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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya talk to matchmaker and dating expert Chi Love about inviting love into your life, the importance of compatibility before chemistry, trying different things to get different results, mental health and dating, arranged marriages, and the value of using a matchmaker to find your mate(s).
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Kenrya: Today we're talking to Chi, pronouns she and her. She's the CEO and founder of NYA Love and Dating Services. She's also a certified matchmaker and dating specialist who enjoys working with singles all over the United States ages 26 to 68 who are single, entanglement free and serious about their search to find true love. I love the parameters. We are gonna have to talk about that.
Kenrya: Her goal is to help others navigate the ups and downs of dating and relationships. She's determined to provide a matchmaking and dating service that continues to help her community thrive in the dating world. She's been nicknamed The Love Genie, as she does very best to make wishes come true. Her hope is to continue changing the world one heart at a time. Hey, Chi.
Chi: My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.
Erica: Thanks for joining us. So, Kenrya has questions that she wrote out, but I always like to go a little off. So, we knew we wanted a matchmaker, right? So, we saw these best of... You then got to sort, find Black people, right? We sort and it was like, "Oh, those are Black faces." Then what really turned us on about you and your service is that one, you got Black people on your page. It is clear that you're Black and you're Blackity Black, and also it's clear...
Kenrya: And that you care about Black people and [crosstalk 00:01:54] pages in.
Erica: Can I talk about the picture? If we have to, we'll cut this part out. So, we were looking and there was this one chick and she had a website and this Black man had the worst fucking haircut on Earth, to the point where you could tell you don't know Black people if you thought that this was an acceptable photo to put on your fucking landing page. I was like, "Hell no."
Kenrya: Yeah. It was real bad.
Erica: I was like, "I ain't even going no further than this."
Kenrya: It was an instant move on.
Erica: But also, you make it clear that you work with not just cis het folk, but all of us, which we thought was so important. And it's great to... I mean, other people may do it, but from this front you were Black and inclusive. And so, we were like, "Yes."
Kenrya: And what was wild is that we were both going through lists separately and then we were emailing each other our favorites at the same time and you were both of our favorite [crosstalk 00:03:00].
Erica: Very happy you agree.
Chi: Thank you.
Erica: Yes. Okay. So, back to Kenrya's questions, I probably will veer again.
Kenrya: We're definitely going to veer because I got questions about how you pick who you work with, which I should-
Erica: [Crosstalk 00:03:19]. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Chi: So many things. I know I really just wanted to be happy. I wanted to be famous. I wanted to be wealthy, but I didn't really have a specific thing that I wanted to be. I know in seventh grade I was very fond of Maya Angelou and I was like, "I want to be a poet. I want to be a writer. I just want to write because I love writing." And when I read “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” that's the title of it, I fell in love with literature in itself. So, I think I wanted to be a writer and a poet at a young age. Like, "That's what I really want to do." And mainly because of Maya Angelou because she was everything. When “Phenomenal Woman” came out, even still, it just gives me goosebumps.
Kenrya: Yes. Absolutely. So, how did you get from there to here? How did you become a matchmaker?
Chi: Yeah. So, I saw this movie, “Hitch,” with Will Smith and he was- He was such a good dating coach and he was funny and I was like, "Oh, I like him. I've always loved Will Smith, but I love what he's doing." And so, I Googled one day, because I live in Washington state, matchmakers in my area. Let me see if I can try to see what's around here. Nobody looked like me. I was like, "Oh, okay. So, not many people are doing this." And then, I got even more curious about what it would take to become a matchmaker. So, I started doing my research on different institutes and certifications and then I found the Matchmaking Institute and they have been the only matchmaking institute, if you will, to actually have someone go on to have their own show, which was The Millionaire Matchmaker.
Chi: So, I was like, "You know what? If I'm going to do this, I'm going to have to do it big." And so, I went with the Matchmaking Institute and they're based out of Manhattan. And it was very challenging in some ways to get started. It took me a while before I finally bit the bullet, but I was ready. And I launched February 2020 and I was excited because it's Black History Month, the month of love. And literally, less than two weeks after my announcement on Facebook and Instagram, "This is my website." COVID happened. I was like, "Wait a minute."
Erica: But I feel you probably... I mean, I am single. So, I was thinking "Girl, find somebody to snuggle in the middle of this pandemic."
Chi: It was a little bit of both. I had people that were like, "Oh, I'm not trying to meet anybody new. Let me see what's going on with this pandemic. We're supposed to stay six feet apart and you're telling me to come together." And I'm like, "Okay. You right." So, I had to expand and that's how my business grew. So, instead of staying in Washington state, I opened up my business to the US. So, anyone who's born and raised in the US or currently residing in the US, I wanted to work with them. And then, my business just grew and grew and grew.
Erica: Look at God.
Chi: Yeah. So, the pandemic was a blessing and a curse, but I focused on the positive side of things. I had to. Yeah.
Kenrya: Wow. Yeah. And you were flexible, which is important.
Chi: Very flexible. Yes. Very important as well.
Erica: So, who or what inspires you to do this work?
