Celibacy, Intimacy and iffy smells of religion

dating-against-humanity-54-638

I haven’t written on the Single Black Male blog for a long while, but I still read and keep thinking about adding a different viewpoint on the subject in hand. The guys behind it are a good bunch and its always interesting reading the emails back/forth.

One such post recently spiked my interest. Is Celibate The New Single?

To which I say no… and then;

Have you ever had one of those intimate conversations that just could go on forever? You don’t even realize the hours that have flown by, but your cheeks hurt from smiling and you can’t stop blushing? You share parts of yourself in ways you hadn’t expected, or maybe even experienced. You feel truly known, and you truly know the person across from you: dreams, goals, loves, everything. You are known intimately – not known physically just yet – and even though you’re ready, you’re not in a rush. Imagine if this were the core of your relationship; this love you always express, and this lust you haven’t tapped into. Imagine being intimately and truly seduced, before having sex.

Yes… this is what I call intimacy, and it doesn’t need to be tied to sex.

Unfortunately the rest of the post talks/links in a load of celebrity couples I’ve never heard of. I couldn’t really care less about them but I think its misguided to call it celibacy.

These things all exist on a spectrum, including intimacy.

You can have physical intimacy, cognitive intimacy, activity intimacy and emotional intimacy. I’m sure there are more… I have a feeling there is tangible link with the 6 different types of love.

Interestingly

It’s 2016, and we may be in a new era of singledom. Actually, maybe it’s the old days of being single coming back around, full-circle. There’s something kind of poetic in knowing you have touched every part of a person’s soul before you’ve touched their body.

I get the cycle argument, I have even talked about the cycle back and forth within online dating between physical and mental. However, to the point of singletons, its always been there. People have found intimacy over the internet, via text, in the street, while at meetups, in many different ways. Its doesn’t sound sexy (pun intended) but it just happens.

Singletons are not subscribing to celibacy, they are doing what comes naturally by finding intimacy in different ways. Some find it through physical means, some through mental means. Little has changed, and if it has its certainly not because people have decided celibacy is the only option.

By knowing a person in every way but sexually, and saving that for last, the foundation of the relationship just seems stronger, more stable, almost even … sexier.

There is no right or wrong, its what works for you and the potential partner(s). If celibacy is that, then great. But to claim that the new celibacy is the new singletons is frankly ridiculous on so many levels.

There is a iffy smell of religion running through the single black male post. I know its American focus and it wouldn’t be the first time but I wanted to say, its great they highlighted things but the conclusion seems off the mark. Singletons are not

What’s been troubling recently, #Ferguson

Ferguson Protest in Palo Alto: Stanford Students Shut It Down

Everytime I hear about Ferguson, I grow that little more angry. There are literary no words I can say which sum up the feeling of unease,  worry, fear and anger. While most of the people around me carry on their lives not really thinking about the massive injustice which is happening again over the ocean, I wonder about the progress we have and have not made. I wonder about the corruption and how we are going to tackle that? Boycotting Black Friday is a start I guess.

I wasn’t going to write anything because I couldn’t really put it down (The closes thing I could compare it it to was the killing of Stephen Lawrence, something which keeps on giving) and there is so much better people to hear from.

But then after watching the guys behind singleblackmale.org talking over email, I needed to break the silence on my part and join the rest of the people in solidarity… As Dr J writes…

None of the bloggers on this blog have been immune to interactions with police officers. Most, if not all of us have encountered white police officers in our travels. What troubles me about this issue is that I’d like to think that our police officers are here to keep us safe. What we know now is that isn’t always the case and it’s not an exaggeration to say we feel like feeling safe is a minority opinion for Black men in this country…

…People always ask me how I’m doing and my response is the same, “Given my circumstance, the best that I could be.” That holds true today. Now brothers and sisters in the fight; Black, white or indifferent please channel your efforts positively or at least effectively…

Ferguson protest in downtown St. Louis

Celeste Little’s email caused me to breakdown for a bit while reading it on my phone.

…All I could think about, as I was walking along 7th avenue with the 1600 other people who were hurt and appalled by the decision, was my grandmother.

She was born in Mississippi into a family of sharecroppers and when she witnessed President Obama’s 2004 win, she was thrilled, to say the least. She died several years later, and as she was passing all she talked about was how she was happy all of her children and grandchildren were well taken care of.

That’s what all of our ancestors have prayed and wished and died for– that we would be better taken care of. And it is absolutely suffocating to think that, after all this time, we might not be.

