Life & Marriage Update

Hey, guys! I know you can tell I have not been around WordPress as much as we would like, but you also know why. My book launch is drawing nigh and I really am just trying to stay afloat with everything. Between Siobhán, my book, the launch and making some family moves, I’m wishing there was a spare Shandean or two to help.

 

Motherhood

Sio is such a sweet baby. She turned eighteen months old on April 13th and she’s growing into a fine, smart, entertaining, loving child. However, that doesn’t stop her from throwing fits when she’s tired and needs to take a nap or go to bed. Apparently, it’s somebody’s fault and she will miss too much if she gets some shut-eye. So no matter what else I’m doing I have to carve time out in my day to either hold her down or stay still so she can lay on me to her comfort and fall asleep. This can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the severity of tiredness. If it lasts more than half an hour, I may succumb faster than she does.

IMG_4899On the flip side, she more or less listens when I say to leave something alone or put it back. That doesn’t mean though, that I won’t have to repeat it about a hundred times, even if it’s for a hundred different things, or that I won’t have to endure the killing looks (because let’s face it, she’s my kid and she been giving bad looks since birth… literally) or the fit that is thrown if I dare to say she is ‘rude’ or has done something ‘unkind’. That my friends, can only be stopped if I make amends by offering or asking for physical comfort (from her). She needs the reassurance. If not, she’ll scream for the gods like she’s been slapped. #welp

IMG-20180327-WA0021.jpgShe’s counting a little, saying ABC’s a little, will try to say almost anything, shouts “Shan” a lot, understand “soon come” and will calmly wait if I say so. She’s quite the little helper, even if her help, isn’t quite so helpful. I appreciate it though, lol. As I type this, she’s “helping me”.

IMG_4974She is turning out to be the picky eater like myself, and I am honestly struggling with meal options. If she doesn’ t like it, she won’t eat it and I won’t force her. If you know any good local (Jamaican) toddler meals, please share!

Her personality is to die for, and she is such a little light for everyone in her presence. I can literally look at her when I feel overwhelmed and stressed and feel it melt away. She’s keeping me grounded.

 

Marriage

marriage-and-babiesIf you follow me on Instagram, you know I joke that Stella (Trina) got her groove back. I feel good, I look good. Finally, I feel like me again. It’s translating into my confidence and into me and husband’s relationship.

Dating

At the start of the year, my family and friends and I hosted a vision planning party. One thing on our vision board was that we would get back into dating and spend quality time together as a couple. That kind of took the back seat in late 2016 into 2017 as we focused on enjoying and integrating our young daughter into our lives and routine.

img-20180419-wa0009Five months in, we are definitely reclaiming our identity as a couple. We’ve also been hanging out more with friends as couples. That is something I discovered too. Now, if we could only find some couple friends with kids. Apply within, lol. I need local mommy friends and Sio needs play dates. *bawls*

Sex

Our sex lives didn’t wither and die, which honestly, I feared. The shift in our marriage was to be expected, of course, and if you believe the 101 blogs, marriage if where passion, love and sex lives go to die, particularly after children enter the picture. Then you have a cute little platonic friendship where you ignore your partner’s existence, have some boring, miracle-working, grace saving sex that’s supposed to make up for everything else and make the children the centre of your universe at a minimum of the next eighteen years. If that were my reality, I might be able to feel myself wither and die. True story. I became a mother, I didn’t stop being Shandean or being a woman.

img-20180211-wa0016Sure, it takes more work and commitment to the cause and some creativity, but it’s just as passionate and love-filled. And, we don’t have to “schedule” it. When your husband is a doctor that works overnight shifts, is always working, studying and tired and you spend your days trying to write and fend off a toddler full time, you tend to appreciate these moments that you can steal to just be into each other.

I’m so happy we have found some balance because before, it seemed like Angels whispered in the child’s ear to wake up and bawl if we even thought about trying anything. Yikes!

Still, on one hand, I don’t think the transition was too difficult, but we certainly feel the difference. For one thing, I certainly can’t parade around in my birthday suit like I used to, but I’m content with getting as close as I can. Our relationship remains mostly unchanged. We don’t squabble or snap at each other, but then, we never really did to begin with. Sure I get annoyed with him sometimes, but not too much. He’s still my sweet Boobles Woobles.

