A “Thirst Trap” is created when an individual uploads a scantily clad photo of themselves online with the purpose of drawing attention to their face or body parts — but at the same time appearing to be oblivious to the actual surface intent of the post. Often times, the bait is laid before a large group of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Snapchat and tumblr users. Usually, the subject is standing half naked in their bathroom mirror beneath a pointless caption that reads, “God I’m glad you allowed me to see myself for who I truly am”. Clearly, the focus of the selfie is to show off one’s thick thighs, abs or barely covered bulge. However, pairing God and his “glory” into the upload is a calculated attempt to convince the viewing audience that they themselves should feel guilty for now staring at the subject’s body instead of embracing the ridiculous, non-related message. Those unaware of the key elements involved in luring the attention of internet voyeurs, often fall prey to the scheme by then liking or commenting the pic, and later following the person highlighted in the photograph. Male celebrities including, The Game, August Alsina, Lil Fizz and John Legend have all recently used the power of social media to trap the thirst of their adoring fans.
However, if you are going to follow in the footsteps of these studs, stars and heartthrobs, there are 5 things to keep in mind as you set your own, online thirst trap…
FRAME YOURSELF ENGAGED IN A NATURAL ACTIVITY – One of the best ways to capture the attention of onlookers, is to position yourself involved in a daily routine. One of the easiest and most conventional methods of framing yourself in a very common scene is to stand in the kitchen pretending to cook first thing in the morning. Everyone subconsciously pairs the act of preparing breakfast, with the cook still wearing the very skimpy loungewear that they slept in the night before. If you are standing in front of the stove, wearing nothing but a pair of thermal bottoms and holding a spatula over the skillet, the scene appears to be very natural. It then makes sense to the viewer why you would be photographed while adorned in these clingy, paper-thin long johns — revealing your personal, side order of pancakes and sausage links.
CREATE A QUICK, ONE-LINE CAPTION – In setting the perfect “thirst trap” it becomes your job to convince your viewers and followers that the focus of your photo is totally different than the obvious intent. If you’re going to post a photo where you’re turned to the side and wearing a tight pair of jeans, shorts, compression pants or even underwear, it’s obvious that the viewer is supposed to focus on the plump, round shape of your squat heavy cakes. Right? However, in your attempt to appear oblivious to the display of your backside, your one-line caption should comment on a different object or thought associated with the photo. Your caption could say something trivial like, “so glad I’m still able to fit into my favorite pair of jeans”, or… “did not think Id be able to stand up straight today after the terrible fall I experienced yesterday”. Somehow, your caption has to allude to the fact that “you have no idea” that people would actually be looking at or commenting upon your real, intended focus of the “thirst trap” photo — that backside.
HIGHLIGHT SHAPE OVER SKIN – One of the best ways to garner the surface attention of your intended target is to be sexy, without crossing that line of appearing sloshy. You want to place the attention of the social media voyeurs on the feature that you’re most proud of or the body part you’ve been focused on the hardest during your workouts. Instead of simply posing in the mirror wearing no shirt or no pants, select a clothing item that will cling around the form of your pecs or massive thighs. Sometimes, the allure of someone’s body is when the viewer is able to imagine the skin beneath the outer layers. Remember, the purpose of a thirst trap is to present an image or photo that isn’t blatantly sexual. If you choose the perfect garment or accessory to bring attention to your favorable parts, you’re able to show off those curves without appearing desperate for public praise.
LOOK AWAY FROM THE CAMERA – Thirst Traps are best achieved when the subject appears to be completely naive to the fact that their photo is being taken. Sure, you’re intentionally wearing light gray sweatpants to show off your eggplant and a pair of NIKE or ADDIDAS flip flops to highlight your recently pedicured toes. Of course you’re aware of the fact that meat lovers and others with foot fetishes are going to be sent into frenzy once the pic is uploaded to instagram or tumblr or facebook. However, it becomes your job to divert your visible eye line towards another subject. Be sure that you’re staring down at your dog that is hopping up onto your left leg or stare straight into the open refrigerator as if you’re really looking for something good to eat. Never actually be captured staring at the body part or object that is being used to seal the voyeurs gaze.
BE SPORADIC & SPARING — It becomes very important that your intended audience not become use to seeing you half dressed, half naked, barely covered or exposing yourself on a regular basis. The visual trapping loses its power and shine once your followers become use to seeing the same lame photo posted every other day. You have to be willing to switch up the order, style and routine of your postings in order for your trick to actually work. The sitting on the side of the bed with white sheets ever-so-slightly covering your frontal area photo, only works when it’s posted first thing in the morning alongside your regular quotes, memes, dinner plate pics, close-up selfies and fully clothed, active shots. Uploading and sharing the same, “look at me naked” pic everyday or even once each week can become overdone and tired.
The modern day selfie, avatar or default pic is designed to highlight an individuals more attractive, physical features. Often times, social media networks exist as the platform where people set the bait – featuring themselves in their most edited and filtered forms. Posting a photo online where one is clearly drawing attention to their skin and other surgically enhanced body parts has become a normal part of marketing and pop culture. Some people abstain from engaging in the strip, snap and upload activities, while others continue to successfully draw the attention of new and returning followers by setting their very own, social media “Thirst Traps”.
The ‘good guy’ is often the man who meets the conventional standards of success. He has built a substantial career, graduated from a four year university, owns a home, associates with the creme de la creme and honors the sanctity of his private life. His photos on Facebook are locked and inclusive of shots from family reunions, holiday gatherings and beach vacations with his frat brothers. His tweets are minimal and include nothing more than FourSquare check ins at the gym, grocery store or his favorite, chain restaurants. He ‘looks good on paper’, but isn’t necessarily the most striking beauty amongst a crowd. His outward demeanor serves proof that he was raised in a home where poise and decorum were valued and expected of him on a daily basis. The ‘good guy’ is a man who treats his friends like extended siblings, and his romantic interests like treasured jewels. He wears his heart on his sleeve, hence the reason it is often stabbed, misused and broken. Good guys spend a lot of time alone; guarded, engaged with themselves and saturated by their own thoughts. Most of these sensitive creatures have found the peace of mind that many others rigorously chase. They enjoy preparing dinner for themselves and spending an evening drinking wine in front of their flat screen. Good guys find solace in working out to build their bodies and reading a good book to fuel their minds.
