Dear Demetria: My Married Friends Invite Their Husbands When We Hang Out

single-black-woman Dear Demetria:

"I'm single. A lot of my friends are married. I'll suggest getting together, and they'll say yes, only to hit me at the last minute with, "Hubby will be with me; is that all right?" Is it unrealistic of me to expect to still see my girls without their men tagging along?" —Anonymous

Your married friends are tripping and should know better. I mean, they weren't born married, and they've been in your shoes. So, no, you're not being unrealistic.

Single or married (now), this has happened to most of us. We're looking forward to a good kiki with the girls, and one of them shows up with her man. Even if he's the coolest partner ever, an unexpected husband (or beau) can be a mood killer for a ladies event. It's like, why is he here? The game ain't on? He doesn't have any friends? And real talk: We don't always converse the same when men are present.

It's bad if he just sits there looking like bored lump, and even worse if he wants to jump into the conversation, requiring a long-winded backstory to bring him up to speed or offering unsolicited advice about how to fix your issue, when all you wanted was your girlfriend to listen. Even worse than that is what happened to you. You showed up for one-on-one time with your girl, and ended up as the “plus one” on a date with your girl and your husband! That is not OK.

Some married couples take that "we are one" thing way too far. Yes, you're one family, and you're supposed to think in terms of what's best for "us, not me" and proceed as a unit, but that doesn't mean the couple has to be attached at the hip for every occasion. This may be how your friends operate, but this is not a universal outlook (by far).

That said, your friends are not entirely to blame here. Yes, they need better social skills, but you need better communication skills. When your friends have called last minute and asked to bring their spouses, you haven't been honest with how you feel. You've said yes and pretended that everything was cool when it is not. You're encouraging their behavior by pretending that it doesn't bother you.

Before you bail on your girls for asking you to be the third wheel, have a grown-up chat with each of them about what's bothering you. Admit that you haven't been completely honest about your feelings when it comes to hanging out with your friends and their husbands. Individually, remind your friends that you like their husbands and support their marriages. Say this first so that no one thinks what's coming next is a passive-aggressive way to diss their husbands. Then add that you miss having girl time, and sometimes you just want to hang out with your friends one-on-one.

Read the full article: HERE

Ask Demetria: My Jewish BF Won't Claim Me


Dear Demetria:

"I’ve been with my guy for almost a year. I am completely in love. We talk every day, he tells me he loves me almost every day. I’m black. He’s white and Jewish. He always talks about “If we’re married ...” and about being together in the future. But our relationship is a secret. He tells me his family won’t accept us. He has to marry a white Jew. But then he also tells me if he could get away from his family he would be with me. What should I do?" —Anonymous 

I’m concerned about the vast disconnect between his words and actions. He’s telling you he loves you, but he’s treating you like he is ashamed of you. That is not OK. Unless he’s willing to claim you publicly and to his family, you should tell him that while you’ve enjoyed the good times you’ve shared together, you’re no longer willing to be kept a secret. He either claims you publicly to his friends and family or the relationship is over.

Your guy’s talk about a future of forever-ever with you sounds romantic. But they are empty words. It doesn’t serve you well to hang onto the parts of his conversations about the future that you want to hear and overlook what else he’s saying because it doesn't align with the future you want with him. His “I love yous” come with a really big “but.” Listen to what he’s saying. It’s: “I love you ... but this is temporary.” “I love you ... but I’m marrying a Jewish girl.” “I love you ... but my family comes first.” There are certain conditions under which he feels he can be with you and he’s not willing to create them.

Just to be clear, he likes you. I don’t doubt that he has strong feelings for you. But when push comes to shove, his loyalty is to his family, and their expectations matter more to him than his feelings for you.

I acknowledge it’s a hard position to be in, choosing your family over someone you love. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be forced to choose my family over someone I cared about, even loved. I don’t envy him at all here. But do understand, he has a choice. He isn’t the first Jewish man to face the dilemma of abiding by his mother’s wishes to marry a nice Jewish girl or following his heart. He also wouldn’t be the first man to declare, “I’m my own man,” and choose the woman he loves over his controlling family and their traditions.

Maybe he’ll be that man someday. But he isn’t now. Currently, he’s having his clichéd cake and eating it too, presenting himself as a dutiful son to his family but lying to them by omission about his relationship with you. I warn you to be wary of the man who is comfortable living a duplicitous life. He’s a good liar to his family, the people he places before you. There’s no telling what he’s also lying about to you, the person who means less to him.

I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here. Perhaps he’s well-intentioned but deeply conflicted. It’s understandable, but it’s still not OK for you. You deserve better than a man who believes he needs to hide you because he doesn’t think you’re good enough. That’s what is at the root of this.

Read the full article on The Root 

Rachel Dolezal's Black Women Ruse x Blue-Eyed Social Capital

One of the countless memes clowning Rachel Dolezal In the countless articles and conversations about Rachel Dolezal, so many have wondered why ol’ girl would pretend to be black.

I can’t tell if they mean that question genuinely, like, “like who in their right mind would she put on this ruse for a decade?” Or is it self-depreciating like, “why would anyone in ther right mind want to be black, given the burdens of being such?”

I’m going to give the benefit and hope most folks mean the former, not the latter. And to answer that I’ve got a theory, that goes beyond, “um, duh. Because black women are inherently awesomene!”

My conclusion: Rachel Dolezal’s social capital goes even further as a light-skinned, blue-eyed black girl even than a white girl who’s down for the cause.

Stay with me.

In college, my bestie had a roommate, a white girl, who loved black guys and all things black culture. “Mary” was raised in a lilly-white cow town, somewhere way out in Maryland that despite growing up in Maryland, I’d never heard of.

And despite proclaiming a love for all things black, Mary didn’t really get black people, especially women.

One day she burst into my dorm room, without knocking and yelled, “where yo baby daddy?” There was a popular song at the time (1997) called “My baby daddy.” It was the first time I’d heard the term. But here was Mary, thinking that because she heard the new term in a song, it must mean all black people spoke this way.

She was that type of white girl.

More Vanilla Ice than Eminem if you understand the (important) distinction.

Uh, no. My roommate chastised her for not knocking, then added, “Hey, do you hear us talking like that?”

Her: No.

Roomie: Then don’t come in here talking that way. We’re in college. Speak like it.

Everytime me and bestie, a black girl, went down to Route 1, the local strip where (mostly white) college kids hung out, Mary declined. No interest. Every time we went to the popular black clubs in DC at the time— DC Live, VIP, The Bank or The Ritz—  Mary was the first one dressed.

It was interesting partying with her. Mary wasn’t unattractive, but she wasn’t stunning. She was about average. And yet, black guys would clamor over each other and stumble over themselves to get her attention, spit game, and/or dance with her. Part of it is because of the stereotype about white girls being easy, treating oral sex as casually as a kiss, and having (daddy’s) money they freely spend to trick on their Black boyfriends. The other part of it is the surprisingly common belief that snagging “a white girl” is some kind trophy-worthy accomplishment.

So of course she liked partying with black folk. Her otherness made her exotic and her social capital and white privilege were magnified in a room full of color-struck black guys far moreso than in a room full of white boys. She was a unicorn instead of just another horse.

This is why I think Rachel Dolezal, another white girl from a cow-town, would be enamored with being around Black folk. Now why she would go the extra step to “pass” as a black woman?

A lot of Black folks still think “white is (closer to) right.” Blame it on slavery, if you wish. But the result is blue-eyed white girl Rachel? Meh. Dime a dozen. Blue-eyed black girl Rachel? Four leaf clover.


Ask Demetria: "My Bestie Slept With My FWB!"

"Your bestie did what? With who?!"

Dear Demetria:

"My best friend of seven years slept with my “friend with benefits.” Yes, I have no claim to the man, but I let them both know prior to this incident—after they made out in front of me while drunk—that it made me uncomfortable. They both agreed to respect how I felt.

"Fast-forward two weeks: We all go out and have a couple drinks. Everyone crashes at my place. We wake up the next morning and she tells me they had sex in my house, on my couch, while I, other friends and my younger brother were sleeping not 50 feet away. I'm disgusted with both of them. How do I go about dealing with them? I feel like they both, mostly her, completely took advantage of my trust."


Um ... what?

There is so much—so, so much—going on here that I don’t understand. It really seems as if you’re leaving out some critical details about lifestyle choices or sexuality that would make this story more cohesive.

Beating around the bush isn’t my strong suit, so let me just ask: Did you and your bestie of seven years ever have a threesome with your “friend with benefits,” or perhaps with other men prior to him? That is the only way this story even sort of makes sense.

If you and your friend are used to having threesomes or sharing guys in some fashion—just FYI, you wouldn’t be the first person to write in about it—then there would be a somewhat logical explanation for why she would make out with a guy you’re dating—or just having sex with—right in front of you. Her thought process would be something like, “We always share! So this is perfectly fine!”

