Asha Dahya (00:13):
Welcome to the first episode of the RePRO Film podcast for 2024! I’m your host Asha Dahya, thrilled to be back in the saddle for another season of engaging conversations all related to repro health, justice and freedom. And although 2024 is a Presidential election year in the US, and abortion rights are literally on the line (the Supreme Court will hear TWO abortion cases this year, and 12 states will vote on abortion ballot measures at the polls in November) we are going to focus on bodily autonomy in a slightly different way. Starting in February, the RePRO Film periodical newsletter will be released bi-monthly, and feature all new podcast interviews and episodes, as part of a new series called The Screening Womb. This is a space to honor our bodily autonomy, the wellbeing of our friends & families and advocate for our shared human experiences — through the narratives of independent storytelling, of course!
In all our episodes this year, we hope to uncouple the notion of “wellness” from the embrace of capitalism — empowering ourselves to make our own decisions that allow us to thrive. All genders & generations welcome, and I am thrilled to be kicking off our first podcast episode with a topic that, frankly, every single republican presidential candidate needs to be in tune with – pleasure! Specifically, sexual pleasure; Ah NOW I have your attention! In this month’s newsletter, we have a double film feature showcase, from German filmmaker Bea Holler. The first film is called Klimax with a “K” which explores the topic of female masturbation through the journey of a plastic Barbie doll traveling through a psychedelic wonderland. The second film is called Dark Chocolate. Sensually told facts about chocolate accompany a series of characters who each embody different sexual preferences.
Now we all know how taboo the idea of sexual pleasure is especially pleasure experienced by female bodied folks. Although it is 2024, patriarchal and puritanical notions of sex and control are ever present in our laws, social customs, media, and even attitudes toward who gets to experience pleasure and who does not.
There is also the added intersection of race that plays a major role in portrayals of pleasure on screen, and how we define people of color in a public way. This is something that needs to be discussed more. In the interest of having said discussions, we invited a very special guest on to the podcast this month – Sexuality coach and relationship expert Tyomi Morgan. She is an international pleasure coach with 12+ years experience as a thought leader, writer and influencer in the field of sexuality. Tyomi is also a member of the National Coalition for Sexual Health, and an on-set intimacy coach in film and TV.Tyomi has dedicated her life to raising awareness and providing education to underrepresented individuals in the field of sexuality. She is the creator of a trademarked workshop called The Cowgirl Workout – where sex and fitness meet. When Tyomi started her journey as a Sexologist, there were many barriers to overcome as a BIPOC female in the sex industry –which is still very much dominated by white men. Because of this, there is a distinct lack of diversity in product offerings, marketing, and education. Tyomi is on a journey to change this. Clearly the work she is doing reflects the kinds of change in narratives around sexuality and pleasure that many of us want to see, boasting over a hundred thousand followers on Instagram, and over 140 thousand followers on Twitter. People want to hear what she has to say and teach, including us!So let’s dive right into this fascinating and enlightening discussion with Tyomi Morgan, and find ways to let go of and undo all the harmful messages we carry around about our bodies and the right to experience pleasure.
Tyomi Morgan, welcome to the Repro Film Podcast. It’s so lovely to be speaking with you today. Thank you for coming on.
Tyomi Morgan (04:42):
Thank you for having me. It’s my pleasure and it’s an honor to be here.
Asha Dahya (04:47):
Love that you use the word pleasure, very on point for our conversation today. Before we get into all things pleasure and sex positivity and all the amazing work that you are doing, I’d love to hear about your background. How did you become a sex expert and what does a sex expert or sexologist, some people know that word, what do they do?
Tyomi Morgan (05:05):
Wow. Well, I’ve been in this work for 12 years. It’ll be 13 years this year, and it was really at the encouragement of my father to use my writing skills because he says I’m a prolific writer, and at the time I was modeling and getting some success in modeling, but he was like, you’re going to be wasting your gift if you don’t use your writing skills. And so I decided to start a blog and I wanted to start a blog on something that I knew a lot about and would be impactful on the world, and I was like, oh six. And so I started doing research and noticed at that time, this was like 2009, 2010, I noticed that there weren’t a lot of prominent black voices in the space of sexual health. And instead of complaining about it, I said, you know what? I’m just going to enter into this space.
And so I came up with the name glamor Eroica one oh one.com because my nickname is Glamazon and it’s all things erotica. And then it just took off from there and I created a YouTube channel because at that time, YouTube was kind of just getting its footing and I didn’t see any sex experts teaching sex in the way that I wanted to see it taught on YouTube. And so I kind of just trailblazed and dug out my own lane. And 12 years later, here I am doing the work, and I’ve done a lot over the last decade and two years, and I’m very happy to be in this space and to have influenced a new generation of other sex experts and sexologists who teach sexual health and who are advocates for sexual pleasure to step into the space, especially ones that look like me. Brown.
Asha Dahya (06:47):
And clearly what you’re doing is working because as I mentioned in my separate introduction that you’ve got a massive following on social media, so people want to talk about sex and pleasure and have the conversations in the way that you are offering. So I think that’s really, really wonderful. And one of the things I love about your work is that you are also pushing to destigmatize a conversation around sex and pleasure. Yes. Why is this important to you and what does it look like to de-stigmatize these conversations?
