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Category Archives: Conference Season

Why Unavailable Men are Attractive

Although I’ve sworn off unavailable men and have done a damn good job of keeping to that vow (even in the face of extreme temptation), I have a confession…

The longer I remain single, the conference mistress position becomes more and more attractive. It’s perfectly suited to meet my busy schedule and mutually beneficial. Here are all the perks of being someone’s conference mistress:

(1) Time. You don’t have to worry about a man being around regularly, drawing on your time, emotions, and energy when you clearly have other things to be doing. Likewise, he doesn’t have to worry about you contacting him when he is with his wife/girlfriend/fiance/family.

(2) The Benefits Package. It’s guaranteed wining and dining, and possibly sex, in between conference commitments and during a time when you’re already on a semi-break/pseudo-vacation from your regular schedule.

(3) Experience. That wedding ring is like a 15 page CV detailing a man’s experience in wooing women. As a conference mistress, you have a guarantee that this man comes pre-trained (by his wife/girlfriend/fiance) to say and do the right things when in a romantic situation.

(4) The Ease of Termination. This man is married, and yet he’s willing to keep company with a woman who is not his wife in a high-stakes environment (one crawling with his colleagues and the adoring fans of his scholarship and work). Thus, he has good reason to keep your name out of his mouth and the streets. You can rest assured that there won’t be any awkward situations or fear of being slandered…even when those pesky morals kick up and you decide to terminate the “relationship”.

And this one is just a bonus, but…

(5) Community Service. There are apparently tons of married women out there who wish their man would have an affair. Yep, they actually wish their husbands who are so upstanding and faithful would do something exciting and non-boring like step out on their marriage. And what’s better – the conference mistress gets to shed her image as a closet whore and assume one of a Good Samaritan. I mean, if his wife is on board, who on Earth is left to judge you?

For clarification, yes, I agree that it’s sad that I’ve thought this through and can articulate reasons why unavailable men are such an attractive option. But, seriously, what could be better than a man who I’m attracted to and enjoy spending time with, who wants to blow time and money on me, but who I  don’t have to see or speak to on a regular basis?! You romantics would probably say that all of that in a man who you get to see and love is much better. I’m just not there yet, I suppose.

To the women who believe they have a good relationship and ask, “Why can’t you just go get your own man?” Here’s the answer: I could, but then he’d be around all the time. Your man is a good option because, at some point, he’s got to go back to you and leave me alone. It’s like watching people’s children – the highlight is often that I can engage with them on my schedule, and when I’m done I get to send them home.

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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Conference Season, Dating, Marriage

 

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Kappa Konclave 2011: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell

Continuing on with the guest blogging theme, my girl Jazzy Belle was ever so gracious to share a glimpse of what went down when the men of Kappa Alpha Psi made their centennial pilgrimage to their fraternity’s birthplace…with an extra special word of caution to any woman who has the pleasure of calling one of these men her boo, husband, plus one, boyfriend, jump off, maintenance man, or any other label with a similar meaning. Read on! _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Last weekend I had the pleasure of partying with the men of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. during their Centennial Konclave in Indianapolis.  (First, let me be clear so that you don’t think I’m a Kappa groupie/sweetheart/diamond: I live in the Indianapolis area so there was no travel or major investment required on my part.) So, as I reminisced over the weekend with the Nupes I realized that my weekend can best be described by comparing to the three different types of afterlife experiences. Go with me on this.

Heaven

This is obvious. There were tens of thousands of Black men who attended college all crammed in about five city blocks. What’s more is that this is Indianapolis, Indiana. So unlike DC, Atlanta, or any other city that matters, there are FAR fewer women here. The ratio of men to women is like 5,000 to one. Okay not really, but there are Crimson and Creme men everywhere. Tall ones, short ones, skinny ones, fat ones, light ones, dark ones were there for the picking. For once in my life in a (mainly) heterosexual environment I could sing the song “It’s Raining Men! HALLELUJAH”

But it was great, because since Kappa Konclave was some weird Twilight Zone where women were rare, dudes were hella chatty without being annoyingly thirsty. All the parties were free for women and dudes just wanted to chat and flirt. All around wins.  Kappa Man Malcolm told me “I hope you’re enjoying yourself because you’ll never be around so many Nupes with so few women ever again.” I’m sure he’s right.

