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.

Showing posts with label introspection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label introspection. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My Emotional Needs

Every person is going to have different emotional needs based on their life experiences and their personality.  What many people don’t grasp, understand, or acknowledge is that events from our childhood, events that happened that we don’t even remember, psychological factors form our identities and how we process our emotions.  A great many people, the overwhelming and vast majority of people have never once considered or examined those things, those contributing factors to understand why they are the way they are.  I’m not that lucky. 

For ME, and me alone, I was raised by an emotionally and psychologically disturbed, unloving, physically abusive mother.  For the first, most formative years of my life, I was raised, however, by my grandparents who did an exceptional job of loving me and laying the foundation for me to be SOMEWHAT sane.  Many of my emotional needs stem from the psychological abuse my mother inflicted upon me. 

My first essential, primary, instinctual need is to feel loved.  Now, for most people, saying, “I love you,” means, I want to be in a relationship with you.  That’s not nearly enough for me.  I need to see your love evidenced.  Love is a verb.  Love is action, not words.  Love is showing me that you value me more than any other person, that you want my happiness, that you appreciate my talent and gifts and you’re willing to nurture them, that you respect them, that you are willing to put the needs of the relationship above your own personal, selfish needs.  If you curse me out, call me names, if you do things to intentionally hurt me, that’s not love, that’ abuse.  Love is not having to be asked to fix chicken soup and orange juice when I’m sick because your heart hurts when you see me in pain.  Love is cleaning off my car when it snows without me having to ask.  Love is making note of something I said I want six months before my birthday.   I NEED to feel loved.  I need to feel like my presence in your life is essential and that you would be “less than” without me.  It doesn’t mean buying me things, although sometimes that may be part of the package, but I need to feel like when I’m not in your physical presence that you are thinking about me and that it is your desire to make me happy . . . because you know and see and feel that I love you equally as intensely. 

I NEED honesty.  Honesty is not an emotional need however.  The emotional need is trust.  I’ve yet to meet the man who understands the concept of true honesty.  In this society, lying is first nature.  Most people lie by their first interaction with another human being during the day. Most people lie more than tell the truth.  I need honesty in ways that most people have never contemplated.  If you’ve never made a concerted effort to make sure that every word out of your mouth is true, then you lie habitually and constantly.  I have spent the last 20 years of my life trying very hard to make sure that I not only tell the truth but that I confess my lies when I tell one.  It’s hard work.  But, with that, comes the trust I need in a relationship.  I need to know that you will tell me if you aren’t happy, if you meet someone you find attractive, I need to know if you can confess when you lie.  I need to trust with all my heart that you will protect my heart.  I’ve said it to every lover and none of them have honored their promise.  I can handle the truth.  I can handle when you tell me something bad, something embarrassing, something regrettable.  I can handle you telling me that you cheated.  I can handle the truth.  If you tell me that you did something heinous and reprehensible, and you explain to me why you did it, and you come to me in HONESTY, we can figure out what made you do that particular thing, it’s possible I might be able to forgive you.  More than likely I won’t even be upset or mad.  More than likely, if you tell me the truth, if you tell me the thing that you think is going to make me hate you, I will simply see you as human and capable of making a mistake or being misguided or being damaged, like we all are.  If you lie . . . if you lie and don’t come clean and confess and make every effort to tell the truth so that I know that I can trust you, the relationship is over. 

My mother has never been supportive of me a day in her life.  Never once has my mother said, “You can do it, I believe in you.”  Because of that I need a lover who can be my cheerleader.  That means being able to make coffee and hand out flyers for the movement.  Seriously, it means I need you to see the vision I have for AfroerotiK and be able to contribute to my efforts, not deter from them.    What do you do well?  Show me that you believe in me not only with words but with your actions.  Are you going to set up the chairs for an AfroerotiK event, are you going to make sure the club owner has the right music queued up?  If all you are going to do is show up after everything is set up, and leave before everything is broken down, you are dead weight and I don’t need you in my life.  Of course, I understand if you have RESPONIBILITIES that prevent you from being there each and every time, but your support should be the rule, not the exception.  If you have to take your mother to the doctor’s, if you have to handle an emergency at work . . . I will certainly understand if you can’t be there for me on occasion.  But being supportive of me means knowing what projects I have in the works, getting a business card from someone you meet that you think might be able to help me.  It means that your only focus in life is not your career or the things that directly affect you but that you will make sure that I have quiet time when I need to write and you won’t pout and be self-centered and act like my every waking moment should be spent attending to you. 

