Jan 2012 30

by SG’s Team Agony feat. Jaeci

Let us answer life’s questions – because great advice is even better when it comes from SuicideGirls.

[Jaeci in Be My Lover]

Q: I started dating my best friend about a month after we got back to college. I’ve known her since last year, and I guess we’ve always had feelings for each other. After about two and a half months we broke up. It wasn’t supposed to be a permanent break, but she made it a break up. I don’t even talk to her anymore and I can’t stand seeing her. It just hurts. I tried to keep busy, and between work and school it was working, but not really anymore. I’ve tried talking to my other guy friends, but that doesn’t help much, and I don’t have many girl friends to talk to. I’m not over her. I’ve tried talking to her, but I can’t find the words I want to say when I do. I just want to be over her and move on, but still part of me wants to be with her. It’s frustrating. What do I do?

A: This kind of problem normally resolves itself with time…but not all of us are so patient. These brilliant words of wisdom are for anyone who just can’t get over an ex despite a short romantic relationship.

  • 1. Find a wing (wo)man — be selective — and make some plans to go out somewhere you might encounter some moderately attractive people.
  • 2A. Take a shower before you go out. Don’t trim/groom/shave everything perfectly though, it’ll a guarantee you will not get laid.
  • 2B. Get yourself off before you go out. It will help you relax, I swear.
  • 3. Make sure you look spiffy. Wear your second favorite underwear — wearing your hottest stuff is another guarantee no one will get in your pants.
  • 4. Let your wing (wo)man remind you that there is plenty of fine tail out there (and by fine tail, I might be referring to a super stellar (wo)man who could possibly, eventually be into you if (s)he doesn’t feel negatively objectified by your sexual advances. Treat all fine tail with respect.)
  • 5. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get yourself some action. Be smart and use protection — the last thing you need is something iffy going on south of the border. Do not think about your ex while you’re having sex with someone new. Do not say your ex’s name. Do not cry. Do not tell new bedmate you love him/her. Do not ask for Fruity Pebbles/Tofurkey on rye/whatever your ex’s favorite post-coital snack was.
  • 6. If you stay at his/her place, remember your manners. Be a gentleman — if (s)he stays over, offer a coffee in the morning. Ladies, we can behave like gentlemen too.
  • 7. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Happy rebounding 😉



Got Problems? Let SuicideGirls’ team of Agony Aunts provide solutions. Email questions to:

Jan 2012 23

by Darrah de jour

Lux Alptraum is the 29-year old editor of pop culture giant Gawker Media’s sister site Fleshbot — the web’s North Star of sexuality and adult entertainment. It garners 1 million uniques a month. Given that Fleshbot is edited by a woman, there’s a delectable juxtaposition of raucous imagery meets female-approved editorial. So when Alptraum says, of porn star Sarah Vandella, “[She] is so sweet and sassy that you just want to c*** all over her face,” there’s a simultaneous squirm and awe that goes on as a woman. Did a chick just say that about another chick? Yup, folks, she did. So, in an era where prostitutes have publicists, and football stars do PSA’s about a woman’s right to choose, we couldn’t help but wonder: is Lux just a pliable paper femme molded by the boy’s club she inhabits? Or, is she our new Linda Carter? Let’s get down and dirty with this Lower East Side babe and find out!

Darrah de jour: You won my heart with those doe eyes when I read 21 Questions With…in New York magazine. Plus, you like Hello Kitty. I’m in love already. What is the compliment that you receive most often from men?

Lux Alptraum: I don’t know! I’m apparently really good in bed.

Ddj: So, you’re a 20-something successful single living in NYC. What’s different about your experience versus Carrie Bradshaw’s in Sex and the City?

LA: [Laughs.] My apartment is a lot more expensive than hers is. I write more than one column a week. I don’t have anywhere near as many shoes as she does. And I live on the Lower East Side, not Uptown. I think I dress better, too. I’ve always felt more like a Samantha, as trite as that is to compare yourself to a character on Sex and the City, but I think Carrie is driven to find something serious, whereas Samantha is just looking to find something that works.

