Dating (A Brief History + Current Mood) Part 3 of 3

In any pattern, we must examine the constants. The first constant is me, I’ve been working on myself to be a better man and (potential) partner for 20+ years. I still work on this daily. During the “let’s stop dating” conversation, I never ask “what’s wrong with me” because any answer would be based on that one woman’s perception. The perception of one woman shouldn’t guide my decisions on how I navigate this life. One woman offered me feedback after we’d been on two dates. Like, WTF do you even know about me after two dates. You haven’t been to my house, met my cats, talked on the phone with my mama, you don’t know shit about me yet you offer feedback!? People are funny. So, I’ve made a conscious decision to leave my heart at home when I go out and meet up with someone. I’ll be clear about that when spending time with women. My heart is in a cocoon at the moment, it will emerge when the time is right.

The second constant is the type of women I date. I had to look for similarities in all of the women who couldn’t quite figure out why they didn’t wish to partner with me (yet they knew for certain that they didn’t want that). Once I figured out those similarities, I began to see things a bit differently. This is a statement based on experience, not ego. I have no trouble finding women who want to fuck me. Hypothetically speaking, how many of those same women would desire partnership with someone like me. Here’s the part where I would list all of, what I consider to be, my attributes. I’m not going to do that. I’m confident that I would be a good partner and father, I don’t need to convince my subscribers (you). I’m confident in this statement, not because I’m perfect and not because I’m done with my own development. I’m confident in this statement because I’m still willing to learn, grow, and be/do better as I unlearn toxic habits from my upbringing. I have no intention of meeting women and interrogating them as to whether or not they would partner with someone like me or not. Instead, I’ll just take more time trying to understand where their head/heart is before we make sweet bonings. 🙂 (Side note: I have no problem fucking on or before the first date. But, if I really like someone, that sex might get my heart involved before I understand whether or not she wants her heart to be involved or not. So, slowing down makes more sense in these cases.)

This is the first time in years that I’ve been completely unattached, romantically. Sure there are people that I care about, but they are all in cities miles away from me and (you guessed it) they all have partners. “Jet, I thought you were polyamorous or ethically non-monogamous or whatever TF! Why do you care if you get romantically involved with someone who has a partner?” Great question. I want to start a family. I want to partner with someone and share a dwelling. I have a wonderful life and I wish to share all of that wonder with someone who feels like a close friend. The only way any of that can happen is if she has space in her life and the desire to build the same. I know how to be everyone’s lover while respecting and allowing space for their erstwhile partnership. I want to be a part of the partnership that I wish to see in the world.

How will I find a partner? I don’t fucking know. If I knew that, I wouldn’t be writing this sappy blog post. I’m not looking for suggestions on how to meet someone. I’m also not looking for match making suggestions. I just needed to write this out because of my current mood. I’m a cisgender, heterosexual, Black man, who practices varying degrees of ethical non-monogamy. I, literally, know three other men like me in the entire world. I’m a goddamn unicorn. However, if two of those three men have partners/families then I’m left with a cup of optimism. I’ll take sips along this dating journey in order to make sure I have enough fuel to not stop altogether.

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Dating (A Brief History + Current Mood) Part 2 of 3

What happened to change my views on dating? Over the span of ~30 days, ~15 dates cancelled, rescheduled, flaked, or just plain stood me the fuck up. I got tired of being everyone’s option, yet feeling like no one made me a priority. It was as if I was fucking everyone’s partner. Actually, I kinda was fucking everyone else’s partner. To be clear, I’m not above being someone’s side piece. But, when I began to feel like that was ALL that I was to the people on my social calendar, I decided to make a change. I want to be clear on something. I felt that way and I’m the owner of my feelings. Please note that I’m not saying “they made me feel” any type of way. I’ve never supported that phrase. People don’t “make me feel”, people just do things and my heart responds in a certain way based on my own perception and past experiences. I hold myself accountable for my past, my perceptions, and my feelings.

