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.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Black Enterprise Magazine approached me, approached ME, about doing an article on my work as a Black female entrepreneur. I was excited as I was about to get the national exposure I have so long been seeking to combat that wretched Zane and her horribly offensive and degrading crap she calls erotica. Finally, I was going to get a national platform to talk about healthy Black sexuality. They told me that I would be getting a list of interview questions in an email and that I was to fill them out and send them back. I waited for that email, and waited, and waited. Finally, I contacted the young lady again and I told her that I hadn't received the interview questions and that I was anxious to get them. She then told me that Black Enterprise readers weren't interested in "my topic" and that they had a much more conservative readership. At which point I asked her if Black Enterprise readers had sex and she promptly hung up on me.
There is a knee jerk reaction in the Black middle class community that kicks in every time there is mention of sex. We can't even have academic discussions of sex without someone deeming that "those sorts of conversations aren't appropriate for this forum." The more we compartmentalize our sex, the more we allow our sexuality to be defined as dirty. Sure, not every conversation is appropriate for every venue but not every one is inappropriate either. The very same people who are sooooo quick to try to silence me at the mere mention of the word erotic are the very same people masturbating to images of pornography that degrade, demean, and objectify us as a people because they refuse to allow any other avenue of sexual expression to be acceptable.
People ask me all the time why I started writing erotica. My response is and has always been, that I am a single, highly-educated, African-centered, Black woman who is not aroused by dogs, thugs, pimps, drug dealers, basketball players, or rappers and I'm not a ghetto hoochie, ghetto whore, nor am I a ghetto big booty freak. Where do I turn for sexual arousal? I started writing erotica because there was nothing that spoke to me. I started writing erotica because I don't find interracial images of black men fucking white women to be arousing and I'm not represented by Black women with weaves, fake nails, and stripper shoes who have no clue what it is to be sensual, only sexual. I'm a 42 year old woman who hasn't been in a relationship in so long that it boggles the mind and I'm tired of men approaching me and thinking that just because I have a big booty and they have a big SUV, that I'm going to have sex with them. That's why I started writing erotica. I wanted to have something that spoke to men, that represented the types of relationships that I was looking for, that get me wet, that allowed me to masturbate to something that represented my view of Black life. I can't be the only woman, the only Black person, who wants or needs to find a sexual outlet that isn't sanitized and sterile but that isn't degrading and cliche either.
There is always this "what you are doing is corrupting children" backlash that I get. I had sex when I was 16 years old. I was far from the first girl of my peers to have sex, in fact, losing one's virginity at around that age was pretty average among my very middle class, suburban peers. That was LONG before BET made Black women out to be freaks, bitches, and ho's. That was long before Zane's books, portraying Black women as nymphomaniac adulterous gold digging, superficial whores, were passed around like a virus. That was LONG before children had access to the internet where every vile, disgusting, perverse sexual act is available to view for free with the click of a mouse. To assert that children, young teens, are going to be warped by my discussions of sexuality is laughable. I'm the only voice that is speaking out and saying that sex should be about love, intimacy, openness, communication, freedom, and responsibility. If anything, young teens need to be exposed to my brand of erotica in order to counter the negative images they see at every turn and to combat the oblivious parents who think that if they don't talk about sex, that their children will somehow escape being exposed to it.
Of course, there's always the, "Blacks aren't the only one's who are victims of the same behavior" argument. My concern is not other communities. My concern is the fact that 7 out of 10 Black children are being born out of wedlock. My concern is that a Black woman in her mid 30s is more likely to be struck by lightning than to get married. My concern is that African Americans are dying of AIDS at a disproportionate rate than any other race. So while other races, creeds, and whathaveyou may very well be steeped in sexual dysfunction, it is affecting US more detrimentally. There are scores of Black men who are impregnating white women to feed the sexual fetish of white couples to have their wives "bred black." There are scores of Black men going into white couples bedrooms every night of the week to feed white couple's racist Nigger Buck Mandingo fantasies. There are young Black women who have never had sex unless it involves some sort of exchange of money or services. Those things are the perils that will destroy our race if we continue to censor our conversations about sex and let some absurd religious/pious sanctimony dictate that sex can't be discussed.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Where do intelligent, middle class Black people turn to find sexual expression? What outlets do we have to be aroused without offensive, degrading, vulgar pornographic images? My work is providing such an outlet yet I'm continually and repeatedly told that my work is offensive. What's offensive is a nation of Black people who can't form healthy relationships because they don't know how to be open and honest with their partners about their needs, desires, and fantasies. What's offensive is that as an educated successful Black woman, I'm told that I'm a freak if I even make reference to sex, however academic the discussion. If my work glorified sex in exchange for money, cheating, or manipulation, that would be a perversion of sex. My work glorifies couples being intimate, communicating, sharing their secrets with one another and validating that adults, and young adults should be having sex based on LOVE first and foremost.
The African American community is diseased in our perceptions of sexuality. The middle class can't even have a conversation about sex; we can't even have a discussion about the subject of sex before someone is trying to censor it. The rest of us are out having unprotected, irresponsible sex like it's recreation. There's a vast difference between saying, "I'm a big booty ho looking to swallow seven loads of cum," and "I long to feel the sensation of your tongue licking me until I explode in your mouth." Until we as a people can discern the difference, until we as a people can stop relegating anything to do with sex as being dirty and unmentionable, we are doomed to be dysfunctional and sexually immature. We should be able to have discussions about sex in all forums, with relative boundaries in mind, and not be so quick to feign false indignation as if sex is dirty and unmentionable.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
November 2, 2008, 10:21 am
To Whom It May Concern,
With so little time remaining before election day, and with so many things running through my mind--things that I'm hoping might, if presented correctly, somehow influence your vote--I hardly know where to begin. I guess I could speak to you about one or another public policy issue--perhaps health care, or education--and try to convince you that Barack Obama is the better choice. But I'm not going to do that. Not because I doubt that it's true, but because there's something more important to think about. It's about you, and who you are, and what you want to stand for and associate with come election day.
