica space – a revolutionary way to improve relationships and sexuality and Danielle gave us two of her books! And a bag of oranges from her yard!
To finish the day Nels and I drove past the Apple complex, which is enormous, and we dined all fancy-like at Oren’s Hummus.
Tuesday January 15, 2019
Sadists are people who experience pleasure from inflicting pain. Nels is not this. I think he experiences pleasure from pleasing others. While I slept he drove us to Lover’s point so the RV windows would be looking out over a quintessential ocean view. Then he proceeded to cook onions, kale, broccoli, rainbow carrots, sausage, garlic, and eggs in a cast-iron pan for breakfast on the coast. Who is this person!?!?!
Before getting back on the road we climbed along the rocks watching the cormorants dive. I tried to swim but the tide came too quickly for it to be safe. We returned to the RV to acquire more miles. I responded to over 100 emails then requested we take a break from the washing machine existence of riding in an RV and nap. Post nap, Nels was at it again making colorful amazing food. He set up Moon –the 2009 film– and we had our version of a drive-in dine-in movie.
This is in San Luis Obisbo. Now we’ve driven longer past huge agriculture land to Solvang and it is time again for cuddles and bed.
Saturday night after we left card games with friends, I was . not . good. It didn’t make a lot of sense. I’d been really peaceful minutes earlier but in the safety of our new home I realized that things were actually really unmanageable. I felt guilty about the lack of planning which was making it difficult for people to meetup with us but maintained an indignant unwillingness to retreat back to Missoula and allot time to plan. The brat in my head went something like “I don’t want to put more time into strategizing, I’ve already worked so hard to get ahead on Sexplanations, to fundraise, and go on the road.” I was a whiny human mess.
Nels listened then asked that I take things off my plate before I cracked. I evaluated each item but wasn’t able to see a way to let any of them go. So I did the next best thing and got out this wooden massage tool that Alex Reich of MinuteEarth recommended. I rolled out the stress in my back and went to sleep trusting that more would be revealed. Plus, someone from Twitter asked us to meet at Love Revolution in Ashland the next day and that was something to look forward to.
Sunday January 6, 2019
I woke up great. I suspect the hormone monster was off-duty.
We drove to meet another of Nels’ friends for breakfast, a very hip peach farmer. On the way a rafter of turkeys was gobbling down the street and that cheered me up more.
Breakfast for me was baked apples and french toast. Nels’ friend was very lively and told us about the decision to remove things from her own metaphorical plate. She also talked about people who’d had things removed for them like a vineyard where all the plants got sick and ended the business, a local grocer losing 15 million in profits to a chain store moving in, fires, wind storms, death. It gave some much needed perspective and gratitude.
From there we drove south toward a sex shop meetup at Love Revolution in Ashland, Oregon. Fajitas on the way. We arrived a little bit early decided due to strong rain that way stay abroad and clean house. At 4:58 we made our way across the street to the shop. It was gorgeous. There were Betty Dodson drawings on the walls, chandeliers of half naked men, eco-friendly vibrators, sex position party balloons, rainbow cock pockets, and ethically sourced sheepskin mats for soft sexy time. Brenda, the owner, greeted us at the door and her cockapoo ran up just behind her. I felt like I was at home and even more so when a somatic bodyworker we’d stopped by for the meetup introduced himself and gave me a tour of the space. My people!
A few others stopped into Love Revolution while I was and I offered sex education, but alas, they were happy just saying hi. I did talk with them about Sexplanations, the road tour, and toy vaginas though and I learned about microwaved bagels as a fifi option. Everyone was super kind and down to earth – something I wanted to remember for the journey going forward. I roamed the store one last time to select a souvenir and decided on an ornament I call Tinkerbeau. Brenda packaged him up safely for me and asked to treat me to my new magical man. What a treat indeed!
As soon as we got back to the RV I hung Tinkerbeau from the kitchen cabinets so he could fly as we drove. Then Nels and I organized everything in the RV so Tinkerbeau would have a nice home. It took hours and meant making a mess to assess what would go where but we successfully created a giveaway pile, a trash pile, and a recycling pile – everything else was neatly stashed away.
