Calling All Hoes: Meet Inner Hoe Uprising
If you think that sex positivity is something new, allow us to educate you. The internet has been overflowing with femmes and non binary people opening the doors to adventurism and acceptance, whether for themselves or others. The cast of the Inner Hoe Uprising podcast is no different, as they come together every week to tackle topics from colorism to cum fights -- which is definitely a thing. We met up with them on a very cold night to talk all about the podcast.
How did all four of you meet?
SAM: I’ve known Akua since second grade, me and Akua go way back. I’ve known Rebecca since freshman year of high school and I’ve known Rob since junior year of high school, their senior year. [They] all came together after I did a search for a new co-host in season two of the Inner Hoe Uprising, but to be more specific Akua & Rob met each other through me and Rob and Rebecca met during the first recording?
REBECCA: Apparently, me and Rob met each other several times randomly. We introduced ourselves to each other like we never met and we saw like two or three pictures of ourselves and we were like, “okay, this is creepy.”
When was Inner Hoe Uprising established, and how did it come about?
SAM: Inner Hoe Uprising was established in November of 2015. I used to run the show with a different co-host, Shanika, and we were also production partners in video. We had the same black, queer, feminist brand at that time and we were like, ‘what is a good way to get that brand out and build a following/viewership on a platform that’s easier than video?’ We were guests on Waseoff Podcast, by Stacey Pryce, and did this two-hour long episode about vaginas. Somehow she knew that if we were talking about vaginas we’d do well. Afterwards we were like, ‘we were pretty fucking good, we’re funny as hell,’ and had the idea to do our own podcast. We were both polyamorous at the time and talking to each other about our own exploits, one time she said to me that when she drinks margaritas, is when the inner hoe uprising occurs. So I said, ‘a podcast about sex, love, and dating called the Inner Hoe Uprising,’ and she said let’s do it. And here we are!
How and where are the podcasts recorded?
SAM: The podcast is now recorded at a variety of different studios; it used to be in a small room at Hunter [College] where we would break in every weekend to do it. Well, we didn’t break in, we had student IDs but didn’t go there anymore. Now, we record at Wong Tunes in Queens and currently one studio in Brooklyn called Cast Sound Lab. We’ve also recorded at Indie Creative Network.
You had discussed earlier in season two that you were looking for a new co-hoe and eventually getting all three co-hoes. Sam, how did you go through that process of deciding if you wanted to keep one co-hoe and then bringing in all three at the end?
SAM: It was a matter of looking at how people responded to them, my particular chemistry to them, how much they actually wanted to be involved in the show and how much time and money [because the podcast is money] they can commit. At the time I wasn't working so I had all my time to devote to the podcast, but people who have full-time jobs can't devote all of their time to a show. So I felt like having three people who could devote a portion of their time was better than having just one person.
Do you find that there's more audience participation when it's just you and another co-hoe, or when it's all four of you together?
SAM: I think it depends on the episode. The engagement is at the same level unless it's a breakout episode, like damn I didn't know n*ggas was going to be talking about that! The dominatrix episode that we had was very buzz worthy, but people are very engaged throughout episodes whether because of our guest or something we said that was insightful or jokes that we made. Or someone expressing a part of themselves that the audience could relate to which all the co-hoes have done.
What is the thought process like for you guys coming up with an episode? You guys get together and brainstorm, do you take submissions from listeners, and how does that work?
AKUA: It really depends on what episode it is, if it's a group episode we definitely brainstorm and come together to think about what we can all talk about and relate to. We can have a topic in mind and then we search for a guest, or we can have a guest in place and center the episode around them or a certain topic that they bring or expertise that they might have. Or it could be that we magically have a topic and a guest, and everything will line up.
Was there ever an episode that you thought the listeners would take it in a certain way and it was the complete opposite?
