On missing romance, and being soft…

I have been “officially” single for a bit over seven years now. (Please make note of the use of the word “officially” in quotes.) And truth me told, it wouldn’t be honest to say I’ve hated it. In so many respects it has been good for me. Creatively it has been great for me. Most of the men I dated weren’t particularly supportive of my artistic endeavors. Some had their own creative dreams and ambitions and wanted me to throw all of my energies into helping them make their dreams come true and not spend time on my own thing. Others were just not into the whole “artsy” thing, and wanted me to spend my time on more practical pursuits. Most of them began displaying their insecurities the minute I achieved even the tiniest bit of success or recognition for anything. Whenever I have been the most successful in my writing has always been when I’ve been the most alone. Time and time again, I have chosen myself and my writing over any relationship with any man. I always felt that if he truly loved me, he would accept how important this writing thing is to me, how much a part of me this is, that he wouldn’t want me to let it go. I always hoped they would choose all of me, not the me he wanted me to be. These men didn’t choose me when it came down to it.  Now 7+ years have passed since I openly and totally gave myself, heart and body and soul and spirit to a man, and accepted his in return, and sometimes I miss romance.

Now I appreciate any gesture that a man might choose to make to let me know he is interested in me, loves me, is thinking about me, etc. I love big lavish carefully orchestrated drama in my honor, with big lavish gifts to match, and I’ve experienced that in my past. But for some reason, it has always been the small gestures that have always touched me the most. I love the little things. Rubbing my feet after a hard day of work onstage in 5 inch heels reciting dirty poems to music. Taking me out to lunch or dinner or a movie just because, or cooking my favorite meal for me. Helping me dress — some of my stage outfits are hella hard to get into, and I need every extra pair of hands I can get when I am backstage dressing. And of course I reward him by letting him help me get out of my outfits at the end of the night. Having the tequila I love around his home so its always there for me when I come over is romance to me. Getting something for me that he heard me mention in passing that I wanted, and giving it to me for no particular reason is extremely romantic – and it doesn’t have to be something expensive. Calling me just to say hello, that he were thinking of me, or just because he wanted to hear my voice is romance. Secretly touching me in public, rubbing my leg under a table in a restaurant (I’m not a huge fan of excessive public displays of affection), or placing a hand on my ass when no one is paying attention if we’re in a crowd. These things are the height of romance to me. I’d much rather have these small gestures on a consistent and regular basis than have the huge display occasionally. If he is going to do some really over the top, one-time-only kind of thing, I’d suggest a luxurious, decadent vacation getaway to someplace far away, beautiful and hot – in every sense of the word. Bali would be perfect. Other than that, just get me some good sushi now and then and kiss my shoulder blades and I’m in heaven.

I also miss romance because without it, a woman becomes hard. It’s just a fact. Without those little gestures from some man (even if he’s not your man), women become these bitter creatures. They may not become total a**holes, but they are just a bit more difficult to love than a woman who has had the benefit of having some man make at least small sacrifices at her altar. A hint of hardness always becomes a part of a woman who isn’t worshipped at least a little by someone capable of woman-praise. Not all men are capable of this you see, or they can only worship a woman after she has conformed to his definitions. A man who can worship a woman in her most natural, true state is one to be treasured. Sometimes I don’t think men get that they need to worship their women sometimes, but they do. It will make your life so much easier. Now I said sometimes, because you can’t do it all day every day. If she wants you to worship her all the time you and she need to talk. But women are meant to be worshipped because they are goddesses, and when they aren’t being worshipped they are naturally not happy about that. Then the hardness comes, and when it does its damn near impossible to get rid of.

I have been fortunate in that, even in the absence of serious relationships I have usually had men around who thought very highly of me, and didn’t mind letting me know occasionally. Even my platonic male friends will drop a small sacrifice at my altar from time to time. I accept their celebration of me; it helps me keep my goddess-flow intact when I’m up against a cold, cruel world that doesn’t give a damn about me.

And it’s allowed me to write this piece. Hope you enjoy it!

TOMORROW’S BLOG – Find your sexy, love your sexy, live your sexy! How to dress to bring out that sexy classy woman in you!

******

SOFT

And here I am…soft.

I have my soft back like I used to be.

I have my soft.

Thought my softness died in me.

But look at me now.

I am sweet smiling joy, and so soft.

All over, inside and out, gentle and tender.

Like water rushing over a hard stone

for a thousand years to finally make it smooth

Him finding me took a thousand tears

but when he did he finally proved

that the soft part of me was still alive.

Just dehydrated.

Thirsting for proper care.

Didn’t know how much I’d missed my softness

until he rediscovered and kissed my softness

and made the waters return,

bringing life back

to the most womanly part of my essence.

The part that is soft,

especially in his presence.

And here I am…soft.

Poured him onto my skin

and it made me soft.

Let him just soak right in.

And now I feel so supple and moisturized.

So silky and revitalized.

He is a spa treatment for my wounded self

and my tired spirit.

Now I bathe in the reflection of the beauty

he reminded me that I possessed.

Now I am soft

from the curve of my breast

to the smoothness of my back

to the fullness of my thighs.

My lips and my eyes.

All soft.

Still soft, to my joy and amazement.

Because I wasn’t sure my soft would survive

this life of hardness.

When I threw that shell over it

for its own protection

I worried that my soft might suffocate.

And I had to leave it covered for so long

I thought it might be too late.

That no one would be able to resuscitate

the soft in me.

But he knew what was living

beneath the surface.

Strangling and gasping for air,

but still managing to stay alive.

So he took a deep breath, held it,

dove deep, long and probing,

and recovered my treasure.

Rejuvenated my pleasure.

