What Are You Afraid of…The Love Below?: Black Female Sexual Agency and the Power/Penalty of Yes


I recently hosted a shindig with a group of 30-somethings at my home.  The group was composed of both men and women, and much of the conversation—albeit fueled by alcohol and barbecue—revolved around male/female relationships and of course sex.  One of the men present at the event put forth the premise that all women fall into four hierarchically based categories: marriageable date-able, fuck-able, and untouchable.

This statement immediately sent me to my special place.  My anger reached biblical proportions. That is a less judicious part of me wanted to smite him on sight—but instead I listened. I listened to him rationalize ad nauseam a limited, simple, and rather hurtful view of women and in particular Black women.  I may be biased, but to me a Black woman’s experience and the way she does “womanhood” is too unique and really too  divine to be reduced to arbitrary categories. Yet his premise gives us a point of departure to discuss Black female sexual agency: its power and its penalty.

The fictions around Black female sexuality are dangerous.  From the sexually repressed mammie to the wanton jezzebel, these convenient and simplistic archetypes make me nervous for several reasons.  First, they are symbolic of the greater cultural systems of patriarchy that normalize sexism and more pointedly sexual prohibition for women—and in particular Black women. Second, they subvert Black women’s sexual agency and support constructed myths of the “good girl” and the “bad girl” to the detriment of Black female sexual identity formation. Finally, they treat sex as a commodity within the relational transactions of Black women and men, thereby stripping it of its spiritual and natural origins.

For decades, Black women have had to negotiate a sexual identity against the historical backdrop of slavery that found them the victims of systematic rape and sexual abuse.  From these origins, a range of sexual stereotype regarding Black women have emerged in the larger culture.  We have been portrayed as either oversexed or sexually deficient.  Sadly, the Black female voice has largely been left on the margins of such discussions, particularly when it contradicts mainstream ideas.   Accordingly, to assert agency over one’s sexuality may even today be interpreted within the parameters of stereotypes like the Jezebel:

The portrayal of Black women as lascivious by nature is an enduring stereotype. The descriptive words associated with this stereotype are singular in their focus: seductive, alluring, worldly, beguiling, tempting, and lewd. Historically, White women, as a category, were portrayed as models of self-respect, self-control, and modesty – even sexual purity, but Black women were often portrayed as innately promiscuous, even predatory. This depiction of Black women is signified by the name Jezebel.2

Jezebel Stereotype

In the song “She Lives in My Lap”, by Outkast, a breathy Rosario Dawson’s whispers the lyrics: What’s wrong?/What are you afraid of?/The Love Below. I thought this line was very telling about the power differential that sex can cause in modern male female relationships.  I believe that many men are equal parts attracted to and fearful of a sexually confident woman.

All too often, a women’s sexual ego is equated to her ability to please a man— rather than her ability to derive sexual pleasure for herself.  However, if a woman outwardly expresses her desire for sexual pleasure and moreover asserts agency over her sexuality, she is often reduced to the “jump-off, “the  provocateur”, or ” the heaux”.  Categories and stereotypes become a way of managing common fears men have around female sexuality: that they will fail to please their partner, that their partner might commit adultery, or that they will erase men from their sexual experience all together.

The good girl/bad girl construct is another fall out of patriarchal thinking.   Steve Harvey’s Act like a Woman, Think like a Man is an artifact of this construct.   What’s the difference between a lady and a woman?  Patriarchy.  Western society promotes so-called sexual purity in women as a desirable quality for a mate.  On its face sexual purity isn’t a bad thing; I would simply argue that its value is applied inequitably across the sexes.   Black women are well aware of the “boys will be boys” mentality that governs sexual power structures of our community and for that matter larger Western society, but I believe we have been downright complacent, if not content to uphold and even perpetuate this norm.  We see and define our own value within these constructs: be sexually desirable—yes, desire sex outside the norms of society—no.

