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Owning All Sides of Your Sexuality with Music Producer Barb Morrison

Erin: [00:00:00] Welcome to Hotter Than Ever, where we take a look at the unconscious rules. we've been following, we break the rules that aren't working for us, and we find a new path to being freer, happier, sexier, and more self expressed. Doesn't that sound great? I'm your host, Erin Keating.

I am so excited for you to hear this interview with music producer Barb Morrison. We get into issues of identity, gender, and sexuality, and what the difference is between those things. We talk about the things that we know in our bones, even when the world is telling us something different. We talk about allowing versus driving in life and how to know when to do which one. We talk about sex and love languages and Tom of Finland. And if you don't know what Tom of [00:01:00] Finland is, you are about to find out. Here it is.

Hi, everybody. Welcome to this episode of the Hotter Than Ever podcast. I am so super excited about our guest today. Barb Morrison is an American recording artist. Top 5 Billboard Dance Charts Songwriter, Platinum Record Producer. They're best known as producer for numerous artists such as Blondie. Oh my god, stop. Rufus Wainwright, Franz Ferdinand, LP, and Asia Kate Dillon, as well as being an ASCAP featured film score composer.

Welcome Barb. Thank you so much for being here.

Barb: Thanks, Erin. I'm happy to be here.

Erin: I like to say all of those incredible credits about you, the people that you have worked with are on my like, I bow down to you list. And I could hear every detail about every interaction you ever had with Debbie Harry.

Barb: I just saw her last weekend. What do you want to know?

Erin: How is she so badass? How has she always been so badass? Talk [00:02:00] about Hotter Than Ever.

Barb: She is. She's still hot. She's still punk rock. And she's 76, 77. Yeah, she's still she's still punk. And she's still doing it. She's amazing.

Erin: I mean, we could talk about your career. We can make this whole career focused episode if we wanted to. But you are a complex and multifaceted human being. And I'm really curious to talk to you about your experience of sexuality and gender identity because I think that's something that has evolved in your life across the year. One thing that I really love to hear about is people inventing and reinventing themselves as life progresses as people change and I'd just like to hear a little bit about your story and kind of what your journey and what your evolution has been around that stuff. I think maybe we could start with gender and then sort of overlay how sexuality plays into that because I [00:03:00] think those things are are two different things, right?

Barb: Yeah, they're two different things. I for the listeners that like don't realize that they're two different things. The the punk rock definition of it that I say is like gender is how you feel inside. Sexuality is who you like to fuck. We're allowed to swear on this podcast, right?

Erin: We we are required to square.

Barb: So my journey with it is, you know, one of my earliest memories was a gender related memory I I remember going into the, trying to go into the boys room at the department store and having someone return me to my mother and be like You know this person went into the wrong we're on bathroom.

So immediately it was just I was confused right off the bat about like, wait, why are they saying I wasn't confused, but their answer was confusing. I was three, three or four. Yeah, [00:04:00] three or four. And I definitely had that feeling of like, wait, they're not telling me the right thing.

Erin: You knew the right thing.

Barb: I knew the right thing inside. So, you know as my childhood progressed I there's a New York Times article that I wrote about this this moment when I I was up late Everyone was asleep Saturday Night Live was on I saw David Bowie perform in drag and I thought to myself everybody's telling me I'm crazy, but like I, maybe I'm not crazy, like whoever, I gotta go find these people on the television, right?

And I remember going back to school, fourth grade, whatever it was, and just looking around at everybody and being like, yeah, I'm, I'm out of here. Like you guys don't understand me. And then the horribleness of puberty hit and my body betrayed me. So I didn't you know, I certainly did not want [00:05:00] breasts and I turned to drugs and alcohol because I couldn't handle it. It was the 80s ee didn't have any of these cool, you know gender words that we have now. We had right boy girl straight gay I had heard of these things called transsexuals, but like back then we called them like we were calling them like sex changes. It was like real crude language, you know, and I didn't really want to be that.

I never felt like that. So I turned to drugs and alcohol because it was a very painful time, which it is for anybody on their gender journey. That's not getting the feedback or the compassion that they need. And the easiest thing for me to do was be goth. It was the 80s, that was a very androgynous sexuality and gender to put forward.

