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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya read Tia William's "Seven Days in June" and talk invisible disabilities, shifting identities, taking up space, generational trauma, parenting kids with more privilege than you, the beauty of Korean spas and the benefits of being young and unattached.
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Kenrya: Come here, get off.
Erica: Hey y'all. Welcome to this week's episode of The Turn On. Just a little note before we get started, today's book handles some pretty intense issues, so this is our official trigger warning. Be good to yourself and your spirit and mind, so if this gets too tough, cut it off, I promise we'll be back kicking it next week as well. With that, we are reading “Seven Days in June,” by the lovely Tia Williams. It was just released in June 2021. Sit back, relax, get your wine, your weed, whatever you need and enjoy.
Kenrya: “Seven Days in June” by Tia Williams.
Kenrya: “Go to sleep.” “Can't sleep,” she murmured. “I'm distracted.” “Why?” He turned his head to face her and then their eyes locked in silent conversation. It was also dreamlike. Minutes were melting into each other. Their blinks became slower, the two of them wearing syrupy, satisfied smiles.
Kenrya: Finally, Eva delivered an answer that neither of them believed. “I'm trying to memorize this room, it's good material, maybe it'll show up in a book,” she said yawning full drowsy. “Honestly, as stressful as writing is, I can't imagine not doing it.” “It’s heady, right?” he muttered, eyes focused on her mouth. “Yeah, the power is so good. Making complete strangers laugh, cry, get turned on. It's better than sex.” “Is it though?” “I wouldn't remember actually,” she admitted. “I met the sexual equivalent of rock bottom. It's been ages. You?” “But you're such a filthy writer.” “I have a filthy imagination”, she corrected, and sometimes it's enough she thought, but mostly it's lonely.
Kenrya: CeCe had once diagnosed Eva as touch starved, one of her authors wrote a self-help book about it. When someone went too long without touch, they became hypersensitive to the slightest graze. There was truth to it. Last weekend, Eva had almost had an orgasm when our hairstylist shampooed her and her hairstylist was the grandmother of six. Eva had been consciously avoiding Shane's touch all day. If he so much as brushed up against her, she might explode.
Kenrya: “I'm at rock bottom too,” said Shane, “I've never had sober sex.” Eva gasped, “That long? Why?” Shane didn't know how to answer this. He'd had a lot of sex with too many women in increasingly depraved ways. A lot of it good, most of it a blur, and it was a relief to stop. “Normal, healthy people didn't use sex as opposed to vodka chaser, I just never got around to it,” he said. “I don't miss it,” Eva said with a dismissive flick of her wrist. “Honestly, I'm practically a virgin again, it'll probably hurt.” “I'm so backed up, it'll be over in two seconds.” “Good thing we're not having sex.” “I for one, am relieved,” says Shane with the wolfish smile. Eva giggled into her palm despite herself.
Kenrya: “Why is it still so easy to talk to you?” Shane gazed at her until the glint in his eye faded a bit. “It always was, it's just who we are.” “Do you remember everything,” she whispered, “about us?” It took him a while to answer. “It's funny, the past decade is a blur, but I remember every detail of that week.” “I was hoping I'd romanticized it over the years that we weren't real.” Her words sounded delicate, breakable. There was a quietly hypnotic faint sound of a piano and the incense swirled softly, and then Eva felt a familiar pull. Just like when they were 17, there was no space between them. There was an overwhelming need to get closer, always. Unthinking, Eva slipped her hand into his. Shane squeezed it and then brought her hand to his mouth, pressing a lingering kiss into her palm. She gasped, electricity tearing through her. It was the slightest touch, but she felt it everywhere. Eva had been imprisoned in pain for so long, she'd forgotten how good feeling good was. Her entire body roused and suddenly, she was aware of everything. Her skin, her cells, the bones under her skin. Heart fluttering, core throbbing. Touch-starved.
Kenrya: Shane watched her reaction with lidded eyes. Then he lightly ran his lips along the inside of her wrist. She let out the tiniest whimper, her back arching. It was electric. Breathless and embarrassed by our reaction, she sat up, burying her face in her hands. No. They were in a public space behind an unlocked door. She was a mother! And Shane was a bold-faced name. Where they really fated to get caught dry-humping at an art world pop-up? A welcome sign said no touching. If they got caught, Book Twitter would implode. Audre would fling herself into the East River.
Kenrya: But then she opened her eyes. There was Shane, gazing up at her, looking for all the world like the reckless, irresistible boy he'd once been, but now with experience and grow-man gravitas and a rugged North African surfing scar, and the most fuckable crinkles around his eyes. And nothing mattered. There was no hell she wouldn't risk for this man and he knew it. Come here, he said. Eva straddled him, her hair falling in his face. Shane ran his hands up the back of her thighs and over her ass, and then not gently, he gripped her hips and pulled her down against him. Their lips were inches away from each other. “20 questions,” he whispered. “Go.” “Why'd you really come to see me?” “To ask for the favor.” “Liar.” Shane tossed her over onto her back, pinning her wrists above her head with one hand. Instinctively, her legs drew up, wrapping around his waist. “Why'd you come?” “For you.” Her hips stuttered against his, desperate for friction. “Wanted you.” “You got me,” he rasped, leaving hot, sucking kisses down her throat. “Your turn.”
Kenrya: Eva trembled beneath him. His mouth scrambling her brain. She couldn't ask Shane the obvious questions. Where did you go? Why'd you leave? How could you? Over the years she trained herself not to care about these answers. Besides, this one that wasn't about him, it was about her, so she went for something easier. “Do you ever think of me?” Lightly, he ran his tongue along her neck, up to her ear, nibbling on her lobe. “I never learned how to stop.” “Oh,” she said, and then shakily added, “your turn.” “So did you? Romanticize us?” asked Shane, eyes catching hers. “Or were we real?” “We were real,” she whispered, almost inaudibly. “Then?” He ground himself against her and she moaned. “Yes,” she gasped. “Then, and now.”
Kenrya: Abruptly, Shane freed her wrists and cradled her face. She slid her hands up as back, gripping his shoulders. Slowly, he lowered his face toward hers, then stopped. He dipped down, then paused. He'd been waiting a lifetime to have her like this, buzzing for him, craving him, desperate, and he wanted to savor it. But she let out an impatient groan, digging her nails into his shoulders, and Shane caved. He crashed his mouth into hers, drawing her into a luscious, searing kiss. The delicious shock of it was enough to make Eva freeze, but then she melted into him, lost in the heat of his mouth, the slide of his tongue, the teasing nip of his teeth until she was unable to form a coherent thought beyond, yes and want and Shane, Shane, Shane. He kept at it, kissing her senseless. It went backward in intensity, slowing down to a soft, searing smolder, almost too hot to take. They stopped only to catch their breath.
Kenrya: “One more question,” he said. “We're still playing?” She wet her lips with her tongue. “Yeah,” Shane glanced toward the door, then back down at her. Eyes glinting in the dark wickedly. “Are you still bad?” “Yes,” she said, without thinking, reaching down to palm his dick, huge and hard in his jeans. She rubbed along the length of him, teasing out a low groan. “Are you?” “Yeah,” he said, pushing her dress up and slipping off her strapless bra. Dipping down, he ran his soft, hot mouth along the swell of her breast, his teeth catching on her nipple. He swirled his tongue around it, sucking deliciously. And then his stubble scraping your skin, he dragged his mouth to the other. Her helpless, shuddery gasps were making him so hard, he wondered how he survived this.
Kenrya: “Yeah,” he growled against her breasts. “I'm still there.” “Why? Tell me.” Shane lifted his head, taking her in. Eva looked radiant, so slutty, with her dress pulled up under her arms, showing off sheer panties, curls everywhere, panting, trembling, lips raw and swollen from kissing. She had a bruise blossoming on her hip where he gripped her. “'Cause I'm old enough to know better,” said Shane, drawing her into a quick, dirty tongue kiss. “But I'm going to do it anyway.” “Do what?” “Fuck you. Here.” And then they tore into each other. Frantically, Shane managed to get our soaked panties off one leg and Eva pushed down his jeans and boxes, but there was no time to get all the way naked. He dug into his wallet for an ancient condom, offering a silent prayer to several deities that it still worked, and slipped it on. Then, covering her with his tall, strong body, Shane sank into Eva with excruciating slowness, careful not to hurt her.
Kenrya: It did hurt, but the burn was exquisite. Wanting more, Eva cupped his ass and pushed him deeper. She gasped, and Shane kissed her quiet, driving into her was steady, deep strokes, and all she could do was take it, wave after wave of pleasure. When he felt her whole body begin to shudder against his, he slid his hand down between their sweat-slick, half-clothed bodies and dipped his middle finger over her clit. He rubbed her slowly but fucked her hard, and it was so good, so intense, that it sent her over the edge, shattering her to stillness. And when Shane followed seconds later, he put his mouth to her ear and finally said it. Eva, he rasped, voice wrecked. Eva, Eva. He uttered it like an incantation. The only name that ever mattered, and Eva, heart slamming into her ribs, clung to him in the violet-tinged darkness. Feeling both lost and found.
