The Power of Vulnerability

The Power of Vulnerability

Pull up a chair, sis. (And fellas too) This is exactly what it sounds like.  Let’s get right into it.

Vulnerability. Man, look.

The simple mention of that word is enough to make me shift my weight and squirm in discomfort.  
Allow me to explain:  I consider myself to be, pretty much, an open book. Folks know that I share my experiences online—that I can be super transparent and often use my daily situations, accomplishments and failures to both express my humanity, and to encourage myself and others on this journey called life. Even with all the perceived negatives of social media, I’ve come to find that shared experiences make one feel less alone. To know that you’re not the only one going through life’s challenges in the way that you are, can be a huge relief. At any rate, even with all of my so called “openness”, I still have the tendency to distance myself from certain situations that call for just that.  What are they? You guessed it; matters of the heart.

First, let’s look at the definition of the V word. I can barely say it without flaring up my acid reflux.
Vulnerable: adjective
susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.
 

 

Bruh. Who the HELL wants to be that?

It is simply basic human instinct to strive, at all times, to protect ourselves. Even the homie Sigmund Freud said, that “the deepest essence of human nature consists of self-preservation.”


What a mind f**k.

How in the hell am I supposed to self-preserve and seek love at the same damn time?  And that, my friends, is the question I ask myself every day.

I have literally ruined great potential partnerships by my unwillingness to open up completely, in that regard. As caring of a person as I can be, when it comes to dealing with relationships with men, I have only allowed them to get but so far, until I feel myself falling. Then, I take a lap and trap myself behind this extensional, proverbial wall.

Now, this wall? It’s not like Cheeto Satan’s alleged wall, but it might be just as absurd. In my mind, it’s made of glass, so technically, I’m able to see bae on the other side, and he can see me. (hey boo!) We talk to each other, we send cute gifts and exchange texts and calls. Every now and again, I come out from behind it when it’s time to be intimate, but I always return to my side, and he’s simply not allowed to cross the line.
Not only can that make one look emotionally unstable and partially insane, it can also be truly exhausting for the other person to think for example, that he’s getting ready to play basketball, and then I show up with a hockey stick, some cleats and a relay baton, smiling.  Girl, get your life.

The truth of the matter is, in order for me to truly love and be loved, that wall must come down. This is also not just a woman thing. I recognize that male vulnerability is a unique nuanced experience, that can be beautiful and just as difficult.

So, what does it ultimately boil down to, friends?

Fear.

Jazmine Sullivan said it best:  *sings* ‘’I’m not scared, of lions and tigers, and bears, but I’m scared of loving you.”

I feel you, sis. It be’s like that. We all know that when you lend your heart to another person, you’re essentially giving them the ability to break it into a million bite sized pieces. One day, I’ll tell y’all the full story. but basically– many moons ago– a bright eyed and bushy tailed Grace entrusted her heart to someone. Needless to say, brotha man violated in the most horrific of ways, and I haven’t quite been the same since.

Therapy? Yes. I go. But a decade later, I realize that I am still subconsciously fearful of the possibility of being hurt to that degree ever again. That said, a more recent romantic situation has taught me how much I can lose if I don’t overcome this obstacle.

I’ve come to understand that you have to harness the power of the V. (no, not that V. Nasty… Although, that post may soon come) and let it work for you. Understand that:

1. Great things are on the other side.

You might get hurt, granted. That’s life. But you also might flourish and find the great love that you’ve been yearning for. Discernment is key to deciding who and what to expose yourself to, but completely guarded emotions, cannot and will not work.

2. Self-Sabotage ain’t cute.

It doesn’t look good on you. Why push yourself further away from the things and people who are beneficial for you?  As ambitious women especially, I have no doubt that we will go for the jobs, apply for the promotion– but with love, we hesitate. Emotionally blocking yourself for the sake of safety is natural, albeit. But it can also be unproductive.

3.  You’re worth it: Say it with me. Vul-ner-ability. You will literally get nowhere from behind a glass wall. In order to move forward in love and in life, you have to open yourself up. It might not always get you the answers you want, but you will have the ones you need.

Trust yourself.

If for the first time, or like me, again.  

After all, Freud also said, “out of your vulnerabilities, will come your strength.”

It’s about time for me to take his– and my own–advice.

 

By: GraceOnTheMic
Twitter & IG: @GraceOnTheMic
Previously posted on: http://www.thegraceperiod.com/
#AreYouVSOP #TheVSOPLife
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5…

 

On July 31, 2011, I embarked on a journey with a woman that I was in love with…madly in love with.  When I woke up that morning, the sun was shining bright and I had time to reflect as all of my groomsmen were recovering from the night before. I decided to take a walk through downtown Hartford to clear my head, reflect on my past, and focus on my future. I understood the gravity of the step that I was about to take and I accepted that with an open mind and open heart. I received a text from Orsella Cooper-Hughes, the Officiant of our wedding, who is a trusted family member and spiritual advisor. Her message to me was simple, “keep God first little cuz, today will be a great day”, and that it was! The fine details of the wedding went as planned. It was one of the hottest days of the summer, but it was an epic event and truly one of the greatest days of my life. When the party was over, the last vendor paid, the last rounds of toasts made, and the last of the guests departed. There remained my beautiful bride and me, left to start our journey with each other and God. That day was the beginning of us as husband and wife; the start of a marriage that has faced many ups and downs, heartache and happiness, challenges and triumphs. The past five years have been full of experiences and a wide range of emotions. It has tested our faith in God, our belief in ourselves and our belief in one another.

Sacrifice is one of the first thoughts that come to mind when I consider the first five years. Sacrifice is defined by Webster Dictionary as “the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone.” Our first year of marriage was defined by sacrificing comfort, money and time in order to solidify a better future for ourselves and our family. Throughout that period of sacrifice, there were experiences and stressors that we faced that have done a lot of other relationships in. Fortunately, we were blessed to have a good foundation established by our pre-marital counseling, a strong faith in our relationship, a real friendship that was formulated prior to intimacy and God as our guide. Oh and one other big thing, we did not allow others to “peek into our blinds” by taking to social media with our issues. We were and continue to be selective in what we choose to share with the rest of the world, some things simply aren’t for everyone to see. When the times have gotten rough, we put down the electronic devices, draw closer to one another and our trusted few.

Acceptance and support have been huge in our union. When Melissa walked down that aisle, she walked into the arms of a very flawed man who was and remains a work in progress. She knew what she was getting herself into, as did I. We have accepted one another for who we are, what we bring to the table and what we lack. Though there has been a ton of acceptance, there has been very little settling. Though we have accepted the fact that the other person has flaws, we do not settle for anything but the best from one another. That means that there are difficult conversations that need to be had and many “GET IN THE CAR” moments (that’s an insider that a few of you will understand). Another aspect of acceptance is accepting the dreams of the person that you devote yourself to and supporting them in every endeavor. Anybody that knows me knows that I am an extremely active person with big dreams and lots of goals. My dreams and goals come with a price and that price is usually time. I thank God that I have someone by my side that supports my endeavors, listens to my dreams and helps me to make sense out of the best way to achieve them. As our lives have grown, so has the list of dreams, projects, and endeavors that my wife has taken on. I have tried my hardest to be intentional about reciprocating the support and encouragement that she has given to me. The balance of being each other’s biggest fan is important and necessary.

