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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya talk to Sondi Warner about non-traditional publishing, making consent sexy and the trio at the center of her book, "Lead Me Astray."
The Turn On participates in affiliate programs, which provide a small commission when you purchase products via links on this site. This costs you nothing, but helps support the show. Click here for more information.
Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Kenrya: Our guest today is Sondi Warner, pronouns she and her. Sondi writes LGBTQ+ polyamorous romance under the pen name, Lesserknown1. When this cis-lesbian writer isn't shipping triads, she enjoys playing video games, critiquing internet pics of other people's gumbo and spending family time with her life partner and four kids. Sondi, we're so glad that you're here with us today. Thanks for coming through.
Sondi: Thank you for having me. It's a pleasure.
Erica: Kenrya just read your official bio. I feel a little judged because I am someone from St. Louis that loves to make gumbo. I will never post it for people like you. But tell us in just regular-ass words what you do.
Sondi: What I do is, I basically use my platform of writing to share diverse narratives, so that people can get exposure to different types of relationships, polyamorous relationships, consensual non-monogamy. And I also like to place an emphasis on LGBTQ-plus characters. Because I think that it builds empathy when someone is able to stand in the shoes of someone else and to kind of say, "Well, this isn't too different. This isn't too unbelievable." So I write queer polyamorous romance so that I can share those diverse narratives, as kind of a form of creative activism.
Kenrya: Wow. So what's your writer origin story? Did you always know you're a writer? Were you the six-year-old writing stories on the back of everything?
Sondi: Yes, I was. I was in the second grade. I was about seven years old, actually. And my second grade teacher came up with this competition. She's like, "Hey, I want everyone in class to write this story." And I did, she entered it into a regional writing contest and I won first place. And then I went on to win first place every year for the next five years. And so, winning definitely made me feel like, "Okay, yeah. This is what I'm supposed to do. I'm a writer. I'm the writer of my parish." Clearly, I was a pretentious kid, but I was also full of myself. I kid you not. It took growing up, becoming an adult, getting into the world of ghost writing to realize, "Well, maybe I'm not quite a writer yet. But I'm going to be." So yeah, I always knew this is what I wanted to do.
Erica: I love the idea of a little Black girl being full of herself. We need more Sondis in the world. So we learned that you worked as a ghost writer for years. What made you make the leap from working on books for other people to creating your own?
Sondi: That one was an easier leap than I wanted it to be. I had been working with a client for a very long time and we had built a great rapport. We had a great relationship, a very well-paying client. Unfortunately, he decided to close his publishing company unexpectedly. Which put me back into the gig economy. Relying on finding new clients and I was having trouble with it at the time. I went through a little phase of depression behind it. And my daughter says, "Well, get away from that stuff. Get away from the sales figures, the marketing, the chasing behind clients and writing to someone else's specifications. If this is what you love doing, do this thing." It may sound like I'm making this up, but I kid you not. My 14-year-old is probably a 23-year-old trapped in a 14-year-old's body.
Sondi: And so, she sat me down with Ava DuVernay's TED talk. She's like, "Watch this." And she's like, "Listen to what she's saying. If this is what you want to do, do it because you love it. Don't do it because you have to do it. Don't do it because it's a job." That really kind of sparked it. It made me feel like there is something else that I can be doing with this. It can still be my career. But for now, I can embrace this writing for myself, just writing for leisure. Even if it doesn't necessarily go anywhere. I think I've found the most success when I got away from that model of, "This is my job. I clock in, I write, I turn it into a client." And I got into the mode of, "This is what I love to do. I get up and I write and then I post it. And I share with people and I see how they like it."
Kenrya: Wow. Look at that baby changing your life in all the ways.
Erica: I was going to say, that full of herself six-year-old later on went to birth an amazing 14-year-old. Jeez, that is so dope. So you kind of touched on this a little bit towards the end of that last answer. But the book we read last week, Lead Me Astray, was published in a nontraditional way. So why did you make that choice and can you tell us a little bit more about that process?
Sondi: Yes. So, as I pointed out, my daughter tells me, "Hey, do this thing because you love it." And at the time, she was a huge fan of this platform called Wattpad. And I had heard about Wattpad. It's been around for forever. But I really thought of it as this place for teenagers to spew their hormonal stories. But when I saw how much she was on there and enjoying it. And I knew what her interests and tastes were, which weren't really kind of those traditional teenager tastes, I was like, "Well, let me see what this is." And I decided to follow her advice and post my stories on to the Wattpad platform. So to clarify what Wattpad actually is, it is a story sharing platform where anyone can write and post their story for others to read. But in the past five to two... Three to five years, they've kind of expanded their roles into a talent agency.
Sondi: And so you see movies like “After.” You see shows like “Light As A Feather” on Hulu. These are things that kind of started at Wattpad, that kind of got an international market and expanded. They became much bigger than just a story on a free writer's platform. And so yeah, by me posting “Lead Me Astray” onto Wattpad, it actually ended up becoming really beneficial for me. It opened up a lot of opportunities for me. It was nontraditional. But I think that the publishing industry is evolving in such a way, that you're going to see a lot more authors coming out with a different way of doing things and finding success with that.
Kenrya: That's awesome.
Erica: So where did the inspiration for this story come from? We opened this call with me gushing about how unique and layered the story was, but where did the inspiration come from?
Sondi: Well, when I sat down, and it was really rapid fire, I wish that there was a way to fully put you in that moment. But if you can imagine a woman walking around her living room, just kind of in this angsty period of, "What am I going to do? I'm a writer. I don't feel like I'm sharing my work. I don't feel like I'm getting exposure that I need. I don't feel like it's going anywhere." And then if you can imagine someone saying, "Hey, sit down. If this is what you like to do, just do the thing." It transitioned so quickly from there to me grabbing a notebook and jotting down ideas and saying, "Okay, if I was going to read this book, what type of character would I want to see?" And I wanted to see a character like me, like my daughter.
Sondi: I wanted to see someone who wasn't a generic African American character. I wanted to see someone who was a Black girl in her own space, a space of success, a space of aspirations. And I wanted to see what would happen if she encountered all of these trials and tribulations that had to make her stronger. Because obviously that's all of our life stories, it doesn't matter what your background is. Aurie Edison is the daughter of a celebrity, but she still have her hardships. And so, the inspiration for her and the rest of the characters was really just kind of looking at my life and saying, "What do I want to see? What type of story do I need to tell myself to get out of this moment?"
Kenrya: So my next question was going to be, which one of the characters do you most identify with? So I think what I would just ask now is why? Because you just told us.
Sondi: Yeah. I actually identify with each of the main characters. There are three. We've got Aurie, Mys and Zyr. She wants to live her best life. But if I had to say who I related to the most, you would have to take different character traits from each of them. Because let's be clear, Aurie Edison's character is to me, this kid who is just going and getting it, just doing it, following all the rules, making all these smart choices. And then something unfortunate happens to her. I was kind of like Aurie's sister Haley. I was the one who was, when I was younger, I was the one who was like, "I want to sneak into the parties. I want to hop in the car with strangers. I want to do all the wild things." And it was my sister who was like Aurie in terms of just her temperament.
