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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya host their very first live show! They talk to special guest Sheree L. Greer about her book "Let the Lover Be," breaking free of addiction, romanticizing relationships pasts and orgasms as escapism.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Okay, so welcome to this week's, this night's, this Saturday night’s episode.
Kenrya: Our very first live show.
Erica: Yeah. Pop! That's the sound of a cherry being popped.
Kenrya: Is it though?
Sheree: I like it.
Kenrya: I feel like that would scare me.
Erica: Could you imagine if like the first time you're having sex, all of a sudden it's like a cork?
Sheree: That's how it is at the end. It's like-
Kenrya: That is a thing that happens.
Erica: Okay, well. We're going to just follow the normal course of show. We have our fantabulous play cousin with us, but we'll get to the introductions after we read. So tonight we are reading from “Let The Lover Be,” which was published in 20-
Erica: Twenty-fourteen by cousin of the show Sheree L. Greer. So sit back. Oh, wait. Before I get started. Okay. Y'all so I'm dropping a link, a bingo card. We always say a few of the same sayings throughout our show so if you hear us-
Kenrya: We repeat ourselves a lot, like old people.
Erica: Yeah. Because I'm old lady. But anyway, so if you hear us say any of this, cross it out on your bingo card. When you get bingo, just tap it in the card. We'll know. And the winner of the bingo game gets a lovely signed copy of “Let The Lover Be.”
Sheree: All right.
Kenrya: So, and everybody gets your own unique card. So when you click that, it should ask you to sign in with your name. And you literally, if you click on the square, that has the thing that we said it'll X itself off, and we can see it. Which is pretty fucking cool. I know right?
Erica: Okay. So sit back, relax, get your wine, get your weed, get your whatever you need and enjoy.
Kenrya: So we're going to read from “Let the Lover Be by Sheree L Greer.” I've never done this with an audience before.
Erica: Just rock that mic.
Kenrya: You know that I'm good at that, so here we go.
Kenrya: The woman was lava, molten, hot lava. She moved over Kiana's skin, slow and steady, thick and rolling, heavy, hot and destructive. Her name was unimportant. Her body a volcano. Kiana's fingers, dove deep inside her, finding a fiery rage, churning and railing around her knuckles. She shook from the inside trembling and coming apart. "I don't even know your name," the woman had said before, Kiana kissed her in the elevator. And, "I told myself I'd stop doing this," she'd whispered into Kiana's neck, as clothes loosened and fell to the floor. Her doubts and hesitations, better judgment, and healthy caution, everything hard and jagged about her, everything solid and certain crumbled and splash into the pool of fire between them as they rolled and rumbled across the bed. The woman's liquid heat coated Kiana's fingers, their sweat sizzling on their skin. Finally, the eruption, the rush, the spray.
Kenrya: It caught Kiana off guard. She removed her hand and looked down at the woman. All she could see was light. The lamp, the sun, the moon, the streetlight. She didn't know which, but it glimmered off the woman's face, making it glowing brass the length of her slender nose and perfection of pouting lips. She dipped down to kiss her, and the woman turned her face and flipped over, situating herself on top of Kiana. The light hit her features, a blur of movement and warmth. The woman's mouth seemed everywhere at once. She went down. And Kiana felt lips and tongue and teeth. She opened her legs in invitation. And the woman accepted. Kiana looked down at the top of the woman's head. She couldn't remember her name or if she'd even asked what it was. She couldn't remember the woman's face. She recalled only light, glowing, comforting, light. And heat. Light and heat. She smiled and arched her body up, offering herself to the sun. Fucking the sun.
Kenrya: It was these moments, these times of complete abandon, that Kiana felt most secure. An oxymoron, uncertain and exposed. She let go of everything and became sure and protected. She rode the rising heat between her legs, her body curling with uncontrollable sensation. She called out to God claiming and clutching at something bigger than herself. "Oh my God," Kiana screamed. The woman moaned. The heat waned only to return again, building up and threatening to explode again. She shuddered against the woman's mouth. Everything she knew and didn't know swallowed by flames. Extinguished against the surface of the sun. This was Kiana's salvation. Her second coming. She threw it all into the sky as she thrust her hips up. Michelle, Genevieve, Karen, her mother. Gumbo and wine, bikes and bread, bass thumps and shots of whiskey. And it burned away to nothing. Only pleasure remained. And she called out to God when she came again.
Kenrya: The woman joined her in the bucking climax. The bed bumping against the wall. If only she could have this, the pleasure of coming together with another, in a single moment suspended in time. There were no expectations in that moment. There were no disappointments. There were no memories. There was only now, now, now, and now again. Kiana closed her eyes with a wish that now could be all there was. That now could be forever. And that forever could be release. No pent up pressure of the past. No festering fantasies for the future. Just the numbing nourishing now. She collapsed against the bed. A blur of light as the woman rose from between her thighs, then darkness.
Kenrya: I'm going to pat myself on the back.
Erica: In the comments, someone said, “Kenrya's voice is like a butter, or a warm blanket.” Someone else said, "It's like hot Cheddar Bay biscuits."
Kenrya: That's somebody after my heart. Y'all know I love a good fucking Red Lobster biscuit. I don’t even each cheese, but I eat cheese biscuits [crosstalk 00:07:47].
Erica: Killa's voice was made for this shit. Okay. So she's dope. Okay. So thank you for that amazing reading.
Kenrya: You're welcome.
Erica: You did such an amazing job.
Sheree: Unbutton my top button on that one.
Erica: But you wrote it!
Sheree: But it don't sound like that when I read it. Okay.
Erica: That was a good one. Right?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: So before we jump into our discussion.
Kenrya: We want to bring in the lovely Sheree. I want y'all to know about this woman. So, oh shit. See, you got that place that's hard for me to pronounce. So you're going to have to fix it when I fuck it up. All right so-
Erica: Oh yeah. The-
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Good Midwestern tongue.
Kenrya: So Sheree is a text-based artist and educator living in Tampa, Florida. And she's a Yaddo?
Kenrya: Ahh Yaddo, see. She's a Yaddo and Ragdale Rubin fellow, Astraea Lesbian Foundation grantee—y’all know Astraea's close to my heart—and is the author of two novels, “Let The Lover Be,” which was a Rainbow Award finalist and the Black Lives Matter-inspired, “A Return To Arms.” She also created a short story collection, “Once and Future Lovers” and a student writing guide called “Stop Writing Wack Essays.” Yes, stop it. They suck. Sheree's the founding director of Kitchen Table Literary Arts. And her work has been featured in literary journals, magazines and anthologies. Her most recent work, “Bars” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Y'all please welcome Sheree to the show.
Erica: Oh, shit.
Kenrya: Did you just spill something bitch?
Sheree: Did you spill your drink?
Erica: I spilled a little champagne.
Kenrya: Oh my God.
Kenrya: So she's drinking champagne, y'all I'm drinking Pedialyte. I've been fucked up for the last two weeks.
Erica: But she rallied for the night.
Kenrya: I did, but I got the fruit punch Pedialyte. Word to my partner who made a run for me today and got me some more.
Erica: Word to your mother. Well, not your mother.
Erica: To your partner.
Kenrya: To my partner.
Kenrya: Hey boo.
Erica: Hey boo. Okay. So we read this book and instantly fell in love. Because not only is it a beautiful book, but it's realistic. They don't just walk off in a sunset holding hands. And just like... It's some real shit. Like shit happens and we all have to deal with it. So let's start with a quick story synopsis. I'm going to give the synopsis. Y'all know I fuck it up. Tell me if I-
Kenrya: Why don't we let Sheree give the synopsis? Yes. A spoiler-free synopsis because you know-
Sheree: A spoiler-free synopsis.
Kenrya: Because we want folks to read it. And we don't them to be all fucked up because we told them too much. We've be struggling.
Sheree: Yeah, it is. “Let The Lover Be” is about a functional alcoholic who travels to New Orleans to try to stop an ex's wedding.
Erica: New Orleans, baby.
Erica: I have horrible accents, but I'm going to continue them.
Kenrya: I like that you try it.
Sheree: Yeah. That's the story. That's the story.
Erica: Okay. So while she's in New Orleans, she meets somebody and hi-jinks ensue.
Kenrya: Dot, dot, dot.
Erica: Dot, dot, dot. Okay. So y'all just so you know, I'm living my Oprah fantasy because I have cards. I found stickers and put them on the back so I can look official. [crosstalk 00:11:38] I only bring one. We don't have a ton of stickers. So I just did one.
Kenrya: I've got some in my fanny pack.
Erica: If y'all need to... If somebody wants some stickers I might have to pull this off. Because you know, budget. Whatever. Okay. So this particular scene that we read was when the main character Kiana meets a woman at a bar and they fuck. And yeah, she's nameless, faceless. She was just... She was reaching for something and that woman was giving it. She was giving all that should be gave. Do y'all follow Rolling Ray on Instagram?
Kenrya: I don't. I'm sorry.
Erica: See, I have these like niche pop culture references. And because Kenrya is so highbrow-
Kenrya: I know who Rolling Ray... Okay bitch.
Kenrya: I know who Rolling Ray is. Because I was just watching the video today. But I do not follow Rolling Ray. Because somebody said Rolling Ray sounded like Maya Angelou.
Sheree: Oh no.
Kenrya: It wasn't meant to be not a compliment. But I listened to the audio clip, and I was like, "They're not lying."
Erica: Rolling Ray does not sound like Maya Angelou. And that is fucking blasphemous.
Sheree: Does it sound like David Alan Grier doing Maya Angelou? Because that's [crosstalk 00:13:01]. The Kumquat!
Kenrya: That might be it.
Sheree: Fruity Loopies. That's one of my favorite skits. I'm sorry.
Erica: Fucking horrible that y'all would equate Rolling Ray with Maya Angelou, but whatever. Rolling Ray did get-
Kenrya: I didn't do it. I saw it on Twitter.
Erica: Rolling Ray did get recognized by Beyoncé.
Kenrya: Sure did.
Erica: So he's doing a little better than us. And okay.
Kenrya: With a personalized note and everything. See, I saw that.
Erica: I'm proud of you. Sorry, I'm getting distracted by your boobs. But okay. I mean like in a good way.
Sheree: I'm being inspired. I am inspired.
Erica: Okay. So this sexy reminds me of one of my favorite songs. I tried to… [Singing.]
Kenrya: I was like, where are you going with this?
Erica: Okay. So anyway, this scene was like one of those... Where she was just trying to fuck it away. Like right before this, Kiana had some real emotional stuff come up and she was just like running from it. And ran and was like, "You know what? I'm going to fuck it away with this nameless faceless person." And to me, the scene showed that like it was so... Although she was having sex with someone, it was more about her being in touch with herself, and trying to get in touch with these particular feelings. She was chasing a feeling.
