Why All Lesbian Femmes Should Buy Their Own Straps

black woman wearing a strap on dildo

Written by Zamara Perri

 

“Ok so my girlfriend strap is too big…. i have expressed this to her a couple times and she laughed it off and made a joke of it…..idk what to do … i thought about buying another but i don’t know how she’ll take it … advice please.”

 

This post on Facebook broke my heart and brought back memories of my 20s and my first time having strap on sex. It looked like so much fun in porn. But not so much in real life. My girlfriends either had no clue or had dick envy or were used to having sex with women who had children. It hurt. It didn’t matter which woman I had sex with, it felt like I was being repeatedly punched in the cervix.

For some reason my femme girlfriends only had monster dildos. It never really occurred to me that it could be too big for me.

It was uncomfortable so I just told myself that I just didn’t like strap on sex. I told my lovers, I didn’t like strap ons either.

It wasn’t until my 30s that I had a partner who had a selection of dildos of varying sizes and lengths to select from. I closed my eyes and held my breath as she penetrated me with the shortest one. It didn’t hurt and I had so much fun. That was when the light bulb went off! I had a very short vaginal canal, so 9-inch dicks were never going to be fun for me.

 

Your Pleasure Matters, Too

I’m assuming the letter above is from a very young woman or a newly out lesbian who just wants to please her partner.

The partner may have a dildo that she likes, but guess who it’s penetrating? I say the person who is being penetrated gets to choose not to be in pain. The partner needs a reality check. One of the privileges of being a lesbian is not being stuck with a penis that you don’t like and can’t do anything about.

My message to this young lady and pretty much all femmes on the receiving end of a dildo is this: Buy your own dildo and strap. Why? Your pleasure matters too. Plus, they are really not that expensive and will help you weed out selfish lovers.

Once you’ve figured out what kind of dildo works for you, then you and your lover are bound to have more fun. If she’s not okay with that arrangement, then who’s gon check you boo? She can bounce.

When asked for her thoughts on this, my “feminine” friend Mel, said she likes having her own strap because she can control the cleanliness, quality of the materials and comfort.

“I have always been more of the strapper than the strapee,” she says. “I am all about comfort, mine and the other person’s. Finally, I found an amazing woman who has managed to not only make me love it…but also crave it like I’ve never had before. It’s the perfect size for me and she listens to my body. She understood that I wanted to give myself completely to her, but wanted to make sure she’d take care of me, which she has done so well. * bites bottom lip*”

So yep. Date a woman who is loving enough to care about her partner’s comfort and pleasure and a woman who isn’t willing to sacrifice your comfort at the altar of her giant ego. Toys are supposed to equal fun. If one person isn’t having fun, then that person gets to say no.

Plus, having your own strap resolves that silly argument that lesbians like to have where they want their partner’s to buy new sex toys with every new partner.

Finally, it’s freaking sexy when a woman can whip out her own dildo and tell her lover: “Relax boo, I came packing my own heat.”

Masculine Not Manly, Vol 3: A Letter From a Recovering TouchMeNot Stud

queen latifah and girlfriend in set it off

Written by Bre Ukweli

Dear Lover,

I promise it isn’t your fault that you have yet to make me cum in bed. I also swear on my entire sexual life, that I’m honestly not punishing you with dryness because you’re incompetent. Sometimes I think that the pleasure gene skipped me entirely and my vagina is just there for show and unnecessary monthly messes.

Up until recently, my sexual needs  thrived off of my lovers’ wants. Their moans were like cheering sections that had me wearing my back scratches like medals. Pleasure was just a game that I played for the sake of my ego.

There comes a time in every TouchMeNot (TMN) stud’s life where our bodies inherently begins to grow jealous of watching orgasm after orgasm, from the outside. Suddenly, the feeling of someone else’s wetness isn’t enough to fuel the mental satisfaction and we begin to crave more. But, we’ve already established rules that require us to slap away your hands in the heat of the moment.

We’ve created sexual environments where it’s okay for you, as a partner, to walk away completely satisfied and leave your stud contemplating her life and sexual needs, feeling incomplete for reasons she doesn’t understand.

We’re sorry, even in silence. Trust me on this one.

Rewriting that environment is intense, but necessary, especially if you, I mean we (but mostly me), want to save our relationship; both sexually and emotionally.

You want to know the key to sex with a recovering TouchMeNot stud like me?

