Ever since Beyoncé premiered her new album Lemonade on Saturday evening, people have been diving in with their theories on who she is singing about. Is it her husband, Jay Z? Her father, Matthew Knowles? Perhaps an amalgam of both? All this sleuthing is fun and makes for good gossip fodder, but who Lemonade is about isn’t as important as what the album is about.
In the very first sentence of the first song, “Pray You Catch Me,” Beyoncé sings about tasting dishonesty and that is the trigger warning not because of the words alone but the way she sings them. The delivery is technically confident but emotionally shaky, which let me know the woman has been through something (or at the very least seen things happen to people around her), and she’s ready to talk about it.
I don’t need art to speak to me on a personal level to enjoy it, but the art I have always dug the most has been the work that looks or sounds the most familiar. In Lemonade I hear a woman singing about a man who sounds a lot like the man I used to be, and the man I sometimes am afraid I can become again.
When it comes to the discussion about domestic violence (or as they say in barbershops, “laying hands on a woman”), we’ve been doing it wrong.
We love to talk about it, but not until it becomes an actual thing in the news, when famous people are either the perpetrator or the victims of such an act. Then, the media goes out of its way to act like it cares. They say it’s a serious problem, start applying a whole bunch of statistics and try to say the celebrities involved are a reflection of an ongoing issue and we need to talk about it!
All of it is legit, because domestic violence is a legit issue and we must talk about it, we must educate people on it beyond the fact that it’s wrong, because we need it to go away. But domestic violence is never going away, and part of that has to do with our inability to really do any of those things I just mentioned.
It will begin the night before your last day together. If things have gone really well, the night before is when the high starts to come down, right before it’s time to go to bed and make love for what will be anywhere between the second to the last time or the last time before they get back on that plane or bus or car to travel back to wherever they live.
How to spend the last few hours together are determined by when they are scheduled to leave.
A couple of weeks ago I asked a question on Twitter and I wanted to repose the question here, not because I want an answer (though I’m sure there will be plenty). What I’m really looking for is discussion about the question itself. Here’s it is:
So it’s been told to me by a few people I have a snoring problem. Nothing too bad, they say, but still, I can admit I’m self-conscious about it.
The thing is, I have slept with women who have a snoring problem, and I’m going to be honest, whenever I shared a bed with them, I always felt like stuffing their mouth with a pair of folded up socks. Because this is how I feel about their snoring, I assume this is how women feel about my snoring problem. I’m grateful for their mercy, and their patience with the problem, but what if we go to bed angry at one another? That snoring I do is only going to make matters worse. Next thing I know, the two of us are looking like Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco in Goodfellas, with her sitting on top of me and a gun to my face talking about, “I’m tired. Stop. That. Snoring.”
To avoid such a disaster, I want to be proactive about solving this snoring problem. I did some research and I think I found a way to tone it down during night-night time. But here’s the thing, I’m hesitant because it’s not a sexy solution, and well, ladies, all I really want to know is if I choose to use this thing to help stop my snoring, can I still get some in the middle of the night or will you make me take this thing off before we do anything?
Here it is…
Since 2009, the most common celebrity I’ve been told I look like is Drake (Mom is now Googling Drake to see if she agrees with this). Sometimes, it’s J. Cole, but mostly, it’s Drizzy. I’m fine with that, really, because prior to Drake, it was still Chico Debarge, and he’s so washed up, I began to take the comment as an insult.
Now that my celebrity-look alike has been updated, the only question I ask when a woman tells me such a thing is, “Would you sleep with Drake?” If the woman says yes, then I thank her kindly for the compliment and of course, try to sing one of Drake’s song in her ear walk away. Do I agree with the comparison, eh, not really, it’s not in my gene pool to get a 5 o’clock shadow. But a compliment is a compliment, and unlike a lot of you women out there, I’m not about to be picky about the way I’m complimented.
I used to have a friend who smoked pot. I knew him before he even picked up the habit, and I remember when he started getting into it. He had this weird little strategy to avoid being labeled a pot head. He would keep count of how many times he smoked.
According to him, so long as he knew how many times he blazed one, he couldn’t be a pothead. He claimed true potheads have no idea how many times they get high because they do it with such regularity, and he didn’t smoke regularly. Within the first three months of his habit, he claimed to have gotten high 152 times. For those not good at math, there are never less than 90 days, never more than 92, within that period of time, which means, my friend definitely developed smoked as often if not more than a regular pothead.
So what’s my point?
There was a point in my life where I realized not every woman I sleep with has to be my girlfriend. This reality was nothing I came to all of a sudden. It’s something I learned over time; from witnessing a pattern developing in my life. While the number of girlfriends I had was dwindling, the number of partners I had was growing. Rapidly.
Things got to a point where I could count the number of girlfriends I had on my two hands, but to count the number of partners I had would require me to become an octopus with starfish fingers. Of course, as a man, I thought none of this was wrong and all of it was as it should be. I went to college and statistics show those who do go to college get more action than those who don’t, I also wasn’t getting any uglier or any more shy, so all of this, I thought, was a natural progression. To go against it would be like going against nature or something.
But something funny is happening with me these days, another pattern if you will. The older I get, the more I grow up.
As a consequence, I’m beginning to look at this whole casual sex thing a tad bit differently. I’m not saying it’s going to stop anytime soon (who knows when that day will come?), but what I am saying is, there’s some serious drawbacks to partaking in it.
One in particular has me seriously considering slowing things down, and it’s something I had to learn on my own because back when every older person in my life had the chance to tell me all the reasons I should only sleep with those I care about, they never gave me a real good reason why. So, allow me to play sex educator for a day and break down what I have discovered is one of the huge drawbacks to casual sex.
I don’t know if I’ve ever gone on record to declare the physical quality I find most attractive in a woman, so let me do so right now. It’s her face. And according to an article I read in The New York Times this past Sunday, this is the case for a lot of men, at least when it comes to finding a long term partner.
“More Than Just A Pretty Face: Men’s Priority Shifts Towards Bodily Attractiveness in Short-Term Versus Long-Term Mating Contexts” was a study written by two graduated students and a professor (two women, one man) at the University of Texas at Austin. In a sampling of 375 heterosexual students, women treated face and body alike. Meanwhile, 25 percent of the men chose to see the body when told to consider the person as a long term partner, compared with 51 percent who chose to see the body when considering a short-term partner.
All I could say after reading that is, “Duh.” Here’s why.
Well, damn. I suppose if I’m writing about it, it’s a big deal, right?
I mean, they’re just pictures of my ex and I back when we were together. They’d been lying in my profile pics album, pushed way to the back, beyond all the Obama pics I used to post when he was seeking election. They were getting old and not about to go back to profile pic status anytime soon, so I took them down. No big deal, right?
No big deal. But maybe, a move worth thinking (and thus writing) about.