AMBER LOVE 02-FEB-2015 This is our SEX-POSITIVE SPECTACULAR episode with AMANDA CHATEL. We talked about writing, relationships, sex, porn and what we think of the commercialism of Valentine’s Day. Amanda’s writing is often found on websites like Bustle, OkCupid, Mic, YourTango and more. Follow her on Twitter @angrychatel.

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Amanda talks about the stunted sexual education that many schools insist upon versus others that are willing to be open and talk about relationships and consent culture as part of Sex Ed. One great way to open discussion is to use comedy. For example, check out Erika Moen’s Oh Joy, Sex Toy comic.


Recently, I’ve noticed some famous author quotes where people have stated they don’t believe writer’s block exists; whereas, for most others, they acknowledge it and are willing to share tips how they break out of it. Amanda is sort of in between about it. For her, assigned writing with deadlines doesn’t afford her the delay of writer’s block. Like many other novelists, she says she has had writer’s block for 30 years.

“I don’t believe in writer’s block. Think about it – when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due? Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands.” Jodi Picoult

“I don’t believe in writer’s block or waiting for inspiration. If you’re a writer, you sit down and write.” Elmore Leonard

The pitching process for a freelance columnist varies. With some outlets, Amanda has to pitch and wait for approval, but others give her freelance assignments. This leads into our discussion about the relationship between writers and editors and what it feels like to live through the editorial process. The painful process of “killing your darlings” when she has to fit a required word count has been a emotional experience for Amanda to accept as being a writer.

Crowdsourcing for input into her columns, is another unique part of Amanda’s writing. She often asks for reader input for her articles (where you can specify to be anonymous or use a handle).


She’s also chosen to avoid the comments! Sometimes that’s not an option for a writer, certainly not for an editor, but if you can pre-emptively avoid shitty hurtful comments, you should.

When a crazy person takes time from their day to tell you that you’re an awful human being, what exactly is the appropriate response to that? The block button across every social network becomes your friend if you are a woman on the internet.


Amanda is more comfortable writing than public speaking, but she was great in opening up about her own long-distance relationship. We spent a wonderful amount of time talking about non-traditional arrangements.


Amanda has some fun practices that avoid the pressures of romance on holidays. She and her friends will hang out at the beach or go to an animal shelter and walk the dogs.

“I’ve never spent a Valentine’s Day with my partner my entire life.” ~AC

“I think when it comes to relationships, everyone just needs to take a step back. They need to breathe.” ~ AC

Not sharing a designated date on a calendar is not the end of the world. Amanda doesn’t identify as a romantic when it comes to love and no one should feel that they need to be. People are different. Some are going to be romantic and others never will. You can’t force it. Compromise and doing things for a partner still allows you to be yourself, but you shouldn’t expect that you can change your desires in the romance department.


“Valentine’s Day can go fuck itself as far as I’m concerned.”

Other romantic calendar dates include:

  • Dragobete and Imbolc in February like Valentine’s Day
  • May Day/Beltaine
  • Brazil’s Great Lovers’ Day – Dia dos Namorados in June
  • Sweetest Day in October
  • International Kissing Day in July

An observance that I’m not familiar with but I think sounds more full of adoration and appreciation, Mărțișor, a Romanian celebration on March 1st. A talisman is crafted using white thread and traditional red thread but could also be black or blue; the threads are knotted and tied to a coin. Men and women wear this talisman pinned to them, close to the heart. Sometimes it’s tied around the neck. At the end of March, the talisman is tied to a fruit tree.

“In modern times, and especially in urban areas, the Mărțișor lost most of its talisman properties and became more of a symbol of friendship or love, appreciation and respect.” Wikipedia


Sapiosexual – the attraction to another person based on intelligence, no sexual physical contact required. If you can orgasm listening to Tom Hiddleston recite Shakespeare, you might be sapiosexual.

I didn’t remember the woman’s name that I was referring to during the show about “thinking off,” but I wanted to make sure it was here in the show notes. Her name is Barbara Carrellas and she has proven, through the use of MRIs, that it is entirely possible to bring oneself to orgasm through a practice of breathing exercises and mental focus. She, in fact, doesn’t use the phrase “think off,” which was created by producers; she calls the practice “Non-genitally based orgasms.” 


* Amanda recommends HBO’s LOOKING and QUEER AS FOLK

* Amber recommends USA’s SIRENS and Bravo’s GIRLFRIEND’S GUIDE TO DIVORCE


On Mic, Amanda wrote about PornHub’s annual stats and it was shown that women most often search “lesbian porn” where men most often search “teens” and “MILF.” Amanda talks about the differences in how orgasm is achieved. Girl-on-girl porn focuses on clits and vaginas instead of blow jobs and anal sex. Plus, Porn is usually criticized for having no stories. Why do you think the search terms trend this way?

While we can’t conclusively prove why, it likely reflects an important reality about female sexuality: Most women want authentic, non-degrading, pleasurable sex — and they need more than penetration to get off.




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