The Shame of Dating a Bottom


Bottoms. Nah, I’m not talking about the ATL’s dynamic, new mayor. I’m talking about the men who usually get the short end of the stick emotionally. The guys who range in so many shapes, sizes, tones, hardness, softness, and everything outside the norm. The funny thing is Baskin Robbins never gets shit for it’s 31 one flavors. But bottoms…catch some hell. It’s the shame of dating a bottom that has so many men confused about a community of men they inherently need to satisfy them.

Cortez is a cool guy. No matter how many adversities are thrown his way, he always manages to get back in the game. Tried and true from Pelham Gardens, he expresses every dynamic and quality The Bronx has to offer. “What up B? It’s been a while since we connected. You got time to meet up for a drink?”, he asks. Of course I agreed. Although social media is how I connect with most of my acquaintances these days, when I’m in The City, I always have to catch on what’s happening in the streets. As I greeted him in a brotherly fashion, I noticed there was something awkwardly anxious about him. It was like he really needed to express something things. You know I have a sixth sense, right? (lol). Not any more than ten minutes after we sit down for first round of drinks, he jumps right in. “OK…so you know I told you before, ‘I’m not down with dating a dude, right?’ I want to run something by you real quick.” as he pauses. “OK. Listen, you can’t just stop in the middle of a conversation like that—tell me. What’s up?”, I frantically inquire. Cortez stares back at me as if we was mortified to share a vulnerable moment. “OK….OK. I met someone—real cool dude. And I like him—dead ass. But—yo…this muhfucka wanna date me and shit and I don’t know how I feel about that.”, he replies. In total bewilderment, I inquired, “What do you mean you don’t know about that, Cortez? It seems as if you’ve been out here enough to know if you don’t want to take it to a certain level if you’re not interested in dating someone, you have to be upfront about your feelings. Have you?” Cortez pauses again in a crippling hesitance, “Yo…I just can’t see myself dating a bottom.” Wow.

“So are you saying a guy who prefers to bottom, you’re only OK with having casual sex with him? You don’t want it to escalate beyond that. Is that all you want from a guy—ever? Just casual sex…and for how long do you want to keep this up?, I responded in amazement. Cortez pauses again. Apparently, it had never occurred to him the possibility of a future. Cortez has a pretty alluring swag and demeanor. I can see how someone would tolerate the inability to communicate a desire for something long term. But honeymoon phases always come to an end. Eventually, it’s time to come to the table of responsibility and remove the veil of instant gratification. “Now you know this is why I didn’t wanna to you, right? You always make people think about shit. Damn. I don’t know what to do. I think I just might break it off and just go back to doing me.” he alludes in a defeatist manner. “Cortez, you don’t see how that doesn’t solve your problem? You’re here now discussing this with me because all this time, you’ve been finding fault in something you’re connected with for sexual gratification. Maybe you should examine that and find out why you’re running away from this.”, I responded. Cortez agreed that he should take more time. His attraction to men wasn’t something he was ashamed of or ran away from. But he’d have so many examples about gay men who were bottoms, how they acted, responded in relationships, the stories where guys cheated, and created these elaborate stories about them–all in his mind. He couldn’t see the connection between the stories he’s heard and how he’d immediately disconnect himself intimately before it became too serious.

Cortez and I talked a week later. I hoped he had processed what we discussed and how much of an impact the stories he’s heard about guys who bottomed had over him. He shortly disassociated himself from the guy he was having a casual relationship with. The seriousness had become to overwhelming for him to deal with at that time. Of course I asked him if he was open about his struggle and maybe stop the sexual aspect until he’d come to terms with his predicament. He wasn’t interested. Sometimes I wonder with some men, is it the vulnerability that is the big dick of emotions or is it getting hooked by someone satisfying sexuality and the implications of what is expected next? The truth is, whether a guy is a top or a bottom, there will always be something level of vulnerability when you become intimate with someone. Maybe that alone is what must be confronted and addressed before having even a casual relationship—with anyone.


