NO, Black Women Do Not Change Their Mating Criteria In A Time Of Crisis

The conventional wisdom is that Black women will change in the age of the Coronavirus. The evidence says otherwise.

“What women actually want in a mate has puzzled male scientists and
other men for centuries, for good reason. It is not androcentric to propose
that women’s preferences in a partner are more complex and enigmatic
than the mate preferences of either sex of any other species. Discovering
the evolutionary roots of women’s desires requires going far back in time,
before humans evolved as a species, before primates emerged from their
mammalian ancestors, back to the origins of sexual reproduction itself.”
-David Buss, “The Evolution of Desire”, pp. 19

Ever since starting up “Obsidian Radio” five years ago, I’ve seen some interesting, baffling and in many ways, amazing changes. Among them, are changes in the ways in which we Black Americans perceive our dating and mating reality. I remember, way back when, bringing up truths about the mating choices of so many Black women, often to their own detriment I might add, and Black women (and a not insignificant number of Black men) would just deny, deny, deny what we were saying. But with the then-nascent and now-ascendant Black Manosphere’s ranks swelling with the tales, observations and lived experiences of Black men coming through from all directions, I actually saw the needle begin to move. While in 2015 the aforementioned Black women and some Black men critics of the Black Manosphere denied and scoffed at our observations, by 2019, four years later, both groups no longer denied what we were reporting; they had shifted to blaming the victim.

What a difference four years makes, huh?

While the conventional wisdom would tell us that in a time of an international crisis – like the extant Coronavirus pandemic – Black women would suspend their ordinarily atavistic, short-sighted and seriously wrongheaded mating decisions in favor of more sober and judicious choosing of mates; but the best evidence as I have it, says otherwise: Black women’s mating choices are not only silly, but they are impervious to factors such as age, socioeconomic status and even life and death situations(!).

With such a massive accumulation of evidence on our side as Black Manospherians and Non-Select Guys, I think the time has come for us to move the needle and bring the seemingly neverending conversation on dating and mating issues in contemporary Black America to a new plateau; one that finally recognizes what we all, no matter what side you fall on in this great debate, know to be true: That Black women simply have a differing standard and criteria for the selection of mates than do other women in our country, as Essence magazine has aptly and accurately described so many years ago (“Why Is It So Hard For Black Women to Find The Love They Deserve?”, Nov 5, 2015). In order for the conversation to truly move forward, the time has come for ALL of us – Black women and Black men alike – to simply and plainly acknowledge some truths about the former that we all know deep down but for varying reasons, aren’t willing to openly say out loud. Doing so will be a major step forward to ending the “gender wars” that have been a staple of Black American life for the better part of a half-century now(!).

I’ve identified six specific areas of Black female mate selection, as well as common myths associated with them, that will forever put the kibosh on this topic (I hope!). They appear below.

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1. Black Women Pick (Black) Men Differently Than Other Women Do: As noted in the above-referenced Essence magazine article from nearly five years ago(!), Black women choose mates based not on character, earning capacity and provisioning of resources or shared values, but rather on superficial physical features, charisma and sex appeal:

“ESSENCE.COM: Do you feel Black women and men are too particular when it comes to potential dating candidates?

FISHER: We found that as opposed to the White clients that we’ve had, Black women are usually looking for physical attributes first. We look for someone who is attractive to us and then we pick up on his hobbies, interests and values. Whereas, White clients are looking for the reverse first. What kind of job does he have? Is he going to be able to provide? Then they circle back.

GILMORE: We’re the first ones to look at men’s bodies and how attractive they are whereas our White clients have a long list of requirements of things like character and integrity…

FISHER: …and, then down the line, it backfires for us because you were never a compatible mix to start with.”

As the above passage points out, because Black women place such an importance on SHORT TERM MATING characteristics in a (Black) man, attempt to transform that into a long term relationship often fails, because said Black women weren’t selecting for long term relationship characteristics to begin with! Of course, we all here know this, and so do Black women themselves – they just ought to, as they’re the ones who have spent in excess of ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS over the past four decades on goods, products and services, all either directly or indirectly part and parcel of what I have coined “The Black Love Machine” and which I cover in more detail in my upcoming “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Man”. Although Black women will never admit this, in truth many of them will attempt to sex their way into a long term relationship with a sexy, short-term Black man – which, as stated earlier, rarely works out. It should go without saying that Black women are well within their right to pick the kinds of guys that make them “tingle” – and they are well deserving of the results they get in doing so.

2. Not All Black Women Are Like That: That may be true, but as I often say on my podcasts and talk radio shows, “Most is anything over 50%”, shout out to film maker Tim Alexander of “Diary of a Tired Black Man” fame. Simply put, there are more Black women who do what Essence described above than not; nor is this something that can be relegated to “hoodrats” or blamed on young chippies barely into their 20s. Black women born and raised into the solidly middle and even upper middle class can be observed acting this way, as well as the highly university educated and professionally accomplished. Nor is church affiliation or attendance a factor and some might argue that such behaviors are worse in that environment, what with all that we know about the exploits of a number of prominent Black churchmen. Ahem. As for age, one would think that sistas would finally “grow up” and get sensible about their mating choices, especially those who have crash and burned a few times; nada. It is not at all uncommon to see Black women in their 40s, 50s and beyond, acting in exactly the same way as their daughters do when it comes to mate selection – and more often than not, with the same easily predictably horrible results, too. Finally, Essence itself, an institution that was created to cater to “the upscale Black woman” has, last time I checked, a monthly circulation of roughly 1.5M readers – and you saw what it said above. Maybe “all” Black women don’t get down like that; but a helluva lot of them sure do.

