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0:00:00.9 Avery Flynn: Welcome to Dear Romance Writer. Your home for the questionable advice for the bewildered and befuddled, random pop culture recommendations and conversations about eugh, feelings. Be sure to send in your letters, seeking advice on our anonymous form at


0:00:20.7 Xio Axelrod: Dear Romance Writer is part of the frolic Podcast Network, a podcast community of everything romance and romance-related. If you're into romance fiction of any flavor, the Frolic Podcast Network include shows that feature book club style discussions, author interviews, comedy, critique, and fantastic conversations as well.


0:00:39.2 RP: Includes some of the most innovative, interesting and entertaining podcasts, including Kinda Dating, Crappy Friends, My Imaginary Friends, Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, and Jeff and Will's big gay fiction podcast. What does this mean for you the listener? More shows to enjoy and more opportunities for us to introduce you to great episodes and new podcasts you'll love. Find new shows to add to your podcast subscriptions at Now, onto this week's show.


0:01:21.0 XA: Hey everybody, this week, I am so excited. We all are, but I'm super excited because I get to fan girl a little bit [laughter] because we have the amazingly talented and sweet and funny Talia Hibbert with us. If you guys haven't read her, you are missing out. Go pick up every book she's ever written and enjoy yourself. But Talia, please tell us, tell our listeners where they can find you, and all about you, and your life story, anything you wanna share? [laughter]


0:01:50.5 Talia Hibbert: Thank you. Well, you can find me online. I have a website I had to think about that for a second there. Yes. I'm on an Instagram and Twitter @TaliaHibbert as well. And yeah, I like to write books about people kissing and having feelings. And the last one I released was called the Roommate Risk, and it's about best friends who are secretly in love, and one of them knows it and one of them doesn't, and then they make a sex pact.




0:02:22.0 AF: I love the sex pact.


0:02:24.4 XA: That's my favourite scenario. [laughter]


0:02:27.8 AF: Sorry, as romance readers, we get such specific like trope likes, and when somebody hits that button, you're like ding ding ding.




0:02:38.8 AF: Anyway...


0:02:40.8 RP: Well welcome.


0:02:40.9 TH: I'm sorry I never know when I'm supposed to stop talking so [0:02:43.5] ____.




0:02:43.5 AF: Yeah me too.


0:02:44.2 RP: Yeah.


0:02:44.5 AF: I usually wait for the glassy-eyed stare, and then I go okay I've said too much. [laughter]


0:03:00.5 AF: Wonderful. Well we love having you here. We're super excited. And let's see, just in case anybody didn't pick up real quick because we're very bad about doing this, we should probably do a little intro, I'm Avery Flynn. Because our poor podcast listeners can't see our names so...


0:03:13.4 XA: Oh right.


0:03:14.3 AF: I am Avery Flynn.


0:03:15.3 RP: I am Roan Parrish.


0:03:16.0 Xio Axelrod: That's Roan Parrish. I'm Xio Axelrod, and again...


0:03:19.0 RP: And our guest today...


0:03:20.2 TH: Yes, I am Talia Hibbert, the guest. [laughter]


0:03:25.9 RP: Yay.


0:03:26.2 AF: And the role of the guest today, we... [laughter]


0:03:29.0 AF: Alright, so let's see, you know what? We didn't divide this up beforehand on who's gonna do the letter and who's going to do the... What would you do? Segment. And let me just tell you all, we have a really fun, 'What would you do?' For this week. [laughter] So you're gonna wanna stay, trust. And this is a great letter. Xio, do you wanna go ahead and take the letter?


0:03:51.6 XA: I can do that. Sure, no problem.


0:03:52.7 AF: Yay. We'll make her do all the work today.




0:03:55.5 XA: This letter is from Elle. Elle, Thank you so much for writing in, we love getting letters, we love helping you guys with our questionable advice, so we appreciate it.


0:04:03.6 RP: Yeah.


0:04:04.8 XA: Her letter says, "Hi, there, so I'm asexual. Which makes it nearly impossible to find a romantic partner. I'm bi-romantic, so I'm open to pretty much anyone. Yet, most people want a sexual relationship, and I can't really blame them for that. Even in the past, I've told potential partners upfront about my being ace, and they said it was fine, then we further we get in the relationship, the bigger a problem it comes, until we end up breaking up. My only options seem to be other aces, but I have yet to meet one I am compatible with. I've pretty much accepted I'll be alone for the rest of my life. I'm already in my 30s, but sometimes I just break down thinking about that."


0:04:41.1 XA: Oh, Elle.


0:04:42.6 XA: "I'm a hopeless romantic, and my one saving grace has been writing MM novels where the MC and his LI fall in love and have an HEA." Let's break those acronyms down really quickly.




0:04:52.1 XA: Elle writes male male romance novels where the main character and his love interest fall in love and have a happily ever after. For those of you who... The 2% of you probably don't read romance that listen to us. I basically live vicariously through my characters, but I can't spend all day every day in my made-up world, any advice to make loneliness a bit easier on this disaster asexual? I'd really appreciate anything you have to say as I love hearing all sorts of different perspectives. Thanks so much for your help. Elle." Oh Elle, I wanna hug everybody who writes to us because...


0:05:25.1 AF: Yeah I know.


0:05:26.1 XA: They're all so lovely.


0:05:27.8 AF: It's always our first instinct.


0:05:29.2 XA: Yeah.


0:05:30.1 RP: Well, this didn't quite go where I was expecting; because, at first, I thought the question was going to be, can you give me some advice on where to meet people, how to negotiate, talking about being ace with folks who are aerosexual. And then where it actually went was, how can I deal with being lonely, and I'm torn between answering the question that's actually asked and feeling a bit like maybe the question that they actually want an answer to; is how do I meet people and find people so that I won't feel so lonely? And maybe because I'm me I will just obviously wanna talk about both of them.


0:06:02.6 AF: Yeah both. Both is always better.


0:06:05.3 XA: Like the gif, both, why not both?




0:06:08.7 S?: So, start us off. What would you answer to the question she asked, which is about dealing with the loneliness? Which I think honestly, you can have no matter... This is not an asexual specific question at all. This is...


0:06:26.6 S?: Yeah this is not an ace issue at all.


0:06:26.6 S?: It's not even a being single issue at all, this is like an issue that a lot of people deal with, whether they're in a relationship or not, you know?


0:06:33.3 RP: I think that's true, and I think that being... Feeling lonely when you're not in a relationship is way better than feeling lonely when you are in a relationship. I feel like there's no worse feeling then being surrounded by people who you're supposed to feel connected to and missing that. To start off, you really are on the good side of the fence on that one.


0:06:54.5 S?: Yeah, you're on the happy side of loneliness.


0:06:57.4 TH: It's a real silver lining, straight up.


0:07:00.7 S?: Seriously.


0:07:01.7 S?: That was an uncommonly Pollyanna-ish take.


0:07:06.0 RP: Yeah I feel like, well I have so much to say about the loneliness thing, and then I'll kick it over to y'all. But I was single for 12 years or something, 11 years, a really long time. Mostly by choice, but then it's hard to know where choice edges into inertia, I think. It doesn't really matter. The point is that, definitely I was lonely sometimes, but also I loved being alone and I love being by myself in general, and so I guess I can just say a few things about what make me be alone without feeling lonely. I think one thing is to always look at it as being free instead of being alone. I think that there's this feeling of possibility when you can do anything you want, that is so carbonated, and it's fizzy and exciting.


0:08:08.6 RP: To wake up on a Saturday morning and say like, I could do anything. I could drive six hours to a beach and then take a picture and drive home. I could lay out every single object I have in my house and decide to get rid of half of it. I could go down to the basement and lie on the cement floor and listen to music in this weird mermaid echo chamber, and no one will ever know.


0:08:34.8 S?: That's very specific.


