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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya talk to therapist Quinn Gee-Edwards about healthy dating post-divorce, loving the body you're in and the pitfalls of marrying the first person you have sex with.
The Turn On participates in affiliate programs, which provide a small commission when you purchase products via links on this site. This costs you nothing, but helps support the show. Click here for more information.
Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Kenrya: Today, we're talking to Quinn Gee-Edwards, pronouns she and her. Quinn is the owner of Magnolia Mental Health and founder of Hey! Black Girl. She's a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in codependency, trauma and minority-related issues, including those that impact women, members of the LGBTQ community and people of color. Thanks for coming back on the show, Quinn.
Quinn: Thanks for having me, y'all.
Erica: So, Quinn, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Quinn: I used to want to be president, actually.
Erica: Me, too.
Quinn: I wanted to be president.
Erica: But it was just because I thought that it was running shit, and I didn't think about the responsibility part, now I'm like, "Fuck y'all. I just want to be rich and do nothing."
Quinn: Well I knew the presidency wasn't going to make you rich-rich because I think their salary, when I was coming up, was like $125, or $200,000 a year, and I was like-
Quinn: It ain't about the money, but I wanted to be the first Black woman president, I'll never forget that.
Erica: Me, too.
Kenrya: There's still time.
Erica: No, thank you.
Quinn: No, thank you.
Kenrya: Fine. So how did you get from there to here?
Quinn: I wanted to be a psychologist, originally, and I actually ended up needing therapy in college because I went through a divorce, and when I was in my own therapeutic process, that's when I realized that's really what I wanted to do, I wanted to do more direct work with people, and not saying as a psychologist you don't do direct work, but at that time, the pathway I was going to be going on was more research and policy-based, and not necessarily client-direct kind of work. And so after going through my own therapy, I'll never forget, it was a Russian white woman, I'm friends with her on Facebook now, but she helped me change my life and really reframe my marriage, and she was the first person that ever told me that what was happening in my marriage wasn't okay. I remember feeling so empowered by that, and I changed my course soon after.
Erica: That's really dope. In the book we read last week, it was called "A Taste of Our Own Medicine," there was a woman that was navigating life, post-divorce, and we know you work with a lot of women that are in that space.
Kenrya: And, as you just told us, you were in that space.
Erica: So when the book opened, Sonja, the protagonist of the book, she's starting an entrepreneurship class to help her get her business up and running. How often do you see people embark on new adventures like this after a divorce?
Quinn: but I see a lot of that, definitely. I'm trying to think, what did I do? I started dyking, that was it.
Kenrya: You're like, "Dick? Not for me."
Erica: You're like, "You know what? I like pussy." So why do you think people make such a big change?
Quinn: I think usually it's you want something so different from what you just had, you want to auto-correct, like rewrite your life in a way, to straighten it back out. We think of a relationship as pants, then the divorce was the wrinkles, and now you want to iron that shit back on out. Quite often, it doesn't work that way, but it does make you feel better to make these very surface, immediate changes.
Kenrya: That's real. So another thing that Sonja struggles with in this book a lot is negative self-talk, so she'll talk bad about her body, she called herself "stupid and weak," a lot of times in her head, but even sometimes out loud, like with the person who's trying to be her new partner. I know, firsthand, that when somebody has repeatedly told you who you are, you can start to believe it, and I think that that's a lot of what's happened with her, she has this terrible ex-husband who has really put a lot of negative ideas into her. What are some strategies that folks can use when they need to short-circuit this kind of thinking?
Quinn: Definitely remember the source of the original judgment. If you can remember the voice of the person who said that to you, that's really important because then you can assign it and give it back to them. Usually, we're not the architects of our own worst thoughts about ourselves, they usually come from somebody else in our environment. I'll use my own examples. Chris, which is my ex-husband's name, he used to always tell me I wasn't going to be shit without him, and, for a while, it started to feel like my words, like, "I'm not going to be shit without him. What am I going to do? I'm divorced, I don't have nothing yet."
Quinn: And then some of the work that I did in therapy was reminding myself that I was shit before him and I will be shit after him, but this little anomaly in my life is not the sum of who I am, and the anomaly was our marriage. And once I was able to give that kind of critique his voice, and I immediately had a reaction, I remember thinking, "I don't listen to nothing this nigga got to say, this nigga is stupid," and immediately felt better. But it does take practice, some days are easier than others, some days you will fail, but it's also really good to have people around you echo who you are back to you, have good friends that remind you that you're beautiful, you're not what he says about you or they say about you, that you are valuable, even when you don't do shit for people.
Quinn: Also having things that also make you feel good about yourself available to you. Like being able to work out or run, or if you're in school, taking a class that just feels good, instead of one that's for your major or something, things like that, like being able to pour back into you because it's going to be a difficult process, decoupling of any kind, but it's even harder when you don't have a good sense of who you are.
Erica: Another issue in this book is sex, and it's always a problem when you marry the first nigga you ever had sex with, and of course that is what our protagonist did, she married the first nigga she ever had sex with, and never once had an orgasm when she wasn't masturbating.
Kenrya: That's the ghetto.
Erica: What'd you say?
Kenrya: That's the ghetto.
Erica: The ghetto!
Quinn: It is.
Erica: Well, you with a nigga. It was to the point where she thought it was her fault that sex was boring, she thought something was wrong with her. And so she has a hard time believing that she's attractive and believing that this younger man is really attracted to her, and she's embarrassed when he makes her cum. Is that a common response?
Quinn: Yeah, absolutely, especially if you get real wet or you squirt or have some very external orgasmic reaction, definitely a lot of shame associated with that because it's unladylike, or some kind of whore-type complex shit, or even the shame or guilt that "I am able to do this with this man that I wasn't connected with under God, but somehow I'm doing it with this person who I haven't had this deep connection with, so it must be something wrong with me." It's really important to have people in your corner to remind you, "Nah, that nigga was just giving you"-
Kenrya: Trash dick.
Quinn: Mediocre dick.
Erica: Welcome to the world of good dick.
Quinn: To make it inclusive, trash strap for all them years, you know what I'm saying? So that's what we are. I think it's important to just know, one, that's common for a lot of people who experience that, but also knowing it ain't your fault, this is just the body, your body is going to respond to shit even when your mind don't want.
Erica: So, Quinn, in the book, the character, Sonja, had a really tough time disengaging from her manipulative ex who, as we said earlier, pumped her with info about how she wasn't shit, told her kids information about her and they used it to accuse her of being a bad mom. So how can we set boundaries that keep our kids out the drama that an ex can bring when we still have to co-parent with them?
Quinn: I think probably making sure that you, on your end, never bad-talk the parent or former partner in front of the kids. Also making sure that you are trying to keep as close to the routine that they had when they lived with both of you. And the best thing is always family therapy because divorce takes a toll on kids, even when they're witnessing a relationship that was unhealthy and they have relief when it ends, it's still a grieving process and it does take some adjustment, and it's important to make sure the kids feel like they have somewhere safe to deposit those feelings and someone to talk to.
Quinn: Of course, a good [inaudible 00:10:18] would be, for you as a parent, allowing them to express their emotions because, quite often, we just want the kids to be okay with the big decisions that we make, as if it's not happening to them, too. When a kid's got an attitude, or they frustrated or they get mad or get an attitude, we get mad at them for doing that and punish them for those feelings, and think about what's that saying to them: when something bad happens to you in your life, or different, or a big change, you are not allowed to express your feelings because it's going to be met with some kind of negative impact. And that's not fair.
Quinn: And kids ain't got as many coping skills as adults do. We can get in the car and go somewhere, or go to the gym, or go out on more dates, have a drink or whatever it is, but kids can't always do that, so they have a limited ability to express their emotions, and then we box them in by telling them that their feelings don't matter, that's not fair. So it's really important to make sure that you give them an environment to express themselves.
Erica: That's a really good perspective.
