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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya amble through Kenrya's sex life and talk about the impact of trauma in the bedroom and revel in the joy that comes with letting the right one in.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Hey, y'all. Welcome to this week's episode of The Turn On. So you know we do our This Is Your Sex Life series, and we've decided, since we dig in everybody else's pussies and gooches ... I'm so happy I learned that word. Being that we dig into everyone else's gooch, we decided to dig in our own gooches. So today we will be learning-
Kenrya: [crosstalk 00:00:40].
Erica: We'll be digging in the gooch of my lovely hoe-host, Kenrya. So-
Kenrya: Yeah. I don't know that I'm ready.
Erica: I know. I was-
Kenrya: I feel like-
Erica: ... totally not ready when you did mine. I was like, "Wait. I got to sit here-"
Kenrya: Yeah. It's a little...
Erica: "... I got to shave my legs for this."
Kenrya: Bitch, I ain't shaved my legs since January.
Erica: Girl, so I didn't shave my ... I mean, I hadn't shaved my legs for a really long time. You know I buy everything, everything I buy, gadgets, widgets, whatever. So I have an at-home waxing kit. So I waxed my leg. I burnt some of myself, so I didn't keep going.
Kenrya: So you got one leg partially waxed?
Erica: I mean-
Kenrya: I mean, I too, would have stopped.
Erica: Okay. This is…
Kenrya: I also would never have done it, because I wouldn't have trusted myself.
Erica: I mean, it was fine. It's just the wax was a little too hot, and then I had to keep going over a particular spot. So I got to work on my technique, but I'll be doing waxing soon. So come on. Bring your hairy back down. I'll do you.
Kenrya: Just pay somebody to ... No. That's one of the things I'd rather pay somebody to do.
Erica: Yeah. I won't be waxing my gooch, but you know. Okay. So let's jump right in. When did you first remember masturbating?
Kenrya: So I don't really know how old I was, but so we had a couch where all the pillows could come off the couch, the bottom cushions, the back cushions, and I definitely remember ... You know I'm an insomniac, and I've always been an insomniac, even as a kid, and I just have these memories of being in the living room on the couch on the floor making shit happen.
Erica: Rubbing one out to go to bed?
Kenrya: No. I mean, probably. Ultimately, that's what helped me fall asleep, but yeah. Everybody was sleep. So the nighttime was my time.
Erica: The nighttime is the right time.
Erica: Okay. So what was your preferred technique?
Kenrya: It was the pillow.
Erica: Was it that couch hunching? Or-
Kenrya: It was always the pillow. It was the couch hunch.
Erica: Okay. All right. How old were you when you had your first kiss?
Kenrya: Okay. So I was in the second grade. So what is that? Seven?
Erica: Seven. Yeah.
Kenrya: Five, six, seven. Something like that. Yeah. It was with a boy who I am currently Facebook friends with, who left our school system shortly after that but still maintained all his friends, and he was-
Erica: Was this-
Kenrya: You never heard of him, because he was-
Erica: Was this the person that somebody found in another country?
Kenrya: Mm-mm (negative).
Erica: Okay. All right.
Kenrya: No. Oh, no. That was high school. No, no. I mean, literally we were babies, babies, babies, babies, and it was just a little chaste. We were in line. You know how they used to make you line up to walk into the building at recess and before school?
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: We were standing in line, and we had a little kiss, and that was that. That was my first kiss.
Erica: When we ask that question, first kiss, I always think about first, and everyone else thinks about ...
Kenrya: That? Yeah. I mean, that's the first time I kissed somebody that wasn't my family or auntie or somebody.
Erica: Yeah. Well, my answer was the first time I ... Okay.
Kenrya: I don't remember the first ... I mean ...
Erica: Because it wasn't traumatic.
Kenrya: Well, no. Well, yeah, but it's the-
Erica: You didn't get attacked by an angler fish.
Kenrya: It's the traumatic stuff that I usually can't remember, because you know the way my brain work, which is why my answer's probably going to be "I don't know" to a lot of stuff, because trauma has fucked up my brain.
Erica: It's like Swiss cheese.
Kenrya: It is.
Erica: Your memory's like Swiss cheese.
Kenrya: There's just holes all up and through this bitch. I don't know.
Erica: That's what she said.
Kenrya: Yes. It was probably middle school some time. I don't know. My first serious boyfriend, cross town boyfriend where we made out made out for the first time, I think I was like 14, and I know there was a whole lot of kissing and hunching. So I don't know. Maybe then.
Erica: So you know what I just thought of?
Erica: As a mother of a preteen boy in middle school, them motherfuckers don't brush their teeth. They don't wash their ass properly, and we was out there just kissing the little motherfuckers in our mouth and hunching.
Kenrya: I mean, we probably shouldn't even have been touching their hands, to be honest.
Erica: To be honest. TBH.
Kenrya: Yeah. Yeah.
Erica: Oh, my gosh.
Kenrya: Now we got COVID on top of everything else, which is why I'm like, "In-person?"
Erica: Yeah, because I literally have to verify that my child has brushed his teeth by either touching his toothbrush or him blowing in my face. So I just-
Kenrya: I check rags to make sure the showers have happened.
Erica: Yeah, and y'all out here just being on top of each other.
Kenrya: Yeah, and I can smell you. So-
Erica: That's disgusting. How old were you when you had a sense of your gender identity?
Kenrya: I think that I have always felt like a girl, but I think that's always because that was what I was told that I was. Nobody back then was asking or ever making any space for you to think that you were anything other than that. I've never felt like the prototypical girly girl or anything like that. Even though you know I love a good shangle dangle, it's not really from a pink-
Erica: Yeah. It's more from your inner "I need sparkles and shine."
Kenrya: Yeah. Exactly. It's not really a gendered thing.
Erica: Not from a "I'm a girl."
Kenrya: Exactly. It's just I like shiny shit, but I hate ... All the stereotypical things that I think that they try to put on you as a person who has been assigned female at birth have never really been my jam. Yeah, but yeah. I've always felt like a girl, and I absolutely feel like a woman. I also am at a point in my life where the idea of gender feels ... I don't know. I just don't care. It just feels very constructed, because it is.
Erica: Yeah. Like we're forcing boxes that don't need to ... Yeah. Yeah. It's like these don't even need to exist. Why are we hung up on them? I always loved the color pink, but I kind of shied away from the color pink just because I feel like it's like one of those bullshit girly colors, and so I was always like "I'm not like that," but now I'm embracing-
Kenrya: You're embracing it. Yes.
Erica: ... the color pink. This nail is broke, so we're just going to do this.
Kenrya: Do that. Yeah.
Erica: Again, it's more of a "I just like this fucking color" and less of a "This is what girls are supposed to like," because I also love blue.
Kenrya: Yeah. I mean, blue's been my favorite color for my whole life, but also, of course, we know that colors don't have shit to do with gender-
Erica: Yeah. I'm actually going to sing you-
Kenrya: ... which is why I've always been ...
Erica: Keep going.
Kenrya: I'm just saying that's always been weird to me that that's a thing that we do. It's been interesting, I think, in raising my kid and raising myself and seeing how my ideas of gender have changed. I've realized that there were a lot of parts in me that had issues with it even before I had a kid. Think back to the shower invitations that I picked out for you to send. Everything was green and yellow and white, and I registered for everything to be gender neutral, and it was always a really big thing for me to not do that to her, but also I was like, "Well, I might have more kids, and I don't want to be having kids in these stereotypical whatevers," and it was ... You know.
Erica: Listeners, I had to have a come to Jesus with Kenrya, because after her child was born, she finished everything. She packed up stuff and stored it at my house, because I have-
Kenrya: I did.
Erica: ... a lot of space, and so I had to be like, "Girl, we going to get rid of this." Some of it, you willingly let go, but some of the stuff, the stuff that came to my house, you were like, "Well, I want to hold on to it if I have another kid," and I was like, "Bitch, if you have another kid, we going to have all new shit, because we ain't having kids by broke niggas that need old shit," especially because the older her daughter gets ... I mean, I am all for good hand-me-down, because I was just about to say I'm going to send you these pictures of these couches that I'm going to buy off of a friend. I need you to look at them, but yeah. I was like, "Bitch-"
Kenrya: I don't like soft surfaces from other people's homes. You know how I feel. So I'm probably the wrong person to show.
Erica: You just tell me if they look good. Okay? I'll tell you the story behind them.
Erica: But anyway-
Kenrya: I'll put my other shit to the side. No. This is true, and so I donated all of that to a charity that supports people who are getting into homes after experiencing homelessness. I gave it all away.
Erica: Yeah, because I was like, "Girl, even if you do decide to do this again, we ain't doing it the same way. So let's give this baby new energies and all that stuff."
Kenrya: That's true, and nigga, I literally said to myself last night ... Bedtime was so rough last night. I was like, "I ain't doing this shit ever again." That's the first time I said out loud, "Nah. I'm done." There's no 85 percent. There's, "Nah. I'm out."
Erica: Mother's Day, I went to the mall, and I was walking around, and there was these little-
Kenrya: Oh, wait. You were inside a mall?
Kenrya: Oh, wow.
Erica: There was these little kids. I just needed to be out. There was these little kids, and these little motherfuckers were going boneless in the mall, and I was just like, "Girl, ain't no motherfucking way." They was like ... and flopping out and losing their bones and their daddy dragging them and the momma in Bath & Body Works like, "Fuck them kids," and I was just like ... The lord put this on my spirit. The lord knew that this is what I needed to see on Mother's Day.
Kenrya: You needed to see that on that day. Yes.
Erica: I was like, "Ooh. Ooh." I was doing a Heisman past them little kids. I was like, "This is disgusting. Hell no."
Kenrya: Yeah. I remember the last time my kid went boneless, and I was like, "This is why you can't go nowhere in public. If this is how you going to act, then you always going to be at home." Luckily, she's moved past that phase, but now we on some other shit.