Tyomi Morgan (07:15):
Well, this is important to me because this is a part of our humanness as human beings. Our sexuality, no matter what it looks like is a part of our experience and we get to talk about this and what it looks like is us having these conversations, not just in the back of rooms or at night or undercovers or under some type of covering or shade. It’s us having these conversations out loud and in the open with medically correct terms.
We use so many euphemisms and just pet names for things because of censorship online, but it’s really important for us to have these conversations and make them a part of regular discourse so that way people don’t feel weird about the things that they’re feeling or experiencing along their journey.
Asha Dahya (08:08):
I love that. I mean, listen, Oprah, I love you, but we’ve got to get rid of a JJ and and things like that. I mean, it’s like
Tyomi Morgan (08:14):
It’s so childish,
Asha Dahya (08:16):
And I was just going to say, it feels like we’re talking to a child and we don’t want to teach at children that you call medically accurate anatomically correct body parts, some weird name, and then that just sets them up for this lifetime of shame around that. So I love that. I love that. I think using those medically accurate terms is so important. I mentioned shame and shame is often such a huge reason why we shy away from talking about self pleasure or sexual pleasure, and it also becomes a way for people to sometimes internalize hatred toward themselves and other bodies. I know I’m definitely guilty of the shame part and thinking certain thoughts around certain people. And then when I examine myself, it’s like, wait, why do I feel like this? Maybe I should work on myself instead of putting that on other people. How can we do that? How do you do that in your work? How do we build a culture where pleasure is not such a shameful or taboo topic?
Tyomi Morgan (09:10):
So the first thing I like to tell people about pleasure is that let’s just set sexual pleasure aside for a moment and look at the other three forms of pleasure that we can experience through our bodies. Number one, sensual pleasure. So anything that we experience that feels good through our five senses and our five senses is how we actually interact with the world. So on a regular basis, we have access to so many pleasurable things through our senses, and then there’s the emotional pleasure, anything that makes us feel good emotionally and that spiritual pleasure, anything that helps us to deepen our connection with our spiritual selves and with our creator. And so when we look at those three aspects, what we realize is that our bodies are hardwired for pleasure and our bodies actually receive rewards when we experience pleasure. So like shots of topamine and serotonin and even adrenaline, all of these things that make us feel really good and as beneficial properties to these chemicals that help us to elevate our mood and just put us in relaxed states of mind, it’s really important for us to focus on that in itself.
And then when it comes to sexual pleasure, there’s so many things that impact it as far as cultural upbringing, organized religion has completely dismantled people’s autonomy around their sexuality and places people in direct conflict with their inner desires, which can also play on a person’s mental health. And then there’s also just the Madonna Horror Complex, all the things that patriarchy has put in place that causes women to feel that they don’t have a right to actually exercise their sexual autonomy. So there’s all these things that kind of pile on top of sexual pleasure where people don’t feel like they can access that. And the first thing that we have to do in order to get to that place of feeling comfortable to exercise our sexual autonomy is to realize the things that actually impact it and how they impact us. Specifically for people of color, it’s often intersectional where it’s not just one thing, it’s several things at once that’s at play.
And then when you think about people who are living in survival mode, sexual pleasure is the thing that they think about the least. So some people can go for years without ever thinking about sexual pleasure or even just pleasure within intimacy. It doesn’t even have to be sexual, but just being able to connect not only with themselves intimately, but with the world around them and with others. And what we’re seeing now is especially after the lockdowns, during covid, we’re seeing a lot of people who are lonely, people who don’t know how to connect with others like reemerging and coming outside, people’s social skills have kind of diminished. And so we’re seeing people who don’t even get the pleasure of just connecting with others. So it’s work, it’s work to get to the place where you feel comfortable enough to even sit in sexual pleasure. Sex isn’t just one thing.
There’s literally a spectrum that sex sits on where it’s a multitude of things. A lot of times we center heterosexual intercourse, penis in vagina sex, and we just think of sex as that and that alone. But there are so many things that happen outside of penetration that happen with all kinds of bodies, not just vulva owners, with penis owners, but all kinds of bodies and all kinds of configurations. And so I think sometimes because of cultural upbringing and because of morality causes and things like that, people don’t allow themselves to explore the spectrum. And so their idea of sexual pleasure is very minute in comparison to the vast amount of things that they can experience within sexuality and eroticism.
Asha Dahya (13:16):
You just put that so beautifully and so comprehensively in a way that I feel like anyone, no matter who they are, can connect with on some level because the way that you connected it to spirituality and the five senses eating something like a beautiful meal or drinking a gray glass of wine or something that makes you feel good and boost your serotonin, like you said, I love that it’s almost like a holistic connection with yourself that is often denied so much because of religious upbringing or political laws or cultural, whatever it is. And so it almost felt like a refreshing way to hear you say that. So I really hope everyone listening will just really take that all in and use that as an affirmation to their own journey. So yeah, that’s really lovely. Thank you for explaining all that. Well, as you mentioned, there is a huge intersectional aspect to the topic of pleasure, especially the way women of color are portrayed and positioned in media, film, advertising, et cetera. Can you share your perspective on this? As a former model and someone who has worked in entertainment?