So that's what I did. I was goth and I was punk. And as soon as I could, you know, like I made the promise to myself, I would get out of there, I'd find the David Bowie people. [00:06:00] And I landed in the East Village as a teen. And immediately got into some bands and at that point, I was just, you know, I was presenting very androgynous and hadn't even had sex with anyone yet at that point, I was a teen. I had only kind of like kissed people and I didn't lose my virginity quote unquote until I was 18.

But I, you know, I didn't really know where I fit in. So I thought that maybe the thing that Like, looked like it was the right puzzle pieces was to be a butch lesbian, which is like what we called it back then.

And I tried that and I, you know, I marched in some parades and went to some Indigo Girls concerts, but I just was a failure at it. I did. I just was a failed lesbian. I think it was because I didn't identify with being a woman, you know

Erin: Oh, that's interesting.

Barb: Yeah, I just like I couldn't everyone would be like girl power woman power and I'm like that's still not me That's definitely not me.

Erin: So you were looking for the [00:07:00] box to fit in the box that you fit Yeah, you yeah, it sounds like you had to invent your own box, your own definition.

Barb: Back then we did You know because there wasn't the language, but I also at the time I knew that I was attracted equally to male bodied people, female bodied people, and transgender people.

I loved, I was, one of my first sexual awakenings was seeing a trans woman and being like, She's super sexy, I want to kiss her, I want to do more. Then kiss her, like, and I remember being like a teen, an older teen and being like, Oh, wow, I've never really felt like that before, you know, so I knew that I was equally attracted to like multiple genders.

But you know, back then the word bisexual was like a really bad word. Like we got made bisexuals got made fun of on both sides of the coin. The straights [00:08:00] were like, Wow, you're slutty. And the gays were like, you're just lying. You know what I mean? Like, it's so, it was, it was like, it was like a really tough place to be, so, you know, all that, all that just, it, that evolved as, as the world caught up, basically, for me, but to be honest, my first crush type of feeling was very, very young.

It was on a cartoon character, and it was this, you guys are gonna be like, oh my god, it was on Brutus from Popeye.

Erin: Oh my God, that's amazing.

Barb: Hence go a couple decades forward and I'm like obsessed with like, do you know what time of Finland is? Oh, yeah, the leather hot, like mega. So I love that stuff. So I made to my three four year old brain saw Brutus and I was like, He's hot.

I think I kind of like the way he manhandled Olive Oil a little bit.[00:09:00] And um, and I just remembered being like, he, I was fascinated by Brutus. I didn't know if I wanted to be him or if I wanted to be with him. Maybe I still don't actually, to be honest, it's a, maybe that's a, that's a, maybe that's a, a thing I need to marinate on. But, um, you know, I, I, and then my second, my second crush was on my second grade teacher, she was an older woman. So, you know, there were no rules. I was like anarchy right out of the gate. And I was just like, wait, I like this guy, Brutus, and I like this older woman.

Erin: I just, I love all the mix of references and influences and how you assemble them together to sort of try to understand yourself, right? And the, and the declaring in fourth grade, I'm out of here. Just knowing that early, knowing that early, there's something, there's something different out there for you.

Barb: Here's the thing, Erin, is because And this is all going on with, like, the [00:10:00] legislation right now, right? Really I felt like, like, when I was in fourth grade, I felt like I was crazy. And little kids shouldn't feel like they're crazy. Like, a little kid shouldn't feel like, oh, I'm nuts.

No, it's like, I actually was fine. Everybody else was giving me the wrong info. So, you know, that's really what it is, is that, like, we just have to help. Kids be, or not even help them, just let them be what they feel like, you know, we don't need to help them do it. We need to let them do it.

Erin: Right, because they know you knew and you didn't have language for it, but you knew what you were feeling and you knew when things felt right and they didn't feel right.

Barb: Correct.

Erin: And so when you got to New York, Were you a kid in a candy store when it came to the sexuality piece of it? Because there were so many different kinds of people you were attracted to?

Barb: No, I was terrified. I was a virgin. I was, you know, on the punk rock scene immediately. We were living in like the abandoned buildings on [00:11:00] the east side. I was actually terrified. I was, I was catatonic almost sexually because I was just like, I don't even know where to begin.

