NEW Xem VanAdams Poem + Video

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MEAN BOYS: 5 To A Table & You Cant Sit With Us

written by Xem VanAdams
July 2014.

We are too attractive to speak first
consumed by our ill created selves,
complacent in the short, shelf lives of our faux legacies
Everything to show but nothing to tell.

Dilapidated delusions of grandeur
for we are better than you,
intertwined like old furls of a chain link fence
arrogant, catty and rude.

We are the mean boys, the A-Listers
obsessed with being fashionable and fab.
You are nothing more than a relative unknown,
NO muscles, NO coins, NO swag.

College degrees led to our suit and tie jobs,
with benefits and paid vacations.
A white house internship and personal checks from our fathers
secured our fraternity affiliations.

You will never have it as good as we do.
Watch as we reach heights you’ve never dreamed of.
erase your baroque fantasies of success and super stardom,
as we snatch them with our selfish stained gloves.

We are the mean boys, the chosen few,
without a speck of sentimentality.
Trading friendship for adoration, family for public acceptance,
caught in our own tangled reality.

Ten thousand instagram followers each,
from every major city we could mention.
And all we had to do was pose half-naked under the spotlight,
to get you to vie for our attention.

You and your friends are of dark complexions.
How do you expect to compete in our world like that?
We already stand several steps ahead of you
since we are light, mocha-colored and only half-black.

You’re right, race IS still an issue.
that you everyday people are fighting to change.
But we’d rather focus on crossing the upper class lines,
and winning the social status game.

We breathe an air of superiority,
Inhaling public praise for validation
reminding you that you’ll never be good enough
by comparison; brought up in every conversation.

We are the mean boys. True to form.
Escaping wounds of adolescence still unraveled,
forgetting our pasts have a way of reeling us back in…
no matter how far we travel.

BUT I DON’T CARE.

Stand in the corner and face the wall.
Cry, exhale if you must.
But the table is set with only room for five,
and you still can not sit with us.

MEAN BOYS: 5 To A Table & You Can’t Sit With Us

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Two weeks ago, I attended a day party in Washington, DC. Hosted on the bottom level of a four-story, nightclub and restaurant called Park at Fourteenth, the event catered to the men of the greater DMV area. It was a summer, Sunday evening. I had not shown my face at any of the recent gatherings, but I could feel the night’s sweet promise piercing through the humidity of the dry season. When I first arrived, I immediately noticed the contemporary décor that accented the venue. Glass walls framed the building as so patrons could see outside without inhaling the thick, crumpled air. Chandeliers dangled above our heads as high-rises of the Northeast district towered among the trees. The place was packed. I knew what to expect. I crossed the hardwood foyer that connected the main bar and lounge area to the open space where top 40 music blared from the loud speakers. The room was split down the center. Half of the party crowd was standing on one side, enclosed with a red-brick wall. The other half of the partygoers spread along the mocha-colored sofas and lounge tables that lined the floor to ceiling windows. The setup forced me and every other attendee to enter the tangled area by climbing through acres of distant attitudes. Immediately, a shadow was thrown on the evening.

Everyone’s eyes would turn towards the entryway to size up who was the most fashionable and fabulous amongst this gathering of everyday people. We were all on display. I spoke to those I recognized and shook hands or half-hugged those who recognized me. Already sweating from the combination of too many bodies piled in one location and several sips of my cranberry with vodka cocktail, I positioned myself on the relative cooler side of the room. Despite the music that seemed to muffle the shrill judgments in the air, this day party wasn’t designed for dancing. I sat beside one of my friends along an open window. I carefully watched as twenty and thirty-something’s played their social positions with the precision of professional, MEAN BOYS.

Whenever a large group of men are gathered together in a common space, the strength and weaknesses of their individual personalities are going to take center stage. The mean boys will huddle together like old furls of a chain link fence, while the other guys often curl up between corner walls and specks of their own inferior complexes. It’s human nature. The mean boys are conscious in their efforts to maintain a clear divide between themselves and those who don’t physically or socially fit into baroque fantasies of A-List glamour or local stardom. The mean boys are straightforward in efforts to climb ladders that reach heights undreamed of by those who were never popular and often made to feel unworthy.

Mean Boys come in five different forms and I witnessed them all in action as I sipped my drink from the sidelines of the Park at Fourteenth.

THE ELITIST – Often a college graduate who holds more than one degree, the ‘elitist’ wears his accomplishments on the sleeves of his tailored suits. He is usually the leader amongst his social circle and is hell bent on not allowing ‘outsiders’ to enter into his group. He constantly brags about his white house internship, three story townhome and fraternity affiliations. If he doesn’t know you personally, he will only greet you with a forced, half smile. He determines the position you play in his life by your credit score and has fooled himself into believing that his bank funds outweigh friendship. WHAT THIS MEAN BOY DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW is that he comes from very humble beginnings. The value he places on things stems from the fact that he may not have had many tangible items as a child. He grew up simply trying to survive and he fears ever having to return to that unhappy place.

THE MUSCLE KWEEN – You absolutely must have a gym membership and workout six days each week in order to hangout with him. He doesn’t speak to or associate with too many other men who don’t lift weights on a regular basis. Every single photo he posts on Instagram or Facebook is shirtless or otherwise, half naked. His only topic of conversation revolves around eating protein and pumping iron. He determines your value in his life by the percentage of fat you have on your body. WHAT THIS MEAN BOY DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW is that he used to be teased for being too fat or extremely thin. His developed biceps and chiseled abs double as middle fingers in the faces of everyone who ignored him in high school. He doesn’t consider himself to be very intelligent or physically attractive in the face. As a result, he shows off his body as a way of garnering the attention he assumes he wouldn’t receive if he didn’t have muscles.