Sondi: She was like, "No, Sondi. You can't lean out over a high rise and take pictures. Because it's dangerous." But in terms of the other characters, from Aurie I take kind of that desire to live her best life. From Haley, I take that devil may care attitude. And from Mys, Mys has this kind of mysterious enigmatic type of feel. I am just as much a loner as Mys. I very rarely leave my house. And so the whole time I was writing that character, they really kind of reflected my own desire to be in this bubble, to close myself off from the world. Because the emotions of the world can sometimes be so overwhelming. And from Zyr, he's a total workaholic and I think that I probably am a workaholic too. So a little bit from everybody, definitely.
Kenrya: Love it. One of the many things we love about this book, because we love this book, is that it makes consent a natural, sexy part of the story. Why was that important to you?
Sondi: At the end of the day, what I've seen happening in pop culture is just an awareness that consent is a necessary part of relationships, of sex, of every interaction. If I go in to hug you, I'm going to ask you first, "Is it okay if I hug you?" And the reason it was important for me is because I want to take this next generation of young readers. I wrote this book really kind of geared toward older Gen Z readers. And I want it to be normal and sexy. I don't want them to think, "Okay, this is the awkward moment where I have to say whether or not I consent." I want it to be like, "You know what? This is the natural part of interacting with other people."
Sondi: Because if you care about someone, then you don't just impose, you don't just make assumptions. And if we start to amplify that message, I think that we can kind of see a change across the culture when it comes down to how we discuss sex and how we interact with other people. It should be natural, it should just be a natural part of the process.
Kenrya: Absolutely. If readers can take just one thing away with them after they read Lead Me Astray, what would you want that to be?
Sondi: The most important aspect of the story to me, is that sometimes you can do everything right, you can make all the smart decisions, and things can still go drastically wrong. But that the caveat is you go through these things, it's not a test to stop you or to bring you down, but it's kind of a test to prepare you for the next level. And if readers can take in Aurie, Mys and Zyr's story and kind of walk away from it thinking they went through a lot of stuff. But in the end they were able to accomplish their goals. Aurie was able to live her best life. Mys was able to figure out that they deserved love. Zyr was able to understand that if you care about someone, it can't be all work and 'you guys got to understand I'm working.' And if readers come away from the story understanding that you're going to go through something, but you're going to be okay, that would really make me happy.
Sondi: Because I said to you before, that when I sat down to write this book, I asked myself, "What is the story I need to hear right now? What story is it? What's going to speak to me and take me out of this dark moment that I'm in? Because I'm not working, I'm not doing the thing that I love. I'm not receiving the accolades that I want at this point in my life." The story wrote itself. And the message that I needed to hear was that you're going to go through this thing, but you're going to be okay. You're going to come out okay. So I hope that that's what readers take away from it.
Kenrya: Awesome. So what are you reading right now?
Sondi: Right now? I'm so glad you asked me that. Okay, so one of the things is... One of the things is, as a Wattpad writer, I'm also a Wattpad star. And that's just basically, it basically means I'm part of their digital talent roster. And so I spend a lot of time reading trad published books and indie published books. But I also spend a lot of time reading those books by the up and coming authors on Wattpad. And there is this fantastic series by this author and Wattpad named Graham Bower. And it's the Earthshine series, basically chronicling...
Sondi: It's kind of got a sci-fi feel to it, but you get deeper into it before you get to the sci-fi part. But it's chronically the lives of these two characters who find out that they have this special ability to, I guess, transcend. I guess that's the best word for it. And the book opens up with fantastic writing. The characters are beautiful and believable. It takes you to places, it's a travel type of book. We get to go to India, we go through France, we go to Europe. I'm enjoying that book quite a bit. It's called Earthshine, it's on Wattpad, and that is by Graham Bowers.
Kenrya: Thanks. We always like a good book recommendation, so we appreciate that. And then our last question is what's next for you?
Sondi: What's next for me? Well, right now I'm working on book two of the Overlay City series. And so, I will be done with the entire three books by, hopefully by next year. But in the midst of writing, I'm also doing my own IGTV show. It's called Behind the Scenes with LK1 and it's just basically a way for me to share and end up looking through the types of writing that I do. And also to kind of give words of encouragement and advice to other people. And along with that, I have also been gearing up to see Lead Me Astray transition into bigger and better opportunities. And I can't wait to be able to share that with my readership. So 2020, I'm looking forward to this year being incredibly busy and incredibly active, and is the kind of busy that I like. Writing, videos, doing as much as I can to share my creative force.
Erica: Yeah. You saying that reminded me of a question that I wanted to ask. Which is where did your pen name come from?
Sondi: That's funny because most people don't ask that. The Lesserknown1. Well, they say every family has a writer. My family has several writers, actually. My mom, she writes, she's a hobby writer. My sister's a published author. Well, she's indie published. My younger brother actually does a lot of the story development for video games with EA. And so, I'm kind of the lesser known one. I write queer, polyamorous romance. I'm just kind of diving into it and coming from behind the scenes, coming from the ghost writing end, more so backdoor, more so not forward facing. So the Lesserknown1 reflects just kind of that sense of you don't know me yet, but you will know me. I'm coming out of the shadow, definitely.
Kenrya: I was about to say, that's changing.
Sondi: Yeah, I hope so.
Kenrya: So, we want to make sure that we let folks know where they can find you. I see your website is lesserknown1.com, correct?
Sondi: That is correct. And you can also find-
Kenrya: Okay. And on Wattpad, it's wattpad.com... Oh, go ahead. Tell us, please.
Sondi: Oh, you're doing a fantastic job. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to over talk you. I was just going to say you can also find me on wattpad.com/user/lesserknown1, the number one, altogether. You can also find me on Twitter and on Instagram. And my handles on both of those are lesser_known_1.
Kenrya: Wonderful. See, you did a great job at it. And that ends this week's episode of The Turn On. And thank you so much for joining us.
Kenrya: This episode was produced by us, Kenrya and Erica 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. And please subscribe to the 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 @TheTurnOnPodcast.com. And 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.
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Welcome to Season 2! In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya read Katrina Jackson's "From Scratch" and talk fat bodies, dating police officers and polyamorous relationships.
The Turn On participates in affiliate programs, which provide a small commission when you purchase products via links on this site. This costs you nothing, but helps support the show. Click here for more information.
Kenrya: Come here, get off.
Erica: Hey, Kenrya.
Kenrya: Hey E.
Erica: Welcome back to what? Season two of The Turn On.
Kenrya: I can always count on you for a song.
Erica: Right? Always count on me for a song. So, welcome back, Season Two of The Turn On. For our season opener, we are reading “From Scratch,” which is book one of the Welcome to Sea Port series, by Katrina Jackson.
Kenrya: It's dope, too.