0:08:35.1 S?: That was oddly specific.


0:08:36.2 S?: You know.


0:08:40.7 S?: I'm thinking you know? You can do the cookie dough straight from the tube and no one will yell at you. And she's got mermaids in her basement.


0:08:51.6 S?: And I feel like that's not... That's a mental shift. That's deciding to think certain thoughts about your life, and instead of thinking the thought, this would be better with someone else, thinking the thought, it's so amazing that I am in complete control of my choices, my decisions, my time, and I get to do whatever I want and I get to feel however I want about it. So I think that step number one is recasting loneliness as freedom, which I know there's... There's a lot of toxic positivity that goes around about, just think happy thoughts and your whole life will change. It's the 'just' there that I have a problem with. It's not that easy to think happy thoughts. But I do feel more and more that thoughts... Your thoughts and feelings about yourself are things that you have a fair amount of control over, if you just believe that you do.


0:09:50.8 S?: Well and to play off of that, I mean... What Elle says is she says, make loneliness a bit easier on this disaster asexual... And that hurts my heart because you are not a disaster. Talk better about our letter writer friends, alright Elle? But that sort of falls into that, it's in trying to take your perspective and sort of seek out that silver lining if at all possible. And it's not always there, as far as toxic positivity, I agree with you there.


0:10:28.0 S?: Optimism and positivity have their place, and unfortunately it's not always. So I think recasting that and building off of seeing the positive side of the situation can help. I think there's also a question of... And this goes to, I'm sure where Roan really wants to go, which is what... How are you outside of a romantic relationship? A love relationship. Are you lonely outside of that? Or are you expecting that relationship with that one person or multiple people or whoever it may be, is that going to be...


0:11:08.6 S?: Are you looking at that as the automatic cure for your loneliness, which it may not be. That's so much pressure to put on you and what you're expecting in a relationship, as well as the person or people who are a part of that relationship. So I would also kind of... I would want to know that. And if there is not a lot going on in your life outside of writing, which believe me, I think everybody here understands how we can get sucked into that and it seems like everything becomes work-related, which is so dangerous. But to be able to see what kind of relationships do you have with people, not romantic relationships, but what are you having with folks that help to ease that loneliness and that feeling that you've got.


0:12:00.5 S?: It reminds me a little too of Roan's advice that she gave a while back about dating yourself.


0:12:04.8 S?: Yes. I love that.


0:12:06.1 S?: Treating yourself. That was so awesome, and I think that it might be... It might have applied to Elle too, because it feels like she's... Like you said, Avery, waiting for that person to do things with or whatever, and do those things with... Do those things for yourself with yourself. Go to the beach. Drive to the beach and take a picture or whatever. But again, I do agree Avery, the connections that Elle might have outside of whatever romantic relationship with friends or family, those should be helping you not feel so lonely, so if you have those connections, why are you still feeling this way? That's something that you might want to examine, but yeah, I agree there's so much...


0:12:48.3 TH: I think also... Yeah, but I think the problem is as well that it's possible to have friends but not have really intimate friendships.


0:12:57.8 S?: Have acquaintance friendships, more than anything.


0:13:00.5 TH: Yeah, so I don't know, they might be feeling kind of like they have these relationships that are great and positive, but there's just a level of intimacy they're not reaching, and they think the only way I can get that is with a romantic relationship, but maybe they're exhausted right now by how difficult it's been, so it's kind of like, where do they go from here? But I think you can definitely have really deeply intimate platonic relationships. I think they're just as hard to find, if not harder, usually than romantic relationships, but if romantic relationships have been so difficult to find, then maybe that is a different... Another path to take.


0:13:39.6 S?: Yeah.


0:13:40.6 S?: I think so too. I was... It's funny, my girlfriend Timmy and I were talking last night about the idea of soul mates and whether we believe in soulmates, and we both agreed that we do not, and actually that we hate the idea of soulmates, and find it not only not romantic, but horribly depressing and demoralizing and truncating to the idea of a soul in general. But the idea of soulmates, we were like, "Where does it come from again?" Oh, it's the Greek idea of we originally had four arms, four legs, and then we were like...


0:14:12.1 S?: Split, yeah.


0:14:12.3 S?: Split in half, and then we spend our lives searching for the other half of what makes us whole, which is literally the worst thing I can imagine.




0:14:21.5 S?: You are half a person.


0:14:21.6 S?: Right.


0:14:21.6 S?: Yeah.


0:14:21.8 S?: Until you find that person, you're not whole, yeah.


0:14:28.6 S?: Yeah, you're half a person. You need to spend your entire life chasing after some unrecognizable to you other human being who you won't be whole until you acquire them. It's like not only is it depressing, it seems so acquisitive and capitalist to me, like, "Just tread water until you find a person that you could stick back on you and then maybe you'll have some hope of being happy," which I know that's not what Elle is saying but we were talking about it, and I think the idea of... I think that we culturally have absorbed a little bit of that idea of the soulmate as the complementary part of you, that you can do all these things and have all these experiences, but that they will be better and more complete if someone else is there to witness you witnessing them. And there's something that I think is really... I don't know, that feeling of like something isn't real unless you share it with someone really...


0:15:35.4 S?: If a tree falls in a forest, yeah.


0:15:36.3 S?: Yeah, and it leads into the kind of like, "Is anything real if you don't take a picture of it and show it on social media and get people's opinions about it?" It devalues your internal sense of what is important and what is valuable to you, and I think that there is just a kind of wisdom that can come from not depending on external validation, because then if you're there, you get to say... It's actually kind of life-changing to be like, "I can do whatever I want right now, so what is it that I actually want?" And half the time, I think people don't know. And I think that this is one of the things that I found from being single for a long time and living alone is that even though I'm in a relationship now, I still always know what I want to do, or what I want in that moment, and I'm willing to compromise or those things.


0:16:32.9 S?: But I don't know, I have friends who are constantly in relationships, and I feel like sometimes when you say, "What do you wanna do?" they're like, "I don't know, I don't care," which is fine, but I always wonder, how do you not know what you wanna do? And I think sometimes that comes from seeking always an external check on your wants and desires, and so I think that one thing that's so valuable about being alone is being your own check, and having to dig deep and be like, "No, but do I actually wanna do that, or do I just think I'm supposed to wanna do that?" And anyway, it's... Yeah, being alone is great. This is my love letter to being alone anyway. [chuckle]


0:17:16.5 S?: I mean, but there are some people who need...


0:17:17.3 S?: Like my girlfriend is the best, and I adore her, and she may be listening to this...




0:17:23.5 S?: But I love you. But there are some people who do need that social aspect to enjoying the things that they love, and we talked about this before. You find groups, you find groups of people who enjoy the things that you enjoy, and you go enjoy them with them, and you guys can all fan out over whatever it is together, and then you get that part of the fulfillment of your social life, because, like Avery said, putting all of that on one person or two people, or however many people end up in a relationship with you is a lot of pressure on all of you.


0:17:57.8 S?: Yeah, and also if Elle is looking to ease the loneliness a little bit, and Elle is a writer, I think we as writers often fall into that trap of having everything be about work. I mentioned it earlier, but if you expand on that a little bit, if your friends are all work-related, if your social stuff is all work-related, if it all functions around that one thing, that also can really exasperate? You know what word...


0:18:33.0 S?: Exacerbate.




0:18:34.0 S?: Thank you. Thank you.


0:18:38.6 S?: That sense of loneliness, if something is off in that one area, it's sort of the same pressures if you expect all of your needs to be met by a single partner or partners, multiple partners. It's a lot to put on it. So my biggest advice to Elle right now, I wish I could help you, give you a really simple answer on where to go find someone who is going to romantically fit your needs. I'm good, I'm not that good so I can't. But what I really would advise is to try and add in some variety within your life, and as we start to open up again with the vaccine and the ability to get out is a little bit easier now than it was before for some folks, hopefully. So to be able to add in some variety of where you're hanging out, who you're engaging with, trying to open up both with people who've been in your life for a while that maybe you haven't been as engaged with, and new folks, whether it's joining clubs or volunteering, or just spending the day hiking this park that you enjoy walking through.