And, uh, I met this guy who he, he was my boyfriend for a little while. He was sweet. He was like a kind of like gayish hairdresser type. And we started hanging out a lot. And I found out that he was also a virgin. And so we were like, Hey, let's try it out. And you know, we were 18 and in love, you know, it was like, it's as much as an 18 year old can be.

And it was really, it was really sweet. It was like made of love. And it was, it was, uh, you know, nothing like awkward. No, I mean, you know, we're awkward, both of us, but it was we were both caring and kind. And so like, right after that, immediately, I like slept with like, I had sex with a girl. And I was like, Oh, wow. Oh, I was really like, Oh, about it. Because I was I was like, [00:12:00] Ooh, I didn't expect this big avalanche to come down on me. So, you know, I did, I think what a lot of people do when they're experiencing their first time like that I went, you know, I immediately went out and, like, found a couple other guys, and was like, Not gay! Not gay! Not gay! Not gay! And then I, next girl that came around, I was like, Oh shit, I really do, I do like this. I really do like being with women.

So, I plopped myself in front of, in, like, right in the middle of a lesbian community. I said, I got it. I'm a butch lesbian. And then I had this dirty secret that I would...sleep with men. So I was a closet heterosexual.

Erin: And is that, was that like, would you have been just kicked out of the Lilith Fair? Yeah.

Barb: Yes. Because yes, out of the Lilith Fair, yes. Yeah, as a matter of fact, I was in a band at the time and we would all get on the [00:13:00] tour bus and I remember feeling the feeling of driving away from New York City on tour and thinking to myself, well, I can go do whatever I want, like kind of the opposite of people that are like closet gay.

I was like, Oh, I could pick up boys on the road. This will be great. And my, my, my lesbian women with a why friends will not get on my case about it. And, you know, fast forward a little bit further into the 90s. I did fall in love madly in love. You know, he was definitely one of my soulmates with this guy, Johnny, and he hadn't been with anyone other than a cis male since he was in high school.

All of our gay friends literally sat us both down and we're like, Are you guys okay? What are you? What are you? What are you doing? Like what? And it's not like that anymore. You know, like the kids are like, whatever now, but we really whatever. They're very whatever. So this is, you know, this sounds like I'm telling a story like, gather [00:14:00] around children, I'll tell you about the Civil War.

You know, like, the kids now are just like, they don't, they're just like, whatever is, you know.

Erin: I think that's true, but I also think we live in a really profoundly binary culture. And I think our brains want to split things down the middle. And, you know, operate in, in dualities and, and so when you are someone who, when you are being true to yourself, can't, don't, organically, doesn't make sense for you to operate in that way, you are constantly pushing up against those cultural norms and norms.

You know, you're, you're almost required to be punk rock, like, in order to do that. It's, it's almost a, a sort of fundamentally baseline rebellious stance in the culture that we live in.

Barb: Yeah, it's interesting. It never really, like, felt like super rebellious to me, but I think it's [00:15:00] because I, I just don't know if I ever really zeroed in on people's genitalia as someone who I would choose.

You know, like I wasn't like, that's never the first thing I go for. It's never like right between the legs. It's always like right between the eyes or like right between the, the, the rib cage, you know? So, and I, I, I figured that out in a series of, you know, trial and error, probably in my twenties and thirties, I'm going to be 56 next month.

You know, I did all the wild stuff and I figured out kind of that, you gotta buy the book. What did you tell me about the book? I just finished writing a memoir, it's called Bottoming for God. It's not, believe me, it's not a tale of sexual escapades at all. The, you know, the Bottoming for God is actually like a, I guess, spiritual or philosophical.

You know, what, like, how do we, how do we lay back and let the universe love us? You know, how do we, [00:16:00] how do we wake up every day and know how much of our will to throw into it and know how much of it to lay back and just receive? You know, that's, that's, that's what the title is about.

Erin: For the people who are listening who don't know the word bottoming and sort of aren't familiar with that vocabulary, what does that, what are you referring to when you use that word?

