Thursday, July 31, 2014

M3 Bear Essentials: The Case for Open Relationships

In discussions of open relationships, many gravitate towards the perceived sexual freedom in such couplings. Though boundaries exist in any relationship and "open" does not necessarily mean "free for all" from communication, commitment or honesty when it comes to polygamous or polyamorous relationships. In this edition of M3 Bear Essentials, M3 contributors Cecil Davison, Gerald Hogan, Malcolm Travers, Trebor Senoj and Breeze Vincinz muse over and article from Ebony magazine that discusses the anatomy of open relationships as well as discuss the pitfalls and advantages of relationships that fall outside the boundaries of monogamous. (Article: The Case for Open Relationships, Ebony Magazine)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Musings of a Philosophical Bear: On Accepting Society

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living.
The world owes you nothing. It was here first."
-Mark Twain

I've had an uncomfortable thought that has haunted me most of my life. Seeing the way that people treat one another, I've come to accept the harsh truth that deep down no one really cares. I don't think the world is doomed because of our lack of compassion, but I get the real sense that the world has enough problems of its own to give a shit about mine. It's a cold thought for sure but outside of a select group of friends and family, no one really values me for who I am but only for what I can do for them. Even amongst our friends we silently calculate how much we're getting out of the relationship. If it seems too unbalanced then we bounce. There's a certain amount of despair that can come from this realization, but on the other hand it's also quite logical. No one is going to care more about what happens to you than… you. We might come to the mistaken conclusion that all we are is the sum of what we do; mirroring the attitude of the word around us, forgetting who we really are. But if we know who we are, we don't need people to care about who we are. Why? Because we are in a constant state of need. We need each other's help and if you can act out of an authentic drive and do something useful for other people, what you do can be valuable and reflect who you are at the same time.

Monday, July 28, 2014

M3 Bear Essentials: Men and Friendships

Categorically speaking, men tend to tip the scales when it comes to aggression, insensitivity and antipathy. And with the added boost of the male ego swollen with societal pressures and past indiscretions, enabling long lasting platonic relationships can be almost impossible for our gender. M3 Contributors Trebor Mwhatse-Sénoj, Gerald Hogan, Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vicninz muse over the difficulties men have with creating friendships where sex is not involved and how these hitches affect all men regardless of sexual orientation. (Article: Why Men Are Bad At Friendship)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

M3 Bear Essentials: Gay Spirituality

In an ongoing conversation about spirituality prompted by the book “Gay Spirituality” by Toby Johnson, M3 Contributors Malcolm Travers, Breeze Vincinz and special guest Ali Lopez muse over the ways sexuality can sometimes inform spiritual practices and their personal experiences that have influenced their thoughts on morality and God.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Musings of a Philosophical Bear: On Gay Spirituality

I'm almost never described as a spiritual person. Intellectual maybe, even sometimes philosophical, but my skepticism and love of science often puts me at odds with people who describe themselves as spiritual. While I don't believe in a separate realm of spiritual existence, I am quite interested in the mysteries of consciousness and the nonphysical aspects of our perceived reality. I see spirituality as our means of describing the unknown, a way to speak the language of the indescribable, our way of reaching out to the intangible nature of our existence. I consider myself philosophical and there's a great deal of overlap in those two viewpoints. I'm deeply interested in the things that spirituality teaches us about consciousness. We long to have a way to understand our subjective experiences. For many people, spirituality and religion is the way we come to grips with the mysterious aspects of our lives. The gay and lesbian experience is possibly the most misunderstood of human experiences. Some people, even some of those who are gay, still see it as a choice we make, others don't even believe in it's existence. Being gay is a blessing, yet unnecessary guilt and shame are placed on some of us who are given such an incredible gift. I hope I can shed some light on the often overlooked advantages of being gay, not  only to each of us who experiences it, but for the growth of our collective human consciousness.

Monday, July 21, 2014

M3 Bear Essentials: Is "Friends with Benefits" Healthy?

Wikipedia describes the phenomenon known as "Friends with Benefits" as a a physical and emotional relationship between two people who may have casual sex or a near-sexual relationship without necessarily demanding or expecting the extra commitments of a more formal romantic relationship.[1] Some interpret these actions as "Playing House", going through the movements of a relationship without all the accoutrements of a committed a relationship and "Booty Calls", people who you contact for the sole purpose of sexual interaction, sometimes permeate into these arrangements. But can any of it be healthy in terms of eventually finding a soul mate? M3 Contributors Vaughne Smith, Malcolm Travers, Breeze Vincinz and special guest Ali Lopez muse on modern day dating within the bear community and how beneficial and/or detrimental friends with benefits can be trying find true love. (Article: Is a "Friends With Benefits" Relationship Healthy?")

