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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Healing Black Marriages/ Fixing Black Sexuality

I asked the question yesterday to married Black women, “Why is it that far too many Black men complain to me that their wives are unwilling to even show them the basic level of affection, let alone passion in their marriage, that sex seems to be the last priority on the list for their wives.”  Almost all the women who have responded have said that their husbands treat them poorly or don't help out around the house and that they just don't feel motivated to have sex.  That is certainly understandable.  If men can’t take out the trash without being asked or they can’t help out with the children, if they expect everything to be done for them and then want sex, they are selfish and immature and a woman can’t be expected to have or want sex in those circumstances.  OR, the women have said that they were raised to have sex with their husbands as a wifely obligation and they do it regardless of whether they want it or not. That’s some oppressive, archaic thinking to say the least.  It is not a woman’s JOB to please her man.  Sex is a form of communication, intimacy, and a show of love.  It’s not something a woman should do because she thinks she has some biblical obligation. 

I think there is a third group of women NOT responding.  I think the vast majority of Black married women who have not responded think that talking about sex in a public forum is beneath them, vulgar.  I think that they are the women who have set the rules for sex in their marriages and it has nothing to do with their husbands treating them poorly or not contributing around the house; it has to do with them seeing sex as something you do to get a man and not something you do to keep him.  It appears to me that quite a few Black women feel that they are entitled to the house, the car, the social standing and that raising the children and volunteering at church takes priority over intimacy, communication, and sexuality.  I think (again, based on my keen powers of observation, nothing more) that most married Black women are very disconnected from any sort of healthy sense of sexuality. 

I suspect that it is a combination of things that has caused our married relationships to go terribly awry.  First, women, most black women feel that marriage is about men conforming to their demands, not a give and take, not about compromise, not about cooperation.  Somewhere along the way, we as Black women were taught that we as women make the final decisions (regardless of that "man being the head of the household" thing we LOVE to espouse) and that men must conform and change to meet our wills and that's that. Final answer.  No room for discussion.  It is the natural byproduct of being raised by single mothers who were hurt by no good men and overbearing mothers who wore the pants as they say in the relationship.  I think that most Black women feel that once they get the man, the ring on their finger, the work they need to do to keep him is done.  I say most because clearly there are some older women who feel that it's their job to please their man, that they have to put his needs first, etc.  That doesn't seem to be the case with most women less than 45 years old.  They seem (and I'm only basing this off my observations, not empirical evidence) to put more value in social appearances.  It's more important to put more emphasis into job, kids, church, and community than husband. 

Second, it appears as if men aren't very good lovers.  They aren't tender, or romantic, they have no clue what the word seduction means.  It appears they haven't altered their technique since they started having sex.  They use the same methods they learned at 17 and they think that makes them "super lovers."  I think most women enjoy that fast and furious fuck when they are dating but they want and need more as they mature, as the relationship evolves from infatuation to love and don't even have the vocabulary to ask for more or different once they've been in the relationship.  They don't want to say, "Hey, you know, for the past 10 years you've been sucking on my clit (or, God forbid, you don't even know where it is) and I don't really like it like that."  They don't know how to say, "Could you do me a favor and just give me a massage and cuddle with me and have some foreplay without having to have the night end in you humping me like a dog in heat?"  Every man I've ever spoken to is convinced he's a great lover.  That is NOT the case.  In fact, that is rarely the case.  Most men think that what they see in porn is good sex.  Most men can't even comprehend that the same routine of a little kissing, eating pussy, and then sticking it in is not enough variety to keep a woman satisfied.  I know personally I've had to tell men, "Hey, I told you, I don't like it like that," several times because they automatically go back to doing things they way they've always done them and they think it will work for every woman.  I can't imagine that most women can tell their husbands anything like that because they will look at her like, "It's been working all these years, what are you talking about?"  I’m not even convinced most women KNOW what will feel good, let alone, know how to communicate it to their husband of several/many years. 

I think the solution to this is so complex, so multi-faceted that is seems insurmountable.  The fact that only 30% of our community is married seems unbelievable.  First, we have to get women to understand that sexuality is important, it is essential to the survival of any relationship, that it's not dirty nor should it be an obligation.  We must get them to see that it is a vital part of the foundation of marriage and that it's something to be enjoyed, not looked at as a chore.  We have to heal women's psyches.  We have to dismantle this concept that, "I'm the woman and you do what I say and there's no discussion."  How we do that?  I don't know.  All the facets of society are in place for things to stay the way they are.  Everything about our culture is constructed for women to see sex as a tool to get a man and they think (wrongfully so it seems) that controlling that, or rather withholding sex is a perfectly viable option once they have walked down the aisle. 

Then we need to address men's concepts of sex.  That's much easier.  I can do that with my work, with my stories.  I can show men how to seduce.  They've never seen romance, seduction, tenderness before.  They've never been taught to please a woman before.  YESSSS, I know, I know fellas.  Your mother's best friend/the neighborhood lesbian/your super horny girlfriend taught you how to please a woman and you KNOW that you are a good lover.  No sweetie.  Some sexually abused woman was taking out her dysfunction with you and think that what you learned then is written in stone and will please every woman.    You have to remember and understand that the vast majority of women have been raised on porn these days and they have been socialized to think that yelling and screaming calling you big daddy and being called a dirty slut is what sex is all about.  It’s not.  And regardless of the number of women you think you've pleased, if your wife isn't climbing all over you to get the dick, you aren't doing what it takes to get the most important woman to her special moment. 

The good news is, that there are healthy, loving, Black relationships where people are expressing themselves, sharing, communication, cooperating and having fantastic sex.  We need to hold those relationships up as models.  Unfortunately, the people who are in healthy, intimate relationships shouldn’t go around bragging about them.  I can work at writing the types of erotica that show healthy relationships between Black couples.  I can create videos that teach men how to make love.  Healing these issues is going to take a lot of work.  Work that I don’t think we are ready to tackle as a society.  It’s messy and unpleasant.  No man wants to hear that they aren’t a good lover when he’s spent the majority of his life thinking that he is.  I don’t know many Black women who want to hear that they have to give up control, be more vulnerable, compromise more.  Regardless, I’m going to try.  It is my mission to heal Black relationships. 

Scottie Lowe 2012