Kenrya: Another theme that comes up is body image, which rang super true to me, especially if you marry young, that body that you had when you was dating, that ain't the same body you got when you reenter the dating pool. So how can we shore up our confidence in this area when you are in a space where you are now undressing in front of new folks?
Quinn: I think just coming into it knowing that if your foundation is good about how you feel about yourself, that generally you like yourself, you think you're attractive, or whatever the case may be, I think it'll be fine, especially if you acknowledge, too, that it's going to be anxiety-inducing getting undressed in front of a new person, like it just is, even if you are most comfortable, confident person in the world with your body, getting undressed in front of somebody that you have a new relationship, it's still awkward.
Quinn: So it's important to just know there's always awkwardness in sex, it always is, and so that's something that, as adults, sometimes we get in our head this idea that sex has to be in perfect harmony and all of that shit, and, nah, you could be sweating, body odor, somebody might fart, awkward positions, there's all kind of shit that goes into it. And if we can accept that there is always going to be some anxiety around sex because it's just about a performance and your pleasure is immediately measured, I think that that'll help, too.
Quinn: But the biggest thing is just feeling confident in your own body, being okay with being undressed in front of yourself because you're usually your biggest and most vocal critic, and if you're all right getting undressed on your own and you enjoy looking at your body for most of the time, then I think that'll help a lot.
Kenrya: In the book, Sonja struggles to take care of her kids and her sister and sometimes her ex-husband, and it becomes clear pretty quickly that she's codependent, putting the needs of everybody else in front of her own. You recently blogged about your own struggles with codependency. I'm really interested in how you manage your own mental health while you help other people with their journeys.
Quinn: I mean, my team around me is amazing. Honestly, I don't know how I got so damn lucky to have such a team because they see me even when I can't see myself, and it's important to have people around you that can just pull you out of your own cloud of bullshit sometimes. I think that the biggest thing for me is just, one, knowing ... I used to always know when I was in that fog, but recently I've had trouble seeing that I'm in that fog, your eyes adjust to the light, and it's important to have somebody around you who's just new to that environment, like, "What the fuck?"
Quinn: And so, for me recently, I haven't always been able to self-correct like I usually do, which is like making sure I take lunch breaks, making sure I have at least one day off during the week, not working outside of my scheduled hours, and so I hadn't really been consistent with that, but even when I did implement that, I still was feeling the same, and that's because it was part of a larger thing, I didn't realize I had a relapse in codependency.
Quinn: It was really good to have my people around me to put some fresh eyes on what was really going on, but I had to be honest with them, and that part was the hardest part, being honest with myself and being honest with them. Since I did that, what's been helping me is going to my therapist and making sure that I eat, even if it's some bullshit in the morning, at least it's something I enjoy eating. The other day, I made some breakfast pork chops, and right before my 10:00 session, I was like, "I know I smell like pork," I was just in my head about it for like 10 minutes, and then I was like, "Fuck it, it was some good pork chops."
Quinn: But I do try my best to do the things that I know have worked for me, like taking my lunch breaks, keeping my hours, being really good about my time in sessions, make sure I have food in my fridge downstairs, but, also, being honest with other people around me and having them tell me, "Okay, you're doing too much. Ain't nobody ask you for all that yet. Wait on them to ask you to do all this shit," and so that's really good, too.
Erica: Does the fact that you've been through a divorce impact the way you counsel your clients?
Quinn: I guess yeah and no. I feel like I know how far to push some people when it comes to their relationship stuff. Sometimes I always step over the line and I'm aware of it and I always try to make amends at their next session or later on my own. But I think that it helped me because I would try to work from my feminist perspective, and I work from a very body-positive perspective, like very fem women, minority person, supportive perspective, and so I advocate very much for people who I have shared identities with, and so, yeah, because I [inaudible 00:17:33] those people in my life and I have those experiences, that is the therapeutic perspective I chose.
Quinn: But, also, I think sometimes giving some clients some information about my own experience helps them feel more comfortable because a lot of my colleagues do a lot of co-therapy, and there are advantages to that, absolutely, where they're a little bit more removed from their clients, but that hasn't been where I've been successful, I've been my most successful with clients and in my practice by pulling my skirt up a little bit and letting them see what's underneath. It's important for them to know, "Hey, I have been through this process, it's not just me telling you some bullshit, I have been here, let me tell you how it might feel and might look on the other side of it."
Kenrya: So, speaking of which, on our last show, Erica and I talked through our post-divorce relationship histories, what we learned and how that impacted the way that we approached dating after the fact. What did dating look like for you after you moved on?
Quinn: I immediately started, and start dates are fuzzy in some people's memory, but I was seeing a stud soon after I left my ex-husband, and there was some good times, she was in Gospel choir. There's something about a church-loving stud that just ...
Kenrya: Do it to you?
Quinn: Yeah. And she used to sing and shit in random places, unexpectedly, as a romantic gesture.
Erica: Aw, that's nice.
Quinn: I don't know, I want to let everybody know, I hate singing and dancing, I hate that shit so much, I fucking hate it. I don't like to see, unless you are a paid performer, and I'm talking marquee, I don't want you to be singing and dancing in front of me, it's so cringe-worthy, I hate it.
Erica: That reminds me of a time I went on a date and a dude started singing in my ear in a bar.
Kenrya: Oh God, you lost it.
Erica: I was just like, "What do I do?"
Quinn: Do you nod? Do I pretend I know the song? What the fuck? She did at my birthday party, I'll never forget.
Erica: Wait, was she singing church songs? Or just-
Quinn: No, neo soul. I want y'all to know this about me, too, I don't like neo soul.
Erica: You're like, "Now you singing some Boosie? Good."
Quinn: Now, listen, she could have beat the odds.
Erica: You are such a bird, I love it.
Quinn: I'm just saying, don't sing ... oh my God, I was so embarrassed, I was like, "Now I can’t even eat this damn gyro because you done sang to me in front of all my goddamn friends and now everybody laughing in their head because they all know I hate this.”
Erica: Because you just had to go fishing for a stud at church.
Quinn: I didn't go to church, no, I met her on campus at school, now be clear, this wasn't because I was seeking out the Lord, I met her in class, and she happened to love the Lord and sang for him at school. After her, I actually dated five men named Chris in a row.
Erica: Well, that was easy.
Quinn: Yes. I got my ex-husband's name tattooed on my hand when I was 19, so it's Chris on my hand, so every Chris I dated was like, "This for me, ain't it?" "Sure, nigga."
Kenrya: "Sure, nigga."
Quinn: It was just really bad, and they were all abusive in some form, emotionally, financially, physically, sexually, it was just some bullshit. I'll never forget, my friend, she was just like, "Why not after the first Chris we didn't realize Chrises wasn't shit?" And so I was like, "Solid point." So I started dating just randomly, I dated a sex addict for a while, which was really rough, and it really fucked up my self-esteem. Then I dated ... I guess my baby dad is somewhere in there, but it was a blip on the radar, I was popping. I don't know. My baby daddy was before my husband, nevermind. Wait a minute, he was before my husband.
Quinn: But after that, I was just dating men, I dated a really socially-reclusive man who was very rich, and that was nice for a while, but then rich men usually want you to do weird shit, and so I couldn't get jiggy with it. But I actually was dating his girlfriend, and that's how I met him, so ... it was a long night, and it was a good night. I'm just saying, I ran off on the plug, if you know what I mean. To be fair, I continued to have a relationship with both of them, and both of them knew.
Erica: You don't want to leave anyone left out.
Kenrya: Equal opportunity.
Quinn: No, I am very inclusive. Yes.
Quinn: But after a while, she was annoying. And I'll never forget, she came to my house in some flare-legged jeans-
Erica: Nope, we're good.
Quinn: And I was like, "This is it. I'm good."
Erica: "I need an excuse."
Kenrya: "Final straw."