  1. Patience.
  2. Don’t pressure me into anything. Allow me to make the request. I know what I need and all you have to do is listen. I understand it can be difficult to wait, but I promise you that’s the best way to get me to be comfortable with you.
  3. Talk to me outside of the bedroom. Get to know me through intimate conversations. Find out not only what turns me off, but also why. The “why” is extremely important. Sometimes there’s a lot more than just a need for control that’s keeping me from enjoying sex.
  4. Lastly, be open-minded, supportive and understanding. There’s nothing worse than making me feel bad about going against your sexual (and heteronormative) expectations. What I mean is, if you get lucky enough to get me to ask to be strapped, you strap up. Simple.

Your pleasure should be my pleasure and my ecstasy should be your ecstasy. Let’s make love to each other, have fun and see how it goes.

Love,

Bre


Bre  is a 24-year-old gender-fluid person living in South Florida. She is a shade connoisseur hopelessly chasing skylines, sunsets and social justice.

Why Black Lesbian Queens Stay in Bad Relationships

dark skinned natural women big hair

We have so many reasons for staying but like to pretend we don’t know. Photo courtesy of David Famuyide

Written by Zamara Perri

When a black woman falls in love with another woman, especially for the first time, it can be completely magical. She makes our heart skip a beat, our palms sweaty, puts butterflies in our stomach and makes our panties wet. We can’t stop thinking about her, wanting her and dreaming about your future together.

Maybe she is the one. Maybe she’s not. Lesbians are famous for falling in love quickly and trying to build something out of nothing. And we black lesbian queens are no different.

But for real though, just because you fall in love with someone doesn’t mean you have to build a life together.

Sometimes we say yes to relationships, circumstances and situations without truly weighing the costs.

At first we think we can handle/settle for a less-than-ideal situation, but as time goes by, we realize that we’re not happy.

What Are You Getting Out of the Relationship?

Sometimes we hope and pray that things (or maybe she) will change, but the truth is that the only person you can change is yourself.

I truly believe that before getting into or getting out of a relationship, all black lesbians should ask themselves, what they are getting out of the relationship.

I’m so serious. All romantic relationships have a pay off. My partner taught me a really important lesson early in our relationship. Although she is a truly kind, spirit-driven woman who loves people, before she gets involved in anything, she always asks herself, “What am I getting out of this?”

The question is important, she reasons, because if you’re not getting what you want, then what motivation do you truly have in continuing to pursue this thing? This question can relate to any relationship, business opportunity, volunteer of social activity. I know it sounds crazy and selfish, but hear me out.

My partner taught me that even if the only thing you get from a situation is a good feeling, it has to be something valuable to you.

Everything has a cost and a pay off so know your worth.

 

The Real Reasons We Stay

So with that in mind, let’s be honest. Some people claim that they get into relationships because they just love this other person and can’t live without them.

That might be true, but if we are truly honest most people are in relationships for a combination of the following reasons:

  • She makes you feel good
  • She’s really good in bed
  • Y’all are pretty together
  • You like the attention she gives you
  • She’s your companion/best friend
  • A built in cuddle buddy
  • Someone to split the bills with
  • She makes you feel good
  • Someone to raise children with
  • A status symbol/ being in relationship makes you desirable in the eyes of your community
  • She brings out the best in you
  • You like taking care of her because (you feel powerful, strong, important etc., etc.)

You Get What You Accept

It may seem obvious that when you’re in a bad relationship, you should just leave. But it’s just not that easy. Even though we don’t think we consciously sign up for being treated like crap, far too many of us put up with lovers who:

  • Lie, cheat and manipulate
  • Are financially irresponsible
  • Are unreliable
  • Never apologize
  • Talks to us out of the side of her neck
  • Blames, instead of taking responsibility for her bad behavior
  • Makes us cry

Is that what we truly want? If it’s not and we’re still hanging around, then there is an even deeper reason why we’re choosing to remain in that relationship.

We stay because there is something about that shitty relationship that fills a basic need.

And queen, only you know what that need is. Could it be because you think that you’ll never find someone to “love” you again? Are you afraid of being alone? Are you afraid of losing her income? Do you have a lease together and it’s too much of a hassle to untangle it all? Are you comfortable with being unhappy? Do you believe that this is all you deserve? Or do you truly believe that she is the one and that she will change?

Saying yes to any of those questions means you’re staying because you think you need that person’s love, company, money, property, etc.

If these things are what you’re getting from your relationship, then it won’t matter to you if your partner is showing you in many different ways that you are not valuable to her and that you are not a priority because you won’t leave. No judgment here. I’ve been there and done it myself.

I remember being in a relationship where we argued and fought all the time. Most of our arguments stemmed from her being extremely insensitive, which led to me being even more insecure. Even after letting the relationship go, I found myself crying over her. When I got real with myself and dug deep down inside, I discovered that I still wanted the relationship because I was lonely and liked her attention.