“Jet, do you want kids?” This question pops up at times and my answer has changed over the years. The answer has never been a simple yes or no because, it depends. Today, my answer is simple. I want a family. Whether that looks like me and a partner with no kids, a partner and a few kids, or a partner and a few animals in the yard, I want a family. The way I see it, if I get tied to the idea of having kids and I meet someone who has difficulty with conception and she doesn’t wish to adopt, I’m not going to just leave her. Shit, we could just put on a puppet show for kids at a local theater or something. We can figure all of that out later.

I’ve gone off on several tangents. The reason I began writing this is because I’ve decided to follow my own advice. I’ve often challenged people by asking why they keep allowing flakes to exist in their lives and meow I’ve decided to cut them out of mine.

I’ve stopped scheduling play dates. When you spend the entire week/day looking forward to making sweet love (or as my friend Mary says, making sweet bonings) only to receive a last minute cancellation or to be stood up (yes, that happens IRL and not just on sitcoms) well it fucking stinks. I get it, life happens and sometimes plans can’t be kept. So, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt on one late notice cancel. If there’s a second one, IDGAF about the reason, then I’m done scheduling anything with that person.

I’ve started leaving my heart at home. My heart is fragile. I’ve lost count of the number of women with whom I’ve wanted to partner who just didn’t see me in that same light. I’ve lost count of the women who’ve said, I’d done nothing wrong, they just weren’t feeling it. I’ve lost count of the women who’ve said, they weren’t sure why or what it was about me, but for some reason they just couldn’t see themselves partnering with me. Fuck, I remember one woman even said to me that she was going to wait for something better to come along. Let that one sink in for a bit.

Be sure to subscribe so that part 3 will cozy up to your inbox.

Disclosing If You’re Transgender Before A Date

There’s been a lot of controversy as to whether a transgender person should/should not does/doesn’t have to disclose their status as trans before a date. While there are arguments on both sides, I think the piece most angry internetters (because no one talks about important issues in person any more) are missing is the trigger that comes along with “should/should not” and “have to” language. I haven’t met many people who enjoy being told what to do (while their clothes are on). When a person who has never lived in a transgender body/mind/spirit tells an entire community what they should/shouldn’t be doing as they navigate their lives through 2017, tempers flare (and rightfully so)! I’m a cisgender heterosexual male. Before you roll your eyes, know that I’m not telling you that to make this about me. I’m telling you that because I’m NOT here to tell the transgender community what they should/shouldn’t do. I’m certainly not going to tell anyone how to date. I’m no expert at dating. I am going to offer my opinion on the matter. But, you figured that out when you subscribed to or clicked on this blog. That’s what blogs are, right? Just some random internetter sharing an opinion that is just that, an opinion.

No, [You] Don’t Have To Tell [Me You’re] Trans Before Dating [Me], but it would be nice if you felt safe enough to do so. Many transgender people fear for their safety. Because of this, not revealing their status as trans becomes a matter of keeping themselves safe. I’d like to think that we understand the basic need of self-preservation. So, before you get angry and argue the counterpoint, Yes, You Do Need To Tell Me You’re Trans Before Dating Me, stop and consider the other person’s position. Looking at this from my perspective, I have the societal privilege of being cisgender. I refer to that as a privilege because a.) many people would call me “normal”. (In general, I don’t use words like normal or weird due to the subjective nature of both. This is why I’ve used quotations around normal.) b.) As a cisgender man, I don’t have to fear violence if I walk into a room and announce to all within earshot that I’M CISGENDER! No one would care. No one would threaten to beat me. No one makes jokes on radio shows about killing cisgender men. So, to some degree, I am privileged.

I’m of the opinion (there’s that word again) that no person, or entity (talking about the Universe/God/Karma/insert deity here), owes us anything. Say it out loud, throughout your day. THE WORLD DOESN’T OWE ME ANYTHING! A transgender person certainly doesn’t owe it to me to tell me the journey of their physical vessel before we date. I would like to think that if they’ve agreed to a date with me, they would feel safe enough to share this detail with me. To be clear, they don’t owe it to me. They don’t have to, nor am I saying they should. I just want them to feel safe enough to do so. Much like when I ask a cisgender woman on a date, I hope that she feels safe enough to be alone with me (in a car or on a walk). Rape culture has given cisgender women plenty of reasons to fear being alone with men on a first date. Because of that fear, I’ve given my driver’s license number and my plates to girlfriends of the women I’ve taken out for the first time. Transphobia has given transgender women plenty of reasons to fear disclosing their status.