Maybe she was warming him up for you and didn’t think she was out of line. That still wouldn’t explain why she had sex with him when you were sleeping just a few feet away and after you asked them not to, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

This, or something along these lines, has to be what’s at play. Because anybody else would have gone full HAM if she found her best friend and a guy she was having sex with making out. The general rule is that a best friend shouldn’t be kissing (or flirting with)—much less sleeping with—a man you’re dating unless she has permission. (Hey, some people get down like that.) It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a committed relationship with the guy and you’re both single.

I mean, it’s bold to go after your best friend’s sex buddy, period. But it’s huevos almighty to do it right up in front of your face, like, “Oh, I see you sitting there and I will pretend I don’t.”

Then you see this profound disrespect and you just say, “Hey, guys, don’t do that anymore”? I’m not saying you should have flipped tables. I am saying that no one would blame you if you did. I’m also saying that at the very moment you saw them making out, you should have ended your friendship and your sexual relationship, on the spot. That’s what most people would have done.

You chose not to, for whatever reason 99 percent of people will not understand. And 100 percent of people will never understand why you maintained both relationships and chose to go out drinking with them and then invited them home with you and didn’t sit up all night watching them. I’m extremely baffled by a lot in this story, but this part baffles me the most.


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Recap: Match Made in Heaven, Ep. 3: Meet Mama Maggie

Mama Maggie is all smiles... unless you cross her or Shawn. There are 15 women left in the house, down from the original 24. Two ladies voluntarily left, 7 were kicked out. With these numbers, “Match Made in Heaven” is looking more like “Survivor” than dating show.

Two of the women that left provided a good portion of the drama/ ratchet antics on the show, And since this is reality TV, everyone can’t be well-adjusted. So who’s gonna turn up? Um. That would be Shawn’s mama, Maggie. (And of course, Dolly.)

At first, Mama seems pretty chill. After Shawn introduces her, Mama conducts a polite receiving line of hugs as the girls greet her. But we know from the commercials that Mama has another side. Infamously, she threatened to “f--- up a b----h” for coming at her son the wrong way.

Mama Maggie will be staying at the house. Shawn explains to his harem, “you are the princesses. She is the queen.” Got it? He adds that he will make his own decisions, “but her influence will weight heavy on my mind and my heart.” Translation: I’m not a mam’s boy, but I love my mama.

With Shawn standing nearby, Mom tells the ladies, to be themselves and “enjoy the ride. And at the end we will se who wise my young son’s heart.” What she means is, you see me standing here, act like you have some sense and I might put in a good word. When Shawn leaves, the real Mama Maggie, the one from the trailers, seeps out. “I can be sweet. I can even be your best friend,” she tells the women. “But I can be your worst enemy as well.” Oh.

Mama is unimpressed with the cleanliness of the house. There are clothes, luggage, and a surprising amount of drying hair weave everywhere. To credit, the women don’t have a lot of space. One room has at least 8 beds in it. These chicks are sleeping like they’re in barracks. I don’t get it. We’ve seen the panoramic view of this mansion. Surely, there’s enough space so the women don’t have to bunk up. However, a bunch of people sleeping in close quarters is a guaranteed way to cause drama.

Still, there’s no excuse for all of the unmade beds. (Confession: I don’t make my bed everyday. But when my room is shown on TV, it is.) Mama is appalled. “What makes them think that my son wants a dirty ass woman?” she asks.

Mama picks a space in the largest room and has the production staff set up a Queen size bed just for her among all the bunks. Catch that subliminal shade.


Today’s group date is at the casino. Shawn is doing his best James Bond impression. He begins by flirting with Alexandria aka Nes’s house boo. Nes doesn’t like the idea of Shawn and Alex hooking up without her, so she tells Shawn, “we’re a package deal, so what you gonna do?” Was that a threesome offer? Shawn thinks so. He squeezes them both into a hug, as Mecca stares at them like a menacing villain from across the room.

Shawn eventually wanders away to find out what the other ladies are up to. At the Texas Hold Em table, he mutters something about “every move being a good move as long as you make a move.” This is all the encouragement Angela, a busty blonde, who’s been leaning over the table to show off her cleavage to Shawn, needs. She asks him to meet her outside so they can have some time alone, which in reality TV world means “let’s make out!”

Mama’s “hussy radar” goes off. She doesn’t see Shawn, so she wanders into the parking lot to find Angela and Shawn tonguing each other down. Needless to say, the make out session comes to an abrupt end and all three head back inside.

Angela ans Shawn are embarrassed after Mama catches them making out.

Pastor J is there now, and he’s got a challenge. He wants all the ladies, who are all dolled up, of course, to remove their make up in exchange for a slow dance with Shawn, and maybe a one-on-one date later.

“One of the easiest things you should ever do is show the real you, “ Pastor J says. True. He also wants Shawn to see what he could be waking up to in the morning. To credit, the girls are all still quite attractive sans make up.

Khalena bails. “My mom always told me you take it off one layer at a time. You don’t shock the man,” she says. I’m with her mama on this one.

Shawn picks Phoenix for the date. He, still in his tux, takes her, still in her gown, to “the hood”. He says that back in 2008 he was living in a similar spot.   Their date takes place in an unfinished basement, replete with sleeping bags, wine in brown paper bags and PB& J sandwiches. I ain’t even mad at this date. When you really connect with someone, it doesn’t matter where you are, just who you’re with.

Phoenix doesn’t flinch at the cheap date. She’s had her own hard times as a single mom, and she and her son were once on welfare. She gets it. Shawn cries, then they cuddle. I’m adding Phoneix to my list of suitable choices for Shawn along with Mecca.

The following morning, Pastor J sends a letter to the house saying he wants Shawn to do a one-on-one date with Khalena, who bailed on the make-up challenge. Khalena contours her face, adds some tracks, gets fancy and heads out to their date in wine country.

Khalena aka "Barbie" does not do the "roll over" face in public.

Of course, Shawn wants to know why Khalena didn’t take off her make up for him. She explains succinctly: “the roll over face is for the roll over.” Still not mad at her (or her mama). Shawn is amused. They toast “to the roll over”, then head to an above ground pool that’s been set up in the middle of the vineyard. It’s odd—and clearly a production prop—but I’m down for anything that includes Shawn taking his shirt off. Good job, producers.

Back at the house, Pastor J has a new challenge: temptation. He presents the ladies with apples. If one of the women bite the apple, it will bring Khalena’s date with Shawn to the end. While the women contemplate, what to do Mama Maggie reminds them “jealousy is a curse”. But, “this is a competition,” she adds.

Dolly decides to bite the apple. “[Khalena] didn’t take her make up off the other night. She does not deserve this date,” Dolly reasons. Fair enough. Angelique bites as well. “I just want him to come back and barbeque with us,” she explains. “Is that too much to ask for?”

At the vineyard, Shawn and Khalena are lounging in the pool making googly eyes at each other and about to share their first kiss when suddenly the pool breaks down and they go sliding into the mud. Producers show up (off camera) to tell Shawn there’s an emergency at the house and he has to go. And he has to leave Khalena at the vineyard. She has about the epic meltdown you would expect about being muddy and left behind.

When Khalena returns to the house, she is understandably pissed. Producers have filled her in on what happened, and she is out for blood, figuratively speaking.

Dolly speaks up and take responsibility for ruining her date. “I’m not remorseful,” she says. “It’s a comp.e.tition.” Dolly claps in Khalena’s face to emphasize each syllable, and the girls end up tussling with Mama Maggie looking on. The housemates break it up. This is Dolly’s second fight and I am entirely over her.

Later, Alexandria tearfully apologizes to Khalena for ruining her date. They hug and make up.

Now it’s time for the third elimination. Shawn, who looks glorious in his grey suit and sparkling diamond earrings (I got a thing for that), sits down with his Mom to get her thoughts on the princesses of the house. She’s no fan of Angela, “the hussy.”

Shawn also talks to Pastor J, who isn’t so much a fan of Dolly. Shawn, however likes that Dolly is ride-or-die. Surely, it helps the show that she keeps some drama going, so I don’t see her going home anytime soon.

Pastor J offers Alexandria immunity, which I’m sure makes Nes happy.

To the phones!! Mecca is over this ish. “’I’m just ready for these seat fillers to exit the premises.” I like this chick. Of course, she gets a “please stay” text.

Angela’s going to the bridge, as is Brandy, whose made no impression. Christina – not E.--- is going home. She guesses that she wasn’t assertive enough. So is Dani, who received immunity from Pastor J last week. Dolly, for a second time, and Khalena are headed to the bridge as well.

Angela gets sent back first. “You have a tough task with my mother in the house,” Shawn warns. Mom is not happy.

Shanwn isn’t too thrilled about the fight between Khalena and Dolly, but he likes Dolly's passion, and respects Dolly’s jealousy. Both of them will stay.

Bye-bye Brandy.

What did you think of tonight’s episode?

NOTE: I’ve learned that the show is taking a hiatus after this episode, and will return at a later, not-yet-given date. I’ll be tuning in. Will you?

Ask FM UPDATE 2 : #justthetip

This was my face, the first time I read this story. Dear Demetria:

“I accidentally took my girl's virginity. I know how this sounds, but I swear it was a weird accident. My girl wants to wait until marriage. In the meantime, we do everything but penetration. Last night, we humping. I got her legs on my shoulder and I'm moving. I made a wrong move or something.

