The Ins and Outs of Karin’s Vagina with Karin Freeland

Jordan D’Nelle 0:01
Welcome to Vaginas, Vulvas, and Vibrators with Jordan D’Nelle. This is a safe place to learn about women’s health and sexual wellness. I’m your host Jordan D’Nelle, physician assistant, women’s sexual health educator, and intimacy coach. On today’s episode we have a special guest joining us to talk all about her most recent book that is focused on the things that happen to women that we are not talking about. This is so fitting for the podcast because one of the biggest things with this is talking about things that are happening to us, validating our experiences, and she is absolutely hilarious. You are going to love this episode.

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Joining me today is Karen Freeland. She is a recovering corporate workaholic. After years in high pressure leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies she traded the boardroom for the bedroom. In her hilarious tell all book The Ins and Outs of My Vagina: a Penetrating Memoir she recounts the mishaps and misadventures she had over the past 40 years with a special partner in crime, her vagina, whom she named V. Women of all ages can relate to this raw and honest journey of first, long term relationships, and finding pleasure. Karen, do you want to go ahead and tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write your book?

Karin Freeland 2:37
Absolutely. So, thank you so much for having me first of all. I’m so excited to be on your show and talk to your listeners. So, I was inspired by not understanding my own body. Really, just living most of my life and well into my adulthood being completely confused by my vagina. You know, one day, for example, you’re having sex, and something feels really good, and you’re there and it’s amazing. And then the next week, you do the exact same thing. And you’re like eh, okay, like, not so great this time, right? So, I always say vaginas are tricky. We just never know what vagina is going to show up today, the one that likes us or is just kind of bored. So, it was really a joke, actually, between me and my husband. He had told me that I should write a book and call it I Don’t Know My Vagina, because of how clueless I am about my body. And I talked about this a lot in chapter 30, all lubed up with nowhere to go. And I tell the whole story about how this came to be. But from there, I started writing. Once my husband gave me the idea, I was like, you know what, this actually might be a story, I’m going to start just putting some ideas on paper. But then life got in the way, and I took an eight-year hiatus basically and just wrote like a chapter here or there and then kind of forgot about it. And it wasn’t until 2019 that I had a bit of a midlife crisis and had to refocus on what I actually wanted to do with my life and decided, You know what, it’s time I need to finish this book, I’m going to complete writing it. And once I got started, I just had this new surge within me like I was excited. I was passionate about it, and I just couldn’t see not finishing it and publishing it.

Jordan D’Nelle 4:28
Okay, so it took eight years to get this book together. That’s amazing. And it’s so interesting how little we are taught about our bodies. And that’s really one of the biggest reasons why I started this podcast because women need to learn more about their bodies and we’re not talking about it at school. We’re not teaching our children about it most of the time, so we have to find other ways to learn about it. How do you feel that your book is helping other women?

Karin Freeland 5:02
One of the things that I think is so interesting is everybody’s going to take away something different from the book; something different is going to resonate with everyone. Depending on your age, you’re also going to take away something different from the book, right? So, if you’re younger reading this, you’re going to learn so much about intimacy in a marriage in a relationship, you’re going to learn about UTIs, which hopefully you’ve never had to experience one of those. But you’ll know for when you do. You’re going to learn about having troubles orgasming from just penetration, because that doesn’t actually exist for most of us women. But you know, you’re going to be able to have an idea of what’s coming. But then women who are older are going to read this book and they’re going to basically commiserate, right, they’re going to be able to relive their own journey and go, Oh, my gosh, yes, I remember when that happened to me, Oh, I’m not alone. This does happen to other people. Like she did have a traumatic first bikini wax experience, just like mine, right, like, whatever. And I think they’re going to just have a new appreciation and love for their own bodies, hopefully. The other thing is, I hope that the book will start more conversations. I want those conversations to happen, not just amongst friends, but mother, daughters, partners, talking to your significant other like, Hey, bro, this can’t always be about you; homegirl needs to get off over here, too. And then we don’t talk about those things because we’re either embarrassed or we’re uncomfortable. We don’t know what to say, we don’t want to hurt their feelings. But I promise you, there’s a way to have these conversations that are going to normalize it so that you are more comfortable, and you can live a more fulfilling life.

