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In Episode 4 of The Turn On, we read an excerpt from "Awakening," the first book in Rebel Miller's Realm series, "forbidden" love and the times we've talked ourselves into trouble.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Welcome to this week's episode of the Turn On. We're reading Awakening by Rebel Miller. It was published in 2015. This story has a lot going on. We're going to read an excerpt from a larger book. The larger book is a part of a series. All of it has a lot going on. We'll get into that in a little bit. We don't want to give too much away in order to...
Kenrya: Leave you with surprise and wonder.
Erica: Leave you with something to wonder about and a reason to read the series. Nonetheless-
Kenrya: Yeah, it's a speculative fiction.
Erica: It's a speculative fiction piece, and we're about to get started. So sit back, relax, get your wine, your weed, your accoutrements, and enjoy.
Kenrya: Awakening by Rebel Miller.
Kenrya: "What do you want?"
Kenrya: "I want you."
I stared at him, mouth agape. He'd obviously lost his mind so I need to spell things out for him. "Gannon," I began cautiously, "senators don't have relationships with subordinates. They have affairs and liaisons, which are kept secret." Anger rose within me as I reminded him of the reality of our worlds. "I won't be used that way and it offends me that you would seriously suggest it."
"That's easy for you to say."
"Rules are made to be broken, Kira," he growled out.
I gave him a pitying look, "Gannon, please. The fact that you think I would use you..." Gannon turned on his heel, but abruptly stopped part way to face me once again.
"Is it only my status that's the problem?"
"What else would it be?"
"What about Tai?"
I glanced away. "Tai doesn't want me," I said with a shrug of feigned nonchalance. I love Tai, but he didn't love me so I would have to find a way to deal with that.
"I want you and I know you want me."
I threw my hands in the air, "We're going around in circles, Gannon. Okay, yes. I want you more than I want to admit. I'm so blasted desperate for you at times I can't even think straight and it confuses me, but we can't have anything more than this, whatever this is."
His eyes glittered in the dim light of the room as he approached me slowly, his head cocked. "You're desperate for me?"
I couldn't help but roll my eyes. "That's what you took away from what I said?"
He came to stand in front of me, his chest brushing against my breasts as his lips curved into a smirk. "Desperate I can work with." He suddenly appeared his usual self, powerful, arrogant, and in control, three characteristics that made me weak when it came to Gannon Consul. My heart lept, even as I started to turn my head away. He placed a head at the nape of my neck, stopping me. Watching me closely, he eased his hand into the back of my hair, kneading the small muscles of my scalp as he went.
I tried to muffle a sigh of pleasure and ended up groaning instead. I closed my eyes, pushing the back of my head against the steady pressure of his exploring fingers. "I shouldn't be allowing you to do this," I whispered as I opened my eyes.
A few moments later, Gannon moved his hands back to my neck, then around my shoulders, and massaged away the tension of the minsters meeting and the argument with Tai. His steady touch lulled me into a sense of security. I closed my eyes, startled when Gannon's hands curved around my back and he pulled me flush against him. He stared at me with a farrow and hungry expression. I tried to lean back, wanting to resist the way the warmth of his body drew me in, but he held me in a firm embrace.
"Tell me you want me."
I shook my head, biting down hard on my bottom lip. He narrowed his eyes as his heart pounded heavily just above my breasts. After a long moment considering me, he lowered his mouth. My body readied itself immediately for his kiss, softening and leaning into him. I sighed as I raised my mouth, and with a heavy dose of shame, flushed when he dipped his head to place a light kiss at my cheek instead. Halls, could I be an easier conquest?
He chuckled. "Are you still trying to deny what's between us?" He asked when he licked just below my jaw. "Tell me what you want."
I sighed. "I want you to kiss me." He nipped my neck with the edge of his teeth.
"No, you want more than that. Tell me," he demanded.
My body trembled at the steel in his voice. I started to pant, my lungs trying to stay ahead of my leaping pulse. Its pace only increased when he ran his tongue over my lips, giving me a taste of what I wanted but refused stubbornly to admit. All above, I wanted to be a stronger woman, but the man I had loved for years didn't want me. The one I couldn't stop thinking about was more than willing to have me. In that moment, I was tired of fighting him. Gannon understood the terms of our reality as well as I did, maybe even more. I would take what he was offering and enjoy it for what it was.
Leaning back, I held his gaze and took a deep breath. "I want you to fuck me." I barely got the words out before he captured my mouth with his. He moved both hands to the sides of my face, holding me in place. Instantly, I was lost to an overwhelming assault of his crisp and sharp taste. Gasping, I grabbed the front of his shirt to steady myself as he forced me to walk backward. At the same time, I ran my hands over the front of his chest to locate each of the buttons of his jacket. I blindly opened them and then groaned when I found a shirt underneath. "Too many clothes," I complained as his teeth grazed my lips.
He grunted and stopped our blind trek. We continued kissing, even as he removed the shirt swiftly, his moves as agitated as mine had been. I trailed trembling hands along his jaw and into the lushness of his hair. When he'd free himself from the clothing, he tackled the buttons running down the front of my dress. I had taken special care when getting dressed that morning, wanting to be sure that I looked as professional and capable as possible. My knee-length black dress was sleek and sophisticated, its only embellishment a woven belt that buckled to the side. I thought it looked smart and gave me a proficient air. Gannon couldn't have cared less.
I stood panting into the heat of his kisses while he tugged at the buttons, most surviving his onslaught while the rest made rapping sounds as they fell to the wood floors. Soon I took matters into my own hands and managed to remove my belt without it coming to any harm. Gannon leaned back, his eyes shown bright as they ran down the length of my body. Now that my dress had been wrangled open, I allowed it to fall from my shoulders and stood before him in my bra, panties, sheer black leggings, and high heel boots.
Nostrils flared, he swallowed hard before placing a hand against the floor to ceiling window behind me and pushing me harshly against it. I jolted upon impact, arching away from the coolness of the glass at my back. He surged forward, capturing my mouth once again.
"Did I hurt you?"
I shook my head, lowering my eyes to his chest and drinking in the sight of him with sputtering breaths. I'd known Gannon was fit, but I hadn't realized just how much his clothing hid from my imagination. I splayed my fingers, running them along the thick planes of muscle along his arms, shoulder, and chest. His breath hitched as I trailed a path across his nipples and down to a taut waist that looked to be carved out of stone. I circled his navel and ran my tongue along my bottom lip as I imagine licking him there.
Gannon's hold on my waist tightened sharply. I glanced up to find him staring at me with a hunger that sent a shiver up my spine. If he was intimidating before, watching the transformation that came over him when lust came to life between us was nothing short of heart-stopping. Face tense, he brought up his wrist to my eye level. "My health data is current. I can show you." I smiled when he showed me the information on his comm.
"Thank you," I said, suddenly shy. "I'm on birth control." I moved to show him my own record of health, but he stopped me by sliding a hand around my neck and running a thumb along my jaw.
"I trust you," he said. The flickering lights coming through the window reflected in his eyes, changing them from silver blue to sea blue and everything in between. The hand resting behind me lowered to unclasp my bra. I shifted to let it join my dress on the floor. Gannon parted his lips as he placed a hand under one of my breast, feeling its heavy weight and molding it as he thumbed the puckered nipple. I sighed at the intensity of the sensation that swept through me. My skin was on fire, kindling, burning for release.
No doubt Gannon could feel the scorching heat assailing my body. He closed his eyes briefly, and the look he gave me when he re-opened them was almost hostile. He kissed me then, taking my lips so harshly that they were sure to be bruised the next day. The thought of being marked by his passion sent unexpected thrill through me. Gannon forced his way past my lips and licked forcefully to gain entry. Still stroking my breast, he raised his other hand to my hair, his fingers curling into it tightly. I cringed at the bite of pain, but my heart sped when he soothed my scalp with a knowing touch soon after. I lapped after his tongue on my own, trying to taste every part of him.
Suddenly he shifted and placed his hands behind my thighs, lifting me off the ground. As he licked deeper into my mouth, our tongues danced around each other. Meanwhile, I clawed at his back, trying to get closer, even though we were already skin to skin. Gannon turned and carried me the short distance to his dimly-lit bedroom. I reveled in the pressure of his weight on me as he lowered us to the bed.
Now cradling him between my hips, I became desperate to feel him inside me and writhed against his heavy arousal, but Gannon's hand was suddenly at my hip, holding me still. "Don't move," he said tightly, giving me a desperate look that flooded my brain with a new wave of heat. Responding to the desire evident in his gaze, I ran my hands over his chest and down his waist. A thrill of anticipation blazed through me as I reached for the thickness of his cock.
I frowned when Gannon grabbed my hands and pressed them beside my head. "Don't move these either." He threw me a curious look before he leaned over me, pressing me deep into the bed. Gannon kissed and licked every inch of skin down by neck and across my chest. He lapped at my breasts, making me gasp when he nipped at their puckered buds. I lifted my head, wanting to watch him as he owned my body, but I couldn't see him through his disheveled hair.
Without thinking, I smoothed it back. I had only a moment to relish the cool locks between my fingers before Gannon landed a swift slap on my thigh. The stinging pain that bloomed made me cry out. He considered me carefully, "You moved," he said by way of explanation. I stared at him, not sure what to make of the slap, his nonchalance, or the way my body ignited in response to both.
Holding his gaze, I slowly lifted my hand, lifting it beside my head once again. I realized that he wanted me available to him at his mercy and waiting for his direction. Somewhere inside me, I thought I should have felt affronted, but who was I fooling? I wasn't a virgin. I have friends who desired a bit of pain and aggression with their sex. I just had never believed myself to be like them. It seemed Gannon had awakened a need inside me that had lain dormant, seeking the right circumstance or person to give it reason to rise.