0:20:00.0 S?: Whatever it may be, adding in that variety really helps open up your chances of being able to meet and engage with folks that you can build stronger relationships with and therefore not be as lonely. From a writer perspective, think of it as you're not gonna send the query on that book if you're gonna traditionally publish, you're not gonna send that query just to one publisher. You're gonna blanket because that's gonna increase your odds and increase your chances, do the same thing with your hopes and being able to build some platonic and romantic relationships.


0:20:37.7 S?: Yeah, just expand your social circle if you're not finding success in the areas that you wanna find success with the people that you're around the most. There's a group, there's the commercial for Facebook, which I'm not the biggest fan of Facebook, but they have this commercial about...


0:20:55.5 S?: Twitch, twitch, twitch.


0:20:56.5 S?: There's a group for everything, and there is, and there's like mushroom picking group, and there's an antiquing group, and there's a paint your toenails group, whatever it is. If you pop in one of those groups or meet up or some... I don't know, whatever, wherever you live, sometimes they have event calendars for different things that are happening in the park. Go to those things and just chill and hang out, and you never know who you're gonna meet. And you never know it...


0:21:21.9 S?: And it could be scary to do that on your own.


0:21:24.5 S?: Oh yeah. Especially if you're in... A lot of writers are introverts, we're probably terrifying all right now like go ahead and do this and meet all these people and they're like, "What are you talking about?"


0:21:33.5 S?: Baby steps. Baby steps.


0:21:34.7 S?: You can go on dates, right. Because you can date people and kind of feel like maybe this isn't gonna work out, and maybe I don't want it, maybe my goal is no longer to have that relationship, but you can still go on the dates. 'Cause dates are fun and you meet people and you usually get to eat. It's okay.


0:21:52.8 S?: Right, and you might end up with a friend instead of a lover.


0:21:56.9 S?: Yeah, [laughter]


0:21:58.9 S?: I think that too the, you said that you're bisexual, am I remembering this?


0:22:05.3 S?: Biromantic.


0:22:06.0 S?: Biromantic, yes, sorry, my bad. I feel like if you're biromantic that I will now wildly generalize, but I think that the queer network of going on a date with a queer person and then having that translate into a friendship if you're not compatible is approximately 1000% higher than... So maybe you wanna focus a bit on other queer people to date for a little bit, because that'll be great if that works out romantically, but also if you're not vibing with each other or if you start dating and then that ends up not working out. It's just really likely that you can sort of massage it into a friendship and you already have that shared intimacy.


0:22:54.6 S?: And I think to circle back to Talia what you said earlier about finding those romantic relationships, I think there are friendships that are prime territory for turning into more intimate relationships, and sometimes all it takes is saying to someone, "I think you're so awesome, and I love that we hang out once every six months or we chat every however long, but I love when we hang out, would you wanna do it more often?" And then if they say yes, then it's like, you hang out a little bit more often. And then on those hang-outs, instead of saying, "Let's watch a movie", you can say like, "Cool, do you wanna go for a walk, or do you wanna bake something, or build a gingerbread house?" I find projects very helpful.


0:23:44.7 S?: Bake?


0:23:45.1 S?: Yeah, bake, all the things. Activities are so good because the pressure isn't totally on the conversation, which I always find so stressful to be you're staring at each other and you're literally the equivalent of each other's blank page and you're like, what do you do for a living? But you're gonna know 'cause they're your friend. Anyway, do activities and eventually those relationships can really deepen and you... Not only does that up your odds of that person being like, "you're having a hard time meeting someone, yeah, I actually have a couple of friends who are also having a hard time meeting people", and then like boom, match-maker style. Or if you end up with two friends who you get more and more intimate with, friend to lovers, friends to romancers, it happens all at the time and...


0:24:34.8 S?: We write about it all the time, it happens all the time.


0:24:39.2 S?: Yeah. You never know.


0:24:39.8 S?: I wish I knew where Elle lived because sometimes when you live in a small town, there's not a lot of options, so if you live in a small town where there's not a lot of physical options, the internet is your friend. And if you live in a city, explore the option of the city, because I live in Philly and there's so many public events and so many public groups and stuff to join. So yeah just expand a little bit, expand your circle.


0:25:10.5 S?: And one last Elle thing I would say, please do not feel alone, in the fact that you get lost in your characters in your made up world... [laughter] You're not alone in that.


0:25:21.3 TH: That's totally normal, you can absolutely live there forever.




0:25:25.1 S?: Yeah that was the part where she was like, I can't spend 24 hours a day there, and I was like, Can't you? [chuckle] Why not?


0:25:31.1 S?: Can you not? [chuckle] Why is there a Jackal walking, what is going on in that world? [chuckle] Why can't you go back?


0:25:40.7 S?: Oh, sorry.


[overlapping conversation]


0:25:44.1 S?: Oh, I'm sorry, I was gonna say you made this lovely segue that I will now ruin because I actually do have another question, which is that part where she said she's a disaster Ace... I'm curious about that because I wonder... I know that's just Internet speak and so maybe it's just a thing that has been glommed, but I'm curious what she thinks is disastrous, and is it just not succeeding so far in relationships, or is there like... Is there a deeper story there where you... It doesn't seem like you have many hang-ups about being Ace, which is awesome, and I'm so glad, but there is some language that you're using about yourself and about...


0:26:29.6 S?: Self-deprecating humour?


0:26:30.4 S?: A little self-deprecating and the way you're talking about the pattern of what's happening in your relationships that I just would pay attention to and ask yourself, do I think that I'm a disaster for x, y and z reasons, which are totally understandable, or do I think that it is my ace-ness that makes me disastrous and makes me the thing that is ruining relationships? And I hope that's not what you feel like, but if you do, I think that's just some work that you might wanna do and... 'Cause you know that feeling where if you attribute the failure of relationships over and over again to one quality, and that quality is one of your qualities, it's just like a story that gets deeply embedded and hard to let go of. And as a writer, I'm sure you understand the power that telling the same story over and over can have. So if that is how you feel, if that's buried a little bit and you think that then maybe just do some work on changing that thought.


0:27:30.7 TH: Because it's... It's totally fine to be Ace and it's fine to not want to have... Not want to be a part of those relationships, you say that these people are ending the relationships because they want to have a sexual relationship, and you can't blame them. But also aren't you ending the relationship because you don't want to do that and they can't blame you, you are... You're all equally within your right to say this is not compatible.


0:27:57.8 S?: Yeah.


0:27:58.4 S?: Yeah, it's a little concerning that she's keeps finding people who say they're cool with it and then they're not.


0:28:04.6 S?: Yeah, but...


0:28:05.5 S?: That's not on you Elle, at all, [chuckle] it's not on you... That's...


0:28:10.1 S?: Yeah, and I think that also comes down to... One of the favorite things that I learned a few years ago from HelenKay Dimon, which was the difference between opinion and behavior, and to me, that situation could be a difference between opinion and behavior, where I would like to be an ally, I would like to be supportive. Oh no, in theory, this doesn't form an issue at all, and then when you get into it, and the behavior part really factors in, that's when you're there, or it can be somebody who is fake...


0:28:49.5 S?: And it can also be just somebody who is thinking, oh yeah, I can totally do this, and then they realize that doesn't meet their needs, that they have unmet needs, and so that's when you kind of roll into those types of issues as well, but I actually got from Elle that she is comfortable from this, just simply because she seems comfortable in those boundaries, she doesn't say anything about, Well, this person in order to continue the relationship, wanted me to cross over into something in an area where I'm not comfortable or isn't me, isn't meeting my needs. And it doesn't sound like that's happening. But yeah.