Ddj: Back in 2007, you began your blog Boinkology — the convergence of culture and sex from your unique P.O.V. You attained a great following from that. Did Gawker discover your blog and then reign you in to be editor of Fleshbot?

LA: Kind of. I showed off my writing on Boinkology, which is kind of how Gawker found me. But it was also through friends that worked there and they connected me. When they needed a fill-in, they called me in and then they kept me on.

Ddj: Did you have any hesitance before stepping on board, because of the graphic nature of what you’d be looking at each day?

LA: No. I’ve always been in adult content prior to this.

Ddj: You host the Fleshbot Awards. Tell me about that?

LA: The Fleshbot Awards are the only awards show for sexy pop culture. We’ve done it twice now and they’ve been a success each time. The awards break down into two categories: we have culture awards where we award things like sexiest movie, sexiest fashion, sexiest TV show, sexiest art. We’ve had everyone from Alan Cumming to Molly Crabapple in the culture awards. We also recognize crossover stars. Last year’s mainstream to porn one was Levi Johnston and porn to mainstream was Sasha Grey. This year, Chyna, who went from being a wrestler to being a Vivid movie star was our mainstream to porn crossover and Joanna Angel was our porn to mainstream. The award show is about recognizing people who are doing really awesome sexy stuff that promotes positive ideas about sexuality, celebrates the human body, celebrates sex. We also have really awesome performances. It’s about celebrating everybody – trans people, gay people, straight people, of all different backgrounds. It’s a one of a kind event.

Ddj: I read somewhere that you used to be a roller-derby girl. Tell me about that?

LA: I was. For three and a half years. I got involved with Gotham Girls in 2004 when they were just starting out. I didn’t know how to skate, I learned to skate to play roller derby. It was interesting too, because when I joined it was really rough and tumble and loose, and roller derby itself was very punk rock. It’s still punk rock but back then people were still figuring out what the sport was going to be. It’s gotten dramatically more athletic and more professionalized. People got rid of the silly costumes and…train hard and take it really seriously — which I think is awesome. What started off as this ‘let’s get drunk and hit each other’ type thing has become a serious sport.

Ddj: Riot Grrrl turns Lilith Fair?

LA: Yeah, yeah. More like being a garage band to getting really, really serious about your music.

Ddj: What was the name of your team?

LA: Queens of Pain.

Ddj: You wrote an amusing yet very useful guide to casual sex called, Booty Call Like A Boss. I consider it the Thomas Guide of booty calls, meets Emily Post, ahem. What is the most common and fatal mistake made by men and women when trying to ascertain a F.W.B. type relationship?

LA: Not being upfront and communicating what you want. And that’s not just about casual sex, that’s with all sorts of relationships. But, I think a lot of times, people are too scared to say what they want because ‘what if I say that and it’s not what the other person wants?’ Or they are not sure what they want or they’re worried about offending the other person. So they keep going and hoping it will work out the way they want. I’m guilty of that too. On the flip side, let’s say you want to be in a relationship and you don’t communicate that because the person has explicitly said they don’t want that and you keep going hoping it will turn into something else. Having ridiculous expectations and not communicating. You can’t hold regret. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with casual sex obviously, but there’s something wrong with having casual sex when that’s not what you really want. It’s just damaging and you’re doing yourself a disservice and setting yourself up to fail by entering into a situation where you want something completely different than what you’re communicating you want. It’s entirely possible that the person will end up being your boyfriend or girlfriend, but it’s entirely possible they won’t. I want to go on the record as saying that serious relationships can come out of casual sex. You can have sex on the first date and end up marrying them. I’m not trying to slut shame.

