Thursday, July 17, 2008

Saturday, July 05, 2008

From the Lurking Shadows: The Celibate Slut Diaries

Hello my Blog Sisters!
I have been a lurker here for years and recently decided to finally share something with you. It is just to bring a little levity into your holiday weekend. I am just cutting and pasting from my Powell's guest blog for ease -- not to sell anything. So feel free not to click any of the links! ;-)

The Powell's Diary has been causing such an email uproar that I decided to reprint the text here. Enjoy!
------------------------------------------
Playful take on bedroom talk, Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex is a smart, funny encyclopedia with entries written by notable contemporary writers. This week we're pleased to feature a different post each day from one of the book's contributors.

Today's post is by Abiola Abrams, author of Dare, who has been a BET host for the past two years and currently also hosts The Planet Abiola Show for blackplanet.com. Find her blog, videos, manifestos, Dare excerpts, and more at www.thegoddessfactory.com.]

June 19, 2008
INTRODUCTION

I would introduce myself using my standard party intro but you are a much classier crowd than the parties I have found myself at recently. My essay "Slut" in Dirty Words: A Literary Anthology of Sex is about growing up as somewhat of a prude, bearing the burden of representation, envying the girls we called sluts and... Well, you'll have to buy the book to find out.

It was kismet when Ellen assigned me the S-word. You see, I am a complete slut. I just don't have sex.

Slut is more than a description of a wanton woman. Slut is a lifestyle. Haven't you seen Sex and the City, ads for stripping classes, Girls Gone Wild trial transcripts, and the Pussycat Dolls videos?

I am purposefully single. What does that mean? It means that I am committed to dating promiscuously and hanging out with wonderful guys but keep my knees together, grandma-style. Just because you've picked up the tab on my sesame chicken does not ensure you a day pass to the Promised Land. Therefore I am a complete slut. I just don't have sex.Therefore I am a complete slut. I just don't have sex.

Oh, and if you want to fix me up, I like men who are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside and who love to read as much as they love to dance. Also be the kind of man who makes dinner and has a sense of humor. I know. Original.

February 15, 2004
BERLIN HOMEGIRL

You ever hang out with 2 people who clearly really do not want to be hanging out with you?

Ever been hanging out with a friend and a love connection develops between her and someone else and now you're the 5th wheel to the coach, but you don't want to leave her alone with the guy, although she secretly wishes you would, so you sit in a bar you don't want to be in, nursing something you really don't drink, and pretend that her conversation is amazingly hilarious to build her up to the guy who's not really listening to you anyway, at 5 in the morning Berlin time when you really want to be home sleeping in your warm bed instead of on a spontaneous date between 2 people who don't know you're there in a cold, miserable European bar full of hideous, butt-ugly junkies of some sort who, unfortunately, are really the only people who seem to notice you as you turn your fabulous engagement rock backwards on your finger New York Subway-style because you get the feeling that if they lunged at you that neither your friend nor the future boyfriend would really notice, and the junkies seem to be laughing like they've seen that trick before? Uh-huh.

February 15, 2008
MY DATABLE APARTMENT

My bachelorette apartment is in Northern Manhattan, SOHA, Morningside Adjacent, or Harlem. Pick whichever label makes you feel safe. I finally have a space that I totally love. My haven is called the Goddess Factory. That's also the name of my website. Yes, my home has a name and my friends know that they can drop by the Goddess Factory anytime, day or night.Yes, my home has a name and my friends know that they can drop by the Goddess Factory anytime, day or night. The only hazard of living in an oasis is that when there is inclement weather my apartment is the most fun place to be, so I tend to invite new people over prematurely.

Okay, I need to clarify the weather thing for non-New Yorkers. Weather in New York is an event. It can be 40 degrees one day and 90 degrees the next. The weather was insane today but I had a first date with a guy I don't care to remember. I said why don't we just hang out at my apartment and order in — no hanky panky, of course. I am a complete slut. I just don't have sex.

My friend Pilar was appalled, feeling that I was sending this guy who I don't care to remember the wrong message. She made me establish a rule that no one could come to my house until the fourth or fifth date. The fifth date? Oy vey! Most dudes blunder and are removed from the Abiola guest list long before then, but there's hope.

