What I Learned From A Month Of Binge-Listening To Abbie Chatfield’s Podcast
Abbie Chatfield is an Australian household name. As runner up on Matt Agnew’s season of The Bachelor, Abbie turned her on-screen heartbreak into an influencer empire: hundreds of thousands of Insta followers, brand collaborations, national radio shows, a live tour, and, of course, her hugely popular podcast It’s A Lot.
I have always been a somewhat casual fan of Abbie – I loved her throughout her season of The Bachelor, and always thought that she was a standout among the women of the franchise – but I never really kept up with her career post-Bachie.
About a month ago, I finally finished catching up on an extensive backlog of my favourite podcasts, and found myself in need of something new to listen to – something that wasn’t true crime-adjacent, or yet another comedy podcast hosted by a bunch of cis men.
I scrolled past It’s A Lot in my podcast app and decided to give it a go – and I’m so glad I did. Since first pressing play about a month ago, I’ve listened to almost every episode of It’s A Lot and never once looked back. I went from casual Abbie supporter to full-on Abbie stan – and, to my surprise, learned quite a lot from her about life and love in the process.
Here’s what I learned from a month of bingeing It’s A Lot.
1. Personal confidence takes practice
Abbie is well-known as a confident person – it’s a trait of hers that stuck with me after her run on The Bachelor, and was well and truly enforced after listening to a months’ worth of It’s A Lot.
Her ability to speak her mind is admirable and even enviable, if you’re a young woman who struggles with self-confidence. Interviewers and fans ask her constantly where this confidence comes from – and she often tells them that it’s not necessarily something that comes naturally or easily every time. Building self-confidence takes constant work, and, as she detailed in bonus ep ‘But How Are You So Confident?!’ it requires a strong support network of family and friends to help along the journey towards self-love.
Abbie’s vulnerability contributes to her impressive confidence; her ability to admit that she hasn’t always felt as self-assured as she does now, and that she still struggles with it at times, particularly in the face of online trolling.
2. Women can – and should – talk more about sex
The way Abbie talks about sex so openly on It’s A Lot really made me reconsider the way that I talk about sex with my friends, and even with my partner. It seems so simple, but the way Abbie describes her sexual experiences in detail to her audience made me realise that I am a lot less open about my sex life than I thought I was.
When it comes to sex, Abbie’s not afraid to ask for what she wants. Over the last month I’ve listened to her discuss and dissect her own sex life, and the sex lives of her listeners, covering everything from edging to anal to the importance of regular STI checks (and special shout out to iconic episode ‘Glug It Up’ during which Abbie gives her listeners a step-by-step on how to give a blowjob – and all the queens who have the lesson playing in an Airpod while doing the deed).
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3. We all deal with mental health stuff, even if it doesn’t look like it from the outside
As someone with anxiety, it’s refreshing to hear Abbie talk about maintaining her mental health with therapy and medication, and any slip ups that she might have along the way – like, for example, accidentally forgetting to refill her antidepressant prescription before going on a trip, and finding herself without her medication for a few days – or finding that her antidepressants make her feel better, but also make it really difficult to have an orgasm.
Listening to Abbie share her personal experiences with mental health, and interviewing mental health professionals on the podcast made me feel more comfortable with talking openly about the ins and outs of my own mental health maintenance – and also prompted me to finally set a reminder in my phone for when my antidepressant prescription is due to run out!
4. Open relationships are more common, and less scary, than you’d think
I have to admit that my understanding of open relationships and polyamorous relationship structures was basic at best. I truthfully thought that open relationships were an all-or-nothing kind of deal – and that it was a bit of a red flag if your partner even raised the topic of conversation. The only thing even relatively close to open relationships I’d ever been exposed to were straight couples looking for their ‘unicorn’ on Tinder.
Since Abbie and Konrad’s It’s A Lot episode where they revealed their open relationship, and subsequent episode with sexologist Georgia Grace discussing different types of ethical non-monogamy, my view on open relationships has totally changed. I honestly didn’t realise that open relationships were as common as they are, and I didn’t know that there were so many options and resources for couples looking to explore. I’m still learning, but am now much more interested in, and much less sceptical about the topic.
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5. Being a woman online is weird – but there are ways to deal with it
Most people already know that existing as a woman online comes with some weird stuff – I’ve experienced the unwarranted sexual comments and the cruel trolling myself, and it’s never any fun.
Watching Abbie go through relentless trolling throughout her career and still come out on top is nothing short of inspiring. She regularly discusses the trolls and how she deals with them on the podcast – in one memorable episode she explained how impressions work on Instagram, meaning that with each profile view, no matter if that viewer is a fan or a hater, her impressions go up, making her a more appealing option for advertisers and brands to consider for sponsorships and collaborations.
It’s the kind of cool, candid response that we’ve come to expect from Abbie – years of trolling have taught her how to deal with hate comments with humour and style, and watching her continue to gain followers and grow her brand is all the reassurance we need that she’s in it for the long haul, regardless of the haters.