Girl Boner Radio with August McLaughlin: What Does Standing in Your Power Actually Mean?

Kasia and August McLaughlin discuss the inextricable link between sexuality and power. Hear Kasia's take on the ways that the myth of Sleeping Beauty affects our erotic lives. Be sure to listen all the way to the end to discover why Kasia insists that "you are always right."

(Kasia comes on at 2:58)

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Learn more about The Academy's first online course:  the Verbal Self Defense Dojo.

Transcript:

August: Now I am so pleased to welcome Kasia Urbaniak to the show. Kasia is the founder and CEO of the Academy, a school that teachers women the foundations of power and influence. She made her living as one of the world's most successful dominatrixes while studying power dynamic with teachers all over the world. During all of this, she practiced Taoist alchemy in one of the oldest female led monasteries in China and obtained dozens of certifications in different disciplines. Since founding the Academy in 2013, Kasia has taught hundreds of women practical tools to step into leadership positions in their relationships, families, work places, and wider communities.

I'm so thrilled to bring some of her brilliance to you all today. Thank you for joining me today, Kasia. How are you doing?

Kasia: It's my pleasure to be here.

August: I'm curious about your personal background. What did you learn about sex and sexuality when you were growing up?

Kasia: You mean before I started working?

August: Yeah.

Kasia: I probably learned what a lot of people learned. A very disorganized, irresponsible, hodge-podge of misinformation and experimental childlike social testing.

August: Very well described, yes. And relatable. Absolutely, absolutely. Do you remember the first positive thing you learned about sex?

Kasia: I can't say this is positive or negative, but I ... the first moment I heard about virginity, I wanted to get rid of it as soon as possible. I didn't' even know what that meant, but I was like, I got to get rid of this thing.

August: Do you remember the context of that, how you learned?

Kasia: I don't. But there was something that I didn't like about how girls that were virgins, the conversations that I was hearing, there was something about it I really didn't like. I was too young to understand what it was.

August: But instinctively you understood that there was something off, and it's so interesting the term "virginity." There's no scientific definition. It's sort of this social construct.

Kasia: Yeah.

August: And some people describe it in different ways. There are so many people who defined sex as a specific type of intercourse, so they think, oh I haven't had sex because I've had oral. It's interesting. And we don't really hear as much in the context of masculinity, or if you're a guy, unless you're a virgin when you're 40, then it's a big deal.

So what led you to become so passionate about this topic of sexuality and connecting with that part of ourselves?

Kasia: For me, the connection really is in its connection to power and self expression. So my interest in sex is secondary. My interest in power, power dynamics and communication is primary. But in working with women I saw very clearly that you absolutely can't omit sexuality in a conversation about power. It doesn't work. And a woman claiming her power without claiming her sex is doing a headcase. She's not doing the full body thing.

Kasia: This is best articulated for me in the story of Sleeping Beauty. Because it's something that I can viscerally feel and relate to. So in the ... not the original, but in the story of Sleeping Beauty that we grew up with, what you have is a woman who's in a fucking coma. She's in an erotic coma. She does not feel anything. And it isn't until the rightfully ordained heterosexual man in a high position of power with money comes to bless her with a kiss, that the spark of her fire, her passion and her Eros awakens. So there's this idea that for us, our sexuality lives outside of us. It lives outside of us in the idea that the Other is what stokes the flame. The Other is the catalyst. And also in the sense that female sexuality is very outside-in. Clothes, billboards, advertising, all of it, and it's in one sense so obvious and in another so subtle, that when a woman feels erotic longing it's difficult for her to conceive of it without having an object.

Kasia: If it doesn't have an object she's just horny, it's weird. If it has an object she's infatuated or she's in love. And it belongs to the Other. The Other stokes it. The Other's behavior determines it. How the Other performs determines how the experience goes. And so what I noticed is that with that dislocation, almost all of the women coming to my classes had some form of that, and had some form of ... if they had a compelling encounter with a man, all of their attention, all of their energy, all of their analysis, all of their concern, went out to him. Even if it was an entire world of assumption and imagination and calculation and strategy. It was the fastest way to mainline the concept of giving your power away.

