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Movie Review: Tyler Perry’s ‘Temptation’ Falls Titillatingly & Alarmingly Short

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**This review contains revealing details from the movie “Temptation”. If you have not seen it, reading this post will feel a lot like when you go see something with a friend who’s already seen it and they keep telling you to “watch this!” Therefore, continue at your own risk.

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There are a lot of things to hate about this movie and Tyler Perry’s now infamous creative style in general. The preachy church-people-are-good-everyone-else-is-a-demon rhetoric. The fact that I can pretty much rely on a “sexy” guy taking his shirt off at least once (whether it’s for our enjoyment or his, well that’s still up for debate). And the awkwardness of his continual overuse of close-up shots. Yet somehow, the trailers drew me in (mind you, I’ve been boycotting Tyler Perry films for the last 3 years). The thought of Jurnee Smollet-Bell caught in a love triangle seemed wickedly out of character for Perry. But it turns out the exact opposite is true. What I find most disturbing this time around with “Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor” is how unsexy he makes a movie about sex. And how eagerly the black community accepts this depiction.

The movie starts out predictably though promisingly with a marriage counselor telling what sounds like a cautionary tale to a pre-adulterous wife. Then we’re swept into the endearing young Love of high school sweet hearts Judith and Brice (Jurnee Smollet-Bell and Lance Gross). But as the reality of delayed dreams and marital malcontent sink in, so do her spirits. Smollet-Bell plays a convincing awkward and “forgettable” 2o-something who knows very little about herself or her body–let alone what’s needed to keep a marriage together. So things quickly heat up when tech-savvy pseudo-playboy/knight in shining armor, Harley (Robbie Jones), capitalizes mostly on Judith’s sexual inexperience. Throw in some line from Harley about people “having sex like animals” (I was fanning myself), a classic sexual-tension filled elevator scene, an unwittingly neglectful husband, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a titillating affair!

temptationOnly, that is of course until Perry throws us an alarming curve ball. Judith and Harley end up alone on Harley’s private plane–a business trip serving as the perfect opportunity for him to make his move on a married woman. But Judith persistently pushes his advances away. She clearly says “no”. She clearly says “stop”. Harley forces himself on her a bit harder, however. So much so that Judith actually has to fight him off. To which Harley aggressively grips her up and sternly replies “Stop! Now you can say you resisted”. And then proceeds to have sex with her without her consent. I’m sorry, maybe I am crazy, but that is called rape where I’m from. And suddenly the tide’s low again if you know what I mean. There’s nothing sexy, steamy, or arousing about rape. Judith seems to agree with me and goes home crying and screaming at Harley to never call her again. Those are not the actions of a woman who willingly steps out on her husband to fulfill a sexual longing not met at home.

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The movie never treats it like a rape though and soon Judith’s under Harley’s spell. It is not completely uncommon for a rape victim to fall in Love with her rapist. So I suppose this wasn’t completely far-fetched. However, Harley begins exhibiting even more abusive behaviors. He introduces her to hard drugs, separates her from the people who Love her, and whoops her ass. As if that wasn’t enough to punish the philandering harlot, we learn at the end of the movie that Harley gives Judith HIV. BUT Perry never portrays Judith as a victim. Even though Melinda (Brandy Norwood), Harley’s ex-girlfriend, plays the I’ve-had-a-hard-life-so-now-I-don’t-trust-anyone victim role so well Melinda’s boss mistakes her for a lesbian. Wait, what? So the girl who willingly got involved with Harley in college is a victim and we should feel sorry for her but the married woman who gets raped by him is a whore? So what’s the moral of the story here ladies? If you’re stupid enough to catch the attention of another man besides your lazy husband, Jesus will hate you, you will get raped, contract HIV, and die. Oh wait, no my bad. Melinda wasn’t a victim either. She deserved HIV because she didn’t protect herself when she knew Harley cheated on her. That’s right, I forgot. What was I thinking?

tp new movieWhat started out as a seductive fantasy soon turned into a right-wing conservative sexual education lesson in a hick town with a ban on contraceptives. And I’m ashamed to admit this but most of the people in the theater, my people, seemed to like it. Maybe they were jut taking the film at face-value. That’s cool I guess. But when you’ve got the power to speak and a good portion of your community listens, you have a responsibility to watch what you say. I mean does Perry have any positive feelings about sex? From the messages in this film, it certainly doesn’t seem so. Good thing not all of us are so easily duped by a well-placed hallelujah. Uh uh. Try again Mr. Perry. Or better yet, do us all a favor, and don’t. Ever. Again.