 In addition to the general abundance of men, I had a personal highlight. I was finally able to catch up with a Kappa that I met years ago. Let’s call him Kappa Man Tariq. I remembered that dude was cute but I didn’t remember him being that fine and sexy. Good Lord. Fortunately, he lives in the place where I’m relocating so it’s worth staying in touch with that one. I mean he was incredibly sexy… swoon

Purgatory

Okay. So there are tens of thousands of Black men roaming the three streets that make up downtown Indy. That’s the quantity factor, now let’s look at the quality factor. Three out of four Kappas were married. The fourth was gay or in a committed relationship. That means that 100% of the Kappas were unavailable to you for purchase. If you thought you were going to traipse the streets of Konclave and get chose, you may have been disappointed. My new friend, Kappa Man Corey, said it best, “if you came here trying to get chose, you gonna leave mad.” Well said, Kappa man Corey.

He’s right though. You’re meeting these men out of the context of their daily lives. Most of them left their significant others home to try and relive their undergraduate hedonism with their line brothers. Serious courtship and girlfriend recruitment is the antithesis of all of that. I was clear about this from the outset, so I enjoyed my window-shopping experience. Chatted it up, danced it up, drank it up, flirted it up, and then went home alone.

Hell

When I say “hell” I don’t mean it in the sense that anything about the weekend was torturous. I mean hell in terms of where people are going because of all the sinning they were doing! So there was daytime Konclave where you saw the brothers strolling the streets, gripping each other up, and hollering at cute girls. We get that.  That’s PG-rated. Everyday life experience.

But then…there’s Konclave after dark. Another friend, Kappa Man Antwan was telling me about strippers in hospitality suites and all kinds of adult recreation. Now while I didn’t witness that, I was out and about on Saturday night and suddenly that delightful ratio of 5,000 men to 1 woman seemed a lot more even. By Saturday busloads of prostitutes magically arrived in Indianapolis. And trust, I’m not assuming they were working women, I know they were working women. Girl crew and I witnessed transactions going down all around us! We even overheard a chick on the phone saying “Girl you need to get here and make some money cuz we fuckin & suckin everything this weekend!’ That’s whoa. By late Saturday night gone were the daytime Kappas and here were the nighttime Nupes.

Well that’s my recap. I had a pretty damn good time. Saw friends and family and bonded with my girls. It was an all around win.

Oh and ladies, if your man was at Konclave you might want to suggest he get tested before you let him stick his cane anywhere near you. I’m here to help.

Author: Jazzy Belle

 
 

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What I found on the left

I’m back…and I’m more focused than ever. I started this blog as a SBF (single black female) seeking SBMs(single black males). I strayed away from that last part…and haven’t been writing because I didn’t even know where or how to begin telling those stories, but I’m back. I’m back to seeking SBMen and I’m back to writing about my experiences in that journey. So here are the tales of what happened when I strayed away from my target and looked to the left and to the right.

The left…White men. I have flirted with the idea of dating white men many times in the past. As a little black girl who attended both a predominantly white high school and a predominantly white college, I was presented with opportunities to date white men. Though I followed some of those paths pretty far, I never could find myself completely attracted to any of those men. Yet, there are several white men in Hollywood who I proclaim could get it. So I often wonder if I could ever actually be totally attracted (mentally, physically, spiritually, fill-in-the-blank-tually) to a white man. I was in Toronto recently (at a conference, of course) and the opportunity to test the this question fell in my lap:

I was in the hotel lobby working on my laptop and lost track of time. When I first sat down, there were other hotel guests in the lobby with me. When I finally looked up, there was no one there but me and this attractive man who’d just walked up to bother me. He’d sat his half empty beer down on the table next to me and asked me what I was working on. That question led to friendly banter about what we were both doing in Canada and ended with his sitting a hotel room key on the table and directing me to use it when I was done with my work. As we’d talked, I’d noticed this man’s pretty green eyes. He was tall and slender with dark hair and impeccably dressed in a well-tailored suit. I thwarted his advance, but apparently unconvincingly…because this turned into a tit for tat discussion, with me providing all of the logical, rational, practical reasons I couldn’t go to his room and him countering with all of the impulsive, spontaneous, pseudo-fateful reasons why I should. As he half-heartedly attempted to shut my laptop down so that I could accompany him upstairs, the (free) wireless internet connection in the lobby went down. Seeing his opportunity to pounce, he quickly grabbed up my things and insisted that I come use the (paid) wired internet connection in his room to finish my work. To convince me, he gave his vow that we’d just talk and that we’d both end up with no less clothes that we were already wearing. Against my better judgment, I acquiesced.

