i am

My photo
harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Adam4Adam: Love, Lust or Lies?

As a proud member of the Black Men's Xchange-New York (BMX-NY), I facilitate some of our weekly gatherings. BMX-NY is a Harlem-based, Black men's empowerment organization. We regularly discuss issues impacting our lives - as Black men - in an affirming, loving & nurturing environment. BMX-NY employs diversity, critical thinking & cultural affirmation. As such, I was seeking a specific 'type' of man for an upcoming gathering.

The topic was "Brothers Who Love Others And Don't Identifty As Gay." I wanted to explore identity politics, racism & self-determination. But where would I find the 'type' of brothers who'd offer meaning & purpose to this provocatibe dialogue? A trusted friend suggested I go online & look for brothers who are either 'not out,' or, 'on the DL.'

He immediately recommended www.Adam4Adam.com. I've heard some brothers reference this particular site a few times, but never thought about using it for professional reasons. Grateful for his marketing savvy, later that pm, I created a profile, uploaded a photo & signed on. I was surprised to find over 1000 men were online, particularly since it was a weekday pm.

However, as I browsed a few profiles, I noticed a disturbing trend. Many of the men who exclusively sought friendships, also wanted anal sex, cam to cam action, group sex, miscellaneous fetishes and oral sex as well. Is it any wonder the relationships of Black male homosexuals are in such disharmony? Folks lie about what they really want, place unrealistic expectations on themselves & others, in addition to posting pictures of men who don't look like them - I saw Nick Cannon, Tyrese Gibson & Usher! One brother said he was "looking for my soulmate." Perhaps therapy is in order...

Nonetheless, I had a job to do. But I was mad distracted. There was dick & ass all up in my face. What us gon' do, miss Celie, what us gon' do? Okay, I'll admit I got a few booty calls. I ain't mad at nobody either, cause it ain't like brothers is kicking my door down these days. Still, I pride myself on integrity. My father taught me to never get emotionally invloved when I'm doing business. Easy for him to say. He's a senior citizen. I'm 45, cute, drug free, independent, single...oh, I forgot, this was supposed to be about BMX-NY.

Whatever.

The first night I received 15 responses from brothers who'd expressed interest in the gathering. Three days later, 35 men stated they'd consider attending. A few offered to bring a friend. I was pumped. Who knew? To my surprise, however, the powers that be deleted my profile after five days online. Something about "solicitation is forbidden." I won't be able to utilize the site again until Tuesday.

Unfortunately, I got sick & was unable to facilitate the gathering last Friday pm. Though a couple of my peers humbly stepped in on short notice, BMX-NY will revisit this topic periodically. I actually spoke to a few brothers on the phone. They seemed pleased to learn an organization was in Harlem geared towards their emotional & spiritual support. We find dialogue to be a useful tool for healing & empowerment. And sometimes we find just what we need in the process.

15 comments:

Bernie said...

A4A is a bit of a mess, attracting a wide mix of men in search of their own personal reality.

christopher said...

one could spend a month of Sundays debating the power that is A4A, its place in our community and its desire to render us all sex-filled relationship-less individuals.

Jaqua said...

I think adam4adam is as addictive as crack, no other website can boast as many hours online that that site generates, thousands of men of hours and hours and hours around the clock, holidays included, I think its the need for community or death of the club scene whichever, but it is a phenonema worthy of its own study.

Cris Vangel said...

You have a beautiful way with words my friend. I especially liked the way you describe yourself, thank you for affecting my life in a positive way! Be well and be strong!

--DJ Cris Vangel

Anonymous said...

sociologically a4a is a phenomenum. It is a portal for guys to be whoevever or whatever they wished they were. They can post a picture of their favorite fantasy porn star and get all the attention that the pic calls for.It is in someways no different that the backrooms or sex stations of yore. It is a place for men to do what they do best .. hunt for sex and lie about anything to get it..

Jeff said...

I must agree about the A4A thing being highly addicktive (sic):). but i guess it serves a purpose. I haven't had any bad experiencesbut i still wanna de-tox....Peace 'DLOW'

Anonymous said...

A4A is just like anything on the
internet. It is just a place
to go and have fun and maybe
hook up with someone. If you
get hooked on it, then that is
your own fault.

kmauryo said...

Just created a profile on Adam and my feelings are really hurt , Numerous black guys responded by telling me I was too Fat, too Light, Too out of shape, Too boring, and too conservative. Leave it to our own people how cruel and ignorant they can be.

Chris, Upstate NY said...

