It is as if Beautiful was always there, a bud inside my soil; that blossomed when he first made love to me. That night, and the next day, and many days and nights afterwards, I was radiant, abloom…indeed, I felt beautiful. I know that sounds corny—hell it is corny—but damn if it ain’t true.
It was like when I joined the track team in my Sophomore year of high school. After that first practice I knew I’d always be a runner because of how it made me feel. I felt my body for the first time. Of course, I always knew that I had arms, a core, and legs; but it was track that made me truly feel them; that made me feel connected to them. My walk changed; my attitude changed. I was aware of my aliveness, my power, my being.
Being with Jay is something like that.
I know you nouveau “don’t get yourself lost in a man, don’t need a man, find your-own-strength” Sistas already have your mouths twisted.
Just don’t even…okay?
I was you. I was you before you were you. I was the fly Sista that encouraged you to be who you are—or who it is you think you are. After being stood up, rejected, used (and if I’m being honest—low-key abused), Netflix and chilled until my heart turned cold; I had a revelation that led to a revolution of “me-dom” (kinda like freedom). I wrote in journal after journal, chronicled my thoughts, took self-care and self-reflection to Oprah-ess-heights. I dated myself, spent more time with my friends, got three promotions at work, and started traveling.
Genuinely, I was happy.
Genuinely, I was equally horny.
During my me-dom revolution, I did realize that I didn’t need a man. Though it wouldn’t be my first choice, I know that I can live whatever years I have on this earth contently if I never get married or have a serious, long-term relationship. However, none of my meditating, traveling, journaling, five-figure earning, or masturbating cured me of my love for dick (and touch).
I hope you don’t mind me being real with you, Sis.
I used to feel bad about my cravings—some of my Sista-friends seem so liberated – causing me to feel as if I have a real adicktion (bad pun, sorry I couldn’t help it); but now I feel as if they aren’t being honest with themselves. We were created to be sexual beings—right? Isn’t it normal to want touch, to want to feel the warmth of a soft tongue dancing with yours, to feel the weight of another on top of you, to taste the salt from another’s sweat? I believe it is.
So, that’s when I became as liberated with my body as I had been with my mind. If I was attracted to a man, I had sex with him: when I wanted and with the clear mindset that sex was all it was. And I swear, when I freed myself and my temporary lovers from the weight of expectations; sex became even better. I no longer cared if I had shaved my legs, or what he (whoever he was) thought when his hand brushed against one or two of my stomach rolls. I didn’t think about if he would determine that I wasn’t marriage material if I did certain things the first night. If I wanted to be loud, I was. If I wanted to talk shit, I did. If I wanted to only lay there and simply receive; I received.
Cum, I did: more than I ever have. You judging? You know why you mad? ‘Cause you horny. I’m just playing, Sis; but get you some if you want you some. Trust me, dick does the body better than milk ever has (especially since most of us are lactose intolerant).
But let me stop clownin’… Since I’m being all real about my ish, I gotta be real about me being caught up now. I done got myself shook.
I’d been managing my sexually-liberated life well—experiencing only slight issues (you have no idea how some men can’t handle it when you are the one who is in control and only interested in them for sex – when and how you want it), when I met Jay at my friend Jasmine’s Spade’s party.
Jay is “new-fine.” It took half his life for his body to match with his big head, for his strong jaw to fill out, and for his time in the gym to take effect). New-fine Brothas are the best because they ain’t assholes; they aren’t quite sure that they are fine and are surprised by all the women who are suddenly giving them attention. Some think it’s because they are finally making some money and are wary of women who hit on them because they think they are gold-diggers (when it’s really that their neck and shoulders finally just got wide enough to support that head; and that their bird chest finally took flight). Jay’s chest had certainly taken flight – like a damn eagle — broad and t-shirt hard (so hard that you can even tell through a t-shirt). He also has a dimple on his right check and no ring on his left hand; so I quickly agreed to make him my Spades partner.
Sipping Hennessey and gulping Heinekens; dapping each other over each win, intense eye-contact as we tried to read each other’s hands and minds, beating folks book-by book, laughing as we talked mad shit to our opponents had us vibing nicely.
I saw no reason for the good times to end, so I invited him over for an after-party. Initially, I can tell that he was new-fine surprised; but he quickly accepted and followed me home. And that’s where I remembered the other thing about new-fine guys: they are sensual, giving gentle attention to every crease, stretch mark, and crevice of your body because there is a unspoiled sweetness, tenderness and appreciation that comes from a man who hasn’t spent the majority of his life playing women like dominoes. But then their natural man-hood mixes with the strength that comes from hours in the gym every week working that newly developed chest, shoulders and back and they fuck you like they want to take your soul. There is something to be said for the men who started out as underdogs in this world, they just try harder and give more.
