We at JAI wanted to uncover what these moments really mean. During our unconscious thoughts, what are we actually saying to ourselves and others? Concepts that were illuminated by Rig Rush in a conversation he had with Jai during Peep This: our founder’s quest on talking to every Black and Brown queer person that culturally matters. Here is how the story began.
The other day, a guy that I’ve been courting for months was available.
He had just started a new job so his schedule was more erratic than usual. But this particular evening, I was on his side of town, he was available, traffic was light, and the car was gassed up.
I got to his house with no intention of fck-ing. I really did want to just see him, check the vibe, and watch TV. He had just finished his after-work shower, put on his lounge clothes and answered the door. His body sang to me. Short and thick. Beautifully proportioned Black man. He opened the door and smiled at me. I reciprocated and entered. He gave me a subtle tour of his home before we found our place on the sofa to flip through HULU for the next binge-worthy production.
Clip after clip of one of his favorite shows, then to a new drama that I had never heard of. It was good, but the long day at work and wee hours of the night started to get the best of me. He pulled me close and I laid my head on his shoulder. With my arms wrapped around his slight waist, we laid on the sofa. My eyes could barely remain open. I hope I didn’t snore too loud.
The night crept on and now both of us were drifting. He motioned for me to go upstairs to his bedroom. “Uh-oh” I thought. I hope this isn’t a cue for something sexual. I wasn’t wearing underwear, and his ass was looking delectable. But I had to be strong.
We slept for a while before the chinos I was wearing started to get uncomfortable. Somewhere between the fabric and the tailoring, they simply weren’t sleep worthy, so I pulled them off. My dick flopped on the bed as I pulled him closer into a deeper spoon. His bottom half was gone as well. He pushed his ass onto my dick, grabbed my hand, intertwining our fingers before resting his head on the pillow and drifting back off to sleep.
My mind wandered–at first, attempting to remain preoccupied so my dick would go down, then to his chocolate hills keeping my dick warm. Despite my mind racing, he was going deeper, and deeper, into sleep. Eventually, I rested knowing we weren’t going to FCK. Just as my guard was coming down, my mind was settling, and the sleep crept back in, the last fleeting thought came.
One day, with a man just like this, in a moment just like this, I’ll be able to say I love you.
As soon as my mind settled and my body loosened, honesty started to fill my mind, even half-sleep. I think we all are of the same mind, though. Haven’t you ever been in this same situation with these same thoughts?
It takes courage to admit it, but such is the status of our culture. Scrolling through every social media and dating app is the same language. “Looking for smoke and chill [partners].” Or “not looking to date”. Or “let’s check the vibe”. It’s all code for the same, hard to admit but completely salient truth: make me feel like you give a FCK about me.
Jai got a chance to sit with Rig Rush, a colleague who runs the Atlanta-based graphic design firm, Rig’d Branding. Many call Rig culture’s sooth-sayer, but his friend’s affectionately know him as the butch queen that turns every conversation into a much needed exploration of self. In their conversation, Rig explains what culture is dying for.
We create these arbitrary means of connecting around our vices like sex, drugs, drinking, or the club to fain these mundane connections rather than doing the courageous work of actually connecting. To connect, it takes vulnerability and risk. We must attempt to shed our fears and break down our walls to show someone who we exactly are–flaws, bad credit, HIV, mommy- or daddy-issues, and/or all–and allow them the opportunity to connect with the deeper us.
Our culture has created a banality that appreciates connections based on what we do rather than who we are. Timelines filled with comrades in arms rather than confidants in whom we trust. We have foregone introspection and boundless reciprocity for cute beach selfies and staycations. Our culture, potentially, has become so surface that we’ve started to think that’s all there really is.
The truth is we’ve all been hurt. That doesn’t diminish the pain that we individually feel, but we all are feeling it. To respond, we push
some most all away. The fear of repeating the pain keeps culture–even the aspects of it that truly mean for our good–at arm’s reach. But to heal, unfortunately we must endure. To build the strong connections that love, friendship, affection and compassion are truly based on, we must shed and overcome our fears. After all, anything born of fear will not last.
When is the last time you actually connected with someone? What courage did you have to pull on to build that connection? Who is the person you truly give a FCK about? Sound off in the comments and show us your courage.