Kasia: And it happened fastest when we were talking about sex. So how am I supposed to teach a woman to primally, in a full bodied way, communicate? As a communications and power dynamics expert, for her to be able to have her message, her words land, be heard, be felt in the body of the other, and influence, if she's given all her power away? If she can't feel her body half the time? If she's waiting for somebody to come and stoke and be the catalyst to her longing. It doesn't work. So that's where, for me, sexuality becomes a necessary conversation when we talk about women using their voices.

Kasia: They have to know it's theirs, and they have to know what they like, and they have to know what to say.

August: And that they have a voice. I had chills listening to you because I can think of so many examples that I've seen in the world, in my own life, that idea. That it is something external. And with somebody else. Something that we give, or something that we might share-

Kasia: Or that we might exchange for something.

August: Yes, a currency. So how do those conversations start? Do you... what's the first step once somebody comes to you? Obviously something compelled somebody to reach out to you, what's a typical reason that they're coming to your class?

Kasia: I think this is part of the fun part. A large percentage of women who come to my classes don't know why, they just know they have to come.

August: Really? So they just feel it. Kind of like how you were saying you felt that virginity, you wanted to get rid of it. Like you felt a thing. That's so interesting.

Kasia: The reasons that follow are across the board right? One woman will say, I want to find my voice. And I go, "fuck you, what does that mean?" I want to stand in my power. Okay, explain what that means.

August: And can they answer?

Kasia: First a bunch of clumsy examples and steps towards something that maybe has some feeling. If I wanted to just be very categorical about it, it's like women who at work have reached a glass ceiling, and they don't understand why they don't have the authority that they'd like in the position that they have, and they're doing too much to maintain that position. And they're not communicating in a way that gets them what they want. Whereas the men in their same position aren't having that problem, and they're like, what's going on?

Kasia: And then there are the women who have that problem with romantic relationships, especially in heterosexual relationships with men. They are finding themselves either being the caretaker and turning the men into a worm who's useless and gets the benefit of all of that, leaves, and finds somebody else who is contributing less. Or they just struggle to communicate their needs.

Kasia: There's the typical dichotomy of... I encourage them to, in their imagination, write down things that they could ask and they're always that feeling, the feeling that comes is they're afraid of either coming across as bitchy and bossy, or needy. And dispelling a lot of the fears around those things, just becomes really important. I mean, a woman who is sexually satisfied and freely self expressed in her speech is fucking unstoppable. With those two ingredients, basically, she can take over the world.

August: That's gorgeous. That's gorgeous. The transformation must be really fulfilling for you to see. Is it a different process for each person? Do you take people through a series of specific steps or is it very individualized?

Kasia: This is a conversation about class design, right, because there's different classes with different arcs. And the arcs are built around the kinds of patterns that women tend to have. That are in the class, in real time, tweaked, if that particular group consciousness is going in a different direction or new shit is showing up.

August: So what would be some of the patterns that you've noticed in women? Some of these arcs you see?

Kasia: In our introductory class, Power with Men 101, there are certain things that always happen. One is the contingency of women who are like, I don't need anything from a man. I am not asking a man for anything. I am independent and it's taken me a lot to get to this place, and I am not diluting it with even writing some silly requests.

Kasia: And this pattern is the bittersweet victory of the independent woman. Because when you look a little deeper, she's doing everything. You know the idea of having it all? Like, can a woman have it all? That idea is bullshit, because what it's pointing to is a woman who's doing it all, not having it all. Having it all and doing it all are not the same thing.

August: So true.

Kasia: So she's independent, feels a sense of victory for overcoming millennia of habitual patterning that would have her not be able to be in a position of authority and victoriously independent. However, what is invisible at that moment is that a lot of the men who have authority and who are, quote-unquote, independent agents, are not actually independent because they have all these invisible support systems around them that women don't have.

