You’ve got it all; a great marriage and a lovely home. You’re both on the rise in your careers, but in the bedroom things seem to fall flat. How can sexual incompatibility be addressed in a long-term relationship? We’ll figure it out … on this edition of Frank Relationships.
FRANK RELATIONSHIPS: SEXUAL INCOMPATIBILITY W/ MONIQUE RUFFIN & KENYA STEVENS RELATIONSHIPS: HOSTS HANGOUT
Guests: Monique Ruffin & Kenya Stevens
Date: April 11, 2016
Frank: You’ve got it all; a great marriage and a lovely home. You’re both on the rise in your careers, but in the bedroom things seem to fall flat. How can sexual incompatibility be addressed in a long-term relationship? We’ll figure it out… on this edition of Frank Relationships.
Yes, as always, those are my babies. Thanks for getting daddy’s daughter today.
Welcome to Frank Relationships where we are celebrating our 100th show. Haha! Yes! You hear that Jeff?
Frank: Kweku, yeah 100.
Kweku: Cue applause.
Frank: We also provide a candid, fresh and frank look in the relationships with goals of acceptance, respect and flexibility. I’m Frank Love and you can find me, my blog and my various social media incarnations at www.franklove.com.
You can also find me on ABC’s Good Morning Washington most Friday mornings during the 9 o’ clock hour. If you’re listening to the show on Blog Talk Radio, please follow us and if via iTunes, please subscribe so that you can effortlessly get each show each week.
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Greetings to my co-host, Kweku.
Kweku: Hey bro, how are you?
Frank: I’m great. How are you doing my friend?
Kweku: I’m good, I’m good.
Frank: Good, good, good. We’re also joined by today’s visiting co-host, Vanessa Perry. What’s happening?
Vanessa: Good morning.
Frank: Who are you and what do you do when you’re out being a co-host?
Vanessa: So I’m Dr. Vanessa Perry, relationship expert, psychologist extraordinaire and lifestyle coach.
Frank: Boom, boom.
Kweku: I’m scared.
Frank: I’m curious. Who do you think you’re going to get along with best today—me or Kweku?
Vanessa: That’s a good question. Frank Love and I went to school together, you know so… I’d probably I’m going to vote on him.
Frank: [Unclear] go away, Kweku…
Frank: He’s a much nicer guy tonight.
Vanessa: I believe that.
Frank: As is the case, this week with Vanessa, there’s a guest chair available each week in the studio. The team and i happily welcome a different visiting co-host to join us each week. So if you’re in D.C. or in the D.C. area, or visiting the area and you want to join us in the studio on a given Thursday morning, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. We’ll take it from there and see how it goes.
We have two guests joining us today. The first has hung out with us in the past. In fact, if you want to listen to that show which we recorded a few years ago, go to franklove.com, click on Radio Show and type in her name in the search box. I’m going to give you that in a second after I finish the buid-up. Yeah, be patient.
Anyway, she’s a relationship expert, love coach, best-selling author, wife and mother of 3, a graduate of Howard University (yeah, I’m with her right there) with a degree in Education and Child Psychology, she and her husband are able to reach individuals deeply, supporting them and creating harmonious relationships and achieving their life desires. With a flailing 55% divorce rate, the pair believe that the beautiful resource that they called “progressive love” can save the modern relationship because—and I quote “We need new alternatives.”
Our second guest is an author, activist, life coach and mother who’s dedicated her life to living and teaching that we will change the world with a spiritual approach to all of life’s experiences. Raised in Los Angeles by her grandmother, she was the child of drug addicted, often in prison parents, this challenge along with her grandmother’s lifesaving love and guidance, serve as her activism’s foundation and inspiration. She now coaches, writes and spends lots of time with her son. Her mission—assist in creating a world where the secular serves the sacredness and well-being of all people.
So if you like me want to know what progressive love is, if and if possible how sexual incompatibility can be addressed and—get this, you’re going to like this one—how the church can hijack a vagina…
Frank: …then stay tuned as your Frank Relationship Team talks with Kenya Stevens, yup she’s the previous guest who’s last show can be found by entering her name at the Radio Show link at FrankLove.com and Monique Ruffin.
Welcome to the show, ladies.
G1: Thank you. Happy to be here. Thank you for having me.
G2: Thank you.
Frank: Monique and Kenya, before we get to deepen your interview, we need to kind of check in with everybody to see… drum roll please… what’s in the news.
So what’s in the news, Kweku? Vanessa? What you got?
Kweku: I’m in order. Go ahead Vanessa.
Vanessa: What’s in the news as it relates to—
Frank: Alright, I got one. Anyone familiar with glocks versus docs? It’s an issue.
Vanessa: Glocks versus docs? That’s a new one.
G1: No, no.
Frank: It basically asks should doctors be banned from asking parents whether there’s guns I the house.
Frank: Okay, and so a little history. In some states, physicians just ask that. So they can educate the parents about the importance of gun safety because an awful lot of children die at the hands of or as a result of there being guns in the home that are owned by their parents.
Frank: And so, sometimes you get… this is the article that I read recently… sometimes you get parents who will say “Oh my god, no. We don’t own guns. We don’t believe in guns.” And then you’ll get some parents who are offended that you would even ask. Like that’s none of your business.
Frank: And there was a parent who was in a doctor’s office and whose child said, “Well mommy, we don’t own guns. There are no guns at our house but Jimmy’s dad has a gun. We saw it just the other day.” And she was appalled.
Frank: So, that began a conversation with Jimmy and Jimmy’s parents because clearly there’s a gun floating around in their house—
Frank: —that could… when that son is over there end up causing a tragedy.
Vanessa: Got ya.
Frank: And now, a law has been suggested or introduced that ask “should these physicians be banned from even asking whether there’s guns in the home?” That’s how powerful the gun lobby is.
