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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya read N.D. Jones' "Of Fear and Faith" and talked Black spirituality, the two lists everyone should make before they start dating, having panic attacks after seemingly "fine" dates, the importance of having a strong block game and lingering gender roles.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Erica: Welcome, welcome, to this week's episode of The Turn On. This week, we are reading “Of Fear and Faith” by N.D. Jones. So sit by, relax, get your wine, get your weed, get your whatever you need, and enjoy.
Kenrya: “Of Fear and Faith” by N.D. Jones.
Kenrya: Assefa pulled her to the bed, but it was she who pushed him down, straddling him as she had done earlier. He was hers now, so Sanura eagerly kissed and licked every scrumptious inch of Assefa's neck, shoulders, and chest, pleased when she heard him purr in pleasure. She slid down his mighty body to free his arousal from the boxers, tossing them to the floor. Impressed and feeling like she should give a shout-out to Sekhmet for creating such a fine specimen, Sanura stared at Assefa's magnificent, bronzed body. The touch, sound, and taste of him hypnotically unnerving. Animal or male magnetism didn't begin to capture the explosions he set off deep inside her. Unable to speak both binding and fathomless words of commitment, she poured all her emotions into exploring his body, enjoying locating all the spots that most made him purr.
Kenrya: Just when Sanura was about to take him into her mouth and suck him until he squirmed under her mind-blowing administrations, losing all control, Assefa rolled her over and then effortless divested her of her panties. Damn him.
Kenrya: "You tortured me enough, temptress. I see you like to play with fire."
Kenrya: She wiggled teasingly under him, his penis heavy, hard, and not where she wanted it.
Kenrya: "I'm a fire witch. That's what I do."
Kenrya: "It is? Well, I got something for you, my little witch."
Kenrya: Sanura just bet he did, and she couldn't wait. But Assefa jumped from the bed, and less than 20 seconds later, he was back with a triumphant smile and a closed fist. He opened his hand, and gold, sparkling paper unfurled.
Kenrya: "Boy scout," she said with a smile and then paused, looking closer. "Magnum?" Her grin widened. "Braggart."
Kenrya: "Fire and ice condoms, temptress." He showed her the profile of a warrior of ancient Troy and winked at her, slow and outrageously cute. "We wasted one earlier."
Kenrya: He tore one open and put the condom on, rolling it until it covered his magnificent girth. "If you aren't tired, we'll see how much fire and ice we can stand."
Kenrya: The glow of his eyes was his only warning before he took Sanura in a hard thrust, ripping a scream of pleasurably shock from her. "And you're so soft and wet," Assefa moaned.
Kenrya: Every part of their bodies joined in an electrical dance that shot through her like lightening through a tree, powerful and unforgiving. Pulsing, throbbing white heat invaded the room, captured and then released as the rhythm pounded loudly and methodically to the beat of their own making. Passion-filled groans charged the atmosphere, sacred names broke the sound barrier, and a soul-rendering symphony made up of an orchestra of two intertwined bodies of sweat and desire.
Kenrya: "Oh gods, yes, yes," Sanura yelled, not caring how loud she was. Right now, she felt more than capable of outscreaming even the Banshee Queen. And for the love of Isis, was Assefa growing inside of her? Longer? Thicker? Gods, to savor. He was, he had, and she was full to overflowing, receiving more than she'd ever dreamed possible.
Kenrya: Eyes a dark shade of gold now, Assefa's fangs slipped a little from his gums, the tips of them below his top lip. At this moment, Sanura knew his cat instinct was to claim her, to bite into her flesh and take her as his mate. His mate. Sanura tensed. Assefa stopped. Her fire spirit raged, hissing at the wanting to complete the joining, to not fear the unknown, the uncontrollable. He stared down at her, his body trembling. For mating need or halted pleasure, she couldn't determine. With clear effort, if not reluctance, fangs lifted then disappeared. The mood threatened to follow. She watched him, wondering what he would do now. If he would decide he made a mistake taking her to bed.
Kenrya: Then, like replacing a dead battery, Assefa sparked to life, nipping her shoulder. No worries. He began to move, setting the pace, a slow speed that was no less intense, no less toe-curling for its lack of raw force. There were no more words, no more attempts at claiming, no more fear. Just the heat, just the passion, just the burning pleasure of two bodies in search of unforgettable rapture.
Erica: Okay, y'all, welcome back. That was “Of Fear and Faith” by N.D. Jones, read by the lovely Killa' Ken.
Erica: So Kenrya, this story, this book, is full of lots of twists and turns and spoilers that I don't want to give away, so take it away.
Kenrya: Yeah, that's right. Okay, let's see. How can I do this? In this book, our two main characters... Oh, it is hard to do without telling too much information.
Erica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: Sanura and Assefa have generational power that is vested in them.
Erica: So first, it's a witchy book, right?
Kenrya: Yes, it is.
Erica: It deals with spirituality and witchcraft and that kind of thing, right?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kenrya: Yes. And it's rooted in stories of the Orishas and things, which is pretty cool, because it is very distinctly a Black witches’ tale. But it's obviously fiction, so there's just this wonderful world and all this lore that the writer created. Basically, they have a connection, but they don't know it until they meet. But they sense it instantly. And the two main characters come together because there is a creature that is killing witches in Baltimore.
Kenrya: In Baltimo'. And they both represent two of the factions that have a stake in trying to figure out what this creature is, where it is, and to make it stop killing witches. They come together and sense that they are tied together in some way, and hijinks ensue.
