The Second Most Backhanded Compliment Of All Time

Many moons ago I wrote a post entitled, “The Most Backhanded Compliment of All Time”. The premise? There were so many single women out there because most women made for a good option, therefore, men had a hard time discerning which women to choose from since, well, the status quo was “good women”. Being a good woman didn’t make you special because well, the default for most women was “good woman”. Yeah I caught some flack for that, but I still think its true.

You gets no cookie for knowing how to bake cookies.

I had a girlfriend once tell me that part of the value she brought to my life was that she cooked for me. I looked at her like she had three boobs (she didn’t) and said, “you think THAT makes you special? I haven’t had a single girlfriend who DIDN’T cook for me? The non-cooking woman is a myth in my life. Every woman I know and have dated has cooked and cooked well.”

And it’s true. Moving on, there is another backhanded compliment that I’m sure gets uttered on a near daily basis in clubs, libraries, speakeasies, dressing rooms, and Delta 100-year parties happening in DC this weekend:

“Why are you single?”

On it’s face, it shouldn’t be a problem, but it is. Which leads to the question, is it inappropriate to ask anybody why their single?

Pretty much…yes.

This is (usually) one of those backhanded compliments intended to flatter but reminds the person that they are indeed single and implies that it is somehow their fault (it likely is at least partially their fault, but we’ll get to that later) or their choice. So while it’s not exactly inappropriate because of its intent, the execution of said question will always skew negatively and thus, it is probably inappropriate because it never has a positive outcome.

Let’s start with “implies that their singledom is their own fault.” Now, most people would argue that they are single for various reasons that aren’t of their own doing i.e. can’t find a (wo)man they get along with, opposite sex plays too many games, etc. Basically, their options have been more frog, less prince. And it’s not your fault if he or she who thee have come into contact with have been low on the quality totem pole. You can’t control who you meet, only where you meet them and there’s no guarantee that you’ll meet quality where you assume quality resides. You can mostly only up your chances. And that’s not their fault. You meet who you meet and how those persons handle that responsibility is not your fault.


It also implies that its their choice to be single – where the offense usually comes in – when in reality, most women you ask this are as surprised as you are that they are single since they want to be in a relationship and see exactly whatever it is that you saw that made you ask such an inappropriate question! While I’ve met a few women who have told me straight up that they want to be single, the vast majority would rather be coupled up. As far as men go? Well, many men wish death upon me are okay with being single until meet a woman who its worth typing a text to this girl they used to see, telling her that he chose a cutie pie with whom he wants to be. You know, because while he’d hate to see her frown, he’d rather see his new girl smile. Point is, asking why somebody is single implies choice, and a choice most of us likely wouldn’t make. Which, again, leads back to them being as surprised as you are that they are single.

Basically, they realize they are the cats meow because you realize they are the cats meow. However, that has nothing to do with how they ended up single. Those types of questions usually arise after some sort of interesting conversation or discovery that this person is super cool because of xyz. Chances are, if we were to dig into the relationship pasts of most folks, we’d be able to surmise and determine various reasons why said person who covets a relationship is single. Some of their own doing, some the doing of their lovers past.

There’s another factor here that often comes into play: I’d wager that about 9 times out of 10, a man is asking this of a woman, which has to be completely frustrating for the woman. Standing in front of you is a man who has not only determined that you are a catch, enough to not only wonder why you are single, but enough to voice this confusion to you out loud…

…and then likely move on to the life he was leading before you two met. I don’t know that I’ve ever met a woman who told me she met her boyfriend after a conversation where the dude she was talking to inquired as to why she was single. Not saying it can’t or doesn’t happen, I’m just saying I’ve never heard that story before.

Which leads to this other point – men ain’t stupid. See, if we get to the point where we vocalize – externally – to you that we’re surprised that you’re single, to which you’ll likely shrug after the pseudo annoyed look on your face dissipates, we are going to ask ourselves this same question (internally), except putting the emphasis on the “why” and not the “you”, thus making us think if you were such a catch, you’d be caught since there’s a really good chance that you’re looking to be fried and fricasseed.