Quinn: She had flare-legged jeans, and she had her hair flipped in the back, I was like, "Girl."
Kenrya: I used to rock the fuck out of that flip in high school.
Quinn: Same, but this was like 2014, and so I was like, "Girl, what is this? No thanks." It was Memphis though.
Erica: Well, okay.
Quinn: But after that, that's when I met my wife on Twitter, and that was September 11, 2015, I believe.
Quinn: And I thought she was cute, and I asked her did she like girls, and she said yeah, and then I asked her for some nudes because I was trifling back in the day.
Erica: Something tells me that trifling didn't end, but okay.
Quinn: No. And so she flew to Memphis, I made her some fish and spaghetti, took her to a Martin Luther King museum, and bottle of some whiskey, and we've been together ever since.
Kenrya: Yes, courting.
Erica: So you said you met your wife on Twitter.
Erica: I'm not sure how long you were married and stuff, but did you feel like the dating landscape changed? We talked about this on a last episode, how before we were married, before we both went into our marriages, online dating really wasn't a thing, nobody was really shooting their shot on Twitter, maybe MySpace, but it just wasn't happening. Once we got out, it was a completely different world. Did you experience that?
Quinn: Yeah. In that block of time after I stopped dating the Chrises and I started dating my wife, a couple of men that I met were online either through OkCupid or Plenty of Fish, "Plenty of Gonorrhea" is what it should be called.
Erica: I hate you.
Quinn: And even Craigslist. So I was meeting guys online, and that was easier for me because I didn't know it then, but it's obvious now that I had a lot of social anxiety, so going out and meeting, if I was going to clubs and shit, where you would normally meet guys, I really wasn't doing that. But by the time I started dating my wife a couple years later, online dating was a thing, a lot of people I knew had met their partners online, some good sites were still trying to find their way. But for the most part, a lot of people were doing it online.
Kenrya: We have a few friends who met their husbands online, but they all got married after we did, I feel like there was a boom of it after that.
Erica: Yeah. Okay, so, we like to ask our guests “would you rather questions,” so I got one for you.
Erica: Would you rather live your life stuck to your partner, like stuck to them, like y'all sewn together, or would you rather only see your partner for one day every year?
Quinn: I would rather be stuck to my wife. Man, my wife is my best friend, like we travel well together, that's our favorite fucking thing is just traveling, and sitting the fuck down is our favorite thing, we love that shit so much. There is a quote by the great Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld asks him, "What's your favorite thing to do, what do you like doing?" And Eddie Murphy said, "My favorite thing to do is nothing," and that shit changed my life when I watched that. So that's our thing, we love to do nothing and so much together. Like right now, we're going to go to Trader Joe's, it's date night, but guess what we're going to do? Come the fuck home and sit the fuck down and eat.
Erica: I love it.
Quinn: And watch animal documentaries, high as fuck.
Kenrya: I like it. I'm all for it.
Quinn: I can tell you so much shit about the Earth. Listen, if we are in some general trivia about the Earth or animals or the ocean, I know everything, everything.
Erica: Okay, so Quinn is on our Trivia Night team.
Kenrya: Yes. Because I don't know nothing about none of that shit.
Erica: You buggin’.
Quinn: That come from hundreds of hours of high watching shit. I probably don't remember nothing right, but I can tell you what it feel like.
Kenrya: You got enough of the pieces.
Quinn: Yeah, I can piece it together.
Erica: Yeah, you have definitely inspired my evening.
Kenrya: Well this has been delightful, thank you so much for coming on again. For folks who missed the first time Quinn was on, it was maybe Episode 6.5 in Season 1, go back and listen to it, do yourself a favor, we were talking about hoteps. And so for folks who want to find you outside the show, where should they go, Quinn?
Quinn: They can go to MagnoliaMHealth.com, they can find me on Instagram, MagnoliaMHealth, or Memphissippian. I don't think I've ever said that out loud. Because I lived in Memphis for a long time and I'm also a Mississippian, so Memphissippian. And you can also find me on Twitter @MagnoliaMHealth.
Erica: All righty.
Kenrya: All right, well thank you for joining us and thank you, listeners, for being here, too, that wraps up this week's episode of The Turn On. Peace.
?Erica: This episode was produced by us, Erica and Kenrya, and edited by B’Lystic. The theme song is from Brazy. We want to hear from y'all, send your book recommendations and all the burning sex and related questions you want us to answer to TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com. And please subscribe to the show on your favorite podcasts app, follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod, and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast, and find links to our books, transcripts, guest info, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com. And, remember, The Turn On is now part of the Frolic Podcast Network, you can find more shows you love at Frolic.media/Podcasts. Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you soon, holler.
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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya read from Tasha Harrison's "A Taste of Her Own Medicine" and discuss their complicated relationship with hand jobs, dating after divorce and the art of picking good partners.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Tay Keith, fuck these niggas up. Is that what he's saying?
Kenrya: I think so, yes.
Erica: I don't know if he be fucking things up anyway. Tay Keith you always have a place in my heart for that... “Before I Let Go.” Nonetheless.
Kenrya: I love it.
Erica: Hey you all. Welcome to this week’s episode of The Turn On. This week we are going to jump right in it. We are reading “A Taste of Her Own Medicine,” which was published in 2019 by Tasha L. Harrison. This book came highly recommended by two of our listeners, Michelle and Nicole, and this one hits a little close to home. Sit back, relax, get your wine, get your weed, get your whatever you need, and enjoy.
Kenrya: “A Taste of Her Own Medicine,” by Tasha L. Harrison. The hand between my leg shifted to cup me more fully, the heel of his hand creating a delicious pressure against my mound. I rolled my hips and a bright spark of pleasure made my eyes roll back in my head. "Poor baby," he whispered. "Your tight little pussy still aching, huh?" This kind of talk, this dirty talk, I always thought it was silly. I wondered how it could be sexy, but I swear when he asked me about my tight, aching pussy, all I could do was nod. "I know it is. I'm aching for you too."
Kenrya: He shifted in his seat and his right hand grabbed his dick. I watched him, mesmerized by the way he handled himself, wondering if he wanted me to handle him that roughly. I was never rough with Eric, he didn't like it that way, but could I be that way with Atlas? "Hey," he said softly, drawing my attention back to his face. "What were you going to do to me when you reached for my pants by the falls," he asked? Now that the moment passed, I suddenly felt shy about my thoughts and actions in that moment. "I didn't really think it through. I just wanted to feel you in my hands." "Hmm," he grunted. "You still want to?"
Kenrya: Just like that, with that simple suggestion, my palms tingled wanting that intimate caress. "Yes," I said with a nod. "I want you to. Can you?" he begged. "Right here," I asked glancing around? It was dusk and the parking lot was full of cars, but no one was walking around. "Right here, upstairs, I don't care where. I just need you to touch me. I don't think I can spend another night like this." We kissed again and I felt him tremble when my hand rested on his chest. He was practically vibrating. "Right here," I said. "I can't go upstairs with you. If I go upstairs." He nodded, understanding the things I left unsaid. I wanted him, there was no denying that, but so much had happened today and I'd crossed so many boundaries, and I knew that if I went upstairs with him I was going to want more than just a touch, more than just a kiss. His hands wouldn't be enough.
Kenrya: "Okay," he agreed, then glanced around the still quiet parking lot. "Right here." I gathered up his soft t-shirt and slipped my hand under it to touch his muscled chest and drifted lower to caress his belly, the ridged topography of his abdomen. When my fingers tangled in the trail of hair that led to the place between his legs, his whole body quaked. "You okay?" "Yes, I just want your hands on me." "Okay," I whispered and tugged at the drawstring of his sweats. His desire was so acute it seemed like physical pain. I knew and understood how that felt. It's the same way I felt in the greenhouse, but I'd never known anyone to feel that way about me.
Kenrya: The dusk deepened around us, casting the world outside the car in shadow. It made the interior of the Subaru feel cocoon like. Condensation formed on the windows adding to that secretive intimacy as I reached into his pants. He was big and hard in his pants and pulsed when my knuckles skimmed the silky fabric of his boxer briefs. I broke away from the kiss to look down at him, to watch myself reach into his boxers and take him in my hand. He was smooth and velvety soft against my palm. Atlas hissed and lifted his hips to tug down his pants a little further. His dick, now free of its constraints, leaped into my hand. I closed my hand into a loose fist and drew it up his length. "Oh God, Sonja," he breathed. His head fell back against the headrest. I looked at him. God he was so damn beautiful. His eyes were closed and his thick lashes made dark shadows on his sculpted cheek bones. He rolled his hips, urging me silently to draw my hand down his thick length and back up again.
Kenrya: He swallowed and I tracked the way his Adam's apple bobbed. I had no idea what I was doing. It'd been more than a year since I'd even touched a man intimately, and I'd only ever been with my husband. "Hey," I whispered. Atlas opened his eyes and looked at me. "Show me how you like it." I drew my hand up his length again. "Do you like it hard or soft? Do you want me to put my mouth on it?" "Shit," he cursed and his dick grew harder in my hand if that was even possible and a bead of precum formed at the tip. I leaned over and lapped it up. "Jesus Soni." "Show me how to please you," I begged softly. His big hand closed around mine, tightening my grip, then drew both of our hands up and over the fat, wet tip of his dick. On the downstroke he thrust upward, forcing himself through my clenched fist. The sight of it was so erotic that my pussy clenched, releasing a gush of moisture that dampened the crotch of my leggings.
Kenrya: Needing him inside of me in some way, I wrapped my lips around the tip of him again and he whimpered. "Like that," I whispered? "Hard, but slow, like this?" I asked, squeezing him and drawing my hand up over the tip. "Yes," he nodded, thrusting into my hand again. "Just like that." He hooked his hand around the back of my neck and pulled me in. His kiss was deeper, hungrier, more reckless. It took all of my willpower to keep my pants on, to keep my ass in my seat, to keep from sitting on that beautiful dick in my hands. Atlas grasped at me, kissed me hard, then pulled away to watch, seemingly torn between wanting me closer and wanting me to make him come. I pulled away to take him in my mouth again. I've never felt so compelled to suck a man’s dick before, to see this strong, devastatingly handsome young man come apart because of me.
Kenrya: I teased him, sucking hard on the tip and every time his hips lifted the tiniest bit, thrusting deeper into my mouth. I knew what he wanted, but I waited until he asked for it. "Please Soni," he begged. His hips rolled upward again. "Please…" I moaned and swallowed him down. Taking him in as deeply as I could until his cockhead hit the back of my throat. "Oh fuck Sonja," he moaned loudly. "Fuck." I looked up at him. He was gone, lost on the edge of bliss from what I was doing to him with my mouth. "Baby…baby I'm about to come." I hummed, closed my eyes and took him in deeper. "Oh fuck, you just gon…baby wait, no." He made a sound that was somewhere between a chuckle and a moan, tensed, and came, flooding my mouth and moaning my name. I swallowed him down, sucking and licking every drop from his dick until he started to twitch and jerk. He pulled me off of him and brought my lips to his.
Kenrya: "Why'd you do that?" he whispered, kissing me hard, that same hard hungry kiss he'd given me at the start. Could he taste himself on my tongue? "Why'd you do that? You didn't have to do that," he said, his voice full of gratitude. Was that reverence? "I know. I wanted to." "You're amazing, Jesus, Sonja." He kept kissing me. “It's been a long time since I've done anything like that or even wanted to.” I pulled away a little so I could look him in the eye. "Thank God you came when you did. I was two seconds away from crawling over this console." He shook his head. "This is a complete 180 from crying when I made you come in the greenhouse this morning." I shrugged and slid my hand under his shirt. “Maybe it's the come-to-me oil, but there's no denying that you bring it out of me.” Atlas sighed, "Same," he murmured, "So much same."
Kenrya: He covered my hand with his. "You laughed before you came," I said, remembering that moment. "Is that normal for you?" "I don't know, my attention's usually focused elsewhere." "No one's ever mentioned it before?" "No," his brow furrowed. "Is that your way of asking me how many girls I've been with?" he asked, smoothing his hand over my cheek. "No…I just thought it was cute and unusual." But now I was wondering. How many women had he been with? Who was the last woman he was with? Was she my age or much younger with a firmer ass and a belly without stretch marks? He stopped my self-deprecating thoughts with another kiss. "Maybe we'll talk about that next time, when you actually come upstairs and I actually get you in my bed." I shook my head. "I can't." "I know, you can't tonight. I just wanted to let you know that this changes nothing. I still want you, so don't go home and lay awake all night recounting every minute that we spent together today looking for the one thing that you did that might have turned me off. Only one of us needs to do that."
Kenrya: I rolled my eyes. "You did nothing wrong." "You mean except come in your mouth after you sucked my dick for three minutes?" "Was it only three minutes?" Atlas nodded and looked a little sheepish. "I glanced at the clock when you..." He rolled his eyes. "It was three minutes, maybe four, and now I'm humiliated. Excuse me while I tuck my flaccid dick back in my pants." "Atlas," I reached for his hand and laced my fingers into his. "It doesn't really matter how long you lasted, especially since I can still feel you so big and hard in the back of my throat." "Jesus, Sonja," he said for the third time this evening. He brought our joined hands to his mouth where he grazed his lips across my knuckles. The look he gave me made me squirm in my seat again. Maybe all of this dirty talk wasn't so silly.
Erica: Welcome back. That was an excerpt from “A Taste of Her Own Medicine,” by Tasha Harrison. So Killa, as I said, this touches very close to home.
Kenrya: Oh divorced bitches.
Erica: I know, okay before we jump into that let's get to the situation at hand. When this nigga said, "A guy that makes you abandon your responsibilities and make love all night"—bitch. It flashed back to those times where you meet a guy and everything is sweet and you're all going to have a night of fun and then two days later you emerge from his house like, "Oh shit."
Kenrya: The sun's so bright.
Erica: Exactly, your girlfriend's like, "Bitch, where you been?" That line touched a nerve in my little whore spirit. I was like, "Oh I remember that." We had a moment of appreciation for our good friend dry humping.
Kenrya: Was it dry humping?
Erica: Yeah I think it was. We said people gave up on dry humping.
Kenrya: Oh yeah before, and oh first season.
Erica: Yeah bitch, you was there.
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah, yeah with the woman who was with the older man.
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah.
Erica: So bitch, our good friend a hand job. Here's the deal, my hand jobs suck.
Kenrya: Yeah I'm not great.
Erica: I feel like my hand jobs suck, but I feel like her hand job was really great. But I think that she probably thought about it and was like this wasn't a good hand job.
Kenrya: She didn't stay with the hands for long though.
Kenrya: She popped her mouth on down there right quick.
Erica: Yes, but one he was-
Kenrya: Which was also my experience.
Erica: Yeah exactly, you never do a hand job to completion, right?
Kenrya: Right. Well I'm sure people do. I don't think I have, but that's because I don't feel like it's so good. I have been told that I'm good at it.
Kenrya: But it don't seem like it.
Erica: But it don't feel like it, it don't feel right.
Kenrya: Yeah, I think the problem is that you really got to use lube. Spit is not enough because it's just on your hands and it's not continuously coming like when it's in your mouth.
Erica: What? Continuously coming.
Kenrya: What she said.
Erica: Yeah, so I appreciated... The whole scene reeked of divorceness because don't you remember when you first start dating post-divorce it is a lot like... For me it was a lot like dating when you're first dating. You got to be home at a certain hour, curfew because you got to go relieve the sitter. Or you're all sitting out in the driveway, the next thing you know you're giving a hand job and head in the car.
Kenrya: That is a thing that has happened.
