I still remember the first time I heard one of Trey Songz’ latest tracks, Sex Ain’t Better than Love. It was the same satellite enabled rental car road trip that I heard Frank Ocean’s Thinking About You, which I wrote about here. I heard Sex Ain’t Better Than Love on that trip at least four different times, and on everything I love I swear I thought the lyrics were, “Sex is better than love.” I would continue singing the song incorrectly until I finally heard a DJ correctly announce the song. With my newfound clarity, I had even greater appreciation for the song I had been singing wrong for the past few months. Recently, at the encouragement of friends, I finally watched the video, which catches us up to present day and this very post.
For the sake of today’s post, I’m going to ignore the hypocritical nature of the artist, Trey Songz, who has undoubtedly inspired more one night stand sex than love in his music career. That is beside the point. This is a good song and a well-done video.
I like the video because it juxtaposes how much a person’s life can change based off a single decision; in this case, choosing to approach the woman on the right instead of the woman on the left. No one wants to admit it, but for a number of men this is the difference between meeting a random woman and meeting his wife – talking to the girl on the left or talking to the girl on the right (e.g. you or your homegirl
that you don’t really trust or like that much, but she’s always available to go out, so you go out with her anyway and tolerate her company, only for her ungrateful ass to steal the one guy you had your eye on all night). If things are allegedly this random, then how can anyone have any real control over the successful pursuit of Love? That answer is two fold.
I been out here in these streets and I done learned
Every girl I gave my lovin to
Was only a substitute
I been out here in these streets and I done learned
Even though she’s in my arms
This ain’t where my heart belongs
Sex in the air, no love in here
Soon as I get through, I’m outta there
And it feels so bad, but it felt so good
Wishin I could care, girl I never could…
Fellas, we’re not completely without fault. While we all make mistakes, most men know when they see two women standing together which woman is most likely to be, to put it nicely, “friendly.” If you want a friendly woman for the night, that’s fine. However, you can’t be that guy that complains “there are no good women” when you consistently choose to approach the friend with her lovely lady humps hanging out the bottom and top halves of her dress as she barely manages to stand upright atop her 6-inch clear heels. Come on, bro. You know what life she’s about. This isn’t to say every woman dressed like a [garden tool] is, in fact, a [garden tool], but she does have on a [garden tools] costume, so chances are…
I’m not here to judge. If one-night stands and simple conquest with equally simple-minded women is your thing, do you, prosper, and flourish, my boy. I just don’t want to hear you complaining about the lack of depth you find in your relationships when you have demonstrated you habitually approach shallow women. Moreover, you may have to accept that short-term conquests don’t always equate to long term victories. You may have won the fight – finding a woman for the night – but you might have simultaneously lost the war – by passing up the woman you could have been with for life. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t easy. But, let’s be honest with ourselves fellas: We might not always know where a relationship is going, but we almost always know where it’s not going.
Look, I’m a man. I know that for the average guy – and I’m including myself in this description – having a beautiful woman randomly throw herself at you is as unexpected as it is exhilarating. This is why it’s up to you to know what you want before you’re confronted with temptation and the wrong head takes over. In the video, you’ll notice the woman in the red’s conversation appears to revolve around how quickly she can get Trey out of the party. Many men have or will face a conversation like this and rather than take the easy route, possibly literally, you may have to take a step back if you’re looking for something more substantial in your life.
We all know the odds. Relationships that start fast usually end fast. Besides, if you’re searching for forever, what’s the rush? Maybe you claim to be looking for forever, but keep settling for instant gratification without investment. If so, maybe you need to take some time away from the game. Take a step back and honestly determine why you keep rotating through the same types of women in the same 90-day rotations, no Joe Budden. Is this really a path you can (or want to) keep on or are you simply enjoying the immediate spoils without thinking of the long-term consequences? Based on your answers to these questions, act accordingly and most importantly, take personal accountability for the results of your actions.
Feelings I thought that I would never have
I’m so open and I got it bad
I got you now I’ma make it last
She says my baby she can’t wait to have
Love in the air, never been so clear
So beautiful, bring your body here
Let me fall into good love
I wanna hear the lovely sound
Let me take my time while we in this bed
You were made for me and I don’t wanna share
Ladies, you bare some responsibility too. I wish I could say there is a completely different set of rules for women to follow but there isn’t. What I’ve outlined for the men applies just as much for women; perhaps even more so given the additional risks and burdens. If you bargain for a relationship using your body, then don’t be surprised if a man values the pursuit of your body over the pursuit of a relationship. On the other hand, if your self-proclaimed independence is more significant to you than the humbling acceptance that you actually desire co-dependence – and one-night stands and simple conquest with equally simple-minded men is your thing, do you, prosper, and flourish, homegirl.
However, many women expect men to apologize for their behavior, which usually involves them doing something as crazy as treating you like an adult. It’s true, many men are guilty of enabling your decisions to their benefit, but let’s not pretend like they aren’t your decisions that are being enabled. As this only 22-year old realized here, if you need to grow as a person independent from men, sex, and relationships, then do so. In the meantime, don’t expect men to cater to you as an individual, because most men will assume, as an intelligently functional adult, you can make uniquely tailored decisions that you belive are best for the life you wish to live. That is what adults do. Now if he can’t respect your decisions, then let him walk until one of two things happen: 1) you are perfectly capable of standing on your own, when necessary; or 2) the right man, not just a good man, comes along.
Both sexes are guilty of settling for the Love we think we deserve. What I like about the video is that it does show (since Love is pregnant in the end) that sex can and should be a part of a healthy relationship. The key word here being “relationship.” One of the key differences I noticed as Trey rotated through women on the left, is he proactively worked to make the relationship work on the right. They both did, because they were both vested in the success of the final outcome. On the left, only one person was consistently vested, in this case the woman, and you’ll notice those “relationships” didn’t have as happy an ending. Yes, it takes two to tango – but this theory should extend beyond the bedroom. It takes the same amount of people to sustain a successful relationship. Of course many of you will verbally proclaim that sex ain’t better than Love, yet your everyday actions blatantly contradict your own words, because in the theme of the song, if you really agree that sex ain’t better than Love, then why do so many of you settle for sex without Love?
I been out here in these streets and I done learned that
I done seen it all, done done it all
So much better when you fall
Girl you’ve been my teacher and I’ve learned that
Sex ain’t better than love