And when he came up for air

he had in his possession my soft.

And he still does ‘til this day.

Because with him is the safest place

for the softness in me to be.

He cares for all of it

like he cares for all of me.

Me who is again finally…

soft.

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Looking for a brotha with a conscious d**k (Don’t be scared, just keep reading…)

So today I thought I’d have a little fun…

Those who know me best know what a sarcastic person I am. I roll my sarcasm into layers of dry wit, deep fry it in hot oil and it comes out hard and crunchy, though the goodness inside usually l can’t be enjoyed anymore. While I’m always going to be a bit sarcastic, I am recognizing that when I fry my sarcasm too hard, people don’t enjoy eating it. So I am attempting to not fry it as hard as I usually do, so I can maintain some tenderness and flavor under the crust. I want people to enjoy the taste of what’s inside as much as they like the crunchy outside.

I have spent a lot of time in my area’s spoken word community, both as a reporter covering the scene and as a performer. I am by no means a famous poet, but more than a few people know who I am, even if they aren’t exactly clear on what I do. The spoken word community very naturally spills over into other underground performance art forms and creative endeavors in general, and it creates this larger patchwork conglomerate of poets, musicians, vocalists, actors, comedians, writers, rappers, visual artists, fashion stylists, photographers etc. It ends up being a large band of “creatives” as I call them, trying to find ways to do their creative things and, in some cases, earn a living at them.

Now I am a huge fan of old school hip hop. One thing I truly miss is the “storyteller” rappers. I think I relate to them most because I am a storyteller also. Hip hop artists in these days and times don’t tell stories, they run down lists of things they allegedly own or have done/can do. The two that did it the best to my mind were Slick Rick the Ruler (of course), and The Notorious B.I.G. (a less obvious choice perhaps, but if you really get into his lyrics you find he was a consummate storyteller).  One day I was listening to these two, and I got to thinking about their storytelling lyrics and about the artistic community and the things I see in it. As a result, I wrote the piece below. If you aren’t familiar with this community, you may not “get it”. But I think the idea it presents is universal, and at the end of the day the moral of the rhyme is “don’t judge a book by its cover”.

So, without any further ado, I present – “A Conscious D**k”

***************

Lemme tell you a story

bout a friend of mine

who was always havin’ problems

keeping her men in line.

Always picking brothers

who were straight up losers.

Corner boys, hustlers,

and drug abusers.

I never understood
why she would pick these men.

Ending up with drama

time and time again.

One day she said,

“I’m gonna try

a brand new trick.

I’m gonna find a brotha

with a conscious d**k.”

She said…

“A conscious d**k.

A conscious d**k.

Gonna find a brotha

with a conscious d**k.

Tired of these brothas

actin’ wild and slick.

Just let me find a brotha

with a conscious d**k.”

Now at first I laughed,

I didn’t understand.

‘Til she explained to me

about this kind of man.

This dude hates Gucci Mane,

and he hates Lil’ Wayne.

He hates all rappers with

‘Li’l’ in their name.

He doesn’t like Beyonce.

Hates Keri Hilson too.

Only listens to Jill Scott

and Erykah Badu.

With his locs hanging low

and voice deep and sincere,

he could tell her all the things

that she just longed to hear.

She wants..

a conscious d**k.

A conscious d**k.

She’s gonna find a brotha

with a conscious d**k.

Tired of these brothas

actin’ wild and slick.

Just let her find a brotha

with a conscious d**k.

He’d say she was his Queen.

He smelled like sandalwood.

He smelled like reefer too,

but it was still all good.

“It’s from our Mother Earth,

and grows so naturally.

So why not partake of it?

It’s here for you and me.”

He said “I don’t pollute my body

with that old dirty swine.

And if you’re down for revolution

then you’re a friend of mine.”

Said he wrote poems sometimes,

and took her to open mic.

He read a piece called “I met my queen”.

He got that a** that night.

A conscious d**k.

A conscious d**k.

She thought she found a brotha

With a conscious d**k.

She said “F**k ALL these dudes

who act all wild and slick.”

Because she has found a brotha

with a conscious d**k

My girl knew she’d finally found

her conscious king.

And it was ride or die, for him

she’d was down for anything!

So she fried his turkey bacon

and washed his underwear.

And for a little while she really

didn’t even care

that though he was always “grinding”

he never seemed to be at work,

And conscious man dropped out of college

cuz the teachers all were jerks.

Conscious man wouldn’t do what

“corporate America” told him to,

But he stayed playing his Xbox and

his Playstation 2.

Conscious man tried selling weed

but smoked more than he sold,

and soon even the conscious d**k

got weak, wack, and really old

A conscious d**k.

A conscious d**k.

She thought she found a brotha

With a conscious d**k.

She said “F**k ALL these dudes

who act all wild and slick.”

Now she thinks she found a brotha

with a conscious d**k

Cuz conscious brothas could just be

runnin’ conscious games

And no matter who the brotha is

human nature is the same

A thug is more than how he dresses

and how he speaks,

And a conscious brother is more than

what he drinks and eats.

A man is not just what you see

like hair or clothes or skin

If a man is a good man

it’ll come from deep within.

She asked me

“should I look for men

who are wearing shirts and ties?”

I said

“why don’t you stop looking

on the outside

and look into his eyes?”

A conscious d**k.

A conscious d**k.

So this end my story

‘bout the conscious d**k.

Any type of brotha might

be wild and slick.

So don’t be fooled by the myth

we call the conscious d**k.

