Erotic provocateur, racially-influenced humanist, relentless champion for the oppressed, and facilitator for social change, Scottie Lowe is the brain child, creative genius and the blood, sweat, and tears behind AfroerotiK. Intended to be part academic, part educational, and part sensual, she, yes SHE gave birth to the website to provide people of African descent a place to escape the narrow-mined, stereotypical, limiting and oft-times degrading beliefs that abound about our sexuality. No, not all Black men are driven by lust by white flesh or to create babies and walk away. No, not all Black women are promiscuous welfare queens. And as hard as it may be to believe, no, not all gay Black men are feminine, down low, or HIV positive. Scottie is putting everything on the table to discuss, debate, and dismantle stereotypes in a healthy exchange of ideas. She hopes to provide a more holistic, informed, and enlightened discussion of Black sexuality and dreams of helping couples be more open, honest, and adventurous in their relationships.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
First of all, I would say that this whole continued insistence that, “race doesn’t matter” when dealing with raising children is nothing but complete and utter bullshit. To quote my esteemed colleague, Cornel West, “RACE MATTERS.” Black children have a different history that has created a different cultural mindset, a different set of life challenges and obstacles, and Black children have a different way of learning than white children. It’s terribly uniformed and dangerous to assert that raising our children in the same way that white people raise their children is in any way healthy. We are different. We should celebrate those differences, not try to deny them, and not try to conform to a standard that is unhealthy for us as a people. Saying we are different and saying we are inferior are two vastly different things. Black people would rather be like white people and conform to their dysfunctional standards as opposed to saying that we are different and equal and we have patterns and behaviors that are unique to us that are just as valid.
To be very honest with you, I’ve not met many good parents in my lifetime. In fact, I can’t say that I’ve met any really good parents in my lifetime, I’ve met some who are doing better than others but the instances of that are extremely, extremely rare. To be a healthy parent, you must first be a healthy individual. That doesn’t happen in this society. People don’t heal themselves of their own issues before they become parents. People don’t establish themselves as whole and complete individuals before they have children. People hold on to the patterns and behaviors they have and justify them and pass those dysfunctional beliefs on to their children as if they are award-winning parents. I know a woman who is raising a single child. She yells and screams at her child, calls her names, and beats her. Never mind that her child is being damaged because of her abusive treatment. This same woman goes into serious bouts of depression during which time; her child has to become the parent, caring for her mother’s emotional well-being. The mother is in and out of two-week fuckships with different men at least once a month. She is severely overweight and probably the most slovenly, nasty housekeeper I’ve ever seen. The child has no healthy male role model in her life. The mother doesn’t budget her money for bills, rather she buys clothes and shoes for both herself and her child because she wants to feel attractive. She allows the child to live in filth and never holds her accountable. She treats her child like an adult, talking to her as if she is an equal. She SWEARS up and down that she is a GREAT, FANTASTIC, WONDERFUL mother because her child gets straight A’s in school. If she had dealt with her issues of abandonment, if she had dealt with her issues of depression, if she had dealt with her own mother’s unhealthy parenting skills before having a child, she would be a much better parent. She didn’t however so she sees her mothering skills as perfect. She became a mother without dealing with her own issues first and she has emotionally scarred her child for life who will grow up raising her child in the same dysfunctional way and claiming to be a great mother as well.
I’m sure everyone who took the time to read that is saying, “Yeah, she’s a horrible mother.” It’s easy to point the finger at other people when the example seems so blatant. Everyone can look at that example and say, “well, I’m a good housekeeper, so I’m a good parent. I’m married, so I’m a good parent. I’m a republican with money in the bank and send my kids to private school so I’m definitely a good parent. I’m not like that at all, I’m a good parent.” The truly good parent could look at that and say, “I’m guilty of repeating behaviors that my parents inflicted upon me and I’m working desperately to confront those issues.” There aren’t many people who can do that. Have you dealt with being called Black and ugly in the third grade and how it hurt you and shaped your self-esteem? Have you dealt with the child molestation you were subjected to or are you continually saying, “It doesn’t matter, it was my fault?” Healing ourselves takes a lot of work and it hurts like hell. People don’t do that before becoming parents. People pass on their hurt, dysfunction, disappointments, and dramas to our children and claim it’s good parenting because “that’s the way I was raised.”
If I’m ever blessed with the opportunity to have children, I will make very concerted efforts to raise them with standards and principles that I feel are healthy. They include
Discipline, not beating. Black people swear by the belief that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. I couldn’t disagree more. Beating a child doesn’t do anything but instill fear, anger, teach aggression and emotionally scar the child. It teaches the child that the person who is responsible for caring for you is going to hurt you. Discipline is teaching your child to be accountable for their actions, that there are repercussions for bad behavior, and that they can be assured that their parents will not stop loving them but demand better behavior without abuse. I will administer discipline to my children with restrictions, punishments, and restitution. Teaching a child to make amends for their wrong doing is a much better lesson for them to learn than beating them with a belt until whelps form on their legs.
Developing a sense of community. It is imperative for my children to know that their world exists beyond their bedroom. Teaching a child to give unselfishly to others will help them become a well-rounded adult. My children will volunteer at the senior citizen home, will clean up the inner city abandoned lot to make a garden, they will work with the homeless. They can only benefit exponentially by seeing the humanity in other people not like them and growing from the interpersonal relationships with others.
Developing imagination. There will be little or no television in my home. If there is, it will be severely restricted to one hour a day at most and I will control the content until they are at least 14 years old. Stimulating different areas of the brain are essential for raising intelligent children. Doing puzzles, arts and crafts, speaking at least one other language, extensive reading, playing musical instruments, and putting on plays will all be required for my children to ensure that they can use logic and reason to figure out situations and not be subjected to linear thinking. They will no see images of violence or sexuality in my home and at all and my husband and I will talk to them about every single instance of it that they are exposed to when they are out in the world.
Honesty. I learned a long time ago that it’s very hard to tell the truth to a child. My niece was an inquisitive little girl. She would ask some of the most difficult questions and the inclination of her mother and grandmother was to lie to her. She would figure out eventually that they were lying and that has a tremendous effect on the psyche of a child. I swore I would never do that to my children. Being honest takes a lot of work. It’s admitting that you have flaws; it’s admitting that you aren’t perfect. It’s showing yourself to your child in a very human and frail light. Being honest with your child teaches your child to be honest. It teaches them how to navigate through life with integrity. Being honest about sex, being honest about drugs, being honest about the pitfalls of life enables a child to make informed choices when difficult situations come their way.