Let’s assume that a transgender woman does feel safe enough to disclose their status as trans to me before our first date. Does that feeling of safety mean that they should? Of course not, they don’t owe me anything. It would be nice to know. When inviting someone to sleep over, I disclose that I snor. When inviting someone over to my home, I ask if they’re allergic to cats (I have two). When offering to cook dinner for a lover, I ask about her dietary restrictions. I don’t have to do any of those things. I choose to out of courtesy and the fact that there are no safety concerns. For any transgender woman I may ask out in the future, I do hope that you will feel safe enough to know that you are empowered (not required) to tell me your status.

I once asked a woman on a date. They agreed. The date didn’t happen due to a calendar mix up. I later found out that they were trans, pre-op. I wasn’t mad. I was just left to wonder, when were they going to tell me? I’m of the opinion (there it is again) that if I don’t get the answer I seek, it’s my job to ask a better question. Let’s consider their pre-op status as a transgender woman the answer. What I learned from that experience was to open lines of communication before future dates. (Please note that opening lines of communication is not a euphemism for interrogation.)

So, I’ll leave you with this. If you’re transgender, I do hope that you’re dating people who have been vetted and/or vouched for as non-violent, open-minded, and possibly pansexual so that you do feel safe enough to disclose your status as trans. The dating pool is tough. Adding another component like that will only make that pool shallow. I get that. I’ve found that at this stage in my dating career, if she can’t accept the fact that I’m a sex worker, MMJ user (not abuser), and I’m polyamorous, then she’s not worth my time. I try to disclose all of that before our first date. If you don’t feel safe enough to disclose your status to your potential date, there’s a good chance they’re not worth your time. If you’re cisgender, don’t tell other groups what they do/don’t have to disclose. You’re encouraged to start a conversation about your own identity. You’re encouraged to let it be known if dating someone who has genitalia that does not match your sexuality is off putting. You’re encouraged to open safe lines of communication. For the love of [insert deity], don’t tell other people what to do.

Find My Friends [Part 2/4]: Interracial Dating

Good Morning! This week’s post is part two in a four-part series of how I choose my friends. I’m writing this in hopes that it may resonate with some of you and some may even use this as a guide for choosing their friends in the future. That is, of course, provided we find the same things important in the character of other human beings.

When I was in high school, back in Detroit, I kissed a White girl and the backlash helped me to easily shorten my friend list. For the sake of this retelling of events, let’s call her Sharon. Sharon and I always got along and flirted a bit, but as a teenaged boy I flirted with every female on the planet. I treated Sharon no differently. One day, at the Senior Picnic, we were hugging as the party was coming to a close and I made a half-joking request for a kiss. She planted a long French one on me that caused heads to turn, brakes to screech, and shouts of “nah-uh” to come from the crowd. I gave no fucks and let the kiss run its course. She was a great kisser and the crowd response wasn’t all that shocking. Fast forward to Monday and I found myself surrounded by a semi-circle of Black girls saying some really shitty things to me and about her. Since all of this happened over 20 years ago, I’m not going to pretend that I remember their words verbatim. So, I won’t use quotation marks here. One girl said something about me having low self-esteem and that was obviously why I was after Sharon. Another girl-a supposed friend of Sharon’s-said awful things about Sharon’s character. The general sentiment of their message was that I was a bad person for doing what I’d done and that Sharon was less than desirable. The funny thing was, and I proceeded to tell them this, was that none of them had given me the time of day before the kiss heard round the campus. I fired back at all of them, in turn, pointing my finger and cussing about how I’d asked for girl A’s phone number, asked girl B out on a date, and asked girl C to hang out, all to no avail. I punctuated my retort with a grand, “fuck all y’all”, and kept it movin’. Those girls were not my friends.

