In a long term relationship (10+ years) do you think it's fair for one or both partners to be curious about what it would be like to have additional sexual partners and should their be boundaries in other for that curiosity to not manifest itself? Male Media Mind Contributors Malcolm Travers, JaWon Blackmon, Gerald Hogan, Clinton Jolliffi and Breeze Vincinz discuss the different levels of importance in which couples weigh monogamy.
An article published in the Huffington Post makes the the delineation that No Strings Attached (NSA) relationships can bleed over to the way that we manage other relationships in our lives such as creating friendships with no sense of depth or loyalty. Male Media Mind Contributors Malcolm Travers, JaWon Blackmon, Gerald Hogan, Clinton Jolliffi and Breeze Vincinz discuss perils of maintaining long term friendships and gay mens' sometimes predilection for creating hollow friendships for the sake of appearance.
It's amazing just how attuned we as gay men can be to the slightest insults from one another, and yet, we have no awareness of the hurtful things we say to ourselves. Having posted plenty of innocent remarks online that are mistakenly interpreted as shade, I often find that these same individuals are in fact magnets for insults because they are saying horrible things about themselves in their internal monologue. As a writer and discussion leader I'm always looking for ways to empower and encourage complete strangers in the same way I would speak to a friend, but when it comes time to publish those videos and articles, I'm always my worse critic. Each time I publish I imagine it to be the post where everyone realizes just how crazy or stupid I really am. It came to the point where I had to distrust my own opinion and leave it up to others to provide me positive feedback. I have come a long way since then, and I’ve found some interesting strategies in fighting my negative self-talk over the last two years. I want to share with you a few of the things I’ve learned.
If you post your picture on the internet, are you in essence giving your consent for it to be re-posted? And when does personal responsibility come in to play if those re-posted pictures have detrimental effects to your personal and/or professional life? M3 Contributors Ja'Won Balckmon, Malcolm Travers, Breeze Vincinz along with special guest Ali Lopez weigh in on the etiquette, social protocol and consequences of posting personal information online.
This article started with several #M3HotTopics dealing with exes and talking about it in our weekly hangout. It was interesting to hear how different people answered the questions, and it got me to think about how we approach our past relationships and the people we once called lovers. Some of us can’t be friends with an ex while others wouldn’t give it a second thought. Some wouldn’t let a friend date an ex while others would wish them well. No one seems to have a consensus on how to feel about our past relationships. What all these different answers led me to realize is that we each must navigate the complicated emotional landscape of our former relationships in our own way. While I can't make that journey less difficult, I hope that this article can shed some light on the possible peaks and pitfalls of such tricky terrain.
How has HIV/AIDS effected your dating life and/or sexual practices? Although new, innovative treatments are available to manage HIV infection, the best defense is to not acquire the virus at all. As of 2014, over one million US citizens are living with HIV with one in six unaware of their infection. We here at Male Media Mind are dedicated to unifying the Black Bear community through Dialogue, Insight, Creativity and Knowledge and as we commiserate the 27th Annual World AIDS Day, M3 Contributors Trebor Senoj, Vaughne Smith, Ja'Won Blackmon, Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz discuss their relationship with HIV/AIDS and how it has impacted their lives and we encourage everyone to have conversations about HIV/AIDS among your circles, acknowledge our brothers, sisters, father, mothers, sons, daughters, friends and lovers whom we have lost to the disease, support those still in the struggle AND TO GET TESTED REGULARLY.
Can you be friends with an ex that you are still attracted to and how much does physical attraction play into your friendships and relationships? M3 Contributors Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz discuss the different ways physical attraction can sometimes blurry our judgments and how Breeze refuses to be part of the group of the people who puts style over substance that he affectionately calls the "Beauty Illuminati".