My Book

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On another note, if you have not yet heard, my book, The Dangerous Business of Pleasure launches on August 9, on my birthday. Also, the prequel, OFF Limits, which is a short teaser for the book, will be released on June 1! If you follow my blog via email, then you are already on the mailing list and will receive yours automatically on the date. If not, you will need to join by going to the landing page or by visiting my website www.ShandeanReid.com. Please share it with your friends and family!

 

So bear with me, I’m in the throw of things! XO

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To Propose or Not To Propose… To Your Man

For a few years now, every so often a picture emerges on social media of a woman proposing to man, and the reaction is almost always the same. Women shaming the woman for asking the man she wants to marry her. I for one find the practice so annoying. Leave that woman alone and let her ask for what she wants.

Oh, The Hypocrisy!

I find it exponentially hypocritical of these women shaming the woman who chooses to propose, to say the least. The reason for this is that we preach all day every day for equality, and we want to dismantle patriarchy, achieve gender equality in homes and in the workplace. But as soon as it comes to a proposal, 8/10 revert to the 1920’s dimension where they squeal about how they are now acutely “old-fashioned” and strictly refer to their uncompromising belief in the bible scripture, Proverbs 18:22.

Proverbs 18:22 – He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord.

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Now, these same women scorn the idea of waiting for marriage before sex, having children out of wedlock, a woman being a homemaker and the man as a breadwinner, submitting to their man or a myriad of other things they indulge that the bible speaks about. In fact, the same women are those who will spend 5 – 20 years living with a man, taking care of the entire household, having WHOLE children, essentially performing wifely duties and accepting husbandly ones, but refuse to ask the same man if they will marry them. How?

Hebrews 5:23 – For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 – For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

I am not judging anyone, I am just pointing out the hypocrisy of these women.

Rejection Is A Man’s Job

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Is it? I thought that’s what we were working against. ‘Men’s Jobs’ and ‘Women’s’ jobs. Why do we want men to be more in tune with their feelings and then we want them to accept hurt? If a woman is not willing to accept the hurt of a possible rejection, what makes her entitled to expect that a man should endure it for her?

Get It Over With

I firmly believe that a conversation about marriage should be right up there at the beginning of a relationship with those what’s your favourite food, what do you like to do for fun, how many kids you want conversations. It’s not hard ladies. Say “Do you want marriage?” and be upfront about whether it’s something you do or don’t want, and are you willing to compromise on it. Have a conversation.

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All this to say is, if there are two married couples, and the man asked in Couple A and the woman asked in Couple B, Couple A is no more married than Couple B. What matters is the foundation of the relationship, to begin with. I am one of those women who didn’t have a proposal at all. But we talked about it and deciphered a timeline. When the time came it was a post-sex “Are we engaged now?” (He doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body, but later for that). Six months later we were married.

Again, I’m definitely not judging anyone and their choices, I am just saying, it’s heartbreaking and aggravating to see all these Women Judges trying to make a woman feel less than for asking a man if he wants to marry her. Truly, they need to sit down, right over there in the ‘I’d rather be alone.’ or ‘Waste years waiting.’ section. Girl, ain’t nobody missing you. Leave those women alone.

Trina

Single Til Married?

I was listening to a podcast and the topic of discussion was centred around a young woman who said that she was single until she was married due to the fact that men are not trustworthy and may be doing this, that, that and the third. This in and of itself is not an uncommon stance by women these days, as women try to guard their hearts against disingenuous men who really want to shelve women and still play the field.

I get it, truly I do, but I believe that women who think this way set themselves up for failure. If you’re going into a relationship with this mindset, then can you truly be mad at a man for not believing you are really worth the effort of a serious relationship? If you are ‘Single Til Married’, it means you are still looking. Still waiting for something or someone better. Whatever relationship you’re in, you have one foot in and one foot at all times. Basically, a woman thinking this way will half ass her relationships and when they fail will say ‘Yes! That’s I didn’t do this!’ or ‘I glad that never did that’, failing to recognize that the failure of the relationship could have been caused by her negligence and poor attitude. It’s a catch 22, but for the most part, these women will never own up to this.

 

Who wants to Marry Someone Acting Single?

So, how exactly does one with this mindset get to the marriage part? Does she expect a well thinking, well-adjusted man to marry her and hope that she will eventually commit fully? In my mind, this is same thing as the ridiculous notion that one should not give ‘husband benefits‘ to boyfriends It is downright ridiculous.