Tyomi Morgan (14:29):
One of the things about entertainment is we know that sex sales, and even if it’s not overt and mainstream entertainment, it’s infused into every single last thing. And unfortunately, especially for women of color, we are often hypersexualized where we are expected to show up a certain way, and it’s a trope. It’s a longstanding trope that, I mean, hopefully at some point in time it can be dismantled. And as much as I have faith in humanity, sometimes I’m like with the way that things are going, it’s just like some new thing enters into the market where it just continues to perpetuate these tropes. And so there is this expectation, especially when you’re in entertainment, your image is what sells you. And so sometimes you got to sex things up a little bit, and when you are already a person who fits within the standards of beauty or you have that conventional beauty, then there’s that even deeper expectation to have to show up as a sex kitten, the sexual being.
And the thing about sexual energy in itself is that it’s creative energy. What I believe though is that it gets misconstrued because a person who has a lot of sex appeal is also a person who is highly creative and can be a powerful manifester, but that energy is being interpreted at a very primal base level where it’s just sexual attraction. I just want to jump your bones instead of actually coming into higher consciousness around it and looking at this person as, oh, this is a highly creative being. So this is where being a woman in entertainment, one of the things that I was always cognizant of is I know that there’s always rumors around people sleeping their way to the top or whatever. And I never wanted to be that person. I always wanted to be known for my intelligence. Yes, beautiful girl, right? Beautiful woman coming onto the scene, but when she opens her mouth, she’s so prolific and profound that you have to listen to me and take me seriously, not just for how I look, but because of the content of my character.
And then if there is a purpose for the sex appeal, if it’s going to tell a story or if it is going to help us get into some doors because I believe in being able to prop up what your gifts are and being attractive is a gift, then we can use that, but not for the purposes of just being used abused or being used as a prop. I just never wanted that to be my experience. And unfortunately, I think now what we’re seeing in media, especially in entertainment, everything just seems like it’s hypersexualized. It’s a little much. Now, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who is a hip hop artist, and he comes from the old school, Brooklyn Sound, and we were in a studio, he was recording and we were watching videos on mute, and every single last video that came across the screen was the same kind of theme.
And he was, back in the day, guys, were doing what the women are doing now, the female rappers, everybody would be outraged. But now it’s this commonplace and everyone just accepts it. And so it’s almost like in this quest to empower ourselves, and I’m speaking generally in the quest of women to empower themselves around their sexuality. Now it’s like everything’s really overt and everything is really in your face. And sometimes it’s a bit much for me because I’m like, okay, well then there is no middle ground either hypersexual or you’re conservative. So then what are we saying to the younger generations of women coming up? It’s like they have no choice. It’s either they’re going to be super conservative or they have to be just out here twerking all over the place, showing everything. And granted, I’m a tweer. I love twerking. Yes, I wear cleavage out and stuff like that sometimes, but there is a middle ground that we can actually express and show that a spectrum, like you were saying, it’s all a spectrum, but it just seems like right now entertainment is one or the other and there is no spectrum.
And it’s disturbing to me because I’m just seeing girls at younger and younger ages just being aware of what’s available to them sexually. And we don’t have comprehensive sex education. We don’t have parents who are educated to tell their children what’s appropriate for them at their age and what can wait to a later time. There’s no guidance around this. And so we have the internet and TikTok and social media raising these younger people, and if they don’t have parents at home who are monitoring their usage of the internet, they’re putting themselves in harm’s way eventually and not knowing the boundaries around this stuff. So I’ve been talking about this amongst my friends and stuff when it comes to just entertainment and where things are moving, and I see it in a particular demographic within the African-American culture. It’s just very prevalent. And I’m like, not to be a conspiracy theorist, but I just feel like there’s this agenda being pushed to just continue to diminish our value and just diminish us to these sexual hypersexualized beings when there’s so much more to us than that.
And I’m just like, oh God, okay. The part that I can play is education. I can’t do everything and save everything in the world, but there is a part that I can play in that. And by putting affirmation out here where, number one, I’m not shaming anybody for their choices, you have the freedom and autonomy to do what you want to do, and I want to teach you how to do it safely. I want to teach you how to do it where you’re prioritizing your health mentally, physically, spiritually first instead of just going with the masses because it looks cool to do. And because peer pressure is so, so heavy, especially if you do want to enter into entertainment and you think you have to be this way, and it’s just think about your reputation first in longevity
Asha Dahya (20:56):
And the idea of sex being a commodified tool or just a transactional thing that you have, it’s something that you put on a resume rather than an indelible part of your whole being. I think the way that you explained that was so profound and what you are doing is so important. I mean, think about the hundreds of thousands of people that follow you and love your education and are getting so much value out of it because people clearly want something different than what’s being sold. And part of that is writers like yourself and creating a new narrative, writing new characters and journey lines and stories and experiences. And I think that’s part of the reason why we need to diversify Hollywood so much more. So, oh my
Tyomi Morgan (21:41):
Asha Dahya (21:42):
These conversations feels like just the tip of the iceberg. We’re definitely a long way off, but
Tyomi Morgan (21:47):
Asha Dahya (21:48):
Well, this month in the repo periodical, we are featuring a short animated film called Climax, climax with a K, which features a Barbie doll going through different stages of pleasures like this psychedelic, animated, hyper colored world, and eventually she melts literally into a climax. And there’s something to be said about a plastic doll simulating pleasure being allowed on screen, but of course, real life portrayals of especially women’s able bodied, cis head pleasure being censored. Can you talk about censorship a little bit? How does that play a role in portrayals of pleasure that we see on screen in particular?
