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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya read "Be Mine" by Savannah J. Frierson and talk about ethical non-monogamy, managing multiple partners, turning off the "cool girl" BS, the joys of being taken care of and the importance of highlighting the sweet before. Oh, and E apologizes to all the people she's half-ass kissed before.
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Kenrya: So before we get started, we're here to do some begging.
Erica: We are here to beg like 1980s and 1990 R&B stars like who? Keith Sweat.
Kenrya: Keith Sweat, yeah. Remember when we saw him in concert?
Erica: It was like the apex of niggas in linen pants, those little A tank tops, and Stacy Adams.
Kenrya: It's true, but it was a damn good show. We were in our 20s when we went to that show.
Kenrya: We were very young.
Erica: Now I wouldn't be mad at a fine gentleman in some nice linen pants.
Kenrya: Me too. And I can still appreciate the begging of Keith Sweat.
Erica: Can we? Like he says, he begs to your woman so you don't have to.
Kenrya: Exactly, but today we actually do have to beg.
Erica: We doing our own begging, right?
Kenrya: Yeah. And you don't have to break out your linen, but what we do want is for y’all to tell us what you think about the show.
Erica: Yeah, so it sounds like work, I promise it does, but it's painless. All you're going to do is head to TheTurnOnPodcast.com/Survey and answer a few questions. It will help us give you more of what you love.
Kenrya: Yes, help us, help you.
Erica: Yeah. On the survey, is one of the questions, “Do you guys enjoy Erica singing?”
Kenrya: That is not one of the questions on the survey.
Erica: I feel like it should be.
Kenrya: You think it should be?
Erica: I feel like it should be, but whatever.
Kenrya: Just yo, if you all give us a few minutes of your time, you can help us give you more of the show that you love. And all you got to do is head to TheTurnOnPodcast.com/Survey. Yes, please, and thank you.
Erica: Okay, so let's start the show.
Kenrya: All right.
Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Hey, y'all. Welcome to this week's episode of The Turn On. Today we are reading “Be Mine: An Interracial Poly Romance Novella” written by Savannah J. Frierson in 2020. Sit back, relax, get your wine, get your weed, and get your whatever you need. Enjoy.
Kenrya: “Be Mine,” by Savannah J. Frierson.
Kenrya: "Why haven't y'all kissed me yet?" Three pairs of eyes looked at her with surprise. After nearly a week of this new normal, that was the only thing that had, well, remained the old normal. Their stares had been too long, too intense for them to be satisfied with the brief, innocent kisses they'd been giving her. Why have they been keeping themselves in check? Ye-Jun shrugged. "Why haven't you kissed us?" Ingrid blinked. "What?" "Kisses go both ways, Ingrid," Ade said, shrugging also. "You can kiss us. We wouldn't mind." Ingrid started to say something, then she clamped her mouth shut and looked at B.B. "What say you?" B.B. ducked his head and cut into his food. "I mean, they have a point." "You want me to kiss you?" Ingrid asked for clarification. "For a start," Ye-Jun said. "Or at least let us kiss you," Ade added.
Kenrya: A flush that had nothing to do with pleasure overcame her. "What are you talking about?" Ade and Ye-Jun looked at each other, then at B.B., whose gaze remained riveted on his plate. The blond man cleared his throat, his large shoulders rising and falling with his deep sigh. "You tend to move your head when we kiss you." "Move it how?" Ingrid asked, her tone sharp and flint. "Away," Ye-Jun replied. "You run away from us." Her jaw dropped. "I do not!" "You do," B.B. insisted, now looking at her. "Anytime we come near your mouth, you hold your head away or you turn so we just glance it. I don't know about the others, but I had been trying to kiss you for days before settling on the other parts of you that you don't mind our mouths on."
Kenrya: Ingrid released a hyper laugh. Of course she'd been self-sabotaging herself. When presented with three of the finest men she'd ever seen, leave it to her to hold them at arm's length. "I ... " She shut her mouth. She'd been about to say something self-deprecating and unkind about herself. Pursing her lips, Ingrid shook her head and started again. "I apologize for making y'all feel you weren't wanted." She couldn't look at them as she spoke, the tickle in her throat having morphed into a pebble and then a boulder. The plate in her vision began to blur and she stood quickly. The chair groaned across the hardwood floor. "Ingrid." "I got to go to the bathroom. Excuse me," she said, unsure if her words were audible for the tears that were threatening. She rushed into the downstairs powder room, locking it for good measure.
Kenrya: This was the second time she'd fled into a bathroom because of them. She'd been so sure she'd tossed her doubts aside, but apparently they boomeranged right back without her really noticing. The porcelain of the sink was cool on her palms as she braced herself on it. She let a few of her tears slip out before taking several slow, deep breaths and shoving the rest back inside.
Kenrya: She was resisting the very thing she asked for and was on autopilot as she did it. Did she think a shoe was going to drop? That they’d see her, realize how woefully inexperienced she was and change their minds? When she opened the door over a week ago telling Ade she wanted him to be her Valentine, all three had walked right in with confidence strides. She was the one still hovering at the frame, poking a head in without fully committing, fully trusting that this was something she could have, deserved to have.
Kenrya: The clanking of dishes being cleared from the table filtered through the door and she sighed again. She needed to put one foot in front of the other like a big girl and stop tripping. What she wanted was right there for her to grasp, and all she had to do was reach out and claim it. Standing, Ingrid squared her shoulders and looked at her reflection in the mirror. No, she wasn't the greatest beauty and maybe she carried more weight than health charts said she should, but not one man in this house had ever made her feel less than beautiful, desired and wanted.
Kenrya: That self-talk track she recorded and replayed in her subconscious has served its purpose when men she didn't want or didn't want her had entered her life, but they weren't here anymore. In this present, everything was mutual. She could do no less than honor that. Singing "I'm Coming Out" in her head, Ingrid left the powder room.