“Does She Deserve A Ring?”

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Who Is Passport Cutty?

Who Is Passport Cutty?

Have you guys heard of the hoe coach? There’s a black woman going by that moniker who’s made quite a name for herself. She rules the twitterverse as @passport_cutty, hosts a radio show called The Naked Truth, and holds a series of pole parties in cities across the US that bring women together. She’s the epitome of the new black woman. And she’s not playing her hand like the black women of yesterday because she’s got a new set of rules. Though she’s highly controversial, there are many modern black women who think, feel, and play the game like she does. No, I don’t agree with everything she says but I do think she’s worth listening to. And for a woman with her world view, I think she has a lot of common sense. It’s my job to keep up with everything remotely related to black relationships so I follow her leisurely. If nothing else, her and her followers are quite entertaining. She wrote a particular piece on her blog though that I found especially insightful and thought provoking. Maybe you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Does She Deserve A Ring?
@Al_Patron asked a very GOOD question in a blog that we did together and it had me thinking so hard about a response. Especially because I hear it ALL the time and have even SAID it myself.
 
He asked “…can someone tell me what “she DESERVES a ring” means?”
 
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Check out her radio show “The Naked Truth” online Tuesdays from 8pm-10pm

Now, I’m not going to tell you what it MEANS cuz dammit, I’m just figuring this out myself, but I’m going to provoke some thoughts for you…
 
Now maybe my point of view seems biased a lot of the time because I forget that there are people who read my work that aren’t plagued with the bullshit men and relationships that I know of all too well. So some people read my words and think “o_O where the hell does she get this stuff from?” But then I get a whole bunch of Rts and say “Whew, they feel me.” lol
SO, in almost every circumstance that I’ve heard “she deserves a ring” it was from someone referring to the amount of “torture”, disappointment”, “drama”, and just a whole bunch of “bullshit” that a woman had endured in the relationship with her man. And sometimes it was even the man himself saying “she deserves a ring”… My first thoughts are “yea, she deserves a ring” but “from HIM?”… Hell NO. Why would you “DESERVE” a ring from someone who was a BASTARD? I mean really! O_o She “deserves” a ring because she tolerated him cheating numerous times? She “deserves” a ring because she took care of their children full time while he slacked? She “deserves” a ring because she still stayed with him after he had another child with someone else? She “deserves” a ring because he gave her an STD a time or two or five? She “deserves” a ring because of all the abortions or miscarriages she had from him? She “deserves” a ring because they’ve been together for “no reason” for forever already? She “deserves” a ring because she held him down while he was in and out of jail? She “deserves” a ring because she risked her freedom for him numerous times? She “deserves” a ring because she had to fight with so many other girls over him? She “deserves” a ring because she put her education and career to the side to support his? She “deserves” a ring because she forgave him all the times he hit her? She “deserves” a ring because she put up with all his baby mama drama? She “deserves” a ring because she wasted her “youth” dealing with his bullshit so now her “prime” is over and she feels like she has no choice but to stay with him now? So THIS is why she “DESERVES” a ring?
 
I could have SWORN that “deserve” means “to have earned right”…Oh yea it does, I just looked it up again cuz I was confused. So THIS is what you want the “rights” to? This is what you’re in competition to “win”??? Oh! And the crazy part about this is, I hear this “she deserves a ring” ALLLLL the time from people who’ve been involved in these exact scenarios. I don’t make this shit up. So if this is what you feel you DESERVE for the rest of your life, then shit, maybe your ass does. I don’t think anyone “deserves” a ring for all of those reasons. Females always seem so bent on “winning” that they don’t even realize what the actual “prize” is. Cuz I damn sure don’t want to “win” a man like that. Have I had men like that? Yes. But I KNEW not to marry them. And men always seem to pull the “ring” as a wild card right when she’s about to “leave.” Anything to shut her ass up and extent his ride or die bitch until next “Foreverary.” I’ve heard so many men say “She’s put up with so much of my shit. This is who I need to be with”… Uhm yea… she’s perfect for HIM but is he perfect for HER? Don’t Worry, I’ll Wait
 

But its really not these type of women that I feel deserve a ring at all… They deserve intervention and rehab. I’m going to tell you who I think really deserves the ring.

