Player: one who plays the game; an actor; a liar; a person who tries to be like a pimp.

I remember one of my friends asked me which came first, the Player or the Golddigger? I said more than likely they began at about the same time. See a Player is a man who values his own wants and desires more than the women he is involved with. He feels he is entitled to get these women and doesn’t have any concern or respect for them. Now a Golddigger is a reaction to the Player’s actions by being a woman who is not going to give of herself freely. They even go as far as the Players do with disrespect by trying to get their wants and desires fulfilled without having to give of themselves emotionally or physically. But it is not just the Golddiggers and Players themselves who are the problem. It is also the people who widely accept their harmful values and often imitate them. This contributes to the negative dating cycle we are suffering from. Most men who consider themselves Players are really just wannabe-Players. Because of how the American culture is structured men are socialized to have a Player’s mentality. The American society is a very chauvinistic and sexist society and many of the characteristics of Players are so common they go on unnoticed. Most men who get classified by women as Players aren’t really Players. They are wannabe-Players also. I am familiar with the male mentality because I too was conditioned to think the same way here in America. Not only was I socialized in America, I have known a few Players too.

Being a Player is not easy. It takes a lot of free time and money. The hustling and lying part of a Player can not be done without a lot of concentration and careful planning. A Player has more than one woman who believes he is their only man. In some cases the woman my think the Player has other females in his life, but she believes she is his main woman. She is blinded by the attention and gifts she receives from him and allows them to comfort her. She uses the gifts to ease her suspicions and reassure her of the Player’s feelings toward her. To achieve this, the Player has to be able to live double and triple lives. The Player sometimes intimidates the women he dates so much that his women may not even ask him any questions about his activities. The Player, because of his confident attitude, has women feeling privileged to date or marry him. Using gifts and lifestyle improvements, the Player is able to keep his women so satisfied that he is able to talk freely and never has to worry about being questioned.

The real problem with Players is that a lot of men want to be Players. We have the same desires that Players do. If we don’t examine ourselves and our actions we could make a decision that hurts somebody. We could get caught up in the wannabe-Player club and become a full victim to these wants and desires. So to help explain how the Players and wannabe-Players think, I’ve broken down some of their philosophies in a dialogue between a Player, and me. I am an American socialized man and although I am not a Player, I share some of the same thoughts. I control myself from acting on these Player thoughts by recognizing that they are wrong and counter productive. I fight off Player temptation like I do any other negative temptation, like drugs, stealing, gambling and eating too much. The Player mentality consists of the following beliefs and like the Golddigger’s qualities, agreeing with one of these Player’s beliefs doesn’t make you a Player. However, believing any of these notions may be a sign of another problem. Here are the most common beliefs of players.

1. You are a player if your only female (or people of the opposite sex or the gender you date) friends are women (people) who you have slept with or women who you would like to have sex with.

2. You think there is nothing wrong with cheating.

3. You get bored with one woman or person to date.

4. You like all types of women or people of the gender you are sexually attracted to.

5. You like having sex with a variety of women or people.

6. You constantly think another woman (people of the gender you are sexually attracted to) would be better mentally or physically, than the woman you are currently with.

7. You’re not satisfied sexually by one woman or person or you are addicted to sex.

8. You crave undivided attention from the people you date.

9. You believe men or people are supposed to be with more than one woman or person?

10. You believe you are special because a lot of women or people of the gender you are sexually attracted to want to be with you.

11. You think there is nothing wrong health-wise with sleeping with more than one person whether you are dating them or not.

What I think of Players

I blame this Player mentality for a lot of our relationship problems. I am frustrated with this culture because it views many of the Player characteristics as normal male behavior. That right there is what makes me so upset. Not only do males think they can’t be loyal, but women feel men can’t loyal as well. In my opinion, the Player and the wannabe-Players are PUNKS and weak men who are an embarrassment to good, strong men. If we are ever going to improve our male/female relationships we are going to have to change our expectations. We have to big-up men who don’t behave like Players and look down on men who do. I never cheated on any of my girlfriends and I know many men who also don’t cheat but when I tell people that they don’t believe me. That is probably because nowadays all you see is what I call cheating propaganda. These magazine cover stories and movies promote the normality of these Player characteristics. Essence, Jet, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and other magazines do stories about cheating men and hard to find good Black men or any man. They do these stories so much that I almost believe it myself. These articles make me feel so abnormal and when I tell people I don’t cheat, they say I am different. I think to myself, I’m different? Why can’t I be normal and these weak-ass cheating men be the ones who are seen as different and looked at as having problems? Why can’t men get props for not cheating? Sure men get bashed for cheating and we destroy them but then at the same time we understand their actions as normal male behavior. I can’t call it, but when a man says he doesn’t cheat people don’t believe him. I think if we’re ever going to beat this Player mentality then we’re going to have to give more props to the men who are committed. It’s not good enough to just condemn negative behavior, we need to reward good behavior. Shoot, even if a man has five girlfriends in a year if he breaks up with one before he starts going with another that’s a beginning. Lets promote men who demonstrate these characteristics and make them feel good. On the real, one of the things that used to make me feel good about my life was that I was able to do something that few men could do, and that was commit to my relationships. I look at the Reverend Jessie Jackson, President Bill Clinton and other accomplished men who weren’t able to control their sexual urges and honor their commitment and say “wow, I’m pretty good”. When these men of great stature and great accomplishment show the same character flaw, people accept it as a norm. Also, when ministers and entertainers have the same weakness it becomes a more of a characteristic.

So, when people ask me, “Why do we want to be Players?” I say, because our society promotes it and tolerates disrespectful behavior from men. Then there is the acceptance of apologies from people like basketball player Kobe Bryant and singer Usher. They offered the standard explanation for their Player-like acts, and they were not viewed as weak men. In fact their popularity remained in tact. I feel men in America and in the Hip Hop community will want to be “Players” because that’s what’s cool. As long as men see the amount of women they can sleep with as a status symbol, they will want to be Players.