THE LIGHT BRIGHT – This particular mean boy constantly brags about being half-black, half-puerto rican, half-this or half-that. His self-pride is defined between the hues of his red, yellow or pink complexion. Even if he isn’t mixed, he lies publicly and says that he is. The ‘light bright’ only dates others who mirror his physical attributes, as he solely creates friendships with those who could pass as his twin brother or first cousin. He dares not to speak first in a social setting, even if he recognizes your face or if the two of you have been introduced on previous occasions. He’s arrogant and ‘too cute’ to be bothered with anyone who isn’t also considered to be conventionally attractive. WHAT THIS MEAN BOY DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW is that no one he has loved or fallen for has ever taken him seriously. His happiness is directly associated with the surface compliments he receives from strangers. He has always been treated as a sexual object, and doesn’t know how to break the cycle.

THE SOCIAL CLIMBER – He will water himself down or play himself up to be liked and accepted by those he considers to be the crème de la crème. He purchases his online followers to validate his position amongst individuals who are seemingly well known and highly regarded. He doesn’t care that the ‘elite’ company he keeps will swallow his identity. Often times, the ‘social climber’ uses whatever real skills or talents he may possess to lure the attention of people he wishes to befriend. He basically makes himself an asset. He offers to design your party flyers for free if you are a promoter or he agrees to work as your volunteer assistant if you are an upcoming rapper, radio host, reality star or blogger. This particular mean boy values individuals strictly based upon the number of people that are following them on Instagram. He only wants to be associated and photographed with people who can aid in his plight to rise to the top of the social ladder. WHAT THIS MEAN BOY DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW is that he is aware of the fact that he has the potential to be successful without riding someone else’s coattail. However, public notoriety has become more important to him than personal growth and maturation.

THE INTERNET CELEB – He is the first one to say, ‘unfollow me if you don’t like my posts’, but checks his follower count every three and a half minutes. The internet celeb feels entitled to public praise and attention. This particular mean boy intentionally ignores his social media comments and hardly ever replies to his supporters. This is his way of maintaining pseudo celeb status. He definitely considers everyone to be one of his ‘fans’ and treats them accordingly. He has booking information listed in his online bio with aspirations to do nothing more than host rooftop and nightclub parties. His notoriety on the World Wide Web is usually based on fluff content and sloshy pictures. If you do not idolize him or have some form of popular, internet platform as well, he will not associate with you publicly. However, WHAT THIS MEAN BOY DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW is that very little of what he says or does online is a true reflection of the life he lives once his computer shuts down.

Mean Boys exist in many different facets and forms. Often times, their individual fight to remain at the center of certain social circles is based upon the voids that have been left by past experiences. Sometimes, it takes these men years to realize that no matter what we do or how far we travel, life will always reel us back in to who we are at the core. Mean Boys consciously and subconsciously mistreat others in an effort to avoid having their created selves decoded. It’s an unspoken yearning to experience a shelf life that somehow makes a lasting impression on thousands or millions of people.

Most mean boys don’t care who is hurt or disappointed in their plight to leave a surface legacy, for as long as their names reign supreme amongst the …’others’.

Dear Summer, …Bathe Me In Air With No Conditions

 

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Dear Summer,

Bathe me in air that has no social, political or financial conditions. I want to feel free. I just want to go on more adventures, be around artistic energy, connect with creative people, learn new things about life and grow. For the first time in six years, I want to taste the sweet fruits of my labor. Last year, if you remember, I wasted a lot of the time that you and I spent together. Instead of utilizing the space you gave me to develop new ideas or create colorful content, I wallowed in the routine of ‘woe is me’. I sat in your face each day and complained about what you were not doing for me, when I should have been taking advantage of the resources you had already placed in my reach. There was even a moment when I completely turned my back on you and refused to accept your favors. How they looked to me up close and personal wasn’t at all the way I envisioned them to be in my head. You allowed me to be selfish and ungrateful in those moments. However, you also refused to gift me with anything new until I showed appreciation for everything I had already unwrapped. I thank you for it. I learned that you cannot and will not move me to the next phase of my journey until I’ve mastered the tools, completed the tasks, aided the people and conquered the fears associated with each level of life.

Here I am Summer, another year later. Since you and I last met face to face, I accepted and faced the challenges you gave to your sisters to hand down to me. Fall forced me to open my heart to a complete stranger who I met online. I thought he was going to become my new love interest after I left my number beneath one of his Instagram pics. You knew all along that his purpose was merely to reignite my artistic passion; an ability to create fictitious plot lines that parallel real life situations. I kept telling the universe that I hated talking on the phone. As a result, it became increasingly difficult for me to build new relationships with other people. My guards had been up for so long, that my fists were blocking new friendships, associations and romantic love from reaching my heart. Fall challenged me with a new sense of vulnerability. For the first time in years, I was able to experience that familiar connection with someone from a distance. Though he and I never met face to face, Fall allowed my emotions to paint a story that affected the lives of many others, ‘boi inv sible: No Miracle On Monday’. I wrote and for the first time, voiced a coming-of-age tale about a sixteen year old boy named Isaiah. In a single day, Isaiah was confronted with deep rooted insecurities regarding his race, class, gender, sexuality and body image. The creation of ‘boi inv sible’ allowed me to find my voice again in front of the camera, as well as through the written word.

