Do you remember what you did with your first real-job paycheck? I mean that check that was the answer to all your prayers. You could finally afford rent, groceries, and happy hour. Maybe you were able to put a down payment on your dream car. Maybe you bought your first house or bought that Fendi bag you'd been eyeing since childhood. (Was that just me?)
Spending that first major paycheck is both a moment of celebration and a way to acknowledge your hard work. It's a dream realized. It can also be the biggest mistake of your life. (And that's okay. Life is about making those and moving on to bigger and better from the lessons).
When I got my first nice-sized paycheck that was over $1,500 after taxes, I spent it on an overseas trip. I'd never been allowed to travel abroad in my teens and in my 20s, I spent the bulk of my paychecks on my half of the rent (Roommate life, anyone?) and coping mechanisms for burnout. (Think lots of Hennessy, four-day-a-week club nights, 7-nights-a-week eating out, a few emergency room visits, a couple of run-ins with toxic boyfriends, and impulsive shopping at Century 21, Forever 21, and H&M.)
Let's take a look at how our favorite Black women in sports, music, and entertainment spent their first big paychecks, if not just to remind ourselves that they, too, are human and have the usual feelings of power and vulnerability when receiving a large lump sum:
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The UnPrisoned star also shared with The Hollywood Reporter that her first purchase from the proceeds of one of her first major acting gigs to buy a laptop, hoarding the per diem cash she was given during her time shooting Save The Last Dance--her second movie role, ever---under a mattress.
Actress, producer and entrepreneur Issa Rae told Buzzfeed Celeb that she bought a Tesla with her first big paycheck after getting a major role. She also told US Weeklythat after buying it, she got into an accident a month later and was without a car for a whole year.
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Kelly Rowland reportedly did what many of us do when we finally get our hands on a nice sum of money: splurge, especially on things that we didn't have easy access to in childhood. She told Instyle that she bought groceries that her mom used to tell her were "too expensive" and had a party where everyone enjoyed the food and had fun. (Same, sis. Same.) She further talked about the lessons she learned from buying a 5-bedroom house after becoming a millionaire at 20.
Enjoying the fruits of her Destiny's Child labor, she recalled that the home was "too big" and that she was "too young" to buy such a home. She'd later make informed choices about how she spent her money and used credit cards.
Both Serena Williams sisters have always acknowledged the valuable money lessons they learned early on from their father. When Serena got her first check, she reportedly took it straight to the bank, rolling up to the drive-through (as if it wasn't $1 million!) She also said in an interview that she wouldn't just go pick up her check and the tour directors at the time had to eventually come and give it to her. Talk about discipline!
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Regina King is the ultimate legendary actress who has range (from 80's classic 227 to '90 cult favorite Boyz In The Hood to iconic western The Harder They Fall) and looks damn good after decades in Hollywood. She told The Hollywood Reporterthat when she got her first big paycheck, she invested in something many of us promise ourselves when we've gotten to a certain salary or status: a car.
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From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
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