Lifestyle

Who dives first (if at all)? He or She

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Is oral sex still a taboo in Jamaica? is it slowly becoming a norm? or is it a normative practice already but still facing resistance from a few stubborn traditionalists? Well, to me in any society, culture is the driver of norms and value systems and I think it’s safe to say our culture has accepted oral sex as a part of conventional intercourse, but to an extent. Unfortunately for our trying culture, this acceptance is embraced on the heels of a double standard hell-bent on standing firm, “’cause badman nu bow”. So maybe it’s the men, some of them at least, whom are holding back culture from fully leveling the playing field. But have you ever stopped to think that maybe the women, some of them at least, have something to do with this as well? I think some of the women actually encourage this double standard and here’s why I say it.

When Dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel, whom I would credit for being the instigator of this cultural revolution, came out with the hit single “freaky gyal”, at first it was met with mixed reviews. Of course the men praised him for coming out so bold and machismo with it, but most women were either quiet about their opinions or vaguely rejected the song.  After a time now, when the song started to climb the radio waves and dominate the radios of every taxi and coaster bus, women sneakingly started to change their minds; this started with quiet nods of their heads to the song when it was being played in the party, taxi, bus, anywhere; to now where women gyrating with conviction to this anthem of  sexual liberation.

The way the woman is portrayed in these song lyrics, seems to be very empowering to some (though submissive) and I beg to argue that the female community have actually come to appreciate this (subconsciously). But, let’s bring the discussion back to where it was intended to go, which is to have some discourse on the aforementioned title: who dives first? Maybe next time we can explore this double standard more in length.

For all my intelligent readers out there, by “dive” in the title of this piece I am inferring oral sex; and based on the social context I have just set, I am also assuming both parties are comfortable, capable and willing to perform such practice on each other. I decided to take this one to the streets of social media and whatsapp, and asked a few people the question, Who dives first (if at all)? He or She? Here were their responses:

Lee-Ann*, 22 y.o, stage actor:

“..Isn’t that a part of foreplay? That question makes me think there’s hesitation on both parties part. I guess whoever enjoys giving oral.”

Thanto*, 25 y.o, recording artiste:

“..Dependent on the dynamics. The aggressor should initiate OS then the other, based on the understanding, return or get into penetration mode. But sex is very complex because the aggressor might not be a bowaz and would want the other to get it going. Its weird caz sex varies from person to person.

David*, 19 y.o, CARIMAC student:

“Hardly think it matters. I’d hope two adults having sex are doing so because they want to both enjoy themselves and please each other. Similarly, I assume anyone giving oral sex wants to do it so I doubt it is as calculated as “who goes first” in most instances. Whoever wants to go first should I suppose. A part of the beauty of sex is the element of surprise/spontaneity.”

Felix*, 30 y.o, teacher:

“I don’t think the responsibility to initiate oral sex should be that of one partner. Both parties should initiate whenever they please. Speaking from the heterosexual framework which I think this question was posed from, the culture of some Jamaican male is to not engage in oral sex and as such the notion is that females should initiate and be the only ones who do it. A power play dynamic is always present…. The lens is broader tho and I stick to my first point, the responsibility to initiate is not the job of only one party”

Janice*, 30 y.0, accountant:

“it depends on the feeling, and it depends on the persons and what each person is feeling for at that time. caz sometimes yuh have a man who just wants to eat! and the woman doesn’t want to return the favor then if that case he wud initiate. But what if the girl has been thinking about sucking his dick all day and he’s not thinking along those lines then she would be the one to initiate.”

Rodney*, 25 y.o, herbalist:

“gyal dem fi start it off bredda, cause without a proper erection sex will not be sex; but just two people fooling around. I think it should be the duty of the woman fi clean the rifle and kick off the game, cause a wet front from me giving her head won’t get my dick hard. there can be moments though when the man step up to the plate and kick it off; me personally like fi deal with it when me see seh she come home tired and moody; and mi deeven ask fi nuh sex after. But you see anytime mi do that G, next morning under the sheets me wake up with it inna her mouth; a just how the thing set. Cause my girl good like that. is a give and take sometimes, but by right woman fi kick it off under normal circumstances.”