SAM: One of my scariest episodes, personally, was the Sex is Comedy episode. It's probably my least favorite episode, that guest was hella transphobic. She was what they call a TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist) although she didn't say it outright on the show, but that was within her practice. We didn't know that going into the episode, but as we peeled back layers, it was just like, “I don't care about people with dicks, and people with dicks are all men, none of them are women.” Her whole thing was that she wrote this book making fun of dicks, and during the episode we asked if she thought it was transphobic towards trans women with dicks and also just body shaming. We tried to delve deeper into that and her version of that was becoming transphobic, so in the edit I cut that part and just left the part where she says she doesn't really think about it too much before we had pried further. I thought that everyone was going to be like what the fuck, this is not inclusive enough, because usually all of our conversations are inclusive in that way. And a lot of people ended up actually liking her and being like, “yeah she's just a feminist with growing pains,” and, “man this lady is so funny I'm going to buy her book,” but we did have one listener who is a trans woman who actually called it out.
REBECCA: That didn't happen until the very end of the interview, it was getting there and we looked at each other like, “whoa, were we interviewing this person the whole time?” It just got really bad.
As a collective, what are you goals for Inner Hoe Uprising for 2018?
ROB: In general, just more content. Even though I'm not going to be around I still have goals for the podcast and things that I want to help promote. Not just podcast content; we have our Patreon so we're also doing videos and more events. We want to interact with our viewers outside of the podcast, because it's not just interviews and listening to what we have to say but we're also people and we want our fans to relate to us as people.
SAM: Some other goals that we have are definitely doing more live speaking engagements, whether that be more live shows or speaking. I feel that we have a very specific brand that is insightful and funny and adheres to the tenants of intersectional feminism in a way that's done really well, and I want to bring that to audiences and make money while we're doing it. That, and doing really expansive episodes. We programmed February to have Black History Month episodes and go deeper into topics while doing this cool formatted series for different months, which is very exciting.
You all recently had your very first live show, talk about your feelings with that.
SAM: It was dope to actually even do a live show in the first place. During season one there was a live party but this was the first live event, ever. I almost cried that morning, but that was a real moment where everything came into fruition and people came and were interacting with us and existing with us. We see these people whom we've never seen before that listen and are willing to pay for this show. It was just like a high; I’m an introvert but I like feeding off of people's energy on stage and in a environment where I have an audience, so that was really cool. I was also extremely proud of these three folks who put that shit together and I thought it came out really well.
REBECCA: It was really a whirlwind. We walked in not really knowing what to expect, I had people walking up to me that only DM’d me on Instagram asking if I remember them posting that they loved me and I was like, whoa. I realized that these people are genuinely tuning in and we're just being ourselves, we’re obviously putting work into it and trying to learn other things but they're resonating with us for ourselves and our stories. Looking around the room, we didn't even have enough chairs! For us it was a really incredible experience.
ROB: When we initially began planning it, our turnout was significantly higher than what we expected. I knew that we could do it, but to actually see it happen with us filling a room to capacity was a moving moment, like we're actually doing this. It's not something that analytics could really portray; we're actually reaching people. Just the vibe of the audience, granted, n*ggas was wild lit, to have them interact with us as well made me feel like we were really doing something important but we're still normal enough that people can relate to us. I felt pretty important and we got to twerk, which was the most important moment of the night.
AKUA: For me, I feel like the live show was very validating in a lot of ways. I had an idea of what we were and what we can do and who we could reach, and to see that in real life was like wow, the vision that I had in my head was really happening. To see how my other co-hoes worked during times of high stress and to know that they're stressed and I'm stressed and they still have my back and I can still count on them and vice versa. It really showed and validated what I thought we were and how we work together as a team.
The intro to Inner Hoe Uprising describes all of you, for the most part, as feminists. What does being a feminist mean to each of you?
AKUA: Being a feminist at the very core is embracing everyone for who they are and the choices that they make. That's an all facets of their life, all facets of their personality, and really just promoting choice and the freedom to choose to live how you want to live.
REBECCA: For me, I feel like it's this big stigma where there has to be a tangible version of feminism where you're the one who's at the front lines and you're throwing tampons at dudes. That's what everybody assumes, apparently you have to be radical, and the fact that this is even a thing means that there's a problem. Women, or people with vaginas, or anybody who's not a fucking cis-het [cisgendered heterosexual] man it's just having to fight and move forward just to be accepted by society and just be equal. It's just about equality and making sure that it's accessible to everyone.
ROB: Being a feminist for me means reminding people that in order to be a feminist, you can't be homophobic, you can't be transphobic, you can't be racist. It's about knowing enough about the struggles of women, the struggles of people with vaginas, that I'm able and educated enough to chin check people and make sure that what I'm saying is accurate and fair so that everybody feels included. It's not just about people born with vaginas and it's so much bigger than something that simple and expands to so many realms that we can't quite fathom here in America.