Kenrya: All three men stood at attention when she came into view. "Hey," Ye-Jun said, caution clear in his voice. He stepped forward, but just the one step, his hand reaching out to her. She went to him, sliding his arm around her waist. "May I kiss you?" He swallowed, his Adam's apple bobbing. His hand squeezed her waist. "Yeah." He cleared his throat, his voice having come out higher and hoarser than he'd intended. "Yeah, I'd like that." She smiled, his response bolstering her confidence. She stood on the balls of her feet, bringing her body flush against his. He was firm and so warm, just like he'd been when he cuddled her during her cycle. Biting her bottom lip, Ingrid slid her fingers up his neck, feeling his pulse increase until she cradled his jaw. Ye-Jun closed his eyes, his lips parting at the sensation of her touch. Ingrid guided his head down so his mouth brushed hers. She pursed her lips to increase the pressure and he returned it. Ye-Jun didn't take over, letting her direct the intensity and tempo of this first kiss. She kept it light, the feel of his soft lips on her so exquisitely sweet.
Kenrya: She broke the kiss and looked at him through her eyelashes. "Was that okay?" He smiled softly and bent his head, giving her his answer in the form of another kiss. This one wasn't gentle or hesitant. Ye-Jun knew exactly what to do with his lips, how much pleasure to apply, how raw her mouth should feel by the end of it, how wet she should be. Oh, how very wet. He only gave her a touch of tongue before drawing back. Ingrid clung to him, because her knees had lost all their strength. His smile transformed from sweet to smug. "Was that okay?" he parroted, knowing damn well it went beyond the adjective. Ingrid hid her face in his shoulder, feeling him chuckle at her expense and then squeeze her with a strong hug. "That was amazing," he ultimately said. "I should swat you for keeping that from me all this time." She smiled into his shoulder. "You just want to watch my ass jiggle." "Baby, watching you walk away is the most bittersweet experience of my life," he said, and she laughed outright, stepping away from him. She clasped her hands in front of her demurely, because she wasn't sure what else to do. "Thank you for letting me kiss you," she said. "Anytime," Ye-Jun said, "And I'm serious about that."
Kenrya: Feeling her cheeks flame, she looked over at Ade and B.B. They both gazed at her with hunger in their eyes that made her breathless. Nevertheless, she recognized her desire was larger than her nerves and she arched an eyebrow at them. "Would either of you like kisses?" Ade brushed right by B.B. before the man could say anything, took her face in his wide hands and brought their mouths together. He was taller than Ye-Jun by a couple inches, so she had to strain her neck longer to reach but Ingrid didn't mind. His thumbs were gentle as they stroked her cheeks in the same slow tempo of his kiss. He wasn't aggressive. No tongues entered the fray, but he coaxed her mouth to move against his with gentle nibbles and tugs. He wanted her as a participant, not a mere recipient, and she let go of her worries of awkwardness and followed his expert lead. When the kiss finally ended, Ingrid felt dazed. His woodsy scent overpowering. She also felt a zing of triumph that Ade's hands trembled and his breathing was unsteady. "We're going to have to do this again," Ade said, his voice raspy. Ingrid smiled shyly. "I knew you'd be a good kisser, with those lips. Woof." Ade laughed and tugged her own bottom lip with his teeth. "Same here. Can't believe we haven't done this until just now. We wasted so much time." "We really did," Ingrid said, then looked around Ade to B.B.
Kenrya: "Your turn, I suppose, if you want one." "I do," B.B. said, but he surprised her by walking by and going to the living room. After sharing a confused look with Ade and Ye-Jun, she also entered the living room where B.B. was sitting on the couch and patting his thighs. "I'm too tall, and the kind of kiss I want to give you wouldn't work." "Ah, shit!" Ye-Jun exclaimed, clapping and sitting down on the armchair. "Going to lay one on our girl." B.B. blushed and gave Ye-Jun a patient look. "Logistically, sitting is better." "You going to wait to sit every time you want to kiss her?" Ade teased. B.B. frowned, his growing self-consciousness evident, and Ingrid glared at the other two before sitting on his lap. She cupped her cheek in her hand and made him look at her. "Ignore them," she said, loud enough for him and the others to hear. "They're just mad you were able to give me an orgasm by kissing my elbow." The ribbing abruptly stopped and B.B.'s shyness transformed into a smug smile. "I like giving you an orgasm," B.B. said, sliding a hand along her hip and waist, "Even though I didn't mean to. I just like kissing you." "I like receiving it," Ingrid said, feeling more comfortable to admit that. "I liked you kissing me too. I'd like for us to do it again, on the mouth this time."
Kenrya: B.B.'s smile was so sweet that she couldn't help but hug him. He held her close, her body trembling as he nuzzled her neck and jaw. She turned her head and kissed the evening growth of his cheek. Then they both moved so their lips could meet. He was the least assertive of the three, giving her the confidence to take what she learned from Ye-Jun and Ade and use it on him. He squeezed her side as her mouth traveled around his, as her teeth nibbled his lips. However, B.B. didn't remain passive for long, and by the time they ended the kiss, Ingrid realized she was reclining against the couch's arm with B.B. hovering above her, breathing like he'd just run a marathon. The thrill thrumming inside her made her giggle and she caressed his cheek. "You're an eager one." He shook his head and started to pull away, but her hands heightened around his jaw. "I'm sorry." "No," she countered, liking how red and swollen his lips were, how blown his pupils were, all because of her. "It feels good to know you desire me." He turned his face to kiss her palm, but his eyes remained locked on hers. "For a long time now," B.B. said. "Now that I can touch you, I'm greedy."
Kenrya: A pair of hands settled on her shoulders and she looked above her to see Ade's face. "We all are." She looked around but she didn't see Ye-Jun. "Where's ... " "Jumping the gun most likely," Ade said with an exasperated sigh. Ingrid frowned. "What do you mean?" She heard thumping indicating someone coming down the stairs. Ye-Jun stopped in front of the television, breathing more heavily than normal. "Bedroom's ready." Ingrid's eyes widened and Ye-Jun's face colored at her obviously shocked expression. "I mean, if you are."