Fun is extremely important to have with your partner. Make time for one another to do the things that make you happy. Whether it’s a date night once a month, spending time with a group of friends that you both enjoy or simply finding a babysitter and having dinner without interruptions from the little ones in your life, enjoying one another’s company is helpful. It reminds you of the “magic” that led you to commit to forever with one another, it helps you to remember that in the midst of all of the curve balls that life throws, you have one another. It also provides a very necessary balance to the grind of building and securing the future of your family.

Lastly, love one another and love unconditionally. There will be good days and there will be bad. There will be disagreements, rolled eyes, raised voices and moments of “I can’t stand you right now”. During those moments, remember to love. In the midst of financial turmoil, choose love. When the doctor gives a bad report, choose love. When there’s a loss of loved ones and other forms of heartache, choose love. When your pride tells you to try to get the last word, choose love. No matter what the situation or circumstance….choose love. In order to choose love, you must remember to focus on love and what it is about the person across from you that made you fall in love. Be intentional about telling them what they do that makes you fall in love all over again and focus on making those things happen for your partner.

Remember that there will be times in which choosing love does not seem like the answer, during those times….choose to PRAY for the person that you love. I am a man that is far from perfect and what works for my relationship may not work for you. This is MY view on what has sustained the first five years of my marriage. I am blessed to have an amazing wife who has taught me what love, acceptance, support, and encouragement is. I truly cannot imagine what my life would be like without my wife. She is an amazing wife, mother, step-mother, and friend. She is goal oriented, driven and did I mention –she is drop dead gorgeous! I look forward to many more milestones with her and the growth of my family. I believe in love because of her and I believe that love always wins when you want it to.

Happy Anniversary to the most amazing woman in the world and cheers to forever!

 

Tai D. Richardson
#AreYouVSOP #TheVSOPLife
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Give Her That D.I.C.K

Give Her that D.I.C.K

The sweetest woman in the world could be the meanest woman in the world. If you make her that way.  You keep hurting her, she’ll keep being quiet. She might be holding something inside, that’ll really really hurt you one day.

On your first DATE you wore your best clothing. You went to the barber shop that day just so you can look and feel like a million bucks. We all know how we feel once we leave that barbershop chair, with that fresh razor straight edge up. You sprayed your body with your finest cologne. Your car was clean from head to toe, with a hint of that new car smell, that you sprayed as you were leaving the car wash.  You actively searched Google for places that were somewhat outside the box of your normal thinking; somewhere you can dine for the evening. You both were equally excited as you stared into each other’s eyes, talking, listening, flirting, charming, laughing, smiling, eating with hopes to end your night staring at your phone waiting for that “I had a good time text.” Ten years later, you look back and wonder what happened to that feeling as you lay in bed on a Friday or Saturday night next to your significant other, watching them fall asleep after a long exhausting work week. Fellas, are you forgetting to DATE your woman? She needs a night out with you where she can get all dressed up. She wants to laugh with you. She wants to you to take her places since you always have a big issue with her going out on the weekends with her friends.

WWE superstar Kurt Angle used to have an expression that went something like this: Intensity, INTEGRITY Intelligence, the 3 I’s as he often referred to it. When it comes to the mind, body and soul of a woman, she tends to focus on one thing as it relates to a man. INTEGRITY. What are you doing, who are you doing it with, why are you doing it, when are you doing it and how are you doing it? Matter of fact, think about that good morning text or afternoon call. Does this sound familiar? Hey wassup? What you doing? How you doing? What you doing later? What time will you be home? I’m actually laughing hysterically thinking about my own circumstances and how frequent these questions come. At the end of the day a lot of women struggle with trusting the integrity of man. If you are spending half of your conversations addressing your social media behavior, the mysterious text messages that you frequently get with no saved names, or your late night disappearing acts with delayed dry text messaging responses, you are raising red flags that will derail any easing on down the yellow brick road when you are seeking satisfaction. In the words of Ice Cube and R. Kelly, check yourself before you wreck yourself, cause when a  woman’s fed up, there ain’t nothing you can do about it. It’s like running out of luck. And it’s too late to talk about it. INTEGRITY.

It’s 5:30pm in the afternoon. You just got off work and your body is screaming for the following: sleep, food or the gym. You have to pick up the kids, go home, and figure out how to do all of the above before your body simultaneously agrees to shut it down. You walk into the house to observe your wife, girlfriend, significant other or whatever you call her stretched out on the couch getting caught up on her favorite reality show. As your nostrils intensely search for  just a hint of something jerked, curried, fried, baked, broiled, barbequed, microwaved, shaked or baked, your brain has come to realization that it was just your imagination. As an amateur you blatantly cry out, “Baby you ain’t cook nothing?”  Ignorantly failing to realize that one question alone dried up the river of life ceasing any possible advancement to wade in the water later in the evening. Fellas let me help you out with something for a second. Big momma and ’em are gone and don’t appear to be returning anytime soon. Women are educated, career empowered, mothers and community leaders, equally if not more busy than their male counterparts. NO way am I saying that women don’t know how to cook nowadays, but the expectation and frequency of this skill set is what I am addressing.  When speaking in a certain love language ask yourself this question:  When was the last time you baked a bean, mashed a potato,  filleted a fish, oodled a noodle? Nothing is more sensual to a woman than watching her man cater to her for a change by setting the dinner table and engaging in a CONVERSATION (that you actually LISTEN to) over something that you have prepared for her, making your quest for Camelot more rewarding. If dinner wasn’t such a powerful tool, then why did you take her out to eat on your first 5 dates when courting her??? Cook her some dinner…

Cleaning is the new form of communication. When a man cleans up after himself, his children and after dinner it expresses a few different things. Watch me work and don’t miss this point. I learned that simply cleaning bottles without being asked or told can really make a woman smile. It expresses to her that you are willing to make the same sacrifices she makes daily. Simple task right? But easily forsaken when the Knicks or Eagles are playing. Waking up and changing diapers in the middle of night is also a shared, silent form of communication. This next example is a big one. After she cooks, you get up and say don’t worry about the dishes you’ll take care of it. Cleaning is a shared responsibility. It eliminates the gender role complex that most modern women in this generation want to HULK SMASH, and it can express a form of appreciation. It took me a while to grasp this concept. All I have to do now is master the art of laundry and I’m golden. You can’t make love on top of a bed full of dirty clothing. CATER to your woman.

When was the last time you really KISSED your woman? She is dying for you touch her soul with your lips in ways that you used to. The touch from your partner is extremely important. It’s not always about sexual intercourse. A kiss good morning, a kiss good night, and kissing while engaging in sexual intercourse can go a long way. I believe that most women enjoy the passion that comes with kissing. Think back to when you both first started dating…

Moral of the story, gentlemen, is simple. You are complaining that your woman has decreased in her wild sexual nature, but you stopped speaking to her needs. The hot, lusty, passionate chemistry that you all shared when you were steaming up the back seat of cars is gone. You need to stimulate her in ways that don’t require sexual advancement. Watch how she responds. While you are looking for SEX from her, she really wants, needs and responds to the D….

