Episode 39: Cats Are Sluts
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[ INTRO FROM EV’YAN ]
Hello, beautiful people! I'm Ev'Yan Whitney and this is The Sexually Liberated Woman. I am so happy to be back in your ears again and I've got some amazing conversations in store for you that I literally cannot wait for you to dive into. But first we're going to start with this one. This is a conversation I had with Kristen Sollée.
The last time I had Kristen on my podcast was way, way back in 2016 on episode seven, and back then we were talking about sluts. We were talking about the history of the word, what a slut has meant for women's and femme sexuality and how the word slut is being reclaimed today to mean someone who is sexually liberated. It was an excellent conversation, one that I still think about to this very day, and if you haven't listened to it yet, you definitely should. It is so good.
But for this episode, Kristen and I are talking about cats. Did you know that for thousands of years the cat has been a symbol of women's sexuality and did you also know that the female cat was the first animal ever to be slut-shamed by a human being? True Story.
All throughout history, cats have been longstanding symbols for and two women and femme sexuality, so I thought it was about time to acknowledge the kitties for their influence and power as a sexual liberation archetype and who better to have this conversation with me than Kristen Sollee, who literally just wrote a book on this very topic?
I don't have a cat. Sadly, I'm allergic, but if I did have one, I would be looking at my kitty with a little more respect and awe after listening to this conversation. Like, oh my God, wow, you cute little kitty, you kind of deserve to be worshiped as a God to my sexual empowerment and freedom like, oh my gosh. [laughs]
Anyway, I am so happy to be back and I hope you enjoy this episode.
[ INTERVIEW WITH KRISTEN SOLLÉE ]
Ev'Yan: Kristin, I'm so excited to have you back on the podcast again. Thank you so much for being here.
Kristen: Thank so much for having me back. It's been quite a while. A lot has happened for both of us.
Ev'Yan: I know since you were on my podcast last, you wrote a book. Um, and I want to talk about that
Kristen: I would love to talk about that.
Ev'Yan: Yeah. Tell me about Witches, Sluts, and Feminists.
Kristen: So it is a sex-positive feminist history of the witch and the witch archetype. So it's not really about witchcraft per se, although I interviewed tons of witchcraft practitioners in it. But really it just traces the origins of the which archetype up until present day and shows how, uh, the, witch archetype was used to police and punish female sexuality. Similarly to the way the word slut does today.
Kristen: And also to go into all of our ideas about women and femmes that, uh, connect with the persecution of witches. And um our ideas about wicked women and wicked bodies and how that relates to contemporary politics and pop culture and film and fashion and all these, little fun tidbits. So it's like a, it's a primer. The book could have been 10,000 pages long because it's a really broad subject and yeah.
Ev'Yan: Yeah, I'm glad that you mentioned that because one of the reasons why I liked your book so much is that it wasn't super dense and it was really approachable and readable. Like, I mean, you could have easily made this into a tome—
Kristen: Oh yes
Ev'Yan: You know, but like you kept it really, and I mean, I'm sure you're going to expand and expound on this work more in your career, but
Kristen: Yes totally
Ev'Yan: I was like, I was really, really pleased that I wasn't reading something that felt like it came from, I don't know, a textbook and like a college course or something. Like, it was really approachable.
Kristen: Thank you. That that means a lot. And actually, the funny thing is, is that I was teaching a college course on this subject why I wrote the book. But in writing it, I wanted it to be accessible because so much academic work stays in the academic world and it doesn't leave there because of its languaging and the way it's so dense. And I wanted to comb that out and really, you know, share this story that is so many people's stories
Kristen: And so many people's like ancestry and history and it shouldn't just be for one type of person. And that's what my goal was. So I'm so glad you found it accessible.
Kristen: Because it was really important to me.
Ev'Yan: It's super important. So you are obviously on the podcast before and I'm praying that people will re-listen to that episode because the conversation we had about sluts and slut hood was so good. I think about that episode very, um, uh, a lot.
Kristen: Yeah. I am so into it myself.
Ev'Yan: Yeah, it's so good. Like we, we touched on so many wonderful things. But as kind of a refresher for people who are new or people who just want to be reintroduced to you, tell us who you are, tell us how you identify. I'm assuming you identify as a witch and a slut, but yeah.
Kristen: I do.
Ev'Yan: Tell, tell us who you are and tell us everything about you.
Kristen: Sure. So I'm Kristen Sollee. I also go by Kristen Korvette on the internet and I am an educator, curator, a writer. I've been teaching a class about the sex-positive feminist history of the, which for about five years at The New School in New York City. Um, I ran this site. I continued to run it, but um, it, it's not as updated all the time as it used to be called Slutist. That's a sex-positive site that really, now I, as I see it with telling the story of witches, sluts, feminist and the intersection between all those identities. Before I even knew I was going to write this book. So that was, that's what really got me into this. Obviously, I was interested in all these things for most of my life, but they just never combined because I just thought if you're a feminist, you have to be into this and have this aesthetic. If you're a witch you have to be this and this aesthetic and sluts the same way
Kristen: And I didn't really see all these threads, this common route in a way, you know? And so I feel like a connector connecting all these things that are already, there curating juxtaposing in hopefully interesting or just weird new ways.
