Category Archives: By Sowhatiff Jenkins

Is It Okay for Women to Approach Men

By Sowhatiff “Never Scurred” Jenkins

While women are going around getting all independent and what not, there are still things that remain somewhat traditional…the initial approach.

I know I was once guilty of this attitude: “If he likes me, he will come over here and talk to me (despite my pack of 7 friends, and stank look).” So…yeah…I have learned that that is not necessarily the right attitude to have. Though I touched on this in my Are Black Women That Stank entry, I thought I’d take it a step further.

Women often think that making the “first move” sends certain signals to men. As usual, we are often caught up in over-thinking.

Woman to Self: Omg. If I say something to him, he’s going think I’m flirting.

Self to Woman: Which I am, cuz he is fine.

Woman to Self: He’s going to think I want to have sex with him. I ain’t that type of chic.

Self to Woman: Well, eventually I will give up the draws, but not today…

She has this dialog with herself, and by the time she makes a decision, homeboy has moved on.

But does it have to be like this? Why is it that women feel as though we cannot make a first move? We have been conditioned to think that a man has to take that first step. Well, I posit that this not always the case.

He probably doesn’t think you are a jump.

Unless you want him to. Short of you talking all super sexy as you order your morning coffee, or stroking his chest (or your own) all sensual-like as you converse, you are probably not sending the “let’s take it to the back seat” message. If you are looking to get the jump off jumped off, or not, you are probably hinting at something by a bunch of unconscious signals. Tone of voice. Posture. Distance between you and him. Stuff like that.  Pay attention to the signals.

Your environment matters.

Making the first move in the club is one thing. Drinks are involved. Heavy grinding beats are bumping. Sexy lighting is all around. All of these things factor into the sending and receiving of messages. Speaking to a man at the gym or at some other well lit venue that does not serve dranks, or sell condoms in the men’s room, can impact the way messages are sent, and received.

If he didn’t come up to you first, it doesn’t necessary mean he doesn’t think you’re hot.

This is where learning to chill, and not over think can come in handy. Think about the times where you were not initially super physically attracted to someone, and, minus the snaggle tooth they turned out to be a good catch anyway. He may not have noticed you at the same moment you saw him. Maybe his line up is not on point today. What if his breath is kicking like Kung Fu fighting.  Or he might be shy. ::Gasp:: Yes, sometimes guys are shy.  Try not to get lost in doubting yourself before you know what’s what.

Men like to feel desired too.

The same way we like to be complimented on the effort we took to get all fly, men probably like the same treatment to a degree. I don’t mind telling a man that his button up looks good, or that he has a nice smile. Sometimes, you may engage in further conversation and exchange digits, but often times, you don’t and just part ways. No harm, no foul.

Ladies, don’t be scurred.  Sparking a conversation does not make you look ::insert all the negative things you think here::.  Just be who you are.  Whoever that is (jump off or otherwise) is likely to shine through.

What do you all think about women making the first move?

Watch Out For the Big Girls

This week’s link is brought to you by Sowhatiff Jenkins

Yall know that saying right? It goes “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” Well dammit if this video doesn’t bring that to life. I pray that you have headphones or something at your desk or cubicle, because the sound in this video is simply hilarious. If not, the image will still have you rollin. (Give it some time to load and fast forward to 2:35)

I don’t have anything against big girls, but…there are just some things you should not do. I was feeling Scarlet in the beginning. She was clearly trying to sing some pain away. But sometimes, you gotta leave it at the words boo. Why did she have to do that to the table? Smh.

Peace in the middle,

Sowhatiff “Sometimes I table dance in wedges” Jenkins

Why Do Black People Flock to Each Other?

By Sowhatiff Jenkins

This is a question that I have been asked in more than one way by the majority population.  For undergrad, I attended a majority white university.  Big surprise.  For grad school, the same thing.  For those of you in the workforce, I’m sure you too have to deal with the same thing: being one of very few black people, or minorities in general, in any given situation, be it sitting in the classroom, or heading to the break room to warm up lunch.