Jordan D’Nelle 6:44
Absolutely. And the key is having more conversations about this topic. In your book, do you talk about like your first sexual experience?

Karin Freeland 6:53
Oh, yes, it goes horribly wrong. Some people are like, I don’t know if I want my kid to read this because, I mean, it’s generally for 18 and up, but I think some, you know, 16/17-year-olds, depending on the maturity level, they could probably read this. But honestly, they’re going to read it and be like, Oh, my gosh, I’m never going to have sex if that’s what’s going to happen to me my first time.

Jordan D’Nelle 7:15
Right, I know, in the book that I’m currently writing, I talk about, like, my first time with penetration. And then I also talk about my encounters prior to that, which were actually with women, and didn’t even realize what was happening. It’s quite interesting.

Karin Freeland 7:32
Yeah, that is interesting. I’m intrigued.

Jordan D’Nelle 7:35
So, I feel like your book is also a really great tool to help mothers have conversations with their daughters, even if they’re not the ones letting their daughters read it, if they read it, and kind of were able to talk to their daughters about what it is, but I feel like women under 18, ladies under 18, would be great to read it too. Because you would have the opportunity to learn about these things before maybe they happen and have a better understanding, like going out into the real world.

Karin Freeland 8:08
Yes. There is a chapter, it’s chapter seven, finger in the pie. This is kind of my first manual stimulation. But the reason actually I wrote chapter seven was because I was listening to a podcast, and they were two grown women, but they were talking about how even now today, if they’re in a sexual experience, and they’re like, not really feeling it, they’ll just go through with it because it’s easier than saying, like, tap out. And I thought, oh, my gosh, what message is this sending to younger viewers or listeners, that you should just stick it out and just take one for the team? I mean, I’m not saying we haven’t all done it. There’s definitely been nights with my husband where I’m like, buddy, it’s never going to happen for me, but I’m just going to ride it out, so you’re good. But like, when you’re younger, and you don’t have your voice yet, I think we need to have conversations and teach young girls about saying no and speaking up and being comfortable enough to stand up for their own body. When I was in eighth grade, I barely had the courage to do that. And I divulge this very awkward experience where this boy is trying to be intimate with me and I’m so uncomfortable. I’m like, I am not ready for this. This is not turning me on; I’m not excited in any way. I feel gross. I feel ashamed. I just felt very uncomfortable. And I didn’t want to do it. And eventually I get the courage to just say No, I’m done. And I leave his house very abruptly. My friends like what happened, what went wrong? And I start to explain, it’s just too far too fast. And it ends up being the end of that relationship which was probably for the better. But how many young girls are not being told that if you’re in that situation, here’s what you can do to get out of it, or here’s the things that you should be looking out for, so you don’t end up in that situation. And I think we underestimate the age that some of this is happening.

Jordan D’Nelle 10:18
We absolutely do underestimate the age; I think that a lot more younger women are in situations where they’re potentially stuck and not sure what to do, not sure how to respond. And this goes way back even further than that to early childhood when we talk about boundaries. And, you know, like hugging children, if you have a niece or nephew, and you ask for a hug, and they say, No, that doesn’t mean you go get a hug, because now you are teaching them not to respect boundaries at a very young age. And that that carries on throughout our lifetime.

Karin Freeland 11:00
Yeah, and I don’t think a lot of people think about that. That is something I’ve been newly introduced to. And that really resonated with me because I thought, oh, my gosh, especially with young girls, they’re being told that when they say no, don’t touch me, that’s not validated. So that’s a scary culture to be in, right, and a scary thing to breed.

Jordan D’Nelle 11:21
Yeah, I wish that I was at a younger age, knew how to say no, and knew how to stick by my no, and knew what to do in a situation where my no wasn’t being listened to because a lot of times, at least for me, it was just stick it out because that’s the easiest option.

