By Zondra Hughes; photos, Cabryl Breotti and Zondra Hughes
“Look at that box of chocolates,” a woman coos as she enters the room.
In her sights was an assortment of 9 distinguished, attractive, Black men, holding court during the 8th Annual Six Brown Chicks’ relationship panel, Wives, Girlfriends and Sidechicks Ask Black Men, WTF Do You Really Want? The panel, hosted by Gina B., took place on Saturday at the 25th Anniversary of The Black Women’s Expo, at the McCormick Place in Chicago.
The lively conversation evolved around the topics of sexual attraction and responsibility, when a refreshing blueprint for Black men to become better lovers and life partners to Black women emerged as the dominant theme.
Here’s a recap.
Black Men Speak: 9 Ways to Become a Better Lover, Friend & Life Partner to Black Women
- Look inward. Says Harold, “When you design your perfect mate, take the time to really think about what it is that you are, and what it is that you want around you.”
2. Be ready to offer and receive L.O.V.E. “The acronym L.O.V.E. stands for Listening, Observing, Validating and Expressing,” Nolen explains. Nolen discussed this when a female audience member asked why a man runs away when she’s trying to love him. “If you listen to a person, observe them, and validate their feelings—some people can’t handle that. Some have more of a perspective on one of the four, but not all of the four. If you get all of the four, there’s something that should already be in the works and that’s just simple chemistry. When you’re with and around that person.”
3. Ask yourself, is there growth potential? “Every single day we are supposed to be growing,” Lewon says. “That’s not just our money or our friendships. That’s who we are. If we are going to be growing everyday, we’ve got to decide if we are going to be growing with this person, financially, sexually, mentally, spiritually, every single day; and if not, you’ve got to let that go.”
4. Learn to reciprocate—and know when it’s time to move on. “Reciprocity is an aphrodisiac,” Kanu states. “To the extent that if I turn you on and you turn me on, that’s love. But let’s be frank, there are some people—men and women--out there that are incapable…they don’t like to do, don’t know how to do--and don’t have the experience.”
5. Please her in more ways than one. “If you satisfy her spiritually, you’re going to satisfy her physically,” David reveals. “If you handle your responsibilities emotionally, she’s going to be satisfied physically. If you’re handling your responsibilities financially, she’s going to be satisfied sexually. By the time you get to the bedroom, truth be speaking, she’s already pleased.”
6. Nyatu agrees, adding men must play their roles. “The type of man you are outside of the bedroom contributes to how hard she goes for you inside the bedroom,” he says. “If you’re really playing your role and she feels good about the man you are, she will do cartwheels and hang from the ceiling—she’ll do whatever you like.” HOWEVER, …
7. “Doing whatever you like,” doesn’t mean she’s ready to be your little porn star, Charles cautions. “I have friends solidly addicted to porn, so they find themselves in a marriage putting unfounded pressure on their partner,” he states. “I always tell them to keep in mind that, ‘you like porn—they don’t. Keep in mind who you’re [comparing] them to; the [porn stars] are professionals. If you’re not a pro, you’re going to get yourself broke. If you’re not a pro, don’t force your partner. You’ve got to coerce them in a way that they can come along and evolve. It’s a lot of pressure to put on a man or a woman to mimic what they’re seeing [in porn].
8. If you’re in a relationship, choose your friends wisely. “When you’re in a relationship, you can’t be around single people,” Romeo warns. “And that’s vice-versa for women, if you’re in a relationship, you can’t be around single women because they’re not going to give you the right advice. You have to speak to somebody who’s going to give your real advice, someone that’s going through the same situation as you.”
9. And a piece of advice for the Queens: Stop dating boys. “We’re supposed to be men first,” Cory says. “You need to stop dating these boys. And the reality is, that’s what’s wrong, with some of these men. They are momma’s boys, they don’t want to work, they want to lean on you. You have to be able to lean on him.”