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0:00:00.9 Speaker 1: Welcome to Dear Romance Writer, your home for the questionable advice for the bewildered and be-funneled. Random pop culture recommendations and conversations about eww, feelings. Be sure to send in your letters seeking advice on our anonymous form at


0:00:20.7 Speaker 2: 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 S1: 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, on to this week's show.




0:01:23.1 S3: Hey everybody, thank you so much for joining us for this episode of Dear Romance Author. We are super excited. We have our very first ever guest.


0:01:33.8 S4: Yey.


0:01:35.3 S3: Please welcome the fabulous Becky Furier. Becky is with Buzzing About Romance Podcast, as well as Bookcase and Coffee Blog. Becky, please tell us a little bit about podcast, a little bit blog, a little bit about you, and...


0:01:51.3 S5: Sure, yeah.


0:01:52.4 S4: How you do it all.




0:01:52.8 S3: Yeah right.


0:01:55.8 S4: How do you do it all?


0:01:55.8 S5: Thank you guys so much for having me. I was so excited to be invited, I was like "Look at... " [chuckle] Actually, so the podcast Buzzing About Romance started a couple of years ago. I started picking up formatting jobs in the publishing industry, just freelancing, formatting and copy editing. And I worked with an editor and she's like, "You have such clear opinions about romance, you should be writing a blog." And I'm like, "Oh, okay."


0:02:21.3 S5: And I kinda poo-pooed it for a while, and this idea of a podcast had been in the back of my head for a while, like I love romance and I want everyone to read it, and I'm tired of being the red-headed stepchild of the literary world, and I think there's value in it, and I've been reading it since I was 14, and I have a deep connection to it. My mom is friends with Jude Deveraux, they went to college together. So I've been reading it since I was 14. So that's how it all came out. It was organic and COVID kinda provided the perfect opportunity for me to start the podcast 'cause we were home and didn't have anywhere to go. So I just read romance and wanna build up the genre and let everyone know how amazing it is.


0:03:03.4 S3: That's awesome.


0:03:04.7 S4: We like that.


0:03:05.9 S5: That's me, that's it. [chuckle]


0:03:08.4 S3: Alright, so you have to tell us a little bit about the podcast though. Where can people find it and what is it that you guys do on Buzzing About Romance?


0:03:16.6 S5: So we have a couple of different formats. You can find us... We have a YouTube channel in which we do happy hour releases, those are live release parties. One of the bad things that's happened with COVID is authors can't really get out and interact with their fans right now and their readers. So we started the YouTube channel...


0:03:34.8 S3: You realize depending on who the author is, that could be a good or bad thing.




0:03:41.0 S5: That's true, some, they're wild. We just have cocktails and celebrate their latest release, let people get to know them. And then you can find the podcast wherever you find your podcasts. We have a public RSS feed, so you can download us on our website,, or find us on iTunes, Google, Spotify, you can ask your Alexa to play Buzzing About Romance and she'll play our episodes.


0:04:07.4 S3: That's so cool.


0:04:08.4 S5: We're so excited. I just love it. Some of our episodes we talk to authors and they come on and sometimes it's topic-related. Avery was a guest of ours for Valentine's Day, and we just talked about the power of romance and why we write and read romance. And then during the week, we dropped two shorter 20-minute episodes that we call our quick shots of romance. And they're review episodes, we pick a book and either myself and my co-host, or we rotate in and out of our top tier Patreon members, they come on and read the book with us and then give us...


0:04:44.2 S3: Oh, that's a great idea.


0:04:45.1 S5: Yeah, just 'cause not every genre and every sub genre is for every person. So I'm not a huge romantic suspense person. I'll read it, I have specific authors that I like, but in general, it's not go to for me versus if you give me a rom-com, I'm gonna read a rom-com. So a couple of our patrons are huge into reverse harems and they really love the romantic suspense or the shifter romances, so we just try to mix it up and bring in more variety.


0:05:13.4 S3: That's so cool.


0:05:14.1 S4: Oh, I love it. Well, thank you so much for being here. As we like to say, we are here to offer questionable advice, so welcome to give your questionable advice on our letter that we've got in this episode is from Kay. And here's what K says. "I am a gay woman, rapidly approaching my 30th birthday. I grew up in a conservative family in the South and married a man immediately after finishing undergrad. In my mid-20s, that life became unbearable and I came out and got divorced. Now, I have a life I love, but I do wanna share it with someone. Most people I know from childhood are married with kids now and I, well, I'm single with two big unruly dogs and a garden." [chuckle]


0:06:01.1 S4: I love this person already. "About two years ago, I met a woman who I really thought would be the love of my life only to get dumped out of the blue."


0:06:09.9 S?: Heartache.


0:06:12.4 S4: I know. "So all this context brings me to my question. How do I navigate dating? I feel like I'm maybe too picky or maybe two set in my ways. I've met a few wonderful women who are beautiful and smart, but I just didn't feel a spark. I want to feel crazy about someone again, but I also don't want to spend too much of my time waiting around for the perfect person. As a big romance fan, I wonder if I simply have an overly romanticized view of love."


0:06:43.1 S3: Oh Kay.


0:06:45.4 S4: Oh Kay. [laughter] Who sent this?


0:06:47.4 S3: I don't know, all of us are like, "Okay, we love you."


0:06:49.3 S?: Kay sounds awesome.


0:06:51.5 S?: Yeah, Kay does sound awesome. So who wants to take first crack at Kay? I feel like we're doing men in black now by the way.


0:07:00.5 S?: I've been out of the dating field for so long but I feel like Kay has a really good sense of self, except for in this one area. And it's like she doesn't know if her expectations are too large, which I'm gonna say no to that. [chuckle] 'Cause you know what you want. There's nothing wrong with knowing what you want and waiting for it, but I also understand that feeling of you want it like right now. You wanna meet that person right now but dating, it's been so long. I don't even remember what dating feels like. [laughter]


0:07:27.2 S?: Well, I would say as someone who was single for a super, super, super long time, and also always was like... I mean, I didn't question if my standards were so high, I was just like, "Obviously, I'm gonna be alone forever because everyone sucks and I will never meet anyone... "


0:07:44.4 S?: People are the worst.


