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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya read from "Big Girl Pill" by KD Williamson and talk about heeding red flags, telling your friends when you don't rock with the person they're dating and breaking up with codependency.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Welcome, welcome, welcome to this episode of The Turn On. We are reading from “Big Girl Pill,” which was written in 2019 by KD Williamson. So sit back, relax, get your wine, get your weed, get your whatever you need, and enjoy.
Kenrya: “Big Girl Pill,” by KD Williamson. Maya grabbed Nina's hand and pulled her toward the hallway, glad they had managed to put the groceries away at least. They made it to Maya's bedroom in record time, but that still gave Maya a minute to think. She listened to every word Nina had said, but a small kernel of doubt dug at her. She closed the door and turned toward Nina.
Kenrya: "Wait," she said. "No." Nina put a finger against her lips. "But," Nina grabbed Maya by the shirt. "No. We're doing this as hard as you want and as deep as you want. Fast or slow, I don't care, but we're doing this," she said, breathing ragged and voice husky. "Jesus." Maya couldn't think of anything else to say. Nina's words cut through her with a scorching hot blade. When their lips met again, it was tantamount to being devoured. Each meeting of their tongues made them both groan, and Nina pulled at her shirt. Seconds later, she threw it towards some corner of the room. Nina's lips were like a brand against her skin, but Maya didn't want the burning to stop.
Kenrya: When Nina bit into her shoulder, she cried out, but didn't have time to enjoy it, because Nina's hands were everywhere, mapping her back, chest, and breast. Maya removed Nina's shirt and bra and hurled the items across the room. She was barely aware that they were moving, so when Nina fell backward onto the bed and brought her with her, she gasped in surprise then in pleasure at the press of breasts against breasts.
Kenrya: Maya sat up on her knees to enjoy the view of Nina, who tried to follow her motion, but Maya pushed her back down. A tiny sound escape Nina's lips and her breathing became even more uneven. Maya stared at Nina's naked torso, taking in heavy pink-tipped breasts and her softly rounded stomach. She had to touch. She had to taste. She squeezed Nina's breast, and by the time she got to Nina's swollen nipples, she was writhing and unable to resist as Maya plucked at them. Nina arched and moaned and Maya stopped and trailed her hands down over Nina's stomach, then back up again. There was no pattern. She just wanted Nina to feel her everywhere.
Kenrya: When she covered Nina's breasts once more, Nina cried out. The sound ripped through Maya and, already impatient and needy, she leaned forward and flicked her tongue over one of Maya’s nipples before sucking it deep into her mouth. “Shit,” Nina gasped and she tangled her hand in Maya’s braids and slid her other across her back, holding her firmly. With each brush of Maya’s tongue, Nina's hips rotated against her upper thigh. Maya groaned and met Nina thrust for thrust. Clothing still separated them, but for the moment, it only added to the friction. Nina pulled at Maya’s hair, urging her upward until their mouths met. The kiss was electric and frenzied and ratcheted up the urgency.
Kenrya: Nina gripped Maya’s shoulders, and her fingertips dug into her skin. Maya tore herself away and Nina murmured in protest, but when Maya reached down between them and tugged at Nina's jeans, Nina helped. They pushed and pulled until she was free of them and her underwear. Nina collapsed back onto the bed, her chest heaving and her gaze riveted on Maya. The air between them seemed to ignite. Nina spread her legs and something in Maya caught fire. She didn't give a damn if she ended up burned to a crisp. Her gaze raked over Nina's curves and the expanse of her skin until she stopped and got lost between Nina's legs, mesmerized by her wet, swollen sex. She grabbed Nina under her knees and yanked her forward and Maya’s hands slid up and over Nina's thighs, making her tremble. “God, I... Mmm,” Nina moaned as Maya’s touch inched closer to her sex. Maya smeared her fingers through Nina's wetness and coated the inside of her thighs, enjoying how she moved her hips and moaned.
Kenrya: Just as Maya leaned forward intent on tasting what lay before her, Nina touched herself, and ran her fingertips over her clit. Shocked, Nina glanced up and got caught in her gaze, which held challenge, pleasure, and a fierceness Maya had never seen from her before. She watched as Nina's fingers moved furiously through her own wetness. It was the hottest fucking thing she'd ever seen. But she had waited two years to touch Nina again and she wasn't going to let the opportunity pass her by, no matter how glorious it was to watch her masturbate.
Kenrya: With the flat of her tongue, she licked below Nina's fingers, but she still didn't move her hand, so Maya did it again and added fuel to both their fires by swiping lower and spearing her tongue inside. Nina's hips thrust against Maya’s face, pushing her in deeper. God. It was incredible. Maya created her own rhythm and twisted her tongue around Nina's fingertips, grazing her clit before teasing below it and sliding into her and groaning as she started once more.