Then we decided to drive the mountain pass and get a little closer to our next destination. Up and over we went happy to have all our affairs in order, then Nels parked us at a sweet green meadow at the bottom of the pass to sleep and other things.
Monday January 7, 2019
Time to go to California! I worked in the passenger seat and Nels drove. Had I not been on my phone taking a call I would have taken a picture of the water trucks we passed on the freeway. There must have been two dozen or more and they were each a different color – magenta, lime green, purple, sky blue. I wished that all state issued vehicles had that kind of pride.
First stop: Redding, California. Some fans there planned a meetup at a cafe called the Sweet Spot. I thought it was clever. We got build-your-own salads then sat down to talk. How did I get into the field? What’s the best way to talk to kids with conservative parents? What do I know about Bethel Church? We discussed the Sexplanations podcast and how they’d found Sexplanations in the first place. Then I asked where we should head for some Redding tourism and was told Turtle Bay and the Sundial bridge.
The Sundial bridge was outstanding and there were probably six different species of birds diving for fish in the river below. Turtle Bay was a sort of exploration park surrounding the bridge with lots of gardens and sculptures. I don’t like to run, neither does Nels, but the two of us took off along the garden paths for a quick workout before getting back in the RV and heading to Davis. Davis was/is our first big layover stop on the trip. We parked at friends’, I walked their dog, then we were treated to a home-cooked meal and time with an infant and toddler.
Tuesday January 8, 2019
I was certain there was milk inside our friends’ house and I would finally be able to have peanut butter bumpers so my morning was hasty. Then Nels showed me he’d gotten me milk at the store some prior day while I was napping. What a guy!
I ate in the RV and then went inside the house to plan the day with friends. The outlined agenda was as follows: drive the wagon with four adults, three backpacks, one stroller, and two kids in carseats to the train station, take the double decker train to Sacramento, walk to the Crocker Art Museum, appreciate art, then get dinner and catch the 7 o’clock train out. We did all that and then some.
Then it was back home to the RV and a night in for our first movie in the motorhome: The Wiz. I hadn’t seen it before but the half I’ve seen now has been mind-bending. The scarecrow played by Michael Jackson sings, “ease on down the road.” Now the Sexplanations Road Tour has a theme song.
Wednesday January 9, 2019 written by Nels
Another layover day in Davis, CA. I spent it planning, cleaning and repairing the motor coach, and sorting gear. The hunt for a quality RV parts supply store began and ended at Allied Trailer Supply in Sacramento. Having great inventory and quality service, I walked away with plenty to do. The acquired parts all fit, now the roof vents all work and new vent wind deflectors will go on tomorrow. Since we’re finally in a climate that doesn’t freeze we turned on the fresh water system, flushed, sanitized and checked the water lines and will have mobile hot showers in our future. RV upkeep and repair was mostly successful. Tinkerbeau did fly off his hook and busted but he’s in recovery after superglue surgery. Photos soon.
Lindsey finished all our laundry, took walks, got lost, did dishes, called friends and professionals, infant-whispered a fussy baby to sleep, and cooked us a delicious green curry. She is still hammering away on the keyboard as I put this entry into the ether. More stops to schedule. More talks to give.
Thursday January 10, 2019
The plan was to go to the beach. I opted out though for a day of self-care. Nels and the friends headed out and I climbed back in bed to rest with the dog. I ended up sleeping until 2 pm! The dog and I went for a walk and then I drove the RV downtown to meet Michael who played a key role in helping us find and secure the RV that is now my home. We talked for a couple of hours about his romantic marriage, Davis weather, timeshares, and how I was doing then walked down the street where I had parked the RV so I could give him a tour. Later I went by myself to a gift shop called Newsbeat and now I’m snuggled up in blankets getting situated with emails.
There is a large padded envelope full of lubes I’m supposed to try out. They were overnighted here a couple days ago but I haven’t been ready to smell like salted caramel or coat my arms in non-scented silicone for science. More to report tomorrow.