Chi: People, especially in our community, our people. A lot of people say, "Oh, I'm giving up on love." Or, "There's no more good ones out there." And I'm just like, "What? There's 7.8 billion people and counting. If you're patient enough to wait for it and do the work and be open and honest about what it is that you need and want and designing your life, it could happen for you." But it all comes down to mindset.
Chi: I mean, I remember I went through a very traumatic breakup and I was like, "I'll never love again. It's done for me. I'm good." All this extra stuff. And I'm just like, "Yeah." That's the thing a lot of people have. But if you think about it, you still have air in your lungs. So, why not go out there and just see what's available to you? As long as you are living and breathing, you might as well invite love into your life. Just be patient about it when it comes to the process and meeting new people and be open and honest. It's not an easy thing, but it's a beautiful thing when it works out. So, people inspire me, people that still believe in love in 2022, that's what inspires me.
Kenrya: That's what's up. So, okay. I want to revisit something from your bio. So, you have ages 28 to 68 who are single and entanglement free and serious about their search to find true love. How did you come to that set of criteria for folks that you will take on?
Chi: Yeah. So, I used to say 30. I wanted to start off with 30 because I feel like 30, people, they're really more excited and more serious, but then I met some really adventurous 28-year-olds. By that time, you've already graduated from college, most of them. Some of them are already career focused and all they're missing is that missing piece. And it's two years before 30, so they're trying to find that person right before. So, I figured 28... That's my starting point.
Chi: Now, I have worked with people slightly younger, but again, it just depends on who they are. But generally speaking is 28 up until 68, because 70... I mean, I feel like I can be hard sometimes, a lot of people are set in their ways. But I've been lenient if I like your heart and if I can just see that you truly want this and if I like your energy too. Because I don't want to shut someone away just because of their age, if they're really looking. But I have to also be honest. "Well, this is the majority of what I'm working with as far as clientele. So, it may take me a little bit longer, but if you're patient enough, I'll do my best to help you in any way I can." I just feel like those ages are where I could take people more serious, but not always, just generally, if that makes sense.
Kenrya: Yeah. And tell me about the entanglement.
Chi: Yeah. So, I love Will Smith and Jada. I love them a lot, but I did get the entanglement... I did get that whole... I don't even know what to call it. That term from Jada, what she said. Because I want people that are just ready. I don't want people that are still involved with someone else or still got something over. Because if I introduce you to someone that's just ready to love you and you're still over here with this person that doesn't really serve you, then maybe they give you what you want in bed, but they don't give you what you want relationship wise. Then you're just wasting my time.
Chi: So, please just be entanglement free and ready for something real because a lot of people are just out here wanting something to lay with, which is fine, but that's not what I do. I'm trying to introduce you to someone that you want to say I do to. So, when you come to me, just be entanglement free, I ask that respectfully.
Kenrya: Right. What's your favorite thing about what you do?
Chi: I love seeing people come together and like, "Ugh, you know what? I know I said that it's important that he'd be six feet tall, but 5'10" is just as good and we're working out just fine." Or people that stopped believing in it. I had this one gentleman who was 66 and he did not believe that I'd be able to help him because he's been in the army for 30 years. He's a retired vet and he's divorced. And he was just like, "It's hard. Dating out there is difficult." But I coached him. I coached him for several months and I gave him homework and he was able to approach a woman, take her out to dinner and now they're still dating and it's been months.
Chi: He didn't even need me as a matchmaker anymore, but he believed and he wanted to try something different and he was nervous. He didn't think that he should, he was like, "What can a 30-year-old woman or thirties, tell me about dating." I'm like, "Sir, you are 66. You still have air in your lungs. Let's just try this coaching and see how it does." And when I gave him homework, he was, "You will give me homework? I'm a grown man." I'm like, "Sir, what did you pay me for? Come on." But he was successful. He approached a woman at the grocery store, approached a woman at the gym, the one at the grocery store said yes, they had dinner and they've been dating ever since.
Chi: And it's beautiful stories like that. Love can be found at any age. You just got to be willing to try something different. You can't keep going to the same places and complaining about the people that you're meeting. You got to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. So, yeah. That's what makes me happy, is actually changing people's love lives. Giving them hope again, because a lot of people have lost it, sadly.
Erica: I feel like I'm going to be like... Yeah. I feel like I'm going to [crosstalk 00:10:58]. Yeah. All right. Let's go. You're a lovely woman, but I will probably tell you multiple times over this interview, stay out of my business.
Kenrya: That's okay. What's the most challenging part of your work?
Chi: Okay. So, I would say 75% of my clients, sometimes more, are women. Women usually know what they want. Men take too much time trying to sow their royal oats or whatever you want to call it. Or [inaudible 00:11:39] probably gets in the way, "I don't need a matchmaker." "But you do though, sir, you do. You're trying to find a wife though, right? I'm confused." Or you're trying to find a husband just depending on how you identify. But when it comes to men and matchmaking, finding melanated, marriage-minded men, that has been the hardest thing for me because I'm very specific. And some of my clients aren't as patient.
