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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya read N.D. Jones' "Of Fear and Faith" and talked Black spirituality, the two lists everyone should make before they start dating, having panic attacks after seemingly "fine" dates, the importance of having a strong block game and lingering gender roles.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Welcome, welcome, to this week's episode of The Turn On. This week, we are reading “Of Fear and Faith” by N.D. Jones. So sit by, relax, get your wine, get your weed, get your whatever you need, and enjoy.
Kenrya: “Of Fear and Faith” by N.D. Jones.
Kenrya: Assefa pulled her to the bed, but it was she who pushed him down, straddling him as she had done earlier. He was hers now, so Sanura eagerly kissed and licked every scrumptious inch of Assefa's neck, shoulders, and chest, pleased when she heard him purr in pleasure. She slid down his mighty body to free his arousal from the boxers, tossing them to the floor. Impressed and feeling like she should give a shout-out to Sekhmet for creating such a fine specimen, Sanura stared at Assefa's magnificent, bronzed body. The touch, sound, and taste of him hypnotically unnerving. Animal or male magnetism didn't begin to capture the explosions he set off deep inside her. Unable to speak both binding and fathomless words of commitment, she poured all her emotions into exploring his body, enjoying locating all the spots that most made him purr.
Kenrya: Just when Sanura was about to take him into her mouth and suck him until he squirmed under her mind-blowing administrations, losing all control, Assefa rolled her over and then effortless divested her of her panties. Damn him.
Kenrya: "You tortured me enough, temptress. I see you like to play with fire."
Kenrya: She wiggled teasingly under him, his penis heavy, hard, and not where she wanted it.
Kenrya: "I'm a fire witch. That's what I do."
Kenrya: "It is? Well, I got something for you, my little witch."
Kenrya: Sanura just bet he did, and she couldn't wait. But Assefa jumped from the bed, and less than 20 seconds later, he was back with a triumphant smile and a closed fist. He opened his hand, and gold, sparkling paper unfurled.
Kenrya: "Boy scout," she said with a smile and then paused, looking closer. "Magnum?" Her grin widened. "Braggart."
Kenrya: "Fire and ice condoms, temptress." He showed her the profile of a warrior of ancient Troy and winked at her, slow and outrageously cute. "We wasted one earlier."
Kenrya: He tore one open and put the condom on, rolling it until it covered his magnificent girth. "If you aren't tired, we'll see how much fire and ice we can stand."
Kenrya: The glow of his eyes was his only warning before he took Sanura in a hard thrust, ripping a scream of pleasurably shock from her. "And you're so soft and wet," Assefa moaned.
Kenrya: Every part of their bodies joined in an electrical dance that shot through her like lightening through a tree, powerful and unforgiving. Pulsing, throbbing white heat invaded the room, captured and then released as the rhythm pounded loudly and methodically to the beat of their own making. Passion-filled groans charged the atmosphere, sacred names broke the sound barrier, and a soul-rendering symphony made up of an orchestra of two intertwined bodies of sweat and desire.
Kenrya: "Oh gods, yes, yes," Sanura yelled, not caring how loud she was. Right now, she felt more than capable of outscreaming even the Banshee Queen. And for the love of Isis, was Assefa growing inside of her? Longer? Thicker? Gods, to savor. He was, he had, and she was full to overflowing, receiving more than she'd ever dreamed possible.
Kenrya: Eyes a dark shade of gold now, Assefa's fangs slipped a little from his gums, the tips of them below his top lip. At this moment, Sanura knew his cat instinct was to claim her, to bite into her flesh and take her as his mate. His mate. Sanura tensed. Assefa stopped. Her fire spirit raged, hissing at the wanting to complete the joining, to not fear the unknown, the uncontrollable. He stared down at her, his body trembling. For mating need or halted pleasure, she couldn't determine. With clear effort, if not reluctance, fangs lifted then disappeared. The mood threatened to follow. She watched him, wondering what he would do now. If he would decide he made a mistake taking her to bed.
Kenrya: Then, like replacing a dead battery, Assefa sparked to life, nipping her shoulder. No worries. He began to move, setting the pace, a slow speed that was no less intense, no less toe-curling for its lack of raw force. There were no more words, no more attempts at claiming, no more fear. Just the heat, just the passion, just the burning pleasure of two bodies in search of unforgettable rapture.
Erica: Okay, y'all, welcome back. That was “Of Fear and Faith” by N.D. Jones, read by the lovely Killa' Ken.
Erica: So Kenrya, this story, this book, is full of lots of twists and turns and spoilers that I don't want to give away, so take it away.
Kenrya: Yeah, that's right. Okay, let's see. How can I do this? In this book, our two main characters... Oh, it is hard to do without telling too much information.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: Sanura and Assefa have generational power that is vested in them.
Erica: So first, it's a witchy book, right?
Kenrya: Yes, it is.
Erica: It deals with spirituality and witchcraft and that kind of thing, right?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: Yes. And it's rooted in stories of the Orishas and things, which is pretty cool, because it is very distinctly a Black witches’ tale. But it's obviously fiction, so there's just this wonderful world and all this lore that the writer created. Basically, they have a connection, but they don't know it until they meet. But they sense it instantly. And the two main characters come together because there is a creature that is killing witches in Baltimore.
Kenrya: In Baltimo'. And they both represent two of the factions that have a stake in trying to figure out what this creature is, where it is, and to make it stop killing witches. They come together and sense that they are tied together in some way, and hijinks ensue.
Erica: Dot dot dot.
Kenrya: Including this, this lovely sex scene.
Erica: This lovely romp. Okay, so I feel like this is... First, this is our final full-length episode of Season Three. Round of applause. Baby, make that ass clap. But I also feel like this is just such a... so timely for where I am in my life right now.
Kenrya: You do?
Erica: I feel like we haven't caught up in a while. I mean, you have so much going on, and so I'm trying to give you some space.
Kenrya: Thank you. But I'll be needing breaks sometimes. Y'all, I got some medical stuff going on. We don't really know what it is. I'm tired.
Erica: I literally usually call Kenrya like, "So, there's this ingrown nail, and I need you to look at it." But I'm trying to chill. So a few things. One, I am reshaping, reevaluating, looking at my spirituality. It's always been a journey, and I've always kind of considered it loosey-goosey. But I recently made an ancestor altar.
Kenrya: You told me last night, yeah.
Erica: Yeah, so I recently made an ancestor altar. I started reading this book about Orishas and Voodoo queens and all of that, and it has really been speaking to me. Kenrya's face is like, "Oh, shit."
Kenrya: I mean, I'm surprised. And also, we have some folks who are really deep in that world who could be great resources if you...
Erica: Who I have been talking to actually.
Erica: It's been a journey. I'm reading the book, and one of the things that it's first telling me is, "Yeah, this Orisha stuff is great, but you need to start with ancestor work." I was listening to this podcast... this woman on... I'm not sure if it was a podcast or a YouTube. Oh my gosh, I need to figure it out so that I can properly attribute it to her. But she was like, essentially, ancestor work is like when you were a kid and you're walking around with your parents, I can't walk up to you and give you candy. I got to talk to your parent and say, "Hey, parent, is it okay to give this kid candy?" So although I might feel like I have some special connection to Yemaya or Oshun, I can't be running up to them like, "Hey girls, what the deal? Give me all your ju-ju." No, I got to work through my ancestors, because they will give me what I need at the appropriate time in order to make what I receive from the Orishas digestible.
Kenrya: For you, yeah.
Erica: So I mean, I don't know where I am in this. I just know that I am.
Kenrya: I love it.
Erica: And it has been very interesting. Also, you all are literally in me and Kenrya's updating each other on our lives.
Kenrya: Catch up.
Erica: I have been really going hard with my entrepreneurship, and the person that I'm working with that's helping me develop my brand and website and all that, she practices. We talk a lot, and she has been giving me a lot of guidance in addition to the people you're probably thinking of that I've had to call and be like, "Look, girl, so I have a question." I feel like this is all tangled and tied up together, and somehow I have to... I feel like my path through figuring out spirituality, like what spirituality looks like for me in this stage of my life, is tied to my role as The Erotic Revolutionist, my role as bringing about a change in the way that a women friends and nonbinary folk experience and feel and think about and talk about sex. And so when we first got on the call, I was telling Kenrya that I'm praying for patience every morning, because I feel like I have all of this stuff in me that I have to get out, but it has to get sorted to get out.
Erica: That's where I am.
Kenrya: That's all pretty fucking cool and entangled.
Erica: Yeah, it's very entangled and not that kind. But it's been interesting. It has been interesting. And then today, I sat and did some talking. Right now I still feel like I'm talking to myself. But at some point, it will kick in.
Kenrya: I'm sure it will. I think even in doing it with my daughter, when she first started to pray without me, she was like, "I mean, can he even hear me? Because it feels like I'm just talking to myself." And then I'd be like, "Yes, and even if it's in your head, he hears you." And she's like, "What?"
Erica: Like, "I got to check these thoughts."
Kenrya: Exactly. But I think she's coming to that place where God feels like her homeboy in a way that he does mine, and it's been pretty cool to see. But it's just time.
Erica: Yeah. And we've been wanting to do a witchy-
Kenrya: Witch book. For a long time.
