Good Girl Gone: Anger & Sex, how I channel my rage into sexual activity

Coming to terms with a divorce after 14 years of giving it your all to make it work can bring out some anger.  Being in therapy and realizing you’ve been suppressing your emotions for most of your life can also bring out quite a bit of rage.  I won’t go into all the reasons I am in my current state.  What’s important is now that I know that I’m angry, what am I going to do with all of it?

“Be angry and sin not” is what I’ve been taught. Translation: Be angry and don’t fuck up your life or anyone else in the process.

That scripture has always been unsatisfying to me.  Because there is no other instruction about what to do with that anger other than to just be…and being angry is never a good feeling, or is it?

Here is a small list I have incidentally discovered over the years that has helped me to channel my anger.


Anger and sex are closely related to me.  Anger gets my blood boiling and so does sex.  So lately I’ve been asking myself, how can I make these two work for me?

I won’t forget the first time I was hit during sex, it did something to me.  And when I returned the favor and punched his ass in the torso a few times, I was off the rails and it made for an incredible sexual encounter.  I knew then that sex can be one way that I channel my rage.  Of course, it is important to note that I had history with my partner that went back to childhood. I felt incredibly safe with him, and most important, he was cool with hitting.  But I cannot tell you how much of a release it was having that moment to channel the intense feelings I had bottled up for years.  I wanted more of it.

Speaking of hitting,

2.  H.I.I.T and Boxing

When I cannot have sex (which is often these days), I have found my workout to be my saving grace for pent up anger.  A friend introduced me to boxing a few years ago with a group of men.  Perhaps it was somewhere amid the surrounding testosterone and being in a grungy garage that I first discovered how my wrath can be used in the most productive way, getting my body right and tight.

Later, after I gave birth to my second child in my late 30’s, I signed up for boot camp.  The class was a H.I.I.T session, which stands for High Intensity Interval Training and my trainer was lit.

Since I have been in the gym, I’ve channeled my anger during a 3-year unemployment period, when different men in my life have pissed me off, when I am sexually frustrated, when I’ve had a bad day, when I’m depressed…name the injustice and I find a way to bring it into the gym with me and work it out.  My method is to put whatever is bothering me in my mind when I’m straining through a particularly painful move.  Best part, when someone has set me off, I put their face in line of view when I am kicking or punching, and it brings great satisfaction.

3.Hip Hop

Some women are like Cardi B with their anger and some are like Issa Rae. I fall into the latter category.  I will internalize my anger and then come home and go off in the mirror.  Hip Hop gives me words to spit when I reach that mirror.

The first artist I immersed myself in when I was reunited with hip hop was J. Cole, later Kendrick Lamar.  Both speak profoundly about rage and can articulate it in ways that are clever, authentic, and most of all truthful to their experiences, no matter how ugly they are.  I often find myself these days quoting one of them to express how I feel.

Hip Hop has no shame about its anger, it claims it with authority and says, I have every right to be angry.  For someone like me, the music and lyrics are just the permission I need to emote as I go through my own disillusion and loss.

And the exciting part of it all is that between my exercise (both inside and outside the bedroom) and rap, I have been able to discover parts of myself sexually.  I can use my body during sex, during workouts, and while listening to hip hop to express my femininity and rage simultaneously.

So, if I have to be angry, I am going to make it work for me and not against me.  In fact, Kendrick knows a little something about that.  In his words, “If I gotta slap a pussy ass nigga, Ima make it look sexy.  If I gotta go hard, Ima make it look sexy.”  Whatever I do, when I am hot with rage, I am going to make it look sexy. This one here won’t be taken out of her element.

Good Girl Gone Mad: Playing w/fire and not getting burned- Sexual experimentation w/o the sex

Here’s a tale of two break ups:

My brother just ended a serious, year-long relationship just as I was ending a 14-year marriage.  What’s the first thing we both decide to do?  Start dating.  Immediately.

What is it about a break up that brings the hoe out of everyone?

