Monday, July 14, 2014

The Blessings to Being Bullied

Cocoa Fly proudly hanging out with a Klingon that kinds of look like Cee-Lo
at a Star Trek Convention. Live your life and be yourself! 

A young sorority sister I follow on Facebook shared past pains of being bullied and inspired me to write this post because I was bullied as a kid.  If you’re looking at the title and thinking, “What the —?”, don’t get it twisted. Being bullied SUCKS. It is awful, horrible and psychologically torturous. I wish it on no child. However, I took the lessons from abuse and put it to good in my own life. 

When someone has a birthday coming up at my job, we go around and say one positive word about them at a staff meeting. I will be turning 35 this week. The word our executive director used to describe me is “nerd” and she meant in a good way. She said it was because I’m not ashamed of my love for superheroes and other nerdy things. Later on other co-workers told me that they noticed I am unapologetic about who I am and had a “take it or leave it” mentality. Like Mary J. Blige sang, “So take me as I am, or have nothing at all.” Coming to embrace myself took time. This personal acceptance was a result of being bullied. 

Like many kids, I got bullied for being smart and nerd. I went to a predominately black grammar school and was sometimes bullied for having long hair. I was bullied because I spoke proper English and people thought I was trying to be white. First Lady Michelle Obama knows what I’m talking about. But the bullying that hurt most was for being dark skinned. My story about experiencing colorism won me my first journalism award

It was after my first of year of college that I decided to hell with not loving me, because of other people and their issues. I met so many other unique, smart and talented people in college  I thought were awesome. And they saw the awesomeness in me. So I began to embrace myself more. 

I remember coming home from elementary school crying because of something mean another kid said or did to me. My mother would say, “They’re just jealous of you.” I didn’t understand how that was possible. Those kids were popular, respected, even feared. Why would they be jealous of the nerdy, scrawny girl?
I began to understand as I got older. People young and old will try to dim your shine if your light is bright. Those kids saw a brightness in me that I didn’t recognize in myself because it came naturally to me. 

I’m not on here to brag, because like everyone, I have my own personal issues. I love myself but I’m still working on being a better Jenee. A lot of kids are bullied and it hurts. It’s sad when I see kids take their lives or other lives because they’re rejected and/or harassed by their peers. And it bothers me that some schools and parents of bullies aren’t taking action. 
The bath towels in the back give the photo more effect. 

 I saw a meme on Facebook that said something to the extent, be yourself because life is too short to be anybody else. That’s so TRUE. I’ve even come more into my own because I’ve lost a lot of people in the last few years. Most recently, my 22-year-old cousin was killed in a car accident. He had just graduated college about two to three weeks prior to the accident. From all of the loved ones I lost, I learned to value life and LIVE IT UP, LIVE IT UP, LIVE IT UP! And do what you want because you never know when it’s your time to go. You only get one life. Why live your ONE life for someone else? 

As for the bullies, I eventually learned from their taunts that I must be special and blessed because they wanted to make me feel inferior. I think bullies even see that in kids who may have some kind of disability or different issue. Often those are the kids who are stronger. Being bullied has also helped me see signs in people I probably shouldn’t trust. I’m also very compassionate toward people who are mistreated. 

I hope bullied kids know it will get better over time. Everyone is not going to love you. That goes from the day you’re born until you take your final breath. But you’ve got something bright in you that those see. It’s something they don’t have.  Don’t let them dim your shine. 

I was the skinny girl who got called, “nerd”, “talk like a white girl,” “chalkboard,” “hella black.” And what do ya know: my nerdy ways led to a master’s degree; someone likes the way I speak because I've reported on the radio and am a paid speaker; my chocolate skin and healthy hair made it to a popular magazine’s website

Sometimes the best middle finger to give someone is success. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Beautiful, Brown and Baring it All: Rihanna and Venus Williams

Remember when pop star Rihanna caught some flack for the sheer gown she wore to the CFDA Awards? The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) honored her with the 2014 Style Icon Award. Some people thought she looked tacky for baring it all under the glittery fabric. I know I’m late to commenting on her attire but I thought she was stunning. Yes it was sexy. Yes it was revealing. But it was a sophisticated sexy. People called her trashy, but a trashy woman could not have pulled this off. 

What I loved most about what Rihanna wore, was her attitude. Some people who were offended questioned why do female celebrities feel the need to show so much skin. And I can understand that argument. But Rihanna wore that gown and owned it. There was no apology in her eyes. You can see the pride in her smile and she knew she rocked the hell out of that gown. 

She also wore it in tribute to Josephine Baker, whose birthday was around that time. Baker opened the door for black women to have that type of sensual expression under their own definition. Also, Rihanna wasn’t the first. Late actress Pearl Bailey did it back in the day.  Cher has gone sheer too. If I was a young, successful pop star with a body like Rihanna’s, I would wear it to. 

Actress Pearl Bailey beautiful and bare. 
As I tweeted, i think people have more of a problem with Rihanna with her being unapologetic about her sensuality than what she wore. The same thing applies to Beyonce. I don’t agree with everything on her latest album, but I can see that she’s owning her sexuality and body more. Some people don't want to see Beyonce doing that. We forget that people are sexual beings too.  

Venus Williams carries her name well. She’s definitely a tennis goddess. But like the Roman goddess of love, beauty and sex who shares her name—Venus Williams embodied all of that in her photos from this year’s ESPN Body Issue. Venus looks AMAZING! She made me proud of my chocolate skin and bootyliciousness. She’s 34 and 6’1. I love it! There's a great interview with her on about her sport, the shoot and living with Sjogren's syndrome. I find it interesting that Venus hasn’t received the same amount of criticism as Rihanna. I don’t know if feel people differently because she’s an athlete or her sister Serena Williams posed a few years ago. 

Venus Williams is a goddess for this ESPN Body Issue.
Pick up the magazine in stores now. 

 I’ve studied black erotica and black sexuality for some time. And sometimes when artists pose like this, the criticism that arises is that the women are being exploited or fetishized. Jada Pinkett-Smith received similar critique when she posted a gorgeous nude photo of herself on Facebook. But that’s not always the case. In all of these instances I listed, these women are celebrating their bodies and sensuality. And think that’s okay to celebrate our bodies. That goes for women of all races.  Big, small, tall, short, old, young, limited ability or athletic—it’s okay to honor our bodies.  It’s okay to honor one of the Creator’s best artwork—the human body. 

By the way, Rihanna still isn’t listening to ya'll.

Check out my thesis on black erotic literature and sexuality

Friday, July 11, 2014

Jean Kwok On Unleashing the Beauty, Power Within and Her New Novel 'Mambo in Chinatown'

Author Jean Kwok and Jenee aka Cocoa Fly at Book Passages in San Francisco
Receiving a tweet from an author you admire is cool. Meeting that author in person, who also remembers your Twitter handle, is even cooler. 

I recently met New York Time Bestselling author Jean Kwok at Book Passage in San Francisco. The Bay Area was the last stop in her book tour to promote her latest novel Mambo in Chinatown. It’s about a young, Chinese woman named Charlie Wong.  She’s a dishwasher turned ballroom-dance studio receptionist. Ballroom dancing appeals to her and she learns the art. But she keeps it a secret from her father who wouldn’t approve of her exposure to this western dance. As she gets more immersed in the dance world, her sister becomes seriously ill.  

Jean Kwok hooked me with her first novel, Girl in Translation. That book is about a Chinese girl who immigrates to the United States with her mother.  It follows her trying to survive in America, while attain the American dream. Kwok is very passionate about telling the story of working-class immigrants’ experience because they’re often invisiblized. 

“There are so many nobody sees, like the people you pass in the taxi, “ she said.
“Or the girl who hands you your food.” 

Both stories have elements from Kwok’s own life. Kwok, the youngest of seven, immigrated to the U.S. with her family from Hong Kong when she was five. She said her family was wealthy in China but fled because of a communist revolution.  Their hope was to land in America, a place they thought, where the streets were paved with gold. After arriving to New York City, the  American Dream seemed more like a myth. 

“Instead of finding ourselves in the skyscrapers of Manhattan, we were in the slums of Brooklyn,” she told the San Francisco audience. 

Her family lived in a building that was not legally up to code. They were the only tenants in the building. Their apartment was infested with rats and roaches. Add to that, the building was unheated.  If you’ve been to the East Coast during the winter, you know how brutal the winters can be. 

Jean Kwok shares her story with the audience 

Kwok and her family worked in a sweatshop, making $.01 per garment. One of Kwok’s brothers gave her a life changing gift, a diary. 

Kwok said her brother told her, “Whatever you write in this will belong to you.” 

Monday, July 7, 2014

I'm Good Because of Karyn Washington Founder Karyn Washington

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. In 2008 the White House added the late author Bebe Moore Campbell's name to the title because of her advocacy. Campbell's daughter/actress Maya Campbell lives with a mental health challenge. 

