All Articles Tagged "monogamy"
By now, you’ve heard Wale’s song “BAD” and probably let your head sway along with that smooth chorus. But did you really catch the lyrics?
[Hook: Tiara Thomas]
Is it bad that I never made love, no I never did it.
But I sure know how to f#%k.
Hmm is that bad?
If you caught last week’s episode of “The Game,” you saw the shock on Brandy and Boss Lady’s face when Keira (Lauren London’s character) revealed that she was a virgin. A 25-year-old virgin was laughable. But why? Why wasn’t that admirable? Why was she encouraged to gon’ and give it up?
Why is having sex by the time you’re a certain age, whether you’re married or not, expected? I’m a 25-year-old virgin. Am I missing something? Or am I waiting for true love? I know that may sound corny, but what if we have a shallow view of our body’s worth? What if having sex without love is not all it’s cracked up to be? From every angle I’ve seen, including a few scenes of “Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta,” all sex before marriage seems to do is just complicate things. Then again, I don’t even have to go that far, I see what it’s done to friends and family members. We’re not just sexual beings, we have emotions and souls too. So, don’t all those elements get intertwined when one has sex? For women, it definitely seems so. And if not, if you say you are able to have sex without feelings, doesn’t that mean you are dehumanizing yourself to merely an object to please others and be pleased? Are you really okay with that? I’m not. And I don’t think any of us should be. I think we should want more. We should want to experience the giving of our precious bodies to another under a lasting covenant. Sure, marriages are failing left and right, but does that mean that our bodies are now less valuable as well?
I could say at least wait to make love, but even that is selling yourself short if that “love” is before marriage. Imagine a world that waited ’til marriage and kept their vows. Think about the pain that wouldn’t exist in so many hearts. All of my friends who have been sexually active and now are waiting and praying for God to send them a husband they can worship with (yes, worship is what they call it) tell me that I should be glad I’ve waited. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have desires just like the next person, but I also have to have boundaries. They may sound like rules and regulations, but sometimes boundaries prevent us from forsaking great for good enough. I’m sorry, but Joan’s three-month rule (Girlfriends) and Steve Harvey’s employee probationary allegory that also applied a 90-day rule, shouldn’t be enough for us. We’re not talking about a job here, our beautifully and fearfully made bodies are on the line.
Considering that I’m a virgin, I’m sure some would argue I don’t know any better. But what about someone who does — from experience? It just so happens that my best friend—an up and coming songwriter whose written for and with some accomplished artists and songwriters —has another way of looking at love and sex. In her remix of “Bad” Natalie Lauren asks, is it bad that I want to find love?
A date is a meeting between two individuals who may or may not have been previously acquainted, coming together for the purpose of getting to know each other. Dating is the process of continual encounters between two people for the purpose of furthering their knowledge of one another to see if they are compatible with each other for a potential relationship. These definitions make dates and the whole dating process sound pretty simple, right? So then why is dating so complicated?
I believe dating is complicated because people don’t have similar goals in mind when going through this process, and people make more of a first date and dating than what it really is–a simple meeting or meetings to get to know someone on a different level. People have the tendency to make more of casual dating than what it really is because some get caught up in focusing on whether or not the person is ‘the one’ and what they can potentially bring to the table, rather than enjoying the person for who they are and enjoying the dating experience as a whole.
Now I know the whole purpose of dating is to get to know someone to see if there is potential there for a relationship, but honestly, when a person is primarily focused on having a relationship, then they make the dating experience complicated for both parties. How and why does this happen? This happens because people miss the steps of effectively communicating about their hopes and expectations and are half scared to come straight out and say that they would like to soon move forward to being involved in an actual monogamous relationship. People often confuse dating and monogamous relationships because during the dating process, many fail to communicate whether or not they are dating each other exclusively, with the purpose of moving forward in monogamy, or if they are dating other people…especially when the dating experience becomes physically or emotionally intense. When two people are involved in a dating relationship and they start feeling each other, they somehow miss the step of both parties agreeing to be exclusive and end up in a semi-relationship without proper communication, and when this happens, individual expectations and goals change for one if not both people, and that’s where things start to get complicated. What people should do when dating someone familiar or new is take their time and enjoy the person for who they are and not focus so much on if they will walk down the aisle with them in holy matrimony.
