When conceptualizing Hang Up, the *69 date (and pun, let's be honest) was one that I knew had to be part of any season. But of course, I didn't know what would actually happen once the Star and Callers got on the line together and were asked to talk about what turns them on. 🍑

I found that the beauty of this episode is how they really do talk about sex and fucking but also how those conversations led to moments of intimacy that cut straight to the core of who people are and what makes them tick.

This type of sharing can only happen in a safe environment, so I remind everyone beforehand about how the importance of consent and how if you're not sure if something is OK, just ask. I also let everyone know beforehand that I am there listening and they can text me directly if they ever have any concerns. They are also each welcome to wrap up the call at any point and get off the hotline.

But beyond that, there's not much else I can do. The process of building intimacy with another human is subtle and requires vulnerability and trust and reciprocity. I feel so grateful that Timo and their Callers trust us enough to allow us to listen as they take this leap.


Previously on Hang Up…

Roxanne I've taken this responsibility very seriously. And also not at all seriously.

Timo’s friend Roxanne came in HOT with her opinion of the Callers.

Roxanne: I have written down here, I think all things opposite of this person. 

And she told Timo who she thought they should hang up on.

Roxanne: Absolutely, 100% Cedar.

But instead, Timo hung up on Muriah.

Muriah: Oh goodness, ouch.

Welcome to Hang Up, a reality dating show with no rings attached. I’m your host, Zakiya Gibbons.

Here’s how the show works. Every week, our Star Timo goes on a themed date with each of their Callers. All of the dates happen exclusively over the phone.

The Star and their Callers never see each other and at first, can’t describe how they look. And, they all change their names so they can’t find each other outside of the show.

The Callers only have one date per week to stand out from the crowd and woo the Star. To stay on the line, they must win over Timo. And if they can’t establish a clear connection, they risk getting the hang up, eliminating them from the show.

The Star hangs up on one Caller each week until there’s one final Caller remaining. But in the end, the winning Caller has a choice to make: an all expenses paid vacation with Timo sponsored by Both & Apparel, or hang up on them and take the cash prize of one thousand dollars.

This week, only three Callers remain: Cedar, Billy, and Salix. In this episode, the Star 69 date. For the very first time, Timo and the Callers will reveal what they look like.

Timo: They won't forget. Even if they're just like ew.

And then: pillow talk. They’ll compare notes to see if they’d be compatible in the bedroom.

Billy: I'm curious if you participate in kink. 

Timo: I'm over here squirming and blushing. 

Who will get a booty call? And who will get a wake up call? 

Timo: I have, like, super sensitive nipples

Cedar: Actually this is kind of getting me off. Getting hot in here!

Find out this week on Hang Up.

Zakiya Hello, Timo. 

Timo Hi, Zakiya. We left things in a little bit of a cliffhanger. 

Zakiya Okay. Yeah, Last hang up, I really thought that Cedar was at the very bottom. That was my impression. 

Timo And that was true. 

Zakiya But then you decide to hang up on Muriah instead of Cedar. So what happened? 

Timo Okay. Okay, So we like Muriah. Muriah seems like a lovely, decent person, and I really didn't want to string her along any further because, like, she's in earnest, she deserves, like, all the honesty and like, everything. And that's not to say Cedar doesn't, but I was just like, ahh fuck it, you know? Cedar can stick around for another round. And I'm actually, like morbidly curious about this next style of date and how Cedar will show up for it. 

Zakiya The Star 69 date. 

Timo Yeah. Like, I'm I would actually have to make an effort with Muriah, you know, because she's she's into that give and take and everything like with Cedar. We'll see. I mean, we'll see if I can you know, we can do a word count and see how many words I can get out. We'll see.

Zakiya So does this mean that Cedar can make a comeback? 

Timo I mean, I'm not writing it, ruling it out, but it would be really unexpected, in part because I am chomping at the bit to get on the phone with Salix and Billy again, like, I am very, very excited and like a little, you know, giggly and feeling like a little like, ooh, you know, I'm feeling some feels for both of them. 

Zakiya I'm wondering, though, like if Cedar were to somehow make an astonishing comeback and pull in front maybe ahead of Billy or Salix or even on their level. What would Cedar have to do? Like what would make for a successful Star 69 date for Cedar? 

Timo Maybe setting the bar too low, not mentioning their mom.

Zakiya I hope. I hope she doesn't in the Star 69 date. I really hope she's not finding a way to fit her mother into the sex talk. Okay, well, before we get into the next date, talking about the Star 69 date, it seemed like last week was a really hard hang up for you. Your conversation with Muriah got pretty real. 

Timo Yeah sure did


Muriah: I love that you can be mature about it and just let me go.

Zakiya What was that like for you? 

Timo Muriah seems like an incredible person and really expressed emotional intelligence and depth that is absolutely attractive and absolutely, you know, just something that felt really good, cause Muriah was like, 'Oh, yeah. I'd take the trip with you. I, you know, so, so interested. I've enjoyed our conversations. But I'm like, does it feel good because Muriah’s saying this about me and and it's affirming to me? Or does it feel good because I have this connection that's like, undeniable?” You know, and I think it's more the former than the latter, which, you know, it's like I can check my own ego and, you know, like, that's where that's coming from. 

