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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya say goodbye. They still love y'all, though.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: So, hey y'all, welcome to this week's episode of The Turn On. It has been a while, Killa.
Kenrya: Y’all don't know this unless you listen really, really closely, but we haven't actually recorded an episode since March?
Erica: March, April, it's been a minute, of 2022.
Kenrya: And it's August.
Erica: And, now it's August of 2022. So, it has been a long time coming. I had to dig hard in my box of stuff to find by mic and all of that, but-
Kenrya: My stuff scattered around because this little person is using it as their own personal ASMR situation.
Erica: Which you mentioned that.
Kenrya: [inaudible 00:00:54] bought this for, yes.
Erica: She's such a Gemini with all her various projects and ideas.
Kenrya: Really into ASMR.
Erica: So y'all, it's been a while, so here we are. I would say back for season five, season six, I would say-
Kenrya: This would be season six.
Erica: But, we're talking like this because we have a very... I don't want to say it was a difficult decision. It's a difficult announcement to make, but we have decided that this will be our last episode of The Turn On. Oh my God, even saying that out loud...
Kenrya: I know that's-
Erica: Brought feels to me.
Kenrya: It feels very real in this moment as we record this and say it.
Erica: So, we took a step back at the beginning of the year, like January, February, and actually I remember we were talking recently about something else and we were talking to a group of girlfriends, and I don't know who asked it, maybe it was me, it was like, "How are you feeling? We know you're dealing with your health issues," but it's a lot, and it's a lot mentally.
Erica: So, you're updating us on all the therapies and things you're doing, but I was like, "How are you feeling? Where's your head at?" And you were like, "I'm good now, things are getting better, but I was really low in January, February," which is when we decided to take a break and not really a break, but we were just, at that point, Kenrya was like, "I can't do this anymore," at the pace that we were doing it because it takes a lot to go into an episode. And, we are when I say a two man operation, legitimately a two and a half and the half is shout out to our editor Brandon that puts all the-
Kenrya: Hey, Brandon!
Erica: He does all the sound stuff, but it was a lot. So, we made a decision to... And, just interrupt me because I'm going to just keep talking. We made a decision at the time that we were going to take a break, and at the time the break looked like we would finish out the season-
Erica: At the time we were like, "We'll finish out the season and just figure out what's next."
Kenrya: And, that was when we switched to episodes every other week, which I'm sure-
Erica: Well, initially you were just like, "I can't do this shit." And so then I was like, "Hey, how about we do an episode a week based on our schedule and running some quickies, that'll get us through September and then we'll get together at the beginning of August to reevaluate where we are and what's next." And, we had a whole plan for next season and all of that.
Kenrya: We did.
Erica: They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, it definitely wasn't that.
Kenrya: Well, and I remember that was kinda the idea. It was like, "We'll step back, we'll basically do everything that we need to do for the rest of the season now," and so the things would feel a little bit more automated. It did mean that some things, like social media posts, some of that stuff fell by the wayside because it was just like, "That stuff has to happen in the moment all the time, and no,” but it was like, "All right, so we'll take this break and either we'll be like, 'Oh my God, I'm so excited to have so many ideas and I'm ready to get started,' or it'll be like, 'Oh, it's been nice not having all these things on the plate.'" And, even before we had our official schedule call to talk about it, when we were talking about something else, and you were like, "I feel like we're on the same page." I'm like, "Yeah."
Erica: I truly thought that we were just going to take a beat and then come back and be excited about it, and I feel like it was a very specific point in our lives. Now-
Kenrya: I wasn't sure how I was going to shake out. I really felt like it could go either way, but I do want to say, for me the decision, it's not based on my health. It's not-
Erica: No, not at all.
Kenrya: It feels like... It's not even-
Erica: Well, not for me, but-
Kenrya: It's because I really try to live into the things that I talk about and I talk so much about, “What makes you joyful? What do you look forward to doing every day?” And, what I started to realize is that I used to look forward to Tuesdays. Tuesdays was a day when I said, "Fuck everything else." I didn't do anything for any of my clients. I just worked on show stuff, and I was always really energized by that, and it started to flip for me where it started to feel like work as opposed to fun. And, when I get to the point in anything where the joy to burden balance feels off, then that's when I have to do an evaluation of, "What am I doing?" And, I will say insofar as being ill has made... Because it has decreased the number of literal hours that I have in a day to function, it did really force me.
Kenrya: But, I also do this quarterly. I have that whole joy spreadsheet and I go through and I list everything that I do and I rank it, and then if stuff starts to fall to the bottom of the ranking, what do I do? I stop doing it. But I think that being ill made me be even more focused on my spreadsheet and making sure that I wasn't putting energy into stuff that felt that way, and unfortunately as much as I very much love this show and very much love you and very much love Black romance and all the wonderful people that we've gotten to bring on the show and all the work that we've gotten to share with folks, the balance just started to shift for me.
Erica: Similar, it started feeling like a slog, and I have been saying a lot lately that I follow the joy. I'm not as much of a spreadsheet gal when it comes to that.
Kenrya: It's my Virgo moon. I get it.
Erica: It totally is. I haven't been quite spreadsheet-y about it, but I have been very clear about the fact that I am in a really good place to be able to say, "I want to do this because this feels good," down to jobs I pick, which let's take a step back, that is fucking profound. My granny was the goddamn domestic and she used to clean white people's houses. My mama hated her fucking job, but would fucking cry, probably lose her shit if she lost it, and I get to sit back on my Black ass and be like, "I don't want to do that." And so for me, just in honor of all of that, I'm not going to do anything that feels like a slog, and I'll be very honest. We're all aware of what's going on in the general Black podcasting space, in the various podcasters, and relationships that have publicly, or I hear in the background are falling apart.
Kenrya: Oh no, who do you know about in the background?
Erica: We'll talk offline.
Kenrya: Damn it, I hate to hear that.
Erica: And, I don't want that to happen, particularly as you were dealing with all the health things that you're dealing with, I want to make sure that our relationship is strong and stable and all of that, so if that meant-
Kenrya: Ain't nobody trying to be... Actually I don't want to say names.
Erica: No, but if that meant that bitch... All right, I'll see you every six months, but I want our relationship to be strong and solid and healthy. And, I don't want anything to get in that, and when this starts feeling like a slog, it's going to automatically be like-
Kenrya: I know.
Erica: It's just going to fuck up our relationship.
Kenrya: I didn't want it to be a slog for us to get on fucking video and talk.
Erica: And coon, right?
Kenrya: Right, the whole point is that that shit is fun as hell.
Erica: Exactly, and so for me it was really... It stopped feeling as fun as it was. It started feeling like, "Oh my God, I have to do this," as opposed to, "Oh my God, I get to do-"
Kenrya: “I get to do this.”
Erica: Yeah, and I don't want to fuck up our relationship because we're forcing something that our heads are no longer into, so that's where we are.
Kenrya: That's where we are. I was listening to The Read now that they're back. Thank God, I'm so glad you told me when I had to go-
Erica: I swear you knew. I'm so sorry.
Kenrya: I did not know, and it came out on Friday. I'm like, "I'm days late."
Erica: Here's the thing.
Erica: Kenrya and I... Now, a huge part of our conversations and all of that takes place in the form of memes, TikToks, Twitter DMs, and occasionally I see things I'm like, "Oh, she's seen this a million times. Let me not bother her with this," and so I didn't.
Erica: One time, sorry.
Kenrya: Yeah, it's fine. I had to go pick up some grocery, shout out to Target Drive Up-
Erica: Girl, yes.
Kenrya: It's everything for me since I can't go in grocery stores without falling out, and so I was listening to it, and I had just come from PT and all I wanted to do was lay down, but I was like, "If I don't go pick up these groceries, then I'm not going to be able to sleep well because then I'm going to be thinking about I got to go to fucking Target and get these groceries," but it was worth it because I started listening to the episode. But at the beginning, the point of me saying this is that when they started, Kid Fury was like, "Friend, how are you? Let's go back to the days when we used to actually talk, and not just have to jump into the show." And I was just like, "Once this just all business-y, all of that stuff gets missed."
Erica: And, we were definitely trying to be conscious of that. I think we lost that towards the end, but definitely trying to be-
Kenrya: We were definitely trying to fucking crank these out, so we could take a break.
Kenrya: I don't want to feel that way.
Erica: Because I remember at periods being like, "I'm going to call you and we not talk..." Even if I had a million to do, I'm like, "We're not talking about the show."
Erica: Catch up, but this was joyful while it lasted, even being here. I was in bed the other day because legit, when I am in bed watching TikToks, laughing and sending them to you, nigga, you are right next to me laughing. I hear your laugh, it's the craziest shit. And so I was like, "Damn, I need to call Kenrya, and we need to just act the fool on the phone." And I was like, "Wait, we get to be there on Wednesday." Today is Wednesday.
Kenrya: Wednesday. We also got to sit on the porch for an hour yesterday, which was nice.
Erica: Which was nice, it was good.
Kenrya: I didn't do a lick of fucking work.
Erica: Not a lick, but it was time well spent. So side note, love that lipstick, that's a great one.
Kenrya: You bought me this lipstick.
Erica: Mm-hmm, I sure did.
Kenrya: For my birthday. It's one of the little ones y’all got me in my fanny pack last year.
Erica: So, one of the things we were doing in the pandemic pit is we were celebrating each other's birthdays outside and around the fire pit. I have a fire pit and we have a really nice porch, and so we would do outside, birthday celebrations, and I want to say 2021 birthdays we were doing little themed gift bags. We were doing themed gift bags and Kenrya's theme that year were fanny packs and lipsticks.
Kenrya: And Black people because everybody had to wear black cause, niggas and we all had chicken, right?
Erica: We had hip hop. Was it hip hop?
Kenrya: It was hip hop, yeah.
Erica: And, then this year I was very proud of this year's birthday. We were trying to do something really cool, and so we did a “Steven Universe” party, but it wasn't just a regular “Steven Universe” party.