Karin Freeland 11:43
Right. Because we’re so worried about somebody else’s feelings, aren’t we? I’m going to hurt that person’s feelings. They’re not going to like me anymore, meanwhile I’m totally miserable and uncomfortable. Like, why would we do that to ourselves? But that’s what we do because we don’t have other options.

Jordan D’Nelle 12:01
Absolutely. Now, when you were writing this book, what kept you sharing the real raw truth and not holding anything back when it came to sharing your stories?

Karin Freeland 12:15
Yeah, that is hard. I will tell you, it is challenging. And you know because you’re doing this process yourself now. There are plenty of times where I wrote a chapter, wrote a line, wrote a paragraph, and thought, oh, gosh, can I really say this? Can I really tell someone this? But luckily, what kept me going, I guess just that authenticity in that truth. And knowing that I wanted women to get the full picture, I really wanted them to feel in every chapter like they’re right there with me either in the bedroom or in the doctor’s office, or wherever, in the emergency room, wherever I am, in all these different scenes; they were right there with me. And so, I knew I had to leave those details in, or you were going to miss a piece of the authentic story. And I think again, it just comes back to my truth and sharing that with everybody and knowing that the only way they’re going to get value out of it, and they’re going to get the same learnings or lessons that I got, is to know the whole story. So, there’s one chapter, chapter two. It’s very early on in the book, because the book starts in chronological order. It goes from me very young, five or six, discovering that I even have a vagina, all the way through to culminating in this amazing orgasm with my husband. So, you go the whole journey with me. But, in chapter two, I talk about the first time I got that sensation between my legs, it was kind of like, Oh, hello, what is happening down there. I’m getting hot. Like, this isn’t normal. I’m six or seven. I’m young. And I thought, oh my gosh, am I going to tell people about this? This is so embarrassing, or are people going to think I’m weird? Like, whoa, she was six or seven years old going through this. But I thought again, I have to leave it in there. And I have gotten so many messages about that chapter. And people are like, Oh my gosh, I totally used to do that. I would lay on the floor with my legs pinned together tight. And finally, my mom was like, oh, you should do that in front of your dad. And I was like, Oh, that’s so funny. These stories are amazing, you know. So, I’m so glad that I left these things in because it is so relatable, and we all go through it.

Jordan D’Nelle 14:28
And that’s the reality of it is that people love the relatable stuff, but it helps other people feel validated in their experience as well when you are able to share those things. I know in my book, I started writing it and I’m like, oh my god, what am I doing? I talked about how at 10 years old, I was humping pillows, and kind of that journey and talked about my first vibrator being my mom’s back massager. And then I think about, oh my god, my mom’s going to read this shit and know!

Karin Freeland 15:03
Oh, I already told my mom; I was like, please, I cannot state enough times, do not read this book please. She’s like, why? Am I going to think less of you? I was like, probably definitely. But you know, she doesn’t listen, she’s going to do it anyway. So, whatever, you know, I warned her.

Jordan D’Nelle 15:23
Now, do you have children?

Karin Freeland 15:25
I do. I have two boys. And they’re 10 and 11 years old.

Jordan D’Nelle 15:28
So, tell me a little bit about what they think about you writing this book. And has this opened up conversations with them about women’s bodies as well.