Kenrya: I mean it felt to me like she was chasing not having to feel. Like this moment where you can just live in ecstasy. And where that ecstasy crowds out all of the thoughts that are encroaching on you. Like the things that, you know what I mean? The intrusive things, the things that you don't want to deal with when you fucking, and when you cumming, you don't have to think about those. It's like a moment of pure joy. But what you think Sheree? Since you wrote it.
Erica: Since you wrote it, what would you think?
Sheree: So it is both of those things. Because I feel like whenever you're trying to... If you self-medicate with anything, a lot of times you're doing it because you're trying to escape, having to think about certain things. But it don't work like that. So in writing that scene, it's like, "Yes, I just want to fall into simplicity, and not think about all this stuff that's coming up for me since I've been here." But even in that moment, it still pops up for you to keep trying to chase it away. And then it pops up and you trying to chase it away. And so it's this active kind of thing where you can't shake it. That's why it's egging you like that. Because you can't shake it, but you're trying. And so even in that moment of, her second climax is like, "I'm trying not to think about this shit. It's there, but I'm trying not to think about it." And it's like, you can't shake it. When something is really bothering you can try, but you can't really shake it.
Kenrya: That shit be on your back.
Sheree: You can't really shake it.
Erica: So did y'all ever go through a toxic ass period where you tried to blank it away? Like I remember... So I think about like, I went through a period... Multiple periods. My entire fucking 20s.
Sheree: I was like, my 20s, and half of my 30s, maybe. Like-
Erica: Right? And so I've found... I look back at some of the things that I picked up. I remember one time I was like, I was married and just going through some shit. Looking back, I was definitely trying to like pottery away my pain.
Kenrya: Oh you did do pottery.
Sheree: Pottery it away.
Erica: Whatever bitch. It was just one of the things where I was like-
Kenrya: You were taking a pottery class.
Erica: I need to do something with myself. So I ended up fucking taking a pottery class. I literally could go in my storage room right now. I have platters that are shaped like this. Fuck you bitch. You ain't supposed to agree.
Kenrya: It's true.
Erica: Anyway, I tried pottering away my... But I mean, there were also destructive behaviors, drinking too much, fucking, all of that. And looking back, it was just me trying to run from issues that I thought I had resolved, but not really. I just kind of brushed them away. Pushed them down a little bit more. So what about you?
Sheree: I mean, I think I've always tried to write through a lot of what I was feeling. I'm an avid journaler. So I'm always trying to write through what I'm feeling, what I'm thinking, what I'm confused by, what I'm hurt by. But even in the writing... And it's interesting because I was just listening to Kiese Laymon on NPR the other day. He's one of my favorite contemporary writers. And he was talking about how writing a book is not therapy. So I was like, "Writing in my journal is not therapy." So you can't write it away. But other than writing, it was primarily sex and drinking.
Sheree: That was how I dealt with everything. It was. Yeah. That was the answer in the moment. And try like Kiana tries in that scene. You could try to forget what's going on. And in some ways it works, you know what I'm saying? So I kept it going for a while. In that moment. That's that concept of now. In this moment, fuck all that shit. In the moment I'm having drinks, I'm having fun meeting people, I'm laughing, I'm being flirty doing all the things that I wish I could do all the time. But not really because-
Erica: Then you wake up the next morning, like, "Who are you?"
Sheree: Mm-hmm (affirmative). That part.
Erica: You got anything?
Kenrya: So I mean, I think the answer was yes, but not in a fun way.
Kenrya: Like for me-
Erica: It's never in a fun way when you think... I mean in the moment it's fun.
Kenrya: But not even... Nope, not even in the moment.
Erica: Oh wow. Okay.
Kenrya: I was prepared to say no. But when I think about it, I think that what I did was bury myself in relationships. People used to call me a serial monogamist. And I used to call myself that too. But I think what it really was, was that I was afraid to be alone. And so I would find myself very quickly moving into these relationships with niggas that wasn't shit. But because I didn't want to be by myself, I was willing to settle for being with someone who quite frankly did not deserve my company. And so it wasn't that I was out here doing fun stuff. It was I was battling with raggedy assed niggas, but it was better to do... To me, it felt like it was better to do that in my 20s, than it was for me to just be alone and deal with my shit. It wasn't until the last few years where I got deep into therapy and working on myself and getting to the point where I was quite happy alone, which allowed me to then be able to be a good partner to someone.
Sheree: I feel like too, that's part of... And I think it's not by accident that we mention this particular time in our lives either, our 20s. Because it's almost like, I feel like you don't necessarily recognize that you might have some deeper issues because if you look around you, everybody's-
Erica: Toxic as fuck.
Sheree: And everybody's sleeping around or getting into relationships and you know, let's talk shit about who you're dating. And fuck them I'm with somebody else now. You feel like that's what you supposed to be doing at the time. And so you don't even know till you start thinking like, "Am I really having fun? Am I really getting through this? Am I really enjoying my life? Am I waking up in the mornings with more regret than I'm copping to?" You know what I'm saying? But that's so hard to see when you're in it. So when you're in your twenties you feel like that's what you're supposed to be doing. And it's like, some of us got some real fucking problems and that's not what we supposed to be doing.
Kenrya: We normalize toxic behavior, right? We've made that what we do. That is supposed to be age appropriate, as opposed to actually sitting with yourself and figuring out your shit.
Sheree: Yeah. Yeah.
Kenrya: That’s old people shit.
Erica: That's foul. But I will say it is great once you figure out your shit and then can be back on that shit.
Kenrya: Absolutely then you have healthy boundaries around bullshit.
Sheree: That part.
Erica: That's why I keep you around. Okay. So just one of the general things about this book is that Kiana wanted that old thing back.
Erica: She got a call-
Kenrya: She sure did.
Erica: ...saying that her ex is getting married, and she was like, "You know what? Fuck it. I'm going to stop it." So, she jumped on a plane, went to New Orleans. Oh wait. You know what? Before I even get there, I don't know if we asked you this. Are you from Chicago? Did you live in Chicago? What's your connection with Chicago?
Sheree: I lived there for graduate school.
Erica: Okay because when you wrote about... So, the main character, Kiana, is from Chicago and you wrote about Chicago and it felt very intimate like you lived it and felt it. Though, I love the way you wrote about Chicago. You could tell that you had a real connection.
Kenrya: That you had a hawk on your back for a while.
Sheree: Oh, yeah. It was there. So, I'm originally from Milwaukee, and Chicago is right down the street. So, I have visited Chicago often but then I moved there for graduate school, and I feel like when I moved to Chicago, I started trying to figure out who I actually was. I left my career in IT to become a writer and I came out while I was in Chicago. I was getting off work one day and one of my coworkers who's a lesbian was like, "I'm going to this party. You want to go? You're gay, right?" And I was like, "Uh-huh," and I knew. I had an inkling because I had been dabbling. So I went, but then-
Kenrya: Hold on. So, you admitted it to yourself or not at the point but not thinking about [crosstalk 00:24:43]?
Sheree: Not at that point. But once I got invited to that party and because, like I said, I had been dabbling, I thought... You know how people, "Oh, you're just a freak or whatever," but it turned out.
Erica: No, I'm going to commit to this.
Sheree: I like this. And so, Chicago was really formative for me in that way. I don't know that I've ever said this publicly, so I'm going to say it on your show, and I'm going to say it live. It's not really a spoiler because y'all already know she'd be getting fucked up. Kiana gets fucked up.
Sheree: So, in the opening scene of the book, she rides the L train back and forth, because she's too drunk to realize where the fuck she is. And that one hundred percent happened to me. That was a real ass story. And it was wild that's what I opened the book with because I found the paper. I had some paper in my pocket that night and I found the little papers because I was writing on the L train or whatever, and I was writing in between.
Sheree: It was so wild to use that scene, and then to also think about myself in that way because I was really trying to disassociate myself from this character. So I'm like, "She is fucked up. She's got some problems." And then, it turns out Sheree, you got some issues and you figure some stuff out for yourself. But that's why Chicago feels so urgent and so real because that was my life. And Chicago was really integral to me finding myself and becoming myself and getting to know myself away from my family for the first time.
Erica: Yeah. That's a big deal. I am another Midwestern girl from St. Louis, and DC holds a special place in my heart because when you get away from family, no matter how much you love them, you're able to figure out who you are, independent of what people think you are and what your family wants you to be and all of that. So yeah. Okay. Do you have a city that's like that?
Kenrya: I think it's DC and New York. Those are the only other places I've lived. I'm from Cleveland.
Kenrya: The whole Midwestern situation going on.
Erica: I love it.
Kenrya: So yeah, no, these two cities are where I became me. Yeah, for sure.
Erica: Outside of the shadow of your family.
Erica: So, Kiana, romanticized the out of her old relationship.
Kenrya: She had that bitch on a pedestal.
Erica: Oh no. “Pedastool” as we say in the Midwest.
Erica: So, I found it interesting how she was really able to... Don't look at my notes.
Erica: Oh, I thought you was looking at my notes ahead.
Kenrya: I'm looking at you!
Sheree: She's active listening.
Erica: My bad. I ain't used to that.
Erica: I ain't got a man. I live with a child. So.
Erica: Anyway. Okay. So, she romanticized all her relationships. The relationship with her mother, she romanticized the relationship with her mom, her ex. She just remembered shit so differently. And then, it made me think about... I remember when I told my son that we were divorcing. That me and my ex were divorcing, and this little boy cried his eyes out. He was like, "But we do everything together." And I was like,
Kenrya: Do you?
Erica: "Do we? What" And it's amazing how you really can build this space in your head.
Erica: And that was a romantic relationship, but even, my father passed away when I was really young, and I still have memories of him as a ten-year-old. It took years of therapy to break those down and un-romanticize them. And I think that kind of helped me become a better person because I was able to then see what was happening. See the full picture of what was actually going on.
Erica: Do you have any relationships that you remember romanticizing, but then it took some time, and the light of day to see it and be like, "Oh. That was some bullshit."
Sheree: Absolutely. And in a way, the theme of alcoholism really plays a part in that. And so, right now I'm working on my next book, which is a memoir. And it's about my challenges with alcohol abuse, through the lens of family trauma and some other things. But ultimately, it's about me reckoning with memory, because if you abuse alcohol, you blackout. And so, all essence of blackouts is lost time and lost memories. And, you get into this space where if you can't fully discern when you're of clear mind and when you've been drinking... everything is jumbled in your mind when you don't have a particular type of clarity. And so, all of those things are always at play with substance abuse where it's like, I remember things, but is this a drunk memory?