Gannon grinned wickedly as he pushed up and off of me to stand beside the bed, dragging my legs and panties with him as he went. When he reached my boots, he unzipped them and tugged everything off. I only had to lift my hips to help him. He seemed more than capable in this area. My eyes narrowed as he started to unbuckle his pants. A man of Gannon's stature and looks probably has more than one of these liaisons going on at any one time. The thought had popped into my mind many times before, and I found comfort in it as I deflected his advances, but now as I lay before him naked in his private apartment, waiting for him to fuck me as I requested, no, as I had begged him to, it stung. "Grow up, Metallurgist." I knew what this was. I wouldn't let my heart get involved, and surely Gannon wouldn't.
I didn't have time to follow the unsettling turn of my thoughts further after Gannon finally stood completely naked before me. My mouth went dry. I clenched my hands, fighting off the urge to reach for him. The rest of him was even more imposingly beautiful than I'd anticipated. His cock was long, thick, and so hard it curved up to tap against his taut belly. Roughly, he ran a hand along the length of it, stroking it from root to tip, where a pearly gleam glistened and beckoned.
I pressed my lips together, anxious to get started, to feel deep inside me the power that radiated off him. I glanced up to find his eyes roving over my breasts and waist to land between my thighs where I enjoyed the heat of his gaze. He climbed back onto the bed, running a hand up my inner thigh as he approached.
"Dai, t'au falahra," he muttered, almost reverently. I only needed to know the meaning of falahra to know that he was admiring me, calling me beautiful. I flushed at the sound of the foreign language on his tongue. It was one of the sexiest things I'd ever heard. Desperate, I opened my thighs wider, seeking to entice him, since I couldn't touch him and bend him to my will. My body rejoiced the moment he took my mouth, igniting the very core of me.
The ache between my legs deepened agonizingly, making me so wet I was certain he could smell my arousal. When he dragged his blunt fingers through the slick folds of my sex, I couldn't stand it anymore. I thrust both my hands into his hair, pulling him down to me. For a few, exhilarating seconds, I sucked greedily at his lips, his tongue, and the skin around his mouth, trying to taste as much as I could.
Though he had promised it, I still cried out in surprise when he slapped me again, this time much harder and on the other thigh. I squeezed my eyes shut and panted through the pain and groaned as it faded into a dull heat. Gannon ran a palm over the tingling spot on my thigh.
"You okay?" I opened my eyes to find him watching me. From his careful expression, I knew he was wondering whether I was still with him, whether I could handle it. I licked my lips.
"You seem so much stronger than that."
Gannon's nostrils flared as deep satisfaction filled his face. He kissed me with a new sense of urgency and repositioned himself and ran his arms up mine and grabbed my wrist. Finally, I felt his cock nudge at my sex. With a quick shift in position, he thrust into me so hard I bounced up the bed. I cried out, clenching my fists as I tightened around every inch he buried inside me.
"Fuck," he growled out as I became more frantic in response to his thrust. He ran a hand along the side of my neck, his fingers stroking firmly against my pulse. My heart stuttered and I gasped. A second later, I calmed down enough for him to regain control of our pace.
"Gannon," I begged.
"I know, lahra," he said. I flushed when he used the endearing abbreviation of falahra. He thrust again, my body clenched around his cock so tightly I felt tears well into my eyes. Gannon's deep groan vibrated through the bed.
All of a sudden, an unwanted thought entered my mind. What if I couldn't reach orgasm? I would be mortified and inconsolable. I'd been close before during sex, never as close as this, but it was a possibility all the same. I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to drive away the idea.
"Look at me," Gannon said, his chest laboring. I dragged my lids open. "I want your eyes on me when you cum." He stared into my eyes as he forced himself deeper still on his next thrust. I nodded reflexively, wondering how to manage that feat. If he got me to orgasm, I would probably lose all control of my body's coordination. I was nearly incoherent with arousal as it was.
As soon as the thought entered my mind, I felt a flutter deep within me. I grasped at it desperately, knowing that I was almost there. Gannon must have sensed how near I was to the edge, his pace increased and strengthened. He was a piston, fucking in and out of my body so hard I thought I would combust for the sheer ferocity of his thrust.
Suddenly, I felt him stiffen and lengthen almost painfully inside me. "Kira," he whispered hoarsely. His movements became less coordinated above me, so I took advantage of his lack of control to slip my hand into his hair. I grabbed a fist full of it pulling his mouth back to mine. He groaned just as I felt my body tighten and splinter into the most achingly deep orgasm I had ever had.
I cried out his name as he pounded into me again and again. His body shook as he forced himself ever deeper inside me, the power of his orgasm visible in every vein standing in relief along his neck and shoulders. He collapsed on top of me. I threw my arms around him, holding him close as the wake of our orgasms rippled through our bodies.
Eventually, after an exquisitely long time, our breathing and pulses slowed. Gannon eased up and rested a cheek on one of his fists as he stared down at me. Using his other hand, he traced undefined shapes onto my shoulder. I smiled at him. Gods, he was so beautiful, a stunning sculpture come to life. His meandering gaze met my own, pinning me into the bed. The way he looked at me both confused and electrified me. This is just a temporary diversion. I repeated the phrase over and over in my head, holding onto it.
I fidgeted a bit under his weight, and he shifted his hips, dragging his cock out of me as he moved to rest at my side. He was still hard, which was only mildly surprising me. He was the most virile man I had ever had sex with. "You certainly know how to get your way, don't you?" I murmured, running a finger along the side of his face and up across his hairline.
He smiled them planted a loud kiss on my mouth. "Female citizens everywhere must have stories to tell, I added." His smile slipped a bit. "I guess when you can give orgasms like that, I shouldn't be surprised," I said, watching his hair fall through my fingers. "Thank you." I looked into his eyes to find his gaze had shuddered. I stayed my hand. "What?"
"Are you thanking me for fucking you?"
"That's not what I..."
"Then what did you mean?"
I hesitated. Telling him he'd finally given me the type of orgasm I'd been searching for didn't seem to be a remark he would approve of, and truthfully, it wasn't the reason I thanked him. I was trying to put distance between us to remind him and myself both that this was only temporary, for fun.
He pushed himself off me to sit at the edge of the bed. For a full minute, he sat in silence, looking away from me with his hands clenched. He seemed to be caught in a deep struggle with himself. I laid behind him, feeling the need to do something, but afraid to say anything. The tension in the room elevated with our every breath. Finally, he turned to me on a heavy breath as though he had come to some difficult decision.
"I guess that will have to be enough," he said before pressing his body on top of me and easing into me again.
Erica: Welcome back. That was Awakening by Rebel Miller this was a hot and steamy one. So the first thing that stood out to me was this... Well, you know what? Before we get into this scene, Kenrya, will you set the scene and just kind of give us a little bit of background on the story itself?
Kenrya: Sure. So as you mentioned at the top of the show, this book is part of a series, and it's the Realm series, and it's speculative fiction, so it's like fiction of a future world. The people in this world look all kinds of ways. So Kira is a Black woman. She's on the cover. It's clear when they describe her, she's Black. Her boss is blue and has blond hair. People look all kinds of ways, so race isn't necessarily a thing. They just describe how they look.
Kenrya: In the Realm, there's lots of different worlds, and that's why there's lots of different types of people, because they all come from different worlds and they mix. Kira is part of a caste that is thought of as being lower on the hierarchy within this world.
Erica: So within the Realm, there are castes.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: So Kira is in a lower caste, and Gannon, whose last name is Consul, because that's the level that he sits at. It's like his family job. It's like back when people used to be-
Erica: So it's like a ruling class or something?
Kenrya: Kira's last name is Metallurgist, which you hear her refer to herself as at one point when she's telling herself to calm down. So that's her family work or whatever. It's like back in the day when if you were a blacksmith, that was your-
Erica: The Indian's caste system.
Kenrya: No, like in America where back in the day if you were a Blacksmith, that was your last name-
Kenrya: ... because that's what the fuck you did. Exactly. So she has this one person, Tai, who is a family friend who she is in love with. We hear her talking about that. He does actually love her, but he is reluctant to develop anything with her because of the family ties. Then you have Gannon, who she met at work, who clearly wants to have some type of relationship with her. You got to read the book to find out what kind of relationship. So she is struggling even in this scene, even as she is in the act of having sex with the way that she feels about both of these men.
Erica: So what stood out to me first was that this was a forbidden love or a forbidden tryst.
Kenrya: Yeah, in her mind, because they are not of the same caste.
Erica: Yeah. Yeah, and throughout the entire situation, even if she's enjoying it, she's talking herself out of it. She just can't get out of her head to just enjoy what the hell's going on.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Have you ever had a situation like that?
Kenrya: I think those are two different questions. All right. One of them is have I ever been in a situation that felt forbidden? No. I don't think I have. I have been in situations where I had to ask somebody permission about whether or not I could move forward. I'm a grownup, so I did.
Kenrya: Have I been in situations that I thought was bad for me? Is that the other part?
Erica: Well, not even that was bad for you, but just your... Well yeah, that you had to talk yourself out of, that you wanted to talk yourself out of, or you had to talk yourself through, not even out of, but just through the situation.
Kenrya: Sure, but it was in my 20s, so the talking didn't stick and I ended up going forward with some fuck shit.
Erica: Well, I was going... Before I even answered a question, I was going to put all your business out and say even like this relationship now that you're in, like when you're coming out of a bad or a toxic or dysfunctional relationship and you go onto something new, don't you find yourself even now with your current partner... I roll my eyes because she calls him her partner. That's some total Realm shit, like, "This is my partner. We sync bands."