0:07:45.3 S?: And willing to sacrifice a single moment of my alone time to be with. And then as someone who's not...


0:07:50.5 S?: You're such an extrovert, Roan. You're such an extrovert.


0:07:54.5 S?: Yeah, well, now I'm dating someone totally fucking amazing. So I strongly identify with that feeling and also I think that for me, the key to this letter is the sentence, "I wanna feel crazy about someone again but I also don't wanna spend too much time waiting around." And I think it's the sense that you let a writer feel like when you're not with someone, you're waiting around, that is the real problem. Because if what you feel like is that when you're alone, you're just waiting, then it's this sense of my life only begins when I have someone who feels perfect to share it with. And that's too much pressure to put on yourself or any one person.


0:08:40.1 S?: Any potential person, yeah.


0:08:41.7 S?: Yeah, even if it's someone who's gorgeous and smart and amazing and that's the love of your life, they still shouldn't be the thing that keeps you from feeling like your life is starting. Your life should be starting now, it should already be going on. And I feel like maybe what my biggest advice would be is for us to talk about how you can cultivate a life that is what you want now with what you have, but also leaves you open enough to recognize that person when she comes along. As opposed to feeling like everything has to be on pause until she walks through the door.


0:09:20.1 S?: Yeah, I don't think that there...


0:09:23.3 S?: Becky what would you say?


0:09:25.5 S5: I don't think that there's a way to find your perfect happily ever after. I think it's more about what Roan had said, building that life, you know, finding those friends, finding those connections, finding your tribe and your people. The line in it that bugged me a little bit, not bugged me, but just put up my defenses a little bit is that reading romance creates these too high of standards for people and that, I don't think so. I think that romance gives us a way to create standards in friendships, in connections, in intimacy. So she has a lot of confidence and Kay sounds like a great person. I think it's a matter of now, not so much focusing on that ultimate relationship, but building community and tribe, because you don't know where you're gonna find...


0:10:21.6 S?: It's the connections, right? It's the connections. And you don't know which connection is gonna spark off into something else. So I totally agree, building those connections. And I think romance shows you what's...


0:10:32.5 S?: And I think... Oh, go ahead.


0:10:33.4 S?: I was just gonna say, I think romance shows us what's possible not what's impossible, unless you're looking for a Duke or something. [chuckle]


0:10:41.9 S?: Or a Duchess.


0:10:45.5 S?: They're still there but I don't think I'll...


0:10:46.5 S?: Hey, there is still Dukes and Duchesses available, they just have really bad teeth. That's the difference. [chuckle] But I think there were two parts of this letter that... Well, three parts that really stuck out for me. The biggest thing is Kay sounds amazing. And so, Kay if you don't realize how amazing you are, I think you really need to sit down with yourself and have a conversation, 'cause you're amazing. So that's number one. The second thing that really stuck out to me was the line about the fact that she starts right off with, "Hey, I am approaching my 30th birthday." And I think as a society, we put a lot of pressure on folks to have all of their shit together by 30.


0:11:28.5 S?: Sounds like a deadline.


0:11:30.8 S?: You are supposed to have figured out exactly your path in life. You are supposed to know exactly who you're supposed to be with, you're supposed to have your living situation figured out.


0:11:40.7 S?: Kids.


0:11:41.5 S?: Kids, if you're gonna do kids. All of those things as a society, we put a lot of pressure on the number 30. I don't know why, but we do. And so for that to jump out first thing, I think what is happening is Kay is feeling both internal and external pressure to have her shit together and having your romantic shit together is also part of that because of the ingrained 30th birthday message, right? And then you read the rest of the letter and you're realizing this is somebody who's giving herself a second chance at life. She is probably for one of the first times really living her truth, which is brave as fuck. And it is also...


0:12:35.6 S?: That is a start over. That is a do-over. So if you wanna say, "I have to have my shit together by my 30th birthday." And all this stuff, if you're turning 30 now and you just re-started in your mid-20s, then you've got 25 years to go. [laughter] If you wanna pay attention to a 30 year clock. So I think be careful of letting what really is just a number picked out of the air become another pressure for you. Because personally, and at least from talking to other folks, what I see is that finding love, finding that person is like finding your keys when they're lost.


0:13:18.5 S?: The harder you look, the less likely you are to see them just right there on the counter top in front of your face, or it's me with my phone, the whole family makes fun of me because I leave my phone everywhere and we don't have a landline, so I'm always like, where is my phone? Where's my phone? But yeah, so the less pressure that you place on yourself because of the 30th birthday, and because you are now so focused on trying to find something to meet this external deadline that comes out of completely randomly arbitrary, this arbitrary deadline.


0:13:58.5 S?: The harder it is to see that and to be open to those things, so there's that. And then the last thing that really stuck out was the same thing that Becky talked about, and that was, do I have an over-romanticized version of love and my reaction to that was, don't Gaslight yourself. You know what you want, you know what you want, you know what you need. You're not... You've got life experience behind you, and you need to take that and grab that, so that's not you being overly romanticized about love, that is you being somebody who knows what the fuck they want.


0:14:39.6 S?: And that's so ahead of the game because so many people don't know what they want... Yeah.


0:14:47.1 S?: I agree Avery too with that idea about the arbitrary deadline, and it sounds like, as you said, because this letter writer is starting over kind of like a new period of her life that she wants to make up for lost time, which I really understand, and I also wonder if, I don't know, something that I've noticed about queer people who come out a little bit later in life, later in life meaning not as a teenager, is that you get a lot of people being like, Wait, you're a lesbian now, or wait, you like girls now? Or something as if they're already suspicious, and I do wonder if one of the things that the letter writer is dealing with is this feeling of pressure that comes not only from the temporality of turning 30, but from feeling the need to prove to people just because I am a lesbian doesn't mean that I can't have love, and I think that's really poignant.