Erica: Yeah. She's on passive aggressive teen angst. Tell us about the first time you had partnered sex. How old were you, and what was it like?
Kenrya: I was 18, and I was very much the person who I am now as it related to the first time I had sex. So it was very planned out. It was-
Erica: Wait. First, it was a more or less-
Kenrya: I'm going to tell you. I'm going to tell you the story.
Erica: No. I'm saying who you were as a person. I feel like the person you are now is, yes, the person that you were then, but more of a "I need to control every aspect of this" than you are-
Kenrya: Well, it wasn't-
Erica: ... as a person now.
Kenrya: Yes. Thank you, but also, this wasn't really about control. This was about planning, because I was a teenager who couldn't just have someone in her home.
Erica: Yeah. Yeah, but ... Okay. So yeah, but I just wanted to also acknowledge that-
Kenrya: Recognize my growth.
Erica: Yes. Exactly.
Kenrya: Thank you. I appreciate that. So It was prom weekend, senior prom. I was with this raggedy nigga-
Kenrya: ... who I had been with all year, yeah, who constantly smelled like Black & Milds and had one long pinky finger that he used to split them shits and ... It's true, and he wore a white tux and a white, furry Kangol that, and-
Erica: That is so 1999.
Kenrya: And Cleveland, and he was getting on my nerves the whole time, and it was a bad day. My dad didn't make it home to see me off. So I got myself dressed on my own and left out of the house with zero fanfare and went to our homegirl's house to take pictures, and he was late. It was not a good day, honestly, but I was so determined to do this thing that I had planned to do. So I had told my dad that everybody was staying at this hotel. That was not true. It was only me and my partner. Nobody else's parents had given them permission, but my dad was like, "Everybody else said okay? All right." So I had booked a hotel room.
Erica: Was it a nice hotel, or like a Knights Inn?
Kenrya: No. It wasn't a motel, although we did have Knights Inn, and I did actually spend my very last time hanging out with this man, this boy, whatever, was at a Knights Inn.
Erica: See? I knew it. I knew it.
Kenrya: It was on your spirit.
Erica: It was on my spirit.
Kenrya: Yeah. That was a whole ’nother situation. No. It was a ... I don't know. Maybe a Holiday Inn. Whatever it was, it had an outdoor pool. It was decent. I wasn't yet as afraid of soft surfaces in random places as I am now, because that shit just icks me out now, but writing a book about bed bugs will do that to you. So it was like this whole plan, and I went and got the room ahead of time and all of this shit, and so again, he getting on my nerves the whole night. He wasn't a fun date, and the year before, I had gone to prom as a junior, because where I went to school, the juniors plan the senior prom, and my junior prom date was fantastic. He was my homeboy. He was the emcee. There was nothing romantic, but we just had a bomb-ass time. Now I'm with this raggedy nigga and did not have a good time, so I was not ... You know how when you have a really good date, by the time you get to the sex, you're primed because you've been having such a good time, you've been laughing, you feel good? There was none of that. But we had built it up as "This is going to be our night." We had played just the tip and all of that stuff before then, but this was like-
Erica: You said you playing just the tip like it was a new type of spades.
Kenrya: I mean, that's what it felt like in the back of my car, or my dad's car. I didn't have no fucking car. On the street, not under a streetlight. But so this was like, "Okay. We going to do this for real," and honestly, I don't even remember much except for that it wasn't much to remember. It was in a hotel room. I know it hurt. I know that I did not enjoy myself. I know that I really only did it because I was 18 and felt like I had planned and I wanted to go through with it.
Erica: This is time.
Kenrya: Yeah, and it didn't even occur to me that I could just be like, "You know, this night don't feel right. I don't want to do this," because I had built it up as this big, huge ... Like we were just talking about on another episode, this whole losing-my-virginity thing was a big fucking deal, and I wanted to go through with it because this is what I had planned, and I had spent money I didn't have to get us in this room and set this mood and buy all of this spermicidal lubricant and all of this shit, and so I did, and yeah. It was lackluster, honestly.
Erica: I think one of the best things that I learned as an adult, and I think we're both really intentional on teaching our children, is that it's okay to change your mind, you know?
Erica: For some reason, you have this "I said it, so I got to do it" in your head, because I mean, you learn "If you say you're going to do something, deliver," yada, yada, yada, but it's so valuable to ... Especially little girls. If you don't want to do it, then don't. You don't have to please everybody. You are pleasing yourself and yourself only. So if...
Kenrya: You can change your mind, and you can leave.
Erica: Yeah. Yup. If not being-
Kenrya: I didn't realize that until I was grown-grown.
Erica: My big age, yeah. Yeah. I think that that's a good thing that you recognize and also that we're teaching our children not to do.
Kenrya: Yeah. For sure. So yeah. That was my first.
Erica: And respect when other people choose to change their mind.
Kenrya: Absolutely. Hundred percent. Yeah. So that was that.
Erica: Okay. When did you first have an orgasm with a partner?
Kenrya: Yeah. I was trying to remember this after I asked you this when we did yours. I'm sure I was in college, because I started having sex senior prom, and I know it wasn't with him. So my guess is my sophomore year. I'm sure one of those times I ended up cumming, in college. Yeah.
Erica: Yeah. So I'm thinking now. As a kid, masturbating and orgasms were very different from the first time I had a for-real-with-a-partner orgasm, right?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: But once I had a for-real-with-a-partner orgasm, then I was able to be like, "Ooh, we going to make that happen when I'm at home alone." Well, not at home alone. When I have my nighttime-is-the-right-time time.
Kenrya: Then you know what you could shoot for ... Although, honestly, to me, they're never the same, and maybe that's because I tend to just rely on clitoral stimulation when I masturbate as opposed to ... Internal stuff doesn't really get it for me when I'm masturbating. So it's never the same as when I got both going when I'm actually having partnered sex and it's like I'm floating. It ain't the same. Yeah.
Erica: Yeah, because it's one of those things like I would rather have somebody else doing it than me, you know? It's something about not-
Kenrya: It's not that for me. It's not because I would rather have somebody else doing it for me. It's because there's so many different things happening at once-
Erica: Well, yeah. That's what I meant.
Kenrya: ... that the sensory ... I got extra hands on me. I got internal and external, and because I'm ... You know. My hands is in the mix too, but there's just so much happening at once that it's like this amazing overwhelm, and I don't get that same thing on my own.
Erica: Yeah, because you trying to hold your phone, play with your toy, and then you drop your phone on your face, like, "Oh, shit," you know?
Kenrya: I'm like the only person who can't really listen to this show to get off, because it's just me.
Erica: You're like, "Bitch, you reading." Yeah. Yeah. One of my family members was like, "I'm listening to the show. I just can't listen to Kenrya read, because that's like my little sister reading." I'm like, "Sorry."
Kenrya: Yeah. That's why I know a few of our friends who can't listen to that part. They'll be like, "Girl, it's too much."
Erica: I just skip over it.
Kenrya: That's what I would do.
Erica: Yep. Okay. What three words would you use to describe sex in your teens?
Kenrya: Scant, because I didn't start until I was 18, planned, and delayed. I was still very much like, "We got to be together for a certain amount of time before we going ..." So it was the first dude, the high-school dude, and then there was another dude my sophomore year. So I guess I was still a teenager then, and I think that's ... I only had sex with two people as a teenager, and with the first dude, it was like ... I don't know. We were prob together a year or year and a half or something like that, and then the second dude, we were ... It was five months, seven months? I don't know. I remember it was a bunch of months, but I also remember that it was fewer. It was a shorter time than with the person before, and then of course, with each person it got ...
Kenrya: Shorter. Yeah.
Erica: Damn. You letting them get cheese.
Kenrya: So yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah. Never transactional, but always just ... I threw away this idea that ... I don't know. It wasn't about earning it. It became more about me doing it when I wanted to do it, as opposed to when I thought I was supposed to do it.
Erica: Yeah. Yeah. Shedding those expectations is so freeing, and I'm happy that I did, and I'm still working through that in some other areas and other things, but once you let it go, you're just like, "Oh. This is living." Okay. Give me three words for sex in your 20s.
Kenrya: It was fun, it was surface level, and it was ... I don't know. Let surface level be two words.
Erica: Fun, surface, level. Okay.
Kenrya: Level. Yes.
Kenrya: Yeah. So it was fun because I was in my fucking 20s. You'd come up for the weekend, and we would hit the club, and-
Erica: You had the knees and the stamina.
Kenrya: Yeah. Yo. We'd be on them tables, and we'd be wherever we'd be. It was a different time. We'd pop up in random ... Not random cities, but in other cities, and have good old weekends, and it was a fun time, but it was also ... I talked a lot on this show about serial monogamy from me, which was honestly just me not wanting to be alone. So it'd be these long relationships with these men, where I was usually at least mostly sexually satisfied, and then when I would decide that I didn't want to be there anymore, I'd move on, and I'd usually have a few people in rotation and narrow it down and then get into another relationship, and that was what I did, and I got married in my 20s, and I mean, that was not a great experience for me. It wasn't a great experience sexually. It wasn't a great experience emotionally, physically, none of it. It was shit.
Kenrya: So I think all of that is kind of tied up in there, and I say surface level because in my 20s and through my marriage, I was still very much concerned about what other people thought about me. So in general, just walking around with people, strangers, people who I knew, people who I was having sex with, I don't think that I was really ... I hadn't stepped into what it was that I liked. I hadn't stepped into what it was that I wanted. I wasn't really vulnerable enough with any of my partners to be able to have those type of conversations with them, and so I wasn't really getting what I wanted. I was just getting what they were putting down. So absolutely surface level. There was none of the joy that has come with sex in this last decade.
Erica: So yes. Three words for your 30s and your two, three weeks of 40s.
Kenrya: Couple of weeks into 40s? Yeah. Joyful. Man, I have so much fun.
Erica: I love it.
Kenrya: God, it's good. It's joyful. I should have really thought about what these words were going to be. Do you know where I came up with this question, the three-word question?