Don’t debate me and give her the D.I.C.K… (DATE, INTEGRITY, CATER, KISS)

 

By Mr. NiceGuy
Twitter: MrNiceGuyVSOP
IG: Trev.s.op
AreYouVSOP #TheVSOPLife
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Your Newborn Doesn’t Give A SH!T Bout The NBA Finals

Merry Sports Christmas, ladies and gentlemen. Yesterday was the first day of the NBA finals. Now I understand that basketball is the number 2 sport in our hearts, and that the NFL is the juggernaut in the United States, but the Superbowl is only one game. The Superbowl is Thanksgiving and the 7 game series that makes up the NBA finals is the 12 days of Christmas.  The first day was incredible, right?! We saw 48 minutes if phenomenal basketball that had us at the edge of our lay-z-boys (then a bull shit extra 5 minutes where the Cavs looked like they ran up the 5 interstate from LA to Oakland, and the Warriors looked like they took a stroll around Lake Merritt, but that’s besides the point). Lebron gave a King-like performance. Curry gave a Chef-like performance. Tristan Thompson was saying go-go gadget arms on the offensive glass. Klay Thompson was locked in from 3. Kyrie had the Golden State defense on skates. Draymond Green screamed. A lot. It was incredible to watch!

So let’s backtrack. If you have followed my earlier posts, you would know that I have a newborn. Reece Austin Rubenstein is 12 weeks old today. He’s getting bigger and cuter by the day. It’s an amazing experience watching him literally grow in front of my eyes. I fall in love with him more every day. Seriously. I’m sure the parents reading this understand, and the non-parents will when you have kids. I promise.

So, my wife’s niece was staying with us for a couple weeks before she moved into her apartment for the summer. Last night my wife took her to that apartment so she could move in, so it was just my son and me in the house. Thus, I did what every great father does, I put him up on game. We talked about women, we talked about being a good person, we talked about his (my) aspirations for him; we were the homies for the night. It was about 8:17pm eastern standard time, and I got everything ready. I changed his diaper, I set up my bowl of chips and my drink, and I turned it on ABC to watch the pre-game for the first game of the NBA Finals. Everything was perfect. I sat him on my lap and gave him my finger to hold. He was happy. I told him that this is the game that has shaped my life to this point. This is the pinnacle of the highest level of basketball, and he needs to appreciate it. I told him who each player was and what they can do. He responded with drool, laughter, and incoherent speech, that sounded like a mix between “no” and “damn dad, you’re so awesome in every way, thanks for making me and showing me all this cool stuff”. Probably closer to “no” though. Whatever.

So it’s about 8:54pm and it happened; the first whine. Ah, but I know how to mitigate that. Threw the pacifier in his mouth with swift speed, made sure he was comfortable, and continued to watch the pre-game. 8:57pm he spit that out and gave a bit of a cry. Nothing too serious though. I threw the pacifier back in his mouth, picked him up and started carrying him back and forth in the living room. But the crying got louder, the head was thrown back, and we were at full fledged problem stage. It happened so quickly! We went from male bonding to panic mode within a 4 minute span. Seriously, his face went from this (smiling pic) to this (screaming pic). I couldn’t believe it. I turned him on his stomach because he likes that, but NOPE, still screaming. 9:03pm. I took him to his changing table and checked his diaper – it’s clean. 9:05 pm. I’m still carrying him around the apartment, and I see it! His swing! Let’s use that. I placed him in the swing, I threw on the classical music he loves, turned on the vibration, and I threw that bitch on level 6! Success! Silence! 9:07pm. Louder screams. I’m certain my neighbors can hear. I’m dejected. I picked him up and carried him some more. Did some swinging with him. Nothing was working. 9:10pm. I missed tip off. I pleaded with Reece, “Please son, this is important to us!” He had no respect for me, my eardrums, or my basketball watching aspirations.

The young man was tired. I ended up getting him to sleep around 9:23pm. The Cavs were winning. Lebron already had 5 points. I missed the beginning of Christmas.

My wife came home around 9:40. I handed Reece to her and explained what happened. She consoled me. She’s a good wife. I watched the rest of the game. I loved it. It was everything I hoped it to be, and more. Honestly, I haven’t had as much fun watching an NBA game in my adult life. In complete silence. No cheering allowed. With my son sleeping between my wife and me. Because your newborn doesn’t give a SHIT about the NBA Finals.

By: D. Rubenstein
@wildmanjones
#TheVSOPLife

What About EVE?

Image By: Mihai Criste

The coolness of the waters from the waves that fled the ocean kissed the tip of her toes. She lay naked in the sand as her eyes slowly gave birth to the stillness of the autumn breeze. Her nostrils inhaled the sweet fragrance of the sea and distant scents hailing from Eden. Life began to settle into her nervous system and she arose from the earth confused, alone and hesitant to take her first steps. As she began to wade along the shallow shore, she noticed what appeared to be a breathless life lying across the sand. Her eyes were immediately stricken with admiration, adornment and compassion. She fell down on one knee and began to nurse the appearance of an open wound that rendered “him” unconscious.

For days she sat by his side until he came to. When he awoke to her presence, he instantly fell in love and rejoiced in the Lord for fulfilling the emptiness of his heart. All the riches of the world that he ruled and governed couldn’t compare to what he felt for her. She did not need to worry, because she had everything that she could ever want, need or desire; yet in still, she felt something and had no explanation for her intuition.

One day she woke up and much to her surprise, he was not there. She felt abandoned, vulnerable and left with the responsibility of making independent decisions. For just a few moments she grew ignorant to the ideals that were instilled in her by his wisdom and understanding of his ordained leadership appointed from above. Wandering in unfamiliar land, she was intrigued by her own intuition simply because she didn’t understand why she lacked knowledge of all things that her flesh desired. Who would have thought that this one decision would have a detrimental effect on society and would shift the atmosphere in the universe for everyone? With no knowledge of her true identity, the moment she sunk her teeth into the forbidden fruit, she became EVE.

Eve, who told you that you were naked?

 

Who is Eve? The world has taken our most perfect creation, and given her an infinite amount of subjective, gender specific, stereotypes. If someone were to ask me to list a series of adjectives, to give life to the meaning of the word WOMAN, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. The thought to me seems too overly complex. Pondering who she is, why she is, what she is, and how she is, honestly makes me feel uncomfortable and somewhat judgmental. I love her because she completes me. However, my heart is broken as I watch the world objectify and take her for granted, it makes my blood boil. I also understand that there is a glass ceiling that needs to be shattered by her mighty fist. I sympathize with her plight caused by years of classlessness along with glorification of her sexual presence. In all of her tribulations I remain proud of her, because her spirit continues to thrive. Even in barren lands of loneliness due to the absence, oppression and exploitation by Adam, she emerges. Over time, she has redefined herself, but one question still lingers in the atmosphere: “What about Eve?”  As we continue to toil with the the appropriate language to “diagnose” the role of EVE, let me abolish any idea that we can simply restrict the spirit of EVE by sealing an air tight top on a glass jar and labeling it, “THE ROLE OF A WOMAN.” Just look at our failed attempts as we continue calling her out of her name.

She told me she hated her father shortly after receiving word of his passing. The man that was supposed to be her super-hero failed her by simply not being present. A father was never present in the men she chose to lay with. A father was never there to remind her how beautiful she was. So she found her spirit dormant; late at night all she had were her words. Her pen spoke to her book of rhymes as she confided deep dark secrets in between each page. She grew up confused and cursed the man that now lays six feet deep. She thought her dark skin made her ugly, while her natural hair made her feel less appealing to her light skinned,long haired counterparts.  Her son Patrick reminds her so much of her no good “baby daddy” and she continues to struggle to secure a good man. Someone once told me that the easiest woman to sleep with was a female that has low self esteem and daddy issues. It has come to the point in her life where she concludes there are no good men anywhere.  We call her Angry.