Sheree: So, it is built up to be one thing instead of another, or I have this memory and I don't quite know how to place it. Or, this is what I thought about things then versus this is what I think about things now. And, it's such rugged terrain trying to find your way through it. And so, I feel like I romanticized a lot of things. I romanticized particularly relationships with parents, with siblings, with friends where it's like, I remember them being this way. These times were amazing and everything was great, and turns out, not so much. But then, that happens on the other side, too, where you remember things being so terrible, and it's like, "Oh, this was the worst thing that could have happened. This person did me so wrong."
Sheree: And then, you think back on it and it didn't even happen like that. Not really. And so, I feel like that concept of romanticizing and then also painting things worse than they actually are. I feel almost, too, even substance abuse aside, memory is just tricky as fuck. You know what I'm saying? It's all contextual.
Erica: Trauma, it changes.
Sheree: It's like a fun house mirror or something when you're looking at yourself and other people. Everything feels distorted, and you got to try to find your way through it, I guess. But, I was definitely one for romanticizing romantic relationships. I was definitely one doing that.
Erica: So because you romanticized relationships, did you ever double back to an ex out of...
Kenrya: [Massive sigh.]
Sheree: That was the most exhausted…
Kenrya: We have to get off camera for this.
Sheree: Oh my goodness.
Sheree: No, it's funny. I was just talking to my niece. We were talking about our birth charts. And so, I'm a Virgo sun sign, but I'm a Sagittarius moon. And I saw this meme...
Erica: Wait, so you're like... [makes motion of putting things int heir place] But like [waves arms in air] at the same time?
Sheree: I needed to find out my whole chart because I would look at Virgo stuff and I'd be like, "Yeah, that's me. But then a lot of it wasn't. I'm like, what about all this other that I can't? What are you doing? And so, what's funny is I saw this meme the other day on Instagram, and it was a person kneeling in front of a tombstone doing like this. The bottom said, Sagittarius, be like, and I was like "Oh shit." For real. I don't revisit exes. We don't do that.
Sheree: It's been real. So no, I never doubled back on an ex. In terms of romanticizing, I'll be like, "Man, we had some really beautiful memories. We had some beautiful times together." But then I feel like, that didn't work out. Don't go back there.
Sheree: You ended it for a reason. Don't go back. Don't go back there.
Erica: Okay. So, we're going to take just a quick pause for the cause. Do the kids still say that on TikTok, on the Ticky Tok? Pause for the cause?
Kenrya: You watch TikTok all day.
Erica: I know. I haven't seen the TikTok about pause for the cause because, but we're going to take a pause for the cause real quick because bingo has been called by our good friend.
Erica: Okay. So, shout out to you for winning the bingo.
Kenrya: Wait, I didn't get to answer that.
Erica: I was just about to turn to you and ask you for... You have the.
Sheree: She'd never answer that question.
Erica: From the depths of her spirit. Yeah.
Sheree: Deep in the chest.
Erica: Okay. So what had happened was?
Kenrya: No, I'm not going to tell that story. That's a “I need to be drinking champagne” story and I can't.
Kenrya: So I'll start with, I, as we've talked about a lot on the show, Erica and I both are recovering codependents.
Erica: Oh, we're going to touch on that shit in these notes.
Kenrya: Oh, okay.
Erica: Keep going.
Kenrya: So, codependency was very tough for me to even hear and then to start to deal with. I remember after I finally got comfortable with the term and whatnot, and had read the book and highlighted shit and was like, "Oh, it's okay."
Kenrya: And then, our therapist gave me that book about when your parents are codependent. Ooh, God.
Kenrya: It made me... I remember I went to the session after I read it, and I was like, "I feel like you're asking me to rewrite my entire childhood." And she was like, "No, you're just adding footnotes," which made me feel better. But she was like, "No, you're adding context to what went on. You're not wiping it out. It's not saying that the things that you felt were not real. It is just helping you to better put them into context," which was helpful to hear.
Erica: So important.
Kenrya: But it was a really difficult moment when I realized that a lot of the ways that I have romanticized my relationship with my father in the absence of a relationship of my mother-
Erica: Oh yes.
Kenrya: Were just not realistic, and were not an accurate reflection of the very fraught childhood that I had. It was not easy.
Kenrya: So there's that. And then with relationships, so, nine times out of 10, I don't go back. I am an Aries.
Erica: Oh, that'd be torn down. She was like, we're going to burn down this bridge, and then we're going to take the ashes and bury them.
Kenrya: And then I'm going to build a skyscraper on top of them shits, so. But, I have one situation where I went back, and it was because it was unfinished business. Right? And, that's because I like to finish business. And so, when that situation closed, it wasn't because one of us had really fucked up. It was just because logistically, it wasn't working out. And so, I revisited, not out of romanticizing, but out of, I want to see where this goes.
Kenrya: I should not have seen where it went.
Sheree: My wife is an Aries. And so, when we were dating, she had an ex like that where nothing really was wrong. It was just like somebody had moved or something like that. And I had said, that's why I love that you said unfinished business because I had said, "I don't do strings. You got some unfinished business. If you got some..."
Erica: Loose strings turn until entanglements.
Sheree: Because if somebody moved or stuff wasn't working out because somebody was laid off and unemployed, and y'all ain't have no real problems, it was other stuff that happened. Then, that means when that thing has been rectified or whatever, if you still got feelings for that person then... You know what I'm saying? It's like, "Oh, we broke up because he moved away." And I was like, "Okay, well what if he come back and be like, Oh yeah, I'm here to move into my momma's house." And now you're like, "Oh, shit."
Kenrya: Don't be looking at me.
Sheree: So it's like that loose ends thing. If you feel like you got an ex that you still have feelings for, I want to know that information. I'll be asking, "Why did y'all break up? What happened?" I need to know the scoop because I need to make... "Oh, well, when she got laid off and when she lost her job, stuff just got real tough." I was like, "Nope. That bitch shows back up with some money, where does that leave me?" You know what I'm saying? So, we don't do those loose ends.
Kenrya: That's a good question to ask. I know what I learned from my situation was that he will say it.
Kenrya: I learned that things really do... I hate when people say things happen for a reason. because they always like to say it after somebody died or something, I'm like, "Fuck you." But, cat's living... Because my situation was living in different cities. Cats live in different cities for a motherfucking reason. Leave that nigga over there.
Sheree: Moral of the story.
Erica: Okay. So have y'all done something stupid in an attempt to save some things, turn some things around, get someone's attention, because going to New Orleans thinking you're going to stop? I don't know what the fuck Kiana thought was going to happen. Stop!
Sheree: You know what she thought was going to happen? This kind of shit, y'all saw on “A Different World” when the Dwayne walked up in his suit. That wildlife song that came out a couple years ago, talking about “Baby, I got plans for you. I had plans for you” or some shit. He was walking up the aisle on the wedding day, trying to look at her eyes and shit.
Sheree: We in story land, people think that shit is right. They're like, "Oh, I'm going to show up. It goes way back to the... I showed this movie to my students sometimes. “The Graduate.” When they get on the bus and we're like, "We out." You know what I'm saying?
Kenrya: There they're like, "Oh shit."
Sheree: I don't know if that stuff happens. I had somebody call me, and I didn't even fuck this dude. It was so wild. So, this dude had called me on his wedding day and had asked me, "If you say, come to Florida, I'll come to Florida."
Erica: Don't put that shit on my conscience!
Sheree: I didn't know what to do. I did not know what to do. It was so wild because it was this weird thing where because we hadn't had sex or anything. We just had this night of talking. And, I feel like sometimes because dudes don't do this thing, everything ends and begins with their penises, that if you're a woman and y'all don't fuck, then something magical happened. And it was like, nothing magical happened. We talked.
Erica: If it was magical, I woulda fucked.
Sheree: We were just hanging out. So, I think about stuff like that. I'm sure that that happened. I'm sure people leave folks at the alter or call things off.
Erica: But, I think also, with that guy's situation, if you're at the point where you call in folks. You, honey...
Sheree: You don't need to be doing it.
Kenrya: It's so interesting because that just shows cats can concoct the whole different version of it. This is what Kiana's whole situation was.
Erica: When she had a conversation with Michelle and they were talking about... The whole book, Kiana is talking about the relationship, and then Michelle comes in and was like, "Bitch, do you remember this? Who are you?"
Erica: When I was a kid, in St. Louis, there's the art museum, and then there's Art Hill, which is where everyone goes sledding. At the bottom of Art Hill, is this pond. When I was a kid, in my mind, we were going down the side of Mount Rushmore into the ocean.
Erica: We might not. We're going to die.
Erica: And I was always an anxious kid, but I remember being a kid out there looking around at these kids laughing and smiling and joking. I'm like, "Y'all out here kicking it. We're going to die. Y'all parents are fucked up for letting y'all do this. We going to die!"
Erica: Girl, I went back about 10 years ago, it is the most gentle slope. And then it ends. And then there's like 15, 20 feet of just flat sidewalk.
Erica: And then there's a lip and then a little pond and if you drop in it will probably go to your ankle.
Sheree: [crosstalk 00:46:10] A little bit.
Erica: Even if you made it, you'd be like, yeah. In my mind, I was like, "We going to die." That's just, your brain be making shit up. Your brain be making shit up.
Sheree: It does. It does.
Erica: So since I asked you that hard question about, have you ever done some stupid shit in an attempt to turn something around or convince somebody... Have you, Kenrya?
Kenrya: I don't know, have I? You looking at me like you know some shit.
Sheree: She turned around like she got an example and she was letting us see if she was going to give that example.
Erica: I was trying to get my deflect.
Kenrya: I mean, I have stayed some places where I should not have stayed.
Kenrya: But I've been cool with some like, "Yeah, this is fine. This is all right," like a fucking dog in the apartment. I have definitely.
Sheree: Oh yeah.
Erica: I'm like, "Dog in a burning apartment? When did you have a dog?" But no.
Kenrya: No I didn't.
Erica: Like weren't you allergic to them? Anyway, my bad... That dog.
Kenrya: I'm not a grand gesture kind of person.
Erica: Oh, I am.
Kenrya: I don't really expect them and I for damned sure don't do them.
Erica: Oh, I love grand gestures.
Kenrya: I'm a little-
Sheree: Have you done something to kind of like, "I'm going to do this then I'm going to turn it around?"
Erica: Here's the thing. This is my Uncle Clifford point from “P Valley.”
Erica: Here's the thing. No, I haven't done any. I can't think of any grand gestures, and I say that because at the end of the day, a bitch got pride, like too much pride. You ain't going to carry me. You ain't going to have me out there looking stupid. I want nobody saying like, "Damn Erica did X, Y, Z," and that is detrimental because it takes a lot for me to put my pride aside to be in a relationship. But I definitely would expect a grand gesture and you're like, "Well, where's the fucking hot air balloon?" and they'd be like, "Bitch. You ain't answer the fucking phone."