And more, and more…. But let me get my mind right and finish telling you my situation.
Jay doesn’t just make me feel good; he makes me feel seen every time we are together. I swear that man saw and had touched places on my body that I didn’t even know existed. He leaves me sore and tingly at the same time — just like track practice did. For the first time in three years, I crave the workout, the feeling,…him.
And therein lies the problem. I felt safe when I simply craved sex. I managed my sex-life and my men like my job: I took care of business, didn’t become emotionally attached, only revealed the necessary parts of myself, got what I wanted and moved on. Now I crave one person—Jay.
I have been taught too many painful times that wanting leads to expecting; and from my experience, all of it leads to ultimate disappointment. I’ve been disappointment-free these past years of being in control; and I’m not trying to go back to feeling rejected and hurt again. I don’t want to keep looking at my phone for the texts or calls that never come; or getting my hair done on Thursday for my big date on Friday – to only get stood up. There have been too many times that I thought he was the one, only to discover the she, her, and a third woman thought the same. Me-dom gave me a freedom from anxiety and pain. You feel me?
I’m thinking of just walking away. It’s not like we have a relationship or anything. I could simply stop calling him to connect. Or should I talk to the Brotha? We do have a nice energy (but he may think I’m crazy, as we haven’t done much talking in our situationship). Help me out, Sis. What should I do?
- Readers, the ending will be determined by your comments. You can either vote for her to end things or to talk with him. The ending I write will be determined by you. Ending and results will be posted by next Friday.
The more I thought about things, Sis, I’ve decided to just leave the situation with Jay alone. If I’m being 100 with myself, my life would read like a Black Enterprise success story if they omitted my dealings with men. If they included those dealings; my life would read more like the transcript from the Love & Hip Hop reunion show. My intelligence, self-esteem, common sense and street smarts go from bright as the lights on Broadway to as dim as the lights in a hood liquor store in my dealings with men. Some good dick makes a woman who yearns for a relationship settle for a “situationship.” It has allowed me to convince myself that it’s enough, when my body is receiving temporary satisfaction even though my soul is suffering permanent damage.
I’ve done too much spiritual rehab the last few years to hit rock bottom again; and when a man has the magic touch on my mind, body and soul; I need to say “abracadabra” and disappear if he isn’t fully mine. Situationships remind me of the summers in South Carolina, when we used to go fishing in the bay. I’d feel the tug on my pole, think I had caught a fish, brace my little pubescent body, play tug-of-war with the pole, only to pull up a piece of bait that was 80% eaten. While I was the one fishing, the stank-ass fish would end up the only one fed.
Nah. No more.
I ain’t gonna lie: it’s been three weeks and I miss him. Like I said, I was clearly “a-dick-ted.” I’ve put myself on an intense recovery program: frequent Sephora trips, girls nights out, “get fine” workouts, online shopping, and – yes- sex with one of my old stand-bys. Judge if you want – but I’ve always believed that the best way to get over one man is to get under another.
Usually, my strategy works. I find that after some fuckboy has made me feel unwanted by him and undesirable by others; having another show you some attention reminds me of my power and potential. But, when Zeke came over this time, even when he was sweetly playing in my hair as we watched Luke Cage, my mind was on Jay: the debates we’d have about Bushmaster, how he’d always absentmindedly run his fingers up and down my back, and how he loved to eat mint-chocolate chip ice cream while we watched TV.
But like my Grammy used to say whenever I came home crying or called her weeping, “Time chile, Time.” I keep reminding myself that In time, Jay will just be one of my “stories” when me and the girls are sharing wine and “experiences.” He will be one of those dudes I used to dig. He will be my answer when we are asking each other those ‘bonding-while-drunk’ questions: “Who gave you the best oral?” “Who is the one that you could take to your Granny’s house in the country, your cousin’s apartment in the hood, your bestie’s mini-mansion in the suburbs, and your company’s holiday party with full confidence that he’d fit in?” Eventually, he will just be an answer to a question – a memory.
Time, Chile, Time.
In the meantime, I’m going to hyper-focus on myself again — like the woman kneeling by my feet, I think she said her name was Jenny, is hyper-focusing on that corn on my 2nd left toe. She’s one of those determined types — detailed and goal oriented. She probably would be a doctor had she not immigrated to the U.S. Instead, she is working on a corn I earned from 4-inch heels on 3-hour dance nights, with some 2-for-1 drinks. I appreciate her attention though. I also appreciate that this place has magazines for us in it: Ebony, Essence, etc. I’m all into this article about how Vanessa Williams has gone Vegan (she looks so damn good. If it weren’t for bacon—I think I could do it) when my phone dinged.
