Pulling Out Really Is An Option

“Have a baby by me, baby, be a millionaire/write the check before the baby comes, who the hell cares?” ~50 Cent, “I Get Money”

This nword....sheesh.

This nword….sheesh.

I care actually. People care my dude!

And so does Stevie J. Stevie J, of Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta fame, has a child support bill outstanding of $1 million dollars.

A motherf*cking million.

I know he has a gang of kids, but I can’t even fathom owing that much money in back child support. Do you know how many payments he didn’t make to get to that point?

And he ain’t Diddy or Russell Simmons or hell, even Nas. They miss a years worth of payments and they’re in the quarter million range. Stevie J ain’t one of them dudes. Some famous rappers are paying like $2K and $3K a month. I’m saying, Stevie missed a lot of payments.

Allegedly – and based on Internet research I’ve done – he has 6 kids. Not an overly insane amount but way too many if you are behind that much on child support. And with 6 kids, they weren’t all ooops babies either. My man just likes running raw and NOT pulling out. And pulling out is totally an option.

Let’s switch gears for a second. I gave up sex for a while back when I was like 26. My reason? Well it had nothing to do with getting right with God or trying to prove to myself that I could abstain. My logic was simple: at that age, I figured if I got some chick pregnant, she was going to keep it. And I wasn’t ready to be a father. While I may have been financially able to do it, I just wasn’t mentally there and I didn’t want to end up in court with some insane child support bill if things didn’t work out. Even with protection I was afraid of getting a woman pregnant. Even right now I’m not sure why I was so afraid of that but it was a real fear.

Of course, like all well thought out plans, I started dating a woman and when I told her that I was abstaining, she absolutely looked at me like I was crazy and was like, “yeah, not gon’ happen…” Seriously have you tried to tell a woman that is active that you’re trying to date that you won’t give her the 1-900-STROKEYDOKE? She’s just not having it. At all. It’s like they feel you, but they’re not here for it. They don’t think its cute nor do they support it. Which is what happened to me. Luckily I didn’t get her pregnant but we always used El Jimenezes. Always.

Now, I won’t even pretend to lie to you and tell you that I’ve always used protection. I haven’t.

But thoughts of million dollar child support payments would dance through my skull and my body would indicate to me, hey pal, you should probably pull out and fire with your eyes closed; this may end terribly. And if I were to make a choice not to it would be a mutual decision based on a labrinth and matrix of decision trees and facts on the table.

Forget the mutual decision though. In that moment, I know full well the potential consequences. We all had sex ed of some sort. Perhaps yours happened in class or maybe you got yours in the School of Hard Knocks by watching your mother close enough to realize that you “don’t want her laaife!” <— Mox Rules. Point is, somewhere along the way, I was smart enough to make a smart decision even while making a dumb one. Or at least a less than smart decision. We all know that much like anything else, the pull out method is about as effective as condoms if done properly. Use condoms people.

Real question time, and I mean this from the heart. Not that it’s smart but I get why so many men prefer to run raw. But why are so many women SO good with it? My experience has taught me that women tend to bring up the raw shenanigans earlier than men. Again, my experiences. Maybe you all have different experiences…I’m just saying, I’ve never suggested it. Ever. It’s been suggested to me…a lot. Then again, latex allergies are real and its as expensive to smash with a lamb or non-latex joint so I can almost understand. Almost.

From a guy standpoint, I really don’t understand why we do that if we ain’t ready to deal with the consequences. And I don’t want to hear jack sh*t about how unfair the system is. Yeah, I feel you. I know. Preaching to the choir. But it is what it is. You create one, you have to take care of one. Deal with it. Thing is, you actually can avoid those problems should you decide that you just HAVE to run raw by busting on her shoulder blades or something. Or elsewhere for the advanced egalitarians in the room.

Stevie J looks like the type to never pull out. He also seems like the type to try to talk you into raw from jump…AND not pull out. Most guys hate the idea of child support and a system designed to run your pockets. Yeah, okay. But you don’t have to be Stevie J. You actually control your own destiny in this regard…and yet, so many dudes out here having babies they weren’t read for.

So real talk, real question for the fellas this time…why exactly wouldn’t you pull out? Why would you be like, “you know what? We just met, I’m sure its cool.” People like Stevie J don’t because well they have money coming from somewhere though a milli suggests his well went dry years ago…but at least they have this life they think they can maintain…but for regular dudes…why risk it?? Serious question…why risk it at all if you ain’t ready to be a pappy? And let’s not all pretend like we NEVER do this. Or its never happened.