Erica: Okay, so welcome back. Thank you, Kenrya, for that lovely reading. This one was a lot. Do you want to give the... You give the synopsis, because if I do it, I'm going to tell too much.
Kenrya: Okay. This book stars... Crap, how am I blanking on her name? And I literally just read it.
Kenrya: Oh, Eva.
Erica: Also known as Genevieve.
Kenrya: Yes. She is an erotica writer, which was really the first thing I think that drew us into this one, who suffers with chronic pain and tries very hard to balance writing with taking care of her daughter as a single parent. She doesn't really make much time for herself to do anything else, like fall in love. And she finds herself through a series of events that reunited with, I guess, her first love, and this book follows their reunion. The scene that we just read is the first day that they spent together.
Erica: Yes, so you said... Do you really think that it was that she hadn't fallen in love, because of time or because of other situations?
Kenrya: I think she wasn't necessarily open to it, but I also think she's someone who has been divorced. And there was something that was really striking that she at some point asked her husband, her ex-husband, was it hard to love her? And he was like, “No, I thought that you were a problem to be taken care of instead of someone to just be loved.” I think even before he said that, she had internalized that, and that it kept her from being able to feel like she could be close to people or reveal what she saw as a weakness, because she worried that she would be a burden on folks. And that kept her from being able to put herself into a position to be able to fall in love with anyone.
Erica: Yeah. I agree. I just wanted to call out the time thing because I don't think it was time. I think [crosstalk 00:17:10].
Kenrya: Yeah, you're right. That's the story she told herself and everybody else.
Erica: [crosstalk 00:17:12] yes, time was an excuse.
Kenrya: Yes, for sure.
Erica: Yeah. There were a lot of things that just were striking about this story. One of the things that we know is that she's an erotica writer, which let me say it, we were like ding, ding, ding. But also she is a single mom of this child that is a lot.
Erica: Dynamic, that's the best way to put it. She is a spitfire and it was interesting to me because I feel like parenting and being a person, they are two vast, very different roles. Parenting and being an adult are two very different things, both of which you were fucking clueless, but you got to make it look like you got your shit together to a point. And then you layer on top of each other and I think this book really showed how you can be a parent, you can swear you have all your shit together, you parent your kid. And then you put your kids in bed after you just lay down the law and you're texting some boy, because you aren't sure if he likes you. It was just, yeah.
Erica: I think one of the biggest things that I had to deal with through therapy was recognizing that my mom was just a person, my dad was just a person. They had parenting and parenthood, grown-up added to who they were, but at the end of the day, they're still people trying to figure shit out. And this showed that, because I feel like also when I'm dating now, it's like, he doesn't like me. And I'm like, bitch, you over here managing a household budget, and you're doing all this other stuff. But at the end of the day, we're people that are trying to figure this shit out.
Kenrya: It's true.
Erica: You feel that way as a, or now that you're on the other side?
Kenrya: Yeah. I still feel that way. Yes. Yesterday our AC was out and it got to be like 92 degrees in here.
Erica: Which is hot for you, because you still keep your house warm, but anyway.
Kenrya: Yeah, so it was hot and it was humid and it was literally unbearable for people with asthma, trying to sit in here. And I had a meeting with a client starting in two minutes when I was just like, we can't stay here, but also didn't have time to... And it was on Zoom, so we ran down to the car. I had to do my calls on video from the car, but at least we got some relief from the air. And then I was like, we'll go get gas. We'll go get dinner.
Erica: You know me and I live below you, right?
Kenrya: I know that, but I also know that I was at your house on Sunday and my allergies were so bad, even with taking an extra pill, that I woke up in the middle of the night all fucked up and had to use my saline and shit, so I wouldn't get a sinus infection. This is the part that I'm getting to. My anxiety makes it really hard for me to person, to adult, and to parent. I was trying to explain to my partner, because we ended up going to his place cause he doesn't have pets, it was just too fucking hot here. At first, we were going to try to stay and we're going to just sleep in the living room and make it a sleepover. And I'm trying to make it fun for the kid, because I'm trying to parent while also trying to figure it out. But I would have had to come all the way downstairs and look through the basement to try to find the air mattress. I know that for people who don't have brains that are broken, that doesn't seem like a difficult task.
Erica: Your brain is not broken. It's just a little special.
Kenrya: I'm okay with it, it’s got some fucked up parts and that's okay. It's just part of who I am, it don't bother me, it's just hard sometimes. So I have to repeat what's going on more than once in order to get down there to get it. I got to look for it. I got to do that while my kid doesn't freak out that I had to leave her. The house is dark, because we're not turning on lights because we're trying to keep it cool.
Kenrya: All of these things are going through my broken brain and feeling completely overwhelming. I'm sweating fucking buckets. I can barely breathe. And all I'm trying to think about is how do I manage just the logistics of this? How do I manage the anxiety that is coming up around having to deal with the logistics and having to ask for help with that? And how do I manage her and her anxiety? And I'm trying to do all of this at the same fucking time. And only one time that I... It was something that she asked me and I didn't snap. I was just like, "Hey, could you just do what I asked you to do?" Because that was all I could manage to keep from losing my shit. To me, yesterday perfectly encapsulated what it is like to try to do all the little things at one time and to feel like you're failing on every front all at the same fucking time. It was not great. It was not great.
Erica: I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
Kenrya: It is what it is. And part of my issue was that it's hard for me to ask for help when I'm in the middle of stuff. So it just the thing. If my partner hadn't said, "Hey, get your shit and come over here," I would have been trying to figure it out on the floor, or on the couch in my living room.
Erica: Yeah, when you sent me a text saying, I was like, "Wait, she ain't say nothing, but all right." You ain't have ice up there. You can at least come down for some ice.
Kenrya: Everything felt so hard.
Erica: I'm messing with you. Well, yeah, parenting, being... Parenting and personing are... The clash between the two, it's just... And dating and relationships and all of that. And this showed all of that. Also with how you can have... Everything could be blowing up at the same time. Eva was dealing with her health, she was dealing with the kid, she was dealing with... And also-
Kenrya: She had a book due.
Erica: The book due. She was dealing with-
Kenrya: And this nigga pop up.
Erica: The nigga and the show, and a movie. It was just a lot going on. And on top of that... I guess we'll go into it. So Eva suffers with really bad migraines, and to not only have all of this happening, but then something that... I don't want to turn this into the Oppression Olympics. You said that before. But to have something that can truly take you out, that you just have to shut everything down, no matter, just layered even more on top of it. So Eva struggled with her migraines, and for a really long time, damn near towards the end of the book, where she recognized it as a disability. And it was more just out of frustration, like, "You know what, goddamn it, I do have a disability. I have an invisible disability and this is what it is."
Kenrya: It's not a shortcoming, and it's not something that she's not doing right, or something that she has to hide. So what was really interesting to me is that I did not realize how much this book paralleled my life until you called me and was like, "Hey bitch, this your life." Like the mom raising a kid, really. I mean, at least her co-parent lives in Dadifornia, but I... Whatever. But writer, invisible disability, all of that. And it was interesting because this is something that I have really been dealing with over the last year, just as a person and also in therapy, because that's what therapy is for. So folks who listen to the show regularly will know that... And I don't really talk much, because again, you don't want to delve into your stuff, but I have been battling who the fuck knows what with my health for the last year, and it has been like dominoes falling. Or no, more like whack-a-mole. Every time we figure out one thing that's wrong with me, some more pop up, or the treatment for one thing creates another thing.
Erica: Cause something else, yeah.
Kenrya: So where we are right now... The main thing is that I have fatigue that just fucking puts me out, where I have days where it is very difficult for me to get out of bed. And that was really what started it and led to a whole bunch of other stuff, including a liver disease diagnosis. Yo, one thing that they never tell you... They always tell you when you go on a birth control pill that they can cause blood clots. No one ever tells you that you can end up with something called drug induced liver injury, which is what I was diagnosed with last year. So for any of you who have weird numbers on your liver enzymes when you get your complete metabolic tests at your annual physicals, and nobody knows what's going on, if you are on birth control pill, it is rare, but it is a thing that happens, and it's a thing that has happened to me and turned into a whole bunch of other stuff.
Kenrya: My liver is fine now after two surgeries and a whole bunch of stuff, but fatigue still remains. So now we're at a point where I am seeing a neurologist all the time to try to diagnose what we think it is, and if I get a diagnosis, I'll share, but essentially it makes it so that it is really hard for me to do a lot of the things. I've always been a person who could work out like it was nothing. I have to walk, really, which is great, because it's my favorite form of exercise, but I used to be able to walk for an hour and then go to the gym and lift weights for 45 minutes and get on the treadmill for another 30. I just am unable in this body to do those things at this point.
Kenrya: Hopefully medication will get me there again, but I'm not there now, and it's been difficult for me to adjust and also to have these conversations around... And I have migraines which have started back over, yeah, that part, to the point where I am now getting monthly injections to try to quell them. They're not as bad as Eva's in the book, but they put a bitch down. They're not great. Besides just the physical aspects of what I've been dealing with over this last year, there's also the exhaustion that comes with dealing with the medical industrial complex, which ironically, I guess, now I'm writing about. My next book is about Black women, racism, and health. And it's been interesting how my own shit has been unfolding as I have been researching and writing. And at one point it was... My health had gotten so bad that I had to put aside the book because it was quite frankly triggering to deal with that-
Erica: This will have a memoir aspect to it.