#Accident!!! The next thing I know, I’m in. But not all the way in, just the tip. My girl starts screaming and punching me. She’s asking me what did I just do. She telling me I ruined her virginity and this wasn't how she wanted to lose it. I feel like sh--, man. Unfixable or nah? PS: I love her.

—   Anonymous


This is much.

Let me start with the obvious. If you’re not trying to have sex for whatever reason, it’s just not a good idea to get naked, at least below the waist, and start grinding with someone you’re in love with, or anyone, really. Life and biology and sh-- happen. But you know this now. So going forward, at least one of ya’ll needs to keep some underwear on if you don’t want this to happen again. Preferably “the” both of you.

Also, if you’re gonna go this route of everything-but-penetration, then condoms need to be used. I’m not saying you “have anything”. I’m saying you both don’t need to “have anything”, as in a baby. You don’t necessarily need to put all the penis in to get her pregnant.

And because I’m assuming hoping you’re both really young, and it seems neither of you has had a proper sex talk or sex education, I’ll add that if you’ve had sex before, you need to get tested for STIs, including HIV, to protect yourself and your girlfriend.

Now for the most uncomfortable part of this conversation, which is two parts:

It’s confusing to me—and many readers—how you were able to enter your girlfriend, even with the tip, with such ease.

“It’s been awhile since I’ve even seen a virgin” said a friend in his mid-30s. “But I’m 90 percent sure you don’t just find yourself in The Promised Land.  I don’t want to get too graphic, but it’s been a couple times it’s been impossible, like, “’Maybe we should try this another time….’, ‘Not sure this is working’.”

Another guy, also in his 30s, added, “Wait! Sooooooo you just slip in on a virgin? That’s now it works.,. That’s not how any of this works.”

So, if the details you gave about your action are accurate, there are two possibilities that stand out:

A) This ain’t the first time this—or more— has happened with your girl. She may not have sex with you, she may not have even had sex. But there has been some sexual activity in the area either with you or prior to you.

B) You forced your penis in her vagina, which since you know she didn’t want you to— despite the legs and uncovered vagina— is… rape-y.  I hesitate to call it rape because if I’m not being feminist –PC, I honestly get how you could think in the moment, “she wants this D!” when you’re looking at her vagina, she’s got her legs spread in the air in front of you.

The screaming and the hitting don’t bode well for you. She could have been in pain from you putting your penis—even the tip—in. Or she could have felt that you violated her. Or it could be both. That’s where this story gets weird. I would love to know her version of it.

I pray Option A is most applicable here:  she’s had some experience, you haven’t had enough, and ish just kind of happened, as it’s prone to when two naked people grind on each other.

Your girlfriend also has to take some responsibility here. Grinding with naked sexual parts was more likely to lead to this outcome— and more— than not. And she’s sending profoundly mixed signals. She can set her boundaries with her body however she likes, but essentially telling a man “grind your naked penis on my naked vagina, but don’t stick it in” is just poor judgment.  If she wants to remain a virgin until marriage, then she needs not place her naked vagina in the clear and obvious vicinity of a naked penis.

Still. She’s pissed, so you got to make this better. Apologize, explain, apologize again. Offer to abstain from this “everything but” activity for awhile so she knows you’re serious. And when it starts back up again—because it will—for the love of Hova, keep your draws on. And you need to wear a condom just in case. I’m saying. I’ve been 18. Life happens. Be safe when it does.

Oh, and the relationship is likely fixable. Her virginity… no, that’s not how it works. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

So, I posted this query as the "QOTD" on Instagram this morning and readers were too through with this story. 300 comments on Instagram, 100+ on FB, and RPs and "shares" everywhere. Fortunately, or un-, depending on the perspective, the OP (original poster) was reading all of your comments. (This is why I delete/block people who insult the posters. Critique the behavior, not the person.) Anyway, the OP wrote back in to clear some things up, and provide some more details:

#OP Accident!!! Man, some of your people’s are hard on a Bruh. I didn't rape my girl. It was an accident! When I say we do everything but [sex], I mean like head, I use my fingers and now her toy that her big sister brought her for her 18th birthday. I'm not some loser trying to get some.

#Accident!!! This our last year of high school. When we graduate I’m going to marry her.Our moms just going to have to be mad. I want her to be a honest woman. I love her so I want to do right by her. So we are getting married, get a place and go to college together. That’s the plan.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Um… your GF’s virgin status is highly questionable.  Again, I’m not saying she’s been penetrated by someone else, but toys and fingers and tongues in vagina aren’t how virginity works. Send her this way is she needs clarification.;

Good luck on the marriage. And college.

So. The young man who wrote in intitally, wrote it again after he showed this post to his girlfriend. Then they write in together. Her take on this? More or less, The Holy Bible says no sex, but it doesn't outlaw any of the stuff-- toys, fingers, mouths— that her and her BF are currently doing. They're keeping it Christian. Check it out:

"#ACCIDENT! showed my girl your answer here is her answer: "I grew up in a Christian house, where we were taught about being pure and holy. No one talks about needs or how to be pure if your horny. Ot even what to do when your horny other then prayer. No where in the bible does it say no oral..."

I admit, I haven't been to church in a minute. But I used to go. And my grandfather was a pastor. I sat through a LOT of Bible study and sermons as a kid and teenage girl.

From what I recall about religion and sex, penis penetration, toys, masturbation, fingering, oral sex--giving and receiving-- are all off limits to unmarried Christian folk.

Again, your body, your choice. But if you're trying to abide by the Christian way, until you're married, everything you're currently doing sexually with your boyfriend is off limits.

"#Accident!!! Both of us want to tell you thank you. I thought I would have to talk to my mother about it. dude she would have beat our asses

lol. I got you. Just wrap it up. And wear your draws."

Confession: I Wash My Hair in the Bath Tub!

640_bath-victoria-albert-york-bathtub I wake up the other morning, and head to the bathroom, because I’m human and that’s what most of us do.

The night before, I stayed up til 2AM dyeing my hair “natural black”, which for anyone whose ever dyed their hair black at home knows that really means “jet black.” And then I twisted it. (I am obsessed with the Curl Souffle by Curls. It makes my hair soft and CBW likes to sniff it.)  And then I spent the next hour and half, wiping down everything, because while I’ve more or less mastered how to do damn near everything to my hair, I haven’t, in all these years, figured out how not to make a mess.

So I’m in bed by 4:30, up by 8 to write. And I walk into the bathroom to see CBW bent over the tub in his “work jeans”,  you know the ones that guys only wear to shovel snow, and paint, and move stuff in. The floor mats are discarded in a pile in a corner and there are dirty wet towels all over the bathroom floor. And a reconfigured hanger. This is not how I left things the night before.

Me: What are you doing?

I should have known the answer.

Him: The tub was clogged AGAIN!!!!

He doesn’t say it. He roars it.

Now, CBW is usually pretty mild tempered. Like he takes the Jamaican stereotype of “No Problem” to the next level most of the time. But today he is pissed, and I can’t blame him. This isn't the first time the tub has been clogged.

Oh, why the tub, you ask? Because that’s where I wash my hair.

I balance on my knees and bend my head under the faucet to wash my hair. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s the only water supply in the house with enough pressure to get-up-in all my fluff. I got hair. A lot of it. And that sink and that little spray-y thing that I can’t remember the name of will get water in my hair, but it won’t get the grime or the shampoo out. If I want clean hair, it’s to the tub I go.

I’ve been doing this for years, and never thought of it as remotely abnormal until CBW moved in. He comes home one day, sees me kneeling on the tub with my tush in the air and is like, “uhh… I like it. I don’t know what you’re doing, I’m confused by it, but I like it." What he doesn’t like is that it clogs the drain.

So. Before you think I’m an animal for leaving the tub clogged, I did not know it was clogged this time. I used The Method the last time I washed my hair in the tub. It should’ve been fine… ish.

Ok. So The Method is me getting that curved needle that folks use to highlight hair when you pull it through the plastic highlighting cap. The drain has a silver cap on it, with holes in it. So every other time, I wash my hair, afterward, I stick the needle in the drain, and pull the stuck hair out, so that it won’t get clogged. For excessive clogs, I pour Dran-O down there, which a guy friend told me to stop doing all the time because eventually it erodes your pipes. When I stopped using Dran-O, the tub backed up all the time, which is how we arrive at the current problem.

Anyway, maybe I had some massive shedding last night, or maybe I’m not getting all the hair out with the hook and it’s piled up. (Ding!)

CBW points to the drain. He’s removed the drain cap so I can see down into the drain. It’s gross in there. There’s gumps of hair, not like, cute little kinks, coils and spirals. Like it looks like it could crawl out and attack me.

Oh, dear.

So because it’s my hair and it’s super gross, I offer to get it out using The Method. He looks at me like I’m simple. I take that at my cue to pee and leave him to his own devices. (Secretly, men love to fix ish… just not, perhaps at 8AM when they need to take a shower and get to work on time.)

So because my normally mellow husband is pissed about the tub being clogged—again— I figured maybe I should take some preventive measure to avoid this problem in the future.