Kenrya: Nina's thighs clenched around Maya’s head, which heightened her enjoyment and deepened her own need. Nina's thrusts went from smooth to erratic and wild. Seconds later, her lower body started to quiver. Maya wanted to see it, the look on Nina's face when everything flew apart, but she couldn't stop. She wouldn't dare. Not now. For a moment, Nina was completely still, and in the next, she cried out and arched, undulating helplessly. Maya slid her hands underneath her and grabbed her ass and clutched her close as she continued to lick gently.
Kenrya: Eventually, Maya let her go and Nina settled onto the bed. “Mmm, Christ, Maya.” Her eyes were closed and her words languid. Maya looked down at her, watching as she came back down to earth. What a lovely fucking fall, every second of it. No regrets, and the whispering doubts were finally silent. Her body vibrated as arousal rushed through her with renewed vigor. Nina opened her eyes and touched the side of Maya’s neck and face. Maya leaned into the caress. She turned her head and brushed her open mouth over Nina's palm, and Nina traced Maya’s bottom lip with her thumb. Maya sucked it into her mouth, thinking that each touch, even the smallest, made her soar. Nina pulled her thumb away and ran her hand down Maya’s neck to her breasts, painting her nipple with the remaining wetness. Maya inhaled sharply.
Kenrya: During their one previous night together, after discovering how sensitive her breasts were, Nina hadn't stopped touching them, and it seemed she remembered, as she ran her palm over Maya’s nipples. Nina's mouth brushed against hers, but it was her tongue that was the busiest, flicking against her lips before sliding inside, no doubt tasting herself and, moments later, their kisses deepened and Maya’s arousal increased even more. No more teasing. Nina kneaded Maya’s breasts and grasped and pulled her nipples, sending a thick surge of electricity through her. Sparks raked over her skin. Maya tore herself away from the kiss. “Fuck,” she said with a groan. She clenched her thighs together as pleasure reverberated through her, even though she hadn't taken off her pants. Maya wasn't going to make it. All Nina had to do was blow on her at this point. “I can't..."
Kenrya: Without warning, Nina's mouth replaced her fingers, enclosing Maya’s nipple into a hot, wet vise. Everything went gray. The first eruption was tiny, but the rest of it built quickly and filled Maya to the core. She whimpered brokenly as an orgasm slammed through her, and none of her muscles seemed to work as she fell forward onto Nina. When she came back to herself, she was still in Nina's arms.
Erica: Okay, y'all. Welcome back. This was “Big Girl Pill” by KD Williamson. Killa, how about you give us a little synopsis of the story, because you know I like to tell too much, and set up the scene that you just read.
Kenrya: Okay. So this book has two protagonists. There's Maya, who is a Black woman, and there's Nina, who is a white one. They were best friends in college, and then they ended up having sex, and then one of them got scared. Then they kind of just stopped being friends. At the moment that we come back to them in this book, Maya is in town for Nina's wedding.
Erica: Messy, messy, messy.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative). She's supposed to be in the wedding, and it's like everything about this feels like a bad decision, and her body is telling her that every step of the way. But they decided they want to use the time to kind of patch up their relationship, but things perhaps go a little bit further than they thought that they would. Then we end up on this scene, which happens after they're like they're going to make a meal together, and they're putting away groceries. Then they end up... I'm trying to come up with a euphemism that uses groceries, and all I'm thinking is ass eating, and I don't think they did that. But it leads to this scene that I just read.
Erica: Okay. Yeah, so the book itself, even outside of the theme of we were college... Because they were best friends in college, and then it went somewhere. Even taking a step outside of that, one of the biggest things in this book is just, one, family and friends.
Kenrya: Yeah, they loom really large.
Erica: Yeah, having your relationships with your family and your friends, and how that affects your romantic relationships. Then also, for me, I don't even know how to put it, but her engagement, Nina, right? Nina's engagement with the guy, the fucking... If he doesn't-
Kenrya: I don't even remember his name.
Erica: Yeah. If this man was a color, he would be eggshell white.
Erica: Just fucking boring. I found it interesting, because I feel like she was at a point where she needed to be married, and so she did it. Not to say that he wasn't a good guy or whatever, but I think if she had slowed down a little bit, she might have seen that although he's a good guy, he might not be good for you.
Kenrya: That's right.
Erica: That makes me think about right now where I am in dating and all of that stuff. I have a few guys that are in the rotation, and they all are great. Some provide... They're all great, and I don't know how to put it without telling too much detail. They're all great, but one guy, I could easily jump into something with him, and it would be cool. He's fun. I'm fun. We have fun together, but thinking long-term, nah, boo. It just wouldn't work.
Kenrya: Oh okay. I know what you're talking... I'm like, "Wait. Okay."
Erica: You're like, "Wait, I like him."
Kenrya: Right, right, but now I know who you're talking about. Okay. Yes. That is a sound decision that I support.