Really, I just wanted to write MILLION DOLLAR CHILD SUPPORT and I ended up writing a PSA and questionnaire. Bone responsibly, people. <—TSHIRT!

-VSB P aka MR. PULLIN’ OUT LIKE I HAVE A GARAGE aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Why We (Men) Don’t Write About Our Sex Lives

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A scoff. A prolonged, intense, and bemused scoff. Followed by an aggressive bite of a granola bar.

This was my first reaction when reading “Why Is It So Hard for Men to Write About Sex?” — a piece from Slate’s Amanda Hess that gave some sociological (and, potentially, biological) reasons for why it’s more difficult for us (men) to write about love-making.

I mean, had she not been to VSB? (Probably not, but play along.) Had she not read the dozens of pieces I’ve written about sex, sex acts, when to have sex, when to have certain sex acts, who to have sex with, who not to have sex with, who to perform certain sex acts on, what you’re supposed to do when an eager cat is watching, etc? Did she not know that the longest chapter in Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night — a book about dating, relationships, and SEX — was titled “19 Things About Sex I Definitely Didn’t Learn In Sex-Ed” and contained 28 pages of sex-related topics written by me, a man?

Basically, what the hell was she talking about?

But then I finished my granola bar. And another. (I like granola bars.) While in the middle of that second bar, I started to think about the sex-related pieces I’ve written. By the time I was finished, a realization hit me: She was right. Well, she was right when it comes to me. And, since she’s right when it comes to me, she’s right when it comes to (straight) men.

As mentioned earlier, I’ve written about sex quite a few times. And the sex-related topics have varied. But, despite this variety, they all seem to fall under one of three categories:

1. “Explain” pieces. Usually tongue-in-cheek, these bring up a sex-related topic, and “explain” why you need to do it, why it’s not important, why you need to do it differently, etc. Example: “The Dos and Don’ts of Making a Sex Tape”

2. “Mandom” pieces. These tend to adopt a collective male voice while giving insight into a “difference” between men and women. Something with a title like “Why Men Love Sex On The First Night.”

3. Anecdotal pieces. These are usually humorous stories about a sex-related incident in my past. Example: “My First Time.”

While these types of pieces serve their functions, all stay on the peripherals of sex, using humor, observation, and an occasional bit of sophomoric overshare to talk about sex without actually talking about sex. VSB has been up for almost six years now. In that six years, I’ve had sex at least 1,000 times. (2,000 if you count sex with myself.) Yet, I’ve never written about my sex life. Nothing about the myriad feelings — physical, mental, and emotional — associated with sleeping with someone. Nothing about the difference in preparation and performance between sleeping with a one night stand and sleeping with a f-buddy. Nothing about the awkwardness of being with someone new, or the extra awkwardness of sleeping with someone familiar but thinking of someone new. Nothing about any sexual fantasies. Nothing about my own sexual prowess (or lack thereof).

Of course, there’s one very obvious reason for this lack of openness. Every woman I’ve been with in that time is aware of VSB. Some of these women also have friends and family who read, and it just wouldn’t have been the best idea to provide sexual details about those relationships.

But, while this reason is practical, it’s a bit of a cop-out. I’ve written about other intimate relationship-related topics before. Some of these topics were very sensitive in nature, but that didn’t stop me from finding a way to express myself without being too explicit. Also, even if the women I’ve been with didn’t read VSB, I still wouldn’t feel very comfortable sharing anything sexual.

Why? Well, it’s complicated. Part of it is stylistic. My work tends to be more observational/distant, and that type of writing doesn’t lend itself to detailed conversations about the bedroom.

Also, it just doesn’t feel…right. Writing about sex makes me feel like I’m either humble-bragging or pandering. There’s no inbetween. Even earlier, when I mentioned how many times I’ve had sex in the past few years, I was tempted to delete it. Despite the fact that it’s an innocuous stat and a (relatively) unremarkable number, it felt tactless to include it.

This feeling of tactlessness is present whenever I see other men writing about sex. Sharing those type of details seems, for lack of a better term, feminine. And yes, I realize the irony in thinking that a straight man sharing details about sex with women is feminine, but I can’t deny that the feeling is there. Considering how rare it is to see straight men talk openly and explicitly about our own sex lives, I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that way. We’ve been socialized to think that sharing those types of intimate details about what happens in our bedrooms is something women do, not men. Sure, there are the storied “locker room” conversations, but those are more about reporting conquests than sharing details about them.