Erica: For a long time. And it took a while to find one that kind of just matched with all... hit all the buttons for us.
Kenrya: I mean, it's definitely got some binary stuff that was interesting and not necessarily our lane. But other than that, we had so much trouble finding a witch book that felt Black.
Erica: That felt Black, that didn't feature some Nordic goddesses. So it was good that we got to do this, because I think also, I feel like... and we'll talk about this next week with Haylin, but I feel like we think about witchy stuff and witches as this "bitches in the park in all Black.” We thinking of Azealia Banks, right, boiling cats.
Kenrya: Oh no.
Kenrya: Didn't she have chickens in the closet or something?
Erica: Yeah, she was doing some like... Yeah.
Kenrya: Sacrifice or something, yeah.
Erica: Yeah, and then recently she was on Instagram, and I think they said she boiled her cat.
Erica: I mean, it was like a dead cat. She dug up her cat and then boiled it. And they were like, "She gon' eat the cat!" And she was like, "I don't even eat dead cows."
Erica: "I was about to tamoxify it." Not tamoxify. "Taxiderm it." I was thinking cancer medications.
Kenrya: But I think there's so much mystery and skepticism.
Kenrya: And also this idea that the different parts... I love the way you were talking about how all of this entangled, because I think people tend to sit certain things over there.
Erica: Yeah, and it's all... "Mm, y'all." Everyone said, "Y'all be afraid of witches," but then you be like, "Don't put my purse on the floor. Don't sweep over my feet. Don't break this glass."
Erica: And it's like, "Mm, come on."
Kenrya: "Don't let nobody sit on your bed." All of these things that are so ingrained in who a lot of us... especially I guess people with Southern roots, Black folks in this country... that we fucking live by.
Erica: Yeah, and the more I learn and the more I think about it, it's just so beautiful. The story of Black religion is the story of Black Americans or Black people across the diaspora, because you take this very African thing, and then you turn it into what works for you. I mean, people probably know this, but it was new to me... About how they have the Catholic little statues and stuff. And so people in Voodoo cultures or in Voodoo religion... I probably was talking about it wrong. But anyway, people practicing Voodoo would stuff their own prayers, their own... I want to say trinkets... idols.
Erica: In the statues, and they're praying to that because it looks like you're praying to the Virgin Mary. And it's like, "Yeah, girl. Whatever. You're praying to who's inside of that."
Kenrya: Because white supremacy does the work of vilifying-
Kenrya: ...the things that come naturally to us and the things that have been a part of our culture and a part of who our ancestors were and are forever.
Erica: And so it's just beautiful. I'm busy as hell. I'm harried. But I'm trying to enjoy this journey, because I feel like the journey is going to help me figure out what the hell this looks like in the end. But damn, okay.
Erica: But something else that stood out in the book that's very, again, apropos for me in my life right now, is the dating. The two people... what are their names again? I'll fuck it up.
Kenrya: Assefa and Sanura.
Erica: Assefa and Sanura. These glasses are too big, so they keep falling off. That's what I get for buying $3 glasses on Instagram.
Kenrya: They're super cute. Oh, that's where you got them? Wait, are those the ones that were pink and green, but everybody was like, "They'd be cuter in a different color."
Erica: These aren't them, but I have those in green and brown. Green, black, and brown. I'll show you those later. Same company. Adore it. But one of the things that... Oh, and we're not giving the details on that, because they are not Black-owned and we ain't getting no money off of it. Holla at a playa if you see me on the street, and I'll give it a chance.
Erica: But I am currently dating, and I am trying to date with intention and be serious about what's going on. And so a lot of these issues that are coming up here are very... these are things that I have to actively ask myself. I've got to make an appointment with the therapist now that I'm talking, because I don't have an appointment. But these are things that I definitely have to now... I'm talking myself through as I am actually meeting great people. And it's like, "Okay, Erica, is it this? Is it that? What are you doing?" It's constantly an assessment, that kind of thing.
Erica: What are you thinking?
Kenrya: It's interesting. I want to know. Tell me the things.
Erica: Oh, okay. I met this guy. He's nice. We're having a great time. And I'm asking myself... like it's not intense, but it's lovely. Does that make sense?
Kenrya: Do you want it to be intense?
Erica: That's the thing. Do I? I'm used to intense, but I'm also divorced. I got a trail of bad relationships behind me. So I'm used to intense. Intense feels normal. But it's like, is intense good for you right now? And so I'm trying to ask myself... One of the things that happens in this book that we touched on, talked about, is a thing with love bombing, which is when someone shows up and they're everything you need and everything you want. It's the greatest thing. And then six months later, you're like, "What the fuck am I doing? How did I get here?"
Kenrya: Yeah, usually it's a cover for them being actually a shitty person, but they want to get you under their spell before you figure it out.
Erica: Exactly. Or they could just not be for you.
Kenrya: I guess. But love bombing very much to me shouts, "I'm going to fuck you over, but let me do this right quick so that you don't notice."
Erica: See, I don't know if I've got... I've met people so far that have done me intense love bombing, and I think some of it has been they're shitty people. Some of it I think is that they are so... They desire a relationship so much that they're going to do whatever it takes to get that relationship. And so I find myself doing the thinking for the both of us because I'm like, "Hey, hold on. You don't know if you want all that from me." That kind of thing. Because I met this one guy, and I do think he was truly genuine about... I think in his mind he thought that this is it. She's the greatest. And I mean, a bitch is. But I think it was from a, "She cool, I'm cool. She's single, I'm single." But it wasn't like a... Is it really that?
Kenrya: Or making someone up.
Erica: Yeah, are we just doing this because you free, I'm free, let's kick it? And that there is what I am trying to suss out in everything right now.
Erica: I met a new guy, and he's nice and it's fun. I think that I'm recognizing that in the past, a lot of my relationships have been passionate from the start, which is good, but is it? Is it right? Is it what I need? And I want whatever I go into next to be, if not the one, the one for a long ass time.
Kenrya: I'm going to sound like a broken record, because this is something I've been telling you as your best friend for years now.
Erica: I need to write a list. I need to write a list. I need to write a list.
Kenrya: I don't know how you can be intentional about what you're looking for if you haven't figured out what you're looking for.
Erica: Okay, cut.
Kenrya: And it doesn't have to look like a checklist, because I know that you worry that that taps into your OCD. But there can be some creative ways that you can... Because how do you know if someone is what you want if you don't know what you want?
Erica: Okay, don't be looking at me like that, because I have-
Kenrya: This is why you keep me around.
Erica: I literally have started a list.
Erica: Hold on, let me see if I can flash it. What I want in a partner.
Erica: Whatever bitch.
Kenrya: It's on her phone. It's in Notes y'all.
Erica: I definitely have started a list because I'm dating, and so now I'm learning what I like and what I don't like. Like, "Oh, I can't do that?" One of the things that I'm realizing, I met some really nice guys that are just really comfortable in their jobs, and I'm not comfortable with that.
Erica: No. Let me not say that.
Kenrya: Like you want them to be more ambitious?
Erica: I need ambition. And not to the like "I've got to hustle every weekend" ambition. So I met this guy, and he was a medical coder. And I'm like, "Okay, that's cool. That's cool." And he's like, "Yeah, I can do it in my sleep." And I'm like, "Did you want to go to med school or nursing school or something." "Yeah, I did, but I don't want to no more. I just like this. It's cool. I get paid. I get good raises, and the benefits are cool. So I'm going to do that." And I'm just kind of like, for me, it's like, "Dude, you're 37." I'm not comfortable with someone being comfortable in that for the rest of their life. And maybe it's because now I am at the point where I'm like, "I can't be sitting behind this desk for the rest of my life."
Kenrya: That's what I was going to say, because I feel like you have done jobs where you were doing them because they were rote, right?
Erica: Yes, but I always knew-
Kenrya: And it got to the point where that was untenable for you.
Erica: I always knew that that wasn't the end. This guy is like, "I'm fine retiring from here and getting a Rolex or getting a nice watch, getting my Timex." And to me, I'm just not comfortable with that. Not saying that... I don't need you to be like, "I'm about to create this app and take over the world." But I also... What were you going to say?
Kenrya: I want to speak to that without at all feeling like... I don't want to at all feel like I'm yucking your yum.
Erica: Yeah, but I also am trying to figure out how to properly articulate that, because I also don't want to make it seem like I want some like...
Kenrya: Like it's classist.
Erica: Yeah, because my granddaddy was a janitor. My momma ain't have a car. So we ain't... But it's just, I want someone that's going to strive for more. But at the same time, I'm learning my love language is physical touch. Shut up, bitch. And quality time.
Kenrya: Yes, I could have told you that a decade ago. So it's interesting. The thing that's on my list is-
Erica: I'm rolling my eyes at you so hard.
Kenrya: Whatever. Is that the person has to be happy with what they do.
Erica: Yes. Well, no-
Kenrya: Well, let me finish.
