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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya read "The Romantic Agenda" by Claire Kann and talk asexuality, aromanticism, heteronormative conditioning, love bombing, and balancing platonic and romantic relationships.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Hey. Kenrya is smiling. Hey y'all. Welcome to-
Kenrya: I am. I muted myself.
Kenrya: Yeah, I had muted myself. I was like, "Oh, you want me to say hey [crosstalk 00:00:30]," right?
Erica: So hey, welcome to the penultimate episode of season five of The Turn On. Your lovely co-hosts, Erica and Kenrya are here, and cohost Kenrya, is about to read an excerpt from “The Main Agenda.”
Kenrya: “The Romantic Agenda.”
Erica: Fuck. “The Romantic Agenda.”
Kenrya: I like how you were sliding into that though. That was nice.
Erica: I thought you were going to join me in chorus.
Erica: Okay, “The Romantic Agenda” written by Claire Kann in 2021. Sit back, relax, get your wine, weed, whatever you need, and enjoy.
Kenrya: “The Romantic Agenda,” by Claire Kann.
Kenrya: Being asexual wasn't a choice for Joy. Deciding to have sex would be. There are too many things to consider, so many potential outcomes like pregnancy and STIs that could change your life forever. She doesn't see it as fun like Malcolm, and she doesn't feel the desire to have sex with another person. The cons simply outweigh the pros. If she ever decides to have sex, she wants it to be an informed and active choice, and she wants to feel safe.
Kenrya: Joy continues, "I need someone who will be okay with me laughing, asking too many questions, being weird and cracking jokes, someone that can calmly explain things to me in the moment without getting frustrated or overwhelmed. One of my worst nightmares is having sex with someone, and then they get mad at me because they think I'm not taking it seriously, or because I don't automatically turn into a puddle of moaning mush, when if they knew me at all, they would know that I am taking it seriously. It's a big deal to me. I just express it differently because I want to understand what's happening while it's happening."
Kenrya: "I can do that," Fox says too quickly. "You can trust me." Joy manages not to laugh. "Let's think with our big brains, not our little brains." She places her hands on his neck, stroking his jaw with her thumbs. "You're a great person, Fox. I really do like you, but I also met you three days ago. I don't know you well enough to trust you like that. I'm not having sex with you tonight." "Hm, that's exactly what I wanted to hear," she whispers, mouth near his. "I can see you thinking." "I am." He gives her a quick peck and rests his forehead against her chest. "Big brain needs a minute to catch up."
Kenrya: Joy holds him there, rubbing his back. "Cool. I'll wait here." He laughs and mutters, "God." His expression is solemn when he says, "I really like you too, Joy." "Okay," she inhales, holding it to prepare herself to be disappointed. It always ends like this. "I'm very attracted to you." He lifts his head. "I know." Her gaze flicks downward and up again. "I can tell." That made him smile. "I hear you. I understand what you're saying." "But?" "No buts," he says, "I understand." "No buts? No questions? Nothing?" "Nah, I said I understand. Is there something else you need to tell me?" "No, that's it." Fox kisses her again, softly at first, and then harder and with more urgency.
Kenrya: She's not overwhelmed, but she gets close when he squeezes her thighs. Her hands are on his wrists in record time, holding him firmly. He breaks their kiss and looks her in the eyes, still soft, still understanding. He asked, "Can I touch you?" Touching makes it intentional. Kissing, combined with touching, creates a shift from kissing to arousal, to sex. Joy only wanted the first part, maybe not forever, but certainly for right now. "Depends where." He thinks about it, and answers, voice low and earnest, "Is everywhere too much?" Joy laughs, wrapping her arms around his neck, and repeatedly kissing his cheeks. "It might be, so let's start slow."
Kenrya: "What are you doing?" She pauses, holding the hem of her sweatshirt. "I'm taking off my clothes. I'm okay with some touching. Unless you want me to keep them on." "Hm," Fox squeezes his eyes shut for a second, shaking his head, "Can I just..." he touches her at the waist, "Maybe I should do that." "Oh," she says, understanding him. "Panties stay on unless I say otherwise." "I understand. Lift your arms." His voice is firm, a rumbling command. She does, and he slides her sweatshirt off with one hand, and unclasps her bra with the other. "That's... skillful." Fox kisses up her neck and ends with nibbling her earlobe as his fingers trace the outline of her shoulder blades.
Kenrya: Joy places her hands on his shoulders, trying to concentrate on how each sensation feels, so she can remember what she likes, but it blurs together. Everything is sending signals to her brain at once. He stops, moving to kiss her chin. "You don't like being on your back." Joy bites her lip in surprise. When did he figure that out? He said it like he already knew the answer, so she just nods to confirm. "If I'm next to you, would that work? Not on top or over, just right next to you, like we're side by side." "I never tried that." "Do you want to? You can say a flower if you want to stop." Joy kisses his forehead. "Let's try it."
Kenrya: She lies back in the bed, head propped up by pillows. True to his word, he stays next to her, completely to one side as he kisses her. He creates a path, touching, and kissing, and tasting down her body. Her neck, her shoulders, each of her arms, and all her fingers. Her chest, down, down, down, down, down. When she laughs because it tickles, he does too. When he takes off her shorts, lifting her legs in the air and kissing down the length of them, she holds his gaze. On the way back up, he paid special attention to all the spots he missed on the way down, like the backs of her knees, her elbows, and her waist.
Kenrya: Joy shivers, and gasps, back arching. There's a slight tremble low in her abdomen, the same kind she gets when she masturbates. "You okay?" "Kiss me again, right there." He does, and the same thing happens. She laughs this time, absolutely delighted by the sensation. "Ah," he says, "I think you have a spot." "What's that?" She giggles, and feels stupid for doing it, but can't stop. "Think of it like a cheat code," he says, laughing too. Fox lifts himself up, and she holds her arms open for him, bringing him close. He kisses her mouth and says, "You're too beautiful. I almost can't believe you're real." "Fox, no. Don't say that." She buries her face in his neck, practically her new favorite spot. "It's so cheesy, and I love it."
Erica: Hey, we're back.
Erica: Okay y'all, so thank you for that lovely rendition, Kenrya, that lovely rendition of a scene from this book. Okay, you have to give the synopsis.
Kenrya: Okay. This book stars Joy, who-
Erica: Joy... and pain. Sunshine and rain. Sorry.
Kenrya: Yes, Joy. Huh, that made me think of some stuff. So, Joy is in love with her best friend, Malcolm, which we find out right in the beginning, and they work together, which makes it interesting. As the book opens, Malcolm tells Joy that he needs her to go with him on a trip that weekend, and because she's got these feelings for him, she thinks that the trip is where he's finally going to tell her that he loves her, and they whatever.
Kenrya: None of this is a spoiler, because you find out right away. Oh, that's pretty. You find out right away that he actually has planned this weekend to introduce her to his about-to-be girlfriend, Summer. She absolutely feels ambushed. She's like, "You ain't never mentioned this bitch before, and now all of a sudden we're supposed to be going away on a weekend?" So she decides to go, and then she finds out that Summer has brought her best friend, Fox.
Erica: Wait, wait, wait, they knew from the beginning that Summer was bringing her friend, because that's why he invited her.
Kenrya: Oh yes, but she didn't know who it was, or anything like that.
Erica: Yeah, he was just like, "She's bringing her friend. I'm bringing you."
Kenrya: "Can you run interference?" Kind of a deal.
Erica: Yeah, exactly.
Kenrya: Yeah, so not only is she not going away on this romantic whatever with her best friend who she loves, but she's also expected to entertain this nigga she ain't never met before in order to help them be able to have time? The fuck? That's how Joy feels about this whole scenario. But she says yes, and the four of them go away and hijinks ensue.
Erica: Dot, dot, dot. Okay, so I was struggling with how to talk about this, how to structure this, because there are a few themes that I want to discuss, but then I also want to discuss sexuality. What you want to do, themes or sexuality?
Kenrya: Let's start with the sex.
Erica: Here's the thing. It's clear in this book, they say it multiple times, she talks about it a lot, Joy is asexual, as is Malcolm. But it presents itself in different ways, because like everything, like sexuality, asexuality is on a spectrum.
Kenrya: Yeah, folks are not monoliths.
Erica: Yes, so to prepare for this, I wanted to look for some good definitions and ways to wrap our head around asexuality. I'll be very honest... First, asexuality is just you have no sexual attraction, like you don't want to have sex. Well no, I'm sorry, see, already fucked it up. It's a lack of sexual attraction. That's it. That is it. I think it is difficult for us to think about that because we have been programmed, conditionalized, institutionalized to believe one, sexual attraction and romantic attraction go together, and also to believe that both sexual attraction and romantic attraction is what we want, the highest thing-
Kenrya: The end-all-be-all.
Erica: Even from kids, we were programmed that not only liking someone... Liking someone also is coupled with wanting to have sex with them. Okay, maybe not, but like-
Kenrya: Which is gross. Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Erica: That's what it is, you like somebody, you do it. That is why I think it is so difficult for everyone-
Kenrya: Allosexuals to wrap their heads around asexuality.
Erica: Exactly, because it's like, hand in hand and that kind of thing. Also, I learned that there are asexual people and there are aromantic people. You know who actually does a really good job of explaining this shit, and I was mad that I fell down a rabbit hole?
Erica: They have a whole YouTube channel and they talk about demisexual, asexual, sapiosexual. They talk about all of that, and then they have actual people that are, that identify as that, to talk about their experiences. This is where a lot of the information I got came from, because it was multiple people talking about their experiences and there were people of color in there talking about their experiences.
Erica: So, I like to ask the people without making them... If you're in a space where you're like, "I'm going to teach," great. But I ain't trying to just-
Kenrya: Put your ass under a microscope, yeah.
Erica: Exactly. So, there is asexual and aromantic. Some people are asexual and aromantic. That is like, "I ain't trying to be romantic. I ain't trying to be sexual." In the clip there was this woman, and she was asexual and aromantic. She was like, "I am not going to marry. I am not going to date. I have no desire for that. It kind of looks weird to me.”
Erica: But there are also people that are asexual, and I forgot the term, but they do have romantic attraction. That presents itself in, "I have a boyfriend. I want a boyfriend. I want a girlfriend. I want a partner. And we may get married. It's just I don't really have a desire to have sex with you." But also, having a desire to have sex is still very different from actually enjoying fucking, which is what Malcolm is.
Erica: Malcolm is asexual, but he also enjoys the act of having sex, because-
Kenrya: It's the closeness, the-
Erica: It's a dick. Yes, but to me, it's-
Kenrya: Nerve endings?
Erica: It just is. I think we have to... In my mind, I slide it in... I know you're playing Wordle, right?
Kenrya: Oh, of course I'm playing Wordle.
Erica: I don't even fucking understand it, so this is probably a really bad explanation, but you know how on Wordle they have the two squares, there's a square and a square, and a square and a square, and a square and a square, is that Wordle, right?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.
Erica: If you think of two squares as a person, top square is sexual, bottom square is romantic, you might be asexual and aromantic. You might be sexual and aromantic. It's possible for one light to be on-
Kenrya: To be one and not the other.
Erica: ... and not the other.
Erica: People can live that way and have joy-filled lives. It's difficult for some asexual people to even recognize that they are asexual, and then identify as such because they're like, they can see people and see that people are attractive, they're like, "Oh my God, that person is fucking gorgeous." I saw a TikTok. It was this chick, she was like, "I'm asexual. Wow, that chick is hot." And then she turns around and she's like, "Wow, that chick is hot. Am I sexual?" Then she looks at a bookshelf, "Wow, that bookshelf is hot."
Erica: No, I'm not. So, that kind of thing. Also, if you're interested in this, #asexual. Do not do #ace on TikTok because motherfuckers just abuse everything.
Kenrya: Oh, wow.