Domestic Violence and me…

At one time I was involved with a man that was physically abusive. It was a long time ago, over 15 years ago. It was one of my first serious relationships. I met him through a personal ad in the daily paper. He was good looking, well spoken, intelligent, and an intensely wonderful lover. I loved him with every molecule of my flesh, heart and soul. I loved him to the marrow of my bones, from the follicles of my hairline to the atoms of my toenails. I loved him. All I wanted was him, and for us to be together forever.

On a few occasions this man struck me with his hand. He did not do any permanent damage, but it left me bruises that I had to lie to my family, friends and co-workers about. We broke up after a few of these incidents.

To this day I am not entirely sure how that experience has affected my dealings with men. I can’t say it has made me gun shy, or unwilling to get involved with men, because I have done so since he and I parted company. And I enjoyed most of those relationships very much. But I sometimes wonder if that experience has created a thin, impenetrable, permanent layer of mistrust where men are concerned. Not quite enough to totally hinder my interaction with them, but just enough to keep me from making anything stick permanently.

I never went to therapy after the incidents, although he did for a while. I have since forgiven him, and today he and I are cordial. I haven’t felt the need to revisit those times with him in conversation. I don’t think about it very often. It doesn’t haunt me or keep me up at night or anything like that. The memories of the specific incidents themselves are blurry at best. I have openheartedly accepted the sincere apologies he’s offered many times over the years since it happened, and I don’t harbor any ill will towards him. I can honestly say I wish him the best. Most times I genuinely feel I have closure with it.

But then I wrote this poem…and suddenly I didn’t feel so certain anymore.

The only time I have ever done anything in my writing to acknowledge this experience is in this poem I wrote called “I Didn’t Wanna Write This Piece”.  It only depicts a few aspects of our tumultuous relationship, because the poem would be pages long if I got into everything and no one would want to read it or hear it. It only talks about one aspect of our dysfunctional dealings with each other, but it discusses the aspect that most women seem unwilling to address.

I attempted to perform it once at a poetry reading. I was one of two features scheduled to do at least 20 minutes of my work, 30 minutes tops. This piece was my third selection. I managed to get through it, but I felt horrible inside. My cheeks burned red, I felt painfully and awkwardly transparent and embarrassed – this from a woman who does hardcore, graphic erotic poems onstage for money. I mean…I say “clit” onstage for cash, okay? I attempted to feign bravado, but I couldn’t. Tears began to burn my eyes. I looked up at the audience, and they were staring at me intensely. I remember in particular there was the one brownskinned woman with locs in the front row. I had seen her at other shows I had done, and she was there just nodding her head at me as I spoke. She just nodded and nodded, and occasionally she shook her head. I felt her eyes burning through me. I felt her spirit watching me. I finished the poem, and there was that moment of hesitation before the applause came. I felt so uncomfortable afterwards that I cut the rest of my set extremely short – I did one more poem after this one, excused myself from the podium and left the venue, much to the confusion of the host who had invited me. I just couldn’t go on. It was all too much. To this day I have never explained to the host what happened or why I behaved so badly.

It is my plan to return this piece to a future set of poems I am working on. The first time I am able to do this piece without shaking, choking up, or wanting to run and hide or scream and cry will be a major step for me. But until then – here is my domestic violence poem entitled “I Didn’t Wanna Write This Piece”.

********

I didn’t wanna write this piece.
I mean…
How many ways can you describe an abusive relationship?
How many times can you tell that story?
Who wants to hear or read about that – AGAIN?
From Chris Brown to Beau Willie Brown
it is a tale as old as time.
Whether it’s the old school “pimp slap”,
being fed daily meals of strategic isolation from family and friends
with side orders of emotional abandonment,
or just constantly being called out your name —
it’s all the same.
And I hate being repetitious.
So,
I didn’t wanna write this piece.

I didn’t wanna write this piece.
I mean…
How many ways can you say
“I had low self esteem”
“I didn’t love myself”
“I didn’t think anyone else could ever love me”.
How many times can you say
“I needed him”
“I thought it would get better”
“I let my standards fall to the ground”.
And even if you truly were in just that much pain,
feeling that much shame,
and didn’t want to give him the blame
you’ll still be some dumb bitch who didn’t have sense enough to kill that muthafucka
the first time he put hands on you!
And I didn’t kill him – I let him live.
So…
I didn’t wanna write this piece.

I didn’t wanna write this piece.
I mean…
Hell, I probably started it.
Haven’t you heard?
Women have equal rights now.
And because we are the most expert button-pushers
on the planet we are just as entitled to be punched
as men are.
Shouldn’t get mad ‘cuz he finished what you started.
And yes,
it does make some kind of
toxic and violent sense in a part of my head

that if I hit him first

I deserve what comes after….
But in the real world,
that almost-but-not-quite-correct
rationalization
didn’t hold much weight for him
at the police station
or for me
in the emergency room.
So,
I didn’t wanna write this piece.

I didn’t wanna write this piece.
I mean…
(lowering my voice)
Just between you and me…
Have you seen those abused women
in the shelters and at those meetings?
Those are some hella ugly heffas!
Well, what I’m saying is they aren’t the most attractive bunch of ladies.
You can’t be too surprised that they couldn’t get any better than some insecure asshole

who used their bodies for punching bags

and faces for target practice.
And honestly…
ain’t I too attractive to be abused?
Don’t I seem too magnificent to be mistreated?
Too bad to be battered?
Too cute to be cussed out?
Too nice to be name-called?
Should I be put down
whenever I come around?
(I conveniently ignore the real question…am I too fly to die?)
I’m pretty sexy, don’t you think?
Fucking me with all the lights on is not a problem.
How would I look running to some…
I don’t know…place to get…HELP…
with my soft and well spoken tones,
my mani-pedi, my good benefited job
my MAC lip gloss and my strappy stiletto heels.
Look at me!
Do I look like I should eva have to lie
about a blackened eye?
So,
I didn’t wanna write this piece.