Some people don’t know that infections can be passed from one person to another during sexual activity and that includes dry-humping. This video is a run through of the 13 most common STIs, their symptoms, how to prevent them, and how to manage them.
Nels is really good about getting up in the morning, hand-grinding and brewing coffee, then driving to our next destination. I’m more of a night owl so I’m good at sleeping through all of this – except today. The wind rattled the RV so strongly that it reminded me of the shuttle launches I learned about at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. I thought about how this adventure is like a launch into the unknown, an uncomfortable, fast-paced exploration, calculated by a huge team, and executed by few. Was I still willing to stay onboard?
I thought about the keychain I had gotten at the Rocket Center for this very trip, an astronaut and how supporters of Sexplanations are called Sexpla(i)nauts. The whole morning felt really sentimental. Especially when we arrived at our first destination: Pasco, Washington’s Country Mercantile which is like an indoor farmers market run by a grocer. I LOVE THIS PLACE!
A sexpla(i)naut named Dylan coordinated via Twitter to join us. I was thrilled. We ate breakfast and talked about sexuality. One of the special things I took away from our conversation is that fans of the show have a sort of built in sex ed software created from Sexplanations. So, when they have a question, there’s already a sense of the answer because I’ve programmed them. It’s not evil, it’s awesome!
Nels asked Dylan if he had questions for me and Dylan did, but he also said he knew to a degree how I would answer them and showed throughout breakfast that he was able to critically problem solve things I hadn’t talked about on Sexplanations from things I had talked about. I was a proud Lindsey at this moment.
I bought some cherry apple cider, huge apples, some onions, artichoke salsa, and tamales for a sex geek potluck Friday night. We got back on the road and drove again through the wind. The internet was fickle and this slowed my ability to help put out the week’s regular Sexplanations’ video. It went up smoothly anyway and Nels encouraged me to join him on a roadside hike to the top of Multnomah Falls. I thought to myself, “if you want exercise, let’s have sex!” but I knew it wasn’t just physical activity I needed. I needed fresh air and nature. To the hike.
By the time I was ready to be done walking up the trail there was a sign declaring we had done 1 out of 11 switchbacks!? I looked at the sign in disgust and proceeded to go forward. Just like with the Sexplanations Road Tour my belief was that a past me knew what would be best for a future me and even though present me would struggle, it would be worth it. I thought of a lot of metaphors on the hike and topics for Sexplanations’ episodes. I pondered how jumping into the 620 foot falls would be the fastest way down but then I’d be dead.
I did want Swedish meatballs, lingonberry juice, and retail therapy at Ikea before dinner at 5:30 and a speaking engagement at 7, so I ran down the mountain and got in the driver’s seat.
We did Ikea in 45 minutes – got a cutting board, some floor mats, and cookware. Then it was off to Portland for real this time. Ethiopian food and my dear friend Ben from middle school were waiting for us. One of my greatest pleasures is eating with my hands.
After dinner, and just down the street was a meetup at the Sex Positive Education Events Center (SPEEC). As one attendee put it, “this might ruin it for the rest of your trip” because everything was so perfect. Angie, a sex therapist at SPEEC who’d coordinated everything with a day’s notice, had a projector for me to show Sexplanations, chocolates, comfy chairs, and a vibrator giveaway. The 20ish people who showed up were all spectacular!! We talked about sex positivity in the workplace, bisexual erasure, local resources, Nerdfighteria, the tour, and my experiences as a foster parent. I left with a gift of hand-made underwear and the overwhelming joy that Portland is in very good hands.
Afterward was second dinner with another dear friend and her partner. We went to the Chapel Pub where an organist was playing Sex Ed Rhapsody, “sex ed really matters. Anyone can see. Sex ed really matters. It really really matters to me.”
Friday January 4, 2019
Thursday we stayed up late drinking tea with Ben and talking about the future before camping in his driveway like hardcore vanlifers. With all that tea imbibed, the RV plumbing was activated that night. (Since we were coming from frozen Montana we had winterized the plumbing so nothing would break but now that we’re in warmer temperatures and in need of a toilet regularly we have a semi-operational bathroom!)