Kenrya: And I think a lot of it's going to end up coming through in this book, which already is shot through with personal stories that some people are not going to want to see, but that are really fucking relevant and grounded in the work. But the other part of it is dealing with the fact that this has become a disability and it's an invisible one, and which... I don't know that a lot of folks are necessarily... That it's a concept that they understand, that there can be things wrong with people that we don't know. I think it's come up a bit over this last year in dealing with COVID, with the assholes who are upset with people, for whatever reason, who choose to wear a mask. I am one of them. I've always had a compromised immune system.
Kenrya: But you never know what the fuck folks are going through, and I think that folks have thought about that a little bit when they've wanted to over the past year with COVID, but it's made me think about my own internalized ableism and what it meant to call myself a disabled person and also to think about... I have some issues around what it meant, what felt taking up a space that didn't belong to me. Because, again, that's where the ableism comes in. So “who am I to say that I'm disabled when this person is going through this thing that I deemed to be worse than when I'm going through” and how does your ableism make it so that you can think that someone's... You know what I mean? It's worse than yours.
Erica: I totally get it. I totally get it.
Kenrya: So that's work that I've been doing. But also realizing that my therapist is like, "Well, you do a lot of advocacy work in a lot of areas, and some of them are areas that you are a member of the community, and some of them are areas where you're not." She's like, "So how do you balance that?" And I was like, "Well, my work is about lifting up the voices of other people and centering folks who are pushed to the margins. That's what I do." And I was like, "So I guess this is not really any different. I already try to do that with folks in the disabled community. It doesn't mean that I'm pushing myself out here as some fucking organizer or anything that. It's just another part of my identity that informs the work that I do." And she was like, "Well then what you worried about bitch?" But it's been something that I have been wrestling with, the ways that I look at myself and the ways that I relate to the world. And I recognize that in Eva in reading this book.
Erica: That was a word. Related unrelated, I was talking to this guy and he was like, "Are you bisexual?" And I'm like, "No, I have sex with women, but I'm not." He was like umm.. That's the same thing. I feel too... Me having sex with women, one, it's a new thing. Actually doing it is a new thing. And it's always in the context of a threesome, and I generally present and live as a straight woman. So it feels like I... To say that, "Yes, I'm bisexual. Yes, I'm queer." It feels like I'm stealing someone else's... What gives me the right to say this. What give me the right to say this when I am... I am a Black woman, but I don't have the shit that bisexual, lesbian women have to go through. So I totally get it. I think we see that among our mixed friends that present as white, even if they want, willingly, you know?
Kenrya: Well, and I think what we have to, what it comes down to is one, realizing that, just like how we say that other folks can identify in the ways that make the most sense to them, we have zero problem extending that same grace to other folks, but we don't do it to ourselves. And I think it's really important that we find our way to that space for ourselves. And lots of things can be true at the same time. We can do that while also holding the fact that we have privilege. I have privilege in the fact that my disability is invisible. So unless I let you into what is going on... I mean, yeah, you may see me and be like, "Why did she just say she needed to move from this table to this couch because she can't sit up no more," you know what I'm saying?
Kenrya: But I have the privilege of being able to not be identified in that way and not be discriminated against in that way, unless somebody is around me long enough to get to the end of the day and be like, "Holy fuck." And you have the privilege of being able to present as straight and folks to outwardly only see you engaging with men, so you're not dealing with the phobia that can be attached to that. And that's the privilege. We can recognize the privilege that we hold as cis women over our trans siblings. It's the same thing. And we can use that privilege in ways like talking about it on this show that help us to advocate for everybody in the community without feeling like we're taking up a space that doesn't belong to us. And who's to say that it doesn't?
Erica: Yeah. So in the vein of Eva living your life, or you living Eva's life, whichever way.
Kenrya: I'm older than her.
Erica: She broke down the whole relationship with her daughter, Audre's dad. Wait, what was her daughter's full name? I loved it. It was Audre-
Kenrya: Oh my God, she was named after everybody.
Erica: Something Toni.
Kenrya: Toni, yeah. She was named for like four-
Erica: I know she was Audre Lorde Toni Morrison. There was somebody else. We'll find it. But the co-parenting relationship, how she... And I think that so many women deal with this. A lot of them don't... I'm sorry. I am breaking out, having some sort of allergic reaction, so my entire body itches. That's why you keep seeing me scratching myself. Sorry about...
Kenrya: I didn't notice, but are you okay? Do you need to...
Erica: I don't fall out, it's just... Girl, I am my mama's daughter. We used to laugh at my mom because she would look at anything too hard and break out in rashes and welts. The older I get, the more I get like her, so that's why y'all see me scratching all the time.
Kenrya: I'm sorry. Oh, her daughter's name was Audre Zora Toni Mercy Moore. Named after Zora Neale Hurston.
Erica: I loved it. So she was talking about how... Breaking down the relationship with her dad, her ex-husband and her daughter's dad. And it was like, look, he's a good guy. He's her dad. But he literally is the fun dude that shows up every every year.
Kenrya: She gets to go hang out in Dadifornia for the summer and that's what that is
Erica: I'm sorry y'all, I just realized my mic was backwards. However, I'm loud, so I don't think that'll be a problem.
Kenrya: You did just get loud on us, buddy.
Erica: Sorry, y'all. Hopefully our engineer can make those changes.
Kenrya: You got this.
Erica: Yeah, so I thought that was really... It was real like, "Damn, you know this." Tia wrote her ass off in this book, because it was just like, damn. You just explained so many women's lives. I think we both represent that to various degrees. I mean, my co-parenting relationship, he's a little more involved, primarily because it's like a, "Hey, this needs to happen today at this time." And he's like, "Okay." But other ends of the spectrum is like, "Now what's your teacher's name? What grade you're going to?" So yeah. Anyway. Dog, this story had so much fucking trauma to it. There was lots of drug use, drug abuse, alcoholism... Was there? Yeah, alcoholism. It was pretty tough. It was pretty tough. Because the way that they tell the story, you know that... What's the guy's name? Shane.
Erica: You know that Shane was significant, but you don't really know it all, so by the time you get to the end of the story, you have a full picture of their relationship, the entire relationship. But even in the beginning, the bits and pieces you see, you're just like, "Fuck, this is just tough." And it shows how a parent's unresolved trauma gets dumped on the kid, and then it also shows how just life trauma, the shit has to get out. It's got to come out of you. And either going to come out of you and dump into drugs and alcohol. It might come out of you dump into drugs, alcohol, and kid, but the shit's got to come out of you. Sorry.
Kenrya: We saw the impact with Eva of generational trauma. We see how that was just handed down like a ring. And we saw in Shane how... His shit was already fucked up, but then an event just kind of changed the course of his life.
Erica: So two things. One, an event can change the course of your life. So things could have went one way or another way. Because it seemed like everything was really... I mean, you never know. Something else could have happened. But it really felt things were okay and good with him until this event happened, and it just completely changed the course of a situation.
Kenrya: It was interesting because while my childhood was not Eva's, it for damn sure was the way that my childhood could have been, and my custody situation... Had I not, had my dad gotten custody of me... I think about this all the time, honestly. That felt like... You know those choose your own adventure books. Those were my shit.
Erica: Yes. And that's how I look at it. And that's also why it's difficult for me to pass judgment on people. I hate... And not saying that I haven't in the past, but I hate when people take videos of somebody on drugs on the street and they laughing at them. It's like, "Look at her doing that." And it's like, if it weren't for a stroke of chance, that could have been you, that could've been your mama-
Kenrya: There but for the grace of God.
Erica: Exactly. It could have been anybody. So it's really difficult for me to even... That stuff seems real just like... Because I have had so many situations in my life where I look back and I'm like, "If it weren't for this one thing, shit could've went completely left." And also as a parent, and I want to ask you about this, you could see how Eva was super intentional to raise her daughter and not pass on that trauma. I actually see it a lot with people that I've grown up with. We all grew up in like really not so great situations, and then we have kids, and our kids are fucking assholes. I want to give my kid the world, and it's like... So then you're trying to balance the...
Kenrya: That balance. And not making them assholes, yo. You got to know how to fucking clean a tub. You ain't got to take a bath by heating the water on the stove like I did, but she you got to know how to clean this tub.
Erica: Exactly. I catch myself all... I was talking to someone last Sunday night, because he was talking about his son and he was like... And he started saying, "When I was his..."
Erica: He said, "I ain't going to do that." I'm like, "Yep. I totally get it," because you work so that your kids can have it easier. You work and try to be your best, so that you're not passing down that trauma. But it's also very hard to be ... My kid has no street smarts. I don't want to say common sense. And I can't help, but think, "Damn! When I was your age, I had all the streets smarts and common sense," because I was in a fucked-up position Exactly. And so-
Kenrya: At what cost? You had to— it probably kept your ass alive.
Erica: Exactly. And it's so sad, but you could see how she was raising a really cool kid.