I didn’t wanna write this piece.
I mean…

Let’s just put the shitty stereotype out there,

okay?
I am a Black sista!
Strong sista!
Kinky hair and rounded ass!
Blood of the ancestors,
the an-ses-tas,
the an-SIS-TAS
flowing through my veins!
All the strong women that went before me
CorrettaScottKingHarrietTubmanSojournerTruthRosaParksBettyShabazz
Superwomen whose legacy I have soiled
with my inability to dial 911,
file a complaint,
press charges,
keep a court date,
change a lock,
seek/abide by a restraining order,
hire a crackhead to beat his ass
or just shoot that muthafucka!
Then you gotta look all these
modern day Superwoman bytches in the face.
You know the ones.
Miss “I wouldn’t neva let a man put his hands on me”
Miss “What is wrong with you? Wouldn’t be me dealing with that mess!”
Miss “If he touch me he betta kill me.”
Miss “Gurl, you ain’t got no rat poison in the house?”
Madea offering you hot grits, cast iron skillets and baseball bats.
Miss Sophia In Da Hood shoutin’
“I lubs DayQuan, gawd knows I do but I kill ‘em dead if he eva beat me!”
And you know what the worst part is?
Some of them look like they really could kick a man’s ass!
Amazon warriors in spirit, and sometimes in the flesh!
Some of them MIGHT be able to go toe to toe with a man, and if he did manage to win
he’d be breathing mighty hard when it was done.
But I’m not that one…
So,
I didn’t wanna write this piece.

I didn’t wanna write this piece.
I mean…
No one wants to hear the ugly truth about why
I don’t leave for good.
Most don’t say it, won’t say it.
But I know I never will get free
if I don’t try to speak on what’s binding me.
It is mentioned in vulgar euphemisms
if at all. But…..
It’s my addiction
to his DICK-tion!
Get it?
See…look at you
giving me the side eye!
That side eye is the reason why
I bear this burden alone.
I am the dirty butt
of a dirty joke
that ain’t the least bit funny
though everyone laughs like it is.
No one will tell me
how to cut ties with
the sex that has me so vexed.
Yes I need to be confessing it!
But no one wants to help me with addressing it!
How the way we make love is to make war first.
Now our battles are the foreplay
and the sex is the victory dance.
And we both win and lose
all at the same time.
The orgasms he can make
rain down in me
numb my brain
and ease my pain
adrenalin rushing
through my veins.
Serotonin soaking my cerebellum seeping into my soul
until it is bathed in sweet scented amnesia.
You don’t understand how him
inside me
makes it all make sense.
Body fucked hard, yes!
But mind fucked harder….oh baby yes!
It’s the spoonful of sugar that makes
his medicine go down. DOWN.
Like I have.
And since it can never truly be spoken
that its his sex game that got me so open
even long after everything else about us has died…
I accept my punishment for my love of the pleasures of his flesh
no matter what that punishment is.
Because feeling this way, makes me the weakest woman of all.
And I deserve what I get…right?
Right?
Well…say SOMETHING!

Yeah I know.
What can you say?
I know what you’re thinking of me.
But you know what?
Your silent judgment is the REAL reason why
I didn’t wanna write
this piece.

THIS JUST IN — WOMEN CHEAT TOO!! **clutch the pearls!**

Women cheat too.

Take as long as you need to deal with that bombshell

No need to rush…I’ll wait. Please take your time, because I want you to be ready when I continue.

Ready? You sure? Cool.

Women cheat too. No trust me, they really do. I have known many women over the years, of all races, ages, marital statuses and socio-economic statuses, and without exception all of them cheated in committed relationships they were involved in at least once. As I am faced with this barrage of stuff from the media about men cheating on their wives or girlfriends, I always find myself screaming at the television, or the magazine, or the radio, or at the computer monitor “but WOMEN cheat too! I know they do! Doesn’t anyone care about THAT?”

The way  women’s cheating tends to be excused and explained away troubles me. It is one of the primary reasons why men and women will continue to flounder in their attempts to deal with each other successfully – men are constantly demonized in these kinds of discussions, while women continue to find ways to not own up to their own deceitfulness. But I’m not allowing it. I am a woman and I know how much women really cheat. The myth that all the men who cheat are doing it with these completely single unattached women is complete and utter bulls**t. It is as much of a myth as that stripper who is paying her way through college. Many of these women are ignoring the committed relationships they’re supposed to be in the same as the men are. And relationship drama will never be successfully dealt with if all parties don’t own up to their wrongdoing. And because I believe in setting an example, I am going to start with me. I will lay myself on the altar in the hope that this will generate truly honest discussion.

I have been unfaithful in several relationships I have been in where I had given my word to be monogamous. This did not happen because the man was mistreating or neglecting me in any significant way. I make a choice to not keep my word, and to violate his trust in one of the most heinous ways imaginable. But in order to stop doing that I had to own it. I had to look at why I was doing it.

For me, I often found I cheated when I thought I was about to be rejected by the man. If we had a big argument or huge fight, one that I thought might do irreparable damage to us or cause us to part company, or if he had said something that deeply hurt me, I would usually call up some guy I know, typically an ex-boyfriend or some dude who I knew had a thing for me and was just waiting for an opportunity. We’d go out for a drink or two, and the next thing you know, there I was, cheating.

Now in most cases, the arguments were things we could have worked out. But I was so fearful of rejection, fearful that the man I was seeing didn’t love me enough to work with me to work our problems out, fearful that he would go out and cheat on me, I just figured I’d beat him to the punch. So there! In the instances when I was truly deeply hurt or wounded, I didn’t feel compelled to bring my issues to him openly and honestly. I didn’t want him to know he had hurt me, had the power to hurt me.