The 3 Second Rule

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“He is just not that into you.”…a popular expression which has sent shockwaves
throughout the dating scene. A phrase critical and sharp enough to destroy a man’s confidence with six simple words. The dance of curiosity has never become more complex now this expression has become a part of the gay lexicon as well. But how to do you tell if a guy is into without the fear and unwarranted let down of rejection? You play the cat and mouse game of the quintessential stare. Some may call this “The 3 Second Rule”…a rule so solid and steadfast, no one can deny it’s effects and quintessential solution if a brotha is interested or not. And I must it admit as a person who’s subscribed to the The 3 Second Rule myself—it does indeed work. And in fact, it tells you more than you’d ever want to know about the man in pursuit.

When you’re single, going places alone is a guaranteed way to meet a potential, eligible bachelor. This particular day was not out of the ordinary. I was alone and had a book with me to occupy my time while I scoffed down one of my favorite meals. As luck would have it, one of the most handsome guys I’ve ever seen came in and sat right in front of me. It was hard not to notice him. In fact, everyone one noticed him. He was about 6’2”, bald, darker skinned, well dressed, and an aroma of the most masculine, yet effervescent scent trailed and illuminated the room. He was the center of everyone’s attention. How could I not be completely obvious to get a closer look at this guy without appearing to be some thirst-trap? I buried my head in my book. But again as luck would have it, I noticed him gazing in my direction in my peripheral view. Wow. A guy so handsome and commanding in his presence…what do I do? Now I have to look up and see if he was gazing at me. I look up and glance around to see if he is starting at me. He was. He was definitley checking me out.

Why was this scenario causing me to be so nervous? Could it be this handsome guy really found me visually appealing? Or am I making up this drama in my head and he really is just checking out the person behind me? That’s when I remembered…the 3 Second Rule! The one “go to” to determine if a guy is initially into you. After the waiter brought my tall glass of draft Heineken, I realized this was the perfect segue to appear casual and unassuming. Now I get ready to brace myself. I look up and slowly span the room until my eyes connected with his. His eyes were already fixated on me. I gaze back. I count: One. Two. Three. “What’s up brotha?”, he says as he nods his head in acknowledgement. “How are you doing?”, I confidently reply back to him. He laughs and gazes still in intense desire, “Chillin’, Chillin…are you having lunch alone? If so, can I join you?”. I readily replied in amazement, “Yeah, I’m alone. Grab your drink and come on over.”

Desmond was an incredible conversationalist. In the span of 45 minutes, we talked about everything from hip-hop, politics, sports, and of course dating. As much Desmond was an unequivocal turn on, this was as much a cat and mouse sport for him as it was for me. Dating a woman for “only three months” as he calls it just seems like more than anyone could bargain for even in an introductory conversation. Yes, I’ll admit, at the time I was extremely curious to see where it could have went. But, for me, the vindication was in the appeasement of the ego. I wanted to see if the 3 Second Rule had a confirmed validity even in the most unknown possibilities. It seems as if it does. But not just once, but at least twice. The truth of the matter is, if a man wants you, he will show you. He will create a sense of availability in his demeanor and it will show up in his eyes—the window to his SOUL.

Keep watching.

The Pick-Up Scene


Ahhh…the “pick-up scene”? A place where dreams are made of, hearts are broken, egos get bruised, and the possibility of sex runs amuck. What is it about this scene that attracts both suitors and pursuers? It’s the chase…and who doesn’t like a good one? The surveying of the masses…the stalking of “prey” brings out the animalistic nature of any man. But the thrill of being “caught”…is a game of seduction you don’t want to lose. But finding out where you fit in the grand scheme of things is the bigger challenge. After the thrill is gone, what next? How do you transform the game of seduction from playing checkers to chess? How do you master your craft at the pick-up scene?

There is nothing like the opportunity to meet an attractive, aggressive, and approachable man. A man that’s well groomed, confident, and very charming. That’s who Harvey was. Harvey’s a Southern guy, early 40s, government job, and has an undeniable nature to be both assertive and magnetizing. As we sat across the bar from each other playing “tag you’re it” eye contact, he decided to go in for the kill. “So tell me what you do you use on your beard?”, he asks. I replied in disbelief, “A few different products. I can tell you what products I use after I finish my meal.” The masculine tension between us fueled with unparalleled desire. The anxiety of my heart continued to thrust with each second of finishing my meal. The anticipation in his eyes peaked as I took my final bite. He stalked my movements like a panther chasing a gazelle. “So now you’re going to tell me?, he asks. Chuckling in wonder I reply, “A few different things, but why you in a rush? You barely got peach fuzz!”. We both erupted in laughter. The glacier had crashed the Titanic and I was going down ON the ship! As I took out my phone and scrolled through the premium select beard products, he couldn’t wait to see what I had in store. He walked across the bar and stood over my shoulder to flaunt his mature and masculine presence over me. I felt butterflies. I felt vulnerable in his presence. He asked for my number and we set a date. This moment was LIT…It was LIT AS FUCK!