Camille*, 22 y.o, writer:

“Listen, I don’t care who does it first all I know is I love sucking my man’s dick; and I think other girls would once they give it a shot. My man used to be one of those dudes acting all tough like him don’t waah do it too, but after I did it once and told him he wouldn’t get it again unless he did it to me, nigga wake me up one night and sucked me dry lol. And best believe, my man is a gangsta according to society’s standards. But I guess when you’re in a relationship compromises can be made, and this business about who dives first becomes trivial. I still love giving it to him though, first or second it don’t matter”

Well, there you have it. Ordinary Jamaicans young and old giving their views on who should dive first. Some believe it doesn’t matter, and that sex should be allowed to flow in the direction it wants to go; others are adamant that someone has to start the oral for the sex to actually happen. Personally, I say before getting into that position with someone try to have some constructive dialogue with them about it; play devil’s advocate and test your partner’s tolerance level before getting into the sheets with them. That way when you guys go to bed, there are less uncertainties because you know what turns to take on your way to the promise land. Oh, and practice safe sex everyone. Peace.

*Disclaimer: identities of respondents were changed for security reasons.

-GB

 

 

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Lifestyle

My Two cents: for the Broke, Unemployed and Ambitious young Jamaican

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Student loans to payback, work experience, first car, first apartment, first million….do these terms look familiar to you? I mean there are others but these seem to stand out in the minds of most millennials. These are the terms that haunt us every day in the shower, on the treadmill, while driving, while cooking, having sex (sometimes lol) and while doing just about anything these days. It’s nerve wrecking isn’t it? Especially when you’re based in Jamaica where all you see on the news is incremental increases in unemployment and promises of more jobs which for some reason all seem to be linked to the opening of a new call center. Hmm.

Well here’s my two cents: if opportunities are lacking in Jamaica, try maths up a visa and get out. No, I’m not encouraging you to emigrate, but do it more so personal and professional development; especially if the options locally seem nil for you. It’s nonsensical to spend thousands/millions in school to settle for opportunities that only offer a fraction of that investment. The fact that our politicians have royally flushed the country down the drain over the years with their  corrupted politicking should not be your burden to bear. Go into the world and claim better for yourself.

-GB

 

 

 

 

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UWI Mona Demystified: 7 pieces of advice to help you in your first year

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Woi! Big up yourself and welcome to the Pelican family. The University of the West Indies Mona is arguably the flagship tertiary institution of all tertiary institutions in Jamaica, and now that you’re a UWI fresher that makes you a pretty big deal *pops collar*. But don’t get too jumpy, as UWI is no bed of roses. From the struggle with Monadisconnect to Beehive tough gravel rice, there are so many hurdles you will have to jump on your daily commute to and from or on the campus. But rest assured, I have compiled a list of 7 pieces of solid advice, based on personal experience and the experiences of others before me, that could make your life way easier if you try them out:
1. Get your Foundation courses buried from now. 
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You’ll be required to do 3 mandatory foundation courses during your stay at the UWI Mona. These are Critical Reading and Writing, Science and Technology and Caribbean Civilization. Now, according to UWI, the order in which you do them is up to you since you’re an adult and have your life all figured out. Most of you would’ve done Caribbean studies in sixth form, so it makes sense to use that faculty of knowledge while it’s still fresh and bury these courses. Don’t wait until your third year, when your final year courses are at their hardest and then run the risk of failing and having to go summer school or spend an extra semester/year.  Save your pocket the stress, and bury them from now
2. Use your Thursdays wisely and Join a club/society
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Clubs and societies are the foundation blocks of UWI Mona, and second to the halls of residences are significant drivers of culture on campus. They are also excellent spaces to build your social and professional network, in and outside of the UWI. Visit the Office of Student Services and Development to collect a free booklet and in this you’ll find the most comprehensive directory of all registered clubs and societies currently active on campus. Through clubs and societies the possibilities are really endless, and with this recent interest from Corporate Jamaica in these entities over the last 5 years, the benefits are bound to double up. Some great clubs to check out this year are the UWI Marketing Association (UMA), UWI Banking League, CARIMAC Students’ society and the UWI Young Investors Club
3. You can leave campus and buy food, detention-free
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When it comes to food choices on campus, unfortunately there is where the UWI Mona has fallen short. Choices for a while now have been limited to fast food, “snackables” and traditional Jamaican cooked food. To those of you with a wild appetite, I know this feels like a punch in the stomach but don’t worry, the options are actually quite bountiful. A simple walk over UTECH will present Burger King and Island Grill at your disposal, and further down the road Wendy’s, Pizzahut and the infamous Sovereign food court awaits you. Also, use up the free bus; it’s your miscellaneous fees at work.
4. Don’t skull tutorials 
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Better you neglect on your lectures than your tutorials in all honesty, because you can pretty much lecture yourself from reading the slides. Tutorials now, are supplementary learning that serve to reinforce the lesson delivered in a lecture. So you see, lectures pretty much touch on the surface but tutorials dig into the flesh. For that deeper understanding (that you’ll be tested on) about the course, go to your tutorials.
5. Make friends with people in higher years than you
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It might seem a little intimidating at first, but older students are not as mean as they usually look. That look we have is sometimes a result of the stress of 2nd and 3rd year courses, but for the most part you can get help if you ask the right way. I’m not saying you should be weird and go up to a group of seniors asking them to be your friend. No. Try to go through a friend of a friend, link with them through a club/society/sport or start a conversation if you see them one away. UWI people are actually nice…….sometimes. Having friends who have been there and done that will undoubtedly help you better navigate through the darkness of your first year.
6. Treat this year as if it counted towards your degree 
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The determination of your degree class actually starts in your second year, a fact often not adequately emphasized upon in orientation activities. I would like to believe the UWI Mona does this because they don’t want students to deliberately under-perform, and while I agree with them to this extent, I still think this is information you guys should know from the start. Try your best to break your own academic expectations in first year and get a high GPA. Going into 2nd year with a good GPA is easier to maintain than if you had a bad one, for obvious reasons.
7. Don’t fall in love
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The only thing you should be loving during your 3-5 years of study is OURVLE, your respective syllabi and YOURSELF. Ladies especially, he could be the most “perfectest” guy you’ve ever met, don’t drop the catch. Most guys at UWI and college in general, only have one thing in mind for their experience: Up the number from high school and experience everything (well, not every EVERY THING but you know what I mean). Manz dem, a serious relationship can be expensive and physically strenuous and with the pressures that UWI will already advance on you, you may very well crash and burn. Leave love for after your first degree, in fact, after your masters when you money up and you’re wise enough to see through the fakers. But of course, there are exceptions to this piece of advice and if you happen to find such an exception then work with it. Just don’t get too lost in the grandeur that is love.
-GB
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UWI Mona Freshers Starter Kit 2015