It doesn’t matter if you had a great sex life or a poor one with your now ex, when it’s all over, the first thing many seek out is sex.  Rebound, jump off, sex.

Why is that?

There certainly is a level of anxiety that comes along with the demise of a relationship.  When you’re used to having sex on the regular and now can’t, it can be a major “Oh shit” moment.  Or, depending on how long you’ve been in the relationship, you can start to question, “Am I still wanted?  Can I get someone else?”

But mostly when it’s all over, distracting yourself from the pain is all you want to do.  In crisis, you immediately just want to be assured that everything’s going to be okay.  So, you seek out the comfort of another person and usually in the most immediate, physical way.

However, as I wade through my hurt and complicated feelings, I’m learning that it’s not necessary to give it up to get some love.

Coming out on the scene after being absent for over 10 years can be quite a culture shock.  When I was single and available, it wasn’t a serious option of consideration to market yourself on social media.  My dating pool was regulated to the places I frequented, church, college spaces and places, and my neighborhood, which as you can imagine, exposed me to certain types of men, men I was familiar with at some level.

Now that I’m out again, it seems that it’s par for the course for men and women, single, married, gay, straight, to hook up just for sex.  And of course, digital culture helps to facilitate that…quickly.

And I guess, at a basic level, that would be good news for me.  But so many years later, I’m still not convinced that fucking a man I barely know because I’m lonely, hurting, and scared will help me.   And this is no knock to those who find it to be useful.

So instead, this fake good girl has gone a little mad in her approach to “getting it in” by implementing a plan B.

Can I explore my sexuality without having sex?  The answer is, so far so good.

How exactly has this heterosexual (grown-ass) woman been quelling the fire of her sexuality?

  1. I’m a flirt

For starters, I’ve been flirting my ass off.

I flirt in public, I flirt in private, and I flirt in text. I flirt in a mall. I flirt down a hall.  I flirt when you call!

I say anything and everything I want to say, sometimes just to get a response.  And the reactions and responses I receive never disappoint.

2. Hotline bling

I’ve also participated in a fair amount of sexting (without pics) and phone sex.

That’s been fun too.  Every man brings their own flavor and it has been wildly entertaining (and mind-blowing-ly HOT) experiencing that.  The great thing about sexting is that it’s the gift that keeps on giving because you can always go back to it and relive the moment on those lonely nights.

3. 21 questions

I’ve been sexually curious.

I have a list of questions that I ask men, questions that help me develop a profile.  For example, consider all the things you can learn about a man when you hear his story about the first time he was seduced by a girl or woman.

4. This man

Real talk, watching Mr. Bryon Carter dance (particularly in Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied” vid) has been getting a sista thru!

All my methods have been quite sexually fulfilling…in a comprehensive way.  And at the end of the day, I can walk away no worse off than when I started.

Have l been tempted to take it over the edge sometimes?   Absolutely.  But usually within 24 hours I’ve been reminded of a very good reason not to go there, whether it was self-imposed or dude putting his foot in his mouth.

There is no need to rehearse the type of heartache breakups can bring.  We all know it. The pain, wounds, and loneliness are real.  Hopefully the route I’m taking will help to speed up the healing process and not set me back.

So, here’s to not getting burned while this mad scientist experiments in her storefront sex kitchen.  So far, the concoctions have been tasty.



Good Girl Gone Sad: When obsessing over doing “the right thing” can lead to major fuck ups

There’s this word that I’ve become newly acquainted with called repression.  To say that I’ve become newly acquainted with repression is sort of misleading because most of my conscious and breathing moments on this earth, apart from early childhood, have been lived repressed.  What I mean is that at 40 now, I’ve become a lot more conscious of what repression is and how it has manifested in my life.

The scary thing about repression is that you can actually have a great time while being blissfully ignorant of its presence in your life.

I grew up in the church and while it’s common to hear people say that they did not enjoy their church-going experiences, I did.  In fact, I had the time of my life as a teenager growing up in church, wouldn’t trade my experience.