Kenrya: It was cosplay.
Erica: We cosplayed, I had on a wig. We were in outfits. It was some legit, for real.
Kenrya: She was Pearl for those who watch the show.
Erica: I didn't know who Pearl was, but we were definitely like-
Kenrya: Kenrya's Universe, and they got me a little curly wig. My hair was in braids at the time.
Erica: So, it was braids out the back.
Kenrya: That was really nice. The moment that I realized what the fuck was happening, I was just like, "Oh my God, these bitches are really dressed like Steven Universe characters."
Erica: Mind you, none of us know what the fuck's happenin,g except for Kenrya.
Kenrya: Y’all did not. So, then I was explaining the show and cats was like, "Oh, I should actually watch that." Yeah.
Erica: Legit, we were just researching characters-
Kenrya: You didn't know what to think.
Erica: Research the character, we're going to do this shit, but anything for our Killa. So, how about I ask you a question? You probably got some profound questions, but when you are 50 years old... I'm saying this like we're 20, and we're looking back 30 years. We're literally looking back like nine years. So, when you're 100 years old and you look back on the period in your life that you produced The Turn On, what will you say about it and what stood out? What was special about it?
Kenrya: I guess I always have random ideas. There's something really satisfying about having a random fucking idea, in this case while I'm masturbating and then turning it into a whole thing. I'm really proud of that. We were like, "We're going to start a podcast." "What's it going to be about?" "Well, I had this random ass idea,” “Bet...." And, then we just did it, and I'm always amazed when things like that...
Kenrya: When I finish writing a book and it's here, it always feels a little bit like magic even though I know the immense amount of work that goes into it, there's still something about going from a random ass idea to a tangible thing that other people get to enjoy. I never really thought about it this way, but my partner is in wonder of those things because he's like, "Yo, this is a legacy." I hadn't really thought about it that way. He's like, "These are the things that you will leave behind that will outlast you that somebody at some point can listen to a show, can look at a YouTube video, can pick up a book that you wrote well after you've left this earth and you contributed," that is really fucking cool to me. What about you?
Erica: So, one thing that stands out is when we were trying for that Google podcast thing and we recorded upstairs in your kitchen-
Kenrya: Under the table.
Erica: Under a table that was-
Kenrya: With a blanket draped around it.
Erica: Bitch, we was in that bitch sweating like-
Kenrya: Sweating, oh my God.
Erica: So, that was cool because I think it was just the first step and it showed how dedicated we were to just making this thing happen.
Kenrya: We didn't know shit.
Erica: We didn't know shit, and also remember initially we were really on some over engineering this shit. We definitely was making it too difficult.
Kenrya: Too hard.
Erica: And, I feel you on your partner's thing saying with the legacy. For me, I got to do a really cool thing with my best friend and it was fun. Bitch, Oprah herself called us and said, "Hey, you're an amazing podcast."
Kenrya: That is kinda true, y’all. We did get featured on Oprah Daily.
Erica: So, just the fact that we were able to do this really dope and amazing thing that also chronicled... So, we launched this in July of 2019, so we went through the pandemic through this.
Kenrya: It was 2019 because we started in November of 2018 figuring it out, right?
Erica: Yeah, but our first episode launched in July of 2019 and-
Kenrya: A lot of shit happened, not even just worldwide, but personally.
Erica: We launched the day before my granny's funeral.
Erica: We chronicled you falling in love.
Erica: We chronicled me fighting cancer, we chronicled you dealing with ME. It's been amazing in that sense to have that diary because I journal, but... So when I die, I need to actually set you up on my Facebook. When I die, I have a bunch of journals. So, y’all are going to have to pay an intern to piece everything together because everything is just all over the place. But, this period has been cataloged oh so well, and it's just like-
Kenrya: I don't journal shit.
Erica: What'd you say?
Kenrya: I don't journal shit.
Kenrya: It feels like work, or I remember our therapist used to try to make me journal and every week I'd be like, "No, I didn't do that." She was like, "You know what, this feels like work to you, doesn't it?" I was like, "That's exactly it," so we dropped journaling, but I'm really glad it works as a tool for you. I think it's so useful for so many people.
Erica: I journal, I write, a lot of times it's not even being able to go back and reference, it's just to get it out. So my notes app, I have conversations with myself. I have a bunch of different journals, so it's really cool to have this period of my life recorded. I feel like when they're going back and doing the World War Z history of life in the pandemic, they can reference this show and-
Kenrya: Find out what sex was like for Black folks.
Erica: Yeah, so this has been really dope. Also, without this show I wouldn't be here doing this shit I'm doing with a pussy in the background. If you're all on YouTube, that thing right there. Ooh, my nails match it perfectly.
Kenrya: They do.
Erica: Pussy puppet because this show made me realize that I want to become a sex educator and do sex education, and so it's very clear that y’all are going to keep hearing me talking about not only the joys of sex because one of the things that I'm working on right now is figuring out what the larger thing looks like for me, and this show has not only put a box or put it on paper, my desire to be a sex educator, but also helped me connect that it's just so much bigger than sex. It's about liberating Black women and Black bodies and joy and all of that, and sex is a piece of it, and sex is an easy way to show it, demonstrate it, use it as an example, but it's bigger than that. And so, this show allowed me to do that, and so it's super special.
Kenrya: Word, I am going to ask before we go, what are you working on and what's next, but before that, which that ties into what you just said, what did you learn about yourself while working on this?
Erica: Ooh, I learned vulnerability and it was something that I knew I needed to work on. Actually, I just did an Enneagram thing. I think I told you about this.
Erica: I did an Enneagram.
Kenrya: Did you buy one for free? Because that shit is expensive.
Erica: Actually, I have a girlfriend that's going to do a happy hour with us on our Enneagram types. We'll talk about it offline, but she taught it and I was just like, "Bitch, you're coming to talk to me and my girlfriends." And she was like, "I'd love to," but anyway, and so I'm an Enneagram eight and eights are a lot, eights are a motherfucker.
Kenrya: So, eights are Geminis.
Kenrya: So eights are Geminis?
Erica: And so, I found this podcast and this guy was talking about the eights, and one of the things that he said was that eights struggle with being vulnerable and want to... The balm for their soul is, “It is okay, you're going to be okay,” and I knew that I needed to work on my vulnerability, and one of my superpowers as an eight is being vulnerable in spite of this big personality and this big person that I am. It helps me be a better leader because people are able to look at me and be like, "Wow, this bitch is a lot, but at the same time she can be vulnerable."
Erica: So, I always knew that, but this show was really that in action because I got on here to talk... We have conversations, but there were points where I had to figure shit out live in front of y’all, and reveal things about myself and talk about myself. And so it's actually interesting, I was talking to someone, having a hot flash, talking to someone recently and he asked me about something and I was like, "I'll be honest, I'm jealous." And I was like, "But, I recognize that I'm jealous. I'm digging into why I'm jealous. I'm not over here like a hating ass bitch," and so I'm digging into it. And he was like, "Damn, that's mad self-aware and I would've never thought anyone to admit they're jealous, let alone you." And I'm like, "Bro, this makes the learning curve so much faster, so much shorter and the fall so much softer." So, I think I'm able to practice vulnerability a lot more and see the value in that with people. What about you?
Kenrya: So, I'm with you on the vulnerability thing. I think this allowed me to practice it in a really real way. It's not a thing that comes naturally to me at all, but a lot of my therapy focused on being able to do it. I remember when I would have to tell you really awful stories of things that had happened to me and how I would sit there with a stone face and your ass would be... And, that's just me.
Erica: What happened? You're like, "Okay."
Kenrya: But, I think I for so many years lived my life in such a way that I was trying to not be judged. I worried so much, my younger self, about what other people thought about me, so much, and to the point where I wouldn't do certain things because I was worried about judgment and a lot of my issues with vulnerability stem from me not wanting people to be able to see the underbelly, the really tough, traumatic parts of my life. People who I was closest to who knew nothing about the way I grew up, who knew nothing about the impact of the relationships that I'd been in... And, I was just talking about this with somebody.
Kenrya: I remember our therapist telling me at some point, this was when I had gone through my work and I was starting a date again, she was like... I was talking about, how do I hold myself accountable? And she was like, "Well, part of it is letting your people hold you accountable. At the point that you feel like you have to hide things, then you know that there's something going on." At that point, your gut is telling you that some shit is fucked up, and if you're trying to hide it, you're not telling the people who you trust, then you're reverting back to your behavior of hiding things because you're worried about being judged, as opposed to letting the people who care about you in, so that they can help you. That really resonated with me and really sat with me, and again, I just told somebody that yesterday because they were hiding. And I think that this show let me... I couldn't hide, not and do it well.
Kenrya: People can smell bullshit. If you're giving a piece of the story, nobody can really connect with that. And so, I think it forced me to practice that very much so in the same vein as you. And I think the other thing it made me realize, I'm not as straight as I thought I was. I think that if someone had asked me where I was on a Kinsey scale and I don't even know where the numbers go, I'm sure you know better than I do, but I would've said I was on all the way on the straight end of things. Now-
Erica: I literally have Kinsey's books behind me and no idea. “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” and no idea what the fuck the scale is.
Kenrya: I watched a whole show about it, I don't remember, but I think I thought that I was straighter on the scale than I actually am, and I think doing this show... And, it's actually one of the things that I hope is part of our legacy is that people were able to open their minds more to what it is that they want and need and who they're attracted to.
Erica: Something else that I learned about this show is... Well, this show taught me is don't be afraid to pop your shit. We celebrate ourselves, we celebrate one another, and maybe this is also because this show was during the pandemic, a good chunk of it. And, it made me be able to revel in just the simple shit, like a beautiful day with no humidity, just stupid, simple shit. It allowed me to celebrate myself, the people around me, the things in this world. Actually, before this, I was on a work call and I was talking to this woman. I'm like, "Your organization has an amazing culture of celebrating one another. There's an entire Slack channel that's team shout-outs." And it's just, "Shout out to so-and-so for running a great group," and it's beautiful to see that.
