I don't think I've ever mentioned this, but I learn so much about myself as it relates to life outside of my little bubble from the amazing xoJane audience.
Reading all of your insightful comments really forces me to sit down and take stock of my stances and evaluate them. (And be accountable for my opinions.)
While we may not always see eye to eye, I'm incredibly thankful for those of you who've taken the time to indulge me in everything from good-natured ribbings to knockdown, drag-out, full-on verbal smackdowns. (@YourMomsBra and I have since made up and we're down like four flat tires.)
Here, I wanted to share a few of the brilliant comments that have really resonated with me.
Comment: "Sometimes a great what if is a far far better thing than an unpleasant memory. Forget that man."
Lesson learned: Life is far too short to be hung up on men that may or may not but definitely ARE NOT seriously interested in getting to know you. Super simple and succinct, yes, but sometimes a girl just needs a brief reminder.
Comment: "I can't imagine dating someone for any extended period of time and not knowing why they never tried to go down on me. If there's something I prefer or like, I ask for it. If the guy says no, then we talk about it and try to get to the bottom of why he does or doesn't like something. Would it be a deal breaker? It depends on the relationship and the quality of the sex as a whole.
I guess there are some men who don't like it, just like there are some women who don't like giving head. Yet I rarely ever hear women chastising other women if they say they don't like giving head. (That is, unless she says she expects oral but doesn't give it.)
Unless a guy just doesn't like going down on a woman (either because of laziness or insecure about his skills) my guess is the rest of those guys don't do it because they don't care much about the women they're with. In which case, I think women intentionally don't bring it up because they already know why the guy isn't heading south."
Lesson learned: Where do I even begin?! 1) Pull his selfish hoe card and ask for what you want in bed, especially if he's never offered to eat the "scrambled eggs between the legs." 2) Be A-OK with walking away if your needs aren't getting met. 3) He's just not that into you. At least enough to make sure you're satisfied. 4) Be honest with yourself. If you're afraid to call him out on it, there's a whole other underlying issue brewing here that needs assessed.
Comment: "The problem isn't that you're waiting for The Boy to make grand sweeping gestures, it's that you're picking up on the fact that he's not in love with you. Or at least not enough to commit unambivalently. (It seems, at least, from what little you tell us here.)
My theory is that for at least some of us, that's subtle childhood conditioning -- getting very conditional love/approval as kids makes us extremely receptive (and sexually attracted) to the types of people who won't give us unconditional love as adults. Learning that the love that's hard to get is the one worth desiring. Just like some people keep "seeking out" abandonment or even abuse -- nobody wants it, but it seems that some part of them responds to subtle cues that it's in the cards with a certain person. But, there are a ton of competing theories..."
Article: So, Did Disney Fuck You Up, Too?
Lesson learned: Stop believing that love has to be hard and endure countless trials and tribulations to be real. It really doesn't -- in fact, the easier it is, the better your chances at happily ever after.
Comment: "Typically: 1. "Where are you from?" 2. "No, like where are you FROM from?" 3a. "You don't LOOK Chinese." 3b. "That makes sense, you look really Asian/exotic." 4. "Were your parents, like, really hard on you growing up, like, did you have to get perfect grades?""
Lesson learned: Race-related ignorance -- whether intentional or not -- is spread far and wide over a variety of races and ethnicities. It's not just reserved for Blacks. Most people of color have an appalling story to share and the human race needs to do better.
Comment: Well, that's the thing about power dynamics and privilege. It's distasteful at best for someone white to be making "Shaneeqa" jokes. Because there's a power imbalance societally still and it calls to mind hundreds of years of institutional oppression.
Lesson learned: Not all White people turn a blind eye to and/or brush off racism. Many go out of their way to counter the abrasive ignorance of others and stand up for what's right.
Comment: "I have F cup breasts and since I took my bra off when I got home from work, they are swaying to and fro while I am going about my evening. I've had large breasts since I began to develop (sixth grader with a C cup, sigh) and so I would find it very strange to be without them at this point. I do not appreciate catching a nipple under me as I'm rolling around in bed, and I have to admit that my husband has to hold them down if I'm on top because I've hit him in the face more than a few times. But otherwise, thumbs up for big saggy boobies."
Article: I Love Big Old Droopy Boobs
Lesson learned: Start loving the hell out of your boobs. Be they big and heavy, medium and lop-sided, small and perky -- boobs are boobs and everyone loves all kinds of boobs whether they want to admit it or not. BOOBS!
What about you? Who are some of your favorite whip-smart xoJaners? What have you learned from them?
Shout them out below in the comments, or at me over on Twitter: @IndiaJewelJax.