By: Justice Rajee
I did not grow up on children’s music. From an early age my ears were tuned to the soulful rhythms of the Philadelphia International catalog and whatever was playing on WDAS. The sound, the style, and the mannerisms of the artists all informed my understanding of how I should carry myself when I am grown man in the world, particularly as it pertains to engaging women. No one taught me more than the immortal Teddy Pendergrass. Teddy consistently laid it down. Now before you say something stupid. I know he did not write all the songs, but he spit that hot fire in an R&B context. Teddy brought the flavor to the lyrics and the passion to the music. We do not often realize where we have gathered the underlying beliefs and assumptions that we express in our behavior as we mature and venture out to make those love connections. As I came into my own as a man, the lessons laid out over bass, keys, drums and strings began to make themselves known. The following is some of the concepts I can trace to the above classic material.
I need a place... I can’t be out here buying drinks, asking for numbers, and making offers without someplace for the next level of our engagement to take place. Understand prior to having my own spot, I made reservations to allow for spaces that I held temporary rights to be intimate be cleared for use. However that was only a temporary allowance, I had to have my own spot to count myself as a man in proper form. It does not have to be a grand palace, but I needed to have the rights to use the space as I see fit. Frankly, I don’t understand you cats that don’t want to move out of peoples’ domicile. Write your name on the Orange Juice and using all the laundry detergent is not a good look. Get your own. I was ready to go, you should be too.
I need consent... As you listen to the jam, you should pick up that Teddy is asking for the business. He is building a case for why rolling with him is the correct next move and why, but at no point does he imply that she has to go or she has violated some bullshit contract established due to accepting a drink (presumed not confirm that a drink exchange took place) if she decides this is not for her. I will accept that he is pressing a hard case, but the option to say no is always on the table. As long as I can remember I have operated under the idea that any intimate steps that are taken with a women must be preceded by consent. If there is no consent it is not intimate, it is not sex, it is rape.
I have no memory of anyone talking to me about consent in the way we have do now, should do now and honestly I was surprised the first times I heard peers make statements that implied they may have muscled acts upon a women they claim as a sexual partner. If both parties have not agreed on the actions taking place someone is in violation and more than likely it is you homie. You live you learn, but let me be clear ask and accept the answer given as stated. If she gives you the green light proceed and may you both have a memorable experience.
Be honest about your motivation... This is a two in one situation. There is you and your intended person of intimate interest. You need to be honest with yourself about what you are looking for out this encounter and own it. Most relationships start with two people that mutually agree that they are attractive. From there it gets into other more complicated thoughts and feelings. The streets, bars, and broke down couches of America are filled with people who lacked the emotional maturity to admit that they were all the way drawn up on someone they met at social function and bitterly damaged when that person did not feel the same. Translated, if you really have an interest in building a deeper connection, don’t front. You will end up looking like and in fact being the asshole, as you try to make the person who has not met your expectations public enemy number one. We all know your heart is broken, just own it and stop disparaging her and other women, because you had different goals. If you just want to see where the night goes, no promises, stay in that lane and let the good times roll.
Be prepared for yes... Sometimes as men we just throw something out there and really don’t expect it to work. Well, sometimes that bubble gum wrapper, fortune cookie, crackerjack box rabble you threw on the field hits. You thought you would just say something basic and accept rejection with dignity, but then she says, “tell me more.” If you don’t have a plan for yes or at least a loose outline for yes this will be a colossal failure. Well before visualizing became the hallmark of sports and life coaching, it was apart of my skill set. See Teddy had a plan before he engaged dialogue with women in the story. He told her about the fire, the wine, sharing each other’s company and the means to get to his place. I presume he knew what he would have to put on the board to get the response he was looking for, you should too. Confidence is the currency of connections. I have been the victim of not having a follow up and it hurts. You are left with nothing but a glass full of what ifs and what could have beens to comfort your bruised pride. Teddy let me know I needed to be ready. I needed to think ahead with respect to her needs, wishes, and interests.
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