Welcome to an experience that will undoubtedly MAKE or BREAK you. You should know that it won’t be anything like high school, and far from the traditional scholarly environment that you’ve been subject to your whole life. I’ve been a student here for three (3) years now, and I can safely say I’ve weathered the storm to give my testimony today. Of course I don’t know everything, and there’s a lot more that you will need to know to be ultimately ready for the experience. Nevertheless, I want to give you the start that I wish I had in my time as a Fresher,  with this UWI Mona Freshers starter kit that I’ve created to help you better make that transition into your university life:

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1) ‘Total Safety’ is a myth: While the campus does have a Police Station within its confines and security guards stationed at select points throughout the day, the truth is all these provisions only protect you to a certain extent. The rest of that responsibility is up to you. The campus is in a position where it is situated next to several volatile communities and due to its ‘open door policy’, many students have been made victim to attacks by perpetrators alleged to have come from these communities. To avoid being one of these students, make sure you walk in groups at nights; and for the lovebirds, try to avoid dark spots in the bushes for any “alone time” you want with your partner.

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2) Invest in warm clothing: Most of your classes will be at least an hour-long in air conditioned lecture rooms, so you’ll need that warmth from a sweater to keep you attentive. More importantly, is the drop in temperature that the campus tends to experience after 8:00 pm in the evenings from mid-October going into December. If you plan to be on campus up to 9:00 pm, do yourself a favor of comfort and invest in a sweater.

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3) Learn to Learn on your own: Do you remember sixth form when your teacher would give you a detention for not handing in the assignment? Or take the time out to repeat something a million times until you get it? Well you can let your hopes down from now because you won’t be getting that level of personal attention here at UWI Mona. While there are exceptions to this rule and you do have some teachers that will go the extra mile to make sure you get it, for the most part, lecturers have a low propensity to “care” for their students. What you’ll realize is that a lot of them will teach from PowerPoint slides and tell you to consult your tutor in tutorials if you’re not understanding a particular topic. To learn to learn on your own is a skill best developed in groups; so I’d suggest you make some friends and form a study group for each of your courses. This way you each help each other to break into the idea of being an independent learner while establishing some meaningful connections at the same time. After a couple of years of doing this, you should be able to learn on your own; which will be prove to be an asset mostly during your 3rd year courses.

