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This song helped me not kill somebody a long time ago. There’s an inboxer over on Monnie’s blog who really needs to listen to Michael Stipe wail this one out. If this doesn’t help I’ve still got an ax handle.
Okay, I have to apologize to the person who emailed me about this issue. You’re not stupid. (I’m pretty sure I didn’t call you stupid, but yeah, I did think it.)At the time that I received your email I couldn’t believe that anyone actually had a problem with this. Anyway, I saw this on some show the other day. Apparently there is some great quandary about whether or not you should friend an ex on Facebook, especially if you’re married now.
This is the way I see it, in general I try to limit contact with men who have seen me naked. It’s not something I’ve ever discussed with my husband. Back when we first got married, I said something to the effect that shouldn’t we have a discussion about our expectations. He just looked at me funny and said, “We know right from wrong.” And that was that. (Note, this is in regard to interactions with other men/women. We had plenty of discussions about other marital expectations. And, of course we’ve had lengthy discussions about the Close Encounters clause.)
I remember some time ago Billy Graham said that from the time he got married, he’s never been alone with another woman. I thought that was extraordinary, but in light of all the couples I’ve counseled who’ve apparently simply fallen onto or into an erect penis or vagina by accident, I think this is a good practice. It’s why, with few exceptions I avoid talking to males online outside a public forum. I don’t generally friend men on Facebook, again with a few exceptions. I figure, if I’m not talking to them, there’s no way to accidentally fall into any type of intimacy, emotional or otherwise.
That’s the path I’ve chosen to walk, and the next man who decides to stalk me because I won’t friend him on Facebook will most likely get shanked. It doesn’t make me a doormat or a white man’s whore, it simply means that this is how I’ve chosen to respect my husband and my marriage.
I’ve been asked repeatedly to clarify these three designations. Point of order, I’m not an expert on human sexuality, I’m simply sharing my observations. I strongly believe that sexuality is on more of a continuum than most people would like to admit, but I’ll have to cover that in another blog post.
I didn’t create the term barely-hetero, but can’t find the blog where I first encountered it. If it’s yours, please hit me up so I can give proper attribution. Barely-hetero men get their emotional needs met in interactions with other men, while maintaining purely sexual relationships with women. These are the guys you see who are always kicking it with the fellas. They’re experts in the late-night phone calls looking to get some. They also have extraordinarily high standards as it pertains to women. No one ever quite measures up. Of course they don’t, women are merely a cover for their true love, other men. Though they’re not gay, in that they’re not sexually aroused by other men, they’re totally unavailable to women in any real sense. Don’t confuse barely-hetero with the metrosexual. As near as I can determine metrosexuals, though they can by some measures can appear somewhat effeminate, are generally connected both physically and emotionally to women.
Down-low guys, on the other hand, have emotional relationships with women, and are with men strictly for sexual gratification. In the strictest sense of the term, these men are not gay. I hear over and over again that down low men are the same as closeted gay men. In my opinion, this is an specious comparison. Closeted men are gay and acknowledge, at least to themselves, that they are gay, they’ve simply chosen not to make that information public. Also, Gay men typically have both emotional and sexual relationships with other men. Are down-low men simply gay men in denial? I suppose it’s possible, but I’m not necessarily convinced. I believe them when they say they don’t have the same connection with men that they do women. Of course, it’s my habit to believe people when they tell me who they are and what they feel unless I have a compelling reason to think otherwise.
I’m sure there’s plenty of overlap with all three of these, and probably a few more categories as well. Feel free to add any you’ve encountered.
Professor Tracey unintentionally set off a mini-firestorm over at Aunt Jemima’s Revenge when she commented that a number of the brilliant, savvy black women in President-elect Obama’s administration are unmarried. Several of the women were married and are now divorced, others have never married. I don’t think this is necessarily a commentary on black people and our disdain for marriage, though I definitely think black people as a whole don’t see marriage in a positive light. I think it’s more indicative of a major paradigm shift in our national psyche and for that matter, much of the world’s. I’ve spoken of this before in my post on men being a disposable commodity. I suspect that many women are getting married in their twenties, having their children, then getting rid of their husbands so they can focus on their careers with fewer distractions. Further, many women, especially those who are high-powered and ambitious, don’t necessarily need a husband––they need a wife.
I remember having a roommate back in the day who was working hard to climb the career ladder. She had to travel a lot for work, and she commented on the fact that she was disadvantaged because her male co-workers had wives at home to run the rest of their lives. Even to the point of Fed-Exing them fresh suits from the dry cleaners, maintaining familial relationships, etc… She more or less had to do these things for herself. Even if she’d been married, it would’ve been difficult to find a husband who was content to be a house-husband. And contradictorily most high-powered women don’t really want the sensitive beta male types who make good house-husbands. They long for a dominant alpha male who is even stronger and driven than they are. It’s hard for alpha females to respect a man who is otherwise. Unfortunately, alpha males typically are not interested in a woman who is equally as powerful, and it creates a conflict.
I remember years ago watching an interview with Donald Trump whereas he talked about his divorce from Ivana. He very frankly stated that when she became a successful businesswoman their marriage was essentially over. It’s interesting to note that his subsequent wives have all been content to surrender the limelight to him.
It’s important to understand that right now we’re going through some major growing pains as it pertains to male/female gender roles. It’s going to require some major re-thinking of what masculine and feminine really are. We’re going to have to rethink what it is that makes a good spouse. Is it really impossible to love a man who prefers the nurturing role? Why is it that we have little problem with women who are driven and ambitious, but the male who would actually complement this woman is seen as ‘weak?’ Of course, there are plenty of men who can’t handle being with a woman who is more powerful, and there’s not a heckuva lot to be done there. I suspect, however, that there are a lot of men who have no problem being the partner at home Fed-Exing the fresh suits and taking the kids to pre-school each day.
If we really value the concept of marriage and want to rear our children in a secure marital relationship, it’s time to seriously start thinking about exactly what marriage is, and what we hope to gain from, and bring to it.
I’ve been told that everyone does posts on how to get man, but few people talk about how to keep one. Being the people pleaser that I am, I thought I would rectify that.
Not too long ago a reader asked me what she should be looking for in a mate. I pondered this one for a minute. It would seem that a lot of people are puzzled, and while I can understand that, its hard for me to tell someone what they should be looking for in a man. This, above everything is a highly personal issue. However, since I’ve been asked, I’ll tell you what I was looking for when I met my husband.