Ddj: In 2011, Slate published an article called “Sex is cheap: Why young men have the upper hand in bed, even when they’re failing in life.” This bold piece, written by a man, asserts that partly because of porn, “the market ‘price’ of sex is currently very low….Porn gives men additional sexual options — more supply for his elevated demand — it takes some measure of price control away from women.” What do you think about the so-called price of sex? Do women really have less power because men have more access to porn now?

LA: There are so many things that baffle me there. Number one, I don’t know why anybody would watch porn rather than have sex. The whole “price of sex” thing bothers me because it bothers me to see women set up as gatekeepers. I often feel like, in my relationships, the dudes are the gatekeepers. I have a way higher sex drive than any guy I’ve ever dated. It’s weird, this idea of women using sex to get security or stability or a relationship. Other than for reproduction, I don’t think people should use sex to achieve some larger goal. Even the idea of premarital sex. It’s only premarital sex if you intend on getting married.

Ddj: You wrote a story about Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace for The Atlantic recently. You make a comparison between Lovelace and porn star-turned-actress Sasha Grey. What do you see as the bind between the two ex-adult performers?

LA: Grey’s not been particularly enthusiastic about the adult industry since she started focusing more heavily on her mainstream career. She’s not involved with any adult industry stuff and I feel like she’s gone on the record as saying she wants to get away from porn. She’s not the adult industry boost that once she was.

Ddj: Is there a general distaste for Grey in the adult industry?

LA: I can’t speak to what other people feel, but she went on the record numerous times saying that she wasn’t going to be like Jenna Jameson and she wasn’t trying to get out of the industry and that she loves her work and then she pretty much turned her back on it. She comes across as a bit of a hypocrite.

Ddj: Two Lovelace biopics are underway, one with Amanda Seyfried and one with Lindsay Lohan’s replacement, Malin Akerman. If you had the casting powers, who would you net to play her?

LA: I think Amanda Seyfried is pretty good. I’m curious to see what happens.

Ddj: Do you consider yourself a feminist?

LA: Yeah, of course, absolutely. I think feminism is a philosophy based on the idea that gender should not be the primary consideration when you are dealing with a person.

Ddj: What’s your favorite dive bar in NYC?

LA: The Double Down Saloon on Avenue A.

Ddj: What’s the best spot to meet single men in a busy city?

LA: The Internet.

Ddj: I saw some of your food posts on Facebook. Are you veggie?

LA: I’ve been vegetarian for 22 1/2 years.

Ddj: Before we go into Flash Five, I want to get your opinion on something. We have an ongoing debate on SG Radio about texting versus calling. What would you rather get from a suitor, a text or call?

LA: A text. I don’t remember the last time I talked on the phone with somebody I was casually involved with.

Flash Five:

Ddj: Favorite Comic Book?

LA: A Child’s Life by Phoebe Gloeckner

Ddj: Vice?

LA: Sex

Ddj: Favorite place?

LA: My bed

Ddj: Any Regrets?

LA: I try not to regret things. I try to learn from them.

Ddj: Best Advice you’ve ever received and from who?

LA: I was very sad because my ex was moving away and I said, “You are the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” And he turned to me and said “You are the best thing that’s ever happened to you.” Not sure if that’s advice, but they’re good words to live by.

Ddj: You’re your own hero.

LA: Yes.


Post-feminist sex and sensuality expert Darrah de jour is a freelance journalist who lives in LA with her dog Oscar Wilde. Her writing has appeared in Marie Claire, Esquire and W. In her Red, White and Femme: Strapped With A Brain – And A Vagina columns for SuicideGirls, Darrah will be taking a fresh look at females in America. Hear her being interviewed about female sexuality on the, visit her blog at, and find her on Facebook.


Jan 2012 23

by SG’s Team Agony feat. Perdita

Let us answer life’s questions – because great advice is even better when it comes from SuicideGirls.

