I had the distinct pleasure of watching Iyanla Vanzant on Oprah the other day (at my mother’s house of course. Y’all know I don’t believe in cable). They were talking about “Daddyless Daughters,” and the treacherous lives these women face (feel free to agree or disagree, but that ain’t what this post is about). This one particular chick tells the oh-so-classic story about how being a Daddyless Daughter has compelled her to date and have sex with a string of (emotionally) unavailable men, and she wants to end this cycle. And then, with her arms open wide as if to usher us all to the Grand Alter of Respectability, Iyanla Vanzant says, “So, for example, everybody should be practicing the 90-Day Rule.”
::insert severe side-eye here::
Now, while I was giving Iyanla the side eye, I heard Andre 3000’s Where are my panties? interlude playing in my ear. When ol’ girl had no idea where her panties had mysteriously disappeared to and panicked because she thought he would think she was a ho’, I think almost every chick in the world was like, “AAAH YES!! I know exactly what she’s feeling/thinking!” Only to have Andre 3000’s ol’ sexy-fine ass come back and say the magic words, “I don’t give a sh!t about giving it up on the first night/ That just let me know, she know what she want outta’ life.”
And that’s where I started feeling pissy again. Why? Because women/feminine people (seemingly) are the only one’s prescribed this huge horse pill of “holding out.” I mean do masculine-identified folks have this conversation? Do they say to themselves, “If I give it to _____ real nice and slow/fast and rough/pulling hair/smacking ass, will they think I’m a ho’?” Does that ever happen?!
More importantly, does the 90-Day Rule apply to EVERYONE you have sex with, or just the one’s you want to stick around a little while? If you wait to give the good-good to someone does that guarantee they will stay? Forever? Does it even guarantee the sex will be good? Does it guarantee that you won’t get your heart pummeled? Guess what? There are no guarantees in this life. So, your best bet, in my humble opinion, is to begin doing the work of discovering your own sexual power. Right now!
::stepping down off soap box::
But what happened next, surprised me: I began to agree with Iyanla after years of lambasting the 90-day rule and sending it to eternal hell. Now, wait a minute before you start thinking of me as some sort of pious, band-wagon chaser, because that won’t happen in this life. What actually happened was, I began to remove my own emotion around the topic and look at it for what it is: sex is powerful. And there are many people who’ve yet to fully understand and walk in their own sexual power, which can be dangerous for all involved. Waiting to have sex becomes more than just a topic some dude has written a crazy, sensationalized book about, it becomes the first step in owning your sexual power*. It really does become the space and time needed to figure out if you even like this mo-fo. And trust me, liking someone you’re sleeping with is way better than loving them, because love is virtually an automatic over time; liking is not.
Court is now in session…
P.S. - If 90 days sounds like death by fire to you, try the 5-Day Rule and then the 10-Day Rule. It’s really more about the quality than the quantity.
*Sexual power is not manipulative, coercive, raggedy, competitive, shameful, guilt-ridden, boastful, tacky….