In association with XemSays.com and Emerald Eye Entertainment
Xem VanAdams Presents…
The iPhone Group Chat Live: Washington, DC
LOVE, DATING & RELATIONSHIPSBETWEEN MEN
Over the past three years, I have spent countless hours throughout each day engaged in a series of group text message and screen-cap exchanges with my two good friends, NATE @psycho_gemini and DUANTE @4theloveofdevious.
Discussing a variety of issues associated with our dreams, aspirations, spirituality, favorite music, news headlines and other people’s online mess, the three of us always return to the ins and outs that frame our dating or relationship experiences. In the winter of 2014, we joked one morning about how funny or odd it would be to see other people’s reactions if they were to ever read a leaked copy of our uncensored, iPhone group chats. We made the collective decision to someday film ourselves actually talking to one another as openly and freely on camera as we do via cell, daily. Then, a few weeks ago, the three of us attended a happy hour event in Silver Spring, MD to kill time before we arrived at the Tori Kelly concert. Duante randomly suggested it would be a good idea to add other individuals to our videotaped chat session. He wanted to incorporate guys who would possibly challenge the similarities in our perspectives and points of view.
After careful evaluation, we decided that MATTHEW @jaiden_elijah, BRANDON @bgldnboi and CHRISTOPHER @me_poppa, would make great contributors to our candid conversation. On Saturday, July 11, 2015, the six of us convened in Northeast, Washington DC to openly discuss love and dating within our community.
Filmed by Joshua Cristos and his Malak Media Group team, the six of us engaged in a 30-minute conversation that tackles a variety of issues. Through a series of direct questions and bold responses, this group successfully addresses the relationship dynamics that exist between men.
Join us during the summer of 2015, as this special Xem VanAdams video segment is released exclusively via youtube.com/XemVanAdams, XemSays.com & XemSays.tumblr.com.
Please follow the Xem VanAdams social media networks to guarantee that you are one of the first individuals to be notified before the link to this special presentation appears in timelines and forums across the World Wide Web.
Many people spend forty hours each week strapped to a swivel office chair that is positioned comfortably behind a cubicle or a cherry wooden desk of some kind. Between taking calls, inputting computer data, running reports or managing a staff that completes all of these tedious tasks, your job has become an intricate part of your life. You either love what you are paid to do from nine to five everyday or you’ve grown to loathe everything associated with your title, position and responsibilities. However, you’ve become very comfortable or complacent in the routine of each day. You don’t have to consciously think about what needs to be completed first thing in the morning. Your boss no longer has to remind you about turning in certain files after lunch, or remembering to shut down your computer and lock your phone at the end of the day. When you are in the office, you pretty much do whatever you want because you’ve been employed with the same company for years. No one of authority addresses your attitude, mood or demeanor and that’s precisely why most of your co-workers can’t stand you.
For quite some time now, you’ve been allowed to get away with being less than professional. Everyone who works around you has become increasingly bothered by your behavior. The things you say out of your mouth and everything you do during office hours has become so normal to the higher ups that they basically allow your actions to slide. As a result, you’ve become the topic of lunch hour conversations for seven of your most annoying, in office habits….
7. PROLONGING GROUP MEETINGS – You are the only individual who sits in the back of the team room and actually responds to the boss when he asks if anyone can share a story or give an example of a situation that supports a statement he has made. You see meetings as the perfect opportunity to ramble on and on about how things use to be when you were hired before all of the new people came on board. Very little of what you have to say in meetings is concise or even relevant to the topics that are being presented. Your entire point and purpose in raising your hand is to verbally remind everyone that you have some level of seniority or advanced experience.
6. YOUR OFFICE PARTY CONTRIBUTIONS ARE ALWAYS BASIC – As much as you love to brag about your seniority on the job, you never like to bring real food or necessary items to the holiday parties or other company events. While everyone else makes homemade pasta, grilled chicken, baked cookies or a special seven-spice punch, you’ll bring straws – a pack of 20 for a staff of 53. Even when it’s your turn once a quarter to contribute to the Friday staff breakfast, you’ll simply stop at Dunkin Donuts to purchase one, twenty-five count box of munchkins. You’re the first person in the office to pile your plate with everyone else’s homemade dishes. However, when it comes to contributing food items that most of the other staff would eat and enjoy, you choose to bring the flimsy, white, dentist office cups.