Ferguson-10

So I wrote this…

I wanted to share a little perspective from outside the America.

I was really shocked and appalled to hear what happened, I didn’t know what to think really and what can a foreigner bring to the table what you guys don’t already know?
Nothing much, but there has been a whole discussion about police with cameras and using technology to aid solutions in the British media.

Every time I hear this my hand gets a little tense, as using technology to aid or solve human problems is not a good idea.

Its far too easy to turn off cameras and get around systems which are only there to keep those who play by the rules.

You only have to look at piracy to understand this.

Ferguson protest in downtown St. Louis

Talking of rules, what makes things worst is the rules don’t seem to apply to the police in the states.
You don’t think a police officer which has no problem gunning down innocent black men, wouldn’t break the camera lens, remove the power or find another way?

Technology can help but only when people are willing to be helped. Its like an addict, you have to admit you need help before you can be helped.
The police are clearly not willing, the courts are clearly not willing and the system just backs them up.
Lawrence Lessig a Stanford lawyer turned his head to understanding the endemic corruption and although not directly applicable is worth thinking about when talking about what’s wrong.
I’m not saying the UK is any better but the system out there is so corrupt and so broken, something has got to give…

Keep on fighting the good fight people and never give up.

#MichaelBrown - #‎TCShutItDown #‎ShutItDown #JusticeForMikeBrown by Fibonacci Blue, on Flickr" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/fibonacciblue/15691932038">Minneapolis rally for <a rel=#MichaelBrown - #‎TCShutItDown #‎ShutItDown #JusticeForMikeBrown" width="500" height="375" />

How can you still be single?!

Killer Prom Date - Dig The Grave Black & White

I opened OKCupid to find a message which brought a smile and with some time a puzzled look to my face. The message was…

I’ve lurked your profile on and off since we spoke. How can you still be single?! 🙂

The lady in question is lovely but the distance is too far and shes quite young. Whats the rule again? (Half your age and add 7?) Ok if I go by that rule it wouldn’t be so bad, but I generally go for slightly older it has to be said. But she’s quite mature, going by the things in her profile.

But as I said, I had a puzzled look after a while.

I answered her message with…

Honestly… I think my modern attitude and values seems to cause conflict with women my age. I tend to go for older women but they also tend to be in relationships or have old school views. Distance tends to be a problem and for some reason I end up falling for the same type each time…

Keep lurking…

I thought about it quite a bit since and even had a discussion with my sister.

First thing, I’m not one of those guys who believes I should be in a relationship. This isn’t a goddamm right of being born. Secondly I know the lady in question meant it as a honest question rather than a slap in the face.

So why am I single?

Some suggest I may actually like dating (well I do enjoy meeting new people). Others say I just haven’t found the one (yeah right, I don’t believe in the one) others think I might be a secret playa and even a womanizer! (cheers sister) Of course I totally disagree (although I can see the haters, laughing this one up). Another friend in Manchester thinks I’m making everything up and I’m actually not going on dates. MancNewgirl recently said I was a ex by ex… “Dating Expert by Experience”  something she came up with on the spot. I certainly liked that, and fits nicely with my unofficial tag line of the wikipedia of online dating.  Wikipedia because my advice is made up of lots of experiences and trust me its not made up. Sheila promised a book to me which explains exactly why I’m single (but even after 4 years) I still have not seen this mystery book? (I don’t even know the title of it). Some say its the clothes I wear, I have already had a offer to take me shopping for new clothes in a Queer eye for the straight guy remake. Although I agree, sometimes I should get the clothes out the washer/dryer a little quicker or do a tiny bit of  ironing (which I bloody hate).

All interesting but brings me no nearer to understanding why I’m single. I mean who wouldn’t want to go out with a modern geeky gentleman who has modern views and is a feminist? I get I’m not exactly in shape and have a face which is better for radio. But I’m confident, funny, smart, tall, dark and handsome?

My sister also suggested my comfort with female kind might be putting other women off? I can’t understand why, and to be honest if a potential women is put off because I have quite a few friends who are female. Then that’s simply crazy and I’m not going to give up being friends with women because of her insecurities. The fact I might have dated a few of them might be some area for concern but within the first hour of chatting with me, it should be clear there is never going to be anything questionable

This whole thing reminds me of a Single Black Male post I saw a while ago. Am I a picky or patient dater? Maybe I am too picky and settling isn’t such a bad thing? This also seems consistent with my recent lack of speed dating dates. The ones I’m interested in, don’t seem to be interested in me? Don’t even get me started on my very bad tinder activity. But at least the online dating side isn’t going so bad.

