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This week, Erica and Kenrya talk to author and cousin of the show Sheree L. Greer about the terrors of patriarchy, the importance of processing trauma, the intricacies of low-stakes hook ups, the importance of reciprocity, hating-ass pets and communication as aphrodisiac. Content warning: sexual abuse
Guest, Sheree L. Greer | Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
Free Short Story | "Christmas Is Sacred" from "Once and Future Lovers" by Sheree L. Greer
Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Kenrya: Hey y’all. So, it gives me all of the pleasure to not only welcome y'all to this week's show, but to tell you that cousin of the show, Sheree L. Greer, is back in the house.
Erica: Cousin, cousin.
Kenrya: Hey girl. So Sheree's pronouns are she and her. And she is a text-based artist living in Tampa, Florida. In 2014, she founded Kitchen Table Literary Arts to showcase and support the work of Black women writers, and she's also the author of two novels, "Let the Lover Be" and "A Return to Arms," as well as the short story collection, "Once and Future Lovers." Sheree is a VONA Voices alum, Astraea Lesbian Foundation grantee, Yaddo fellow, and Ragdale fellow. Her essay "Bars," published in Fourth Genre Magazine, was nominated for PushCart prize, and was notably named in best American essays, 2019. That's a big fucking deal.
Sheree L. Greer: Thank you.
Kenrya: I have those... I buy those collections in paperback and I have them in my house.
Sheree L. Greer: All right. It's noted in there. My next goal is to have it in there-in there, like featured-featured.
Kenrya: In there. You fucking fancy.
Sheree L. Greer: And it will happen.
Kenrya: Progress. Exactly. That's what's up. Thank you for coming.
Sheree L. Greer: Thank you for having me. I'm happy to be here. Thank you.
Erica: So listeners, just know ahead of time this going to be this going to be an episode, because-
Sheree L. Greer: No pressure.
Erica: I mean, no, because-
Kenrya: It's always fun times.
Sheree L. Greer: Yeah it is. It's always fun times. I Love y’all so much. I'm so glad-
Erica: With that, we just going to jump all in your cooch, from the beginning.
Sheree L. Greer: Let's go. I showered and everything.
Erica: Thank you. Appreciate you.
Erica: So when do you remember first masturbating and what was the technique?
Sheree L. Greer: I want to say I was like five or six, maybe five. I had this doll, it was called Walking Wanda. Okay? And I feel like it was the off-brand of whatever popular walking doll was at the time, because my mom was good for some off-brand shit. And so, but I had it. So the doll was like, I feel like I was just a little taller than the doll, and like you hold her hand and she's supposed to walk with you. It doesn't work that well. But I remember her outfit, she was Black. My mom was all about Black dolls. She had these like really fun stretchy pants on and this, I feel like it was neon green or neon pink shirt or something. But that was my girlfriend. I didn't know, probably relationship wise, girlfriend, boyfriend, stuff like that, but I knew that me and her was making out and humping at night and it was on. So I feel like-
Erica: Then you take, take her to church in the morning.
Sheree L. Greer: I feel like that was the beginning. I do. I remember her very vividly
Kenrya: I feel like we need to like catalog this. I want to say, I don't know, 80% of the people who we've asked this question it’s been toys.
Erica: So far, we've only had one person that didn't say it was either a pillow or a toy.
Sheree L. Greer: Okay.
Erica: Yeah. Everyone has been, which is why-
Kenrya: Mine was a pillow-
Kenrya: Yours was a stuffed animal, right?
Erica: It was a Minnie Mouse that was life-size. It was huge. We had a friend that had Teddy Ruxpin and the nose was hard.
Sheree L. Greer: Oh, wow.
Erica: Just hard enough.
Sheree L. Greer: That's true.
Erica: Everyone had a variation of either a stuffed animal, a doll, or a pillow.
Sheree L. Greer: So I feel like it's easy to just have it, and then... I don't know what makes... I wish I could go back and think through like what the thought process was, but you own it and then you figure out a little-
Kenrya: This feels good. Whoa.
Sheree L. Greer: Yeah, and then welcome to your body.
Kenrya: Yeah, and it's easy. To this day, I still have trouble digitally. That's not really my jam.
Sheree L. Greer: No, not me. Not me.
Kenrya: I prefer the path of least resistance, which is to use some help.
Sheree L. Greer: It's quicker that way. It is quicker, when you use some accoutrements.
Sheree L. Greer: It's easier and faster. That's true.
Kenrya: Yeah, exactly. That is-
Sheree L. Greer: Let's get to it. I'm just trying to get to sleep. Come on now.
Kenrya: Exactly. Bang it out. So how old were you when you had your first kiss?
Sheree L. Greer: I think I was in fourth grade and it was so tricky. It was this dude Tremaine who, he liked me so much. He stole one of his mama's rings and brought it to school and gave it to me.
Sheree L. Greer: And I remember we had a conference about it and then after the conference, because of course, his mom came up to school. Apparently it was an expensive ring. It was red. Maybe it was a real ruby. I don't fucking know. I was in fourth grade. Yeah, so I remember kissing him before he gave me the ring, though. Because he rode the bus and I walked. So we had made a plan on how to kiss and then he had to leave or whatever. And so he brought me this ring and it was this big thing. My mom had to come up to school, because the principal at the time, Mrs. Wilkerson, wanted to have a talk with me about my worth and how... What did I do to get the ring and why? And this could set up expectation... It was like this whole thing, and I felt like it was way blown out of proportion for this little peck that we did.
Kenrya: But why was it about your words?
Sheree L. Greer: Exactly. It was me.
Kenrya: That you accepted it, and not that this little nigga stole his mama's ring.
Sheree L. Greer: Yeah. No, it was. I remember that conversation about-
Kenrya: Goddamn. Patriarchy always.
Erica: If anything, good, I'm glad you're getting paid for them pecks. Pay up little nigga. Pay up.
Sheree L. Greer: But yeah, it was a whole thing and I'd be thinking about like that and how those early things start framing your whole relationship to intimacy and attraction and all that stuff are early on. But I remember being in trouble because this dude, this boy, brought me a ring.
Erica: Because someone did something to you. I remember when I was in school, I was in third grade, and this little boy touched my butt and I wrote it in my diary. And I was on like high alert for like weeks thinking someone would find it in my diary. Like something was wrong with me. First, I would touch my butt in third grade. So I mean, could you be mad at him? And second, it wasn't my fucking fault. Right? And so, we're putting on little girls, because someone does this to you, you did something wrong. No, fuck that. Fuck you, Ms. Jenkins. Was it Jenkins?
Sheree L. Greer: Wilkerson.
Kenrya: That's not what she said.
Sheree L. Greer: It’s a Ms. Jenkins somewhere, that's shaming little girls, and fuck her, too.
Kenrya: Fuck her, too. I'm certain.
Erica: Okay. Too busy keking. Oh, how old were you when you had a sense of your gender identity?
Sheree L. Greer: I feel like I knew fairly early that I was a girl and I wasn't... Because I have sisters and like the only man in the house was my dad. And so we knew kind of a right away, it's a house full of girls and this dude. And so I knew fairly early that I was a girl, and I felt like a girl, whatever that means, but I also felt like the wrong kind of girl. And so I don't know that they still gender the toy sections, but I remember the toy sections being this just highly gendered area. And I always wanted to go in the boys section and I felt, I don't know, I felt like that was wrong. And I felt like I was bucking against something and that the things that I liked, weren't the things I was supposed to like.
Sheree L. Greer: And I remember I got this baby carriage, it must have been for Christmas one year. And I had this panda and a Cabbage Patch Doll named Nicholas. And I used to make them be cops. And I used to put them in the carriage, like that was their car. And so I'd be zipping through the house with the carriage and they'd get in crashes and all this stuff and I was having fun, but also you're doing it wrong. That's not what you're supposed to be doing. I felt that very early. And then the great disappointment of having to put on a shirt. When you leave that time of, that freedom of girlhood and then it's like, go put a shirt on. And you're like, "huh?" So I felt that.
Kenrya: I remember kind of dreading getting to that point with my kid, and not wanting to put that on her. But also... It's a hard norm to buck if you have your kids around people who are not your immediate family, right?
Sheree L. Greer: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: Yeah. I very much actually remember like when we got to that point, but it wasn't actually ultimately me that told her to put a shirt on. She just decided that it was time to wear a shirt. So I ended up not having to tell her, but where did she get that from?
Sheree L. Greer: Yeah.
Erica: You did have to tell her to start wearing pants. She was a pants-less child. It was like-
Sheree L. Greer: [crosstalk 00:11:41] freedom.
Erica: Let me put on a shirt, but I'm going to run out with my booty out.
Kenrya: But then conversely, I had to coax her into sleeping free, like we do. So she could... When we start having conversations about like health, about reproductive health, and that was a whole thing then, trying to get her to then take them off. It's the things that you don't think you ever have to have, the conversations you never think you have to have until you have a kid and you are like, "Oh, they don't know shit. You got to teach them everything." And try not to teach them the terrible things.
Sheree L. Greer: Right. That's the hard part.
Erica: My son dresses like a Mormon. He would like wear under shirts nonstop. I'm like, "Dude, are you wearing like your God garment or whatever?" It'll be hot out, we going to the pool and he'll have an undershirt on under his swim shirt and I'm like, "Bro."
Kenrya: He doesn't do it anymore.
Erica: He does not. He does not.
Sheree L. Greer: Some of this shit just works itself out. You know what I'm saying? I never liked sleeping in bed clothes. They were like the worst. Your gown would get all twisted around your waist and shit. Take that shit off. And so, yeah I didn't have no problems with that. Now that I'm thinking about it, I think the only thing I really liked sleeping in and felt... it was so weird how on the one hand, I was getting these messages about what it means to be a little girl, how you supposed to act, what's acceptable and not acceptable, what's strange or different or weird. Therapy helped, but I have so much more compassion for my mom because I feel like I was a weird little kid and I think she was just trying to figure it out.
Sheree L. Greer: Because like she got me like R2D2 underoos and shit. And she bought me the stuff that I wanted. So I wanted a wrestling ring and the WWF action figures, and so she got that stuff with me without no sense of shame and things. But then also that was at home. So out in the world it was a different kind of message. So it was you going to wear this skirt, it's time to start being a girl in these kind of traditional ways. And I was like, "Oh, that's confusing" For sure. And that confusion followed me for decades, sadly.
Kenrya: Yeah. Well we know that you first started experimenting with Wanda.
Sheree L. Greer: Yeah.
Kenrya: How old were you when you started experimenting with other people?
Sheree L. Greer: Seven or eight, but not... I mean, we talked about this a little bit. I was sexually abused by my uncle. So, that was the first time that another person was involved. And when I think about that, and I just finished trauma therapy about it earlier this year. That was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done and realizing that I carried so much shame and guilt around it. And again, Erica, like you were saying, these things happen to us and girls are basically reared to carry that shit, like we did something wrong and I carried that. And that's not what it is. So when I think about reasons why I kind of buried all of that so deeply, is I was afraid of some of the judgment and some of the false equivalencies that come out of talking about childhood sexual abuse.
Sheree L. Greer: So being queer, I had a very strong awareness later on, like I can't talk about this because people are going to be like, "Well, that's why your ass is gay." I was afraid of folks thinking that. And Wanda came before that.
Erica: He was like, "This is what's going to happen." Point blank.
Sheree L. Greer: But what I think though, especially after coming out of the therapy about it is I already felt wrong. I already felt like I had to hide something. I already felt like I had this shameful secret. So when that happened, it was almost like, well, this just goes in the same place where that was. So all of this shame, all of this wrongness, all of this, you're not the right kind of girl, your feelings are strange and wrong. All of that just got kind of bottled and hidden.
Sheree L. Greer: And what happened after is just immense, just lots of confusion and blame. And then also though, wanting to prove that I could be normal or I could be good or right. And all of that came out of that abuse. I wish that we talked more about asking your children, what are you afraid of? What do you think about this? I was just talking about this with my wife. People are so concerned with like what celebrities are doing and what all these... The way it affects our kids. And it's like, you worried about a Lil' Nas X video and it's just motherfucking brother that's fucking with your daughter. You know what I'm saying?
Kenrya: Worry about the wrong thing.
Sheree L. Greer: The threat, the call is coming from inside the house.
Erica: From inside the house. Right.
Sheree L. Greer: So I just think that, or I wish that, I was in a space then to feel like I wasn't doing something wrong. And I think about how much that could have helped with my partner, like developing my own sexual identity and my sexual self in just a healthier way, particularly when it came to partners and navigating that.
Kenrya: And separate from something that happened to you.
Sheree L. Greer: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: That goes back to what we were talking about with fucking Ms. Wilkerson. We teach our kids, our girls especially, that they have no real autonomy that we are supposed to take on the shame and the responsibility of the things that other people do to us. And so it only would fucking make sense to not be able to separate those things. Nothing happens in the back end.
