Since I was a teenager, people would tell me sexual stories. The youngest of three, my parents didn’t like each other when I was growing up let alone had sex. I was fascinated by this thing everyone kept talking about. Sex was a foreign/abstract concept to me. I had a lot of questions, which I took for granted was me creating safe space for being to be able to talk about these things without judgement.
The first time I became aware my voice was an asset was when I worked in fast food. Manning the register in the drive thru, often times people would stop at the window and give me career advice.
“You have a nice voice, you should go into radio.”
Some people were clearly just flirting, especially when they couldn’t see me in the booth and wondered what I looked like.
“Ooh, hi. Can I get a five piece nugget? How are you? What you doing tonight?”
But some people were genuinely worried I was wasting my voice slinging burger and fries. I would explain to them I was planning a career in media, but I was more interested in writing for a newspaper than being the next Casey Kasem. If you ever worked in fast food, you know they time you, so you can imagine how upset my managers were when these interactions would happen.
Fast forward to undergrad; I’m an award winning writer and newspaper editor and on a clear path to becoming a print journalist. All the media departments at my respective schools didn’t have great broadcast tracks so I stuck to writing. Another defining moment happened when I took a class with the woman who writes books including with Wendy Williams and LL Cool J (remind me to tell you that story). But by that point, I was knee deep in the social sciences and beginning my work in sexuality studies.
Experimenting with my voice in adulthood, it’s been fun to as I call it, “verbally masturbate” people. Most banks have outsourced their call centers, but for other companies (especially in NY), the customer service people on the other end of the line are Black/brown women. You’d be surprised what you can get when you take your tone down an octave and make small talk (shoutout to Time Warner cable!)
I say all that to say, I still don’t personally like the sound of my recorded voice; which is why this is a long time coming. But Talk About Sex is probably the best representation of what I do personally/professionally on a regular basis. I don’t have the time to really dedicate to it right now, so we’ll do this pilot season and see what people think. I did want to thank some people first.
To Tyme White and Scrivs; their (now defunct) podcast ScrvsTyme remains one of my favorites. It was the first time I heard two straight identified Black folk talk about sex/relationships intelligently and respectfully. I still listen to old episodes from time to time.
To Karsh, for both introducing me to the 9rulers as well as expanding the boundaries with his Black Gay Blogger podcast. He didn’t limit himself and topics ranged from tech to relationship to current events, which was refreshing.
To Bernard Bradshaw, whose Sex and the Second City podcast set the standard for Mandingo storytelling in 2005.
And of course to Trent Jackson. It’s not an understatement to say In the Mix With Trent saved my life. And for that, I am forever grateful. I can only hope Talk About Sex produces an ounce of the awareness he does every day.
Cheers to the next chapter and audio adventures!