When I was a child, a very small child in fact, my mother would get mad at me and not speak to me for WEEKS.  I lived in the same house with my mother who would go two, three, four weeks without saying a word to me.  I have the emotional need of being listened to, of being heard, of being respected, of being forgiven for my wrongdoings, and for basic communication.  I need my lover to be able to articulate his feelings in a healthy, constructive manner.  He can be mad at me all he wants.  He can’t be mad at me and not tell me about it.  He can’t expect me to know why he’s mad.  What he can’t do is not talk to me for extended periods of time.  That hurts me.  If he can’t express his feelings in a healthy way, I feel that same horrible isolation and fear that I felt as a young girl and that’s not good. 

I need to be valued for more than my gender role.  I am not sure what emotional need that would be.  Respected?  Appreciated?  I get that for thousands of years women have been relegated to the role of domestic, cook, maid, and child care provider.  I cannot and will not be in a relationship with anyone who thinks that my vagina makes me the only person in the household who can clean a toilet or dust.  We have to be able to sit down and figure out a system where I don’t feel like I’m your maid or where I feel like I’m being taken advantage of because you are holding on to absurd ideas about what a woman brings to the table.  I bring empathy, compassion, intellect, integrity.  Yes, I’m a very neat, clean, tidy person but it’s not my job, there is nothing about my uterus that designates that I have to follow behind you and clean up after you.  I need the spirit of cooperation in my relationship for me to flourish emotionally. 

Those are MY emotional needs.  If I have each of those needs met, I am desperate to fulfill every single solitary sexual fantasy my partner has.  Other women, obviously, will have other needs to varying degrees.  It’s the responsibility of each partner in a relationship to communicate their needs and work to helping their partner getting their emotional needs met.  That could be anything from being admired, feeling safe, feeling proud, or being in control, etc.   Men have emotional needs as well but they really haven’t done the work to know what they are.  Most men confuse their emotional needs with their physical needs.  They want to feel special and unique and they think that a woman having sex with them is sufficient to fill that need.  They don’t know how to communicate or express their fears or insecurities so they look for sex to fill that void.  The point is, even if your partner doesn’t know what their emotional needs are in the same way I do, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have them nor does it mean that they can be ignored.  In a relationship, you should be working to figure out what your emotional needs are, as they should always be evolving, and the need or your partner based on their actions and patterns, in order to build a stronger partnership. 

Monday, August 03, 2015

The Proust Questionnaire of Scottie Lowe

What is your dream of happiness?  Happiness, to me, is being fulfilled in my life.  It’s knowing true and abiding love; it’s loving and being loved by my spiritual, emotional, intellectual, political, social, and sexual equal.  Happiness is accomplishing my life’s mission of being a facilitator of social change.  Happiness is having dinner parties where everyone raves about what a wonderful time they had meeting new people and listening to music that moved their soul.  Happiness is eating food made from things grown in my garden.  Happiness is going to a small jazz club and sitting at a table right in front of the stage and being serenaded by a gorgeous brotha with a dazzling smile.   

What is your idea of misery?  Ahhh, misery and I are intimately connected.  Misery is being surrounded by people but being isolated and lonely at the same time.  Misery is having no escape from disease of mediocrity, complacency, and ghetto mentality when all you long for is communion with like-minds.  Having dreams, seeing them clearly in your mind, feeling them in your soul, and having them remain unmanifested is the very definition of misery. 

Where would you like to live?  I would always like to maintain a home in Atlanta, even if I don’t live there.  Atlanta is my spiritual center, it is the place I became the woman I am today.  I would also very much like to have homes in NYC and Miami.  I love the energy and vibrancy of New York but I hate the cold weather.  Miami is a perfect climate for me to have a botanical garden the likes of which no one has ever seen before and that will feed thousands with exotic, tropical fruits from around the world.  My twilight years will be spent in the outskirts of Nairobi, gardening, meditating, writing, and avoiding the din and the noise of technology and “civilization.”  