Barb: So there's, you know, in sexual, uh, vocabulary, I guess we will say there's like topping and bottoming, which is like the doer and the do-ey and, you know, or the giver and the receiver, I guess we could say, I'm not like a big, like SNM person, but like they talk a lot about topping and bottoming and SNM, which is, you know, a slave master or a dumb submissive type of thing.

And if you really get into it, usually the bottom has like a lot of the power, the bottom is usually like, you know, it's the bottom is there like receiving all the stuff and kind of calling the shots a little bit. And the top is, you know, dancing around and [00:17:00] doing doing a lot of work.

Erin: So to take care of the bottom.

Barb: Like problem or issue we all kind of come to terms with is like how much of my will should I put into this life and how much should I just let slide off my back? And how much should I just lay back and receive what's going on? And I'm saying good or bad, right? So I got a bottom for God on that one I got to lay back and let the universe do its thing and you know I hope to be covered in kisses by the universe.

Erin: But we can't see the long view.

Barb: We cannot. No, we can't. And I guess that's part of the human experience, or it is the human experience, I guess.

Erin: I think one way in which that, that idea ties into this sort of notion of this podcast and what, what I'm loving exploring here is how much are we. Sort of tuned into those messages that come to us from within ourselves, maybe [00:18:00] that's a spiritual message of like, this doesn't feel right, or this, this feels great, or I should take action on this, or I should make this change, or I shouldn't make this change.

Like, how much do you want to will your life to be a certain way? And how much should you allow your life, remove the blockers that are keeping your life from being a certain way, because I think we all have perceptions of should, you know, how things should be and what we should be doing. And then sometimes when we just let go, the right thing happens.

So it's, it's hard to know. Right?

Barb: Well, I think that that's what we strive for. It's that simple, you know, the serenity prayer. It's like in the very last line of the serenity prayer is the wisdom to know the difference. That's what that's what we're looking for, right? When do we know to bottom for God? I don't know. I've thought that I did, then I didn't do it, then I topped, it was the wrong thing.

Erin: So it's sort of forcing versus allowing, or pushing versus receiving, it's, it's so [00:19:00] interesting. And then sometimes there's moments in your life where you go, no, actually I have to do this. I have to push this. I can't, I have to drive this change.

Are there examples of right turns or pivots? Or big changes that you've made in your life that came from some piece of intuition or some piece of like inner knowing? It sounds like your evolution sort of, there's a gender wise has a lot of that.

Barb: And also like, that's what making music really is making music and making art, but definitely making music--I was talking to the, the kids that I was like doing my lecture with today, it's, it's really about just catching these moments of like, that's the thing make that move right now, you know, make that move right now now Sit back and let let the other instruments play. And now get in there and do your thing now sit back and let the other Instruments play, you know. So that's that's what music is definitely for me but I I'm in a place [00:20:00] in my life right now Erin, which is I actually think If you can just slow down and trust the universe, you will instinctively know when to top and when to bottom.

There's, there's a Charlie Chaplin quote that he talks about in silent filmmaking, which is, 'Life is a tragedy and close up and a comedy and long shot.' The same exact scene. is funny. The audience is loud. I mean, it's tragic. The audience is like, Oh my God, what's happening? And then in silent film, he would just pull it back and he'd show the big picture and the audience would just start laughing.

So I think that's really what it is. We just have to trust. We just have to trust that there's a big picture, you know, so maybe we should get to the sex stuff.

Erin: Oh, should we get to the sex stuff? I mean, I think we all evolve with regard to our sexuality. And I'm, you know, I'm a cisgendered, [00:21:00] white, heterosexual woman who's like, for all intents and purposes.

Barb: Are you sure?

Erin: Mmm, pretty sure. Pretty sure. I'm open minded, but I, my like, I get hot and bothered, you know, about Tom of Finland too. But I'd like a leather daddy of my own. Okay. You know.

Barb: I think every, I think every person on the planet would.

Erin: I mean, they're just, yeah, the pheromones, the muscles, the, yeah, does it for me.

Barb: So, so you, you're attracted to mostly masculine things.