I am not saying shack up, play house and have babies while hoping for a ring, but do we really expect a man to marry a woman and simply hope she will morph into the wife he wants/needs after he’s married her? How is he going to know whether she is the kind of wife he wants? She’ll tell him so? Come on now. Who came up with this garbage anyway? If my son did this I would slap him into oblivion and back.

 

Maybe You Aren’t Marriage Material

If you are not ready to risk it all, to commit fully, to trust your partner; the person you are claiming to love, you are better off single.  If the person isn’t trust worthy, that’s on you, deciding to stay. Don’t ruin someone with good intentions based on what you think others are doing, or even what others have done to you in the past in a bid to ‘protect’ yourself. If you feel the need to emotionally protect yourself in a relationship, you are in the wrong one.

Many people do not want to identify themselves as the time wasters or the person who is not marriage material, but this is the raw truth. If you enter a relationship with a get out clause, your partner deserves better than that and they should leave you. You are the person others should avoid.

 

Make Better Decisions

My advice is to make better decisions in who we choose as partners. Invariably, there will be the man or woman who is in it for the wrong reasons or is just not of the character to carry on with a relationship. Do not make excuses for bad, inconsiderate or morally bankrupt behaviour. I believe nine times out of ten, a person has exhibited red flags prior to an indiscretion that a spouse will excuse or ignore in an effort to ‘keep the peace’ or  to hold fast to the view that they are special and as such whatever they have done to someone else they once love, it will not be extended to them. Lies!

People test limits. Most likely, the person already knows what they can get away with. However subtle the disrespect or bad behaviour, by forgiving it without a fuss or excusing it, you make it okay. They know that can do what they want, and they will simply spout an apology and everything will be okay.

Be Intentional

When you get into a relationship, communicate, communicate, communicate! Let the other person know what your expectations are from the beginning. Want to be married? Say so. Want kids? Say so. Give the person the opportunity to decide if they want those things as well and more importantly, if they want them with you. Don’t sit in a relationship for a half a decade having this man’s kids, tying up your finances, etc. if you want more than you currently in the relationship, hoping or assuming the man wants to marry you and then label men wicked when he lets you know he doesn’t after all. He was allowed to drink the milk for free and at no point was he told he would need to purchase the cow eventually. So he drinks and drinks and doesn’t want to be bothered to move again. Some men will ask, some won’t. Some want to be married, some don’t. Some won’t care enough about it and will marry their lady to make them happy, because he was already committed in his mind,  anyway. The point is, stop assuming that the person wants what you do. Talk about the future. Maybe they are just with you for the sake of being with someone.

 

Leave The Baggage

The above mentioned being said, there will always be genuine people who are hurt by others in a relationship. My advice is to not allow someone who wasn’t for you to keep you from the one who is. Heal and move forward. Chances are the person who has hurt you has. Why give them more power over you by blocking your blessings for their sake?

As humans, we sometimes spend so long looking and regretting a closed window, we never get to see the wide open double doors in front of us. If your mindset is ‘Single Til Married’… you may as well get a few dozen cats.

Orgasms; The Intense, The Faked and The….Never? 

As you can tell by the working title, this is one for the grown and sexy, so you know what (who’s) time it is.

As is always the way, the topic came from an R-rated conversation about, you guessed it, sex. So then the conversation turned to orgasms. How some people feel energised (who are they? What kind of life is this?), some people feel soul-less and some people, pretty much feel dead after them. And then… there are the sad souls who have never experienced one.

We most often see the ‘click click, pow!’ modest type of orgasm portrayed around us in movies and the like. Not too boring, not too exciting. But never the kind that requires your partner to all but shovel you up from the spot, or put you out with potency akin to that of Nyquil. All too often though, is bright and sunny, skippy morning person after sex. These are the people that elicit one thought… ‘You didn’t cum hard enough or enough times.

Two Kinds of WomenFB-This-Is-Why-Most-Women-Actually-Moan-Or-Make-Noise-During-Sex

Nevertheless, I’ve always been curious about two kinds of women, those who have to essentially ‘help themselves’ across the finish line (before or after, I dunno) every time and those women of 20+, 30+, 40+ and even 50+ years who have never experienced an orgasm.

So I have a few questions. I mean, no offence, but if you had sex and didn’t have an orgasm, did you really even do the dirty? What’s the point of it, really? How does it work? You’re just done when the man is done? What if you’re done before? How do you know? Doesn’t it feel like the end of a joy ride with no fireworks? A fizzle where there was supposed to be a bang? Aren’t you angry at the end? (These are legit questions by the way so if you have answers, shoot me a message or comment, lol!)