Erica: So sit back, relax, get your wine, get your weed, get your ... I got to figure what I'm doing out.
Kenrya: Bitch, I thought you was going to practice this ahead.
Erica: I did not. I got to figure out what I'm going to do for Season Two, but, for now, get your wine, get your weed, get your whatever you need, sit back, relax, and enjoy.
Kenrya: Back like we never left, let's go.
Erica: Back like crack.
Erica: Okay, I don't like that. Sorry.
Kenrya: We back, y'all.
Erica: Here we go.
Kenrya: “From Scratch,” by Katrina Jackson. Knox hadn't realized it at the time, but somewhere in the back of his mind, he thought last night was a one-off. He'd imprinted every feeling, every taste, every sound into his brain, worried that it would never happen again. So, as he followed Mary to her bedroom, his eyes trained on her bare ass, he felt really fucking lucky, lucky and horny. Santos closed the door behind him. Knox pulled his shirt over his head and groaned when he felt Santos' hand on his shoulder. Mary stopped and turned at the foot of her bed, watching him undress. He wanted to feel them in his mouth again, but he wanted something else, first. "Get on your back," he said, his voice rough with need.
Kenrya: He unbuttoned his jeans and pushed them and his boxers down his legs, taking his socks off as well. He crawled on the bed after her, placing kisses on whatever scrap of skin he could, her knees, her thighs, her stomach, until they were face-to-face. "I missed you two, today," Mary said, and he kissed her. He licked her lips and she opened up to him on a sigh. He slipped his tongue into her mouth and gently pried her legs apart so he could settle his hips on top of hers. She moaned and lifted her body to press her mound him. He smiled and sucked her bottom lip into his mouth. "Soon," he said, and then began to kiss his way back down her body."
Kenrya: When he reached the top of her mound, he pulled back and ran his fingers along her slit, just wanting to see her. He moved her lips apart to expose her clit and licked her, sucking her clit into his mouth. "Fuck, baby," her voice was thick with lust. The sound made his dick throb. "Come here," Knox looked up to see that she was speaking to Santos, who climbed into the bed and settled on his knees at her head. Mary reached out to grasp Santos' dick and stroked him, before looking down her body to Knox. That filthy smile will be the death of him. "I'll suck him at the same pace as you eat me." "You dirty little baker," he said, and lowered his mouth to her pussy.
Kenrya: Soon enough, the quiet room was filled of the sounds of Knox's fingers sliding into Mary's wet pussy, Mary's mouth sucking loudly on Santos' cock, and Santos' moans. "Wait," Santos said, and Knox looked up, his mouth still suckling on Mary's clit. "What's wrong?" Mary asked. "Nothing, I just ..." Knox wasn't used to see Santos at a loss for words; the man didn't speak much, but when he did, he had something to say, so this was new, it was all so new. Mary started stroking Santos' cock, and he struggled to keep talking. "There are a million things I want to do to you both, so many positions, let's shift."
Kenrya: Mary sucked the head of Santos' cock back into her mouth, and then looked down at Knox, "Well, you said we should follow his gut." Knox rubbed his thumb against her clit in rough circles, she jumped and moaned. "Didn't he tell you not to be a smart ass?" Santos chuckled and climbed off of the bed, he walked toward Knox and slapped his ass, "Now you get on your back." Knox fulled his fingers from Mary's pussy and sucked them into his mouth. Mary scooted up the bed and Knox laid down in her place. "How does she taste?" Santos asked. "Like fucking vanilla almonds and pussy," Knox replied, as Mary cupped his face and kissed him. "I knew she would," Santos replied, "Sit on his face." Mary smiled against his mouth, "I like the way he thinks," Knox mumbled against Mary's lips, "I so agree."
Kenrya: She sat back on her knees before crawling over his face, settling her pussy just over his mouth. He grasped her hips and pulled her close. Santos was kissing and licking his neck, their dicks rubbing together, before he moved, ran his hands down Knox's chest and stomach, and then grasped his cock. When Santos' mouth settled over his dick, Knox's hips bucked of their own accord. The wet sounds of their mouths on one another and Mary's moans filled the room again. Knox was close, but his mouth was full, so he kept that information to himself well he fucked her entrance with his tongue, his chin putting a bit of pressure on her clit. He spread his legs when he felt Santos' hands stroking his ass. Santos took his mouth away for a minute, and Knox moaned into Mary's pussy as the cool air hit his wet dick. And then Santos' mouth was back and a wet finger was circling his anus with a soft pressure at its entrance.
Kenrya: Knox grasped Mary's cheeks hard and came into Santos' mouth, letting the vibration of his moans send Mary over the edge. "This wasn't at all what I thought moving to Sea Port would be like," Mary said wistfully to herself. Knox was lying on his back next to her, her head on his shoulder, "Neither did I. Before you got here, Mrs. Wright had the best dessert in town, I was just planning to seduce her." "Ow," he said, when Mary turned her head to playfully bite him. "Take it back," she said, looking him in the eyes. He reached out to grasp the back of her neck and raised his head to kiss her; just before his lips met hers, she moaned, her entire body shivering, as Santos fucked her pussy from behind in deep, slow strokes. Knox pulled her mouth the rest of the way to him, wanting to taste each "Oh, fuck," as it fell from her lips.
Kenrya: Santos grunted, and Knox assumed that meant that Mary was close as she was clamping down on Santos' dick. If the other man was anything like Knox, he wouldn't be able to last much longer. Knox pulled back to watch her face, waiting for the orgasm to take her under, "I take it back, honey." "Oh, gosh," she yelled, "You fucking better." Santos had started off slow, raising her left leg and slipping inside her warm channel, leisurely rolling his body into hers. Knox reached down every now and then to circle her clit or lick her nipples, but he was more than happy to just watch and talk with Mary about her hopes for the bakery, a fundraiser he was planning for some new fire equipment, and Santos' plan to be Chief of Police in a year.
Kenrya: It was all so normal, chatting while Santos fucked her. Even when he started pumping into her faster, his occasional grunts didn't detract from the moment because normal was relative, Knox thought to himself, he knew that better than anyone. When Mary's face contorted with her orgasm, Santos moved and Mary's head fell down to rest on Knox's shoulder. The two men made eye contact as Santos moved on top of her to fuck her harder and faster, chasing his own release. Knox ran his hand up and down Mary's back, lovingly, as he watched Santos' face, wanting to witness his orgasm as well.
Kenrya: "I'm close," Santos breathed in a harsh whisper. And then, just before he came, his muscles tensing and his body jerking, he looked Knox in the face and groaned out, "You're next." And then he pumped into Mary a few more times before cumming with a harsh groan, her name on his lips. "Yep, normal is totally relative."
Erica: Okay, so welcome back, that was “From Scratch,” which is the first book in the Welcome to Sea Port series. So, we will give you little bit of a background on this story. So, this series, Welcome to Sea Port, is about this little tiny town in this Southern state, I want to say South Carolina?
Kenrya: I don't remember.
