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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya read Tia William's "Seven Days in June" and talk invisible disabilities, shifting identities, taking up space, generational trauma, parenting kids with more privilege than you, the beauty of Korean spas and the benefits of being young and unattached.
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Kenrya: Come here, get off.
Erica: Hey y'all. Welcome to this week's episode of The Turn On. Just a little note before we get started, today's book handles some pretty intense issues, so this is our official trigger warning. Be good to yourself and your spirit and mind, so if this gets too tough, cut it off, I promise we'll be back kicking it next week as well. With that, we are reading “Seven Days in June,” by the lovely Tia Williams. It was just released in June 2021. Sit back, relax, get your wine, your weed, whatever you need and enjoy.
Kenrya: “Seven Days in June” by Tia Williams.
Kenrya: “Go to sleep.” “Can't sleep,” she murmured. “I'm distracted.” “Why?” He turned his head to face her and then their eyes locked in silent conversation. It was also dreamlike. Minutes were melting into each other. Their blinks became slower, the two of them wearing syrupy, satisfied smiles.
Kenrya: Finally, Eva delivered an answer that neither of them believed. “I'm trying to memorize this room, it's good material, maybe it'll show up in a book,” she said yawning full drowsy. “Honestly, as stressful as writing is, I can't imagine not doing it.” “It’s heady, right?” he muttered, eyes focused on her mouth. “Yeah, the power is so good. Making complete strangers laugh, cry, get turned on. It's better than sex.” “Is it though?” “I wouldn't remember actually,” she admitted. “I met the sexual equivalent of rock bottom. It's been ages. You?” “But you're such a filthy writer.” “I have a filthy imagination”, she corrected, and sometimes it's enough she thought, but mostly it's lonely.
Kenrya: CeCe had once diagnosed Eva as touch starved, one of her authors wrote a self-help book about it. When someone went too long without touch, they became hypersensitive to the slightest graze. There was truth to it. Last weekend, Eva had almost had an orgasm when our hairstylist shampooed her and her hairstylist was the grandmother of six. Eva had been consciously avoiding Shane's touch all day. If he so much as brushed up against her, she might explode.
Kenrya: “I'm at rock bottom too,” said Shane, “I've never had sober sex.” Eva gasped, “That long? Why?” Shane didn't know how to answer this. He'd had a lot of sex with too many women in increasingly depraved ways. A lot of it good, most of it a blur, and it was a relief to stop. “Normal, healthy people didn't use sex as opposed to vodka chaser, I just never got around to it,” he said. “I don't miss it,” Eva said with a dismissive flick of her wrist. “Honestly, I'm practically a virgin again, it'll probably hurt.” “I'm so backed up, it'll be over in two seconds.” “Good thing we're not having sex.” “I for one, am relieved,” says Shane with the wolfish smile. Eva giggled into her palm despite herself.
Kenrya: “Why is it still so easy to talk to you?” Shane gazed at her until the glint in his eye faded a bit. “It always was, it's just who we are.” “Do you remember everything,” she whispered, “about us?” It took him a while to answer. “It's funny, the past decade is a blur, but I remember every detail of that week.” “I was hoping I'd romanticized it over the years that we weren't real.” Her words sounded delicate, breakable. There was a quietly hypnotic faint sound of a piano and the incense swirled softly, and then Eva felt a familiar pull. Just like when they were 17, there was no space between them. There was an overwhelming need to get closer, always. Unthinking, Eva slipped her hand into his. Shane squeezed it and then brought her hand to his mouth, pressing a lingering kiss into her palm. She gasped, electricity tearing through her. It was the slightest touch, but she felt it everywhere. Eva had been imprisoned in pain for so long, she'd forgotten how good feeling good was. Her entire body roused and suddenly, she was aware of everything. Her skin, her cells, the bones under her skin. Heart fluttering, core throbbing. Touch-starved.
Kenrya: Shane watched her reaction with lidded eyes. Then he lightly ran his lips along the inside of her wrist. She let out the tiniest whimper, her back arching. It was electric. Breathless and embarrassed by our reaction, she sat up, burying her face in her hands. No. They were in a public space behind an unlocked door. She was a mother! And Shane was a bold-faced name. Where they really fated to get caught dry-humping at an art world pop-up? A welcome sign said no touching. If they got caught, Book Twitter would implode. Audre would fling herself into the East River.
Kenrya: But then she opened her eyes. There was Shane, gazing up at her, looking for all the world like the reckless, irresistible boy he'd once been, but now with experience and grow-man gravitas and a rugged North African surfing scar, and the most fuckable crinkles around his eyes. And nothing mattered. There was no hell she wouldn't risk for this man and he knew it. Come here, he said. Eva straddled him, her hair falling in his face. Shane ran his hands up the back of her thighs and over her ass, and then not gently, he gripped her hips and pulled her down against him. Their lips were inches away from each other. “20 questions,” he whispered. “Go.” “Why'd you really come to see me?” “To ask for the favor.” “Liar.” Shane tossed her over onto her back, pinning her wrists above her head with one hand. Instinctively, her legs drew up, wrapping around his waist. “Why'd you come?” “For you.” Her hips stuttered against his, desperate for friction. “Wanted you.” “You got me,” he rasped, leaving hot, sucking kisses down her throat. “Your turn.”
Kenrya: Eva trembled beneath him. His mouth scrambling her brain. She couldn't ask Shane the obvious questions. Where did you go? Why'd you leave? How could you? Over the years she trained herself not to care about these answers. Besides, this one that wasn't about him, it was about her, so she went for something easier. “Do you ever think of me?” Lightly, he ran his tongue along her neck, up to her ear, nibbling on her lobe. “I never learned how to stop.” “Oh,” she said, and then shakily added, “your turn.” “So did you? Romanticize us?” asked Shane, eyes catching hers. “Or were we real?” “We were real,” she whispered, almost inaudibly. “Then?” He ground himself against her and she moaned. “Yes,” she gasped. “Then, and now.”
Kenrya: Abruptly, Shane freed her wrists and cradled her face. She slid her hands up as back, gripping his shoulders. Slowly, he lowered his face toward hers, then stopped. He dipped down, then paused. He'd been waiting a lifetime to have her like this, buzzing for him, craving him, desperate, and he wanted to savor it. But she let out an impatient groan, digging her nails into his shoulders, and Shane caved. He crashed his mouth into hers, drawing her into a luscious, searing kiss. The delicious shock of it was enough to make Eva freeze, but then she melted into him, lost in the heat of his mouth, the slide of his tongue, the teasing nip of his teeth until she was unable to form a coherent thought beyond, yes and want and Shane, Shane, Shane. He kept at it, kissing her senseless. It went backward in intensity, slowing down to a soft, searing smolder, almost too hot to take. They stopped only to catch their breath.
Kenrya: “One more question,” he said. “We're still playing?” She wet her lips with her tongue. “Yeah,” Shane glanced toward the door, then back down at her. Eyes glinting in the dark wickedly. “Are you still bad?” “Yes,” she said, without thinking, reaching down to palm his dick, huge and hard in his jeans. She rubbed along the length of him, teasing out a low groan. “Are you?” “Yeah,” he said, pushing her dress up and slipping off her strapless bra. Dipping down, he ran his soft, hot mouth along the swell of her breast, his teeth catching on her nipple. He swirled his tongue around it, sucking deliciously. And then his stubble scraping your skin, he dragged his mouth to the other. Her helpless, shuddery gasps were making him so hard, he wondered how he survived this.
Kenrya: “Yeah,” he growled against her breasts. “I'm still there.” “Why? Tell me.” Shane lifted his head, taking her in. Eva looked radiant, so slutty, with her dress pulled up under her arms, showing off sheer panties, curls everywhere, panting, trembling, lips raw and swollen from kissing. She had a bruise blossoming on her hip where he gripped her. “'Cause I'm old enough to know better,” said Shane, drawing her into a quick, dirty tongue kiss. “But I'm going to do it anyway.” “Do what?” “Fuck you. Here.” And then they tore into each other. Frantically, Shane managed to get our soaked panties off one leg and Eva pushed down his jeans and boxes, but there was no time to get all the way naked. He dug into his wallet for an ancient condom, offering a silent prayer to several deities that it still worked, and slipped it on. Then, covering her with his tall, strong body, Shane sank into Eva with excruciating slowness, careful not to hurt her.
Kenrya: It did hurt, but the burn was exquisite. Wanting more, Eva cupped his ass and pushed him deeper. She gasped, and Shane kissed her quiet, driving into her was steady, deep strokes, and all she could do was take it, wave after wave of pleasure. When he felt her whole body begin to shudder against his, he slid his hand down between their sweat-slick, half-clothed bodies and dipped his middle finger over her clit. He rubbed her slowly but fucked her hard, and it was so good, so intense, that it sent her over the edge, shattering her to stillness. And when Shane followed seconds later, he put his mouth to her ear and finally said it. Eva, he rasped, voice wrecked. Eva, Eva. He uttered it like an incantation. The only name that ever mattered, and Eva, heart slamming into her ribs, clung to him in the violet-tinged darkness. Feeling both lost and found.
Erica: Okay, so welcome back. Thank you, Kenrya, for that lovely reading. This one was a lot. Do you want to give the... You give the synopsis, because if I do it, I'm going to tell too much.
Kenrya: Okay. This book stars... Crap, how am I blanking on her name? And I literally just read it.
Kenrya: Oh, Eva.
Erica: Also known as Genevieve.
Kenrya: Yes. She is an erotica writer, which was really the first thing I think that drew us into this one, who suffers with chronic pain and tries very hard to balance writing with taking care of her daughter as a single parent. She doesn't really make much time for herself to do anything else, like fall in love. And she finds herself through a series of events that reunited with, I guess, her first love, and this book follows their reunion. The scene that we just read is the first day that they spent together.
Erica: Yes, so you said... Do you really think that it was that she hadn't fallen in love, because of time or because of other situations?
Kenrya: I think she wasn't necessarily open to it, but I also think she's someone who has been divorced. And there was something that was really striking that she at some point asked her husband, her ex-husband, was it hard to love her? And he was like, “No, I thought that you were a problem to be taken care of instead of someone to just be loved.” I think even before he said that, she had internalized that, and that it kept her from being able to feel like she could be close to people or reveal what she saw as a weakness, because she worried that she would be a burden on folks. And that kept her from being able to put herself into a position to be able to fall in love with anyone.
Erica: Yeah. I agree. I just wanted to call out the time thing because I don't think it was time. I think [crosstalk 00:17:10].
Kenrya: Yeah, you're right. That's the story she told herself and everybody else.
Erica: [crosstalk 00:17:12] yes, time was an excuse.
Kenrya: Yes, for sure.
Erica: Yeah. There were a lot of things that just were striking about this story. One of the things that we know is that she's an erotica writer, which let me say it, we were like ding, ding, ding. But also she is a single mom of this child that is a lot.
Erica: Dynamic, that's the best way to put it. She is a spitfire and it was interesting to me because I feel like parenting and being a person, they are two vast, very different roles. Parenting and being an adult are two very different things, both of which you were fucking clueless, but you got to make it look like you got your shit together to a point. And then you layer on top of each other and I think this book really showed how you can be a parent, you can swear you have all your shit together, you parent your kid. And then you put your kids in bed after you just lay down the law and you're texting some boy, because you aren't sure if he likes you. It was just, yeah.
Erica: I think one of the biggest things that I had to deal with through therapy was recognizing that my mom was just a person, my dad was just a person. They had parenting and parenthood, grown-up added to who they were, but at the end of the day, they're still people trying to figure shit out. And this showed that, because I feel like also when I'm dating now, it's like, he doesn't like me. And I'm like, bitch, you over here managing a household budget, and you're doing all this other stuff. But at the end of the day, we're people that are trying to figure this shit out.
Kenrya: It's true.
Erica: You feel that way as a, or now that you're on the other side?
Kenrya: Yeah. I still feel that way. Yes. Yesterday our AC was out and it got to be like 92 degrees in here.
Erica: Which is hot for you, because you still keep your house warm, but anyway.
Kenrya: Yeah, so it was hot and it was humid and it was literally unbearable for people with asthma, trying to sit in here. And I had a meeting with a client starting in two minutes when I was just like, we can't stay here, but also didn't have time to... And it was on Zoom, so we ran down to the car. I had to do my calls on video from the car, but at least we got some relief from the air. And then I was like, we'll go get gas. We'll go get dinner.
Erica: You know me and I live below you, right?
Kenrya: I know that, but I also know that I was at your house on Sunday and my allergies were so bad, even with taking an extra pill, that I woke up in the middle of the night all fucked up and had to use my saline and shit, so I wouldn't get a sinus infection. This is the part that I'm getting to. My anxiety makes it really hard for me to person, to adult, and to parent. I was trying to explain to my partner, because we ended up going to his place cause he doesn't have pets, it was just too fucking hot here. At first, we were going to try to stay and we're going to just sleep in the living room and make it a sleepover. And I'm trying to make it fun for the kid, because I'm trying to parent while also trying to figure it out. But I would have had to come all the way downstairs and look through the basement to try to find the air mattress. I know that for people who don't have brains that are broken, that doesn't seem like a difficult task.
Erica: Your brain is not broken. It's just a little special.
Kenrya: I'm okay with it, it’s got some fucked up parts and that's okay. It's just part of who I am, it don't bother me, it's just hard sometimes. So I have to repeat what's going on more than once in order to get down there to get it. I got to look for it. I got to do that while my kid doesn't freak out that I had to leave her. The house is dark, because we're not turning on lights because we're trying to keep it cool.