Kristen: Yeah, I think that about sums it up.
Ev'Yan: That's amazing. I'm, I'm actually really curious how you would answer this question because I think you touched on it a little bit ago about how we have all of these ideas and there are many different expressions of being a witch, being a slut. I'm curious about what your expression of being a witch looks like and what your expression of being a slut looks like.
Kristen: Both of them are about a complete bodily autonomy or as much as you can living under the governmental system or political system that you are living under. You know, but they both share that and I think, yeah, being grounded in your own body and then using that, uh, the way you see fit in a way that is not harming others. Of course, when you get into witchcraft, there's a whole ethics about, you know, they say a witch who cannot hex cannot heal. And there's a, you know, I do believe that to an extent as well. So that's a whole other story. But as far as generally, you know, I think these are healing modalities
Kristen: And even though people don't think of slut as like healing.
Ev'Yan: Oh, I do!
Kristen: Yeah, well I know people, air quotes.
Kristen: But I, that's where I see the shared nexus of that and sort of like someone who straddles worlds, literally and figuratively, you know?
Kristen: And just works with different energies within their body and different ideas in their mind. And you know, both of them are sort of contested identities and they have these really weighty histories and they're very fraud and it's, you know, for some folks they're not easily able to take on these, uh, identities as others. So there's like certain privileges with that as well.
Kristen: And so I just think they really tapped into a really rich history that's often about the, you know, oppression of and liberation of women and femmes in particular.
Ev'Yan: Mmm. I'm, I'm really loving the way that you define being a witch and a slut. Because I think when we talked last time, if you had asked me like how I identify, I would absolutely resoundingly say that are identified as a witch and a slut. These days-
Ev'Yan: These days I'm feeling, I'm feeling a little pressured about the ways that I can claim that word.
Ev'Yan: And whether or not I have the ability, the permission, the privilege even, to use those words. I don't, well no, I was about, I was about to tell a lie. I was going to say I don't feel that so much with slut, but I do, I think, you know, because of the way that our culture has perceived sluts and slut hood, I mean I'm a pretty tame slut, you know, like I haven't had a lot of sexual partners and things like that.
Ev'Yan: And then when it comes to being a witch, you know, I, I felt so much more connected and so much more confident to my witchhood when we were first having this conversation years ago.
Kristen: Hmm okay.
Ev'Yan: These days, um, I don't want to say that I'm in a challenging place with it, but I'm, I, I think I had to kind of step back and really realize what those words meant to me
Ev'Yan: Because I was seeing everyone else portray and embody the witch in the same way that I see everyone portray and embody the slut in this like, you know, empowered and liberated way. I would see those embodiments and think like, oh, that's what I have to do. That's what I need, crystals. I need candles, I need to like draw like pentacles on the ground and chalk and like, I need to look-
Ev'Yan: Do seances and stuff like that. And I was really into that stuff. Um, and I still do.
Ev'Yan: I'm very interested in that. But I've noticed that the busier that I become a, the more that I do this important work. I don't really have a lot of time invest in like, you know, meditating with a crystal for an hour or you know, summoning things or doing tarot even. And so, yeah, I just, I wanted to express that because I think it's really important in this conversation to talk about the different ways that a witch can be embodied and actualize, the different ways that a slut can be embodied and actualized and how like really what I'm hearing you say is that there's like no one definition of being a slut or being a witch.
Kristen: Absolutely. And I'll like hold fast to that till the day I die because I just think given their history is they can't be exclusionary.
Kristen: That said, there are subsets within each of those that are maybe certain traditions or initiated traditions, you know, and like witchcraft or in slutdom. Obviously there are certain languaging that's reserved for sex workers, you know, versus like civilian sluts and within that. Sure. There's all kinds of ways where you're in or out or you know, not quite part of a certain group. That's fine. But I think in the overarching terminology, like the whole point of both of these words and archetypes is that therefore everyone who has faced like rejection or oppression or uncertainty because of the way they thought that because of what they did with their bodies because of what they wanted or desired.
Kristen: You know? And I also agree like there's plenty of times I feel like I am not witchy enough. I'm not slutty enough. Even when I've been in like asexual and I'm like, this is, you know, sex right now for me is, is not on the table cause I'm doing ABC and I need to do that to heal or to just like take a break and then in that time, am I still a slut? You know, and I, and the same with witchcraft and just like you said, there's so many times that I even doing like this book and doing this work and I teach a class doing that. And then sometimes I don't do anything. That's witchy for a while. And I'm like, oh my God, I'm such a fraud, I am full of shit.