Erin: Yes, I am. And I actually have found that I've been in a lot of environments in my life that are sort of super liberal progressive environments where a sort of alpha kind of male energy is, is kind of an anathema to the culture. It's [00:22:00] like a discomfort with a sort of archetypal kind of maleness and post divorce separation, which I got separated about a year ago, I've been dating a lot of people and I have found that like, what interests me is this little bit more exaggerated archetypical male energy from a bot, almost a bottoming perspective, right? Like I want to give into that energy and it feels super natural to me. I feel really sexy in that, with that setup. Right. I feel really hot.

Barb: I have a question for you about it. So who, who are you in that? Like who is it? Is it something you become when that is present? Or are you always that way in the absence of it? Or has it triggered you into being or has it triggered you into being that way in the absence of it?

Erin: What's so interesting [00:23:00] is I feel super desirable. In that context, I feel super sexy and that feeling of being wanted, like someone being hungry for you, like it's almost animal is so great. So like does it for me.

But then when my partner is super secure in his sexuality, I have found myself a little switchier in that context. Like not only can I own my, my submission side, but then I can also own my dominant side with someone who is super secure with who he is. Where he's like, yeah, I want that too. You know?

Barb: Cause I think, I think everybody has a little of both. So it's about trusting each other. You know, men, men actually need that more than we think. Or male, you know, male body people, whatever.

Erin: Taken care of, in a way, in the bedroom. Like, because they don't get to surrender in their lives as much in the world. And so I've found that [00:24:00] exploring that to be extremely sexy. Where I'm like, in the past, if I have felt like someone was sort of naturally a little bit more passive, a little less in touch with his own sexual hunger and agency, then I don't want to be more dominant with that person because that's reinforcing that that I'm not as attracted to.

But when someone is really owning all sides of his sexuality, then I'm like, Oh, my God, this is like two fully three dimensional people who can shape shift in in the bedroom and in our roles. And that's new for me.

Barb: That was that was not happening in your past, so you're just like figuring out some stuff. I mean, it's all like I said, the first question I asked you about it. Who do you become? So it's not just like it's not just exploring the actual act. It's exploring who you are in it.

Erin: Right and the and the [00:25:00] feeling of being dominant in the bedroom with someone who is always, you know typically dominant, but is is shifting themselves. You're switching with each other and exchanging roles. Then I can sort of feel into something totally different in myself.

And I find myself getting like a little like, you know, bossy and naughty and like, you know strict and all these things that I this has not been part of my sexual I mean, look, I was married for 16 years, and we didn't have a lot of sex the last 10 years. Like, so I am just fully in a place where I'm like, Who am I now? What role do I want to play? What feels good? What's fun? And wow, that's amazing.

Barb: Yeah, it's so fun. It's so great. It's so good for you.

Erin: So we've been talking about how we [00:26:00] evolve across the course of our lives, how our relationship to our own sexuality evolves. Our experience has evolved and Barb, you are now married, right? To a woman.

Barb: Yes, a cis female who identifies as a queer femme


Erin: Okay, great. Again, like so helpful to have the language now, right? To sort of call yourself what you feel inside. I'm having a lot of experiences of thinking about sexuality inside of marriage versus sexuality outside of marriage and how they serve different purposes and they play kind of different roles in your own life. And I'm curious how being married now feels different for you, how sexuality feels different for you, how this piece of the evolution feels?

Barb: Hmm. Um, yeah, that is an excellent question. And I am definitely not Poly. I never have been I always [00:27:00] have like anytime that has come up inside me. I've been like, nope, that's not me.

Erin: Poly being many partners at the same time.

Barb: I am not Poly. I have experienced a threesome before it's, you know, so that's like probably as Polly as I ever have been. I won't say that I ever will be. But at this moment, I am in a monogamous marriage. The first thing I will suggest is That if you are going to get in a monogamous marriage, you make sure that you've done all your exploring and that you know what you want. And um, and so I have had the luxury of being in that position. I have had a wild 20s, 30s, and 40s in my life.

And like I just said to you a little while ago, I learned a lot about myself in the last decade and a half, sexuality wise, I guess I would put it under that [00:28:00] category, which is, I think that my main sexuality would be sapiosexual and demisexual, which are two categories that are, you know, sapiosexual for the people that don't know these terms, It means that I am mostly attracted to intelligence. That gets me hot.