Categorizing or stereotyping women along lines of their collective sexual behavior is not only damaging to the female psyche, but I would argue equally dangerous for the greater society.  Ironically, as I type this, I am watching the documentary Love Crimes of Kabul. It traces the story of Afghan women who face prison for adultery and premarital sex.  While worlds apart from my reality, I would argue that the sexist ideology that governs such practices is very real in Western culture  and in the African-American community.  Listening to women talk about their lack of power to define their sexual behavior is an apt metaphor for the power struggles Black women face in defining, owning, leveraging, and embracing their sexuality.  Pain and pleasure interplay in this long running narrative.

Ever since Eve and the apple came into our cultural consciousness, women’s power over their sexuality has been compromised.  Women and men need to collectively take the power struggle, and manipulation out of our sexual relationships, in order to get back to its purest state. Sex is natural, spiritual, and beautiful.  When Black women and Black men confront each other honestly about what they are both seeking, the categories become extinct, the myths are debunked, and the stereotypes are confronted.  Love becomes free again. 

What Happened to Ciara?: R&B and the New Sex Entrepreneur


It seems like it was just yesterday when little Ciara was singing an ode to the benefits of keeping one’s cookies in the jar.  Six years later,  her now delicately cultivated sexual Lolita image has been either co-opted or manipulated into outright hedonistic vixen.  I for one am not happy about it.  With  her recently slumping album sales, this new level of sexuality reeked of desperation and was bad form for a clearly talented young woman.

I was extremely disappointed with the video for her gym friendly single “Gimme Dat”.  The single has her once again leveraging the southern fried hip-hop laced stylings that put her on the map, except this time around the audience is distracted from the intricate choreography and gravity defying dance moves that made her famous.  Instead, we find her in a full sexual spectacle popping it on a handstand, gyrating, and clad in her underwear dancing in the rain.  Her dancing is amazing, but the imagery makes her come off like a glorified pole dancer; she even performs much of the dancing in the ubiquitious stipper shoe—the glass heel.

Make no mistake that this exotic dancer/stripper imagery is by design. It is not an accident.   With the recent popularity of Amber Rose, Maliah—others, it makes sense that the largely patriarchal music industry sees an economic opportunity in co-opting the images of its female R&B starlets to  evoke a similar aesthetic.

I do not want to get all judgmental big sister on Ciara because sexuality has always had its place in R&B and soul, but there is a thin line between sexy and trashy.  Take for instance, Christina Milian.  She was carefully managing the naughty good girl image—up and until—her video for “Dip It Low” found her sliding across the floor and gyrating in pools of oil.  Her singing career tanked soon there after.  Even Janet Jackson—the master of the naughty good girl image—couldn’t survive the nipple slip seen round the world.  She blurred the line between trashy and classy for a good run, but one near fatal move finds her musical career barely gasping for life.

With Rihanna giving us a lot of manufactured S&M imagery and both Keri Hilson and Kelly Rowland  following much of the same path, it seems to succeed the modern R&B star must become a sex entrepreneur.  She must balance equal parts talent, sexuality and purity−so as not to appear “deflowered” to their male fans (see inside image of Rihanna’s Loud CD). This seemingly impossible challenge has been mastered by few.  Remarkably, Beyonce has managed to walk this tightrope for over a decade—balancing sex kitten, with empowered feminist, diva, and business woman.

I would hate to prematurely morn the loss of Ciara, as I believe she has the time and talent to rebrand and redeem her image.  I am not suggesting she take the sex out, but instead she remember the importance of artistic integrity to her fan base.  She is certainly not a strong vocalist like a Melanie Fiona or a Jennifer Hudson, but she was well positioned to inherit a Jacksoneque like role as a consummate entertainer.

So what do you think?  Are the sexualized images of R&B stars like Ciara, Rihanna, Rowland and Hilson simply the norm now for a music industry plagued by poor album sells?  Does legitimate talent allow artists to avoid the trappings of the over-sexualized image?  Does the male consumer drive this trend or are women—as consumers—equally responsible for our representations?