Normally I don't write about my job, but back in May I led an online blogging campaign project called "I'm Good." May is Mental Health Awareness Month. You can read about why I started the campaign here.  Around the time I was planning the campaign, I learned that blogger Karyn Washington took her life.  

I wrapped up the campaign with this blog post below about her: 

While in the middle of preparing for the launch of this blog campaign, the stress from planning peaked.  We were not only getting the blog together, but organizing a kick off event for the I’m Good campaign.  My team’s outside workload increased, which led to us pushing back meetings. And we still had a lot of work to do in a short amount of time. I was so frustrated that one day I asked myself, “Why did I even suggest we do this?”
That same week I questioned what was I thinking, blogger Karyn Washington’s beautiful face was all over my Facebook page. Karyn, founder of the website For Brown Girls, took her life. She was only 22 years old. Friends say the loss of her mother to cancer was too much for her to bear. Karyn Washington advocated for black women and was an up-and- coming young talent and voice.
How I learned of Karyn Washington was through her Dark Skin, Red Lip Project. I wanted to wear red lipstick but felt nervous about doing so. In the Black community, many of us have issues with colorism or shade discrimination. I’m of a darker hue, and many times I heard growing up that dark-skinned women shouldn’t wear bright colors. And I also heard that red lipstick didn’t look good on dark skinned women. But those are all lies we’ve been telling people in my community.
As I gathered the courage to rock red lips, one of my sources for inspiration was the website that Karyn launched. It was filled with everyday dark-skinned Black women who submitted beautiful photos of themselves wearing red lipstick. I know it seems like a such a simple act, but it empowered a lot of women. Karyn’s website and singer Janelle Monae are two of the reasons why I proudly wear red lipstick today. Unfortunately the domain has not been renewed since her death and the site is down.
When Karyn died, I thought, “Could I have done something?” I never met her but I wished something I wrote or produced, or an interview I did with someone on depression could’ve reached her. I was saddened to see so much potential...gone. Yet I still had compassion for her pain and prayed she was at peace now.

Karyn’s death revitalized my reason for wanting to do this campaign. Maybe my post didn’t reach her. But maybe the posts on this blog helped someone.  My team and I worked really hard, but if any of these posts gave even just ONE person hope, then we did our job.

Cocoa Fly rocking red lips in honor
of Karyn Washington #RedLipsforKaryn

After Karyn passed, I thought about that question I asked myself, “Why did I even suggest doing a blog campaign?” I did it for people like Karyn. I did it for people who are struggling so they know they’re not alone or not weird for having certain thoughts, feelings or experiences. I did it because I’m so tired of the constant depressing, hopeless, negative stories in the news about people with mental illnesses. There are so many other stories out there to tell. I did it so people out there know they can overcome anything.
Karyn Washington uplifted a lot of people through her work. And even in her death, she continues to encourage people like me to keep going, keep spreading hope.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this campaign by sharing their story. I know you touched someone out there and I appreciate your openness.  Thank you to those who read and shared posts. Keep reading and sharing posts!  Thank you to my team who started this journey with me back in October of 2013. I couldn’t have done this without you.
We’re keeping this website up because you never know how one person’s story could be a blessing to someone else.
Remember, that no matter what you’re going through, or your diagnosis—just remember you’re good. You’re good because you’re trying. You’re good because someone cares. You’re good because you’re not the only one on the planet with this hardship. You’re good because someone understands. You’re good because there’s hope. You’re good because someone else probably went through the same thing and if they made it through, so can you. You’ve Struggled. You’re  Growing. You’re Good.

**You can read more posts by visiting Please,  if you need to talk to a counselor or therapist, don't be ashamed. Do it. **

Monday, June 30, 2014

Life is Like a Purple Tutu

Fly in my purple tutu at SF Pride's Dyke March

Remember the opening of “Sex & the City” when Carrie Bradshaw, sporting a cute tutu-skirt, was splashed by a bus that featured an ad with her column and picture? Oh, I love that show and I loved that outfit. Ever since then I’ve wanted to wear a tutu. 