Chi: So, we have to have the conversation. Valentine's Day, last month. "So, have you found me a..." "No. I know it's around Valentine's Day. I know you want them now, but I have your criteria. I know what you're looking for, but the people I'm screening, they're not measuring up." I have clients that they want to find someone that wants to get married within the next two years or want to have children within the next two years because of the biological clock. And I understand all of that. They've been to the doctors, they've frozen their eggs. I get that.
Chi: But I'm not going to just introduce you to someone willy-nilly just to say, "Here's your match." I want them to be someone that you can see yourself saying ‘I do’ to, I want you to be aligned on many different things. I focus on the needs. A lot of people, they focus so much on chemistry. I'm focusing on compatibility and hoping that there's chemistry because chemistry is a thing, "Oh. She is so fine, I cannot wait to get to know her." "Oh I love the way he smelled." But then like, "Oh. You have seven kids and you don't want marriage. Okay. Cool." You're not compatible, right?
Chi: So, the hardest challenge for me is getting people to focus on compatibility versus chemistry. That's a challenge. Because everybody wants to go off, "Oh. Well, he has to look this way." Or, "She has to be built like this." I'm just like, "Does she, though? Does he, though?" Because if you're 70, 80, 90 years old, I promise you that six pack or that fat ass isn't going to matter to you as much. [crosstalk 00:13:11].
Erica: Cute can get ugly real fast, that's what my grandma used to say. Cute can get ugly real fast.
Chi: It really can. I mean, I'm here for. It's a challenge, though, it is. I have a lot of in-depth conversations. I have to bring people back to Earth and I always tell people, "If you don't like a really direct approach and if you're not patient, I'm not the matchmaker for you. I'm not going to hold your hand and tell you what you want to hear. I'm going to be real with you." I'm very honest. I had a past client, she was in her mid-fifties. She demanded he'd be six feet tall, six figures, in shape with no gray hair.
Erica: You're marrying or whoring?
Kenrya: But also a child because no gray hair?
Chi: And I asked her, I was like, "Let's have another conversation, but let's revisit this conversation. I'm finding men for you, they just want to date you, want to get to know you, but they have some gray..." "No." "Honey, if I could dye my hair, so can he." So, she's no longer a client of mine. I wish her the best luck in her search. So, that's the thing.
Kenrya: So, what does it look like to you? Because I think we all know... Well, most of us know what it looks like to get on an app and look for somebody. What does it look like to work with a matchmaker?
Chi: So, every matchmaker is different. I've coined myself as NYA Love and Dating Services is the name of my company, but I'm also not your average matchmaker. That's what NYA stands for. So, I go above and beyond. I'm always head hunting. It is exhausting. I'm siding in DM's, I'm on LinkedIn looking for the professionals. Because it's an everyday thing and I can't be shy. If I see someone that I feel will be a good fit for my client. I'm walking up to them.
Chi: Checking for a ring first. If they don't got one, "Hi, my name is Chi. Are you single?" "Excuse me?" "Oh, I'm a matchmaker." "Oh, are you?" And then, people don't believe that matchmakers exist so, "I could show you my website. Let's have a conversation." And then, it's the screening, going over deal breakers. I even talk about pets. There's some people that would date someone that has one pet, but not two.
Kenrya: I couldn't [crosstalk 00:15:09].
Chi: That's what I'm saying. What if he's a great fit for you [inaudible 00:15:13]?
Kenrya: Because I'm allergic to cats. They would kill me.
Erica: I love dogs. I love dogs. And I used to have a dog and if I saw a guy with a dog, I was like, "No. Because you're not going to love my baby." "Mind you, I have a child." I was like, "You ain't going to love my baby the same way I love mine."
Chi: Yeah. And there's so many things to consider. There's so many parameters. I talk about everything. The consultation is an hour and 15 minutes of me asking you about who you are and what you're looking for. And it has to be done on video. I do not take consultation with people. "Oh, just give me a phone call." No, I need to see your face when I ask, "What did your last relationship teach you?" If you're like, "Oh, well..." No. [crosstalk 00:16:02]. Look at the camera like, "I'm over here, sir." Or, "Ma'am, are you okay?" I've had people break down during consultation, just start crying. I don't think you're ready to date.
Erica: I feel like a huge part of it... Yeah. Especially with the dating culture, it is therapy.
Chi: It is, essentially. I mean, I do find myself doing a lot of therapeutic type things, but I always tell people I'm not a licensed therapist, but I will recommend one if I feel like it's necessary. I think that therapy's a beautiful thing that we should not shy away from, especially in our community. I also do talk about mental health in my consultations, because God forbid, someone's hiding the fact that they have schizophrenia and I'm trying to introduce you to someone. Or you have multiple personalities, I want to know who are they going to meet.
Chi: So, that's another question I have to have with people and it's kind of uncomfortable, but I've had people reveal, "Oh. The last matchmaker didn't ask me about mental." I'm like, "Okay. Well, I will." Per HIPAA, obviously you don't have to share anything that you feel really uncomfortable disclosing. But if you're hiding something like that, that's major. There's so much stuff that I do that people don't even realize, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I wouldn't. It feeds my soul. I wake up ready to do what I got to do, but it's an ongoing thing. There are no breaks, really. Even when I'm on vacation, I'm looking.
