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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya chop it up with Not Your Average Fairy Tale co-host Candace about the intricacies of parenting and being a sexual being.
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Kenrya: Come here, get off.
Kenrya: Today, we're talking to Candace, pronouns she and her. Candace is the fun, straightforward, and loving friend you never knew you needed. She graduated from Howard University, the real HU, in 2006 and made D.C. her home. That's where she started her career in government and nonprofits, and where she met her husband, Sledge. Married almost eight years, and parents to three witty, dancing and singing machines, they now live in the Dallas area and co-host of Not Your Average Fairy Tale, a new relationship podcast. Candace loves God, her family and her friends. And she enjoys reading, binge watching shows on Netflix, Orange Theory, listening and dancing to music, and of course the ever-elusive sleep. Candace, thank you so much for joining us.
Candace: Thank you for having me.
Kenrya: How are you doing with the social distancing?
Candace: Doing good, because all my friends are available when I want them and when I need them. They're not at work during the day, so I can call them, FaceTime them, anytime.
Kenrya: You're one of those.
Candace: And they answer my calls, yes. "Text me back."
Erica: "No excuses. I know you ain't doing nothing."
Candace: I called Jen earlier like, "Uh, where you been all day?"
Erica: Shit, nah, Gchat me.
Kenrya: E is also one of those people. I am not one of those people. I don't answer my phone very often. Don't like it.
Candace: Yeah. But the kids can go back to school anytime. I mean you know, that's the hard part.
Erica: They are more than welcome to go back. Goodbye.
Candace: Yes, please.
Erica: I get it. So we learned in your bio that your work primarily centers with government and nonprofits, but how the hell did you come to host a podcast?
Candace: Ooh, how do we come to host? So I initially wanted to do a YouTube channel, and Sledge is more into the podcast. And so we were like, "Let's start with the podcast first, and kind of transition and see how the YouTube stuff goes."
Candace: Because YouTube is just, I think a lot more work. Because you have to do real live footage, and then edit that. And... It's a lot. And, it was a couple of different avenues. Because we wanted something with just us, and then we wanted something with the family. So we said if we do more of the kids and the family, that'd be the YouTube channel, because they're all into that YouTube stuff, and channels and recording. And the podcast will be more for the grown folks. For the experienced folks. So that's kind of how we decided on the podcast. And the other thing was that we were noticing ... And not often, but often enough, that people would ask us questions about our relationship thinking that everything was like perfect. And we're like, "Oh you all don't really know us. You all ain't really been around us like that, because this is far from perfect."
Candace: And so we just saw it as an opportunity to share and tell our story. Just with everybody. Just see where it goes, really. Yeah.
Kenrya: So, I think that was interesting. It was actually a question I already had, which was, you know you say on the show that people have like this social media driven image of who you and your family are, that doesn't really match up with your reality. So why is it important to you to dispel those myths of what people think you all are?
Candace: So the funny thing, and I was talking to a girlfriend about this with social distancing. She was like, "It really shouldn't be that fucking hard, because we already been doing it with social media." People don't talk to each other when they go out to dinner. People don't really leave their phones and spend time with individuals.
Candace: And so I think social media as a whole has just created this false reality of what things look like. And I think we're one of those raw families. Like we'll show when ... Like I'll get on my Instagram Stories or Live and my hair ain't done, makeup not done, nails not done. You know? And so, we never have had any issue with just showing the real, true, honest, who we are as a family, who we are as husband and wife. I will tell people, "Sledge get on my nerves. He made me mad today, whatever." So yeah, just that false reality that social media brings with it, and people just always wanting to post images, captions that makes everything seem positive. And not to say that you have to share your dirty laundry all the time, or with complete strangers. But I also think that there is a certain element of reality that should come with it.
Candace: Because I done looked through my feed, and I'm like, "When did they take these?" I mean pictures just look so staged, and so fake. And it's like, why do you have to have this super Photoshopped picture, or staged picture? Then the caption will be like, "My child, this pregnancy, my husband." I'm like, "What does that have to do with the picture?" So I just think it's just the new reality we live in, and so we kind of want to change that narrative as far as-
Kenrya: Things being fake.
Candace: Yeah. Pretty much. Things are fun and fine, and yeah, we will joke and laugh, but then shit gets real too. And we're going to share that with you.
Erica: Yeah. Yeah.
Kenrya: So we asked you to come on the show today because last week we read a story called “Homecumming.” And it starts with a married couple that finally gets some time to themselves to have sex. And we quickly learned that that's a struggle. Their kids are always underfoot. There's always something going on. Is that something that you can relate to?
Candace: Oh yeah. Big time. I feel like we are just now getting to a place where we can have, alone time. And for real alone time, because the kids are getting older. But I remember ... Because, you know, our story is very different. We had our first son before we were married. And so, we didn't have that honeymoon stage, that just me and him type of thing. So, and we also had our first son ... What, six months? Well we got pregnant six months after moving in together. So it changed a lot for us as far as like dating, getting to know each other, and spend just time together. Just Ralph and Candace. So yeah, those first... How old is Cheyenne, two? Maybe those first seven years was like a hit and miss. We had waves where it was like, "Oh yeah, we're able to go out, we're able to have uninterrupted sex." Or, you know, whatever.
Candace: And then it would go back down to it felt like when it was all about the kids. But I feel like now, since Cheyenne is two, she is starting to be a little more independent. We're finally getting to a place where it's like, "Okay, we can put them to bed, and stay up and do stuff that we want to do." And also not have to worry about who's getting up in the middle of the night, or who's getting up in the morning with them. We still have to do those things, but it's not to the extreme of like having an infant, or just having really needy children.
Erica: You still have a little visitors.
Erica: Popping through.
Candace: Yeah, but we could be more intentional about it now, you know? Before it was like, "I ain't staying up to have sex with you, because you don't get up in the middle of the night." Or, "You ain't getting up in the morning with these kids when they wake up." So yeah.
Kenrya: That's some real shit.
Kenrya: Which really leads me to the next question. There's another thing that you all say on the show that really stood out to me. And you said that you want to help all families feel normal. What does normal look like from your vantage point when it comes to parenting and being a sexual being, simultaneously?
Candace: Hmm. Well, I think first and foremost, normal is doing what makes you happy. So our normal is not everyone else's normal, but we want people to own what normal is for them. So if that's, you having sex seven days a week, two or three, four times a day, or once a week. I mean you just do what works for you and your relationship, and be okay with that.
Candace: I think we get into this comparison thing too much. And I was kind of getting into it now, like with the whole social distancing, it's like, "Oh, now everyone wants to show what they're doing with their kids on Instagram, homeschooling." You wasn't showing that before, why do I care now?
Candace: But yeah, just creating what's normal for you. And being okay with that. Not feeling like you have to compare it to your friend's marriage or relationship, or to your friend's parenting style and where their kids are academically, or you know in sports, or whatever the case may be. So just being comfortable with your normal, and sharing that story, and not feeling like you have to change it, edit it, for anybody.
Erica: So, we noticed that faith is a really big part of the conversation on your show. How does faith influence the way you parent?
Candace: The way we parent? So faith for us has evolved a lot in the past couple of years, because we haven't always been on the same page about it, and we definitely haven't always been in the same place. So, wow. So to say where it is when we parent, I remember when we had Taylor and we were just dating. We weren't married yet. And I would still get up and take Taylor to church with me on Sundays, and Sledge wouldn't go. And it wasn't like a fight or a battle, it was just, that was how we were. I got up, I went to church. He got up, he got ready to watch football. And that slowly started to change and evolve. And we kind of talk about that in the second episode, about how that changed for him.