Frank: That’s amazing. That’s amazing to me. And if you’re wondering what the heck any of these has to do with relationships… this is a conversation that parents are—it’s worth parents having with one another.
Kweku: This is in Florida?
Frank: I don’t remember the state. They were—there were 13 states. I don’t remember what they were.
Vanessa: So it’s interesting that you even brought that up Frank because that actually is common. That’s a common question and I know that because violence and safety is a domestic violence issue. So I definitely can see physicians asking now on a regular basis and you want to make sure, I mean that’s just like asking somebody if you do drugs, what your sexual practices are as it relates to relationships, you want to know if people have guns in the house. You want to know if they’re practicing gun safety not only because if something jumps off in their relationship but also for the children. We have children as you indicated this article said that children are finding the guns and we have a lot of violence in our communities. Kids are taking guns to school so yeah, I definitely can say that.
Frank: When you say you want to know, what perspective are you coming from? And when you say this is a common question, is the common question from?
Vanessa: This is actually also gun safety is a public health issue. So you will often have physicians asking that question. So you may not find physicians asking that question in a regular primary care setting or like your own private physician but I know for sure in community health settings, they ask that question all the time.
Frank: Okay. Kenya, you got an opinion on everything, what do you say on this?
Kenya: On gun safety?
Kenya: [Unclear] much of an opinion because I believe that the whole idea of guns and security in a way we think of it is based on a cultural issue that must be addressed at a deeper level. To address just guns is just addressing the surface of a very serious issue of rabid individualism and fear and a culture built around fear. That’s what has to change.
Frank: What you got Monique?
Monique: You know, I don’ do anything around guns at all, like I don’t own a gun, I would own a gun if I had the opportunity to, I don’t have the need to protect my life in that way and… so it’s something that I never even consider like it’s just a non conversation for me.
Frank: Okay. Now, here’s another piece in the news. There was an article in the paper a few days ago. There was a tragedy that occurred. Maybe a month or so ago and it was where a woman was killed by—I believe, her husband or child’s father—and this was in Virginia. The police were called and the man, of course allegedly, the man shot the police officer who arrived on the scene. He killed her and she was—this was her first day on the job—so he killed her and shot two other officers who I do not believe dies.
Now, that’s a part of the story. Now, the other part of the story was that the man who killed the woman and the police officer was the son of a cop and not just that, but he was a veteran and he had been in—I believe Iraq, Middle East—that sort of war zone kind of areas. And so the article was talking about the father and how the father tried to raise the son and in some ways how the son was different when he came back from his tour.
I just thought it was particularly interesting because it painted the father. It painted the difficulty that the father was living with by being a retired police officer—
Kweku: His son shot?
Frank: His son shot the folks. So by being a retired police officer, so he can empathize with the woman, the police officer that was killed and the other two police officers that were shot… while also empathizing with of course, his son and what happened with him when he came back from—I believe it was Iraq—and all of the new ones along the way.
So naturally, there’s—we got domestic violence issue here, we have an issue of the effects of—and I don’t even… generally, I don’t all it war. Particularly the Iraq situation but that’s another conversation. But the violence that occurs there, what effect does that have on these soldiers that come home and how they have to re-adjust or to re-acclimate to society as it is here versus as it is there?
Frank: I think the whole thing is amazing. It’s just—it’s a lot going on there.
Vanessa: Yeah, so—
Frank: Where do we start?
Vanessa: So here’s the thing, so Frank Love as you know, I was in the military. Some of that [unclear] so I served on active duty during that particular timeframe and not during Iraq but first dessert storm. So you have a lot of veterans that come back home and they have PTSD.
Frank: And PTSD is?
Vanessa: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Frank: Thank you.
Vanessa: So you have folks who are suffering from the effects of war, or just being in the warzone. Even if they didn’t see anything, they’re dealing with sleeplessness nights, they’re dealing with anxiety, they’re dealing with fear, and so… unfortunately, a lot of times that manifests as violence because they may actually be experiencing those types of symptoms and may be they’d think someone’s chasing them… So the situation with the gun unfortunate as it is, is not unheard of. You have people threatening their own lives, —
Vanessa: —as well as other people’s lives. So it’s a sad situation. It’s something that I think we’re dealing with on a regular basis as it relates to veterans, particularly those post-911.
Kweku: And also those of us who have experienced, why would you describe it and finally there’s a war not—the circumstances… on war is like—I have a friend of mine who experienced some issues here. I think he was in Iraq as well and he has some experiences here to cause him to get a little of trouble based on his experiences in Iraq and he used to tell stories a lot about some of the things he experienced. He was like, they were just trained to be prepared for certain things and so there’s like not necessarily no negotiations and so forth. So the way you deal with situations over in Iraq or wherever, you deal with it lie it’s war. When you come over here, it’s really hard to re-adjust. He’s relatively young and he experienced these things so just hearing him tell these stories, and often times we say “Well, it wasn’t a war. It was this and that,” but we didn’t experience—some of us didn’t experience.
Kweku: So I can kind of understand, it’s just a huge issue.
Vanessa: Absolutely, yeah.
Frank: And could be devastating for relationships.
Vanessa: Oh absolutely.
Frank: Monique, what you got?
Monique: Well, I think that people need to be acclimated by communities and families that embrace them in a loving way and we just don’t have the tools in our community and within ourselves, that can help people heal the trauma that they experienced. So one of the things that we know that really helps people feel connected is touch and massage and meditation and being out in nature. So unless we actually apply those tools to people who are experiencing trauma, the traumas continue to be—
Monique: —to continue to reoccur in their mind, right. So one of the things for me, is that I work in the spa and that’s one of the things that I do. Human touch and human connection is medicine.
Frank: It really is.
