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Podcast Review: The Hotbed

A journey from sexual empowerment to everyday pleasure

I write about kinky podcasts a lot, and mostly by presenters in my age bracket (see PODCAST REVIEW: LOVING BDSM and PODCAST REVIEW: PINK KINK and PODCAST REVIEW: PROUD TO BE KINKY etc etc). This time I decided to expand my horizon and started listening to something different…

Tell me about the podcast

The Hotbed started from the Hotbed Collective presents itself as a merry band of maidens on a mission to improve the world, one orgasm at a time. Yes, that’s right.

Their aim is to narrow the orgasm gap by promoting everyday sex over extreme acts (by extreme act they mean sex parties, and BDMS, and swinging, and most of the things I blog about LOL).

The podcast emerged from the personal experiences of three women who noticed a shift in their sexual dynamics after having children. Basically, how their discussions started revolving around challenges of maintaining intimacy post-kids and the concept of mental load, instead of more fun and exciting things.

Have you have ever heard of the Mental Load?

Here is a beautiful article by the Guardian (I know the article is six years old), that explains it very well in the form of a comic strip! 

Read the comic

Disclaimer: they have a penchant for pelvic floor exercises and might sound a tad patronising or pretentious at time, however they do offer a blend of candid conversations and advocacy for sexual empowerment.

Tell me about the hosts

The duo and occasionally trio behind The Hotbed brings a diverse range of experiences and perspectives to the table. Anniki Sommerville (who might be my fav of the three), is a broadcaster, journalist, and author born in 1973. She shares similar life stages with Lisa Williams, the other main co-host, a seasoned journalist and former stand-up comedian, joins forces with.

Cherry Healey, the youngest of the them all, born in 1980, is the known as the Hotbedder-at-large. She adds her expertise as a television presenter and female health advocate. 

Tell me about the episodes

The podcast covers a wide array of topics, making the subject matter accessible across different age demographics. As you might have guessed by now, a lot of sex-related podcasts are dominated by millennials. However, The Hotbed stands out with its Gen X hosts who talk about motherhood in their late 30s and early 40s, menopause, and openly discuss sexuality and aging, bridging the gap between generations.

Listeners can expect candid discussions on sexuality, relationships, and aging, often peppered with humor and personal anecdotes (plenty of TMI). Notable guests include Tova Leigh, Rose McGowan, Buck Angel (aka Trampa), and Megan Jayne Crabbe (aka BodyPosiPanda), among others.

What does it say on the label?

Do the words ‘let’s talk about sex’ make you cringe? Join the Hotbed Collective for funny, frank, non-cringey sex chat, with help from sex experts, comedians and confidence coaches. We’re making the world a better place, one orgasm at a time.

Link to Acast

Tell me how many episodes are there

As of March 2024, there are 6 season and a total of 46 episodes in their Apple Podcasts archive.  They started in 2018 and ended around lockdown time. I can say only the last handful few were done in 2020. 

Tell me your thoughts

The Hotbed podcast is good because the hosts do not shy away from sex and getting older; their point of views might be a little prude, but it’s a very valuable and eye-opening perspective.

They bring in all sorts of interesting guests who share their unique perspectives, making each episode a real treat. Plus, they’re all about empowering you to embrace your sexuality and enjoy everyday sex without any pressure.

It’s true, some of the ads can feel a bit too mom-focused at times and if you’re not into hearing about breastfeeding, you might wanna skip the early episodes. Also (let me get this out of the way right now), in one of the episodes they talk about how one of them ‘took a couple of years out to try and have a baby’ and another one had to do several rounds of IVF, which sounds very privilege-like, when I do know people who barely make it to the end of the month.

However, onto the positives, The Hotbed brings the fun while tackling important topics such as the orgasm gap, menopause, feminism, and more. It’s like chatting with your older sister or older friend about sex and life. They sometimes run their podcast with a live audience, and when they do, they give them either a whistle or a party horn, so that they can voice their opinions when asked by the podcasters. That’s pretty cool.

Fav episode? Do Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism?, with Professor Kristen R Ghodsee

They wrote a book!

Co-written by Williams and Sommerville, “More Orgasms Please: Why Female Pleasure Matters”, was listed by Stylist magazine as one of the top non-fiction books of 2019.

Buy the book.