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.”

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.

Three Things I Learned From Kidnapping my Partner for Christmas

lesbian rainbow ornament
Photos from a black lesbian couple's christmas at the beach

My honey and I are not the traditional type and neither was our Christmas vacation.

Written by Zamara Perri

My honey and I knew it was not going to be a great Christmas. It was around 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve and my partner had been watching a movie downstairs while I was upstairs unable to sleep. I got up, threw on some tights, a tank top and a sweater then asked her to go for a ride with me.

I didn’t tell her what I had planned, but I made sure that we stopped by the gas station to fill up. Then we got on the highway. I asked her if she wanted to drive to New York, Washington, D.C., or to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. We finally decided to head toward the Eastern Shore as it was closer to our home in Baltimore. That began our very unorthodox Christmas.

Despite all the cheer and family fun they show on TV, Christmas can be a time of anxiety and stress for millions of people and it is no different for some of my fellow black lesbians. Last year, my honey spent Christmas with my family. They were not the most welcoming so she felt uncomfortable. This year we talked about inviting my mom and the rest of the family over for dinner, but they backed out. We were not big on going all out for the holidays and decided to spend a quiet holiday at home.

We ended up getting into a fight and so we weren’t feeling particularly jolly. I knew we needed a change of scenery. As we drove, she fell asleep. When she woke up it was midnight and I said, “Surprise! We are getting a hotel for the night.” At first she seemed confused, but is the adventurous type and decided to go with the flow.

We checked into a small hotel facing the water. Luckily because the hotel was pretty empty for the night, we were able get to a king-sized bedroom with a huge Jacuzzi tub and views of the water. We fell into a big, beautiful, super comfortable bed and slept peacefully. My partner, who normally has trouble sleeping, stayed asleep until around 9.

On Christmas morning, I went downstairs to the complementary breakfast buffet and brought us back toast, bagels, eggs, fruit, juice and coffee. Breakfast in bed was heavenly! Later on we got into the Jacuzzi together, which was amazing! We literally just relaxed all day. We only left the hotel to forage for Christmas dinner. She had Chinese and I had Indian food and we shared a bottle of wine.

My partner accused me of kidnapping her, but in the end agreed that our little getaway made for a great Christmas. During those two days, I learned the following invaluable lessons:

 

  1. A happy Christmas does not have to involve a lot of chaos and biological family. In her case, her biological family lives far away from her. In my case, my conservative family is still adjusting to the knowledge that I’m a lesbian. Forcing ourselves to participate in a traditional family Christmas setting would not have been fun for either of us. We had so much more fun hanging out in a hotel suite on Christmas in a near empty hotel.
  2. Unplugging is a great way to recharge your relationship. My partner, who loves Facebook and takes a lot of business calls from morning until night, left her phone at home. I stayed off Facebook, didn’t return any phone calls and only a few text messages. Because of that, we were able to talk to each other, uninterrupted, about some really important issues that we hadn’t taken time to address.
  3. Vacations can help keep relationships healthy. To be quite honest, my honey and I talk about having date days, but often other things get in the way. Being alone gave us time to open up and hear each other. Getting out of our home, away our friends, family and other distractions showed us just how important it is for us to relax and have fun with each other. She loved being surprised! We are already planning to go away for next Christmas and are going to make sure we enjoy a couples-only, getaway weekend every quarter.

 

Instead of getting lost in the hustle and bustle of doing Christmas the way everyone else expected us to, our non-traditional Christmas reminded me of why I love this woman and definitely drew us closer.

We’d love to know how you spent your Christmas. Tell us in the comments below!

11 Reasons Black Lesbians Can’t Find a Good Woman

Written by Zamara Perri

Your actions are most likely telling women to stay away.