I’ll admit…since we’re talking about the pick up scene, there is a certain level of priority I give it. Usually, it comes from a “no fucks given” frame of mind. So, well…I never called him back. I couldn’t gauge him as precisely as I would the kind of man I am usually attracted to. Usually that suggests in some way I become dismissive and well…we’ll just call it a minor flaw (LOL). However, on a wayward Saturday night at one Dallas’ underground bars, our eyes met yet again. We both stopped dead in our tracks as we reacquainted with the same level of chemical desire as the moment we first met.
“How you been dude?”, I ask. “Shiiiit…just chillin’. I didn’t know you hung out here?”, he responded. We chatted for a moment before a table full of ladies zoomed in on two mature, distinguished men. Little had we known, it was about to be their pick up scene.

As we approached the table to for a quick chat with the women, we talked about how we knew each other. As he expressed how we became acquainted, he laid his firm and well manicured hand on top of mine. Of course, I knew…this was his chance to make it very clear—he wanted IN! But considering the environment, it was too much.

We walked the ladies to their cars and went our separate ways for the evening. The next day, Harvey invited me out to breakfast. I was not able to commit. I’m not the kind of dude that goes from “pick up” to “hook up”. There are subtle ways I could see it was headed in that direction…if I ALLOWED it, of course. You know I ain’t giving up shit unless you are in it for the long haul. Usually, men are much more consistent beyond an initial attraction if they are in it to “win” it. Hurricane Harvey of course didn’t put major effort in. And if you consider yourself a prize, you’ll expect some effort from a guy pursuing you. You see, the thing about these pick up scenes, they can be gritty, conservative, or lustfully provocative. And YOU get to set the rules of the game and how long you are in it for. Harvey WAS a bit nice! He gave you everything you needed in a hookup. But who would he be after it was over? I guess I’ll never know. That’s the problem with the pick up scene. It always leads you right back for more. When you first don’t succeed, you try and try and try again.

It’s Either The Kids…or Me!


Ahhh…the American Dream. The spouse, the kids, the big house with the white picket fence. Who doesn’t want it? It’s what we all aspire to have one day. Or at least, that’s what’s “sold” to us. The truth is, we’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t want a family to call our own. In the dating era of the 21st Century, we now encounter the “ready-made family” package deal. Although this may present challenges to some, in the LGBT community, ready-made families actually reduce the stress of starting a new family. Whether it is adoption or surrogacy, the process can be more than what you bargain for. In fact, impacting a child’s life by being a co-parent does seem like an ideal situation to align yourself with the family structure. But what happens if the parent becomes uncomfortable with your role in the kids life; not because you’re a threat to their safety. It’s because you’re a threat to their existing closeness. What if the person you’re dating wants to dissolve the relationship because you’ve been given an ultimatum—it’s either their kids…or you?

I met Travis at an interesting time in my life. I couldn’t devote time to a full time relationship because I traveled both domestically and internationally five days a week. In fact, Travis traveled just as much as I did. The distance allowed us to really get to know each other and provided the necessary barrier to not rush into a relationship. Travis was a guy who loved to have fun. He loved amusement arenas and live music. When our limited scheduled allowed us to connect, we did nothing but have fun. As summer approached, I was anxious to plan a tropical destination trip where we could finally have some extended alone time. “So, out of all the places we could possible go, where would you like to go this summer?”, I asked. Travis laughed for a second, then quickly replied, “Ummm, we can go to the local park or museum. I’m getting my kids for the summer.” I must admit, that certainly wasn’t the response I was looking for. I was not looking forward to taking another summer vacation alone or with my friends. I needed some much needed romance in a freaky, sensual environment. “…and I want you to meet them”, he interjected. OK—Get the fuck out of here. I wasn’t exactly ready to “Meet The Browns” moment. Travis and I had only dated for a month and introducing me to the rug-rats just seemed a bit premature. Out of utter nervousness, I agreed. After all, what the hell was I supposed to say? No one had asked me to meet their kids so soon. Perhaps, it was his way of wanting to include me in his life. Hey, why not after all? I’m all about making great first impressions. It’s just what I do.