Kenrya: That's how my job is too, it's so nice. I never worked at a place where, oh yeah, y’all got a job. That happened.
Erica: And, you love it.
Kenrya: I do, which I can't say that I've ever actually said before, at least not for long. I was a consultant and as always happens, and you know this too, when you do a great job as a consultant, they start wanting you to come on board, but for once I actually was like, "Okay, I like y’all." But, they have a huge culture of celebration and we do shout outs and I've been shouted out a lot and it feels good. I'm like, "Aw, that's nice."
Erica: So this particular organization, it's a very small team and I'm like the old lady. Come sit at my knee, little folks. But, it's great to see that, and I think it makes everyone very supportive and willing to jump out there and try some risky shit because, “I built up enough chips on good shit. If this fails, y’all know I'm not horrible.”
Erica: But all in all, this has been a wild ride, but fucking amazing. I love this. I love that we are making a decision, a solid, firm... This is what's happening. As always, I love you. I love that we were able to do this together. So, what's next for you, Killa? I beat you to it.
Kenrya: You did, although I thought we were supposed to talk about our favorite moments of the show before we-
Erica: Ooh, I did not prepare. I did not prepare, but we can.
Kenrya: I just did right before because I was telling somebody about the show and I was like, "I'm recording the last episode of my show." And she was like, "Who are you?" I was like, "Oh, yeah." Everybody at my job knows about the show, and I'm always like, "Have y’all listened? Because y’all be talking about this shit all the time." I'm telling folks, "Maybe you want to listen before you recommend it."
Erica: I say that all the time. I'll be like, "We're a lot. You think I'm a lot now in this meeting, wait ‘til I'm talking about popping that pussy."
Kenrya: I'm like, "Yeah, I'm always this person, but the language changes a little bit."
Erica: Mine does. I don't say pussy in meetings.
Kenrya: Only in that I don't say nigga at work.
Erica: I don't say nigga and pussy in meetings. Other than that, you're getting all of this.
Kenrya: It's the same person, this is true.
Erica: So, what are your favorite moments?
Kenrya: So I-
Erica: I'm definitely went back to the Forever Agenda and do not remember seeing that, so we probably talked about it, but just didn't record it.
Kenrya: It's there, I even made it bold to remind us when I went back and made sure I did it.
Erica: Keep going and I'll think.
Kenrya: No, because I was showing somebody about the show and they was like, "What platform are you on?" When they heard they told me, and I was like, "Oh that," and then I just started scrolling through, what do I like? So, this is in no particular order. It's literally just the random shit that I screenshot as I was scrolling through this app. The Casting Couch Double Dippin’. Well, the casting couch episode, which we just did again as a Double Dippin’ really and truly is one of my favorites. It is us at our-
Kenrya: Boo, I'm sorry, at our coon.
Kenrya: [inaudible 00:36:40].
Erica: Pure ignorance.
Kenrya: [inaudible 00:36:45].
Erica: Fresh from the tap.
Kenrya: My God, I don't know what the fuck. We were not drunk, we were not high. We were just... What did Beyoncé say? "I don't need drugs to be on some freak shit." We were just on one that day, and it was beautiful. I really enjoyed it. Also, I really enjoyed the conversation we had with Benji Hart.
Erica: We got to meet some really, really dope people. First, shout out to cousins of the show, y’all know who you are.
Kenrya: I'm getting to them.
Erica: I actually feel like we might have to call a few cousins and...
Kenrya: I'm already planning to talk to one of them, yep.
Kenrya: I've been saying we need to catch up anyway, so I'm going and break it to them before they hear this episode, but that conversation was great, but also y’all obviously get to see all the stuff every time we have to pause it because I'm like... In that conversation, my food was here, so then we had to-
Erica: I remember recording it in bed.
Kenrya: Hold for like 15 minutes. I always record in bed, but yeah-
Erica: We lost audio. Was this where the audio wasn't synced?
Kenrya: No, not with Benji, I don't think so, but I remember that I had to go get my food and that was a whole ordeal. And so, y’all was just chopping it up. We just have fun.
Erica: And the way his brain works, I apologize. The way their brain works is just... That was one of those episodes where it was like, "Goddamn, you're smart as fuck."
Kenrya: Yes, so much.
Erica: Smart, but just-
Kenrya: Down to earth, the homie, yes, it was just a great situation. Both times that we had Jodie on. I feel like the episodes where I can remember everything about the recording and all the shit that y’all didn't get to hear-
Erica: Because at first Jodie, when I was like, "We're supposed to meet now? I'm in the car. My GPS has me there two minutes before the 30."
Kenrya: Listen, but we had so... That gave us time to coon before we even started. Both times that Jodie was on stand out. Both times stand out-
Kenrya: Cousin. Listen, now we can say who the cousins are. It's Jodie and Sheree.
Erica: Yep, cousins.
Kenrya: Hey, y’all.
Erica: Benji also, I don't know if they know that, but-
Kenrya: I consider Benji a cousin [inaudible 00:39:28].
Erica: Benji, you owe me macaroni and cheese. We had a conversation. You promised that.
Kenrya: I am just guessing that they haven't been here.
Erica: We got to meet folks in person.
Kenrya: We got to hang out with folks, have meals. It's been a blessing. I don't know, I feel like my favorite episodes are the ones where we talk about... Where it's just me and you, but also the experiences of the interviews also really rank high for me just because we've gotten to meet some really, really, really dope folks. What else do I have here? Oh, adrienne maree brown.
Kenrya: Having her on was amazing and something that we had literally been trying to make happen for more than a year.
Erica: Actually, when you think about it, everyone that was on our we have to talk to this person list, we were able to talk to. I'm looking through right now. There was somebody that I just looked over. I was like, "Ooh, they were fun."
Kenrya: [inaudible 00:40:37].
Erica: Mahogany Browne.
Kenrya: I had to do that one in the fucking hallway on the floor.
Erica: Mahogany Browne was like... So, y’all know Kenrya's the brains, I'm the nig of the operation. And so I'm like, "Let's talk sex. Who fucking? Where is it going?" And Kenrya's like, "Let's find, let's think." And so, we had Mo Browne on when we did “The Works of Pat Parker” and Mo Browne is a beautiful writer and just-
Erica: I gained an appreciation for the way people think, and I became a sapiosexual, no, but I'm able to look at people and hear their words and the way they think and it's just like, "Oh my God, if I could wrap myself in the words you write, it would just be, 'Am I fucking saying that? It came out of my mouth?'"
Kenrya: Me too, bitch.
Erica: Sorry, keep going.
Kenrya: Tia, I loved having Tia on. That was the was lovely. The conversation was great, her book was fucking amazing. Ooh, the episode we did with Boonie.
Kenrya: That was, my God.
Erica: She's fun. Any episode we do with Quinn is just-
Erica: Very special. I appreciate y’all for... Thank you to our listeners for listening to me sing.
Kenrya: A lot.
Erica: Because guess what? Close your eyes, make a wish. And turn out the candlelight. [singing] Wait, no. Although we’ve come to the end of the road! [singing] Yeah, I think those are two different songs, but that's what I was thinking today. I was like, "I'm going to sing ‘End of the Road.’"
Kenrya: I was literally thinking, "Oh, that's probably going to be the name of this episode," but then I was like, "Is there a Beyoncé song that we can make?" Because, have we ever used a Beyoncé song as a title?
Erica: Yeah, “Partition.”
Kenrya: Oh, absolutely.
Erica: What song is that, “Close your eyes, make a wish”?
Kenrya: I'm singing in my head.
Erica: “I'll Make Love To You.”
Kenrya: I'm going through the whole fucking first verse.
Erica: So, definitely the wrong song, but it's all good. We got to interview some of our friends and see them in different ways because have a homie and you talk to them a million times, but to ask them specific-
Kenrya: Professional shit.
Erica: Poignant questions about your sex life, who you fucking, how you fucking, and not over some drinks and recap at brunch, that was dope.
Kenrya: Also having them in on as professional people and talking about the shit that they do. It's like, "Oh yeah, you are impressive."
Erica: “You do know what you're talking about.”
Erica: Shout out to Trystan Cotten.
Erica: We got to meet him in person.
Kenrya: That was such a fun day.
Erica: Oh Trystan, my dog passed away. He loved my dog.
Kenrya: He did, and he loved him.
Erica: I know. I'm like, "But, you're my dog."
Kenrya: But, he was definitely trying to take him home.
Erica: I feel like I've learned... This was dope.
Kenrya: It's been dope. We learned a lot, we got to meet a lot of people. You know what else that I learned on this show? And, I was talking about this when we were doing a Double Dippin’ on the Leone episode, how far we've come in terms of language, being inclusive, and always using the equity lens and making sure we're inviting folks into the conversation. That's something that I have obviously been writing about and has been important in my writing, but I don't know, there's something different about speaking it and also about living it in action and the folks that you bring on the show and the works that you cover, and we were very intentional about making sure that it wasn't just a bunch of straight-
Erica: We was like, "This season is too straight."
Kenrya: Literally, we were like, "This shit is real straight. We need to bring some more..." And, we would move stuff to another season in order to make sure that there was representation and that has been super important to us, and then along with that, that means we've had hella queer folks on a show as guests or whatever, and that's been really important to us to be super intentional about everybody ain't the same, and we're all Black. So, how do we make sure that we all are under this umbrella?
Kenrya: That's been really important and feels like a really important part of the legacy of this show.
Erica: The legacy of The Turn On.
Kenrya: Aw, now this is feeling self-important.
Erica: And, this is what we did.
Kenrya: We had fun. Hopefully, y’all had fun too.
Erica: Hopefully, y’all had fun, and this will not be the last of us. We both have projects, things happening. We will continue to stay active on our social media accounts, probably more active than we have been, to be quite honest.
