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.

Friday, August 29, 2008

In the Sunshine

My childhood is peppered with memories, both good and bad, that are not unlike many people of color but also so vastly atypical and unique as to be extraordinary by any measure. I was born to a single mother in the sixties when being a single mother was still shameful. I was raised by my grandparents who were civil rights activists and intellectuals who never once subscribed to stereotypes or adhered to the narrowly defined pigeonhole to which Blacks were assigned. They were exceptional in that they adored each other and expressed that love for each other in word and in deed every day. There were never instances of people coming over to play cards or listen to music rather people stopped by when they needed help because they were facing discrimination and racism and needed a place to turn for solace. My middle class grandparents were never concerned with cars, clothes, or expensive belongings but with knowledge and justice. I was challenged to expand my mind, to treat people fairly, and to live with INTEGRITY. When I moved in with my mother, she made great efforts to expose me to the world and a myriad of experiences that would not limit me to those things to which only little Black girls were relegated. I didn't play double dutch or the dozens, I learned sign language and wrote reports on Black history. So while I was born in a tiny town in Maryland with two stop lights, reared on the border of white suburbia and rural isolation, and became a woman on the streets of New York City, I am an amalgamation of various people, places and events that color the canvas that is my life.

My sexuality, for the first 15 years of my sexual adulthood, was shaped by limiting, patriarchal, misogynist dysfunction. My sexuality was shaped largely by reading my mother's vast and extensive collection of pornography. I suspect my mother was more interested in collecting the erotica of the day in order to appear progressive and make men fall in love with her rather than her own sexual liberation. My identity was shaped by trying to distance myself from my dysfunctional mother who dated every married man she could get her hands on in order for her to never have to deal with betrayal and hurt again like she experienced from my biological father. My sexuality was shaped by an overwhelming sensation that I was inherently unlovable because my father never wanted to lay his eyes on me. My sexuality was formed by being a physically and emotionally abused child who thought she had to apologize to the world and who thought she had no right to express displeasure or demand that my boundaries be respected. When I was raped, I never thought to press charges because I had been conditioned to expect a life of pain and disappointment. When I was rejected by men who discarded me like trash, I would beat myself up and try to prove to them that I was worthy, that I was a great lover and partner and anything that they could ask for. While my grandparents showed me this fantastic, unconditional, all-encompassing love, they taught me that my sexuality was dirty and unmentionable. Everything I learned from those early life experiences I had to unlearn as I've grown in consciousness.

I attended an all white elementary school, junior high, and high school. I was ridiculed by the few Black students as not being Black enough because I got all A's and B's. I was an exceptional student who wasn't nurtured and encouraged by white teachers because there were uncomfortable with my Blackness. My Blackness didn't fit in their definition. I was not ghetto but I also wasn't willing to deny my unique history and the history of my ancestors. I attended an undergraduate program in textile technology because, while I wanted desperately to be in the fashion industry, I didn't want to be average or superficial. I wanted to have knowledge that the average person on the street wouldn't dream of knowing. I dedicated myself to mastering subjects like organic chemistry and weft knitting only to graduate and only get recognition and acknowledgement in the work force for my creativity. Nearly a decade later, I decided to pursue a Master's degree in African and African American Studies with a concentration in psychology. I had been growing and evolving personally and I needed a change. I needed to push myself, again, to learn things that the average person walking down the street wouldn't know. I chose to attend an HBCU, to surround myself with what I thought would be progressive, forward thinking Blacks who were equally as committed to dismantling the mindsets learned in slavery that keep up oppressed. I was faced with a reality that my fellow students didn't give a damn about the things I was concerned with and I felt even more isolated than when I was the sole Black student in a classroom of 30. Earning a 4.0, I accomplished that mission and did my very best to understand how African Americans came to think and behave in such detrimental, dysfunctional ways and how to go about healing those pathologies and exactly what a healthy model of behavior for descendents of slaves should look like.