The idea of settling does bug me and give me much to think about. On the whole, I feel too young to settle (don’t ask me what age this changes as I have no idea). However everything I read seems to indicate this isn’t necessarily the case, for example this is something I read while putting together slides for Dating, Lies and Algorithms recently.

“The future will see better relationships but more divorce,” predicts Dan Winchester, the founder of a free dating site based in the U.K. “The older you get as a man, the more experienced you get. You know what to do with women, how to treat them and talk to them. Add to that the effect of online dating.” He continued, “I often wonder whether matching you up with great people is getting so efficient, and the process so enjoyable, that marriage will become obsolete.”

Why settle at all? Now some of you may say “Well this is typical of your generations lazy self-centered and selfish attitude. In my day, we had kids by the age of 22” And it would be hard (but certainly not impossible) to debate against the first part of the statement. But bear in mind I was married at the age of 23! Its not like I wasn’t open to everything.

There seems to be a connection between education (will find the reference later) and the amount of kids you may want/have… Now you could take the statement above and say well I’m being selfish but I disagree, my parents (I’m sure many others did the same) encouraged their kids to pursue their dreams by getting a decent education and making something of themselves. That push to better thy self, leads to finding a partner who is equally ambitious?

Why would you settle for less?

Rich, educated and waiting for the Singularity?

Sharing love and happiness makes life more beautiful (CC)

I’m going to link two very different issues together because somewhere in my mind they are somewhat connected. Maybe its a single thread but my post on Single Black Male (which finally got posted yeh! all the previous posts about it have been updated) and watching the film Transcendence.

Warning this is not a review of Transcendence but it may contain lots of spoilers, slotted within the post.

It kind of starts with Imran who tends to be lately the creative spark for my writings on this blog

I do agree with rushkoff’s anti-human stance, there’s a messianic collapsitarianism around singularity geeks that actually reveals more about current anxieties than any insight about evolution.

To which I wrote…

Agreed about the singularity 180k yrs ago. Funny how others disagree and say it trivialities the concept of singularity. Rushkoff is on the money, somehow this ties into my pointers at the lack of diversity. Can’t quite close the loop but there’s something about the anxieties of a certain group of people

What is up with Transcendence? Well its not a bad movie, I gave it 6/10 which is better than most but it wasn’t great. The movie starts with the Depp dying from a radioactive bullet and his wife deciding to upload him to his computer, to keep a version of him alive. The bullet is shot by a group of terrorist/freedom fighters who believe Artificial Intelligence is anti-human and anti-god.

The setup is a bounce back and forth about the limits of technology, and I have to say the film does make some good points on both sides. Even myself was questioning some of the moves by Depp. The biggest move was getting connected to the Internet. This was a little underplayed but the significance was all there. Once online, the market multiplication was in full effect and AI Depp is able to get enough funding to buy a town in the middle of nowhere. Fill it with supercomputers and independent solar arrays. Before long the AI Depp builds controllable nano-bots which can repair almost anything it would seem.

Black Hornet Nano Helicopter UAV

And thats where I felt it jumped the shark!

Before long everything which the bots touched was repairable and under the control of AI Depp. Meanwhile even AI Depp’s wife is freaking when AI Depp takes over a worker and performs the cross over to Flesh bag. There was no mention of Skynet or Robots (say hello to the robots), but heck there might as well have been. Humans controlled by a higher AI? Yes you got it, Bingo… The Zero sum game is locked in place and before you know it there is explosions and people are dying (and being repaired with Nanos)

The only way to end it all is a virus uploaded…  Afterwards the world is ridden of this era of technology.

Balls!

Name It #23

But the first hour wasn’t bad. It was hollywood and about the level of Lawnmower man.

I heading back to my original post about the film. Rushkoff is very right.

The singularity to me is this self loathing, anti-human, zombie apocalypse fantasy. The story they tell is the history of evolution is information its self striving to greater states of complexity. Humans are really good, Culture is really good,  been good for the last 10,000 years but now computers are better. People are only any good to help machines transcendence the next stage of evolution.

And now the leap and connecting my post from Single Black Male.

This self loathing, anti-human, zombie apocalypse fantasy, I fear might be coming from the lack of diversity in the tech circle. I’m going to go out on a limn and suggest the zombie fantasy may be something which a more diverse and mixed bunch of people wouldn’t come up with.