Erica: [inaudible 00:18:14]. You'll find yourself-
Kenrya: It's just people use it for a lot of other shit.
Erica: [crosstalk 00:18:18], but #asexual on TikTok, man you're going to find... I love TikTok because people, they not only teach, but they teach with levity. Then other folks be like, "Man, I identify," and that kind of thing.
Kenrya: That's what's up.
Erica: Yeah, TikTok will teach you a lot. I'll be honest-
Kenrya: Can I give another resource?
Erica: TikTok, no. TikTok-
Kenrya: No, I'm saying, can I give another resource?
Erica: Oh, no. No, yeah.
Erica: I'm just playing with you. Give another resource.
Kenrya: I just started, and I'm not very far into, but already really dig it, “ACE: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex” by Angela Chen, which has given me some definitions and somewhat-
Erica: No, I'm like ain't nobody going to read that. Well, your people will. Niggas that listen for Erica go to TikTok or YouTube.
Kenrya: It's a book show, bitch.
Erica: I know.
Kenrya: [crosstalk 00:19:20].
Erica: And I have tons of books.
Kenrya: But you can do both, right?
Erica: You can do both.
Erica: Just get the book, and use it as reference.
Kenrya: We'll link to it.
Erica: Or listen to it. As a sex educator, I know this is... I was going to say it’s kind of fucked up, but no, this is who the fuck I am. When it comes to sexuality, I recognize that that shit is a fucking spectrum. Not only is a spectrum that goes this way, horizontally, it's a spectrum that's up and down, inside, outside. It is a fucking sphere.
Kenrya: Sphere, yeah.
Erica: Sphere. There are so many parts of it that makes one person who they are. Again, it's been difficult for me to even wrap my head around these things, because I have been conditioned that one and the other goes in hand, and you can't uncouple them. But I feel like this book has done a really good job of showing that one, asexual people are just fucking people with issues and da-da-da-da, but also-
Kenrya: Just like the rest of us, yeah.
Erica: It presents itself in so many different ways that even if someone says they're asexual, that could mean a million different things.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah. That's what's up.
Erica: You got anything?
Kenrya: Just that, so Claire... This is Claire's fourth book, and I have read them all. I am a huge fan. The first one that I read from her is called “Let's Talk About Love,” and it stars an asexual character. Claire does a really good job in that book of explaining what you were just explaining with the TikTok where the woman was like, "That woman's hot. Oh, that bookcase is hot." Her character in that book has a color-coded system, and they check in with their friends like, "Is that hot? Is this what y'all think is sexy?"
Kenrya: She calls it her "squee score," like does it make her squee, does it give her joy and delight to look at something, or whatever. As another resource for understanding, I thought “Let's Talk About Love” was a really great place to start in the fictional realm to kind of get into the head of a character who identifies-
Erica: And it's a YA novel, right?
Kenrya: It's a YA, yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Which is also really great-
Kenrya: It's excellent.
Erica: ... because it helps young people understand, and understand the differences in people. I'm not even sure if I finished that thought, going back to younger people identifying as asexual, because we are conditioned that love, attraction, sex looks a certain way, a lot of young people find themselves confused about whether or not they're asexual because they're like, "Well, I like this. I don't like that." Again, it's a sphere.
Kenrya: Yeah, even in the book, Joy realizes that she identifies that way because there's a fair and Malcolm is there at a booth by himself, with a handout that's like "Are you asexual?" She's like, "Oh, shit."
Erica: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Kenrya: "Maybe I am."
Erica: Actually, there was this chick I found on YouTube, a white chick, and she is asexual and aromantic, and married, and happy. So, I didn't go down... She's got a whole ass channel about her and her partner, da-da-da-da-da.
Kenrya: That's the thing. We always talk about how you build the life that you want. You don't have to have a romantic partner to have a partner. You could just have someone who you care about be your person that you live with and grow with. That's what it sounds like is her situation.
Erica: Not to sound too hotep-y, but I do think that society favors people that are monogamous and married.
Kenrya: Yeah, I don't think that's hotep-y. I think it's [crosstalk 00:24:01]-
Erica: The man wants us to procreate.
Kenrya: You didn't say that that's how it should be. You just said that that's how it is, and I think unfortunately it's true.
Erica: So, people try to fit themselves in boxes that aren't necessarily for them in order to gain those privileges. This also applies to just nonmonogamy. Just everything, I think we are conditioned from the very beginning that we are supposed to be sex, love, romance are all packed into one. When you pull those apart, you're the devil. It's a million things, and that's not it. It is very possible to want to fuck somebody and not fucking like them, not want to spend the rest of your life with them, and not even fucking be attracted to them.
Erica: It's also possible to be attracted to someone and not want to fuck them. There are so many things, so many parts and bits of it that do not fit into that first comes love, marriage, baby carriage type shit.
Erica: Yeah, that's what I've got on that. You got anything else to add?
Kenrya: Uh-uh (negative), no that's good.
Erica: Okay, so we've got the sex out the way. Now, at the very beginning of the book, Joy notes that her friend Malcolm is a hopeless romantic and a serial monogamist, which made me think about love bombing. I'm not saying that he's a love bomber, but she did say-
Kenrya: Yeah, because I don't think he is.
Erica: ... but she did say he has been known to make these sweeping gestures.
Kenrya: Like Toby on fucking “This Is Us,” which is why I don't like Toby, and I'm glad... Have you been watching “This Is Us”?
Erica: Girl, I stopped a long time ago.
Kenrya: Oh, you got to come back. Anyway, go ahead. That's why I don't like Toby.
Erica: Yeah, and-
Kenrya: It's all love bombing.
Erica: Okay, so love bombing is essentially... You describe it, because it's my definition that always fucks... We literally have 20 minutes of me-
Kenrya: That's not true.
Erica: ... doing one definition.
Kenrya: I don't know. Do I have a compact definition of love bombing? I guess when I think of it, I think of it as where people basically use the trappings of expressing their love as manipulation. We talk about how love is an action and a verb, and blah-blah-blah, well these are people who kind of weaponize that. They use it to make you think that they are the only person in the world who can love you in this way, and oftentimes it goes hand in hand with isolating you from the other people who you love. But not always.
Kenrya: Yeah, it's a form of manipulation, and a form of "I love you so much, girl, can't you see?"
Kenrya: I'm sure there's a much better definition.
Erica: No, I think that's good. It's just, you know, niggas showing up at your job with a fucking-
Kenrya: Yeah, that grand gesture shit that's not earned, and out-sized for the relationship.
Erica: If you need a compact definition, that is it, grand gestures that are not earned and are out-sized of where we are. Like, "Nigga, you are expressing love on a 10, and we are only at two." You know what it made me think of?
Erica: Nard dog. Andy Bernard from “The Office.”
Kenrya: Lord, have mercy. That whole character is a fucking mess.
Erica: He's a fucking mess, but is love bombing, right?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Now, with the exception of Erin, because I do think that with Erin, his love bombing was definitely a weapon, but with Angela, that motherfucker just didn't know. You know, who did he do the 12 Days of Christmas with? Was it Erin or Angela? Where she came out and there was 12 drummers drumming, six lords leaping. Whatever, I don't know.
Kenrya: I want to say that was Angela, but I don't know, and I'm sure-
Erica: No, you know what, Angela liked “Little Drummer Boy,” and so they said they were going to walk down the aisle to that.
Kenrya: To “Little Drummer Boy.” But see, in his case with her, I always felt like it was over-compensation because he knew that she wasn't fully present for him.
Erica: Yes. Yeah.
Kenrya: Which is still love bombing.
Erica: Yeah, and I saw the episode the other day where he proposed to her. In “The Office” carnival, there're fireworks in the loopty-loo, the Ferris wheel. Then he's like, "Angela, can I have your tiny little hand in marriage?" "Okay."
Kenrya: She was never there for him.
Erica: But yeah, that's what love bombing looks like, like this motherfucker is going all out and you're like... And, what I feel like what happens a lot, for at least Black women, and I'm about to make a sweeping statement, Kenrya, cuss me out, but I feel like for Black women a lot of times we're not used to being loved out loud.
Kenrya: When it happens [crosstalk 00:30:02]-
Erica: When it happens, it's just like [crosstalk 00:30:04]-
Kenrya: It feels really good.
Erica: ... you get caught up in it, caught up in the rapture of love bombing.
Kenrya: I would agree with you. I don't know that this is exclusive to Black women, but you're for damn sure right that we are often not loved out loud, yeah. So, when we do, and we've been taught that we don't really deserve that, that we don't warrant that, we don't get those big things in media, which is why romance is so great because we get those happily ever afters where we don't get them in other places in media, when Black folks write us. It feels good.
Kenrya: We had a book this season where that was an issue, where dude kept making these big ole' things and showing up, and we were like-
Erica: This is a problem.
Kenrya: This feels like a precursor to abuse.
Erica: Yeah, yeah. Yep, and I think about... Was that this season?
Kenrya: What, that book?
Erica: It was this season. Okay, yeah, yeah.
Erica: I think also social media has a lot... Because we see on social media a fucking rapper buying his girlfriend a room full of roses and a Bentley, we think that a nigga buying a room full of roses and a Bentley is extravagant, but it's love.
Kenrya: Even though there was a news story two weeks ago that this nigga had another baby on her.
Erica: Oh, shit. I don't know who we're talking about.
Kenrya: Oh, I'm just saying in general. I'm thinking of one particular couple, where he's always buying her some shit, but it's always usually we just heard that he did some other shit, that he cheated with somebody else. Cardi.
Erica: Oh, okay.
Kenrya: It's always preceded by some fuck shit that he just did, and now he's making some big gesture, buying her this truck, or this car, or whatever the fuck. We got to look at this shit wholistically, fam.
Erica: Yeah, and also these motherfuckers are like a car is a fucking day of [crosstalk 00:32:13]. I'm just saying, love bombing is a thing, and although it feels good, it's not always good. It's not good.
Kenrya: And it usually only feels good in the short term.
Erica: Yeah, because if you were-
Kenrya: He's usually covering something up.
Erica: If somebody's doing some shit, and you're like, "Oh my gosh, this is fucking amazing, but I don't even know this nigga's middle name..." oh my goodness, oh wait a minute. I'm watching “90 Day Fiancé.” I just started it. There's this guy on there. He was on last season. His name is Usman, also known as " Sojaboy," and he is a Nigerian superstar rapper-singer.
Erica: Last season, he had this white woman. Of course, she had leather skin, hair, and a voice like this. Got married. Didn't go well. They divorced. So guess what, Usman is back with another white woman.
Kenrya: Is Michael still with old girl?
Kenrya: Michael, ain't that the other Nigerian?
Erica: Michael and Angela? Yes. They're still there. Poor Michael, they just ain't letting his ass in the States. They just can't let him in the States. Anyway-
Erica: Uh-uh (negative), I don't think he got in the States.
Kenrya: Oh, shit.
Erica: I don't think [crosstalk 00:33:40]. This made me think. Usman, I feel so bad that we're on this tangent, but Usman told this chick... She was like, "I met him. We talk online. He's my boo. He told me I'm his potential girlfriend." So, she flies to fucking Zanzibar to meet him, as he's preparing for this video shoot. He's like, "We need separate rooms," and so she gets the fucking presidential suite, because she's like, "We're going to be together, and we need-" so she got the fucking presidential suite in this fucking resort in Zanzibar.
Erica: Then, the first night they're together, he comes to her room because of course, they're not staying together because he's like, "Last white bitch was crazy. This white bitch maybe going to be crazy, and you need to earn your way into girlfriend-hood." This bitch bought this nigga a fucking MacBook Pro and a PS5.
Kenrya: Oh, boy.
Erica: He's hype. He starts kissing on it. Then he was like, "Okay, I'm going to go back to my room," and he takes his shit and goes back to his room. It was horrible. Love bombing.