Erica: I don't know why I'm thinking South Carolina. But this little tiny town in this Southern state. And, essentially, the town is falling apart, so they post on Facebook, "Hey, come to this town, and for a very low cost, you can live here, start a business, we're just trying to keep this"-
Kenrya: They give them grants to start to bring their businesses there.
Erica: Yeah. "We're just trying to keep this town from dying," which I feel like we've seen or heard about in the news, before.
Kenrya: I definitely saw it in a rom-com.
Erica: You know what? Definitely rom-com.
Erica: So, in this story, there's Mary, who is a baker ... well, no, she initially is a professor, didn't get tenure, hates her job, but she also bakes, so she says, "Fuck it, I want to move to this town, I ain't got shit else to lose," so she moves to the town. She moves to the town and, also, in the town, are Knox and Santos. Knox is a firefighter who had already been established in the town, I'm not sure how much before he was there, before everyone else, but Knox is a firefighter, he's in the town, he is the entire fire department, I think it's him and like two other people.
Kenrya: Yeah, he's the fire chief.
Erica: Yeah, he's the fire chief-
Kenrya: It's a volunteer department as well.
Erica: So if there's a big-ass fire, Knox and two other niggas, and maybe somebody else with a couple cups. And then Knox convinces his homeboy, Santos, who he served with in the Marines, to come and be the police force there.
Kenrya: I like that he was really hesitant about it because he's like police-
Erica: Police suck, yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah, he's like, "They're corrupt, there's nowhere where you can work where there's no stories about them being terrible to Black people," and then he read up on this one and found that there was nothing, and felt comfortable coming in and working there, and also, he ultimately wants to take it over and reshape it anyway, which was pretty dope.
Erica: Yeah, I thought that was really dope. So they're all in this town, there's other people in the town, but it really focuses on these three people. Long story short, they all fall for each other and begin a polyamorous relationship, which is so fucking dope, if you ask me. So there's a lot to digest in this particular excerpt, in this entire book. So, we will start with just the scene itself, and then step back into the bigger story.
Kenrya: I like it.
Erica: So the scene opens with Knox, or Santos?
Kenrya: Knox is following Mary into her room and looking at her ass.
Erica: Yeah, so Knox was like, "Yo, I've missed you all day," they had sex the night before, things were great, it was their first time having sex; this is now their second time having sex, and Knox was like, "Yo, I've been thinking about this shit all day, I'm ready to get in it." Which begs me to ask you the question, Kenrya, what do you prefer, first-time sex, or second-time I-know-the-ropes, I've-been-marinating-on-how-I'm-going-to-do-this-better sex?
Kenrya: Second-time all day. Now, sometimes that's all within the same ... like with my current partner, it was like five times in a 24-hour span when we first had sex; but even then, there's a marked change, difference, between first time and second time because you know a little bit more, right? And you're not, I don't know, it's a little bit more leisurely, you can really sit in it.
Erica: You're more willing to be more vulnerable, I feel like.
Kenrya: Yeah, because you already got through the hard part.
Erica: Yeah, like you done seen each other naked.
Erica: So it's like, "Okay, now we just going to go at it and do it."
Kenrya: "Let's just do this," yeah. Taking time is always better, to me. I'm guessing you think the same?
Erica: Yeah, I mean I like the excitement of the first time, I love being like, "Whew, that's what's there," or "Hmm, not what I expected, let's see where this goes." But, yeah, second-time, like, "Ooh, his shit curve to the left, so I can do"-
Kenrya: "Let me shift over a little bit."
Erica: Yeah, like, "Now I know I can do this," or "He really responded when I did this," or "She really responded when I did this, so let me try this." Yeah, to me, I feel like second-time is just great because you really get to marinate in that shit.
Kenrya: And it's still new, but you just got a little bit more information.
Erica: Yeah. And if I've been thinking about that shit all day, or for a period-
Kenrya: Because now you know it's good, or it at least has the potential to be fantastic.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative). So then you get to be like, "Mmm."
Kenrya: Have you ever, this is unrelated because this was not their situation, but had a not-so-great experience the first time, and then decided to still come back again, and then had it be exponentially better?
Erica: I guess, yeah. I'm thinking. Yeah. Not necessarily it was bad, it just ...
Erica: Yeah, like you couldn't get in the rhythm. And then, again, once you're like, "Okay, we saw each other naked, we can go at it," it got much better. I mean, not that you ... Look, if the shit ain't right, then don't-
Kenrya: Yeah, it's like well how much work do you want to do?
Erica: Yeah, I don't want to put too much work into it. You know, good, but not quite clicking. Generally, if we're having sex consistently, like the shit clicks, like I don't force it because there's too many dicks in the sea.
Kenrya: Exactly. Just bobbing around out there.
Erica: Yeah, just bobbing around. Boop, that's a dick just in the sea, picked it up. But, yeah, I think I'm willing to give it a second go-around if it's not like fireworks at the beginning.
Kenrya: Yeah, I'm trying to think, I mean it don't have to be fireworks in the beginning, but-
Erica: But it can't be trash.
Erica: If it's trash, then-
Kenrya: And I've done that, like once in college, the first time, it was like two minutes, and I attributed it to the fact that he had been lusting after me for a really long time before I finally fucked him, but it was like, "Nigga," we were snowed in together-
Erica: "I'm snowed in with this dick?"
Kenrya: Yeah, it was like, "Ooh, this going to be good, we can just have sex"-
Erica: "Fuck all day."
Kenrya: "Go to sleep, wake up," and it was like two, three minutes, and I was like, "You've got to be fucking kidding me."
Erica: I need that “Price is Right.”
Kenrya: Exactly. That's what it felt like. And it got better, but we never had fantastic sex, I should have just used that as my guy.
Erica: Life is too short for mediocre sex.
Kenrya: I was good and young and stupid, and just was like, "All right, we'll figure it out."
Erica: Yeah, because if it's mediocre at the beginning, wait 'til you got a bunch of hollering-ass kids and-
Kenrya: Yeah, exactly.
Erica: Bills and shit.
Kenrya: Mm-mmm (negative), grown-me would not have kept that moving, but, 21, maybe, me, wasn't thinking that far ahead.
Erica: Yeah. Okay, so, this story was really refreshing because it's a poly relationship-
Erica: Polyam, I'm sorry. Polyamorous relationship, and everyone interacts with everyone.
Erica: The men, they're romantic with one another, and intimate with one another, they're also intimate with Mary, and I feel like a lot of times there's such a fear of men being intimate with one another, and it was just really refreshing to see that, especially written in a book, because I feel like a lot of time these fiction stories are fantasy. And so, often, women's fantasy is two men all into me, all about me; but it was really cool to see two men into me, all about me, but also into one another and into pleasuring one another.
Kenrya: Yeah, and they came with their own ... like they were friends and had never admitted to themselves or to each other that they felt some attraction.
Erica: Yeah, but I don't think they really realized that there was an attraction.
