The Healing

“…say farewell to the dark of night, I see the coming of the sun…I feel like a little child whose life has just begun…You came and breathed new life into this lonely heart of mine…You threw out the lifeline just in the nick of time…One, you’re like a dream come true – Two, just wanna be with you – Three, girl, it’s plain to see, that you’re the only one for me – And four, repeat steps one through three – Five, make you fall in love with me – If ever I believe my work is done…Then I’ll start back at one…”

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.

So real to me.

So healed with he.

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.

“…Through the night, I feel your voice…and with nothing but you in my mind, as you quench me of all my desires…and I’m filled with ecstasy…I can’t believe its real, I can’t believe its true, I can’t believe that you chose me when I was choosing you. And I can’t believe that you are here with me, and I am here with you…softly kissing you…forever kissing you…gently kissing you…”

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Recovering from amnesia with my lotus flower bomb…

So, I’m not as young as I used to be as many of you know. And one of the bad things about getting older is you often lose pleasure in certain things that at one time made you happy. Or you forget about those things completely, and about how much fun they used to be. But happily, I was reminded of one of those things Saturday night. That thing is (drum roll)…

NECKING!

Petting…making out…going to first base/second base/third base…and stopping! Whatever you want to call it. In fact I can’t even think of a current term for foreplay that isn’t necessarily intended to end with sex, and that is really my point.

Once you get to be an adult, especially a fairly sexually experienced adult, sex is intended to be the end result of foreplay. In fact, it is the primary reason foreplay exists. The kissing, licking, nibbling, sucking, touching, squeezing, etc., that is the predecessor to “it” is pleasurable of course, but ultimately it becomes an accessory of sex, like a cute purse or a great necklace or a fabulous pair of earrings. When we think of what sex is, we tend to think primarily of penetration, and these enjoyable pre-sex activities become somewhat secondary. Now don’t get me wrong…we all know that being an accessory is not a bad thing, and the right accessories are what MAKE AN OUTFIT AMAZING, but they’re still accessories, and without them you’d still be dressed. So it’s like they aren’t as necessary. So foreplay become a stop you make along the way to the destination of sex; in and of itself foreplay cannot be the destination – well, more often than not it isn’t. You forget that the journey should be as beautiful as the destination…or can even be the destination.

I had forgotten this before Saturday night.

Now when I was young, I was all about the journey when it came to sex because sex was not the destination then. I made out with my boyfriend, and we were both clear on the fact that I wasn’t ready to go “all the way”. We knew our making out was going to be the extent of our contact. We had discussed it and he was accepting of it, so there was no pressure to “give it up”. So we really got into our foreplay, because it was all we had. We would spend hours doing “everything else but” while his grandmother worked doubles at Sinai Hospital. We never had sex during this period…or more specifically, there was no penetration. There were orgasms, and we both had them. But they all came from our “everything else but” activities. And we both enjoyed them. Yes we did eventually “go all the way” after a year or so of this, but even then “making out” was as important as the sex.

But as I got older, that changed of course. As sex itself took center stage, the activities leading up to sex, the “pre-game show” became less important. Sometimes I didn’t even require a pre-game show from my partners; there were times when we’d get right into the game. I don’t want you to get the idea that I’m undermining the importance of that other stuff, because I’m not. But I’ve never been one of those “you gotta lick me before you stick me” girls. So when foreplay was minimized on occasion, I consented. But as it became easier to minimize foreplay’s role, I became willing to do it more often.

Until this past Saturday night, when for the first time in ages, I made out with a guy and that was it.

Now I had no intentions of having sex with said man. Not that I didn’t want to, because I did. At least my body did. My head wasn’t quite there yet, and I’ve always needed to be able to connect to a guy’s mental for intimacy to really please me. I need to be able to enjoy him past and beyond the physical to have sex with him – or at least good sex. We need to have good conversation, and we need to be able to join on at least a few other levels. But we were just sitting there, in the car, talking about something or other, and then he touched me, and then he kissed my neck and…then things kind of got blurry and my eyes closed and my breathing got heavy and fast.

For the next 45 minutes, periodically we’d make out, then stop and talk, then start again, then stop. And at first it confused me because I kept thinking “what is the point of doing this if I know I’m not going to fuck him tonight?” And the thing about it was that when he touched me, it didn’t have that insistent quality you get when a man is touching you in an effort to convince you to have sex with him when you haven’t consented. It wasn’t like that. His touching me wasn’t a plea, its SOLE PURPOSE wasn’t just to change my mind. He really wasn’t trying to get me to go along with him – well he was of course, but that wasn’t all of it. It was just that he wanted to, and he felt it would please me, so he did it.