Kenrya: Then this is her trying to buy his affection, right? Like-
Erica: He was like, "Aha. Aha. It's going to take more, but I appreciate that." If someone had just bought a new MacBook Pro, them hoes ain't cheap. I was just like, "Oh." Even if he got the basic model, that's about $2,500.00.
Kenrya: [crosstalk 00:35:33].
Erica: So yeah, anyway. Whew, have fun. By the time this airs, we'll see if Usman and the girl, who also is a huge Michael Jackson fan, has a Michael Jackson tattoo on her... It was just so cringey. I'm watching it like, "Ew." Okay. Also, we learn that Malcolm had hopeless romantic serial monogamist. He had a girlfriend before, and they broke up because the girlfriend was like, "You got this homegirl, Joy. You're in love." Did she say that he was in love with her?
Kenrya: She felt like he always chose Joy over her, that her concerns, her needs always came before hers, and she had a problem with that.
Erica: Which, as a woman who has really strong female friendships, yeah nigga, to a point. I just feel like if you come in my life, you need to recognize that until you earn spot number one, nigga you at spot like number 25.
Kenrya: Yeah, I think that's true. You're a stranger. I don't know, it sounded like in their situation, they had been together for a little while, but it felt like it was more that she felt threatened... She just felt threatened by their relationship in general, and she probably also had an inkling that Joy was in love with him too. I'm sure that didn't fucking help.
Kenrya: Yeah, it's different when you know that there's nothing there but friendship. Then if you're insecure-
Erica: Because yeah, I just can't imagine in bed with this nigga like, "Your best friend in love with you." "No, no she ain't. No, she ain't." That kind of shit, that shit... Don't gaslight me.
Erica: I cannot believe that niggas don't see when they have friends in love with them.
Kenrya: I can. I think that sometimes niggas are oblivious, and I ain't going to front, I've been oblivious too. I have been in relationships where dudes have definitely been like, "Oh, he loves you," about a friend. I'll be like, "What the fuck are you talking about?"
Erica: Yeah, but I told you.
Kenrya: Yeah. Yeah, again, I don't think it's true. That's what I'm saying, if I can be oblivious, other people can be oblivious too, is my point. There's a difference between just genuinely not seeing it and not getting it, because there's no vibe, and knowing that is true, and acting like it's not. Do you know what I'm saying? Like gas lighting, like you were just saying.
Erica: I am about to be embarrassingly honest and share something with my listeners.
Erica: I had a friend, and they were... It started off we were dating, and then we stopped dating for whatever reasons. We just became really, really good friends, like the homie, one of my closest guy friends. But as I started moving on to dating, and he moved on to dating, I realized I can't do this shit because I still like this motherfucker. I recently had to cut the shit off. It sucks. It really sucks, because that was my homie. We genuinely had a friendship, but I also think if I was a chick with him I'd be like, "That hoe Erica ain't coming around. This bitch is crazy."
Erica: Well also, I got probably fucked up. I got too much pride to be putting myself out there looking crazy, but if you were around us you knew that there was something. We had conversations, like "Would you be comfortable being around a friend," that kind of thing. He was like, "I want to be happy. I'd love to meet a guy," like it was serious. I'm like, "No, fuck that. I'm crazy. I'm going to burn this shit. I'm going to show her sex tapes of us."
Erica: I know, it's wrong. Because I had to be honest with myself, like I like you, and although there are reasons that we're not together, I don't need to be front row of some bullshit that you guys... Not bullshit. But front row.
Kenrya: You meant that.
Erica: Of some bullshit you got going on. It fucking sucks. Particularly, as we've had all these snow days, and I've been just going through shit. I'm like, "Man, I want to call my friend." We were such good friends, that our friend group started getting kind of meshed, and so... Yeah.
Kenrya: I'm sorry, I just realized who you were talking about.
Erica: Exactly. Even when I told my friends, "Yo, we had to dead it," they were like, "Wait, we can't go hang out with him no more? You bitches." Because again, he was the homie, I was a homie, we had a great relationship, but it just couldn't go any further. Okay, I spilled my shit.
Kenrya: I'm sorry. That sucks.
Erica: What'd you say?
Kenrya: I said, I'm sorry, that sucks.
Kenrya: You know, I was never a fan of that whole situation, but-
Erica: I know you weren't.
Kenrya: I understand.
Erica: I know you weren't, which is crazy. That was my [inaudible 00:42:10]. That was my-
Kenrya: I know, but it always felt like it wasn't going to go where you might want it to go.
Kenrya: I think I just wanted you to not get sucked into something that couldn't go the way you wanted it to go.
Erica: Yeah. Yeah. What was interesting is, once we shed the whole, "Okay, we're not dating," I got to see his ain't shitness, and he got to see my ain't shitness, and we were both in the middle of doing ain't shit shit, and being like, "You know what, we can do this ain't shit shit together, and we'd be good. We'd be fun having doing this ain't shit shit together."
Erica: Okay, so Malcolm bought Joy to run interference and be the wing man to Summer and Fox. I kept calling this man Wolf.
Kenrya: Calling him Wolf.
Erica: I kept calling this man Wolf. I knew it was a-
Kenrya: It was a wild animal.
Erica: It was a wild animal that my son would want on a T-shirt. I remember when Cracker Barrel, you know the white people shirts of the wolf howling at the moon with sparkles and shit? You know what I'm talking about, right?
Kenrya: I do. I do.
Erica: We're in Cracker Barrel, as my son calls "Crackerberry," and this man had on this shirt. He came up, and he was like, "Look at his shirt." I was like, "Bro." He was like, "That shirt is so cool. I want one like that for Christmas." I said, "Not on my watch," and insert Iyanla Vanzant GIF.
Kenrya: GIF. Why you do him like that?
Erica: He don't want it no more, so that's fine.
Kenrya: That shirt was going to bring him some joy.
Erica: And how he has... I bought him this jacket for Christmas. When I tell you he wore this motherfucker every single day, I was like, "Bro-"
Kenrya: Well good.
Erica: "You got to wash this shit before you wear it again." The only time he washed a load and got it done quickly, because I was like, "Bro, you can't wear this shit to school." He was like, "Okay, fine," and he washed that shit quick. Okay, anyway, so Malcolm brought Joy to run interference between Fox so he could love up on some Summer. It was actually interesting because Joy was initially like, "This some bullshit. I ain't going to be a part of it," but in her willingness to appease her best friend, which we don't have to go into that, her willingness to appease her best friend, she entertained Fox.
Erica: And he wasn't a bad guy, right?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.
Erica: Have you ever been... Me and Kenrya met in college, right?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: In my mind, if we were friends in junior high/high school, one, we would have had matching outfits, two, we would have been at the mall.
Kenrya: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Erica: Three, I would have been like, "Girl, you got to come, because my friend brought a friend." We would have totally been in the car like, "You got a friend for my girlfriend?"
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative), absolutely. That was-
Erica: So, I started meeting niggas at the mall, or Northwest Plaza, like, "How you been?"
Kenrya: I was like, that was my high school experience with my cousin. That was how we went out with dudes. First of all, we would get dropped off at the strip mall, and then meet dudes at the mall, and walk around outside because it was a strip mall. Or we'd go to the mall-mall, but you had to buy something because you ain't want to look lame without a bag.
Erica: Oh, yeah.
Kenrya: So, you would buy something cheap and then just-
Kenrya: ... you would just walk around.
Erica: Claire's maybe.
Kenrya: Go to Claire's, exactly. Get something cheap, and then walk around and collect numbers for your pager.
Erica: Do you remember collecting numbers?
Kenrya: Yes, ma'am.
Erica: I remember, I think I mentioned this, Saint Louis, we had a skating rink called The Palace. I remember-
Kenrya: Which was in a Children's Palace, which is so wild to me.
Erica: Yes. I remember going to The Palace, and I would always go with my cousins, and we would be getting dressed in the mirror, practicing dances and shit, and we'd be ready to walk out and be like, "Oh, make sure you get a piece of paper and a pencil."
Kenrya: That's right, something small enough to fit in your shit so you could get numbers. That's right.
Erica: Oh my God.
Kenrya: Yeah, so that was like we would go to Randall Park Mall, or we would go to Southgate, depending on what we were trying to get into and who were trying to meet. So, if my cousin was over, then I would have whatever dude I had bring somebody for her. So, she would always have a boyfriend that lived on my side of town, and I would have somebody on her side of town. That was when we hung out. We would have... Some of them, it's so funny, I can't remember names.
Kenrya: Literally, I was talking to my partner the other day about... He was watching “First 48” or something, and it's in Cleveland, Ohio.
Erica: I hate that I love “First 48” so much. Fuck 12. Fuck the police. Niggas With Attitude.
Kenrya: But you like “First 48.”
Erica: I love “First 48.”
Kenrya: I only really watched it with him, but I used to watch it [crosstalk 00:47:38]-
Erica: Because when the nigga's blurred out, he's not a suspect. He didn't do it.
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah, so you kind of know what's going to happen. It was something where somebody was wearing boots. It was some shit. I was like, "Boo, what time of year was it?" It was some shit. I was telling him that there was some dude... Because I was like, we only wear Timbs when it's wintertime. I was like, "Wearing Timbs outside of the season is some New York shit." I was telling him that there was some dude that I went out with a few times from New York, who was in Cleveland, and he thought he was cool because he was from New York, but he was wearing his Timbs in the summer and we made fun of him.
Kenrya: I don't remember his name-
Erica: Ole' sweaty foot motherfuckers.
Kenrya: Because we called him "Boots."
Erica: You called him what?
Kenrya: We called that nigga Boots.
Erica: He was Boots before Dora had Boots.
Kenrya: Nigga, all I remember is that we called him Boots, but he was one of the dudes who he had a cousin. He was in town visiting his cousin, so me and him went out, and we brought him and his cousin came, and my cousin came, and we hung out, and that was what we did.
Erica: [crosstalk 00:48:39] from out of town.
Kenrya: Because then you see him for a little while, and then he is gone.
Erica: And you're like, "Hm."
Kenrya: Which is why I can't remember Boots' real name.
Erica: I'm exotic. I got a nigga from New York.
Kenrya: Exactly. Lord.
Erica: Such a summer love. Horrible.
Kenrya: As a teenager, yes. As an adult, I am not the one that usually got pulled into those escapades because I used to be a serial monogamist, so I was never free to do be the friend who came out with the person with the friend. I'm thinking of our friends who are those friends though.
Erica: Actually, one of our friends is married because she was-
Kenrya: One of those friends.
Erica: One of those friends.
Kenrya: That's right.
Erica: And it wasn't even on some... They weren't particularly close. It was just like a girl, "I'm trying to-"
Kenrya: "I'm in town."
Erica: "I'm in town. I'm trying to see this nigga. Come meet us, because he's bringing his friend."
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Now these motherfuckers married, with a kid, a whole fucking established life. It is the craziest thing.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: But also-
Kenrya: We got another friend who met their person like that too.
Erica: Oh, yeah. But they're a little closer, so that makes [crosstalk 00:49:56].
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah but still.
Erica: These are the motherfuckers that give niggas hope.
Kenrya: It's a thing.
Erica: They see that, and they're like, "See, it's possible." Yo, that is wild. Isn't weird that we're of the age where we can be like, "Yo, I was at the party that they met at. I remember-"
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah. I ended up being the official photographer for one of our friends at the start of their relationship. When they got to their anniversary, they hit me up like, "You got pictures, right?"
Erica: Oh, I-
Kenrya: From the first time they met.
Erica: I remember, that day was epic. We had a good time that night.
Kenrya: Yeah. Yeah.
Erica: We can literally be like, "That day," the specific day they met.
Kenrya: Literally the day that y'all met.
Erica: And now they're married with kids, living a whole entire life. They've built a life together.