I won't try and change your mind about issues. My own ideological commitments are decidedly to the left, far more so than Barack Obama by the way (which is why I actually find it funny when folks suggest he's some far-out radical or socialist). I actually wish Obama were more bold in his progressivism, but many years ago I learned that when it came to presidential elections, I'd likely have to settle for voting for the candidate who I felt was better, even if they were far from my own ideal. I could spend the other 364 days fighting for what I believed in, without apology or compromise. Election day, for me, has always come to be about harm reduction: a political equivalent of the hippocratic oath. And that's OK.
I'm asking you now to make that same leap: to relinquish the need to be totally behind the person you vote for, and instead to make the best out of a situation that you may see as less than ideal, but which nonetheless posits a very serious choice in terms of which direction this nation travels, less so in terms of policy than in terms of tone, demeanor, and its overall political culture.
Because this election isn't just about taxes, or the war in Iraq, or energy policy, though it is all of those things. Honest and decent people can disagree about those subjects, as with any political issue. But this election is about the public face of the United States of America in the early twenty-first century. And when it comes to such a matter as this, the difference between an Obama and McCain vote couldn't be clearer.
If you don't believe me, I implore you to take a look at the numerous video clips of McCain and Palin's hardcore supporters (links embedded at the end of this letter) as they scream words of anger and hatred at Obama supporters who are merely standing with signs announcing their preference outside one or another McCain rally. These mobs, and that is what they are, are not merely people who disagree about issues with Senator Obama--which would be fine--but rather, they are persons who seem incapable of even seeing the humanity of their opponent, or his supporters. They are people whose vitriol and venom know few if any bounds. They are people who call him names that are only thinly-veiled racial slurs, who threaten him with violence, and who suggest that he is a "baby killer" whose election would destroy America. These are dangerous people, and what's important here, is that they are not like you.
If you agreed with this kind of rhetoric, I suspect you wouldn't be undecided, or perhaps merely leaning towards McCain. You would be a full-blown acolyte. That you are not suggests that you are trying to avoid the trap of overblown emotionalism. For that, I thank you. And for that reason I am asking you to consider that if you vote for McCain, you will not merely be voting for policies that you may prefer, but you will also be empowering some of these very forces visible in the videos. You will be casting your lot with them, making common cause with persons whose anger and rage threatens to tear the country apart at a time when we desperately need to come together to solve common problems. These forces, if victorious, would think their triumph a signal event, one that would give them a green light to ramp up the volume of their hatred even louder.
Although most McCain supporters are not like the thugs attending these rallies, surely it must give you pause to think that you could vote as they vote, that you might contribute to the election of a man whose base includes such persons as these. People who have verbally abused Obama campaigners canvassing door-to-door or on the phone, who suggest that we should "Bomb Obama," and who have spread vicious rumors about the candidate with no basis in fact. And through it all, Obama himself has sucked it up, smiled through it and tried to take the higher ground.
And so we return to that notion of the public face of our nation, which is on the line in two days. Do you want this nation to elect a man whose victory would be dependent on the kind of persons as you can see in these videos? People whose sole commodity is fear, contrasted with Obama supporters whose mantra of hope--however simplistic you may think it, and however vague it may indeed be--at least appeals to the better angels of our natures, and to the positive, constructive impulses that have animated the nation's people in their better moments.
Perhaps you think it unfair to link John McCain to the yahoos attending many of his events. Perhaps you feel that his status (self-proclaimed at least) as a maverick, would mean that, if elected, he would clearly distance himself from fringe wingnuts such as these. But you know what a real maverick would have done by now? A real maverick would already have distanced himself, clearly and repeatedly, from these folks. And John McCain has not. These videos have been bouncing around for weeks, and with the exception of one tepid comment about how both sides need to tone down the hostile rhetoric--which seemed to imply an equivalence between Obama supporters and the folks on those tapes that simply doesn't exist--McCain and Palin have said nothing. Rather, McCain said he was "proud" of the people at his rallies, including, apparently the kinds of people we can all witness spewing their bigotry for the world to see.
A real maverick would have said the following: "My friends, I want your vote, and I sincerely believe that I am the best man for this job. But if you are supporting me because you are afraid of having a black president, or because you believe my opponent to be a terrorist, or a Muslim (and you believe Muslims are evil and unqualified to hold office), or because you believe the long-since discredited rumors about him that have been bouncing around the internet, or if you wish him harm, either now or in the future, I am asking you not to vote for me. More than that, I am telling you not to. I am asking you to stay home on election day, because I don't want the support of people like you. If the only way I can win the presidency is on the backs of bigots, I'd rather not win."
Now THAT would have been a maverick move. It would have been a bold move, one filled with courage and honor and character. It would have cemented McCain's place in history as a man of principle. But he never said this, or anything remotely like it. He knows he can't win without the support of two groups: the crazies, and the undecideds. The first of these he feels confident he can hold. The second of these? Well, that's for you to decide. But for my money, I think you are not only smarter, but fundamentally more decent than that. On election day, please show the nation and the world that my faith in you was not misplaced.
LINKS TO McCAIN RALLIES: