Episode 35: Character Play; Being What You Are Not

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Growing up Asian American, Yia felt shame. She cringed at the heavily accented English of the older women in her family. She felt embarrassed that none of her teachers could say her name. And she hated the cruel schoolyard digs about the sexual prowess of Asian women. So for a long time, she rejected that part of herself, changing her name and telling herself that she was different. One Halloween, not knowing what else to wear, she donned a long black dress with two slits up the side. She slicked her hair back, put on red lipstick. When she looked in the mirror, the voice that spoke was not that of Yia, but of Madame Mai Li, an Asian American Madame who owned a brothel, spoke in a heavy accent and readily gave out advice on sexual matters. In having fun with Madame Mai Li, Yia’s shame began to dissolve. Join us for this episode, where in honor of Halloween, we bring you an exploration into character play, of being what you definitely are not.

Transcript

Announcer: This program is intended for mature audiences only.

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[Music]

The following episode is brought to you in honor of Halloween.

Yia Vang: Hello my name is Madame Mai Li.

Massey: Hi my name’s Massey, I am from Georgia.

Billy Bob: Well my name is Billy Bob and what I do is like I drive down the road and when I see pretty ladies, I am saying “Yes Hello”

Well, and I am so pleased to meet you this morning, I’m just so glad to be here, it is been wonderful getting to know you and I am just so glad that we are going to spread this word together today.

J: Those were the voices of four people I live with. Before you jump to conclusions about the type of people I live with, let me say that those were not the real voices, nor they are everyday personalities. They are acting, kind of, I say kind of because while the rules are made up, each person is embodying trades that are actually a part of them.

I watch my friends and their characters evolve with, I confess a bit of envy, in the role playing, I could sense freedom, in a really fun way they were playing with parts of themselves; they had otherwise shunned or ignored.

[Music]

J: From One Taste Urban Retreat center in San Francisco, we bring you “Taste of Sex: Reality Audio” a podcast featuring personal stories and perspectives.

From people engaged in the conscious exploration of sensuality, connection and relationship.

On this episode we’ll hear from Yia, Alegra, Chen and Bath [sp]. Four people who took on roles with characteristic they had rejected in themselves, and how that role playing changed them for ever. I am J, stay tuned. 

[Music]

Yia Vang: My name is Madame Mai Li, I live and work in San Francisco and I own a beautiful parlor with many beautiful girls and many beautiful boys. People come to my parlor for a pleasurable time, we give the best ‘stroky-stroky’ [sp] and the best play for all the many man, the many women out there who are lonely and who are looking for the good time.

J: Madame Mai Li is my friend Yia, this is here talking about the shame she felt, growing up as an Asian American.

Yia Vang: There is so many jokes I’ve cracked about Asians all the time, and so growing up, that was a part of me that I was contracted around that, like I hated when non-Asians make fun of Asian American’s and this is part of me that also is ashamed of the accents of like the older women or like the stereotypes of Asian woman being very erotic and know how to give good heads and stuff.

So I’ve always somehow pushed that down, about a year and half ago during Halloween, I was trying to find an outfit for this Halloween party that was happening at ‘One Taste’ and I went through my collection of clothes and I found this like: black, see-through, mandarin dress, and I just thought okay, I’ll just put that on.

J: What was your dress like?

Yia Vang: Oh, it was just like, black shear like Mandarin collared dress. From like, that’s covered like neck to all the way down to my ankles, but it is slit, it is like two slits on the side and it is a see-through, shear fabric, with the floral prints and when I was wearing it, I was like slicked my hair to the side, I did like the red lipstick, with a theme makeup and everything. The shoes I had on is like black leather shoes, and that was just perfect.

And I remember looking at myself in the mirror and I sweated it out, I cannot recognizing myself, because I’ve never actually looked this way before, and I just thought, “Wow! She is so wares” I just connect it with myself in the mirror and then all of a sudden, I don’t know where, I said hello to this person, and this voice just came out of me and this accent, “Hello, my name is Madame Mai Li, how are you doing?”