Kasia: A lot of the times this particular pattern is one where I invite the woman to be incredibly furious for a little while and enjoy her bitterness and her rage, and do exercises where she turns her inner bad girl bitch into a superhero until that superhero becomes so lovable that she can actually sit with requests that she can make of people in her life. And when she does, surprisingly, she elevates them. When you ask a little more of somebody in a way that feels good, when they step into that position, they go from worm to loyal subject or knight in shining armor–if you want to go through the heterosexual stereotypes. But you share more of your energy and your enterprise and your dreams with someone.

Kasia: So that's one pattern. There's so many. There's so many. There's so many, but a lot of them come down to this thing I talk a lot about, which is, now in this space of women shifting from essentially being trained to be submissive, surrendered, accommodating, harmonizing, good girls, to leadership positions where they have agency, this weird thing has happened where women tend to be afraid of both. Now they're afraid to receive, and be surrendered, and be led. "Oh, no no no no, I'm not below you." And they're also afraid of coming across as too powerful. So it's like this too much, too little split-

August: Too intimidating.

Kasia: Yeah. And so we work a lot with that. A lot with that, a lot with blowing that apart, so that a woman can behave as naturally intensely as she feels or as softly as she feels. And be calibrated to really well.

August: Seems like there are so many layers to this.

Kasia: There are.

August: So many patterns, so many layers. And getting... how important is getting to the root of that? Is it about moving forward and learning about another way, or do people have to kind of look within and go, "where did I get these ideas from?"

Kasia: One of the reasons this is so layered is not because it's complicated, it's because we don't have language for it. Essentially what I teach is how people can speak the truth and now here I have to add a huge, huge, huge stop. Because when people talk about the truth people get away with saying factual truths and calling it truth. I'm talking about full body, primal truth. Full body primal truth. It means the material reality, the feeling, and the ideas, and the words match.

Kasia: So it would be really really simple just to say, "tell the truth, speak your truth, make the requests you want to make." Except that language ends up being as unhelpful as telling a woman to find her voice and stand in her power. It doesn't actually give any instruction into how to not slip into the patterns that we were raised with. And the new ones that now have us feeling compressed and smushed and feeling like, "oh my god, I can't be too much, I can't be too little, I'm too powerful, I'm not powerful enough, I make too much money, I don't make enough money, I'm not pretty enough, I'm way too pretty." All of it, all of it, all of it. Like, compressed into a fucking box until you cannot breathe. Instead of being radically self-expressed in all directions, understanding what it does for a dynamic, right, where there's always a dominant and a submissive. They are always switching in healthy, fluid relationships. Even in the span of a conversation where the sexuality is not even on the table.

Kasia: So how do you play? How do you play with energy, how do you play with attention? How do you play from that space of truth? This is where the magic starts.

August: Sounds like it's ... so it's about alignment?

Kasia: Yeah.

August: And this full body truth, what are some of the signs that you know you are in that full body truth? Because I feel like so many people have read all the self help articles with, just do this, and just do that-

Kasia: You know when you're not in it, right? You know when you're not in it. For example, the sexual harassment pattern. When somebody puts attention on you? Asks you an inappropriate question, and then the female default is to take that attention and drive it even deeper into ourselves? Because we're trained to be submissive, attention in. And what that causes is a freeze. So suddenly we can't even speak. We would normally be able to say something sassy or defensive or something perfectly acceptably logical, but we can't speak. At that moment we're knocked out of alignment.

Kasia: One of the things I teach is how women overcome the freeze. When they're in a submissive position in a dynamic, what they need to do is put their attention out as quickly as possible and ask a question.

August: Literally ask the person a question?

Kasia: Yes. Because what that does is it drives their attention deeper into themselves, so you flip the power dynamic and are now on top, even if it's only for a few seconds it's enough for you to restore your access to language. Because when you're in that freeze state, your amygdala gets hijacked, your brain doesn't function in the same way. And this is, like "how many times have you been asked an inappropriate question or just a question that maybe felt inappropriate but wasn't so bad, like, are you married, how old are you?" And found yourself not wanting to answer but answering anyway?

August: Oh yeah I've done that.