Zakiya Yeah. No I really appreciate how level headed and honestly like empathetic you are. And I think that's so beautiful that, you know, you don't treat the people that you're not necessarily gelling with as disposable. But I wonder if all of that empathy and thinking about how things will land for them, how they will feel, I wonder if that might be getting in the way of you getting what you want out of your romantic life. 

Timo Oh, totally. Oh, yeah. I mean, like, maybe one of the most dramatic ways is that like, wow this is going to be maybe a little heavy. Even thinking about my marriage. It was such a move in terms of like marrying this like upper middle class white guy system and sort of like building out these narratives that I would be seen as like a multiethnic and queer person in, in his life, but also in his family's life, that I would be affirmed in those ways, which I was not. You know, and my career and my successes and advancement in my career was seen as a challenge to to sort of like the order of things, in that like white, cis, hetero, you know, world where my primary responsibility was supposed to be the kids and…And that, like, the more femme and white presenting I was, the better I fit into that environment. And that was a deep, deep betrayal, self betrayal on my part to, you know, quote unquote, hitch my wagon to to that kind of and family system and cultural system. Like, it was devastating to come out of that and be like, wow. That was a blur. Where was I? Where was I in all those years? 

Zakiya And to live like that for so many years, it's hard to break that pattern to make a U-turn. How did you do that? 

Timo A lot of journaling, a lot of, you know, really throwing myself more into understanding how abandoning myself was replaying the abandonment I felt during my childhood. I was abandoning myself to achieve this glossy version of things that I thought was the mark of success. And so it is a reevaluation of what does it mean to be a successful and like healthy human? And a lot of that came from deeply, like considering our social and political systems and becoming a committed anti-racist and decolonizing my own family history and my own inheritance. And like a lot of the toxic and abusive patterns in my family's life, like generations of it. So, yeah, it looked like me completely shifting my reality and my my perspective. 

Zakiya Yeah. You reprioritized yourself. Yeah. And, you know, even though the hang ups are really hard for you, maybe they're also good for you to practice putting yourself first?

Timo Oh, my God. Yes. Absolutely. And just to say “no like this isn't what fits. And I'm not going to entertain it,” because I know enough now, like, I'm going to make mistakes, but I'm going I want them to be new mistakes. You know, like I don't want to keep doing the same ones. 

Zakiya This is honestly very beautiful to witness you in this new iteration of yourself. And the fact that Hang Up is aligning with the healing journey. I love that. 

Timo Honestly, You know, it it is, I feel like you guys are like sort of doulas for this process of me. So thank you.

Zakiya Oh, my gosh. The honor. The honor. Yeah. Oh, so, yeah. Let's move on to this next date. This next date's theme is Star 69. One of the main ways we distinguish our friends from lovers is physical attraction. So that's what we're going to get into on this date. 

Timo I'm excited because I like bodies. I like so many kinds of body. I just like people I like, I love, you know, people that are in touch with themselves and touch themselves. You know, yes, I'm interested in what those features are, but mostly as like a coda to understanding how they live in their own bodies.

Zakiya Well, speaking of all of that, I'm dying to know. Timo, what do you look like? How would you describe yourself? 

Timo Oh, my God. If Danny McBride and Helena Bonham Carter had a kid. 

Zakiya Oh, my God. I was not expecting you to say that. Oh, my gosh. Honestly, I'm here for it. Yeah. Wow. OK. 

Timo So, yeah, I have a I have a ambiguously ethnic look and, you know, dark haired, hazel eyes and a giant frickin crazy ass mullet. So Curly mullet. 

Zakiya You have a mullet? I knew I sensed mullet energy.

Timo I know. You feel it. You can't. You can't. It's undeniable. Undeniable Mullet energy. 

Zakiya Is that why you said Danny McBride? 

Timo Yes. Kind of have a little bit of the Danny McBride energy, too, I would say. 

Zakiya Oh, my gosh. Okay. So what I'm hearing is that you're the type of person that walks into a room and everyone turns their head. 

Timo Absolutely. Even if they're just like ew, or like, what's that? Like what are you wearing? They won’t forget. They will not forget. 

Zakiya Well, okay. So thank you for describing your look. And, you know, you'll get to hear each of the callers describe themselves, too. Just based off of your dates, your own projections of everyone, who do you think is the hottest? 

Timo That's I. I think Salix might be the hottest. Yeah. I mean, in terms of just like, oh, how, you know, aesthetic and because they're also trans and like probably some androgyny in there. Like that feels, it feels like they'd probably be hitting all those markers for me. 

Zakiya Well, we all know that, you know, just because someone is super hot doesn't always mean it's going to get hot in the bedroom. So which Caller do you think is most likely to turn you on on this date? 

Timo You know what? Honestly, I think, Billy. The sensuality and the understanding of the connectedness to body and like because they’re, I think, a dancer as well as what like and they do some sex work and stuff. I'm like, this is somebody who… yeah, I think they know how to make sure that their body is doing the talking, you know.

Zakiya I want to hear more about like what you like. What do you find sexy? Like even before sex is on the table, if you’re at a dinner date, what would your date have to do or say to turn you on?

Timo Flash me. You know, like not to like everybody, but kind of like, oh my God, if there was like somebody wasn't quite looking. And it's like you gave me a little peek of your nip or something like that, I'd be like, oh shit, Oh my God, you know, like very cheeky or just like, catching somebody looking at me when I'm not looking, like in a kind of a hungry way. And we were just like, Oh. 