Erica: Dot dot dot.
Kenrya: Including this, this lovely sex scene.
Erica: This lovely romp. Okay, so I feel like this is... First, this is our final full-length episode of Season Three. Round of applause. Baby, make that ass clap. But I also feel like this is just such a... so timely for where I am in my life right now.
Kenrya: You do?
Erica: I feel like we haven't caught up in a while. I mean, you have so much going on, and so I'm trying to give you some space.
Kenrya: Thank you. But I'll be needing breaks sometimes. Y'all, I got some medical stuff going on. We don't really know what it is. I'm tired.
Erica: I literally usually call Kenrya like, "So, there's this ingrown nail, and I need you to look at it." But I'm trying to chill. So a few things. One, I am reshaping, reevaluating, looking at my spirituality. It's always been a journey, and I've always kind of considered it loosey-goosey. But I recently made an ancestor altar.
Kenrya: You told me last night, yeah.
Erica: Yeah, so I recently made an ancestor altar. I started reading this book about Orishas and Voodoo queens and all of that, and it has really been speaking to me. Kenrya's face is like, "Oh, shit."
Kenrya: I mean, I'm surprised. And also, we have some folks who are really deep in that world who could be great resources if you...
Erica: Who I have been talking to actually.
Erica: It's been a journey. I'm reading the book, and one of the things that it's first telling me is, "Yeah, this Orisha stuff is great, but you need to start with ancestor work." I was listening to this podcast... this woman on... I'm not sure if it was a podcast or a YouTube. Oh my gosh, I need to figure it out so that I can properly attribute it to her. But she was like, essentially, ancestor work is like when you were a kid and you're walking around with your parents, I can't walk up to you and give you candy. I got to talk to your parent and say, "Hey, parent, is it okay to give this kid candy?" So although I might feel like I have some special connection to Yemaya or Oshun, I can't be running up to them like, "Hey girls, what the deal? Give me all your ju-ju." No, I got to work through my ancestors, because they will give me what I need at the appropriate time in order to make what I receive from the Orishas digestible.
Kenrya: For you, yeah.
Erica: So I mean, I don't know where I am in this. I just know that I am.
Kenrya: I love it.
Erica: And it has been very interesting. Also, you all are literally in me and Kenrya's updating each other on our lives.
Kenrya: Catch up.
Erica: I have been really going hard with my entrepreneurship, and the person that I'm working with that's helping me develop my brand and website and all that, she practices. We talk a lot, and she has been giving me a lot of guidance in addition to the people you're probably thinking of that I've had to call and be like, "Look, girl, so I have a question." I feel like this is all tangled and tied up together, and somehow I have to... I feel like my path through figuring out spirituality, like what spirituality looks like for me in this stage of my life, is tied to my role as The Erotic Revolutionist, my role as bringing about a change in the way that a women friends and nonbinary folk experience and feel and think about and talk about sex. And so when we first got on the call, I was telling Kenrya that I'm praying for patience every morning, because I feel like I have all of this stuff in me that I have to get out, but it has to get sorted to get out.
Erica: That's where I am.
Kenrya: That's all pretty fucking cool and entangled.
Erica: Yeah, it's very entangled and not that kind. But it's been interesting. It has been interesting. And then today, I sat and did some talking. Right now I still feel like I'm talking to myself. But at some point, it will kick in.
Kenrya: I'm sure it will. I think even in doing it with my daughter, when she first started to pray without me, she was like, "I mean, can he even hear me? Because it feels like I'm just talking to myself." And then I'd be like, "Yes, and even if it's in your head, he hears you." And she's like, "What?"
Erica: Like, "I got to check these thoughts."
Kenrya: Exactly. But I think she's coming to that place where God feels like her homeboy in a way that he does mine, and it's been pretty cool to see. But it's just time.
Erica: Yeah. And we've been wanting to do a witchy-
Kenrya: Witch book. For a long time.
Erica: For a long time. And it took a while to find one that kind of just matched with all... hit all the buttons for us.
Kenrya: I mean, it's definitely got some binary stuff that was interesting and not necessarily our lane. But other than that, we had so much trouble finding a witch book that felt Black.
Erica: That felt Black, that didn't feature some Nordic goddesses. So it was good that we got to do this, because I think also, I feel like... and we'll talk about this next week with Haylin, but I feel like we think about witchy stuff and witches as this "bitches in the park in all Black.” We thinking of Azealia Banks, right, boiling cats.
Kenrya: Oh no.
Kenrya: Didn't she have chickens in the closet or something?
Erica: Yeah, she was doing some like... Yeah.
Kenrya: Sacrifice or something, yeah.
Erica: Yeah, and then recently she was on Instagram, and I think they said she boiled her cat.
Erica: I mean, it was like a dead cat. She dug up her cat and then boiled it. And they were like, "She gon' eat the cat!" And she was like, "I don't even eat dead cows."
Erica: "I was about to tamoxify it." Not tamoxify. "Taxiderm it." I was thinking cancer medications.
Kenrya: But I think there's so much mystery and skepticism.
Kenrya: And also this idea that the different parts... I love the way you were talking about how all of this entangled, because I think people tend to sit certain things over there.
Erica: Yeah, and it's all... "Mm, y'all." Everyone said, "Y'all be afraid of witches," but then you be like, "Don't put my purse on the floor. Don't sweep over my feet. Don't break this glass."
Erica: And it's like, "Mm, come on."