0:29:35.2 S?: Yeah, I'm really sorry that these people are either being, being... I don't know, fake.


0:29:42.2 S?: Dishonest?


0:29:43.0 S?: Are misunderstanding their own desires...


0:29:46.1 S?: Yeah.


0:29:46.1 S?: And boundaries, I also think this might be just Ace incompetence where Ace is a spectrum like anything else, and there are people who are not interested in sex, but sometimes have it with partners consensually, there is just so much difference in desire, behavior, etcetera, and that's contextual within certain relationships as well, and so maybe it would be useful to... I don't know what you're talking about when you say you're having that conversation with people, but depending on what their prior experiences with a sexuality or Ace partners is, it might be useful just to say like... To be really clear about it, that means I'm interested in only non-sexual relationships, and just make sure that that's really out there, if that's how you feel, and gauge what their response is in case they're just not super aware of what you might mean by that.


0:30:45.9 S?: Yeah, yeah, we threw a lot at you Elle, [chuckle] so hopefully something was useful.


0:30:54.3 S?: Well, and I think also, not just Elle, but if you're looking at it from any relationship perspective, what we go into sometimes isn't always like our true selves are not coming to the forefront each time and the people we're with their true selves are not always... So it's that sort of meeting of things and figuring out, are we truly compatible or is this something that's a no-go? So absolutely. But now for something completely different. [chuckle] Because I've been waiting days for this. Roan, since you put this in our group chat. [chuckle] And brought this up, I think you should have to read the letter.




0:31:36.2 RP: That seems very fair. Okay.


0:31:37.9 S?: Alright, so this is our... So what would you do? Segment. And this was pulled from Reddit, is that right?


0:31:44.7 RP: I think so.


0:31:45.5 S?: Yeah, I think so.


0:31:46.9 RP: Okay. My 36 M, Girlfriend, 26, F, makes her vagina talk to me and will not stop.




0:31:58.2 RP: She's amazing.


0:32:00.3 S?: I love this woman. She's amazing. [chuckle] Sorry I was... First I was like which... Which is amazing.


0:32:06.2 S?: Which... Which she? [chuckle]


0:32:06.8 S?: Which she are we talking about? [chuckle]


0:32:08.9 RP: I think it goes either way, actually, given the next sentence.


0:32:11.2 S?: Yeah.


0:32:11.8 S?: Yeah.


0:32:12.4 RP: She is amazing, cute. Funny. Emotionally self-aware. Great communication skills, everything I've ever wanted. She is also quirky and dorky, which is new for me, but I enjoy it, after a lifetime of dating bad bitches, I will now forever endorse...




0:32:26.3 RP: Endorse dating dorks, except this one thing. Do you...


0:32:30.7 S?: Dun dun dun.


0:32:32.1 RP: I do think it's incredibly funny to manipulate her vagina and provide a voice for it.


0:32:38.2 S?: And she's right, that is funny.


0:32:38.9 RP: All while I was minding my own business...


0:32:40.9 S?: It is hysterical. [laughter]




0:32:44.4 RP: I'll be just minding my own business.


0:32:46.9 S?: Sorry.


0:32:47.3 RP: Playing video games or working on my laptop or whatever, and then boom, "hey handsome. How was your day? Are you hungry? I bought Cheez-its."




0:32:55.7 RP: There she is, dress hiked up, no panties, both hands gripping her vulva a foot from my head and making her lips talk to me in this horrible high-pitched Grover-esque muppet voice. Oh, excuse me. "Hey handsome, how was your day?"




0:33:08.3 RP: Are you hungry? I bought cheez-its.




0:33:12.1 S?: So not what Grover sounds like.


0:33:15.6 S?: My gosh.




0:33:16.4 RP: I know.


0:33:20.1 S?: My dude.


0:33:20.4 S?: So... So you know what? I find this just beyond hysterical...




0:33:25.6 S?: On so many ends...




0:33:27.5 S?: On so many levels for this and you know I am also married to a man, though, who does this with his stomach to horrify our children.


0:33:37.1 S?: It's cute with the stomach though.


0:33:37.8 S?: So... Yeah, he's like, "hello, how are you?" [laughter]




0:33:43.3 S?: And the children all scream and run away. So... That's just part of the fun. So totally something different from this. [laughter]


0:33:49.9 S?: Like I could understand it happening once in a moment...


0:33:54.1 S?: Yeah.


0:33:55.8 S?: But for it to just keep happening... It's like a bit... It's like a comic bit [chuckle] that just keeps recurring. I'm like...


0:34:01.8 TH: Like, does she never wear underwear specifically...




0:34:04.9 TH: So she can always make the vagina talk? [chuckle]


0:34:08.1 S?: Or does she sit there and she's in the kitchen and she's like, 'Oh my God.




0:34:12.5 S?: Lady's got something to talk about.'




0:34:16.8 S?: I wanna know. I have so many questions. Also, I'm putting this in a book, um... [chuckle]


0:34:21.7 S?: Can you imagine just like working and then like somebody's foot comes up by your head and then like [chuckle] just... I mean... I just... I just... I... Yeah...


0:34:31.0 S?: Yeah, so I think on a serious side of things, I would wonder if this is actually, I mean beyond just dork things, if this is a way to perhaps deal with being uncomfortable about something. So it's a way to distract, obviously, from a conversation. So if he's doing other stuff and maybe she feels ignored, this could be like her...


0:35:03.7 S?: Attention.


0:35:04.0 S?: Non-confrontational way of doing it. You know there are...


0:35:09.4 S?: Non-confrontational? [chuckle]




0:35:11.5 S?: Hey! [0:35:11.6] ____.




0:35:15.5 S?: But no... But sort of along the lines of when you are trying to have a serious discussion with somebody and they make a joke or they just quote movies back to you, or, you know, it's that... Yeah there's a whole level of folks that this is how they deal with any type of uncomfortable feeling is... It's a defense mechanism. So, I wonder on a serious note, if one, this is some kind of weird defense mechanism. Two, I wonder because he's 36 and she's 26, if this is a weird, like, age thing...


0:35:52.4 TH: But I will say...


0:35:53.0 S?: You know maybe she's just super immatu...


0:35:54.2 TH: I'm 25 and I have never...




0:35:57.3 TH: Made my vagina talk... I will go on record...




0:36:00.9 TH: I will swear on the holy book. [chuckle]




0:36:01.0 S?: You still have a year... You still have a year.




0:36:05.4 S?: It's that year between 25 and 26 it just...


0:36:07.4 S?: It turns you into a vagina talker.




0:36:11.7 S?: Um so... So I wonder if there is sort of a... You know... Mayve shes playing into the age difference a little bit there? I don't know, maybe she's just super crazily immature, because if it was the other way around...


0:36:24.1 S?: Well, he calls her a dork.


0:36:25.2 S?: Yeah.


0:36:25.5 S?: He calls her a...


0:36:26.6 S?: But I mean it was the other way around, and it's all of a sudden you're sitting there working and then all of a sudden somebody comes in and you know slaps their dick out...




0:36:36.2 S?: And starts talking to you. That would be an issue for me.




0:36:40.8 S?: I mean... This is... This is funny to me because it's not happening to me.




0:36:45.6 S?: And if it was happening... It would be an issue and I understand that. So those are kind of my questions. And then my third... I have a comment before I get to my third question, and my comment is, I so appreciate the fact that he said that she was gripping her vulva and not her vagina because I appreciate that you know the parts.


0:37:04.7 S?: Good for him.


0:37:04.9 S?: Thank you.


0:37:05.0 S?: Yeah I picked up on it.


0:37:06.0 S?: Thank you. But my third question is, What in the world has he done to like talk to her about this... This I would think, you know... Roan, I love you, but you wanna talk about everything, you know [chuckle] in depth for a long period of time. You know?