Kenrya: One, I've been with men who were really unhappy in their jobs no matter what it was that they were doing. And so I find that when men... when people in general are unhappy in their jobs, they tend to bring that home and they are unhappy because you spend so much time working. And so I want to be around people who find... I don't think that work should be the seat of our joy, because it's fucking work and we're in this capitalist society where we have to do this shit just to survive. But I also don't want to be with someone who is hating what they do for hours upon hours out of the day. I don't actually care what they do as long as they're not a cop. But they have to be able to take care of themselves financially, and they have to be able to say that they are happy in the work that they are doing.
Kenrya: And as someone who has been an entrepreneur for a long time honestly... and I sometimes talk about this with my partner who is also an entrepreneur... we spend a lot of time sitting up working together.
Erica: I mean, look. A good every two weeks check is delightful. That's where I am where I am and have been for a while.
Kenrya: Yeah, and I can appreciate... I can't honestly remember the last time I was in that kind of a situation, because even when I worked at magazines it was still a "you've got to be there ’til whatever time at night." But the idea that you can just go to work and do your job, and at five o'clock you can fucking leave and you ain't got to think about that shit until nine? What?
Kenrya: I kind of love it. And I do not at all hate the idea... I get it. I get why that is comforting and why that is something that someone would want to do. It sounds fucking dope. It's just not for me, because I don't want nobody over my shoulder. But I completely get the impulse.
Erica: Yeah. Yeah, so I'm still working through it. Because also, I'm not trying to sound elitist. I'm still trying to figure it out. And I appreciate you bringing that nuance to the conversation, because I ain't trying to block my blessings, because girl, I be driving slow.
Kenrya: They come at a lot of different points.
Erica: I be driving slow behind them trash trucks like, "Hey Zaddy."
Kenrya: Oh, because they be fine.
Erica: "Hey there. I see how you slug that trash can with one arm,” my nasty ass.
Kenrya: But I'm really glad that you have a list and that you're being intentional in your dating.
Erica: Whatever, bitch.
Kenrya: Stop rolling your eyes at me.
Kenrya: I'm being supportive.
Erica: Yeah, but also, okay, so here's the thing. I literally met somebody... I'm trying to debate if I'm going to share this.
Kenrya: How much...
Erica: How much I'm going to share. We're going to go, and some of this might get cut out. So I literally matched with this guy two days ago. So far, everything on my list. Everything, down to good teeth. Down to good teeth. And here's the thing. He knows a lot of my... a few of my friends. And one of my friends, who is very, very discerning, she was like, "Oh, he's cool people. You better swipe on him." I was like, "All right." And so now, the reason that I don't want a list is because I'm looking at this list and I'm looking at him, and I'm like, "Oh my God, Erica. Don't fuck it up. Don't blow it. Don't accept fuck shit."
Kenrya: Oh, because of the pressure.
Erica: And so now it's just like... yeah.
Kenrya: So the list got him in the door, right? Did you make the other list? The list about how you want to feel?
Kenrya: Okay. So the second part of the list exercise is to make a list of how you want to feel when you're engaged with this person. That helps you to move past that superficial "this height, this teeth" whatever to, "All right, does this person-?"
Erica: Oh, I do have a little bit of how I want to feel.
Kenrya: Mixed into that one?
Erica: You see that?
Kenrya: I do, yes. Good. So then in my... What I have done is-
Erica: I hate you! Your turn me into...
Kenrya: I use that list to help guide things moving forward. Once, "Okay, cool. That's what's up. They met that criteria." But then there's so much more. And then a lot of that comes down to not just being intentional, but listening to yourself.
Kenrya: I went on a date with somebody who seemed fine on the surface, but when I got home from that date, I had a panic attack, remember?
Kenrya: I remember sending you a picture that I took with him, you and our friend, and you all were like, "Oh, you all look like an ad," or some bullshit. I literally got home, laid on the couch, and had a fucking panic attack. Called you and said, "I need your therapist's information right now." And that began my latest journey into therapy, because my body-
Erica: Latest and most successful.
Kenrya: Yes, thank god. All the alarm bells were going off in my body, but I couldn't see it.
Erica: Yeah, yeah.
Kenrya: But once I listened on that fucking couch where I couldn't settle down...
Erica: It was like, "Oh, bitch, you going to listen."
Kenrya: Yeah, so that's the next part of being intentional, is trusting in your intuition.
Erica: Yeah. Bitch, how are we there in the fucking book?
Kenrya: That actually brings up something that was key in the book to me, was that Sanura was waiting for the other shoe to drop, right? This man checked of all the things that she wanted.
Erica: Baby, baby.
Kenrya: But she was like, "What's wrong with him? What's going to fuck this up?" And I was just having this conversation with my partner about how... I mean, I can't speak for everybody, but I have definitely very often found myself with people who seem fine at first, and I was waiting for the shoe to drop, especially once I got healthy. And he was like, "Well, wait, were you waiting on the shoe to drop with me?" I say, "Yes, baby."
Erica: Yeah, yeah!
Kenrya: He was like, "Well, what did you think it was?" And I was like, "I don't know."
Erica: Anything, anything.
Kenrya: I was like, "It could have come from anywhere because I was on fucking keep my head on a swivel."
Erica: You can't even probably prepare for it, because you be like, "Okay, this date got a baby. He got another wife." Or something. You're preparing for that, and then it be like...
Kenrya: Right, there's going to be a family across the country. And then it's like he spent too much money on shoes or some shit.
Erica: Yeah, it will be anything.
Kenrya: It could be anything, yeah.
Erica: And I have been dating another guy. Damn, shit. I don't know how much of this we're going to do. Well, fuck it. Niggas need to know they got competition. So I'm dating another guy, and it's nice and it's fun and things are good, but...
Kenrya: Are they? Look at your face.
Erica: I feel like I'm waiting for the shoe to drop. Also, it's not so like... I think the biggest thing that I'm dealing with right now is I am so used to the highs. And it was always like... Like with me and my ex-husband. When the shit was great, it was fan-fucking-tastic. But when it was horrible, it was low. He did not beat on me.
Kenrya: No, he did not.
Erica: Sorry, I had to say that for my cousins. My cousins listening to this.
Kenrya: He did not. He would have got... Well.
Erica: Yeah, everybody would have fucked him up. And so I think because I've only always swung both sides of the pendulum, I'm looking for consistent happiness. And I know consistent happiness is not always a 25 out of a 10. You're not going to wake up every morning like, "Oh!" Because that's just like... Your mind gets numb to... It's kind of like if you... Oh, you're shaking your head?
Kenrya: Girl, I am consistently happy.
Erica: I love it.
Kenrya: But it's the first time. I'm almost 40, and it's the first time I ever felt this way.
Erica: But I mean like, okay. Damn, now you ain't... Well, shit.
Kenrya: Damn, I just made it worse, right?
Erica: No, I'm about to send a fucking few text messages. Because also, I am firmly comfortable being alone. And maybe it's only because I'm only a few years into my journey, because I feel like I look at some folks and they be like, "Send me a man!"
Kenrya: But I feel like you've got to get there to get there. Until I got comfortable being by myself because... Well, first of all, our therapist forced me to be. And then I was like, "Oh, this is beautiful." I wouldn't have been ready. In session all the time, we're doing... She'll just say, "You know, I just got to say again, girl, don't you... I'm so glad we did that work.”
Erica: I be like, "Girl, just mind your business."
Erica: Mind your business.
Kenrya: Patting herself on the back and whatnot. But she's right, and if I hadn't gone through being by myself, but also doing the work, right? Not just being by myself and pining, but being by myself and figuring out why I never liked to be by myself before, being by myself and figuring out what it was that I actually needed and I wanted, being by myself and figuring out how was it I wanted to feel, and what I would accept and what I wouldn't accept, that is what laid the groundwork for me to be in a relationship where I am consistently happy. Realizing that it is not the partner that brings the happiness, right? It is the union that we've created and the life that we're creating together that helps to boost my overall joy.
Erica: Yeah. And I feel like that is key. That's the part where it's like, "Oh, we got to get there."
Kenrya: But I will say, you're dating and things feel unsure, but shit pop up. You know what I mean? My partner was living two minutes away, two blocks away. Never would have met him out on the street, because he always in the car and I'm always fucking walking. It was an app. But it was random. It felt random. I dropped the age on the app, and there he was. And I was like, "Fuck it, let's give it a go," because he had a nice smile and he looked like he was fun.
Erica: Yeah, he has a good smile.
Kenrya: But it felt out of left field, and I didn't go on the first date thinking, "Oh, this is going to be my great love." It just was kind of like by the end of my first date, I was like, "I'm going to fuck this man."
Erica: Well, alrighty.
Kenrya: And then by the end of the second date, it was like, "Damn, this might not work, but I'm going to still fuck this nigga."
Erica: Thank you, pussy, for keeping me involved.
Kenrya: Yeah, basically, because then I did, and then it became clear that shit was amazing. Not because of that, but just because I stayed around and didn't give time to a bad situation, but just explored it and listened to my body and listened to my mind and my heart and figured it out. I say that to say it feels like shit can come from anywhere.
Kenrya: You just got to listen to what your gut is telling you as you go.
Erica: Yeah. Also, I have this firm... One of the things in the book also are just timelines and defense mechanisms. Like, "I'm waiting for the shoe to drop, so I'm just going to keep a wall up ’til a shoe drops with this motherfucker." And I'm realizing that I don't... I mean, who doesn't... but I'm realizing I have a visceral reaction to rejection. Like, "shoot yourself in the foot" reaction to rejection.
