VSB 5-Year Anniversary Week: Ask A Very Smart Brotha

vsb2On March 31, 2008, Damon “The Champ” Young posted the first ever VSB entry. It was entitled, “emotional cheating. the ultimate oxymoron”. In this post, he used the movie Closer as his background for a discussion of how *drumroll please* emotional cheating was the ultimate oxymoron.

Champ has always been good with the pointed titles.

That was the beginning of the long ride and journey that has become Very Smart Brothas. Something that started via an IM-convo between myself and Damon, then myself and Liz, turned into a site that became more than I think any of us expected. We’ve had some significant ups-and-downs, hell life ain’t nothin’ but an EQ of highs and lows, ya know, but I don’t know that any of us thought back then that VSB would still be around and/or be relevant.

Hell, the whole point of the site was just to be a placeholder while we got this whole book thang together. But we built it, cultivated it, watered it and watched it grow. And this Saturday, we’re celebrating our 5-year anniversary in DC, our de facto hub, with any and everybody who choses to come out and hang with us. We’ve done a lot since this site started. Please see our “Buzz” section. It even impressed me and its not even fully updated.

Well, as we celebrate this week leading up to our party, and having officially passed our 5-year mark on Easter Sunday we figured that it only makes sense to make this week (or at least the rest of it) VSB-centric.

It’s been 5-years and I don’t know that we’ve ever done this though Champ had one hellafied run on Formspring.

So we’re opening up the floor to answer any and all questions (as long as they don’t get TOOOOOO personal or ridiculous) anybody has for Damon or I. You can add questions for Liz but we didn’t ask her if she’d participate and she may or may not even read this post. Liz is finicky like that at times.

Hey, Liz.


So thanks for tuning it and sleepwalking and if you have any questions for the VSB family you’ve either always wanted to know or just came up with because you read this post and realized that, well, there’s nothing else to comment on for real…gon’ head and toss it in the comments.

We’ll do our best to answer them either in the comments or maybe make a post out of them on Wednesday!



And if you are going to be in DC and haven’t done so yet, make sure you RSVP to get in FREE to REMINISCE before 11pm ($10 after): http://reminiscedc.eventbrite.com

The Only Reason Why Relationship Advice Even Exists


In less than a week, VSB will celebrate its 5th anniversary. As of today, we’ve published 1289 entries, and those entries have received 472,695 comments. And, between the comments, email, Formspring, Madame Noire, Twitter, Facebook, and people recognizing the shirt and chasing me down at bus stops, the number of dating/relationship-related questions I’ve been asked and answered numbers in the thousands.

That’s thousands of questions about men and money and sex and cohabitation and celibacy and intimidation and exes and dating and independence and texting and where to meet people and dating men with ashy elbows from thousands of different people. And, controlling for occasional outliers, I’d say that (at least) 75% of the women asking questions already know the answers before they even ask.

So, why do they continue to ask? Well, the most common question I receive—and the fact that this particular question happens to be the most common question—answers that question.

As I’ve stated numerous times before, I’m not a dating and relationship “expert.” My particular form of “expertise” is just me combining my experience, education, and observations to give the most practical and objective advice I possibly can. That being said, there is one particular sub-subject I—and many other men (and women)—do have a real expertise with:

Random Woman: “Is he into me?”

While it comes in various forms and is constructed various ways, this is the question I hear the most. Unfortunately, after they’ve asked the question, and have volunteered the background info I’ll ask for to give a better assessment, the answer usually is “Sorry, but probably not.” 

Anyone who’s ever been on the receiving end of a “Damn, I guess they don’t like me as much as I hoped” conversation or realization knows how it feels. And, knowing how it feels, giving that answer (usually) is not fun. It’s even less fun when realizing that they already knew the answer before asking.

This sounds delusional, which fits one of the most common stereotypes men have about women and relationships. But, delusion (usually) has nothing to do with it. It—and most of the rest of the questions I receive—is all about hope, hope that manifests in two separate ways:

1. “I know the answer already, but I hope someone agrees with me so I can be more sure about my decision.”

2. “I know the answer already—I can feel it in my gut—but I really don’t want to believe it. Maybe, hopefully he’ll tell me my gut is wrong.”