Tyomi Morgan (22:29):
It’s so interesting because pornography is not censored. Pornography is easily accessible now all over the internet, so that’s not censored. But when someone like myself, and I’ve seen so many sex educators and sexologists leave the industry because of the levels of censorship that we get hit with when it comes to us trying to educate and teach people about their bodies and teach people how to access pleasure in a healthy way, we’re slapped on the wrist for it. Now, that’s not to say that if porn is seen on Instagram that it’s not going to get dinged. It definitely is. But it says something when sex educators, people who have comprehensive information that can be fact checked and it’s helpful for people’s lives, are literally thrown into the same bucket as sex traffickers, as adult content creators, where we know that a lot of platforms do not allow adult content and just salacious content made for entertainment and not for educational purposes.
It’s unfortunate that we have to change lettering on social media just to get our captions through. It’s unfortunate that we have to think twice about what we post and how we post it so that we don’t get our pages completely wiped out or take down. I stopped posting on YouTube for some years because there was a huge sweep of sex educators pages being taken down, and I didn’t want to get caught up in the rapture. That was the sweep. And so I was like, I’m going to chill and just let things cool off and let YouTube continue to promote my page because they do very well at that. But the level of censorship definitely makes it difficult for us to get the word out in the way that we want, so we have to come up with more creative ways to do so. And then every year there’s a change in terms of service for a lot of these platforms where they become trickier and trickier on what they want to see and what they don’t want to see around sexual content.
And a lot of it has to do with advertisers. These big companies that are giving them money are very conservative. They have conservative shareholders who don’t want to see certain things as a part of the companies that they have stake in, right? And so in order to keep that money, and this is all capitalism, right? Yes. In order to keep that money, then they have to follow suit. And so it makes it difficult sometimes for us to get the word out, but those of us who are in this for the long haul, we find a way to do it, and we find a way to communicate with people that is still going to get the point across without having to use too many variations of words outside of the medically sound. I mean, I was dinged for the word vagina. I’m like, vagina, oh my god, pee.
Wow. It’s gotten a lot more sensitive over time. Like I said, I’ve been doing this for 12 years and when I first started, the level of censorship was not where it’s at now. It could feel frustrating sometimes to have to think about, okay, how do I say this without it getting flagged? Sometimes you just want to be raw, real, and candid, but then we have to package things up a certain way for it to be accepted. So people who see us online and we make this job look easy, I just want them to know we go through a lot to even reach you all with our content because it feels like sometimes they don’t want us there, but we’re still in the work because we want to help people. And that’s why I’m in the work. I just want to see people live happy, healthy lives within their sexuality and be holistic about their health. Because when we ignore our sexual health, it’s like this is a huge part of who we are. Why are we not being holistic in our health and pretending like it’s not there? So I wish censorship is there for a reason. There are things that need to be censored, but I wish it wasn’t so hard on us so that way we can do our jobs effectively. Well,
Asha Dahya (26:55):
You talked about earlier about being a potential conspiracy theories. Well, this is the agenda. The censorship is the agenda.
Tyomi Morgan (27:01):
It’s a huge agenda. And when the sex trafficking laws came into play online, they just swept all of us up in that. And again, a lot of the monitoring online are bots, so it’s not even real people, it’s programs, but people are making the programs, and then those programs will do a sweep and then they’ll just ding your page. And then Instagram has gotten really sneaky with stuff where now they have account status where you can go into your account and you can see the status of your account, whether Instagram will recommend you to people or not, and being recommended means you will show up on the explore page. So if you have something on your page that they deem as inappropriate or violating community guidelines, then they’ll tell you, we will not recommend you to anyone outside of who you follow unless you remove this content.
