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Straight talk no chaser, p.6
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       Straight Talk, No Chaser, p.6

           Gena D. Lutz
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  If you’re involved with a sugar daddy or sponsor, you don’t even have to ask for that quarter either. The real players always offer to help you with whatever your needs are before they’re expressed—we pick it up in conversation, see it with our own two eyes. You pull up in a car that looks like it’s on its last leg? A sugar daddy’s got a car payment for you or a ride to wherever you need to go. A potential sponsor comes over to your house and sees that all your furniture looks like it came from the 1950s and your two little kids’ hand-me-downs date back to the 1970s? Your sponsor is going to be sure to kick you a little cash for some new furniture or take the kids clothes shopping. A sugar daddy goes out with a woman and looks down at her feet and asks what size she wears. Please believe, he’s going to make a mental note that she said she wears a size 9, and a few weeks later when she’s not thinking about it, he’s going to show up with a nice pair of shoes in the perfect size. Those shoes are going to get him a kiss. And when he asks her what size dress she wears, a few weeks later, he’s going to trade in a size 10 outfit for a hug and a kiss and maybe a little bit more. The woman hasn’t said she wants clothes or a dress or anything else, but she’s not turning it down, either. The money and the gifts are bait, and he knows she’s biting.

  He’s going to keep the bait coming, too, because he’s investing in her. It’s just a slick way of giving her what she values—a way to reel her in without sacrificing anything he truly needs or wants. And what kind of return does he get on his investment? Something that no man should be able to buy: her love, her devotion, and her body—three things that are absolutely priceless.

  And trust me, a player doesn’t have to be rich to offer sponsorship packages. The regular workingman is just as much an expert at investing in a woman as the richest man on the planet. You’re short on cash and running out of milk? Here come some groceries, some baby food, and a couple of lollipops for the kids. You a little light on money for the bills? Here comes a couple dollars toward the phone and light bills. Your car’s not running right? Here he comes to change the oil or check on the timing belt or change the flat tire. He doesn’t have to have a lot of money—he just needs to see a need and fulfill it, at minimal or no cost to himself.

  Please understand, there really is a difference between a man who provides and one who is simply investing. As I’ve said elsewhere in this book, a man who truly loves you will do three things: profess his love for you publicly, protect you by any means necessary, and provide for you, no matter if it means there’s nothing left for himself. He will not spend his money on trifling things and come to you with what’s left, and he will not selfishly give you a little cut and take the rest for himself. If he’s a real man, he will always sacrifice buying something for himself until he’s fulfilled his responsibility to provide for you; he will not buy a new set of golf clubs or a nice suit if he knows the kids’ tuition is due. He does this because providing for you—even if it means sacrificing what he needs for himself—is fulfilling his role and purpose as a man who is showing his genuine love for his woman.

  A man who is buying baubles and trinkets but refuses to give you what you really want—a true, monogamous, loving relationship, however, is simply using you. He’s paying your rent and car note, but he’s doing it only because he expects something in return, and the moment it starts costing him to keep buying you, he’s out. His sponsorship package may make you feel grateful to be with him, but really, you’re being played—kept in a holding pattern until he’s ready to move on. He’s buying your kindness, your sex, your love, your affection—a cool place to chill out and escape whatever problems he’s dealing with, like the nagging wife or girlfriend, or the dog-eat-dog competition at work, or the pressure that comes with raising kids with a difficult ex. And while you’re letting him spend money on you and giving him your all, you’re compromising your requirements and standards and missing out on what most women looking for a sound relationship want in a man—understanding, tenderness, companionship, a man willing to share himself and grow with you and truly sacrifice for you. He reels you in by telling you he’s with you because he can find peace in your arms, but you’re not finding any peace.

  A true player knows how to, well, play on your needs; he’s very clear on what women need—someone to share their lives with and someone who makes them feel secure. I’m not qualified to say that these are the only things women look for because I’m not one, but I can say those two things have been important for every woman I’ve dealt with in any kind of way. As hunters, we men understand this, and so we’ll set out the bait to meet those two needs, knowing that if we just give the illusion of those two things, we get everything we want out of you.

  Of course, some relationships are built on this; the world is full of women who want nothing more than to be sponsored—to get a man’s cash with no obligation to him. For every woman like that, there are twenty men willing to sign up for the program because, just like she claims she doesn’t want anything more than money, he’s clear that he doesn’t want anything more than the sex that comes with handing the money over. If a man meets a woman who is physically to his liking and she makes it perfectly clear she doesn’t want anything but a little financial help, then cool: we’re used to that. We have to pay for your company and sex anyway. So instead of taking you to dinner and wining and dining you, let’s package it all up and call it rent. Instead of taking you on trips, let’s add all the money that would involve and call it a car note. And once those things are paid for and the passionate moment has come and gone, we’re through. If you don’t want anything emotionally, well hell, guess what? We don’t want anything either. Men are not dumb—they know when they’re being gamed for their cash. But trust me when I tell you: a man enters these kinds of relationships willingly. You’re not pulling the wool over his eyes. And the moment he decides he’s bored with you or tired of the game, he’ll simply move on—either to another woman who has more excitement to offer, or to a woman whom he’s decided to give his heart to. He’s the master of the game. He knows what’s up.