Your actions are most likely telling women to stay away. Photo by Monica Moraru

  1. You don’t take care of yourself. The way you present yourself to the world is important. You often won’t have a second chance to make a first impression. You may think of it as being superficial, but it’s truly not. It’s a signal of how much you value yourself. If you take care of yourself emotionally, physically and mentally it often shows on the outside.
  2. You have an attitude. No matter how cute you are or how much professional success you have, nobody wants to put up with a woman who has a nasty attitude. Swag is cute and all, but if you don’t treat women with RESPECT, then don’t be surprised that you’re alone.
  3. You don’t see her because she doesn’t look how you want her to. Attraction is definitely important in romantic relationships, but sometimes you automatically dismiss potential mates without even realizing it. You’re busy judging her because she has a kid, dated men in the past or is doing a job that doesn’t make enough money for you. Or maybe she’s older or looks like a stud and you’re only interested in femmes.
  4. You’re looking in the wrong place. If you’re in a small town, your soul mate is most likely not next door. So open your mind to traveling for love. Try online dating and be open to a long distance relationship.
  5. You’re not looking at all. You expect her to magically show up on your doorstep without doing any work. And I’m talking to you femmes who are always waiting for a stud to approach you. Smile, flirt or buy her a drink.
  6. You complain about being single too much. Our thoughts create our reality. Once you say you can’t find a good woman, you’re letting the universe know that you don’t want a good woman. Talk about what you want, not what you don’t have.
  7. You’re not ready for true commitment. You’re petty af, not ready to compromise and have a rigid views of relationships and gender roles.
  8. You’ve got baggage and you think someone else will distract you from solving your own issues or will magically fix all your problems. A grown woman doesn’t find that cute in the least.
  9. You’re not done learning how to be in relationship or be alone. I never think of any relationship as a waste but as a lesson. I learned important lessons in bad relationships and while single so I could be my best self in my best relationship. Relationships mirror of what is happening inside you. They aren’t about the other person they are about you.
  10. You have no life and interests of your own. People find passion and goals attractive. Women who have nothing that excites them are boring.
  11. You don’t know what you truly want. You say you want a committed relationship but keep entertaining women who don’t want the same thing. When your words, body and spirit are aligned, you’ll accept no less than what you deserve. And a real woman who is on your level will find you irresistible.

I Finally Came out at Work

Written by Zamara Perri

Black feminine women are often assumed to be straight and that can make coming out at work especially difficult. Photo via Madame Noire

Black feminine women are often assumed to be straight and that can make coming out at work especially difficult. Photo via Madame Noire

I started a new job last week and for the first time in my working life I did something I never did before. I came out. It turned out not to be a big deal.

 

For the first time ever, I didn’t feel the need to: pretend I’m single, convert pronouns from “she” to “he” to “they” or pretend that I have absolutely no social life outside the office. For the first time ever, I felt comfortable just slipping my real personal life into regular conversations. After 15 years as a black queer working professional, I felt absolutely comfortable just being myself.

 

How did I get here? From as far back as I can remember, I have enjoyed kissing girls. I remember playing house with other little girls. I remember having crushes throughout high school. I even remember having opportunities to be with women in college, but I was too scared to act. And besides, my best friend at the time made fun of a girl who liked me. I was too scared to admit that I liked her back.

 

I remember my first real job in a newsroom and how the women talked openly about their husbands and children. I didn’t want to be the odd one out. And at that point I was still dating men. I remember dating this one particular boy and how much pressure I felt from the church, my family and friends to just settle down and marry him. I’m so glad that even though I didn’t have the courage to come out then, that I had the courage to leave him behind.

 

I then took a step that pushed me even deeper into the closet. I started working for a conservative religious organization, which was legally exempt from federal anti-discrimination laws. This meant that if I didn’t follow their strict code of conduct, which included not being gay, I could be fired.

 

As gay marriage was starting to sweep the nation, homosexuality became a more frequent topic of conversation in my office. I had colleagues, friends and family who, thinking that I was straight, openly told me how they really felt about gay people and homosexual relationships because, you know, the Bible said it was a sin.

I felt targeted, judged, harassed and regularly shamed.

I spent 10 years being terrified of losing my very good job, losing my friends and family and losing the professional prestige I had earned from pretending to be someone I wasn’t.

 

I remember buying a home and settling down with the woman I thought was the love of my life. No one at work knew about this important development in my life. I couldn’t bring her to company gatherings. I couldn’t mention some of the challenges we were having. I remember the day we broke up, I called my boss crying and asking her for a day off. My boss fancied herself my friend so of course she wanted to know why I was so heartbroken, but she had already made it clear how she felt about homosexual relationships. Even though her views on gay marriage were evolving, I knew I could never tell her why I was in such pain.

Last year in 2014, I was being groomed to take on a more senior leadership role in the organization. I couldn’t take it anymore. I gave my boss one month’s notice and quit. As someone who grew up in poverty and really had no one else to lean on, this was a terrifying move. I rented out my condo. Moved into a cheap, crappy apartment, started freelancing, applied for other jobs and used the library’s WiFi.