Kenrya: And, that'll be the only thing to do.
Erica: Instead of, let me talk about it, let me tweet about it.
Kenrya: So, none of that's going away. Y’all can continue to follow us and we'll also use the channels to lift up the other things that we're doing, since we're not disappearing. What are you doing? What are you working on?
Erica: Ooh, girl, I don't know. So, work is amazing. In the good words of our good girlfriend GloRilla, "Anyway, life's perfect, pussy's good." I don't know if that's exactly how she said it, but-
Kenrya: I don't even know.
Erica: See, I keep you on top with pop culture and we've had a whole summer, anyway-
Kenrya: But, the only thing I am listening to or caring about is “Renaissance.” I really don't-
Erica: I know, but before “Renaissance” came-
Kenrya: And I feel bad because I need to listen to Meg's album, but-
Erica: I know, I've listened to it.
Kenrya: I'm trying to listen to other shit and I can't.
Erica: Meg got this line in her song “Not Nice,” and it was like, "I'm ignoring you like your daddy did."
Kenrya: God, nigga. I feel bad and my daddy didn't ignore me. Spicy, got damn.
Erica: So, what's next for me? So I am in this weird place... Not weird, but I'm at this point where I am trying to figure out what my sex education empire looks like. I spent a really long time listening to my brother start the motherfucking microwave. You can barely hear it, so we'll just keep going. Y'all know I quit my job last year and I have been in the throes of building my own consulting business, which has been great, but now that I have that piece established and going and I've got clients, every time I pay my rent I'm like, "Bitch, you paid your rent this month." It's just amazing to me, but now I need to figure out what it looks like, what my work as a sex educator looks like.
Erica: And I'm wondering, is that podcasting, radio, YouTubing, conferences, stuff in person? There's just so much to do, and I have a million ideas floating around. I have someone that's a brand strategist that I will probably be working with. It is a huge investment, but she's good at what she does, but anyway, so I have to figure that out. But in the interim, I've taken the stance of I am simply just chasing joy. If it feels good, I am doing it, that's what I do. And, I feel like in that process, as I flit around from flower to flower, getting nectar, putting some pollen on my ass...I'm a bee.
Kenrya: We got it, we got it now.
Erica: It'll make itself apparent, and I'm not so... Because I have the work shit taken care of, I'm not super pressed about what's next or what things look like. I get pressed when I see other people doing shit and I'm like, "Ooh, I could have totally been doing this shit," when those jealousy pangs hit, but at the same time, I am just really enjoying the fact that I'm in a place where I'm happy. I'm happy, things are good, and so hitting some conferences, I have some work with Planned Parenthood. I'll probably do some IG lives. There's nothing completely super structured, but I promise I'll definitely be out here spreading the gospel of good pussy and joy, but past that, I'm not quite sure and I'm not saying for the first time in my life because I've actually been here a lot more. Even as I talk about, I've been here in a place like this a lot more and I'm comfortable in not knowing. I'm comfortable in like, "We'll see, it'll pan out." And so, I'll keep y’all posted. What were you going to say?
Kenrya: I said it always does.
Erica: Yep, so what about you?
Kenrya: What am I doing? I am very slowly writing my book about Black women and nonbinary folks—or folks who are of marginalized gender—and the ways that misogynoir got us fucked up, the ways that it threatens our health and the ways that we save ourselves since nobody else is interested. Oh, I have been promoting that book.
Erica: I didn't want to interrupt you, but I keep this next to my desk, and every time I have a meeting, I'm like, "Hey, guys, this is a really amazing book."
Kenrya: Thank you. So, I last year worked on this book with W. Kamau Bell and Kate Schatz. It was one of these situations, and I was thinking about this when you were talking about your brand presence, I got that gig because they were looking for somebody who knows anti-racism and is a Black woman and brings that lens to the work, and they found me on a site and then they went to my site and were impressed and they reached out and then I was working with them. And, that book is a New York Times bestseller. I was the editorial consultant on that book. They will tell anybody that it wouldn't have happened the way that it happened if it weren't for me, which is pretty cool. And so, I did one event with them and I'm not doing any more events until my book comes out, but it was really nice and they were great to work with.
Kenrya: It was a good experience, but I can't do shit else until I finish my own book. I'm not editing anyone else's books. I am just very, very slowly writing my own. I am still working with consulting clients on things that are not as involved as editing books, like sensitivity reads, and that kind of shit because that's easy and quick. My day job, I actually really love the work that I'm doing. I'm looking at the places where the harms of artificial intelligence, AI, intersect with the rest of our lives. So, it makes people's eyes go big, but it's not that complicated.
Erica: I have a client that was working with someone, so they probably have some overlap.
Kenrya: AI impacts us in so many ways that we may not even be-
Erica: That fucking coon ass rapper.
Kenrya: Rapper, exactly, or I just sent my team an article about this fucking app that some white people created that makes customer service people's voices sound whiter, God. My team does research for a very, very large global organization that looks at... And, the work that I am leading is around movement building and around how we can empower... Not, “empower,” I hate that word, how we can partner with folks in very disparate movements, whose goals interact with ours, as people who want to make AI as transparent as possible, so that they can do as little harm as possible because the reality is the folks who have the least amount of input into the way that these algorithms are deployed are the folks who are most impacted by them. And so, it's been really cool to advance my knowledge in the tech space, alongside what I already know about social movements, and the ways that they impact people and the ways that we can come together as collectives and collaboratively move us all closer to freedom. So, it's been really cool. Damn, I'm a nerd.
Erica: Are we just now noticing that?
Kenrya: Sometimes I hear myself speak and I'm like, "Damn, bitch, you are a nerd."
Erica: It's okay.
Kenrya: Whatever, and then something that y’all might actually be interested in, I am recording audio books for one of your faves. I can't drop the name now, but it's someone who's been on this show. And so, eventually y’all will hear my voice recording Black erotica, not just for this show, but whole ass books, which is pretty cool. I'm excited about it.
Erica: Pretty fucking dope.
Kenrya: So, hopefully that'll be a thing that just keeps happening and eventually y’all won't be able to escape me. When you want to listen to Black erotica, I'll be right there. That's what's next. It's a lot of shit.
Erica: Lots of shit.
Kenrya: And, naps.
Erica: Naps, little kisses from God.
Kenrya: God, listen, I love my naps. They make me happy. I want to take one now.
Erica: You're wistfully staring off about naps.
Kenrya: Because I really want to take a nap, but I can't because I got to take this kid to get her hair braided before school starts.
Erica: Well, with that said, I think that's it.
Kenrya: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, before we go, there's something that I was hoping you were going to say at the beginning of the episode that you didn't say.
Erica: Get your wine, whatever you need?
Kenrya: Yes, ma'am. I feel like we can't have a final episode without you saying-
Erica: Get your wine, whatever you need? [singing]
Kenrya: That was a twofer, they got to hear you sing.
Erica: And, I got it.
Erica: This is Erica and Kenrya, your two favorite hoes. We will perpetually-
Kenrya: We got to make it clap.
Erica: We will perpetually, always be making it clap. Bitch, really?
Kenrya: Off as always.
Erica: Off. Off.
Erica: All right y’all, this has been great. For real, I love y'all.
Kenrya: We love y'all. Thank you for coming on this weird ass journey with us, for listening all the time, for downloading this fucking stuff, for sharing it on social media, for buying Black books.
Kenrya: Supporting these authors who are so dope, don't let this show not being here keep y’all from going out and connecting with these authors and their books.
Erica: Buy them from small bookstores, yes.
Kenrya: Black bookstores if at all possible. You can even get them online via Bookshop and have your money go directly to Black bookstores around the country, so do that please.
Erica: Well, it's been real.
Kenrya: It has. Thank y’all. Thank you, E.
Erica: Bitch, thank you. Thank you, this has been great. Peace out.
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This week, we're revisiting Season 2, Episode 6. In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya read an excerpt from "Forbidden" by Beverly Jenkins and talk about finding—and living into—your life's purpose.
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Erica: Hey, y'all.
Erica: Erica, Killa. Two hoes, your favorite hoe hosts. We are here not leaving you with a dry gooch, here to quench your gooch.
Erica: With another double dipping.
Kenrya: With a nice double dipping. Yeah.
Erica: Today we are going to replay Season two, Episode six, which is titled I Will Survive. In this episode, we read from OG Beverly Jenkins.
Erica: You will hear my amazing California accent at the start of that episode.
Kenrya: Yes. Mark ass busters.
Erica: Mark ass busters. So Beverly Jenkins, she's an OG in the romance world, but she was one of the first to be doing the romance novels.
Kenrya: Well, and to put Black folks on her cover. And I remember, and I don't think I said this in the episode, but I remember I first learned about her from listening to Snap Judgment podcast. Yeah. And I was in a grocery store checkout line and was like...
Erica: "Oh shit!"
Kenrya: "Oh, I need to know more about her."
Erica: And this was before we even knew about we were going to do this show.
Erica: But I remember you sent it to me.
Kenrya: Seed was planted.
Erica: The seed was planted. So I really like this episode because we talk a lot about being on your path to where you need to go.
Erica: In the story, Eddy... We kept calling her Eddie.
Kenrya: We did.
Erica: Eddy, she had a will, she had a fire in her belly. She was like, "This is going to happen, and I am going to make it happen."
Kenrya: By any means.
Erica: Yeah. By any means, and the universe just kept pushing her in that direction in spite of things going crazy. And so we talked about that in the show and I thought it was really dope to hear both of us kind of, I think I was starting to articulate what it is that I do and want to do, and you know it, but it's interesting to see where you are now versus where you were, and how that has changed.
Kenrya: Yeah, I think in the interim, I quit my job.
Erica: You quit your job.
Kenrya: And left the consultancy that was not great, and now I'm in one that I adore.
Erica: And I don't even know if you had your book fully fleshed out.
Kenrya: Which one?
Erica: Your current book that you're working on.