On the elevator ride up and the walk to his room, I kept wondering what the hell I was doing. When we arrived, he unhooked his computer, set up mine, and disappeared into the bathroom. By the time he reemerged, I was already frustrated with the wired internet connection and he was shirtless (still wearing an undershirt…just no button-down). He asked me how it was going, stood behind the chair I was sitting in, and began to massage my shoulders. As I continued to wonder why the hell I was in some strange man’s room and why he took an interest in me and how the hell he could possibly be attracted to me when I imagined that I was clearly not his type and knew that he was clearly not mine, he continued his attempts to convince me that his room was the best place to be. Soon the claim he made in the lobby that we’d just talk, turned into a proclamation that we wouldn’t do anything I didn’t want to do. Understanding that I was preparing for my exit, he suggested we swap massages before I left. As someone who understands that this is one way men attempt to trick women into fewer and fewer garments and eventually nudity and sex, this didn’t sound appealing to me. I again stated that I should go. In the lightly forceful way that men do, he routed me towards the bed, sat me down, sat down next to me, and continued to unconvincingly argue for me to stay. This is one of those moments where men to whom I’m attracted normally win. When I’m truly attracted to a man, all of their silly reasons I should stay seem to somehow sound logical and I willingly fall into their trap. This man had no such stronghold on my mind, imagination, or body.

Me: I need to leave.

Him: Why?

Me: This is not something I do.

Him: What? You don’t hook up with guys?

Me: No.

As he was laying me back on the bed and kissing my neck, I was sitting up and strongly proclaiming that it was indeed past quitting time. In one final attempt to squelch my concerns, he announced that he had an idea.

Him: I’ve got an idea, I’ve got an idea, listen, listen. You don’t hook up with people, right? So how about…you hook yourself up and I hook myself up and we hold hands while doing it.

Me: [ummmmmm, did this man just ask if we could co-masturbate?! What the hell?? Is that even something people do?!!] No. I’ve definitely got to go. I’ll just disappear, nameless and faceless as if this never happened.

I stood up, gathered my things, and headed quickly for the exit. He tried to stop me, but I put the kind of seriousness and authority in my voice that I know scares men in these situations. As intended, it caused him to back off a little. Attempting to lure me back in after I’d crossed the threshold (freedom!), he asked if he could at least have a hug. Refusing to re-enter his room, I told him the best I could do with one arm full of computer and such was a one-armed hug/pat of the back from outside the door. In an absolute final attempt to get me to stay, he gave me the age-old man argument: “I can’t believe you’re walking out. Are you really going to leave me like this?” as he grabbed my free hand and placed it on his crotch…which, by the way, was all soft and squishy. For some unknown reason, I apologized, as I again wondered what the hell I was doing there and why the crap he was trying to get me to stay when he clearly wasn’t attracted to me. After all that foolishness, he wasn’t even erect…what the hell? I can’t explain it. As I walked hurriedly down the hallway towards the elevators, I just kept thinking how blessed I was to have escaped stranger danger unscathed and how much men are alike…white, black, or otherwise they all have the same goal and the same tired ass lines. Lesson learned.

NEXT POST: What I found on the right

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2011 in Conference Season, Dating, Reflection

 

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CSC – Day 3 and beyond, “Getting to know the Bachelor”

Over the next few days, Kyle and I ran into each other several times, each time exchanging a greeting and usually a little small talk. Given his official role within the organization hosting the conference, he was a great resource for where I could find things, how I could gain access to everything I wanted, and where the officially unofficial off-site shindigs were happening. Fast forward to my last evening at the conference, and I finally got a chance to catch up with Kyle while he had a moment to sit still at one of those off-site shindigs. We chatted, flirted, exchanged contact information, and agreed that we would hear from each other when we returned to our respective lives.

During our conversation, Kyle wanted to know if he could expect me at next year’s conference. I told him that my conference attendance is always based on whether or not my proposals get accepted. This is where things got questionable for me. Kyle offered to ensure that I’m on the conference program. He’s not responsible for program review, but because he works for the association, he has access to and influence with the people who make those decisions. Now, let’s be clear: I love a hook-up. However, when it comes to the realm of academic and professional advancement, the question of ethics that is raised by accepting a hook-up is much bigger for me than it is in more social settings. Thoughts of professional hook-ups and whether more established people in academia operate this way consumed my thoughts and made me pretty distant for the rest of my conversation with Kyle. So much so, that I really can’t remember anything else we talked about that evening.

