3 Things I Learned From Lip Service Live

 

IMG-1151
Moderator: Frankie Robinson of WGCI Radio & panelists.

 

 

This past weekend, I had the honor of attending the 24th annual Black Women’s Expo! Held at Chicago’s McCormick Center, this 3-day event is a celebration of Black Womanhood that features black-owned businesses, performances, and plenty of panel discussions and seminars.

On Sunday, I attended the Lip Service Live panel discussion which was moderated by WGCI’s Frankie Robinson, featuring Angela Yee of the Breakfast club, Charmaine Walker of Black Ink Crew Chicago, Phor of Black Ink Crew Chicago, Van Johnson of Chicagorilla, GiGi Maguire of Lip Service Podcast, Lore’l of Lip Service Podcast and doctors Maya Green and Toya O. from the Chicago Department of Health.

This seminar was unfiltered AF but that is to be expected. Everything from UTI’s, fellatio tips and vaginal myths busted was discussed. The audience and panelists were highly engaged with each other and while the attention was mostly on the celebrity panelists, the doctors impressed me the most.

Here are 3 things I learned from them to live our best happy and healthy, and unfiltered sex lives.

How do you prepare for intimacy?

We live in a world where many men are uncomfortable and straight up REFUSING to go to the doctor and get tested for STD’s. Panelist Dr. Toya said that it is important for men to do these things because most black women who contract HIV tend to do so from their heterosexual male partners. Dr. Maya said that “we need to make it okay for men to love their bodies and be sexually whole like women are.” and I couldn’t agree more! The doctors went on to say that the best way to prepare for intimacy is to go get tested with your partners, though special circumstances are considered such as one night stands. It was refreshing to be in a space where alternative lifestyles were considered and absolutely no shaming was going on.

PrEP can be taken by women as well.

6 out of 10 HIV cases are black women. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is an anti-viral drug that reduces your chance of contracting the disease. If you look at advertisements, you will see that PrEP is primarily marketed to and for gay men, but Dr. Maya cleared that misconception up. An audience member also had a question about why is there no cure for HIV yet a prevention and Dr. Toya answered and said that is because the HIV virus changes every time it replicates which makes it hard to cure. They did go on to say that PrEP is 90% effective and highly recommend for women to take it if they feel they may be at high risk for contracting HIV.

So, What exactly is squirting?

Recently on social media, I’ve seen debates about whether or not the hoopla around a woman squirting is actually just urine. Frankie Robinson joked and said that squirting is like a Long Island Iced Tea, you never know what exactly is in it. Dr. Maya and Dr. Toya cleared it up and said that squirting is simply urine mixed with a combination of liquids from the vagina. It is not to be confused with female ejaculation, which is the culmination of liquid from the vagina and can happen with or without an orgasm. The crowd went wild at that answer lol, I’m sure the answers cleared up a lot of misconceptions.

Want to see more of my recap of the Black Women’s Expo? Follow my Instagram @KiaSmithWrites for videos. Thank you so much to the Chicago chapter of Black Bloggers United for letting me share my coverage of this weekend long event!

Missed the expo in Chicago? No worries, the Black Women’s Expo is touring this year to Atlanta and Dallas, stay tuned to the website for dates.

In 1913

1913 was such a pivotal year for Black women…. Here’s my spin on my favorite piece of history.

The year is 1931 and I am dying. However, it is nothing to be surprised about, because that is what old people do. Luckily, I have lived a fulfilling life. I worked hard, took care of my husband and children, and worked endlessly to provide justice for others. As I lay in my bed waiting to take my last breath, I reflect back to my proudest moment, when I and other Negro women participated in the Women’s Suffrage March more than 20 years earlier.

The morning of March 3, 1913 was cold. Colder than I imagined, though it is early March. I awoke feeling melancholy. For weeks, there has been talk around the town about women protesting in the streets to urge politicians to give us the right to vote.

Being a woman in these times is one thing, but to be Negro and woman is another. Racism is something that is often ignored in the face of fighting sexism. White women will force Negro women to do all the ground work while they receive the glory. They want our bodies physically there, but our thoughts and feelings are not validated, because in their eyes, we are not important enough to speak for ourselves.

I admit, I was suspicious when members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association approached me to participate in their protest. I was settling in from my anti-lynching legislation tour, which took me around the states and overseas to London. However, I agreed until I received another visit that forever changed me.

How are you Mrs. Wells?” a member from NAWSA asked me. She sat awkwardly in my parlor room chair, and kept diverting her eyes from me, choosing instead to look at the painting of my family and me, hung above the mantel piece.

