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Sprinkle Sparkle

How did you center your own pleasure today? Tell us!

Sprinkle Sparkle celebrates Black women and people of marginalized genders prioritizing pleasure as an act of defiance. Host Nubia Bennett builds each conversation about a simple question: How did you center your own pleasure today?

This podcast is an important reminder that even a sprinkle of the sparkle that pleasure infuses into our lived experience—whether it is something big, like a vacation, the decadence of a bite of your favorite dessert, or a simple affirmation that you made the right choice—can be enough to keep going. It’s the only way we can get to where we want to be

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  • It's the last episode of our season, and we’re spending it with Dr. Kaila Story, an Associate Professor of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies… and an original pleasure ninja. Kaila and Nubia unpack the complexity of experiencing pleasure in a world that expects you to dress and act in certain ways in order to earn respect. “If you're a black woman in the public sphere, your identity has to be digestible, and something that people can consume. And if they can't, they don't know what to do with it,” Kaila says. She says Black women and Black queer women can claim confidence in whatever way feels authentic to them. “So you might not be comfortable showing skin or wearing bold colors, but you embrace the black woman next to you who sees your confidence in that. And you might find confidence in another realm.” Kaila says the key is “to celebrate all those ways that we as individuals access pleasure, joy and power, and we can come to these places of empowerment, and they can be diverse and varied and multifaceted.” Listen in and get ready for a little sprinkle sparkle! This episode is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Ralph Story… the original Doc Story. — That’s it for season one of Sprinkle Sparkle! Please tell us what you think! What did you like, what do you want more of, and most importantly, how did you center your pleasure today?
  • “[W]e can't talk about joy until we talk about the grief. They are two sides of the same coin.” In this episode, Nubia introduces us to her friend Austen Smith, a Louisville writer featured in Taunt and QueerKY. Austen shows us the spiritual side of pleasure and what they do to unlock pleasure from within, and connect even with the ugly parts. “If we're willing to go that deep on joy, if we're really willing to go that hard on pleasure, then we need to talk about all of the trauma, both sexual, physical, emotional, and spiritual, that get in the way of pleasure,” Austen says. Both Nubia and Austen explore the unconventional aspects of pleasure that at first might look like roadblocks, but can add gratitude and humility to your life after you heal. Listen in and get ready for a little sprinkle sparkle!
  • Felicia Corbett is a unicorn. "When I was 31, I was diagnosed with a super rare form of cancer. It happens to like, one in 10 million people," she says, and it's called Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. "You know how most cancers have a ribbon and it's a particular color? This one is yellow and purple and has a literal unicorn in it. Yeah, so they call us unicorns." In this episode, she and host Nubia Bennett explore what it means to seek joy, pleasure and happiness in the middle of an uncomfortable journey. Nubia says Felicia makes it safe to have non-sad conversations about things our culture says we should only have sad conversations about... like living with an illness. Listen in and get ready for a little sprinkle sparkle!
  • Pleasure in the Details
    Being the only Black woman in the room in a business setting can make you put your own behavior under a microscope. “You’re always thinking about, what do they think of me?” Jordan Parker Means says owning her own business took away that particular mental and emotional labor. “I've felt great freedom to be able to not have that as a thought,” she says. “We're a Black-owned business, the majority of our clients are Black. It's been a joy to serve our community in the way that we've been able to do it. And that's a big part of what I consider my joy and my happiness and pleasure.” Jordan is a nutritionist at Diet Deconstructed and co-owns By Any Means Fitness. She calls herself the Dame of Details, because planning ahead allows her to more fully enjoy experiences in the moment. She talks with host Nubia Bennett about finding pleasure in your body and what it can accomplish — and tuning out the “highlight reel” of social media.
  • Pleasure in Transitions
    Artists create. It’s just something we need to do, for ourselves, like eating and sleeping. And most people would say it’s lucky if we can figure out how to pay the bills with it. But doing art as your business can change your relationship with it. Robin G is a poet who also teaches poetry workshops and founded The Stanza Collective, an apparel company with affirming poetry on the designs. “At first I struggled with, okay, I don't want this to be a business because now I can't find pleasure in this anymore,” she says. “I have to produce, produce, produce. And it kind of took away that pleasure of just writing.” Robin talks with host Nubia Bennett about how she rediscovered and reclaimed the pleasure in words and writing. “I had to allow myself to know that I deserve to just write for me … it’s been a hell of a transition.” Listen in and get ready for a little Sprinkle Sparkle!
  • Pleasure is Generational
    State Representative Attica Scott and her daughter Ashanti Scott are the mother/daughter version of a power couple. They were on the front lines of Louisville’s racial justice protests in 2020 and have made activism and public service a part of their daily lives. Attica says those values were instilled in her by strong role models in her family. “There are some things I feel like I was born into and that were granted to me by my parents, and that's that sense of justice, and the pleasure of being in community with other people,” she says. "And growing up with this sense of being able to say yes to myself without feeling guilty for saying no to other people." She says 2020 forced us all to interrogate our own priorities and relationship with pleasure. “How do I find pleasure in the midst of such pain and in the midst of a pandemic, but also in the midst of racial uprising and police accountability. How in the world do you find pleasure when you're literally fighting for your life?” They talk with Nubia about how they find time to center joy when the work never seems to be finished. Listen in, and get ready for a little Sprinkle Sparkle!