  The moment you start expecting more from him is the moment you’ll be in trouble. You may have liked being spoiled but as with any sugar high, eventually, you’re going to crash; you’re going to come down and crave something of substance. However, you won’t get it. You’ll have his cell-phone number but you won’t be able to call him at the house; you’ll be invited to his “house” but it won’t look lived in (which means he probably has a real home with somebody somewhere else); you won’t ever meet his family or go on double dates with his best friends (because no one else—especially his boy’s girlfriend, who is likely friends with his real girlfriend—can see you, lest they give you and him a hard time); you won’t ever sit next to him in a house of worship (even the hardest dogs of dogs won’t push the limit with the Lord that far, and there aren’t too many dudes who have that kind of dog in them). He’s generous, but he’s not sharing his life with you.

  You will not get real companionship from him. You will not get him to protect, profess, or provide for you—to truly get him to show and prove his love for you. What’s worse is that when Mr. Right does come along, you won’t recognize him because your standards will be out of reach of what most well-intentioned men can provide; you’ll miss the guy who is willing to pick you up on time and introduce you to his friends and sit in a house of worship with you on Sunday morning but doesn’t have the money to, say, pay your rent. The man who is willing to give you true kindness, understanding, companionship, and attention doesn’t have a chance because you’ve sold out for cash to pay your car note and rent.

  Is the car note and rent worth that if what you ultimately want is a sound, secure, loving relationship?

  So how do you get away from the sugar and find yourself some substance? Get back to what I told you in Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: get some standards and some requirements. A man can only act like a sugar daddy if you sign up for the program to be “sugared,” I promise you.
Trust me—I’ve seen it a million times. I’ve got plenty of friends who’ve played sugar daddy more times than they’re willing to cop to. One of my boys had a fleet of gorgeous women he flew all around the country; he’d buy them things to keep them interested and have them coming and going as if he was running air traffic control at LAX. Arrival and departure times—that’s all he cared about. I personally saw the doorman who controlled entry into his building high-five him one evening and say, “Sir, I’m enjoying your visits.” He did nothing for those women—he didn’t profess any love for them, he didn’t take them to meet his family, there was no coming over to his house unannounced, and they weren’t invited into his life to share it with him. He was just offering up sponsorship packages.

  Then he met his match—a beautiful woman with her head on her shoulders who made clear to him that she wasn’t about to sign up for the program. She made it very clear that she wasn’t interested in how much he made or what he did for a living—she just wanted a man who would love her and be faithful. And she let him know, too, that she couldn’t be bought—not with the typical things he used to get for the other women. Her purchase price was a mite higher: she told him how he was going to treat her, how he was going to deal with her, and how he was going to show his love to her. And he rose to the occasion. I swear to you, living with a woman like that is like living with corrections; whatever wrong mess you did before comes to a stop with her, and if you want to stay with her, you do what she wants you to do in order to keep her. She lets you know, too, that she’s willing to walk away if you don’t act right and quick.

  That’s the power you have in a true, valuable relationship. Convincing a man to give you things isn’t power, I promise you that. When you sign up for a sugar daddy, all you’re doing is delaying what is real—your true happiness—because a sugar daddy eventually goes away. The relationship is almost always temporary. Of course, some men are genuinely trying to help you, but plenty more are just playing and biding their time. The key to determining the difference is figuring out if you’re getting what you need and really want. If you’re taking the help but your relationship isn’t going anywhere—he’s not calling, he’s consistently not showing up when he said he would, he’s treating you like a throwback instead of a keeper (see the glossary)—then you’re being used.

  Now, I can’t and I won’t tell you not to accept gifts from a man; he might very well be the man of your dreams and he may want to give you something nice because that’s what he wants to do for the woman with whom he can see himself. But please know he’s giving you something because he wants something. Your job is to make clear what you want, and let him know that the true gift he can give—the one you’re willing to accept with an open heart—is not material, it’s true love. If he can’t give that to you, then walk away.

  Do you understand what I’m saying here? Walk. Away.

  You’ve got to be willing to do this to get what you want. Don’t be scared; if this man is giving you only the material things, but isn’t being the kind of man you want, need, and deserve, leave him and open yourself up to someone better—the guy who is willing to do what it takes to keep you.

  Part II

  Finding a Man


  The Standoff

  He Won’t Commit, You Won’t Leave—Now What?

