Tiffany Grace: The Scandalous Sinterview


My Latest interview with Scandalous Women’s Magazine:  http://www.scandalouswomen.com/ 

She was the young girl who hated who she saw in the mirror, the awkward duckling who became the sexy confident swan. Silhouette Records recording artist Tiffany Grace knows what it’s like to be afraid. Growing up in an abusive environment, music was her filter and eventual savior. Now on the cusp of her second album and engaged to the man of her dreams, Ms. Grace is living the dream. She recently took time out from her busy schedule to discuss music, life and, of course, sex, with Scandalous!

SCANDALOUS: I see you’re getting married. Who is the lucky guy?

Tiffany Grace: We’ll just call him Mr. Devereaux.

SCANDALOUS: Sounds mysterious. How did you meet him?

Tiffany Grace: We actually met on E-harmony after I finally gave in to my mother’s relentless persistence on the matter. I was planning a 3 month trip through Europe to “find myself” and she was very apprehensive, I think she wanted me to find a “nice young man” and finally settle down in hopes I wouldn’t go on my trip. I met Mr. Devereaux the day after I called to cancel my subscription and was convinced to stay one more week. I actually did end up canceling my trip and moved in with my fiancé about 2 months after we met, it was pretty crazy.

SCANDALOUS: E-harmony should totally hire you as a spokesperson! So, how is he adapting being with someone with such an outwardly sexy image?

tiffany-fckng

Tiffany Grace: I think that he understands and appreciates my art. I’ve always had trouble with men in the past that were OK with it at first and then not so much once they saw me romping around with actor / model Jason E. Thomas in my music video Sleeping With The Enemy. My goal as an artist is to help woman embrace their sexuality within themselves and really get comfortable with their bodies and self image. If you notice, Jason and I never actually kissed or made any skin to skin contact. It may appear to have been so, but in fact it was just the illusion and I felt that made it much sexier. It was a last minute choice as Jason and I had practiced “the kiss” in the audition as a possibility. So, Mr. Devereaux didn’t come into the picture until after we shot the video and that might have helped! He sometimes doesn’t like to watch certain parts.

SCANDALOUS: You mentioned jokingly you’ve lost the most weight you ever have without sticking a finger down your throat. Do you have an eating disorder and can you offer advice to the young women reading this on such things?

Tiffany Grace: I am currently the healthiest I’ve ever been mind body and soul. I suffered from bulimia and anorexia for years after my father died. Women will describe the disorder as a sense of control and it is. I am 5’8 and I was 105 at my smallest. It was then that I was checked into the hospital and given an IV for dehydration. I gradually came to terms with my tarnished self image and slowly started the recovery process. It was painful steps that were taken to trick myself into eating properly again, smaller portions and lots of liquid fruit. This is going to sound crazy, but the best thing for young women to do would be mirror positive affirmations. Every day you look at yourself in the mirror and find one nice thing to say about your body. Start small; maybe “I have nice nails” or “I have nice hair” work up to looking at yourself naked and saying “My body is a perfect vessel.” After all, our physical forms are merely reflections of our mental state.

SCANDALOUS: Your last album, Naked Singularity, was very sexy and you seem to have projected a retro-image for yourself, one resembling the R&B divas of the 70s and 80s. Was that by design?

Tiffany Grace: Well, yes and no. I’ve always felt I was born in the wrong era and I’ve doted over artist from the 40s and 50s the most I think. I’ve always had what my mom likes to call “a wacky sense of style”. I think that the 70s and 80s part probably shines through from when I was a child. My influences are drawn from all over really and range from classical, blues and hip-hop. I’ve talked to some artist that won’t listen to any other music while in the writing and recording process. I’m exactly the opposite; I listen to everything I can get my hands on. I have an obsessive need to be different. I joke with my friends that in my world everyday is prom and god forbid I’m caught wearing the same outfit as another girl.

