“Wait, Is This a Date?” Podcast Episode 207: Hygiene

Ah, bodies. These sacks of meat, bones and skin that we must drag our consciousness around in until we come up with a better way to get through this thing called life. And if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, we have to bring them with us on dates and hook ups! How do we deal with the reality of our human bodies while dating? Does anyone notice the tiny little things we stress out about as much as we do? What does the way we present our bodies to others say about our gender, our sexuality?

We knew we needed to dig into this and who better to do it with than the one and only Samantha Irby? If you have not read Sam’s work — fix that ASAP — you should know there are very few people who write about mortifying body related issues as well or as funnily as Sam. We get into what we are preoccupied about with regards to our own bodies, the likelihood that no one cares as much as we do and our personal shower routines. Warning: if you have any of us over, prepare to be out of hot water!

And for ONCE Drew brings a game that is not dragging me and my dating issues! What a treat!

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Buy all of Sam’s books right now, you will laugh and laugh and you will never regret it, not for a moment. Also subscribe to her hilarious newsletter!

+ Hannah Enbinder did look incredible on Drag Race but this woman is simply a bottom or a bottom leaning switch.

+ The Last Movie Stars is currently streaming on HBO Max, but mostly Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were an EXTREMELY hot couple.

+ If you are gay or transgender, Charles Barkley loves you!

+ *extremely Fleabag voice* Her arms…

+ I am probably not going to re-watch Madam Secretary but I do feel everyone should see Bebe Neuwirth, Patina Miller and Erich Bergen signing a version of “For The Longest Time” wherein they change the lyrics to reflect… the world economy? (???) Truly, it’s worth it simply to hear Patina sing “Sixty percent of global GDP” and “Oh what Trans-Pacific partners we will be” from Bebe.


Sam: If you’re into it, then good for us both. And if you’re not, I get it. It’s cool. Don’t ever talk to me again, but like-

Christina: Sure.

Sam: I get it.

Christina: Please forget that I exist and let’s never speak of this again.

[theme song plays]

Drew: Hi, I’m Drew.

Christina: And I’m Christina.

Drew: And welcome to, Wait, Is This a Date?

Christina: Wait, Is This a Date? Is an Autostraddle podcast dedicated to the one, some might say the only question, wait, is this a date?

Drew: The most important question.

Christina: Yeah, I was trying to think of other important questions and I can’t think of a single damn one.

Drew: Not today. My name is Drew Gregory. I’m a writer for Autostraddle and a filmmaker and a queer trans woman.

Christina: Oh, that was gorgeous. That was easy breezy-

Drew: Concise-

Christina: … beautiful-

Drew: Tight.

Christina: … concise. Let’s see if I can match you. My name’s Christina Tucker. I’m also a writer for Autostraddle, amongst other places, podcaster and I am a black gay woman. Brag. Go off me. Okay. She’s on fire.

Drew: Yeah. I really love that by episode six, seven of the season, seven. We’re like we know who we are. We’re saying it quickly.

Christina: Also by episode seven of our second season, like, what were we doing all of first season? We have no idea, who were we?

Drew: Exploring our identities.

Christina: Ugh, my least favorite thing to do. Self reflection?. I’m all set. Speaking of self reflection. I feel like you have a game for me and if we’re going by your past games, they tend to drag me a little bit. So-

Drew: Yes.

Christina: How? How today?

Drew: So I decided that I’ve been pretty tough on you in our past game.

Christina: Thank you.

Drew: So I was going to take a break from roasting you and just like have a fun one.

Christina: Okay. I’m excited!

Drew: So we’re going to play a classic with a twist. It is, would you rather, but specifically with queer celebrities and specifically with queer experiences.

Christina: Okay.

Drew: It’s going to make sense. It’s not complicated.

Christina: I love your conceptual brain. Let’s go.

Drew: Okay. Would you rather have a 48 hour first date with Gillian Anderson or Cynthia Nixon?

Christina: Ooh, that is tough. Those are two kinds of kooky white women, which are, not to brag, something I’m pretty good at dealing with. Now, something in my gut is saying Cynthia, but I don’t know why.

Drew: Okay.

Christina: I think it’s just a gut feeling. Yeah. I don’t know. I’m just, I’m going with my gut and I don’t know that I can explain it.

Drew: I thought you might say that. And my theory for that is that a 48 hour date with Cynthia Nixon seems a lot more mellow than a 48 hour date with Gillian Anderson.

Christina: Maybe that’s it-

Drew: It feels more your speed.

Christina: I do feel like Gillian would be like, let’s go outside and I’d be like, well, let’s talk about that.

Drew: Yeah.

Christina: Why?

Drew: Okay. Next, moving on, moving on, moving on. So would you rather Sara Ramirez or Kate Moennig build you a bookshelf while you flirted and brought them refreshments?

Christina: I’m going to have to say Sara, but only if I could also request that they like maybe sing lightly for me. Lightly.

Drew: Ooh.

Christina: Not a lot, not a ton, but like come on The Voice, The Voice alone.

Drew: You know, I think they might do that for you.

Christina: Fingers crossed.

Drew: Next one, causing a little bit of drama here. Would you rather go on a romantic date to a Broadway show with Cherry Jones or Holland Taylor?

Christina: Wow. Of Sarah Paulson’s ex and current girlfriend. That is hard. I kind of feel like Holland, I think Holland.

Drew: Ooh.

Christina: But then on the other hand, consider Cherry Jones. That is a challenge. Damn, Sarah Paulson’s a lucky gal.

Drew: I’ll let her know you said that.

Christina: Yeah. Yeah. When you text her next, let her know. I think it’s going to be Holland. I don’t know.

Drew: Okay.

Christina: I just feel like I want to hang out with that energy.

Drew: Okay. Would you rather be the plus one at the Oscars for Jodie Foster or Kristen Stewart?

Christina: Jodie because I feel like Kristen’s going to make me do stuff after, and I know Jodie will also just wants to go home and lie down and Kristen’s like, let’s hit a party. Let’s get I’m like, no, let’s not. We already did one very big event today, babe. Let’s take a nap.

