Monday, February 14, 2011

Almost a Hooker

I once had a Sugar Daddy who I never fucked, and from that little tryst I learned that not having sex is the most powerful thing a woman can do. As a self-proclaimed sexophile it is with great pain that I make this admittance, but whatever. I know, I know you’re judging me and some of you will now find it too appalling to read on, but whatever to you too. Frankly, I was in a tight spot. It was the classic story of a little girl in a big world who desperately needed her rent paid. With no one to turn to, I reached for the phone number of some rich old white dude in the bottom of my thrift store purse. Mind you, this was one of my lowest points.

Before you completely divorce me and my blog, consider that I had exhausted all of my viable options. I thought long and hard about it. I wished there was another way. I even prayed. And if in the back of your mind you’re thinking “ask your parents for money,” I want you to go home and shoot your mother. I considered that this would weigh on my conscience for the rest of my life, or that I’d be going down a slippery slope that lead to prostitution and an addiction to crack and household cleaning products.

Then I thought about sex, competition, and power. Since the beginning of time women have had the opportunity to wield her sexual power for the things she needed. Delilah got over on Sampson, Cleopatra brought the whole world to conflict, and King Henry VIII changed whole religions just so he could bang the women he liked. While men have lorded political power over women, it is our sexual power that has historically made us equals and allowed us to compete. The introduction of a moral code that prohibits the use of this sexual power is man’s way of upping the competition making it more difficult to get ahead. But then I finally decided “fuck it” I really need this money.

Well, the way things transpired, he simply gave me the money and we didn’t end up banging. I was, obviously, relieved as I don’t think I could get it up for a man of his age. Maybe a Black man, because Black don’t crack, but this man had cracked. He had liver spots and a hanging chin. I was uncomfortable about my dealings with the old coot, and I immediately broke contact with him. However, he was so persistent that I let him take me out again. I would go on a date and he’d slide me some hundreds. All I had to do was talk in a sweet little voice, tell him he was the sweetest thing, and get offended whenever he said something even remotely sexual.

I know what you’re thinking. Impossible. You can’t get that kind of return from a guy that you’re not banging. Initially I thought the same thing, but whenever I rejected him he’d just apologize and say, “you’re such a lady”. I thought it incredible that some man would apologize for insinuating that he wanted to have sex with me. Especially when I’m at the age when guys ever insinuate is that they want to have sex with me.

In the back of my mind I knew that if I banged him, I would probably have a summer house on Miami beach or something. I mean he told me stories about his friends who fly their women all around the world and pay their tuition and shit. Dope shit that none of you guys could ever dream of doing for me. In the end I couldn’t do it. It wasn’t about the money or the sex. It was about control. I didn’t like that instead of being with a guy I actually liked, I was with him or that I had to amend my personality in order to appease him. I was always agreeable and docile, which was extremely tiresome, because as you can see I’m very fucking outspoken and my intelligence is about the most valuable thing I have.

We were dining one evening. I was talking about music and I said the word genre, to which he responded, “genre, now that’s a big word,” while giving me this Sean Conrey-esque scowl. He was dead serious. Genre? GENRE?! You fucking kidding me? I thought to myself. Of all the words I know, genre is one you’re gonna patronize me on. And then he thought it was “cute” that I was reading a book. So yeah trading sex for much needed cash is far less insulting than having a man undermine my brilliance.

What can I say? Your morals aren’t real unless they’re tested in the fire. You won’t really know what you are capable of until you are confronted with strong adversity. Like pro-lifers who get knocked up, or men with terminally ill wives who must all of a sudden consider shit like euthanasia. From this experience I learned that you never know when you’ll need a creepy old white man by your side to cover a meal, a bill, or a mortgage. I also learned that I don’t make a very good hooker. A better hooker would have been able to stomach a little patronizing for easy income. I hit the jackpot of all jackpots, the Richard Gere of a pretty woman’s fantasy and I blew it. So if any of you ladies need his number let me know. Perhaps you’ll make better use of it than I did.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Love without Rules

In the Woody Allen film, Manhattan, Woody Allen’s character is dating a significantly younger girl, named Tracy. Isaac is a 42 year old TV writer while Tracy is a 17 year old high school senior. Despite Tracy’s affections for the older man, Isaac is resistant throughout the movie. He lords his age over her, establishing his superior understanding about the world, love and the future progression of their relationship. In one scene, Tracy asks while lying in bed with him, “What’s gonna happen with us?” Isaac responds, “You’ll think of me always as a fond memory.” He is her paternal and omniscient lover.