Kenrya: Like, go off on a nigga if he says something that felt even little bit-
Erica: No. I have too much pride to be going off on niggas. You will never catch me going off on a nigga. But I will cut you. One of my friends was like, "Your cut-off game is strong. You're going to act like you don't know nobody." Yep, sure do, and I'm good at it. But I kind of also think, "Damn, did you chuck that nigga for no reason?" So yeah, I definitely... And that's also something that I'm paying attention to as I'm dating, because I recognize that... I texted a guy. I'm an early morning person. You texting me at 9:30 is the equivalent of me texting you at 5:00 in the morning, 5:30 in the morning. I'm up. Not everybody's up, but I'm up. What's going on? I texted this guy. He texted me at like 10:30 at night. I texted him when I woke up, which was like 5:00.
Kenrya: You don't understand. I don't text you that late unless I can hear you up downstairs.
Erica: Right. It was a, "My bad. I was asleep." So then we kind of started chatting. I was like, "Yo, can you talk." He was like, "Oh my god, it ain't even 9:00." And to me, that was like, "You ain't going to carry me and try to make me feel like I'm a needy bitch." I was like, "You know what, have a great day?" Block, block, block, block. And now that I'm thinking, I'm like, "Damn, maybe I was a little hard." But you ain't going to make me feel like something wrong with me for wanting to have a conversation early in the morning. And it's, again, if you're for me, you're going to know that Erica might want to have a conversation at 8:30 in the motherfucking morning.
Kenrya: Well, but more than that, even if you don't want to have a conversation at 9:00 in the morning, you'll be like, "Yeah, my eyes are barely open. Can I call you?" Like you said, don't try to fucking carry you.
Erica: Don't try to carry me, bitch.
Kenrya: Yeah, so I mean, I ain't going to tell you ever to unblock a nigga. You know my block game is strong.
Erica: I was channeling Kenrya when I did that. I was like, "Hmm, where else should I block this motherfucker?"
Kenrya: I was going to say, because I will block you any and every fucking where. It's like you never existed. Oh, I'm sorry to this man. I do not know this man. I'm sorry to that man. Wait, wasn't she saying that about Biden? About the President?
Erica: It was about the Vice President, about Cheney.
Kenrya: Oh, was it?
Kenrya: Oh, okay. Nevermind.
Erica: Nevermind. Continue on. Okay, also something... You kind of touched on this. This book is very binary. There are lots of gender roles in it. Do you think it's more just gender roles, gender roles? Or did that make the story? Did that move the story?
Erica: Wasn't that a good question? I felt like I was Kenrya asking that question.
Kenrya: Some of it seemed like... How do I say this without giving... The structure of their lineage is such that the women, theirs is matrilineal, so their power is passed down through these female witches. And the cat's is patrilineal, so they are passed down... they pass through all men.
Erica: Yeah, witches. Oh. Sorry.
Kenrya: So some of it was really kind of just based on the lore that was built in that their familiars are men, and so the language kind of lent itself to that. It would talk about sometimes feminine energy and masculine energy. I mean, I guess that's a thing maybe. I don't know. But everything I saw it, it stopped me up short. But my guess is that most people would probably... It wouldn't even register.
Erica: But we have to... We wouldn't be doing our job at The Turn On here without saying something about it.
Kenrya: Pointing that out. Yeah, yeah. But it didn't detract from the story. I think it was just kind of the universe that the writer built in.
Erica: So I always say that I am a womanist through and through, except when it comes to taking out the trash and killing bugs and rodents. I will turn into one of them bitches that faint on them chaise.
Kenrya: A fainting couch.
Erica: Oh, lord.
Kenrya: You're talking about a fainting couch?
Erica: Oh, lord. My binder's too tight. My corset's too tight. I must faint. I do not like... My son knows, I will put shit on the top of the trash, around the trash, on the floor, whatever. I ain't touching the motherfucking trash, because I'm a woman. If I'm here alone and there's no sign of anyone coming back within the next 24 hours, okay, I'll do my own trash. But yeah, I'm clearly like...
Kenrya: That's where your gender roles kick in.
Erica: I was going to say take me back to the 1800s, but then I would have been a slave, so no. Yeah, no, I lied about that. But yeah, what about you? Do you have some clear "I ain't fucking with that"?
Kenrya: I do, but it's not around... so I've been living alone, right, since I was... or at least not in a situation where there was consistently somebody there to do those things for me since I left to go to college. And I don't have sons. I don't have the luxury. So I have always done all the things myself. But my partner, when he's here, he literally, automatically, when he's leaving he goes and collects whatever garbage is here and takes it downstairs for me without me having to ask.
Erica: Because that's your role. That's your role.
Kenrya: And I appreciate it. I mean, I do it if he doesn't do it, but I very much appreciate that he does it for me. But whatever. The one thing that I have never done is cut grass, and it is because I am so fucking allergic to grass.
Kenrya: But also, I don't want to cut grass.
Erica: Exactly. Fuck an allergy. That's because you don't want to. And that's the stuff. There are certain things... I mean, I have a whole hypothetical list. Like in my next marriage, long-term relationship, we living together, if we living together, you washing my car. You are going to...
Kenrya: But you had that. Your ex-husband was really good about taking care of your vehicle, wasn't he? Oh, look at your face. I thought he was good at that.
Erica: He be good at pestering me to tell me to go take care of my vehicle.
Kenrya: Oh, nevermind. I'm giving him too much credit.
Erica: I mean, yeah, if I was like, "Yo, I need some tires. I need some tires. I need some tires." Then he be like, "Okay, I'm going to take it." And also, he made it so that I could go. So it wasn't like... No, I am going to be like, "On Sundays, you taking my car to go get cleaned." Whereas with my ex-husband, he was like, "My friend owns a shop. You can go by anytime." I ain't trying to go sit and get my car cleaned. So yeah, and I mean, that is so random, but that's my... I'm literally giving niggas a hack to Erica.
Kenrya: Well, but so here's the thing, right? And I actually don't think of this as necessarily being a gender thing. I feel like if you build a life with folks, if you figure out systems that work... So for example, we live in the same... we live in a two-family house. Y'all take the trash down to the street, whoever it is. Your son or your brother, right? And I bring the trash cans back up. We have a system that works for us. We created a system. And I think that in any partnership, you figure those things out. There are chores, like I hate washing dishes. It stems back to associations in my childhood. I do not like dishes. My partner comes over, and he does the dishes. He don't mind washing dishes. He understands that it freaks me the fuck out and was doing it even beforehand. But that is a system that we have created, and I appreciate the fuck out of him for taking care of it for me.
Kenrya: Neither of us, if we had to cut the grass... which thank God we don't... but if we did, neither of us is interested in that shit. We already decided that's some shit that we pay somebody else to do. He does not really like putting things together. Guess what? I fucking love putting things together. That is my job.
Erica: That's your jam, yeah.
Kenrya: I like it. I like to build a good bookcase. I like to put a dresser together. I like to put a chair together.
Erica: Do wardrobes.
Kenrya: Shit, yes. He be like, "Yeah, okay. This is for you." And I'm like, "All right." And it's fine.
Erica: I'll have the finest teas when you're finished.
Kenrya: But we have figured out who likes what.
Erica: Yeah, and that's the thing. I think about growing up in my Midwestern home, and my grandmother and grandfather were very traditional. And a part of me loves taking care of my boo. I love feeding people. I turn into an old Black lady when somebody comes to my house. "You hungry? I got some chicken. Let me fry you some chicken." I turn into... That is what I do.
Kenrya: That's so funny, because that has been such an evolution.
Kenrya: Because you used to, "Cook, what?"
Erica: One of my linesisters, she laughed. She was like, "I would come to your house. The only thing you'd ever make was French toast." I mean, my French toast is the shit. It's funny because my brother was saying that French toast, waffles, and pancakes are like Destiny's Child. One is your Kelly, one is your Beyonce, and one is your Michelle.
Kenrya: Oh, which one is your Bey?
Erica: My Bey are pancakes, because they're consistently good, everyone likes them. But my French toast is Kelly. Often underrated, but good den a motherfucker. I use that thick ass bread. Oh, I got to tell you about this new bakery I found. This thick ass bread, and then I use heavy whipping cream, and I use cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. And a few other secret ingredients. It is so fucking good. And that's all I will make. And so my Line sister be like, "We eat at Erica's house..." It'll be like three in the afternoon. I'll be like, "I got some French toast if you want some. I can whip you up some French toast." They're like, "Bitch, can I have some chicken?"
Kenrya: Yeah, exactly.
Erica: So what's your Bey?
Kenrya: I think it's French toast, but it's because it's my favorite.
Erica: Yeah, and then your Kelly are your waffles, right?
Kenrya: Yes, yep. Yeah, my partner was like, "They always taste exactly the same. How do you do that?" I'm like, "Nigga, practice."
Kenrya: Yeah, I've been making them a long time.
Erica: Yeah, my brother's Kelly is French toast. So here's the thing with pancakes. My grandfather used to make the best pancakes.
