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This week, Erica and Kenrya read Tucora Monique's "You Make Me Feel" and talk about riding for your homies, the ugliness of respectability and why sometimes, someone being "romantic" is just a code word for disrespecting your boundaries. Word.
Book, "You Make Me Feel" by Tucora Monique | Amazon
Author, Tucora Monique | Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Hey, y'all. Welcome to this week's episode of season five of The Turn On. Today, we are reading “You Make Me Feel” [singing] by Tucora Monique. And, it was published in 2021. So, sit back, relax, get your wine, your weed, whatever you need and enjoy.
Kenrya: “You Make Me Feel,” by Tucora Monique. "Never have I ever been on a plane." "That's corny," I said drinking again. She rolled her eyes at my judgment. "Not for some people, Quentin." Chauncey lowering her face triggered me to soften my approach, nobody but Pierce had that effect on me. "You've never been on a plane?" "Nope." "Why?" I wanted to know. "You scared?" She smiled as if that wasn't a plausible explanation. Being a teacher and designer, she had to know that there was more to the world than Silk Hills. "No, I just never had anywhere more important to be." She stated before moving on. "Never have I ever gave a private dance." Our vision collided. "So that's what you going to do for me tonight? I put you on a plane and you put that pussy on me." She laughed and bit into her lip before replying, "You've literally stalked me to get to your brother's money and now you're ready to make it rain."
Kenrya: "Don't worry about that, my pockets are just as heavy. Anything I give you from that bag can be replaced." I didn't know if Chauncey's eyes had lowered to slits out of curiosity or from the traces of Cognac in her system, but I could see her thinking. Her curiosity was going to cause me to kill that pussy cat she was damn near begging me to stroke. When the schoolteacher stood to her feet, I watched her closely. She was silent as she turned on the group Silk's bedroom jam and tossed the rest of her drink back. Thirsty, I slouched down in my seat and waited for her to make a move. "Unzip me." She ordered, pointing to the zipper directly under her arm. Slowly, I slid the small piece of metal down Chauncey's side and inhaled her scene when her dress fell to the floor. She was in nothing but a strapless top that stopped above her navel, a lace thong and that sexy belt thing women wear that connects to knee highs.
Kenrya: "Nope." She purred when I went to touch her ass, "No touching. Show me the money." Chauncey tried to remain in character, although her comment caused us both to crack a smile. Reaching for the duffel bag that had brought me here, I opened it and grabbed a stack of ones. "I need to see some ass first." I teased and, like a girl about her money, Chauncey went to work. Confidence led her hips and lust I could see coming off her skin kept the sexy lady moving for two and a half songs before I couldn't stand it. "Put that ass in my face." I demanded, prompting my dancer to take a few steps backward. My mouth waters as I focus on the stretchmarks adorning her round cheeks. I didn't warn her before sliding my tongue up her cheek and biting into her.
Kenrya: "Hmm. What?" "You know what. The question is, do you want it?" She didn't have time to say anything other than yes before my arm was roped around her waist and pulling her into my lap, "You got my shit hard as fuck you expect for me not to touch you?" She giggled at thirst I didn't hide while kicking away the dollar bills I tossed around her living room. "You not supposed to touch the dancers, you of all people should know the rules." She cooed. The sensation of her rubbing her pussy back and forth on my dick had us both unable to speak for a moment. Gradually, my hand went from the center of her waist down to her clit. I hadn't even touched her and I could feel the heat coming off her pussy. "No more teasing." She declared, slightly lifting her body and reaching down to pull my dick out.
Kenrya: Placing kisses up her spine, I whispered against her skin, "You know what you're doing, Chauncey?" "Does it feel like I know what I'm doing?" She asked, guiding her body down at the same time my shit started jumping. "Fuck." We blurted in unison. I wasn't surprised that Chauncey's pussy reminded me of a warm Cali day or that it wrapped around my dick like it was fate that we collided. The first time I saw her was in a room full of half-dressed woman and still, she was all I saw. Like a pro, Chauncey put her hands on her knees and twerked her ass like I was still tossing dollars. One hand on each of her hips, I squeezed her waist as tight as she could stand while shutting my eyes. The sight of two fat ass cheeks and the sensation of a juicy pussy was a formula for a quick nut.
Kenrya: I didn't know where the pretty teacher and I would go after tonight, but I knew I wanted this moment with her to last. "Work that dick, you climbed on it." I encouraged, smacking her ass and delivering strokes beneath her that matched her rhythm. We completely dismissed the ratchet joint Chauncey was slow winding to and created a pace that had us both moaning and cursing. Our pleasure and the sound of our skin crashing echoed in competition. "I knew you would feel this good." I admitted, looping an arm around her midsection. Slowly my fingers inched down her body and directly to her pussy, with my thumb and index finger I spread her lips apart and massaged Chauncey's clit since it was poking and waiting for my attention. I rubbed and fucked the pretty lady for only minutes before she was catching her first nut and crying out my name.