J: When this character started to emerge, how did you feel?   

Yia Vang: I was happy that it came out, and after it did emerge, they had me look at, why I felt so good, like why didn’t I feel bad about it, and so it had me reflected on, like my mum, with here accent, and had me reflected on other elderly Asians I grew up with, who had accents and can speak English very well, or like just my cousins, who came overseas and didn’t have the proper English. They had me like religious look at that, that religious look at that part of myself, and had me laugh at it, as opposed to being offended by it. 

J: Did you find that you had less shame, after Madame Mai Li emerged on that Halloween night?

Yia Vang:  Yes, less shame, and I just let him to play with it, just let them play with it and have fun with it.

[Music]

Yia Vang: People are thought to be miserable and they don’t know how to have the pleasure, and they think they having the pleasure is bad, so everything is all about the ‘Stroke-Stroke’, you have the ‘Stroke-Stroke’, you have the good sex and everything is all good.

That’s why the makeup sex is so good, if you want to in your life, just break your baby day, and then have the best sex ever.

[Music]

Yia Vang: And it's funny, like when I am Madame Mai Li, like it just come doubts. [Laughing] I don’t think about what I am going to say, and the funny thing as though, is true is that I can say like the cruelest thing to people and the most honest and raw things to people, but because it is embodied by this person, like there is no charge in there, so people don’t get offended, it's more funny really.

[Music]

Yia Vang: See for the man, you have to understand, that when the woman is fighting with you, it's because she want you to take her. She just wants the sex, she doesn’t know how to say it, so if you just take her to the bedroom and just throw her on the bed, she would like it, even though she’s going to fight.

But you take her to the bed and you keep with the ‘Stroke-Stroke’ and she will be the happy, as all there is.

J: It's interesting too because Madame Mai Li is a racy character,

Yia Vang: Yeah

J: And she is very explicit about sexual matters.
 
Yia Vang: Right

J: So do you feel like you were combining different aspects of yourself?

Yia Vang: Yes. I am, because I also have a very sensual parts, like my, very open with my sexuality, so that has also allowed my sexuality come out and play, in this more, like just fun sort of way, and that I also have a dominant personality, so it allows the dominant personality in me to also just come out and play and have fun.

So it is a fusion of all these parts with me.

J: This is the second time, in the time that I have known you, which is about three years?

Yia Vang: Three and a half years.

J: That you have reclaimed the part of your Asian heritage, the first time was when you reclaimed your first name. Can you talk about the reclaiming of your birth name and perhaps how these two merged together, Madame Mai Li?

Yia Vang: I remember growing up and because my name is Yia Vang:, and is spelt ‘Y I A’ and so teachers and substitute teachers would always butcher my name, like they would not be able to say it, and so I just became a shame of that.

So in elementary school, like my friends and I started changing names
And started adopting the American names, so I went through Barbara, Heather or Jimmy and they were horrible names, and so Jimmy stuck for a while and then it switched over to Vicky, in seventh grade, everyone just called me Vicky, my family calls me Vicky.

I wasn’t even thinking about changing it, until one night at Engroup, there was a question that went around.

J: Engroup being the event that we hold here, at One Taste every Wednesday night, where it's a group communication game.

Yia Vang: I am so grateful for that Engroup because it actually had me claim this part of my self, because I remember that night the question was, “What’s one thing about you, nobody knows?”

And to mind, was that one thing, no one knows is that Vicky is not my real name, that night or the following night, I just started writing about what my real name was, and the shame that I had around it and why I never really used it.

The name and monk, if you have to say the monk is “Hiya” so it is actually really soft sound and what it means is ‘strength’. Something that is adorable and strong, so you can bend it but you can’t break it, and so the interesting thing too, was that once I started using it, like the softer side of me started coming out.

It was more like the softer side that I had when I was a child, like back and the tenderness came out.

J: What is it that you think has allowed this part of your past, or this part of your culture to emerge in such a way that you can now be proud rather than feel shame?