Erica: No. Where?
Kenrya: So it was when I was at Howard working on a paper and I interviewed DJ Jazzy Jeff, and I asked him to give me three words to describe hip hop when he started and hip hop at the time, which must have been like 2002 or something like that, and he was like, "That's the best question anybody's ever asked me," and so I've used-
Erica: He like
Kenrya: Yeah. I've been using iterations of that question for decades now.
Erica: It's a good one, because you're trying to boil down so much into one word, because fun just isn't enough to say, you know? It's fun.
Kenrya: Yeah, but then it gets you going.
Erica: It's great. It's amazing, but there's so much more to just fun to give it, you know? Words can't describe this properly.
Kenrya: Yeah. Okay. So joyful, vulnerable-
Erica: I'm sorry.
Kenrya: And carefree. Like I was saying, in my 20s, I cared so much, and now I don't care at all.
Erica: Yeah. Yeah.
Kenrya: You sent me a meme the other day talking about how ... There was the bitch talking about now the quarantine is over and people expect you to come out the house, and she was making excuses, and you was like, "This is you, except for you don't make excuses anymore."
Erica: Like, "I don't want to." Oh, okay.
Kenrya: Yeah. I just don't do things if I don't want to do them, and that extends into my sex life, and not just on a negative part, like not doing things, but I do the things that I want to do. I introduced toys that I want to do. I use positions that I want to use. I don't do anything that I am not interested in doing. I don't care if you're going to judge me. In fact, if I think you're going to judge me, then you're not-
Erica: Then you ain't fucking. Yeah.
Kenrya: ... somebody who I'm going to actually have sex with. Exactly, and it's not ... I think there's a temptation to perhaps view that as some selfishness, and I would wholeheartedly, obviously, disagree. It's more about I've gotten to a place where I know what I want, and I choose to do it with people who not only respect and understand that, but encourage it. It's joyful because, I mean, some of the best times that I have when I'm having sex is when we're laughing as we're experiencing. It's just fun, and it doesn't have all of this stuff heaped on it. It's not that I'm having sex because my partner has been counting the days since I last had a period and now is pressuring me because we haven't had sex in 10 days. True story. It's just there's none of that there. It's just I'm doing it because I want to.
Kenrya: Then the vulnerable part of it is that ... I remember being married and my ex-husband trying to get me to masturbate in front of him, and I was so incredibly uncomfortable, and I didn't want to do it, and I did it because he was pushing me to, which again, this version of Kenrya is like, "Nah. Fuck you." But also, blame goes to him for trying to push me to do something or for pushing me to do something I didn't want to do, but blame goes to me for not being able to stand up for myself and say that it wasn't something that I wanted to do, but also for being married to someone who I didn't feel that I could be vulnerable enough with to do something like that, and I think that the thing that I lacked in previous relationships in my 20s was that I wasn't able to ... Because I cared so much, I wasn't able to let myself go in any way, really. To go back to what you were saying about control, I felt like I had to be very controlled at all times, because I was worried about being judged.
Erica: Control how I'm seen, how I'm perceived, what I ... Yeah. Yeah.
Erica: Vulnerability is a bitch, because I didn't start having really good sex until I was able to be vulnerable, you know?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: And not worry about what a nigga thinking about. Tell us about a sexual experience that you remember fondly.
Kenrya: I don't know. So there was this guy who I'd had a little tiny bit of a crush on in college, but everybody boosted his head up, and I don't participate in that, and so it never went anywhere, and then after college, we reconnected. You were there, in New York.
Erica: I don't know.
Kenrya: Yep. It's fine.
Erica: We keep saying we're going to tell each other, and then we forget.
Kenrya: Then we forget.
Erica: Then I'm in the shower like, "Damn. Who was that so-and-so?" So anyway. Okay. Sorry.
Kenrya: So eventually we started hanging out, and I remember it was still very much, again, not able to ... This was definitely 20s and still not really able to just ask for what I want. I mean, everybody knows now. With my current partner, I was like, "Yeah. I want to fuck you," and that was our second date. Back then, I couldn't do it, and I remember he came to visit me, because we lived in different places, and we ostensibly were going to watch a movie. We put one on, and five minutes into it, that was not what was happening.
Erica: You only get past the credits.
Kenrya: Yeah. So we end up in the room, and I mean, again, details are always fuzzy to me, but I remember it was like part of it, I think, was because it was the first time, but it was always good with him, and it wasn't because he was well endowed, because I've talked about him being schmedium before. It was just-
Erica: Was this that person we were-
Kenrya: ... he was very good with his hands.
Erica: ... we were talking as a group, and they were like, "Ooh, he loves some Kenrya"?
Kenrya: No. No. We never had sex.
Erica: Okay. Okay.
Kenrya: No. You know who this person is very well, and-
Erica: I'm writing a note to ask you.
Kenrya: Okay, and I just remember it was in my New York apartment and it was summer. It was hot as hell. So it was just a fan blowing, and remember them fans where it'd blow and so sometimes it be on you and sometimes it don't?
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative). A good oscillating fan.
Kenrya: Yeah. It was just hot and sweaty, and I'm not one for a long session, but we missed the entire movie, and it was just one of these things where it was just this very long time coming because of all of the years that we had been friends and had never gone there, and I just ... It was one of those situations where I was having flashbacks for the next week of just-
Erica: [crosstalk 00:34:53] flashbacks.
Kenrya: Yeah. Being at work like-
Erica: [crosstalk 00:34:56] drooling like ...
Kenrya: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and I picked that one because it's ... When I look back, I've had a lot of really memorable moments since then, especially in this last decade, but I think it's the first time that I had sex where it felt like ... That's going to sound really bleak. I was going to say ... Remember when ... Shug said, "You make it sound like he's just laying on you and going to the bathroom on you." She said, "That's what it feel like."
Erica: Yeah. I was going to say. I was going to say, the first time that you want to. You want-
Kenrya: It's not that I didn't want to before.
Erica: Not that you were ever forced, but it was just like it was desired and you felt it.
Kenrya: Yeah. It was like once you read about it ... Well, we read about it in these books, right? It wasn't just "Oh, we're together, and having sex is a thing that we do," right?
Erica: No. I want your dick in me. That.
Kenrya: Yeah, like I am going to explode. It's all the things that you read about, like I'm going to fucking lose my shit if we don't do this right now. It was the first time I think that I had ever felt real passion in a situation, and-
Erica: That's it. That's all you needed to say.
Kenrya: Yeah. Yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah. That shit imploded. But that was a good moment.
Erica: I'm literally waiting to stop recording so I can ask you who this person is.
Kenrya: If you think about it, you know who it is.
Erica: I don't. Okay. Was this the Easter Day situation?
Kenrya: No. Hell nah.
Erica: See? I don't know. Okay. Anyway.
Kenrya: That was two seconds.
Erica: Yeah. That's why I'm like, "It couldn't have been that.
Kenrya: No. I'll tell you later.
Erica: Yeah. Okay. I'm about to start dropping too many hints. Okay.
Erica: What does your sex life look like now?
Kenrya: It's the fucking best. I am a lover of books. I am a lover of music. We call my dad the king of R&B. I grew up listening to all of the R&B songs.
Erica: Your Daddy and them CDs.
Kenrya: Oh, my God, and before that, the fucking vinyl, and I just ... You know, you hear all of this stuff, and honestly I never ... Even as I was always listening to these songs where folks were declaring their undying love for people, there's always been this very cynical part of me that rolled my eyes at that shit, like, "Okay. Yeah. Hearts. Flowers. Fuck you," and some of that is like that cool-girl thing. You're too cool. You're above it.
Erica: I'm too cool to ... Yeah.
Kenrya: “I don't celebrate Valentine's Day.” Fuck, what? Nah. So the concept of coming up against the love of your life has always felt very foreign to me, and for good reason. I had never really truly been in what I would look back on as a healthy, loving ... There was like one in there that was okay, but just a truly healthy, loving relationship? Nah.
Erica: I saw something on Twitter or Instagram, I don't know, and it said, "Healthy and loving relationships look like they're fake," or something like that, "if you've never experienced one," and that's ... I totally get it. I find myself very cynical at times. I'm like, "Ain't no fucking way these niggas that in love," but I have to check myself. I mean, not with you, because honey, being up on there, you'd be like, "Bitch, y'all made for each other," but I have to check myself and be like, "Yes. It's possible, and that's why the fuck you single right now, because you're holding out for that," you know?
Kenrya: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Erica: It's possible.
Kenrya: Because it's there.
Erica: It's attainable, you know? Yeah. So okay.
Kenrya: I was cynical, and so a part of me thought maybe it was attainable for other people, but it wasn't even that I was actively thinking it wasn't attainable for me. I never thought about it. I don't know. I just didn't think it was a thing, and then it was, and now it is, and I mean, even sometimes talking about my relationship on this show, I sometimes be like, "I know these bitches probably tired of me. They're probably tired of hearing me talk about how good my man is," where I'm like, "Well, actually, nigga." But just know, God, y'all have no idea.
Erica: Well, I will say that I am so happy to see you-
Kenrya: Y'all have no idea what I went through before that.
Erica: Yeah. I'm happy to see it. I think a bunch of us got together and ... Are you crying?
Kenrya: A little. Yeah.
Erica: I love it.
Kenrya: I don't want to cry on the show.
Erica: Bitch, it's fine.
Kenrya: I went through a whole lot before I got to this point. I talk about a lot of stuff on this show, but y'all don't really know.
Erica: Nope. Y'all got the tip, just the tip of it.