My mission in life is to create social change, to educate and enlighten, to lift the consciousness of Africans born in America, and to break the chains of mental slavery. I use sex as a means to accomplish my mission, specifically, I write Black and interracial erotica in an attempt to discuss the issues that plague us, to dismantle the beliefs that keep us limited, and to paint a new picture of us as healthy individuals. Erotica is not the only tool I use but it certainly is an effective one. My personal sexuality has been influenced by my mission in that, in trying to live my life in a way that is congruent with my mission, I've alienated myself from a great number of men who only want to fuck me because of my big booty or because I have pretty feet or because they just want a piece of ass. I've redefined my sexuality because it can no longer fit into the narrow box that made me think that sex was, at best, recreation, and at the very least, something reminiscent of a porno.

Simply stated, I define erotic as a culmination of sights, sounds, scents, tastes, and sensations that arouse the body. AfroerotiK is intimacy; it is an intimacy that is so deep and abiding that you can be your authentic self with your partner without fear or hesitation. AfroerotiK is spiritual; it's a connection to a larger scheme whereby an individual can understand that their sexuality can't be defined by oppressive, rigid, and puritanical beliefs created by white men to keep people oppressed but that is a divine expression of pleasure and connection. AfroerotiK is displaying pride, dignity, and strength of character by releasing the debilitating and harmful mindsets inherited in slavery/colonialism and embracing a holistic perspective where sex is not about power or money or some tool to dull your senses but about communication, about honoring oneself, about the decadent and hedonistic abandon that can be experienced in the throes of passion.

When I sit down to create a story, I draw upon an ideal vision I see in my head of a future world where gender roles aren't so rigid. I dream a world where people embrace newer, more evolved ways to address sexuality and completely divorce themselves of the behaviors that lead them to lie, cheat, and manipulate in order to have sex. Every time I create a story, I close my eyes and envision a world where couples are more open, expressive, and honest with one another. I'm inspired to expose white people's inherent, core racist beliefs, no matter how much they deny their existence, each and every time I write a tale of interracial lust. My goal is to show Black people, complex and healthy, as role models who just happen to have passionate, intense, uninhibited sex.

My gender preference in a lover has been exclusively male for the past decade. Moreover, my most intense, emotional attraction is to men of color. The qualities I most appreciate and respect in a man are those that are rare in most African American men today, thus making my search for a partner extremely difficult. The trait most essential for me in a partner is introspection. I desire a partner who has been able to examine the events and influences in his life that shaped him, shaped his consciousness, identified those things that were detrimental to his development, and who is constantly working on redefining himself anew. I desire a partner who understands his emotional triggers and is cognizant enough to understand how those things are injurious to forming a healthy relationship and is working on healing those wounds. My ideal partner is a man of integrity, who understands the concept of honesty and embraces it, who practices a spiritual system other than Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. The perfect man for me is also a man who identifies himself as openly bisexual, having rid himself of absurd notions of manhood and who relates to me as a human being and a woman without expecting me to adhere to patriarchal, oppressive roles. To finish off my grocery list of things I desire in a partner, I would add extremely intelligent, creative, and capable of being monogamous.

My sex life has been severely stunted in the past 10 years, so much so that I find it difficult to remember what sex is like, let alone great sex. I vaguely remember having sex, with certain people, at certain times, but my memories are distorted. I don't have a "most memorable orgasm" experience. The experiences that are most memorable for me are the ones where I felt most loved. I don't remember the physical things we did so much as I remember the emotion of the experience. Even then, I'm still fuzzy on the pictures in my head because I'm so divorced from my sexuality now that everything sort of seems a blur. I do remember faking a hell of a lot of orgasm with men to appease their egos, or at least my motivation was to make them feel manly. I remember being used for sex a lot. I think the thing I've learned about my sexuality in the past is that my greatest sex is yet to come, with a partner who loves me, where I can experience completely uninhibited, unbridled, passionate, romantic, sensual, AfroerotiK sex.

There are too many vital, important, pressing issues of sexuality today to just limit it to one. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is rampant and deadly and is being spread amidst a cacophony of lies and denial. Rape, molestation, and sexual abuse are happening behind every door and leaving a trail of damaged, broken people in its wake. The objectification of women is sooooo pervasive, so accepted that it's hard to even address the issue because people have accepted the hypersexualization of women as being normal and expected. Sex in exchange for money distorts, warps, and damages the delicate equilibrium of intimacy that sex should be about and makes it about power and control. Everything about sexuality is fucked up. There isn't one thing that is more important than another; all the issues are interconnected and seriously in need of fixing.