Kenrya: Yeah. And she was working hard to do that. This weekend, we finally watched “Widows.” And Daniel Kaluuya is in it. It's Viola Davis. Really? He played Fred Hampton, Chairman Hampton.
Erica: I know who that is. I'm taking about this movie.
Kenrya: It's good. It's-
Erica: I'm not that bad.
Kenrya: Oh, okay. Well, it's about some women who are widowed, because their husbands are criminals and some shit happens and they come together to pull off a heist.
Erica: Is this the ... Oh, no. Okay, so I saw this one on a plane and it had Tiffany Haddish-
Erica: Melissa McCarthy.
Erica: And the girl from Mad Men, Elizabeth Olsen.
Kenrya: Oh no, this is not that at all. That's a whole different vibe. But so anyway, there's ... Daniel Kaluuya's character's ... So there's a meme that shows him and he like looking at this nigga like this. And I remember on Twitter, somebody was like, "Parents who say they want to give their kids a better opportunity. And then those same parents when they see their kids thriving, like ... " And I'm like, [inaudible 00:46:14] you want these niggas to do well, but it's also like, "Yo, you can't be a trash person."
Erica: You want them to have an easy life-
Kenrya: Yeah, but you also need to be able to take care of yourself and to have empathy. And I remember our therapist asked me once. She was like, "If you could do it all again, knowing what you know and what you've learned about yourself and all of this stuff, would you want to go through your trauma again to become this person?" I was like, "Fuck, nah!" I would much rather have these lessons and have not gone through that.
Erica: Read them in a book.
Erica: Let somebody else tell you about it.
Kenrya: Right. And so I feel like a lot of what parenting means to me is trying to impart these lessons in a way that is not harmful. So, how we were talking about having a discussion about gaslighting. like I learned about gaslighting, because it was done to me by my family. My kid is learning about it, because we're having conversations, exactly, about what it means. And talking about definitions and examples, and ways to combat it and how to draw boundaries. And we can teach our kids these things without traumatizing them, ultimately, is where I'm going with this. And it's one of the reasons it's ... I'm not just in therapy for me, I'm in therapy for her.
Erica: You know, I was in therapy?
Erica: Right. But the work work of my therapy was being a parent, bringing out all of this-
Kenrya: This triggering-
Erica: Yeah, and ... That's the word. I had to deal with this, or I was going to have my kid out there really messed up. It was just ... Yeah, dog. The-
Kenrya: It's hard.
Erica: Yeah. That shit is hard. Also, I thought it was really interesting how it showed Eva's abuse, or Eva's addictions. It came out of undiagnosed medical issues. Right? Or, maybe it was diagnosed, but-
Kenrya: It wasn't well treated-
Kenrya: She didn't have adequate care.
Erica: And that is just like, oh!
Kenrya: Well, so many people self-medicate. And I think that was one of the breakthroughs I had in therapy as a younger person, when trying to understand the motivations of people around me and my family, and things like that, was that a lot of folks ... People are just trying to fucking get by.
Erica: Yeah, they're just trying to get through it.
Kenrya: Yeah. And self-medicating is a way that that happens. Folks, again, don't have the tools, don't get the tools, don't have support systems that help them to them. I had my first fucking anxiety attack in the eighth grade, and nobody had no conversation with me about what that meant. They said I had a breakdown and then I went to school the next fucking day. Right? I cried for, I don't know how many hours straight. There was no discussion of mental health. Nobody was trying to find me a therapist. We didn't have any fucking health insurance. So who the fuck was going to pay for it?
Kenrya: And I did not turn to drugs or anything, but that's because I have seen so much addictive behavior in my family that I've always been afraid to do anything other than smoke weed, because I'm afraid that a switch is going to flick.
Erica: Yeah. But you're also aware of the fact that it could have been completely different. That first anxiety attack could have sent you someplace else. You know?
Kenrya: Exactly. People self-medicate, because they're just trying to get through. And shit is hard and everybody doesn't have the resources. Again, privilege, yo.
Erica: Privilege. After high school, both Eva and Shane went their separate ways and Eva pretty much reinvented herself. Right? She went to a whole new city and just started over.
Kenrya: Changed her name-
Erica: But to me, I was like, "Girl, who your friends? We are too fucking noisy. He just like, "I want to know you better." And so, after a while, we're going to ... Yeah. After a while, I'm going to know a little bit more about you. You ain't going to be able to just have a whole life in the background and-
Kenrya: But, here's the thing, man. It's not easy to keep things hidden, but I ... My best friend growing up, who you know very well, I didn't let her in on my situation growing up, until I was good and grown and living in New York and she came to visit me. And I don't know why or how, but I ended up telling her about my ... And I saw this bitch five days a week. And she didn't know anything, because I kept it to myself, because I was embarrassed. And I took ownership of things that didn't belong to me, because I was a child who had been put upon. And it is very easy or not easy, but it was the thing that you do, because it is self protective. And so I 100% understand how her people didn't know. And shit, even as an adult, when I was in really bad situations, y'all ain't know shit.
Erica: Yeah, you're right. Okay.
Kenrya: If it's in your nature to be a secret squirrel about your shit then you will.
Erica: Yeah. Well, I'm going to need one good Erica, because I'm going to be squirreling shit away. Okay. So we've talked about all the other stuff. But let's get to why we're here. The sex. Oh, you know what? The people that are having sex. Okay. Shane and Eva, their relationship. So essentially they were ... I don't know if I'm going to be giving too much away. So, the seven days in June are literally just seven days in June. And it was amazing to me. Once I read it and it all came together, I was like, "Wait, All this in a week?" What'd you say?
Kenrya: Also, Tia—just the structure of this book is fantastic.
Kenrya: And I love how it goes back and forth in time. And sometimes you don't know where you are in time. But the way that she weaves the story. Yeah, not only is this just like a sexy book, and not only does it tell a really important story, but it's just-
Erica: It's a good-
Kenrya: ... really well-written [crosstalk 00:53:13] and it's just a great story.
Erica: I listened to it on Audiobook and it was ... Yeah, I couldn't put it down or couldn't stop listening.
Kenrya: Stop listening.
Kenrya: Yeah. I found myself in the middle of the night not sleeping, because that's what I do sometimes, just reading, running through chapters. It's just so good. And we read a lot of stuff to find things for this show and everything ain't great. But this, yeah. This is a fantastic book.
Erica: I'm thinking, because when I was reading and it all came together that these seven days in June were literally seven days. And these seven days ... Again, just one small thing can change the course of your life. These seven days left such an impact on these two people. And they were teens. But that's also the part that got me. They were like little Tater Tots, little doodle bops. And, it just stuck. That relationship, well, what they went through. And I guess the relationship itself just stuck and became ... I don't know if it was a gold standard for other relationships, but it definitely was just one of those-
Kenrya: Yeah, that feels unhealthy.
Erica: Oh, no. When I say the seven, I mean the feeling, the connection between the two of them. The relationship, unhealthier than a motherfucker. But, the connection between the two of them became the gold standard that ... It seemed like-
Kenrya: That they were both-
Erica: They were chasing
Kenrya: ... reaching for.
Erica: Yeah. They were both chasing that in subsequent relationships.
Kenrya: For sure.
Erica: You didn't have a profound high school love, did you?
Kenrya: Bitch, I was fucking around with. Terrible. No.
Erica: Well, Shane could have been looked at as terrible.
Kenrya: It's true, but I don't think I ever really felt ... We've talked a lot on this show about how I would reach a point and be done and I'd be like "I-
Erica: Got to go!
Kenrya: So I never, especially not at that age, was anybody where I felt like ... I think that they, and we won't really delve into whether or not they are, because I don't want to spoil anything. I think that they think they are soulmates from really when they first met. And I never felt that way until now, at my big age.
Erica: And it wasn't an instant, like "We're soulmates."
Erica: Exactly [inaudible 00:56:10] in a bottle.
Kenrya: Yeah, I did not. And I think even when I was in high school, I think I was pretty clear that like all this shit was temporary. And I didn't even have the illusions of this shit.
Erica: Oh, we'll be in Disney forever. Sorry!
Erica: .. say he wants to get rubs. Sorry. But yeah, I didn't have any illusions whatsoever that any of these relationships in college were, I mean at high school were going to stick.
Kenrya: Yeah. I don't know. Yeah, I definitely never thought that. I think I always felt that they were for the time that they were for. It didn't mean that they didn't feel intense, or that they didn't feel like they were really necessary. And in the moment-
Kenrya: Yeah. And I'm also never a person, who pictured their wedding or any of that. I ain't never found myself drifting into that fantasy with anybody back then.
Erica: I don't think I've ever pictured a wedding with anyone. I've definitely pictured married life with people. Like, oh, this is what we'll look like when we're old and gray together. But not like ... What you say?
Kenrya: I don't think I ever did that. Even when I got married, I just was like, "All right."
Erica: "Okay. We'll just evaluate this at the end of the year." Well, yeah. But as a parent, I can only imagine how scary it is to watch your child be serious with someone, or believe that this is who they're going to be with.
Kenrya: I had a dream last night, that my kid was putting her name beside the name of a kid who I think she has a crush on, but she won't admit it. Yeah, I forgot about that-- she was trying out her name next to his last name in my dream. And I was like, "That's cute." I wasn't freaking out, surprisingly, in the dream. I think he's a cute little boy. He's very sweet.
Erica: Yeah. He probably don't brush his teeth.
Kenrya: But they're 10.
Erica: But, anyway, so. Right. They're 10, so they don't brush their teeth. But yeah, as a parent, I think that I would definitely be freaked out if my kid was trying to get serious, be too serious or too intense with anyone at a young age.
Kenrya: I 100% would trot out all of my stories and be like, "Here's why this is not a good idea."
Erica: But you know, we do have a few friends that have been with their ... Well, one person comes to mind. She's not like super in the circle, but she's a friend of ours.
Kenrya: She probably a friend of yours.
Erica: No, she's actually more your friend than mine.
Kenrya: Oh, okay.
Erica: And she's a friend, But yes. And she came to Howard with her boyfriend. Didn't come with him, but she came to Howard. Everybody knew his name. So then when she left and they got married, it was like, "Oh shit! This shit was for real." Our friend, she's from Detroit.
Kenrya: Oh, yeah.
Erica: Because to me, I feel like I'm afraid for my kid to miss out on life, being caught up in a relationship. And maybe that's unfair. But I just feel like you get in a relationship and you nest. And even if it's a healthy one, you start spending more time with one another. And then it's like, but you missing out on life. You young. Do that boo'd up shit when you old and your knees don't work.
Kenrya: That's real. And I also think about the fact that the person who you are at 17 is not the person who you are at 27. It's not the person who you are at 37. And there is a really great chance that y'all are going to grow in different directions. And the idea of binding yourself to someone who may be a completely different person in a year, in five years, in 10 years, is frightening to me, to do anything that feels hard to reverse. You know what I mean? Like marrying, having children, things that you can't just be like, "All right. I'm out," is a little too much. My partner and I were just talking about how I envy one of my exes, because, only for one reason, which is because when he got a divorce, that was it.
Erica: It was done. Yeah.
Kenrya: He's never seen his ex-wife again. He never has to. They had no kids. They owned no property. They just... got a divorce via the mail. Sent the paperwork and signed it and then never had to see each other again.
Kenrya: That's how you do it.
Erica: I will agree, that it is how you do it.
Kenrya: Yeah. But I don't want them to get, yours or mine, to get into some shit that's hard, that we got to call an attorney in to get them out of.
Erica: Or just like, I don't know.
Kenrya: Or that stunts their growth, and keeps them from becoming the person that they're supposed to be.
Erica: Exactly. And I guess that's my biggest concern. There's so much that you're not going to experience, because just if you're just being a good partner and respectful and all that. I was a disrespectful motherfucker, to my own body sometimes. And I think all of that helped me grow and become more of who I am. And those experiences shaped me. And yeah, even when we're all reminiscing and talking about stuff, I can tell what the periods where I'm like, "Oh, I must've been up under that nigga." And I feel like I missed out, especially for some shit that didn't pan out.
Kenrya: Yes. I have a lot of those moments, where I was absolutely boo'd up and y'all was in Miami somewhere shaking ass. And I was with somebody who did not deserve my ...
Kenrya: Yeah, I missed out for sure. And, even if it's a good person and even if it is, like you said, a healthy relationship, I feel like there's some shit that you're not doing, that there's opportunity costs that come with tying yourself to somebody super early.
Erica: Yeah. Well said, like a business major. Okay. So then Shane shows back up in Eva's life. They had such an effect on one another. And we find out ... I'm giving all types of spoilers. But we find out that Shane's and Eva's relationship is the source material for Eva's huge erotica series. So she has a series, I guess, that can best be described as Twilight. Right? For adults.
Kenrya: This surface. It is a vampire their situation. It's a supernatural erotica series, which we've covered quite a bit on the show, actually, those kinds of series.
Erica: But it's massive, like [inaudible 01:04:21].
Kenrya: Like a big fucking deal.
Erica: Yeah. And we find out that Shane is the source material-
Kenrya: The prototype.
Erica: And Shane is this massive author. And we find out that Genevieve/Eva is his source material, which is so oddly romantic that they were writing to one-
Kenrya: Yeah. Writing to and about each other and dropping little hints in-
Erica: And these are massive books. So everybody knows him. Did he win a National Book Award or something?
Kenrya: I think so.
Erica: Yeah. His shit was...
Kenrya: He's definitely one of those folks.
Erica: Yeah. But he's like one of those huge names. And they're just writing about each other. And, they also both have success in the same arena, but in very different ways. And I feel like, also there's a bit of ... And we will address this when we talk to Tia about this, but I think there's also a sense of "erotica's play play." But she's probably outsold-
Erica: You know? And so it's just like, "Man!" Oh, also I found lots of points in the book where there were lots of "womanist" manifestos being said-
Kenrya: Especially by her daughter.
Erica: Yes. I was listening on audiobook, but I was like, "Okay, this part would have been highlighted a million times on the Kindle."
Kenrya: I can assure you that it was, yes. I bookmarked so much stuff in this book too, probably more than any other that we've done for the show.
Erica: Yes. Again, really good book. Okay. You know what I want to talk about? The sex.
Kenrya: The sex. Yes.
Erica: So, Shane and Eva, they meet up. Shane drops in Eva's life. This might be too specific. You might've been with your man when this happened, but do you remember the step show at Howard, where the Que, I'm not going to name him by name, but the Que walks through the crowd singing, (singing)? The lights were dark.
Kenrya: Was this the proposal?
Erica: No, not the proposal. It was a couple of years after that. But this person did marry one of our chapter's sorors. He walked through, sweaty with no shirt on. Everyone was like, "Oh," and the spotlight was on him and he was singing Omega type shit.
Kenrya: That's what you saw when Shane was coming from the back of the room?
Erica: Yes. They was like... And he sauntered up on stage and did a step. No. Okay, did some donkey kicks. But yeah, Shane literally drops into her life and the next day-
Kenrya: ... accidentally.
Erica: Yeah, he was not trying to do that, but he did.
Kenrya: In such big fashion.
Erica: So then shows up there. Him and Eva are like, "What the fuck?" No one knows about their past, so they kind of try to play it cool. But the next day... Was it the next day?
Erica: The day they meet up for coffee and fucking.
Kenrya: No, that's not how it happened.
Kenrya: First, they met in the diner and--
Erica: Oh, you know what? Yeah. And then was it when she needed help that she went to him?
Kenrya: Yes. Let's not go to deep into that. But yeah, she comes back to him because she needs help. Yes.
Erica: And they ended up-
Kenrya: And then it was coffee and fucking.
Erica: And you know what? That whole... What is it, the dream house idea?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: That's so New York. That's some New York shit.
Erica: That's some New York shit that would've got spread to DC.
Kenrya: Like a year later.
Erica: Yeah. But you know they used to do that at Spa World, right?
Kenrya: Like sleep?
Erica: Yeah, they had a sleep room, and they had to close it because Spa World kept having massive bedbug outbreaks.
Erica: Because people would bring their own stuff from home. It was a soft place for people to sleep, but people would bring their own their own pillows and blankies and stuff, and then it was bedbugs.
Kenrya: Oh no. I'm glad you never told me that before.
Erica: No, but this was in a whole other area that you would have never been in. Quit scratching your head. You're literally scratching.
Kenrya: Because I'm thinking about how many times I slept on that heated floor.
Erica: Well, it wasn't on the heated floor.
Kenrya: It wasn't. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Erica: Did you ever get a massage with me at Spa World?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: It's up that area, you know how you go up there.
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah.
Erica: So it's not...
Kenrya: So for folks who do not know what Spa World is, it's a Korean spa and bath. So there's pools-
Erica: ... the blade pool.
Kenrya: ... and all different temperatures. So you come in, you strip, everybody is just fucking naked and you take a shower.
Erica: Bucky naked.
Kenrya: It's separated, it's very much a binary situation. It's separated by male and female.
Erica: Pens and vag.
Kenrya: Yes, which it's problematic all on its own. But you go from pool to pool. They've got pools that have jets, that if you want to massage your legs with the jets, you sit in this one little area. You can go over here if you need some jets on your back. There's freezing pools. There's super hot pools. There's wet saunas. There's dry saunas. There's some of everything. And then-
Erica: So you know what's interesting?
Erica: I really have a problem with swimming pools. Right?
Kenrya: In general?
Erica: Yeah, it's hard for me to enjoy a swimming pool, because I just think about...
Erica: All them bodies. Right? Like people peeing. I'd much rather be in the ocean. Yes, fish pee in the ocean, people pee in the ocean.
Kenrya: As Moana said, "Fish pee in you."
Erica: Look, I pee in the ocean.
Erica: If we're at the ocean and I just kind of walk off, and like, "Hey," don't follow me. There's something about the nature of it all. But I really get uncomfortable in swimming pools. But I fucks with Spa World.
Erica: I be in that little dirt bath, like, "Hey, hey, hey. We all boiling together."