Kenrya: Simple. I like plain and simple. I like a good pie. Some flowers.
Sheree: Me too.
Kenrya: I don't think it'll take that much for me.
Erica: I like that too, but I'm going to say it's, I'm a bird, so I like some nice shit too. I like some nice shit too.
Erica: Okay. As we talk about memory and how we tend to conveniently remember, forget things, or add things to our memory, one of the things that was a huge part of Kiana's hot messiness, is that a term?
Sheree: It is tonight.
Erica: Okay. A big thing about Kiana's hot messiness was that it was more like she had this whole life constructed about what happened to her mother. Her mother passed away when she was young. She had this whole idea of what happened and how that looked, and she found out as an adult like, nah bitch. It was a whole different situation and part of it was because her codependent sister. God, we love Karen.
Erica: We love Karen was doing... She was being a big sister protecting her baby sister. But those lies of omission, again, helped kept her from seeing the full picture and like the full idea of what went on so that she was then able to romanticize and all of that. My granny was big on saying, "Look, if you leaving shit out, you still lying." I don't think she said shit. She didn't say shit.
Kenrya: Are you sure? Okay.
Erica: Maybe Granny did.
Kenrya: I was about to say, it's Granny.
Erica: It's Granny. She did. She did.
Kenrya: You leaving shit out. You telling lies.
Erica: So that makes me feel... That makes me want to ask you, how do you feel, particularly in the context of not necessarily a romantic relationship, but familial relationships, like when people leave out certain parts of the story in order to protect members of the family.
Kenrya: What it is?
Erica: Well, wait, sorry. I'll let you think on that, carry on.
Kenrya: No, you didn't finish your question. I was just reacting.
Erica: No, I'm just saying, how do you...
Kenrya: You know my family does that shit all the time.
Erica: Uh-huh (affirmative), you Black.
Kenrya: When my uncle died they didn't even want to tell me. I was living in New York and I saw...
Erica: Sorry, I didn't mean to laugh.
Kenrya: So my dad's the youngest of 15 kids, it's a lot of them. I don't know if they just thought I wasn't going to notice. But like...
Erica: Wait. "Where's uncle so and so?" "Oh he's at the cemetery." "What's he doing at the cemetery?" "Dead."
Kenrya: Somebody accidentally told me and I had to call and be like, "The fuck?" And they were like, "Oh, you got a lot on your plate. You in New York." I'm like, the fuck? That's my uncle.
Sheree: I'm sorry. I don't mean to laugh.
Kenrya: It's fine cause they ridiculous. I got a family that like to sweep things under the rug and act like they didn't happen. They also like the gaslight when you bring stuff up and act like you made some shit up, that's a whole related issue.
Sheree: It's very related. It's you know, it's... So there's a couple of different ways to think about honesty. Right? So I read somewhere that in some cultures, you're not supposed to be a hundred percent honest if it's going to cause harm to someone else. So it's like, if I have something that is fuck up and is fucking me up and I want to tell you so that I can feel better, but now you're going to feel worse, then that's not the right thing to do.
Kenrya: That’s like when niggas cheat.
Erica: Yeah, and they be like... ain't going to find out.
Sheree: It's complicated if you think about it in that way, because in some respects if you're holding on something that you did and it's shitty and you're like, it's eating me up. I got to tell you, and it's like, you're doing that for self-release and your own guilt. But at the same time, like I don't... I feel like honesty, as cliche as the shit is, is really the best way forward; to have the information so that you can do what it is that you're going to do with it.
Sheree: And so in that story, like Kiana being quote, unquote, protected from her mother's death, it didn't protect her. It like it made things worse. I feel like that particularly with family secrets, because they're very rarely are things better because you kept this secret. Very rare. Like I... If somebody out there got a story of some people that did not end up in therapy, because somebody had kept the truth from them, show me that person. I want to interview them.
Kenrya: Or should be in therapy, right? Because it's a whole bunch of fucking…
Sheree: I just don't feel like... I feel like you have to... If it's something that's going to affect me, you've got to. If it's something that's going to affect my myself, it's going to affect my family, if it's going to affect us as a family, if there's real ramifications to holding this information, you got to let it out. You got to talk about it. It's just going to manifest into some other shit that becomes less... So I think about in the story, if Kiana had known the truth about it, she might have been able to get help. Her and her sister might've been able to get...
Kenrya: Right? Early.
Sheree: To therapy to deal with the situation, but instead... You know what I'm saying? So definitely tell the truth. Especially, when you were mentioning Erica, talking to your child about the divorce or whatever, it's like, tell the truth and even with kids. Kids know what the fuck is going on. Don't think you protecting them.
Sheree: Come on.
Erica: And that's one of the things that his therapist said to us. She was like, You know what? When you, ...he's seeing that things are changing. You need to say something because if you don't say something to him, then it teaches him not to trust his instinct or not to trust what he sees. And so then he going to be with a bitch that, or he going to be with somebody that's like, "My bad. I ain't mean to do it."
Kenrya: Yeah, or worse he's going to gaslight himself.
Erica: I'm sorry I went to from somebody sucking some dick. My bad. Okay. But yeah. Sorry. Okay. Codependency runs rampant in this whole story. It was codependency between Kiana and Keisha... Kiana and Karen, I then put a whole different character in your story. Between Kiana and Karen. There was a slight codependency between Genevieve and Kiana. Although Genevieve, I love the fact that Genevieve was... She felt herself getting sucked in and was like, hold on.
Kenrya: I was about to say it was more than slight, but she got herself out.
Erica: She was like, "I can't do this shit, and I got to bounce," and I love that.
Kenrya: See I don't want to spoil it.
Erica: Well They don't know what happened.
Sheree: They don't know what happened.
Erica: Or else y'all should have read the book.
Kenrya: Still please read the book. It's called “Let the Lover Be.”
Sheree: “Let the Lover Be.”
Erica: Okay. So, but it's grown... But their codependent relationship grew out of something, and I think that it was... I really liked... I mean, it's normal to see the codependency between partners or in relationships, but I think we fail to examine and point out codependency between siblings because that shit is tough and unaddressed. I think about like with my family I have, it's five of us, and we all baby my baby brother. I mean the nigga is 30 something and I still call him my baby brother. I'm like my baby brother coming and this grown ass man with a beard, they like, "Where the baby?" But it's just one of those things where it's like, he's the baby, we got to protect him. I think we've all gotten a little bit better about protecting the siblings.
Erica: But I love that you highlight the codependency between the sisters. And I even think... I'm trying not to spoil too much. I'll get to the end of the story. But I think that in the end of the story is I think at like past the, the end part of it, I think that actually Kiana is going to be the one helping Karen. Is it Karen?
Sheree: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Karen at the end pull away from the codependency because Karen was definitely, let me protect my sister. Let me take care of her to a point where it was crippling her. Right?
Sheree: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Do you have any siblings?
Sheree: Yes. Yes I do. As you were talking, and I think my baby sister is listening right now and I think my big sister is listening right now.
Erica: My younger brother just passed.
Kenrya: Right before you were talking about him he went [points finger and moves it across the screen].
Sheree: And I definitely...
Erica: I'll probably get cussed out when this is over with.
Sheree: I know for me, it has been a process for me to learn how to be a big sister. Learn how to be there for my younger sister and learn how to be a resource without being a third mama, without being judgmental, without saying, "Well, you should have done this" and even learn how to, I think this is probably the hardest part, is learn how to let the people we love suffer, because there's no lesson in fixing it for her. And there's also no real independence or power in it, if I'm taking care of everything or if momma's taking care of everything or if daddy's taking care of everything. I feel like that happens the most with the youngest child because it's just the position. As a middle child, I've been the mediator for a lot of my life. Playing in between and trying to make sure everybody's good, and that's part of my therapy where it's like, well bitch, what about you? You got to think about yourself. But in terms of, especially with a younger sibling, I really had to... You got to let go. My sister's birthday, her birthday is Tuesday. She'll be... Shit. I'm going to say it out. Fuck it, Tiffany, you can come get me. I don't care. She's about to be 35 on Tuesday.
Sheree: She's 35, like she's not a baby. She's not... But sometimes, and I asked my mom, when you look at us, do you see us like young sometimes? Cause I swear, I look at Tiffany sometimes and I see her little chubby face. And I see the dried tears because something happened or somebody was fucking with her and I'm like, "Where they at?" You know what I'm saying? I still do that. And then I got to not. I got to try to remind myself she's an adult. She is a grown woman with a whole fucking child. Like she is a grown ass woman and she has to make her own decisions and her own mistakes and her own triumphs and go her own way. It's my job as her big sister to be here if she needs me, but not to tell her how to run her life or try to take care of everything.
Sheree: And that's difficult in a family full of women. My mom has three girls. My aunt got three girls, so it's a lot of girls in the family. We take care of each other in ways that we do. We nurture. We take care of each other and it's something we're socialized to do. Anybody is able to be a nurturer, but as girls, we are socialized to be that way. And that plays out in our relationships, and I feel like that line gets blurred. When do you... When are you carrying too much? When are you doing too much? When are you shielding instead of supporting? You got to, I don't know, you got to find your way through that. Not... And I feel like at the end of the book, they will find their way through that. I think it's interesting that you think that Kiana is going to take the lead on that. I think you're right. I think you're right.
Erica: Okay. So as we round the bend here, we're here at the The Turn On, so what do we talk about?
Sheree: I think my mama listening too, so, but she done already heard some shit.
Erica: I was about to say, so I can't ask about the squirting?
Sheree: You can ask whatever you like.
Erica: Yo. First, fucking on the elevator. The elevator lead up. I was like, y'all know I got my horrible story on fucking on the elevator. Well, I didn't fuck on the elevator.
Kenrya: You were having foreplay.
Erica: I was having foreplay on the elevator, but it was at this club in Miami and it literally went from like the first floor to the second floor. We got on and we started making out and went, "Ding!" The doors open and it was a bouncer. He looked at us and we just closed it and went back down. Then came back up and was like, "Ding!" And he was like, "Y'all mother fucker got to get out. Like chill. Like this is bull shit." And then damn.
Sheree: Oh shit.
Kenrya: You done forgot what you was going to say.
Erica: No, I was going to say, I was about to clown Kiana for not knowing her name. But I can’t remember…
Sheree: It be like that sometimes.
Erica: I could see him be like, "hello, sir."
Erica: I'll be like, "And how are you?" He'll be like...
Kenrya: I'm trying to figure out who I was in the car with, when you were in the elevator.