Kenrya: "Don't let nobody sit on your bed." All of these things that are so ingrained in who a lot of us... especially I guess people with Southern roots, Black folks in this country... that we fucking live by.
Erica: Yeah, and the more I learn and the more I think about it, it's just so beautiful. The story of Black religion is the story of Black Americans or Black people across the diaspora, because you take this very African thing, and then you turn it into what works for you. I mean, people probably know this, but it was new to me... About how they have the Catholic little statues and stuff. And so people in Voodoo cultures or in Voodoo religion... I probably was talking about it wrong. But anyway, people practicing Voodoo would stuff their own prayers, their own... I want to say trinkets... idols.
Erica: In the statues, and they're praying to that because it looks like you're praying to the Virgin Mary. And it's like, "Yeah, girl. Whatever. You're praying to who's inside of that."
Kenrya: Because white supremacy does the work of vilifying-
Kenrya: ...the things that come naturally to us and the things that have been a part of our culture and a part of who our ancestors were and are forever.
Erica: And so it's just beautiful. I'm busy as hell. I'm harried. But I'm trying to enjoy this journey, because I feel like the journey is going to help me figure out what the hell this looks like in the end. But damn, okay.
Erica: But something else that stood out in the book that's very, again, apropos for me in my life right now, is the dating. The two people... what are their names again? I'll fuck it up.
Kenrya: Assefa and Sanura.
Erica: Assefa and Sanura. These glasses are too big, so they keep falling off. That's what I get for buying $3 glasses on Instagram.
Kenrya: They're super cute. Oh, that's where you got them? Wait, are those the ones that were pink and green, but everybody was like, "They'd be cuter in a different color."
Erica: These aren't them, but I have those in green and brown. Green, black, and brown. I'll show you those later. Same company. Adore it. But one of the things that... Oh, and we're not giving the details on that, because they are not Black-owned and we ain't getting no money off of it. Holla at a playa if you see me on the street, and I'll give it a chance.
Erica: But I am currently dating, and I am trying to date with intention and be serious about what's going on. And so a lot of these issues that are coming up here are very... these are things that I have to actively ask myself. I've got to make an appointment with the therapist now that I'm talking, because I don't have an appointment. But these are things that I definitely have to now... I'm talking myself through as I am actually meeting great people. And it's like, "Okay, Erica, is it this? Is it that? What are you doing?" It's constantly an assessment, that kind of thing.
Erica: What are you thinking?
Kenrya: It's interesting. I want to know. Tell me the things.
Erica: Oh, okay. I met this guy. He's nice. We're having a great time. And I'm asking myself... like it's not intense, but it's lovely. Does that make sense?
Kenrya: Do you want it to be intense?
Erica: That's the thing. Do I? I'm used to intense, but I'm also divorced. I got a trail of bad relationships behind me. So I'm used to intense. Intense feels normal. But it's like, is intense good for you right now? And so I'm trying to ask myself... One of the things that happens in this book that we touched on, talked about, is a thing with love bombing, which is when someone shows up and they're everything you need and everything you want. It's the greatest thing. And then six months later, you're like, "What the fuck am I doing? How did I get here?"
Kenrya: Yeah, usually it's a cover for them being actually a shitty person, but they want to get you under their spell before you figure it out.
Erica: Exactly. Or they could just not be for you.
Kenrya: I guess. But love bombing very much to me shouts, "I'm going to fuck you over, but let me do this right quick so that you don't notice."
Erica: See, I don't know if I've got... I've met people so far that have done me intense love bombing, and I think some of it has been they're shitty people. Some of it I think is that they are so... They desire a relationship so much that they're going to do whatever it takes to get that relationship. And so I find myself doing the thinking for the both of us because I'm like, "Hey, hold on. You don't know if you want all that from me." That kind of thing. Because I met this one guy, and I do think he was truly genuine about... I think in his mind he thought that this is it. She's the greatest. And I mean, a bitch is. But I think it was from a, "She cool, I'm cool. She's single, I'm single." But it wasn't like a... Is it really that?
Kenrya: Or making someone up.
Erica: Yeah, are we just doing this because you free, I'm free, let's kick it? And that there is what I am trying to suss out in everything right now.
Erica: I met a new guy, and he's nice and it's fun. I think that I'm recognizing that in the past, a lot of my relationships have been passionate from the start, which is good, but is it? Is it right? Is it what I need? And I want whatever I go into next to be, if not the one, the one for a long ass time.
Kenrya: I'm going to sound like a broken record, because this is something I've been telling you as your best friend for years now.
Erica: I need to write a list. I need to write a list. I need to write a list.
Kenrya: I don't know how you can be intentional about what you're looking for if you haven't figured out what you're looking for.
Erica: Okay, cut.
Kenrya: And it doesn't have to look like a checklist, because I know that you worry that that taps into your OCD. But there can be some creative ways that you can... Because how do you know if someone is what you want if you don't know what you want?
Erica: Okay, don't be looking at me like that, because I have-
Kenrya: This is why you keep me around.
Erica: I literally have started a list.
Erica: Hold on, let me see if I can flash it. What I want in a partner.
Erica: Whatever bitch.
Kenrya: It's on her phone. It's in Notes y'all.
Erica: I definitely have started a list because I'm dating, and so now I'm learning what I like and what I don't like. Like, "Oh, I can't do that?" One of the things that I'm realizing, I met some really nice guys that are just really comfortable in their jobs, and I'm not comfortable with that.