Erica: New city, new clients.
Kenrya: Oh, that's interesting. And I mean, thinking about the mental health thing, about... It's interesting, right? Because it's a set of things that you have to decide at what point do you disclose certain things about yourself, right? Because it's not everybody's business what you have going on with your mental health, with your physical health, with your sexual, with a whole bunch of different stuff. So, it makes me think of this question of at what point do you disclose those things? And if you disclose them to the matchmaker, does that mean that you've also disclosed them to any potential people that you're dating? How does that-
Chi: Oh, great question. Okay. So, here's the thing, right? If someone tells me straight up, "I've suffered from depression, but I've been in therapy." I also ask them... Another part of that question or the equation is, "Okay, are you open to dating other people that have also suffered from depression?" Because it's very common. Depression and anxiety is the most common thing, especially in our community. And mind you, I launched in February 2020, so the consultation was heavy. It's rough. We saw a lot. We're always seeing a lot as a Black community, but it was really heavy in 2020.
Chi: So, after asking that question and find out what they're dealing with. "Oh, you know what? I can definitely date someone who has depression because I know how to cope with it. I've been in therapy." And then, there are other people like, "I can't deal with it. I have myself to consider. It's something that I'm uncomfortable with, but I can deal with someone who has anxiety, because that makes me feel like I can just help them through that versus them being sad all the time or not knowing how to make them happy." I'm like, "Okay."
Chi: Everyone is different. But I always ask, "Is there anything you're struggling with? And are you comfortable dating someone else who's struggling?" And I get varied answers. "If they're in therapy, great." Or, "I don't mind because I do too." Or, "Only if it's a situational thing." Like a parent passed away or a child, that depression is real and understandable versus, this is something I use medication for, right? So, everyone's different. But I have to ask the questions. I do. And it gets really deep. I've cried in consultations. I've laughed really hard till I was crying in consultations. I love consultations. That's how I get to connect with people.
Chi: And sometimes we're a great fit, and sometimes we're not. If I don't like your energy or your negative, I can't help you. And that's what I had to learn, because in 2020 I said yes to everybody, "I'm a matchmaker. I can help you and you, you're all getting husbands and wives." But I learned really quickly I can't do that. So, in 2022, I know how to say "No, this is not going to be a good fit, my love. We'll have to go to someone else." Or because my website, I have some people, some white men that'll reach out to me, "Oh, I'm looking for a sister." I'm like, "Okay, sir. Let's learn more about that." "Yes. She has to be brown or really dark skin." I'm like, "Okay. Well, is this a fetish?" "I mean, well, it's a fetish, but I still want to marry." "No, sir. No. Just no. I wish you the best." "Oh, you're not going to help me? I could pay." "It's not about you paying."
Chi: I want to make sure that people I'm introducing are going to love people for who they are, not just because it's a fetish or something like that. You know what I mean? So, there's a lot of stuff that I do, but I'm the gatekeeper for my business, right? As a matchmaker, I want to protect my clients. I want to protect their hearts. Obviously, do the very best I can to introduce them to someone that they will truly like, although there are no guarantees because I'm focusing on needs.
Kenrya: Yeah. I want to say, as someone who has mental health issues, for everyone who is listening, we know that whether we use medication or we use therapy or we self-manage, that we are still deserving of love and companionship and that those things are not disqualifying.
Erica: My anxious ass is.
Chi: I'm so glad you said that.
Kenrya: I feel so blessed in that my partner is so wonderful and talking through my anxiety with me and it's something I told him early on, but everybody comes to that in a different way in terms of how they disclose and that kind of thing. And it's a lot, it can be a lot or it can be easy.
Erica: It's important to have... And I love that you asked that question because also, it makes it normal and I feel like if you talk to someone and they're like, "I don't believe in that shit. I don't do that shit." I'm like, "Well, all right."
Kenrya: Then that person...
Erica: I mean, as someone who's dating, you ask all the questions and get them out the way so that you can really... I find when I meet someone it's like, "Oh. I'm so excited. Please don't let this motherfucker turn on R Kelly in the car." That kind of shit, right? You'd be like, "He's great." And you're waiting for the other shoe to drop. So, you get all that out the way.
Chi: Yeah. So, you can just focus on if there is chemistry or not, all of those little questions that you would ask, do you have kids? All that, I already explained, I already have all that information. Even down to politics, I started adding, are you open to dating a Tr*mp supporter? Because I've been surprised before. I've heard everything. And that's a major thing, politics and religion and kids, those three always come up. Always.
Chi: And then, cigarettes, major deal breaker for many. But then, some people are okay with people smoking cigars like, "Oh, you can have a celebratory cigar every now and then. If you're celebrating something, you can go to a cigar lounge, but not cigarettes." And then, some people, they could be 420-friendly, but not cigarettes. So, it's just so many nuances, but I ask all the questions as much as I can.