So I did what I always do when I’m clueless, I asked. And lo and behold this is a REALLY common problem, especially for natural girls. (And look at me, thinking I was alone on this one.)

How to unclog your drain—or keep it from being clogged in the first place, AND without ruining your pipes:

1. Before and after you wash your hair pour boiling hot water down the drain.  Another suggestion was to pour a mixture of backing soda and vinegar down there, let it sit overnight, then pour boiling water down.

2. Place a stocking or a knee high over the drain. Water passes but catches the hair, then just throw the hair away. (Simple enough, and yes, it works.)

3. Pour pre-mixed relaxers down the drain. FB friend 

‪Barhynn J.  swears by this. “ Iit eats the hair right up” she says. “Sorry ladies with relaxed hair.

4. Another “friend” 

‪Heather S. actually enjoys taking the drain apart and physically removes the hair once a month. “I snake the drain, and put everything back. It's annoying but it makes me feel like MacGuyver.” LOL.

5.And for the ladies that can’t be bothered with all of that, there are drain strainers. If you have a drain cap, remove it and put this one in its place.


Danco Hair Strainer, Home Depot

My real-world friend Nicole H. swears by this one. "It catches all my hair during and post wash...and it is easy to clean," she says.

And because aesthetics matter:  Another friend added, "It's very easy to install (simply replace the drain plate). The hair basket is made of plastic while the outer rim is metal. After ordering it, I regretted getting the white version instead of the metallic one, because I thought it might look cheap. But it doesn't look cheap at all."

Happy (co-) washing!

The Backstory: The 40 y.o. Woman Who Married Herself

  Yasmin Eleby and her bridal party. (Courtesy of Black Art in

I interviewed the 40-year old woman who married herself. This is the "behind the scenes" version of how it came to be.

So, seemingly every Black new site ran the story of Yasmin Eleby, the 40-year old woman who married herself on January 3. No one, except the person who published the original story, thought to track her down — including me.

I wanted to write on this, for the obvious reason that nearly all I write about is dating and relationships, and well, it was so damn fascinating. Like I'm looking at the pictures, and the decor, and as someone who just had a wedding and knows how much everything costs (at least in New York), I can tell she dropped some dough on it. And I'm wondering, what was she thinking? But not in the outraged way, I really wanted to know. I'm ashamed my first inclination was to ask.

I guessed that she was 40, really wanted a ceremony since a lot of women dream of one their whole lives, and said something like, "f--- it! I'll just do it myself." I took as a way of claiming what she wants-- or at least part of it, since I assume the dream probably included a man standing at the altar with her. If her logic was "F-- it!", I thought maybe this was empowering as opposed to desperate, as many people who read about it took it as.

So I pitched the story to my editor at The Root (I have two weekly columns there), about viewing this act through a different lens. I mean, she looks happy in the pictures floating around the Internet, and it's not like she was hurting anyone, so...

My editor had another idea. "Would be great if you could interview her", she wrote back. Oh. Why didn't I think of that?

So I tracked her down on Facebook, and sent a message. I noticed that her page hadn't been updated since her nuptials, and guessed that maybe she was taking a break from social media. I mean, she's not a celeb who's used to the attention, she's the center of a viral news story, and most sane people would be overwhelmed by all the interest, and shattered by the comments.

I searched for any friends we might have in common. There was one, a woman I'd met at a networking event I attended in December 2013. So I sent her an email to see if perhaps they were more than Facebook friends, and she knew how to get in touch with her.  She did. After a bit of back and forth-- people are always skeptical of journalists-- Yasmin agreed to do the interview.

Her friend called me on three-way with Yasmin on the phone. Now, I hate doing interviews with an "audience". People tend to be much more guarded when someone they know is in the room and honestly, much less resistant to journalist's "skills", i.e., the way we ask questions to get the people we're interviewing to say things they don't always want to say. (Its' for that reason, I always keep a publicist in the room/on the line when I do interviews.)

This was Yasmin's first interview. Ever. Some people get all tongue-tied and nervous. But she'd been reading the comments and had a LOT to say.


Check out the (mostly) COMPLETE interview:

Bridal portrait of Yasmin Eleby.

Me: Where did you come up with the idea to marry yourself?

Yasmin: For a few years I’d been joking f that if I didn’t have a weeding by 40 that I would just have one myself without a groom. And the closer that it got,  I realized Ihad to put up or shut up. I thought having a wedding ceremony would be a unique way to celebrate my 40th with my family and my friends.
When you told your friends, like “hey guys, I’m going to have  a wedding and marry myself!”, what did your friends say?
Some of them didn’t believe me. They thought I was joking, but once I explained to them what it would be about, they were supportive
And when you say what it would be about, what exactly do you mean?
The ceremony is not about me being bitter for not having a man. It wasn’t like, "Okay, I’m upset that I’m 40 and don’t have a man”. That's totally not the purpose. The purpose was, I wanted to show others as well as myself, my self love, my self worth and my self respect. It was always about me loving me. And not having to seek attention from others, knowing that’ I’m okay with just me. When God sends me my husband, he will come, but until then, i’m okay just being with me.
How long did it take you to plan the ceremony?
I started planning in August.
Was this the wedding you’d always dreamed of, but like without the groom, I guess?
 I didn’t have a dream wedding in mind. When i was talking with the planner, they were like what is your vision. I had two criteria, no pink, and no tall table decorations. It was pretty open.
How much did it cost?
I haven’t [added up] the bills yet. I had enough money to pay for what I wanted.
How many guests? 
*Her friend interrupts to note there were three ministers: sister, neice, and a friend*.
What were your vows like?
Oh, it was beautiful. The first one was about forgiving myself. We’ve all made mistakes. I have to realize that if I ask for forgiveness then it's done. I don’t have to keep dwelling on the past. I can let it go. My second vow was to honor myself as a beautiful, fabulous being conscious of making decisions for myself and to honor my self worth. The third vow was love. The promise to love myself and to know that more love I have for myself, the more love I have to share with others.
How many bridesmaids? 
So you have this wedding ceremony and press covers it. 
I didn’t invite press, someone invited someone and that person wanted to write about it.
So that magazine writes about it and 3 weeks later, this whole thing goes viral and every major publication is  talking about. What’s been your reaction to all of this?
I am totally shocked how me loving myself is offending somebody else. What I did wasn’t meant to disrespect anyone else, to hurt or offend anyone else. It was just a way to celebrate with my friends and my family 40 years that I’ve had on this earth, that God has granted me. And some of my friends haven’t made it that long, some of my classmates and my family haven't. I have been blessed. And I wanted to celebrate that blessing. And I’m really shocked that made some people upset.
Do you have any regrets?
Not one.
Did you buy yourself a ring?
What’s it like?
My favorite color is purple. One of my favorite gemstone is amethyst. It's an amethyst and diamond eternity band.
What do you do for a living?
I teach kindergarten.
What did people say when you said, “Hey, I want you to come to my wedding for myself!”
Not very many people knew it was a wedding. It was kind of a surprise. The invitations just said come celebrate my birthday in a unique way. But I invited my exes because we had a serious relationship, and we were very good friends, it just didn’t lead to marriage. Even though the relationship ended, it ended ambicaly and we are still friends, we talk, we keep in touch. I invited them and they came. They were happy for me. They were excited about it once they got there and realized what was happening.
Do you think that— your version of this is very sweet. Do you  think it’s been blown out of proportion in what people have been reporting in the media?
Yes. It has been blown way out of proportion. From the few comments that I’ve  read, and I try not to read very many... They’re trying to paint me as crazy or bitter about not having a husband and that is so not the case. I’m not bitter, I‘m not crazy. I’m just a fun loving, unique individual and I just wanted to do something special and different.
Have you ever done anything like this before? There was a picture on your  FB profile of you in a wedding dress with an effigy of Idris Elba in a tuxedo. There was a golf cart that said “Just Married”
In my community there are a lot of people who drive golf carts, so I came up with the idea to have a golf cart parade. Everybody decorated this golf carts in different themes, so that year my theme was “Just Married.” The year before was Mardi Gras. And before that, Easter.
I get the sense that you like to do it big when you do events. 
 Yeah, I do.
When was your last relationship? 
My last serious relationship? 5-6 years ago. Ive dated, but..
Do you still want to get married?
Do you think this will create a trend? A couple other women have done this. 
That wasn’t my intention to start a trend. But I would love it if other people—men and women— had enough self love and self worth and they wanted to commit themselves to themselves, I would say go for it. It will only make you a better person. you can not be with someone else if you don’t love yourself.
I agree. Would you recommend this to others?
I would. At the ceremony, the feedback that I got is that it really gave them something to think about. Everybody left that place feeling  better than when they came. Like at the end of the ceremony, I was singing “I Believe I Can Fly”and I got to the second verse, there’s a line that says, “I know that there are miracles and life that I must acheiecve, but first it starts inside of me..." And after I sang that, I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. I just broke down, boohooing. I’m looking around, everybody else is dabbing their eyes, and some of the people in the audience had to finish the song for me.
It was beautiful.
When did you go on your honeymoon?
I”m not calling it a honeymoon i havee some trips planned that I’m going on with some friends. Dubai,  Cambodia, and Laos.