[Perdita in Eames]

Q. I’m a 24 year old male, dating a woman who I am crazy in love with. We had dated before many years ago and I bailed on her. I had this habit of running away when I started to feel for people. Shocker, I’m sure, for the male community. Anyway, I kind of popped back into her life and we are dating again. None of the feelings seemed to go anywhere, and we fell back into a good rhythm.

Since we have been back together though, I am finding it difficult to have sex with her. I don’t want to say that I was a slut or anything (though it may very well be true), but I have been young before, and have not met many women, even much older women, that I consider my sexual equal. I mean that in terms of new experiences and things tried. With her, I am actually intimidated. She hasn’t been with that many men, but she has this aura of maturity and a complete willingness to try anything with me. She wants to be highly sexually active, and I am still handling some things my last big ex managed to convince me of when we split.

This is technically two questions, so I will try to split it the best I can. How can I work around my intimidation issues with my current girlfriend? And how do I feel like sex isn’t a weapon that women are waiting to use against me? When things were going very well with me and my ex, she still wielded it against me, and I got so used to it that now that I am in a HEALTHY relationship it almost feels wrong that it isn’t. This is kind of a lot to digest. I just wanted to give you as much data as possible.


A: Well I can tell you right now: SEX ISN’T A WEAPON THAT WOMEN ARE WAITING TO USE AGAINST YOU. Seriously, sex is one of the more fun experiences in life, and you are depriving yourself and your lady of it. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand your hang-ups; when trust is compromised, it’s difficult to teach yourself to trust again.

One thing you definitely need to do is keep reminding yourself that your girlfriend is nothing like your ex and that she is totally fantastic. Not that you really need to be reminded of her greatness but it can’t hurt, so I say go for it. But keep reminding yourself that it’s a different situation, but it’s also a good situation and you are much happier this time around.

I also recommend having some heart-to-heart discussions about this with your girlfriend. She might be misunderstanding your distant attitude and taking it as a lack of interest, but you need to open up to her, explain what’s going on and let her know you still care. She may be just as concerned and want to help you get through this, but nothing will happen if you don’t talk about it.

It’s totally cool if you don’t want to jump headfirst into the sexy times pool, taking it slow has some great advantages: it helps build trust and intimacy, and it creates a little sexual tension too. All of those things are key to developing a great relationship; so let the cuddles/makeouts/whatever you’re comfortable with begin!

So let’s review: have some serious discussion time with your girlfriend about what you’re dealing with, take it slow physically, and ultimately don’t stress out over it. Sex is supposed to be fun, enjoy it!



Got Problems? Let SuicideGirls’ team of Agony Aunts provide solutions. Email questions to:

Jan 2012 20

by Yashar Ali

Note to men: if your sense of masculinity depends on avoiding ever having to buy a plastic tube filled with cotton, you’ve got way bigger problems than you realize.

Earlier this year, I was watching a repeat episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. The guest on particular this episode was Dr. Oz, who was tasked with answering a series of health questions, many of which were related to women’s reproductive health.

After Dr. Oz answered a question about douching, Oprah turned to a gentleman who was sitting in the audience and (with some humor) apologized to him for being stuck listening to all the conversation about “womens’” stuff and being seen in on TV for participating in an episode that dealt with, among other topics, menstruation and menopause issues.

The gentleman turned out to be Major League Baseball player, Jim Thome, who plays for the Chicago Whitesox. He had brought his wife to the Oprah show as a gift (tickets to the Oprah Show were nearly impossible to come by). 

Oprah’s interaction with Jim Thorne left me fuming. Why should we feel bad for him? Why would Oprah feel bad for him? I am an Oprah fan, but her apology was uncharacteristic for someone who spends her life advocating for and helping women.


Jan 2012 16

by SG’s Team Agony feat. Salome

Let us answer life’s questions – because great advice is even better when it comes from SuicideGirls.