Erica: Welcome back. Thank you, Kenrya, for that lovely reading. Look. Baby.
Kenrya: This book, yo.
Erica: This book is filthy in a good way.
Kenrya: It is. It's quite possibly one of the dirtiest books we've ever ...
Erica: This is not a shade.
Erica: When we were starting to talk about, when we were planning for this episode and stuff, I was mapping out what was going on, and I called Kenrya and I was like, "Girl, all this fucking in this book and you pick to read a scene that wasn't fucking?" Why is that?
Kenrya: That was on purpose. A couple of things. One, the sex scenes are very long because they are very filthy and there's four people who got to get off, and so it takes a long time.
Erica: They do, because honey, I was doing a little work last night and was like, "I'm going to go to bed now."
Kenrya: Then I think yes, this is a show about sex, and yes, we going to talk about the sex, but I was thinking about the fact that when people think about polyamorous relationships, particularly ones like this where everybody's loving on everybody, that they just go straight to the sex. One of the things that I like about this book is that Savannah spends a lot of time in the characters' heads, particularly in Ingrid's head, where she's thinking about whether or not this is how she wants to proceed. A little bit battling with her heart and with her head and all of that kind of stuff. I like this scene because it's the moment that she's like, "You know what? Yeah. I'm in. This is what I'm going to do." I think it's sweet. I think it's just enough of a hint of the filth that is to come. It does have them connecting on a physical level without it being who's inside of whom. I like that it was a prelude to that. Also, sitting here reading really filthy stuff is not always that easy with an audience.
Erica: This always takes me back to that one story that we actually ended up scrapping.
Kenrya: From our original pilot?
Erica: Yeah. It was like, "Ah! Mm! Ee! Oh! Ah ah ah! Do it, girl, do it! Oh, oh, oh!"
Kenrya: I kept laughing. It was a lot.
Erica: I was like, "You know what? Nah."
Kenrya: "Let's not do this one."
Erica: Actually, Tia Williams said, she was like, "Writing erotica's difficult, because in the wrong hands, done improperly, it's either cheesy or very icky."
Kenrya: This is neither cheesy nor-
Erica: This is neither.
Kenrya: ... icky. I just thought it would be nice to give folks the sweet before, because we talk about it all the time, how sex is not just penetration, that there's things that come before, and that's what this was. Now we want you all to get this book and read this book and get into the filth.
Erica: This is the intimate bits of it. Yeah, girl. Nasty. I loved every minute. I was reading it on vacation, and I literally had to get up and go tap one of our mutual friends on the shoulder and was like, "Yo, Kenrya is nasty. She is nasty."
Kenrya: Yo, when I say I read this book in a couple hours, I started it thinking, it was a Sunday, thinking I was just going to dip in and see if it was a possibility, because it was in our research period, and I couldn't stop.
Erica: It's good. I don't want anyone, particularly Savannah, I don't want you to perceive us saying this is nasty, this is filthy, any way derogatory. I mean that in the most highest regard of like, you did the damn thing. You struck good story, all of that, character development, with just some good ole raunch. Actually, we were talking about, this book isn't as much of that, but I remember we were talking about what's the one piece that we wish was written. You were like, "Jump in and bam, fucking from the beginning."
Kenrya: Even though this does not do that.
Erica: Not fucking from the beginning, but the fucking that happened-
Kenrya: Once they start-
Erica: ... was grade A.
Kenrya: Highlight reel shit.
Erica: Yeah. This is going down. All that to say we recommend this book to everyone. That brings us to talking about what the fuck is the book even about, because we jumped in talking about how good the sex was. Do you want to give a synopsis?
Kenrya: I can try. You might have to remind me of the names. There's Ingrid, there's Ade, there's B.B., and there's Ye-Jun. Am I saying that right? You're probably looking at it. I'm not looking at it.
Kenrya: They all live together as roommates. The three guys live together in the big house, and she lives in a guesthouse. She owns it or her family does or something like that. They're all friends. The guys are all best friends. Two of them work together. They hang out. They have regular hangout nights together, whatever. Then ahead of Valentine's Day, Ingrid asks Ade to be her valentine. It opens this can of worms where he's basically like, "Hell yeah, but not just me." Apparently all three of them have been talking about how they all have feelings for her and how they all want to be her boyfriend. Then a lot of the book and what makes it so fantastic is just her negotiating what that looks like, negotiating with herself and then negotiating with them and trying to figure out what their life could look like as a-
Erica: As a crew.
Kenrya: ... part of a crew.
Erica: Quarple. I'm trying. You know I have couple.
Kenrya: Yeah, figure out what it is.
Erica: Quarple. Quarple.
Kenrya: I'm sure there's a word for it. We'll talk about this next week. There's a lot of different ways to be ethically non-monogamous. In this situation it looks like polyamory where all four of them are involved together. She's the linchpin.
Erica: She's the piece, because they don't really have sex with one another, right?
Kenrya: No, but they're also-
Erica: They're brothers. They're brother-boyfriends. I hate using the term sister-wives, because I feel like people use it so disparagingly nowadays, but you can tell that they're good friends. They're brothers.
Kenrya: Yeah, but when I think of ... Again, obviously I'm not in this type of relationship, but it's not as if each of them ... She does have her individual relationships with all three of them, but also, because they're all best friends, they have an emotional relationship, even if they're not, although they're all-
Kenrya: ... having sex together, they're not penetrating each other or anything like that. They're all in a relationship together, but she's the piece that they all pivot around.
Erica: Girl. I would love to be at the center of anybody's universe. The center of a universe like that. I'm lying. I don't want to have to be that nice to that many people. Not at the same time. I do think it's dope how she has very individual relationships with each one of them.