Their most difficult challenge, however, is meeting someone of interest without losing themselves in the dating and relationship process.
Since good guys often spend a lot of extra time with themselves, it’s a big, personal deal when they open their hearts and home to the presence of another individual. They don’t usually engage in casual, physical encounters. In the event that someone entices their sexual urges, it becomes difficult for the good guy to win in the game of ‘friends with benefits’. His loins are attached to love. Physical acts that occur between him and a partner are valued as more than one, lustful night or an intense, sheet session. His feelings are intertwined with the lines of a cinematic love story. He falls hard. Unfortunately, our good guy is often hurt and disappointed by the back burner treatment he receives from those whom he makes a priority in his romantic life.
The good guy has a tendency to smother his partners with too much attention, too soon. He expects his lover to dedicate an immense amount of time to him; behind closed doors and publicly by his side as well. When he gets involved with someone, that individual suddenly becomes the object of his daily plans, downtime and desires. Many people are turned off by these behaviors.
The good guy must learn how to balance the intensity of his unyielding habit to fall fast. It becomes important that he not ignore all of the activities and personal interests that filled his daily regime before the new individual entered his life. Good guys must not surrender their personal time or priorities to immediately cater to all of the wants or needs of their partner. Once the good guy becomes so engrossed in who he is dating or romantically attached to, the good guy loses sight of what created his happiness and contentment while he was single and alone. This becomes detrimental to his mental and emotional stability.
If the other individual decides to leave or create distance in the relationship, the good guy is left having to rediscover himself. This process makes it even more difficult for the heart to then heal as a result of the breakup. Good guys don’t have to finish last. They simply have to remember to put themselves first while adding their romantic relationships to their already fulfilled lifestyle.
Many of us make the mistake of becoming so absorbed with our new lovers that we forget how to live our lives without including them in our thoughts or daily plans. Good guys especially must force themselves to still hang out with their friends and co-workers once they have fallen in love. The time they spend in the gym, at the mall, with their mothers or seeing a movie, must sometimes be considered ‘me time’. If the good guy isn’t routinely engaged in tasks that frame his sense of self, he isn’t able to maintain a conscious line between his romantic life and who he is outside of his relationship.
People tend to interact with the special men in their lives quite differently than the ways in which they play, cut-up and let loose with their friends. We create a different set of rules for how we should spend time with our partner and that can make him feel like the outsider. He sees the level of fun that you engage in amongst your core circle, as he also overhears you replaying those joyful moments on the phone when you’re cackling with your BFF. Your man knows how much you value the social life that you’ve created outside of the space that has been established with him. So, it isn’t necessarily that your man is boring or that he has lost his ability to enjoy life alongside you. Sometimes, it’s that you make him feel that “all he is”…is your dreadful, b-o-y-f-r-i-e-n-d.
You must remember that the couple that plays together often stays together — longer than those existing around them. One or both persons involved in this type of unique relationship treats the other like a TRUE FRIEND. These two individuals have made the conscious decision to hangout with one another like homeboys naturally would, as opposed to placing traditional restrictions on their partnership. They smoke together on the couch while playing video games and binging on fast foods. The couple that plays together goes hiking on Saturday mornings and falls asleep having tickle fights on Saturday night. These two are able to openly compliment other people’s bodies and physical attributes without the other blowing up in a jealous rage. They’re able to spend an entire day at the amusement park together – riding roller coasters, sharing funnel cake, watching the dolphin show and not becoming irritated with one another while standing in long, hot lines that wrap around the game booths. These couples actively and consciously incorporate one another into their most preferred activities.
And they’re so absolutely cute together, that they’ve even begun to look, dress and sound alike.
Often times, people complain to me about how incredibly draining their boyfriends have become over the years. I receive countless messages or emails from men and women who are involved in relationships where their boyfriend has no desire to leave the house on the weekends or to get up from the couch on his other days off. Many of us then take the approach of simply tossing our hands up and making weekly plans with our friends – leaving our man home alone to eat, sleep and be with his dry and ‘boring’ self.
IT’S TIME YOU STIMULATE YOUR MAN BACK INTO ACTION… LETS PLAY!
TEXT & TALK TO HIM AS IF YOU’VE KNOWN HIM SINCE THE SECOND GRADE – The special language and verbal routines that we have developed with our friends usually define the reasons why we enjoy talking or texting with them so often. When we are telling our friends a story or explaining ourselves otherwise, we often don’t have to share all of the same drawn out details that we would divulge in revealing the same tale to a stranger. It’s because your friends know and understand exactly what certain words, phrases and inside jokes mean — even if no one else in the room has a clue what you’re talking about. Throughout every single day, we are sending our friends photos, screen captures, gifs and links to music or other breaking stories while they are sitting at work or dragging themselves through midday classes. It’s a constant back and forth of, “LOOK AT THIS!” and “LISTEN TO THAT REAL QUICK!”—
Well, your man should be afforded the same luxury of comfortable, casual communication. We don’t always have to be discussing serious relationship issues or other problems when we talk to our man. Make him feel that he is as much your friend, as he is your romantic partner. Engage him in the same upbeat, nothing-really-but-I-had-to-tell-you type conversationsthat you have with the people you’ve known forever. Don’t tame your language or censor your texts simply because you don’t think your man will understand or “get” what you’re trying to say. The more you reel him in to your free, fun and friendly language, the easier it will be to avoid what seems like the booooring, “what you doing” conversations throughout the day. You may be surprised by what comes out of his mouth once he feels totally comfortable to say exactly what he’s thinking.
CHOOSE AN ACTIVITY THAT HE LIKES TO DO EVEN IF YOU HATE IT – Allow your boyfriend to make the plans, even if they are thrown together at the last minute. Go along with his impulsive decision to do wall climbing or to go look at dogs at the pet adoption center. His interests do not necessarily have to make sense or appeal to you right away. Simply agree to be with him when he is engaging in activities that make him feel good about himself and his life. Even if he doesn’t verbalize it, your presence enhances his enjoyment.
The more often he sees you compromising by agreeing to spend time with him doing things he loves, the greater the possibility that he will leave the sofa once in a while to sit alongside you on the opening night of that romantic comedy he would never, normally watch.