Kenrya: All of these things are going through my broken brain and feeling completely overwhelming. I'm sweating fucking buckets. I can barely breathe. And all I'm trying to think about is how do I manage just the logistics of this? How do I manage the anxiety that is coming up around having to deal with the logistics and having to ask for help with that? And how do I manage her and her anxiety? And I'm trying to do all of this at the same fucking time. And only one time that I... It was something that she asked me and I didn't snap. I was just like, "Hey, could you just do what I asked you to do?" Because that was all I could manage to keep from losing my shit. To me, yesterday perfectly encapsulated what it is like to try to do all the little things at one time and to feel like you're failing on every front all at the same fucking time. It was not great. It was not great.
Erica: I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
Kenrya: It is what it is. And part of my issue was that it's hard for me to ask for help when I'm in the middle of stuff. So it just the thing. If my partner hadn't said, "Hey, get your shit and come over here," I would have been trying to figure it out on the floor, or on the couch in my living room.
Erica: Yeah, when you sent me a text saying, I was like, "Wait, she ain't say nothing, but all right." You ain't have ice up there. You can at least come down for some ice.
Kenrya: Everything felt so hard.
Erica: I'm messing with you. Well, yeah, parenting, being... Parenting and personing are... The clash between the two, it's just... And dating and relationships and all of that. And this showed all of that. Also with how you can have... Everything could be blowing up at the same time. Eva was dealing with her health, she was dealing with the kid, she was dealing with... And also-
Kenrya: She had a book due.
Erica: The book due. She was dealing with-
Kenrya: And this nigga pop up.
Erica: The nigga and the show, and a movie. It was just a lot going on. And on top of that... I guess we'll go into it. So Eva suffers with really bad migraines, and to not only have all of this happening, but then something that... I don't want to turn this into the Oppression Olympics. You said that before. But to have something that can truly take you out, that you just have to shut everything down, no matter, just layered even more on top of it. So Eva struggled with her migraines, and for a really long time, damn near towards the end of the book, where she recognized it as a disability. And it was more just out of frustration, like, "You know what, goddamn it, I do have a disability. I have an invisible disability and this is what it is."
Kenrya: It's not a shortcoming, and it's not something that she's not doing right, or something that she has to hide. So what was really interesting to me is that I did not realize how much this book paralleled my life until you called me and was like, "Hey bitch, this your life." Like the mom raising a kid, really. I mean, at least her co-parent lives in Dadifornia, but I... Whatever. But writer, invisible disability, all of that. And it was interesting because this is something that I have really been dealing with over the last year, just as a person and also in therapy, because that's what therapy is for. So folks who listen to the show regularly will know that... And I don't really talk much, because again, you don't want to delve into your stuff, but I have been battling who the fuck knows what with my health for the last year, and it has been like dominoes falling. Or no, more like whack-a-mole. Every time we figure out one thing that's wrong with me, some more pop up, or the treatment for one thing creates another thing.
Erica: Cause something else, yeah.
Kenrya: So where we are right now... The main thing is that I have fatigue that just fucking puts me out, where I have days where it is very difficult for me to get out of bed. And that was really what started it and led to a whole bunch of other stuff, including a liver disease diagnosis. Yo, one thing that they never tell you... They always tell you when you go on a birth control pill that they can cause blood clots. No one ever tells you that you can end up with something called drug induced liver injury, which is what I was diagnosed with last year. So for any of you who have weird numbers on your liver enzymes when you get your complete metabolic tests at your annual physicals, and nobody knows what's going on, if you are on birth control pill, it is rare, but it is a thing that happens, and it's a thing that has happened to me and turned into a whole bunch of other stuff.
Kenrya: My liver is fine now after two surgeries and a whole bunch of stuff, but fatigue still remains. So now we're at a point where I am seeing a neurologist all the time to try to diagnose what we think it is, and if I get a diagnosis, I'll share, but essentially it makes it so that it is really hard for me to do a lot of the things. I've always been a person who could work out like it was nothing. I have to walk, really, which is great, because it's my favorite form of exercise, but I used to be able to walk for an hour and then go to the gym and lift weights for 45 minutes and get on the treadmill for another 30. I just am unable in this body to do those things at this point.
Kenrya: Hopefully medication will get me there again, but I'm not there now, and it's been difficult for me to adjust and also to have these conversations around... And I have migraines which have started back over, yeah, that part, to the point where I am now getting monthly injections to try to quell them. They're not as bad as Eva's in the book, but they put a bitch down. They're not great. Besides just the physical aspects of what I've been dealing with over this last year, there's also the exhaustion that comes with dealing with the medical industrial complex, which ironically, I guess, now I'm writing about. My next book is about Black women, racism, and health. And it's been interesting how my own shit has been unfolding as I have been researching and writing. And at one point it was... My health had gotten so bad that I had to put aside the book because it was quite frankly triggering to deal with that-
Erica: This will have a memoir aspect to it.
Kenrya: And I think a lot of it's going to end up coming through in this book, which already is shot through with personal stories that some people are not going to want to see, but that are really fucking relevant and grounded in the work. But the other part of it is dealing with the fact that this has become a disability and it's an invisible one, and which... I don't know that a lot of folks are necessarily... That it's a concept that they understand, that there can be things wrong with people that we don't know. I think it's come up a bit over this last year in dealing with COVID, with the assholes who are upset with people, for whatever reason, who choose to wear a mask. I am one of them. I've always had a compromised immune system.
Kenrya: But you never know what the fuck folks are going through, and I think that folks have thought about that a little bit when they've wanted to over the past year with COVID, but it's made me think about my own internalized ableism and what it meant to call myself a disabled person and also to think about... I have some issues around what it meant, what felt taking up a space that didn't belong to me. Because, again, that's where the ableism comes in. So “who am I to say that I'm disabled when this person is going through this thing that I deemed to be worse than when I'm going through” and how does your ableism make it so that you can think that someone's... You know what I mean? It's worse than yours.
Erica: I totally get it. I totally get it.
Kenrya: So that's work that I've been doing. But also realizing that my therapist is like, "Well, you do a lot of advocacy work in a lot of areas, and some of them are areas that you are a member of the community, and some of them are areas where you're not." She's like, "So how do you balance that?" And I was like, "Well, my work is about lifting up the voices of other people and centering folks who are pushed to the margins. That's what I do." And I was like, "So I guess this is not really any different. I already try to do that with folks in the disabled community. It doesn't mean that I'm pushing myself out here as some fucking organizer or anything that. It's just another part of my identity that informs the work that I do." And she was like, "Well then what you worried about bitch?" But it's been something that I have been wrestling with, the ways that I look at myself and the ways that I relate to the world. And I recognize that in Eva in reading this book.
Erica: That was a word. Related unrelated, I was talking to this guy and he was like, "Are you bisexual?" And I'm like, "No, I have sex with women, but I'm not." He was like umm.. That's the same thing. I feel too... Me having sex with women, one, it's a new thing. Actually doing it is a new thing. And it's always in the context of a threesome, and I generally present and live as a straight woman. So it feels like I... To say that, "Yes, I'm bisexual. Yes, I'm queer." It feels like I'm stealing someone else's... What gives me the right to say this. What give me the right to say this when I am... I am a Black woman, but I don't have the shit that bisexual, lesbian women have to go through. So I totally get it. I think we see that among our mixed friends that present as white, even if they want, willingly, you know?
Kenrya: Well, and I think what we have to, what it comes down to is one, realizing that, just like how we say that other folks can identify in the ways that make the most sense to them, we have zero problem extending that same grace to other folks, but we don't do it to ourselves. And I think it's really important that we find our way to that space for ourselves. And lots of things can be true at the same time. We can do that while also holding the fact that we have privilege. I have privilege in the fact that my disability is invisible. So unless I let you into what is going on... I mean, yeah, you may see me and be like, "Why did she just say she needed to move from this table to this couch because she can't sit up no more," you know what I'm saying?
Kenrya: But I have the privilege of being able to not be identified in that way and not be discriminated against in that way, unless somebody is around me long enough to get to the end of the day and be like, "Holy fuck." And you have the privilege of being able to present as straight and folks to outwardly only see you engaging with men, so you're not dealing with the phobia that can be attached to that. And that's the privilege. We can recognize the privilege that we hold as cis women over our trans siblings. It's the same thing. And we can use that privilege in ways like talking about it on this show that help us to advocate for everybody in the community without feeling like we're taking up a space that doesn't belong to us. And who's to say that it doesn't?
Erica: Yeah. So in the vein of Eva living your life, or you living Eva's life, whichever way.
Kenrya: I'm older than her.
Erica: She broke down the whole relationship with her daughter, Audre's dad. Wait, what was her daughter's full name? I loved it. It was Audre-
Kenrya: Oh my God, she was named after everybody.
Erica: Something Toni.
Kenrya: Toni, yeah. She was named for like four-
Erica: I know she was Audre Lorde Toni Morrison. There was somebody else. We'll find it. But the co-parenting relationship, how she... And I think that so many women deal with this. A lot of them don't... I'm sorry. I am breaking out, having some sort of allergic reaction, so my entire body itches. That's why you keep seeing me scratching myself. Sorry about...
Kenrya: I didn't notice, but are you okay? Do you need to...
Erica: I don't fall out, it's just... Girl, I am my mama's daughter. We used to laugh at my mom because she would look at anything too hard and break out in rashes and welts. The older I get, the more I get like her, so that's why y'all see me scratching all the time.
Kenrya: I'm sorry. Oh, her daughter's name was Audre Zora Toni Mercy Moore. Named after Zora Neale Hurston.
Erica: I loved it. So she was talking about how... Breaking down the relationship with her dad, her ex-husband and her daughter's dad. And it was like, look, he's a good guy. He's her dad. But he literally is the fun dude that shows up every every year.
Kenrya: She gets to go hang out in Dadifornia for the summer and that's what that is
Erica: I'm sorry y'all, I just realized my mic was backwards. However, I'm loud, so I don't think that'll be a problem.
Kenrya: You did just get loud on us, buddy.
Erica: Sorry, y'all. Hopefully our engineer can make those changes.
Kenrya: You got this.
Erica: Yeah, so I thought that was really... It was real like, "Damn, you know this." Tia wrote her ass off in this book, because it was just like, damn. You just explained so many women's lives. I think we both represent that to various degrees. I mean, my co-parenting relationship, he's a little more involved, primarily because it's like a, "Hey, this needs to happen today at this time." And he's like, "Okay." But other ends of the spectrum is like, "Now what's your teacher's name? What grade you're going to?" So yeah. Anyway. Dog, this story had so much fucking trauma to it. There was lots of drug use, drug abuse, alcoholism... Was there? Yeah, alcoholism. It was pretty tough. It was pretty tough. Because the way that they tell the story, you know that... What's the guy's name? Shane.
Erica: You know that Shane was significant, but you don't really know it all, so by the time you get to the end of the story, you have a full picture of their relationship, the entire relationship. But even in the beginning, the bits and pieces you see, you're just like, "Fuck, this is just tough." And it shows how a parent's unresolved trauma gets dumped on the kid, and then it also shows how just life trauma, the shit has to get out. It's got to come out of you. And either going to come out of you and dump into drugs and alcohol. It might come out of you dump into drugs, alcohol, and kid, but the shit's got to come out of you. Sorry.
Kenrya: We saw the impact with Eva of generational trauma. We see how that was just handed down like a ring. And we saw in Shane how... His shit was already fucked up, but then an event just kind of changed the course of his life.
Erica: So two things. One, an event can change the course of your life. So things could have went one way or another way. Because it seemed like everything was really... I mean, you never know. Something else could have happened. But it really felt things were okay and good with him until this event happened, and it just completely changed the course of a situation.
Kenrya: It was interesting because while my childhood was not Eva's, it for damn sure was the way that my childhood could have been, and my custody situation... Had I not, had my dad gotten custody of me... I think about this all the time, honestly. That felt like... You know those choose your own adventure books. Those were my shit.
Erica: Yes. And that's how I look at it. And that's also why it's difficult for me to pass judgment on people. I hate... And not saying that I haven't in the past, but I hate when people take videos of somebody on drugs on the street and they laughing at them. It's like, "Look at her doing that." And it's like, if it weren't for a stroke of chance, that could have been you, that could've been your mama-
Kenrya: There but for the grace of God.
Erica: Exactly. It could have been anybody. So it's really difficult for me to even... That stuff seems real just like... Because I have had so many situations in my life where I look back and I'm like, "If it weren't for this one thing, shit could've went completely left." And also as a parent, and I want to ask you about this, you could see how Eva was super intentional to raise her daughter and not pass on that trauma. I actually see it a lot with people that I've grown up with. We all grew up in like really not so great situations, and then we have kids, and our kids are fucking assholes. I want to give my kid the world, and it's like... So then you're trying to balance the...
Kenrya: That balance. And not making them assholes, yo. You got to know how to fucking clean a tub. You ain't got to take a bath by heating the water on the stove like I did, but she you got to know how to clean this tub.
Erica: Exactly. I catch myself all... I was talking to someone last Sunday night, because he was talking about his son and he was like... And he started saying, "When I was his..."