Kenrya: Their different things that they do together.
Erica: Exactly. One walks her to work every morning. One brings her lunch.
Kenrya: It's this concept of she's not trying to get everything from one person. She gets different needs met from the different mine. B.B. is the one who she connects with emotionally. When she needs to talk through stuff, he's-
Erica: That's the white guy, right?
Kenrya: That's the white guy.
Erica: He's like a big teddy bear. In my mind he's like a big teddy bear. That's the most ... Never mind. I was about to say something wrong. This all kicks off with Valentine's Day, where Ingrid's like, "Look, I just want to be held and loved and cherished and made to feel like I am a special bitch on Valentine's Day. That's all I need." She didn't say it, but she was like, "Look, that's all I need." It makes me think, because as I'm going through this dating process, as I'm figuring my life out, I have had situations where I was just like, "You know what? Right now I just need a hug and a night together where we feel like everything's normal. Even though everything else is going wrong, and not wrong, but it ain't going anywhere, but let's suspend those thoughts and ideas for just a night, because I need some intimacy." I do that less now, I will say. You know what? No. Let me not even say I do that less now. I actually do it more now, because I am more honest about what's going ... I got my nails done. Can you tell?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I see.
Erica: I think I do it more now because I'm more honest about where I am, the situation at hand, who I'm dealing with, all of that. It's actually pretty damn dope. Not saying that I do it a lot, but I definitely, in the past, before I became sober, relationship-sober, I would do that and not be ... I'd be like, "Oh, this is trash. It's not going anywhere, but we going to play house for a weekend, because that's what I want to do." Then by Saturday morning I'm like, "We going to make this work." Whereas now I'm like, "Look, this ain't going nowhere. We know it's not going anywhere, but we want to snuggle, so let's just snuggle." When it's all over with. I like that Ingrid started out by saying, "This is what I want. This is what I need." I do think that she was selling herself short in this situation, and that's why. Even when she initially asked Ade?
Erica: Ade. Good Midwestern tongue, I be trying to make things more difficult than it is. When she asks Ade about it and he was just like, "Wait, what?" He was like, "Bitch, you selling yourself short." She took it as a rejection.
Kenrya: Viewed it like it was a rejection.
Erica: He was like, "Nah bitch, come on back."
Kenrya: He's like, "No, we got a proposal for you."
Erica: He had a whole kit and caboodle. Have you done that in relationships, either knowingly, or looking back, unknowingly?
Kenrya: Sell myself short?
Erica: No, not sell yourself short. Suspend all reality for the sake of getting what I need.
Kenrya: Yes, if what I needed was to be fucking codependent.
Erica: This reminds me, we were in the pool on Saturday and I was like ...
Kenrya: Yeah, I've stayed places too long, for sure. I used to, in my 20s, almost brag about the fact that I was always the one to end things. They were always with good reason.
Erica: I was like, "Bitch, you should've did that six months ago."
Kenrya: Exactly. That's where I was going with that. Yeah, done that.
Erica: Outside of codependence, have you been ... I look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame with this sweater on.
Kenrya: No, you don't.
Erica: Sorry, I had a sweater that's giving me extra back flub.
Kenrya: Is that what it is?
Erica: Outside of being codependent, have you just been at a point in your life where you're like, "I need to feel like I'm a relationship for a day. Come on over. Let's act like it. I know you got shit going on." Not shit as in other families or anything, but, "I know you got shit going on. We're still going to make it work." No?
Kenrya: No, I don't think I've ever done that.
Erica: Captain Dumb over here at your service.
Erica: Valentine's Day, we've talked about this a bit, because I think me and you have in the past been like, "Oh, I don't do Valentine's Day."
Kenrya: "Cool girl."
Erica: Where I'm realizing the more ... I've actually added it to my list. I want to be loved out loud. I want to be loved, because I'm the type of person, I love out loud. If you my man, I'm like, "That is my nigga! Mm, he the best!" I want the same thing for me.
Kenrya: You deserve.
Erica: I totally deserve it.
Kenrya: Shit, everybody does.
Erica: (singing) That was me singing Tank and Mama D.
Erica: What'd you say?
Kenrya: I said okay.
Erica: Now I'm more of the Valentine's Day is a thing camp. I want the flowers. I want the chocolates, even though I'm not going to eat them. I want a dinner. I want some fancy shit. You did Valentine's Day with your current partner, right?
Kenrya: Yeah. We don't do fancy. I get my favorite flowers. We eat Chinese food, just because it's our tradition. He buys my favorite pie, which is expensive as hell and has to be preordered and going and picked up.
Erica: I be showing up the next day like, "You have some of that Valentine's pie?"
Kenrya: It's just nice. He writes me cards. He wrote me a card for our first Valentine's Day with a poem in it! This nigga. I was like, "What?" It's on my mirror perpetually.
Erica: He wrote the poem?
Kenrya: Yeah, he wrote that.
Erica: Oh, wow. I haven't seen it.
Kenrya: I thought I showed it to you. Whatever. He wrote it. It's funny, because he's funny. Part of why it's on the mirror is to make fun of him.
Erica: (singing) I'm realizing that I like romance. I love the romance. I'm leaning into it, especially hosting this show now. I'm leaning into loving the romance and the tradition and customs that relationships have. I went on a date recently, and this guy brought flowers. It was very ...
Kenrya: That's sweet.
Erica: It was sweet. I don't get flowers. I do, but not like that. Only reason I get flowers often is because a bitch been in and out of the hospital and surgeries and things.
Kenrya: I send you flowers sometimes.
Erica: You do.
Kenrya: That don't have to do with you being in the hospital.
Erica: I know, but I ain't trying to fuck you, so [inaudible 00:32:28]. It was just so sweet to get flowers and be doted on. It was just so dope.
Kenrya: It's a nice feeling.
Erica: Yeah. Initially it was weird. I had to get past the, "Now what do I do?" I was like, "No, this is beautiful."
