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“Never Sleep Alone” on the Akron Pride Festival Cruise!

Updated: Dec 31, 2022

Marilyn and I just returned from the Akron Pride Festival Cruise on the beautiful Virgin Cruise Line Ship, the Scarlet Lady. We have not had much success with cruises in the past, and we vowed, after the last disaster, that we would never cruise again. We changed our minds when we received an invitation to go on the Akron Pride Festival Cruise. We are so glad that we decided to try cruising one more time.

What made the cruise for us was the incredible last day that we had on board the ship. We had originally signed up to attend the tea, since Marilyn absolutely adores high teas. However, our intuition was telling us that we needed to cancel the tea reservation and go to Dr. Audrey’s sex workshop instead. It was soon obvious that we made the right choice.

The workshop was held in a very secret part of the ship. The workshop was an introduction to BDSM, which was very tame and vanilla by our standards, but more about that another time. More importantly, by attending the workshop, we got introduced to Dr. Audrey. Dr. Audrey and Nurse Kris made you feel wonderfully comfortable, and my extrovert side immediately came out. I volunteered to be spanked in the demonstration that was a part of the workshop. Again, the spanking was tame by our standards.

After the workshop, we had a chance to chat with Dr. Audrey. She was fascinated by the fact that Marilyn and I had been together for so long. When Marilyn told her that I had not always been a woman she said, “You’ve done a good job. You are sexy as hell.” Here is the low self-esteem part. I usually find a way to downplay or negate any compliments that I get, especially on my appearance as a woman, but I genuinely believe that Dr. Audrey was absolutely sincere.

Dr. Audrey and Nurse Kris invited us to attend the “Never Sleep Alone” musical that evening even though it was sold out. I suspected that they had an ulterior motive for wanting us there, which proved to be true when we were called up to the stage during one of the audience participation segments. We were the last ones to arrive at the show, but they seemed to be expecting us at the door, and we were ushered to a table right in front of the stage. Again, Dr. Audrey marveled about how long we had been together, and we “performed” for the audience following her prompts.

More importantly, being called to the stage made us VIPs, and we were able to go to the after party and the meet and greet where there were more games. We also were asked to pair off with another member of the group and have a discussion with them. I was paired with a lovely person. We had a very emotional and intimate conversation. We made a connection, and they touched my heart deeply. Afterwards, we shared the discussion that we had with the group.

If you ever get a chance to attend one of Dr. Audrey’s workshops or attend the “Never Sleep Alone” show, do it. We also purchased the book, which we had inscribed by Dr. Audrey.

You can find out more about “Never Sleep Alone” by purchasing the book on Amazon or visiting

Barbara Marie Minney is a transgender woman, award winning poet, writer, speaker, and quiet activist. She is a retired attorney and originally from West Virginia. Now based in Tallmadge, Ohio, her first collection of poetry entitled “If There’s No Heaven” was the winner of the 2020 Poetry Is Life Book Award and the Akron Beacon Journal Best Northeast Ohio Books 2020. It is available at Follow her at

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