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.

Lisa & Roshanda: She Walked Into the Bus Station and Stole My Heart

black lesbian brides embrace in a gazebo
black lesbian couples at restaurant laughing happily

Lisa and Roshanda lean in for a photo at a restaurant.

Written by Lisa Lockhart

I met my wife, Roshanda, on a dating site. I was in Jacksonville, Florida, and she was in Tampa, Florida. As we were talking on the phone, I found myself really liking this woman who I had never met. So, I decided it was time we meet.

I went to Tampa by Greyhound and I must admit, I was a little nervous. As the Greyhound bus was pulling into Tampa, I had all these butterflies in my stomach.

As I waited for her, in walked a little, petite woman who had a bouquet of flowers for me. When I saw her eyes, I was hooked.

Our first date was at this restaurant called Martha’s in Tampa. While we waited on our food, we talked and we both liked what we saw. Our first dinner date was at a restaurant that serves authentic Mexican cuisine.

I Knew She Was Special

black lesbian brides embrace in a gazebo

Lisa and Roshanda got married in May 2015.

After leaving her that day, I knew she was special. For two years, we had a long-distance relationship. After realizing that I had fallen in love with her, I knew I wanted to be with her. When I confessed that I loved her, she was speechless at first, and she said she loved me too.

When she proposed, it had me in tears. We knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together so I moved to Tampa and I got a job transfer. We got married on my birthday, May 20, 2015.

 

We Take Care of Each Other

We make sure we take care of each other. She has dyslexia and I make sure that I remind her that she is a great, creative person. She has had a rough life, from being adopted to being sexually and physically abused. Still, she has a great head on her shoulders.

I love how my wife supports me and loves me with my epilepsy. I love her because of her heart. She is always there for me and I love her with all her imperfections. She says she loves my eyes and my face and calls me “Fancyface.”

Our Family

black lesbian mom and step daughter high school graduation

Lisa stands proudly with her stepdaughter, Keisha, at her high school graduation.

I never had any kids and another bonus was getting to know Roshanda’s daughter, Keisha. Even though Keisha was shy, we hit it off right away. She doesn’t stay with us, but it feels good to have a daughter. I get to buy her make up and give her advice.

Georgette and Shannon: There Are Levels To This Love

black lesbian family photo

 

Shannon and Georgette are dressed up and out on the town.

Shannon and Georgette believe gender loving families are beautiful, worthy and blessed.

This story was updated March 2, 2016.

Nearly four years ago Georgette and Shannon met online. Although they clashed from the very beginning, they couldn’t help but explore the connection they shared. The happy couple, who moved in together the last weekend in February, share their love story below:

Black Lesbian Love Lab (BL3): How did you meet?

Shannon: We met on line. She was rude on our first date. We actually bumped heads from the very beginning, which is what I believe somehow made us become more drawn to each other.

Georgette: We met in August 2012. I saw her profile and was drawn to her, so I reached out and she responded.

BL3: What attracted you to each other?

Georgette: I liked what she wrote in her profile and her sense of style. When we exchanged phone numbers and started communicating over the phone,I enjoyed our conversations and her intelligence. We couldn’t get along though (lol), we would always clash because our strong personalities. We spoke via phone for eight months before we ever met up. We were both dating other people but would always keep in touch often enough to remain in each other’s life.

Shannon: Georgette was very “feisty,” beautiful, and intelligent. Our initial conversations were intriguing, had depth, and allowed us to see the parts of each other’s personality that most don’t get to see for months, if not years.

 

BL3: What do you love about each other?

Shannon: I love how nurturing and protective she can be. She’s also one of the sexiest women I’ve ever met, and she absolutely adores me.

One last thing that other women tend to forget, she loves the woman I am. She understands the aspects of me that aren’t, or are less feminine, but she always treats me like the woman I am.

 

Georgette: What I love about her is her passion, her intelligence, her heart especially towards our daughter, her leadership, dependability, her willingness to grow, her love for family, her sense of style and smell. OMG she is beautiful and sexy!

 

Bl3: Tell us about your first date.

Shannon: She lived in Jacksonville, Fla., and I lived three hours away in St. Petersburg. I went to visit her in Jacksonville, and we went out to dinner at a restaurant. It was an unconventional first date because I would be spending time with her for the entire weekend. She seemed a bit timid at first, but became much more at ease toward the end.