Kenrya: Oh, definitely not. Yeah.
Erica: And your current book that you're working on is still very much in that vein of what you're trying to do, or your mission, goal, purpose. Purpose. We called it a purpose. This was another episode where I'm like, "I hope y'all get something out of this," because it was a good one to hear us just kind of trying to figure this shit out.
Kenrya: How did it make you feel as you listened?
Erica: It was a little bittersweet because these were the episodes leading up to-
Kenrya: When you were going through cancer treatment?
Erica: Yeah. And so I was not knowing what was going to happen. I think at one point I was talking about a guy, or maybe it was the other one where you was like, "And he going to deal or he going to leave?"
Kenrya: That was the other one. That was before.
Erica: And I was like, Bitch, chill! Okay!" I look at pictures of myself the week before I got diagnosed and I'm like, "Wow, you ain't even know you was walking around with cancer in you." You know? And so as I'm listening to the episode, I'm thinking about both of us like, "If only they knew what life has in store for them," you know? And so I think that's generally how I feel going through all of this. It's just like, "Whoa. If only we knew."
Kenrya: Yeah. Yeah. I feel you. I think I also had a moment of not necessarily be careful with what you asked for, but be specific, you know what I'm asking?
Erica: Yes. Yep.
Kenrya: Yeah. Because one of the things that I didn't specifically articulate here, but at that point was percolating and in ended up on my... We do intention boards instead of vision boards. But I remember like one of the things that's on my board is, "Slow down."
Kenrya: Exactly. "Only focus your energy on the most important things." Well, Goddammit. I didn't say [crosstalk 00:05:05].
Erica: This ain’t how I needed to do it!
Kenrya: Right. Don't give me a disabling chronic illness that means that I literally only have enough energy-
Erica: That forces you to only [crosstalk 00:05:14]. Girl.
Kenrya: But I fucking asked for it. Right? God was like, "Gotcha. We going to teach you some stuff." And all that said, that's kind of the silver lining, which maybe sounds Pollyanna, but...
Erica: No. Yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah. Like my shit's fucked up. But wait, I can see it on the side. This is one of my mobility aids. This is my grabber, my new grabber. So I don't have to bend down and get stuff.
Erica: Well, you said that in this episode. You were like, "Maybe that makes me seem Pollyanna, but it's all going to work out."
Kenrya: I was literally talking to God last night. I have always felt that things would just work out even when they felt their hardest.
Erica: If it's fucked up, it's not over because things don't end fucked up. Nope.
Erica: If it ain't... Mm-mm (negative).
Kenrya: There's something to be mind there. And yeah, this shit sucks, but it pushed me to really be mindful of what work brings me joy and leave a lot of shit alone that I did not love and stop fucking with people who I didn't love, especially mostly professionally because I don't really fuck with people in real life.
Erica: I was about to say, "Who we gotta fight?"
Kenrya: But yeah, it forced me to put on my calendar my naps and my meals, which...
Erica: Girl because I used to be pissed at you.
Kenrya: For not eating? Yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah. Because I was a workaholic and even if I wanted to be, I can't be anymore. It's forced me to.
Erica: Your body's like, "Oh you don't want to stop for a meal?"
Kenrya: "Bet. You're going to stay in bed for the rest of the day and tomorrow. You might not be a to get up until you have to pee. You're welcome."
Erica: Yeah. You're like, "Well, guess I'll go have a sandwich."
Kenrya: Exactly. I don't have a choice anymore. And so the lesson is be specific.
Erica: Be specific.
Kenrya: Yes. And also if things don't go exactly the way that you thought that they were going to, know that there's some kind of reason. I don't know what.
Kenrya: But, we out here. We are.
Erica: We out here, we aight.
Kenrya: Exactly. Yeah.
Erica: All right. Well that's this episode. Get your wine, get whatever you need and enjoy.
Kenrya: Yay. Bye.
Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Hey, mark busters.
Erica: Welcome to-
Kenrya: Trying on new accents?
Erica: Welcome to this week's episode of the Turn On. The reason that I'm using my LA mark buster-ass accent is because, we're reading from Beverly Jenkins’ 2016 novel called “Forbidden.” This is a historical romance novel, and the main character is moving out West. So in my mind, this is like the setup for all them Black people going out West.
Kenrya: I love it.
Erica: It makes sense, right?
Kenrya: Yes, it does. It always comes back.
Erica: Okay. So sit back, relax, get your wine, your weed, whatever you need and enjoy.
Kenrya: “Forbidden,” by Beverly Jenkins. "Would you like a bit of champagne?" In for a penny in for a pound, she thought to herself. "Just a little please." He walked over to the sideboard, opened the bottle, and poured some of the golden liquid into a lovely crystal flute and set it beside her cake plate. After pouring himself a portion, he returned to the table. "The way the candlelight is playing over you in that beautiful white blouse makes you look like an angel." She'd never been paid such a compliment before. "My thoughts are hardly angelic, however." "You're being incorrigible again." "A beautiful woman does that to a man. How many buttons are on your blouse?"
Kenrya: She looked down at them and then across the table at him. "Ten, maybe eleven." "Would you undo the first four for me, please?" Fork in hand, Eddy paused and studied him. "This is about the desire you wanted to learn more about." Realizing she'd set her own trap and hoping he didn't see the slight shake in her hands, she put the fork down. Singed by the heat in his eyes, she slowly honored his request, feeling her body bloom with each button she freed. "Thank you," he whispered. "I'm going to place kisses there when you finish your cake." Eddy dissolved. He was way too good at this. She'd expected kisses, not pure seduction.
Kenrya: Although she had enjoyed the angel food cake in the past, she barely tasted it because she was too busy thinking about his stated plans. In need of bolstering, she took a moment to sip her champagne. She then set aside the plate holding the remains of her cake. "Done?" She nodded. He stood. "Bring your champagne." On shaking legs, Eddy did as asked. He took her hand and led her the short distance to a wingback chair upholstered in a beautiful jewel-like dark blue. He sat and coaxed her to sit on his lap. "Hand me your champagne."
Kenrya: Having never sat on a man's lap before in her life, she handed him her flute, and he set it next to his on the small table near the chair. Gathering her in, he eased her close to his chest. The heat of his body melded with hers, and the light scent of his spicy cologne wafted gently to her nose. "I've never sat on a man's lap before. Can you feel me shaking?" "I can, so just relax. We have all evening." He kissed the top of her hair, and after a few moments of being held by him, her tension eased. "Better?" he asked. "Yes." "Good," he whispered. "Now, how about those kisses I promised?"
Kenrya: As his mouth descended to hers, Eddy tried to remain in control and not be swept away as she had been a few days ago in the kitchen of the boardinghouse, but she was still as new to passion as she was to the sweep of his fiery hands and lips. His mouth left hers to blaze a trail over the skin exposed by her opened blouse, and her pleasure-filled moan rose in the silence of the otherwise silent room. The tip of his tongue slipped over the edge of her new lace-edged shift, grazing the tops of her breasts, and for a moment she inanely wondered if he thought less of her for not wearing a corset. When his thumbs teased her already berried nipples and he slid the garment aside just enough to take the bud into his mouth, she was glad she refused to wear the constricting garment. Apparently he was, too.
Kenrya: Rising up, he held her eyes and husked out, "Undo more buttons for me." Eddy felt hot and scandalous, but gave him the boon. He rewarded her by easing the soft cotton down to free her breasts. He feasted in earnest, and a smoldering took root between her thighs. He claimed her lips again, and as his tongue played invitingly with hers, his large hand slid up and down her skirt-shrouded thigh. When that same hand slipped beneath to explore her stocking-encased limb, soft gasps escaped from her lips.
Kenrya: She heard him say, "I want to touch you, Eddy." Her skirt was rucked up high past her garter, and his palm was mapping the bare skin above it. He asked huskily, "Yes? No?" Her world was so hazy and she was so caught up in the storm she had no idea what he was asking. "Open your legs, darling. Let me feel your desire there too." Feeding on his voice she complied, and his bold touch followed. Then she knew what he'd been asking. Bewitching fingers circled, dallied. She arched and panted softly, "Rhine." "You're so wet." The storm gathering in her body grew stronger with each indrawn breath. "Rhine," she cried helplessly.
Kenrya: "Go ahead, darling. Let it come, baby. I have you." Her legs widened, his wicked fingers continued to bestow their enthralling magic. Suddenly, the storm broke, crackling through her body like summer lightning, and she was flung out to the stars, hoarsely screaming his name. Eddy didn't know how much time had passed, but when she opened her eyes he was smiling down. Still breathless, she asked, "What in heaven's name was that?" "An orgasm. When your body can't hold any more pleasure it explodes, sort of like Black powder. Did you enjoy it?"
Kenrya: Embarrassment heated her cheeks and she turned away. He gently turned her chin so she was again looking into his eyes. "There's no shame in anything we do together," he informed her quietly. "Only pleasure. Please don't ever be ashamed of enjoying yourself." She'd never felt anything like the orgasm before. Even now remnants lingered, slowly beating between her thighs in cadence with her heart and breath. "Do men have orgasms too?" "Yes, but doing it properly usually results in babies, and we don't want that right now." "No, we don't." But she wondered what a child made by the two of them might look like.
Kenrya: Turning her mind away from that, she noted how limp yet full she felt. The logical and levelheaded old Eddy was appalled at how free she'd been with him, while the newly awakened woman inside wondered how long she had to wait to experience it again. He repositioned her skirt and righted her shift. She shrugged back into her blouse and redid most of the buttons. "Thank you for the lesson." "You're welcome." He slid a worshipping finger down her cheek and he took on a serious air. "Marry me, Eddy." Hearing that, she sighed. "You know I can't. Please don't spoil our evening." "I'm not trying to, but I'm serious. Marry me."