Kenrya: I think Santos kind of did, Knox didn't really. But Santos didn't really want to change their relationship.
Erica: Yeah. But it was really refreshing to see, and it makes me wonder how many women would really be comfortable with ... you know, like I feel like, we've touched on this before, how women help hold onto-
Kenrya: Toxic masculinity and homophobia? Yeah, sorry.
Erica: You beat me to the punch.
Kenrya: My bad.
Erica: But, yeah, I feel like we help hold on to it-
Erica: By being like, "I'd never be with a bisexual man." And, to me, I'm comfortable with my man having been with another man because-
Kenrya: What the fuck that got to do with me?
Erica: That ain't got shit to do with me. If you with me, and you with me, then you with me.
Kenrya: Right, because if your concern is that y'all are monogamous, then who the fuck does it matter who he would be having sex with, or who he has had sex with it?
Erica: Because let's be clear, niggas going to fuck scallywags whether or not they men or women.
Erica: You know? So, to me, it's not really a thing, but I feel like that's something that we are, women, have to-
Erica: Perpetuate, and we also have to get over. And so it was really refreshing to see it written in this fantasy world, where it's like two guys into each, into her, and it's not this weird, nasty, gross thing.
Kenrya: There was never even a discussion like that or any thoughts from Mary, like when we were in her head, she was just like, "Yes, I want to see y'all love each other, too."
Erica: Exactly. I always say, and I think Kenrya agrees, the whole adrienne maree brown “Pleasure Activism,” one of the things she talks about is pleasure, and pleasuring yourself, and loving yourself, and loving out-loud is a radical act.
Erica: And, to me, these polyamorous relationships are a radical act, you're like, "I'm going to love who I want to love, on the terms in which I want to love in." And I was like, "Yo, this is dope as fuck, to see it written out and just out-loud and in the world."
Kenrya: Yeah. It just also, of course, sucks, like anytime that the things that make up us and the things that are just who we are have to be radicalized, right?
Erica: Yeah, I don't want-
Kenrya: Yeah, no, I know you want you mean.
Erica: I don't want the fetishsize, is that a word?
Kenrya: Yeah, that's a word.
Erica: Fetishsize, y'all know what I'm saying, I don't want to make this some weird fetish or something like that because this also rings a bit of "Ooh, your kinky Black hair, it's so gorgeous..." and you're like, "Bitch, this just the shit that grows out of my head."
Erica: But, also, I just think it's really great to see it just showcased.
Kenrya: Yeah, I mean everybody wants to see themselves on a page, right?
Kenrya: That's literally why we do this show.
Kenrya: So I'm glad that you found this story, and that Katrina gives us the space to be able to feature this relationship, that most people who don't know exists or act like they don't exist.
Erica: Yeah. Also, one of the things that I loved about this story, Mary is a fat woman, and we have been looking for stories that feature fat bodies because that is-
Kenrya: Just a reality.
Erica: That is a part of life, like there are fat bodies, but I make it a point to avoid ... like I was reading this one book, and it was about a woman that was fat, and the first couple pages, it's like, "Oh, better hide this part of my body, I'm struggling with my weight," and it's like some people have fat bodies just really enjoy their bodies and are comfortable with it. And so I don't want to sound like ... this reminds me of that Kevin Hart thing, where he was in The Shop like, "Some people are gay, let's not make a big deal out of it." Like I don't want to not make a big deal out of it because she's fat, but at the same time, I don't want to gloss over the fact, though.
Kenrya: Ignore the fact, yeah.
Erica: And so I think it's really dope that Mary is fat, and it is a descriptor-
Kenrya: Right, and that's it.
Erica: And some of the scenes describe her thick hips and her big ass, but it's not like it's something that-
Kenrya: It's not pathologized, it's just who she is.
Erica: It is, it's who she is, and it's something that is appreciated and loved by her partners.
Kenrya: And by her.
Erica: Yeah. I mean and then she's a baker, which I'm just like, "Yeah, bitch," she's-
Kenrya: All the scenes where she's baking, I'm just like ... you know how I feel about carbs.
Erica: Yes. And she's also really trying to perfect her vegan baking.
Kenrya: Yes, which made me really happy.
Erica: Yeah ...
Kenrya: Don't roll ... That apple pie I made you, bitch, that was vegan, I didn't tell you, that's vegan pie crust.
Erica: Oh, shit.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative), see? Mm-hmm (affirmative), turn your nose up if you want to.
Erica: Update: Kenrya did make a pie for my whole house, and I ate it in like a weekend, so if y'all following the whole apple pie situation.
Erica: That shit was good.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: So, yeah we appreciate Mary for being fat, appreciate loving her body, not making it this horrible thing, but also not hiding it. And also just being a baker, like she's just a woman, and I think that's the thing, some of us are fat, and we still love and fuck and have two men after us, and all of that, so it was really dope.
Kenrya: I also, sorry, love that ... you said earlier, she was a professor at a college, she got passed over for tenure, which we don't learn a whole lot about, but she definitely talks about being a Black woman and the whole in the academy and how that shit sucks. And I love that she just was like, "You know what?"
Erica: "This ain't working for me."
Kenrya: "Yeah, this ain't it, so I'm just going to do something else now. Bye." And her homegirls, she's got this whole little circle of friends, and they're super supportive of her going off and doing what she wants to do.
Erica: But her circle of friends were very much a circle of friends. Mary's group of friends were dope as shit because, again, I feel like, Katrina, you know Black women.
Kenrya: Yeah, clearly.
Erica: You know us, I mean you're a Black woman, so I guess you do, but I feel like you did a really great job of crafting a group of friends, like there's the supportive one, there's one that's like-
Kenrya: A little skeptical.
Erica: "I love you, but I'm going to be skeptical because I need you to make sure everything ..." like I definitely felt our one girlfriend, who's in the military and really good with money, and always like, "You need to think these things ..." I could see-
Kenrya: Yes, that's totally her.
Erica: A type of my girlfriends in her group of friends. One girlfriend was like, "Ooh, bitch, I'm moving here, too," it was just so dope to see her with such a supportive and robust group of girlfriends. This was just, overall, a really, really sweet, good book. Here's the thing-
Kenrya: It was. And moved quickly, the pacing was good.
Erica: I find myself, when things get difficult, you know how books have a story where there's like a crescendo, and there's a climax, and a this-is-the-problem, we meet the problem, and then we fight through the problem-
Kenrya: You mean traditional storytelling, an arc?
Erica: Okay, yeah, whatever, tomato/tomato, potato/potato, bitch, whatever, that thing. I hate it. I know that's a part of books, and some books are really great, we're actually reading a story for this, where it's that, and I am just like, "It's so good." But this story had it, but it wasn't like, "Oh my God, will they, won't they?" It was just, "Okay, this is a problem, we're going to face it and we're going to get through it." It was just such a good, sweet-
Kenrya: It was gentle.
Erica: It was a gentle book. It was such a gentle book.
Kenrya: In the very best way.