Kenrya: That's pretty cool. I think a lot of people are afraid to ask the questions. We've been watching “Love is Blind” and being so blown away at the things that people are afraid to ask each other. But if you don't have those conversations right away, then you look up weeks, months in and realize that you have all these incompatibilities because you were afraid to talk about these things right up front. I mean, that was definitely me and my 20s, but I'm grown now.
Erica: I also like how you said, "I take care of compatibility so you can focus on chemistry."
Kenrya: That's dope.
Erica: I met this guy, he was great. But I kept saying, "He don't make my pussy sparkle." That's chemistry, right? And it's great to be able... I mean, he was a great guy. And so, being able to just focus on the chemistry part was actually refreshing now that I look back on it. So, yeah.
Kenrya: But I heard, but you just-
Erica: Because you got to make my pussy sparkle. [crosstalk 00:23:59]. You got to make it like a little sparkler. Okay. We're a sex podcast so we use erotica as a jumping off point for conversations about lots of things, including sex. So, we like to ask about the lessons folks learn when they're young. So, what was the prevailing attitude about sex and sexuality and gender in your home growing up?
Chi: Oh. All right. So, I grew up in a Nigerian-Christian home and I was told to wait until I was married. That did not work out for me. I was kind of the black sheep, I would say. Because I was the first one to explore my sexuality. I came out to my family as bisexual, which later turned to lesbian, which now I fully know that I am pansexual. And I don't think my family knew how to take that. There were a lot, "Let's pray the gay away." I've had a holy ghost. I've had people lay hands on me and at church gatherings and whatnot. And I just let them pray but I still love women afterwards.
Chi: I appreciate the efforts and I still believe in God. I'm so grateful for my blessings. But what I learned in my childhood versus what life showed me is completely different. And I just want to be happy and me identifying as pansexual, but hetero-romantic, that's a whole nother thing. But I had to come to terms of what that meant, right? So, being someone who's been in every type of relationship you can imagine, I don't shy away from any type of conversations. When people tell me, "Oh, I've tried this." Or, "I've tried that." Or, "I've been with my spouse for this long, but I'm thinking about other people." Or, "I have this kiss in college with a woman, but now I'm still thinking about her and I've been married for 20 years. Can you help?" I'm like, "Yeah, let's have this conversation."
Chi: Nothing scares me when it comes to life and love and sex because we're all just humans trying to find our way and society makes it really difficult for us to be proud and stand in who we are because we're taught from an early age this is not right. Especially if you're raised in a religious household, "You can't do this, you shouldn't do this." And I've met the biggest hypocrites in the church. And I'm not saying that everyone that goes to church is hypocrite, but I'm seeing some things and I'm not going to talk about the Catholic church. So, all I'm saying is I encourage everyone to be happy, do whatever makes your soul sing. That's what you should do, and explore.
Chi: Me personally, I've been in polyamorous relationships before. I've dated women. I've dated men. I've dated a couple before, they were married. I've dipped and dived and experienced. And now I know exactly who I am. And I think that everyone's different. Sometimes you need to experience things to know what you like. And sometimes you just know, but to each their own, just do whatever makes you happy and fuck what society has to say, because they're not going nowhere. Society will be what society's going to be, but you have to live with your decisions. So, yeah.
Erica: This might be a pedestrian question. And tell me [inaudible 00:27:06] simple ass question, would you be open to matching a couple or a polyamorous... Well, a couple or a pod. I mean, I feel like that would be so fucking difficult, right? If it's everyone together.
Chi: That's the thing. I've been approached before like, "Can you help us find a third?" And I'm like, "You know what? I don't discriminate at all, but that's just not my ministry. That's just not what I'm doing right now." It's too much hard to find a match for one person, but two. And then, I'm going to go with in depth like, "Oh, let's talk about love languages. What is your love language? And your spouse’s love language? What is their love..." It's just too much. [crosstalk 00:27:49].
Erica: I feel like that's a jump from arithmetic to algebra.
Chi: Basically. Yeah. No, I would not. But I'm sure there's somebody out there that does and there're different sites. I'm sure they can find something. I see a lot of people post on dating apps as a couple.
Kenrya: Yeah. For sure.
Erica: Speaking of apps... [crosstalk 00:28:13]. Why might someone go with a matchmaker instead of using the apps?
Chi: Yeah. So, it's just more of an in-depth experience, right? And I do run background checks. I do run background checks. On an app you can't really... I mean, you can get some information, but mostly, they're not running background checks. That's one thing. Also, there're certain things that I'll ask you that you won't get from a dating app. I mean, they'll say stuff like your height, your age, where you're located. Sometimes children, sometimes pets, but doesn't dive as deep. People can put stuff in their bio, but not everyone's going to be as thorough. So, I have this whole one hour 15-minute conversation. We've only been speaking here... What? I don't know. 28 minutes. And there's already been a lot that you've learned, but an hour and 15 minutes where I'm connecting with you one on one, I have everything about you. All the good things, all the things that I need to know in order to correctly match you with someone else, right?