Kenrya: From scratch?
Erica: We remember being in the limo driving away from the cemetery at his funeral, and my cousin's like, "Damn, we just buried good pancakes."
Kenrya: Oh my God.
Erica: My grandfather's pancakes were fucking magical. I don't know what...
Kenrya: None of you all ever asked?
Erica: Don't nobody know what to ask! And then I remember there was a particular spoon in my granny's house that he used.
Kenrya: To measure them out the right way.
Erica: Ain't nobody know where that fucking spoon is. He probably put that shit in his back pocket and took it into the damn casket. Like, "Not without me!" Yeah, it was like, I will never, ever, ever...
Kenrya: Have a pancake like that.
Erica: Yeah, yep.
Kenrya: Wow. My daddy used to make them in a big cast iron skillet. But you can only fit three in the skillet, and they was always weird shaped because they had to fit in the skillet. So pancake making was the slowest activity ever in my house.
Erica: Okay, and let me also tell you something. Yeah, we used a cast iron skillet. That griddle shit? I thought rich people used griddles.
Kenrya: Until I bought one for like $35, and we use this shit every weekend.
Erica: So okay, here's another thing. Hot take. You know how people say that they like their pancakes with crisp edges?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: That's only because y'all ain't had a good pancake. My grandpa's pancakes never needed a crisp. I didn't know what the fuck a crisp edge was until I started making my own pancakes, and it required crisp edges to have somewhat a smidgen of the tastiness that my grandpa's pancakes had. I'm telling you. If it's just a good fucking pancake, you don't need no crisp edge. Granted, the crisp edge is good, because it gives you a little salty sweet.
Kenrya: The crisp edge is...
Erica: And the texture.
Kenrya: I think the crisp edge is because you got some butter in it, honestly. It's the butter that gives you the crisp edge. But the best pancakes I ever had was at a restaurant in New Orleans last year. The last trip I went on before the fucking world shut down. And they did not have a crisp edge, but they were fucking amazing. So amazing that we went back for breakfast twice in a six-day trip.
Erica: Okay, I need that place's... Now you got me on this pancake search. I think I am now going to begin the search for good pancakes.
Kenrya: I'm not telling you shit, because we got a while ’til you can go anywhere.
Erica: Bitch, I ain't going nowhere. I can't. Really, the only reason keeping me from traveling at this point is the fact that I got to go to the hospital once a month for shots, and they ask you, "Have you been anywhere between 21 days?" And I be thinking like, "Well, maybe if I got a shot this day, now I'm leaving the next day."
Kenrya: You can time it. Don't do it!
Erica: And they got this mega-rona out now!
Kenrya: Yeah, well thank goodness that they're saying it looks like the vaccine actually works for that one too.
Erica: Girl, and honey, I watched a woman put on a hazmat suit before she injected my body with medicine. Do you think I give a fuck about what's in that damn corona vaccine? That corona vaccine going to get in my body like, "Goddamn, this how you living?" The chemo going to be like, "Surprise, shorty!"
Erica: My son said something about... that he found on Tik Tok. He was like, "Have you ever heard dah dah dah?" I was like, "What are you talking about?" He's like, "It's all over Tik Tok." I was like, "Not my side of Tik Tok, bro."
Kenrya: What was it?
Erica: I can't remember. I'll ask him. But it was something. It was something all the kid's doing.
Kenrya: They have so much stuff. But also, they have so much old stuff. Like your child be up here singing like old Nsync songs. I'm like, "Bitch, why do you know all the words and the ad libs to this song that came out when I was high school?"
Erica: Yeah, Tik Tok is interesting. I love it. There was this Tik Tok, and it was like, "Show a picture of someone that you met that's changed your life and you couldn't live without." And then this chick cuts to the Tik Tok logo. And I was like, "It's me. It's me." Tik Tok got me through 2020.
Erica: Okay, so do you have anything else to add?
Kenrya: Oh, I don't know.
Erica: Okay, well, we are going to take a quick break, and then we are going to head on into What's Turning Us On.
Kenrya: I like it.
Kenrya: Hey y'all. Today's a great day to start your own podcast. Whether you're looking for a new marketing channel, have a message you want to share with the world, or just think it'd be fun to have your own show like us, podcasting is an easy, inexpensive, and fun way to expand your reach online. And Buzzsprout is hands-on, the easiest and best way to launch, promote, and track your podcast. Your show gets put online and listened in all the major podcast directories, like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, everything, within minutes of finishing and uploading your recording. We use it here for The Turn On, and I can testify to the fact that it's pretty fucking dope.
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Erica: Okay y'all, so this week we're going to talk about what's turning us on. This week we're going to talk about nipple suckers. They are interesting as well. If you have been a part of my life, you know that I have titty issues. And so right now, there is nothing, not even sensation in these nipples. But they're like little silicone... You squish the air out of them and then put them on, and it sucks... Yeah, just like that, through your nipples. But let me tell you what I learned as a woman with nipples. But also, what's kind of button-y and nipple-like down below?
Kenrya: It's a clit.
Erica: Bam. Slap some lube on that bitch, put it down there, and go at it.
Kenrya: Oh, nice.
Erica: Right, right, right?
Kenrya: Love it. So I am someone who has probably sometimes too much feeling in their nipples. Lord have mercy. But I have traditionally really liked clamps. But I can't always have it though. Some days my boobs just don't want the clamps. And so the suckers are a good way to get yourself some pressure and some suction. And not just in partner play but in solo play, because you got your hands busy elsewhere, but you also want some nipple stimulation. That is a good way to go, because you just squeeze all the air out, put them over your nipple, let them go, and then you've got some consistent pressure going on that can help to get you where you're trying to go. Yeah, so there's a link to that in the show notes for this episode for anybody who is interested in getting on that nipple suction train.
Erica: Yes, yes, y'all. Okay, and with that, that wraps up this week's episode of The Turn On.
Kenrya: We are Killa and E. Two hoes making it clap.
Erica: Two hoes making it clap. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.
Kenrya: I like it. Bye y'all.
Kenrya: This episode 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 us a screenshot at TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com to enter. Our Patreon page is also live. Become a supporter today, and you'll gain access to 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 and your sex and related questions. And follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod and on Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast. You can find links to books, merch, transcripts, guest info, and other fun stuff at theturnonpodcast.com. Thanks so much for listening, and we will see you soon. Bye.
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In Episode 6.5 of The Turn On, we talk to therapist Quinn Gee-Edwards about hoteps, narcissism and the importance of having a firm foundation before you date.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get Off.
Kenrya: So today we're talking to Quinn Gee-Edwards. Quinn is the owner of Magnolia Mental Health and founder of Hey Black Girl. Quinn is a licensed psychotherapist and specializes in codependency trauma and minority related issues including those that impact women, members of the LGTBQ community and people of color. Hey, Quinn.
Quinn: Hey, how are y'all?
Kenrya: We are lovely.
Erica: Doing well, thank you.
Kenrya: Yes. And glad to have you here. But before we dive into our questions, what are your pronouns?
Quinn: My pronouns are she and her.
Kenrya: Awesome Okay, we're both she and her as well.
Erica: So Quinn, we read your official bio, but we like to push folks to sum up what they do in regular ass words, so what would you say it is that you do?
Quinn: So basically, I get paid to be nosy. That's genuinely my favorite way to describe what I do. But I essentially like listen to people's issues, problems and things that they're celebrating. And kind of give them feedback or maybe better ways to handle it, different outlooks about things and maybe some coping skills about how to process going forward.
Kenrya: I love that she said things that they may be celebrating-
Erica: I was just about to say that.
Kenrya: ... Yeah, I don't really think about that. And when it comes to therapy, because I feel I spend most of my sessions. Like bemoaning the fucking state of the world.
Quinn: Yeah, I always have to remind people, "Yeah, bad shit don't just happen to you. It's not cloud or rain everyday, sometimes you have peaks of sunshine." And so, clients usually forget that they can come in and talk about the things that they did well as well as the stuff that sucks, but I do have some clients that do that.
Erica: And as you progress, hopefully there are more things to celebrate than.
Erica: Sucky rain clouds so.
Kenrya: Yes quick little commercial for therapy.
Erica: Yes. And we may get very clear on this show that we find therapy to be very beneficial. We look at our therapist as a superhero and all superheroes have an origin story. So what is your therapist origin story? How did you come to do this work?
Quinn: So originally I wanted to be a international psychologist and focus on, victims of sex trafficking and work with the FBI around that, under my mentor who is Jane Goodall's mentee. So, good stock, who's cool by the way. She's really cool. So I--
Kenrya: Is she Black?
Quinn: Jane Goodall, white as hell.
Kenrya: No, I know. She, Oh, I thought you were talking about your mentor.
Quinn: No, she's white woman too, but she don't want to be. But in the good way. You know how some white people be like, I wish I was Black. Oh I wish I could.
Kenrya: I wish I could renounce it.
Quinn: Yes, though she doesn't do that. She was like, yeah, you know, being white cool. Cause I get to call attention to the shit that, you know, white people be fucking up with, so I liked it.
Kenrya: I'm saying she uses her privilege properly. I like it.