INTRODUCE HIM TO NEW PEOPLE OR OTHER COUPLES WITH SIMILAR INTERESTS – If your man doesn’t have a slew of friends of his own, introducing him to other couples may help him form associations and ties that will encourage him to want to be more social and outgoing.
You have to keep in mind that part of the reason why you were drawn to your man in the beginning is possibly because he is so reserved, laid-back and rather low key. He wasn’t on everyone’s radar. People didn’t automatically know who he was when his name was brought up in conversation — and you liked that. He may not be placed in too many situations outside of his job where he is forced to engage with other people beyond you and his family members. If you set up very specific situations where you and your boyfriend are engaging with couples of similar interests, it could possibly help him find comfort in getting out of the living room and out into the world.
SEDUCE HIM – Just because you are already familiar with your man’s body does not mean that you shouldn’t use your lips and fingers to remind him just how much you enjoy the different parts of his physique. Make him feel the way he does when he’s watching porn in the middle of the day or late at night when you’ve ditched him to be out in the streets. Every bedroom scene with you should be different from the last for a few weeks. If you can reignite that sexually expressive side of your boyfriend, maybe he will begin to initiate more exciting, headboard moments. Often times, he is simply following your lead. If you haven’t presented new sheet tricks, he may be a bit apprehensive about exploring the desires he has been keeping secret. Your man may even suggest that you two invite one of the new couples you’ve been hanging out with to join the newfound fun. I mean, it’s totally up to the both of you to create those very specific boundaries. By no means am I suggesting that you have to open your bedroom door to outsiders in order to enjoy pillow playtime as a couple.
Your boyfriend is as dry and draining as you have allowed him to be. The BOTH of you have become very familiar with each other, as the relationship has taken a steady course. Yes, you have become less surprised by his behaviors and character traits. You are as settled into the routine of your interactions with him as he is settled into his interactions with you. Stimulate him into rediscovering that exciting, more appealing side to his personality by going along with activities that he enjoys engaging in, introducing him to new couples with similar interests, seducing him as if the two of you have just met, and actually talking to him like he’s just another friend in your iPhone, group chat. Don’t simply complain about your boyfriend being boring if you aren’t willing to heighten the fun in the relationship by playing with him as if this is the first time that you two have met.
We all have a guy existing in our lives who is famous for sending that annoying and cliche, “HEY STRANGER” text almost immediately after he has bumped into us out at a party or has recently seen the attention we’re receiving from strangers in the comment section beneath our new, online postings. He is someone who we have been attracted to for a very long time – a guy who we’ve been texting, talking to, or spending on and off time with for almost a year. This man is fully aware of the intimate and romantic feelings we have for him. There have been at least three or four occasions where he too has expressed his mutual love or care. The issue, however, is that this guy has not made the necessary sacrifices or taken the appropriate steps to secure a solid relationship with us. He no longer makes a point to talk to us frequently. He isn’t affectionate unless we are actually in his presence. And it’s pretty obvious that he is still entertaining the company of people who he knows are interested in being more than simply his damn friend.
As a result of the months of inconsistencies, you haven’t cut him off completely, but you no longer initiate the communication or make advances to reassure him of your feelings. He responds to your calculated distance by making snide remarks saying – “I see your groupies leaving kissy faces under all of your half naked pictures”, or…
“I see you got yourself new, little dates, huh”?
You roll your eyes and laugh to yourself in response. In your mind, you know that you aren’t phased by the public attention, but the fact that he is affected by the assumption that you’ve moved on, makes you feel accomplished.
When you first met this guy months and months ago, he made you feel that he was open to the possibility of a solid relationship. The two of you actually went on a series of dates together that eventually turned into regular, face-to-face interactions. There was even a period of time when he would stay at your place for days and cook, lay around, give you the keys to his car to run errands and even offer to pay for everything. The beginning stages of the relationship felt really good.
Now, this man only seems to give you attention when it’s convenient for him – like, it’s 8:45 on a Sunday night and he’s driving home tipsy from some rooftop, day party. You haven’t seen or heard from him the entire weekend, but now that he’s mildly intoxicated and aroused, he’s texting or calling asking if he can come over. You respond with a bold, “HELL NO!” — and out of nowhere, he starts crying. It’s clearly the alcohol, and you know it. Now you’re receiving a series of apologies and the, “I’m so sorry for not treating you the way you deserve to be treated” speech — more of his pointless, “I really do love you. I care about you so much. Please don’t do this to us”, lyrics.
You are sitting on the opposite end of his emotional outburst somewhat feeling guilty about your attempts to create distance from him. On the contrary, a part of you feels overjoyed by the fact that the plotting and your actions to take control of this situation have brought this man to his knees. You’re feeling vindicated of all guilt after thinking about the ways in which this man has kept you dangling on a rope for so long. However, the other side of you that loves and misses this man wants to immediately forgive and reassure him that you aren’t going anywhere.
AVOID MAKING THIS SAME MISTAKE FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME…
Guys are very much governed by the instinct to avoid loss. When they see how desired you are by other men when the two of you happen to be out at the same party or they’re reading flirtatious comments beneath your newest selfie, it can create a sense of panic. Many of the actions guys take or impulsive decisions they make to FINALLY HIT YOU UP, stem from a desire to own and hold on to people or things that he believes increases his personal value.
He sends that “HEY STRANGER” text as a selfish ploy to keep you grounded and isolated in his life. He is well aware of the fact that the only reason he hasn’t seen you or heard from you is because he hasn’t made an attempt to do so.
No, he isn’t willing to give you the love and affection that you deserve, but he also doesn’t want you seeking that level of attention from someone else.
When a man begins crying and pleading for you to not leave him, after his behavior has forced you to walk out of the door, it’s because he is scared for the first time. However, he isn’t scared of losing you as a person as much as he is afraid of losing someone who he felt belonged to only him. Its his desire for ownership that has taken over his emotions and psyche. During all of those days and weeks and months that you were calling and texting and reaching out to him constantly, he had no reason to fear the thoughts of your absence. This man genuinely felt that he no longer had to put forth effort to maintain your attention because you were not ever going to move on from him. His recent goal has been to say or do just enough, the BARE MINIMUM, to convince you to stay put… and for the most part, you have.
So — NO, you should not take him seriously at this point, for it is merely his ego that he is protecting, and NOT your heart or your desire to exist in a committed relationship alongside him.