Chi: So, you can't get all that on a dating app. But the bonus of having a dating app is all the options. So, it takes a lot of time, but you can swipe and swipe and swipe until you find somebody you connect with and go from there. But then, you still have to ask all the questions. Whereas, I already have those questions answered for you. And I'm presenting this person to you, thinking that they are a good match for you, it's only up to you to decide what you want to do with it. So, I think that's the benefit of working with the matchmaker, it's more of an in-depth approach. And then, you get assistance throughout your dating experience. Not just, "Okay. You matched. Good luck."
Kenrya: Right. No, that makes sense. Right. So, last week we read a book called “His Only Wife,” and it features a woman who marries a man who she doesn't know at the urging of their families. And it got us thinking about the ways that we go about looking for love, which is how we decided we wanted to have a matchmaker, which is how we found you and reached out. And you said yes, and all of those things. But so, one of the ways that some people, obviously, find folks are through arranged marriages, what do you think about taking that route to love?
Chi: Honestly, I think that arranged marriage is a great idea, as long as they have some criteria of what you're looking for. Obviously, there can be some things that come up and chemistry, that's the major thing, because they may be compatible but you don't know about chemistry yet. But once you're in a marriage, it's a full on commitment. You are committed, the utmost commitment. So, I think it's a great idea for those that are open to do it. I mean, I would do it. I'm a little bit biased though, I think. But I would definitely do it.
Chi: I mean, I just think it's important for people to just do whatever feels good to them, but just don't be that person that desires love, but just sits in the same corner every day and doesn't change anything about their love life. They're just sitting there, "Oh, well. Well, maybe one day they'll find me." I hate when people say that, "Oh, they're just going to find me how."
Kenrya: Like they're going to materialize [crosstalk 00:30:55].
Erica: In the book, the main character Afi, she has trouble saying what she wants from her partner. And you mentioned that you see that come up in your intake.
Erica: How do you help your clients figure out what they are actually looking for?
Chi: Yeah. So, my questions are really in-depth. They'll know exactly what they're looking for at the end of it. But people that struggle, I'm just like, "Listen. Very simple. We're all going to die one day as dark as that is, it's the truth. So, while you're on this Earth, why don't you focus on the things that bring you joy?" And if you're not getting something that you need that would bring you joy, it's best that you speak on it, right? Because what you don't want to do is end up resenting your partner, right? You don't want to just be sitting there pussy dry every time you're in the bedroom. For what? That's not fun for anyone.
Chi: I want them to experience as much love and joy and happiness as this world has to offer, but with a closed mouth you'll never get fed. And everyone needs to eat. So, I just keep telling them like, "Your happiness matters. Open that beautiful mouth of yours and speak, because they won't know otherwise." There's some men that to this day, and I'm not trying to bash any men here, but they think that they're killing in the bedroom and she's just faking every orgasm. I don't remember what the statistics are, but a lot of women fake orgasms and heterosexual relationships and they shouldn't have to, right?
Chi: Let him know what feels good and if something needs work, then just tell him. I always say the sandwich method is the best approach where you start off with the bread like, "You know what honey? I really like the way you stroke it from the back. It feels really good." And then, in the middle it's just like, "But I like the foreplay at beginning more." Yeah.
Chi: But you just got to hit them with the things that you really need in the middle. Like, "I need more foreplay. I need more kissing. I need you to make me feel more desire before we get into the bedroom." And then, end with the, "But I really like this." Or, "I really enjoy our sex life together. I just want us to be even more enjoyable." Because egos can get bruised really easily. No one really likes to hear that they're not performing as well, but it can only enhance the experience. So, just open your mouth and speak. Talk about the hard stuff. It'll pay off in the long run.
Kenrya: Yeah. So, another theme in the book is that Afi really struggles with knowing who to take advice from, as it relates to her marriage. And she takes some really bad advice, particularly from her family, they're all fucked up. But it makes me think about what does it look like to build a healthy support system for people who are trying to create and maintain healthy, romantic relationships, right? I think about the fact that when you're married or in a long-term relationship, you need to have people who are friends of your marriage, who, when you have trouble, are not fucking haters.
Erica: "Take your ass back home and talk to that woman, that man."
Kenrya: Exactly. So, what does it look like to build a healthy support system to create and maintain healthy, romantic relationships?
Chi: Yeah. So, two words, positive energy. You just want to surround yourself with people that have positive energy and people that are going to keep it real with you. You don't want the friend that's always going to be like, "Oh, it's okay. Everything's going to be fine." Because maybe they won't be. Maybe it won't be fine. Or maybe you're getting abused and you need to leave this man or woman or whatever the case may be. If you want to find your happiness, so you want people that are going to have positive energy, but also keep it real with you. Don't surround yourself with people that are just miserable all the time.
Chi: There's some people that still have friends that no longer serve them, but they're keeping them in their lives. "Oh, well. We go back 15 years." Who cares? Because if that person is no longer adding joy to your life or speaking life into you, then what do you have them there for? Life is fucked. There's some really fucked up news happening right now. And just life. The world that we live in, there could be a lot of anger and suffering and sadness. You have to make sure that your circle has positive energy in it. These are people that are going to speak life and joy into you.