Well, I’m back home and Kyle is back home. There have been a few text messages and emails exchanged, but I feel like I’m really not that interested in him. So disinterested, in fact, that I don’t even have a desire to go through all of the questions and figure out his true eligibility status. I think that he is a single-ish black man who travels around the country from meeting to meeting (a benefit of his job), spends his free time connecting with women (like yours truly) who attend these meetings, and uses those connections to maintain his livelihood.  While I understand where I fit into this picture I’ve dreamt up, I don’t understand where I fit within Kyle’s true picture. When we were last in person, he made a comment that he and I had established a better connection than we did last year (that’s a no-brainer…I remember his name this year). Away from the hustle and bustle of the conference, though, I can’t tell. And unfortunately for any hope of this moving past a randon text here or there, I’m not one to put in effort where I either haven’t been intrigued or that effort is not likely to be reciprocated. So, I guess another one bites the dust…at least temporarily.

This concludes this series of Conference Season Chronicle installments.

 

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CSC – Day Two, “Growth”

My colleagues had me hanging out and drinking (something I hadn’t done for about four months) until the wee morning hours of day two. I still got up early to participate in conference activities, and had every intention on attending a presentation that Douglas was giving. I did not make it to his presentation, but still had a full day. Thus, I was too tired to do much of what I’d planned that evening. Even though I was tired, I still wanted to muster up the energy to go out. I knew Douglas had the low on late night events, so I texted him.

Me: “Hey. Anything going on tonight? What are people doing?”

Doug: “I’m just out with some people having a few drinks.”

Me: “Oh ok. Enjoy!”

Doug: “Let’s hook up. What are you doing?”

Me: “Nothing. In the hotel lobby on the Internet.”

Doug: “What? I will be there in 30 minutes.”

After half a cup of tea and a few emails, he showed up. This was the first time I’d seen this man since he disappeared six months ago. He looked nice, but I was not intrigued on first sight of him. In fact, I did not know how to feel about him. It was like seeing an old friend, but rather than excitement to see a friendly face I had a desire to run the other way from this very married man. Conversation with him always led to me throwing morals to the wind, but I was determined that this evening would be different.

When he made his way across the lobby to me, he gave me a quick hug and a kiss on the forehead. I understood that the brevity of the embrace had to do with the fact that we were in a lobby crawling with conference attendees, many of whom may know him and could be paying much closer attention to our interactions than they were letting on. Oddly, the possibility of wandering, interpreting, judging eyes all around us made me much more comfortable…as I was very nervous about saying ‘no’ to this man and sticking to it.

We settled into a conversation, hitting the highlights of the missed months. In between updates of professional accomplishments and upcoming events, he inserted the usual compliments and comments that normally landed me in deep water: “I love your eyes and your lips. I love them” and “I’ll come visit you this summer if you let me” and “My favorite conference experiences involve you”. It was all very flattering, but then he snapped me back to reality when the flattering comments became forward comments, and much too forward for where I was willing to go. It began with the suggestion that we go to my room. I thwarted that advance. I guess he was able to see my concern, because he quickly assured me that we could just talk and he wouldn’t try anything. Even though past actions wouldn’t confirm this, I know better than to fall for that okeydoke. So, I fled the conversation by telling him that I was sharing a room, people were asleep in my room, and my only plans were to go take my shower and go to bed. Not deterred, he fired back with an offer to join me for a shower. I gave him the “I know you know better” eye, and he retorted with the face he makes best—a sly grin. That was pretty much the end of that topic of conversation. We talked about what day 3 of conference life held in store for both of us, shared a hug and went our separate ways—me, proud of myself for being headed to my room alone and him (most likely) defeated for having struck out with me for one of the first times ever.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2011 in Conference Season

 

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CSC – Day One, “Meet the Players”

Day 1 of a social conference experience is where I meet the players—the men who will factor into my conference experience. So, meet the three players of my most recent conference experience:

Player 1: Kyle

I arrived to the conference hotel, dropped my bags in the room, and immediately went to check in and get my official conference spoils (bag, book, name badge). Check-in was super organized and smooth, but people were bunching up at the exit. I found a spot off to the side to browse through my new things, and was soon approached by a gentleman who began playfully chatting me up. A couple of minutes into our conversation, he asked, “You don’t remember me from last year?” I looked at him with a face that must have said just how certain I was we’d never met. Even though I hadn’t said anything yet, he replied with “I’m Kyle. Remember? Kyle. I work for the association.” Suddenly it sounded vaguely familiar, and I had fleeting memories of random conversations with some man at last year’s conference. “Oh yeah,” I said as I checked his ring finger (empty—score!). This is how Kyle re-entered my memory and claimed a prominent spot in this year’s conference experience.