[Salome in Pop Art Clash ]

Q: About two years ago my ex-girlfriend broke up with me. Looking back, I realize that it wasn’t really a sudden breakup but a long-drawn out one (the last time I was at her apartment, about a month before she ended it, the sex was un-enthusiastic and she didn’t really initiate any cuddling). For about 3 months after the breakup I was in a pretty dark place, made worse by the fact that she didn’t want anything to do with me – odd because it wasn’t a bad breakup, just tough.

Fast-forward to now and I’ve moved on. I haven’t had a girlfriend since, but in the last couple of months I’ve been seeing a couple of girls on a casual basis (no commitment on either end, and there hasn’t been any physical contact other than hugs). However, I still feel like I’m not completely over her. She makes appearances in my dreams and I usually wake up wanting to bang my head on the wall. I feel like the only way I can get her out of my head is to tell her what happened since the breakup face-to-face. And I certainly don’t want this to be a problem with any of the girls I’ve been seeing lately. The problem is I’m afraid I’ll touch a nerve and push her away forever. So my two-part question is:

  • 1. Is it a good idea to contact her after all this time?
  • 2. How do I get in contact with her without coming off as a creep or a desperate, lovesick puppy?


A: I am really sorry to hear about your breakup. It sounds like she was an incredibly important person to you and the breakup affected you really badly. That kind of heartbreak is terrible for anyone to go through, and you have my sympathy for that.

However, I think that the solution to your problem does not involve contacting her. In fact, not only do I think you should eschew contacting her, but I think you should proceed with your life as if she has fallen off the planet forever and ever. Much like she did after you broke up, actually, and in a minute I’ll get to why that was a very good thing.

It sounds to me like a part of you has never given up hope that you’ll get back together. Maybe you don’t even realize this is what you ache for, and that’s why she stalks your dreams. You may think you want to get in touch with her to get some closure, or so that you can be “friends,” but it really seems like you just long to hear from her again, period. Honestly, why would she care what you’ve been up to since the breakup? What purpose would telling her this serve?

It’s been two years, and you haven’t done anything more than hug another girl! You can’t live in this purgatory anymore. You HAVE to let go of her. You need to tell yourself that you will never see her again, never hear from her again, and that you must reconstruct your life wholly and completely without her in it. And then you need to do exactly that. Contacting her would simply reopen the wounds that have never fully closed, and dreaming of what you would say to her when you see her again is what’s keeping them open. Let her go. Delete her from Facebook and Twitter, move all your pictures of her to an external hard drive then bury it in the back of a closet. She moved to Mars and there’s no wi-fi there.

You never made a clean break from her and this is why you have been unable to move on. This is why she “wanted nothing to do with you” after you broke up. She needed space to figure out how to live her life as an independent and healthy person, and she couldn’t do that with you, or reminders of you, or daily texts from you around to prevent that, especially if you still wanted her back. It wasn’t “odd” – it was exactly the right thing to do.

I’m not saying you can’t ever be friends in the future. Maybe you can. But in order for that to happen you have to become a strong, healthy, whole person in your own right again, and that includes not clinging to the hope that you might somehow work her back into your life. You need to do this for yourself and for your future relationships. Two years is a long time and it will probably be hard to undo these destructive ways of thinking on your own. I strongly recommended finding a therapist who can help you imagine a fulfilling life without your ex.

I understand how scary it can be to imagine life without someone you loved so much. My wife left five months ago and some days it feels like my heart will never be whole again. But it will, and yours will too. You just have to let it.

Good luck.



Got Problems? Let SuicideGirls’ team of Agony Aunts provide solutions. Email questions to:

Jan 2012 13

by Yashar Ali

At a holiday party this year, I noticed an R. Kelly song playing on my friend’s iPod. I looked at two of my (male) friends who were standing nearby and asked, “You guys are listening to R. Kelly?”

One of them responded, “Yeah, so what?”

“He seduced under-age girls and I’ve seen the video of him peeing on one of them. Remember when he (illegally) married Aaliyah (R&B singer who is now deceased) when she was 15 and he was 30?”