Despite his acclaimed certainty, it is revealed through his character that Isaac has no real definitive answers about relationships. His character was twice divorced and dates his best friend’s mistress behind his back. He in fact, admits in the film, “nobody knows what the hell they’re doing” when it comes to love. Even still, it seemed that Tracy had more clarity on her feelings, than did Isaac. She said she loved him, while it took him the whole movie and an intermittent fling to say he loved her back.

It’s easy to assume that staying married was easier in the olden days, but that’s not the whole story. There was a sense of duty and obligation that recent generations have only just begun to shed. Consider the narrative about the princess who is forced to marry a man for political reasons. In our modern society we consider arranged marriages to be either archaic or of the developing world, unless you had my Grandaddy for a father. Then it was he who arranged all marital unions within my family. Progressively people have felt less of an obligation to remain in an unsatisfactory situation, including jobs and marriages. Perhaps with so many vehicles of communication and travel available to us, we are more aware of the opportunities available to us all around the world.

It is also a simple thing to define love in a religious context. My brother once posted on his Facebook, “What is love?” and my Father responded with a Bible passage. I never forgot that moment in Facebook history, because despite the certainty with which my Dad pulled from his favorite text, it seemed my brother’s question went unanswered. I’d say so in the definitive since all of his life’s troubles are girl-related.

What is love and how do we make a relationship work? I won’t pretend to have the answers. I can only live my experiences and reflect on them, if only for your entertainment. We can follow the prescribed rules: abstain from fucking for three to six months, make him pay for everything, ignore his calls for the first three days and only text him after he texts you, blah blizzity blah blah. Personally, I was never given the dating rules. My Dad’s were always too holy for real life application and Ma wasn’t around long enough to impart them upon me. Further, I find that the rules out there only make dating too scripted and inauthentic.

When I first started dating – much later than normal kids – I was quickly frustrated by the kinds of conversations I was having with boys. Everything was so careful and timid, and I wasn’t accustomed to holding my tongue. And when I spoke my mind, the fellows didn’t know how to handle it. I realized that the boys were fully educated a skill that I lacked. They were scripted in dating etiquette while I’d missed a lesson, skipped a grade, something. I was out of sync. We learn these rules by dating in grade school and our parents affirm them, I assume. Dating, like religious belief and political affiliation, is a social custom that we believe is naturally formed. However, dating, like all other social customs, should be challenged and reconsidered. There are things that we accept because they are easy, like a prescribed definition of ‘love’ from the religious doctrine in which we thoughtlessly believe. Having missed out on the rules, I had to become my own pedagogue. I’m on a solo journey where I try to allay my fears of rejection and heartache, in favor of discovery, experience and certainty.

When we subscribe ourselves to a strict set of rules, we inherently deny certain aspects of ourselves that don’t really fit. Also, it makes it difficult to really get to know someone, when he’s mimicking a prototype. I think it’s best to define one’s own rules. Fuck what yo daddy told you. What are your bottom lines; what are the things you can’t tolerate? I’ve learned that I can’t date someone who isn’t at least as intelligent as me. I become horribly and unintentionally condescending and bitchy. There are non-negotiables that only you can define for oneself. You might like being in the position of feeling smarter than your significant other. The guys I date must love it, I guess.

As Isaac in the movie put it, no one really knows what the fuck they’re doing. So before rushing into relationships armed with absolute certainty and a list of ‘the rules’ I suggest we all enjoy the experience of defining what is non-negotiable. I think you’ll find your life was more fulfilling that way.