Kristen: But then I have to take it back and remember that these are like a lifetime, like identities and they're like ebbs and flows and the sort of about an ethos, not like, uh, what are you doing?
Kristen: It's more like, how are you being, it's not like.
Kristen: Yeah, I don't think it's about how much you can do to prove yourself because that would, that's ridiculous.
Ev'Yan: To see it from that point of view of like, you need to, you're only considered a witch or a slut if you have these external things happening for you if you're doing X, Y and Z versus being like, being.
Ev'Yan: It feels very capitalistic to me.
Ev'Yan: Like the notion that you have to like buy stuff and purchase cards and crystals. I mean, and that's no shade to anyone is obsessed with crystals because like I am too. But like just this notion that you like, I remember, um, and I wonder if we talked about this back in our first, uh, conversation together, but I remember maybe it was recently that Urban Outfitters was selling like witch kits.
Kristen: Yes, yes.
Ev'Yan: And I was like what the fuck?
Kristen: Well, Sephora was going to put out a witch kit and then they withdrew because there was so much outrage.
Ev'Yan: Oh my God.
Kristen: There was that. There's all kinds of stuff like that.
Ev'Yan: Yeah. So it really creates this feeling and I, in my own personal work, I keep coming back to impostor syndrome and the ways in which like our society tells us that who we are is a false, is a fraud that like we're not doing enough and what doing enough looks like is buying more shit or wearing certain things.
Ev'Yan: And I mean of course there's an aesthetic-
Ev'Yan: To it and stuff like that. But I mean even if there isn't you, you can't quantify a witch or a slut or a feminist by the shit you were on a tee shirt.
Kristen: You better not be able to, I mean, I totally agree. I mean, as you said with the like crystals in the witches aesthetic. I think that's true with slut too. Like you don't have to have certain lingerie, you don't have to have 50 sex toys. You don't have to, you know, there's so many, I think things as well for like slut identity. It's, and it's obviously we live in a very, you know, uh, digital culture or cultural surveillance. So there's this proving that goes on when you post something.
Kristen: Let me prove my identity over and over. And sometimes it's very natural, but sometimes I know there's a, like, let me make sure you all know this. This is real. This is me, you know? Right.
Ev’Yan: Yes. Oh my gosh. Oh, don't even get me started on, oh, I Instagram completely exacerbates this phenomenon.
Kristen: Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Ev'Yan: Yes. It is like the bane of my existence sometimes. I'm so glad that we said that piece because it's been on my spirit for a little while and I feel like I need to record everything that you just said for myself and listen to that on a daily basis.
Kristen: I'm glad you said it too, cause it's something I, I struggled with also, you know, because you always compare yourself to other people in the communities, various communities and think, am I being enough? Am I doing enough? You know the answer is yes.
Ev'Yan: Uh, okay. So the real reason that I had you on this time is because you are writing a new book and I am so excited about it. You gave me a little bit of a glimpse when, uh, we had pizza, we actually shared my first New York pizza experience together.
Kristen: So awesome.
Ev'Yan: Which opens my heart every time I think of it literally the best pizza but over pizza. You told me about this new book that you're writing and so I want to hear more about this book. I'm not going to spoil it. I'm going to let you tell people what it's about.
Kristen: So this is a perfect time to that we did this podcast cause I literally turned in the first draft, manuscript last week.
Ev'Yan: Yay. Oh my God. Congrats.
Kristen: Thank you. So I'm taking the week off.
Ev'Yan: Good for you.
Kristen: So what do I do with myself? Oh yeah, I should take care of myself.
Kristen: Cause that goes out the window and you're writing, for me at least.
Kristen: And I need to be better about that goal for 2019. And so don't let work drive everything.
Kristen: But I'm a Capricorn, so it's very hard. So my new book is called Cat Call: Reclaiming the Feral Feminine in Myth and Magic.
Ev'Yan: Oh my God. Wait, I fucking love that title.
Kristen: Thank you.
Ev'Yan: That is literally perfect. Oh my God, that is so good.
Kristen: I'm so glad you like it.
Ev'Yan: So good. Okay. Continue.
Kristen: So the main premise is that cats and women and femmes have been culturally inscribed with the same attributes for a millennia. Like we have sex kittens, crazy cat ladies, cougars and witches and their cats. And we have words like catty and why do we call vulvas, pussies, all of this connection. And yet, you know, we don't really talk about why, why do we assume cats are female or, and dogs are male or like, you know, they say men are dogs and then women are catty like that.
Kristen: So, and on top of that, the role of the cat in the story of the witch is very large, so there's that twist as well. So it's not only sort of a cultural history, but it's also a magical history. And so it's really looking at where the feline and the feminine intersect since basically ancient Egypt. Because that's really where this story is beginning.