SCANDALOUS: Some of the music on that album sounds as though it came from a personal place, for example, Unbroken Soul. Have you ever had to escape an abusive relationship?

tiffany-vnrbl

Tiffany Grace: I grew up in an incredibly abusive family. All my life I resisted falling victim to the same as an adult. These things have a way of following you around when you try to suppress them instead of dealing with them head on. Abuse isn’t something that comes on right away, it’s a process that men take to slowly break you down. I was right smack in the middle of a verbally abusive relationship that gradually turned physical and ended when my EX ordered me out of his car, but purposely took off before I had fully exited, dragging me at 40 miles per hour through a graveled parking lot nearly 15 feet. Mind you, I was wearing a dress and suffered multiple wounds on my legs. I pressed charges and filed for a restraining order as all women should do. This is not a “class” issue, this happens to all women from all walks of life with varied levels of education and even privilege. It is not something to be ashamed of, it’s time to speak out on and join forces to educate on this dark matter. “Unbroken Soul” is not my favorite song, it’s written awkwardly, I’m singing while crying through most of it and it’s almost painful to listen to in many ways not just because of the content. I put it on the album despite all of this because this was my final insult. I think I knew he would hear it and that was the reason I put it on there. To say, I am not broken, you failed.

SCANDALOUS: That’s terrible. I think there are many girls who can identify with controlling boyfriends and I’m glad you took action against him. A lot of women would have been afraid to. There was also the song I Want You Both. If I interpreted the words correctly, it’s about trying to carry on a relationship with two men at once. Was this something you experienced? How did it work out?

Tiffany Grace: Who hasn’t wanted to carry on a relationship with two men at once at some point in their life? There was a time in my life when I was dating several men at once. Men do this all the time; they call it the numbers game. Only they do it in hopes that one of us will eventually sleep with them. I did it because I wanted to experience different interactions with all different kinds of men. I dated men of all kinds of nationalities, religions, wealth and walks of life. My fiance would probably wince reading that. I was young and curious, at the time I really had no idea what I wanted in a partner, so I explored. I encourage all women to go through this at some time in their lives. Give yourself options; you have to know what you don’t want to appreciate what you do when you get it. Your sexuality is your secret weapon and if you ooze sexy but hold back, you can have any one of them whenever you decide to. If you ever in fact decide to! I found once you got to know most of them, the lust wore off fast haha.

SCANDALOUS: Scandalous readers would love to know – did you have them both at the same time in the bedroom?

Tiffany Grace: Yes, if you count the fantasy that the song was written after I experienced it on my own! I never had a ménage à trois in reality, but I think I’ve always been curious about it if not brave enough the pursue it! Any girl that says it hasn’t crossed her mind is lying! The other side of the song was also referring to two men that would have been perfect if they had parts of the other. So, in a sense I literally did want them both.

SCANDALOUS: You hear stories all the time about male musicians having a virtual buffet of women groupies. Do female performers like yourself have guys falling at their feet?

Tiffany Grace: I think that men like the idea of a performer in bed, maybe it’s an ego thing. There is something very mysterious and appealing to them about women that express power and independence. On the other hand, a lot of men will try to use your art as a tool to get into your pants. They will promise you the moon and the stars. Someone once told me “never take your money outside the club, it’ll never come back”. In other words, don’t date your fans and don’t date your creative partners. To answer your questions more bluntly, you certainly have lots of opportunities. I am not sure if that’s because I’m a musician or if I’m simply put in front of men more often!

SCANDALOUS: You come across as very sexually confident. Has that always been the case? Give us a story about when you may have been a little more awkward sexually.

Tiffany Grace: I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 16, I was incredibly awkward growing up. I always joke that I’m obsessed with fashion now because when I was a kid we were too poor to buy new clothes, so now I over compensate. I was the girl that wore a t-shirt in the pool completely ashamed of my body. I actually started keeping a “boy journal” of my continuous mishaps with men over the years. I was a living breathing real life Bridget Jones. I wrote my first entry at the age of 15 and I wrote all the way up until I met my fiancé. Growing up, sex wasn’t really a loving thing; I think I felt it was more of a duty. So, I grew up kind of dreading the entire process. I think I was 22 when I finally started to come out of my shell and realize that it was meant to be pleasurable for both parties.

SCANDALOUS: What does it take for a girl like you to get her freak on?

Tiffany Grace: This is going to sound like a cop out, but I am a sucker for witty conversation. Being that I do come across very confident, I think men are a bit intimidated by that. I used to have a friend that referred to me as “a bit of a handful” when describing me to potential dates she tried to set me up on. I thought of it as a kind of game with men, and more often than not they couldn’t keep up. Sometimes, I found someone that would rise to the challenge and that was always incredibly sexy. I think like most women, I appreciate the small things. Sometimes it’s just the way that my fiancé will kiss my neck, it always gives me goosebumps and other times it’s his look from across the room that makes my knees weak.