I guess I understand that women have different needs in the area of stimulation to orgasm. For example, some may not have an orgasm from penetration but do from oral or clitoral stimulation. That’s understandable, needing your kicks in different ways. But when the kick is actually no kick at all or it has to be by yourself…? I’m not judging, I just really wonder.

 

Fake It Til You Make It

I also want to know how the man’s ego take it? Are they fine with it, or are there more than a few faked ‘Big- O’s’ in there? I know there are probably  (I have no working reference of this nature) many men who are so preoccupied with their own pleasure the can’t tell if a woman has reached her climax. I suspect these men are given the Fake-O quite often. Perhaps the woman then runs off the ‘real owner’ to get her wires uncrossed.  It would seem, that a lot of women have at one time or another faked an orgasm.

I’ve known someone to actually do this. She would always need to see the Joe Grind (Bunnaman, Not The Owner, Ants in the Milk Man, Jim Screechie, you get the point) immediately after sex with this one particular guy she was seeing. Her reason, his (the supposed owner) sex was like foreplay, it turned her on, but always failed to turn her off. What a shame! 

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It would seem like faking is the best solution. How you explain to your partner that they don’t have what it takes to make you cum or satisfy you? After all, no matter how such a thing is dressed up, that is the basic essence of what it is, isn’t it?

A woman once said she faked an orgasm with a feeble “Sigh”, because for all intents and purposes, she was simply done with the encounter.

Another woman said when she faked an orgasm, the attempt was so poor that he well deserved it for believing it.

Tanya Stephens said “Have You Ever Wondered Wah Mek A Gal Cum, A Woman First Fi Satisfy before You Say You Done.”

Tanya Stephens -Yuh Nuh Ready Fi Dis Yet

Anyway, Mi gone!

Trina

P.S. This post was written by my alter ego, Trina. I, Shandean will know not of what you speak if you mention it. 

Aphrodisiac; Chocolate, Strong Back or Dancehall?

I suppose the by the title, you are aware that it’s me, Trina. As usual, I wait for a topic of discussion to come up so that I can throw my weight behind it and… well… aphrodisiacs it is.

Let’s provoke a few inner vixens tonight, shall we?45c4f1155b70ef9bebbd4180c6b20453-lips-biting-expression-by-vexels

Tell me honestly, do they work? Aphrodisiacs, I mean. I’m not sure they do scientifically. But other than that, I guess it’s a matter of opinions.

We’re all used to hearing that chocolate, strawberries and red wine are aphrodisiacs (doesn’t float my boat like that but whatever), but what about things like Avocadoes, Pomegranate. I mean really, I just don’t see myself getting all hot under the collar after having a piece of pear (Avocado), ginger and garlic.

The ever-present narrative that chocolate is sexy would account for them being thrown around like nobody’s business on Valentine’s Day. The poor sap, whether male or female is hoping like all hell the intended (spouse or not) will put out, bust out some Keith Sweat and Bump and Grind with R Kelly. It’s big business, and company’s like Cadbury, Ferrero Rocher and Chocolate Dreams record peak sales around this time every year. 6138-close-up-of-melted-chocolate-pv

I am interested though in a woman’s perspective. Do you feel more inclined towards a sexual encounter after eating some chocolate? What about your attitude during the encounter? Perhaps it’s my culture, but that does very little for me.

Let me Explain, for Jamaicans, what works as an aphrodisiac is termed  ‘tonic’ or ‘strong back’. See, for us, rather than placing the focus on turning on the woman (perhaps we believe a man ought to know how), we focus on the stamina portion of things.

Spurlina vs Strong Back

It may take the form of a blended roots drink, Maca and Spurlina and the like, because, well, the focus for us is on the experience, the endurance, tricks, gymnastics, and acrobatics. This is usually what the men employ, around some corner before they approach the woman. Usually, if the man is ‘less than well endowed’ but can ‘gwan wid a bag a tings‘, and has endurance, he’ll get a pass.

Commonly, you’ll also find the blending of raw oats, raw peanuts, Irish Moss/Supligen, Guinness, vanilla nutmeg and any additional selection of variants is blended smoothly primarily the woman feeding her man (and herself). This is known traditionally as ‘strong back”. These things cause the making of babies (*cough *cough, I ‘ve heard).

maxresdefaultWhether or not it works may be due to a case of mind over matter because I do believe culture has a lot to do with it, as we’re conditioned to believe the Champion Jock  and Boom Wuk Tanya Stephens sings about can be brought out. ‘Raising the dead‘, and making sure it stays raised for as long as is needed.