Quinn: Exactly. So I originally wanted to do that, but I ended up, getting divorced in college and it really impacted kind of my professional trajectory as well, cause I went and got counseling myself, and I really liked it. It was a more direct way to approach the issues that I was having. And I thought, I like this, so I want to do more direct work with people. So I just switch gears and just did therapy instead.
Kenrya: I wonder how many folks come to be therapists from going to therapy?
Quinn: I would hope a lot, but, as I have recently learned in many of the therapist Facebook groups I mean, therapists are stupid too and some of them don't have their own having gone through their own shit and processing. I think that should be a requirement for our degree. But I was fortunate enough to work, in a clinical environment starting off, that required me to do my own counseling. And so I understand what it's like to be on the other side of... now be clear it sucked. It totally sucked. These are the people who told me that it was in my head that, I was experiencing microaggressions--
Erica: Oh wow.
Quinn: But I am glad that they made me go to counseling.
Erica: Well, I'd probably talk to you a lot, to put yourself in the shoes of your clients.
Kenrya: Yeah. And speaks to like the necessity of culturally competent therapy, right? Like the idea going and telling a white person, all my business is repelling to me. But like I think that some people, they live in places where they may feel like they don't have a choice or whatever. But even just the idea that even if you have to go to someone who may not match your experiences, that you are still looking for someone who can in some way if not relate to what you're going through, not fucking tell you that its all in your head.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Quinn: Exactly. And that's kind of one of the reasons why I made sure that I specialize in populations that don't really see themselves on the other side of the couch. And you know, working at that clinic, I am grateful for the things they taught me. They also taught me about what microaggressions are. 'Cause I don't, I'm not sure, you know, a little back in the day, about four five years ago, back in the day of, Girbaud jeans in the South. But, which was literally five years ago. But it really taught me before I really had this larger sense of what microaggressions were. Like I was experiencing them in real time. And so later on when I look back and I have the language for that, I can help clients who experienced those things, navigate through them. And I'm sad that I went through that pain, but I also think that that made me the kind of therapist I am. And unbeknownst to them, it helped shape, you know, like my perspective of like this is the populations that I really want to work with, the people that I really see need this. And it felt good.
Kenrya: All right. So I mean you just said that, that feels good. I'm wondering like what is the thing that you like most about what you do on a day to day basis?
Quinn: Being right, and doing right. Like... I'm literally like, I don't know when this will premier, but I'm literally getting out of a day full of sessions, right? And I've been right all day. You know what I'm saying? Like, it's just after like six hours, you tired of being right your damn self... I just, I think that's my favorite part of my job is just that gratification, right? Like see bitch you be knowing stuff. And part of that is because I have this like imposter syndrome that like I'm not the right kind of therapist. I'm always so scared that I'm fucking up somebody's life or that I am just saying the wrong thing or I'm sweating. Oh God, Like they're distracted, they're not even listening to me. And so being able to come into a session after I've had those, insecure thoughts and hear a client really say back to me, "Hey, you know all that shit you told me to do, you was right. This is how it worked." It kinda helps like calm that voice in my head. But also I really do like helping people and again, I am nosy. I like knowing shit.
Kenrya: I mean that imposter syndrome shit is real. And I... like, I never really like, I know that it is something that women deal with right? And I know that it's something that women of color in particular deal with. Like I was talking to my partner and like he was asking how I was feeling about some new projects that I have, and I was like, "Yeah, I mean I feel good. But I'm also like trying to remind myself that I'm great and that I can do this and I'm not a fraud, and I'm not going to get in there and they're going to be like, what the fuck are you doing? I was like, you know, imposter syndrome." He was like, "What is that?" He was like, "I have never felt like that." And I was like, "Cause you got a dick." You have never been-You identify as a man. You've never been made to feel that way.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-
Quinn: Yeah. And I mean, as much as even when we shield Black men, we shield ourselves with degrees and accomplishments, it doesn't go away, because that was one of the ways that I built, I thought I was building protection against my insecurity, right? Was to create this Spartan like, barrier between me and this force that my anxiety was just so loudly speaking through that you don't belong here. You're not like... you're not like the rest of the therapists, so there's something wrong with you. And I hear it every day, and some days it's louder than other days, but instead of just like building up this force but making it bigger and bigger and all that pressure behind that shield, busting through and causing me harm, I learned how to just like, you know, do it the 300 way, the battle of Thermopylae. Sorry, I really love Greek mythology. And just follow that shit through, like just find a way to beat my anxiety at its own game.
Kenrya: Wait, is that the one where they was kicking people into the pit?
Erica: They kicked one person into the pit, Ken. Oh my God.
Quinn: Yes, exactly one person, and it was the black guy by the way, but they kicked him yes.
Kenrya: You know I don’t know history.
Quinn: That's not history, that's a movie.
Erica: That ain't even history. Its a movie.
Kenrya: In my mind in the movie it was a whole bunch of niggas getting kicked into a pit.
Quinn: Yes, true.
Erica: It was literally one nigga and the only nigga into a pit and yes.
Kenrya: I just see red capes.
Quinn: That is one of my favorite movies--
Kenrya: Is it?
Quinn: That is one of my all time favorite movies, I love that movie. I yell that shit all the time. Like what I was problematic, right before I would get into a fight, I'd be like, "this is Sparta". In my head like, and I would just charge like literally whenever I'm on some stupid shit, I yelled. This is Sparta first and--
Erica: I was about to say now, is this really only when you were problematic, because I feel like you probably have "this is Sparta" moments. Like you probably had one at Whole Foods this morning.
Kenrya: Right now.
Quinn: I don't shop there, that's one for the devil, but not before that. That food unseasoned, I don't believe in it so.
Kenrya: It just depends on the location.
Quinn: Sure. Okay. Yeah.
Erica: Well Quinn, what is the most, what would you find the most challenging thing about being a therapist and working with people? Well, no. The most challenging thing about being a therapist.
Quinn: Because have you met people like that?
Erica: I know, my bad.
Quinn: So like there is the fun like comical stuff like, if I feel like I got bad BO that day or Oh my God, when I think I have a booger in my nose, or my hair is so fucked up today. I just want to head in one of my sessions and just wrapped my fucking hair. Like I'm just like, look, I don't want you looking at this shit no more let's just wrap this up. And they just was like, "I appreciate your authenticity." like, one of my braids fell out in my session like two weeks ago. Like it's just be stupid shit that'd be happening or I have some milk and now I got a fart my whole session, but I got to not look like it, or my session running over and I got to pee, and my client wants me to walk them to the door.
Quinn: So I got to stand up with my knees together and told him my damn bladder, so I don't piss on myself if my session like, just Amelia Bedelia.
Kenrya: Being human.
Quinn: Yes. So that part is hard. But then also of course like when my clients are triggering me, right? That's called, like, well countertransference is when I'm projecting my shit on to them. But sometimes like I have some of the same experiences and issues that my clients have, and when they're in front of me talking about things and I'm also processing and stuck with, it is so hard. It is so hard to stay present. But that's also when I do my best work as a therapist because I feel responsible for counseling two people in that room. Now that ain't what I'm supposed to do. But I mean sometimes you can't help, I don't know what my clients are getting ready to say to me when they walked into the room, so I just roll with it and just let them know like, "Hey, I understand exactly what you're going through. Here's what I think you should do." And usually when I'm saying that, I'm talking to myself, that's also why I use we a lot in sessions with clients, because I'm often reinforcing some of these things as well internally.
Kenrya: Damn. I mean I think I never thought about it that way, because even, you know, when I'm like setting my boundaries around certain things that I can't talk to people about, a lot of times it is because it is triggering to me. Like when, like if a family member wants to call and dump all of their shit on me, right? Like a boundary that I've had to set is that I can't do that because it fucks with my own anxiety. I never thought about the fact that, that would impact the therapist on a day to day. I think in a way I do kind of think of y'all as superheroes. Like y'all got this like extra shield around y'all that other folks don't have, that lets you be able to do that work and walk out unscathed. But that's not realistic.
Quinn: No. And nobody thinks that therapist need trigger warnings. Like that's the interesting part. Like, so for instance, it's like, it don't even always be about difficult, traumatic stuff. Like, because I'm like, you know, super liberal, whatever. My clients might say something like, "I don't like how my bussy is feeling nowadays." And I'm just like, "Okay wait, I was not ready yet for that conversation, but I appreciate the candor or like, I thought we was going to talk about your mama shit." So, and sometimes I'm just, because it's so fun sometimes it's, I like so many of my clients that sometimes I try to manage like talking to them, like as like somebody that's a peer and understands what they're going through and is enjoying this conversation with them, but also like making sure that I keep it therapeutic. But then also there's the times like when I'm out and about, especially like when I was on Twitter and back home, people would recognize me and they would just walk up to me and just start telling me trauma shit. Like--
Kenrya: Oh shit.
Quinn: I mean Kroger in the bread aisle ’cause I was finna fry some and catfish and spaghetti.
Kenrya: Yes spaghetti.
Quinn: All right. See, this is the largest group of fish and spaghetti advocates I've ever been around. So I just wanted to take a moment and appreciate that for the culture.
Kenrya: Yes, everybody soak it in.