Zakiya Oh, I love that. Okay, Very sexy. I know you've mentioned public sex and exhibitionism before. So is that something that's a must have for you with a partner? 

Timo Oh, I wouldn't say it's a must have. It was only one partner I was ever with that really got into that as much as I did. And it was wild and it was really fun. Really got pretty risky and risque on some stuff. And it was hot. Oh, my God, it was hot. 

Zakiya What time of day was it? 

Timo Any time of day.

Zakiya Oh, so this is multiple times.

Timo On the lawn of a government building in the middle of the day. 

Zakiya Timo! I love this so much. Wait, what? 

Timo I'm not kidding you. I'm not kidding you. We worked together. So it was like in all over our workplace too.

Zakiya Wait y'all worked together too?

Timo Oh, yes. We were. We. We fucked all over that office building, all over the place. Like I cannot even tell you. 

Zakiya Wow. Damn. Okay, well, I’m very excited to hear how these sexy *69 dates go.

Timo: Yeah me too.

Zakiya Honestly to be a fly on the wall, oh I guess we will be a fly on the wall, we’re on Hang Up, I guess that’s the whole thing.

Timo: You got front row seats baby.

Coming up, Timo gets to show off their exhibitionism.

Timo: Like I just want to be a slutty little twink, ya know?

Stay on the line!

Just a heads up that this next section includes a mention of sexual trauma, please take care while listening.

Hey y’all, we’re back. And just in time to hear how the Callers are doing on their most intimate date yet. First up, Cedar.

Cedar Okay, so how are we going to do this? Do you want to go first? Want me to go first? 

Timo Well we get to guess about how each other looks. I think you should go first with me. 

Cedar In my mind, I feel like you're, like, 5’9”

Timo Ooh

Cedar You have a complexion to your skin. 

Timo A complexion. Like consumptive or like? 

Cedar You're not white. 

Timo Ok got it. 

Cedar To be frank. To be frank. Okay. Anyway. I know you have good lips and I feel like in some way in my mind you do have some cakes. 

Timo Okay. Oh, wow. I'm getting all kinds of compliments and accentuated here I love it. 

Cedar Yeah. So I'm about 5’10”. So, like, if I was to stand up... 

Timo Wait we have to do the exchange first. 

Cedar Oh, okay. Okay. Sorry. Okay.

Timo So I’m not 5’9”, I’m 5’5”

Cedar You’re 5’7”. Damn. Yeah. Oh, I knew it. Oh,. 

Timo Yeah. So I'm right on par with your other shorties. I have some complexion, I have a little melanin, but not as much as some other blessed individuals. More olive toned and hazel eyes. 

Cedar Timo, can I ask you? What is your ethnicity? Ethnicity? 

Timo Yeah. Ethnicity. So my mom is white. My dad is from North Africa. So Middle Eastern. Um, my family's from Tunisia, and I'm the first person in my dad's family born here. So now it's my turn to describe what I think you look like. And I got a little hint. You said you’re 5’10”. So you're tall, you're a tall drink of water. I think you are probably also have a bit of a complexion. That’s such high question. I think you have, I think you have long hair. And I think you probably braid it sometimes. And I also know that you wear a lot of black because I remember you telling about before. 

Cedar Yeah, I do. 

Timo I think you put you have, like, black platform boots that make you even taller. 

Cedar No, no, actually, actually, you know, actually, I am. I am. I'm self-conscious of being very tall. 

Timo Really? 

Cedar All my exes have been shorter than me, which is fine. 

Timo Oh, love a short king. We all love a short king. Let's see. I think that. Yeah, your hair is. Dark brown, maybe. And I don't know. That's. That's what that's what my guess is. So far, so. 

Cedar Damn, I don't give a damn. I don't get no booty love either. 

Timo Oh, yeah. I'm sorry I didn't describe your body. I like to wait for that a little bit more I guess. 

Cedar Okay, well, poor me, with my tall ass and my flat ass. Okay. Thank you. 

Timo Oh no, what? I didn't say that. 

Cedar Producer cut me out. I'm done. I got to go. I'm just kidding. 

Timo What did I say? Yeah. Sorry. Oh, I mean, I don't know. 

Cedar It's awkward. Yeah. 

Timo It is awkward right? So tell me what you really look like. What's the reveal, though? 

Cedar So I am officially 5’10”. I do have dark hair. I am on the melatonin spectrum. Dark skin, baby face. Um, I always smell good, uh, I actually shaved for this date. I also shaved for the date. I was telling the producer. I was like, Oh, do I need to shave? What was the other one? I don't have no kids. I would love. I would, I think that's one of my goals in my aspirations is to be a parent. So I commend you, especially for you to be a parent. I mean, very beautiful. 

Timo Thank you. 

Cedar Okay. But anyway besides the point. Back to me. Um, let's see, what else do we talk about? Do we talk about feet? Oh, I think there's one thing that I always, damn, I'm going to sound like a bitch now. Uh, there's one thing that I always have to do, and I when I was in relationships that we always did together, even even if they didn't want to do it. Um, and that’s…

Timo What is it? 

Cedar I demand to have, like, if you're dating me, we're doing mandatory, like pedicures. Of course together. 

Timo I like that. That's a that's a pretty that's a pretty good you know, that's like a standard, you know, like, okay, we're going to have a, you know, no gnarly feet in the bed. Right? We’re not scratching each other with our toenails. 