I’m doing well,” I replied coyly, sipping my tea. My husband was away on business and my children were away at school. The member was a tall and slender woman, which blondish colored hair and bright blue eyes. She sounded as if she was from the Boston area, because every word she spoke was nasally sounding.

She looked young, about 22 or so, and I learned that she had just graduated from college. The dress she had on was a nice green color, and she wore no makeup on her cheeks, unlike most girls her age. I noticed she had no rings on her finger, so I assumed she wasn’t married.

The reason I am here is to discuss the march with you that is taking place on Saturday” she said. Once again, her eyes diverted from me as she spoke.

Go ahead child!” I said with authority. One of my deepest annoyances is when people speak to me too low or don’t look at me at all. I expect anyone I come in contact with, whether black or white to award me the same respect I award them.

The young white woman, who I will call Sarah looked slightly frightened at my tone. I have a large voice, and most who know me understand that. However, this was her first time meeting me, so I made a mental note to control my tone, though I knew that I would be annoyed some more in the duration of our conversation.

Well, as you know, the march is in a couple days,” she started.

I’m aware. My group and I are grateful for the invitation” I said, and smiled sweetly. We weren’t exactly grateful, but it sounded good. I just wanted her to get on with this conversation because I had so many things to do.

Well yes, we are glad to have you but there is just one small change we need you to make..” she said, as her voice trailed off.

I sat straight up and slightly leaned forward and encouraged her to go on.

We have many women from all over coming down to support us, but many of them are southern women who are married to certain politicians and law makers. While we appreciate you and the other Negro women for marching with us, we are going to have to ask you all to march in the back” she said.

As soon as the words escaped her mouth, my mind went blank. In my activist work, I had met many types of white women who wanted to help end lynching. Many of these women were the children of abolitionists, and understood why Negroes needed rights. However, once this women’s rights stuff started, it was as if the true colors of many came out. To be frank, many did not want black women to be a part of anything. It’s like the only women who were allowed any type of rights were white women. It was frustrating fighting both racism and sexism within a movement that was meant to liberate all women.

I peered over my bifocals at Sarah, disgusted. “I’m sorry, but what did you say?” I asked.

Well it’s just that these women may feel upset that they may be marching next to women like you, and we really don’t want them pulling out this protest, because we need their support” she explained.

I stared at her, my mind going blank once again. Black women were forced to be at the back of everything since I’ve been alive. We have worked hard for this country, cared for children that weren’t ours, neglected the ones that actually were ours, and yet we are still treated like second class citizens.

I sighed deeply and silently counted to ten before I spoke again.

If we cannot march in the front with everyone else, then we do not wish to participate at all” I stated with venom in my voice.

Sarah looked mortified and said, “Oh no, we cannot have that! Don’t you understand?”

No, you all seem to be the ones who don’t understand. We are not cattle. We are women and we deserve to be visibly apart of that march just like any other woman” I said.

While of course I agree with you, I am just doing what I was asked to do. Please do consider,” Sarah said.

I think it’s time you leave” I replied.

Sarah and I stared each other down for thirty seconds before she got her coat and left my home.

I laid in bed that night, consumed in my thoughts, drained by the ever-going acts of racism. I was frustrated to think that just for once, Negro women would actually be considered important. The more I thought, the more I began to form a plan of action.

Two days later, I awoke bright and early. My husband sat up in bed and watched me brisk around our bedroom, getting dressed. I was filled with a large amount of vigorous energy, ready to stand up for what I believed in. I had decided to go to the march despite what NAWSA felt.

Are you sure about this honey?” my husband asked. I kissed him on the forhead, gave his hand a squeeze and said, “As ready as I’ll ever be” and marched out the door.

It was cold that morning, but you could tell that early signs of spring were approaching. Thousands of people were gathered in downtown Washington, all bustling about. I saw the NAWSA women and looked at them stone-faced. They were still under the impression that I dropped out of the march. Most members avoided eye contact with me, Sarah especially.

The march began. Women held banners and signs and yelled “GIVE WOMEN THE VOTE! GIVE WOMEN THE VOTE!” over and over. It was a captivating sight. When the Illinois Delegation passed I signaled for my members to push forward, and we landed right in step with that group, chanting “GIVE WOMEN THE VOTE!” as if nothing happened. I made eye contact with no one, because my heart was beating extremely fast, I can even admit I was filled with nervous energy.

Photo via biography.com

 

 

The white women around looked shocked, possibly because they have never seen a group of Negro women so bold. But I didn’t care. If women were to one day get the vote, I wanted to make sure ALL women were included in that.

I smiled at the memory.

7 years later, women finally won the right to vote. It wasn’t easy, and I knew that the fight for women’s rights still had a long way to go, but for once I knew I had done my race a service…

I died a happy woman that night, hoping that my legacy would carry on.