Quinn: But, yes. Mm-hmm (affirmative)- Like the hot sauce in the bread. Yes. But no, I'm usually like in random places and someone will like, just decide that because I'm a therapist, they want to tell me something, when I'm getting my hair done, when I'm in the car, in a Uber, when I'm in a random party, when I'm meeting people, when I'm grocery shopping, like even like people would try to be my... people still try to literally be my friend to be, to get free therapy. Like I've had at least four people say that to me, in the past year and a half on social media via DMs. Like, you know, I would love to have a therapist as a friend cause I feel like you'd be my best friend, like here out. Like what?
Kenrya: These people have--
Quinn: You know.
Kenrya: ... no boundaries.
Quinn: Yes. And also we forget people are weird.
Quinn: So you know, like that's the hardest part it's just like, sometimes people forget that, I'm a regular person, you know.
Kenrya: Yeah. That's real shit. So we're gonna change gears a little bit, because you know we asked you to come on the show today because we read a book last week, "Let Me Free You" that features a self-described hotep. So for those who are listening who don't know, I'm going to read a short description of a hotep from the homie Damon Young over very smart brothers. And he first reminds us that hotep is an Egyptian word for peace. So we got that out of the way, like we know it means peace, but then he breaks down the way that we tend to use hoteps today. And he says for some signs that a person might be hotep look at the following, or look for the following. One, a steadfast belief in illogical conspiracy theories. Two an arrogant adherence to respectability politics. Three, sexism and homophobia that vacillate from thinly veiled to, "if being gay was natural, how come it ain't no any gay elephants?" Four unbowed and uncompromising support for any Black man accused of any wrongdoing. Even if said man's guilt is clear Lord. And five ashy ankles. It feels hella accurate.
Erica: And also I'd like to add that ashy part between your thumb and your index finger.
Kenrya: Thank God. So full disclosure. My shoes ashy right this moment, but--
Erica: Oh my God.
Kenrya: But I also was washing my dishes. So--
Quinn: Damn is mine? No.
Erica: You gotta keep lotion.
Kenrya: I mean, none of the other shit applies though. We good.
Kenrya: Okay. So while the male lead in the book, did his best to separate himself from what he even described as some of the worst things that are associated with being in a hotep. He made us think about some of the terrible men that we've encountered. And we happen to know Quinn, that you have a top notch hotep door. So what makes your alarms go off?
Quinn: So much, everything that Darnell said, of course. I would also add probably like either that area right before, like the bottom of your feet, like the ankle area, or like--
Kenrya: You like that tendon?
Quinn: The elbow.
Kenrya: The back of your tendon?
Quinn: Yeah. Like right there. Yes. That is it honey.
Kenrya: So they don't believe you are reaching down.
Kenrya: The white man...
Quinn: ... the white man.
Erica: The white man wants you to reach down.
Kenrya: But apparently they know because white people don't wash they legs so.
Quinn: But the white man wants you to bow to him. That's why he don't put lotion on his ankles. You see what I'm saying? Say woke, you know, please sleep. So that, I also think those curve fingernails—the ones that don't lift up, you know where it look like a... like no this aint. Like you got a one D finger, you know what I'm saying, no D whatever it is, like. It just flat [crosstalk 00:19:40]
Kenrya: Booty diggers. Call them booty diggers, cause you're just digging your booty without scratching yourself.
Quinn: Okay. Like those fingers were so gross. It's like he's a part of they... it's like a helmet for they finger.
Kenrya: Oh my God.
Quinn: But, if they got one of them ankh necklaces, or some kind of wood jewelry.
Erica: Pause for the cause. I have an ankh tramp stamp. I was young and wanted a tattoo and needed something that wasn't... I didn't want to get sweet and juicy on my back, so I was.
Kenrya: Bitch, did you think it was like deep.
Erica: I thought it was deep. I thought I was classy. Fuck all y'all.
Kenrya: Was you fucking with the hotep at the time?
Erica: No, this is part of what makes me a hotep magnet and now I'm mad.
Kenrya: Do cats see you out at festivals and get a glimpse of your ankh and they are like, "Ooh, that one."
Erica: Peace Queen. "I'm like, no, I'm really a bald-headed hoe, I really like bald headed hoe shit.
Kenrya: That's false advertising.
Erica: Yeah, it definitely is, it's like we wanted a queen. We got a hoe. I'm like, yup.
Quinn: That's it too. If they just always say like queen and what grand rising.
Kenrya: So, wait let's unpack grand rising because that's the last part of the story that we read. The couple wakes up and the dude says grand rising and then she say grand rising Neil, what does grand rising mean? What do we know collectively?
Kenrya: I don't, I'm assuming the sun rose.
Erica: I'm so mad.
Quinn: And it was grand. Someone thought that one morning. This is such a grand sun. Wake up grand sun stay woke that's where it came from.
Kenrya: Always center the man.
Quinn: I have no idea. But I mean I just, I think that that, and probably super creased clothes, maybe if they a Mason. Well I don't know, I'm thinking about that one lately. Might want to consider that.
Erica: Okay. Again, I feel attacked because I'm from the Midwest and we'd like to crease our pants. No longer do I do it, but it was a thing.
Quinn: Okay. yeah, that is, sure. I mean just general avoidance of equality for anyone except the Black man. Pork, you all know the hoteps, hate pork and they just, that's something I think that their might be they, if you're going to do a witch's circle, where you pour salt around, just put a bunch of pork chops in a fucking circle around you to repel these kind of niggas. Pork chops and lotion. I ankle lotion and maybe you all won't pull no goddamn hoteps no more. Just a nice little prayer circle.
Kenrya: I like it.
Erica: So why are hoteps dangerous? What like, for folks that are out here just trying to live, get a little dick, find a boo, why are they dangerous?
Quinn: I think that definitely if you're casually dating a hotep, you might be okay. Especially if you are a person going into it knowing, I'm just dick and free meals, pork free meals apparently. But that's it. That's all you're going to get from this nigga. If you go into it knowing he stupid knowing you can't take them nowhere. He going to tell you something bout anti vaccine.
Kenrya: Oh, God.
Quinn: Needles came from a white man. And ain't no gay elephants. Like lesbians don't exist at all. Like matriarch elephants couldn't be lesbians at all. All they do is live together for a long ass time walk around and do shit.
Kenrya: Raising their kids together.
Quinn: That's sound like a lesbian relationship to me, but fine. But if you are just casually dating a hotep, I think you're okay. As long as you keep your wits about you, you got some good friends, some good people to mirror back to you. Like, "Hey, this ain't it. I hope we're just having fun." But the problem is hoteps usually got real good dick. And so if you the type of person that get easily dickmatized you might be in trouble. You might--
Kenrya: Wait. It feels like you've had some personal experience with hoteps.
Quinn: Yeah, you know what? I am so grateful to only have dated a couple of hoteps in my youth. When I was under 18 so, you didn't have a word for it. You just knew this nigga was stupid.
Quinn: Like how you misspelling shit on Bebo. I don't know if you all remember Bebo. That was like, back in [crosstalk 00:24:40].
Quinn: That might've just been some Clarksdale, Mississippi shit. Somebody made a web page, nevermind. Edit that out. It was Mississippi's Facebook. But... So, but essentially I dated some niggas back then who were kind of like, just young and stupid. One of them was half Puerto Rican. So, he will talk to me stupid in Spanish and I just love it. He probably say, hace frio or something. The nigga was in Mississippi. He wants connected to his roots, but I don't know. But I mean, as an adult, I don't, I think my ex-husband was kind of a hotep, but it's hard to reflect his behavior and align it back as just a hotep. Because he's also was abusive, so I don't want to just label him as a hotep because he has this other dark thing to him. But we also have to really consider a lot of men who are hoteps. They're all this misogyny and internalized racism and homophobia. That's also really dark shit. And a lot of them are narcissists.
Kenrya: That's actually something we're going to ask you about.
Quinn: Oh, okay.
Kenrya: The overlap of because for me, a lot of the hoteps that I've encountered were narcissists as well. I also think, maybe it's important to take a minute and explain to our listeners what that is. Because I think we throw the term around a lot, it's just like how people call people sociopaths. But people don't really know what that means. So can you just take a second and back up and tell folks what a narcissist is?
Quinn: Yeah. And so you don't have to be a sociopath to be a narcissist. And also you don't have to have a personality. You don't have to be a narcissistic personality disorder to be narcissistic. But basically a narcissist is somebody that has, who they really are because of some kind of like childhood trauma or something like that. Something horrible at some point happened to them or disturbing or disruptive and they decided instead of confronting it and processing it and dealing with it like the rest of us, they was going to come up with a whole new sense of self and they won't see anything outside of that. And they want other people to engage with and or worship that false sense of self that they created.
Kenrya: Oh, shit. That feels very familiar. So, given that definition, does it make sense that I've seen so much overlap between hoteps and narcissist?
Quinn: No, I mean, because if we look at some of the stuff even that Damon just pointed out about the behavior of narcissism, I mean of hoteps it is an alignment. hoteps think that the man is the head of the family, the Black man specifically. And everything centers around him being King and women are subservient to him and all of this shit. And so that doesn't sound very different from a narcissist who just makes everything about them all the time. And who projects this confidence. And I am this fantastic man and really you ain't got shit and doing shit, but you just standing on the backs of these women and children or other people around you. And I just really also think that hoteps usually do a lot of gas-lighting, which narcissists also do. Warping your reality and making you feel like, well, is this really true? And also taking away your options from you by warping your reality making you think that nobody else will want you but them.
