Tag Archives: DATING

TalesOfToney: True Stories of Dating, Love, Polyamory, Sexuality, and Herpes

July 9, 2021

From Behind The Glitter Curtain: An Erotic Memoir is Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and AppleBooks

It had never occurred to me to see myself as a victim. On some level, we have been conditioned to see victims as a clear black and white line. However, in this new era, and growth of the “Me too” movement, and the understanding of spectrum behavior, I realized that I too have been in many me too situations.

I never wanted to be a victim of rape, so, more often than not, when I found myself in a sexual situation where I didn’t want to move forward, I conditioned myself to agree to the act to avoid being violently raped. Sure, I could’ve left. But the fear of being pulled back into a room and forced pushed me to consider engaging as my only option. And, when your options seem extremely bleak, they don’t seem like options at all. 

It recently occurred to me that I was once a victim of coercion. During my recording of the How I F*ck podcast, the host asked me about my first sexual encounter after being diagnosed with herpes. 

I was at the house of a guy I was dating, we were watching a movie at his home, and I hadn’t disclosed my status to him yet. Eventually, the moment arrived when he wanted to have sex, but I didn’t want to have sex. I told him I didn’t want to have sex. But he proceeded to push forward. In the final moments of the tug-of-war, as he was not taking no for an answer, I made a choice not to be a victim of undeniable rape. But in turn, and with years of breaking down rape culture, I became a victim by another name. That name is coercion. 

Although I never saw myself as such, it took years of education to learn that consent is freely given and can be taken back at any time. One sexual encounter does not guarantee you access forever. And the inability to remove consent or not feeling safe enough to withdraw consent means that the act falls on the spectrum of rape culture.

The Spectrum.

It takes a powerful person to acknowledge that all they thought they knew is now questionable and, in many cases, outright wrong.

I grew up at the height of the rap era. Women in bikinis, shaking their asses. Strip clubs and pool parties were the focus of every video, and bottles of Dom sprayed across the weaves of every moist bodied video vixen. It’s hard for men and women growing up in this era to realize that those scenes played a pivotal role in what we now know as rape culture. 

You can even take it back to the 70s and 80s with a cult classic like Revenge of the Nerds. In the movie, the main nerd character donned a mask to trick his crush into having sex with him. Let’s not forget the blacked-out date-rape in Sixteen Candles, or the peeping Toms in Porkys, or the attempted car rape in Back to the Future. 

Sometimes what people bitch about as “cancel culture” is calling out fucked up shit. (I challenge you, go back and look at these movies and tell me you’d want your daughter in those roles). 

I’ve experienced having my ass grabbed when I was 14 at a street festival. I was followed on the six train in NYC on my way home from college. My elementary school friend and I were even followed on our walk to school by a pervert who fondled himself from a (not so far) distance. Even receiving unrequested dick pics in my phone (I swear that book is coming); it’s all problematic. 

But the worst, by far, was when I was exiting my building and rushing to get into a cab when a man approached me. Because I didn’t make time to stop and talk to him (you know, because I was getting into a taxi), he felt entitled and enraged enough to threaten my life. 

“I should shoot you in the back of your head bitch!” Were his words, to be exact. Not knowing if he meant it or not, as the driver pulled off, I slid down in the back seat.

This altercation still sits with me because I had no clue how to respond. I still don’t know how I would react if it were ever to happen again. The nerve of a total stranger to feeling so confident and comfortable to threaten my life simply because I didn’t stop to engage in his advances.

I hate to go down this road, but I’m going to do it anyway. 

As a black woman living in NYC, most of the disrespect I’ve experienced was at the hands of black men. Black men who will call me cute one minute, then turn around and call me a bitch when I ignore them. It’s been black men that have followed me for a block to get my attention and turn disrespectful when I deny their advances. It’s been black men in passing that feel they had ownership to my body, so much that they saw fit to reach their hand out to touch me. WTF!!!

For those men fixing their mouths to say the “That’s not me” bull shit, you’re missing the point. 

It doesn’t have to be you. But it’s happening to your daughters, sisters, cousins, aunts, mothers, friends, etc. It’s happening. Ask the women in your life if they’ve ever been verbally assaulted, followed, threatened, cat-called, coerced, or inappropriately touched. If they tell you yes, I challenge you to listen to them, then consider what measures you can do as a man to change the pattern of negative behavior.