Sheree: It's okay not to remember people's names, especially if you are a sexually liberated individual.
Erica: Yeah. As long as we safe.
Sheree: Think through. I don't do body counts and stuff. Cause I don't. I mean, as long as [inaudible 01:04:05] ... finished it, I really don't give a fuck, but if you try to think through it's some spotty people and you'd be like, Who is that? It was? [inaudible 01:04:21] No. Well, did we fuck? Or did we just... You'd be thinking it through. That's life. As the memory gets further and further away, you're supposed to remember...
Erica: [crosstalk 01:04:33] Exactly.
Sheree: ... Fucking in the nineties.
Sheree: That's 20 years ago.
Erica: So, I remember there was a homecoming, a few years back, I think. And this dude, he was saying what's up to the crew and he was dabbing everybody up. And I'm like... And I was so mean to the nigga. And then a couple hours later, I was like, "I ain't fuck him." Why me? I literally had to go. I pulled him aside later on, I told him again at the club. I was like, "Yo, my bad. I just... I thought you was somebody else." He was like, "Damn, I missing out, now."
Sheree: These things happen.
Erica: Okay so, the squirting you wrote it so poetically in that, it was it wasn't like. It was like.
Sheree: Is this showers?
Erica: It was a mist.
Sheree: Shower of love.
Erica: Also how you roll...
Sheree: A mist.
Erica: Well, one thing that, I wrote this down, "these times of complete abandon that Kiana felt most secure." That just felt beautiful. I know it wasn't supposed to be maybe? But it just... That's what I searched for when I'm having good sex. I want to get so lost in the sauce that it's just like a warm Cheddar Bay biscuit. I'm a fat bitch.
Kenrya: I mean they're delicious. Now they’ve come up twice on this episode.
Erica: I know. Yeah. I just loved the scene. Although, it was not... The circumstances weren't ideal. The sex in and of itself was written beautifully, and we always comment. We always say this, how part of the reason on this show, while we want to highlight the sex scenes, are because this is a part of who we are. We don't want like the Hallmark movie.
Sheree: Wake up and that's like...
Kenrya: No, we want all of that really doing our makeup, full winged, and get up and whatnot.
Erica: I remember when Mrs. Maisel did that.
Kenrya: That's some white people shit.
Kenrya: I just want to be seeing Black people. Yeah. No.
Erica: [crosstalk 01:07:35] beautiful.
Sheree: That kind of abandon though...
Erica: What were you going to say?
Kenrya: Go ahead.
Sheree: I was going to say that kind of that abandon, that freedom, I feel like that's like essential to good sex is like...
Sheree: It's like you got to let yourself go. You can't be in your head. I mean, I don't know the unnamed woman's situation, but I do know that even how you respond sexually has to do with your comfort. And you're willing to just like... You got to be comfortable in your body. Be comfortable with the sounds you're making the feelings you're feeling, everything. And that's when sex is at its best to me. When you can really just let go and be in that moment. And it's not related to how much you love a person. Cause that's, I mean it can be, but it also doesn't have to do with that either. It can also be in this particular moment with this particular person at this particular time and space, I'm about to just let it all go.
Sheree: And I feel like that's independent of whether or not you're all googly eyes at the person or not. Because you could choose that for yourself, irrespective of the person, and just be like, this is the way that I have sex. When I have sex, I just be free. You know what I'm saying? So it's like, in that moment the sex had to be good because that's what it was about. It was about just letting go. We don't even know each other's names, but it's about to be lit. Like we bout to get it in.
Erica: Litty like a titty!
Kenrya: And I think the anonymous nature of it, especially because Kiana is always so much in her head and has constructed all these stories about what her relationship means, her old relationship, that she's trying to get that old thing back. The fact that it is anonymous helps her to stay out of her head. It allows her to be able to go to that place where she's not thinking about what this person thinks about her. She's not even thinking about her fucking name. She just sees light. There's beauty in that.
Erica: That's beautiful. So, I used to hate morning sex because I have this thing about breath, because honey I wear a retainer at night, I brush, but it just it's bad. I used to hate morning sex, but…
Kenrya: You came over to this side?
Erica: Girl that thing be marinating overnight like a little...
Kenrya: What did I say?
Erica: It's like a baked potato when you wrap in aluminum foil, then you cut it open and it's steaming like.
Kenrya: Wait Sheree.
Erica: We love Sheree.
Erica: He be like... cut the foil and be like...
Sheree: It was the gesture for me. It was the baked potato when she went, like a baked potato.
Erica: Girl and now I'm like. But it has to be good enough for me to get out of my head and get past the fact that my breath stinks and all of that. So anyway. Yeah. I'm sorry, I've been converted to morning sex, because that thing be baking like a potato overnight.
Sheree: You all remember that Martin stand up? He said the pussy marinates at night. Then he said you wake up, it would be all crusty and he said, everybody's voice sounds… Good morning…
Kenrya: Good morning to you.
Erica: I don't know. [crosstalk 01:12:08] whatever you need.
Sheree: Even driving to work like, you're gonna have a good day.
Erica: And orgasm just like we interviewed a guest and she said she masturbates every single morning and I don't do it every morning, but I have started doing it in the morning, more often in the mornings. And I do have a little... Blues are brighter, the sun's a little brighter.
Sheree: It's like, no matter what else happened that day, you had an orgasam. Like I came today. So it's like, whatever else [inaudible 01:13:07] Okay.
Erica: Well that wraps up this portion, this portion of the episode. So now, we're about to move on to our next segment which is called...
Kenrya: What's Turning Us On.
Erica: I have to make her say it. What's turning us on!
Erica: Okay, so what is turning us on? Okay, so we found out about this company called Foria.
Kenrya: We had already been using Foria products.
Erica: Yeah, so Foria makes CBD products. So, I think our first episode we titled “What, What in the Butt?”
Kenrya: Yes we did.
Erica: And we liked to talk about a little backdoor action also are good [inaudible 00:05:04]. So Foria makes these really cool suppositories, they are CBDs suppositories.
Kenrya: Yeah. And they are delightful.
Erica: They're delightful. So you can use them for...
Kenrya: I used them for a couple of different things. So, you can use them for... [crosstalk 01:14:22] So, Foria, one of the ways that they now have their product line organized is they have like relief, they have healing, and they have like intimacy are the different lines. But I use the suppositories for both.
Kenrya: I have dysmenorrhea, which I think I've talked about a few times on this show. And so I only have my cycle a few times a year. I use pills to skip it because my cramps are debilitating. Like use a TENS machine, I take a whole bunch of meds at the same time. And I use the suppositories, insert them into your vagina. It helps to kind of loosen up all your muscles so that the contracting of your uterus is not quite as painful. I start my day with these before I even get out of bed, I lay there for 15 minutes, let them get up in there. And it helps to bring my pain level down before I start my day. But the other way that I use these...
Erica: Okay, keep talking, I'm going to put the music behind it.
Sheree: Are you going to do more gestures?
Kenrya: She probably will.
Kenrya: Oh my God. So they're really great for anal. You put them in the refrigerator first so that they are a little less malleable and you just pop them on up in there. Let it marinate for a little bit. And it just kind of...
Erica: Loosens everything up.
Kenrya: Because you've got two sphincters in there, it helps to loosen them up.
Erica: Yeah, because the first one is fine. The second one is [inaudible 01:16:13]
Kenrya: And if you are having sex with a strap that is on the larger side or whatever you are implementing, because we had a whole conversation...
Erica: About stunt dicks, versus... There's weenuses, stunt dicks, and then big dicks.
Kenrya: Yes. But there's also straps of various sizes. There's things around your home that you can use. Like we were talking about pervertables and the pre-show and the VIP room. There are things that...
Sheree: Can you just explain real quick what pervertables are? That's my favorite word today.
Erica: Pervertables are just ordinary household objects or any object that can be turned into a sex toy. So I had my little cocktail strainer, stick this in the oven stick this in the freezer or fridge, make it a little cold and then it becomes some sensual, sensory something. We can use candles, what else do we say? Ice cream [crosstalk 00:01:17:23] we had a vacuum for a wine...
Sheree: Suction that pulls the air out the wine. Makes you feel some things [inaudible 01:17:39].
Kenrya: So if there are any of those things that have a flanged end on them so that they are safe to insert anywhere.
Erica: Yeah, don't just, you will lose things.
Kenrya: The point is that there are lots of things that you could safely put in there. And if you need to make more space, because you are using something that is on the larger side, and you still want to make sure that you are having pleasure and that you are not numbing pain. Cause numbing things like that are not great. You need to be able to know…exactly pain is a signal. These are really good just for loosening up things, not for numbing any type of pain. So those are a couple of the things. And I've been using these for quite some time. And it was dope that Foria sent me some more to try out ahead of the show as well. What else did we get from Foria?
Erica: We also got these CBD drops. And again, yo, like we had a tech check this morning and, Erica, I was like "CBD drops!" [inaudible 01:18:36] and like 20 minutes later, I was like...
Erica: Anyway, these joints are it. They're nice, and just relaxing. They calm you down without you being like stoned or high or anything. And I am really, I know this sounds really fucked up, but I don't like bad taste in my mouth. I don't like bad taste things taste good...That's what she said. The drops are made with coconut oil. It has like a orange kind of taste to it. But it's not strong. It's just like a...
Kenrya: But if you're someone like me who has a tree nut allergy, you should forego those. These have some coconut. Okay. So I really want to try the tonic, but I cannot because I did not want to go into anaphylactic shock.
Erica: So last, bath salts. These are not the bath salts that make you eat people's faces. Our good friends in Florida.
Kenrya: I was thinking that, but I wasn't going to say it...
Erica: They have CBD and lavender. So they are good for you to just...
Kenrya: So yours is the wellness line, right?
Kenrya: So yours has lavender. Mine is the intimacy line.
Erica: Oh, shit.
Kenrya: Yeah. So mine has cacao? Is that how you say that it's supposed to get your shit, you know?
Erica: This is the universal sign for loosen that shit up.
Erica: Opening the baked potato.
Kenrya: It has [inaudible 01:20:37] root, cacao, spearmint, organic rose, peppermint, [crosstalk 01:20:43] it’s got rose petals. So it's got this peppermint I haven't had a chance to use this yet because like I said, I've been sick and not able to do things that are luxurious, like baths, but I can see it’s got this peppermint and spearmint. Probably get some little tangles, bring some blood to the surface.
Sheree: Have ya'll seen that TikTok thing when you're like, why is it spicy?
Kenrya: I do not know what you're talking about, oh my God.
Sheree: I'm sorry.
