5 Rules of Dress, For Relationship Casual

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Gone are the days where marriage and settling down is the standard end goal for all romantic interactions. Although if it is for you, that is just as valid a want as it is to want to get married early, late, or never at all.

So that means that if you are out here trying to ride around and get it in your twenties, you have options. As I am no stranger to online peopleing and various romantic tomfoolery, I’ve been contemplating a curious thing known as the casual relationship.

Which in theory sounds simple enough, you find a person whose face/spirit you enjoy and then you date with no clear title/exclusivity, with the understanding that both parties are interested in getting to know one another, and that time may or may not be put in to see where the interaction leads. Solid.

But casual is in fact much more complex than that, because there are clear distinctions between casual dating and casual sex. I have concluded that more often than not we don’t know what we want, are scared to want what we want, or are scared that other people don’t want what we want. So it has reached the point where we are delaying providing upfront information in the name of fulfilling  or disregarding those desires entirely.

In the name of talking, situationships, and casual whatevers here are five rules of “dress,” should you choose to engage in any dating entanglement labeled “Casual.”

1. Casual sex doesn’t last forever, but babies and antibiotic resistant diseases do.

I am no stranger to being some version of a human other than myself in the name of LOVE or whatever, but I find that as quickly as we can swipe and #wasteourowntime2017, we can’t quite master open and honest communication when it comes to bumping jiggly bits with another person. If you can have sex with a person that you have known for all of no time at all, then you can also ask for a health report, demand the use of protection and make sure no babies are created in the making of this production. I know millennials have the hookup game on lock, but anything that can lead to a tiny human or itching where there should be none is NEVA casual…

2. It’s okay to say you want a relationship…or not

I know that “relationship,” has become a dirty weird since we learned that a flick of the wrist can get you face to face with a human in seven days or last, but if you find that you are headed for a drive down Casual boulevard remember that if you want a relationship, that want is valid, but also subject to change should you find that your casual whatever is enough to sustain your current needs, and if you are the person in the scenario who does not want a relationship, do not fear. “I want a relationship,” does not mean that the other person wants one with you.

3. Draw clear lines between casual SEX and casual DATING

As always relationships are deeply subjective, however there should be clearly drawn lines in your situationship of choice. If one is to engage is sometimes skin exchanges, then it means being open to the occasional text or phone call that both parties know are happening for ONE THING ONLY. That means do not under any circumstances behave in a way that can be even halfway interpreted as romantic. Note: this does not mean that a level of respect and regard for being a decent human goes out the window. It means both parties know that they will not be the other person’s #mcm or #wcw any day of the week. Whereas casual dating implies that both parties have vocalized some semblance of romantic interest and will allow things to progress naturally. But meddling somewhere in the middle or hoping that subtle hints will take the place of clarity is a surefire way to catch feelings and hands.

4. Ask yourself what YOU want before you ask someone else the question

Before getting into a casual interaction that warrants the “What are you looking for?” question be sure that you have meditated, prayed, and communed with the spirits to be at least 75% sure of what you want, and it is okay to not be actively looking for this or that. The same way that it is okay if you have a list of requirements and algorithms that weed out F*ckboys/girls. Whether you figure out on date one or Netflix and chill night number twenty, it is valid and paramount that you are honest with yourself and most importantly the other person, because while you are hovering somewhere around lukewarm you are wasting someone else’s time and your own.

5. Have FUN

There is enough crummy stuff in life being crummy, peopleing should not be one of those things. In a perfect world we date to not find another half, but to enhance our own wholeness and maybe someone else’s, to learn things we never knew, to become better people, to have mindful conversations and informed and amazing sexual encounters that are fueled by consent, passion and trust and cuz it’s a cold world and sometimes people can make it better. But if your casual thing that isn’t a thing isn’t at the very least FUN then run immediately.

 

 

On “Talking White,” And Various Anti-Black Shenanigans

 

“Why you talk so white?”

“You speak proper.”

Besides being grammatically incorrect, because correction ( Rafiki voice) the statement should be  “You speak PROPERLY.” But I digress. Before I proceed to send for every person who has ever accused me of “talking white,” I’m going to direct your attention to the brilliant masterpiece of spoken word that is Kai Davis’ “Fuck I Look Like.”

Now that you have hopefully, learned a thing or two, and have refrained from your “having people fucked up” tendencies, let’s talk about anti-blackness and speaking like a descendant of the Caucasus mountains.