Holistic, healthy living. Children today have so many diseases, so many health concerns, I will make it my priority to have my children have a diet based on fruits, vegetables, and organic food. We will have a set mealtime and they will not eat fast food, processed food, or microwaved food. Food will be prepared together as a family. Meditation will be a daily part of our life together as a family. Meditation is the single most important part in raising a spiritually healthy individual. Exercise, fresh air, and lots of water will be essential for us as a family.
Structure. It is essential if children are to develop into healthy adults to have structure, dependability, and routine. There will be a set bedtime, chores that they must do every week, and consistency in their lives. They will know that they will always have a roof over their heads, that they don’t have to move from place to place, that there won’t be a string of different men in and out of their lives, that there will people to come to that aren’t flighty, unstable, or undependable.
Raising children to be beautiful inside, not outside. In this beauty-obsessed culture, we raise our girl children to be beautiful. We put them in pageants, we dress them up in clothes that are miniature sizes of adult clothing, we reinforce how pretty they are, we in essence reinforce that their self worth comes from their straight hair, their fingernails, their butts. We raise out sons to seek the external beauty of women as a reflection of their manhood. We teach them that they are more of a man if the woman they have on their arm who is coveted by other men. In my home, our children will not wear expensive designer clothing, reinforcing that clothes make the person. They will be made to judge people on the content of their character and not their attractiveness to the eye. They will be rewarded when they are kind, compassionate, honest, and genuinely concerned about the welfare of other people. They will be told daily how beautiful they are with their naturally nappy hair, how beautiful their thick nose and wide lips, I will reinforce to them that dark, ebony skin is beautiful and that there is no need to chemically or surgically alter their bodies to be beautiful. They will be raised that material possessions are superficial and have nothing to do with a person’s value.
Respecting them as individuals, not replicas. My mother doesn’t like me because I’m not like her. She wants a miniature version of herself and if I have other thoughts, other ideas, other ideologies, she wants nothing to do with me. I will honor and respect my children’s choices if they are made logically, with reason, and they can validate their choices as not being harmful to themselves or others. I will make a vow to have humility and communicate with my child and not judge them based on my values, but the values they form as citizens of the world.
Being the best me I can be. My growth as a human being, as a spiritual being doesn’t end with the birth of my child. I will make a commitment to my children and my husband to continue to heal my issues, to challenge myself to grow as a person, to admit my mistakes. I will continue to learn from others, to expand my horizons, and to hold a higher vision of myself up to the light so that I will not become complacent.
I will continue to pray that I will have the chance to share my life with a partner and raise happy, healthy, well-rounded, Afrocentric children. I will continue to pray that I will have the strength and the endurance to keep them safe from harm. I will pray that I can give them the foundation to grow up to be intelligent, compassionate, grounded adults.
Copyright 2006 Scottie Lowe email@example.com
Tired of seeing black women being portrayed as bitches, freaks and whores, and black men as thugs, dogs, and pimps, she decided it was time to show black people in a positive sexual light. Ms. Lowe is the sole owner and founder of AfroerotiK, a company dedicated to eradicating the negative and stereotypical depictions of Black sexuality and providing customized, personalized erotic stories for and about people of color from an Afrocentric perspective. Her website blossomed out of relative obscurity with her relentless commitment to spread her gospel of erotic enlightenment by word of mouth and grass roots efforts of self-promotion. The AfroerotiK online community has grown to almost 18,000 members and serves as a very active and outspoken forum for members of very diverse opinions to share their perspectives on many controversial and taboo subjects.
Ms. Lowe has a strong sense of commitment and cultural perspective that drives her to question the status quo and to fight to dismantle the vestiges of oppression, racism, and discrimination that exist today. Academically trained in African and African American Studies with a concentration in psychology, Scottie Lowe writes extensively about issues that affect the Black community. Scottie Lowe is a very poised, articulate, outspoken advocate who brings an unapologetic and unique perspective to the discussion of Black sexuality.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
You see, James was, by his very nature, a lowly and pathetic submissive. He longed for a woman to help him realize his true temperament, to bring out the filthy and untouched needs he harbored deep inside. He craved a strong and commanding Black woman to reduce him to what he knew he was inside, a worthless and pitiful excuse for a man. His job, his public persona was all a façade. James was, at his very core, a piece of shit and his entire life existed either trying to keep people from finding out that fact or longing to realize it in a way that allowed him a freedom he’d never known.
Dinner was to be at Spice on Juniper. It was one of the better restaurants in Midtown but money wasn’t really that much of an issue because everything could be expensed. Jessica was to meet him at 8, and with any luck, she would head back to James’ hotel with him to explore some of his desires. Running late, he called her on her cell to let her know that she should get a table and order a drink and appetizers because business was going to put him about 20 minutes behind schedule. By the time he got to the restaurant, appetizers were being served.
Jessica looked lovely and greeted him with a kiss on the cheek. He sat down and ordered a drink and started looking at the menu. As he settled into his seat to relax and enjoy his date for the evening, he glanced around to take in his surroundings and get a feel for the place. He froze. There, in the restaurant, was the one individual that had haunted James’ dreams and fantasies for years.
There are people that come into your life that make a lasting impression. Roberta Wonder was the woman that James just could not shake from his consciousness. She was the quintessential Ebony Domme that had tormented his dreams and fantasies for years; he was unable to rid himself of her influence on his very being. She had done things to him that made him question reality, that had pushed him past boundaries that no one else had come close to discovering. He belonged to her in many ways, even though she despised him on many levels. It was, however, her callous disregard for him that fueled his undying love and his yearning to prove himself worthy of her attention.
She was breathtaking, completely unaware that James was there. She was dressed to perfection and engaged in a deep conversation with her date, an attractive Black man that looked like he was basking in the glow of her company. The two seemed to draw the attention of everyone in the place, mesmerizing people with their fluidity and unspoken sexual chemistry. Her date made no attempts to hide his hands caressing her long, smooth legs beneath the table and she seemed to be aware that they were putting on a show for onlookers as she played up to that fact. It was like watching a movie that James couldn’t take his eyes off of.