0:15:46.4 S?: And I really, really feel that. And if that's something that is going on, I think maybe you don't even know that that's what's going on, but there is this sense of people being like, you had a husband and you got divorced and those things seem like sad or tragic or messy or something, and that maybe there's a little bit of this like, I wanna be in the perfect relationship so that those people don't worry about me, so that they don't think that I've made a mistake, so that they don't...


0:16:12.1 S?: That's a great point.


0:16:12.3 S?: That is a good point.


[overlapping conversation]


0:16:14.0 S?: And if that's kind of how you're feeling, I think just... I have real sympathy and I understand it, but fuck those people, it's a thousand times better to be alone than to be in a relationship where you don't feel like you can be your full self, and if other people are making you feel like you're not enough without a relationship or that you should have stayed in a relationship where you weren't being yourself just to have those societally mandated husband, kids, house, whatever. That's bullshit. And you don't need those people.


0:16:54.5 S?: And I'm so proud of you for being honest with yourself and living fully, and I bet that there are people who have watched you do this, and instead of thinking, Oh, you made a big mistake. They admire you and are thinking, Oh well, if she can do that, then I can too, and that is amazing and wonderful, and you are gonna meet someone so cool and so great, as long as you remember the moment that you made that decision to get the divorce and be like, it is more important to be my actual self than it is to comport with societal standards. That's the most important thing.


0:17:35.4 S?: It sounds like a lot of external pressure here, even that line about being a romance fan, it's like somebody said to them, you read so many romance novels, that's why you have this unrealistic view, you know what I mean? Like.


0:17:48.9 S?: Yeah, well, we've all been there, we've all... I don't know anybody who reads romance, who hasn't heard that bullshit line, that is a bullshit line of the insecure.


0:17:55.9 S?: So it's also the bullshit line of the patriarchy that are like, Uh-oh, if women read heterosexual romances, then they're going to suddenly realize that all of us who are acting like assholes, that there's another option out there for them.


0:18:11.2 S?: Right. Like I said, that shows you what's possible.


0:18:13.7 S?: Yeah, it shows you what's possible.


0:18:15.9 S?: And you know what? I would say, you know, if Kay is really coming into her phoenix years you know, she has gone through all of this big transformation, she's come out, she is so much stronger, and you can tell by the letter she is an amazing human, so this is gonna be awesome. This is gonna be awesome. It's just, I know how frustrating it could be when you're ready to be awesome in all of the ways, right now.


0:18:44.3 S?: I'm just so glad that she said, I have a life I love, that made me feel so good to read that... 'Cause usually you're like, Oh, I'm stuck I'm whatever. This is like, I have what I want, I am who I am, who I wanna be, and now I wanna share it. So just enjoy that life that you love and make those connections and tune out all the external noise, you'll be fine.


0:19:06.9 S?: Absolutely.


0:19:08.0 S?: And you never know which are the pieces of the life that you love that are gonna lead you to someone that can share that life with you, but that's kind of how it was for me, is that I had... I was kind of joking before when I was like, I hate everyone and no one will ever... Partly. And I think that what made me feel great about being alone was that I didn't think about it as being alone, I thought about it as having total freedom, having freedom to do exactly what I wanted, when I wanted, having freedom to spend my time with the people that I enjoyed.


0:19:42.6 S?: Go where I wanted, not consult anyone else before I did anything, and that is... I love that, I love that a lot. And I alsoam like, Well, even now that I'm in a relationship, that's not something that I would ever wanna give up because I know how much I care about it, and so I think enjoy feeling really free and enjoy all the places that that freedom can take you. Because down one of those paths is going to be someone else who loves their life, and you two just kind of overlap a bit.


0:20:15.2 S?: Absolutely.


0:20:16.0 S?: So Becky, I've got to ask you since we have you and you're trapped, [laughter] and maybe this will inspire Kay, what was your meet cute with your significant other?


0:20:32.3 S?: Okay, so I've been married for 22 years.




0:20:37.7 S?: Wow.


0:20:37.9 S?: So her meet cute was pre-school.


[overlapping conversation]


0:20:40.6 S?: I'm like, 22 years?


0:20:43.2 S?: So I'm not young but thank you, thank you. I have an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old, so I am...


0:20:47.5 S?: What? You look 18.


0:20:51.5 S?: Not nearly as young as I look.


0:20:52.2 S?: For the people listening, like we are not believing a word out of Becky's mouth.


0:20:55.1 S?: Where's your bathtub of blood?


0:20:56.3 S?: I wanna see...


0:20:57.3 S?: We're gonna start carding.


[overlapping conversation]


0:20:58.7 S?: Really good genetics.


0:21:03.8 S?: So what was your meet cute?


0:21:05.2 S?: So my husband and I, back in the old days of dial up internet, there was this thing called AOL. And a friend of mine gave me his email address because she thought would be a match, and so we started instant messaging on AOL and decided to meet, and he came to where we live and met... He was from about two and a half hours away from where I lived, and that's... We... When I was dating, I had a four-date rule, if by the fourth date, the individual I was with, was...


0:21:42.7 S?: If I was picking things apart 'cause I'm a picker, things annoy me, like the way they chewed, or played a game of cards or something like that. If I started making up reasons why they were annoying me, I would ditch them, but after four dates, I would know. I'd give someone four dates. So my mother likes to say that he came for his third date and he never left, [laughter] but we were... I mean we weren't young, we were 22 and 24 when we met and got married within 10 months and then waited five years to have babies.


0:22:17.2 S?: Wow, you guys were like, You know what? You would get... You would get nit picked by the romance bloggers for being insta-love.


0:22:25.9 S?: Right, I love insta-love. I live insta-love. I love insta-love now, we're in our mid-40s and our kids are older and starting college and moving on, and I'm like, Look at us we're like single again, we can go and do things without having...


0:22:43.3 S?: Worrying about our hips. [laughter]


0:22:47.7 S?: Yeah. But that was my meet cute...


0:22:51.8 S?: That's my goal in life.