There is something very attractive and quite appealing about a guy who carries a little extra bulk in his upper body — obviously heavy below the waist as well. He’s not huge and blubbery or obese with triple chins and gigantic thighs that rub together when he walks. However, he may have chipmunk cheeks, a few extra flabs on the sides and a nice, rounded belly. His meaty physique matches his semi masculine bravado. He walks with dominant force and commands the attention of his lovers. The oak moss notes and herbaceous blends of his various colognes linger in your clothes hours after one of his teddy bear hugs. And while he is fully aware of the fact that his physical form is chunkier than some other men in your life, he doesn’t stress himself about dieting or working out religiously to fit the social mold. He’s proud to be a formidable, card-carrying member of #TeamThick.
He is considered to be chubby, but strong. His strength comes in the form of his ability to be comfortable with the extra skin he is in. He isn’t embarrassed about his weight and therefore exudes a confidence that contributes greatly to #TeamThick’s sex appeal. People are drawn to his self-assured personality, for it’s his optimism that encourages his friends, associates and dates to live a fuller life. Contrary to popular belief, thicker dudes are often happier and more confident in themselves than their svelte and more muscular counterparts. They aren’t overly concerned about maintaining chiseled pecs and hard biceps in order to garner public acceptance. As a result, the upbeat, positive energy that these men exude day to day seems to attract the attention of those who are looking for “more to love”. Being slightly overweight in this day and time no longer classifies an individual as being unwanted or undesirable.
More people are actually beginning to seek thicker men as potential boyfriends,
and here are FIVE reasons why…
THICK MEN LAST LONGER IN BED – Recent scientific studies have proven that overweight men who have plump tummies also maintain a female sex hormone that floats through their bodies called, Estradiol. The hormone actually works to slow down the process of reaching an orgasm. This means that when thick men are engaging in sexual intercourse, they are able to perform longer than slimmer men without reaching their climax as quickly. If your sex drive allows you to go non-stop rounds in the bedroom, your thick man will more than likely be able to keep up with you. However, you may simply need to climb on top midway through so he isn’t doing all of the HARD work. (pun intended)
MORE UNDERSTANDING & ACCEPTING – Dating a chubby or heavier man can work wonders for your self-esteem. Most often, a guy who has battled with his own weight and body issues isn’t going to criticize you or the other people around him for gaining a few extra pounds. Thick men aren’t necessarily monitoring your food portions or calorie intake if they aren’t measuring their own. You can feel free to eat your entire meal while out at dinner and then raid the cabinets for goodies and snacks while the two of you are lounging around the house after your night out. He is never going to question your cravings or make you feel bad for filling out in certain areas.
MENTALLY HEALTHIER & HAPPIER THAN MANY – While it is certainly true that bigger people suffer from bouts of sadness, insecurities or depression as it pertains to their physical body, a lot of thick men are rather confident in whom they are as a whole. Thicker men aren’t necessarily spending their days judging themselves or others for shallow reasons. They’ve more than likely experienced periods in life of being the one who was victimized, teased or taunted for surface reasons. As a result, their sense of happiness stems from now focusing on the more organic elements that create their every day. These men are as active and on the go as their more toned friends or muscular associates. Thicker guys are simply happy to be in the presence of others who love them and enjoy spending time tasting the pleasures that life has to offer.
HE’S A CUSHION – Both physically and emotionally, a thick man will bring layers of comfort to your life. Not only does his soft body provide the best comfy, cuddle moments, but a thicker dude is willing to open his heart to romance and other relationship opportunities with less force. He realizes that he doesn’t have the ideal, gym body and he knows that you have looked beyond that fact to truly connect with him. As a result, your teddy bear wants nothing more than to make you feel as special and chosen as you have done for him.
UNDENIABLE SEX APPEAL – Quite simply, the draw of a thick man is his plump, protective, physical shield. He isn’t toned, but his body shape is typically that of a traditional, alpha-male. Being in his presence can make his dates and other romantic partners feel safe, guarded and free. Over the years, his sex appeal has developed from his ability to highlight his most positive and attractive features. Aside from his handsome face and somewhat silly personality, a thick man is often dressed well, groomed appropriately and always dashed in an alluring scent. He does exercise once in a while, travels when he can afford to and volunteers his time to coach a community football team or to work in his church kitchen on Sunday afternoons. He can be spontaneous, humorous, seductive and in charge of the life he lives.
To have a bulkier, chubbier man on your arm is to exist in the company of someone who is going to take care of your emotional and physical needs, first. He isn’t going to make you feel insecure about your body, your interests or your unyielding desire to make the relationship last. A physically heavier man will embrace your desire to have him all to yourself, as he is just as committed to keeping you in his life for the long haul. Your attraction to him as a person will make you second guess why you ran after the conventional, tatted, bearded, gym bunny types for so long. And while your friends may taunt or tease you for now being a “chubby chaser”, I guarantee that seeing your happiness will have them all standing in line to secure a man of their own from the sexy roster that comprises, #TeamThick.
As adults, we often find ourselves embarrassed to admit we are jealous of the fact that one of our closest friends is randomly spending increased time with someone whom we casually introduced them to. One of your associates doesn’t have plans one Friday evening after work, so you invite them to join you and one of your best friends for happy hour. The evening begins with a flow of tequila shots and rounds of half-off, cocktails from the bar. As the evening progresses, the three of you decide to check out one of the downtown clubs that is launching their seasonal, “First Friday’s” event. Since you are the one most familiar with the clubs location, you volunteer to drive. Your friend and associate leave their cars parked outside of the bar. The three of you arrive to the club, dance the night away and end up staying out together until two-thirty, early Saturday morning. You’ve had the least to drink, so you’re automatically elected as the sober driver amongst the group. Your friend and associate are sprawled across the backseat together, but not totally passed out. The two of them are laughing at one another, singing to the top of their lungs, yelling jibberish out of the back windows and simply enjoying the last moments of your night out together. You make the decision that your friend and associate are not sober enough to drive their own cars home. As a result, you hop on the highway that leads straight to your house. Later that Saturday morning, you’re preparing breakfast in the kitchen as your friend and associate are recovering from hangovers on the sofa and couch in your living room. The two of them are exchanging words and quick phrases with one another about the fun you all shared the night before. You overhear them asking one another about their jobs and relationship statuses – sort of the things that never came up in conversation at the bar or the nightclub. After breakfast, you drop both your friend and associate off at their cars. You casually mention that the three of you should definitely get together sometime soon for ROUND TWO of what was certainly a good time had by all. Your friend and associate agree. The three of you go your separate ways and don’t see or hear from one another for the remainder of the weekend.