Kenrya: Yeah, I hadn't really thought about it that way.
Erica: It definitely is return, it returns back to oh, we're doing this shit all over again. Nine times out of 10 if you're anything like me or Killa, you had a momma. My momma was Kenrya, after me, "Who you going out with? Tell me whereabouts. Drop a pin for your location." This book itself... Oh shit, we didn't give the background story of the book.
Kenrya: Oh what the...
Erica: Oh damn, we jumped all into it.
Kenrya: That's okay.
Kenrya: We'll do that right quick. It stars Sonja and Atlas, who of course is aptly named because he has strong shoulders and he can bear the weight of the world on them.
Erica: Love me a shoulder.
Kenrya: I know, so Sonja has been divorced for about a year. She was married to this dude named Eric who we find out over time is a fucking asshole. She has two kids who are in high school and she has decided that she wants to start a business because she needs to support herself outside of the business that she worked on with her husband. She basically helped him build his business. The story starts with her going to an entrepreneurship class and her teacher is Atlas. When she meets him she loses her shit because he fine as hell.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: Yeah, and then it's clear that he also... From the very first moment they meet he's flirting with her and then it's all...
Erica: From the first moment.
Kenrya: Literally from the first moment, and then she wrestles with what it means to date as a divorced woman and as a mom.
Erica: Also she struggles a little bit with her age because she's a little bit older than him, right?
Kenrya: Yeah, she's 40 and he's 30 and she makes a huge deal out of it.
Erica: Huge deal out of it.
Kenrya: He's like, "I don't give a shit."
Kenrya: Yeah, but it's a big, big deal for her.
Erica: Okay, so that's how I got to the whole divorce and dating things. This nigga was wearing sweats.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: I love some sweats. Not only how they look but-
Kenrya: Because you can see everything.
Erica: They're easy access when you're doing nasty things. You can just slip a hand down there because there ain't nothing worse than having to have to lift his hips to unbutton some button down fly jeans.
Kenrya: Still, it's like their thot wear.
Erica: It is totally thot wear.
Erica: It's a Fashion Nova.
Kenrya: It is nothing-
Erica: Of men's clothing.
Kenrya: Well they have Fashion Nova shit too now.
Erica: I know but it don't be hitting like a pair of gray sweatpants do.
Kenrya: It's true. It leaves nothing to the imagination.
Erica: Nothing to the imagination. Okay, so back to this divorced and dating thing. Do you have anything to say, anything else?
Erica: Oh, I was going to ask if you had anything else to say about the sex itself. I love giving head, you love giving head, and this scene explains why good head is good head because it's not even I want to please you. It's like no, I need to have this in my mouth right now.
Kenrya: Yeah, it is and I think for folks who don't love it, that's the part that's missing is that they don't... For me it very much turns me on, that is foreplay for me.
Kenrya: It's a part of me getting ready, and it seemed like that was also a part of her getting ready.
Kenrya: Yeah, but then there's that other part that we've talked about on the show when she was like, "To see him lose himself, that abandon that comes with it." That's a huge part of it for me. I like the control aspect of all of that.
Kenrya: Tasha explained that really well.
Erica: Very well and it was so beautifully written. No, I need to taste this right now.
Kenrya: Right now.
Erica: And when he was saying I need to feel you on my body, I need to feel you touching me, oh man this man can talk some shit.
Erica: He definitely has the gift of gab and I am just...
Kenrya: Won her over to that. The reason that we started and ended the excerpt where we did is because it starts with him talking shit. She's like, "I ain't never really... I always thought that shit was silly." Then by the end she like, "Well maybe, maybe this works."
Erica: I think it's well known here that I like to talk. I like the sex talk. I think I could probably be a phone sex operator, I love a good talk. Yeah, it's corny if I'm talking to you right now, but in the moment bitch it is delightful.
Kenrya: Yeah, you out here charming niggas out their pants.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative), be like come on. Lift up them hips. Pull them panties down.
Kenrya: Men hate it when you call them panties. I like to do it just to make them angry.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: It's funny to me.
Erica: Take them panties off. Take them panties off. Okay, so we're talking about dating after divorce. Kenrya what was your dating situation like after divorce? Walk us through it.
Kenrya: Messy. I went straight from divorce into a pseudo relationship with an old flame.
Erica: I think a lot of people do that though because it's easy.
Kenrya: I mean in my... Well it was easy and also you know the situation, this guy was somebody who I'd dated before, who we went to school with, and there was always this... He was my what if guy.
Erica: Reunited and it feels so good.
Kenrya: It was we had both gotten married, we'd both gotten divorced, or I was in the process of it and it was like, "Well shit, let's try it. Now that we're both actually available let's try again." Shit got messy, a lot of stuff happened.
Erica: Dot, dot, dot.
Kenrya: And it ultimately did not work out, but I thank God for that because it brought me to a better place. Then after that I was by myself for... I didn't start even trying to date for a year and a half, I was really focused on my own shit. Then one day I was like, "Huh, okay."
Erica: Was it self-imposed or was this a-
Kenrya: Yeah, I was like, "I don't want to be bothered."
Erica: Nigga you had a fast.
Kenrya: Oh no before that.
Erica: Oh okay.
Kenrya: No, no that was before that.
Erica: Sorry, I'm trying to-
Kenrya: You're trying to prompt me.
Erica: Yeah I'm trying to get you to have a-
Kenrya: No, no there was a year of me not being interested in not dating. I think it was a year, and then I decided to go on the apps. Got my ass on Bumble, started dating, it was not great. Catfished by dudes who posted pictures 15 years younger than they were. All kinds of shit. Jack hammer dick, lots of-
Erica: When was the fast?
Kenrya: I'm getting to the fast.
Erica: I think the fast was before that though.
Kenrya: It was not, no it was not.
Erica: Okay, sorry. Sorry you all, I'm really lonesome like girl. Okay, yeah.
Kenrya: I had a few months of Bumble dating that were not great, and then I went on a date with a guy and had a panic attack. Not on a date, but I got home... You don't remember this?
Kenrya: This was the nigga who we went out to eat and the roach was crawling on the table at the Senegalese spot.
Erica: Yeah mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: He brushed it off and kept eating and I was like, "Nigga you eating with your hands. What is happening?" Anyway, so went on a date with that dude, got home, it was a day off so we had done a lunch date and I said, "Oh, this will be cool. Do a little lunch date, come home, lay on my couch for the rest of the day." I had a fucking panic attack. That was what got me back into therapy. Actually that day I remember I called you and was like, "What's your therapist's name? I need some help." I realized later that it was the date that had sent me there. I found out later that I had PTSD from relationships with men and all of this stuff. One of the very first things that she made me do when I started therapy was go on a men fast.
Erica: The fast.
Kenrya: Exactly, I finally got there.
Kenrya: It was supposed to originally be for 30 days. Remember I had a date scheduled with somebody and she was like, "Well you can go on that date but you need to tell him on that date that you can't talk to him for a month." I wasn't allowed to flirt, to sext, to do anything really with any man because I date men. A month turned into three months.
Erica: Yeah as I say.
Kenrya: Which turned into six months, and then so at the end of the six months, after a whole bunch of work she said that I was ready and sober around the shit that made dating not great. Then I started. I got back on the apps and started dating again and it was a lot better because I was making way better choices. I didn't give niggas chances, honestly, is what it came down to. I had a set of criteria and really strong boundaries that I had built that allowed me to be able to better... It gave me a better picker basically.
Erica: Were you dating for relationships or dating for fun?
Kenrya: I was dating for relationship. I knew that I was ready after being done all of that work that I wanted to find someone that I actually wanted to build with. Yeah, so I was out there looking purposefully for somebody who I could see myself with.
Erica: So we're here, this is called The Turn On. We talk about sex. We talk about the sex during this time.
