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ZORA
Unapologetic. Ours. A publication from Medium for Black women.

Relationships

In ZORA. More on Medium.

RELATIONSHIPS

It’s not his gorgeous penis, his looks, attitude, or success that attracts me most. It’s the idea that it’s not too late for me.

This guy just sent me a picture of his penis — two to be exact — and holy shit, you guys, it’s beautiful. However, as a general rule, I think all penises are ugly unless I’m in love with the man wielding said phallus. Under those circumstances, his dick might as well be made of gold and capable of granting wishes. When with the man I love, I adore his schlong, praising it, and seemingly pray at its alter when on my knees. …


LIFE & DEATH

Some people were monuments. They were institutions. Eras. And losing X is losing the only other person who remembers what I remember about us.

I loved him, still. He was one of those people you could never forget, the kind you couldn’t help but check up on years after you swore you’d never talk to him again. He was loveable and wild, and he was more careful with others than he was with himself. We were lovers and friends, and when our time was over, he left me with some of the most endearing, thrilling, and unforgettable memories of my life. We fought like dogs in the halls and lobbies of posh Beverly Hills hotels, spent dusk to dawn in recording studios, and nights…


The poet and organizer reflects on writing, hoops, and relationships

Poet Mahogany L. Browne made her young adult novel debut in January with Chlorine Sky, a literary gift told in verse. Chock full of resonant Black girl childhood moments, Chlorine Sky is a coming-of-age story about the power and perils of a young friendship and the growing pains it takes to become self-aware and self-assured. We journey through it all with the book’s protagonist, Sky, a teen with mighty basketball skills trying to understand — and accept — who she is and who she is becoming as she experiences colorism and sexism. …


Good advice for women from women

Black man and woman posing together in front of a maroon background.
Black man and woman posing together in front of a maroon background.

It’s been a bad week for Black love. Just a few days after learning that the love between rappers Saweetie and Quavo turned very icy (pun most definitely intended), car-seat relationship guru Derrick Jaxn revealed that he had been unfaithful to his wife, Da’Naia (and that he was selling a new book).

The internets immediately went into an uproar about everything from Jaxn’s audacity and betrayal of trust to his wife’s bonnet and checked-out demeanor in their confession video. It’s understandable why people are so outraged. This is a man who has built his entire career coaching women (Black women…


This weekly practice of care comes with valuable lessons

Elderly Black woman smiling while on a video call at home.
Elderly Black woman smiling while on a video call at home.

The voice on the other end of the phone is creaky, and the words are slow. But the warmth and gratitude are such a comfort, despite the distance between us. This year, I decided to make intentional, regular time to catch up with older relatives and family friends. I call it Call Your Elders Day, and it has become such a balm to my spirit. If you’ve got loved ones you’re far away from, I highly recommend it for both you and for them.

The longer the pandemic goes on, the more homesick I feel. I was born and raised…


Creating a repository of jams helps us sustain meaningful relationships

Black woman listening to music on headphones at home.
Black woman listening to music on headphones at home.

A few days ago, my dear friend, Sabrina Ford, texted me about building a playlist with her. She described it as “the cutest friend activity” and insisted “we need to do one.” I was sold instantly. Friendship in the time of Covid is challenging. So any activity to help maintain it is appreciated. And it involves music? Bet. Music is actually one of the ways Sabrina and I first connected.

More than a decade ago, Sabrina and I met while working at People magazine. We bonded over pop culture and concerts (we love us some Teedra Moses, Amel Larrieux, and…


If women are the prize for men’s success, they can’t fully love and humanize a partner

Still of Zendaya and John David Washington in “Malcolm & Marie.”
Still of Zendaya and John David Washington in “Malcolm & Marie.”

“I am the prize” is a single woman’s mantra. It’s how we remind ourselves that we are worthy of love. But what happens when a woman is the literal prize of a man obsessed with winning? Netflix’s Malcolm & Marie explores this question by probing the inner lives of a budding Hollywood auteur and his trophy girlfriend, who, for the duration of one exhausting night, exorcise five years’ worth of grievances.

The premise of the film is simple. Malcolm and Marie, played by actors John David Washington and Zendaya, are in love. But after he forgets to thank her on…


It’s the day of love. Why not practice loving yourself?

Valentine’s Day is going to be hard for many people this year. Lots of folks are separated from loved ones and significant others due to Covid-19 restrictions still in place since last spring. And then there are the folks like me who’ve been rolling solo dolo on Valentine’s Day long before lockdown prevented any chances of coupling up!

But hey, just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you have to let Valentine’s Day go by like an ordinary day. ZORA spoke with sexologist, therapist, and relationship expert Shamyra Howard about practical ways to show yourself some love and carry it with…


Pandemic isolation may be beneficial in helping us get in touch with our truest sexual desires

Black woman lying in bed with eyes closed.
Black woman lying in bed with eyes closed.

Remember sex?

We went from hot-girl summer to celibate-girl winter in the blink of an eye. Covid-19 put an abrupt end to barhopping — and bed-hopping — shuttering us indoors to be alone with our thoughts and our most instinctive cravings. But these days, women are less likely to view celibacy as a sentence and more as a form of self-care, especially at a time when protecting your energy and prioritizing mental health are tantamount.

It’s hard to even have a conversation about female celibacy that isn’t connected to religion, relationships, or respectability. Celibacy so often entails taking a vow…


She had it all and still stayed. It’s an eye-opening account.

FKA Twigs at the BRIT Awards 2020 red carpet.
FKA Twigs at the BRIT Awards 2020 red carpet.

Money and power won’t shield you from domestic abuse. It’s a symptom of how we love.

Popular singer FKA Twigs stunned fans when she filed a lawsuit alleging severe abuse at the hands of her former boyfriend, actor Shia LaBeouf. The 32-year-old ethereal powerhouse is known for her wildly conceptual videos, lyrics that challenge feminine norms, and a sinewy body that she occasionally wraps around a pole in a proud declaration of her sexual sovereignty. …

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