Also — and this goes back to the humble-bragging point — because of the language commonly used to describe sex, it’s difficult to really talk about it without using certain verbs and adjectives that suggest that you are, in fact, bragging. The way words like f*ck, bang, screw, pop, hit, beat, and bone are usually incorporated drive home the conquer/conquest concept. And, if you prefer to use less aggressive language that suggests you were receiving more than giving, it feels soft. Unmasculine. So instead of striving to find the perfect language to hit that sweet spot between “too aggressive” and “too weak”, we just don’t talk about it. (And, if we want to, we use a fifteen-year-old rap song as a proxy.) The best writing is inherently, sometimes painfully vulnerable. And we (men) can be vulnerable about family or fear or even love. But, when it comes to (straight) male sexuality, there really isn’t much room for it.

This brings me to my last point. Perhaps we don’t talk about it because no one really wants to hear it. Maybe there’s just no real audience for a straight male version of someone like Feminista Jones. Which sucks for me. Because I did want to start talking about my sex life more often.

Actually, nevermind. Even if there was an audience for it, there’s one person — a person I’m marrying this summer — who I know wouldn’t be happy with me sharing. So I won’t.

Drats.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Used To It, Schmeused To It: Sex Is, Always Has Been, And Always Will Be F*cking Great!

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I’ve been waiting for it. Thinking about it. Fearing it. Dreading it. Hoping against it. Running from it. Losing sleep over it. (Well, not really. More metaphorical sleep lost.)

But it still hasn’t happened. At least not yet. But there are no signs that it ever will. No clues. No cues. No indicators. No inklings. Nothing.

Perhaps I’m still too young. Maybe it’ll start happening next year. In two years. In 10 years. Maybe it’ll happen next month. Maybe it’ll happen tonight.

Maybe it’s my experience and not my age. Maybe I just haven’t reached the critical mass. Or the climax. Or the summit. Or the tipping point. Or the plateau. Or the point of no return. Or whatever the fuck else. Maybe I’m still climbing. Still reaching. Still finding.

And maybe it’s just not going to happen. Ever. Which is great. But it does make things rather anti-climatic. What happens when the other shoe never drops? Shit, what happens when the other shoe doesn’t even exist?

Since I can remember, various sources—cousins, parents, barbers, neighbors, inappropriate neighbors, Michael J. Fox, magazines, textbooks, teachers, nuns, bus drivers, women named Shirley, Radiohead, uncles of women I dated while unemployed for a month in 2002, God, paper Deltas, etc—have either implied or just outright told me that sex would lose its luster as you got older. Basically, you get so used to it and the feelings associated with it that it becomes just another one of the many mundane tasks associated with being a normal human. You even start to get…tired of it. In this sense, sex is no different than brushing your teeth or taking out the trash or trolling Lakers fans by making Kobe 19th on your list of the 20 best basketball players ever.

But—and we’re getting into TMI territory here, but we’re all family so I’m cool with it if you’re cool with it—I had my first recorded orgasm at 14. My first one with another actual living human being came a couple years after that. My last orgasm was, at the time of writing, 20 hours ago. That’s 20 years of sex. Which comes out to roughly 7000 different orgasms (give or take a thousand).

And nothing has changed. Nothing. They each still feel fucking amazing. Like eating bacon for the first time. While skydiving. On Mars. The first one was great! The second one was great! The 22nd one was great! The 6,122nd one was great! The 10,002nd—if I make it there—will be great!

In fact, there is nothing on Earth more predictable than the fact that when you have an orgasm, you’re going to feel great. Not death. Not taxes. Not Scandal. Nothing. Maybe the circumstances surrounding your orgasm will make you feel shitty (“Well, I didn’t know his name, but at least I got some fries“), but that shittiness will be preceded by awesomeness.

I will concede that they were right about one thing. The willingness to go above and beyond to get sex dissipates. Sex is no longer the end all, be all of my universe. I am no longer willing to move mountains, or a mile, or even (sometimes) “over” to get some. “Getting some” is a journey now instead of the destination or some other Zen-sounding bullshit.

But while the willingness to make certain efforts wanes, the results are never not awesome. Never not great. Never not the best thing ever. Never not the great thing that you compare other almost, but not quite as great things to. Never not proof that God exists. (And is in a surprisingly good mood.) Never not a bacon-wrapped slab of bacon in your mouth. While hang gliding. On the moon. While having sex.