Dave and Busters is an excellent environment to meet kids. It’s a great distraction! So now, it’s showtime. Prior to all loading up in the extended Suburban, I met Travis and the kids at his apartment. Apparently from the looks on his kids faces, they were not apparently new to this. Wow. I guess that whole “special” thing I felt at the time was jab at the ole ego. Naivety, I had to learn to do better, but I digress. “What’s up kiddos?!”, I asked politely. They all responded in an exuberant manner. Hmmm…maybe this may be quite the endeavor I was about to embark upon. As the day progressed, it was actually fun and endearing getting to know the kids. Of course we had a blast playing games and acting silly, but when it was time to put on the conversational hat, they turned it on with no hesitation. Ranging in the ages of 12-16, they were extremely well-mannered. Travis had obviously done a fantastic job. But as the evening progressed, it went from a day of fun with everyone, to a day with me. Travis’s disposition went from enthusiastic to jealousy, even regret. As we entered Kroger to pick up a few groceries, his daughter and I played a game of tag. It was so entertaining, his other kids jumped in for the fun. As we ended our game, Travis expressed a moment with me that I wasn’t quite sure how to address. “You know, I’m actually jealous my kids are responding to you the way they are. They’re supposed to be spending this time with me and now the that you’re here, I feel like they forgot about it”. But wait a minute, wasn’t this what he wanted?

After ending what was a very enjoyable day, Travis and I had a moment to reflect on the day. Truth is, he wasn’t having it. Although he wanted to initially include me in a summer of planned activities, he knew I’d be a distraction. After spending an endearing amount of time with them, I’d have to agree with Travis. The truth is, he needed to have this time with them without me around. I can’t lie—I was disappointed. Not because of being asked to be excluded from the kids’ summer, but because he wasn’t able to appropriately assess how he wanted me in his life as well. What is it with single parents? There seems to be this need to balance a dating life and be the type of parent you want to be proud of. You want someone to come into your lives that will represent a stellar partner for co-parenting, yet the moment children start to gravitate to the person you’re dating, all bets are off. Really?! I’ve been a step-parent before. I enjoyed it immensely. But I guess in that moment, I’ve learned a lesson to. Perhaps, rather than choose a partner whose parental game is on fleek, focus on choosing a partner who’s not threatened by my capacity to be the parent they never knew could exist. After all, in some relationships, competition is sometimes that thorn in your side that occasionally rears it’s ugly head.

My Wife Knows I Date Men


Every relationship is different. Every relationship also has limits and boundaries that can sometimes surpass our initial expectations. For me, I prefer the monogamous type of love. You got me; I got you. Our love is a monument that reins supreme. I also respect relationships that are different from mine. For instance, in New York, polyamorous relationships are on the rise. As much as I can respect one’s right to choose freely, that kind of set up is too rich for my blood. But what if you have a marriage where the husband and wife have been married for so long, the love and romance has now turned into an “arrangement”. A marriage where two people are there for each other and there is a mutual respect where both individuals have grown (apart). In fact, I know a man who’s married to a woman that who compromised her original vows and reestablished new ones just to be with the man she loves.