Karin Freeland 15:39
Oh, for sure. They have had quite the education going through this process. I would write it sometimes on the weekend or they would be awake, and I would just be like mommy’s writing her book, you have to stay on the other side of my laptop like you can’t come around or sit on my lap or whatever. And so, one day, they snuck up behind me and I didn’t know they were there. And all the sudden I just hear oh my god, was your vagina really bleeding? Yes, honey. So, then I had to explain a period and tampons and pads and all that kind of good stuff. And so, the other day, it was so funny; I mentioned something about having a cramp, and my son was like, so like, do you have your period? Are you bleeding right now? And I’m like, maybe I’m like, yeah. And so, my son hits him. My older son hits the younger one and goes duh she’s wearing a tampon. That’s so great that you know that. And it’s just like a duh, like, it’s so nonchalant. So, we’ve had a lot of interesting conversations. They’ve gotten very curious. My youngest is very curious about the whole process. So, he’s asked me, like, how long does the process take? What process? And he’s like, you know, to fertilize the egg. And I was like, Oh. I was like, well, the process only takes like seconds, but it can last as long as you’re enjoying it. So, we’re trying to explain this whole concept of actually making the baby and then like enjoyment and pleasure for sex. So, they’re young, they get a little creeped out sometimes; they’ll be like, okay, stop talking. I can’t, this is enough. And then other times, I think they’re kind of interested, they want to understand how all these things work. But, you know, it remains to be seen how they actually turn out. Is this all going to really sink in? Are they going to be better husbands, dads, and whatever for it? I hope so. But it’s hard to say. They have a lot of formative years ahead of them and a lot of influence, I think, from other places, and that could potentially bring them in different directions. So, it’s hard to say.

Jordan D’Nelle 17:48
Yeah, well, and I think that not only is this information good for girls, but I do think getting boys more education about their bodies is really important as well, because, or about women’s bodies, because they need to understand how orgasms work. They need to understand periods, they need to understand how ovulation works, how babies are made, like they do need to understand this stuff. And they don’t get that education in school either.

Karin Freeland 18:16
Now, very limited. So yeah, we are definitely keeping communication lines very open. Because, growing up, and I don’t fault my parents for this, they are just doing the best that they knew how, but I grew up in a household where you didn’t have sex until you got married. End of story. So, there was no reason to talk about sex because you weren’t doing it or supposed to be doing it. But of course, as we know, we all have minds of our own or in this case, you have a vagina like mine. And she’s like, got a mind of her own. And so, you do things that maybe you shouldn’t be doing, or you’ve been told not to do. And then all of a sudden, you’re in this conundrum where like, you wake up one day with a urinary tract infection, and you have no idea what’s wrong with your body. Because no one ever told you to pee after sex. Like you just don’t get the information that you actually need as a woman. And so, I also hope that some of my book will provide that for some women who maybe aren’t getting those conversations.

Jordan D’Nelle 19:11
What are some of the key messages in your book?

Karin Freeland 19:16
So, definitely I hope women will take away that don’t compare yourself, your sex life, to other people’s, because I talk a lot about my challenges with orgasming. I was not popping off orgasms every time I got in the sack, and I still don’t today, even though my husband is very well trained. And he understands now oh, I can’t just do penetration and expect her to like have an awesome experience. There are just days where my head’s not in the game or whatever we got in a fight or I’m worried about bills or whatever and we’re just human. But I think so many of us automatically assume everyone else is having an amazing sex life but me, and so I hope people will just kind of see oh, maybe read sex Isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Also, I was really blown away after I reread the book during the editing process from front to back with how many body image issues I’ve actually experienced over the course of my life. And I don’t have a resolution for that, to be honest. It’s something that we all struggle with, I think many of us struggle with, I still struggle with it today. But I think women will maybe appreciate that just seeing how normal it is. And I am smaller, right? So, I’ve always been like, oh, Karin, you’re so skinny, or you’re so small. You’re so lucky, but people forget, I have a huge Tummy Tuck scar, because after my second child was born, my abs were obliterated. And I had a huge hernia and diastasis recti that had to be repaired. And I have sutures that stick out and bruise my skin. So, I have purple bumps. So, like when I take a sexy picture on Instagram, I have to take like 70 of them and get myself in the right position and hike up my jeans or my workout pants. So, you can’t see all the scarring. But we’re more than our bodies, you know. So hopefully people will get that too. Those are just a couple of the messages . . . and speak up for yourself, right? Speak up for what you want, whether it’s pleasure, or if somebody is doing something that you don’t like. And don’t be a workaholic, because I talk about my workaholism a little bit in the book, so I hope people will get that message as well.