Erica: Because you're in Dallas, and I saw that you all drive to Oklahoma for church.
Candace: Yeah, we have. We drove up there three times since the new year.
Erica: That's so great.
Candace: Yeah. Because we really just really love the church, and that pastor in particular. And we started following him, maybe about a year ago, and Ralph said he wants to spend the first Sunday of the new year there. So we made the drive, we made the trip. And it was interesting, because the first time we went, we went by ourselves. The second time we went, we took the younger two. And the third time we went, we took all of them. And it's very interesting to see, they remember it. It was crazy because the third time we went, Cheyenne was like not afraid to go to the children's church. She just was super calm, like she had been there a thousand times. We've been to churches numerous times in Dallas, and she'll still be like, "Don't leave me."
Candace: And not anything was wrong. Like they weren't-
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Candace: But I think her energy just felt we were comfortable in certain places than others. I mean, I don't know, it's kind of like we try and teach them lessons. We definitely pray with them a lot, but we're not one of those, "You all better be reciting y'all Bible versus today for this week." We just kind of let them ease into it. Because at the end of the day when they become adults, or even teenagers, they're going to have to decide what they choose to follow. We can't decide that for them. We just want to guide them what we believe to be true. But they're going to have to make the decision for themselves.
Erica: Yep. Yep.
Erica: So how does this influence the way you approach sex, your faith?
Candace: So ... It's very interesting. So the church we were a part of previously, their marriage ministry, and even their lead pastor. And it was really they first lady, and she's a soror too, they used to be like super candid about it. Which was very interesting. I will never forget, we were at this weekend retreat thing, and she was like ... How did she tell us? She told the story about football being on, and during commercials and halftime shows she would get on her knees.
Candace: And I'm like, "Oh, okay!"
Erica: "Oh we doing this?!"
Candace: "Yeah, okay! Okay First Lady!" But I liked that, because she was like, "I'm married, and I could do whatever I want with my partner, my spouse, who I'm married to. God created sex. He created for us to enjoy it. Enjoy it." She pretty much was like, "You all need to stop being such prudes. Just because you all are saved, or just because you all Christians, just cause you all in the church. You better please your man." You know? And you better please your woman too. So I really appreciated that.
Candace: I really appreciated her candidness, and her humor and fun about it. But she was real, she was like, "That's my husband. I could do whatever I want to do to my husband. He's mine, and there's nothing you can say about it." And so I think, not that we were the opposite, but I think that also made us a little comfortable to talk about sex as believers, and not feeling like, "Oh, this is something we could only talk about amongst each other-
Erica: Or with our heathen friends.
Candace: Exactly. It's not like the conversations weren't taking place, but it was like, you don't have to be ashamed of having that conversation, or showing your spouse affection, love, whatever, in any setting. Like, "No, we can do this. It's nothing you can say or do about it." You know? So, that helped a lot. Yeah.
Kenrya: I'm wondering how do you make time, in the chaos of parenting, and being a partner, and all of that, to be in touch with yourself and your body?
Candace: That is hard. And I'm still struggling with that. Because although I like working out, I will definitely skip a workout if I feel like I need to be there for my family. Or, I won't eat, because I'm doing stuff around the house for my family. And so I'm having to learn that, while they are a priority, they're not my end all be all. Like Ralph and I are like one of those definite couples where it's like in our marriage we come first. And we had this debate with a lot of friends. Our kids don't come first. We come first. Because, one, we need and want for them to leave this house one day, and be able to stand on their own and kind of be an independent person, not depending on us. And then we also want to show them how we view marriage, and how they should. So we kiss in front of them, hug in front of them, grind up on ... You know, I'll twerk in front of them.
Candace: They get embarrassed. But I'm like, "But this my man. I can do this. This my husband." Yeah, we have to definitely be intentional about how we spend time, and carving out that time. I remember hearing couples saying, "We scheduled time." And I'd be like, "That's just so corny to me." I'm not one of those people where it's like if we scheduled time in Tuesday at eight o'clock, we're going to have sex. No, because I'm not going to be in the mood.
Candace: I still need it to be organic. You know what I'm saying? Like I still need to know you want me, not because it's scheduled, but because my booty look big to you today. Or you want to rub up on me. Not because it's on the agenda to do. And so I think, like I said, with the kids getting older, it's easier to do that. Or we'll definitely make time where we're like, "Mimi, Papa, we're going to need you to keep them overnight, or keep them for the weekend." So we are blessed to have that as an option.
Kenrya: So you all have family right there?
Candace: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. Yeah, my parents moved here when we moved here.
Erica: Oh, so lucky. I was going to ask about that. I know that your mother and father are super involved, and I was wondering, did you see that growing up, and is that why your so ... Did you see that sort of relationship between your parents growing up, and is that why you are so intentional about making sure that your children see parents that genuinely love each other and want to ... want to rub up on each other?
Candace: I actually didn't. My parents used to flirt, but it was still very candid, very like old school.
Candace: I'm sorry if you all can hear them in the background, dinner is over.
Candace: So yes and no. Like little flirting here and there, but not to the extent that how Sledge and I flirt. And so, I actually think in the beginning of our relationship it was a little hard for me to do that, to give that. Because Sledge's love language is touch, or I think it's like personal touch.
Candace: So he like, you know, all the physical, right? And so I used to be like, "Yeah, but PDA." So I had to really break down and be like, "No, if this is what your man wants, and if this speaks to his love language, if this feels his love tank, then do it. Because if he's filling your love tank then you should be feeling his," type of thing. So I had to get more comfortable about not being embarrassed to kiss him, or to just be up on him, or hug him, or whatever the case may be. At home, in public, wherever. I mean, of course still being respectful and not going overboard, but just being comfortable with doing that and not feeling like, "Oh people are going to think or say one thing, or be annoyed, or roll their eyes." Like, so what? You know? [crosstalk 00:17:35].
Kenrya: How has he adapted to meet your love languages?
Candace: He's done really well. Probably much better than I have, but we've definitely had those moments where we have to remind each other what our love languages are. Because my biggest one is acts of kindness, I think it is. And so to me it's like, "Help me around the house. Put these kids in the bed. Give them they bath. Cook they dinner. Get them ready for school. Like help me around the house."
Candace: And so that took a lot of back and forth. Because there was a time where he wasn't working, I was working, and he used to feel as though I would boss him around about doing stuff around the house. And I saw it as though, like, "No, I'm going to work all day every day, and you're home, so you need to be doing it." And so we had to really adjust how we communicated that to each other. And that it's like, "No, I'm not coming from a place of being bossy, but I would like for you to help me with X, Y, and Z a little bit more." And then also on the receiving end, him understanding like, "These are ways I can step up and help her. Because if I help her clean the kitchen, or get the kids ready for bed, they maybe I'm against some ass tonight." So, yeah.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: And you won't be too tired to fuck.
Candace: Exactly. I'm like, "Bruh, help me help you. Okay?"
Kenrya: Have you found that during this whole stay at home thing that it's been even more important to make time for yourself, and make time for your relationship, since you all in the house together?