I took a certain offense when New York film critic Armond White labelled Steve McQueen’s film adaptation of Solomon Northup’s “12 Years A Slave” as torture porn . My assumption was that the film, which received such high praise from the majority of other critics, starred one of my favorite actors Chiwetwl Ejiofor and put forth an effort to discuss a part of American history that is usually overlooked, maligned and misunderstood, was predestined to receive the highest of accolades and respect, particularly from African American audiences. This was, however, before I actually saw the film and found myself uncomfortably bored at yet another impotent effort to shed light on a sensitive subject by combining highly provocative images in hopes that their high incendiary level alone would substitute for plot, character or discussion. By the time the end credits rolled, my arms were as tightly crossed as they were when the opening credits appeared, and as I observed other movie goers in the audience wiping tears from their eyes from what they found to be a moving dissertation on American Chattel Slavery, I just replayed the images of anonymous black skinned caricatures in different states of extreme dismay that I had the displeasure of experiencing for over two hours and whispered to myself, “When will my life as a Black Man be seen as an intentional spiritual presence and not simply as a metaphor, a joke or a threat?”
Conversations regarding sexual abuse can be incendiary endeavors. And when those conversations involve beloved people in the public eye, the conversation can become even more combustible. M3 Contributors, Gerald Hogan, Ja'Won Blackmon, Clinton Joliffi,Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz conciliatorily discuss the recent accusations of sexual misconduct by renowned television actor Bill Cosby, the motivations of survivors of sexual abuse and the pathways for all involved to recover.
We recently asked via our #M3HotTopic,"Have you ever been with a partner who has wanted sex to often? What advice would you give to someone who feels pressured to put out more often?" Considering the wide spectrum of answers that we received from our followers, it's clear there is no blanket response that answers the questions for everyone. M3 Contributors Gerald Hogan,Ja'Won Blackmon,Malcolm Travers,Breeze Vincinz and special guest Clinton Jolliffi discuss when our own male hyper-sexuality comes back to haunt us at the most inconvenient times.
Before coming out of the closet, how strong was your antipathy against all things feminine and/or homosexual and how did your religious upbringing contribute to those aversions? Male Media Mind Contributors Gerald Hogan, Ja’won Balckmon, Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz discuss the YouTube video filmed at the 2014 COGIC (Church of God In Christ) Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Missouri that has gone viral where 21 year old Andrew Caldwell proclaimed “I’m not gat no mare, I am delivered!” and their own self repulsions during their journey of self-acceptance.
#M3HotTopic was developed to procure big answers from small questions
with pictures of hot guys. One particular #M3HotTopic proposed, "Have you ever had to live with an ex after a breakup? How did you both get through it?" M3 Contributors Ja'Won Blackmon, Malcolm Travers, Vaughne Smith and Breeze Vincinz fields answers given by our audience while pondering the decisions they have made in the past when confronted with this situation.
Coming out is both a political and personal issue facing our community. It’s political because the more people who are out about their sexuality, the harder it is to stereotype and discriminate against gay people. It’s a personal issue because each has to live the consequences of their sexuality being known by the people around them. I know that being out has been one of the best experiences for me. There was a time when I was very uncomfortable telling people that I was gay. I was lucky that I was never conflicted about my sexuality because it would have complicated matters even more. I knew I was gay from a very young age, and while I didn’t have a name for it until my teenage years, I didn’t have to question it like so many people do. Some of us even go as far as believing that they had some sort of choice in the matter. I suppose that’s their experience and they have a right to it, but all the evidence from the experiences recorded in sociological research and medical documentation suggests that sexuality is assigned at birth, or a very early age, and is not chosen. And while sexuality is a huge part of who we are, it’s not the only part that matters. I feel like a lot of people choose to stay in the closet because they don’t want that aspect of themselves overshadowing their other qualities. I understand that inclination, but I want to propose a positive argument for why it’s important to take that risk because the benefits far outweigh the possible negative consequences.
#M3HotTopic was developed to procure big answers from small questions with hot guys. One particular #M3HotTopic proposed, "Does social media cause problems in relationships and if so, explain a scenario as an example?" While the question provided a myriad of answers from our audience, social media does seem to have a succinct place in the romantic lives of modern day singles. M3 Contributors Ja'Won Blackmon, Malcolm Travers, Vaughne Smith and Breeze Vincinz discuss the highways and byways of new millennium dating and how social media platforms can sometimes provide detours to matrimonial bliss or emotional devastation.