Kenrya: She looked away for a long moment and wondered why he'd bring up such a subject after what they'd shared. Maybe she understood it but it changed nothing. Yes, she loved him, but that didn't change anything either. Turning back, she picked her words carefully. "You know what we'd be facing. It might look to be an easy road from where you sit, but it isn't. You're not Colored and I'm not White. Us being together is against the law almost everywhere." "But I'm not White either."
Erica: Welcome back you mark busters.
Kenrya: You're committed.
Erica: I know, I am. Hopefully you enjoyed the excerpt as much as we did. First, I am so hyped that we were able to get this story because it is a story by OG Beverly Jenkins.
Kenrya: Thee Beverly Jenkins.
Erica: She is like, I mean, most of you all who listen are familiar with romance but Beverly Jenkins is a big fucking deal, a BFD. I was introduced to her through you Kenrya. I think you sent me a podcast.
Kenrya: Yeah. And that's when I first learned about it.
Erica: I was just like, "Look at this Black woman out here just-
Kenrya: Fucking making history.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I mean, I feel like everyone heard about Zane and that kind of thing.
Kenrya: But she was way before that.
Erica: But she was way before that and just made it for us. Because I remember-
Kenrya: Putting Black people on covers when they wouldn't do that before.
Erica: Exactly. I remember when I was a kid, you're in a grocery store and you see the romance novels and that kind of thing, and in your mind it is very much a white woman's thing. And here we are with OG Beverly Jenkins.
Kenrya: I know.
Erica: OG Beverly Jenkins, buster.
Kenrya: It's a theme. We're going to talk to her soon, so it's really exciting. She was just so dope. She was like, "Sure you can use my book." We were like, "Oh, God."
Erica: No. I was like... This was definitely one of those moments where I was like, "Wait, what? She would let us use that shit?" I mean, I we have had some amazing talent and authors, and we've been blessed, but when Beverly Jenkins was like, "Yeah, of course." I was like, "Really? You sure? Are you sure about this?" So, yeah. With that said, Kenrya, give us a little bit of background on the story.
Kenrya: Okay. It's called “Forbidden” and that's for good reason. I don't want to give too much away, but I'll tell you some things that we learn right up front. There's two stars. The male lead is Rhine Fontaine.
Erica: Rhine Fontaine.
Erica: I'm sorry. You all going to have to deal with my fucking accent this entire episode.
Kenrya: But so he's from Georgia.
Erica: Rhine Fontaine.
Kenrya: Yes. And so that sounds like the colonel like.
Erica: Yeah. It's like Andy Bernard.
Kenrya: Oh, God. Yes, it is.
Erica: Hello, my name is Rhine Fontaine. Okay, sorry.
Kenrya: So in the opening pages, we learn that he's formerly enslaved. He was raised on a plantation as a slave. His father was, his sperm donor was the slave owner. And his mom was one of the enslaved people living on a plantation. When the war came, he joined the Confederate Army, left, and then went to the Union side, and he is in the opening pages back at the plantation, where he grew up looking for his sister who he lost track of during the course of the war.
Kenrya: What we find out very quickly is that he looks like a white man. And he resolves that he is going to basically pass as white so that he can use his privilege in order to help Black folks. And that's where we start. Then the next scene, we meet Eddy Carmichael, who is a Black woman who she was born free. Her parents were free just before they got married. And she's getting mugged. She has her purse full of her money and her ticket to California that she has been-
Erica: California, buster.
Kenrya: Yes. ... saving up for the last year, and some nigga robs her. She's already given notice at her boarding house and given notice at her job at the hotel, and she's like, "I got to get out there by hook or by crook. Fuck it, I'm just going to make it." And so she's a cook and her dream is to open her own restaurant in California. And so she sets out with a carpet bag with just a couple of outfits in it, and a stove that she carries on her fucking head like a little cook stove. And she finds someone who's willing to let her cook in exchange to let her ride with him as far west as she can go.
Kenrya: And so in this way, she basically meets up with people and depends on the kindness of others in order to make her way out West. She ends up getting as far as Nevada, and then she trusts the wrong person, this suck ass nigga who claims he's a preacher who's taken a kid to an orphanage and he's going to Sacramento and she can ride with him. So all is going well until she meets this bitch-ass nigga who decides that he's going to fuck with her. He pretends to be a priest and he has this little boy, and he's like, "Yeah, I'm taking him to an orphanage in Sacramento. You can ride with us." And so she's not quite sure, but he's like, "I'm a man of God. I would never hurt you." ’Til they get like two hours outside of town, and he pulls over the horse and buggy and is like, "I'm trying to fuck."
Erica: Fuck, fight, or hitchhike?
Erica: That's fucked up.
Kenrya: And she's like, "No, fuck you." She's a virgin too, and she's like not on that shit. And he's like, "Well, then give me your money." So he robs her and then throws her out into the middle of the fucking desert in the middle of the day. So she's trying to walk but she barely has any water. She ends up passing out and just as she falls to the ground, Rhine Fontaine-
Erica: Rhine Fontaine.
Kenrya: ... sees her across the sand and comes and saves her, and nurses her back to health.
Erica: Okay. All right, so and hijinks ensue.
Kenrya: Hijinks ensue.
Erica: Dot, dot, dot.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: I feel like this story is just really about knowing what your purpose is, knowing what you're supposed to do, and doing it. I feel like for me, finding my purpose, I thought that knowing my purpose would be this divine like, "This is your purpose. Your purpose is to do X, Y and Z."
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Where as now it's like-
Kenrya: Why did you think that?
Erica: Because I feel like that was one of those things you were just kind of told. I mean, when you listen to Oprah or whoever they're like, "My purpose is to get little Black girls into school." Like, it seems so specific.
Kenrya: Yeah. And there's like this moment when the sky opens up and the Lord speaks down to you.
Erica: Exactly. I feel like it's evident in this story, and I feel like it's been evident in my life that, your purpose doesn't necessarily evolve. It doesn't necessarily come out like that. Yes, I do feel like some people know, "Specifically, this is my purpose." But for me, I feel like my purpose has been more of a feeling, more of a push towards something. I feel like I'm finding my purpose. I feel like I know what my purpose is, but I couldn't specifically articulate it in three sentences. You follow me? I feel like my purpose now in life is to help women, Black women become more in touch with their bodies and their sexuality. Be it through what we're doing here or Black women as they deal with cancer and different traumatic things. But I feel like that's slowly been my purpose.
Kenrya: So it's been evolving. You've been coming into it.
Erica: It's been evolving but it has started out as a, look, I know I like this sex shit and so we going to ride this and see where it takes us. And I feel like that's kind of the situation with Eddy in this story, where she's like, "Look, I got to get out West. I want this. I want a restaurant. This is my purpose." But we just don't-
Kenrya: The how's and the-
Erica: We just going to let this shit happen. Yeah. How about you? How is-
Kenrya: I mean, I will say that it has evolved to a degree in terms of the way that I approach it. But I think in hindsight, it's always pretty much been the same. So I do have a sentence that I use that describes what I do, because it wraps up a lot of different things, and it's to amplify the lived experiences and advocacy of Black folks. And to shift the narrative around who deserves liberty and justice and equity in America. That's what it comes down to. And so all the different things that I do, writing about white supremacy and helping people have babies as a doula to start off strong life families, and doing this podcast. I find that they all kind of fit under this one umbrella, which is really to do those things. But so the way that I've approached it has varied, like when I was in college and shortly after, I wanted to start a magazine for young Black girls, which you just reminded me of the other day. That was my shit.
Erica: My question is, did you, because you have yours in a neat sentence, like you have a... I hear and see all the time people are like, "Write it down, make it plain. Write it down, make it plain." When did you get there? And do you feel like it's helped crystallize where you're going?
Kenrya: Well, I have to have that sentence because of what I do. Right? So being a speaker and all of that shit, and having my bio on all these different places, I had to boil my shit down. So it took a lot of sitting with it and trying to figure out something, a statement that really encompasses all of the things. Like I said, it's evolved over, the wording of it has changed a bit even as the approach to it has changed. But it's kind of just been a necessity because I have to sell myself all the fucking time. It's like having an elevator pitch, you have to have something that you use to sell yourself and your work so that you can get work.
Kenrya: But then there's always these new opportunities to refine it. A couple of weeks ago, I was working on an artist statement for a grant that I was applying to. And I had an artist statement, but when I looked back at it, it was shitty. So I threw it away and started all over again. And I really love what came out of it and it uses some of those elements, but then a lot of it is completely new but still gets at the same thing. It was just another way to approach it, that really honestly made me really excited again about what I'm doing.
Erica: Good. See, I don't have an elevator pitch. On one hand I'm like, "Who needs it?" But on another hand, I feel like as we move into this, as I grow and have a better idea of what I want to do or what this purpose looks like for me, I feel like I need to somehow come up with it.
Kenrya: Crystallize it.
Erica: Like crystallize it.
Kenrya: It's definitely, if you stay ready, you ain't got to get ready situation.
Erica: And it also gives you a guiding point like, "This is what I say I want to do. Does this fit into that?"
Kenrya: Yes. It helps you be more intentional.
Erica: Oh, yeah. Again, me with all the words and Kenrya with one, to help figure it out. But yeah, so Eddy really has, she knows, "This is what I got to do. This is the way I need to make it work." Well not even the way I need to make it work, "This is what I got to do."
Kenrya: Just this is what I'm going to do. Yeah.
Erica: It's interesting because I was talking to, actually I was talking to a girlfriend about divorce the other day, and I was telling her that once... I don't like to talk to people about like, if people are on the fence like, "Should I stay? Should I go?" that kind of thing, I don't like to-
Kenrya: You don't want to be the one.
Erica: Yeah. I know what I did and it worked out for me but I don't want to be the one like, "Girl, it's good over here in the voice land."
Kenrya: It is though.
Erica: It is, but don't let me be the reason that you decide that, and I say all the time.
Kenrya: If you get back with nigga, I ain’t trying to have y'all side eyeing my ass."