Yia Vang: I am starting like I am reclaiming it because it's like really recognizing my self as a whole and perfect being. And there are things about my heritage that people don’t understand and I started seeing that more as a gift to educate people as opposed to like a nuisance or something.

J: Can we say good bye to Madame Mai Li?

Yia Vang: Yes you want to stick up by the Madame Mai Li?

J: Any last words Madame Mai Li?

Yia Vang: Yes, I want to tell the whole world that the pleasure, okay, you have to remember the pleasure, is that okay for you to feel the pleasure ball, you do need have to leave a life so miserable.

And if you are feeling miserable, you come to me, okay, look for the me, am Madam Mai Li, you can come to my parlor, we can give you the ‘Stroke-Stroke’ and how you feel the very good, there is no shame, okay. Shame, there is no shame in my parlor.

J: Thank you madam Mai Li, thank you Yia.

[Music]

J: Madam Mai Li, as were several of the characters featured on today’s show, was born a year ago Halloween, personally I have a love-hate relationship with the holiday.

First of all, since stressing at closely resembles acting and makes men comfortable. For most of my life I’ve been a straight forward kind of girl. Insecure because I don’t like to do anything unless I can do it well, so I shunned acting which of course meant that it was really something that I wanted to do, so I’ve had great Halloweens, where I found the perfect costume, meaning something reasonably clever and funny.

And then there were Halloweens where I can’t think of anything, so I just told everyone that I don’t like to dress up and leave me alone, thank you very much.

Last Halloween was one of those ‘leave me alone’ years. Nearly everyone else had a costume except me, but then my nemesis’s and called Hoper, whom I hated at the time showed up at the ‘One Taste’ party Halloween as me, wearing a brown wig, my skirt stuffed a little in the back to extenuate the behind, my favorite green phrase in saying “No, No, No”, known to be my favorite phrase.

So I downed the blond wig, high heels a dress of hers and put her phone to my ear, which is exactly where hers always is. All night we bunted back and forth, as each other, it was surprisingly easy, I had watched her so carefully, at first so long, that I knew exactly how to be her.

Especially in response to me, that night ended up to being a reunion night for Nicole and me. We’ve had several of those, in the fore years of our relationship. We can’t stand each other, and then all of a sudden the dam breaks, and we are back in connection, best friends again.

In this case, it was just too hard to hate each other after we had been each other. I think that’s how it goes. As soon as you embrace a part of yourself, as soon as you stop blocking it, you can’t hate it anymore.

And what better way to own a part of yourself than to be it, and see what it has to say, this is our exploration today.

Next we have Alegra as Massey.

Massey: Hi my name is Massey, right now I am married, I got two kids and lots of friends and go to the mall and… that’s pretty good.

J: It's okay if we talk about your character?

Massey: Yeah

J: Okay, so like where did, Massey come from?

Massey: So, my dad grew up in Louisiana, so parts of it are from his wife and parts of it are just from his stories, when I was growing up, I grew up in New York City, I was born there so he moved up there, but then it's his lineage, so not only is it, kind of him making fun of himself.

To them whenever we would go visit my family, we would all have our reunions in Louisiana, so it's just around, half of my family being like from New York and very sophisticated and the other half being humongous, and from Louisiana, and it was just like this totally different part of my life, I mean I grew up next to the Empire State Building, like I don’t know what it is like to be in a place where the tallest building around is the church.

Like I am not that, so the really interesting piece is like being that, it's like bring that into ‘who I am’.

J: When did Massey emerge?

J: There were my friends and I spend a lot of time feeling better than everyone else and kind of judging all the tourists in a way, so when we were in, reaching your highways to walk around Times Square, whenever we would have to go down there, and that there would be all these tourists there and my friend came up with this joke, where we would walk around with the southern accent and we would be starring up to the tops of the buildings, “Gosh this building is so tall, tallest building in my town is a church” [Laughing]

So that was part of it and then when I came to ‘One Taste’ we did some shadow work, and in this one course we had to go to a party, as a part of our shadow, and I got the name from another girl on the course. She had a southern cousin from Georgia named Massey.