Kenrya: You say, "Thank you." You say, "Thank you."
Erica: Exactly, "Thank you," put them in water. Have you had a memorable Valentine's Day, either amazing or horrible or both?
Kenrya: I've had both.
Erica: Give me a high and give me a low.
Kenrya: So memorable have just been all the ones with my current partner.
Erica: All right.
Kenrya: They follow exactly what I just ... Champagne. I can't drink anymore. Chinese food every time and we get our pie. One of the things I love about him is that he likes traditions as much as I do. We have created all these traditions for all of these things, like for his birthday, for my birthday, for my kid's birthday, for Valentine's Day, for Christmas.
Erica: I love traditions. I guess it's the type A-ness in me where I want to know-
Kenrya: What's going to happen.
Erica: ... what's going to happen and how can we riff on this.
Kenrya: It's comforting. It gives you something to look forward to. I don't know. We can build on them and do additional things or change them up. For his first birthday, not too long after we met, I baked him my cake, that cake that everybody like. Then for his birthday this last year I made what I had come to find out was his favorite cake, which I'd never even seen him eat before. I found a recipe. I made that shit from scratch scratch.
Erica: What kind of cake?
Kenrya: He likes Boston cream pie. It's good as fuck.
Erica: With cream, you ate it?
Kenrya: Yeah, I tasted it.
Erica: Oh, wow.
Kenrya: Yeah, I tasted it.
Erica: It sounds like a bubble gut express.
Kenrya: Yeah, but it was worth it. It was really fucking good. Then I sent him home with the whole thing.
Erica: Like, "All right."
Kenrya: I was like, "Take that out of my house." That's the way that that has evolved. I always bake for him on his birthday, because he likes my baking. I just do different things or whatever. A low, I pretty much realized I was getting a divorce on Valentine's Day.
Erica: Do you want to share exactly what it is or is that?
Erica: All right. That's perfectly-
Kenrya: That's something I'm writing about. I don't think it's something I want to share here.
Erica: I think that just to go back about traditions, I think because I have experienced so much loss with the people that I love in my life, traditions mean so much to me, because I have the one thing that I feel the ... I feel the closest with my mama when I'm cleaning up my house, listening to “The Preacher's Wife” soundtrack, because for some reason that's my Christmas soundtrack, decorating my house for Christmas Day, or making my granny's dressing for Thanksgiving. Traditions are the one piece of me that I have to hold onto the people that I love in my life. I feel like that is what they handed down. That's what they have from their grannies and their moms. They passed it on to me. It's just the whole ancestor piece of it all. I like them in relationships also because that's my love. I guess your familial love is the first type of love, and it transfers onto relationships.
Erica: I love Valentine's Day. I try to do this with my son. When we were little, my mom would always ... We'd wake up Valentine's morning and there'd be a balloon, card, and candy for each of us, even when we were going through some of our ... I'm about to start crying. Even when we were going through some of our hardest times, we always had a Valentine's Day card, them little conversation hearts, and a balloon, and maybe a stuffed animal. I guess that's why it feels so good to me. For a long time I was like, "I ain't doing Valentine's Day. I don't have to do Valentine's Day." No. Now I want all the shit. I want flowers.
Erica: I want candy. I want all of that. I actually went on a first date on Valentine's Day. We didn't realize it was Valentine's Day though.
Kenrya: That's funny.
Erica: We couldn't get reservations. We was like, "What the fuck?" It was like, "Oh, shit."
Kenrya: "Oh, it's that day."
Erica: "It's Valentine's Day."
Kenrya: It's interesting, I know for me the whole, "I'm too cool for Valentine's Day," really came out of not really wanting to be vulnerable. For me, I didn't want to make this big deal out of this thing with this person who was perhaps not making a big deal out of me. I didn't want to expose that by pushing. It was easier for me to say that I didn't care, to not make plans, even when I was in relationships, because better to just shut the fuck up and not have it be made entirely clear that this is not what I want it to be.
Erica: Not be big. Not take up too much space. I'm now like, "Look, I like it. I want it all. I want it big. If you can't even fucking scrape up enough energy to entertain me on that bullshit, you ain't for me, because I'm going to scrape up energy to entertain you on a fucking NBA Draft," or whatever the fuck them people do with baseballs and things. If you can't give me that energy, then I don't want it.
Kenrya: That's right.
Erica: My Valentine's Day date, it was actually interesting, because we had just been talking and getting to know each other, and it was like, "I'm free this day. You free this day. You don't have your kid. I don't have my kid. We going to get together." Then as we were trying to make plans we were like, "Oh fuck, that's Valentine's Day." We ended up ordering food and hanging out. It was a good situation. This is literally our first date, so I'm not going to put that pressure on you. Also I had gotten flowers delivered from somebody else earlier that day. I'm not going to put that kind of pressure on you. I do also think that in a new relationship, Valentine's Day is always a little dicey if you're not talking, because you don't know how much to spend on a gift, especially if this is your first holiday together.
Kenrya: I'm thinking. We don't really do gifts. It's funny, we were trying to think about it leading up to Valentine's Day this year. We were like, "Wait, do we do gifts?"
Erica: Shit, you all Christmas and birthday gifts be fucking ...
Kenrya: Yeah, and then we do random gifts. Then we were like, "Oh, we don't do Valentime's Day gifts," and so we're like, "Okay."
Kenrya: Whatever, bitch. We didn't do them for the first one, and so we just whatever. Also Valentine's Day falls smack in between his birthday and mine.
Erica: Happy Valentine's Day.
Kenrya: It's a lot.
Erica: Girl, I'm literally having a ... Do you see my face? I'm sweating. I'm having a hot flash as we speak.
Kenrya: Where's your little fan thing?
Erica: Girl, it's whatever. It's fine. We don't need the noise. It's all good.
Kenrya: Take that thing off. Take off your sweater.
