Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

Jenee Darden speaking at Creative Mornings I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book  and building my speaking career!  You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up.  You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in

Single? Girl, Get a Man at the Strip Club

peep show

Hey it's not my idea. That's what Essence magazine suggests in their June issue where they list 10 places to meet black men. Gina over at What About Our Daughters ripped the article on her blog last week. I wanted to see the article with my own eyes before responding. There's no way Essence would list strip clubs as the new hot spot to meet men. Right? I'm in CVS the other night flipping through the magazine with J-Hud on the cover and there it was, suggestion #5--go to a strip club.
Huh? Essence said what????? The same Essence magazine that launched a campaign against the exploitation of black women in hip hop suggests my girls and I hit up Spearmint Rhino to find a brotha who may "put a ring on it." The Essence magazine, legendary for uplifting black women for decades recommended us single sistas take a trip to places criticized for exploiting women. I'm supposed to meet a man there? I guess it doesn't matter where I find a man. At least it beats spending another Saturday night watching Cheaters.

Are black women's search for love so dismal that we must resort to finding men at the strip club? The article listed other places like community service events, political campaigns and summer festivals. Good ideas. But the strip club? I don't care if the joints are high end. Do wealthy, educated men go to nudie bars? Of course. But I'm not stepping to a man while Roxxxy is shaking her ta-tas in his face? First of all, it's weird because the atmosphere is highly-sexed. Second, I'm fully clothed, she's butt naked. Hmmm I wonder who he's focused on, me or Roxxxy sliding down the pole? And I would think picking up dudes in the strip club makes me seem desperate. If I'm on the prowl for a serious relationship and I'm buying drinks for a brotha in the nudie bar, as Essence suggests, I'm setting the bar low for what's to come if we become a couple.

Suggstion #5 is not just about strippers. This is another example of our community telling sistas to lower their standards. I'm SICK AND TIRED of black women being told to settle when it comes to men and life overall. I doubt that was Essence's intent but that's how the point came off.

That's right black women, ain't too many brothas around. And you're not desired. Take what you can get. Even if it means waiting for Candy to finish her lap dance so you can get that fine brotha's number.

We know the stats. A majority of black women are unmarried, including moi. But I'm worth more than just having any ol' body. WE are worth more, than having any ol' body. Single sistas, how many times have your friends or family said to you:
  • "You're too picky."
  • "You're going to have to find someone who makes less money than you."
  • "Most black men aren't on your level so settle for someone who didn't go to college."
  • "You want too much."
  • "Just be happy somebody wants you."
  • "Girl, I know you're lonely and want to be in a relationship but just find a booty call. At least he'll keep you warm tonight."
  • "At least he has most of his teeth."

The last one is a joke my friends and I made in college. Seriously, I've heard these things from black people. It's funny because many of the people who told me these things were guys who weren't about nothing or women dating guys who weren't about nothing. Sistas ain't nothing wrong with wanting the best. My uncle told me a long time ago that a good man is hard to find, so don't settle. If you want a man who likes to travel, go for it. If you want a brotha who is educated and makes a great salary (whatever that means to you) I ain't mad at you. If you want someone who is a hard worker and good to your children--that's not asking too much. Whether you're a checker at JC Penny or an executive at JP Morgan--you work too hard to settle for a warm body you picked up at Magic City. Essence lists nine other places to meet black men. Check those out.

Ya'll know how I roll. I'm open to meeting all races of men and black women should expand their options if they like. Lately I've been stepping out of my comfort zone when it comes to meeting men and networking. I'll tell you about that in the next post and list some places where I've meet nice guys.

Riddle me this: would you go to a strip club to meet men and why? If you're a guy, would you think lower of a woman who approached you in a strip club? Or would you think nothing of it. Leave a comment. Use your real name or make up a name when speaking your mind. It's up to you. I want hear your thoughts.

Have a good weekend Cocoa Fly readers and stay out of Deja Vu.

Photo Cred:
Image from PicApp


  1. LMAO! I saw this article too, and this is exactly why I don't take advice from Essence.

    I completely agree that any woman with an ounce of self-respect should NOT do this.

    Besides, many men (the good ones) that I know are not interested in marrying hoes. Yes, they will sleep with them and watch them take their clothes off in one of these establishments, but they aren't interested in a committed relationship with one. Even if you are not a ho but in a place associated with hoes, you are guilty by association.