The black man-child that shot at those women dining outside, those women could’ve been your sister. The black man-child-cowards that beat up the black woman at the liquor store in NYC, that woman could’ve been your daughter. 

How do you, how do we change the cycle for the next generation? How do we change the culture of rape, entitlement, and violence towards black women? We can’t continue to march and fight for the same black men that turn around and victimize us in the streets and the homes.

Some great black men do not perpetuate these acts of violence. However, those who do, do it so loudly, boldly, and proudly that they often overshadow the good men.

As a “good” black woman, I don’t want the least desirable of us being the standard for all of us. So, all the “good” black men need to be louder and more visible than the toxic and problematic ones. 

You’re tired of the black male generalizations; me too. So, FIX IT!

I WONDER…

From Behind The Glitter Curtain: An Erotic Memoir is Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and AppleBooks

Sometimes I wonder, how different my life would’ve been if certain things had gone differently. I know we often like to think that we have total control over our lives, and some believe that we have no control at all (what is meant to be will be). But a part of me believes that I may have been in a different place than I currently am if certain things hadn’t happened. And the clinker is, there is no guarantee that the hypothetical place would be better, worse or the same. 

I knew at the age of 8 that I liked girls too. I used to flirt with my boy classmate during exercise, but when I would hang out with my childhood friend after school, I felt the same way for her that I felt for him. And she was my first kiss behind the couch in my mother’s kitchen area. At the age of fourteen, I joined a choir, and with them, I found my new home and place to express myself. Half the group was either gay, bisexual, or what we once considered androgynous. There was a girl in the choir that I had a massive crush on, her name was Odessa, and she became my girlfriend for an entire week (at 14, that really meant something). She was my first conscious kiss, but she would be my last for a very long time. 

Shortly after she and I broke up, my sister-in-law got wind of my budding-sexual-curiosities. There was another girl in the choir that I found attractive. Because she was a year or two older and thus more experienced, I wanted to explore my sexuality with her. However, my sister-in-law saw her desire and attraction for me as predatory. To be specific, she thought that the girl was trying to “turn me out” instead of me genuinely liking her. She threatened the girl and told her that I was off-limits. I didn’t know how to express my feelings, and I was too afraid to speak up for myself, so that was the end. Even if I had been confident in my attraction, she (like many adults do) would’ve dismissed my sexual curiosities with, “you’re too young to be gay or bisexual.”

What is the proper age for someone to honestly know their sexuality? As young as eight years old, I knew how I felt; I simply didn’t have the language or courage to express it. So, it would be almost two decades before I would admit to myself what I had denied for so long. With my first threesome, I knew that my desire for women was valid the entire time. I had simply suppressed it. When my SIL and I talk about my coming out, she expresses that she wish I told her a long time ago. She didn’t see her actions as negative because she thought that she was helping me. But when it came to boys, her need to protect me wasn’t as present. This makes me wonder if she hadn’t intervened, how different my journey would’ve been.

I don’t have many regrets in life. I honestly don’t even regret being with the man that passed me herpes. Sure, my life would’ve been easier without the virus; but I don’t regret knowing him. The sex was great, and he didn’t treat me poorly; he just came with a lasting parting gift. 

What if I had explored dating women with the same passion that I dated men. Maybe dating both genders would’ve opened up the door of my sexuality a lot earlier. Perhaps I wouldn’t have sought the perfect male companion all those years. Maybe I wouldn’t have encountered so many male-induced heartbreaks. Maybe I wouldn’t have dated Will, and perhaps I would still be herpes negative. Perhaps I would’ve ended up in a long-term lesbian-presenting relationship and didn’t have to be on birth control for much of my adult life. Maybe my first “I love you” would’ve been with a woman instead of a man. Maybe I could’ve met, fell in love with, and married a bomb ass, sexy ass curvy woman. Maybe. Perhaps. Maybe. The fact remains that I will never know. But, because of various events, I lived most of my existence as heterosexual, never learning how to navigate the complexities of dating other women. So, when I finally came out at 30, people naturally didn’t believe me. 