5. YOUR GOSSIP HAS CREATED A LOT OF OFFICE TENSION – Since you’ve been working for the same company for so long, you seem to know the personal and professional business that’s associated with the admin, supervisors, newcomers, janitors and support staff. Although you don’t maliciously cause drama by sharing people’s business with others in the office, you certainly don’t stop yourself from gossiping either. Since you spend more time walking by everyone’s cubicles than you spend sitting at your own, you tend to catch the tail end of personal conversations. Anything you hear, whether it is accurate or only the partial story, you take the information and tell it to anyone willing to listen. If you see Tony tap the vending machine with his fist to help Janet retrieve her soda that was stuck, you’ll begin telling others that they’re dating. Your mouth and half-truths are always found at the center of controversy that ignites between your co-workers. When people approach you to ask why you said certain things about them, your first and immediate response is always, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Where did you hear that?”
4. YOU DON’T RESPECT THE OFFICE CLOCK OR OTHER COMPANY POLICIES – As far as you’re concerned, everyday is casual Friday and your ‘lunch hour’ is merely a title that has little to do with a set, 60 minute time period. Despite the fact that you work in a fairly business-casual environment, the outfits you decide to wear to work are always inappropriate. You will come into the office on Monday wearing thong flip-flops and a wrinkled, graphic tee. Sometimes, your explicit body art and other piercings are blatantly on display. You have violated the dress code so often that for you to actually be dressed appropriately for an office environment would appear abnormal to the other staff. Meanwhile, though a five-minute grace period is in effect to give employees time to return from their hour lunch break and settle down, you return to your desk at your own leisure. Often times, without notice to anyone on the administrative staff, you’ll leave for lunch fifteen minutes early and return thirty to forty-five minutes late. Not only do you return from lunch way beyond your scheduled period, you’ll also then sit at your desk and carry on the cell phone conversation that contributed to your lateness.
You’re loud, laughing and talking to the top of your lungs. Never mind the fact that cell phone usage is only permitted outside, in the break room or in case of an emergency – your desk is used as a phone booth. Your co-workers know the intimate details that surround the lives of your family and close friends because they’re exposed to your “personal” conversations on a regular basis.
3. YOU THINK YOUR POSITION IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT IT REALLY IS – Sweetie, though you’ve been employed with the same company for three years, you have never been promoted beyond your entry level position. You hold the same title as all of your co-workers who were newly hired or brought on board permanently after completing a temp assignment. However, you make it your business to send out mass emails and other memos that detail what others in your same position need to have completed and processed by certain deadline dates. You’ve taken on this self imposed leadership position over individuals who have completed higher levels of education than you’ve achieved. These same co-workers have also garnered just as much experience working at other companies. You wear your job title on your sleeve, but you aren’t willing to actually do the work that is attached to your position.
2. YOU’VE TAKEN CREDIT FOR TASKS YOU DID NOT COMPLETE – Often times, it’s other staff members who have had to show you how to use the new programs, software and other equipment. You’ve grown so comfortable with the tools and resources that were used years ago, that you’ve never adapted to the system updates. As a result, you’ve been unable to effectively contribute to the projects that have been assigned by the higher ups. However, you’re the first person to volunteer to turn in the completed projects, as to receive credit for the organization and presentation of each assignment.