Erica: Yeah. No autonomy and all the responsibilities.
Sheree L. Greer: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: That shit.
Sheree L. Greer: What the fuck is that?
Erica: Breeding ground for lots of co-dependence. Thank you, society.
Kenrya: And violence. I was raped in college and went through that same cycle as someone who, perhaps you would think, but fucking a 20-year-old is still a kid.
Sheree L. Greer: For sure.
Erica: Yep. So first, thank you for sharing that.
Sheree L. Greer: Thank y'all for the safety. I feel safe with y’all. So thank you.
Erica: You're welcome. Always, one of the most difficult things going through therapy was talking to little Erica and letting her know-
Sheree L. Greer: Girl-
Erica: The what day we did that exercise, I literally like cracked in half, because it's like, "Tell Erica it's not her fault. You were going to take care of her."
Sheree L. Greer: Girl.
Erica: How little Erica going to trust this blubbering idiot?
Sheree L. Greer: I did not know a person could cry and snot that much. When we got to that day, man.
Erica: Yeah. My therapist used to be in a spot with like a bunch of those little like rental offices or whatever. I remember that session. I was crying so loud. I remember at one point thinking they probably think she beating my ass in here.
Sheree L. Greer: My therapist had a little sound machine thing outside her door. A sound machine. So like I started because I'm getting even more and more are sentimental and just in touch with my feelings these days. So I started and I was trying to be hard about it. So I was trying, and then once it started hitting, she was like, "I'm just... Hold on real quick." And she turned that thing on. And then, man. Whoa, lord.
Kenrya: We talk about therapy on every episode and-
Sheree L. Greer: I'm here for it.
Kenrya: Going through that trauma, that portion, because I, too, had to work through all of that. And I remember being kind of continually surprised, and I still am, at how much trauma I experienced as a young person and how much I dissociated and didn't really recognize it for what it was until I would be in sessions and be describing stuff, and the therapist would be like, "Oh wait. You just looked me dead in my face and said that with a straight face. Do you hear what the fuck you just said?”
Sheree L. Greer: Yep. Yeah.
Recording: And I would be like, "What?" And she be like, "Say it again out loud. Slowly."
Sheree L. Greer: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Whew. That shit's wild. But that's also part of what we are encouraged to do, right? Is you deal with it. You got shit to do. People are counting on you, so on and so forth.
Kenrya: Suck that shit up and roll. You supposed to be strong.
Sheree L. Greer: Yeah. And then with stuff that happened when you were a kid, it's almost like, man that's so that's so far long ago. It's like, "huh?"
Erica: Yeah. So now that we've opened our guts about-
Sheree L. Greer: Now we can talk about all the shit now.
Erica: Yeah. Now let's get even more in your cooch. Tell us about your first time having partnered sex. Consensual partner sex.
Sheree L. Greer: So, mine is so weird. So my high school boyfriend, and it's funny, because I ran into him a couple years ago. He's a bus driver in Milwaukee and I was in Milwaukee doing this workshop and I got on a bus, and he was like, "Sheree?" And I was like, "Oh."
Erica: That's wack.
Sheree L. Greer: Yeah. It was weird because... I had such a wave of emotions because I broke up with him on just some wack ass... Oh gosh, it was so bad. Well, no it wasn't bad. I broke up with him because I was about to start college. He was a year below me. My hot ass went to two college parties and I came home like, "Mm-mm (negative) I can't go into college with no boyfriend. I can't do it."
Erica: That was me. Who brings sand to the beach?
Sheree L. Greer: Oh no.
Kenrya: My dumb ass brought sand to the beach. It was all bad.
Sheree L. Greer: I was like uh-uh (negative). But all that to say, I met him my sophomore year and I had a strict don't-date-people-I-go-to-school-with rule in high school because I just didn't need you around all day like that. So I met him my sophomore year and he was like my best friend. Like we had much fun together. And mostly because he just let me do the non-girly that I like to do. So we played video games, we played basketball together. He was just so much fun and I loved kissing, and so we kissed like all the time. Erica, don't make that face. You're in the minority here, so. Okay.
Sheree L. Greer: We would kiss till we were like fucking dizzy and it was so great and I would just relax and all this stuff. So, but I was never ready to have sex. So he wasn't a virgin and I was. And so we would make out then the hands came and then what do they call it? The grinding. We got real close for like a year and a half and one of my best friends at the time... Because I feel like everybody in my friend group had had sex already except for me. And so that it was kind of like "Girl, what you waiting on? It's not a big deal, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." And like I knew I wasn't waiting for marriage because I didn't even think I would ever get married anyway.
Sheree L. Greer: And so I knew I wasn't waiting for that. I was afraid of getting pregnant. That was foremost in my mind, especially because my older sister got pregnant at 17 and it like did all this weird shit to our family. And I was like, I definitely don't want to do that. So that's what I was afraid of. And he was just so sweet and nice and never pressured me or anything. And so his mom worked second shift and so we'd be at his house, unsupervised and one day I was just like, "Fuck it. I'm going to do it." And so we tried it was too painful. I was like, "Nope. Time out. Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope." And he was just so gracious and sweet. I remember him being so sweet and then we tried again, a month or so later and it was fine.
Erica: That's beautiful.
Sheree L. Greer: I'm happy that was my experience.
Kenrya: Yeah. There's consent. There's listening. There's communicating needs and then ultimately fucking.
Erica: I'm going to take your story and tell my son that. So much better than fucking on a waterbed.
Sheree L. Greer: Well, I heard y'all episodes. It's just a different experience up around here. I was thinking about what Kenrya was saying, this buildup in your mind about what it's supposed to be and how it's supposed to be. And I don't think I ever really had that. It just felt like something, again, that I was like supposed to do. And that is how, in retrospect, I approached most of my sexual dealings with men. Was this is something that's expected. I'm supposed to do this. So let's just get it over with, let's just do it.
Kenrya: Yeah. How did you get to the point where you stopped feeling like that was what you had to do?
Sheree L. Greer: It took a long, long time. I actually remember the first guy that I did not have sex with because I didn't want to. And it was so awkward because he had invited me out to Cleveland, which is where he lived. And so he had sent me these... Even though he said... We were just friends and I was telling him, I'm not trying to be romantic or nothing. I'll come out and we'll hang out. It'll be fine. Just trying to make sure I'm being honest and he knows. He's like, "Oh no, it's not like that. It's not like that." He said he had a spare room, but when I got there, the spare room was like full of junk. It wasn't even no bed in there. So I was very upset by that.
Sheree L. Greer: But I was like, okay, I still try to have a good time. And so we had a good time until that night. So we slept in the same bed, but hella separated. And then he tried-
Erica: Started doing that scooch.
Sheree L. Greer: Yeah. And I had in my mind, I remember thinking I don't want to do this. I don't have to do this. And so I was like, "Mm-mm. No." And it was awkward because he turned back around and scooted over and then I think he masturbated. I'm pretty sure he was masturbating and it was freaking me out. But I didn't know anybody in Cleveland. I didn't. So I cut my trip very short and came back home. But even as gross and weird as that was, I felt like powerful in a way that I hadn't before.
Sheree L. Greer: And then that was the beginning of me thinking I don't ever have to fuck anybody I don't want to. So I remember that. But the journey was about... It was all tied in. So many things were happening in my life around that time. I was working a job. It's funny, working a job that I didn't want, really. I had taken my first creative writing class before I graduated. I was like, "Oh shit, I want to be a writer, but got this business degree." So I was working this job and feeling stuck. I had started dating women and kind of just exploring that a little bit. And I just started, I don't know... I just had this feeling. I was 25 and I was like, "this can't be life." There has to be more than this. And it just kind of gave way to little small moments of decisions that, and when you look at them in the whole, it's like, "Oh, you've grown up. You are becoming yourself." And then even that took some more decades.
Kenrya: Yeah. That's shit's real. I'm 40 and I feel like I'm still young. So when did you first have an orgasm with a partner that wasn't Wanda, what's her name?
Sheree L. Greer: It was with my high school boyfriend. We were going to break up eventually anyway, because he had feelings about going down on me that just wasn't going to fly. And I knew-
Erica: Yeah, that's a hard no-
Sheree L. Greer: I'm like, "This is not going to work." And so we had talked about it a couple times and I was just, I don't know. So I had in my mind that it wasn't. So then, there was this time we were doing it and he was always really good with his hands. And so that was a good night, but I feel like he was trying to prove to me that he didn't have to put his mouth on me or something. And I was like, "Man, that was really great. However..." It could have been greater. Yeah.
Erica: Okay. So what three words would you use to describe your sex in your teens?
Sheree L. Greer: I would say uncertain, perfunctory, and stressful.
Erica: Said like a writer. I would've used 10 words to come up with perfunctory. Yeah. Well you got to do it, but you don't, but you're doing it? Yeah.
Sheree L. Greer: Just going through the motions.
Erica: I love you writers. Y'all are the best. You want to tell us anymore about the three words?
Sheree L. Greer: I mean, in my teens, because it was such a... If I'm thinking teens, I didn't have sex till I was 17 going on 18. And that was with the one guy. And then I broke up with him pretty shortly after, and then my next partner was not my boyfriend. I didn't have another monogamous relationship until my twenties after that boy, after him. So my next partner was someone who was very enthusiastic about oral sex, which made me very happy. But, at the same time there was so many other messages about what you supposed to be doing when you're 19-20? What does it mean to be in college and what relationships should be like. And I was going on dates, and going on dates that weren't that enjoyable, but it's the end of the night. So what you supposed to do? Oh, well he invited me over or he's coming over. And so it just felt a lot like checking boxes off or something. This is how you are a free college girl. So that's where most of that comes from.
Kenrya: Okay. Right. So now, and I think we just kind of bled teens into twenties, but there's a bunch of years there. So what three words would you use for your twenties?
Sheree L. Greer: Exploratory, low-stakes, I guess. I guess that's one word.
Kenrya: We can put a hyphen.
Sheree L. Greer: So exploratory, low-stakes. And what would be a third word? Fun. Yeah. Fun. I had some fun.
Kenrya: That's what I hoping you were going to say.
Sheree L. Greer: I was like running through, because like I mentioned, I wasn't in any monogamous relationships for a long while. And so I'm just running through my sexual history and I'm like, "That was a lot of fucking going on." And a lot of it was fun because I was exploring and I was trying to figure things out. So definitely from 24 on, I was trying to find my groove, but yeah.
Kenrya: Tell us more about low-stakes.
Sheree L. Greer: Mostly because I really... So for the beginning part of my twenties, I was sleeping primarily with these two dudes. One was in town, one was out of town and it was really no expectations about things. And so in between that, knowing that this wasn't about a relationship, we weren't talking about where this is going and then I was also dating within that. It didn't feel like anything was really hanging in the balance. And again, I have to say that's from my perspective, because I do also acknowledge that my behavior at the time, like low-stakes, not giving a fuck, just doing me, not all of my sexual partners shared that perspective. And so that would cause some friction, but I would be like, "Oh, this isn't fun anymore. So I'm done." I didn't really have no qualms about just being like, "Oh, this isn't fun. I'm just not going to call you anymore." Or whatever.
Sheree L. Greer: Not really thinking about how that cut-off of communication or... I'd never told anybody like, "I love you" or "this is what I see for us." And things like that. I was careful not to kind of build up expectations for others, but at the same time, you never know what other people are thinking or hoping for in these instances. So I also know that during that time it was low-stakes for me, very selfishly. And I know for a fact that I hurt some people and I'm sorry for that.
Erica: I think it's dope that you were able to recognize that because in my twenties I did no wrong.
Erica: That was, so what about your thirties? Give us three words.
Sheree L. Greer: So I started dating my now-wife around the time that I was turning 30. So I was thinking deeply about this decade with her and I have probably never felt so cared for. So three words. Free, safe, and I'm going to say fun again. Because we have a lot of fun and I know that some of that comes out of the freedom and the safety, the security. We try stuff, we laugh a lot, we communicate about everything. There's no embarrassment around anything. There's no judgment around anything. And that's... I don't know. It's just really, really wonderful. It's really wonderful.
Erica: I'm happy for you.
Sheree L. Greer: Thank you. Thank you. We were listening to the episode, I think, when you did these questions Kenrya, and it was talking about feeling like those love songs and feeling like people talk about like a really great relationship and being like, "Man, that old corny ass shit," but then feeling that shit and being like, "Oh my God, like this-
Kenrya: It's unreal.
Sheree L. Greer: This don't feel... Yeah-
Kenrya: It's just unreal. And you just feel so, I don't know... I wake up every day, all this other shit is happening, but I just feel so blessed to be so loved. That's just wild. Good sex is good, but that shit hit different. It's just-
Erica: Well God, ya in the blessing business. I see it on my block.
Sheree L. Greer: It's coming. It's coming.
