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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya share their experiences talking about sex with the olds.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Kenrya: Hey, y'all welcome to this week's episode of The Turn On. So this week we're going to take a bit of a walk down memory lane and have story time.
Kenrya: Is that our storytime song now?
Erica: Maybe, maybe not. I might not be able to remember the melody next time, but okay.
Kenrya: That works too. So we were interviewing somebody recently and they were talking about how great their mom was in terms of having conversations about sex. They might ask a crazy question or a question that felt like it came out of leftfield, and they were like, "My mom just kind of took a deep breath and answered the question, when it was a little difficult. And it got me thinking about what conversations we may have had. I feel like, at least I know on my end, they weren't quite what she was describing.
Erica: I was going to say, that's going to be a short ass episode. Cause I ain't got shit to say. We just acted like it didn't happen. So yeah.
Kenrya: So I have two conversations that stand out. So I'll start, I'm from Ohio, you know and pretty much everything that I learned about sex, in terms of sex education was at school. There was no talk at home. I was raised by my dad. He definitely wasn't touching that shit.
Kenrya: So my school had sex ed in the fifth grade. And so half of the year we did sex ed. This white woman came in and taught us how to put condoms on bananas, which I feel is the standard thing, but that's exactly what happened. And we have like a little box where you could put an anonymous question that she would answer. And that's all I remember about the class. And then the other half we were in D.A.R.E. So it was don't have sex, because you might get pregnant and don't do drugs because you might die. I truly believe that my father, his whole thing was just leave it to school, to teach her.
Kenrya: And so we never had questions or conversations. I never asked questions. If I wanted know something, I got a book out of the library because I've always been this person. And that was really it. So I can only remember one time my dad saying something about sex and in the moment I was grossed out and I'm still grossed out, it's still disgusting to me.
Kenrya: Yeah. We were at the movies with some family friends, and this is so gross. So everybody had popcorn and I'm trying to remember exactly how this happened, but somebody was complaining about having popcorn stuck between their teeth. It's before the movie started. And my dad says something to the effect of it being like when you get hair stuck between your teeth.
Erica: For two reasons, one it's your daddy with hair between your teeth.
Kenrya: Right. So I was fucking mortified because I did understand what he was saying. I think I was in the eighth grade and I remember that the family friend was like, "Yo, like Kenrya is right here." And he was like, "I mean, she had sex ed. She know." And I just tried to like keep my face impassive because it wasn't a conversation that I wanted to be in. So I just decided to play dumb and act like I knew nothing about what was happening next to me.
Erica: Like, "I didn't hear it."
Kenrya: Yeah. Like, it'll go away if I just pretend that it's not happening here. Exactly. Yeah. That face is what that memory does to my brain. But it is, as far as I can remember, the only conversation I've ever actually had with my dad. Cause I had one more conversation about sex until years later when I told him that I had an abortion, but that wasn't really about sex so much as about sanity.
Erica: Bitch, that was like this decade.
Kenrya: Yeah, it was. I was firmly in my thirties. Yeah. So that's, that's my first story about talking about sex. I know, I know, I know, I know.
Erica: So what's interesting is my family kind of kept it. We didn't talk about it and we glossed over it. But the older I get, the more open my family is. My granny would talk about it, not from an educational, but from like a, "Let me tell you what I heard these freaky white women do." She told me that Donald Trump, the reason that Russia had all that on Donald Trump was because they got pictures of a white women shitting on his chest.
Kenrya: She had it wrong.
Erica: Where she found this out, I don't know. But anyway, so I'm sorry, I have the hiccups. So we really never had lots of conversations about sex. As a kid, sex was just unheard of in my home.
Kenrya: Even though, it was a whole bunch of y'all niggas. Like, where y'all come from.
Erica: Exactly. So I do remember once my great grandma died, Little Granny. Little Granny died and everybody went there to clear out her house. That process has me so scarred. If I die, Kenrya, just light a match.
Kenrya: Where were you? Was that when you texted me and was like, “Bitch, here's my password?”
Erica: No, I think that maybe that, no, it wasn't that? No, this is when Little Granny died. This was when I was a kid.
Kenrya: Oh, okay.