“You might a love me but to me you’s just a wuk star.
Me just a cut and go through fling me kitty ‘pon you,
If the claw dem hold you good luck star.”

Tanya Stephens

The Right ‘Chune’ (Tune/Song)

As a Jamaican, one of the things I enjoy most about Dancehall music is a well written sexually charged song, riddled with innuendoes that are just right to provoke the ‘Rude Girl’ status. For me, it’s quite potent as an aphrodisiac. A lot of these songs in my dash out arsenal is from the 90’s but there are a few from the early 2000’s and even fewer from today. Believe it or not, I am a fan or Kartel’s earlier work, you know, when he was black and even right up til the cake soap era. (Shaade, come for me Gaza clan, I dare you!). No doubt the teacher spitting lyrics about the Benz Punani and Bicycle could work as an aphrodisiac itself, inciting the kind of dash out that cannot be done in public (for ladies anyway). The kind that makes you say things you would never admit to in the light of day.  Perhaps ask for marriage or a baby? (Don’t believe dem!) I confess it wouldn’t be love-making, but who wants that all the time, eh?4979005156_39c3ba2226_b

I’ve been known to ‘dash out’ a certain kind of way, typical of a female enjoying good dancehall music, both in public and private. (No, you can’t see.) and while there are things that amount to the same, I just can’t see a piece of chocolate doing the trick.

What say you?

Trina

P.S. This post was written by my alter ego, Trina. I, Shandean will know not of what you speak if you mention it. 

Oral Sex Still a Controversy? How?!

Hi, guys, Trina here. Shan’s given me free reign (well, as much as she can and still maintain we are both ladies) tonight. I urge you to go get the biggest tea cup you can find because I’m coming for souls tonight! So if you’re underaged turn back now. If you are archaic, better leave your soul behind or prepare to be dragged.WhatsApp Image 2017-05-08 at 22.48.21

So it’s been a few weeks (I think) since the iShawna song ‘Equal Rights’ has been hitting the airwaves in Jamaica and it seems, all the men want to show up and out because the song encourages men who want oral sex and/or those who may be less than stellar in the bedroom to, shall we say, ‘face the music’ if they find themselves unable to ‘waist‘ it.

Apparently, she has committed some grave sin by demanding reciprocity. It took weeks for Shan to finally listen to the song, and only did so at the insistence of a friend who was reading a manuscript of Shan’s (yes, she’s writing a book. More on that later) and commented that she was here for the Pepsi situation. Of course, if we were to understand the reference, we’d need to listen to the song.’

The verdict is not at all surprising, the song absolute trash, but the topic? We are here for this! This is 2017, and after songs like Vybz Kartel’s “Freaky Gal” and Gage’s “Dung ina your Throat” (Which we find distasteful, to say the least, due to the action it seems to invoke in public), one would think Jamaicans would be past this foolishness. So let’s really reason this out, shall we?

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Freaky Sex

What is that? What does it entail? I’ve always been a reader (no surprise there) and the first time I came across anything suggestive of “freakiness” is a novel where the leading female character was a dominatrix. I would have been around 17 or 18 at the time. I was quite surprised, hooked even, and clung to the scenarios and fetishes described in that book. It a great regret of mine that I cannot recall neither the name nor the author. Even then, the true understanding of what a freak was didn’t take root until I happened upon a documentary of BDSM that had been sparked by the release of the E.L James famous (or infamous, owing to preferences) Fifty Shades Trilogy in 2012. The book in themselves? Now THAT was a revelation.bdsm-erotik-199x300

So you can see that by my standards, ‘freaky’ people are into out of this realm things, like golden showers, BDSM, voyeurism, exhibitionists, you know, something along those lines. (Speaking of BDSM, Christian Grey? Now there’s a freak! Oh, my Christian!) But no, here we have men and women of the darkened ages who think (or pretend they do) that oral sex is classified as ‘freaky’? Erm? Where? How sway? *inserts rolling eyes* A wah unu a do ina fi unu love life so??

Let’s not mince words, I became sexually active in my late teens and up until that point, believed the hype that Jamaicans weren’t into oral sex.

LIES. YOU. TELL.