Sorority Sisters' April McRae Speaks About VH1's Controversial TV Show

"Sorority Sisters" dialogue hosted by (the homie) Tanika Ray


VH1’s Sorority Sisters, the network’s latest ensemble cast of African-American women, has been embattled in controversy since a trailer for the show leaked in June. That trailer inspired a petition to keep it from airing, which was signed by thousands. Despite the backlash before the show even began, Sorority Sisters debuted in December to an audience of 1.3 million and was the No. 1 nonsports cable program in the time period among women 18-49, according to VH1.

Twitter had a collective meltdown over the show and advertisers, such as Coca-Cola, Hallmark, State Farm and the NBA, bailed left and right. New calls for boycotts have emerged. Yet, weeks later, Sorority Sisters still exists and VH1 chose to address the controversy surrounding the show on-air in an unprecedented “impromptu sit-down” with the cast on Monday night.

The Root caught up with one of the show’s most outspoken participants, April McRae, often dubbed “the sane one” or “the smart one” (she’s currently pursuing a doctorate degree) by viewers. The Atlanta born-and-bred entrepreneur and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority spoke candidly with The Root about the behind-the-scenes drama, the social media backlash and the price of being (in)famous.


April McRae of "Sorority Sisters"

The Root: How did you become a part of the show?

April McRaeI received an email in 2013 looking for women who had pledged sororities and about their lives beyond their college years how they had continued to give back to the community. I replied immediately. I thought it would be a good opportunity to show my business.

TR: Did you know any of the women on the show before you began taping?

AM: No, I didn’t know any of the ladies until it was close to filming. We met on camera.

TR: When I did Blood, Sweat & Heels, it was “sold” to me as something entirely different from what it became. Was Sorority Sisters presented to you initially as something different from what it actually is?

AM: I was reluctant. I know the branding that VH1 has. But I was convinced that they were rebranding and they wanted to put out more positive shows, and this show would be the start to this new image that VH1 is going to create. This show and Atlanta Exes were going to be the start of rebranding for the African-American community, especially women.

TRDid you expect any backlash for participating in the show?

AM: I expected a response but not a backlash, certainly nothing to this degree. Not to the point of boycotted, not to be recommended to be kicked out of my sorority. It’s all unfortunate.

TR: What has the backlash from the show been like for you personally?

AM: Nearly all of [the cast members] have received death threats. I read a message from a woman that said, “Being on the show, you committed suicide. I should help you do it” or something like that. I’ve had people come to my building. Thankfully, I live in a high-rise with security. It’s been a challenge to go on social media and see threats and comments and derogatory things about me. Some of the people that say they are [black] Greeks. Most are not. But those that are in black Greek-letter organizations should hold themselves to the same standard they hold us to. There’s a lot of hypocrisy going on.

TR: Has anyone from the leadership of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. reached out to you?


Read more on THE ROOT

Yahoo Beauty: Beauty Dos and Don’ts for Relationships from Belle

Screenshot from Yahoo! Beauty interview

From Yahoo Beauty

After writer Demetria L. Lucas published her first book, A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life, her inbox was flooded with 38,000 questions from women seeking her empowering, no holds-barred take on relationships. Lucas, who was previously the relationships editor at Essence, decided to add life coach to her resume to make sure her advice really meant something. “I wanted to empower women to know that ‘No’ is a full sentence,” says Lucas. “I wanted women ask for what they want, and to tell them it is OK to be alone if they aren’t getting what they need from a partner. I really just wanted to instill confidence in them.”

Lucas’ newest book Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love compiles 250 of the thousands of questions she has been asked, to create a relationship manifesto of sorts. I caught up with Lucas to find out what her beauty dos and don’ts are when it comes to relationships. Is it OK to tweak your partner’s appearance? When should you let a new guy see you without makeup?

Demetria’s candid, empowering advice below.

Sara Bliss: I love the title of your book ‘Don’t Waste Your Pretty.’ Explain what it means to you. 

Demetria Lucas: The word ‘pretty’ is really a shorthand of all of the special things that women bring to the table—our attention, our care, our cooking, our praying, our loving nature, our listening skills, that shoulder to lean on, and our time, especially. These are things that are very valuable in relationships. So, what I’m suggesting for women is don’t waste your time, your energy, and your resources on the wrong person. Make smarter investments in relationships.

SB: What are your beauty rules for dating? 

DL: When you start dating, I think everyone puts a lot of effort into it. You put on your pretty skirt, pretty jewels, the makeup, and you make a big to-do about everything. We get a little further into the process, and a lot of people begin to get more relaxed, which is OK. But I think it’s important to know that your mate is very visual, just like you are, and that you have to keep yourself up. You have to keep the hair, keep the makeup, keep the boobs high, and the heels on. Not every day, but just remind him what he has, and what he gets to look at.

SB: We just did a story about how half of women say they won’t let their partner see them without makeup for the first year. When do you think is a good time for a boyfriend to see the real you without makeup?

DL: I think if you’re ready to have sex with someone then you should be able for them to see you without your face on. It doesn’t make sense to try and wake up the next morning and apply the mascara and fluff the hair, and all that stuff. You have to be comfortable being yourself.

SB: What if your partner likes a certain look on you that isn’t your favorite? For example, they love you in straight hair, while you prefer curly? Do you think you should change? 

DL: When it’s something that’s really minor like putting on red lipstick, or not blowdrying your hair, or going straight— a little temporary change that you can make to appease your partner, do it every once in a while. There is nothing wrong with making your partner happy as long as it’s not demanding, like “Do this or else.” But more of a “Hey babe, I really like that red lipstick.” I think it applies in the same way [for us]—we might have a favorite cologne or shirt or haircut that we like, so we can ask our partner to do little things, too.

SB: Expand on that. What do you think about tweaking your partner’s look, like asking him to get a new haircut? 

DL: If he’s up for it you can say, “Hey babe, I think this haircut would be really flattering.” Or “Let’s get a manicure together and take care of our hands.” When you have a partner who is really resistant and says, “I like my hair how it is” or “I don’t want a manicure, I like having man hands” be careful about pushing them too far.

Beauty Dos and Don’ts for RelationshipsPhoto: Demetria L. Lucas 

SB: What should you do when your partner’s looks or weight changes in a way you’re not thrilled with?

DL: Weight is an issue that comes up in relationships. People get too small or too big, but there’s a proper way to have that conversation. It’s not, “Hey I’m not attracted you anymore.” That’s definitely wrong, but if you can say to your partner, “I’m really concerned about ourhealth. I want us to be physically fit. I want us to be in great shape.” Use words like health, not attraction, not just pointing the finger. It’s a lifestyle change that you’re going to make as a couple.

SB: Do you have any beauty don’ts for relationships?

DL: Don’t let yourself go. Sometimes we get comfortable in relationships and we don’t dress up as much and just sort of get complacent. You just have to remember that people are very visual. Like when your partner first saw you across the room, no one thought, “Oh, I wonder what her brain is like.” Your partner can love you to death and sometimes be like, “Mmm, things aren’t quite like they used to be.” We all change over time, but it’s just important that we keep making the investment in ourselves to look our best.

Read more: here

"I Photograph My Man's Penis to Stop Him From Cheating"

The Steve Harvey Show's "Is This Weird?" segment. Yeah. You read that title right.

On yesterday's episode of the Steve Harvey show, there was a segment called, "Is It Weird?" Guests with quirks 'fess up and ask Harvey, a couple experts, and of course, the audience, if what they do is normal or abnormal.

Today's guest though?

Bonkers.  (You can watch below.)

Meet Jeanne. She's white, late 30s/ early 40s, blonde (wig?) and has been in a relationship for 7 years with "he most gorgeous man I've ever seen. Women just flock to him. He has a very charming personality. He could have a lot of women if he wants to."

For the first 3 years of the relationship, Jeanne used to flip out when her man was out of the house, blowing up his phone and sitting home wondering if he was up to something. This was (obviously) causing tension between them, so together THEY came up with a plan to chill her out.

Jeanne: "I get a marker out and sign his private parts and then take a picture of it. He can go enjoy his guy time. I can enjoy my evening and not stress. and he comes home, he shows it to me. and I look at the camera and it has to match."

Ma'am?  Really?

Steve and clinical psychologist John Duffy, one of the experts that day, practically fell out.

Steve: When you say you sign it, what do you put on it?

Jeanne (straight face): My name.

Oh, and this has been going on for four years


This is obviously insane. And Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry, the other expert, hit the bottomline: "Why go through all of that for someone you don't trust?"

*throws church fan*


Check out the full segment below:

[video width="600 " height="300" id="35a1WaPSj0A" type="youtube"]

The Root: 5 Reasons We All Fawned Over Solange's Wedding Photos

  Beautifully Black & In Love

Last week was hard for black women. Kim Kardashian’s bare ass—and all the white privilege it represents—was everywhere you scrolled, an unintentional attempt to fulfill the directive on the cover of Paper magazine: Break the Internet.