Erica: It's coming to this house. Knock, knock, knock.
Sheree L. Greer: It's coming. It's coming.
Kenrya: It's true, it's true.
Sheree L. Greer: It's coming.
Kenrya: It's true.
Sheree L. Greer: It's coming.
Kenrya: Yeah. It's just wild.
Erica: Okay. Sorry.
Kenrya: So tell us about a sexual experience that you remember fondly.
Sheree L. Greer: Remember fondly? So I was telling my wife about this episode and some of these questions. And so we were having a little debate about the definition of fondly and if it was like... We were both saying we don't want to be sitting here, like being all wistful and like talking about somebody else, you know what I'm saying? But also not being compelled to it just because I'm with you, and I'm in love with you that you are not my only positive sexual memory. So we were talking about fondly and how emotional fondly is. What do you mean when you say fondly? So I was thinking about two things. The first was the first time somebody went down on me. This dude, it just really made my whole entire life. I was so excited that somebody was... That it was happening and-
Erica: Code red, code red, it's happening, it's happening.
Sheree L. Greer: Because it was something that I wanted and my boyfriend at the time wouldn't do it. And I was like, "This is bullshit." I know that now. I'm 17 and I know that this is bullshit. And so it was just really great. It was just really, really great. Partly, or probably mostly, because I wanted it and I got it. You know what I mean?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative) yes. He was meeting a need. He actually heard you and did what you asked and gave a fuck about whether or not you got it.
Sheree L. Greer: Right. And so that is a fond memory, is that the first time. Then the other one that came to me, and I know... Jasmine might feel a way because we about to put it, it is about to be immortalized on the internet. We were just early dating and we used to frequent this club here in Tampa. And so one day, we were there hanging out. I love dancing. I'm not that great a dancer but I love dancing. And so I was dancing and then she was dancing. We were dancing together, was dancing with other people, all this stuff. And then at one point we were kind of separated and I remember we kind of locked eyes and then she came up to me. She's going to be like, "I can't believe you telling people this." But she came up to me and she whispered that she wanted... She was like, "I want to fuck you now." And we went out to her car.
Erica: Yes, cousin in law.
Sheree L. Greer: In the parking lot at this crowded ass club, we went back to her car and got it in. It wasn't in that moment that I knew I wanted to marry her. But, Yeah. That's one of my favorite, fond memories of her and our sex life.
Erica: That's dope.
Kenrya: So I, and I've talked about this on the show. I've never been able to come from head and it is... I would love to, I'm hoping one day it do happen, and I don't blame anybody's technique. It's just me in my head.
Kenrya: But I do have a head requirement and it's because, really going back to how dude wouldn't do it, and you're like, "This is what I want." I suck dick. I'm good at it. I enjoy it. It is one of the tools I have in my arsenal. But guess what has to happen? We need some fucking reciprocity.
Sheree L. Greer: Yeah.
Kenrya: Not gagging on nothing, if you ain't gagging on nothing.
Sheree L. Greer: Right?
Kenrya: And I was with someone who, once upon a time, who would do it, but he was just real lackluster. He ain't want to do it. And he would complain about me being wet. And I'm like, the fuck?
Erica: That's the best part.
Sheree L. Greer: I know.
Kenrya: It was always something. And I was like, “The fuck? How are you complaining?" And ultimately that's what ended up breaking us up because it was one of a... It just showed me what his mentality was and what he was willing to put in. And if you're going to fucking complain about this, but you don't have no problem with me sucking your dick, then... And so I remember the last time he complained, I was like, "Bet, I'm not sucking your dick no more." We were done within a few weeks after that.
Sheree L. Greer: Because it's ridiculous.
Kenrya: It was what it symbolized.
Sheree L. Greer: It's like when people be like, "Look for the red flags," that's a red flag to me.
Kenrya: That's a red flag.
Sheree L. Greer: That's a red flag. And I-
Erica: Not sharing your food is a red flag to me. If you don't share your food, you don't eat ass. And I remember I went out to dinner with this guy and this is was first date. We went out to dinner. And we were eating off each other's plate. And I was like, "Can you believe I went out with this guy and he wouldn't share his food." And he looked me dead and was like, "He don't eat ass," and I was like, "You right."
Sheree L. Greer: See, see, things like that that tell you what's what.
Erica: What you're getting into-
Sheree L. Greer: Because I've never been shy about trying anything sexually, especially. Let's give it a go. And so back when I was dating men, I suck dick, no problem. Let's go. But then I kept, like you said, [crosstalk 00:49:02] Exactly.
Erica: I ain't complaining.
Sheree L. Greer: That's a flag. And then something interesting happened, too. When I started dating women exclusively, because I am probably a, what do they call it? Masculine of center or whatever shit is, because I don't wear dresses and don't carry a purse. But this idea that I don't... That I'm supposed to always be like the aggressor or I'm supposed to do you, I'm supposed to fuck you. It's like- yeah. Mm-mm (negative) No. I've dated a couple women who were like that. And I roll on my back. It's my turn. Like what's-
Erica: Your knee be up. What you want?
Sheree L. Greer: Want me to get on my knees, turn over, what? What we about to do? And really been like-
Erica: Stingy motherfuckers.
Sheree L. Greer: Yeah. I can't take no stingy lover. I can't do it. I can't do it.
Kenrya: I do want to like say, I always like to say this when I'm talking about what folks have to do. The reality is, right, different people have different boundaries and different things that they're comfortable with. And those can be informed by their trauma, by their past, by all of that. And that is fine. But that doesn't mean that we have to have sex with each other.
Sheree L. Greer: That part, that part. Yep. You're a hundred percent free-
Erica: As for me, and my house.
Sheree L. Greer: Exactly.
Erica: And this pussy.
Sheree L. Greer: Yes.
Erica: That's what's happening.
Sheree L. Greer: Yes, exactly.
Erica: Other than hot, what does your sex life look like now?
Sheree L. Greer: I'm not going to lie. The working from home and all the pandemic bullshit has played a role in our sex life. We've both been feeling like really exhausted by just things and neither one of us... If I'm not in the mood, I'm not in the mood. And I've been finding that the things that can take me out of the mood are just more frequent and just... Everybody is trying to find their way through. This is going on two years, this is a fucked up time. And so work, stress, all this stuff. So it's been a lot of intimacy and a lot of talking and just trying to care for each other and be there for each other, which has been welcome. But then we've also been having conversations about like... Because we haven't taken any real trips, other than I took her, I took Jasmine for our birthday earlier this year out to Hollywood Beach. But we haven't been anywhere. We haven't done anything.
Sheree L. Greer: So we've been trying. The other day... No, yeah this was the other day. We were talking about how our dog, Knight, kind of keeps us captive in terms of where we could fuck in our own house, like this dude pay bills. Because he'll come up... So we was shaking it up and we was like, "Let's fuck in the guest room." It's a different place, right? But the bed is lower in there. So we trying to get it on the dog will get up on the bed and start licking my foot or my ankle. And you got to decision to make because like you can keep going, but then it's like, are you having a threesome with the dog at this point? That's disgusting and gross. Or do you stop? And then now we got to try to put the dog out the room and close the door and then he's outside the door.
Sheree L. Greer: And nobody wants to fuck while that's going on. So we-
Kenrya: What did y’all do?
Sheree L. Greer: We did end up closing the door. We had to kick him out the room. We closed the door. And so that helps. But we just always be trying to keep it fresh and keep each other interested. But we have noticed that we have to work a little bit harder now that we're both working from home and everything's just kind of wearing on us. So sex life now is a bit more effort than it has been in the past in terms of getting in the mood, making the time, kicking the dog out, stuff like that.
Kenrya: How often would you say on average, do you have some kind of sexual contact?
Sheree L. Greer: Every day. So touch is my love language. It is number motherfucking one. Okay. And hers is not though. Her number one is quality time, which is my dead last one. See-
Kenrya: That's my number one.
Sheree L. Greer: That's my dead last one, which is interesting. But every day there's some kind of sexual touch going on. That goes, that can always be to jump off to something or just in passing. And we have this kind of running joke where it's like the day I'm not trying to grab your booty in the grocery store is the day you know something's up. You know what I mean? If you not in the kitchen putting up the dishes and I come up on you in body roll against you, something is up.
Kenrya: Ask me some questions.
Sheree L. Greer: “Sheree ain't tried to touch my titty in about a week. Something's going on, who you fucking?” So it's always something. It's always something.
Erica: Are there certain times of the day that are better for you to have sex? Just because your brain's better, your mind's clearer, whatever?
Sheree L. Greer: I am very easily aroused. It don't matter to me. Her on the other hand, is probably mornings, which, I like I anytime basically. But if so she wants mornings, it's mornings. She want afternoon, it's afternoon. Just say the word basically. I'm just at your service. Let's go.
Erica: So where do you guys typically do it? And how long does the session usually last?
Sheree L. Greer: In the bedroom and it depends. Because Jasmine's very like, "Let's get to it." Like that's she likes to get to it.
Kenrya: She's such an Aries.
Sheree L. Greer: I told you, I told you, I told you. I know that she enjoys kissing, but it's not a requirement for her. She can look at the time and be like, "Let's see it's 10:30. I'm going down. So if you want some, it needs to happen right now."
Kenrya: Right now.
Sheree L. Greer: And so in times like that, it's like, "Let's get to it." And it could be anywhere between, I don't know, shit, 10 minutes to 20 minutes to get to the business. And we've been together long enough if we want to come fast, we know what to do to get in there and make it happen. Now me, I like all the extras. And so I have, I guess... It's not a safe word, but it's... I don't know what you'll call it. I'll tell her if we been having too many just quick get to it sessions, I'll tell her I need some tenderness tonight or I need a little tenderness and she'll be like, okay.
Erica: “Let me stretch.”
Sheree L. Greer: All right. And that would be a longer session with all the touching and kissing and all that stuff.
Kenrya: What's the best part of your sex life right now?
Sheree L. Greer: I would say the freedom of it. Just feeling free to ask for what I want, feeling free to decline if it's something that I don't want to do, and knowing that nothing's attached to it, you know what I mean? The freedom to kind of be comfortable in my body and know that my body is appreciated and loved and wanted. Those feelings are so important for me. And all of that is part of feeling free to be yourself and not be judged in anything that you want or don't want. And that's been the best part.
Kenrya: So what's the most frustrating part?
Sheree L. Greer: Probably her wanting to just get to the business. That gets frustrating at times when I have to say like, "Okay, we've been getting to the business a while. Let's slow down." Exactly, or like, "let's slow down." Because I usually have to be vocal about that. And I have to say it, because if not, we'd always just be like bop bop bop bop.
Erica: "I finished!"
Sheree L. Greer: Yes, exactly. But I will say, it's interesting, and I feel like this is a very Aries thing to do, because it's not necessarily revenge, but it feels like, “Bitch I told you.” Right? So I'll be saying, "Man, I need a little tenderness, whatever, whatever," but then she'll just bring it real quick without no tenderness, and it'll be awesome. And I'll be about to pass out, go to sleep. And she'll be like, "Told you, you didn't need all that. You didn't need all that. I just needed to get her there. Get to it. So night, night talk to you in the morning.” Damn. She was right.
Kenrya: How often do you masturbate?
Sheree L. Greer: I would say multiple times a week.
Sheree L. Greer: I get nice with myself regularly.
Kenrya: What's your technique now?
Sheree L. Greer: We have some toys, but when I don't feel like doing all that, I just rub one out real quick, in the bathtub or you know what, I need to relax. And then [inaudible 01:01:22] That's the sound. And then night, night.
Kenrya: Night, night.
Erica: So do you ever have trouble turning off the day and focusing on bodily pleasure?
Sheree L. Greer: Yeah. As of late. As of late. And I know that's, like I said, this pandemic shit wearing on, being in Florida where it feels very hopeless when we have conversations about what next month is going to look like, what the next season's going to look like. Just the leadership is astounding in its idiocy. It's a lot of that.
Sheree L. Greer: And then again, like just being in this space where I'm going through career transition and feeling fully supported and knowing that everything's going to be fine, but also anxiety and worry is something that I always have to work on. And so there are times when my brain just won't stop and I'll just be... The day is over and it's time to relax and I can't stop. The wheels just won't stop. And so I've been having to do more things intentionally to try to bring myself into the present moment, whether that be, I'm just going listen to some music for a while, or have an impromptu dance party, or let me watch something. Just to get out of that thinking space. Baths do it for me a lot. It's been a challenge. It's been a challenge.
Erica: Okay. Sure, sure. If you could snap your fingers and change anything about your sex life, but would it be?
Sheree L. Greer: Snap my fingers, change... I'm going to tell y'all. I love my dog to death. I do, but I would snap my fingers and make that little nigga disappear sometime just so I can, I don't know, spontaneously fuck in the kitchen.