One should also realize that just because they are dating someone, that does not mean that you are the only person that THAT individual may be dating, especially if the two of you have not mutually agreed to see each other exclusively. Many times when people discover that they really like someone they are dating, they want to pursue a relationship with them, but the other person involved may not want the same thing, thus leading to hurt feelings and bruised emotions-especially if and when things become physical. That’s why when you’re involved in the process of dating, don’t just limit yourself to one person. Dating is a fun experience that should be taken serious, but somewhat lightly at the same time. It is the process of getting to know someone, but it is also a process of elimination, and if you are focusing solely on one person, you have automatically eliminated and alienated yourself from one aspect of dating. Dating is a wonderful thing when mature people have effective communication and truly take the time to get to know each other for who they are for a simple or greater purpose. Take things slow while dating, know what your intentions are with someone, know their intentions with you, be clear about the expectations, explore your options and take your time…
Have you ever confused casual dating for a monogamous relationship?
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin
Dear Single Sistahs,
I am writing this letter to my Single Sistahs who are in a monogamous relationship, those who are engaged or desire to be married, those who are in the beginning stages of a relationship, those who are in a monogamous relationship with potential for marriage, and especially to those who believe they have the influence and power to change a man.
I am even writing to my Sistahs who are engaged or married to ‘reformed’ players, playboys and jiggalows. I’m writing this letter to my single and married Sistahs to let you know that you can’t turn a man-slore into a husband. Why can’t you turn a man-slore into a husband? For these simple and common sense reasons: 1.You can’t change a man’s mind about marriage, or settling down. Why can’t you change his mind? Because it’s his choice whether he wants to marry you or not. It doesn’t matter how much you cook for him, how often you clean for him, how good you sex him (or how much), how often you keep his kids for him, how much you call or text him, or how many other husband privileges you give your boyfriend or significant other. None of this will change his mind or influence him to become a husband or even your husband.
Reason 2. It’s not your job to change his mind about marriage, or settling down. Many of us believe that when we meet a man we believe to be ‘the one’ we have to do everything within our power to convince him that we are ‘the one’ for him. So we have the tendency to do the things previously listed to show him that we are worthy of the ring! But what we often fail to realize is that within relationships our only job is to be his companion while being who we are, because the bottom line is if he wants to be with you monogamously he will. And guess what? If he wants to marry you it’ll be for who you are, not what you can do for him, because the truth of the matter is there is nothing different you can do that another woman is not willing to learn or has already done, but you can be you. So don’t wreck your brain or your body trying to change his mind. It’s not your job.
Reason 3. You should accept him for who he is, and who he’s not. If the man you are seeing is not one for settling down and wants to continue playing the field, then your best bet is to leave the relationship because you don’t want to waste your precious time waiting for him to marry or settle down with you and he’s not interested in marriage, or monogamous relationships. On the other hand, the man you are in a relationship with may not be interested in marriage or monogamy at this point in his life, and you have to be okay with that because it’s who he is at this time in his life. It doesn’t make him a dog or a playboy; it’s just who he is and what he wants to do with the relationships he’s involved in at that point in his life.
Reason 4. A woman cannot teach a man how to be a husband; that’s something he must learn from other men, married or even those that are divorced. Trying to turn a playboy, or even a man who is not a playboy into a husband is not something a woman can do because a woman may know the traits and characteristics they want in a man for a husband, but only a man knows how to execute those traits and characteristics, and only a man can show another man how to do so. He has to be willing to watch other married men, and listen to their advice on marriage. He can even listen to men who are divorced and listen to what not to do in a marriage. But the main thing a man has to do is have the desire to be married. My Single Sistahs (and married ones) it’s not our job to convert boys to men and men into husbands, but it is our job to walk uprightly as women they will want to marry.
You’ll have to excuse my grammar on that headline, but after what I witnessed on VH1 18 hours or so ago, it feels appropriate. Last night “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” premiered on VH1, and yes, I watched, and no, I’m not ashamed. Aside from the fact that there were points where I needed an interpreter or at least subtitles and Lil Scrappy’s mother (Momma Dee) being a former pimp and the embodiment of Frankie and Mama Jones rolled into one (they did have to use subtitles for her by the way), in my opinion the show wasn’t so much a detrimental exploitation of black women as it was a sad representation of naive, lovestruck women in general.