Kenrya: "Fuck me harder, Q." She growled, reaching around and grabbing a handful of my hair. Normally, the gesture would make me feel like a trick, but that shit was sexy as fuck, especially when the tightness of her hole matched the contracting her pussy was doing. "Damn, that pussy squeezing, C." I moaned, sucking on her neck as if something as sweet as her scent would come rushing from her pores and land on my tongue. Noticing her bouncing had turned into a steady grind, I pulled Chauncey back so her back was pressed against my chest. Giving her a break, I stopped playing with her nerve and gave her nipples some attention as she came down from her high. "Fuck, Q. You going to make me come again." She whispered, her chest rising and falling faster. "Go ahead, that pussy already leaking on my dick. You couldn't hold back if you wanted to." I replied feeling my own nut filling the head of my dick. "You going to let me suck on that pussy?" She didn't utter a word, instead she leaned her head so it was resting on my shoulder and, like a freak, she stuck her tongue out for me to take. "I knew your dick would feel like heaven." "Yeah?" I said, staring at her just as intently as she did me. "And now it's time for me to see what that pussy tastes like."
Erica: Hey, y'all. Welcome back. Thank you, Kenrya, for reading that rendition. Thank you for reading the excerpt. Okay. So, a little background on the story. The book opens with this chick Chauncey. She is having an argument with her man, her man, and he's like... She's like, "You ain't shit, you always do this." He's like, "Please... please." And then she's like, "Nah, I'm holding strong." He's like, "Please, baby. Please. I’ll give you some lickies." So then he starts to give her lickies and she's like, "Okay." And just as they get good... You went out with that bitch? His wife shows up. We're given literally first few-
Kenrya: The first couple pages of the book. [crosstalk 00:08:53]
Erica: So then, she's like, "Oh, shit." So she gets her shit, runs in the bathroom to call her cousin. No, her sister. And her sister's like, "Girl, this nigga ain't shit. We told you to leave him alone. You should've stopped fucking with him when he left you after you miscarried the baby and then show back up after you lost the baby. No, he left you when you got pregnant and then show back up when you miscarried the baby."
Kenrya: After she miscarried. I was like, Oh. Wow.
Erica: So we like, oh, did some shit, right? But even in her wrongness, her sister was like, "All right, bitch. I'll be there in 20."
Kenrya: “I'm on my way.”
Erica: Right? So there's that, there's Chauncey. So then there is Quentin, his part of the book opens where he's like in this like board meeting. You can tell Quentin fine as frog hair, nigga fine as fuck. So Quinn, he in his meeting and he gets a call. His assistant's like, "Your niece is on the phone." He's like, "Little weird, tell her I call her back." The assistant's like, "No, nigga. Your niece is on the phone." Calls his niece, come to find out niece and her brother were walking home from school, pulled up, saw that daddy and mama getting car carted off by the cops. So he's like, "Oh, shit. Got to go handle some business."
Erica: He goes to get his niece and nephew to take care of them in their home, and in addition to taking care of his niece and nephew, he has to run the niece and nephew's business, his brother and sister-in-law's business, which is their one legit situation. Everything else, little janky jank, hence getting arrested. But, you know that the business is a strip club. So at the strip club one night, Chauncey meets Quentin, hijinks ensue. Dot, dot, dot.
Kenrya: Dot, dot, dot. That's the setup.
Erica: Okay. So first, we are going to discuss having a ride or die best friend or sister or person.
Erica: Yeah, it was very realistic because it's like a true friend going help... They going to... Unless it's some shit where it's like, "Bitch, I stay picking you up from a bank that you done robbed." But generally, at least me, I'm going to be like, "Bitch, I done told you this ain't right. I done told you not to do this. Okay. I'm picking you up, I'll be there in 20." That's how you do it as a good friend.
Kenrya: That's how you do it. And so yeah, it rang really true when her sister was like, "Bitch, again? I'm on my way."
Erica: I'm here for it because I am... We all have friends we like, "This bitch is wrong." And I might pull you up in the car on the way home, but...
Kenrya: I still know that I need to be there. Exactly. We got a little crew of those people who I am willing to do that for. This is why I'm Killa.
Erica: Yeah, this bitch. Yeah, because a Killa will me kill and then be on the way home like, "Now, who was that? What did we do?"
Kenrya: “Why did we just kill him?”
Erica: “Why did we just do that? Man, that's sad. Oh, that's messed up.” Yeah, so that part definitely. Although, I definitely think I would probably be... I'd probably be more on some fuck him. You fuck with him one more time and you on your own.
Kenrya: I'm out. Yeah, because at a certain point you got to draw a boundary and you're not helping your person. Listen, we all do shit that's fucked up and we fall down, but we get up and all of that.
Erica: Don't use me as your crutch for fuck shit.
Erica: I'm going to help you because you're my friend, I'm going to get you out of a bind all that, but-
Kenrya: Don't keep doing this shit.
Erica: Yeah. Because at this point, you comfortable doing this fuck shit because you know you using me as your backup. No, I'm good. I don't need that.
Kenrya: And then in this situation, it's like, well she's mad at him for being trash and being married and fucking with her, but bitch, it takes two or however many people are involved and you are involved and you know that this nigga is married. Exactly.
Erica: I don't think I've had a friend, without putting anybody's business, I don't think I've had like a friend that was in some married shit. Or if they were, they didn't tell me-
Kenrya: They didn't say anything. Yeah, I don't know that I... So I've never had somebody that was in some married shit, but I have had folks who were in some cheating shit and were trying to get me to be a buffer, that has happened. I have extracted myself from... Shit, just a couple years ago somebody's trying to get me to come with them to go do some dirt and I was like, "Nah."