Drew: Fair enough. Would you rather have a romantic meal cooked for you by Melissa King or get styled by Stacy London in a sexual way?

Christina: So this is an attack on me and my person and everything that I’ve ever stood for. The 14 year old and me, I’m going to have to give it to my girl, Stacy, because she has, that-

Drew: Wow.

Christina: She and that gray streak have been with me from 2004 on and that’s beautiful.

Drew: That’s a long term relationship.

Christina: It is.

Drew: Okay. A few more. Would you rather be a unicorn for Niecy Nash and Jessica Betts or Queen Latifah and Eboni Nichols?

Christina: Got to be Queen Latifah, got to be. It’s the queen, like what am I. It’s Dana Owens, AKA Queen Latifah like I have to for science, for the community I feel like I have to do this.

Drew: Sure, sure. Yeah.

Christina: That’s so hard. I’m maybe thinking about that until I die, actually.

Drew: I was pretty proud of that one. Okay. You’re a famous bottom. Would you rather try topping with Tommy Dorfman or Hannah Einbinder?

Christina: Tommy. I feel like I could top Tommy. I do not feel like I could top Hannah.

Drew: Great. That was inspired by when Hannah an Einbinder was, I don’t watch Hacks. Maybe this is why, but when she was the Drag Race guest, I saw a tweet that was like, oh my God, her strap is so big. And I was like, that girl was giggling all through that episode around those queens. Where are you reading top energy?

Christina: Yeah, no. Game recognized game. And I can confidently say that girl is a bottom, at least a switch.

Drew: Sure. Okay. Last one. Would you rather have an affair with Lena Waithe or Cynthia Erivo?

Christina: For you to bring this up to me at this time in my life, where I stand at such a precipice between the two of them. God, who is going to annoy me least. That’s really hard to say, they’re both so annoying in such different ways. My gut is saying Cynthia, but maybe so I could be like, what is your plan for the Wicked movie? What is-

Drew: Wow.

Christina: What’s your, I want to get in on the ground floor with some details of that. So maybe that’s the way I can do it.

Drew: Wow. I love, I love that as a reason. A very you reason.

Christina: I don’t feel proud of that answer, but it’s what I have.

Drew: Sure.

Christina: It’s who I am.

Drew: Sure. Well, thanks so much for playing with me.

Christina: Well, thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to play with you. My dear friend.

Drew: Yeah, no problem.

Christina:D o you think it’s time that we get into the meat of our conversation?

Drew: I think it might be.

Christina: I didn’t like saying meat there. I really regretted it kind of the instant it flew out of my mouth, but you know, I think fun. I feel like our guest probably understands the feeling of saying something and regretting it, the instant it flies out of their mouth. So I would love if our guests would introduce themselves to the world, to us, to everyone.

Sam: Hi, my name is Samantha Irby and I am a noted bisexual.

Christina: Wow. Thank you for bringing that into the space.

Drew: I love it.

Christina: Noted bisexual.

Sam: Just trying to ruin it right out of the gate. Just trying to make you hate me from the moment you hear my voice.

Christina: You know, we have been just dancing on the line of people hating us. So…

Sam: I’m here to push it all the way over.

Christina: All the way over. And our topic today, as I described it to Sam, when we were texting about this was, bodies are disgusting. They are something that everybody has and we have to deal with them in dating. And then I checked our Google doc and then I was like, oh, I guess like hygiene was like the nice clean way to put that. But I said, nah, for Sam, I’m just saying bodies are disgusting.

Sam: Yes. If you said hygiene to me, I immediately would be like, oh no, did Christina smell me at some point? Is that what we’re talking about?

Drew:This is an intervention.

Christina: Yeah. Sam, we brought you here today…

Sam: Drew’s like, I don’t really know you, but I’d like to talk.

Christina: Have something to say. Yeah, bodies are awful. And they are, as I was thinking about this topic, I was kind of like, that is something that does preoccupy a lot of my mental space and energy is like, what is my body doing? How can I buff it and shine it to its best at all times? And I do think it is something that preoccupies me a lot in, especially in a dating space when I am bravely dating, which I am, as we know, not doing at the moment. Yeah. They’re gross. I don’t know. Drew, what do you, how do you feel about bodies?

Drew: Is it a smell thing for you? Is that what you’re preoccupied with?

Christina: Okay. So currently let’s just really dive in. So currently it is a smell thing for me because I got COVID famously in December, lost my smell and taste. Took a long time for it to come back and now I can smell myself and I’m convinced I smell all the time. No one can else can smell it. Very strange place to be in. I’m always like, I smell like rotting garbage and everyone’s like, can’t smell that at all. That’s just you. Very strange. Now I’m constantly just like I smell, I smell. I know it. Everybody’s thinking it. And everyone’s like, no, one’s thinking it. Stop asking us. Be normal for one fucking second. And I’m like, I can’t. Nope. I smell bad.

Sam: You probably smell just fine.

Christina: Probably. But there’s no way to know. I think I smell bad.

Sam: That’s hard.

Christina: That’s hard. I would rather just not be able to smell.

Sam: It’s hard when like the inside of your nose is conspiring against you.

Christina:Y es. It feels like my body is-

Sam: But there’s something you can do about that except like ride it out. And that’s terrible. Like I imagine you could go to like an ENT and be like, Hey doctor, the inside of my nose is wrong, but what are they going to do?

Christina: Yeah. There’s not a ton. I’ve obviously been reading a lot about the science of smell. And they’re all just kind of like, yeah, noses do be weird. Tough to say. Anyway. Not helpful.

Sam: You know, like in Silence of the Lambs, when Jodie Foster like puts that stuff on her nose, so she doesn’t smell.

Drew: Yeah.

Sam: You could walk around with that on your face-

Christina: I could-

Sam: … all day.

Christina: … but then I would have something weird on my face all day.

Sam:You would look like you had a snotty nose and that would-

Christina: Exactly.