Jordan D’Nelle 21:26
Yeah, I would love to hear more about your workaholic-ness. And how did you transition? I know I’ve kind of looked through some of your stuff. You used to be in corporate life and doing a lot of work. And how did you transition out of that into a more fulfilling life?

Karin Freeland 21:47
It was not easy. And it was really like a two year long process. So, people who are just kind of meeting me now are thinking, oh, wow, she’s an overnight success; she just made this happen. And, no, this has been going on for a long time. One of the things that I did is I hired my own coach, because I know the impacts that coaching can have on people, but I knew that when I left corporate, I had to have a coach because old habits die hard. And I was going to go right back to being an entrepreneur workaholic, just except I was going to be working for myself instead of working for somebody else. And so, my coach really helped me set boundaries, and then build my business around those boundaries. For example, I generally don’t work on Fridays, I might do a podcast or something like this, but I don’t do all the normal emails. And I don’t do conference calls or meetings. Friday is my day to volunteer or fill my cup, whatever I need to do. And I’ve really enjoyed that. But it was hard for me to hold myself accountable not to go, Oh, sure, you want to meet, great, I got a slot on Friday, just start dumping things in. I met with a financial advisor. I highly recommend making sure that you know where your money’s at. And he was like, Look, you’ve got a lot of runway, you’ve saved more than most people your age. And you can actually retire very early if you want. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I had no idea I was in this financial position. What have I been worried about? I have the runway, I don’t need to keep working at this rate. I don’t need to make six figures. I mean, I’d like to make six figures every year, but I don’t need to. Take some of that pressure off. And a lot of it was just mindset; just really coming up with my mission in life. What are my top three goals that I want to accomplish before my time is up on this earth? What is most important to me? And then anything that doesn’t line up to those three things in my mission, I just say no to. It doesn’t serve me so I’m not going to do that anymore.

Jordan D’Nelle 23:50
I love that. I am going to need who your coach is when we’re done with this recording. But do you know what attachment style you have?

Karin Freeland 23:59
Oh, I don’t.

Jordan D’Nelle 24:01
Oh, okay. So, you’ll have to look into that. The reason I ask is that I am an avoidant attachment style. And one of the common themes with people who are avoidant is workaholics, because we are avoiding our emotions or other things in our lives and filling it up with work.

Karin Freeland 24:21
That’s me. That’s exactly what I am. I ignored every other problem in my life. Oh, marriage isn’t going so great right now, or honey and I aren’t connecting . . . Great. I’m going to go work because I’m important. I’m going to go over here and do this thing so that I don’t have to deal with you, and I can shut that out. Oh, 100%. That’s me.

Jordan D’Nelle 24:41
Yeah, it’s so interesting. I have done a lot of work on leaving my avoidant lifestyle. And kind of transitioning from my former workaholic. I used to work 80 plus hours a week at my full-time job, and then have multiple hobby jobs on the side. And now I’m down to choosing to work 21 hours a week, so that I can enjoy all those other things and have time for myself in the meantime, but it’s hard.

Karin Freeland 25:11
Yeah, it is. It’s so tempting to go back to that, like, oh, just one more email, just squeeze one more podcast and just do one more thing. But I’ve really just tried to stay accountable to myself and just bring it back to that mission. What am I really trying to accomplish? And what I want my life to look like.

Jordan D’Nelle 25:27
I love that. Do you kind of talk about some of that in your book?

Karin Freeland 25:34
Yes and no. So, I do in the later chapters, but it’s always in relation to something that’s going on with my body. So, you really kind of see this first bit of workaholism spike when I am ignoring the care for my unborn baby. And I’ve put off appointments to go in and get checked out, and it ends up that I’m actually having an ectopic pregnancy. So, if anyone doesn’t know what ectopic pregnancy is, basically, the egg does not make it all the way to your uterus, and the baby starts to grow inside the fallopian tube. And it’s very devastating for the mother like you can actually die. It’s a very, very serious medical situation. But I had no idea because I was overdue for my appointment, my check up, and I was traveling on the road for work, and I was having these terrible cramps. And I thought, my gosh, I’m just getting my period one more time when I’m pregnant. I think I saw that on an Oprah episode or something. I don’t know. For some reason, I thought I could get my period again. And I was sort of ignoring it. And then I ended up in the emergency room and found out that my baby is no more. And so that was pretty traumatic. And then you see some other examples of that in the book where we were going for stints of a couple weeks without sex and I’m prioritizing nothing but work as usual. But there’s plenty more examples of my poor choices and workaholism that are not in the book, unfortunately.