Erica: But anyway.
Kenrya: No, it is some I don't really fuck with the patriarchy or gender roles or norms, and I don't like the idea of... And I'm grown, so saying I have a boyfriend is dumb.
Erica: Don't yuck my yum, bitch.
Kenrya: To me, sorry.
Erica: No, your little man friend.
Kenrya: As somebody's auntie would say.
Erica: Yeah, your little man friend. But like I think that good, bad, or indifferent, you talk yourself through, "Okay, calm down, self."
Kenrya: Right, "This is not a red flag actually. This is,"-
Erica: Or this is a red flag.
Kenrya: Or it is a red flag and-
Erica: Or this is something, put a note in it. We need to talk about this later to figure out what color flag this is.
Kenrya: Yes. A lot of it I think is me trying to make sure that I'm not falling into old habits and making sure that I am turning a clear eye to my current situation and not letting it be colored by past things, right? It's like when they're going to fuck up, let them fuck up on his own merits, not on somebody else's, right?
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: So what works for me is not just talking to myself, which I do talk myself through it, but I also talk to you about it. I talk to my therapist about it, and probably just as importantly is I talk to him about it. So if there's something that makes me feel like, "Huh, okay."
Kenrya: Then I have a conversation with him about it and I ask questions. I don't assume, and I don't keep the conversation internal where shit can lead you to chasing your tail. You know? I ask questions and I try to get it out. So yes, I guess so. What about you?
Erica: I think that... Yeah. I talk to myself all the time, and I find myself quite interesting.
Erica: In the past, I found myself talking myself into or out of a situation, just like, "This ain't right. Don't do it. Don't do it," but post-divorce, particularly early on when I was first just getting my feet wet, well, just getting my pussy wet, well, it stayed wet, but y'all know what I'm talking about.
Kenrya: Whomp, whomp.
Erica: You find yourself in a first... I remember the first situation that I was kind of dealing with. It was a lot of, "Okay, what are you doing? Do you like this? Where are we going with this? How about we not trip about where we're going? How about we just enjoy the fact that he likes to do..."
Erica: So yeah, I found myself talking to myself. But in an act while we're doing the do, yeah, I talk to myself all the time.
Kenrya: Do you?
Erica: Well, no, let me not say that. I hit a point where I talk to myself, and then there's a point where I just shut that off, because it's just like, "Okay, girl, let's..." I think so much of sex and sexual experience is just about being in the moment.
Kenrya: Yeah, being present.
Erica: And enjoying it and being present and just, "How does this hand feel on this titty right now?" As opposed to being like, "The hand is coming to the titty. The hand is coming to the titty. It's coming!."
Kenrya: "Ah, it's here!" Yeah.
Erica: So yeah. Up and to a certain point, I'm talking to myself like, "Okay, girl," because we were talking about in the other episode about how you get to a point where you're having foreplay, doing whatever, it's fun. It's like, "Okay."
Kenrya: "Let's go. Let's go."
Erica: "Let's do it. Stick it in." So I think once I get to the, "Okay, this is fun. Let's,"-
Kenrya: You can shut it off, yeah.
Erica: Yeah, I shut it off and I'm like, "Bow chicka wow wow."
Kenrya: Are you now, just like that?
Erica: Well, it's more of a... Less of a slow and sultry, more of an uptempo kind of situation.
Kenrya: Yeah, little a ditty. So in that vein, I don't have conversations with myself about, "What is this? Where are we going?" Not the greater relationship kind of things. By the time I'm having sex, I'm not thinking about that.
Kenrya: But what trips me up was something that was happening with her. So earlier in the book at some point, she's having sex and she can't cum. So when she was thinking about it with him, that was really a call back to it, because she really has trouble getting there. So she was starting to worry about it in her head, which we know can keep you from actually coming. That is something that I have done to myself before where-
Erica: So fixated on, "Am I going to cum?" That you don't?
Kenrya: Yeah, because I have to focus in on it, right? For it to happen, but it has to really be focused in on, "Okay, this feels like this. Ooh, that feels like that." It can't be, "Ah, fuck, I've been up here doing this little move for 10 minutes. This is usually what makes me cum. This is my guaranteed, and I haven't cum yet. Fuck. Is it going to be another two minutes? Is he going to stay hard in this position? Because this is definitely more for me than it is for him. Do I need to do a little bit of fluffing?" You know what I mean?
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: Then all of that is going through my head, and later, he... It's like my current partner can see it. He'll be like, "Stop. Focus. Focus. Focus."
Erica: Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. oh my gosh.
Kenrya: Because I will literally be psyching myself out.
Erica: Analyzing that whole situation.
Kenrya: Yes, because I'm worried I'm not going to... What's crazy is I'm not actually that concerned with coming. I very much am the... Yeah, I know. She's looking at me crazy.
Erica: Oh my gosh.
Kenrya: Well no, because I know... Here's the thing. I know I'm always going to cum at some point in some way, right? That's going to happen. But I am okay, if it doesn't happen in the morning session, it'll happen in the evening session. I got a pretty good batting average. But every now and then if it just feels really elusive, I'll get kind of stuck on the treadmill of it all. Yeah.
Erica: Oh yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah, but in general, I am very much of the journey is important to me kind of girl.
Erica: Oh totally.
Kenrya: Yeah, so if I'm having a fucking fantastic journey but I don't fall off the cliff, I'm okay with that, because I'm going to fall off the cliff next time.
Erica: No. No, if I'm having a journey-
Kenrya: No? You need to go off the cliff every time.
Erica: ... and I don't fall off the cliff, once you fall off the cliff, I'm going to push myself off the cliff. I've had multiple times where I've been like, "Okay. I got to finish myself off."
Kenrya: Oh yeah.
Erica: And I did.
Kenrya: I've done that before.
Erica: Oh, I do.
Kenrya: But it's been a while.
Erica: Yeah. Now I'm like, "Look, we..." Well yeah. I try to... Because sex is for us, not just for you or not just for me.
Kenrya: That's right.
Erica: So we both got to finish. Sometimes it might have been sex... A lot of times, you don't... I do cum vaginally most of the time, because I know what to do and how to move you in order to make me cum vaginally, but a lot of times I've cum a couple times off of head before we even get to the in and out part of the situation. So I'm okay with that, if you've made me cum off of head. Then you can get yours. But I refuse to be in a situation where you get yours and I didn't get mine.
Kenrya: See, if I were in a... I'm not saying this is the situation you're in. But if I were in an, "I took this nigga home and we," like a one-off situation, then yes. You're not getting up.
Erica: You were here for a reason.
Erica: Oh, you thought I brought you here for sandwiches? No. No. Uh-uh.
Kenrya: No. No.
Erica: You came home for tacos.
Kenrya: Exactly. But if I'm in a situation where I'm getting it this afternoon, I'm going to get it tonight, I'm going to get it in the morning, I have been known to even forego the penetrative just because, you know what? As I've talked before about I like the control of making a man cum. So we will do the foreplay, and then I will refuse to stop the foreplay and finish the situation. They get to cum. They are also very upset a little bit, because I didn't, and they're a caring partner, but he's extra determined later on.
Erica: Make it happen.
Kenrya: I'm playing the long game.
Erica: You're playing a long game. Okay, okay, okay. I like it.
Kenrya: Yeah, and I like... Because then there's this added build up and anticipation for me for the rest of the day, because I know what's going to happen later on in the day.
Erica: You walk around like, "dink dink dink dink dink dink"
Erica: "He going to put it on me. dink dink dink."
Kenrya: Because he's just a little bit mad because I ignored him and kept going. Yeah. It works really well for me. But then there's also the fact that when I do cum, it's usually several times. So it's not... I ain't got no shortage of orgasms, okay? I am blessed.
Erica: Must be nice. Must be... No, I too. So-
Kenrya: Wait, but that to say, that's me now, and that's me probably for the last, I don't know, the last few years, but me when I was super young, early on in my sexual career, and didn't necessarily always know, like you were saying that you know what angle to put this part in what position, what angle, what's going to help you to get there, I think Kira in this story is very young. So she hasn't gotten... She don't know how her pussy work. She hasn't gotten to the point where she knows what works well for her and how to make that happen. So that is why she is in this situation where she's not cumming. It's because she doesn't really know how to yet.
Erica: Which is why I'd like to take a commercial break and discuss the importance of sex toys.
Kenrya: We were just talking to one of our friends about this.
Erica: I think it's so important for women to...
Kenrya: You got to spend time with yourself.
Erica: Yeah, you got to spend time with yourself. I don't say you have to have toys, but toys are really helpful, because you learn more about yourself and how to do and what to do in order to bring yourself to an orgasm. I think also, I probably, especially as a young woman, probably would have been less likely to jump into fucking some rando-
Kenrya: If you knew that you could get it on your own.
Erica: ... if I knew I could do it myself and how to make it happen. When I orgasmed with guys when I was a little young whipper-snapper, a young tenderoni, well, I wasn't a tenderoni, because I wasn't making myself come. You reach tenderoni status when you can cum at will.
Kenrya: Oh really?
Erica: Yeah. That's in the handbook.
Kenrya: Got you.
Erica: But when I was younger, I just wasn't sure. It would happen and be like, "Oh shit, hey."
Kenrya: Right, you just happened to hit the-
Erica: "Glad you came," you know?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: "Glad you showed up." But it wasn't like I knew how to make it happen. Then...
Kenrya: Now you get to the point, I know for me, I don't even really finish a song.
Erica: Right? I know how the pre-check-
Kenrya: The button to hit.
Erica: ... in the pre-check lane to Orgasmville.