By the time Winter unpacked her bags on my front step, I had already been introduced to the three people who were chosen to help me meet this new challenge. I had not regularly stepped outside of my creative, comfort zone at the start of this New Year. As a result, Winter challenged me to practice a skill that she knows I’ll need in order to be successful in the next phase of my journey. Using resources that had already played a huge role in my public, online platform, Winter encouraged me to interview other people. She told me that the universe needed to see how well I could engage with individuals sitting alongside me on camera. I needed the practice of asking questions and controlling a conversation that had little to do with my personal experiences. Winter felt that I had already proven I could captivate an audience on my own merit. In due part to the fact that I was asking the universe to bless me with a television platform, I had to demonstrate an ability to use my present resources in a TV-esque manner. Winter intentionally created two practice sessions that would draw incredible attention to my brand, but would force me to see success, as well as shortcomings.

In a video release called, ‘My Boyfriend Is The Bait: Poppa and Redd Balenciaga’, I interviewed a young, gay, black couple. For thirty minutes, we discussed the intimacies of their relationship, coming of age in their biological, family structure, as well as their individual roles in the ballroom scene. The interview was very successful, as I asked direct questions, received complete responses, and created what felt like a healthy conversation.

Two months later, Winter presented me with the challenge of sitting down with Micah Dixon and talking to him about his broken relationship with transgender model and celebutante, Amiyah Scott. The interview was released in two, fifteen-minute parts and was panned by many viewers who aren’t members of my core support circle. A lot of the comments stated that I talked too much, asked leading questions and seemed to side with Amiyah Scott. While the viewing audience had no idea that Micah was incredibly nervous and had stopped the interview a few times during filming, I had to accept my flaws in the ways in which I conducted our conversation. I thought I would make Micah more comfortable if I figuratively held his hand throughout the interview, but my approach seemed to alienate the viewing audience. I didn’t initially realize that Winter was also testing me. She wanted to find out if I would run and hide behind my computer screen as a result of the public backlash and character attacks that resulted from the ill fated interview. Winter knew that I emotionally couldn’t handle the criticisms that saturated my platform when the first chapter of my literary series, ‘Dupont Circle’ was released in 2010.

As a significant part of moving beyond this level in my journey, Winter had to be confident that I was now strong enough to endure harsh words and other online critiques from those reading or viewing my public material. I was very relieved to have not been affected by the not so pleasant feedback. I think that it helped me to have shown the footage to my dear friend Sheriea before the two-part interview was released. She basically told me the same exact things about my personal, on-camera performance that I later read from viewers. Winter taught me two lessons during her season. She allowed me to see my strong and weak skills as it pertains to engaging with others in front of a camera. She also taught me to trust and somewhat rely upon the honesty from friends and other confidante’s before sharing my work with strangers.

When Spring came around me with her bright smile and colorful aura a few months ago, I had no idea the type of challenge I would be forced to conquer. Spring has always been my favorite. No offense to you. I knew she would test my character or refine my skills in one way or another. However, it was unclear if I’d be using my familiar resources or if Id be exposed to something new. Spring came to give me something that I truly needed at the time, but first she wanted me to prove my consistency. I began sharing my life through written and spoken words six years ago. However, between the dawn of 2011 and midway through 2013, I did not produce content on a regular basis. Summer, you already know that I would become increasingly frustrated with what felt like a lack of mainstream opportunities. Though I had received awards for my work, appeared on numerous radio talk shows and had built a successful online following, there were plenty of times where I still felt like a failure. I didn’t understand that this phase of my journey wasn’t designed to focus on me, but more so created to reach those who felt silenced, uninspired and somewhat broken. I didn’t grasp the fact that when I stopped writing or when I took extended breaks from recording videos, my actions created a sense of abandonment in the hearts and spirits of those I serve. Yes, it took me a long time to comprehend the fact that I am being used to serve the people. This position was chosen for me when I moved to California to be with you in 2008. Now it’s understood that there was never supposed to be a huge, tangible ‘payoff’ for my contributions and work.

However, Spring did present me with an honor and a gift for the work Ive shared over the years. In due part to the fact that I consistently wrote and posted new articles to my Xem Says website, Spring put me in the physical presence of those who love me from afar and somehow benefit from my words. In a very impromptu planned meeting, Spring brought a special group of my supporters together in New York City and wrapped their arms around me. She gave me the gift of reassurance. For three hours, she allowed me to physically experience my purpose on earth through direct interactions with those I serve. She then honored me by allowing art director, Khary Steph to invite my work into the first volume of Pink Rooster Studios’ ‘THE TENTH’ Zine. I don’t always accept offers to partner with other artists, but Spring forced my hand. I always selfishly think, ‘how is this collaboration going to further my career?’… as opposed to ‘HOW WILL THIS CONTRIBUTION SERVE THE PEOPLE?’. An original piece I wrote called, ‘Seeing Ourselves Behind The Selfie’, was published alongside the works of some of the most talented and recognizable personalities amongst the black, LGBT community. When the opportunity was initially presented to me, I had no idea that the project would be released in the professional style of a 160 glossy-page, hardback book. The honor presented me with the unselfish ability to say that I am officially a published writer.