Vanessa: And so these are simple things. This is not brain science or a surgery. These are really simple things that can be applied and I just think that we have to value who we are, we have to be compassionate, and we have to take the steps to get people what they need so that they can really heal and so that we can stop these experience of war because that’s ridiculous.
Frank: All the way around. All the way around.
Frank: Not just the effects of it for the soldiers that come back but whether we need to be over there in the first place.
Vanessa: Oh absolutely.
Frank: That’s another conversation.
Vanessa: That’s a completely different conversation.
Frank: And to build on what Monique just said in terms of physical touch… we did an interview with Dr. Gary Chapman with the five love languages and one of those five love languages is physical touch.
Vanessa: Physical touch.
Frank: And if you don’t believe in the power of physical touch, try being angry while somebody’s touching you, massaging you… something like that. It’s a really life-changing, mood-changing, mood-altering experience. It can really do a lot. So if you want to hear that show that we did on Dr. Gary Chapman, search his name at the Radio Show link at www.franklove.com. Kenya Kay, what you got?
Kenya: I’m telling my children “Hey, don’t scream guys I’m on the radio.” It’s the way you talk to individuals. It’s not even just touch. Touch is so important. The way we speak to one another has the shift. The culture has the shift. I hope that’s what we’re chatting about because that’s what I was hearing last.
Frank: It’s in the ethos; it’s in the spirit of it all, Kenya. So you, you knew what we were talking about even without hearing us so thank you. Last issue I’m going to throw out there was there’s a new book by a woman, her name was Peggy Orenstein and it’s called “Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape.” It discusses the issues that teenage girls are facing today related to sex.
So here’s an interesting piece… Vanessa, do you have children?
Vanessa: No I don’t.
Frank: Kenya, do you have—I know you have children. Do you have any teenage girls?
Kenya: Yes, I do.
Kenya: One teenage girl, age 15.
Frank: Alright. Monique, you got one?
Monique: I do not have teenage girls but I do have lots of nieces that I am… I do not want to say “in charge of” but then I give leadership to and love.
Frank: Got ya. Well, here’s an interesting piece. You’ve got 3 gentlemen here in the studio so myself, Kweku, and Jeff who’s quiet over here running the boards and… myself and Kweku, we are both parents of teenage daughters and Jeff has been a parent of a teenage daughter. She’s in her 20s now, right?
Frank: Yup. And so, we got 3 ladies, what can you teach us about what is going on in the sexual world of a young teenager and I don’t know if Jeff needs the education. His daughter’s older, I certainly do.
Jeff: I have PTSD due to… dealing with a teenage daughter.
Kweku: I got a 15-year old but also I have an older [unclear].
Frank: Oh that’s right. Yeah, she’s what—20…?
Kweku: 27. M.O.
Frank: Alright, so you got your own PTSD going on.
Kweku: And a lot of stuff going on.
Frank: Yeah. Alright ladies.
Kweku: Should I all boys…
Kenya: Well I feel inclined to start and kick this off with just saying that teenage young ladies are horny. They’re sensual, they want to be touched.
Kweku: Thanks a lot.
Kenya: they want to be loved.
Frank: Yeah, yeah that.
Kenya: They want to make love.
Kweku: This is going well.
Kenya: They want their breast and their bottoms and their bodies admired, they are magnetic, they want to experience their magnetism and right now in our culture, there’s no real clear road for them to do that responsibly and knowing that they are normal in their feeling. So hopefully, what you guys are creating is just that. That’s what I’m creating for my daughter. I am not going to deny her sexuality. I will not tell her that good girls don’t, and I will not put out her sensual fire or waters. I will allow her to develop as a natural woman and to respect her sensuality and hopefully, men of daughters can do that and men of sons can help the sons understand girls because girls are phenomenal beings and without them, there will be no more life on the planet, without their sensuality, there would be no more life on the planet.
So I think that we should encourage rather than thwart. That is what I will say just right off the bat.
Kweku: Encourage what?
Kweku: Encourage what?
Kenya: Encourage them to be what they naturally are which is magnetic, beautiful, sensual, open and encourage them to find outlets for that and to help them find outlets for that.
Monique: I think it’s really—
Kweku: Yeah, yeah.
Jeff: You’re opening up a door. Are you saying encourage promiscuity?
Kenya: I don’t know what promiscuity is. What I know is that human beings are naturally desirous of sensuality. Now if there is a stigma attached to that, I would advise that as a culture, we delete it because who we are and how we have come to be is through sensuality. So that is something that needs to be deleted, the idea of promiscuity.
Jeff: I don’t want to assume anything but are you also a supporter of education and safe sex and all of the things that go along with promoting promiscuity being very dangerous and unhealthy?
Kenya: I won’t put myself in that category because those who do that are the ones thwarting natural sensuality. When my daughter brought home a paper to say can she take this Sex Ed class, I told her—I asked her “Do you want to do that?” She says, “Yes, I’d like to know what they’re saying.” She came home crying because they have taught children that sex is dangerous and can kill you.
Jeff: It can!
Kenya: Instead of teaching—excuse me, darling. I am a woman. I have sex. I am alive. I am 43. What I’m trying to express is that our education around sex has to shift. It cannot be a negative, scary place because that is what pauses what you’re saying is promiscuity early teen and death through sensuality or death through some type of related to sex. Other than that, there’s nothing wrong. We can teach girls who understand their cycle. We can teach girls how to choose partners. We can teach girls, girls are smart. They are not dumb. They do not need to be brainwashed against loving their own body and sensuality and they don’t need to be feared or guilted.
Kweku: Can you help me out? I have a scenario.
Kweku: I have a 15-year old girl. So let’s say my 15-year old is on her iPad, Facetiming, 3 o’ clock in the morning with a young man. So I as the father, walk in on this. Should I just say “Continue what you’re doing” or ask questions, tell her she needs to get off to—what should I do?