“I separate the music from the person,” the same friend said.

“Oh god–I’m sure you listen to Chris Brown too,” I said with frustration in my voice.

My other friend chimed in and confirmed, defiantly, “Yeah! I do.”

Here is a reminder: in 2009, singer and dancer Chris Brown was charged and convicted for beating, biting, and choking his girlfriend, singer Rihanna, while they were in a car in Los Angeles. With respect to R. Kelly, in 2002 he was indicted on multiple counts of possessing and filming child pornography, and through years of legal maneuvering, was able to have the charges dropped when the then 14 year-old girl refused to testify against him. She, in fact, told people that it was consensual. He was able to avoid jail by making multiple cash settlements, including one to the girl in the video.

Of course, Chris Brown and R. Kelly aren’t the only examples of male artists who abuse women. We need to look no further than Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson as examples of men who still get chances despite their abuse of women.

How many people tagged their tweets with “#winning” during Charlie Sheen’s summer meltdown? How obsessively was his narcissistic tour cheered and celebrated by both men and women? Ignoring the fact that over years and years, Charlie Sheen has been accused and imprisoned for terrorizing the women in his life, I take no great pleasure in saying that his punishments would have been more severe had some of his accusers not been sex workers.

Mel Gibson readily admits, on tape, to beating his girlfriend Oksana and he has yet to be driven out of the film business. Major movie studios, like Warner Brothers, still want to be in business with him.

This idea of separating the artistry from the person is perfectly plausible if the artist, when guilty of making mistakes, is truly repentant. And it’s also plausible when these mistakes do not cause physical harm on other people.

But, I (and all of us), must draw the line at supporting and enriching men who are pedophiles, in Kelly’s case, and virtually unrepentant domestic abusers in the case of Brown, Sheen, and Gibson. There is a difference between an artist who makes mistakes and an artist who abuses women (or men) and lacks any sense of remorse.

Both of my friends at that party are two of the biggest supporters of my writing about women. In fact, they have read almost all of my work and have been helpful to me beyond what a good friendship calls for. They are also both close to their respective mothers – they are really good men, which is why I have shared this experience with you. It would be much easier to dismiss their feelings if they didn’t treat the women in their life with respect, if they weren’t fundamentally good people.

For me, this is ultimately about one question: how can men and women stand by and separate what happened to women like Rihanna, from the women in our own lives? We shouldn’t. In our culture, we tend to compartmentalize the trauma others face as a coping mechanism of sorts. It’s a way to shield ourselves from their pain, and also a way to avoid having to help or being held accountable for not helping.

Separating the artist from the music is a convenient way to avoid looking at Chris Brown’s abuse of Rihanna, but the only way to deal with an injustice is avoid this separation, to absorb and understand the pain. That’s the way in which we have always solved or worked to solve injustices: to understand and acknowledge the inter-connectivity.

For purposes of this column, I’m going to focus on Chris Brown, who has come out virtually unscathed from his domestic abuse charges. He is back in action, with a hit album, a tour, and recently as a recipient of three Grammy nominations. His passionate fan base, mostly made up of young girls, is stronger than ever.

I’m a big believer in second, third, fourth chances. I believe most people are fundamentally good and also fundamentally flawed. But I’ll readily admit that when it comes to domestic violence, I find it difficult to forget and move on.


We now know that the 2009 instance in the car wasn’t the first time Chris Brown had assaulted Rihanna. There is rarely a case of a man hitting a woman just once. Ultimately, domestic violence is not just about the physical assault, but the consistent manipulation, emotional abuse, imposition of fear in the victim. It’s about terrorizing their entire life.

Still, despite every privilege and opportunity, Chris Brown, in my mind, has blown his second chance – for those folks who were interested in giving him one.

Chris Brown could have led a revolution in the way in which we see, treat, and handle domestic violence in our country and served as a beacon of hope for the millions of women and girls who worship him and face abuse. More importantly, he could have spoken directly to the millions of men, who like him, were born into an endless cycle of abuse, witnessing their mothers getting abused and then abusing women themselves.