Now, Summer…I’m standing on the side of this cliff waiting for you. I’m not sure whether you want me to jump first and have you catch me or shall I stand here until you present the next challenge? Honestly, I am ready to take the dive and Im carrying your god sister, FAITH in my front pocket. The last time I turned my back on my comfort zone and leaped off the ledge, I landed in Los Angeles, California. It was during my time living in North Hollywood that ‘Xem VanAdams’ became a face, a voice and a personality on computer screens across the country.

I’ve now accepted my responsibilities and have learned my role as a servant of the universe. I have been obedient and have conquered the challenges that your sisters placed at my doorstep. I carry with me the lessons learned at the hands of Fall, Winter and Spring. So…from you, I once again ask to be bathed in air that has no social, political or financial conditions. I want to feel free. I just want to go on more adventures, be around artistic energy, connect with creative people, learn new things about life and grow… into who I’m destined to be.

 

 See You Soon,

Xem VanAdams

7 Key Things To Keep In Mind Before Texting Him A Racey Pic This Summer

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Guys are visual creatures by nature. We are stimulated more by what we see, as opposed to content we’ve read in a book or something we happen to have heard on the radio. Men may not remember everything you said while telling a story or expressing your feelings to him. However, he will never forget how you looked or the expressions you made while doing so. The details regarding the color of your shirt may become blurry over time, but once he stamps in his mind that you were physically attractive in that moment, the memory is forever sealed.

In this day and time, many of us establish casual and intimate relationships through various social media exchanges. The default Avi sparks initial interest and then offline contact information is exchanged. Depending on the type of guy you’ve attracted, he is more than likely going to ask that you send him a nudie pic within the first two or three text conversations. To make you feel comfortable in obliging his request, your new summer interest may forward his own racey photo first. For some people, receiving an unsolicited, nude pic from someone they’ve recently met can be a complete turn off. For others, the photo may intensify interest and actually encourage you to send one of your own.

Before you decide to hit the send button and share your private parts with this new man, there are seven key things that you must consider. After all, once you share this photo, the relationship between you and the new dude may not extend further than your casual, text conversation.

7. DONT SEND AN EXTREME  CLOSE-UP SHOT – Yes, while many guys are turned on by having your body directly in their face behind-closed-doors, we prefer to gaze at photos where we aren’t confused by what we’re seeing. Often times, people will place the lens of their camera phones so close to the featured body part that the photo becomes distorted. It’s almost difficult to determine what has been captured. Aside from that, men enjoy looking at the lines and curves that surround specific private areas on your body. Don’t zero in on the tips, nips and holes.

6. USE NATURAL LIGHT & MINIMAL EDITING – Part of the thrill and excitement of receiving a racey pic from someone you’re already physically attracted to, is seeing their naked body photographed as close to how it will look in person. The worst thing you can do is create an unrealistic image of how you look in the flesh. While the guy you’re wanting to entice may fall in love with your edited form, he will be extremely disappointed once the two of you are undressed in front of one another for the first time. Photoshop, filters and other artificial lighting applications honestly detract from the allure of racey pic exchanges. If your guy wanted to see professional, polished photos, he’d log online and search one of the easily accessible, adult sites.

5. CLEAN YOUR BEDROOM/BATHROOM – The background of your ‘private pic’ will be examined once your guy stares at the racey pic long enough. Sometimes, we assume that no one pays attention to the pile of clothes sitting on the floor or the toothpaste stains on the mirror. However, if a man is truly interested in pursuing you, he’s going to take notice of the room you’re posed in. Remember, guys are visual creatures. To help him determine the type of person you are initially, he will focus on how you live. The ways in which you keep your home environment can say a lot about who you are as an individual. Additionally, you do not want to accidentally photograph medicine bottles, addressed envelopes or other personal items in your photo. In our day and time, people will enlarge and magnify pics in an effort to figure out private information about you. Be cautious of every product or piece of paper that is mistakenly captured in your pic.

4. USE ANGLES THAT DON’T FEATURE YOUR IDENTIFIABLE TATOOS, BIRTHMARKS & PIERCINGS – It is so important to keep in mind that a casual exchange of nude photos can lead to a permanent, online disaster. Even though you may crop your face out of a racey pic, please remember that our unique, body art can sometimes set us apart from the crowd. As people post ‘random pics’ of others on tumblr, instagram and other social media networks, you don’t want your personal, private pic to be easily identifiable in a public, online forum. Your face may not be attached to the body, but that one-of-a-kind tattoo that’s plastered across your chest can easily be matched to every other semi clothed photo you’ve shared on Facebook.

3. SHOW A CLOSE FRIEND BEFORE SENDING – Those of us who are close to our same sex friends usually engage in open discussions about our sex lives and relationships. We talk about our bodies, we workout together and even ask for opinions regarding improving certain physical features. Our friends sometimes notice flaws and/or progress that we rarely see when standing in the mirror. As a result, it really is a good idea to let your friends see the racey photo you want to send, maybe in comparison to another that you are considering. You’d be surprised just how many little things your BFF may notice about your body or the background that you totally didn’t see or want seen by someone else.

2. DELETE THE UNWANTS – Honestly, not too many of us can stand in a mirror or hold a camera in front of our face and capture the perfect body shot or selfie with one click. It often takes at least twenty different shots, poses and angles before we secure what can be considered, racey-ready. Most of us always take a series of photos with our phones or computers before deciding upon the perfect pic to post. As a result, please remember to DELETE the horrible nineteen pics that did not make the final cut. Imagine losing your cell phone or leaving your computer open at Barnes & Noble and having just anyone see those less than flattering nudie shots. THE HORROR!