Queerty recently posted the article Don’t Be That Gay: The 10 Most Obnoxious Types Of Homosexual that gives a humorously truthful look at some of the stereotypes gay men often find ourselves emulating. M3 Contributors Ja'Won Blackmon, Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz along with special guest Clinton Jolliffi talk about their experiences with embodying, combating and interacting with different types of homosexual archetypes.
Breeze posted a video of a dark-skinned man who had is eyes permanently changed to a bright ice blue. He had an eye lightening surgery. The video sparked quite a controversy on his Facebook timeline. The thread quickly turned into a discussion about black people trying to look more like white people and the heavy cost of assimilation. Note that the surgery isn’t approved within the United States, and the subject in the video had to fly to India to have the procedure done. Also note that he’ll probably have to have several followup procedures during his lifetime all of which place him at risk of damaging or completely destroying his eyesight. As someone who would kill to have perfect vision I had to ask, what motivation would be so strong as to make someone want to take that sort of risk?
Wikipedia describes Nerd as a descriptive term often used pejoratively that indicates that a person is overly intellectual, obsessive, or socially impaired. And while many nerds have classically been on the outskirts of mainstream society, certain aspects of modern "nerd culture" have adopted some of the prejudicial tropes that it once was diametrically opposed to. M3 Contributors Ja'Won Blackmon, Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz along with special guest Clifton Jolliffi discuss their impressions of nerd, nerd culture and it's burgeoning presence in mainstream society.
Gayguys.com recently posted an article by a blogger named "Stevie" that detailed twenty reasons he feels it sucks to be a gay Black Man. When we reposted the article to our social media sites the responses varied from slight disgust to outrage as people questioned the author's intelligence, experience and even ethnic makeup. M3 Contributors Ja'Won Blackmon,Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz along with special guest Clinton Jolliffi continue the conversation about the trials and tribulations of being the only minority in social circles.
I remember a somewhat quixotic dialogue regarding the feminization of the black man that rumbled through the halls of bourgeoisie Negroes that was instigated by the phenomenal success of Tyler Perry and his Mabel “Madea” Simmons character. I have been privy to more than a few discussions on how the image of a Black man in a dress is nothing more than the latest “coon” paradigm for the new millennium. Dave Chapelle briefly commented about his reluctance to wear a dress on the now defunct Oprah Winfrey show and I imagine that’s what initially sparked the concept. Soon afterwards, “Madea’s Family Reunion” was released and subsequently soared to the top of the box office; and keeping in rhyme with the “Playa Hata” society that America is, the fall-out appeared soon afterwards. I say Playa Hata because you have to keep in mind; this dialogue was never as prominent when Flip Wilson, Wesley Snipes, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, Ving Rhames or Arsenio Hall donned feminine attire for their cinematic roles. Nor was it even a consideration when Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier fully epitomized the effeminate man with their “Men on Film” skits for “In Living Color”. It strikes me odd that when a Black man in a dress hit’s box office gold that discussions regarding the feminization of the Black man arises. To try and pull the full heap of effeminate Black male images and its negative attributes onto Tyler Perry’s shoulders was just lazy and irresponsible. Particularly when we still have this need to continue this witch hunt in discovering what exactly is decimating the concept of black unity and revolution in the new millennium... burning a cross on Tyler Perry’s lawn just isn’t going to solve the problem. And even in our own Black LGBT communities we have a tendency to shun, demoralize and excommunicate highly effeminate men from our social circles, all of which begs the question, “When did a guy in a dress become so goddamn threatening?”
I’m often posting in social media for Male Media Mind, promoting discussions to raise the consciousness of our community, meeting new people in the process, often having a good time just observing how people behave. I’ll inevitably encounter a post about someone being thirsty, or how everyone is a hoe, or disparaging the entire community for their sexual behavior. I can understand this from an outsider, but this is almost always from an active participant of the community. Many of these groups feature men looking to meet other men, presumably for a date or a connection that could lead to one. There are usually lots of hot selfies of cute guys in different stages of undress, seemingly bored and lonely, looking for some form of human connection. Even if that connection is not explicitly sexual, the connotation is to promote availability. I get that we’re going to have an opinion about all of these posts, but what I don’t get is why those opinions are so universally negative. It seems that we’re fine with being sexual, but as soon as we see someone else doing it, we condemn them as thirsty hoes desperate for dick. Why is that?