If you know Ron, he can easily be identified as a silver fox with a teddy bear quality. You can latch onto him effortlessly. He swag, his voice, the way he touches his concubines with a gentle caress…you could easily become lost in the fray. But, the one thing Ron is absolutely clear on, is where you fall in his life. He is direct and immensely clear you must be comfortable and acknowledgeable with playing your position as a side piece. And who can’t respect that? If it’s one thing I hear a lot of when it comes to men is they don’t feel many guys are straight up with them. They feel as if they don’t have any empathy when it comes to getting the truth from someone. But Ron’s truth come in an abrupt and unadulterated fashion. Having drinks one evening, I asked, “So how is it going with you and the little homie?” Ron replied in a frank, yet subtle manner, “Oh, we’re fine. We’re just friends.”. “He seems like such a good kid. So adorable. He seems like he’d make an excellent ‘Atlanta Housewife.’”, I joked. After a couple inquiries, Ron felt the need to be very clear about his stance. “Look, let me just be very clear with you. I’m married, OK.”, Ron confessed. “OK!!! SAY WHAT?!”, I responded in utter shock. Ron quickly dismissed my expressive demeanor, “OK NOW! You don’t have to act like that!”. “No! No No!! It’s not like that! It’s just…I didn’t know!! You gotta give me a second to digest this, Ron. You can’t just lay this out on me. Damn.”, I responded as I quickly tried to gather my thoughts and my disposition. The truth is, Ron and I were establishing our friendship. Although he wore a decorative ring on his “Single Ladies” finger, I had NO idea this brotha was married. I mean DAMN…YOU NEVER REALLY KNOW THESE BROTHAS!

For a moment, my head circled around to the conversations about the brothas who felt men couldn’t be straight up with them. Although, Ron and I were strictly working on our friendship, I felt like I was truly starting to discover who he really was. Peeling back the layers was like opening Pandora’s Box while standing in “Kandi’s Sex Dungeon”. I gotta at admit, it was something that took me by surprise and I am a hard one to shock. A few days later, Ron and I met for brunch. It was a quaint French Bistro in Dallas’ trendy uptown neighborhood. “So how it is going? You get enough sleep last night?”, I asked. “Yeah. It was aiight. I apologize for being late. I had to go run by this trade’s apartment after we left the club the other night. You know I like ‘em young right?”, he joked. “Yes, YOU DO!”, I laughed. After seeing my sarcasm, Ron instinctively felt the need to explain his marital arrangement. “OK. Let me explain something to you. I should have said this when we were hanging out the other night. But you know you and your facial expressions always do me in. I’ve been married for over 20 years and I love my wife. But she knows I have an appetite for men. Does she like it? No, but she loves me more than my attraction for men.”, he says. “What did she say when you told her?”, I interrupted. “Oh, she was furious! She was DAMN furious. But we talked about it. We really talked about it. (long pause) I think she told me she could overcome her grief. But then, we looked at our love and how long we’ve been together. We just see our marriage as something different…something stronger than sex. She told me, ‘don’t ever bring that shit around me and we won’t have a problem!’ And I haven’t. I have no intentions of doing it. Now don’t you sit in that chair and judge me!”, he says as he ended his passioned story with a quick witted joke. “I would never do that. And as you know, judging people is not my style. I’ll leave that to the Christians.”, I replied jokingly. We both ended that conversation in a sigh of relief, but not before asking whom he was going out with next.

In life, we find we run across paths with people who are intricately different from us. They have beliefs and morals that challenge who we are and what we are willing to tolerate. After meeting Ron, I found I have a new respect for a level of tolerance I may not have exercised in the past. I would have debated and pleaded with him to reconsider his infidelity. I would have exercised “God’s plan” for a marriage I was clueless about and the vows between two perfectly capable grown ass people. Judgment is something no one wants to be at the receiving end of. But tolerance and respect will always build bridges where potential and opportunity lies for the right circumstances. Going back to the men and the disdain for lies other men tell, I can’t help but wonder…are these lies being told as a way to build a wall between them and us? After all, lies are a way of protecting ourselves from a truth yet to be told. In order to get to it, I’ve discovered it is best to make yourself open to the unadulterated truth—even if you think you are unable to handle it. As painful as the truth can be, not opening yourself to the truth is the nail in the coffin for your life. As for Ron, he’s still in a good place. Still running around, chasing Dallas’ most eligible 20 something bachelors. And as for his wife, time will only tell what she’s brewing. For his sake, I hope it isn’t a pot of grits.

…To be continued


My Pastor Loves Gay Sex


Church has long been the place where souls come to be redeemed. Week after week, sanctuaries are packed with people who come in their Sunday’s best to worship their god(s) and fellowship among their communities. But scanning the congregation and pulpit, I wonder how many secrets lie in the minds and hearts of many. I wonder how many sins and transgressions are have yet to be exposed out of fear of rejection or better yet, a fear of being exposed altogether. There is one story in particular that blows the roof of the church…and this one holds back no shame, nor any regrets. What happens when a congregation finds out the pastor loves to have gay sex with multiple men?