I went to college with her in 2005. I recently saw a photo of her graduating at top of her class from Columbia University. She looked so proud and radiant on Facebook, as she stood next to the President of the University. Smiling as the photographer captured the moment, she became Dr. Cynthia Matthews. Cynthia is doing pretty well for herself financially. At 29 years old she owns her own condo and drives a beautiful Mercedes Benz E550. Her rich taste in fashion adores Louis Vuitton, Versace and Donna Karan. She often frequents happy hours with her co-workers that are well known to the movers and shakers in her industry with hopes of expanding her network. The conversation varies between the light hearted jokes, diversifying financial portfolios, exotic vacations, and fine cuisine (her own version of Sex and the City). There is no sight of a  significant other, so she masturbates her way through her nonexistent sex life. She absolutely has no desire to settle for any man that does not bring equal value to her lifestyle. We call her Independent.

Stephanie has a lot of self confidence, and she proudly displays her voluptuous 36- 24- 42 measurements. You assume all she does is work at a strip club and host parties with local rappers and club promoters.  However, in reality she works as a Nurse in a hospital as a career. In addition to her amazing body and exotic appearance, Stephanie is independent and extremely personable. However, she is all over Facebook and other social media outlets, with her assets and liabilities on “Front Street,”doing it for the “likes”. Her life is fairly simple and her lifestyle is easily acquired. Her motto is very common to many, “F@ck N!g@$$, Get MONEY”. She doesn’t understand why females feel the need to hate on her, because to her, they are “UGLY.” In addition she snickers wittingly, and asks, “why is their man always in my inbox?” She tweeted once, “the same man you say won’t respect me or take me seriously in a relationship is the same man that doesn’t take you seriously, because he’s cheating on you with me. So l’m going to get this money, you can keep the man.” The youth of today call her a THOT.

Isn’t that Rachel? The same girl that was just with Darin a month ago? Yea that’s her.  She also used to date one of my college football teammates, and my frat brother Justin. I think she’s just had a string of bad luck. Heart break after heartbreak, things just never seemed to work out for her. It’s a shame too, because she’s a very nice girl. She’s smart, good looking and she sure can fry her some fish! Wait, but who’s that girl she’s with though? No, don’t tell Mona got her now. The neighborhood dyke strikes again. Mona often used to tell me how she just waits patiently for the next heart broken female to come running to her when they are simply sick and tired of being sick and tired of men. So she reaps the benefits and helps them identify with certain aspects of their sexuality. I mean who could blame her? You call her a Lesbian, but you believe it’s all a front. 

All Jennifer wants is equality for women, if a man can do it so can she. After all, who wrote the book on double standards anyway? She wants equal wages for all women, she doesn’t want to be sexually restricted by the subjective views forced on her by men. She speaks with an astute, yet witty vocabulary and has every intention of leaving a relevant and direct point of view. The woman with the iron fist sores to the raptures and shatters the glass ceiling. Her persona and presence will not be forecasted to identify with a gender specific role. She stands in the middle of a protest ridden highway intersection topless and calling for justice. The world calls her a Feminist.

She is brave, educated, ambitious, sexy and irreplaceable. Regardless of our personal opinion and slightly chauvinistic points of views at time, as men we have to continue to uplift our women. The true knowledge of self is forever evolving. The woman that bit from the tree of knowledge is no different than the women of today, who continue to seek knowledge of self. As life continues to tempt her with images of man-made doctrine and ideals, she just may sample the fruit that is most appealing to her. One thing for sure, she never stopped loving Adam and she never tore down his identity of masculinity, even in states of emotional disconnect and spiritual warfare. As Eve continues to toil through stereotypes while breaking down the barriers of her social class, she remains wounded yet triumphant. I call her a WARRIOR. 

The perfect gift, that’s what she is. Whispers of God’s promise to him, she became a wife. Eve is an architect and a creator of life that lays out a blueprint to build and replenish the nation with the future of our next generation. She is a teacher of God’s word and she is a healer; as she saves lives of the sick in hospitals all over the world. She is an intellectual, delivering powerful opening and closing arguments to defend the innocent and prosecute the guilty in the court of law. Eve is a Mayor, Governor and possibly the first female President of the United States. The day Eve became empowered with the knowledge of her true self, she decided that she could literally be anything that she so desired. So yes, What About Eve?  As you continue to decide what you want her to be, she will continue to rise and progress past any stigma that we place on her. Her role in society will continue to be an evolution of transition.

 

Adam called out to her and the enemy fled. Eve batted her eyes and used her sexy appearance to lure Adam into a sense of confusion. She asked him why can’t we partake of this fruit in the garden. It looks so good and I am dying to know what it tastes like. Adam replied, Eve here I am. I am all that you need to satisfy your curiosity of life. Now follow me, take my hand and let’s replenish this nation. And Eve threw down the fruit, took her husband’s hand and toiled not for the rest of their lives. Adam was home and Eve never broke a sweat as long as she lived. She had no reason to feel insecure, helpless, and defeated. Together they filled each other up with everything they needed. And remained naked in Eden.Or NAW?

 

By:MR NICE GUY

Twitter: MrNiceGuyVSOP
IG: Trev.s.op
#AreYouVSOP

+1? 4Y!? (Plus One For Why?!)

So I’m reading this blog that I frequent, and one of the writers wrote a post about Netflix passwords. Within this Netflix password post, he starts with an anecdote about plus-one events like weddings (and eventually got to how sharing Netflix passwords with significant others is a thing, but then you gotta change the password when it’s over because the plus one on the password is no longer a plus one… really good stuff). Anyway, I couldn’t get my mind off of the plus one at a wedding. It was just a part of this writer’s set up, but it’s a common thing that people think and I can’t wrap my mind around it. Like, WHY would anybody feel the need for a plus one at a wedding?

Let’s break down what is happening in the scenario. In order to feel the need to have a plus one, said person is single. Not single like unmarried, this person is actually single. How do we know? We know because it’s a wedding, bro. I had the biggest wedding that I’ve ever been to. 250 invites that led to 220 attendees, and the guest list was a huge hassle! The wife and I fought over the guest list many a night. This means that lots of thought is put into the guest list, and everybody who is invited has been scrutinized. We see you when you’re sleeping, we know when you’re awake, we know if you live with your girl and if your relationship is serious (for goodness sake). If your relationship is serious, then two spots are saved with the quickness. If your situationship is NOT serious or if you’re not in a situationship, then you’re single, and you don’t get that plus one.

*SIDEBAR* Being that guest lists and weddings are generally on the small side, do you realize how important that invitation is? That invitation may say “You are cordially invited to blah blah blah” but what it really means is “Ay bruh, you are one of my closest MANS! You know, like REALLY important to me. Important enough that I’m gonna spend over 100 bucks on you to come eat and drink with me on the MOST IMPORTANT day of my life and all you gotta do is show up.” Do you non married people realize how dope that is? *SIDEBAR CLOSED*

Anyway, so now you’re a part of the chosen few. Keep in mind, each party only gets half of the guest list (anybody that knows me… do you realize how hard it was to limit my list to 125?!). Then the single people will send a text and ask “yo, bro… uh… what’s good with a plus 1?”. You wanna make somebody mad? Send THAT text to a person who decided you were worthy of being on their wedding guest list. That person already fought their fiancée to get you on the list last week, and didn’t get any sex as a result, and now you wanna ask for an additional person? C’mon son!

