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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya read from "The Complete Works of Pat Parker" and discuss love—and sex—as a revolutionary act.
Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Welcome to the penultimate episode of season two of The Turn On. So, this week we're going to be reading...
Kenrya: That's a very fancy word.
Erica: Because I took the SAT? I lied. No, I didn't. ACT. I had work.
Erica: I’m Midwestern.
Kenrya: I did both. Low standards.
Erica: So, this week, we're reading from “The Complete Works of Pat Parker,” so we have a few of her poems. These poems were published in, like I said, “The Complete Works of Pat Parker” in 2016, and it was published by her daughter, Anastasia Dunham-Parker-Brady. So, sit back, relax...
Kenrya: Yeah, she holds the copyright.
Erica: Yes. So, sit back. Relax. Get your wine, your weed, whatever you need, and enjoy.
Kenrya: Selections from “The Complete Works of Pat Parker.” Copyright by Anastasia Dunham-Parker-Brady.
Kenrya: For Willyce. When I make love to you, I try, with each stroke of my tongue, to say "I love you." To tease "I love you." To hammer "I love you." To melt "I love you." And your sounds drift down, oh, God. Oh, Jesus. And I think, "Here it is. Some dude's getting credit for what a woman has done. Again."
Kenrya: From Deep Within. Nature tests those she will call hers. Slips up, naked and blank, down dark paths. Skeletons of the sea, this we will become to suck a ray of sight from the fire. A woman's body must be taught to speak. Bearing a lifetime of keys, a patient soul moves through a maze of fear, and bolts clothed in soft hues and many candles. The season's tongues must be heard and taken, and many paths built for the travelers. A woman's flesh learns slow by fire and pestle. Like succulent meats, it must be sucked and eaten.
Kenrya: Aftermath, For Marty. Did you know I watch you as you cuddle asleep? Propped up on my elbow, close, your breath brushes back silence like a swimmer parting water. Your lips are tight now. If I close my eyes, they become a cool drink. Cool and wet. House an active tongue that travels my body like an explorer retracing familiar ground. If I close my eyes, I can feel your tongue dart from my ear, to my neck, to the crevice. A prospector, paused to take samples, inspect the ore, then move on. If I close my eyes, I can feel your tongue wrap around my nipples, tuck them deep in the corner of your mouth, and suck them. Suck them with parched flowers. If I close my eyes, oh, love... If I close my eyes, I become, once again, your hopeless captive, ready to submit. I think of the straight person who asks, "What do you do in bed?" Oh, how many times I ask the same thing.
Kenrya: My Baby's A Bass Player. Fingers me all the time. And when she get down, makes me feel so fine. She plays her modes every day, from A to A. Makes me say, "Jesus, honey, your hand's so kind, don't think I'll last until you start on your lines." She studies cord changes, day and night, practices charts until they're just right. But what really makes my temperature rise is when she gets down on me and starts to improvise. She plays her notes for hours at a time. The utility bill here is some kind of crime. Every time she touches me, I let out a scream. Thank you, Jesus, she don't play the tambourine.
Kenrya: Metamorphosis. You take these fingers, bid them soft. A velvet touch to your loins. You take these arms, bid them pliant. A warm cocoon to shield you. You take this shell, bid it full. A sensual cup to lay with you. You take this voice, bid it sing. An uncaged bird to warble your praise. You take me, love. A sea skeleton. Fill me with you, and I become pregnant with love. Give birth to revolution.
Erica: So, welcome back. I think we should just start with giving our listeners a... This was the first time I said "listeners" and not "readers," without...
Kenrya: Aye look at you. Progress. Growth.
Erica: Exactly, growth.
Kenrya: It makes me... Yeah.
Erica: Let's give our listeners a little bit of background on Pat Parker. So, Pat Parker is a poet. She is a lesbian feminist. She did most of her work in the '60s and '70s, right?
Kenrya: Yeah, so she was born in '44 and... Yeah, by the time she got to the '60s, she really identified as a lesbian. And then she was super involved in all the rights movements, civil rights, women's rights, gay rights. And she wrote poetry, but she also wrote a lot of other stuff too. One of the great things about her is that she wrote across genres, but because she is a poet, everything sounds beautiful...
Kenrya: ...and like this. You mentioned that she is a feminist lesbian writer, and she's really one of the folks who's credited with helping to create the genre of Black feminist literature, alongside her mentor and friend, Audre Lorde, and a whole bunch of other dope-ass Black women who wanted us to be free, and knew that if Black women were free, and especially queer Black women were free, folks who have the most oppressors on us, then that would bring us all to freedom. That really centered a lot of her work. And she also did a lot of work around the erotic, which is why it was dope that we could pull some of her poems for the show today.
Erica: Yeah. So, I guess we should just go through the poems one by one, and give our thoughts on them?
Kenrya: Let's do it.
Erica: So, let's start with the first one, For Willyce. I just love the final line, "Some dude's getting credit for what a woman has done again." Like, just in the...
Kenrya: I love it and I hate it.
Erica: ...because, even as you explained her and her work, and you think about that whole genre of just bomb-ass Black women doing the work, recognizing that we ain't all free if we ain't all free, you know?
Kenrya: That's right.
Erica: Again, that's where it hits, but it starts in the bedroom, too. You know?
Kenrya: Like most things.
Erica: Exactly. But because you think about like, even when it comes to giving head...
Kenrya: You say "giving head?"
Erica: Meaning oral sex. Cunnilingus. With the vagina. Not giving head to penis. You follow me?
Kenrya: Yeah, I got you.
Erica: All right, yeah. You're just looking at me like, "Huh?" Yeah, so... Even when you think about that, women do that really, really well, because they know their bodies. And, as always, men getting the credit for it, but... No, I think white men do it well.
Kenrya: Yes, they do. You've said that I've never had a...
Erica: Not to make broad generalizations, but...
Kenrya: Never had a white man go down on me before.
Erica: But women do it very, very well, too. And...
Kenrya: Also never had a woman go down on me before.
Erica: Five stars. I recommend a trip to that town.
Kenrya: Five out of five.
Erica: Yeah, put it on your travel... Trip Advisor list. But, yeah. So it's like, damn. This nigga getting credit again when it's really the woman doing the work.
Erica: Yeah. So, I mean that took place, especially when you think about Black revolution and civil rights and all of that, a lot of it really was the work of women, you know?
Kenrya: Queer Black women.
Erica: Yeah! Yeah. And...
Kenrya: Still, today, when you look at the Black Lives Matter movement and all the attendant organizations, it's the queer Black women who are putting their lives on the line every day.
Erica: Yep. For you ashy niggas.
Kenrya: Who don't fucking deserve.
Erica: Exactly. Exactly. I mean, this is a beautiful poem. But, even to end it like that, it's just like, oh, love is great.
Erica: It's beautiful. And then, you just like, then again, fuck.
Kenrya: The patriarchy.
Kenrya: It reminds me, remember when we went to the Blacksonian, and we took the kids?
Erica: More racism?
Erica: It was like, we was really just thinking that we were going to see this great little exhibit. And then...
Kenrya: Yeah. My kid was like...
Erica: More racism.
Kenrya: More racism, my God.
Erica: We hadn't made it all the way to the top, so...
Kenrya: Yeah, she hadn't seen the light.
Erica: Yeah. But it was definitely an oppressive trip through there.
Kenrya: That's true.
Erica: Although we still recommend the Blacksonian.
Kenrya: Yes. Five out of five.