Kenrya: There wasn't a lot of sex during that time because most... I was breaking it down to my partner. We were talking about how dating was as a woman on the apps. Let's say I talked to 10, I matched with 10 people. Maybe of those 10, maybe four of them would make it off the app to a phone call. Then of those four maybe two of them would make it to a date, and then I would go on a couple of dates with one of them. One of them would make it past the first date and then I'd go on several dates with another one and then we would end up fucking. Then either it would work out or it wouldn't. Wasn't a ton of sex, it's a funnel, a narrowing down of people before I got to the ones.
Kenrya: I didn't mean I waited a long time to have sex with the ones who made it through, but the quality was not there. Because I was dating with a purpose in terms of actually trying to find somebody who I actually liked beyond just fucking, hey dog, there wasn't a whole lot of sex, not that second time around. Yeah, what about you?
Erica: What about the first time around?
Kenrya: There was some bad sex and there was a couple instances of great sex and one nigga who... That was the second time around, who I've talked about before. I feel like he was probably really into domination but wasn't honest about it and up front about it, and so I felt that he was trying to hurt me in the course of having sex without us having had a conversation about it, which made things not cool.
Erica: Yeah, but even the dominant guys that I've dealt with it wasn't a... I've dealt with dominant men, not sadists.
Kenrya: Right and I think he was ultimately a sadist.
Erica: A sadist yeah.
Kenrya: Which is fine, but talk to me about it.
Erica: I don't mind a dominant man, I don't want a sadist yeah.
Kenrya: Right, but when I called him out on it that's when he ghosted me. But that's cool.
Erica: How was sex the first time with someone other than your husband?
Kenrya: Sorry, my eyes closed. It was amazing. It was so good because it was the what if guy, so we hadn't had sex in years before then so it was all this pent up energy, and because we'd had sex before, we both knew each other's bodies already. I still remembered what worked and he still remembered what worked too. It was fucking fantastic.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: All right, all right.
Kenrya: Tell us about your post-divorce situation.
Erica: Post-divorce I initially, well throughout my separation I reunited with an old flame. It was good, we had a good long weekend. We literally locked ourselves in a hotel room for a weekend and had some good nasty sex. That was great. Then once I actually said, "I want a divorce," I think I filed, no after I said, "I want a divorce," my therapist put me on a fast and mine was 60 days. Was it 60 or 90?
Kenrya: I think it was 90.
Erica: It was 90 days.
Kenrya: But it got longer because you ended up coming off after... Oh it just started way after mine.
Erica: Uh-uh, yeah.
Kenrya: But you finished after I did.
Erica: It was a 90-day fast and I literally would... I flirt like I talk.
Kenrya: With everybody.
Erica: I flirt with everybody. I be on the phone with the Verizon tech and I'm flirting. It was really difficult, but it was good. It was good to clear my mind and my brain of boys. Sometimes I get boy crazy, and so it was good to not have that as something I'm thinking about as I'm trying to figure myself out. Once it was time to come off the fast, I definitely was planning a grand opening party, a remodeled and come in, take a look. First five people in with a coupon get in free kind of thing, but it didn't quite happen like that. It was like eh, okay this is... I can do it and I haven't found anybody to do it with.
Kenrya: We put you on Bumble.
Erica: No, uh-uh.
Kenrya: Yes we did.
Erica: That wasn't until December. I came off fasting August.
Kenrya: Oh right, it was January 1st.
Erica: Yeah, so I came off the fast and one of my girlfriends who always knows somebody who knows somebody introduced me to this guy that was traveling a lot and old man, served great dick, it was great. I traveled, meet him in a city, we have a good long weekend of nasty fucking and then we go on about our business. It was fun. I kept that situation up for a minute. Generally I was kind of... I knew that I didn't want to jump into a relationship, I was ready to-
Kenrya: I forgot about him.
Erica: Have some good sex. He still be-
Kenrya: Does he?
Erica: Niggas like to test-
Kenrya: Keep it open.
Erica: Keep the lines open. It's like in the winter when they tell you to keep a drain running so the pipes don't freeze?
Kenrya: Don't freeze.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative), he let it keep that drain open so the pipes don't freeze and that's fine. That's fine because I do the same thing. I definitely have my every three months. "Hey big head. Hey stranger," text that go out. It's whatever. After that I pretty much stuck around on that. For me dating had changed so much between the time that I was... Before I started dating and after I started dating.
Erica: Dating and courtship had really changed.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: It was different and I had to wrap my mind around it. It took a lot for me to even want to put a profile up because you're like-
Kenrya: Yeah, because we didn't have that before we got married. People weren't-
Erica: People were but it wasn't like ads or anything, it was literally Yahoo dating.
Kenrya: Or Match and... Right.
Erica: It was go to the computer.
Kenrya: They didn't have these apps.
Erica: It was very, very different and so I think everyone was looking for... There was the illusion of we're looking for partners in life and it was now he's trying to fuck.
Kenrya: I was going to say these apps lend themselves more to sex.
Erica: Yeah, which whatever.
Kenrya: It's fine.
Erica: Right after Christmas I told myself that I'll be ready to get on the apps. New Year's Day I came to Killa's house and we setup my profile.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative), I'm very good at writing Bumble profiles.
Erica: Yeah, she is. Yeah, she setup my profile and I got on Bumble. That was the only thing I really was on. Matched with a few people, Kenrya gave me all the tips and tricks. I knew what to do well before. I didn't have to do the trial and error because Killa did it all for me. I did that, I met a few people. I met one guy who we would have been... Actually we're still really good friends, it just did not work because we had fundamentally very different views about life.
Kenrya: Some things.
Erica: Raising and children and all that. Also, I don't know if I want more kids, and so it's hard to... Well first the goal of it initially was to be fucking, but then I actually started liking the dude and I was like, "Oh this is a danger," so then I started... I went about it backwards because I was fucking him and I was like, "This is a good fuck buddy," but then I started catching feelings. I was like, "Oh wait," when I should have vetting for that before I started fucking him.
Kenrya: That way if things changed you would already know.
Erica: Then I'm still good.
Erica: Yeah, it was one of those ooh, this ain't going to work. I don't see this working down the line. We had to part ways. Yeah, so I've done the app stuff. I meet people. I mean again, I'm a big flirt so I meet people just in organic situations. Went on vacation, met somebody.
Kenrya: That was random.
Erica: Yeah, very random but it worked.
Erica: Yeah, so now I'm still dating. I mean I will have a week-long period where I'm like, "Oh, let me get back on this app." I'll get on the app and then be like, "Well there was a reason you haven't opened this app in three months."
Kenrya: Digging through the trash, digging through the trash.
Erica: I was digging through the trash for a hamburger that was easy to eat. I recently got back... Yeah recently got on the app and met somebody that's cool and that kind of thing, and I'm still not quite ready for a relationship I don't think. However, when I do look at fuck buddies I try to think of if they would... If I were to catch feelings is there anything barring, fucking up the situation from this being something? No I'm not going to have a fuck buddy that ain't doing shit with his life because if that dick's good and we got a good conversation and I'll be like-
Kenrya: Oh, I think I love he.
Erica: Exactly, so I try to avoid that kind of situation. Yeah, I don't think I'm quite ready for a relationship yet. I think it's primarily because I'm still trying to figure myself out. I mean I know what I want, I think I know what I want. I got a lot going on y'all. I guess I'll share with everybody now. Back in December I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Yeah.
Kenrya: That's a lot.
Erica: There's a lot happening.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Wow, and I think I might actually cry and I haven't cried about this since I was diagnosed. I have surgery next week, so yeah that makes dating really weird. I mean not that it makes it weird because actually one thing I've learned is niggas don't give a shit about that.
Kenrya: [crosstalk 00:36:08].
Erica: This one nigga was like, "They ain't sewing up your pussy are they? They ain't doing a mastectomy of your ass." I'm like-
Kenrya: Oh God.