And then, demisexual which I would say runs about neck and neck with sapiosexual, but it means that I can't really have fulfilling sex unless I have an emotional connection with the person So that brings me to my monogamous my monogamous marriage, which you know, I'm in love madly in love with my wife and we connected.

It works out well for us because, you know, neither of us want sex outside the marriage. We have the same as, you know, a lot of married couples. We have our ups and downs. We have our dry spells and wet spells and, you know, in the bedroom. But for me, sex is a [00:29:00] community. It's mostly a connection.

So, for instance, like, I just worked like a million hours in a row.nMy wife also worked a million hours in a row at her job. We didn't see each other. I was in New York City for a long time. And then, you know, the last time we had sex, which was today, Wednesday, that would have been like Monday, Monday, we had sex. And I just noticed that like, and it was like afternoon sex, which is my favorite.

Um, and, and I just noticed that like, later on that night, and for the rest of the night, we were just so close. Like, we were so close, we were so, like, connected, physically, we were, like, in each other's space a little bit more comfortably, so... You know, for me, it's, it's connection, so that's why it works in a monogamous relationship for me.

The other, the other element of that is we have to keep the communication open because that's, I mean, that's what sex is, right? So [00:30:00] I would say to anybody who's listening, you know, if you're embarking upon getting married and you're going to be monogamous, I mean, there's plenty of people that are married that are poly, That's just not my cup of tea.

I would just say, you know, if you're embarking upon a monogamous long term relationship, just make sure that you, you both understand what sex is to each other and how you, what are your expectations moving forward? Because as we all know, Once the honeymoon phase is over. You're doing all kinds of things. You're scheduling dates. You're you know date night You're you know trying to not do the same position all the time. You're you know, it's like toys, right? Yeah, there's all kinds of stuff that goes on. So you got to have open communication and you got to be fair to each other.

Erin: Totally. I think that I didn't kind of just went so blindly into marriage and monogamy and and I wanted babies. You know, at the end of the day, I wanted babies and I found someone who I could have babies with. I was getting old. And he had a lot of other things [00:31:00] going for him that I was attracted to.

But, shit, we did not have these conversations, you know. And I don't think I was prepared to have these conversations in my early thirties. But in my early 50s, I want nothing but these conversations, you know, I want nothing but pre negotiation of everything. I'm trying to figure it out together.

Barb: Yeah, people get really uncomfortable talking about it.

Erin: I think I'm only learning now like how much touch is everything to me.

Barb: What's your love language?

Erin: I mean, I think it's touch like words of affirmation for sure. Please compliment me. Like I really need compliments, but like But yeah, I need to be touched.

And I need to touch and I remember trying to work through some sexual blocks with my ex and saying to him again and again All I need to do is when I'm washing the dishes Come up behind me and start like rubbing my shoulders or put your hand on my ass. Tell me, show me that you [00:32:00] are attracted to me and interested in me and like want to connect with me and I asked for it again and again and it never happened and yeah and it makes me really sad when I think about it now, but I do know that I said what I wanted.

I do know that I said what I wanted, so it's not like it should have been confusing. Yeah. Um, and you know, sometimes you don't get what you want, you don't get what you need and, and then it's up to you to decide whether you want to live with that or you want to, you know, blow shit up. Yeah. Um, hard. It's all hard.

Barb: It is. It is hard. Divorce is super hard. I've been through a divorce. It's really, it's, people have no idea how devastating it is. I think all of us go into relationships a little blind, you know, so that's, I think that's why it's even more important to have the conversations like, you know, how, what, what page are we on about [00:33:00] topics like this, especially stuff in the bedroom is so, I mean, any little thing can throw it off.

One little thing, you know, you use the wrong voice and the person's like, Nope, now I'm out. Yep. I get very frustrated when women don't own their power. The women are so powerful and it's so sexy. Like it's so powerful. And, you know, I get really frustrated when they don't, when they're not stepping into, you know, the goddess that they own, you know,

Erin: I think it's hard. It's hard for a lot of women to sort of. Feel that feel the messages in the culture and then feel that.