Erica: So here's the thing. Dirt as in cheating or dirt as in-
Kenrya: Dirt as in... No. Dirt as in spending time with somebody who they didn't have no business spending time with because all parties involved were partnered.
Erica: I know who you are talking about.
Kenrya: I think you do, too because you were there.
Erica: Oh, shit. Now I remember, but I probably was. Yeah. It's hard for me to do that...
Kenrya: I don't want to help. I'll help you in the aftermath, if shit goes wrong I'm there to help you get shit tight, but I'm not about to help you do no dirt.
Erica: Yeah. Don't be like, "Call my husband and tell him I'm with you."
Kenrya: “I've been with you all night, yeah.”
Erica: But, if I get the, "Was so and so with you all night?" Yeah.
Kenrya: “Absolutely. We was watching Lifetime movies.”
Erica: There's a fine line... What'd you say?
Kenrya: “We was watching Lifetime movies.”
Erica: Exactly. There's a fine line with the fuckery. I'm not going to do no premeditated, I'm not going to do no reach out, but if you in a pinch, I may be the one.
Kenrya: Yes, I know where my loyalty lies.
Erica: And that, at the end of the day is like, nigga, no matter how much my friends like you, the minute I say, "Shut this shit down." Said shit will be shut down.
Kenrya: How many people have been foisted from the crew after... I was her friend first.
Erica: I have no problem like, "No, nigga." So yeah. I'm not going to do no unprompted tell him you with me all night, no, but you called. “Yeah, that bitch is here. She got so drunk, she passed out.”
Erica: All right. So, ride or die. So one of the things that I failed to mention when I was talking about Chauncey is that she is a thicker chick, fat girl, and she designs plus size lingerie for women. And that plus size lingerie also turns into designing clothes for strippers, I guess stage wear for strippers. That's how she ends up at the club with Chauncey. Early on in the book, there's a discussion between Chauncey and one of the parents.
Kenrya: Because we didn't say she's a teacher.
Erica: She's a teacher by day and her side hustle-
Kenrya: Lingerie designer.
Erica: Teacher by day, side hustle lingerie. So one of the parents was like, "You dress inappropriate for being in front of my kids."
Kenrya: Funky bitch.
Erica: Funky bitch.
Kenrya: She was just dressed like a normal person with a body.
Erica: Yeah. I just feel like I hate the whole... That respectability shit. Who says what is appropriate and what isn't appropriate? And if anything, I think it's more important to expose your children to different types of people, different sizes of people, all of that than it is to not and then your kid goes out and sees somebody that looks different like they ain't never seen somebody ever in life. What'd you say?
Kenrya: I said, yeah, no, absolutely. And it very much felt... I don't know. In this case, I wanted to hurt that woman as soon as she came into the classroom, and Chauncey very much did too, but she's being professional. But it was also one of those things where... And we've talked about this just in general. It don't matter what kind of work pants you put on, your ass is there.
Erica: You got an ass.
Kenrya: It's literally nothing you can do about it, it is your body. It definitely felt like one of these, she just did not like that she wasn't stick thin and had a problem with it. And she could have been dressed from fucking... She could have been covered from her fucking neck to her ankles and she would've had a problem with it because she had ass.
Erica: You know, I used to struggle with that. Getting dressed, buying work clothes. I'm much heavier than I used to be, but I've always had a shape. I've always been... I've always had a booty, even if it was a small booty, it was a booty.
Kenrya: Okay, sure. You manifested that ass.
Erica: I've always had a booty. I did not have hips and thighs. My ass looked as big as it does because I got ass, thighs, hips, all of that. And I've always had like big titties. They're not as big because my body caught up with them, but you know I've always had a chest. I used to think about, when I would pick out clothes for work, I'd try to wear all black because- or wear something that's not a v-neck and all of that. And then I just kind of got to the point I was like, "You know what? Fuck it." Why is it that I have to dress in order to not be a temptation to a grown fucking man, to a grown ass man.
Kenrya: Fuck the patriarchy.
Erica: Fuck the patriarchy. Yeah, towards the end I was at work just, fuck it. Yeah, today I'm wearing my tight booty jeans. I was at a conference once and this woman was professional, the idea of professionalism is just another tool-
Kenrya: That's white supremacy.
Erica: Of white supremacy. Yeah, because it's just-
Erica: Who says what is professional? Maybe it was TikTok, maybe it was Instagram. There was this guy on, he was talking about how he doesn't buy Italian suits anymore, he buys those African things with the... It's like a shirt with the... And the notch. Anyway, he wears like more traditional African clothing. I even hate saying African because I can't pinpoint a country. Oh yeah. So, but yeah. I was like, "Yo, that's true." As long and you ain't leaving a nipple in somebody's soup.
Kenrya: It's not professional, exactly.
Erica: And then this also just kind of begs a bigger question, who's teaching our kids? It's wild to put it like that being that we're talking about a teacher, but I think that, again, like I said, it's important for kids to see all types of people so that they're not staring at people or they know how to interact with people that are different from them. So, yes. It's important for a kid... I think it's important for kids to see a fat woman in a bodycon dress. Why? Because I don't need you to be... I have people in my life like this, that we go out, we see somebody different and they like, "Girl, look." And I'm like, "Let's not." Yeah. And some of it is just... A large part of it is just they ain't used to... They've never seen some shit like this, and so now they're like, "Oh, my God. This is a scandal." But even asking who's teaching our kids? Kids go to school to learn facts. The values come when they are... From home.