Erica: Yes. [crosstalk 01:04:11] Yeah.
Sheree L. Greer: Without the dog sitting and staring or licking at my feet or something. Seriously. Seriously.
Erica: My dog licks himself, and one time we was getting it in and all of a sudden we heard-
Sheree L. Greer: Right, right. Exactly.
Erica: I was like, "Dude we don't need a soundtrack."
Sheree L. Greer: We don't need that.
Sheree L. Greer: I mean, there's been times and we are in the bedroom getting it in and then you kind stop and be like, "Wait, is that you? It's not you making that noise. It's a dog making that noise." That nigga's got to go. He got to go.
Sheree L. Greer: So I feel like-
Kenrya: Y’all just adding to the reasons why my child is never going to have a pet in my house.
Sheree L. Greer: I don't know that all dogs are like that, but I know that Knight, he is a very sensitive little dude. He loves cuddling-
Kenrya: He like, "What we doing?"
Erica: I'm single. So my dog be like, "What you doing to my mama? It was a different man last time."
Sheree L. Greer: But he would, he would literally... Let's say we making out in the kitchen. He'll come and be like, "Is that love I hear?" And then come in and want to like jump up on my legs or her legs and like get in the mix. And it's like, "This ain't the kind of love that involves you, bro. This ain't for you." So I would like to be able to have a little bit more spontaneity in terms of location and shit. Which, we think we're going to be expanding our family soon. So we might just have to send Knight to stay with his grandma for a couple weeks or something. Yeah. Because after the kids come, it's over-ish.
Kenrya: You just made me excited.
Erica: What is a sex best practice that you want to share with our listeners?
Sheree L. Greer: Sex best practice? I would say, it sounds trite, but communication above of all things. Communication, which I feel like encapsulates consent, which is sexy as hell, which encapsulates knowing what you want and what you don't want and communicating that to your partner. Yeah, communication. Just talking about it, asking about it, saying what's on your mind saying anything. If you can't be open and honest in your communications about sex with the person you're having sex with, that's probably the biggest red flag of all. Even in, in terms of whether you're satisfied or not, or what you could use more of, or less of. If you can't talk those things out freely and confidently, without fear of retribution or resentment or some kind of emotional abuse response, that's a problem. So being able to think through what you want, what you don't want, what you like, what you don't like, being able to ask for it, being able to say, "No, I don't want that," being able to speak your mind and to communicate is the number one ingredient to some top-notch sex, I think.
Erica: So would you rather give up partnered sex or masturbation?
Sheree L. Greer: Oh, masturbation, no question. I'd give it up. As much as I enjoy it, I would give it up.
Erica: That's because y'all getting good sex over there. Give up sex with my partner? That's amazing. That's where I'm like, "Eh, ain't nothing changed. Ain't nothing different over here if I gave it up."
Kenrya: What do you hope that people will learn from this walk through your sex life?
Sheree L. Greer: I don't feel like I dropped no jewels, but I will say that I-
Kenrya: You see how we looking at you.
Sheree L. Greer: I mean, I was really nervous and I have been a ball of anxiety around talking about my sex life, my sexual past in particular. And I think I shared this in a comment of one of y’all shows. I forget who y'all were talking to, but I be all on the comments on the YouTube. It's one of my favorite things to do.
Kenrya: You do. I feel like it feels like it's like another opportunity for me to talk to you cause I go through and moderate those. And I'm like, "Hey, Sheree!"
Sheree L. Greer: Mostly, when I'm listening at, because like I put it on, because when I'm at the dumb ass day job, I got the two screens and so I'll have y'all up on this screen and then I'll be doing college bullshit on this screen. And so something will happen or somebody will say something and I'll be like, "ha!" And then I got to flip over there and say something. I think I put, I forget who y’all were talking to, but I commented that I used to feel like different kind of pressure in conversation about my sexual history, particularly in terms of the time I spent sleeping with men and how all of that is part of my story. And I am not one of those lesbians who are like, "Ugh, disgusting dicks." I never felt like that. I don't feel like that.
Sheree L. Greer: And so if anybody takes anything away, I hope it's that conversations about your sexual history, if you are open to talk about it, don't be scared of that shit. It helps when you're able to talk to two people you love and respect. So, that makes it easier. But none of it defines you. Nothing you did defines you. You define you and you get to be the person who decides what matters and what doesn't, what you hold onto or what you let go. And always just stand in that. So, that's what I'm hoping.
Erica: Well, you did drop lots of jewels. Yeah, and I think someone tweeted a while back and we got fake offended where she was like, "It was really nice listening to older Black women discuss their sex lives." I was like, "Who's old?"
Kenrya: Somebody said that about us.
Erica: Yeah. But I think that is great that we're-
Sheree L. Greer: They said “old” or “older”?
Kenrya: It's all relative.
Erica: But you know what-
Kenrya: And I appreciate it-
Sheree L. Greer: But I feel like this is exactly who should be talking about it. But also, I would hope that younger people, I was about to say younger mo-fos, motherfuckers, but I don't want to disrespect them like that, that are listening, or hopefully they will listen in, because none of this even makes sense till you get out of it. And so teens, fucking twenties, like none of this shit makes sense until you can stop for a minute-
Erica: Step back-
Sheree L. Greer: There ain't no stopping and stepping back in your teens and twenties, it is go, go, go, go, go.
Kenrya: And nobody's talking to you like this, right? I always have... I've collected mentors because I didn't really have my mom around. And so, one of the ways that I've always moved through the world is that older Black women would see me and be like, "Oh, you mine now." And that is so much of how I have moved through the world. But none of them have ever talked to me about fucking.
Sheree L. Greer: And they're not. They not.
Kenrya: They never talked to me about bad relationships until we got older. And we started talking about their bad relationships and then we were counseling each other. But I really could have used these kind of conversations in my twenties to help me understand, to know that not wanting to give me head was a fucking red flag, right? To be able to recognize when the shame of something that some nigga did to me was being placed on me and keeping me silent and keeping me from seeking help. But I didn't know any of that stuff.
Sheree L. Greer: That's why this show is so important.
Erica: And that's why it's important to have... That's why I appreciate having you on, because you're sharing this. And I feel like this... I don't want to say they're mistakes, but we did this living to help impart this knowledge. At the very least, let me get something out of this-
Kenrya: We go through that so you ain't got to go through that.
Erica: And let me get something out of this motherfucking heart break and this bullshit.
Sheree L. Greer: Even if, and not even if, they will. We going to make the same shit, but just think about how it feels to be like, "Oh, I was also fucking up. This person was, and they're okay." Every time y'all get on the screen, the mic, whatever, you are an example that, you are okay. You going to be all right. You going to make it through. So I feel like, even listening, not even as a way of like, "I did these things, so you don't have to." They going through them. They going to do it, but then it's something to say, "Oh, I don't have to be ashamed of this. Or there's people talking about this. I'm not alone in these preconceived notions or mistakes or whatever that is." And so then it's building a sense of community that's steeped in, not just survival from shit but thriving and being like, "This is okay. I'm okay. This is okay."
Sheree L. Greer: So yeah, I told my niece, speaking of older, she just turned 21 and I was like, "What the hell is going on?" But I told her to check this show because I also don't want her coming up in the silo that is my family where we didn't talk about sex. Nothing. Nothing like my mama just now, she sent me a sex joke meme the other day. And I was like, "It's because I'm it's because I'm over 40." She can now make sex jokes with me. I looked at it and I was like, "Mama?" It's because I'm over 40. And to prove it, when I looked at the details, she sent it to me and my older sister, who's 47.
Sheree L. Greer: But she ain't send it to my younger sister, who's 35. So I've crossed some threshold of being able to talk about sex with my mom. Now that I'm fucking 40.
Erica: Five years till you get these memes!
Sheree L. Greer: I'm like, "What is that?" Y'all, this show is, is necessary and takes the stigma and it just makes it fun and inclusive and inviting. So yeah.
Erica: So, last question.
Sheree L. Greer: Okay.
Erica: What is turning you on today?
Sheree L. Greer: Oh, this conversation. I feel like I'm looking at the time. Shit, my wife is off today, because she took off the whole weekend for my birthday. I'm looking at the time. I got a workshop later, but I might have to go get some tenderness right quick.
Erica: Go get some tenderness.
Sheree L. Greer: Go get some tenderness right quick. Yeah. That's what's turning me on. Having my birthday and feeling loved is turning me on right now. And this conversation is an extension of that. So, yeah.
Kenrya: We love you.
Sheree L. Greer: Aw.
Kenrya: So you mentioned something earlier and it was, you're talking about times of transition and support in your work. And I want to make sure that we don't go without telling folks how they can support your work because I support your work.
Sheree L. Greer: Yes we do.
Erica: Yes I do, too.
Sheree L. Greer: As do you.
Kenrya: Exactly. And we think it is important to give money to people who we love, who are doing work. Doing great work.
Sheree L. Greer: I appreciate that.
Erica: Y’all gonna spend that $15 on some bullshit. Spend it on your cousin.
Kenrya: So how can folks support your work?
Sheree L. Greer: The easiest way to get to everything that I'm doing is to visit my website, ShereeLGreer.com. I have a-
Kenrya: Can you spell that please?
Sheree L. Greer: Oh, S-H-E-R-E-E-L-G-R-E-E-R.com. There's a link to my Patreon where I'm really trying to lean into my creative practice and how that speaks to my building community and helping get even more voices out in the world. I am an independent writing teacher and writing coach. All the ways that you can connect with me are on that website. But also I have... My short story collection, "Once and Future Lovers" turns 10 next year. And so I put this as a giveaway. I don't know how y'all going to run it, but I provided a copy of one of my most beloved, I guess people really like this one particular story, from the collection for a free download, wherever y'all want to post it, in celebration of leaning into this 10th anniversary. I'm going to reissue a book and we're doing a book tour, virtual book tour about the book, kind of a decade later. So I'd love to chat with y'all again about it. Yeah. So all of this lusciousness is going on. Sheree L. Greer is a place to find everything. So, very much appreciate it.
Kenrya: Word. So y'all will be able to go to the show notes for this episode to get your download.
Sheree L. Greer: Free short story.
Kenrya: That's awesome. Yes. Thank you. And I don't want to let you go, but we got to, because we've been on for a long time.
Sheree L. Greer: It's all good.
Erica: Like as soon as we can, we got to visit you. Y'all got to visit us, something. Because-
Sheree L. Greer: Please. Please.
Erica: Seeing you and spending time with you makes me realize like, "Damn, I fucks with her hard.
Sheree L. Greer: Same.
Erica: I miss cousin.
Kenrya: And I don't actually have a lot of people that I fuck with?
Sheree L. Greer: Yo. So I'm trying to tell y'all the shit just clicked. I was thinking, when I took the survey... The survey's still going on or it's closed?
Kenrya: It's closed. It's closed.
Sheree L. Greer: When I took the survey was like, "How did you hear about us or whatever?" And I was thinking about that first email and I was like, "Oh, shit. How did I not know this was happening?" So I looked y'all up. And then I listened to all the back episodes and I was like, "Oh my God, I love them. Is that weird?” And so then when I was on the show, the first time I was like, "Okay, just be cool because they don't really know you-know you yet, but you feel like you know them because you listen to all them episodes. So just be cool, be yourself." I felt like we was on a friend date or something.
Erica: Pass the test.
Sheree L. Greer: Yes. Be cool. But I don't know, shit just clicked. And I don't know, I just love y'all so much, so yeah.
Kenrya: Thank you for coming on.
Sheree L. Greer: Thank you for having me again. Anytime, every time. Just shout me out.
Kenrya: Again, I'm always going to say you might regret saying-
Sheree L. Greer: I will not. I will not. I will not. I don't say that to everybody. So I will not. I'm very thoughtful in who I say anytime, every time to, so I will not regret it.
Kenrya: That's what's up. Yay. That's what we love. And we are a hundred percent sure that y'all have not regretted listening to this episode at all. Thank y'all for spending this time with us. And we going to let y'all go. And we going to see y'all next week.
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.
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Kenrya: Thanks for listening and we'll see you soon. Holla.
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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya talk to queer Black polyamorous feminist and Parenting Is Political podcast co-host Jasmine Banks about the role of kink in healing sexual trauma, the beauty of going through a second adolescence with partners you trust, teaching our kids about sex and gender and pleasure and joy, and how masturbating first thing in the morning can save lives.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Kenrya: Today, we're talking to Jasmine Banks, pronouns she and her. Jasmine is a queer Black feminist living her best polyamorous life in Arkansas. She's a nonprofit executive director and one-half of the parenting podcast Parenting is Political. Yes, it is. Hey, Jasmine.
Jasmine Banks: Hi. What up? How is everyone doing?
Erica: We are great.
Kenrya: Thank you for coming on.
Jasmine Banks: You're most welcome. It's my pleasure.
Kenrya: Now, it's time for us to get in your business.