Right now in my life I'm trying to become comfortable with the fact that I just may never find love. I'm trying to become comfortable with the fact that the rest of my life just might be lived with a series of short term relationships that are meant to teach me about life and nothing more significant than that. It's been brought to my attention recently that I send mixed messages to the individuals to whom I'm attracted, coming on strong when I feel an attraction and then doing a complete 180 in the opposite direction at the first sign of what I experience as rejection. I'm going to make it my goal to speak from a place of clarity without trying to play the martyr or victim but also tone down my intensity when I meet someone. I've decided to focus on getting my book published, on building and growing AfroerotiK to what I dream it can be and not focus on my sexuality for the time being. I don't think shutting off my sexuality is healthy; I think there needs to be balance in everything. But I'm also aware that I have to play the cards I've been dealt. So while love and intimacy and sex are the things I desire the most, they have also remained elusive for a reason. The only way I know how to cope with that is to stay clear about what I want, not compromise just to fill a void, and live with integrity to my goals.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

I’m Losing my Mind

I’m Losing my Mind

There is something very unnatural about going without human contact for as long as I do. I haven’t had sex in almost 10 months and it’s making me go crazy. I’m not even horny as much as I am lonely. I want to be held, I want to be touched, I want to be made love to. I want to kiss. I would give anything to fall asleep in a man’s arms, to wake up and feel his hard erection pressing into my butt. I want to know that a man wants me, all of me, not just my body, not just my pussy but ME, Scottie. I wish I could say that this is the longest I’ve ever gone without sex but sadly, for the last 14 or 15 years of my life, I’ve made a habit of going years without sex. No one should ever have to do that; especially not repeatedly.

I feel handicapped, disabled, I feel like a friggin’ alien because I have no outlet for my sexuality, I have no opportunity for intimacy in my life. I’m convinced human beings shouldn’t go so long without having sex. There are those that tell me my standards are too high, that I should lower my standards in order to just have sex. I don’t want just sex, I want a man who wants me. Besides the fact that I have no desire to be pathetically average and have sex with just anyone, I demand a partner who meets my standards in order for me to be aroused. If I wanted someone’s husband, or someone who just wants to use me for sex who has no concern for me as a person, I could go outside, throw a stick, and hit 10 men who would fuck me. I want more than that.

There are those who insist that I’m attracting the wrong sorts of men because of some inherent flaw I have. Unfortunately, that ignores the fact that Black men are emotionally immature and, in many instances, unable to form healthy relationships with women because they devalue women as objects, they’ve not dealt with their own issues, that they are patriarchal, misogynist, sexist, and still holding on to diseased mindsets inherited from slavery. The constant need to blame women for not being healed enough to “attract” the right type of man does nothing but allow emotionally immature men to remain stagnant. Because Black men are unable to recognize my inherent beauty as a partner, as a human being, as more than something to fuck or control, I remain alone. Is that the only reason I’m alone, certainly not. I’m intimidating, I realize that. The pool of men I consider attractive is very small; this is not news to me. I am suggesting, however, that the pool of men who would be potential partners would be much larger if there weren’t such an inherent need of people to blame women for attracting the wrong sorts of men and not raising the bar for men to become better partners.

Insanity is not cute. I find myself crying at the most odd times, for the most bizarre reasons because I feel so empty inside. My body has forgotten what it is to feel penetration, to have a dick massage my pussy walls and make me feel pleasure. My nipples don’t remember what it is to be gently sucked and licked until I’m so wet I’m dripping. I can’t even masturbate anymore. I can’t even get wet; I’m divorced from my sexuality in a way that is unhealthy.

I’m 42 years old and I’m sexually handicapped. I don’t know how to be in a sexual situation with a man without playing all sorts of tapes in my head about what it is to be sexually liberated versus being a slut. I don’t know how to be confident and secure with expressing my sexuality without fear of being used or feeling like I’m going to burst into tears. That’s not right for a woman my age. I should be able to find a partner. I’m not saying I want a husband but it shouldn’t be so damned hard for me to find a companion. As sex positive as I try to be, I’m retarded in my own sexual expression because I am going out of my mind from loneliness.