0:37:27.3 S?: He calls her quirky...


0:37:27.4 S?: But to me... Even to me, you gotta sit down and talk about this shit. [laughter]




0:37:31.2 S?: I mean, she clearly has a personality type that he hasn't dealt with before. He calls her quirky, he calls her dorky. You know, I'm picturing like a cosplayer... [chuckle] Like somebody who is really into... Things that he's... 'Cause he said he had bad bitches or whatever...




0:37:47.8 S?: I don't even wanna know what that means.


0:37:51.9 S?: She's not a bad bitch. She's a quirky, funny, cute, emotionally self-aware.


0:37:56.5 S?: Like Manic.


0:37:56.9 S?: Manic pixie, yeah exactly. Yeah, pixie dream girl. I think you might be on to something there Avery, there's some disconnect. He's saying she has great communication skills, which means they talk about stuff a lot. There's some disconnect there that they're not connecting on and she is maybe using this as a way to break the ice or get his attention, or something. There's something else going on here other than just her thinking it's funny to talk to him with her vagina. 'Cause he clearly is uncomfortable with it, and I'm pretty sure she's aware of that if she's that self-aware.

Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It0:38:33.4 S?: What is he saying when she does this? How is he... [chuckle]


0:38:35.1 S?: I would love to know, "Babe, could you... " [chuckle]


0:38:38.0 S?: I don't want any cheez-its from the vagina? [chuckle] I'm good without Grover's vagina.


0:38:44.5 TH: I don't understand, because if someone did that to me, especially someone you're in a relationship with. You're supposed to be able to say, "Hey, you're being a weirdo." Isn't that what makes the relationship... [chuckle] Why has he not said, "Please stop moving your vagina at me." [chuckle]


0:39:01.8 S?: Yeah, I don't really get this either because...


0:39:03.6 S?: "Please stop moving your vagina at me." [chuckle] I like that.


0:39:06.6 S?: Well, I understand people have different senses of humor 100%. But if you're in a long-term relationship with someone, you know when they don't think something is funny.


0:39:15.6 S?: Exactly.


0:39:15.9 S?: I guess unless they're really faking it, which is why I'm wondering if he like... Does he think that it's part of her personality and that he can't challenge it? To which I would say, "Sir, no one's vagina is part of their personality."




0:39:35.7 S?: I feel like there's a really simple answer, which Avery say it with me. [chuckle] Yeah, you already said it.




0:39:44.2 S?: "Hey, I don't know if this is a difference in senses of humor or whatever. But, I want to think about your private parts, genitals, whatever language you use. I wanna think about your genitals in a way that's like sexy and affirming and I want that to feel good for both of us. But, humor is not sexy to me in that way. I love your personality, but can we keep the humor out of the genital region? 'Cause that's not super sexy to me." And see what she says. If she's like, "No, it's hilarious." Then, you know it's a difference of opinion and then it's just a request. Just because two people don't think the same thing is funny, you are still allowed to say, "I would really love it if you would stop. It makes me uncomfortable, it changes the way I feel about you." And if she doesn't respect that, that's rude. That's a boundary that you can set, it's so reasonable. It's so reasonable and she can do that to other people if she thinks it's hilarious or she can do a bit in the mirror. Or maybe, I don't know, get on TikTok.




0:40:57.7 S?: That's an OnlyFans thing, the talking vagina would be an OnlyFans thing.


0:41:01.5 S?: Someone's gonna like it and think it's funny, I'm sure she's not alone. I personally would rather die, but that's fine. I also wonder if along the lines of what you were saying Avery, I wonder if she's pretty uncomfortable sexually and feels like she needs to make a joke out of her body and sex organs before someone else makes a joke? Before something uncomfortable happens and that it's an attempt to...


0:41:32.4 S?: To own the situation.


0:41:34.0 S?: Yeah, to own the situation. I feel like the time when people do something outrageous and funny is usually to draw attention to something that they're insecure about and they want to own that thing before someone else can take ownership over it. Maybe a conversation about, "How do you feel about your body? What do you think about our sex life, can we just talk about it a little bit? What's your sex life been before with other partners?" Those are really useful questions, because I think it could be like... This is not... I don't mean to speculate about this specific person, but general questions that I would have if my partner ever did this to me is, do you have some trauma around your vagina that makes you feel like the only way it can get attention is negative or as a joke that you tell? That is the first question that I would ask 'cause I think that...


0:42:26.1 S?: Did someone make fun of your vagina? That's what I would be like...


0:42:30.7 S?: I agree with that, but I do wonder why this is happening outside of situations where they're naked together. If he's sitting at a desk working and all of a sudden there's a vagina in his face, there's something else going on [chuckle] there. If it's just coming out of the blue like that, there's definitely a [chuckle] conversation that needs to be had.


0:42:49.8 S?: That's why I wonder if it's an attempt to de-sexualize the part of her that often is thought of as being closest related to the act of sex between men and women. To me, that says something about trauma whether it's physical, emotional. I know people who have been made fun of for their actual vaginas like the color, the shape, whatever. I think that there are racial dynamics to that, I think that there are gender dynamics to that, class dynamics, dynamics that have to do with what you do with your pubic hair. How you groom yourself, what your standard practice is and it's something that doesn't get talked about a lot I don't think. But like I totally know people who have suffered emotional trauma around that part of their body, and I do wonder about that. That's just a conversation that you should probably try to have and if it's like trauma trauma, then of course you wanna be very...


0:43:50.7 S?: Sensitive.


0:43:52.5 S?: Say, "I am here to talk about that whenever you want," don't like barrage her with questions and demand an accounting. But I think that although it seems like a funny, awkward, uncomfortable thing, it definitely seems like it might signal something that's a little bit deeper, more uncomfortable, and something that probably if you had that conversation would positively affect both this issue and deepen the intimacy in your relationship in general. Because if there is stuff there that's been unpacked and it's coming out in this rather absurdist way, then that to me is a conversation that has to be had.


0:44:27.7 S?: I wonder what the comments... Did he do an update? Do you know if he did an update?


0:44:32.7 S?: Oh I haven't looked. Yeah, because it was just the picture, so I'm not sure.


0:44:36.8 S?: I'm actually encouraged that he... He doesn't... He's not making fun of her. He's not...


0:44:40.9 S?: No, he's concerned.


0:44:41.7 S?: Genuinely looking for... Yeah, he's concerned and he's genuinely looking for advice.


0:44:44.6 S?: He's like "what the hell do I do here?"


0:44:45.8 S?: Yeah.


0:44:46.2 S?: Well, and I think also though, I mean you said it great, where you're talking about how this is a situation to absurd levels. And, you know, there are a lot of ways in which people who are in a couple or bigger. You know, people who are in relationships, how there are boundaries that sometimes get crossed and at first people aren't sure. "Well, is that really gonna bother me?" or "You know what, that bothered me, but it happened that once, so I'm not gonna worry about it so much." And, like for an example, you might have somebody that is in a relationship with somebody else and one of the people smacks the other one on the ass every time I pass them. Right? And in some situations that may be okay.


0:45:37.4 S?: Other situations, that may be not. You know, they may not like it, but it may be a situation where, "You know what? He tapped me on the ass and I kinda liked it. I was okay with it. But not really so much." And then it keeps happening and it bothers and it bothers and it bothers. And you have to be able to come up to a person and say, "Hey, that thing you did, it was kind of funny the first time, or I kinda liked it the first time, or the first time it was okay. But that has since changed."


0:46:04.3 S?: And I think that sometimes can be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but it needs to be had and we talk about it a lot, about how relationships change, about how people change within relationships. And as... I think as people become more comfortable with each other, they are more likely to be able to feel comfortable saying those types of things. And I think that is... When somebody comes to you with that type of situation, you can't be defensive and be like, "But we've always done it, and you've always liked it. You thought it was hilarious," you know.


0:46:35.6 S?: You have to come at that with the perspective of, "Okay, somebody is coming to me in an emotionally vulnerable way, and I have to accept it in an emotionally vulnerable way." And that can be hard, but it can happen. So this is absurd, but I'm sure we all have situations in relationships where we've been in... Where somebody does something or maybe they say the same stupid joke every time when it's "Pass the salt," or whatever it may be, where you're like, "This is the line and you went way over here." [laughter] You know, it's just cumulative effect, so yeah.


0:47:11.8 S?: Yeah.


0:47:12.3 S?: And generally speaking, I think a great thing to keep in mind if you do have this conversation is make it about you and not about her. So instead of saying, "You do this thing that I hate," you can just say, "I love how funny our... Like how much humor is in our relationship, but I don't find x, y or z funny, attractive, blah, blah, blah," and so it doesn't have to be an what you're stating.


0:47:36.9 S?: Yeah. "It makes me uncomfortable." Just say, "It makes me uncomfortable."


0:47:40.2 S?: Yep. Also, I just like... As a general rule, jokes are never funny more than once. Are they? [laughter]


0:47:51.4 S?: Well some of them, you have those inside jokes.


0:47:51.6 S?: That's a lot. It's a running joke. Oh, that's pretty good.


0:47:57.0 S?: Yeah, they can be good, but yeah.


0:48:00.9 TH: I have this friend who like every day for a year, whenever we saw him, we'd be like... We would pretend it was his birthday because he hated it. And I'm confident that it was funny every time. [laughter]


0:48:11.9 S?: Fair. I stand corrected. Well yeah, because I'm never gonna listen to Grover the same again.


0:48:19.4 S?: I know. This was so traumatizing.


0:48:20.1 S?: I'm glad my kids are too old for Grover because, yeah. [laughter] Although Super Grover... Here's my question. Is it Super Grover or regular Grover, that's what I really want to know.


0:48:30.6 S?: Super Grover?


0:48:31.5 S?: Super Grover?


0:48:32.4 S?: Super Grover. I think it's Super Grover.


0:48:35.2 S?: Super Grover?


0:48:36.0 S?: Yes. Do you not know Super Grover? Oh my God!


0:48:38.5 S?: I don't have children. I don't know.


0:48:40.6 S?: A little cap thing and he's got a cape and he's "Super Grover."


0:48:45.4 S?: Okay.


0:48:45.7 S?: Talia, do you know Grover... Who Grover is?


0:48:48.9 TH: I know who Grover is. I was unaware of the existence of Super Grover.


0:48:53.1 S?: Alright. So I know what picture I'm gonna go find and spam in our group chat after this. So yeah, you guys are all gonna meet Super Grover, so welcome. Thank you so much for being with us. We loved having you so very much. Please tell folks again where they can find you and you know...


0:49:14.5 S?: What's coming up for you. What's next.


0:49:16.5 S?: Yeah, all the good stuff. Tell us.


0:49:18.6 S?: Or if you've developed any strange hobbies during the pandemic is a question that I'm very interested in. [laughter]


0:49:24.8 S?: Oh my God, yes.


0:49:26.3 TH: Well, thank you for having me, first of all. I've had a great time even discussing talking vaginas, which I did not think I was going to be able to cope with. [laughter] People can find me on my website. Talia Hibbert dot com, or @TaliaHibbert on twitter and Instagram. And my number one pandemic hobby, I think, has been plants which I used to be into, but then the pandemic happened and I was like "Oh. I need more."


0:49:55.5 S?: Bring the outside in.


0:49:58.8 S?: Yes.


0:50:00.4 TH: Part of my living room floor now is literally just... There's just plants all over the floor.


0:50:03.7 S?: Wow.


0:50:04.0 TH: So I feel like I have a problem. [laughter]


0:50:06.5 S?: I also developed this problem with plants a couple years ago and... Like before the pandemic so I have no excuse. And it's so real. Do you... Do you ever do... I don't know if this is like a word outside of social media, but prop lifting? It's like shoplifting to propagate. It's not actual shoplifting.


0:50:27.4 TH: Oh. Where you take little succulent bits and stuff.


0:50:30.0 S?: Yeah.


0:50:30.9 TH: I can neither confirm nor deny.




0:50:35.4 S?: It is my favorite thing to do, and has been for years in the summer when there was...


0:50:41.4 TH: Wait, wait. Old lady, you've gotta translate for me. What is this?


0:50:46.0 S?: Do you know that succulents self-propagate so that if you tear a little leaf off a succulent, it will grow a new plant?


0:50:56.3 S?: Okay, I will take your word for it. [chuckle]


0:50:58.7 S?: It's propagating, propagating a plant. If you have a little bloop that falls off your succulent, you can just leave it and it'll grow these adorable little pink or white whiskers, and then it will bloop out a version of itself. It self-replicates. It's fucking amazing nature, I don't even understand it. It's...


0:51:15.5 S?: That is so cool.


0:51:16.5 S?: But, the leaves fall off all the time in...


0:51:21.2 TH: Garden centers and stuff.


0:51:22.5 S?: Places that sell plants. Yeah, they bump each other, or the plants are close together, or they just fall off, whatever. And if you wanted to, you could go to any plant store or nursery, and you can pick up the fallen succulent leaves, and you can take them home and you can propagate them yourself and grow all new succulents.


0:51:45.9 S?: What is the ethical position?


0:51:48.3 S?: Yeah, I have a very strong feeling...


0:51:51.3 S?: Well I think they're just gonna get thrown away, so I think it's all good.


0:51:53.8 S?: Yeah, they do. They get swept up and thrown away.


0:51:55.7 S?: Yeah.


0:51:56.1 S?: I believe very strongly that this is 100% an okay thing to do, and that those things would die otherwise, and you're rescuing them and turning them into something that is amazing, and beautiful, and helps our air, and is great. I feel not one ounce of guilt.


0:52:13.5 S?: Aww.


0:52:13.7 S?: No, that's amazing. That, I think is totally, totally cool, unlike the thing that this one woman does it in my neighborhood, which is go flower shopping.




0:52:23.9 S?: There's all this video of her. She just walks around with a cart and she just scoops it up out of your planter or your flower pot... She just, yeah.


0:52:33.0 S?: She's not taking a bloom here and a bloom there, she's taking the whole plant?


0:52:36.3 S?: "Oh, I like that plant," she just scoops the plant right up. Yeah, it was an epidemic last summer or last year...


0:52:42.4 S?: Oh my god.


0:52:42.7 S?: When everyone was like, yeah.


0:52:43.6 S?: Know what you need to get? An air horn, and just hang out at your window. And when she comes back...


0:52:48.9 S?: Well, she does it late at night. She does it overnight.


0:52:51.5 TH: She's going out like under the cover of darkness to steal plants [chuckle]?


0:52:54.3 S?: She's sneaking? Oh my god you guys, again, something that needs to be in a book.




0:53:00.7 S?: That's hilarious. Oh that is hilarious.


0:53:02.8 S?: Can you leave her a note on a rock that says, "Plants are the purest thing in our world, and you are ruining my life"? Just write it on a rock, put it in the flowers.


0:53:14.1 S?: I love that that's where Roan went with it. My thought was, yeah, get the rock and say, "You are next." [laughter] Roan's so much nicer.




0:53:24.0 S?: Someone did leave her a note like, "I have to pay for these, these are not free."


0:53:28.9 S?: No.


0:53:29.3 S?: How horrible.


0:53:30.6 S?: That's outrageous.


0:53:32.4 S?: Yeah.


0:53:32.8 S?: That is outrageous.


0:53:35.9 S?: See?


0:53:36.2 S?: And yet again, we went some...