Erica: No. Let me not say that.
Kenrya: Like you want them to be more ambitious?
Erica: I need ambition. And not to the like "I've got to hustle every weekend" ambition. So I met this guy, and he was a medical coder. And I'm like, "Okay, that's cool. That's cool." And he's like, "Yeah, I can do it in my sleep." And I'm like, "Did you want to go to med school or nursing school or something." "Yeah, I did, but I don't want to no more. I just like this. It's cool. I get paid. I get good raises, and the benefits are cool. So I'm going to do that." And I'm just kind of like, for me, it's like, "Dude, you're 37." I'm not comfortable with someone being comfortable in that for the rest of their life. And maybe it's because now I am at the point where I'm like, "I can't be sitting behind this desk for the rest of my life."
Kenrya: That's what I was going to say, because I feel like you have done jobs where you were doing them because they were rote, right?
Erica: Yes, but I always knew-
Kenrya: And it got to the point where that was untenable for you.
Erica: I always knew that that wasn't the end. This guy is like, "I'm fine retiring from here and getting a Rolex or getting a nice watch, getting my Timex." And to me, I'm just not comfortable with that. Not saying that... I don't need you to be like, "I'm about to create this app and take over the world." But I also... What were you going to say?
Kenrya: I want to speak to that without at all feeling like... I don't want to at all feel like I'm yucking your yum.
Erica: Yeah, but I also am trying to figure out how to properly articulate that, because I also don't want to make it seem like I want some like...
Kenrya: Like it's classist.
Erica: Yeah, because my granddaddy was a janitor. My momma ain't have a car. So we ain't... But it's just, I want someone that's going to strive for more. But at the same time, I'm learning my love language is physical touch. Shut up, bitch. And quality time.
Kenrya: Yes, I could have told you that a decade ago. So it's interesting. The thing that's on my list is-
Erica: I'm rolling my eyes at you so hard.
Kenrya: Whatever. Is that the person has to be happy with what they do.
Erica: Yes. Well, no-
Kenrya: Well, let me finish.
Kenrya: One, I've been with men who were really unhappy in their jobs no matter what it was that they were doing. And so I find that when men... when people in general are unhappy in their jobs, they tend to bring that home and they are unhappy because you spend so much time working. And so I want to be around people who find... I don't think that work should be the seat of our joy, because it's fucking work and we're in this capitalist society where we have to do this shit just to survive. But I also don't want to be with someone who is hating what they do for hours upon hours out of the day. I don't actually care what they do as long as they're not a cop. But they have to be able to take care of themselves financially, and they have to be able to say that they are happy in the work that they are doing.
Kenrya: And as someone who has been an entrepreneur for a long time honestly... and I sometimes talk about this with my partner who is also an entrepreneur... we spend a lot of time sitting up working together.
Erica: I mean, look. A good every two weeks check is delightful. That's where I am where I am and have been for a while.
Kenrya: Yeah, and I can appreciate... I can't honestly remember the last time I was in that kind of a situation, because even when I worked at magazines it was still a "you've got to be there ’til whatever time at night." But the idea that you can just go to work and do your job, and at five o'clock you can fucking leave and you ain't got to think about that shit until nine? What?
Kenrya: I kind of love it. And I do not at all hate the idea... I get it. I get why that is comforting and why that is something that someone would want to do. It sounds fucking dope. It's just not for me, because I don't want nobody over my shoulder. But I completely get the impulse.
Erica: Yeah. Yeah, so I'm still working through it. Because also, I'm not trying to sound elitist. I'm still trying to figure it out. And I appreciate you bringing that nuance to the conversation, because I ain't trying to block my blessings, because girl, I be driving slow.
Kenrya: They come at a lot of different points.
Erica: I be driving slow behind them trash trucks like, "Hey Zaddy."
Kenrya: Oh, because they be fine.
Erica: "Hey there. I see how you slug that trash can with one arm,” my nasty ass.
Kenrya: But I'm really glad that you have a list and that you're being intentional in your dating.
Erica: Whatever, bitch.
Kenrya: Stop rolling your eyes at me.
Kenrya: I'm being supportive.
Erica: Yeah, but also, okay, so here's the thing. I literally met somebody... I'm trying to debate if I'm going to share this.
Kenrya: How much...
Erica: How much I'm going to share. We're going to go, and some of this might get cut out. So I literally matched with this guy two days ago. So far, everything on my list. Everything, down to good teeth. Down to good teeth. And here's the thing. He knows a lot of my... a few of my friends. And one of my friends, who is very, very discerning, she was like, "Oh, he's cool people. You better swipe on him." I was like, "All right." And so now, the reason that I don't want a list is because I'm looking at this list and I'm looking at him, and I'm like, "Oh my God, Erica. Don't fuck it up. Don't blow it. Don't accept fuck shit."
Kenrya: Oh, because of the pressure.
Erica: And so now it's just like... yeah.
Kenrya: So the list got him in the door, right? Did you make the other list? The list about how you want to feel?
Kenrya: Okay. So the second part of the list exercise is to make a list of how you want to feel when you're engaged with this person. That helps you to move past that superficial "this height, this teeth" whatever to, "All right, does this person-?"
Erica: Oh, I do have a little bit of how I want to feel.
Kenrya: Mixed into that one?
Erica: You see that?
Kenrya: I do, yes. Good. So then in my... What I have done is-
Erica: I hate you! Your turn me into...