1. ACCEPT THE FACT THAT HIS FRIENDS WILL SEE YOU NAKED – Though we’d like to think that guys have enough integrity and honor to not share our racey photos with other people, you must acknowledge the fact that many of them don’t. Guys not only love to ogle naked bodies, but they also love bragging to their friends about the naked bodies they’re sleeping with during the summer months. Even if a man begins to like you or care for you beyond the casual texts and racey photo exchanges, a lot of them show your pics to their friends when they first meet you. The friends may not ever mention it, of course. However, DONT SEND WHAT YOU DONT WANT SEEN BY OTHER PEOPLE.

There is nothing morally wrong with capturing and sharing photos of your private parts. However, once the image is sent in a text or forwarded online, the image is immediately sealed in time. Use your best judgements in deciding whether or not this new guy is even worth the effort in you taking naked photos of yourself. Then, if you do decide that he is worth the time, be sure to send a photo that is flattering and realistic to what he may get a chance to see face to face. Forwarding a racey or risqué pic through text messaging is a risk that you should take only if you’re completely confident and comfortable with what could be the end result. 

I Feel Like The Ugly One Amongst The Group That Nobody Ever Tries To Talk To When My Friends & I Go Out

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Most people will say they get dressed up to simply go out, dance, drink and have a good time. It’s no secret, however, that many single individuals are hoping to wrap their Friday or Saturday nights by exchanging numbers with someone they find physically attractive or otherwise, appealing. While the intent may be to party alongside close friends, it certainly makes one feel good when total strangers offer to buy us a drink. There’s nothing more exciting than igniting a weekend by meeting a potential date. Even when we’re not looking for love or in search of a sexual rendezvous, the flirtatious attention we receive from one or two men amongst the crowd can easily become the highlight of our evening. It then makes sense why people sometimes feel that their night out was a waste of time when they don’t meet someone new.

It is important to remember that it takes a lot of guts for a guy to walk up to someone he doesn’t know in an effort to express romantic interest. It becomes even more challenging when that someone is surrounded by their circle of friends. We often assume that men aren’t approaching us because he noticed that our skin is starting to breakout or maybe the top we chose to wear isn’t too flattering as it folds over our less than flat tummy. Whenever we do catch one of the guys looking in our direction, we naively convince ourselves that he’s staring at our ‘obviously attractive’ friend; the Kim Kardashian amongst the group. Meanwhile, most guys who are out in search of a new date or love interest are surveying the crowd for a little more than the sexiest person on the dance floor. It’s very rare that men will even approach the conventionally cute ones. A man is not only waiting for the perfect moment to say something to you, but he is also hoping that you will ease the awkwardness by sending a signal of mutual interest.

If you feel ‘ugly’ when you enter a social setting, that particular attitude is going to exude through your mood and your ‘I don’t belong here’ demeanor – It is very easy for men to determine that someone suffers from a low self esteem. It becomes even more apparent to onlookers that you lack confidence if you are out with a circle of friends who are rather outgoing and fun. While some guys will prey on your insecurities, others will simply stand clear of you. No one really wants to invest time into convincing someone that they do, ‘belong in the room’. Sell yourself a little bit. You shouldn’t be pulling out your phone every seven seconds, pretending to reply to text messages. Stand upright, look forward, sway to the music that’s playing and smile. Confidence is a very attractive trait, one that tends to impress and draw attention from men.

However, though guys can be lured by confidence, many of them don’t want the ‘one’ who is dancing on the stage or the bar all night – It’s usually the friend who doesn’t draw added attention that gets approached most often. If you ever notice, most face-to-face exchanges take place in the darker, discreet areas of the club. Guys tend to feel more comfortable talking to the individuals who appear to be rather reserved, but still able to have a good time. Dating is already a difficult task for a lot of people. It can be intimidating for some men to even consider grabbing the attention of someone who everyone else is obviously staring at. Being the loudest or wildest one in the group isn’t going to make you the most appealing to others.

While tipsy flirting is a turn on, drunken thottiness certainly is not – People drink socially to sometimes ease the tension of being in a crowded room and having to directly or indirectly engage with strangers. Sometimes, folks don’t realize that they’ve had too much to drink until their three shots of tequila catch up to their second glass of wine. Nothing screams (((TURN OFF))) louder than the friend who can’t maintain their balance on the dance floor. Guys simply aren’t going to try and talk to the one amongst the group who wobbles up to every other man, feeling on them, slurring their words or being overtly sexual. This individual is looked upon as the LIABILTY amongst the group. Men don’t want to add that level of drama to their personal lives.

If you so happen to become the object of someone’s gaze or constant stare, don’t be quick to look away – Often times, men will interpret you looking away from them as an expression of disinterest. As a result, they will automatically count you out as an end-of-night prospect. Even if you are shy and immediately become nervous as he continues to peek over, lock eye contact for at least three seconds. This will possibly give him the nerve to approach you.

If a guy does approach you, let him lead the conversation, but don’t leave him hanging – Some dudes are going to immediately get close to your ear, and ask for the phone number. Most, however, are going to lead in with a series of simple questions and compliments; i.e. what’s your name? or I think you’re really attractive. Try your best to not simply give him one-word answers. After telling him your name, continue your response by asking him his. If you’re thanking him for a compliment, be sure to say something nice about his top or the way he smells. It seems odd to people when guys initiate the public interaction, but then walk away before trying to exchange contact information. Usually, they’re uncomfortable with the flow of the conversation and sense a possible rejection. Feed off of his energy by giving him as much attention as he is offering to you in those few moments. This is when having a charismatic personality sets some of us apart from the others.