Erica: He said, "I ain't going to do that." I'm like, "Yep. I totally get it," because you work so that your kids can have it easier. You work and try to be your best, so that you're not passing down that trauma. But it's also very hard to be ... My kid has no street smarts. I don't want to say common sense. And I can't help, but think, "Damn! When I was your age, I had all the streets smarts and common sense," because I was in a fucked-up position Exactly. And so-
Kenrya: At what cost? You had to— it probably kept your ass alive.
Erica: Exactly. And it's so sad, but you could see how she was raising a really cool kid.
Kenrya: Yeah. And she was working hard to do that. This weekend, we finally watched “Widows.” And Daniel Kaluuya is in it. It's Viola Davis. Really? He played Fred Hampton, Chairman Hampton.
Erica: I know who that is. I'm taking about this movie.
Kenrya: It's good. It's-
Erica: I'm not that bad.
Kenrya: Oh, okay. Well, it's about some women who are widowed, because their husbands are criminals and some shit happens and they come together to pull off a heist.
Erica: Is this the ... Oh, no. Okay, so I saw this one on a plane and it had Tiffany Haddish-
Erica: Melissa McCarthy.
Erica: And the girl from Mad Men, Elizabeth Olsen.
Kenrya: Oh no, this is not that at all. That's a whole different vibe. But so anyway, there's ... Daniel Kaluuya's character's ... So there's a meme that shows him and he like looking at this nigga like this. And I remember on Twitter, somebody was like, "Parents who say they want to give their kids a better opportunity. And then those same parents when they see their kids thriving, like ... " And I'm like, [inaudible 00:46:14] you want these niggas to do well, but it's also like, "Yo, you can't be a trash person."
Erica: You want them to have an easy life-
Kenrya: Yeah, but you also need to be able to take care of yourself and to have empathy. And I remember our therapist asked me once. She was like, "If you could do it all again, knowing what you know and what you've learned about yourself and all of this stuff, would you want to go through your trauma again to become this person?" I was like, "Fuck, nah!" I would much rather have these lessons and have not gone through that.
Erica: Read them in a book.
Erica: Let somebody else tell you about it.
Kenrya: Right. And so I feel like a lot of what parenting means to me is trying to impart these lessons in a way that is not harmful. So, how we were talking about having a discussion about gaslighting. like I learned about gaslighting, because it was done to me by my family. My kid is learning about it, because we're having conversations, exactly, about what it means. And talking about definitions and examples, and ways to combat it and how to draw boundaries. And we can teach our kids these things without traumatizing them, ultimately, is where I'm going with this. And it's one of the reasons it's ... I'm not just in therapy for me, I'm in therapy for her.
Erica: You know, I was in therapy?
Erica: Right. But the work work of my therapy was being a parent, bringing out all of this-
Kenrya: This triggering-
Erica: Yeah, and ... That's the word. I had to deal with this, or I was going to have my kid out there really messed up. It was just ... Yeah, dog. The-
Kenrya: It's hard.
Erica: Yeah. That shit is hard. Also, I thought it was really interesting how it showed Eva's abuse, or Eva's addictions. It came out of undiagnosed medical issues. Right? Or, maybe it was diagnosed, but-
Kenrya: It wasn't well treated-
Kenrya: She didn't have adequate care.
Erica: And that is just like, oh!
Kenrya: Well, so many people self-medicate. And I think that was one of the breakthroughs I had in therapy as a younger person, when trying to understand the motivations of people around me and my family, and things like that, was that a lot of folks ... People are just trying to fucking get by.
Erica: Yeah, they're just trying to get through it.
Kenrya: Yeah. And self-medicating is a way that that happens. Folks, again, don't have the tools, don't get the tools, don't have support systems that help them to them. I had my first fucking anxiety attack in the eighth grade, and nobody had no conversation with me about what that meant. They said I had a breakdown and then I went to school the next fucking day. Right? I cried for, I don't know how many hours straight. There was no discussion of mental health. Nobody was trying to find me a therapist. We didn't have any fucking health insurance. So who the fuck was going to pay for it?
Kenrya: And I did not turn to drugs or anything, but that's because I have seen so much addictive behavior in my family that I've always been afraid to do anything other than smoke weed, because I'm afraid that a switch is going to flick.
Erica: Yeah. But you're also aware of the fact that it could have been completely different. That first anxiety attack could have sent you someplace else. You know?
Kenrya: Exactly. People self-medicate, because they're just trying to get through. And shit is hard and everybody doesn't have the resources. Again, privilege, yo.
Erica: Privilege. After high school, both Eva and Shane went their separate ways and Eva pretty much reinvented herself. Right? She went to a whole new city and just started over.
Kenrya: Changed her name-
Erica: But to me, I was like, "Girl, who your friends? We are too fucking noisy. He just like, "I want to know you better." And so, after a while, we're going to ... Yeah. After a while, I'm going to know a little bit more about you. You ain't going to be able to just have a whole life in the background and-
Kenrya: But, here's the thing, man. It's not easy to keep things hidden, but I ... My best friend growing up, who you know very well, I didn't let her in on my situation growing up, until I was good and grown and living in New York and she came to visit me. And I don't know why or how, but I ended up telling her about my ... And I saw this bitch five days a week. And she didn't know anything, because I kept it to myself, because I was embarrassed. And I took ownership of things that didn't belong to me, because I was a child who had been put upon. And it is very easy or not easy, but it was the thing that you do, because it is self protective. And so I 100% understand how her people didn't know. And shit, even as an adult, when I was in really bad situations, y'all ain't know shit.
Erica: Yeah, you're right. Okay.
Kenrya: If it's in your nature to be a secret squirrel about your shit then you will.
Erica: Yeah. Well, I'm going to need one good Erica, because I'm going to be squirreling shit away. Okay. So we've talked about all the other stuff. But let's get to why we're here. The sex. Oh, you know what? The people that are having sex. Okay. Shane and Eva, their relationship. So essentially they were ... I don't know if I'm going to be giving too much away. So, the seven days in June are literally just seven days in June. And it was amazing to me. Once I read it and it all came together, I was like, "Wait, All this in a week?" What'd you say?
Kenrya: Also, Tia—just the structure of this book is fantastic.
Kenrya: And I love how it goes back and forth in time. And sometimes you don't know where you are in time. But the way that she weaves the story. Yeah, not only is this just like a sexy book, and not only does it tell a really important story, but it's just-
Erica: It's a good-
Kenrya: ... really well-written [crosstalk 00:53:13] and it's just a great story.
Erica: I listened to it on Audiobook and it was ... Yeah, I couldn't put it down or couldn't stop listening.
Kenrya: Stop listening.
Kenrya: Yeah. I found myself in the middle of the night not sleeping, because that's what I do sometimes, just reading, running through chapters. It's just so good. And we read a lot of stuff to find things for this show and everything ain't great. But this, yeah. This is a fantastic book.
Erica: I'm thinking, because when I was reading and it all came together that these seven days in June were literally seven days. And these seven days ... Again, just one small thing can change the course of your life. These seven days left such an impact on these two people. And they were teens. But that's also the part that got me. They were like little Tater Tots, little doodle bops. And, it just stuck. That relationship, well, what they went through. And I guess the relationship itself just stuck and became ... I don't know if it was a gold standard for other relationships, but it definitely was just one of those-
Kenrya: Yeah, that feels unhealthy.
Erica: Oh, no. When I say the seven, I mean the feeling, the connection between the two of them. The relationship, unhealthier than a motherfucker. But, the connection between the two of them became the gold standard that ... It seemed like-
Kenrya: That they were both-
Erica: They were chasing
Kenrya: ... reaching for.
Erica: Yeah. They were both chasing that in subsequent relationships.
Kenrya: For sure.
Erica: You didn't have a profound high school love, did you?
Kenrya: Bitch, I was fucking around with. Terrible. No.
Erica: Well, Shane could have been looked at as terrible.
Kenrya: It's true, but I don't think I ever really felt ... We've talked a lot on this show about how I would reach a point and be done and I'd be like "I-
Erica: Got to go!
Kenrya: So I never, especially not at that age, was anybody where I felt like ... I think that they, and we won't really delve into whether or not they are, because I don't want to spoil anything. I think that they think they are soulmates from really when they first met. And I never felt that way until now, at my big age.
Erica: And it wasn't an instant, like "We're soulmates."
Erica: Exactly [inaudible 00:56:10] in a bottle.
Kenrya: Yeah, I did not. And I think even when I was in high school, I think I was pretty clear that like all this shit was temporary. And I didn't even have the illusions of this shit.
Erica: Oh, we'll be in Disney forever. Sorry!
Erica: .. say he wants to get rubs. Sorry. But yeah, I didn't have any illusions whatsoever that any of these relationships in college were, I mean at high school were going to stick.
Kenrya: Yeah. I don't know. Yeah, I definitely never thought that. I think I always felt that they were for the time that they were for. It didn't mean that they didn't feel intense, or that they didn't feel like they were really necessary. And in the moment-
Kenrya: Yeah. And I'm also never a person, who pictured their wedding or any of that. I ain't never found myself drifting into that fantasy with anybody back then.
Erica: I don't think I've ever pictured a wedding with anyone. I've definitely pictured married life with people. Like, oh, this is what we'll look like when we're old and gray together. But not like ... What you say?
Kenrya: I don't think I ever did that. Even when I got married, I just was like, "All right."
Erica: "Okay. We'll just evaluate this at the end of the year." Well, yeah. But as a parent, I can only imagine how scary it is to watch your child be serious with someone, or believe that this is who they're going to be with.
Kenrya: I had a dream last night, that my kid was putting her name beside the name of a kid who I think she has a crush on, but she won't admit it. Yeah, I forgot about that-- she was trying out her name next to his last name in my dream. And I was like, "That's cute." I wasn't freaking out, surprisingly, in the dream. I think he's a cute little boy. He's very sweet.
Erica: Yeah. He probably don't brush his teeth.
Kenrya: But they're 10.
Erica: But, anyway, so. Right. They're 10, so they don't brush their teeth. But yeah, as a parent, I think that I would definitely be freaked out if my kid was trying to get serious, be too serious or too intense with anyone at a young age.
Kenrya: I 100% would trot out all of my stories and be like, "Here's why this is not a good idea."
Erica: But you know, we do have a few friends that have been with their ... Well, one person comes to mind. She's not like super in the circle, but she's a friend of ours.
Kenrya: She probably a friend of yours.
Erica: No, she's actually more your friend than mine.
Kenrya: Oh, okay.
Erica: And she's a friend, But yes. And she came to Howard with her boyfriend. Didn't come with him, but she came to Howard. Everybody knew his name. So then when she left and they got married, it was like, "Oh shit! This shit was for real." Our friend, she's from Detroit.
Kenrya: Oh, yeah.
Erica: Because to me, I feel like I'm afraid for my kid to miss out on life, being caught up in a relationship. And maybe that's unfair. But I just feel like you get in a relationship and you nest. And even if it's a healthy one, you start spending more time with one another. And then it's like, but you missing out on life. You young. Do that boo'd up shit when you old and your knees don't work.
Kenrya: That's real. And I also think about the fact that the person who you are at 17 is not the person who you are at 27. It's not the person who you are at 37. And there is a really great chance that y'all are going to grow in different directions. And the idea of binding yourself to someone who may be a completely different person in a year, in five years, in 10 years, is frightening to me, to do anything that feels hard to reverse. You know what I mean? Like marrying, having children, things that you can't just be like, "All right. I'm out," is a little too much. My partner and I were just talking about how I envy one of my exes, because, only for one reason, which is because when he got a divorce, that was it.
Erica: It was done. Yeah.
Kenrya: He's never seen his ex-wife again. He never has to. They had no kids. They owned no property. They just... got a divorce via the mail. Sent the paperwork and signed it and then never had to see each other again.
Kenrya: That's how you do it.
Erica: I will agree, that it is how you do it.
Kenrya: Yeah. But I don't want them to get, yours or mine, to get into some shit that's hard, that we got to call an attorney in to get them out of.
Erica: Or just like, I don't know.
Kenrya: Or that stunts their growth, and keeps them from becoming the person that they're supposed to be.
Erica: Exactly. And I guess that's my biggest concern. There's so much that you're not going to experience, because just if you're just being a good partner and respectful and all that. I was a disrespectful motherfucker, to my own body sometimes. And I think all of that helped me grow and become more of who I am. And those experiences shaped me. And yeah, even when we're all reminiscing and talking about stuff, I can tell what the periods where I'm like, "Oh, I must've been up under that nigga." And I feel like I missed out, especially for some shit that didn't pan out.
Kenrya: Yes. I have a lot of those moments, where I was absolutely boo'd up and y'all was in Miami somewhere shaking ass. And I was with somebody who did not deserve my ...
Kenrya: Yeah, I missed out for sure. And, even if it's a good person and even if it is, like you said, a healthy relationship, I feel like there's some shit that you're not doing, that there's opportunity costs that come with tying yourself to somebody super early.
Erica: Yeah. Well said, like a business major. Okay. So then Shane shows back up in Eva's life. They had such an effect on one another. And we find out ... I'm giving all types of spoilers. But we find out that Shane's and Eva's relationship is the source material for Eva's huge erotica series. So she has a series, I guess, that can best be described as Twilight. Right? For adults.
Kenrya: This surface. It is a vampire their situation. It's a supernatural erotica series, which we've covered quite a bit on the show, actually, those kinds of series.
Erica: But it's massive, like [inaudible 01:04:21].
Kenrya: Like a big fucking deal.