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4) Get to know your Guild Council: Your Guild council is what the parliament of Jamaica is to Jamaican citizens; only less “political”. Whereas in the real world we have a bi-partisan political system where you have a ruling party and an opposing party, at UWI there’s just one “party” of 37 student advocates known as Guild Councilors whom share responsibility for the representation of all 17,000 students that make up the Guild of Students. You need to know that when you are victimized in any way, there are students qualified (by virtue of the democratic process) to advocate on your behalf and correct any injustices against you. They are usually distinguished on campus in their red Oxford shirts, so feel free to stop them at any time to air your concerns.

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5) See your Failures as Opportunities: UWI is the kind of environment that will urge you to step outside of your comfort zone and try things you’ve never done before. This is clear in several areas such as in academia with the plethora of electives (fancy name for non-degree courses) that you’ll eventually have to choose from to complete your degree; in student governance which has a unique culture at UWI Mona which will dismiss your assumptions very quickly in thinking it is just like Student Council at High school; and in campus sports where the level of competition and seriousness involved will make you quickly realize that things are different here. Whichever path you decide to venture down, failures are inevitable and you should know that it’s all a part of the process to becoming a distinguished graduate. Try to see your failures as opportunities to start again smarter, instead of indicators that you’re not good enough.

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6) Keep an Open mind: UWI is an amalgamation of cultures, perspectives and identities that will either contend what you grew up believing in, or support it. UWI is also a very democratic society which makes provisions for the protection of religious and political liberties as well as sexual orientations. Now I am not saying you should abandon your convictions and allow the experience to re-socialize you, but rather try to exercise the utmost respect in your interactions with all people you encounter on the campus.

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7) Expand your network: The world is changing as you read this, and the ways to make it in the real world are changing with it. Gone are the days (especially in Jamaica) when a first class honors degree alone would get you to prosperity. You now need to also know the right people, because they will have the opportunities that will allow you to use that first class honors to your advantage. Get to know a few 2nd and 3rd year students, and as much non-Jamaican students as you possibly can. Try to leave with more friends than you entered UWI with. Your network will be your net worth; so you need to decide how much you want to be valued.

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8) Be kind to auxiliary staff: Aside from the lecturers which make up the academic staff, there’s a group of workers behind the scenes that make the magic happen. They are the custodians, print shop employees, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, security guards, office receptionists and computer technicians that put in hard work to ensure your experience is the most comfortable one. Be nice to these people every chance you get, and try to engage them in conversation if you can. You would be surprised at the wealth of knowledge some of them could share with you that may help you in your transition into UWI life.

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9) Prepare for Mid-semesters like Finals: Mid-semester exams are a period of examinations usually in the middle of the semester to test you on what you have learnt in your course of study thus far. They are usually 30-50% of your final grade and truthfully, tend to be easier than finals (most times). Take advantage of your mid-semester exams and try to get as much marks towards your final grade as you possibly can. This will help you in the latter part of the semester in having a calmer and more confident state of mind as you prepare for finals; while increasing your chances of getting an A.

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10) Question Everything: The end goal of this experience is to transform you into a critical thinker. You need to go in with the understanding that everything you thought you knew before could be false, and everything they try to teach you as new knowledge could also be false. The truth will only found through contending existing ideas with new ideas, and challenging “truths” with your own interpretations of what is true. Intelligence is no longer swotting a syllabus to get an A, but thinking critically and presenting arguments based on facts over intuition.

– G.B

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Lifestyle

Insecurity, Ego and Temptation: The three “wise men” who will steer you wrong

Insecurity, Ego and Temptation. These are the three main compartments of every man’s emotional complex or what I like to call the three “wise men” in  every man’s love life. Truthfully, lots of us who consider ourselves to be “good” actually find decent girls in our pursuit for happiness, but ruin the relationship by allowing these “wise men” to convince us she’s no good. But the fact is, a lot of us men (and I say this to include myself), don’t believe in the perfect woman, or rather a woman who fits our criteria 100%.

We subconsciously expect her to be flawed, or to be consistent with the popular comparison of women to being like Delilah from the Bible. So when we find a woman who tests negative on all checks, we’re so amazed that we forget to think; and allow the three “wise men” to dictate our thinking without realizing that their main prerogative is to convince us that she’s just like Delilah.

