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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya discuss their quarantine experiences and share dispatches from listeners about how they are fostering intimacy during the pandemic.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Kenrya: Hey y'all.
Kenrya: So, if I sound-
Erica: That's y'all saying, "Hey."
Kenrya: Yes, call and response come through. If I sound a little tired, it's because I'm tired of being in this bitch. We are on who knows what week of, I mean, we call this social distancing, but it's basically fucking quarantine. At least where we live, we in a house, we not allowed to go nowhere except for to take walks and go to the grocery store and the pharmacy. Hopefully, your town is doing the same shit so that we can all come out of this pandemic well and healthy, right? So as this shit drags on, it made us think about how intimacy looks in the time of the coronavirus.
Erica: Fucking in the time of quarantines. Okay, maybe not just fucking, but just-
Kenrya: You know, intimacy has a lot of levels.
Erica: ... getting close.
Kenrya: So yeah, it made us kind of want to explore that, not just our own experience, but also our listeners’. So we asked some folks to send in little dispatches, so we're calling them from their little parts of the world-
Erica: Dispatches from your corner of the world.
Kenrya: Exactly. About what this looks like to them right now. So we're going to play one for you.
Listener 1: So my boyfriend and I decided to give up sex for Lent as our thing that we were going to sacrifice. And honestly as a Christian, that is something I've struggled with given that we're not married yet, but with all the stress of COVID-19, that did not last the full time. But because we are social distancing and everything else, I'm not seeing him as much. And so, I think we are just now very much looking forward to getting back to normal as soon as possible for a whole host of reasons.
Erica: Well, that was interesting. I find it interesting how we see this theme with couples that aren't together, that everyone was like, "Okay, we'll get to that sooner or later, we'll get to that later" and then it's like, "Oh, hell no, there won't be a later until... Well, later will be much later."
Kenrya: Much later, right.
Erica: So, I mean, it sucks that they weren't able to hold up their Lent agreement for no sex. And I can only imagine what it feels to have a boo and not be able to keep close. She didn't say if they were social distancing together, it sounded like they weren't.
Kenrya: Yeah, it sounded like they weren't, but maybe they've broken it and come together a couple of times.
Erica: Made some illegal dick appointments?
Kenrya: I don't know.
Erica: I don't know. Non-essential dick appointments?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative), because right here, that's punishable by a misdemeanor and the $5,000 fine.
Erica: All that for that dick.
Kenrya: I hope it's worth it.
Erica: I hope it is too, she probably thinks it is.
Kenrya: But I understand, listen, that's not a game. Having regular dick appointments is one of the things that's getting me through, so
Kenrya: Yeah, I'm sorry. I mean, that gives us a good place to talk about how this has impacted you.
Erica: I mean, I use my vibrator a lot right now. I think because of everything else that's going on, I probably wouldn't have been having lots of sex anyway.
Kenrya: Right. Everything else being that you're in chemo.
Erica: Yeah. And so, I have a lower immune system and that kind of thing. So, yeah, I probably would have only had one partner during this period just to keep things easier. But anyway, you just, yeah... But with all the various drugs and things that I'm on, two things. One, right after chemo, your body is still emitting everything. So I use my own bathroom, no one else uses my restroom. I mean, I always put the toilet seat down when I flush the toilet. But they're really concerned about, "Your shit is pretty much radioactive."
Erica: When I go in there for chemo, one of the drugs that I use, it comes in... And they have somebody else bring it in. It's kind of like a vault, or something. So this one nurse comes in with it in a bag, and then in that bag, it's this whole PPE that the nurse has to put on in order to inject it into my body. I'm like, "Girl, you're putting this shit in my body every two weeks-
Kenrya: And you can't touch it.
Erica: ... and you can't even get it on your clothes." But anyway, so my body itself is emitting all types of icky things that I probably shouldn't be squirting on a nigga. So I probably wouldn't be having lots of sex anyway. But I also feel like your pussy are like earring holes. If you don't use it, it closes up.
Kenrya: You're worried that shit going to close up.
Erica: So I have been using my vibrator a whole lot, and also, more than just sex, I miss intimacy.