Cedar Yeah, yeah, honey, we're not going to have $1,000 Egyptian cotton sheets and you're going to have your crusty feet up in here. 

Timo And you tearing holes in the sheets? Like please. 

Cedar No! Oh, my God. Timo I love you. Wait Oh, my God. No, did I really say that? Not like that. Not like that. Production, production, production. Can we cut that out? 

Timo Cut it, cut it out. 

Cedar I'm saying I love you. Like, I really feel like if we get down. If we get down, I feel like you can take it, you can take the read we can cut up. That's why I said I love you. Like in a way that... 

Timo We're just not cutting up the sheets OK with those toenails. 

Cedar Yeah, come on now. 

Timo You know what? That reminds me in that, in that gift bag or like the care package you sent. There were, like, foot cream. 

Cedar I know I thought about it. Yeah, like, I don't… I know I don't have a child, but I feel like as a parent and now as a single parent yeah? 

Timo Yeah. 

Cedar I do feel like sometimes you neglect to think about yourself so that care package was in love and it was time that I wanted you to, like, also take care of yourself, but not take care of yourself, cause that sounds horrible, to think about yourself. But then also it wants you. I want to include, you know, your child to, like, help you decorate a pumpkin. Which I hope you did decorate.

Timo Yeah, we haven't done that yet. 

Cedar You know, Halloween, like, I told you earlier. Halloween is my shit. 

Timo Yeah. Do you know, do you have a costume plan going on right now? 

Cedar I don't, because I'm working. 

Timo Oh, shoot. 

Cedar But I do have a little break in my schedule. I'm going to Disneyland next week. 

Timo Oh, my gosh. Fun. 

Cedar Like the past, like, four years. We always go, like, in October, November. Because my mom's birthday in November, because I take my mom now, it's just normally just me and my mom that go. Yeah. This is so weird. We're talking about Halloween. We're talking about family. We're supposed to be talking about the sexual stuff. 

Timo I know right? 

Cedar But actually, this is kind of getting me off. I'm getting to know you more. 

Timo Well, I mean, I do have a question. Maybe that would be interesting. What's something nonsexual that you find erotic? 

Cedar Nonsexual that I find erotic, that’s kind of like… that's kind of contradicting. 

Timo Yeah it could be right? 

Cedar I think that sexual and non-erotic for me is probably art. Yeah. Even just like seeing a person like paint or seeing somebody that does pottery or seeing somebody that sews, I think that's so sexy and so passionate because I am an artist too. And so to see that, to see them, like, entwined in their art and then their passion is so, it's fucking hot. People don't know like, yes, I'm very much... Like I would. Oh, God. Oh, getting hot in here. Yeah. And. And my love and yours. What's yours? 

Timo That's definitely. That's definitely one of them, I think. Like putting my feet, like putting my feet in the sand. 

Cedar Something tells me that you love a good ol’ water. 

Timo I do love a water feature. I love a water feature. I love an oasis. You know? That's what I like…

Cedar Can I low key confess? I don't know how to swim. 

Timo Oh, no. 

Cedar So will you protect me? Are you a good swimmer? 

Timo Absolutely. Yeah. I can help you learn like a little dog paddle and a little, like, backstroke. 

Cedar Not a dog paddle. What if I like low key tried to drown and then that's just like for you to give me CPR? 

Timo Sneaky. It's like the scene from The Sandlot. 

Cedar Right. Right. I do have to ask you too. Were you wearing, were you wearing underwear for this date? 

Timo No. 

Cedar Okay. Okay. 

Timo No I wasn't. Why? I was wearing my pajama shorts, you know what I mean? 

Cedar Oh, my God Timo I'm the same way I'm wearing shorts. No underwear. Thank you. 

Parenting, Disneyland, Halloween...Cedar’s date is giving more after school special, not after dark special. Next up, Timo’s top pick… Billy.

Billy Hi, Timo, how are you? 

Timo Hey. Oh, my god, long time, no talk.

Billy Weeks. 

Timo So, I don't know, maybe this is a little self-centered. I mean, I definitely want to know what you think I look like. I’m like I wanna hear what you think I look like. 

Billy Okay, what do I think you look like? I mean, I think I'm like, imagining, like, kind of like a soft bodied human, like, maybe like more delicate features. And I wanna say maybe narrower shoulders. I don’t know. Maybe some collarbone exposed, like an exposed collarbone. I’m just imagining like a fly human I guess.

Timo Ooh interesting. I just like sort of collection of features. Yeah. Yeah. 

Billy I literally felt like I just, like, did a Mr. Potato Head, like, putting together, of like, an imagined version. 

Timo I mean, that's kind of what it is. It's a funny exercise. Um, I do have broad shoulders, actually, not narrow shoulders. Before I started T, I was like a little bit, you know, I, I’ve definitely put on some muscle weight and everything. And I have, like, dark hair. It's getting long. It's a long, curly mullet. It's big. 

Billy Oh wonderful, oh my gosh. Nice. And are you hairy? 

Timo I am not, Even though I, you know, I've been on T for a year, I really expected to have, like, some more body hair or, like, facial hair or something, but it's just my dad's not very hairy, so I guess that's, you know, genetics. 

Billy Genetics are real.They are. They're much stronger than hormones often. 

Timo If I were more masc in my physical presentation, I would love to be able to like, counter that with even higher femme fashion, you know what I mean? Yeah, I just want to be a slutty little twink, you know? 