Kristen: And um, how the cat became cast as this evil entity. And then at the same time women are being cast similarly. So they sort of, there's this connection that you know, follows the two twisting and turning together throughout history until today. I mean, whatever you think of them, the pussy hat, like why are we, why is that a thing?
Kristen: Why is there cat ears, you know, like it's so it's still a visual symbol. How many sex toys and things do they put like a cat face on to make, you know, if it's like for people with vaginas, you know what I mean?
Kristen: It's like when you buy, Thinxs like the period underwear and it says your Thinx are on the way. There's like a little cat in the email.
Ev'Yan: This is so fascinating. Like as you're talking about all this stuff, I'm like, holy shit, cats are literally everywhere.
Kristen: I really want to dig into this and you know, find out why. And then I've been a cat person since I was a little kid, always just was obsessed with my cats. And that's kind of a side note about it because I hope, and I think, cause I've shared this draft even with people that hate cats like I think this is an interesting history, even if you don't like cats. So I hope.
Ev'Yan: Mmm, oh my gosh. I like, again, I love the name. It's perfect.
Kristen: Oh, thank you.
Ev'Yan: And I remember when you first told me about this concept of the book over pizza. We geeked out a little bit over ancient Egypt.
Kristen: Oh yeah.
Ev'Yan: I remember us talking about like how we both aspire to be like archaeologists because of obsession with like ancient Egypt. And I remember I was talking about like Egyptians and their fixation and fascination with cats. And I wonder if you could like, I don't know, put some, some context into that.
Kristen: So the cat was one manifestation of the goddess Bastet also known as Bast. And so the cat wasn't per se worshiped. The cat was worshiped as a manifestation of the goddess. So cats held a very high important place, uh, in the Egyptian spiritual pantheon. So there'd be even temple cats that would live in and be, treated, you know, very in a sacred way. And then there'd be cats that would maybe be in your home, but they were also treated with reverence as well. And then there's even the street cats were treated with respect. And so there's, that sort of starts out and they did these festivals and Bubastis, that's Bastet’s city, and they would have these like back in days of drinking and song and revelry like celebrating the cat. And she was a, uh, a mother goddess. Bastat mother goddess. So it's connected with fertility, with femininity from the start.
Kristen: Um, and they say it's possible because cats themselves can have many litters, a one after the other.
Kristen: They're very puconed and they also are known to be excellent mothers. I think it's one of the few species that will, you know, getting to hear the story of a cat going into a burning building to save every kitten like, right. That sort of, you know, carries throughout history. Like, that's just the behavior of the fealist Caddis, you know, so that the cemented in ancient Egypt and that reverence for the cat, not saying there weren't, you know, there are other cultures that have a love for cats and ancient world as well, but particularly the Egyptian view, like the Greeks then took it and flipped it. And then from there, you know, early Christians and Europeans flip that again. So really it's almost like because the Egyptians love cats so much, everyone else had to say nah there not so great and just start this sort of pejorative, a smear campaign.
Ev'Yan: Yeah, I'm, I'm curious about that. Like when did the love and reverence of cats, which within that is the love and reverence of the goddess, the feminine, when did that shift? Because like I also noticed it too, like we associate cats with, um, with femininity, but there's also this underlying thing of like, cats are evil. Like I, I mean I even have a memory where my dad found a black kitten and he brought it home to us, to me, my sister, and we kept it as a pet. But like we ended up, he ended up wanting to give it away because cats, like black cats have this reputation for being bad luck. So yeah. I'm wondering like, when did that shift, I imagine it was like a very long and slow process, but I'm curious about why that happened.
Kristen: Absolutely. And there's a lot of reasons, but one, you can trace it to Aristotle. So Aristotle writes the history of animals when he writes about the cat. Female cat in particular, you basically slut shames her.
Ev'Yan: Oh God. Are we slut shaming animals?
Kristen: I mean this was back in the day, but I mean still good Lord.
Kristen: So basically he writes in the history of animals that are female cat is particularly lecherous and he goes on because he'd probably seen cats having sex. And so the female cat, even before its sex is loud and yelling to get male cats to pay attention to her and whatever, or during, you know, in heat. And then the sexual act itself is loud. So, uh, he basically, I can come up with the, let me see if I can get the quote because it's pretty...
Ev'Yan: Yeah. And while you're getting that quote, I just want to say like, that is so true. I've had cats as pets who were in heat and they are so loud and obnoxious. So that is true.
Kristen: Right? So there is some truth in here, but I mean, what animals aren't like weird when they're having sex.
Kristen: So he says, by the way, the female cat is peculiarly lecherous and wheedles the male on to sexual commerce and caterwauls during the operation.
Ev'Yan: I mean really.
Kristen: I know, I know. Well it's the translation too, so I don't really know, but still.
Ev'Yan: It's very interesting. It's really just wow, that's, that's mind blowing.