[Music]

Massey: Hi my name is Massey, I am from Georgia, I come from a big family, I am with also sex, and then there is my mum and my daddy, and we live in a big old house down in Georgia and

[Music]

J: Like was there any new part you found in there, any part of yourself that you discovered that you didn’t know?

Massey: Growing up is like, I don’t believe in love, I don’t believe in marriage, I never want to get married, so then I have Massey, this character who is like all about family and marriage.

[Music]

Massey: Yeah I remember the first time I saw him, I thought to myself, that man is going to be my husband and then we dated for awhile and then after I got pregnant, we got married.

[Music]

J: So if you could think, Massey, for whatever, what would you think of her?

Massey: Part of it is this pressure that comes off to be like a very intellectual and witty and intelligent, so I would thank her for just giving me a venue to like let loose and relax and like have fun and not have to put anything on, it's like in a way, like going back to the basics of myself and just for that opportunity to just be more free and when I am her and when I am in her accents, it's like different parts come up.

And different stories and like it's just a whole different mental framework, so it's like I can’t plan out what I am going to say, I can’t think ahead, I just kind of I have to go in the moment so it's nice to not have like my entire personality in history to reference when I’m speaking, it's like I’m just this other person and it kind of comes naturally and organically.
 
J: Anything else you want add?

Massey: No, I think I am done

J: Thanks, I like every thing Massey.

Massey: Bye-o

[Music]

J: You’ve been listening to a taste of sex; we will be back after this short break.

[Music]

[Commercial break]

[Music]

J: Welcome back to a taste of sex, I am J.

This is Kane playing Billy Bob, the truck driver.

Billy Bob: Well my name’s Billy Bob and what I do is I drive down the road and every time I see pretty ladies, I say hello and get some of that.

J: How is it for you to be driving all the time, just that get tiring?

Billy Bob: Well it's tiring but I get to see a lot of life.

J: Kane, when and where did this character arise?

Billy Bob: This character arose, I think I was still in the Marine Corps, and I was watching David Laderman, and he had this character he did, ‘Billy’s a meat packer’ I taught it was funny, and also hilarious, and I kind of had known people like that with that kind of voice, so I was goofing around with a friend on a motorcycle riding.

I’d say you know, there’s Billy bob, because we were driving then between New Arizona and San Diego, and there’s a lot of trucks pass by,
“Look at there, there is Billy Bob, Hey, Billy Bob” and I raise my hand for the any half the horn as they, and we were cracking up, so for a while, that was a kind of a character I played with, with that guy.

J: That here, here one taste you brought out that character alive.

Billy Bob: Yeah, it just became, I don’t know how it became engrained in me, but it sort of it was that inappropriate sexual ‘in your window’ guy.

J: Like what kind of ‘in your windows’ would you think?

Billy Bob: Well, without actually saying, “Hey, how you doing there?” and there just the energy behind that when I say that, like I want to grab you tits.

[Laughing]

That’s kind of “I want to grab you ass and in there, yeah, just grab you”

[Laughing]

You know, you got my hands all over you.

J: I think I recognize that [Laughing]

Billy Bob: Yeah, there you go. Yeah, so there is that energy behind, the energy gets to come out without, I going to feel self conscious about.

[Music]

Billy Bob: That when you look at a sixteen wheeler and you see the wheels and how beautifully built it is, it's the curves, I like the curves.

[Music]

J: So, what side of your shadow does this represent?

Billy Bob: I think the aggressive, sexual predator, that’s part of me.

J: How are you usually?

Billy Bob: [Laughingly] Usually shy and I do this little boy thing which I, really I know it doesn’t work anymore, it's not very interesting, but I think, I pretend to be not quite equipped to handle women.

J: So then Billy Bob embodied?

Billy Bob: It didn’t embodied more that feeling of like I can feel my muscles and my body, this is like a big belly, and kind of this is sort of aggressive arrogance, but not this suppressive arrogance, this is more, this is like fun, “I’m going to get you”, “You gonna fuck me, yeah?”