After he beat, choked, and bit Rihanna, in early 2009, he took an entire week to release a proper statement of apology. A couple of weeks after the incident, he reunited with Rihanna in Miami, and flexed his biceps for the paparazzi while riding a wave runner. A disgusting pose given that those same biceps allowed him to bludgeon Rihanna’s face.

He later went on to fulfill his debt to the court system in Los Angeles County, and since, has done nothing of note to deal with or combat domestic violence. In fact, he has done what millions of men and women do every day in our country, he has demanded to have the issue of domestic violence swept under the rug.

That is why he doesn’t deserve our attention or business.

Chris Brown has moved on – on his own terms, on a shockingly narcissistic level. His behavior is that of an unrepentant man.

In 2010, Chris Brown was on Good Morning America to promote his latest album. When questioned by Robin Roberts about the 2009 incident, he answered coldly: “It’s not a big deal to me now, that situation…I’m past that in my life, today is the album day, so everyone go out and get that album.”

That’s nice. I’m so glad that beating the face of the woman whom you claimed to love is not a big deal anymore to YOU.

Brown later went on to trash his dressing room at the show, breaking a window, after Robin Roberts asked him that one question about the Rihanna situation.

One the same day, he posted this tweet (which was later deleted) on his Twitter account: “I’m so over people bring this past s**t up!!..”

He’s sick of people bringing the past up? Instead of using every moment as a teachable one, instead of addressing the past and confronting his demons, he attacked those who questioned him.

Chris Brown has been enriched not just by men like my friends, but by a legion of young women and girls who follow his every move. What kind of message is he sending to them when he continually mishandles the Rihanna incident(s)? What kind of message are we sending to these same young girls when we repeatedly support him? Hit a woman and you can still be a millionaire superstar?

Apparently and problematically, there is: Boston Public Health Commission conducted a survey of 200 teenagers and found that 46 percent saw Rihanna as responsible for what happened; 52 percent said both bore responsibility, despite knowing that Rihanna’s injuries required hospital treatment. Startling numbers.

I don’t want to give the impression that only men should be held accountable for listening to and supporting artists like Chris Brown. As I’ve mentioned, women and young girls are a big part of his fan base and in supporting him, women are inadvertently fueling the success of a man who disrespects them and helping further erase domestic violence from being a major and visible issue.

The overall statistics on domestic violence are astonishing (and keep in mind these are reported numbers only, many girls and women don’t report or discuss the abuse they have sustained): nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup. Worldwide, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused during her lifetime.

Of course we continue to hear Chris Brown’s songs, because radio programmers (which, surprise, surprise, are dominated by men) allow these songs to remain on the radio, thus adding to the collective popularity. But programmers are also just doing what we want – they wouldn’t be airing songs we don’t want to hear.

This idea that we shouldn’t support men who do bad things to women becomes increasingly inconvenient for our entertainment consumption with the increase in exposure of bad behavior thanks to the internet. The days of abuse and related activities remaining behind closed doors are virtually over. There is power in using our collective ability to consume media, music, entertainment as a tool and a weapon. And by voting with our dollars and eyes away from Chris Brown and artists who abuse women, we can shift the dynamics of how we, as a society, deal with domestic abuse.

But I’m not immune to this inconvenience…

Sometimes I find myself running across a Chris Brown or R. Kelly song on the car radio when I’m driving (I can’t say the same of Charlie Sheen or Mel Gibson). For a split second, I want to keep the song on…for some reason, it’s just the perfect beat at the perfect time on my drive.

But, unlike my friends, I can’t separate the music from the men, because the image of Rihanna’s bloody and beaten face comes across my mind and the video I’ve seen of R. Kelly urinating on an underage girl is seared into my brain.

