Headshot Headshot

Demetria Lucas' Commentary On 'Straight Talk, No Chaser' And The State Of Black Relationships

It's Valentine's Day and what better way of enjoying it than getting a bit of insight from a love expert? Relationship coach and author of A Belle in Brooklyn: Advice for Living Your Single Life & Enjoying Mr. Right Now Demetria Lucas serves up her opinion raw when it comes to love. Over the weekend, she attended Straight Talk, No Chaser, a panel discussion hosted by Chris 'Kazi' Rolle where men divulge the "truth" about their roles in relationships. Of course the belle would have some straightforward commentary on the event, so VIBE Vixen caught up with her to talk about Black relationships and the ingredients to having a better outlook on love.  -Niki McGloster

VIXEN: What did you learn from the panel discussion?
Demetria Lucas: I’ve been interviewing men about all manner of topics related to women, sex, dating, relationships, etc. for a few years now, so even though the men were incredibly honest, there wasn’t anything from them that I found particularly shocking. That said, I’ll likely always be baffled about the way men think of women and our sexuality. One panelist, an otherwise very knowledgeable man, was under the impression that Black women don’t masturbate (a show of hands from the ladies debunked that myth). Another gentlemen was under the arrogant impression that he didn’t ever need to take a tip from a woman on how to please her sexually. He said it like he was just that dope that he knows everything about any woman’s body, likes/dislikes without being told. I’ve had both outlooks before, and I’m always amazed about how little men know about women’s intricacies.

At the panel discussion, was there something said that shocked you? If so, who mentioned it?
At the end of the night, author Natoeight Dashwood, was brought up to talk about his book, Truth Be Told… The Book of Brutal Honesty for Black Women. He announced to a crowd of mostly Black women something along the lines of ‘There are a lot of problems in the Black community and they all stem back to the Black woman.' Yikes! I was sure I misheard him, but then I spent the following day reading his book. It’s likely the most misogynistic writing I’ve ever read, coming only second to Shaharazad Ali’s The Black Man’s Guide to Understanding the Black Woman from 1990. (In the book she advocated men slapping women if we got too mouthy.) Unfortunately, Dashwood’s take on women is pretty common. Misogyny runs rampant in our communities.

What do you feel about the portrayal of Black love in the media?
Black love needs better PR. Just flashing pictures of The Obamas, The Smiths, and The Carters isn’t enough. In the last couple years, the resounding echo has been tales of sad, single women and the justifications have boiled down to 1) Black women are terrible mates and need to change everything about themselves from their attitudes to their weight and expectations; and/or 2) Black men just can’t get themselves together so Black women have no options to choose from. It’s a sad and sorry message.

Do you feel celebrity relationships in entertainment are idolized for no reason?
Celebrity relationships are fantasies. So many people get caught up in the glamour and the access and the excess. It looks like a great life. But no relationship is perfect. Lounging on yachts in the Mediterranean Sea or walking red carpets are just a change of scenery. Celebs have the same problems, even bills, of any two individuals trying to build/maintain a life together.

How do you feel about the TV relationships, like Melanie and Derwin on The Game?
TV Relationships are a whole different matter. Most of what we see isn’t positive, but that’s not the purpose of scripted entertainment. It’s made extra-dramatic so people will tune in, talk and Tweet. There’s not much to discuss when there’s no conflict. No one should be taking their cues about how to act in a relationship from what they watch on their flat screens during primetime.

Do you feel black women should date outside of their culture/race?
Sure. Why not? The bottom-line is to be happy and find someone who shows acts treats you with respect and all the other wonderful ways that you want to be loved. I’m a huge advocate of women finding love with whomever they like of any color. I am troubled by the number of women who date “out” as a reaction to thinking that Black men are horrible. They tend to think men of another color will treat them better. If you want to date a man of a different race, do so. But Black men don’t need to be put down to justify that. Also, there’s nothing inherent about men of other races that will automatically make them treat a woman better just because they aren’t Black. Men are men, and every race has its good ones and its horrid ones. Being not Black isn’t enough to make a man “good.”

On your Formspring you are a bit of a dating/ relationship advisor, what's one thing you feel black women should definitely know about black men in order to have a successful relationship?
No one is perfect. Great guys will do things that make you screw up your face and wonder, “WTH?” sometimes. There’s a difference between a great guy who does a bad thing on occasion and a not great guy given to occasional moments of grandeur. Every screw up isn’t a break up offense, and every misstep isn’t a reason to go nuts. When a guy messes up (and he’s human, he will), communicate first. A conversation should be your first line of offense. Breaking up, or even threatening to, should be your last. Also, when you’re telling him what you don’t like, be mindful of sharing with him what you want to happen instead. If he’s halfway into you, he wants to make you happy, he just doesn’t always know how.