Asha Dahya (28:02):
Tyomi Morgan (28:03):
Sometimes I’ve had things flagged for nudity where I was completely clothed, and it wasn’t like the clothing were flesh honed. It’s like it clear contrast of color between my skin and the garment, and they’ll flag it for nudity. And I was like, oh, is it because I’m a woman in a larger body? And all it takes is a simple appeal, and usually that stuff falls off because it’s ridiculous when things are appealed. I think an actual human sees it, but it’s a fight every day. Yeah,
Asha Dahya (28:41):
It’s a fight. I’m just up against it. Well, I’m going to check my cat because I mean, I don’t post sex education stuff as you do, but just to even know that that exists, to figure out whether your account is being shadow banned or recommended on the explore page, that’s really fascinating. And
Tyomi Morgan (28:55):
There’s a whole category of things that they will deem as violations of community guidelines. I mean, if you have very strong political views and you’re putting those things out there, or if you’re speaking out against certain things, they can still deem you. So yeah, it definitely is worth just looking at that and seeing where your status is at on Instagram, because we all know shadow banning is real. Instagram’s, CEO has gaslit us so many times in saying that shadow banning doesn’t exist. And we’re like, we know that it does because we see the effects of it. So
Asha Dahya (29:30):
It’s so interesting because my blog platform, GirlTalk hq, where I first met you and interviewed you, I’ve promoted interviews with entrepreneurs who talk about the wage gap, for instance, or racial discrimination, and I’ve tried to pay to boost those posts on Instagram and it gets denied because of political content, whatever. I’m like, really? So then I’ve gone back, I’m like, all right, do I change a few words and still gets denied? I’m like the wage gap. So I can only imagine, I kind of do girl talk HQ as a hobby, but for you it’s like this is your work, this is your business. And so you rely on these platforms for amplification, for outreach, and to generate revenue, and it’s just so frustrating that you have to come up against these censorship laws. So it’s an education unto itself, and I’m glad that you were talking about this here because I think when you see people replacing instead of writing S-E-X-S-E-G-G-S says it’s not sex. The algorithm’s not going to pick it up, but even when they’re talking about sexual violence or rape, they have to use the emoji of a grape instead. So the algorithm doesn’t see the word rape, but it’s like this is a serious topic that needs to be talked about. Why is it being shut down? Also makes you realize, now I sound like the conspiracy theorist, who are the people in the positions of power making these rules for the algorithms? And
Tyomi Morgan (30:55):
That’s what it’s all about. Again, it’s all about the bottom line. It is about capitalism and appealing and appeasing the shareholders and who are typically shareholders of these companies.
Asha Dahya (31:07):
What sis headman?
Tyomi Morgan (31:09):
There you go. Oh, and they’re like, some of them are like the most deviant characters doing all the things. It’s so hypocritical. It makes me sick. And I’m just like, okay, all right. And this is where we just have to be clever. It frustrates me so much, and even last year, it got to the point where I was in burnout and I just took a break because I was like, man, I’ve been going hard for the last four years, and each year there’s again, new terms of service, new ways to have to shift how you interact online, especially with this kind of content. And I was like, I’m taking a break. I deserve a break. This is my form of resistance and taking care of myself first. Everything else will be taken care of, but I’m not going to do this. I’m not going to continue to push when I know I’m at a point where I just feel like I can’t go anymore. Coming into 2024, I’m like, oh, coming in hot. Let’s go.
Asha Dahya (32:11):
I’m ready. Well, and I think it’s also about reconfiguring your focus to knowing that what you’re doing is valuable and positive and empowering people. And so I think that’s a really wonderful thing. It can be overwhelming to see censorship and pushback and capitalism, all that. It can really tear you down. But I want to talk about the empowerment aspect for a second. How can pleasure be a form of empowerment, and what do you teach your clients to empower themselves in this realm?
Tyomi Morgan (32:44):
Oh my goodness. When we look at the world at large, anyone can look at this world and say, this is an upside down world. This world is crazy. There’s so many things wrong in the world, but when you bring things down to the individualized level and you know that you can only control yourself, then you realize that you have the power and control over how you see the world and how you interact with the world. And if you want to choose to see the world as a place that’s like dangerous, nothing good ever happens, then that’s what’s going to flow to you. And this is conscious talk now around programming a subconscious mind. So in accessing pleasure and choosing to prioritize and centralize your experience around pleasure, what that does is it helps you to, or it helps one to look at life in a way where now they’re pulling out the good parts because everything isn’t all bad.
As spiritual beings, we’ve been sent here to experience love and to spread love, and unfortunately, sometimes we get thrown off that path because of egoic things. But if we centralize pleasure and we centralize our own individualized pleasure, not only does that empower us, but other people who are witnessing our journey, it empowers them too because they see an example of what it looks like to be free to live their lives on their own terms and accessing what is their birthright. So whenever I’m instructing my clients or I’m teaching classes, I’m always encouraging them to put their own pleasure first, their own happiness, their own joy, their own peace of mind, their own safety, because pleasure is derived in so many different aspects. I mean, safety being the biggest one. If you don’t feel secure, if you don’t have financial security, pleasure is kind of like far from your reach in an aspect.
If you don’t feel physically safe, no way you can feel pleasure. If you feel like your mind is under attack pleasure, it’s going to be far from you. So this is all intersectional now where teaching people how to bear witness to what they’re experiencing internally. So going within and then being aware of traumas that may have gone untreated, that’s preventing them from actually receiving and accessing pleasure is one of the things that I focus on a lot because there’s always clients that come to me and they’re like, I don’t have any trauma. I’m good. And then we go into deeper conversation and then it comes up and I’m like, ha, okay, this thing right here that you just mentioned, this is impacting you in this way. Now let’s talk about how we can help you move through that so you can access more of your senses, access more of your awareness so that you can feel more pleasure not only in sex, but in the things that you enjoy in life.