Erica: Goddamn. Dammit. I was going to say, I'm old and complaining about it, but you know what, I am happy that I have been able to live and experience these things.
Erica: I was always one of the... Even to this day, I'll be like, my single ass, "He got a cousin? He got a daddy?" Oh, I got a shirt for Christmas. It says, "If you see me with your daddy, mind your business."
Kenrya: Mind your business, yeah.
Erica: It's like, you knew me. It's so perfect.
Kenrya: It's perfect.
Erica: I think I have always been... I'd bring a friend, and they don't even know. I'm like, "Girl, just come on." They're like, "What the fuck?" Yeah, I mean whatever.
Kenrya: Sometimes it works out.
Erica: Yeah, sometimes it works out. Sometimes it don't. Okay, that's all I got. You got anything else for us, Kenrya, before we move on to our next segment?
Kenrya: I'm trying to think. Yes.
Kenrya: Okay, so we were talking about how previous relationships that Malcolm had been in, chicks had issues with Joy. If you were the chick on the other side of that equation, if you were Summer, because Summer kept trying to talk to Joy. How would you approach the situation if you were the new girlfriend in the scenario, and dude had somebody he was close to in that way? Thinking about how Summer approached it, how would you approach it?
Erica: This reminds me of a story, and this is going to sum up my mother in one story. I was married. I was having all these fucking issues... Not all these issues. I was having... Damn, do I even need to tell that story? Fuck it. So, I was having these issues with my ex-husband and his mother. Let's make it very clear, it was not like some meddling issues. It wasn't that. It was just like, married, blending families, complications.
Erica: So, I called my mom and I'm like, "Mama, this is what's going on. I don't know what to do." Mama was like, "Hm, I only dated niggas whose mamas was dead."
Kenrya: Goddamn it, that's your mama.
Erica: Dammit, Judy. Dammit. So, I thought about that as you tell this story, because I'm kind of like, that wouldn't even be my motherfucking problem. Like, "Bro, I got to go." Here's the thing, I recognize how important my friendships are to me, and if you can't keep that separate and keep me out of this shit, then I don't want it. I feel like that would never be me, because either you know my best friend don't fuck with you... It's kind of like you, and I love your partner, but you're not one of those people that "We all going to go on a trip together." That just ain't you.
Erica: So, it's totally fine if I was like, "I don't really fuck with your partner," because all right-
Kenrya: Unless it was a real, like this nigga kicks puppies.
Kenrya: Or pinches babies.
Erica: Exactly, but if you're like, "Okay, fine." And to keep us apart, but it's like that's not where we are. That's not what we do. If you're like me, and if you wanted me to kick it with your people, great. But you're going to kick it with my motherfucking crew. So, if you're like me and you and... I'm thinking of Kelly, and what's Issa's brother?
Kenrya: Oh, fuck. God, they hate each other. That shit is cold. [crosstalk 00:55:22].
Erica: ... attention like that. Generally, no I'm not even going to be a part of that situation.
Erica: What about you?
Kenrya: If I got to talk to her, then it's gone too far. Then I'm not good.
Erica: That's kind of I feel, yeah.
Kenrya: To me, it is the person in the middle's job to set boundaries and hold them. For example, when my partner and I first got together, he had a best friend. I never met her. She lives out of town, but-
Erica: I remember this.
Kenrya: Yeah. She was leaving inappropriate comments on his posts and things like that.
Erica: Calling at inappropriate times.
Kenrya: I didn't like that shit. Yeah, and I was like, "Nah. Nah, this is disrespectful and you need to nip that shit in the bud."
Kenrya: And he didn't-
Erica: Oh, sorry.
Kenrya: Oh, go ahead.
Erica: Keep going.
Kenrya: He didn't necessarily at first think that she was being disrespectful, because it was just the way that they had related for so many years. But he heard that it made me uncomfortable, and he talked to her, and that shit stopped.
Erica: I think that as a friend, you need to know, "Oh shit-"
Kenrya: "This is serious. Oh y'all not just fucking around."
Erica: Yeah, if you come to me and be like, "Hey, my girl-" me in this situation with this dude, I'm always going... The nature of our relationship, in spite of us being friends, there is going to be a level of inappropriateness between us on some friendship shit. Like, nigga I done seen your dick. No, bro. Had I not cut it off-
Kenrya: You would have been-
Erica: I would have been cut off.
Kenrya: You wouldn't have been to cut that.
Kenrya: And that's essentially what happened in my situation.
Erica: I'm fine with it.
Kenrya: Sorry, not sorry. I'm not sorry at all, because he told her, and she did, she backed off, but also I think it changed their relationship. But it needed to because-
Erica: Because you weren't... When the ways of a man [crosstalk 00:57:39] child, and a child in a man. Corinthians 22.
Kenrya: Yes, we are grown-ups now, and he is in a grown-up ass relationship. I didn't have to step in, and I wouldn't have, and that's the thing. If it gets to the point where I feel like I got to say something, then I wish you well.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yep. [inaudible 00:57:58].
Erica: Okay, well.
Erica: That is it for the penultimate discussion of season two. We will take a break and be back with our segment.
Kenrya: What's Turning Us On.
Kenrya: Hey y'all, today's a great day to start your own podcast. Whether you're looking for a new marketing channel, have a message you want to share with the world, or just think it'd be fun to have your own show like us, podcasting is an easy, inexpensive and fun way to expand your reach online. Buzzsprout is hands down the easiest and best way to launch, promote, and track your podcast.
Kenrya: Your show gets put online, and listed in all the major podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, literally everything, within minutes of finishing and uploading your recording. We use it here for The Turn On, and I can truly attest to the fact that it's pretty fucking dope. Podcasting isn't hard when you have the right partners, and the team at Buzzsprout is passionate about helping you succeed. So, join over 100,000 podcasters like us, who are already using Buzzsprout to get their message out to the world.
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Erica: Okay, we're back. We are going to talk about what is turning me on. Back in episode seven and a half, when we interviewed with Jamila White, she talked about this book “Jambalaya,” because we were talking about crystals and your intuition, and Crystal Pussy Twitter keeps coming up in my head.
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah.
Erica: Anyway, this book, “Jambalaya,” is really great. I think I told you, I am re-examining where I am spiritually, like how does this fit in with Christianity, and the shit that I taught. I feel like this is tightly aligned with where I am sexually, my philosophy as a sex educator, and yada-yada-yada. This book, “Jambalaya,” was introduced to me a while back because it has not only... It's not only information about African traditional religion, it talks about reclaiming your magic as a divine being.
Erica: It also has in here rituals. It has in here rituals. It also has little bios of important folks, like Marie Laveau. So, I like this because this is kind of my one stop intro into... I'm sorry, this light is hitting this crazy. This is my one-stop intro as I delve into African traditional religions. Actually, I need to look at this because I need to put a... I have my dog's ashes, and I'm like, "Can I put this on my altar or not?"
Erica: Anyway, this book is great. I guess you can read it from top to bottom, but for me it's just kind of been one of those things where I have been bouncing around-
Kenrya: Dipped in, like a resource. Yeah.
Erica: Yep. This is great. I love it. I think everyone, if you were in a space where you're trying to figure out your relationship to your spirituality and religion, definitely give it a try. It's called “Jambalaya,” and I will include a link in the... I was about to say in the bio. In the show notes.
Kenrya: Go. All right.
Erica: All right, so that's it. Erica and Kenrya, two hoes making it clap.
Kenrya: Okay, bye.
Kenrya: This episode was produced by us, Kenrya and Erica, and 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 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 read D.L. White's "A Thin Line," talk about what we owe ourselves, setting healthy boundaries in friendships, teaching our kids about gaslighting, holding grudges, abolishing the idea of "losing your virginity" and how making unilateral decisions can bite you in the ass.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Hey, y'all. So welcome to this week's episode of The Turn On. First, this is Erica, your lovely copilot. And we also have with us Killa Kenrya.
Kenrya: That's me.
Erica: And today we are reading, “A Thin Line,” by the author D.L. White who is a good friend of the show. She found us and has been-
Kenrya: Reached out. Yeah.
Erica: It's dope when we actually have people saying, "Hey, consider me," as opposed to us begging people. Even though she's worthy of begging. Yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah, and a testament to the fact that when people reach out and say, "Hey, read my stuff," we do. We read it.
Erica: Yes, we do.
Kenrya: And sometimes, yeah, folks make it on the show. So, excited to talk about this one. It's great.
Erica: Yes. So this is “A Thin Line.” It was written by her in 2016, initially. But then she was kind of feeling some things about the characters and the stories so she just went back to it, ripped it apart, and rewrote it, kind of maintaining the same characters. So the rewrite was in 2020.
Kenrya: So this is the second edition.
Erica: Yes, second edition.
Kenrya: I think what it's denoted as, yeah.
Erica: Sit back, relax, get your wine, your weed, whatever you need, and enjoy.
Kenrya: You look very fancy in those glasses.
Erica: Girl, it hides the dark circles.
Kenrya: “A Thin Line” by D.L. White. "Preston gathers the used towel and caps the oil, delivering them back to the bathroom. I crawl into bed, absolutely sated and fully relaxed. When Preston returns to the bedroom, he picks up the remote and skips the song forward until the husky, silky voice of Leon Bridges croons his hit, Beyond, over the surround speakers. 'Preston, you're adorable when you're trying.' 'I'm into setting the mood.' 'I appreciate it, but I'm a sure thing, baby. Get in the bed.' He crawls into his side, scoots to the middle, grabs me up and pulls me close to him. 'I love you.' He dips his head to mine and kisses me long and slow. Hypnotic. Just how I like it. I sigh when the kiss ends and he raises his head. 'That's all you got? Air?' 'I said I love you.' 'I heard you.' 'And?' He huffs and mocks frustration and grabs my face, manipulating my chin. 'I love you, too, Preston.' I laugh until he lets me go.
Kenrya: 'Let's try it again.' 'I love you, Angie.' 'I know,' I said and burst out laughing and rolled away from him. 'Nah-uh, I've been waiting too long for this.' He reaches for me and trying to land his hand on any piece of my body. He settles of a thigh and drags me back across the bed. I scream, laughing as he rolls over and settles himself on top of me, clasp our hands together, pinning them above my head. 'We don't move until you say it.' 'Then we don't move, Preston.' 'You're so stubborn, Evangeline.' I grunt. He knows what it does to me to hear him say my full name. Especially when he's naked on top of me, so hard and hot. I want to wrap myself around him.
Kenrya: 'Payback is a total bitch.' He opens his mouth to respond, then closed it. 'Ah, asshole Preston wants to come out and play, doesn't he?' His eyes narrow as he glares at me. I'm still pinned, but he frees one hand to play with me. Flicking at one nipple and then the other. Then bending to suck, lick, nuzzle one, before moving on to another. 'Baby,' he mumbles, while licking the valley between my breasts, 'Asshole Preston is already in play.' 'Oh, I'm so scared.' 'You should be.' He dips to kiss me. His tongue moving in ways its never moved before. He runs his hand down my body and parts my legs, fluttering the tips of his fingers over my clit. My hips roll up toward him, but he moves his hand away. When I relax, his fingers return to a slow, light stroke.
Kenrya: Down and then up again, gaining rhythm at a leisurely pace. My hands are freed. I want to hug him close to me, feel his weight on me, but he moves away. Scooting down in the bed. His mouth closes over a nipple and very gently nips at it. I squirm, I squeal, I rock my hips. He inserts a thick finger into me, working it in and out, while his thumb strokes me and his mouth is sucking and biting. It's a trifecta of nerve-endings and if I weren't being held down, I'd have worked my way up to the headboard by now. It's the feeling when it's so good you love it, but so intense you have to get away from it, except I don't want to. I want him to keep going until I explode.