Candace: Yeah, I definitely haven't made time for myself. I mean, it's funny, because one day he was like ... I was debating ... It was something about working from home, because he's home with the kids during the weeks now. And he was like, "No, you need to go to work. You need a mental break."
Candace: And I was like ... Part of me was like, "Thank you." But the other part of me was like, "What you mean I need a mental break? I'm good. What are you trying to say, I can't handle it?" But he was right. I do need the time away, just alone time. Especially because the gym is closed, so it's not like I'm getting up to go work out. I'm not good at pushing myself to workout.
Candace: So yeah, I think just the break away from home, and the kids, and the day to day just being ... Not routine, but just, nothing's changing. He's definitely supportive of that, and making sure that, emotionally and spiritually, I'm fed and I'm good. Yeah. But, and you asked this earlier, I'm sorry I didn't answer it completely, but as far as like self-care, I'm getting better. I wasn't always great at it, but I have to be, I've gotten better as far as exercising, and reading. And yeah, just spending alone time. If it means I have to wake up an hour earlier, or go to bed an hour later, I definitely make sure I try and do that. Because I can definitely notice a difference when I don't, in just how I'm responsive to him, and how I'm responsive to the kids, and just my energy. So, yeah.
Kenrya: Oh, okay. Wait, I have a question that's not on our sheet but just occurred to me.
Kenrya: So, I think that sometimes when people have been in relationships for a while, there are things that we like to do to spice things up. And sometimes that means that we use toys, either with our partners, or with ourselves. Is that something that you have had to encounter in your relationship? And if so, how did it go?
Candace: Yep. And I sure remember when. It was early in our relationship. And I was like, "What is up? What you trying to do?!"
Kenrya: He introduced the toys?
Candace: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: I love it. Spicy!
Candace: And I was just like, "I don't ... Where does that go?" So yeah, it's been a while. It's been a long time since we tried to get that. My thing is, I like to go to hotels.
Kenrya: Oh you fancy.
Candace: I know, I don't know what it is about hotels. But I'm like, "I want to go to every hotel. Take me to the Hilton Anatole, take me to the W. Let's spend a night in a hotel." I don't know what that is-
Erica: "You going to get all this nasty."
Candace: Because I ain't got to wake up early. I ain't got to clean.
Erica: You ain't got to clean.
Candace: I ain't got to clean nothing. So that's my thing. I'm trying to think-
Erica: You're like, "I don't need toys. Just give me a nice suite."
Candace: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). Exactly.
Erica: Whatever it takes.
Candace: Exactly, yeah.
Erica: Oh, okay. So one of the things that we like to ask our guests are "Would you rather" questions.
Erica: So, my "Would you rather" question: Would you rather have one night of romance only once a year, or would you have to live with quickies for the rest of your life?
Candace: Oh my God. Once a year?!
Kenrya: But you get to have your hotel, and your romance.
Erica: We'll let you do your hotel. Once a year.
Candace: Nah. I have to go with the quickies. And I actually like quickies. I had to get him to get on to that. We used to come home for lunch sometimes, and get a quickie in. Or we would do what we call skip days, and so the kids will be at school all day and we would both take off of work and stay home. Or go-
Erica: That's why you all got three of them now.
Candace: I told him, I said, "Listen, if these tubes weren't tied, we'd be so pregnant right now. This damn quarantine, we'd be so pregnant." But yeah, I'm going to go with the quickies.
Erica: Yeah, I think I'd have to go with the quickies. Ain't nobody got time for no long nights of passion.
Kenrya: I wouldn't survive.
Candace: Yeah, I wouldn't make it.
Kenrya: It'd just be a whole lot of masturbation. Well, you can masturbate, but it ain't the same.
Candace: It ain't the same.
Erica: Girl, as someone that's single, living single during quarantine. and I am literally living in a bubble. If I grab my vibrator one more ... I went to grab my vibrator, and it was like ...
Candace: Batteries dead. It's tired of your ass.
Erica: My vibrator was audibly like, "Ugh, hoe." So, yeah.
Candace: Yeah, nah. I had to put him on to the quickie thing. He's still not a fan, but I be like, "Listen, sometime it's not about all the passion. We just need to get... like I'm just horny. Let's go." You know?
Erica: Let's get it done.
Candace: He's a Pisces too. So he's super emotional.
Erica: He emotional, yeah. Oh, oh, oh poor baby. His birthday is coming up.
Candace: No, it just passed, at the end of February.
Kenrya: It already passed.
Kenrya: My birthday is coming up.
Erica: You're a Gemini now.
Kenrya: It sucks. We had to cancel our trip for my birthday. I've been looking forward to it for months, and now we can't go nowhere.
Erica: And he was going to Florida, you know that's a hot bed. Yeah. Yeah. We can't, that's even out of the option. But I did take off work, off all my clients. And we will quarantine and celebrate.
Kenrya: I guess. It makes me a little sad, but whatever. The thing that makes me happy is that you joined us today.
Erica: Yah! Thank you .
Candace: You're welcome. I had fun.
Kenrya: It was really good to talk to you and talk about parenting and sex, which is something that I feel like comes up in conversation for us a lot, because it informs how we, you know, you got kids. So it was really great to add another voice to that, that's an in a different situation. So thanks for coming on.
Candace: Thank you.
Kenrya: Let's tell the people where they can find you.
Candace: Well you can find us. So we have a podcast, Not Your Average Fairy Tale. It's available on Spotify, Apple, and Google Play. And so our Instagram is @n.y.a.fairytale. So please follow us. And we're on Twitter and Facebook. Our Twitter is just @nyafairytale, and Facebook just type in "Not Your Average Fairy Tale." And yeah, join us. Listen. We'd love to have you, get your feedback. Appreciate it.
Kenrya: All right.
Erica: Hey, hey, hey.
Kenrya: Well, that wraps up this week's episode of The Turn On. Thanks to everyone who took a minute to listen to us. Be well and be safe. And inside.
Erica: Keep your ass inside, please.
Kenrya: Stay home. Wash your hands.
Erica: This episode was produced by us, Erica and Kenrya, and edited by B'Lystic. The theme song is from Brazy. We want to hear from you all. Send your book recommendations, and all the burning sex and related questions you want us to answer to TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com. And please subscribe to show in your favorite podcast app. Follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod, and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast. And find links to our books, transcripts, guest info, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com. And remember, The Turn On is now part of the Frolic Podcast Network. You can find more shows you'll love at Frolic.media/podcast. Thanks for joining us and we'll see you soon. Holla.
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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya read Cherysse Welcher-Calhoun's short story "Homecumming" from "Best Black Women's Erotica" and talk about sex and parenting.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Welcome to this week's episode of The Turn On. This week we are reading “Homecumming,” which is written by Cherysse Welcher-Calhoun, and it was published in the 2001 anthology, “Best Black Women's Erotica,” which was edited by Blanche Richardson. So sit back, relax, get your wine, your weed, whatever we need and enjoy.
Kenrya: "Homecumming" by Cherysse Welcher-Calhoun. "Honey, I'm home," she announced dramatically to the empty house kicking the door shut behind her. This was the first weekend in months that both of the kids will be away. "Of all the Fridays in the year," she said out loud as though her husband was standing there listening, "You have to work overtime on this one." She walked through the living room down the hall and into their bedroom. She shed her coat, purse, newspaper, and the toys the kids had left in the back seat of her car then she rushed to the bathroom to pee. She know she had to go when she left work, but didn't want to waste even a moment of this precious weekend so she held it until she made it home. If she wore stockings, she probably wouldn't have made it. "Thank God for these dress down Fridays," she said out loud as she relieved the pressure on her bladder.