How does one speak like a white person? Pray tell.

I was unaware that using both a subject and a predicate was specific to a racial identity. The more you know…

I spent pretty much all of my adolescence of having the cadence and vocabulary of someone who is devoid of melanin, i.e. white. My favorite was being called an “Oreo,” mostly by family members who at the same time encouraged my love of reading and writing and told me to speak like I had some sense when out in public.

So I never quite understood how my appreciation for a well-placed comma and my long-term relationship with Merriam-Webster made me lose my metaphorical Black card.

Several years and Donald Trump later, I have undergone what the cool kids call an awakening and not only have I spent a lot of time facing my own racial bias and self-hate, but I have realized that accusing a brown or yellow-skinned human of sounding white you are in fact implying that eloquence is a white trait, which I would bet my head wrap against.

I know that is the narrative that we have been sold, one where using AAVE means that literacy missed you and that using words with more than one syllable means that you play for the side of oppression; and I’m not sure what’s worse, that we have internalized this narrative or that we use it against one another as if we aren’t members of the same marginalized community.

As if we don’t frown at our fellow melanin folk who did not heed their mother’s warning to talk like they got some sense and then judge them for the manner in which they speak.

Plot twist: The way that a person and certainly a black person speaks, is a very rarely a reflection of their intellect and instead a direct reflection of their environment.

I think the appropriate response the next time anybody tries to insinuate that your love of a big word stems from some unfulfilled desire to turn pale, ask them what being black looks like? What does it sound like?

Cuz I have yet to solve that riddle.

Dear White Men,Who Love Black Women

pexels-photo-91227.jpegDear white men who love black women,

I know that there has been a rise in your interest in being touched by the hands of those who practice #blackgirlmagic, as evidenced by the high number of Caucasus mountain descendants sliding into my Tinder, Okcupid, Bumble, Instagram and stopping me on the sidewalk to inquire about whether or not my hair is real.

Kudos to you, for putting in your dating profile that you prefer Black women, who have been dipped in resilience and anointed with melanin. But when I ask you why you’re declaring to the world that you prefer your berries blacker because you think the juice is sweeter, please stop telling me that it’s “something about us.” Did you survey every brown girl and come to the conclusion that we were special?

When I ask you why you like us, do not tell me because we are stronger than other women. I mean we were slaves soooo, we learned to develop a little more muscle in our existence. I am not whatever caricature you have in mind, I am strong because I’ve never not been reminded of my difference. I’ve built a stronger social immune system as a result of my culture.

Dear white men who love black women,

#Blacklivesmatter is not a pickup line.

Dear white men who love black women,

Police jokes are not funny, but your oblivion to your own privilege is hilarious.

Dear white men who love black women,

No you may not touch my hair.

Dear white men who love black women,

You don’t see color because you have chosen to pretend to be blind.

Dear white men who love black women,

You do not want mixed babies, because despite their %50 pale DNA, they will be considered %100 threatening, no matter how loose their curl pattern is.

Dear white men who love black women,

I’m not sure who you thought you were talking to.

Dear white men who love black women,

If you don’t see color, why do you declare blind love for people who look like me?

Dear white men who love black women,

I am human first, black woman second, despite what you’ve heard.

 

Ten Things Not To Say To Your Single Friends

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Source: Tumblr

STOP. ASKING. ME. WHEN. IMMA. GET. A. BOYFRIEND (insert brown clap emojis here)

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to discuss something very serious in nature. I’m talking about a particular virus, I wouldn’t call it an epidemic, it’s more of a contagious fever; also known as the “I’m in a relationship so everyone must be in one,” school of thought.

I have long been accustomed to being the single, but eclectic elephant in the room, when in the presence of friends and their romantic partners. I am the one who can in fact pop lock with anyone I want to in the club, I can make inappropriate jokes, and I can also probe the minds of said partners when looking for insight into the male mind.

There is no one hogging up half my bed, no one texting me asking where I am at, and I do not live in fear of various Beckys wit da good hair.

And guess what?…I’m okay with that. So in the spirit of my current hat throwing back into the millennial dating ring of fire, here are ten things to stop saying to your single friends.

1. When are you going to get a boyfriend/girlfriend/lover/ scalp greaser?

If I had to mark the date on my Google calendar, I would probably say that I would like to be in a relationship, when I’m supposed to, which will coincide with when I feel like it.