Mr Ego usually leads the charge, and is responsible for ensuring that you feel like a King. He’s that constant reminder that “your girl is gorgeous”..”She chose you over all the more handsome, popular suitors because you’re GREAT”…”She’s perfect, she has all the qualities you’d want in a lady and more” “She loves you unconditionally; you could cheat on her and she’d still be around”. He ensures that you play your role as the faithful boyfriend to the best of your ability, because being the good boyfriend is really how you preserve your prestige as being the guy who is dating “that girl”. But your faithfulness comes at a cost, charged by your insecurity.

Mr Insecurity works against your Ego in reminding you of your imperfections. He’s the chief draftsman of all your trust issues, and is a diligent enforcer of these “laws”. He is the one who creates scenarios and stories for you to believe, and will even go as far as dig up evidence from her past to support the notion that she’s no good. He is relentless in ensuring that you remember that you don’t have that six pack she likes seeing on Trey Songz; you have no special gifts or talents to really set you apart from the rest; you’re not as charming and funny as her ex-boyfriend; you’ll never know the same secrets as her bestie (who is also a guy); and the list goes on.

And then there’s Mr. Temptation. Any man who’s been in a serious relationship or is currently in one will agree with me in saying that women want you more NOW than they did when you were single. And these same women will say they don’t want to be a home wrecker but teach you how to be your own home wrecker without you even realizing it. These women are just like most women: they want a good man to do right by them. So when they see a good girl settled down and committed to this good guy, their desire to have exactly what this good girl has supersedes the logic of them actually having a relationship with this good guy. So they find themselves employing whatever means necessary to take this good man away from his good woman. Temptation essentially is like a  pimp, who works with the Ego by training and encouraging these young women to get involved in your relationship and justify your infidelity as just a testament of how great you are: “This is the inevitable; you either live like this or don’t live at all”

So to my brothers reading this, whom might be feeling like what I’ve just said applies to them; please take heed. Don’t let this good girl that you’ve got slip out of your grasp because of these three “wise men” : Insecurity, Ego and Temptation

Sincerely,

 

-G.B

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Finding your Piece of Peace

In a world where there are more forces to drive you to the edge than there are to keep you understood, this notion of finding your peace can hold serious merit. But what is your peace?? What’s that one thing balances you out? And how do we go about finding it? How do we know if we’ve found it already but not using it properly?

We could go on and on questioning and extending our curiosity, but it would all take us to one word: meditation. You must learn the art of meditation before you can receive your piece of peace. Meditation is this state of self-induced calmness that should take you on a reflective journey retracing each step that got you to your current place. It’s through this process of reflecting that you’ll be able to identify your points of triumph, points of failure, points of struggle and your points of ease. It isn’t until you fully understand these checkpoints that you’ll then be able to properly navigate your way through the upcoming cycles of Life.

That ability to control your progression will give you a deeper appreciation and understanding of Life. There’s less anxiety and nervousness in making decisions, because you develop a greater knowledge of what to expect. When you meditate, in essence, you’re just reading over notes for an exam. Your notes referring to the different events that made up your lifetime prior to when you started to meditate, and the exam being this never-ending test of life.

When you’re more confident about the exam, you’re more at ease; and that feeling of ease is your piece of peace.

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Learn to be your own support system

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College has so far been my most challenging experience to date. It’s so ironic too because it’s shorter than high school, there’s less rules and more autonomy to do what I want; but it’s still a challenge. I feel like the biggest challenge for me, which I’m still coming to terms with, is the fact that I’m literally on my own; and this becomes reinforced even more because I commute to school. Physically, emotionally and financially (to an extent) I’m pretty much on my own.

There’s no mandatory class like P.E back in high school that would force me to exercise each week to maintain a certain standard of health. My parents aren’t there for me as much as they used to be, and not because they’ve grown to love me less (I’m hoping),  but because they have this confidence that I can  handle things on my own which has caused them to get a little complacent with the attention giving (so they claim). Emotionally I don’t have anyone to “Dr. Phil” me anymore, so I have to be counseling myself; without a psychology degree and an obvious bias to agree with whatever perspective/solution my mind concocts that carries the least injury. Financially, even though my parents are still funding my education to an extent, they are still under this assumption that my wants are the same as they were when I was 16 years old. So basically as my wants increased over time, my “income” held constant, and the real purchasing power of what I could buy with my money has fallen dramatically. So now I have to “hustle” to make ends COMPLETELY meet.

The take away from this post is that at some point during your growth, you’ll have to learn to stand on your own. You’ll have to learn to be your own best friend, your own critic, your own mentor and your own support system.

 

Regards,

 

-G.B

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