Sam: That’d be a different kind of disgusting.

Drew: Your anxiety is that someone else is smelling. Like you don’t care that you smell, you care more that other people-

Christina: No, it drives me nuts that I smell.

Drew: Oh, okay.

Christina: I don’t want to smell it either. But it’s also annoying that like, I guess, if I’m the only one who can smell it, I guess that’s fine. I guess. But I would prefer to never think about that. I would prefer to smell like a field of flowers or whatever all the time.

Drew: Sure. Sure.

Sam: Which is what you smelled like before COVID?

Christina: I think, I thought, what do I know now? Nothing is true. Everything is false. Scales are falling for my eyes.

Drew: Samantha, when you’re dating, is that something that you’re anxious about, like body smells?

Sam: Not the smell. So I always feel like I have an unwieldy body. Like, I don’t know what I’m doing with it. Like I’m not a smooth person, both literally and figuratively, but I never feel like I’m in complete control of all of my limbs. And when dating, I’m just like, I don’t like the, you know moving around a new person and them like watching how you walk or how you grab a glass or how you do, that is the body stuff that vexes me at first. And then when we move into the seeing and touching body phase, then it’s just a full on, everything about my body is wrong. What about this weird patch? What?

Okay. So my main problem is that I do not have, and this is clinical depression talking, but I do not have the capacity to do all of the things that you are like supposed to do for your body. I’m like, I can… Like, it’s why I shave my hair off because I’m like, oh, I can’t be like styling hair every day. Right. And then it’s like, well I also can’t shave. And like I can exfoliate, but not as often as you should probably exfoliate. So it’s all that stuff. It’s like, this person is going to have to view the partial decay underneath my clothes. And that’s the stressful stuff to me. Like I don’t pumice my heels enough, and someone is going to have to see that. So I can’t even get to the smells because I’m too busy being like, you know what stalactites are hanging off the parts of my body I don’t look at.

Christina: Not a stalactite. Not that.

Sam: Like, what are the, where are the crusty patches that I can’t see? And like I have, there’s one in the middle of my back and it’s like, anytime I have to introduce that to someone I’m like it’s eczema, but I don’t have a limb that reaches back there to deal with it. So just don’t look. Sex with the lights off, with the sun blocked out.

Christina: How cave like, can we make it in here?

Sam: Yes. Truly. We need blackout curtains. We need to be under a black blanket. Just don’t look at any of it.

Christina: Drew, can you, are you normal? What’s going on with your brain?

Drew: Well, no. I mean, I have a lot of anxiety and OCD and all sorts of things. But I would say, it’s interesting because right now my partner has the most sensitive nose of anyone I’ve ever met ever. And we started dating during the pandemic. And so it was over FaceTime and we didn’t meet for way longer into whatever relationship we were starting to form, than I usually would. And that was like a big anxiety of like, I knew that about her because we had talked a lot and I was like, what if she just hates the way I smell? And luckily that didn’t happen. But like I did switch deodorant to a natural deodorant. And that’s the thing, what’s interesting is that she like likes body smells.

Christina: Oh, it’s the fake smells.

Drew: It’s the fake smells that really bother her. So it’s actually completely changed my relationship to my like body odor and my anxiety around my body odor, because my partner who’s like the main person I’m trying to impress, like is happier days that I don’t wear deodorant. And I’ve switched to natural deodorant, which I never would’ve done. I would’ve felt so anxious about smelling and like other people in the world haven’t seemed to have an issue with it. I maybe, I don’t know you were, you saw me recently or not recently, but when we were in New York, if I smelled, please tell me and then, it sucks for my girlfriend. But I’ll just-

Christina: Yes. I definitely wouldn’t have told you in person when we were hanging out, but I would’ve waited a couple of months to do so via our podcast to be like, Drew-

Drew: Well, you got to have content, you know?

Christina: You want to talk about April and the way you smelled?

Drew: But, yeah, so like, I don’t know, I feel less anxious about it, but also like still breath, like she can smell. I don’t know. I am sometimes a little lazy when it comes to brushing my teeth in the morning. Like sometimes it, if I don’t have any plans, I might wait till after lunch instead of after breakfast. And like, I need to get better about that because like I can tell. But I don’t know. Also, I think I used to be so much more anxious about body smells and body weirdness before I started having more casual sex. And I think I just sort of got, I just was like, we’re all so weird.

And like bodies are all so weird and like the things that gross me out about my body, like even if it’s like a one night stand, like even if it’s not someone who loves me, it’s just someone who wants to have sex with me. Like I don’t know, like for the most part, sex is gross and we’re just like, we’ve chosen to be there with each other and if we’re horny enough, like we’re there and we’re in it and things that would be so gross in a non horny environment are like hot to me right now.

So I guess I’m just going to have to like turn that same sort of gross acceptance towards myself. It’s a journey. But I do think that I’m so much less anxious about hygiene and random, weird body stuff than I used to be. Yeah, body hair is still the thing though. That’s I’m, if I’m thinking about it, that’s the one that I still get pretty like, what I’m sure is like connected to trans stuff and like dysphoria stuff. And like, I just, if I could have any magical power, this is very selfish of me because I don’t think I could like save the world with it, but I would love to have the ability to grow and reduce hair all over, at will.

Christina: Yeah.

Drew: That would be such a great skill to have.

Christina: That would be nice. I mean I did recently say that I would like my body to be as smooth as my brain is. So that’s like where I’m headed. Like I would just like to just be like a slippery little dolphin in the brain and also skin wise. But I do often try to remember that like all of the things that I am always wrapped up about my own body, my own weirdness, whatever, at no point have I ever been in the process of having sex with someone and they have said, pause ma’am-

Sam: Right.

Christina: This is horrible to look at. And I’d like it to go away. Like that has never happened to me.

Drew: No.

Christina: And I know that logically, but yet, but yet and still, and still.