Erica: Yeah. And we find out that Shane is the source material-
Kenrya: The prototype.
Erica: And Shane is this massive author. And we find out that Genevieve/Eva is his source material, which is so oddly romantic that they were writing to one-
Kenrya: Yeah. Writing to and about each other and dropping little hints in-
Erica: And these are massive books. So everybody knows him. Did he win a National Book Award or something?
Kenrya: I think so.
Erica: Yeah. His shit was...
Kenrya: He's definitely one of those folks.
Erica: Yeah. But he's like one of those huge names. And they're just writing about each other. And, they also both have success in the same arena, but in very different ways. And I feel like, also there's a bit of ... And we will address this when we talk to Tia about this, but I think there's also a sense of "erotica's play play." But she's probably outsold-
Erica: You know? And so it's just like, "Man!" Oh, also I found lots of points in the book where there were lots of "womanist" manifestos being said-
Kenrya: Especially by her daughter.
Erica: Yes. I was listening on audiobook, but I was like, "Okay, this part would have been highlighted a million times on the Kindle."
Kenrya: I can assure you that it was, yes. I bookmarked so much stuff in this book too, probably more than any other that we've done for the show.
Erica: Yes. Again, really good book. Okay. You know what I want to talk about? The sex.
Kenrya: The sex. Yes.
Erica: So, Shane and Eva, they meet up. Shane drops in Eva's life. This might be too specific. You might've been with your man when this happened, but do you remember the step show at Howard, where the Que, I'm not going to name him by name, but the Que walks through the crowd singing, (singing)? The lights were dark.
Kenrya: Was this the proposal?
Erica: No, not the proposal. It was a couple of years after that. But this person did marry one of our chapter's sorors. He walked through, sweaty with no shirt on. Everyone was like, "Oh," and the spotlight was on him and he was singing Omega type shit.
Kenrya: That's what you saw when Shane was coming from the back of the room?
Erica: Yes. They was like... And he sauntered up on stage and did a step. No. Okay, did some donkey kicks. But yeah, Shane literally drops into her life and the next day-
Kenrya: ... accidentally.
Erica: Yeah, he was not trying to do that, but he did.
Kenrya: In such big fashion.
Erica: So then shows up there. Him and Eva are like, "What the fuck?" No one knows about their past, so they kind of try to play it cool. But the next day... Was it the next day?
Erica: The day they meet up for coffee and fucking.
Kenrya: No, that's not how it happened.
Kenrya: First, they met in the diner and--
Erica: Oh, you know what? Yeah. And then was it when she needed help that she went to him?
Kenrya: Yes. Let's not go to deep into that. But yeah, she comes back to him because she needs help. Yes.
Erica: And they ended up-
Kenrya: And then it was coffee and fucking.
Erica: And you know what? That whole... What is it, the dream house idea?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: That's so New York. That's some New York shit.
Erica: That's some New York shit that would've got spread to DC.
Kenrya: Like a year later.
Erica: Yeah. But you know they used to do that at Spa World, right?
Kenrya: Like sleep?
Erica: Yeah, they had a sleep room, and they had to close it because Spa World kept having massive bedbug outbreaks.
Erica: Because people would bring their own stuff from home. It was a soft place for people to sleep, but people would bring their own their own pillows and blankies and stuff, and then it was bedbugs.
Kenrya: Oh no. I'm glad you never told me that before.
Erica: No, but this was in a whole other area that you would have never been in. Quit scratching your head. You're literally scratching.
Kenrya: Because I'm thinking about how many times I slept on that heated floor.
Erica: Well, it wasn't on the heated floor.
Kenrya: It wasn't. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Erica: Did you ever get a massage with me at Spa World?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: It's up that area, you know how you go up there.
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah.
Erica: So it's not...
Kenrya: So for folks who do not know what Spa World is, it's a Korean spa and bath. So there's pools-
Erica: ... the blade pool.
Kenrya: ... and all different temperatures. So you come in, you strip, everybody is just fucking naked and you take a shower.
Erica: Bucky naked.
Kenrya: It's separated, it's very much a binary situation. It's separated by male and female.
Erica: Pens and vag.
Kenrya: Yes, which it's problematic all on its own. But you go from pool to pool. They've got pools that have jets, that if you want to massage your legs with the jets, you sit in this one little area. You can go over here if you need some jets on your back. There's freezing pools. There's super hot pools. There's wet saunas. There's dry saunas. There's some of everything. And then-
Erica: So you know what's interesting?
Erica: I really have a problem with swimming pools. Right?
Kenrya: In general?
Erica: Yeah, it's hard for me to enjoy a swimming pool, because I just think about...
Erica: All them bodies. Right? Like people peeing. I'd much rather be in the ocean. Yes, fish pee in the ocean, people pee in the ocean.
Kenrya: As Moana said, "Fish pee in you."
Erica: Look, I pee in the ocean.
Erica: If we're at the ocean and I just kind of walk off, and like, "Hey," don't follow me. There's something about the nature of it all. But I really get uncomfortable in swimming pools. But I fucks with Spa World.
Erica: I be in that little dirt bath, like, "Hey, hey, hey. We all boiling together."
Kenrya: Yeah. We have gotten high and gone there many times, overnight, always overnight. They got a good ass food, authentic Korean food. Yeah. So you go, you eat, you do all the pools. They've got these ladies that will scrub you down, scrub all the skin off of your body.
Erica: It's like a body detail, they do...
Kenrya: Yeah, that's under anything. And then there's this room. It's just this heated floor and you lay--
Erica: And it's so sparse, it's like floor, and a little hard pillow.
Kenrya: And you lay down.
Erica: And you're knocked out.
Kenrya: Yo, I done got some of that best sleep of my life on that floor.
Erica: And I am not the type of person to just be sleeping on random floors, except at Spa World.
Kenrya: Yeah, it's so good.
Erica: Because usually you have been in water for a couple of hours, then you eat a really good meal, and then you just fall asleep. And then at night, when they turn the lights off-
Kenrya: Yeah, and it's a 24-hour pass. But now, is this a post-COVID...
Erica: They're probably doing well. Because I went to H Mart, and when I tell you H Mart was like, I was like, "Yo, I should have been shopping here all the time." Because all them little old Asian grannies, all of them wear their most of the time, any damn way.
Kenrya: I was going to say what does H Mart have to do, besides being Korean, but I see what you're saying, because they're actually enforcing. Gotcha.
Erica: Yeah. Actually, I was reading this article about how COVID spread slower in Asian communities, because one, they have-
Kenrya: Well, because they fucking take care of business and take care of each other.
Erica: Well, I mean, even in Chinatown. And it's because they said, they already have a culture... I feel really weird saying, "They," but the people that live in these communities already have a culture of wearing masks a lot. And they heard about it from family members abroad, and so they were able to really...
Kenrya: Act quickly instead of this bullshit, so that's what's up.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative). So if anything, I'd be more than happy, because, girl, I went into H Mart-
Kenrya: But I'm just thinking about it being that many people in close proximity and if folks are going to wear masks in the pool, and that kind of thing. That's what I'm thinking about. Right? And it's indoors.
Erica: But anyway. So dream bed, dream spa, dream mart, whatever the name of it is.
Kenrya: Dream House.
Erica: Dream House, yeah. But that's some total New York shit. They were not supposed to be having sex. Of course, they did. And can you imagine had they got there caught? Not even have they got caught, but Shane and Eva got caught fucking. It would be like when that dude got caught jerking his meat on his own.
Kenrya: Jeffrey Toobin.
Erica: His last name was Toobin?
Erica: That definitely sounds like Toobin. I don't know.
Kenrya: Oh my God. Yes. Yeah, it would have been a big deal because they both have these massive fandoms and whatnot. So it would have been-
Erica: Because even when they were spotted together-
Kenrya: It was a big thing.
Erica: There was a whole Pottermore, the Harry Potter fan site, folks was putting shit together quick. It was like, he's this. I know, we don't like J.K. Rowling. It's so sad that she fucked it up for us.
Kenrya: Fuckin TERF.
Erica: Yeah, she fucked it up for us.
Kenrya: It's hard. My kid is part way through the series. I mean, the books are bought now, so it is what it is. But then that has to be accompanied by a conversation of why we don't fuck with this white woman.
Erica: Yeah, yeah. All right. Well, do you have anything else to add?
Kenrya: I don't think so. I think this is awesome and y'all should read it.
Erica: You all should read this. You all really need to read it.
Kenrya: Yeah, and Tia's coming on next week, so we get to dig into it some more with her.
Kenrya: Yeah, no, read this book.
Erica: Okay, and sorry. It's when I first started reading and I think I told Kenrya, "This is a lot. I wasn't ready for all of this." But it's so good and it's not tragic.
Erica: And so it felt good to read it, so you don't get discouraged. Oh, sorry.
Kenrya: It shows that you can talk about things like generational trauma, and PTSD, and all of the things that we warned about at the top of the show, but it doesn't have to be-
Erica: “12 Years a Slave.”
Kenrya: Right. It's not trauma porn. So, this morning I didn't even get to look at the trailer, but I saw that there's some movie called “Karen” that came out, with old girl from... What's that movie? You know what I'm talking about. Pennsatucky, who also played-
Erica: Oh, yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah. So anyway, but everybody's like, "Oh, this is a fucking 'Get Out' knockoff." It's trying to deal the trauma and the horrible, but it ends up being is just making entertainment out of Black suffering basically.
Erica: Lena Waithe. Sorry.
Kenrya: Yes. 100%, don't fuck with her. Don't like her work. Done. Yes, that. And this book is not that.
Erica: No, it's great. Yeah. There's so much to dig into about this, and so I had to kind of... But there's a lot so y'all need to really, really get on this one.
Kenrya: And tell us what you all think about it.
Erica: Please do. So, what's next?
Kenrya: It's time for us to talk about what's turning us on. We going to pay some bills and we'll be right back.
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Erica: Okay. So what do you got, Kenrya?
Kenrya: Okay. So let me preface this by saying-
Erica: Have you used it?
Kenrya: I have.
Erica: Oh, okay.
Kenrya: So I don't feel like I have a lot of toys, but I feel like I've tried a whole lot of stuff. And so I went specifically for this season looking for things that I had never heard of before to try them out so then we can talk about them and see if they work for our listeners. So the thing that I found that I had never heard of and didn't know was a thing, so you know how they have penis pumps that folks use to enlarge?
Erica: Yes. Austin Powers had one in his bag.
Kenrya: Yes. And there are tons them on sex toy sites, a million different ones, because I think that's cis men's egos are fragile and very much tied to their penises, so they have a million options.
Erica: And you talk to any woman and she's like, "I don't care about size. It's about how you use it. How you wield that thing."
Kenrya: Exactly. 100%.
Erica: Any person that has sex, they will say.
Kenrya: Yeah, with penises. But so this, is a pussy pump.
Erica: Why did it have to make noise?
Kenrya: It fell apart, but I just put it back together. So this is the part that goes over your labia. And then this is what you pump up. So, I'm looking at it on the site, and I'm looking at reviews and I'm like, "Huh. Okay."
Erica: How do you use it?
Kenrya: So you lie down. For me, it absolutely required a partner. You put this over your labia, and you put some lube around it so that it releases and so that it doesn't hurt. An important key.
Erica: That should be like the suction in my bathroom.
Kenrya: And it's got a quick-release valve on it or whatever. And so you form a seal, and then you pump. And so it helped with my partner because he could actually see if it was on there the right way. And it took us a couple of tries to get it on the right way, and then he pumped it. Start slow, one pump at a time and check to make sure your partner's doing okay. And what happens is it literally expands into the cup. And so I was looking at the reviews, okay, why do people do this? So I found that there's a whole fetish around fat pussies, and that this increases the size. So you had a lot of people in the comments like, "Yeah, I use this on my partner because I like to get a fat plump pussy, and this does that for me."
Erica: But it don't make your clit feel funny, or I mean, feel good?
Kenrya: Yeah. So wat it does is-
Erica: Because I'm not doing this if you just like a fat pussy.
Kenrya: Right. But so that is what I kept seeing in the comments. But then I was like, "Well, what could this do for me?" So what it does is it brings all the blood to your labia.
Erica: Ding, ding, ding, ding.
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it makes everything super sensitive.
Erica: So then did he eat after that?
Kenrya: No, we went to the penetration.
Erica: Yeah, you mean no. You need to do that next. Okay?
Kenrya: Oh, maybe that'll help me because I never get there that way.
Erica: Homework. Yeah, I was about to say homework. Homework.
Kenrya: Okay, cool. Yeah, but we went the rest of the way. But it just made everything extra sensitive, everything, and it was fantastic. Not something that I would have honestly gone looking for if it weren't for the fact that I was just looking for something different that I hadn't tried before, but pleasantly surprised.
Erica: I like.
Kenrya: Easy cleanup, you just wash this little thing, easy-peasy. Just go slow, one pump at a time.
Erica: Something tells me you all didn't.
Kenrya: No, no.
Erica: This is experience.
Kenrya: We went slowly, but at first, it wasn't seated right, and you got a lot of bones, your pelvic bones down there, so your body will tell you if it's not quite seated right because it'll be pushing up against your bones. So then we released it and repositioned it and started again. It was nice, unexpected. So that is what turned us on this week.
Erica: All right.
Kenrya: We'll put a link.
Erica: I think what scares most people, what makes most people shy away from sex toys are just the look of them, right?
