Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Pop Culture

On D. Wade, Gabby Union, And Making Sense Of Non-Break “Breaks” And Condomlessness

dwade-gabby-unionI’m going to keep it real with you all and say that there is a very, very small handful of celebrities whose happiness and success I’m actively rooting for. Among them, Janet Jackson and her gotdamnit-he’s-fine-billionaire-husband, Kerry Washington (and Nnamdi by association), Mariah and Nick, Idris and his bowtie.

I really don’t care anything about Dwyane Wade, his divorce troubles, or Gabby Union. I have opinions, and my opinions have skeletons, but I am not that invested.

But, when every single person in the whole entire world spent a week writing status after email after tweet after blog after thinkpiece deconstructing their relationship and our reactions to their relationship from every conceivable angle, I had two choices. Continue not really caring, or trick myself into believing that they’re not celebrities, and offer my opinion then.

I chose the latter.

And since I chose the latter, and chose to re-imagine new identities for Dwyane Wade (Carpenter. Yes, like Jesus.) and Gabrielle Union (Some chick working at Verizon), I have no qualms about saying two things:

1. There’s no such thing as a “break”

There is together. And not together. There is, “I’m need a couple days to avoid possibly murdering you,” and letting all calls go to voicemail forever. Sure, you might need some days to air yourselves out and regroup, but no part of that should include the next man/chick. When your “break” from me includes the addition of someone else, we’re using fuzzy math.

But, I’m aware some of you slept through math. And slept with your math teachers. So, for the Valtrex-sniffing portion of the population who do use sex with other people to get closer to their partners, there’s something else in this that doesn’t fit quite right.

2. Where the f*ck were the condoms?

I know this is a rhetorical question. At this point at least. Still, the whole condomless break sex thing reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend of mine some time ago. Apparently, men don’t just randomly stop using condoms. There’s no man out there who is a serial condom user and decides on one special night not to use one. Men who don’t use condoms, he says, always choose not to use them. Since those last three sentences scared the f*ck out of me, I won’t even attempt to address them. Just wanted to put them there so they’d scare you too.

Anyway, condoms are $12 a box. You get one condom per dollar. That’s less than an Egg McMuffin. Hell, you could get them free from a multitude of places. I mean, they’ll be Durex or Avirex or whatever other off-brand condoms they give out at free clinics, but still. That’s better than nothing. So what never seems to curl all the way over for me in these situations is the conception of #BreakBabies who are living proof of the lack of foresight, or consideration, held for the health of one’s partner whilst sexing someone else… to get closer…to the partner.

One of my personal rules in life is “never make a mistake you can’t fix.” This is why I’m not a Delta. The problem with irresponsible sex – and I’m calling it “irresponsible” in this case because any way this is spun, I think we can agree that it was not the intention to make another baby – is that it’s a shared mistake that can have detrimental, unfixable consequences for individuals who haven’t made any personal decisions for themselves. Wade, and others like him, is lucky that the conversation is just about a baby. And whether you agree with Gabby’s choice or not, let’s just be glad she still had an opportunity to make one.

Maya Francis

Maya K. Francis is a culture writer and communications strategy consultant. When not holding down the Black Girl Beat for VSB, she is a weekly columnist for Philadelphia Magazine's "The Philly Post" and contributes to other digital publications including xoJane, Esquire, and EBONY.com. Sometimes TV and radio producers are crazy enough to let her talk on-air, and she helped write a book once. She cites her mother and Whitley Gilbert as inspirations.

  • I Am Your People

    Here’s what confuses me about this situation (or ‘these’ if you add Ludacris) – you’re with a woman for years and she doesn’t get pregnant, but your side piece of allegedly 3 weeks does? What is the logic in that?

    I half-joked that DWade realized Gabby is 40+ and may have wanted another baby. Until I found out that she was also Damon Wayans Jr baby mama, and I was like 0__________________O

    In other news, are we ready for a Kevin Durant baby? He and his fiancee are also taking a ‘break.’

    Finally, why are they breaking from these highly accomplished women (actress, med student, WNBA player) for random-azz hoodrats? I don’t understand men at all

    • Andrea

      Kevin Durant toooooo! No. He seemed to love Black Jesus so much. Not Kevin too.

    • Kevin Durant is too much of an awkward turtle to be getting involved in any of that foolishness!

      • Kema

        Groupies dont care how awkward you are

        • I believe his loyalty and awkwardness will wart off wayward THOTs.

    • Men can’t say no to easy pussea. Or I suppose any pussea for that matter. If she’s down that means he’s down and he HAS to go raw. Condoms are for suckas.