When a guy asks for your number or tries somehow to ‘talk to you’, it’s because he finds you attractive and feels comfortable doing so. Whether you realize it or not, how you look physically isn’t always the factor that determines why men aren’t approaching you. Your mannerisms and other behaviors can invite men into that space of wanting to know you beyond the club, or your actions can make them feel completely uncomfortable. Go out into social settings with the intent to truly enjoy the music, food and quality time spent alongside your friends. When you are truly comfortable within yourself, that level of positive energy will always attract the types of men that you’ll actually WANT to meet. 

You Will Not Add My Light Skin To Your Collection Of Pink Faces

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Over the past thirteen years, I have witnessed some of my associates and other contemporaries wear their light skin as a public badge of honor. I’ve known guys to hand select their friends and associates solely based upon complexion, and other surface qualities as well. Each of us has also engaged with men who strictly date and involve themselves intimately with other black dudes who look to be biracial or ‘mixed with something’. Despite the fact that darker skinned men have become the premiere sex symbols of our generation, there still exists this preference for light-brights amongst the minority, LGBT community.

I was raised in a pan African household. This means that from a very early age, the values, principles and teachings of Marcus Garvey and Patrice Lumumba framed my upbringings. I was taught everyday of my young life that black people needed to unite socially, politically and economically in order to remain strong and reach our ultimate destiny. It was made very clear to me that my presence in this world did not begin with the slave trade, but instead as a descendent of royalty. I was made aware of Queen Hatshepsut and King Thutmose long before my preschool teacher would hail Dr. Martin Luther and Coretta as the mother and father of our Civil Rights movement. Having pride in my blackness and understanding the struggles I would face living in America framed the lessons I learned outside of the conventional classroom setting. I was never aware of the fact that my complexion, eye color or other physical attributes would cripple my credibility amongst the black community or somehow allow me to coast along within mainstream, American society. As a result, I didn’t grow up with a superiority complex pertaining to my physical attributes. All I knew was that I was one of only four other black boys in my class, and it was imperative that I master the principles of math and science. I did, however, come of age feeling as if I was better equipped to face the world when compared to my classmates and other peers. I was introduced to the dynamics of race, class, gender and sexuality long before I would sit in college level courses that were focused around such concepts.

When guys meet me, especially the ones who are unfamiliar with ‘Xem VanAdams’, they are often taken aback by my organic nature. Within our same gender loving community, light skin men are assumed to be arrogant, standoffish, consumed by their physical appearance and lacking any real, intellectual or cultural depth. Lighter skinned men are seen in our community as being soft, sexually submissive, and surface minded as it pertains to character and integrity. Until a lot of men listen to me speak or express myself otherwise, I am already tapped as another card-carrying member of the ‘PINK CREW’.

While I certainly don’t judge or chastise other individuals for their preferences, I refuse to allow myself to be added to a collection of types. If I can look through photos of every dude that a man has dated, and most of them could pass for my twin brother, I often lose interest in pursuing romantic possibilities. A lot of people say that they don’t want to be chosen for their physical appearance, but I am one of the few who genuinely means it.

When guys tell you that you are beautiful, I believe they are making reference to the framework of your mind, spirit, energy and overall aura. When dudes say that you’re sexy or hot, they are solely focused on the flesh; your face, body and dominate, physical appeal. Sure, as it pertains to too many light skin men in our community, the surface attractions that stem from others are enough to validate their position in the world. For me, contrary to the beliefs of some, I don’t seek that level of acceptance. There’s nothing cute or admirable about being added to a long line of others, simply based upon the fact that your look matches their prototype. In life, when you allow your physical characteristics to define your worth to another man, or a specific social group, you are devaluing your purpose and presence in the world at large.

 I may ‘look the part’, but you will never catch me playing it.

Why Am I Still ‘Going Through It’ When I Was The One Who Ended The Relationship?

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For the past few months, possibly even a year, many of you have faced Monday mornings by saying to yourself, ‘this is the week that I’m going to “get over” him’. You have made yourself feel like a loser time and time again for being unable to emotionally heal from your most recent, romantic breakup. You have become accustomed to remaining in control of every aspect of your life. Things aren’t always perfect, but you certainly maintain a level of structure and organization. Therefore, the fact that you endure these moments where your feelings for another human being dictates your mood, often times has you labeling yourself a failure.

You decided to walk away from a romantic situation that had become toxic to your heart and damaging to your mental stability. Still, as each day passes, it becomes increasingly difficult to ignore the pain that is directly associated with your breakup.

There are several factors that contribute to your inability to simply ‘be over it’ at this present moment…

YOU MUST FIRST EMBRACE THE SADNESS. It is perfectly okay to grieve the loss of someone you once upon a time felt romantically connected to. As human beings, we have a tendency to make ourselves feel guilty or foolish for maintaining an emotional attachment to someone who has mistreated or disrespected us. We beat ourselves up for being unable to clap twice and remove the love that our heart carries for a man who no longer exists in our lives. We don’t embrace the idea that as human beings, WE ARENT IN CONTROL OF OUR FEELINGS. WE ONLY CONTROL HOW WE ACT IN RESPONSE TO MATTERS OF THE HEART. The fact that the relationship only lasted one year, six months or maybe even four weeks often makes us think that the feelings should disappear in half that amount of time. It’s a burden of pressure we place upon ourselves; now piled on top of the open wound that isn’t being given the room to heal.