Erica: I know you do. Ugh. But it's fun. We have fun. It's great, but it's just like it can't. It just can't be. But I totally see myself, if this was Erica of four or five years ago, I would have been like, "Okay, cool. We can make this work," and not have thought about the fact that there are some fundamental things about us and the way you work and the way we work together that just wouldn't end well.
Kenrya: Yeah, and any time I feel like that you have to say, "We can make this work," that's a big old red flag right in front of your face.
Erica: Mm-mm (negative). Read me, bitch. I can't snap my finger, because I broke a thumbnail.
Kenrya: Oh no, they're so pretty.
Erica: Oh bitch, they're getting redone immediately.
Kenrya: I know they are.
Erica: But yeah, and it also makes me think about just my engagement to my ex-husband, who is... It's such a conflicted relationship there, because I love him. He loves me. We truly love each other. It's just we can't love each other the way we need to love each other-
Kenrya: The way you need to be loved.
Erica: ... for a marriage. So I even get a little hesitant speaking about him too much on this show, even though I do, because I don't want to make it seem like he's like some... Yes, he does do shit that I'd be like, "This motherfucker." But-
Kenrya: Mostly to me.
Erica: Yeah, sorry.
Kenrya: But it doesn't change the fact that you love him.
Erica: Yeah. That was not developed, not thinking I'm ready to be married and start a family Erica when I was like, "Okay, he's cool. I'm cool. We can make it work." Even then, there were fundamental red flags about our relationship that should not have been ignored.
Kenrya: Right. That's interesting too, right? Because what I hear you doing is making a distinction between red flags about a person and red flags about the way that you are with that person.
Erica: Definitely, definitely, because I think a lot of times, we take red flags and turn them into, "Oh, they're not so bad," because the person isn't a red flag. It's just the situation is a red flag. I struggled with that a lot when it came to the decision to even divorce, because I'm like, "He's a good guy. He really loves me. I really love him," but at the end of the day, our love for each other wasn't meeting to give each other what we needed in order to feel like this marriage was a thing. So I think it's important. I thank you for making that distinction, but I do think it's very important to suss out the fact that it's totally possible for this person to be a good person, but they're just not a good person for you.
Erica: So how do you feel like... What about when you see a friend going through this?
Kenrya: Going through being with somebody that's not good for them?
Erica: Yeah. Because, okay, there are a few things in play. One, they could be not a good person for them. They could not be a good person for that other person. Or it could also be that I just don't like this motherfucker.
Erica: They might be great together. I'm just like, "I don't like this nigga, and I don't want to go to cookouts, because he going to be there."
Kenrya: That was specific. So when it's just that I don't like the nigga, I hold my tongue, because that's my issue. That's not their issue. If they're happy and their relationship is healthy and she ain't complaining or saying nothing, and she ain't getting hit or... You know what I mean? I can't see no outward signs and she's not sharing anything that makes me concerned and it's just that I don't like that nigga, then that's for me to deal with. That ain't for me to burden them with. So I keep my mouth shut.
Erica: Yeah. I think I generally keep my mouth shut. So I say something once, and that's about it, because I don't want... I'm trying to walk this line of being your friend and being supportive, because I don't want you to feel like you can't come to me with shit, but at the same time, I also don't want you to be like, "Bitch, you ain't never say nothing." So I try to be like, "Look, I'm going to say it once, because I want you to know that I care about you and I love you and I'm looking out for you. I'm not going to beat you over the head with it, because you're an adult, and a lot of times it takes you having to go through it to,"-
Kenrya: To get there.
Erica: ... "to get there."
Kenrya: Yeah. So I walk the line of being a friend to my friend and being a friend to their marriage. I think everybody needs folks who are a friend to their marriage, and I think some of it too is like this... I was one of the first to get divorced, and I think that people expect you to be bitter or to have negative feelings about relationships in general, and I never want to reinforce that stereotype, you know what I mean?
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: Like for them to think that I don't want... For anyone to think that I don't want them to be happy and be married just because I got happier after I got out of mine.
Erica: You know what? I'm sorry.
Kenrya: Yeah, go ahead.
Erica: I feel that same way. So I try to hold my tongue, especially when friends are on this, "Should I stay? Should I go? What should I do?" Because I'm like, "Bitch, it's fun over here. We having,"-
Kenrya: Over on this side.
Erica: "It's lit over on this side." But at the same time, it's not easy even when you know you need to end a marriage. It's not easy ending it. You're not only ending a relationship with this person, but you're ending the way you thought your life would be, and there's so much to it.
Kenrya: Yes, which is the hardest part, honestly.
Erica: Yeah. So I try to tell my friends that might be going through it like, "Look, let me state my biases from the start." When I do all these sex educator classes, everyone gets on there like, "I am cis. I am fat. I do this. I am from the Midwest," da da da. So I find that it's helpful to state that up front so that you then can filter-
Kenrya: Be conscious of it and be intentional about making sure that you're not letting it creep in, and folks can filter that out.