Kenya: What I’d do, if I have a 15-year old daughter, let us not forget, I’m doing it. I encourage her by talking to her about her partner. I ask her about her partner.
Kweku: Her partner?
Kenya: Her PARTNERS, the boys that she likes. I want to meet them. I want them to come spend time with us/ I want her to understand that I am involved in her relationships and I can support her and that she’s always safe. And if she’s talking to someone at 3 in the morning, all I ask is “Do you have school tomorrow?” I also ask about the conversation, “What are you guys talking about? How do you like him so far? Do you think he has common sense? Is he’s been one you would choose to a partner?” You have to teach them how to think about relationships because they’re going to be in it.
Kweku: I agree. You do all of that at 3am?
Vanessa: Yeah, I have to totally just disagree on this. I don’t have children but what I do have is a 15-year old nephew and I also have a younger sister who was a teenager, she’s 13-years younger than me. So she was a teenager—
Frank: And you were a teenager.
Vanessa: Well, thank you. Yeah, I have to totally disagree on that. I mean, I think at this point, we are living in perilous times and we need to be educating our young people about sex but we do not need to be advocating per se… I mean, we are looking at the rates of HIV and AIDS increasing just exponentially. Particularly in the African-American community among young girls, young girls who are suffering with self-esteem issues, issues at home, and so they are looking—and they don’t have fathers and so they are looking for father figures and they go out here and they find these older men and these older men are like oh yeah, we love you. They end up in very risky situations and next thing you know, these women, their lives are ruined.
So no. We need to be educating them. I’m not saying that we should say “Don’t have sex” but we need to be educating them about being safe and about sexual practices and about their bodies, and things like that but I am, I definitely… at 15 years old, I mean you’re not acquit to be in a sexual relationship.
Kenya: Right and my daughter has not been.
Frank: What can you—hold on… wait, let me…
Kenya: She’s been educated.
Frank: I don’t hear what Kenya is saying as really disagreeing with you, Vanessa. It sounds as though she’s saying educate—you’re saying educate and she’s saying educate. I don’t really ehar what the difference is. Now, maybe it’s the age thing and where you’re saying that conversation shouldn’t be had with a 15-year old or if you’re going to have the conversation, have the conversation telling them to pipe down or something like that. Maybe that’s what’s not being said in terms of where you disagree but it sounds as though you’re both saying educate. I would say if the dormant issue is the age, if you’re old enough to have the urges as a 15-year old young female, if you’re old enough to have the urges, the cycle to be able to have a child, then you’re old enough to have a conversation, a serious conversation about sex.
Vanessa: Absolutely. No, I totally agree with that. You can have a conversation but what I’m talking about is the emotional maturity, and to Jeff’s point, the advocating or promiscuity, absolutely not. But yes, you should be having conversations with them about their body, about what they’re feeling emotionally, what they’re feeling physically and educating them about “Okay, you may have these desires, here’s how you deal with them,” having conversations whether if they’re dating boys, those type of things. But in Kweku’s instance you know, 3 o’ clock in the morning, I don’t know if [unclear] advocating that.
Kenya: Oh I am because I [unclear / cross talking]…
Monique: I find it really fascinating that there’s so much fear in this conversation around what is so natural to us. Sex is no different than eating and why I say that it’s because it is a function of being a human being from the time that we are born. Most little girls start touching themselves at 2 and 3 and 4 years old. So I was a little girl who was 13 years old having sex because I was in an environment where I didn’t have a lot of leadership. So my natural inclination was to do what my body urged me to do, which was have sex. And I had to learn a lot of that on my own and I didn’t get HIV and yeah, there were consequences to that. I had a teenage pregnancy and I had an abortion.
And so those are not the most conducive experiences for a young girl but as an adult, I’ve learned until now the women that are in my life, a young girl that is in my life. I don’t just talk to them, I have open conversations that help them really accept who they are, love who they are, be who they are in a way that isn’t shrouded in shame.
So the article that I wrote, “How the Church Hijacked My Vagina” or “How the Church Hijacked Your Vagina,” this idea that sex is evil and that women are simple like oh that stuff is out of my consciousness. I don’t even allow it to come inside of me and it lives inside of me at a time because we grow up in a culture that says that women, their sexuality is somehow bad and it creates the fall of men and all… that’s bullshit. I don’t do any of that. Like sexuality and female sexual empowerment is the very sinner of creation in our world. I believe it and I teach every woman that that is her source of power because she can recreate life. There’s nothing evil or bad about it.
So for me, I just think that the way we—our attitude around it are…
Monique: So disconnected, yes. It’s breathtaking to me how antiquated we are around it.
Kweku: So my question is, so the question was posed from the men who have 15 year old daughters to example we used. What I got from this conversation is—
Frank: Sum it up, sum it up.
Kweku: Let her be, let her do her…
Kenya: No, that’s not what you should get from me. Call her, touch her, teach her how to choose men properly, ask her how she feels about [unclear]—
Kweku: Ah, I didn’t hear any of that.
Kenya: Meet some men [unclear]
Kweku: No, I have an open mind.
Kenya: What you’re hearing is, your filter of fear. What I’m telling you is, release the fear, understand she is going to be fine, —
Kweku: That’s mine.
Kenya: —hold her, touch her, teach her about boys, ask her how she feels, meet the boys, let her have the company, let her have the experience of touch, ask her when she’s ready for sensuality and listen to her, provide safe space for her, let her know that she is normal and natural, let her know how to count her cycle, let her know how to not get pregnant, let her know how to protect herself, but don’t think that telling her no is going to do anything besides to cause her to sneak around you.
Kenya: And that’s not what you want. Okay?
Kweku: That I’d do.
Monique: AND I think with these conversations, they just start far earlier than 15.
Vanessa: Oh absolutely.