Kenrya: He releases my breast from suction and scoots further down the bed. I like to watch, so I sit up, resting on one elbow. I reach for him with my free hand and dig my fingers into his hair. I know what he's doing and I don't care, because giving in at the right moment is going to make mountains move. He nibbles at the insides of each thigh. Teasing me. Bringing his lips closer and closer. He inserts another finger and pumps it in and out. And then, so lightly, he gently drags the tip of his tongue down the length of my clit. His pace speeds, but not the pressure. It's still so light that it's almost not there. Except it is, and the sensation its building is driving me wild.
Kenrya: I clutch his head, his curls tangled in my fist, and push his face into me. He resists, flicking his eyes up to me. 'Please,' I'm panting and gyrating, vibrating with intensity. 'I'm so close.' 'Say it.' 'Let me cum and I'll say it.' 'Say it and I'll make you cum so hard you see stars.' I angle my hips up, trying to make contact with him, but he dodges out of the way. 'Fuck. Finish damn it.' 'Say it and I'll finish.' 'You wouldn't let me say it and now you're holding me hostage until I do?' 'You're stubborn.' He snakes his tongue out and swirls it around my clit before he stops again. I groan and fall back, collapsing into my pillow. I want to cum so bad I could scream. And I can fix that, but I want to drag it out a few seconds longer.
Kenrya: 'You say it first.' 'I been saying it,' he responds, his voice calm. I know this is driving him crazy. 'Today I told you that you could say it and you haven't said it enough to my liking. So I want to hear you tell me that you love me. Now.' 'And if I don't?' 'It'll be your loss, again. Because you never win against me.' 'Unless I quit,' I laugh. Twitching almost uncontrollably. 'Asshole.' 'I'm your asshole and you love me.' It's time. It's passed time. I want this. I want him. Now. 'I do love you, so much right now.' Preston groans, bucking his hips like he wishes he was sinking into me. He goes to work, tightening his grip on my thighs and attacking me with fury. It doesn't take more than a few strokes of his tongue before I'm screaming, before my ass is up in the air, and my toes have curled to tightly that my entire calf cramps. My body is on high alert, writhing and convulsing. It's better than I thought it would be. This man, oh, this man is the best I've ever had.
Kenrya: Before I can come down, he moves up and slides into me, stroking long and hard. I lock my heels behind his thighs and my hands around his biceps, hanging on for dear life. He grunts in rhythm to his strokes. The volume rising the longer and harder he pumps. Watching him reach his orgasm sends me over the edge a second time. The return trip is just as nice. Preston is moaning, shaking as he comes down. He lowers himself to me and I accept the weight of his body, of his sweat mixing with mine. His head rests beside mine as he pants hot air onto my neck. With the last of his strength he cups my head and turns my head toward him so our lips meet. 'I love you,' he whispers against my lips."
Erica: Okay, y'all. So welcome back. Thank you, Kenrya, for reading that sexy scene. This story had a lot of good sex in it. There was just lots of fucking in it. But some of the scenes weren't super descriptive, but you can tell. Like, at one point, one of her girlfriend's in the story's like, "Bitch, you got a freshly fucked face." This book was like, "Oh, this girl's having some good sex." So a little bit of background on this story. It features these two people, Preston and Evangeline. And she goes by Angie.
Erica: Well, she goes by Evangeline, but she only-
Kenrya: No, she goes by Angie. But she only let's him-
Erica: Him call her Evangeline, okay.
Kenrya: Evangeline. Yeah.
Erica: Okay, so I should have this better because everyone gets a nickname around me, but anyway.
Kenrya: That's true.
Erica: So they were high school sweethearts, they dated in high school. They were part of a large friend group that has been friends forever. Their families lived down the street from one another and they broke up.
Kenrya: And still do, which I thought was really cute.
Erica: I know. Broke up in high school and it's just been shit ever since.
Erica: It has been shit ever since. But so then their two best friends decide to get married. They're like, "Hey, I don't want to plan my wedding. Y'all plan it together." This is their way of trying to get them back together, but also a really dope way of being like, "Look, you know me."
Kenrya: I'll do this shit.
Erica: "Make this shit happen." And it also helped that their parents were pretty wealthy. So it was just kind of like, "We'll pick a spot and everybody fly there. They'll take care of all that."
Kenrya: Yeah, well I thought they paid for it, but they're very well-paid.
Erica: I thought the parents... oh, shit. I probably should have figured that.
Kenrya: Uh-uh (negative).
Erica: I thought the parents were going to pay for the-
Kenrya: No, they paid for it. They're like, "Wherever you want to go, our gift to you is that we're paying for it."
Erica: All right, well anyway.
Kenrya: Yeah, either way, they had money.
Erica: The end up-
Kenrya: And their families had money too, because Jeeps and all these vehicles.
Erica: Dad owned a dealership.
Kenrya: ... they had in high school. And I was like, "Y'all niggas, okay."
Erica: "Y'all niggas doing-"
Kenrya: That's a whole other tax bracket.
Erica: "Y'all doing it."
Kenrya: And everybody's attorneys and doctors.
Erica: Everyone's attorneys, doctors.
Kenrya: It's very much that.
Erica: Chefs. All of that. It was just great. Also because the friend group felt very good. I don't have a mixed friend group of girls and guys, just because. Like, I have a few guy friends, but they're not a part of my friend group. But it felt good having normal relationships with these people. And you can tell it was just one of those, we were little, grew up together, and just kind of stuck together, which is great. So yeah, we used to do couple, hanging out. And I don't mind it. I genuinely like the people that my people are with. And the guys have kind of formed their own little brotherhood.
Kenrya: They did.
Erica: So much so that when we divorced they're like, "Can we talk to them?" "Nah, nigga, no."
Kenrya: No. We shut that shit down. But remember a bunch of them were angry at my ex, like, "Really nigga?"
Erica: Yeah, so it was more my ex that they were like, "Can we talk to him?"
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah, you're right.
Erica: Your ex, it was like, "Fuck that."
Kenrya: "Fuck that nigga. He got us in trouble."
Erica: "We'll invite him to jump him." Yeah. So, yeah. I don't mind couples' stuff. I mean, I do think that it's important for couples to have lives outside of one another. Think it's so important for that. But I definitely like mixed company groups. But again, most of my friends that I'm kicking it with, when it's in a mixed gender space is just partners, so.
Kenrya: Partners, yeah.
Erica: Yeah. But I mean, I don't mind it. What about you?
Kenrya: No, I don't mind it. We used to have little dinner parties and game nights and shit.
Erica: See, this was in our late 20s, early 30s.
Kenrya: Early 30s. Before everybody had kids.
Erica: When kids came,
Erica: ... and we were just on some like, Oh, we're going to live the life."
Kenrya: We used to get together and drink and eat.
Erica: And then kids came and it was just over.
Kenrya: And then we started having kids.
Erica: Yeah. And I mean, the thing is I think now, going through COVID, we're so much more intent on... Do you know what I was doing today in the kitchen?
Erica: I was standing in the kitchen... I don't know when this going to air, so this might be obsolete. I was standing in the kitchen, and we eat off paper plates and out of plastic cups, because ain't nobody got time for that. I took two plates and held them in my hand. I had a cup. And then I went and got a beer from the fridge and I put a cup in my mouth, and I was walking around the kitchen, training for the summer. Training for cookouts. I was like, "Oh, oh." Pouring water.
Kenrya: You're ridiculous.
Erica: I miss the streets.
Erica: I was practicing for the streets. Because I don't want to get out there and be rusty, spilling Henny on my shirt. So yeah, I definitely was in that bitch, practicing for being out in the streets. Okay, so speaking of friends, I'm kind of jumping around, chronologically. I mean, yeah, chronologically in the story. But since we're on the friends thing, one of the people in the friend group just got married. Well, I don't know if she just got married. She's married and is pregnant. But it was kind of a surprise seeing her around, because she's the friend of the friend group that drops out when she gets a man.
Erica: Ugh. I was that person for a minute.
Kenrya: You have been that person before. I think we all have at certain points.
Erica: I was definitely that person. And then I think coming out of that, I wanted to be super intentional about not being that person. Because when I came out of that bullshit, who was there for me? The bitches that I had dropped to be with that nigga, right? So even now, as I pursue relationships first, niggas with no friends, y'all niggas scary. If you ain't got not friends, something wrong with you. But two, you need to be doing something outside of me, because I will be out there doing hoodrat shit with my girlfriends. And your hoodrat shit could be sitting at home building Lego set, but I'm going to be doing some shit with my girls.
Kenrya: Have some other interest.
Erica: Because I do not want to be that person. And what's interesting is... what were you going to say?
Kenrya: No, go ahead. I'll say after.
Erica: So my dad died when I was young. My mom was, like, 33, 34 when my dad died. She had four kids under the age of 10. But one of the things she told me when I got married, that always stuck with me, was like, don't let your life keep living without you, or something along those lines. Because when my dad died, my mom looked up and her close friends were still there, still rallied around her. But I think, looking back, I could tell that she felt like they... There was a 10 year gap where they just weren't the way... I know things change when you're in a marriage or serious with someone. But there was like, 10 years that they kept growing as a unit and she kept growing. And it wasn't as easy to... not that it's ever easy to fall back, but it wasn't as easy to fall back into that relationship.
Erica: And so I think about, maybe I swing a little too hard on it, because I recognize that one of the ways that I was being manipulated was being kept from my friends, right?
Kenrya: Isolated. Yeah.
Erica: Yeah, so what were you going to say?
Kenrya: Same, actually. Well, I was going to say, I think that there's kind of levels to it, right? There's the cocooning that happens when you first get into a situation. And when I was reading it, to me it felt kind of like they were in their cocoon. I think they were maybe six months in or something like that. So they were still really new to married life. And then they got pregnant. So it felt to me like they had kind of pulled back, because they were kind of trying to figure out how to navigate this new normal of what it meant for them to be together. And then, I do think that there's a balance you have to strike. Sometimes I do good at that balance, sometimes I don't. Yeah.
Erica: Bitch, I'll say something. I will say something.
Kenrya: If I'm not... yeah, yeah.
Kenrya: But so, y'all will be downstairs and then you'll show... Bitch, remember you showed up at my door and was like, "Such and such is on the floor, she can't get up. We need you." Nevermind I was on my way down.
Erica: But still.
Kenrya: I had just finished eating and was about to come down.
Erica: It was taking too long.
Kenrya: Because I knew I couldn't eat what y'all had to eat. So I had to eat upstairs.
Erica: It was taking too long. It was taking too long.
Kenrya: Because I don't eat meat, but yeah. You will put me-
Erica: But even, I think about our relationship, especially when I first... So, I think y'all know, Kenrya and I live in a same unit home.
Kenrya: A two-family house.
Erica: Two-family house. In St. Louis we call them two-family flats. But anyway, so we live in a two-family house.
Erica: Kenrya lives upstairs, I live downstairs. That makes it sound like I'm a basement dweller. Not a basement dweller. I live on the first level.
Kenrya: You're on a first floor and you have the basement. And I live on the second floor.
Erica: Yeah, so and it was interesting, because when I moved in, first, Kenrya started getting serious with her man-friend, right before we started moving in. And this was right when “Tuca & Bertie” came out. And I was like, "This is going to be ‘Tuca & Bertie’," because I was definitely like the friend like, "Come on, let's go get lice today." And Tuca's husband was like, "Can you stay at home a little bit?" Now, I am waiting for the episode where I go out with your partner and we go to my rich aunt's house and play with architecture, but anyway.
Kenrya: That shit's crazy.
Erica: So it was weird, because soon as I moved in it was kind of getting everything set up, getting used to transitioning and the transition of being in a new neighborhood and all that. And then I immediately got cancer. And so then you transitioned into caretaker, making sure everything was okay. And I missed having my friend, but at the same time, I felt like I couldn't take too much of you, because I was already... It was already like Kenrya scheduled all her work stuff around my appointments and taking me here and taking me there. And so it was business, business, business. And then the podcast. So then I'm just like, "I just want to see my friend and talk bullshit." But I felt bad, because I'm like, "I've already monopolized all your time."