Kenrya: If y'all are interested in any of these products, we'll add this to the event. No, I think we can do that. But also we'll add it to the show notes. When this goes up on our website and we have links directly to get these products
Erica: And we have a discount code. I think it's like 10% off?
Kenrya: Oh, I didn't know that.
Erica: I should have researched that, but anyway, so with that said. This has been a great!
Erica: Sheree, you were like legit, like play cousin.
Sheree: I know...
Erica: You can get with us when the world comes back up you going to come up or maybe we'll come down to you.
Kenrya: I'm not going to Florida. I'm sorry.
Sheree: Damn, you had to make that face too. And I just…
Kenrya: I just need cats to take what's happening seriously. You know, when it's safe.
Sheree: Florida ain't, like people talking about like, oh, curfew. In Tampa Bay, we had a curfew for three days before they canceled it. They put the curfew in effect, our mayor did. And then the city council threatened the mayor with a lawsuit and shit. And then it was like, okay, just playing. And so then stuff being closed, like shit is not closed. It ain't been closed. There were limited hours for a minute. And there were caps on numbers of people, but people in their establishments have to enforce it and they were not. So, Florida has not been shut down in any real way. And that is one of the reasons it is a hot fucking mess COVID-wise down here. They just out living their life just regular.
Kenrya: That makes me sad.
Erica: Well, in a 2023 when life opens back up, we'll come down and visit.
Kenrya: And we don't always do episodes of the show in sequence. So we have already interviewed Sheree for the show where we do an interview where we just dig all in your business.
Erica: And we talk about the sisterhood of the... We need like a Midwest sign, like the power of the Midwest. "Captain Planet, he's our hero..."
Sheree: Like do something Midwest-y on your merch. Cause I have like two things in my cart right now that Imma get, but think about something Midwest-y for the merch.
Erica: Like catfish and spaghetti. I don't know how we'll make that into a... [crosstalk 01:24:22]
Sheree: I would buy a t-shirt just saying catfish and spaghetti on it because we...
Sheree: Thank you for having me. I just, I don't know. I adore you all so much and yeah. I love y'all podcast. I love the conversations y'all having. It's just, it's fun. When I listen I'm laughing out loud. I'm thinking about my life. I'm telling my, my wife like, “Oh my God, you got to hear this part.” I love the podcast so much. So it's like being on it feels kind of fan girly. So it was like anything y'all were asking, I was going to be like, yeah, I was going to make it work. Like whatever y'all say I was going to make it work. So thank you so much for having me, I had a good time. I love talking with y'all and thank you so much.
Kenrya: Oh, so wait before you go tell people where they can find you.
Sheree: You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. I signed up for Twitch today just cause I was watching these DJs weren't so it's on there.
Kenrya: I just signed up for Twitch today so I could watch today.
Sheree: So I'm following. But like, last week there was a 24 hour. It was the day of the election. It was like a 24 ]-hour DJ thing, and it was all women DJs and it was Monica Ray Simpson. It was for artists for Black women's reproductive health. I can't think of the name. I'm going to find a name and I'm gonna with y'all. He's doing amazing work. Her name is Monica Ray, she just had like six women DJs that was like, fucking it up. It got me through the day. It was so great. And so I signed up for a Twitter, all that to say all of my shit is Sheree L Greer on everything. So Twitter, Instagram, Twitch, Facebook. My website is ShereeLGreer.com. Just keep it simple.
Kenrya: And that's S-H-E-R-E-E-L-G-R-E-E-R. So make sure y'all go and follow Sheree. Pick up a copy of “Let the Lover Be.” Show the people the book. Yes. Both of them. And so we'll have links for those in the show notes as well. And they're in our Bookshop.
Erica: And please buy from your local booksellers.
Kenrya: Black booksellers if possible. Yeah. And that wraps up our very first live show.
Sheree: Y'all like it live?
Kenrya: It was fun. We'll do this more often. Thank you to everyone who took time on their Saturday to spend it with us. Until next time we are Kenya and Erica…
Erica: Two hoes makin' it clap!
Kenrya: Two hoes makin’ it clap!
Erica: I always try and she never does it!
Kenrya: I mean I was kinda trolling you this time.
Erica: Two hoes makin' it clap!
Kenrya: Two hoes makin’ it clap!
Erica: This episode was produced by us, Erica and Kenrya and edited by B'Lystic. The theme music is from Brazy. Now you can support the turn-on and get off. Subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app, then drop us a five-star review and you'll be entered to win something that's turning us on. Post your review and email a screenshot to us at TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com to enter. Our Patreon page is also live, become supporter today and access lots of goodies, including two for one raffle entries. Don't forget to send us your book recommendations and sex and related questions, and follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram at @ TheTurnOnPodcast. You can find links to books, merch, transcripts, guest info, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com. Thanks for listening. And we'll see you soon. Holla.
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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya talk to therapist Chloé Cook about repeating the patterns of our parental relationships in our romantic relationships, setting boundaries with our partners' friends, and when it's time to go to sex therapy.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Kenrya: Today, we're talking to Chloé Cook, pronouns she and her. Chloé provides couples and family therapy from an emotionally focused perspective that helps them improve communication skills, work through trust and infidelity issues, and build a healthy foundation and foster supportive partnerships. Chloé also helps folks in their relationships and address sex and intimacy issues including, orgasm difficulties, unmatched and low desire, performance anxiety, and sexual empathy. Chloé, thanks so much for coming back on the show.
Chloé: Thank you guys for having me again. It's a pleasure.
Erica: So the last time you were on the show, you told us about how you came to be a therapist, but-
Chloé: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: We understand that you specialize in sex therapy. So how did you come to incorporate that in your practice?
Chloé: Well, actually because I specialize with couples, I noticed that every time I had clients that came in as a couple, that sex always ended up coming into the discussion when we were having our therapy session. So I thought to myself, "I need to get some more education on how to help couples, especially when it comes with a mismatched desire, and having sexual empathy in a relationship." When I say sexual empathy, I mean understanding the differences we have when it comes to sexual arousal.
Chloé: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: Yeah. Look at your face.
Erica: Honey, it's been so long. I got cobwebs up in this pussy.
Chloé: Oh, it's okay. It happens. It happens.
Kenrya: Okay. Sorry. Why do you think it's important to address that, particularly for Black people?
Chloé: Oh, well, particularly for Black people, there seems to be a stigma in our community at times, especially when it comes to Black women on what's okay sexually, what's acceptable sexually, what type of judgments we receive sexually. It's not so much that way in, I will specifically say white communities.
Chloé: We have stigmas against what women are supposed to do, what they're not supposed to do, and whether or not it makes them look slutty or a hoe or whatever you want to call it, whatever the names you hear out in our communities and the places where we socialize. But we have to get away from those things and learn how to be open and free with what makes us feel good. Because ultimately that's what sex is for; pleasure being shared between two or more partners.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I love it.
Chloé: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: So what's the hardest thing about that type of work?
Chloé: The hardest thing about it is when people are really uncomfortable talking about things that may be embarrassing in their sex life or what they deem to be embarrassing. But often we think something isn't embarrassing because we're not used to talking about it or thinking that we're different from other people.
Chloé: We often feel like sex is this taboo topic and what I'm experiencing someone else isn't experiencing. But the truth is we've all experienced different types of things that were sexually uncomfortable, things that we may have thought were weird that aroused us sexually, or felt embarrassed that something aroused us sexually, but it's actually a natural part of being a human being.
Kenrya: And there's nothing new under the sun.
Chloé: Nothing new under the sun.
Erica: Nothing new.
Chloé: I always tell my clients, because they'll have a look on their face of embarrassment or they'll grin or giggle. And I'll always say, "There is nothing you can tell me that I haven't heard before."
Erica: Yeah. And if I haven't heard it, I might try it.
Chloé: Yeah. And you know, what, if I haven't heard it before, I simply ask my clients, "Tell me what that word is." "Tell me what it means." So I can educate myself and I can Google or go look somewhere so I can learn about it even more just in case I have another client that mentions that same term, or maybe it's a term that I had another term for. Right?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chloé: We all use different words for different behaviors and things that we do sexually. So I ask questions too, in my session.
Kenrya: Word. We asked you to come on the show this week, because last week we read a book called “Big Girl Pill.”
Kenrya: And it features two women who are fighting these massive internal struggles that really make it hard for them to connect with other people.
Kenrya: Which sounds like a situation that's ripe for therapy.
Kenrya: Although, neither of them go to therapy in this book, which is crazy, but anyway. So one of the main characters, Nina, she's in this battle with her very controlling mother and her very controlling fiancé. And it makes me wonder how and why do the patterns of our parenting relationships show up in our intimate relationships?
Chloé: Oh. Yeah, that's a good one. That's a good question. So in the therapy world... I have to start with that. That is an awesome question. It tends to happen because it's almost as if our brains or our psyches are trying to get us to get another chance at correcting an unhealthy or dysfunctional relationship.
Chloé: So we subconsciously will choose partners that mimic the behaviors of our parents to get a do-over. So I didn't get what I needed or there may have been... How can I explain it? I don't even want to say abuse because I don't want it to sound too harsh, but some type of dysfunctionality that created a lack somewhere. So if I choose a partner that's similar, I can get a do-over and try this again and get what I need from that relationship.
Kenrya: But if you don't do anything to get yourself some tools, I would imagine you just end up repeating the same shit.
Chloé: You keep repeating the same thing. And that's why we tend to have a pattern of the type of people that we date. So recognizing that pattern is helpful because it takes some time to meet a different person over and over again. And that those, each individual partners that we end up dating get less and less like that parent or that family figure or a guardian or whoever it was that was in your relationship that you created some type of bond or connection with or needed a bonding or connection with.
Kenrya: Yeah, very loud. Very loud right now.
Erica: Yeah. Like...Get out my life.
Chloé: I've even seen it in my own life. It's something that we all have to pay attention to when we're dating and choosing to commit to partners. Recognizing that the traits that they have that mimics some of the things that we're used to seeing. And we're drawn to that because we're used to it and it feels comfortable and it feels normal, even if it's dysfunctional.
Kenrya: Because it's a dysfunction you know.
Chloé: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Erica: So why is it important to set boundaries with our families and the people that's closest to us and how can we... What steps can we take to define and maintain those boundaries?
Chloé: Well, it's important to set boundaries because as we grow as adults, we create this individuality separate from who our families are or who they were. And either we choose to... And I don't want to say choose because sometimes we don't have boundaries and not on purpose. It's just because we're not used to doing that.