Jordan D’Nelle 27:05
Now, tell me what do you do to make money or like what do you do that brings you joy?

Karin Freeland 27:12
Well, those are two different things sort of. Not all the time. But, to make money right now, I will tell you, I am still consulting on the side. It’s a part time gig. I can work from home. I pick up the clients I want. I say no to the projects I don’t want. So, for me, that is a great way to make money. And it’s more per hour actually than I was ever making in corporate. I just don’t do enough hours to make the kind of money I was making in corporate. So that’s kind of how I make my money. It’s fine. I love what I do. But it doesn’t fill me up. It doesn’t bring me joy. Right now, my coaching, I have a very small boutique firm, a small select group of clients because I want to give them my best. And again, I don’t want 100 hours a week. So that is what brings me the most joy in addition to promoting the book. And the book, I don’t think I told you, but a portion of the proceeds is going to Alliance for Period Supplies to help end period poverty. They’re a fantastic organization, you can check them out at alliance for period They help women who are of low income and can’t afford tampons, periods, whatever. They put together packages for them. You can do a period supply drive, but I am donating a portion of the proceeds to help them with their great work and make an impact in someone else’s life. That’s what brings me a lot of joy and inspiration because I’m out there talking about the book.

Jordan D’Nelle 28:35
I love that you are doing that. I think that is amazing. And period products are so expensive.

Karin Freeland 28:42
Yes. Yes. I mean, my last cycle was like $25. And then on top of that I bought my first pair of period underwear. Did you see that? I posted it on Instagram. I know that was ridiculous. Yeah, and those were like 30 bucks. So not cheap at all.

Jordan D’Nelle 29:01
I literally was just I didn’t see that post on Instagram. But I was literally just going to bring up how I’ve switched everything over to reusable. Flex discs that are like the reusable type or menstrual cups or period panties. And that stuff’s expensive, but theoretically, like, that’ll save me money long term. So, they say. Do you talk a little bit about that in the book, like learning about these things? Because I didn’t even know this stuff was available until last year.

Karin Freeland 29:30
Oh, same. No, this is all new for me. I didn’t know until I was working with a coach who was helping me promote my book. I’m like a serial coach. I’m always hiring different coaches for different things. But anyway, my book coach was talking to me about how I should join some of these groups where women are talking about period stuff. And there’s a group for the June cup that I found on Facebook that I joined. And it wasn’t until I got in this group that I was like, Oh my gosh, these women are really doing this. This is the thing, I had no idea. No one’s ever talked about this before. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a cup. So, I don’t know, maybe I was living under a rock or something. But, these are the kinds of conversations we need to have. So no, there’s no mention of any of that in the book because I didn’t even know about it. Because I didn’t even know until I wrote the book that a vagina and a vulva were two different things. That was a big shocker.

Jordan D’Nelle 30:22
What type of coaching do you do?

Karin Freeland 30:25
Mostly life coaching. That’s kind of how I would categorize it because people come to me for different things. Predominantly, it’s people who are career women, and they’re feeling burnt out, they’re feeling stuck. They know they want more out of life also, and they want to rock their reinvention. I’ve coached a couple of guys here and there who are also sort of feeling like they’re hitting that midlife slump. I have a woman actually that I’m going to be starting to coach soon more focused on relationships and finding the one for her. So, it’s pretty open. I do love coaching women, though, because I just think we have that instant bond, right? That instant camaraderie knowing what it’s like to be a woman. A lot of working moms come to me because I did that whole rat race and know what that’s like; I have some boundaries. You want to be successful in your career, but at the same time you feel guilty about your family. If you pay attention to your family, then you feel guilty about your career. So just helping women put up the right boundaries and live the life they were always meant to live. It is just so fulfilling.