  • Pleasure in Balance
    When your business is pleasure-based, the line between work and leisure can feel thin. This episode’s guest, Tiffany Elle, says balance is key in her life. “You can only engulf yourself in your work for so long, even though like what I do with Sensual Bliss and it’s pleasurable for me,” she says. “Then when I come home from that I have to sit on the couch and watch TV.” Tiffany’s company creates body-inclusive lingerie, provides sensuality coaching and more. You might say she’s a pleasure expert. She says her relationship with pleasure has evolved over time, but there’s been one constant: dancing. “It's always been a happy space for me.” Set all this against a day job in the military, often being the only Black woman or the only Black person in spaces filled with mostly white men, and you can see why Nubia just had to talk to Tiffany for Sprinkle Sparkle.
  • Pleasure as Access
    Capitalistic definitions of self-care always involve spending money. Get a massage. Get your hair done. By yourself something nice. Treat yourself. And that might be part of pleasure for today’s guest but it’s not the whole story. Dr. JaBani Bennett is an artist and arts advocate, a scholar, an award-winning arts education consultant and more. And she’s host Nubia Bennett’s sister.  They explore what pleasure meant in their family growing up, and what it means to them now. And for JaBani, that means access, and equity. “My right to quality health care, quality education, quality housing, quality food, access to an array of aesthetics,” she says. “When it comes to widespread equity work that transcends industry, that looks at all different parts of where we are in our humanity on this earth, that has been missed.” Listen in and get ready for a little Sprinkle Sparkle!
  • Pleasures of Motherhood
    All season so far, you’ve heard host Nubia Bennett ask her guests, “Who taught you how to feel pleasure?” For Nubia herself, one of the answers is this episode’s guest, Porsche Gilbert. Porsche talks about her long journey to motherhood, and how it shaped her relationship with joy. “It’s the pleasure of looking at my kids and knowing I prayed for them,” she says. “The next part of the pursuit of happiness is putting these two humans out into the community.” Porsche’s mom was a teenager struggling to move past her own trauma, who dropped her off with her grandparents at age 5. “They loved me with everything they had,” she says. “That was the first time in my life that I felt any type of sense of security, that these people aren't going to let anything happen to me.” This episode’s conversation covers happiness as a journey and a destination, and challenges you to love yourself, “even when you’re ugly.” Listen in and get ready for a little Sprinkle Sparkle! Note: This episode contains a description of childhood sexual abuse. If you don’t want to hear that part, skip ahead at the 25-minute mark and pick it back up 5 minutes later.
  • Pleasure in Evolution
    Entrepreneurship can be exhausting. You have to run your business but also you have to run your life. It can be hard to find time for pleasure. For Kishya Hayden, it was meeting her own family’s needs that eventually lead to her business. “My children had eczema really bad, especially my girls” she tells host Nubia Bennett. And she says the product their doctor prescribed wasn’t really helping, and worse, it was changing the kids’ skin color. “The products they give are not necessarily for black skin,” she says. She started looking into butters and oils, “especially from Africa,” and finally hit on a combination that helped, and even the doctor was surprised. It was the beginning of her company, Naturally Me. “That was my leap,” she says. “That is my biggest pleasure, really.” Kishya talks to Nubia about how she identified what really matters to her and how knowing that directly affected her business. Listen in and get ready for a little Sprinkle Sparkle!
  • Pleasure in Partnership
    When you were young, who showed you what pleasure could look like? For Kendrick Jones, it was his parents — his dad had an after-work ritual he followed every day, and his mom spent Sunday mornings dancing to gospel and cleaning house. But he also had a more unusual role model: a drag performer named Li’l Ronnie. “He was one of my mom's closest friends. When he was not performing, be the cleanest fella in the room. Girls is flocking all to him, he’s just floating like he's walking on the cloud,” Kendrick says. When Kendrick was six or seven, he saw Li’l Ronnie in drag for the first time. “He's still floating right through the room, and women and men are still flocking to him! He just floats through this world no matter what he looks like, where he's at, Li’l Ronnie is Li’l Ronnie.” Kenrick and his wife, Amber Burns-Jones, join Nubia Bennett on this episode to explore the pleasure in partnership and family. They talk about how holding space for pleasure makes them more successful parents to their two sets of twins (you read that right: two sets of twins). Amber and Kendrick model for their children, and each other, how to find joy in daily life, even when we have tremendous responsibilities. Listen in and get ready for a little Sprinkle Sparkle!
  • Pleasure is Healing
    On this episode, we meet Arielle Clark, owner of Sis Got Tea, a Queer-owned, black-owned, Louisville-based tea shop. Nubia and Arielle explore how mental health is a vital part of pleasure, and what obstacles can get in the way. Arielle takes us through her own mental health journey through learning the beauty in boundaries and their enforcement. She says her home is her home is her safe space, and she's curated it intentionally to feel that way. "I have a super comfy couch that I can lay on, and work from, if my chronic pain is acting up. I've got an inversion table where I can literally flip upside down if my back hurts. I've got a bathtub so I can soak. I've got a super comfortable bed. My home is relatively quiet. I have incense and candles. I have a cat," she says. "When I have sensory overload, I just want to come home to like a muted space so I can calm down." And she talks about how therapy and sobriety have both contributed to her recovery from trauma, and her ability to make space for pleasure in her life—and to know that she deserves it.