Last year, I got into a debate with a later-exposed Hotep who was very opinionated on LGBTQIA+ representation. Like many heterosexual and misogynistic individuals, he argued that the increased representation of said individuals is media propaganda to force young (black) boys and men to become feminine. As if these very individuals didn’t exist before the invention of the TV. Like many who think like him, he couldn’t comprehend that, more often than not, people hide who they are for the comfort of others. It was easier for them to go with the lie that the media is brain-washing the minds of young (black) boys to become women or because they see it, they want to try it. You can correct me if I’m wrong. But, no amount of seeing something will make you want to do it if it was never on your mind in the first place. —No amount of seeing men kiss will make you want to one day break up with your girl and kiss a dude. If you never wanted to before, you won’t want to do it now.

Being gay, straight, bi, lesbian, and others is not a choice. Living your truth is a choice. And for years, I did not live my truth. For years I lied to myself every time I made a dating profile, and I only sought heterosexual connections. For years I denied myself the possibility when I turned away from a woman’s flirting eye. If my family had embraced me exploring my sexual orientation identity, my life might have been different.

I say all of this to say despite how you as a parent or adult feel, sometimes your child KNOWS. There is no such thing as too young to be gay or bisexual because feelings and attraction often precede the language to express such desires. If your child comes to you expressing their sexual orientation (or gender identity), listen to what they have to say. Allow them the ability, to be honest with you and go from there. Don’t shame or deny their feelings or identity because it is not what you want for your child. Provide them a safe space to be who they feel they are and allow them to come to a healthy conclusion, not a forced societal one.

COMPLEX ASS INDIVIDUAL

2019 was a fantastic year for my new-found and lived identity. From three romantic partners and amazing sexual encounters, I explored more of my sexuality, mentality, and emotions.

In this everchanging society of sexualities and titles, the world can become a very confusing place. It took me years to finally accept my desire for women, but I still struggle with my attraction level for the women I find myself attracted to. I still desire intimate connections with women, but not in the same way I do with men. As long as he looks good and has a nice penis, I can be sexual with men. However, when it comes to women, physical attraction is just the tip of the iceberg.

A few years ago, I had my first intimate encounter with a woman during a threesome with her male partner. Because of them, I was instantly spoiled.  After them, I tried and failed miserably to re-encounter a couple of their magnitude, attractiveness, and desire to please but was disappointed.

A few times, many of my male partners tried to encourage me to join them in a threesome with a female companion of their choosing, and quite a few times, I’ve had to shut it down. It seems that no matter how many times I say it, many men seem to think that my bisexuality is for their pleasure. It is not. I have no desire to be intimate with a bi-curious woman. I could be with a woman who is not bi-romantic, but I prefer a woman that enjoys pussy as much as I do. In addition to that, I want a woman that I can vibe with outside of the bedroom. Because sex is always better when there is a genuine connection.

A woman that I can talk to and build a bond with is what I desire, not just a chick I can fuck.

***

For much of my adult life, dating was a complicated dance routine. The act of dating was fine, but once I found myself in a relationship, I struggled for my identity. Make no mistake, I love(d) being with my partner(s), and I revel in the private moments we share. However, the issue always came when I had to juggle we time for me time.

I love being by myself. I love going for long walks while listening to a podcast. I love laying in bed, legs crossed, tossing and turning under my covers without a care in my dreams. I love sitting at home watching TV or in front of my laptop writing without any distractions. I love making last-minute decisions to go out and grab a drink or dinner. I love moving at my own speed, not taking into account anyone else’s schedule, and doing what I want when I want.

For years, I didn’t have the language for what I was and how I felt. Then I happened across an article that described me to a tee, and it concluded that my traits are of someone who’s solo-poly. I’ve made the statement in previous posts. But my happiness, peace of mind, and satisfaction will always be my highest priority. I will consider the feelings of my partner(s), but if they affect me in a less than desirable way, I make the best decision for myself to dismiss them. Growing up monogamous and living my solo-poly truth is a constant juggling act to stay true to myself, but I think I make it work.

***

I have always been temperamental when it comes to sex. Don’t get me wrong; I love sex. I just don’t love sex all the time. Over the past year, my desire for sex has been a dysfunctional rollercoaster, in constant need of repair. With the pandemic, my career, stress about my book, my current living situation, how that impacts everything, and a future that is extremely unclear and forever changing, my sex drive has been in and out of focus.

I heard about the term asexual, and for a while and I thought that couldn’t be me because I like sex. Once again, after another article clarified that asexuality could come and go based on what was going on in someone’s life, I realized that I had always experienced bouts of asexuality; I just called it a reset. But asexuality is not a choice. It’s something that you feel (or don’t feel) that you don’t necessarily have control over how or when it happens or impacts your life.