0:22:52.1 S?: Old school Internet dating is how we met.


0:22:54.4 S?: I love that and so we're about the same age, so that was basically back in the day when anybody you met on the internet was obviously a serial killer. So you were also very, very brave.


0:23:05.1 S?: That's still kind of the case, but no. [laughter] Nothing's really changed.


0:23:09.7 S?: You know what? I think that's so funny. So many of us kids of the 80s and very early 90s, that was always the thing, if something was questionable, you were gonna be a serial killer. If you were raised by a single mom, you were gonna be a serial killer. You know, lots of serial killers and quick sand growing up in the 80s.


0:23:25.7 S?: Or worshipped the devil, like everything was satanic.


0:23:27.7 S?: Oh yeah everything was satanic.


0:23:29.6 S?: Everywhere.


0:23:29.9 S?: All the music, everything, yeah.


0:23:33.0 S?: Everything, yeah, yeah.


0:23:34.2 S?: And now we're back to that with Lil Nas X.




0:23:35.6 S?: There you go, exactly.


0:23:36.6 S?: I love that video. Anyway go ahead.


0:23:38.8 S?: We took us completely off the path here, but I'm gonna yank us back on because we have a new segment that we are really excited about, and Roan's gonna drop all of the information about this.


0:23:51.5 S?: Yeah, so okay. We are all fans of things like "Am I the Asshole?" and letter, other letters to the editor.


0:24:01.7 S?: [0:24:04.3] ____ and all that stuff.


0:24:04.4 S?: I think Avery I got you hooked as well.


0:24:06.7 S?: Oh God yeah.


0:24:07.4 S?: I love him. And so we thought that we would try our hands at a little discussion at one of these letters. And I say discussion at, but really maybe discussion with. So we have, the letter that we are going to be responding to is... We'll put a link in the show notes, but it originally appeared in Slate, and the URL... I don't know if this is the title, but I like the URL is loud sex kids complain advice which I really think basically tells you everything that you need to know about it. But I'll take you a little deeper.


0:24:51.0 S?: So this person and their partner are both divorcees who married young into conservative religious faith, and they don't say which one, each of them got a bad sexual roll of the dice in their first marriages and got divorced. So once they met each other, they had a good roll of the dice, I don't really know what is a good or a bad roll of the dice, it seems contextual. But from the start, "Our sex has been fiery, frequent, fulfilling, fun and very, very vociferous. Our bodies shake the bed and rattle the windows, her orgasms are operatic. She comes long and hard and it's no secret to the neighbors on the block that she's sexually satisfied." I think that he really was excited about writing that.


0:25:40.6 S?: A lot of thought went into this letter... Yeah.


0:25:42.9 S?: Okay, so the problem now is that between the two of them, they have six kids between the ages of eight and 15, and increasingly they're regular thumping, bumping, yopping and yelping have been under the same roof as their kids. They hear it, they imitate them, they joke about it, they sometimes seem annoyed, and it even keeps them up at night. Recently, their 10-year-old son whose bedroom is directly beneath the couple, confided in this couple that the racket makes him uncomfortable, and that there have been nights when he has difficulty sleeping and felt powerless to make it stop. Their hearts broke when they heard that and they've done everything to validate his feelings and empower him to voice his concerns. They try and keep the volume down until their children are in bed and sleeping they moved the mattress onto the floor, they play music in the background, and they try to reserve the most raucous sex for when they're kid free.


0:26:43.5 S?: But they say some nocturnal noise is totally inevitable and we are resigned to the racket. In general they say they have a really good relationship with their kids and they are conscientious parents, and they hope that the love, trust and open line of communication will prevent any damage.


0:27:02.0 S?: But they want advice on this, so they say that they're resigned to it, but they still want advice on this. And this is the last paragraph of the letter. "The sounds of parents thumping and humping away in the night is a classic childhood nuisance, is it? But I'm seeking advice on behalf of kiddos of blended families. What about children who overhear their parents with a sexy new partner? How important is it that our sex life remains a mystery? What damage are we doing by being so audible? What hang-ups are we creating for their future therapists to unravel? We're modeling a healthy sex life, right? Or do we have a blind spot about this? For the benefit of the children, do we really need to keep it down? Signed so much bedlam." So I feel like the satanic panic was really a great segue into this for this like, "Think of the children."


0:27:55.6 S?: Oh my God.


0:27:56.9 S?: That is the slate letter.




0:28:00.9 S?: I love the expression on your face right now. Those of you who are listening, her whole face just was like, "Oh my God."


0:28:07.6 S?: Well, and to be fair, I should have read that with a steady neutrality, and I did not. But I...


0:28:13.3 S?: You did better than I would have. [chuckle]


0:28:15.8 S?: We're not about neutrality here.


0:28:17.5 S?: I know. Well, I'll just dive in and say that actually 50% of my problem with this is the letter writer and not the scenario. The scenario I do think is problematic in certain ways, but the sense that I got from this letter writer and I'll just be really honest, I'm assuming because they were both married into super religious. I assume that this is a man writing, so I'm assuming it's a heterosexual relationship, 'cause I feel like it's within there.


0:28:48.5 S?: So apologies if that's incorrect. But I just got such a sense that this fucking dude wanted to write a letter to be like, "I am a great lover. My wife had it bad before me, but now has operadic orgasm. And my kids have a great relationship with me in general, so probably that's fine, right? But if it's not fine, and they're all gonna be in therapy in the future, guaranteed-ly, what stories are they gonna tell about their mom's sexy new lover to their therapist?" He just seems so delighted.


0:29:25.3 S?: Narcissistic.


0:29:26.0 S?: Yeah, this is such a prideful letter. It's like, "Look at how awesome I am." [chuckle]


0:29:35.6 S?: So I don't know if we want... Maybe that's... We don't necessarily need to talk about that component of it, we can try to strip away, no pun intended.


0:29:46.4 S?: I want to strip away nothing with this dude.




0:29:52.8 S?: But for me half of this problem, if the letter had been written differently would have been abated. I'll just say.