Erica: Exactly. Exactly.
Kenrya: Yeah, that's real. So the way I approach it, because I do tend to be the friend that people call when they're going through it, just because I give good advice.
Erica: I'd be like, "Bitch, tequila. Let's go out."
Kenrya: So I listen, and then it's funny, because some of our friends say talking to me is like having a therapy session. I ask a lot of questions and try to help people come to their own conclusions, because I... And I never tell somebody, "You need to leave them." I don't ever want to be the person that you look back at or talking to your boo and be like, "Yeah, she told me to leave you." Nah, mm-mm (negative). Not me. I ask you questions to help you figure out whether or not that's what you want to do. When you tell me things that sound like red flags, I stop you and I ask you about them. I don't let them just float by my face. I want you to see how right they are and help you to be able to put them in context and figure out what you want to do, and I let folks know that I am here if they need me, but I don't harp on it.
Erica: Yeah, and that's a good way to put it. Yeah, and that's why I love you as a friend, because you are really good at making things known, because Kenrya has had to pull me up on shit. To this day, she pulls me up on shit. Some of it, most of it I know I'm just acting a fool and being a jerk or being reckless, but it's nice to know that you have people that are going to... Y'all, I'm sorry. I'm trying to pay attention and talk, but Killa is over here like... She is going in on her daughter.
Kenrya: I'm not going in, but dude.
Erica: It was like, "I told you."
Kenrya: Oh, you could hear me?
Erica: No, I could see it in your face. So okay. Sorry, y'all.
Kenrya: I did. I did. I told her already.
Erica: Totally off topic, but anyway. Kenrya has had to... Killa has had to pull me up a few times, especially as I'm in this post-cancer, "Let's have fun," glow. But she wouldn't be a friend if she wasn't checking me on when I'm being a jerk or doing some stupid shit. I appreciate that. I say this a lot to my friends, because I don't want them to feel like... I know that within friendships, it's difficult calling your friends out for some people. Not for Kenrya, because she does it well. But for some people, it's very difficult. I had a girlfriend the other day that was like, "I'm not trying to be shady, but," and she said it. I'm like, "No, you're my friend. This was a valid observation. I appreciate it. I receive it," because I also don't want people to feel like when they're telling me something, that I'm like, "Yeah, whatever, bitch."
Kenrya: Yeah, you're really good at, one, telling folks not to qualify stuff. Like I used to say all the time, "I adore you, but," and you'd be like, "Bitch, don't qualify it. I know you love me. Just say it." I appreciate that, and you're really good at taking feedback. You'd be like, "Okay, let me think about that," or, "You're right, I hadn't thought about that," or whatever. You don't get defensive and whatever.
Erica: Because I know it's difficult for people to do that. So I want to let them know, "No, share this shit with me." I don't want you to... Even if you think I'm having a response that's like, 'Fuck you,' I might be, but that's why I have friends. I want y'all to be the eyes behind my back. I want to be that to you.
Kenrya: I think that that's part of why it's so important to me to say something, because when I was in my marriage, I was not in a great place. I kept it secret, because I have vulnerability issues. I didn't want anyone to see that things were not going well. Beyond being one of the first to get divorced, I was one of the first to get married and have a kid and all of those things. I didn't want folks to think basically that I had failed at it, and I hadn't yet learned that I could... Just in the way that I couldn't control the things that my then husband was doing and whatever, also I couldn't take on any type of shame for the things that he did. That wasn't my shit. I wasn't doing it. But I wasn't there yet. So I didn't give my friends the opportunity to be there for me in that way. I remember so many folks, like you knew most of what was going on, but most folks knew literally nothing.
Erica: Yeah, you know what? Now looking back, I think that's why I try to... Because I tried to be supportive, but I supported you through fuck shit.
Kenrya: Yeah, and we were young.
Erica: I hate that I did that, because I probably should have been like, "Girl, let's think this through."
Kenrya: Yeah, but I might not have been able to receive it. That's what I always tell people. Now I'm like, "Tell me. If you see something, say something. I promise,"-
Erica: [crosstalk 00:26:05] about his joint.
Kenrya: Yeah, I'm not that person that's going to get mad at you. I'm just not. I remember somebody who was an associate saw some stuff and didn't tell me until after I had gotten a divorce. I was like, "Bitch."
Erica: That bitch, she on the shit list for the rest of her life.
Kenrya: Yeah, I'm like, "You could have just..." She's like, "Well, I didn't want to be all in your..." You know me well enough to pick up the phone and call me and for our kids to hang out. You know me well enough to be like, “Yo, I just saw something,” and tell me. What am I going to be mad at you for? I know that there are folks who do that, but I don't think I've ever shown that I'm that person.