Kenrya: The house was empty, quiet. She decided that she would take this rare opportunity to soak in the bathtub to pass the time until her husband returned home. She removed her faded blue jeans, royal blue panties and socks all in one motion. From the toilet she could see that she would have to clean the tub before using it. Her daughter's bath time Elmo lay at the bottom. She hadn't planned on cleaning the bathroom until tomorrow after she and her husband had slept in, something they hadn't been able to do in months. She thought perhaps she'd get up briefly and make them a nice breakfast, something with grits. He'd like that. Then they eat leisurely in bed and cuddle up for the rest of the morning. She released its higher breath, wiped herself and flushed and she picked up her clothing from the floor and dumped it into the hamper. She pulled the sweatshirt she was wearing over her head catching her silver hoop earring. She went, says the heavy shirt pulled on her ear lobe.
Kenrya: She felt uncomfortable standing there with her shirt twisted over her head and no panties on. Out of habit, she went to the bedroom and closed the door. Usually one of her kids, if not both, will be lurking in the shadows waiting for her to try and be alone. She tried to sneak into the bathroom for some quiet time, but it wouldn't be long before one of them knocked on the door to tell on the other, ask for assistance with something or just have a conversation about the day's events through the locked bathroom door. If she ignored them, they assumed she didn't hear them and would beat on the door until her husband made them stop. "You're all right in there baby?" He'd say. Once she extricated herself and her earring from the sweatshirt, she returned to the bathroom in her royal blue bra, the other half of the matching set that her husband had given her for her last birthday.
Kenrya: She'd been so pleased that he bought her something so sexy after all these years, she reached down into the cabinet under the sink for the Comet and the raggedy sponge. When she stood up, she caught her reflection in the mirror that ran the full length of the wall behind the sink. Her husband say she looked even better than when he first set eyes on her as though she were the only one who could see the evidence of two pregnancies on her stomach and thighs. She leaned into the mirror and rubbed her fingertips over her tired face. Then she leaned back and looked at her breasts. Her nipples were pushing against the silky fabric of the bra and she rubbed her fingers over them. Shit, she said, whispering out of habit so the kids wouldn't hear her swear, "It's cold in here." She frequently carried on a running dialogue with herself while she moved around the house picking up behind the kids and her husband while she cooked or vacuumed or did laundry.
Kenrya: But usually her voice just blended with the other sounds that made their house a home, the whirring and humming of the washer and dryer, the children and their friends running up and down the hall, laughing or yelling at each other, the tinkle and splash of dishes being done, the chopping and rallying of pots and pans as blue was prepared. The music from the stereo establishing the underlying rhythm for the rest of the noise and above it all will be the deep booming voice of her husband playing with the children, laughing with his friends, or having a one-way dispute with the referee on television who had just made a bad call against the home team. She loved the sound of his voice. She began unhooking her bra as she went onto the hallway to turn the heater up, then walk into the living room to put on some music.
Kenrya: Back in the bathroom she bent over the side of the tub trying not to inhale the fumes from the cleanser as Erykah Badu seductive voice swept through the house, filling the quiet spaces. She scrubbed all the essential places making a personal promise to do a more thorough job the following day. She reached up for the shower massage and rinsed the pale green residue from the tub. Then she closed the drain and turned the knob to the right to run her bath water. She found the lavender bath gel her husband had bought for her at an expensive boutique in Carmel on the same birthday he'd given her the underwear. She decided to make herself a drink while the tub filled and went into the kitchen to see what was available. She was hoping for something that would give her a quick buzz without the headache. She found an almost full bottle of dark rum she brought earlier that winter to make her husband hot toddies when he was down with the flu.
Kenrya: There was vodka from the last football party and her personal favorite, Jose Cuervo. She opened the refrigerator door to look for margarita mix and the magnet holding her son's list of chores fell to the floor. "Now that would be too much lying right for anything I want to be in here," she said and realizing that they were out of mix. "The fuck it." She grabbed a bottle of tequila and a shot glass and headed back to the bathroom. She set the tall bottle and the short glass on the commode and dipped her fingers into the steaming water at the tub, "Ow," she cries snatching her hand from the water. She laughed at her foolishness and turned the knob slightly to the left to cool the water. She unscrewed the cap on the tequila and poured herself a drink.
Kenrya: Her husband has taught her the proper way to drink tequila on one of their first dates, but she hadn't felt like going through the trouble of slicing a lime or bringing a salt shaker to the bathroom just for herself. She tilted the glass to her lips and swallowed the contents in one gulp. "Whew," she said, shaking her head and shoulders. Her husband always said the first one was the worst one. She's screwed the top back on the tequila and noticed that there was cleanser under her nails. She used the fingernail brush to scrub her hands and dry them on her son's pajama bottoms, which hung from a hook on the back of the door. As she walked back into the bedroom to find her vanilla scented candles, the phone rang.
Kenrya: "Hello," she said, "Hey, baby." It was her husband. "What you doing?" He asked. She loved hearing his voice on the phone and pressed her receiver closer to her ear, "Nothing," she responded. "I was getting ready to take a bath. What's up with you?" "I don't want to see if you're enjoying your little moment alone," he said, "That's all." "Oh," she said disappointed. She was hoping he was calling to say that he was coming home early, "So what time are you getting off?" "Soon as I get home," he teased. It took her a second to realize what he meant. "Shut up," she said, a broad smile spreading across her face. She stroked the skin between her breasts where she could still feel the warmth of the tequila. Her nipples were erect again, but this time it wasn't because of the cold.
Kenrya: The more she heard his voice, the more excited she became and while he told her about the latest drama on the job, she listened just to feel his voice resonate throughout her body. She held the phone between her chin and shoulder and slid her hands over her body, pretending they were his hand softly caressing her. "So what time are you coming home?" She interrupted. "I'm supposed to be off at 1:00 a.m. he replied, but if it's slow, I'll be able to leave early. You want me to bring you anything?" "Just you." "Okay baby." he said recognizing the disappointment in her voice. "I'm going to get home as soon as I can. All right?" "Okay," she says softly. "I miss you." "I'll see you in a minute baby."
Kenrya: She returned to the bathroom. The tub was full and she turned off the water, then poured herself another shot. She lit two candles, flicked off the overhead light and eased one foot into the bathwater. It was still a little hot, but she figured it wouldn't take long to cool. She lowered herself into the water inch by inch allowing her body to acclimate to the temperature. Once she was seated in the tub, she breathed in the steamy air slowly and deeply then exhaled as the water's warmth wrapped around her body. The light from the candle cast flickering shadows around the room and the sweet smell of vanilla lingered softly in the foggy air. She slipped further down into the water, so her chest was completely submerged. Her body relaxed, the day's tension melting away from her neck and shoulders. She closed her eyes, seduced by the music, the warmth of the water, and Mr. Cuervo.