I’m a sexual being; I simply don’t always feel like being sexual. I can and have gone months without sex and didn’t miss it. Keep in mind, being a quasi-asexual and bisexual woman with multiple partners can be a lot to juggle from time to time. There have been times I’ve needed to amp myself up, be it at parties or in my relationships. And there’ve been times where I’ve wanted nothing more than to be sprawled open and penetrated repeatedly. I’m all over the place. I know! LOL!

***

I’ve always declared that I was a complex-ass-individual. Hence why living and being polyamorous fits me. One minute I’m hot, the next I’m cold. Being and living poly allows both my partners and me to get the best parts of each other and be fulfilled without sacrificing the relationship. Because of that, my partners have the free-ethical ability to fill their buckets of desire whenever I am not in the mood or head-space to do it, and vice versa. One may love steak, but everyone once in a while, you want chicken.

POLYAMORY CHANGES

It’s been almost two years since I’ve been living a polyamorous love-style, and it has still been one of the best decisions I’ve made in a very long time. When I look back and evaluate what has made living poly so unique, one word comes to mind, change. 

Many things have changed since I’ve begun living poly, and the master change has been my expectations and “rules.” When I was living monogamously, I had expectations that never seemed to be met (at least not by the men that showed interest). There were also many rules I once had that I’ve since dismissed or lessened dramatically since being polyamorous. 

This pandemic threw a flaming monkey wrench into my dating life and plans. I had hoped to build upon the connections I already had. I had hoped to finish my book in the summer and promote it across the country. And lastly, I had hoped to be out of my parent’s home. However, with the city shut down (I live in NYC) and minimal opportunities for inclement weather date-nights, dating expectations became limited and scattered. With cafés, and bookstores closed, my comfort in writing was halted for months. And, since the city shut down, the organizations responsible for construction shut down as well, and my ability to move hit a brick wall. 

All wasn’t lost, though. Sex-positive people never stay without sex for too long, and over the summer, I reconnected with a partner from my past when he asked me to accompany him in a swap. We chatted up and got reacquainted, and he expressed his desire to “get to know me better.” We had planned a date, then the city shut down again (LOL!) Anyway, we’ve been in contact, and he bought my book. When he got to the part where I mentioned my strict “no kids” rule, he was concerned. I had to explain to him, that was a rule I had when I was monogamous. But, now that I’m polyamorous, I’m open to bending it. 

This was my first time really acknowledging that my rules when dating poly had shifted. I am spoiled. I was spoiled then, and I am still spoiled now. I want what I want. When I was dating monogamously, because my partner was the only one, the last-minute adjustments of dating a man with kids were always an issue. Knowing that I had maneuvered my entire day or week to be available for him to cancel or change plans if he had to pick up his kids or whatever, I would get pissed. Monogamy had him as my only target, and all of my expectations rested upon his shoulders, and that wasn’t fair. Being poly and having multiple partners and relationships and my relationship with myself, I never exhaust my options. If a date has to cancel, I may still be a little bit upset, but it’s no longer the house of cards tumbling down it was before. 

Being polyamorous, having multiple partners and relationships (including the one with myself) now allows me to have financially fair relationships as well. Because my primary love languages are gifts and acts of service, I like and want shit! Dates, flowers, candies, trips, and etc. But I’ve always thought of myself as a fair girlfriend. I never wanted or expected so much from a partner that it put a strain on him. Many would say, “it ain’t trickin’ if you got it.” But most of my partners didn’t have it, and I knew it. And since I couldn’t be with someone solely for financial gain, I found myself in many fair or financially imbalanced relationships. 

However, with the above realization, being poly has made space for relationships I may have otherwise turned away. Repeatedly going out at one partner’s expense can be a financial burden. Having multiple partners to date on occasion allows my date bucket to remain full, without the strain. Living poly has also allowed me to re-prioritize and consider myself a fantastic date. 

When I sought monogamous relationships, my alone time was a byproduct of my partner’s cancelation or lack of funds. I was forced to find happiness in being alone. But now, that happiness is genuine and very welcome. Those long hours of being alone allow me time to decompress, zone out, and refocus my energy and goals. I get up, make my way to a restaurant, read a book or listen to a podcast, and go for a nice long walk all by myself. Before poly, what a partner didn’t have would’ve been a huge deal breaker, but in this pool of poly-love, the laser focus is no longer on the perceived negatives. 