Billy Oh, thank you for sharing that with me, that just gave me so much gender joy. How exciting, you sound super fine. And yeah, thank you so much for describing yourself. 

Timo It's like, like hopefully, you know, it comes together all the parts look better than just a Mr. Potato Head. But, you know. 

Billy I know, sorry for my metaphors, think I am— sorry sorry what were you saying? 

Timo No I'm just teasing you. 

Billy Oh as you should. 

Timo I think that I think you're probably a little on the taller side, probably 5’6-5’8” if we’re gonna give a range. Um, and then I think you just know, I just think you're probably really hot. I think that you're probably, like, because you do all the, like, farming and dancing like, I think you're strong and curvy and I guess what I'm envisioning is that you drive… This is not good. I was going to say, you drive a truck. This has nothing to do with your physicality. Where am I going with this? 

Billy I really think you’re setting me up for, like, a calendar shoot now. 

Timo I know. I am. I'm imagining you washing this car like, but it's like a it's like a day to night calendar so that I get, your farm girl looks, you know, in the day, and then I get these other looks looking at night, you know. Yeah, I know. You can tell where my mind is at. So. OK your turn, tell me. 

Billy You are fucking dialed. You specifically said curvy and strong. Which like how I typically describe myself is curvy strong. 

Timo Mhm. That's not just my wishful thinking? 

Billy Well that's awesome. Yeah. It's like 12 points for you. Yeah. Like I have like a substantial ass and arms and like. Yeah. And thigh and all that and like, yeah, and I'm pretty strong and it kind of depends on where I am in my, I also navigate various diseases that like change my body size and stuff like that. But still always very curvy. No matter how hard I try. 

Timo You can do sidebends and situps babe. Please don't lose that butt. In the famous words of Sir Mix a Lot. 

Billy Totally. It feels impossible at those junction. Um, and yeah. I'm white. And then I currently have very short hair. I like asymmetrical buzz with like, I don't know, I maybe have like an inch of hair. 

Timo Gosh, okay. So we both are hot as fuck. Now I'm going to ask you this question. 

Billy Yeah, okay. Yeah. 

Timo Cause I have a couple of things prepared. 

Billy Oh, okay. Yeah, I… proceed with topping this conversation. Please. 

Timo Oh thank you. I love direct consent like that. So I'm just curious, like, how, what are some other ways that you engage in and find pleasure for yourself? Like to stay in touch with your body?

Billy More recently, I feel like I really like effort to like, stroke myself to just like, like to touch me, to touch myself softly and like with adoration. And that that’s been like more of a more recent practice. 

Timo I love that. I hold my own hand sometimes.

Billy Yes oh my goodness. Fucking absolutely

Timo I like, I really like I make an intentional note of it. Yeah. I'll be like I'm, you know, and I'll just like, hold. Yeah, I just hold one hand in the way that I would want my hand to be held by somebody else. But I'm like, It's so comforting and reassuring. Holding my own little hand right here.

Billy Oh, my goodness. That's so— yeah. Oh, cool. 

Timo I love. I just. I really value how you, your perspective and like, it just seems really aligned that like, you know how to take care of yourself. Not in like “I know how to take care of myself” but like to care for yourself and, like, be present for yourself. And, you know, that's that's a rare quality. Not a lot of people know how to do that. It takes time to cultivate, you know? 

Billy Thank you. Yeah, it's for sure been cultivated. Yeah. And, and many of those activities were like escapist, and I think they really become like integral and to integrated to like sensory and yet also thank you for that for the acknowledgment. 

Timo Absolutely. I mean you know like the more… It's hard, it's hard to reach back and do that healing and, you know, sort of like relocate yourself in the present and then like have it as a continuous practice. 

Billy Thank you. 

Timo Yeah. So hot, look at us, connecting on an existential level. 

Billy It's like so, what is it? I can't remember all the words. Sapio-sexual? 

Timo Sapiosexual. Exactly so speak on that, you feel like there's that kind of element of that for you?

Billy Yeah, definitely that like heart/head/body when those, when those features can be a shared space and I feel like my most freeish. How bout you? 

Timo I'm absolutely that way. And I and yeah, what you said resonated with me lot because like, I have been I’ve had my hyper-sexual periods, you know, and a lot of that was sort of like trauma-based, some of it was also like work, and some of it was, kind of that that that sense of like, I wanted to keep my emotional distance. And so maintaining it as sort of like a performance was safer in some ways at certain points. But my default, my default is absolutely that, you know, I need to have that. Yeah. Heart/mind/body connection in order to stay engaged. You know, it doesn't mean like for like a hookup or a one off or something like that that I can't like disengage from all of that doing, but like...

Billy I'm just going to the amusement park. 

Timo Yeah, exactly. Like, okay, so I'll gonna go take a couple rides and then I'm going to be like, so burned out and I'm going to go home and stay home for a long time. 

Billy Set the timer for a year from now. 

Timo Exactly. Well, thank you. It's been a year and a half. Thank you, yes, exactly. 

Billy Ooh good on you. Oh, my gosh. 

Timo Oh it's been amazing. Honestly, I've been really, really happily single for this time. And I just have also a sense of like… I can also retreat really hard and I don't want to get too comfortable in that retreat moment. Yeah, I'm in very cozy mode, for sure. 

Billy Oh, my goodness. 

Timo How bout you, when's the last time you dated? Or were in a longerish term thing? 