And that’s when I realized we were making out. And I remembered what making out was like back when I was young. It was just touching for the same of touching, licking for the sake of licking. The acts were complete in and of themselves. They were no precursor to anything more, no gateway that was supposed to lead him to ramming his dick up in me. It was really just…cool. A lovely introduction to things. Best of all, I came. A small fleeting orgasm, but one nonetheless, appropriate for what was happening. He touched me and realized I was very wet, and he seemed a bit surprised. Happy, but surprised. And when I dropped him off and drove home, I was actually happy. I remembered the pleasures that you can get just from very little simple things like touches and caresses and nibbles on your shoulders and licks on your spine.

Now I remember some of the things I’d forgotten about sex, and I have him to thank. But it does make me wonder what actual sex with him will be like…and if/when I’ll ever find out.

Peace!

My strange Valentine’s Days these days…

This time of year is my busy season as far as my performing goes (in case you don’t know, I do erotic performance poetry with a band). What I do is very popular around Valentine’s Day. Since 2005, every Valentine’s Day I was on stage someplace performing; in some cases I wasn’t even in Baltimore. The fact that I’m usually so busy this time of year helps distract me from the things that bother most single people during the Valentine’s Day period. I don’t really have time to think about whether I’ll get flowers or candy or asked out on a date because I’m rehearsing, or picking out performance outfits, or finalizing travel arrangements. And this year won’t be any different – I’ll have several shows this year around V-Day, including performing at a popular local radio station’s speed dating event. While I do appreciate the distraction, I do see the irony in the fact that for the past 5 years, though my own love life has been strangely stagnated, I provide entertainment for lovers or potential lovers. They look to me to add spark to their celebration of their intimate and personal feelings for each other. They expect me to help them see each other through new eyes, to generate heat and passion between them for at least that night, and I try to do that. My Valentine’s Day sets are a combination of sensual and sexual pieces. I do a relationship piece here and there.

I try to have at least some new material each year, so I don’t bring the same show back to places where I am appearing for a second or third time. That means I’m writing and memorizing at least 2-3 new pieces in preparation for my shows throughout January up until the events. Now that I’ve started doing covers (which means I perform work by artists), that does help me create new shows because now I put at least one cover in every show I do. But that means my band is constantly learning new music. A new show also means new outfits to wear onstage. At some shows I do acapella sets, and at some shows I perform with a full band, so I have to rehearse different versions of my show to accommodate different venues. If I’m traveling, I have to pack, get to the airport/bus station/train station, get to my destination, check into my hotel, try to get to the venue a little before my show so I can get a feel for it and watch the crowd come in (that’s how I make a final determination on what I do in a set – by watching the crowd). By the time February 15th rolls around, I’m exhausted.

In many respects I am thankful for my new Valentine’s Day rituals. Granted they are not at all what I thought they would be at this stage of my life – I find myself in the strange position of putting on some of my sexiest and most revealing lingerie and attire for a room full of applauding strangers instead of that one special someone. But it does help take the focus off myself; I am focused on other people, which is a good thing. Instead of wearing myself out worrying about love, I worry about performing. I don’t have time to wallow in self pity or self doubt, to wonder why I’m alone or visit my mental cemetery of dead relationships. I don’t make random phone calls to any of my exes, trying to get closure where there is none (something I’ve done in the past). I don’t have time to wonder about unrequited loves from my past, present or future. I have to work, and that’s what I do. Work. I throw all my energy into my work.

But I do wonder if I would be depressed if I weren’t so busy. If I really had to feel the sharp little needles of loneliness so many unattached people feel this time of year, how would I handle it? Though I’ve never been one to be big on holidays and expressions of affection dictated by the calendar, it is still difficult to totally ignore a world draped in red and pick, smelling of roses and chocolates with words of love dripping from its lips. No matter how much reason and logic you apply to the whole Valentine’s Day thing, you still can’t help but feel an occasional pinch of sadness – and I think that’s especially true of women, who often put so much more obvious emphasis on relationships and being with someone. Or I would feel bad that is, if I weren’t so busy. Performing is the anesthetic I pour on my heart during this Valentine’s Day season, but what would I be like without it?

Of course I have to appreciate Valentine’s Day, because it is the month when I earn the most money as a performer. I sell more CDs and downloads between January 25th and February 15th than almost any other time of the year. I can count on a bunch of performances that pay pretty well, and are a lot of fun to do. The shows I do during this period always lead to other bookings and expose me to people that help me in other ways. And I sell a lot of merchandise during my Valentine’s Day shows. Love and sex is thriving business for me the first 2 weeks of February, and I take full advantage of it. I start looking for Valentine’s Day bookings in mid-December, and by late January I’m all set. I plan out my wardrobe, load up on product to sell, make arrangements for someone to keep an eye on my kids – between rehearsals and shows I’m not home a lot this time of year. During these two weeks alone, if I’m careful, even after expenses, I earn a very decent amount of money. But if I slowed down – would the pain catch me? Would I be lonely? Would I notice that there is no “special someone” who comes to my shows to support me, to admire me, to care about me and what I do? If I stood still, didn’t write the poem, put on the makeup, lace up the corset, pull on the stockings, would I look up and notice there isn’t anyone wishing I didn’t have to work on Valentine’s Day so I could spend it with him? Over the past five years no man has said to me “can’t you take off this year” or “do you have to work so hard”? Would I really notice the couples in the audiences I entertain, would I see them and wonder why I am not part of a couple someplace? Would I envy the couples that come up to me after shows who buy a CD, get it autographed by me and quickly take a picture before running home (or wherever) to make love, while I go back to an empty hotel room, or go home alone to my kids and kiss them goodnight?

