It seems like when you search for a good podcast, there are millions to choose from, and sifting through them all can be overwhelming and exhausting. There's something there for everyone, from music to politics to history to comedy to late-night raunchy. Well, if you want to get a good start of a few worth checking out, we got it for you. Check out 10 podcasts that uplift, inspire, inform and empower:
Passing Through Podcast
Nneka Julia's Instagram page gives enough clues as to why you'd want to know more from just one glimpse of something. Her photos from her off-the-beaten-path travels around the world---from Oracabessa, Jamaica to Abua, Nigeria to Havana Cuba, to Siem Reap Province, Cambodia---have allure and mystique that she further excites via the captions. So it's no surprise that her podcast would do the same, offering clever storytelling and intriguing nuggets of wisdom.
If you want to hear discussions from super-smart journalists about race and current events, this is a good one. What's great about this is that it includes both female and male perspectives and puts things in a historical context so that you'll feel like you've been schooled after every episode. One recent episode about the agitators within protests had me rethinking my opinions about the moving parts of a successful activist movement.
Therapy For Black Girls The Podcast
This isn't your usual chat about mental health and therapy. This podcast makes the subjects less taboo and more relatable. Hosted by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed psychologist and speaker, the podcast covers hot topics like Insecure's inclusion of Molly's pursuit of therapy, managing anxiety related to COVID-19, coping with workplace stress, and how to talk to your children about race.
Nicaila Matthews Okome features candid conversations with women entrepreneurs, and past guests have included Myleik Teele of CurlBox, Lisa Price of Carol's Daughter, and Nicole Walters of The Monetized Life. The show promotes the impact of small steps that lead to big results, whether in launching that new idea, business or upgraded life.
Sip On This
Ashley Nicole Black, an actress, comedian, and writer, is that breath-of-fresh-air coworker at the new job who actually tells you why you shouldn't ask too many questions at the first staff meeting and point out who will actually answer your emails. She covers topics like how to channel anger, find work-life balance and survive struggle jobs. Yeah, thank me later sis.
If you don't know by the title what you're in for, you might want to go ahead and consult your urban dictionary and then review the expiration date on your Black Card. Veteran blogger Kid Fury and co-host Crissle give us real talk and raw opinions on every day issues like responding to cities opening back up, celebrity Internet beefs, and the prevalence of white privilege violations. These two would make any salon, coffee shop, bar lounge or barbershop visit a treat because this is the type of when-keeping-it-real-goes-right that makes any conversation that much more enjoyable.
Ikhlas Saleem and Makkah Ali talk race, gender and life as Muslims in America in a way that not only invites understanding but puts them among the ranks of friends in your head. (Am I the only one who does that? Wendy Williams, Tracee Ellis Ross, Shioni Turini, and Janelle Monae are on that list, too, but I digress). Whether you share their faith or not, you'll find so many similar issues to evoke "Yasss, sis," that you won't want to stop listening once the episodes are done.
Pilot and explorer Kellee Edwards talks with guests about what their travel experiences have taught them about life, people, purpose, and choices. Kellee has traveled to more than 50 countries herself, built a huge following on YouTube before joining the team at The Travel Channel and has redefined what it means to be a black traveler. This podcast just launched June 10, but if it's anything like her previous shows, you won't want to miss it.
Monique Koch, a vegan family coach, shares how to transition into a healthy lifestyle, and even if you're still not too sure about cutting your favorite jerk pork or fried chicken from your diet, you'll find more information from featured guests about the specific health benefits of using essential oils, incorporating adjustments for fitness goals, or adding more interesting seasonal veggies to your meals.
Anytime you hear the words "one night stand", "on her face", "got a rash", and "parasites" in the same sentence, you know it's going to be an interesting night. This is definitely NSFW, but once you get a private moment and hear hosts Mandii B and WeezyWTF break down the tea and crumpets on trending news, celebrity shenanigans, girl-did-you-know wise cracks, and issues of sex and love that raise more than an eyebrow.