Georgette: Well actually, our first date was at the beach one Saturday morning. It was very calming and relaxing. We held each other’s hands as we took a stroll. I can still remember how I felt that day. I felt like I found home. I have pictures of that scenery. I laid my head on her chest and it was then I knew I was going to fall.

BL3: How long have you been together?

Shannon: While we’ve known each other for a little over three years, we’ve been dating for 1.5 years, and in a committed relationship for nine months. It’s levels to this!

Georgette: April 5, 2016 will make two years since we’ve officially been together.

 

The Gift of Commitment

black lesbian couple black, white and pink

Within months of meeting, Shannon and Georgette knew they would one day marry each other.

BL3: Are you interested in getting married?

Shannon: We are both two people of quality who believe that whatever you put in your relationship is exactly the fruit it bears.

Though we aren’t legally married or officially engaged, we speak infinite love, life, family and everlasting growth into our relationship. About three or four months into dating, we came to terms that we would be married one day. Ultimately, we share the same vision, perception, and beliefs of what we feel marriage, family, and parenting should be.

Georgette: We believing in waiting and making sure things are in order before we take the big step. However, marriage is in the making within a year or two.

BL3: Tell us a little about your family life.

Georgette: We have one daughter. Ever since they have met our daughter claimed her as her mom. After six months she started to call Shannnon mommy and is committed to it! She is protective of her mommy Shanney and thinks highly of her. I love that about my family, we are very close and care deeply for each other. We travel a lot and do a lot together. We love to dress alike or compliment each other’s dress. We love spending time together.

 

black lesbian family purple

Shannon and Georgette believe that whatever you put in your relationship is exactly the fruit it bears!

BL3: What’s the best gift have you gotten from each other?

Georgette: For me it’s the gift of quality time, passion affection and love. The gift of safety and security. Whenever she gives me these gifts I feel unbreakable, alive and as if I’m in heaven.

Shannon: Georgette allowing me to be a part of her daughter’s life. I’ve been given the gift of motherhood and unconditional love. I love my family and pray that the world will grow to understand that same-gender loving families are beautiful, worthy and blessed.

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.

God Gave Me A Second Chance With My Soul Mate

Asia and Eula have been together three years.

Asia and Eula are celebrating three years of being together.

 

Written by Asia Hamilton

My partner, Eula, and I come from very abusive childhoods. For years upon years our bodies, minds, hearts, souls and spirits were slowly being destroyed. Still, we survived abuse, neglect, abandonment and unfaithfulness.

Roughly five years ago, we saw each other at a pride festival. Eula says that was the moment she knew she found the ONE. At the time we had both been through very bad relationships, and I just wasn’t ready to be hurt again and I didn’t want to hurt someone else either.

A few months went by, and as sweet and persistent as Eula was about making me hers, it just wasn’t the right time. I ended up dating someone else and she ended up getting back with an ex. So truly, I saved us both from making a spur of the moment decision, or so I thought.

We cut all communication for about two years. While in those relationships, we again received ill treatment from our partners, until we just couldn’t take it anymore.

 

Our Second Chance

Asia and Eula intimate upside down kiss.

Asia knows that it was God gave her a second chance to be with her soul mate, Eula.

I’d say maybe three to four months or so after my breakup, I saw Eula again, for the first time in all those years. However, this time when I saw her, I got that “this is the ONE feeling” almost instantly, but she just wasn’t the same. I didn’t realize that I had hurt her all those years ago by not dating her, but that very night she told me she had been waiting years to be with me.

She said that she KNEW God would bring me back to her because it’s all she prayed for. I guess the reason I’m writing this is because I could have had this love a long time ago. I was hurt, stubborn, selfish, uncaring, and unforgiving. I allowed my past and my pride to control my feelings and actions.

Yes, I do believe that everything works out according to His plan, but this was HIM giving me everything I deserved, I just didn’t listen. This time felt so different though. I did everything I could to prove that I was truly sorry and made the wrong choice, and after a while she forgave me. We have been together for almost three years now.

I chose to share this story with you all because I want you to know how important it is to listen to that little voice inside your head. If you feel like God or something is compelling you to act, then do so.

As soon as you put evil, pride, hurt, selfishness, and all negativity behind you, you’ll be surprised who you could fall in love with, and better yet, who could be falling for you.

 

We Hold Each Other Down

Asia kisses Eula's cheek

Eula (right) smiles as Asia plans a kiss on her cheek.

Eula is the BEST partner I could ever ask for and I know she’d say the same about me. Together, we have taught each other the true meaning of love, respect, forgiveness, patience, compassion, empathy, understanding, dedication, hard work, and spiritualism. No matter what we went through, what we go through, or what we could go through, we have been and will continue to be there for one another.