1. YOU IGNORE ALL HAPPY HOUR INVITATIONS & OTHER OUT OF OFFICE ACTIVITIES – You love being the center of attention inside of the office, but you’ve made it perfectly clear that you don’t want anything to do with your co-workers or boss after work hours. When everyone is going out for cocktails and wings on a Friday evening to celebrate someone’s promotion or new job offer, you’re the first to say, “oh…I have a doctors appointment”, or “wait…I have to pick up my son from daycare”. Everyone knows that you’re lying to simply get out of attending the out of office functions, especially since you don’t have children. Even during times when everyone has donated a dollar or two to purchase a wedding gift or flowers for a co-worker who lost a family member, you opt out of contributing anything. You don’t enjoy socializing with your co-workers outside of the office, but you will certainly make their lives a living hell while on the job.
As you pack your bags at the end of each day and unplug the portable heater that’s not allowed and hidden beneath your desk, you don’t even realize that you’ve alienated everyone sitting around you. You’ve become so set in your poor professional ways that much of what you do and don’t do in the office is acceptable as far as you’re concerned. The vice president of the company thinks the world of you and his supporting staff simply follows his lead. As a result, you’ll never be reprimanded for your bad office habits and that’s the only reason your co-workers need to hate your incompetent guts.
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.
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.
People tend to enter into new, random relationships thinking they truly know the other individual if they’ve spent the night at the persons house six or seven times and happened to be sitting in the living room that one day the individuals mother stopped by to drop off a case of water. We get lost in the idea that we’ve officially met the family following a quick wave and pass through — therefore, securing our position as the new love interest. Realistically, a lot of teenagers, young adults and grown folks especially, prematurely enter into romantic situations hoping that a title and an update to their Facebook relationship status will cure their insecurities or loneliness. It seems that once some people establish a mutual attraction, they become all too willing to bypass the necessary process of learning who someone is beyond the first few table conversations that were had at TGIFridays. We fool ourselves into believing that if we’re able to sit on the phone with someone for five hours the first night of meeting and six hours the next, then somehow it’s destined that a strong bond will bloom. And while most people want to fall in love and build a life with someone special, three weeks may not be long enough to determine if your idea of “special” matches what this other person is willing or capable of offering.
There are SIX main reasons why people are willing to bypass the process of truly learning someone’s character and jumping head first into a new relationship…
BOREDOM & CONVENIENCE – Most people simply aren’t honest or clear about why they want a boyfriend in the first place. Too often, “having a boyfriend” in the minds of some, presents the opportunity to be driven to amusement parks, taken out to dinner and photographed in couple-pics that can be uploaded to social media. Relationships that are formed quickly and exist out-of-nowhere are sometimes used as a hobby. One or both individuals find that they have a lot of free, alone time to spare between their long days and lonelier nights. Adding a boyfriend or girlfriend into the daily routine is seen as a way to guarantee company during various personal and leisure tasks. If these two individuals know a lot of the same people or are already engaged in some of the same extra curricular activities, to them, it may really make sense to get together based solely upon their social connections.
There also exists this present day obsession with being deemed as the next online, “power couple’. Everyone wants their relationship to be visually seen and publicly hailed as the second coming of “Bey & Jay”. It simply becomes something cute-to-do for two people who photograph well alongside one another or who look good together on paper to conveniently slap that TITLE onto their misguided intentions.
RACING AGAINST THE CLOCK – As we continue to age, individuals begin to panic. People start examining their lives and personal accomplishments. Life begins to feel heavier and less eternal as we celebrate each birthday. Once people begin to hit their 30’s, the assumption that romantic love and a family unit aren’t going to happen, can become a frightening thought. These thoughts of, “everyone else has someone. why not me?” – can force an individual into attaching themselves to someone who under most circumstances, they’d never entertain. It’s a race to secure romantic love before our looks fade or we become less desirable to the same or opposite sex. After all, we are socially conditioned to believe that love after 30 is damn near impossible.
REBOUND – Individuals who find themselves most comfortable existing within the confines of a relationship aren’t usually willing to remain single long enough to give their hearts room to heal. Being single makes these types of people feel extremely lonely, insecure and afraid. In an effort to patch these empty feelings, attaching to anyone “half decent” and “cute” has become a routine. And especially for guys and young women who have never lived alone; having someone to lie with every night and to share their home with everyday becomes a safety net. It honestly doesn’t matter in some cases who the person is…as long as “somebody” is around.
