Side Pieces Side Pieces

Men Can Be Side-Pieces Too

“I‘m not good enough to be on her arm,” one of my guy friends confessed over drinks not long ago.

He looked distraught, as if his entire world had just crashed around him and there was nothing that he could do about it. Dark circles from sleepless nights marred his usually bright eyes. And although his enthusiasm about life is always on ten, on this particular night it was barely a one. He looked downright pitiful and it was because he had just found out the woman he thought was falling for him was only using him for sex.

Although I understood his shock, I couldn’t, and still don’t, understand how he didn’t see the signs.

In the five months they were seeing each other they rarely hung out in public, she never introduced him to her family or friends, and aside from enjoying each other in the bedroom, they didn’t seem to have much in common.

From the beginning they were an odd pair. She comes from money and an elite life, while he works hard for everything he has. Though a persons background might not matter to some, it did to her. And after a week of ignoring his calls, she dropped a bomb; she was engaged. Despite getting it on with my friend for months, she had been dating another man for four years who was everything on paper, except what she needed in the bedroom.

“I think the hardest part of realizing that she had no feelings at all for me besides the sex is that she spent so much time pretending that she did,” he told us.

Eventually, the woman confessed to him that, despite her engagement, she would still like to continue to see him. While some men may have jumped at the chance to have no-strings-attached sex with a beautiful woman, it left my friend disturbed and with no other choice but to walk away.

I tried to find the words to comfort him, but nothing seemed to help. He was nothing but a boy toy to her and she never had any intention of being in a serious relationship with him. In her mind he wasn’t good enough to take to company events, to meet her parents, or even accompany her on a dinner date to a popular restaurant. The only thing he seemed to be good enough for was pleasing her, which was a sad reality that hit my dear friend like a sledgehammer.

The entire situation made me think about the cheating, and its various double standards. Typically, cheating is associated with men and even the language we use to describe it--jump off, a side-piece, mistress—all relate to men stepping out with other women. But very rarely do we talk about the women who cheat, digging their heels so deep in a man’s heart that he has a hard time ever trusting another woman again.

Many times we jump on men for their wrongdoings without ever considering where their shadiness might have started in the first place. While it doesn’t mean they get a pass for their dirt (because they don’t), my friend’s situation was a reminder that men get broken hearts too.

I used to laugh at my male friends when they would say they were having a hard time finding a woman to get serious with because of trust issues. Impossible, I would think, they have so many options when it comes to good woman to choose from.

Now, I understand that you never know what’s going on behind closed doors. The beautiful woman with the fancy title, full bank account, enormous diamond engagement ring and great guy on her arm who seems to have it all—just might…and then some.

But like I told my friend, sometimes in life you have to learn to love what’s good for you and not what you think is good for you. But that might be another discussion for another day.

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SZA Calls For Peace While Receiving 'Rule Breaker' Award At Billboard Women In Music

SZA called for peace and understanding at Billboard's Women In Music event Thursday (Dec. 6).

During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)

 

READ MORE: Nas Makes Forbes’ List Of ‘Hip-Hop Cash Kings’ For The First Time

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Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

READ MORE: Kelly Rowland Debuts Smoke x Mirrors Eyewear Collection At Barneys New York

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