Sam: I mean, that’s the thing. If you could pop your brain out of your head for a minute, like it would be so much better because that’s where all the anxiety comes from. I have zero lived experience to point to like someone saying something to me, it’s all me, it’s all in my head. So I have been married for like six years, I have a wife and-

Christina: Brag.

Sam: Well, I mean… Sorry.

Christina: Bring the wife to the pod. Wow. Wow. Wow. Fair enough.

Sam: I mean, here’s the thing. I have to bring her up in case she listens and then it’s like, you went on a podcast and talked about what it’s like to date when you’ve had wife for six years. But I also bring her up to say that even when you’ve been with someone for a long time, and I know that she knows like what all my parts look like, it still doesn’t free me of some of the body stuff. Right. I’m like, am I put together enough for her? Is my skin still soft? Have I stopped doing things because I’m like, what’s she going to do about it? And the answer to that is, yes, but so far she has been polite or caring, we’ll decide which later, but she has been like polite enough to not be like, oh you really, you’re really relaxed in this marriage. Good for you.

Christina: You ever thought about paying a bit more attention in this here marriage? No.

Sam: If she said that, I’d be like, you know what? You are correct. I have not had a pedicure in three years. Let me, I’ll go. Yes. I’ll-

Christina: You know what, let me get myself there.

Sam: Thank you for pointing that out to me. I’ll go.

Drew: I mean, I know where those voices come from, for me. And like it’s society, sure. But like it’s my mom and my sister. Like when I say I don’t have evidence of people, it’s like, yeah, I don’t have any evidence in my dating life of people being like, you’re disgusting. Why do you have a body? Why are you human being? But I sure have evidence from like my childhood and like my sister put more pressure on herself than on the people around, like than on me and my mom put more pressure on herself than on me and my sister. So it’s like coming down from society to them, to me. But those are the voices in my head. It’s like imagining, just like my judgemental sister, like saying that I smell and just like the horror that I feel about that.

Christina: Yeah. I mean, yeah, definitely. I do think there is, there are moments where I’m like, oh that’s not your actual voice. No, that’s your mother’s voice. How helpful is that in this scenario? Realistically? Probably not very helpful. But also I think because it is like such a weird like anxiety response. I never really think about other people’s bodies nearly as much as I think about my own.

Sam: Ever.

Drew: Yeah.

Christina: I couldn’t give, go off. Do whatever your body do. That is not, that’s simply not my business. Even if we are in some sort of sexual experience. Wow. I sound like an absolute virgin. Like that simply — I’m still not preoccupied with it. I’m probably going to be thrilled that it’s on the table. But my own body. That’s the thing.

Sam: That’s the one that keeps you up at night, really.

Christina: It’s bad.

Sam: I have this like game that, it’s not a game, but this like thing I have to say to myself all the time that I don’t know, maybe it will be helpful or you will think like I really have a problem. But I remind myself constantly like that I’m the guest at the wedding, not the a bride. Right. Nobody’s looking at me, nobody’s thinking about me. Nobody’s worrying about what I’m doing as much as I’m worried about what I’m doing. And that is sort of how, that is my coping mechanism for like kind of getting out of my head a little bit about like, what do I look like? What am I dressed like? Do I have the right thing on? I’m just like, you’re a guest, you’re off to the side. No one cares. Do your little thing in the corner and no one’s going to notice you. And that has been helpful to me. Although it never like fully shuts the-

Christina: Shuts the demons up.

Sam: Like, the “you stink and look weird” voice all the way down. It turns the volume down, but it doesn’t turn it off.

Christina: Yeah. I can’t tell if that would be helpful or if I would also simultaneously be like, so you’re telling me I’m not the center of attention. Interesting. I have a couple of notes there.

Sam: I’m not the star of this movie, please. I’m the star.

Christina: Yeah.

Drew: Yeah. I mean, I also think that we don’t have to pretend as if there aren’t things about, the same way that there are physical appearance things that attract some people and repel other people. Some of us might have smells that we’re trying to not think about because we want to have better self-esteem, but does someone out there really would gross them out or really repel them or whatever. And you know what it’s like, okay then that’s not who you date.

Sam: Yeah. Yeah.

Drew: Which isn’t to say that look like, if you want to get a new deodorant or you want to like work on whatever it is about yourself that you feel weird about, or someone commented on like, sure you can. But I guarantee that even if you don’t, someone out there, you click with and they like the way you smell-

Sam: Yes.

Drew: And they like the way you move and they like the way you carry yourself and they like all of the scabs on your back. Like, they’re just like, that I think is also part of it is being like that’s part of dating.

Sam: Yeah.

Drew: And we hate this idea that we could have sex with someone and then they could like be grossed out by us. Like that’s such a mortifying, like I’m just thinking about, it’s like such a, but it’s like, I’m sure it’s happened.

Sam: Yeah.

Drew: And I’m sure. And because I know it’s happened to me. And I’d say the deeper thing is like, I’m not judging those people. Most of those people, I just was like usually an emotional thing. Like usually it was like maybe if I was really in love with that person or really, really into that person, I would’ve been more into their weird body stuff and they’re fluids and all their things. But like it’s just case by case like most things in dating.

I do love the idea of being like, Ooh baby, I’m into your fluids. Ooh. Yeah.

Drew: Well, you know.

Christina: Fluided up.

Sam: That’s the thing though. If you really like someone like on every other level, it’s like, well I’ll put up with that gross thing.

Christina: Yeah.

Drew: Yeah. Or actively let, I mean like we can get like, I don’t know. I mean, there’s definitely like thing-

Sam: I love that gross thing. Okay. I’ll change it.

Sam: I’m obsessed with that gross thing.

Christina: That gross thing is consuming my brain. It’s all I think about, is grossness. Various grossness is. Yeah, I mean that is absolutely the other side of it is like, there are just a ton of people in the world and like your weird thing is gross to some people and it’s not gross to everybody. Like you’re not going to be everything for everybody. Something that I tell myself a lot, which is hard to do. But-

Christina: It is a fact, I suppose, sometimes.