Kenrya: They should come at home.
Erica: They should come from home. If you in Texas, it's a whole different story. The values should come from home or if you're in New York where your book was recently banned. Yeah.
Kenrya: That's really funny to me.
Erica: Yeah. Because it's like, these are set of facts and let's not conflate facts with values. Even thinking about as being a sex ed educator, I took a how to teach sex ed without getting fired class, of course. And this woman was like... I make sure I explain to parents when we talk about sex ed, I'm teaching children the facts, the mechanics of sex. This is what happens. This is how this works. I'm not teaching values, that's for you to teach at home. And it's so wild because people, when it gets to those dicey areas, things that aren't normally discussed, then people add their own-
Kenrya: Shit on top of it.
Erica: Their own shit on top of it. And that's what makes it-
Kenrya: They assume... I think, and we've talked about this a bit, they assume that values are being taught at school, right? Which is how you end up with this situation where, for better or for worse, you have schools that do abstinence only because you have parents who are like, "I didn't want them teaching my kids about... Teaching them to be gay." Or whatever the fuck it is that these people think is wrong with teaching your kids anything other than don't have sex.
Erica: Did you know in a number of states, I want to say it's between eight and 15, I can't remember the number, but in certain states in the US there is no requirement that sex ed has to be based in fact?
Kenrya: So what the fuck is it based in? Religion or something?
Erica: There's no requirement that says sex ed has to be factual, but in some states. That's like me getting up and saying, "Okay, y'all. I'm going to teach math and today in math we going to teach three plus three equals five." There's no repercussions because we don't have to teach facts. Isn't that fucking scary?
Kenrya: It is scary. God, damn. And a reminder that the onus for teaching our children starts with us.
Erica: Yeah. And we can't be so afraid of it. We can't afford to be afraid of these things because if we don't do it, our kids are going to get it from their cousin that has a Pornhub subscription.
Kenrya: Which can be part of a healthy learning process but damn, you need some facts before you seeing somebody throwing that ass back, I would hope.
Erica: Facts before throwing that ass back. That's all we need, that's all we talking about.
Kenrya: Yeah, damn. Because I think back, that was not what was happening in my family. And we've talked a bit about talking to elders about sex and we told some stories, but there was no... I know that my dad relied on me learning from school. And also I was Kenrya, so I was taking out books at the library and reading what I wanted to know. That was how I learned about shit beyond what we had in sex ed.
Erica: But even then, there wasn't the... You can only learn with so much in a book. There are conversations and having these open discussions. You still learn, you're still learning from that. That's that part that a lot of people are missing because also, learning shit in a book and not having anybody to bounce these ideas off of, it's kind of like meeting niggas that read a lot, but don't talk to people a lot because they pronouncing shit the wrong way.
Kenrya: [crosstalk 00:28:41] weird. That's fine. Yeah.
Erica: I'm not saying anything's wrong with it because shit, you doing more than some, but you can tell that okay, this is great, but you haven't connected the book to real life in any way, shape or form. I'm the first one to show myself, prove myself as an example. I read the whole Harry Potter series thinking that girl's name was Hermony.
Kenrya: Until you saw a movie.
Erica: Yeah. I was like, "Oh, shit." Or maybe I was talking to somebody, but I was like, "Oh, shit. It's Hermione" my bad.
Kenrya: That's okay. They always say... What is the saying? You know when someone mispronounces something is because they learned it from reading a word from reading it instead of from hearing it. Can't never be wrong with that.
Erica: Ain't nothing be wrong with that because again... [crosstalk 00:29:43] all the time and use them wrong.
Kenrya: Exactly. I'm thinking back about what I just said about how there were no conversations about sex in my house and there weren't, but what there were... It wasn't even conversations about consent, it was stay away from so and so. That was it. That was the extent of the... It was the, this is the person who I do not want you to be around, stay away from them. And it was always implied that that person was dangerous and not to be trusted around children, but that person was always around. That was the closest we ever got to a conversation that had anything to do with consent or bodily autonomy or sex or assault or any of those things.
Erica: And why couldn't the conversation have been keep this motherfucker from around the family, the kids, right?
Kenrya: Yeah. I found out, oh Lord. Yeah. I had an aunt who was married to someone who I found out as an adult was a predator, and she chose to keep him within the family unit. So the way that my father handled it was that we didn't go to they house, we weren't allowed to sleep over, we weren't allowed to eat his food, that was a very specific part of that directive. And that is how I grew up, just staying away from that uncle. Ain't that some shit?
Erica: Yeah. I had a... There was a family member that... I had left St. Louis, but it was discovered that he was sexually assaulting kids. I was talking to another family member about it and it was like, "Yeah, girl. He used to be creepy down at the such and such." And I was like, "Wait, y'all niggas knew this?" And she was like, "Yeah, we would see him coming and run because we..." I don't know if the adults knew at the time, but the kids certainly knew that this motherfucker was a creep. That family member was like, "That's why I don't... When his ass show up, me and my family leave, fuck that," like, that. And it's just like, how y'all comfortable doing all... Having these people around, but at the same time posting shit on the internet of cute little young girls being teachers. Would you want your kids being taught in this? And she's in a pencil skirt.
Erica: That shit bothers me because... I also have a thing, I hate... I used to laugh at it, but you know, growth. I hate seeing people being made into memes that aren't... Some chick standing at Walmart-
Kenrya: Just minding her own fucking business.