Kristen: Yeah. So from there basically then you start to see cats being bad luck in uh, other Greek tragedies like a little later. And then the real turning point that you see as an early Christianity and you know, early Christians are trying to denounce everything that pagan cultures hold dear and the cats and you know, other, there's other sacred animals as well that were then seen to be satanic. So there's really this effort just as all these pagan festivals where either cover it over with a new Christian festival or they were just destroyed or ignored altogether. That's a similar kind of thing that goes on with cats as well. So I sort of looked into other scholars agreeing with that point that you know, that's from Aristotle and then Christians looking to just dismiss and demean anything that came before Christianity. We end up with the cat being pretty evil.
Kristen: And then there's all kinds of, like leading up to the witch trials, people, decrees and and religious texts that imagine Satan coming in the form of a cat and things like that that really just cement it further and further.
Ev'Yan: This is so fascinating.
Kristen: Yeah, I think so.
Ev'Yan: The amount of symbolism and even just like, I don't know, paranoia, superstition that we put into an animal. Like I'm just imagining a cat sitting right in front of me. Like this cat doesn't understand what we humans are like, we're putting on it. It's just like I'm a cat and I'm in the, like, I knew what I do because I'm an animal.
Kristen: Exactly. It's, it's kind of absurd. And because of that, uh, association with femininity and female sexuality, that's sort of wild and untamed, you know, we even have to this day, this sort of a negative association as you explained in own experience with a little black kitten.
Ev'Yan: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I feel like this question is rhetorical, but I'm going to ask it anyway. Like, how do you think this like dogma and superstition and paranoia and just like weird obsession with cats and women and sexuality and feminine, femininity? Like how do you think those negative narratives have affected like human feminine people?
Kristen: Oh, absolutely terribly. I think the way into looking at the history of misogyny and, and the oppression of the feminine and the suppression of the feminine Is, you know, you can do that through the window of like the cat, let's just say
Kristen: You know, I think that's an excellent way to look at how various cultures have been afraid of and viewed femininity for thousand years. You know?
Ev'Yan: How did you start thinking about this? Like I'm really curious about the process of your like of, of you where you were like, uh, yeah, cats, femininity, sexuality. I'm going to write a book on that. Like tell me what that, what that process looked like.
Kristen: Yeah. I, as I mentioned, I was a cat person forever and then when I was 11 years old Batman Returns came out. And then I, I saw Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman and I was just, I became obsessed and that sort of like flip the switch, not only introducing me to aspects of kink and you know, leather culture and obviously it's not really in the film, but there's like little bits, you know,
Ev'Yan: There's like, there's like whisperings.
Kristen: Yes, I was like electrified by these undercurrents that I picked up on and I also had cats. And so I sort of just started thinking about those things obviously in a very rudimentary way as a kid. But writing my last book and the research, there was cat stuff that came up almost every turn. I guess I'd sort of thought about this idea, but never really as a book. But in that research for my last book, cats were just everywhere.
Kristen: So much so that I said, no, I'm not going to put them in this book. Actually, there's not even the word cat in the book because I just looked, I was like, is there add anything and no, and it's almost like I was saving everything because you know, alongside all the, um, the women in particular, they were put to death, let's just say, just in the European witch hunts, there were many, many cats also put to death.
Ev'Yan: Oh, really?
Kristen: Side by side. Yes. Yes. That was in, Oh yeah. Flung from bell towers, drowned, burned.
Kristen: Yes. Yes. Because the cat was assumed to be one of the most common of witches familiars or demons that would, you know, tell witches is all kinds of things or witches would shapeshift into cats. That belief is all over Europe, even eastern and southern, western. And even that's where vampire lore comes from.
Kristen: There's, there's a lot of ideas. Yes. In especially Croatia, Italy, there's ideas about, um, witches taking the form of cats to drink the blood on suspecting people. Yeah. Sneaking into their house. So the witch could ingratiate herself to come into your household through the cat form.
Ev'Yan: Okay. Cats are badass though like. All of this lore
Ev'Yan: Stories like this is really, really cool. But like the whole persecution of cats alongside the persecution of women, witches, sluts. I mean that's, that's really sad.
Kristen: Yeah. I mean it's, it's a, it's a fascinating history and it goes deeper in certain ways. Like cats were synonymous with sex workers by the time, by the 1700s. So all the paintings you have these famous paintings of sex workers, um, in western art would often have a cat in them or there'd be, you know, images with a cat. It's like a stand-in for a sex worker, things like that. So like the, the ultimate in sexuality and untame sexuality or in like despised sexuality culture, you know, would be a cat.