Sensing the energy of someone staring her down, Roberta turned and made eye contact with James. It was as if she looked right through him, her eyes holding his gaze like a hypnotic trance. Jessica, sensing James’ distraction, tapped him on the shoulder and asked how he knew the couple. He fumbled for words and tried to direct his attention back to Jessica but she would never compare to the utter devotion he felt for Roberta. He made small talk, continuously glancing back, wondering if she was noticing him.
Wanting to assert himself and draw the attention of Roberta, needing her approval, he began mirroring the actions of her male companion. He pulled Jessica close and began showing very public signs of affection. It was more than apparent that they didn’t have the same commanding presence or chemistry of Roberta and her date but he was desperate to assert himself in some way. He knew not to approach her, he had been warned for years to leave her alone but there was something in him that was desperate for her acknowledgement. If he had been a peacock, he would have been showing his feathers and prancing around in an effort to get the attention of the female hen. His movements were vulgar however; they looked obscene rather than sensual, offensive rather than compelling. Jessica, while attractive, looked pale and trashy compared the deep sensual persona that Roberta exuded.
“It never ceases to amaze me how utterly contemptible I find your presence. You have the unique ability to make my flesh crawl from across the room.” James, startled by the words, turned to see Roberta towering above him. He rose and greeted her with a kiss to the cheek like she had said, “I’ve missed you so much.” The look on Jessica’s face was one of horror. It was more than apparent Roberta was amused by the disruption she had caused.
“How have you been?” he asked, sitting and making introductions between the ladies as cordially as he could, trying to hide the fact that her abrasive comments aroused him in a place that he didn’t understand himself. Roberta gestured to her date across the room and he waved back and she introduced him as Terrance, her significant other. He nodded back with a look that made James cringe. He feared that she had told him every detail of his dirty little secrets, that every nuance of his sick desires had been revealed. James swallowed hard and nodded, feeling emasculated somehow by the fact that he had always craved being the man in Roberta’s life and seeing evidence that he couldn’t measure up in any way. Terrance was smooth, refined, and sophisticated and it showed in the way he held his wine glass, the way his stylish clothes fit what was obviously a sculpted body. There was no doubt about the fact that Terrance was Roberta’s equal in every sense of the word and he hadn’t even opened his mouth.
Before there could even be any discussion or catching up on any details, the waiter brought the food they had ordered. Roberta seemed less concerned with talking to James as she did with Jessica. She sat at the table and turned her back to James and they made pleasant small talk, complimenting each other on shoes and lipstick and such. “I’m sorry, I’ll leave you two to your evening. It has been such a pleasure meeting you Jessie.” She stood to leave, James rising to be cordial. She turned momentarily and looked James in the eye and spit directly on to his food. James’ heart sank. “Enjoy your meal.” With that she turned quietly and walked back to her table.
Jessica was outraged. She started to get loud and draw unwanted attention to the table. James’ heart sank. He sat and tried to calm her down, to quiet her. “Is she crazy . . . are you crazy?” The utter confusion on her face was only lessened by the fact that she was outraged that the woman was so casual in her disrespect. James sat at the table a defeated man, staring at the plate, knowing full well that he could not walk away and leave it there or have it returned. It was far too precious a gift and he had to enjoy it. He couldn’t even hear Jessica’s words, he was in a trance. He kept looking to see if Roberta was watching but she was completely ignoring him, wrapped up in conversation with her lover. He slowly picked up his fork and knife and cut into his steak, carving out the piece of meat that held the most saliva. He closed his eyes and brought the food to his lips and placed it in his mouth. He could detect the taste of her slimy offering more than he could taste the prime cut of beef he held in his mouth. It was better than caviar or lobster; it was the precious and divine spit of the woman he craved.
Jessica was outdone. She had calmed herself down enough to stop drawing attention to herself but she needed answers. She was calling James names, trying to make him be a man, threatening to go slap that black bitch herself, dumbfounded as to why he would eat the food. You see, she wasn’t a true domme like Roberta; she had no clue that true domination was done in the mind and Roberta had masterfully exacted her domination without so much as raising her voice.
Just then, the waiter returned and asked if everything was okay. He handed James a bill and said, “The lady and gentleman over there have indicated that you are going to be picking up their tab so would you like to settle for them now or wait and have me bring you both your bill and there bill together?”
James looked down at his plate in silence. He didn’t say a word as he reached for his wallet and his little cock was now raging out of control in his slacks. He looked over at them and they waved back with familiarity and thanks. Jessica was PISSED and demanding answers. This had gone too far; she needed to know why on earth had he just paid for their meal? There was a barrage of unanswered questions as James just sat there, feeble and ashamed.
As they walked towards the front door, Terrance’s arm holding the small of Roberta’s back, she stopped and turned back to James’ table. “I’ve been thinking that you, Terrance and I should have some fun tonight, you know, for old time’s sake. Jessie dear, it was a pleasure; we’ll have to get together sometime. James, let’s go.” She took a step back and motioned for James to join them as they left. James’ eyes glanced back and forth between Roberta and Jessica. Roberta showed no signs of anything on her face other than quite possibly amusement. Jessica was outraged and threatened by the power Roberta possessed, desirous of it.
“Now, James,” her words were as soft and sensuous as her entire persona and James responded like a person who had been hypnotized. He signaled for the waiter again and whispered that he wanted to pay for their meal now, virtually untouched by either of them. The waiter was taking too long to return and he threw four twenties on the table and stood to leave. He knew without being told that his first test of the evening was to leave Jessica sitting at the table. His knees were shaky and he could faintly hear the curse words that Jessica was spewing but he found himself following Roberta and Terrance out the front door, ten steps behind, like a flunky.
Out in the night air, James breathed deeply. Roberta told him that he was to come with them in their vehicle. The valet brought around a champagne colored Navigator and held the door for Roberta to get in first. James sat in the back while Terrance drove and before he knew it, they were traveling northbound on GA400 towards Alpharetta. They chatted about James like he wasn’t even in the car, laughing about how he looked like he wanted to lick every drop of the spit off the food, about how he was so pathetic he didn’t even raise a fuss at paying for their meal, they even laughed about how Jessica would probably never speak to him again. James wanted to speak up on his own behalf but he felt like a child, incapable of articulating himself. If only his cock wasn’t so hard, if only he wasn’t so turned on by the control Roberta had over him by ignoring him.