3. If Non-Select Guys Just “Self-Improved” Things Would Change: False. If you’re a short guy in Black American life for example, yet you are accomplished, well groomed and dressed, etc., Black women from their 20s to their 50s and beyond and across the SES spectrum can and will pass you over with the quickness. And while no one can begrudge anyone’s personal preferences, it often doesn’t stop there. Black women have a well-earned reputation for “nuclear rejecting” a man, simply for having the gall to approach with some friendly conversation. Having a preference is one thing; being a mean-spirited bitch is something else – and no, it isn’t always because the guy couldn’t take “No” for an answer, either. The plain truth of the matter is that there are quite a few Black women in our midst who honestly think that only the Black men they find attractive should be able to approach them and all others be damned. They have the right to think whatever they want but when they show their behinds and act a fool then they’re the first Black women at the latest “Black love guru”‘s seminar whining about “Where are all the good Black men?”. Please. None of this is meant to give a brotha a pass for being a slob, grossly out of shape, unsuccessful, etc.; but what it IS meant to say, is that the idea of Non-Select Guys just “got their act together” they would suddenly do much better with today’s Black women is simply not supported by the evidence, no matter how you slice it. Besides, most Non-Select Guys already HAVE their acts together, which brings me to…

4. The “I Can’t Find A Man On My Level” Canard: This one here is one of my personal favorites, and I say that because it’s something Black women writ large have been on the stump harping about for a very long time – and it’s gotten A LOT of mileage, too. Black women have successfully convinced everyone that there’s this great “dearth” of capable, competent Black men who are “on their level” – educationally, intellectually, and so on. But the truth is, that Black women know quite a few such Black men in their midst; they went to school and even grad school beyond college with them; they pal around with them; and so on. THEY’RE JUST NOT SEXUALLY ATTRACTED TO THESE GUYS and so, in the minds of many Black women, such smart, on the ball guys don’t exist. Again, no one, least of all yours truly, is attempting to suggest that they get with guys they feel nothing for; what I am arguing for is for once, just a bit of honesty. Of course, because so many Black women are cowards of the first order, they’ll never willingly admit what I just said. That’s a topic for another day, though…

5. Competence/Skills/Education/Competition Matters: False. Again and as noted above, Black women simply do not care much about intellect or competence, until they need a bailout much later on down the line from the very Black men they walked by like they were a “STOP” sign in favor of the sexy smooth operating Select Fuckboy. In fact, it is not at all uncommon to catch Black women openly admitting that the competent guy is the wiser choice and still go for Mr. SFOT (Select Fuckboy Over There) anyway (WTF?!?). Look, it’s time we just admitted it and get it over with: Black women do not value intelligence, skills (unless you’re counting bedroom skills) or competence in a Black man. They. Just. Don’t. And one mo gin, that is perfectly within their right not to. I just find it galling that many of these very same Black women, when they get their behinds in a jam and their SFOTs are nowhere to be found, do they now want to turn to us and attempt to shame, cajole or upbraid us into action, on the basis of “Yo Mama Black”. Please.

6. Times Of Crisis Change Black Women: False. Black women can and will ride or die with their “sexy man” mating criteria, no matter if it’s a tsunami, global pandemic, terrorist attack, the Walking Dead zombie apocalypse or an extinction level event involving an extraterrestrial alien invasion. If an Act of God can’t get Black women to change their mating criteria TO SAVE THEIR OWN LIVES, what chance do we mere mortal Non-Select Guys have?

SHAMELESS PLUG AD BREAK: Like what you’re reading now? Wait till you see my very first book, “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman”, which comes out Summer 2020! Here’s YOUR chance to help me bring the dream to life, by supporting “The Book of Obsidian Fundraising Campaign”! All the details are over at Now, back to the article!

It should be obvious, but because if it’s one thing I’ve learned in working in a field and with an audience where the obvious isn’t so obvious, I’ll go on ahead and state it anyway: all of this matters because it shapes the trajectory of the Black American society in the 21st century. Whereas a century or more ago, Black folk were married at a rate higher than Whites and at the height of Jim Crow – today, Black American men and women are both the LEAST married, or even mated, men and women in the country. Put that together with the out of wedlock birth rates, infidelity rates, divorce and breakup rates, etc., and it all adds up to nothing short of dystopian realities on the ground in Black America today. No wonder we’re so woefully unable to meet threats such as Hurricane Katrina fifteen years ago, or the Coronavirus global pandemic today. While casual sex may be just that for the male, it is rarely so for the female; read your Darwin.

It all matters because the current state of relations between Black men and women writ large along these lines, threatens to undermine the very fabric of Black American society, if it hasn’t severely done so already. And we have Black women’s horrendous mating choices in the main, to thank for that.

Now adjourn your asses…

Mumia Obsidian Ali is a citizen journalist, podcaster, talk radio show host, newly minted dating coach and soon to be book author. You can catch his daily live shows on the global livestreaming radio website Mixlr, as well as the all-new members-only Obsidian Radio Zoomcast, and his podcasts on YouTube and Black Avenger TV, as well as his weekly dating coach column at the Negromanosphere website. He’s also a semi-professional pest.

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