For the moment, I don’t have the answers to those questions. Between today and February 15th, I have six definite performances and two possible ones. I start rehearsals next week. I have two new pieces I need to get to two different groups of musicians I’m working with. I have a new piece I’m committing to memory, and while I’m not doing any major traveling this year, I will be in D.C. with the band for a few shows. Again I’m too busy to really notice the celebration I so actively participate in and profit from. And it’s probably better that way.

Don’t get me wrong — it wasn’t always like this. I have had extremely romantic Valentine’s Days in my past. I remember gifts. I remember perfume. I remember flowers, candy, jewelry, shopping sprees, and romantic dinners in beautiful restaurants. I remember getaways to quiet sexy places, satin sheets, and massage oil. I remember bubblebaths for two, bottles of champagne. I remember lingerie worn for only one set of eyes. I remember love letters and love poems written for me, instead of by me for others. I remember hands, a man’s hands, moving across every part of me with tender and sensual dedication. I remember scented candles, rose petals on my skin and passion in my heart. If I strain really hard I think I can even remember love, which made the lust much more potently powerful. Men in my past have showered me with love in its most luxurious, decadent, generous fashion in my past.

But these are my memories, not my realities. And the ocean between the two is dark with pain, regret, and probably even fear that the tide has turned away from my shores for good, and these things will never return to me.

So perhaps my present is a blessing. From where I stand onstage, I can at least acknowledge that these things do still exist, though they aren’t in my world. I can look out onto the sea of love, though I may never dive in again and ride those waves to wherever my lover and I end up. It perhaps is enough that for now love welcomes me on its sandy beach, offers me a special place to sit, tickling and teasing my feet with splashes now and then. It may be just as well, because I probably have forgotten how to swim in that powerful current anyway.

Having said all this, I must go now. I have a poem to memorize!

Peace!

Jump Offs: The Myths, The Realities

I cover a lot of different topics on this blog. But for the next few entries, I am going to be focusing on relationships, especially the more intimate and sexual aspect of relationships.

There is a lot of discord going on between men and women these days, and much of it is because of a lack of honesty — a lack of honesty with each other, and even worse, a lack of honesty with ourselves. I want to stimulate TRUTHFUL, open, mature discussion about these matters. I want to generate discussion that doesn’t seek to make one gender feel superior to the other. I want to generate discussion that isn’t focused on proving who is right and who is wrong, which is one of my pet peeves about these types of conversations — they are often divisive and more about finger pointing that helping us identify our issues and resolve them so we can treat each other better.

I want all of us to stop making ourselves feel better by looking down our noses at how other people behave in their personal relationships. But that’s not easy. We don’t like to face our own internal ugliness head on. It is much easier to observe others, criticize others, talk about what others have done that we never have done or would do, berate others for tolerating things we say we would never tolerate and so on. But more often than not, most of us have, in some form or fashion, have engaged in most of the behaviors we criticize others for. So it is my hope that those who read this won’t have the politically correct knee jerk response. That’s too easy. After you read what I have to say, Just think about it, ponder it, and don’t judge.

Having said all that…let’s begin!

The topic of today is “the jump off”. I want to get into so real talk about jump offs, the myths and realities of the jump off scenario, people’s attitudes about jump offs, and even jump off etiquette.

Now for some reason many people feel that being a jump off is demeaning, degrading, etc. Women and men speak in a condescending, even a disrespectful manner about this arrangement. But let us be honest and clear about exactly what a jump off is in an attempt to understand that negative attitude.

A jump off is situation in which one has a relationship that is solely sexual in nature. It is an entirely physical interaction. The exchange in and of itself doesn’t have to be cold and unfriendly, but it does have to have a certain amount to detachment to work. People should always be courteous, hospitable, and pleasant in these circumstances; what is absent in these scenarios is a connection between the two participants beyond the temporary merging of genitalia.