Erica: In the very best way. I loved the playfulness between the three of them, and you could see it during the sex, I think we've said this a million times-
Kenrya: Playful sex is the best, you got to have fun.
Erica: Yeah, and they were like fucking with each other, and giving each other a little something-something, I'm like, "Oh, wait, what did he ..." Oh, shit, I had a flashback to this morning.
Erica: To some playful shit that went on, I was definitely about to be like, "Oh, you're reading the book?" Definitely not what happened in this, it was something what happened this morning. But, yeah, it was definitely just so great to see them so playful and just enjoying each other in more than just a sexual way, but just enjoying each other's company.
Kenrya: Yeah, which is why we kept going in the reading, I really thought it was key to show how Mary and Knox were just talking while she was fucking Santos, they're talking about their hopes and dreams and shit, and she getting her back blown out, I was just like, "This is the fucking best."
Erica: Ain't that the dandiest thing?
Kenrya: Yeah. It's interesting, too, and I think we'll talk about this when we have a guest on, but that there's a lot of different ways to be polyam, right? So in this situation, they're a throuple, they are living their lives together, and having sex together, but being polyamorous or ethically monogamous-
Kenrya: Non-monogamous can look a lot of different ways, and it doesn't mean necessarily that partners are interacting with each other, it can mean that you have separate relationships with separate people, and very often it does mean that, but I thought this was an interesting way for us to illustrate it, with this particular story.
Erica: Yeah, and I think this is where the every-girl fantasy comes in because, bitch, I would love to have two men just happily come home to one titty a piece, or two titties and a pussy. But it was just like, "Man, this is just delightful. Delightful." Okay, we touched on this a little bit, so Santos is a cop, Knox is a firefighter.
Kenrya: They're like small-town rom-com jobs.
Erica: Very much small-town rom-tom ... rom-com.
Erica: Rom-tom, rom-tom, rom-tom. Have you ever dated a man in uniform?
Kenrya: Bitch, you know I have-
Erica: She rolling her eyes.
Kenrya: I hate you.
Erica: I was setting her up for-
Kenrya: I hate you, I was like, "Why is she looking at me like this?"
Erica: I was setting her up for the thing.
Kenrya: Yeah, I've dated a cop.
Erica: I think some of the attraction to a cop and a firefighter comes with just the uniform.
Kenrya: That ain't why I was there.
Erica: Well, okay. But people are like, "Ooh, I love me a firefighter, I love me a cop," I think a lot of it just comes with the uniform. Now I have a girlfriend who's married to a firefighter and she's like, "Bitch, you ain't never heard a song saying, ‘Fuck the firefighters,’ right?"
Kenrya: That's true.
Erica: "Fuck the EMS." Everybody loves a firefighter, everybody loves an EMS worker.
Kenrya: Yeah. But they have dangerous jobs.
Erica: And really good benefits. This is where the old auntie in me come in, I'm like, "Girl, you trying to get them teeth fixed, marry you a firefighter."
Kenrya: See, I would perpetually worry ... So, okay, I still watch “Grey's,” I know a lot of folks don't.
Erica: You and 12 other people.
Kenrya: Yep, it's fine, it's still going, and I still care about the characters, and it still gets me.
Erica: Well you and 12 other Black women.
Erica: White women still love it.
Kenrya: But so Miranda, one of the main characters, a Black woman who's been there from the beginning, is married to ... why you making that face?
Erica: Who's Miranda?
Kenrya: She's one of the main fucking characters on the ... you don't even watch the show.
Erica: A strong Black woman?
Kenrya: She's actually had an arc that is deviating from that, she had a heart attack, and started having panic attacks, and all of this stuff, and so she had to back off that strong Black woman shit.
Erica: I'm rolling my eyes [crosstalk 00:31:33]-
Kenrya: Whatever, bitch, the show is fantastic. My point is that her husband went from being an anesthesiologist to being a firefighter.
Erica: Who the fuck does that?
Kenrya: Niggas on “Grey's Anatomy.”
Erica: “Grey's Anatomy,” you right.
Kenrya: But so she spent all this time, like she's always worried about him, that shit's dangerous, so that would be my concern.
Kenrya: Good benefits are cool, but, damn, are you going to come home?
Erica: So how do you feel about, like with dating a cop, the "fuck the police"? Or, you know what, I'll start because you're rolling your eyes so hard at me because we know where this is. So it's really difficult for me to ... actually, one of my partners right now is former police, and, as being a Black woman and all that shit, man, I can't fuck with the po-po. It's hard to fuck with the po-po. But, when you meet Black men that are police, you kind of understand like, "Okay, they're trying to work from within, or do what's right, or help the community," and I think that, especially to combat what's happening in the world with the police, we need-
Kenrya: We're so Midwestern, "police."
Erica: I know. With the police, I feel like we need Black people from their own community who want to police, I think part of that is ... I mean, don't get me going because I am not the pro on this, Kenrya is, but-
Kenrya: I'm not a pro, I think community policing is great, in theory, but if we're talking about the carceral system as a whole, we need to abolish that shit, and so police departments and law enforcement, as they stand right now, are not a tenable thing, if that's where we're going. That said, I mean the cop who I dated, his whole thing was exactly that, you need some people within the system to be able to fight, you can't just do it all from outside. And that's cool, whatever, but, honestly, the biggest issue that I faced with him, and that I see with a lot of cops, is that they're fucking assholes.
Kenrya: It's like power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, like, okay, sure. Community policing, but you still a fucking asshole.
Erica: You're still a jerk.
Kenrya: And so just on an interpersonal level, it doesn't work for me and I would never date a cop again. Well hopefully I won't date another person again, but when I was on the fucking ... I know.
Erica: Did you hear that? Ooh.
Kenrya: Ooh. When I was on the apps, I had certain things that were automatic left swipes: being a law enforcement officer, calling yourself an alpha male, posting a picture of yourself with your car-
Kenrya: Yes, fuck them.
Erica: What the fuck is a sapiosexual?
Kenrya: Someone who claims that they are sexually attracted to someone's mind. Get the fuck out of here.
Erica: Your old, fucking, what was the “Mind Sex,” dead prez-ass, get the fuck ... I don't even know what the fuck a sapiosexual is, but when I see it on-
Kenrya: I didn't know until I got on Bumble.
Erica: A goddamn Bumble, I just be like, "I'm not googling to know what the fuck you are. Pussysexual? Okay, I can do that."
Kenrya: It's just so pretentious and bullshit.
Erica: That's exactly what it is.
Erica: Also, what I hate-
Kenrya: You swiped because you saw my titties on here.
Erica: Right? Like you didn't even see what the fuck was going on. Also what I hate, and I don't understand it, one, niggas that take pictures at their desk, at work, like, "I have a job, here's my cubicle," one.
Kenrya: They try to prove, just like the niggas who, "I have a car."
Erica: Two, when people put their Myers-Brigg personality, and maybe this is just ... if this goes on outside of the D.C. area, please let me know, but I feel like this is-
Erica: Some total D.C. shit, but they be like, "I'm an ENTJ-OMP."