Whether you thought her flaunting her big bottom was exceptionally vulgar or artistic homage, you knew that whatever it was, you couldn’t get away with it. Black girls get scolded and shamed for flaunting their bodies. Kardashian does it and literally gets put on a pedestal (she’s standing on one on the Paper cover).

We needed a pick-me-up. Something with some class, some creativity we could get behind. We didn’t need a reminder that black is beautiful (and not just when the attributes show up dipped in white), so much as we just needed an immediate counterexample to Kardashian’s ass-out imagery. I mean, there has to be some balance.

Come through, Mrs. Solange Knowles-Ferguson. The quirky fashionista, singer and songwriter has always marched to a very different beat from her pop-star sister and everyone else, too. And her wedding day was a reflection of that, just as everyone expected, once the blogs broke the news that the younger Knowles would marry over the weekend. We were all expecting something unique. But Solange and her new husband, videographer Alan Ferguson, took their celebration to epic status.

Here are the top five reasons social media is swooning, fawning and “Yaaassssing!” over Solange’swedding photos.

1. Solange looked amazing.


From her fluffed-out ‘fro on her big day (yes, big hair is special-occasion hair) to her array of caped cream one-pieces, including a to-die-for Stephane Rolland jumpsuit, Solange served up hippie goddess and superhero chic with futuristic flair. She showed enough curves to let you know she was a woman, and covered enough for you to know she was a lady, too.

2. Everyone looked amazing.


If you’ve ever been to a white party, you know that folks can get that dress code mandate very right—and very wrong, too. Also, someone always goes rogue on the color restrictions. Solange’s guests came through fierce, on theme—and covered. (In the group picture that features 12 women, there are just two sets of knees exposed.)

“Black people in white look like little black angels,” The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Phaedra Parks once observed. And you know what? She was right. Some sort of award should go to Tina Knowles, who stunned as the mother of the bride with a plunging neckline and svelte waistline. And there should be an honorable mention for Jay Z, the dutiful brother-in-law, whose perfectly tailored cream suit looked straight off the cover of GQ.

3. Black love abounds (at every age).


The Knowles women exemplified black love on Solange’s big day. Of course there were the newlyweds, Solange and Alan (he looks a full two decades younger than his actual age, 51, and looked “crazy in love”). Big sis Beyoncé was escorted by her family: husband Jay Z and their adorable fluffy-haired mini, Blue Ivy, who was pictured on her mother’s hip as the family exited the church. Mama Knowles was accompanied by her very fine, gray-bearded beau, actor Richard Lawson, whose hat she held in multiple pictures.

4. She did it her way.


It’s clear that Solange didn’t follow the rules, and the results were amazing. From Solange and husband-to-be riding a bike to the ceremony, to her wedding pants; unconventional group wedding photos, taken by Rog Walker (and seemingly inspired by Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft); and regal, floor-length, cream Kenzo wedding gown with two simple gold Lady Grey cuffs, Solange went totally left, and it came out right.

5. It gave us all a little hope.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 4.17.15 PM


You can hardly scroll through an essay on relationships or black women without stumbling across a stat about how we never marry, or a line bashing single moms. But here is Solange, a divorced mom of one, finding love—and locking it down—a second time around, and with a husband who gazes at her adoringly. Then there’s rapper Jay Z, once the poster boy for black bachelors, lovingly carting around his daughter in his arms with his wife by his side. People grow up. It’s beautiful to bear witness ... sort of. (Instagram counts.)


Read the full story: here 


The Root: Stop Lying to Women About What It "Takes" to Get Married

Future First Lady Michelle Obama with husband and  One Day President Barack Obama Lincoln University President Robert R. Jennings stirred up a lot of trouble for himself when remarks he made in September to female students insinuating that women lied about rape went viral this week. After much public outrage, he apologized on Tuesday.

 “My message was intended to emphasize personal responsibility and mutual respect,” Jennings wrote. “I apologize for my choice of words. I certainly did not intend to hurt or offend anyone.”

He added that he would “choose [his] words more carefully” going forward.

I’m glad that people rose up to condemn that inflammatory portion of his speech about rape. And I’m glad Jennings had a “come to Jesus” epiphany, or at least followed the advice of the university publicist, and apologized for his remarks on rape. But there was another segment of the speech that deserved some ire and an apology: the segment about guys liking to have fun with women in short dresses, but going on to marry the women who wear the long ones.

“Men treat you, treat women, the way women allow us to treat them,” Jennings told the young women. “And let me let you in on another little secret. We will use you up if you allow us to use you up. Well guess what? When it comes time for us to make that final decision, we’re going to go down the hall and marry that girl with the long dress on. That’s the one we’re going to take home to Mom.”

These comments are minor in comparison with the ones about rape. But they caught my attention because they uphold the Madonna-whore stereotype, that women of worth have to be covered up and asexual. God forbid a young woman of legal age with the body to show off in a short dress wears one and explores her sexuality with another consenting adult. This somehow makes her unworthy of marriage.

The young man in this equation? He gets off scot-free. Boys will be boys, right? So what if he’s exploring his sexuality, too, and so what if he explores it with as many women as possible? The conservative woman down the hall with the long dress on? She should be happy to have him, no matter how messy he’s been, right? I would love to hear Jennings’ speech to the male students. I wonder if there was any mention of “No means no,” “Don’t rape,” “Don’t have sex with just anyone,” “Respect your coeds” or “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

I’m baffled as to why a college president feels the need to focus on the social and sexual lives of his female students. Why are we talking to college-age students about marriage instead of, I don’t know, their education, their interviewing and networking skills, and their readiness to enter the professional marketplace?

But I’m even more baffled at the lies we keep telling women, that if we do things by the letter, then we’ll get the reward: marriage. There are heaps of educated, hard-praying, knees-covered women who leaned in to that theory and are single. I hear from them daily and they ask, “Why?” and “What did I do wrong?” They all know married women with kids—who might have dropped out of school, might still have their cleavage exposed and a short dress on—and they just don’t get it.

These single women bought the hype about the “type” of woman who gets married. They didn’t know that the only “type” who marries is the type who wants to be and who finds someone she loves and who loves her back. It happens to all sorts of women, no matter the length of the dress they wear or how closely they uphold the Madonna archetype.

The truth is, the game is rigged against women. If you explore your completely healthy and normal sexuality as an adult—and don’t let people actually find out that you do—you’re not marriage material. Want to “save yourself” for marriage? At 22 and inexperienced, those women are often called prudes. I hear from them daily. The guys they want to date want to have sex, and as soon as those guys find out that this particular woman isn’t having it—literally and figuratively—they bail.

We tell women to focus on building a career. That’s fine with everyone until those women at the ripe age of 25 don’t have a husband, at which point everyone and their mom asks, “Why are you single?” It’s also fine to be professionally driven ... until she has too many titles and owns her own stuff, at which point she’s told she’s “too independent,” and has left no room for a man to provide. The New York Post writes articles about the “scrubs” she’s forced to date because she’s risen too high and too fast. And if a woman doesn’t have her own money? She gets called a lazy gold digger trying to profit from someone else’s sacrifices.

It’s an evil catch-22.

Read more: here 


Belle Discusses Street Harassment on 'Nightline'

Demetria does "Nightline", October 30, 2014.  

Click the image below to watch my interview on @NIGHTLINE last night, discussing (white) women and street harassment. I'm amazed by the reaction to this video (10 million views). I'm glad street harassment is a national topic, but stunned by the response to white women's tears. There's been an ongoing discussion by Black women about sexual harassment for months on Black sites/blogs/Twitter (ie, #youoksis) that went ignored by mainstream media. Many Black men only joined the conversation to say shut up, stop complaining, stop exaggerating or be grateful someone's even paying attention.

A white woman speaks out? It's a national news story and there's hand wringing everywhere. White men— who also street harass, but were conveniently left out of the video-- are pining to rescue her from the scary Black and Latino guys bothering her. This is racism and sexism at its finest.


B. discussing street harassment and (white) women's protection on Nightline.




Ask Demetria: "My Ex Abandoned Me (and the Kids), But Now He Wants A Second Chance"

"You abandoned me. Love don't live here anymore" — Faith Dear Demetria:

My boyfriend cheated and abandoned me and my kids. I didn’t even know he was leaving. I came home and his things were gone. I started dating a great guy, but after a year my ex has returned and wants to get married. The new guy has been there for that year, helping me with financial issues and me. Would I be wrong for going back to my ex? I still love him, and he said he needed time to give me 100 percent like I gave him. I don’t know what to do, but I feel like I never should have been without my ex. —Anonymous

Don’t be a fool for love. You’re in love with a man who, from what you’re telling me here, doesn’t deserve what you want to offer him. The guy who deserves it? He’s the one who’s been doing the most, pitching in to help financially and taking care of you while you’re a mess, pining for a man who doesn’t appreciate you. Just as you hope your ex will appreciate you the second time around, I wish you could appreciate the man in front of you. You’d be so much happier in the long run.

Your ex is no good for you. He walked out on you and your kids, and for a year he never looked back. He didn’t care how the rent (or mortgage) got paid or how you would explain his absence to the kids or the emotional toll it would take on you. He wanted to go and didn’t even have the decency to say goodbye. This is not the type of man you give a second chance to, much less marry. If you go back to him, he will do it again. He fundamentally does not respect you or commitment.