Sometimes I would cheat if I was angry at my boyfriend, or just felt that he had been dishonest with me about this or that. Proof was never necessary either. Often I didn’t even bother to tell my significant other, and had no intention of telling him. I just wanted the internal satisfaction of knowing that even if he thought he’d gotten away with whatever, I really had the upper hand, whether he knew it or not. And with that mindset, I was unfaithful to several of my exes, most of whom were just doing the best they could to deal with the person they thought I was, and didn’t deserve to be treated that way.

But once I matured a bit, I began to discover the value of monogamy. I began to learn that this type of violation of trust usually does permanent damage to whatever two people have built together as a couple. Even if you manage to recover and rebuild the relationship to a functional level, it just isn’t quite the same as it was before the loss of the trust. In situations where I cheated and me and my boyfriend attempted to continue the relationship, I found it all but impossible to forgive myself for behaving so badly, and things just got worse and worse, usually to the point where the relationship could not continue. I always punished myself much worse than the men who wanted to continue on with me ever did, or could. Ultimately I learned the hard way that if you care about someone its really not worth it, no matter how you feel in a moment of anger, lust or passion. I also learned to be stronger, I learned to be more honest and forthcoming about my feelings. I learned not to be afraid of arguing with my man because I made sure what we had as a couple was solid enough to address difficulties, differences of opinion, hurt feelings and the like. I taught him how to treat me, even when he is mad at me, and made sure I learned how to treat him when I was mad. I let go of the idea of just trying to gain the upper hand in some weird kind of way by secretly hurting him and secretly saying no to the promises I made to him. I learned to withstand disagreements and arguments without feeling the need to run off and be with someone else. And with much hard work and sensitivity to these things, I have managed to be monogamous in my last few serious relationships. And I am very much looking forward to being monogamous again. I love the level of intimacy it builds. I really do get it now – I get that its not all about me. It is about us. I am very proud of my growth in that respect.

But what I find in my girlfriends that cheat is that they feel justified in doing it. They always have a reason, or several reasons, and usually that reason(s) have something to do with the guy’s bad behavior, real or imagined. “Well he’s cheating on me”, or “he doesn’t pay attention to me anymore”, or “he doesn’t care about my wants or needs“, “we’re moving in different directions and have grown apart” – that kind of thing. The funny thing is these are the EXACT SAME THINGS my male friends who have cheated say to me when I ask why they did it, but if you are a dude, you just try to use any of those excuses or any variations thereof and see how you get.

I hate the idea that adults think you’re supposed to go around making decisions about your behavior based on the bad behavior of others. It really pisses me off. People always talk about “doing me” and “keeping it real” with themselves, which to me means making decisions about how you act not because of what others do, but because of who you are and what you believe and how you want to live your life and the kind of person you want to be. But if someone hurts you, suddenly its okay to be out of character. Suddenly its okay to be all these things you say you aren’t. Bullshit. If it ain’t cool when things are good and going your way, it ain’t cool when things are bad and not going your way. Period.

When women cheat, they often genuinely feel they’ve done all they could to address the situation with their men that led to the cheating. They claim they’ve tried to “talk about it”.  Unfortunately their idea of addressing it isn’t talking. It is yelling, accusing, insulting, name calling, nagging, cussing, instigating, not listening to what he has to say, shutting him down if he dares to not agree with what she is saying, and other types of behaviors that are a woman’s attempt to CONTROL the situation, not address the situation. Now in all fairness men will do damn near anything to avoid arguing with their women, partly because it is impossible to win and secondarily because men’s ideas of fighting and women’s ideas of fighting are totally different (that’s a blog for another day). If a woman is having an issue with her man that he thinks might lead to drama, the man is not very likely to be good about addressing it in conversation. He’ll attempt to avoid the discussion, which just heightens the woman’s aggravation with him, which makes her more angry, resentful and more apt to nag him, which makes him avoid the discussion even more, and on and on. I really hate when men do that – my biggest gripe with men is that they have to stop avoiding conversations with their women just because they don’t want them to turn into fights. Because all those things you’re avoiding discussing that you think you are “letting go” – you ain’t. And eventually they will lead you right to another woman’s coochie. And when that happens don’t totally blame your woman for being so difficult to talk to; blame yourself for being a punk who wasn’t adult enough to have the kinds of difficult conversations necessary to make an adult relationship work.

But back to the ladies —  even when a man makes it hard to discuss things that are bothering you, that is not a good reason to be unfaithful.

Now I get why women are so dishonest about their cheating. They don’t like what it says about them, and as is often the case, society has more to say about women’s bad behavior than men’s. Cheating makes women appear unladylike at the very least, and whorish at the most. It shows too much of a similarity to stereotypical men’s behavior. So many women thrive on being better behaved than men, less like animals and more “human”, the admission that they too engage in “animalistic” behavior is one they aren’t going to make. Women tend to like to be right, and as long as they are not cheating, they are right and the man is wrong. It is a position of power, to be so utterly, completely, ten thousand percent right. They’re not trying to lose that upper hand by admitting to anything. And additionally, truth be told, men don’t make it easy for women to admit they have cheated, and it is harder for them to get over in most cases. A lot of people ask me why men tend to feel that way, and this is my theory on it: Sex by its very nature is an invasive process for a woman. It isn’t for a man. When a woman has sex with a man, she is  allowing him to place a part of his body into a part of hers – an intimate part at that. Men just have a lot of trouble dealing with the idea of another man putting a part of his body into a part of his woman’s body. The idea that another man was inside her, was inside her most intimate place, a place that only he was supposed to be, is just way more than the average man can handle. I think it’s the natural invasiveness of sex that, when violated by the presence of another man’s penis in her highly personal space that drives men crazy.

