yesterday, i started reading the ethical slut.
so far, i like it. a lot.
however, it also illuminates the fact that there are so few tomes dealing with real-life, full, deep eroticism for women of color.
rarely are we asked about our needs. it's even rarer to have those needs validated once they fall outside a set of very rigid parameters. already you see that getting to the point of actually exploring those needs can be, at best, problematic.
...and we all know being "black enough" can be tough, especially when you're a black woman. in that case, you've gotta be black enough and woman enough.
clearly, i love my people and i love our history. we birthed humanity--what could be greater than that? although i haven't technically traced my bloodlines, i recognize my connection to mama africa and encourage others to do the same. i am aware of and interested in black struggles for peace, equality and freedom across the diaspora.
i am also a sexual being.
a single, post-30, not-rushing-to-get-married-or-have-babies-type of sexual being.
as such, i admit to having some anxiety around having my afrocentric/pan-africanist card revoked if/when sex enters the conversation.
why? because i love for the sake of pleasure, companionship, and spiritual-physical-mental enrichment, not procreation and/or the "ultimate goal" of securing a monogamous, life-long relationship.*
allow me to explain: most of the prominent voices in afrocentrism are male. these men talk about literal and figurative returns to africa with great aplomb, and many have learned the appropriate rhetoric and theory inside out. still, they seem to neglect the fact that consciously-minded black women would love to see the kingman's guide to comprehensively loving the black woman or sacred man.**
recently a wonderful sista sent me the prologue to the river where the blood is born. those few pages reminded me that there is a deep, rich, sensual story within the hips of african women; one of pure feminine power independent of the men in their lives--when they choose to have them (note: the badu backlash).
it is a story i know, but can only hear in whispers. so much of the story has been obscured, eradicated, twisted, or left untold.
all that to say, as far as i'm concerned, ain't nobody's business if your fist is in the air in the morning and your stilettos are in the air at night.
loving yourself for who you are--in whatever configuration--is loving your people.
P. S. - if there's one thing ifa has taught me, it is that my destiny is not yours. that is, our unique destinies flow into the community's destiny, and all is in divine order. to me, that speaks to the understanding that there is no need to control another or decry his/her choices--you don't know what god/dess has blessed them with, and it's not your affair. when you're working towards your highest good, you're not worried about it anyway; you have too much work to do.
if we are to live with good character--which is truly supreme--then we must be honest with ourselves and those we come in contact with. part of that honesty, i would think, entails taking the time to understand how our circumstances are the same, and how they have changed.
* for most of my life, i have been a serial monogamist, but one with fantasies of polyandry and a recognition that some of my fondest experiences of loving have been tied to some degree of polyamory.
** ...that does NOT involve questionable power dynamics, domestic violence and other misogynistic tactics. of course, i'm playing with the titles of shahrazad ali's the black man's guide to understanding black women and queen afua's sacred woman. to her credit, queen afua's husband does have a brief section in her book. either way, some of you beautiful, goddess-appreciating, non-christian/hebrew/muslim brothas need to represent!