Erica: Yeah, yeah. If anything, me and the side chick going to team up and go fight the nigga together.
Kenrya: Right. She didn't do nothing wrong, and you wouldn't be doing anything wrong by telling me, but it is what it is.
Kenrya: But I think that's part of why I work so hard to make sure that I am there for folks in that way, because I didn't let folks in in that way. I remember being at that therapy thing that we did, and the therapist asked, "How does your codependency hurt other people?" I was like, "I don't know." I gave one answer that had to do with my marriage. She was like, "Well, what about with your friends?" I was like, "I don't know." She was like, "Well, you hurt them in your relationship when you don't give them a chance to be there for you." That's something I've literally just told my daughter yesterday, because she was going through something with her best friend, and she was not wanting to be vulnerable-
Erica: We are they not going through something?
Kenrya: I know. She didn't want to be vulnerable and say something to her. But I got her to make a little voice recording to send over to her. But then she didn't want to send it. So we had a conversation about the power of vulnerability, and why it's important to let your friends in in that way, because I don't want her to grow up to be what I was at 30 and afraid to say anything.
Erica: Yeah, because also, I think there's a fear of getting played, letting a nigga carry you. It's totally valid, because I was having a conversation this morning like, "Look, I am a bitch with pride," but I think that for friends, you got to put that shit aside. If I have to worry about you taking advantage of my emotions, you don't need to be my friend.
Kenrya: You're not my friend. Exactly.
Erica: It's just that simple. I need to be able to be vulnerable with you and let you know how I feel. Okay.
Erica: Well, speaking of friends, another theme in this book is how Nina did not like her fiancé’s friends.
Kenrya: Oh yeah. They were terrible.
Erica: So here's the thing. We have a very robust friend group, right?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: We have a very robust and involved friend group. Not that they're all in your business, but-
Kenrya: They're supportive.
Erica: ... our friends roll deep. Yeah, we're super supportive. We know what's going on. We got a girlfriend going through some things tomorrow, and we got a prayer call tonight.
Kenrya: We got a prayer line tonight.
Erica: Because that's what we do. It's one of the things that I love about our friendships. So with me as I think about a partner, I definitely think about will that person fit in with my friend group? I know some people are on some like, "Fuck that, it's just me and him," but to me, we're going to be around my friends more than we're going to be around my family.
Kenrya: Yes, that's true.
Erica: So I want you to fit in with them, because these are an extension of me. If you can't stand my best friend, nigga, she a reflection of me. How the fuck you... You know?
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah.
Erica: What are your thoughts?
Kenrya: I think that it's important that they be able to be in the same space with them and be able to hang out. My partner is kind of a-
Erica: You two are introverts. Y'all are-
Kenrya: See, he's not an introvert, but he's also not a hang out with people. I can't understand it, or I can't explain it. He can talk to strangers-
Erica: Because you know what he's not. Because he will come by, and we sit outside and chat it up for a minute, yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah, but then he be like, "All right, let's go boo up." You know what I mean?
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: So it's not that he's not, but he's also not a, "We just sitting around shooting the shit with a group of people," kind of person for a long time, but he will do it because he knows that I like it in short bursts, because then I'm like, "I got to go back to the house."
Erica: You're like, "Okay, we got to go upstairs."
Kenrya: I'd be like, "I'm drained." Exactly. Me and my introvert ass be like, "Okay, I have no energy. I have to go upstairs and get under a blanket." He'd be like, "All right, let's go." But for me, it was even more important that I get a co-sign from you all, especially because I have been with folks who, if I had asked for the co-sign, wouldn't have even got it.
Erica: All right.
Kenrya: Right. Like now that I'm at that-
Kenrya: I'm at that point where I can be vulnerable in that way and can honestly receive whatever feedback y'all give, that's really important to me, right?
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: Because we all went out for New Year's, I had been with him for like... I had met him three weeks before that. Remember we went out, and y'all were like, "Yes, bitch. Yes, yes, yes." I was like, "Okay, we can keep moving."
Kenrya: That's important to me, and also though, that's not to say that I think that we all have to be the same. I think the fit in language is always interesting, because I think we all have a lot... We all come from a whole lot of different backgrounds.
Erica: And we are a lot.
Erica: Our friend group, it is a lot. So if you're not used to it, you just-
Kenrya: It can be overwhelming.
Erica: Yeah, yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah, and I think early on, I remember he was like, "Why do all your friends keep threatening me?"
Erica: Because nigga, I'll cut you.
Kenrya: I was like, "What are you talking..." This is after the book tour, so he met everybody really early, because he went on a lot of my book tour with me.
Erica: It was literally like, "Yo,"-
Erica: ... "hold my purse."
Kenrya: Yeah, yeah. Incredibly supportive [inaudible 00:32:39]
Erica: Which I love. I was about to say I love the fact that he was like, "Look, I'm letting you shine."