Hoop Ho Diaries: In Defense of Evelyn


Ah Basketball wives…how do I love thee…..let me count the ways….

Basketball Wives is everything great about bad reality TV: conspicuous consumption, beautiful women, melodrama, sex, gossip, enough cats fight to rival your local all girls parochial school, and if that wasn’t enough; they even gave us a little Al Reynolds this season to boot.  The show chronicles the lives of women who are married to or in most cases divorced, separated, or otherwise presently/formerly copulating with NBA players.  We watch them argue, back bite, and generally go at it for an hour each week, with no clear path for redemption , growth, or other identified higher purpose.  The show more or less plays like a post-post-adolescent mean girls, but yet I really dig it.

The intellectual in me realizes that this show is fraught with problematic images for minority women, and for that matter women in  general.  The characters are petty, superficial, and oft-times morally debased.  Nevertheless, it provides a  perverse and painful adrenaline rush, somewhat akin to popping a pre-date zit.

I’ve said only half in jest that Basketball Wives is the only sports that I’ll willingly watch.The recently aired reunion specials had all the spectacle of a championship basketball game with better shoes. There was man-to-man defense with little Royce outmatched by the lengthy Boricua show-stopper Evelyn, with host John Salley playing the referee.

Since bedding Cincinnati Bengals Chad Ochocinco on their first date (***clears throat*** 5x) and admitting to sleeping with co-star Tami Roman’s  then husband Kenny Anderson, Evelyn has been catching a lot of shade for being a ho, trash box, alley-cat, or any other synonym one might come up with for a so-called loose woman.

Yet, I find something fascinating about Evelyn.  I kind of admire how she has strategically positioned herself as the show’s archetypal villain; the move shows a unique kind of genius.  All good reality shows need a “bad guy” and on Basketball Wives Evelyn has earned her place among the Natalie Nunns, Omarosas,  New Yorks,  and Jade Coles of reality TV’s past.  She has leveraged her sexuality, fire-sharp tongue, and power over the other women to create her brand.

Mark my words she will leverage this brand into her own reality series, which will more than likely co-star her newly-minted fiancée: none other than  Ochocinco, another reality TV star.    Apparently, ho-dum has its benefits because she is sporting one hell of a rock.  The extent to which the engagement is spectacle or a publicity stunt is anyones guess, but I can appreciate a woman who goes after what she wants.  As  she so rawly put it: who I f**ked and how I f**ked him is none of your motherf**king business.”

I mean even considering that she has exposed her life to the cameras of a national reality show, she still has a point.  It amazes me that a American’s still maintain highfalutin airs around this sort of artificial puritanical sexuality, which is ironically set against the back drop of a culture driven by an orgie of sex, commerce, and power. For all intensive purposes, Evelyn is operating within a culture that values and rewards beauty, and in which  sex can be more than marketed.

Sex has become entrepreneurial.

I’ll miss Basketball Wives until next season, but I’m waiting with bated breath for Evelyn and Ochocinco: Married to the Green.  It will be as artificial as Astroturf but it will be entertaining.   Sports, sex, and entertainment; it’s the American way.

So what do you think?  Anyone else out there willing to admit they are on #teamevelyn? Is Shani O’neal wrong for promoting these characterizations of black and minority women to enrich herself?  Does anyone view Evelyn’s moves as empowering rather than classless?

Sports, Sex, and Entertainment: One Girl’s Search for Fandom


I wish I was one of those girls who could feign interest in sports.  Even more—I wish I could evolve into one of those women who are legitimate sports fans.  You know the girl who has season tickets for the home team, doesn’t have to rush to Modells and buy a jersey for a sports themed happy-hour.  The girl who does not mind watching ESPN ad nauseam, and picks her team not because her boo loves them or they have nice colors, but because she followed them year after year and actually knows the players.

