by Howard Campbell
[NEW YORK] – When Toya J began writing poems for her second book, Tease, she wanted to reach a broad audience. Even though she knew its raunchy content would shock, for her, it was a personal purge.
Tease is a collection of erotic themes, targeting persons with an adventurous approach toward sex and sexual matters.
Without going into detail, Toya J said writing the poems helped her overcome “physical trauma that sent her plunging into depression”.
She added that, “Surprisingly, this unfortunate period in my life opened up Pandora’s Box that catapulted me into the deep exploration of the intimate self.”
Born in Jamaica, Toya J is a longtime resident of New York City and a self-described social worker. Released in April, Tease is her second collection of published poems by Bold Flamingo Publishing, a company she started in 2018.
The poems address issues including date rape, oral sex and women taking charge in the bedroom after years of being the submissive partner. It’s a variety Toya J believes can reach a diverse demographic.
“My target population are women age 25-55. Specifically, women who have had fun with sex, but have not experienced their best sex because emotional restrictions hold them back. Hold them back emotionally and orgasmically,” she said.
Toya J was born Marie Dunn. She holds a Social Work degree from Fordham University and an AAS in Paralegal Studies from Westchester Community College.
According to her bio, she is a philanthropist who volunteers with other nonprofits, such as Focus Forward Project. She works as a facilitator with a life skills program in the federal jail in New York City.
Tease is the follow-up to her debut, Bold Her Liberation, a less flamboyant work. Working on her latest project, she said, was fulfilling.
“Writing is my therapy. Writing is my safe space. Oftentimes, finding inspiration in me, as well as the endless possibilities. It could be the environment; a scent, the twist of my hips, images on the train as well as issues that affects us daily. Writing is my still camera it captures my experiences and house them in stanzas. Writing is an outlet for me to express myself brazenly when I am emotionally charged,” Toya J explained.