2. You and this person that you just met would be SO CUTE.

Probably, not. As long as you and your partner gel together like Beyonce’s baby hairs, that’s all that matters. Me and whoever my current gentleman caller are under enough pressure trying to not let our individual crazy seep out before date number five. I ain’t got time to worry if we would be cute or not.

3. I can’t wait for you to be in a relationship, so we can all go out.

But we can all go out now, where y’all wanna go?

4. I’m so glad, I don’t have to deal with *insert dating tomfoolery here* anymore…

Unless you are one of those blessed” we met in high school couples,” then you’ve probably had to kiss fifty-eleven toads first, you must remember where you came from on the way to love land.

5. I just want you to find love.

Correction (Rafiki voice), I have love, from my momma and them, and the lovely humans I call my friends. I’ve had love since birth, I would like to be IN love, though.

6. I know a nice guy.You want me to set you up?

This well-meaning but often misguided attempt at the classic fix-up often leads to you coming up with a polite way to say that you do not wish to ever exchange tonsils with this person who was supposedly the bee’s knees, arms and legs.

7. I can’t wait for all of us to be in relationships?

But why?

8. You should put yourself out there.

But it’s cozy in here, and until I meet someone who makes me feel warmer than a pair of chenille socks with Uggs on a chilly winter day, Imma stay right here.

9. I remember being single.

You’re still in your twenties, I hope you remember it…

10.  I’m happy that I have my bae/babe/boosky/ to do that with me/for me now.

At this point, you must prepare the fresh baked cookie that your friend is obviously reaching for…your single friends are also probably happy that you have this amazing human to complement you, but self-sufficiency is just as sexy.

What else do you wish your friends/aunty/the world would stop telling you when you’re single? 

Monogamy, Blessing or Curse?

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If you have been writing my blog up until this point, you would know about my 2017 goal to get in touch with my spirituality, and how I feel about men who are squeamish about the Fifty Shades of Grey series, and if you are just arriving to Find Some TLC, welcome!

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, there’s something I need to discuss with you all, the m-word, the plague upon our dating houses, the thing that we’ve all been sold, but constantly try and return. I’m talking about monogamy, and its role in all of our millennial dating shenanigans.

I posed the question “Is monogamy natural?,” on my Facebook page the other day, and received a mixed bag of reactions ranging from “Gurl, please,” to “No, it’s not, but I still prescribe to it.”

My thought on the whole debate is this, at my core, I think that monogamy isn’t the problem, I think that the overt traditionalism that has polluted monogamy is the reason why so many twentysomethings are out here running away from it faster than Trump’s hairline is betraying him.

I mean, the idea of being with one person at a time, should be simple right. In many ways, I think committing to one person was a way to combat decision fatigue. How great would it be, in theory, to find the future peanut butter to your jelly and have a relationship that is mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally complementary to your whole being?

While that sound’s like the bee’s knees, arms and legs, I think we have Tinder, OkCupid and alla their mans an’ them for making us both more aware of polyamorous lifestyles and also giving us the false illusion of choice, while we all try before we buy.

Monogamy as it is constantly presented to us, is usually hetero-normative, and involves the settling down of curiosity and the libido, in the name of a ring and a marriage certificate. But because the antiquated ideals of monogamy are now up against the fear that your boyfriend of girlfriend could be TIndering behind your back, or wondering if the OkCupid mister you clicked with is double booking dates, too many of us are running around fearful and insecure.

If you have spent the better part of at least two decades working through awkward adolescence, getting an education, and working on self love, why can one supposedly good digital mister have you double texting and worrying about a nonexistent Becky wit da good hair?

Never has it been easier for you to be the best thing since sliced bread for a guy one night, and ghosted the next day? Or is it that in our predispositions for monogamy, we weren’t taught enough about dating around and doing some self-reflection. I find that while my personality has gotten stronger over the years, it’s all too easy for me to revert back to tolerating things that ought not be tolerated in the name of easing loneliness when it shows up uninvited.

I remember my first and only real relationship during my freshmen year of college, when having someone slide in your FB inbox was still a novelty, and when I was convinced abstinence was my jam. That relationship lasted for all of six months, but I found that I felt smothered during the whole thing, and couldn’t even be bothered to properly break up with the person.

In short, I was every guy who has every walked off with a piece of my former hope that love still conquers all, fast forward to now and after taking a one year break from dating, I don’t think I’m any better at dating than I was then.