And as good as their music sounds, when I think of those images, I think of the women in my life who have loved me and made me who I am. How would I feel if my women friends and colleagues were hurt by men like R. Kelly and Chris Brown, who weren’t repentant in any real way?

I wouldn’t stand for it.

And neither would my two friends at that holiday party. Like me, they love and respect the women in their life.

Listening to or buying Chris Brown’s music or cheering on Charlie Sheen may seem like an innocuous act. It’s just a song or a TV show, right? But when we support these men in any way, even if it’s just listening to the radio, we are adding to the collective attention heaped on the artist. We are adding strength to the ripple effect that allows artists like Chris Brown to succeed and become even more successful.

I hope something changes, because until good men like my friends, refuse to support bad men who harm women, until they see that the harm done to one woman, is harm done to every woman…

Nothing is gonna change.


Yashar Ali is a Los Angeles-based columnist, commentator, and political veteran whose writings about women, gender inequality, political heroism, and society are showcased on his website, The Current Conscience. Please follow him on Twitter and join him on Facebook.

He will be soon releasing our first short e-book, entitled, A Message To Women From A Man: You Are Not Crazy — How We Teach Men That Women Are Crazy and How We Convince Women To Ignore Their Instincts. If you are interested and want to be notified when the book is released, please click here to sign-up.

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Jan 2012 12

by Laurelin

It’s a weird thing, a girl’s heart. I like to think that no matter what my brain says, I can always make the right choice if I use both organs. Speak with your brain, think with your heart. As much as I wanted to open my mouth and protest as the last two important guys in my life let me go, I didn’t, because my heart told my brain that what they were doing was right, that we weren’t right, and it was time to be on my own again. I trust that my heart will always guide me, even if it sometimes gets lost. And I trust that even when I have to hurt someone else, I am only doing what’s right for me, and that’s what’s most important.

It was this situation I found myself in recently, and I still can’t help but feel so guilty for actually not feeling anything at all. I’m not sure when I arrived at the decision that I wasn’t exactly over my ex, but somewhere along the lines he crept back into my mind and there is nothing worse than a girl who can’t think straight who’s become involved with someone else. My “someone else” was another bartender, a fit and cocky guy who fit my unfortunate type perfectly. We had gone out a few times and what I thought was going to be something slow and fun quickly took a turn — this guy seemed to want to get serious almost immediately. I froze, unable to see his smiling face through the red flags that suddenly clouded my vision.

My brain started going a mile a minute. Was I scared to commit? If I didn’t want to be in relationship with this guy, why were we dating in the first place? Am I not ready to date? Or did I just know in my heart that he wasn’t the one for me? Was I just using these recent thoughts about my ex as a crutch to not have to feel anything for anyone right now? I was feeling overwhelmed and guilty almost immediately, even though I guess the point of dating is to get to know someone. If it wasn’t working out for me, all I had to do was end it. All I could do was tell the truth.

They weren’t kidding when they say the truth hurts. I kept faltering, stuttering, unable to find the words to say what I was feeling, unable to make this guy really understand why I couldn’t see him anymore. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, and it did not go well. All I kept thinking was that at least I was being honest, but it’s never easy to hurt someone, even if you have only just started seeing them. I wasn’t ready for this, I had to clear my own head and heart before I was willing to let someone else into either of them.

The amount of relief I felt when it was finally over was so great that I could have jumped for joy, and at the same time I could have burst into tears. Knowing that someone out there was so hurt and angry with me was like a punch in the gut. I’m so used to being the one who gets hurt that I forgot what it was like to do the hurting; it isn’t any easier.

So now I’m back to just me; my usual lingering unwelcome thoughts about the ex, back to sleeping with the cat and brewing only one cup of coffee in the morning. I kind of like it; my choice to be alone rather than be with someone who wasn’t right for me just for the sake of being with someone. I always did sleep better alone, and it’s a sound sleep, knowing that my heart and brain were on the same page and for once, did the right thing.