Erica: You all don't want to see what's underneath this. You all don't need to see what's underneath this. I have on a tank top and right now my titties are like this. One's on floor three, the other one's on floor five. Don't worry, we getting it fixed soon, but yes, it's all good. Sorry. Something else in the story. Ingrid had her period. Was that the first couple thing that they did together?
Kenrya: Yeah. I forgot about that.
Erica: First, so happy I don't do that right now. I'm not menstruating. It was cute and sweet.
Kenrya: It was. They were all so very concerned. Also, you all, she has dysmenorrhea, so incredibly painful periods. Go ahead.
Erica: Someone knows what that's all about.
Kenrya: Yeah, it's not great.
Erica: Again, as I get more in touch with myself, I need that kind of energy. If I'm not feeling well, I need you to booboo me. I'm tired of being strong and resilient and all that shit. I want to lay in bed in a puddle, have you rub my belly, feed me soup, all that shit, because, I say this because I want to do the same thing for you. I might cuss you out when I walk out the room. I'm like, "This fuck. All it is a splinter in his finger." I think it's sweet. I thought that was really sweet, because one, periods can suck. As a part of the work I'm doing, I'm trying to work on how to reframe menstruating. I'm trying to reframe that. I don't want to be completely like, "It's the pits!"
Kenrya: Because for some people it's not.
Erica: For some people it is, and not because it physically is, but because they made it that. They've given it that energy in their head. Some people, it sucks.
Kenrya: Also for some people it's because it's a body dysphoria issue as well for some people who menstruate.
Erica: I was going to get to that, because I recognize that that shit is painful. Watching you go through it, watching my sister go through it, I know that it is fucking horrible. I think it was really nice that her boyfriends honored her going through this and babied her and gave her all the things that she needed. I was talking to this intuitive. We were talking about periods. She was saying that she had two daughters and they would all come on their cycle around the same time. She was like, "My husband just knew to leave us alone." Short of moving out of the house for that time. He did, because it became a point, it became a ritual. She said it became a ritual in her home where her and her daughters gave their bodies everything that it wanted, needed, and craved in that period, because it was honoring it for what it was going through. I thought that was a really good way of putting it, not like, "Oh, I'm bloated. I want chocolate." No. My body says it wants chocolate, because it wants chocolate. It's going through some things, and so let's give it chocolate, as opposed to being like ...
Kenrya: Why did that mean that he had to fade into the background? I don't get that part.
Erica: Because she was like, "This ain't about you. This about me and my daughters are going through what we're going through in our body and you can kick rocks." She was talking about more like centering herself and her womanhood and all of that and telling her husband, "Kick rocks. It ain't about you." As someone who no longer periods, but watches my close friend go through it, I thought that that little whole scene and situation was just so sweet. Also, can we give a shout-out to their living situation?
Kenrya: That she has her own little house?
Erica: She has her own little she-shed in the back, and then they have the house. She lives with them.
Kenrya: Goes there when she wants to get away.
Erica: She gets to go to her she-shed when she needs to. If I'm going to have three boyfriends, I'm going to need my own space.
Kenrya: Honestly, that shit sounds exhausting.
Erica: Having three boyfriends?
Erica: Fuck yeah. I don't want to be nice to three people. I don't want to be nice to one person all the time. You got to be nice to me all the time.
Kenrya: For me it's not even necessarily about being ... I don't have a lot of time. In past relationships, men have tried to make me feel guilty about the fact that I work a lot and have other things going on that don't involve them. That's obviously not an issue now. My partner works just as much as I do.
Erica: Yup. All set up at your daughter's desk to do so.
Kenrya: Right next to me, exactly. It works for us because we both are on the same workaholic wavelength, which is not healthy, but whatever. We're also good at telling each other, "Hey, put that shit down and come here."
Erica: Yeah, because you all good at checking each other. If only you took your own advice. I'm glad that he has you to give whatever. You get what I'm saying?
Kenrya: Yeah. The idea of having to navigate that with three different people, I know me and I know that I would always feel like I was stretched a bit too thin and like I wasn't giving anybody enough of what they deserved, just because I've got so many things going on all the time. Then you add on my health and being tired all the fucking ... I fall asleep on this nigga every day. I don't know how I would ... I don't know. It would feel daunting for me.
Erica: I never understood the whole, "I don't have time to date," or, "I don't have time to," until this period in my life. You really got to be doing some sparkly shit for me to be like, "Okay, I'm going to disconnect." We were just having this conversation moments ago. You make time for what you want.
Kenrya: For sure.
Erica: I'm not trying to want three people.
Kenrya: I wouldn't want it to feel like something that felt like work, not like something I'm working at, because relationships require energy and intention, but I wouldn't want it to feel like, "Okay, let’s..."
Erica: Make sure I'm giving this person the time that they need. On the other side of the coin, I guess you make the relationship what it is.
Kenrya: What you all want it to be.
Erica: Maybe with one partner it is we see each other quarterly because that's all we have for one another. That's what works.
Kenrya: You're right.
Erica: Again, to each his own. You like it, I love it.
Kenrya: You build the relationships that work for you. Except for now every time I hear, "You like it, I love it," I just hear, "Says a Black woman who neither likes nor loves it."
Erica: This time I do like-
Kenrya: Because most of the time that's true.
Erica: ... and love it. This time I do like and love. Girl!
Erica: They were kissing. They were kissing a lot in that scene you read.
Kenrya: You don't like kissing. I'm like, "Why are you freaking out?"
Erica: In that scene you read, they were doing a lot of kissing. I literally have, "Kissing, ick." They were doing a lot of kissing.
Kenrya: What you was finna to say? Something you shouldn't say?
Erica: Fuck it. You know I don't like kissing, right?
Erica: My kisses aren't like ... They're like ... Which, whatever, until I kissed someone that kisses that way, and I was like, "Oh, bitch, this is horrible." I got to fix it. I got to fix it. I got to fix it, because it was not ...
Kenrya: Passionate or ...