    • nillalatte

      The side pieces are setting up a retirement account.

      • I should’ve done more political networking during my tenure in DC :-( I could’ve had the secret love child of some diplomat or congressman that’d pay me generously to keep quiet *deep sigh of regret*

      • Msdebbs

        yasssssss Wades BM is really diversifying her portfolio. This was a really good investment for her.

        • I Am Your People

          No one diversified her portfolio quite like Blake Griffin’s baby mama, who you may know as Matt Leinart’s baby mama, and yes, Baller Alert IS my guilty pleasure…how did you know?

          • Andrea

            But u gotta give Evelyn Lozada the perseverance award.

            • Msdebbs

              Yea she finally struck it big after 20+ years of trying. Apparently baseball is where the real $$ is at.

              • Epsilonicus

                They get some of the largest contracts in the sports world. Baseball is definitely where the money is at.

              • Andrea

                Right!!! You know Charlamagne…… on the radio in NY…..he stays talking about tryna get with a baseball player.

            • Liz

              But Ev really only persevered like 12 months, maybe, before she got another ring.

              I’m thinking Lebron’s girl gets that award. Assuming he is staying faithful I guess.

              • Andrea

                I bet she has gotten to keep all 3 engagement rings! That’s a nice a little trophy case. MVP.

          • Msdebbs

            Girl me too.

          • Michelle

            I had read that article as well. I always believe that the smartest golddiggers are the ones that you would least suspect. A groupie/golddigger are not just the women who posts Twitpics and wears body con dresses at nightclubs. When a woman have other women come to her defense, she is smart.

          • Rachmo

            That woman has arranged one of the best come ups I’ve ever seen.

            • #diversification

              • Rachmo

                Honestly a small part of me was like “well done ma’am.” Plus she’s got a degree from USC. I’m not mad.

    • Msdebbs

      Accomplished doesn’t always equal fun and freaky. Think about it if you send all your time being successful and sh*t how will you find the time to learn all the perverted and nasty things these men like??

      • Andrea

        I’m starting to think that is why Kim Kardashian appears to be taking a ‘break’ with Blac Chyna.

        • Msdebbs

          I break from what???

        • Yoles

          you think kim is getting coitus council… cause from what i seen, she could use them.. i aint saying but I’m saying… if so i am glad that she is seeking tips and tricks…

      • Val

        I think it’s more than that. I think it’s also about just being available. Successful women are busy. They aren’t always available. Spoiled men want what they want when they want it. So, if some other chick is just sitting at home waiting for a call, she’ll probably get that call.

      • Liz

        LMAOOOOOO.

        This is much easier than you’d think. So I’ve heard.

      • Yoles

        i hear that education, acomplishments et al. don’t mean anything to men, its the woman they want all that other stuff is fluff, thats why its easier for a broke, uneducated, going no where fast chick to meet a man and be on the come up than vice versa.. at least thats word on the streets

        • panamajackson

          It’s not that they don’t matter. It just depends on who the guy is and what he’s looking for. They definitely don’t matter as much to us as I assume they matter to you all. It’s more icing on the cake to us than a requirement most times. Again, MOST times. But most dudes do have a bottom level of “success” or “achievement” they’d like their chick to have…if we want to marry them.

          • EXXXXACTLY. The women who end up having their children aren’t in the marriage material bucket.

          • That’s accurate. Educated dudes generally aren’t checking for homegirl working at Walmart, but past a pretty basic level, they’re good. They aren’t looking for accomplishments as much as avoiding women who are obviously looking through a come-up through their nani.

            • Epsilonicus

              But homegirl from Walmart is more likely to get chose by an educated dude than homeboy from Walmart getting chose by an educated woman.

      • Tell the truth, shame the devil! There are accomplished women who are dry from both sets of lips.

    • Liz

      Is Eudoxie really still in med school? CUz I can’t tell from the IG pics I was lookin at the other day lololll

      • She was NEVER in medical school. She was doing some Master’s program. I don’t know who started that whole medical school push, she’s a smart young girl but she’s never been a student in anyone’s medical school.

        • Andrea

          WHAT??? Remind me to stay off of Bawsip.

          • Yes, Eudoxie was attending the medical school as a student of the Master’s program. Many medical schools have master of health/science programs that people are enrolled in. Technically you become a student of XYZ Medical School but still, medical student you are not.

    • h.h.h.

      Finally, why are they breaking from these highly accomplished women (actress, med student, WNBA player) for random-azz hoodrats?

      http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/whistling.gif

    • Michelle

      The way certain people (those annoying a$$ Solidarity Sisters) tell it: the side-pieces just coincidentally met these celebrities, even though they tend to hunt these men down and read Baller Alert as if it is a newspaper… Never mind the fact that these side-pieces are rumored to be smashing other famous men…
      Re: the “breaks”
      I am a believer in the “We’re broken up… That’s it.”