Kenrya: Right, isolating you.
Quinn: So therefore you got to do that. Yeah.
Erica: So why do you think we get swept up by them?
Quinn: Well, good dick. I mean--
Quinn: Let's just--
Kenrya: Put it out there.
Quinn: Keep a spade, put a spade--
Kenrya: But also there are also women who fall into this hotep trap, right? What do they call them on a Black lady--
Kenrya: Herteps. That's a thing too.
Quinn: Yeah. Well dick isn't gender specific, by the way, you know.
Kenrya: I know, so--
Quinn: So you could be strapping it up but--
Kenrya: Real shit.
Quinn: I do think that definitely, if we're talking about the context of people other than me and then our hoteps, they still believe in that hierarchy and that structure of relationships. So they still contribute to these harmful ways in any possible way. And the goal is, I don't want to be the bottom of the totem pole so am always find someone lower than me. So, for hoteps it's--
Kenrya: I'm sorry y'all, I'm going to say one thing. I always try to do things in the moment. So using the term totem pole is actually derogatory.
Quinn: Oh. You are right.
Kenrya: Yeah. So let's use a ladder or just hierarchy or whatever. So yeah, but they want to climb to the top of the ladder. Right? They want to be at the top of the hierarchy.
Quinn: Exactly. And they also want to make sure that they have someone to look down upon. So for herteps you usually see, especially Black women of a certain demographic, like an age group, you usually see that antagonism that Black men have towards Black women with black women is usually against trans persons and the LGBTQ community and--
Kenrya: Somebody who they perceive to be lower on the hierarchy than they are.
Quinn: Exactly. Unmarried women, young mothers, people like this who just reject very specific structures and hierarchies that they have believed in.
Kenrya: So what can folks do to disentangle themselves from these hoteps?
Quinn: I mean obviously phone a friend, if you feel like you get too dick whipped or ass whipped should I say. And I think that it's really important for you to have a really good, when you can, right? We're not talking about relationships where you're 17, 18 and you're developing who you are. But if you have a very solid sense of who you are before you go into a relationship with a person like this, it will be really easy for you to not have your core shaken so much up by them. You know what I'm saying? With earthquakes, they put the damn poles deep in the ground, and so even when the earth moves the foundation doesn't have to. And I think it's important for you if you're going to be dating as an adult person to just at least go into relationships where you know who you are because you're going to be constantly tested by hoteps or herteps or just regular people about shit you think you already know about you. And if you already are protected and well grounded, you'll be all right. And you'll know that this person's full of shit. Now if you like most of us who don't have the core sense of self before you start dating, you learn on the way, right? So having friends reflect things back to you. But you have to be honest and we have to eliminate the shame of fucking up in relationships. So you have to be honest with your friendship circle. Also be honest with, if you have a therapist or a pastor or someone you're close to that you can download some of this stuff about. Lean into them and just be able to say like, this is what's going on with my person and when shit is abnormal, they will tell you. I've been thinking this story was normal, my whole fucking twenties and, thirties well, I'm only 31, but 20 and 30. But I have tell people that one of my exes who was a hotep who is a doctor here in the DMV area actually. I met him through his girlfriend which, I was fucking his girlfriend and then I got him. So I mean.
Quinn: I mean, so I got hooked up with him and I remember thinking he was a doctor so he knew everything he was talking about, right? And so I'll never forget after he was telling me something about how women should talk to men and his mom always bent her knee to his father when he came into the house after a long day, it's shit like that. I'll never forget, I was talking to people about just a random story and I was like, yeah, he put some hand sanitizer on his dick instead of taking a bath.
Kenrya: What? My God.
Quinn: I will never forget this, about two months ago I just found out that wasn't normal. I'm sitting there laughing at this story with my wife about another part of the story and my wife is sitting there looking at my friend's face and I'm moved on and they all laughing and I'm like, damn, this is a good story I'm telling. They all said, "That's not normal. What are you talking about? How did you skip that?" And your friends, if you're honest with your friends about what's going on, they will call it out. Whether it's comical or not, that doesn't matter. But I have people in my life where I can reflect these experiences back to, and they can give me some feedback about it. But that didn't happen if I wasn't willing to be vulnerable.
Kenrya: Which is tough. Right? Especially because we're taught that that's a weakness.
Quinn: Yeah, we're conditioned to think that we have to be strong.
Kenrya: Right, absolutely. So for folks who are like us, well, I'll speak for myself, I turn to books for solutions and plans all the time, I'm a nerd. Do you have any book recommendations for folks who may need some help with dealing with the issues that may arise either from dealing with somebody like this or to give them a grounding to be able to disentangle themselves?
Quinn: Absolutely. My favorite books to prescribed to clients are "The Body Keeps The Score" and "Facing Co-dependence." So, Body Keeps The Score is mostly centered around physical trauma and the disconnect between your brain and body when these things happen to you. And how your body responds in one way, your brain responds in another and it's really good to see people really understand these two things don't always work in tandem. And sometimes my body is telling me this isn't a good relationship. Why am I in this relationship? Your body is always tired and crying. Well, you're always crying and you're sick or you can't get aroused as much as you used to because your body is trying to give you these clues. Your brain though will tell you this is the best relationship you've been in. He hasn't hit you. What's wrong with that? Is this relationship so bad. She isn't doing nothing as bad as your last partner. And so being able to show them the disconnect that your brain and your body will have and how to learn to understand your complete language that your body is giving you is really important.
Quinn: Facing Codependency is one of my favorite is because one, all my black women have resistance to that book. I have never prescribed that book to a black woman at this point. It's like 112 women that I prescribed this book to. Every single one of them gets angry. Every single one of them is like, this--
Kenrya: I mean the word codependency is scary.
Quinn: Yeah, especially because for us, we're conditioned to think that we're supposed to be hyper independent and that word codependent seems incongruent with what we think about ourselves. But without getting too much into that, being super independent is a form of codependency. So I'm just like, okay, sure.
Kenrya: Why are you so loud Quinn.
Quinn: All right, sure. Single independent woman don't need no man. I get it. I fuck with it. However, let's just talk about why. And that's where I always get the resistance. But those two books really give you a snapshot of your interpersonal relationships with the co-dependence one and also how you feel with the body Keeps the score one.
Kenrya: Oh, thank you.
Quinn: You're welcome.
Erica: So as we prepare to close, we'd like to ask you one final really tough question. It’s a would you rather, so would you rather be in a relationship with a hotep or in a relationship with a person, a Black person that swears they don't see color.
Quinn: Okay. So the kind of relationship, all that shit is the same, right? Short term, long term, whatever. It don't matter.
Quinn: Just would I rather spend my evening talking to somebody about how Bill Cosby tried to buy NBC or.
Kenrya: You know that happened to me for real.
Quinn: Somebody, It has happened to all of us. It happened to me talking to other therapists.
Kenrya: Oh, shit.
Quinn: So, yes. Never forget that. I thought that was just a Twitter thing until somebody said that shit to me in real life. I was like, you're too old to be stupid. They just are. You've been around long enough to read books.
Kenrya: We know that doesn't matter.
Quinn: Spend my day thinking about that. Or somebody that just, Ooh, probably tucks they shirt in real high, wear they pants real high. They probably wear--
Erica: Ugh armpits sweat stains on they pants.
Quinn: Ducks unlimited, them ducks, the mallards that be on them belts, they probably wear something like that, or wear they shades with a band or string rim. Oh my God, at least with a hotep I'm going to have a good time. I think I might, the food going to be seasoned and I'm not like, just think about somebody who don't see race, the food they eat, they probably drink milk. Oh my God. I just, Oh, that feels so boring. I would just be so disappointed to have missionary sex with the lights off, just to be in a relationship with this loser. So, no.
Kenrya: So you're going with a hotep.
Quinn: I would rather hertep, by the way.
Quinn: I'd rather deal with a stud with these problems. Nah, that'd be much worse. Let's... I'll go with a hotep. I'll go with a hotep man. I'll take that for 300. Probably how much money he going to owe me when we broke up.
Kenrya: Bitch, exactly. Yo, we're so glad that you've joined us today. Where can people find you?
Quinn: Yeah, you can find me on my social media, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook is @magnoliamheath. my website is magnoliamhealth.com. Also heybgirl.com. You can send me a Email all of my contact information is on my website and on my social media pages.
Kenrya: That's dope. Well, this wraps up this week's episode of The Turn On. Thanks you all for joining us. Peace.
Quinn: Thank you for having me.
Erica: Thank you.
Erica: This episode was produced by us, Erica and Kenrya and edited by B'.Lystic The theme song is from Brazy. First please leave a review in your favorite podcast listening app. For real we want to hear from you all. Send your book recommendations and all the burning sex and related questions you want us to answer to email@example.com. And please subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app. Follow us on Twitter at the @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram @TheturnOnPodcast and find links to books, transcripts, guest info, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com. 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.