Unfortunately, watching sports for me falls somewhere between  an OB appointment and a 8:00 Friday meeting.  I do it because I have too.  Boys like sports; I like boys and the joy for me ends there.

The all-encompassing comprehension my male friends have for sports of all kinds amazes me. These seemingly average guys from all walks of life—blue-collar and white-collar, black and white, Jew and gentile, gay and straight—are like a legion of idiot-savants able to spit sports statistics with the encyclopedic knowledge to rival that of a paid sports commentator.

Which brings me to my other issue with sports: its ubiquity. This time of year you have the NBA, NFL, NHL, and college seasons intersecting into a veritable sports orgie.  ESPN, MASN, and Fox Sports will bring you sports 24/7. Get the NFL Sunday ticket and you can watch football games all day, everyday.

Then there is not just the watching but the sports betting, sports video games, and fantasy sports leagues that give men their sports fix when real sports aren’t being aired (whenever that is).  And don’t get me started on the adult sports leagues, which are a whole other issue entirely.  Grown men subjecting their bodies to punishment and pain to live out their unrequited hoop dreams.  For me, men thirty and over playing basketball and football Saturday morning is akin to me and the girls going out in the yard doing cheerleading stunts;  despite my high school regrets I can tell you unequivocally there will be no basket tossing on my watch.

Nevertheless, I want to find that passion for sports; the all-consuming lust that captivates every man I know from age 9 to 69.  The extent to which the men and even a few of the women in my life love sports suggests to me that there must be some sort of life improving quality to them.  I just haven’t identified what it is.

I can subscribe to the whole clash of the titans, metaphor for life, poetry in motion,  triumph over struggle rationale for why sports are so ingrained in American culture and really cultures world-wide.  As stated by Cosell, “Sports is human life in microcosm” and  at its best, it shows human beings conquering their physical and mental limits.   Accordingly, I can appreciate the way sports reflects the culture and I truly value the contributions Owens, Ali, and Robinson have made to civil rights.

In fact, sports as a narrative for the stories of our life and our collective history is endlessly fascinating to me.  I can watch marathons of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, and I truly enjoy the HBO 24/7 documentaries. However, sports and I reach an impasse when its time to sit down two halves or four quarters.   The games are long  and  the rules are arbitrary.  I am a verbal person so you would think the color commentary could sell me, but so far it has yet to do the job.

So ladies and gentleman if the key to a man’s heart is truly sports, sex, and food, and I can’t get on board with one of these major categories, am I destined for eternal singledom?   If the extent of my sports knowledge ends at naming the cast of NBA and NFL Wives, am I a hopeless case?  To my ladies who love sports, how did you become a fan? Is faking it a real option?  How can I become one of the fans?

Balls and Strikes: Boy versus Girl in the World Series of Love


Single Ladies: it’s cold outside and as the Celsius drops you might find your stock going up. Seemingly out of nowhere, men you have not heard from in months are contacting you  just to sayhello”, “what’s up”, or “would you like to accompany me for a week-long, all expenses paid vacation to the Cayman Islands” (seriously dude I haven’t talk to you in like 5 months…we are not going international…that is how people end up on Snapped).

Basking in the glow of this onslaught of attention, you might assume that you suddenly got more gorgeous, intelligent, and charismatic than you were in say July or the fella(s) in question finally wised up to how awesome you are.  However, sadly this is not likely the case.  This time of year many men are simply looking for—and I’ll put it delicately—a winter cuddle buddy.

All my professional daters know that  the end of August through Thanksgiving represents peak hunting season for the men folk.  I will guess that first chilly nip in the air marked the return of some long-lost friends for many of you ladies.  That said, this sudden shift in your dating fortune may present some challenges for the choosey lovers among you—those who have no real desire to jump from bed to bed, but are seeking intimacy and daytime activities along with the passion filled nights of winter.   So how do you keep your winter snugfest alive through the holidays and past the darling buds of May?   Suffice it to say, you are going to want to be strategic about whose tree you tinsel this year.