    • To answer that last question, accomplishments have nothing to do (good or bad) with friendliness, agreeability or general freakiness. In other words, the standards men judge women NY are different than the standards women judge other women, case closed.

      • Epsilonicus

        We could give a f*ck about degrees.

        • Which is why I don’t understand why I went to college. I could’ve worked my way up the stripper ranks and hooked someone by now -_____-

          • Epsilonicus

            You could have 20k Instagram followers and 3 famous baby daddies to boot

            • My priorities were all messed up in high school

              • Epsilonicus

                Riight. Too focused on learning and ish. You shoulda been busting it wide open…

        • Andrea

          Is that just in terms of who you would f*ck? I read an article that said people with GED’s were the least likely to get married. Basically an education made you more likely to get a ring.

          • I would say that a GED could get it if there was something else going on. Like if homegirl ran her own beauty salon or had some other lucrative hustle going. There has to be some level of being a halfway decent human, but the line is a lot lower than these 5 degree having chicks think.

          • Epsilonicus

            Don’t confuse correlation with causation. People who have GEDs/HS diplomas get married less for a whole slew of reasons not related to their academic success. I work in a graduate school and there are a whole slew of unmarried multi-Masters holding women. A degree does not come close to guaranteeing romantic success. For Black women, in some ways it may doom your love life.

            Few men put degrees in their top 5 characteristics for their perfect mate. Men are choosy, just not about degrees/career success.

            • Shamira

              I agree with you. its a false signifier, the only reason why a lot of people with advanced degrees also marry others with advanced degrees is simply because they run in the same circles not because people truly value it as a marriage requirement.

              • Epsilonicus

                Couldn’t have said it better myself.

            • Andrea

              So you didn’t read this article? I might have missed a few blogs…but I was hoping VSB would have a post on this article when it came out. Maybe they did?

              The concept of degrees ‘dooming your love life’ I thought was challenged very nicely by these professors from Howard and Morehouse. I was so happy to see someone finally take Census data and do a statistically sound analysis of marriage patterns with respect to Black Women. I was very enthusiastic about the findings.

              http://www.empowermagazine.com/new-research-shatters-myths-and-provides-new-hope-for-black-love-and-marriage/

              • VSB had that years ago. The thing is that degrees don’t really matter in marriage, one way or the other, and that the differences in marriage rates between levels of education have to do with factors outside of education, such as income and unemployment.

                • Andrea

                  So you don’t think a black women with more education is going to have a harder time getting married.

                  • No. The numbers bear this out.

                    • Andrea

                      So do you think I will have more suitors with a GED or a PhD?

                    • Andrea

                      In your opinion/ research what variables should I optimize to make me more likely to get married? If you were my consultant…. what age, degree, height, weight, hair length, hair style, personality….etc would u recommend to result in the greatest odds of marriage as the outcome (as a Black woman).

              • Epsilonicus

                So to respond to your statement, we are both correct. If a woman wants to ONLY marry a man with a advanced degree, then the odds are not in her favor. If she opens her options, she is not. However, you article in no way proves the fact that education improves marriage options.

                • Andrea

                  This is a topic I would love to study further. Like those ratios about Atlanta and DC. I would love to talk my boss into giving me a research project in this area. I work at Census.

                • Andrea

                  And I bet you didn’t know that January is national Oatmeal month…LOL. Things you learn at Census…..

                  • Epsilonicus

                    Not at all. I did not know oatmeal needed its own month lol

              • Epsilonicus

                As a follow up, college helps with finding a mate not because a degree is more desirable. It does because where else do you have such a large pool of single people to choose from.

        • Freebird

          not a flying f*ck

    • afronica

      “Finally, why are they breaking from these highly accomplished women (actress, med student, WNBA player) for random-azz hoodrats? I don’t understand men at all”

      Men like simplicity. Accomplished women may be many things, but they tend not to be simple and uncomplicated. I think after a guy’s been involved with a focused, achieving chick, he tends to go for someone easy-peasy if only for the contrast. Some days, I think I begin to understand some small corner of the male mind, but I just don’t always like what I understand. Other days, I put down the crack pipe.

      ETA: And happiest of new years to all!

  • I wonder how many strains of HPV run in celebrity circles because they all fuck the same people. That being said, I don’t think women who are married or dating these celebrities should expect anything less from them. Men cannot say no to willing pussea. Facts.