Kenrya: I use that list to help guide things moving forward. Once, "Okay, cool. That's what's up. They met that criteria." But then there's so much more. And then a lot of that comes down to not just being intentional, but listening to yourself.
Kenrya: I went on a date with somebody who seemed fine on the surface, but when I got home from that date, I had a panic attack, remember?
Kenrya: I remember sending you a picture that I took with him, you and our friend, and you all were like, "Oh, you all look like an ad," or some bullshit. I literally got home, laid on the couch, and had a fucking panic attack. Called you and said, "I need your therapist's information right now." And that began my latest journey into therapy, because my body-
Erica: Latest and most successful.
Kenrya: Yes, thank god. All the alarm bells were going off in my body, but I couldn't see it.
Erica: Yeah, yeah.
Kenrya: But once I listened on that fucking couch where I couldn't settle down...
Erica: It was like, "Oh, bitch, you going to listen."
Kenrya: Yeah, so that's the next part of being intentional, is trusting in your intuition.
Erica: Yeah. Bitch, how are we there in the fucking book?
Kenrya: That actually brings up something that was key in the book to me, was that Sanura was waiting for the other shoe to drop, right? This man checked of all the things that she wanted.
Erica: Baby, baby.
Kenrya: But she was like, "What's wrong with him? What's going to fuck this up?" And I was just having this conversation with my partner about how... I mean, I can't speak for everybody, but I have definitely very often found myself with people who seem fine at first, and I was waiting for the shoe to drop, especially once I got healthy. And he was like, "Well, wait, were you waiting on the shoe to drop with me?" I say, "Yes, baby."
Erica: Yeah, yeah!
Kenrya: He was like, "Well, what did you think it was?" And I was like, "I don't know."
Erica: Anything, anything.
Kenrya: I was like, "It could have come from anywhere because I was on fucking keep my head on a swivel."
Erica: You can't even probably prepare for it, because you be like, "Okay, this date got a baby. He got another wife." Or something. You're preparing for that, and then it be like...
Kenrya: Right, there's going to be a family across the country. And then it's like he spent too much money on shoes or some shit.
Erica: Yeah, it will be anything.
Kenrya: It could be anything, yeah.
Erica: And I have been dating another guy. Damn, shit. I don't know how much of this we're going to do. Well, fuck it. Niggas need to know they got competition. So I'm dating another guy, and it's nice and it's fun and things are good, but...
Kenrya: Are they? Look at your face.
Erica: I feel like I'm waiting for the shoe to drop. Also, it's not so like... I think the biggest thing that I'm dealing with right now is I am so used to the highs. And it was always like... Like with me and my ex-husband. When the shit was great, it was fan-fucking-tastic. But when it was horrible, it was low. He did not beat on me.
Kenrya: No, he did not.
Erica: Sorry, I had to say that for my cousins. My cousins listening to this.
Kenrya: He did not. He would have got... Well.
Erica: Yeah, everybody would have fucked him up. And so I think because I've only always swung both sides of the pendulum, I'm looking for consistent happiness. And I know consistent happiness is not always a 25 out of a 10. You're not going to wake up every morning like, "Oh!" Because that's just like... Your mind gets numb to... It's kind of like if you... Oh, you're shaking your head?
Kenrya: Girl, I am consistently happy.
Erica: I love it.
Kenrya: But it's the first time. I'm almost 40, and it's the first time I ever felt this way.
Erica: But I mean like, okay. Damn, now you ain't... Well, shit.
Kenrya: Damn, I just made it worse, right?
Erica: No, I'm about to send a fucking few text messages. Because also, I am firmly comfortable being alone. And maybe it's only because I'm only a few years into my journey, because I feel like I look at some folks and they be like, "Send me a man!"
Kenrya: But I feel like you've got to get there to get there. Until I got comfortable being by myself because... Well, first of all, our therapist forced me to be. And then I was like, "Oh, this is beautiful." I wouldn't have been ready. In session all the time, we're doing... She'll just say, "You know, I just got to say again, girl, don't you... I'm so glad we did that work.”
Erica: I be like, "Girl, just mind your business."
Erica: Mind your business.
Kenrya: Patting herself on the back and whatnot. But she's right, and if I hadn't gone through being by myself, but also doing the work, right? Not just being by myself and pining, but being by myself and figuring out why I never liked to be by myself before, being by myself and figuring out what it was that I actually needed and I wanted, being by myself and figuring out how was it I wanted to feel, and what I would accept and what I wouldn't accept, that is what laid the groundwork for me to be in a relationship where I am consistently happy. Realizing that it is not the partner that brings the happiness, right? It is the union that we've created and the life that we're creating together that helps to boost my overall joy.
Erica: Yeah. And I feel like that is key. That's the part where it's like, "Oh, we got to get there."
Kenrya: But I will say, you're dating and things feel unsure, but shit pop up. You know what I mean? My partner was living two minutes away, two blocks away. Never would have met him out on the street, because he always in the car and I'm always fucking walking. It was an app. But it was random. It felt random. I dropped the age on the app, and there he was. And I was like, "Fuck it, let's give it a go," because he had a nice smile and he looked like he was fun.
Erica: Yeah, he has a good smile.
Kenrya: But it felt out of left field, and I didn't go on the first date thinking, "Oh, this is going to be my great love." It just was kind of like by the end of my first date, I was like, "I'm going to fuck this man."
Erica: Well, alrighty.