Erica: But, so... Even with the rest of the poem, I jumped straight to the end, but the rest of the poem was beautiful, because to me, I saw it as like, love comes in so many different ways. It can come hard and soft and fast and slow and... just because you're getting your brains fucked out, don't mean that it's not love, you know?
Erica: Just, because I feel like sometimes we equate lovemaking with putting Luther on. I'm such an auntie. Putting on some Luther and Freddie Jackson, and...
Kenrya: I fuck to SZA.
Erica: Oh, God, no. Mm-mm (negative).
Kenrya: I do. And that's the light list, because you know I got that other list that's like...
Erica: The “Shake It Fast” list?
Erica: But, you can fuck. And you can make love to both SZA and “Shake It Fast.” You can make love to both Vanity, “Nasty Girl,” and Luther. See, that's what I am, musically.
Kenrya: That's real.
Erica: And so, I think it's great that she shows that through that poem.
Kenrya: And I love that she... Yes, like she's varying it, but I also just love that she's saying that "I am showing you that I love you with this?" Like...
Kenrya: I've been in this place where the kiss on the eyelid was the legit me saying "I love you." I don't have to use the words, but you felt that shit come from my lips to you.
Erica: Through your body.
Kenrya: When I lick the bottom of your balls, I'm saying "I love you."
Erica: Oh my God, I miss balls.
Kenrya: Because we do talk a lot about sex and how it's empowered women, right?
Kenrya: We know. And, well, empowered people. We know that sex and love don't have to come together, but it was nice to see in this instance the way that she uses intimacy to show that she loves someone.
Erica: To say, "I love you."
Kenrya: Yes. Like that.
Erica: Yeah. So, that was a beautiful, sweet, little...
Kenrya: Yeah, until a nigga came in.
Erica: Until a nigga came in.
Kenrya: I love Jesus. I just realized I called Jesus a nigga.
Erica: I mean, he is. He is. He's a good one. He's not an ashy one.
Erica: Thanks. Thanks, Jesus. As I point to the sky.
Kenrya: This is a prime opportunity for you to say your favorite meme. What'd you just make me watch?
Erica: Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ! I'm sorry. There's this meme of this California gangbanger. He's Crip walking hard.
Kenrya: Banging for Jesus.
Erica: To Jesus, he be banging for Jesus, like "Yeah, Jesus, yeah!" And he Crip Walking, doing all this. And he's saying, "Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ!" That's why I say it all the time, but no one knows where it comes from. So I literally sent it to Kenrya and said, "You have to watch this," because I at least need someone to know what the fuck I mean when I shout "Jesus Christ." And so, yeah. Because I be banging for Jesus. He my homeboy.
Kenrya: Apparently. Yes.
Erica: And a Crip. Apparently...
Kenrya: Don't come for us.
Erica: Don't come for us. We think he loves all the sects. Okay. Sorry about that non sequitur. Is that what it is?
Kenrya: Yeah. Stop apologizing.
Erica: Okay. From Deep Within. So...
Kenrya: This one, I...
Erica: I'll let you take that one, Kenrya.
Kenrya: Sure. There are two things that came up for me here. One of them is the refrain that comes up, which is that "A woman's body must be taught to speak." Excuse me. And I think it gets at one of the things we talk about on the show all the time, which is that you have to learn your body, in order to be able to make it do what you want it to do. So, I think that people think that there is this innate ability to be able to derive pleasure, and so...
Erica: A woman is a magical... tap into...
Kenrya: Yeah. And so, then that creates frustration...
Erica: Which is still a point, but... Yeah.
Kenrya: Sure, but I think that when you expect to be able to flick a clit...
Erica: Know it all.
Kenrya: ...and cum...
Kenrya: ...that there's a lot of frustration that comes in, whether it's solo play or play with a partner. And then that can mean that you're not willing to try things. And I'm not saying that it needs to be work, because I'm not doing sex that’s work, I'll do something else. But that it does mean that you have to be in tune with your body, and be willing to touch it and not be afraid, because we have some friends who we still working on to not be afraid of touching their bodies and knowing what they like. I mean, shit, if you don't get nothing else from this show, we hope that you can figure out what you like, and what works for your body, and how to make it speak. And so...
Erica: We should do a mirror exercise with our girlfriends. Make them stare at their pussy.
Kenrya: We should do that. You all should do that too. I just...
Erica: Yeah, just look at it.
Erica: Look at it, get to know it. We're like... We know that she's beautiful in her own...
Kenrya: A minute.
Erica: Right. Yeah, just look.
Kenrya: Not on come comparison shit. Literally just look at it.
Erica: Be comfortable with it. So, now that I'm working from home, one of the things I watch during the day is “Botched.” I'm really into watching plastic surgeries and how to fix them, maybe it's because now I've done it, but I'm really into it. And it makes me so sad when I hear about women doing the designer vagina surgery, where they get their labia cut so they look a particular way. And I'm just like, girl, your pussy fine. Your pussy is your pussy. And one of the things that I've realized... Not that you need validation from others, but one of the things that I've learned as I've started enjoying OnlyFans and talking to more and learning more from sex workers, there is a niche market for everything. Some niggas love long-ass pussy lips. Some niggas love one being lopsided. And just because it doesn't look like what you've seen presented in porn doesn't mean that it's not normal. You know? So...
Kenrya: It's true, although I think we also need to make sure that we make space for people who have those surgeries such as after trauma, whether it be a traumatic birth or an assault, folks who have it because they are undergoing a transformation of their bodies to align with their gender identity. There are reasons to have that surgery...
Erica: No, I'm talking about the bitches that... They've had 30 surgeries, 15 liposuctions, and then they're like...
Kenrya: They're like, "Oh, my pussy's next."
Erica: "And I wanted a cute little vagina." And it's like...
Kenrya: What's cute?
Erica: Exactly. We need to not use... There's no baseline, I guess that's what I'm trying to get at. Your body is your body. God put it together for this reason. So, just enjoy it, you know? You shouldn't have to feel like you have to do more or change it. So, sorry I, got... again went off on a rant.
Kenrya: Stop apologizing.
Erica: But... You're right.
Kenrya: Stop apologizing.
Erica: Okay, Mama.
Kenrya: It's your show, you can do what the fuck you want.
Erica: Yeah. So, I think it's so important for women to learn their bodies. And learn to love their bodies.
Kenrya: Exactly. And I mean, I think that really plays into the other thing that I saw here, was that she relates the body, and the pleasure that comes from it, directly to nature. So, she talks about the sea. She talks about light, she talks about fire, she talks about all of these things that we think of as being of the earth and of the universe that we occupy, and puts knowing your body, and the pleasure that you can get from it, right in lieu with those things. Reminding us that there is nothing unnatural about those acts.
Erica: So beautiful. Yeah, also those are things that cannot be tamed, you know?
Erica: Like your pleasure and all the good fun. Feelings. Just go with it. Get sucked up into that sea of a good orgasm.
Erica: Let it wash over you.
Kenrya: And then, I mean, she ends on a note that does exactly that. "Like succulent meats, it must be sucked and eaten."
Erica: I thought of mangoes. When I heard you say that like a good, juicy mango.
Kenrya: She's saying meat. I don't even eat meat, but I was like...
Erica: Mango meat.
Kenrya: Oh, okay. I don't call it that.
Erica: You don't call it mango meat? My bad.
Kenrya: I know, I said I don't. Call it what you want.
Erica: Oh. Okay. Again, do what you want.
Erica: Whatever tickles your pickle.
Erica: Aftermath, For Marty. You can just like... When I read this, I felt hugged-up in post-sex afterglow.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And I think that's exactly what this is. It's what it brought me to. She's lying there, watching her lover sleep after they've had sex. I've totally done that. Sounds creepy. Don't care. I've done it. I do it.