Kristen: So, and it goes to today, like I put a list in my book, I don't know if it'll make it to the final edit cause I don't know what the publisher has to say about it. But I put a list of all the strip clubs that have like cats in the name and guess what? It's really easy to find them because there are so, my friends who even were like, oh yeah my, my club is called blah blah blah. You know, there's so many cat inspired and this is wild cats too, cause you have to count when you just more like feline, you know, because wild cats obviously think about leopard print. That's another part of the book. You know the aesthetic of the-
Ev'Yan: Oh my God, that is so true.
Kristen: Leopard print. Yes. Like when women wear the, like pseudo skin surrogate skins of these animals, it's, you know, think of a woman in Leopard print and think, oh she's just really prudish. Right. Even though it's just a print. You could be however you want sexually and wear leopard print. But there's still the association, you know?
Ev'Yan: Wow. That is, oh my God, this is so fascinating and it makes me think of all the times that I was a cat for Halloween.
Kristen: Yes. Well, clearly there was something you were trying to say.
Ev'Yan: Yes clearly, I was like in in the early stages of my own sexual liberation perhaps. Yes, absolutely.
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[ INTERVIEW CONTINUES ]
Ev'Yan: I don't have a cat. I've had cats before. I don't have a cat currently. I have a doggy. She is amazing, but she's certainly not a cat. And so as we're having this conversation, like I imagine, and I even wonder with this for you, like while you were researching for this book and you were coming up with these like connections to being a cat and to femininity and sex and all these other things, like where are you looking at your cat kind of weird?
Kristen: Well, I will say that actually my partner's cat died right when I was submitting the proposal for this book. So I didn't have the cat. So you know, it wasn't time to get another cat. But then two months ago I was sort of, you know, reconciled to not get another, I don't know, it's too soon or whatever, but writing this and just thinking about them, I don't know, I just suddenly found myself going to like a Petfinder and all that. And found my way to a new kitten about two months ago.
Ev'Yan: Aww what's your kitten's name?
Kristen: Her name is Sheree Purry. It's named after the runaway singer, Sheree Curry. I don't know if you're, you know the band?
Ev'Yan: No, I am not, but that's adorable.
Kristen: That's 70. Glam band. So a blonde girl like Joan Jett was like.
Ev'Yan: Oh yes, yes.
Kristen: Yeah. So Sheree Curry is a singer and so I was like, she's like in clam cat, you know, she's white with some silver streaks, just very glam.
Ev'Yan: Oh my God. I've seen pictures of her on Instagram. I'm like, oh my God, she's adorable, adorable.
Kristen: Thank you. I love her. So she really helped inspire this and yeah, it is weird like reading some of the things in writing these things. I'm like, this is all about you. You little, little, little fur ball.
Ev'Yan: Yea, it would be so weird for me to like be reading a book or writing a book about cats and having all of being made to cats and sexuality and femininity, all of that. And then have a cat and be like wow, this is like so much history that you carry in your, in your being like you have like created so much, you know
Kristen: It's super magic and I got to have, I've never had animal Tarot readings so my friend does cat and dog readings.
Ev'Yan: Wait, how does that work?
Kristen: So my friends Sarah Potter, she's amazing and she reads for animals all the time. And I thought for my book I really need to have this. And I've also always wanted to just have my pet have a reading cause I don't know how the hell that works. Like as witchy as I am, I've never done that. So she comes over and she does two different readings. One is more like an oracle card reading and she does that like with the animal where the animal chooses the card.
Ev'Yan: Oh my God, that is so cute.
Kristen: And then she'll do like a regular reading for the owner and animals relationship.
Kristen: We, she had this, this oracle deck out and she said, oh the last um, cat that picked the card, pick the possession card and this oral, it makes sense because that cat was very wild and seem to be possessed by some, you know, spirits or whatnot. And I thought well there's no way Sheree is going to pick a possession card. She's like a chill little princess, you know? And then if we just say that and of course guess which card ends up right in her face and she bites the corner and that’s the possession card.
Ev'Yan: Wow. Okay. So what does that mean?
Kristen: But we decided because she just looks like a fancy little bitch that its possessions like shopping.
Ev'Yan: Ohh I like, I like the twist on it.
Kristen: Material things that she does.
Ev'Yan: Like she likes fancy shit. I love that.
Kristen: Exactly. So that, that was that. But that was fun. I put that in the book and actually it was another woman who is a tarot reader that has a cat spread that you can use your cats to do a reading. And I have that in the book so people can do that. So there was definitely like for people who practice things in the book like that, in addition to all history and stuff, I had to throw in some, you know, real witchcraft you can do with your cat.
Ev'Yan: So, oh my God, I'm so glad you did because like my, my other question was going to be like, so what do we do with this information? Like as we're wrapping our brains around the symbology of cats, um, as well as how that affects and has even informed feminine sexuality, femme sexuality. Like, I mean obviously I'm, I'm imagining that like you maybe looking at your cat in a different light, but also like, what do we do with this information? Like how do we maybe embody more cat energy or shift the narrative around cats?