SCANDALOUS: You’re holding back because your fiance might read this, right?

tiffany-frkon

Tiffany Grace: Well, kind of. I wasn’t sure how far to take that question, but you’re a good reporter so you didn’t let me off the hook! haha Let’s see, recently we introduced a few toys that I purchased at a little boutique in Ventura with some girlfriends from my book club. Yes, I run a book club, but we’re not your average book club. We finished reading 50 Shades Of Greyrecently which if you have not read, I highly recommend. Most of us were like rabbits after reading it, great for relationships haha! I always felt I was a little more exploratory in the bedroom, totally open to porn or handcuffs, the typical girl thing, but the book really opened a whole new world.

SCANDALOUS: Yes, it is a very good book and it was surprising American women snatched it up in the numbers they did. How did you and your club react to it?

Tiffany Grace: Well, it’s a steamy story of an innocent virgin no less that starts a relationship with an older much more sexually experienced man. I’ll be the first to admit even I didn’t know what some of the sexual devices or methods in the book were. My book club decided that we would have a get together at a local boutique to gain more knowledge on the subject. We went over everything from lube to bondage. It was really entertaining and educational! I took home the vibrating panties and a gel, I guess you’d call it masturbator, for my Fiance. He loved both of them! I think it’s important to keep things spicy. Oh, and of course I do love my little maid outfit as well! My girlfriends and I will share with each other things we’ve tried too, one of my friends said “I loved the whip we got at the boutique, you guys want to try it!?” It’s fun to keep it a light subject, sex is a beautiful thing, we shouldn’t be ashamed.

So, yeah my fiance might blush when he reads this, but then again he might mount me! A healthy relationship needs a healthy sex life. It’s true, it’s just part of the reality. Sometimes I’m even blunt with him about it, I’ll say “are we having enough sex for you?”. It’s a regular ritual for us, sure, but you know sometimes it’s good to check in. So often people do not talk about what they need/want from each other sexually. I think this is what will cause resentment and cheating, I mean if you’re not getting what you need you’re going to get it somewhere! Sex with us is amazing, I orgasm every single time, but we talk really openly about it. He’ll just ask me if I like something, or what else I might want to combine or try. I mean, how many relationships have you been in where that happens? Our chemistry in and out of bed is fantastic, largely because I think our communication is so good. Wow, I guess I did want to elaborate on that after all!

SCANDALOUS: That’s fantastic. Great advice. So, you have a new album coming out. Tell us what we can expect from it?

Tiffany Grace: On this EP, I am going to take an entirely different approach. I think that it will be a softer side that I’ve not expressed as an artist yet. I cannot escape the edge that my voice projects, but I think this will give my fans a little more insight into my world. Also, I’m going to get back to my musical spoken word a little more on this project. I didn’t include The One That Got Away on my last album as I wasn’t sure how it would be received. (You can hear and download that track free here)  The feedback I got was that fans wanted to hear more of this kind of thing, so I’m going to give it to them! Since the debut album I received lots of constructive feedback and a little bit of heart breaking feedback too! That’s how you grow as an artist, so I took that to the studio and we’ll see what kind of reaction I get.

SCANDALOUS: Thank you Tiffany and good luck with your marriage and career. We can’t wait to hear more from you.

Advertisements

Relationships Are Easy ? Fight Or Flight


All of my life I have been told how much “work” relationships are. That it’s constant compromise and doubts. I even once dated a guy that SWORE it was impossible to be faithful in a relationship. It wasn’t my finest moment, I’ll admit.  Actually, that moment lasted more like 4 years of constant back and forth in and out of “love”.  It wasn’t until my late 20’s that I started to revise my perspective on relationships. Up until now, everyone was right. Relationships were hard, it was constant compromise and mainly on my part. There were couples counselors, advice from peers and even older father figures in my life that tended to pipe in on the situation.

