Cawfee Talk IX

A FBQ Guide to Understanding Your Man: Kennel Club

The Queen was out with some of his straight male friends earlier this week. We went to see the Wizards play the Magic at the Verizon Center. If any of you Miss Things care: the Wizards won after trailing by double digits in the first quarter. Good game!

Post game, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for a bite to eat. We were deep into a conversation regarding the acceptable amount of days to wear certain articles of clothing before washing, when a well-dressed young woman approached the youngest of our group (A young man we’ll call “Gavin.” ‘Cause that’s his name.) and started talking. From madamenoire.comAfter a few minutes of what the Queen would call “intense flirting”, the young woman wished us all a good evening and left. No numbers were exchanged and from what the rest of us perceived, no intent for further contact was made. Which is good, because Gavin is in a long-term, committed relationship with a pregnant partner who should be delivering any day now. Nevertheless, we were all a little flummoxed by the level of intimacy displayed by a person we all knew to be a caring, considerate, honorable man who is in love with his girlfriend. And good to his mama and grandmama. He very quickly and adamantly stated that he told the young lady that he was in a committed relationship and about to become a father. We have no doubt that he did. My query to him was: “But why ENGAGE in that kind of behavior, if there is absolutely no intent to take it further?” His response was what I knew it would be:

“I’m in a committed relationship. I’m not dead.”

Gavin tells his girlfriend EVERYTHING. He texted her immediately after the event. He says it’s one way that builds trust. It’s what they’ve been doing for the six years they’ve known each other. The other dudes nodded their understanding–and even admitted that they all had ways of taking surreptitious glances at other women when they were with theirs–even though they all show clear fidelity to their significant others in every other way. The Queen’s friends are good men: committed fathers and husbands; loyal, church-going men who vote in every election and volunteer at the Soup Kitchen. They are as different as night and day from the deadbeat men that my straight girlfriends talk about in every way. Except one.

They all go sniffing around any female that shows interest. All men do. Leading me to give you this word of advice: there are PLENTY of men out there with whom you can have a strong monogamous relationship. Just never forget:

ALL Men are Dogs. Some of us just have our Pedigree.

All right Miss Things:

Men, am I right?

Ladies, what do you think of that?


Scandal From left, Guillermo Diaz, Darby Stanchfield and Kerry Washington play crisis management experts for the president and others on this ABC show on Thursdays at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times; 9, Central time.

The New York Times had some nice things to say about the show. And the Queen is intrigued enough to give it a few more tries. Olivia Pope’s relationship with the President alone is enough to make me tune in. Personally, I don’t think I would have voted for him. If he ain’t smart enough to know that you don’t fuck with a black woman, then he ain’t smart enough to be the Leader of the Free World.

He may wake up to find some hot grits on his head.

Equal Justice Under Law

I still grieve for Trayvon and his family. However, now that Mr. Zimmerman has been arrested, the search for the truth can begin. I pray that, as a country we have grown far beyond the lynch mobs and southern trials of the past. Mr. Zimmerman has the same rights as every other American. Personally, I am working very hard to remember that. I guess we’ll stay tuned.

I hope you have an EXCELLENT day Miss Things!!!


20 thoughts on “Cawfee Talk IX

  1. Mr. Zimmerman has been arrested. We still have a long way to go before he has his day in court. Over Easter dinner my sister brought up the point that the media wasn’t only confusing the issue by showing an out of date picture of Trayvon, like they we fostering a
    one sided impression of him as the victim that could backfire later on. I thought I had seen a photo of him in his high school football uniform, can any one confirm?

    There’s a silly gossip story out that Mrs. Obama keeps an eagle eye out for female admirers of the President. To that I say, all sensible wives do to some extent but come on, that man adores the the space she occupies. He may flirt, but he’s not going to mess with his happy life. Or at least that ‘s what I am hoping for.

    • From what I’ve read, Trayvon was baby-faced and looked much younger than his 17 years, so the pictures could be correct, just misinterpreted.

      As for Mr. Zimmerman, I hope that people will settle down now that the wheels of justice are finally in motion. Just because we want to see him punished does not mean that we should be taking on the task ourselves. He is due a fair trial and he should get one.