Sam: A thing that I have to work on in therapy a lot, not to bring up therapy, but-

Christina: It’s a gay podcast. You have to.

Sam: Okay guys, this is a safe space is like this idea that you can’t control someone’s perception of you. And in my specific case, it’s like, I want to know that everyone thinks I’m nice. I want to know that people like me, but like I can’t control. I can’t control that. I just have to let go of the idea and let people experience me and have their takeaway be whatever it is and not like invest in what that takeaway is. And I guess it’s the same thing with bodies. It’s like, if you’re into it then good for us both. And if you’re not, I get it. It’s cool. Don’t ever talk to me again, but like.

Christina: Sure.

Sam: I get it.

Christina: Please forget that I exist-

Sam: Yes.

Christina: And let’s never speak of this again.

Sam: Yeah. Let’s pretend we’ve never met. Thank you.

Christina: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Drew: Yeah. I’m interested in talking about, I know that like I’ve dated a wide variety of gender presentations and I sometimes think about like how much I care about some of these like hygiene presentation type body things, depending on, I don’t know, we have this like cultural idea, right. That like masculinity can equal more of these like gross things or not even gross, but even just like body hair and whatever. And like, and then femininity is like the opposite. And for both of you, like does who you’re around, especially in a romantic context, like, does that impact like how anxious you are about these various things?

Christina: Not often. I do think one of my superpowers is being incredibly concerned with my own self. And as a result of that, I’m very rarely concerned with what other people like, what like other presentations and how that might affect me. I’m like that’s fine. But that’s just like, not for me. And especially in like spaces where I am, like one of the only femmes or like one of the only black women, I’m like, whatever you weird white people with your mullets are doing is not my problem. Like I’m going to put a full face of makeup on and go to the gay party kind of no matter what. So I think in that way, I don’t really care about what other people’s perceptions of me are, which is good, which is a good-

Drew: Yeah. Let’s celebrate that.

Christina: Let’s celebrate that. Look who doesn’t need a therapist. She just has a podcast. She’s killing it.

Sam: I think I found that like with, especially when I was younger, the men that I dated when I was younger were much more of like appraising than women ever have been. Like, I don’t think I’ve ever been with a woman who was like, stand back and let me get a good look. You know, like they’re inspecting meat at the grocery store. And that is incredibly stressful. It feels like a test you have to pass, which is wild because like a lot of those guys would’ve fucked a pillowcase full of peanut butter. Right? Like-

Christina: Happily. I bet.

Sam: So feeling like I had to be something for them in hindsight is like, oh, I should have told them to fuck off into the sea, but I’ve never dated a woman who made me feel like, if after this inspection I don’t check off all the marks you’re out of here. And it’s probably why I ended up married to a woman just because that has been, the experience is, for me as someone who doesn’t pass a lot of those tests has been a much more like, it’s a much more relaxed way to be intimate with someone when it doesn’t feel like they’re cataloging all of your parts.

Christina: Oof. Yeah.

Drew: It’s interesting thinking about it, because I do think that like most of the more masculine people I’ve been with have been like somewhere on the like transmasc spectrum or queer in some way. And I’m realizing that actually it’s not masculinity and femininity of the person I’m with, but actually like their familiarity with transness. And that like, I think when I’ve had experiences with cis women who I can tell are very, like, I don’t know, new to community or at least like new to trans people. That’s when I feel like I need to be more on top of like performing these things we associate with femininity. So it is like my own pull towards femininity as opposed to like what the other person’s presentation is.

Christina: But it’s also like performing that because like in the face of whatever perceived femininity, that like whatever cis woman would have, it’s like, oh, I’ve got to-

Drew: I mean, if I was hooking up with a transmasc person, like I could have not even shaved my face that day and I would still, they would probably still, they’d have an investment in making, like, I don’t know, like whatever the dynamic was like they would understand and make me feel more in touch with my gender, I think. But then some of it is personal because like some of it is like when we hook up with people, I don’t know for me, like I want to feel sexy. So even though like I know like in my current relationship, she would be fine with me, like never wearing makeup or never like shaving my legs or whatever. And like it’s more that I feel better going into a sexual scenario, even with someone I’m super comfortable with, if I can, like, I don’t know, be like, do some of these things that make me feel, I’m like doing a little shoulders-

Christina: I see your little wiggle.

Drew: But like… And I even find that there have been times where I’ve been like, oh, we’ve been having a lot of like morning sex, afternoon sex, like still in pajama sex. And like that’s fun. And we are still in a pandemic, but like I think I want to like get dressed up and, not even dressed up like a gown or anything, but just like, feel like I’ve done the things that I do that make me feel like I’m taking care of myself in ways that are just like good for me. Yeah. And then even approaching sex with my partner than feels like more exciting or like feels better for me.

Christina: Yeah.

Sam: I love that. I got to say I never have that desire. I’m always like-

Drew: And I love that.

Sam: Oh, right, right. Rolling right out of bed and okay, great. Yeah. I don’t have zhuzh anything up. Perfect.

Christina: I will say as a person who is obsessed with putting on a full face of makeup every day of my life, often in sexual scenarios, I’m like, well, RIP to those sheets and that pillowcase, because boy, is it going to be a different color when I’m all set with a. Me entering a bedroom with someone who has a white sheet, I’m like, well, here we go. Whole face of foundation about to be places it should not be. That’s, I guess part of the journey.

Sam: You got to leave like some Tide pods on the bedside table when you leave.

Christina: I should have just like a go bag of, here are your hostess gifts. Thank you so much.

Drew: I just imagine you like breaking someone’s heart and they’re crying over you looking at like an imprint of your face on their sheets. This is where she was.

Christina: Look at it. Look at the mascara trailed about. Well, I mean, I am that I am, unfortunately, but we know that I’m bravely still not dating. So who can say when that will happen. When it does, when it does. Are you like a night shower? Drew, this is kind of random, but I just want to know, are you a night or are you a morning shower? I love to know this.

Drew: I have to morning shower.

Christina: Okay, same.

Christina: That is great.

Sam: Me too.