I wore a purple tutu over the weekend at the Dyke March for San Francisco Pride. I went last year with friends and we had LOTS of fun marching and dancing in the street. This year’s theme was “My Body. My Business. My Power.” Isn’t that a powerful theme? One advocate named Leslie Ewing gave a great speech. She talked about her pride in being a lesbian and then how women’s bodies are judged and scrutinized. Whether it’s because some women dress more masculine, or more revealing, or have a disability  are overweight, etc; it doesn’t matter. Women bodies are constantly under surveillance, which is oppressive. There was a line I like. I don’t remember exactly what she said, but it was something like, no body is an accident or a mistake. 

I unapologetically got my nearly 35-year-old body in a purple tutu. And I happily danced through the Mission District all the way to the Castro along with thousands and thousands of women. Now I’m sure when I got on the BART train with my tutu, a few may have been thinking, “What the hell?” But I didn’t care. It was something I wanted to do. And those people don’t pay my bills. Actually a woman waiting for the train told me she liked my tutu.  I had a family critic say I shouldn’t wear a tutu. Again, I didn’t care. It’s my life. It’s my tutu. Hey, it’s also “My Body, My Business, My Power.” 

Life is like a purple tutu because you gotta take a chance, wear it and dance your way through it. And everybody might not like your tutu. Everybody might not like the choices you make that are making you happy. But you have to do you because life is too short. And I’m glad I tuned out the naysayers and joyfully danced through the streets of San Francisco to Diana Ross and Beyonce in my purple tutu and Mardi Gras beads. And no one can take away that experience from me. Nor can they can take away the compliments I got about my tutu. 

Plus I also participated to show my support and love to the LGBTQ community. And no one can take that away from me as well. 

I took this picture at last year's Dyke March. 

I recently lost a relative. He died in a car accident and was only 22 years old. He just graduated from college a few weeks prior. His death hurt my heart because he was so young and his future was so bright. But it reminded me that we don’t know how long we have in this life. And so we have to live it fully. Sometimes that means doing things that may not please everyone. Plus we have to live with gratitude. Trust me, I know life is hard. Life can be something else. Still I try to be thankful for something in my life when times are tough or good. 

So live your life with vibrancy and color. And dance like a 34-year-old woman, wearing a purple tutu, in the streets of San Francisco to “I’m Coming Out” like no one was watching.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Thank God It’s Natural Butter Cream Was My Moisture Miracle

I really, really love Thank God It’s Natural or TGIN productsI’ve blogged about them before, but have since fallen in love with a another TGIN must-have. While attending a conference in Austin last year, it was just my luck an ice storm decided to pass through. Thankfully, I checked the weather before leaving and packed a heavy winter coat, cute hat and TGIN products. The temperature dipped into the 20’s. For a Cali girl, 20’s are like Antarctica. 

The company sent me a sample pack to review of their shampoo, conditioner, twist cream, and the Butter Cream Moisturizer.  I knew my hair was not going to be happy with the cold. Hours before heading out to 6th Street to get my par-tay on, I moisturized my hair with TGIN’s Butter Cream.  My hair stayed really soft and hydrated throughout the night. 

I dabbed on just a tad bit more before I went to bed, rolled my hair and tied it up in a satin wrap. By morning my hair had a nice bounce. I had no worries about my hair the remainder of the trip. 

Warning: My Hair Looks Good! This is right after
I did a presentation in Austin. My hair wasmoist and soft. 

The great thing about the Butter Cream Moisturizer is that you don’t need very much. A little really does goes a long way. It doesn’t weigh down your hair, or make it greasy. I don’t even think there’s a fragrance. 

I finally finished my other tub of daily moisturizer and immediately bought TGIN’s Butter Cream Moisturizer. I ordered it on Wednesday and it was on my porch Saturday morning.  

TGIN creator Chris-Tia Donaldson has great products. I’m also a HUGE fan of her lip balm. And kudos to TGIN for making travel size natural hair products so I don’t have lug a big tub of Butter Cream in my bag.  

Check out TGIN. Trust me, I don’t give favorable reviews to stuff I don’t like. 

Butter Cream! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Reporter Says Hood Disease Coined by East Oakland Man, Not the CDC or Harvard Doctors

Hood Disease. I first heard the term in a recent news report about Oakland youth suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on CBS Channel 5 in San Francisco. The violence, deaths of their peers and loved ones, and poverty are understandably having a psychological impact on many Oakland youth. I understand. I was born and raised in East Oakland, where I work in mental health advocacy. According to the report, Hood Disease is a coined term for PTSD afflicting inner-city youth.