Lonnie is just like any guy. He’s looking for love in all the right and wrong places. What keeps Lonnie hopeful is his charm, his magnitude of being an attractive guy, but also very aggressive in going after whatever he wants. Just a simple guy from Jacksonville, Florida, he has very modest, traditional values. He believes in the American dream just like any other person, works a steady job, and attends church every Sunday. That modesty changed on January 1, 2017 for first Sunday services in the new year. Lonnie attended church with his best friend TyShaun. There was a new pastor who the entire city had been talking about and both guys had to line up to see what everyone was gossiping about. Bishop Turner was so attractive, everyone remained quiet the entire service because they were stricken by his looks. His presence was enough to restrict your every move. His gaze was strong enough to shake the core of your foundation. He was definitely a force. It was if he was an angel of which no one could explain his significance. You just had to be a part of his essence. After the service, TyShaun and Lonnie were salivating at the chance to meet him. But they were met with about 70 members ahead of them; of course that was not enough to deter them. As they approached Bishop, their heartbeats grew stronger and sweat beads began to form. Now, it was their turn. “How you doing, Bishop? Nice to meet you.”, TyShaun greeted him in a shaken voice. He nodded and responded in return. But when Lonnie offered to shake his hand, he trembled vigorously. As he shuttered to find the breath to say hello, he fainted.

When Lonnie came to, he awakened in Bishops home, on his couch. “Here, I think you should have a glass of water. You’ll feel better.”, said Bishop. “Oh my God! I am so sorry. I don’t know what happened. Please forgive me! I feel so embarrassed.”, Lonnie pleaded. Reassuringly, Bishop put his mind at ease, “You’re fine. I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t happened before. I sent everyone one home and I told them I’d be responsible for making sure you were OK. And I will from now on.” Lonnie wasn’t the only one with overwhelming sexual tension; Bishop Turner’s controlled sexual tension was in full throttle. Bishop moved closer to Lonnie. He placed one hand on Lonnie’s thigh, grabbed his chin with the other, and began to kiss passionately. Lonnie’s body exploded in ecstasy. It was as if every molecule erupted in an electrical firestorm of euphoria. It was a secret love affair that went on for weeks. As Lonnie attended church more, he began to notice the attention Bishop showed other men. It was worth investigating to find out just how many other men had Bishop’s attention. TyShaun, being the best friend any gay man would dream of, confirmed Lonnie’s speculation. Something had to be done about this. Filled with jealousy and rage, Lonnie stormed into church a week later during the benediction and knew this moment was going to be about him. “I knew you was sleeping around!! I knew it!! But I refuse to let you embarrass me by sleeping with every queen up in this church! You said I was going to be the only one! Why, Bishop?…WHY?!”, Lonnie exclaimed! The congregation was paralyzed with shock and awe! They had no idea what they were witnessing. This sent everyone immediately into despair; people gathered their things and flurried out of the sanctuary. Worn out and alone, Bishop took one last look at the church he had taken over, gathered his things, and turned the key to lock the church door for the last time.

Two months later, Lonnie still tosses and turns over if he made the right decision to publicly shame his pastor. Was someone he trusted with his body and soul worth the torment and shame of public humiliation? And all because of what??…sex with other men? The truth is, they had no commitment. Their only form of a commitment was an understanding of camaraderie. It was a bond of a different sort. Lonnie allowed his jealousy and rage to overcome him. As he preached about sexuality, homosexuality, and sin, Lonnie sat quietly. He sat quietly because he benefitted from a relationship that superseded his own ethics. As I share this incident with everyone, I can’t help but think about the damage we cause ourselves. Church has become a place where hurt and broken people come for reconciliation and to be healed. And we bring a LOT of things to it—judgment, sex, addiction, insecurity, malice, arrogance, selfishness, amongst other things. On some level, to not expect to encounter it would be foolish. There is an expectation to being your highest self to the alter and lay down burdens. But it is a step by step process—steps that can probably last a lifetime to get over. Whether it is the leader of the congregation or members of the church, each person plays a part in their own healing and being supportive of the community’s struggles. Bringing hostility to an already hostile environment is what makes the “sin” in church a secret. Don’t be the person to create the hostile environment. You don’t want to be the person that everyone walks away from.