Erica: I know. So, like Kenrya said, we're just going to jump straight into your junk. When do you first remember masturbating?
Jasmine Banks: Oh, when I was somewhere around six or eight. There was a Teddy Ruxpin with a very hard plastic nose, and I would just grind the shit out of his face.
Erica: Our parents thought they were doing something sweet, buying us these big-ass stuffed animals, and you're like, "No, you just bought me a boo."
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, yeah. It was definitely interchangeable between Teddy Ruxpin, or I had these Care Bears that also had the hard plastic nose. They don't do stuffed animals like they did. Right now, my kids, they have embroidered stuff, and it's different material, but it's a hard-ass plastic nose-
Erica: Yes, I remember.
Jasmine Banks: ... and really firm stuffing.
Erica: Because if you get hit in the face with it, like if your cousin likes swinging the legs and knocking on your face, you can lose something.
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, yeah, and I remember getting into a fight and throwing those stuffed animals and hitting my grandma's glass coffee table, trying to hit my cousin Shaniqua, and it landed face forward. So, the nose clinked on the glass, and she got her flyswatter, but yeah, it was firm, a substantial stuffed animal, and I took full advantage of it.
Erica: So, was that your preferred technique or did you have a different preferred technique as a baby Jasmine?
Jasmine Banks: It was pillows, stuffed animals. That was it.
Kenrya: That's a common thing what we’re doing.
Jasmine Banks: It was like Pretty Ricky “Grind On Me.”
Jasmine Banks: And Teddy Ruxpin was marketed as an educational toy, but they didn't know what kind of lengths this Virgo child would take that education to.
Erica: You're like, "Oh, we're going to learn a whole lot."
Jasmine Banks: Yes, I am nothing if not resourceful, like I put a little ABC tape in his belly, and he would talk to me, and then I would reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle. You know?
Jasmine Banks: We'd learn together and then...
Erica: We learned together.
Kenrya: Learned together.
Jasmine Banks: Teddy Ruxpin after dark on my futon bed.
Kenrya: I love it.
Erica: I love it.
Jasmine Banks: My mom was like, "You're so attached to him. You'd never wanted to get rid of him when you were younger."
Erica: Like, yeah, boo. It's under this link like, "Boo."
Kenrya: Here's why. So, how old were you when you had your first kiss?
Jasmine Banks: I was nine, and it was with my godbrother. I was raised with two really incredible godmothers, Lee and Orlanda, and they were Black lesbians that lived up the street, and they had... Lee had a son from a prior marriage and that was Brandon, and we spent time together all the time, and we just wanted to see what it was like to kiss, and I remember kissing in the front room, and the parents had gone to something because back then, they were like, "We're just going to leave the babies. Just don't answer the door or the phone."
Erica: Yeah, all the time.
Jasmine Banks: All the time, and there was some uncle that was somewhere in the room not even paying attention to us.
Erica: Oh my God.
Kenrya: That's our house.
Erica: You've completely described my home, like our situation.
Jasmine Banks: He was watching BET or Matlock or something random. I just remember. In the room, it was one of those touch lamps that have three different levels, and then Lee and Orlanda's room was to the left, and there was beads on the door, and we were right by the front door, and one of those black midnight... I can't remember exactly the name, but it was one of those cone incense was just burning and the kiss-
Kenrya: You can't see.
Jasmine Banks: I really thought I was in love with Brandon.
Erica: And now, you look at him like, "Ooh," family.
Kenrya: Proximity will do that to you.
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, I'm like, "That was my family," but even though I have Black community in my school, the social setting was predominantly white. So, I was already starting to get those message of like, "That's not your real family because it's not biological."
Erica: It was like-
Jasmine Banks: Which I don't even know why white people even be talking like that because they know that it'll be biological, and they still be kissing their cousins and enjoying it. So...
Erica: Oh, well. We have whole dynasties. They have whole dynasties built upon that, but-
Kenrya: Keeping it in the family.
Erica: ... they ain't ready for that conversation. Isn't that what the young people say?
Kenrya: Let me know when we going to talk? So, y'all don't want to hear that.
Erica: Yeah, we ain't ready to talk about it.
Kenrya: But bitch, you just started the conversation. Okay. You just made me feel old.
Erica: How old were you when you had a sense of your gender identity?
Jasmine Banks: I have a very interesting story, and I don't even know if K knows this because I'm not super public about it, but in the spirit of giving y'all the juicy content, I was assigned female at birth, and then about eight or nine, I started having developmental issues, and I lived female at birth. My gender was girl. So, sex, obviously different than gender, but it does definitely inform so much about how you perform gender, about how you come into gender conversations. So, around 12, I had this period. My period started, and it didn't stop, and it didn't stop for six months, and I got really, really sick and anemic, and my mom had to take me to the emergency room.
Jasmine Banks: So, they did an X-ray on my abdomen, and they were like, "Something is not right here." So, they gave me some meds to stop the bleeding, and then I went into emergency surgery, and then whenever I came back from emergency surgery, they said, "On your right ovary, part of it was filled with cysts, and we're going to diagnose you with polycystic ovarian syndrome, and then the other section of your right ovary was actually an internal gonad, and you have hyperandrogenism," and they told me at that time that chromosomally and hormonally, I was more male than female, but my sex designation on my birth certificate didn't change, and I continue to feel like very affirmed as a woman and knowing that hormonally and chromosomally, I am more toward the male end of the spectrum of the sex assignments than the female.
Jasmine Banks: Then for part of my life, I went on hormones to increase my female presentation, like growing breasts and fighting hair and finding different things, and then they told me I would never have children because I was making too much testosterone internally to be able to ever fertilize an egg or be compatible with semen, but I surprised them and have four of them little niggas.
Kenrya: Yeah, you do.
Jasmine Banks: With one ovary.
Erica: I know.
Kenrya: That ovary be working hard.
Erica: God is my witness. We going to have a baby.
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, yeah, and it came as quite a surprise to me because I was not trying to get pregnant, and after I had that initial period of menstruation, I never menstruated again, which was a part of being intersex is what it's called, and so yeah, and the only way that I could really menstruate at that point was if I gave myself the hormones because my testosterone level, and all of my androgens are just through the roof, which makes me stronger, and I have more of a sex drive than a lot of hormonally typical assigned female folks, and there's just lots of dynamics that play into it. It's quite interesting.
Erica: Answer this if you'd like, or if not, shut up, bitch. We'll be fine. Are you still on meds? How does that affect now?
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, so I tried to go on birth control to level out some of my body dysmorphia that I experienced around the follicle, like PMS menstruation cycle, and because I have so much testosterone, whenever I went on synthetic estrogen, my body... The hormonal response was just to make even more testosterone and then even more estrogen and then even more progesterone, which caused me all types of issues. So, my endocrinologist was like, "Please don't ever try that again."
Erica: Just you.
Jasmine Banks: Like, "You're intersex. Just be intersex," and the only thing I have to do if I want to get pregnant is I have to supplement progesterone, so it lowers my testosterone levels a little bit so that my body doesn't become a war zone for a fetus.
Erica: Yeah, no. Right after surgery, but before I started chemo, I had to do the egg preservation steps, and baby, like-
Jasmine Banks: Them shots.
Erica: I had to chemo any day. Those hormones, bitch. I remember I was in a nail salon crying and cussing a nigga out over nail polish like, "You don't fucking understand." Those hormones would do something to you, so I'm glad you're able to just live without it.
Kenrya: She already a Gemini, so...
Jasmine Banks: And what?
Kenrya: And she's already a Gemini. Look at her looking at me.
Erica: Shut up, bitch. You're bringing up old shit just to—fix your face. I thought we was homies. I thought she was a homie.
Jasmine Banks: My wife's a Gemini.
Erica: God bless you.
Erica: You know how to love a complex creature.
Jasmine Banks: My oldest daughter is also Gemini.
Erica: That was training.
Kenrya: Is she?
Jasmine Banks: Yeah.
Kenrya: Oh. I'm surrounded. Between Erica and my daughter, they just here. My daddy's a Gemini.
Jasmine Banks: You got to love them.
Kenrya: I do.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Ding, ding, ding. Ding, ding, ding.
Kenrya: They are lovable. They just got a lot going on.
Erica: We have a lot of angst in our spirits.
Jasmine Banks: They just need us in their life.
Kenrya: That's true. So, how old were you when you first started experimenting sexually with other people?
Jasmine Banks: Nine. No. Was it nine? No, 13.
Erica: I need the story behind it because your face was just... I need to know what made that happen to your face.
Jasmine Banks: Well, her name was Sarah, and she lived in Tulsa, another neighbor, and we were really good friends, spent all summer together. I think we went to different schools, but we definitely had a lot of summertime interaction, and we were the only kids. Well, there were only three families that had children on our street. So, I would spend the night at her house. Her father had these magazines stacked up in their playroom where we would play with the Barbies. It was like right whenever Skipper's little sister came on the scene in Barbie, and you could squeeze her belly, and she'd pee in the potty.
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, so we got this set up. I'm very specific. I be like archiving my life. So, I have journals detailing this-
Jasmine Banks: .... pretty well. Yeah.
Erica: This is a Virgo.
Jasmine Banks: Yeah. So, Sarah and I are in his hunting room, which has this little play section, and all of these magazines just has sports magazines and on the tops of all of them, it's just about deer and bird hunting and fishing, and he was an outdoorsman, and at one point, we were trying to move the magazines to create a mansion or neighborhood for our Barbies, and the magazine stack slid, and underneath it was Drew Barrymore's Playboy Edition, and I was like, "What is this?"
Erica: Now, we bout to play.
Jasmine Banks: So, I unzip my Care Bear onesie and shove the magazine in there, and we run to her room, and we looked at Drew Barrymore's butterfly tattoos and her playboy centerfold, and that led to lots of experimentation and touching and dry humping and grinding, and Sarah was the first person that I had sexual contact with. Consensual sexual contact with, I think is important to delineate.
Kenrya: Absolutely. Well, actually, the next question is, can you tell us about your first time having partnered sex? So, I don't know if y'all actually ended up having what you would term sex or if that would be another situation.
Jasmine Banks: I mean, there was digital stimulation. There was oral stimulation. There was climax. I would call it-
Kenrya: Yeah, sounds like sex to me.
Jasmine Banks: ... partner sex. Yeah. We were like 12, 13, somewhere in that range, and then we became girlfriends. I don't think we called each other girlfriends, but that's what we were, and I lived there for two and a half years, and we had a regular sexual relationship, and my mom would be like, "Yeah, you could have a sleepover. Just no boys allowed," and I was all, “Bet.”
Jasmine Banks: “Bet. No boys allowed.”
Erica: Like, "No problem." That ain't no problem. That ain't no problem.
Jasmine Banks: When she would come over to my house for a sleepover, I had one of those attic rooms that had been turned into a room, so it had the stairs going up, and it had an attic fan, but it was a whole door situation, and I was like, "Let's turn up Usher really loud, and you just lay on your back," and just dry hump for hours.
Erica: Look, I call him our good friend. I call them our good friend dry humping because once we started having sex, we left dry humping in the past, but-
Kenrya: ... dry humping can be a very useful thing.
Jasmine Banks: Well, in the queer community, it's not separate than penetrative sexual expression and practice. It's actually called tribbing. So, it's useful in the toolbox of sexuality because not everybody's genitals are the same, and most people think of intercourse as P and V penetration, and there's just—sex is so expansive, and sex doesn't require penetration or climax for it to be sex. So, I think if we framed it that way socially, a lot of us would be more honest about how young we were actually having sex.
Erica: So, what about an orgasm? When did you first have an orgasm with a partner?
Jasmine Banks: With Sarah, yeah. Our parents were either just negligent or super chill. I guess it depends on like-
Erica: Depending on the director of the movie.
Jasmine Banks: Right. It depends on if my PTSD is triggered, if I frame it as how I frame the story, but they were cool with me and Sarah taking showers together, and they're like, "Oh, they're just friends." I mean, my mom wasn't naïve because my mom, I came out to her when I was eight. I was like, "I think I'm gay," and she's like, "Okay, girl. Eat your food."
Erica: “What's for dinner?”
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, so we were allowed to do all sorts of things even though my mom had drag queens as friends and folks in that period of time that identified as transsexuals and folks that were just gay men. My mom had a lot of really good friends who were impacted by HIV/AIDS. So, she was having conversations with me about sex and sexual identity very, very early on, and I knew about masturbation as one of the first... She framed it as like, "If you don't know how to please yourself, can't nobody else please you, so you better start practicing, Jasmine, and know what feels good to you," which is really interesting in juxtaposition with some of her other parenting practices, but suffice to say, I think she probably knew what was going on and was laissez-faire about it, whereas Sarah's parents were like country-ass white people who were like, "They're just friends taking showers together."