What are your feelings about black women believing that there aren't any more good men to date?
It’s disheartening to hear that women are basically giving up. There are good and great men in the world. I find them for Essence all the time and I don’t have to look very hard. Good men DO exist.

Demetria Lucas is the Relationships Editor at ESSENCE.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

Dr. King's Childhood Home Sold For $1.9 Million To The National Park Service

The two-story Atlanta home that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr spent his formidable years has been sold. According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the yellow and brown house on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta was sold for $1.9 million to the National Park Service.

Will Shafroth, CEO of the National Park Foundation said it was hard to place a dollar amount on the location where a lot of Dr. King's character was molded.

"It is difficult to value something this significant in our nation’s history. It is a priceless asset. It is one of the most important places to tell the story of America,” Shafroth said.

Bernice King, daughter of late the civil rights leader, said the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change had been considering selling the home since the passing of their mother Coretta Scott, in 2006. King said the center will focus on nonviolent educational and training programs.

“We are working on creating more robust, nonviolence training,” King said. “Our society is desperately in need of Dr. King’s nonviolent teachings right now in order to create a just, humane and peaceful world. That is what we are trying to put our energy in.”

The home was reportedly built by a white firefighter in 1895 and then purchased by Dr. King's maternal grandfather, Rev. Adam Daniel Williams, who was pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church for $3,500. When King's mother and father wed in 1927, they moved. All of King's siblings including himself were born in the home.

Elizabeth Paradis Stern, spokeswoman for the National Park Service said the preservation of the home will not falter now that it's out of the family's possession.

“The most important thing about this is that this property will be protected and preserved permanently as one of our most important properties,” Stern said. “It is part of the American fabric.”

READ MORE: New Book Details Dr. King's Teenage Years And His Alleged White Girlfriend

Continue Reading
Kevin Winter

Donnie McClurkin Sent To Hospital Following Car Accident

Gospel legend Donnie McClurkin couldn't be more grateful after surviving a car accident this past Wednesday (Dec. 12).

The "We Fall Down" singer was driving on the road in the earlier part of the day when he passed out and began weaving into traffic. He reportedly struck the middle concrete island.

Following the incident, he posted a selfie of him on the hospital bed in scrubs on Facebook. Along with the photo, he explained that he woke up from the accident with stitches on his left thumb, on top of having a sprained wrist, and hurt knee. His car was also completely totaled.

"I AM ALIVE!!!! Somewhat mangled, stitches on left thumb, sprained wrist, hurt knee, but I’m still here! God and two angels saved my life!," the Grammy-winning artist wrote.

He also mentioned that two "angels" pulled him out the car to safety and medical attention. "I owe them...I am still here by the grace of God! Thank you, Lord...thank you!" he added.

On Friday (Dec. 14), McClurkin posted to his Facebook page again, sharing several photos of his destroyed car. "This is the totaled car that two angels rescued me from ....after passing out while driving I don’t remember most of what happened a day and a half ago...but God," he wrote. "I overrode doctors and sisters advice and flew to KENYA today for ministry Saturday @ TWO RIVERS. and home on this Sunday to celebrate life."

In happier news, McClurkin also took time to plug in his new Christmas single titled "My Favorite Things." Check out McClurkin's posts on social media and stream his new song below.

READ MORE: Big K.R.I.T. Drops Surprise Gospel-Influenced 'Thrice X' EP

Continue Reading
Douglas Grundy

Nicki Minaj's Boyfriend Kenneth Petty Received 18 Violations During Prison Stint

Nicki Minaj's new boyfriend, Kenneth Petty has a very troubled past.

On Friday (Dec. 14), TMZ revealed court documents disclosing Petty's history of disciplinary actions while he was an inmate in New York for manslaughter from 2006 to 2013.

When he entered the correctional facility, he was reportedly written up for creating a disturbance. Later during his stint, he was hit with a slew of disciplinary actions following a series of violent actions that included fighting, making terroristic threats, and "disobeying a direct order."

In 2009, prison faculty placed him in solitary confinement for four months as part of being reprimanded for nine different violations. Petty lost privileges that included the usage of the inmate telephone service, recreational activity, and the prison canteen.

In addition to his prison violations, Petty is a convicted sex offender. At the age of 16, he was tried as an adult served a four-year sentence for attempted rape of a minor.

Petty, who hails from the same borough as Nicki, Queens, knew the platinum-selling rap star since she was a teenager. They dated for a short period years prior to reuniting.

Minaj posted various photos of her and Petty going on a vacation getaway earlier this month. Sources close to Minaj told the celebrity gossip website that the 36-year-old hip-hop artist is  "happier than she's been in years" with Petty.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Barbie® (@nickiminaj) on Dec 10, 2018 at 12:43pm PST

READ MORE: Nicki Minaj Plans To Sue 'Daily Mail' TV Host Jesse Palmer

Continue Reading

Top Stories