Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lessons learned - Don't confuse the cocoa with a convo


For those unfamiliar with Le Bougie vernacular, yes - cocoa is a euphemism for naked aerobic activity.

I was late to the cocoa game. Which is really a polite way of saying that if my father could have locked me up in an ivory tower with a chastity belt and four nuns, he would have. Even when I was at college, he had a tendency to hop a Southwest flight down to Austin and show up at the dorm/apartment unannounced just to remind me that he could. And if none of that worked, he had already stuffed my head chock full of Christian guilt trips and horror stories about what happened to "girls like that."

Suffice to say that by the time I got around to stirring Le Chocolat, I had built it up to be a wondrous declaration of love. A sharing of emotional synergy between two people, a veritable pinnacle expressing an ocean's worth of passion sealing a partnership of love forever. (Can you hear the swelling violin music playing in the background and waves crash against the shore?)

My "first" was older (and wiser in the ways of cocoa) than me and took full advantage of that. When there was an argument to be won or a point to be made or a conversation to evade, he boiled up the cocoa and served it steaming hot. My young, blank self thought that meant everything was okay. It took me forever to set boundaries, "Some discussions we need to have while clothed and upright." In short, I confused the cocoa for a conversation.

Others confuse the cocoa for affection. Some think it is a promise of sorts. Some see it as a beginning, others see it as an ending. Some use it as weapon, others as currency. Some use it for exercise, others as a way to merely pass the time. The problem arises when both parties involved don't see it the same way.

One person is passing the time, the other is trying to make a love connection... that's not going to end well. There's a great line from a few seasons ago on Grey's Anatomy where Meredith tells her sister Lexie, "Your problem is that your heart is in your vijayjay."

I have to admit that this is partly true for me as well. I have not gotten to the point where I can stir the cocoa without some form of emotional attachment. I'm just not hard-wired that way and the code my parents embedded at a young age doesn't help. I have no beef with men and women who can pour random cups of cocoa, stir it up, drink and leave (unless they're grimy with it). I think it would simplify things to no end. Have an itch, get it scratched, keep it moving. 

My lesson learned? Sometimes cocoa is just about cocoa. It's a good idea to ask (beforehand) just what it means. Even if it's as simple as "no strings, right?" prior to diving in. When you're in a relationship, sometimes it's still just about the cocoa. "Don't think this solves any damn thing." "Right we're both still mad, you naked yet?" That kind of clarity is appreciated. 

BougieLand, what say ye? How much confusion is caused when the meaning of the cocoa is not spelled out up front? I can't be the only one who has trouble separating "intimacy" from "intimate acts," am I? Fellas, how do you have this "cocoa clarifying" conversation? Or do you? Ladies? Your thoughts? Do share. The floor is yours.

105 comments:

CaliGirlED said...

Excellent post! (Was there any doubt?)

Anywho, I'll start with this, "Don't think this solves any damn thing." 'Right we're both still mad, you naked yet?' That kind of clarity is appreciated."

I tried to explain this to a married friend who didn't want to have sex with her husband because she was "mad at him" (insert whiny voice).  I told her, you better handle your business, roll over and continue being mad! Her: You can do that? Me: Yep and sleep good!

Now this may not be a good thing emotionally (that I can do that), but it is what it is!

suebhoney said...

I for one was in the same position, cocoa=love, relationship, etc. the way I was brought up too.  I learned often and the hard way that it wasn't what it meant, but kept trying to "keep hope alive" . Then as I moved into the late 30's and was all "I AM WOMAN" and I can do it like a MAN!  and that still didn't work, but now that I am of the Fabulous 40 crowd, I now practice "cocoa clarification" very diligently, and a understanding is definitely reached before any stirring will be going on.  It took me a long time, but I think I got it now.

Trey Charles said...

Wiat - you're supposed to clarify what the cocoa means before you stir it?
*rethinks life*

Jubi The Great said...

Maybe that's where you've been going wrong Trey...

Jubi The Great said...

One of my male friends once told me a story about how he was stirring the cocoa with a young lady, and in the middle of it she said "you know this means we go together right?". 0_o....ummm maybe yall should have talked about that beforehand.

My parents didn't pump my head up about sex, they were very realistic about it (well Moms was, Dad still likes to believe that I'm a virgin, but that's another post for another day) & so I really haven't had a problem separating the act from the emotions.