Kenrya: Yeah. So to-
Erica: So let me just kind of love on you a little bit. I love your relationship, because I see his love for you, and his love for you isn't just a romantic love. It's like an all-encompassing love. He loves it all. He's got that wrap-around love, like you, the kid. You're going to make sure that I'm good, because if I'm not good, you not going to be good. So let me just shut the fuck up and make sure Erica good too, and I want to see her smile, you know? It's beautiful, and you are so deserving of it. We all talked about this at your birthday party, because we were literally lit. We were litty like a titty, and he would just come poke his head in, "Y'all need some more liquor? Y'all need some more champagne? Let me go get y'all some food." It was like, "Yeah," and so I think you're so deserving of it, especially because we think about-
Kenrya: I think we're all deserving of it, but damn. It's like a testimony-
Erica: We've seen it.
Kenrya: ... like God, y'all know where I came from.
Erica: Yeah. I mean, we've all seen it, and even more than that, I think some of our other friends love it that much more because they remember ... I saw it as it was happening, so it was kind of like the frog being boiled. I didn't know how fucked up it was until it was fucked up, and I'm like, "God, how you going to get out of it?" whereas our friends was like, "Okay. I'm going to sit down and tell y'all this story," and then they got smacked in the face with it, and so then they're like, "Oh, my God. I can't believe it. You deserve so much more," and then you're actually living it, and it's beautiful to see. You give me hope. You give me hope, because honey, if he don't love me like that, get the fuck on.
Kenrya: Our therapist told me two weeks ago ... We were talking about something, and she was like, "I talked to thousands of people during this quarantine," and she was like, "When I tell you that all of them hate their niggas," ... She was like, "The cis straight women hate their niggas. Gay niggas hate their niggas." She was like, "Everybody-"
Erica: Niggas hating niggas.
Kenrya: Yeah. She was like, "Everybody is over it." She was like, "You are the only person who is probably even more all in on their person at this point." She was like, "You give me hope." She literally said the same thing that you just said, and I was like ... I told him, and of course you know this nigga got a big head, but yeah. So all that to say my sex life is awesome, and that is in large part due to the fact that I am legitimately in love for real.
Erica: Yeah. It's hard to have a great sex life when you don't like the motherfucker. I mean, maybe if you like toxic dick, but yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah. No. You know that's absolutely it. I mean, literally, at one point I wasn't even-
Erica: Mind and body follow one another.
Kenrya: Right. So I remember not being able to get wet in my marriage, and this nigga was like a hotep, so he was trying to make me take some Dr. Sebi shit, and-
Erica: We going to stop you from having your period so that you can get wet.
Kenrya: I ain't had no other complaints. It was literally that my body was like, "Nah. Nah. Nah. Nah. Let's stop this."
Erica: The body keeps the score.
Kenrya: Exactly. So yeah. It's great.
Erica: On average, how many times do you have some sort of sexual contact in a week?
Kenrya: Maybe three or four? Yeah. Usually, once during-
Erica: Are there certain times of day? [inaudible 00:44:41].
Kenrya: Yeah. So I prefer daytime always just because I be tired and my fatigue is very, very fucking real. So it's made it even worse, where it's hard for me to get to late in the day. By the time my kid goes to bed, it's 9:00, 9:30, and then he comes over after that, and then I'm struggling. So typically ends up being in the mornings, and then we usually are able to get in another couple of sessions on the weekends when she's with her dad, because we can just be wherever whenever. But on a typical week, we'll say three to five, depending on if she’s home or she not. So it feels good and comfortable.
Erica: That's a lot.
Erica: That's a lot.
Erica: That's good though. You know what? That totally brought me back to ... You were in a relationship where we have sex every single day, and we was like "Bitch, don't tell my husband," but now you're in that same place, but it's very different. You're like, "Yeah. We fucking a lot. We fucking fucking."
Kenrya: But that was-
Erica: But it's ... You know.
Kenrya: Yeah, but it's because we want to, and back then it was because I was basically being coerced to, and I think about that. I think about that conversation sometimes, and I remember ... God, I was so naïve, and harmful, honestly. I remember in that conversation saying, "Yeah. I have sex whenever he wants to have sex," and I was positing that as if that was me being a good wife, and it's fucking bullshit. I was having sex whenever he wanted to have sex, because he was a fucking narcissist and an asshole, and if I didn't, it would turn into a whole thing, and I pray that I didn't harm anybody by saying that. You know what I mean?
Erica: Yeah. Yeah. I think your-
Kenrya: Now I'm only doing what I want.
Erica: ... outspokenness now has made up for that conversation.
Kenrya: I hope so, because holy shit. Bad advice. Bad advice. Bad, man. Yeah.
Erica: How long does a session typically last?
Kenrya: Well, if it's a morning quickie, like my kid is walking around the house, probably about 15 minutes. If it's a middle of the day, she not here, it could be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Erica: Is this 30 minutes of complete action, or 30 minutes of like we playing and we stop and watch a little TV and then roll back over and do it again?
Kenrya: No. I mean, that's continuous. That's-
Erica: A complete action? Full activity.
Kenrya: ... foreplay, toy. Yeah. Yeah.
Erica: I'm so lazy.
Kenrya: No. Girl, please, and then sometimes ... Last week, we woke up early for who knows what reason. I gave him head. So that was like 15 minutes. He hopped in the shower. We laid back down and started watching something, and then he back on top of me. So then we had penetrative sex. So that was two separate situations, but all told, it was probably ... Each one was 15 minutes, and it was probably about an hour, because there was 30 minutes in between, but no. Usually, that's continuous. Each person is giving and getting and getting a toy and doing a couple of this position and this person cum, and then doing that position and that person cum, and then we done. Yeah.
Erica: Okay. Where do y'all usually do it?
Kenrya: It usually really depends on whether or not my kid is here.
Erica: [crosstalk 00:48:47].
Kenrya: That also depends. So if she's here, it's the bed, period. That's just where it is, because that's the room we can go in and lock the door. If she's not here, it's usually either the bed or the couch that I'm sitting on right now. I use bleach wipes and a towel, because I'm very ... There's always a towel, because the leather is cold, and there's always bleach wipes after. It's funny. So we used to alternate whose house we stayed in on the weekends, because you know he lives literally-
Erica: Yeah. I noticed that shit stopped.
Kenrya: He lives close. Once the quarantine happened, we stopped alternating, and part of it was because his HVAC-
Erica: He lives in a more-
Kenrya: ... sucks in his place.
Erica: He what?
Kenrya: The HVAC sucks in his place, so it'd be hot as hell once it gets hot outside, and then yeah. He lives in a ... There's other people around. Not in his ... He's in an apartment building, and we can hear the neighbors fucking, so I know they can hear us fucking. But that ain't why we stopped. It was mostly temperature control. It gets too fucking hot in his place, or it's too cold. Here, you know how I keep my house.
Erica: It's like a sauna in that joint. I come in there, and I'm like ...
Kenrya: So imagine what I mean when I say it's hot in his place, if it's ... Yes, and then it's cold in the winter. So it's just more climate control here, and it just started to feel easier, and so now we ... Yeah, but over there, it was wherever we happened to be.
Erica: He literally just came in and sat behind me like ... My dog. When he did that little birthday video, I definitely thought he was in a hostage situation. Hit room was giving very much-
Kenrya: That was his office, I think.
Erica: It was giving very much "Hold up the paper to prove what day of the week it is."
Kenrya: Well, he is a man, but he does ... You know. He's a man, but that place be sparkling when I come over there. He always cleans before I come.
Erica: It's not that it wasn't clean. It was just real-
Erica: ... sparse. We'll go back to your word. Sparse.
Kenrya: Yes. Yeah. My place has art on the wall. Well, now he has art, but it's a man's, and he always says he only got that place for me, because the place he was living before that ...
Kenrya: I only went there like once or twice, and he was like, "Okay. I'm going to move."
Erica: I have a friend-
Kenrya: So he literally moved for me.
Erica: I have a friend who recently started dating, and she was like, "Do men really live like this?" and I'm like, "Yeah. They do," especially if-
Kenrya: They do.
Erica: I have a friend, and his house is ... It's just him, and his son who's older will come and stay every now and then. His younger son comes and stay. He has shared custody and stuff, but that house ... I'm like, "Don't you miss my bed? Don't you like my mattress?" because bruh.
Kenrya: You know what's funny though?
Kenrya: He has a better mattress.
Erica: Well, now you know how-
Kenrya: I miss-
Erica: Now you know that your mattress will be the guest room mattress.
Kenrya: Oh, yeah. No. We going to burn this shit. Yeah. I miss his mattress. We wake up, both of us, with fucked up backs half the time, but it doesn't make sense to buy another mattress for my bed, because this bed is so small, and when we move, we won't be using that shit. So we just kind of toughing it out, but it's like ... We all know his bed is so much better, so much better.
Erica: I love it.
Erica: You've gushed a lot, which I appreciate and love. Is there anything else that ... Well, what's the best part about your sex right now?
Kenrya: It's fun. It's just fun as hell. It's just-
Erica: I love it.
Kenrya: Yeah. I enjoy it. It never feels like a chore. It never feels like something I got to get through. It's just something that I do because I want to do it and because it's fun as hell, and I always cum.
Erica: Yeah. Unless you don't want to.
Kenrya: Yeah. Only time I don't cum is if I don't want to. Yeah.
Erica: What's the most frustrating part?
Kenrya: I think the most frustrating part is trying to leave ... Well, two. Okay. Two things. One, just trying to be quiet. I'm not quiet. Well, I am quiet, but I'm not quiet in that situation, and so trying to not attract attention to myself is tough, because yeah. My kid is not a baby anymore. So yeah, and then the other part is sometimes I have to work at leaving behind the old attitudes that I brought to sex because of the harmful relationships I was in, so I've caught myself ... I remember it was some time last year. I woke up, and I was like, "Oh, he probably want to have sex." I was like, "But I don't really feel like having sex, but I should have sex," and I had to talk myself through, like, "I don't have to have sex with him just because he probably wants to if I don't want to."
Erica: And he's a grown-ass man. So if he wants to have sex, he'll say something.
Kenrya: He'll say something, and then I'll either do it or I won't.