Erica: Yeah. With ashy ass ankles and a wedgie. Can't believe y'all in Walmart, and it becomes a thing. This woman was minding her fucking business. And I actually had to stop following certain celebrities because I'm like, "I don't even think you realize that this is somebody..." And you Tweeting this shit out to your millions of followers. Like, come on now, dog. That shit ain't cool. I remember there was this young girl and you can tell she was fresh out of college and she was cute. And they were like, "Oh, I can't believe she wear this in front of her kids." She's in fucking jeans and a shirt. Yeah, she got a body, but okay. How about we teach our sons to be able to work in the presence of beautiful women?
Kenrya: Greatness, exactly. Well, and that brings back to the book, where Chauncey, with her internal dialogue was like, "Don't fucking blame me because your kid can't focus and do his work. It's not because I got titties, it's because that nigga is unfocused. What the fuck are you doing with him at home?" Yeah.
Erica: Okay. So plot note, I don't want to go too much into it, but we got to go into it because it was an integral part of the story. So Chauncey meets Quentin at the strip club. Shit happens the night they meet and she ends up taking a duffle bag full of cash out the motherfucking club. And then she starts spending it. I'm sorry. No matter how much I would want to stumble upon a bag of cash, if I ever stumbled upon a bag of cash, there's no doubt in my mind that this shit is connected to some dirty money and a gang of Russians are about to show up at my door, break my legs and demand that money back.
Kenrya: Yeah. Especially because some shit was going down at the strip club when she grabbed the money and bounced. So I would immediately assume it was attached to that. Yeah.
Erica: Yeah, it was at a strip club. You just took some D boy's money and now he coming at you because he can't re-up and all he know are guns. No, thank you. I was like, "Chauncey, girl. You in trouble." Ain't no damn way. Ain't no fucking way.
Kenrya: Definitely felt like a not wise decision that she made. I feel it, she needed the money, but not like this, baby.
Erica: Not like this baby, honey, that bill can go unpaid. I was like, "Yo, this shit is wild." Okay. So Chauncey and Quentin had very similar family dynamics, but were on different sides of the situation. So, Quentin's dad was not the best father, and Quentin had a lot of hang ups and issues about that, but his father was an amazing grandfather. He stepped up and became an amazing grandfather to his niece and nephew. Whereas, Chauncey's mother was raised by an abusive woman and as a result, her mother was an alcoholic, yada, yada, yada. But her grandmother was an amazing grandmother to her, to Chauncey. It made me think about those dynamics in families because I think... I've experienced it and I've seen it happen to so many people I know, where they have really... I'm not one to... It's not new to anyone, but I had a very rough relationship with my mother. However, she was an amazing grandma. I was like, "Bitch, who's this?" And not just in the oh, I'm granny, you can eat brownies for breakfast kind of way, but in a I'm emotionally open, I am deferring to the mother. This is wild. And it's difficult as the person that was on the receiving end of this horrible relationship to look at this beautiful relationship, who the fuck is this? And also waiting for the shoe to drop.
Kenrya: Yeah. That's real shit. I also had that dynamic. I was raised by my dad because my mom did not raise me, but having grandkids seem to help ground her in a way that having children never really was able to. And so she is Granny, she's the one who knows everybody's birthdays and birth times and calls them at those times. She's the one where, if somebody got to go to work, she over there whether she got to take three buses to get there and she there with a howling baby. She is in it. It's interesting for me to see because it was not my experience and I don't begrudge them-
Erica: I remember when initially, when you had your daughter, it was a little hard for you to let it go. And not that you let it go, but just to, is this a thing? Is this...
Kenrya: And how long is it going to be a thing? Are you going to be Granny for a year and then go on back to your business? Yeah, at this point I'm like, she's been Granny and doing a really good job of it for the last decade, and I am impressed and heartened and proud and really joyful that they get to experience her in that way, and that I get to see her experience them in that way. Her grandkids bring her so much joy. And while perhaps, if I sit with it too long, it may make me sad, but that wasn't really... Didn't seem to be the case 40 years ago, 30 years ago. It's fucking beautiful now.
Erica: Yeah. I definitely feel you on the being able to see that relationship between the two of them because I think about, my mother was... It was an interesting relationship. When I tell you my nieces and nephews, that girl was in like Flynn. My nephew thought my mama was his woman. I remember my mom was dating this guy and he stopped by or something, it was probably 7:00, 6:30, 7:00. He stopped by to talk to my mom or something, and my nephew was like, "Come on Grandma. It's time to go to bed." Like he calling shots.
Kenrya: “Get away from that nigga.”
Erica: “All right, it's time for you... This enough playing.” And my mom, "It's all right, he just so sweet." I'm just like, this is the craziest shit. And when my mom passed away, I definitely... Not only mourning not having her here, but mourning what could have been, because I saw so much good stuff beginning to happen. And not only that my son misses out on her, she misses out on knowing and growing with him.
Erica: The biggest reason that Quentin even left Silk Hills... I was about to call it Silk Road. Reason Quentin left Silk Hills to go to LA was because of his relationship with his father.
Kenrya: Yeah, he needed to get away.
Erica: Yeah. And I think about we're not from our hometowns.
Kenrya: We don't live in our hometowns.