Kenrya: And then by the end of the second date, it was like, "Damn, this might not work, but I'm going to still fuck this nigga."
Erica: Thank you, pussy, for keeping me involved.
Kenrya: Yeah, basically, because then I did, and then it became clear that shit was amazing. Not because of that, but just because I stayed around and didn't give time to a bad situation, but just explored it and listened to my body and listened to my mind and my heart and figured it out. I say that to say it feels like shit can come from anywhere.
Kenrya: You just got to listen to what your gut is telling you as you go.
Erica: Yeah. Also, I have this firm... One of the things in the book also are just timelines and defense mechanisms. Like, "I'm waiting for the shoe to drop, so I'm just going to keep a wall up ’til a shoe drops with this motherfucker." And I'm realizing that I don't... I mean, who doesn't... but I'm realizing I have a visceral reaction to rejection. Like, "shoot yourself in the foot" reaction to rejection.
Kenrya: Like, go off on a nigga if he says something that felt even little bit-
Erica: No. I have too much pride to be going off on niggas. You will never catch me going off on a nigga. But I will cut you. One of my friends was like, "Your cut-off game is strong. You're going to act like you don't know nobody." Yep, sure do, and I'm good at it. But I kind of also think, "Damn, did you chuck that nigga for no reason?" So yeah, I definitely... And that's also something that I'm paying attention to as I'm dating, because I recognize that... I texted a guy. I'm an early morning person. You texting me at 9:30 is the equivalent of me texting you at 5:00 in the morning, 5:30 in the morning. I'm up. Not everybody's up, but I'm up. What's going on? I texted this guy. He texted me at like 10:30 at night. I texted him when I woke up, which was like 5:00.
Kenrya: You don't understand. I don't text you that late unless I can hear you up downstairs.
Erica: Right. It was a, "My bad. I was asleep." So then we kind of started chatting. I was like, "Yo, can you talk." He was like, "Oh my god, it ain't even 9:00." And to me, that was like, "You ain't going to carry me and try to make me feel like I'm a needy bitch." I was like, "You know what, have a great day?" Block, block, block, block. And now that I'm thinking, I'm like, "Damn, maybe I was a little hard." But you ain't going to make me feel like something wrong with me for wanting to have a conversation early in the morning. And it's, again, if you're for me, you're going to know that Erica might want to have a conversation at 8:30 in the motherfucking morning.
Kenrya: Well, but more than that, even if you don't want to have a conversation at 9:00 in the morning, you'll be like, "Yeah, my eyes are barely open. Can I call you?" Like you said, don't try to fucking carry you.
Erica: Don't try to carry me, bitch.
Kenrya: Yeah, so I mean, I ain't going to tell you ever to unblock a nigga. You know my block game is strong.
Erica: I was channeling Kenrya when I did that. I was like, "Hmm, where else should I block this motherfucker?"
Kenrya: I was going to say, because I will block you any and every fucking where. It's like you never existed. Oh, I'm sorry to this man. I do not know this man. I'm sorry to that man. Wait, wasn't she saying that about Biden? About the President?
Erica: It was about the Vice President, about Cheney.
Kenrya: Oh, was it?
Kenrya: Oh, okay. Nevermind.
Erica: Nevermind. Continue on. Okay, also something... You kind of touched on this. This book is very binary. There are lots of gender roles in it. Do you think it's more just gender roles, gender roles? Or did that make the story? Did that move the story?
Erica: Wasn't that a good question? I felt like I was Kenrya asking that question.
Kenrya: Some of it seemed like... How do I say this without giving... The structure of their lineage is such that the women, theirs is matrilineal, so their power is passed down through these female witches. And the cat's is patrilineal, so they are passed down... they pass through all men.
Erica: Yeah, witches. Oh. Sorry.
Kenrya: So some of it was really kind of just based on the lore that was built in that their familiars are men, and so the language kind of lent itself to that. It would talk about sometimes feminine energy and masculine energy. I mean, I guess that's a thing maybe. I don't know. But everything I saw it, it stopped me up short. But my guess is that most people would probably... It wouldn't even register.
Erica: But we have to... We wouldn't be doing our job at The Turn On here without saying something about it.
Kenrya: Pointing that out. Yeah, yeah. But it didn't detract from the story. I think it was just kind of the universe that the writer built in.
Erica: So I always say that I am a womanist through and through, except when it comes to taking out the trash and killing bugs and rodents. I will turn into one of them bitches that faint on them chaise.
Kenrya: A fainting couch.
Erica: Oh, lord.
Kenrya: You're talking about a fainting couch?
Erica: Oh, lord. My binder's too tight. My corset's too tight. I must faint. I do not like... My son knows, I will put shit on the top of the trash, around the trash, on the floor, whatever. I ain't touching the motherfucking trash, because I'm a woman. If I'm here alone and there's no sign of anyone coming back within the next 24 hours, okay, I'll do my own trash. But yeah, I'm clearly like...
Kenrya: That's where your gender roles kick in.
Erica: I was going to say take me back to the 1800s, but then I would have been a slave, so no. Yeah, no, I lied about that. But yeah, what about you? Do you have some clear "I ain't fucking with that"?
Kenrya: I do, but it's not around... so I've been living alone, right, since I was... or at least not in a situation where there was consistently somebody there to do those things for me since I left to go to college. And I don't have sons. I don't have the luxury. So I have always done all the things myself. But my partner, when he's here, he literally, automatically, when he's leaving he goes and collects whatever garbage is here and takes it downstairs for me without me having to ask.