Years and  years past in this same fashion and all the while I knew that it was “worth it”. Every time, I was just sure that this one would be worth all the trouble, all the long arguments and all tears. This one I would stick it out with and eventually we’d live happily ever after. Then one day, after my last messy break up, that ended in a restraining order, it occurred to me that in fact everyone was wrong. I suddenly had this amazing epiphany that not only was everyone wrong, but they were all in with the wrong person! I’m convinced this is why our divorce rate remains so high. If you’re with the wrong person, then so are they and you’re both depriving the right person of being with either of you and therefore they are in fact also with the wrong person! I actually spoke this aloud and ran out of breath before I reached the last person. Who started this vicious rumor that then started this vicious cycle?

Could it be the religious groups with their sexual guilt and repression? Perhaps, they were all getting married to warrant sex and by then it was too late to get out. Because you know god won’t love them anymore and all that drama. Perhaps it was the psychologist conspiring against the concept of love in order to continuously be needed by those with wounded childhoods recalling having experienced first hand two people not meant for each other. Whatever the case may be, the fact remains that human beings are convinced that in order to give and receive love you and they must suffer.

It’s been drilled into us so badly, that sometimes we do in fact find the right person, the yin to our yang and we begin to question it. We think to ourselves “where is the spark? Where is the excitement?” All of our romantic comedies and even the fairy tales we’ve grown up with teach us that the road to love is a long and dramatic one. That only with terrible pain and experiences will we find our happily ever after.  I like to blame all the Disney Princesses for my love mishaps.

Image

The truth is, relationships are actually pretty easy. They are fun and exciting even when you’re just doing the boring stuff. When you’re with the right person, they just flow naturally with all the vibrancy and energy of a perfectly working river. However, in the beginning of every relationship there is that pivotal moment of  drama. That moment that we all dread that we all create because of the crap we’ve been fed all our lives. It’s in that moment when you need to ask yourself “has it been easy so far”? I think this is the most important thing you can ask yourself honestly in this moment. When it seems everything is falling apart and the relationship could be ending, the only way to know if this is TV and society influenced necessary drama, is to ask how easy it’s been so far.

Do you struggle to find common ground? Does your sex life really suck? Do you really have to try to get through a day without arguing? It might be time to let go. Don’t be afraid of letting go. The woman down the street that’s been single for the last 10 years with 50 cats has made that choice. Maybe she picked wrong one too many times or maybe her right person is still with the wrong person. On behalf of all the crazy cat ladies and drunken fools please for the love of love, stop being with the wrong person. It just is not that hard. So, stop listening to your miserable parents or your miserable married friends and remind yourself that relationships are easy. When they are right, they are easy.

So, ask yourself….Is it time to fight or flight?

Because as it turns out, you CAN fit a round peg into a square hole, but why bother?

How I Healed My Heart


I was born with what my mother always called a “leaky mitral valve” and it was never fully explained to me. The doctor suggested that my mother invest in some kind of a pet, to keep my mind off the stress and pain of my “heart problem”. I picked out a yellow parakeet that I called buttons, because when I held him for the first time he unbuttoned my shirt all the way down until I stopped him. I guess he was a dirty little birdy, bad joke. Anyhow, Buttons ended up dying of what the vet confirmed to be heart failure. I think the “heart problem” became real to me at that point. I guess that I had never considered the fact that I could die from having a problem with this very vital piece of my body.

The doctor ran down the list of banished childhood experiences that I now had to cross off. Here are just a few examples of the things I was now no longer able to do:

1.) Amusement park rides

2.) Sports of any kind

3.) Laughing too hard

4.) Sex

5.) Running, leaping, jumping, yelling

Basically, I was the kid in the bubble but I got to sit on the sidelines and watch. Lucky for me, my mother didn’t always follow this exactly. Although, she also wasn’t opposed to my spending most of my time with her. When I was 6 my nickname was velcro because I never let go of my mother’s leg. Perhaps it was fear of encountering something too funny. Throughout my childhood until I was about 11 I was treated like a delicate piece of blown glass. I suppose this saved me from some potentially unpleasant experiences with my father as I know I drove him to nearly hit me several times. Ironically, this gave me a false sense of security, it was like my superwoman cloke. I was bullet proof because of my “heart problem” and no one would touch me.