Passport Cutty gives her perspective on the rules to being a side chick

Passport Cutty gives her perspective on the rules to being a side chick with Hot 97

 
I think the females who invest in themselves in order to have something to offer a man who’s worth marrying “deserve” a ring. Not the women waiting around for a husband as a come up. The females who could care less about a pre-nup because she’s going to make sure they BOTH make money during their marriage “deserve” a ring. The females who make a statement by immediately removing herself from a disrespectful situation. She knows her worth and is not going to waste her time convincing herself that this is acceptable at all. The females who don’t think and act like she is entitled to anyone else’s benefits “deserves” a ring. The females who understand that NO one is obligated to her “deserves” a ring. Females who are appreciative and grateful “deserve” a ring. Females who acknowledge that if they can’t help with a solution then they may be part of the problem “deserve” a ring. The females who moderately stand by their partner yet who never give up on themselves “deserve” a ring. The females who prepare for the fact that all of this could go “poof” in the blink of eye but they have back up plans just in case it ever happens, “deserve” a ring. Even the females who don’t like to cook and don’t want to cook but knows that eating out every night is just unreasonable, “deserve” a ring. The females who understand their role in a man’s life and won’t try to play every position “deserve” a ring. The females who CAN and will carry a man if he falls and won’t hold it against him later or kick him while he’s down “deserve” a ring. And last but not least, the female who is genuinely optimistic about love and marriage as a team with no ulterior motives, hidden agendas, or dependency as an underlying theme, “deserve” a ring.
 
Make sure you read the Hoely Bible

Make sure you read the Hoely Bible

Now of COURSE, there’s more to being a “wife” than all of these things. But in my opinion these are some of the most “important” the qualities of a woman who “DESERVES” a ring, beyond being able to cook, clean, wash clothes, take care of kids, and have disgustingly pleasurable sex. These are characteristics of women who have worked on themselves mentally, emotionally and financially enough to be able to “deserve” someone worth spending the rest of her life with. I personally feel that you can’t expect someone else to invest more in you than you are WILLING to invest in yourself. And half of the things that I mentions are FREE… Its about character and intention not only money.

So as for me… until I’m able to carry my family on my own if ever need be, I’m going to stay “single with a boyfriend” and kid less. 
Well said Cutty! Do you think it’s time we reevaluate our idea of deserving the ring both as men and women?
**All italicized texts gets credited to Aalex B. author of The Naked Truth blog and has simply been copy and pasted here for the enjoyment of my audience and readers.

Saw This in Essence. Had to Share: Sex Talk


A lady asks Essence columnist about her boyfriend’s erectile dysfunction and it was such a clever solution, I had to share. Enjoy ladies (and gentlemen), just in case you were having the same problem–and even if you weren’t!
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Are You Addicted to the Pipe?

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“How many of you ladies have an emotional addiction? You are a slave to the ‘Pipe’ that you call a PENIS. You will tolerate any type of treatment, any form of degradation or disrespect to have it and to keep it. You are an emotional crack head. You will steal to get it. Married men, men in relationships are not off limits. From her vagina to your mouth. An addict never ask where the pipe has been…”

Saw this posted on my Facebook news feed from a group called “Black Women Who Want More”. And it made me wonder, how many of us are addicts and don’t know it? How much of your life have you sacrificed, compromised, and endangered for the pursuit of the pipe? It’s interesting that many men use “pipe game” as a euphemism for sex. Although I think it more so came from the plumber/maintenance man analogy, maybe the likening of sex to drugs is more accurate. And when I ask this question, I’m not only talking to single women switching from bed to bed. I’m curious about married women and women in relationships as well. What is your relationship with sex and with your partner? Is it at a healthy level? Could you abstain if you had to–maybe because of sickness or what have you? Or are you addicted? Is it okay to be addicted to one pipe as opposed to many? Please post your thoughts!

Join the DEBATE on Casual Sex!!


Sex and the City


Four beautiful women in their 30s sat around a small table discussing the new post-chivalry dating possibilities of the millennium.

I Love the Sex and the City writers for staying so true to real life. In the end, the only one who gets the fairytale Love is the one who never stopped believing she could have it.

“Look, if you’re a successful single woman in this city you have two choices,” the blonde one roused. “You can bang your head against the wall and try and find a relationship. Or you can say screw it and just go out and have sex. Like a man.”

“You mean with dildos?” the brunette asked, confused.