Now, I don’t know why this arrangement is met with such derision by so many. So often I hear women say with much scorn and disdain, “well, she’s just a jump off” or “I ain’t trying to be just a jump off”, or men will say “she ain’t nobody, she’s just a jump off”. Why the negativity people? Is it really necessary? If two consenting adults mutually agree to engage in such an arrangement and are honest with themselves and each other about it, what’s the harm? Why the attitude? Why is it so bad?
Why do men feel compelled to accompany the jump off arrangement with a level of contempt, though they still willingly participate in it? Why is that necessary? Do men find it impossible to respect a woman who enters into this situation; are they only capable of having jump offs that they don’t respect on some level? Why the verbal harshness in referring to them? Why is the jump off role in one’s life minimized and trivialized instead of being looked at objectively and honestly? And ladies, some of you seem to equate participation in this kind of thing as something unladylike, that its an indication that something is wrong with the woman that does this, that it means she has low self esteem and doesn’t want more for herself besides jump off status, because of course she MUST want more. Why can’t it be that the woman made a clear decision about what she wanted and is getting exactly that — no more, no less? And why does this mean the man is some kind of man-whore with no respect for women, or no ability to deal with a “real woman” in a “real relationship”? What if he really only wants the sex, and isn’t misleading, hurting, harming or disrespecting the woman? Why the snobbery when it comes to jump off scenarios, especially when a large majority of us, if you reach age 25 and are still single, have either had a jump off, been someone’s jump off, or both, at least once — whether you knew it or not or are willing to admit it or not?

Having said all this, I’ll let you in on an important truth. For the most part, jump offs are myths. They don’t genuinely exist to the extent that rumor would have you to believe they do. True, actual jump offs, where the two parties are just sexual and nothing else are rare. That level of detachment where one shares their body without sharing themselves isn’t easily accomplished by men or women. It is a genderless condition. Very few people can honestly manage it for any extended period of time, and there is a very simple reason why.

Human beings are wired to seek out connections to others. Now please read that correctly — that doesn’t mean they are always seeking romantic love. BUT being human is about the connections we make to other humans — our family, our friends, etc. Those connections are how we know we are alive, they validate our existence, they allow us to find meaning in the time we spend here on Earth. The inability to successfully make those connections is a sign of a greater psychological disorder that we don’t have time to get into here. Now we may get hurt in our relationships, or find ourselves in abusive circumstances that injure our spirits and souls in a way that make it hard for us to reach out to others. In some cases we are so damaged we actively avoid involvements with other people beyond the superficial and necessary. But no matter what we say or do, we still usually stumble upon someone who attracts us, who stimulates our interest, our curiosity, and we attempt to make a connection, even if the connection is just sexual. We may do it badly, awkwardly, or subconsciously. We may do it in a thousand tiny little ways that no one understands but us. But no matter how successful we are at it, we do find ourselves reaching out to connect when we come across people that ignite an undefinable spark in us in the hope of lighting up our cold dark lives, even if we fuck it up because of our own issues.

Because of that, jump offs work like this:

You and said person become sexually involved, and agree that will be the limit of your involvement. Cool. Jump off etiquette requires that you and this person have minimal contact that is not sexual. So you meet, perhaps politely converse while undressing, fuck, and part company.

Now if the sex is not particularly outstanding, it is possible that the jump off status can remain intact for a time. The lack of mind blowing sex makes it easy to keep the contact sporadic and inconsistent, two other key elements to a genuine jump off. A jump off is never someone you fuck regularly, consistently or frequently. As soon as a jump off consumes that much of your time, they are taking up space in your head as well, because if you fuck someone a lot, you think about fucking them a lot. Anyone who takes up that much space in your head isn’t a jump off anymore. They may be a lot less than a boyfriend or girlfriend, but the detachment that is part of being a jump off is gone.

But if the sex was just okay, its not going to hold your interest or attention for long. At some point, whether it takes days, weeks, months or years, you’ll find someone else you like fucking more, or someone else you just like (or someone else you came to like because of fucking them, which we’ll get into in a minute). No matter how it happens, waning interest will usually cause the jump off to die a quiet death.

Now let’s say you like the sex. Let’s even say you love it. The earth moved and the angels wept, etc. If that was the case, you are not going to be willing to make hooking up an occasional occurance. Something in you was touched; you have been moved. A connection was made somewhere inside you, even if it was made in your sex organs…those connections count too. So now you want to spend more time fucking this person. Spending more time with a person, even if its spent fucking, invariably leads to more opportunity to get to know a person. And getting to know a person can often lead to getting to like a person. Liking a person has a way of leading to finding ways to spend time with a person. And when that happens, its clearly no longer a jump off. Again, it may be less than a spouse, but its no longer a jump off.