I do understand her logic, though. An invitation back to the apartment usually means sex. For me, inviting them into my personal space feels like a very free Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany's thing. Meet my space, meet me. Well — Audrey Hepburn as Holly in the movie, not Holly in Truman Capote's original novel. She was a prostitute.

Hmm. Maybe I won't invite anyone else home for a while.

May 11, 2008
FENG SHUI FOR LOVE

Contemplating bringing men home got me thinking about the look of my apartment. Yes, it's cable ready and wi-fied out, but is The Goddess Factory wired for love?Yes, it's cable ready and wi-fied out, but is The Goddess Factory wired for love?

The Goddess Factory definitely looks like the inside of my head. There are huge wall murals, graffiti on the fridge, Middle Eastern pillows, rugs, cool masks and art everywhere. Imagine my surprise when I bought a book called Feng Shui for Love & Romance and discovered several big no-nos.

Top 3 Ways I Feng Shui'd for Love:

1) My many pictures of women alone were bad for the law of attraction. Some of these pictures were of me, some were of my mom or aunt, and the majority were pieces of art. I bought a new print of a gorgeous loving couple which I put over my bed. I also traded my solo pix for pix of me with friends when possible. I even gave away Mullet Woman, a huge South African painting, to my friend Nathan.

2) Everyone's still on the men like to eat and food is the way to his heart thing. I have no dining table and that's bad love shui but there's no room. I live in New York City. I did procure two "mini-dining tables" that I can bring out when necessary. You may call them folding TV trays in your world.I did procure two "mini-dining tables" that I can bring out when necessary. You may call them folding TV trays in your world. See, men? No need to fear. You can get your grub on at Casa Abiola's.

3) The last change I made was moving my Goals Board to a private space. Yeah, it is clear that I am a weird funky art chick from the moment you walk in and see goddess graffiti drawings on the wall, but you don't have to know that I secretly aspire to be Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey combined right away.

Ultimately I redirected the energy to mostly make it flow for me first and then for whomever my future partner will be second. However, I am not into baiting and switching. I am not going to put the more masculine Tolstoy out when my favorite novelist is Toni Morrison. I'm not leaving Netflix of The Da Vinci Code or Will Smith flicks around when I would rather watch Juno, SatC, or Foxy Brown again. And yes it's corny but my "I love you Abiola" screen saver gives me a small boost of self esteem when I'm procrastinating.

I also didn't do anything about my kitty Anabelle's litter. Hey, a cat's gotta do what a cat's gotta do. Better Anabelle is comfy than some random dude.

This isn't a dog pound. It's the Goddess Factory. And yeah — there's a lot of frou frou, apparently also a big love no-no. But hey! I am a frou frou gal. Tiaras, candles and feathers abound. Deal with it. Or go home.I am a frou frou gal. Tiaras, candles and feathers abound. Deal with it. Or go home.

Hmmm... Maybe I'll reread the book.

December 10, 2007
DUDE VETTING

I have been preparing for my book release party. My debut novel Dare is about to be published by Simon and Schuster. It's the story of Maya, a sociologist dealing with heartbreak and getting back into the world of love. Her adventure is actually a comedic contemporary retelling of Faust with affirmations and homework assignments woven in between.

Talking about my new book has me thinking: There is a fundamental difference between being a single woman and being a single man — we have more safety concerns. Call it an unfortunate side effect of growing up in New York City but I can't trust just anybody. I remember waiting for the 86th Street bus afterschool and a grown man with a brief case asked me how old I was. "Sixteen," I answered, suddenly aware of how short I'd rolled up my uniform that day. "You're too old for me," he said.

Men have to be vetted. Who are you? What are your references? Men have to be vetted. Who are you? What are your references?

Because I am a sort of public person guys have the advantage. I am sort of pre-vetted. They can watch and read my work — the hits and all too often misses. They can see that I wore a tacky over-boobalicious black dress on the interview with Ashanti and realize that I may make some teeny wardrobe mistakes. Like Elvira may secretly be my stylist. They can find out with not much digging that I sauntered out onto the set of a Lifetime TV shoot feeling at the height of cuteness and fell SPLAT on my booty, Gucci platform flying. They can see that in one episode of The Planet Abiola Show I inexplicably channel Rosie Perez from the dancing to the Brooklyn accent. Prospective dates may even read in the acknowledgments of my novel me telling a guy that I dated for 15 minutes and no longer even speak too that I will "see him on the jet." Ugh.