 Since the report by Wendy Tokuda, a nearly 30-year news veteran in the Bay Area, the term “Hood Disease” has gone viral. While I think this an important issue that needs to be covered, I find the label offensive. Based on what I’ve seen in social media, others do too. It’s racist and stigmatizing against people dealing with mental health and emotional challenges (I’ll explain later).

I emailed my concerns to Tokuda. As a result of the outrage and misreporting of the origins of this term by other media outlets, Tokuda said she is not going to use the term in further reports. In an email to me she wrote, “I am so troubled by what has happened with this term online. We have already taken it out of our headline.”

Tokuda is a former anchor and has covered inspirational stories about low-income youth overcoming odds for nearly two decades. I’m glad she made this decision. However, I’m still curious about who invented the term “Hood Disease.”

Various media outlets are either reporting it originated from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) or Harvard doctors, and citing Tokuda’s story as the source of this information. That’s not correct.

In the intro to her report, Tokuda said, “The CDC said these children often live in virtual war zones. And doctors at Harvard said they actually suffer from a more complex form of PTSD. Some call it Hood Disease.”

Notice in her intro, Tokuda said, “some” call it Hood Disease.” She didn’t say Harvard or the CDC called it Hood Disease. She Tweeted that she didn’t attribute the source of the term to Harvard or the CDC. I figured she wasn't referring to the CDC or Harvard, but I think people were confused by the way her intro was worded.  So who are the "some?" Are they researchers, psychologists, people in the community?  I contacted the CDC, Harvard and Tokuda for clarification.

In an email to me from the CDC’s Office of Communications, they wrote, “We are not aware of the reference from the other news story.”  I also spoke to Harvard’s Director of Science Communications. He contacted PTSD experts at Harvard, and they said they have no idea where the term “Hood Disease” came from, and will look into it further.

On Tokuda’s Facebook page she posted, Mark Beasley gave me the term HOOD DISEASE to describe complex PTSD among inner city kids.”

Who is Mark Beasley?  

In my email to Tokuda, I asked where did she learn of the term “Hood Disease” and who is Mark Beasley. Is he a psychologist, social worker, someone in the community? She didn’t answer my question about Mark Beasley, but replied, “It came from a person who lives in East Oakland.”

Who is this person in East Oakland and what are his credentials? I don’t know if Mark Beasley on Facebook is the man from East Oakland she’s referring to. More importantly, I question why she used a term from some East Oakland man that she would identify in an email, and not interview him in her story. And if you notice in the story, none of the people she interviewed said "Hood Disease." 

This incident is a reminder of how the media needs to be more mindful and careful when it comes to how they cover race, as well as mental health. Tokuda should’ve explained where this term “Hood Disease” came from. I also wished she questioned why this is a term that “some” people are labeling mostly poor, Black and Latino youth with PTSD. Looking back at horrific events such as Columbine, Oklahoma bombings, September 11th or the school shooting in Connecticut—the survivors of those  were considered traumatized. Their trauma wasn’t compared to a disease. Yet youth of color suffering from the mental effects of ongoing violence, poverty, racism, etc. are labeled as having a disease? Calling their PTSD a disease takes the blame away from the social and economic disadvantages oppressing them.

Also, mental health stigma is a major problem in our society, and especially in communities of color. Labeling someone with a mental health challenge as having a “disease” can create self-shame. Some people don’t seek mental health treatment because of the stigma. Add to that, lack of education about mental health and access to quality treatment if you’re living in poverty.

I don’t know who came up with “Hood Disease” but PTSD is PTSD. Trauma is trauma. Anybody can suffer from trauma whether you’re an abused wealthy kid from a gated community or a poor kid living in a violent neighborhood.

I hope Channel 5 continue the series, yet be more mindful about their language. We need to continue discussing mental health. Our children have raised money to pay their friends’ funeral expenses, are awaken by gunshots at night, see underaged girls selling their bodies on the street, live near crack houses, carry anxiety just walking down the street to the store, and are wondering if they’re going to be next. Their young minds and hearts are heavy. But working in mental health advocacy, and overcoming my own challenges, I know people can recover and manage their mental health issues.

No more spreading Hood Disease. Let’s spread Hope and Healing.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fighting Fibroids with Chinese Herbs and Acupuncture

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Remember I told you I gave the presentation of my dreams last year? Well I almost missed out on that dream. A few days before my business trip to Austin, Texas, I was in a lot of pain. So much so I postponed my flight. Initially I thought it was a bladder infection that just wouldn’t heal. Every time I blinked I had to pee and I was really bloated. The antibiotics I took were helping but once I was done with the prescriptions, symptoms flared up.