Kenrya: Yeah. We have gotten high and gone there many times, overnight, always overnight. They got a good ass food, authentic Korean food. Yeah. So you go, you eat, you do all the pools. They've got these ladies that will scrub you down, scrub all the skin off of your body.
Erica: It's like a body detail, they do...
Kenrya: Yeah, that's under anything. And then there's this room. It's just this heated floor and you lay--
Erica: And it's so sparse, it's like floor, and a little hard pillow.
Kenrya: And you lay down.
Erica: And you're knocked out.
Kenrya: Yo, I done got some of that best sleep of my life on that floor.
Erica: And I am not the type of person to just be sleeping on random floors, except at Spa World.
Kenrya: Yeah, it's so good.
Erica: Because usually you have been in water for a couple of hours, then you eat a really good meal, and then you just fall asleep. And then at night, when they turn the lights off-
Kenrya: Yeah, and it's a 24-hour pass. But now, is this a post-COVID...
Erica: They're probably doing well. Because I went to H Mart, and when I tell you H Mart was like, I was like, "Yo, I should have been shopping here all the time." Because all them little old Asian grannies, all of them wear their most of the time, any damn way.
Kenrya: I was going to say what does H Mart have to do, besides being Korean, but I see what you're saying, because they're actually enforcing. Gotcha.
Erica: Yeah. Actually, I was reading this article about how COVID spread slower in Asian communities, because one, they have-
Kenrya: Well, because they fucking take care of business and take care of each other.
Erica: Well, I mean, even in Chinatown. And it's because they said, they already have a culture... I feel really weird saying, "They," but the people that live in these communities already have a culture of wearing masks a lot. And they heard about it from family members abroad, and so they were able to really...
Kenrya: Act quickly instead of this bullshit, so that's what's up.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative). So if anything, I'd be more than happy, because, girl, I went into H Mart-
Kenrya: But I'm just thinking about it being that many people in close proximity and if folks are going to wear masks in the pool, and that kind of thing. That's what I'm thinking about. Right? And it's indoors.
Erica: But anyway. So dream bed, dream spa, dream mart, whatever the name of it is.
Kenrya: Dream House.
Erica: Dream House, yeah. But that's some total New York shit. They were not supposed to be having sex. Of course, they did. And can you imagine had they got there caught? Not even have they got caught, but Shane and Eva got caught fucking. It would be like when that dude got caught jerking his meat on his own.
Kenrya: Jeffrey Toobin.
Erica: His last name was Toobin?
Erica: That definitely sounds like Toobin. I don't know.
Kenrya: Oh my God. Yes. Yeah, it would have been a big deal because they both have these massive fandoms and whatnot. So it would have been-
Erica: Because even when they were spotted together-
Kenrya: It was a big thing.
Erica: There was a whole Pottermore, the Harry Potter fan site, folks was putting shit together quick. It was like, he's this. I know, we don't like J.K. Rowling. It's so sad that she fucked it up for us.
Kenrya: Fuckin TERF.
Erica: Yeah, she fucked it up for us.
Kenrya: It's hard. My kid is part way through the series. I mean, the books are bought now, so it is what it is. But then that has to be accompanied by a conversation of why we don't fuck with this white woman.
Erica: Yeah, yeah. All right. Well, do you have anything else to add?
Kenrya: I don't think so. I think this is awesome and y'all should read it.
Erica: You all should read this. You all really need to read it.
Kenrya: Yeah, and Tia's coming on next week, so we get to dig into it some more with her.
Kenrya: Yeah, no, read this book.
Erica: Okay, and sorry. It's when I first started reading and I think I told Kenrya, "This is a lot. I wasn't ready for all of this." But it's so good and it's not tragic.
Erica: And so it felt good to read it, so you don't get discouraged. Oh, sorry.
Kenrya: It shows that you can talk about things like generational trauma, and PTSD, and all of the things that we warned about at the top of the show, but it doesn't have to be-
Erica: “12 Years a Slave.”
Kenrya: Right. It's not trauma porn. So, this morning I didn't even get to look at the trailer, but I saw that there's some movie called “Karen” that came out, with old girl from... What's that movie? You know what I'm talking about. Pennsatucky, who also played-
Erica: Oh, yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah. So anyway, but everybody's like, "Oh, this is a fucking 'Get Out' knockoff." It's trying to deal the trauma and the horrible, but it ends up being is just making entertainment out of Black suffering basically.
Erica: Lena Waithe. Sorry.
Kenrya: Yes. 100%, don't fuck with her. Don't like her work. Done. Yes, that. And this book is not that.
Erica: No, it's great. Yeah. There's so much to dig into about this, and so I had to kind of... But there's a lot so y'all need to really, really get on this one.
Kenrya: And tell us what you all think about it.
Erica: Please do. So, what's next?
Kenrya: It's time for us to talk about what's turning us on. We going to pay some bills and we'll be right back.
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Erica: Okay. So what do you got, Kenrya?
Kenrya: Okay. So let me preface this by saying-
Erica: Have you used it?
Kenrya: I have.
Erica: Oh, okay.
Kenrya: So I don't feel like I have a lot of toys, but I feel like I've tried a whole lot of stuff. And so I went specifically for this season looking for things that I had never heard of before to try them out so then we can talk about them and see if they work for our listeners. So the thing that I found that I had never heard of and didn't know was a thing, so you know how they have penis pumps that folks use to enlarge?
Erica: Yes. Austin Powers had one in his bag.
Kenrya: Yes. And there are tons them on sex toy sites, a million different ones, because I think that's cis men's egos are fragile and very much tied to their penises, so they have a million options.
Erica: And you talk to any woman and she's like, "I don't care about size. It's about how you use it. How you wield that thing."
Kenrya: Exactly. 100%.
Erica: Any person that has sex, they will say.
Kenrya: Yeah, with penises. But so this, is a pussy pump.
Erica: Why did it have to make noise?
Kenrya: It fell apart, but I just put it back together. So this is the part that goes over your labia. And then this is what you pump up. So, I'm looking at it on the site, and I'm looking at reviews and I'm like, "Huh. Okay."
Erica: How do you use it?
Kenrya: So you lie down. For me, it absolutely required a partner. You put this over your labia, and you put some lube around it so that it releases and so that it doesn't hurt. An important key.
Erica: That should be like the suction in my bathroom.
Kenrya: And it's got a quick-release valve on it or whatever. And so you form a seal, and then you pump. And so it helped with my partner because he could actually see if it was on there the right way. And it took us a couple of tries to get it on the right way, and then he pumped it. Start slow, one pump at a time and check to make sure your partner's doing okay. And what happens is it literally expands into the cup. And so I was looking at the reviews, okay, why do people do this? So I found that there's a whole fetish around fat pussies, and that this increases the size. So you had a lot of people in the comments like, "Yeah, I use this on my partner because I like to get a fat plump pussy, and this does that for me."
Erica: But it don't make your clit feel funny, or I mean, feel good?
Kenrya: Yeah. So wat it does is-
Erica: Because I'm not doing this if you just like a fat pussy.
Kenrya: Right. But so that is what I kept seeing in the comments. But then I was like, "Well, what could this do for me?" So what it does is it brings all the blood to your labia.
Erica: Ding, ding, ding, ding.
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it makes everything super sensitive.
Erica: So then did he eat after that?
Kenrya: No, we went to the penetration.
Erica: Yeah, you mean no. You need to do that next. Okay?
Kenrya: Oh, maybe that'll help me because I never get there that way.
Erica: Homework. Yeah, I was about to say homework. Homework.
Kenrya: Okay, cool. Yeah, but we went the rest of the way. But it just made everything extra sensitive, everything, and it was fantastic. Not something that I would have honestly gone looking for if it weren't for the fact that I was just looking for something different that I hadn't tried before, but pleasantly surprised.
Erica: I like.
Kenrya: Easy cleanup, you just wash this little thing, easy-peasy. Just go slow, one pump at a time.
Erica: Something tells me you all didn't.
Kenrya: No, no.
Erica: This is experience.
Kenrya: We went slowly, but at first, it wasn't seated right, and you got a lot of bones, your pelvic bones down there, so your body will tell you if it's not quite seated right because it'll be pushing up against your bones. So then we released it and repositioned it and started again. It was nice, unexpected. So that is what turned us on this week.
Erica: All right.
Kenrya: We'll put a link.
Erica: I think what scares most people, what makes most people shy away from sex toys are just the look of them, right?
Kenrya: Yeah. I mean, this is a bit of a contraption.
Erica: Yeah, it looks little those--
Kenrya: Yes. For folks who are not watching us on YouTube or in the various places, it is like a little cup and it is hard plastic, and it's got a length of tubing, maybe, I don't know, a foot, 14 inches long and a purple little hand pump on it, that you squeeze, like a little ball pump.
Erica: I like it. I'm going to have to get myself one. We will include a link in the show notes.
Kenrya: We will. Yeah. So check it out, or don't, but it was fun.
Erica: All right. Well, I like, I like. Okay, well, that wraps up this week's episode of the Turn On.
Kenrya: It does.
Erica: This is Erica, Kenrya, two hoe-hosts, making it clap.