They pulled into a subdivision with nothing less than million dollar homes. They pulled into the driveway of a huge house and parked the truck in the driveway. Roberta leaned over and gave Terrance a sensual kiss that made James’ heart drop. He knew that as long as he lived, he would never be the recipient of anything as tender and wonderful as that kiss. Terrance came around and held the door open for her. James was instructed to remove his clothes and place them on the seat. His cock was extremely hard as he longed for the degradation and humiliation only Roberta knew how to administer.
It was Terrance’s voice that barked the next command. Terrance pushed him up the walkway, causing him to stumble. James felt clumsy and awkward and profoundly humiliated that a man such as Terrance would be able to push him around without so much as a word in retaliation. It was Roberta’s way of controlling James, making him feel like less than a man.
Inside the house, James was led to a basement and made to stand in a corner. He heard Roberta and Terrance talking but he couldn’t make out the words. Without warning, Roberta approached him and said, “It’s going to be pretty difficult to explain your expense account with charges to your company credit card of plane tickets to Aruba, wouldn’t you say?” A lump formed in his throat and he couldn’t breathe. Roberta was not one to make idle promises; she was letting him know that his job was in jeopardy and she was going to reap the benefits with a well paid vacation. There was no way he could report the credit card lost or stolen, it would be an indication that he would never get the opportunity to serve her again. No matter how remote the possibility, no matter how detrimental to his livelihood, James could not take that chance. Before the interrogation was over, he had given her his PIN number to his personal account and assurances that all of his assets would be under her control. James inquired if that meant that he could now become her full time submissive if he relinquished all of his possession over to her, if he would be allowed to serve her malevolent wishes if he only lived in poverty. Roberta assured him he could have no such assurances and that she might not ever see or speak to him again. Terrance laughed out loud, making note of how funny it would be to see the supposed high powered white executive living on the streets in exchange for one night of domination with Roberta. James began to cry like a baby. He was filled with a shame that was beyond human comprehension. He wanted to run, he wanted to put a stop to everything but he stood in silence and very erect.
He could feel Roberta circling him but she was reticent to touch him. His very presence was repulsive to her. His pasty white skin made her want to wretch and his tiny cock deserved to be kicked and slapped it was so small but she couldn’t bring herself to touch it. He could smell her perfume and feel her body heat near him. She made him kneel on the floor and Terrance attached weighted nipple clamps on him. He screamed out as searing pain shot through his entire body. It was just like Roberta to push James past his limits and the humungous weights caused him extraordinary pain, more than he had ever endured before. The fact that he was in more pain than he had ever experienced caused him a sense of pride that he would be able to tolerate it for his ultimate mistress.
Nipple clamps in place, Roberta approached him and whispered sweetly in his ear. “I want you to see what a real man looks like.” He blinked his eyes to get used to the dimly lit room and he saw Terrance standing before him completely naked. He averted his eyes to the floor quickly, ashamed and afraid to look. He was perfection, a sculpted body with a massive cock sticking straight out. “Isn’t he lovely, James? A million times better than you, you disgusting piece of shit.” James cried openly, saying he wanted to end this game, that he wanted to go home. He knew what his fate was and he was having second and third thoughts about if he could go through with it. If only his little cock wasn’t so damned hard, he might have been a little more convincing.
Terrance approached him and stood inches from his face. Roberta moved next to him and stroked him to full hardness. James could smell the manly aromas emanating from him and he swallowed hard. The tip of Terrance’s cock was only a few centimeters from his lips and he could feel himself breathing hard. “James, you are a sissy faggot bitch, aren’t you?” Roberta’s voice remained syrupy sweet and as smooth as silk, never rising a decibel. His knees were aching and the pain in his nipples was about to cause him to pass out but he uttered a defiant, “NO!”
The sting from the slap across his face was more excruciating than all of his tortures combined. “You pathetic fuck, are you saying that I don’t know a dirty little cock sucking faggot when I see one?” If she had only displayed some measure of emotion, some detection of hatred in her voice, but her consistent and soothing voice made him melt as he conceded that she was correct. She wasn’t content with just an affirmation; she needed him to say the words. Knowing her as well as he did, he knew that his confession would have to be creative and inspired to please her. “Mistress, I’m a perverted, nasty sissy faggot bitch that loves having real cocks from real men fuck my slutty pussy mouth.”
“Good boy,” as she patted him on the head. James’ heart practically leapt from his chest being the recipient of Roberta’s praise. He wanted more humiliation if only it made her proud of him. “Show me how you like to suck real cocks. Make me proud by proving that you are a filthy cunt that loves getting your mouth fucked with ten hard inches of real man meat.”
James opened his mouth and didn’t have to do much. Terrance grabbed the back of his head and forcefully shoved practically the entire thick weapon in his mouth. James gagged and choked but he saw the look of disappointment in Roberta’s eyes and quickly stepped up to the task. He grabbed his little cock and started stroking it furiously. Roberta grabbed the clamps and pulled on them even harder and James tried to scream out in pain but it only forced Terrance’s cock deeper in his throat. He was sweating profusely and he felt like he was about to pass out. Terrance began moaning and saying he was about to cum and James sucked that much harder. He wanted to be the best head Terrance would ever get from one of Roberta’s submissives.
Almost without warning, Roberta pushed James to his hands and knees. He gasped for air as could breathe for the first time. He was babbling incoherently now, chanting and begging for more. Terrance repositioned himself in front of him and this time he dove for that monster cock without prompting, he loved the taste and feel of it and he was going to enjoy his journey into being a filthy cocksucker as long as it pleased his Mistress. As he began sucking it like there was no tomorrow, he felt Roberta’s hands on his back. He froze for a moment and continued on with his duties. Terrance grabbed his head and forced it all the way down on his cock and held it there tightly, forcing James to breathe through his nose and smell the manly scent of Terrance’s pubes.
Roberta’s hands spread his ass cheeks and he felt the head of a dildo pressed against his hole. He tried to scream but Terrance just held him in place like a rag doll. The lubricated head of a strapon rubbed his asshole over and over, sending chills up and down his spine. “Tell me what you want, James.”
Knowing his role, he began spewing out his desires. “I want to be used like a slut. I want to be your sissy faggot bitch. Fuck the shit out of me. Fuck my useless pussy raw, Mistress. Please use me.”