They may see things in a different light and actually transcend the zero-sum and fear driven ideas of skynet. Building safe guards which are not about conquer, control and simulate, but towards a cooperative arrangement not based on fear.

2nd renaissance part 2

It reminds me of the Matrix and The Second Renaissance.

One servant bot, B-166ER, overheard its owner planning for it to be scrapped: Not wanting to die, it killed the man in self-defense. Put on trial, B-166ER was found guilty of murder and sentenced to be destroyed, along with the rest of his kind. The trial ignited debate worldwide over Machine rights, and the mandate for termination sparked outbreaks of protests and violence.

The Machines eventually separated from humanity and founded a new city of their own: 01. Due to their technical prowess they took on most of the world’s manufacturing business – 01’s power rose massively, while humanity’s began to drop like a stone. The Machines requested admission to the United Nations, presenting plans for a stable, civil relationship with the nations of man. Their admission was denied, and 01 was subjected to a prolonged barrage of nuclear weapons.

I’m suggesting a more diverse group of people would have thought things through better. So ultimately I’m saying diversity of ideas, thoughts and people is critical for the continuation of human kind…

Ok its quite a leap but I really think its important to look at the bigger picture, its too easy to get caught up in the smaller picture… Maybe over time it will be come easier to explain or become self evident.

Tipping, who gets it right?

£4 tip?

My second post for the Single Black Males just went up and its one of those subjects some tell you can cause all out flame wars.

I wrote…

A Cornell professor has written a lot of papers about tipping, with some interesting results for the urban male.

Now I know living in the United Kingdom we don’t tip, anywhere as much as Americans. Not only that, the percentage we tip is far below the scale of the U.S. But I’ve spent a lot of time in the states and understand how much waiters, waitresses, attendants, etc get paid and how they really rely on tips.

However, it’s worth remembering the definition of tipping… Paying a optional gratuity for services rendered

What is interesting from the papers and many surveys is that two things stick out for SBM readers…

Black customers tend to payless when tipping especially to a black server.

White servers on average are more likely to get a decent tip than a black server.

Tipping is optional in the UK but most people find it customary to pay roughly 10% as a tip unless you really enjoy or hate the service. You also generally only tip at restaurants and bars. Most would be offended if you handed over extra money for a tip when holding a door or doing there job.

I then later in the post talk about my experience working in Equinox Discotheque with women from all over Europe, fighting for tips to stay alive, well I would have been if it was America.

I worked in a discotheque in Leicester Square (equivalent to Times square in New York) between jobs while studying at university. It was hard going and work ran from 8pm – 4am on the weekend. I was the only male and also the only black in a all European line up. We worked on the bar serving drinks till 3am.

Because of its location, we use to get a lot of Americans through the door and they would tip well. On an average night, the woman around me would get £140 ($210) in tips and I once witnessed a woman get £170 ($270) in a night. I, on the other hand, was over the moon one night when I made £20 ($30). As you can imagine, I said screw it by the 3rd week. It simply wasn’t worth it and got a nice cinema job where I didn’t have to work for tips.

Luckily the minimum payment rules meant I didn’t go home with the equivalent of £2.50 per hour. I went home with £3.70 per hour and a extra £20 for my hard work. I didn’t want to launch into an attack about the minimum payment system in the states, because I could imagine the burning comments and forever flames. But you have to wonder…

Digging through the data (there is a lot of it too) I really started to wonder if it wasn’t just because I was the only male? Could it be my race too? Could it be a double wammy? Am I doomed as a bar tender forever more? *smile* The data doesn’t lie, and although I like to think it might be wrong, there’s simply too much to just ignore it. Well I’m glad I decided to drop my bar job and join the Odeon!

Is Tipping Discriminatory? (original title of the post by the way…) and I’m not the only one asking questions, as I recently found out… but although these guys take it to the next level, you got to agree with some of the arguments against tipping.

Gratuities, by definition, are voluntary, and can not, and should not, ever be automatically included into a bill for any reason. Period. Patrons should reserve the right to report such venues to authorities and they should be fined appropriately. And most of all, be educated on your rights as a consumer.  One should never be socially pressured to leave a tip!

Singleblackmale on tech assisted dating

Proximity London

I’m proud to say Single Black Male took my application and said yeah they would like to me to write for them.

My first piece just went up live on the siteTechnology Assisted Dating

Today’s guest post is from a writer from across the pond. I’m sure he thinks Americans are <redacted>, so be sure to prove him wrong by showing him some love in the comment section below. LOL! Welcome today’s post from Ian Forrester. Enjoy!