And hey – for some people, monogamy is harder than others. I honestly think for some its all but impossible. (SIDEBAR – I have seen so many women who seem to have ended up with men who haven’t had enough time to process the concept of monogamy and determine it is what they want for themselves. Most times women know when they’ve stumbled upon this kind of man, the kind for whom monogamy is impossible, and instead of leaving him alone to figure those things out, they stick around and make themselves and their lives miserable.) Having difficulties with monogamy doesn’t make you the worst person in the world. That was the hardest lesson for me to learn when I was trying to get my behavior under control. Women in particular don’t like to be “bad people”. Acknowledging that I had problems being faithful was hard because I genuinely felt it made me this monstrous woman, the worst kind of woman – one not deserving of a good man. But I learned that it didn’t make me Super-Slut – it just meant I needed to take a long hard look at some other things in myself. I had to figure out if monogamy was right for me, and why, and fully commit to it. I find women think monogamy will just automaticlly happen for them because they are good, virtuous women. Of course they wouldn’t consider getting with another man because they’re ‘not that kind of girl’. “Of course I’ll be faithful, that’s the kind of woman I am!” If you’re one of these expecting monogamy to just be somehing you sail into by virtue of your purity, you’re gonna be in for a real shock. Long-term monogomany isn’t easy, and if you don’t consider how you feel about it and how you will maintain it, you’re  setting yourself up for failure. Trust me,  temptation knows EVERYONE’S address.

As I post this, I am bracing myself for the barrage of women who will contact me to say they have never cheated. If the only reason you’re contacting me is to call women who cheat sluts and hoes and the like and to get your rocks off by touting your virtue and putting your purity on display, please don’t bother reaching out. Because I won’t believe you. If nothing else you’ve done that “emotional cheating” that you’re so fond of pulling men up on – you know, when they get too close to a female platonic friend and end up confiding in her about way too much, even though he doesn’t sleep with her. Yeah ladies, you’ve done that too. And I’ve covering my ears before you start with “but I needed someone to talk to and he was there for me!”

Finally – for those of you who say “well of course more men cheat on women than vice versa. Look at how many women there are with these stories compared to men!” You need to understand this —  the reason society makes such a bigger deal out of men cheating is because WOMEN make a bigger deal out of it. Women demand attention be paid to them when they are wronged. And I’m not saying they shouldn’t, but men usually don’t do the same. They internalize it Men don’t express themselves in the same vocal way when they’re cheated on.  It’s not that they’re cheated on any less, and it’s not that they don’t care, but they don’t have the luxury of being highly emotional and expressive about how they may feel about it. Women can openly go out and cry and scream and feel intensely depressed about being cheated on and women, friends and strangers alike, will offer a shoulder to cry on. She can get books, videotapes, DVDs, medication, and turn on a wealth of radio and television talk shows that will be all about addressing her pain. Because a nation of women who have been cheated on back her up, make their voices heard. Men don’t get that and they know it. When their woman cheats, it is a commentary on their manhood, their ability to keep her happy, people aren’t going to automatically support him and help him through his pain, they’re going to ask “well, what did you do to make her cheat on you?” So they keep their mouths shut. Why wouldn’t they? Hell, I would.

I sincerely hope that women will get off their high horses on this topic. I know it’s a highly volatile, emotional one, and once women get their emotions caught up in things it can be difficult to let go. But relationships need logic and reason just as much as they need emotions and passion. So let’s try to bring balance to the discussion of infidelity. Let’s not demonize anyone, because in this matter both men and women have things we need to learn. Let’s  please bring civility and honestly as well, and most importantly, understanding and forgiveness.

Let the sniping begin!

COUGARS…am I one? Are you one? What are they anyway? Read more to find out…

I have been informed that I am a “cougar”. It’s not that I’m offended . It’s just that if I’m going to be called something, I’d at least like to know what it is and to be sure it applies to me. Hell, I don’t mind being called a bitch if I’m being a bitch. If you insist on labeling me, all I ask is that you get it right. So in the interest of getting it right, I have investigated the term “cougar” to see if it applies.

Generally speaking, a cougar is a woman who involves herself with significantly younger men. Now the older woman/younger man scenario isn’t a new thing, but it definitely has changed. Back in the day the scenario usually was an older, established woman who is paying for the company or attentions of her handsome, virile, younger companion with money and gifts and such, attentions she probably could not get any other way. But that is old school, and isn’t what being a cougar is about today. The cougars of the new millennium are confident that their ability to attract “cubs” (that’s the name for their younger male companions) is not just about what they may have to offer monetarily. Now a cub’s interest in a cougar is just as likely to be based on the cougar’s looks, sex appeal, and personality. After all, older women are taking much better care of themselves these days. Whether they are keeping their wardrobes more updated, getting tips from makeup counters in department stores, indulging in spa weekends for facials, massages and mani/pedis, working out to stay in shape or having plastic surgery, older women do seem to be less inclined to let themselves go now. And more older women seem to be maintaining a certain youthfulness in spirit that many younger men find attractive. So while that old school setup is still around, the older woman of today doesn’t have to settle for that arrangement if she doesn’t want to. She has options now, and the cougar option is one of them.