Erica: I know how to get there immediately. I usually don't hack it unless I'm sleepy and just trying to get to bed, but I think it's so important for us to normalize sex toys and get little vibrator-
Kenrya: And self-pleasure.
Erica: ... or a rabbit or something so that you know, "Maybe I know I need to focus on my clit. Maybe I need to go deeper for the G-spot. This is where the G-spot is. This is the position that the dick has to hit in order to hit my G-spot. All of that. I think it's so important.
Kenrya: Absolutely. You know when you're... What was it? It was fourth grade in my school where they split us up, the boys, the assigned gender, and the folks who are assigned girls, and we're in separate rooms.
Erica: And all we learned about was fucking tampons and pads.
Kenrya: Yes. Yes.
Erica: Teach them about a clit.
Kenrya: Right. Then so fifth grade, we had sex ed and we were all together. We had a question box where you could anonymously ask questions or whatever, but we didn't know what to ask. I remember at one point, or maybe it was in one of those little books that they gave you that were really just shilling for feminine hygiene products, like to try to steer you toward a brand. But I remember they would always tell you, "Take a mirror and look so that you can know where everything is and where it's coming out of."
Erica: Ain't know point in knowing where it is if you don't know what it do.
Kenrya: If you don't know how to... Exactly. So my point is at that point, we should also be talking about pleasure, not just thinking about our vaginas as a source of, "Oh, you're going to have cramps and there's going to be blood."
Erica: Because you would have thought a clit just did not exist.
Kenrya: No, that wasn't part of that, no.
Erica: Do they even show clits in that?
Kenrya: No. They show you the urethra. They show you the vaginal opening, and they show you the anus. That's it, at least back when we learned that shit.
Erica: Yeah, and I'm like-
Kenrya: They just show you the openings, where things go in and come out.
Erica: ... "You missed the party."
Kenrya: Yeah, and the only focus on the fact that things come out of those spaces, right?
Kenrya: They talk about how you have your period. They talk about how babies come out, but they don't say shit about what it means to put things in them in a sex-positive way at all.
Kenrya: I feel like we have to normalize it from really young.
Erica: You'd be amazed the amount of women, grown-ass adult... Because my new thing is I buy young girls vibrators.
Erica: I have a friend whose daughter, shout out to you, I know you're listening.
Kenrya: I know who you're talking about. Hey, girl.
Erica: Who is about to leave for college. I'm like, "She's getting a vibrator from me," because I think it's important for young women to know themselves and know what's going on and feel things out. She was like, "Well, what about me?"
Kenrya: Her mama?
Erica: Yeah. I'm like, "You're a grown-ass woman with two kids. Not to shame you or woo-woo you,"-
Kenrya: I mean, I bought you a vibrator.
Erica: But it wasn't my first.
Kenrya: No. It was just because I thought you would like it. And did you break yours? Is that what happened?
Erica: I was literally going through divorce... What does our therapist call it? I was on a sex sabbatical, like no dating, no flirting, no-
Kenrya: I too was on that sabbatical.
Erica: ... fucking, nothing. I couldn't even flirt with anybody. It was bad. So all I had was my trusty, dusty vibrator. When I tell you that vibrator was dusty, because I went to go grab it, and that bitch was like, "Uh-uh, not today." So Kenrya was kind enough to gift me with a great vibrator.
Kenrya: I was.
Erica: But all that to say please get to know yourself. Get you a good vibrator. You can do a rabbit if you're just trying to do something small, get you a little bullet vibrator, put it to your clit, and I promise you you will see stars in the good way.
Kenrya: But even I think backing up on that as a mom of a girl, and as a mom of a boy too, I think it's really important that we create positive connections with our kids and their genitals. When my kid was born, and folks can take this how they want, but when I would change her diaper, I always had a smile on my face, even if she has shat up her back. Every-
Erica: FYI, godmama did not, but continue.
Kenrya: Even if I had to take off all her clothes because there was poop in her hair, and on my bed, these are all things that happen in real life, I always, even if it smelled awful, which is what happened when she finally started eating real food, I always had a smile on my face. I never wanted her, even from the very young age of one day old, to ever have a negative association with her personal parts. So it, to me, it started there. Then I think people are always surprised at how early kids start to touch themselves, but it starts very early.
Erica: Oh my gosh, and you're never prepared as a parent, but you got to... I remember the first time I found out about mine, and I freaked the fuck out internally.
Kenrya: Did you? Okay.
Erica: Internally. Inside, I was like running and said, "Ooh!"
Kenrya: Why do you think you freaked out?
Erica: Just because this is my baby, and it's like I want him to still be... You associate touching yourself and getting pleasure from your parts with adulthood. So it was one of those-
Kenrya: See, that's part of the shift that has to happen where we don't think of that as just being-
Erica: No, I completely agree, but instinctively as a mom, I was just like, "Oh my god. He's playing with himself. Next thing you know, I'm going to catch a little bitch in his room."
Kenrya: Oh god. Yeah, that's just what it was.
Erica: That's literally what it was. But externally, I was just like, "Hey, kid, take that to your room."
Erica: Because I don't want him to have these weird creepo, these weird associations with I can't pull out my... I don't need him pulling out his dick anywhere, but just you meet people, and they have some of the strangest things, hangups about their body. I don't want him-
Kenrya: Yeah, or a total disconnect from their body.
Erica: Yeah. You don't necessarily need to be the dude like butt naked, full frontal having a conversation about grilling this weekend with a guy in a locker room.
Kenrya: Right, right, his neighbors, right.
Erica: But at the same time, I don't want you being the kid that has to run and hide in the corner when it's time to change shirts in gym.
Kenrya: Change for gym.
Erica: Yeah. Internally, I was having a full meltdown just because I was like, "Ah!" But externally I was like, "Hey, bud, quick flicking it," because it was one of them... You know how they just-
Kenrya: Just touching it. That's-
Erica: Yeah, exactly.
Kenrya: Yeah. Then there's no outcome they're expecting. They're literally just touching it because its theirs and they realize it was there. "Oh, that feels like something."
Erica: Let's be honest, if I had a dick, I would totally... Not even a dick. Balls. I'd probably be late to work playing with them motherfuckers.
Kenrya: Oh my gosh.
Erica: They're just like... I don't know. But then I saw someone on Twitter. This goes completely uncredited. I cannot remember who said it, but someone was like, "If I want to play with balls, I'll just play with my elbows."
Kenrya: Wait. We're both touching our...
Kenrya: Oh shit.
Erica: So yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah. If I stretch it all the way out, it's-
Erica: Yeah, it gets a little doughy, yeah.
Kenrya: That's hilarious. So when I first realized that that was happening, I don't remember an internal... I was just like, "Oh okay, she's touching herself." So we had a conversation. I was like, "Oh, okay." I was like, "Well, that's yours." I was like, "You can touch it as much as you want." I was like, "But," because I think she was in the living room. I was like, "But, so you know how we talked about there are some parts of our body that are just for you and that are private and that nobody else should ever touch unless you give them permission?" I was like, "That really is just me and your doctor." I was like, "That's one of those parts. If you want to touch it, you got this amazing room." I was like, "You can go to your room. You can spend as much time in there as you want to with that." I was like, "It's fun. It's yours. Enjoy." So she went to her room. She was in there for a couple minutes. Then I was like, "Go wash your hands."
Erica: Right. Put some sanitizer on that.
Kenrya: Then she went on back about her business. I have definitely had to remind her over the years to go to her room. She's good about it now, but it works, and if she ever has any discomfort, anything around her vagina, because I was really positive in the way that I reacted to it, she ain't got no problem being like, "Mama, it hurt," or, "Mama," whatever. Then I'm like, "Okay, well maybe you need to give it a little... Have you been touching it?"
Erica: Give it a rest.
Kenrya: Give it a rest. I'm like, "Give it the night, and then in the morning, see how things are feeling." She's like, "Okay." Then she'd go to sleep.
Kenrya: I think it's because I've always been super intentional about making her feel comfortable with her body, all of its parts. So we need to normalize that, I think.
Erica: Yes, we do.
Erica: Something else that we need to normalize, well, I don't know how... Hopefully it's normalized, but this is some fancy, space age pimping going on in this story, particularly in this excerpt, but I like how they stopped to check status.
Kenrya: Yes, well-
Erica: No granted, we're not walking around with it on our iPhones, our iWatches.
Kenrya: Oh, I actually do have it on my phone.
Erica: Well, in your watch, you don't have to scan your watch.
Kenrya: Girl, I ain't got no fancy-
Erica: Exactly. You couldn't do that anyway, but all that to say, it's not like you can just run a stat, like run that information, but I thought it was really cool how this author wrote in something about that, because it's missing from a lot of-
Kenrya: Most of.
Erica: ... most of the stories.
Kenrya: Folks don't pull out condoms, folks don't talk about their status.
Erica: Even ask or something like that. So I think it was really great that she added that that was a part of this story.
Kenrya: Yeah. I just don't like that he was like, "I trust you."
Erica: But it happens.
Kenrya: It absolutely is realistic.
Erica: Yeah, let's not act like it don't happen, yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah, it's realistic as hell. It's just like based on what, my G? You can't-
Erica: So how do you ask? How do you do it?
Kenrya: Very directly, at this point. There was this time where I was getting flewed out to go see somebody who I'd been friends with for years. We had decided that we were going to have sex. I wanted the full compliment of services. So I had my tests. I hadn't had sex since the last time I got testing, and I do actually keep it on my phone, saved as a favorite. I texted it to him and was like, "I want to be able to do all the things. Here are my test results. I need you to get tested and send them to me, and then we can have fun." He said, "Bet, let me call and make an appointment."