We were led by a youth minister who was radical in his approach, who boldly took on topics like sex and sexuality in ways that were mostly healthy and affirming. For example, one of the mantras that was driven into us was that sex was great and that on its face, nothing was shameful or bad about it.  Sex was, in fact, beautiful because God created it. And those words and teachings were formative in my life.  Little did I know though that that time was cultivating a life of sexual repression for me.

At home and among my family, I quickly learned that doing “the right thing” brought along wonderful benefits.  If I got good grades, I was rewarded with cash from my dad.  My dad bragged about me at work and wherever he went.  With my mom, doing “the right thing” (or helping out around the house) kept things peaceful and harmonious, which, as an introvert, I loved. My extended family would buy me gifts and praise me whenever I did “the right things.”  And as a child, I wanted for nothing.  For those reasons, I became the ultimate “good girl.”

That said, this painfully shy Black girl from the Southside of Chicago quickly learned that “doing the right thing” was the way to go in life.  Church reinforced this model all the more.  I was prized with recognition for taking the word of God seriously and investing in my relationship with God.  I was popular at church and had friends who loved and cared for me.  We all seemed to be having a blast growing up in that environment.

I’ll never forget the weeks leading up to my departure from home and off to college.  The women mentors of our church had rented out a space for a girl’s sleepover.  The time would be dedicated to crossing me and several of my peers, now seniors in high school, over into young adulthood.

Most memorable though, was how I felt when the ladies were imparting wisdom to us about college.  It was my turn to share and I remember tears filling my eyes as I expressed how terrified I was of going the route of others who had gone away to college- those who essentially lost their damn minds (coming back home pregnant, dropping out of school, wildin’ out).  A part of me vehemently didn’t want that for myself and was scared to death of following that path.  Looking back though, a deep part of me was madly curious about that life and wanted it for myself.

Fast forward to present times, married (15+ years), children, a career, and yet facing my repression in ways that can no longer be avoided.

I married an extraordinary man straight out of college, a loving, caring man. In a world where it is certainly not the norm to be one, he was a devout and faithful man.  He was in many ways, ideal.

But all and all, he was my safe choice.  Marrying him was me doing “the right thing.”

The problem was that my husband married a fraud and an imposter.  I was faking the “good girl” thing and didn’t even know it.  There were parts of me that I had repressed for so long, I didn’t have the chance to discover who I was.   And because I didn’t know who I was, I played the roles that had become all too familiar- the girl who knew how to do everyone else’s “right things.”

I was presented with another choice for life partner.  I avoided him like the plague and I treated him awfully.  I wasn’t aware at the time that my aversion to him was actually attraction. Yet, he still asked to marry me.  I blew him off.

Little did I know that the way I treated him was the manifestation of my sexual repression.

Consequently, today I am currently wading through the waters of trauma, the trauma that comes along with divorce and denying myself.

In my desperate pursuit of others “right things,” I compromised what was right for me. I fucked up.

I was so concerned about being “right” that I ended up being wrong for my husband and myself.

Some years later, my church friends and I all came together as adults to say farewell to the youth minister who was so formative in our lives.  Upon his departure to another city, he imparted these words to me, “Live, ” he said.

The thing about life is you can’t live a life you’re scared to live.  And you most certainly can’t get to know yourself if you’re scared of life.

Do I blame my family for teaching me how to behave appropriately?  No.  Do I blame the church?  No.  One thing I know for sure is that God is not at all concerned about me doing someone’s “right things.”  In fact, God is interested in what’s best for me, and those can be two wildly different things.

No one is to blame here.

When it comes to personal growth and development, there is no universal “right thing.”  There’s only what’s right for you.  And finding out what that is takes a good mix of Divine wisdom and knowing who the hell you are…all things I’m madly pursuing today.

Good Girl Gone Glad: Mistaking my deference for ignorance makes you the fool, not me

For most of my life I have been plagued with one sentiment about who I am and how I show up in the world.  That one sentiment has been that I’m slow.  Yes, slow, not the sharpest knife in the drawer, clueless, dumb, whatever you want to call it. Those words have followed me in ways that continue to confound me (pun intended).