Erica: Yeah, I guess I haven't been in like "love" love, because I be like...
Kenrya: Well, you know, part of the problem is... What I hear is a lot of folks are... and I have been that person, but I am not that person now. After I have sex, I'm awake. Like, wide-awake. Like, "let's watch a movie, let's talk about all the things" awake, after I cum. I do not get sleepy.
Erica: Yeah. And so, you sit there staring at my ass...
Erica: Watching me in the goodest sleep. Goodest.
Erica: The goodest sleep that I've had.
Kenrya: Because my partner is instantly exhausted when we're done. And I'm like, "Hey, what we doing next?" He's like, "If you don't take your ass to bed," but I don't ever want to, so I am watching him fall asleep.
Erica: You're Pat.
Kenrya: I'm Pat in this scenario. But I thought it was dope like, I think she's doing something that I've absolutely done, which is closing my eyes and replaying what just happened. And not on some, like we've talked about in other episodes where you've got to replay it so you can have sex with this nigga that's not as good, so you got to get yourself there. But just in some... Hmm. Damn. That was good, let's do the play-by-play again, right quick. You know what I'm saying? It also helps me to fall asleep, when I do that, which is probably why I do it so often. Because I'm not tired.
Erica: So, have you ever... This usually happens to me fresh out of a good session, where I wake up, I'll do something, and get an instant flash and go weak.
Kenrya: Yes. Yes, yes!
Erica: I was in CVS and I went to grab something, and suddenly saw my wrist, and was like, oh, shit!
Kenrya: I call those aftershocks.
Erica: Yes. A good aftershock. Yeah. Those are lovely, especially when it's not for a "I need to go to sleep" or I'm trying to tap into it for another session, just want to...
Kenrya: Yeah, like where I'm just driving in my car.
Erica: Yeah, it was like...
Kenrya: And your pussy do that little clench thing.
Erica: Uh-huh (affirmative)! It's like, girl... Baby! Calm down, girlfriend, we'll see him later.
Kenrya: Exactly that. Oh, yeah.
Erica: Yeah, that is so lovely. Something else about this that stood out to me was "I think of the straight person who asks you, 'What do you do in bed?'" And I think that that just... again, certain baseline. Straight sex isn't the baseline, just because it's your baseline doesn't mean that it's the baseline.
Kenrya: Right, like it's the fucking default, like there's no other way to have sex. As if straight people all have sex the same way, anyway.
Kenrya: That shit’s dumb.
Erica: You have sex with enough people, you will realize that some folks be doing it very different. We all generally call it "sex," but under that umbrella of sex, there's a whole lot of factions. So, I thought it was really cool that she was like, girl, I done asked the same thing, because you all ain't as fun as we are.
Kenrya: Yeah. And I love that she called it out, right? That in this poem, that could have just been about the afterglow, she's like, "Let me talk to these straight niggas for a minute."
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Oh, what we're missing out on.
Erica: All the world does not revolve around your type of sex. Your section under the umbrella. So, that was a good one. It was a key one. All right, My Baby's a Bass Player. I love this one, it's a jazzy little one. You can hear the music as you read it. It was so cute. And then, again, the last line, "Thank you, Jesus, she don't play the tambourine." I was like, oh! That reminded me of the setting that I hate on my vibrator.
Kenrya: Oh, that di-di-di, you don't want to know...
Erica: Yeah, uh-huh (affirmative).
Kenrya: Because I don't like that one.
Erica: Like, girl, who uses this one?
Kenrya: I think it's supposed to be like the wholesa... I'm like, this don't feel good.
Erica: Not for me. If it feels good for you, great, and I'm glad that you have that setting.
Kenrya: Yeah. I'm glad they made it for you. It don't work for me, though. I just turn my shit up as high as it goes.
Erica: Girl. I had to dial it back recently, because I was like, okay, let's change it up again.
Kenrya: Like reset yourself with it?
Erica: Yeah, because, honey, I was like... volume was on max. It wouldn't work. I was like, you know what? Let's change positions and... change the pulsations. Sorry.
Kenrya: Did that help?
Erica: Yeah, it did. We have a quickie where somebody acts like you break your pussy. And not that you could break it, but you can definitely get it used to 10 volume, on your back, so... Yeah. But this is really cool, because to me, the cadence of it falls into a rhythm, which is like your partner falling into a rhythm of knowing your body, and knowing how to play your body.
Erica: And that's really dope.
Kenrya: Have you ever had a partner who knew your body like her baby was a bass player?
Erica: Yeah. And it is amazing. And he actually got it on first try. I think because we talked a lot beforehand. But he knew exactly what to do, how to do it, and it has been... This is one of my current partners. And it has been really great because he jumps in like he done been there non-stop, and I was just like, honey, you don't even got to work for it. I mean, he's working while he's doing it, but there wasn't a lot of "do this, do that," I mean, because I am a lover that... Again, I gets mine. I will tell you what I like, what I need, what I want. And so, it's always lovely when I don't have to do lots of direction. I don't mind giving direction, but when I don't have to it's like, "This was a good situation." What about you?
Kenrya: Yes. Absolutely. I mean, my current partner... I remember when I was telling you all about it after, because... Yeah, I tell.
Erica: We totally kiss and tell. Don't tell you the details. But, I don't need you at Thanksgiving being like, "Hey, left hook! Pass the peas."
Kenrya: Exactly. But I remember the first time we had sex, it was on Christmas. And it was... We went for four rounds within the first... I don't know, 36 hours? And I came five times. It was fantastic.
Kenrya: It was just right out of the gate. And it's funny, because we were lying in bed after sex the other day, and I was like, "So," because I was actually thinking about this, I was like, "How many times would you have given it, if the first time we had sex was trash?" And he was like, "I'm a man. What's trash sex?"
Erica: Oh, God. Oh, God.
Kenrya: He's like, "You got to understand, to men," I mean, obviously this was a generalization, but, "to men, sex is like pizza. You can't have bad pizza." He was like, "Maybe there's a topping on it that you don't want, you just take that shit off and you keep going." He's like, "I like everything else, so if the sex wasn't right from the beginning, I just would have kept fucking you." So, there's that.
Erica: Yeah. I can see that. I can see that. But, trash sex is sh... I mean, like...
Erica: So what if you had a partner...
Kenrya: Trash sex is different. For us, I think, and that's what I told him.
Erica: What? Continue.
Kenrya: Yeah, because see, he was like, "Well, how long would you have gone on?" I was like, "You maybe might have got three times, because I liked everything else about you." I was like, "Because what you got to understand, at least in my experience, as a cis woman who has sex with men, trash sex is often painful. It can be dehumanizing, because it often feels like they're having sex with someone who's not really there, because it means that they're not at all in tune with your needs. They're not being responsive to your body, to what you're saying verbally, to what your body is telling them. They're just trying to get off. And that can cause injury. It can cause a whole bunch of shit." I'm like, "So, for me, in my experience, trash sex has been detrimental to me. So I wouldn't keep doing something like that." And then I told him the story about the jackhammer dude which he had heard before, but I gave some more detail. Yes.
Kenrya: And then he was able to understand why bad sex is bad sex for me. But go ahead, what were you going to say?
Erica: So what if you had a guy... Perfect, great, communicate everything, is great out of the bedroom. And the sex is trash. You all are trying to talk through it, like you're trying... everything... He's respectful. "Hey, this don't work. Let's try it this way." "This ain't working." That was us on our side, doing my fave move, one of my faves. Yeah. Everything else is clicking. And even as you try to work through it, you're trying to work through it together. But it's just like, his dick ain't working.