Cue Drake’s “Trust Issues.” It’s more like I approach every new potential romance as a cause to be suspicious until proven otherwise. I show up with my metaphorical suit of armor so that lies and tomfoolery can’t penetrate me. But once I believe that there is a little light in someone, I shed my pretenses faster than we shed coats on a random warm winter day. Almost as if I’ve convinced myself that everyone is dark, so I have to soak up any ol’ light I find, until it get dark again.

I’m da real MVP of self-sabotage, but is the fact that ultimately I want to be with one person, perpetuating this?

I’m not good at playing games, and being cool while dating. In fact I like to be as uncool as possible, I like to discuss sex on the first date, I like to double text because I know the person saw my first message, and if I get a particular vibe, I’m the first to be like yes we just saw each other yesterday, but I want to see you today.

Take things slow for who?

But I don’t think it’s because I’m a hopeless romantic, I think it’s because I fear that all of the me on a silver platter is never going to be as satisfying, when all- you- can eat is a click away.

I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I could very easily swipe left and right and get plenty of people to occupy my time, but there’s also too great a risk of wasting my time, and you know risking my health. Yet, the physical has always been easier for me, like a temporary Band-aid while I try to ignore the fact that I have a gaping wound.

What I don’t understand is why in our avoidance of monogamy, we have all resolved to not only waste other people’s time but to waste your own?

I don’t think monogamy or polyamory for that matter is the reason why millennials are floundering at love, I think fearfulness is, being too afraid to say you want a relationship so comfortable that your partner greases your scalp, or being too chicken to say you never want a relationship and that having multiple love partners is really more you speed.

But we’re not afraid to waste our own time, and I don’t know about y’all but I am constantly reminded that life is short, so I don’t plan to waste my time any longer.

I still don’t know if I’m going to be a blushing bride some day, but I do know that in the meantime between time I can’t hide because I think every guy is gonna wastemytime.com, but I also can’t pass time with interactions that do not stimulate me simply because I think it’s better than the alternative.

Polyamory is not that hard to understand, and monogamy is not the devil, I think that we chose to place importance on the wrong things and now everyone’s got an automatic romantic fight 0r flight response.

How do you feel about monogamy? Could you ever see yourself in a polyamorous relationship? Do you think millennials suck at dating?

Let me know in the comments, and may you findsomeTLC…and love if that’s your thing!

 

 

Yes, Fifty Shades Sucks, And?

pexels-photo-248148Here’s a not so secret, secret. My name is Tiffany Lashai Curtis and I am a fan of the “Fifty Shades of Grey,” series, which has become synonymous with poorly written embarrassing prose, and cheesy sexual platitudes, born out of Twilight fan fiction.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s address Rachel Simon, an entertainment writer over at Bustle, who in a review of Fifty Shades Darker, wrote that, “Sure, Fifty Shades is a series technically about a woman’s deepest fantasies, but Christian Grey’s controlling behaviors and Ana Steele’s weak-willed personality don’t make most feminists jump for joy.”

Did Simon miss the part where Christian Grey, has spent the last six years or so being a dominant? And also had she read the books, she would see that yes Christian is indeed controlling that’s clear on a surface level, however, Ana actually ends up being the one who overtakes him in many ways.

In just two days after the release of the movie, the interwebs has been hit with piece after piece lamenting about how terrible the movie was, how abusive it’s portrayal of BDSM is, and how unsexy the movie is to which I say, moviegoers, y’all are asking for too much.

If you want to see a feminist romance, where Ana is independent and don’t need no man, this isn’t for you. Heck, if you are looking to the film as a how-to guide for kinks and things this is also not for you.

The movie is full of stilted dialogue and questionable chemistry, with a certain cache for leaving out important details from the book.

But the movie and books for that matter, were never heralded as feminist literature.

The same way that the Magic Mike movies weren’t suddenly feminist because they offered equal opportunity sexual objectification.

Here’s what I take away from the series, it is in alignment with almost every other romance movie churned out by Hollywood, and what I think makes people uncomfortable at its core is that there are indeed several red flags that should have Ana running for the hills.

Remind me again how many of us choose to see a relationship through despite our better judgement? I think people take issues with many of the plot holes because they too closely mirror many of our own flaws, of trying to control everything in our lives or not taking the lead in our desires.