So men know the relatively crazy, sexy, geeky, fun, and cool mess that they are probably in for. I can only go up from there.So men know the relatively crazy, sexy, geeky, fun, and cool mess that they are probably in for. I can only go up from there. They know that despite all of this I hang out a shingle and occasionally offer advice.

The best dates, of course, come from hook ups. See? Pre-vetted. Or at the party of a friend of a friend. Pre-vetted. But the drawback is that it's time to move beyond my circle.

Wait — duh — there is vetting. It's called Google. What am I thinking? We are the society of pre-vetted dates. The mystery is gone. Good. Mystery is overrated. If I could run someone's credit check before the date that would be great. Must be a way...

April 17, 2008
THE CRYBABY

I had an interesting date with "Alex," my third grade crush who has now become an investment banker. We ran into each other at Baskin Robbins, of all places. When they say 31 Flavors, I guess they're not lying. Alex is a tall, green-eyed cutie pie with a nice body, from what I could make out through the outline in his sharp Italian suit.

We had a great Japanese dinner with decent conversation and then afterwards went to have drinks at a sleepy lounge in the Village. Since the last time we'd met Alex was calling Davey Sirus a nose picker, we got caught up on each other's lives. The convo was cool. High school, college, etc. Then things got more personal and Alex revealed that his childhood was sad and at many times a living hell.

Alex began to cry.

His story was most definitely a tear jerker. Under normal circumstances I would have been crying too. But then again I cry at the Kleenex commercials. However, I couldn't cry because I felt like someone had to hold it together. We were in a public place. I didn't even reach out to hold him because I didn't know him that well. It was only the first date.I didn't even reach out to hold him because I didn't know him that well. It was only the first date.

So what did I do during the tearjerker portion of the evening? I had a glass of wine and patted his hand. Applied lip glass a couple of times and had another glass of wine. I'm sorry. This was just too much.

First I thought, Hmm, maybe this is a good thing because Alex feels so comfortable with me. But as the waterworks continued I thought, This guy is a total mess. I was completely turned off. First dates are like job interviews. You put your best foot forward. If this was as pulled together as he could get I can't imagine being three or six months in.

Trust me. I am compassionate. I am the person my friends call when they need an ear or a shoulder to cry on. For this reason I just can't allow myself to get sucked into the vortex of a spiritual vampire. Sorry, Alex. With no regrets I wrote down some books by Dr. Wayne Dyer including Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life that I thought might be of use to him and kept it moving. When he called to make new plans, I was elusive before giving him a "Yes, let's definitely keep in touch."

March 16, 2008
I HAVE A CRUSH ON YOUR BLOG

I just came from a date with someone I'll call Blog Boy. He was cool and works for the press. We went to Bowlmor, a bowling alley-slash-club-slash-fun scene in New York. It's been cool forever — very rare in The City. Well, on non-tourist nights.

Blog Boy was introduced to me by a friend of mine. She emailed us each other's blogs and MySpace pages. After pouring over his intelligent political blog I was in love. He was witty, though-provoking, edgy, and devastatingly handsome. And vetted. I thought, This is it. A wrap on my purposeful singlehood.I thought, This is it. A wrap on my purposeful singlehood.

WRONG. Blog Boy was totally different from the man that I had pre-met. As a mediamaker, I am no yokel. I know that much of what we read and see is smoke and mirrors. I have been at the film editing table when we stretched the picture to make a guy's paunch go away. But for Blog Boy to be such a 180 from the Prince Charming I was expecting based on his public personality was surprising.

Blog Boy only wanted to talk about Jack Black. Then he burped loudly and wiped his oily hands on his jeans. There was dirt in his fingernails and he went overboard on the bowling game, yelling and carrying on like we were there to train for the Bowling Olympics.

And then you won't believe what happened next. Blog Boy spit on the sidewalk in the middle of Manhattan. I felt like I was on an episode of The Simple Life. WTH? Blog Boy, I thought I knew ye!

I have a myspace, facebook, twitter, flickr, linkedin, blogger, youtube channel, stickham, last fm, blip... And probably some other stuff that I am forgetting. If someone delved into all of my pages they wouldn't know the total intimate Abiola, of course, but love me or hate me, they would have a very good idea of who I am.If someone delved into all of my pages they wouldn't know the total intimate Abiola, of course, but love me or hate me, they would have a very good idea of who I am.