Kenrya: Then once he was done, he sent it to me. My current relationship is basically how it usually goes. If I'm with somebody, I'd just be like, "Look," once I get to the point where I do want to be able to do all the things and I trust them and blah blah blah, I literally just say, "Look, I want us to be able to do all the things, but I can't do that unless I know that you're safe. That means that you have to get tested." So they do it. I need to see date stamps. I need all the things, and I am just as forthcoming with my own information. No one's ever asked me to take another test. They've always trusted that I was giving them-
Erica: Once we've done it, we're-
Kenrya: Well no, that I was giving them the most recent information. Oh yeah, no. No, I've never had them... But see, I get tested annually for everything anyway. I remember when I was living in New York, I was in my 20s, and I was going to the doctor. It was just my regular doctor's office. I would have them do blood tests for everything, including HIV. I remember one of the doctors was like, "Well, there are other ways to prevent HIV. You don't need to get tested every year." I was like, "Are you fucking stupid?"
Erica: Really you're supposed to get tested every six months.
Erica: If you're out there doing it like that.
Kenrya: Out there. I was in a committed relationship-
Erica: Not out there, but when you're doing it.
Kenrya: ... but to me, you can have all the... I know firsthand that you can have all the faith and trust in somebody who has committed to you and then find out that that aint' what's shaking. Then you don't know what you got, because you're not getting yourself tested all the time. That has been, since I started having sex, I have gotten tested at least annually for everything, because I just... Yeah. We can be in a committed whatever, and I can trust you, but who knows what the fuck you're doing with your dick when I'm not around? I'm not trying to fuck around and have something pop up that I can't get rid of or have long-term consequences like PID and infertility or any of these things because I decided that I want to completely take your word on the fact that nothing was going on.
Erica: All right.
Kenrya: What about you? How do you ask?
Erica: Yeah, I don't think I ask. I just like you, I just do. No, I don't. I guess I could access my test results through my phone, but I certainly don't keep it saved as a favorite.
Kenrya: It's just a screenshot of LabCorp.
Erica: Yeah, yeah. I guess I could. But yeah. I say, "Hey, I got tested recently," or I do testing every six months. I do annually with my doctor, and then usually-
Kenrya: Go to Planned Parenthood or something?
Erica: Yeah, usually Planned Parenthood. Well, not even Planned Parenthood. I go back to my doctor, because they're really good about just quick checks, or I hit up the Patient First.
Kenrya: Oh, I've never done that there. That's a good idea.
Erica: They do everything at Patient First urgent care.
Kenrya: That's so much faster than Planned Parenthood. Ooh, you're smart, bitch.
Erica: Yeah. So I say, "Hey, these are my recent test results. Let me see yours." Then we go from there. But it used to be difficult. It used to be not a sexy conversation, but now it's an even more... It's still not a sexy conversation, but when you're prepared, I'm like, "Oh, you're really about to get this pussy, because you know what you're doing. You take care of yourself."
Kenrya: Yeah, I that's a turn on. We grown. I don't feel like I should have to beat around a bush about whether or not you're healthy and I'm healthy and we can do this. I think part of it too is that I do usually frame it in the context of I want to be able to do all the things. That is exactly why it's important to me. Beyond the fact that of course we know that condoms don't protect from everything and whatnot, and even then, in some cases, there will still be times when we will use condoms, even though we have done the testing thing. It doesn't necessarily preclude from that, but it definitely makes me feel more at ease when it comes to oral sex and things like that.
Erica: Swapping juices.
Kenrya: Fluids. Exactly. I have to have that before I do it, because I'm not interested in taking nothing home.
Erica: Sitting in the doctor's office. Yeah.
Erica: Okay. So now down to the nitty-gritty of this, the actual sex. Honey, so I like a big guy. We know that, right?
Kenrya: Oh yeah.
Erica: It's very clear. I will entertain the smaller brethren.
Kenrya: Will you?
Erica: I have. I have.
Kenrya: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
Erica: I have.
Kenrya: I see a few in my head. I see a few in my head.
Erica: Yeah, but I like a big guy, primarily because I like to be manhandled. I like to be picked up and tossed around. When he picked her up, I was like, "Well, Murder, She Wrote, because you about to murder this pussy."
Kenrya: Yes. That was cool, and you know me, when she moved her hands after he told her not to and he slapped her thigh-
Erica: I was going to say, I have a note right here, knowing to give directions, so sexy.
Erica: Because it's one of those things, you have to feel it out. Not every woman is into pain or that element. So even bigger than the slapping her on the thigh, it was just like they were feeling it out, and he knew... Not even that he knew, but he was able to kind of test the waters and see how she responded.
Kenrya: Right, in a way that wasn't over the top or wouldn't freak her out.
Erica: And she's still young in this, so it's not like he slapped her on the thigh and threw a collar around her neck, but it was just enough restriction and rules to kind of surprise herself, but keep it going. Like woo.
Kenrya: Yeah, when she was surprised that it actually... Yeah, that it worked for her, that she liked it.
Erica: That's how I felt. I know you're a nipple gal, but that's how I felt the first time I had my nipples pinched hard. I was like-
Kenrya: "Oh, what?"
Erica: ... "Wait, whoa." It was like, "Wow, that happens? Ooh, that really does that?"
Kenrya: Yeah, for some people. Yeah.
Erica: Yeah. So I thought that was really cool, just how he was so good at kind of nudging her towards the direction.
Kenrya: Yeah. No, it was good, and she followed, which is not always easy to do, especially if that's not what you're used to doing.
Erica: If that's not your thing.
Kenrya: Yeah, and it pushed her over.
Erica: Yes, it did. So once she got over, they made it to the mountain top, they sitting, looking on the side of the rock at all the land that they've conquered, enjoying themselves.
Kenrya: Surveying their spoils.
Erica: Surveying what happened. Her ass start talking.
Kenrya: This bitch.
Erica: And fucked it up.
Kenrya: She said, "Thank you." But beyond that, she said, "Yeah, I'm sure there's folks all over the Realm that have experienced that."
Erica: Yeah, and I know that was her doing it... I think that was her talking out loud, talking herself down of, "This isn't what I think it is or what I want it to be."
Kenrya: Yes, "Calm down, bitch. It's fine. He doing this to everybody. You're not special. Don't treat him like he's special."
Erica: So have you had a situation where you've talked yourself out of seconds?
Kenrya: No. I'm greedy.
Erica: So you've never been and had a good time and then said something that completely killed the mood?
Kenrya: No. Not that I can think of.
Erica: Yeah. This bitch told me about how a fucking transformer blew up out her window last night and they kept fucking, so I don't think there's much that kills the mood.
Kenrya: Yeah. I mean I did get up, but then I got back down.
Erica: So has anyone said anything to you post sex that have talked about a-
Kenrya: Oh sorry, I'm seeing that whole scene last night. Ooh, that made me not want to do it again?
Erica: That was just like, "You know what? You was about to get some more head. Now your ass got to go home."
Kenrya: There was the guy who I talked about in another episode who complained about how wet it was to give me head.
Erica: He said that post sex, like you all laying there naked?
Kenrya: It was when we were switching positions from him giving me head.
Kenrya: He was like, "It's just so messy. We got to wipe up and all of this." I'm like-
Erica: You don't wipe up. You just keep going.
Kenrya: Hello? I was like, "So what, you don't want to do it?" He was like, "Nah, it's too messy." So I was like, "Bet, I'm not sucking your dick no more." I literally just said that. It was as we were transitioning.
Erica: Oh my god.
Kenrya: So he talked himself out of ever having head again from me, because I never did it again.
Erica: Yeah. Note to men. A lot of times you can get so much farther if you just shut up.
Kenrya: Shut the fuck up.
Erica: Just shut up. If you don't know what to say or if you're not sure if it's going to be corny-
Kenrya: Don't say nothing.
Erica: ... just don't say nothing, because she going to make up some shit that you're saying in your mind that's probably sexier than anything you could say.
Kenrya: She's giving you all kinds of grace.
Erica: Yeah, she probably said the most specific shit that you would have never thought of in a million years, but it hits her right in that button, and she's like a waterfall. So if you're unsure, just don't say shit.
Kenrya: Just don't say nothing.
Erica: Because it's easier to talk yourself out of some pussy than it is to talk yourself into some pussy.
Kenrya: Yeah. Has anyone ever done that to you or have you ever?
Erica: Oh, I'm queen of some weird shit to say after sex.
Kenrya: Ooh, like what?
Erica: Like you know me and, "Meep, moop, I am a robot dinosaur." Call back to episode one or whatever. Let me think. Yeah, I'm the nigga that could talk myself out of some dick. Well no, I couldn't. Men are-
Kenrya: Men are simple.
Erica: Men are simple.
Kenrya: "We love you though."
Erica: "We love you though." Bringing up old shit. I'm quick to be like, "Whew, you really murdered that pussy. Now who was that bitch you was in the store with?" "You mean my cousin?" No, I'd be like, "Who that dusty-ass ho you was in the store with?" He'd be like, "You mean my mama? You calling my mama a dusty ho?" "Ooh, my bad. Let me just go home." I've definitely probably done something equivalent to that. I can't think of specifics, but I know for a fact that I have killed a mood or two in my day.
Erica: With regard to someone saying something that would kill a mood or something being done? I can't... Oh shit, I haven't asked questions that-
Kenrya: You ain't got an answer to.
Erica: I haven't thought about answers for myself.
Kenrya: Well, hmm. Okay. I got one, kind of, while you think. I was having sex with this dude-
Erica: I can't think of this... Sorry. Keep going.