SO YOU THINK…
On Monday morning, you log into your work computer at the start of the day. The first thing you do is check your social media pages simply to see if there are any new photos or status updates that have been posted by the people you’re closest to. The first picture you see posted at the top of your Facebook feed is a shot of your best friend and associate sitting at the bar the three of you attended on Friday night – the same bar you introduced them to for the first time. You realize that they’re both wearing different clothes than the outfits that they were wearing Friday night. Then, you look at the date and caption beneath the picture. It’s marked for Saturday night. Your best friend and associate went back to the bar together without texting or calling to invite you along. Immediately, you catch an attitude. In your mind you’re thinking, “when did they even exchange phone numbers?” – “why did my best friend above all people not ask me to come with them?” – “what the hell?! I’m the one who even told them about the new bar!”
When you ask your best friend why you weren’t invited to head back to the bar on Saturday night, your friend dismisses your inquiry by simply saying, “you know how you are. You wouldn’t have wanted to go drinking two nights in a row.” And in your mind, you know that your best friend is being honest and factual, but it still irritates you that you weren’t at least given the option to decline the offer. As the next few weeks pass by, you find yourself growing increasingly annoyed by the fact that the two individuals you casually introduced, are now regularly hanging out with one another, without you.
You find yourself beginning to remove yourself from associating with both your best friend and your associate. You intentionally avoid liking their status messages or photos on social media, and you refuse to reach out to either of them to invite yourself along on their now, weekly outings. The one or two times that the associate or best friend have asked you to join them, you’ve been too “in your feelings” to accept the offer. A part of you is jealous and bothered by their newfound friendship, but you’re also feeling embarrassed that their relationship is making you feel like the outcast. You have not expressed your resentment, hurt feelings or annoyance with either of them.
You should not be embarrassed. Your feelings are valid and quite normal. Often times, when our close friend begins hanging closely with someone new, it does tend to make us feel replaced. We begin to assume that the new bond is more important or more significant to our best friend than the relationship we’ve developed with them over years. We begin to wonder if our friend is having more fun with the new individual. Those thoughts then put us into a space of feeling insecure, questioning our worth and doubting the position we presently play alongside the friend we’ve known and loved since what feels like forever.
It is so important, however, to remember that real friendships FRAME our lives. The frame is rarely broken or replaced. However, within that frame, the picture is constantly changing. Sometimes, the picture requires a scene that illustrates your best friend sitting in the corner engrossed in family problems, relationship issues and financial debt. You may not be included in that particular scene right away because your friend is choosing to handle their personal issues alone. Another scene may require that your friend be painted in the center of the picture with a love interest sitting beside them. You are included in this scene, but positioned far off to the right of the portrait. You are positioned as being present, but only when called upon as needed. And in the scene where your friend is learning to explore the world outside of their comfort zone with you, the picture may be painted to include your friend standing outside, alongside a new individual who looks totally opposite from you.
It simply becomes necessary that you remind yourself that you are a part of the FRAME. The frame keeps the illustration solid and standing. Regardless of how the picture changes in your friend’s life, he or she will always need you and call upon you to help them keep the picture in place.
You do not have to always be a part of the scene or illustration in order for your presence and friendship to be known or embraced.
Obviously, I 100% support the physical lives and emotional journeys of those who comprise our transgender community. One of my closest and dearest friends/mentors is a transgender woman. The universe conspired to bring us together 10 years ago & she has served as the nucleus of my understanding and sensitivity towards the trans experience ever since.
While I do understand other people’s lack of information regarding transgender issues, and their ignorance towards the daily struggles these men & women endure, I am still very disheartened by the very closed minded comments that I’m hearing on the radio and reading online as well. All of the, “I’m still gonna call HIM Bruce” feedback or “I feel so sad for HIS children” or “if God wanted them to be women he would have blah blah blah” responses, are incredibly insensitive and off putting.
Transgender individuals should be referred to using the names & pronouns that are preferred. It has also not been requested by the family that WE (the public) pray for them or offer our condolences. They are not in mourning. Caitlyn’s children seem to have embraced this transitional period and have certainly come out publicly on numerous occasions now to offer their unyielding support.
Furthermore, it is my belief that God places certain challenges in each of our lives to give layers to our earthly experience – to test how we will individually handle the social, emotional, mental and physical obstacles that are laid before us. I was born gay. One of the challenges I was given in my life was to finally embrace my sexuality at the age of 21, present that piece of myself to my loved ones, deal with the responses and rejections, and to then begin using my struggles to touch the lives of thousands of others. My same sex attractions weren’t chosen. This is how I know for sure that transgender individuals do NOT choose the feelings of being born into the wrong, physical body. The ONLY CHOICE trans individuals make is to finally free themselves by altering their physical appearances to match their authentic, internal make up that has existed within since birth.
The trans experience is far greater and more intricate than the glossy photos and magazine spreads that run up and down your social media timelines. Some people are judging covers without fully understanding the difficulties in someone having to cover up for YEARS.
Before all of the written & verbal criticisms, please take a moment even TRYING to comprehend the lifelong struggles that trans individuals face before physically transitioning their “faces”.
Over the past few months, I have posted quite a few original thoughts, ideas, opinions and advice blurbs via my social media networks. This content has ranged from my praise of certain mainstream media entities like Jussie Smollett, to my personal joys of being able to spend 10 days on the beaches and sands of Los Angeles, California. I have tapped into the universal language of love — offering my point of view about how we engage with our romantic partners, as well as maintaining unhealthy attachments to our exes. I also began publicly sharing some of my favorite skin and body products; encouraging many of you to try samples of some of the cologne or face washes that I’ve recently sampled and purchased. Additionally, I recently dedicated #MCM (Male Crush Monday) to an idea, as opposed to a specific person. I outlined a fanciful day that we’d all ideally like to spend with the special man in our lives. And since many of you enjoy following me via Twitter, I’ve engaged in a series of live tweeting sessions while popular series such as FOX’s Empire and ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, were airing. Obviously, my recent social media posts have resonated with my core audience because many individuals who may not follow me directly via social media, have sent messages of support and agreement after seeing my posts shared on their personal timelines from those who have been loyal to my online platform over the past seven years.