Chloé: But if we don't have boundaries, we create a type of codependency that doesn't allow you to be individual from your family. So you end up bringing those same behaviors and same connections over into other parts of your life. And your other families that you're creating, whether they're friendships or romantic partnerships or family relationships that you have created with your partner. So creating a boundary is helpful in order for you to create individuality, have a sense of self, lack... Not lack, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to use that choice of wording, but to create a sense of self and not allow for possessiveness, controlling, unhealthy attachment to occur in your life.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay. So Nina... So one of the main characters is Nina.
Chloé: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: She hates her partners' friend group.
Erica: But she's also hesitant to say anything. I've been there. You don't want to offend anyone. So how would you suggest someone saying something if they were in a similar situation?
Chloé: Saying something to their partner about the friend group?
Erica: Yeah. Like, "I hate your crew." "You got a whole bunch of fuck boy ass friends." "But I love you."
Kenrya: What boundaries can you set there, right?
Chloé: Well, as far as boundaries are concerned, if you know you can't change your partners' friends, you know that. That's up to your partner to decide whether or not those are good friendships or not. As far as boundaries are concerned, whether or not you have to deal with your partners friends, that's where you have to decide what's acceptable for you and what's not.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-
Chloé: So I'm okay with going somewhere with my partner if their friends are there in a group and I have the ability to leave when I need to. So setting boundaries regarding a physical space and having to be around the friend, I wouldn't get too much into the, "Why do you have those friends?" And remember, we don't want to use the word, why in any questions we ask our partners because it creates defensiveness.
Erica: You are so triggering, right now. Chloé-
Erica: I've heard that before from a wise woman.
Chloé: You cannot change your partners' friends. If there's a problem that you see that your partner doesn't see, word choice is very key here. "So I noticed that your friends, blah, blah, blah." If they don't notice it, and they don't think it's an issue, drop it, leave it alone. Because let me tell you, behaviors that create issues in your partner's lives, where it concerns their friends, will eventually start to bother them. And they'll remember that question you asked, or that statement you made about what you noticed.
Chloé: "So I noticed they try to hoard all your time." And this, this.. Whatever it is that you have noticed about your partner's friends that draw a red flag for you. Just make a general statement. It doesn't have to be like you're pointing the finger or anything, and let it go. If they don't notice it, move on.
Chloé: Not your friends. Remember, they're not your friends. You don't have to necessarily be around them.
Kenrya: What if he try to make you be around them?
Chloé: That's where you have to... That's where you have to have the boundary.
Erica: Because I feel like now, especially nowadays, everyone wants their friend groups to-
Chloé: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Yeah. And it's like...
Chloé: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And that's where the boundary has come into.
Chloé: And you have to let your partner understand that our friends don't have to merge, it's okay. Because guess what? We were individuals before we became a partnership and we're still individuals inside of this partnership.
Chloé: So you can have your set of friends and I can have my set of friends and the ones that do get along, yeah we can merge and do things here and there. But if that's not the case, it's okay. There's nothing wrong with that.
Kenrya: Right. So that's, Nina's issue. The other protagonist in the book is Maya.
Chloé: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: And she's having a tough time being vulnerable with her friends, with her family, with her love interest who is Nina.
Kenrya: And she's had some significant losses like family, both of her parents are gone. And then she has some relationship losses as well. And this is something that really resonated with me because I have only within the last couple of years of really intense work, gotten good or better at being able to be vulnerable.
Kenrya: What can people who have that issue, that concern do to help make themselves more comfortable with letting people in?
Chloé: Vulnerability is hard. Because you know what, it opens you up and I'm sure you noticed Kenrya. It opened you up to pain, to-
Kenrya: Yes, ma'am.
Chloé: Emotional pain. We don't want to bring physical pain into that because we shouldn't be experiencing physical pain that we don't want with our partner. [crosstalk 00:14:42] That we don't want. Right. In a sense it's always a [inaudible 00:14:47] right? But it opens us up to emotional pain, being hurt, being deceived, all of those things we don't want to happen in our relationship. So it's taking a risk and you really have to say to yourself that if I don't take a risk and open myself up, am I really opening myself up to being loved the way that I need to, the way that I want to?
Chloé: Remember when we put a wall up to keep something from harming us, we're also keeping a wall up and not- [crosstalk] Right. We're keeping stuff out. We're not allowing ourselves to be loved. And we're not allowing ourselves to share the love that we have to share with the people that we choose to be in our lives. So we got to use the boundary as a fence, not wall. So you can poke your finger and jump over it and go through whenever you need to and to allow other people to be able to do the same thing.
Kenrya: How does it negatively impact the people closest to us when we don't let them in?
Chloé: It creates intimacy issues. This is a big thing that I end up having to talk about with my clients all the time. There is a lack of intimacy in the relationship. And when I use the word intimacy, it's important for everybody to understand that there are different types of intimacy. We all think of sex when we hear the word intimacy, but being emotionally intimate with the people in our lives is what actually create the connection and bond with the people that we love.
Chloé: And if we're unable to share things about ourselves with them, the way we feel, the way something that has affected us through an experience, good or bad, we're not allowing them to see who we are and what makes us tick. What makes us feel good, what makes us feel bad. And that creates the intimacy issue.
Erica: Okay. So I'm going to just jump out of turn, but since we're on the topic and we talk about sex here. How does... Can you just dig a little deeper into how someone having trouble being vulnerable or setting healthy boundaries impacts a couple's sex life? And if you could talk about it from a, "I have no boundaries," way because I think we tend to talk about walls a lot. And I think that's very valid, but also talk about it from someone who just has no boundaries.
Chloé: No boundaries. So I'll go from the no boundaries side. When we don't allow ourselves to be vulnerable with and open ourselves and share with people, two things can happen. You can have that, no boundary situation or you create a wall. So we're on two opposite sides of the fence, right?
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chloé: So when you are in the position where you don't have any boundaries, that's when you tend to see behaviors where you are having very short-lived sexual encounters with people. Or if you do have a partner, the sex seems shallow or on the surface. We're just satisfying a biological urge. I want to have sex, let's have sex. There's no deep feeling in the sex.
Chloé: People like that tend to not make eye contact. Don't want to be really, really close when having sex or... I know people love to have what we call doggy style but if that tends to be the go-to move all the time, what do you think happening there? That's the least amount of skin-to-skin contact you can have with a person when you're having heterosexual sex or same-sex because you're not face to face.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chloé: Transgender sex, same thing. This goes for a hetero and same-sex couples. You're not face to face. You're not having skin-to-skin contact with the majority of your body. Remember these types of things create the feel-good hormone in your brain, oxytocin. That creates bonds between two people. So when we don't have that, we don't get that bond and connection. So people that have vulnerability issues and don't feel like they can open up to others, they tend to have behaviors like this because they feel somewhat threatened or may have anxiety when they do the things that mimic closeness. Or that helps them to feel close. Or when they start talking about something, they want to change the subject or they don't want to... They dismiss it when it starts to get too intimate or too deep about how they feel or how they experienced something in life. So we don't want to... We don't want to dismiss the term going on a hoe stroll. I know y'all heard that before. Or going through your hoe phase.
Kenrya: Yeah. I definitely had a hoe phase or two in my life.
Chloé: Okay, so we don't want to confuse going through the hoe phase with the short-lived sexual experiences because that's a lifelong pattern. Okay?
Kenrya: So it's not about pathologizing a behavior that you're choosing for the time because it's what fits you, right?
Chloé: Bingo. There you go.
Kenrya: I've been in a lot of therapy.
Chloé: Right. That's why they call it a phase. Okay.
Kenrya: Yeah. Yeah.
Chloé: There's nothing wrong with choosing sexual empowerment, where you're wanting to get more experience and wanting to try new things out. No confusion with noticing a pattern that as soon as you start to get close to someone, you start to back up and now you're on to the next.
Chloé: And the next and the next and the next. Or even your only one night stands all the time, right? Because it's easy. It's fulfilling a need in the moment. Because there's still a need, even though you don't want to be vulnerable. You still have a need for closeness, which is where the sex is coming in.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Chloé: It's fulfilling that surface need of closeness without creating a place where you can be vulnerable or need to be vulnerable with someone.
Kenrya: I'm kind of... Well, I was going to say on the other end of the spectrum, but not exactly because these characters have their own intimacy issues too.
Chloé: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: But the couple at the center of this book starts out as friends.
Kenrya: And I'm wondering do people who you see... You see a lot of different couples. Generally are people who are friends for a long time before they get into relationships, do they have a stronger foundation or is it the opposite and they bring more baggage to the situation or is there no real pattern to it?
Chloé: Honestly, I have not seen a real pattern to it, but then again, I'm not doing research and taking numbers-
Chloé: And paying attention. But I don't notice a pattern. I've had couples that have been friends forever and decided that they were going to be together and get married and all this stuff. And they're fine. It's not the opposite where they have been friends forever, decide to get together and it's a disaster. Right. And then on the other side it's the same way. People who just met. They met online, they have the best relationship and they come to therapy just to make sure they're okay. "We just want to check in." "We're great but these little things we have arguments about." And then, yeah. Same thing on both sides.
Kenrya: Interesting. That's a thing? I'm not saying that with judgment. I just didn't know that people do that.
Chloé: What, come to therapy just to check in and have random-
Kenrya: Yeah. That's healthy?
Erica: That's healthy, right? Yeah.
Chloé: I always feel like those couples are a breath of fresh air because I wish more people would do that because-
Erica: He was like, none of these issues. "Shit, let me just deal with people that like each other."
Chloé: But it is, when I mean, it's a breath of fresh air to know that there are happy couples out there that want to make sure that if there is an issue that they can hit it early. That if they're noticing that they're getting into the same types of arguments all the time, but they are still in love and still having a great sex life, but they just want to figure out, "Well, how can we can't stop arguing about this one little thing?" People do that. And it makes me really feel that therapy is getting out there as a, "Hey, we don't just have to go to therapy because there's something wrong."
Chloé: Seriously wrong.
Kenrya: That's dope.
Chloé: Mm-hmm (affirmative). People do that. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: Okay. So for the folks who may not necessarily be interested in going to therapy, but who have intimacy issues, who have trouble letting themselves be vulnerable or who have trouble setting and maintaining boundaries, are there any resources you recommend for them?
Chloé: Okay. So this is a difficult one. And as far as resources like books and things like that, I will say Brené Brown has a couple of books that people can look into. I don't know if any of you guys have ever-
Kenrya: I fucks with Brené. I interviewed her for Fast Company. Yeah, she was so dope. Yeah.
Chloé: Oh my gosh.
Kenrya: We talked for like an hour and a half and she sent me some copies of all of her books. I don't know. I do a lot of shit. They all-
Erica: Let me borrow one of your books.
Kenrya: No, because you ain't going to give them back. But you know where they are.
Chloé: Oh my gosh. Yeah.
Kenrya: She's super dope.