Erica: Yeah. Y'all knew what I was saying. We don't live in our hometowns, and it makes me think about, when I left to go to college, I wasn't even thinking. I just thought... I knew that I was going to college, I knew that I... I say God protects babies and fools because looking back, there were a series of events that led to me being right here. I happened to have a counselor who happened to show me a scholarship, I happened to win it. Because had I not won that scholarship, I would not have been exposed to Howard University. I probably would've went to Mizzou in Columbia and moved back to St. Louis because I was the first in my family. Being able to come to DC, I realized, "Oh, I ain't going back there."
Erica: Had you asked me in my early twenties, it would've been like, "No, they all in my business." Now I'm able to say it a little more nuanced, and it's that I wouldn't have been able to be the... I wouldn't have been able to be fully myself growing up. Becoming a young woman, becoming a woman in the same city as my family because I love them deeply, but they are very involved, and there's no way to not be. Not that it's a good or bad thing, it's just being in the same city, you just got to be there all the time.
Kenrya: At least until you learn how to set really strong boundaries.
Erica: And I wouldn't have.
Kenrya: ... which you're 18. Yeah. When I was applying for schools, I applied to one school in Ohio. So, I was a journalism major. So I only applied to schools that had excellent journalism programs, and so one of them was in Ohio, but I really was like, "I have to get the fuck out of this state." And that was how I ended up narrowing down where I ended up going. For me, my family needs a lot, especially back then. I have always been expected... I think some of it is being the oldest daughter or some of it is just the ways that I have always put tough things on my back and kept it moving. There's always been this expectation that I would handle things.
Kenrya: So even until I got really great with my boundaries in these last couple of years, if somebody's electricity was off, they was calling me to help get it back on. If somebody was fighting, they was calling me to have a conversation about... Literally to mediate shit from states away. I ain't even there, bro. That was happening even as a teenager living in Cleveland. I was like, "I can't." When I left, I think a little bit of it was me getting away from that, but even more so I think it was that I was trying to get toward a version of myself that I didn't think I'd be able to reach being mired in that. I think it can be hard to figure out what you love and what you want to be and how you want to be it when you are very firmly rooted in other people's shit.
Erica: Yeah. I think for me, yes, it was being unable to set boundaries, but more than anything I think that I was too caught up in living up to someone else's idea of who I should have been. It took a really long time for me to recognize that I need to live for myself and no one else, and do what makes me happy but then figure out what the fuck it is that makes me happy. Not under the influence of family telling me what they think should make me happy because you did this, you did that... My younger sister, I said this all the time, my younger sister still lives there and she was supposed to still... She was able to do that. I'm like, "Who the fuck are you?" She has always been her own person. She's always been fuck what you heard, this is what I'm going to do. I was too busy living for other people.
Kenrya: She is built for that. My sister too. My sister is like, "This what we doing, this what I'm doing."
Erica: Exactly. Yeah. I'm happy that she was able to do that because also, there was a lot of comparison and she was like, "Yeah, that's cute. Okay, girl. Let Erica do that shit, I'm going to do my shit." Yeah, she was definitely built for that. Even as, and you kind of touched on this with the whole mediating thing, because Chauncey had a difficult relationship with her... Because Chauncey's mom had a difficult relationship with her grandmother and her mother had... I think it was just alcohol, alcohol addiction issues.
Kenrya: I think it was alcohol and drugs, but yeah.
Erica: Okay. Yeah. So because she had addiction issues, Chauncey was stuck in the middle. She was stuck trying to both parent her mom and take care of her granny and that's a tough ass place to be.
Kenrya: Absolutely. Yeah.
Erica: My biggest wish as a parent to my son is to... I don't want him feel like he has to take care of me, I want him to be like, "Oh, I'm going to buy you an island." But I don't want him to feel like I'm hustling to retire my mama because it's like, yeah, that shit's good for a good rap song or something, but I don't need you to have to...
Kenrya: Yeah, but you don't want those tables to turn in that way.
Erica: Yeah, I don't want to put that burden on him because that is a hell of a fucking burden.
Kenrya: Well, it is. I think that oftentimes, the idea of that burden starts really young. I tell my daughter all the time, you're not... First of all, you're not responsible for other people's feelings, but you're not responsible for adult's feelings. That's me. That's your daddy. That's literally anybody. It's not your job to take care of our feelings. Say what you need, say what you want. Don't be an asshole, whatever, but that ain't your job. I think that extends to that whole, "I got to do this for my mama." Or whatever the fuck. I want you to live your life. My goal is to raise her to be an autonomous person who is joyful and who has grace for herself and for other people, and whatever I can do to help her get there is important to me. A lot of that starts with knowing that she does not have to caretake every fucking body including me.
Erica: Yep. Yep. I want you to be happy. I know that sounds... That sounds so cliche as a parent, but I want you to grow up and be happy. And if I can do that, then I feel like-
Kenrya: I gave you something.
Erica: Yeah, I did my shit.
Kenrya: I tell her... I was actually telling her this at bedtime last week. I was telling her that when I was pregnant, I prayed every day that I would have a healthy, happy baby. I was like, "That was my prayer." I was like, "And that is what I got. That is what I work toward every day, and every decision that I make ultimately is about you being healthy and happy."