Friday morning I ate RV breakfast – Brown Cow cream top plain yogurt with Bernice’s Bakery granola from Missoula. It occured to me that I would run out of these items and there was a slight head tilt of mystery about five months of life without Missoula. We drove to visit Nels’ friend Jamie who had the day off from work and the two of them went on a hike in the forest while I took a much-needed shower and got some work done. I wasn’t able to fit 80 hours of assignments into three hours but I was grateful that I got to check some things off the list and have time alone.
When Nels and Jamie came back to the house we went out for Panang Curry. Ben met us and we talked about Blue Planet playing on the restaurant TV. I didn’t know that octopuses/octopodes could be magenta!
After food we all went separate directions. Jamie and Nels went to meet up with another friend and put a puzzle together. I took Ben to his house and then did a run to Fred Meyers for a mattress pad and some drawers to organize my art supplies. Lindsey driving around the city in an RV by herself is a badass!
The evening of Friday January 4, 2019
Nels and I drove to Gresham, Oregon about 40 minutes from where we were in Portland. The Sex Geek community was gathering for a short-notice potluck so I could spend time with kindred spirits. The house was beautiful and warm. Each person was so cool and the food was wonderful! It was like reconnecting with best friends even though these were people I knew loosely. We took a tour of the house, sat down picnic table style for dinner, then talked for hours. I learned that a handful of the sex geeks there had already been on tour, one of whom had taken on our very mission of providing sex ed around the country via RV. I learned about the Fisting Coven (of women who learn and practice fisting with supervision) and I discussed the infrequency of sexologists with children while smiling at a new baby nearby. I’m curious. Some of the guests did a nude photo shoot featuring an gorgeous apple flower dessert and others compared notes on how they were raised. Everyone had a pretty unique upbringing except two of us who had grown up the same age in the same 6,000 person town in northeast Ohio, competing backstroke on swim teams, and walking past the Hudson green clocktower for milkshakes. Two 37 year old women who became well-known sex educators.
I eventually brought up my fear of speaking at Oxford’s TEDx in February with one of the sex geeks who is a successful and talented public speaker. He listened lovingly to my nerves and and boosted my confidence then retrieved a stack of colored notecards for me to write down and practice my speech over the next month. I knew what I was experiencing was a birth. Between my friends, the SPEEC meetup, and nurturing dinner party of colleagues I was being born into trust that this would all be transformative and meaningful.
Saturday January 5, 2019
Same morning routine, Nels made coffee and started the ignition. We had a brunch date with friends of his from college at their house. “At their house” is a great preposition when you’re road-tripping I’ve already learned because there’s a grounding feeling of front door, living room, bathroom, family dog etc. that you can’t get eating out at restaurants. AND the food is outstanding, made with love. This food was incredible, the black lab was so affectionate, and their toddler provided the ever so welcome shared activity of observing a tiny human being instead of outputting a lot of energy in small talk. I like Nels friends a lot!
After we left their place I felt an urgent need to take a nap and have sex, in that order. Nels and I are usually sex-multiple-times-a-day people but we haven’t prioritized it on the road. We got Costco gas, parked in the nearby lot, slept, then had much needed orgasms. I woke up hours later to Nels driving toward Eugene, Oregon where more of his friends had chicken masala for us “at their house.” I stayed in a relaxed state and committed to working later while they all socialized. As I write now they’re playing one of my favorite card games – Bonanza, and I’m thrilled to be on a nearby couch, wrapped in a blanket, recalling day four. What a wondrous adventure I’m on.
I’ve wanted to make this video for so long and I’m so excited that it unfolded better than I could have expected. Andy Smetanka created vivid story-telling graphics, Matt Whitman from the 10 Minute Bible Hour double-checked my sexplanation and taught his own version, and Maia Ledesma cut it all together beautifully.
I’m so grateful that YouTube provides a platform and an audience for conversations like this, ways to effectively dismiss sexual shame and embrace thoughtful lives. Go Team!
The Bible verses I refer to are Genesis 38 and Matthew 5:27
Matt Whitman did a brilliant deep dive into this topic from a theological perspective >>> here