Kenrya: But there's so much residual having lived that way for so long that I sometimes find myself trying to fall back into that or being worried about it or feeling like he's going to be upset with me if I don't feel like it, because that has been my past experience. Trauma is fucking real, and it informs so much of the ways that we carry ourselves, and so a lot of my work on myself is trying to not fall into the patterns that trauma has tried to create for me, and it doesn't happen often, but when it does, having to have those conversations with myself and reminding myself of the reality that I have now versus the one that I had where that attitude was born ... But what really helps is, when I have those moments, I talk to him about them. Yeah.
Erica: See? Again, vulnerability. Are there things that can keep you from being in the mood?
Kenrya: Just being sleepy.
Kenrya: That's really it, and sometimes because I've been dealing with all this-
Erica: Health stuff.
Kenrya: ... shit with my health. Yeah. If there's a day where I've had ... Literally, there was a day last week where I had four or five doctor's appointments. Part of that was fatigue, but part of that was also my brain was going on all of that, and so there was nothing in me that wanted to do that, but then there are times that ... That's not universal. We talked about comfort, right? Where-
Erica: You need that. Yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah. Come rub on my booty, please. That's what I need, which inevitably turns into us having sex, but yeah. Usually, it's fatigue. I'm just too tired. Yeah.
Erica: How often do you masturbate now?
Kenrya: Not very often. Maybe the last time I masturbated was last year.
Erica: Bitch. Last night for me. Jesus Christ.
Kenrya: I think it's because I'm having so much sex.
Erica: Yeah. So much good sex.
Kenrya: Yeah, and then that's ... I did it, and then he came over, and then we had sex.
Erica: It was like, "Now I'm primed up. Let's get going."
Kenrya: Yeah. I mean, sometimes it comes, like if I'm trying to anal train, then I'll masturbate as part of that, but the last time I even anal trained, I didn't. It was just a shower situation. So no. It's been a while.
Erica: What's your favorite technique when you do? Well, back in six months ago.
Kenrya: I know. I have a little wand with an egg on it, which we, I think, in the first season or something ... Yeah. I use that.
Kenrya: It gets the job done.
Erica: Do you ever have trouble turning off the day and just focusing on body pleasure?
Kenrya: I mean, only on those days where my medical stuff is swirling in my head. Other than that, no. No. Again, it's the fatigue that gets me, but that's what mornings are for.
Erica: Fresh as a daisy.
Erica: What would you change about your sex life if you could just snap your fingers and make it so?
Kenrya: Okay. I know. I wish that I could ... I'm sure that one day I will, but I am 40 years old, and I have never cum from head. Yeah, and not for lack of trying. Somebody's made it their mission, but I just don't ever get there.
Erica: We know who that somebody is.
Kenrya: I get in my head, and I'm like, "Oh, it's taking a long time," and "Oh, let's just move to the bed."
Erica: “He must be tired.”
Kenrya: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and less of that now, because I've gotten better at that.
Erica: So you're just closer to the goal.
Kenrya: Yeah. Yeah, but now a lot of times, it's just like, "Yo, nigga. I'm tired, and I'm going to cum. So let's do what we do," and so I stop him and [crosstalk 00:59:46].
Erica: “Come on. Assume the position. You know what's about to happen.”
Kenrya: Impatient ass. Yeah. It's mostly about my impatience more than anything else. So yeah. I would like to see it. People talk about that being a good ... It's just never happened for me. Yeah.
Erica: What's a sex best practice that you want to share with our listeners?
Kenrya: Get out of your head. You can't be fully in your head and in your body at the same time.
Erica: How do you get out of your head?
Kenrya: A lot of therapy. I remember that one of the things that my body is here for is to give me pleasure and that I spend however many fucking hours of the day working and making my brain the main organ that I'm using, and now it's time to see what that pussy do. So let that go.
Erica: That'll be the quote for this episode. Yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah. Just let that go, and just ... Oh, man. Close your eyes and-
Erica: Yeah. I'm not one of those meditation mindfulness people, because I'll be like, "Well, hm," but I have found that when you meditate, and they say, "Think about how your body feels on the bed and the brush of the blankets against your skin," ... So when I need to get out of my mind, I focus on what is happening.
Erica: His thumb is here in my handle, my gut handle, that thing right where you hit the button, that kind of thing. So that's what helps me. I just think it's important to share, because you always say, "Don't think about it."
Kenrya: It's easy to say, "Get out of your head." Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think I'm with you. Usually, I close my eyes, and I kind of try to ... So I feel this hand is on my thigh. I see the hand on my thigh in my mind's eye, and I focus on it, and then I'm like, "Where is my hand?" So I just-
Erica: Okay. You enjoying this too much. Okay.
Kenrya: Again, it's-
Erica: Yeah. You-
Kenrya: I breathe.
Erica: Eyes started rolling. Baby, not this time. Not right now. Do you have any must-use tools?
Kenrya: Oh, yeah. We put it on the show. It's that little thing that I use. You and I use it differently, but yeah. Listen.
Erica: Yeah. That thing is a ...
Erica: That's a beast.
Kenrya: Yeah. Every time. Listen.
Erica: It's a beast.
Kenrya: It never fucking misses. It just doesn't. It doesn't miss.
Kenrya: Yeah. Yeah. No. That. We'll put it in the show notes. That's-
Erica: Again, because baby, you need it.
Erica: Would you rather give up partnered sex or masturbation?
Erica: Why? You're like-
Kenrya: Because it's not the same.
Erica: ... "Bitch, it's obvious." You ain't masturbated since December.
Kenrya: I've been in relationships where I would have chosen the masturbation, but yeah. Like we were talking about at the top of the show, the orgasms ain't the same, and I want that "Oh, God," and also those multiples, which I'm a very big fan of. Yeah.
Erica: Girl, [inaudible 01:03:33]. Okay. What do you hope people learn from our trek through your sex life?
Kenrya: God. I hope that folks listening or watching this learn that trauma can have you really fucked up, but it doesn't have to be the end of your story. Not to be all on some “Polly” shit, but I never like to use the-
Erica: “Pollyanna,” or polyamorous?
Kenrya: Oh. Nigga, I'm a nigga. Not “Pollyanna.” “Polly” with Phylicia Rashad and motherfucking Keshia Knight Pulliam “Polly.”
Erica: Well, wasn't she “Pollyanna”? That was her full name, right?
Kenrya: Yeah. Well, the white version of the movie was called “Pollyanna”. The Black version was “Polly.”
Erica: Oh, okay. All right. Nevermind. Okay.
Kenrya: That's another deep cut.
Erica: Yeah. Okay. You get three points for seeing that one. Okay.
Kenrya: Yeah. I watched that movie constantly. That was my shit.
Erica: [crosstalk 01:04:52] watch it.
Kenrya: Oh, it's so good.
Erica: See if it stood up.
Kenrya: Yeah. Ooh, okay. I'm going to watch it while I work today. That shit can be real, real, real shitty. You can be in the hole. You could be smelling nothing but shit, and you could be seeing nothing but shit, but that doesn't-
Erica: Covered in shit.
Kenrya: Covered in it. Breathing it in. Fucking don't see a way out of it. But one, you can always leave. You can always leave. Now, not to simplify, because I also went through some shit trying to leave. I know that that shit's hard too, but you can invite people into and be vulnerable and get help, and they can help you leave, hopefully, God willing, and that even if you never dreamed that there would be a day when you didn't have to smell shit or look at shit or breath in shit or touch shit or taste shit, that that day is actually a possibility. Yeah. It's possible.
Erica: So what is turning you on today?
Kenrya: I don't know. This went better than I thought it was going to go. That's a turn on.
Erica: I think it was great.
Kenrya: I am wearing two of the lipsticks that y'all gave me for my birthday layered on top of each other, and I really like the color. So that makes me feel really good. That's turning me on, and God, it's almost the weekend. I'm tired.
Erica: What you doing on Saturday?
Kenrya: I don't know. What you doing on Saturday?
Erica: Oh, nevermind.
Kenrya: None of your business.
Erica: All right, y'all.
Kenrya: You're going to have to wait and see. Her birthday is coming up, y'all.
Erica: She's planning a little birthday something. Yeah. Okay. So this is Erica and Killa, your two hoe-hosts, making it clap. Oh. Thanks for joining us.
Kenrya: Yes. We love y'all, and we are always glad that y'all choose to spend some of your time with us. That's a big fucking deal, because-
Erica: You could be anywhere tonight, but you're here with me.
Kenrya: But you're here with us. Exactly.
Erica: (singing). That's the Jay-Z unplugged that I still listen to. Like that shit-
Kenrya: Do you really?
Erica: ... [crosstalk 01:07:46] yesterday. Oh, my God. I still listen to that.
Kenrya: The only one of his albums that I listen to now is the Linkin Park album, that mashup that you hate when I play it in the car. Whatever, bitch. That's my shit. I love that.
Erica: Girl, that, and I listen to the Black album. I still listen to Jay-Z.
Kenrya: See? This is the Black album, but it's mixed with Linkin Park, and it's so fucking good, and he also, to me, is the weak link. I mean, whatever.
Erica: Yeah. I was kind of like, "How'd he end up in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and not Biggie?"
Kenrya: You know I used to work-
Erica: But anyway.
Kenrya: ... at a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I just-
Erica: What is that?
Kenrya: Yeah. I used to work at a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in college, because Cleveland. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I don't begrudge him the spot. You know, "When I come back like Jordan wearing the 4-5," he could have not. He could have not. He could have just retired, and that would have been fine. That's all I'm saying.
Erica: Off in the yonder. All right, y'all. That's enough. I need to find out who she's talking about. Have a good one.
Kenrya: Oh, yes. 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 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: Don't forget to email us at TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com with your book recommendations and your pressing sex and related questions.
Erica: You can support the show by leaving us a five-star review, buying some merch, or becoming a patron of the show. Just head to TheTurnOnPodcast.com to make that happen.
Kenrya: Thanks for listening, and we'll see you soon. Holla.