It’s worth mentioning… Interracial dating aside, if a friend ever points out someone that he/she finds attractive, please don’t ever give a response remotely similar to this: “Her? Really? You find her attractive? She doesn’t look like your type!” WTF does that mean? Do all of your ex-lovers/partners look alike? A person’s type is defined by their personality more than their physical vessel, is it not? No one has the right to disagree with someone else’s preference. Everyone is entitled to an alternative preference. However, questioning someone’s preference of who they find attractive is just arrogant and stupid.

Fast forward to 2011, when I brought a White girlfriend home from Oakland to meet the parents in Detroit. Everyone was kind to her and no one gathered round me, whilst alone, to rant about some pseudo-injustice. It wasn’t until a few years after she and I split that my Grandmother made a comment. “I just think you should be with your own kind, you know.” No, Grandma, I don’t know. Later still, on my next (solo) visit home, my Dad asked if I had “brought any more White girls home.” Wow. “Jet, they’re from a different time, give them a break!” Fuck that noise! Age doesn’t/shouldn’t excuse racist rhetoric. I will not give anyone from a different time a break. It occurred to me that none of them took time to ask if I was happy with her or if I was sad that it was over. My Mom has always pointed out that you have to love family, you don’t have to like family. Since she first suggested that freedom to dislike, I’ve asked myself whether or not I’d be friends with the people in my family. The truth is, if we weren’t related, there are many family members that I wouldn’t want as friends.

It’s 2015, minds are open and growing more (socially) liberal by the year, right? Perhaps not. There’s a Black woman that wrote a blog post about events that have taken place in the past year. Her post (“I fell in love with a white man, and I made a lot of black people mad.“) was well-written yet heartbreaking. I encourage you to read it, regardless of your color or relationship status. Her relationship helped her to find her friends.

Do you remember the responses that people had to Vogue placing an interracial couple on their cover? Never mind who the couple was, the textbook definition of the word vogue is the prevailing fashion or style of the time. Therefore, when a couple that (most average) people are talking about all over the world ends up on the cover with the hashtag #WorldsMostTalkedAboutCouple that happens to be something that can be confirmed with empirical evidence. Just check the stats on the hashtag or look at plenty of other data. People claim that it was the female of the couple that everyone took issue with, but I doubt it was that simple. There have been plenty of reprehensible people on magazine covers over the years. But, when you put an Ebony/Ivory couple on the cover with a predominantly White readership, then you get this reaction. (Sorry the image is fuzzy. Click on the pic for a different site talking about it. Just know that people are typing stupid shit like, “How could you?” You know because Vogue did this to piss people off. Dumb fucks!)

Vogue 2
It’s worth mentioning that not one of the aforementioned jackasses suggested canceling their subscription when this Ebony/Ivory pair (not a couple) were on the cover of Vogue. Perhaps because the photo was recreating a decades-old stereotype and Vogue’s readership was cool with that?

Vogue 1


I’ve shared these anecdotes and observations with you because you should distance yourself from humans that would turn on you if you dated “outside of your race.” (I’ve always fucking hated that phrase. Are we not all of the human race?) Just to be clear, I’m not writing this to suggest that you go out and find a relationship with a specific race other than your own. I’m just suggesting that you keep an open mind and distance yourself from friends with closed minds.

I remember over hearing this girl in my Sports Psych class telling a story about someone whose name she couldn’t remember. So, on the most culturally diverse campus in the US, she kept referring to him as “dat White boy.” Our White male professor looked uncomfortable and I was annoyed. We’re at an institute of higher learning and there are 100,000+ adjectives in the English language! There was a much more intelligent way to refer to that human. Her dumb ass also suggested that (and I hear a lot of people say this) interracial couples make the prettiest babies. WTF!? Oh well, her ignorance made it clear that she wasn’t someone with whom I’d like to be friends.