RELEASE CONTROL & BE WILLING TO RELY UPON THE SUPPORT OF OTHERS IN ORDER TO HEAL. For those of us who are identified amongst our peer groups as being the ‘strong one’, it’s sometimes difficult to then call upon others for help. We have been placed in a social position of leadership; often times requiring us to remain confident, focused and in charge of our personal and professional lives, at all times. We are the individual who others look to for solid advice, encouragement, physical assistance and guidance. We’ve existed in this role for so many years that it almost seems impossible to pass the anchor to someone else. However, during a grieving period, releasing some of your control and other secondary responsibilities becomes a part of your healing process. While you may not feel comfortable opening your broken heart to everyone around you, it is imperative that you choose one friend or one family member to confide in.

When we openly discuss our feelings with others, we are removing pieces of the burden that we carry around on a daily basis. Part of the reason why people post their personal struggles on social media is to free themselves of the heavy, emotional weight. It is unhealthy to hold back tears and internalize a pain that runs deep within your spirit. Allowing someone else to carry a part of your burden provides room for you to replace hurt feelings with a sense of comfort. Regardless of how private you are as it pertains to your love life, you must be willing to share some of those pieces with someone other than your partner. Now that the two of you are broken up, you CAN NOT rely upon them to reach out to you via text, email or phone calls to discuss ‘what went wrong.’ That is no longer their role.

STOP OVERANALYZING EVERY ASPECT OF WHAT POSSIBLY WENT WRONG. I too am guilty of dissecting every situation, circumstance and relationship that affects my life. However, I’ve learned over time that when I look too deep into these ‘situations’, my mind has a tendency to create thoughts and ideas that don’t directly pertain to what I’ve actually experienced. I’ll begin creating scenarios in my head that involve the other individual. Sometimes, the scenarios are a replay of our arguments, disagreements and other dark moments. I’ll try to make sense of why the other person said certain things to me, or the reasons why they behaved in certain ways. These moments then force me into stages of blame and misinterpretation. I’m second guessing my recent decisions; making myself feel as if I was too hard on the other individual despite how nasty, rude and disrespectful that person may have acted towards me. Overanalyzing situations that are now already sealed in time creates a space for us to once again experience the same anger and frustration that we’ve somehow moved beyond. It’s unhealthy. Instead of critically examining every aspect of the relationship you walked away from, understand the fact that you made a healthy, logical decision that your emotions now have to filter.

FILTER YOUR FEELINGS THROUGH FAMILIAR CHANNELS. It sounds very cliché’ to suggest that you surround yourself with those who love you most, but it’s a necessary step in repairing your broken heart. Secluding yourself from friends and isolating yourself from family only blocks your internal self from receiving reassurance. Your spirit needs to be saturated with compliments and laughter following a breakup. Often times, it’s our friends and other loved ones who will say things or create moments to temporarily numb our pain.

You also have to place yourself in physical environments and familiar spaces that have absolutely nothing to do with your ex or the former relationship. Familiar spaces may include the journal you use to write in on a daily basis prior to falling in love. Maybe there was a television show you watched on Netflix regularly, but stopped once the relationship consumed your time. There’s something in your life that is essential to the person you were prior to getting romantically involved with someone new. Make an effort to retreat back to that familiar channel. It will sooth your soul.

You are hurting yourself deeper by trying to force your heart to heal in a certain amount of time. Getting over him and moving beyond the daily thoughts and nighttime sadness depends upon your willingness to embrace the pain, release control to someone else to support you, pushing against your desire to overanalyze the breakup and filtering your feelings through familiar channels. You will smile again.

5 Reasons Why Gay Men Love To ‘Do’ Sunday Brunch

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Brunch has easily become the most important meal of the gay. Once the gym bunnies have completed their Sunday morning workouts, the church kweens have sung their final, sunrise service hymns, and the house husbands are finished folding clothes, groups of same gender loving men convene for delicately prepared orders of blueberry waffles, cheese omelet’s and bottomless Mimosas. It’s a weekly ritual of sorts; one that gives gay guys everywhere a reasonable excuse to get tipsy and cheat on their tank top diets. Adorned in everything from oxford shirts and blazers, to simple cardigans and snapbacks, Sunday brunch provides guys who like guys with a comfortable setting to detail and discuss everything they didn’t have time to text during their iPhone group chats. It’s the one time each week where gay men can eat carbs without feeling guilty and drink before noon with no apologies.

Easter Sunday, I received three separate invitations to join male friends and associates for brunch at different restaurants. I turned down the requests, as I decided to spend the entire day with my family. However, it dawned on me during the early afternoon that the guys in my life really do enjoy ‘doing’ brunch. I thought about the more recent occasions where I’ve actually seen my buddies face to face. It seems we are always sitting around a circular table, early on a Sunday afternoon. We’re each eating pancakes, while running our mouths about the possibilities of falling in love again and desperately needing a vacation. I also then realized that it isn’t simply my circle of male friends and associates who get together each week to sit down and partake in this signature, midday meal.

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Gay men specifically have become the most popular patrons at any restaurant or café that hosts a good Sunday brunch.

Here are 5 simple reasons why

 

5. IT’S SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT: “I’m doing brunch with such and such” is something pseudo ‘FAB’ to say when casually asked about your day plans. Gay men love to feel that they are somehow a part of the crème-de la-crème. It’s very Nikki Newman & Katherine Chancellor-like to respond to a Sunday morning inquiry by saying, “Oh, nothing really. Ken, David, Jason and I are just about to DO brunch at the Marriott Waterfront”.