Erica: I remember talking to my therapist about this and she was like, "Just say something." And so I did and I remember one day you came down and was just like, "We're about to go out, but I want to come sit with you and talk shit for a little bit before we go out." And I was just like, "She loves me."
Kenrya: Of course I love you. And I listened when you said something.
Erica: Yeah, so.
Kenrya: But it's tough. I mean, this is a whole other topic, but this kind of goes back to a running theme on our show, which is vulnerability and being able to ask for what we want and not feeling like we're asking for too much from the people who we love and who love us and who care for us. It's definitely something that I struggle with all the time and I know that it's something that you struggled with, when you were in the midst of it.
Erica: I used to. So, I still do from some people. From you I don't.
Erica: I ask and I am 1000% sure that if you can do it, you can. If you can't, you'll say no. And it's just that simple. And I love that about you. I do have friends that I know, like they've said to me, "It's hard for me to say no to people." And so I feel bad even asking them to do something, because I know, even if they want to, I don't need you inconveniencing yourself for me, because I have a whole binge of people. Girl, I stay getting cut on. About to be immobilized for a while, so I have this whole list of appointments and I'm spreading the love to each different friend like, "Hey, can you take me here? Can you take me there?" And I don't need you... if you can't do it, don't feel like you got to move some stuff. It's just I thought you'd be cool. It'd be cool to sit around with you while I get my cast cut off.
Erica: So I love that you do that, because it makes it so much easier to just be like, "Girl, can you?" You be like, "No, I can't." "Okay, cool." And we know that's not-
Kenrya: That's the beauty of boundaries. And it's not a reflection of our relationship.
Erica: ... the end of our relationship.
Kenrya: Or how much I care for you.
Erica: Yeah, yeah.
Kenrya: It's just that I be busy sometimes.
Erica: It's just like, bitch can't make it, you know?
Erica: And so I definitely love that about what we have.
Erica: How did I even... how'd we even get here?
Kenrya: We were talking about isolating ourselves when we get in relationships.
Erica: Oh, isolating ourselves.
Kenrya: But then the other part of that is being isolated by other motherfuckers. And I, too, have experienced that. And it's one of the key ways that-
Kenrya: ... manipulators, manipulative people, try to... it's a form of emotional abuse, quite honestly, try to separate you from your people so you feel as if you don't have a support system. It makes you more likely to put up with the things they do and they say to you, because you feel as if no one is there for you, other than them. And they'll often tell you that. "I'm the only one who really cares. You'll never find nobody that'll do as much for you as I do."
Erica: Yeah. I remember dating a guy who told me that. He's like, "They don't care about you like that." And at the time, I believed it. And not that I didn't believe that my people didn't care about me. It was just that I believed that everyone was just too busy to be worried about me. And again, I realize nah, dawg that ain't how it goes. At least with my friend group.
Erica: And when I'm starting dating guys in the beginning I'm like, "Look, my bitches deep, we strong, and we crazy." But yeah.
Kenrya: There's a reason that my name is Killa, is what I always come back to.
Erica: Yeah, exactly. But yeah, I think-
Kenrya: It's interesting. I was going to say, kind of along the lines of this whole manipulation and isolation. So the other day, the little person who lives up here came into the living room, really upset and she was like, "My best friend keeps calling when I tell her that she can't call because I'm doing work. And I told her don't call until such and such a time and she does it anyway. And then when I say something to her she says, 'Oh yeah, I forgot. You did say that. But actually, you didn't really say it.' And she was like, 'She keeps doing that and denying and saying that I didn't say it and that she didn't agree.'" And I was like, "Okay," so I told her about the movie “Gaslight” and explained to her what gaslighting is.
Erica: Okay, so I need you to do that with my son, because he asked me, "What's gaslighting?" And I was like, "Something you won't do as a man!" But yeah, okay, I need you to help with that one. Okay.
Kenrya: So I explained it basically by... well, I didn't pull it up, but I did later. I was telling her about the movie, which I think the version everyone knows, I think, came out in 1944. And I just know this because I just looked that part up. But essentially, it features this man who is a criminal and he is with this woman because he's trying to get at her auntie's jewelry. And the way that he wants to do it is basically get her committed. And so he tries to make her feel as if she is "crazy", so that she could be committed so that he could get control of her estate and get this priceless jewelry that she inherited from her aunt. And he originally tried to get it from her aunt and was unsuccessful. And a generation later is trying to do the same shit. He is a committed criminal.
Kenrya: And so, one of the ways he does that is that he is in the attic, fucking with the light. This is back when they had gas lights. And it changes the light level in the rooms where she is. And when she remarks that it's dark he's like, "I don't know what the fuck you're talking about."
Kenrya: "It's bright in here. I can see. You can't see? Maybe you should go lay down. I think you're wrong. I don't see what you're seeing. You're making it up." And that is essentially what gas lighting is. It's creating doubt it your mind on purpose, that what you are experiencing as reality is not a reality. And it is frustrating. And I have been gaslit by a whole bunch of people, from the time that I was a child. And so it was really important for me to use that as a moment to explain to her what that is, because it doesn't only happen in romantic relationships. And I told her, "Look, if one of my friend's was gas lighting me, I wouldn't be friends with them anymore." I was like, "But this is a great opportunity for you to draw boundaries around what you'll accept from your people and what you won't. And if you have I conversation with her using 'I' language and tell her how this makes you feel and she is not receptive and doesn't change her behavior, then you may want to consider stepping back from that friendship."
Kenrya: Like, the things that I wish someone had said to me, but my family was too busy gaslighting me to have those conversations.
Erica: Yeah, so you know what. So thank you for that simpler explanation. Because we talked about it, but it just took a lot for me to get him to explain. I'm like, "It's like when you know something's right, they tell you it's wrong, but you know it's right and then they make you seem like you don't know what you're talking about." So I think he got it, but you know what I'm saying.
Erica: You describing gaslighting, reminds me of when I first divorced. Well, when my ex-husband and I first began the process of divorcing, separating. There was a lot of discussion on how much to share with our son. And a therapist told me kids know and they see what's happening. And so, you acting like everything's okay when it's not, teaches them not to trust their instincts, not to trust their gut, all of that. And so I tried to hold onto that when everything's going on in the house. Like, if I'm having a really bad day and he's like, "You okay?" "No, I'm not. I'm just having a rough day, it's something to do with work." I want him to trust his gut, so.
Kenrya: For sure, because we learn really young, from things like gaslighting or from people trying to protect us from things we don't actually need protection from. Not to trust our guts, the things that our body is screaming at us. And so then we grow up to be adults who, when we know that something is wrong, when we know that our partner is cheating on us, when we know that this bitch in the next cubicle is plotting and scheming on us, we don't listen.
Erica: Because we want to be nice.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Because we want to give people the benefit of the doubt. You don't owe these niggas nothing.
Kenrya: You owe yourself so much more.
Erica: Ain't nobody going to look out for you but you, so.
Kenrya: That's right. And that's not an endorsement for being selfish, it's an endorsement for self-care.
Erica: At all. Exactly. Okay, so they started dating as kids, right? And there was this scene in the book where Preston talked about how his dad found out that they were having... was it his dad or his mom?
Kenrya: Oh, it was his dad.
Erica: Found out that they were having sex, because he found a bunch of condoms in the back of the car.
Kenrya: Yeah, like a whole bag.
Erica: His dad was like, "Damn, how much fucking y'all doing?"
Kenrya: "How much fucking you doing?" Yes.
Erica: Because this is like a trough of condoms in the car.
Erica: Which I thought was hilarious, because I have a friend who said she got caught by her sister, having sex at home. To which I was like, "I think the fuck not. I've never had sex in my parents' home." In my parents' home? In my Granny's home?
Kenrya: No, never?
Kenrya: Oh, I have.
Erica: First, there's always somebody. There was always somebody at my granny's house.
Erica: I was 37 years old the first time I was in my granny's house absolutely alone, and it freaked me the fuck out. So let's just put that out there.
Erica: But second, there was always someone home. And then, even if there wasn't someone home, like, "No." My Granny put the fear of God in me. The fear of God. There's no fucking way that I would have sex in the house, so. I'm not getting caught in the house. But did you get caught having sex?
Kenrya: No, I've never been caught. No, I never been caught. But that whole moment with... So the condoms belong to Angie, because she was like, "I got a future. I got things to do. This is not... I'm not. I'm not going there." And that was me. And I think I told this story.
Kenrya: I had been collecting condoms. I went to Finest, which was the grocery store in my town back then, next door to the CVS where I worked, because the condoms were cheaper. Everything was cheaper at Finest.
Erica: It was probably like 30 cents cheaper.
Kenrya: But you know CVS be expensive.
Kenrya: So I went over there.
Erica: You didn't get an employee discount?
Kenrya: I don't remember. I don't think so.
Erica: All right, sorry.
Kenrya: Yeah, I don't think we had... maybe 10... listen, I don't know. Don't get me to lyin’. But I remember, or maybe I was just embarrassed. I don't know. But I know that I went over there and I bought some nonoxynol-9, or whatever the hell it's called. The spermicidal KY Jelly, because I was like, "Just in case this, I need to make sure that anything that gets through will die." And I was ready, ready. I was not playing around. So we used all of that the first time, and that's how I discovered I was allergic to spermicide and so that was the end of that. And I had to throw all of that shit away.
Erica: You're like, "Well-
Kenrya: And I had condoms that had spermicidal lubricant. Like, literally-
Erica: Oh my gosh.
Kenrya: ... every layer was protected.
Erica: Is Durex the one that has spermicidal lubricant?
Kenrya: I don't remember. I just remember that I was allergic.
Erica: I remember I had a summer where I was allergic to a condom that I was using with this dude. My vagina was on fire.
Kenrya: Fire. Yeah, it's really bad.
Erica: And I went to my doctor like, "We been using rubbers and he gave me something." And she was like, "You're having an allergic reaction." I was like, "Oh, okay."
Kenrya: Yeah, I don't remember how I figured out it was an allergic reaction, but I figured it out pretty quickly. I mean, we were obviously very careful, so I knew he hadn't given me anything, although he did end up giving me something.
Kenrya: In a hot tub, yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative). On some, "Come here, come sit on my lap." Oh God.
Erica: Were you in the... I mean, it was a hot tub.
Kenrya: We were in the hot tub alone, and-
Erica: It was a hot tub, though. Can’t blame it on him, can't just say it was the crust in the hot tub.
Kenrya: I was 18. No, it was not the crust in the hot tub.
Erica: Okay. All right.
Kenrya: I was 18 and he pulled me on his lap and did a little rub-rub. And then I ended up with trichomoniasis? Was that what I ended up with? Oh, it was bad. It was disgusting. But I survived.
Erica: Pussies are like little pockets. They are warm and damp creatures. They need care and attending.
Kenrya: That trich just climbed on up in there-
Erica: But nobody don't be putting them pussy pearls into their pussy. Sorry.
Kenrya: ... and I was like, "But I didn't even have no..."
Erica: Sorry, sorry. Instagram. Niggas will be selling everything to put up your hooha.
Kenrya: Oh, you don't have to put anything in there.
Kenrya: Unless you want to, but all right. But so, yeah. It wasn't even actual intercourse. And that's how I ended up with my very first STD. Oh, we should do STD stories. Yeah.
Erica: Yeah, we should.
Kenrya: We got to normalize it. Everybody gets them.
Erica: We got to de-stigmatize it, yeah.
Kenrya: I mean, I don't have any shame over it. I didn't do anything. It was what it was. But yeah, but somehow I did still discover that it was that I was allergic and that was the end of that. I had to throw all that shit away. All my hard-earned CVS money.