Kenrya: She woke five minutes later, surprised that she'd fallen asleep so easily and so deeply. When her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she reached out for the bath gel and held it at arm's length above her letting it pour out in a thin stream onto her stomach. She smoothed the gel across her belly and wrote her and her husband's names in the lather with their finger. She drew a big heart around their names and laughed at the memory of writing their initials in the sidewalk patch of wet cement back when they were courting. "Together forever," he said. She poured more gel into her washcloth and rubbed it over her body, shivering slightly in its coolness against her skin. She moved the towel in circles around her neck, down her back, over her shoulders and breasts. She raised one leg, then the other and washed up to her toes.
Kenrya: Before she rinsed, she got up on her knee so that her vagina was just above the surface of the water. She added a little more gel to the washcloth and rubbed it between her legs and over her round behind, "Your ass is mine," he often teased her. She smiled at the thought and began moving the cloth slowly back and forth between her legs, the cool air above her waist contrasted with the warm water around her hips and she arched her back to get the full effect of the sensation. She closed her eyes and began rotating her hips back and forth, pressing them into the hand that held the cloth. "Can I join you?" "Shit!" she shrieked, startled.
Kenrya: Her husband stood naked in the bathroom doorway holding two icy margaritas. "I remember we used the last of the mix and how much you like a good margarita," he said. She was embarrassed. "How long had you been standing there? You scared the hell out of me." She lowered her body back into the water and began to wash again as though that was all she'd been doing when he appeared. She dipped her cloth into the water and squeezed it out over her shoulder to rinse away the thick lather. She watched him walk towards her, his stiffening penis just about eye-level. She was proud that she could still do that to him, pleased that he was watching her watch him. "See something you like?" He asked with a cocky attitude placing the margaritas on the sink.
Kenrya: "Oh yeah," she blushed coyly. "I see a whole lot I like." He reached down and cupped her breast under the water then raised it above the surface, letting the water run off it. When she responded with a quiet moan, he gently pinched her nipple. Her body trembled as if suddenly chilled in this thick chocolate dick rose and jumped to reply. They both recognize the sound drifting through the doorway as the end of Erykah Badu's last song on the CD. "I'll be right back," he said, standing up and walking toward the door. "Damn," she said. Her eyes were glued to his muscular back from behind and strong thighs as he moved out of the room. He is so fine, she thought of what possibilities the night held. She couldn't remember the last time they were able to make love without the kids around. Just think how adventurous they could get with the whole house to themselves.
Kenrya: By the time he returned, she had rinsed herself off with the shower massage and was stepping out of the tub. "What took you so long?" She said as Luther Vandross' voice filled into the room, "I had to talk to Luther," he said, "And tell him what kind of sounds we want to hear tonight. He said he can handle it." They both laughed. Her eyes followed her husband's hands to his dick, and she was disappointed that he was now limp, but she took it as a challenge, one she was definitely up to. She turned away from him and slowly and deliberately bent over the tub much further than she needed to. She took her time turning on the faucets to replenish the hot water and before she could straighten back up, he was behind her, his hands on her waist, pulling her hips into his awakening penis.
Kenrya: He pressed against her a little harder, bending his knees slightly to make sure he could slide a long her pussy at just the right angle, but she stood and move behind him, gently urging him toward the tub. "Your turn," she said. "Aw baby," he pleaded reaching behind him to grab her. "I just want to feel it." "You will," she answered matter of factly, "Believe me, you will." He stepped into the water without caution then immediately sucked air through his teeth making a hissing sound. "Damn baby," he said trying not to let the water swish around his legs, "This shit is hot." "Stop crying and suck it up," she laughed, turning off to running water. "Suck it up?" He looked at her like she was a crazy woman. "Do unto others," she said. He smiled back, showing his even white teeth and a glimpse of his thick, pink tongue then eased down into the water.
Kenrya: She pulled a clean washcloth from the towel rack and dunked it between his legs. She leaned behind him letting her bare breasts brush against his skin and squeezed water over his back. She repeated the action several times until her nipples were hard again and he had become less sensitive to the heat. He leaned back against the tub and closed his eyes. She poured gel on the cloth and washed him gently while she surveyed his body. His skin was a milk chocolate brown with red undertones. His bald head glistened with perspiration and his lips looked so full and soft and his shoulders were smooth and strong. His body was a sculpted masterpiece, calling out to her fingertips, her mouth, her pussy. She couldn't help touching them. She moved the washcloth over his body, making sure he stayed wet and warm all over. She ran it over his stomach and hip bones and his penis responded immediately, but she ignored it, teasing him by omission and finish washing him down.
Kenrya: She leaned forward, having saved his toes for last and he sat up and kissed her softly up and down her spine. She closed her eyes, letting the sensation run between her legs, "Are you ready to get out?" She asked. He nodded yes and pulled himself to a standing position and took the cloth from her. She watched as he washed himself in all the spots she couldn't reach then rinse the suds from his body with fresh water. When he turned off the spray, she began to lightly pat his body dry with a thick bath towel. He stepped out of the tub so that she could finish what she started. She knelt down in front of him to dry his calves and feet and he moved in closer to her. His penis was directly in front of her face, still only semi erect. "This simply will not do," she said. She dropped the towel at his feet and held his penis in her hands. He moaned.
Kenrya: She brushed her moist lips against the smooth head of his penis. He moaned a little more. She reached behind her for the perfect margarita he made. She took a swallow, then patted her lips and drew him into the warm, wet, salty haven of her mouth. He moaned louder this time. "Mm. Mm. Mm," he said from deep in his throat. He placed a hand at the back of her neck to let her know he was pleased and she loved knowing that she was bringing him pleasure. She pulled his now fully erected slowly from her mouth, letting her lips drag over the head before sucking it back in. He flinched and she moved her tongue along his shaft. She knew his knees were getting weak because he grabbed hold of the towel rack to support himself.
Kenrya: This excited her even more. She began to take him in and out with faster strokes. She could feel his dick expanding inside her mouth and knew he was nearing a point of no return. She slowly pulled him from between her lips and leaned away from him. She reached again for a drink and brought the glass to his penis and dipped it in. She liked the margarita from his erection, smacking her lips and she looked up and saw that his eyes were wide open. He lifted her up from her knees and drew her close to his warm naked body. Then reached down between her legs. "Oh shit," he whispered. Her pussy was wet and with each stroke of his finger across her clit she became more excited. "Now, it's your turn," he said.
Kenrya: He led her through the darkened house to their bedroom and sat her on the edge of the bed. He laid her down in her back and spread her legs. Chills ran through her body when he buried his face in her pussy, his thick, full lips kissing her softly, gently, teasing her until she put her hands on the back of his head and pulled him closer. She moaned, her breath coming in, quick, heavy gasps. Then he introduced his tongue to the event and she came almost immediately, her legs trembling and she involuntarily jerked away. He reached under and cupped her ass in his hands, pressing his tongue even deeper. Overwhelmed, she moved her pussy harder against his tongue.
Kenrya: She loved the humming sound he made when he was between her legs. She closed her eyes to better feel his voice vibrating against the lips of her pussy and she instinctively reached for his dick. He slid his muscular frame upward, along her body until they were face to face. She held his penis in her hands and massaged it until a drop of cum ran from the tip. When she felt the moisture she looked down and what they both agree was the most beautiful dick she'd ever seen. It was the same delicious red brown as the rest of his body. She ran her fingers along the large vein that ran the length of his shaft, teasing him to near orgasm. He pushed his dick against her pelvic bone and she flinched at the pressure. She adjusted her body to redirect the head of the penis to the opening of her wet, pulsating pussy.