According to what I’ve seen, heard and read, a cougar is a woman 40 years of age or older (in some places I’ve read over 35 but more often than not 40 is the magic number). Her cub is at least 7 years younger than her, usually more. These involvements range from the purely physical/sexual or casual types of situations to the closer, more romantic and more serious kinds of relationships. A cougar is typically defined by the fact that she actively goes after younger men. They compete with the younger women toe to toe for the younger man’s attention, from hanging out in the bars and clubs where they might find these younger men to dressing provocatively. These cougars have no interest in men closer to their own age; they are all about youth and all the things that usually come with it, like good looks, full heads of hair, hard bodies, and non-Viagra enhanced erections.

But some cougars do not actively seek out younger men and  don’t feel the cougar title fits them. These women don’t necessarily prefer younger men, no do they make any special effort to attract them. These women say that men their age aren’t interested in them, but the younger men are, so that is who they end up with. They don’t like the idea that they are being characterized as women looking for “boy toys” to have fun with. These women are considered cougars primarily because of the age difference between them and their men, and are merely victims of their circumstances. Why should they turn down the attentions of a man they like just because he happens to be younger?

I am in the cougar age range. I will not give specific numbers so don’t ask me to. These days the men who approach me are at least 7 years younger than me. Some days no one over 30 approaches me.  I freely admit I am not always comfortable with this; it makes me wonder if I am doing something to attract these younger men and deter those closer to my age. I am not one to lie about my age when I choose to give it, and there always seems to be a bit of surprise on the part of the younger man when I tell him my age. (No, I’m not just saying that!) Usually the young man is aware that I am a bit older than him, but is often taken aback at how much older I am. At that point I ask about their interest in older women, which is how I learned about different kinds of cubs.

Some cubs have an established history of being attracted to older women. They talk about how women their age are too insecure, too controlling, and too rigid. They say younger women are “into playing games”, “don’t know what they want”, or “are still trying to figure out who they are”. These cubs feel older women are much better in bed than younger women. They don’t come right out and say it in so many words – but I find the phrase “more experienced” (*wink wink*) mentioned a lot. These cubs felt older women were more open about sex and were more skilled than their younger counterparts; they seemed to genuinely find older women as attractive, physically and otherwise, as younger ones. And in some cases they mention that older women treat them better than younger ones do. The cubs talk about how cougars will cook, assist them with small personal errands, help them decorate their homes, make suggestions about their wardrobe, etc. They definitely enjoy the caretaking aspect of certain cougars.

Some cubs were more into this kind of power trip thing. These believe that cougars were in need of some young strong buck to give them some serious sexing. To them, the older woman is quest for her missing orgasms, and they are going to lead the search party. These cubs were a bit disturbing to me, because sometimes they seemed to feel like they were doing the cougars a favor by being with them and fucking them. I met several that had this viewpoint – one in particular told me that “he knew I needed some young, FRESH meat to make me right”.  Yeah, he emphasized the word FRESH just like that, and you can imagine how far he got with me. These cubs felt they had a certain power over cougars at times, that they somehow had the upper hand when dealing with them because they were younger and could more easily get companionship than the cougar could. These types of cubs were more likely to talk about how older women had money or good credit, even if the woman wasn’t using either of those to his benefit. But even in this situation, these cubs did find the older women physically attractive, and in many respects, better in bed. To me, it wasn’t so much that they didn’t value the cougars, it was more that they tended to overestimate their own importance in the situation.

In my experience, younger women often resent cougars. Sometimes they get angry at them. In some instances they feel sorry for them. They can’t imagine that a woman so much older than them could possibly be appealing to a man, especially a young one. And though they may not view cougars as a real threat (I say it that way because at the end of the day women tend to view all women as threats to some degree), they aren’t happy about the cougars hunting in their jungle.  These young women think youth automatically equals better looks and better sex. Why would a man want a woman old enough to be his – well – much older sister at the very least? They tend to view cougars as discontented and desperate borderline senior citizens who should stay in their place, go home and tend to their grand kids or knit something — and they think this no matter how young the cougar may look. These younger women just can’t imagine “why any man would want Grandma’s p***y” (as one woman mumbled under her breath in my direction one night when I was at a bar conversing with a 25 year old man). They laugh, safe and secure in the knowledge that the young buck doesn’t really want the cougar, isn’t genuinely attracted to her. Those who overestimate the looks and sex appeal of youth can often be rudely awakened when an older woman successfully gains the attentions of their man.

Now while most cougars these days are of the new millennium variety, I have seen the old school scenario I mentioned previously play out where the older woman compensates her younger man for his time and company with money or gifts or whatever, and it’s not pretty. Unfortunately, a more common version of this I’m seeing now is the older woman involved with a younger man who is a completely and totally useless. He is an embarrassment, someone that the older woman clearly brought into her life out of some sadly twisted need for companionship. There are two couples in my block made up of a much older woman and a much younger man, and in both cases the younger men in question are men that no right-thinking woman would interact with in any way. They are chronically unemployed, addicted to at least one, and sometimes several, drugs, loud, uncouth, slovenly, unattractive, and they stink. They can’t a decent conversation, dress horribly even when their women buy them new clothes, and would be hard pressed to buy you dinner from the dollar menu at McDonalds. In both cases the women work two jobs to maintain their homes, take care of their children, etc. Clearly don’t mind letting their younger boyfriends totally live off them. In one case the man is abusive, and hits his lady quite often. These toxic cougar/cub hook-ups make me sad and angry, and remind me that no matter how old you are, you cannot be desperate and needy to the point that you make bad decisions in selecting your male companions.

So with all that being said, I have to conclude that yes, I am a bit of a cougar. I do involve myself with younger men, though it is not a preference.