Male Media Mind compatriot Ali Lopez recently had a conversation with the promoters of a website that showcases provocative pictures of various men within the Bear community. When asked about expanding the racial diversity of the models chosen, it was expressed that any social advocacy objectives would trumped by the original intention of fiscal gain, that promoting Bear models of color, specifically African Americans, would not prolong their financial stability since in their experience their audience is unperceptive to Black men. M3 Contributors Malcolm Travers, Gerald Hogan and Breeze Vincinz discuss their impressions of the often exclusionary practices of the Bear community and the validity of African Americans splintering off into the subset commonly know nas "Big Bois."
The battle of the bulge has been a long and dreary fight for the millennium and with studies showing that the majority of diet plans having a fail rate upwards of 95%, the war continues on. M3 Contributors Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz discuss their successes and failures using Weight Watchers for lifetime weight management while Gerald Hogan discusses his issues surround his own body image.
No matter how diligently we attend to the clarity and precision of our language, the meaning of our words can and will be misunderstood. Those times can be frustrating. Consider the many arguments, the times when friends were hurt, and relationships shattered because someone thought you to be insensitive or something or someone other than who or what you are. I'm a rather kind individual, slow to anger and eager to please, and I don't know how many times I've had to apologize to others for hurting their feelings. Words can hurt far more often than we intend, but it doesn't mean that we should stop trying to be vigilant in our attempts to be compassionate.
Have you ever had to deal with workplace discrimination due to your sexuality? The M3 contributors discuss two articles dealing with the workplace discrimination and we talk about what you might do if you find yourself in that situation.
I was talking with a really good, head strong friend of mine recently who was describing his feelings towards a mutual associate. He felt he couldn’t truly verbalize the full gamut of his emotions towards this individual but in the very least he knew that what he felt was not warm or fraternal. I suggested that maybe he’s a little envious to wit he replied,
“I don’t know, other people have told me about that but I wouldn’t know, I’ve never been jealous of anything in my entire life.”
Which struck me a little odd.
Every once in awhile the subject of jealousy will come up and he will constantly say, “I don’t like to use that word”.
Which is just fucking funny to me... jealousy as profanity. But it did get me to thinking about its place in my own life. As much as it is profane in my friend’s household, it is quite the adornment in my own.
Are you guilty detailing too much information about your personal life on social media platforms? And if those platforms were made to provoke conversation, when and where are the lines drawn between openness and overexposure? M3 Contributors Malcolm Travers, Gerald Hogan and Ja'Won Blackmon discuss the article "Private Goes Public" by fellow contributor Breeze Vincinz that touches on the freedoms, judgments and consequences of overexposing yourself on public forums.
There's an old joke. What's the best thing about having sex with twenty eight years olds? The answer, there are twenty of them. Another. What's the most confusing day in Harlem? Answer, Fathers' Day. One more. What's faster than a Mexican running with your TV? Answer, his brother with the DVD player. Comedians through the ages have mined the top soil of a polite society's political correctness to get to the sweet loam of our carnal desires, fears and anxieties. And while exposing those commonly hidden tenets to the light of day can be both therapeutic and comedic, there is no denying that the wrong drill, put in the wrong piece of earth at the wrong time can have catastrophic results. Say for example, making a joke about having sex with children around incest survivors or a joke demeaning African American fathers told by a non Black in a climate already highly critical about Black parenthood or a joke about Latino crime to a community so plagued with stigma and misinformation that it has fueled citizenship debates on a federal level. It's not necessarily a circumstance of, "knowing your audience" but rather knowing what your intentions are and realizing that questionable comments are not always going to be easily hidden under the umbrella of "these are just jokes" or "I have a wicked sense of humor" or "I'm just a comedian". And while a receptive audience knowledgeable of the context of provocative humor can definitely help in landing the punch lines of a good off color joke, sometimes they just punch wrong color. And sometimes, as in the case of Michael Richards, that color punches back.