0:30:00.8 S?: Yeah. Well, yeah, because he doesn't sound, and I did the same thing with the assumption of a dude, and it could just be because of the amount of ego and narcissism in there, sorry, I know not all dudes.


0:30:09.9 S?: But most. [chuckle]


0:30:12.9 S?: But there is absolutely no moment in this letter where there is any concern shown for anyone else.


0:30:23.6 S?: No remorse, no concern.


0:30:25.0 S?: Including his wife.


0:30:26.1 S?: None.


0:30:26.5 S?: Okay, so there's no concern about the wife and what her reaction has been. There's really no concern for the kids because the kids, he's like, "Oh, bummer, eat your lima beans." I'm sorry, but even if I'm in an apartment with thin walls, I don't wanna hear my neighbors screwing. So there's no consideration of the people around him, this is just such a level 10 narcissist letter that it drives me crazy. So I'm with you on that 180%. So I think that is a big problem. I don't think there's anything that anybody could say to this letter writer that would change any of him.


0:31:10.8 S?: It doesn't sound like he's interested in changing any of the behavior. He actually seems to like the fact that his kids tease him about his sex life. That's like a point of pride.


0:31:20.7 S?: It's a moment of pride.


0:31:21.3 S?: Yeah, this is just... I wanna shower after reading this letter. [chuckle] It's just not...


0:31:29.3 S?: Yeah, it's pride and not so much concern. It's "Look at me, I'm a sexual beast, and I'm satisfying my woman to the extent that everyone knows." But not necessarily deep filled concern there for the people in his life.


0:31:50.9 S?: I mean, parents don't check their sexuality at the door once they have kids, right? I know I walked in on my mom with somebody once. I'm sure most people... Just to make me feel better, everybody nod. Most people have walked in on a parental figure having sex or have heard or you make that connection in your head, "Oh my God, this is a sexual being." But there's a difference between modeling a healthy sex life and modeling a sex life where no one else... You cannot be concerned with anybody else.


0:32:28.4 S?: With anybody else, yeah.


0:32:29.5 S?: That's what he's modeling, is that, "Oh, you can't sleep at night? You're not important." What he's telling everybody else in that house, and at least if he can be believed outside of it, is that none of them are important. Nobody else measures up to the orgasms he gets and can provide and you know that he thinks of it that way too. "I provide this orgasm. I provide the dinner and the orgasms." So, yeah.


0:33:00.8 S?: He's also framing it in that, "I was repressed, and so now I'm free, and I don't want anything to curtail my freedom." As if these are two halves of the same thing.


0:33:11.6 S?: You know this guy doesn't wear a mask, right?




0:33:15.0 S?: We can all agree on that. 'Cause this is the argument. This is the argument.


0:33:20.2 S?: Yeah.


0:33:20.3 S?: My choice.


0:33:22.5 S?: Yeah, and I have find there is something really... I have sympathy for the... I think that depend... I don't know what, again, what faith these people were originally married into, but definitely, I have so much empathy for people who felt like they had to leave their sexuality out of their life if they were matched with someone who wasn't a good sexual match or if religion and faith made them feel unable to express those things. And so I'm so happy that now they've found each other and they can express those things. And I think I agree with you Zeo that the zeal of the converted is at work here, where it's like these people feel like. "We were repressed for so long that now we deserve to have our time in the sun." And you do deserve it. But the piece that gives me... The thing that I find problematic is like, okay, your youngest kid is eight and the oldest is, what was it? 15?


0:34:23.7 S?: Yeah 15.


0:34:25.0 S?: There's nothing wrong, I don't think with an eight-year-old knowing what sex is. There's... Definitely a 15-year-old knows what sex is. It's not like your job as parents is to make it so that your children don't think that you have sex. Your job as parents is to acknowledge that your children shouldn't be a part of your sex life.


0:34:48.9 S?: Bingo.


0:34:49.3 S?: And your sex life shouldn't be a part of your children's life. Not everyone is a sexual being. There are people who are deeply uncomfortable with sex for their whole lives, or are disinterested in sex for their whole lives or have no thoughts about sex whatsoever. And that's fine, but they are then still confronted with your sex in their own home, when they're trying to sleep or brush their teeth or do their homework. And it's non-consensual, you are non-consensually involving your children in your sex life. And I just feel like that is not within the bounds of what is healthy to ask for children to accept. If what your children were saying was, "Eww, gross don't Kiss Mommy at the dinner table."


0:35:46.0 S?: You can still Kiss Mommy at the dinner table. That's the moment to be like, "I love your mom and kissing shows love." Or whatever. If your kids found a sex toy in your room 'cause they were rummaging around, that's totally within your rights to be like, "Hey, we're sexual people that was in our private space and you intruded into our space and found what you found." But you are intruding into their space. It actually is exactly like the COVID and the mask wearing, like you were saying, Avery, which is that sound is not something that people... You cannot close your ear holes. Maybe you can get noise canceling...


0:36:26.2 S?: Noise cancelling headphones. "Here kid, put these on."


0:36:29.7 S?: Ear muffs.


0:36:30.4 S?: Yeah, you are essentially filling your home and the air around your child with your sex life in a way that they have not consented to and are too young to know whether or not that's normal, concerning, great. Also, a 15-year-old has gone through puberty or is going through puberty and could legitimately biologically be turned on by hearing you have sex. And I feel so uncomfortable for this child at the idea of non-consensually getting turned on because they're a 15-year-old who has hormones raging through them, and they're hearing people have sex, and the fact that it's their parents, they can't control. I just feel like there's so much lack of consent going on that makes me...


0:37:22.5 S?: Yeah, lack of consent and lack of concern. If your 10-year-old comes to you and says, "I'm really upset. I'm really... I can't... "


0:37:29.6 S?: I can't sleep.


0:37:31.0 S?: I can't sleep. It's bothering me and your response is, "Well, we'll try to keep it down." That's just...