I don’t care who my friends date, as long as they’re happy. My Mom has always said the same thing. She’s never cared about who I date or who I bring home. For all of you OK Tinder Fuckbook users I want to challenge you to stop checking that race box on your dating profiles. Take a look at this and get your head out of the media’s influential ass. Click on the pic for the full story.

ethnic-preferences2

I understand that we all have our preference as to what general aesthetic we find attractive. Read this for another perspective. But, question what has influenced those preferences. I once read that California has the highest percentage of interracial relationships in America. Maybe one day, the numbers will even out and Cheerios can produce a modern commercial without ignorant fuck wads getting upset. I’ll leave you with this video and the cute follow-up.

In part three of this series, I’ll be writing about the worst kind of racism (you may be guilty of it) and how it helps me to find my friends.

In part four of this series, I’ll be writing about how other people’s drama makes it easier to find my friends.

A Dick Pic Is Worth A Thousand Words

Good Morning Friends! Nothing like waking up to a dick [pic] in your [mail] box, am I right? Regardless of your gender, there’s a chance that you’ve seen a dick pic. In some cases, you may have received one by accident. In other cases, you may have received one with purpose (more on that purpose later). When the subject comes up, the question that I hear from women is “why?”. “Why do [strangers] send me dick pics via Tinder, OKCupid, etc.?” Usually the story goes something like… “We exchanged a few messages and everything seemed cool. Then, out of nowhere, he sent me a dick pic! I didn’t ask for that! I didn’t want to see that! I’m certainly not going to reciprocate! Why did he send that?” Well, ladies, let me start by saying that it’s not your fault.

Generalization Disclaimer: As you read this post, you may find yourself thinking/proclaiming aloud “I don’t do that. My friends don’t do that.” Good for you. Let’s review the word, generalization. “A general statement or concept obtained by inference from specific cases.” This means that if what I’m saying doesn’t apply to you, then I ain’t talking to you. Don’t make this about you.

Have you ever listened to men try to talk to women? It’s like a train wreck. Female friends have (jokingly) asked me about some of my favorite pickup lines to use in a bar setting. I always disappoint them when I reveal that I have none. I’ve never done that whole “go to a bar to pick up women thing”. I have no go-to one-liners. Because of that, I find it both hilarious and depressing when I sit at a bar and over hear the lame attempts of men trying to talk at (not to) women. In general, they just sound like idiot hunters hoping to notch their belts with no concept of social cues. Gentlemen, if she keeps checking her phone, she doesn’t want to talk. If she keeps turning her back to you, she doesn’t want to talk. If she’s eating, let her eat and leave her alone. “Jet! How am I supposed to meet all these pretty womens if I don’t spit game at the club?” Don’t spit. Games are for children. No one can hear you at a goddamned club, stop shouting.

It’s worth mentioning… This post isn’t meant to coach men on how to approach women. This post isn’t meant to coach men on how to snap better dick pics. This post isn’t meant to defend dick pics. This post is meant to answer the question why. This is why women (and men) continue to receive so many dick pics from strangers. This post isn’t intended to pick on men and their poor communication skills. The truth of the matter is that communication is a lost art and everyone is horrible at the shit. Men are poor listeners and have a tendency to Mansplain things. Women are poor listeners and have a tendency to Womansplain* things.

*Womansplain: When a woman answers a question with feelings in lieu of facts. (e.g. “Do we need to make a left or a right up ahead.” Response: I feel like we should go right. ~or~ “Does that cost more than $100?” Response: I feel like it shouldn’t cost that much.) Womansplaining is also in effect when a woman answers the question she feels you are asking instead of just answering the question that was actually asked. (e.g. “What time is it?” Response: The movie doesn’t start until 7:30! [That’s not what I asked you!] ~or~ “Has he been drinking?” Response: We’re taking a cab! [That’s not what I asked you!]) Much like Mansplaining, Womansplaining comes from any gender.