Nine months later, I got an offer to work at an HBCU. Although it was a state university, which means they could not legally discriminate against me based on my sexual orientation, I still did not feel comfortable coming out there. There was prayer and other religious mentions during large gatherings. I felt like I hadn’t gotten far enough away from the conservative religious workplace I left behind. I did come out to one co-worker, but that was only after we spent months getting to know each other and going to the gym together.

My new, corporate gig has explicit, written protections against discriminating against someone due to their sexual orientation. When I started work at this place, I made up my mind that I would no longer hide who I am.

I’m a big believer in keeping my personal life separate from the professional. However, pretty much everyone on my team is married or engaged so when they mentioned their families, I felt no qualms mentioning my partner. And in response, my colleagues showed interest in me as a whole person. No one seemed surprised or acted strange when I mentioned my partner. Everyone was so kind and welcoming. I felt like a whole human and like I can now relax and focus on doing what I was hired to do.

I know not everyone is as fortunate as I am to have these protections. Even though gay marriage is legal in all 50 states, there are literally 28 states where gay people can lose their jobs because of who they love. And that is not okay.

There are also hundreds of thousands of organizations that are losing the benefit of having a brilliant, vibrant, diverse, happy, engaged work force because of bigoted and short-sighted leaders who have not made it clear that discrimination of any kind is never okay. That’s too damn bad because no one should have to choose between taking care of their families and living a lie.

 

Read more about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act here.

Loving a Black Lesbian Breast Cancer Survivor

My love and I wait at the hospital for her monthly injections.

Me and my love wait at the hospital for her monthly injections.

Written by Zamari Perri

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. This means that people are asking me to donate to some breast cancer race, buy some pink ribbon products or asking me to go bra-free to raise awareness for breast cancer.

These pink October activities really piss me off because these things do so little to actually help the millions of women and their families dealing with breast cancer. They also doesn’t reflect the day-to-day reality of the women who have been through this horrible disease much less what it is like to love a survivor.

I met my partner after she completed 18 months of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Even though she completed her major cancer treatments in 2013 and is in remission, the disease still impacts our lives every day.

In an effort to begin her healing process, she started taking yoga lessons and is now a fit yoga teacher and overall positive person. Because of this, people don’t realize that she still has limitations and concerns caused by cancer. Every day she takes medications to keep the cancer away, and every month she goes to the hospital for painful injections. She will be going to the hospital every month for the next two years.

As her partner, I see her struggle every single day. I see how the treatments cause her constant pain. I see that she can’t sleep. On top of that, my partner, a black lesbian butch/stud identified woman, endured a harrowing, double mastectomy and is now sensitive about her body where she previously wasn’t.

In the year that we’ve been together, I’ve learned many lessons about loving and supporting a breast cancer survivor. Here are just a few:

  1. After being out of work for two years, her finances have been devastated. My partner went from running her own successful business to now trying to rebuild what has been lost to cancer. That means she’s a lot more cautious about how she spends her money. She’s the type of woman who would rather spend money on skydiving or travel, than on things. I’ve learned to really appreciate the simple things and enjoy the care she puts into her gifts.
  2. She is still a woman in every way. While she may still be self-conscious about the scars left behind post surgery, she still wants to be desired. Still wants passionate love making. She still wants her femininity acknowledged.
  3. Team work makes the dream work. She’s a stud and I’m a femme, but in the end, we don’t focus on roles. We focus on having each other’s backs and supporting each other through this journey called life.
  4. Compassion, not punishment. When someone has been through fire, their time and attention is precious. Instead of giving her the silent treatment as “punishment,” my partner has taught me the value of compassion and communication. She has taught me that going through breast cancer is punishment enough and she doesn’t need it in her most intimate relationships. Instead, we try to remember how fortunate we are to have each other and regularly crack each other up.
  5. Every couple needs a tribe. I really have to recognize the women who carried my love through her worst days when she was bald, throwing up, weighed 98 pounds, scared and fighting for her life. Without them, I would have never known this incredible woman. These women continue to support her and support us every day.

In 2013 alone some 27,060 African American women developed breast cancer while 6,080 died from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. This means that someone you know may be going through treatments now, have survived the disease or have died from breast cancer. Please do more than wave a pink ribbon. Reach out to someone who is fighting cancer. Buy them groceries, do their laundry, be a listening ear or make a donation to an organization that directly supports patients and survivors.

Consider donating to the Cancer Support Foundation, a Maryland-based non-profit that gives 100 percent of all donations to cancer patients. They were super supportive in helping my partner get back on her feet.

Real Talk: Your Girl is Probably Lying to You

A relationship without honesty won't last long.

A relationship without honesty won’t last long.