That garbage was quickly dispelled. Not only doesn’t it need to be requested by women, there are those obnoxious men who will make it their pick up lines to insinuate that you should ‘give them a talk’ by swiping their tongues at you (in case you were wondering, that mess is NOT cute).

I was once in New Kingston standing at the corner of that intersection of E-Park and the Pegasus. I was standing right where the vines (or whatever they’re called cover the walls) when I kept being catcalled. I could hear it, but I couldn’t see the person, and as close as it was I began to look around. Would you believe the man behind that wall stuck his wiggling tongue through the hole at me?!

I would just like to know WHO these men think they’re lying to? After all, the women know the truth. We know from experience that the men who squeal the loudest regarding oral sex are the ones who possess graduate ‘kitty licking’ degrees. We’re the ones that see you holler with your brethren about how you would never ‘bow’, then get all up in our ears about the ‘buffet style‘ menu that you want. If so many women have been eaten, and all these Jamaican men deny doing the eating, men of alien nationalities are flying in to eat and fly out, leaving the waist aspect of the job for the locals?

STOP IT!

You mean to tell me that as a grown man, you are going to tell your grown woman she must keep two men to be properly serviced? What then, oh wise one, would be your purpose?

In conclusion, Jamaican men, please just keep your mouths shut about your bedroom activities. Keep a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. No one believes you anyway. We, women, know from experience that self-praise is no recommendation and half the time, the promise to “blow our backs out” fall short. All the friends you are bragging to most likely are offering the service up to the woman you are ‘claiming’ you don’t eat. download (1)

If it’s not your cup of tea, simply don’t comment on it. Not that hard, right?

The men who are silent, never uttering a word of their abilities, these are the men we worry about. We know the following proverbs to be true…

“Empty barrels make the most noise.”

“Silent river runs deep.”

In the words of Nadine Sutherland and Terror Fabulous “Action, not a bag a mouth!” (No pun intended) Ha!

Until next time…

Trina

P.S. This post was written by my alter ego, Trina. I, Shandean will know not of what you speak if you mention it. 

Dream Date, Marriage & Sex

Someday, my husband will take me to Napa Valley or some Tuscany Vineyard for a surprise  picnic with grapes, cheese, wine and smooches… (At least, he better be planning to before we die).

It’s one of my very few, fondest,  actual dream. As one who doesn’t care too much for hard liquor myself, having migraines and all, I much prefer a Friday evening curl up with a good old paperback and a nice, big, sexy glass of wine to anything else. And if the evening happens to end with some toe curling, roof  raising, migraine inducing sex, preferably of the kinky variety, well, don’t mind if I do! Ha! Certainly, more enticing than any party could ever be. At least, that’s what I say.

Sex & Marriage

I always heard that marriage is where sex lives go to die. Well, I’ll be damned if that is about to happen over here. Child, bye! We’re not in the 1800s where we pretend men are the only ones with sex drives and/or that married women all suddenly develop perpetual headaches at any signs of sexual intimacy from their husbands. In fact, that same era tolerated mistresses, so that wives could be ‘left alone’. wedding-1246897_960_720

None of that over here folks! We don’t play like that.

 

With-holding Sex?

Every so often, someone asks me a question about my relationship and more than a few times that question has been; Do you withhold sex from your husband when you are mad? The short answer is, no I don’t. Why would I?

In the 21st century we all like to pretend that solves something, but unless you all know something I don’t, it doesn’t and as my husband would be the first to tell me if I brought it up jokingly, that will most likely hurt me more than it does him. I can just imagine how he would calmly sit and wait for my frustrations to take over, quite possibly laughing all the while. Quite frankly, that might be a strategy for him, but not for me. No ladies, withholding sex is not in my playbook.

We vex? We have vex sex, then. But we having sex!

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Grown and licensed, ladies. Don’t be squeamish!

Trina

P.S. This post was written by my alter ego, Trina. I, Shandean will know not of what you speak if you mention it. 

​10 Things No one Tells You About Your Wedding Day

As with many things I have learned since adulthood, there are truly very many things about the big events of a woman’s life no one tells her until she’s face to face with the situation. Here are a few things you might want to keep in mind if you will be tying the knot soon.

1. You will be TIRED. Between all the last minute details to get done and trying to relax,  you won’t  have enough time to scratch your rear. By the time my wedding got to the reception, I was so hungry and tired that I might have opted to go home if it wasn’t my wedding!