0:53:38.8 S?: Yeah, no kidding.


0:53:40.2 S?: And yet again, we've gone some places that we never expected to go. Thank for everyone who steals plants.


0:53:50.6 S?: You're going to hell.




0:53:52.5 S?: The proplifting is cool though.


0:53:54.6 S?: Yeah it is.


0:53:54.6 S?: But don't steal whole plants like Xio's neighbour.


0:53:57.4 S?: Yeah, yeah, yeah, don't steal.


0:53:58.6 S?: Don't steal.


0:54:00.7 S?: Save don't steal.


0:54:02.1 S?: Okay.


0:54:02.6 S?: Thank you so much everybody, Go read Talia's books.


0:54:05.2 S?: Yes, read everything.


0:54:05.9 S?: Yeah she's so fucking amazing.


0:54:06.9 S?: I got so worried about saying your name again because I always fuck it up.




0:54:12.2 S?: Thank you so much for coming, we loved having you.


0:54:16.5 TH: Thank you, I had a great time with it. It was so much fun [chuckle]


0:54:27.1 S?: This week's playlist, obviously was heavily influenced by the second of our discussions. It is entitled, "The Vagina Chronicles" because how could I not? And it features songs like The Thong Song from Sisqo, because why not?


0:54:44.1 S?: Oh my god.


0:54:44.9 S?: Oh my god.


0:54:45.7 S?: And Pynk from Janelle Monae with Grimes, which if you haven't seen that video, she's basically wearing a giant vagina costume and her dancers, and they're all doing vaginal moves [chuckle] or something. I don't know how to describe it. But I've got "Call Me" from Blondie, I've got some Troye Sivan. Yeah, it's a fun playlist.


0:55:04.2 S?: You're not doing "Whack"?


0:55:06.2 S?: Well, of course that's on there too.




0:55:08.6 S?: I was gonna say, "Come on now."


0:55:10.5 S?: Yeah, that's on there too. Yeah, but yeah, let me know what you think.


0:55:14.7 S?: Vinyl?


0:55:15.0 S?: The vinyls we used already.


0:55:16.4 S?: Oh.


0:55:16.4 S?: I really wanted to put that in there.


0:55:17.9 S?: My gosh.


0:55:18.2 S?: And there's another song that I couldn't think of. I used "She Bop", I used the vinyls on that one. So yeah, I had to. But WAP, that was given, but the Thong Song, I thought was fun 'cause I just heard a Norwegian cover of that not too long ago.


0:55:32.0 S?: You put that on too?


0:55:33.2 S?: Yeah, no kidding.


0:55:33.5 S?: I couldn't find it on Spotify, 'cause some things are geo-blocked.


0:55:38.7 S?: Oh.


0:55:38.9 S?: If I can find a YouTube link or something, I'll drop it, on our YouTube video for it. Anyway, fun stuff.


0:55:46.5 S?: Yay.


0:55:46.5 S?: Well I just need everyone to know who is not watching that I have a cat in my lap right now, she's very cute. I was also trying to think of a recipe that would be appropriately vaginal, and I'm so sorry to announce that I came up short. All the things that I could think about were either insulting or complicated enough that I didn't have time this week to work out a recipe. I'll just keep thinking about it, and when you least expect it, I'll drop something super vaginal on you. But today's recipe is [chuckle], Avery's horrified by me.


0:56:19.1 S?: "I'm gonna drop some super vaginal on you." [chuckle]


0:56:23.5 S?: You never know.


0:56:25.3 S?: When you least expect it.


0:56:26.6 S?: When you least expect it, my vagina will tell you a recipe. But anyway, today's recipe is a delicious banana bread recipe.


0:56:36.3 S?: Ooh.


0:56:36.5 S?: Because what do you want for breakfast in the summer? Fruit, but sometimes you want bread too, and this is breadfruit.


0:56:45.6 S?: I love that.


0:56:45.8 S?: No, not breadfruit, fruit bread.


0:56:47.5 S?: Fruit bread.


0:56:48.3 S?: Slightly different.


0:56:49.6 S?: Anyway, it's from Deb Perelman, my fave at Smitten kitchen. And I think she calls it, "towering banana bread," or something, which I find delightful because it's just so architectural. But it's really good, banana bread is 99% mediocre. You don't turn it down, but it's not great, you're just like, "Yeah, it's banana bread." This banana is great. You can add nuts to it or not as you like, but I think that the real key here is the sheer amount of banana, so that it's very moist.


0:57:23.6 S?: You finish it with a cinnamon sugar sprinkle on top so when you make it, it turns into this sort of like crispy crust, so that at top you have a little crunch. I like to put so much cinnamon in mine that you think, Well, gosh, Roan that's 17 times too much cinnamon, but it's not. A little clove and nutmeg in there, you could do a little cayenne if you like a kick. Anyway, it's delicious, and as usual, it is something that I just triple the vanilla and the spices in, but Deb Perelman, you can't go wrong.


0:57:56.1 S?: Banana bread is my specialty, I make a lot of banana bread in different kinds. I have a coffee, chocolate one, I have a bourbon one. I do use a lot of bananas. The more bananas... They always say like use two bananas, I'm like, pfft. And like use two bananas and a pound of butter, I'm like, No, that's not how I make... That sounds delicious.


0:58:20.3 S?: So good and I can't wait to try all of your variations on it.


0:58:24.2 S?: Yes, I will have to make some.


0:58:26.4 S?: I think banana bread is kind of appropriate 'cause bananas, male members so there we go. You just did a little opposite to our talking vagina. So for the recommendation side of things, I just this morning, because I have become the world's slowest reader, finished reading Neon Gods by Katee Roberts. I absolutely fucking loved it. I have always liked Katee's books. This book was even better than her normal stuff, it is a sexy contemporary retelling of Hades and Persephone, which I just got done doing the whole mythos and heroes audio books and... Why can't I think of his name right now? You guys know who I'm talking about. He wrote those... Hold on, give me one second, 'cause it's really good, so I will make that one of my recommendations.


0:59:27.8 S?: Neon Gods though, like Hades...


0:59:30.9 S?: Stephen Fry.


0:59:32.7 S?: Oh yeah, yeah yeah.


0:59:34.7 S?: Stephen Fry. So yeah I went through all of those. But Neon Gods, Hades and Persephone, it's super sexy, it's also got so much heart in it. Her dialogue for always is good, and I'm sorry, but she writes a fabulous, fabulous bad guy who's absolutely cinnamony roll on the inside, like nobody else's business.


1:00:01.7 S?: He is... I wasn't expecting him, I wasn't expecting him.


1:00:04.9 S?: He's all soft. I loved it. Neon Gods, Katee Robert. You can get it digital print and audio, I believe.


1:00:22.1 RP: Yes, and this is just a reminder that all of our books that we recommend are on a Bookshop list. If you go to my, Roan Parrish's page on Bookshop, we have all of the books we've recommended that you can order in paperback and Bookshop lets you choose a local bookstore that you can donate a portion or that gets a portion of the money that you spend buying books. Which is awesome.


1:00:46.9 S?: Yaay.


1:00:47.8 S?: They're all there.


1:00:49.8 S?: Nice.


1:00:51.8 S?: So what are you guys recommending this week?


1:00:55.9 S?: I was just talking to you guys, I am in this sort of spiral where every show that I get into gets cancelled, so like three shows that I've been really into lately have gotten cancelled after the first or second season. They cancelled Debris, which is like an alien contact, space debris thing, it's network television too, so I'm not that surprised about that one 'cause I was a little bit complicated for them. But they also cancelled Prodigal Son, which is...


1:01:24.4 S?: I liked that.