*********

I live in Manchester, no not Manchester Alabama, Georgia or anywhere in the states. Manchester in the United Kingdom or England. Yes, SBM has gone slightly international but fear not the reason why I talk about Manchester is to give some context.

Manchester is famous for many things but two lesser known facts are:

  1. It contains the second biggest group of singles in the UK outside London; and
  2. It’s extremely gay friendly.

Now I’m not gay or even bi-sexual but dare I say it, some of my friends are gay (which isn’t saying much living in Manchester). A trip to the coffee shop or a bar is full of surprises. Who has not heard of the likes of Grindr? Grindr is/was extremely popular with the urban single gay males and it seems highly effective in meeting other people.

You could see this as a digital wingman of sorts or a step on the way towards a technology assisted dating/hookup depending on what you’re actually after. Before you get on your high horse, suck in your gut and say, “So sad some people need this…” Just two things to remember:

  1. My gay friends have lots of fun with it (maybe the way dating should be – sort of fun); and
  2. Is this much different than the data and algorithms of online dating?

A little bit of help can go a long way and fellas there is nothing wrong with a little assistance once in a while (now breath out and say it with me).

If you’re anything like me, you’re wondering where’s the heterosexual version?

…I then go on to discuss if proximity based dating is a real thing and has anyone got stories which they can share in the comments.

SBM nicely clean up my grammar and spelling, but generally the words are my own and there will be more guest posts to come.

Single Black Male, we need new writers!

Single Black Male | Urban Male Perspective

I just saw SingleBlackMale.org is looking for new writers

We Need New Writers! Do You Want to Be One of Them?

http://www.singleblackmale.org/2013/06/11/we-need-new-writers-do-you-want-to-be-one-of-them/

My instant thought is yes I would love to be one… SBM for me is sometimes a little sanity in the mix of love and dating. Some posts are bang on and I’m almost shouting in the tram to work “YES!” and sometimes I’m shaking my head knowing whats been written is total fluff. One of my friends total me to give it a rest but to be fair its my equivalent of britons got talent.

I know lots of people seems to have a slight problem with it being called single Black male. Why isn’t there a single White male or a single Asian Female? I don’t know why not start one? They are not against diversity as they say… But I have to say single black men do have a unique viewpoint on the world of dating, love and sex. Maybe one which doesn’t get heard too much? I won’t lie when my cousins and urban (if thats the right word) friends get together all hell can break loose. Its fun and somethings which are said are seriously wrong but in the clear light of day things pass under the bridge and are forgotten.

And can I just quickly say how great it would be to have a Black British point of view on things…! Geez, one thing SBM can certainly be accused of is its very American bias. Time to take it international…

I wrote about the Black Barbarshop’s a long while ago and there is something unique about them. Yes I’m sure we can replace black with urban now but seriously spend some time in one and hear the urban black male perspective. Sometimes offensive, sometimes full of sense. But always intriguing and full of questions. And I got to say thats very much me…

Heck I don’t even care about the money, actually that makes it easier for me to write and keep my great job.

So here’s my public pitch…

  • Name: Ian Forrester
  • Website (Required. No website. No write.) : The one your reading now, cubicgarden.com
  • Post Titles:
    1. Who pays on the first date?
    2. Your the only single one left
    3. The worst photos anyone could use in there profile picture
    4. Speed dating vs Internet dating
    5. The modern man and feminism
    6. The rights and wrongs of datasexuality
    7. … do have to go on?
  • Post Summary (What the article is about…preferably in bullet point form)

    1. The ultimate question on a first date, who pays on the first date?
    2. Everyone around you is married and has children, what do you do?
    3. What is the worst photos you can pick to upload for your dating profile, and how to avoid them?
    4. Which one wins for which people?
    5. Feminism and sexuality, is it about time we all grew up and got with the modern programme?
    6. How is it living your love life by the numbers? How far can you go? Does it actually get you anywhere fast?
    7. … stopping right there
  • Time needed to complete full article if accepted : Well with the grammar, spelling, workload and all, maybe a week or two?
  • Whether you’re looking to write regularly or just once. Either is fine. : A number of times, maybe like once every 2 months? (heck I get pretty busy)

Although to be fair as Janetedavis says

Really? You’re sure about that? Haven’t you got enough to do?

Yeah maybe I should focus on The Life and Opinions of a Datasexual Gentleman (working title)… Lets see what SBM says?