Kenrya: He thanked her in kind by pushing himself into her hot, moist center in one gliding motion. She moaned softly at first, then realized they were alone and shouted out his name. He stroked her pussy with an arrogance to which he had every right. He knew what pleased her. She responded with a confidence of her own, rolling her hips up and around to greet every inch of him. He moaned her name over and over again, low, close to her ear. "I want to cum," she breathed out between this powerful thrust. "Then cum for me, baby." he says, stroking faster. His voice reached out and sucked her nipples. She wished he'd say it again. "Cum for me, baby," he whispered into her ear, "Please baby," he whispered into her other ear. Has she wished out loud. "I'm cumming," she said, her words coming in short staccato burst, "Here I cum." "Can I cum with you?" He asks as if he needed her permission.
Kenrya: She ground her hips harder and faster into his hoping to cum again and if he just kept licking the curve of her ear, whispering the sweet love, she knew that she would, she slowed her pace, then pushed him onto his back. She straddled him slowly luring herself down onto his hard dick, pushing him deep inside her, swallowing more and more of him with every stroke. He began to push up into her as she pushed down into him. "Are you ready baby?" "Yes." "Ready for what?" She asked just to keep them talking. "Are you ready for me to cum inside this fine, high pussy?" He panted, "Oh yes," She said, "I'm cumming baby," His voice now louder and more intense, "Cum with me baby. Cum with me now. Give me all you got baby. Take all this dick. This is your dick baby, it's all yours."
Kenrya: She felt his dick expand and jerk inside her and her pussy contracted tightly around it. "Oh shit." They came together spasm after spasm after spasm after spasm until she collapsed trembling and out of breath on to his chest. They lay quietly for a moment, relish in the silence until their heartbeats gradually returned to a normal pace. "Do you think we can sell the kids?" "We love the kids, remember?" "Oh, right. I guess I'll just have to come home early more often," he says smacking her on the ass. They laughed. Then fell silent, locked in a warm embrace. He thought about the time he come across her on the laundry room, bent over the hamper, sorting their dirty laundry. Her round firm ass seemed to beckon him, come on over here and feel this, it seemed to say, fuck me now here, but she'd just going off on him and the kids for taking their clothes off inside out making more work for her.
Kenrya: He didn't know how she'd react to his fantasy of lifting her onto the vibrating dryer or the washing machine during the spin cycle and fucking her brains out. But this weekend the vibes were right, the kids were gone, he'd offer to help with the laundry. She had stood on the back porch some weeks back and watched him mow the backyard. He'd stripped to the waist, sweat dripping from his forehead, his shoulders down his back and hairless chest. When the sun had suddenly peeked from behind the expansive shade of the broad lemon tree that stood on the edge of the yard, the light glistened off his sweaty brow, his muscular back and strong arms. He glowed and she swooned. She didn't know whether to run to him and pull him down to the freshly mowed grass or fetch him a glass of her world famous homemade lemonade, but the kids and their friends were skirting the edges of the yard playing tag.
Kenrya: Her rolling in grass seemed out of the question, but this weekend, this weekend, the kids were gone and after the recent rains, the grass was even taller than before he mowed it several weeks ago. She picked 20 or 25 lemons in the morning while the grits cooked and have a picture of fresh cold lemonade ready when she told him he needed to cut the grass. Once he stripped down to the waist, she's stripped down to the waist and let him do the rest. "Good night baby," he said, thinking back to the time when they made love against the cool tiles of the shower almost every morning before the kids came. "Good night," she murmured, remembering the long ago night in the front seat of the car, the backseat of the car, just inside the front door, on the kitchen counter, in the dining room, up against the refrigerator, clothes littering the hallway all the way to the bed. "See you in the morning," he whispered.
Erica: Okay, and we are back. That was such a lovely story.
Kenrya: And super realistic?
Erica: Yeah, but it was beautiful to me because I think that it was just warm. I feel like the main character, she loves herself, she loves her husband and she loves her life. It's just-
Kenrya: It's just rough.
Erica: Life catches up with you and so this was just a moment to like appreciate him and them and what they have and that kind of thing. As a divorced woman, I be thinking about marriage like...but this is what I would want in a marriage. This is what I would... I mean, yes, you have the grand gestures and the shitty parts and that kind of thing but to me this is the everyday that builds the found... not the foundation, but the bulk of the marriage. It's just like coming home and house is a mess and, that kind of thing. I really liked this story.
Kenrya: Oh, that's good. No, I really liked the story, but I ain't going to front some of that shit was triggering for me. Even while they were... like after they both came, they were both thinking about other times when they wanted to have sex, but they couldn't because she had just yelled at him because he didn't help with the motherfucking laundry.
Erica: But that's so real. That's so real.
Kenrya: Yeah, I know that's why that shit was triggering.
Erica: It was like, Oh no. Yeah. See, I feel like I... yeah, I feel like I didn't have that in my marriage.
Erica: I feel like we were definitely highs and lows. It was, when it was good it was like hmm, when it was bad, it was horrible. So the in between part is what I think I love so much about this.
Erica: It was just so... it was well-written.
Kenrya: Yeah, it was.
Erica: I mean, just even the... like her doing the Comet, did you see the memes and it's like Black people are like sprinkle Comet and let it sit.
Kenrya: Let it marinate it. You've got to let that sit. It don't do nothing if you don't let it sit.
Erica: You've got to let it marinate. But yeah, so it was just so real and just like getting home, got to clean out this. I'm just do... just the basics so that I can take this bath, get this tequila down.
Kenrya: See, it made me tired. I was like, yes, see you want to take a bath but you've got to clean the motherfucking tub first. You don't even feel like making yourself a full ass drink because you tired so let me just take this fucking shot right quick so that I can at least let my shoulders down and yeah. I mean, no, I love it because it very accurately-
Kenrya: ... portrays what it looks like to raise a family and still try to have like a healthy sex life with your partner 100%, yeah. It just was tough because I've been there and I mean obviously my situation was, ugh but I just... even now as a single mom, like that is the reality of my life, right? I'm trying to get the kid, we've got to sit down and have dinner together, we've got to do the homework, got to make sure she actually moisturized her face and put her retainer in, got to get her to stay in the bed also that I can maybe take a half an hour to myself before I start doing work, which I want to try to get done before my partner comes over so that I can actually spend time with him. But also I need to be awake enough to do it so maybe I need to just take a quick nap in that 30 minutes and the navigation, that really spoke to me.
Erica: Yeah. See again, I think I was... I feel like when I was married we were so highs and lows that I... that's the one thing about like marriage that if I were to get married, that's the one thing that I look forward to, the day in and the day out. Maybe because I haven't had it, I romanticize it. I'm like, I look at it wistfully like, mm, I can't wait ’til we're bored together.
Kenrya: Girl see I'm like, oh, I don't get bored, but I'm like, yes, he could have cleaned that tub before he went to work and then I would be able to just get my ass in it.
Erica: It's partnership.
Kenrya: Yeah. It's my past experience that made me feel tired as I was thinking about how tired she was and how she was pushing through. But I think that's what made it great because they did a really good job of embodying what that feels like. This drive to have some time to yourself and to then have some time with the person who you love even as the other things in true, like how she was saying, she instinctively closed the door and when she went in the bathroom-
Kenrya: ... even though she was by herself, because she noted them niggas be trying to get in. I'm like, that's my life. Even at night when she... like on the weekends when she's not here, when she's with her dad, I was in the habit of closing my bedroom door.