However, I get it. Society, magazines, TV, and movies make y’all feel like you need to bring a date. Fair enough. But again, let’s break this down. You’re going to celebrate a union of love between two people. Everyone loves that. The most thuggish dudes will look away during written vows to ensure that thug tear doesn’t soak his velvet suit. Everyone is smitten with love. That’s how weddings work. But have y’all not thought about who attends weddings? ALL OF THE BRIDE’S SINGLE FRIENDS! And while the thug is looking away, the brides friends said f*%k it and their brand new form fitting dress has tears soaking the straps of their halter top. Tears of happiness, and tears of yearning for THAT type of love. This is the beach, my friend. Why bring the sand?!

After the ceremony, there’s generally a cocktail hour with passed out hors d’oeuvres and free liquor. Think about this fellas. This is like the best supermarket run you’ve ever had. Instead of reaching for the same tomato and having to make small talk, you and a finely dressed lady that is still swooning over the love in the air, are reaching for the same bland stuffed mushroom plate and with an alcoholic drink in your hand and an automatic commonality that you both can easily bring up to break the ice. If that’s not a Chris Paul to Blake Griffin alley-oop, I don’t know what is. Additionally, you JUST started drinking so you still have your wits about you!

Still not convinced? Cool. Let’s play out the plus one scenario. You asked the baddest single woman you know to stunt on these hoes at the wedding. You pick her up and she looks like a Thanksgiving spread at Grandma’s crib. You’re hyped. You roll up there and help her out the car door (because you’re reading VSOP and you’re a gentleman #nshit). You roll up in the wedding with her on your arm. Every dude there gives the mandatory black man’s head nod. Every chick gives her and you the once over. You even see some eye rolls. You won! Then cocktail hour happens. You can’t really mingle how you wanted to because you have to introduce her to all your boys. You can’t meet anybody attractive cause that’s kinda disrespectful. You have to continually get up and get her drinks if she’s not very social, because she doesn’t know anybody there. You can only really dance with her all night because the other attractive women are swooped up by the real unattached guys there and they’re looking for love. Now you’re bored and as a result you drink too much and your date gets mad at you and now y’all gotta call an Uber and leave early. You just had a night of introductions and conversation with somebody you don’t really care ALL that much about. On top of that you heard rumors that one of the bride’s male friends dirty macked on her while you were getting her a drink and he bagged it. That night sounds like it sucks to me.

Furthermore, two months later, the two of you decide it’s not really working out. The sex got repetitive, the conversation was lacking, your friends don’t intermingle well, she’s a vegan and judges you for eating a steak, you prefer ESPN to episodes of The Bachelor, and you heard that she was seen at the movies with the bride’s friend from the wedding. Yup. Soak that in. So what did you actually do here? You just brought a random, who nobody will ever see or think about again, to the event that your good friend threw to celebrate the most important day of his life. You took pictures with said random that are in your friend’s wedding photo album FOREVER. That random took away a seat from another important person in your friend’s life, and it’s all for not. Thanks, homie.

So don’t be that guy. Don’t bring replaceable sand to the beach. Don’t ask for a plus one. You’re just causing damage. Embrace your single. Find your new queen (for the night) there. I’m not saying that this happened at my wedding or anything… but you MIGHT get lucky in the bridesmaid suite with one of the bride’s homies. Love is in the air, after all.

By: Doug R.

@wildmanjones

#AreYouVSOP

Love Triangles : The Truth Behind Cheating Part I

Okay, picture this:

A popular couple named Mary and John are in a long-term, committed relationship. To onlookers, it seems that Mary and John are happy. Friends and associates often witness public displays of affection from each partner, banter, and innocent flirting. Occasionally, Mary and John will even declare their love for one another on social media for the world to bear witness. So needless to say, it is obvious that these two individuals are in a monogamous relationship. In fact, those friends within the social circle idealize their union. That said, the fact remains that what is shown publicly is not always a true representation of what happens behind closed doors. What if I told you that despite the illusion of this great relationship, that a number of problems occur in Mary and John’s relationship? What if the reality was that John has been cheating with a woman we will call Jessica–a sexual relationship that predates Mary and John as a couple?And not surprisingly, Mary is unaware of Jessica’s identity….but oddly enough, she knows that her boo is unfaithful and may have had several affairs outside the relationship. To make matters more interesting, Jessica is very much aware that John is in a relationship, but continues on as his secret lover. Well John, Mary, and Jessica are members in love triangle.

Now, if you had a reaction of disgust towards Jessica in her role within this affair, you more than likely share the reaction of mainstream society. After all, the mistress, for one reason or another, is typically the one deemed most accountable in situations like the one described above. And more often than not, we relate with Mary, label John a “2 timing jerk,” and refer to Jessica as a “home wrecker,” or a “hoe.” And let’s face it, John is usually forgiven and given a clean slate, even after repeated offenses. Meanwhile, the”other girl’s” image is tarnished and she is devalued by both men and women alike. Being that this is a controversial topic, the voice of the “side chick” often goes unheard, in fear that she will be shamed and judged for her lack of self control. An experience far too taboo to address, leaving the mistress silenced from expressing her viewpoints and conveniently protecting the cheater’s reputation.

Love triangles are known as interactions between three individuals within a relationship system, by which each member carries out a pattern of behaviors that create an unhealthy relationship cycle. Love triangles can serve a few functions. In most systems, it is used to alleviate stress within a primary love relationship. The 3rd person in this case is used as a distraction to provide temporary relief from relationship conflicts. In other cases, the unfaithful partner may pull in a 3rd person when feeling insecure in the primary relationship (i.e.: suspicions that their partner may be cheating and therefore he or she must beat partner to the punch). The security provided by the 3rd person may also compensate for some voids within the primary love relationship. In this dynamic, the unfaithful partner may place the 3rd person on reserve as an alternate love interest (just in case the main partner breaks up with him/her). Some cheaters tend to also gain a sense of power and control through cheating. Cheating, for these people, provides a feeling of empowerment– it allows the cheater to make up for relationship failures by feeling successful in other areas of his/her life. However, simply put, cheating can be viewed as a red flag for low self esteem; a need to be desired by others as a means of gaining approval. Those individuals who cheat, even in secure relationships, utilize cheating as a way to build self-confidence. The acceptance provided by the 3rd person tells the cheater that he/she is wanted. In all, for the cheater, admiration seeking becomes addictive; a hunger that is never fully satisfied.