“Hey Stranger,” the text read.
I, and every woman over 25, hate those “hey stranger” texts because they always come from someone you haven’t talked to in a long time for a good reason; but this one was from Jay. Immediately, I got butterflies in my stomach, my newly polished hands started to get moist, and I suddenly wanted to kick sweet Jenny and tell her to leave my ‘f-ing” corn alone.
Jay had never contacted me. He only responded to my invitations. Admittedly, I am happy to hear from him. Simultaneously, I’m angry at myself for being happy.
“Hey,” I respond with my stomach tight.
“Wanna hangout tonight? It’s Luke Cage night.”
It’s funny how quickly your brain can switch from the idle stage that comes from getting a pedicure to the over-drive stage caused from hearing from that “one.” Shit, what do I say? I need to say no. Seeing him will only pull me back in. I’m making progress –only spent $50 at Sephora this week. But damn, I could use his touch. It’s just once. And it would be nice to end things on a nice note—a farewell-fuck. Or maybe he could just come over and we just hangout—no sex (who am I foolin’? Me. I’m trying to fool myself, so I can give myself permission to do something that I know is stupid.).
“Sure. I’ll order our favs from Peking Palace. You bring the wine,” I respond.
By the time I hear him tap on the door, my insides are jumping like White teens at a techno club. Pull it together. I open the door and try to contort my face somewhere in-between my “bitch-resting face” and “too-excited 32-tooth smile” face. I’m going for the exact effect I created with my make-up: pleasant and attractive, but not showing too much effort or excitement.
“Hey,” I half-smile as I open the door.
He walks in carrying two bags from Safeway, bends down and kisses me quickly on the cheek, and walks back to the kitchen to set the bags on the counter with the confidence of a man who is comfortable in his space – or rather, in my space.
“I got you that sweet-ass Moscato you like, he says as he starts pulling the stuff out of the bag. “You know I also had to bring our fave, Baby: mint chocolate chip ice cream.”
Baby? Our Fave?! For whatever reason I wanted to roll my eyes and walk back to my room—leaving his ass standing there. How is he so relaxed – acting as if we just saw each other yesterday; while I’ve been faking my strong-Black-woman happiness like somebody on the close-up cam after they lost the Emmy. How is it that men always seem so relaxed in situations, whereas, I have spent at least seven hours analyzing every aspect of our relationship; and have lost a few hours of sleep asking and answering the same questions about him / us repeatedly? His calm pisses me off.
I just look at him, turn away, sit on the couch, grab the remote off of the coffee table, and turn on the television. He puts something else in the refrigerator – probably some coke to mix with his Crown later, and leans on the wall by the television set and says, “Seem like you have an attitude. What’s up, Dana? Do you want me to go? You don’t want me here or somethin’?”
I just stare at the remote- not sure of what to say. Did I want him to go?
“Look, I’ll just bounce. I ain’t heard from you in a minute. I thought maybe you were busy, but I see you done moved on. A’ight. Cool.”
Just as he was about to open the door I heard myself commanding, “Wait. I don’t want you to go.”
“You sure, cuz….”
I interrupt, “Just sit down for a sec’, and let me explain.”
His ego keeps him standing by the door; but I recognize that something else obviously keeps him from going out of it. Perhaps it is this realization that gave me the courage to speak honestly.
I continue staring at the remote and say, “Bottom line: I don’t feel like getting hurt. I know this started out as fun and is supposed to just be a causal sex-thing, but I’m digging you. So, I figure it’s best for all involved if I leave this thing alone.”
He starts chuckling, which makes me want to throw the damn remote at him.
“Glad you find this so funny,” I snap.
“No, no…chill woman. It’s just funny. I swear some of you women are so damn smart and so damn independent that you think that you are supposed to manage the whole relationship. You have made decisions and come to conclusions about “us” without including me. Do I get any say in this?”
“Well, you never said anything,” I retort.
“Dana, I didn’t think I had to say anything. I’ve been coming over here more and more. I clearly like spending time with you. The only reason I don’t suggest us getting together is because I thought work dictated your free time, so I came when you indicated you were available. Shit, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t want to be here and if I didn’t like you.”
I just look at him – again with a split state of mind. Part of me wants to believe him and the other part of me wants to protect myself and tell him to just go.
“Stop trippin, woman. We are good,” he says lightly as he walks over at sits next to me. He puts his arm around me, leans in and starts kissing me on my neck. “Now get me some of that shrimp fried rice that’s smelling up this whole place, while I pour you some Moscato so you can get yo mind right.”
I put the remote down finally, chuckle and walk into the kitchen to get our plates ready. Jay walked closely behind me.
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more