I went to the OBGYN, had an ultrasound and was told I had fibroids. One decided to grow right by my bladder, which explained the frequent urination.  Thankfully they’re all small, but those little suckers are mighty. They hurt. The doctor gave me a pamphlet with info on surgical options.  Ibuprofen helped ease the pain and frequent urination, which allowed me make my trip to Austin. I still wasn’t well.

Initially I wanted surgery. Then, a story broke about 13-year-old Jahi McMath. The girl went to Oakland Children’s Hospital for a tonsillectomy and ended up brain dead. That scared the bejeezus out of me. I began researching natural ways to treat fibroids and started asking around for references to people who practice holistic medicine.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sexpo: A Workshop About Women, Sexual Wellness and Pleasure

I keep describing this workshop as the presentation of my dreams. Last December I traveled to Austin, Texas for the Alternatives Conference. It’s the largest and oldest conference for and by people with mental health challenges. Two of my colleagues and I gave a women-only presentation on sexual wellness and pleasure.  It was such a powerful experience. At least 100 women were there. We talked about overcoming sexual trauma, psychiatric drugs that don’t affect your libido, the power of erotica, sexual anatomy, the G-Spot, history of vibrators, society’s views of women self-pleasuring, how women and people with mental health challenges are sexually stigmatized and more.  You can read all about it here. Or listen to a podcast about it here.

L-R Jenee Darden aka Cocoa Fly,  Lisa Smusz, Kelechi Ubozoh

We also gave a similar presentation again at the UC Berkeley’s 29th Annual Empowering Women of Color Conference (EWOCC). And shout out to the organizers of EWOCC because they’re graduate students. When I was in graduate school, I barely had time to make a bowl of cereal let alone plan a conference. The people who attended our workshop were so cool and asked great questions. One of my favorite comments from our evaluations is “Thanks. I needed this.”  I’m looking forward to doing more of these in the very near future.

It feels good to help people and have fun while doing it.  Big ups to my co-presenters Kelechi Ubozoh and Lisa Smusz.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Best Orgasm Conference I Ever Attended and Missed Everything

 Soooooo, how did I miss one of the coolest conferences, you ask? Have you heard of Nicole Daedone? She’s the founder of the company One Taste, which “offers training in orgasm, sex and man-woman relating through coaching and courses. She also brought this practice of OM or Orgasmic Meditation to the mainstream. 

Watch her Ted Talk to see how she got into this practice:

One Taste hosted an orgasm conference right in Oakland and I found out about it the day before from an eblast!  I had plans that weekend and couldn’t get to it until the last day. My future show producer Kelechi Ubozoh and I went Sunday afternoon and we missed all of the good stuff. 

We missed the cool vendors, fabulous speakers and workshops on orgasms and sexual empowerment. We missed Gabrielle Anwar (actress for Burn Notice. I love Fiona!) and Catherine Oxenburg (Dynasty) give the 411 on their documentary Sexologly, which is scheduled to be released this summer.  We missed Naomi Wolf’s presentation “Power, Sex and The Feminine.” We’re extra bummed we missed OneTaste Foundation co-founder and director Ulysses Slaughter’s talk on “Journey into Orgasmic Reconciliation.” We missed partying with the 1,500 from around the world who came to the conference. We missed all of the good sh*t. 

Just talking to people at the conference. I could tell a lot of them were enlightened.  I met a brotha from South Carolina and he talked about how so many of us who grow up in the inner city and impoverished communities don’t fully understand sexuality and pleasure. And how our sexuality is so demeaned in media, both mainstream and the media our people produce. He felt he got a lot out of the conference. 

A not so sharp photo of Gabrielle Anwar. She is so gorgeous in person.

We did see something cool. We attended a press conference with Nicole Daedone, bestselling authors Steven Kotler and Neil Strauss, Gabrielle Anwar (Yay I got to see Fiona!) and Catherine Oxenburg. Catherine said something that really hit me. So much so it deserves a separate post. Unfortunately I didn’t have any questions to ask because I missed the whole damn conference. LOL And when Kelechi asked a question they referenced stuff we missed---LOL! If you’re a journalist, you understand why I think it’s funny. 

Next year the conference is headed to LA. Kelechi and I will be ready and we’re ready for LaLa Land. We’re not missing a thing next year.  

Ummm, so when is it happening? 

My future show producer Kelechi and I at the end of the conference.


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