Kenrya: That's what I was going to say, how are you dealing with touch?
Erica: One of my partners, actually, he called me because he got his hands on some N95 masks and so he was like, "I want to see you. Let me stop by." And I'm like, "It's not a good idea." He's like, "I'll come sit on your porch but I just want to see you." So I'm-
Kenrya: Who is this? When did this happen?
Erica: He hasn't come yet because he hadn't gotten his mask, but he's very excited about coming to sit with me and in his N95 mask. But I miss somebody rubbing on my booty. Just little things like that, I just truly miss. And I live with my brother, I live with my son so I at least get some non-romantic intimacy and I hug him and them but it really makes me feel for people that live alone. And you're standing in a corner, touching your back to each wall trying to get a little bit of love. But, yeah, it's like that monkey with the wire in the cage. There's some-
Kenrya: I have no idea what you're talking about.
Erica: There's some test where they take a monkey and they simulate a mom, and it's a wire monkey and a little baby monkey. [crosstalk 00:07:14] That's how I am. I realized this morning as I was making my bed, I sleep with ten pillows in my bed. I have a king size bed, but I sleep with tons of pillows in my bed-
Kenrya: You sure do.
Erica: And I think it's because I need to feel somebody rubbing on my booty, even if it's just a feather pillow. So yeah, I miss sex, but I also just miss intimacy. The good thing is I have FaceTime, I haven't done a lot of... Maybe we'll get into this as some point.
Erica: Going through breast cancer, your body isn't the same. So I haven't done a lot of video chatting with my guy friends, my partners, just because I feel a certain kind of way. And it's not even the hair thing. Yes, I lost my hair, but I look good with no hair. I think it's just generally I'm on steroids so I feel like my face is getting fatter. I just don't feel like I look like myself, so I've been a little hesitant to do that. But maybe I'll zhuzh it up and do some freaky FaceTiming or something because... yeah.
Kenrya: Why not? Bitch, you look great.
Erica: Thank you.
Kenrya: Y'all ain't get to see what I saw when she's... So first of all, they won't let me go with her to chemo, at this point, because of what's happening. But last time you went to chemo, this bitch put on a leopard print cardigan-
Erica: Hey, cool cats and kittens.
Kenrya: [crosstalk 00:08:46] racist niggas on “Tiger King.”
Erica: I definitely put on leather tights and fuck me pumps.
Kenrya: Sure did.
Erica: Some old man walked past me and went, "Hubba, Hubba." I was like, "Okay." And I truly think for my final chemo session, I am going to dress up in a full gown. Because why not?
Kenrya: Why not?
Erica: Yeah. I think my good shoes think that I have died, so I think I'm going to just wear really nice clothes to chemo. I was putting on a full face of makeup, but wearing a mask, it kind of gets my mask all dirty. But yeah, I definitely dress up and try to make myself feel better when I go to chemo.
Kenrya: I love it.
Erica: And it's not that I don't... I still have my eyebrows and I'm feel like that's what makes you-
Kenrya: You sure do, and your lashes and all of that.
Erica: ... I feel like that's what makes you look sick, when you lose your eyebrows. But it's just things are a little different and more than anything I think I just miss having my booty rubbed on, and all of that.
Kenrya: Yeah, that shit's soothing. Well, now we'll hear from someone who says that maybe things haven't changed all that much in her household.
Listener 2: I have to be honest and say that my quarantine sex life hasn't been that remarkable. However, I have been given a few wonderful peep shows and have tried to do the same. So the other day, I'm on a Zoom conference call for work, and what do I see through the door? My husband done pulled his penis out. Now, it completely caught me off guard, but I liked it. A little freaky touch. So, a few days later, my husband's in our office on a conference call, so I figured, "You know what? I'm going to pull my titty out." Well little did I know, he wasn't on a conference call, he was on a video chat on Zoom. So, luckily, he pulled his computer down, but maybe there was a nip slip or two. Long story short, it was hot, it was freaky, and we got it in that night.
Erica: All right, we're back. So, that was wild.
Erica: I heard that and hollered. I love that. I love the fact that this couple-
Kenrya: Just pop a titty in his mouth.
Erica: ... found a way to keep things spicy and interesting and, one, I think it was great that she was honest. Look, ain't a lot of fucking going on around here, but in spite of that, they still found a way to make each other smile and eventually get it in.
Kenrya: Right. It's like foreplay.
Erica: Give him something to simmer on all day.
Kenrya: Even when the Zoom is going.
Erica: And a titty pop out.
Kenrya: Oh my God. Whatever. Everybody's seen some titties.
Erica: Exactly. We all got them.
Kenrya: Whether they wanted to or not.
Erica: Yeah, or nipples. Anyway. So how are you holding up during this quarantine?
Kenrya: Intimacy and sex? Why it's actually really, well, because I'm basically quarantined with my partner. I mean, he's here most nights of the week. He works from home, so he literally is never around people unless he's around me, my kid. And so, we've been able to safely still see each other every day. And so, we have sex as often as I can handle. It was interesting because after three, four weeks of being home, my daughter's... My ex-husband was finally not going back and forth to work and just staying at home. And so I allowed her to go to be with him for the week because he wasn't traveling and being around people and shit. So we got a week in the house with no kid, which is the longest we've ever had.
Erica: Doors were open, y'all was doing it.
Kenrya: We were, but it was interesting because I got sick the first night. I ate something. You know, I'm allergic to the world.
Erica: Oh yeah, I remember you saying that you weren't feeling well.
Kenrya: So we didn't have sex at all, the first two or three days. Two days?
Erica: Something tells me y'all made up for time.
Kenrya: Oh, yeah. It was good. But it sucked, because I had really been looking forward to being able to do it anywhere in the house and not just in the bedroom with the door locked and quiet and music playing, the whole thing you got to go through to be able to have sex without getting interrupted. So it kind of sucked because I... I shouldn't be complaining, obviously, but that I didn't get to have those couple of days. I had to wait a while but my stomach was so jacked up, it wouldn't have been good. I know.
Erica: Bee gees!
Kenrya: It was so bad. Literally, he went out and got me Gas-X at 11 o'clock at night, which I had never considered as being a thing that would help. But it did help, between that and a heating pad, back on track. But it was really bad for a few days. So that's been good. But, even more than just being able to have sex, it's, like you said, the intimacy of it. Taking the daily walks where we just get to walk shoulder to shoulder and where my kid jumps into the mix. It's just been really good and it's been great to see them develop. I feel like this has helped to accelerate them developing their own relationship, as an involvement.
Erica: I was going to ask about that, because I feel like, from what I know, this is the first time that they really get to... I mean, I know that y'all do stuff together, but this has been consistent.
Kenrya: Yeah, we go to dinner and hang out. But yeah, this has been, he comes over and we do Just Dance all together and they challenge each other and they see each other literally every day. We take these walks all together and they've got their own little inside fucking jokes and they're pranking each other and it's really cute to see that their relationship is growing absent of me nurturing it, if that makes sense?
Kenrya: She made him watch “Black Panther,” which he hadn't seen because... Girl, he got this whole "I don't want to be a sheep" thing. I'm like, "But some things are just good."
Erica: Oh shut up and watch the movie.
Kenrya: I know, whatever. So yeah, we ate pizza and watched it and it was our one meal outside the house day.
Erica: Who want this pizza?
Kenrya: We went and picked it up from his favorite pizza place, and then just sat on the floor and watched “Black Panther” and ate pizza. And it was glorious because it just felt like we were in our little cocoon and our little... Yeah.
Erica: I might have to break down and order some pizza tonight.
Kenrya: So it's honestly been nice. Well, that place doesn't deliver, but there is a place around here that does. But yeah, it's been good. I definitely think about if I had been in another phase of my life, how much more difficult it would have been. Like when I lived in New York and I was lonely all the time. It's the city that's jam packed with people, and I had a friend who literally lived around the corner, but I always really felt by myself in that city. And didn't have kids, wasn't married, had a partner who lived across the country, so barely counted, honestly. And so I was always lonely and I think it would've been really difficult for me, had I been in that phase of my life when all of that happened. I think it helps that I have a little person to hug on. We sat on the couch last night and watched “Trolls.”
Erica: Oh, the new one?
Kenrya: Yeah, it's on there. You can watch it.
Erica: Okay, perfect.
Kenrya: We'll probably finish it after we record, and y'all can watch it.
Kenrya: Yeah, it's been nice when we're not going through the hair-pulling parts of distance learning and trying to navigate with this new... everybody says the "new normal," but this isn't normal, right? And I don't think we should normalize... But to navigate the new ways that we're doing the things that we're used to doing. To still be able to come back to those moments of cuddling on the couch with my kid and trying to keep this nigga from tickling my feet while we watch trash TV in the middle of the night. Those have been really good moments even in the midst of the drama.
Erica: Well, that's lovely.
Kenrya: It is. We also heard from a listener who, unfortunately, does not have that same support, in terms of being able to be with her partner. And she actually had to email her story because her kid is always in front of her.
Erica: Always in earshot.
Kenrya: She was like, "I can't even say it out loud, so I'm going to have to send it to you." So here's what she says.
Kenrya: "For the first time, my long-distance relationship seems so long distance. I haven't seen him since December, and at this rate, there's a good chance I won't see him until June. I'm holding out hope that he'll get his degree in May, and that we'll still be able to meet in Jamaica in June. We only saw each other an average of six times a year, which was about every other month, for the last three years. And now, geesh."
Kenrya: She said geesh.
Kenrya: "And it's not like I have anything else going on locally with anyone else because this coronavirus pandemic is killing it. I couldn't imagine doing this abstinence shit voluntarily."
Kenrya: Poor thing. Yeah, she's going through it. I mean, they're several states apart and I don't think they're very into distance.
Erica: Oh, I was going to say they probably have some way that they're doing it.
Kenrya: I don't know, yeah.
Erica: Even if it's not FaceTime, maybe they be some phone sex, or phone flirting at the very minimum.
Kenrya: I hope so.
Erica: Phone flirting. I mean, you got to be masturbating so why waste it alone? Do it in his ear.
Kenrya: It's true. Which is why you need to get on the... Maybe not Zoom, privacy issues. But get on the FaceTime sex train.
Erica: Yeah, get on the FaceTime. Choo choo.
Erica: But that's got to suck.
Kenrya: It does, poor thing.
Erica: Well, no matter how you're handling these intimacy issues, we hope that you are finding some way to connect to your people and stay close and just maintain that connection. One of the things that, I kind of touched on this, but like I said, I feel really bad for people that live alone. Because you're forced into quarantine. So, if you don't live alone, or if you do, just make it a point to reach out to your other friends that do live alone to make sure that they're okay and not climbing the walls.
Kenrya: Yeah, one thing that we've actually been doing with our friend group is, we do weekly virtual happy hours.
Erica: And you join if you can. If you can't, no problem, but-
Kenrya: Right. But you know that we're there once a week at the same time, and it allows us to see each other. And some of these weeks have been really hard, so by the time we get here, some of these bitches is three drinks in by the time we dial in. But it gives us the space to be with each other.
Kenrya: Especially the folks who don't have anyone right there with them every day. So, yeah.
Erica: Alrighty, well. From quarantine, Erica and Kenrya, two hoes, making it clap!
Kenrya: Two hoes, making it clap!
Kenrya: This episode was produced by us, Kenrya and Erica, and edited by B'Lystic. The theme music is from Brazy. We want to hear from y'all, send your book recommendations and all the burning sex and related questions that you want us to answer to TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com. And please subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app. Follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast, and find links to books, transcripts, guest info, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com. And remember The Turn On Podcast is part of the Frolic Podcast Network. You can find more podcasts that you'll love at Frolic.media/podcasts. Thanks for joining us and we'll see you soon. Bye!
The Turn On
The Turn On is a podcast for Black people who want to get off. To open their minds. To learn. To be part of a community. To show that we love and fuck too, and it doesn't have to be political or scandalous or dirty. Unless we want it to be.