Have you ever been asked to do something that you didn't think you could do - and find out that you actually did BETTER than you could have hoped for? This was my experience at the beginning of the month, when I took part on the panel of Battle Of The Sexes Toronto, created and hosted by Telisha Ng, aka Goddess Intellect.
So, what was I so worried about? Well, I attended the first BOTS Toronto show back in the summer (held after the inaugural show in NYC), and loved it. It was a new kind of event in the city - a classy, sexy, intelligent affair that had attendees coming out in style, ready to debate and discuss issues between men and women. I recapped it in this post, but my major takeaways were that there was much to be said about love, sex, and relationships - and that Torontonians don't play when they pay for their entertainment. We, the audience, were looking to the panelists to represent for the men and women, so it was definitely on them to come correct.
When Telisha hit me up asking if I'd be on the panel of the upcoming November show, I said yes right away. Immediately afterwards, I wondered what the hell I had just agreed to. I had never been on a panel. I wasn't the most comfortable with public speaking. I've always felt that I'm a better written communicator than verbal. And the biggie: people would be paying money to come and hear what I had to say - and they (especially the ladies) would expect me to represent. I. Was. Shook. However, I had already said yes and wasn't about to go back on my word - so the nerve-wracking countdown to Battle Of The Sexes 2 was on.
Finally the night had arrived. The venue, House of Moments, was one of Toronto's hidden gems - a minimalist space adorned with comfy lounge seats, amazing art, and Buddha statues. Appetizers were being passed around, drinks were being served with flair, music was pumping courtesy of Dynamic Vibe Entertainment, and attendees poured in early to take a gander at the vendors in place for the BOTS Pop-up shop. A rum and Coke from the bar and a good amount of chatting with vendors and guests started to get me relaxed and ready for the stage, but there was nothing like that moment when Telisha said, "OK! Time to start!" I downed the rest of that rum and Coke and said to myself, "Here goes nothing!"
The panelists didn't know exactly what questions would be posed to us throughout the night. The over-arching topic was "Is Monogamy A Myth?", but I knew that within that topic was a multitude of things that could be discussed. We talked infidelity, the "new role" of side-chicks, interracial dating, polyamory, and the age-old question: are humans meant to be monogamous? Myself and the other panelists, Lincoln Blades, Tosin Bello, and Elle Seon, took turns speaking our truths, inciting controversy, interacting with the audience, and battling each other. As I mentioned before, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get my thoughts out in a cohesive way, but once I cracked my first joke and got laughs, I was good. When I made my first serious point and got applause, I was even better. I realized in the midst of the event that I could do this, that I was doing it, and I was doing it pretty damn well, thank you very much.
Bee's Top 3 BOTS Moments:
So, a few moments during the show stick out in my mind...
- An audience member was commenting on the issue of infidelity in marriage, and stated that she was confident that, if given the opportunity, her married male friends would cheat on their wives with her. Before I could stop myself, I hollered out, "Do you know MY husband?" Hey - he's got lots of friends, so I had to just double-check if he was part of her equation.
- Another audience member made a comment that insinuated that men cheat physically because they are more sexual in nature, vs. women, who are more emotional in nature. I took from his comment that he was implying that men enjoy/need sex more than women, so I grabbed that mic and let him know that "Women like to f*ck too!" I had to apologize to Telisha, because I totally obliterated the 'no cussin'' law as I found out later - but hell. It needed to be said.
- Throughout the night, we played to rounds of a game called The Chopping Block, where audience members had to come up and use their best pick-up lines on the panelists. I was given the scenario of working out in the gym, and my suitor had to attempt to pick me up. Somehow, I hoisted my skinny-jeaned and high-heeled leg up on a block on the stage, and gave my best impression of a video girl from Kanye's Workout Plan video. We won't talk about how I nearly busted my behind when my gentleman caller just muttered "Let's go", and dragged me by my arm out of the venue. Needless to say, the other guy won.
Feedback from the audience members led me to believe that not only had I pulled the "I'm shy and introverted but I'm going to pretend to be a superstar tonight" wool over their eyes, but that we had ALL done an amazing job of representing and giving them their money's worth. And one thing you don't mess with is a Torontonian's money. So I was happy.
It's so hard to touch on everything we discussed that night, but feel free to check out the review from the woman in charge herself over on Goddess Intellect. Thanks to dope videographers Potential Films, you can take a peek at the exclusive Battle Of The Sexes trailer video! You'll get to see a lil bit of my workout plan moves too ;)
Were you at BOTS 2? If so, what did you think of the show? To the major question of the night - do you think monogamy is a myth? All of my American homies, keep in touch via the BOTS site to find out when the show is coming to your city!