Kenrya: Let me travel to different cities [crosstalk 00:32:46] my shit.
Erica: "I'm going to sit in the back." Yeah. Oof.
Erica: Okay, continue.
Kenrya: But it also meant that he met everybody in different cities, like dinner with friends in New York, dinner with friends in Atlanta, dinner and drinks with friends in DC.
Erica: Philly. Oh yeah.
Kenrya: Yeah, from place to place. Apparently, unbeknownst to me-
Erica: Everybody pulled him aside.
Kenrya: ... [inaudible 00:33:07] was taking him to the side and threatening him. Like, "You better not hurt her."
Erica: Damn fucking right. Damn fucking right.
Kenrya: I did not know.
Erica: Damn fucking right.
Kenrya: He didn't tell me for months until after that stunt that you pulled, and he was like...
Erica: Oh my gosh.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: Oh my gosh.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: See, I will forever associate that and that together. Yeah. Aww.
Kenrya: So after that when you went back downstairs, he was like, "What?"
Erica: He was like, "Why do you [inaudible 00:33:37] shit?"
Kenrya: Yeah. I was like, "What do you mean?" He was like, "Yo, everybody keeps being like, 'Yo, if you hurt her, I'll fucking kill you.'" I was like, "I think that's because my friends know that I've been through a lot, and because I didn't give them the opportunity to be there for me before. Now they know that they can be, and so they are and they're running with it."
Erica: Yep, they're like-
Kenrya: I was like, "Don't take offense."
Erica: We're making up for lost time.
Kenrya: Yeah. I was like, "They just want to make sure that I'm Gucci."
Erica: Yeah. I have heard from my ex-husband told me, and we've heard from other husbands, real house husbands that they're all like, "Yo, I've never seen friendships like this." It makes me feel good. I say all the time Erica today, if she could go back and talk to little Erica that was at home living a life that was so difficult and tell her, "This is not only what your life looks like, but this is who you have in your life," girl, I get teary every time I think about it.
Erica: I remember my husband got hurt, and all my girls were there at the hospital dropping off stuff, making sure... It was absolutely amazing. So because I care so much about my friendships and it's such a big part of me, it's got to work. Again, I do think fit is a wrong term, because it's like you don't have to host game night every night, but also, I don't need like Nina in the book-
Kenrya: We can't hang out together. We can't-
Erica: Yeah, like pissed that this person's staying in the house, that can't happen either.
Erica: Yeah, also, when... We're going to move on. With my ex-husband, we didn't kick it together a lot. He had his life, I had my life. Now that I've been through that, I definitely want a relationship where we do more-
Erica: Together. I am definitely one of those sitting around shooting the shit type people. You're going to have to sit and hold my hand and deal with me. It don't got to be every time, but goddammit, you're going to come and sit around at so-and-so's house with me while we sit outside and eat crabs and look at little kids do the stanky leg. Except kids don't do the stanky leg anymore, because we're old.
Kenrya: They don't. They do TikTok dances.
Erica: Yes, that I've been working on. There's one that's kind of reminiscent of the stanky leg.
Erica: So last thing, Nina... Well, not even Nina. The parental relationships in this was fucking crazy. Not only the parents that were there, but the parents that weren't there. For me, not Nina.
Erica: Maya's story really like... It touched me.
Kenrya: I thought about you when I was reading it.
Erica: Yeah, so my dad passed away when I was 10, and I have four brothers and sisters. Then my mom passed away about five years ago. I clearly remember feeling like an orphan. My grown, 35-year-old ass driving home from the hospital, which it's weird when you lose a parent at a hospital. You're like you just go home, and you're like, "But I don't get to go home with anybody." So I clearly remember feeling, and sitting in the car with my sister crying like, "We are orphans. We don't have parents." We have an amazing family of aunts that just swear they my mama, but it's definitely an interesting feeling, and the bond that forms among your brothers and sisters once you lose your parents is interesting.
Erica: I'm here in DC with one of my brothers. My sister and other brothers are in Missouri, and both my sister and I, I think just because patriarchy, we turn into the mamas of the group. We take care of everybody, make sure everybody got everything. I was laughing, because I was cleaning up my... I had some damage in my basement, so I was cleaning up boxes and all that stuff. I have turned into big mama. I have turned into big mama. I have two of the family bibles. My sister has the other two. We have people's birth certificates, and my sister was like, "Yeah, I got your social security number written down." Why? Because that's what you do. Somebody got to hold all of that.
Kenrya: Somebody needs it, right.
Erica: Somebody needs to hold that. Who has the baby pictures? I have the baby pictures. I've totally turned into big mama, but it is an interesting thing to see and experience as you not only grow up, but grow up and see how without parents, what this looks like and how you support one another and how you call each other out like... Goddammit, not Nina.