A4A lends to the great american principle of 'instant gratification.' No longer is there the need to prowl the clubs all night long, or slither through the parks at dusk in hopes of finding amore. Now with the click of a mouse we can undress the kid who looks mighty familiar(...maybe it's really Usher),preview countless specimen of prime genitalia and derriere, pre-arrange our bed partner details for our next business trip, replace that relationship that is now blase or is filled with too much theatrics , be ecclectic and try some indian, asian, spanish, white, caribbean, middle eastern or even thug boodie.....God Bless America!

Anonymous said...

There is the brink of insanity, there is the abyss and then there is A4A. It is beyond my realm of understanding that valuable internet technology has been used to create such a hideous site. Not only are most men's (I use that loosley) profiles filled with rude, nasty comments and laundry lists of ridiculous "hook up qualifications", they are ignorantly written and horribly mispelled. I realize that A4A is not a site for publishing material that reads like a Somerset Maughan novel, but if an individual has the audacity to ask you meet their critia, they should at least know the difference between "their" and "there"!

As a gay male, I find it ridiculous that an entire culture of people must endure the ignorance that patrons of A4A display. Unfortunately, sites like this further perpetuate ugly myths about the gay culture.

michael said...

i can understand how a4a could become addictive, especally for those on crystal meth, but i must say that both my personal life and sex life have been greatly improved by utilizing my membership on a4a. ive made great friends and had great opportunities for expressive, fulfilling and fun sex with some really great guys. so whats the beef? if you dont like it sign off, or better yet, dont join.

Anonymous said...

Take it for what it is worth, a plain and simple hookup site. We all know people lie, but so far I have been able to weed out those that do and have nothing but great sexual experiences on the site...and made good friends. If someone thinks that 34w is fat or 7" is not a big enough dick for them - that is their personal choice, there are plenty that do like and hit me up. Go to craigslist.com and see the amount of guys and girls (straight) looking for the same thing...it's a human thing and NOT a gay thing

Anonymous said...

AH! The comments are certainly well received. A4A fills a need in our society, but unfortunately has no control of what is put out by members as fact. I have found that many of the pictures are false, that they really are not a true picture of the subscriber. The murder of the English language is atrocious! I have found that I can not even understand some of the printed matter. It's a language completely foreign to an educated mind. But, and I must apologize for anyone taking offense, the pictures attached to the prose mostly comes from African-Americans. It's almost a tribal language. Again, I apologize to anyone taking exception, but just read the ads and look at the accompanying picture.

Anonymous said...

Sir you are most eloquent and I found what you said to probably be true, I found this site after choosing not to enter adam4adam because any entity with that many disclaimers know that things are not going to be for real, and we as adults have a choice to join or not join anything out there, but you must also remember the choices you make, make you. I would also like to think that every person on this planet is a creation of God and therefore we are ALL brothers and sisters unless someone has begun to clone. The young woman who won the essay contest on Oprah Winfreys show said something that impacted my life and I am so glad she said it, she is a true person , her quote was " history does not repeat itself, people do" . Why in the world are people still not BEING the BROTHER you are looking for or the FAMILY that you are wanting to create. As Ghandi said " Be the change you want to see" , that will happen when all people become people and not some pigmentantion limitation, God is good and we are in general good to each other, but, do we LOVE each other, whether anyone else does or not I DO. Just one more thing we cannot expect emotional fulfillment from a sexual experience, that is what leads to sites where people do almost anything trying to find love, lets find friend, lovers and people , but let them all be people, not blanketed in anyway by some sterotypical label, it just is not meant to be. I hope you are feeling well and I hope you find the Love ( me to) that I miss in my Life but I will not find it by lowering my self-esteem and sleeping with people just for sexual gratification , I will attract them to me by the Divine Law of Attraction which is " ONE ATTRACTS ONE THAT IS OF SIMILAR INTERESTS" , 1) ASK 2) BELIEVE) 3) RECIEVE. DO NOT ASK AGAIN IT SHOW LACK OF FAITH AND GOD DOES NOT ANSWER PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE FAITH. Peace and out, I just recently asked for something and I know it will come, already 2 people have given me reason to believe so, one called and said " may I send you a copy of the SECRET in book form and the same day another called and said I have a Video of the SECRET could we watch it together, I wanna discuss it with you as well as have you be the first one I see it with, so Brothers and SISTER of this beautiful planet be grateful, and Be WISE as always,with much love , Thank you for this site and this opportunity to speak. G.H.

Anonymous said...

It really doesn't matter how or what anyone feels about A4A. People will always do what they are comfortable doing. It is hard enough getting the truth out of people face to face so what do you expect when you are on a quickie chat line but what you expect. Online/Offline you still end up with some type of B/S. Although one should expect more B/S online period.