Kenrya: I think it depends on two things. One of them is timing. So if we a few weeks in, and I think I like everything but the sex is bad, I'm not sticking around for that. I don't have enough invested, and I'm not interested in throwing good shit after bad shit, at that point in the situation. I'm cutting ties. It's cool. We can literally be friends, because for me, if I don't want to have sex with you, for whatever reason, then I don't see a romantic future. And I have absolutely... We were just talking about that. Stop dating men who I thought were fantastic, who were great on paper, who I had a good time with, but who there was literally no spark with. I did not at all feel compelled to put my pussy on them. And so, I ended it, because sex is important to me. And I don't want to be with somebody who I have to do that much work with to make it work.
Kenrya: Now, if this were some universe where I had somehow put in several months of getting to know this person, and we hadn't had sex yet and I had somehow fallen... You hear the skepticism in my voice?
Erica: Yeah, I definitely get that. We fuck early.
Kenrya: Yeah. I think I guess I would be more willing to put in some kind of work, but the idea of seeing a sex therapist, or whatever the hell... with somebody, from the beginning, just feels like a lot to me, I'll be honest. Maybe that makes me sound shallow, but I like sex. And I like good sex.
Erica: No, it's a lot of work to go in the beginning. I mean, I definitely believe if we've been together and an issue comes up, by all means let's do it.
Kenrya: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Let's do every fucking thing we can.
Erica: But, yeah, I believe in the beginning it's supposed to be easy.
Kenrya: Yeah, this is the easiest it's ever going to be. You all ain't come to no real obstacles together, so if this shit that's supposed to just fall together ain't falling together, then what is we going to do? I don't know.
Erica: I don't really got to put some shit together.
Erica: I got bills, two kids, and all that bullshit on top. Yeah.
Erica: I agree.
Kenrya: So, I will say that the other part of that though, is what does working for it look like? So, if he can't make me cum with penis and vagina, there's a lot of different ways to have sex, like we just talked about.
Erica: Yeah. Show them up at my house with a bag of toys.
Kenrya: Exactly. If we are able to work together, and he doesn't have insecurities and things like that that keep him from being able to do other things, in order to make sure that I am, one, getting off, but that we're also able to connect intimately... because it's not just about me being able to actually cum, right? It's about the intimacy, as we've been talking about, that can come with having sex with somebody. So if he's willing to invest in that and do that work, then that's different. So I guess it depends on what the work looks like. If the work just looks like, "let's try this different position, let's try this position," I'm good.
Erica: Yeah. But, again, that's a lot of work to put in in the beginning. Well, thankfully, we'll toss one up for those lucky happenstances where we find the right person that just happens to know you. I also feel like that's why women get dickmatized, because it's like "You know my body." It's like girl, he just fucked you well.
Kenrya: Yeah. It can't be the only thing. It has to be part of a constellation of things.
Erica: A constellation of love. That's a ‘70s song. Written by Sly and the Family Stone songs. Sorry. (singing) People in bell-bottoms? No? Okay, fine then. Metamorphosis.
Kenrya: On Soul Train?
Erica: Our final poem. Yeah. Soul Train.
Erica: So, Metamorphosis, our final poem. I looked at this one as just giving yourself to your lover. Handing yourself over wholeheartedly. And that is a revolutionary act. Because I feel like... So right now, that I'm single and healthier, and I am ready for relationship, I realize that it took a while for me to get to the point where I was like, "Yo, I'm ready to love someone." And that was a decision that I had to make because I had been doing so much hard work on myself for so long. I had to get to a place where I wanted to be open enough to give myself. And allow myself to be in love, because I feel like love is revolutionary, like revolution is a change, revolution is a cycle. And being in love and loving someone changes you. It changes how you look at things. It changes how you respond to things. I mean, like the core and the essence of you should never, that shit, don't change. But at the same time, love is a process and it's a metamorphosis.
Kenrya: Yeah, any good process changes you in some way.
Erica: Exactly. And so, I had to get to a point where I was comfortable with allowing that to happen. Does that make sense? Like I say all the time to my therapist, I feel like the work that I've done with her has been like me building this beautiful sandcastle on the beach. And it took me a really long time to be willing to let a wave take it under. And my therapist always said, she would always be like, "Hey, but now you have the tools. Now you know how to rebuild." And I get it. But I was like, "But, girl, this is cute. We don't need to remodel. We're fine right how we are."
Erica: But I'm finally like really... because I've said this, I think I've said to you for a while like, "Okay, I think I'm ready for a relationship." But it'll be more, in the sense of, if I'm walking down a street and a nigga hit me in the head with a shoe, and I'm like, "Ooh, great. We can be together." But I'm finally at the point... Actually, this is what I was going to talk with her today about... Like I'm finally at the point where I'm like, "I want to love somebody. And I want somebody to love me. And I want all of the good and juicy and ugly bits that come with it." You know?
Kenrya: Okay, I have a question.
Erica: Oh, shit.
Kenrya: Does the fact that we are...
Erica: I said I was going to talk to her about it, not you.
Kenrya: Well, bitch. It's too late. And you know this is what I was going to ask your ass after therapy anyway. Is the current situation, and the fact that we are in isolation, a factor there?
Erica: Yeah. I think it is, in the sense that I'm not ready to... I'm not so desperate... We were saying when we were setting up that I want somebody to come rub on my booty. If I could Postmate a nigga to come and rub on my booty... Yes, it would happen. So there's that. But, I do think that this situation has caused me to want to be in a relationship now and be in love, but I think it's more because I've had time to think about the development, and I've been reading old journals, and I've kind of started thinking more about where I was, where I am, where I am at cancer and all of that, and so it's just... I've had more time to think about where I am and what I want, as opposed to just like, "Bitch, I'm ready for somebody to come rub my booty." Because I mean, that's going to happen. Soon as the outside open.
Kenrya: So there's progress and not loneliness.
Erica: Yeah. Soon as the world open, I'm going to get a nigga to come rub my booty. That's no problem. The connection that I'm missing I will get. The intimacy that I'm missing I will get. But I'm ready to go on a journey with someone of love. Now, the problem is... Here comes the nigga. I don't know if I'm quite ready for... I don't want to have to find that person. I just want them to show up. Is the doorbell going to ring? I know, I know, I know. So, yeah. That's the part that I'm like... Because I also... See, now we about to get into some therapy. I also am comfortable just fucking and having fun and having a nigga come to rub on my booty.
Erica: And so, I need to figure out how to move from we fucking, we having fun, to I'm looking for someone to love. And it's hard for me to embrace that process fully, because I don't want to get hurt. There's that fear of getting hurt and putting yourself out there, only for it to fail. And so, it's easy for me to be like, "You know what? We ain't even going to worry about that. You're going to come over, drop off some bomb dick, and head on home."
Kenrya: Are you talking about transitioning particular people from one thing to the other?
Kenrya: ...or transitioning mindset and what you're looking for?
Erica: Transitioning my mindset.
Kenrya: Yeah. I mean, I...
Erica: Because I want to still do the fun fucking, as I'm looking for the right person. Does that make sense?
Kenrya: Right. Well, but here's the thing. Yeah, absolutely. And you can.