Erica: Maya's brother. I need to write this down. When Maya's brother was in the basement smoking weed all day.
Kenrya: Yeah, he was.
Erica: It was just like, "Oh my gosh." It was so reminiscent of what I've felt and gone through. Yeah. That part had me all in my fee-fees a little bit. Had all my little fee-fees.
Kenrya: It was interesting to see, like you said, the roles that they took on. Like their older brother became their de facto dad, and the little brother sunk into little brother role. Yeah.
Erica: Little brothers.
Kenrya: Yeah, and seeing how they interacted with each other and held each other accountable, and the work that they did to try to strengthen their relationships, and to also kind of figure out how to balance being a sibling and not being a parent, right?
Kenrya: Like how to treat your younger siblings in a way that is not, "This is what you need to fucking do," because this is what you think parents do.
Erica: Yeah, and I think that that's something that I struggle with, because one, codependent. Two, not the oldest, but the oldest girl. So I try to... This kind of goes back to what we were talking about with being friends. It's important to say something, but you're going to have to learn on your own. There's only so much I can do.
Kenrya: Yeah. Just like parenting your kids, to a point. There's only so much you can do. They got lives that they got to live and lessons that they got to learn, and they grown.
Erica: Grown as fuck. Also, Nina's mama-
Kenrya: Ugh, that bitch.
Erica: ... was a whole bitch and a half.
Kenrya: Yeah, from the moment she entered.
Erica: Ooh, she's difficult.
Erica: Yeah, and it's crazy, because as I was reading the interactions between Nina and her mom, I thought about the codependency book that we read called “Facing Codependence.”
Kenrya: “Facing Codependence.” Yeah.
Erica: Yeah. So when I started therapy, my therapist had me read this book “Facing Codependence,” and it talks about codependency. I remember... Kenrya always says the first time she was confronted with the fact that she was codependent, she was like, "Fuck that, I don't depend on nobody."
Kenrya: I sure the fuck did.
Kenrya: I was mad. I slid all the way down in my chair.
Erica: So learning about codependence, especially as you are a parent, it's like you're looking at it from both sides, as like a child-
Kenrya: It's life-changing.
Erica: ... and as a parent. Her mother was just turning her into a textbook codependent woman, and it hurt to read it and see it play out, but it also reminded me of the work that I was doing to not only de-program all of my codependent actions, behaviors, but also try to avoid imparting that upon my son so that he's not running around thinking he can take care of everybody or be perfect and perfect situations away, because he's such a perfect kid.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes, Lord. Yeah. I feel like I talk about codependency in some way damn near every day. I'm always using that language, and it is interesting, because yeah, I hated it when I first heard it, but then I actually read the book. Still hated it, but-
Erica: But you was like, "Ooh, she might have been right."
Kenrya: Yeah. Saw myself all up and through those pages. Saw the relationships I had with my parents and other folks all up and through those pages, and really very quickly moved into, "Okay, how do I keep this from being my kid?"
Erica: Yeah, because it really... You know what? I think that's why I am so anti-respectability politics right now.
Kenrya: Yeah, fuck that shit.
Erica: Because that mirrors codependency. We can be perfect enough to wash away all our problems. It's like, no, there ain't that, so you might as well fucking throw that pussy and have fun and live life.
Kenrya: Yeah. It's interesting, and I've been doing a lot of press and shit promoting this book, and I did an interview with my master's degree alma mater last week. I was being interviewed by a student who's in the same program that I did, fuck, 13 years ago. She was like, "So your podcast, is that like a guilty pleasure?" I was like-
Erica: There's no such thing as guilty pleasure. I had this conversation last night.
Kenrya: Did you?
Erica: Yeah, because I was like, "There's no such thing as guilty pleasure."
Kenrya: Right, I was like, "I don't know what that is." I was like, "There's pleasure." I was like, "It all comes together for me, because my work is about celebrating the whole Black-ass person that I am and that you are." At what point does joy and pleasure enter into that? It has to be there, or else the rest is for naught. That is what this is giving us, besides the fact that it lets us talk about the intricacies of having sex while Black and how that fits into all the other parts of our lives. Also, a lot of it is just an unabashed celebration of joy.
Erica: Yes. I shouldn't have to feel guilty about taking time for myself or indulging or feeling good about.
Kenrya: Not even a little bit.
Erica: Why the fuck should I feel guilty about that? Do you know the way this world seeks to bash me and-
Kenrya: Each and every day.
Erica: ... tell me that I'm not worth shit, and that my ideas aren't worth shit, or I'm not worthy of smiling and having joy? No, fuck that. There is no guilty pleasure. This is deserved pleasure. This is earned pleasure.
Kenrya: That's right. That's right.
Kenrya: No, you're-
Erica: Step off my soapbox.
Kenrya: No, it's true, and I do a lot of talking about joy as resistance, right? And as being a vital tool in a revolution. And to me, that is part of what this show puts out into the world.