Thus ended the chronicle of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Blog.

It got me thinking... Who else has screen personalities? Judging from some facebook pages, fuggedaboutit! And yes, my myspace may seem like a hot mess, but at least that hot mess is really me.

July 19, 2007
TEXTUAL HEALING

Have you ever had text sex? Last year I entered into an extensive textual relationship with a man I'll call AD who lived and worked a lot out of town. I met him when I was directing a short film. AD was fun, creative, and unfortunately, always away. We fell into a de facto long distance relationship mostly because I am a serial monogamist if left to my own tendencies. Remember? I am a celibate slut.

We had so much incredible tension between us that it completely exploded whenever we were finally together. However, when he was in town for more than a week it fizzled. It was all about the hot texts.

I wish that I could provide a G-rated version of our text message transcripts but I couldn't even begin to translate. My friends were reading my phone like it was a romance novel.My friends were reading my phone like it was a romance novel. My paranoid friend Pilar was horrified at the paper trail I was leaving.

The only bad part of our textual healing was that when I was over AD it turned into textual harassment. Then I had to hack-program my phone to block him. Oh, well.

June 11, 2008
WILL U MAKE ME DNNR?

If this was not my year of living purposefully single, the Abiola dating game would be the Kamau's game to lose. This man is fine. Gorgeous. Brilliant. Beautiful. Problem? He lives in Africa. Kamau is a lawyer and comes into town maybe 4 times a year.

Anyway, I was at a book signing at Barnes and Noble when I got the text: IN TOWN. FREE? I lost my train of thought so much that I had to ask the reader in front of me her name three times.

YES! I sent back immediately. Then the next text was simultaneously titillating and confusing: WILL U MAKE ME DNNR?

My mind went into single girl overdrive. What did this mean? Was this an important step? I mean, Kamau and I had never even been in the same private space alone together.

I fully intended to make Kamau a delicious meal. I was going to attempt my mother's curry chicken with my father's fresh bread. I have never made bread from scratch so this was going to be totally new for me. But with a WILL U MAKE ME DNNR? text from Kamau, I was willing to go all out.

On the appointed day Fresh Direct delivered the ingredients bright and early. My apartment was clean and feng shui'd for love.My apartment was clean and feng shui'd for love. And then I got an important work call. A huge coup — an interview with Janet Jackson's man Jermaine Dupri and his new singer Dondria. I ran off to work and came back in with only an hour before Kamau would make his appearance.

I let my fingers do the dialing and a half an hour later I was unwrapping an amazing Italian dinner. Ziti, veggie lasagna, Caesar salad, fresh garlic bread, the works! Then there was scant time for me to get my "fresh dressed like a million bucks" look going. (Slick Rick rap song lyric)

Kamau arrived right on time and said that he was starving — for food. We got caught up as I laid everything out with my gorgeous crystal glasses for the red wine that he brought with him.

Before I could even sit down, Kamau said (insert sexy British accent): "You changed my opinion of you, Abiola. You didn't seem like the cooking kind of girl."

I didn't seem like the cooking kind of girl?! What could I say to that? Got take out?I didn't seem like the cooking kind of girl?! What could I say to that? Got take out? There didn't seem time to correct Kamau as he devoured his meal. I was too busy trying to un-puzzle his words, consider how I was possibly being insulted, and meditate on how perfect his lips looked. Mum was the word as his praise went into overdrive about how great my cooking was. I was a hit! Or at least Mama Rosa's was.

After dinner I told the Kamau that I had to wake up early and kissed him good night. Remember? I am a complete slut. I just don't have sex. Kamau kept raving on and on about how special it was that I cooked for him.

"Anytime," I said.

What? I feel no guilt in this situation and if through some weirdness we ever fell madly in love I would tell him.

"Want me to take out the garbage?" he asked as he left.

"No thanks," I said, thinking of my bags of empty containers. "I'll get it tomorrow." Wink-wink.

April 1, 2008
YOU CAN FIND ME IN THE CLUB

Whooo! My adrenaline is going. I just got in from the most fun night. I was at Club Hiro dancing on the tables with my girls all night long!I was at Club Hiro dancing on the tables with my girls all night long! Paper Magazine chose me as one of their 50 Most People. Gasp. I feel vindicated that in the 11th grade Ms. Stein confiscated my Paper Magazine... while I was reading it in class.