It’s the same principle that I’ve heard many women express upon meeting a man who is over 35 and either hasn’t been married before or has no children. Something has to be wrong with him. Either he has commitment issues or is gay. Or doesn’t know what he wants out of live, etc. None of which has to be true, but some of which could be true. Who knows? The guy could be perfect on paper but once you go digging, you may find out exactly what “looks good on paper” and Notre Dame have in common.

Anyway, is it appropriate to ask somebody why they’re single? Why or why not? Of is it really just a backhanded compliment that should be kept to oneself?

Inquiring minds would like to know.


Dating Profiling: How Your “Look” Affects Your Luck

***Editors Note: Due to some technical difficulties, The Champ wasn’t able to post the topic he planned for today. Instead, here’s a blast from the past — with some updates — that’ll never not be relevant***

“I don’t understand it, Champ,” a friend said to me over a plate of undercooked Cajun wings. “Why does everyone assume I’m a vegetarian? It’s my hair, isn’t it?”

My reply – I explained that her aura (think Lisa Bonet in High Fidelity) suggests certain personality traits – sparked a discussion about the inherent unfairness (and importance) involved with stereotyping. While its probably not fair to make immediate judgments based on ones appearance, we do it to protect ourselves; synthesizing past experiences to have an idea of what to expect from certain types of people.

This is extremely prevalent in the dating game. Holleration is more parts science than art, and which women men choose to approach and how we choose to approach them is (usually) based on the same concept behind NYC’s “Stop and Frisk” policy. Basically, we “profile” the hell out of each other. There’s a reason many women claim they tend to get approached by “the same guy” over and over again.

Anyway, (by my estimation) there are two dozen or so different “types” of Black women, and here’s what a typical VSB usually assumes when he sees four of them.

(After reading a few of the comments, I think I need to make something clear. I’m not suggesting that the looks listed are the ONLY types of looks, lol. There are dozens of them. Dozens! I just happened to list four random examples, and the assumptions that go along with those four random examples.)

Probable interests: Music made by rappers named with an intentional misspelling of “young”. Red Lobster. Forever 21. Tyler Perry movies. Professional Sports. Clubbing. Fighting and/or f*cking in and/or after the club. Orange soda.

Best time to approach: At the club, during the second chorus of “Amen.” While behind her in line at Baby Foot Locker.

Best compliment you can give her: “Your daughter’s name is cute.”

Best pick-up line: “What chu drinkin?”

Probable interests: Organizing book clubs with other well-coiffed women, and spending the entire time at said book club discussing best ways to have sex without ruining weave. Being seen at Tyler Perry movie premieres. Vacations. Any vodka but Ciroc. The idea of Beyonce.

Best times to approach: During Kenny Latimore concert afterparty at Essence festival. After being seen driving a Maserati Quattroporte.

Best compliment you can give her: “That was the best pussy I’ve ever had.”

Best pick-up line: “Who’s your dentist?”


Probable interests: Sashimi. Founding wittily titled groups on Facebook. Ex-boyfriends who happen to be dating White women. Writing scathing letters to Tyler Perry. Thinking of genius ways to stretch unemployment compensation. Wishing Donald Glover was a bit taller and was able to clone himself like Agent Smith in The Matrix

Best time to approach: After she’s left a comment on your blog. While interviewing her for volunteer mentorship position

Best compliment you can give her: “You should teach an art class.”

Best pick up line: “Have you read “The Broke Diaries”?”

Probable Interests: Michelle Obama. HGTV. Orphaned dachshunds. Arguing in favor of the positive effect Tyler Perry has on Black businesses. Moving to cities with high suicide rates. Ann Taylor. Making more money than every man she’ll ever date and/or marry. Kickboxing.

Best time to approach: While she’s standing next to Charlie Rangel at Urban League happy hour. After hitting her Prius with your shopping cart in Trader Joe’s parking lot.

Best compliment you can give her: “You have the perfect handshake.”

Best pick up line: “Where can I find some efficient hiking gear?”

Anyway, people of Do you assign assumed characteristics to certain looks, and have you ever been a victim of dating profiling yourself?