Jasmine Banks: Anyway, so my first orgasm was in the shower with a removable shower head with Sarah. We figured out how to turn it on the high-pressure vibration mode, and I just held it at her, and it worked.
Erica: I still haven't done the shower thing. We-
Kenrya: Yeah, we were talking to somebody else doing a, "This is your sex life," and she was saying that that's one of her tools, and we were both like, "We never do that."
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it became an issue for my mom whenever I used it as a young person because she'd be like, "Other people have to use that to shower, little nasty girl," but Sarah was the first person that I realized that I could use that medium to achieve climax, but what I didn't realize is when you have that really intense experience for the first time and you're not prepared for it, your legs start shaking and you get weak and in a slippery bathtub is probably not where you want that to happen.
Kenrya: Poor baby.
Jasmine Banks: So, I'm standing in the back and pushing myself back onto the tiles so that she can do what she needs to do with the shower head, and I climax, and my legs fall out from under me, and I just... like strike me and Sarah in the shower, but I don't think any of us have unclumsy sexual experiences no matter what age.
Erica: None of us.
Kenrya: Makes it fun.
Erica: Yeah, when you're older, it makes it a little more dangerous because those body parts aren't as rubbery as they were when you were younger.
Jasmine Banks: That's so funny. Yes, that's true. That's very true.
Kenrya: So, what three words would you use to describe sex in your teens?
Jasmine Banks: It was confusing. It was painful. Gosh. I feel like I'm such a buzz kill now in this part of the interview.
Jasmine Banks: And it was about safety.
Kenrya: Do you want to expound on any of that or do you want to move on to your 20s?
Jasmine Banks: Sure. So, around the time that I moved away from that neighborhood, with Sarah, I moved into a community called The Colony, which is for single mothers who are widowed or divorced who have been homeless because my mom had gone through multiple domestic violence situations, and we lived in domestic violence shelters. So, anyway, we landed in this place that was my most stable home, and it was in very much influenced and proselytized by the churches that were in that area. So, as a part of going to school with a white majority, junior high and high school, and being a part of this community that was preyed upon of like, "Oh, you're a widow and you're a single mom, and you should come to this event," I started going to youth group.
Jasmine Banks: So, I went from having this really fringe radical Black, queer, Native experience as a young person into this very white cisgender heterosexual Christian patriarchal frame, and there was a lot of social motivation for me to not identify as Black, but to identify as mixed, for me to ask Jesus to be my Lord and Savior and get rid of all of the sinful things that, obviously, because she was a single mother, she had... my mom had thrust upon me. So, I went through a period of really rejecting all the things that my mom taught me around sex and positivity in the best way that she could because she felt like she wasn't empowered and adopted a lot of the True Love Waits movement, which was Joshua Harris and a part of the white evangelical church.
Jasmine Banks: So, there's purity balls and there's like throwing away your secular music and don't be a sexual temptress, and then that really required me pressing down my identity as a queer person, and at that point, I identified as a bi person. So, I confessed those evil sins to my youth pastor and all of my other student leaders, and I made a commitment to be celibate, and I threw away any kind of idea around non-monogamy, and I was on the straight and narrow, and during a religious trip to the Cherokee Nations, family camp revival, that was happening in my senior year, I met a white man who was part of a worship group who had come to the Cherokee nation to do a mission trip over spring break, and he ended up being... I was 18, and he ended up being the first person I married.
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, so I spent the last part of my teenage years with him, and the safety layer of that is that when you're told at, like my mom is an unenrolled Cherokee, which means that she's not actually allowed to claim Cherokee citizenship even though her father's mother is on the Dawes Rolls. We're currently in the process of applying for citizenship so people can stop telling me that I'm not Cherokee because I can't handle it. So, when you're not Black enough, you're not Cherokee enough, you're not straight enough, you're not queer enough, you're the single mom, you're homeless, really, you look for safety, and anti-Blackness in the form of cishet patriarchal society, particularly of the white Christian persuasion, offers a lot of faux safety.
Jasmine Banks: But what you trade for your safety is compliance and shedding your identity. So, I did that in my teen years, my junior high and teen years, in order to feel some stability and normalcy. The short version of the end of that story is it didn't fucking work.
Kenrya: Okay, good. So, what three words would you use to describe sex in your 20s?
Jasmine Banks: Sex in my early 20s was unfulfilling, was about power, and was just about reproduction and getting my babies.
Kenrya: You want to dive into any of that?
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, so, by the time I was 20, I had married this white man from an upper-class family and a very Southern Baptist background, and I was trying my best despite all of my feminists and Black feminists and radical ideology and proclivities to be the good Christian wife, and we were in ministry together in church ministry around worship, and then I did children's ministry. So, I didn't really have a very fulfilling sexual life because he was not able to come to a space with partnered sex that was liberatory and open because of how his Southern Baptist upbringing had really caused so much damage around sexual identity, and then on top of that, I didn't know that he was an abuser, and that it was an underground situation.
Jasmine Banks: So, sex then just became about like, "How do I negotiate power with him? How do I have children because I know I want to have children, if I'm going to have children?" Because I'd already had one by accident, which was Zara, and then I knew I wanted her to have siblings, but the writing was clearly on the wall that we were not going to be together, and I didn't, and I hadn't yet discovered that he was a pathological sexual predator. So, yeah, it was just more about, like let's just figure out how to survive in this marriage and get my needs met. By the time Zara was born, I was still in undergrad, and he had tried to pressure me to not keep the baby, or if I kept the baby to drop out of school, and I just knew sort of intuitively that I needed to push through school, and I was like, "No, you drop out, and I will stay," and then I had a lot of non-sexual deeply intimate same-sex relationships through my 20s where there was cuddling and erotic connection, but there was never intercourse.
Jasmine Banks: So, I didn't feel sexually deprived, but I was coming to terms with the fact that I either need to have an open marriage, or I need to admit that I'm more queer than what I can stand, and also I'm just not a good Christian wife, but by the time I was 20... Yeah, 25 was the first time I discovered that he was a sexual predator and had been assaulting women and hiding it from me, and he went to sex rehab. So, then sex just became like, "What the fuck?" It was good that my mom taught me to masturbate because I did a lot of that and a lot of non-partnered sex. Am I so bumming y'all out?
Erica: No. Not at all.
Kenrya: Not at all.
Erica: I was just thinking like, "Damn, this is interesting as hell," and the fact that... I mean, I hate that super positivity where it's like, "Man, you've been through so much," and you're still so positive. I hate that, but at the same time, you understand where that's a simple way of summing up how I'm feeling right now like, "Goddamn." These experiences have made you into just an interesting little layered person that I am like, "How much time we got here? Because I want to go back to... " It's amazing how all these experiences have just built up to make you who you are, and I think it's dope as fuck.
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, so the end of my 20s was... As far as like relationally, I was working on confronting that my children who I found out were sexual assault survivors by the hands of their biological father and fighting for their right and navigating my own. When you're in intimate violent situations, sex is also a component of how the abuser brings you back and controls you or creates shame narratives. So, I was working through all of that, but by the time the end of my mid-20s rolled around, I was able to have a community to really help me emancipate myself from that chaos, and then I was able to start doing sexuality on my terms that was absence of the constraints of a predatory abusive connection.
Jasmine Banks: So, the end of my 20s was a really, really fun time of catching up on all the things my True Love Waits period of life had kept me from experiencing.
Kenrya: I just think about the ways that sex was used as a weapon within my marriage all the time and how overwhelming that is and how it contributes to my PTSD and how it stands in the way of... It doesn't have to, but it threatens to jump in the way of having healthy relationships after the fact and all that it takes to do that and loving the fact that you've been able to do that and create a life with Mo and y'all's kids, and it's just-
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, Mo and my other partners who have done a tremendous amount of dharma and labor around helping me transform, and there was a pretty good year where when Mo and I would have intercourse, particularly penetrative intercourse, where if I climaxed, I would spend the next hour in a ball having a panic attack. So, it really required having a gentle partner who could hold me and not personalize whenever I had that dissociative experience around sex and body, and we don't often talk about the ways in which those of us who have survived childhood sexual assault become enmeshed or entangled with folks who are predatory with their sexual choices and behaviors because they target us, not because we find them, but because they target us, and then that dynamic plays out, which is a part of that intergenerational work we have to do around our sex and our sexual identities and expression, but yeah.
Jasmine Banks: I think that oftentimes when we're talking about the salacious juicy parts of sex that we like to cut away how trauma has played a part of that or how struggle has played a part of that because we've been socialized to want these very linear narratives and themes like, "Oh, yeah, like all of my sex is really bomb," and people are like, "You have BDSM. You're BDSM. You're a kink practitioner. That must be so... " People get excited about it, and it's arousing, and then I say things like, "Yes, and actually, I am a kink practitioner because it has been a vehicle for healing the sexual assault and trauma," and they're like, "Awww man. You ruined it. It's not so sexy anymore."
Kenrya: But it’s fucking life.
Jasmine Banks: But it is, like what is more sexy than consent practices and negotiation of desire and openness that helps to heal wounded places in us and helps us access who we have been all along that violence and trauma kept us from being able to live in that truth? That's sexy as fuck.
Jasmine Banks: Y'all both said, "Mm."
Erica: I've always been a sexual person. Someone told me like, "You're the type of person that just gives that off," and for that reason, I've always been a sexual person. I give it off. I receive it, all of that, but doing this show has taken it to another level that has combined my love for fucking and a good orgasm and pleasure, with also just recognizing how it is freedom and a path to liberation. So, the more I hear from people like you and the more I learn, I am just taking it all in because it's amazing that... Everyone says like, "Do what you love. You never have to work a day."
Kenrya: Yeah, that's bullshit, but okay.
Erica: Yeah, but I feel like I am finally at a point where it's like all of these things that I enjoy are coming together, and not only do I enjoy it, but I see its purpose in the world, and that gets me so fucking horny.
Jasmine Banks: I mean, it's all right. If sex is about a joy and pleasure practice in some of its layers, then it makes so much sense that this is working for you and that this is hitting at a core part of who you are that is deeply linked with feelings of liberation because those of us whose histories emerged from enslavement and settler domination have not had the freedoms too. So, hoe culture, you being ratchet with your sexuality in the face of stereotypes like the Jezebel and Sapphire and the Mammy is... It's like that's powerful work, and it's political work. So, I definitely appreciate where this sits for you in the constellation of your life.
Jasmine Banks: As a polyamorous person I feel in the same way that a person who's just really guided me in my critical polyamory, which is Kim TallBear, she talks about in a podcast she recently did around how sex really needs to be taken off of the shelf, like it needs to stop being commodified. It's not like some special ornate thing. What makes it special is the meaning we make of it in the moment, but as far as a global frame, like it's not unique. It's no different than me choosing to cuddle with someone as intimacy because I can fuck someone and not feel an intimate connection with them and not feel anything. It can be exchange or extraction, or yeah, an extractive relationship, and the church has done a really good job in particular of attaching so much meaning around morality and ethics to sex and what we do to our body and that was just another way, another vehicle for controlling and criminalizing the Black body that when we choose to be like, "Yeah, I have a platonic friend that sometimes I let eat me out," and we're still platonic friends, and we high-five and just kick it.
Jasmine Banks: That is a powerful thing in the face of a nation that says, "In order to be a good citizen, you have to not have sexual intercourse so that you keep everyone healthy, and you only have one partner, and you track your children, and they're registered with the state," and you have a picket fence, right? We know that Black and Indigenous folks have never fit in that lens, and it's intentional because that is a social construct that will always keep us as other because our ancestors and our practices call us to a deeper, more abundant, more generous version of family and sex and expression.
Kenrya: Yes, bitch.
Erica: Yes. Bitch, I'm coming over for conversation and cornbread when the world open back up.
Jasmine Banks: My poor kids are going to be like, "My mom was a Black feminist, and she would show her friends her vulva, and it was normal."
Erica: I always wonder what our kids will remember about... There are certain things about growing up that I remember, and I'm convinced that my son is going to remember this summer as a summer of me sitting on the porch drinking, eating chicken and talking about my body parts.
Kenrya: That is what you did.
Erica: I literally sat on my porch and ordered chicken every three days and talked about sex. So, it's the thing. Now, I'm raising great people.
Jasmine Banks: I think they're going to be great. I think as long as it's normalized, it's like, "I'm sorry that your little white friends have parents that never have sex, but we fuck," and not only do we fuck, but it'll be the middle of their Saturday and be like, "Watch the baby and lock the door. We're going to go have sex, and yes, you're probably going to hear us." I actually just started this other practice when they're like, "We don't want to hear about that all the time," because they're embarrassed of us and the social norms of their peer groups. So, we've been like, "We're going to go have a Bible study."
Erica: Your kids are going to be invited to an actual Bible study, and they're going to freak the fuck out.