What qualities do you admire most in a man?  I admire HONESTY, truthfulness, veracity, and straightforwardness most in a man and any other words that are synonyms for honesty. I love a man with integrity; a man whose personal moral compass that is pointed directly towards doing what’s right, even when it’s difficult.  I tremendously respect a man who is a citizen of the world and who is not at all xenophobic, sexist, patriarchal, or misogynist.  A man who has redefined what manhood means, who has divested himself of the trappings of masculinity is a man who makes my heart skip a beat and who gets extra points in my book.  Wildly creative, intellectual, open-minded, sensual, talented men head to the front of the line.   Did I mention a man who is honest?  I am driven to distraction by a man who is a pathological truther. 

What qualities do you admire most in a woman? Hands down, without question, INTELLECT is the quality I admire most in a woman.  Not just a woman who is smart, but an IQ that is off the freakin’ charts kinda intelligent.  I respect, admire, and adore any woman who is an academic and a scholar.  I gravitate towards women who are unapologetic feminists and don’t define themselves by sexist standards of femininity and beauty.  Include in that category any Black woman who has relinquished her need to have long, straight, flowing, hair and you’ve got the complete package. 

What is your chief characteristic?  I’m going to interpret this question to mean, what is my most dominant character trait.  If I had to pick one, I’d choose . . . integrity.  Maybe there is some sort of way to sneak creativity in with that.  Let’s see.  I possess unparalleled integrity and that leads me to be the very best I can be, and that includes my relentless dedication to being the best writer I can be.  That works for me. 

What is your principal fault?  I have inherited my mother’s propensity to be unfailingly pessimistic.  I work on it.  It is certainly not as detrimental a fault as my mother possesses but I think I get into a funk where I say, “Woe is me,” rather than counting my many blessings and knowing that I have inherent value as a person. 

What is your greatest extravagance?  I don’t understand the question.  In the course of one’s lifetime, I would imagine that one would have many extravagances.  I am a lover of tea.  I love herbal teas and tisanes more than anyone should.  I’m addicted to teas.  I am always on the hunt for a new, exotic tea and I will only ever sweeten my teas with honey.  Preferably, raw, organic honey.  I guess a lot of people would identify my tea snobbishness as an extravagance. 

What faults in others are you most tolerant of?  This is a wonderful question as I’ve been accused of being judgmental in light of the recent Ashley Madison scandal.  I am tolerant of a great many faux-pas from people I love.  The people I love, however, tend to be introspective, trying to grow, evolve, and correct their mistakes, not hold on to them and certainly not trying to justify them.  I am completely intolerant of those same behaviors from people I don’t know or people who defend their heinous behaviors and deflect responsibility for the hurt that they have caused.  So, let’s say, I abhor cheating.  I loathe the individuals who cheat and who lie about it, who never take responsibility for their heinous behavior and find ways to deflect their own responsibility for their actions, and I am loving and tolerant of my close friends who have cheated and who sincerely are working on being better people and not making the same poor choices.  So, in essence, we can apply the same reasoning to a host of other ills and mistakes people make.  As long as I see inherent value in the person, and I know and love them, I’m willing to love them with all their blemishes and mistakes, as long as they are genuinely working towards evolving and healing. 

What do you value most about your friends?  Every friend brings something different to the table.  None of my friends have a singular trait consistent in all of them that makes me drawn to them.  Some friends are creative, other loyal to a fault, others are radical thinkers and innovators.  Some friends are just people I have been drawn to, whom I love unconditionally, and who I will forever love . . . just because.  I have friends who are the complete opposite me, friends who, on paper, would seem that we have nothing in common.  But some of those same friends I would go to the ends of the earth and back for.  I love hard.  My friends are people who have touched my heart in some way and they are vastly different. 

What characteristic do you dislike most in others? Lying.  Pathological liars are reprehensible to me. 

What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself? I struggle a great deal with confronting people for their behaviors that are dysfunctional.  I don’t mean close friends, I mean acquaintances.  I’m trying to find the balance between speaking my mind and letting it go.  I try to weigh the situation in my head, analyze the person’s level of consciousness and then decide if they will hear and understand what I’m saying or if they won’t process or hear me because of their own cognitive dissonance.  Even when I determine that they are too dysfunctional to see their own detrimental behaviors, I STILL have conversations in my mind, over and over and over, where I confront them.  I hate that.  I hate that I can’t just let it go.  I hate that I feel like I have some imperative to address them, even when I know that there won’t be any sort of amicable resolution.  I hate that I don’t trust my own intuition and awareness of people’s states of cognition enough to just say, “They aren’t going to change, let it go,” and have that be enough. 