Chi: It can get really rough out there without having a strong support system, but just pay attention to how you feel when someone's around in your circle. After you speak to them, do you feel completely depleted? Or do you feel happy and positive like you're make it through? You need people like that. Because I'm telling you, life could be hard sometimes. So, just focus on people that bring you joy and people that always have your best interests in mind, always. Positive energy.
Erica: So, what is the number one piece of advice you would give to someone who is looking for love right now?
Chi: Don't give up. It is rough out there, but for every person that you meet that is nothing like what you're looking for, there's going to be somebody that is. You just got to be patient. And try something different, try as many things as you can. There's some people that have tried the dating apps is not for them, they come to me. Great, you're trying something different. But I also encourage, in addition to me, go to meetup groups, go to singles events in your areas.
Chi: Meetup.com is very good at having something to do in every single city. Every single city, they always have something to do. And I encourage all of my clients, "Oh, I hired you." "That's fine. In the process of me looking, make sure you get yourself out there, get comfortable talking to other single people, so when I get you on this date you're not like... What are you doing?" Just get out of your comfort zone, but don't give up on love. You are worthy of love and you are enough. So, I remind people that all the time, but they just have to hear it enough times. So, yeah. That's my best advice.
Erica: Thank you.
Kenrya: What's your superpower?
Chi: This heart that beats in my chest, that's my superpower. Yeah. I have a lot of passion for what I do. I think that a lot of people would've given up. It is very tedious and it's a grind, but when people come together and they're looking at themselves eye to eye, face to face and they're kissing and holding and you're the reason why they're together and they found this love they didn't believe existed. That is everything. That gives me joy. That lights me up. So, yeah. I would say my heart and my passion, those are my superpowers for sure.
Erica: Cool. So, we like to ask... Kenrya writes the questions and she gives me one question to ask and my question...
Kenrya: That's not because I try to push you out, bitch.
Erica: No, it's because the entire interview would be like the questions I'm about to ask, right? Which make absolutely no sense and have nothing to do with it.
Kenrya: They're fun.
Erica: Okay. So, we're going to play a little game.
Chi: Oh, yes.
Erica: That I call the perfect pair.
Chi: Oh, okay.
Erica: So, I'm going to give you a category.
Erica: And you tell me the perfect pair. So, for example, food. Well, what I think is a perfect pair, Popeye's chicken and champagne. It's a perfect pair. Unexpected, but delightful.
Erica: So, food. Kenrya, you're going to have to answer this too.
Kenrya: Ah, shit.
Erica: So, tell me what you think is a perfect pair for food.
Chi: Food. Chicken and a grill.
Chi: Is that it?
Chi: I just like grilled chicken because I'm trying not to eat much fried. I love chicken taste grill.
Erica: Okay. I'll give it to you. Anything tastes [inaudible 00:39:00] grill to be quite honest. Put a shoe on the grill and I'm like, "That bitch is good." What about you, Kenrya?
Kenrya: Fish and spaghetti.
Erica: Yes. Fish and spaghetti.
Chi: That's good too.
Kenrya: I was going to say rice and beans because I eat a lot of rice and beans, but fish and spaghetti is my all-time favorite.
Erica: Okay. Colors.
Chi: Red and gold.
Erica: Yeah. Kenrya?
Kenrya: I don't know. I mostly wear fucking charcoal with pops of neon. Black and white.
Erica: Okay. I like blue and pink. A bright pink and a dark blue.
Chi: I think royal blue is so sexy.
Erica: Yes. Okay. Musical acts.
Chi: Musical acts. Oh. Drums and dancing. No, that's not a musical act. I'm sorry. Circle back to me.
Erica: What you got, Kenrya?
Kenrya: Yeah. I don't know.
Erica: Look in the notes. I wrote that for you.
Kenrya: She put Jay-Z and Linkin Park because their mashup album that's one of my favorite mashup albums. That's true. I do very much love that. Thank you.
Chi: That song [inaudible 00:40:44] together. I don't know.
Kenrya: Yes. Yeah. “Numb” is on there. It's seven tracks and each of them is fantastic.
Chi: So, we're talking about artists?
Chi: Okay. When I say act, I thought about a drummer and something. Okay. I'm overthinking it. I forgot her name. That is so sad and I love her. No, I remember her name now. Janelle Monáe and Jill Scott. That'd be interesting.
Erica: That would be great.
Kenrya: That would be good. Yeah.
Erica: So, I'm simple. City Girls.
Chi: I did not expect that at all.
Erica: I told you I'm simple. Either that or Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. They always make a good combination.
Chi: I miss Marvin.
Erica: So, yeah. Either throwing it back or throwing back Motown style.
Chi: I'll take it. I love Motown.
Erica: All right. So, that is the Erica questions for today.
Kenrya: That was really... I like that perfect pair. That was cute.
Chi: Yeah. That was cute. I like it.
Kenrya: Yeah. All right. What are you reading right now?