Erica: Yes, yes.
Kenrya: Fuck a guilty pleasure.
Erica: Fuck a guilty pleasure.
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Erica: Okay, y'all. So we're going to talk about what's turning us on this week. So what's turning me on is the We-Vibe cordless app and remote control couples vibrator. So it's a vibrator for... I bought it when I was in a relationship with this guy. It was long distance. He was away from me, and we wanted to still get freaky. It was another way... Like I told y'all my love language is nudes. I definitely sext and all of that, but this added a little extra something to it.
Kenrya: Some long-distance orgasms.
Erica: Some long-distance orgasms. So the actual vibrator kind of reminds me of the one that we featured the last time-
Kenrya: The purple [crosstalk 00:48:55]
Erica: ... that had my eyes rolling back like a slot machine. That thing. So it's kind of U-shaped, and then there's a bigger base. Then the part that sits outside on your vulv, vulva, the vulva. So you put the larger base inside of you, and you can activate it to make it rumble and vibrate and all this.
Kenrya: It's got a bunch of different settings and stuff like that?
Erica: You can do that while it's on you. There's a little button, you press it. There's also a remote control where you can use it. But [inaudible 00:49:32] there is an app-
Kenrya: That sound always scares me.
Erica: I know. But there's an app. So what you do, you download the app to your phone, your partner downloads the app to his phone. Then the sucky part about it is that you both have to have the app open at the same time. So it's not like you can be-
Kenrya: Oh, so you can't be watching porn or reading something or listening to our show at the same time.
Erica: You could.
Kenrya: Or you could let the show run in the background though.
Erica: Yes, but it's not like you could just be walking around and your partner opens the app and he's like, "Oh, I want to make her cum in a grocery store."
Kenrya: And then all of a sudden... Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Erica: So it loses a bit of the spontaneity, but look...
Kenrya: It's still a long-distance [crosstalk 00:50:10]
Erica: Exactly, and give us 20 minutes, and these tech companies are going to come up with a way to do that.
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: So I liked it because it gave me an opportunity to connect with my partner when we weren't necessarily together. He opens the app, and then he can drag his finger along the app to increase the vibration and intensity and reduce it. There's a chat feature in there, so he can chat and tell me nasty things-
Kenrya: Talk shit. Wow.
Erica: ... while I am experiencing the rumble in my nether regions. I like it. It's a little pricey, but hell, we adults.
Kenrya: Invest. Treat yourself.
Erica: Treat yourself, don't cheat yourself. We'll include a link, but I think it's just a really cool little fun something different that-
Kenrya: Well, and probably that much more important right now, right? Where a lot of folks are separated by miles and even not too far, but just because niggas don't stay in the house, you can still get it without having to be in the same space. So safe. It's like another way to have safe sex.
Erica: So also, you can squeeze it. When you squeeze it, the intensity of your squeeze, if you're using the remote, matches the intensity of the vibrator itself.
Kenrya: Oh, so you don't have to be fiddling with the up and the down, literally squeezing it.
Erica: You can fiddle with the up and down.
Kenrya: That's nice.
Erica: But you can also squeeze, yeah.
Kenrya: But you don't have to.
Erica: So I liked it. I like it. I still like it. It's great. It's a good little fun way for us to stay connected while at the same time be so far apart.
Kenrya: Is it hands-free? Do you have to hold it up in there?
Erica: Oh no. It works with typical female-gendered anatomy. Female-sex anatomy. Sorry.
Kenrya: So it could be really useful for folks who have disabilities or other types of issues that keep them from being able to do the in and out motion of using your hand in order to get off with a toy or otherwise, right?
Erica: Yep. Yep, yep. So yeah, it's a good tool-
Kenrya: I love that. I got carpal tunnel, and I ain't going to front, it fucks with me. So I'm thinking about the other applications for folks who are dealing with bigger issues than that.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, so that's what's turning me on. I love it. We'll drop a link in the show notes so that you can enjoy it as well.
Kenrya: That's what's up.
Erica: With that, that wraps up this week's episode of The Turn On. So this is Erica and Killa, two hoes.
Kenrya: Making it clap.
Kenrya: Can we do it? Can we try again? Let's try again.
Erica: Two hos, making it clap.
Kenrya: Making it clap.
Erica: One, two, three.
Erica: Okay, two hos, making it clap.
Kenrya: Making it clap.
Erica: Clap on three. Three. Goddammit. Bye, y'all. Bye. Fuck it. Bye.
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 a screenshot to us 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 @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast. You can find links to books, merch, transcripts, guest info, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you soon, holla.
The Turn On
The Turn On is a podcast for Black people who want to get off. To open their minds. To learn. To be part of a community. To show that we love and fuck too, and it doesn't have to be political or scandalous or dirty. Unless we want it to be.