Kenrya: Where did "OMP" come from?
Erica: What the fuck? Like I don't even know what the fuck that means, and-
Kenrya: I look those up, I just think it's interesting.
Erica: I'm not asking you to fucking supervise me in making sure I get my TPS reports in. Like am I going to enjoy you, are you going to fuck me right? I don't need your fucking Myers-Brigg personality test-
Kenrya: That's so funny.
Erica: For fucking relationships. Get the fuck on.
Kenrya: Not that it's something that I look for, but when they put them on, if I'm already attracted to them, because it's not going to be the thing that's going to make me swipe, obviously; but if everything checks out and I want to start up a conversation, because I only would do ones where I could start the conversation because ick, it could be a good conversation starter, so I would look them up to see what it was, and then say something about them.
Erica: And says, "You're an ENTJ-OMP," how would you start that?
Kenrya: It would depend on what their thing was. So, sometimes, it would be something that was really close to mine, which I'm blanking on what it is, so then there would be a conversation about how we're the same or we're different.
Erica: "I like lists, do you?"
Kenrya: Wittier than that because a bitch is clever.
Erica: And this is why I get nothing on the apps.
Kenrya: But, yeah, sometimes those are interesting. To me, it's like astrology, if somebody says that they're a Capricorn, I'm like, "Oh, so you frugal?" you know what I mean? It turns into a whole conversation, it can, if they not dry as fuck. So it's just a conversation starter, to me.
Erica: Okay, I'll give that to you. I'm still not swiping on the ENTJ-OMP ass.
Kenrya: I dig it. I wonder, that is a good question, if it's something that happens outside the DMV, because this is such a specific area.
Erica: Yeah, I feel like it's only a DMV.... Yeah, I feel like it's definitely a D.C.
Kenrya: Yeah. I remember when I moved back here, after living in New York for so long, and the first time I went out, and a nigga asked if I had a business card, and I was like, "The fuck?"
Erica: I never have business cards, but I definitely do ask people what they do.
Kenrya: That's so D.C. and so ugly. I hate it.
Erica: I know that is so ... I know. Yeah, I know people hate it, but, to me, it's not even a trying-to-size-you-up thing, I just feel like you're at work Monday through Friday more than you're at home, and so, for me, that gives me a clue in what you do, what makes you excited. Because even now, if someone asked me, "What do you do?" I usually tell people, "I get paid a whole lot of money to boss people around. But, what I really enjoy doing," and then I go into the podcast. So it's not even ... I usually don't tell them I get paid a lot of money because, nigga, you buying drinks.
Kenrya: That sounds-
Erica: Yeah, and that sounds pretentious. But I say some bullshit about, like gloss over what I do, "But really what I'm interested in is my podcast," because I look at it less as a sizing-you-up and more as a "Okay, motherfucker, you with that bitch for 10 hours a day, you're away from your home for 10 hours a day, dealing with this shit, commuting, whatever, let me know what it is that you are interested in, what you like to do," well not even what you like ... for me, that's more of a jumping off point than ENJT-LMNOP.
Kenrya: And, see, I think you're unique in looking at that way, I think most people in this area are sizing you up.
Erica: Oh, you ain't getting shit out of me.
Kenrya: Not about money, but I remember going to a CBC event a few months ago, and not just men, like everybody who I met, "Oh, what firm are you with? What do you do?" Bitch, I mind my motherfucking business, like you should be.
Erica: Yeah, okay.
Kenrya: It's just rude, to me. I don't like it.
Erica: Yeah, I don't get offended by it. Well, if you out with Erica and she asks what you do, it is definitely not because I'm trying to size you up, I literally just want to know what makes you tick. And, also, there should be something that gives you joy in life, and so that's why I'm like, "Oh, well, I work, but this is what I do for ... this is my passion, not keeping homeless people out of jail," or something like that because I find, when I ask that kind of question, I get ... if I were to ask you, "What do you do?" I'd learn a whole bunch of shit about some really dope books, and really dope websites, and that kind of thing.
Kenrya: I usually just say, "I write."
Erica: Well, yeah.
Kenrya: Maybe that's just my playing down my shit, but, "I write."
Erica: Yeah, see, if I were interested in you, I would ask more, "About what? What do you write?" that kind of thing. Bitch, I got you, you ain't going no-motherfucking-where, so you can keep them short-ass answers. You can keep them short-ass answers. Okay, so, you touched on how polyam relationships can be different, they can be a throuple, where it's all three ... well, I don't want to say throuple, it could be a relationship in which everyone-
Kenrya: Is in relationship with each other.
Erica: Is in relationship with each other, it could be one person having two separate relationships, and everyone knowing about it, it could be each person have their own relationships; polyamorous relationships look a million different ways, and hopefully for our 1.5 episode of Season Two, we will get to speak with someone that can talk about her personal experience, her very specific experience in a polyam relationship. But it makes me want to ask you: do you think you could be in a polyamorous relationship, Kenrya?
Kenrya: No, and I can answer that quickly. So I just recently did this whole series for prevention about sex diaries of people, where folks just told me every part of their sex lives, for a week, for some of them; for months, for some of them, like folks who didn't have sex very frequently. And three of the people who I interviewed, one was in an open marriage that recently closed, and two were in polyamorous relationships ... why do I have so much trouble saying this shit? Ethically non-monogamous relationships.
Kenrya: Yeah, it was all different ways, and so it was great because when I do this kind of work, it gives me a really great jumping off point for conversations with my partner. And so we were talking about it, he was like, "Is this something that you would ever want to do?" And I was like, "Nah," and he was like, "Well, why?" And I was like, "Well, I think it is a fantastic way to live for folks who it is for, there's no judgment about it. It is just that I know myself, and I think because ..."
Kenrya: My number one love language is time, I don't like to share, I require a lot of time, I just do; I want to see you on a regular basis, I want to spend all the moments of the weekends with you, I want to talk on the phone with you every day, I want to be able to pop over and grab lunch, I want to be able to pop over and have a quickie before I got to pick my kid up from school, and if the boundaries that we have to set are such that we are sharing whatever, that won't work for me because I'm too greedy.
Erica: Yeah. I mean, I used to always say I couldn't be in a polyamorous relationship, I don't think I could be in a throuple, a relationship where we all are with one another because, to me, that requires a level of respect and communication; I mean it's hard respecting and communicating with one person, let alone two, three people.
Kenrya: You got to be so mature and good at setting and maintaining boundaries and knowing what you want and being able to communicate that. It's so dope.
Erica: Yeah. But I think I could be in an open relationship, where we prioritize one another. So like if I need you, I want you, you need to drop whatever you got going on to be with me.
Kenrya: So like that was your understanding with your primary partner?
Erica: I think I'd be okay with ... because, to me, sex is sex, intimacy is another thing. And so I'd be fine with you doing your thing, and me doing my thing, I mean at least right now, I mean I don't think I could see that being a super down-the-line thing. But until we hit a point, shit, I have a couple partners now, where it's like you do your thing, I do my thing, and we'll do our thing together.