Chi: To be completely transparent? Nothing. I'm seriously just focused on clients. I'm not even...
Erica: Reading these personalities.
Chi: Yeah. Personalities. I'm definitely reading personalities. Every now and then I dip and dabble back into the “5 Love Languages” book because I think it's very interesting. And it does help. I do require all my clients to do the love language test before the consultation with me so I can have a good gauge of where they're at. But yeah, I'm reading personalities, reading files of clients, trying to put things together, all that constantly.
Kenrya: I was just looking back. I don't know why. I think I was looking back at old pictures or screenshots or something. My partner and I did that. I think it might have been before our first date or maybe between our first and our second date. We each did it and then screenshot the results and sent it to each other. And I was just looking back at how fucking true-
Erica: Oh, my God.
Kenrya: The results are.
Erica: So, typically what I share with potential partners are my results for my BDSM test and that ranks your sexual kinks.
Chi: Oh, my God. I talk about that too.
Erica: I'm like, "I'm a sub and a rope bunny. What about you?"
Chi: Yeah. It's [inaudible 00:43:28] bunny.
Kenrya: That's so funny. I've never taken that test.
Erica: I'll send you the link.
Chi: It's long but worth it.
Erica: Yeah. But it's fun.
Kenrya: Yeah. Send it to me.
Erica: So, what's turning you on today?
Chi: Oh, today. What's turning me on today? Myself. I turn myself on today. I put some nice cocoa butter on my skin when I got out. And I'm touching my legs. So, I have a shorter dress on and my legs feel really smooth. So, I'm turning myself on today. Yes.
Erica: I love it.
Chi: Yes. I like that person so much. Me. Yeah.
Erica: Yes. Cue Beyoncé's “Feeling Myself.”
Chi: Yes. I'm having a good day.
Kenrya: That's awesome. Yay. So, you were telling us that you quickly expanded. I'm wondering... From Washington state to all of the United States, what's next for you? Not necessarily expansion, but what's next with your business? What's next with what you're doing?
Chi: Yeah. So, I am going to be having some singles events. I want to call it... Speed dating is cool and everything, but I want to remix it a little bit. So, not your average speed dating event and just have all type of things. Trivia that brings people together. I want to throw a love language game in there to get people to connect more. Maybe have a spades table, but have a trick to it. At the end, the winning couple group or something... I don't know. I'm just thinking of all these interesting things.
Chi: But I want to have events where people come together and meet and mingle and just have a good time. That is the next thing on my agenda. And just continue matchmaking and meeting new people and networking. That's really it. But it's an ongoing thing, it never ends.
Chi: It never ends. But there's just so much joy that comes with what I do. I think that the thing that I always wish, though, is that I could just snap my fingers and have the perfect partner for someone right there. But there's so much that comes with that, there's so much. But my clients... I have amazing clients and the people that have chosen me to be their matchmaker, out of all the other people they should have chose. I feel blessed that I have such amazing people and it just makes me want to find them their person even more.
Kenrya: That's great.
Kenrya: Well, after hearing that, I'm sure that there are lots of people who would like to find you, where can they find you online?
Chi: Yeah. So, they can go directly to my website. It is www. N as in Nancy, Y as in Yankee, A as in apple, loveanddating.com. So, nyaloveanddating.com. If they want to add me on Instagram, they can feel free to do so as well. My alias there is @NYALoveByChi and Chi is spelled C-H-I.
Kenrya: Dope. And it's the same handle on Twitter as well, right?
Chi: That is correct. Yeah. They can follow me on Twitter @NYALoveByChi as well.
Kenrya: So, you all go find her. Make that happen. Get some help with the love if that's what you all are looking for. Yes. In the meantime, thank you all for listening, but even more importantly, Chi, thank you for saying yes and coming on and talking to us today.
Chi: I will always say yes to you all. I love your energy. I love what you're doing. I love the name of the podcast. Yes, I'm here for it. I'm so here for it. So, yes, thank you so much for having me. It was truly a pleasure.
Kenrya: Yay. Awesome.
Erica: You're so welcome. Thank you.
Kenrya: I hope all of y’all also got some pleasure out of this episode and we appreciate you all for joining us and we'll see you all next time. Take care.
Kenrya: This episode was produced by us, Kenrya and Erica, and edited by B'Lystic. The theme music is from Brazy. Hit subscribe right now in your favorite podcast app and at YouTube.com/TheTurnOnPodcast, so you'll never miss an episode.
Erica: Then follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast. And you can find links to books, transcripts, guest info, what's turning us on, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com.
Kenrya: And don't forget to email us at TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com with your book recommendations and your pressing sex-and related questions.
Erica: And you can support the show by leaving us a five-star review, buying some merch or becoming a patron of the show. Just head to TheTurnOnPodcast.com to make that happen.
Kenrya: Thanks for listening and we'll see you soon. Holla.
The Turn On
The Turn On is a podcast for Black people who want to get off. To open their minds. To learn. To be part of a community. To show that we love and fuck too, and it doesn't have to be political or scandalous or dirty. Unless we want it to be.