Billy Probably like a year and a half, I think. What is it? Or a year and a quarter. Something like that. Something just over. I would say just over a year. And. And yeah. what you're describing, I quit dating and I'm removing myself from heart hibernation. 

Timo Yeah. And here we are. I guess. 

Billy I'm curious if you participate in kink in anyway. 

Timo Public sex is number one. 

Billy Nice. 

Timo I will say it again. Cheeky little, you know, like shag while everyone else is turned away is very, very hot to me. That's like I can say consistently. 

Billy Yeah. Oh, my goodness. Yes. Grocery store. Like brick walls. And then I guess I also want it to be, like, outside, like, very, very keen on like, I like I love an orgasm on top of... 

Timo Outside on a pile of leaves. So good. Nothing gets me hornier than a hike. I don't know how to explain this to people. And then my friends will be like, Let's go on a hike. And I'm like, I want to go on a hike with with somebody who I get to fuck when I get to the top of the peak, you know what I mean? Like my endorphins and all of that are going and I'm just like, now it's time to get naked. 

Billy Oh, yeah, yeah. That was like one of our initial conversations. Yeah, I was like I want to tell them that I like to fuck myself on top of mountains and I'm not sure that's appropriate. Anyway.

Timo Be still my heart, be still my heart, like, literally my pulse rate just jumped a little bit here. So that was awesome.

Billy I mean, I hope it's a wonderful evening because mine is vastly awesomer. 

Timo Mm. Oh, Billy. 

Timo’s not the only one with their heart pumping after that date! One date left! Let’s see if Salix is as hot as Timo thinks they are…

Timo Okay, so what do you think I look like? 

Salix I want to say you're maybe short. 

Timo You're like 'you're giving off short vibes'. 

Salix We like short kings. I imagine you have black hair, that’s, I don't know, maybe like mid length. 

Timo Okay. Okay. Okay. I'm actually I would say I'm average height. I'm not, like, towering over anybody, but I'm, like, solidly. I'm like 5’5” so. Yeah. And then I do have dark hair. It's a mid-length mullet. It's quite like curly. 

Salix Yes! 

Timo Yeah

Timo Oh, shit. Okay. I feel like your style is more kind of, like, youthful, maybe, And like. I don't know, like more masc maybe. And then I think that you are maybe slightly taller than me. Let's see what else. I feel like you might wear glasses. I don't know why I get that vibe. 

Salix Oh my god! Like, how the fuck did you know that I wore glasses? That is creepy. That is creepy. 

Timo Well, I also wear glasses. I just got a fellow glasses vibe for sure,. 

Salix That's wild I'm also I'm also mixed. So my mom is also white and my dad is Peruvian. Um, unfortunately, I'm like, pretty pasty. Like, I am definitely like, white passing. Um, I am shorter than you, I'm the short king here I guess. I'm 5'2". I’m pretty small.

Timo Yeah. Oh, my God. No but honestly I'm fanning myself. I just, like, jumped up a little bit. I love a short king. 

Salix Yeah, I'm pretty small. I'm fun size. And I have like a lot of tattoos on my body, so. 

Timo Oh, yeah. 

Salix I got top surgery this year back in March. Um, so I’ve been healing from that and I'm like, really excited to get a chest piece. 

Timo Congratulations. That's awesome

Salix Thank you. Thank you. I've been so happy with it, it’s been like amazing.

Timo That’s amazing.

Salix I have like, like little, like baby facial hair. I have to, like, kind of put some mascara on it so it, like, kind of comes through and you could see it. But yeah, Peruvians are not particularly well known for their facial hair. 

Timo Oh, my God, that's so funny. Like, I've been on T for like, a year and I'm still not really getting any facial hair or, like, my leg hair is a joke. It's so funny. 

Salix But that ass hair though, let me tell you. 

Timo I know. 

Salix It's tragic. 

Timo You know, like, I’m sort of like, “Oh, like, maybe that's all I get. I guess I better like it.”

Salix Yeah, testosterone's a hell of a drug. 

Timo Tell me, how do you dress?

Salix Especially like since I've gotten my top surgery, I feel like I've been freer to express my femininity again. Like I didn't come out as non-binary until I was like, uh, 28, I think, Or maybe 29. And I think a big part of it was because, like, I felt like very comfortable with my femininity. I like, I like things like that are feminine, but it just took me a while to feel it, to realize, like, that's not all of me. And so I felt like I had to kind of compensate and go way more masc for a very long time. And now that I've been on testosterone for a couple of years and I got my top surgery, it's been like really freeing that I feel like I can play with that more. So I'd say I've I've been really playing around with fashion this year a lot and just like kind of figuring out what my style is, I kind of like am going for like slutty twink femmeboy. 

Timo Yes you are describing exactly my gender aspirations for myself. Do I want to be them? Do I want them? 

Salix Yes to all. 

Timo I understand that so deeply. Thank you for sharing that with me. 

Salix Yeah. 

Timo What do you do to like feel good in your body? 

Salix Um. I guess I'll tell you. Let me tell you a little story. 

Timo Tell me a little story. 

Salix So for me. I feel like I do feel like this is kind of, like, relevant. And I feel like with people that I'm trying to, like, build an actual, like, potential, like sexual connection with, like, I do share this, but I… so I did experience, like, a pretty intense sexual trauma about 11 or 12 years ago. Um, and so I did not have sex for a decade. Like it was something that was like very bad, like, scary to me and like, triggering. 