Of course, the gays aren’t sitting on sticky, wooden chairs at The Waffle House, or standing in a self-serve line at Old Country Buffet for brunch. When we get together for our weekly face to face, we’re dining on the rooftop terrace of the W Hotel’s, POV Lounge or sitting outside of some well-known, downtown café’. Some groups of friends keep it very cheap and casual. However, location has become as essential to our brunch dates as the items listed on the menu.

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4. THE PICTURES: Groups of gay men tend to be a very ‘show and tell’ type of crowd. We love nothing more than being able to capture photos of ourselves out and about. A Sunday brunch session isn’t adjourned until our entire circle of successful, attractive, charismatic friends, otherwise known as the ‘bros’, are posed for the classic ‘GROUP SHOT’.

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Aside from the signature, #MyCrewIsBetterThanYourCrew candid, taking pics of the food, perfectly positioned on fancy, white plates has become a BRUNCH MUST DO as well. Regardless of how dry the blueberry pancakes may look, how hard the eggs feel, or burnt the bacon may taste, for as long as the food photographs well, gay men will pull out their phones to snap a pic and upload the food display to all of their social media timelines.

3. BRUNCH GIVES SUNDAY A PURPOSE: Sundays tend to be filled with tedious tasks that we’ve put off during the entire week. The day is rather slow in pace. Fridays after work or class, many of us do happy hour with co-workers or random associates. Saturdays are designated for running errands, shopping at the mall and if we’re lucky, going on a hot, late night date. Then, we wake up Sunday morning to hit the gym, go to church or clean. Before facing the bustle of a new week, brunch becomes that special ‘something’ we have to look forward to.

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2. THE TIPSY TALK WITH TRUE FRIENDS: There’s nothing more comfortable or fun than being able to say anything out of your mouth and knowing that your honesty won’t spill from the table. With our busy work and school schedules, there simply isn’t enough time to detail our daily life happenings online or during the iPhone group chats we engage in between meetings. When all of our buddies are buzzed and full of good food, everyone in the group has their guards down. We take advantage of brunch by using the occasion to tell-all.

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1. THE BOTTOMLESS DRINKS: Gay men may spill tea, but they will never waste a good, alcoholic drink. Regardless of age, race or social standing, gay men everywhere generally love their cocktails. An event doesn’t officially begin until the alcohol is served, right? When we pay $30 – $50 per person for an upscale or down home, all-you-can-eat brunch special, it is expected that pitchers upon pitchers of Sangria and Bloody Mary’s will flow throughout the afternoon. And if the Mimosas are watered down with more orange juice than champagne, we will keep requesting glasses until a strong buzzzzz sets in.

Brunch is the most important meal of the gay for every reason aside from the actual food that is served. It’s the one time of the week where men who love other men can sit amongst friends, capture new memories on camera and bask in an end of week moment where diets and horrible, Saturday night dates temporarily don’t matter.

DISCLAIMER: the men who appear in the various above posted photos aren’t to be assumed as members of the LGBT community.

 

RANDOM VIDEOS: Xemmy Dancing At Home…

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Home alone on Saturday evening, I decided to record one of my many dance sessions. Usually, to release energy between writing articles, filming new youtube segments or working out, I blast music and dance. This time, I decided to turn the cam on myself and share some of the footage with my loyal and loving audience. The videos were initially posted Saturday night via my TWITTER, FACEBOOK ORIGINAL and FACEBOOK OVERFLOW social media pages. Now Ive decided to archive the footage here for those of you who aren’t actively following me across all of my online networks. This is simply me, your ‘Xemmy Bear’ having a good time behind closed doors.

Im actually still wearing the clothing I threw on once I left the gym early Saturday afternoon. ENJOY!

BTW – you can begin following me via VIMEO, as this is where I will continue to release random videos, bonus footage and other promo content that I elect to not upload via the official Xem VanAdams Youtube Channel.

 Xemmy Wildin Out To Pharrell ft. Miley Cyrus:

Come Get It Bae

Xemmy Dancing To Justin Timberlake:

Dress On

The Xem VanAdams ‘Meet & Greet’ In New York City

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

New York City

 

Even though some of the included photographs have previously been shared via the Xem VanAdams Facebook, Twitter and Instagram timelines, it was suggested that I archive these captures here at XemSays.com as well.

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Over the past six years, God has given me an online platform that allows my written + oral human stories, experiences, ideas, opinions and points of view to reach thousands of others from across the country and beyond. Yesterday, I was privileged to meet a group of those individuals for lunch in New York City.

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We gathered at the BBQ’s in Greenwich Village to enjoy food, cocktails, conversation and one another’s company, as well. Though many of the invited attendees expressed joy in finally being able to meet me, I felt most honored to see the faces of people who have been commenting and sharing my work since 8/8/2008.

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They were shocked as they walked in and I was able to immediately identify them by their usernames. That goes to show just how loyal & consistent my audience is. Truly a pleasure! I’m now being encouraged to ‘take my show on the road’. LOL! Well… there’s no telling what 2014 has in store for US.

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If God wills it, I would love to host a ‘Meet & Greet’ in every major city where my supporters read & watch my content. Lets put it into the universe now…

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THANK YOU SOOO MUCH for being here ladies & gentlemen for this phase of my life journey. I am eternally grateful.

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