No sooner had the words come out of his mouth than he felt the searing pain of the head of the dildo penetrate his ass. He was getting fucked in both holes now, being used like he’d never been used before. He was sucking that cock like there was no tomorrow and before too long; he was experiencing nothing but pleasure from the strapon in his ass. His body was alive with pleasure. He felt Terrance tense up and start to unload a huge load of cum in his mouth and James realized he could no longer go back to his normal way of existence. His life would no longer be the same. All of his dreams, all of his desires were being realized in that moment. He was being completely used and manipulated by one of the most beautiful, dominant, utterly superior women he’d ever had the pleasure to meet. She had reduced him to the unthinkable and he loved it, he craved even more. He was about to explode as he felt Roberta’s soft thighs pounding against his ass and he realized he didn’t deserve that sort of pleasure, he realized that others would pay dearly for the opportunity he was experiencing.
Terrance pulled back and shot load after load of sticky cum on his tongue and James swallowed every drop. He looked up at Roberta as she smiled sweetly down on him. Terrance removed the strapon and fondled Roberta as only a lover could as James watched with jealousy and envy. Roberta instructed James to lie on his back and jerk off that poor excuse for a cock. He did as he was told; not needing much stimulation to get reach and orgasm, his level of arousal was at an all time high. She kicked him gently in the side as he moaned out more from the stimulation than the discomfort as she stepped over his head. She squatted lower and for the first time in his life, James saw the pussy of perfection that had filled his dreams. It was more exquisite than he had imagined and he could smell her sweet essence in the air. He longed to lift his head up and taste her but he knew he would not be allowed. He was stroking his cock and staring up into perfection when he felt the first drops of piss splatter on his face, He moaned out loud and opened his mouth as the delicious golden piss rained down on him. He swallowed hard and jerked off harder. He could hold back no longer and cum shot out of his cock like molten lava.
Some time during the early morning hours, he was kicked out of the home with a brown paper bag that held his clothes; he was naked and smelling of Roberta’s piss, his balls drained and his body full of Terrance’s cum. He had no money or credit cards in his wallet and he couldn’t call a cab. He had to rely on someone to come pick him up. “Hello, Jessica. I’m really sorry about last night. I need to ask you a really big favor. . . “
Training Kit for BDSM
To set the stage, I recommend starting with a healthy bowel movement at least two hours prior to trying anal sex. The rectum should actually be devoid of any poo poo. If that is done, you shouldn’t have to worry about things getting too terribly messy. Now, you can use an enema if you are comfortable with that and you can get a premixed formula at the drug store for less than $2.00. That eases most people's minds about the cleanliness factor but it freaks some people out so it's a personal choice. After that, a shower to clean any trace poo poo away should set the stage. If you have any cuts, hemorrhoids, or anal tears, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT attempt anal sex, not even with a condom.
The key to anal sex is start small and go slow. While I like small butt plugs and vibrators as an introduction, my preference is tongue. It's much softer and pliable and gives a lot more pleasure. It's also more intimate. Depending on the experience of the giving party, they may or may not be comfortable with “tossing the salad” or licking someone's ass so again it's a personal call. It’s imperative to constantly ask for feedback and give encouragement for both parties. Sex is mostly mental so it's about getting the person relaxed and aroused. Tell him or her how sexy their asshole, how much it turns you on to know that they are giving it to you, sharing it with you, how much pleasure you want to give them, how good it tastes, etc. If it's a guy, jerking him off is essential while licking him, if it's a woman, have her use a vibrator on her clit because she'll know her body better than anyone and can create more arousal. Extreme sexual arousal is the key to great anal sex.
After sufficient licking, about 15 minutes or so, start with a finger. There are actually two actions that will help relax the muscles around the anus that will make anal sex less painful. "Squeezing" and "Pushing" should be used in tandem to help relax the muscles. Use a lot of lubricant. There's no such thing as too much. The recipient should push out, like they are trying to have a bowel movement. That allows for easier penetration. With the tip of your finger in, then tell them to squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, like they are trying to hold in an urgent movement, which causes the sphincter to get exhausted. After they've done that, go back to stimulating the pussy or dick and just leave the tip of your finger as still as possible. Once they have done that for a few while, tell them to push out again, which should allow your finger to go in without any real effort on your part. Once you are in a little deeper, let them get used to the feeling of your finger in there and then tell them to squeeze for dear life. Each time they squeeze, the anal ring will get weaker and weaker, making it looser. By this time, they should be loving every second of it so you should just keep on with the verbal encouragement. I find dirty talk increase stimulation so try your hand at some explicit language to heat things up.
A couple more rounds of squeezing and pushing and you should have one finger all the way in. Always follow each round of pushing and squeezing with being completely still. The receiver usually has no idea how much finger they have taken so once you are all the way in; just feel around and get comfortable with the way their ass feels. That's excellent to do so you can get an idea of the angle of their ass. Nothing's worse than someone trying to fuck someone in the ass and going in at the wrong angle. Men usually jump out of their skin when your rub their prostate, a little marble sized gland located at the base of the penis inside the anus. At that point, if you've done everything right, they should be begging you to finger fuck them harder. Again, don't be afraid of water-based lubricant, more is better. Silicone-based lubricant is also very good but I have concerns about what elements are introduced into the body. Whatever lubricant you use, be sure to use it liberally.
After you've gotten up some serious finger fucking, inserting another finger should be a piece of cake. You might have to go a couple more rounds of squeezing and pushing but I'd let the recipient control it at that point so they can drive the ship for a while. It's been my experience that you can get a third finger in and the receiver has no clue how many fingers are in them. I would like to caution you to NOT engage in fisting activities, or insertion of the entire hand into the rectum, because I’m not comfortable with that sort of hazardous practice that could cause serious injury. There are many people that engage in the practice but it seems awfully extreme when there are so many other anal options.
Because I personally don't have a real dick, I have to use toys, so for me, I usually start with a battery operated vibrator first and move on to the dildo. Use the same techniques for the small vibrators. More lube, more pushing, more squeezing. It should go in very easily so the trick is to start out slow with the vibrations and increase the intensity. Position the recipient on their knees with their face down in order to facilitate the best penetration. The dildo/dick comes next and you should basically let the recipient control the pace. Do a lot of touching and stroking and caressing all over their body when you put the head to the asshole and continue to use your pushing and squeezing techniques until the head is in. Once the head is in, DON'T DO A THING until the recipient tells you it's okay to proceed. Here is where the pushing out really comes in handy because with the tiniest bit of pressure they can accommodate the entire thing.