Kasia: Or freezing. So we have this entire section of our curriculum that's the Verbal Self-Defense Dojo that we just turned into an interactive online class. Where creepy dudes say shit to you in many different contexts, and you're given many different ways of flipping the power dynamic and playing back. Some of them brutal, some of them funny, and some of them ... they're categorized into soft, hard, and a location tool which kind of settles and grounds the whole thing.

August: What would be an example of a question that you might ask? I'm sure it's different in every scenario. There's not like one right answer to that, but if somebody were to ask this inappropriate question, what might you say in response?

Kasia: Depends on the inappropriate question, right? Like, let me ask you an inappropriate question.

August: Okay.

Kasia: Or an edgy question. "Do you think being black helped you get into Harvard?" What do you say?

August: Gosh, if I were to ask a question, why is that important to you?

Kasia: That's good. That's very good.

August: So it's anything that makes them think within themselves?

Kasia: You flip the power dynamic because now I have to go in and go, why is it important to me?

Kasia: Well, because I care about racial equality. So what's your answer?

August: That's so interesting, and I love that you have the role playing built into this program, because I feel like we can learn these things but if you're not practicing it, it doesn't become a muscle. Because I had read... are you familiar with the Gift of Fear?

Kasia: No.

August: It's written by Gavin de Becker, who works with the CIA to determine whether something is a threat or somebody is a threat, and does a lot in the space of self-protection and trusting your instincts and all that stuff. And I remember reading the book, and that was life shifting for me when I read it. But it's a very different thing to apply it. And I would go, man, that was a Gift of Fear moment that I totally didn't do later. Until you actually are practicing it.

Kasia: So the inappropriate questions can be anything from a massage therapist while you're naked, asking you, "are you married?" Right? That's an uncomfortable situation. Or oftentimes we have a second category, right? The first is just inappropriate questions or inappropriate propositions, which you play it back with a question. Like, "do you realize that question will generally make a woman feel really uncomfortable?" That's a really good answer back, right? Do you realize how you sound in asking that question and did you mean to sound that way?

August: And really saying it genuinely so that it's not a... one thing I noticed, I was in this really powerful self defense class, I have a lot of role playing different kinds of activities. And I noticed a lot of us would say things like, I don't want to sound mean and all that stuff. Do people ask you about the tone? Like, do you say it ... do you have to really believe and feel what you're saying?

Kasia: No you just have to put your attention out.

August: That's it.

Kasia: Yeah, really. Because the animal of his body will respond in accordance to whether there's any weight behind the words. And attention is everything.

Kasia: There are variables that are nicer sounding, or not nicer sounding. You know you can hit someone hard when you hit them back or you can hit them soft, but it's really the attention. You're giving them the instruction to answer the question no matter how benign or banal it is. You can ask them, where did you get that sweater, and it'll still have the same function even though you're totally changing the conversation. Because you're on top, and the goal is to break the freeze, not to win at that point. I mean, how much unwanted sex and rape happened because a woman was in the freeze and didn't have access to language? So my goal, especially when all of the #MeToo and Harvey stuff started coming out, I was like, "what simple tool can I give as many women as possible that will just break the power of that moment? Like, screw the philosophy and the whole paradigm, like what is the one thing I can give them?"

Kasia: And so the sexual harassment scenarios, they generally arise two ways. One, with a direct inappropriate proposition, right? That puts a woman in a submissive state and changes her brain chemistry, making it hard for her to fight back. So I'm like, all right, here's the tool to break you out of the freeze here. And the second one is when somebody, the perpetrator, makes a series of ambiguous statements linked together that imply a form of behavior you're supposed to do or agree with. And this one is a little bit harder, so we have a different tool for it. Because with a direct hit you can hit back directly.

August: Sure.

Kasia: But with that, we have this tool called the Location tool, where a woman will just fill in the blanks of this sentence. It's so simple, it's almost dumb. "It seems like" [fill in the blank], "and it also seems like," [fill in the blank], and if there's a third, "it also seems like," [fill in the blank]. "Is that true?" Or, "it seems like" [fill in the blank], "is that true?"