Erica: Exactly. Because I still like come to cookouts. But I feel like I hit a point in my marriage where I was like, "I cannot be here anymore. I have to leave. This is untenable. There's no way in the world that this is going to work out with my sanity."
Kenrya: That moment is tantalizing.
Erica: I feel like part of that was I got there also with my purpose. I am currently working in a very corporate America office situation. And then it was on my spirit to be like, "Bitch, gospel of good sex. Sell the gospel of good sex." For me like it is in my spirit to help women become more in touch with who they are sexually and be more comfortable, and have comfortable conversations around sex and sexuality.
Kenrya: Look at what you just did. We going to write that down. It'll be in the transcript.
Erica: We going to have to pull it out from the transcript. But it's amazing because now that I am here and I got it, I'm like, "Oh, shit." And then I tell people and they're like, "Bitch, this been who you've been all along." It's just so great and it's liberating, but at the same time really fucking scary.
Kenrya: Why is it scary?
Erica: Because it's like, I went to school and this is what I did, and you build your entire life based on one thing or what you think you're going to do. And then you have this internal draw, this purpose that's like, "Yo bitch, no. This is what you're going to do, and you just got to do it." I have no idea how this is going to work out, like no idea what it's going to look like, what it's going to be, but I know I got to do this and so I'm just kind of like, "Okay, God. You put this on my spirit, you're going to make this shit happen.”
Kenrya: You know I know what that feels like.
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah.
Erica: Tell me where are you?
Kenrya: I don't even know. I'm just in a place where I realize that certain aspects of my career don't work for me. And so I blew them shits up. I mean, even just looking at personal life, like you started out with talking about when you realized you had to get a divorce. For me, getting a divorce was not a sad situation for me. Once I realized that I was done, I was done, all the sadness and all that shit had already happened. The hard part was that I had invested so much time and energy into the way that I thought my life was supposed to go, and having to really sit down and take stock of that and realize that that shit was done, and I was starting over when I had this plan where I thought my life was going to go. Right?
Kenrya: So it was like, "Oh, okay. I'll finish undergrad, I'll work for two years, I'll go to grad school for two years, I'll meet someone who I love. I'll marry them in a couple of years. We'll be married for two years, and then we'll have a kid after that." That was my plan. Always my plan. And I pretty much did exactly, I did exactly that. And when I had to really look at the fact that I had a plan, and I worked the plan and it was still shitty, it really put me in a tailspin because it was like, "Well then what the fuck am I supposed to be doing?" It really took me sitting and honestly talking to God a lot, and realizing that it was okay that it didn't work out the way that I thought it was supposed to be. Because it was just preparing me for something that was better and that was really and truly for me. But the idea of starting from what felt like square one was frightening to me.
Erica: Yeah. It's interesting, this is a little off topic, but I was talking to my aunt, during I don't know if it was right after I got diagnosed with breast cancer, but we were talking and all of that and she's just like, "This is so unfair. You did everything right. You did everything right. This is so unfair." And I'm just like... I mean, yes, it's fucked up. This has not been an easy road, but at the same time, like-
Kenrya: What are you going to do?
Erica: I can't do shit about it. I can't do shit about it and so as opposed to sitting around, "Woe is me. Why is this?" that kind of thing. Like be in your feelings. I have a friend who says, "Yes, you can be any feelings just don't start getting mail there. Don't move in. Don't start getting mail there."
Kenrya: That's real shit.
Erica: And so I was like, "Okay. Yes, this is definitely not what I thought or where I thought I'd be, but we're here. So now what we going to do about it?" Back to the book, Eddy had this plan, and although her plan kept like getting fucked up and going a million different places... I remember I read the Alchemist. Everybody read “The Alchemist.” The one thing that stood out for me is that the universe conspires for-
Kenrya: For your favor.
Erica: ... for your favor. If you're doing what you're supposed to do, even a fucking mistake is going to work in your favor. I feel like this story is just much more of that. You fail up. Don't I say white men fail up, they do. But I feel like when you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, if you're doing what God has for you, or what your spirits tell you you're supposed to be doing, like even the fuck-ups are going to work in your favor. Eddy ended up getting sexually assaulted, beat up on the side of the road, but for somehow whatever reason, it all led to this situation with Rhine Fontaine. Can you think of a situation where you were like, "This is what is supposed to happen, bam, bam, bam, and then..." I'm the worst with asking questions, but you get what I'm saying. Have you had a situation where, what might have been a fuck-up favored you?
Kenrya: Marriage, fuck. I mean, it should not have happened, but it was obviously supposed to happen. I got my little love out of it, and it was all fucked up. And I am so much better.
Erica: Yeah, you got your lessons from it.
Kenrya: Yeah. And not to say that I think you have to go through trauma in order to be better, because I think this idea that you have to suffer in order to be the best version of yourself is fucked up bullshit.
Erica: No, I'm good. I'll let you all suffer. Send me the Cliffs Notes.
Kenrya: Yeah. I remember at one point when I had gotten pretty far into my sobriety from being codependent and our therapist was like, "So, if you had to do all of this again, would you?" And I was like, "Fuck no." I was like, "If I can get to here and just go to therapy and get healthy, and not have been with abusive men and been with cheating-ass men and all the other things that happened that ended up being traumatic around intimate relationships, I wouldn't do that shit again." There's no part of me that feels that that was what I needed to go through to get here. It just is what my path was. But I don't harbor some delusion that it made me.
Erica: Yeah, yeah. I have gotten a lot more comfortable taking Ls now in life, now that I recognize that sometimes this L, it might not be what you think. This ain't for you right now. I'm a firm believer that, what is for you, is for you and it's going to make its way to you.
Kenrya: That's right.
Erica: And not to say that I sit around just waiting for shit to happen, but at the same time, I firmly recognize that, you know what, sometimes I think this is for me, but it ain't quite.
Kenrya: It's true. I mean, I think that I have that same attitude, and I think it's made me a relentless optimist, which may sometimes seem at odds with other parts of me, but it is true. I am eternally like just going to be fine. It's going to be fine. Which is probably annoying to some people, but-
Erica: Yeah. I mean, I feel like when you've been through some bullshit... I hate... Okay. Let me say it and then I'll go back. I feel like when you've been through some bullshit, you're able to be like, "You know what? It's going to be okay." Now, as I say, I hate hearing that sometimes because I feel like there's these, I think we just touched on this but I think there's these people... I can't think of the word. People romanticize the struggle.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: It's like, "No, I don't want to..." It's kind of like when people will be like, "Our kids are punks. We make it too easy on our kids."
Kenrya: Isn't that the goal?
Erica: Aren't we supposed too?
Kenrya: Don't we want them to have it better than we did?
Erica: Even raising my child I think about how I'm like, "When I was his age I could do X, Y, Z." And it's like, "But no, bitch. Just because you could you shouldn't have been doing it."
Kenrya: Exactly. We have those conversations all the time, like having had kind of rough upbringing it's like, "Okay, just because I was staying in the house by myself when I was five don't mean that that's what my child should be doing." I think sometimes we talk about this balance between, giving them tools right to be able to do shit and not making them lazy. So you want to like, right. You want them to know how to do things but you want it to be age appropriate and not overload them in the same ways that we were overloaded. We want to be able to make their lives better than ours were. It's a tough balancing act.
Erica: It totally is. So back to the eternal optimism, I definitely feel like I am that type of person too. I'd just be winging it on some shit. Winging it, and I just feel like if this is for me, then it's going to work. And if it falls apart, then guess what, it just wasn't for me, and the right thing will come along.
Kenrya: Yeah, I agree. That's essentially what Eddy is doing as she makes her way across the country. So she's like, "I'm going to trust this person." That was another thing that came up for me was about trust, and how to know who you can trust and who you can't. She just kind of follows her intuition and it only gets her in trouble once, and it was with a fucking liar and we've all been there.
Erica: And she felt she kind of-
Kenrya: She still knew something wasn't quite right, and she ignored it.
Kenrya: And every time I've ignored my gut I ended up in some trouble.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: So that's, not that it's her fault obviously, but it's just one of the things that I've been working to do is to trust my intuition more.
Erica: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think that we've been taught for so long to ignore our gut, that we do and then... I mean, if you think about like, I think about seedy guys that I've like, or seedy situations. I felt-
Kenrya: You knew something.
Erica: I knew and I couldn't put my finger on it. And so now I am so much more willing to just-
Kenrya: Bye, nigga.
Erica: Like with no rhyme or reason. I had somebody reach out to me this morning on some like, "Hey, I know you should have had your surgery by now. How are you healing?" And he was like, "I've been reaching out to you." And I was like, "Don't talk to me no more." It was literally like, "I'm doing well. Thanks for checking. Don't call me no more."
Erica: There's like a bunch of nuance into why I feel this way. Yes, I could explain it-
Kenrya: But why? You don't owe him anything.
Erica: ... but I don't owe you shit. I don't owe you shit. We had our time, it was great while it lasted. And so now it's not our time anymore." And so, I am learning to lean into that gut a whole lot more. It also takes an amazing amount of faith in God for me. Right before my divorce, I started going to church hard. I really, really renewed my-
Kenrya: We were there constantly. Are we now?
Erica: Yeah, been lately but not... But I'm still there, like still there spiritually. I feel like it was just preparation for what was going to be happening. I mean I didn't even realize it but it was just like, you know what? You've got to get to a point where you ain't going to know what the fuck to do. And it's crazy because like people talk about how you're just like... I've gotten to points, shit, just in this breast cancer journey or like I don't even know what the fuck I'm praying for. I'm literally just like, "My God." That's the only thing that I can say because I don't even know what the fuck I'm praying for. Girl, I'm about to be in this bitch crying, because it's just like, I don't even know. I just know that I need you right now. And as you continue to like, as I move forward in life I'm finding that sometimes I don't even know what i need.
Kenrya: Your will be done is all you got.
Erica: Your will be done. Makes this shit happen.
Kenrya: That was my prayer this morning.
