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.



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.

Big Love: Teves & Vonetta Are Moms to Seven Children

Vonetta Lee and Teves Mobley-Lee are parents to seven children, five of whom are adopted.

Vonetta Lee and Teves Mobley-Lee are parents to seven children, five of whom are adopted.

Reprinted from the Huffington Post/RaiseAChild.Us

Teves Lee and Vonetta Mobley-Lee are two hard-working, black lesbian moms from Long Beach, California who adopted five of their seven children through the foster care system and say that they could not be more blessed.

Teves, 41, is a fifth-generation barber and the owner of Afros of Hollywood Barber and Beauty Salon. Vonetta, 38, worked as a bus operator for 15 years prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom. They met 21 years ago through a mutual friend when Teves’ biological daughter, Kyrstena, was one year old and became a couple 14 years ago. Together they founded and run a nonprofit called Haven of Hope Foundation in Long Beach that houses homeless individuals, including single mothers and fathers, homeless teens and former foster youth.

While her children are in school, Vonetta tends to the nonprofit by conducting intakes of new residents, meeting with case managers and so forth. In the evenings, Teves often teaches at Marinello’s School of Beauty in Boyle Heights, so Vonetta teams up with the oldest daughter, Kyrstena, who is 22, to help the younger kids with their homework. The children attend church every Saturday and enjoy family outings on most Sundays.

The youngest members of the Mobley-Lee clan are all dressed up in their church best.

The youngest members of the Mobley-Lee clan are all dressed up in their church best.

The couple originally focused on fostering, but when reunification of the foster children with their biological family fell through, Teves and Vonetta decided to adopt them. Ultimately, Vonetta adopted TeVon, Teves’ second biological child, who is now 10 years old, and together the couple adopted five foster children. Only a few children who came to their home did not end up staying.

The family lives in a 7,000 square-foot house with seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms and a good-sized yard sheltered by high brick walls. They have three dogs, Mister, Dosha and Seven, who was a gift to Vonetta on the couple’s seventh anniversary. The menagerie also includes six new puppies that TeVon and Kyrstena delivered, an African Grey parrot named Huckleberry and a couple of little fish.

If the large two-mom family seems unusual to anyone, they keep it to themselves.

Teves herself grew up in All Saints Church of God and Christ, formerly Jesus Memorial Church of God in Christ where her uncle is the pastor, and for her there is no compromising when it comes to its role in her life.

“They weren’t that happy with the dynamics of my family,” said Teves of the church, “but that’s what my family is so they really have no choice but to accept it … But if you don’t give people the room to have a problem with it, then how can they?”

What Teves would most like to share with prospective foster-adoptive parents is encouragement for individuals who may be nontraditional or non-gender conforming, or who may have small criminal matters in their past.

Teves and Vonetta became a couple 14 years ago.

Teves and Vonetta became a couple 14 years ago.

“Gay couples, especially ‘aggressive’ females, may feel society sees them as unfit to be a parent and I didn’t come across any of that kind of stereotyping whatsoever,” said Teves, who had initially feared her tattoos and masculine personality might cause the foster agency to reject her. “Not to say that it’s not out there or that it wouldn’t happen, but I personally didn’t experience any of that. I would also want to tell people that if you’ve had a legal history of some sort or hiccup in the past, it might not automatically disqualify you so do your research.

Having a lot of children was not part of Vonetta’s plan but she fell in love with them, and now she wouldn’t have it any other way.