I tuned in maybe three or four minutes after the show started so it wasn’t until I’d sat through all of Stevie J, Mimi, and Joselin’s disturbing love triangle, that I caught the opening segment of the show on the 10 pm viewing and realized Stevie and Mimi had been messing around for 15 years. And messing around is exactly what he was doing last night and likely for the entire decade-plus that she’s been calling him her man because there’s no way a guy could suddenly be that bold when the cameras start rolling. And the fact that he was that obvious with High-Definition film capturing every moment tells me he just doesn’t give a damn. He came into the situation that way—and from the sounds of things, Mimi always knew it. I wanted to call them the Jim and Chrissy of the show, but even Jim wasn’t that bad and he managed to put a ring on it in about half the time that Stevie has—if he ever will. You could say he bought Mimi a house but it was clear that home was like hush money: Stay out here in the burbs with the baby while I do me in the apartment in the city.
Not far behind Mimi was Erica Dixon who admitted that rapper Lil Scrappy essentially left her as soon as he blew up. And then when we forgot about A-town stompin’ and the allure of Lil John went away, so did his fame and his replacement chick, Diamond, and surprise, surprise, he came back “home.” I’d like to point out that after 10 years with this woman, Scrappy made it clear last night he wasn’t 100 percent sold on the idea of being with the mother of his child, while she somehow thought she won the prize because this man eventually came back to her. No, hun. No one else wanted him.
What was bad was as I watched the show I wanted to say, women like this don’t really exist but they do. I’ve seen them. I’ve nearly been them, except it only took me three years of off-and on-ing with somebody to be like, oh, ok so you’re just never going to have your ish together, huh? Good to know. But I’ve seen the friends who have done seven years, had a kid that they think gives them top priority amongst a slew of other women who were smart enough not to let this man plant his seed, and thought they were top notch because he always came back. What’s a bigger shame on this show is women in their 30s and 40s don’t know any better and they don’t mind if millions of viewers know they don’t.
This is the point where signing up to be exploited comes in to play because this show isn’t really revealing anything to Mimi or Erica, they’ve known all along that the men in their lives weren’t even making half-a**ed efforts to be with them. And I’m sorry, it’s one thing for you to do me dirty and I find out, it’s another for you to embarrass me in front of my friends with your shenanigans, and it’s a whole other beast to sign up to be made a fool of on national TV. But really it all goes hand in hand. If you don’t think enough of yourself to not waste your time on a man who isn’t even trying to front like he’s monogamous, then you certainly won’t see a problem looking like a fool in front of the general public.
I was going to say I need one of these chicks to have an Emily B. epiphany like within two episodes but I forgot she backtracked down the Fabolous lane too. (Sigh RIP to that whole independent woman spiel.) Regardless, I’m going to need the Atlanta ladies to get a clue and some self-respect ASAP and realize the only love these men have for them is loving the fact that they can do what they want to do when they want to do it and they won’t go anywhere, i.e. no love.
Check out a few clips of the love, or lack thereof, below. What did you think of last night’s premiere?
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I am writing a response in regards to the article I wrote last week about being the girlfriend of a man who is in an open marriage. It seems I had quite a few questions, comments and concerns about this situation, and I am here to address a few of them and clarify some things. Hopefully.
First off, this is very new for me. The married man and I have not been together long, and I am the newest of the women in his circle. Therefore, I am just learning how to adjust and handle this open relationship in regards to time, insecurities and fears. I don’t know if anyone can relate to being around someone who, even though you may not see them often, can make you feel as if you are the only person in the world in his life; that can make you feel comforted, safe and secure and loved just by the sound of their voice. It is an amazing feeling to have and it allows a lot of those “technical difficulties” to melt away, at least for a little bit. People have insecurities in monogamous relationships, being open doesn’t change anything. But being able to have open and honest conversations about what your partner is feeling and doing, wanting and needing allows those insecurities to diminish because you’re able to speak freely without any fear or guilt.