Player 2: Douglas

Later that same day, I ran into Kyle again and we got a chance to chat. While we were talking, my phone began to ring. The screen read “call from Douglas Yardley”. I immediately thought “Wow! I haven’t heard from him since he disappeared last season”. Because I was talking to Kyle though, I had my phone send a quick text to Douglas saying that I’d call him back later. The last I’d seen Douglas was at another conference six months ago. The last I’d heard from him was a text message that read “Headed home. Will talk soon.” When Douglas sent that text six months ago I already knew, based on how our conference experience had gone, that I wouldn’t hear from him and he wouldn’t hear from me. So, even though I knew he’d be at this conference, and even though I knew there was a very low probability of us being in the same place and not speaking, the fact that his name had just appeared on the screen of my cellphone surprised me. I finished talking to Kyle and noticed that Douglas had sent a return text message: “Are you here?” I replied that I was, and a conversation ensued with details about where people would hang out later that evening. As I thought back on my times hanging out at social events with Douglas Yardley over the past year of conferences, I couldn’t decide whether or not I should go to the party he was suggesting that evening. After all, this man had already tried to make me his conference mistress—a role which I refuse to claim.

Player 3: Harlan

Yet later this day, I had a conference presentation. After my presentation ended, I was planning to attend a special reception being hosted by one of my favorite conference season players—Harlan Lenoir. Harlan is older than me, but younger than most of the conference season players who enter my arena. His professional status motivates him to work hard, but his youthfulness also makes him play hard. I came out of my session thinking I would go back to my hotel room to rest up and freshen up before going to Harlan’s session. Before I could get to the elevator, I walked right into Harlan. We greeted each other, and then he asked me where I’m working currently…and all I could think is that he should already know this information. Before our conversation could go much further, Harlan was wisked away by someone from his adoring conference public. I walked away still determined to kill some time before his session began and assuming that I’d have a chance to catch up with him later in the week.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in Conference Season

 

Late Nights & Early Mornings: Conference Season

I, like many people, attend several professional conferences in a year. Last year’s conference season is what opened my eyes to the fact that I’ve reached what one of my SBF girlfriends, Sunni, refers to a mistress age. Mistress age is the age at which you become an attractive romantic option for married men. Though I’m sure this age can vary for many people, I believe that it usually happens to women in their late twenties. The funny thing about mistress age, is that a woman who has reached mistress age will rarely realize that she has reached this milestone in life. Mistress age snuck up on me like an unmarked cop car on a busy freeway. I didn’t see it coming, and even once it arrived, I wasn’t able to identify it immediately.

Then, suddenly, one day I looked up and realized that in one year I’d been inappropriately involved (in some fashion, ranging from conversation to sex) with four different married men. The interactions were inappropriate because the men were married. I have these four men to thank for my post on asking the right questions; each of them has added at least one question to that list. If I’d had this list before I met each of them, I most likely would have never ended up in such inappropriate positions with them. However, in my defense (if I’m even allowed such a thing), married men who are seeking a mistress rarely state that they are married. In fact, out of the four, only one has ever spoken the words “I’m married” to me. He also happens to be the only one with whom my interactions never advanced past conversation. Therein lies the dilemma of being mistress age, which is truly a conversation for a different blog post…because this one is about conference season.

Before describing conference season, though, it was important to explain the concept of being mistress age, because that’s the only way you’ll understand what happens to me, and I’m sure other mistress-aged women, during conference season: we somehow morph into a target only viewable by men who have wives. This brings us to the purpose of this post. I have attended a few conferences in the past month, one of which happens to be the same one that brought married men numbers 2 and 3 into my life last year. As always, my experiences with the eligible and ineligible bachelors attending these conferences have given me lots to think about. So, my next few posts will all be the “Conference Season Chronicles”, in which I will discuss my interactions with the men (some married and some unconfirmed) with whom I interact. Late nights and early mornings…those are the elements that make conference-going an interesting, unpredictable, and enjoyable activity. If you want the details, read the CSCs as I post them.

*thanks to Marsha Ambrosius for help with the blog title

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2011 in Conference Season, Reflection

 

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