Every week our writers share a bit of themselves with you. Inspired by their vulnerability, we sat some of our core team members down for an intimate interview.
We talked with Sara Radin, who spearheads all of Killer And A Sweet Thang’s events. Sara is a Brooklyn-based creative, who in addition to orchestrating community gatherings, has written for outlets such as DAZED, i-D, Man Repeller, and Broadly.
Where are you from?
I’m from Millburn, New Jersey which is 35 minutes outside of Manhattan.
Did anything about your upbringing in Jersey influence your work today?
I was always super creative when I was younger and I tried my hand at all different kinds of creative mediums. When I was 3 [year-old], I said I wanted to be an artist and then when I was 11, I said I wanted to be a writer. Today, I think I exist somewhere in between the two, but I also think a writer is a form of being an artist. My parents just really encouraged my creativity and being creative, and doing artful things was always a big form of catharsis for me as I was wrestling with puberty and my parents getting divorced and just different circumstances around my childhood.
How would you describe your sexual education growing up in school?
I know that we had sex-ed but I have no recollection of what went down *laughs* or what was talked about. I never spoke with my parents about sex… I think I was in fourth grade and I was at sleepaway camp and I didn’t know what the bases were. I still think that I’m lacking a lot of knowledge when it comes to sexual health and education as a 29 year-old.
Dating apps or IRL?
How old were you when you had your first kiss?
How old were you when you lost your virginity?
Do you prefer to text or call?
I’m a caller, for sure. But nobody else is, except Eileen.
Do you like dirty talk?
Do you believe in sex on the first date?
Depends on the circumstance.
What do you mean?
If I’m going into it with no expectations, then sure. But I think if it’s someone I’m interested in getting to know I would probably not have sex with them on the first date.
What turns you on in a partner?
I’m famously known for liking men that wear plaid. I actually had a plaid party for my twenty second birthday. That’s how much I love men that wear plaid. What was the question? What’s a turn on? I would say someone who’s respectful of women and treats them equally, someone who checks their privilege and has a desire to learn and grow so they can be an ally [for] other marginalized voices.
Is there anything that turns you off in someone?
My biggest turn off is misogyny.
Have you ever ghosted someone?
I haven’t dated in a year, so I don’t recall me ghosting anyone that I was legitimately seeing, but perhaps there were people that I went out with once and then maybe didn’t talk to again.
Have you ever been ghosted?
What do you mean by horrifically?
When I first moved to the city I started dating my boss’s best friend and that was a disaster because our lives became very intertwined in a way that your life shouldn’t be intertwined with your boss. We were dating for maybe 3 months, and he [said] he wanted me to be his girlfriend when we were having sex on his birthday and then a few weeks after that he just disappeared out of thin air. I did try to ask him for an explanation, and he just brushed it off like nothing was wrong. I felt incredibly vulnerable because I didn’t understand what had happened and I felt like my boss probably did, and that kinda made me feel very upset and insecure.
Can you talk a little bit about your decision not to date for a year?
I had a lot of personal stuff happen last summer and I just realized that I [would] self-sabotage and I decided that it was time to put a pause on putting emotional and physical energy into dating, and just really like turn that inwards and focus on understanding myself and my needs and spending time getting to know myself.
Are you open to the idea of dating right now?
I’m slowing starting to open myself up to the idea of dating again. It’s not really a priority for me right now. I feel really fulfilled on my own and I don’t really feel like I need a partner. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything in my life from not having one. So, according to my therapist, that means that this is the time to date.
If that’s the criteria for dating I feel like half of us shouldn’t be dating.
That’s exactly it. A lot of us use dating as a way to kind of give us value and purpose and it’s kind of good exercise to maybe take time and establish autonomy and fulfillment on your own.
Do you think it’s harder to date now in the current digital age?
Digital connectivity has impacted our lives in a lot of amazing ways and a lot of challenging ways. Sometimes I wish we didn’t have [social media] so things would go back to the old days—but that’s not to say that things were better then. I find that it’s really easy to get in the habit of projecting onto people, making assumptions about them, getting wrapped up in the idea of someone, as opposed to really taking the quality time to get to know someone for who they really are.
Have you ever dated anyone or gone out with anyone who’s DMed you?
Have you ever DMed anyone asking them out?
Do you send nudes?
No, not recently, but in the past. If I did, but my face was never in it.
Gotcha, so no one can blackmail you.
Have you ever felt heartbroken?
How did you get over it?
I wrote ten pages of poems about all the men I dated.
Oh, wow! Can you talk about that? That’s cool.
I think it was January 2016. I went out with this guy. We dated for two weeks and it got really hot and heavy quite quickly. We initially met at a coffee shop, and then he ended up breaking up with me at the same coffee shop two weeks later. It was so surreal to be broken up with in person after such a short time of dating and I felt really uncomfortable and really awkward. It was very awkward. When I got home I was kind of overcome with emotion, I was crying and I knew I’d be fine. It wasn’t about him, really, it was just more the experience of someone literally telling me to my face that I was being rejected.
That was just hard to stomach, and after that conversation I got in the shower—when I’m upset I like to take showers—and I just was letting the hot water beat down on my back and taking in the steam. You know, meditating in some way. I started to think about our relationship and the trajectory of it and I came to this place of gratitude, and I had this inclination to write a poem about it. The poem ended up being called Thank You, and it was a thank you note for our very short-lived romance.
After that I sent it to a friend and she started writing a poem about a guy she had dated, so then we just ended up writing all these poems about all these men we had dated and by the end of the night I had literally ten pages of poems about all these different guys. It was so cathartic and so much fucking fun. Those poems ended up becoming a project called It’s Not Personal, which is an art and writing anthology I ran with my friend Vanessa.
So an international collective of like, healing.
Healing from heartbreak, yeah.
Wow, that’s beautiful. So in that way you’re probably glad he dumped you then.
Have you ever lacked sexual chemistry with someone, but then fixed it?
What did that conversation or process look like?
There was someone I dated last year who I initially was not attracted to. But they seemed interesting and we had a lot in common so I decided to just keep seeing them but not be intimate yet. Over time, I started to feel more attracted to them.
How important do you think sex is in a relationship?
It’s important to me, but I think I’m the type of person who feels more sexually aroused by someone that I know quite well, and it’s taken me a lot of time to realize that. I think I feel this need for a level of safety, security, vulnerability before sex really becomes something worth having. I like it when sex is with someone that’s special to me, basically.
Do you have any advice for anybody who is struggling with insecurity in relationships?
Seek out professional help. There’s nothing shameful about seeing any kind of therapist whether it’s a relationship or a sex therapist or a psychotherapist or a psychiatrist. A therapist can help you know yourself better which will help you bring healthier, more comfortable relationships into your life [through] the process of working on yourself.