J: So here’s a way to laugh at this part of your self that usually you are pushing down?
Billy Bob: Yeah, this is just a fun way to address my sexual nature.

J: Is that a side of you that you are scared of?

Billy Bob: I wouldn’t so much say so much I am afraid is some uncomfortable with expressing it and I guess what it is, is that perhaps the after matter, consequences of allowing that behavior to be expressed is a little scary, so will I get slapped or will people not talk to me again, will women, will I be completely rejected in that.

Actually I haven’t been rejected in that, few different women have said, “Oh I am tired of that one”

J: But I get the feeling that it allowed you to experiment with the side of yourself that you were otherwise, would rather have just pushed away, and?

Billy Bob: Yeah, yeah definitely, definitely gave me a way to express sort of aggressive, a construction worker kind of, way that man come at woman.

I mean that is just instinctive, like you see a woman you are attracted to and you have this like urge, or at least I do, I’ve had, there is just this feeling that runs through the body of attraction and sexual tension that is created and this desire.

So that character is definitely for me a, a way for me to address that, directly with any particular woman I am attracted to but in a way that they can feel me, but I don’t have to be explicit.

J: Would you say that you sort of relying on the character too much?

Billy Bob: Yeah, I think for the few people who said okay we are tired of this one; it then became a place to hide. Because I think, when I did it in Engroup, at a certain point it was.

J: So Engroup again is this Wednesday’s night event that we have here at ‘One Taste’ and I can attest. Almost every Engroup Kane attended during a certain round of questions that will help-in you would become trucker guide at some point?

Billy Bob: Yeah, and it's usually more going for the laugh rather than any kind of vulnerability , and I started noticing how that, there was a way I would hide the vulnerability in that character.

J: Have you thought about how to integrate Billy Bob’s characteristics without being Billy Bob himself, and do you think that he actually helped you get to the point where you could that?

Billy Bob: Yeah, definitely that, that character helped me get to a point, where I could sort of relax and just sort of be me. I think  when I’m being me, there’s a sort of smoother way I do it, kind of come up next to somebody and grab them by the hips and say “Hey, how are you doing?” or something like that, in a more real way, or more authentic way to “Who I am?”

J: But even just so when you said that, “Hey how are you?” it didn’t feel shy, it actually felt like you are putting yourself out there. Do you have a character, that’s emerging now, next, a next Kane or a next pseudo Kane or a next shadow Kane, whatever you want to call it?

Billy Bob: Probably the angry Kane but with humor. One of my favorite comedians was a guy named Bill Hicks, who would get on stage and just, he would just terror people on your asshole.

In terms of being, some comedians are angry and they tend to be favorites by and large, like George Carlin was pretty angry in his humor, but there was something about it, there was a truth that he spoke that took the edge off the humor and that’s kind of, I feel like that’s an essence of me that’s coming out, it is just say the truth no matter how uncomfortable it is, and just do a little humor in that way.

J: So what’s the truth that you would say, with anger and humor?

Billy Bob: Just a broad truth.
 
J: Anything, it could be to me, it could be to anything.

Billy Bob: Okay so, we are in a current, we are in a financial, so called financial crises and there is a new election coming up and there’s all this turmoil, and what I want to say to everyone in general is, “Whack the fuck up, okay just whack the fuck up, the shit has been knocking on our door for the last twenty years. This is bullshit, whack the fuck up”

J: Thanks Kane.

Billy Bob: You are welcome, “How are you doing?”

[Music]

J: Finally we have Beth, who for awhile made roll playing a full time hobby.

Where are you from Margaret?

Margaret: Oh honey, I am from Virginia.

J: And you have a large family?

Margaret: Well it depends on what you call large one, and how large is your family?

J: Oh that was pretty smart, just very small.

Margaret: Well honey didn’t you want to have kids and make that small family larger?

J: I am the one doing the interview, Margaret.