Even when we were separated and living separately we STILL held each other down. For us that meant me working two jobs when she lost hers, or vice versa when I lost mine. We refuse to let each other sink. I appreciate and love her for not only being the best partner I could ever have, but because we chose to become best friends first.

At the beginning of last year, nothing was going right, but here we are at its end and I’m blessed with tears of joy! We chose to believe in Him, in ourselves, in each other, in better, in something!

I was raised very religious and I knew for a fact that if we did right by the Lord, He would love, protect, and provide for us in ways no other person could, including each other.

 

In 2015, we became soul mates. Together, we faced two near-death experiences, which totaled two of our cars; I caught a charge; we were cast out by our families; and there were times when we didn’t even have food to eat.

 

However, in 2015, we also paid off over $10,000 in debt and student loans, built up our credit scores, bought and sold five cars, moved out of our childhood prisons (homes), took four vacations, got raises and promotions through our jobs, and now we are getting ready to plan a wedding and start saving for our future children!

About Our Love: Why I Waited Five Years to Marry My College Sweetheart

Tre and Maia nuzzle each other.
Tre and Maia looking supa dupa fly.

Tre and Maia are college sweethearts who married after five years of dating.

Written by Tresaun Lee

I always want to tell people that we (me and Maia) met in some real crazy romantic scenario but truthfully it was online. We both went to the same university but had never before spoken to one another. She claimed to have seen me on campus before and was too shy to say something. One random night in October 2008 we both happened to be on Downelink.

I said something to her cuz she was the only one in the chat room on video and not typing. She didn’t like the setup and said it was too hard to keep up with the convos and that sparked a private IM session. Before long, we were speaking for hours. After we spoke online for awhile we kept promising to link up on campus, but our classes never aligned so she invited me to her house in the city for dinner one night.

She made me pesto pasta, we watched movies, drank and talked. She lived on a popular street in the city so we walked the length of it, perusing shops and flirting then ended up down by the waterfront. It was pretty chill but also very intimate. I have never left her side after that night. Lol.

 

I Fell in Love

A couple months after we met, I asked her to be exclusive and about a year and some change later, I asked her to be my wife. I’d say I fell in love with her after she went back home to visit family in another country. Never missed someone so much and it was weird cuz from the day we met, we didn’t spend a day apart.

What I love about her is that she is her own person. She is very much like my mother, which I love and hate. She is stubborn and compassionate. Headstrong and committed. What some see as shy and quiet I see as mysterious and layered.

It’s like she reserves her real self for me only and she too sees my demons and angels without me having to verbalize much.

I hate to say it but she is my best friend and not cuz we get along and make a good team but also cuz she knows me where I dunno myself.

 

The Secret to a Long-Lasting Relationship

Tre and Maia laughing in an alley

Tre and Maia laugh together in the midst of a photo shoot.

If you ask me what’s the secret to making a relationship last, I’ll say, there’s is no damn secret! LoL. It’s hard as hell. The secret is that it takes real life work.

People wanna believe in fairyt ales and the one and only but that is still another living breathing person. We forget our love can be narcissistic and demanding and that our counterparts aren’t puppets.

I think mostly my wife and I are happy with our relationship because we can talk to one another when we need to. Even if it’s the same thing it’s not nagging. We share ourselves and try to lift each other up.

Because I get to see the blood, sweat and tears she puts into making me and allowing me to be the woman I am … I too, wanna reciprocate and show her I’m there to do the same when she needs it. It’s nice to think it’s 50/50 but it never is. Someone always needs the other more and I’m glad my wife knows about realistic compromise and how to keep not only me happy, but our relationship fresh.

 

I Believe in Non-Conventional Relationships, But Still Wanted a Wife

For me marriage symbolizes a step toward a future. And of course I believe in non-conventional relationships, but I always wanted a wife. When I met mine, I really was partly afraid I would lose someone so important to me without making that grand gesture. Another part of me wanted to show her how serious I was about being just as important in her life.

We had agreed to wait for her to graduate but unbeknownst to us at the time, that two-year plan had become an eight-year one. I felt like her unwillingness to compromise was a larger issue to making me wait on her timeline and she felt like me pressuring her was speaking to me never being satisfied.

What we ended up doing was getting married without the bells and whistles and planning for something larger once she’s out of school. We both had to compromise. We both got a little of what we wanted but in the end I think our relationship got what it needed.