So they were all wrong. At least I’m hoping they were. Or maybe they just told me this cause someone told them this too. Which I prefer to believe. Bacon is great. Especially bacon wrapped slabs of it. But it is not sex. Nothing is. And absolutely nothing ever will be. Because absolutely nothing can be.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) 

The Surprisingly Solid Sex Advice From Kanye West’s “I’m In It”

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It’s been two weeks since Kanye West’s Yeezus first dropped. Since its release, serious critics from pretty much every corner of the music world have been in a virtual race to see who could give it the laudingest review.

Yet, while the sonic aspects of the album have received the lion’s share of the praise, the actual lyrical content has received quite a bit of (justified) criticism. Particularly, how it deals with women. 

One song in particular has seemed to draw the most ire; an especially, almost hilariously dark three minute and forty-five second long genre (and gender) bending track that kinda sounds, to quote a friend, like “…something the antichrist would say while on a date at the Olive Garden.”

Needless to say, it also happens to be my favorite song on the album.

Anyway, after listening to it for perhaps the 32nd time a couple days ago, something dawned on me: What he’s saying here isn’t actually that bad. It’s actually kinda…thoughtful. And…practical. And…romantic.

Don’t believe me? Well, let’s go line for line and see.

“Damn your lips very soft”

When dating a Black woman, you can never go wrong with an unsolicited softness, hair, skin, or struggle-related compliment.

“As I turn my Blackberry off”

Some of us are so attached to our phones that we schedule mid-coitus breaks to check Instagram updates, and he’s actually turning it all the way off! How considerate is that?

“And I turn your bath water on”

Who said chivalry was dead? Not Kanye.

“And you turn off your iPhone”

See, men. If you take the lead, she’ll follow. As the homie Paul Brunson says, it’s not complicated.

“Jealous whispers, eye f*cking, biting ass”

As the guy who used to hawk boosted water guns and Progresso soup cans outside of my barbershop used to tell me, “foreplay is the best play.”

“Neck, ears, hands, legs, eating’ ass”

He’s making sure no part gets neglected. I hope you guys out there are taking notes. It’s not always just about nips and lips. Toes, elbows, and the perpetually ashy space between her fingers need love too.

“Your p*ssy’s too good, I need to crash”

Another unsolicited softness and lips-related compliment. Plus, the intentional hyperbole of “too good” instead of just plain “good” will definitely make her smile on the inside.

“Your t*tties, let ‘em out, free at last.”

He obviously listens to his woman—and other women—and knows that wearing a bra all day can be painful and restrictive.

“Thank God almighty, they free at last”

You can never go with with invoking Dr. King in the bedroom. Never. (How am I so sure? Don’t ask.)

“We was up at the party but we was leavin’ fast”

There are some of y’all who’ve been dating the same person for three years and won’t even go to the Wendy’s drive-thru together yet, but he obviously thinks enough of her to be seen with her in public and be seen leaving in a hurry with her.

“Had to stop at 7-Eleven like I needed gas. I’m lyin’, I needed condoms, don’t look through the glass.”

There are so many nuggets of gold here that it’s hard to keep count.

First, realizing she may have had too much to drink, he’s driving. Second, he’s practicing safe sex…something we all know we could be much better at. Third, to add strawberries to bacon, he knows that, despite their need and utility, condoms aren’t necessarily the most romantic object, so he conceals the purchase.

“Chasin’ love, lot of bittersweet hours lost”

A subtle reminder that, even in the throes of passion, it’s wise to step back and assess whether your level of commitment is harming other aspects of your life.

“Eatin’ Asian p*ssy, all I need was sweet and sour sauce”

While awkward, this level of pre-coital cultural sensitivity is rare. I mean, you can be as politically correct as you want, but it helps to know some culturally specific things before jumping into the sack, especially if you’re a Black male.

For instance, you probably shouldn’t pull a Black woman’s hair, you probably shouldn’t sleep with a White woman if her dad is still alive, and, apparently, condiments are key if performing cunnilingus on a Chinese woman. Learn something new every day.

“Tell your boss you need an extra hour off.”

Sensitive enough to make sure she doesn’t get in trouble at work. Plus, this line single-handedly refutes all the data, surveys, stories, and specials about how difficult it is for professional Black women to find men.

“Get you super wet after we turn the shower off.”

Although it looks great in movies, anyone who’s ever had shower sex…or bathtub sex…or jacuzzi sex…or typhoon sex…or Allegheny River after dark when the police boats start floating towards the Ohio sex…knows that water can act as an anti-lubricant. It is, without question, the world’s great paradox.

Yet, Kanye has obviously been paying attention, and knows that it is best to wait until after the shower to start the sexual activity.