Erica: So Little Granny died and they were up cleaning her house and she had this little, they found her old school douche, the thing with the hose, right? And then I found these playing cards with like naked people on them. And I remember my aunts like giggling and stuff like, "Ooh, Granny was into stuff." That's the only thing that we've talked about. But now that I look back on it, my mother dated this guy all through high school, same guy, all through high school. And she got pregnant, I want to say her senior year and the baby was born prematurely and didn't survive. Like it was some 1970's shit. I'm convinced if the baby was born today, I'd have a big sibling. So I think maybe we kept those conversations quiet because they were like, "Your momma did it. So let's not let you do it."
Kenrya: They thought that if we didn't talk about it, it wouldn't happen.
Erica: Yeah. Which I'm like, no, you're going to know all of it. Every bit of it. So yeah. And again, when I die, I’m open about my chest of shit. So just want-
Kenrya: I was about to say everybody already knows. This show has ruined any type of privacy around.
Erica: Yeah. Like, "No, she mentioned that in episode 10." Okay. So what else do you have? I feel like I'm going to be afraid of this one.
Kenrya: No, no, no, no. I don't think so. That one was scarring. This one is funny in hindsight, but mortifying at the time. So, everyone knows Judy Blume's, "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret." And I had it. And I've read all of everything. I think I've said on this show before, I was reading things that were inappropriate for me forever.
Kenrya: In the third grade I was taking Danielle Steel books out of the library and reading them because nobody was paying me any fucking attention. I read all of V.C. Andrews in the third grade, second grade, all of it. Yeah. I was a voracious reader. I was a very good reader and I was reading everything and nobody was paying me any fucking attention.
Kenrya: I think they were just glad I was reading. It wasn't even like I was hiding this shit, it had her whole-ass face on the back of every copy. I did read age-appropriate things, but this book that I'm about to mention was not that. "Are You There, God, It's Me, Margaret" it's probably fourth, fifth grade, maybe, because it talks about puberty and it stars Margaret, who wants to get her period. And she does, "We must, we must, we must increase our bust."
Kenrya: “The bigger, the better, the tighter, the sweater, the boys, the boys, the boys all want us” or some shit. So a lot of people don't know that there was a boy companion book that was all about puberty from the point of view of little people who identified as boys. And it's called "Then Again, Maybe I Won't."
Kenrya: And I was trying to remember what it was called today. Like on my way home, driving from acupuncture. What the fuck is this book called? I remember the cover, but couldn't remember what it was called, but I got it. And, as I always say, I was raised by my dad, but I would occasionally when I was younger visit my mom. There was a weekend where I was visiting her. And I remember she was in the kitchen cooking and I came running into the kitchen, dying, laughing. Like holding my stomach, doubled over, “Oh my God, this is the funniest thing I've ever seen.” And my mother is like, "What?" And I'm like, "This boy in this book."
Kenrya: She's like, "Okay." I'm like, "He just had a wet dream." Now, I was probably seven. I think I read this in the second grade. My mother looked like a deer. I just talked to her too, I'm sure she doesn't remember this at all. Like a deer caught in fucking headlights. Like she had no idea what she was supposed to say to me about this. And I thought it was hilarious. And she was like, "Well, what's a wet dream?"
Erica: That's how you know a parent don't know what the fuck to say. So let me ask what do you think this is?
Kenrya: Exactly. And I was like, "He was sleeping and he had a dream and then some stuff came out and it was wet and it was a dream." And she was like, "Okay. Why is it funny?" I was like, "Because it's funny in the book." And she was like, "Alright." And I went back to my book and kept on reading. There was no engagement around it.
Erica: Do you know what? That reminds me of another story.
Kenrya: Hey, good, good, good.
Erica: I remember in middle school. Again, Midwest you're Black or white, right? Like race is literally like-
Kenrya: We had Puerto Ricans on the west side.
Erica: No, we had Black or white. There was one guy he was Latinx. I don't know if he was Puerto Rican, but his last name was Dejesus. We called them the "De-Jesus." His last name was De-Jesus, right? So I forgot the boy’s name. Boy Dejesus. There was a rumor around the school that he had sex with a girl and he peed in her.
Kenrya: Oh God.