Also, do you tend to find yourself drawn to the same peripheral “type”? If so, why? If not, stop lying.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

“White Lie Leeway” and More: Things Men Appreciate Much, Much More Than You Think We Do

***Check out “The Charger and The Nerd” — The Champ’s latest at The Good Men Project. It’s worth the read, just so you can tease Champ for eating pheasant.***

"Since no one bothered to compliment my new tie, I'm just going to sit here and keep farting"

After yesterday’s discussion shed light on how much we (men) truly love the rare and elusive unsolicited compliment from a woman, I decided to take it a step further.

Besides the usual (steak, morning blow jobs, porn stars with Flickr accounts, etc), here’s four more things we appreciate much, much more than women think we do.

1. White Lie Leeway

What exactly is white lie leeway? Lemme explain.

Ok, so imagine that it’s nighttime, and you’re laying in bed with your girl. She’s dead asleep. You’re feeling a little restless, though, so you get out of bed, scoot over to the next bedroom, and start messing around on your laptop. You check the local news, ESPN, Twitter, etc, but while you’re on Facebook, the page of an old high school classmate with a striking resemblance to Roxy Reynolds puts the “maybe I’ll go check out my favorite porn message board” bug in your head. You go to BGOL or ASR, one thing leads to another, and now you’re sitting in your computer chair, lube in hand, ready to rub one out.

Yet, despite the fact that you tried to make as little noise as possible, you managed to wake your girlfriend up. (I don’t know how they always manage to do that. Seriously, I think KY serves as a female smelling salt after 1am.) She notices you’re not in bed, gets up, and walks into the spare bedroom. You hear her coming, so you stop tickling your Elmo, but even Ray Charles could see that you were just masturbating.

Of course she asks “What are you doing?”

Now, she knows you were just masturbating. You know she knows you were just masturbating. In fact, she knows you know that she knows that you were just masturbating.

But, although there’s an open bottle of Astroglide on your desk and your left hand is greasier than Shawn Kemp’s face, of course you say “Nothing. Just chillin.”

(Why do we lie in this situation? I have no f*cking clue. I mean, it’s not like we’re doing anything wrong. There’s absolutely no reason to be dishonest. But, I do think “Nothing. Just chillin” rolls off the tongue a bit better than “Fantasizing about an electric razor, a stack of corn, the planet Jupiter, and this (hopefully) 19-year old WorldStarHipHop stripper, that’s all“)

White Lie Leeway” is her ignoring the white lie, saying “Okbabe,” and going back to bed.

Now, I know some women absolutely abhor the white lie. In their minds, a white lie is nothing but a gateway to bigger and better lies; weed to the serious lie’s smack. But, while that might be true with women, with men, a white lie is just a white lie, and we need to keep em in our pockets to keep us sane.

2. Hearing “Thank You”

The context of the thank you doesn’t even matter. It could be sex-related. (“Thank you, babe, for that amazingly eclectic orgasm.“) It could be serious. (“Thank you for saving me from that pack of rapey-looking meth addicts.”) It could be sappy. (“Thank you for being the sweetest boyfriend I’ve ever had.”) It could be sappy and backhanded. (“Thank you for being the sweetest boyfriend I’ve ever had this month.“).

Either way, like the compliment, the thank you is so rarely heard that a man might just start bawling uncontrollably when he hears it, so make sure you thank him in a private place.

3. Space

Now, I know that wanting occasional space from your mate isn’t a gender-specific concept. There’s a reason why y’all spend five to seventeen hours at a time in the hair salon, and it aint got nothing to do with texturizer. What (usually) separates man space from woman space, though, is the fact that we (usually) let you have as much of it as you want. We (usually) don’t take it personally when you decide that you want to hang out with your girls all night, and all we ask is that you extend us the same courtesy.

Also — and I think this is an important point — “space” doesn’t mean “extended separation.” Sometimes it could just be us hanging out undisturbed in our man cave for a few hours while you’re still in the house. Sometimes it could just be a 15 minute drive to the store. Sh*t, sometimes it could just be us being “allowed” to channel-surf during the commercial breaks. We need those mini-vacations to survive, and we need you all to give us enough room to smell our own farts sometimes.