After about four inches of the dick/dildo is in, you are going to hit a little kink in the colon that is like a little bend. For many, that is the spot where they experience the most pleasure. Once the head is past that point, you are on your way to becoming an anal expert. If you've done all that and continued to talk to the person the entire time, you should be ass fucking like a pro. Go slow, get lots of feedback, and enjoy. It's incredible pleasure for both the giver and the receiver.
AND ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS USE A CONDOM!
Brought to you by www.AfroerotiK.com
The information provided is NOT from a medical professional and should be considered opinion.
Please consult a physician or licensed sex therapist for further information.
In its classical definition, civil rights can be defined as the inalienable rights granted by a nation to its citizens. Rights that are supposedly afforded to everyone, irrespective of race, gender or age, nor to sexual orientation, national origin or physical ability. Duly noted, civil rights should never have to be championed in this, the supposed seat of democracy; they should be administered justly, without discrimination. The very fact that this country was founded on the premise of all men being created equal, while millions of its inhabitants existed as chattel beneath citizenship, speaks to the very inequities of the political and social clime that we as contemporary African Americans emerged from. When one’s citizenship is granted as an afterthought, as an amendment, it’s reasonable to assume that liberty and justice will most certainly not be for all. It also might be safe to postulate that those persons with original privilege, and their descendants, are more likely to be the beneficiaries of the judicious administration of rights.
The need for equal access to employment, quality education, housing, voting rights, and protection under the law is still very much an issue, if not more so, than it was 30 years ago. Racism and discrimination, instead of being administered at the hands of hooded cowards in the dark of night, is now stealth and institutionalized. Yes, we can ride on the front of the bus but African Americans are at risk for being denied loans for housing, being looked over for promotions, unjustly imprisoned and grossly undereducated. But because there are no more marches, no more poignant speeches from eloquent leaders, we have been lulled into a false sense of security that we have our civil rights. Perhaps we think that the struggle is over because there are no more dogs and fire hoses. We ignore modern day church burnings and the lynchings of Black men as insignificant. The fact remains that African Americans are more likely to be pulled over in our cars for perceived and minor infractions, victims of “Driving While Black.” Brown skin will land you in jail for a negligible possession of drugs while the white perpetrator of the same crime will end up in rehabilitation or on probation. Substandard housing has become so acceptable for economically disadvantaged African Americans that no one even raises an eyebrow at their deplorable conditions; there are many of us who have come to view urban decay as a sign of “Blackness.” Now, with the presence of a black middle-class that drives big cars and lives among the oppressor with relative ease, it becomes easier to overlook the social injustices of the masses. Yet the fight for social justice and civil rights is far from over.
Civil rights has in fact become a term that is synonymous with African Americans. Race becomes the pervasive and deciding factor when one is discussing civil rights. Color trumps sexual orientation, age, creed and disability. The white homosexual will always be able to slide under the proverbial discrimination detector when driving in his car. The black homosexual is a Black man first, and is afforded no protection from his own skin. The loan officer sees black skin approaching the desk first, not religious affiliation. Such is the case with the black elderly, the disabled and gender biased offenses. Affirmative action, enacted to counter the privileges of inherited hierarchy and grant equal access to all, is truly flawed. Its greatest beneficiaries in the government sector are white women. Little is mentioned about the fact that those white women head up corporations in name only and are married to white men who actually control the businesses. The Gray Panthers lobby for the rights of seniors, but the poor, Black and elderly are the least championed in health care, prescription costs and protection from fraud. African American children are imprisoned in outrageous numbers in comparison to whites, live in abject poverty, and are intentionally undereducated. The list could go on and on. The system is dangerously flawed. Disparity based on race is rampant and the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness seem to be more and more evasive for people of color in this society.
I’ve noticed from a few of my contemporaries an interesting trend towards disregarding the contributions of the warriors of the civil rights movement by saying that what they did was counterproductive to the betterment of Black people. According to some, the civil rights movement was lead by a middle-class, elitist, bourgeoisie whose only agenda was to fatten their pockets and “Tom” their way to the political forefront. I find this an interesting position in that the real villains of justice to Afro peoples in this country wear white, whether it be skin, collars and/or sheets. Public policy has done more harm to the advancement of African Americans than those foot soldiers that risked their lives so that we might have a better way of life. It smacks of a certain amount of disrespect to belittle the contributions of those that sat-in, those that marched, those that put their lives on the line. Rather than attack racist agendas and GOP politics, they point the finger at those that resisted the status quo with negative critique. It is my contention that the civil rights leaders of the past did the best they possibly could under the extreme circumstances. The civil rights movement didn’t die in the 1960s, it was assassinated. It didn’t end because Negroes had obtained all of their rights and were finally equal; it ended with a bullet on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. It ended in gunfire at the podium of the Audobon ballroom and in illegal raids in Oakland, CA. The movement ended because its efforts were effectively halted and the forward movement of an oppressed people quelled. The remaining civil rights leaders didn’t pack up their things and move to the suburbs saying, “job well done, I got mine.” Agendas became scattered, organization broke down. Everyone, working and middle-class alike went their separate ways, doing the best they could to carry on in the shadow of injustice.
I cut my teeth on the civil rights movement, learned to walk with freedom and equality as my goals. I am the offspring of a civil rights leader and it was towards the end of the volatile era of the civil rights movement that I garnered my agenda for affecting social change through civic-minded responsibility. Through the eyes of a child, I saw the remnants of a dream that had been killed, and I struggle to resuscitate it daily.
In 1968, Operation Draw Fire was an initiative in coordination with Lincoln University and the Maryland NAACP to desegregate local eating establishments in response to the arrest of three South African students trying to get served at a local pub. In the plan, a colored operative would go in and order food, and if he was denied service, he would then signal for the second team of whites to come in and request service. This lone individual went into these establishments unarmed, without backup in the territory that was the headquarters for the Klan in the violent 1960s. Tensions were high and tempers easily flared at the thought of a Negro trying to take away white privilege. On many occasions, guns were pulled and life and limb threatened. There is very valid reason that none of this information is footnoted and documented. This story is a part of my legacy, tradition I can call upon at any time. That solitary colored operative was my grandfather. It is the blood of a hero that courses through my veins, and it is his name that I carry.