2. Everything is more expensive at the mention of the word ‘wedding’. Now we got lucky and my wedding was a gifted free fairytale event, but when I was engaged and shopping around, I found it fascinating that if I didn’t mention wedding I’d get one price, and when I did to the same company, I was looking at JMD$50, 000 – $100, 000 more! How?? And why??

3. In Jamaica, a ‘traditional’ wedding cake is a fruit cake. To my horror, choices like vanilla or red velvet carried a hefty price tag as the wedding cake already does.  It’s also tradition to freeze a piece of your cake for consumption on your first anniversary. I still don’t know how I feel about that!

4. Heels are NOT practical for the entire shindig. Get you a pair of cute flats! It’s at least half a day of standing and walking. I love my heels as much as the next girl, but people really should offer a heads up on this!

5. That wedding dress is HEAVY! When you are choosing the dress you will hardly notice this, focusing on that beautiful texture and to die for fit and flair. That’s because you will only wear it for a few minutes each time before the actual day. When you start to clock in at 4 or 5 hours, you will notice!

6. The great wedding night is overrated and may or may not to occur. Did I mention how TIRED you will be?? You will likely need to be very committed and focused to get it done! I didn’t realize this until I was alone with my husband for the first time and thinking about the all sorts of hot he looked in his suit!

7.  You will not see everyone who came to support you and celebrate with you. Between all the other monumental happenings around you, it’s unlikely you will have the opportunity to give everyone your attention.

8. Cocktail hour is NOT for you. Between simply having someone shove a glass of champagne in my hand and being redirected for photos before I could grab an hors d’oeuvre, and people trying to congratulate me, I pretty much chugged. Yes, I chugged!

9.Your face will hurt from all the smiling. Of course you are naturally happy and in a good mood, but you will have a camera shoved in your face from every direction at all times for hours on end and since you do want to look like you feel when looking back, you smile. And your face goes numb by the end of it all.

10. It will be over much too quickly. While it goes on, you will feel the length of the event. However, on your wedding night or the next day, you will realize just how much you did for one day, and how swiftly it all became a memory! I would get married every year if I could. It was an exciting time!

The Modern Traditional Woman: The Married Individual

My last article spoke of the The Modern Traditional Woman, focusing on the acquiring of a fulfilling career and family life. This piece is on that same woman from a different perspective. Marriage and being an individual.

You are one.”. I have never known a phrase to bring me joy and yet grind my gears as much as this one the past year and a half. It seems everyone wants to throw this phrase at me, and not always to be encouraging. There are those that use subtle indicators to remind me that while they are saying ‘we are one’, typically speaking that one is my husband! This is the part that boils my subconscious. I am more than happy to be one with my husband. We are a unique couple brought together, bound and sealed by our extensively differentiating personalities. Polar opposites if you will, and yet when the gravy simmers, comfortingly similar in our mindset, beliefs and values.

I am a submissive wife (or so I believe). I believe I ought to be for the kind of family I desire. For the kind of woman I strive to be. I am more than willing to submit myself to the husband I have. This being quite easy for the simple reason that I trust him. Let me say that again. I trust him. I trust in who he is a person. I trust his sense of right and wrong, his morals, his humility. I trust him as a friend, I trust his strength as a humble person and as such trust that at any given time, his overwhelming sense of fairness brings equilibrium to his decision making process. I therefore trust that in any given situation, he will make the decision that is best for us, for our family, always. It was this trust that allowed me to identify him as a man I want to spend my life with, among other qualities of course. This is why I am secure in my decision to be a submissive wife.My wildly opinionated nature and strong character are my roars tamed to a purr (My zodiac sign is the Leo, can you tell?) by my humble and balanced natured Boobles. (He’s a Libra.)

I get it. Many ‘modern’ women want to take me to the slaughter for even daring to say such a thing out loud. How dare I relinquish my life to someone else for control?! Let me tell you why. I trust him. Because of who he is, I am comfortable my husband will not take a decision that will affect our family without discussing the matter with me first. Voicing his concerns, preferences, suggestions and points of view, seeking mine and then coming to a mutually satisfying decision. The best we can find. Should the decision be unclear to me, I am comfortable in his doing what he believes is best, and vice versa. The submission I speak of does not entail dictatorship and bellowed orders requiring cowering and blind acceptance. I trust him. He is the head of my household and his leadership style is precisely why he holds that position.

