This is not an album review of Jazmine Sullivan’s newest body of work, titled Heaux Tales. Let me make that clear from the jump. But rather, this is a confirmation that she told no lies.
While listening to the album, (which didn’t take hours to do), I knew I wasn’t listening for a party or love-making song from the jump. I listened for the tea. And so should you.
Look here, Heaux Tales is wild…and by that I mean, wildly true. The album captures the thoughts and sentiments of women who have transitioned from the uncertainty of being in their twenties into the surety of their thirties. With confidence, I can assure you that your twenties is indeed the ghetto. But of course, if you haven’t turned the big 3 0, you’re probably getting ready to argue. But you’re wasting your time and breadth. Argue with yourself.
Heaux Tales, Jazmine Sullivan’s album, reminds me of The Miseducation of Lauren Hill. Yes, I said it. Like Ms. Hill’s album, that came out over 20 years ago, this album gives female listeners all the feels and speaks to our ‘inner-woman’ who is often not given adequate attention.
Jazmine, track by track and interlude by interlude, speaks on the things we as women know to be true about our emotions and sexuality.
Now let’s get into it.
The intro to the album is titled “Bodies”. And honestly, it’s a solid intro. It reminds you of the title of the album and ensures that you know exactly what you are going to get, once the next track comes on.
What’s “Bodies” about? In a nutshell, it’s about making sloppy decisions on a night out with friends and not knowing who you went home with. Classic heaux behavior that many women, can actually relate to (but may never confess to.) This makes it the perfect lead, for “Antoinette’s Tale” which appears as track 2.
“Antoinette’s Tale” is 38 seconds of truth that somewhat remind me of Beyoncé’s “Partition” and Chimamanda’s words on how women are falsely not considered sexual beings. Now the real ones know, women love sex and want it just as much or as little as any man. (We however, want it on our terms and expect you to seek consent.)
The thing is…
Niggas cannot handle if a woman takes the same liberties as them
Especially with regards to sex
Like our society teaches them to be so wrapped up in themselves
And their own conquests
That they forget we’re sexual beings as well
Plus, their egos are often way too fragile
To ever handle a woman who owns and has any real agency over her body
And we’re to blame as well, because…
We’re out here telling them, that the pussy is theirs
When in actuality, it’s ours
Straight poetry if you ask me. Straight truth. I’m looking for the lies in “Antoinette’s Tale” but I don’t see any.
Track 2 speaks to men being territorial over what does not belong to them—our bodies. It speaks to men thinking that they have the power to dictate all sexual experiences or at least lead them. (And this is complicated because you will find a number of men who like being submissive in bed and cite society’s expectations of them as the reason for this).
Women are never taught to go out into the world and exercise their agency over their own bodies. Instead, we are taught to hide our desires and never speak of them. Because how will you find a husband? What will they say in ?
Men indeed don’t want to know or think of another man having been with their wife, girlfriend or lover. Oh no no. The thought of someone else touching what “belongs” to them is absolutely horrifying. Which is ironic. Men seek to keep what is theirs pure but have no problem “defiling” what (or who) doesn’t belong to them. Hence the question, “who’s p*ssy is this?” F*ck that and f*ck you.
Men’s egos are fragile and unaccommodating. And much too big to leave any space for women. To be fair, some men get better with age and do appreciate when a woman expresses her sexuality and speaks up for what she wants and on what she likes. But not enough.
…women are partially to blame. Many of us don’t encourage each other to use our voices and to live freely from societal expectations. It’s 2021 and there is still a lot of judgment amongst women.
With this, I encourage you as reader, whether you are male or female, to reflect on some of the misconceptions you have about women and their sexuality and from where they stemmed and why. Are your views valid, and if yes, why?
See also: Dear Men: Stay Out of Women’s Business