Naked on the Continent

Ten years ago, on a Sunday morning that I will never forget, my cell phone started buzzing. It was about 8 in the morning. I was laying in bed with D. In another woman’s apartment. A woman that he is married to now actually and has a brand new baby with, but that’s another story for a whole other day, Right?

Anyway, my phone. Now for the youngsters, this was before smartphones were the marvel they are now. So all I knew was that I was receiving text message after text message and folks didn’t even text like that back then. I also had a ton of missed calls and my voice mail was full. I roll over to the edge of the bed and start scrolling.

I don’t recognize any of these numbers.

Full disclosure, I was a serial online dater. I kept my profile up and active on all the sites: blackpeoplemeet, Yahoo personals, match dot com. But I didn’t post my phone number anywhere, so this was just weird. So I am reading these messages that I just know have been sent to me by mistake and a phrase jumps out at me, “your post on NA.” No, not Narcotics Anonymous. NUDE AFRICA! Oh my god.

I jump out of bed with my phone and run to the bathroom. Locking the door behind me, I frantically call one of my best friends.

“Blue, wake up.” She answers the phone all groggy prepared to cuss me out. “Look I need you to get online and go on Nude Africa and see if you see some pictures of me.”

She’s trying ask questions and I’m like, just go look. She does. And while she’s looking I try and tell her why I have her on an internet mission.

That goddamn Christian Allen.

Christian Allen is a guy that I have been spending intermittent time with over the past couple years. Christian Allen is a lot of things. He is educated. He is a Kappa. He is a Mason. He has a Master’s degree. I have only ever seen him wear Polo. He is a college professor. He is the director of one in a national chain of child care centers. He is funny and worldly and a good guy. He has dark chocolate skin and long locs and pretty teeth. He cooks like a gourmet chef, loves whiskey, photography and art, smokes cigars and he impresses me almost to the point of intimidation, which is hard to do. He also weighs close to 400 lbs. So in my mid-thirties shallowness, “not my type”.

Type or not, I cannot deny that I like him. Nor that I love spending time with him. Because we talk about everything! Books, movies, TV, the world, writing, blogging, family, friends, you name it and we discuss it. There’s not a lot of sex. Just mostly me going down on him and awkward attempts at penetration that don’t work for a number of reasons but mostly because he’s too big and I’m too big and his thing is too short and the juxtaposition of all that is a lot of work. So no “doing it.” LOL

Regardless of the semi-sexless sex, he still fills a void in me somewhere. So as I am wont to do in dealings with the opposite sex, I continue to see him for months that quickly escalate into years. Amid life changes for me and job changes for him, we continue to do this little dance.

In the summer of 2008, we have a conversation about how long we’ve been dancing and whether we want to make it more than “just” what we do. In hindsight, I ask myself was I being totally honest? Nope. I never really believed in that tell-the-man-the-whole-truth thing, because I was a good pretender. I could always be anything they wanted me to be. Therefore, if this super accomplished guy, who I like but who’s never taken me out or been to my house or met my kids or knows anything about me beyond the confines of his world wanted to be with me FOR REAL? Then of course, the girl who has never been chosen is going to say, “Sure. Pick me. ” This is high IQ behavior for dummies, I know.

The other dating fatal flaw I’m dealing with at that time is that I am so insecure, I need near constant attention. And I make a concerted effort to get it everywhere and anywhere I can. So that includes online dating, lifestyle groups, men I used to date, experimenting with women and “bisexuality”, you name it, there I am begging someone to like me. There’s also the spectre of my ex, D, who was locked up for a few months and recently got released. I’m not over him and his 3 years of emotional drama and trauma either. (See the first paragraph of this story. )

Then I lost my job. I’m horribly depressed and needy. Christian Allen is damn sure not showing me enough attention, because when is enough enough? And I’m going to do what I want to do anyway. I had met a guy on one of those hook-up sites strictly for one night stands. His name was Alphonso and we talked on the phone for a few weeks. He lived in South Carolina and was from DC originally. He came to DC one weekend, picked me up, took me to his sister’s house and we had sex all night long. It was a great experience, we had breakfast, he gave me a haircut and then he brought me home.

As soon as I get in, I am on the phone with Christian because even though I have spent the night out, I’m still a good girlfriend. Don’t judge me! My girl, Blue calls. And since she is the queen of debauchery who introduced me to the site, I use call waiting to click over and fill her in on the previous night’s activity. Prince Albert piercing and all. (Google it. I’m just saying…) It’s a quick conversation and I come back to Christian who’s been waiting a few minutes.

“Hey boo, I’m back. That was Blue.”

He is uber cool all of a sudden. “So you been fucking anyone else?”

Why didn’t I feel the set up coming? “Nah,” I answer. “I told you I am trying to do this with you.”

“So how you know this nigga got a dick piercing if you didn’t fuck him?”

Well friends, your girl was busted. I had to laugh at myself because somehow instead of using call waiting on my cell, I had merged the calls between Christian and Blue. He heard my whole conversation! I felt a little bad, but shrugged it off. I mean, in my mind, hurt him before he hurts me, right?

Anyway, all of this transpired the day before waking up with D. I already told you, I NEED ATTENTION.

So we left off with me locked in this woman’s bathroom while Blue searches the Nude Africa website for any signs of my naked body parts. Suddenly she says, “Awwww Tenay.”

I’m like, “What?”

She says, “Girl. Pics of your ass, titties, YOUR FACE! And your phone number.”

You guys, I will never forget the tag line for as long as I live. You ready?

Seriously, who does that?

I mean I get that he was mad and his feelings were hurt, but it was such a violation. To take pictures that I trusted him to take of me privately and not only share them in a public forum, but attach my face and a way for strangers to contact me? I should have been angry, but I was more amused than anything. My friends though, my girls?

They were pissed. They went on a very public campaign of harassment to get him to take the pics down off the site. He stonewalled. But I kindly reminded him that his churchgoing Southern parents nor his fraternity or his job molding young impressionable minds, might not want to know that he was posting on a website forum designed for the sharing of amateur naked pictures. And he finally relented.

Ask me have I heard from him again. Go ahead and ask.

Of course I did.

And there’s more to this tale. So don’t forget Mr. Allen, but right now there are other stories to tell.

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