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Belief Is Not Required

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As the days and, it's hoped, our consciousness get longer and wiser, let's talk pleasure. I'm reminded of one of my favorite hip-hop groups, Salt-N-Pepa (remember Spinderella?), when they talked sex. The song was more of a PSA for condom usage, typically lower in communities of color. OK, imagine this foregoing column is akin to your favorite car commercial that includes stunts galore ... professional drivers used to make this commercial.

To the uninitiated, I might look whorish taking on a topic like pleasure, but I'm more in the neighborhood of Will Smith in the first Men in Black movie when he tries on the last outfit he'll ever wear. He says, "I make this look good."

And that brings me to my point: Pleasure is paradoxically not about making you look good as it is about the other(s). Checking your coif during coitus is not advised (unless you're cheating on your spouse who does your hair?). However, the better you know what brings you pleasure, the better teacher you can be to whoever wants to please you.

Read your sign, your rising sign, your elements and remember to read those whom you desire to please. We're in New Orleans in its renaissance fervor circa spring 2013, les bon temps rouler, French for "let the good times roll."

This week's Pop Culture Meditation (PCM): Does pleasure have a higher purpose (beyond procreation on an overpopulated planet)?

Air Element

Gemini, May 21-June 20, adapting intellectual, the changing mind

All eyes are still on you. You talk a big game. Whether it's penis or vagina envy (hey, I'm equal opportunity about the gender jealousies, here), you can tease and titillate with the best circus barker or rapper. This solar eclipse in your sign this past Sunday begs you to analyze each and every passing dream, thought or image regarding your pleasure quotient. Exactly how is your past upbringing interfering with your current image of experiencing more pleasure? Imagine you have a guardian angel that has incorporated his more devilish side. This angel instant messages you with an untutored ability to increase our interest in seizing more than a day or two with you. Your life purpose at present boils down to your listening to expanding your connecting gifts, not contracting. There are no executioners awaiting to disconnect your head from its body. In the end, you judge yourself. Maybe your parents were wrong about what would make you happy.

Libra, September 23-October 22, initiating intellectual

You are being challenged to balance the confidence you've gleaned in your beliefs with the openness to others' perspectives. "Wait, Quan," you say, "I'm a tolerant person, I see all viewpoints." For the last four months, you've been hovering around B minus to C plus on the acceptance scale. Remember, as a Libran, you were born to learn balance and moderation; you do not know moderation. Every 1.6 years, your ruling planet, Venus, sets your aggressive urges loose. You lose lockdown of repression. It is the middle-class (mostly white) feminist movement of 40 years ago, and the brassiere does not fit anymore. I'm in the choir singing, "Hallelujah!" When we repress women, we repress pleasure. When we get stuck in gender roles, we repress pleasure. End any dogmatic adherence to what you think a good girl or boy should do. Without your insistence upon the fluidity of fairness in our shared culture, we all become like a white boy with no rhythm but owns a hip-hop record label. (Did you see the movie Brown Sugar?) Speak up. Advocate the now unpopular position. Soon it won't be ... contrary to what you believe about yourself; you are a trendsetter (and that goes beyond fashion, hair or bras).

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