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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya talk to singer ArinMaya about abandoning The V Club, making pivots, using the gifts God gives us, being goal-oriented in relationships and the commodification of sex.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Kenrya: Today, we're talking with ArinMaya, pronouns, she and her. ArinMaya is an inspirational singer, songwriter, sound healer, activist and entrepreneur who's described as having a “unique and ancient sound.” Though she's been called the mayor of Brooklyn, she originally hails from Chicago’s South Side where her artistic training began with studies in West African dance and rhythms and community choirs. Inspired by past studies with Bobby McFerrin and other giants, ArinMaya created Meditation Moments, a community offering meant to help people self-heal and center themselves in the midst of COVID-19.
Kenrya: She’s shared the stage with countless icons and she's also a founding member, arranger, and musical director with the Resistance Revival Chorus. She's performed on The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon, on NBC Saturday Night Live, and for incarcerated youth at Rikers Island. With multiple singles and EPs under her belt, ArinMaya is hard at work on several projects including her second full length album, “I Love My Afro Ratchet Soul.” Thanks for coming on the show, Arin.
ArinMaya: Thank you for having me.
Kenrya: Of course.
Erica: Arin, what did little Arin want to be when she grew up?
ArinMaya: So funny. That's a good question. I think it depends on the age you ask, but at some point, I think I knew I wanted to be a singer. But being from Chicago, that wasn't really a thing. I think I just wanted to be happy which still holds true today, so there's that.
Erica: That's really dope and beautiful, because I think as kids, we're so doctor, lawyer, teacher for you to boil it down to the essence of, "I just want to be happy," that you were thinking much more advanced than most of us as little people, I feel.
Kenrya: Yeah. Than most grown folks out here.
Erica: Yes. Very true.
Kenrya: Yeah. How did you get from, "I want to be happy?" What was the actual path that you took to becoming the singer and entertainer that you are?
ArinMaya: That is also a loaded question.
Kenrya: Why loaded?
ArinMaya: We all went to Howard University and... Let's see.
ArinMaya: Yes. In high school or at whatever point I started getting money enough to go shopping all the time, that's what I did, and my mother told me when I was in high school like, "You need to get a well-paying job because you like to shop a lot." That was what led me to think, "Oh, you need to work in finance," or, "You need to work in business or banks or something," which is boring and stupid. At Howard, I went into the school of business that I didn't find myself there at all really. I got into the school of business, so I felt like I needed to stay there, but from the beginning, I knew that I was writing as well because the high school I went to was like a mini liberal arts college kind of thing.
ArinMaya: I started doing the work of a double major in English at the same time, even though Howard was adamant. They were like, "You can't do a double major in the School of B usiness and the College of Arts and Sciences because that is considered a dual major and it's going to take you five years." I was like, "I don't know you and you don't know me and what you think is going to take five years is probably not going to take me five years because I have a four-year scholarship, so bye, but also, I'm going to do what I want to do."
ArinMaya: I was taking classes as a double major and at a certain point, I was like, "I don't want to do business. F it." My junior year when I went to Stanford, before the year started, I came back to Howard and I was like, "I'm good with you. Let me drop my business degree down to a minor and change my major to English." My mother was not happy because she was like, "If you wanted to major in English, you should have gone to a liberal arts college and specialized in English and na-na-na-na-na." I was like, "That's cool. That's why I didn't call you. I called Dad." Anyway, I changed my major to English. Business was a minor and I thought that I wanted to still be like in business, and so I always liked books, I liked reading.
ArinMaya: I went into book publishing when I graduated at Random House, which was great. In my mind, because people there were happy, it wasn't corporate because I was trying to avoid corporate. Because corporate to me just meant slavery and all that kind of stuff. I was there for about... I graduated 2004 and I was there until spring of 2006. Just under two years because I did the rotational program, but anyway what I realized very quickly was it was absolutely corporate. They did not care if the books were good, they cared if there was money. I was like, "I'm good on you. Bye." Plus there was no girls. I ended up being in publicity. They didn't have Black people and they weren't really trying to let me grow. I was like, "But I already got books on the New York Times. Okay. F you. I'm out."
ArinMaya: I left there. I went into nonprofit because I was like, "Oh, this is great. I used to do some nonprofit stuff in high school and I thought I was getting in the right side. I went in the wrong side so instead of being a foundation, I was at a nonprofit begging for money which was not horrible. It just wasn't great. Then, I was bored out of my mind because there was no growth there. I was like, "I'm good. Actually, I really like singing and doing art stuff so I'm just going to go to Paris for a little while," and I did that.
ArinMaya: I was just exploring the life of being an artist and I did not know what I was doing. I was poor in Paris, but I was able to survive on petit pains and mustard and bananas and couscous for a while. I was staying with a friend who was also an artist. He's an artist, [inaudible 00:06:39]. I'm not famous, but he was famous, but anyway, the point is that's where the transition happened. I had started taking voice lessons in New York, maybe in 2005 or 2006 because I thought that God was going to take away my singing voice. I was scared and so I just decided I should do something about it. When I started taking voice lessons and still didn't know what I was going to do, but I was like, "I should do this so God doesn't take away my voice because I love singing." Then, when I ended up being bored with my jobs, I was like, "Let met just leave and be out."
ArinMaya: Art makes me happy. I still don't know what I'm doing with my life, but since then, that was 2007 that I left my job and went to Paris in 2008. Since then, I feel like God's been pretty good. He's been providing. Opportunities have come and when I follow my heart and follow my inspiration, good things happen. That's good. Money is good too, but it comes. It comes, and money's not everything, it turns out. It balances out.
Kenrya: God provides.
Erica: Yes. Yes. Question, you said that you were taking voice lessons because you didn't want God to take away your voice. Explain that a little more. Was it because you weren't using it and so you were like, "Let me keep doing it," or just give me some thoughts.
ArinMaya: Earlier, I said because I'm from Chicago, I didn't really feel like singing was a career option. I remember explicitly thinking in high school that when I get older, I will be a singer and I will sing in jazz clubs at night after I get off work. I remember thinking that and planning for that. From age five until now, I'm still singing in a choir. But from age five all throughout my childhood and high school, I was in several multiple choirs. I was used to singing... Even if I was soloing, I was used to singing in groups. When I went to Howard, you all remember, you all didn't see me singing at Howard. There was no, "Oh, look Arin is..." Nope. I got there and the thing is... Okay. What happened was I went to a predominately white rich as fuck. Can I say fuck? Okay.
Kenrya: Girl, do you know how often we say fuck on this show?
ArinMaya: I just wanted to make sure. [inaudible 00:09:29]. I went to a predominately white rich as fuck white high school, right? I sang there and I was comfortable singing there because I was Black and they were white and I somehow understood even though I still sang in my church choir, which was very Black, Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright all of it. Okay? Pre-Barack but anyway, I was around Black people all the time and I was singing around Black people but Howard, I don't know. Just Howard was a whole different level of Blackness. I was like, "You all not about to try to play me with your super amazing special solo singing Blackness and I'm not good enough." Something stopped me from feeling like I could not even compete, but be accepted fully by the Blackness that was Howard's singing community. I actually didn't sing at Howard until senior year because Richard Smallwood had a choir and I was like, "I don't care whose competing against me at this point. It's Richard Smallwood, I'm doing it."
Erica: This is going to happen.
ArinMaya: It's happening, but I sang at Stanford. I didn't sing freshman and sophomore year, and I sang at Stanford in the acapella group. I soloed all over the place. Then, I sang at Richard Smallwood's choir but it was a small thing and it might have been like a one- or two-time thing. Again, you all didn't know. When I graduate from Howard and went to New York, it's New York, so I was like, "I don't know. Maybe I'll just sit back here." I think I found a choir or two to sing with here and there, but I just really didn't know how to find my own voice. I didn't know what to do if I wanted to be a singer because I was never a solo artist.
ArinMaya: It was never something that I really had context for, and so what happened was I went home for Christmas one year like I always did, previous to COVID, and we would always go to church for the New Year's Eve service and we would pray the new year in. We were at the watch service and praying the new year in and all I know is I felt like God was like, "So you're not going to use that gift that I gave you, right? That's cool. I'm just going to redistribute it." I was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hey, hold on. It's cool. I got you. I got you. Amen." Okay.
ArinMaya: Then, I went to this woman who was one of the soloists at the church whose voice I just love. She's effing amazing. I went up to her literally, like finished the prayer, went to her in the sanctuary and I was like, "Hey, hey, hey. Hey, Angela. I feel like God is going to take away my voice. I don't want that to happen so here's what I need you to do. What do I do in New York to be a singer or something? What do I do? How do I let God know that I don't want Him to take this away from me?" She's like "I guess you can try to find a voice coach or something." I was like "Cool, cool, cool. Okay. Okay."
ArinMaya: That's what I looked for. I think I asked a friend and her friend's brother was at Julliard for voice. He became my first voice teacher and it turns out that it was his younger brother who I became friends with who I lived with in Paris, Terence Nance, the video guy who made all of the things that... Just everything, everybody who is famous. One day, I'll be famous. It's fine.
Kenrya: Yeah. “Random Acts of Flyness” was his latest thing. Yeah.
ArinMaya: Yeah. He's like [inaudible]-ish. Yeah. His brother was my first voice teacher and then I moved around to a couple other voice teachers because I think he left and went back to Texas for a little while. Yeah. It just felt like a promise. It just felt like God made a promise in that moment and I was like, "No, it's okay. I got it. Thank you, God. I love my voice. Thank you." Yeah.
Erica: I'm going to keep using it.
ArinMaya: [inaudible 00:13:56]. Yeah.
Erica: Okay. As you know, here at The Turn On, we talk about sex or fucking as some people call it.
Kenrya: Some people are us.
Erica: We like to ask...
Erica: Some people are us, because we like to curse. What was the prevailing attitude about sex in your home growing up?
