Listening to “Locker Room Talk & Shots” Feels Like a Breakthrough Therapy Session

Whether you’re curious about increasing your libido, “How to Dominate Your Dude,” trans sex, “What Queer Women REALLY Want in Bed,” or kinks, this podcast is for you.

Locker Room Talk

Annette Benedetti isn’t a sex therapist. Nor does she claim to be. But listening to her podcast, Locker Room Talk & Shots, sure as hell feels like you’ve just had a breakthrough therapy session, or a meeting of the minds (aka cocktails with the girlies): You do be realizing things. Especially as a woman or, as Benedetti puts it, a “vulva owner.”

Whether you’re curious about increasing your libido, “How to Dominate Your Dude,” trans sex, “What Queer Women REALLY Want in Bed,” kinks, or “The Truth About Dick Size,” this podcast is definitely not just for vulva owners, even though it may have started that way.

Locker Room Talk & Shots launched just after the Trump era—hence its name—in February 2021. Benedetti says she was frustrated by the fact that men could get away with talking so openly and crassly about sex with women, in a way that was obviously predatory, and still excel in their career to the point of becoming president.

“I felt like the only answer to this problem, the discrepancy between the two realities, is for women to start talking about sex openly and sharing our sex stories,” Benedetti says.

In addition to the podcast’s, erm, spicier topics—Locker Room Talk & Shots starts conversations about issues like “Sex After Sexual Assault,” which was an episode that was released this past April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Benedetti herself is a survivor of childhood rape, which is something she talks about candidly on her podcast. But that wasn’t always the case. Benedetti, now 49, says she couldn’t even say the word rape, or acknowledge that she was raped, until she was 40 years old.

“My story is so common. So many women and people with vulvas have been sexually assaulted,” Benedetti says. “And on top of the prevalence of that is the shame that we experience within, you know, just having sex.”

Navigating the shame our culture places on sex, let alone as someone who has experienced sexual assault, while simultaneously attempting to heal one’s relationship with sex and learn how to engage in pleasurable sex is a dichotomy that is so rarely discussed publicly.

“Because how could I possibly be a survivor but still also really love sex, right?” Benedetti jokes (sort of).

For the self-proclaimed “not-your-pencil-skirt podcast host,” diving headfirst into topics that some may deem uncomfortable—from BDSM to spanking to sex toys—has played a huge role in owning her sexuality and erasing that shame.

“I literally knew nothing when I started this,” says Benedetti, whose podcast, now in the top 10% of downloads on database Listen Notes, has grown from hosting her friends to experts, authors and therapists. “My mind’s been blown,” she adds.

And for any prospective new listeners who may be overwhelmed by the language or subject matter, Benedetti wants to encourage you to push through. Give it a minute, get into the conversation, and try to learn and grow without judgment. Who knows? Maybe you, too, can learn how to have 365 orgasms in 365 days. (Yes, she did that, and yes, she deserves some sort of award.)

Because with every quiet download; every cisgender, heterosexual male (the podcast’s secret top demographic) reaching out to thank her; every person becoming just a little bit more comfortable and confident in their sexuality—Locker Room Talk & Shots is, as it claims, fighting the patriarchy, one orgasm at a time.

See the rest of Willamette Week’s Best of Portland 2023 here!

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.