Erica: Because that's your role. That's your role.
Kenrya: And I appreciate it. I mean, I do it if he doesn't do it, but I very much appreciate that he does it for me. But whatever. The one thing that I have never done is cut grass, and it is because I am so fucking allergic to grass.
Kenrya: But also, I don't want to cut grass.
Erica: Exactly. Fuck an allergy. That's because you don't want to. And that's the stuff. There are certain things... I mean, I have a whole hypothetical list. Like in my next marriage, long-term relationship, we living together, if we living together, you washing my car. You are going to...
Kenrya: But you had that. Your ex-husband was really good about taking care of your vehicle, wasn't he? Oh, look at your face. I thought he was good at that.
Erica: He be good at pestering me to tell me to go take care of my vehicle.
Kenrya: Oh, nevermind. I'm giving him too much credit.
Erica: I mean, yeah, if I was like, "Yo, I need some tires. I need some tires. I need some tires." Then he be like, "Okay, I'm going to take it." And also, he made it so that I could go. So it wasn't like... No, I am going to be like, "On Sundays, you taking my car to go get cleaned." Whereas with my ex-husband, he was like, "My friend owns a shop. You can go by anytime." I ain't trying to go sit and get my car cleaned. So yeah, and I mean, that is so random, but that's my... I'm literally giving niggas a hack to Erica.
Kenrya: Well, but so here's the thing, right? And I actually don't think of this as necessarily being a gender thing. I feel like if you build a life with folks, if you figure out systems that work... So for example, we live in the same... we live in a two-family house. Y'all take the trash down to the street, whoever it is. Your son or your brother, right? And I bring the trash cans back up. We have a system that works for us. We created a system. And I think that in any partnership, you figure those things out. There are chores, like I hate washing dishes. It stems back to associations in my childhood. I do not like dishes. My partner comes over, and he does the dishes. He don't mind washing dishes. He understands that it freaks me the fuck out and was doing it even beforehand. But that is a system that we have created, and I appreciate the fuck out of him for taking care of it for me.
Kenrya: Neither of us, if we had to cut the grass... which thank God we don't... but if we did, neither of us is interested in that shit. We already decided that's some shit that we pay somebody else to do. He does not really like putting things together. Guess what? I fucking love putting things together. That is my job.
Erica: That's your jam, yeah.
Kenrya: I like it. I like to build a good bookcase. I like to put a dresser together. I like to put a chair together.
Erica: Do wardrobes.
Kenrya: Shit, yes. He be like, "Yeah, okay. This is for you." And I'm like, "All right." And it's fine.
Erica: I'll have the finest teas when you're finished.
Kenrya: But we have figured out who likes what.
Erica: Yeah, and that's the thing. I think about growing up in my Midwestern home, and my grandmother and grandfather were very traditional. And a part of me loves taking care of my boo. I love feeding people. I turn into an old Black lady when somebody comes to my house. "You hungry? I got some chicken. Let me fry you some chicken." I turn into... That is what I do.
Kenrya: That's so funny, because that has been such an evolution.
Kenrya: Because you used to, "Cook, what?"
Erica: One of my linesisters, she laughed. She was like, "I would come to your house. The only thing you'd ever make was French toast." I mean, my French toast is the shit. It's funny because my brother was saying that French toast, waffles, and pancakes are like Destiny's Child. One is your Kelly, one is your Beyonce, and one is your Michelle.
Kenrya: Oh, which one is your Bey?
Erica: My Bey are pancakes, because they're consistently good, everyone likes them. But my French toast is Kelly. Often underrated, but good den a motherfucker. I use that thick ass bread. Oh, I got to tell you about this new bakery I found. This thick ass bread, and then I use heavy whipping cream, and I use cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. And a few other secret ingredients. It is so fucking good. And that's all I will make. And so my Line sister be like, "We eat at Erica's house..." It'll be like three in the afternoon. I'll be like, "I got some French toast if you want some. I can whip you up some French toast." They're like, "Bitch, can I have some chicken?"
Kenrya: Yeah, exactly.
Erica: So what's your Bey?
Kenrya: I think it's French toast, but it's because it's my favorite.
Erica: Yeah, and then your Kelly are your waffles, right?
Kenrya: Yes, yep. Yeah, my partner was like, "They always taste exactly the same. How do you do that?" I'm like, "Nigga, practice."
Kenrya: Yeah, I've been making them a long time.
Erica: Yeah, my brother's Kelly is French toast. So here's the thing with pancakes. My grandfather used to make the best pancakes.
Kenrya: From scratch?
Erica: We remember being in the limo driving away from the cemetery at his funeral, and my cousin's like, "Damn, we just buried good pancakes."
Kenrya: Oh my God.
Erica: My grandfather's pancakes were fucking magical. I don't know what...
Kenrya: None of you all ever asked?
Erica: Don't nobody know what to ask! And then I remember there was a particular spoon in my granny's house that he used.
Kenrya: To measure them out the right way.
Erica: Ain't nobody know where that fucking spoon is. He probably put that shit in his back pocket and took it into the damn casket. Like, "Not without me!" Yeah, it was like, I will never, ever, ever...
Kenrya: Have a pancake like that.
Erica: Yeah, yep.
Kenrya: Wow. My daddy used to make them in a big cast iron skillet. But you can only fit three in the skillet, and they was always weird shaped because they had to fit in the skillet. So pancake making was the slowest activity ever in my house.