Too many ppl are afraid to clarify in general, especially when it comes to saying what they want. Sometimes you need to quick second to say how you feel...and be willing to walk away if the other person isn't on the same page even though you may be really ready for that sip of cocoa. It saves everyone a headache.

CaliGirlED said...

*hollers*

MsJamie14 said...

LOL. You be on him Jubi!

bashowell said...

I've had to have the cocoa clarifying conversation way too often.  Not because I catch feelings but because the dudes do.  It's irritating, honestly.  I just have to make sure they understand that in the beginning and maybe forever it's not about anything except cocoa for cocoa's sake.  If I like you enough that may change.  If not well...

To me cocoa and emotions can be separate.  I prefer to keep them separate.  It makes things easier.  My parents (well my mother...my dad chose to ignore it all lol) - my mother would rhapsodize on cocoa with ish like "the flowing of love between a husband and wife brought together by God's love..."  After that I would quit listening while giving an 8 year old's side eye.  I'm the opposite of that - not the slightest bit emotional - always have been. 

Jubi The Great said...

I'm trying to help!

MsJamie14 said...

I have not gotten to the point where I can stir the cocoa without some form of emotional attachment. I'm just not hard-wired that way

Ditto. Besides, it's not meant to be an unemotional thing. I'm always wary of folks who state that they can uh, stir, without feelings because even if you can't you're always gonna want more.... if not from the current cocoa buddy, generally in life. That's why no one really strives to be the "old man in the club."

Anyway, what I've learned....while I've never stirred the cocoa unless I'm feeling good about 'us' I do realize that his timeline hasn't always matched up with mine which will always cause the problem. So yeah, making sure the communication is straight and we're on the same page...while putting the primal instinct of the uh..."tea kettle" on the back burner. LOL  

TrulyPC said...

You are too hilarious!  Yes it is always appreciated to have it clarified and believe me you will appreciate greatly the effort you made when you feel the need to say "check please" again. :)

Veronica Miller said...

All wrong.

Veronica Miller said...

I still come across those girls. "Well, I slept with him so that means..." Nope. No honey, no it doesn't. And then when dude continues about life as usual, the girls build a teepee in their feelings talking about "I thought we had a connection!" Eh-eh (<-- Jamaican "unh-uh.") You had sex. So... yeah. *shrug*

Veronica Miller said...

So... unlike Grey's sister, my heart and my vajayjay are two completely different people. My brain has the monumental task of keeping both of them in check, lest I end up falling head over heels for or passing out cocoa samples to every cutie with wit and intelligence. (Some people exchange cocoa for money or affection. I've found that I exchange it for stimulating conversation. My vajayjay's all: "He said 'dystopian society'? Lehgo." She needs supervision.)


Anyway, cocoa clarification has done WONDERS for my life in general. Now I don't make any decisions regarding without knowing exactly where he and I stand. We don't have to be in a relationship necessarily, but we do have to be on the same page. Ergo, I don't have any cocoa regrets in life, because I don't expect unicorns and rainbows and glitter to magically appear after sharing it. I also don't share unless I absolutely want to. (My brain, working overtime, has developed  a complicated algorithm so that I don't even get CLOSE to any unwanted situations. She's like the Idris Elba guard character in Thor.) I can't count the number of conversations I've had with women who say they've stirred cocoa NOT because they actually wanted to, but because they thought they'd get something else out of it. That gives me the sads. That has to be the most bitter cocoa ever in life. :(

Sasha Iman said...

My parents held a series of age appropriate conversations about sex when I was growing up. I wasn't given cutesy names like viyjajay for body parts,
never at any point thought a stork played a role in the production of a
child, and wasn't told anything that was pre-qualified with "when a man
and woman who love each other...". I was just told not to fall for the "you're so pretty/beautiful" swindle and to make sure whatever happened was my choice.

Sooo, I didn't have to learn cocoa =/= love. I always figured, unless specified, it was just something that could either leave you burnt with a bad taste in your mouth, or feeling nice and warm inside (pause). Just like I don't start dating someone and assume we're now a couple, I don't stir cocoa and assume there's some love connection.

*I see some folks being bashful today, lol*

CaliGirlED said...