I’d break down the second verse as well, but I think we need the weekend break to process everything we learned here so far.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Why Women With High Sex Drives Scare The F*ck Out Of (Some) Men

Before careful what you wish for...

Be careful what you wish for…

As I type this, the San Antonio Spurs are a quarter away from winning the NBA championship¹. Aside from the fact that they basically play perfect offense—and aside from the fact that someone obviously injected Danny Green with shark blood before the series started—much of their success is due to the style of defense they’re playing on Dwyane Wade and, most importantly, Lebron James. There are quite a few complexities involved, but it basically comes down to crowding the lane and forcing Wade and James to beat them by shooting semi-contested jumpshots. They’ve struggled (at times), and (at times) the Heat’s offense has struggled with them.

From a logical point of view, these should be relatively easy shots. There are instances where the Spurs are playing a half-dozen feet off of James and Wade when they receive the ball, and anyone who’s watched either of them play have seen them each hit hundreds—thousands even—of much more difficult jumpshots.

But, as someone who has played before—and is prone to somewhat streaky shooting—those “easy” shots can actually end up being the hardest shots you can actually take. You’re so used to having to work to even get a decent look at the hoop that when someone basically says “Go ahead, shoot. I won’t even bother you. Be my guest” it can mess with your mind and make you uncharacteristically passive. Basically, it flips the dynamic you’re used to and have spent countless hours preparing for.

Some players welcome this change. Some adjust quickly. Some are slow learners. And, some never learn.

Anyway, watching Wade and James take turns trying to solve this “easy” defense makes me wonder if some men really know what they’re asking for when they say sh*t like they “wish more women approached” or that they want women to have the “exact same types of sexual urges, desires, and drives as a (stereotypically) typical man.” (They actually already kinda do, but that’s another topic for another day.)

Just as the shots attempted by Wade and James seem easy and more attractive, I’m sure they imagine an “easier” navigation through the dating and relationship morass as women adopt certain roles traditionally held by men. But, a shift in that dynamic results in other, less attractive shifts, including the fact that if women were to collectively wake up tomorrow morning and start acting more like “men,” men would have to start to fulfill certain duties traditionally expected of women.

These duties include:

Seeing our mate value disproportionately tied to how physically attractive we can stay for the first, I don’t know, 60 or so years of our lives. No more couch-potatoing. No more letting ourselves go. No more hanging around and hoping she eventually grows on you. No more being a 4 or 5 and still having a somewhat realistic shot at locking down a 7 or 8.

Learning how to deal with being relentlessly approached, propositioned, pulled, whispered to and hollered at by women you’re not attracted to (…and not being approached by the ones you actually are attracted to)

Of course, many men don’t think about this. They think that a women being more “male-like” sexually means that the woman they’re currently involved with will want to have more sex with him, not considering the fact if she were more male-like—and was turned on by the same things he’s turned on by—she may have never even given him the time of day. Just because she’s more open about wanting it doesn’t mean you’re the one she actually wants it from.

Also, as I’ve stated numerous times before, we (men) tend to talk a pretty good game. But, as I’m sure many women with higher libidos will tell you, possessing that level of sexual drive/confidence has a tendency to make men passive. Not all men, obviously. But, for all the sh*t we talk about putting it down and breaking backs and laying pipe, encountering a woman who’s a bit more aggressive than we’re used to can trigger an anxiety that passifies instead of arouses. I remember the first time a woman told me that she wanted to sleep with me (Her exact words: “I’m going to f*ck you tonight”) and I honestly had no f*cking clue how to react to that. I think I might have even giggled. And farted².

I know evidence based on personal experience doesn’t really count. But, although anecdote doesn’t really count either, stories I’ve heard from women and men both tell me that type of reaction is more common than we (men) let on. There are a couple possible reasons for this passivity, but I think it has more to do with performance anxiety than anything else. Basically, instead of the main effort being “getting her in bed,” when meeting a woman who possesses the same type of sexual aggression we tend to associate with men, there’s more implied (and, occasionally, just outright demanded) pressure to perform well.

Some men welcome this change. Some adjust quickly. Some are slow learners. And, some never learn. All, though, need to be mindful of the same quote.

“Be careful what you wish for, cause you just might get it.”

¹I started typing this when the fourth quarter started, thinking that I’d be able to write while watching the game (Ha!) and not realizing that I was about to witness the most nerve-wracking 17 minutes of basketball I’ve ever seen. 

2. We did eventually sleep together that night, so I guess I did manage to redeem myself. Either that or the fact that the only thing that scared me more than she did was word of me being scared getting out on campus. 

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)