0:37:39.1 S?: I think this is an individual that suffers with understanding boundaries, period, honestly. Obviously, there aren't any boundaries. I mean, my first thought when I read this letter was dude needs to buy his wife a ball gag. Like get on Amazon order that shit, get it to your house.


0:37:54.2 S?: I'll get one for him, actually after reading this...


0:37:56.2 S?: Right, maybe. I would probably appreciate that. Some of it Roan and what you're saying, boundaries and consent, I understand that. So from my personal perspective, I was raised by hippies. My parents married together, totally hippies. We had very open dialogues about sex and feelings and intimacy, but my parents were also... We were raised Catholic. My parents were very Catholic. So Catholic hippies, it doesn't always work.


0:38:29.3 S?: Interesting combo. [chuckle]


0:38:30.2 S?: They made it work. They were not conservative Catholics. But it was... I mean, I had things in our lives, like when my husband and I got married and our kids got older, I said to him, "We will not have sex when our children have friends over to spend the night." Because I had an incident when I was like 12 my parents totally did it very loudly while I had a friend over spending the night.


0:38:55.6 S?: Oh, God.


0:38:56.2 S?: Talk about mortification. So I understand consent, but then the other part of it is, as parents, I think it's our job to make sure that we are one, expressing to our children communication and intimacy within communication, but also helping them establish their boundaries in the sexual aspect. So yeah, he needs to shut up because the noise is obnoxious, but on the other side of it, it's open communication. His 10-year-old should be able to come to him and say, "Hey, you're annoying, stop it." In a respectful way. And then take that into account and establish boundaries.


0:39:37.6 S?: Yeah, I mean he says they have an open line of communication, but there's no...


0:39:43.3 S?: It doesn't sound like he hears.


0:39:44.9 S?: He's not hearing and there's no...


0:39:47.4 S?: You know, yeah.


0:39:48.9 S?: Yeah.


0:39:49.5 S?: I feel bad for these kids.


0:39:52.2 S?: And I wonder if part of the problem is just because they have so many kids, they can't find the time to have sex when no one's in the house, like which makes sense if...


0:40:00.7 S?: That could be...


0:40:00.9 S?: If you both work and you have different aged kids who have different activities and everyone's out of the house, and when the only time everyone's out of the house is during the school day when you're also at work, then maybe there just needs to be some attempt to like schedule kids out of the house regularly, all at the same time, so that they can have wild and raucous sex as they want.


0:40:26.5 S?: If it's two divorcees then potentially these children could be not their children together, but children that came into a blended family, a...


0:40:35.7 S?: So yeah.


0:40:36.3 S?: It could be an every other weekend thing, save yourself for, you know, the third weekend of the month, people.


0:40:40.8 S?: Could be, that line in the last paragraph says, I'm seeking advice on behalf of kiddos of blended families.


0:40:48.5 S?: Yeah, yeah.


0:40:50.4 S?: Yeah, I think there's a lot of stuff. I think the ball-gag definitely an option. Some other sound modification options there, I think if you know, narcissist... I think this guy is a narcissist, but it could also be that one of the things that gets him off is having an audience.


0:41:10.4 S?: Right.


0:41:10.8 S?: Could be.


0:41:12.2 S?: And so if that's a thing, then there are options for that as well, that don't require your non-consenting kids, which I can't believe those words even had to come out of my mouth in that context, but anyways, I'm horrified. But there are options there, if exhibition-ism is something that is part of your sex life and that's fine, you just need to find a different way to channel it, and another option may be things like, I know we've gone on vacation before in like...


0:41:47.5 S?: Where you've got 20 people packed into one beach house and you find that one closet somewhere in the house, and that's your closet. So maybe you find your one closet and you put curtains all around it, and you make your little sex.


0:42:04.9 S?: They have a basement... Create a little... But that set line is still bugging me because it's... That line, when he said he's seeking advice on behalf of kiddos of blended families, I wonder if it's his wife's children who are complaining.


0:42:20.8 S?: Oh, I didn't even think about that. So he thinks it's, you know, a mother...


0:42:27.1 S?: Pushing back against step daddy thing, but regardless...


0:42:31.2 S?: Regardless, and that honestly, that could be... That is a fine line to walk as a parent and child as well, but yeah, I just think there's a lot in this letter who, if you guys have not read this letter, strongly suggest going to Slate and reading this whole thing. It's really long...


0:42:54.0 S?: Great job summarizing Roan.


0:42:55.9 S?: Yeah, no kidding, I can't believe you were able to do that in under 45 minutes, so...


0:43:00.7 S?: That was good.


0:43:02.6 S?: Well, thank you Becky, so much. For being our first guest ever.


0:43:07.8 S?: Sure. Any time.


0:43:09.1 S?: Yes, at Dear Romance Writer. Okay, so again, Becky is with the Buzzing About Romance podcast. She is also with bookcase and coffee blog. She's a huge reader and tell folks real quick where they can find you.


0:43:24.9 S?: You can find us at on the web, and we are bookcase and coffee and Buzzing About Romance on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, we spend way too much time over there. So you can find us all the places... Anyway.


0:43:39.7 S?: All the places.


0:43:40.5 S?: Thank you so much for coming on. We really appreciate it.


0:43:45.5 S?: Thanks ladies.




0:44:00.3 S?: For this week's Spotify playlist, I wasn't quite sure... We had like two very different conversations in this episode, but I went with love on the brain, so the first one is love on the Brain from Rihanna, there is some Nelly Furtado on there. The Smiths are on there, Echo & The Bunnymen, Harry Styles...


0:44:18.5 S?: Echo & The Bunnymen? Look at you.


0:44:20.7 S?: Yeah, Lips Like Sugar.


0:44:21.2 S?: I love that.


0:44:22.4 S?: So yeah, I had some good stuff on there, you guys will have to tune into it, listen to it, you can even I think, download it, and then just let me know what you thought of this week's playlist, it should be a good one.


0:44:36.7 S?: This week's recipe, I couldn't help myself, so you know how we just talked about someone who really seems to enjoy having an audience for sex, this recipe is for my new favorite popcorn to eat while being in an audience, it is a truffle oil and parmesan popcorn.