Kenrya: Bitch, multitask. It seemed to me, which is what I said out loud after, that he was trying to hurt me, but not in a good way. Like in a his shit was fucked up, and it's not like we had a conversation about boundaries or anything like that. But the position that he kept trying to put me in was like... It was the only position he wanted to have sex in. It was like if I scream, that was like getting him really... I said after, I was like, "You know, it really felt like you were trying to hurt me." He just kind of froze, which is how I knew I was fucking right. Then that dude ghosted me.
Kenrya: Yeah, like I think-
Erica: He's like, "I can't abuse her."
Kenrya: Yeah. Like I caught... You can be into BDSM and you can be a masochist and all of this stuff and have... You should be having conversations with the people that you're with and be honest about what you want and what gets you off, and if you have a consenting partner, that shit can work. But to me, it felt super dishonest.
Erica: He likes the unconsented part.
Erica: He likes the unconsented part. That's what gets him off.
Kenrya: That's what gets him off. Exactly. So I feel like it wasn't that I said anything wrong. I think that that was exactly what I should have said and was absolutely what I wanted to say, but I do believe that that's the reason that he disappeared, because I had called him on his shit.
Erica: Yeah, because let's be clear. I think if it's possible to say something and completely dead it, a lot of times, I'm not going to say all the time, but a lot of times you're like... If you're able to say something-
Kenrya: You got one foot in and one foot out anyway.
Erica: Yeah, if you're able to say something, if you're able to say one thing that can kill everything, it's like, "Y'all wasn't really right."
Kenrya: That wasn't shit anyway.
Erica: Because even if I say something out-of-pocket, if you're-
Kenrya: The right person is laughing at your dumb ass.
Erica: Yeah, like, "This dumb robot dinosaur-ass chick."
Erica: Yeah, but I can't think of any... Again, I've had a long and storied past. I'll let you all know if there was something that was said. I feel like there is, but I can't come to mind of anything where something was said to me that was like-
Erica: ... "Hey, bitch." I mean, yeah, because I get all those questions out of the way up front early on. I remember I was on a date with a guy, and I don't know why, but I got the feeling that he had someone.
Kenrya: Was just your spidey sense, your intuition was telling you, yeah.
Erica: My spidey senses. I was like, "Are you dating someone or do you have a girlfriend?" He was like, "No." I was like, "Well, is there someone that would be upset that,"-
Kenrya: "That you were here with me right now?"
Erica: ... "that you told me,"-
Kenrya: That's the way I ask that question, yeah.
Erica: ... "that you told me that you don't have someone?"
Erica: I said, "All right." Yeah, so thankfully I got that out of the way, because he definitely was going to get some pussy, but I got that out the way and got...
Kenrya: I ask that question, and I always say, "Is there somebody who would be upset that you're with me right now?" Because saying girlfriend or whatever the fuck, they lie. They're going to lie anyway, but I feel like that one, ooh, sometimes at least gets to the heart of the matter or they react in such a way, like in your situation, that you can tell.
Kenrya: Where they reveal all.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: So in the bigger book, what's the lead? The protagonist?
Kenrya: Protagonist? Yes.
Erica: The lead actress. The protagonist, Kira, is caught in a love triangle of sorts. She's torn between two.
Erica: Uh-uh, (singing)
Kenrya: What are you singing? What are you singing?
Erica: "I'm In Love With Another Man", Jasmine Sullivan.
Kenrya: I don't know that song.
Erica: It is... Oh, bitch, I be in my car singing hard.
Erica: (singing) I'm sorry, you all. I'm so sorry, I got to listen to that. Ooh, I love me some Jasmine Sullivan. Anyway, so she's on some "I'm in Love With Another Man" shit. That's some juicy shit that I'd like when I tell you I'm running from that kind of drama, but have you ever been in a caught between two?
Kenrya: No. I have been in a, "I am firmly over here, but I am what-iffing the fuck out of this other situation," situation.
Kenrya: Bitch, you know this. Hunker down. I have definitely, yes, where I was firmly in a committed relationship, but there was a...
Erica: Oh yeah, now I got it. I got it. Uh-huh.
Kenrya: A past situation where it ended not on bad terms.
Erica: It just ended.
Kenrya: It ended because of logistics and whatever. So there was always kind of in the back of my head a "what if that had actually worked out?" Kind of a situation. But it definitely wasn't an, "I'm torn between." It was just like, "Okay, if I'm ever free, then I'll try it. If I'm not, then I'm not, because I'm right over here." So no, I've never felt torn between two people, because I'm very much like... I guess it still kind of holds true, although now it's much more intentional, but my cycle was always when I was younger, dating, I would date a whole bunch of people and then very quickly narrow it down to somebody and then keep it moving. It was always way too quickly, as my history will show.
Kenrya: Then once I came off of my man sabbatical, I was very intentionally dating at least three people at a time, very openly and honestly, so that I would give each one the correct amount of consideration as I was trying to figure out if I wanted to spend extended time with any of those people. But it always would narrow down or, honestly, more often than not, I would just talking to all of them, because none of them were really a good match for me. But no, I don't think I ever have, have you?
Erica: No. I'm the type of person when I decide to rock with you, then-
Kenrya: You with them.
Erica: ... just everything else cuts off.
Erica: Yeah. I used to think that shit was romantic and, "Ooh, you're caught between two people." Now I'm like, "That shit just sounds like a fucking headache."
Kenrya: That sounds like... Ugh, yeah. It really does.
Erica: I don't understand it. I don't want to have to... It's hard enough for me to care about one person, let alone multiple people, which is what we'll get into when we discuss polyamory, because honey, I'm trying to be considerate. It takes a lot-
Kenrya: It does. That's why I think-
Erica: ... for me to be considerate of one other person's emotions.
Kenrya: Yeah. We're obviously not talking about that now, but that's why I think the people how think, "Oh, it's for people who don't want to commit," I'm like, "No, it's quite the opposite of that, it seems to me."
Erica: No, it takes a next level commitment to care about two people.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative), or more.
Erica: yeah. I feel like all our polyamorous listeners, you all have super evolved.
Kenrya: Right. Hats off, shit.
Erica: Yeah, because this wraps up this week's episode of the Turn On.
Erica: Once again, we did it.
Kenrya: We did.
Erica: We made it past the finish line.
Kenrya: It was fun.
Erica: We are on the top of the rock.
Kenrya: We went over the cliff.
Erica: Surveying all the damage that we've done.
Erica: All the goodness.
Erica: We're looking upon a sea of dildos and happy faces.
Kenrya: I like it.
Erica: So thank you for joining us again. These are your hosts, your lovely hosts Erica-
Kenrya: Erica and Kenrya.
Erica: We are two hoes making it clap.
Kenrya: Making it clap.
Erica: This week's episode was produced by us, Erica, Easy E, and Killer Ken, and edited by B'Lystic. The theme song is from Brazy. Please subscribe to this show on your favorite podcast app. Follow us on Twitter @theturnonpod and Instagram @theturnonpodcast and find links to books, transcripts, guest info, and other fun stuff at theturnonpodcast.com. Holla.
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In Episode 3.5 of The Turn On, we interview Carol Taylor, editor of "Brown Sugar 4: Secret Desires," and take a deep dive into the origin story of the groundbreaking "Brown Sugar" series.
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Kenrya: Come here, get off.
Kenrya: Today we're blessed to talk to Carol Taylor, the creator of the "Brown Sugar" series, which is where we first ran loose at. A former Random House book editor, Carol is a 25-year publishing veteran who has worked as an editor, coauthor, book doctor, and ghost writer with literary and commercial writers, noted academics, public figures and celebrities. The award-winning author has given us 10 books, including the 2010 novel, The "Ex Chronicles," and the bestselling "Brown Sugar" series. Carol heads up editorial strategy and conceptual development as the editorial director at McKinnon Literary Agency, teaches in the public certificate program at City College, and has taught creative writing at New York University. Carol, thanks for joining this.
Carol: Thanks so much for having me. This is a real pleasure and an honor.
Kenrya: Yay. We feel the same way.
Carol: Thank you.
Kenrya: Before we dive in, what are your preferred pronouns?
Carol: She, her, Carol, Brown Sugar. Always happy with Brown Sugar, which I do sometimes get.
Erica: I love it. We read your bio and it's dope. You do amazing things, but we would love it if you could sum up what you do in one sentence.
Carol: I work with words in every incarnation, from editing to writing to ghost writing. I help people put their thoughts and ideas on the page in a way that helps them and others.
Erica: Wow. That even sounded beautiful.
Kenrya: Right? We're talking in paragraphs out here.
Erica: Take us back to a little baby Carol. What did you want to be when you grow up, when you were growing up?
Carol: I was born in Jamaica, so for me, the whole idea of writing books was just not something I was thinking about. We were thinking about getting out of Jamaica quite honestly. We left Jamaica and came here to the US, and then I found that I could disappear into books. I'm the youngest of four, but I was the one who was always under the bed reading a book with a flashlight. I found these worlds in books, but you don't know where books come from. I thought they came from the bookstore because that's where I got them. I always wanted to be a part of that process. I didn't know if it was writing them. I journaled, but I didn't equate that with being a writer, although that's a start. I assumed, okay, books come from the bookstore. I'll go and I'll work at a bookstore. I did that and very quickly found out that I am not a retail person. Man, that's when I found out I am not a retail person. It's a whole different world.
It occurred to me that, oh, books come from publishing houses and editors get to make those books. That's when I decided, this is way back in the day. God, I'm going to date myself ... when we still had to know how to type. I had to learn how to type 90 words a minute and I decided, okay, I want to get a job in a publishing house. I went to an agency in my little cheap polyester suit, 90 degrees out. I'm burning up and sweating every day with my little briefcase, nothing in it. I learned to type. By the end of that summer, I was sent for a job at Anchor Books. This was before they were a part of Random House when it was still just Random House and not a part of PRH.
