Last week I posted my interview with Don't Bring Home A White Boy author Karyn Langhorne Folan. We had a nice, long interview. One thing that came up was courting. Folan shares in her book that she wasn't sure her husband Kevin was into her when they first started dating. Kevin drove 30 miles every weekend to see Karyn, took her to pricey restaurants, paid for everything and was great company. Usually the dates ended with a nice hug, maybe a handshake. No, kissy, touchy or feely was going on. We're not talking the 1960s but just six years ago. Race aside, Karyn, like many of women, was used to guys feeling entitled to the VIP bedroom pass because they spent money on her. Yep. Some men equate movie tickets and dinner with getting the panties. I went on one date with a guy who thought a glass of wine and a few appetizers meant sexual healing was on the way. Well, it dawned on Karyn that she was being courted. Here's what she told me in our interview: READ MORE
"It’s weird that so many of us black women don’t know what it feels like to be courted and have someone be a complete gentleman and expect nothing. No more than to give us a kiss on the cheek and hold a hand in public. I was 40-something and I have never been courted. It’s sad that I thought, “well he must not like me” because he was being gentleman and that was all. I was confused and that’s sad. It says something about what we’ve been willing to accept from men and it says some about just how overly sexualized a lot of relationships are too early. What I think was going through my head that time was, “He’s not putting the moves on me. He must not like me. Let me find out whether he likes me or not.” It’s kind of sad that being a gentleman is misread. "
I agree with Karyn and her comment applies to women of all races today. I'm not sure if a lot of us have been courted. Especially in this post-Sex and the City era where women are more open to sexual freedom than ever before. But has it come at a price? Do men think they don't have to work as hard to get a woman because more of us are openly exerting our sexuality? Even in the animal kingdom the male species has to work for it. I watched a documentary about dinosaur mating on the Discovery Channel a few weeks ago (don't judge me). Scientists think that male T-Rexes would fight to the death to mate with a female. The female "got it on" with the victor. I understand we're not dinosaurs. Times have changed for women. More women are doing it on the first date without shame and enjoying sexcapades. Some of us have freed our inner-Samantha, Lil' Kim and Nick Minaj. I'm not saying women unshackling society's sex restraints is a bad thing. But something has happened in the dating
jungle world where a guy gets points for the minimum. Like not bringing up sex on the first date. No wonder, as Karyn said, "being a gentleman is misread."
I've been hearing from friends back East about the crazy dating scene in New York. Apparently the male/female ratio for all people in New York City is so much in the male's favor that a lot of guys are expecting it on the first and second date. The NYC bachelor doesn't have to work as hard because he knows he can pass third base on the first date. The completion among women is that fierce. What about the teen girls who mainly communicate with their boyfriends via text messages or think a guy likes them just based on a flirty text message. How can you thoroughly read a guy through a text message? Whew! I wonder what these girls' expectations of men will be once they become women. And what's up with adult guys asking women out for first dates over text message?! What happened to picking up the phone and having a conversation? Remember that word? C-O-N-V-E-R-S-A-T-I-O-N. It's not just the teens. Some of us grown women accept the mediocre because that's all we know. Or we think that's the best we can do.
I was in the same situation as Karyn. I remember dating someone who didn't kiss me, try to put his arm around me or anything for at least four dates or so. But we always had fun. He took me out, paid for everything and didn't bring up sex. I couldn't tell if he was into me. My aunt schooled me, "Girl, he's being a gentleman. Just enjoy it." Light bulb moment: I was being courted. There are still gentlemen out there. And you know what? Getting to know someone slowly felt refreshing. Sure, raging lust can be fun too. But there's something special about really taking the time to learn, the person. Karyn quotes her mother in her book who says, "Real love is a 'quiet thing.'" And like Mary J. Blige sang, "I'm searching for a real love..."
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