" My vajayjay's all: "He said 'dystopian society'? Lehgo." She needs supervision.)"...*falls out of chair holding stomach laughing at you right now*

TrulyPC said...

I always thought (well I still do) that it was impossible for me to separate the two and I thought that cocoa was supposed to be with "the one".  Well college changed the whole waiting on "the one" theory but I still could not get cocoa going unless I had feelings for the person.  So much so that I had an automatic gag reflex when I tried to without that emotional connection.  Talk about hysterical laughter once I told the girls about it.  We laughed for weeks off that experience.

Some of my friends have never had a problem getting their cocoa fix without any "emotional chains" as they call them.  We've had some epic vacations that sometimes have ended with at least one of them leaving the vacation early because they were hiding from "chain free cocoa". LOL

MsJamie14 said...

LOL. I know. But I fear we will never get a Bougie Bachelor Chronicle on this site again. LOL

Grace said...

There's a discussion and then there's dude saying (mid-stroke) "This doesn't mean anything, you know that right?"

What's your word, Chele? Slapworthy?

JohnKinPDX said...

That's a flag on the play, bait n switch type of nonsense. I hope you bounced his azz.

NatashaHunter said...

Hey yah'll!

Getting worked to death this week so can't comment like I want to but, Ms. Chele you are killing it with the topics this week!  I needs to be directing some of my girlfriends over here this week...

And yes, I have coochie connection problems...that's all I'mma say about that :) 

Only1DivaC said...

Girl I'm with you on that stimulating conversation. You are not alone!

Veronica Miller said...

WHY THE (!^#(!&&!^() WOULD SOMEONE SAY THAT?

He literally talked himself OUT of the cocoa. OUT.

C Nelson said...

AHAHAHAHA. I completely hear you on exchanging cocoa for stimulating conversation. The surest way to get my panties wet is to impress me with the arcane and esoteric workings of your mind. I am marrying an accountant. In large part, I confess, because he does that thing where he takes what looks like an unholy jumbled mess of options and conflicting demands to me, plugs it into a spreadsheet, and makes sense come out the other end. I only wish I were lying.

I would've thought that would only apply to, y'know, balancing the books, which I can absolutely do by myself; I have done it for a living. But no! Which apartment to choose? Spreadsheet. Planning a sane daily schedule? Spreadsheet. Optimising his World of Warcraft characters? Spreadsheet! And well-read, and the dry sense of humour ... I had no chance. Nary a one.

Veronica Miller said...

Nerds be winning, yo. :-)

blackprofessor said...

You always make me laugh and this was no exception.

ShawnSoze said...

I agree to some degree. #SomewhatCosign

There's a "cocoa clarification" conversation and there's talking it to death.  As my Uncle JoJo used to say, "Sometimes you don't need to put that fine a point on a pencil to write with it." Ya dig?

SingLikeSassy said...

Oh man. This is what me and my friend Honeysmoke dubbed "good girl issues" several years ago. I got 'em. Bad. Cause I was raised with the same "girls like that" kinda messaging, topped off with a dollop of "don't shame our family name."

I have learned over the years that I just need to stay chaste unless I am in a mutually faithful committed relationship. It's what's best for me.

SingLikeSassy said...

This how mofos clothes get slashed and cars get burned up with them standing there saying, "Why she do this?! What I do?"

SingLikeSassy said...

"while giving an 8 year old's side eye." <--LOL!

SingLikeSassy said...

This explains so much. LOL!

ShawnSoze said...

definitely on some bullshiggity

thinklikeRiley said...

Yessir. Preach on it.

C Nelson said...

My parents would very much have liked me to believe that sex equals love. Unfortunately for their hopes on that score, they were too busy making each other's lives difficult in my early years to spare enough energy for protecting their first daughter.  My older half-brother spent a year or so, starting from the time when I was about five, maybe almost six, teaching me that love, whatever that was, didn't have to have a single solitary thing to do with what people did to you in bed in the dark, which was almost entirely about jealousy and making you hurt because your mother left him behind with his father, but she married yours. So that was sex. I learned about love rather later, and haven't always been successful at combining the two. I watch people get themselves in trouble thinking that sex is what you add to two people to get instant perfection, but the traps I fall into lie on the opposite end of that spectrum entirely. It's incredibly difficult to convince me someone wants more than the cocoa, especially once it's been served.

thinklikeRiley said...