Kenrya: Yeah. I mean, this is a bit of a contraption.
Erica: Yeah, it looks little those--
Kenrya: Yes. For folks who are not watching us on YouTube or in the various places, it is like a little cup and it is hard plastic, and it's got a length of tubing, maybe, I don't know, a foot, 14 inches long and a purple little hand pump on it, that you squeeze, like a little ball pump.
Erica: I like it. I'm going to have to get myself one. We will include a link in the show notes.
Kenrya: We will. Yeah. So check it out, or don't, but it was fun.
Erica: All right. Well, I like, I like. Okay, well, that wraps up this week's episode of the Turn On.
Kenrya: It does.
Erica: This is Erica, Kenrya, two hoe-hosts, making it clap.
Kenrya: This episode was produced by us, Kenrya and Erica, edited by B'Lystic. The theme music is from Brazy. Hit subscribe right now, in your favorite podcast app and at YouTube.com/TheTurnOnPodcast, so you'll never miss an episode.
Erica: Then, follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast, and you can find links to books, transcripts, guest info, what's turning us on, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com.
Kenrya: And don't forget to email us at the TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com with your book recommendations and your pressing sex and related questions.
Erica: And you can support the show by leaving us a five-star review, buying some merch, or becoming a patron of the show. Just head to TheTurnOnPodcast.com to make that happen.
Kenrya: Thanks for listening and we'll see you soon. Holla.
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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya read D.L. White's "A Thin Line," talk about what we owe ourselves, setting healthy boundaries in friendships, teaching our kids about gaslighting, holding grudges, abolishing the idea of "losing your virginity" and how making unilateral decisions can bite you in the ass.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Hey, y'all. So welcome to this week's episode of The Turn On. First, this is Erica, your lovely copilot. And we also have with us Killa Kenrya.
Kenrya: That's me.
Erica: And today we are reading, “A Thin Line,” by the author D.L. White who is a good friend of the show. She found us and has been-
Kenrya: Reached out. Yeah.
Erica: It's dope when we actually have people saying, "Hey, consider me," as opposed to us begging people. Even though she's worthy of begging. Yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah, and a testament to the fact that when people reach out and say, "Hey, read my stuff," we do. We read it.
Erica: Yes, we do.
Kenrya: And sometimes, yeah, folks make it on the show. So, excited to talk about this one. It's great.
Erica: Yes. So this is “A Thin Line.” It was written by her in 2016, initially. But then she was kind of feeling some things about the characters and the stories so she just went back to it, ripped it apart, and rewrote it, kind of maintaining the same characters. So the rewrite was in 2020.
Kenrya: So this is the second edition.
Erica: Yes, second edition.
Kenrya: I think what it's denoted as, yeah.
Erica: Sit back, relax, get your wine, your weed, whatever you need, and enjoy.
Kenrya: You look very fancy in those glasses.
Erica: Girl, it hides the dark circles.
Kenrya: “A Thin Line” by D.L. White. "Preston gathers the used towel and caps the oil, delivering them back to the bathroom. I crawl into bed, absolutely sated and fully relaxed. When Preston returns to the bedroom, he picks up the remote and skips the song forward until the husky, silky voice of Leon Bridges croons his hit, Beyond, over the surround speakers. 'Preston, you're adorable when you're trying.' 'I'm into setting the mood.' 'I appreciate it, but I'm a sure thing, baby. Get in the bed.' He crawls into his side, scoots to the middle, grabs me up and pulls me close to him. 'I love you.' He dips his head to mine and kisses me long and slow. Hypnotic. Just how I like it. I sigh when the kiss ends and he raises his head. 'That's all you got? Air?' 'I said I love you.' 'I heard you.' 'And?' He huffs and mocks frustration and grabs my face, manipulating my chin. 'I love you, too, Preston.' I laugh until he lets me go.
Kenrya: 'Let's try it again.' 'I love you, Angie.' 'I know,' I said and burst out laughing and rolled away from him. 'Nah-uh, I've been waiting too long for this.' He reaches for me and trying to land his hand on any piece of my body. He settles of a thigh and drags me back across the bed. I scream, laughing as he rolls over and settles himself on top of me, clasp our hands together, pinning them above my head. 'We don't move until you say it.' 'Then we don't move, Preston.' 'You're so stubborn, Evangeline.' I grunt. He knows what it does to me to hear him say my full name. Especially when he's naked on top of me, so hard and hot. I want to wrap myself around him.
Kenrya: 'Payback is a total bitch.' He opens his mouth to respond, then closed it. 'Ah, asshole Preston wants to come out and play, doesn't he?' His eyes narrow as he glares at me. I'm still pinned, but he frees one hand to play with me. Flicking at one nipple and then the other. Then bending to suck, lick, nuzzle one, before moving on to another. 'Baby,' he mumbles, while licking the valley between my breasts, 'Asshole Preston is already in play.' 'Oh, I'm so scared.' 'You should be.' He dips to kiss me. His tongue moving in ways its never moved before. He runs his hand down my body and parts my legs, fluttering the tips of his fingers over my clit. My hips roll up toward him, but he moves his hand away. When I relax, his fingers return to a slow, light stroke.
Kenrya: Down and then up again, gaining rhythm at a leisurely pace. My hands are freed. I want to hug him close to me, feel his weight on me, but he moves away. Scooting down in the bed. His mouth closes over a nipple and very gently nips at it. I squirm, I squeal, I rock my hips. He inserts a thick finger into me, working it in and out, while his thumb strokes me and his mouth is sucking and biting. It's a trifecta of nerve-endings and if I weren't being held down, I'd have worked my way up to the headboard by now. It's the feeling when it's so good you love it, but so intense you have to get away from it, except I don't want to. I want him to keep going until I explode.
Kenrya: He releases my breast from suction and scoots further down the bed. I like to watch, so I sit up, resting on one elbow. I reach for him with my free hand and dig my fingers into his hair. I know what he's doing and I don't care, because giving in at the right moment is going to make mountains move. He nibbles at the insides of each thigh. Teasing me. Bringing his lips closer and closer. He inserts another finger and pumps it in and out. And then, so lightly, he gently drags the tip of his tongue down the length of my clit. His pace speeds, but not the pressure. It's still so light that it's almost not there. Except it is, and the sensation its building is driving me wild.
Kenrya: I clutch his head, his curls tangled in my fist, and push his face into me. He resists, flicking his eyes up to me. 'Please,' I'm panting and gyrating, vibrating with intensity. 'I'm so close.' 'Say it.' 'Let me cum and I'll say it.' 'Say it and I'll make you cum so hard you see stars.' I angle my hips up, trying to make contact with him, but he dodges out of the way. 'Fuck. Finish damn it.' 'Say it and I'll finish.' 'You wouldn't let me say it and now you're holding me hostage until I do?' 'You're stubborn.' He snakes his tongue out and swirls it around my clit before he stops again. I groan and fall back, collapsing into my pillow. I want to cum so bad I could scream. And I can fix that, but I want to drag it out a few seconds longer.
Kenrya: 'You say it first.' 'I been saying it,' he responds, his voice calm. I know this is driving him crazy. 'Today I told you that you could say it and you haven't said it enough to my liking. So I want to hear you tell me that you love me. Now.' 'And if I don't?' 'It'll be your loss, again. Because you never win against me.' 'Unless I quit,' I laugh. Twitching almost uncontrollably. 'Asshole.' 'I'm your asshole and you love me.' It's time. It's passed time. I want this. I want him. Now. 'I do love you, so much right now.' Preston groans, bucking his hips like he wishes he was sinking into me. He goes to work, tightening his grip on my thighs and attacking me with fury. It doesn't take more than a few strokes of his tongue before I'm screaming, before my ass is up in the air, and my toes have curled to tightly that my entire calf cramps. My body is on high alert, writhing and convulsing. It's better than I thought it would be. This man, oh, this man is the best I've ever had.
Kenrya: Before I can come down, he moves up and slides into me, stroking long and hard. I lock my heels behind his thighs and my hands around his biceps, hanging on for dear life. He grunts in rhythm to his strokes. The volume rising the longer and harder he pumps. Watching him reach his orgasm sends me over the edge a second time. The return trip is just as nice. Preston is moaning, shaking as he comes down. He lowers himself to me and I accept the weight of his body, of his sweat mixing with mine. His head rests beside mine as he pants hot air onto my neck. With the last of his strength he cups my head and turns my head toward him so our lips meet. 'I love you,' he whispers against my lips."
Erica: Okay, y'all. So welcome back. Thank you, Kenrya, for reading that sexy scene. This story had a lot of good sex in it. There was just lots of fucking in it. But some of the scenes weren't super descriptive, but you can tell. Like, at one point, one of her girlfriend's in the story's like, "Bitch, you got a freshly fucked face." This book was like, "Oh, this girl's having some good sex." So a little bit of background on this story. It features these two people, Preston and Evangeline. And she goes by Angie.
Erica: Well, she goes by Evangeline, but she only-
Kenrya: No, she goes by Angie. But she only let's him-
Erica: Him call her Evangeline, okay.
Kenrya: Evangeline. Yeah.
Erica: Okay, so I should have this better because everyone gets a nickname around me, but anyway.
Kenrya: That's true.
Erica: So they were high school sweethearts, they dated in high school. They were part of a large friend group that has been friends forever. Their families lived down the street from one another and they broke up.
Kenrya: And still do, which I thought was really cute.
Erica: I know. Broke up in high school and it's just been shit ever since.
Erica: It has been shit ever since. But so then their two best friends decide to get married. They're like, "Hey, I don't want to plan my wedding. Y'all plan it together." This is their way of trying to get them back together, but also a really dope way of being like, "Look, you know me."
Kenrya: I'll do this shit.
Erica: "Make this shit happen." And it also helped that their parents were pretty wealthy. So it was just kind of like, "We'll pick a spot and everybody fly there. They'll take care of all that."
Kenrya: Yeah, well I thought they paid for it, but they're very well-paid.
Erica: I thought the parents... oh, shit. I probably should have figured that.
Kenrya: Uh-uh (negative).
Erica: I thought the parents were going to pay for the-
Kenrya: No, they paid for it. They're like, "Wherever you want to go, our gift to you is that we're paying for it."
Erica: All right, well anyway.
Kenrya: Yeah, either way, they had money.
Erica: The end up-
Kenrya: And their families had money too, because Jeeps and all these vehicles.
Erica: Dad owned a dealership.
Kenrya: ... they had in high school. And I was like, "Y'all niggas, okay."
Erica: "Y'all niggas doing-"
Kenrya: That's a whole other tax bracket.
Erica: "Y'all doing it."
Kenrya: And everybody's attorneys and doctors.
Erica: Everyone's attorneys, doctors.
Kenrya: It's very much that.
Erica: Chefs. All of that. It was just great. Also because the friend group felt very good. I don't have a mixed friend group of girls and guys, just because. Like, I have a few guy friends, but they're not a part of my friend group. But it felt good having normal relationships with these people. And you can tell it was just one of those, we were little, grew up together, and just kind of stuck together, which is great. So yeah, we used to do couple, hanging out. And I don't mind it. I genuinely like the people that my people are with. And the guys have kind of formed their own little brotherhood.
Kenrya: They did.
Erica: So much so that when we divorced they're like, "Can we talk to them?" "Nah, nigga, no."
Kenrya: No. We shut that shit down. But remember a bunch of them were angry at my ex, like, "Really nigga?"
Erica: Yeah, so it was more my ex that they were like, "Can we talk to him?"
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah, you're right.
Erica: Your ex, it was like, "Fuck that."
Kenrya: "Fuck that nigga. He got us in trouble."
Erica: "We'll invite him to jump him." Yeah. So, yeah. I don't mind couples' stuff. I mean, I do think that it's important for couples to have lives outside of one another. Think it's so important for that. But I definitely like mixed company groups. But again, most of my friends that I'm kicking it with, when it's in a mixed gender space is just partners, so.
Kenrya: Partners, yeah.
Erica: Yeah. But I mean, I don't mind it. What about you?
Kenrya: No, I don't mind it. We used to have little dinner parties and game nights and shit.
Erica: See, this was in our late 20s, early 30s.
Kenrya: Early 30s. Before everybody had kids.
Erica: When kids came,
Erica: ... and we were just on some like, Oh, we're going to live the life."
Kenrya: We used to get together and drink and eat.
Erica: And then kids came and it was just over.
Kenrya: And then we started having kids.
Erica: Yeah. And I mean, the thing is I think now, going through COVID, we're so much more intent on... Do you know what I was doing today in the kitchen?
Erica: I was standing in the kitchen... I don't know when this going to air, so this might be obsolete. I was standing in the kitchen, and we eat off paper plates and out of plastic cups, because ain't nobody got time for that. I took two plates and held them in my hand. I had a cup. And then I went and got a beer from the fridge and I put a cup in my mouth, and I was walking around the kitchen, training for the summer. Training for cookouts. I was like, "Oh, oh." Pouring water.
Kenrya: You're ridiculous.
Erica: I miss the streets.
Erica: I was practicing for the streets. Because I don't want to get out there and be rusty, spilling Henny on my shirt. So yeah, I definitely was in that bitch, practicing for being out in the streets. Okay, so speaking of friends, I'm kind of jumping around, chronologically. I mean, yeah, chronologically in the story. But since we're on the friends thing, one of the people in the friend group just got married. Well, I don't know if she just got married. She's married and is pregnant. But it was kind of a surprise seeing her around, because she's the friend of the friend group that drops out when she gets a man.
