BLAC hosted a no-holds barred forum to find out how the modern black woman is thinking about and having sex.
Shows like Insecure, Chewing Gum and She's Gotta Have It have stirred up real conversation around black female sexuality and what it means for women to unapologetically take control of our bodies. I wanted to know what some of our metro Detroit ladies had to say, so I invited several single black women between the ages of 18 and 35 to our office for a bit of uninhibited girl talk. Topics like orgasms, limits and bisexuality got written down and shook up in a bag and each of the ladies chose at random. We didn't get to them all, but here's an overview of some of the highlights. All names have been changed and most "quotes" have been paraphrased.
Most of our women said they were exposed to porn pretty early on, and most thought that porn places extra pressure on women to look a certain way and perform a certain way …
Christina: I was exposed to porn by a friend when I was 8 years old.
Denise: I started watching porn before I even started having sex for educational purposes. I don't watch it as much since I started having sex.
Christina: I actually developed an addiction to porn.
Tracey: Porn doesn't really do anything for me. I don't get aroused at all.
Pam: My ex-husband and I used to make amateur porn. But we'd only put it online overseas, like in Germany.
Felicia: Me and my boyfriend bring it into the bedroom with us.
Pam: I did that with a guy before, but he was too into it.
Felicia: Porn can be so degrading to women, and unless it's girl-on-girl, it's never about the girl. You never see the guy give the girl head for more than like a minute.
The general consensus was that one of the biggest turn-offs when dealing with a guy is insecurity …
Rachel: I once had a guy spit in my mouth.
Felicia: I don't want you spitting anywhere on me.
Rachel: My first sexual experiences were with female friends growing up, nothing past around age 13.
Tracey: I used to have sex with women, but I haven't in several years.
Felicia: I would be open to a threesome with my boyfriend, but I would be worried about picking up a random girl. What if she has something?
Pam: When I was 18, I had a friend start rubbing my leg when we were alone, but I stopped it. It's not my thing, but I did have a threesome with a friend and her boyfriend. We were sort of separate, though, but it was awkward because the boyfriend seemed way more into me than his girlfriend.
Rachel: See, that's my fear. That's why I turned down a friend of mine when she asked.
Denise: I've been with guys that didn't necessarily identify as bi but admitted to past experiences with other guys. It didn't bother me.
Pam: I think my ex-husband might have had an attraction to men, because once I caught him performing on a live webcam for another man.
Rachel: I would never date a bi man because I need my men to be more masculine than me. I'm already kind of a tomboy.
The women definitely preferred face-to-face meet-ups verses online dating …
Christina: I feed off energy.
Felicia: I'm the same way. I don't feel like I could connect with someone just based off a pic and a bio, but I have heard of success stories.
Pam: After my divorce, I signed up for a bunch of sites. Match.com, POF, all of that. And I had to ask myself if this is what it's come to. Am I not interesting enough to go out and meet someone?
Tracey: I feel like it would be dangerous meeting up with a stranger that you met online.
Every woman in the room agreed that at one time or another, in some way, she'd been pressured sexually into doing something she didn't want …
Rachel: I was chilling with this guy and he just kept on and kept on pressuring for sex, so to shut him up, I did it. But I didn't really want to.
Tracey: I had a situation like that, but it was a situation where I had to or he would've killed me.
Felicia: Society puts a lot of pressure on women, of course. We have to somehow figure out how to perform like a whore while remaining a virgin.
Denise: Once, I visited a guy in New York, and we had hung out all day, went to dinner and everything. I went out to Brooklyn with him for a party, he said I could stay over at his apartment, so after the party we went back to his place and he pretty much was like 'So, what are we doing?' I told him I just wanted to sleep, so he kicked me out in the middle of the night. No trains were running, so I had to take a $70 Uber back to Jersey where I was staying.
Rachel: A lot of guys, especially attractive ones, feel entitled to you.
Denise: But I feel like we're reclaiming our sex and our sexiness as far as how we're dressing and what we're doing. It's not about the man anymore.
Tracey: I had sex on ecstasy once, and it was great. I turned into a different person.
Pam: The first time I smoked weed, I never gave head so fast in my life.
Denise: One time, I had this guy hold my head in place so he could purposely cum in my face. I was so pissed.
Pam: I don't mind it.
Rachel: I hear that's good for your skin.
Felicia: My mom said she met a woman and complimented her on her skin and she said she used her husband's semen on it.
Denise: It was all in my hair.
Rachel: Was your hair soft?
Denise: No, it was crunchy.
Rachel: I won't do anal. Period.
Felicia: I would with my husband.
Denise: I just don't want to poop on your penis.
Felicia: Communication is key. Limits become less when you're dealing with a boyfriend or a husband. I've had a couple bad experiences having casual sex, but I've never had bad sex with a boyfriend.
Pam: Since this is a judgement-free zone, I had sex with like 50 guys between age 16 and 19.
Rachel: Up until recently, I had only had sex with two guys, but after I broke up with my last boyfriend, I went through a ho period. In a year, I had sex with like 20 guys, and I have no regrets.
Read our cover story: Black Women, Sex and A Divine Pleasure