Erica: So you mentioning the spermicidal lubricant made me think about, there's this new birth control, have you seen the ads for it?
Kenrya: Yes, but it took me a minute to realize what they were advertising.
Erica: I literally had to Google it, because I was like, "What is this shit?" So it's like some gel you shoot up your pussy, it changes the PH.
Kenrya: I figured, it kills, it makes it an inhospitable environment?
Erica: Yeah, but the biggest-
Kenrya: Side effect?
Erica: Side effect, they're like, "Yeah, you might get BV." I'm sorry?
Kenrya: Yeah, so literally my partner and I are watching TV and that commercial came on and he was like, "What the fuck is that?"
Erica: Yeah, it was to the point where I'm like-
Kenrya: I think it kills, yeah.
Erica: And they kept saying it was a non-hormonal birth control. And I can't do the IUD. I have to use rubbers. And so, I was like, "Oh, this is something interesting."
Kenrya: Until you saw.
Erica: Yeah, I just feel like we do so much jangling our pussies in order to accommodate men. In the ecosystem of sex and reproduction, people with vaginas and uteruses and all that shit, we do so much jangling to avoid the person with the sperm having to do any fucking thing about his own reproductive health. And that shit bothers the fuck out of me.
Kenrya: That's true.
Erica: I was reading in a magazine, or maybe it was another Instagram post. And they sell this little thing, it looks like a little plunger. You go-
Kenrya: The thing that sucks the... oh yeah.
Erica: And it's like, "You don't want to have a spill after having sex."
Kenrya: Make the nigga pull out.
Erica: That's what the fuck it is.
Kenrya: Or a condom.
Erica: It just bothers the hell out of me. And I'm mad that... I mean, this option probably works for some people.
Kenrya: It wouldn't be one that good for you.
Erica: I was excited about it for a little bit.
Kenrya: But it is not great.
Erica: And then I'm thinking logistically, does it taste bad? Because you going to eat before you treat.
Kenrya: Right. So then, do you have to use it beforehand or can you use it after? I was wondering about that.
Erica: You have to use it before.
Kenrya: Oh, so then it's premeditated. You got to like-
Erica: Yeah. Anyway, it's just, I [crosstalk 00:40:55]-
Kenrya: Oh, they don't make... I was just thinking about the sponge episode of “Seinfeld”-
Erica: They don't do the sponge anymore/
Kenrya: ... about the sponge. No, remember they were discontinuing it and Elaine... have you ever seen that episode? Elaine was all upset because they were discontinuing it and that was her preferred birth control method. Diaphragms, I guess, do the same thing, but none of those protect against STDs.
Kenrya: So, yeah.
Erica: Okay, so yeah, parents caught kids having sex. I don't think I was ever caught having sex. Now, I definitely was kissing, making out, him fondling my titty.
Kenrya: And got caught?
Erica: And no dry humping, because that's too much like sex. And I got caught by my uncle.
Erica: But it was my cool uncle. So he was like, "What y'all doing?" I was like, "Nothing! We going to go walk to the park. We going to go walk to the park." So yeah, that's what we did.
Kenrya: That's funny. I ain't never get caught by nobody, but I was real on the low with mine always, so.
Erica: Kenrya, you would have been possessed with the spirit of your best friend in 10 years if you were to get caught. That's funny.
Erica: Okay. Looking at my notes. We're going to get to the anger in a minute, because that's a huge part of this story. But you know how we went through that period where everybody was getting married? You were already married then, right? You were the first in the crew to get married. But do you think... Well, I will be... I felt like, not that there was pressure from my friends or family, but I just felt like, "It's time to get married." And so I did.
Kenrya: That's one of the worse reasons to get married.
Erica: Right? I mean, I thought at the time-
Kenrya: At the time, yes.
Erica: ... I thought we was forever.
Kenrya: Yeah. Listen, I helped plan your engagement.
Erica: Oh, you did. Thanks. Yeah, so but-
Kenrya: Got your ass dressed and everything.
Erica: Girl. Honey, oh, child. Okay, so. So, I do think that, and I say this to young people now. You're going through a period where everybody getting married and having babies. Don't do that shit if it ain't for you. And everybody say, "Nah, I'm going to wait until I'm..." No, nigga. Because you going to be on somebody's beach in Jamaica, watching your homegirl walk down the aisle to, (singing). And then you going to look over at your boo and be like, "Let's do this."
Erica: Don't get swept up in that emotion, because it's strong. And you know what's funner?
Kenrya: That's just one expensive day.
Erica: Yeah, you know what's funner? Breaking up with a nigga and it being easy and not having to figure out how y'all going to untie bank accounts and insurance and mortgages and things.
Kenrya: Changing the name and yeah.
Erica: So, you know? Okay, so there was an incident-
Kenrya: That's so funny. Our message is not “Wait to have sex.” Our message is “Wait to get married, if you ever.”
Erica: Fuck yeah. Marriage is eternal. Sex is for a second. Okay, so the big theme in the book, there was an incident that happened between Angie and Preston. I'm not going to talk about what it was, but it was, I think... and because of that incident they were just not fucking with each other. And on top of not fucking with each other, because I generally like all the characters we come across in our books, because I don't think we read any Tyler Perry, dark-skin nigga with braids to the back, hurting women books. But yeah, this was the first character that I was like-
Kenrya: Yeah, the evil characterization. Yeah, we don't do that.
Erica: "This nigga a jerk." Like, I couldn't not fucking stand Preston. He's a fucking jerk. But I think there were two things at play. One, his natural, just his baseline is always jerk, right? And then, two, his anger at Angie, stemmed from a misunderstanding. Or maybe not a misunderstanding, but he sees it as a misunderstanding, right? He believes that-
Kenrya: There was an all-around lack of grace.
Erica: And so I think that's why he was so angry. And so bitter and bitey and snipey towards her.
Kenrya: I think it was deeper than that. I think he was genuinely hurt.
Erica: I do, too. I do, too.
Kenrya: Yeah. Well, I think that they both were genuinely hurt and neither of them knew what to do with it.
Kenrya: Because they were super young, but then they grew and continued to be hurt and angry, rather than have a conversation like an adult.
Erica: And girl, I was like, "This bitch is an Aries, because this hoe know how to hold on to a fucking grudge." I was like, "Girl, ain't you tired of this shit?"
Kenrya: Even I felt that and you know I hold a grudge.
Erica: I was like, girl.
Kenrya: I hold a grudge so long I forget what I held the grudge for in the first fucking place.
Erica: I was like, "You? I don't know, but I don't like your ass." Yeah, I was like, "For real girlfriend, you are a fucking Aries."
Kenrya: Relax. Yeah.
Erica: She held onto the grudge forever. But yeah, I do think-
Kenrya: She lived in that grudge. She made that grudge her whole fucking personality, like.
Erica: She was like, "Hey guys, I got a new address. 123 Grudge Lane."
Kenrya: Yes. It was bad.
Erica: "Fucking Florida, 22222." Yeah. But I think he grudge came out of some for real betrayal, how could you do this to me? But I also think, I'm debating if-
Kenrya: She's mad at the wrong person.
Erica: Okay, so look. Spoiler alert, spoiler alert, spoiler alert.
Kenrya: We don't want to spoil too much.
Erica: But I have to in order to get-
Kenrya: Okay. Until y'all read it, don't listen to this part.
Erica: Right. So, I think the reason that she felt so betrayed is part of society's pressure on how important virginity is.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: If virginity was just the first time you had sex, like the first time I had a tuna sandwich. Fucking love a tuna sandwich. I don't remember the first time, but I know I like that motherfucker. And I can remember special tuna sandwiches. And I think that our society's pressure on, "This is special, Smeagol. This is your special jewel. Don't share any."
Kenrya: Your flower.
Erica: What'd you say?
Kenrya: Your flower.
Erica: Yeah, "Your special flower."
Erica: I just feel like that also just perpetuated her anger. Like, "This was my virginity and I gave it to you." And it was just like...
Erica: So yeah, we tie all this back to what? Patriarchy.
Kenrya: Patriarchy and this weird fucking fascination with children and their genitals and what they do with them and, ugh, God. It's really disgusting to me.
Erica: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Erica: It is. So yeah, now that I'm thinking about it, I definitely think that that was what it is. Just her feeling so betrayed because your first time having sex is supposed to be so special. Whereas, it could have just been really special because that was your first love, you know? Y'all had a really good relationship. Because I'm telling you, my first time, only reason it still registers because it was so fucking awkward and funny. Other than that.
Kenrya: Yeah, mine wasn't... I mean, it was just a thing that happened.
Kenrya: That I prepared very, very much for.
Erica: I can tell you about the first time I had an orgasm.
Kenrya: I can't remember the first time I had an orgasm.
Erica: Bitch, I saw stars. We'll get to that when we do our whatchamacallit. Yeah, so Preston was an asshole by nature, and then on top of him feeling hurt and feeling like he didn't get... you know what? Yes. At first, I was like, "Maybe not so much hurt." But yeah, he feels like, "Dawg, we loved each other and you won't even give me a chance. You won't hear me out," right?
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah. He's thought there was a lack of justice, I think, in that situation.
Kenrya: And he could admit what he had done wrong.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative), Mm-hmm (affirmative). So I think all of it just, I think that's why I hated Preston so fucking much in this book. I mean, after a while-
Kenrya: Did you? I didn't hate him.
Erica: First, Preston fine.
Kenrya: But he had issues. He needed to go to therapy.
Erica: Yeah. Yeah.
Erica: They definitely need some therapy between-
Kenrya: So did she, yeah.
Erica: Yeah, they need couples therapy, too.
Kenrya: Couples, yes.
Erica: But it was such a good story. And girl, the sex that them people was having.
Kenrya: It took a while, because I remember you started it before I did and you were like, "Okay? Where's the sex?"
Erica: Yes, "Where he at?"
Kenrya: And then it came and it was like, "Hey."
Erica: Yeah, but once they started fucking, they didn't stop. They was fucking here, there, everywhere.
Erica: Fuck a little here, fuck a little there.
Kenrya: I was like, "This is-"
Erica: Here, there, there, there, fuck a little everywhere. Preston, Angie were fucking (singing).
Erica: Okay. Speaking of you, grudge-holder for life. Have you had a misunderstanding with a boo or a past somebody that after having a conversation you're like, "Oh, shit. This is what happened."
Kenrya: I mean, yeah. My current partner and I almost weren't together.
Erica: Oh yeah. You was like, "This nigga just said fuck me."
Kenrya: Yeah, so on our second date, we were having dessert. Pre-pandemic, he used to do these elaborate, three-part dates. Like, we'd go do live music, then we'd go somewhere else and have dinner, and then we'd go somewhere else for dessert, or whatever. And we were on a third part of our second date, which was having dessert. And he basically wanted to have a conversation about what we wanted. And his whole thing, this is why I love this man.
Erica: Because, wait. I was there the whole time, counseling Kenrya on the wrong shit. I will take an L on that one. I was like, "Fuck this, don't do it, be out." Continue your story, please.
Kenrya: So he basically wanted to have a conversation about kids, because I'm a few years older than him, like three, four, I don't know. And so, in his mind, his understanding, from being on the apps, was he thought I wanted... because I said I wanted to have a kid and I was filtering, at that point, filtering out folks who didn't want children. And he was like, "I know that you want to have another kid. And I got to tell you I'm not really ready for that." And I was like, "Okay." And to me... and there was a lot of other conversation, but ultimately, what I thought that he meant was that he didn't want children. And I was like, "Well, I already got a kid. So it ain't nothing that we can really do here." And what he meant, I found out later, was that he just needed a few years. He felt like he needed to get some things established before he could feel... because he's a Capricorn and everything is about logic and finances. And he wanted to get to a certain place-
Erica: I do the logic part, not the finance part for me. Continue.