Erica: My bedroom door.
Kenrya: It gets hot as hell in my room and my partner be like, what are you doing? I'm like, oh habit.
Erica: Yeah, no, I... last night I slept with my bedroom door open. I was like, this is kind of nice, look at that. That is so interesting.
Kenrya: All those little details really spoke to me and I was like, yes, that is what it's like.
Erica: I also liked how Cherysse wrote about how the main character... did we get a name?
Kenrya: I don't think we have names for either of them.
Erica: Yeah. How she looked at her body. I feel like oftentimes when we talk about women's bodies, especially post baby, it's a, oh, it could be better, I wish it was this and not that she wasn't like it's not the same, she looked at it and appreciated it and wasn't-
Kenrya: Woe is me.
Erica: Woe is me.
Kenrya: My shit is fucked up.
Erica: I need it better gut, that kind of thing.
Kenrya: It was just an observation of this is what her body looks like now and that her partner still enjoys it, which obviously is not everything, but it's damn nice.
Erica: It is nice.
Kenrya: Yeah. Especially as you... as that body changes, you be looking at it like, well, I don't like it but to have a nigga be like... exactly.
Erica: I'll slurp it up with a biscuit. It definitely makes it-
Kenrya: It helps.
Erica: It definitely makes it nicer. So, we always talk about this, but I'm going to just touch on it again. When she was giving good head and she said he had his knees weak, he started buckling. I was like-
Erica: ... power, finish him. Finish him. Yeah. I thought that was just so... but again, it's the comforting details of just being with your partner. I think I had mentioned this before, but I am just now comfortable with the idea of marriage again. I think because for... it didn't work out the first time around, I thought I was going to be perpetual auntie and I might, the Lord might have that in the cards, but I definitely was comfortable being just the perpetual fast auntie that drives a Thunderbird and smoke Benson and Hedges and walk on the back of her shoes and got a friend that live... Mr. James that live around the corner.
Kenrya: You've got to have a cup of ice too.
Erica: Oh, you've got to shake it. Yeah. Crunchy ice, uh-huh. Yeah. I was comfortable with that, but now I think I'm getting a little more okay with the idea of, I think I can get married again. I think I could spend the rest of my life with someone or maybe not like it's going to have to be a minute before the rest of the life starts but I'm finally getting comfortable with that and stories like this make me-
Kenrya: Look forward to.
Erica: ... make me look forward to it.
Kenrya: That's sweet.
Erica: Now, I am not saying that I am interested in more kids. That's a whole another situation we got to go through. But I'm definitely just now like, I could see myself having a home with... sharing a space with someone, sharing a bath, a toilet with someone. It's so weird. The idea of me sharing a bathroom with somebody, it's just like, ugh.
Kenrya: I mean, that is your space.
Kenrya: Yeah. Yeah.
Erica: So we know you're there now Kenrya, right?
Erica: Did take you a minute to get there?
Kenrya: It did. I find like when I talk to women who are divorced, this is the trajectory, when you're going through the divorce, you're like, no, fuck that, I'm never doing this shit again because you never know who people are until you divorce them, right? You find out a whole bunch of new shit once you tell a nigga that you don't want to be with them anymore. So I definitely was yeah, no, I'm not doing this shit again. It's going to be me and my baby. I'm good. Even as I was dating, but I still... the idea of marriage was still not the thing. Then I started to warm up to it as it being a possibility like this might be something I want to do. At that point I was like, I don't know if I want to have a wedding and all of that stuff and some of that is residual, I went through a divorce and I went through all of that and do I want to celebrate kind of a thing, which is definitely residual.
Erica: Bitch, you deserve.
Kenrya: Exactly. But having to get to the point of realizing that you do deserve to like do it all again and do it the way that you wanted to do. That was another stage of that. Then I got to the point where I was like, huh? Okay, I do want to remarry and I do want to have a real wedding. I didn't have a wedding or any of that before, I went to the fucking courthouse and also didn't tell hardly nobody because I knew that I was doing something I wasn't supposed to be doing.
Erica: Spidey senses.
Kenrya: Exactly, that I was ignoring. We got into a fight on the way to pick up the mother fucking marriage license, what? Okay. Yeah, I was so young. So yeah, now I'm like, yeah, let's go. I want to get married. Not today, but I know that I want to do it and I'm with a partner who I actually wants to do it with and it feels good. Yeah. Now the kids part, that's a tough one.
Erica: Yeah. I-
Kenrya: I always thought I'd have kids close together and now that wouldn't be the case.
Erica: I look at people that have that staggered out because I think that there's a... okay, so sorry all over the place, I think that there is a thing with, I want to share, I want to build a person with this person.
Kenrya: Yes. Absolutely. Because you think that it creates this other level of intimacy and shared collective responsibility.
Erica: But we can have collective responsibility about like-
Kenrya: A house.
Erica: ... picking the plane seats on our way to Seychelles.
Kenrya: And the kids you already got. Yeah, exactly. Listen, that's it. I'm like do I want to do this again from little bitty baby? Especially when my kid currently is finally going to visit with her dad so now I got my actual weekends where I don't have to put on clothes if I don't want to, I don't know man.
Erica: Yeah. I feel like at this age I am finding either or. I find men that are ready to have kids and want to have kids or divorced, have kids and are completely done with it. So I find now that I'm dating, I really have to have some serious conversations like, what do I want to do? Because I can totally see myself caught up with a nigga that's trying to put some babies, trying to shoot up this club and well, right now ain't nothing happening in this club. But, I will have to be very intentional about, do I want to have children and ain't looking good for them little eggs.
Kenrya: Anyway, here's the beauty of it, you don't have to figure it out right now, neither do I.
Erica: Yeah. We'll just let that... see what the Lord has for us in store.
Kenrya: It's true all you can really do is be honest about where you are in the moment.
Erica: Yeah. So when you were... so you were married, you divorced, how old was your child when you divorced?
Kenrya: My kid? Two when I left, four when the shit went through. Oh my God.
Erica: I hate that. All right. So what are the... I mean the biggest thing about this story is that it's about finding time to love each other while you're parenting and all of that. I don't want to sound shitty, but was it good? Were there points before? I mean, it's difficult asking this question because we-
Kenrya: Y'all can't see my face.
Erica: ... are both divorced. But did you find while you were married, you were struggling in a... we're probably going to have to cut this part out because I'm trying to figure out a way to say in a not codependent, horribly, unhealthy way. How did you make the-
Kenrya: I mean I didn't.
Erica: How did you find to parent?
Kenrya: I just... well, what would end up happening is I would be exhausted by the end of the day because I was doing all of the things including the child rearing and the taking care of the home and the working. So I would be fucking exhausted and quite honestly, by the time the marriage was almost over, I was resentful of the fact that I was shouldering all the weight of making a home and a life. So, I wouldn't even want to have sex, but I would push myself to do it because back then I felt like-
Erica: This is what a wife has to do?
Kenrya: Yes, this is part of my duty and God, that's no way to have sex. That's no way to build intimacy when you're doing something out of a sense of obligation as opposed to because you genuinely just want to do it.
Erica: You know, that's what I loved about this story, is that how they wanted to, you could tell she wanted to please him. She got joy out of pleasing him and he got joy out of pleasing her, like when they were coming together, oh, I turned into that gif where a woman like melted. But yeah because it was a genuine, I care about this person, I want him to enjoy this as much as I'm enjoying.