We approached a subject we hated to speak about in a million different ways. We talked till we were blue in the face, we cried and laughed. And in the end it was worth it cuz I know why I wanted her as a wife. No other woman is worth waiting five years for. And soon we’ll have been together 10 years, and I can’t believe it’s only the beginning.


 

Tre and Maia are in their early 30s and live in Philadelphia. Tre is a poet. Here is a poem she wrote for Maia.

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.

Don’t Put a Ring on It: Why I’m a Happy, Single, Black Lesbian

Being single is all about living life like it's golden.
Being single is all about living life like it's golden.

Being single is all about living life like it’s golden.

Written by Tammy C. Freeman

There is a lot of “advice” out there for us single women. And they all come to the same conclusion: If you’re single, your existence should be desperately dedicated to trying not to be.

According to those countless articles pushing advice designed to “help” you, and maybe even family and friends, single women are defective and in need of fixing.

Family, friends and even strangers will ask you about a significant other … often. If you indicate you don’t have one, you’ll get looks of pity or the unoriginal question “You’re so pretty, why not?” along with offers to “hook you up” and other such shenanigans.

This is no surprise because we live in a culture that subscribes to the archaic notion that a single woman has the ultimate goal of being partnered.

I’m a very happy single black lesbian. Every time I tell people this, they give me the side eye as if the words “happy” and “single” side by side are natural enemies.

The thought is I can’t possibly be happy AND single (and my reply to these folks is simply, “maybe YOU can’t”) and if I am happy about being single, what is wrong with me?

The fact that I’m successful and have a full and productive life according to my terms doesn’t mean anything to folks who think that my life is somehow less-than because I don’t have a partner.

I’ve even seen “that’s why you’re single” hurled at others as if it’s an insult, way too often.

Yes, I’m Still a Lesbian Even Without a Partner

To further exasperate this, for women who love women, there is this unspoken idea that if you’re not actively loving a woman, then somehow part of your identity is muted.  It’s as if who you love needs to be proven by who you’re loving right now.

My identity as a single queer-identified woman isn’t predicated on circumstance, it is absolute.

We fail single women by pushing this antiquated notion that our lives need to validated by having someone else in it. The fact is, I am amazing and awesome and my life is validated not because of who I am with (or not with), but because I am here.

No co-signer or significant other is needed to validate my existence on this earth. Further, women who identify as queer or lesbian don’t need a partner to verify their sexuality, sexual preference or any part of their being, you are who you are, single or partnered.

I’m Not a FixHer Upper

Advice articles are full of ideas on how to “fix” yourself up to attract a mate, advancing the flawed notion that you’re single because something is missing. Don’t believe the lies, there are lots of broken, messed up people in relationships. Being partnered isn’t an evolved state to ascend to. Nor does being single mean that something is wrong with you that requires fixing.

Being single is not about being in the meantime, it’s not about living life at the pause; it’s not saying that you haven’t “evolved” enough to be in a relationship. There is so much out there telling single women to fix this, do that, etc.

Here’s a radical idea, why not just be? Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything wrong with continuous improvement. I’m a huge fan of becoming a better me, but, that’s not about becoming a better me so that I can be “ready” for a relationship with someone else, I embrace becoming a better me for myself.

Your life, your identity, your awesomeness is absolute, not relative. 

There is also this notion that single women are living life in a “in the meantime phase.” I see too many single women who forgo home-ownership, traveling and doing all of the things they want to because they are holding space for someone who they have yet to meet.

Crazily enough society reinforces this idea of putting your life on hold until you meet someone. When I purchased my house, instead of congratulations, I got “Well, what if you meet someone?” When I started to travel extensively again, I was cautioned that I may be missing out on meeting someone because I’m always gone. Maybe these people mean well, but to advocate that women delay their dreams isn’t sound counsel.

My heart aches for single women who let these false paradigms hold them back. I refuse to pause my life for anyone.

A Recipe for Self Love

Live your life now. Stop waiting

So for my fellow singles, despite what society says, know that there is nothing wrong with you. You do not have to accept a flawed paradigm that judges women on their relationship status. In some aspects, being single can be threatening to others. Society as a whole is horrible at dealing with anyone who does not fit into a neat box of predefined expectations and norms. Women who are single by choice are, by default, nonconforming. And people, for many reasons, just don’t know how to deal with that. In this case, it’s not you; it’s them.