Monique: So these are conversations that start at 3 with simple things… This is your body, this is your vagina, like these are the things that you start having conversations really early so by the time your daughter gets 11, 12, 13, 14, 15… it’s nothing for her to come and talk to her parents because she’s been talking to you all the time. Nothing has been in the shadow.
Frank: That’s beautiful.
Monique: And her friends have a predetermined how she thinks about this and feels about this. When her friends are talking about it, she’s like “Oh yeah, my parents talk to me about this all the time.” Like she’s able to because she has a teaching one another.
Kweku: I agree. I also think fathers should have some type of fear. It’s natural. I have fears.
Frank: We all do.
Vanessa: We all have fears.
Monique: But the question is do you have fears because of who you were as a boy?
Kweku: Not at all. I have an older daughter. It’s just that thing, that’s my daughter. Like don’t touch my daughter. So—
Monique: Well why would you not want your daughter to experience touch?
Kweku: You know it’s going to happen. It’s inevitable. You’re actually cool with it because you promote family and so forth. It’s just that—it must be a man thing. I know it is for me but I mean like, I have an older daughter so it’s not really an issue but it’ two different personalities. My youngest daughter who I’m very close with, we touch—she still does things to my face and my hands and so forth so we’re very close. So it’s just like, for a guy, like that’s my baby. And so… you know, you just—it’s a fear but it’s something you get over like anything else. So I agree with you guys 100%. I was just worried about the whole [unclear] thing, why you didn’t say “Turn it down I’ll pay it off” as opposed to “Sweetheart, who are you talking to? Let me see his face. Hi fellow, how are you?” No, I’m not doing that.
Monique: Right. Well if this will make you feel better, when I was that age—
Kweku: I wouldn’t feel better.
Monique: —14, on the phone, at 3 o’ clock in the morning, my grandmother woke up and heard me on the phone and smacked the shit out of me.
Kweku: There you. That’s called applied consequences. So imagine if you were talking to somebody and you could see their face—
Kweku: —you might be putting [unclear] down to his crotches, something like that…
Frank: And grandma walks over…
Frank: Oh my.
Kweku: What is going on?
Monique: [unclear] is she smacked the shit out of me and I did it again the very next day. So it wouldn’t matter.
Frank: Well it sounds as though most of us have gotten on the same page. Jeff, I don’t know… you… where are you now?
Jeff: You don’t have enough time in this show, bro.
Kweku: Sure don’t.
Jeff: I’ll just make one analogy… and I don’t know if it was Monique who said “sex is like eating”—
Frank: That was Monique.
Jeff: —and it actually is a decent analogy except you don’t eat razor blades or nails. Okay, you have to—
Frank: But food can kill you.
Jeff: It can, absolutely and so can sex. So the education—and I appreciate her perspective on the church and the vagina and all of that, there are yahoos who are going to say “you don’t do this.” There are people who say that government should tell a woman what o do with her uterus. That is just a fact of life. The education part I was talking about is safe sex because sex is dangerous.
Jeff: And if my daughter came home afraid and in tears, okay, I’m good with that and I’ll explain to her why you have to be safe when doing this. When you get in a car, you put on a seatbelt. Chances are, you’re not going to get into an accident but if you do, it’s going to save your life.
Jeff: That’s why I taught my son to wrap it up. And that’s why I don’t talk to my daughter about sex but my wife does.
Frank: And why don’t you talk to your daughter—
Jeff: I can’t deal with it. I just—
Monique: But why did you talk to your son about “wrapping it up” if you talk to your son about respecting and worshipping the [unclear].
Monique: Did you talk to your son about what it means it should be allowed—
Kweku: Yeah, that’s why [unclear]—
Monique: Did you talk to your daughter about how wonderful it is to be in love?
Jeff: Absolutely, absolutely.
Monique: [unclear / cross talking]
Jeff: All of the above. No, it’s a give and take and it goes in both ways and I’ve set an example. I’ve been married 31 years, not that you have to be married to be a good parent or to set a good example, but by leading by example, I show them what mutual respect and love is all about between me and my wife and between our entire family in the household.
So no, I can’t deal with the sexual life of my daughter.
Kweku: Thank you.
Jeff: She’s in a relationship, she’s on the pill, I know all of this. I still have told my wife to remind her that that’s not enough… that that won’t prevent her from getting pregnant but I don’t know what the boyfriend’s doing when he’s not with her.
Jeff: You said that girls are intelligent and nurturing—absolutely. Guys are idiots. I’m one of them.
Kweku: Yes, we are.
Jeff: So watch out for that. Don’t eat the nails. Go have some celery.
Frank: Okay, on that note…
Frank: Moving on, moving on. We’re out of the news now. Okay ladies, what advice—this is a question that we ask every week to everybody. You want to do it, Kweku?
Kweku: Sure, hold on.
Frank: Hit it.
Kweku: What advice can you give to a 25 year old couple that has a baby due in 2 months?
Monique: Advice for a 25 year old couple who has a baby due in 2 months? Are they married? Or are they… whatever the other thing is?
Frank: We’ll call it… well sure they’re married.
Kweku: Let’s say they’re married.
Monique: So is this advice about sensuality or is it advice about relationships?
Frank: Whatever you want to advise them on… this couple is the one where you’re sister have them over to the house and you met the, and your sister said to you “Tell them, give them some advice to help them along the way about relationships.” And so you’re just saying whatever it is that comes up.
Kenya: Well if I had to say an introductory statement to them, I’d just say that relationships are forever changing and they have to be ready with the tide. When you have a baby, even the chemistry of your body changes. Your husband smells differently. When you push the baby out, your husband looks different to you. You feel differently about him and you have to be ready to adjust. The husband should be ready to not take that personal. The change in the sexuality, the change in the feelings between the two after one has the baby.
Frank: Well, alright. Monique?
Kweku: I like that.
Monique: I would say ask for help. When you’re two months away from having a baby, you’re going to need some help. You’re going to need people to support you. You’re going to need friends to come and family members to come. You’re going to need support possibly with breastfeeding and taking care of yourself and getting rest. Just ask for help. Don’t be afraid—and the reason I said that is because a lot of women in our conventional, culture, they have a hard time asking for support because we believe that we’re supposed to do everything and what we don’t understand is that when a child comes, it really changes everything about you, and you don’t know that.
Some of the reasons you don’t know it is because we haven’t been informed, we don’t live in communities anymore—
Monique: —where we see the examples of what’s happening when someone is having a baby, when the family has a baby and what goes on. So everyone’s living in their own quarters until you don’t actually get to experience how that changes your life.
So I just feel like we need a community, we need to ask for help and don’t judge yourself for how you feel, whatever that’s like. People talking about postpartum depression and all that sort of stuff. Some of that is just happening because you’re by yourself.
Monique: You know? It’s like, if you just have people around you, you know that oh when that baby cries ad if I’m tired, somebody is out there that’s going to say, “Okay, you know honey, you’re going to breastfeed” or “I’m going to get a bottle for the baby.”
Frank: That’s a huge deal.
Frank: I was growing up… I’m 2 years older than one sister, 10 years older than another sister and 14 years older than the third sister. I remember distinctly when my sisters that are 10 and 14 were younger, their moms, Mom [unclear / Kain], my father’s mom was around all the time. I mean they made—the difference that they made in raising these baby girls was tremendous and I got to see it and appreciate it and there’s nothing like it.
Frank: When my son was born, when my second son—
Kweku: He’s losing track of his kids.
Frank: Yeah, I can’t keep up.
Frank: When my second son was born and he is the first child that I had with my wife, my current wife, my mother-in-law lived with us for a year and a half. It was a huge help. I mean—
Frank: Yes. And I got to sleep and I got to look at my wife like she was crazy when she woke up in the middle of the night and the baby was up. I didn’t… my time didn’t change at all. I still woke up at the same time. It was great. I got to sleep.
Kweku: Like I have a—almost [unclear] on your relationship with your wife though.
Frank: I’m listening.
Kweku: And so… I had a lot of support. Sometimes I feel like too much. So you have all these people automatically interjecting into your family. So you have people that help support with the baby but they also in your business. So family members, community, we had a plethora of people just everywhere. So I had like especially my mother, we had crazy support with when my first son was born but then my community was like so massive, everybody—it retrospect. It feels as though we didn’t have enough space to cultivate our relationship in my previous marriage. So you appreciate the help but you didn’t allow yourself to grow as a couple and face certain challenges and just cultivate the actual relationship. We speed ball so I was marriage for 10 years, like that thing it felt like—
Frank: A year.
Kweku: Yeah, it felt like a year. That’s how fast it was. You say you have one child and then you had another child, then you already had a child that you brought into the relationship. So no regrets but like you got to be kind of careful as a new couple about how much you allow people to kind of be in your business.
Frank: That’s interesting. And—
Kweku: because everyone has opinions based on their experience what you should do and then when you’re young, 25 is very young.
Kweku: And I was 22 when I first got married. It was like I love you all, thank you. But then 15 years later, you’re like I wish they got the hell out of my face. But…it’s two sides of that. But I mean, the support was once hidden, that’s what we needed at that time but in retrospect, you probably should have kind of focus on cultivating our relationship because we kind of let it allow the children to kind of… dictate which direction the relationship went.
Frank: Interesting. Alright. Okay, Monique. You’ve got a sexual incompatibility story, am I right?
Monique: I do. I have—I do.
Frank: I’m listening. Could you share it with us, please?
Monique: I can, I can. It’s so funny… yeah. Okay so I was in a long term relationship with—
Frank: How long?
Monique: —someone… Probably 10 years or so.
Kweku: Kind of long.
Monique: Yeah. Uhuh. And where we struggled with sexual compatibility. That relationship was… so all of a sudden, I feel a little sensitive about it now but it’s all good. So yeah. So that relationship…
Frank: This is after you’ve written about it and talked about it to probably a plethora of people? You’re talking to Frank…
Monique: Okay, yeah. It’s all good. It’s totally great. So this is my ex, and we have a child together and we were such great friends. We were incredible, incredible friends and that felt like it would translate into our sexuality. We didn’t live together before we were married but then when we got married, it was something that was a part of an experience in our relationship. We just didn’t have a lot of sexual chemistry… and struggle a great deal inside of our relationship. But we struggled a great deal sexually, we didn’t struggle as friends. So there was a deep sense of connection and a companionship and friendliness, almost like brother and sister but that did not translate to our sexual relationship.
We didn’t have the tools and even though we went to therapy, there was no therapist at that time that had the skill set to assist us, to give us the tools and information that we needed to make it through that experience, like I didn’t know anybody like Kenya. If I’ve known somebody like Kenya at that time, it would be a completely different story but I didn’t know somebody like her. My ex-husband at that time intuitively was having a conversation with me. We were having a conversation about roles in the relationship, like I should be more feminine. What did it mean for me to be a woman, what did—would it being a feminine woman, but we—that was coming out of his heart. That was not anything that we had heard before.
And so, it felt to me like he was attempting to peg me in a like an old idea of what it meant to be a woman. That was hard for me because of my mother who was that way and at that time, I had a difficult relationship with her because I was raised—
Frank: Who was? What way? Explain that way your mom was.