Much of the pushback people who dole out this type of advice receive is also related to the concept of hope. According to them, people (the advice givers) have positioned themselves to profit off of people’s (primarily women’s) hope by putting a tux and tails on common sense and calling it “genius.” While their concerns about the intelligence/independence level of the people asking questions—and the true motives and agendas of the advice givers—are warranted, this pushback has the tendency to minimize the fact that it’s easy to be objective when you’re not invested. Of course it’s easy to read an email or a tweet and deduce that person A doesn’t like person B as much as person B likes person A, and that person B is an idiot for even asking. But, when you’re person B—and, as mentioned earlier, we’ve all been person B at some time—it aint always as easy.

The variables constituting love and attraction are so intangible and so subjective that a level of hope is necessary to want, pursue, and maintain it. I mean, knowing how love has a tendency to completely and thoroughly f*ck us up, who in their right mind would even want that? Well, we do (Most of us do, anyway). As delusional and idiotic and nonsensical it seems, we hope it’ll be different for us. And, as long as that hope exists, relationship advice—an awkward way of finding some truth in a haystack of hope—will too.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Things You’ve Always Wanted To Know About Men And Sex

Why do you keep putting your sharp and ashy fingers down there?

As most of my friends, family, neighbors, and former concubines know, I’m prone to occasional bouts of unprompted altruism. I ask random white people if they need help with their taxes. I volunteer for blood drives, brain scans, and police photo arrays. I’ve eaten Delta p*ssy. I’ve taken stray cats to Burger King, treating them to fries and Oreo milkshakes. I even smoked a little crack in the summer of 2004 just so I could better understand Shawn Kemp’s plight.

Since this is true, it should come to no surprise that last weekend– with Lady Champ’s “permission” (and by “with Lady Champ’s permission” I mean “Lady Champ had no idea I was doing this”) –  I randomly polled a bunch of women I know, asking them if they had anything they always wanted to know about men and sex.

The best questions (and accompanying answers) are below.

Why is it so difficult for men who just want to f*ck to just come out and say “I just want to f*ck” instead of playing games?

As any half-way decent to decent ballplayer will tell you, attempting to play with someone who clearly can’t play isn’t just an exercise in futility…it’s a threat to your life. Why? Well, basketball’s improvisational nature depends on a certain harmony of movement; an ever shifting equilibrium dependent on each player’s court sense and knowledge of the game.

And, from an offensive player’s perspective, much of what you do is predicated on what you assume the defense will do to stop you. You ball fake because you know it’s going to make the defense shift. You hit your man with an “in and out” — a fake crossover dribble — to set him up for the real crossover you’ll give him the next possession.

Thing is, when you’re playing with someone who doesn’t know what the f*ck they’re doing, all of your moves, basketball knowledge, court sense, and wisdom becomes completely moot. They don’t go for your fakes because they don’t know they’re supposed to go for your fakes, so you’re just as likely to headbutt them and concuss yourself as shake them.

From a sexual standpoint, men and women have the same type of harmony seen in wise ball players. The dating and mating game is built on a complex matrix of timing, desire, libido, and opportunity, and we (men) have spent our entire adult lives learning how to navigate these murky waters. But, these years of accumulated knowledge have left us ill-equipped to face a woman who’s either impervious to the “What do I have to do to trick you into f*cking me?” game or refuses to play it at all. And, rather than read and react, we usually just try to do the same fake crossover moves on all women, even if she’s already proved she just wants to take your ball(s) and run.

Is it really true that sex is the sole motivating factor behind everything men do?

Yes. And by “Yes” I mean, well, “Yes.”

Do guys really want to f*ck every girl in the world?

Yes. The difference between “mo” (“mo” = “male ho”) and guy who’s not a mo is that the guy who’s not a mo just doesn’t act on those desires. But, the desire’s present in all of us, and Weezy truly is a prophet from Mars.

Put it this way. I’m writing this while sitting in a coffee shop a block away from my place, and I can say with all honesty that — if opportunity, society, and Lady Champ allowed this sort of thing — I’d sleep with at least 50% of the women sitting in here. I’m not going to, obviously, but I’d be lying if I said that thought hasn’t crossed my mind. (It would have been 62.5%, but I don’t do Korean lesbians anymore. Too time consuming, and too much pressure.)