On July 25, 1968, Ku Klux Klan members threw 15 sticks of dynamite into the home of the first Black man to run for political office in Cecil County Maryland. Fortunately, the dynamite rolled down a bank and no lives were lost. If the perpetrators of that deed had accomplished their mission, I would not be alive today. I was in that home along with my uncle and my grandparents. It was my grandfather’s dedication to paving the way for all Black people that motivated him to continue to struggle past the death threats and attempts on his life. Not greed or power, it was his passion to fight for our rights as human beings.
My mother desegregated her high school in 1960 and was the only Black student in North East High School for three years. She went on to be arrested four times in 1964 attempting to integrate a movie theater as a student at Morgan State University. She was sprayed with insecticide, fed moldy food, and housed in the general population of the jail with murderers and violent criminals. As you can see, my heritage is rich with the tradition of the civil rights movement. Today, I head a non-profit organization created to battle the injustices of inequality in this society. It is my mission to create social change and to make level the playing field that keeps my people disadvantaged.
In conclusion, I might suggest that one’s civil rights in the new millennium are just as elusive as they were for the freedmen during reconstruction. The culprits are not as blatant, but they are equally as oppressive nonetheless. I will leave you with the words of my grandfather and his admonition to my generation in the pursuit of civil rights for us all: “As you travel along life’s highway, keep a sharp eye on that door that leads to equality, don’t let it close because your brother or sister may be trying to get in.”
Friday, February 10, 2006
It’s become more and more apparent to me, over the course of the last couple of weeks, that most people are absolutely clueless when it comes to what constitutes and establishes a healthy relationship. What’s worse, we aren’t even interested in changing our behaviors in an effort to move to a different place, we want to hold on to obviously dysfunctional and destructive patterns, justify them, and then blame other people for hurting us. The choices we make in our relationships are blatantly unhealthy and then we cry and boo hoo that the other person has wronged us. I know that everyone isn’t on the same path of healing but it seems almost incomprehensible that it’s 2005 and people are not even willing to make efforts to examine their lives in a conscious effort to build a stronger relationship.
NOW, I’ll be the first to say that I’m not an expert on relationships. I haven’t been in a relationship for almost 15 years. In those 15 years however, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to analyze why I’ve chosen the relationships I’ve been in, what I did wrong, what belief systems I need to change, and trying to conceptualize exactly how I want any future relationships I enter into. I’ve tried to determine exactly what I want my partner to be like, how I want to interact with my partner, what I bring to the table, and what things I will and will not compromise on in a partnership. I’ve come up with some things that I think are essential for building a healthy relationship and I’m going to share my thoughts on the subject with the hopes that some other people will come up with criteria that will work for them in building a strong relationship.
First and foremost, in order to build a healthy and strong relationship, you must, you MUST look at why you are the way you are. You have to figure out why you like the men that don’t like you, why you choose the women that need to be rescued and then you resent them when they ask you for security. You have to look at the reasons behind why you fall in love in a week and then three months later you hate that person like they are a serial killer. Why do you continue to love people that don’t love you? Why do you feel like your life is over when you get rejected? All of the reasons why we behave the way we do are set up in our childhood. We duplicate the things we experienced in our childhood so we must figure out what caused us to be the way we are. Your dad wasn’t around, your mother played the martyr “Strong Black woman” icon, you saw her have a string of no good men come in and out of your life, you wanted your daddy to love you, you wanted to be like your daddy, cool and aloof and unattached . . . whatever the belief system, you have to figure that out first and foremost so you can identify the pattern in your relationships and work to correct it. When you see that red flag pop up, you can understand where it comes from and then work towards moving to a healthier place. The problem with looking at our past is that it’s painful. We don’t want to have to face the fact that we think we are unworthy of love because we feel fat, ugly, insecure, or flawed. We don’t want to admit to ourselves that we have fears of abandonment from when we had to go live with our auntie when we were little. It is that acknowledgement and that ability to examine YOUR OWN LIFE that will make you a better person in a relationship and without that, you are doomed to continue to perpetuate those same horrible relationships over and over again.
You must have a set of emotional criteria that you feel is essential for what constitutes a loving relationship for you. You must define your emotional boundaries and establish what you need emotionally in a relationship and you have to demand that from your partner. What does that mean? Everyone has different things that would make them feel loved and valued, you have to have that clearly defined in your head and then seek a partner that is willing to help you paint that picture. If you meet someone and they can’t subscribe to your vision of love, if its too much of a burden for them to do the things you need to feed you emotionally, that’s not the person for you. For some people, you need a partner that will call you every day and check in with you just to make sure you are doing okay. For others, it means you need physical affection, constant hugs and kisses, and intimacy. Others still might need a relationship in which there is no fighting. You have to know what you want your relationship to look like in order for you to be able to achieve it. The trick is to identify the emotional things that build strong relationships and not the material things that damage them.
Suppose, as a woman, you think love is having a man buy you all sorts of thing and pay all your bills. You seek that out in a partner and then he beats you, controls your every move, you feel trapped. What you’ve done is identify a selfish material need, not an emotional need. The emotional need would be to feel security. Security comes in many forms and can be expressed in lots of ways. If your man helps you organize your bills so you can pay them on time yourself, helps you get your resume together so you can get a better job with more income, quizzes you with interview questions, if he helps you plan a budget so that you can save to buy a house and you won’t have to be uprooted once a year, that’s meeting your emotional needs, not your physical ones. If, as a man, you want a relationship where you have a woman that looks like she stepped off the cover of a magazine or a video set every day in order to show other men that you are better than them, in order to prove that you have what it takes to get the best looking woman, what you are looking for emotionally is confidence and self esteem. That can’t come from a woman; true confidence and self-esteem must come from inside. That woman that has her hair done all the time, her nails and toes painted to match, that wears the designer outfit in her two-seater, convertible sports car will not honor you as a man, she will use you for your money and move on when the next man with more money offers to buy her. The woman that will help you go back to school and get your degree, and who will get up at 5 am on a Saturday morning to help you train for that marathon is the woman that will support your accomplishments and be a loving partner. As long as you go for the packaging and not what’s inside, you’ll be doomed to be miserable in your relationships.