Chloé: Anybody out there, Google Brené Brown and you could get any one of her books. She is awesome. Kenrya, I did not know that. That is-
Chloé: So amazing.
Kenrya: And you know what? She has a really great TED talk on vulnerability.
Chloé: That's the one that I was about to talk about.
Kenrya: Okay, my bad.
Chloé: Yeah. No. Look, I don't have specific details, but Google Brené Brown-
Kenrya: We'll add it to the show notes.
Chloé: TED Talk about vulnerability. It is amazing. I feel like really, that's where you go. Listen to her. Not only is she motivating, but she really makes you think about how yourself, the people that you have partnered up with in your past. But the reasons why you may have partnered with them in the past. It just makes you really, really think and gain some perspective on how we choose partners and even think deeply about our selves that we may have been wondering why we do certain things. She is amazing.
Chloé: Now here's a controversial thing about people who are not very good at vulnerability and have a pattern of hopping. Hopping around from person to person. So there's a theory out there with emotionally focused therapy that in order to balance out in secure attachment, which is what people usually have when they have a problem with vulnerability is that we tend to seek out secure attachments.
Erica: Wait, say that one more time.
Erica: Ooh, I feel real attacked. Say it one more time-
Kenrya: I just connected some dots, I'm sorry. Every time, Chloé, every time.
Chloé: A lot of times... Remember I told y'all our brains are... Do a very, very good job sometimes. Too good of a job, helping us to survive in this world.
Chloé: Or subconsciously, we tend to seek out people who are very used to being vulnerable and open. And they're, "Here, come to me." "I can help you." You tend to seek out those types of people. Now the controversial side of that is non vulnerable people end up hurting those people. Okay. And those people tend to have patterns seeking out partnerships with people that have a hard time being vulnerable. And so even though I feel like they're necessary for learning and growth, we have to be careful in choosing and understanding why we choose the people we choose in order to break the cycle of continuously hurting people in our partnerships. And when I'm saying continuously hurting, I mean, it becomes purposeful when you know and understand what's going on, if that makes sense.
Erica: Okay girl.
Kenrya: Look at your face.
Chloé: Oh, right. [crosstalk 00:27:53] And let me expand a little bit on that. So I know what's going on with me. I know I have a hard time with vulnerability. It's hard for me to open up with people. It's hard for me to be intimate, but I'm still going to choose to get into this serious committed relationship.
Erica: No, I... All right, girl.
Kenrya: It's interesting.
Erica: But I'm better. You know what, I'm better now. I feel really attacked. Therapy.
Erica: I recognized those... I recognize that I did do that, but I feel really attacked because I'm like, "You ain't got to put my business out there."
Kenrya: On my own show.
Erica: Damn, it be your own people.
Kenrya: But this is interesting. [crosstalk 00:28:36] That's right.
Kenrya: Yeah. But see, for me, I think it has manifested and that I've chosen people who were also unable to be vulnerable. So then we could just not be vulnerable together.
Erica: Two little rocks sitting in a room not talking.
Chloé: I'm curious how that works. I'm curious in how those relationships ended up.
Kenrya: Not great.
Chloé: All I picture is you sitting on one side of the room and somebody else on the other side of the room looking at each other, like...
Kenrya: And then... Yes. Sometimes... And sometimes it looked like a narcissist in sheep clothing who was able to take advantage of that.
Chloé: Oh, okay.
Kenrya: Things are funny. Yeah.
Chloé: Okay. I get that. So I know she's not going to say anything. So I'm going to roll like this.
Chloé: Yeah. I get it. I get it.
Kenrya: Yeah, that's my life. Not anymore though.
Erica: You know what Chloé, the thing is I don't... I love you and I love when we have you on the show, but then it be like-
Chloé: Aw, thank you guys.
Erica: Yeah, you be dragging the fuck out of us. Okay.
Chloé: What? If that's all... Relationships are all about learning our skills and what makes us feel good in relationships, what makes us feel bad. And the more we know about ourselves, the better off we are when we do choose to be committed in a relationship with someone.
Chloé: Yeah. But we have to do it in order... We have to do it so we can learn and grow and experience. We can't just sit around by ourselves, not having any companionship. Otherwise, we don't learn and we don't grow.
Erica: Okay. So we had an episode a few weeks back where we asked one another, what's bringing us joy in this dumpster fire ass world that we in?
Chloé: Oh, that we are in right now.
Erica: So I'm going to ask you, Chloé, what brings you joy?
Chloé: Oh, I'm sure you guys-
Kenrya: Can't help yourself.
Erica: I'm sorry.
Chloé: It's okay. I'm sure you guys know what brings me joy.
Chloé: I don't would think I have to bring it up, but I have to for the people that are listening. So waking up every morning and seeing the smile on my son's face for those that don't know, he's 13 months old now. And he wakes up with a smile every morning.
Chloé: So even though this world is the way it is right now, it brings so much joy to see his smile and hear him laugh. And to see his father, see him smiling and laughing because that to me shows me that no matter what's going on outside of here, outside of us, that we can forget about it in that moment and all smile with each other.
Kenrya: That's beautiful. That brings me joy.
Erica: Black love.
Chloé: It feels good y'all. It feels good.
Erica: That is so great. Okay, so few quick, rapid... Quick, rapid. Few rapid fire questions.
Erica: Finish this sentence.
Chloé: Oh gosh, here we go.
Erica: I love it when, blank.
Chloé: I'm laughing y'all. I love it when my husband rubs my butt.
Erica: Bitch! If I could Door Dash a nigga to come and rub on my booty.
Chloé: [inaudible 00:32:23].
Kenrya: Booty rub.
Chloé: That's what I fall asleep to a lot of the time. [inaudible 00:32:29].
Erica: Okay. You braggers, again. Right now my situation is...
Chloé: You can Door Dash a booty rubber in. Oh, but it's a pandemic.
Erica: Yeah. Because yeah, I could... Yeah. Anyway. Okay. Next one. A perfect day begins with...
Chloé: Waking up late.
Erica: I love it. Okay. My most used emoji is...
Chloé: The straight face. You know the one with the-
Chloé: The straight mouth... The straight mouth with the eyes, no expression.
Erica: Uh-huh (affirmative). What's yours Kenrya?
Kenrya: I'm looking. I'm trying to see. I think it's probably... So my top two are kissy face and tilted to the side, crying, laughing. That's about right.
Chloé: Okay, wait.
Chloé: Now I got to look at my cellphone and see which one comes up first.
Erica: So my most used are the one where it's like the guy that's like... His face is crying. [crosstalk 00:33:38] That one and the new one that they dropped with the jagged smile. Where he's like...
Kenrya: And his face is kind of red.
Chloé: I just looked at my most used and it's the woman with the hand on the face.
Kenrya: She's a woman of our time.
Chloé: And the crying laughing one. Those are my... And the straight face was number three. So that one actually wasn't my most used one.
Kenrya: Ain't that-
Chloé: It's the one with the hand in the face.
Kenrya: It's relevant.
Erica: Final one.
Erica: I am a...
Chloé: [inaudible 00:34:17] Hard! Oh my gosh. I am a... Ooh. How could y'all do that to me Okay. So you know what?
Chloé: The first thing that really pops in my mind is, believe it or not, I am an empowered woman.
Chloé: I've been on this, come on y'all, woman empowerment thing lately because I've been having a lot of women talking to me about coming out of possessive and controlling relationships. Feeling like they were stifled and didn't have a voice. And I've been seeing these women throughout this pandemic. Finding a voice for themselves. And I just been on that, [inaudible 00:35:09].
Chloé: I've been cheerleading. And through that, it makes me feel empowered because I love to see women becoming who they know they are supposed to be in this moment.
Chloé: [inaudible 00:35:23].
Kenrya: Have you seen the pandemic kind of bringing that out in folks? Having...
Kenrya: Making them reconsider their situations?
Chloé: Oh my gosh. Yes. Whether it is platonic friendships, relationships, work relationships regarding their career paths. This pandemic, as bad as it has been for a lot of people and how it affected a lot of people, has actually made people more aware of what's going on in their lives that is not serving them.
Chloé: It's not serving me, I need to do something about it. And this is the time to do it, it seems like.
Erica: You know, it's crazy. I have talked to... I feel like I've been the most creative during this pandemic. I've talked to so many people that have sprouted. I do think it's, I don't want to say it. You know, I don't think this is a time... I feel like people are coming up with really great ideas that are going to make them some money. You know?
Chloé: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: And not to make it all about a dollar, but even... We're probably about to face a really bad recession. World is again a dumpster fire but I feel like there are these really bright pockets of people finding themselves, realizing that this shit can go in a minute. So I might as well enjoy it while it's here. It's been interesting because you have so much pain and suffering and death and job losses and all of that. But on the other hand, there is a real... This is a crucible. Weird, shit's changing and I am excited about it.
Chloé: It really is and you can either let it get you down or do some things that are going to make you feel good about yourself, feel good about your community and your family.
Chloé: We have that choice. You just have to do it.
Chloé: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: Awesome. Well-
Kenrya: For those of you who love Chloé as much as we do and would like to find out more information about her, you can head over to magnoliamhealth.com and tell her how dope she is.
Chloé: Aw, thank you.
Erica: And book her for a session if you are dealing with some issues for yourself, or as a couple. You can tell that Chloé is culturally competent, but-
Erica: But she knows her shit.
Erica: So, yeah.
Chloé: Yeah. And if anyone sends me an email and lets me know that they listen to your podcasts, they will get a discount.
Erica: Ooh. Yes.
Kenrya: They get a what, what she say?
Kenrya: Oh, aye! Aye!
Chloé: Yeah. But you have to mention that you heard about me on the podcast.
Erica: On The Turn On
Kenrya: That's awesome-
Erica: That's right.
Kenrya: And we'll put the link in the show notes to you as well. Yo, thank you so much for joining us again.
Chloé: Thank you guys for having me. It really is. You guys know I love talking to you all the time.
Kenrya: You're the best. Great. That's going to do it for this week's episode of The Turn On. Thank y'all for listening. We'll be back next week.
Kenrya: This episode of The Turn On was produced by us, Kenrya and Erica. And edited by B'Lystic. The theme music is from Brazy. Now you can support The Turn On and get off. Subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app. Then drop us a five-star review and you'll be entered to win something that's turning us on. Just post your review and email a screenshot to TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com to enter. Our Patreon page is also live. Become a supporter today and you'll access lots of goodies, including The Turn On Book Club and two for one raffle entries. And don't forget to send us your book recommendations in sex and related questions and follow us over on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast. You can find links to books, merch, transcripts, guest info, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com. Thanks for listening. And we'll see you soon. Bye.
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.