It all started in high school when a clique of girls christened me, “Dingy Devon.”  For whatever reason, I wasn’t sure at the time, but I was the butt of their “she’s not too bright jokes.”

What was clear was that I definitely wasn’t part of their clan, I didn’t speak their language, and most certainly didn’t dress nor look like them.  I was being me and was being me while being within the top 10 percent of my class academically.  So, I knew that their assessment of me didn’t necessarily have to do with how I rocked a classroom.

But these types of comments continued to follow me.

One day post college, I had taken on a job where my cousin was in management to buy some time while I sought out a career.  One of the ladies in the office, let’s call her, Tonya, was training me on financial data entry.  I guess I wasn’t picking up what she was teaching me, and my cousin overheard her handling me in a way that was, shall we say, unflattering.  My cousin pulled me into her office and said, “You pissed me off.”  “Why,” I said.  “Because Tonya was belittling you right in front of your face and you did nothing about it.”

I had no clue that Tonya was belittling me.  It didn’t even register that she was.  And my guess is that I gave no fucks about Tonya’s role nor her financial data entry.

What I remember about that time was that I was extremely focused on getting out of there and getting placed in the broadcast industry.  I knew her work and what she was training me on was not my destiny, so I put no effort into what she was so desperately trying to teach.   When I would leave the job every night for home, I didn’t think about Tonya at all and it wasn’t because I held any special malice towards her personally, it’s just that I didn’t find much about her or her job to be interesting or useful.   Perhaps she picked up on that and it frustrated her.  It probably confused her all the more that I always smiled and was friendly towards her.

Another time, a man was talking to me about something, perhaps he was running game or talking about himself.  One of his responses to me was, “Devon, you have to keep up.”

And so it is, because nothing you’re saying to me is moving me (and if I recall correctly, I had checked out), I’m slow.  Again, I was very kind and polite to him despite his lazy assessment.

And then it all came to me, people are mistaking my deference for stupidity.

Most times I’ve sized people up within their first few sentences to me.  When someone proves to be worth my time, I am fully present.  If that is not the case, I’ve decided to not fuck with you.  Simple.  It’s not always necessary to let someone know that.  People should still get my basic respect.  And they do.

What does it mean when an extension of basic respect is mistaken for stupidity?

People also mistake my empathy and civility for ignorance.  And these incidents all make me sensitive to others who get labeled in a similar way.

I have an aunt who is often remarked as slow.  Her daughter has unfortunately been labeled as well.  There’s nothing worse than to be written off by family because the outside world can be just as dismissive.

Both women are disarmingly sweet and to be fair, they are so to a fault.  But it should be noted that these women choose to be kind and caring towards people, no matter how people approach them.  That doesn’t make them stupid, that makes them kind and respectful.  This isn’t rocket science.

It takes depth of character to choose to be civil to someone who is otherwise reckless.

Older and wiser now, I notice that the comments I receive about my lack of intelligence mostly come from people’s own insecurities, hurt, and shortcomings.

The high school girl clique- their insecurities.

The co-worker post-college- frustrated because she wanted to feel better about herself.

The man- he just wanted to fuck, and I didn’t want to fuck him so he wanted to one-up me.

I get how the expectation of most is to be hard and to set someone straight when they come at you the wrong way.  There are a myriad of ways to approach that situation.  Some kill with daggers, some with kindness.  And still other just don’t bother with either.  I fall in this category.  Many people are jaded from their experiences.

But there’s no point in making others jaded because you are.So, the whole matter with me being dumb all comes down to much ado about nothing.

It can’t be my character flaw if you don’t capture my interest or imagination.

Today, I vacillate between laughter and feeling sad for the people who take me for a fool because in addition to me not finding them interesting, I must add to that my pity, which is ironic because in my mind, they are remembered for their foolishness, not mine.

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