Erica: Which means I'm going probably to be hoteps just so that I can strictly keep them in... Your face fix it. So that I can strictly keep them in the place of like, "This ain't going no fucking where. You don't..." [crosstalk 00:43:35] Exactly. Yeah, transitioning my mind from looking... because it's kind of like, you look at a nigga and you're like, "Do-do-do-do. Fuck them." "Do-do-do-do. Relationship." And I'm afraid that I'm going to throw everybody in the "fuck them..."
Kenrya: Yeah, but it can be both, in the end.
Kenrya: So, I'll say this. I think that you can have the folks who you fuck. And maybe that's the people who you're currently fucking, or maybe that's other people who you find. But I think the best way to make the transition is to be super transparent about what you're looking for. So, for me, I knew that I was looking for a relationship. That didn't mean that I didn't want to have sex. But it meant that every person who I engaged with was somebody who met a certain set of criteria, so that if I did decide that they were somebody who I wanted to go... Not even if I did. I didn't even move forward with anybody who didn't meet those criteria. Period.
Kenrya: So, I knew I didn't want anybody who... was so overwhelmed with their misogyny that they couldn't even answer a simple question about R. Kelly or Bill Cosby the right way. Because you'd be surprised how shitty of answers I got from people when I asked about those situations. I didn't want anybody who was homophobic or transphobic, so I asked fucking questions and brought things up to see what their responses would be, and all kinds of shit. I mean, I'm a journalist, so I basically interviewed these niggas without it feeling like an interview.
Kenrya: And if they didn't meet those criteria, pussy wasn't even an option for me, but maybe in your situation, you regulate them to the pussy category. And then, you keep looking and you sort people according to how they respond to your prompts. And then for the folks who make it through that filter, you have an honest conversation about where you are right now and where you want to go. Nobody expects you to lock it down and just be with them, because you just met them today and maybe are going to go on a good date. You know what I mean?
Kenrya: So you can still have the sexy times stuff, but also be working toward the relationship that you want to have. And those things don't have to be mutually exclusive, because hopefully, the person who gets sorted into the "maybe this is a relationship" pile and... Our therapist always says, "You should have at least three of them niggas going at a time anyway." You get to have good sex with one of them. And then that one becomes the one, because all the cylinders are firing. I don't think it has to be an either-or situation.
Erica: Yeah. Well, fair enough.
Kenrya: But I also think that you need to do that exercise I keep telling you to do. And maybe this is a good time to do it, now that you've decided that you want to be in relationships. And do a list of what you want in a mate. And a list of how you want to feel when you are with that person. So that you can use that as a guide as you're moving forward.
Erica: Okay. We'll revisit that.
Erica: You can tell I'm not excited about doing a list.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative), I can see. It doesn't have to be work, though.
Erica: Yeah. We'll see. I've been staying up a bit late. I've been having my night naps, so maybe it'll be a post-night nap activity.
Kenrya: Yeah, I can see when you get up for your night naps, because my fucking phone is full of all you bitches waking up from your night naps.
Erica: My bad! My bad. We literally had a whole thread.
Kenrya: It's fine, I just wake up to 100 and some odd texts.
Erica: We had a whole thread off-thread about... Can't recall, we so pissed. And I said, "She mutes groups. She'll get to us when she wants to." And then our other friend was like, "Oh, carry on!" And we went back to this thread. Like we don't want to leave her out, she's just going to come back in because everyone in that group has Apple phones. It's not like you're coming back to...
Kenrya: [inaudible 00:47:31] messages.
Erica: 200 messages of so-and-so like, what so-and-so said.
Kenrya: Oh, my God.
Kenrya: So-and-so [inaudible 00:47:41].
Erica: So-and-so liked that.
Kenrya: Ooh, friend, can you please get an iPhone?
Erica: Friend, get an iPhone. You know who we talking about.
Kenrya: We love you.
Erica: Everybody know who we talking about. Our friend group knows who we talking about. Okay. What about you and love as a revolutionary act? Since I hogged all your time talking about my issues.
Kenrya: No. I mean, I agree. I think... I've not shied away from talking about the fact that I have generalized anxiety disorder, and also I have PTSD, as a result of the way that relationships have played out. The things that I have been through. Including domestic violence, all kinds of shit. And so for me, the way that love is revolutionary, at this time at least, is that it looks like me being able to be vulnerable. In a lot of different ways.
Kenrya: So, one being able to come out of what I have come out of and not be... I mean, "bitter" is a really simple word, but to not think that everybody sucks, just because I have had some experiences with some really sucky people. And to be able to be hopeful and to continue to try, because I think that there are a lot of people who, when there's no judgements attached to this at fucking all, but who go through shit and are just like, "You know what, I'm done. I don't want to be in a relationship." And I was there. I was like, "I ain't fucking with nobody. I don't want to be in nobody's relationship. I don't want to be in nobody's marriage. I don't want to do any of those things." And it took a lot of time and therapy and healing for me to be able to get to a place where I could open up and do those things. And, like we've talked about, like the... what was it? It wasn't the sex cleanse, but... where we both had to do where we weren't...
Erica: Sex sabbatical.
Kenrya: Yes, the sabbatical, where we weren't allowed to engage with folks who... in any way, sexually or... anyway. Excuse me. And that was a really important part of the process for me, because it helped me to really focus on myself and to take the time I needed to be able to build up to that point.
Kenrya: But I also had vulnerability issues long... that date, way, way, back, and they're not all just tied to romantic relationships, but just to things that happened when I was growing up that kept me from being able to...
Erica: Calling your girlfriends and saying. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: Yeah, like being able to be open about what was going on in my life, or being able to be open about the way that I was feeling, because I was told that the way that I felt was wrong, because gaslighting is a thing in my family. And so, it took me a long time to be able to get to that point. And so, it feels revolutionary to me that I am able to, even future dream, when it comes to relationships. To think about what might be. And to be vulnerable enough to voice those things, not just on this show, but in real life, whereas I was not that person before, because I was always worried that I would get hurt because I had been hurt so many times before.
Kenrya: But it also looks like the fact that the love that we have for ourselves as Black people, and for other Black people, really acts as armor in a world that doesn't really love us. And that feels revolutionary to me. We are told at every fucking turn that we are less desirable, especially Black women. That we are ugly, and I'm dark, that that's a problem and I have been, oh, Lord... talked real bad about because of that, and I'm gorgeous.
Erica: Fine as a motherfucker.
Kenrya: Thank you. But at both on the micro and the macro level, we're told that we're unlovable. And to love ourselves in the face of that, and to love each other, in the face of that...
Erica: Out loud.
Kenrya: That feels like a special type of freedom.
Erica: Yeah. You summed it up so perfectly.
Erica: Love for Black people. Okay, well, that's all I have. So, this wraps up our penultimate episode. We will be back next week.
Kenrya: You love that word. Of the season, because we'll be back.
Erica: Oh, yeah. Let me not say "of this episode" all in this show. Of this season.
Erica: So we will be back next week with the fabulous interview, and then that will wrap up season two.
Erica: Can you believe it?
Kenrya: Kind of, kind of not? Shit's weird.
Erica: Yeah, it is. But, nonetheless, we in this bitch. Woo-woo! So, Erica and Kenrya, two hoes making it clap.
Kenrya: Making it clap.
Erica: Wait, girl. Now, you can go. You saw me going up, you could've... Anyway.
Kenrya: I was trying not to hit the mic. Want to do it again?
Erica: You saw me going up, you could've... Okay. Bye, you all.
Erica: This episode was produced by us, Erica and Kenrya, and edited by B'Lystic. The theme song is from Brazy. We want to hear from you all. Send your book recommendations and all the burning sex and related questions you want us to answer to TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com. And please subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app. Follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod, and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast. And find links to our books, transcripts, guest info and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com. And remember, The Turn On is now a part of the Frolic Podcast Network. You can find more shows you love at Frolic.media/podcast. Thanks for joining us and we'll see you soon. Holla.