Timo Oh my God. 

Salix And then about two years ago, I was like, you know, I'm like, tired of this. Like, I want to work through this trauma. Like, I want to… cause like, prior to that, I had been like, like a very sexual person. And so I was like, you know, like, I want to be able to like, like I miss, like, having sex and liking sex and enjoying sex. And I kind of felt like I was like, well, I'm never going to be able to work through it unless I have someone to work through it with. But I was like, not having any luck with, like, dating and stuff. Um, and so I got to be at a certain point where I was like, you know what? Like, I'm just going to be a slut. I guess I'm here for that hookup life. So I decided to start having hookups and like, it has been interesting. Most of em not great, but like I feel like I've been able to, like, grow a lot through all of my hookups. And that, like, with the hookups, it's like, kind of just, like, bits and pieces here and there. Of like being able to, like, kind of, like, feel out my boundaries again, figure out things I like, what I don’t like, having practice expressing my boundaries to other people. 

Timo Which lowers the stakes too, you know, because you're not like trying to, you build a whole romance.

Salix Yeah, totally. And now I'm at the point where I'm like, I would like to push my own boundaries and like, you know, grow in that area. But I don't, I'm not going to do that with some random off of like set life or Grindr, you know what I mean? It’s not happening. So, you know, like I that's something that I'm, it's something that I'm like looking for. So. 

Timo That is like, I just want to say thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing that. I'm sorry that happened to you, but it sounds like you've taken a lot of time to figure out how to reenter opportunity for for connection. And that's a big deal after a trauma like that. Yeah I, I have a very… well, I have also experienced similar experiences. I've had similar experiences. I'm like stumbling over saying this. Yeah. And in fact, like, part of my hesitation or like some of my anxiety, not just about these dates, but like, even doing this show, just has to and like, trying to date myself is because I have like some serious trauma in my, in my in my past that is really hard to explain or divulge to people because the impacts are just so are so big. So I haven't dated in about a year and a half and, you know, I was, like, previously married. Yeah but it really changed my perspective in a lot of ways, too, to see just how much I could treasure and value and uphold my, my, myself and the things that I finally discovered. Like I hold so dearly to the lessons I've learned about what I deserve and who I am. And you know what I have to offer. 

Salix Yeah, that's so important. 

Timo But I'm also trying not to be in retreat either, you know, I don't want to just stay in retreat like.

Salix It's like how can you grow in a safe and positive way and push your boundaries in a safe and positive manner? 

Timo Exactly. Yeah. So that's where I'm at. Yeah. Feels like very parallel. We have a lot of parallels here, Salix. I’m feeling it. 

Salix What do you know that does make you feel good? Like what? Like in sex? Like what is something that, you know, you're like, “yes, I like this. I'm down.”

Timo There's a couple of. Yeah, there's a couple of like. I mean, that's just something also that I'm, like, excited and nervous about because of, you know, being like, I haven't been sleeping with anybody, really. So, like, and I've been on I've been transitioning since last September. So, like, there's been some changes. So, you know, so I just like, I don't know if the same things are going to feel this way, cause I've, I've always been super sensitive and right now we're talking clitoral okay. So, like, a lot of direct contact is a little overwhelming for me so now with some bottom growth, I'm like, Ooh, okay, we're going to have to find a new way to, like, get around this, like, make this work, you know? And I, I have, like, super sensitive nipples and I really enjoy nipple play. Um, I like the, I like when some when somebody is entering me and then they kind of like grab a foot or squeeze your foot or something like that, or engage or engage your hand or like an extremity in another way. So it's kind of like you feel the intensity of penetration and then you also feel this intensity in like an unrelated part of your body. And it kind of like, I don't know, it does something to my dopamine and I love it. Yeah. So there's some really intense examples now it's your turn, I'm over here squirming and blushing. 

Salix Well, I love that. I love nipples. I think they're great body parts. Oh, yeah. 

Timo So are you, are you kind of like, more you got a little, like, feisty. Are you are you are you teeth and nails? Are you more top or bottom, verse? Like what's your deal? 

Salix Um, I'm, uh. I'm definitely like a big bottom. 

Timo You're like 'I'm a big bottom.'

Salix I really like to be like, kind of like, bossed and tossed around. 

Timo Okay. All right. 

Salix That’s really, really hot to me, like, tell me what to do. I have been, like, kind of, like, exploring kink and also just, like, trying to explore things that, like, I'm like, well, I don't know if that's something I'm into, but I want to try it and see. 

Timo Can you say more? Are there specifics here? I'm so intrigued. You don't have to.

Salix Um so… This is a little bit embarrassing. But like, I'm like, really interested in, like, trying out like. Like kitten play.

Timo Oh my god yes.

Salix I really like. I like the idea of just being like this. Really like, like cute little femeboy dressed up like a little cat. I super want to wear one of those like, the like tail butt plugs. 

Timo Yes, I have one of those. 

Salix Ooh, okay. Okay. 

Timo Yeah. Mm hmm. 

Salix Um, I just want to be like, uh. I don't know. I think it's like. It's like. It's like, primal, but, like, make it cute. 

Timo Ugh this is so hot. I love it. Um I would dress Catboy so cute. Put you on a little leash. 

Salix Meow. 