Thursday, July 17, 2014

M3 Bear Essentials: Seeking Professional Help

Seeking professional psychological help can be a daunting and humbling experience for anyone nevertheless in African American communities where it can be seen as taboo. M3 contributor Cecil Davison gives us his take on the sensitive subject of suggesting professional help for a loved one and the benefits of processing detrimental behaviors. (Article: How Do I Persuade Someone to Seek Professional Help?)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Problem with People Pleasers

“It's easy to live in the world and seek after the world's opinion; it is easy to live in solitude and seek after our own; but a great man is one who in the midst of the crowd keeps the independence of solitude.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I wrote The Problem with Assholes, I felt that I needed to discuss the opposite end of the personality continuum. I know from personal experience that there can be quite a few problems caused by trying to be too nice. When I was younger I was a “People Pleaser”. I cared way too much about what other people thought about me and it took me awhile to see how particularly destructive it can be. Nice guys aren't always People Pleasers but under certain circumstances nice guys will unconsciously try to be the type of person someone else wants them to be. It may not seem like such a destructive trait, but it can rob you of your happiness and possibly harm others when you concede to social pressures. I should say up front that these descriptions of personality traits are generalizations based on research, personal experience, and observation. They can't be applied to every specific People Pleaser. Still I hope this can be helpful for the People Pleaser in your life, especially if it happens to be you.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Introducing M3 Life: Helping The Black Bear Community Get HEALTHY

One of the great benefits of participating in the discussions provided by Male Media Mind is the opportunity to meet some great people within the Black Bear community and share different ideas, opinions and views on a myriad of subjects. This is also the perfect platform to not only discuss weight loss efforts… but to start a movement within the Black Bear community to become healthier physically, spiritually and emotionally. This is what our auxiliary group M3 Life is all about.

M3 Bear Essentials: The Slingshot Effect

An article posted on lists the mistakes good men make while trying to date. M3 contributor Breeze Vincinz attributes a lot of these mistakes to what he refers to as “The Slingshot” effect; when gay men try to pack a lifetime of dating experiences they might have missed into their very first romantic trysts. He along with fellow contributors Cecil Davison and Malcolm Travers muse on this theory as well as how seriously you should acknowledge red flags in a relationship. (Article: The Mistakes Nice Guys Make That Ruin Relationships)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

M3 Bear Essentials: Improving Communication Skills

Since the dawn of time, man has searched for newer and more effective ways to connect with one other. Unfortunately each new innovation to increase communication, the probability of miscommunication increases. What are some of the biggest mistakes you notice people make in conversations and how important is it that a person you date be a good conversationalist? M3 Contributors Gerald Hogan, Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz discuss simple tactics that could possibly improve your communication skills. (Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Problem with Assholes

Why are some people so disagreeable that they present a problem for everyone they interact with? Why don't the legitimate complaints of other people curtail their outrageous behavior? In this article I hope to describe assholes to the best of my knowledge and give you some strategies for how to deal with them. I should give one disclaimer up front, human behavior varies hugely with context. Different situations might bring out the asshole in someone who is really nice and vice versa. Keep in mind these are generalizations and will not always apply to every specific instance or situation. That being said, I hope this line of reasoning about personality will be helpful.

Monday, July 7, 2014

M3 Bear Essentials: Are Women in Denial about DL Men?

Media personality Wendy Williams recently made comments on her popular television talk show The Wendy Williams Show about women who date and/or marry men on the "Down Low". Though there were many subjects that were brought up in her show, the salient question that she presented was are women who enter into relationships with men who are on the DL in denial of their partner's sexuality. M3 Contributors Cecil Davison, Gerald Hogan, Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz along with special guest King Quinno muse on the topic of the often labyrinthine and misunderstood relationships women enter into with DL men. 

(Wendy Williams thoughts on closeted men:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

M3 Bear Essentials: Fat Objectification - The Miseducation of the Chubby Chaser (w/ King Quinno)

Finding true love can be tough for anybody regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation. But the path to true love for Bears, particularly Bears of color, can be an arduous one to say the least. And while the attention given by "Chasers" is appreciated, when does that admiration seep over into objectification? Should Bears always "settle" for Chasers because esteem issues and society dictates that those are the only options? And with some Chasers specifically seeking to take advantage of Bears with self esteem and body image issues, how can you weed out the good ones from the predators? M3 Contributors Cecil Davison, Malcolm Travers, and Breeze Vincinz along with special guest King Quinno discuss the often perilous task of dating within the Bear community. (Article: "I'm About To Get Objectified, And It's Going To Be Awesome!" 
by Marcus Escritos

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Musings of a Philosophical Bear: On Drugs and Consciousness


I have an intense interest in the mind, the way substances can change consciousness, the dualist view of body and soul, and in the way addiction and free will interact. One view that most of us believe is that we are spiritual beings with a temporary physical experience, yet on a daily basis we can easily alter our personalities with physical substances. We often claim to have a nonphysical immortal soul, but in the next breath will readily admit that a physical injury, especially one to the brain, can change the very essence of who we are. We experience life as the intentional authors of our thoughts and actions, yet on a daily basis we think and do things against our own self interests. Drug use and addiction lie at the intersection of many philosophical questions of what it means to be human. Stories that include compelling and realistic depictions of drug abuse always seem to fascinate me. It's painful to watch a person methodically destroy himself yet we ask why, shake our heads, and continue to struggle with our own vices. It's a phenomenon that has touched the majority of our lives, yet we rarely stop to ask ourselves the question “why”? It's a contradiction of our lived experience; challenging our most valued beliefs and opening up a discussion about the confounding nature of consciousness itself.