Erica: It was just like, "What the fuck's going on here?" If you've ever kissed me in the past-
Kenrya: Oh my God.
Erica: ... and you got this, I apologize, because now I recognize that shit was fucked up.
Kenrya: It's funny, my partner will not admit that he doesn't like kissing, but I know that he doesn't like it as much as I do. He totally kisses me just because I want a kiss, but it's definitely not on his list of favorite shit to do.
Erica: The thing is I like kisses. I like snuggling. Again, I'm realizing that one of my love languages is ... You know what? Fuck it. I like all the love languages. I like physical touch. I love laying in the bed, holding hands, kissing, lots of kisses on your face. If you have a bald head, I will just kiss that little noggin to death. In the mouth, it's just really weird. Again-
Kenrya: It's not your thing.
Erica: I apologize, y'all. Also in the scene you read, Ingrid had to give herself a pep talk. Again, this book, Savannah did a really good job of writing what's going on in Ingrid's head, how she's processing this. That point where she was having the pep talk of like, "I could hit the gym more. I do have this." She was like, "Wait, bitch. Wait."
Kenrya: "Don't do that."
Erica: She was like, "Don't do that. I don't like that." She was like, "Ain't nobody got no problem with this, so why the fuck do I have a problem with this." Sometimes you need to have that outside reminder to remind yourself of, "You bad bitch. Keep it going." I had to burp and I was trying to mute.
Kenrya: You did successfully mute it, but also your face looked like you burped. Details.
Erica: That's a little fun. That is more incentive to watch this excursion.
Kenrya: To watch us.
Erica: More incentive for you to watch us on YouTube.
Kenrya: To see Erica burp.
Erica: Also the consent that was written in this scene was just so darn cute. It was like, "Would you like?" "Yes, I would like." "Oh, I like that. Would you like?" These young kids these days, it's just so adorable.
Kenrya: How old are they supposed to be? I don't know.
Erica: I don't know. I just talk about any ... I feel like an old lady sitting on a porch. This reminds me about I was watching “House Party.” There was this scene where they were talking about, "You got a jimmy hat? You got a prophylactic?"
Erica: Good Midwestern tongue. It just reminded me of how in the '90s and early 2000s there was lots of conversation around writing condoms into movie scenes or it was a part of the story.
Kenrya: Yes very much.
Erica: Granted he did say “backstage underage,” but he also said the “J, the I, the M, the M, the Y, yo.”
Kenrya: Yeah, but. Lord have mercy. Oh God.
Erica: I like how I feel like now we're seeing a lot more consent written into stories. To show how it's done without being weird or awkward.
Erica: I am a verbal bitch. I need you to tell me how good this pussy is while you in it. I also need you to tell me you cannot wait to kiss me. Do you want me to kiss you? Yes, I want you to kiss me. How hard do you want me to kiss you? So I feel it in my pussy. I don't know if that's right. Sorry.
Erica: I am a hot mess. Last point. Self-sabotage. When they were talking about the kissing, I can't remember exactly who it was, but they were talking to Ingrid and it was like, "Would you like to kiss me?" No, "Why don't you kiss me?" It was like, "Why don't you kiss me? It goes both ways." Then they were like, "Every time we look like we about to kiss you, you run away." It made me think about the self-sabotage, how do we shoot ourselves in our foot running from things. Did you ever do that?
Kenrya: Yeah. My current relationship that we've-
Erica: Your origin story.
Kenrya: ... talked about on this show, yeah, I basically ended it before it could start, because I made what we call “The Unilateral Decision.”
Erica: Is that the term for it?
Kenrya: Yes, capital letters. When we refer to it, that is how we refer to it, “The Unilateral Decision” that I made. Thank God it didn't stick. We were still hanging out, lying to ourselves, talking about we just friends who hung out every fucking day.
Erica: RIP Biz Markie.
Kenrya: Aw. Yeah.
Erica: Now I know what I'm going to title this episode. We'll get to that later.
Kenrya: They start out as friends.
Erica: Could be “Happy Valentine's Day” or we could do-
Kenrya: We could.
Erica: ... (singing) I think we're going to do “Just A Friend” just as a RIP.
Kenrya: I think that works.
Erica: I'm sorry, you all totally in on a production call.
Erica: Right now but it's okay.
Kenrya: It also shows you all when we recorded this. Just a couple days ago.
Erica: I think that's all I've got. You got anything else?
Kenrya: Just for our more gentle listeners out there, don't be afraid to read this just because we said it's filthy.
Erica: Don't be afraid. It's a good book.
Kenrya: It's a fantastic book. It's well written. It's part of a series. After I finished this one, I downloaded the second one and I read that the same day too. It's incredibly well written. The characters are super well developed. They all have their own distinct personalities and quirks and motivations. Everybody feels realistic. You care about these people.
Erica: Getting in Ingrid's head was the best part to me. If you are not exposed to polyamorous relationships, then ... This would be considered polyamorous, right?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: It's a legit relationship. If you're not used to that and haven't been exposed to it, I think it's a good read on just getting in someone's head on how they decide to do this. Also recognizing that we live in the fucking world we live in where motherfuckers are judgey than a motherfucker. Don't be hesitant to read it.
Kenrya: The other thing I would say, when I saw the subtitle, which is something like interracial whatever, I don't really read those books.
Erica: Yeah, we don't.
Kenrya: Not on purpose.
Erica: This book is just a-
Kenrya: There's no fetishizing. They just happen to be home boys who look different.
Erica: Even with Ingrid being a little thick girl, it's not a-
Kenrya: A big deal. There's no after-school messaging.
Erica: That's why I told him, "You're going to love this FUPA!" None of that.
Kenrya: Exactly. There's none of that. At the same time, I'm trying to remember honestly if it was in this book or the second book, but they don't act like race doesn't exist. It's not as if race doesn't enter into-
Erica: It's in this book. It's at the end of this one.