    • Diar

      Nah, the real is men don’t have to say to say no to side cooze. Three-fourths of the time there will be no real consequences.

      • True. I suppose I’d be smashing every woman in sight too if I knew I could do so without consequence.

    • afronica

      Chris Rock: Men are only as loyal as their options (paraphrase).

  • Andrea

    I wonder if this will hurt Gabby’s career? Will she no longer be asked to host BET Honors? That Poor Publicist.

    • I don’t think this will hurt Gabby. She isn’t pregnant by some stranger.

      • Andrea

        Something tells me they are gonna go in a different direction for the 2014 Women’s Empowerment Keynote Speaker

        • kidvideo

          Yeah…they might have to hand it over to Erykah Badu.

          • Msdebbs

            I luvs me some Erykah but they can do better.

        • esa

          how so ? Hillary Clinton runs for president. there’s nothing disempowering about being with a man who is with other women, unless you choose it to be so ~*~

          • Rachmo

            This is a damn good point.

          • camilleblu

            Right…an outside baby? That’s nothing these days…if anything, Gabby will come out looking like
            the upstanding devoted woman that her pr machine is making her out to be. She’s good.

        • Gabby did nothing wrong though. She’s not in an abusive relationship, that we know of. Her PR team could spin this and make her the victim and parade her around as some sort of twisted martyr who forgave her man and stood by his side. You know, love standing the test of time and all that jazz. Gabby has a clean record so to speak, this doesn’t seem like it should matter much.

    • Val

      If anything BET would try to exploit the drama.

    • afronica

      Her career will be fine, but she’s going to have to change her narrative. Less women’s empowerment and capable, intelligent Black woman. More simple smiles and traditional values.

    • Asiyah

      I don’t think this will hurt her career. First, she doesn’t have much of a career anyway. Second, she can spin this into a positive about how secure and empowering she is for being able to forgive and move on.

  • Kara

    I did not enjoy Maya Francis’ debut.

    • Constructive criticism: While I am a film believer (not necessarily someone that applies it though) in GZA’s philosophy of “half short, twice strong” it felt like the post ended much earlier than it could have and conversation will be had moreso on the strength of the subject rather than how Ms. Francis approached it.

      • afronica

        Yeah, the wrap up caught me by surprise. I was expecting more words ‘n ish.

  • TheHumanSpider

    1.) While I get the premise that a break in a relationship exists as much as The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, one does feel the need to shorten the “not together” portion of the relationship. How about “we’re on hiatus” or “I’m on edge?”

    *shrugs*

    2.) Nah, condom use is condom use. There are individuals who don’t use them because they upset the feeling, there are people that are allergic to latex, then there are people that use then religiously. There are also people that don’t know that it’s a bad idea to leave your condom in your wallet for long amounts of time, because it leaves the condom susceptible to wear and tear.

    But to raw dog everything in sight is just headshake worthy. We should know how the child creation process by the time we reach a certain age. So we should know what to do to prevent… happy accidents… like this from happening. But love makes people do some questionable s[p]it.

    • esa

      ~ We should know how the child creation process by the time we reach a certain age.

      exactly. why would this be an accident ? why wouldnt it be something else, like the unconscious fulfillment of self sabotage ?

      • Rachmo

        Um…hello.

  • AfricanCimba

    I’m not one to comment on celebrities’ shenanigans but you said something that picked my interest. The no-condom’s thing.
    This is a real thing some guys struggle with. Ain’t no climaxing with reduced sensation. This can make women feel some type of way…esp. when it happens the 2nd time & the 3rd time and they know you’re not pretending. Especially, when they can tell you’ve given & given and they’ve reached Mt. Everest and back. They feel…insecure isn’t the word.

    I’m just gonna leave this here: Find the 1 partner, get tested, buy sensation-intensifiers from Lover’s Lane or your adult store of choice. Make sure she’s on some birth-control. And while you’re there, pick up some by taste-maskers (chocolate-flavored works everytime). You’ll need them :)

    • Msdebbs

      ” And while you’re there, pick up some by taste-maskers (chocolate-flavored works everytime).”
      And how do you know this????

      • AfricanCimba

        Let’s just say “I know a guy” who has received first-hand feedback from his research. Yeah, let’s go with that

    • You can climax with condoms. You can climax multiple times if ordered to. It’s a swindle if he’s telling you he can’t.. He may need to experiment with different brands and fits but he can do it. If not, the issue is most likely in all sincerity to do with his tool. He might have gotten a terrible circumcision.

      • Yoles

        tell the truth, shame the devil ricky

      • Tentpole

        Ricky, are you saying you know EVERY MAN on the planet or are you saying just because you can everybody else should be able to also?