Men want to have sex.  Women want to have sex too.  However, women often prefer a relationship to provide a context for the sex. Accordingly, we seek them out to accommodate this desire for security and essentially love. I mean there are exceptions.  There are many women who are perfectly content to engage in relations with a man with no strings attached; however, a large percentage of us are looking for more.  Accordingly, the idea of casual sex particularly among élite and well-educated Black women is a sensitive topic because so many of us feel bound by our sexuality, when we should feel empowered.

Being a choosey lover is  your prerogative and saying “no” or “let’s wait a while” is a real option. A quality man will actually find this appealing and may even pursue you because you are a challenge.  That doesn’t mean get all Doris Day on them; men are driven in many ways by sex.  Yet, I urge finding a happy space where you are being true to yourself and your needs, while respecting those of your potential partner.

One of my favorite stand-up routines is Dave Chappelle’s women killed chivalry bit.  He humorously posits that as a collective women have devalued their self-worth by being overtly sexually accessible and even promiscuous.  In this way, we have essentially put our sexual agency in a box, wrapped it in Christmas paper, topped it with a bow and turned it over men.  Chappelle states, “if p***y was a stock it would be plummeting because women give it away to easy”.  Touché.

Our society allows our male counterparts to penetrate ad nauesem every trash-box rocking a cheap Forever 21  Herve Leger knock-off  without penalty or judgement, while we women often feel bound by certain rules—rules from the Bible, the Koran, Steve Harvey, or whoever.  The extent to which this reality is a result of patriarchy is important, but nonetheless it remains a reality.  While shows like Girlfriends and Sex and the City worked to subvert these rules; they are woven in our Puritan cultural fabric.  And it is within this context, men and women become like two nations caught up in nuclear brinksmanship, rather than impassioned lovers caught in an intimate embrace.

Because women are aware or even perceive that men have many options for copulating— particularly in our large urban cities (like D.C.), we feel a pressure to engage in this kind of relating early on to attract or keep a man. Society tells women to play the game to get the guy by either being sexually inaccessible or overtly sexual.  Both of these behaviors are imposed constructs and I would argue not aligned to really connecting with another person.  Many times the internal pressure to give it up is almost as bad as the external.  We have needs too.

Quite frankly I know many men and women I have talked to are exhausted, by this whole tango.  They are fed-up with checklist, game playing, timelines, dreams deferred, minimal treatment,  and manipulative tactics that we use on each other to get what we want or need.   Essentially…

Men want this…..


Women want that and this…..

 

Both wouldn’t mind this ultimately…

 

but as a collective we often end up like this…


Frankly, I find the term casual sex sort of misplaced. The fact that an act so connected to the universe and the God within us can be reduced to khakis and a polo is odd to me.  Yet, I cannot accept the whole puritanical wait until marriage construct as natural, healthy, or realistic for most women and men.  While I know some choose to live this way, many of us heathens cannot.   For instance, many people are not looking for marriage.  Companionship—yes, but marriage—no.

So what happens to those of us in the badlands of dating purgatory where we believe in the possibility of love but are stifled by the dual desires to keep self-respect and dignity and yet find unbelievable passion?  How do we negotiate and balance love and lust in our life?  How do we connect our mind, bodies and spirits to another’s?   How do we begin respecting the God within ourselves and someone else and stop using each other as a means to an end?  Essentially,  I asking how do we make love and not war?

Come Here Baby: You Sexy Motherf%#$@


Maybe it’s because growing my hair out makes me look like Frederick Douglass or because I have been feeling just a bit unpretty lately (need to get my eyebrows waxed), but I was all fired up today when I stumbled  upon a post entitled “Let’s Wait a While” on Sister Toldja’s blog The Beautiful Struggler.