Christina: Ah, like-minded people.

Sam: Yeah.

Drew: I will say that I will do a night shower if I’ve done like a physical activity.

Sam: Sure.

Drew: Which for a long time, wasn’t a problem, because I wasn’t doing really physical activities and like-

Christina: Say that.

Drew: But now that it’s like summer and also that I’ve been like, so there’s like summer activities sometimes like going to the beach, whatever. And then also like, since I’ve started doing ballet, like I’m sweaty afterwards and I feel like I need to shower and it is easier to take off my makeup by just like getting in the shower. So there’s also like a laziness where if I like have the excuse of taking a second shower, I would say that my flaw as a roommate and maybe like a citizen of the world is that I take long showers, and now I take sometimes two showers a day.

Christina: I mean, same and same. I love a long shower. I really find it comforting, really find like I find myself there. I also, let’s be honest. I got a lot to do Drew. You also, we’ve got a lot of hair.

Drew: Yeah.

Christina: Honestly, 98% of the reason I can’t take a night shower is like what? I’m going to bed with wet hair. That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard in my whole life. What’s happening to my curl pattern in that scenario. Nothing good. I have to comb this out. I have to put my goo’s in it. I have to let it dry. I have to air dry it and then fluff it or whatever. Can’t be doing that at night.

Drew: Yeah. Wait, what are our shower Routines? What’s, give me an average day.

Christina: Do you have 45 minutes? An average shower for CT. She turns upon the shower. She puts on a podcast or music. She’s having a shower.

Drew: We’re doing beat by beat.

Christina: Yeah. Depending on if I’m washing my hair that day, tough to say, if I am washing my hair, then like God help whoever needs water in this house. Because now we have to do a whole process where I have to like start with the conditioner, comb it out, leave it in there while I do all of the washing, not to brag, I am not white. So I do wash my legs, TBT to that whole conversation. Shaving all of the shaving. Just again, trying to be as smooth as I possibly can. Then the conditioner gets rinsed out and then more products are applied in the shower to control the hairs. And then I do some sort of like long lotioning routine afterwards, which my roommates now refer to as lotion drying time. And they know that I simply won’t be doing anything, but sitting on my bed and waiting for all my lotions to dry. It’s a long time in there. Sam, what do you up to in there?

Sam: So this is so funny, that you mentioned you put on a podcast because I do too. And my very thoughtful spouse just got me a shower speaker.

Christina: We need one. We need one.

Sam: I’ll send you one.

Christina: Thank you.

Sam: It’s the most amazing adventure. I mean, maybe she got sick of me, like turning my phone all the way up and like destroying the whole house trying to listen to a podcast while in my 20 minute shower. So I’ll turn on the speaker, put on a podcast, get in. We just moved and we have a house with like, our shower now is just like a single stall, but it’s gotten like a really good shower head. So I don’t love the single stall. I’d prefer a tub.

Christina: Single stall is tough.

Sam: Prefer the tub with the nubbly stuff at the bottom.

Christina: Yeah.

Sam: So you feel like you’re not going to slip and fall, but-

Christina: All that conditioner my hair I’m going down.

Sam: Yes. No, that is real. So since I shave my head, I don’t have to condition, but I do have like scalp issues. So I’ll put a layer of, I’ll wet my head, put a layer of dandruff shampoo and let that sit.

Christina: Got to let it sit.

Sam: I don’t know if that works more, but I had old parents. So I noticed now that in my adult life, I just, everything I do feels like an old wives tale. You know, where it’s just like, the bottle doesn’t say I need to leave it on for 10 minutes. But I do because I feel like my mom told me I should do that. So I leave my dandruff shampoo on, do a wash. I have a gorgeous peri-menopausal beard that I wake up with every morning. Just a little patch under the chin that has to get shaved off. I mean, she’s very beautiful, but she also is gray and it’s too much. So that gets shaved off. Then I rinse my hair and I do like, I mean, I like to vary because I can’t have too much fun with like my body products because I have skin issues. But my face, I love to have like seven different face soap options in the shower. So I’ll pick one of those. Do that, get out. And then Palmer’s Cocoa Butter oil.

Christina: Classic.

Sam: I got a lube up with that. I too have to then sit on the side of the bed, staring into space. And you can tell when I’ve taken a shower, because there’s a little like greasy butt ring on the side of the bed from where I’ve sat, staring into space.

Christina: I’ve got you.

Sam: And then I get dressed and go on about my day.

Christina: God.

Sam: I cannot, even if I take a shower at night, I have to do a little something in the morning. I cannot-

Christina: Yeah.

Sam: … start the day without being like free-

Christina: My brain doesn’t turn on unless it’s-


Drew: Yeah.

Christina: Absolutely. And I will say I also have scalp issues and I did go to dermatologist and she did say that you’re supposed to let it sit for 10 minutes. So-

Sam: Oh my God. I feel-

Christina: … boom.

Sam: … like an absolute genius.

Christina: You are. Drew, talk to us about a shower.

Sam: Yes.

Drew: Okay. So I will usually put on music, not a podcast because I put it on like lower because I like have roommates and I don’t want to fill up the whole house. I should get a shower speaker, but so it’ll usually be music that I like am very familiar with. Like often Rihanna, like something that I’ve been, I’ve listened to the songs a million times. Because if I don’t know the music, then it like distracts from my thoughts being able to wander. On the most basic day, I will shave my face and then put on my face cleanser and then like soap on like a washcloth or like what are the, I don’t know what they’re called. Like the-

Christina: Loofah guy?

Drew: Yes. Yeah. And that’s like the most basic day, but I’ve started spreading my like body shaving out over like several days because when I was doing it all at once, I just would be in there for so long.

Sam: And you’d be a little prune when you got out.

Drew: So, yeah. So like I also, okay, so on a wash day, I’ll put the shampoo in my hair, leave it in while I shave and do my face cleanser, then take the shampoo out, then put the conditioner in and then let that sit while I shave a part of my body. It’s too long. That all takes so long if I do it also, I would say lately I’ve been doing like maybe like arms on that day or like stomach and chest on that day. And then like legs will be its own separate day.