My fears right now are based around questions: Is this going to last? Or is this what I really want? I have come to the realization that I can’t determine what’s going to happen down the road, I can only determine today. And today, right now, I believe our relationship will last. I know this is what I want, because I know, in the short time I have been involved in this open relationship, I have learned more about myself, become more open to seeing other sides of myself, and I am loving myself even more. So yes, this is what I want. It is not to say I will not have another serious relationship with someone else, because more than likely, I will find someone who lives closer to me. But despite that, I plan on keeping him as a constant factor in my life.
A big concern in the comments was his relationship with his wife. Yes, his wife does have other partners who he knows, converses with, and seems to respect as well. Yes, he and his wife do have kids who know everything and seem to have an understanding about their open marriage.
This relationship is not about me allegedly having low self-esteem, a want to just have anyone in my life, convenience or any other negative connotation you can create in your mind. It was a friendship formed through emails, speaking on the phone and texting, which turned into an immediate connection when we first met. I would never think having a man thousands of miles away would be considered “convenient,” and in my own opinion, my self-esteem must be fairly high to be able to open my mind to something different because of the joy and love someone else brings me.
Progressive love in an open relationship is based on four simple principles: Its purpose is for growth while its benefit is love; 100 percent availability, which means no bail outs or cop outs; 100 percent responsibility, which means no victims or villains, and 100 percent tolerance, which means no blame, and no shame. These four principles allow a relationship to be based on growth, where all parties are growing as a couple and as an individual too. We’ve taken the idea away that a relationship’s purpose is not for love, but for growth, because as each individual grows and gains more knowledge, then love becomes a benefit from that growth.
I am not here to create chaos in your minds or to cause uproar in your relationships. I wrote the previous article, along with this one, to enlighten you and to possibly show you a new way of looking at relationships. An open relationship may not be the choice for you and that’s fine. But as I continue to date other people in the city I am in, while knowing I have a man across the country who loves me and is the male foundation in my life, I am content where I am today. I am open to love from him and whoever may come into my life in a positive way. I look forward to learning and growing through this progression.
If you would like to get more information or understand these types of relationships, I encourage you to check out www.jujumamablog.com and open your eyes, your mind and your body to something new. Just my opinion.
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I stood at the airport waiting for him to come down the escalator to baggage claim, anticipating the energy I knew I would feel as soon as he was in my presence. This was my time. It was my chance to be with a man I love, a man I enjoy being around, a man I would do just about anything for. It was my turn to be with my boyfriend, a man who just so happens to be in an open marriage with his wife while having multiple girlfriends…including myself.
This wasn’t a situation I ever expected to be a part of. Why would I want to be with a man who is married, who has other women, who is open about his other women, and who would not be committed to me 100 percent?
He lives on the East Coast. I live on the West Coast and his other women are spread throughout the country, four of us to be exact, including his wife. I am the newest girlfriend of his and I have met and spoken with his wife. I do plan on meeting the other women as well. He and I speak on the phone quite often, but our time alone with each other is definitely the hardest part of our relationship, due to him being so far away and so busy.
It confuses me every time I think about it too hard. And then I hear his voice, and I feel at ease. He tells me, “I Love You,” and in my heart, I know he’s being honest about it. When we are together, he holds me, touches me, kisses me, and makes me feel like the goddess I am. And when we have sex, it’s not two physical bodies bumping into each other, it’s our bodies coming together as one, communicating our love to each other. In that moment, it’s about us and only the two of us, and then I don’t feel like just a girlfriend.
Yes, there are a few feelings of insecurity and jealousy, but not any more than I would have in a monogamous relationship, because while I may not want to hear details of what he does, I know that what he is telling me is the truth.
This man is not only teaching me how to be a sexually fulfilled woman, but also how to be open and honest and loving so I can receive the love I am deserving of. He is showing me there are men who are respectful, forgiving, sexual, sympathetic, and loving out there and he is showing me how to get what I want and what I need in my life, whether it’s a career, peace of mind, or even another man.
So, it’s not a big deal about him being married, because he’s not lying or cheating. His wife knows about me, has met me, and is fully aware of who I am in his life and I know and respect his wife. It’s not about him having other women and being honest about it, because men cheat every day. I will always prefer a man to be upfront in regards to what he wants and who he wants versus sneaking behind my back every day. And it’s not about not being committed to me 100 percent, because he is. He may not have the ability to be with me every day, every week, or even every month for that matter, but he is committed to me and my life and the goals we have together. Yes, we have goals together.