Jordan D’Nelle 31:25
I love that. And I also mostly work with women just because I feel more comfortable working with women, and we can relate on a much different level than with men. For me, that’s just what feels good. And that’s what I feel called to. So that’s what I do. Are you interested and willing to maybe read a little excerpt from your book?

Karin Freeland 31:47
Oh, I would love to do that. Thank you. All right.

Jordan D’Nelle 31:50
So, are you doing your book on something like Audible?

Karin Freeland 31:55
I have not done an audible. I did an eBook and I did a paperback. I would love to do audible. Honestly, I would love to just narrate it myself, and then maybe hire a guy to do the guy’s voices, because I have a bit of an acting background. I think it’d be really fun to kind of just tell my own story. But publishing books is very expensive when you do it right. So, there’s a lot of ways to Publish Self Publish on the cheap. And a lot of people go that route. For me, I felt like this book was too, too important not to do it full out. So, I hired a very well respected but costly editor, I hired a great designer, I hired someone to actually do a lot of the uploading for me, I hired the business coach, we actually wrote the first 10 episodes of a TV series to hopefully pitch that which costs money. So, when it’s all said and done. I mean, I’m like into the multiple 1000s of dollars. So, I want to try to recoup some of that before I go spending money on an audio book. But you know, if we get enough people to buy the book that I’m all in on audio.

Jordan D’Nelle 33:04
Yeah, I feel like listening to you read the book would be phenomenal. Like, I know that you have a lot of personality. And I think that I would love to hear it in your voice. Absolutely.

Karin Freeland 33:15
Well, let’s make that happen, shall we? So, I will read a little excerpt from one of my favorite chapters, which is Hot Dog in a Hallway. So, have you ever heard the expression: It’s like throwing a hot dog down a hallway? I had never heard that before. Oh my gosh, my husband told me this thing and I was dying laughing, and I was like, yes, that is the name of my chapter. Thank you. So, sometimes it was a team event. I would go to him for a little bit of comedic inspiration. So, this is the point where I’ve had my first son, I have gotten the clearance after six weeks. So, after your first have your baby, you can’t have sex for six weeks. And this is the first night that we are going to be intimate since the baby was born. Here we go. Finally, I easily slid down on his erect member. My mind was totally blown. But not in a good way. I felt nothing. Absolutely nothing. It felt like I was screwing a number two pencil that hadn’t been sharpened. Not that I would know from personal experience. Oh my Gosh, seriously, did his penis shrink? What happened to it? Maybe he lost his baby weight before I lost mine. Then it dawned on me. Duh, it must be that my vagina is all stretched out from having a baby. Oh no, I’m loose as a goose. I knew I should have done them damn Kegels like my doctor told me. Is this what sex is going to be like for the rest of my life? You could drive a Mack truck through V right now. V didn’t care for my metaphor a single bit. Hey, I’m right here. I know all of your thoughts. Remember, there’s no need to be insulting. I’m doing my Best. Sorry, sorry. Meanwhile, I wasn’t about to ruin things for Damien, he looked so ridiculously happy. The one bright spot for me was that my labia didn’t hurt. But it was a small consolation when I had lost all pleasurable sensation down there. I resorted to making some fake passionate noises while continuing to glide up and down. What else could I do? He was so into it. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings or skeeve him out. Luckily, my acting days had prepared me for this moment. Meg Ryan had nothing on me. He believed every second was authentic. And that’s just a little excerpt from Hot Dog in a Hallway.

Jordan D’Nelle 35:42
I love that. And I think that that is such a good conversation about what sex after pregnancy is like?