  2. As a very-married lady who has been with her man for 22 years, I can say that it works both ways: we ladies aren’t dead, either. 🙂

    My brother is married with five kids, yet he has a few female friends who have let him know (subtly and not-so-subtly) that should he want to ignore his marriage vows, they would be happy to oblige him–and he has said nothing to let them know that he is not interested. He says that he is committed to his wife and would never cheat on her–yet he does nothing to discourage these women. I said if he wasn’t looking to catch a fish, why does he have his hook in the water?

    I know why he does it–it’s the ego boost, it’s the reassurance that age, marriage and parenthood haven’t changed him into something undesirable, it’s the fantasy that he’s still the young stud who could get any woman he wanted if he so chose. Nothing wrong with a little fantasy whatsoever…to a point. There is a fine line, though, and one that is very easily–too easily–crossed, and too many people never seem to think about what happens when you cross that line. Nothing wrong with looking at the merchandise, people–just make sure you keep your hands off it.

  3. I have to say my boyfriend is EXTREMELY understanding considering when we first got together I worked (and still do work) in an office full of men who all teach martial arts and wandered around with their shirts off in the summer :D. We’re secure with each other though, he doesn’t mind me looking and I don’t mind him looking….so long as it stays at that.

  4. Re: Trayvon Martin: It’s about darn time they arrested Mr. Zimmerman. I hope there’s enough evidence about what happened that the justice system can come to a convincing version of events.

    I worry that it might be that Florida law is written in such a way that he isn’t going to be held accountable in any serious way and that “victory” may be limited to improving the law and improving law enforcement procedures in that particular city and county. (Which IS important, no matter what.) Thank goodness that the outrage, legal expertise and financial backing seems to be available to pursue those outcomes. The frustrating truth is that the goal of court proceedings isn’t – directly – to acheive something that feels intuitively like justice. The goal is to uphold the rule of law and to make laws, and their enforcement, as just as is humanly possible.

    And, sadly, none of that is going to restore Trayvon Williams to his friends and family.

    Re: Are all men hound dawgs? I think Jade hit the nail on the head about ego, fantasy and realizing how easy it is to end up where one didn’t mean to go if you’re not very conscious of your actions and intentions.

    And it applies to BOTH men and women. I’ve known one or two women who make Bill Clinton look like an ascetic celibate, but men, overall, do seem to be worse than women. (Which always makes me view male-male couples – especially young ones – who’ve declared themselves to be monogamous with a mix of respect and appalled pity.)

    I feel like decades-long monogamy is a tall order. I, personally, am pretty monogamous by nature and find a little flirting enough to get over the rough patches. But I don’t think one-size-fits-all. A brief, occasional fall from grace (occasional as in once a decade or three) is something I can (and have) found to be forgivable, if other things were right. YMMV, as they say.

    Where I become adamant is that the person who cheats carries the blame and the responsibility for their actions. ALL the responsibility to their partner. I don’t give a damn how much the person they cheated with trolled, tempted or downright fondled them.

    If you want to forgive your partner because you understand they were weak in the face of temptation and we’re none of us perfect or because you just don’t mind that much, that’s o.k. Just don’t forgive your partner because some trampy floozy somehow is at fault. And PLEASE, sister, don’t go for max drama and NOT forgive your partner & still go out on vendetta against the evil seducing predator who led them astray. When did all of womankind (or, mankind) become responsible for policing whatever promises you and your partner made to each other? That would be NEVER, in my opinion. The other party has to be responsible for the promises they’ve made – not for the ones your partner made. It may be trashy & amoral to mess with someone you know has committments elsewhere, but we’re each responsible for our own committments, in my opinon.

    And I’ve been grievously and seriously and unforgivably cheated on and I still stand by that. Though it seems to be a minority opinion.

    Gosh, Scotty, you do ask leading questions!

  5. Lord, I love when you all take a topic and run with it!!!

    This topic is inspired by my straight women friends who have cried on my shoulders ad infinitum. These women truly believe that when a partner commits to them, he will never want to look at another woman again. Oh stop rolling your eyes ladies! You know you have at least ONE friend who consciously or unconsciously thinks the same way.