This is more than just an open relationship. It’s an “Open Lifestyle” and it’s complicated and hard for most because too many people are so used to being closed and shying away from being honest with each other, especially when it comes to love and sex. Progressive love is allowing the feelings within you to be free; to live in the moment and enjoy it. This is what keeps me here. Because I love LOVE and I love being able to give it freely and openly while receiving it in the same way. I have much to learn, plenty to understand and a multitude of feelings to sort through, but in the meantime, I’m progressing in this open lifestyle one day at a time.
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Do humans have a natural inclination to be with (and sleep with) only one person for the rest of their lives or are we still too close to our animalistic nature to live this type of life?
We posed this question to some people walking the streets of New York. See what they had to say about this topic.
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With the donor pool as slim as it is, and the waiting list as long as it is, I’m surprised that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would propose such a limiting provision in its new set of health guidelines.
Under the proposed policy, people who’ve had sex with two or more people in the past year will be placed in a high-risk donor category, noting the increased potential for spreading HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Have things gotten that bad?
Let’s be honest, if this policy is enforced, it would severely limit the number of low-risk donors in the matching system, and transplant experts recognize this too.
“With the new guidelines, every college student in America will be high-risk,” Dr. Harry Dorn-Arias, a transplant surgeon at the University of Virginia, told msnbc.com. “Right now, it’s probably a prostitute or a guy with a needle in his arm. Next time, it will be just a young guy.”
The policy could also have an adverse effect on patient’s willingness to be transplanted, said Tracy Giacoma, transplant administrator at the University of Kansas Hospital. “It’s probably going to triple what we consider high risk at this point. It may scare patients off from taking these organs. More patients may die because they don’t take these organs.”
Obviously, the CDC says it’s first priority is safety, and that patients should know whether they are receiving an organ with elevated risk, but better screening methods to determine individual risk would be much better than blanketing everyone who’s had more than two partners in a year as high-risk.
Do you think the CDC’s proposed policy is too restrictive? Would you take an organ from someone who was labeled high-risk because they had more than two sexual partners in a year?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Kenya Stevens, co-founder of Jujumama, a love-coaching company, is like me, outraged at the abysmal divorce and out-of-wedlock rates in the black community. We both agree there’s a problem, but our solutions on how to solve it are as different as Mac and PC, Hemingway and McMillan, apples and oranges.
She and her husband Carl boldly put forth open marriage and sexual sharing as a viable option for both men and women and on its face, give some convincing arguments for why some should consider it. The couple has recently gained traction in popularity–they’ve been featured in Essence magazine, the Michael Baisden Show,” and “The Mo’Nique Show” on BET. (Mo’Nique has also stated she and her husband are in an open marriage.)
Stevens essentially says that people have been brainwashed into thinking human beings were meant to be monogamous and that only four percent of mammals in all creation are monogamous, which gives more credence to the human polyamorist ideal. She argues that Christianity and Islam are instrumental in shackling people into these rules. “That’s just a bunch of malarky to keep the peons in check. We’re not peons.” Lastly, it’s “the government” that doesn’t want couples to share resources because it doesn’t present a cost-benefit.
Stevens freely admits that she and her husband are in an open, sexual marriage. “Not only do we tell the truth about who we are and what we feel and what we desire, we can act upon those things,” Stevens said. And in fairness, she also states that some people have non-sexual open marriages in which they tell the truth about what they desire, but don’t act upon them. “The can have emotional love relationships with others, but they just don’t get out of monogamy.”
The goal, she says, it not to pursue sexual relationships out of “lust,” but out of “love.” Stevens said her husband has “lots of women,” and she has “lots of men,” but they have love relationships with them–it’s not just lustful sex. “We want to have an authentic love relationship with our partners. We’re not looking to have short-term one night stands, swinging, sort of, dangerous affairs. We want to add individuals to our community. I know my husband’s love partners, he knows my love partners.”
In most marriage vows couples pledge to be together until death. But situations and circumstances can change all of that. First on the list of obstsacles is infidelity. If you found out your spouse had cheated would that be the end of your union, no discussion? Or would you try to work it out? We asked this question to a few people on the streets of New York. See what they had to say.