The  talented and—please note—extremely attractive blogger was addressing her dismay at being referred to as “sexy” by a man she just met. In the post, her basic premise was that the term—as an immediate moniker—was too forward and a bit too tawdry for her taste.  She suggests the brothas need to slow the sexual innuendo down until a real connection is made.  To affirm her opinion, she asked her Twitter followers, “if they were cool with being called  sexy by a man shortly after meeting him.”   Many responded that they were in fact not comfortable with the term sexy after an initial meeting.

Guess I am an outlier here, but I love being called sexy.  And the closer I get to thirty, I notice this becomes a less frequent occurrence.  So now when it happens—call me a trash-box hooker a la Ne Ne Leakes to Kim Zoliak—but I am flattered.  Many men in the professional circles in DC are either so politically correct,  taken, disinterested, or otherwise neutered that good old fashion cat calling has gone the way of the 8-track. Quite frankly, you have to go to the hood to hear the long forgotten “heeeey seeexxxy” or the somewhat refined alternative “aaaay shawwwwty”.  I guess it’s just the DC in me, but I am not offended, insulted, or otherwise put off by the term sexy.

I’m the cutish funny girl in my group, so the late bloomer in me cannot tap the resolute feminist part of myself when it comes to this question.  Many of my far more gorgeous sister friends were really put off by the idea of a virtual stranger calling them sexy.  They suggested that it was too forward or made the guy seem like he was after one thing.  One friend suggested that a guy who called her sexy of the top could not get any play at all.  Yikes,  brothers I feel sorry for you because these girls are playing hardball, so chose your words carefully.

However, a few equally divalicious gal pals suggested they had absolutely no problem with the term “sexy”.  They considered it a compliment.  To them I say here, here.

The  informal poll among my friends based on Sister Toldja’s  question on the acceptability of “sexy” was about an even split between the ayes and nays. Yet, my suspicion is that the real answers for both groups lies somewhere not in the black in white but in that ever-present gray area.

Now…..if this guy calls you sexy after the initial meet; your probably going to be a little put off:

But somehow I suspect your tune changes, if this guys text you “hey sexy”:

Sister Toldja argues “sexy” is inappropriate on the jump because as a potential suitor  “sex is a space you should be invited into”.  On its face, I agree with that point.  Many of us have long grown weary of having are hands or worst yet behinds grabbed in the alcohol drenched atmosphere of a bar or club.

Nevertheless, part of me feels with the “sexy” bruhaha that we are being just a tad bit overly analytical ladies. I highly doubt most guys who refer to you as sexy are looking to bed you in side of a minute–albeit the exception for the nasty uncle types.  I mean most of the guys are insecure and probably think they are being flattering, when the acknowledge your desirability.  That is of course not to say that men are not carnal, sexually driven, visual creatures by nature; yet I’m not convinced at least for me slowing down is the answer.

Over here, as thirty is getting the reach on me and I get a little more sore and a little less sexy each day; I will take all the sexy I can get.  Bring sexy back, as far as I am concerned fellas.  We rock are “very sexy” Victoria Secret under armor, stilettos, and any number of sexy enhancing accouterments to bring the guys to the yard.  Yet, when they get there we have a lot of rules and hang-ups about what they say. In its everyday use,  I’m not convinced sexy is not necessarily  synonymous with wanting to lay it down.  In contrast, I would argue that the term has become increasingly innocuous over time.

So what do we think ladies?  Is “sexy” off limits or does it matter who is saying it?  If your boothang calls you sexy is that cool?  What about the guy at the bar or bus stop?  Please take the poll below.

I’m A Highly Educated Single Black Woman and No I’m Not Lonely


I should be depressed.   Why? I’m newly single and everywhere I turn I keep reading, hearing, and seeing so-called consensus couched as definitive evidence that as a highly educated black woman, I may be that way from here until eternity.   The lonely black girl narrative is being embraced with very little interrogation in this cultural moment and I for one am ready to put the Kabosh on it.  So, here it goes:

I AM YOUNG, BLACK, HIGHLY EDUCATED and NOT THE LEAST BIT LONELY.  I’M SINGLE AND HAPPY!