Kenrya: This episode was produced by us, Kenrya and Erica, edited by B'Lystic. The theme music is from Brazy. Hit subscribe right now, in your favorite podcast app and at YouTube.com/TheTurnOnPodcast, so you'll never miss an episode.
Erica: Then, follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast, and you can find links to books, transcripts, guest info, what's turning us on, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com.
Kenrya: And don't forget to email us at the TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com with your book recommendations and your pressing sex and related questions.
Erica: And you can support the show by leaving us a five-star review, buying some merch, or becoming a patron of the show. Just head to TheTurnOnPodcast.com to make that happen.
Kenrya: Thanks for listening and we'll see you soon. Holla.
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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya talk about spicing up married sex, upping your sex stamina, (maybe) myths that seem hella true and tips for better backdoor action.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Hey, hey y'all. So this week we are going to give you a mailbag episode of the Turn On. So with that said, Killa, get us started.
Kenrya: Okay. All right, our first question reads, “The hubs and I have been hyper-focused on eating right and working out. We're both slimming and getting more energy, but now I'm the one trying to keep up. My old tricks aren't working anymore because someone has way more stamina than me. I can't tell if this is age, menopause, or if I need to run more to catch up. The other night, I was ready to tap out like a wrestler. Help!”
Erica: Okay. Ooh. Okay. This is hilarious because I recently...
Kenrya: You're not at the mic. We can't hear you.
Erica: Oh, I'm sorry. Here's the [inaudible 00:00:56] in here. Okay. So this one's hilarious to me because I recently got back in the saddle after-
Kenrya: In the sex saddle?
Erica: I got back in the sex saddle y'all. Your lovely co-host's cheeks are getting clapped again. I'm sorry, I didn't want to make it an announcement, but yes.
Kenrya: I mean, why not?
Erica: A bitch did. And this particular person is super athletic, doing all the things. And I've literally been laying around like a slug since January. Bitch, I almost died. Legit had to be like, "Okay, you got to give me a second." You have to give me a second. I mean, it's good, but also a bitch's body is just a mess. So I think that you need to, one, work on your stamina and your cardio just because we want to be living and having these good, healthy sex lives for a really long time. One of the things that I've learned is even when you old, it all should work. It might work slower, but it all should work. So we want to make sure that we have these bodies around that can withstand all the good sexing that we're doing. But while you're waiting for your body to catch up with your pussy's needs, I would say research some good positions. Try to find some good positions that you can use that aren't necessarily as load bearing on them thighs and knees and things.
Kenrya: Yes. That's a good idea.
Erica: But I am good for good. I told y'all my favorite position is laying out... Both of us laying on the side because I like a good, slow stroke. Do that. I mean, granted, he might be all excited and things. And also, we have a long list of items and activities... Not activities. Items and sex toys that we've been featuring in our what's turning us on segments. That will be really great as assistive devices. So try that, and then also... I actually just started a book. Just started, meaning I'm still in the prologue, but a book about sex with sex among people with different abilities. And so I feel like there's probably something there too. So yeah, do some Googling. It's okay to try to... Because you probably going to find some good interesting stuff as you try to adapt and make things a little bit easier on them knees, thighs, gut, and butts.
Kenrya: Yes. I would add that sometimes stamina looks like, oh, because I heard you mention menopause like, oh, I'm feeling kind of dried out or a little tender down there. So I would also kind of read up on your lube and maybe it's time for you to try something that's a little... Got a little bit more slip to it than whatever y'all have been using. Also, sometimes I know for me when my stamina isn't what I want it to be, and not just in the bedroom, but just in general. I find that it's because I've been missing out on a couple of key things that I need.
Kenrya: So I don't eat meat, so B12 is hard to come by for me. I always can feel the difference when I don't have B12 in my system like I'm supposed to. So I use a liquid version that I drop under my tongue. As always, I'll remind y'all that we are not doctors and you should always consult with your primary care physician before adding things to your regimen. But I find that B12 helps with keeping me up. As E mentioned, we have things including lubes that we recommend on our what's turning us on page, and also in the show notes for each episode. And vitamin D.
Erica: So both kinds.
Kenrya: We are Black people and the sun adores us and we need the sun. And with us being quarantined if we doing that how we supposed to be doing it, you may be lacking on the vitamin D and that can also impact your energy levels. So you may want to consider making sure you're getting enough of that. Whether if it needs to be via a separate vitamin into your diet to help with your energy levels, and that can translate well when you're having sex too, so.
Erica: Also, one of the things that I have been doing as I've been going through chemo and radiation and now I'm on hormonal therapy is I've been doing acupuncture, and it has been amazing for me. So definitely try some acupuncture. There are various lubes. I actually just started using one as a daily lube because I'm in a medically induced menopause, and so one of the things that I hear is a problem is dry pussies. And I want to keep my WAP wappy. So I've been using this daily lube that you put on you, and it has... It has vitamin E and some things that kind of help your body keep everything-
Kenrya: Keep your tissues moist.
Erica: Loose and lubed up. So yeah, that's something else to think about.
Kenrya: Next up, we have a question that reads, “My wife and I are still having great sex after over 10 years of being together. However, I like to spice things up and have some sort of sexual adventure, but I don't want it to be the pool girl is rolling up and telling all our business years later.” Yeah. “I like the idea that I heard on your show of a sex club with the Black people, but I don't know. I'm very private.” So I guess the question is how can they spice it up in a way that lets them continue to be private citizens and not have their business out in the streets. In these streets.
Erica: In these skreets. Sexting is always great. I'm always down for some sexting. Sending each other naughty videos and things like that. I also think that there is a... I wouldn't mind doing some... Sex clubs are done for now anyway. Let's be real.
Kenrya: Yeah. Unfortunately with this virus situation, I wouldn't. I don't know that I'll ever feel comfortable being in that situation again.
Erica: Yeah. But I also do think that we can embrace the internet more. And so maybe y'all do... Maybe y'all do a nasty video. Record some porn, y'all put on some Luchador mask, whatever. I mean, I think that there's way, unless you have super identifiable tattoos, I think there's ways to anonymously keep it-
Kenrya: And they can engage with people on OnlyFans in private settings, that kind of thing. So they can virtually introduce someone into the conversation, right, while still keeping their identities intact.
Erica: Yeah. So the OnlyFans, you pretty much... OnlyFans, you need subscribers. And getting subscribers is you're getting people to commit to paying X dollars a month. So it might be difficult. [crosstalk 00:09:32].
Kenrya: Maybe then that's not the service.
Erica: Yeah. It might be diff... I mean, you can set up your OnlyFans and then run a special where you get a month free, you might get some people. But there's still a level of marketing that I think makes it a little more... I mean, if you want to do that, then great. But if you're like, we just trying to spice it up, I ain't trying to take on a whole fucking project. I think there are...
Kenrya: Oh no, that's not what I was saying. I was saying for them to engage with other people. So someone who had [crosstalk 00:09:59]
Erica: Oh, so sign, I'm thinking of... See, look where my head at. I'm thinking we going to make our own OnlyFans page.
Kenrya: Got to make some money. Yeah, no. I'm saying so that they can... Yeah, they can... And maybe OnlyFans isn't it. Maybe there's some other sites where you can connect with people privately.
Erica: There are lots of sex workers on Twitter, and a lot of them do custom videos. So maybe you want them to do a JOI, which is a jerk off instruction video. So you have a talent, I can't think of the word. But you have someone guiding the two of you through something. I think that there are lots of ways to, especially now that everything is becoming, we're becoming more interested in things virtually. I think that that's something that you can do and remain anonymous.
Erica: Also, I haven't tried this, but I have a good friend who has a VR headset, and he has been enjoying VR porn.
Kenrya: I didn't even know that was a thing.
Erica: Girl. So the thing is sex is on the cusp of all technology.
Kenrya: Everything. Yeah, it's always the bleeding edge use of... Yeah. So that makes total sense.
Erica: Yeah. So...
Kenrya: There's also sex dolls.
Kenrya: Which is a very real thing.
Erica: Or do a threesome, and find somebody that has as much to lose as y'all. I always say-
Kenrya: It's just this virus, man.
Erica: Oh, yeah. I mean, well, you got to take your time and-
Kenrya: Vet properly.
Erica: Vet and all that. But I say all the time, find you somebody who if y'all... If your business gets out, they business gets out, they stand... I don't want to say stand to lose as much, but have them sign a nondisclosure. Yeah. And don't be afraid, you can find them online.
Kenrya: Yeah, seriously.
Erica: So yeah. Just because you're a private people, there are ways to spice it up. I'd say lean heavily upon the internet, the interwebs. Find you a good sex worker on Twitter, or somebody that you... That tickles your pickle, you and your spouse's pickle, you and your partner's pickle, and slide them a DM. How much would it cost for a custom video? You'd be surprised at the cost.
Kenrya: Yeah. Also, I mean, I'm reading she said that she and her wife want to have some... A sexual adventure. I'm thinking sometimes an adventure is just having sex in a different place, right. So depending on what your level of adventure is, maybe that means that you drive down to a major street somewhere in your city and...
Erica: Pull over and get it on.