Karin Freeland 35:52
Yes, yes. And it gets better. So, spoiler alert, I’m normal now. But it was a little rough there. And it was very touch and go. And the chapter goes on for a few more paragraphs about my big plan for this 100,000 mile tune up, like maybe I’ll get a vaginoplasty, I don’t know what you really call it, there’s some technical term, but maybe I’ll have surgery on it. Or I’ll get an 1000 mile tune up and get my breasts done at the same time and this crazy hormonal experience and talk in my head. Of course, I never did do any of those things. And luckily, it all gets back to normal. But yeah, it’s traumatic, and you’re worried. And those first moments like, oh, my gosh, is this what it’s going to be like for the rest of my life?

Jordan D’Nelle 36:35
Yeah. And I’m curious, like when this was happening, were you open with your husband? Or did it take like writing this book to start having these conversations?

Karin Freeland 36:45
Honestly, a lot of it came through the book, because I was not comfortable having these conversations. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I didn’t want to make him feel like, Oh, she’s not enjoying this anymore. She’s not satisfied. She’s not happy. So, a lot of it, I did hide, and I don’t want other women to live like that. Because there’s no way to live, we need to be more open with our partners. And so now in recent years he’s much more open. I even said to him the other day, I was like, Hey, do you want me to go down on you? And he was like, no. He’s like, I don’t want to get off too fast. He’s like, I want to focus on you first. And I was like, Oh, yes! Sweet! Score! He’s learning! So, it’s very encouraging.

Jordan D’Nelle 37:31
I love that. I was actually just talking with a male friend of mine this week about how when women become more sexually liberated, or have more conversations their selves, it really opens it up for men to start sharing about what they’re feeling and experiencing as well.

Karin Freeland 37:54
Oh, yeah, definitely. Like he is more vocal now. Like, oh, why don’t you wear this outfit? Or put this on? Or I really love this dress on you or whatever? Could you wear that tonight or stuff like that? Like, he’s so much more open than he used to be in past years.

Jordan D’Nelle 38:10
I love it. So, if the listeners take one thing away from today’s conversation, what would you want it to be?

Karin Freeland 38:18
There’s so much, but I would say the biggest thing probably is just that you’re not alone. Whatever you are going through and experiencing, some other woman, probably me, has gone through it and you can find comfort in that. But also speak up. If you’re in a situation that you don’t like that’s uncomfortable for you, say so. Get yourself out of it. If you’re not feeling well, or there’s something wrong down there, call your doctor. Talk to them about it. And if you’re not satisfied in your relationship, speak up to your partner and bring it back together. Because, you know, there’s almost always a path to rectify that. I mean, my husband and I, we’ve had so many ups and downs. I was at the point once where I was like, Hey, do you want to get an apartment? Is this like not working out anymore? And then you work through it. And next thing you know, it’s like, you’re right back where you started. But this only comes through communication and talking to that person.

Jordan D’Nelle 39:15
Absolutely. I love that. And where can the listeners find you and get your book at?

Karin Freeland 39:20
So, the book is available on Amazon,, and for any listeners in South Carolina, you can go to a physical Barnes and Noble or Fiction Addiction because they are carrying autographed copies as well. And to learn more about me or my coaching, you can go to If you check out the memoir tab or you go to The Ins and Outs of my you can download a snippet of the book. If you’re still not sure if it’s for you, you can check out a little bit there. And of course, you can find me on Instagram and Twitter at Karen Freeland or Facebook at Karen Freeland Life Coaching.

Jordan D’Nelle 39:57
Beautiful, I love that. All those links will be in the show notes so that people can easily get access to you. But thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. I really appreciate it and enjoyed our conversation.

Karin Freeland 40:09
Me too. Thank you so much for having me.

Jordan D’Nelle 40:12
This episode is sponsored by Pure Romance by Jordan Jones offering top bath and beauty products and relationship enhancement items. Check out the link in the bio to start shopping today. By shopping you are supporting this podcast.

Thank you for joining today and continuing to bring awareness to women’s health. If you love the show, please subscribe so you never miss another episode. And leave a review for others to see. If you want to see me on the daily, you can check out my bio for links to all my pages. Be sure to share this episode with your girlfriends. Thanks again and see you next episode.

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