Let me tell you where your ex has been. He wasn’t sitting up somewhere in a monastery, praying daily and taking vows of silence and abstinence to find the God within himself. While you were trying to figure out how to take care of your kids on one income again, he was finding himself laid up with the woman (or one of the women) he was cheating on you with. While you were crying your eyes out about him leaving, he was taking her to dinner and buying her trinkets and whispering sweet nothings. While your kids were asking, “Where’s so-and-so?” he may have been splurging on this other woman’s child, trying to win that child’s affection and more of his or her mama’s. You’ll never know what he was up to because while you were holding it down, he was not there anymore.

Because some version of this question comes up over and over and over in my inbox, I’m going to safely say that the woman or women he was with all this time either bored him or got rid of him. Now he needs some attention, and he’s shown back up at your door begging and promising the world and everything in it. It’s a mirage, hon. Don’t be fooled. Either he needs a place to stay or he’s jealous of your happiness and wants you to want him.

If you leave the new guy for your ex—exactly what your ex did to you, so you know—you will soon find yourself back in the same spot you were a year ago. Your ex isn’t staying this time, either, and when he leaves again, the new guy likely isn’t going to be as forgiving to you as you are to your ex. You’ll be on your own, again, which you probably need to be anyway. If you could skip all the drama to reach that point, it would serve you better.

So about the new guy: You’re using him—again, just as you were used by your ex. You’re keeping the new guy around while you piece yourself back together, and spending his money. It’s not fair to him, and you know exactly how unfair it is because you’ve been in his position.

Read more: here 

AskFM UPDATE (Again): The (Almost) Complete #BCPills Saga

  So birth control or nah?

‪‪This the latest update in the ongoing saga that AskFM and Twitter users have deemed, aptly, #BCPills.

A quick recap if this is your introduction to this year-plus long saga:

Guy is paying for BC pills for his lady, discovers she isn’t taking them. Confronts her. She’s four months pregnant. It all goes downhill from there.

You can read the first part of the story: HERE. (Get comfortable. It’s long.)



I haven't heard from #BCPills in a long time. I was launching a book and planning a wedding, so that would easily explain it, I guess. I also haven't had insomnia in a while and haven't been up late, the time when we usually chatted on Twitter.

The last time he shared his life with me (aka us), he and his child's mom had been in a physical altercation after she spit on him twice and he slapped her. He went to jail for a couple weeks for that one. When he got out, he told me his plan was to get full custody of his child for what I think should be obvious reasons to anyone whose followed this story.

Today, I received an email from his sister:

I’m writing you as a favor for my Big brother [redacted]. I’m not sure if you were aware that his court date was Monday.

Things didn’t go as we all would have liked them to. [Redacted] has to do 18 months. He has been charged with domestic violence, resisting arrest, threating/assaulting an officer and disorderly conduct or something like that, still not too sure.

He wants you to know he’s ok and to keep him in your prayers.

 I know my big brother. A lot of the stuff they charged him with is bogus.  He doesn’t bother anybody unless you bother him first. Come on now a black man threating the police? Yeah, right. Or how about him trying to throw his baby mama over the railing. Big lie! 

I don't know what to say at this point, other than he, his family, and his daughter are in my prayers.






August 27, 2014

Also, before you dive in to the latest update, you should know (full disclosure): that I’ve stayed in touch with the guy in question over the last year. We follow each other on social media, and you might have seen us late-night chatting about absolutely everything and nothing over the last few months. I have insomnia and he’s up in the middle of the night feeding his daughter, so there we are.

I “know” him to be a nice guy, one that a few readers have inquired about (to date him) after watching our interactions. I’m very sad about the most recent turn this story has taken, and quite worried about him.

A few days ago, I realized I hadn’t heard from him in a while. When I’m on Twitter, we usually chat throughout the day. I wondered what he was up to in passing, then forgot about it. Yesterday, I got an explanation from the mother of his child:


I know i'm probably the last person you want to hear from and you might not think much of me or think I deserve [redacted], especially the way I stop taking my pills. But I promise I really do love him. I ain't too good at asking for help, but I'm asking cause I might [have] just blew my last shot with him

I think this time he is not going to take me back I just need a little advice cause I’m going crazy and I don’t have nobody to talk to [a]bout this. I do love him.

I know I can get wild and go crazy but I'm working on my attitude for real, not just for us, but for our baby. The other week we got into and the lady next door call[ed] the police. They had already said if they come back somebody going to jail.

But I hid his key [because] he’s always trying walk off‬, not talk shit out. I can't stand that and he know that and he still be doing that. So I pushed him and called him a f--k n---a. He push me too.  My push ain’t hurt him so he shouldn't even [push] me back. I ain’t going to lie. When I get mad, I act the fool so I spit in his face and he slap me. When the police came back ‪they wasn't trying to hear nothing by him and we both was going to jail. But he say he hit me and I did nothing so now he got to do an automatic 21 days for DV. He ain't call me yet. I told his ma to tell him I put money on my phone and he aint call yet

Why in the world would he call you? No, really? YOU SPIT ON HIM!!!!!

And if I recall, this is the second time you've gone crazy, at least that I know of. Didn't you scratch up his face or neck a few months ago?

So what you don't get your way. So what you're mad. So what you're hurt. F--king deal!!! That doesn't give you the right to spit, or push, or scratch up anyone.

You, ma'am need serious professional help. The father of your child, the man with the good job who pays for everything? He's locked up over you acting a plumb fool AGAIN cause you can't act like a civilized adult and want to put your hands on people. And even after all that wild sh-- you did, he took the blame so your simple self wouldn't go to jail and could stay with ether baby. Are you happy now?

You don't need to be with anyone, certainly not him.

The child is a blessing, but it's so unfortunate that he has that child with you. I'm sick of you creating constant drama and acting a fool and playing the “l'm a victim" and "but I love him". From the time you got pregnant on purpose when you knew he didn't want kids, you've been on a non-stop mission to ruin this man's life. STOP IT. He had sense enough to leave you. LET HIM GO!!!!

You need help so you can stop hurting other people with your own hurt.

I'm disgusted by this whole saga.


I wasn’t the only one. Readers quickly responded to this update. This about sums up the sentiment:

‪Re ratchet spitter: Ratchet Nation at its (un) fineness.... O_o this has to be someone re-enacting something from a VH1 shows. Please tell me this isn't real. The logic is ALL off.

I wish. These two have been writing in for a year.


And then she was back:

Ratchet? Sorry, hunty, far from it. Like I said, he was the first one to get in his feelings cause he know he was dead ass wrong for having my baby around the next chick. Let him catch some other n---a holding my baby he will be pissed off

Ma'am. YOU SPIT ON SOMEONE. Whether you are ratchet or not isn't up for discussion.

If you're looking for my approval, you won't get it. I'm appalled by your REPEATED behavior.


If I got a problem he do too. Your lady talking to you, you don’t just cut her off talking, “miss [me] with the bullsh—“ and hollering [a]bout you ain’t in the mood to talk. All I ask him was one simple question, “is he and his friend fucking?” He the one got all raw raw and swole up and got a attitude

But you're not ratchet?


‪But anyway, I am done with this. I don't care if his ass don't ever call, but I bet you he won’t have my baby around her or anybody else without child support telling him he can’t see [her]. Believe that. Have a good night

I say this with all due respect: you're a bird. Like... I can't even believe what I'm reading in your responses. Your logic is so far off from what's sensible and normal and you don't even know. You even feel justified in your shenanigans.

You spit on him. He's locked up. And you think this is justifiable because he didn't want to be with you. GROW UP, DAMMIT!!!!!

‪Ever since that b---h got out of the army, he been sh--tting on me for her. E very time she call, he jumping. She need a ride, he break his neck to give it. My starter been gone on my car for 2 months, he ain’t fix it yet. I'm the one that got his baby not her. And you play me to the right? You damn right Immatrip. How would you feel if your n---a and his ex slash best friend chilling all up at the park with your baby and her nephew? That shit will look suspect to you too. So hell yeah, I flip. Any woman will. Got this h-- breathing all over [my baby]. So girl, bye. Miss me with all the “oh, I’m drama” sh--.  Whatever, girl. Bye

Your starter isn't his responsibility. It's YOUR responsibility. Even if it was, how's it getting fixed now? He just got locked up for 3 weeks. His job is a wrap. With what money is paying for you or your kid?

You see the father of your child moving on, and I'm sure that hurts. You tried to trap him with a kid and he's still not staying. That's gotta hurt. But nothing about the way you're responding to this is acceptable behavior. I don't know what you've seen in life or why you think it is, but it absolutely is not.

You have his baby. You do know that "baby mama" doesn't trump anyone right? Wife does. GF does. There's a reason the title BM only refers to the relationship to the child and not the other adult. It holds very little weight.

Yeah, so no. I get why you're mad. But in NO WAY WHATSOEVER does that justify stealing his keys so he can't leave, or pushing him or spitting on him. YOU ARE DEAD WRONG. You don't get to push people and dictate how they respond. And you don't get to spit on anyone and say it's wrong when you get hit.