The space between jump off and committed relationship is a huge one. It is the largest gray area in all of human existence, and truthfully, it is the area a lot of our personal relationships operate in. Many of us have that person we are intimate with, who has clearly stopped being jump off status a while ago, (even if this hasn’t been verbally acknowlewdged by either party), who has yet to fully, openly, and willingly shoulder all the burdens of a committed relationship. They might appear to in their actions at times, but the “out” is always there — the “out” being that the person never agreed to a change in their status, and you can’t change a person’s relationship status without their consent. That “out” is the single most frustrating thing about this vast gray area in which most relationships exist. So these gray area living/extended and remixed jump off situations become like giant relationship waiting rooms…the places where people pass the time hoping their conditions improve.

The other big myth surrounding the jump off scenario is that it can’t change. That isn’t true at all. In my experience and observation, a situation like this has just as much of a chance of surviving as any other kind of relationship. But if it is going to change into a more “official” relationship, one of the parties involved is going to have to request a change in relationship status. And making that kind of request is a huge risk; you must be prepared to forfeit everything you already have with this person. It is truly an “all or nothing” proposition. Because if the other party doesn’t agree to the status change, the relationship is over, or will be over soon. Why? Because one party has made it known they aren’t satisfied with the current state of affairs, and the other party isn’t going to wait for the dissatisfaction to make itself felt in other ways. Most people are cowards, and just ride along, sorta kinda mostly cool with how things are but still secretly hoping that one day they are offered all the keys to the kingdom.

My finals words on the topic are simple: never let anyone make you feel bad about FEELING something for someone else, even if it is the wrong person. As long as you have it in you to care about someone else, all you need to adjust is your selection process. That is a much easier task than the alternative; it is much harder to teach someone to feel once they have lost their ability to do it. And while jump offs may not really exist like you thought they did, what does exist is a world full of people looking for shelter from the unforgiving harsh world…people who want to care who have lost their way…people who carry heavy loads, manage deep searing pain and hide ugly scars the best way they know how. Sometime they may seek temporary shelter from their most personal storms in your most personal space if you allow it. They may decide to stay. They may not. But no matter what the case, don’t lose sight of who you are in the midst of it all. Because at the end of the day, you are the only you you’ve got.

A blog about my hair…

Today’s blog is a rant/question more than anything that came from a few random conversations I’ve had with folks the past few days, and a blog I read through one of my Facebook friends’, DeWayne Alston’s page (the link to the blog I read is at the end of this entry). It’s nothing deep, meaningful, life-altering or soul-saving. In fact a lot of the time I make a point of avoiding that crap because as a writer (especially a Black one) every little bit of your creative energy is supposed to be about uplifting folks, and honestly, sometimes I don’t feel like it. (Most of the time to be totally honest…but that is in a blog that is coming soon.)

In the meantime…here is my question.

I have “natural” hair. For those of you who don’t know what I mean by that (and yes I do have some readers that wouldn’t know…), Black women often take their hair through a process called “relaxing”. The end result after this process is hair whose original natural texture has been altered to more closely resemble the hair of Caucasians. Most Black people’s hair, without this (or some similar) process, would have a texture that would be kinky, curly, wavy, or  a combination or these; the hair would have a “S” or even a “Z” pattern to it. It certainly wouldn’t be straight, which is what the “relaxing” process does. Sometimes it is called a “perm”; I refuse to call it that because the process is not permanent, it is temporary. I do not process my hair in this manner, so my hair is called “natural” hair. Nor to I have a weave in my hair.

Now I have learned over the years that all women of all races and nationalities do things to their hair cosmetically to alter its color, texture, length, style, or whatever. Unfortunately, oftentimes Black women alter their hair’s texture for reasons that go beyond the cosmetic. I don’t want to get into a long diatribe here about the self-hate that goes into some Black women’s desire to relax their hair, or wear weaves, etc. Because why women do it is not my question.

My question is – how can you possibly have a decent sex life with a relaxer or weave in your hair? Or one of those lace front wigs that is “supposed” to stay in a few weeks?

No….seriously…that’s my question. That’s it. That’s what I want to know.

Now Black men joke about how when their Black women have just returned from the salon with a freshly styled head of hair, sex is pretty much off the table for the next few days (or longer). Trips to the salon can get to be rather expensive if they are frequent. And even if you get a girlfriend or relative or someone like that to fix your hair, chances are he or she not going to always be at your beck and call to do it whenever you need it done. So in the interest of practicality, most women get as much mileage as they can out of their hair once they leave the salon. And for their men, that means either no sex (in most cases), or in some “alternative” sexual pleasuring that will not dishevel the hair too much — whatever the alternative sexual pleasuring is, the man must always mindful of the hair style must leave it intact. Most importantly, the hair must never be touched or get wet, either with water or sweat.

(SIDEBAR: Now I do know the high-end strand-by-strand weaves do allow you more freedom in these areas, but chances are if you can afford a weave that starts in the low-to-mid four figure range, you can afford to keep it up…)

So my question is ladies, does it not bother you at all to have your sex lives dictated to you by your hair style? What you do, when you do it, how you do it are all controlled by your hair – I mean, well, let me continue before I get to sounding judgmental, which is not what I want to do here. I really do want to understand. I’ll be the first to say I don’t know a lot about what goes on with relaxed hair maintenance these days, so someone school me.