Kenrya: ... before he was ready to bring another kid into the situation. But all I heard was that wasn't what he wanted. And so that was also the night that I told him I still wanted to fuck him. And then that was going to be that. And we had decided to go out for New Year's that night. He asked me and I was like, "I was going to ask you." And so we went out with you and some of our other friends and had a great time.
Erica: As "just friends."
Kenrya: Yes, as just friends, because we had decided... and this was all within the span of days. So we went out to dinner before we met y'all. And he kept making little comments about how great it could be, but I had decided that I didn't want it to go-
Erica: This could be us, but you tripping.
Kenrya: It was very much those. And I remember meeting y'all and being like, "Yeah, I think I'm going to have to cut this off because he catching feelings." And we had already had sex. And so I felt like, I thought it was because we had sex that he was catching feelings. And he wasn't going to be able to do the arrangement of us just being friends who had sex sometimes. And then his birthday was a few days later and when I met him to take him out for lunch, I gave him a book about codependency, which he will never let me live down.
Erica: You stay giving people that book. She stay giving niggas that book. I mean, it was a life changing book.
Kenrya: Because niggas need it.
Erica: She stay giving men that book.
Kenrya: But he did not need it. He's not codependent at all, but I thought he was. And he thinks books are horrible gifts and to this day he threatens to only give me books. I'm like, "Nigga, I like books. That ain't a punishment for me. Don't threaten me with a good time," but whatever. But so, it took like a month. And I remember being on a date with somebody else, because I was still dating, and the whole time being like, "Damn, I really wish I was with him right now." Like the entire time. Ended the date early. Came home. Called him. Told him we needed to talk. And called you and was like, "I think I fucked up."
Erica: But also, he came to you and was like, "Look, bitch. Don't be thinking for me." He didn't call you a bitch.
Kenrya: Yes, he would never.
Erica: But he said, "Look, you're doing a whole lot of thinking and assuming from me, for me. And you ain't ask me none of this."
Erica: And so I thought that was really dope that he was like, "Look, before we even get down that path, Ms. Aries, with your Gemini ass friend in your ear like 'Freak summer, freak summer, freak summer, freak summer," yeah.
Erica: So I'm glad that it did work out.
Kenrya: Thank God. And I am glad that I was able to humble myself eventually and be vulnerable and tell him that I fucked up and that I was wrong and that he wasn't codependent and that we needed to have a real conversation about what it is. Because he had cleared it up, but I felt like I had already made a decision and blah, blah, blah. And just being an Aries. And so we had a real conversation about it. And I don't know, three years later, here we are. So I almost fucked it up. That nigga's the love of my life and I almost let it go because I made a split decision. As he calls it, he says, "You know, the day that you made that unilateral decision."
Erica: That's exactly what it was. Like, how you going to decide for me?
Kenrya: Yes, it was.
Kenrya: It really was. It was terrible.
Erica: Okay, so something else in this book that I had to laugh at was how Angie was keeping secrets from her bestie. She was like, "We got to keep this," she was like, "We hoe-in' on the low-in'." And I had to laugh because it's like, your friends now you more than you know yourself.
Kenrya: Better than anybody, yup.
Erica: They know you. And her friend was like, "Girl, I knew it. We saw it. That's why I did XYZ." Even when they started.
Kenrya: Right, like she was fooling no one.
Erica: Yeah, fooling absolutely no one. And I just thought it was really cute that she thought she could like, hide something from her bestie. I'm trying to think if there was-
Kenrya: Oh, have you ever tried to hide anything from me?
Erica: I'm trying to think. I don't think so, only because it's like, if I'm trying to hide something from you, it's probably like-
Kenrya: You know you're doing something [inaudible 00:58:32].
Erica: ... in my mind I said, "I ain't going to say shit." And then I see you and I'm like, "I got something to tell you." So it might be hidden for a good 48 hours because I haven't seen you in 48 hours, but yeah. And also, you're not judgy. You're not judgy.
Kenrya: I try not to be.
Kenrya: I try not to be.
Erica: Yeah, you're not judgy. So it's like, it could literally be anything and you're like, "Okay, how we being safe?" Like, she's my fucking Fire Marshall Bill. But other than that, so I don't really feel the need to hide stuff from you, because again, if anything you going to be like-
Kenrya: For what?
Erica: ... "Bitch, really? We doing this? Okay, let's figure out a plan." You're my co-conspirator.
Kenrya: It's true. And I don't think…even when I was hiding things from everyone else, you were the one person who knew everything.
Erica: Yeah, again, my ass was dumb, like, "Okay girl, this fine." Oh, I feel so horrible about that. But you live and you learn.
Kenrya: No, no. And first of all, it's not your responsibility to keep me from lying to myself.
Erica: Yeah, but.
Kenrya: There were moments when, not in that situation, but in situations after that, even before I had got my shit together, where you were like, "I just want you to think about what you're doing."
Kenrya: "I want you to make sure that you're doing this for the right reason." I distinctly remember sitting at Panera and you having that conversation with me.
Erica: Whoa, I remember that one decision that-
Kenrya: Yeah, what?
Erica: ... that didn't play out. Okay.
Kenrya: Wait, I want to know which one you're talking about.
Erica: Woo! We'll discuss it later.
Kenrya: Which one? Okay.
Erica: The one, the one.
Kenrya: Oh! Yeah. The move?
Erica: Okay, I'm sorry. I just got so triggered.
Kenrya: I just got to thank God that didn't happen. Yeah, I thank God that didn't happen.
Erica: Okay, so with that, we're going to take a break. And then we're going to go to our next segment called, Kenrya, you're the-
Kenrya: What's turning us on.
Erica: Damn, God. Okay.
Kenrya: I said it.
Erica: We're going to take a break and then we're going to go to our next segment called,
Kenrya: What's turning us on.
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Erica: And we're back.
Kenrya: Yeah, we are.
Erica: To talk about what's turning us on.
Kenrya: Oh Lordy.
Erica: What's turning you on, Kenrya?
Kenrya: Okay, so for those of you who follow us on Instagram, which should be all of y'all, we're on Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast, we did a 12 days of Christmas thing at the end of 2020 and this is one of the products that I talked about and we wanted to resurface it, because legit, it's good. I love it. Yeah. So this thing came into my life, because I'll be honest, it's not something that I would have thought to just bought, because I was writing for Prevention magazine at the time, and this company reached out and wanted somebody to try their products and possibly do something if we liked them. And the story ended up not happening because the pandemic happened, but the products are awesome.
Erica: The products help you through the pandemic.
Kenrya: Exactly. So the company is called Rosebud Woman. I do not love the name of the company to be quite honest, because women are not the only people who can use these products and I just think it's not expansive enough of a name for the product. But basically, the whole thing behind this company, and this is the kit. Can y'all see that?
Erica: Yeah, yup.
Kenrya: Is that we have these things that we do to take care of ourselves in all these other ways, right? We have wash day where we spend hours taking care of our hair. We have skincare regimens that we do in the morning and the evening. We put lotion on our bodies and oil on our bodies to keep them soft and supple, but we don't really do anything for our genitals that is just kind of about care. Usually it's related to there's something going on down there or you're having sex or whatever. But their whole thing is we should be making time to care for our bodies. So some of the products are preventative and some of them are reactive.
Kenrya: So, in the kit, the Ritual Kit, which is the thing that I just held up, there's four different things. I'll talk about the three that I use. So the first is Honor. Which is basically like a balm that you are supposed to use to keep things soft and supple.
Kenrya: It's like chapstick for your vagina, yes. And so, it does exactly that.
Erica: Vagina, vulva, or everything?
Kenrya: Everything. The vaginal opening and the vulva and actually, you can use it on your anus, as well. Any tissues that may be getting stretched and may not be as moisturized as you would like them to be, you can use this. So even folks who don't have vaginas, I would think... because I use this anally, as well, because that is a tissue that... what?
Erica: No, I'm thinking, yeah, I got to get the kit.
Kenrya: So it really is... You can buy the products individually, as well. I just happen to have the kit. And so, you can see I be using it.
Erica: Using your two fingers like, "Ah!" Sorry.
Kenrya: It's all natural. There's no artificial fragrance. It does smell very faintly of rose, which makes me think of old women, old people. But this does not actually smell that way-
Erica: It ain't a deal breaker-
Kenrya: ... when it's on your body.
Erica: ... to nobody down there, yeah.
Kenrya: And nah, I'm worried about me. I just don't really like the smell of rose, but it dissipates. You don't smell anything. And it's natural. There's no artificial fragrances. And you know I'm super sensitive to literally everything. So I couldn't use it if it were not. But of course you want to test on your own body. And then there's the Soothe calming cream, which is the first thing that I used. And this is really good for those times when you was like, "I'm wet enough, I don't need no lube. It's good, let's go."
Erica: And your pussy was like, "No, no, no. Not in my house."
Kenrya: I fucking love that commercial.
Erica: That's my Dikembe Mutombo.
Kenrya: Yes, I love that. I giggle every time that shit comes on, like a child. It is really good for that after. After you done washed and want to just... it's just like a little, "Ah," for your tissues. Yes.
Erica: That makes it sound like it's Dr. Bronners.
Kenrya: It's really good.
Erica: It's not peppermint cream, which is horrible.
Kenrya: No, there's no peppermint, there's no menthol, it's not going to burn. But it does soothe everything and I find that it's really good after a session when I should have got up and got the lube and decided that I didn't want to. The other thing that I used in here is the Arouse serum. Now, this does have kind of a little tingly situation. You use two to three drops on all your external folds and creases, for about 5 to 10 minutes before. They say on the thing, and I didn't do this, but it's probably good practice, try it out on your lips before you put it on your other lips, to see, yeah.
Kenrya: So you can know what to expect, in terms of how it's going to feel, because if you feel irritated, then don't use it down there. But so, it comes in that little box. It's got this really great book called “The Invitation: Daily Love for Your Intimate Self,” and what I thought about, what's great about this is that, so it kind of plays on that idea of a flower, which we were talking about. It's called Rosebud, blah, blah, blah. But so it has these fantastic drawings that kind of imagine the body as a flower.
Kenrya: But I used it to give my daughter, who is an artist, a really beautiful look at internal anatomy. Yeah.
Erica: Oh, that is beautiful.
Kenrya: Right? It's gorgeous. This is in my little arsenal of things for conversations. And so that is great, too. And it's got little rituals and things to do to encourage you to be in touch with your body in ways that I find that we often are not. So it's got practical uses, as well as larger uses. And if it is something that you are interested in using, especially if you are in menopause or otherwise dealing with dryness in that are, or if hormonal treatments are leaving you dry down there in any way, it's really good for that. And we will put a link to that in our show notes for folks who are interested in getting either the entire kit or the individual pieces that are in it. Kind of love it, been using it for a year. And a little bit goes a long way.
Kenrya: I have literally been using those for a year and you can see that there's still so much in each one of the containers, because it goes a long way.
Erica: And she's got a man, she's fucking fucking.
Kenrya: I am fucking fucking. Although I try to be good about getting up and getting the lube. But the Honor is really good to use every day. And it actually makes it so that you don't need the lube as much, not that there's every anything wrong with using the lube, because I use it 90% of the time. But it really does just make your tissues more supple.
Kenrya: I love your analogy about it being like chapstick, so you don't have ashy ass vulva lips and vaginal opening.
Erica: We don't want an ashy pussy. Not at all.
Erica: All righty. Well, that wraps up this week's episode of The Turn On.
Kenrya: It does.
Erica: This is Erica and Kenrya. Two hoes, making it clap.
Kenrya: Making it clap.
Erica: Bye, girl. Bye, y'all.
Kenrya: I don't even try anymore. I'm not doing that with you. Bye y'all.
Kenrya: This episode was produced by us, Kenrya and Erica, and edited by B'Lystic. The theme music is from Brazy. Hit subscribe right now on 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 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 rating, 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.
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.