I went for a job there in the editorial department and, unfortunately, I did not get that job, but I impressed the human resources person so much because I was nice in the elevator that when she got a job at Random House, she asked to see me. That's how I actually got a job as an editorial assistant at Random House, which was my preferred house. That's karma. That's how I became a book editor. No one tells you about the process of making publishing, producing, acquiring books unless you're actually in the book world. It was a real education for me.
Right now, I work at the publishing certificate program at City College, and it is a program that introduces students to the book publishing world, and it's taught by industry veterans. This is a program I wish I had 20 years ago, 25 years ago when I started.
Kenrya: That's interesting because one thing that I noticed is you didn't say I went to college and studied English or I studied journalism. It was really that you decided you were going to do it and the thing that you felt that you had to learn with typing. At that point, were you ever made to feel as if that was something that was a necessary part of the journey to becoming a books editor or was it never really an issue?
Carol: No, it was never explained. I never could conceive of ... We didn't know what that was. Ask a kid in college what a book editor is. They won't know what that is. We have no concept of it. I'm being really serious.
Kenrya: No, it's true.
Carol: What is it? Where do books come from? What happens in book publishing? We teach whole courses on this to adults who are writers because we really don't know the process. I'm a writer too, and the fact that I can write 10 books, a book a year is only because I was a book editor. I know the process. I know how it works. No. I went to school. I graduated. I was a literature major, creative writing minor, and I had no clue that I was going to work in publishing or be a book editor. I like books. This is interesting. I'm terrible at math. Economics, that's not happening. I wanted to ... I love literature. This was interesting to me.
No, I never connected any of those dots, never knew the questions to ask. Of course, I had a guidance counselor. It never occurred to me to ask them, so how can I work with books? I was like, oh, I'm content to read them. I had no idea of what I would do with that knowledge until ... I don't even remember how I figured out that I should be a book editor. I think I was reading something about the book world and it said book publishers and then I just did my research from there.
Kenrya: Wow. Now, you are.
Kenrya: Where you are is that you really created a genre that didn't, not in a really substantial way, at least to me, exist before. We started this podcast, The Turn On, because we want to explore erotica that centers Black women and femmes and really anybody that doesn't identify as a man and Black bodies and Black sex. I'm wondering what pushed you to curate and create this series. What's the origin story of "Brown Sugar?"
Carol: Well, on my home planet Krypton ... I loved the origin story. I loved the way you phrased that. It's an interesting story and it comes from publishing. When I was an editor at Random House, I did a lot of books that had to deal with the Black world. For me, that's my interest. I'm interested in immigrant stories, Black stories, brown stories because I don't center white culture. For me, Black culture is the center. Although I acquired, which means I bought books, not all editors acquire books, some acquire them and edit them. I bought books, acquired books, fiction, nonfiction, self-help, pop culture, for color books, lifestyle books, all under the umbrella of multiculturalism because that's my interest.
When I was at Random House, that was a huge house even before it merged with Penguin. There were about, I don't know, five editors of color. I did a lot of the books of color that were published, not only by the imprint that I worked at Random House but the other imprints as well. I was a reader for a lot of those books. You would call them now sensitivity readers, but I was reading books that they wanted to know if the Black market would be interested in them. In one of those meetings, I ended up actually publishing a lot of books by Essence editors. One of those books dealt with Black love. After I left Random House, because the culture had become very corporate and editors were doing far fewer actual editing of manuscripts than going to meetings and marketing, and it really wasn't what I had signed up for.
So when I left Random House, I acquired one last book from Essence on love, and I had done a lot of research from one of their editors to acquire it. I got a call from an editor who said, "Do you think that there is a market for a book about Black erotica?" I was like, "Who are you talking to? What do you think? You're a Black lady. What's happening here?" I was like, of course there is an audience for a book about Black love, Black sex, Black relationships, erotica because we are seen by white America as being monolithic, but within the Black world, we have so many diverse stories. Just the three of us are so different, and yet we're all three Black women. Of course, I knew there was a market and of course I had a lot of information from the research. She was like, "Okay, you're an editor. Put together a proposal."
I put together a proposal, and I called up an agent, and I said, "So and so wants to see this. Will you send it out?" She sent it out and the book was bought. It's an erotic anthology of Black fiction. Imagine back in '99, this whole concept is high concept, a collection of erotic-like fiction written by people of color for people of color, gay, straight, what have you. This is high concept. To me, I'm like this is Saturday night. This isn't high concept. This is just real talk. I was blessed to actually have them. This was Penguin. Plume did the first Brown Sugar. Put together a gorgeous package with a beautiful woman on the front, so tastefully done. I had amazing writers as you know.
We put together a really rich collection of stories that really told the tale of love in diverse communities, in many different voices. I had poets. I had novelists. I had nonfiction writers. It was just so raw and real that I think the first week it was published, it hit the LA Times bestseller list at number two. They were astonished. They had to just keep rolling out and rolling out books. They sent me on a 10-city book tour because of it.
Kenrya: Get out of here.
Carol: Get out of here. We created a genre with this package. I'm a book editor, so we created a package that I knew would suit the market. For me, that was a small format, trade paperback at a particular price point that looked a particular way, and it worked. You saw so many other different, I mean in addition to the three others that we did, there's Brown Sugar two, three and four. There were so many other erotic Black anthology collections that popped up. Some did well. Some did not. This is really the benchmark, I think, for these types of collections. I was thrilled they weren't competing with me. I was happy, very happy to see them.
Kenrya: You said that this is just what you do, but can you dig a little deeper and tell us why you think it's important to tell these stories and what draws you to this type of work?
Carol: Here's the thing. For me, erotic Black fiction was a way to encapsulate what it was as a category, but really these are stories about us, stories that were not being told in this way, in this voice, in this style. It's important to me as a Black woman to be able to talk about sex, sexuality, feelings and emotions around that and communicate that in a way that allows me to feel empowered and to tell my story and to let others do it. Black people and people of color were being depicted only as one dimensional, in one way. Women were like this, and men were like that. That is really not the full kaleidoscope or mosaic of our lives. In these different stories, we're showcasing those different worlds in really interesting ways.
For me, it's a reclaiming of my sexuality as a woman and being able to talk about it. There's nothing wrong with talking about sex. We're all having sex. We may as well talk about it. There's a way to write about sex in a way that is sexy as opposed to being "pornographic." I think Isabel Allende said erotica uses a feather and pornography uses the whole chicken. That's true. There are different layers to erotic writing. When you are able to convey those different layers in a really nuanced way, you can write something that is incredibly sexy, sexual and erotic without one sex scene. There's not a lot of sex in these books, but that's the funny part. There's not a lot of sex happening on the page. It's really erotic, sexual, sensual couplings between people.
Kenrya: Wow. You talked a little bit earlier about how you've acquired and edited books across several genres. Did you ever, and it sounds like no, but did you ever struggle with the decision to include erotica in your portfolio?
Carol: That's an interesting question. It really is because I think of all those nuances I just talked about. Here's the thing. Brown Sugar has made me a Times bestselling author. I've had a fantastic career behind it. These are books that I'm really, really, really proud of. My very first book was a collection of the best Black essays, the best 100 Black essays. That's my first book, Sacred Fire. I was writing nonfiction essays. I don't have any misconceptions or misperceptions about who I am or what I write or any of that. I was hoping to demystify the idea of a Black woman who is, I hope, sexy and certainly sexual writing about sex and intimacy. There's as much intimacy in these collections as there is sex, probably more, not a whole lot of sex actually in these.
I've published people like, gosh, I've published nearly every Black writer in these four collections plus Wanderlust literally. Edwidge Dandicat, Tananarive Due, literally almost everyone who has come up.
Kenrya: Folks that we don't necessarily associate with erotica.
Carol: With erotica. Because erotica is not what people think it is, erotica is not necessarily sex. Erotica is the eroticism around the act itself. The act doesn't even have to be there. Erotica is almost the buildup to it. Erotica has gotten a bad rap in many ways. It's really the art of writing about intimacy and emotion and maybe there's sex involved. It's almost all of that buildup to it without the sex on the page. I could probably count on one hand, maybe with three fingers, all the books in all four of the series that actually have the act of sex in them. Most of these don't.
To answer your question, my website is called Brown Sugar books. My company is called Brown Sugar Limited. Brown Sugar means so much to Black folks. I got Brown Sugar from D'Angelo. Brown Sugar is a saying that we have. It's an emotion. It's a way that we are. It's a feeling. When you walk down the street and someone calls you Brown Sugar, you know what that means. For me, there wasn't really any shame because, one, I'm kind of shameless in the best possible way. I am without shame. It's hard for people to shame you when you are without shame because you stand on your truth. I look at this collection, and they have defined a generation of writers. You look at the writers I've worked with, and every one of them is working in the industry right now.
Zane. When I worked with Zane, Zane wasn't edited. First she couldn't find a publisher and then her book sold so well that she was then pretty much packaged by her publisher now. She's not really edited. When I worked with Zane, it was the first time she had worked with an editor, and her story and Brown Sugar is very different from what you will find in things for self-published books and some of her books now.
There's a difference to working with a book editor, to be honest. Again, not at all ... On my website, you'll see all my books. Also, I'm a ghost writer. I write for a lot of other people, and they can go and see all the books that I've written. If someone would rather not work with me because I can work in a particular genre very well, then that's probably not someone I should work with.