    I’m not even really addressing the issue of cheating. It’s more the societal concept of monogamy and the unconscious definitions that males and females use to navigate their lives and relationships. Men’s physiology is hard-wired to penetrate. It traces itself back to egalitarian societies where the prime directive was to propagate, and there was no such thing as “mine” or “theirs.” Just because a dude is evolved, doesn’t mean that the primal nature has diminished. So the mature guy makes the decision to stay faithful. And that’s why the porn industry is so dang lucrative.

    I’m not saying that partners don’t have the right to require a one-on-one commitment. I’m just saying that they need to decide together what that looks like, and not assume that the criteria is clear. I had a partner once who saw Pretty Women one too many times and decided that it wasn’t sex that he considered cheating–but a kiss. So I could screw all night long with anybody else as far as he was concerned. As long as I didn’t kiss them.

    That relationship didn’t last very long.

    I just want my straight women friends to know that if they truly want a man who doesn’t look at or think about any other woman sexually for the duration of their relationship, then they’re not looking for a lover–they are looking for a Gay Best Friend. Otherwise they have to learn to accept the surreptitious look and the OCCASIONAL porn site turning up in his web surfing history, and not automatically assume that there is something wrong with them, the man or the relationship.

    • Interesting. As someone who is utterly uniterested in this thing people call sex (as well as sort of vaguely looking for but completely bewildered by its frequent companion romance) I have a really, really hard time grasping the whole, “I’m in a relationship, I’m not /dead!/” concept. My brain just isn’t wired that way and I have to continually remind myself that I am in the minority. It’s interesting for me how the urge to, as you say, penetrate, seems to be so prevelent and so deeply engrained into most people, especially cismen. I tend to be iffy on biological essentialism (thank my first and to date only sociology professor, who made quite a mark on my view of the world) but I’ll concede the point to you since you’re infinitely more qualified to talk on the subject of male sexuality than I am. ~grins~

      In terms of relationships, I definitely think that boundaries should be negociated clearly and early and that people have the right to define their relatonship (and their version of monogamy, if that’s applicable) however they want. I also think that many people do not do this, since there are a certain set of standards that are just assumed and then reinforced media and peers and various other mechanisms of society. Without wandering into a social justice/non-traditional relationships tangent, I do think that if there was more communication (like what seems to happen between your friend Gavin and his partner) there would probably be a lot less crying on various shoulders.

    • Yeah, our unarticulated assumptions cause so much trouble in ALL areas of a relationship, not just sex. It’s a darn shame that we all start in on setting the patterns of our relationships when we’re so young. Life would be simpler if those beautiful young bodies came with at least 50 or 60 years of watching the world go round between their ears. I watch my teens and their friends and cringe even though I think they’re relatively mature for their age. Rarely, I point out what I think is childish or ridiculously illogical behavior. I try to couch it in terms of fairness and whether or not it’s going to accomplish a reasonable and desirable goal. Time will tell if they get lucky in the “how screwed up were you when you embarked upon adulthood?” stakes.

      Another element that’s hard to get a handle on is that sometimes it’s about how partner *feels* rather than really about what one does or doesn’t do. If I feel valued and as if my partner’s loyalty is to me, roaming eyes and blatant flirting in front of my face – maybe even affairs – may not bother me at all. My mom had several friends who appeared to have a friendly and solid partnership with their husbands – and had a sexual element to their relationships – who seemed to accept it if their husbands had another woman as long as hubby was at home for whatever was defined as “family time,” was attentive to the kids, and provided well financially. If they stayed married (and all but one of them did) till death, they felt they’d had their due. I don’t know if people still have that kind of relationship. OTOH, I know a man who’d NEVER cheat on his wife but their interactions don’t make her feel valued and respected. She feels any public mark of [what she feels is] his disrespect very keenly – whether that’s roaming eyes or talking over her.

      And since we can’t always control someone else’s feelings, even if we’re trying to do all the right things – mutual frustration and bickering ensues!