We’re not all meant to be in monogamous relationships, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find love and commitment if that is what we want. I chose to be in several non-monogamous relationships in the past and was quite happy with the arrangement. I’ve written glowingly about non-monogamy for MaleMediaMind before. Now that I’m in a monogamous relationship, I have a responsibility to explain why I, as a strong advocate for non-monogamous couples, would choose to be in a monogamous relationship. It’s not that I’ve changed my mind about non-monogamy. After having a series of rational discussions about it with my partner, monogamy seemed to be the best choice for us.
Monogamy is one of those issues that seems to get people angry on both sides. I can feel the tension when I talk about it in the hangouts and in the comment threads of articles I’ve written and posted. Those who were monogamous seemed to feel like their choices were being criticized as old fashioned and naive, while those who were non-monogamous seemed to have their relationships called into question as friendships with sex rather than real relationships complete with love and commitment. I seemed to be somewhere in the middle of any discussion, arguing that while monogamy works for the majority of people in relationships, it shouldn’t be the default position for everyone. I feel there should always be an explicit conversation about each other’s needs for sex, variety, and security. If more people did this, even those who choose monogamy, their would be more satisfaction in relationships.
#M3HotTopic: Each week we post a number of hot topics on social media to get people talking. M3 contributors Malcolm Travers, Vaugne Smith, Gerald Smith and Ja'Won Blackmon weigh in on current trending topics such as Long Distance Relationships, grey hair on men, inappropriate erections and their thoughts on the leather scene.
One of the defining characteristics of Generation X is that we have the anomalous distinction of being able to not only accurately recall a life before the information highway kicked into high gear, but to also be cognizant enough to navigate technologies that are able to process a constellation's amount of information within a baby's breath amount of time. My mother, innocently enough, thinks a tweet is a modern-day euphemism for a vagina while my nephews and grandnephews have no idea what a Sony Walkman, rotary phone or dial tone is. Having one hand on my record player that still plays my Suzanne Vega 45 rpm vinyl records and another hand downloading the 25 billion songs available on iTunes, I do have a tendency to swoon at the prospect of acknowledging, managing and utilizing the vast amount of technology available while still emotionally tethered to the comparably plebeian ideologies of yesteryear. This definitely comes in to play when I'm involved in conversations regarding how different technological tools have corrupted friendships, marriages and sometimes even jobs.
When I was younger, I didn’t really know what it meant to be in a relationship. At the time, I had some ideas and I was certain that I did know, but the reality of being in a relationship is incrementally better (and worse) than I thought. I felt I was always a fairly mature young man but few things can prepare you for a relationships like the experience of heartbreak. It is the manifestation of your worst fears and a shattering of how you thought the world worked (or should work). And despite the fact that it will never be the way you wanted it to be, life does goes on. It takes a while to come to grips with this and even longer to come to find that life is better than your fantasies and expectations could have made it. I feel like it could be helpful to share some of the lessons I’ve learned from having my fears come to life and surviving them.
Male Media Mind enthusiast Terrard Robinson dropped us a line on Instagram musing on the dubiously racist and classist social aspects of the gay bear community, an issue that not only have we addressed in prior forums but one that the Manhattan Digest examined, identifying that while many Bear-centric organizations and media outlets view their exclusionary practices as socially acceptable aesthetic choices reflecting the needs of an all-white Bear community, the constituency that finds these practices offensive, racist and antithetical to goal of creating "community" is growing. M3 contributors Malcolm Travers, Gerald Hogan, Vaughne Smith and Breeze Vincinz discuss the racial divide within the Gay Bear community and ways to open up the lines of communication.
Esquire Magazine recently posted their suggestions for 25
ways that men can be more handsome. But one man's moisturizer can be another
bear's tenderizer. M3 Contributors JaWon Blackmon, Gerald Hogan, Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz give their personal grooming recommendations for the
modern Black Bear. What type of manscaping do you undergo to keep yourself
looking your best?