And to see people come back online and to see the joy that they get to experience from awakening their senses again and just how their lives open up in a multitude of ways in their careers, in their personal living and their relationships. It’s such a joy to me. It takes work, but I love being in the work with my clients because they need somebody to hold their hand. They need somebody who can serve as an example of what it can look like on the other side of the work that they’re presently doing, because sometimes just even getting started seems like a huge undertaking for some people because they’re looking at this big mountain of things that they have to move through. But if you have a coach that’s like, Hey, I’m here and I understand this whole hands and let’s scale this mountain together, yes, then it becomes so much easier. And when I tell you, hearing your testimonials and just seeing how people’s lives transform, that’s the greatest gift for me, and that’s what keeps me in the work.
Asha Dahya (37:08):
That’s so wonderful. I love that you talk about when everything feels overwhelming, going inward is the thing that we can work on, and that is within our control, and that just feels so real right now. When you look at the world and you look at news and oh my gosh, we’re entering a political year. It’s like, oh my goodness, pleasure should be on the top of all of that, and I don’t
Tyomi Morgan (37:30):
Want to think about it.
Asha Dahya (37:32):
No, thank you. Well, let’s talk about something even more fun than that. Let’s talk about your cowgirl workout, which is something you are known for. It’s your signature workshop. Tell me about what is the cowgirl workout? How can someone join? What do they get out of it? Tell me all the things.
Tyomi Morgan (37:46):
Oh my gosh. So the Cowgirl Workout is a sensual fitness program that was designed to help women or people with VUS to improve their intimate movement and deepen their mind to body connection. It started out with teaching women how to ride, but as the program developed and I started touring with it around the world, I started touring in 2016. I made my first tutorials on YouTube in 2014, which led to just all this conversation around what do I do when I get up there? And so I developed a workout that helps women to develop the muscle groups and the stamina to be able to stay engaged in sex, but not even just on top in any position. And just being able to be an active participant and to hold positions longer and to feel more pleasure and to take control of their pleasure, especially when they do get on top.
Oh my gosh. I work with a lot of women who are divorcees. I work with women who are in relationships or new relationships, or they’re celibate and they just want to prepare for when they do decide to enter into sex again. And sometimes these women come to me desperate because they’re like, I don’t want my relationship to end because of this one thing. Or they’re like, I’ve never had an orgasm before and I really want to experience it. So many different reasons why they come, but what they gain access to is to their bodies. And this is why I say it’s not a dick riding class. This is a sensual healing movement program. And I like to tell my clients, look at this as a meditation that you enter into with your body, something that you get to do for yourself on a daily basis or whenever you choose to show up to the work.
And it’s been phenomenal. The feedback that I’ve gotten and the testimonials that I’ve gotten and all of the press that I’ve gotten to do around it because it’s been changing lives since I started it. And the first lives that it changed was mine when I started touring with the cowgirl workout was 2016, and I felt like that was my rock bottom. It was really the point in my life where I felt like it can’t get any worse than this. And one of my friends booked me to do my first class, and then that one sold out. Then the second one sold out within 30 days. And then I just ended up on this tour that was also international. And the way that it brought me out of this dark space just to gather together in sisterhood and to get me out of my head and into the world and into my purpose, I was just like, oh my gosh.
And then during Covid, when everybody was shut in, we were up working out five days a week, and I was going through a breakup and it was rough. It was very rough, but the cowgirl workout saved me. And so I’m like, I know if it’s doing that for me, it can do this for others too. And it’s my baby, honestly. And we do everything online. I chose not to tour in 2024 because I’m moving into the space of working in production more as an intimacy coordinator and director producer. I got to flex my degree back there. So I’m, like I said, staying online, I mean online has been phenomenal for me because it allows everybody from around the world to come in and do the workouts because the replays are always uploaded there, but it gives ’em the opportunity to interact with my content without the feeling, the pressure of having to show up live and am adjusting some things this year too, just based on my schedule as well. But if anybody wants to join, they can go to members dot the cowgirl workout.com, or you could type the cowgirl workout into Google and the website will pop right up.
Asha Dahya (41:38):
We’ll share the links as well in the show notes.
Tyomi Morgan (41:41):
It’s amazing. And for women who want to gain access to that deeper relationship with their body, increase flexibility, increase stamina, increase their strength to be able to go the distance in sex for as long as they want to, whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour, the cowgirl workout’s going to help you reach that, but it’s also just going to help you to enjoy life and really experience life on a deeper level because you have that connection with your body. On a more profound level,
Asha Dahya (42:10):
Tyomi, you just described the story of you becoming your own hero. And I love that, and that’s a Hollywood script in itself because it’s so beautiful how you just never know that you keep putting this light into the world and you just dunno how it’s going to impact people and look what it’s done for you and hundreds of thousands of people around the world. So that’s,
Tyomi Morgan (42:30):
It’s changed my life. The Calgary workout changed my life. There was a point in time I was a starving artist, and everything that I’ve always done, it’s always been because of the joy of it and to help others, but I never really had a model for how I was going to make money. Capitalism was never the focus of the work that I do, but the cowgirl workout helped me to earn a living that I always dreamed of being able to live, but never knew how I was going to do it. And I didn’t know that by being a fitness instructor with an emphasis on sexual health, that this was the way and it marries so many of the things that I enjoy doing. I am a somatic healer. I have a background in dance and physical fitness and movement, and it’s something that saved my life and changed my life as a young woman who started puberty early and has had a grownup body for so long, dance and movement helped me to embrace my body and to break out of shyness and come out of my shell and just really own who I am, own my bigness. I’m 5’10” and a half, so I’ve always been taller and larger than everyone in my energy too. It’s all larger than life.