      P.s. I laughed about the Pretty Woman story. I hold the “chick flick” genre responsible for the perpetuation of a boat load of nonsense!

    • “I just want my straight women friends to know that if they truly want a man who doesn’t look at or think about any other woman sexually for the duration of their relationship, then they’re not looking for a lover–they are looking for a Gay Best Friend. Otherwise they have to learn to accept the surreptitious look and the OCCASIONAL porn site turning up in his web surfing history, and not automatically assume that there is something wrong with them, the man or the relationship.”

      Though I gotta say, for women who’ve reached the post-child bearing age who find themselves alone, a Gay Best Friend + a Vibrator is an AWFULLY tempting way to go. You can reach an age where “accept” is not the most favorite word in your vocabulary. Men may have been acting like dogs since time began. But trust me, women have been RESENTING it since time began. It’s quite well documented in literature, after all. It’s just as much in a woman’s “primal nature” to resent feeling devalued by the notion that as soon as they begin to be less than their most perfect selves, a man’s loyalties can wander elsewhere in a heartbeat. It’s a VERY old story. So let’s not value one sex’s “primal nature” over another’s.

      And I’ve got to say that most single women above a certain age that I know, whether they are divorced or widowed, whether their marriages were good or bad…really are NOT hankering another go at marriage. It’s really interesting. Maybe it’s just us reaching our selfish stage and a different time then men are at their selfish stage. You would’ve thought the human race could’ve synched up their selfish stages by now!

      Not that I’m saying that our current notions of decades-long monogamy is workable, at ALL. I just don’t want to see things framed in terms of women “accepting” men for the hound dogs they are, like that resolves everything. It never will. Some reciprocity, please. Accept women the way THEY are as well. And THEN we have to factor in children. I mean, if there were never any babies born, the issue of monogamy would be of so much less significance. Let’s face it, the little buggers complicate everything.
      As for me, I feel like Sharon Needles whining for a cruise: “Where is MY Gay best friend??!!!”
      Oh, that and regretting that I didn’t learn the trick of hot grits over the head a long time ago.

      • Ooooh! Let me clear this up immediately! I definitely do not mean “accept” as in a woman subjugating her needs and instincts for the man’s. I mean accept as in understanding that it’s the very nature of males (not to cheat, but to desire multiple sexual stimuli at a more consistent pace than most women), and decide if she can live with that. I see nothing wrong (and it did make me laugh out loud) with a vibrator and a Gay Best Friend. Just as long as those women realize that even the Gay Best Friend is going to suddenly stop talking in the middle of a conversation to watch a hot guy go by (there’s this great Klondike Ice Cream bar commercial in which a guy gets rewarded for not looking up from his wife’s talking when another woman passes their cafe table. I thought it was pretty clever to pick on that dynamic) .

        “But trust me, women have been RESENTING it since time began.”

        Honestly, when Gavin told us about his practice of telling his partner everything, my first thought was I wonder what she REALLY thinks about his innocent exploits. I went to resentment first, but Dear Lord, I personally hope that’s not true. I truly want to believe that when we were hunters and gatherers, and living in a truly egalitarian society, that there was no need for resentment because everyone shared everything. From the food to the sex, to taking care of the babies–everyone took a part in everything. It wasn’t until the advent of Agriculture and the concept of Personal Property that humans had the need to divide mine from yours.

        I definitely don’t condone the sexist behaviors that stem somewhat from male biological need. I just think the women I know sometimes romanticize this notion of Ultimate Fidelity, when they would be much happier, and infinitely less stressed out with a top of the line G-Spot Stimulator.

        Oh, and if you need a Gay Best Friend–I got your back! 😀

      • Okay, well, I clearly got that stiff drink last night, and was working a bit of a mood! But the more I think about it, it’s really the issue of children which manages to become central in this discussion. Even the notion that there is something important about a decades-long commitment is rooted in the need to provide stability for child-rearing. Without children involved, I think any type of arrangement two people (or more!) make is just great, if it’s open and above-board. It just really doesn’t matter that much. Let’s face it, whatever doesn’t work, it’s a whole lot easier to leave and move on. I know if I ever start dating again post-divorce, I’m really not going to care what a man does with other women if he treats me well and I have a good time with him. It’s just not a threat to me at this point in my life, which is a good place to be.