Erica: Gee thanks, niggas ain't shit. But at the same time you're about to undergo a very long process. Most of the guys that I'm dating, even the guy that I literally met two weeks ago is like, "You cool, I'm cool, let's see what happens." I'm lucky in that extent.
Kenrya: Yeah, nobody's like, "Holla at you later."
Erica: Yeah, and if you are cool.
Kenrya: Bye, yeah.
Erica: I completely understand it, but I think with all of that that's going on it's difficult for me to focus on building a relationship.
Kenrya: Yeah, that takes a lot of energy.
Erica: Yeah, so I mean I have people that I'm dating and maybe if they stick around that'll show... Maybe something will be revealed in the healing process and there. Maybe there's some grand gesture that I'm like, "I can't be without you." Yeah, so I don't think I'm quite ready for a man because right now I need to be my own partner and I need to be... From what I understand treatment and recovery is going to require an inordinate amount of selfishness on my part. It would be wrong to drag somebody brand new into this because it's going to be all about me. One of the things that's very difficult for me to accept right now is receiving the outpourings of help and love from everyone. I mean I know people love me, yada, yada, yada, but it's been very difficult having people... I literally had a girlfriend text and say, "Hey, I'll come over and help with laundry." I'm like, "Bitch, no." I think it's a wrong foot to start out on in a relationship for it to be all about me. I don't think that I'm going to be able to-
Kenrya: You also can't force people to do things, so it's not as if let's say with this person who you just met, if it turns into something and he's here just as things are getting tough you're not forcing anybody to do any fucking thing.
Erica: Yeah, but I just-
Kenrya: This nigga's got free will just like you do.
Erica: Yeah, I feel like relationships are supposed to be reciprocal. It's not a-
Kenrya: Whoa see we talked about equity versus reciprocity.
Erica: Yeah exactly, but I think... You're right, equitable and I don't think that there's any way that I can be an equitable... Well I guess I could if-
Kenrya: Ebbs and flows, boo, ebbs and flows.
Erica: Yeah, I just feel like going into this I have to make it all about Erica.
Kenrya: As you should, and either somebody deals with that or they don't, but you can't force them to do it.
Erica: Okay bitch. Fuck, anyway so-
Kenrya: You know me I'm like fuck that.
Erica: Yeah, so that's where I am with the dating thing. I'm still having really great sex. These titties have been on a world tour. Lord they have been on a world tour.
Kenrya: They deserve.
Erica: They deserve as do I deserve. Yeah, so it's been an interesting ride post-divorce. I think that I'm a very different dater now, and I mean what helps-
Kenrya: What makes you different?
Erica: My picker's better. I am comfortable saying what I want and what I don't want out of a relationship. I feel like once you've been, at least for me, I know what it feels like to be stuck in a relationship, well feel like you're stuck in a relationship where you're stuck and you're trying to live and be somebody you're not.
Kenrya: Who you aren't.
Erica: Who you aren't, and so I am going into all relationships with an ignorant level of transparency. I mean I don't tell everything on a first date, but I'm very clear about who I am and what I want and what I expect. If it's too much, if it scares you off, if it feels like it's too much of a problem-
Kenrya: Speak now.
Erica: That's fine because I'm not going to change or shrink or hide who I am and what I want for the sake of being with somebody because that shit is hard as fuck to maintain.
Kenrya: It's exhausting, and for what?
Kenrya: So you can look up and not who the fuck you are?
Erica: Yeah, and I never understood the whole I can do bad by myself until I truly was like, "No, I can do this shit on my own." I'd rather struggle and be by myself and come home to peace.
Erica: Come home to peace. Wasn't my word last year peace and prosperity?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Yeah, my word last year... Each year I pick a word, a few words for the theme of the year. Last year was peace and prosperity. I definitely found peace. Even thinking about all that happened. I think I told you this before. All that happened last year, I lost my granny who was my favorite girl in the whole wide world.
Kenrya: She was dope.
Erica: Yeah, I got fucking diagnosed with breast cancer. But 2019 was one of the best years of my life because I found peace, so even in the midst of all of this bullshit I found peace. I'm peaceful, I'm happy, I fucking launched my podcast, I have a better idea of who I want to be and what I want my empire to look like. Yeah, I don't have anybody and I'm fine with that. Maybe in 10, 15 years if I'm still like this that might change, but right now I have found peace and comfort in my own little situation, my own little setup. I don't want to add anybody to that that isn't enhancing it or making it easier. I know that relationships can be difficult, but I think the difficult part should be the logistics part of it. Logistics is probably the wrong word but the fitting two lives together, fitting two personalities together. We should genuinely like each other.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: We should genuinely want to spend our time together, that kind of thing. I think now that I'm better in my pillars, in the pillars of Erica and what she wants and who she is, now that that's more solid, the rest of it fills in the blanks and it works out. So yeah. You think you're different dating?
Kenrya: Oh fuck yeah. I was not healthy or sober when it came to dealing with men because my codependency was such that I put everyone before me. It meant that I put men before me, even ashy raggedy assed niggas that didn't deserve it. I was a let me take care of you, hoe. It's nothing wrong with taking care of the people who you care for, but not to the detriment of yourself. There was a whole lot of care taking and a whole lot of making myself small in order to make small men feel bigger. To the point where yeah, I didn't really know myself anymore.
Kenrya: I remember when I finally left and he would come talk at me to tell me why I should stay with him and I would literally look through this nigga and he went, "I don't even know you anymore." I'm like-
Erica: Yeah, yeah.
Kenrya: You didn't really know me to begin with. I am back to being myself. That has made me better post-that. I think one of the most important lessons that I learned and that made me better when it came to dating is the lesson that you can always leave.
Kenrya: Long before I left my ex-husband I wanted to leave. I had calls to leave, and I chose to stay because I thought that people deserved-
Erica: You thought you couldn't.
Kenrya: No, not even that. I had convinced myself that everybody deserves another chance and that may be true, but not on my back. But I didn't know that then.
Erica: I didn't say that I got to give you a second chance.
Erica: I wish you and your new girlfriend the best.
Kenrya: Exactly, but I stayed and then spent a whole bunch of time waiting for him to fuck up again so I could leave because I felt like I had made the choice to stay with a nigga who cheated on me.
Erica: Oh I didn't know that, but yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: Yeah, literally I'd be like, "Just let me catch you."
Erica: Let me catch you yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative). It's like where is this rule coming from?
Kenrya: Right, some shit that I had imposed when I literally could have woke up one day and be like, "You know what? Fuck you and fuck this." When I got to the point where I realized I could always leave, that changed literally everything because not just in relationships, any kind of a bad situation. Even I have anxiety and going to new places fucks me up. We were just talking about this when I was going somewhere when we were out of town and I had to remind myself that if I didn't like it I could turn around and I could leave.
Kenrya: It had been so ingrained in me and I think in a lot of Black women that you have to try, you have to give somebody another chance, it's up to you to keep things going and make him happy and blah, blah the fuck blah. It made it easier when I started dating because if I didn't like some shit a nigga said on the phone I would get off, I would send him a text that says, "We're not a good fit. I wish you well." That's what I would always text niggas and then I would block them because I don't owe you an explanation and I would move on with my day and with the rest of my life. It made it so much easier for me to put myself out there because I realized I didn't have to stay anywhere I didn't want to be.
Erica: One of the things that I do, so my little codependent self, part of it is codependency but part of it is this is who I am. I'm a little old Black lady, I turn into a granny when my friends come over because I want to make sure they ate, I want to feed them, I want to cook for them. When I started dating one of the things, one of the rules I gave myself was no cooking for these niggas.
Erica: No cooking for them until they earn being cooked for. Did you have any rules like that?
