Podcast and Discomfort | Briana Johnson

What’s it like making a podcast about love and sex? 

Well, not as disturbing as all the stories you’ve heard on the internet might make it out to be. Most people like to shy away from topics like sex because they’re private. They’re uncomfortable. They’re taboo. Fleeting came out of the idea that not a lot of people are having these conversations during high school, because of a curriculum, familial values, or general uncertainty about all the intense feelings that come along with sex and romance. Or all of the above. And traversing these worlds when you’ve had little to no experience (or a lot of bad experiences, like I felt like I was having) makes you feel really, really alone. 

But they really don’t have to be uncomfortable conversations. 

Sometimes experiences help to build an idea of how you’d like to be treated in a relationship. Certain experiences make for good stories. And a lot of romantic or sexual experiences lead to a good laugh or two. Fleeting, above all, attempts to make a conversation like these as comfortable as possible for people. So you can hear the emotion in someone’s voice when they talk about how embarrassing their first kiss was, or how they got out of an abusive relationship. The podcast isn’t really about sex, it’s about the connections we make through intimate and romantic experiences throughout adolescence and early adulthood. It’s the ability to have productive conversations about what “taboos” are okay, and which ones are demeaning to a partner. 

Unfortunately, a lot of people get caught up on the word “sex.” 

That’s why I like to invite people to the podcast who have had a range of experiences, who aren’t going to give raunchy detailed stories about who they hooked up with at a co-op party. I wanted to showcase a diverse background of stories that not only spoke to larger topics but gave an inside look at how people deal with relationships based on their experiences. 

I cared more about people’s stories than all the sex they were having (or weren’t having). 

Making a podcast, however, can be a pain in the butt. Set up in the Duderstadt meant fixing the mess the last person crammed into the dark corner of the multimedia workroom. And making sure all the audio isn’t lost because certain wires weren’t plugged into the recording board. Then came endless hours of initially transcribing the first round of audio, to cutting back on the inside jokes nobody will get and intense ASMR lip-smacking. Another round of cutting back audio because the audio you have right now is not creating a narrative. And then comes one more transcription now that you’ve cut down an hour and a half recording. Not to mention all the times Audacity, my editing program, has lost its shit trying to open a file. The nitty-gritty of the podcast, not as fun as the talking part. 

Coming out of my Writing Capstone where people were extremely supportive is one thing. Being thrown into a conversation with my somewhat liberal somewhat conservative mother about “why” you’re talking about sex, and “what purpose” your podcast holds are two completely different ballparks. Both come with their frustrations. I’ve also had to put the podcast on hold for a month, because of my Dad’s knee surgery. Not to mention that post-grad slum I was able to record a session right before I left for a week and a half. I just got to review it a few days ago, and I realized how worth it the struggles surrounding this podcast can be. 

I love hearing people tell their stories. 

I love hearing them laugh.

The podcast became more about hearing the way people describe the love they’ve found in themselves than all the raunchiness of sex. It’s cheesy, but making a podcast about love and sex has given me more perspective on my own relationship than any advice forum or Tumblr post I’ve seen. The ability to create a moment, a recording, where someone tells it all (or, I guess, what I allow them to tell) makes an extremely meaningful impact for everyone who feels like they don’t do relationships “right.” Because it shows there is no right way, and I’m honored to be able to be that podcast for people.

Listen to Fleeting here: https://brianajo5.wixsite.com/fleetingpodcast/listen

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