Aside from that it’s a movie to escape from bad Tindering and politics, and enjoy as what it is, with the understanding that this is not based on a true story, nor does it accurately represent alternative sexual lifestyles. But if the film sparks your curiosity and encourages you to look into Ben Wa Balls, or starts the conversation about better bedroom shenanigans with your lover of choice, or begins to shift your views on sex positivity then I think the books and the films did what they were supposed to do.

I’ve noticed that a lot of guys proclaim to have never seen the movie, but I did not there were many more couples in the theater than I saw two years ago.

I know that it’s en vogue for men to write off a romance movie as a chick flick, but hear me out if you are in fact in a heterosexual relationship and you find that your girlfriend, wife, or lady friend is intrigued enough or bored enough to read the books/watch the films, then ask her about it, research on your own. We tend to be curious about things that are outside of our own lives because those things might not be a part of our everyday routines.

So just in your woman mentions anything leather or kink related, you’re not running the other way or side eyeing her because you have not taken the time to educate yourself.

Fifty Shades Darker, is not The Notebook or The Titantic, but as a surface-level erotic film, that has the potential to open up the dialogue about women and sex positivity, I think it does what it was meant to do.

What are your thoughts on the series? Has it sparked conversations in your own life?

Let me know in the comments, and may you #findsometlc while you’re at it.

Why I’m Trying To Look Myself In The Third Eye and Questioning God, At The Same Time

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Dear God, it’s me Margaret…

Jk, it’s Tiffany. But seriously, I wonder who else among us, i.e. the clueless millennials who often need adultier adults to help us adult, are pushing their mid-twenties and seeking out something greater than materials and the constant streaming of Orange Voldemort’s tomfoolery?

I’m talking about the s-word. Spirituality.

Let me note here that spirituality and religion are in fact not one in the same. You do not have to be homies with baby Jesus in order to practice meditation, yoga, or generally try to center yourself on a daily basis.

During one of my usual Google searches for random facts of life, I found a post that essentially said that whatever level of religion or spirituality that you maintain now, is in fact the most that it will ever be.

Which made me go,whet?

I’d like to think that at this point in my life. my belief in something outside of the scope of existence can still go either way, but then I started to think that maybe that article had some truth to it.

One of my goals for this year, in addition to minding ALLA of my business and clearing up my skin, has been to look myself in the third eye, and if you have never tried to harness your chi, the third eye is “a mystical and esoteric concept referring to a speculative invisible eye which provides perception beyond ordinary sight,” according to ye ole Wikipedia.

I feel like at I’m at a place in life where spirituality has never been more necessary, or more elusive. I’ve read many an article about the wonders of meditation for easing anxiety and improving focus, and have read a testimony or two from those who swear by crystals.

And I wonder which aspects of spirituality are right for me? Crystals while I think they are gorgeous, is not practice is for me. I find that a lot of new age trends tend to clash so much with the fire and brimstone versions of Black Christianity that I have grown up on.

If you asked me what deity I believe in, I would tell you that I have two prayers in my soul, one being “Thank you God,” and “Fix it Jesus.” I acknowledge some version of God, as well as Christ who I like to think was the pinnacle of decent human beings.

But otherwise I am not a frequent church goer and I will not quote the Bible, nor do I believe that everything happens for a reason.

I do admire the premise of religion, because to exist with no kind of hope for something greater seems pretty grim to me.

But as a Black woman, who was told that I was a heathen as a child for reading Harry Potter, told that my hair was my crown after I shaved my head for the second time, and have had many a stranger lay their hands upon my greased up forehead, the idea that there is a nosy being in the sky smiting everybody for everything , left a bad taste in my mouth.

So how do I exist on the spectrum? I want to develop practices that fit my life, I want to meditate more, because even if you can’t get into it, silence is so precious these days.

I want to put healthy things in my body, and stretch my limbs, and be mindful of not being a cruddy person on a daily basis, and maybe that’s my brand of spirituality.

During a time when religions that we do not practice, or do not understand are being depicted in an awful light, I think it’s so important to figure out what you believe, and make sure that your beliefs are a guideline for your life without encroaching on any one else’s.

Religion and spirituality do not exist in a monolith the same way that people do not.

I used to think that they did, because so much of suffering was attributed to the one-dimensional religion I was being taught, but I found that once  I started questioning some of those ideals, my soul became a little more at peace, so if this is the height of my spirituality, then I think I’m okay with that.