Kenrya: I never let anybody in my house, that was a rule that my therapist and I actually set up rules for how to keep me sober with dating. People had to prove that they were worthy of coming to my home. I also did almost exclusively daytime dates because they had to prove that they were worthy of me getting a sitter and being away from my child.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: I would meet folks on my lunch break. That made it easier for me again that I can always leave, there's a set amount of time attached to something, I'm not letting anyone into my own space, they weren't in my vehicle, they weren't... Know where I lived. It made me feel safer in that way. In that respect I didn't cook for anybody. You know I like to bake for niggas and everybody, but they would have to earn the baking and all of that shit. Yeah, I think those are probably the biggest ones. Daytime was really important to me. I didn't want to give anybody the privilege of having my very precious nighttime hours. I think the only person who I went on a first date in the evening with is the person who is now my current partner.
Kenrya: That's it.
Erica: You didn't have a kid that weekend so it wasn't a-
Kenrya: I did not. It wasn't a me and hardship, it was literally we had been planning a date for the following week during the day and then her dad actually got her and I didn't have anything to do and I was like hey.
Erica: Yeah, let's meet up.
Kenrya: Then it went from there.
Erica: Yeah, that dating as a mom thing is a whole other beast.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: I'm really lucky because my ex and I have... We have a really decent schedule.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative), you all do.
Erica: It allows me to have a lot of flexibility, and because I have such flexibility I try to not date on the days that I have him. I do break it occasionally for-
Kenrya: There's a concert of something has a specific.
Erica: Yeah, something like that, but I try to keep our time our time. Babysitters aren't cheap.
Erica: Then also you think about coming home and then having to parent post-date fucking sucks.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: It was like we'll do it on the weekend I don't have my kid.
Kenrya: Yeah, I would rather not.
Erica: Yeah, okay do you have any other old habits that... I mean we talked about the things we do, but are there any old habits that you had that you look back now and you're like, "Oh my God."
Kenrya: I do have a big one. I remember back when I was... I got married before most of our friends. I got married at 26. I was super young and married and had all these ideas about what it took in order to make some shit work that now I'm like, "Bitch, shut up." One of the things was that I would never say no if he wanted to have sex.
Erica: Oh I remember that conversation. I was like bitch, don't tell my husband.
Kenrya: It led to me doing a lot of shit I didn't really want to do.
Kenrya: And resenting.
Erica: Resenting him and resenting yourself.
Kenrya: Yes, mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Why the fuck am I here?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative), and it still wasn't satisfying to him because he still ultimately-
Erica: It still wasn't enough.
Kenrya: Yeah, he still wanted to have more sex then we were having even though we were having it constantly and he was still cheating. That's always that reminder that cheating is not about you. Although I just always remind myself the nigga cheated on Beyoncé, so the nigga cheated on Beyoncé and she don't need anybody. I contorted myself in that way, and toward the end, maybe the last year that I was married I finally was like, "Fuck you. If I don't want to have sex I'm not having sex. It's not fun for me, it's not going to be fun for you because I'm not into it so no."
Erica: You know, we all hit that. We all hit a point.
Kenrya: A wall.
Erica: Looking back there's a moment in our marriage where it's over.
Kenrya: It's over before you know it's over.
Erica: Yeah, it's over before you know it's over and I remember my point was where I was like, "Okay, well you're going to live that way. I'm going to live this way."
Kenrya: I knew your shit was over a smooth year before.
Erica: Yeah, exactly. That was when I was like, "Okay, you do..." I was like this is how I'm going to feel comfortable being in this marriage for the rest of my life. You live your way, you do what you want to do, and then I'm going to live my way and do what I want to do and should we overlap from time to time.
Kenrya: Then bonus.
Erica: Then great. It's like how the fuck is that a marriage? A marriage, a forever partnership? Yeah, I definitely thought this was my way of reconciling this decision I made. I was going to say fucked up decision.
Kenrya: No, don't say that.
Erica: This decision I made that ended sourly.
Kenrya: Yeah, and so one of the things that has come up for me now, as a person in a really healthy relationship, is that I sometimes catch myself feeling like I need to have sex when I don't necessarily feel like it. Because I was so used to being with a man who literally I found was counting how many times we had sex, if I could tell we were going to have a bad day because he would ignore me in the morning... He was a narcissist, they are manipulative. But it would be because he felt like we hadn't had sex the night before and so he would pout and act like a child the next day.
Erica: You know that pouting shit, I cannot stand a passive aggressive person.
Kenrya: Yes, you know that's one of my biggest pet peeves in the world.
Erica: It's making my teeth itch. It makes my teeth itch. It's crazy because I was dating this guy and he was passive aggressive as fuck and would... I'm like, "Yo, is there a problem? We good?" "No we fine." Then he pissy-
Kenrya: Why you acting like a little pissy bitch?
Erica: Then I got to ask again like, "We good?" "Well I was really upset about..." You know what? We did that shit.
Kenrya: I can't read your mind.
Erica: We did that shit twice and I was pissed that we even got to it twice because I don't... We're adults. Let's be adults, let's be 100 about it. There shouldn't be anything that I do... I shouldn't do something and you be... If you can't fucking tell me, "Yo, you hurt my feelings or I'm feeling a certain kind of way," or "Hey it would have been nice if I got some head." You probably won't get any, but nonetheless-
Kenrya: Say something.
Erica: We should be able to say something to one another.
Kenrya: With your chest.
Erica: If we can't then why are we together?
Erica: You literally had your face in my booty hole, your whole tongue was in my booty hole, but you can't tell me you pissed about something? It was like, "You know what bro, I'm good. I'm good love, enjoy." Looking back I was pissed at myself that I even allowed it to get that far because I should have seen that pouty passive aggressive shit. I can't stand a pouty nigga.
Kenrya: We see the flags and we see them. I mean I think that that's one of the things for sure that I know that makes me a better dater now is that I see them flags and I don't just see them, I heed them. Because it used to be, after I was married then I could see them, but I would tuck them away and not do shit about them, or I might even say something but there was no intent. It was so he could talk me out of the flag. You know what I mean?
Kenrya: Now I'm like, "Nigga this is a problem. Either this changes or that changes or I go," kind of a deal.
Erica: Yeah, and it's not even on some angry shit.
Erica: If I tell you this is a problem and you're like, "No, but I really like this." Okay that's great and I wish you the best. Like the dude that I was talking about, we're great friends now. We talk regularly, we keep in touch, we do stuff together, but it's because look, you ain't for me, I ain't for you but we're cool so let's-
Kenrya: You're able to be honest about that.
Erica: Yeah, let's be honest about it. Yeah, I mean I definitely feel like when I first divorced I was on this I'm going to forever be the fast auntie, auntie Erica will never be married. Then I sat down with a group of women, most of which were on their second marriage and they were talking about how great it is because they were better at defining what they want and saying what they want and saying this isn't what I want. More in tune with themselves and they were saying how great their second marriage is and the people that they're married to are. I think because they did the work and I mean this was a small group of women. I know women on their third and fourth marriage, so obviously didn't catch. I think now I am more open to the idea of a second marriage but it's got to be damn near perfect. I mean I know perfection don't exist, I know that there's... It's work but there are certain things-
Kenrya: The conditions have to be right.
Erica: Yeah, the conditions have to be right.
Erica: On that note, I think that wraps us up.
Kenrya: Okay. Thank you all for joining us.
Erica: Thanks for joining us. This is Erica and Kenrya, two hoes making it clap.
Erica: This episode was produced by us, Erica and Kenrya and edited by B'Lystic. The theme song is from Brazy. 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 TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com. Please subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app, follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod, and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast, and find links to our books, transcripts, guest info and other fun stuff at theturnonpodcast.com. Remember, The Turn On is now a part of the Frolic Podcast Network. You can find more shows you'll love at Frolic.media/podcast. Thanks for joining us and we'll see you soon. Holla.
The Turn On
The Turn On is a podcast for Black people who want to get off. To open their minds. To learn. To be part of a community. To show that we love and fuck too, and it doesn't have to be political or scandalous or dirty. Unless we want it to be.