I’ve highlighted the above to clarify, I have no problems with being identified as one with my husband. However, to be told we are one as though I have somehow lost my individuality is infuriating. To be told in no uncertain terms, I ought to do things because we are one is really infuriating. To be spoken to as though I am the less important party in our presence is extensively infuriating! To make matters worse, it’s not the people who know us that do this. It’s strangers. They look at us, smile and proceed to look to my husband to speak.

This started on the very day we got married. Even though I chose to hyphenate my surname, not one of our friends and family members bothered to use it that way. No one bothered to use my first name either. It was nice for a week or two during the excitement of being a newlywed, but when I realised that in almost two months no one bothered to use my first name anymore. I began to feel like my individuality was being stifled. I began to feel as though, I was only his wife and not a real life person kicking and breathing. I learned to work out this feeling on my own, without making a sound about it. And then it started happening. The looks when we were out doing business together. The look that would carry eyes to my husband for permission regarding what said. The expressed questions directed to him while I spoke. The answers being skewed to his direction for questions asked. The subtle insinuation that a decision made in conversation isn’t final until he is spoken to. As though confirmation is required.

I find my husband actively referring the person back to me when it is done more blatantly or subtly steering the person in my direction for replies. But it burns my womanhood and individuality to see it happen. I suppose I should own being spoiled. My husband usually makes such great representations that I am comfortable a lot simply smiling and being the wife on his arm while he gets things done. I wouldn’t say he’s a people person, but he certainly more adept than I am at talking to strangers. No one looks to me then. Which reiterates that they are fine with him making decisions. What am I? Barbie on his arm? Simply there for aesthetic appeal? (Inserts rolling eyes.)

You are one. Lord I’ve come to dislike that phrase!

 

The Modern Traditional Woman: Having It All

Sounds like quite the oxymoron, does it not? Perhaps, but it describes the woman who doesn’t want to be boxed in. (At least in my head that’s what it describes). The woman who doesn’t want to spend her life in the traditional role of being barefoot and pregnant. The woman who doesn’t wanted to be weighted by blind feminism requiring the discarding of anything that includes the role of being a domestic, nurturing woman. The woman who wants to be married, have a career and no children. The woman who wants to be a married stay at home mother. The woman who wants to be a single mother with a career. The woman who wants the career only. Whatever happened to the freedom women have fought so hard for? The freedom to do one or the other, all of it or none at all? Why are women still bring plastered with labels in 2016?

“I am deathly afraid of putting off certain aspects of my life. I understand that the nowadays women are expected to do it all, get married, have children, work extensively ridiculous hours to have a meaningful career. BUT I will not simply have my child an turn him/her over to nannys/grandparents to raise while I chase my career. If you are ambitious, at what point is it okay to take a break to seek the rewards of family life? You can’t when your career has just started because you have something to prove, you can’t a little later because you are up for a promotion, by the time you know it you’re up for another, then u can’t break because you want buy house, further your studies, etc.

For this reason, I think young mothers may be the luckier bunch. I mean, whatever you do it will be rough, but often, if you care for a career and not just a “job” it may be difficult to acquire. It is often said we can’t have it all but, I don’t plan on making that my truth. I am a mix of the traditional and modern woman, so none is more important than the other for me, sorry.”

The above demonstrates feelings I had posted on my Facebook page exactly two years ago less than 6 weeks shy of my twenty-fifth birthday. I feel exactly the same way now. When is the right time to start a family for the woman who wants to do things with her life outside of having a family but wants having a family just as much? I think now. I think never. There will always be one more achievement that can be had first. One more goal that would make life perfect  before starting a family. So where does it leave you when you fear  having one aspect exactly the way you want it you must sacrifice at least some part of the other. You must get to a place where you are okay to jump in. Get pregnant. Get enrolled in school. Get a career  started in the field you want. Go someplace you haven’t been for your next vacation. Chase your all. There will be unexpected bumps and distractions. That is what life’s journey offers as a given. But if you want it, chase it.

In my opinion, you can have it all, whatever “all” means to you. I want to do business. I want to own a few businesses. I want to have a child/children. I want to be emotionally, physically and mentally present for my children.  I want to travel with my family. I want to have a graduate degree by the time I am 30. I want to be a mother by the time I am 30. I want to be married before I have children. This is my all.

For some women, all doesn’t include children. For some women, a career isn’t included in their all. For some women, simply travelling is their all. For some women, stability isn’t a part of their all at all. Who is anyone else to perpetuate an idealistic version of what a woman’s all should be?

Food for thought.