Now given the details of this “love” pattern, we can now ask the obvious question. Why, would a “side piece”, continue “creeping?” Here are some answers. Jessica similarly to Mary, has a co-dependent personality. A co-dependent in any unhealthy relationship, will place lower priority on his/her personal needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of the dependent. In fact, co-dependents indirectly encourage cheaters to continue cheating! Prioritizing the needs of others and neglecting the self is not at all uncommon in co-dependent individuals. But what the co-dependent may not be aware of is how his/her “selfless” acts empower a person who may likely crave control, and who has become masterful at the art of manipulation. Other factors to consider are what makes the co-dependent more prone to this personality trait. Arguably, one may consider nature vs nurture; the idea that personality is formed by environmental or biological causes. In short, one develops co-dependency via their social environment (home, school, media, etc). Those individuals who have been exposed to domestic abuse, not exclusive to physical abuse, but also including mental and emotional abuse, are most vulnerable. Although, some may say that co-dependence is just natural in some personalities. Co-dependency also plays a major role in self-esteem and self-worth, as the overly selfless often learn from their environments that they are undeserving, and therefore unworthy of healthy love relationships. This trait is found at the root of all obsessive lovers and explains why co-dependents stay in love triangles. So basically, co-dependents remain as a side piece because their main objective is to keep their ‘lover’ happy by any means, perhaps in hopes that they will at some point become the main lover. This thinking is sometimes driven by manipulations of the cheater, who may give the co-dependent false hope for a future. In terms of morality however, the co-dependent becomes  ‘numb’ after having been involved in cheating cycles for so long.

To conclude, love triangles are clearly very unhealthy. They hinder growth in love relationships and cause considerable emotional damage. And cheating problems seen in love triangles are far more complicated than uncontrollable lust–they are driven by complex emotional, behavioral, and social issues.

 In the follow-up blogs, we will take a further look at the profiles of the cheater and the main partner.

Disclaimer: The statements outlined in this blog do not define all situations seen in cheating dynamics, but rather discusses a basic overview on the principles of infidelity, and factors that may contribute to such relationship systems. Furthermore, the character names used in this blog are fictional. Any connection to real life events or actual persons is purely coincidental.

By: Saylor C Brook

Disclaimer: The statements outlined in this blog do not define all situations seen in cheating dynamics, but rather discusses a basic overview on the principles of infidelity, and factors that may contribute to such relationship systems. Furthermore, the character names used in this blog are fictional. Any connection to real life events or actual persons is purely coincidental. 

Trending Topics: #Marriage

In an age when time and space are conquered by technology, we have become so digitally intimate and involved with the lives of those both near and far. The dissemination of personal information no longer requires the archaic phone-call. Word of mouth is mastered under the140 character format. No more dialing to update the family on the good news. Instead, those fingers will type your happiness and send it out for the world to see in less than a minute! How could you possibly deny it? Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) has taken our private lives and made them 24/7 accessible and assessable. No longer are the days when our lives and experiences were shared one to one. Rather, we “post” our lives for all of our friends’ review, in hopes that we’ll win the unspoken, but extremely intense, “like” war. It’s actually rather ironic, when you consider how close we’ve become as a people while driving the actual intimacy out of our real lives.

Anyway. To the point! While discussing life and love, a friend and I stumbled upon the not-so new phenomenon of young marriage. Why are “everybody and their mammas” getting married and having kids, while we, more career driven and goal-oriented folk, instead chase personal growth and success? What makes marriage and children so appealing in their 20’s? I know that I barely know myself well enough to bring another person into my life for the rest my life, let alone to bring another human into the world that will depend on me while I’m still searching for me. We went on to talk (actually text, ironically) about how social media plays a part in all of it.  Are our friends following a trend? Maybe they’re being subconsciously triggered by images of Bey and Jay on the run with little Blue. Surely the glamour of Kim and Kris Hum– I mean Kanye’s marriage, combined with the arrival of beautiful baby North West has some influence. Yes of course that’s part of it, but the bigger picture is not so farfetched as it may seem. They may actually be following (pun intended) their biggest influences…each other!

There’s a science to it, I swear. See, our digital selves are vastly different from our real selves. With social media, one has the ability to create a façade around a coal of a life with every selective post, eventually making diamonds for others to admire.  Quite literally, DIAMONDS! (Assuming you’re in your 20’s) How do you feel when your friend posts that engagement rock selfie that says her boyfriend of 3 years “liked it so he put a ring on it”? Genuinely happy of course, but I’m sure that some self-searching is soon to ensue. Some, if not most, will wonder why they haven’t attained that level of happiness. In fact, I’ve seen the jealousy with my own eyes! It looks and sounds like “I’m so sick of seeing ______’s post about her wedding! Like, do we all need to know that you’re getting married every minute of every day? Some of us just want to live our boring unromantic lives and eat pizza.” (not an actual quote but #ijs) I imagine this person is either out there somewhere filling that gaping hole with a slice or making efforts toward finding “something real”. I personally am a sucker for children and always find myself thinking, “I would do that right now if I just had the money.” …Who the hell am I kidding?! I’m 25 and don’t have a pot to piss in!

What I’m saying is social media has downgraded and uploaded the social experience. We are no longer following tradition, but rather images… on instagram. Back in the day (don’t know when) people married young for economic reasons or out of arrangement, sometimes even for love. Today it almost seems as though we’re getting married young because everyone will “like” it. Now, I’m not knocking anyone’s happiness. Whatever’s real is beautiful, and if yours is a real love then I salute you. I just worry that it all makes a sacred ritual and “the miracle” extremely trivial. Couldn’t those wedding funds be used to build financial stability? One honeymoon vs one hundred vacations? Are we evolving or dissolving? Any thoughts?… Tweet em.

 

by: Jared Dixon
@itsjdixon
http://www.jaredixon.net

 

ADAM WHERE ARE THOU

[So He looked down from high as He waited for Adam to appear, so they could continue with their daily fellowship, praise and worship. But Adam never showed up. He sat waiting patiently, marveling at all of His creations, thinking to Himself and saying, “I can’t wait to show him my latest creation for him to rule and have dominion over.” However, Adam never showed up. The wind blew across the ocean and the sun smiled at the earth. As He laid on a pillow of clouds, whistling at the blue sky, He rested patiently waiting for Adam. But Adam never showed up. After basking in His heavenly ambiance for a spell, He arose and stepped down from on high and went foresting through the garden, looking for Adam as He called out, “Adam oh Adam, where art thou??” The crickets responded, the birds continued chirping, the bees flew around pollinating, and the waterfalls continued to trickle down, landing in the pond, completing the harmonic symphony of the garden. Yet still, Adam was nowhere to be found. An uneasy emptiness in the midst of His spirit began to churn as treason flowed through the core of His love for Adam’s presence and adornment. He could feel the disturbance of betrayal, heartbreak and fear as Adam suddenly appeared. Naked and terribly afraid, he spoke, “Here I am. I know that I’m not where I’m supposed to be. But I only took my eyes off of you for a few seconds Lord and…well, now I’m confused and lost. Father, where am I?”]