Erica: Ugh. I was that person for a minute.
Kenrya: You have been that person before. I think we all have at certain points.
Erica: I was definitely that person. And then I think coming out of that, I wanted to be super intentional about not being that person. Because when I came out of that bullshit, who was there for me? The bitches that I had dropped to be with that nigga, right? So even now, as I pursue relationships first, niggas with no friends, y'all niggas scary. If you ain't got not friends, something wrong with you. But two, you need to be doing something outside of me, because I will be out there doing hoodrat shit with my girlfriends. And your hoodrat shit could be sitting at home building Lego set, but I'm going to be doing some shit with my girls.
Kenrya: Have some other interest.
Erica: Because I do not want to be that person. And what's interesting is... what were you going to say?
Kenrya: No, go ahead. I'll say after.
Erica: So my dad died when I was young. My mom was, like, 33, 34 when my dad died. She had four kids under the age of 10. But one of the things she told me when I got married, that always stuck with me, was like, don't let your life keep living without you, or something along those lines. Because when my dad died, my mom looked up and her close friends were still there, still rallied around her. But I think, looking back, I could tell that she felt like they... There was a 10 year gap where they just weren't the way... I know things change when you're in a marriage or serious with someone. But there was like, 10 years that they kept growing as a unit and she kept growing. And it wasn't as easy to... not that it's ever easy to fall back, but it wasn't as easy to fall back into that relationship.
Erica: And so I think about, maybe I swing a little too hard on it, because I recognize that one of the ways that I was being manipulated was being kept from my friends, right?
Kenrya: Isolated. Yeah.
Erica: Yeah, so what were you going to say?
Kenrya: Same, actually. Well, I was going to say, I think that there's kind of levels to it, right? There's the cocooning that happens when you first get into a situation. And when I was reading it, to me it felt kind of like they were in their cocoon. I think they were maybe six months in or something like that. So they were still really new to married life. And then they got pregnant. So it felt to me like they had kind of pulled back, because they were kind of trying to figure out how to navigate this new normal of what it meant for them to be together. And then, I do think that there's a balance you have to strike. Sometimes I do good at that balance, sometimes I don't. Yeah.
Erica: Bitch, I'll say something. I will say something.
Kenrya: If I'm not... yeah, yeah.
Kenrya: But so, y'all will be downstairs and then you'll show... Bitch, remember you showed up at my door and was like, "Such and such is on the floor, she can't get up. We need you." Nevermind I was on my way down.
Erica: But still.
Kenrya: I had just finished eating and was about to come down.
Erica: It was taking too long.
Kenrya: Because I knew I couldn't eat what y'all had to eat. So I had to eat upstairs.
Erica: It was taking too long. It was taking too long.
Kenrya: Because I don't eat meat, but yeah. You will put me-
Erica: But even, I think about our relationship, especially when I first... So, I think y'all know, Kenrya and I live in a same unit home.
Kenrya: A two-family house.
Erica: Two-family house. In St. Louis we call them two-family flats. But anyway, so we live in a two-family house.
Erica: Kenrya lives upstairs, I live downstairs. That makes it sound like I'm a basement dweller. Not a basement dweller. I live on the first level.
Kenrya: You're on a first floor and you have the basement. And I live on the second floor.
Erica: Yeah, so and it was interesting, because when I moved in, first, Kenrya started getting serious with her man-friend, right before we started moving in. And this was right when “Tuca & Bertie” came out. And I was like, "This is going to be ‘Tuca & Bertie’," because I was definitely like the friend like, "Come on, let's go get lice today." And Tuca's husband was like, "Can you stay at home a little bit?" Now, I am waiting for the episode where I go out with your partner and we go to my rich aunt's house and play with architecture, but anyway.
Kenrya: That shit's crazy.
Erica: So it was weird, because soon as I moved in it was kind of getting everything set up, getting used to transitioning and the transition of being in a new neighborhood and all that. And then I immediately got cancer. And so then you transitioned into caretaker, making sure everything was okay. And I missed having my friend, but at the same time, I felt like I couldn't take too much of you, because I was already... It was already like Kenrya scheduled all her work stuff around my appointments and taking me here and taking me there. And so it was business, business, business. And then the podcast. So then I'm just like, "I just want to see my friend and talk bullshit." But I felt bad, because I'm like, "I've already monopolized all your time."
Erica: I remember talking to my therapist about this and she was like, "Just say something." And so I did and I remember one day you came down and was just like, "We're about to go out, but I want to come sit with you and talk shit for a little bit before we go out." And I was just like, "She loves me."
Kenrya: Of course I love you. And I listened when you said something.
Erica: Yeah, so.
Kenrya: But it's tough. I mean, this is a whole other topic, but this kind of goes back to a running theme on our show, which is vulnerability and being able to ask for what we want and not feeling like we're asking for too much from the people who we love and who love us and who care for us. It's definitely something that I struggle with all the time and I know that it's something that you struggled with, when you were in the midst of it.
Erica: I used to. So, I still do from some people. From you I don't.
Erica: I ask and I am 1000% sure that if you can do it, you can. If you can't, you'll say no. And it's just that simple. And I love that about you. I do have friends that I know, like they've said to me, "It's hard for me to say no to people." And so I feel bad even asking them to do something, because I know, even if they want to, I don't need you inconveniencing yourself for me, because I have a whole binge of people. Girl, I stay getting cut on. About to be immobilized for a while, so I have this whole list of appointments and I'm spreading the love to each different friend like, "Hey, can you take me here? Can you take me there?" And I don't need you... if you can't do it, don't feel like you got to move some stuff. It's just I thought you'd be cool. It'd be cool to sit around with you while I get my cast cut off.
Erica: So I love that you do that, because it makes it so much easier to just be like, "Girl, can you?" You be like, "No, I can't." "Okay, cool." And we know that's not-
Kenrya: That's the beauty of boundaries. And it's not a reflection of our relationship.
Erica: ... the end of our relationship.
Kenrya: Or how much I care for you.
Erica: Yeah, yeah.
Kenrya: It's just that I be busy sometimes.
Erica: It's just like, bitch can't make it, you know?
Erica: And so I definitely love that about what we have.
Erica: How did I even... how'd we even get here?
Kenrya: We were talking about isolating ourselves when we get in relationships.
Erica: Oh, isolating ourselves.
Kenrya: But then the other part of that is being isolated by other motherfuckers. And I, too, have experienced that. And it's one of the key ways that-
Kenrya: ... manipulators, manipulative people, try to... it's a form of emotional abuse, quite honestly, try to separate you from your people so you feel as if you don't have a support system. It makes you more likely to put up with the things they do and they say to you, because you feel as if no one is there for you, other than them. And they'll often tell you that. "I'm the only one who really cares. You'll never find nobody that'll do as much for you as I do."
Erica: Yeah. I remember dating a guy who told me that. He's like, "They don't care about you like that." And at the time, I believed it. And not that I didn't believe that my people didn't care about me. It was just that I believed that everyone was just too busy to be worried about me. And again, I realize nah, dawg that ain't how it goes. At least with my friend group.
Erica: And when I'm starting dating guys in the beginning I'm like, "Look, my bitches deep, we strong, and we crazy." But yeah.
Kenrya: There's a reason that my name is Killa, is what I always come back to.
Erica: Yeah, exactly. But yeah, I think-
Kenrya: It's interesting. I was going to say, kind of along the lines of this whole manipulation and isolation. So the other day, the little person who lives up here came into the living room, really upset and she was like, "My best friend keeps calling when I tell her that she can't call because I'm doing work. And I told her don't call until such and such a time and she does it anyway. And then when I say something to her she says, 'Oh yeah, I forgot. You did say that. But actually, you didn't really say it.' And she was like, 'She keeps doing that and denying and saying that I didn't say it and that she didn't agree.'" And I was like, "Okay," so I told her about the movie “Gaslight” and explained to her what gaslighting is.
Erica: Okay, so I need you to do that with my son, because he asked me, "What's gaslighting?" And I was like, "Something you won't do as a man!" But yeah, okay, I need you to help with that one. Okay.
Kenrya: So I explained it basically by... well, I didn't pull it up, but I did later. I was telling her about the movie, which I think the version everyone knows, I think, came out in 1944. And I just know this because I just looked that part up. But essentially, it features this man who is a criminal and he is with this woman because he's trying to get at her auntie's jewelry. And the way that he wants to do it is basically get her committed. And so he tries to make her feel as if she is "crazy", so that she could be committed so that he could get control of her estate and get this priceless jewelry that she inherited from her aunt. And he originally tried to get it from her aunt and was unsuccessful. And a generation later is trying to do the same shit. He is a committed criminal.
Kenrya: And so, one of the ways he does that is that he is in the attic, fucking with the light. This is back when they had gas lights. And it changes the light level in the rooms where she is. And when she remarks that it's dark he's like, "I don't know what the fuck you're talking about."
Kenrya: "It's bright in here. I can see. You can't see? Maybe you should go lay down. I think you're wrong. I don't see what you're seeing. You're making it up." And that is essentially what gas lighting is. It's creating doubt it your mind on purpose, that what you are experiencing as reality is not a reality. And it is frustrating. And I have been gaslit by a whole bunch of people, from the time that I was a child. And so it was really important for me to use that as a moment to explain to her what that is, because it doesn't only happen in romantic relationships. And I told her, "Look, if one of my friend's was gas lighting me, I wouldn't be friends with them anymore." I was like, "But this is a great opportunity for you to draw boundaries around what you'll accept from your people and what you won't. And if you have I conversation with her using 'I' language and tell her how this makes you feel and she is not receptive and doesn't change her behavior, then you may want to consider stepping back from that friendship."
Kenrya: Like, the things that I wish someone had said to me, but my family was too busy gaslighting me to have those conversations.
Erica: Yeah, so you know what. So thank you for that simpler explanation. Because we talked about it, but it just took a lot for me to get him to explain. I'm like, "It's like when you know something's right, they tell you it's wrong, but you know it's right and then they make you seem like you don't know what you're talking about." So I think he got it, but you know what I'm saying.
Erica: You describing gaslighting, reminds me of when I first divorced. Well, when my ex-husband and I first began the process of divorcing, separating. There was a lot of discussion on how much to share with our son. And a therapist told me kids know and they see what's happening. And so, you acting like everything's okay when it's not, teaches them not to trust their instincts, not to trust their gut, all of that. And so I tried to hold onto that when everything's going on in the house. Like, if I'm having a really bad day and he's like, "You okay?" "No, I'm not. I'm just having a rough day, it's something to do with work." I want him to trust his gut, so.
Kenrya: For sure, because we learn really young, from things like gaslighting or from people trying to protect us from things we don't actually need protection from. Not to trust our guts, the things that our body is screaming at us. And so then we grow up to be adults who, when we know that something is wrong, when we know that our partner is cheating on us, when we know that this bitch in the next cubicle is plotting and scheming on us, we don't listen.
Erica: Because we want to be nice.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Because we want to give people the benefit of the doubt. You don't owe these niggas nothing.
Kenrya: You owe yourself so much more.
Erica: Ain't nobody going to look out for you but you, so.
Kenrya: That's right. And that's not an endorsement for being selfish, it's an endorsement for self-care.
Erica: At all. Exactly. Okay, so they started dating as kids, right? And there was this scene in the book where Preston talked about how his dad found out that they were having... was it his dad or his mom?
Kenrya: Oh, it was his dad.
Erica: Found out that they were having sex, because he found a bunch of condoms in the back of the car.
Kenrya: Yeah, like a whole bag.
Erica: His dad was like, "Damn, how much fucking y'all doing?"
Kenrya: "How much fucking you doing?" Yes.
Erica: Because this is like a trough of condoms in the car.
Erica: Which I thought was hilarious, because I have a friend who said she got caught by her sister, having sex at home. To which I was like, "I think the fuck not. I've never had sex in my parents' home." In my parents' home? In my Granny's home?
Kenrya: No, never?
Kenrya: Oh, I have.
Erica: First, there's always somebody. There was always somebody at my granny's house.
Erica: I was 37 years old the first time I was in my granny's house absolutely alone, and it freaked me the fuck out. So let's just put that out there.
Erica: But second, there was always someone home. And then, even if there wasn't someone home, like, "No." My Granny put the fear of God in me. The fear of God. There's no fucking way that I would have sex in the house, so. I'm not getting caught in the house. But did you get caught having sex?
Kenrya: No, I've never been caught. No, I never been caught. But that whole moment with... So the condoms belong to Angie, because she was like, "I got a future. I got things to do. This is not... I'm not. I'm not going there." And that was me. And I think I told this story.
Kenrya: I had been collecting condoms. I went to Finest, which was the grocery store in my town back then, next door to the CVS where I worked, because the condoms were cheaper. Everything was cheaper at Finest.
Erica: It was probably like 30 cents cheaper.
Kenrya: But you know CVS be expensive.
Kenrya: So I went over there.
Erica: You didn't get an employee discount?
Kenrya: I don't remember. I don't think so.
Erica: All right, sorry.
Kenrya: Yeah, I don't think we had... maybe 10... listen, I don't know. Don't get me to lyin’. But I remember, or maybe I was just embarrassed. I don't know. But I know that I went over there and I bought some nonoxynol-9, or whatever the hell it's called. The spermicidal KY Jelly, because I was like, "Just in case this, I need to make sure that anything that gets through will die." And I was ready, ready. I was not playing around. So we used all of that the first time, and that's how I discovered I was allergic to spermicide and so that was the end of that. And I had to throw all of that shit away.