It’s worth mentioning… When I wrote a post of 1,172 words about Mansplaining, it received likes/laughs/in-person kudos/forwards/etc. Before any woman gets butt hurt about what I call womansplaining and decides to write some angry comment about me being sexist and patriarchal blah blah blah, keep in mind that there’s this thing called humor and women are not beyond reproach. If what I wrote about womansplaining upset you, there’s a chance you may be guilty of it and causing challenges to communication with other people. If you’re able to laugh at others, take a moment to laugh at yourself.

With all of the poor communication going on today, technology has only made it worse. When was the last time that you used the phone app and actually spoke words from your mouth to someone else’s ears? Have you ever been texting back/forth with someone and tried to call them only to have them not answer? You know the phone is in their goddamned hands! Have you ever been in an argument/debate on an email chain or comment thread that lasted hours/days instead of talking it out for 10 minutes? These are all examples of communication breakdowns. I once forwarded a GF the power bill and in the email I wrote, “could you please help me to keep the bill lower by lowering the thermostat by one degree”. She told me that my email was rude. Rude? One sentence, with the word please, was rude? Well, the majority of all written communication is misinterpreted because we don’t have the luxury of body language and vocal tone (which are both key elements to delivering and receiving the intended message). Because of that, whatever she was feeling when she read the email also played a part in her perception of my tone. I meant it to be a polite request. But, she felt I was being rude. How could I have avoided that? I could have just said the words with a smile and a kiss in person to avoid any confusion of my tone. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just talk to each other, face-to-face? Yeah, but to quote Ms. Sweet Brown…

Someone once asked me the impossible question of how to end misogyny. In my lengthy answer, I mentioned the importance of genders learning how to talk to each other. Imagine a seminar for men, lead by women, on the subject of how to have conversations with them. Think about how many times men seek the counsel of other men to learn how to pickup women. Think about how many times men feel like they just don’t know how to talk to women and they retreat to their “man cave” to access an online chat room (with other men that have the same claim) to lament on the issue. In order for us to get closer to gender equality, men need to be taught how to communicate with (not just talk at) all genders. In a perfect world, gender sensitivity training would be a part of the curriculum from Pre-K on. We need more than a Sadie Hawkins dance to shake up societal gender roles. But, this isn’t a perfect world and genders aren’t getting any better at communicating with one another.

In a society where we are overwhelmed with sexual imagery, most of us are convinced that our worth is defined by our looks. What do you get when you combine the cocktail of poor verbal communication skills, worse written communication skills (texting shorthand lingo + autocorrect = bad spelling/grammar), and the assumption that the stranger on the other end wants to know our appearance-based worth? You guessed it, you get dick pics. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Look at my dick.

What’s the purpose of the dick pic? My first bit of sexual advice came from my older cousin. He was sort of like a big brother to my big brother and myself. When I was a teenager he told me the simplest way to get a girl to have sex with me. “Man, if you ever want to have sex with a girl, just show her your dick!” He gave no further explanation, nor did I ask. What more was there to say, it seemed simple enough? When I was a teenager, it worked like a charm! Eventually, I became better at communication and no longer had to rely on that gimmick. But, I was constantly chasing the experience of sex with someone new. In that chase, many men consider themselves hunters of sorts. They use their dick pics as bait hoping for a (figurative) bite.

Do I send dick pics? I only send dick pics to two types of people. 1.) Someone with whom I’ve already made sweet love and we’re just flirting. 2.) My (often Lesbian) friends with whom I’ve never had sex because they’ve sent me some pic of their lady parts or we’re just being silly. [Hey! If you can’t send a dick pic to your BFF, why do you even have a timer on your camera phone?]

In conclusion…
~Be prepared to receive more and more dick pics as your online dating life continues.
~Consider removing yourself from the online dating world and re-establish old fashioned communication. Go to a house party and get somebody’s phone number after you make out in the back room.
~Stop sending dick pics to strangers. Only send them to your friends that have asked for the Glamour Shot of your Gonads and the Gangly Member.
~If you must send them, class up your dick pics and send them in the postal mail. That’s right, print it out, use a stamp, and send your dick pics the proper way. Show her that you care enough to send the very best. [And for fuck’s sake, manscape my brothers, MANSCAPE those pubes!]