Kristen: I mean, I think we can all be aware and cognizant of the ways, even archetypes, like the cat lady in particular, there's still this pejorative idea of if you're a woman in particular and you own cats and you're single, there's still like a ridiculous idea that you, you're less than because you're single and have cats, do, you know what I mean?
Kristen: Or that that's, it's sort of this way to denigrate mental illness as well, like the crazy cat lady. So I talk a lot about that and, but I think what I took away the most, and what I hope people can take away from this too is. I'm drawing a lot of parallels between the way the feminine and the feline are treated. And in that sense, how the bodies of animals and the bodies of many, uh, women and feminine people have been treated.
Kristen: And so I think it does position us back to also look at animal rights and the same, well, you know, if we're really thinking about everyone having bodily autonomy, then you know, what, where does that leave animals as well? So I think in the end I started even went beyond gender and to think of if we, if every human being deserves bodily autonomy then like where does that leave us with the way we treat animals, the way we conceive of animal consciousness and their agency. And so I don't have like a big answer.
Ev'Yan: Right, Right.
Kristen: But I feel like it's, it's useful to put our minds to that cause so much of the way, at least American and you know, uh, consciousness is animals aren't really part of it. You know, it's just like I, I think therefore I am and we don't know that animals can think so therefore they are, they are not.
Kristen: You know what I mean? So I think that is, is a big one. And then also just the way that, um, cats are now far then I would say femininity or women.
Ev'Yan: That's true. That's very true.
Kristen: So cats were able to rewrite how they were perceived or we did for them, but we're still working on the other side equation. So I think that's important to remember. Not like you and I don't know that for anyone else who's reading this, it's a good thing to think about, you know, the restrictions on bodily autonomy that are still there.
Ev'Yan: Right. I'm also even thinking about like what it would look like to um, I don't know, celebrate or even highlight your own personal cat energy as a way to like give a giant fuck you to the oppressive systems that have said that cat energy, which equals actuality is wrong. It's immoral, it's sinful. So are there any ways that like you like to get your cat energy on?
Kristen: Well, I think aesthetically is always a big, big one for me. Cat Eyes. I always wear my eyeliner in cat eyes.
Ev'Yan: You know, I wish that I knew how to do that. I've tried so many times with like liquid eyeliner, I even got one of those like pens that are supposed to make it easier. I watched all of these YouTube tutorials, I can't get it. So I feel like it's just not my thing. But.
Kristen: Really? Well, it doesn't have to be, that's not the only way to channel cat one. I think just, I just love cat print. Like I am a wildcat print person, leopard, cheetah, tiger or whatever. I think I don't think it's trashy or tacky. I think that's totally sexist bullshit too. That's like, you know, I think obviously you can not like a pattern if you don't like it, but there's no, there's no one, nothing inherently like less than or lower or you know, low-class quote unquote, whatever that means, you know about animal prints.
Ev'Yan: Right. I'm so glad that you mentioned that too because that is also like another stereotype and another way that we make, I don't know, these really weird associations and assumptions with femininity and sexuality and class and stuff.
Ev'Yan: Like why don't we have that same amount of disdain or paranoia or superstition about, um, I don't know, Paisley print, I mean, Paisley print looks pretty evil too. I mean, if you really want to look at it.
Kristen: It's like a weird little blobby amoeba monster.
Ev'Yan: Like why is it that we only like give that to, um, to cat print, which is like, again, something that I have like in my own family, you know?
Kristen: Yeah, absolutely. And it goes back to this history of associating this untamed sexuality was because cats, even though they've been domesticated to a certain extent, they've never been domesticated like dogs.
Kristen: They still, you know, are pretty much free agents. Obviously, some cats couldn't survive out. But there's so many cats that live out in the wild. Like I, there's like 20 cats that lived on my street and they, you know, they do their thing, they don't need me. They can hang out if they want, you know. And uh, if not, that's fine. I respect them, they respect me, you know. And I think that that sort of total freedom, even though they can get close to humans, there's never fully trained and lose that quote-unquote animal instinct the way dogs are sort of trained to just be our slaves in a way.
Ev'Yan: Right, and like what an awesome fucking metaphor.
Ev'Yan: Was like, what I heard in that answer was that like cats are like sovereign motherfuckers.
Kristen: Yes, yes.
Ev'Yan: You know, like they have agency, they have autonomy. Like, sure. They have been domesticated, but certainly not as other animals like the dog or the fish. Oh my gosh. You know, like they have maintained a sense of like self-possession and sovereignty that like I want to, you know, subscribe to.
Kristen: Yeah, same. Uh, so even writing this book was like a spell into giving that, yeah, bringing it to myself, you know, it's like that, that energy is so powerful and I didn't even get into the kink part about cats.
Ev'Yan: Ooh, yeah, please, please.