Erica: Yeah, like make some shit happen. You just do whatever you need to do and I am going to be receiving. Actually I was talking to Pam, Pastor Pam who was one of our guests last season.
Kenrya: In the first season, yeah.
Erica: It was the same conversation where I told her I had breast cancer. I was telling her that right now I'm in a season of receiving. I'm just receiving whatever the Lord sends my way. Good, bad, indifferent, whatever, I'm just going to accept it and receive it, and move accordingly.
Kenrya: And you've been doing a great job of it.
Erica: Girl, honey. I've been [inaudible 00:38:26]. I'm thinking I'm tumbled around. Thank you, boo. But yeah, I have hit a point where I am just like, you know what, I have no idea what's happening here. I have a feeling about what I need to be doing, back again to Eddy, I got a feeling about what's supposed to happen, but I'm just going to move forward with pure intentions in my heart, and doing what I feel is best and I promise you, God, Lord, spirits, whoever is going to make away and make sure that things line up properly.
Kenrya: God provides. Jehovah Jireh.
Erica: Jehovah Jireh. So with that said, I mean, we're here to talk about what? Sex.
Erica: So Eddy runs into this gentleman, Rhine Fontaine, who interestingly enough helps her make her way through this, navigate her way through this shitty little world, and further get to what she's supposed to be doing.
Kenrya: Yes, it's true. And we can't tell too much because I don't want to spoil the book, but yeah, a lot of what happens, I mean we can get into their relationship a bit, is that they feel drawn to each other in ways that they can't understand or explain exactly.
Erica: As evidenced in the excerpt we read.
Kenrya: Right. And she's totally unexperienced. She had really given up on the idea of ever being with a man or having kids or anything. And so the idea of being with a man who she believes to be white is totally fucking frightening to her because it's illegal, and she doesn't know what that would do to her life or to his life, and he is wealthy and has all this influence. And he's not sure what he's supposed to do with that, because he doesn't want to give up the work that he's able to do because he is passing as white. It was interesting because I never really thought of passing as being something that can have a positive.
Erica: Yeah. You think of passing as like an easy way out.
Kenrya: Yeah. And in this case-
Erica: He's doing it as an act of resistance.
Kenrya: Exactly that. It's especially in the end, I have more empathy because he had literally been raised as an enslaved person and was just like, "Yo. That shit is for the fucking birds, and my people are going through it. Here is my best way that I can do something about it." It kind of turns some things on their head. I was just talking to my kid about passing, we were just having this conversation.
Erica: Y'all have about the most interesting conversations.
Kenrya: We do. I love it because she can hold so many things at the same time even being so young. I just love that she has the tools to be able to understand a lot of shit. So we were talking about Alexander Hamilton. She was like, "I mean, but he looked white." And I was like, "Well, he does." I was like, "But his mom was Black." I was like, "And he did something that's called passing, where he lived his life as a white person." It allowed him to have all of this power and to do all of these things, some of which are still biting us in the fucking ass like the Electoral College and the system of capitalism in the United States. [crosstalk 00:41:48]. But we talked about that too.
Kenrya: And I was like, "There are people who are able to do that and some of them choose to do it, and some of them choose not to." And then we talked about some people who we know, who could technically pass if they wanted to, but that they identify as Black and they are proud in that, and that is the way that they move through the world. And so it was really interesting to see through a very young person's eyes like what that meant, because she was just baffled. She was like, "I mean, but that nigga look white. I don't understand."
Erica: Well, I think that... Again, this is why Beverly Jenkins is OG Beverly Jenkins. Because she took such a-
Kenrya: What could be a contentious-
Erica: It's so layered, and was able to wrap this shit up in a love story, and a story about a bad bitch being a bad bitch, and surviving. So in the scene that we read, it is very clear that Eddy is a-
Erica: I don't even want to say a virgin like, I mean she looked at the dick, and she probably like-
Kenrya: Oh my God, right.
Erica: "I do declare."
Kenrya: She is not so bad.
Erica: I mean there's something about, Eddy.
Kenrya: It's funny because I kept saying Eddy too, but I'm like, "Well, that shit's spelled Eddy."
Erica: Yeah. Something about Eddy just gives me fiery, just Black, like you know how there's just like grannies that are just like just good stock. I mean, like that cast iron skillet is the best thing that I can think of, just like dependable, going to get some shit done. It's just, "Oh."
Kenrya: Her word is her bond. And also, there's some stuff that happens in the course of the book where you're like, "Yes, bitch."
Erica: Oh, yeah. [crosstalk 00:43:48]. I'm like, "Oh, she's a badass." And so, no, I don't think she would like, "I do declare," but it's very because she's such a, I don't want to say a strong Black woman, but because she's such a strong character-
Kenrya: She's self-possessed.
Erica: She is self-possessed. She knows who the fuck she is and what the fuck she's here for. It's this scene itself is very different from who she is.
Kenrya: It's an unraveling.
Erica: Yeah, because she's like vulnerable as fuck.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative). In all the ways.
Erica: But it's so sexy.
Kenrya: Yeah. It was interesting because I don't really tend to do historical anything, it's not really my bag. So this is the first historical romance I think I've ever read maybe. And it was interesting how like, he starts out by telling her to unbutton four buttons on her shirt and I'm like, "Why is this so sexy?" Because my titties be out all the time already.
Erica: I know. But to me it was really hot, just on the like, "So this is what I'm about to do to you."
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: And because she has no idea, in her head like having a fucking meltdown like, "Whoo." Because it's just like, he's like, "Unbutton your buttons," and she's like, "What the fuck? I'm sitting out here with my titties out."
Kenrya: He's like, "I'm going to put kisses there."
Erica: Yeah, you're completely vulnerable and exposed. And then he's like, "And then this is what I'm going to do to you." So then you're not only thinking about how it's going to feel for him to do this, but then like, "Oh my God, this is so scandalous. I'm out here with my titties." It was just such a great scene because it just, it showed how, yes, she is self-possessed and a woman of strength, but [inaudible 00:45:52].
Kenrya: I know.
Erica: But at the same time, she's still a girl that wants to-
Kenrya: "I'm just a girl standing in front of a boy."
Erica: Okay. Is that from “Love Is Blind”?
Kenrya: Waiting for you to love me or some shit. Asking you to love me, no, it's “Grey's Anatomy” bitch. Meredith says it to Derek.
Erica: I'm fucking rolling my eyes.
Kenrya: But then she says, "Choose me," and then I'm like, "Okay. No, let's not do that."
Erica: I'm thinking about, "I'm just a girl something... in the world."
Kenrya: Is that Gwen Stefani?
Erica: No doubt, yeah. A girl from the Midwest and from the ’90s, we were all into ska music. Anyway-
Kenrya: “Don't Speak” was my shit.
Erica: What was?
Kenrya: “Don't Speak.”
Erica: (Singing). Sorry.
Kenrya: It was before she went off the deep end with the appropriation.
Erica: So side note, her in that video with the Mexican ladies and like, how did that fly?
Kenrya: Did you listen? That and then all the hard you who love or shit. Like she just-
Erica: Oh my God. I forgot about that.
Kenrya: She's like a fucking appropriator [inaudible 00:47:05].
Erica: She brought them out like, "Hey, let's trot out the little Japanese character." Oh my gosh, how did we let this happen?
Kenrya: We were young. I don't know.
Erica: Oh my gosh.
Kenrya: Yeah, it was bad. I mean I stopped fucking with her music around that time, it didn't speak to me anymore. But back when it was her and No Doubt [crosstalk 00:47:25].
Erica: No Doubt was my shit. Actually I might have to listen to No Doubt this afternoon.
Kenrya: I know. It was good.
Erica: Oh my goodness. Okay. Back to all of this. Let's bring it back, bring it back. The scene was just great because for me this scene is like the one scene that's unlike who Eddy has been through the book. Through the book she is a badass but in this scene she's really like truly giving herself up to the, what's about to happen here.
Kenrya: Well in a relationship, because she gave herself up to what was going to happen when she was moving her way across the country, but when it came to dealing with men, it was very much like she's literally buttoned up.
Erica: Because every single, not every single, most of her interactions with Rhine Fontaine have been very like, "I have a wall. It's impenetrable." And finally, she let it down. She unbuttoned them four buttons and said, "Pladow! How you like me now?"
Kenrya: And it was cool too, because like him telling her what he was going to do, it was a seduction, but it was also informative because she legit knew nothing.
Erica: Had no idea. That makes me think, were you surprised by your first orgasm?
Kenrya: With a partner? Because I had been having orgasms for a long time.
Erica: Yeah, I had been masturbating for a while.
Kenrya: I'm trying to remember the first time I came with a partner.
Erica: Yeah, I don't see the thing is here.
Kenrya: I don't even remember.
Erica: I take that question back. Because by the time I was a fucking men, well fucking people, I was making myself come. I was masturbating from, I was tapping that button from early on.
Kenrya: A very young age. Most people do.
Erica: And so I knew that I can feel this way and this is how it's supposed to happen. So okay.
Kenrya: I am legit trying to remember the first time I had an orgasm with a partner and I can't. I mean I've always been able to come with people because I had been masturbating so long that I knew what I needed.
Erica: Yeah. With the exception of maybe like losing my virginity, I have made it. I've always been intentional about the fact that like, "We're having sex, I'm going to have an orgasm. So, are you going to be part of it, or it's going to happen?"
Kenrya: With or without you.
Erica: With or without you. Like the first time it's like, very performative, but I caught on very early on that like, "Oh, this is, if we're going to play, we need to make sure we have the ball."
Kenrya: Exactly. Yeah. I can't even remember, honestly.
Erica: Wow. All right. Well, that wraps up this week's episode-
Kenrya: On Kenrya’s Swiss cheese brain.
Erica: Trauma. All right, well, thank you for joining us this week. This is Erica and Kenrya, two hoes making it clap.
Kenrya: Bitch, we clapped at the same time this time!
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.