Kenrya: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, now I still have the same struggle, right? I still have a home to take care of and a child to take care of but now I'm with a partner who does so many things to make that easier for me. Like drop my dinner so you don't have to worry about making it or I know the kid's sick, I'm downstairs, I have orange juice and more Tylenol and all of these things that you don't have to worry about trying to get them so that when I get to the end of the day, I'm not as tired because I had help.
Erica: Look at there, a partnership.
Kenrya: Look at that.
Erica: Oh my God.
Kenrya: Yeah. Then the other side of it is that on the nights when I am just too tired, I don't get what I have gotten in the past with men who-
Erica: Resentment or-?
Kenrya: Exactly. There's no guilt.
Erica: ... passive aggressiveness.
Kenrya: There's no... exactly. It is literally an encouragement to come here and put your head right here and go to sleep as opposed to, we ain't had sex in three days. What's going on? Which is what I would have been met with in past situations. It is beautiful. Which it sounds like the bar is low, but unfortunately that has not been my experience.
Erica: But I don't even think it's that the bar is low, I think that it's simple but people are so complex it's difficult to... I mean, just as a human being, it's hard to step outside of yourself and recognize that this person is doing a lot, they are going... I don't want to sound like I'm a selfish, self-absorbed person, but just human nature. So yes, it's simple and it seems like the bar is low, but just that in and of itself is a lot for someone to do and so when they do, do it, you're like, wow.
Kenrya: Like now I just want to fuck you more.
Erica: You're like, ooh, let me get this nap baby. You told me I get to sleep? Now, you really going to get it when I wake up.
Kenrya: Yeah. Exactly.
Erica: Yeah. I feel like when I was married... so our situation was a little different because we... I gained custody of my son and so he came to live with us while he was a lot older and it was one day you don't have a kid and the next day-
Kenrya: And now you do.
Erica: ... now you do. So, it took a lot of adjustment in our house but I wanted to do everything and be everything. My ex-husband at the time was just like, okay, well you're going to do it and be and I'm just going step back and suck it up and enjoy it. There wasn't a lot of forethought into... I guess I'm trying to... I keep thinking about that scene in “The Breakup,” Jennifer Aniston and was like, I want you to want to do the dishes and he's like, nobody wants to do the dishes. It's funny because so many women understand that-
Kenrya: God that fucking movie.
Erica: ... and men don't get it. I think that's where we ended up in our marriage where it was like, here I am doing a whole lot of shit and I do it because I love you, I love us, I love this unit, but I need you to want to want to take this. I need you to want to take this burden off of me. I guess that's what was she meant by that.
Kenrya: Yeah, I want you to care enough about us to do this shit too. Right? To not just watch me struggle with this shit, but for it to be in you to want to be a true partner so that we can do it together. Ain't nobody got to struggle if we do it together.
Erica: That sounds like a 1970s-
Erica: Sound like a song or something, ain't nobody got to struggle if we do it together.
Kenrya: It's accurate.
Erica: With some bell bottoms and an Afro. But yeah. Again, I think that's the part that I missed out on in my marriage. So that's why this story is just so touching because it's just so just comforting and it's like a good pair of jeans. It's just all the nooks and crannies fit and it just tight and covers you good, because that's what I look for in a pair of jeans.
Erica: The jeans that go over the gut, yeah. So I think that I definitely now can look forward to marriage because I have a better idea of what I want out of it, but I'm not so specific in the, it has to look like this where I'll be walking around pissed if I don't meet a nigga that's between this height and this height and this and this.
Kenrya: Ooh. Yeah. That shit there is exhausting.
Erica: What do you mean?
Kenrya: Having this, I don't know, this conjured image of what that person-
Erica: Oh my God, I never fell into that. Thank goodness.
Kenrya: Yeah. There's this exercise, I know I pushed you to do it. I don't think you did it, but that I did where after I left my ex-husband where I made two lists and one of them was of the ways that I wanted my new partner to be and one of them is the ways that I want to feel when I was with my new partner. So the ways I want to be, it's different stuff. Some of it is physical attributes, but none of it is super specific. It just says my height or taller and that's only because I've dealt with niggas who were short because I'm not tall, who were shorter than me, who had complexes because they felt a way about their height even when I didn't care about their height and stuff like that.
Kenrya: But not, you've got to be this height, you got to have... be this complexion, you got to whatever. But it's... and it things like, comfortable with my success and yeah and lovely to my child and things like that, that really will impact the way that I interact with a person and whether or not it's somebody who I could really be compatible with as opposed to the physical whatever the... that just feels tiring to me.
Erica: Yeah, see I didn't do that exercise and part of it is because I am... maybe at some point I will, but I'm still getting-
Kenrya: You've got a lot of other stuff you've got to be worried about right now.
Erica: Well, that too. But I'm still getting there where it's like, if I were to find somebody that's my forever person now, great but it would have to be like I'm walking down the street and that nigga hit me in the head with a shoe. It would not... I'm so not in the place of that. It's literally like you got hit in the head with a shoe by this nigga, he fine and tall and got a good job. I want marry her.
Kenrya: Right. That would be it. For me it was important because in past relationships I have... okay, so I'll back it up a little bit more. There's this thing that I really hate that people say and I feel like I haven't heard it as much recently, which is good, but it was like a thing for a while and it was trying to get... I'm trying to get chosen. I hate it because it shouldn't be about somebody choosing you, it should be about you all choosing each other. But for so many years, that was essentially what my relationships were, niggas were choosing me-
Erica: Yeah. You just ended up with somebody.
Kenrya: ... and I was like, all right, sure. There was nothing intentional about it. It wasn't necessarily that they embodied these things that I was looking for, it was that they were cute and they chose me-
Erica: Happen to be around.
Kenrya: ... and they happened to fucking be around. I was like, all right, because I didn't want to be alone. So I ended up in these relationships and so I couldn't even begin to think about what my life might look like partnered without doing those exercises because I was in danger of falling right back into the same shit.
Erica: Just ending up with somebody. Yeah. That's definitely been a concern of mine as I date now, just ending up with somebody. But I think I am so much more sure about what I won't allow that all right, let's see what's left. What color is in the rest because I know I'm not going for certain bullshit. We'll revise it when we... if we get there, but right now it's like, no, I ain't going for this bullshit so if you in this bullshit column then get the fuck].
Kenrya: Sorry for you. I don't know that man.
Erica: I'm sorry for that man. I don't know that man. All right, well that's that of this episode. Do you got anything else to add, Killa?
Erica: All righty. Well, this is Erica and Kenrya, two hoes making it clap.
Kenrya: Making it clap.
Erica: This episode was produced by us, Erica and Kenrya and edited by B'Lystic. The theme song is from Brazy. We want to hear from you all. Send your book recommendations and all the burning sex and related questions you want us to answer to TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com. And please subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app. Follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast and find links to books, transcripts, guests info and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com. Remember, The Turn On is now a part of the Frolic Podcast Network. You can find more shows you'll love at Frolic.Media/podcast. Thanks for joining us and we'll see you soon. Holla.
The Turn On
The Turn On is a podcast for Black people who want to get off. To open their minds. To learn. To be part of a community. To show that we love and fuck too, and it doesn't have to be political or scandalous or dirty. Unless we want it to be.