Erica: Right. I remember going home and I don't remember. I remember talking to mom, "Mama, this boy was having sex with this girl and he peed in her." "Y'all little dumb motherfuckers don't even know what you're talking about. That ain't even possible." And I just scurried off.
Kenrya: I feel like so much of like of their lives were made easier by us just walking away. Like.
Erica: She probably called her girlfriend like, "I can't believe, but then she just walked off." I was just like, "You know what? All right, girl." She was right. So he can't pee in her.
Kenrya: It's sad though. That's the extent of the conversations that we had. I think we're doing different with our children.
Erica: Definitely trying to do different with our kids. When I have to talk to my son about stuff, I take a deep breath. Well, he doesn't like to ask me, let's be clear about that. And he's like, "I'm not discussing this with you." But he does have lots of men in his life who he feels comfortable talking about this stuff to. You're going to know way too much. Even if at some point I got to sit you down, tape your eyes open, and keep you from plugging your ears with cotton.
Kenrya: Oh, we haven't gotten there yet, so it's more like laying groundwork. Right? So we have lots of conversations about consent and autonomy and gender expression and gender identity and that kind of stuff. That's really, as far as we have gotten, she's about to be 10 and periods and puberty and all that kind of stuff and body stuff. But we haven't made that leap yet because, it's probably coming. It's probably a conversation to have very soon.
Erica: I was talking to my son's therapist about this. I was like, "He ain't trying to talk to me about it." She was like, "He's not really interested. We've talked about it. He told me that some kids were having oral sex on the playground." Cause they have the middle school and the elementary school. So the middle schoolers were having oral sex and he was just freaked out about it. And this isn't, I remember one of our good friends-
Kenrya: This was when school was still open? Oh wait, he's back. Right?
Erica: He's not back. But this was when school was open.
Erica: One of our good friends had the same situation where her kid was like, "Why do you put your mouth on it?" Because, oral sex. I was like, "Wow. Y'all are real advanced."
Kenrya: Back when we were that age, it wasn't a conversation. I remember there was a girl that, she let somebody finger her. Of course, it was about her letting somebody do it to her and not the little person who did it to her, but okay, patriarchy. But oral was still really taboo when we were that age.
Erica: I was introduced to oral sex when the demon who shall not be named dropped “12 Play.” And I was like, "They put their mouth on it?" And now I'm like, "Oh yes, yes they do."
Kenrya: I don't even think I realized. You're right. That was my first exposure, but I don't, I don't. Oh, I didn't exactly know what it was.
Erica: I didn't know that that's what was going on. Except I went to one of my girlfriend's cousin's sleepovers and they were like high school kids. They knew what was going on and they had the boys come over and the boys was like dancing and it was like acting like they were doing it. And I was like, "What?" When the boys left, me and my girl was like, "Look, they kept putting their face down there. We need to understand what's happening."
Kenrya: So you got an education?
Erica: Not a lot. Cause they ain't know what the fuck. They were just like, they lick down there. So I mean, it was like the 101 remedial class.
Kenrya: Wow. Well, Hey, that's our story time of talking to our elders about sex. We'd love to hear-
Erica: Maybe we can do a dispatch on it or something? Like if you've got a good story, call us and tell us. We can run that at some point or just email us or hit us up in our socials.
Kenrya: Yes. DM us or email us TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com and maybe we can even get some audio from you depending on how intriguing your story is.
Erica: Yes, indeed. Well that wraps up this quickie. So this is Erica and Kenrya, two hoes making it clap.
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 on your favorite podcast app and at YouTube.com/TheTurnOnPodcast so you'll never miss an episode.
Erica: Then follow us on Twitter @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram @TheTurnOnPodcast. And you can find links to books, transcripts, guest info, what's turning us on, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com.
Kenrya: And don't forget to email us at TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com with your book recommendations and your pressing sex and related questions.
Erica: And you can support the show by leaving us a five star review, buying some merch, becoming a patron of the show, just head to TheTurnOnPodcast.com to make that happen.
Kenrya: Thanks for listening. And we'll see you soon. Holla.
The Turn On
The Turn On is a podcast for Black people who want to get off. To open their minds. To learn. To be part of a community. To show that we love and fuck too, and it doesn't have to be political or scandalous or dirty. Unless we want it to be.