1:01:25.5 S?: I loved Prodigal Son and I hope... I know there's a huge campaign to get it picked up by Netflix or someone, I mean it's got such a fantastic cast and John Noble just joined the cast so like c'mon. But the one that I'm gonna talk about this week is Jupiter's Legacy, which I didn't even watch until a week ago because it came out, I think in May on Netflix. It's based on a comic book series by Mark Millar and Frank Quietly.


1:01:51.4 S?: Oh yeah, it's got the one dude in it.


1:01:54.6 S?: Josh Duhamel?


1:01:55.8 S?: Thank you.


1:01:56.7 S?: Who I'm sorry to say I did not get the fascination with Josh Duhamel, he's in all these different things, and I'm like, "But Timothy Olyphant is right there," Why does he keep getting these roles?


1:02:07.1 S?: He's like Timothy Olyphant light.


1:02:09.1 S?: He is light, light. Yeah but he really does come into his own in this role as the main hero Sheldon. And it starts off a little bit slowly because you're like, Okay... I watched The Boys, which is on Amazon, which is like a send-up of superheroes, I'm expecting a little bit of that with this, and there is some of that, but this is almost if the Incredibles was made into a live action drama. So you've got this family of superheroes, there's all this tension between them, you have the one kid who's just a complete screw up, she's into drugs and she's a model and that sort of stuff.


1:02:46.2 S?: And then you have the one kid who wants to be dad, is trying so hard to impress the dad and stuff, and there's all this political stuff and there's infighting and everything, but it's such a great premise. And they really went to a place I didn't expect. And then I find out that the whole thing got nixed after the first season, and it was because it was partially because of the shut down, but also there was like turnover and there was Netflix didn't wanna give it money and all kinds of stuff was happening.


1:03:17.2 S?: But I think the first season, even though it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger is worth watching because the story is really strong, the characterization is really strong, and it's not where you think it's gonna... It doesn't go where you think it's gonna go. And I love anything that can take an old trope like that and sort of turn it on its ear, I think it's worth watching, so give it a shot. Hopefully, maybe somebody will pick it up again or they'll do a two-hour movie or something, 'cause it does deserve to be carried on, but it's worth watching, the one season.


1:03:49.3 S?: My recommendation for the day is the new Conjuring movie. Conjuring...


1:03:54.0 S?: Yes, I wanna see that.


1:03:57.8 S?: I wanna see that so bad. I still haven't watched it.


1:03:58.3 S?: I loved that series so much.


1:04:00.4 S?: Yeah, I think the series is really interesting. I do mix up The Conjuring and the insidious movies because they're both James Wan and they both have Patrick Wilson, and I like them both. But okay, so the Conjuring series, if you don't know, is based on the real life exploits of this couple that for like, their entire adult lives basically dedicated their lives to helping people who needed exorcisms, banishings, had cursed objects, etcetera. They were religious, so they were affiliated with the church and would sometimes work on the behalf of the church. But their entire life's work was to try to help people with these supernatural issues.


1:04:46.5 S?: Delightful. Okay, so the third in the conjuring, the reason that I recommend it so specifically on this podcast is that I have had several conversations recently, and I know there have been conversations ongoing in romance landia that people were interested if you could have romance horror as a genre. Like not romantic suspense, not horror that has romantic characters and everyone dies, but something that is simultaneously a horror and a romance. I asserted that I thought you absolutely can, but I didn't have any examples off the top of my head.


1:05:21.0 S?: Then the other day, I watched The Conjuring 3, which I think is called "The devil made me do it." It is 100% both horror and a romance, not only one romance, but two romances in this movie, one is the couple who are doing the ghost hunting, but it's very much about their relationship and about their romance as it is tested by the situation, but also the couple where one of them is the one that the devil is making them do stuff, they have their own romance, and both of them have HEAs, both of them are developed throughout the core, they are both couples when it starts, but they're like their relationship is the hinge of the movies, and there's this kind of resonance between the two couples where you can tell that the couple that's trying to help, partly wanna help because they see themselves reflected in this other couple. It's a really good movie.


1:06:23.4 S?: It is a horror movie so if that's not your jam, it is spooky, but it's so worth watching, I think if you like horror, and even if you didn't see the other two conjuring movies, I don't think that you have to, to appreciate this one. And I submit it with all sincerity as 100% a hybrid horror romance. Highly recommend.


1:06:46.5 S?: Awesome. I think that that's one franchise that gets better as it goes. 'Cause I like the first one, I love the second one, and I can't wait to see the third. So that's encouraging.


1:06:54.6 S?: Yeah, and I would say if you are a horror light watcher, these movies actually fit in well with that because they're not like crazy gory.


1:07:03.1 S?: They're more psychological thriller than horror.


1:07:07.5 S?: Yeah, than... But they are still scary. They make you jump. There'll be stuff that's really supernatural and all of that. I also wanted to say, Carly Lane wrote an article, I went and I looked it up, it's on Collider, and I don't know if you've seen this, but you will love it. It is called, Why the romance part of The Conjuring franchise is it's best secret ingredient.


1:07:30.6 S?: Oh wow.


1:07:31.0 S?: Amazing. Oh, well, I will read that immediately. I do agree with its premise. I definitely also agree that the Conjuring series could be kind of horror light, although I will say that it has jump scares, and so I know that that's something that sometimes... I think that they're not super scary, they're more atmospheric, but I do think that there are some people who like the difference between what they can and can't watch is if something is startling.


1:08:00.0 S?: The chair in the second one was the moment where I was like, Okay I need to pause.




1:08:00.4 S?: Yeah.


1:08:04.5 S?: And that's the thing I've been waiting to watch this because I wanna watch it, not... On my phone in the dark while I'm sitting in bed waiting to, it's too early for me to fall asleep and... Yeah, 'cause if I need to leave the light on, I don't wanna have to get out of bed to do it.


1:08:21.3 S?: I'll watch it in the morning. I'll watch them, at 9 o'clock in the morning, so that the rest of the day... 'Cause I made the mistake of watching something at night, and it wasn't even particularly scary, but your subconscious absorbs things, so my dreams were really disturbing, but... So now, I watch like 10 in the morning and get a cup of tea, I'm having breakfast or whatever.


1:08:46.0 S?: I think that's adaptive.


1:08:51.1 S?: I have horrible nightmares often, even when what I watched right before bed was Dumbo or something. I don't know why I said Dumbo, I haven't seen that since I was like five. But yeah, so I don't bother but...


1:09:03.4 S?: There are disturbing things in Dumbo. Getting stolen away from your mom is really... That's traumatizing, there is some traumatizing shit in those early Disney movies.


1:09:16.8 S?: Even like, was it the ad, the commercials they ran for the very first Paranormal Activity, not even the film, I've never seen the films, I can't watch them because the ad disturbed me so much.


1:09:27.1 S?: Very scary.


1:09:27.5 S?: Like seriously, and it's not even like... It's just a disturbing the whole thing of being asleep and having things move around you and that... Anything that has to do with that, like I can't do.


1:09:40.3 AF: Well hey thank you guys so much for joining us on another episode of Dear Romance Writer. I am Avery Flynn.


1:09:48.0 XA: I am Xio Axelrod.


1:09:50.9 RP: And I am Roan Parrish.


1:09:52.6 AF: And we loved having you. Please send in your letters, you can go to Dear Romance to send in your letter. Please subscribe, you can watch on YouTube as well, tell your friends, tell your enemies, and...


1:10:04.3 S?: Tell your lovers.


1:10:06.7 AF: We welcome everyone.


1:10:08.7 S?: Tell your lovers.


1:10:09.0 AF: Alright thank you guys so much.


1:10:10.8 S?: See you next time.


1:10:10.9 AF: Have a great rest of your day. Bye.


1:10:14.7 S?: Thank you so much for subscribing to Dear Romance Writer. Remember to keep sending in those letters at We can't wait to tell you what to do. Dear Romance Writer is part of the frolic Podcast Network. Find more podcasts you'll love

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