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I Remember the Lovin ...

By Rae Lewis-Thornton

March 9, 2012

This piece originally appeared in Rae's blog, Diva Living With AIDS.

Good Lawd I remember Lovin that man! By Lovin I mean having mind blowing sex that kept his tail coming back for more and more. Now don't get Love and Lovin confused because they are two totally different things, that may or may not have anything to do with each other, depending on who you are talking to.

Truth be told, you don't have to love a man to give and get some good Lovin and you can be in Love and the Lovin is well just ok, so you thank God for the Love to keep you going. But when the Lovin is as good as the Love, OMG you have struck gold.

Yep, I remember Ummm every single one of them. Lovin them that is. Now I'm not going to pretend that I'm a virgin; Noooooo, that would be a bald face lie. I'm not even going to pretend that I've only had sex with ummm one, two or three of them. That would be a bald face lie too. I mean, I am a product of the eighties. Good Lawd, I remember the eighties! All I had to worry about was getting pregnant and embarrassing my mama, or so I thought.

Now I wasn't a hoe. Well, what's a hoe anyway? By the standards of the eighties, it was a girl who had one night stands, sex on the first date, and had sex with more than one man in one week, shit, we even extended that to more than one in a month. Funny how a woman who have more than one sexual partner in a month is a hoe and a man is a player, player, but that's another topic

Yep, I remember every one of them. Looking back, I also remember that I thought the sex I was having was love and the better I was in sexin him the more he would Love me. Good Lawd, I thought if I could suck a man's dick until he plead mercy, he was mine forever. STOP! I can't believe I said that, but it's the God living truth.

Let me pause and say, after I typed that last sentence, I almost went back and took it out for fear of being judged. But shoot, it's the truth and it don't really matter, because people gonna find one thing or the other to judge you on. So I'm not going to be silent because you can't handle the truth.

Anyway, Yes I was one messed up, confused, looking for someone to love me forever black woman. It took years for me to learn that a fuck is a fuck, is a fuck, is a fuck! No matter how you try to make it look or sound pretty, it's still a fuck. And just because a man can make your body talk don't mean that he Loves you, nor does your fancy tricks guarantee that he will Love you back. Shoot, it don't even mean he will treat you with respect.

Now, it would be a wonderful thing if I could say I only had sex with men I Loved, but truth is, I had sex with men that I Loved and I had sex with men that I wanted to Love me. Yep, if we are honest about it, sex comes long before the Love. Yep the sex typically starts at the deep like stage and the, I want him to like me more stage. Some times you think the sex will bring you closer, make the relationship deep. Wrong! If you can't get close without fuckin, you can't get close fuckin.

Yep, I remember the men I had sex with thinking that the relationship was getting serious to discover he was the biggest asshole on the planet. Yep, I remember the men I had sex with that I wanted to Love me to later discover that his brand of Love hurt. I remember the one twice my age that I thought would marry me, but instead wasted my pretty, as I waited for him to pop the question. I remember the young buck, good Lawd do I remember him. Hoping that he would Love me as much as he Loved the Lovin between my legs, but he never did. I remember the one that I prayed would leave his wife for me, but after he did, he went back. Yep, I remember, I remember, I remember, I remember.

I remember the Lovin, but I can't remember Loving me more than Loving the Lovin. Nor can I recall the difference between the two. Somehow, the Lovin seemed to make life all better, well at least for that moment in time; But in the end, after the dust settled, I would simply have a wet pussy and an emptiness deep within.

If truth be told, if I Loved me instead of the Lovin, I would have passed on anything that didn't lift me, renew me and celebrate me. But sadly, I was way too damaged by the time I reached 16 to even know what love was and it took almost a half century to learn. Then, it took equally as much time to learn the difference between Love and Lovin.

It took more years than I want to admit of Mr. Wrong's, to stop looking for Mr. Right to love me. But good Lawd, when I stopped looking for love in places outside of myself, it freed me up to look for the love from within. It put me in a position to lift, renew and celebrate the woman God created me to be.

Love of self has placed me in a position to say no to anything a man has to offer that isn't the best for me. Now don't get me wrong, I will never stop Lovin the Lovin, it's just now, I Love me more than I Love the Lovin.

Looking back, the most difficult part is accepting the part of me that was hurt, mistreated, abused and lost by the lack of self-love. You can never undo the damage, only move forward. Case in point; A couple of weeks ago, I went to the doctor for a biopsy in the opening of my vagina.

When the doctor stuck that needle in my vagina to numb it up, all the Lovin flashed across my face and sunk right down to my heart. Later that evening, as I crawled into my bed and stayed for a couple of days, I thought about what I knew then and how it shaped my right now. If I knew then, what I know now, my life would be different today. But if I could'a, would'a, should'a means nothing in the real world. The fact is, I didn't know any better, nor did I have one person to tell me differently. I knew what I knew and I believed it to be true. In time, years of mistakes undergirded by self-abuse, I learned a different way and then it took even more years to do the better that I knew.

I say self-abuse, because, I made choices about my life. I chose to have sex, I chose to love him, I chose, I chose, I chose, I chose. Context does not matter, at the end of the day, I made decisions based on what I knew and understood to be true.

The bottom line is, we make decisions about our life and body every single day, taking ownership for the good and the bad will help one grow to be a better you. When you take ownership, undergirded by an honest understanding about the path you have taken you can be a better you. And even if you choose not to be a better you, you will at least know the difference.

Yep, I remember the Lovin and the impact it has had on my life. I remember looking for someone to Love me forever and learning their Love or lack of Love for me had nothing to do with the Lovin.

I remember that a good fuck got me HIV and Herpes and long after the Lovin was gone, I was left fighting for my life, for the rest of my life.

It didn't matter that I never had a one night stand. It didn't matter that I didn't have sex on the first date. It didn't matter that I had sex with men I Loved and men I thought would Love me, but in the end didn't. It don't even matter that I never had sex with more than one man in one month. I can't undo what's been done. I can only move forward being the best that I can with the information that I now know.

I thank God as I approach 50 years of age, that I have learned to Love me more than the Lovin. Nor am I looking for someone to Love me any longer. I understand that Self-Love is the beginning of all things wonderful. I understand that validation comes from within and there is NO Lovin on the planet worth the Love of self.

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Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks

Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist who rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has lived with HIV for 27 years and AIDS for 19. Rae travels the country speaking and challenging stereotypes and myths about HIV/AIDS. She has a Master of Divinity degree and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Church History. Rae has been featured on Nightline, Dateline NBC, BET and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in countless magazines and newspapers, including Emerge, Glamour, O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Jet, Ebony, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. She earned the coveted Emmy Award for a first-person series on living With AIDS for Chicago's CBS News.

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