I was embarrassed. Here I was this strong, independent black woman who needed this woman’s negative attention to validate me. But it was the ugly truth. Knowing that truth made me understand why this dysfunctional relationship was important to me.

How to Get What You Want

Ladies, it’s really simple, if you are not getting what you want from your relationship, there really is no reason to stay. Celebrating your 20th anniversary is hardly an accomplishment if you spent 19 of those years being disrespected and abused.

Many of us think that because we love someone that we need to stick around and deal with their crap to prove how much we love them. Actually real love is the opposite. If you truly love someone, you demand that they do better and you demand that they treat you better. Treating you well is the price she must pay to be in your life.

 

The relationship you have is the relationship you settle for.

 

If you are not getting something really valuable out of a relationship and you don’t want to leave, then you need to re-negotiate. Have the conversation. Express yourself. Use your words. Stand up for yourself because you, my dear, are worth it.

Queen, your partner doesn’t have all the power. A strong woman doesn’t complain or threaten to leave; a strong woman takes action.

The time you spend stressing over her bullshit is the time you could spend working on other goals, being your own best friend, buying your own property, supporting and taking care of yourself. And when you’re ready, you will demand better or move on. It was hard, but I did it and I know you can too.

How I Healed After My Long-term Lesbian Relationship Ended

Model looks forward to the future.
Model looks forward to the future.

Letting go and starting over is never all that easy. Model: Tene’A.

Written by Vanessa B.

After falling in love with my best friend from high school, we spent the next 17 and a half years together. We did not live happily ever after. We broke up after I returned from serving in the Army and losing the relationship made me “cray-cray” crazy.

After the breakup, we were going back and forth in our conversations but we were definitely broken up because she started seeing someone three months after our breakup. It was a horrible emotional experience for me. A lot of things from our entire relationship boiled to the surface. The anger, sadness, and disappointment had already become recurring themes.

 

The Near Death Experience

One day, after arguing with Debra over the phone while driving at a high speed on the highway and almost slamming into the back of a Mack truck, I just stopped arguing with her.

After that day I decided I would always be kind when I spoke to her. I survived Iraq and yet while arguing on the cell phone I almost killed myself on the highway.

 

Mending My Broken Heart

tumblr_o1l1qkrOX71skqlxjo4_1280

Forgiveness is healing. Model: Jessica Chibueze

I needed to quiet my mind and mend my broken heart. I started to pray, and meditate and, most importantly, I decided I wanted to heal. There was no going around the pain; I knew I had to go through it. I accepted that my long-term relationship was permanently over and I stopped all communication with her.

I had never been a real member of a church before, but I started my healing journey by sitting in the back of a church and crying my eyes out.

Also, I set some very simple goals: I wanted to heal, forgive, and get my butt up out of the bed and out of the house. The biggest help was being out of state and away for home. I decided not to return to my hometown. It was bittersweet, but to this day, it was the best decision I ever made.

What really helped me to forgive was that I looked ahead five years into the future and I knew I didn’t want to still be hurt or angry or harboring any “unforgiveness.” I also knew I needed to forgive myself and stop beating myself up.

I recognized early on in the breakup that anger and heartache were not there to be helpful to me. All the negative emotions I felt were exhausting and preventing me from moving forward. So I apologized to Debra for everything I had done.

I asked her for her forgiveness but I didn’t want or need her to acknowledge it. Just deciding to sincerely and genuinely forgive her and to forgive myself, helped me heal.

It feels a little odd to say this but I truly think I benefitted from her choice to jump into a relationship with someone new, because there was nothing I could do about it. So, it didn’t take me long to forgive because I saw the benefit in it, not for her, but for me.

I asked myself, what do you want? What are you going to do, now? It wasn’t an overnight process, at all. It took a lot of time, but it was a long-lasting type of healing for me.

Many years have passed now what happened in that relationship hasn’t impacted my ability to trust. I had to learn a lesson in order to realize that in relationship there has to be upfront, honest communication. Also, I need to ask questions and not just dive in to anything. I think that lesson also comes with maturity.

 

A Different Kind of Happily Ever After

I want to let all the black lesbians out there know there is no expiration date on the grief and mourning you may feel when your love relationship ends. However, breakups are the best time to do a YOU inventory. Meaning, who are you? What do you want? And what’s next for you? Debra was my first love, but by the time our relationship ended I was wiling to be in love with me. I needed to heal me. I needed to help me. I needed to save myself. And I did. And you can too.

It has been over 10 years since our breakup. I saw her once in person several years ago. Otherwise, it’s been an occasional picture on social media. We talked a few times over the years. It felt somewhat awkward because our lives have gone in completely different directions. She’s still in our hometown and living her life there. I have completed some higher learning goals, and I travel and I’ve lived in a few different places.