      • Word on the condom brands. Not all condoms are built the same. And I would rather hump raw then use Lifestyles. If it’s going to break anyway, I should save the dollar and get me a McChicken to go with the STD risk. LOL

    • Liz

      I really wanna say something here. but then i’d tell on myself. so I’ll just stand by and watch.

      • AfricanCimba

        go on….I bet you “know a girl” who has an opinion on this…

        • Liz

          LOLLLLLL. Pleading all kinds of fifths.

    • Yoles

      according to my brother who is also one of my best friends.. men that can’t climax while using condoms are men that have broke themselves bad… and just like it takes lots of pussC no chaser to get that way, you can train yourself to get used to the dulling of the sensation..

      tl:dr dudes that can’t bust wrapped up made themselves that way and can fix it but rather swindle you and say they can’t

    • “Make sure she’s on some birth-control.”

      Clearly, I’m a woman. But I have trust issues. If I was going to be on the hook for 18 years’ worth of split salaries, I don’t even know if THAT would be enough, especially given the tilt of family law cases in this country. I trust you, but I don’t trust you enough for my future to depend on you remembering to pop a pill. nope.

      • CHURCH! I don’t care if you get Jesus Muhammad and Buddha to vouch to your trustworthiness, I am using condoms!

    • If a woman is that insecure about not getting me to bust, it’s a sign that I should pack it up. Yeah it does make a difference, but it is hardly insurmountable. If a woman feels some type of way about that, there’s likely something else in the background.

    • Kema

      “buy sensation-intensifiers”
      I need more info… for a friend

  • Val

    If I remember correctly Gabby was raped when she was young. That can make a person spin out of control. Sometimes holding on to someone, even someone who is bad for you, can seem like the only way to feel in control. To stop the spinning.

    With that said, I’m really pulling for Gabby. I hope at some point she’ll realize that she deserves better.And, that true control means protecting yourself from unsafe people, like Dwayne has now proven to be.

    • Msdebbs

      You reap what you sew. Idk if its true but I read somewhere she was messing with him while he was still married. So she has no reason to be mad. Cheating is routine for him she needs to just fall back and get used to it or leave.

      • Val

        You have a point. But, people in relationships always pull the ‘but the relationship is over and I’m waiting until the right time to leave’ story. She may have fallen for it.

      • If that’s the case, no one comes off smelling like a rose. Perhaps they need therapy instead of knowledge and backbreaking.

  • Msdebbs

    Men have been doing stuff like this for decades. Dwadegate and Ludaville just did it on a larger & more embarrassing scale. I just don’t like when they try to keep these illegitimate kids from getting their riches and talk down about their baby mommas. Um sir you wanted her at some point and WE all learned sex=baby without precaution so I hope 18 years of child support was worth that one nut.

  • Msdebbs

    Gabby is not that great. She’s 40 something with a mediocre tv and film career. I like being Marty Jayne tho…

    • nillalatte

      She might be mediocre, but her bank account is healthy. I’ll take mediocre any day with a phat account. Just sayin.

  • Msdebbs

    She said she’s not a groupie but a “model, actress and business women”. I’m just wondering if all that is now code for groupie???

    • Yoles

      it is when they are not represented by any real modeling agency, they have no imdb presence AND no real business to speak of-IMO of course

      • I thought 2014 was supposed to be the year that the IG model was supposed to cease and desist?

    • TheHumanSpider

      *She said she’s not a groupie but a “model, actress and business women”. I’m just wondering if all that is now code for groupie???*

      It means “I’m a groupie, but due to unwritten groupie rules (as well as my own inflated ego), I must purport myself as a legitimate worker in society.”

      Especially considering the majority of women on many of the [insert Girlfriend/Wife/Lover reality show here] list one of those three occupations during their introduction to said show. Then you see their IMDB resume exists as much as Los Santos, San Andreas, and their portfolio looks like your usual Instagram collage on various Urban sites. No disrespect to Urban sites.

      • Do my house in GTA 5 isn’t real?!

        • TheHumanSpider

          Tell me about. I was set to book a flight to Los Santos and everything…

    • That is correct ma’am!

    • Royale W. Cheese

      It’s like when a man calls himself a music producer when he has never had any contracts.

      Also, remember that “model” often means “hot and unemployed.”

      • I remember with my consulting stuff, I kept it on stealth mode until I had a few contracts under my belt that actually paid. At least then, I could say I was a businessman and point to actual stuff I did, instead of looking like a shuck-and-jive type.

        But hot and unemployed is the term, eh? :)

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