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As much as I talk about sex, this is a topic that I was excited to shed a spotlight on. Why? It’s simple, really. Despite how sexed — and sometimes it really does seem oversexed — that our culture and society may be, virgins are not extinct. Believe it or not, it’s been reported that around 27 percent of guys are still virgins when they first step foot on a college campus (as a freshman) and, globally, approximately 38 percent of people between the ages of 18-24 are still virgins too. And even though it’s not a ton of ‘em, there are still some virgins who are over 40 (I personally know three, although they declined to be interviewed for this article).
And even though it really does seem like, over the past 50-60 years or so, virginity has been looked at as something that should be ridiculed, side-eyed, or even flat-out dismissed, I don’t feel that way at all. Fourteen sex partners and many lessons later, I actually get that there are many perks that come with waiting. Not only that, but I’ve encountered enough virgins in my time to get that, like most things in life, virginity is not a monolith, there are tons of reasons why people choose not to have sex until later in life and, if there’s one thing that you can’t really “do over” (because no, there is no such thing as a “born-again virgin.” You lose your virginity ONCE) is “losing” your virginity (I prefer to say “giving.” You know where it is)— being careful and even uber-cautious about how and when your first time goes down is something that I very much so respect.
You don’t have to take my word for it, though. As someone who gave my “conscious virginity” (I am a survivor of molestation, which is why I put it that way) at 19, I wanted to hear from women of that age and older who still haven’t “partaken of the fruit” just yet. First, to give their journey a voice and second, to remind others who may not be so vocal about their own virginal sexual status that, no matter what social media may be yapping about, when it comes to the topic of virginity, they are certainly not alone — and there is definitely nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.
*Per usual, when it comes to these types of interviews that I conduct, middle names have been used.*
“It’s not like I planned to be this age and still a virgin. When I was in high school, I thought I would be married by now. I’m not, and that’s why I’m still a virgin. Does this mean I’m waiting until marriage? I am. I don’t see the point in giving some man my all without that level of commitment. I personally admire women who can because I don’t have the emotional strength or mental stamina to go through that kind of stress or pain — especially multiple times. I just think there is already enough to worry about in life than if I’m gonna get an STD, get pregnant by someone I don’t want to deal with for the rest of my life, or even if some man is going to call the next day.
"And before y’all even start — yes, I know that marriage comes with risks too. But if a man is willing to pledge his life to me and sign a legal contract to prove it just to get some, I’d rather go that route than some dude I met at a club or a guy who I dated for a couple of months, and it didn’t work out. To each their own, and this is the way that I choose to do it.”
“I’ve always been called an old soul. I don’t think that 22 is old, but it is old, these days, to be a virgin. Some people assume that I’m one for religious reasons. Really, it’s because I’m observant, and my sisters and friends who already gave it up usually had more drama in their lives than anything. I just want my first time to be with someone who, when I look back on it, I don’t have regrets. I’m not looking for the perfect guy, but damn, can he at least not ghost me, give me an orgasm, and keep the moment to himself instead of telling all of his boys? I don’t think that’s too much to ask — and if it is…oh well.”
“The question I get asked all of the time is if I’m saving it for marriage. I am. I used to say that I was waiting until I got engaged or at least fell in love, but I have friends who did that, and months after they had sex, the guys were gone. I know that marriage doesn’t guarantee anything, but I have some other friends who were virgins on their wedding night, and their lives just seem to be less intense.
“Not having sex has shown the true colors and real agendas of a lot of guys, so while it does get lonely, being this way makes it easier to see who is serious about a relationship and who just wants to get their d — k wet. Virginity can be the ultimate male marriage material predictor. At least it’s been that way for me.”