Many of the things I enjoy about sex are gone the minute I put a weave or a relaxer in my hair. He can’t pull my hair. He can’t run his hands through it all the way to the scalp. He can’t wash my hair. If he touches my face, he has to make sure he doesn’t touch my hair. He can’t hold my head during oral sex. He can’t play in my hair. He can’t twirl his fingers around and through it in a random kind of way when we’re just chilling afterwards. In fact, a lot of the touching that promotes intimacy and closeness goes out the window. We can’t have sex in the shower, or the Jacuzzi, or the bath, or the swimming pool, or the ocean, or in the rain. I can’t sweat, nor can he. For me, that’s too much stuff to worry about. It kills spontaneity. It kills a lot of things for me. At that point I don’t see the need in doing it if all these “rules” are in place.

When I first cut out my relaxer, this was one of my primary reasons why I did. I remember certain people praising me for letting go of the chemicals, for not “lye-ing” anymore, for being proud of my true born hair, and yes, a tiny bit of that went into the decision. But at my core I am a practical person, and “going natural” was just as much a practical decision as anything. My hair was falling out first of all, and secondly, I could never keep my relaxed hair looking decent, because I like to screw and relaxers aren’t conducive to that. So after hours in a salon and a ton of money spent, I might look good two or three days if I kept my man away from me, and most of the time I didn’t want to do that — and just as importantly, he didn’t want me to keep him away. And while in most cases the guy would offer to significantly contribute to my hair maintenance, there then became the time issue. Even if I had the money, who has the time to spend 2-18 hours in a hair salon (depending on where you go), two or three times a week so my hair can look good for a day before my man tears it all up again? When I decided to cut my relaxer out, one of thoughts at the forefront of my mind was “now I can have sex anytime I want and not worry about whether or not I have the money to get my hair fixed!”

And that is how it’s been since 2002. I’ve had natural hair, and I have f***ed whenever I damn well pleased, wherever I’ve damn well pleased, including in blinding rainstorms, in steaming hot showers, and in blazingly hot non-air conditioned bedrooms that would make a woman with a relaxer turn away in disgust, no matter how horny she might be.

Now I’m not saying my way is the best way. It certainly isn’t the only way. It is what works for me. I’ve always been a person who didn’t like to be told what to do, especially in my personal life. So the idea that my hair was playing a significant role in my intimacy became absurd to me, and I took steps to ensure that it no longer did.

Peace!

The original blog that inspired this is called “Why Men Hate Weaves”:

http://armondwakeup.blogspot.com/2010/07/mans-perspective-why-men-hate-weaves.html#links

I think I have commitment issues…but I am a woman? What da hell??

I think I have commitment issues. If that’s true, that is a problem. But I may have a greater one. I am a woman with commitment issues!

In case you didn’t know, only men have commitment issues. Women are just sitting around waiting for love, romance, relationships, marriage, boyfriends and husbands. They’re just dying to be all “booed up” with some dude. They’re just waiting for an opportunity to love a good, strong, honest man to take them off the market and away from the cruel cold world of singleness. The only thing keeping them away from “happily ever after” is men’s unwillingness to commit.

To hear them tell it, men don’t want to commit. Men don’t want monogamy, and the monotony that is often a part of it. Men want as many women as they think they can handle, they have no interest in maintaining faithfulness to one. Men are dogs running the street, unwilling and unable to settle down. And because men are unwilling to commit, and women are just beside themselves with excitement waiting for commitment to happen, there is always this great sense of unbalance in the universe. Because men won’t commit, thousands of lovely women will never have their “happily ever after”.

But what am I to do when I think I am on the opposite side of the fence as most of my gender?

All my life every woman I have ever known wanted to get married. That didn’t mean they didn’t want to get their educations, or pursue their careers, or accomplish other things. But marriage was always in there, always an integral part of their plan for themselves. When I was a young girl, my girlfriends would dreamily plan their weddings, taking their Barbie dolls down imaginary aisles in their rooms with their older brother’s GI Joe’s. Even if their mother’s told them “girl, men ain’t s**t”, (because some mothers did do that), the girls still held onto their dreams in a little corner of their heads. I never planned my wedding as a child like my friends, and my dolls never got married. They were single I guess, dating the Ken dolls and whatever other toy male representatives I could find amongst my toys (I didn’t have a brother.) I never imagined marriage really. When I did think about my wedding, my main concern was always how much fun the party/reception would be — what music would the deejay and bands play and what kind of delicious food and fabulous drinks would be there – you can see where my priorities were, even then.