Kenrya: Yes, that's fantastic. I think it's heartening at least for me to hear. I think when we first started talking about doing this podcast, I had a little bit of hesitation because it can be seen as a deviation from the work that I typically do. It really came down to, what you were just talking about, it's a part of a whole, and it is a way that you bring your whole self to the table when you do this work alongside all the other work that you do. Making that conscious decision to not shame yourself and not let anyone else bring shame into the equation is pretty powerful, I think.
Carol: I agree. It's part and parcel with who we are as women, as mothers, as sisters, as daughters, as wives. It's this emotionality, the sexuality, the sexual part of who we are is part of who we are. As writers, we have to be able to explore that as people. We have to be able to explore that and have conversations around it. That is actually what intimacy is. Quite often, that's what's missing from the sexual equation. I'd rather we bring more of that in than anything else, then everything else would be better.
I agree with you. Sometimes you do have to think a little bit about it, but honestly, it depends on what you're doing and how you're doing it and who you are. That's what informs your work.
Kenrya: Speaking of shameless, when we first met in person, I told you that I had Brown Sugar in my special pile in my room.
Carol: I remember.
Kenrya: How does it make you feel that your work is with people in some super intimate times?
Carol: I love it. I love it. It's been almost 20 years and I went on a 10-city book tour. This book speaks to 18-year-olds and 55 and up. I had women of every generation talking to me in a real way, and they would clutch my hair and say thank you. That's how I do know. Auntie and grandma, like thank you, for just talking about real relationships between Black people just told in different ways. We were so tired of these flat one dimensional characters and women only looking in a particular way and men only acting in a particular way. We know that's just not the truth. I feel at this point ... I got over it my first few readings and signings. Of course, you judge the crowd. They're going to be different in Atlanta than they will be in Houston or Dallas. You judge the crowd. I know what I'm going to read and I know what I'm going to talk about.
Inevitably, at the end, it becomes a discussion about relationships between men and women. That's exactly what I wanted it to be. That's very, very exciting for me, but that's what it's really about. Communication, talking about things that we don't talk about and didn't talk about or was only talked about in one way.
Erica: Let's just dive a little deeper and talk about the story that we're reading for this episode, Luzette. Why did you choose to include that story in the collection?
Carol: I think that I included that story in the collection more because I loved the writer, to be honest. I chose my writers and then they sent in the stories, to be honest. It just really resonated with me in a way that it was something I had not read before and really felt the voice was wonderful, the characterization was amazing. I hadn't seen anything like it before, and it was very exciting to me. Really that's what I did with all of my writers and their stories. Some names you will know and some names you will not know, but they brought something to the table that I had not seen, and that's what I saw in Luzette.
Erica: Cool. This story is a little different from some of the other stories that we typically read for the show. This one is written from a male porn star's point of view, but we were really interested in Luzette and her being a boss who just took what she wanted. Tell me a little bit. Do you relate to her, and can you tell me about maybe a time where you had to have something or someone and just went for it?
Carol: I think that's like all my life. It's all my life, quite honestly. I am the trifecta. I'm a Black immigrant woman. It's the trifecta. Leaving a place ... When I was in Jamaica, it was a third world country and there was curfew. There were militia. It was a place where you wanted to leave. Jamaica is beautiful. Please go. It's gorgeous. Back when I was a young girl there, it was a very different place. When you actually get out of a place and get somewhere else that you really want to be and you travel in a plane at five years old and you end up in a whole different country in a whole different place and then you have these struggles with language, with identity, with culture. I was Jamaican before it was cool to be Jamaican, and there were all of these dynamics between American Blacks and West Indian Blacks that is I don't think it's as bad as it used to be, but it was certainly there.
Ending up going to a school that was very white, I went to South Hampton College on Long Island, very white, and working in corporate America, which is also very white. I have always had to push myself in a way where not getting to where I wanted to be was simply not an option. I would get there by any means necessary. That's not this huge dynamic thing. It's really just keeping it going, like going and getting a typing test all summer and being able to get that other job because I didn't get that other job. Just keeping it moving. We're Black women. We know.
Kenrya: That's what we do.
Carol: We figure it out. We'll get it done. That's always been my MO. Whether it is a relationship, a job, an apartment, a situation, whatever that is, you just keep it moving and you get it done. Perhaps that's a part of my immigrant background, where things look really bleak but you just keep it moving. I have taken that background with me wherever I go. You just get it done.
Kenrya: It's actually one of my favorite things about you.
Carol: I do know if I can't get it done this way, I'll get it done that way.
Erica: A very important quality to have in an editor.
Carol: When you're a Black woman, absolutely. I like surprising people. I've learned there ... I seem really laid back, but I am a very strategic person. I read about strategy. I practice strategy. It is very interesting to me. I know all about Machiavelli. I know all about the makings of the court. It is really intriguing to me on many levels to see how people operate. I've read the 48 laws of power 48 times. This is a part of my character that I don't think people know a lot about, but I'm always working behind the scenes, getting things done. I love having a sense of purpose, and I love figuring out creative ways to get things done. As an editor, you have 50 different jobs all at the same time. It's good to know how to work and how you work best. Yeah, it keeps me creative and allows me to do what I love, as I said, in many different ways, in many different incarnations. It's exciting to me.
Kenrya: The story of Luzette is based in an optometrist's office. Our final question for you is what's the most unexpected place you've had sex?
Carol: Oh. You know I'm a Scorpio, right? I'm a Scorpio.
Erica: No such thing as an unexpected place for a Scorpio.
Carol: We are faithful. We are kind. We are the best friends you could ever possibly have.
Kenrya: That's true.
Carol: We've got you. Just don't fuck with us.
Erica: My mother is a Scorpio. I know that.
Carol: We got your back. Still waters run deep. Okay? We're cool, but I got my shank so I will shank you if you deserve it. If not, I will give you the shirt off my back. We get a bad rap. Yes, we're very sexual, but we can go without sex for a really, really long time because sex is important to us. I don't want to waste it. I've gone for two years without sex. I'm a Scorpio. I've gone for two years without sex. I nearly killed a man I got with. My point is I don't want to squander it. I would rather have no sex than bad sex. I'm not gonna lie to you. I have other things I can be doing.
Kenrya: You can be doing it yourself. Let's be honest.
Carol: Let's a lot of other things to do. Exactly. I can do it myself. The strangest place I have ever had sex. I really have to think about that because I'm not really prudish about sex. I started out that way. We were colonized so we have a lot of these British influences that I grew up with my parents. My mom was a prude, and I grew up with this idea that you don't have sex until you're married. Sex is not fun. Sex is a chore. You do it to get it over with. You do it to have kids. I came into it with all of these negative stereotypes. I was a virgin in college. Luckily, I started at 15 so I want to get that out. Yeah, I started at 15, thank God. I was a virgin when I got to college, but I wanted to experiment. I was like, what is all this sex stuff? I had no idea. Nobody talked to me about it. I didn't know anything about it.
I've had sex in a number of different locations. However, I have not actually had a lot of partners. I was that girl who was in a 10-year relationship three times.
Kenrya: Same. With niggas that didn't deserve.
Carol: For real. In the back of trucks. I went to South Hampton so we would drive out on to the beach and the back of a truck, at the top of the Statue of Liberty.
Carol: That's when we had to walk all the way up. That was something we wanted to try. On the pier at Red Hook. That was cool. I like water, so I've got a water thing. I am a water sign. During a birthday shower. Was it a wedding? A baby shower, during a baby shower, we were in the closet. We did that. For me, it's not really like I'm thinking about the place.
Kenrya: It's just what you want to do.
Carol: It's either a plan or the moment hit and we're like, where are we going? I can't really think of a place that was-
Kenrya: Those are great places.
Carol: To me, that's normal. The strangest place might be my bed. I've got so many other places to go and so many other things to do. For me, sex is about being comfortable, being intimate, experimenting, having fun. There's nothing sexier than having fun in bed. That makes all the difference.
Kenrya: That's dope. Thank you so much for joining us. That was our last question.
Carol: Thank you for having me.
Kenrya: Where can people find you and your work?
Carol: My website, brownsugarbooks.com, you can find all of my work there. You can also find me on Facebook as well. I post about writing. I post about editing. I'm always happy to chat about any type of book ideas. Please take a look at my website, and I hope you are continuing to read the Brown Sugar series. They're still out there and doing really well.
Kenrya: We have all four.
Carol: Don't forget "Wanderlust," which is about travel. These are erotic travel tales, "Wanderlust."
Kenrya: I might end up going somewhere from there too, just be forewarned.
Carol: Yeah, travel. That's a good one.
Kenrya: Your own Twitter @CarolATaylor117, right? I said two, as in also. That's my bad. Thank you.
Carol: That's my 117. Thank you, guys. I really think this is wonderful what you're doing. It's sad that we feel like we have to have a separate space or a safe space to be able to talk openly about sex and sexuality. That to me is just a part of hegemony. We need to be able to talk about anything that we want to talk about, especially something as intimate as sex.
Kenrya: Unfortunately, that's not there. Like you created it, we're trying to carry that on.
Carol: Keep it going. Absolutely. You are. Thank you guys very much for this. I do appreciate it. Keep fighting the good fight and doing the good work.
Erica: Thank you.
Kenrya: Thank you.
Carol: Thank you.
Erica: This episode was produced by us, Erica and Kenrya, and edited by B'Lystic. The theme song is from Brazy. Every five-star review posted on Apple podcasts between now and July 31st, 2019 will be entered into a raffle to win a copy of one of the books we read on the show. We're giving away five books. Just post your review and email a screenshot to firstname.lastname@example.org to enter. Please subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast app. Follow us on Twitter @theturnonpod and Instagram @theturnonpodcast and find links to books, transcripts, guest info and other fun stuff at theturnonpodcast.com. 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.