Barb: well I think the messages in the culture are there because we all know how powerful it is.

Erin: We better control that Better tamp that down.

Barb: Yeah. The minute guys knew that they were like, we're not going to be letting this get out of control. Everybody put [00:34:00] on the Tom of Finland outfit. Yeah. But it's, you know, I really, I do wish that more women would, would own their power because my God, the female body is just a miraculous. It's just, I'm in awe by it, you know, I'm definitely in awe of it.

Erin: And I think that's what we all want in a, in a lover and a partner is, is someone who's in awe of what we are and who we are in our essence, you know, and, and who can't get enough of that.

There's two things I want to ask you. I like to think about the contracts that we have in our lives, the sort of unconscious or conscious agreements in our lives that we need to uncover and sometimes renegotiate for ourselves. So is there a contract or a deal term in your life that you are ready to [00:35:00] renegotiate?

It can be really small. It can be really big. So for me, there's a really big one, which ties to what we're talking about here, which is like, I was in a marriage with almost no sex for the last 10 years, and in the future, my contract will read, like, sex must be an integral part of this relationship. Right? Like, we must figure out our intimacy and our sexuality together, and that should be at the center of things. On some really fundamental level wasn't a deal term that I had in my marriage, but it certainly will be in relationships going forward. Is there anything that you want to renegotiate?

Barb: Two years ago, right, you know right when that kind of like in the heart of the pandemic I Decided to make sleep a priority, which I had never done in my life. I was raised by these three guys that were very macho about sleep like I've been awake. I've been awake for five days, you know and [00:36:00] my mother who was like a workaholic who also was like pretty macho about like sleep deprivation. So I was just kind of like I didn't have a choice I was like, you know, you got a grind you got a hustle, you got a grind you got a hustle. And Two years ago. I just made sure that I made sleep a priority and I got to tell you. That shit changed my life.

It really, it changed everything about me. It changed my relationships. It absolutely changed how I treat my career, my creativity. I got a book written. It, it changed every single thing in my life. I make sure I get that sleep now. That, that's, that's the only thing that I've really, really renegotiated for myself. And that was... You know, it was just like an inner journey. It didn't really have any, anything to do with anyone else, but the ripple effect sure did. It sure did help everybody. You know, I wasn't, I'm just, I think I'm a better person because I sleep now.

Erin: Yeah. That it's, that's really big. You cannot underestimate the importance of that.

I want to ask you one more question. Just if you could distill kind of the message of the journey that you've been on, what you want listeners to take away from this conversation or this, the story that you shared about yourself, what would that be?

Barb: I would say like the overview is make sure that you, I'm a daily meditator since 2006. I, I really probably have skipped a handful of days since 2006 and what that has done for me is it's just gotten me in touch with myself. So I would say like anyone who's questioning any sexuality stuff or wondering like if they can have better sex or have a better relationship or whatever. Like, get mostly in touch with yourself. Don't look for the, don't look for the answers outside yourself, [00:38:00] because you're really, you could read a million books about it. You could go to a million sex therapists. It's all inside you. The answer is absolutely, like, you know, we're all individual people. You got to ask yourself what it is that you want, what you want to be.

So I would say it's just mostly important to get in touch with yourself and really know yourself. As far as like love relationships and sexuality, you know?

Erin: So amazing. Thank you so much, Barb. This has been an amazing conversation.

Barb: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Erin: Rock on.

Barb: You too.

Erin: I feel like I have to say rock on.

Barb: Rock on, Erin.

Erin: Thanks for listening to Hotter Than Ever. Did we do a good job explaining what Tom of Finland is? No, right? Tom of Finland was an artist known for homoerotic drawings of hyper masculine men, bikers, leather men, men in uniform, with big muscles and bulges wearing tight clothing or sort of [00:39:00] partially removed clothing. I suggest a Google image search for more information.

If you enjoyed this episode and got something out of it, please follow the show on whatever platform you're listening to right now, and rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. That will help other people to find the show.

Hotter Than Ever is produced by Erica Gerard and Podkid Productions. Our associate producer is Lina Reibstein. Music is by Chris Keating with vocals by Issa Fernandez. Come back next week. We're just getting started.


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