Erica: Okay, and let me also tell you something. Yeah, we used a cast iron skillet. That griddle shit? I thought rich people used griddles.
Kenrya: Until I bought one for like $35, and we use this shit every weekend.
Erica: So okay, here's another thing. Hot take. You know how people say that they like their pancakes with crisp edges?
Kenrya: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Erica: That's only because y'all ain't had a good pancake. My grandpa's pancakes never needed a crisp. I didn't know what the fuck a crisp edge was until I started making my own pancakes, and it required crisp edges to have somewhat a smidgen of the tastiness that my grandpa's pancakes had. I'm telling you. If it's just a good fucking pancake, you don't need no crisp edge. Granted, the crisp edge is good, because it gives you a little salty sweet.
Kenrya: The crisp edge is...
Erica: And the texture.
Kenrya: I think the crisp edge is because you got some butter in it, honestly. It's the butter that gives you the crisp edge. But the best pancakes I ever had was at a restaurant in New Orleans last year. The last trip I went on before the fucking world shut down. And they did not have a crisp edge, but they were fucking amazing. So amazing that we went back for breakfast twice in a six-day trip.
Erica: Okay, I need that place's... Now you got me on this pancake search. I think I am now going to begin the search for good pancakes.
Kenrya: I'm not telling you shit, because we got a while ’til you can go anywhere.
Erica: Bitch, I ain't going nowhere. I can't. Really, the only reason keeping me from traveling at this point is the fact that I got to go to the hospital once a month for shots, and they ask you, "Have you been anywhere between 21 days?" And I be thinking like, "Well, maybe if I got a shot this day, now I'm leaving the next day."
Kenrya: You can time it. Don't do it!
Erica: And they got this mega-rona out now!
Kenrya: Yeah, well thank goodness that they're saying it looks like the vaccine actually works for that one too.
Erica: Girl, and honey, I watched a woman put on a hazmat suit before she injected my body with medicine. Do you think I give a fuck about what's in that damn corona vaccine? That corona vaccine going to get in my body like, "Goddamn, this how you living?" The chemo going to be like, "Surprise, shorty!"
Erica: My son said something about... that he found on Tik Tok. He was like, "Have you ever heard dah dah dah?" I was like, "What are you talking about?" He's like, "It's all over Tik Tok." I was like, "Not my side of Tik Tok, bro."
Kenrya: What was it?
Erica: I can't remember. I'll ask him. But it was something. It was something all the kid's doing.
Kenrya: They have so much stuff. But also, they have so much old stuff. Like your child be up here singing like old Nsync songs. I'm like, "Bitch, why do you know all the words and the ad libs to this song that came out when I was high school?"
Erica: Yeah, Tik Tok is interesting. I love it. There was this Tik Tok, and it was like, "Show a picture of someone that you met that's changed your life and you couldn't live without." And then this chick cuts to the Tik Tok logo. And I was like, "It's me. It's me." Tik Tok got me through 2020.
Erica: Okay, so do you have anything else to add?
Kenrya: Oh, I don't know.
Erica: Okay, well, we are going to take a quick break, and then we are going to head on into What's Turning Us On.
Kenrya: I like it.
Kenrya: Hey y'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. And Buzzsprout is hands-on, the easiest and best way to launch, promote, and track your podcast. Your show gets put online and listened in all the major podcast directories, like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, everything, within minutes of finishing and uploading your recording. We use it here for The Turn On, and I can testify to the fact that it's pretty fucking dope.
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Erica: Okay y'all, so this week we're going to talk about what's turning us on. This week we're going to talk about nipple suckers. They are interesting as well. If you have been a part of my life, you know that I have titty issues. And so right now, there is nothing, not even sensation in these nipples. But they're like little silicone... You squish the air out of them and then put them on, and it sucks... Yeah, just like that, through your nipples. But let me tell you what I learned as a woman with nipples. But also, what's kind of button-y and nipple-like down below?
Kenrya: It's a clit.
Erica: Bam. Slap some lube on that bitch, put it down there, and go at it.
Kenrya: Oh, nice.
Erica: Right, right, right?
Kenrya: Love it. So I am someone who has probably sometimes too much feeling in their nipples. Lord have mercy. But I have traditionally really liked clamps. But I can't always have it though. Some days my boobs just don't want the clamps. And so the suckers are a good way to get yourself some pressure and some suction. And not just in partner play but in solo play, because you got your hands busy elsewhere, but you also want some nipple stimulation. That is a good way to go, because you just squeeze all the air out, put them over your nipple, let them go, and then you've got some consistent pressure going on that can help to get you where you're trying to go. Yeah, so there's a link to that in the show notes for this episode for anybody who is interested in getting on that nipple suction train.
Erica: Yes, yes, y'all. Okay, and with that, that wraps up this week's episode of The Turn On.
Kenrya: We are Killa and E. Two hoes making it clap.
Erica: Two hoes making it clap. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.
Kenrya: I like it. Bye y'all.
Kenrya: This episode was produced by us, Kenrya and Erica, 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. Just post your review and email us a screenshot at TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com to enter. Our Patreon page is also live. Become a supporter today, and you'll gain access to lots of goodies, including The Turn On book club and two-for-one raffle entries. And don't forget to send us your book recommendations and your sex and related questions. And follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod and on Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast. You can find links to books, merch, transcripts, guest info, and other fun stuff at theturnonpodcast.com. Thanks so much for listening, and we will see you soon. Bye.
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.