A man is born, he is raised, he is called, he reaps what he sows and then he dies. Each stage of a male’s life cannot be escaped; it is just how life is meant to be. Somehow, one would think that these killings of black men are not meant to be; but yet, they are happening. So what about the process are we missing? Let’s examine the supposed process:

1. A MANCHILD is born ready to learn and absorb every aspect his culture has to offer him. His sponge like mind forces him take in information, whether it is deemed good or bad. From the moment his eyes are opened, to his first steps, the child is looking to be lead and emulate what he sees. When you came into the house drunk and swearing, he processed that. While nodding your head as you listened to that song with the explicit lyrics, he watched and nodded too. When you thought he wasn’t watching, he took mental notes, waiting for one day to do what he saw, making daddy proud. What happens when daddy is not there and the environment raises a child? Growing up in inner city communities, a lot of our children fail to understand the consequences of their decisions. All they know is what they see. Most young black males marvel at the luxuries money can provide while being driven by the need to obtain fast cash by any means. They sit back in admiration while studying the males that have the money to obtain fresh “kicks”, nice clothes, jewelry, nice “whips”, and of course, attract the opposite sex. Drug dealers, pimps, criminals and their surrounding peers are making money as their adolescent hunger increases, which ultimately lead them to feast in the devil’s kitchen. These are the men that are directly influencing and raising our children from a distance. Our children need men of honor raising and leading them so that when they grow old they will not stray. Adam where art thou?

2. Look outside your window and these Young Men represent something greater than their harsh reality. They are so proud and organized. They are future successful businessmen working their way up the ranks. Structure is in place; leaders emerge, managers building teams, accountants that handle the banking administration, and workers processing their day-to-day assignments. These individuals have political influence, international connections and respect for the rules and regulations of operations. Instilled with military value and tactics they are prepared to serve and protect their territory. The only problem is, they are gang affiliated and participating in illegal activities, laundering money, distributing drugs, guns and narcotics to their own communities. Creating genocide in the streets that they call home, they have great and powerful minds with the wrong business plan. Possessing excellent sales and marketing strategies, but servicing the wrong product. Proactively increasing their network and connections, but with the wrong leaders and administrations. Traveling from city to city around the world, you would think they were studying abroad. Most importantly, the brotherhood, bond and pride for their organization supersede the love and loyalty they have for their own children, parents and family. So, Adam I ask you again, Adam where art thou? (I don’t get this)

3. Wherever a lustful, deceitful, ratchet and sexually explicit woman is, so will follow the Growing Man of our generation. A man who is in the process of experiencing what it means to be a GROWN MAN, but is not quite there yet. His mind is hazy and filled with uncertainty. It’s so easy to be distracted as a man in life when there are so many avenues; from fulfillment in our career, to the media, female exploitation causes man to fall further away from his true destination. Heavily influenced by provocative photos of video vixens that aspire to make a come up these days, we continue to be deceived by her sexiness. While you are making it rain in the strip club, or surrounding yourself with attention seeking vixens in music videos, you’re empowering the rise of the lust goddess. You pimp her, you throw your shallow animalistic perceptions, disguised as dollar bills at her. You mentally and physically abuse her, enabling and enslaving her as if this lifestyle is acceptable. So she continues to adapt and she raises the next generation of men. She was our gift and you failed at your chance to educate and teach her who she is and why she is so valuable to our existence. She’s lonely and lost without you. Adam where art thou?

4. You replaced the shackles and chains with prison bars, stripes and a number. You are a GROWN MAN that is now considered state property. Your hand is pressed on a glass window as you look at your son or daughter in the eye with your ear pressed to the receiver, to tell them you love them and you are sorry you missed his or her 5th birthday. You promised them that you would be a better person when you returned, but how? Your growth has been stunted; you only know how to be the man you were before you went in. So an overworked, physically tired, heartbroken mother walks in holding her babies, leaves and goes home only to lay with an abusive poor representation of a positive male role model. So you return to your child whom is now growing not knowing how to effectively be a GROWN MAN. Rather than accept the challenge, you return to sit in your cell with your hands on your face, dying in the years with quality father time as it continues to pass by. Why is it that prisons are overpopulated with African American males? They all had the opportunity to make a conscious choice to achieve something that their ancestors sacrificed their lives to have. Instead of hosting graduation parties for college graduates, the whole neighborhood gets together for a cookout and after party when Dope Boy gets out of prison? We always seem to have bail money, but seldom have money for college tuition. GROWN MAN, when will you realize you turned your back on your ordained destination? To be a KING. This was the life you chose; instead, an 8X12 box is your throne. Adam, where art thou?

5. Finally and most importantly, take me to my leader. Where are the ELDERS that we were always told to respect? Who’s ready to stand up in our community to lead a fallen generation to the mountaintop? What happened to the church community and power that was led by men to address issues that impact our communities? The churches have fallen to corruption, greed, political influence and false prophets whose lifestyle contradicts one of a shepherd. All behaviors that have driven away new souls for God. The heart of the community lies within the church, but somehow the church doesn’t exist; just a business with a cross as its logo. Who’s ready to return back to their father and restore our rightful place in the Garden of Eden? We were made to worship Him and bask in the fluorescent breeze of peace and prosperity. But when the church doors open you’re still at home in a drunken state of mind. Adam where art thou?

[Your child is looking out the window waiting for you to come home from work. Your daughter is waiting to feel the true unconditional love from her first male example. Your son is waiting to make you proud and is aspiring to be just like you. Your woman needs her king to lead her into a flourishing prosperous life filled with love, honor, and protection. Your community needs a leader to combat the evil that floods our streets with lies, corruption, and false representation of our true existence. Everything that was promised to us awaits in the distance, while the clouds pass through the sky and the ocean continues to roar. Tears continue to fall from heart broken faces waiting in a distance while God opens his arms gazing into the valley sitting patiently for you to return. But you never showed up. ADAM where are you?]

 

I Love Him Because I Hate Myself pt.2: DRUNK IN LOVE

Photo Credit: @thablck5heep

Drunk in Love
Breathing through that last glass of wine
That travels through your veins
Escaping your present state of mind
Eloping to a conscious diluted coma
Engulfed in flames surrounding your den of lies
Burning a sweet fragrance
to disguise the aura of bullshits aroma

You be all night

Lust fills your eyes and releases
The time that flies by during the week
Where quality time is returned null and void

Incomplete
conveniently available when the moon speaks
you reply first yea I’m not sleep,
to him 1st message received out of 3
so you win and he knows what that means

You be all night

Filled with the symphony of melodies
Allowing your body to become his piano keys
He plays you
But in your world he’s making love to you
And it feels good
As long as your well is filled with 90 proof
So you feel all of him, skin to skin
You cant move swimming in his kids

You be all night

Drunk in love
You be all night
But in the Morning……

Greetings and salutations, welcome to the continuation of the “I Love Him But I Hate Myself” series. If you have not done so already, I invite you to be brought up to speed by reading the first post in this series, “LOVE…So Many People Use Your Name In Vain.” To fully understand the context and theories of my opinion, it would best serve you as the reader to digest the aforementioned. This blog is entitled, “Drunk In Love.” Do enjoy

 

Dear Ladies:

His name was Dorian. He attended a major university and had the presence of the most desired male on campus. A superstar athlete, scholastic achiever and philosophical philanthropist that had a smile that spoke to the wind. I mean ladies adored him as if he were their cold glass of iced tea on a hot Georgia day. When he spoke, women gazed into his eyes and became lost with his words and astute presence. Standing over six feet tall, his clothes complemented his masculinity, creating an uproar of competition and admiration. Blinded with tunnel vision, Dorian only had eyes for one lady. Her name was Lena. Lena played hard to get because she too was a very attractive woman that had plenty of options. Why would she ever settle for anything less than a Dorian? In her mind and in her world she deserved the best. Her desire for attaining a high profile, quality man was her primary objective before engaging in another sorry-excuse-of-a boyfriend. Her previous boyfriends were “bad boys” that fulfilled her inner lust of that lifestyle.

