By Rahul Lal
Actor Tom Arnold joined Amber Rose and Dr. Chris Donaghue on the latest episode of the Play.it podcast Loveline with Amber Rose. Arnold praised Amber and Chris for their open discussions on feminism and body image issues.
“It’s interesting for someone like me, I’m older, to hear about feminism,” he said. “Also, to hear you talk about men in that way where you care about men and men’s body image. You know, I look up pictures of myself as a kid and I always thought I was fat and disgusting and I see pictures now and I’m like ‘Boy, I should’ve taken advantage of that. I looked good.’”
Arnold discussed his feelings of insecurity as a kid. “Where I grew up in Iowa, they put all 30 boys in the shower at the same time,” he began. “When you’re a young boy, you mature at different rates and there’s always somebody that’s hairy and you’re not and you’re just like, ‘Oh my God.’ The coaches don’t care, some people wear towels and some don’t, it’s that pressure. You’re embarrassed, it’s embarrassing, nobody talks about that because you’re a boy and you have to ‘man up,’ and that’s how it is.”
Arnold marveled at how mature Amber’s son is, and much of that is because of how open she is with him. He said that he would have appreciated having a woman explain sensitive and potentially uncomfortable matters with him when he was younger.
“My son is four years old so I can’t send him in the boy’s room by himself,” Amber said. “I bring him in the stall with me and he uses the bathroom and he’s just like ‘Mommy, did you just pee out of your vagina?’ I was just like ‘Yes, I did honey, yes I did.’ We get out of the stall and everyone’s looking at me appalled that my son said ‘vagina’ at such a young age but I don’t laugh at him, I don’t make him feel uncomfortable, I let him know everything because he obviously knows. He’s seen mommy naked all the time, we obviously have different sex organs, it’s just different, so he asks about it instead of me saying ‘Honey, you don’t look at that.’ It’s so important that when he gets older he just knows everything and it’s not weird to him and it’s not anything sexual, we’re human beings and I just want him to be comfortable with that.”
Dr. Chris noted that discomfort with discussing sex as a child can have repercussions for adults. “As a psychologist and sex therapist, people end up in my office and, as adults, they’re not able to ask for what they want sexually,” he said. “They’re unable to even talk about their own bodies. I work with adults in their 40s, 50s and 60s who have been married for 10 years, 20 years or 30 years and I’ll say to them ‘Does your partner like oral sex?’ They’ll be like ‘Oh God, I don’t know. I’ve never asked about it.’ As a child, they were never taught that it’s acceptable to talk about those things. Women are often told it’s not okay to have sexual desires and to be horny and to seek sex and they end up in my office as a couple.”
Amber mentioned that these days, it’s almost considered an insult to many people to tell them that they should use a condom, reminding listeners that it’s impossible to know for sure, without a test, if somebody is sexually healthy.
“Girls [today] are like, ‘Why don’t you trust me? Why do you want to use a condom with me?’ It’s just the young kids these days,” she said. “I think the young kids nowadays didn’t see the AIDS epidemic the way we did. They didn’t see that. They didn’t see people contracting HIV or AIDS and dying two weeks later. Our generation kind of lived through that and we’ve seen that. I was terrified when I started having sex because there were people in our neighborhood that I knew were [HIV] positive. With the kids these days, they’ve seen Magic Johnson, he’s been living 45 years with HIV so they think it’s just not around anymore, it’s not going to happen to them or it’s just not a big deal because people aren’t dying every day.”
Listen to the full episode below.