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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya talk to Mistress Domonique about sex education, the best thing about being a domme and how to shine in nudes.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Kenrya: Today, we're talking to Mistress Domonique, pronouns she and her. Often known as The Sweet Domo, Mistress Domonique is a sensual sadist who enjoys loving up on people. Mistress Domonique believes that all kinks matter, and she's been a sexual educator and professional Domme for a little over a decade. Yo, thanks for joining us today.
Mistress Domonique: Yes, my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you so much. I'm so excited to be here.
Erica: We are so excited to have you.
Mistress Domonique: Yes.
Erica: Tell us a little bit about your work.
Mistress Domonique: Yeah, sure. So I would say, as an adolescent, that's when I've gotten my start into the world of sex in general. It was my responsibility to educate my peers on how to have fun, safe sex. So, you can catch me in high school passing out condoms or telling folks where they can go to get tested, or even how they can put a condom on creatively at a very young age. From there, I just stayed and evolved. So from there you would catch me selling sex toys. When I got out of undergrad, that's when I decided that I wanted to fully become a professional dominatrix, since in my personal life, I just carried this dominant spirit wherever I went. So that plus this freedom that I have around sexuality in general just pushed me into everything domination.
Kenrya: I thought it was interesting. You said it was your responsibility to teach folks around you. Why? Why did you feel like that was something that you needed to take on when you were in high school?
Mistress Domonique: A lot of my classmates were getting pregnant and a lot of my classmates then were having sex, although when I started educating folks, I was not sexually active at all ya'll. I was not fucking at all.
Kenrya: You're like, "I read these books though."
Mistress Domonique: I did, and I attended the workshops in the classes where I put in the hours, but knowing that my classmates couldn't talk to their parents about it at all. So it's like, "Okay, who am I going to talk to about it? I know that I can get a raw educated answer from someone who's not going to judge me." It kind of spread whereas one person would be like, "Yo, I wonder what this is going to look like. I want to do this in the tunnel right now, what are your thoughts?"
Kenrya: Those tunnels. We had those, too.
Mistress Domonique: Listen, the tunnels exist. The tunnels exist. I'm like, "That's fine, but if you want to get oral sex then or you're going to get head, here's a condom, here's a flavored condom. What's her favorite flavor? Here's the main goal. Here's strawberry." So it was just kind of knowing that they had access to someone who wouldn't judge them. Everyone's doing it, so why not? I do think that, because no one else was giving it in my school, meaning you either had to go to the nurse's office to get condoms. So it kind of just ... I'm a servant at heart, so it just made sense that I love learning about sex. Let me just help others.
Erica: Sharing is caring.
Mistress Domonique: Literally. Literally.
Erica: So what do you like most about your work?
Mistress Domonique: I love it when ... so I have male subs, women subs, female subs, as well as Black, white, right? Kind of on the spectrum. I will say that one thing that is common is each sub or client carries this disbelief that you aren't a real Domme. Right? I don't know why it happens. Maybe because they've been tarnished in the past, but there's a point where every single sub gets to where they're like, "Wow, you're everything that I didn't know that you are, but now I see." So I think for me, that's the most joyful part, when that total submission comes in a way of them finally recognizing that, not only am I superior, but you desire to serve and completely obey and worship me with your entire existence.
Erica: Yes, bitch.
Kenrya: Yes. Yes, that would be my favorite part too.
Mistress Domonique: I think that's really my favorite part.
Erica: I got chills through my body.
Kenrya: I know.
Mistress Domonique: Because from there, then it's like, "Okay, Mistress Domonique, what do you need? What can I do?" Right? So it's just a matter of like, "Here's my life. I now trust you to give me my allowance and make sure bills are paid" or "I now am open to trying so many different things with you just because that's there." So I think that's my favorite part.
Mistress Domonique: Yeah.
Erica: So, I even hate to ask this because it was such a high listening to you explain your favorite part, but what's your least favorite part?
Mistress Domonique: That's a good question. My least favorite part. I think there's like two parts. Number one, subs or potential clients who think that they can just slide in my inbox or DM just to kind of have a conversation, just because they think that that's something that's welcome. I think that there's a difference from admiring, but kind of like, "Oh, Mistress or Goddess, I want you to do A, B, C or D." It's just like you're trying to get your rocks off simply by me telling you "No, fall back." I don't like that, but I also think, being a Black Domme, wow, it's really, really old. Right? I think it's new for the kink world in a way that social media now puts a face to us in a way that it hasn't before. Right? Usually the main face that you would see of a dominatrix or professional domination would be a white woman. I will say, now there's kind of like this ... I don't want to say anti-Black sexual worker type of thing, but we are attacked a lot more aggressively than our white counterparts, in a way. Our accounts are reported a lot often, posts are deleted. You can catch us in jail a lot often. Oftentimes, our money is held up in ways that won't necessarily be for the other. So I think just knowing that and having to constantly navigate that has and always will be a challenge.
Erica: By jail, you mean like Twitter jail, Instagram jail, right?
Mistress Domonique: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Okay. Cool. All right, so the reason that we have you on is that last week we read this book and it's called “F*ck and Fall in Love.”
Mistress Domonique: Y'all, I've read it.
Kenrya: Did you? Yay.
Mistress Domonique: I've read it. So, I've read it today.
Mistress Domonique: I read it today.
Kenrya: Look at you.
Erica: So, look at you, yes. So, there's this scene where Jane has sex on camera for the first time. We understand that you do all things kink, all kinks matter. I understand that, as a dominatrix, you don't always have sex with your clients. You may not have sex with any of your clients, but we wanted to chat with you a little bit about just having sex on camera. So tell us about the first time you stepped in front of the camera as an amateur.
Mistress Domonique: Oh ...
Erica: Or as a professional.
Mistress Domonique: So I was really, really young. Well, not super young, definitely in undergrad. I was dating this guy and we went to the movies and we decided to hook up in the movies and I was like, "Hey, let's record it." We kind of just recorded it in the back of the movie theater. That's when I-
Kenrya: A double feature.
Mistress Domonique: Super, and it was by coincidence that no one was in the movie. There was no one in there, so it just made having the flash on a lot easier, right?
Erica: It sounds like a really great story. I love it.
Mistress Domonique: But it was then ... it was there that I realized that I enjoyed being recorded in a way that ... it turns me on in a way that I have never, ever thought that being recorded itself or even just having sex in front of people could ... is definitely a kink of mine.
Erica: Well, I too. I too. So, did you have any hangups about seeing your body on film? I know the first time I saw myself I was like, "Aw," so what about you?
Mistress Domonique: I would say when I first started, no, just because I had the foundation that I did around sexuality, right? In those trainings they would be like, "Yeah girl, go grab a mirror and examine yourself," right? So that was something that was severely normal to me. So seeing it was just like, "Oh girl, now I see you squirting. Oh, that's cute. That's really cute." But I think now, just because I've gotten older and now it's like my eczema decides that it wants to do its own type of thing.
Kenrya: You and me both.
Mistress Domonique: I find that there are moments when I'm like, "Hmm, I wonder, how can I edit that?" So you would catch me, depending on what type of dark spot it is, I'll put a cute emoji on it or I'll make the picture large enough so that you won't see it, but that's something that ... this eczema is a journey, but that is something that I find that is one of the only things that I think about with regard to my body as it relates to being on camera.