Receiving hundreds and sometimes a combined total of thousands of Likes, Shares, Retweets, Favorites, Reblogs and Comments via both of my FACEBOOK pages, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER and TUMBLR timelines, I selected a few of the most popular posts to be featured here at XemSays.com
JANUARY 14, 2015
THIS is absolutely what I hope to come home to each day — a partner whose artistic talents & creative passions are enough to keep him occupied in my absence. Someone who truly knows & understands the value of free, human expression VS. social standards of “success”. To me, there is nothing more attractive than a man who can paint his feelings, sing his pains, play his struggles, dance his truth, …recite his sacrifices, sculpt his frustrations, film his untold story, cook the goodness of his heart into meal form, photograph images reflecting his trials & triumphs, or simply creating from a rigid or raw place.
Power Couple. A unique bond between two individuals whose strengths compliment & build one another to higher spectrums of the world. The results of their private labor have tremendous influence over public spectators.
Sweet Valentine of mine…
JANUARY 18, 2015
KINDA DOPE! One of my supporters tweeted me last night to let me know that #eonline posted one of my #WhitneyMovie posts to their website alongside Amber Riley, Kathy Griffin & Sherri Shepherd. -
I know it’s not really a big deal, but it’s the first time in 7 years now that a mainstream media outlet has ever shared or posted any of my words. I think…
JANUARY 27, 2015
Laptop. Oatmeal. Tea.–
This is LITERALLY what dating me would be like. LOL! Indoors. Dimly Lit. You curled up with an attitude in that dark space on the right side of the bed. I’m working on a project. You’re wishing I had the desire to leave the damn house other than to go to the gym or to grab lunch from Whole Foods.
BUT I told you that I’m a homebody in the very beginning & you said you were cool with it. Right?
FEBRUARY 8, 2015
MY VALENTINES GIFT FROM YOU TO ME.
You all actually paid for these AVEDA products by clicking the links on my website last month. THANK YOU!
I’ve been wanting to get back on the Aveda acne prone facial regime for a while now, but everything is so damn expensive! Two weeks ago however, I decided to use some of my Google check to buy the OUTER PEACE FOAMING CLEANSER, the BOTANICAL KINETICS EXFOLIANT, the OUTER PEACE ACNE RELIEF LOTION and the OUTER PEACE COOLING MASQUE.
I started using Aveda products on my face after I came off the Accutane in 2006/2007. However, once I moved to California in 2008, I could no longer afford to drop $117 every 3 months to repurchase everything when I would run out.
It really feels GOOD to treat myself. I think we all should invest in taking better care of our skin, our teeth and our bodies as best we can. I just want to be healthier this year. I’ve been taking the ONE A DAY men’s health vitamin on a daily basis since November. My immune system is getting stronger. I haven’t been sick at all this winter. It’s crazy that I stopped taking essential vitamins in October 2012, but would pile my body with the creatine, protein supplements & muscle milk to aid my workout recovery. I am also now buying a new toothbrush every 3 months & using it EVERY morning + night. And I’ve also started using enamel protective toothpaste to combat all of the whitening products I’ve abused over the past few years.
It just makes me feel good to take better physical care of myself overall, as opposed to just going to the gym & convincing myself that’s enough. You know?…
FEBRUARY 19, 2015
Cicely Tyson is a screen siren! The epitome of dramatic performance. A matriarch of theatrical expression. #HTGAWM
and the Emmy goes to…
FEBRUARY 22, 2015
THIS IS THE SCENT YOU WANT FELLAS! and this is the cologne you want to buy for your special guy, ladies…
This Yves Saint Laurent was one of my birthday gifts from my darling sister. It smells like passion —
You know how you see a guy that is built like NATE LEAHY from “How To Get Away With Murder” & his dress clothes fit like a smooth, second skin? He walks by you in an open space & his sensual smell lingers until he & his size 12 wingtip shoes have turned the next corner…?
YEAH… that’s EXACTLY what this “Yves Saint Laurent” gives once it settles into the skin
I’m spraying it on now as I hustle out the door to head to DC for Ayana’s birthday brunch.
PURCHASE IT if you don’t already have it in your collection. I adore!
MARCH 11, 2015
For probably the first time in my entire life, I can honestly say there is a male character on mainstream television who looks like me, acts like me, speaks like me, carries himself the way I do, presents the same passion, and allows me to say that I SEE MYSELF IN HIM. I met Jussie briefly in April 2011 or April 2012 at the premiere of “The Skinny” in Washington, DC. Automatic good vibes & positive energy poured from his spirit. Seeing him each week portray Jamal Lyon on #EMPIRE reinforces to me that our stories, our trials & triumphs ARE significant within the scope of mainstream society. Jussie’s portrayal of an openly gay black man SEALS a lot of truth about our normal, everyday experiences. Nothing is watered down or overdone. It’s as if I’m watching my male friends & associates on screen; the REALITY that was hardly ever displayed publicly until now. I don’t know Jussie’s personal struggles, artistic journey or his full life story, but I know that his presence amongst the masses right now truly makes me PROUD…and excited about the promise of tomorrows possibilities. I am leaving for Los Angeles on March 21st & I fully intend to soak up every moment of opportunity that my trip presents. Every dream leads to a destination & we can’t be afraid to continue walking towards the space our good lord has carved out for each of us — individually.
LOVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TO KEEP TRYING. BELIEVE IN YOUR TALENTS ENOUGH TO CONTINUE PUTTING THEM ON DISPLAY.
MARCH 16, 2015
young, black male teachers in our public school classrooms — not simply coaching the athletic teams or operating gym, but instructing our mathematics, science & English courses. I LOVE!
MARCH 17, 2015
the day that Whitley met Kinu for the first time. LOOK AT HER FACE! — but nothing tops the scene when Whitley was working as Dwayne & Ron’s maid. Dwayne’s mother (Patti Labelle) makes a surprise visit. Whitley pretends to not know Kinu’s name, so she starts calling her everything & anything beginning with a “K”. BWAHAHAHAHA! –
“I’ll have to ask you to wipe those less than petite feet on the mat before entering the apartment Kukilee.” I DIED!