Kenrya: They don't live in some world where race doesn't exist. They talk about it very matter of factly in the way that we all do. It's always weird. It's not fetishized, which I can't fucking do at all. It's also not like-
Erica: "We don't see color."
Kenrya: ... they live in some utopia. Exactly. It's not colorblind or no bullshit like that. This is just a part of who everyone is. Ingrid is a Black woman, obviously.
Erica: All righty. That wraps up this part. We going to pay some bills and then come back to ...
Kenrya: What's Turning Us On.
Kenrya: Hey, you all. Today's a great day to start your own podcast, whether you're looking for a new marketing channel, have a message you want to share with the world, or just think it'd be fun to have your own show like us, podcasting is an easy, inexpensive, and fun way to expand your reach online. Buzzsprout is hands down the easiest and best way to launch, promote, and track your podcast. Your show gets put online and listed in all the major podcast directories like Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google, literally everything, within minutes of finishing and uploading your recording. We use it here for The Turn On, and I can truly attest to the fact that it's pretty fucking dope. Podcasting isn't hard when you have the right partners, and the team at Buzzsprout is passionate about helping you succeed. Join over 100,000 podcasters like us who are already using Buzzsprout to get their message out to the world. Just click the link in our show notes and you'll be able to get your own account set up. If you sign up for a paid plan, you'll get a $20 Amazon gift card and support our show. Let's create something great together. Sign up for Buzzsprout today.
Kenrya: All right, good people. We are back.
Erica: What's turning us on this week?
Kenrya: I guess because of, I don't know, the stuff I watch or whatever, I get served a lot of ads for things on IG.
Erica: You got served? What you get served?
Kenrya: I did. I'd seen this a couple of times but didn't really whatever. Then my partner saw it and sent it to me. He DM'ed it to me on IG and was like, "For the show?" He's so helpful.
Erica: That's the reason you had no idea what it looked like in the package?
Kenrya: Yeah. I wasn't the one who opened it, and I never put it back, because whatever.
Erica: Because you were laying there twitching. Continue.
Kenrya: This is a toy that is advertised online. It's a clit stimulator but it's also-
Erica: I'm sorry. Can we say that this whole season of What's Turning Us On shows that Kenrya's doing all the fucking. Continue.
Kenrya: You did the first half of stuff, because I hadn't done any-
Erica: [inaudible 01:04:33].
Kenrya: ... testing and ordering and things. It's everybody in the comments. There's thousands of comments for this. It's like-
Erica: Show me!
Kenrya: I'm about to show you. It's like, "I always wanted to squirt but didn't think I could. This thing, I used it to masturbate and I finished in two minutes. It's the ultimate. I don't even need a nigga no more because I got this thing," kind of a thing. We're reading the reviews. We're like, "We should try this out." This is it. It is quite large actually.
Erica: This looks fun! Keep going. Tell me more.
Kenrya: For those who can't see-
Erica: I might have to stock some of them joints for myself.
Kenrya: It's purple silicone. It's got two different parts to it. This part is meant to be inserted. You see it has these ridges, and these are for G-spot stimulation. The whole thing vibrates. It's got controls for two different things, which again, I don't know how to work. One of the buttons makes it vibrate, and the other button operates this part, which it's like a little circular part.
Kenrya: It's made to sit right over your clit and to suck it like a person would.
Erica: I would fucking lose my mind with that joint.
Kenrya: We have used it as a foreplay kind of a thing.
Erica: There wouldn't be no afterplay with that joint.
Kenrya: We use it. He watches while I use it. He helps me position it. Then I finish in two minutes fucking flat. Then we keep going, because it's fast.
Erica: Get that out the way.
Kenrya: Then we keep moving. Then I tend to keep coming, so it's nice. The last time we used it though, I don't know if I didn't have the position right.
Erica: Did you squirt?
Kenrya: Huh? No. Not yet, but it's coming. It's so fast.
Erica: You got to keep going. That's the thing. You feel like it's too sensitive, don't take it off.
Kenrya: The last time we did it, that's what I was going to say, I don't know if I didn't have it positioned quite ... I didn't come fast enough. Maybe it was just turned up too high.
Erica: Your clit was like, "No!"
Kenrya: I was numb by the time I ... I was like, "Take this out." Then when we went to continue, it was hard for me to even finish, because it had numbed the clit. All that to say, listen to your body.
Erica: With great power comes great responsibility.
Kenrya: Great responsibility. Don't turn that shit up too high. Two out of three times I came damn near instantaneously. Shit is ridiculous, because it is doing all the things all at once. I don't know if you all can see the scale of quite how large it is, but it's a decent size for a toy that's inserted.
Erica: She's holding her hand up like she's showing-
Kenrya: Like I'm doing a makeup tutorial.
Erica: Tutorial showing spices.
Kenrya: It's covering damn near from my wrist to my middle finger. It's pretty large.
Erica: Large and in charge.
Kenrya: It's good. We'll put a link to the show notes. It's good for solo play. It's good for partner play. It's good for whatever kind of play you would like to do. Try it out.
Erica: That wraps it up.
Kenrya: It does.
Erica: That wraps up this week's episode of The Turn On. These are your two favorite hoe hosts, Erica, Killa, two hoes, making it clap.
Kenrya: Ayyye. Bye.
Kenrya: This episode was produced by us, Kenrya and Erica, and edited by B'Lystic. The theme music is from Brazy. Hit subscribe right now in your favorite podcast app and at YouTube.com/TheTurnOnPodcast, so you'll never miss an episode.
Erica: Then follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast. You can find links to books, transcripts, guest info, what's turning us on, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com.
Kenrya: Don't forget to email us at TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com with your book recommendations and your pressing sex-and related questions.
Erica: You can support the show by leaving us a five-star review, buying some merch, or becoming a patron of the show. Just head to TheTurnOnPodcast.com to make that happen.
Kenrya: Thanks for listening. 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.