Jasmine Banks: They're going to be like, "This is not what it sounds like. Who are we calling ‘Daddy’ during this Bible study? When do we say, 'Yes, Daddy'?" Then the Christians are going to be like, "Do you mean Father God?" And Addison's going to be like, "I don't think so."
Erica: I mean, I heard God say it, but I don't know if that's what they're talking about.
Jasmine Banks: They're going to be so fucked up around religion. I'm going to be like, "I was just being slamming the spirit, okay?" And then Zara's going to be like, "What did that have to do with your butt?"
Erica: And there'll be no answers.
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, I actually just got one of our kiddos. They asked that we talked about masturbation very openly, and one of the kiddos was like, "I would some lube and a vibrator," and I was like, "Okay, yeah. Dope. I can get you one that's appropriate for your anatomy and for your age," and then they came back two weeks later like, "I need new batteries." I was like, "What the fuck?"
Erica: That's like keeping it under the pillow. Wait. I do. Let me shut up.
Kenrya: You do that.
Jasmine Banks: Like the Tooth Fairy will give you new batteries for your vibrator and mine.
Erica: But I think it's so important. I buy vibrators as graduation gifts for young girls now because... Well, I've only had an opportunity to buy it for young girls, but let's learn how to pleasure yourself, and this is just a thing that we do, and it doesn't have to be weird or gross or nasty or unless you want it to be. Unless you want it to be.
Jasmine Banks: The other day, the same kid had a really fantastic school trip and said, "Hey," and we talked about consent and all kinds of different, like how we negotiate space because we're a close-knit family, and we also know that privacy is important in how you practice masturbation. They announced, "I'm going to be in the bedroom for an hour, and it's going to be locked because I'm going to masturbate," comes back out, and I inquired, and I said, "Hey, it seemed like that was urgent, like you just made this declaration. What was going on?" The kiddo was like, "I had a really good day, and I just wanted to feel even better," and I was like, "I am done. Write papers on me. I am in the critical canon of teaching your child sexuality."
Erica: I love it.
Kenrya: Ooh, but it's interesting.
Erica: So, did a ribbon and a star dropp from the sky and get pinned to your shirt?
Jasmine Banks: Beyoncé came down and said, "I am so proud of you."
Kenrya: That was good.
Erica: I love it. That was good. You go, sister.
Jasmine Banks: She said, "I love you like you from Houston."
Kenrya: It was actually really good. Yeah, but the reality is, and I wonder if how much you do influence other parents, like I know for me, the first time that I had a conversation with my daughter about gender identity was off of something that you wrote online about how we need to talk to our kids about it. I think I've been having conversations with her about consent since she was very young in all of the ways, right? Not just framing it around sex, but when we go to the doctor's office, she has to give consent for them to be able to look at her body. For white people touching her hair, she has to give consent on whether or not she wants... because that was a whole thing.
Jasmine Banks: But she doesn't have to ask if she stabs them, like if she pulls out her shank-
Erica: No, she does not. She can do whatever the fuck she wants.
Jasmine Banks: They touch her hair.
Kenrya: [crosstalk 00:42:36] shank. Yeah, but we hadn't had any conversations about that. So, we did, and I asked her, "Who do you feel like?" She was like, "Well, what do you mean?" We had conversation. She's like, "Oh, okay. Yeah, no." She's like, "I'm a girl." I was like, "Okay, cool. I just want to check to make sure that I am living right and making sure that I'm taking care of you and providing the safety and the support that you need." So, I hope that you know that as you share your life with your kids and the way that you are open about sexuality and gender and sex with them that other folks and in your podcast, that other folks are absorbing that and learning from that.
Jasmine Banks: Yes, yes. So, we get messages all the time from Parenting is Political podcast listeners about like, "You're telling me to teach my child this? I didn't even know it about myself." So, we're doing this multi-generational transformation work, and I don't mean to say that we're intentionally, like it's planned and it's targeted, but I think that for me, when it came to... A lot of folks make meaning of what I share online and how I live my life so openly, and they frame it as though I'm attention-seeking, or I'm always looking for drama, or I'm trying to be some online celebrity, but I had to come to this place of reckoning around the accesses that I, like access points in my life, intersections in my life, and I'm light-skinned by I don't know what grace.
Jasmine Banks: I was the first-generation person to graduate from junior high or high school and neither of my parents have secondary or post-secondary education. I just have all these opportunities, and I'm sure a level of that is definitely colorism, and the level of that is also definitely having proximity to white family members, but when I thought about who I wanted to be in my life work around Black liberation, I knew that I had to make the choice to not be underground because those privileges that I had and the way that colorism is so fucked up, I could speak to audiences and hold and honor Blackness and still tell my story where some of my dark-skinned siblings can't do that, right? Does that make sense?
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jasmine Banks: So, I chose to be really intentional and measured. I'm not as much as I appear to be. I don't just go on the internet and vomit everywhere and just be haphazard about things. I am often very strategic about what I do and what I don't share and how I share it, but sharing and telling your story has been the only way that I have healed and transformed and found deeper joy and deeper liberations because someone else told their story, and every time I look around, I don't see people telling my story, and I believe that Audre Lorde taught us that, right? If you don't see yourself in books that have been written, you have to write one. So, I look at my social media engagement and the stories that I tell in person and through digital mediums in that way, and I have written a book, but it's not published, but it's written.
Jasmine Banks: But yeah, like I hope that someone... I was interviewing George Johnson from “All Boys Aren't Blue,” and they were saying the same thing. They were saying, "I never saw a story this about myself, so I wrote it," and George also has the same kind of social media that I have where they're really reflective, and they really share these things that most people would hold with shame, and I don't like Eminem for various reasons, but I love his rap tactics that he starts playing the dozens on himself before whoever's in the rap battle can, right? He's like, "Yeah, I'm white. Yeah, I'm from the trailer. Yeah, I can't fuck. Yeah, I'm skinny," right? I think there's some power in that, like what does it call when you take someone's gun away from them, right?
Jasmine Banks: When you take their ammo away from them, ammunition, and then you take back power by naming those things about you. So, yeah, I mean, it's been a defense strategy, it's been an offensive strategy, and it's been a strategy that I hope invites deeper community and conversation. I'm not trying to say I'm right because I've grown so much. I'm not the most expert on whatever critical analysis of X, Y, and Z, but I do practice every single day to be less wrong about the things that I think.
Kenrya: That's all you can fucking ask for, right?
Jasmine Banks: Mm-hmm (affirmative), and I'm a good lay.
Erica: Hey. Another gold star.
Kenrya: Which leads me to ask you what three words describe sex in your 30s.
Jasmine Banks: Sex in my 30s. What I just do with sex in my 30s is a hard question. It has been juicy and restorative. Man, you said three words?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, and playful.
Kenrya: Yes, okay.
Erica: Fantastic because that sounds amazing, and I was about to say lit, L-I-T. Lit. That's what it says.
Jasmine Banks: Yes. It has been lit. So, I’m married to Mo. It is a love marriage, but it also was a tactical marriage because we live in Arkansas and Mo is nonbinary and queer, and I'm queer, and we need some state protections in order to function in this community, especially because our daughter is trans and so it makes it even more complicated. So, Mo has been such a fun partner to experience a second adolescence with. So, queer people often don't have the room in our younger years, develop psychosocial development years to really unpack and experiment and play. There's so much social pressure about staying closeted or having shame or all kinds of variables, and I would say the same for Black folks, even Black folks who aren't queer. It's not safe for us often to experiment and go through those developmental milestones that white young people do at their little keg parties and whatever.
Jasmine Banks: So, I've been experiencing second adolescence with Mo, and that's been really, really fun, and then we transitioned into this more secure sex practice. That's less about experimentation and more about us developing our own deep identity. We'd be like, "Okay, so what was something that we tried that wasn't... " Oh, so in kink, there are folks who like to induce vomiting by deep-throating, like extreme deep-throating to the point where it introduces vomiting. So, that was one of the first things that we experimented with around kink because gagging was sexy for me, and we learned very quickly that gagging is nice. When things come up after the gagging, that's a no-go. That's like a-
Jasmine Banks: I'm not kink shaming, but that's something that we experimented with throwing away, and now, we're just practicing holding each other in a really incredible way in our sex play, and then with my other partners, it's just been so good. I have two other women partners that I... Mo’s nonbinary, but I have two other Black women partners that I have sexual experiences with, and I just broke up with my girlfriend because she was garbage, but we did have a really good sex life, but she just needs to get her life together. She's probably listening to this. Get your life together, Megan.
Erica: Oh, shit. Pow-pow.
Jasmine Banks: So, it's great because with each of my partners, I'm not expected to take on any kind of heteronormative role, right? People usually assume because I'm more femme-presenting that I'm the bottom or the person who gets penetrated in my relationship with Mo, but no, I'm Daddy in that relationship, and then I have another sexual relationship where we're both femmes. We're both high femmes, and it's just a completely different level. I have another sexual relationship where it's just all erotica, and it's all text, and I love writing and words and reading, and I just really, really love that medium. So, to have someone that I could have sexting with and then masturbate or not has also been really incredible.
Jasmine Banks: So, it's just very fun. COVID threw a wrench in lots of plans, but I'm learning that during a part of my life, I did some sex work, and I did some cam work as a part of that sex work, and I was like, "Oh, I have these skills. They're coming back. Okay."
Erica: It's like riding a bike.
Jasmine Banks: You ain't going to keep me down, COVID. So, that has been really fun, and then also with COVID, like distance play toys that have Bluetooth or function over, those have also been very helpful.
Erica: Tell us about a sexual experience that you remember fondly.
Jasmine Banks: Because of how I am a dom top in my BDSM life, I really, really, really appreciate bottoms and subs that that need extra care, aftercare. So, I had an experience with a person who was bottoming for me who had never really felt safe to have a climax because she was a squirter. So, part of the care that I was able to provide for her was around clean up and clean up for her and aftercare, and I bought a special mat and tool that helps to protect the bed, but doesn't make it feel like, "Oh, you're a medical case, and this is weird," right? It was seamless as far as the environment and the scene went, and she got to climax, and she ejaculated, and then we got to do this care work afterwards. That was really fulfilling for me.
Jasmine Banks: So, when I show up in BDSM space and get to do aftercare, it gives me this really lovely sexual high around nurturing and aftercare. If you're not familiar with BDSM, that might seem a little weird and confusing, but-
Erica: You know what? Actually, that's one of the things about BDSM that I find beautiful is the intentionality of the aftercare part. So, yeah, if you're not familiar with it, then you probably should be getting a little more familiar with this, so you're not just leaving your partner on the bed underneath the sheet alone. You know?
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, yeah, because subspace can be definitely hard, that rebound. It was with a different person, but another really fun one that I got to do was someone who really, really liked to be shocked, and I didn't realize how much I like to shock people, but I do.
Erica: Learn new shit every day.
Jasmine Banks: My rising is Scorpio, so that's what I thought I must have been channeling.
Kenrya: That makes sense.
Erica: That makes sense.
Jasmine Banks: Like the sting and the pain.
Kenrya: So, we have a pretty good idea of what your sex life looks like now, but on average, how many times do you have some sort of sexual contact in a week?
Jasmine Banks: Gosh. I talked to you about this for another piece that you did. It's had an uptick recently. Before whenever I was traveling and I could see my people in New York with my play partners, then I... That was multiple times a day. Now though, because of COVID, it's probably four or five times a week unless I have someone that comes to visit, or we do a video chat. Then it's a weirdly large number out of the typical norm because it's multiple partners.
Kenrya: Are there, I guess along those lines, certain times of day that you prefer to have sex? Like, "I like to have sex in the morning."
Jasmine Banks: I remember you telling me about that, and I was confused.
Kenrya: Why are you confused?
Jasmine Banks: Because I'm not a morning person, but I did have a sexual partner recently that made me motivated enough to wake up a couple of days out of the week to have morning sex with her. Today, Mo text me in between a meeting and was like, "Hey, do you have time to have sex?" That was really nice and fun. I like midday sex. At this point with homeschooling with COVID and working from home and the white supremacist in chief and everything else, like the race war that we all need to grab our machetes for very soon. I get tired at night. So, now, my sex life has shifted to the daytime, and if we don't get it in on the weekday, it's like our kids don't see us for a couple of hours on the weekends.
Kenrya: Got to make up time. That's why I like morning sex because I'm always really fucking tired by the end of the day, but also morning is not really for me.
Jasmine Banks: Okay. Well, you make the morning-
Erica: It's just first-thing-in-your-day sex.
Jasmine Banks: What does that mean?
Kenrya: Because on the weekends, it's like 10 or 11 o'clock, especially if my daughter is at her dad's.
Jasmine Banks: You get to sleep in until 11 o'clock?
Kenrya: If she's not home, which is only twice a month for 48 hours, but I take advantage of it.
Jasmine Banks: I'll trade that for a couple of my sex sessions. Let me sleep until 10:00, somebody.