MARCH 18, 2015
This finale was almost written as if the writers & producers didn’t expect the series to be green lit for a second season. #EmpireFOX
I enjoyed the show, but I felt that some of the storylines were rushed and given premature closure. You know?…
MARCH 23, 2015
Malibu Beach California – I am so incredibly happy and blessed to be here right now. I NEEDED THIS. Feeling so at peace & slightly removed from some of the “stuff”. You know? It wasn’t exactly beach weather today (LOL), but I couldn’t wait for the 90 degree temperatures coming Wednesday before I soaked this up.
MARCH 24, 2015
Embrace those rare moments in life when you are removed from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine in order to refuel your physical, mental and emotional self. God absolutely knows when you have had enough or are in need of a healthy replenishing. He watches us give and give and give of ourselves to the point where we feel depleted of all energy or focus. Sometimes, you just don’t want to be the strong, nurturing mother or the protective big brother or the outspoken co-…worker who puts management in their place or the perfect, listening friend who offers the best advice. Sometimes, you really just want to pack your damn bags, get on a plane, sit by the ocean and listen to Lenny Kravitz all day. And that is okay! –
We all deserve a break, regardless of our tasks or responsibilities. You can’t possibly be of service to others when you aren’t taking proper care of yourself. Make time for YOU, even when the money or opportunity to do so doesn’t “seem” to be there. It’s necessary.
MARCH 30, 2015
#MCM — not the individual. the idea. its the idea of you and your dude both calling out on a Monday morning to spend the day together. weekend was so hectic between running errands, attending your best friends baby shower, cleaning the house, taking your grandmother to church and doing dinner with your parents on Sunday evening that the start of the week has come too soon. it’s the sweet serenity of watching your dude sit peacefully on the couch — holding the puppy that …he purchased at the top of the new year. he and yall’s little pup pup are just getting in from their morning walk. you have filled the doggy bowl with dry food, filled the water dish with ice cubes and are just about done preparing breakfast on the stove. nothing fancy, but something you and your man will both enjoy. neither of you has made any plans to fill the unexpected day off but resting and relaxing is of the priority.
laying beside him even though he still smells like outside actually turns you on. he keeps playfully saying he’s going to get in the shower… “in five minutes”, but five minutes tips toes past the afternoon hours. by the time the two of you have awakened from a deep, day long sleep the sun has set. curtains & blinds still open. that annoying audio from the home screen of the Netflix movie you closed your eyes on is playing repeatedly. puppy nestled at the bottom of the bed waiting to be walked. you force yourself to sit up in the bed though you’ve lost all awareness of where you are or even what day it is. you look over at your man who is half passed out but pulling on you to now help him release. his left hand yanking your upper arm. right wrist hidden beneath his drawstring. his deep, groggy, muffled slur, “baby…real quick.” you somewhat wanting to, but totally distracted by everything that now has to be turned off, powered on and prepared before tomorrow morning. he turns over to face the wall and pulls the covers over his head. you nudge him in the back & tell him to walk the dog. in his deep, groggy, muffled slur, he replies… “in five minutes”.
he’s so use to you doing everything to keep his days and nights in order. this is how you’ve conditioned the relationship. its frustrating at times that he doesn’t offer to pitch in more often. however, you can say that he’s always active and engaged when you specifically ask or call upon him. sure, this has been the toughest two years of your life, but the challenge has been worth his presence. this is the man you love. this is the only man you think about calling out to simply lay with on a Monday morning. he is your #MCE — your male crush everyday.
APRIL 1, 2015
Seriously…. this “MURAD: Acne Spot Fast Fix” cream WORKS! — my face broke out terribly the week I was set to leave for California. I went to Sephora in hopes of finding the “Henriksen: Roll On Blemish Attack” cream I used during desperate situations like these in previous years. Well, come to find out, Sephora has STOPPED selling the product.
The lady assisting me suggested the MURAD treatment. She said many of her female clients loved the results. I felt I had no other choice but to trust her & try it. She suggested I start slow by using a thin layer of the cream on the problem areas once a day… and then gradually work up to 3 times over a 24 hour period. I didn’t have time to “work up to” anything. So, I started using the MURAD Acne Spot Fast Fix cream in the morning, during midday and night– immediately. LOVED the results. Very pleased. Skin had cleared up enough within 3 days that I could still take pictures while in LA & not edit them before posting. The MURAD is only $16.00 for the tube. So, if you’re experiencing breakouts right now with this change in season, DEFINITELY try the MURAD. Sometimes, even with our face washes, exfoliants & moisturizers, our skin will breakout for no good goddamn reason. It’s so ANNOYING — especially because it happens right before an important event or situation. You know? UGH!
Just thought I’d share.
APRIL 12, 2015
we all need to collectively unlearn and reject the idea that certain accomplishments only count if they’re achieved by a certain age or within a “normal” time frame.going through life at your own pace does NOT equate to laziness or failure.
there is no expiration date on graduating from college, securing a “good paying” job, existing in a romantic relationship or purchasing your first home — (if those are even your goals in the first place). it’s society that misleads us to believe that if we don’t have ‘it’ by THIS TIME, then OUR TIME has passed. it simply isn’t true.
APRIL 14, 2015
I want to fall in love again — with someone who will greet me before saying “good morning” to strangers on social media, with someone who likes me more than the “likes” they receive beneath pictures, with someone who doesn’t mind answering all of my questions in detail or choosing to stay in the house with me on weekends instead of running the damn streets. I want to fall in love again — with someone who misses me when I’m gone, but not so much that they attempt to fill my physical void with the presence of someone else’s flesh.
Don’t contemplate breaking up with me simply because I’ve been in a mood for the past few weeks & I can’t explain specifically why I’m so sad or annoyed. It’s not you. I’ve said that. Embrace me tighter in moments when I’m at my worst, as opposed to getting frustrated and publicly embarrassing us by getting caught out there being thotty.
I want to fall in love again — with someone special who believes that we possess the collective power to reach our potential & live our purpose together. Is it even possible? I simply want to fall in love again — with someone who believes that what we’re building is totally worth the try… a constant, repetitive, unyielding TRY. Never leave me. And hold my hand even when you can’t stand being around me. Please. Because I’m going to do all of the same for you.