“I almost gave it up to my first love, and ‘he’ didn’t happen until college. The break-up damn near turned me into a basket case, so that proved to me that I’m not really for a sexual relationship. I think the best way to explain it is, until I know that I can emotionally handle giving myself to someone and it possibly not working out, I need to stay just where I’m at…and I’m just not there yet.”
“The timing of this is crazy because I almost lost my virginity last weekend. It’s a long story, but I was going to give it to a guy friend because I want my first time to be with someone who I trust. We didn’t go through with it because he said that he didn’t want to chance me regretting it and it ruining our friendship. I think it’s interesting that it seems that men value a woman’s virginity more than women do these days. Anyway, all I know is it won’t be just some random guy. If I don’t trust you with my heart, you will never be able to have my body. My standard will definitely be someone who was my friend first.”
“I’ve been too busy to give up my virginity. Sounds crazy, but it’s still the truth. I’ve always been very career-driven, so after getting my master’s, I decided to do a lot of traveling and then buy a home. It’s probably been over the past few months that my sexual status has even crossed my mind because dating just hasn’t been a priority.
“I guess you can say that having a full life is why I’m a virgin. When I can fit a man into my schedule, and I find him just as stimulating as what I currently have going on, I can almost assure you that my sexual status will change. Until then…stamps on the passport are my orgasms.”
“I’ve had plenty of oral sex — not giving, receiving. Some people say that, technically, I’m not a virgin anymore, but I guess I’ll speak for the women who fall into my special situation. The reason why I’ve never gone down on a guy is because I want that to be reserved for the one [who] I first have intercourse with. The reason why several have gone down on me? You know how guys are — they see virginity as a challenge and will go the distance to be the first. If they wanna try, who am I to stop them?
"As far as what I’m waiting on…I don’t really see it as ‘waiting.' I am open to it. I just haven’t been with someone who seems like he is who I should give it to. I think that the guy who never brings sex up will probably be the one who piques my interest. I’m already a challenge. I think I’m looking for someone who is one, too.”
“I’m a virgin because I’m focused. There are too many women at my school who are so distracted because of what some guy is doing or didn’t do — and I don’t have the time. I want to be able to have my master’s degree before my 23rd birthday, and I’m on the way to making that happen. I haven’t told anyone this, but the present I want to give myself is losing my virginity for graduation. I think an orgasm for all of my hard work makes sense. I know who I want the guy to be, too. He doesn’t know. Hope he doesn’t blow it. I’ll try to keep you posted.”
“All of the holy books value virginity, and that’s why you will never be able to convince me that there is not a serious spiritual breakdown in our society. What used to be respected is now a so-called social construct, and to me, that sounds like so many people are so hyper-sexed with no real reason or purpose that they want to take the ‘misery loves company’ approach — that because they weren’t taught to value virtue and virginity, they want as many other people as possible to follow suit. That will never be me. Until I meet the man who is deserving of being the first and only to enter into my body and spirit, I will remain a virgin and very proud of it.”
“I honestly don’t know why I’m still a virgin. Remember how you told me [Shellie] that after the first couple of years of abstinence, you got pickier and pickier? That’s the way I’ve been all of my life. I’m sure that sex is amazing, but it’s also complicated, physically kind of messy, and exposes you to a world of stuff that you don’t have to think about when you’re a virgin. I’m not scared to have sex, but I’m not in a rush. Look at me — I’m sure I’ll open these legs up one day, but I’m not checking off the calendar or anything. When I have room to explore the good and bad of sex, I’ll be more aggressive about it.”
There you have it — proof that there are at least ten virgins on the planet who aren’t still in high school. And what I like about each of them is there is both a confidence and focus outside of their sexual status that serves as a great reminder that sex is a part of who we are yet…it’s certainly not everything. And you know what? It never was designed to be.
So yes, kudos to them for having a personal type of conviction, for whatever the reason, and standing by it.
Virgins or not, it’s a reminder that we all should be firm in our standards about…something.
Amen? 1000 percent.
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