I’m very happy in my life. I have genuinely achieved closure in all my past relationships. Not only did I forgive but I also forgot.

I have no regrets. This is my life and there’s no dress rehearsal, it’s the real thing. I believe our past makes us who we are. Every life experience and encounter is three things: (1) A blessing, (2) a lesson, and (3) an opportunity.

I am currently single, but I date and I have a wonderful group of family and friends. I’ve also started to embrace the idea of a poly-amorous relationship because I don’t think you can be everything to one person, but maybe you can be a few good things to a few people. I stay open and receptive to new people coming into my life all the time.

 


 

Vanessa B.Veronica B is an entrepreneur, and a former psychotherapist. She resides in Las Vegas, where she likes to volunteer, hike, travel and write. She is an active member of the Vegas LGBTQ community. She’s currently working on projects involving social psychology, issues of religion, and empowerment for women and girls of color.

Why My Girlfriend And I Broke Up After 17 Years Together

Young black lesbians in love.

Written by Vanessa B.

Debra and I were best friends in high school. We were typical teenagers, hanging out and finding trouble to get into. We were both still into boys at that time. Neither of us had had any experiences with girls beyond playing house or doctor.

Shortly after graduation I attended Debra’s sister’s wedding and over the course of the evening, an attraction to her just came over me. I hadn’t felt anything like that toward her prior to that day. Needless to say, I was scared and confused. Ironically, she was my best friend, so who was I going to talk to about this attraction I was experiencing?

At first, I avoided her for about a week and a half, then invited her over to talk. She confessed that she had felt something the day of the wedding, also. It was all so surreal, and bizarre. I guess my curiosity won out and I kissed her, and she kissed me back. And that was the beginning of a 17-and-a-half year roller coaster of emotions and experiences.

We were together from our late teens until our mid-30s. For the first 11 years of our relationship, we were in the closet.

We loved each other very much. We had many up and downs and joys and pains. We were both free spirits and dreamers. This often meant talking about our hopes and dreams but unfortunately not seeing them to fruition.

 

We Had Different Dreams

We talked about getting married, buying a home, having a child, and traveling but we really never did anything together to make it a reality. Our personalities were such that she liked to put all her eggs in one basket and wasn’t comfortable with change and I was the total opposite. For instance, I was also a free spirit and a dreamer but I had a plan B that included college, travel, etc. She was/is a very sociable person, and a DJ with close family ties. Also, once she finished high school she was done with school forever.

So, unfortunately, we could never get on the same page about building a life together. We both lived, separately with our parents, for the first 10 years of our relationships. I eventually moved out of my Mom’s house and into my own apartment, and she moved into a house that her sister bought.

 

I Betrayed Her

Black woman in army unifform.

Vanessa B in her Army days.

After five years of being together I acted out, and betrayed our relationship by dating guys in order to continue the heterosexual farce. I was confused, and at the time, and I still cared about what my family and society thought. Nonetheless, what I did hurt her but we managed to get through it, or so I thought.

I was the one who left the relationship (at first, and in a way). Let me explain. I joined the Army. At that point, we had been together 15 years. I was at a loss and at a dead end in my love relationship and in my relationship with my family.

On sheer impulse, I walked into the Army recruiter’s office and signed up for a three-year stint. We both agreed that the change was what we needed in order to find ourselves. She was hurt by the drastic change and as a result there was quite a bit of passive-aggression, on her part. The military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell,” nonsense was still intact and she resented that. Also, I was no longer around or I was unable to speak to her every day. So eventually, she broke up with me, via letter, while I was in boot camp.

We somehow managed to get back together, however, I didn’t receive any care packages from her the entire time I was in the army, including the year I spent deployed to Iraq. Also, she sent me a total of about five letters over an almost three-year period. Needless to say our relationship was rocky.

 

Growing Apart

When I returned home I felt that after all that had occurred while I was away, we needed to really sit down and have a deep and meaningful conversation. However, she wasn’t comfortable with talking about what had transpired between us while we were apart.

She wanted to just put it all behind us and move on. The problem was that in those three years, our relationship got tested in the most fundamental of ways. With regards to things like change, communication, trust, responsibility, and maturity, we had moved in different directions and reacted in different ways.

When she suggested that I move into a bedroom (not an apartment) with her, in her sister’s house, and pay rent to her sister, it became clear I had changed but not much else had. We had both grown older but only one of us had grown up. So within a month of me returning from Iraq, we broke up.

Read part 2 to learn how I healed from the break up.