What is your favourite virtue? Honesty

What is your favourite occupation?  Most people aren’t in the career of their dreams so I would guess this question is meant to be for them, to ask what they would like to do with their lives.  I am doing the occupation of my dreams so that would be my favorite.  Other than my own, I admire physicists the most.  They are my theologians.  I’m fascinated by how the universe works, how consciousness affects atoms. 

What would you like to be?  I AM already everything I want to be. 

What is your favourite colour?  My favorite colors are earth tones.  I love browns, beiges, tans  and spice colors.  I love anything in the orange family, I live rust and pumpkin, autumn colors.  I love red and burgundy and maroon.  I’m not such a lover of greens so much.  I dislike strongly gem colors.  Sapphire, Emerald, Amethyst . . . YUCK! 

What is your favourite flower?  My favorite flower is the calla-lily.  It is so exotic and gorgeous. 

What is your favourite bird?  The penguin.  My uncle turned me on to this documentary about penguins and after that, I loved them.  They mate for life and they go through this elaborate ritual where they travel for hundreds of miles to the place where they were born to give birth.  The male penguins protect their mates from the wind and elements in this gorgeous circle where they literally surround them with love.  The females give birth and then march back to the ocean to frolic and play while the males stay to nurture the eggs until they hatch then they are the primary caregivers to the babies.  Then, they all march back to the ocean to be with their mates/mothers.  To me, it is one of the most brilliant examples of how perfect the universe is.  

What historical figure do you admire the most?  I know it’s going to sound cliché but Martin Luther King, Jr. but not because of the media’s attempts to portray him as some sort of white people’s ally.  He was brave beyond measure.  He knew that his life was on the line for the change he was trying to facilitate and he didn’t back down.  He was a BRILLIANT orator.  His ability to use words compares to none.  And contrary to white, popular, racist belief, he was unapologetic in his attack on racism/whiteness, capitalism, and war.  I consider myself a student of his methods and I would like to think that I am picking up the torch and carrying it onwards, only adding gender and sexuality issues to my plate. 

What character in history do you most dislike?   Awww man, I’m going to piss off a lot a people with this one.  The character in history I dislike the most is Jesus.  Now, I don’t dislike the character of Jesus because he of how he is depicted.  He is portrayed as a pretty cool guy, someone I would love to be friends with.  He was honest, he was concerned with lifting consciousness of people, (Hey, much like myself!), he fed the hungry, he healed the sick.  He stole from the rich to give to the poor.  Wait, I think I’m getting my fictional characters mixed up.  Anyway, what’s not to like?  BUT, here’s my problem with the character of Jesus, he was a CHARACTER.  He wasn’t the son of God, he was a man, flesh and blood conceived the exact same way you and I and everyone on the planet.  God is not a man.  God is not a male in the sky.  God is not a father.  God isn’t in human form.  God isn’t even comprehensible by the human mind.  God didn’t have a son.  God didn’t impregnate anyone to have a male child.  The entire concept of God is wrong so therefore, the concept of his son can’t be real.  

“God” is pure consciousness.  “God” is the energy that animates atoms, and atoms make up every single thing in the Universe.  God is nature.  God is the seasons.  God is the perfect harmony of how everything works together.  God is not, has never been, will never be, can never be a (white) male up in the sky.  So the concept that Jesus is the son of God is bullshit. 

IF there was a person named Jesus, and there is just as much EVIDENCE to support that there was a human being that walked the earth named Jesus as there is EVIDENCE to disprove that he even existed, my issue with the concept of Jesus is that he perpetuates a belief that is detrimental to my people.  The concept of Jesus perpetuates the idea that God is outside of ourselves, that God is a male, that God is some heavenly father with petty, vindictive, human traits.  As long as the masses are tied to the belief that God is a man, that the savior is a male, as long as people believe that God had preference and bestowed one single individual with magic powers that only the big white male sky daddy can grant, we are spiritually crippled as a people.  Add to that, Jesus was the tool used to control slaves and I have got to cut him loose.  Jesus ain’t no friend of mine.

Who are your favourite prose authors?  Top three, in order.  1.  Toni Morrison.  What she does with the written word is other-worldly.  She is the best, no comparison.  I don’t even have words to describe her craft.  2.  Anne Rice.  I cheered out loud for Tale of the Body Thief and I was changed forever by Memnoch the Devil.  3.  And my most recent favorite author is Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez.  I’m addicted to him.  I’ve only read his work in English but I can only imagine that his work is even more moving in his native tongue. 