Erica: You're like, "Well-
Kenrya: And I had condoms that had spermicidal lubricant. Like, literally-
Erica: Oh my gosh.
Kenrya: ... every layer was protected.
Erica: Is Durex the one that has spermicidal lubricant?
Kenrya: I don't remember. I just remember that I was allergic.
Erica: I remember I had a summer where I was allergic to a condom that I was using with this dude. My vagina was on fire.
Kenrya: Fire. Yeah, it's really bad.
Erica: And I went to my doctor like, "We been using rubbers and he gave me something." And she was like, "You're having an allergic reaction." I was like, "Oh, okay."
Kenrya: Yeah, I don't remember how I figured out it was an allergic reaction, but I figured it out pretty quickly. I mean, we were obviously very careful, so I knew he hadn't given me anything, although he did end up giving me something.
Kenrya: In a hot tub, yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative). On some, "Come here, come sit on my lap." Oh God.
Erica: Were you in the... I mean, it was a hot tub.
Kenrya: We were in the hot tub alone, and-
Erica: It was a hot tub, though. Can’t blame it on him, can't just say it was the crust in the hot tub.
Kenrya: I was 18. No, it was not the crust in the hot tub.
Erica: Okay. All right.
Kenrya: I was 18 and he pulled me on his lap and did a little rub-rub. And then I ended up with trichomoniasis? Was that what I ended up with? Oh, it was bad. It was disgusting. But I survived.
Erica: Pussies are like little pockets. They are warm and damp creatures. They need care and attending.
Kenrya: That trich just climbed on up in there-
Erica: But nobody don't be putting them pussy pearls into their pussy. Sorry.
Kenrya: ... and I was like, "But I didn't even have no..."
Erica: Sorry, sorry. Instagram. Niggas will be selling everything to put up your hooha.
Kenrya: Oh, you don't have to put anything in there.
Kenrya: Unless you want to, but all right. But so, yeah. It wasn't even actual intercourse. And that's how I ended up with my very first STD. Oh, we should do STD stories. Yeah.
Erica: Yeah, we should.
Kenrya: We got to normalize it. Everybody gets them.
Erica: We got to de-stigmatize it, yeah.
Kenrya: I mean, I don't have any shame over it. I didn't do anything. It was what it was. But yeah, but somehow I did still discover that it was that I was allergic and that was the end of that. I had to throw all that shit away. All my hard-earned CVS money.
Erica: So you mentioning the spermicidal lubricant made me think about, there's this new birth control, have you seen the ads for it?
Kenrya: Yes, but it took me a minute to realize what they were advertising.
Erica: I literally had to Google it, because I was like, "What is this shit?" So it's like some gel you shoot up your pussy, it changes the PH.
Kenrya: I figured, it kills, it makes it an inhospitable environment?
Erica: Yeah, but the biggest-
Kenrya: Side effect?
Erica: Side effect, they're like, "Yeah, you might get BV." I'm sorry?
Kenrya: Yeah, so literally my partner and I are watching TV and that commercial came on and he was like, "What the fuck is that?"
Erica: Yeah, it was to the point where I'm like-
Kenrya: I think it kills, yeah.
Erica: And they kept saying it was a non-hormonal birth control. And I can't do the IUD. I have to use rubbers. And so, I was like, "Oh, this is something interesting."
Kenrya: Until you saw.
Erica: Yeah, I just feel like we do so much jangling our pussies in order to accommodate men. In the ecosystem of sex and reproduction, people with vaginas and uteruses and all that shit, we do so much jangling to avoid the person with the sperm having to do any fucking thing about his own reproductive health. And that shit bothers the fuck out of me.
Kenrya: That's true.
Erica: I was reading in a magazine, or maybe it was another Instagram post. And they sell this little thing, it looks like a little plunger. You go-
Kenrya: The thing that sucks the... oh yeah.
Erica: And it's like, "You don't want to have a spill after having sex."
Kenrya: Make the nigga pull out.
Erica: That's what the fuck it is.
Kenrya: Or a condom.
Erica: It just bothers the hell out of me. And I'm mad that... I mean, this option probably works for some people.
Kenrya: It wouldn't be one that good for you.
Erica: I was excited about it for a little bit.
Kenrya: But it is not great.
Erica: And then I'm thinking logistically, does it taste bad? Because you going to eat before you treat.
Kenrya: Right. So then, do you have to use it beforehand or can you use it after? I was wondering about that.
Erica: You have to use it before.
Kenrya: Oh, so then it's premeditated. You got to like-
Erica: Yeah. Anyway, it's just, I [crosstalk 00:40:55]-
Kenrya: Oh, they don't make... I was just thinking about the sponge episode of “Seinfeld”-
Erica: They don't do the sponge anymore/
Kenrya: ... about the sponge. No, remember they were discontinuing it and Elaine... have you ever seen that episode? Elaine was all upset because they were discontinuing it and that was her preferred birth control method. Diaphragms, I guess, do the same thing, but none of those protect against STDs.
Kenrya: So, yeah.
Erica: Okay, so yeah, parents caught kids having sex. I don't think I was ever caught having sex. Now, I definitely was kissing, making out, him fondling my titty.
Kenrya: And got caught?
Erica: And no dry humping, because that's too much like sex. And I got caught by my uncle.
Erica: But it was my cool uncle. So he was like, "What y'all doing?" I was like, "Nothing! We going to go walk to the park. We going to go walk to the park." So yeah, that's what we did.
Kenrya: That's funny. I ain't never get caught by nobody, but I was real on the low with mine always, so.
Erica: Kenrya, you would have been possessed with the spirit of your best friend in 10 years if you were to get caught. That's funny.
Erica: Okay. Looking at my notes. We're going to get to the anger in a minute, because that's a huge part of this story. But you know how we went through that period where everybody was getting married? You were already married then, right? You were the first in the crew to get married. But do you think... Well, I will be... I felt like, not that there was pressure from my friends or family, but I just felt like, "It's time to get married." And so I did.
Kenrya: That's one of the worse reasons to get married.
Erica: Right? I mean, I thought at the time-
Kenrya: At the time, yes.
Erica: ... I thought we was forever.
Kenrya: Yeah. Listen, I helped plan your engagement.
Erica: Oh, you did. Thanks. Yeah, so but-
Kenrya: Got your ass dressed and everything.
Erica: Girl. Honey, oh, child. Okay, so. So, I do think that, and I say this to young people now. You're going through a period where everybody getting married and having babies. Don't do that shit if it ain't for you. And everybody say, "Nah, I'm going to wait until I'm..." No, nigga. Because you going to be on somebody's beach in Jamaica, watching your homegirl walk down the aisle to, (singing). And then you going to look over at your boo and be like, "Let's do this."
Erica: Don't get swept up in that emotion, because it's strong. And you know what's funner?
Kenrya: That's just one expensive day.
Erica: Yeah, you know what's funner? Breaking up with a nigga and it being easy and not having to figure out how y'all going to untie bank accounts and insurance and mortgages and things.
Kenrya: Changing the name and yeah.
Erica: So, you know? Okay, so there was an incident-
Kenrya: That's so funny. Our message is not “Wait to have sex.” Our message is “Wait to get married, if you ever.”
Erica: Fuck yeah. Marriage is eternal. Sex is for a second. Okay, so the big theme in the book, there was an incident that happened between Angie and Preston. I'm not going to talk about what it was, but it was, I think... and because of that incident they were just not fucking with each other. And on top of not fucking with each other, because I generally like all the characters we come across in our books, because I don't think we read any Tyler Perry, dark-skin nigga with braids to the back, hurting women books. But yeah, this was the first character that I was like-
Kenrya: Yeah, the evil characterization. Yeah, we don't do that.
Erica: "This nigga a jerk." Like, I couldn't not fucking stand Preston. He's a fucking jerk. But I think there were two things at play. One, his natural, just his baseline is always jerk, right? And then, two, his anger at Angie, stemmed from a misunderstanding. Or maybe not a misunderstanding, but he sees it as a misunderstanding, right? He believes that-
Kenrya: There was an all-around lack of grace.
Erica: And so I think that's why he was so angry. And so bitter and bitey and snipey towards her.
Kenrya: I think it was deeper than that. I think he was genuinely hurt.
Erica: I do, too. I do, too.
Kenrya: Yeah. Well, I think that they both were genuinely hurt and neither of them knew what to do with it.
Kenrya: Because they were super young, but then they grew and continued to be hurt and angry, rather than have a conversation like an adult.
Erica: And girl, I was like, "This bitch is an Aries, because this hoe know how to hold on to a fucking grudge." I was like, "Girl, ain't you tired of this shit?"
Kenrya: Even I felt that and you know I hold a grudge.
Erica: I was like, girl.
Kenrya: I hold a grudge so long I forget what I held the grudge for in the first fucking place.
Erica: I was like, "You? I don't know, but I don't like your ass." Yeah, I was like, "For real girlfriend, you are a fucking Aries."
Kenrya: Relax. Yeah.
Erica: She held onto the grudge forever. But yeah, I do think-
Kenrya: She lived in that grudge. She made that grudge her whole fucking personality, like.
Erica: She was like, "Hey guys, I got a new address. 123 Grudge Lane."
Kenrya: Yes. It was bad.
Erica: "Fucking Florida, 22222." Yeah. But I think he grudge came out of some for real betrayal, how could you do this to me? But I also think, I'm debating if-
Kenrya: She's mad at the wrong person.
Erica: Okay, so look. Spoiler alert, spoiler alert, spoiler alert.
Kenrya: We don't want to spoil too much.
Erica: But I have to in order to get-
Kenrya: Okay. Until y'all read it, don't listen to this part.
Erica: Right. So, I think the reason that she felt so betrayed is part of society's pressure on how important virginity is.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: If virginity was just the first time you had sex, like the first time I had a tuna sandwich. Fucking love a tuna sandwich. I don't remember the first time, but I know I like that motherfucker. And I can remember special tuna sandwiches. And I think that our society's pressure on, "This is special, Smeagol. This is your special jewel. Don't share any."
Kenrya: Your flower.
Erica: What'd you say?
Kenrya: Your flower.
Erica: Yeah, "Your special flower."
Erica: I just feel like that also just perpetuated her anger. Like, "This was my virginity and I gave it to you." And it was just like...
Erica: So yeah, we tie all this back to what? Patriarchy.
Kenrya: Patriarchy and this weird fucking fascination with children and their genitals and what they do with them and, ugh, God. It's really disgusting to me.
Erica: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Erica: It is. So yeah, now that I'm thinking about it, I definitely think that that was what it is. Just her feeling so betrayed because your first time having sex is supposed to be so special. Whereas, it could have just been really special because that was your first love, you know? Y'all had a really good relationship. Because I'm telling you, my first time, only reason it still registers because it was so fucking awkward and funny. Other than that.
Kenrya: Yeah, mine wasn't... I mean, it was just a thing that happened.
Kenrya: That I prepared very, very much for.
Erica: I can tell you about the first time I had an orgasm.
Kenrya: I can't remember the first time I had an orgasm.
Erica: Bitch, I saw stars. We'll get to that when we do our whatchamacallit. Yeah, so Preston was an asshole by nature, and then on top of him feeling hurt and feeling like he didn't get... you know what? Yes. At first, I was like, "Maybe not so much hurt." But yeah, he feels like, "Dawg, we loved each other and you won't even give me a chance. You won't hear me out," right?
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah. He's thought there was a lack of justice, I think, in that situation.
Kenrya: And he could admit what he had done wrong.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative), Mm-hmm (affirmative). So I think all of it just, I think that's why I hated Preston so fucking much in this book. I mean, after a while-
Kenrya: Did you? I didn't hate him.
Erica: First, Preston fine.
Kenrya: But he had issues. He needed to go to therapy.
Erica: Yeah. Yeah.
Erica: They definitely need some therapy between-
Kenrya: So did she, yeah.
Erica: Yeah, they need couples therapy, too.
Kenrya: Couples, yes.
Erica: But it was such a good story. And girl, the sex that them people was having.
Kenrya: It took a while, because I remember you started it before I did and you were like, "Okay? Where's the sex?"
Erica: Yes, "Where he at?"
Kenrya: And then it came and it was like, "Hey."
Erica: Yeah, but once they started fucking, they didn't stop. They was fucking here, there, everywhere.
Erica: Fuck a little here, fuck a little there.
Kenrya: I was like, "This is-"
Erica: Here, there, there, there, fuck a little everywhere. Preston, Angie were fucking (singing).
Erica: Okay. Speaking of you, grudge-holder for life. Have you had a misunderstanding with a boo or a past somebody that after having a conversation you're like, "Oh, shit. This is what happened."
Kenrya: I mean, yeah. My current partner and I almost weren't together.
Erica: Oh yeah. You was like, "This nigga just said fuck me."
Kenrya: Yeah, so on our second date, we were having dessert. Pre-pandemic, he used to do these elaborate, three-part dates. Like, we'd go do live music, then we'd go somewhere else and have dinner, and then we'd go somewhere else for dessert, or whatever. And we were on a third part of our second date, which was having dessert. And he basically wanted to have a conversation about what we wanted. And his whole thing, this is why I love this man.
Erica: Because, wait. I was there the whole time, counseling Kenrya on the wrong shit. I will take an L on that one. I was like, "Fuck this, don't do it, be out." Continue your story, please.