4. You

Yup, despite us needing space, never receiving compliments, never hearing thank you, and lying to your face about our midnight jerk sessions, we (usually) do appreciate you presence and sh*t much more than you (usually) give us credit for. And, we’d appreciate it even more if you closed the door when you go back to bed so we can “play our piano” in peace.

Anyway, men of, did I forget anything? Can you think of anything else that we appreciate much, much more than women think we do? How about you, ladies? Is there anything you all appreciate much, much more than we think you do?

Also, I’m sure some of you will disagree, but is white lie leeway really such a bad thing?

—The Champ

Why Compliments Are A Man’s Kryptonite

Adulthood has taught me two indisputable tenets about women

1. Most women possess a ton of unnecessary sh*t.

Some of this sh*t is somewhat practical (layers of expired coupons, Thai cook books, etc), some is understandable (dozens of bottles of overpriced oils and lotions and sh*t all doing the exact same f*cking thing, pictures of Santonio Holmes’ wang, etc), and some is so hilariously frivolous that you start to wonder if they rob Tuesday Mornings in their spare time (pink couch pillows with the names of the entire cast of Grey’s Anatomy monogrammed in Arial Narrow, candles with scents like “depression mahogany” and “Oprah at night,” etc).

2. If you ever happen to be somewhere where your girlfriend is going to meet up with a few of her girlfriends, be prepared to witness an extended period of compliment cunnilingus when they see each other.

Now, it’s possible that all women don’t do this and that the women in my sphere of influence are just a little nicer than most others. But, from a completely anecdotal perspective, it seems like women are completely unable to see each other without devoting the first 10 to 25 minutes of their conversations to complimenting each other about anything.

Yes. Anything. Seriously, it’s really not that far-fetched to overhear some sh*t like “Wow, Jane. Ever since that pitbull bit off your nose, I couldn’t help to notice how pretty your eyes are. I’m so jealous. I’d definitely let a pit bull bite off my nose and eat my nephew if I could have eyes like that!”

Anyway, I’m bringing this up because of a statement Lady Champ made a few days ago. (Actually, it was more of smart-aleck tease than a statement. But, for the sake of the discussion, it’ll stay a statement today.) She made notice of the fact that I have a tendency to turn into a slobbering bastard when a woman other than my mom gives me a compliment, and she followed that by saying that most men are the exact same way.

My initial reaction was to dispute this, but then I remembered that just that day I got all verklempt when I accidentally overheard a Starbucks barista matter-of-factly say “…see, I’d definitely date him. But, black guys like that don’t like me.” to another barista. Never mind the fact that she didn’t actually say it to me, and never mind that I had no idea what a “black guy like me” actually was, she gave me an indirect compliment and I almost choked on my orange juice when hearing it.

Why did this affect me so? Well, the answer comes from that barista. You see, although she complimented me…she didn’t give me the compliment. She didn’t just come out and say “Hey, young black sir, I think you’re attractive and I wouldn’t mind sharing a cinnamon rice cake with you” because, well, women very, very, very rarely give direct compliments to random men.

If fact, not only do men rarely hear compliments from random women, most of us rarely hear compliments from women we’re actually sleeping with.  Seriously, aside from the usual mid-coital kudos (ie: “Your d*ck is on some American Airways sh*t tonight, baby! Damn! You got the magic motherf*ckin touch”), most men reading this can probably count the number of compliments their girlfriend has given them on one hand.

When you combine this with the fact that you’re probably going to see Casey Anthony giving the headline speech at a CYS conference before you see the majority of men freely, easily, and directly complimenting other men, you understand why the compliment is a man’s kryptonite — the one thing that can turn goons to goo and thugs to ticklish teddy bears.

Now, it’s completely understandable why women — most of whom are quick to compliment each other about anything, remember — are reluctant to freely compliment men. Something as innocent as “Hey, you always have the nicest pencils.” could (and probably would) be interpreted by most men as “Hey, I have some space in my vagina that I need for you to fill.