My posse accompanied me to that party and then we had late drinks at Tilman's. We ran into a friend I will call Very Famous Guy. VFG told us about his brother's birthday party at a club across town. I put out a blast on twitter that I would be there and several more people met us at the jam.

After we were there for a while I spotted something delicious across the room. Kirby — a handsome guy who I'd had a year-long flirt with. Tall, with an incredible body and a huge curly afro. He had a way of looking directly into your being as you speak to him.

Kirby is like a junior Barack Obama with all of his youth justice, social issues, and not-for-profit work. In the interest of full disclosure I had tried twice already to lamely hit on Kirby and was feeling that clearly he was just not that into me.In the interest of full disclosure I had tried twice already to lamely hit on Kirby and was feeling that clearly he was just not that into me.

Lame Attempt 1: I volunteered to make a pro bono documentary about Kirby's incredible youth group when I don't even have time to visit my cousins in Brooklyn.

Lame Attempt 2: It was Martin Luther King Day and Kirby sent out a statement about how we should all live up to Dr. King's ideals. I googled and found 3 amazing MLK quotes and hit him back saying that here were some similar quotes that had inspired me. Well, they did! As soon as I found them. Stop laughing.

Anyway, the club was a different matter. Kirby invited me to "talk downstairs" and then we totally ended up making out in the solo bathroom!

I know that most of you might have moved past bathroom copulation when you were 18 — and no, we didn't go to third base — but give me a break here. I went to an all girl's school and a predominantly women's college. Then I was in one loooong term relationship. I missed out on some developmental stuff. Like bathroom fornication.I missed out on some developmental stuff. Like bathroom fornication. I am a complete slut. I just don't have sex.

I will say though without apology that it was hot. The thumping music was the perfect soundtrack. And yes, the bathroom was clean. It was a little less than cute to pull my sweaty self together and exit to find that such a long line had grown that the security guard was standing by to make sure that I was ok. Whoops. C'est La Vie.

By the way, the doc about his youth group never happened. It was too embarrassing to face his "kids" again and tell them the right and wrong ways of the grown up world.

Judge away, haters! At least my walk of shame was only back to the VIP area.

June 3, 2008
WHO'S THE MAN

I am a feminist. Not a wimpy, closeted chick but the kind who makes political speeches at high schools. This has nothing to do with my weakness for testosterone-heavy men who are man enough to step up to the plate and be manly. Understood?

Recently, I was working on a citizen journalist project with a guy that we'll call Scaredy McNervous. Scaredy kept telling everyone except me how much he likes me. Argh.

I don't want to ask him out. I want to be wooed. I want the man to make an effort. Look at what happened with my lame Kirby attempts.

I really do believe that men have a hunt and gather gene. Look at their work and leisure habits. They pursue everything as a game. This usually is a turn-on. I could easily ask SMN out no problem, but I also don't want to set up a precedent to entertain his wimpy tendencies. Moving on.

June 17, 2007
TOO MUCH BOOBAGE

I realize now that I have been on a cleavage overload. So I am cutting back.I realize now that I have been on a cleavage overload. So I am cutting back. Not quitting cold turkey just a step down program. Most people are horrified at what they wore to their proms. I am horrified to see what I wore yesterday. I can't even watch my Ashanti interview. Yuck. Note to self: Correct before leaving for the Divas of Literature Mall Tour this summer. Cleavage does not belong in a mall. And besides, real breasts are no competition for all of the gravity-defying boobage out there.

June 19, 2008
SINGLE BINGO

I am a recovering serial monogamist so I devised a game called Single Bingo to snap me and my kind out of this behavior. My theory is that you have to experience all of the squares on the board before making a commitment to any one. The way I see it, we should all date promiscuously. Now, that doesn't mean giving up the goodies to every Tom, Dick, and James, or anyone at all, it just means seeing what is available and getting your date on.Now, that doesn't mean giving up the goodies to every Tom, Dick, and James, or anyone at all, it just means seeing what is available and getting your date on.

Think basketball team. You have your starting line-up and your benched players. This is living purposefully single. Then you make your one true choice and yell BINGO. It will be even more worth it at that point and I can't wait.

I am a complete slut. I just don't have sex. Right now.