Thoughts about this come up without outside prompting.  I know I have stopped myself a few times as I feel myself congregating with or gravitating to people simply because they are black.  Sometimes I find myself wanting to fight this urge, mostly in an effort to expand my social circle and learn to be comfortable with others.  Forgive me, as I grew up in an all black and Latino town, and went to an all black and Latino high school.  Anyway, I am always intrigued when asked by a classmate or colleague of mine, what it is that makes black folks “stick together” so to speak.

Sometimes this question it carries with it a connotation of “Damn, black people stay segregating themselves.”  This has got to be my favorite.  When I walk into my classroom of 100 students, and about 10 of the students are black, and scattered randomly throughout the room, I don’t ask myself “Damn why are all the white people sitting together?”  When you make up the majority, it is likely that you’ll end up sitting next to someone that looks like you.

So why is there beef when I want to save 6 seats for my friends?  Its probably because we stick out like sore thumbs:  All the chocolate and caramel folks lined up in a row.  People assume that we do this because we are trying to keep them out, but why can’t we just be trying to get in where we fit in?  What’s wrong with me trying to be comfortable?

I think the issue comes up because people in any given majority don’t have to think about being a part of that majority.  When people all around you are ::insert any group distinction here:: just like you, you don’t have to think about fitting in, because you just do.

People are too sensitive sometimes.  My wanting to sit with my black friends has less to do with me not wanting to sitting next you, and more to do with me wanting to sit with my friends.  I mean, can I live?

Size of the Boat, Motion in the Ocean, Or Neither?

By Sowhatiff Jenkins

Don’t get all coy on me.  I don’t know how conversations about sex goes down between dudes, if at all.  Pause. But I can assure you that this question almost always comes up between women in one form or another.  There is some almost automatic curiosity that surfaces when one finds out that her homegirl has got down with the get down with a new man.  Or even with established relationships, we just “need” to know how ol’ dude is betwixt the sheets.  This then leads to questions about whether a good lay is determined more so by the actions and/or size of the boat, or does it have more to do with a woman’s connection to the captain of the ship.

In this age of the “progressive” woman, it would not be surprising to come across a woman that holds firm to the idea that sex is purely physical for her.  Somehow she has found the formula that women have been looking for years, that allows her to keep pumps from getting all mixed up in emotions.

While I believe that this can be done, I wonder how long this can last.  For example, a woman and man have developed a working “thronxing” relationship.  They call each other up when there’s an itch to be scratched, handle business, and chuck the deuces.  For the man in this situation, it is expected that he can keep it at sex.  For the woman though, can she maintain this detachment for the duration of the sexual relationship?  Or does she develop feelings for him at some point?  Or if not him, does she search for an emotional connection else where?

When talking about this with my homies, it is the general consensus that woman enjoy sex more when they are emotionally bonded the to man.  This is not to say that pumps sans love and all that can’t be head board breaking fulfilling.  But can it be totally fulfilling?  Do women, in the backs of their minds, say “Damn, that was good, but something was missing?”

Of course this is a very individual thing, but there is a lot of good anecdotal evidence to support the idea that women, while they can talk the talk, can’t walk that same sex-is-just-as-good-without-emotions-walk as men.

Or do men walk this walk all the time?  Is it just that you can get your rocks off nice and good when you don’t really care about a broad woman, but enjoy sex even more with your boo-boo?  Let’s hear it.

So You Like to Put People in Boxes, Huh?

No matter what city you’re in, public transportation brings with it a set of interesting experiences. Playing the where should I sit game; keeping the mean mug on so people will think twice about bringing their crazy in your direction; positioning your electronic devices and monthly passes in ways that keep you from getting got (being robbed). Riding the rails also gives you plenty of time to observe others, and if you’re cool, observe yourself as you do it.

