When the idea to do an event called “Mimosas and Men: Brunch and Real Talk with the Male Think Tank” came to me at the end of February, I wasn’t sure the men would buy into it. I knew they liked writing anonymously for the site, but I assumed an event that would bring their faces and voices to the forefront wouldn’t necessarily hold as much appeal.
But, I was wrong. And I’m so glad I was.
On Sunday, April 19, five members from the Twenties Unscripted Male Think Tank (plus an honorary one) came together in NYC with 17 women for a no holds barred conversation about dating, relationships and sex. The afternoon was filled with honesty, laughs, some yells and a hell of a lot of fun. Here were some of my favorite moments, lessons and epiphanies from Mimosas and Men. And a huge thanks to my partner-in-crime Erica Nichole for capturing these hilarious moments on camera!
8. Never tell a group of women you would want to date someone for 7-10 months before making it official.
The first answer of the day that incited uproar was when Chris announced he wanted to date someone for 7-10 months before making it official. His reasoning? “I want to see the full spectrum of a person.” The women definitely didn’t agree, but it made for an interesting debate. (Most of the men agreed 2-3 months of dating before making it official is more of the norm.)
7. You can make more money than a man; just don’t emasculate him.
“A man needs to feel like a man,” Malcolm said during the “What if the woman is the breadwinner?” query. I have always had my own qualms with the “A man needs to feel like a man” theorem, but Malcolm did a great job explaining it. He said men want to feel like providers and it doesn’t bode well for them when you strip them of that feeling, whether they make more money than you or not.
6. Say what you want about cheating, but it all boils down a lack of respect.
The cheating conversation was another one that quickly catapulted into a full blown explosion, but Kevin brought everyone back down to Earth with a very simple statement: “It all boils down to a lack of respect.” Let the church say amen.
5. Can we stop referring to the number of sexual partners a person has had as “body count?”
Darius said it. I agree. This isn’t a massacre, people.
4. Who keeps the door open when a man loses interest, yet still keeps you on the bench?
This discussion wasn’t as heated as some of the others, but it definitely forced me to consider who the onus is really on when men “keep the door open” with a woman they are only semi-interested in. (Ah, memories. Like the corners of my mind.) Some of the ladies wondered why men do that and block them from a chance at something with someone else, but Marc played devil’s advocate and made a valid point: maybe that’s just you blocking yourself from something better. It’s all about perspective and ownership. Who stays, who goes and what you choose to tolerate may actually be up to you.
3. Even if you had sex with his friend a decade ago, it’s a problem.
When we got to the sex round, somehow the infamous question surfaced: What if she smashed the homie? The majority of the men agreed that if a woman had sex with one of his close friends, she was immediately and undoubtedly off limits. “What if it was 14 years ago?” one of the ladies asked. For Osi, that didn’t matter. “That’s just always going to be in the back of my mind,” he said.
2. Invite Noélle to your next event.
See the exhibit below. Enough said.
1. I’m a lucky ass woman to have these women and men in my life.
Even though there were instances while I was moderating the panel that it felt like I was directing traffic (there was a moment where I asked everyone to calm the fuck down, in those exact words), I had an amazing time that afternoon. Looking around the room, I felt incredibly fortunate for the level of support I’ve received from my New York ladies. I always get such good vibes and energy when I have a chance to connect with them. Their voices, honesty and encouragement continue to help shape this brand. I also felt beyond grateful for each of the guys in the room. Each of the men, in some way, shape or form, have contributed to the success of Twenties Unscripted, and many of them have had a stake in my own life–imparting whatever wisdom they have, helping me learn about myself and navigate my dating life and listening to me vent a hell of a lot. It’s good to just have good people around you, male or female. Thank God for mimosas and thank God for men.
Stay tuned for Mimosas and Men Part 2, at some point later this year!