Written by Zamara Perri

I’ve lied to my partner before. And so have most people, which means your girl is probably lying to you. Why do we lie to others? Because we lie to ourselves. Unfortunately we lie because we think that lying will get us what we want. One of the biggest fantasies for sale is that of “happily ever after.” I would venture to say that 99.5 percent of us believe that the only socially acceptable way to be happy is to be in a romantic relationship of sorts.

And so we’ll do anything to keep that relationship even if that means telling an occasional lie. But how great is a relationship built on lies? Don’t go running to your girl accusing her of lying to you, look in the mirror and ask yourself this question: Why am I lying to my woman?

First, lying is so automatic that we don’t even think about it. So, let’s think about it. When was the last time your honey asked you what was wrong and you said, “Nothing.” Did she believe you? If she was paying attention, of course not. Your body language most likely betrayed you. The look on your face, your tone of voice, even the way you held your head down told her that you’re not fine!

Second, we lie to be polite. We think we are saving our partners from hurt by not always telling them the truth. But honestly, you only end up causing pain in the long run.

Third, we often believe that our relationships can’t survive the truth. That may actually be true. But if the truth will destroy your relationship, then maybe we need to ask the question why.

 

The truth is, big girls don’t lie. If you want to have a strong, healthy relationship, you cannot keep lying to your girl. Lies have a way of coming out eventually and lies are deadly to your relationship.

 

How to Start Being Honest With Your Partner

If lying is your automatic mode of communication with your partner, I recommend trying a 30-day truth pact with your partner. No matter what she asks you, tell her the truth. It’s a dangerous test and not every relationship could survive something like this. The truth pact does not mean that you have to tell your partner everything, some things are private and really is none of her business. And if that’s the case, you can honestly say, “Honey, that information is private.”

Before you even attempt a 30-day truth promise with someone else, why not try it with yourself? The main people we lie to every day are ourselves.

Be brutally honest with yourself about who you are, what you want as well as what and WHO is most important to your happiness.

I remember when I finally got real with myself about the loss of an important relationship. I knew she wasn’t the one but still I thought I failed by not trying hard enough. Then after doing some personal work, I forced myself to really evaluate my motives for wanting that relationship back.

The truth was uncomfortable and devastating: I wanted that crappy relationship back even though we made each other miserable because I was lonely. I wanted her attention and being in a relationship made me feel more valuable because it was proof that SOMEBODY “loved” me.

Lies Destroy Lives

What’s the point of all this? We often use our mouths to tell others we want certain things and that is often not true! We lie our way into relationships we do not want not realizing that our bodies align with our hearts not with our lips.

There is a saying that I love: the heart wants what the heart wants. It basically means that we will eventually do whatever it takes to get what we want no matter how much it damages the lives of others.

This has been proven to be true over and over again in all sorts of relationships. The closeted gay man who has been miserably married for 40 years will eventually wake up, stop being afraid of what his community, society and children think, and go after the life he really wants. The couple that should have married each other instead of marrying others for security and societal approval will eventually cheat and lie so they can be with each other.

I decided to write this article because I have wasted people’s time and trampled their hearts because I thought I wanted to be in relationship with them. What I should have done was be honest about my changing feelings.

So, practice being honest with your partner and she will be honest with you. If your partner tells you that she loves you, first find out what her definition of love is and how she shows it. If she says, love looks like kindness, forgiveness, faithfulness, then why do her actions say something completely different?

You can do the same thing by making sure YOUR ACTIONS line up with YOUR WORDS.  If you don’t love her, just set her free. Not for her sake. But for your own, you’ll never be happy and you’ll only end up leaving her down the road.

Love & Food: The Way to a Woman’s Heart

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Written by Zamara Perri

 

Last fall I met the woman who would eventually become my sweetheart and partner. From the very beginning, she made it clear that food was one of her top three pleasures in life. It turns out that enjoying a good home-cooked meal is one of the passions we share and so it is not surprising that food has been central to our relationship. In fact, knowing how to cook played a big part in me stealing her heart.

 

Food was the whole reason we even met! We met September 19, 2014 at a friend’s housewarming party. I had no interest in going to this party, because I already made plans to go to Wholefoods, cook and watch a movie. However, at the last minute my friend convinced me to drive all the way to Baltimore on a Friday night.

 

How did she convince a homebody like myself to leave the house? My friend, who is a phenomenal cook, promised me a homemade vegetarian meal. I’m picky about who I eat from, but my friend is a great cook.