 

Vanessa B.Veronica B. is an entrepreneur, and a former psychotherapist. She resides in Las Vegas, where she likes to volunteer, hike, travel and write. She is an active member of the Vegas LGBTQ community. She’s currently working on projects involving social psychology, issues of religion, and empowerment for women and girls of color.

She’s The One: Here are 9 Adorable Ways to Ask Her to Be Yours

A kiss on the hand is an adorable way to show you care.

Let her know she’s special to you. Photo courtesy of Grlpage.

Written by Giselle Bella

She’s the one. You know it. You want to ask her to be yours on Valentine’s Day but you are not sure how. I will try to help with that. Whether you just met her three weeks ago or have been married for 13 years, you surely will find these ideas helpful.

Wait! Don’t just call and ask her to be your valentine. Valentine’s Day is all about romance so make it cute, make it memorable, make it romantic but do not go overboard. Save that for later.

Send her a lovely text message that is interactive. Ask her if she will be your Valentine by responding with “yes” or “no.” You make it interactive by putting a smiley face next to YES and a frowning face next to NO. Ask her to reply with the face she chooses. You can even do it with photos of yourself. You can even send her a voice-recorded message to ask her or a video message.

If by now you have her e-mail address, e-cards are still something to remember, especially now that hardly anyone uses them outside of memes.

Ask her while you’re at dinner.

Write her a love note, as you would in grade school. Ask her to be your Valentine and to check the box she wants. The best part is you wait until you are within a group of friends and ask your friends to pass down the note to her.

Lunch box treats. So if you are a couple who live together, this may be adorable. Pack her lunch and in her lunch bag or box put a note, card or letter with the question. To make her response more exciting, ask her to provide her response in the lunch she will pack you the next day. Adroit!

Surprise her in bed. Whether you share the same bed or not, you can get away with this. That is, if you have access to her bed. Leave her a message/note under the covers asking her to be your Valentine. You want her to see it as soon as she pulls the covers back. You may leave a note with a flower or one of her favorite treats. OR if you leave before her in the morning, leave her the note on the pillow next to her.

Send her flowers. Send her flowers at her place of work or at home and in the card, ask her to be your Valentine.

Ask your friends to support you. If you are somewhere social with friends, give them each a paper to hand her. Write, “Will You Be My Valentine?” with each word on pieces of paper and give four to your friends. Have everyone give her a piece of paper at different times then you give her the last piece. Melt her heart. You can do the same thing via text. Have four friends text her in order as to ask the question and you send the final message with the question mark!

If you are super romantic and especially if you’ve been together for some time, then take her to a place that is known and sacred to just you two and ask her.

Remember that even if you are already a couple, do things to keep love going, keep what attracted you to each going.

My wish for you is, that you grateful and graciously embrace the Valentine you’ve been given. Whether she is a mother or sister, a friend or lover, may your Valentine love you without conditions and may you reciprocate that.

My love to you,

Giselle Gia

 


Giselle “Gia” Bella is a 30-something woman living in Baltimore. As The Love Goddess for Black Lesbian Love Lab, she happily shares her ideas for finding and keeping your lady love. She wrote the Autumn Falls web series for Topp Bottom and published several books, including Gietic: Erotic Poems/Kinky Love Stories and Gietic II: Love and Loss

20 Winning Relationship Tips Black Lesbian Couples Can Learn From The Super Bowl

Melissa Henry is a football player with the London Warriors AFC.
Melissa Henry is from london and plays American football.

Relationships just like football is a full contact sport, so proper equipment is key. Model: Melissa Henry plays for the London Warriors AFC Women.

Written by Zamara Perri

Every January or February millions of Americans gather around their TVS to watch the Super Bowl. This year is extra special because it’s the golden anniversary of the game. Super Bowl 50 is a big freaking deal. And if you’re a black lesbian who expects your relationship to last past 50 days, 50 weeks or 50 months, here are some great relationship tips to steal from the big game:

  1. Pick the best teammate. If you want to win you can’t just pick some random person because you’re bored or lonely. That’s not how winning the Super Bowl works and that’s not how having a long lasting relationship works. You have to pick someone who can be your MVP, your ride or die, your Cam Newton to your Jonathan Stewart.
  2. Team work makes the dream work. Members of the same football team don’t just wear the same uniforms, they play the part. Their goal is to score the most and crush the defense. In a relationship, if you can’t work together, then you can’t win the game much less make it to the super bowl.
  3. Take a time out. Sometimes a time out is the best way to save your relationship. Instead of having a heated argument or saying something that you’ll regret later, take a break.
  4. Play hard. The same amount of people who say they are interested in being great football players is probably equal to the same amount who say they want to be in great relationships. But honestly, the divorce rate is more than 50 percent and less than a tenth of 1 percent of the American public ever play in the big game. Why is that? You don’t get to be Super Bowl by being average. No body would be interested in watching the mediocre bowl. If you’re not committed to doing the hard work of a relationship, then you should probably just stick to being a spectator.
  5. Respect the sport ahem I mean your relationship. Americans love football almost as much as they love, love. You can’t really tell any real football fan about their team. Treat your relationship the same way you treat your love for your team, with reverence. No one should ever get away with disrespecting your lady when you respect your relationship.
  6. Keep score. If the goal is to win the game (or for the relationship to last), you should be consciously making an effort to put a smile on your lady’s face each day. Every smile you put on her face can add days, weeks, months and eventually years to your relationship.
  7. Know how to intercept trouble, hard times and temptations. A great team works together to deal with stress, financial challenges, flirty women, aggressive studs, unsupportive family, etc.
  8. Everyone needs a great coach (or therapist). The coach is sometimes able to see things from a different perspective, so don’t be afraid to seek counseling!
  9. It’s crucial to have people who are cheering for you whether that be fans or cheerleaders. Nuff said.
  10. Reward each other for doing a good job. The winners of the super bowl may get a nice trophy, money and other prizes and why shouldn’t you? Happy black lesbian relationships should be celebrated too! Surprise each other with little gifts, especially now that we’re in Valentine’s Day season. Give her a foot rub, a card or splurge on a vacation.
  11. Some people may think certain gender roles (or positions) are more important than the others, but guess what, that’s not true! The quarterback can’t win the game by himself, so stop all that noise pitting studs against femmes in the role super bowl! All that most lesbians are looking for is a woman who can hold her down.
  12. Know the playbook. Every relationship has its own playbook and in it are the rules that all the team members agree to play by. Know the rules and don’t act brand new, when your boo calls a particular emergency play.
  13. Celebrate each touch down and dance like crazy in the end zone. That means any milestones like anniversaries should be celebrated in a big way because it is a big deal.
  14. Fumbles will happen, but that doesn’t mean the game is over. Shit happens. That’s life. Sometimes you mess up or she messes up. It doesn’t mean that the relationship is over. No relationship is perfect. The sooner you accept that, the faster your relationship will recover from a setback.
  15. It’s never too later to win. One of the most exhilarating and infuriating thing about football is that you can win and lose by a mere few seconds. If you’re both playing to win, you can always find a way to make that nail-biting touch down or field goal.
  16. Don’t be like a football fan. Even when it is clear that your team sucks and have an racially offensive name (aka the Redskins), sometimes it’s best to just give up. Most teams have back up players for a reason, and a smart coach doesn’t keep a player who is not physically able in the game because that’s torture. Some lesbians don’t always know when to let go of a relationship. I say do it before there are life-impacting injuries.
  17. Know when to hand off the ball, throw it or run with it. Not all relationship issues need to be handled the same way. Studs, sometimes you have hand the ball off to your wife so she can handle business. Over time a great player learns the game well enough to know, which move is likely to result in a win, tie or a loss.
  18. The best defense is a great offense. Great players actually execute plays, they don’t just spend all their time in defense mode. The same thing happens in great relationships, the team members make a plan and execute it. If you want your relationship to be infidelity proof, you don’t spent time fending off advances from other women with a smile and by being friendly, you shore up your relationship and shut the other woman down for her shady behavior.
  19. Proper gear is crucial. Helmets, shoulder pads, ribcage protectors, cleats etc. are crucial. Relationships are no joke. All couples should engage in honest conversations because that builds trust, which is a key equipment for protecting your relationship.
  20. It’s a game, so have fun! Relationships should be fun. It may have a serious element to it, but at the end of the day, relationships are supposed to enhance your life! Remember how you got butterflies in your stomach the first time you discovered football? You can have the same feelings with your partner if you follow these 20 tips.

P.s. I really don’t know anything about football, but had a lot of fun creating this list.

Dear Lesbian Love & Advice: My Partner’s “Wife” Doesn’t Even Want Her

Lesbian catches girlfriend cheating so she grabs a gun.

Is emotional cheating the same as physical cheating? Photo by Q. Oliver.

Dear Lesbian Love and Advice: Can I get some advice? My stud says she loves me, but she says she thinks someone else may be her soul mate. She has referred to this other woman as her “wife.” However, this other woman won’t even talk to her! I feel like she’s only with me for now, but if the other woman were to suddenly show up and declare her love for stud, my stud would leave me in a New York minute. I’m torn, heartbroken and weary of it all.