American society has taught us to put people in boxes. For example, have you ever seen a person who looked “racially ambiguous,”? Don’t act like its just me. You have seen this person on the subway or on the street. You look and try to fit him/her into a racial group. And if you sit across from him/her, chances are, you glance at them repeatedly in an effort to figure out “what he/she is”.

Or take the man dressed in slacks carrying a briefcase or man-bag of sorts. You assume you know about him, especially if he is headed downtown (pause). Yep, he probably works in an office to do office stuff. Then you try to figure out that ordinary looking black guy, or you assume you already know about him too.

I’m not saying that this is right or wrong. It kinda is what it is. We see people with certain physical characteristics or external features (skin tone, hair texture, assumed age, shirt with a certain label, a bar through the lip, tattered jeans, tatted up neck and forearms, pregnant belly, gym bag) and we size them up. This sizing up process happens so fast, and so often, we often don’t know its happening.

Sometimes this sizing up influences our posture towards people. Some are “safer” to sit next to than others. Its okay to share glances with some. Others, we shy away from. We hug our purses or man-bags a little tighter. We speed up our pace. Either way, we work to reconcile something within ourselves.

Why has this process became an issue for me now? Because I feel myself doing it. I find myself feeling unsafe around groups of teenagers. I get concerned by the goth-looking boy. I assume that the older man in tattered clothes is out to do me some harm, or sometimes, I feel sorry for him. I look at the young woman with an attitude because it looks like she’s giving me one. I try to figure out what’s going in the head of that solemn looking person staring out the window.

What’s amazing, is that this process takes no real time or concentration. My mind works crazy fast, yo.

And I know people try to box me too. Have you ever locked eyes with someone as he/she was giving you the once over? A bit of an awkward moment, I know. Depending on what the person looks like, and what kind of vibes his/her superficial appearance gives, you tailor your reaction accordingly. If the person is big and scary, I tend to squirm a little, and look away quickly. If he/she looks creepish, I may do the same, or if I’m feeling gangsta, I’ll give them that “don’t you be looking at me” look. If he is a handsome, well dressed black man, I may bat my lashes a little. Hehehe.

The next time you get on the train or bus, or even walking down the street, try paying attention to yourself as you pay attention those around you. Then come back and tell me about it, mmk?  Thanks.

8 Ways To Tell She’s Not That Into You

By Sowhatiff Jenkins

Ladies, have you ever made the terrible error of giving a dude your number, just to be nice. Well, I have. This is one of those mistakes that you don’t have to make twice in order the learn the lesson. Or how about engaging in a few unintellectual conversations because you are not really sure how to let him down? In any event, I thought it’d be fun to let men know when the woman they met probably just wanted to leave it at that…

1. She does not return your phone calls, texts, emails, or other forms of communication.

This is probably the only time a No. 1 on a list of mine that will actually denote its importance. Its amazing how when you’ve given a dude your number, and spoken to him say, twice, months later, he still finds the need to call you. No, you two didn’t establish a friendship in those two conversations. And it should be clear when she didn’t call you back the first 7 times, that she’s probably not interested in you…on any level.

2. When you go out places, or stay in, she doesn’t seek comfy cozy closeness.

You know what this feels like. The two of you are out walking to the restaurant, and she maintains a bit of a distance from you. Or somehow, you’ve gotten her to come over to watch a movie, and she stays snuggled on the far corner of the couch, resisting those attempts at sensual touching.

3. When you greet each other, she gives you the “booty out” hug.

Ladies, you know you have given more than one of these hugs before. And you probably get a little wigged out when he tries to rub the small of your back all slowly and stuff. Then, as you back away from the “embrace” you try to hide the look of disgust discomfort on your face.

4. She looks at you crazy when you move in to kiss her.

She gives you that, “Um, what do you think you’re doing” look. Or if you’ve actually been stealthy enough to make lip to lip contact, she is pulling back like a receding hair line. Didn’t you notice her eyebrows raising up?? Or maybe her shoulder muscles getting all tense?   Yeah. Those were signs to back up off her.