But, maybe that leap is due to the fact that we just aren’t used to hearing them and don’t know how to react when we do. Maybe more experience with receiving them would stop us from automatically thinking “She wants my meatloaf” whenever a woman says something nice to us, and maybe we’d be nicer people. Maybe “more female to male compliments” would = “less crime.” Who knows?

I do know, though, that I’m officially “not allowed” (Ha!) in that Starbucks anymore. Moral of the story, ladies? Be careful. More female to male compliments just might get you cut.

—The Champ

***Speaking of compliments, the homies at Jenesis Magazine ran a pretty complimentary profile of The Champ and VSB on Friday. Check it out if you haven’t already***

five great ways to charm a man

two weeks ago, p expertly outlined five ways to charm a woman, a list which detailed exactly how to get a woman all brazilianrainforesty down there without even touching her. thing is, women arent the only ones who can be charmed. although it usually doesnt take much more than a nice atwr (ass-to-waist ratio) to get us all verklempt down there, there are a few simple things a woman can do to exponentially increase her long-term relationship stock.

so, without further adieu, here are five quick and simple ways to charm a man

*****note: ladies, the following five are only to be performed with guys who have expressed a real interest in you. do not, i repeat, DO NOT, try any of this with the dude you met at rock the bells last weekend or the married cat you’ve been f*cking. end of note.*****

1. let him “catch” you, ummm, you know.


its nighttime, and you’re both chillin at his apartment. since it’s late and his crib is only a 10 minute drive from your job, you’re spending the night. you’ve showered already, and you’re just sitting there, messing around on the internet when he announces that he’s gonna hop in the shower real quick.

now, you already know that you’re gonna get some tonight. shit, you’re planning on it…thats the only reason why your ass is spending the night in his hot ass, no snack sans for granola bars having ass apartment, “closer drive to work” my ass. you also know that the festivities will probably start soon after he gets out the shower and hops into bed.

so what do you do?

start without him.

yup. you read it right. start “poppin the pepsi can” while his ass is still in the shower, so that when he exits the bathroom the first sight he sees is a woman so horny and so thirsty for it that she couldnt even wait for him to finish his 240 second rabbit shower. dont be demure about that sh*t either. pop that can like you’re getting paid for it.

***if my description is too vague, basically act in a way that she…

…would have***

if he’s already digging you, and you do sh*t like that on a semi-regular basis, i’m not saying he’ll propose to you, or even suggest the thought of that to you aloud, but best believe, he’ll damned sure be thinking “yo this chick is a freakin slut. damn. maybe i need to marry her ass”

2. give him compliments, and say “thanks” every once in a while

it may not seem like a big deal, but little stuff like this lets us know that we’re appreciated, and we appreciate knowing that we’re appreciated. you’d be surprised how far a small “thanks for picking me up from work the other day” or a “those new shoes you bought are hot. seriously, i’m impressed” can go.


3. wear his clothes

maybe this is just my own personal thing, but it seriously does something to me when a woman uses one of my old t-shirts as her night shirt or spends a lazy saturday lounging around my crib wearing nothing but one of my college sweatshirts. theres nothing better than a night of monkey matrix sex followed by waking up to your chick making eggs and sh*t while she’s rocking one of your summer league basketball shirts from 2002.

4. be funny

ladies, seriously, if a guy is digging you, and you have the ability to send him a six word text at work that makes him laugh uncontrollably for the next 30 minutes, honestly, thats like 27% of what makes a great relationship right there. if you’ve been cursed with the unfunny gene, at least have the ability to get jokes and recognize humor. you know he likes bill simmons, so email him a link to his latest podcast. make your own version of the aristocrat joke, and recite it to him. even if it bombs terribly, he’ll appreciate the effort, and give you unprompted cunninglingus to thank you for it

5. create something

write a poem. draw a picture. make a mixtape. do something that is completely unique to you two and your relationship. you could have bought that cologne for anyone, but that mix you made for him with all the unreleased wu tracks from 93 to 98 is something based on his tastes that you knew he’d personally appreciate, and he’ll definitely let you sleep in the dry spot for the rest of the month because of it.

thats it. five simple things. now go and make the champ proud.

—the champ