 

I didn’t even try to look cute. I showed up at the party wearing a little gray dress and flip flops. It was a little like something out of a movie. I saw this woman across the room who I thought was a cutie pie. She had come straight from the gym and was wearing a white T-shirt and black sweatpants. (I later found out that she really didn’t cook much and came for the free food.)

 

She claims she asked me to dance.  I don’t remember that. We exchanged numbers through our mutual friend and 11 days later went on our first date to a vegan restaurant. She ordered the Pad Thai and I ordered ravioli. We talked for about three hours at the restaurant.

The second date was a Scandal watch party at the same friend’s house. Again there was food. Our next few dates were in the café section of a Wegman’s grocery store.

 

Even though she really doesn’t cook well (and I’m not exaggerating she almost burned the house down TWICE trying to boil an egg), she cooked for me on one of our first dates at her house. She was so cute dancing around the kitchen preparing a stir fry with every vegetable known to man.

 

I am one of those people who had an extensive Pinterest page filled with recipes that I knew I was never going to cook. But when my honey came around, I was inspired to start actually try those recipes. I kind of had to. When we first started dating, she ate rice, chicken and vegetables every day because that was all she knew how to cook. I felt a little sorry for her and at the same time wanted to liven up her food repertoire.

 

Because it was getting cold outside and we were both homebodies, we cooked a lot, cuddled a lot and talked a lot. It didn’t seem to matter what I cooked; she would clean the plate, then look at me and joke, “That was soo disgusting!” And we’d both laugh. We even had a deal, I cooked and she washed the dishes.

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Food is Love

Our mutual friend was surprised to find out how much cooking I was doing. When I asked myself why I was doing this, I realized that I cooked for her because it felt good knowing she was so appreciative of my efforts.

 

In our deeper conversations, we’ve also admitted that the nurturing aspect is one of the most attractive things about having a partner who cooks. Both of us grew up in unstable homes, so cooking for her brought out my nurturing side and made her feel loved.

 

In the space of one year, we met, fell in love, moved in together and are building a life together. At the heart of all that bonding and planning, are omelets, grilled cheese sandwiches, waffles, salads, fish tacos, nachos, stuffed chicken breasts, pastas, lasagnas, hotdogs, chilies, home made pizzas, black bean soups and numerous other delicious meals. Just the other night we enjoyed roasted corn chowder and pepper soup, a kale salad with avocado dressing and a Gouda and raspberry jam Panini! It was so good!

 

And over the past year, my honey has learned to “cook” a bit more. She makes the best green smoothies and pretty good oatmeal. I still prepare 95 percent of our meals.

 

The old saying is really true: The way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach!

We are starting a new section of the website focused on sharing black lesbian stories of food and love. Please email us a photo of you and your partner/wife/date/cuddle buddy/crush and photos of your favorite meals! Share the recipe and tell us why this is your favorite meal. Singles can get in on the action too! Show us your go-to “lock her down” recipes 🙂

 

#‎TheWayToAWomansHeartIsThruHerStomach ‪#‎lesbiansInTheKitchen ‪#‎SheCooks4Her ‪#‎LesbianFoodie ‪#‎FallMeals ‪#‎ComfortFoods ‪#‎CuffinSeasonRecipe

I Don’t Like Straps: How I Cleared Up My Lesbian Sex Taboos

Written by Zamara Perri

Great sex is about much more than just opening your legs. It's about opening your mind. Photo: queenlioness.tumblr.com

Great sex is about much more than just opening your legs. It’s about opening your mind. Photo: queenlioness.tumblr.com

 

What is lesbian sex? My definition: Any physical activity between two or more women that results in pleasure and/or an orgasm. But I didn’t always think that way. For the longest time, I had very rigid ideas about what sex between women should look like.

So of course I almost lost my mind when one of my lesbian friends posted the following on Facebook: “Not every lesbian wants to rub pussies. Ewww.”

I thought about writing a very long post on her wall. But I decided to give some thought to why this annoyed me so much.

 

I realized I was annoyed because she took something that brings some lesbian couples pleasure and made it something nasty. That bothers me because there are many lesbians not having great sex because their partners or church or society or porn has dictated to them that pleasure has to look a certain way.

 

Guess what, whatever you and your woman do in the privacy of your own home for pleasure is really your fucking business. And whatever I do in my own home with my partner for pleasure is my fucking business.

 

However, I believe many black lesbians tend to be close-minded about sex just like we tend to be close-minded about gender roles. We all have sex acts that we have tried in the past and know from experience that we don’t really enjoy them. Others of us have never tried and would prefer to pass judgment.