Kenrya: Have sex in your car. Exactly. If you got, I don't know, tinted windows in the back so y'all not readily observable, but it still feels like you are because there's people around. Or if there's, I don't know... See, I don't know what's open, but hotel bathrooms are always good because they're always clean. And very often they have doors that go all the way down to the floor. So you can have a little bit more, at least the illusion. Exactly. Even the illusion of privacy. I can't tell you how many times I've been in the bathroom and the whole time be like, "Noted. This is a spot to come back to."
Erica: You see how excited I was about the Ritz-Carlton.
Kenrya: Exactly. There are ways that you can do the things that you normally do, but perhaps in different places that feel like more of a spice up if that's not the way that y'all usually roll. And then of course, we always come back to introducing new toys into the bedroom. That's can be a way for y'all to spice it up. I mean, I don't know. I don't know what y'all use, but I bet you that there's some shit out there that y'all ain't never used before that you can bring in. Yeah. That's what I got.
Erica: Okay. I like it.
Erica: I like it. So what else you got?
Kenrya: Lean into the virtual. Okay. “How do you properly prep for anal so that it is an enjoyable experience for all?”
Erica: Ooh, the dookie shoot.
Kenrya: Well, that's not making it any better.
Erica: First, you got to get out your head. You got to get out your head. First, get out your head. Second, I have a little bulb kit where I wash the-
Kenrya: The anal douche situation.
Erica: Yeah, anal douche. Where I wash my little butthole.
Kenrya: So with that you just put water in it, you squeeze it up in there while you're over the toilet.
Erica: Uh-huh (affirmative). And it just kind of cleans everything out. I wouldn't recommend an enema just because I don't think you're going up that far. But maybe I'm just a-
Erica: Maybe I'm just a-
Kenrya: I don't do well with enemas, they always make me vomit. I know.
Erica: I don't even know how that... Okay. Yeah.
Kenrya: It's because as the toxins are being removed from your body, your body wants to expel them in all the ways. Have you ever had a colonic? It's actually a very common thing that can happen when you have a colonic.
Erica: I had a colonic and had an enema, but at that point I was just...
Erica: Shitting water.
Kenrya: Both have made me poop... Made me vomit.
Erica: Oh, it is the worst.
Kenrya: I'm very sensitive to them.
Erica: But please y'all, get colonoscopies.
Kenrya: Yes. I've had one of those. So we're recording this not too long after Chadwick's death, right?
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: I guess this is our PSA. I had one because I was having some... My booty just didn't feel right. And I went in and got one, and surprisingly, my doctor actually found a polyp. It was not cancerous, but because I got it, I now... Because I had it, I now have to have colonics every five years. And I will go. Even though it is-
Kenrya: Yes, a colonoscopy. Thank you. It does not hurt, you don't feel anything, you are asleep. The prep is much worse than the actual procedure. You don't feel shit with the procedure, you just get the good drugs [crosstalk 00:15:52].
Erica: You get the good drugs.
Kenrya: And then you wake up, then you nicely... It's not even that long. I mean, that part was nothing at all whatsoever. It was the prep that wasn't fantastic. But you know what? We do it so that we can stay safe because colon cancer disproportionately kills Black people.
Kenrya: So, PSA.
Kenrya: Get that done.
Erica: The more you know. Okay. So yeah, I-
Kenrya: So you clean.
Erica: I clean, I get out of my head, and I just use a whole fuck ton of lube. Also for me, I think we touched on this, I got to be loose. You got to work for that. You just ain't going to stick it in my butt. I wish I was a pro and could just go and open up, but I can't.
Kenrya: That's always amazing to me when I'm watching something and then it just opens, and I'm like, "Bitch, look at you."
Erica: Look at you. But hey, we ain't all like LeBron James, we're all not booty bandits.
Kenrya: What? That was not LeBron, that's Odell. With the poop?
Erica: No, I didn't even talk about that. I'm just talking about how LeBron James is a really good basketball player. And so he's a pro at it, and we're not pros and we're not booty bandits because we're not pros at anal sex.
Kenrya: No. That didn't translate. It just sound like you was calling LeBron a booty bandit, which is fine.
Erica: Okay. I'll cut that part out because I-
Kenrya: That's not accurate.
Erica: That's [inaudible 00:17:15].
Erica: So I have to come multiple times. I need to be just...
Kenrya: Vaginally before that.
Erica: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You got to work for it. You got to be putting in work before I open up for you. And then communicate. Talk. This hurts, slow down. Also, I think it's important to know that you have two sphincters. So there's one here, there's an outside and then an inner one. Getting it through the outside one is fine, it's getting it through the inner one where it's like, oh, hey, oh. So just go slow, use lots of lube, get out your head, and breathe.
Kenrya: Yeah. So I have some others. One is if you are planning on having anal either with a large strap or with a large penis, you may need to prepare the space in terms of opening it up. That is something that I have to do so I have trainers. Basically little plugs that you can use. You can use them just for pleasure at other times, and a lot of people get pleasure in training with them too. But they basically, you put them in there to open the space up. They come in all different sizes. You can work your way up to larger sizes, but they're super useful in kind of preparing the space. Also CBD suppositories are super useful for relaxing the area. Yeah.
Erica: Yes. We have a coupon code with the company Foria.
Kenrya: Yeah, that's the kind we both use. They are amazing and they're also great if you have cramps. I use them for my periods, I also use them for anal. They are very versatile. But they just relax everything. They relax you and they relax your sphincters and they make it much easier for things to make their way in. I'm not a fan of numbing creams and lotions.
Erica: Yeah. Please don't use that because the pain tells you that something's wrong.
Kenrya: Exactly. And if you can't feel it, then you can't stop things so that you don't hurt yourself. And so I like these because it literally just opens everything up so that it's just easier to get in and you're not having the pain because... Yes. Because your booty hole is open. Yeah. Also, yeah, I like also to have a vaginal orgasm beforehand, as well as a massage or just something that overall relaxes me and gets me to that point where this is the next thing, and it's just a complement to all of the other things that are happening. So that by the time it comes, I'm like, "Yes." And it's much easier that way. Also position is important. Different people need it from different angles. It's really just a matter of experimenting with your partner to figure out what feels the best for you.`
Kenrya: I think those are the key things. All right. You want to do one more?
Erica: Yeah, one more.
Kenrya: Okay. Let's see. All right. This question is, “What sex tip or,” it has myth in parentheses, “do you swear by, but have no goddamn proof about?”
Erica: So I'll go first.
Erica: It's not even a myth, but I am convinced... Well, everyone knows when I drink, I get real friendly. I'm like, "I love you. You're the best. You're the best friend." Also, I'm like, "Hey, boo. Let's..." I'm calling you. I'm calling you, and we about to do some nasty things. But if you want to see... If you want the platinum level package of Erica, give me some vodka. And it's so horrible. And I mean, I'm assuming all the liquor is the same, but if you want platinum... Brown liquor Erica, she going to have fun, she going to turn up, she might promise you some nasty things in the car on the way home. Vodka level Erica is, you going to get promised the nasty things and I'm going to deliver it. And probably even more. You're going to lay there with your genitals smoking. Wait. Ooh, not that. You're going to lay there like, "Goddamn, she won't leave me alone." So it's not really a myth, but I just feel like for some reason if you trying to tap my spirit, give me some clear spirits.
Kenrya: That's funny. And it's always been... I mean, I remember back a long time ago that was always the thing you reach for when we go to the bar.
Erica: Now I don't. Now I'm a brown liquor girl, but if I end up-
Kenrya: You used to be a good old Ketel One girl.
Erica: Oh yeah. Ooh. And my drink used to be Ketel One and a splash of club soda and a lemon. That was-
Kenrya: I remember.
Erica: All I need is bubbles to the head. Ooh. Ooh, girl, you done brought back memories. What about you? Do you have any?
Kenrya: I've been sitting here trying to think of one, and I don't think so.
Erica: Did you ever date someone that had to fuck with his lucky stocking cap, or?
Kenrya: I mean, I was messing with this dude who always want to fuck in socks so I think that was a combination of two things. He claimed it was because he needed the traction and I will say he was athletic. So I didn't doubt that that much, but also I think his feet was probably fucked up and he was embarrassed and didn't want me to see him.
Erica: Uh-huh (affirmative), honey. I got ugly toes and niggas be sticking them shits in they mouth, so.
Kenrya: I think it was a combination of those two things, but he swore it gave... It's like niggas fucking in Timbs.
Erica: You just described the most East Coast ass.
Kenrya: Yeah. That's a-
Erica: Howard University ass shit on earth. Oh, I love it. Okay. Well, I would love to hear what our listeners would say. If they have just a...
Kenrya: Yes. What's your thing?
Erica: There ain't no fucking reason that I believe this, but-
Kenrya: But it's true. It's true though.
Erica: Yeah. Please share with us. You can send us an email or slide in our DMS.
Kenrya: Yeah. I like it.
Erica: Okay. Well, with that said, Kenrya, you got anything else for us?
Kenrya: Nah. Just the fact that this has been Kenrya and E, and we’re two hoes-
Erica: Making it clap. Oh shit, I'm not going to start over. My bad. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.