Who are your favourite poets?  I’m not a big fan of poetry.  I don’t know enough about it to know what’s good and what’s bad.  I LOVE the poetry of Rumi and I memorized his poem, “Looking for your Face,” to recite it by heart.  I have a couple of CD of Black revolutionary poetry from the 60s that I love to listen and my favorite poems from them are consistently Countee Cullen but, I’ve never been motivated enough to pick up a book so I don’t think that really counts.  That’s sort of lazy to say that he’s a favorite. 

Who are your favourite heroes in fiction?  My favortite heroes in fiction?  Can I say Jesus to redeem myself from the previous answer?  No?  OK, I’ll go with Lestat in the Vampire Chronicles.  I’m not a vampire fan.  I have never seen a Twilight movie, show, or book.  But, I was addicted to Anne Rice’s series and I went from hating Lestat to loving him and I was emotionally invested in his evolution.  Because of my multi-book relationship with him, despite the fact that there wasn’t a Black person in any of the books, I’m going to have to say he’s my favorite. 

Who are your heroes in real life?  My grandfather was the smartest, most amazing man I’ve ever met in my life. 

Who is your favourite painter?  My favorite painter is Dia Scott and my favorite sculptor is Woodrow Nash. 

Who is your favourite musician?  If I’m ever kidnapped and the kidnappers call with a ransom demand, I insist that whomever is in charge of my estate require proof of life.  If they can’t put the phone up to my mouth so that I can recite every word of “As” by Stevie Wonder, I’m dead, don’t even bother paying.  Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind, & Fire are the only two artists I would want if I were on a desert island. 

What is your favourite food?  I am primarily a lacto-ovo pescatarian.  Essentially, that means I am a vegetarian who eats dairy, eggs, and fish.  I do eat meat, but it’s sparingly.  The meal I could have every day is salmon, a huge salad with tons of veggies and toppings, and some sort of grain.  I will never tire of eating that meal.   

What is your favourite drink?  My favorite non-alcoholic drink is fresh mango and pineapple juice.  My favorite cocktail is an Afrotini:  Vanilla Vodka, Bailey, Kahlua, and cream. 

What are your favourite names? The Jews say that the name of God cannot be pronounced or spoken.  Dey was wrong, dey was dead ass wrong.  If you are blessed enough to speak the name Adeshola Adetola, a chorus of little brown cherubs will descend from heaven and start playing the pan-flute, a few trumpets, and I’m pretty sure there will be a harpsicord in the mix as well.   I am convinced that no sweeter sounding name has ever crossed anyone’s lips in the history of mankind. 

What is it you most dislike?  Liars.

What natural talent would you most like to possess?  What is a natural talent?  What is an unnatural talent for that matter?  The talent I’d like most to possess is the ability to play the piano.  I would love to be able to play the piano without sheet music, to listen to a song and then play the song on the piano, I would love to be an accomplished piano player. 

How do you want to die?  I want to be in Kenya, disconnected from all technology, surrounded by all my friends, and go peacefully in my sleep in my home. 

What is your current state of mind? Some folks like to get away, take a holiday from the neighborhood.  I’m in a New York state of mind.  OK, I thought I would lighten things of for the two people who are actually still reading this.  Overall I’m optimistic and looking forward to the next phase of my life.  I see signs of hope for the collective evolution of my people every day where I previously saw none.  That inspires me to keep going.  I love who I am, who I have become despite my numerous trials, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I have survived and I see nothing but great things in my future. 

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment is AfroerotiK.  AfroerotiK is the foundation of a paradigmatic shift in the mental, emotional, sexual, and social consciousness of Africans born in AmeriKKKa.  AfroerotiK is greater than I ever imagined it could have been. It is the ultimate model of healthy Black relationships, intimacy and sensuality; it speaks to a sense of pride in our history, our unique culture and our identity.  divorced from the detrimental messages we have acquired because of our enslavement by people who would otherwise convince us that everything inherent to us was ugly.  In Loving Color, Sensu-Soul, and Minority Affairs are all vehicles to lift the consciousness of African Americans and to eradicate the fallacy of white supremacy. 

What is your motto?  We must excel, not just exist!