Margaret: Oh, excuse me, I didn’t mean to offend you, please what would you like to know darling, I’m an open book honey, you ask me whatever you want, I’m glad to share with you, my entire life, is available to you.

J: What do you?

Margaret: How’s that, how’s the young man situation working out here honey?

J: Margaret is the cliental central hostess and she is the ultimate matriarch, she is the one that keeps it all together and very rarely complaints about it.

So Margaret is an actual person in your family?

Margaret: Kind of yes. She is kind of based on my grandmother and not exactly, but that idea of the matriarch, who my grandmother was, a good example of.

J: And how did she come out of you?

Margaret: It was during the [xx] that we did, over Halloween weekend and I usually don’t do anything for Halloween, because I can never find the perfect costume, I never did anything, I just stayed at home, but I really wanted to do something to be part of the [xx].

I was actually shopping for a costume at a drift store and didn’t know what I was going to do and I saw this, pink nightgown with lace and it reminded me of her and as soon as I saw it, I knew I was going to do her.

J: What is it, what are the characters that came out of being Margaret, that were different from your self, from the normal raptor of either emotions or characteristics that you usually display?

Margaret: I was really nervous to play her because I wasn’t used to putting out that much love or that much appreciation, and because I have a hard time accepting love, I thought people were going to get uncomfortable, like I do, and they didn’t at all.

People that I had lived with for over a year, my relationship with them entirely changed that night that I was playing Margaret.

[Music]

J: William, can you introduce yourself?

William: I’ll be glad to, for you anything. I am someone who is here to make you day much better. Would you like to come sit on my knee?

[Music]  
 
J: William who is he?

William: He is a family member, who has always been one of my favorite family members and he is quite controversial and I actually, I’ve liked that about him, for most of the time and he is really like entertaining, really huge energy, like someone who can just, easily hold the ream of fifty people and he’s got this booming voice and he knows everything there is to know about fixing anything and I’m just a really like, handy guy with a super salty sense of humor.

J: So that, in some ways that matches your outgoing personality?

[Laughing]

Well I was just wondering, it sounds to me that he had this larger than life personality and so then for you to step into that, I imagine that must have helped, in some way how do you know this side of your personality even better?

William: Yeah, it did, it gave me a lot of permission, I felt freedom and the thing that I owe most to playing the William character was that was the first time that I over ally flirted with women.

So to step into a male character, and to do what he would have done, I mean he is constantly telling women that they are beautiful, they are so pretty, they are so cute, and I am scared that if women know I am attracted to them, they’ll just kind of recoil, or feel like I am not good enough for them or something like that.

Seeing their positive response to William, even the women that I thought wouldn’t have looked at me twice, I went out on an edge and flirted with them that night and they loved it. They weren’t offended, they weren’t pushing me away, they actually came closer, and that was a real revelation.

[Music]

J: Anna Mai

Anna Mai: Hi, J.

J: Hi

Anna Mai: Hi, J I love you.

J: How old are you Anna Mai?

Anna Mai: J I am six, one, two, three, four, five, six.

[Music]

J: Anna Mai, so she’s a six year old.

Anna Mai: Yeah, and she is just has endless energy and she is totally sweet and she is a lot for people to take in sometimes, like people actually probably got the most uncomfortable with that character.

J: Just what do you think that is?

Anna Mai: I really don’t know, I mean it could be that, that’s a character inside ourselves that we are most likely to shut down, because it seems like they need protecting.

J: Or attention.

Anna Mai: Loneliness, but she really, she just wants someone to event like be a body there, as she is talking, it doesn’t have to be concentrated attention. So it actually doesn’t have to be tiring for the other person. That was something I learnt, by playing her, sometimes a terminal is just a live body and they don’t have to do anything.

So that’s helped me when I am the listener for people, I used to work really hard to say the right thing or I’d be holding my breath until it seemed like the time to interject or give an idea of something like that.

And now because of Anna Mai, there are people that I can just listen too and occasionally say “Aha-Aha” and I can tell that that’s enough for them. And it's alright for me too it's more peaceful than trying to find solutions for them or something that I can’t do.

J: I imagine she must have also helped you find a certain sense of freedom in that little girls, little boys, children, they don’t think before acting, they generally just act.

Anna Mai: That’s a really good insight; I did used to heavily edit everything I said before I came out, playing her there’s not way that a little kid feels like there’s going to be anything wrong, she just has this ceaseless curiosity and I thought that really good to tap back into that part of me too.

J: So there is one more character in your raptor, she doesn’t really have a voice, but her name is Roller Darby Girl.

Anna Mai: Yes, Trickse [sp]. So Trickse skates. So it's early eighties and she definitely wears leg warmers and she definitely wears pink frosty lipstick and blue eye shadow, and has a side ponytail.

And she’s convinced that any day now she is going to get a better job, but she puts all of her extra time into Roller Darby, she is practicing at night, she is practicing in her neighborhood, she still lives in her parent’s basement

[Laughing]

She lives for matches on the weekends, and she doesn’t quite ever make it on the rank. When there are matches, she’s not quite good enough yet, but she’s convinced that any day now she is going to be.

J: What did bringing Roller Derby Girl out, what did that do for you?

Anna Mai: Well I got to ran into people and

[Laughing]
Literally, on skates, yeah, and I got slapped       

[Laughing]

Yeah it was fun, yeah it was fun to feel in motion and I had this total sense of freedom, that I was like, gliding and all the stuff inside of me was getting cleared out and I like the feeling that if I didn’t like what someone was saying, I could just skate away, like I am kind of a people pleaser, when I am not Trickse.

[Laughing]

And she is not hung up on that because she just lives to skate.

J: So I am curious about the evolution of these characters, and that you went through a phase, or in my observation seems like you went through a phase where all of these characters were coming out and they were coming out one-by-one, and for a time we never knew who Beth was coming to be on any given day and which was fun, it was something that, I just tell you that I actually admired a lot

Anna Mai: Thank you

J: Because I could see the freedom that was in it. What I am wondering about is, was there a spark that brought out, that just started to bring them forth.

Anna Mai: The spark was that taboo retreat weekend, a few of us decided to just take that retreat as students.

J: Usually there is a group of us who are holding the courses as opposed to taking them.

Anna Mai: When I took it, being able to play and being encouraged to play and hearing the different teachers, basically say this is your homework assignment. I am such a good girl then I am like, “Okay I’ll do it”, and then it felt so good that it just kept happening, and I didn’t want to shut it down.

I can’t remember when that time period stopped, but I know that it was starting to have me feel more distant than people rather than lust, I think because I lost that header of like “Who’s the essence of Beth”, no matter what character is coming out.

J: In retrospect you feel like you were able to bring out these characteristics which had obviously been inside of you but were perhaps a little more hidden or sheltered or weld-in someway and then to reintegrate them into Beth?

Anna Mai: Definitely, I am a person who likes proof, I needed some evidence, that it was going to be okay, if I flirted with women, that it was going to be okay if I just poured life onto people, “Welcome I’m so glad you here, Hi how’s it going” it's definitely everyday a part of me. I had to see that most people weren’t going to shy away from it.

People seem to love it when I just tell the truth, then they are not trying to figure out like “Oh Beth’s mad about something, but she won't just say it” so I feel like in that way, these characters were not only my road to feeling more free, but it also helped me strengthen that muscle of listening to my instinct heads that in the moment I just said, “Okay I’ll go with it”, the heads didn’t even had words.

I just got flash of a feeling and an image, and then it just was inside of me and I let it out.

J: Thanks Beth.

Anna Mai: Thank you J.

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J: Thank you for listening to a taste of sex. For transcripts of this show go to personallifemedia.com, for more information about ‘One Taste’ our lectures, workshops and other events, you can find us on the web at onetaste.us. If you like to email me, I’m going to give a different address than I have in the past, you can email me at [email protected].

Thanks for joining us, we will be back and I promise it won't be as long as it was the last time. I am J.

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