APRIL 16, 2015
#TBT MOTHERS DAY 2014 —
Zaxembi & Zakiya
as my mother has gotten older, this lady has become reeeeal comfortable asking for very specific holiday & birthday gifts. mmmhmm. she use to just say, “I don’t want yall spending your money on me” — and we would OF COURSE get her something nice with cards as well. she’d be “surprised”, overjoyed & cry opening whatever we presented. HOWEVER… ever since we bought her that tablet or new luggage it was a few years ago, NOW she p…resents a gift REQUEST before every event. HA! she done already laid out EXACTLY the beach bag, surrong, matching hat and glasses she wants us to ORDER for Mother’s Day so she’ll have it for her boat trip in September. Zakiya is something else. I tell you. LOL!
– but this is also the same lady who would often set aside her own wants and needs to make sure we had every item placed on our Christmas, birthday and back-to-school lists. I was 16 years old before I discovered that she was dipping from bill money here or skipping hair appointments there to guarantee we had a few of the extras. I was blessed to be raised in a two parent household, but my father didn’t support or believe in the excess of westernized materialism. now, I fully understand why. however, as mothers have done since the beginning of time, Zakiya made our naive, youthful wishes a reality. as children, we rarely understand the SILENT SACRIFICES our moms make in order to frame our childhood as “comfortable” as possible. OUR MIRACLE WORKERS
– so yeah… Mothers Day is in only 3 weeks from this SUNDAY. start thinking about your plans NOW.
APRIL 17, 2015
If you don’t want your close friends or family members judging you for “trying to make things work” with a romantic partner, STOP discussing only the negative situations that frame your relationship. When you are telling your little stories, be sure to also talk about ALL of the shit you said and did over time to contribute to the messy circumstances. People only know what you share with them — and when you’re always painting your partner to be the villain, that’s exactly how your loved ones are going to perceive them. Blame yourself for others looking at you with the side eye for choosing to stay.
APRIL 22, 2015
HERE’S MY THING:
when you say, “ME AND MY EX ARE JUST FRIENDS”, that means to me — that your ex should be fully aware, accepting and respectful of your present, romantic relationships.
if you and your ex are “JUST FRIENDS” who communicate 3-4 times each week, there’s no reason why I can’t be in the room when the two of you are texting or talking. if you can hold conversations with your mother, cousins, your homeboys — Black, Big Mike & Lil Kevin while I’m sitting right be…side you, then don’t step out of the room or wait until I’m not around to converse with your ex.
if you and your ex are “JUST FRIENDS”, there should be nothing awkward or uncomfortable about you having the both of us in the same room, at the same damn time. why? because as adults, most of us look forward to introducing those we see as “just friends” to the individual we are seriously dating. most often, we want our loved ones to know and get along with the special, romantic partner in our lives. RIGHT?
if you feel so incredibly odd or weird bringing me around your ex who is “just a friend”, then it lets me know there are still feelings involved on your part and/or theirs as well. my ex and I can double date in public or behind closed doors because we ARE really “just friends” — genuinely happy to see the other involved in a new, healthy relationship.
when you can’t openly discuss your love life with an ex without hurting their feelings, the entire “JUST FRIENDS” bullshit is simply in place to sum up the fact that you two have broken up on the surface, possibly stopped sleeping with one another, but haven’t emotionally detached.
cause see… friendship isn’t censored or selective. any ex in my life who I call just a friend, is someone who can sit across a table from me and my present date and not “feel some type of way” regarding my newfound happiness. period.
you and YOUR EX are NOT “JUST FRIENDS”.
I hope you have had an opportunity to catch up with some of the more popular posts you have possibly missed from me since January, 2015. Be sure that you are FOLLOWING all of the Xem VanAdams social media. You never know when an idea is going to pop into my head, I’m inspired to share a tidbit of love and relationship advice or I get the urge to share a new product that is working on my body + skin.
I received a phone call earlier today that prompted me to not only tell a personal story on camera, but to also share a tidbit of truth regarding the difference between friendship vs. association. I also delve into this present day obsession people seem to have with “throwing shade” or being shady. Sometimes, as adults, I don’t feel that many of us truly understand how to effectively communicate with one another without feeling slighted. I have learned to always be direct in the beginning, as to AVOID situations where I can be labeled or mistaken as a shady, dishonest or “funny acting” individual.
WATCHBELOW as I sit before you to detail yet another recent tale in my life. You decide whether or not I was being SHADY or SOCIALLY SELECTIVE.
Many of you are now aware that the 1st Xem VanAdams video of 2015 has been recorded. Announcements began towards the end of last week via all of my social media networks to inform each of you that a new video was on its way. I elected to discuss a topic that plagues contemporary pop culture and society at large. I not only wanted to address the “poisons” of social media, but I chose to tap a little into the reasoning behind its growth and influence amongst our youth, teenagers and adults as well. The video runs a total of 25 minutes. I begin by discussing the dynamics of social media and how it contributed to our lives when I began blogging in September, 2007. Then, I segue into the growth and affects of social media’s imagery, personalities and power over the decisions we make in our everyday lives.
I’ve chosen to release a preview just because I know that my core audience hasn’t seen me on camera in almost 6 months. The first few minutes of the actual video release is dedicated to my immediate supporters; as I share a tidbit of personal information that is sure to bring us closer in some regards. As this year progresses, many of you will begin to understand why I have chosen to reveal these facts at this moment in time.
Meanwhile, enjoy the preview clips. Please be sure to watch, comment and rate the NEW VIDEO within the first 24-48 hours of its release. An announcement regarding the upload date will be made via TWITTER, BOTH FACEBOOKPAGES, INSTAGRAM and TUMBLR. If you are not following me on all social media, please click the above embedded links TODAY. Each link will lead you directly to my personal page for that particular network.
The official LOVE & PIT STOPS: THE POISONS OF SOCIAL MEDIA video will be released IN FULL via Youtube.com/XemVanAdams soon enough. I encourage you all to post the actual video on your Twitter timelines, tumblr pages, Facebook walls and even screen cap images or upload a quick clip to your Instagram’s. I want the video to reach beyond my core audience because the message and content is universal at this point.
THANK YOU for continuing to love, support and embrace my journey. I look forward to recording additional videos and sharing them publicly as we move progressively through this new year.