Kenrya: All right. Wow. Well conversely, we know that some folks, that's part of why they aren't comfortable doing things like filming and/or taking nudes. It's not really why I don't take nudes. I think it's just because it's not my natural thing, versus Erica where she's like a master. She's a master snapper. But what tips do you have for folks like me who may be apprehensive about it or even just people who want to do it but aren't sure how to get the best angles or how to cover up the things that they don't like, like how you were just saying with emojis. What are some things people can do to be more comfortable in front of the camera with their bodies?
Mistress Domonique: Yeah. I think the first things first is figuring out whatever things that you need or whatever process you need to get you at your most 100% authentic comfortable. So whatever that is, whether that's some tea and a nice detox bath or a nice meal or a book or a nice foot massage, whatever it is that you need to get in your, I am 100% out of my mind, space. I think that's the most important first step. Then the next step from there is, now that you're out of your head, how can we start feeling sexy? So is that putting on some nice sexy R&B or some lingerie or doing something different at that time that you're taking those photos that you normally wouldn't do. So, normally I don't wear makeup at all. I think it's a piece of me having to find my perfect skin tone, plus I feel like it's a lot of labor into it, but when it comes time to make content or be sexy, I know that I'm putting on makeup because it adds to it, right? It adds to it. Then from there, only you know what it takes to make you feel at your sexiest. Whatever that is, do it and stay out of your head.
Mistress Domonique: Also, recognize that you are a human being and the sexual urges that you feel are natural. So many people try to hide them and fight them in a way that is like, "Oh, if I touch this and that feels good, I'm doing something wrong." Or "I have too much cellulite on this booty cheek, so it looks a little funny." I think it's in those moments when we have to do a little extra loving up on our booty cheek or extra loving upon that area, kind of affirming it. That's how we'll get there.
Kenrya: That's dope. So I'm interested in how ... we've had some folks on the show before and we talked about how their work impacts their personal relationships, whether they're intimate or otherwise. I'm really curious as to that, how that works with you? How does your work impact your intimate relationships and vice versa?
Mistress Domonique: That is a really good question. I'm still figuring it out. In terms of professional, it doesn't impact it really. I'm trying to kind of merge the two, but it's been a little challenge, but personally, I actually just got out of a season of my life where the person that I was in that season with was supportive of me being a Domme, however, didn't want to talk about it. They didn't want to help me look at pictures. They didn't want anything to do with it at all.
Kenrya: They were supportive as long as they didn't have to deal with it.
Mistress Domonique: They didn't have to deal with it at all, but it's who I am, right? So if I'm laying in bed at night and I want to look up some thigh high boots and I want you to see if they're cute or not, right? At the end of the day, it's my partner. I would desire for that person to be there. However, they were just not feeling it at all and at this moment, of course, I don't want to say it's because of that reason alone, but we're no longer in partnership.
Mistress Domonique: I will say, since then, moving forward, it is something that I have communicated to any person that desires to get to know me when I feel like the time is appropriate for me to communicate that too, just because I don't have sex with any of my subs or clients, because at the end of the day I want an alpha man. I don't want a submissive man doing me in the bedroom. That's not what I desire. So when I communicate that to potential partners, I think they get it, but it's a piece of them recognizing like, "Wow, she's kinky as hell." So for them it's like, "How do I get the best of both worlds?" But for me it's just letting them know that, while I may bring some things in, I am not showing up as Mistress Domonique in the bedroom, and sometimes folks don't understand that.
Kenrya: That makes sense.
Mistress Domonique: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Erica: Well, the right man will.
Mistress Domonique: Absolutely.
Erica: The right person will.
Mistress Domonique: You are absolutely right.
Kenrya: I concur. So what advice do you have for folks who want to kind of follow in your footsteps professionally?
Mistress Domonique: The first step, I would encourage them to find their why, not only because it will help them navigate different spaces, but it'll also help ground them when they have moments of I'm not meeting anyone or no one seems to be interested or other folks are getting it or whatever moments of discomfort. I will also encourage them to do research. You can never stop learning. There's never enough information at all. If you meet a professional Domme who says that she knows it all, she's learned all the information so she doesn't have to learn anymore, I would try to go the other way just because someone, anyone, not even in the field of domination, but if anyone says that they're stopped learning, I would be hesitant of that person's personal growth and where they are in life.
Mistress Domonique: I will also encourage them to ... on top of the why, it's a piece of ... why not other things, in a way, if that makes sense, right? So when you choose to be a Domme, it is making the conscious decision that you're going to be a sex worker. Oftentimes, when you're a professional Domme, those lines can get blurred in other things. So I would say merely take as much time as you need to figure out where you desire to go in the realm of sex work, because it is super broad, right? There are some Dommes who choose to have sex with their clients or just have sex with other people via escorting, right? There are other Dommes who may sell pleasure product. There are other Dommes who may just do Kama Sutra. Me, I'm currently studying Kama Sutra. So it really just depends on where it is that you desire to go, but wherever it is that you go, it literally should be who you are. Don't try to do something that you're not at the end of the day. There's nothing wrong with learning other things, but don't try to do things that you're not because folks won't authentically gravitate towards you. It'll be harder.
Erica: We know that you choose to hide your identity online.
Mistress Domonique: I do.
Erica: My question for you is, why did you make that choice and how does that impact your work for better or worse?
Mistress Domonique: That's a good question as well. Such good questions. Snaps.
Mistress Domonique: So initially, I chose to be undercover because of my work. I work and I'm a public servant in my vanilla life, so as COVID is going on, it is literally my responsibility to save this area. Then knowing that, while I do desire to have some of my colleagues switch over to my dark side of things, I know that upon initial reaction, folks won't understand. Where I am at this moment, I don't have the space or energy to offer an explanation.
Mistress Domonique: I have been thinking and plotting and strategizing of when I wrote be switching over because I've been playing with my vanilla page in a way that I've ... every three days I'm dropping some heavy BDSM stuff. Like super wow, whereas colleagues from work follow me. The colleagues from work follow me. It's wild stuff and whereas people are hitting me up and they're like, "Wow, I didn't know that you were into this stuff" and I'm like, "Yes, I love it," but that's kind of how I'm planting my seeds, but I do believe ultimately, more than likely when I transition out of this work and begin to really focus on me being a public servant away from this occupation, then I'll do it because they'll mesh together easily. I can walk everywhere and say, "Yes, I do this and I do that."
Mistress Domonique: It is impacting me because a lot of folks think that I'm fake, sometimes just because they're like, "Oh, there's no face" or "Why aren't there many pictures up?" So, whereas normally someone would send a tribute and then an application, I'm now finding that I have to answer questions before we even get to them filling out applications, just because they're like, "Oh, why can't I see your eyes?" or different things like this. So on my Instagram, you'll see that while there's only a few pics, I put those pics there so that you can see like, "Oh wow, this skin looks like this skin and this body looks like that." Just so that folks can just leave me alone with wanting to see all of this so soon.
Erica: So, two things and they're very different, but I just wanted to touch on them. First, you said applications and tributes. So can you kind of explain that situation on like how a sub would approach you, yada, yada, yada?
Mistress Domonique: Yeah.
Erica: Also, with the idea of your identity being hidden online, I still want to touch on the fact that you were still able to find successes and wins in that. It just took a little bit more work, correct?