As an adult, most women I’ve known really wanted to get married. Sometimes they were in a relationship with their boyfriend that had gone on for years and they wanted to “make it official”. Sometimes they had kids by this guy, which was all the more reason to “make it official”.  Sometimes they were under pressure from their family (“girl, you ain’t married yet??). Sometimes they wanted financial assistance (“somebody needs to come help me with these bills, plus I need more income to get this mortgage!”) But whatever they reason, they wanted marriage. It was important to them. It was a burning desire they would not turn away from. It just had to happen, it just had to be.

I am still waiting for my burning yearning to begin. Even in the cases of my children’s fathers, I never felt like the children we shared was a good reason to get married, much to the chagrin of my family, which has a long illustrious history of “shotgun” weddings – more women in my family have gotten married pregnant than not. But I didn’t do it.

I have never experienced that burning desire to get married. Even when I have been involved with men that I wanted to marry, that I thought I would marry, it never burned inside me. It was never the most important thing to me. It never kept me up nights. I never ached to be wed. I ached to be with them, yes, but not as a wife necessarily. Being with them was my primary focus, not the marriage part. Now don’t get me wrong…I did want marriage yes, and I wanted it very much, but…it just never seemed to inflame me like it inflamed other women. And in every case where I was involved with a man I thought I would marry, at some point I ended the relationship.

In some cases, I sabotaged the relationship with unrealistic demands, and when the mere mortal of a man failed to meet them, I ended the relationship. Sometimes I was unfaithful, and when I started doing that I knew I had to go, so I ended the relationship. Sometimes I knew the man would never be happy and satisfied with who I really was at the core of me, and I ended the relationship. Sometimes I felt like he just thought it was time (“well I’m getting older, I don’t wanna be the old dude at the club so…let’s do this!), and to me that was never enough reason to get married, so I didn’t do it. I have returned engagement rings, cancelled appointments to look at dresses and the whole nine. All this leads me to wonder if my fear is commitment.

I have had good men in my life – gainfully employed, college educated, smart, good looking men who wanted to marry me, and I didn’t do it. Men with homes, men with cars, men with ambition and dreams, men with substance mentally, emotionally and spiritually, men who treated me well. As I write this I can think of four men with those qualities who I could call right now who would be more than happy to seriously date me, and if I put my mind to it I could be Mrs. Somebody in six months – maybe less, with a bad ass ring to seal the deal. But I don’t make any of those calls.  Even on the days I complain about being single, how I wish I could find love, and more importantly, acceptance in the arms of a man who would cherish and honor me, I can’t help but taste the hypocrisy in my mouth as I think about the men I keep at arms length for whatever reason.

Sometimes I think my biggest fear is being forced to be something I don’t want to be. In a lot of my past, I have dated men who really thought I was perfect, except for one or two things they wanted me to adjust. Unfortunately, the things they wanted me to “adjust” were things that were too much of a part of my essence. It always seemed like there was something wrong with me when it came to these men, and I always left rather than cut off pieces of me to fit. And right now, I can’t imagine it would be easy for a man to want me for a wife. I just don’t look like, sound like, act like, anyone’s idea of a wife I guess. When men picture their wives, a woman like me doesn’t pop into their heads. Men always seem to want their wives to have these very obvious “good girl” traits, even if they discover later it wasn’t as “good” as they thought it was going to be. My “good girl” traits aren’t obvious. Anyone who knows me well will tell you I have them, but from the outside looking in it isn’t the first thing you’ll notice about me. I don’t have a problem with that; I enjoy my many layers and facets, but many men do have a problem with it.

Sometimes I think I fear getting into something I can’t get out of easily. Marriage is hella hard to get out of, and the longer you’re in it, the harder it is to get out. I know you shouldn’t enter into something immediately looking for the exit and trying to plan your departure strategy, but this is what I do. I am a planner. So to me it makes sense that you plan how a relationship would end if it ended, because it’s better to plan that now while you like the person than later when you hate them and are gonna be all about cutting his balls off. But I know if I get married, there will be no divorce UNDER ANY CONDITIONS. We may part and go our separate ways but there will be no divorce. And I always worry that I might choose a man that I’d have to separate from, and that would hurt.

Sometimes I think my biggest fear is failure. I don’t like not succeeding at things, not being good at things. I work hard to do everything I do well, exceptionally well. And in most cases, I manage to accomplish that. Everything I have ever failed at haunts me endlessly; I revisit the grave of that failure, pondering over what I did wrong, trying to never do it again. If I failed at something as important as marriage, I don’t think I could deal with it. I think I would never forgive myself. I would blame myself, feel ashamed and hurt and sad and defeated. And knowing me, I would marry someone who was my best friend, because I genuinely believe you have to have that kind of love that exists in close friendships as part of marital love. (You know how when you get totally fed up with your best friend, they’ve made you totally sick and you’re disgusted with them, but you know good and damn well they will always be your best friend no matter what? That kind of thing is what I want in my marriage.) So if the marriage failed, I would lose my best friend too. That would tear me up more than anything. I don’t know how I would handle that.