Christina: That’s what they mean when they say leg day, I think. They’re talking about one day you’re shaving your legs. Yeah, for sure.

Drew: It’s also, it’s so funny thinking about like other people not noticing and me noticing like if I haven’t shaved my legs or my like, especially my like chest and stomach and arms in a week, like people probably wouldn’t notice, but I notice it so much. And so like if I could do it every day I would. And I would, I need to, I’m like thinking about getting laser when I have like the money for that. Just like to get it a little thinner.

Christina: Just so it’s gone.

Drew: But no one’s noticing that, like that’s a me thing where I’m like, well I can’t wear shorts or a skirt that day. If it’s like, it’s been whatever amount of days since I like shaved my legs and it’s like, I really, really could. And people wouldn’t notice, but yeah. Oh, and then after of course, after I get out of the shower, finish my skin care routine, then body lotion and also have a similar sitting. I usually sit on the towel, which I realize then is putting like a little bit of lotion on the towel itself, which I guess maybe that’s fine. Maybe that’s not fine.

Christina: I do the same thing.

Drew: I don’t want to get it on the bed. So I’m like, so I’ll just sort of be on the towel or have the towel down and just yeah, scroll through my phone. Yeah.

Christina: Scroll through my phone.

Sam: Yeah.

Christina: Play a phone game while vaping. You know, the usual hot girl shit that I’m up to.

Drew: Sometimes I’ll write in the shower. Like I get a lot of ideas there. So like sometimes like I’ll have my phone it’s playing the music like right on the ledge. So I’ll have to like pop out of the shower. And like with my wet fingers, like type a little bit, the thought that I had or a line-

Christina: Wow.

Sam: That’s amazing.

Drew: … that I had. And then I go back in the shower.

Christina: I’m trying to be no thoughts, head empty. I’m trying to have no thoughts of my own in the shower. I’m just listening to my podcast or if I’m listening to music, I’m singing along. No thoughts. I don’t want to think. Never, too close to meditating in that space.

Sam: I am impressed. Drew. That’s incredible.

Christina: Yeah. That’s really impressive stuff.

Drew: It’s how I break my writer’s block. Like if I have a writer’s block, usually like a shower will help me. I think it’s because they don’t have thoughts. Like I think it’s because I have tasks to do. There’s the sound of the water, sound of music, whatever. And like I’m not trying. So then I can, sometimes my mind will wander to places that I need it to wander.

Christina: Yeah. I hear that. I will say though, we are all morning showers. The best shower is the shower after a day at the beach, there’s almost nothing like it. To be so covered in sand and salted water and then be so free of all of those feelings. Ugh. Chef’s guest, best shower. Top among showers. Also the post travel shower, just like I’m home.

Sam: Oh the post travel shower.

Christina: Need to get this train station, bus, airport. I need to get it off of me, off of me.

Sam: Yeah.

Christina: I can’t speak to my bed until I’m clean.

Sam: Yeah.

Christina: Really good stuff. Really good stuff. I love taking showers. Honestly. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I’m excited for tomorrow morning, all over again.

Sam: It’s so funny that we all talked about like being stinky, yet we-

Christina: Compulsive showering every morning.

Sam: … are showering all the time.

Christina: Yeah. I guess science would maybe say that we’re probably not that smelly.

Christina: And yeah, not to brag. I’m not working up a sweat in my day to day life. Let me tell you what.

Sam: Same.

Christina: I am simply sitting down and that is it, in various places in my home.

Sam: Yes.

Christina: So, well I think we’ve nailed hygiene.

Drew: Yeah, this was great.

Christina: I think we crushed it.

Sam: I feel really good about myself.

Christina: Yay!

Drew: Good. That’s the goal.

Christina: We all should, everyone should feel good about themselves.

Sam: Yeah.

Christina: And you know, if you haven’t taken a shower in a while, try one out. They whip. Get in there. It’s crush corner time. So Drew, who are you crushing on? I’ll think of one soon, I bet.

Drew: Okay. So I actually haven’t I tweeted about this, but I haven’t started watching it, but Ethan Hawke made a documentary series about Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. And I want to watch it, but I also was like, oh wow. I haven’t seen a lot of the movies they did together. If I watch this documentary about them, I’m going to spend the whole time being like, oh, I got to watch that. Which is a fun way to watch a documentary sometimes about movies. But I was like, what if I got a jumpstart on it? Also, I want to watch it with Elise, even though I’m trying to think. Maybe like a documentary about old movies might like get some enthusiasm for old movies. Maybe not, probably not. We’ll probably get through one episode together and I’ll watch the rest myself. Anyways, my crushes of the week are Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. I just watched Long Hot Summer, which is maybe not like a great movie, but they’re great in it. And they’re very hot together. And Paul Newman is just, I mean-

Christina: Yeah.

Drew: Like.

Sam: [laughs]

Christina: Yeah. Yeah. God was really in her bag on that day. Let me tell you what. She put her pussy into that man.

Drew: Truly. And I just, I’m like, I don’t know, like I know that the Ethan Hawk documentaries is called The Last Movie Stars, and I’m like, he might be like, he’s the, like when I think of like a movie star, like Paul Newman, Paul Newman. Anyways.

Christina: Yeah.

Drew: They’re my crushes of the week.

Christina: Also good recommendation to watch that, I have not done so yet.

Drew: I mean, I haven’t watched it either. So I’m recommending a documentary series for the experience of catching up on these two actors work. And maybe this, I hear this series is really good also though. So.

Christina: I mean, you wouldn’t be you if you wasn’t like “It’s this thing — and also it’s a lot of backlog watching.”

Drew: Yeah, for sure.

Christina: Sam, do you have a crush of the week? What are you consuming?

