How does the sacred feminine weave into sex work? What is the relationship between sex work and plant medicines? In this episode, SLSP host Tatiana Berindei talks with Katherine Tomlinson about her journey into sex work as well as her experiences with psychedelics and how they intersect in her journey of uplifting the feminine. Judgements, taboos and the unraveling of shame are deeply explored in this heartfelt conversation you won’t want to miss.
Okay. Hello everyone. Welcome to the Sex, Love and SuperPowers Podcast show. I am your host, Tatiana Berindei, and today I have a very special guest with me. It’s Katherine Tomlinson. We are going to be discussing plant medicines, sex work, and the sacred feminine.
Let me tell you a little bit about Katherine before we get started. For the last 10 years, Katherine has been studying psychedelics in hopes of one day becoming a psychedelic facilitator. She continued her pursuit of her dream to this day.
However, five years ago she unexpectedly heard a calling she wasn’t expecting. To walk into a small divey strip club, and put on her first pair of six-inch heels. While the two career paths may seem unrelated, she realized through the pursuit of stripping and psychedelic medicines that her purpose on this planet is to elevate the feminine.
Currently she’s a stripper in San Francisco while she continues to pursue her education around psychedelics as a healing modality.
Welcome to the show Katherine.
Thank you, Tatiana.
Yeah. No one is exempt from our starter question, what are your superpowers?
Oh, that’s a good question. I would say I have a very high aptitude for compassion. I feel like one of my super powers is living without shame, and being an example to others that it’s possible to live with at least significantly reduce shame, and I would also say my curiosity and inquisitive nature.
Beautiful. Yeah. I mean this topic of shame is a really big one, and you my dear did not choose the easiest career path, either of them. Both the realm of psychedelics and plant medicines, and sexuality and stripping those are pretty shadow spaces that you have found yourself called into.
Yeah, definitely. I often joke that I’m a walking taboo because I’ve devoted my life to sex and drugs.
Yet you do so, so openly and without shame. Talk to us a little bit about that process for you. I was just in a session with a client today, and shame around sex was a big part of our conversation. Has there been a dismantling process for you? What’s your experience with that been like?
Oh, absolutely. I remember when I first decided that I wanted to be a stripper, and when after I decided, I sat with the decision for a few months before I actually pulled the trigger and did it. I remember one night lying awake, and just really questioning myself, and being like, “Gosh. I can’t believe I’m considering this career path. Does this mean that there’s something really wrong with me? Am I super messed up because I want to do this,” which is essentially internalized whorephobia coming out. Yeah, there was definitely I think for my first year I still had thoughts like that that would occur occasionally, making me wonder if I was actually okay.
But yeah, I think what helped me was that as more time passed, especially in my line of work, I just realized that I had the opportunity to present this as a healing modality, and that there wasn’t anything wrong with my job, and that my job made me very, very happy. So a lot of that letting go of shame was just coming to the point where I was able to really own that in myself.
I feel like after you become a stripper and you take on that mantle of stigma that this culture hands to you, and you’re able to sit with comfort within that, all of the other pieces around sexuality become a lot easier to accept. Like I’ve been contemplating kink a lot more lately, and trying to look at how people have shame around that for instance. I’ve noticed that as myself, I don’t really struggle very much with shame around the more shadow sides of the sexuality. I think a lot of it had to do with being a dancer, and also engaging with people that in my line of work who would tell me about their own kinks.
How do you view sex work as a healing modality, or how do you crosstalk that?
Yeah, I’ve used sex work. Let me take a step back a little bit. When we’re sick, if we’re physically sick, we go and see a doctor. If we’re emotionally sick, we go and see a therapist. If our sexual needs aren’t being met, who are we supposed to go to? Why is it a bad thing if you realize that your sexual needs aren’t being met, that you go to someone who can meet them? I personally see sexual expression as a pillar of health, and I think it’s something that the vast majority of people need in order to feel healthy.
Yeah. But it’s interesting though, because in the strip club you have people who want all sorts of interactions with you. Some of them, I feel like the healing is through pleasure, and fun, and joy, which I feel like a lot of people sometimes forget that healing can look like that. It doesn’t all have to be hard, difficult work, and for some people, they’re craving deeper intimacy, and they’re able to go in the club and receive that. Like last night I was at work, and the first guy that I worked with was a widow, and he just really wanted connection and intimacy because he hadn’t had that for a while.
We’re going to go to a quick break. I’m really curious. I have more questions for you because I’m an inquisitive person. Hence, me running podcasts. Before we go to break, will you tell people where they can go to find out more about you and your work?
Wonderful. We’re talking with Katherine Tomlinson about plant medicines, sex work, and the sacred feminine. More when we get back. Stay tuned.