 

Elysa’s Advice: You have to stop referring to her as “yours.” She is not, nor has she ever been yours. Settling for someone’s leftover emotions is ridiculous. If you knew all of this but decided to stay anyway, it is not “your” stud’s fault that you are torn, heartbroken and weary. Find someone who is really yours.

 

Gibson’s Advice: Hold up! Time out! You’re not looking out for red flags! That’s one right there. You can get over hurt, but you can neva get back wasted time! Go hunny! It’s only February. Why keep going into the new year with something wrong when you can make it right? From the words of the song in Frozen, “Let it go! Let it go!”

 

Raquel’s Advice: Look at your instincts, look at what your body is telling you. You are torn, heartbroken and weary. You KNOW that she is into someone else, so the ball is in your court. What are you going to do about it? Stay and further invest in this relationship, where she might leave? Or put God first and love yourself, and maybe realize that this relationship will never be fully be what you want it to be? Protect your heart. You have a decision to make.

 

Venessa’s Advice: I’m really not sure where the confusion is. If she isn’t joking, why be with someone that doesn’t value you enough? Why would you be with someone that thinks of you that way? Settling for what you can get is a little ridiculous. Why would people rather be in a relationship where they’re second guessing themselves? Learn to love yourself single then you’ll find someone worth your time.


Dear Lesbian Love and Advice  shares the most interesting questions and advice from Facebook.com/LesbianLoveAdvice. The questions and responses have been reprinted with permission.

Masculine NOT Manly, Vol. 2: Truth Be Told Studs Are Not in Competition With Men

When men think they can just put their hands on women's bodies without their permisison.

When men think they can just put their hands on women’s bodies without their permission. SMDH.

Some disrespectful idiot making fun of masculine women.

Some disrespectful idiot making fun of masculine women.

Some insecure idiot’s handiwork. SMDH.

Written by Bre Ukweli

To feel incompetent in your skin is a hell of a thing. I wonder if men are really intimidated by studs on a daily basis. I wonder if they cup their balls in the palm of their hands at the sound of my name because they really do feel that we are in competition with each other.

Why do these men puff their chests out like proud pigeons when they see us studs with our arms around a beautiful woman? When they approach our partners on the street, do they realize that a stud can and in fact does “love her like he can,” and for longer too, if you want to get into the facts.

 

She’s Not Focused on My Fake Dick

The way they blatantly disrespect masculine presenting women, constantly and consistently, is insane. They tend to bring us up in conversation as if they think about us over blunts, hen and coke cups and “ho talk.” I know men who say things like “if she want dick, why get a fake one?” Instead of realizing it’s not the dick she’s focused on.

I have a dick too and his name is King and together King and I boast seven orgasms in a two-hour session so bro, tell me again what makes you special? Cause King is store bought and came in a pretty clear jar? Oh sir … that’s fine, but the great thing about King is that there can always be predecessors to the throne. The fact is that I can and will be in control of the tools that I have available when I’m in the bedroom. There can be a short and fat Squire inside your girl Wednesday and a long, thick, Duke Of Pussy in your girl Friday but she will be only texting one lesbian, so don’t get comfortable.

Listen here, I am. Not in the. Mood. To go back and forth with you about my love for women and their love for me. Yes, I can love a woman like you can. No, you cannot watch. Yes, I can out fuck you. And yes, I could’ve gotten eight. Fuck you mean? You don’t know me.

 

Masculinity is So Fragile

Is real dick the only asset that you bring to the table? Like, that’s it? You can make a family and I can create one, but is your family that much greater than mine? Your son looks like your wife and your daughter looks like you. My son may look like me and my daughter might look like my wife, so where is the disparity?

Masculinity is so fragile that when “borrowed” (because apparently women just can’t be masculine) by women who love women, men begin to forget that there are codes to this. I’m not talking guy code or girl code; I’m talking about mutual RESPECT.

I pay my bills and take the trash out in my house just like you do. Don’t forget that in the world, there are not just alpha males but alpha females, alpha genderfluid people and alpha non-binary people, too.

I don’t hate men. I don’t know any lesbians that do, honestly, but you all sure as hell make it hard not to dislike you.


Bre  is a 24-year-old gender-fluid person living in South Florida. She is a shade connoisseur hopelessly chasing skylines, sunsets and social justice.

This Love Is Revolutionary: Reflecting on the Power of Black Queer Love

Janaya Khan and Patrisse Cullors

Black queer love is militant. Models: Activist Janaya Khan and her partner, Patrisse Cullors.

Written by Ashleigh Shackelford

Today, and everyday, I am thinking about what it means to engage in transformative, Black queer love.