When famous people get away with committing crimes, not only does it is set a bad example it can also result in creating public policy. Does society have a double standard for violence when it is committed by women and what sort of public policies should be in place to reduce the negative effects created by such public cases? M3 Contributors Gerald Hogan, Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz discuss these issues as well the double standards that sometimes apply when addressing issues surrounding domestic violence.
Does being handy make you more or less masculine. Is there such a thing as masculinity. Is it arbitrary or does it have it's roots in biology? The M3 contributors Malcolm Travers, Gerald Hogan and Breeze Vincinz discuss how handiness relates to masculinity and how we have a tendency to want to rank masculinity higher than femininity.
An article penned by Elite Daily details what they feel are the nine signs you know you can trust someone. But what is the extent of that trust and are there truly fail safe signs that can predict someone's trustworthiness? M3 Contributors Malcolm Travers, James Butler, Ja'Won Blackmon, Gerald Hogan and Breeze Vincinz discuss how they define trust within their own personal relationships and how they determine someone's trustworthiness.
A study out of University of Toronto revealed that thinking our romantic relationships are “meant to be” can be damaging to the way we feel about each other. Results of the study indicate that thinking of a relationship as a perfect unity (researchers used terms such as “made for each other” or “my other half”) as opposed to a journey to be taken together can negatively impact the way we evaluate our romantic partnership. M3 contributors Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz discuss the aspects of finding your soulmate and the pitfalls of trying to find solace in a relationship that you can not find within yourself.
Men, particularly men of color and men of a certain size, shy away from discussions of emotional abuse despite the fact that anyone regardless of size, color or age is susceptible to heart break, disappointment and emotional manipulation. M3 Contributors, Ja'Won Blackmon, Trebor Senoj, Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz discuss the their personal experiences with emotional abuse and symptoms of emotionally abusive relationships.
Our newly formed extension of MaleMediaMind M3Life is dedicated to helping the Black Bear community get healthier physically, mentally and emotionally. With the recent untimely suicide of beloved father, actor and comedian Robin Williams, the media has been inundated with articles relating to depression, suicide and mental illness including an insightful article by Margarita Tartalovsky, M.S. that details the nine things to not say to someone with mental illness. M3 Contributors Cecil Davison, Trebor Senoj, Malcolm Travers, Ja'Won Blackmon and Breeze Vincinz discuss the differences between depression, sadness and tactful ways to provide assistance when someone approaches you in need.
1. What is your full name? Do you have a nickname no one calls you anymore?
Ja’Won Tavarus Blackmon. No I have way too many nicknames among several groups of people I know.
2. If given the choice of any person alive or dead with whom would you want over to dinner as a guest? Why?
Michael Jai White, simply because this man is a very successful actor and multi-skilled martial artist there hasn’t been a movie he’s appeared in that I haven’t liked and he knows just how to give a performance whether its action packed or drama filled.
It has been an exhausting sixteen years since I made the move from the “Windy City” to “The Land of Angeles” and one of the many cultural shifts I remember experiencing, outside of early closing nightclubs/bars, the lack of cohesive seasons and a questionable public transportation system, is the wide amount of ethnic ingredients that make up the our collective melting pot of races. Not that Chicago is even remotely ethnically monolithic but even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commented on the astoundingly stringent level of segregation that exists in the city and my own experiences echoed the sentiment whereas opportunities to experience true multiculturalism where either mocked or frowned upon. Now Los Angeles is not immune to issues dealing with inequality and racism but with Los Angeles County containing 4.9 million Hispanics, or 9% of the nation’s Hispanic populations , discussions of bigotry become more multi-textural and not so Black and White. The same is true when discussing interracial dating whereas the seas of beautiful people expand far beyond the “Two-Tiered” system of Black and White racial compatibility.
M3 contributor Malcolm Travers posts daily “Hot Topic” questions on our social media platforms that pose humorous yet insightful
questions specific to the LGBT community alongside pictures of some of the finest
men that dare to wear baby oil as clothing. Malcolm along with contributors Ja’WonBlackmon and Breeze Vincinz discuss some of our more popular Hot Topics: gay
men and hygiene, favorite workout regimens, how important is it that your man
knows how to cook and playing hard to get.