Spit or Swallow (SOS), the podcast hosted by Halima Mason and produced by Eggcorn Digital, is a newly released sex podcast.
In a country as conservative as Nigeria, some would say that launching a podcast that explicitly talks about sex is incredibly brave but its host would have to disagree. Halima finds it shocking when people call her brave. I mean she gets it — she’s a Hausa Muslim who owns a sex toy shop and talks about sex in explicit detail for an audience—but it still surprises her.
“It’s not like I’m living in the trenches or preaching about sex publicly on a bus,” she says. “I don’t think it’s brave, I just think it’s stuff that needs to be done. Like if I had a podcast about food or mental health, it would still be the same thing. People are having sex and talking about it should be normalized”.
It just made sense that Halima would host SOS. She is what some would describe as “radical” —sex-positive, mental health positive, and very feminist. She’s never been one to shy away from those topics and even before the birth of SOS, her social media followers regularly enjoyed this sort of content from her.
She realized there was a gap in terms of sex education when she shared a review on a sex toy and got hundreds of follow requests from people looking to buy them. She launched Hurricane Sex Toys off of that and people loved hearing her talk about sex toys and sex in general. Her followers asked for a YouTube channel but she gave them a podcast.
SOS’s main objective is normalizing sex in all its forms. It’s also “sex-edutainment”, which Halima defines as a mixture of sex education and entertainment. SOS is supposed to help people learn about a lot of things and experiences, improve sex lives, as well as give people awareness and highlight different experiences.
“I feel like the world of sex is vast and I want to have different angles, different perspectives and tackle different topics,” she tells FEMME MAG. “We need to talk about these things because on one end, it’s increasing people’s pleasure, especially women.” Halima wants women to take charge of their sexuality and not have sex just to please men.
“On the other end of the spectrum, there’s also the safety angle,” she continues. “There’s also abuse and rape and there are people who don’t understand consent. I want the podcast to normalize having these conversations on a larger scale, also highlighting how wide and vast the world of sex is. I want people to know about how unique and also alike their sexual experiences are!”
The first season of SOS was just concluded and in it, Halima has managed to accomplish what she set out to do. A few of the topics she discussed with her guests included STIs, masturbation, polyamory, transactional sex and asexuality. Every episode was entertaining, informative and well-researched.
Halima doesn’t try to script out the episodes too strictly, she wants them to feel like conversations between friends. “I decide what I want to talk about before we record and I do a quick prep before. When you have a podcast, you can never really determine how the conversation will go and I don’t want to be someone who’s always interrupting my guests. I want to hear what they have to say but I also have to make sure that they are certain points that we touch on.”
She doesn’t have a process for choosing guests either and she will message anyone on social media who she thinks will make a good impact on the show.
When asked about her target audience, Halima scoffs. She hates being asked that and is adamant about not having one. “I feel like my audience is everyone and anyone who’s having sex. It’s not just for young women, it’s also for men to learn. Although, I do have a bias for women because in the world of sex they’re definitely the ones with the short end of the stick,” she says. “Because of the patriarchy and purity culture.”
As she gears towards Season 2 of the show, she wants things to be bigger. Season 1 barely scratched the surface of everything she wants to discuss on the show and she promises her audience even more sex intel. “There will definitely be more visuals. I want to have a dummy of a clitoris and show people where it is and what it does. I hope for Season 2 to be bigger and better, go more in-depth into certain topics because there’s so much to talk about and there’s only so much you can squeeze into 30 minutes,” she says.
Nigeria makes things harder with how conservative it is but Halima is trying to power through. “I would definitely like more LGBTQ guests. I’ve tried to bring sex workers on, but because there’s a video, anonymity might be hard to navigate”.
For Halima to consider SOS successful, she wants more people to feel comfortable enough to interact with the podcast publicly. “There are so many people that come and give reviews every single episode but you never see it on their stories. They don’t want people to know they consume my content. So just seeing people get to the point where they can talk about it, they can post it, and it’s not a big deal, would be great.”
Halima also wants bigger numbers in Season 2. “It’s still been good because I have people sending me screenshots of people I don’t know listening to the podcast. So, you know, I can tell that it’s spreading. So more growth, more reach, and more reviews. I want more people telling me how things that they’ve learned, how I’ve made their sex lives better, how they’ve learned, lots of things.”