Your child's father is moving on. It hurts to be rejected. But from Day One with this kid you've bad decision after bad decision, from throwing out the BC Pills and tricking him with a baby to the time you were tagging him on FB to the other time when you scratched him up.

Ya'll don't need to be together. It's best that he go. He needs someone else and you need anger management. NO ONE SANE is going to put up with your out of control sh--. And the next dude you try that spitting ish on might just Ray Rice you.

And I'm not looking for approval all I'm saying is he is in the wrong to bending over backwards for a chick that aint’ [his]  baby mama, then trying be raw raw on me. If that aint suspect… Aint you going to be mad too? Before she got back, it was all “let’s make this work for the baby”. Now it’s “f--k me” I see

Let's make this work isn't a commitment. He's moving on. That's no excuse for you to flip put. NONE. I'm baffled how you feel justified here. You are dead wrong.

‪I don’t know why you get all bitchy with me like it’s all my fault. As good as a read you are, I’mma show you saw where I said I'm not the one that called the police, the neighbors did, and where I said he push me too. So don’t try to play me off like I'm some ratchet chick cause that aint me at all‬”

YOU SPIT ON ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. That is the very definition of ratchet.

He pushed you AFTER you pushed him and after you hid his keys so he couldn't leave. <<< that's your version of events.

Should he have pushed you BACK? No. Everyone should keep their hands to themselves, including you. That said, you don't get to put your hands on people, then dictate how they respond to you. You pushed and got pushed. You don't want people touching you, don't give them a PRIME REASON for doing it.

So you have no issues with this bitch trying to destroy my family? I see you like everybody else. You want to see me hurt. You want to break me down. You want to see me cry. But guess what? I’m strong. Yeah, I cried last night but I'm back up‬

Your constant victimization is killing me. It's not everyone else causing problems, ITS YOU!!!

Explain why anyone should root for you right now. Like, really. EXPLAIN!!! You tricked him into getting you pregnant, you acted a plumb fool on social media while pregnant, you scratched up his face once before and now you're hiding keys, pushing and spitting on folks. HELL NO!!! NO ONE with any sense is rooting for ya'll to work.

And if you think he's even considering a relationship with you after getting locked up over your silly shenanigans, you're nuts. You did this to yourself, hon.

VIDEO: Belle x Kerry Washington at BlogHer

Me x Kerry Washington Remember that time I went to San Jose for the 10th BlogHer convention and I interviewed Kerry Washington?

You do?! Great  There's video. Scroll down.

You don't? A quick refresher. (You can read the full story here):

Shortly after I get settled backstage on Saturday, in walks Kerry. . Frankly, I wasn’t expecting her yet. Most major celebs will pop up at the absolute last minute. That, and right before they show up, there’s usually a sudden flurry of activity with people last-minute prepping to make sure everything is perfect for the celeb arrival. There’s none of that today and it’s  more than an hour ‘til showtime

Kerry just sort of appears with her publicist. She’s dressed Saturday casual in a cute pink top, jeans and sky-high black Loubs pumps. And she gives off the vibe of your best girlfriend, the one who you admire for her grace and always being (or seeming) effortlessly together. We hug “hello” and after greeting the organizers, she perches on the edge of the leather sofa and strikes up a convo with me. She knows about my trip to Panama, and asks if I’m doing Season Two of [The Show], which means she either reads my blog or follows me on Instagram. The person I’ve been studying has also been studying me. Go figure.

We talk a bit about how she’s juggling being a wife and mom. (I won’t give you deets because it wasn’t part of the interview, but I will say that though less guarded than she is in interviews, she’s still guarded. I am a journalist after all, and most celebs don’t trust us.)

There are two speakers set to go on before us. While the first is on stage, I use the downtime to go over my (long) outline. I thought we had an hour, we actually have 40 minutes, including a Q&A with the audience. I need to re-pace, cut out the clutter. I’ve got more than enough time, twenty minutes… or not.

One of the BlogHer organizers comes up to say they’re switching the pace. We’re up next. The second speaker (my blogger homie Luvvie Ajayi) will go after us now. We’ll take the stage as soon as the current speaker is up… in about 3 minutes.

Uh… ok.

The reaction to the interview was overwhelmingly positive. I felt good about it and I’m a hard critic on myself, so I’m going to go ahead and say I nailed it. I didn’t get her to open up about her husband, but there were a couple cute moments where she heard a baby cry in the audience and started looking around. She joked about being a new mother and having an instinctual reaction.

UPDATE: Kerry Washington has spoken:

I woke up to this. Today is a good day.


Either way: there's videoooooo!!!!!! (You have to say video in that sing-songy Oprah voice she does when she's really happy.)


[video width="560" height="315" id="Kvo1pkGtP9k" type="youtube"]


AskFM 3rd #DNADad UPDATE: The Return of Bio-Dad

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 12.47.30 AM  


After the last update, many of you rightly guessed that wasn't the end of  "Bio Dad". He's back— and he's a bigger ass than anyone could have guessed. The reason he doesn't want anything to do with his son? "It's not part of the American Dream." Sigh.

DNADad asks at the end of every update that we pray for him. And apparently folks have been on bended knee. The tables are turning in DNADad's (and the son's) favor. While you're sending up your prayers, go on and say a few words for Bio Dad too. He ain't right within.

Keep reading to find out why:

DNA/Son, Hi Ms Lucas .I promised I would keep you in the loop. Here goes. I received another email yesterday from my boy's "bio", asking if we could meet for lunch around noon. I agree and asked if I could bring my lawyer along. He agreed in fact he insisted that he tag along.‬

 I really didn't know what to expect. so I tried to mentally prepare myself as much as possible. After exchanging pleasantries we got right down to business. Basically he wants to sign over his rights. I am 99% ecstatic, but there is that 1% that didn't sit right with me so I just had to ask‬.

I ask him how come he's so eager to discard his own flesh and blood. His response blew me away. I can't remember word for word but here is the gist of it:

"Men and women want the American Dream, the house, the car, the dream job, the perfect spouse, 2.5 kids a cat and a dog‬. Along with that dream comes bullsh--, martial probs, lost of funds, aliments and others things. The goal is not to focus on the bad but the American Dream itself. You have to be willing to do what every it takes to stay the course and steer clear of the bullshit. “[Name redacted] falls under bull shit, no offense. I’m sure he's a great kid, but he not apart of my American dream."

Ms. Lucas, he says a bunch of other hoopla, but after hearing him call my boy “bull shit”, I tuned him out. I actually had to. I take a look at my Jack D and thought maybe I've had a glass too many‬…

I swear I felt the hands of God anchoring me to my seat. It took everything within me to not get up and bust this arrogant son of a b---h in the mandible*.

Long story cut: after confirming DNA we will be able to start getting the paperwork drawn up. My lawyer says he can have the ball‬ [rolling] as early as Monday morning . I can't rejoice just yet until the ink is dry on paper work.

Ms. Lucas, I grew up with my Dad so I can't say what it’s like to not have one. I do however have pals that weren't so lucky. I can't for the life of me understand men who abandoned their children‬.

We still have a long road ahead of us in fixing this mess. I will continue to keep you posted. As always, pray for us and I will do the same.



*jawbone. I had to look it up. I know some of ya’ll were like “what’s that?” too. LOL. 

You're Invited: Love & Politics III

RSVP info is listed below. Please join us on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 for a charming and exciting evening of Love + Politics III (#LoveandPolitics) at Suite 36 (16 W 36th St) from 7 - 10:30 pm as we mix, mingle, and recognize leaders who have forged a path of heightened consciousness and commitment to ensure the health, happiness and prosperity of our communities and generations to come.

Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served.  

Gift bags will be provided by ARISE News, Essence, Sony, and others.

Music by DJ Jon Quick. 

For those interested, the Ryan Center will offer voluntary HIV testing in a comfortable and private area. 

There is no charge for this event.

RSVP HERE !!!!!!

Our partners for this event include: ARISE News, National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc. (NBLCA), New York Knows/New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Young Professionals of the New York Urban League (YPUL), Empire State Medical Association, Human Intonation, Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition (YWCHAC), Veaux Productions

Funded by: HealthFirst, Empire State Medical Association (ESMA), New York Knows


In recognition of National HIV Testing Day, honorees include: 

Doug E. Fresh - Rapper and Health Activist 

Demetria Lucas - Author; A Belle in Brooklyn & TV Personality

Robert Cornegy - NYC Councilman                                                             

Yvette Clarke - US Congresswoman

Special Guest: Hydeia Broadbent, International HIV/AIDS Activist/ Humanitarian


Host Committee

Verneda Adele, Dr. Janna Andrews, Brian Benjamin, Charon Darris, Shadan Deleveaux, Tara Dowdell, Will 'Nook' DuBose, Juanito Fortuno, Monique Hedmann, Kymsha Henry, Dr. Michael Knight, Tamika Mallory, Dr. Aletha Maybank, Athena Moore, Dr. Chris Phang, Errol Pierre, Diallo Shabazz, Gregory Smiley, Jamar Ward, Felecia Webb, and L. Joy Williams