0:44:55.8 S?: Oh yes.


0:44:56.8 S?: This is my girlfriend Timmie's special... I don't know if she made it up, but I definitely had not had it before.


0:45:04.8 S?: I've had it.


0:45:05.7 S?: Have you had it? Yeah, it is so amazing. And the best part is that she doesn't even like popcorn that much, so when she makes it, it's basically like, I just eat it all. It's really easy, all you need is parmesan that you can like shave really thin, butter and some truffle oil, and you add the butter, truffle oil and sprinkle the parmesan on and then make it so that the heat, the residual heat in the popcorn melts it obviously, and it is so good. Like I had an enormous bowl of it for dinner the other day, and it's that good I was, you know, the popcorn feeling of being full where you're like.


0:45:42.6 S?: Yeah.


0:45:42.6 S?: Like somehow my stomach is overly full but also full of something right.


0:45:48.8 S?: I could still eat.


0:45:49.3 S?: That all other food could still permeate.


0:45:52.6 S?: Anyway.


0:45:52.7 S?: Adulting 101, popcorn for dinner.


0:45:55.7 S?: I love popcorn and it is...


0:45:57.5 S?: Me too.


0:46:00.4 S?: That's funny. And I actually have all those ingredients in my house right now, so this could actually be a recipe I could pull off, I'm excited.


0:46:06.7 S?: You will not regret it. And it requires so little actual cooking that you might not even injure yourself. [chuckle]


0:46:14.6 S?: This would be a good thing. This would be a good thing. You're gonna try and make me feel like I can cook. And you know the other thing that's dangerous thing to happen to me, that happens when I watch the Great British Bake Off, and when I just recently, my recommendation for this week has me feeling as if I could be a potter. I cannot be a potter. Okay, let's just put that right out there now, stick figures is as far as I go, but the Great Pottery Throw Down, it's on HBO MAX. It's all four seasons. There are four seasons, all four seasons are up.


[overlapping conversation]


0:46:53.3 S?: Okay, yes, I know, it's very dangerous. I started with one, I think I burned through all four seasons in an embarrassingly short amount of time, and immediately went to Twitter to ask who else was watching, because in the last season, my girl Sal got kicked off before she should have, and I am willing to fight. [laughter] I'm willing to throw these hands, I'm actually not...


0:47:22.9 S?: I haven't seen that season yet but when I get there I will text you because I love that show. Someone was also telling me that season four was available now, but I didn't know how to get it and now I know.


0:47:32.8 S?: And it's great, it is. Siobhan McSweeney, I wanna say, is the host for season four, and it took me forever to figure out where I knew her from, it is because she is the nun in Derry Girls.


0:47:47.4 S?: Derry Girls awesome.


0:47:48.9 S?: Yes, and she is hilarious. And it's so fun because I think what I really love about that show, like Bake-Off is just the tone, is very relaxing. It does a great job of mixing for folks who have no idea about pottery and explaining techniques and information and blah, blah, blah, and all those things. And then there's also that moment when the host who sort of... There's always that moment in every season where you can tell the host went from, these are just these regular people that I have to work with to, Oh my God, I love them. Don't cry, I'll block the camera. And I love that moment when you can see that happen, and you definitely see that happening in season four. But, no it's great, it's really fun. I now wanna be a potter, which will never happen, but I would like to go watch somebody do raku firing now, which looks awesome. So yes. So that is my recommendation for a great happy watch HBO MAX, and it's all four seasons of Great Pottery Throw Down.


0:49:00.4 S?: I want that for you Avery. And I also feel like even if you're not good at throwing pottery, it is so fun and relaxing. I did it for a couple of years when I first moved to Philly. I was not good at it, but it was still the smell of the clay and the feel of it on your hands, and it's just relaxing, so even if you're bad at it, do it anyway. It's delightful.


0:49:19.2 S?: Look at her encouraging me to get a hobby. [laughter]


0:49:21.7 S?: Yeah get a hobby.


0:49:25.7 S?: Everybody turned me away from cooking, so maybe pottery. [laughter] I'm less likely to injure myself.


0:49:31.9 S?: It's true clay is quite soft.


0:49:32.5 S?: Soft clay yes.


0:49:32.8 S?: Start with play-doh.


0:49:36.5 S?: It's soft, it's soft, it's fine.


0:49:39.6 S?: Don't touch the kiln, don't touch the kiln.


0:49:42.2 S?: Yeah.


0:49:42.9 S?: Alright, how about you guys? What are your recommendations this episode?


0:49:47.1 S?: Well, I am going with a music rec this week. I stumbled across this band, and it's funny because the Grammys just happened and I didn't pay much attention to them because I'm throwing a fit, but this band, they're called Fontaines DC, they're from Ireland, from Dublin I believe. They're sort of post-punk and they are a little bit, Joy Division, a little bit Interpol, a little bit like that Manchester sound, but then mixed in with some modern stuff, but the way I found them was I listen to KCRW on iHeartRadio during the morning, and they were playing this almost discowy-sounding song, but the lyrics were not matching the music.


0:50:32.9 S?: And there's this dude sort of shouting sort of a commencement speech or whatever, and I'm like, What is going on? It turned out to be a remix of one of their songs. And the song's called A Hero's Death. So me being me, I went down this rabbit hole of like, Who are these guys? What is this song? The video for this is really disturbing, it reminds me of something that like Live, do you remember that band Live.


0:50:50.9 S?: Yeah.


0:50:52.3 S?: One of their really disturbing videos from the aughts, early aughts, but the guy who played Little Finger on Game of Thrones...


0:51:00.9 S?: Yeah.


0:51:01.7 S?: I can't think of his last name.


0:51:02.7 S?: Yes.


0:51:02.9 S?: He's in the video, and it's like this loop of his life as a talk show host in the 70s, it's so surreal like you've gotta watch it anyway, they're called Fontaines DC It's A Hero's Death and it's my favorite album right now, I've been listening to it on repeat.