 

I used to be one of those judgmental women. I’ve been lucky to have partners who were patient about my breaking my taboos. I also learned that there were things that I enjoyed doing with one partner and some things I didn’t enjoy with a different partner.

 

Here is how I dealt with three of my biggest taboos surrounding lesbian sex:

 

For the longest time, I really didn’t enjoy strap-ons while pretty much all of my girlfriends were geeked over the idea. For someone who was damn near a gold star, it was painful to say the least and since I don’t come from penetration, I thought it was pointless. Then I started dating a particular woman who had a collection of dildos. She was kind and gentle and encouraged me to try different sizes. That’s when I discovered that a smaller dildo worked best for me. I even started enjoying it especially when I discovered the joy of being on top. The funny thing about her though was that she did not want to be penetrated. Not even with a finger. She had spent so many years giving and didn’t know how to receive.

 

I also was not really into giving oral sex for the longest time. As a femme who dated more aggressive women, I got away with not giving for a long time. My aggressive femmes didn’t mind doing all the giving and I was safe. Then I started dating a stud who was very in touch with her feminine side and wanted reciprocation. I knew that I couldn’t continue being selfish. So I learned to please her in exactly the way she wanted me to and I ended up loving it. Frankly it came down to trust for me and once we established a trusting relationship, I truly enjoyed going down on her.

 

Then there was scissoring/grinding/tribbing. I actually enjoy scissoring and have ever since I was a kid. But I was so ashamed about doing this for the longest time that I rarely indulged with my girlfriends especially the ones who were focused on strapping. By the time I hit my 30s I started becoming more comfortable asking for what I wanted sexually and showing her how I liked it. Being vocal about my sexual needs made me feel so empowered and sexy. That also translated into a better sex life.

 

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from my girlfriends. They helped open me up mentally, physically and emotionally to understanding that the ideas I had about lesbian sex didn’t apply to every relationship. They helped break me out of my box. They showed me how to be comfortable with myself, ask for what I wanted, learn what gives ME pleasure, and how to be an equally giving partner.

Dear Channing, You Deserve Better: How to End the Cycle of Bad Relationships

Toni Fields, plays the character of Channing in the Youtube series, studville.

Toni Fields, plays the character of Channing in the Youtube series, studville.

Written by Zamara Perri

I was one of the thousands of women who eagerly awaited the return of Studville, the Atlanta-based Youtube drama/comedy that follows the lives of four black lesbians and their partners. However, I was pretty disappointed to see that Channing, one of my favorite characters, had already fallen into another crazy relationship and we were only on episode three.

SPOILER ALERT: Let’s review Channing’s dating history. In season 1, she took care of a crazy woman and her children who threw gasoline on her, refused to work or clean, then proceeded to force Channing from her own home. In season 2, Channing dated a needy, whiny white girl who ended up cheating on her by sleeping with and getting pregnant by some dude. This season, Channing has been arrested because the woman she is dating hid her cocaine stash in Channing’s car.

I started thinking that maybe the show was portraying only dysfunctional black lesbian relationships to get more viewers. (And Channing’s storyline is not the only one that I’m giving the side eye to). However, the more time I spend in our communities, the more I realize that the show is based in reality. It seems like attractive, healthy, sweet, caring, professionally employed, god-fearing black lesbians like Channing are ONLY capable of attracting crazy, violent, drug abusing women.

Like Channing, some of us consistently leave one bad relationship only to end up in another. My message is for all the Channings out there: You can put a stop to bad relationships before they even get started.

The first thing you must understand is that, no one is truly immune from bad romantic relationships. We’ve all been there and done that.

Some of us don’t know when to walk away from these bad relationships because we don’t recognize what they are until we’ve already fallen head over heels in love.

Bad relationships don’t always include the most obvious bad behaviors like lying, cheating and beating. Sometimes the signs are a little bit more subtle, but they are there if we pay close attention.

Below are several steps for breaking the cycle of a bad relationship:

Know what you want from that special someone. This means you must dive beneath the surface. It’s good to know that you like a woman who looks a certain way or makes a certain amount of money. But go deeper. How do you want her to make you feel? How do you want her to treat you?

Make a list of your deal-breakers. What are the things that you will not put up with in a partner no matter how cute she is? The list should include: bad communication skills, emotional unavailability and dismissiveness. If you raise a valid concern, instead of copping to her own bad behavior, a dismissive women will tell you that you’re crazy or being silly.