Monique: Okay, so my mother was very much in the home cooking and cleaning, walking around in lingerie kind of woman. My mother was a very sensual, sexual woman. She and my father had a very unique relationship like they had an open relationship. There was a time in their life when my mother and father had—where she was a sex worker and my father was we would call, her pimp. So yes, and I was born in that relationship which is why my grandmother raised me because my grandmother was a Christian and had a hope, and had a very difficult time with who they were. But what that created in my mother and my father in their relationship were very distinct roles. My mother did—she was a sexual, sensual woman. She cooked, she cleaned and she was very comfortable in her relationship with my father as a feminine woman and pleasing him and doing all that sort of stuff. And I did not—that didn’t work for me. So—
Frank: Because of—
Monique: —when I got inside of my marriage—
Frank: Do you think it didn’t work because you were angry at your mom for being that way or did it just not work for you? That just wasn’t you?
Monique: It didn’t work for me because that I was given so many mixed messages. Like I was told my mother was not good when she was—
Frank: By your grandmother?
Monique: Uhuh and the culture.
Frank / Vanessa: And the culture.
Monique: And a woman shouldn’t be that way. And even though my mother… that Kenya said that she encourages her daughter, inspires her—my mother was VERY open with me sexually, talked to me all the time about my sexuality, about my relationship with boys. That was the only place it was happening and I didn’t think that my mother had power. I didn’t see her power because my parents had some other dynamics that were going on with them that—because they were—because nobody was accepting of who they were so they were doing something that was so cutting edge. It just was not… the translation felt… hard in the brain of a young girl. So by the time I was married, there were so many mixed marriages. I completely turned off sexually until I really will say I was the problem.
Frank: So completely—
Monique: I will say that I was the problem.
Frank: —turned off… What does that look like to be turned off sexually, meaning you did not want his penis in your vagina or you just—when it occurred, you were not stimulate—? How—help me paint the picture please?
Monique: Yes. So the picture was, I was afraid of my own sexuality. I was afraid of being of the power of that. I was afraid of having a man be so connected to me because I was his source of pleasure. I was his source and his connection to a deeper experience of human connection. Like I, I was terrified of that. so I cut that off inside of myself because I thought that that wasn’t going to be powerful. I thought that it was—oh gosh, I’ve never talked about it like this before… I thought that it meant that I was weak, I thought that it meant that I will be like my mother and that I didn’t see her as empowered.
I saw her as only a sexual creature. I didn’t see that that was a place of power. I thought that that was a place of vulnerability and I didn’t see that that was a source of creation and beauty and sensuality at that time. So I had really cut myself off from my own sexuality and thereby cutting myself off from my own femininity and how that was a source of creation and pleasure in my relationship with my ex-husband. So I didn’t make that a part of our—I didn’t consciously understand it and so I didn’t make it a part of our experience.
So we struggled with it but he didn’t know that that was why it was going on and I didn’t know that that was why it was going on because I said, we didn’t have anybody like Kenya. So we had someone like Kenya… we’d probably still be together today… Because we’re actually really great friends today because we have a child and we are great, great friends today. We really are. But we just didn’t know. We didn’t know any better.
Frank: Did your husband know your parents?
Monique: No because my parents were not alive at that time. So my parents died. My mother died when I was 29, my father died when I was 13.
Frank: Woah, okay. Okay. What might have—since we got the coach on the line who you wish you would have had, what would that coach say? Kenya?
Kenya: Well, the concern with modern relationships and modern marriage in general is exactly the cultural issue you all were discussing. So we would support this young man and this young woman in understanding where their biases, thoughts, ideas around sensuality comes from so that they can have a fighting chance of getting back to their natural mess—to getting back to understanding that there’s nothing wrong with the woman who is deeply sensual and there’s nothing wrong when a woman is no longer choosing you even if you’re married to her. So here at Jujumama Love Academy, we have a process called the Choice Paradigm. We believe that women, since they’re allowing men lingam penis into their body are the tutors of men. This culture has that turned around where you’d see women objectifying and men sort of going after women when not fruitless because she is eventually needing to choose you or [unclear] the drape, right?
If she hasn’t chosen you, then it’s rape. So we have to admit and understand that women are the choosers and even if you’re married to a woman and she was choosing you at one time and she’s not choosing you now, there are other things to do about that than relegate her to “oh you’re a whore” and “I hate you.” Whatever it is that he was going through, Monique, I don’t exactly know what his issues were whether it was you were too sexual or not sexual enough. But the point is, is that you always defer to the woman’s choice. So women are choosing men in four basic ways and then these vary out into a thousand many trillion ways.
Frank: Break it down.
Kenya: The four basic ways is that they’re choosing a man based from their heart—we call this “support choice.” That’s a man who’s like a friend. We call this sometimes as the “friendzone.” That’s a choice where you want this man in your house, you would love him to stand to help you raise your children. You would love to partner with this man but it’s not as though you feel like a super sexual desire for this man, right?
It’s sort of like the guy that our mothers told us we should choose. You should look for the respectable man, the man who will be in the house with you and help you with things. That’s called support choice. So many women feel like they want to marry a man like that but they do that and they find that they don’t feel the sexual arousal that they feel like they should feel. We are convinced that marriage equals romance. We all know that that’s not the case. You said you’re married 30 years, one of your hosts. I’ve been married for 21 years so I know that marriage has nothing to do with romance, right?
So the idea of that the support choice is the first choice, that’s what where women looking for—emotional support, partnership.
Another thing a woman might be choosing you for is “womb choice.” That’s a choice from her genital. That’s a choice for her root shakra. She needs your penis. She needs your sex. She needs your attention. This is when you get the fatal attraction movie… [unclear] that type of energy. That’s an important energy for a woman to experience and it doesn’t always come through marriage.
A woman can be married 15 years and then womb choose somebody else and this is a problem in modern culture, right? Womb choice relationships are usually shorter, they’re not for the man movement. This man is over in the woods, like that Jamaican guy—
Frank: Dexter Saint Jock?
Kenya: Yeah, Dexter….