Sometimes I tell myself I am too honest to get married. I hate to say this, but some marriages seem to involve some degree of coercion on the part of the woman. She had to threaten to break up with him, or nag him into it, or get her family to nag him into it, or get pregnant, or pretend to get pregnant, or something like that. It has always been my dream that a real man would get to know me, love me, carefully consider all his options, and decide that having me as his wife was what he wanted more than he wanted to be alone or with some other woman/women. I want him to volunteer, completely and totally, heart and soul, ten thousand percent. I don’t want it any other way. If I have to employ trickery, or use my womanly wiles, or get him drunk or drugged, I will not do it. But very few men seem sure enough in their choices to pursue them actively once they make them. Oftentimes they just don’t make them at all, and wait for some woman to drag them into it. And the women never seem to much care, as long as they have their husband.  That I cannot do.

Sometimes I think I am selfish. I mean, every time I have ended a relationship I have said to myself in consolation,“well, I guess I just love me more”. And as much as pop culture talks about self-love, to really make marriage work both parties have to, on many/most levels, care more about the other party than themselves. And this has to happen all the time. For marriage to work everybody has to be serving the needs of the other person and the union 24/7, and not their own needs. Ideally, if everyone is always serving everyone else and the needs of the union, everyone will get most of what they need and want.  And hardest of all, you still have to do this even when the other person isn’t. But in the relationships I ended, at some point I decided he was not serving my interests; he was only serving his own. And I decided I didn’t wish to serve his interests anymore. That kind of selfishness has no place in a marriage, so I guess it’s good that I ended those relationships.

Sometimes I think I just haven’t met Mr. Right.  I do so want to find someone and create a place and space for us where we can be our most genuine authentic selves, and improve on ourselves individually and as a couple. I sometimes worry that my man will hate me once he finds out about the real me. I don’t want a man to fall in love with “my representative” when we are dating, only to discover me and she have NOTHING in common. I want him to love me, all of me, me as I am today and me as I will come to be as I improve and grown in the sunshine of his care. And often I tell myself I haven’t found that evolved man who can appreciate my domestic side and my workaholic side and my imagination and my creativity and my sexuality and my tendency to be overly analytical and critical and nitpicky and sometimes self-deprecating  and all the other vastly contradictory things I am.

But mostly I think I’m just afraid of commitment.

My parents were reasonably happily married for over 40 years, so I had a good example of a solid marriage before me. Many of my family members are married, and have been for many years also – ten or twenty plus years in some cases. I am the oddball in that I have been single so long, just raising my kids on my own, and pursing my own interests without even a regular guy in place to bring to family functions. They kind of see me as this slightly off-center, artsy type that they don’t quite get, but they love me because I am family. They have stopped trying to fix me up, because it never works.

So I write this now, as a single woman who may be afraid of commitment. Occasionally I attempt to talk to other women about it, but they all look at me like I’m crazy. That lets me know how messed up I am, because I am supposed to want this like a man in the desert wants water, and I just don’t feel that way about it. I am not prepared to give up all of me for it. I don’t want to pick the wrong man. I don’t want to be hurt, or taken advantage of, or live a life of misery with some man because I chose out of desperation. I don’t want my sex life to dwindle away into nothingness (I hear that’s what happens in marriage, and sex is wayyy too important to me to have that happen). I say I want a man of my own, and I have options if I were to attempt to exercise them. I’m not sure if they are the options I would choose if I did the choosing, but I have them. I could at least explore them, find out what they have to offer. What is my problem?

Am I afraid of commitment?

So…today’s blog…

is a poem I wrote that I am posting cuz I felt like it…

PEACE!

When loves’ slave catchers

throw their chains and traps

around me

I will chew off

pieces of my heart

to free myself.


During these sex-filled struggles

I lustfully bite

my pursuer

as I fight the ties

that seek to forever bind

me to him.


I sensuously swallow

pieces of him

during the battle of wills.

But I am always the victor,

and I greedily devour the spoils.


As for the love warriors

who rise up

attempting to rule my

personal internal  queendom

and who always fail,

they now will spend

the rest of their lives

trying to get back

the pieces they lost to me

in the battle.


The pieces

become part of

the fiber of my being

and the marrow of my bones.


These leftover spirits

invade me and

teach me how

to be the hunter

and still seem like

the prey.


Now I chase others

by allowing others

to chase me.


To attract them

I strip my brain bare

in their presence

and

mentally masturbate

before them.


A psychological exhibitionist.


They watch me

and want me

while I wonder why

the presence of love

has always meant

the loss of my freedom.


And I must fly

until I die.

So, catch me if you can.

But know

that even I

haven’t caught me yet.

..

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