Kenrya: So he basically wanted to have a conversation about kids, because I'm a few years older than him, like three, four, I don't know. And so, in his mind, his understanding, from being on the apps, was he thought I wanted... because I said I wanted to have a kid and I was filtering, at that point, filtering out folks who didn't want children. And he was like, "I know that you want to have another kid. And I got to tell you I'm not really ready for that." And I was like, "Okay." And to me... and there was a lot of other conversation, but ultimately, what I thought that he meant was that he didn't want children. And I was like, "Well, I already got a kid. So it ain't nothing that we can really do here." And what he meant, I found out later, was that he just needed a few years. He felt like he needed to get some things established before he could feel... because he's a Capricorn and everything is about logic and finances. And he wanted to get to a certain place-
Erica: I do the logic part, not the finance part for me. Continue.
Kenrya: ... before he was ready to bring another kid into the situation. But all I heard was that wasn't what he wanted. And so that was also the night that I told him I still wanted to fuck him. And then that was going to be that. And we had decided to go out for New Year's that night. He asked me and I was like, "I was going to ask you." And so we went out with you and some of our other friends and had a great time.
Erica: As "just friends."
Kenrya: Yes, as just friends, because we had decided... and this was all within the span of days. So we went out to dinner before we met y'all. And he kept making little comments about how great it could be, but I had decided that I didn't want it to go-
Erica: This could be us, but you tripping.
Kenrya: It was very much those. And I remember meeting y'all and being like, "Yeah, I think I'm going to have to cut this off because he catching feelings." And we had already had sex. And so I felt like, I thought it was because we had sex that he was catching feelings. And he wasn't going to be able to do the arrangement of us just being friends who had sex sometimes. And then his birthday was a few days later and when I met him to take him out for lunch, I gave him a book about codependency, which he will never let me live down.
Erica: You stay giving people that book. She stay giving niggas that book. I mean, it was a life changing book.
Kenrya: Because niggas need it.
Erica: She stay giving men that book.
Kenrya: But he did not need it. He's not codependent at all, but I thought he was. And he thinks books are horrible gifts and to this day he threatens to only give me books. I'm like, "Nigga, I like books. That ain't a punishment for me. Don't threaten me with a good time," but whatever. But so, it took like a month. And I remember being on a date with somebody else, because I was still dating, and the whole time being like, "Damn, I really wish I was with him right now." Like the entire time. Ended the date early. Came home. Called him. Told him we needed to talk. And called you and was like, "I think I fucked up."
Erica: But also, he came to you and was like, "Look, bitch. Don't be thinking for me." He didn't call you a bitch.
Kenrya: Yes, he would never.
Erica: But he said, "Look, you're doing a whole lot of thinking and assuming from me, for me. And you ain't ask me none of this."
Erica: And so I thought that was really dope that he was like, "Look, before we even get down that path, Ms. Aries, with your Gemini ass friend in your ear like 'Freak summer, freak summer, freak summer, freak summer," yeah.
Erica: So I'm glad that it did work out.
Kenrya: Thank God. And I am glad that I was able to humble myself eventually and be vulnerable and tell him that I fucked up and that I was wrong and that he wasn't codependent and that we needed to have a real conversation about what it is. Because he had cleared it up, but I felt like I had already made a decision and blah, blah, blah. And just being an Aries. And so we had a real conversation about it. And I don't know, three years later, here we are. So I almost fucked it up. That nigga's the love of my life and I almost let it go because I made a split decision. As he calls it, he says, "You know, the day that you made that unilateral decision."
Erica: That's exactly what it was. Like, how you going to decide for me?
Kenrya: Yes, it was.
Kenrya: It really was. It was terrible.
Erica: Okay, so something else in this book that I had to laugh at was how Angie was keeping secrets from her bestie. She was like, "We got to keep this," she was like, "We hoe-in' on the low-in'." And I had to laugh because it's like, your friends now you more than you know yourself.
Kenrya: Better than anybody, yup.
Erica: They know you. And her friend was like, "Girl, I knew it. We saw it. That's why I did XYZ." Even when they started.
Kenrya: Right, like she was fooling no one.
Erica: Yeah, fooling absolutely no one. And I just thought it was really cute that she thought she could like, hide something from her bestie. I'm trying to think if there was-
Kenrya: Oh, have you ever tried to hide anything from me?
Erica: I'm trying to think. I don't think so, only because it's like, if I'm trying to hide something from you, it's probably like-
Kenrya: You know you're doing something [inaudible 00:58:32].
Erica: ... in my mind I said, "I ain't going to say shit." And then I see you and I'm like, "I got something to tell you." So it might be hidden for a good 48 hours because I haven't seen you in 48 hours, but yeah. And also, you're not judgy. You're not judgy.
Kenrya: I try not to be.
Kenrya: I try not to be.
Erica: Yeah, you're not judgy. So it's like, it could literally be anything and you're like, "Okay, how we being safe?" Like, she's my fucking Fire Marshall Bill. But other than that, so I don't really feel the need to hide stuff from you, because again, if anything you going to be like-
Kenrya: For what?
Erica: ... "Bitch, really? We doing this? Okay, let's figure out a plan." You're my co-conspirator.
Kenrya: It's true. And I don't think…even when I was hiding things from everyone else, you were the one person who knew everything.
Erica: Yeah, again, my ass was dumb, like, "Okay girl, this fine." Oh, I feel so horrible about that. But you live and you learn.
Kenrya: No, no. And first of all, it's not your responsibility to keep me from lying to myself.
Erica: Yeah, but.
Kenrya: There were moments when, not in that situation, but in situations after that, even before I had got my shit together, where you were like, "I just want you to think about what you're doing."
Kenrya: "I want you to make sure that you're doing this for the right reason." I distinctly remember sitting at Panera and you having that conversation with me.
Erica: Whoa, I remember that one decision that-
Kenrya: Yeah, what?
Erica: ... that didn't play out. Okay.
Kenrya: Wait, I want to know which one you're talking about.
Erica: Woo! We'll discuss it later.
Kenrya: Which one? Okay.
Erica: The one, the one.
Kenrya: Oh! Yeah. The move?
Erica: Okay, I'm sorry. I just got so triggered.
Kenrya: I just got to thank God that didn't happen. Yeah, I thank God that didn't happen.
Erica: Okay, so with that, we're going to take a break. And then we're going to go to our next segment called, Kenrya, you're the-
Kenrya: What's turning us on.
Erica: Damn, God. Okay.
Kenrya: I said it.
Erica: We're going to take a break and then we're going to go to our next segment called,
Kenrya: What's turning us on.
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Erica: And we're back.
Kenrya: Yeah, we are.
Erica: To talk about what's turning us on.
Kenrya: Oh Lordy.
Erica: What's turning you on, Kenrya?
Kenrya: Okay, so for those of you who follow us on Instagram, which should be all of y'all, we're on Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast, we did a 12 days of Christmas thing at the end of 2020 and this is one of the products that I talked about and we wanted to resurface it, because legit, it's good. I love it. Yeah. So this thing came into my life, because I'll be honest, it's not something that I would have thought to just bought, because I was writing for Prevention magazine at the time, and this company reached out and wanted somebody to try their products and possibly do something if we liked them. And the story ended up not happening because the pandemic happened, but the products are awesome.
Erica: The products help you through the pandemic.
Kenrya: Exactly. So the company is called Rosebud Woman. I do not love the name of the company to be quite honest, because women are not the only people who can use these products and I just think it's not expansive enough of a name for the product. But basically, the whole thing behind this company, and this is the kit. Can y'all see that?
Erica: Yeah, yup.
Kenrya: Is that we have these things that we do to take care of ourselves in all these other ways, right? We have wash day where we spend hours taking care of our hair. We have skincare regimens that we do in the morning and the evening. We put lotion on our bodies and oil on our bodies to keep them soft and supple, but we don't really do anything for our genitals that is just kind of about care. Usually it's related to there's something going on down there or you're having sex or whatever. But their whole thing is we should be making time to care for our bodies. So some of the products are preventative and some of them are reactive.
Kenrya: So, in the kit, the Ritual Kit, which is the thing that I just held up, there's four different things. I'll talk about the three that I use. So the first is Honor. Which is basically like a balm that you are supposed to use to keep things soft and supple.
Kenrya: It's like chapstick for your vagina, yes. And so, it does exactly that.
Erica: Vagina, vulva, or everything?
Kenrya: Everything. The vaginal opening and the vulva and actually, you can use it on your anus, as well. Any tissues that may be getting stretched and may not be as moisturized as you would like them to be, you can use this. So even folks who don't have vaginas, I would think... because I use this anally, as well, because that is a tissue that... what?
Erica: No, I'm thinking, yeah, I got to get the kit.
Kenrya: So it really is... You can buy the products individually, as well. I just happen to have the kit. And so, you can see I be using it.
Erica: Using your two fingers like, "Ah!" Sorry.
Kenrya: It's all natural. There's no artificial fragrance. It does smell very faintly of rose, which makes me think of old women, old people. But this does not actually smell that way-
Erica: It ain't a deal breaker-
Kenrya: ... when it's on your body.
Erica: ... to nobody down there, yeah.
Kenrya: And nah, I'm worried about me. I just don't really like the smell of rose, but it dissipates. You don't smell anything. And it's natural. There's no artificial fragrances. And you know I'm super sensitive to literally everything. So I couldn't use it if it were not. But of course you want to test on your own body. And then there's the Soothe calming cream, which is the first thing that I used. And this is really good for those times when you was like, "I'm wet enough, I don't need no lube. It's good, let's go."
Erica: And your pussy was like, "No, no, no. Not in my house."
Kenrya: I fucking love that commercial.
Erica: That's my Dikembe Mutombo.
Kenrya: Yes, I love that. I giggle every time that shit comes on, like a child. It is really good for that after. After you done washed and want to just... it's just like a little, "Ah," for your tissues. Yes.
Erica: That makes it sound like it's Dr. Bronners.
Kenrya: It's really good.
Erica: It's not peppermint cream, which is horrible.
Kenrya: No, there's no peppermint, there's no menthol, it's not going to burn. But it does soothe everything and I find that it's really good after a session when I should have got up and got the lube and decided that I didn't want to. The other thing that I used in here is the Arouse serum. Now, this does have kind of a little tingly situation. You use two to three drops on all your external folds and creases, for about 5 to 10 minutes before. They say on the thing, and I didn't do this, but it's probably good practice, try it out on your lips before you put it on your other lips, to see, yeah.
Kenrya: So you can know what to expect, in terms of how it's going to feel, because if you feel irritated, then don't use it down there. But so, it comes in that little box. It's got this really great book called “The Invitation: Daily Love for Your Intimate Self,” and what I thought about, what's great about this is that, so it kind of plays on that idea of a flower, which we were talking about. It's called Rosebud, blah, blah, blah. But so it has these fantastic drawings that kind of imagine the body as a flower.
Kenrya: But I used it to give my daughter, who is an artist, a really beautiful look at internal anatomy. Yeah.
Erica: Oh, that is beautiful.
Kenrya: Right? It's gorgeous. This is in my little arsenal of things for conversations. And so that is great, too. And it's got little rituals and things to do to encourage you to be in touch with your body in ways that I find that we often are not. So it's got practical uses, as well as larger uses. And if it is something that you are interested in using, especially if you are in menopause or otherwise dealing with dryness in that are, or if hormonal treatments are leaving you dry down there in any way, it's really good for that. And we will put a link to that in our show notes for folks who are interested in getting either the entire kit or the individual pieces that are in it. Kind of love it, been using it for a year. And a little bit goes a long way.
Kenrya: I have literally been using those for a year and you can see that there's still so much in each one of the containers, because it goes a long way.
Erica: And she's got a man, she's fucking fucking.
Kenrya: I am fucking fucking. Although I try to be good about getting up and getting the lube. But the Honor is really good to use every day. And it actually makes it so that you don't need the lube as much, not that there's every anything wrong with using the lube, because I use it 90% of the time. But it really does just make your tissues more supple.
Kenrya: I love your analogy about it being like chapstick, so you don't have ashy ass vulva lips and vaginal opening.
Erica: We don't want an ashy pussy. Not at all.
Erica: All righty. Well, that wraps up this week's episode of The Turn On.
Kenrya: It does.
Erica: This is Erica and Kenrya. Two hoes, making it clap.
Kenrya: Making it clap.
Erica: Bye, girl. Bye, y'all.
Kenrya: I don't even try anymore. I'm not doing that with you. Bye y'all.
Kenrya: This episode was produced by us, Kenrya and Erica, and edited by B'Lystic. The theme music is from Brazy. Hit subscribe right now on your favorite podcast app and at YouTube.com/TheTurnOnPodcast so you'll never miss an episode.
Erica: Then follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast and you can find links to books, transcripts, guest info, what's turning us on, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com.
Kenrya: And don't forget to email us at TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com with your book recommendations and your pressing sex and related questions.
Erica: And you can support the show by leaving us a five-star rating, buying some merch, or becoming a patron of the show. Just head to TheTurnOnPodcast.com to make that happen.
Kenrya: Thanks for listening and we'll see you soon. Holla.
The Turn On
The Turn On is a podcast for Black people who want to get off. To open their minds. To learn. To be part of a community. To show that we love and fuck too, and it doesn't have to be political or scandalous or dirty. Unless we want it to be.