(for Spectrum Boutique)
It was late May 2020 when I came up with the idea for SEX TALK. There was nothing unique going on in my life, besides that I was making ends meet during a global pandemic and sleeping to sirens each night as protests took place outside my apartment.
I was an UberEats driver (#NotAnAd), freelance digital marketer, and dating blogger openly sharing the journey of my love life online. The inside of my car was covered with pre-written sticky notes that read:
I drove each evening during dinner hours. I always wished I could work through the night because that’s where the money was. But in the city, it was far from safe, so I always made sure to get home before dark.
I’m a natural hustler, but this was a strenuous part-time job. One night the exhaustion built up, similar to the way it did that September before when I’d impulsively quit my $50k salary job with benefits. After arriving home, I threw myself onto my bed and contemplated my life decisions. I thought: I can’t do this anymore. This isn’t my fate. It was time for me to check in with myself because once again, I was hating my life.
Maybe it was the young people out past “curfew” running for their lives that inspired me that particular night. Maybe it was my desire to be a part of the solution for fixing the social injustices taking place but not knowing how. Or, maybe it was just a quarter-life crisis and a deep longing for more out of my life. Nevertheless, I’d had enough. I sat up on my bed, looked at myself in my full-length mirror, and told myself that I wasn’t going to go to sleep that night until I came up with “my idea.”
I honestly believed that it was just time for me to start thinking outside the box. Shark Tank taught me that I could be a successful entrepreneur if I just come up with a good enough idea and business school taught me that all I have to do is provide value to other people, so I guess you can say I was equipped.
I went into my kitchen, made myself some coffee from my Keurig, went back to my bed, hit the vape a few times, opened my Mac, and searched for inspiration. I landed on a YouTube video of an old white man giving tips on “coming up with a business idea”. The video was boring as hell but midway through, he requested some audience participation and asked viewers to grab a pen and paper, and ask themselves three things.
The first question was:
Being a millennial, living in Atlanta, and having known I was passionate about and wanted to build a career around sex and relationships for some time now, my mind went straight to bad dates, and bad sex. I jotted those down.
The second question was:
I thought hard about this one. Having never been good at love myself, I’d already been looking for my own solutions. It forced me to reflect on everything I’d been blogging, podcasting, posting and reposting about for the last 5 years. I looked for the themes, the patterns, and the trends. I remembered what I’d been taught at sex conferences, at munch workshops around Atlanta, from proclaimed “sexperts” online, and from everyone I’d every spoken openly about sex with.
I thought about women. I thought about the #MeToo movement and all the sexual assault stories I’d heard in college. I thought about how I always avoided going home with men I met at bars because I knew the drunken sex wouldn't be any good. I thought about how much online dating sucks, and I thought about all the misunderstandings and disconnects between genders when it comes to sex.
I thought about my own dating history. I thought about my first partner and how I wish he’d understood how significant sex was to me. I thought about my gorgeous and toxic ex who had me dick-matized. I thought about the cute neuroscientist I’d dated but dumped after we hooked up a couple times because I hated that he never asked if I was enjoying the sex we were having and I struggled to initiate the conversation myself.
I thought about the SoundCloud rapper I’d dated whose dick was way too big for me but I still enjoyed our sexual chemistry because we always went slow and talked through it. I thought about the hot ex-drug lord I fell for in Bali whose dick was way too tiny for me but I still kept sleeping with him and spent my entire trip with him because our spiritual connection was 🔥
I thought about all the sugar daddies I met in Atlanta and their sexless marriages. I thought about my increasing desire to only date older men. I thought about how much better sex was with them. I thought about the fact that my sex life was indeed progressively getting better over the years, and I thought about why that might be — which led me to think about my partner at the time, and what made sex between us so good.
We’d met on Tinder about six months prior. At this time I’m pretty sure we weren’t speaking, but of all the men I’d dated, he was my favorite because he was the most emotionally intelligent. He was the only man to make the entire left side of my body go numb after a night of stimulating conversation, bottomless wine, and endless oral sex. But I also thought about the first time we had sex and how it wasn’t good at all.
My body was there but my mind wasn’t. While I certainly wanted to have sex with him that night, I wasn’t ready yet to go all the way. But we did it anyway.
It led to a long discussion the morning after. He apologized for rushing and I apologized for not speaking up for myself. He explained how he misread my cues and I explained why I felt disconnected. He shared his desire to just make me feel good and I shared my desire to grow comfortable with him in bed.
He asked me about all the things that might help make me feel more comfortable. He asked what I liked, what I didn’t like, what I might want to try, and what was off-limits. He committed to checking in with me after our encounters, and I appreciated it so much. I never blamed him though for the yuckiness I felt after the first time we had sex; I just wish we had talked more about it beforehand.
And there it was.
I stepped outside of the rabbit hole of thoughts that the weed and the second question put me in because I’d found the answer: the solution to my comfort, his peace, and both of our sexual satisfaction was communication. Immediately, I saw a little red box in my head and knew its name was SEX TALK.
The third and final question was:
And my answer was yes. That night, I dove right into working on it and I haven’t looked back since.