Moreover, don’t let other people who have no identity and feel empty without a relationship make you feel bad about being single and happy. These people are just projecting their insecurities on to you, reject it and remove yourself from people like that.

Go, live, be free, pursue your goals and dreams. There is nothing external that you need that you don’t already have within yourself. Want love? Be love. Want to travel to the beautiful beaches of Bali? Take yourself. Want to be treated like a queen? Treat yourself like a queen.

Learn to love yourself so fiercely, be so self-confident so that you don’t put yourself in bad situations where you are dishonored. Don’t stay where love is no longer being served out of fear being alone or because you labor under the false belief that you need validation from another.

Fill your life with love, joy and all the good things you want. Buy a home, buy two! Decorate it however you want. Travel the world. Wow and amaze yourself. Learn to love yourself–every flaw, every bump, every scar.  Learn to be alone and love your own company.

Being single does not make you less beautiful, amazing or worthy. Crown yourself, queen! Own every part of who you are. Create beautiful experiences that you will look back on with wonder and amazement. Conquer your fears and jump in with both feet into this thing called life, full of hope, love and gratitude.


Tammy, 35, is a serial entrepreneur, wine aficionado and world traveler. A burgeoning social economist, Tammy travels the world to locate women entrepreneurs in order to share their stories. She loves visiting beautiful places and creating beautiful spaces. She blogs about travel, great wine and home design on her blog tammyonthego.com

Eight Years After Falling in Love With Her, My Wife Has Changed

Ayesha and Cicely model their healthy new bodies.
Cicely and Ayesha are healthier than ever.

Cicely and Ayesha have seen dramatic changes in their lives since they committed to eating better and exercising more.

Written by Ayesha Forte

I remember getting my gallbladder removed on December 25, 2010. It was a horribly painful experience, but it was the best Christmas gift I ever got. After that, I was determined to change my eating habits. My wife, Cicely, and I had been thinking about becoming vegetarians. After watching several documentaries that exposed the cruel environments that the animals lived in, that was it for us. We never looked back.

Changing our eating habits was merely part of the battle. Our ultimate goal was to completely change our lifestyle—mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

First we supported each other in quitting smoking then, we took it further and became vegetarians. About a year ago, we committed to working out between four and five days a week.

So, we definitely needed healthy meals to keep these bodies moving.

 

We come from a family of cooks so home cooking is extremely important to us! Since becoming vegetarians three years ago, I’ve taken over the kitchen. We cook together sometimes, but truly I enjoy cooking for my family and presenting to them what I made for them. This makes me feel like a proud mother and wife.

 

It Wasn’t a Special Occasion

A mix of Italian and Mexican vegetarian meal.

Ayesha loves cooking for her family. This is one of her favorite meals to cook.

I remember coming home after a 10-hour workday at our shop (Glory Crown Beauty & Barber Shop) and heading straight to the kitchen. I had just bought a new cookbook and I was super excited about preparing Baked Mexican Spinach Dip with Toasted French Bread and Black Bean Lasagna Rolls.

 

When I was done, I served my wife. We cuddled up on the couch in our PJs and just grubbed. Did I mention that we worked all day? For my first attempt, I did pretty good and she loved the meal! It wasn’t a special occasion, but it is one of my favorite memories.

 

Everything Has Changed

Ayesha and Cicely model their healthy new bodies.

Ayesha and Cicely are thrilled at the changes they’ve seen on a spiritual, mental and physical level.

Since we began our journey to health three years ago, everything has changed, from our immune systems to the people we have around us. When you’ve fought to keep your peace and positive energy, you become very selective about whom you allow in your circle.

With us being entrepreneurs, time is money, but our gym time is priceless. We know that no amount of money will ever give us peace of mind. The gym is our sanctuary.

We now embrace change and will continue to motivate each other to be the best versions of ourselves. In turn, it brought us closer to one another. When you look good you can’t help but feel good!

 

Advice on Embracing Healthy Change as a Couple

You have to find a balance, yin and yang. As a married couple, we have to be on the same page. Sometimes Cicely has to carry the heavier load that week to make sure things get done and vice versa on my end.

For other couples looking to make a change this year, our best advice is that you hold yourself and each other accountable.

You cannot say you’re going to make a lifestyle change and only halfway clean up your act! It’s not going to be easy but that’s what makes it more rewarding. Trust the journey and go hard or not at all. Mediocrity and success is all in your perception!

 


 

Cicely and Ayesha recently celebrated their eighth anniversary in November 2015. They live in Fort Wayne, Indiana.