FILLING A PARENTAL VOID – Some people prematurely enter into random relationships subconsciously in search of a mother or father figure. If an individual grew up in a household where the father was absent or the mother was always in the street, that person could potentially seek parental nurturing in their lovers. The lack of parental stability within the household where they were raised has left a void. In turn, these particular individuals look to others to play the role of the leadership figures they longed for as children. This is usually the saddest and most unfortunate reason why people latch onto relationships in their journey to cope with the world as adults. A lot of responsibility is placed on the lover, and it begins to create a major strain. A boyfriend cannot exist as a father figure and a girlfriend isn’t a mother. The relationship titles and duties aren’t interchangeable.
PEER PRESSURE & FAMILY INFLUENCE – Sometimes, we simply become overwhelmed by the constant questions from those closest to us regarding WHY we aren’t actively dating or involved with someone special. We get tired of being the only one to attend holiday dinners alone, or having to arrive to our company holiday party without a plus one. Even when the questions aren’t being thrown at us, it’s the constant feeling of being that ONE who is always “single”. We begin looking around at our friends, our cousins, god sisters, co-workers and siblings – thinking, DAMN! AM I REALLY THE ONLY ONE ON EARTH WHO ISN’T MARRIED OR AT LEAST ENGAGED?
And that pressure can definitely force people into searching for love and then settling for what comes the easiest and the quickest.
DESIRING INTIMACY & AFFECTION – Contrary to popular belief, everyone isn’t sleeping around with everyone. Some guys and girls truly can still count their sexual partners on one or two hands. In an effort to keep their body count low, you’ll find that certain folks get into relationships in order to feel that they’re engaging in sex with someone they know and feel comfortable with – if even on the surface. It makes some people feel better to be able to say that they’ve only had sex with the same person for the past few months to a year. Hopping fast into the new relationship then presents the opportunity for unlimited cuddles, kisses, hugs and booty without the guilt of sharing ones body with multiple partners.
Jumping into a relationship before truly knowing someone personally, learning them mentally and understanding who they are emotionally is truly a mistake. The first few weeks or month of the new relationship may be filled with passion and thrills. However, that level of excitement will only last for a short period of time – most often igniting the end of the quick pairing. It is very rare that these random, three-week, turnaround relationships survive the long haul. When the bond isn’t based on true love, the relationship has no real basis to exist or to survive.
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.
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.
I love and embrace the fact that the large majority of my supporters truly respect my talents and look up to me as a “big brother”, boyfriend-in-your-head, loving friend or even a father figure. However, I’m just really starting to become ANNOYED that people hold me to a completely different standard than they do some of the others. Please understand that before I am ‘Xem VanAdams’; a public figure who enjoys writing and speaking about social issues or relationship topics, I am very much a human being. You may have been introduced to me through an online video or article post that focused on a serious, relatable matter. Then, you probably began digging for additional content from me that was created along the same lines. By natural order, you may have decided who I was in those moments and somehow placed me in this mental box of purity and other straight-laced confines. You assumed that because I speak a certain way or that I think along certain lines, I’m simply not allowed to be silly or sexual. You mentally painted me onto a canvas where my everyday personality and common interests aren’t given room to color outside of very black and white lines.
THAT’S COMPLETELY UNFAIR!
In my real, everyday life, I too enjoy looking at male celebrities or listening to TOP 40 music on the local radio stations. I too enjoy posting a shirtless pic every few weeks to show off the hard work and dedication that I’ve invested into building my body. I too am allowed to cruise MyVidster and make casual mention of it online if in that moment, I feel comfortable doing so. I AM NOT A MONK.