I mean sure, I would like to go to Applebees and have some nice conversation with a gentleman suitor, as much as the next girl; but I am not the least bit desperate or disillusioned at the prospect of not marrying again.  I’m leaving that  aspect of my life up to God’s providence, which means not settling, accommodating, rationalizing, or rearranging to fit into someone else’s context.  No sir. Imma be me.

Any questions? 

However, I digress.  I can certainly acknowledge that the startling statistics on the state of the Black marriages and the overall decline of the Black family are culturally and economically significant, if not a sign of the Black apocalypse.   Hence, why I found a recent article sent to me by a sistah friend worth sharing. Found in April’s Economist Magazine—the latest mainstream media outlet to foray into the now well tread ground of the lonely black girl narrative—the article entitled How the Mass Incarceration of Black Men Hurts Black Women takes a look at how the mass numbers of homies on lock down results in declining marriages in our community.

I encourage you to check out the article in detail.  It has all the oft quoted statistics on single motherhood, black male incarnation, disproportionate educational levels etc. etc.   We know this story.  We live it every day.  We live it when our dentist girlfriend gives the blue collar brother a chance, even though they have next to nothing in common, aside from melanin; or when our aunt, the professor, settles for being the other woman, “just to have somebody”.  Accordingly, the part of the article that stood out to me is captured below:

“I thought I was a catch,” sighs an attractive black female doctor at a hospital in Washington, DC.  Black men with good jobs know they are “a hot commodity”, she observes. When there are six women chasing one man, “It’s like, what are you going to do extra, to get his attention?”

Bing. Bam. Boom and preach. As a native Washingtonian and current DMV resident, I can testify that this woman is speaking nothing but the God’s honest truth.  I haven’t dated in the last really ten years and I can tell you that it is viscous out there.   There are many successful, Ivy-educated, community service doing, church-going, peach cobbler baking, supermodel good looking women in this area and accordingly  it’s a man’s paradise.

Therefore, while being single does not sadden me, seeing my sistahs compromise in the name of love does.  The competition is so fierce that you have Rhodes Scholars dressing like cocktail waitresses to get attention. I’ve found black women are losing the unique expressions of our beauty, becoming carbon copies of this video model aesthetic with mythic long weaves, skin-tight ultra-short spandex dresses, and stripper platform heels.

I do recognize that men are visual and you have to show a little skin to bring the boys to the yard, but as of recent the hemlines and push-bras are getting out of control, not to mention the butt pads and felatio classes.

I for one refuse to play.  I’m almost thirty.  I don’t have the energy or desire to compete for a man who probably won’t even take the time to call me anyway.  I’ve learned they only text now. I’ve been out of the game a while.

Perhaps I’m content in my singleness because I’ve been there and done that with the whole marriage thing and realize that once the gardenias are wilted, the marital union is probably the most challenging endeavor one will take next to raising and child and battling a terminal illness.  It is more important in this life who you are becoming not who you have.  I believe when you tap into that; the right person will be revealed, regardless of race.

I am not a marriage hater; I’m just a singledum embracer.  The guys get it.  The 25 – 35 years old men I know do not seem to be rushing to jump the broom.  Most are keenly focused on reaching their professional goals and dreams, chillin with the boys, traveling, partying, and when and if they have time, they may get up with you. Maybe.

So where does that leave us ladies?  Do we keep playing the game?  Sacrificing, compromising, and exploiting ourselves in the pursuit of love?  Or since most of these dudes out here think they are living some real life version of For the Love of Ray-J, do we change the game up?  I’m advocating saying goodbye to the getting caught in the thick of thin relationships and focusing on the real purposes of our lives.  I’m saying don’t settle for crazy. You are worth more.  The good news is the right one will come along.  Providence will step in, when you are fully loving you, growing your character, and embracing each tomorrow with joy and exuberance, whether single or not.

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