After all the porn that men watch, can you tell me why only 5% of you actually know where the clit is?

Wait…what the hell is a clit? Is that the proper medical term for baby hair? The secret ingredient for Bobby Flay’s  guacamole? The store where Christina Hendricks gets her bras? You sure that wasn’t a typo?

Seriously though, on the day 9 out of 10 women can actually point to a diagram of a vagina and tell you exactly where the clit is, you can commence with the clitoral GPS questions. Until then, just be happy that we haven’t mistaken it for a chitlin.

Ladies, you gave us answers last week. Now it’s time for the questions. Can you think of anything else you’ve ever wanted to know about men and sex?

Oh and fellas, don’t wait for me. Please feel free to answer any of the ladies’ queries.

—The Champ

Ladies, We Need Answers

"Like I said, the answer is 'the cookie'. Wait, what was the question? Oh. Doesn't matter, protect your cookie. From Cookie Monster. He blue."

One of the great things about VSB is that its  a forum for a lot of women to gain insight into what men think. And not just The Champ and myself, but the various brohams that venture here and offer perspectives on any and everything under the sun, from pulpit pimpin’ to sweater puppy management. We generally go in like two gay guys at a Prince concert with Drake as the opener.

Because of this, we get a lot of questions seeking advice, guidance, and help with various situations from women. This makes sense and we’re always glad to oblige seeing as our goal is to reduce crime in the world. But you know what? We have questions at times too. While we may have a very good idea about most things, there’s nothing like hearing an answer from the horses mouth. Which is actually why ninety percent of all relationship advice starts and ends with: maybe you should talk to your boyfriend or girlfriend.

Most smart enough people with common sense and even a minute ability to observe their surroundings should be able to answer most relationship related questions but you just never know really. With that said, we spend so much time hearing from us and about why we think everything is such and such, I figured today, I’d query our wonderful community about a few questions that a lot of men would have if we ever thought to ask questions.

Also, I’m sure I could find answers to a lot of these by going to a website run by a woman who writes about relationships, but real talk, when your commenters give good community, why leave home? So here are some questions that I’d like to know the answers too lady.

1. Why do women get so upset when exes reach out shortly after a break to see how you all are doing?

I had a convo with a homegirl about this one today and she basically asked me, “what’s the point?” Unless dude is calling to say he made a mistake there’s no reason to call and interrupt her healing and attempting to get over the dude. As a guy, a lot of guys do just call to see how y’all are doing. It has no greater point. Which could be the problem. I don’t know. I got one hangin’ and two swangin’.

2. Do women really not like it when their man is having a lot of fun without her?

Kevin Hart said this in his Seriously Funny special. And I tend to think its true. But maybe I’m wrong. I’ve always suspected that women hated it when their man was out having a ball, in like Vegas or something where as men are constantly pushing their women to go have fun with their girls and stuff. We want you to get out without us and it seems like many women never do. My experience has shown me that women go into killjoy mode. Any truth there ladies?

3. Is there anything universally that a man can do that will make a woman instantly breakup with him?

Seems like women will attempt to work out any and everything. Not that it will be smooth sailing but cheating can be worked out. Murder can be worked out. Finding out your woman cheated on you is nearly universally grounds for a breakup amongst men. Just like throwing a skillet at my mother’s head. That will get you shorted. I’m curious.

4. Speaking of working things out, do women always think its the man who’s not working hard enough to fix the problems?

Most of us menfolks tend to think that women severely lack in the accountability department. Are we wrong? Do women realize when they’re f*cking up but just don’t like to let us know?

5. Why exactly do women ask questions like “you want to hit me?” after doing something that would obviously be worthy of a beat down? Like, why even ask that question?

I’m baffled by this.

6. Do women ever get over hating an ex that dumped her to the point that she doesn’t actively wish ill will up on him?

Seems like women tend to hold on to significant exes in such a way that they want them to suffer for not realizing how great they were. Thing is, men maybe don’t deal with our issues very well, but we pretty much let y’all arses go. Or so it seems.

Ladies, the floor is yours. Help us out. Like Anthony Hamilton so poignantly said, “why?”

Fellas, let’s get all of our questions out there. What do you want to ask the boobed massive of VSB?

Talk to me.