Kasia: So for example, you're at the hotel lobby bar with a colleague because you're at a conference and you're talking about business and he makes a few statements about how good it is that you've gotten to know each other better and the bar is closing, should we continue in my room? You know? And then the woman, she can't hit back, she can't be like, "Do you realize?" It's inappropriate. So she can say, "It seems like you might be done with talking about business. It seems like the hotel room isn't the best place to talk about business. Is that true? It seems like you might be interested in transitioning to a more intimate setting, is that true?" And then suddenly we're not operating in a realm of mystery. I think a lot of men who have hurt women didn't intend to, and were very clumsy. I think it's a time to socially educate both men and women in real time by teaching people to tell the truth in the moment and giving them the tools to do so.

Kasia: So, again, there's a couple of things, but breaking the freeze and teaching women what to do when they get stuck is first aid, it's like a first aid kit.

August: And I feel like the men will learn so much too in these scenarios, because they just haven't been offered an alternative because that's what they've been taught. This is how you approach a woman. You don't say anything too direct, you kind of ease your way in. What about something-

Kasia: We've gotten so many incredible emails, so much mail, from men, and so many men buying this course for their daughters. And then of course all the negative emails from women-

August: The negative emails from women?

Kasia: Yeah.

August: What is a common complaint they have?

Kasia: It's usually around a misunderstanding about how we are linking sex and power. It's automatically like, wait, power, sex, together? No. Sexuality, woman's sexuality does not belong in the workplace. They have ideas about what that means. And a powerful human being for me is a fully integrated one that is capable of feeling their own sexuality, their empathy, their emotions, their intellect. And operating... not necessarily being nice or sexy, but with all of those faculties intact and engaged.

August: And not using it as a weapon, either. I feel like people hear power, and they think, oh well you're telling women that they have to-

Kasia: Yeah that's a complete misunderstanding but I understand their concern.

August: Wow. What about somebody approaches you who is not quite mentally stable?

Kasia: Run.

August: Run. Yeah.

August: Because you can't reason with an unreasonable person.

Kasia: I mean that's a high stakes, high level game to play. So I would, maybe an advanced student could-

August: Could find a way. Buying into their reality was one thing we talked about in that class I took where, if somebody is talking to you about some alien they see, you can play along with it. You can try different things and if you can't get away immediately or, but the goal is of course to get away from somebody who's a threat, yeah.

Kasia: We can't always, because what you're talking about is also mirrored in our society. Even the idea that women are less powerful and their sex is not theirs, that took a lot of brainwashing because we obviously give birth and have more power than anybody else. How did that mind game work out?

August: Yeah the societal brainwashing goes deep, really deep. So I know that sex is not the main focus, it's more of a byproduct, it's part of all of this, as you mentioned. But how does all this affect a woman's sex life?

Kasia: Profoundly. Absolutely. Because one of the first things she does in the earliest levels of the school, is she learns to ask and command. She learns to ask from a submissive place and from a dominant place. She learns to give orders, and she learns to ask from a submissive place. And in being able to say anything, speak anything, ask for anything. It's not just that you can ask for anything in the bedroom. That's one part of it. But once you feel freedom around asking, once you feel freedom around hearing no, and getting intimate with somebody else's resistance, being really interested in what passionate thing they're trying to protect with resistance, when you start playing those territories, intimacy explodes through the roof. Also when you feel comfortable asking for anything, and comfortable with playing with no, imagination also blossoms hugely. Because it goes from this one little thing that I would really like to have adjusted to being able to and co-create and imagine a unique series of sexual experiences that address both partners' deepest wounds and biggest desires and none of that's possible until the ability to communicate is lubricated enough and the dynamic is fluid enough.

Kasia: So I have a lot of students who take the course that's really very communication-based, and after the first weekend their sex lives go through the roof. And they're also energetically congruent so they're easier to locate. When a woman has her attention out constantly, nobody can find her, in an animal sense. People can't feel what it is she needs and wants when her attention is out all the time. She has to be at the center of her fucking universe and then the birds and the bees and the whole universe comes to stroke her, caress her, and give her the gifts she wants.