To me, the emergence of the “cougar nation” is about these women shamelessly  claiming and displaying their confidence in every aspect of herself, especially the ones society has traditionally told her she had to hide as she got older. Confidence is something you hear mentioned time and time again when you talk about cougars. Confidence is sexy. It is sensual. It is hot, and it is the greatest weapon a woman will ever have in her arsenal. Confidence  can blind a man to all  of a woman’s supposed physical imperfections – it better than a facelift, a boob job, or a low-carb diet. It can even make cellulite almost invisible. And confidence is definitely the major advantage cougars have over younger women. I know from my own experience that becoming older gives you a level of confidence that most younger woman aren’t blessed with. Yes I realize how I sound when I say that, but it’s true. I remember how I felt about myself when I was younger, and I know how I feel about myself know, so I have been able to observe the difference.

Surviving life builds confidence. I have mended my broken heart a few times over without retaining bitterness and hurt. I have raised my children successfully. I have ruined and rebuilt my credit score more than twice. Most importantly, I have made many of my dreams come true through talent and hard work – and accomplishing those things has given me very serious, quietly powerful swagger. My swagger is not a game, ask about me if you don’t know. As I have marched through my late thirties and beyond, my confidence has soared. That’s not to say I don’t have my bad days and fits of insecurity, because I do. That’s not to say that I don’t see the areas I need to improve in, and I work on those things. But overall, my intimate relationship with me is one I am comfortable with. I love being in my skin, and sometimes pity those not lucky enough to be me. And I truly have lost all my ability to care about the random opinions of others, and it is the sweetest, juiciest freedom you will ever taste. It quenches your soul like cool spring water. It is incredibly liberating, and something you don’t get until you get older. My stretch marks are of no consequence to me. I love my crazy mish-mash of hair that isn’t sure if it wants to be curly, kinky, nappy, or all three, and you couldn’t pay me to change it. I love the ridges and curves on my thighs. And yes, I do have sex AND make love AND f**k with much more abandon, precision, conviction, expression, devotion, dedication and joy than I ever did when I was in my 20’s. And if you catch me on a good day and I like you, I’ll do all three at the same time. I am living my life coolly being that bad bitch. And best of all, I am so confident I don’t need everyone to know it. Because those important to me do, and they love it.

So how do I feel about my cougar-ness? It’s pretty cool. It is good to know so many women are not letting their age dictate who they are, how they should behave, or who they should give their hearts or bodies to. I like that fact that now, at a time in my life when I didn’t think my vitality, my zest, my spiritedness, my intelligence, my sensuality would really matter to this youth-obsessed world, it still does. And it makes me smile to think about that younger man who wants me in all my flawed goodness and error-filled perfection – who can still look at my naked body and be pleased by what he sees, who talks to me and spends time with me because he wants to. I sincerely hope that every woman, no matter what her age or marital status, will have the opportunity to experience what I have been able to enjoy as a cougar.

Until next time…peace!

Welcome To My World!

Hello all!

After much consideration, I’ve decided to start my blog back  up. Many many moons ago I used to blog on MySpace (remember MySpace?) and had a fairly decent following, but when MySpace began dying, I stopped blogging. And I actually missed it so…I’m taking it back up again.

So, what am I going to be talking about? Lots of stuff…current events, politics, love, sex, relationships…probably a lot of the latter. Not so much because I think I have any of the answers, but I think I know how to ask the right questions.

And now…ME!

My name is Petula Caesar. I was born in Paterson, New Jersey, and currently live in Baltimore, Maryland. I am a professional freelance writer, and that career has branched off into a lot of other things for me, including journalism, social commentary, poetry, and even spoken word, performance art, and recording art. A good portion of my work is erotica,  including my poetry, but I do have lots of other sides to my writing. I’ve been lucky that I have been able to sustain myself with my creative endeavors for several years now, so I don’t have a traditional 9-5 gig (not that I’m not looking!)

I have two kids, both teenagers. My daughter is well on her way to becoming a visual artist, and I’m still trying to figure out what my son wants to do, but I think it’ll have something to do with gaming. I am unmarried, not necessarily by choice, but unmarried, and never have been married. That is not to say I am excessively lonely or miserable about it. Quite the contrary — I do have relationships with the opposite sex that I am EXTREMELY satisfied with and happily participating in. Unfortunately a woman’s happiness never seems to matter when it comes to relationships. People first ask if you have a husband or a boyfriend, and then MAYBE they get around to asking if you are happy with him, or at least content. That always bothers me, that the primary concern is that you have a man, and not about how having that man is impacting your life. But more on that later.

All and all, I have a basic satisfaction with myself. There are lots of improvements I’m working on making, lots more for me to do, try and explore. But at the core of me, at the root of my root I am good with who I am and where I am and what I am. I like me. I am pleased with me. I don’t possess a lot of interest in the opinions of others aside from a core group of individuals that I KNOW have my best interests at heart. Other than that…fuck ’em.

SIDEBARS one and two:

First — I cuss sometimes. Not all the time by any means, but occasionally. Not because I have a limited vocabulary, because I don’t by any means. BUT adults cuss occasionally. Get over it. I don’t do it constantly,  or around kids (most of the time, LOL) or in front of Jesus or in just highly inappropriate circumstances. So…there ya go!

Secondly — I won’t be talking about sex all the time here, but when I do I am pretty free and open about it. If that bothers you, this ain’t for you. But you’ll get a fair warning first…okay?

Last thing about this blog — I learned a long time ago most people really aren’t interested in what you think.  Not really and truly. For that reason, I don’t express my opinions often. Why bother, when I know most folks really don’t care? But this will be one of the few public places where I will be expressing myself pretty freely and openly. Take that as a warning or whatever, but I like to let people know where I am coming from upfront.

So if you’re good with all that…welcome to me world! Stay around a while!