Yessir. Preach on it.

CaliGirlED said...

Aw hayle naw!!!

CaliGirlED said...

 "There's a "cocoa clarification" conversation and there's talking it to death.".... Something like, "Ok never mind!"? LOL

thinklikeRiley said...

I only have a problem when folk take what is a clear cut "we're looking to get done so let's do each" other and turn it into something else. I'm not talmbout catching feelings, I mean when someone realizes that if they boil up the cocoa da right way, there may be a paycheck in it. Dat's jus ratchet. Have sex for sex sake not to get your light bill paid. IJS. #PetPeeve #Heauxnanigans

Jubi The Great said...

Ha! I've been known to fall for convos regarding quantum mechanics & the Schrodinger Equation *hangs head*

Jubi The Great said...

Being able to separate feelings from cocoa stirring does not mean that the person is devoid of any & all self-control, or that the person is stirring cocoa with everyone.

Jubi The Great said...

You know, you could just volunteer to be the new Bougie Bachelorette!

motown_skater said...

I have learned over the years that I just need to stay chaste unless I am in a mutually faithful committed relationship. It's what's best for me. ....DITTO!

MsJamie14 said...

Huh? Where did I say such things?

MsJamie14 said...

Quiet you. lol

thinklikeRiley said...

One mo' thang - A+ for the varietal cocoa pics you find. Subliminal much?
#win

CaliGirlED said...

There's Betcha By Golly Wow by the Stylistics  and then there's Buddy by Musiq Soulchild:
http://youtu.be/hpdurzHfpNY

BklynBajan said...

Girl! Theres one cocoa packet from the past that got me with that smart talk. He wasn't even my type in ANY kind of way but he had my mind open so my body followed for a moment. 


I should have had a V8.

In the end it was most dissatisfying so while smart talk is a plus that memory allows me to keep it in perspective. To keep it clean all that library time will never substitute the benefits of a regularly utilized gym membership. Cocoa served on hardbone china wins over paper cups every time.

LikeLena said...

*pulls up chair* Please elaborate.

LikeLena said...

WHAT?!

LikeLena said...

My weakness is the children. If a dude started talking about home much he wants to give back and help kids live better lives, I have to super glue my knees together. Civic minded and articulate? That's a candidate to be Mr. Lena. (yeah I said Mr. Lena)

LikeLena said...

All. Day. Long. (Most.Nights.Too.)
#AgeoftheGeek

LikeLena said...

These topics are smacking me right up in my face this week. I don't understand how to separate "intimacy" from "intimate acts" so I don't try any more.

The Bunni said...

Girl we are >here<!  Add to stimulating convo the ability to keep me laughing - unh, unh, unh..I'm a goner

NY2VA said...

"It don't take a whole day to recognize sunshine." -- Common

BklynBajan said...

I'm with you. I've found though for all the "talk" regarding cocoa skills a lot of people make much ado about nothing. If you're huffing and puffing walking up a flight of stairs you really want me to believe that you are serving up the best cocoa ever? Besides talk is over rated. I need to have some other kind of connection because if the cocoa is whack I will bounce. Do not pass go - do not contact me again.

I've said before one can only do so much with someone new. When you're cooking with someone on the regular and adjust your receipe accordingly then can you reach master chef status. That happens over time with trust.  Having one receipe and serving to new people over and over isn't the way to perfect your kitchen skills.

Jubi The Great said...

From your original comment: "I'm always wary of folks who state that they can uh, stir, without feelings because even if you can't you're always gonna want more.... if not from the current cocoa buddy, generally in life."

J B said...

And I don't want to separate them.  Good?  Bad?  Good for me, I think.  As long as all parties are aware.  What I may have lost in potential cocoa moments I've gained in self-awareness and peace.

blackprofessor said...

Guilty as well! Let a man stimulate my mind and like to read, let's just say that I am a goner! Extra points if he picks up a newspaper on the regular!

OneChele said...

*curtsies*

OneChele said...

Wait... Super Glue tho?

GuessImJay said...

Very few good reasons for stopping midstroke
1) Pulled a hammy
2) The condom slipped, broke, imploded
3) Somebody just walked in (not a deal breaker)
4) Time to switch up
5)...
I can't think of a fifth.
Please tell me you never spoke to that fool again. Even better, tell me you didn't let him finish.