August: Yeah, which has profound impact on the rest of your life, too, when you can be so authentic and also, as you said, ask for what you want. I know that for me, embracing my sexuality, I felt opened up my whole world in ways that I didn't expect, because sometimes you think you're working on your sex life when in fact my voice, my singing voice, literally became completely different. So much louder. All of these things happened. These completely surprising things. Are a lot of people surprised by-

Kasia: Yeah, the opening of sexuality oftentimes also increases money, clarity and communication. Muscular locks disappear, voices change. I'm totally not surprised that you're saying this. There's just something so primal about not having... missing the experience of being sexually validated by self and other, and being able to sexually communicate freely with a partner. It happens and everything changes. It's like, "oh, I am in touch with the life force. I am life. And I live here. And it's coursing through me." The next step is the ecstasy of emotion. The sensation of something really terrible and the sensation of something really positive. They actually, in the body, feel orgasmically similar.

Kasia: So you can find such a turn-on in being disappointed and feeling sad, or feeling longing and unrequited love. Or the incredible pussy wetting turn on of being furious, the goddess of fucking rage. That rage that makes your nipples hard and your eyes big. And suddenly the taboo about the experiences that we have on the daily basis, the moods that shift and turn become this incredible symphony of body stroking pleasure.

August: I'd never thought about that. It's so true that the experience of rage, for example, frustration, anger-

Kasia: So hot.

August: Yeah. And when you can actually let that energy out in these ways, from an authentic place versus feeling, like, oh I'm not allowed to feel this way or it's bad that I'm feeling-

Kasia: It's the merger of sexuality and negative emotion that turns negative emotion into its positive counterpart. So with my students, if they're really angry their face is very tight. If I can get them to a place where they're feeling arousal around the sensations in their angry bodies, it starts turning into passion. And they move from what they've been fighting against to what they're fighting for. And passion and anger have a very similar vibrational note, but passion is anger with total approval. So people don't get killed right? With passion, there is no collateral damage. With anger, everybody's in pain including the one carrying anger.

Kasia: So sadness has the same thing. Sadness is very, very powerful because it's gift is it draws the energy inward. And creates tremendous amounts of softness if it's approved of. If you feel the sensations of sadness, they are so delicate, romantic, and subtle and refined. And it brings you into the best state for surrendered experience of tension, an inward experience of tension that has you really start to root in what you feel you truly, truly, truly want. So there's this beautiful way in which sadness becomes first romantic and then self knowledge of longing, and all of that requires approval.

August: Yeah. That is so fascinating. So then would it make sense, when you're feeling angry, to masturbate? To connect intentionally with your sexuality?

Kasia: Yes. The first step usually is start where you were. So sometimes I'll have my students beat a bag of beans with a baseball bat and say, no, no no no. And then make really furious faces in the mirror. Then start to dance and only then at the end of that masturbate or self pleasure, so that it's not... it depends on how far they are. How deep it is. So that it's a smooth transition.

August: Kasia, you are speaking to me and you've given me such a gift in that because recently I've had these stressful situations come up and now I'm seeing some really beautiful therapeutic ways to benefit. More than just, I can get through this. But actually-

Kasia: If you have an exciting sexual partner, having angry sex can be really fun.

August: Oh yeah, angry sex. Oh my gosh, yes. Especially for somebody who's quite, you know, quote, good girl. Right? Wow. It sounds like a really intensely emotional process for anyone.

Kasia: That one is, yeah. You know it's a little bit disorienting to talk about the school in any interview, because there's so many different facets of it. Like the Verbal Self-Defense Dojo is not deeply cathartic and emotional. It's the first aid kit so that women can go out and kick ass and not be bludgeoned by accident in conversation and negotiation.

August: Super important.

Kasia: Right. But then the part that we were just talking about is sort of the inner sanctum of the series of classes where we move each emotion by joining it with sexuality. I'm really, really proud of having created this space where so many different ways of empowering women are applied.

August: Rightfully. It sounds so magical, really. Is this information that came to you quite naturally, were there turning points in your own life that led you to do this work, or is this something that you have just felt like you've had this understanding about and wanted to bring to the world?