ArinMaya: It's interesting and I guess it's probably funny too. I don't know that there was a prevailing attitude, but my mother was a social worker and she worked mainly with foster kids. I think she had a certain awareness about things. She never wanted to make us feel bad and I'm sure she wanted us to be able to come to her, but did we come to her? I don't know, probably not. But for whatever reason, I don't know where I got the idea, but somehow I got the idea that I think I must have, at church, at some point, read the word fornication. I was like, "I don't want to do that. That's bad." Me and my friends in junior high or high school, or maybe it was me and I went to them and I was like, "This is what we're going to do." They were like, "Okay," but I was like...
Erica: Knowing you, it sounds like it was a, "This is what we're going to do," but continue.
ArinMaya: I probably came up with the idea on my own, but whatever the case, I was like, "No sex before marriage. That's fornication. That's not good. We shouldn't do that. That was what I chose. It was like when I was in elementary school, I knew that I was going to go to Whitney Young High School and I knew I was going to go to Spellman because that was just what I understood." It was a choice and I decided it and that was what it was going to be. Obviously, not what happened. It didn't happen. I'm glad that I went to Howard, so glad. But anyway, Spellman is great too. The point is I decided, at some point, that I was going to be a virgin until I got married and my mom would make fun of me because she's like, "Who told you that?" She was like, "Don't you try shoes on before you take them home?"
Erica: Yes, mama.
Kenrya: Right? Look at her talking sense.
ArinMaya: Yeah. I was like, "Well, mom, that's fine, but I know what I'm going to do, so whatever, sinner.” Yeah. I don't know. It's what I decided and that was my story and I was sticking to it. That was what it was until it wasn't that anymore. Yeah.
Erica: Until it wasn't. That's a good way to put it.
Kenrya: That actually leads to our next question, right? We asked you to come on because the last book that we read on the show, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” featured a woman who waited to have sex. She waited a long time and ended up marrying the first person she ever had sex to and then, things didn't go that well, but it made us curious about what was your journey to partnered sex. How did you get from, "No. I got to be in the V club forever," to, "I'm going to go on and do this right quick."
ArinMaya: I'm not ashamed of this. Okay? This is just my truth.
Kenrya: You should never be ashamed and this is not the show for shame, so you're good.
ArinMaya: No, no, no. It's silly though. I think about it and I know what happened and I know the decision that I made and it's funny. Welcome, here's the story. I was a virgin and I don't remember... Let me think. It had to be somewhere between 2006 and 2007, a girl who I had become friends with through another friend, sent me a link for Craigslist because the Tyra Show was like, "We want people who have never seen pornography before."
Erica: I remember this.
ArinMaya: Of course, my luck, wonderful, it aired Columbus Day weekend. I was getting calls from like...
Erica: Everybody was at home.
ArinMaya: Everybody was at home and I'm like, "Oh, great." The thing is like I don't care, even though it's so funny because I remember my senior year, there was like this group of dudes and they were like... It was like the end of senior year, "Arin, we can't tell if you're a virgin, a ho, or just a tease." In my head, I was like, "Good. I don't care." But anyway, I digress.
Kenrya: Why are you trying to figure it out? Mind your business.
ArinMaya: They was like, "How come none of this has fucked you? I don't understand." I'm pretty sure that was the reasoning. But the point was, I was a really good flirt. I was a really good... Anyway, okay. I wasn't fucking at Howard and I wasn't fucking after Howard for a while. I was on the Tyra Show, which I guess everybody saw and then they realized, "Oh, she was actually a virgin. That's why we hadn't fucked her." I went on there as not only the person who had never seen pornography who was over 25, but the virgin who had never seen pornography who was over 25. They loved that because they were like, "Great. Do you get paid for talk shows? No, you don't." "Why did I do this? I don't know, I was bored." It was months before I left for Paris.
Kenrya: You know everybody want to be on TV.
ArinMaya: I don't even think I wanted... I just was like, "Okay." Literally, I was on a break down. I cut my locks off and I was going to Paris soon after. That was when I was 25 because I turned 26 that year. I went to Paris. I didn't fuck in Paris. I came back when I was still 26. What happened was I moved to Brooklyn and at that point, I was writing songs. I was writing songs and I was becoming an artist. I started working at a wine shop. I think I was working back at a nonprofit part-time. I was creating my life and I was creating my voice as an artist. In the midst of writing these songs, I just feel like there is a corner of life that's untapped in here. I feel like I'm missing out on something like a chapter that I'm not writing because I have experienced...
Kenrya: You needed to do some research.
ArinMaya: That thing. Literally, I was like, "You're going to have to fuck." You're going to [inaudible 00:21:18].
Erica: You're going to have to fuck.
ArinMaya: You're going to have to be fucking because how are you going to write about deep, deep love if you're not even fucking?
Kenrya: Oh, my God.
ArinMaya: Literally, that's what led me to the first dick that I ever encountered in an intercoursal type of relationship, and it wasn't great. He was way too young. He did not know how to keep it up, and I probably didn't see him much after that at all because I was like, "I don't understand what just happened." That happened. Then, the next person... Because at that point, I was like, "Get on the horse and ride."
Female: Make up for lost time.
ArinMaya: This guy who I had been friends with and we had been kicking it and I was like, "Great. Let's do this." He was like, "Okay." I don't know if he thought that... He probably didn't know I was a virgin, right? The fact is he was a very... It's fine. He was in conversation earlier. I was talking about him earlier with my now life partner because we both know him and of course, I told my life partner that I fucked him, but the point is this guy is very tall, very well-endowed. Would I choose him again? No. Why? Because it wasn't great. Why? Because bitch, this is your second time fucking. What are you thinking? It was literally...
Erica: You just don't jump to the Olympics.
ArinMaya: It was. It was like, "What are you doing?" I didn't know. I was just like, "Fuck it. It's fine. Here we are. You trust him. He's not going to take a video. It's fine." Then, I think it was either afterwards, he was like, "Why didn't you tell me that this was just your second time?" I was like, "I didn't know I needed to tell you that. I just was trying..." Anyway, that wasn't great. Then, the third time was actually with a friend of my... We don't need to talk about who it was. Anyway, the third time was actually decent even though I probably [inaudible 00:23:56], but it was a reasonable sized endeavor and for whatever reason, I kind of felt like I liked him a little.
ArinMaya: There was some slight emotional thing, but really not. It was like we drank a lot one night and then tried, couldn't get it up because he had been drinking then the next morning, it just felt like more endearing and because it was a reasonably sized endeavor, that... But eventually, I did find a couple of really great scenarios that worked out and I felt like it went much better, but that's how we got there. That's how we got there. I needed to write songs that were about something and I was like, "Fuck it. Let's fuck," basically.
Kenrya: The logistics of song writing.
Erica: Fuck it. Let's fuck.
ArinMaya: I think that it probably didn't make a difference if I'm honest.
Erica: Okay. This is a thing about us Howard girls, not even Howard girls. We want to research. We want to feel like we have all the parts and the bits that we need to know in order to properly express ourselves about X, Y and Z. It's like, "Girl, honey, you ain't need to do all that. Just fucking feel"
Kenrya: Also, there's nothing wrong with research.
Erica: Okay. The book that we talked about “Ho! Ho! Ho!” it features this woman. She ended up marrying the first person she had sex with and you talked about your steps to enlightenment, endeavors, endeavorships. My question for you is what was your experience like interacting my potential partners once you started to have sex, and so you were looking at them as potential fuckers.
ArinMaya: Yeah. I think that... This may sound weird, but when I would meet a guy who I actually liked, I wasn't about to fuck him. I was like, "No. I actually like you, so you can't have it because I want to get to know you and I don't want sex to be something that you feel is a milestone you've reached and now you don't need to go deeper into the understanding of who I am and all that kind of stuff." It wasn't something that I was using as a trick or anything. It's just when I realized that I actually liked a guy, I just knew I wasn't really trying to fuck him right off. I lived in a studio apartment in Brooklyn for a long time and what that meant was that my furniture was a bed. There just wasn't a lot to do in my house if you came in my house other than cook and pee and sleep. I was like, "Well, you just can't come into my house."
ArinMaya: I remember in church being told like, "Don't put yourself in any situation that you feel like is not a good situation or you feel like it's a dangerous... Or if you don't feel good, then don't go there." Right? I think that I probably had maybe one situation where I let somebody come to my house and I was like, "This is just stupid. Why did you do this? Send him home. Don't even finish fucking. Just send him home." If you've ever seen one, you pretend like it never happened.
Kenrya: Been there.
ArinMaya: That happened, but it only happened like once. The thing is and it kind of sounds unrelated, but ultimately when I was younger, much younger, when I was in elementary or junior high, I remember explicitly... I remember a conversation with one of my best male friends, who I totally had a crush on, but eventually kind of got over it, but not really until college because I [inaudible 00:28:34] even though he was engaged. I just still you know. I was the kind of girl who was always looking for my husband.
ArinMaya: When he and I were on the phone one day, we were talking about girlfriend, boyfriends and I was like, "What is a boyfriend anyway like a boy who is your friend? Then, you're my boyfriend, right? This is stupid." I don't want a boyfriend because boyfriend has this understand that it's temporary. It's like, "Oh, let's be girlfriend and boyfriend for two, three weeks and then let's stop being boyfriend and girlfriend and let's go do something else." I was like, "I'm not looking for that." I was like, "I really just want a husband. I don't even understand what all this is for. Just give me a husband." Then, when “Brown Sugar” came out, I was like, "That's what I'm talking about, a best friend who becomes your husband. This is what I want."
ArinMaya: I was always very goal-oriented. I was always looking for the husband. I really never dated seriously. I didn't date seriously because I could meet a dude and within like two weeks, I'm like, "Well, no. No, this is not it. We can kick it like you can buy me food, we can hang out, like maybe we're sharing some level of intimacy, but you're not it, so I'm not going to pretend you're something that you're not." I think I really kind of compartmentalized my sexual brain or that connectivity with people because I knew that if he was going to be something important, sex wasn't even going to be something that we were talking about until it was time. That was just how I dealt with it.
