By Scottie Lowe
Photography courtesy of Afroerotik
For all too long Black sexuality has been defined by extremes. We have been defined as hypersexual, untamed savages who are ruled by our lust and far too many of us have embraced that misrepresentation without the presence of a healthier alternative example to model. Others of us have adopted a role of sexual conservatism in order to conform to a standard that tells us that the only sex that isn’t dirty . . . is boring. Somewhere between the freak and the frigid lies AfroerotiK sexuality.
Where do intelligent, middle class Black people turn to find sexual expression? What outlets do we have to be aroused without offensive, degrading, vulgar pornographic images? My work is providing such an outlet yet I’m continually and repeatedly told that my work is offensive. What’s offensive is a nation of Black people who can’t form healthy relationships because they don’t know how to be open and honest with their partners about their needs, desires, and fantasies. What’s offensive is that as an educated successful Black woman, I’m told that I’m a freak if I even make reference to sex, however academic the discussion. If my work glorified sex in exchange for money, cheating, or manipulation, that would be a perversion of sex. My work glorifies couples being intimate, communicating, sharing their secrets with one another and validating that adults, and young adults should be having sex based on intimacy first and foremost.
The African American community is diseased in our perceptions of sexuality. The middle class can’t even have a conversation about sex; we can’t even have a discussion about the subject of sex before someone is trying to censor it. The rest of us are out having unprotected, irresponsible sex like it’s recreation. There’s a vast difference between saying, “I’m a big booty ho looking to swallow seven loads of cum,” and “I long to feel the sensation of your tongue licking me until I explode in your mouth.” Until we as a people can discern the difference, until we as a people can stop relegating anything to do with sex as being dirty and unmentionable, we are doomed to be dysfunctional and sexually immature. We should be able to have discussions about sex in all forums, with relative boundaries in mind, and not be so quick to feign false indignation as if sex is dirty and unmentionable.
I don’t even think we can get to a discussion of making love vs. having sex (or God forbid making love vs. fucking) if we can’t even mention sex without the morality police stepping up and deeming that sex can’t be discussed, mentioned, or debated.
Black Enterprise Magazine approached me, approached ME, about doing an article on my work as a Black female entrepreneur. I was excited as I was about to get the national exposure I have so long been seeking to combat that wretched Zane and her horribly offensive and degrading crap she calls erotica. Finally, I was going to get a national platform to talk about healthy Black sexuality. They told me that I would be getting a list of interview questions in an email and that I was to fill them out and send them back. I waited for that email, and waited, and waited. Finally, I contacted the young lady again and I told her that I hadn’t received the interview questions and that I was anxious to get them. She then told me that Black Enterprise readers weren’t interested in “my topic” and that they had a much more conservative readership. At which point I asked her if Black Enterprise readers had sex and she promptly hung up on me.
There is a knee jerk reaction in the Black middle class community that kicks in every time there is mention of sex. We can’t even have academic discussions of sex without someone deeming that “those sorts of conversations aren’t appropriate for this forum.” The more we compartmentalize our sex, the more we allow our sexuality to be defined as dirty. Sure, not every conversation is appropriate for every venue but not every one is inappropriate either. The very same people who are sooooo quick to try to silence me at the mere mention of the word erotic are the very same people masturbating to images of pornography that degrade, demean, and objectify us as a people because they refuse to allow any other avenue of sexual expression to be acceptable.
People ask me all the time why I started writing erotica. My response is and has always been, that I am a single, highly-educated, African-centered, Black woman who is not aroused by dogs, thugs, pimps, drug dealers, basketball players, or rappers and I’m not a ghetto hoochie, ghetto whore, nor am I a ghetto big booty freak. Where do I turn for sexual arousal? I started writing erotica because there was nothing that spoke to me. I started writing erotica because I don’t find interracial images of black men fucking white women to be arousing and I’m not represented by Black women with weaves, fake nails, and stripper shoes who have no clue what it is to be sensual, only sexual. I’m a 42 year old woman who hasn’t been in a relationship in so long that it boggles the mind and I’m tired of men approaching me and thinking that just because I have a big booty and they have a big SUV, that I’m going to have sex with them. That’s why I started writing erotica. I wanted to have something that spoke to men, that represented the types of relationships that I was looking for, that get me wet, that allowed me to masturbate to something that represented my view of Black life. I can’t be the only woman, the only Black person, who wants or needs to find a sexual outlet that isn’t sanitized and sterile but that isn’t degrading and cliche either.
There is always this “what you are doing is corrupting children” backlash that I get. I had sex when I was 16 years old. I was far from the first girl of my peers to have sex, in fact, losing one’s virginity at around that age was pretty average among my very middle class, suburban peers. That was LONG before BET made Black women out to be freaks, bitches, and ho’s. That was long before Zane’s books, portraying Black women as nymphomaniac adulterous gold digging, superficial whores, were passed around like a virus. That was LONG before children had access to the internet where every vile, disgusting, perverse sexual act is available to view for free with the click of a mouse. To assert that children, young teens, are going to be warped by my discussions of sexuality is laughable. I’m the only voice that is speaking out and saying that sex should be about love, intimacy, openness, communication, freedom, and responsibility. If anything, young teens need to be exposed to my brand of erotica in order to counter the negative images they see at every turn and to combat the oblivious parents who think that if they don’t talk about sex, that their children will somehow escape being exposed to it.
Of course, there’s always the, “Blacks aren’t the only one’s who are victims of the same behavior” argument. My concern is not other communities. My concern is the fact that 7 out of 10 Black children are being born out of wedlock. My concern is that a Black woman in her mid 30s is more likely to be struck by lightning than to get married. My concern is that African Americans are dying of AIDS at a disproportionate rate than any other race. So while other races, creeds, and whathaveyou may very well be steeped in sexual dysfunction, it is affecting US more detrimentally. There are scores of Black men who are impregnating white women to feed the sexual fetish of white couples to have their wives “bred black.” There are scores of Black men going into white couples bedrooms every night of the week to feed white couple’s racist Nigger Buck Mandingo fantasies. There are young Black women who have never had sex unless it involves some sort of exchange of money or services. Those things are the perils that will destroy our race if we continue to censor our conversations about sex and let some absurd religious/pious sanctimony dictate that sex can’t be discussed.
Scottie Lowe is the owner and founder of AfroerotiK. She creates erotica, for an about people of color, that shows us in a healthy, beautiful, sensual light that represent a broader view of Black life.
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