Asha Dahya (43:50):
Take up that space, girl.
Tyomi Morgan (43:51):
Look, I boldly take up space wherever I go. There was one year I wore these huge afros, huge because I was like, I’m taking up all the space with my crown, but being able to combine all the things that I have a skillset in and that I love to do and put into this program, that’s what continues to push me forward to doing this, because I’m like, I know what it’s done for me, so I know what it can do for other women, and all we have to do is be dedicated to get up and move. That’s it.
Asha Dahya (44:25):
Well, right now in the US, it does feel like we are living in such a juxtapositioned landscape. We touched on this before. There’s a huge regression on reproductive freedom, gender equality, and bodily autonomy. But there is such a big appetite for more nuance and authentic conversations around sex, sexuality, gender pleasure. What is our right to experience those things? Can you explain why pleasure and autonomy matter in the larger conversation around reproductive justice and rights? How are they part of the whole conversation and how are they connected to each other?
Tyomi Morgan (45:02):
So if we’re not having conversations about our bodies, if we’re not having conversations about how we reproduce, if we’re not having conversations about pleasure and about our rights as sexual beings, then it’s easy for people to say, oh, well, okay, they’ve taken this away, but then what does it matter? Awareness is what’s going to help people understand just how deeply reproductive rights being shifted for people with vulvas truly impacts society as a whole. So if we’re not talking about sex, if we’re not talking about pleasure, if we’re not talking about the different rights that we have and the different ways that we can interact with this stuff, then it keeps people ignorant. And if they’re ignorant, then you could take things away from them that they don’t even know impact them. People not knowing that in certain states where these trigger laws were in effect, once abortion rights were restricted, that women who have miscarriages could potentially be brought up on criminal charges. It’s like, wow, you guys don’t know that because we’re not having these conversations. We’re also not having enough conversations about why miscarriages can occur and the ignorance that even exists around the idea that a woman could be charged with misconduct or even murder for something that literally was not her fault.
Asha Dahya (46:30):
We’re talking about Brittany Watts in Ohio. This story recently as a black woman, we know that this disproportionately impacts black, brown, and indigenous women, and this is what happened with her. And I like to think that there were people on the jury who also had miscarriages and were like, no, no, no, no, we are not going to prosecute. This is ridiculous.
Tyomi Morgan (46:50):
It’s absolutely ridiculous. And it’s scary that this is even happening in America because to any sane human being, it makes sense that people who reproduce should have the right not only to choose whether they want to reproduce or not, but have access to care that will support them in whatever stage of reproductive health, whether it’s a full term healthy pregnancy, or if it’s a pregnancy that is terminated for reasons that are unknown. It would make sense that these laws should exist to protect us, and yet they don’t. I recently moved down to Atlanta, this is Georgia, and I was like, okay, I had to weigh the pros and cons here because I’m a reproductive age and I eventually want to be a mother. And I was like, I’m actually terrified. I’ve told my PCP this, and I was like, listen, kind of don’t want to share certain information with y’all because I feel like it can be weaponized against me at some point.
Asha Dahya (47:59):
This is the reality
Tyomi Morgan (48:00):
Now, and this is the reality that we’re living in. If we’re not talking about sex and pleasure and sexual safety, then young women who go and they have sex and they don’t know that they should be wearing a condom or they should be on birth control if they don’t want to use condoms and using condoms correctly and knowing how to use those condoms and knowing condom health, these types of things that we think are common knowledge are not common. And this idea of not even knowing how reproduction works,
Asha Dahya (48:33):
Tyomi Morgan (48:35):
How it actually works. If you allow porn to educate you, cream pies are the thing to do. But not understanding that a cream pie is semen entering a vagina that has millions of sperm cells that can stay in the body for so many days and attach yourself to an egg and create a pregnancy. But if you watch porn, there is no repercussion for cream pies. It’s just sensational. You don’t see a baby come from that. So if we’re not talking about this stuff and we’re allowing entertainment to do the educating, then we have all these misguided people who then unknowingly puts themselves in harm’s way because these laws are now in place that criminalize birthing people for making a decision to either terminate a pregnancy or if a pregnancy does not go full term, criminalizes them for something that they have no control over. And it is sickening because I’m a pro-choice advocate. And for a few days when all this stuff was happening, I just sat in silence because I was just like, I don’t even know what is happening in this country. And even if I want to stay here, it’s scary times to be living in. And thank God my home state, Illinois has upheld abortion rights and reproductive rights shouts out to Governor Pritz because he’s on it.