The poly changes allow me to see and experience a different kind of love, a love that’s not solely based on what my partner can do for me but how I feel for and with them.

MY BISEXUALITY

Certain youthful thoughts will forever be engraved in my mind. I remember the day I got glasses because I tripped stepping off the curb; I was wearing shorts and pink clogs. I remember my first boy crush; we couldn’t have been older than 5 years old. We used to sleep next to each other, on our individual cots, during nap time. I remember one day when we were stretch partners; we put our feet together, held hands, and rocked back and forth. I remember this distinctly because both he and I rocked way too close to each other’s genitals, and after that, we were never stretch partners again.

Another thing I remember was my first girl crush. We went to the same school, lived in the same building, and lived on the same floor. She would always come over my house so we could play after school and on the weekends. I remember us seeing a (heterosexual) couple kiss on TV, and we wanted to try it. One day, when she was over, we hid by the kitchen table, and we kissed. After our lips made contact, we opened our mouths to allow our tongues to dance. When the kiss was done, we never mentioned it again. At eight years old, I didn’t quite have the language, but I knew I really enjoyed the kiss.  

The kiss we shared felt just as passionate as the flirtation I shared with the boy, from when I was five. So, at a very early age, I knew I felt a like for boys and girls, I just didn’t call it bisexual. As I got older, my attraction to women never waned, I just suppressed it for my like of boys. When you grow up in Catholic school, have a Baptist grandmother, and a heterosexual family, you don’t question anything, you just go with the flow. So, for years, I said nothing. I occasionally watched lesbian porn, on late-night TV, but didn’t read into it having to do with my sexuality.  

At the age of fourteen, I joined a youth chorus. There must have been a fine-print that I missed because almost every member was either gay or bisexual. I instantly felt at home. I finally felt free to explore that side of my sexuality without being judged. I flirted with my female and male peers; I even had a girlfriend for about a week. But, when she asked me for money, I broke it off. When my sister-in-law got wind of my questioning sexuality, she assumed they were trying to ‘turn me out.’ There was an exchange of words between her and another girl. And, just like that, I was back in something resembling a closet.    

I flirted with women on and off, but nothing ever manifested. When I was diagnosed with herpes, I put the entire idea to rest. I wasn’t allowed to be a questioning bisexual; so, I had to pick a side and stick with it. For almost a decade, I lived my life as a heterosexual woman, and most of the time, I was content. But, from time to time, I wondered what it would be like to flirt and be intimate with a woman; but fear of rejection kept me quiet.   

Then one day, when I was on PositiveSingles.com, a couple came across my feed. We chatted, met up for drinks, and a few weeks later, I had my first threesome and sexual encounter with a woman. I loved every second of it. Sadly, my time with them was short-lived, as they broke up soon after. I wanted the experience again, but it proved way too difficult to find women with a mutual attraction that wanted to meet. It also became evident that lesbians did not like women that were bisexual. And too often, the women that claimed to be bisexual preferred a consistent male presence, instead of a female one. I wanted to explore being with women only at that time.  

I wasn’t sure where I stood, so I decided the only way to know if I really enjoyed being intimate with women, without investing too much time, was to go to a sex-club. At my first sex club, and most after, I engaged with women. I enjoyed the feeling, but I still questioned myself. When I appeared on the Whoreible Decisions podcast, I defined my sexuality as bi-flexible. Since I never saw myself in a romantic relationship with a woman, it seemed unfair or a lie if I said I was bisexual. Fast forward a year later and countless sexual trysts with women at sex parties, I’m turning a new leaf. As my desire to engage with women at sex parties is beginning to disappear, my passion for real intimacy with a woman is increasing.   

When I’m walking down the street, and a beautiful woman walks past me, I don’t think to myself, damn, I want to eat her pussy (like a man would). I think I want to get to know her, and I wonder if she wants to get to know me, then we’ll see what happens. Despite being totally satisfied in my primary relationship, I want to explore a female connection on an intimate level.   

Every so often, I wonder how it would feel to walk, holding hands with my female love interest. I wonder how we would meet and what our first date would be. I wonder if she would be ok knowing that I’m polyamorous and a swinger. Would we intermingle our lives, or would we keep things separate? And I wonder if our sexual chemistry could transform into love? These are just some of the things that float through my mind when I think about my bisexuality.