5. She always has a reason NOT to do something with you.

This one probably hurts. You ask her to the movies. She says nope. Invite her to a friend’s party. She reluctantly obliges. Then, she calls in sick. You invite her for some coffee at the local S-bucks. She already has plans. You just heard about this new exhibit at the art museum and guess who you still want to invite. Has not your ego been bruised enough?

6. She talks about other potential boos.

If she keeps bringing up her date with the next guy, and how cute she thinks he is, she is probably trying to tell you that you are not the desired object of her affection.

7. She asks you about your friends.

This may sound like it has grease written all over it, but as long as she is not trying to get with you and your boy (unless that’s how yall roll), then you’re good. Well, not really because she is in fact trying to tell you to buzz off, but you get what I mean.

8. She is OD (extra) mean and bitchy.

I have to admit, I am guilty of this one. You poor saps think she is just playing hard to get. Nope. Not at all. She is just hoping that her meanness will turn you off and send you in the other direction. And if you are still trying to get at her, clearly her efforts have failed. Or you are just super dense.

Let’s keep the party going. What have you ladies done to tell a dude to buzz off? And guys, let’s not act like a woman has never done the Heisman on that ego before.

**Ms. Jenkins note: Questions like “What is the Heisman?'”will not be entertained.**

So, Its Not Just Me.

After having conversations with a few men, and reading some of your good comments, I was able to gather some information. While some of this stuff will seem as though it should have been obvious, or you feel like “I knew that already,” its sometime nice to hear (read) things twice.

Apparently, spring and fall are the best time to find dudes.

I thought this was a little out there when I heard it, but it’s interesting nonetheless.  Spring is after winter right?  And just like the new flowers ready to bloom, guys are ready to get back into action, and are ready to mingle.  As for the fall, after a long summer, they are ready to settle down. They have boinked hooked up with all those fast chics nice women from the summer, and are ready to find someone to keep warm during those brisk walks in the park, or to to snuggle with under the sheets around the fireplace.

Fish in the right pond.

I think this is one area where men may have one up on women.  Dudes know what type of women will be at certain types of spots.  When they want a jump off, they go to the clubs.  If they want a stank sophisticated lady, they may frequent wine tastings or art exhibits and such.  Depending on what you are looking for should play a role in where you are looking. Think of the type of guy you are (or think you are) interested in, and what he might like.  Don’t go looking for Mr. Right at the dingy hole-in-the-wall spot.  Chances are, Mr. Here Tonight Gone Tomorrow will be there instead.

Pay attention to the age factor.

If you get a flyer for a gathering that looks all nice and sounds good, but says in very fine print “18 to enter, 21 to drink,” or its at a venue known the attract young people, you may have a bit of a problem.  There are some types of events that young dudes won’t frequent.  Lounges, or after work spots, are not likely to have that 20 year old boy “man” trying to spit game.  Try to avoid spots that have a large age range.  Chances are, women will get the short (and young) end of the stick.

Keep your eyes open.

You probably interact with decent men on a regular basis.  You have probably exchanged glances before, but are too busy being stank to notice.  Maybe he doesn’t want to get at you like that.  But a nice conversation with that handsome guy you see everyday won’t kill you.

Apparently sports bars are what’s up.

I must say, I do enjoy a good beer and football game when my schedule allows.  I have received some cool points from the fellas for this.  So ladies, just try it.  We want him to watch “chic flicks” or Grey’s with us, so sit through a Giants game every once in a while.  Yes. I said Giants.

Stop rolling 31 deep.

This has been something that has begun to annoy me as of late.  I love my girls, but I am not longer super interested in rolling mad deep (pause) to places, unless its one of those famed “girls night out.”  But really, girls night out doesn’t have to be an occasion every time we go out.  Scale back.

Anything else we are missing?

Keeping it Three Ways up in this piece,

Sowhatiff? “I Drink Beer and Eat Wings Whilst I Watch Football” Jenkins