Kasia: This is absolutely a process. This was a huge process for me. I was one of the world's most successful dominatrixes and I was making a lot of money for the place I was working for, so they asked me to train the other dominatrixes. That was my first look. My first look was seeing where they struggled. And then also comparing my dominatrix friends to my non-dominatrix friends, and noticing the things that they worried about-

August: Were they different?

Kasia: Completely. So much more superstition and worry about what a text message meant. So much more body shame.

August: In the non-dominatrix?

Kasia: Yep. Because one of the first things that you get, like in a dungeon there's an option for a session that's a body worship session. So the slave just worships and kisses the knees, the thighs, the hands or however far the dominatrix will let him go. But he worships her body. And so when a body worship client would come into the dungeon, the assumption for a new dominatrix would be, I'm cute, I'm cuter than most, I'm younger than most, because the new ones are usually cuter and younger. I got this. And it wasn't true. Because 45-year-old overweight Mistress Greta would have an equally amazing shot at getting the body worship session as anybody else.

Kasia: And then watching? Like I had one session that was... I was with her in a session, and I was watching her. She seemed so much older to me, like grandma, you know. And I was watching the way he worshiped her, and I was like, oh what she's like a fragrant, ripe fruit and I'm this tight green bud. I've so little so offer. I'm like so... I don't have that big sexuality that she does. And after that, I was like, oh wow, men do really get into all different kinds of women for all different... so it's just one little tiny example.

Kasia: But then I was studying to be a Taoist nun and I was studying Taoism and I was studying martial arts, studying Chinese medicine. And I was using the money I was making as a dominatrix to go to mountain tops and work with healers. And this made a lot of my ability to see an unspoken way where people were at at that time, mostly the clients, much more precisely and move them, like move them through different states of consciousness and states of emotion. But really, everything exploded when I met my business partner. So Ruben Flores worked for Doctors Without Borders and spent years in Africa in conflict zones. Here I was, the fringes of human sexuality and power, and he's in the fringes of war and death and power.

August: Wow. Bring it all.

Kasia: And our first conversation was about how any time he was at a border or checkpoint or something like that, he might have had this official looking paper but nobody spoke the same language. They'd be like 14-year-olds on drugs with assault rifles. And the way to communicate and the way to be like, "I am building a hospital here between you who wants to kill that, and you who wants to kill them. I am building a hospital here." And at that time, he started so young. So he's like 23 or whatever, and had to establish his authority as a man without language. And I did it in this very different way as a woman without language in the sense that, as a dominatrix, nothing I'm saying is true. I'm not using my real name. All of this is made up. And the explosion in terms of understanding power struggles, power dynamics, primal communication and how women are effected differently, how they're trained differently. We could not stop talking for six months. At the end of six months we basically had a school.

August: Wow. That's so fascinating. So if people would like to take these classes, learn more about you, what are the best ways to do so?

Kasia: Go to the website, which is www.weteachpower.com.

August: Awesome. Very cool. That's so great. What is one message that you feel that women are most lacking, that you'd like to leave people with? Something-

Kasia: You're always right. What you feel is always right. Even if you're not right what you're right about, you're always right. Every signal coming through you, means something. And it's right. You may not be right about what it means but it's right. I mean I have my students put an alarm on their phones that says, you are always right, and ring every hour.

Kasia: If you feel it, it's there for a reason. You are right. Sit on it like an egg, wait for it to hatch. You'll find out what it means. But do not abandon it, do not question it, and do not make it mean something wrong about you. Self attack is the biggest plague we're suffering right now. It's the way that we take ourselves down and each other down, and one of the first steps is everything that you feel is right. You don't have to understand why it's right, how to apply it, not right away, but it's always right.

August: And listening to that and letting it, you said, sit on it, let it hatch. So there's no forcing it, no hyper analyzing-

Kasia: Just honor it.

August: Just honor it. And in its own time?

Kasia: Yeah.

August: Yeah.

August: Thank you so much for the work that you do and for sharing today. I'm so inspired.

Kasia: Thank you. Thank you so much.