Kenrya: Yeah. I mean, it doesn't happen often, but when it does, I take it, and then if I can roll over and have sex, it don't get too much better than that.
Erica: See? Just logistically, what about your breath?
Kenrya: We just don't breathe in each other's faces. I mean, shit. It's a lot of weight when you have sex that don't involve... on your nose. We're considerate, but I don't care. I want to-
Jasmine Banks: Also, bodies have smells, and it's whatever. You don't need to be so fresh and so clean, clean. Bodies just-
Kenrya: Listen, I wake up juicy. I like-
Erica: I've [crosstalk 00:58:11] now a marinated puss is-
Kenrya: Is a good puss.
Erica: A good puss. It's like baked over. It's been baking overnight like a warm baked potato.
Jasmine Banks: I still sleep with my hands between my thighs. I do. I've done it since I was a child. So, if I lubricate at all and I wake up, I just rub it on Mo's face.
Kenrya: Like, "Hey, good morning."
Jasmine Banks: And then because we're that crunchy queer couple, Mo be like, "It smells like you're about to ovulate." I'm like, "Shut the fuck up. That's not what you say."
Erica: I love it. I love it.
Kenrya: As do I. All right. Let's see. Oh, how long do your sex sessions typically last?
Jasmine Banks: Oh, man, if it's a scene, it can be a couple of hours. If it's just typical vanilla sex, that's usually shorter. That's an hour or less.
Erica: Okay. Where do you usually do it?
Jasmine Banks: Our scenes are usually in our room. If the kids are gone, it's like fair play game. I broke the car window because there was sex happening, and I broke the windshield with my foot because I was pressing on it hard.
Kenrya: I'm sorry. You didn't get hurt, did you?
Erica: So, when you break... Do you just commit at this point, just keep going or did you-
Jasmine: I mean, there ain't shit you can do about it right then, right?
Erica: Okay. Yeah, that's what I was thinking.
Jasmine Banks: What's been done has been done.
Kenrya: Yeah, you didn't get hurt.
Jasmine Banks: Mm-mm (negative). It didn't shatter. It just spidered it.
Kenrya: Oh, yeah.
Jasmine Banks: Now, I got to fix my wife's window.
Kenrya: I mean, that you can have sex.
Erica: Somebody was making it rain. A good hail storm. What's the best part of your sex life right now?
Jasmine Banks: The best part of my sex life harkens back to my history that doesn't feel coercive. It feels very held and free, and just I really love that Mo, the partner that I have most immediate access to, really likes eating my ass. That's so nice. I really love that, and then also because sex is about reciprocity and this third space you create between you. I really like that because Mo is a nonbinary person who's doing a lot of work for themselves around body and sexuality, coming also from Christianity, that I get to be a safe space for practice around experimenting how gender expression and identity intersect with sexual expression and identity. That has been really, really fun, and I love having a nonbinary partner because it never feels like I'm with a set gender or a gender at all.
Jasmine Banks: It's just like this is Mo's version of nonbinary, and we get to make of it what we want. So, if Mo's like, "Hey, can I get a dildo that squirts and can I cum on your face?" I'm like, "Yes."
Jasmine Banks: Let's do that.
Erica: Let's explore.
Jasmine Banks: So, it's great. I hope it's like what the future of sex is for so many of us that even those who are not queer or those who are not trans can figure out blueprints for play and erogenous experience. It's not just about all that boring stuff you see on Pornhub.
Erica: Yes. What's the most frustrating part?
Jasmine Banks: That I can't travel because I have people I need to fuck.
Erica: Fuck you, COVID.
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, it gets to the point where I want to protect the herd and then also I need to go to Alabama to see somebody. I'm really, really trying to be a good relative and not travel and go places.
Erica: But it's just those junk has needs.
Jasmine Banks: Well, eight months is a long time to be away from a partner.
Erica: Yeah, for sure. How often do you masturbate?
Jasmine Banks: Every day.
Erica: Every day, yeah, and what's your favorite technique? Do you have one?
Jasmine Banks: I'm a friction kind of person, and it's always my hand. I have all kinds of toys and tools whenever I was active as a Just Jasmine blogger, which is still my blog, still exists. I would get all kinds of different free products, and then I just love sex shops, and I collect things, but I just have never found anything that I enjoy as much as my hands. Also, it might be just about logistics because I always masturbate first thing when I wake up no matter what, and I don't want to get up and walk to my closet and open a bin and figure out what I want. So, maybe it's also that I'm lazy. It's the Taurus in me. It's my Taurus moon.
Kenrya: Oh, yeah, I was married to a Taurus. That's the whole thing. Why every day? What does that do for you to start your day in that way?
Jasmine Banks: Honestly, it might be for everyone else because I'm nicer, less murderous. I feel energized. I'm ready to get up and do things afterwards. It's activating.
Erica: It's a power-up button.
Kenrya: Do you ever have any trouble turning off the day and focusing on bodily pleasure?
Jasmine Banks: Totally, totally. As a person who's survived childhood and adult sexual assault, dissociation is a huge part of how I balance things, and especially dissociating from anything that's about being in my body. So, I've had to create practices and norms where I invite myself to be inside my body, and masturbation has been one of those ways, and then lingerie and anything that's experiential and tactile that I can put on my body also is a meditative practice that calls me into space with myself. So, it's complicated. So, even if I don't have a busy day, that is definitely a learning edge that I have.
Erica: If you could snap your fingers and change one thing, what would you change about your sex life?
Jasmine Banks: I would be able to get people pregnant.
Erica: Babies for everyone.
Jasmine Banks: Wow, that's an interesting question. I don't know if I would really change anything. No. I would. Okay, so I would change how complicated it is to be a relationship anarchist, a person who's poly in my sexual expression in life because it often feels like that heterosexual vanilla couples just get such an easy script to follow, and they don't have these 4,000 fucking conversations with people in order to get some head.
Erica: But here's the thing. Part of the problem is that's what be fucking us up.
Jasmine Banks: That's true.
Erica: That's [crosstalk 01:06:14] us. That's what fucks it up. I think what makes it outside looking in, but I know it's like a, "Fuck. I got to... " But-
Jasmine Banks: Sometimes, I get a little tired. I'm like, "Is there a hand signal where I can just be like please?" I mean, I know we have sign language for it, but just a single-hand gesture like, "Let's do anal, but I don't want to be partners, and I'm not trying to steal your... I'm not trying to do anything nefarious. I just think you might be fun to do anal with.”
Erica: That would be... Okay. You got to come up with a-
Kenrya: Are you making up a...
Erica: I'm doing my Walter Machado.
Jasmine Banks: No. This is the... Anyway.
Erica: We have to have video for now [crosstalk 01:07:14].
Kenrya: We got to start using video.
Jasmine Banks: We're ridiculous. So, are y'all going to come to Parenting is Political to talk about sex and parenting?
Kenrya: Yes, if you'll have us.
Erica: Yeah, yeah.
Jasmine Banks: Cool, cool.
Kenrya: Before we do that, can you tell us what is a sex best practice that you want to share with our listeners?
Jasmine Banks: I have so many.
Kenrya: Give us what you want.
Jasmine Banks: Oh my gosh. This was my Miss America question. All right. So, I would say a best practice that I commit to is understanding that sex is about an experience, not a performance, and in so many ways, it doesn't have to be, "Did I do this good? Did I do this bad? Did you climax? Did you not?" And embracing these binaries, but checking in with people like, "Did you feel listened to? Did you experience pleasure that you could recognize? Did you feel as though you could communicate to me? Did you have fun?" Those things, like normalizing those questions doesn't make it any less sexy, and it actually opens up opportunities of deeper sex play and engagement because then folks feel safe and seen to give more details about what they want. It becomes even more juicy at that point.
Jasmine Banks: I have had partners in the past who when we tried those practices, we're like, "I just feel like we're doing an exit survey, and I don't like that, and it just feels like you're grading me or I'm grading you, and we shouldn't do that." So, normalizing an open communication is just really, really critical because it's that safety and communication that allows us to negotiate boundaries and consent and desire, and those are all foundational to having an enjoyable sexual experience.
Erica: Do you have any must-use tools?
Jasmine Banks: Uberlube is one of my favorites, and I think that folks who... How is it? Well, this is what I'm going to say. Cis women who are not queer definitely need to try an internal dildo. It's a dildo that has a hook or a bulb that you insert into your vaginal canal, and it can vibrate or can't vibrate, but I want cis women masturbating by putting the internal dildo and putting a shit ton of lube and rubbing the dong while literally stimulating and get into it. I think that is a must-have experience. We first introduced that tool to be supportive of some of the habits of Mo's dysphoria or some of the ways that Mo's dysphoria was showing up, but at one point, I was like, "Why is this just for a nonbinary person who needs to see themselves like gender expansive? I'm going to try this," and I masturbated with, and I was like, "Next level. Next level."
Kenrya: Next level?
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, so if you have the anatomy... Language is just so problematic, but say I'm talking to Erica, and I'm assuming you have a vulva, and I'm assuming you like to stroke dick, why not stroke your own while playing with your clitoris?
Erica: Girl, I'm online right now. I'm about to buy my own. Like bitch, I'm literally looking online right now to purchase-
Jasmine Banks: And then the bulb, which is used to secure the person who's wearing the internal dildo acts as a mechanism for you to feel full, and then it vibrates. It also hit your G-spot, and I'm like...
Kenrya: Yeah, we may need you to send us the link when we finish.
Erica: No, I'm looking, and you will approve before I press in. Thanks. Okay. Would you rather give up partner sex or masturbation?
Jasmine Banks: Partner sex, hands down.
Erica: Oh, yes.
Kenrya: [inaudible 01:11:57].
Erica: I'm lazy, but yeah. I like it.
Kenrya: Yeah, you're like, "You mean, they get to do the work? Yeah, I'll stick with partnered sex."
Kenrya: What do you hope that people learn from this walk through your sex life?
Jasmine Banks: I just hope that folks can take away that even those of us who have our bodies and our sexualities and our sexual experiences as sites of extreme trauma and suffering and even shame that we don't have to throw away sexuality and sexual experience and that in community and through embodied healing, we can transform and have different memories and different ways of being in relationship with our bodies and others and the intersections of sexuality and sexual practice. I really hope that comes through, and I also hope that it comes through that you can be a dope-ass parent and caretaker and really like to fuck and really like kink and really do all sorts of expansive things around sex.
Kenrya: Yeah, I think they're going to get that.
Jasmine Banks: I hope so.
Kenrya: Yeah, well done. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Jasmine Banks: Thank you for having me. I hope you're not jealous that Erica's my new best friend.
Kenrya: So, here's the thing.
Erica: Here's the problem. You say that, but then there's a lot of responsibility that comes with this. So, yeah, you're going to be like, "Damn." I mean, yeah. So, is this the one I need to be buying?
Kenrya: Those hormone shots she was getting, I was the one giving her them shits.
Jasmine Banks: Yes, that's a great starter, and you see the ridges? It also can rub your... gets clitoral contact.
Erica: Yeah, they have another one. They have the little bunny, but I feel like I'd freak out with all that stimulation.
Jasmine Banks: Yeah, that, when that has the ridges is nice because it's got an angle that you can bend the shaft part a little bit away and get your hand down enough to give yourself the physical contact around clitoral stimulation. So...
Erica: Dink, dink.
Kenrya: Okay, send it to me.
Erica: Thanks, bestie. Sorry, Kenrya.
Kenrya: It's fine. Where can other people who want to be your bestie find you online?
Jasmine Banks: Well, applications for best friends are closed. I peaked at Erica. So, @ParentingIsPolitical on Instagram is the best place to connect.
Kenrya: And then the website is ParentingIsPolitical.org?
Jasmine Banks: That is correct, and we have all of our podcasts there and email and newsletter and people can subscribe and all that jazz, but people think that just because I be really personal that I want them to follow me on my personal social media, like my Jasmine, Instagram, and every once while, I get the streak of Virgo, I feel bad because I'm not being nice to people. So, I'll let them in, and then three weeks later, my list is cut down again.
Erica: Who the fuck is this? Who's this person? Yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah, so y'all head over to the Parenting is Political accounts and follow her there, and that's it for this week's episode of The Turn On. Thank y'all so much for listening. We'll talk to you next week.
Erica: Peace out.
Erica: This episode was produced by us, Erica and Kenrya, and edited by B'Lystic. The theme music is from Brazy. Now, you can support The Turn On and get off. Subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app. Then drop us a five-star review, and you'll be entered to win something that's turning us on. Post your review and email us a screenshot at TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com to enter. Our Patreon page is also live. Become a supporter today and access lots of goodies, including two-for-one raffle entries. Don't forget to send us your book recommendations and sex and related questions and follow us on Twitter at @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram at @TheTurnOnPodcast. You can find links to books, merch, transcripts, guest info, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com. Thanks so much 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.