Erica: I don't think it's really formally a ... because we're not necessarily a couple, so I don't think we could call it an open relationship, but I think as long as everyone is being respectful of one another, and, like in these relationships, we're not primary partners, we're just dating. But if I were a primary partner, and it was understood that what I want, what I need, I shut down, I'll be fine because I'm going to be doing the same thing, and I think that this is where ...
Erica: We talk about that line with the whole, we talked a little bit when we were talking about hoteps, how hoteps ... Hoteps give polyamorous relationships a bad name, I feel like, because, with hoteps, it's a I'm-the-only-dick-in-the-equation thing, like, "I am the man, I'm going to have all my bitches ... I'm going to have all my women"-
Kenrya: Your queens.
Erica: "Y'all my queens, and y'all my queens, but I'm the only king in your life." I'm going to do my shit, you do your thing, and we just going to be cool, like we all understand that this is a two-way street, I think I'd be okay with that.
Kenrya: Right. I think it's interesting because that made me realize that, even in my response, I've internalized that because I took it from the standpoint of me being with somebody and him being with somebody else, and not from the standpoint of me being with somebody and me also being with somebody else. And part of that is conditioning, right, and so I condition as being conditioned.
Kenrya: But, also, I have no desire to put in that much ... Like being in a healthy relationship requires a lot of energy, and that's not a bad thing, and I'm not saying it requires a lot of work, but I'm really intentional about the way that I develop my relationship with my partner, and the way that I interact with him. And the idea of doing that with more than one person is exhausting. Yeah, I'm tired.
Erica: Yeah, no, I couldn't see myself giving ... because if I'm with someone, I give.
Kenrya: So much.
Erica: If I'm with you-with you, I give you a lot of me.
Kenrya: Right. And I wouldn't do it ... like you were saying, "If it's sex, it's sex," but I think, usually with a polyamorous relationship, it's not really the same as just being open, where you're having sex with somebody else, I mean it could look that way, but it could also look like you have an intimate, fully developed, well-rounded relationship with somebody else-
Erica: Yeah, I can't have multiple-
Kenrya: And that just feels like too much for me to handle.
Erica: That's too much fucking work. If I'm doing it right, I don't want to say if you're doing it right, if I'm doing it right-
Kenrya: The way that you want to.
Erica: Yeah. If I'm doing a relationship, I am with you right, the way that I want to, I'm saying "right" as in "right for Erica," I'm putting a lot of energy into that person, I'm putting a lot of energy into that relationship and making it work because it's tough putting two people together.
Kenrya: Yes, grown folks who got their own lives and come with all their own stuff, and have your own goals.
Erica: Yeah, and I ain't giving that shit to multiple people because I ain't got it to give to multiple people, like it takes a lot for me to ... I am a mother, I have to account for a whole ’nother little person.
Erica: If I'm with you, and I'm accounting for you and another little person, I'd be goddamn if I'm going to throw another motherfucker into the mix, so I say I would be down with an open relationship, in the sense of here-and-there, no real-
Kenrya: Right, you get to define it the way that you want to.
Kenrya: Well you all do.
Erica: I used to say marriages, but I say all relationships are essentially a contract between those people, and whatever you want it to look like, that's what it is, and as long as y'all honoring what you put this to be, then that's cool, and I think it's so much more important when you're a polyamorous relationship because you really have to think about what goes into this contract and can I honor it, can I be okay with this?
Kenrya: And trust that your partners can. I think that that's part of the unsaid part of why it feels difficult to me, and it's because I've been in a relationship that was open and didn't know it. As someone who was cheated on in a marriage for many years, there's always this underlying fear that the contract will not be honored. It's not something I struggle with every day because I've gotten to a point where I'm with a partner who I trust-
Erica: Yeah, you're with a partner that gives you that assurance.
Kenrya: Exactly. And so I do not make him pay for the sins of other niggas. But the idea of being in a relationship where you got to bring that many more people into the contract feels scary to me because of what I have been through before.
Erica: Yeah. I think that young Erica that was willing to, "Yeah, whatever you want, I'm a cool girl"-
Kenrya: "Cool girl," yeah.
Erica: I probably would have been like, "I'm down for an open relationship," and been all fucked up. But I think now that ... because, shit, had you asked me fucking 12 months ago, or a year, depending on how you look at it, had you asked me a year ago, I don't think I would have been down for an open relationship.
Erica: But as I think and grow and change, I definitely think I would be okay with it, but, one, I'd have to be very sure that the person ... well, you're never sure, but I had to be very comfortable with the person that I'm in this relationship with is going to respect and honor the rules that we set.
Erica: Yeah, and I'd have to be sure that the rules that I set I am comfortable with, the rules that I agree to. No, that I set. I ain’t agreeing to shit.
Kenrya: That you set together.
Erica: Right. That we set together, that I'm comfortable with. As I grow and learn and change, this all changes, so in another 12 months, or a year-
Kenrya: Or a year.
Erica: That might be different. But, yeah, that's where I am.
Kenrya: It's evolution, baby.
Erica: Evolution, motherfuckers. So, that's us.
Kenrya: It is.
Erica: That's how we feel about polyamorous relationships, polyam, Kenrya had to correct me because "poly" is more of a term of Polynesian folk.
Kenrya: That's right.
Erica: And not polyamorous folks, so the correct term is "polyam," just a little learning there, I'm going to be pretentious and share what I learned.
Kenrya: It was a whole issue on Tumblr, where Polynesian folks were having trouble finding their communities because polyamorous folks were using the poly tag.
Erica: Okay, yeah, and I'd be mad if I was a fine-ass Samoan with some thick thighs and thick-ass wavy hair, looking for some more fine-ass, thick-thighed, long, wavy, thick-haired people.
Erica: And I come with y'all freak-ass polyamorous folks. I mean, I'd be like-
Kenrya: You'd be fine.
Erica: "Mmm, hey. But I was looking for some fine, thick," I sound like that nigga that left that voicemail that's like, "Gushing and a'farting and a'sucking."
Kenrya: What the hell?
Erica: I'm going to have to send it to you.
Kenrya: Is this something on Twitter?
Erica: It was on a show, it's where this dude left this long-ass voicemail, like, "Girl, we going to be fucking and a'gushing and a'farting, and I'm going to be fucking you and gushing and a'farting, and it's going to be gushing," he says more than "gushing and farting," but, anyways, that's how I feel-
Kenrya: That's what you remember.
Erica: As I describe Polynesian folk. Oh my God, this went a whole different place.
Kenrya: It did.
Erica: I apologize. Okay, well thank you for joining us for our first episode back, for season two of The Turn On. This is Erica and Kenrya, two hoes, making it clap.
Kenrya: Two hoes, making it clap.
Erica: Gushing and a'farting.
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 y'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 podcasts 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 love at Frolic.media/Podcasts. Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you soon, holler.
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.