Erica: I think about that as you, just hearing that, I knew that but hearing that, it reminds me of, as you were making the decision and going through your I'm leaving this nigga, I'm divorcing. A huge part of it was also my kid don't deserve to grow up seeing this shit. I want to be happy and it ain't helping for my child to see me unhappy. I say that all the time with parents.
Kenrya: No, go ahead.
Erica: I say that all the time to parents that are trying to... Deciding if they need to divorce or stay, I'm like, "Look, whatever the fuck it is, these kids don't need to see you crying every night at the God damned dinner table, mad at your..." That...
Kenrya: And kids ain't... I mean, they are a little stupid, you have to teach them everything, but also you do teach them everything and they pick up on stuff even when you're not explicit about it. They can feel when you're sad.
Erica: They can feel that shit, they can feel that shit.
Kenrya: I think about that healthy and happy, I think the reason that we were talking about it is because we were talking about my decision not to send her back to school in person until she's fully vaccinated because she's still too young to have been vaccinated. When I find myself worrying about that decision, when I find myself worrying about how hard it is or thinking about all of that, what I come back to is that I just want her to be happy and healthy.
Kenrya: And that's all I got. That's all I can do.
Erica: Speaking of healthy and happy children, them little niece, nephew of Quentin-
Kenrya: Oh, I love those kids.
Erica: They were cute and written very well. Sometimes-
Kenrya: All the scenes with the kids are the best, yeah.
Erica: Sometimes kids be a little too “Merry Christmas, Tiny Tim.”
Erica: They were super, duper cute. So, the last thing. At one point, towards the end of the story, Quentin had to have a... Had a sit down with his father, and it was very interesting because again, as some one that had a difficult relationship with her mother, I spent a lot of time hung up on getting an apology or getting some type of something.
Kenrya: Acknowledgement or...
Erica: Yeah. And Quentin got that. Quentin, Quincy, you can tell-
Kenrya: His brother is Quincy, that's some Black ass family shit.
Erica: So some Black family. Quentin and Quincy and Quantavious. So Quentin got that, he got a frank conversation with his father. At that point, he resisted it and it makes me wonder damn, I spent all these years after my mom passed really a good [inaudible 00:54:59]... Rolling Ray again. A good thick ass chunk of what I was going through was this unsaid, unhad conversation and apology. That scene made me think well, damn. Would I have reacted the way I thought I would have?
Kenrya: That's interesting. I think the answer probably lies in where you were in your own journey. Would you have been having that conversation decade ago or would you have been having that conversation today?
Erica: Yeah, because Erica a decade ago and Erica today or two very different things.
Kenrya: Good. As we all should be.
Erica: Also, now that I think about it, a decade ago I would've just been like, "Okay, okay. Thank you. It's cool." Whereas, Erica now would've still accepted the apology, but there would've been more of a discussion and fleshing out of things, and getting shit off my chest.
Kenrya: That's good. Yeah. My mom is still here, but even though she's got the granny thing, having those frank conversations are still not necessarily the shake. What I have come to have, I feel like this is just another word we use on every show, what I've come to have is a whole lot of grace that I didn't have when I was young. [crosstalk 00:56:44]
Erica: I've been thinking about the word grace. I told you I went to this conference, we had this whole workshop and this ritual. They had you do this thing and then she was like, "Write on this piece of paper the first word that came comes to mind." Grace was that because I think that, as Black women, as a Black woman, I am so hard on myself. So hard on myself. So hard on myself. I should be doing this, I shouldn't be doing that. I should look this way, I shouldn't look that way, so much of that. So I have to constantly remind myself, Erica, have some grace. Have some grace on yourself, have some grace with other people. That is just the constant word that is in my head.
Kenrya: Yeah. It's hard. We're not exactly taught to have grace for ourselves, especially as little Black girls. We're taught to have grace for everybody else, we're taught to take on the shit that other people do, and we're taught that we're just supposed to be strong and deal with everything and it is what the fuck it is. Having grace for other people, once we get there is usually still easier than having grace for ourselves. I think for me, going to therapy, learning so much more about myself and the things that I, quite frankly, didn't quite catch as they were happening because I was young and dissociating and all of those things.
Kenrya: Also, having a therapist that pushed me to pull back on the picture and to try to understand the context in which these things are happening, because it can be really easy once you do get to that point to only focus on the sliver of your POV. What happened to you and not always remember what happened to them. I think that when we can pull back on the picture and see more of it and turn it around and look from other perspectives, it's a lot easier for us to understand what people bring and what they don't, and how we end up in these places.
Erica: Okay. Well, that's all I've got. Do you have anything else, Killa?
Kenrya: Oh, I do. Actually. So, there was this tweet, and I sent it to you actually a couple days ago, where somebody was like romcoms and shit have normalized... Have normalized really inappropriate boundary fucking stomping behavior as being romantic when that shit is actually dangerous in some cases. There was some of that in this book. Quentin, that whole FaceTiming her, that's actually an abuser's tactic.” Where are you? Let me see you. Are you doing the thing that you say that you're doing?” Popping up at your job. Popping up... All of that kind of... Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. As someone who has been in abusive relationships, that kind of hit me a little bit. I was like, oh no, no, no, no, no, no. That's a red flag. I don't care that he's fine. Let that go.
Erica: Yeah. I remember there was this movie I was watching, it was a romcom. Well, yeah. Remember that movie “Book Club” we went to see?
Kenrya: Oh, with the old ladies?
Erica: With the old white ladies. It was like-
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah. It was our old white lady movie.