GuessImJay said...

T-sizzle...
SMH

tishatweets said...

I am absent this sort of hardwiring as well. If my legs are open, my heart as to be, too. *shrug*

Javalicious said...

*Lights a Bic and waves it back and forth*

Javalicious said...

Oh.

rozb said...

I understand the need for for cocoa time without bonds. As you get older and know what you want, it is easier to state what it is for you, and what you are looking for from the other person. It only becomes complicated when you fool yourself about your true expectations.

tishatweets said...

Computer is not letting me be great with the edit. That should be "If my legs are open, my heart has to be, too. *shrug*"

Javalicious said...

Oh.

Javalicious said...

Oh. My.

rozb said...

I'm just going to put this out there: how can something so good be just limited to "only if you have feelings?"

Only1DivaC said...

Thank you Mr. Jay for making me choke own some water reading this.

rozb said...

Welp. Well said Soze, well said.

OneChele said...

Depends on the feelings? 
I think some people are better at that separation than others.

MsJamie14 said...

I don't see how that correlates to being "devoid of any & all self control" then, or that they were "stirring the cocoa with everyone." My point was that "it gets old." Whether it be today, or 10 years from now." I believe you will eventually seek a "real" connection with someone.

AnnettePearl said...

It's hard to answer these kind of questions straight out when your s/o reads the blog as well but I'll just be honest and say it.

One of my best experiences was with someone I did not know and had no plans to ever see again. We both just went for it because there was nothing to gain and nothing to lose.

I think it's hard to keep the feelings at bay over time. At least for women. But maybe I'm being old-fashioned?

rozb said...

Good point.

Kinda like: you were always taught you cannot have dessert unless you eat your dinner first. Don't want to ruin your appetite, and the meal may be hard work but the dessert is worth it.

Then sometimes, a big bowl of Ben 'n Jerry's Karmel Sutra is all you need for the evening, 'cause you may not want or need all that food beforehand.

Am I reaching?

MsJamie14 said...

*devilish grin for #3* LMAO.

rozb said...

Nah - not being old-fashioned. You needed "maintenance" and got it done. You were all good after that and kept it moving.

AnnettePearl said...

"Not a deal breaker" - iQuit.
I'll be back tomorrow.

OneChele said...

Nope. That works for me.

MsJamie14 said...

The succinct version. Thank you.

CaliGirlED said...

And now that all your questions have been answered, class dismissed!...Jay you are hilarious!

tishatweets said...

For me, it's about temperance. I'm simply not led by how I feel--in life in general. I'm not saying it's easy. In fact, it's downright hard sometimes (no pun intended. LOL). Often. But...I know me. I'm not going to give into an urge just because I can, because I should shirk sociey's outdated rules, because "ain't I a woman," etc.  No. The aftermath of scratching an itch just because it's itching is not worth it. For me.

Jubi The Great said...

This list tho...LMAO!

CaliGirlED said...

 Professor Jay!!!

5) She's laying there motionless and mute?

motown_skater said...

i had to read this twice to make sure i was reading correctly and will say a similar situation left me here----> "I learned about love rather later, and haven't always been successful at combining the two."

"It's incredibly difficult to convince me someone wants more than the cocoa, especially once it's been served." --->>> this is me all day

La said...

It's SO important to be clear and honest about what you want upfront, ESPECIALLY when cocoa is involved. I think all adults are allowed to want whatever it is they want; they just need to be honest with themselves and their partner about what that is and whether or not the person they are with can give that to them.
 
I don't have issues separating intimacy from intimate acts. It's one of very few lessons I didn't have to learn the hard way. Sex with feelings is (usually) always better; but without them it can still be pretty damn good. I think it's usually best to have this conversation in as straightforward and non dramatic a way as possible; "This is what I want, these are my expectations. Are these things ok with you?"
 
Question for Bougielanders: I wonder if I am the only one noticing this happening. As I get older, I find that my single female friends are becoming much more liberated and comfortable in their skin, and perfectly ok with NSA cocoa. But my MALE friends? The older they get THE MORE THEY DON'T WANT IT. Is this happening anywhere else? lol

La said...

