“He Sleeps Around But He Gives Me A Lot”



While reading Ayana Byrd’s essay “Claiming Jezebel: Back Female Subjectivity and Sexual Expression in Hip Hop,” while preparing for my lecture on women’s bodies and rap videos I came across an interesting quote by and about Foxy Brown? on the “Ain’t No Nigga” era. Byrd writes quoting Foxy,

“At sixteen I was just so happy to have a nice car and a nice home that I didn’t complain about my image,” Foxy said in Essence Magazine. “I had all the influences around me, and I wasn’t always strong enough to come back like no, I don’t want to do that.”

I was tripping off the fact that she was 17 when this joint dropped, and we didn’t blink.

Honestly though, it doesn’t matter if she was 17 or 35, because you know what blood, many of us subscribe to this policy.

“He sleeps around but he gives me a lot” is problematic for two reasons.

First it reduces human relationships to financial transactions.

Second, if he sleeps around and he gives us a lot, then what does that mean to our HIV and various other STD statuses? What if you getting “a lot” means not wearing a condom? Black peoples STD’s statuses are high. This of course has to do with both our choices and access to health care. According to the CDC,

Racial disparities in HIV diagnoses are particularly severe among young people. Overall, blacks made up half (51%) of all new HIV diagnoses between 2001 and 2005. But among youth aged 13 ?24, blacks accounted for 61 percent of diagnoses.

Genital ulcers (e.g., syphilis syphilis, , herpes herpes, or , chancroid chancroid) ) result in breaks in the genital tract lining or skin which create a portal of entry for HIV.

Individuals who are infected with STDs are at least two to five times two times more likely than uninfected more individuals to acquire HIV.

On Black women and sexual mixing patterns.

You and I both no that I don’t do puritanical. A ‘tall. There is enough of that in the world all ready. See Tyler Perry. However these questions needs to be asked and the statistics need to be reflected on.

I write this because I am concerned about how we make choices about our bodies and pleasure.

*For Colored Girls Spoiler alert ahead.*

There is a scene in For Colored Girls where Jo (Janet Jackson) learns that she has HIV because her husband, who apparently is a Black man who has sex with men, but doesn’t call himself gay.

Jo knew/suspected, yet chose to stay. In many ways she turned herself into an object.

This gay = AID’s is the bane of my existance because it normalizes the idea that Black women get HIV because of Black men who have sex with men who don’t share this information with us.

Raw dog feels good. Pleasure feels good. I wager that many of us take part in high risk sexual activities, ie having consistent or even sporadic sex with someone without consistently wearing protection and this is how many of us contract STD’s.

This summer Latoya was telling me of a researcher (I forget her name, but will add when I find out) who says that we participate in concurrent sexual networks. I like that idea. Because it shows how people are related.

Raw Dog has consequences. We ain’t gotta lie. I know sexuality is hella taboo, for Black women, but we grown and the girls and boys coming up after us are watching how we handle everything.

Our lives lightweight are depending on it.

Does it matter that Foxy was 17?

Blaming Gay men or Men who have sex with me, because some of us like and engage in raw dog?

Did you know the stats were that high for Black youth?

Comments

  1. I agree with your comments but I have one caveat…

    Yes, it’s true that “raw dog” feels good, but we also forget that sex is also a negotiation. Sometimes *some* women (and girls) don’t know how to require their men to wear condoms, nor do they know how to respond to the men pressuring them to have unprotected sex. As with all things in life, it’s not as simple as saying “No glove, no love.”

    Some women may be afraid of losing their men, of giving him the impression she doesn’t trust him…hell, some women have never been socialized or taught to say “no” to men period (hello, patriarchy!). For those of us who have the ability to say no but engage in risky behavior, then yes, part of the onus is on us. But what about the 17yo Foxy Brown who’s being propositioned by the 35yo music exec or her boyfriend of two years who loves her “so much”?

  2. #word to tamara’s comment. i might be about to go way off point from the original post, forgive me.

    i remember one of the first conversations i had with my best friend, where she said she’d stop if she wasn’t enjoying the sex, or if the dude was bad at it, and let him know. it boggled the hell out of my my mind. i was like- you mean you just *stop*? and you actually *tell* him it’s bad?? that concept had never occurred to me. i didn’t have a voice in bed, and some shysty raw dog shit went down as a result. the idea of having the right to say ‘stop’ was a foreign and strange concept to me. so i def feel the not being socialized to say no bit. pretty sure for me it links back to losing my virginity without my consent in my teens, and extrapolating from that that i had no right to say no. ever.

    even now, i feel immense amounts of guilt every time i say ‘no’ around sex, thanks to that earlier pattern. #yaytriggers

    ok, back to the regular scheduled discussion

    #sidlesaway

  3. Holy shit.

    Thank you for being honest.

    i remember one of the first conversations i had with my best friend, where she said she’d stop if she wasn’t enjoying the sex, or if the dude was bad at it, and let him know. it boggled the hell out of my my mind. i was like- you mean you just *stop*? and you actually *tell* him it’s bad?? that concept had never occurred to me.
    =========
    Wow. I wonder what the consequences were.
    I wonder how she developed the courage to be this way.

    i didn’t have a voice in bed, and some shysty raw dog shit went down as a result. the idea of having the right to say ‘stop’ was a foreign and strange concept to me. so i def feel the not being socialized to say no bit. pretty sure for me it links back to losing my virginity without my consent in my teens, and extrapolating from that that i had no right to say no. ever.
    =======
    Wow. Thank you for being honest. This shit is hella wack. Full stop.