SAM: I would say being a feminist means fighting for the equality of people who are impacted by a myriad of social structures, that we as human beings have created to oppress people. Not just believing in the equality of all people, but actively fighting. If you're not actively fighting or doing what you can to fight then you're not actually doing anything and therefore you're not a feminist. Specifically, fighting against white supremacy, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, body shaming, whether that be for small people or big people, slut shaming and fighting against sex negativity.
What’s it like to be four twenty-somethings and work together on Inner Hoe Uprising while pursuing your own personal career goals and career paths?
AKUA: I'm inching closer to that thirty mark, ain't no twenty something no more!
SAM: I mean Rihanna's 30 now, so everything's okay. It’s okay to be 30 because Rihanna's 30. If Rihanna's doing it I can do it.
ROB: I won't lie, at times it's hard because we have to think about our schedules so much. In the very beginning I was in school, Rebecca's in school, Akua just left school. I'm doing my Army thing where I work and my life thing, Sam's doing her thing, in order for us to all sync it takes so much work. I feel like it's a learning experience on how to work with people who don't work with you, or employees that don't work in your shop and you have to sync your life with theirs in order to get things done. Sometimes it doesn't work out the way we wanted to but most of the time it does. Even if it's last minute we get everything done and you can't tell that we struggled up until 2 minutes before the episode began.
We are now in season four of Inner Hoe Uprising. What else can listeners expect from this season?
AKUA: What they can expect is it true representation of that intersectionality we talked about and that we say we're about. We are delving deeper into the different branches of some broad topics that we put out before. We're trying to get into these really under-represented intersections of sex, love, gender, dating, and the multiple ways that it connects and come together. We will be doing a series called Polyga-May, another monthly series that we will have coming up in May. From the beginning Sam and the first co-hoe were always polyamorous and in open relationships and have spoken about their own personal conquests in polyamory, but we've somehow never had it as a topic. We're trying to just reach out and do these things that lead to the intersections that are missing. We're doing a lot of national awareness days just to engage people outside of the podcast, and spreading knowledge. That's how you make your mark in the world and become more active. We have some cool guests and dope topics lined up, and a couple more surprises.
SAM: This is also the first season where we're doing real video coverage; our Patreon subscribers can see a lot of that. We have little snapshots that are on Instagram where people can see a little behind the scenes of what's going on and all the zany reactions that we have two things while we're talking.
You guys do listener letters where people send in questions or get advice, what’s the wildest email that you've ever gotten from a listener?
REBECCA: It's kind of long, and every time we're supposed to read it we never have enough time. Basically, this girl it's supposed to be meeting up with this guy and a girl and she basically does some drugs beforehand to calm her nerves. She’s been messing with this dude for some time and then he wants to do a threesome with another girl that happens to be his ex. So when she's about to meet up with them, she ends up taking these drugs and has a full seizure at the table at Applebee's and they had to take her to the hospital. I'm thinking, ‘please let this be real,’ because this is just one of those things where I'm proud of them for admitting that it happened but how did that happen? That's my favorite one, and I'm waiting for that episode where I can finally read it and just talk to whoever it is because she’s anonymous.
SAM: The first season had this guy who would always send stuff in, and he would just have these ridiculous fucking stories, and me and the old host would be like is this real? Or is he just an imaginative writer? One time he was in a lot, and this lady was just like, whip your dick out, and he got his dick sucked in the Home Depot parking lot. It was really weird, I don't have any other examples but it was always things like that where it's like, this doesn't just happen to you. You don't just walk into all these sex situations but that was every single story. He was just walking into these situations and he was always getting his dick sucked at the end of it. Maybe he was just trying to write it into existence.
What is a FLASH person to you?
SAM: It means that I am bright, in spirit and in presence.
ROB: It means that I'm a part of a collective that's bigger than me; a collective that can be represented bigger than the podcast, that can be represented in a magazine, that can be represented in any public space. And that people, it doesn't matter who you are, can really relate to. Especially if they are black femmes, we make this podcast for black people, and being a black person means that we're bright enough so that n*ggas can see us, yuhurd?