Who Makes The First Move?


So whose turn is it? Yours or mine? When it comes to same sex relationships, how do you know who makes the first move? Who takes the role of the aggressor? Who takes the role of the one who’s laid back? These are all  questions that are very difficult to ask in same sex relationships. Some may say the person who does the penetration is the aggressor. But that is not always the case. Both men and women take on different roles in relationships and traditional concepts don’t always align with what we expect. When it comes to modern day relationships, who makes the first move?

You guys remember Jonathan from “Where To Meet A Good Man”, right? Well, there’s a little bit more to this story I wanted to share with you. But then again, isn’t there always more to any story? After taking my dating advice, he scored some really distinguished gentlemen. But when he did strike gold, there was just something about the one that got away that really didn’t sit well with Jonathan. Jonathan described Nathan as “a Lance Gross type”. Nathan was a corporate attorney and had a nice flat on the Riverfront. He was only 38 years old, so he was just about as prime as you can get. He found Jonathan to be very attractive and admired how timid and demure he came across in his demeanor. Nathan was definitely an aggressive guy. This became a safe zone for Jonathan—a zone he’d later regret.

It was a brisk, fall night in The District. Jonathan and Nathan decided to take an evening stroll on Pennsylvania Ave after a decadent Italian meal at the couple’s favorite restaurant, Fiola. There were a few thoughts that ran through Nathan’s mind the entire day. The evening walk provided the perfect transition to discuss what weighed so heavily on his mind. “Babe, let me talk to you for a second.”, Nathan inquiries. “Sure.”, Jonathan responds. “We’ve been dating for a while now and I don’t know. I mean…I really like you and you’re cool and all, but…I feel like you’re not putting in the work when it comes to you making an effort to spend time with me.”, Nathan implies with a sense of disappointment. In a sense of shock and disbelief, Jonathan inquired, “What do you mean? I don’t understand.” Nathan looked Jonathan into his eyes, grabbed his hand, and sat down on the nearest bench. “I feel like…and I actually had to run each of these events in my head over and over, but…each time we hung out, went to dinner, went to the movies, I came over to your place, not one did you ask me to do anything or take any initiative to plan anything. You never asked me if I wanted to be taken out. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting you to pull the weight all the time. But it is something I’ve noticed. I just don’t want to be taken for granted.” Nathan explained. Jonathan felt horrible. He immediately apologized and told Nathan he’d plan a special night for the both of them. He desperately wanted to make it up to him.

“Hello?!”, I answered. “I need your help!”, Jonathan exclaimed. I replied in an awakened voice, “Jonathan, it’s 8:17a. How can you have a crisis already?!”, I inquired. After Jonathan told me his dilemma, I felt his sense of urgency. Apparently, this was a really big deal. He needed help planning an evening to spend with someone he was head over heels with. “NOPE!”, I replied. “WHAT?! WHY NOT?!”, he yelled. “Listen, J, you know I love you like a brotha. But, THIS IS YOUR MOMENT TO SHINE. If you’re getting to know him, you have to show him what you are capable of. Asking someone else to do the work for you, in any capacity, is not what this guy is looking for when he wants to see what lengths you will invite him into your world. Find that and bring it to the evening you guys will share. It’s not that complicated”, I advised. When Nathan arrived at Jonathan’s place, he was met with disappointment and heartbreak. Because of the enormity of the expectations Jonathan faced to plan an evening, he didn’t plan anything. Jonathan explained to Nathan he had no idea what to do. He wasn’t familiar with the city and didn’t want to call Nathan because he’d still have a hand in planning it. Nathan stared Jonathan into his eyes and kissed him on this forehead. He knew after leaving Jonathan’s apartment that evening, he would never see nor hear from him—ever again! Making the first move can sometimes be kryptonite for both the aggressor and receiver. When we get too comfortable in our roles, we don’t give our partners the opportunity rise to the occasion to bring the balance we need in our dating lives. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but a necessary evil nonetheless. A lesson that will teach us more about ourselves than it does about whom we date.