Kristen: I will say that I really wanted to look into why a cat woman, you know, is it proof from the first installment of Batman that cat woman appears and there's some kinky aspects. It was like a spanking threatened, you know, and it's like what was a 40's? It's like, what's going on here? And so like dug deeper into old S&M literature. Then I dug into cats of the very few species who play with their prey. I know, obviously, that's non-consensual but you know, we can, we can be inspired for the ultimate dom.
Ev'Yan: Sure, yes.
Ev'Yan: And it's called overflow play, where they play with the thing that's maybe already dead because you know, they don't really care and it's, or you know, they toy, they tease a pray without, they could easily kill it, but they still toy and play.
Ev'Yan: Oh my God, yes.
Kristen: And there was a science to almost that cats are innately kinky.
Kristen: And then that feeds into the way in the 1718’s early S&M literature. It's all about, you know, the kinky wild cat, like the woman, the untamed woman, the wild like dom particularly. It's not like subs are cats, you know.
Kristen: It's like women dominant energy. Our cast is cast like in Venus in Furs, like the main character dom who you know in chance the, the sub. But she, Wanda, it talks about how cats are so beloved because they're so powerful and you can't tame them and they're like little self-starting motors, you know, like they're, they're purr and like hypnotic. And we have this kinkyness in catness is just sort of one in the same at this point. So I think that's another aspect that's super fascinating when you add it to everything else.
Ev'Yan: That is so fascinating. I'm glad that you mentioned that because you just reminded me of this hilarious story that my partner told me, which it features cats. You called it overflow play. Yes, it's my, my husband worked on a farm for a little bit just for fun because that's what he does for fun. And um, there is, there is this adorable cat, his name was Fudge and he, he's so cute, very fat because he was getting fed twice. He was getting fed by his humans and also and hunting. And so one day, um, Jonathan stumbled across Fudge and Fudge was like rolling and putting his face all over this little rabbit. And Jonathan was like, this is really interesting. Like why would this rabbit be like allowing this cat to like rub itself all over it while it's still alive? Come to find out that rabbit was very much dead, basically was playing with it. He had no interest in eating it.
Kristen: Oh my God.
Ev'Yan: He killed it for the purpose of laying all over it and purring all over it. And what was the best part was that Jonathan took pictures and they literally look like glamour shots. Like he is laying on the carcass of this little bunny and he's looking at the camera like, yeah, like it don't you? And it was fucking hilarious. I will never like get that out of my mind. And so as you were talking about overflow play, I was like, holy shit, that is a thing.
Ev'Yan: I've seen it and it's bizarre, but it's also cute, but it's also a little creepy and kind of like homicidal. I didn't really know how to feel.
Kristen: I love that story. Yeah, exactly. It's in action everywhere. Cats are totally sluts and their kinky.
Ev'Yan: Oh my God, that I'm so about your book. I cannot wait until it's out. When does it come out? Where can we buy it? When it does come out, do we preorder, tell us everything.
Kristen: So it's not out for preorder yet when it comes out officially September 1st.
Kristen: And that might change by a few days here and there. Obviously it's still early in the game, but it will be out by September and I'm definitely going to be doing some touring and having some events with some cat adjacent things going on. It's not just going to be boring me reading. Are you kidding me? And I'm like, no way. With a some thing like this, it's going to be like some funny cat action.
Ev'Yan: Yeah. Oh my God, I'm so excited. Are you, do you have any plans on coming up to the Pacific Northwest?
Kristen: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I got to come back and we hopefully you can be part of it. We can do something. I think last time was so fun.
Ev'Yan: Yeah. Oh my God. I would, I would love, I would love this. I mean, the energy about this is so, so good. Um, and I want to be more into cat energy myself.
Kristen: Yeah. And you don't even need, obviously you don't need a cat around to do it and maybe your dog will appreciate it.
Ev'Yan: Oh my gosh. Kristen, thank you so much for coming on and talking cats and sluts with me today.
Kristen: It was awesome. Only you would offer this opportunity for this kind of conversation. So thanks.
Ev'Yan: Oh my gosh. I was like, how can, like how can these two things go together? And you just proved that they go together very beautifully. So I so appreciate your wisdom and your ability to like put into perspective and context these really interesting connections around femininity and sexuality and um, yeah, I'm really, really looking forward to when your book comes out. Thank you so much. Oh, and also where can people find you if you know, while they're waiting for the book, uh, to, to drop. Like where can people find you to follow your adventures and maybe also see your beautiful little kitty?
Kristen: Oh yes. I'm so @kristenkorvette on Instagram is mostly where all be promoting the book and talking about it and having lots of pussy shots. I mean, my cat shots.
Ev'Yan: No, I was just about to say I need this specify that like your Instagram has like pictures of an animal cat, not your anatomical cat.
Kristen: They don't let that anymore. They don't let that happen anymore.
Ev'Yan: Cool. Thank you so much, Kristen. I really appreciate it. I'm so excited to read your book.
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