  2. As a white man I might be slightly out of the intended demographic for this post. But I nevertheless loved it -- hilarious, thought provoking, trenchant. This blog keeps getting better.

    I've never read Essence magazine, but that is some seriously rubbish advice. I have had (mostly older, desperate) women hit on me at strip clubs before. It takes pathetic to a new level.

  3. I would NEVER go to a srip club to meet a man. I am appalled at Essence for such an asinine suggestion. Would they make such a suggestion to white women? NO, they would tell them to go to the museum, bookstores, or stand outside the revolving door of the stock exchange and see what they can pick-up. To make such a suggestion to a white womam would insult her womanhood. They felt comfortable making the suggestion to black women because we are seen as women of little substance. How would I tell my children that I met daddy at a strip club while he was watching a naked women slide down a pole. I stopped buying Essence magazine a long time ago, and the answer to why is apparent.

  4. Haha, seriously! I agree! Actually I don't mind saying it, I worked in a nightclub at one point years ago and it was amazing to me that the men thought they were going to meet their girlfriend at the club. Hello... how nasty is that! Do they not understand that doing that as a job is often a move of desperation, not some kind of exciting love of exhibitionism? Anyway, I'd take the 20 dollars but find a nicer boyfriend who doesn't spend all his money on almost-hookers!

    I don't know if you Google Alert yourself but in case you don't, I wanted to let you know that I featured you today on

    Keep on blogging!

  5. Another "whitey" here.

    I not going to suggest where you should and should not look for men. I have my own views on proper ways and proper places to look.

    As a white man happily married to a woman of color for nearly 14 years, may humbly suggest that you do not rule us white guys out.

    Obviously, we are not what comes to mind when you write the word "brotha", but there many of us who would love a woman like yourself genuinely, sacrificially, with everything we are and have, and for life.

    One of the most well-kept secrets (and, yes, it is very well kept secret) in the U.S. is that scores of white men see black women as candidates for marriage like any other.

  6. I am not a black woman, but I hear you! Why would you go to a strip club to find a man? That makes no sense. I have wondered for a long time why women of any color would settle for something less than what they want in a man. When my daughters were in their teens and twenties, lots of their friends dated and married men who had no jobs, no cars, no ambition. I just didn't get it. Twenty years later, I still don't get it. Have some pride, women!

  7. @ Erika--Interesting. You get the ho label because you're guilty by association? Hmmmm.

    That says something that you don't listen to Essence's advice either.

    @ Anonymous #1-thanks for sharing your experience inside the strip club. That's sad the women trying to pick you up in the strip club seemed desperate.

    @ Anonymous #2- Ditto. I read Marie Claire, Elle, O, Cosmo and I have yet to see strip clubs as a place to meet quality men. I've seen dog parks, alumni events, etc. That's why this Essence article was a shocker. Also I've heard/read many black women say they stopped subscribing to Essence because of the content.

    @ Ananda, Liz, and Karen--Amen! and thanks for your comments.

    @Anonymous #3-thanks for letting us in on the big secret. :) I have said many times on this blog that black women should keep their eyes open to black men and non-black men.

  8. You know when I read this in Essence I initially thought it was a joke. Like they can't be serious. It is such a ridiculous concept that I don't even feel the need to comment . . .

    Can I comment on Essence though? Though I have been a subscriber for many years and probably will continue to be so (it's not like Black women have that many options in magazines geared toward them - and I'm not into Hype Hair) but this magazine REGULARLY frustrates me. Mainly to be it's their unwillingness to be critical of a lot of people - such as Tyler Perry (SEXIST), Juanita Bynum (OPPORTUNIST) and why is Beyonce on every other cover??? I guess I'd just like to read a magazine that does not treat Black women like a monolithic demographic . . .

  9. guy who has a higher IQ than a dogMarch 17, 2010 at 1:49 AM

    If I were a guy who you picked up at a strip club, I would kill myself for being the kind of worthless, drooling, canine-level "man" who would go to a strip club in the first place.

  10. This is too funny! Would I go to a strip club? I have before...I'm straight, but I love looking at and my husband [now ex] spiced things up! lol..but to find a potential partner? I don't think so!

  11. @ Nicole--Yeah I don't know what Essence was thinking.

  12. Why do women 'need' a man anyway? Be single and happy about it.


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