Timo Meow. Oh, fuck. Oh, my God Salix, you're fucking adorable. And I'm like, this is. Yeah, I'm diggin this. 

Alright Catboy, Salix has got Timo purring! Coming up, one Caller gets the hang up, and we do something we’ve never done before… reveal that Caller’s true identity.

Timo: Oh my heart is RACING right now!

Stay on the line!

Robot voice: Welcome to the Hang Up Hotline. Our star Timo and all Callers are already on the line. To enter, please say the password.

Zakiya: Slutty little twink

Robot voice: You may enter.

Zakiya All right, Callers. We're all back together here on the Hang Up hotline. On your last day, you all got to see if you and Timo would be physically attracted to each other and also sexually compatible. It sounds like y'all are still learning a lot about each other, but unfortunately for one of you, your call will end here with a hang up. So, Timo, have you made your decision? 

Timo I've made my decision. 

Zakiya So, Timo, which Caller are you choosing to hang up on? 

Timo I have decided to hang up on… Cedar. 

Cedar I mean, well, what can I do? It's your loss honey. Everybody else take the money. And Cedar's out. 

Timo Okay. Oh, wow. 

Zakiya Well, let me jump in and say, because we want to do something that we've never done before. Cedar, can you reveal your true identity? 

Cedar Okay, so I'm a well-established entertainer, so I am known in my drag persona as Lady Shug, I perform all over the US.

Timo Stop it!

Billy Oh my God. 

Timo My heart is racing right now!

Cedar Without confessing and giving away too much, I kind of know who the suitor is in my mind.

Timo Yeah, you do. Yes, you do. 

Cedar I think. I think I know who the suitor is. 

Timo Bitch!

Zakiya You think you know who the Star is? 

Timo I am SWEATING! 

Cedar Well technically, since I've disclosed who I am, I'm probably a bigger star. But that's just…

Timo Oh, honey. Yes, you are. Shug, we have hung out. We have drunk together. We have been. We have made out. 

Zakiya WHAT! 

Billy Yes. 

Timo I don't even know what to say! Like, we're absolutely connected in a lot of ways. And, yeah, I don't know. I think how over the course of this, it has revealed maybe not a romantic compatibility, but I fucking love you. And I'm just so I'm just so blown away that this is true. I'm sort of, like, hyperventilating. Oh, my God. What? This is crazy. 

Cedar Timo, I wish you the best and just make this decision with your heart. 

Zakiya Okay. Well, Salix and Billy, y'all are the final two. 

Billy Wow. Wow.

Zakiya Y'all have one more date left. And the theme of this date is Three Way. All three of you, Timo, Salix, and Billy, are going to be on the line together with me. And it's your last chance to get the intel you need to make your big decision, because all three of you are going to be making a big decision in the end. And after our next date, each caller will lock in their choice, whether they'll take the vacation with Timo or take the cash prize. Then Timo will decide who they will hang up on for the final time, and the winning Caller's choice will be revealed. So each of you will get a chance to submit questions that you need answered before you make your decision. And since I'm asking them, they'll be anonymous. This is your last chance. So make sure you're putting everything on the hotline. So Billy and Salix, our final two Callers, we'll talk next week. Stay on the line. 

Caitlin: You’ve reached the Hang Up voicemail. Leave a message at the <beep>

Salix Hello, this is Salix. I am feeling pretty good about my connection with Timo. I think that. I don't know. It just seems like every time we talk, we just always have something like more to talk about. Um, I think what is still lacking is just seeing, like, where the, like, chemistry goes in real life and how how it feels to be in person together and like, you know, just how that translates over because it's all very like, I guess like theoretical over the phone kind of.

Billy Hi. It's Billy. I'm feeling really good about Timo and feeling some sparkliness in exchanges with them. And I always feel conflicted about competitive stuff between people and just do not want that. Like, I think in some way I'm like “oh in a dream land we would just be like a triad or something” Anyways that's what I think. I think. 

Hang Up is created and produced by me, Caitlin Pierce.

Our host and story editor is Zakiya Gibbons.

Our sound designer, mix engineer, and story editor is Ben Montoya.

And that’s it— our whole team is just three people. We put so much time and love into Hang Up because we believe in this show— And we get to make it weird and silly and queer and exactly what we want it to be because we are independent.

But to stay independent, we need your support. Here’s a few ways you can help:

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We can’t do it alone— thank you for your support.

Our sounding board is Allison Behringer, Karla Corrales, Chioke I’Anson, and Grayum Vickers.

Music by Jeff Carter and Stephen Pathe of Sandy - hear more at sandy-sounds.com

Show Art by Alex Teschel

Season Two Art by Marquez Torres.

Studio recording by Andrew Frankel and Roman Garcia of KUNM.

This episode uses many sounds from Freesound, for the full list check out our website— hangupshow.com.

Special thanks to Bess Friedman, Trevor Birt, Oliver Yaney, Toni of Albuquerque Social Club, Michael Burdick of Sidewinders, Quinn Heraty, Nellie Giles, and the Radio Diaries team. 

Thanks also to the people supporting us at Radiotopia and PRX.

Hang Up is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a network of independent, creator-owned, listener-supported podcasts. Discover audio with vision at Radiotopia.fm.

Stay on the line for a very spicy Caller Exit Interview this Friday with our Caller who got the hang up... and for our paid members, we'll have an extended version of that interview sent straight to your inbox. Thanks for your support!

S2 Episode 5: *69