  You’ve been dating for years. Your girlfriends, your sister, and even your worst enemy have been advising that it’s about time he commit to you, but he’s dragging his feet. Sound familiar? Know that you’re not alone in trying to figure out why he just won’t get on with it already. Single women across the land are talking about it on practically every television talk show, in nearly every women’s magazine, and at many a girlfriend spa getaway session—men aren’t committing. We are neither interested in nor care to be bothered with marriage. Plenty of statistics back this up, too: for example, a 2008 America’s Families and Living Arrangements survey by the U.S. Bureau of the Census shows that the percentage of married men and women above age fifteen living in the United States hovers just around the 50 percent mark, which means that a significant number of women old enough to get hitched don’t have a ring and about 46 percent of men old enough to wear a wedding ring aren’t. Every year, too, the numbers of men and women heading to the altar to say “I do” takes a small dip—enough to sound the alarm on the prospects of finding a marriage partner.

  Scary times if you want to be married.

  Thing is, even as society keeps pushing on little girls, young ladies, and grown women the notion that they have to be married to be complete and secure, nobody is really preaching this to boys and men. Indeed, from practically the time we come out of the womb, we’re told to play the field and take our time. And as we get older, we guard fiercely what we think are sane, rational reasons for staying single: it’s easier to live with a woman than to be married to her; it’s better to wait to have kids; we can get more sex if we’re single; the woman we marry has to be absolutely perfect for us; it’s cheaper to stay single than it is to pay alimony; and did I mention we can get more sex if we’re single? We should be set in our careers and have money in our bank accounts before we think about taking on the responsibility of a wife and kids; we don’t have to change or compromise if we stay single; and, oh yeah—we can get more sex if we’re single.

  With all those perfectly rational reasons and absolutely no pressure from anyone to get married, it’s really no wonder that half of us old enough to get married don’t. But this doesn’t mean that we aren’t capable of commitment. In fact, we commit to a lot of things: Tee times. Basketball games with our buddies. Our biweekly appointments at the barbershop. Our jobs. Our children. Our mortgages, leasing agreements, and car notes. Our friends.

  And, yes, the women we love.

  Men make those commitments when we are compelled to do so—when the consequences of not being committed are laid out and made clear to us. See, a man doesn’t do anything unless he knows there’s a sound reason for doing it. He commits to golf tee times because he knows that if he misses it, he may not get another until hours later, and his whole day will be thrown off. He commits to showing up on time to his weekend basketball game with the guys knowing that if he’s late, he may not get to play until the second game. He commits to making his appointment at the barbershop knowing that if he doesn’t show up at the right time, he might end up in the chair of the barber who is just learning his way around a pair of clippers. He commits to showing up to work on time knowing that if he’s late, he loses pay; commits to paying his rent on time knowing that if he’s late, he pays fines or loses his apartment; commits to paying his car note knowing that if he doesn’t, his ride could get repossessed.

  Men do all these things because troubling repercussions and consequences occur if they blow off those commitments. And the same is true of a man who knows he’ll lose the woman he loves if he fails to fulfill his commitment to her. And let’s be real here: though half the men of marrying age are not married, half of them are, and thousands more marriages occur every day. Why? Because many men are capable and do fulfill that commitment to their women. These men are not intimidated by their women (no matter how accomplished they are), they’re not ashamed of their station in life, they’re not dogs, they’re not afraid of responsibility or of losing their freedom. They got married or are getting married because they love the women with whom they exchanged rings with, and, just as important, their women made marriage a requirement of their continuing the relationship.

  Call me a hopeless romantic but I honestly believe your man is out there, and that getting into a solid, stable, loving relationship is still possible. Here’s the rub: finding that commitment begins and ends with you. I know, I know. This places the responsibility squarely in your lap. But the reality is that women truly hold the power in their pretty, delicate, manicured hands. I said it in Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, but it bears repeating: a man can’t hold a conversation with you, kiss you, hold your hand, cal
l your house, take you out, or pull back the sheets on your bed except with your permission—period. You have the power, here, to decide if we’re going to stop with all our foolishness or get away with it, and really, we can’t make any meaningful moves without you. Think about it: a man can’t run for president if he doesn’t have a wife; other men aren’t about to let some guy have all that power and have a nation of women—even their own—looking wistfully at a single president, and we all know full well that women bring all kinds of necessary nuances to the Oval Office. Look at recent events. A man who cheats on his wife and has a baby out of wedlock can’t run for the presidency because his character is now in question; both women—his wife and his lover—hold the power to keep him from the most powerful seat in the land. That’s power. A governor so whipped by the love of a woman clean on the other side of the world tells his staff, his wife, his children, and his state a pack of lies so he can get to the woman he loves—no matter the consequences. That’s power. If we have children together, the law almost always allows you to keep them over us. Hell, we can’t make those babies without you. That’s power. Women help us curb our worst instincts; you’re like our built-in moral compass, keeping us sane and out of a life of ridiculous, drunken debauchery. All too many of us would be out-of-control frat boys acting the fool all day, every day for the sum of the next thirty years; we’d spend every single cent we have on strippers and hookers, get drunk and stupid and do entirely inappropriate things every second of the day, if it weren’t for our love and respect for our women, and your deep faith in us, keeping us in check. That’s power.

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