        And as wonderful as children are, let’s face it, they can strain a relationship, at the same time that they cause people to stay in a relationship that otherwise would have run its course, or has turned unhealthy. And not to get all OWS, but economic pressures on families is really mounting, not just the recent recession but the fact that housing costs are such a huge chunk of income compared to 30 years ago, and education costs are insane. And I hate to say this about your friend Gavin. I mean, I truly believe he’s in no danger of cheating any time soon. But say in 10 years when the relationship is showing strain, when the kids are sucking energy out of the relationship, and they’re both overworked (like most Americans raising a family) – and then that same woman comes on to him? Well, like Jade says, it’s a fine line, and it’s all too easily crossed. And thank goodness women are much more independent now than they used to be, but the process is nowhere near complete. Infidelity in a marriage with children is still a very threatening and destructive thing. Maybe when women romanticize this notion of “Ultimate Fidelity” it’s a way of fetishizing the idea, and a fetish is always rooted in deep anxiety. And there is pretty good reason for that anxiety. If Gavin’s SO doesn’t feel it, I’d be surprised.

        I have quite a few 30-ish woman friends, and they make me SO glad I’m well past the looking-for-a-life-mate phase of life, especially here in New York. I mean, the dogs here just have WAY too many choices. I watch them out having a great time, enjoying a single life I never would have dreamed of, but at the same time you see them getting anxious about finding the “right” one, the old biological clock ticking thing. And, of course, the guys are SO not there. And it’s not like I really blame them. My own son just got married, and the only reason I know that I’m going to ever be a grandmother is because he’s crazy about the girl, thinks she’s the best thing that ever happened to him (and it’s true, and vice versa IMHO), she wants kids, and so he will have kids. Which seems to be about the way it happens! And each one of my friends at one time or another considers having a child alone and giving up on the search for a prospective good husband/father, but no matter how career oriented they are, it’s just so daunting. And damned if, exhausted, they don’t start eyeing some investment banker type that they would have turned their noses up just a couple of years ago (but they know I’ll slap them silly if I hear words out of their mouth like, “He’s kind of controlling, but maybe I’m just being too demanding.”)

        Anyway, and I really don’t mean to rag on men, or blame the patriarchy or any such. Our creator bears some responsibility, for skewing the game so. But as a society we haven’t really yet worked out how to go about child-rearing in a way that’s equitable and with tolerable levels of stress. We’re all on our own, pioneers, making it up as we go. Sometimes, just sometimes, I think a kind of collectivism would be a great way to go, share in everything and raise the kids communally. But I’m SO not cut out for that.

  6. I’m thankful that the U.S. justice system seems to be kicking into gear, finally, in the Martin case. Let’s hope that from here on out the case is handled properly.

    As someone who has been in a relationship with my partner for 25 years, I would say that namipuffin’s second paragraph pretty much hit the nail on the head. Don’t just assume that you and your sig other have the same definition of what constitutes monogamy (or that monogamy is even what the other person really wants). Put it all out on the table early on in the relationship. If you are someone whose life is going to fall apart if your partner ogles someone or flirts once in a while, you’d better let him or her know that. My partner and I are monogamous, but we have no limits on “just looking”. Sometimes we catch each other eyeing the same guy, and we just laugh. What’s wrong with appreciating beauty? Yeah, we’re in a relationship, not dead, and yeah, men are pretty much dogs. But that’s no excuse for being a jerk or hurting your partner.

    The other thing that is essential is letting your partner know if they are not giving you something you really need. If you don’t tell them, how will they know? If you do tell them, you can then discuss how to deal with satisfying those urges. Some couples have open relationships (not for me). Other couples have semi-open relationships, with quite elaborate rules (probably not for me either, but I’d be open to discussing it). You also might want to revisit some of these issues from time to time. Relationships change over the years. People’s needs and wants also change. In the end, it’s whatever works for you, as long as both people are on board.