Engaging in black queer love means not only surviving your own trauma, but holding the paralleled trauma of your partner and navigating the ways in which that trauma collides. In existing, navigating, and surviving as queer Black folks within a white supremacist patriarchy, it feels impossible to heal our own selves, yet alone offer healing to each other. In seeing each other, holding each other, and loving each other, we must engage in community practice and dialogue around what transformative love looks like beyond survival.

Revolutionary Black love is often praised within our organizing and activist spaces, yet rarely engaged in practice enough to garner understanding of how our mental health, political growth, and prospering are cultivated within our intimate partnerships.

Thriving often feels very distant from what we are readily able to gain access to. We find love in the small spaces we’ve carved and curated for ourselves, yet that love seems like the bare minimum at times. Queer Black love (whether it be platonic, romantic, intimate, etc.) is inherently a survival resource, but many of us are waiting for what’s next. Survival can often look like barely making it day to day, expecting the least amount of violence to be inflicted upon us, and engaging in intimacy with our partner in between said violence. We are often holding on to survival by a thread, and left wanting more.

I wait for the day my partner and I can find well-paying organizing jobs, less debt, stable housing, stable transportation, and less structural violence. I get through my days with my partner by hoping for the day we can thrive together rather than “just making it.” It feels like I’m suffocating all the time, so I dream about what it would feel like to breathe tomorrow.

What does revolutionary love look like when you’re both struggling to survive, struggling to heal, and struggling to live? What happens when looking at your partner is like looking in the mirror? To be with someone who hurts and carries trauma like you, and hides pain under smiles like you is the most powerful and heartbreaking thing in the world. Understanding that white supremacy has harmed us to the point that engaging with a partner’s paralleled pain feels more challenging than lying in bed with your oppressor, drains you of buoyancy. How can we stay afloat when unearthing our pain in partnership feels like drowning?

To embark upon this love is always more than just surviving. In wanting and needing transformative, revolutionary Black love, I want and need to thrive in real time. Thriving can seem like we’re asking for too much when finding someone who echoes your suffering also seems impossible. But in realizing this, I’ve challenged myself to think beyond ideas of impossibility that white supremacist capitalism has limited us to. We were never meant to survive. So being here, right now, is revolutionary. Finding someone to love who is struggling the same way you’re struggling is revolutionary. And this revolutionary act of loving is not just survival. It’s thriving, and that’s powerful.

How We Create Transformative Love

Pushing yourself and someone you love to grow and transform means you’re both shaping new worlds of emotional and mental justice. We are creators of the most important thing for human sustainability: transformative, accountable love. We hold each other responsible for the pain we inflict and the pain we project. We hold each other close despite the violent barriers in the way of our love, affection, and intimacy. We transform our understanding, our desires, and our abilities to show up for each other just by communicating what we’ve been taught to keep hidden. We engage, we analyze, we unlearn, we digest, we grow. We continue to evolve together, individually and collectively. Thriving sometimes feels far away because our proximity to liberation shifts every time our pain suffocates us. But even at our worst mental health state or most emotionally charged argument, we have access to some form of thriving.

Today, I laughed with my partner after a week of drifting apart towards our own individual trauma. Our laughter is thriving. It’s not enough to solely sustain health of our relationship, but those moments matter for our own survival and for the survival of our love. As hard as it is, we must challenge ourselves to value the thriving we have access to. It will vary and fluctuate. It can be limited. It may be sparingly or seldom. But those moments and tools exist somewhere. Sometimes thriving like spending your last $5 on convenience store snacks. Sometimes thriving exists in taking naps together, even if it’s only for 30 minutes in between your 9-to-5 jobs and an organizing meetings. Other times, our thriving looks like staying in our safe spaces where there’s no one to violate us. In these spaces, we can cherish each other, our time together, and our moments of flourish.

This Love Work Is Hard

In the words of Shan Davis, “This love work is hard.” It is a commitment to show up for each other. Sometimes we aren’t able to show up all the time. Sometimes we can only show up for our partners and not ourselves. Sometimes we can only be okay for our partner and ourselves when we take space from each other. It is a process of continuous transformative growth that sustains our ability to challenge systems of oppression and violence around us through the very strenuous, challenging act of revolutionary love.

It is through this act of transformative and revolutionary love, that we can unite together fully in our Blackness and queerness, and thrive.


 

Ashleigh Shackelford is a radical queer Black fat femme based in Richmond, VA. Ashleigh is a cultural producer, body positivity advocate, pop culture enthusiast, and a run-on sentence repeat offender. They are a community organizer at Black Action Now and the director of Free Figure Revolution. Find more posts at: BlackFatFemme.com. This article was also published on ForHarriet.com.