0:51:17.9 S?: I love that.


0:51:19.1 S?: Yeah.


0:51:19.5 S?: Thank you. I'm gonna check that out.


0:51:20.9 S?: I always forget music videos are still a thing until that one, and then the Lil Nas X one that came out.


0:51:26.1 S?: Yeah.


0:51:26.7 S?: Which I love as well.


0:51:27.7 S?: So good.


0:51:28.5 S?: Yes so good I love the response too, I'm just laughing.


0:51:34.5 S?: My recommendation this week is for a documentary that's based on a book called Horror Noire and the book subtitle is Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to the Present. So it's on AMC on Shudder, which is a channel based... That's a horror channel. And I've watched a lot of stuff on Shudder. They have other cool documentaries, this is hands down the best thing on Shudder. They have amazing people on directors, actors, film critics, speaking about the black presence in horror film throughout history, they go in order, like a decade order, a temporal order, which makes the build and the arc of this film history, so haunting and impactful and yeah it's amazing. So the book is by Robin R. Means Coleman, and she is also one of the narrators or people that you're speaking to the most in the film, and then she is joined yet by all these amazing people who some are directors who might not recognize, and some are actors who obviously are more recognizable, like Tony Todd who played Candy Man.


0:53:05.6 S?: Rachel True from The Craft, a bunch of people, but I now cannot wait to read this book because the movie was absolutely amazing, and I'm interested in hearing... I think it came out last year, or maybe fairly recently, but there's the new show Them a horror show...


0:53:28.5 S?: Yeah, yeah.


0:53:29.2 S?: Yeah and I'm very interested to... I think that is gonna spark a new conversation about race and horror, and then... With Jordan Peele's, remake of Candy Man.


0:53:43.3 S?: Yes there's a lot of chatter on Black Twitter about them and not all of it is good, so I'm curious to check it out. I think Jordan Peele is... He's revived the interest in black horror with Get Out and Us, which it's really amazing, and then the stuff that they did with Lovecraft Country, all of that stuff, a funny side note, I met Tony Todd about 10 years ago at an event, and he's such a nice guy, he's always smiling he's so dope. So when he found out about my musical background, we were chatting about music, and then after we finished talking, someone asked him to do the voice, the candy man voice, and I was literally like two feet from him, and he just turned on that voice and I had to step back, I was like, I just talked to the guy for 15 minutes and then as soon as he turned on that voice, I was like, Yep, nope, I'm gone, see ya...


0:54:34.3 S?: Yeah I love the Candy Man.


0:54:35.7 S?: I have never seen that movie oh my gosh... I need to do it now. I know, I'm sorry.


0:54:41.3 S?: I can't even describe his voice.


0:54:43.0 S?: I mean he is amazing. I actually think that I have a real thing for like the evil person in a movie who has an incredibly low sexy voice, like I am super into it.


0:54:58.0 S?: We all act surprised...


0:55:00.1 S?: Jim Carrey in Legend that one scene, I will watch that scene, that one scene over and over again.


0:55:05.9 S?: Yes Tony Todd as Candy Man, Michael Wincott as literally every single character he's ever played, it's real.


0:55:15.1 S?: With that... I just re-watched the whole Candy Man series and the later ones are interesting in a not good way, but Tony Todd is so watchable.


0:55:27.5 S?: Yeah.


0:55:28.0 S?: Alright, I have to ask you though, is it? 'cause I always thought Candy Man was just like a slasher flick, which is why I've never seen it.


0:55:34.9 S?: No, it's really not. It is a movie that is like...


0:55:38.6 S?: Sorry, and I just completely took us off of here.


0:55:40.9 S?: Oh my God.


0:55:40.9 S?: Extended rec session, that's okay.


[overlapping conversation]


0:55:43.8 S?: Podcast, I would be delighted. No, it's really a movie about the intergenerational transmission of racial trauma and the way that the specter of slavery haunts America today. I would...


0:56:02.3 S?: Okay, I'll put it on my list 'cause the slasher stuff is just not for me, but I love horror movies, scary movies, I just don't like gross slasher movies.


0:56:11.3 S?: It is definitely not a slasher movie, and it's interesting, I will not... I don't think it's without fault, and it's interesting 'cause it's based on a short story by what's his name? Clive Barker. And when Clive Barker wrote it, because he's British, the kind of inherited thing that is at stake is class, and then came to America, it's race, of course, but the setup still has some tendrils, I would say, of the original Clive Barker that are...


0:56:52.5 S?: I'm trying to remember what they say in Horror Noire, they're like, you can tell at the end of the day that this is a movie about the spector of slavery, but that was written by a white person because of the people that Tony Todd interacts with and the way that he interacts... Or that Candy Man interacts with and the way that he interacts with them. But it's got like a deeply hateable to me, and I think she's supposed to be the hero, but a deeply hateable, white lady savior person. She is terrible and brazen and literally walks into the hands of death because she seems to think that her white lady-ness will protect her and it does...


0:57:38.2 S?: It does... Not to spoil.


0:57:40.9 S?: But... Yeah, it's definitely worth watching and you get a lot of great back story about Candy Man's... How Candy Man became Candy Man by watching, especially the second movie, which tells you his horrible, horrible back story. So yeah, also, yeah. Okay, I'm done.


0:58:03.9 S?: No okay, and then the thing that brought us to candy man and the marvelous voice that the candy man has is... What was the name of the documentary?


0:58:12.8 S?: Horror Noire. And yeah, it is the documentary is Horror Noire and it's on Shudder. And then the book Horror Noire written by Robin R. Means Coleman is... I don't know who it's published by... Let's see Routledge.


0:58:33.2 S?: Okay awesome, alright, so those are our recommendations for this episode. Thank you guys so much for coming, a huge thank you to Becky Furier with Buzzing About Romance for being our first ever guinea pig guest, and we look forward to talking to you guys next time.


0:58:54.3 S?: Send those letters in, follow us on social media and be sure to check out our exclusive episodes on Patreon.

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