Needless to say, when Dorian approached Lena he wooed her into a romantic vision of perfection, with promises of admiration, love, honesty, and respect. Lena fell head over heels like she was back in grade school. This is what she always desired. She had been praying for a GOD fearing, educated, attractive man that saw her for more than just her physical attributes. As time went on, their relationship grew as well, intensifying itself from casual dates to thought- stimulating conversation. It was inevitable that their relationship would eventual evolve into sexual desires. It was a Friday night proceeding another romantic, eventful evening and Lena invited Dorian up for a night recap in her dorm suite. Dorian took her hand and looked her in the eyes saying, “Lena, I love you and before we go any further, I think you should understand that I don’t believe in premarital sex; I believe that as a Christian man, I should trust The Lord and wait to take our relationship to a sexual level. I am willing to give myself to you wholeheartedly, spiritually, and mentally, allowing our relationship to blossom into something that you have never experienced with anyone else.” Gently he asked her, “This doesn’t change things does it?” Lena gasped and turned grey, took a step back and remained speechless. She turned and looked into the hallway mirror nibbled on her bottom lip and closed her eyes. Dorian took that as her answer and with a bowed head slowly exited her dorm room. WOW. Do you know how many times I’ve heard a woman say that they want a good, God fearing, respectable, honest man? Well what happens when he shows up? Often times women say things like they want a God fearing man, but really they want someone that is something like a Christian as long as his faith doesn’t compromise or interfere with their fleshly needs.

LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX LADIES. That clearly is the elephant in the room. In the previous blog, a very artistic description regarding the ideals of LOVE was presented. Each emotion and physical activity has always had a divine purpose. Have you all given deeper thought as to why we engage in sexual activities? Sex is an important aspect in relationships (if you disagree you’re lying) however, we live in a sexually driven society that celebrates and empowers the act without fully understanding why. Society markets sex as an integral ingredient in having a healthy relationship however, there are so many single sexually liberated individuals, which forced me to reflect; personal experiences have afforded me a chance to re-educate myself on sex and the risk associated with it. Through the process of deep thought, evaluation, and reflection (months on end) I was able to form a “working” definition.

God being the manifestation of LOVE, manufactured man through his own image and took from man his rib. Built to stand side by side with her king, God prepackaged the most precious gift He could provide by creating woman. In doing so, God gave birth to matrimony, a sanctified union. When married men and women engage in sex, they are really celebrating a reunion. During intercourse, a man enters a woman, and the celebration of unification and spiritual wholeness begins. Woman, who was once taken from man, has been restored when the two become one body, mind, spirit, and flesh. As the man enters the woman, they have reconnected back to one flesh, becoming the image of GOD whom is love. The two literally have just made LOVE by doing so. Have you ever engaged in true LOVE making before with that focus, spiritual intentions or intensity, or do you still see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind? Let that digest before you move on.

Sex is like a beautiful rose growing in a bush of thorns. Its elegant existence and purpose is overshadowed by sexually explicit behaviors that we are taught which represents the thorns, making it painful to embrace. The world as we know it has diluted our consciousness to believe every dirty thing there is to imagine sexually. These epiphanies emancipate us from its original perfect blueprint designed by our Creator and Architect. His plan didn’t involve child support payments, sexually transmitted diseases, pornography, broken hearts nor coincidental lesbianism (oh now she’s gay right?) I mean ladies, how many times do you wake up and regret the decision that you’ve made by giving yourself to another undeserving male? The fact of the matter is, sex is more dangerous now than ever before. The penalty for making poor reckless decisions outweighs the joyous feeling of patience and anticipation for something that you have been craving . “All good things come to those that wait” (except when it entails your sex drive?) It gets to the point where you stop counting certain people simply to justify that it wasn’t a real sexual experience. Some of you will even say, “I have to sample what I am going to be stuck with for the rest of my life,” because truth is the moment your sexual numbers became number two, that’s when the confusion bean; now you have knowledge of something different. How can you grow sexually with a loved one if you have shared so many other experiences with a great deal of other unworthy individuals?

A lot of us are sexually confused to the point where we are just never satisfied and we keep sampling different strokes with different folks, still finding our spirits are left broke. Our drunken state of mind has become intoxicated with lust, tarnished by our reputation and trapped in the depths of our insecurity. As we continue to hop from bed to bed sharing each other’s DNA, we are literally leaving a piece of our subconscious with someone else while inheriting portions of their contaminated vessel, yet you continue to pull your panties back up. Have you ever randomly still felt connected to someone years later after a sexual experience with them or find yourself thinking about them sexually, later feeling disgusted by it? Part of me believes that a piece of our soul is released with every sexual climax, but that’s just a theory. So again I ask, if you came face to face with a good guy, how much baggage would he have to accept before he decides to commit to you based on your sexual actions? In addition, how much baggage would you condone from him just so that you can justify how you feel about yourself? It’s not a coincidence that you lay next to a reflection of your inner hatred and despise the fact that he had an opportunity to waste your time. You both drink from the same well of promiscuity and insecurity. Who you give yourself to is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself.

So are you in love with you or hate who you have come to be? It is believed that “drunk sex is the best sex anyone could ever have with someone” or at least that’s what society wants us to believe. We use alcohol to bring us to a place of physical pleasure, which in most cases leads to sexual liberation just so we can temporarily escape present reality. Webster’s dictionary defines the word drunk as: “overcome by strong feelings or emotions; caused or influenced by intoxication to the point of impairment of physical and mental faculties.” Someone out there is asking, “what the hell does this have to do with loving someone because I hate myself?” Who are you sexually in a sober state of mind? Let’s take alcohol off the table for a second. How often do you find yourself in a sexual relationship with an EX boyfriend? Too uncomfortable to move on sexually because he’s what you know and what you are used to. He failed at being the man you wanted him to be in your poor insecure world and you’re too stubborn to compromise your sexuality. How many female friends do you have that are someone’s mistress or side chick? Or what about the girl that doesn’t feel pretty enough? She hates her skin tone, body weight and facial features, so she uses sex to escape her feelings of loneliness and insecurity by attaching sex to a feeling of comfort and acceptance.

Finally, what about the girls that just plain old love sex. “MEN DO IT SO WHY CAN’T WE?” You’ve heard that crock of nonsense before right? Quite frankly, it’s so sad that our men have led our women to this place of resentment, confusion and reckless acceptance. My message to her is your sexual escapades are secretly masked as enslavement. You created a sexual need that has you out of control and it digs you deeper into a cesspool of bondage. How will you ever settle for one guy comfortably and actually grow sexually with him without comparing him to what Tyrone used to do? Some of you women are drunk, literally and emotionally. Your system is polluted with lies, insecurities and in some cases drugs and alcohol. They have you trapped within your sexuality and you utilize sex as a weapon thinking a 90 day rule is providing some sort of solid foundation to fornication. Two kids later you find yourself in a situation where your sexual desires have you drunk in love and now you lack substance. Now you are ready to learn from your mistakes and are willing to think more with your heart. However, you are too intoxicated to recognize a good man in a sober state of mind and too damaged for that good man to want to deal with. What do you have to offer? So what happens next? Is there light at the end of the tunnel for you? I think it’s time to sober up.

Stay tuned for my concluding post entitled, “In The Morning.”

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