I think even more importantly, people should identify specifically what they mean by "feelings". Do the "feelings" that make it "ok" to sleep with someone mean that you want to be in a relationship with them? You respond to something on a deeper level within them? Or is it ok to just feel attracted to someone, comfortable with them, and want to sleep with them? "Feelings" is so vague.

La said...

I think it's precisely that kinda teaching that made me reevaluate things. There was this whole set of "rules" I was told "good girls" followed. And then I came to realize 2 things: #1 I came to actually know some of those "bad girls" and they weren't bad girls at all. And #2: doing all those things that I was "supposed to do" because I was a "good girl" wasn't getting me what I wanted. I think we tell people, women especially, that if they act a certain way, they will get a certain outcome. And I have come to find that isn't always the case.

Btw- I'm not saying that is what you were saying with your comment. What you said just reminded me of it.

La said...

"Do you like rainy days and puppies?" LMAOOOO!

La said...

"I can't count the number of conversations I've had with women who say they've stirred cocoa NOT because they actually wanted to, but because they thought they'd get something else out of it. That gives me the sads."

Omg, this. It makes me SO sad to watch women barter their bodies for commitment they don't get. Smh.

The Bunni said...

Perhaps it's because women hit their sexual peak later in life than men?

Veronica Miller said...

We became grown women and got over the "good girl" sh*t. LOL.

GrownAzzMan said...

The thing is, there are levels of cocoa:

There is learning cocoa
There is sport cocoa
There is adventure/fantasy cocoa
There is relationship/married cocoa.

It is important but not always communicated what level of cocoa is taking place.

GrownAzzMan said...

"3) Somebody just walked in (not a deal breaker"

*DEAD*

Bury me smiling with money in my pocket...

Jason P said...

This actually makes perfect sense to me.

Jason P said...

That's a whole different topic, ma.

C Nelson said...

5) S/he says "stop".  :P

GammasWorld said...

I don't have cocoa clarifying convos anymore ... either I am or I ain't .... not too much to discuss.   True story though (not about me for once):  chick straight up tells dude cocoa means a lot more to her than just naked aerobics.  Dude says yeah, okay, understood, blah blah blah.  They stir cocoa.  She gets stalkerish.  He wonders what the hell happened.  I said she TOLD YOU it meant more to her than a game and you chose to play anyway.  Don't be mad if your truck tires get slashed -- you done did it now.    CCC (Cocoa Clarifying Convo), is no different that other convo ... both parties have to LISTEN and be honest.  

CaliGirlED said...

I may have over exaggerated it, but if your partner is not into it, that is a reason to stop and see what's going on.

Sol_dier said...

C Nelson, I'm really sorry you went through that.  The pieces of stories you leave here on BL show that you have overcome a great deal and emerged whole. #kudos to you and all the others with stories untold.

C Nelson said...

Please don't feel bad. They're my history, but they're also old history. I went through all the phases of keeping it all secret, then telling every tiny graphic detail, and now mostly they're  backstory, if that makes sense. Important because that's how I got to where I am, and I talk about it partly because not talking made it seem like it was my shame and my secret when it never was.

The rest of the reason is that when I was still keeping the secret there weren't many other people I could look to and know they were in the same boat too and they lived; half of what I had to deal with was the notion that once it happened to me I was damaged goods forever and my life should have been over. It hurt, and it scarred a bit, and it sucked, but it was survivable, and even thrivable (I hereby declare that a word.) So, when it feels relevant, I point back to say "this is where I got this from, and here is where I am now," whether I've gotten past it or am still working on it.  No pity. No shame. No silence. 

Sol_dier said...

More like solidarity and acknowledgment :-)
'No pity, no shame, no silence'  <--- brilliant. 

rhenewal said...

Do women really do this, though? I mean, IRL? Ask a dude to pay your bills because the cocoa was good????

One Chele said...

There are all the "I'm feeling you. Let's do this. No strings." conversations and then there are the "What does this mean? Are we in a relationship? Are we exclusive? Who else have you been with? Will you respect me in thirty minutes the morning? Do you like rainy days and puppies?" conversations. One is brief and to the point wherein either party can say "No thank you" or "Not tonight" and it's onto the next.

The other could lead to a whole lot of unnecessary drama. If you're in a relationship, somewhere in between is plenty. If you're not, does all of that need to be discussed for a brief encounter? Not really.

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