Sam: Well, I am consuming a lot of garbage, but most recently I’ve been watching a lot of clips from inside the NBA. It’s, basketball season is over, but I miss basketball season. And my current crush is Charles Barkley who is truly like one of the funniest people in America. And there’s this video that has been going around recently of him drunk in a nightclub and he gets on the mic and he says something, I’m going to botch the quote. But the gist of it is he’s like, if you are gay or transgender, I love you. And if anybody has a problem with it, you tell them that Charles Barkley says, fuck you. And the crowd goes nuts.

Charles Barkley (recorded audio): I want to say this. If you’re gay and transgender, I love you. Hey, and if anybody give you shit. You tell them Charles said, “Fuck you.”

Sam: He’s so honest. He’s so effortlessly funny. He is like the perfect post basketball star, post basketball career basketball star. I love him so much. I mean, I already did before that video, but then I was like, it’s like if your dad makes you proud, you’re like, oh dad, you’re the best. I had that feeling. But also like kind of sexually too. I don’t really want to fuck my dad though. But I had that kind of feeling about Charles Barkley. I just love him. He’s the best.

Christina: I just love you for picking a basketball player that I was like, I know that one.

Sam: I know you would.

Christina: Been there.

Sam: There was some obscure ones. And I was like, she, no, she is not going to-

Christina: I would’ve supported you no matter what you said, but I would’ve nodded like a dumb bitch who really didn’t know what you’re talking about. I would’ve said, yeah. Thrilling.

Sam: Oh, him. Great.

Christina: Especially if they’re not basketball players from like the like late eighties, early nineties, when I was like, just listening to my dad, watch a lot of basketball then like I kinda got nothing, like I don’t know, what’s Patrick Ewing up to, I don’t know, but he’s a basketball player.

Sam: He’s coaching now.

Christina: That makes sense.

Sam: Why do I know that?

Christina: See, that makes sense. I have remembered to my crushes because I knew I did have one and I did this past weekend go to see Into the Woods parentheses, again. Patina Miller, girl. Could you choke me to death at any point in this like life? That would be great. You are hot and incredible and a gorgeous witch. I don’t know why I’m talking directly to her as if she listens to this podcast.

Drew: No, good. Yes. Yes.

Christina: She does not.

Sam: Of course she does. We’re manifesting it.

Christina: We’re manifesting. Yeah. She was an incredible witch and I of course, because of who I am as a person, I was like, dude, does this mean I have to watch Madam Secretary again? Maybe it does. Maybe I do need more Patina Miller in my daily life, but I just was really thrilled to see her on stage and again, arms. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Whoa. Wow. What an actress. What a show. What a time.

Drew: What arms.

Christina: What arms. What arms. Yeah. And that’s going to be the end of me. So-

Drew: Well, Samantha, do you want to tell people where they can find you in your work?

Sam: Yeah. I’m like, I have to think of it. I have books that you can buy wherever you like to buy books. And I have a newsletter where I recap the show Judge Mathis, and you can find it at [email protected]. It’s a lot of fun. Even if you have never seen even a minute of daytime court TV, I try to make it fun.

Christina: It’s very fun. And even though I have seen quite a lot of daytime court TV, because that was the best part about being homesick from school, when I was like in middle school. Yes I can confidently say if you haven’t even seen one, you’re going to have a great time. And yeah, buy all Sam’s books, they’re hilarious and they make me cry laugh. And my housemates say, what’s wrong with you? And I say, I’m laughing from joy and my friend being funny. Shut up.

Sam: That’s the highest praise I’ve ever received.

Christina: Wow. People should be nicer to you. You should have better praise! Come on now!

Drew: Thank you so much for listening to Wait, Is This a Date, you can find us on Twitter and Instagram at Wait, Is This a Date? And you can email us at [email protected].

Christina: Our theme was written by Lauren Klein. Our logo is by Maanya Dhar and this podcast was produced, edited and mixed by Lauren Klein.

Drew: You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok @draw_gregory.

Christina: You can find me on Twitter @C_ GraceT, and on Instagram at Christina_GraceT. And you can find Autostraddle of course at Autostraddle.

Drew: And you can find Autostraddle at autostraddle.com. The reason we’re all here today. Thank you so much and see you next week. Christina, what is the difference between a date and a podcast?

Christina: Oh, actually, that’s really interesting that you asked that because scientists are at this very moment, horridly trying to figure this out. We have some of our best scholars on this, on the case here. We don’t have an answer, but I think every day we journey closer to understanding.

Drew: I wish them and us, the greatest luck.

Drew (voice memo): I’ve been accused of flirting by like talking about all the things that I do in the shower, I guess, because saying that I write in the shower makes people think of like me being naked. It’s really just that I get a lot of ideas in the shower. I’m not trying to flirt, not usually.

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Christina Tucker

Christina Tucker is writer and podcaster living in Philadelphia. Find her on Twitter or Instagram!

Christina has written 289 articles for us.


  1. “I’m like, no, let’s not. We already did one very big event today, babe. Let’s take a nap.”

    I’m listening to this right now and I had to pause it so I could come say how much I love Christina.

  2. 45 minutes shower? Regularly?

    Damn I don’t have the money for that. With current energy prices I’m trying to stay well below 5 minutes, 10 if I was my hair. (I’ve started to turn off my shower when I’m shampooing, and turn it on before rinsing, because I have a lot of hair.)

    • I take really short showers as well. Been using cooler water too to save energy. Thanks for the tip on saving water.
      One thing that helps me care for my hair during the week is using dry shampoo and conditioner. If you’re able to get any this might help. It means that I’m able to shower every third day or so if it’s not too hot out.

  3. I’m germphobic and visually impaired, so I have a skewed set of perceptions on otber peoples’ hygiene. Someone’s hair can be dirty or greasy, but if it’s not also tangled and stinking, I can look at them and think they have gorgeous hair, only learning the truth if I touch it. Probably the same with skin. Despite this, or maybe partly because of it, I’m so germphobic that it’s hard to imagine being relaxed and comfortable with any physical intimacy in this world of dangerous pathogens, especially putting my mouth on someone’s mouth, skin, or any other bodily surface.

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