Erica: Yeah, it was all the old white ladies that you fuck with.
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah. I don't remember shit about that movie, but we had fun that day.
Erica: Yeah, we did. So there was this scene where Diane Keaton met this guy and he's a pilot, but she's afraid of heights. So he forces her on the plane and she's... Then she gets off, she's like, "It's beautiful." Don't do that shit, that ain't cute. Might be, you might think it is. It ain't cute. It never plays out like that in real life.
Erica: Or the Uber driver that you connected with, and now he knows where you live so he is going to stop by and see if you need a ride. No, motherfucker. This shit is supposed to be anonymous.
Kenrya: Or like fucking “love jones” where this nigga pops up, gets your address from off of the check and pops up at your house. No, nigga.
Erica: Did not know that that was a part of the movie, but okay.
Kenrya: Oh, yeah. That happens. She comes to the record store and his homegirl is working at the record store, and when she leaves, he asks for her address and then shows up at her door and she's like, "What the fuck?" And still lets him in which no. No, I would not. Yeah. But teen me who saw that movie was like, "Oh, he likes her. He's courting her."
Erica: Yeah. I think adult you, any adult woman is like, "What the fuck?" But adult men still think of it like, "This going to wow her." No, only if you are Larenz Tate, not even look like. Only if you are Larenz Tate does that shit fly.
Kenrya: Yeah, and even then, “No, nigga. Don't, don't do this.”
Erica: I might do that for Larenz Tate. For Larenz Tate. Not an invitation-
Kenrya: Specifically for him because he's... Yeah, he fine. Still, still.
Erica: Still. Still fine.
Kenrya: But that is not to say that it is okay to do creepy shit if you're fine.
Erica: Exactly. No, not at all.
Kenrya: Yeah. But that was something that I found myself... I bookmarked maybe three instances where I was just like, no.
Erica: Not at all.
Kenrya: So, that was it. That's the only other thing that struck me where I was like, "Oh, girl."
Erica: Yeah. All right.
Kenrya: But all that said, the book was excellent. It was definitely a page turner.
Erica: It was short, but I think I read it in a day.
Kenrya: You did, you read on the plane, remember?
Erica: I never read a book in a day.
Kenrya: It's definitely one of those where you want to know... Because that opening scene is the one where old girl is banging on the door and... Excuse me. I started that and I had planned just to look at it for a minute and then I'm steady flipping like, "Oh, this is really fucking good."
Erica: I think... It was a good story. Tucora did her damn thing. I actually would love to see... You know what? This is one of those stories, it probably really good to see the other character... How they do that whole... Like, oh, the one character just drops by. So now I want to see a whole book around that person.
Kenrya: Because I want to know what her sister was doing every time she kept fucking checking in on her. She was like, "Bitch, stop checking in on me." I don't know what she was doing.
Erica: Yeah. I also feel like there probably could have been a whole storyline about Quentin's assistant. I don't know why, she just seemed on it. She probably got her own life, go home, be like, "Oh, this crazy motherfucker."
Kenrya: Exactly. Yeah. No. It could be a really great universe. I hope you hear us, Tucora. [inaudible 01:05:04] write some more books in this universe, we'll read them.
Erica: All right. Well, that's all I got. So, we will be back with...
Kenrya: What's turning us on.
Erica: After a short break.
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Erica: Okay. Y'all show you back with, what's turning us on today. What is turning us on? Turning me on. So y'all know I'm kink light, right? I like a little BDSM. I'd like to explore a little more, but until I can really do the thing. I call myself kink light. So what's turning me on, is this ball gag. Ooh. So what I like about it? So most ball gags, well, not most, but ball gags, go in your mouth. The keep you from like saying too much, doing too much keeps your mouth open. It's just another sensory thing when you're fucking around, right? Most ball gags are just a solid ball and it kind of gets a little scary. You know, if you like got too much going on, it gets a little scary. I like this one. Can you see, it has like little holes that breath and holes in it. You can breathe. Yeah. Yeah. So you can breathe through it. So one, you can keep it in your mouth a lot longer. Cause also when you got in your mouth, you start drooling, right. Can actually make…
Kenrya: It sweat up
Erica: So you can keep it in your mouth a lot longer and you can breathe with it in. So it doesn't feel so claustrophobic. Yeah. Restricted. That's it? I mean, you get, you feel restricted without feeling like scary. So this ball gag that's breathable. I love it. I've used it once I plan to put some old house on this. Good. Yeah. So that…
Kenrya: This is why y'all need to be watching this show on YouTube.
Erica: You missing out, you missing out. So that's it for this episode. Yeah. So Erica. Killa. Two hoes making it clap. Bye y’all.
Kenrya: This episode was produced by us, Kenrya and Erica, and edited by B'Lystic. The theme music is from Brazy. Hit subscribe right now in your favorite podcast app and at YouTube.com/TheTurnOnPodcast, so you'll never miss an episode.
Erica: Then follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast. And you can find links to books, transcripts, guest info, what's turning us on, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com.
Kenrya: And don't forget to email us at TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com with your book recommendations and your pressing sex-and related questions.
Erica: And you can support the show by leaving us a five-star review, buying some merch or becoming a patron of the show. Just head to TheTurnOnPodcast.com to make that happen.
Kenrya: Thanks for listening and we'll see you soon. Holla.
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.