  7. Sigh. See, I don’t even really know how to talk about these issues concerning men and their predilections because in my case I’m coming out of a long marriage to someone so pathological that there is nothing at all to generalize about men. I know nothing at all about a relationship with a man. I started to tell the story, but it’s so damned long and such a sorry mess of a story, and once I start looking at it all in black and white, it’s just depressing. Someday I should turn it into a play or something (well, if I magically acquire the talent all of a sudden). But only if it could be a farce. I refuse to do a Lifetime Movie of the Week. God, I need a stiff drink right now!

    • I’m afraid all I have around here is hard cider, but you’re more than welcome to it if you want. Certainly I don’t need it right now.

    • Mefein1, I always enjoy your comments. I’m glad that you have found your way out of a bad situation. Although you are probably exhausted emotionally, my wish for you is that the sunshine of your newfound freedom warms you and shows you a bright future. As for your story, when the time is right, I hope you do write it down. Good farce is a very underrated artform, and relationships (even good ones) offer plenty of raw material for it.

      I’d love to join you in a stiff drink (a bit later in the day–I forbid myself from drinking before 5). As it is, I’m sitting here at 9:30 in the morning listening to my favorite sad, old-school R&B songs. Stevie is singing “All in Love is Fair” and Al Green just sang “How Do You Mend a Broken Heart.” Next up, Dorothy Moore singing “Misty Blue.” I know it’s not going to be a great day when I start out in a mood like this. But thank God for those old songs.

      • Oh, thank you, ScottAntoine. I always enjoy your comments as well, and I love your playlist. I hope your day is turning out better than it started. If not, let’s have that stiff drink now. Make it a Manhattan. It’s after 5 p.m. in Manhattan, so you won’t be breaking your rule!

      • The day turned out not half bad. The sun actually came out here in Vancouver and I managed to run a couple of successful errands and bake a loaf of banana bread.

        Manhattan squared sounds wonderful–would love to be sipping a Manhattan with you on Manhattan. It has been WAY too long since I’ve had my New York fix.

  8. I happened to be (happily) married to a man who I wish would acknowledge men’s visually roaming “instincts”. He is the jealous type, and if I’m not then it’s sometimes perceived like I don’t care. As far as looking I’m the type that can look upon someone, male or female, with appreciation, it might even spark desire, without actually desiring *them*. To me, it’s unrealistic for him not to acknowledge that, yes, he finds Scarlett Johansen hawt-b/c I know he does. I know he’s a visual creature, and I work with that 😉 Since he is so visual it was disturbing for me to find his, ah, picture collection, not b/c of the quantities of 1/2 naked women in it, but b/c of the one picture in there that was of a person we know (long story short, there’s a past) just in jeans and a sweater-the picture was is no way arousing in and of itself, so the memory it evoked of their connection must’ve been, if that makes any sense.
    Now, the idea of flirting, both of us agree that crosses an unacceptable line-emotional cheating-and that’s the parameters that work for us. But, if someone has made advances on us, while we _don’t_ reciprocate, we do tell each other. He used to be in a band, and isn’t hard on the eyes, so he had a quite a few of those stories (and I was present for some of them!). I’m not the jealous-taking-off-my-earrings-get-your-skanky-paws-off-my-man type, so I found it amusing to watch and it was even fun to sometimes play off it.

    • “…one picture in there that was of a person we know (long story short, there’s a past) just in jeans and a sweater-the picture was is no way arousing in and of itself, so the memory it evoked of their connection must’ve been, if that makes any sense…”

      It makes all the sense in the world. There is a big difference as far as I’m concerned, between a man’s knee-jerk reactions to other women, and thoughtful, sustained attractions. It sounds like there is a healthy, beautiful relationship there. So if it really ever sticks in your craw you have a foundation to broach the subject without broaching the subject–if you know what I mean.

      “.I’m not the jealous-taking-off-my-earrings-get-your-skanky-paws-off-my-man type…”


  9. I’m late to the party, but Gavin has obviously defined what is & isn’t acceptable in his relationship. I have a friend in an open relationship which would never work for me, but she & her husband have decided what will work for their relationship. On the other hand, another friend of mine considers it cheating if his partner has an erection and he’s not in the room. 🙂

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