3. A healthy relationship must be built on integrity and selflessness. Integrity means steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code and selflessness means exhibiting, or motivated by NO concern for oneself; unselfish. Those are foreign words to most people these days because we’ve been socialized to look out for self. The idea of putting another person’s feelings above our own is impossible for some people to grasp. You can’t be in a healthy relationship if you lie, cheat, or make choices that benefit you and not your partner. Every choice, every decision, every move you make has to benefit your partner or your relationship. Now, here’s the rub. Your partner has to have the same commitment to the relationship in order for it to work. You can’t say, “I love XYZ, but I have to go out on Friday night to party because that’s what I love to do and if they don’t like it, too bad.” Well, that’s not entirely true. You can say that but you will be in a very unhealthy relationship if you do. To be in a healthy relationship, you have to put your needs last and have a partner that is willing to put their needs last as well. If both of you are working on building a relationship where you honor and love the other person, where you put the other person’s needs ahead of your own, both of you will be in a relationship where neither on will jeopardize the relationship by doing something selfish. That means you can’t have instant gratification all the time. That means you won’t cheat when the opportunity comes up because you think you can get away with it because you will think about your spouse and know that your actions would hurt them. You won’t stay out all weekend without calling because you will know that they will be worried to death about you. You won’t buy the super expensive hot tub or the entertainment system you’ve always wanted without asking permission first because you know any selfish choice you make for yourself in the relationship will negatively effect how you get along. You will ask your partners opinion on things and come to a compromise that honors both of you.
4. It almost goes without saying because it’s so essential and most people will say they want it in a relationship but hardly anyone at all practices it. Honesty is the foundation for a healthy relationship. Honesty means telling your partner all your dirty little secrets, fears, fantasies, dreams, and insecurities. Honest y is the ultimate measure of respect for your partner and it’s the cornerstone for two people relating in a way that will grow and build. You must start by being honest with yourself. That means you must be able to admit to yourself that you really do like the idea of having sex in a tub of chocolate pudding and that it’s not going to go away, no matter how much you want it to. You have to tell be able to tell your partner all of the things that make you tick or otherwise you are only presenting a shell of yourself to your partner and you are not allowing them to love all of you. If you have a sexual fantasy that you are afraid to share you’re your spouse, that means you are ashamed of your fantasy. If you are ashamed of your fantasy, that means you are not being true to yourself. “But my wife will never understand that I want to get fucked in the ass with a strapon, she’ll think I’m gay.” “My boyfriend will never understand that I want to be gangbanged.” If you are with a partner who will not be willing to communicate and love you for who you are, you aren’t in a healthy relationship. There is no consensual sexual fantasy or fetish that should not be able to be discussed. You, as an adult, should be able to A.) point to the emotional need it fills in you and work to get that in other ways, and B.) keep in mind that if you choose to fulfill a fantasy without your partner, you’ve violated the rule of putting your partner’s emotional needs first.
Honesty goes far beyond just sharing your fantasies. You have to be able to tell your spouse that you peed your pants in the third grade when the teacher called you to the blackboard and you were nervous because you didn’t know the answer. You have to be able to tell your spouse that your cousin molested you when you were 10 and it’s fucked with your head ever since. You have to have a commitment to telling your partner that you’ve made a mistake and were unfaithful and let them choose how to process that information in a way that is healthy for them. You have to not keep the information that the IRS is going to repossess your home for tax fraud you had before you got married. Any time you keep a secret from your spouse, any time you lie, and time you allow dishonesty to come between you and your partner, you are chipping away at the foundation of your healthy relationship.
“Well, I’m in a relationship and I know that he or she will leave me if I told them the truth about all the shit I’ve done.” That is a glaring indication that you are in an unhealthy relationship. There are too many things that will work to destroy your relationship outside your front door. Again, you have to have a commitment to telling the truth and you have to have a partner that is equally as committed to telling the truth. If you start letting dishonesty in your relationship, your partner will not have your back when the shit hits the fan. Having a healthy relationship is not easy, in fact, it’s very hard. Lies and healthy relationship just don’t mix.
5. Good communication is essential in building a healthy relationship. You and your partner must have a way to disagree that doesn’t include yelling, screaming, and calling names. Most of us don’t know how to do that so go get a book on communication or go to counseling. You must be willing to let your partner be mad without getting defensive. You must be willing to let your partner have the space they need in order to process their emotions. You have to be willing to look things from their perspective and see things as they see them. You have to be willing to find a partner that is committed to having the same standard to communication as you or else you’ve just entered into another dysfunctional relationship.
6. Similar belief systems are a key ingredient to building a strong, healthy relationship. I’ve heard many people say that they want a partner who shares the same social interests as them but they don’t care what their philosophical, or political, or spiritual beliefs are. That is a recipe for a shaky relationship at best. It would be great if you and your partner liked the same music and movies and you both liked to bowl. Those things are entertainment and it would be great to share those things with your partner. If, however, you are looking to build a healthy relationship with you partner, those things are icing on the cake and not the key ingredients to building a relationship. If you are a radical libertarian and you get involved with someone who thinks Bush is the best president since Reagan (which is saying a whole helluva lot) then you are going to be setting up arguments in your relationship about your core beliefs. If you like skating and your partner likes chess but you both are staunch Green Party, Pro-Choice, Anti-war, vegetarian, Hassidic Jews then you can go out skating, your partner can go out and play chess and when you come home you’ll be share your thoughts and feelings over a plate of curry lentils and plan out a strategy to hug a tree and rally for legislation to bring our soldiers home. Those are the things that will make the community better and building a strong community starts with building a strong family unit first. If you like 50cent and your partner like Cold Play, you can set times to listen to your music and his or her music that doesn’t piss both of you off. If you believe in your heart that a gay couple has a right to adopt and your partner does not, you are going to go to bed pissed off and mad many, many night.
If you aren’t in a relationship now and you want to be, how do you ensure that the next relationship will be healthier than your last? Go down the list and start by making a commitment that you are going to work on all of those things before you enter into a relationship again. Practice being honest, it’s not easy. Practice resolving conflicts in a different way. Decide what emotional needs you want met in your relationship and be willing to put them on the table as non-negotiables. When you find a person and they fit the outside criteria and not the emotional needs, make a commitment to pass and continue to invest your time and energy into relationships that is healthy. Sit down and write out all the things that shaped your personality. Take the time to really get to know a person BEFORE you commit to them. Take some time to get to know yourself. That means stay in the house for a few weekends, don’t talk on the phone every night trying to find someone to hook up with. Don’t be so desperate to be in a relationship that you throw yourself at the next person that shows interest in you. I’d say if you did any combination of those things, you’d be on your way to a more fulfilling, satisfying, enriching relationship than the ones you’ve been in in the past.