ArinMaya: That doesn't mean I wasn't fucking. I was fucking, but I was mainly fucking casual because I was like, "Well..." It was guy who I don't consider as having dated, but he wanted to be titled. We just started talking. Then, I was like, "The sex is really good. I really wish you would just let it be that." It was just a whole complicated thing, but I know he wasn't it because he was tying to make something into something it wasn't early on. I was like, "Okay. Whatever." I think there were very, very few people who I really thought were going to be my husband. There was this one guy and he had gone to med school in Cuba, and I was like, "This is my husband." We hung out, I think. Maybe we didn't hangout immediately after I started fucking, but soon enough and I did eventually have sex with him and it was great but then I found out that he doesn't give head and I was like, so I cried.
Erica: Why would you send him to me, Lord?"
Kenrya: If ever you needed a clear signal that somebody wasn't the one...
ArinMaya: I cried in bed with him that night. Then, the next day, I let him go. I was like...
ArinMaya: "Well, this was fun while it lasted."
Kenrya: I'm proud of you for choosing you.
Erica: Yeah. I choose me.
ArinMaya: "But not going to work out, so go find what you need. I'm going to do that too. Thank you for playing."
Erica: Thank you for joining.
ArinMaya: But there were very few people who I really felt fucking strongly enough about that I was even relating them. It was really like, "Oh, there's this guy. We're kissing and he's not it, but we're kissing. That's cool." Then, there's this other guy like, "We're fucking, but he's not it. That's cool." Then, to be like, "Oh, there's this guy. I really like him." Then, we kiss, but I'm not going to fuck him because I like him and I want him to get to know me and I want us to do that. It worked out pretty well because I just don't like fuckery like, "Oh, let's pretend like this is something..." I'm like, "No." Like I said, I'm still looking for a husband.
Erica: Let's keep it a buck. How do you feel about the way like having sex for the first time is portrayed in the media?
ArinMaya: I just feel like I have said the word fuck so many times.
Erica: It's okay. We say it a lot on this show.
Kenrya: A lot.
Erica: This is actually a low fuck kind of episode.
Kenrya: Episode. Yeah. Seriously, you're good.
ArinMaya: Yeah. I think it's really fucked up, because I was thinking about it obviously earlier today and I was thinking... The terms that we use are, Oh, I lost my virginity." It's like, "I didn't lose my virginity. It didn't slip out of me one day. It didn't walk on a street and it fell out of my pocket." I didn't lose anything. I think that it actively takes away not only the onus, but the... What is it that I'm thinking, the autonomy of a woman. Right? It's like I'm a woman. I made decisions for my body, for myself and if I just choose to share my body with someone else, then that is what happens with my permission. Granted, that's not everybody's story, unfortunately, but I just think because we live in the fucked up fucktivity of America that is so patriarchal and also capitalism, it all plays together, but because of that, so much of what is communicated to us about our bodies, about sexual activity is...
ArinMaya: I remember when I went to Ghana and I was confused. I was in a cab going to where I was staying. I saw a billboard and I think it was about Sprite and there was a guy drinking a Sprite. I was like, "That's so interesting. There's no sex in that ad." There's so much of what we... Why is my brain not working very well? Because they pervert everything.
ArinMaya: They pervert everything. I remember there was this ad on the back of a truck. I think it was a moving truck and this guy and this girl were fucking on the back of the truck and it was like, "Move with us." I'm like, "What does this have to do with moving? I don't understand."
ArinMaya: This is how ads are constructed in America. At the same time, they're like, "Don't you have sex before you get married." Then, they're also like, "Here are the condoms you need if you're going to have sex." I'm like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa." There is a lot of confusion happening here. There's all like the church and religion and you're a ho or you're a slut and also why are you wearing those clear heals. Also, "It's okay if you're a rapist. We'll forgive you in about a year because she was wearing something that made you do that." Just all these things, it's fucked up. As far as sex and virginity, how can you not be confused?
ArinMaya: Now, there seems to be... I can't speak on it because I don't really pay a lot of attention to pop culture, but it seems like there's a movement in pop culture of women taking back their power and their autonomy and using their bodies the way they want to and not being told what they should and shouldn't do. It's funny because I think that because I grew up in the time where that wasn't the case, I remember the Janet Jackson album cover with the guy holding her breast from behind. That was a scandal. That was it. That was really it. It feels like...
Erica: You see this stuff now and you're like, "Oh, the young girls are going to be okay." They own it. They recognize the bullshit that their parents are being fed or that their parents are trying to feed them, and they own it. That part, it's not all perfect, but I feel like, "Okay. They're going to be okay."
ArinMaya: I was just saying I'm not really worried because I don't really have a stake in it, and I also feel like, "Everybody, do what you do and everything should be fine." I don't have time to judge other people for working or shaking their asses.
Kenrya: Just all mind our business.
ArinMaya: It doesn't have anything to do with me. I just want people to be safe and happy.
Erica: That's a novel idea.
Kenrya: Yeah. Unfortunately, it is because there's too many motherfuckers out here minding everybody else's business. But then, we also do shows like this in hopes of helping folks to be able to better express themselves and feel more comfortable and to be able to live into who they really are. I'm wondering speaking of the things that we do on this show, what you are reading right now?
ArinMaya: Was I dreading this question? Possibly. Am I reading anything?
Erica: That's okay, boo, if you're not reading. That's just okay.
Kenrya: You got stuff going on.
ArinMaya: I just finished reading a couple of books, which my mother suggested to me. One of them... See, I'm forgetting the author's name, but “The Supremes at Earl's All You Can Eat.” It's like fiction. It's kind of easy, chick lit summer reading whatever. I read that and then the follow up book and they were fun. I'm currently digging into Glennon Doyle's “Untamed” and I paused for a little bit, but I'm going to get back to it because I've heard that it's really amazing.
Erica: Okay. What is turning you on today?
ArinMaya: What's turning me on today? What's turning me on today is that my partner just got back from out of town and he's totally been all like, "Oh, I have to go to the gym every day and do that and do this," but he's super cute and he cut his hair and he actually looks great and I'm like, "Oh hey, boo."
Erica: Hey, boy.
ArinMaya: That's one of the things that is turning me on today.
Erica: Okay. We're going to do a quick rapid fire in which I will say a word and you tell me your favorite, so let's go. It's quick. Well, we try to make it quick.
ArinMaya: I'm not scared. I'm not scared.
Kenrya: Don't be scared.
Erica: Don't be. Don't be.
Kenrya: It's okay.
Erica: Don't be scared. Okay. Favorite drink?
Erica: Oh, I love margarita. Favorite person?
ArinMaya: My partner, Edson Sean.
Erica: Aww. Favorite place?
ArinMaya: Buckingham Fountain, Chicago, Illinois.
Erica: Oh, home. Favorite word?
Erica: Okay. I love it.
ArinMaya: I was going to say fuck, but we've said enough fucking on this show.
Kenrya: We can never have too much fucking.
Erica: Never too much fucking.
Kenrya: As long as it's consensual.
ArinMaya: After that, it's called pulchritudinous because it means beautiful and it's ugly as shit.
Erica: I love it. Okay. Because we talk about this, you're always telling me you buy too much stuff. What is your favorite thing to buy?
ArinMaya: I have everything and I love buying it all. I want to say shoes.
Kenrya: You can say shoes.
ArinMaya: I don't know. Clothes and shoes. You got to have one to wear the other, not really, but... Yeah. Yeah. Shoes, clothes. Yeah.
Erica: Okay. I like it. Your favorite smell?
ArinMaya: That's so interesting, right? What kind of question is that? I like grapefruit candles.
Erica: That's a good one.
Female: I like that.
ArinMaya: All right.
Kenrya: That's dope. Okay. What's next for you? What do you got in the works? What's coming up that you can share?
Erica: We know there's a big project, but....
ArinMaya: Huge project. Huge project. The next thing needs to be “I Love My Afro Ratchet Soul” because once I finish the project that I'm working on right now, I'm going to hop right back on that pony and get that done which is my second full length album that will be done at some point in the future. I was looking forward to finishing it and then COVID was like, "No, you won't." I was like, "Great." I'm just looking forward to being in the studio with the artists, with the instrumentalists, actually sharing ideas, collaborating and all that and then getting it together and having video of that whole process. Yeah.
Kenrya: That's going to be dope. Yeah. You all can find out more about that and keep track by going to arinmaya.com. It's A-R-I-N-M-A-Y-A.com. They can also follow you on Twitter and IG. What's your handle, dear?
ArinMaya: ArinMaya. Same, A-R-I-N-M-A-Y-A.
Kenrya: It's the same on Facebook? It's no spaces in between, right?
ArinMaya: No spaces. If you ever want to write my name, it's capitalized A, lower case R-I-N, capital M, no space, A-Y-A. It's ArinMaya, just one word.
Kenrya: Yes. Even though we're horrible about saying it, because we just call you Arin. Sorry.
ArinMaya: That's all right.
ArinMaya: It's okay. It can be confusing for people. Some people accidentally... Accidentally? I don't know. Some people, sometimes they're like, "Maya," and I'm like...
Kenrya: No. Who's that?
Erica: You don't know me.
Kenrya: But see, that's how you know they don't actually know you.
ArinMaya: My name is Arin and if you want to do ArinMaya, just make sure I hear the Arin first, but yeah.
Kenrya: That's so us. Well, thank you so much for coming on. We had a ball.
ArinMaya: Thank you for having me and thank you for doing this amazingness that you are putting out into the world, so effortlessly.
Erica: Thank you.
Kenrya: Yay. We're trying
ArinMaya: Not try, you are doing.
Kenrya: Thank you for that reminder. We all need that. Yes. Thanks to everyone who is listening and watching. That is it for this week's episode of The Turn On and we'll be back next week. Take care.
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 that 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: 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 will 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.