Every single pastor, professor and political figure you’ve ever come in contact with engages in the exact same activities as the individuals they serve. I have never presented myself publicly as being holier than thou. What many of you must remember about my platform is that I have been a present force for over six years now. When many of you discovered me circa 2008-2010, social media had not risen to the degree where it presently burns. As a result, I didn’t have to promote my content or myself across various platforms. I didn’t have to tweet at the high points throughout each day to stay connected to my audience. I wasn’t forced to update two different Facebook pages with links and status messages during peek hours in an effort to increase my web traffic. There was no Instagram in existence for me to post pictures regularly in order to maintain the attention of my readers & viewers in between the release of projects. All I had to do was release a video on Youtube once each week and post to my Blogspot or XemVanAdams.com. I wasn’t being pressured to meet quotas in order to receive a monthly paycheck from Google.
EVERYTHING I POST IS VERY STRATEGIC. EVERYTHING! Marketing 101 will teach you to grab your potential customer with an enticing visual and then slide the message or sale directly behind it. If you’ve paid close attention to the ways in which my social media pages are updated in association with the core content, you’ll notice a balance between surface imagery and quality sustenance. My platform does not rely heavily on celebrity gossip, reality show reviews, award show critiques and other mainstream topics of interest. As a result, to maintain my high reader and viewership, I must constantly attract new followers.
Joe and Shmoe may start following me on Twitter because someone retweeted a Twitpic I posted of Trey Songz taking a selfie in his underwear. However, immediately following that tweeted pic will be a link to my latest article posted on XemSays.com or my most recent video uploaded to Youtube.com/XemVanAdams. Joe and Shmoe are more than likely going to click the link and then be turned on to my real work. It’s very calculated ladies and gentlemen. On average, each of my articles is read 5,300-5,500 times over a 30-day period. That traffic would be cut in half if I did not use certain types of images to attract the common reader. I don’t have the luxury of posting a link once, sleeping the rest of the day away and waking up to full readership or viewership. Unlike some of the others, I have to actually dedicate 50% of my time to simply promoting my material. Part of that promotion is also sharing content that is associated with my target audience, but not necessarily a direct parallel to the stories, articles and videos I create for that particular group. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? – No, I’m not going to record a video discussing Kim Kardashian. However, I will post a new picture on my basic, social media pages of North West posed in the fall 2014 Chanel ad. A random, Facebook friend named David Collins may see the picture in his timeline as he is scrolling one evening. Having only followed me because he liked my avi three months ago, David Collins may have NEVER read a Xem VanAdams article or even so much as watched a Xem VanAdams video. NOW, because David is home from work and has a little time on his hands, the chances are greater that he will go from ‘liking’ the pic of North West to now scrolling my entire wall. Once David begins perusing my Facebook wall, he sees a photo of a guy he finds attractive. That photo is attached to a link that connects to my article of the day. David reads the article and not only loves my writing style but also relates to the situation Ive described or the advice Ive given another reader. David Collins begins visiting my website daily and then discovers my youtube channel in the top header.
The reason why 15,000 people will watch me sit in front of a camera for 15-30 minutes and discuss a real, everyday issue is because I’ve shared many facets of who I am over a course of time. I’m not going to pretend that I’m some thirty-something intellectual who walks around each day preaching about sexuality, giving love advice or being serious from sunup to sundown. I pride myself on being vulnerable, honest, approachable and HUMAN. A large part of me being HUMAN is also sharing my appreciation for the male form, new music, paparazzi pictures, selfies and other social media ingredients that are mixed to create a substantial following.
Sometimes, in order to attract the attention of common individuals, you have to reel them in with conventional images, popular hash tags & headings, or mainstream interests.
As you obviously exist as a part of my core audience, please allow me to express myself in a personal and professional manner that has proven to be effective. As I eventually move beyond my sole, online platform, there will be additional sides of my character revealed as well. I’m not apologizing for any of it. At the beginning and end of each day, I feel very PROUD of what I have managed to accomplish in such a short period of time. I cannot and will not pretend to be a boy scout simply to appease those who mentally created that image of me a long time ago. I was never that person, even when I recorded “Young, Black & Gay In America” in August of 2008. Smart guys are allowed to be sexual. Pop culture junkies are allowed to discuss politics. And I must be allowed to continue sharing myself freely – until the powers that be are paying me to brand my media content separately from connecting to my audience, personally.