“No! I mean without feelings.”

The other two women–another blonde and a redhead–listened eagerly as the first blonde explained a prior sexual escapade where she felt absolutely nothing for the man in her bed. But the brunette’s eyebrows furrowed in bewilderment. The concept of “having sex like a man” flustered her. She still believed in romance. And she doubted the blonde’s ability to feel absolutely nothing.

As I listened to these four women talk, I was reminded of the troubled state of my sex and womanhood in the 21st Century. I, too, had gone through a period in my dating life where I approached things “like a man.” I took what I wanted and didn’t particularly care about the other person’s feelings. I called back if and when I felt like it. And I had sex without feelings. So I asked myself if the two-can-play-that-game attitude–pioneered by women in the 90s and carried on by women in the 2000s–really did us any good? It didn’t help me have better relationships with men I wanted to take seriously. It didn’t get me a proposal from some guy amazed by my ability to f**k him and leave him. It didn’t keep me from getting my feelings hurt by men. And it definitely didn’t even leave me with a stack of mind-blowing sex stories :(. My days of “having sex like a man” resulted in the same thing it often results in for men–emptiness and no true connections. I filled myself on temporary comforts only to end up hungry again. I do not regret experiencing sex without emotion. It created a needed boundary between sex and Love in my mind. But it wasn’t a completely fulfilling and satisfying experience–physically nor emotionally. And as I contemplated what I’d been through, seen other women go through, and the gripes of those four women at the table, I wondered why did modern women want to be like men so badly?? What is so bad about being a woman??

I have a theory. It would seem that us 21st century girls have been suckered into subconsciously hating ourselves. We are overrun with and internalize the sexist propaganda that comes with life in America. We have somehow systemically learned that emotion is in fact weakness. And we’ve distanced ourselves from our abused, battered, and manipulated mothers, grandmothers, and aunts. We have watched them accept things from men (or other women) that we would never accept ourselves. And in our frustration with the women of a different era, we’ve found solace in what we perceive to be masculine behaviors. Instead of being the abused, we’re the abusers, the oppressor instead of the oppressed.

Any woman who actually has “had sex like a man” without any emotional attachment knows how powerful that can make you feel–at least initially. But when it’s time to explain to a man you really like how many guys you’ve been with and he doesn’t really want to hear anything over 5, you feel like shit again. Or when it’s your birthday and you want one of those guys you’re just sleeping with to make you feel special  and you realize that none of them can–and none of them want to. If women were honest with themselves and with their EMOTIONS, we’d realize the truth–that casual sex poses emotional dangers for us. Because at the end of the day, we want to feel Love. Women, after all, were created for Love.

Whether or not casual sex is good for women is a highly debated issue (check out Can Women Enjoy Casual Sex? from Psychology Today). And even though I am leaning more towards the side that says it’s not so great a practice for MOST women, I am in no way advocating that women should NOT have casual sex. I know. Now you’re sitting at home like “wait, but you just said…” I know what I said. I also believe just like the four women illustrated above women do not fit into a single box. There may be women out there like the blonde (aka Samantha Jones) filled with enough self-Love that they do not need life long companionship. I’ve never met them but I’m sure they’re out there. Even I’ve had casual sex that made me feel sexually empowered not because it was so great but because I was exercising my pussy power. I got to say when, where, and how it would be done. And if he didn’t like it, he had to go. What I am trying to say about casual sex is examine your motives as a woman and do not deny yourself your innermost desires. If you want Love (like the brunette and the other blonde), say you want Love.

I’ve come across many women who try to deny themselves their own nature. They say things like “it’s not that serious”, “I’m not that kind of girl. I just wanna f**k”, or “I’m just having fun”. But when the right person comes along, they’re swept up faster than you can say Swiffer. Not realizing that all they are doing is denying their own humanity, they’re own womanhood–feeding into the propaganda that tells us it’s not okay to be vulnerable and emotional and to want a relationship. We feed into the messages that tell us somehow men are more powerful and have more control because they’re less sensitive. But it takes the most strength to be vulnerable–whether you’re a man or a woman. The hardest thing in the world is sharing your heart–not your bed. If you are having casual sex while maintaining the ultimate Love for self  and not compromising on what you want, than by all means “do you booboo”. But do not fall into casual sex because you’re afraid to pursue the Love you want and need. If you put yourself out there for Love, the Universe will not return to you empty-handed.

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