Asha Dahya (50:12):
I mean, we need more governors like that. I mean, it is terrifying that this is the reality
Tyomi Morgan (50:16):
And terrifying. And when I read that story of the woman in Ohio, I was just like, here we go. And if you guys don’t see what’s happening, and if you don’t understand how this is atrocious, then you’ve been desensitized.
Asha Dahya (50:32):
Hers was the story that happened to get a lot of viral attention, but there are so many others that haven’t been in the news or was happening before Roe v Wade fell. So yeah, it’s important to be aware of all this and make those connections and know who we are in our bodies. I think you put that so well. And on a lighter note, what advice would you give to people who have no idea where to start in terms of finding what brings them pleasure and breaking away from shameful messages they’ve been taught? What is sexual pleasure 1 0 1 to you? What would you tell people?
Tyomi Morgan (51:08):
Okay. So the first step would really be to recognize where the hangups are listening to and being aware of what’s happening in their bodies when sex talk comes up, or a sex scene in a movie or just conversation, what is the result of you witnessing those things? And if it’s aversion or any kind of feeling that’s anything but acceptance and excitement and love, then it’s like, okay, boom. Now let’s explore that. Why is that there? Because people like to run to like, oh, let’s just go read the books and do the things. But if a person has blockages, they’re not going to be able to access sexual pleasure before recognizing that the blocks are there. So really examining where the hangups are and then also examining what areas do feel good. So if there is a topic that sparks your interest, then that is a safe entry point.
So maybe the topic of deepening intimacy and connection is of interest, or tan is of interest. And so go that route while you’re also figuring out how to dismantle the blocks. And it’s not always an easy thing to do. So finding educators online and coaches online whose voice you resonate with and you feel comfortable listening to and they speak your language, follow those people online and support them off of social media as well, because again, we can only do so much on social media, but if you join their newsletters and their mailing lists, then they can really speak to you in a way that’s going to be comprehensive, and it’s not going to be censored at the level that it would be on social media. So find that safe entry point that feels good to you. Examine the blocks and why they are there. Seek out professional help through following these people online, signing up for their classes and courses.
And then there’s definitely amazing books on the market, but you want to wait to do the books until you’ve found those entry points. And then you’ve gotten some guidance from professionals who can say, okay, you’re interested in this thing. Here’s some recommendations. So I’m always going to advocate for professional help because it saves time. There’s a lot that we can see on Google because some people would just say, oh, just Google it. But Google can sometimes have some misinformation and lead us down a rabbit hole. But working with a professional saves you time, provides you with the resources that are going to be comprehensive and healthy and within your particular interest point. And you’re also going to have a guide, somebody who can empathize with you and be there with you throughout your journey.
Asha Dahya (54:12):
Well, for people who want to learn more about your work and of course learn more about the cowgirl workout, where can we follow you? Where can we get to know more about your education? I mean, you’ve given us, I feel like everyone listening needs to Venmo you right now because you’ve given us so much education in this conversation. But in lieu of that, I want people to be able to follow you and join your workshops and sign up for your newsletter and do all the good things. So how do people do that?
Tyomi Morgan (54:40):
So you can follow me on Instagram @realglamazontyomi. You can also check us out at thecowgirlworkout.com and at thepleasureacademy.com where all of my courses live, and you can become a member there. You can also just sign up as a student in that puts you on my mailing list. And then on my Instagram there is a link in bio where you can also sign up for different courses, classes, and my newsletter as well. So looking forward to welcoming all of you that are going to be coming in to work with me in the future. And this has been a pleasure. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you to really do a deep dive into these topics. I think that what you’re doing is amazing. Thank you again for featuring me and bringing me into your space. You are dope. You’re dope.
Asha Dahya (55:29):
Thank you. Well, likewise, I mean, this has been such an enlightening conversation for me. I feel like I could just listen to you all day. So Tyomi Morgan, AKA, glamazontyomi, thank you so much for joining me on the reprofilm podcast.
Tyomi Morgan (55:43):
Asha Dahya (55:46):
If you got as much pleasure out of this conversation as I did (see what I did there!), make sure you follow Tyomi Morgan on Instagram and Twitter which we will link to in the show notes, and head to her website where you can learn more about The Cowgirl Workout. Now that you’re in the mood, be sure to head to ReproFilm.org to see all the goodies we have on offer in this month’s newsletter including a playlist, an op-ed from Dr. Julia, links to informative articles, and of course Bea Höller’s film Kilmax. Be sure to share this podcast episode with a friend and help us spread the repro film message and mission by subscribing to our Periodical at rePROFilm.org. The Repro Film podcast is executive produced by mama.film
Hosted and produced by me, Asha Dahya, Edited by Kylie Brown, With original music by ParisJane and Marrice Anthony.The periodical is programmed by Neha Aziz and written by Emily Christensen You can find us on social media @reprofilm on Instagram and watch our additional video content on our Youtube channel @reprofilmorg where you can catch the replay of all our recent IG lives, as well as filmmaker screenings we’ve hosted and virtual panel discussions moderated by yours truly! I’m your host Asha Dahya, and I look forward to bringing you our next podcast episode as part of The Screening Womb series. Bye for now!