Mistress Domonique: Absolutely. Absolutely. I had to maneuver a lot differently in other spaces outside of mainstream social media, just so that I can get traction to that social media page. So you can catch me out in events a lot more than you will on social media, right? Or on other websites like Fet Life, [inaudible 00:23:16] than you will on Instagram. Plus, I also found that when you have contacts in your phone, they still send pages. I accidentally found one of my professors pop up as a suggested contact on Instagram, which I partially kind of don't care because I had a semi-crush on that professor, but it's just kind of like, how is this happening? I don't know why this is happening.
Mistress Domonique: For the applications and tribute, so excuse me. So, subs are different from clients, so submissives are those who I consider those who have decided that they want to worship me, serve me, and obey me. Submissives are slaves. So in order to become a submissive or slave, you have to fill out an application. The application works two ways. Number one, it shows me that you're not wasting my time. You're not just trying to hear me tell you no so that you can beat yourself, right? But it also helps to be understand if we're compatible, because you may want some off the wall shit that's just not going to work over here that I won't know until after you've sent me money, had I met them that application, therefore I'm like, "Oh wow, now I'm stuck with doing something that I didn't really want to do because I didn't have that information upfront." So normally what happens is, let's say on Instagram for instance, you are not sliding in my DMs unless you have sent a tribute.
Mistress Domonique: A tribute is a monetary gift just because you want to get mistress' attention, right? You know that my time is valuable and you know that you'll be wasting it if you try to approach me without compensating me for my time, therefore you don't do it. So you send the tribute and then you would then say, "Tribute sent, mistress," "Tribute sent, goddess," and then approach me with your inquiry or your question or whatever statement it is that you wanted to do. From there, I would encourage you to fill out the application and then we'll meet up and then we'll figure out what our relationship will look like, but that's completely different from those who desire to be clients.
Erica: Okay. Well, thank you.
Mistress Domonique: My pleasure.
Erica: What other precautions should people take to protect themselves if they want to get into this line of work?
Mistress Domonique: I would say the top three would be, number one, know your health, inside and out, from your respiratory system, down to your reproductive system, right? How much oxygen you have flowing in your body, because when you're trying certain things and ... a good Domme wouldn't do anything on a sub that they wouldn't do to themselves. So, when you're trying certain things, you want to make sure that you're okay for it and your body is okay for it. Also, although you aren't having sex with your subs, sometimes you are coming into skin-to-skin contact with your subs, so it's really, really important for you to figure out if you have any type of infections, either bacteria or viral, that's in your body. So anything, any of the H's, HPV, HIV, herpes, hepatitis, those things you will not really know until you get blood drawn or you receive something from cultures. So you have to be really, really important on getting tested regularly and know your status.
Mistress Domonique: The next thing I would say from that is knowing where the sex laws are in the country, in your area or your jurisdiction, because while some things are changing at the national level, things are kind of remaining the same at the state and county. So you have to be careful with maneuvering because in certain states being a dominatrix is seen as straight prostitution, as solicitation. So you have to tread those lines very, very carefully.
Mistress Domonique: The next thing I would say is don't ... properly vet your subs. You shouldn't just be meeting Jack and Joe off of Instagram and then inviting them over to your house just to beat their ass. That's an absolute no-no. You have to check them the same way that you would check a potential partner, if you check potential partners. If not, a little bit more, and never have them at your house. I would say those are like the top three things for safety.
Kenrya: That was great. So what can we, as folks who listen to this show, do to support sex workers?
Mistress Domonique: Sure. I would first start by following, sharing, and talking about as much as you can, Black Domme Sorority. If you aren't familiar, it is a sorority for Black and Afro Latina women who are basically deciding that they want to join a community full of dorms. So I would start there by either following us on Instagram or supporting any of our lovely Dommes who are part of Black Domme Sorority. Shout out to our founder, Mistress Marley. Whoop whoop. I will.
Mistress Domonique: I’d also say advocacy is a really, really big thing. I'm really, really big on the power of our voice and using that to kind of forward move the movement. So if you know of any policies being changed that's impacting those who are sex workers, get out to your council meetings. DC has opened council meetings, hearings. Get out to them, express your concern. There's nothing too big or too little that cannot make an impact or will not make an impact. So do that, but also open up your mind a little bit. Everyone has a kink. Everyone has a kink. So if we think of it from that way, I think that there'll be less shunning, there'll be a lot less stigma that's going around. It will just result in a more open society with less judgment and hate.
Erica: Yep. So are there any myths about sex work that you want to dispel?
Mistress Domonique: Ooh, let's see, that we are all hoes.
Erica: We like a good ho, but not everybody's a ho.
Mistress Domonique: Listen, we love them, but I think that we're automatically hoes, I hear that a lot. Even with older generations, because my mom knows that I'm a Domme. I had to tell her because she's super extra, so I had to let her know from the beginning.
Kenrya: What did she think?
Mistress Domonique: So I don't know about y'all parents or family members, but she watches the ID channel a lot, like true crime and all that stuff.
Kenrya: She is worried.
Mistress Domonique: So she's like ... as soon as I told her, she's like, "Oh, I saw something like that on true crime last night. Yeah, she went to the hotel and her family couldn't find her." Something like that, and I'm like, "Girl, relax. Understand that you raised someone super intelligent, so I'm not going to put myself in harm's way, so like just chill, like just chill."
Mistress Domonique: She also said in that conversation, "So does this mean that you like are going to be fucking for money for everybody? That's hoe stuff." I'm like, "Well, mom, we're not going to judge how people get their living, first of all. Second of all, that's not what I'm doing. I don't desire to have sex with my subs because ultimately I desire to be in a partnership with an alpha man." So that isn't going to happen. But I think that's kind of one of the biggest, that a lot of folks kind of just thinks that just because you're stripping or you're a cam girl, you're a phone sex operator, that you're heavily promiscuous. Not to say that that's a problem, because listen, we enjoy ... but I think society ...
Erica: We want good, healthy sex.
Mistress Domonique: Listen, I think that society just kind of makes it a bad thing when in reality everybody thinks about sex a lot. I think one of those myths ... that's probably the biggest. Every other myth, when I hear it, I usually debunk it right there just because I don't have time for it to be circulated.
Mistress Domonique: Yeah.
Kenrya: Well, you were saying earlier about how you use your IG account to kind of verify, so folks can see you're a real person. Can you tell us what it is so folks can find you online?
Mistress Domonique: Sure. So, you may see me circulating through a Tinder or Bumble in your city, or you may not, but my Instagram as well as my Twitter is TheeSweetDomo and that's spelled T-H-E-E sweet Domo. You can find that on Instagram as well as Twitter. On FetLife, you can find me as Thee Sweet Domo or Domonique Sweets.
Kenrya: All righty. Thank you so much.
Mistress Domonique: My pleasure.
Kenrya: That wraps up this week's episode. It was so good to talk to you.
Mistress Domonique: Oh, it was so great chatting with you all and you all having me on here. I really enjoyed myself and this talk.
Erica: Thanks. It's always fun.
Mistress Domonique: Thank you.
Kenrya: Hey everybody, thank you for tuning in and we'll be back next week.
Erica: This episode was produced by us, Erica and Kenrya, and edited by B'Lystic. The theme song is from Brazy. We want to hear from y'all. Send your book recommendations and all the burning sex and related questions you want us to answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast app, follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast, and find links to our books, transcripts, guest information, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcasts.com. Remember, The Turn On is now part of the Frolic Podcast Network. You can find more shows you'll love at Frolic.media/podcast. Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you soon. Holla.
The Turn On
The Turn On is a podcast for Black people who want to get off. To open their minds. To learn. To be part of a community. To show that we love and fuck too, and it doesn't have to be political or scandalous or dirty. Unless we want it to be.