Last night I headed into the warm-cold northeastern night to play. The Friday before Halloween in the grown-up world is when all kinds of delicious and debaucherous (yup, I made up a word right there, #witness) things go down. It is also the night in girl world where…
No reason why Pretty Magnolia shouldn’t come out to play right? (her full name, after all, is Pretty Magnolia the Sex-Positive Fairy)
But ahh, New England, you tricky, tricky foreign land.
Pretty Magnolia did make an appearance, a work of fish-netted, laced, gartered, and cinched violet wonderful. She was brown-skinned, round-bottomed, thick thighed, buxom and fabulous. She should have been sprinkling sex-positive fairy glitter on everyone and everywhere. And she did. But in a land of 98% whiteness, she should not have been surprised to find that her brand of clitoratti energy lacked its usual pizzazz. By the end of the night, perfectly pleased with herself but more than a little limp-winged, Pretty Magnolia turned into a purple pumpkin and rolled her way home. Alone.
And I woke up this morning ruminating on what exactly about the evening left me feeling so unfulfilled.
(get your minds out of the gutter) (okay, maybe you’re right) (but no, you’re not)
Because I may be new to the sex-positive game but if I’m not mistaken, it isn’t just about where you find your orgasm. It’s about intimacy. It’s about the ways that body, heart, mind and soul make the most effective, healthy and wholesome connection. And there’s another element, beyond intimacy, that we don’t emphasize enough but it’s particularly relevant to women of color–women whose hair & bodies are so often manipulated by the media for its own purposes even by so-called allies, who historically have been dissected, used and abused by everyone from scientists to slaveowners, turned into experiments, objects, Others.
It’s the part where we affirm that we are women, women of color, black women that we/I am a
with every right to be seen that way, to have that complexity acknowledged if only in a glance, a touch, a whisper in the ear, a swaying dance, a hand on a hip or, if by mutual consent, something more physical.
I wasn’t shopping for an orgasm last night (really, I wasn’t). What I was shopping for was sexiness. What I missed, truly, madly, deeply, was being in a space with others whose look did more than fetish the curve of a black breast.
I don’t want to be grabbed at a party in Delaware or Connecticut anymore than I want to be groped in D.C. or Chicago. If the gaze has a spectrum then the fear and nervous shock/surprise found on the faces of *some* white men I encounter is no more desirable than the hard, dehumanizing & possessive lust found on *some* black men’s faces in other venues. Neither is much fun to have to navigate and neither make me feel safe much less sexy. (Pretty Magnolia slaps faces on the regular for such behavior: #shewildlikethat )
But to be teased, tickled and tantalized all at once with just the twitch of an eyebrow? To see a man (whatever race or ethnicity) bite his lip in my general direction? To be given, as my friend calls them, “fuck me eyes” and feel the air vibrate between us as I pass by? In short, to be seen as a body that is desirable? #therearenowordsforthatkindofyum
Which, as it turns out, is part of why I miss and love black, brown (and the occasional & smarter-than-his-brothers white) men. No one appreciates a brown booty they way they do. And sometimes all you want at a party, on a date, or even in the grocery store is someone to (at least try!) to rub your booty.