Frank: Everybody remembers Dex from Eddie Murphy role. Yes…
Monique: He’s over there in the islands somewhere, you know… he’s chilling. But the point is that she needs him at certain various points in her—this is why a woman is she’s constantly changing, her moods, her emotions and she sometimes needs that guy, right?
The third choice is the choice that we call “crown choice.” This is where a woman falls in love with a man because he has wisdom to give her. He supports her in fulfilling her destiny. He helps her out of her problems, emotional issues, he could talk to her and make her feel better soothing his words, his wisdom, his kindness. He is a healer… you know?
That’s the situation you get in with you having a problem with your husband. You go talk to this other guy and he just moves you all now, you know? And that too is not welcomed in the American Paradigm, in the relationship paradigm but it’s a real choice that women need from time to time in life.
The fourth and final choice is what I call the “money choice.” This is the man who is willing to pamper a woman based on the beauty that she possesses. It’s almost like the trophy or the man who’s older and needs the vital chi of young beauty on his arm. It makes him ten times taller, you know, and more social and more respected in his circle. She needs is him to pamper her and we call this here in our culture, what is that called—the daddy…?
Frank / Vanessa: The sugar daddy.
Frank: Aw, she knew that one. Vanessa’s [unclear]… Oh yeah, that’s the sugar daddy. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Kenya: So very rarely, I’ve never seen and I’ve counselled thousands of couples. I’ve never seen all of those choices in one man… because if that could be the case, then we would not stratify. We would not have community. We could find everything that we need in one person, then humans would cease to exist because we only exist because we exist in numbers. That’s how we defeated bears and tigers, and outlived gorillas and so forth because we live in community. If we lived individually before, we’d be dead. We’ve always existed as community and thus, we need different things from different people in the community because that’s not really allowable here. People are still doing it but they have found other covert ways to do this and women have the desires and naturally, and I would explain that to Monique and her partner and I would really allow them to open their minds to a new structure. Now, so that’s advanced but that’s what is needed in that kind of scenario to understand a woman, to understand a man, to understand human sensuality as opposed to a fairytale of American marriage.
Frank: We’re talking with relationship authors and coaches, Kenya Stevens and Monique Ruffin. They’re both spiritual-minded teachers that are committed to helping and promoting successful relationships. Monique, please tell our listeners what you’re up to and how they can find you.
Monique: I host my own radio show. It’s called Rise with Monique Ruffin on www.12radio.com, you can find me there where I have such guests as Kenya was on my show a couple weeks ago and Russell Simmons is on my show yesterday and Marianne Williamson a few weeks ago. So we’re having big conversations about how we can spiritually tackle a lot of the things that people are dealing with on a day-to-day basis. I’m also a writer at mom.me and the Huffington Post and you can find me on social media and any of those venues where you find millions and millions of people—I’m there too.
Frank: Got ya. Kenya, would you do the same? Break it down.
Kenya: Sure. If you’d like to find more about plan or work, you can Google Jujumama, I am CEO of Jujumama—it means “magical women.” What you can do is Google Jujumama, you’ll get 200 pages of stuff. I have four websites, Youtube, all social media and it’s all under “Jujumama.”
Frank: I believe you both have books. Would you tell us about your books? Start with you Kenya.
Kenya: Absolutely. My first book is called “Change Your Man.” It’s a book for women who have a very strong masculine side like I did when I was first married 21 years ago. I almost ruined my marriage with that overly masculine way and the book talks about changing your inner man, how to sit him down and bring up your feminine so that you can get along in partnership with an actual man.
Vanessa: Love it.
Frank: And is that your only book?
Kenya: My husband and I have 14 books. That’s the one that I would suggest reading first.
Kenya: The rest are workbooks and things to work with the original information.
Frank: Monique, what you got? Tell us about your book.
Monique: You know, I wrote a book many years ago when Barrack Obama was first running for president called “Open Your American Heart” and it is an approach to politics from a much more spiritual and conscious perspective of understanding that the way we’re going to change our country is by first changing our hearts and the way we see and participate in our own personal lives, in our communities and in the political process. So by taking responsibility for how we show up that we take responsibility for ourselves and when we do that, we impact the collective through our thinking and our voting and participating in the political process.
So that’s still very valid today with what we see going on in our political process. I love politics. I studied Politics and History at Howard University so it really is one of my core values and first love.
Frank: Anybody got any recommended books? I’m always looking to pick up something good or put on—what is that? The Amazon thing? Audible—
Frank: I’m always interested in something new. Hey, give me something.
Monique: I have a good book, the woman Brené Brown that she wrote a book—
Vanessa: [unclear / love affair]
Monique: —on being—oh she’s amazing…
Vanessa: She’s great.
Monique: —for being brave.
Vanessa: Yeah, The Power of Vulnerability is great.
Monique: Yes, and so she is—she really creates a safe space for people to own their feelings, take responsibility for their behavior, be truthful and authentic and then begin to shift consciousness. She had a really great… she has several great books and some great technology on working with ourself.
Frank: Very nice. Along today’s journey, we’ve discussed being sexually depressed—that’s kind of my recap of what we talked about—
Monique: You’re projecting?
Frank: Yes. Sex and teenage girls and the four choices that women make. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I had talking with authors and coaches, Kenya Stevens and Monique Ruffin. And a special thanks to our visiting co-host, Vanessa Perry.
Vanessa: Thanks, Frank.
Frank: Dr. Vanessa Perry.
Vanessa: Thank you.
Frank: Ha-ha. As always, it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping helping of useful information that I hope you create a relation that’s as loving and accepting as possible.
Let us know what you think of today’s show at facebook.com/relationshipflove, on Twitter at @mrfranklove or at franklove.com. If you’re listening via Blog Talk Radio, make sure you like us there and if via iTunes, make sure you subscribe so that you can receive each week’s show.
This is Frank love.
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