Maybe it was the idea of having a defective or “broken” heart the led me to continuous heartache, literally and figuratively. I was quite awkward as a young woman and did not experience  my first kiss until I was 16. Perhaps that doesn’t seem too old to you, but it does when all of your girlfriends had been there at 12 and in fact I think my sister was 9. I waited four long years for my first kiss and it was less than romantic. In fact, it was freshmen year of highschool after my first high school dance, homecoming and my mother had arranged for my date. Yes, you read that correctly, my mother arranged my highschool homecoming date. He was older and didn’t even go to my school, he happened to be a friend of my oldest sisters friends that I had an unexplainable crush on. Unexplainable, especially now looking back at photos!

I began to keep  journal of my romantic mishaps at the age of 14 and have continued to record them right up until my last entry in which I wrote of my fiancé. Let me give you a glimpse into the mind of a 14 year old girl regarding love.

“July 15th 1998, I am sick of being lonely. Why don’t I deserve someone romantic and sweet? Are there very many guys like that my age anyway? I guess that I am a hopeless romantic. There is nothing that is going to change that. I just want a sweet sensitive guy that is romantic. It seems like everywhere I turn everyone tells me relationships are not worth it. My friends think that I am crazy to think this way. Maybe I am, but I think if I feel safe in a world or make believe romance and Romeo and Juliet, then so be it.”

How oddly insightful and optimistic I was as a 14 year old girl not having had the chance to experience a broken heart at this point. It is after those first few entries where the drama and heartache begins, the journey reads like a Bridget Jones tribute with all of the insecurities resembling some kind of copycat attempt. The hard back unlined white papered journal was a gift from my mother. She thought if I was able to express myself that perhaps I would somehow grow into a less awkward woman. I think it might have done the trick in a sense as I would refer back to it as a reminder that when I was feeling low about love and breakups, I had in fact endured the pain before. On the front of the journal stands a woman alone, an abstract painting of her in a field holding an umbrella under a clear blue sky as if anticipating rain or perhaps welcoming it. She wears a bonnet and white flowing dress that appears to be blowing romantically in the wind. I assume she is a beautiful woman, though her scarf conceals her face.

I continued to record my heart aches for 15 long years in this journal. It’s a painful read that I try not to revisit unless I need some kind of reminder of how good I have it now. I keep the journal out of sight of my finance as I do not think he needs to know the mistakes and lessons that brought me to him. I believe that I was being distracted until I meant my soul mate and he too went through the same. I often wondered if I was born with a defective heart because I was meant to experience such heartache or if I maintained a defective heart because I maintained this belief. All of my life I have had abnormal EKG’s and an abnormal heart. I was discouraged to pursue anything that would engage my heart too much. Perhaps, this is why I always pursued relationships half heartedly. I was endlessly attached to the men that were emotionally unavailable or literally taken. It wasn’t a conscious discussion that I made, it just happened to turn out that way.

In my most recent spat with the single life, I took a different turn from my normal moping and dark creativity until the next doomed relationship came along. I simply did not care if I ended up being the single weird cat lady in the studio apartment, but I held off on investing in the cat portion for the time being. I began to see something within myself that I had never noticed before, I began to see beauty and strength. There was a true sense of control in letting go of control itself. Suddenly, I came to terms with who I was inside and out. I was OK with floundering around not knowing what career path I would take or if I’d ever get married. In fact, I enjoyed the mystery and freedom of not knowing. I felt filled with joy and love for myself for the first time in my life. It was then that my fiancé entered the scene as if on cue in a romantic comedy.

We would joke to friends and family that our next mission in life was to open a company to help others find their perfect mate. It was the first time in either of our lives that love came so easily. There were no meaningless squabbles or hurtful words. There were no moments of dreading certain conversations or topics, everything just came so easily. Now, don’t get me wrong we certainly had disagreements, we certainly had times of doubt, but we were gentle with each other during the process and we understood each others needs in those moments. The “sacrifices” we made to be together did not feel like giving something up, it felt like gaining so much  more.

Recently I took up running with my girlfriends and decided we’d start with a 5K. I went to see my cardiologist to be cleared to make the run and much to my surprise my EKG was normal. Not slightly improved or just OK, it was that of a person with a normal heart. The doctor could no longer hear the “murmur” in my chest which I had gotten so used to answering questions about. I could not help but wonder, if this change in my life was in direct correlation with the change in my heart and vice versa.

IMG_1579IMG_1564