Whether their status was single, married, in a relationship or “complicated,” men and women joined at Reserve restaurant on Aug. 12 for “Relationship Secrets and Cocktails,” hosted by Kevin Carr.
Carr, author of “If All Men are Dogs Then Women You Hold the Leash: How Far We Go Depends on You,” joined with Google+ to host this event which exposed secrets men and women keep — when dealing with matters of the heart.
As guests settled in the event room at Reserve, located at 123 Chestnut St., they were welcomed by a performance from singer/songwriter/performer Bianca Raquel, who opened and closed the night singing and playing the piano. She performed covers including Aaliyah’s “Rock the Boat,” and a few of her originals.
Carr kicked off the night welcoming four panelists: Todd Anthony, actor, model, singer; Maurice James, graphic, web designer for BET; Envy McKee, radio personality, media consultant and blogger at ArkyM Entertainment, LLC; and Will Patterson, promotions director at Radio One.
Conversation stirred as the panel answered questions to “Why don’t men want to be in a committed relationship?” “Is it reasonable to expect monogamy if you aren’t official?” and “How much should you include the opinions of friends in your relationship?”
As the panelists shared their thoughts, the guests were engaged and enthused to share theirs as well.
One question that divided the room with varying opinions was whether or not it is appropriate to reveal the number of sexual partners one has had prior to the start of a new relationship.
McKee declared “It’s none of their business.”
Brandon Swift, star of the 27th season of MTV’s “The Real World: St. Thomas,” attended the event and shared his thoughts on the discussion.
“There is definitely a double standard when it comes to men and women — men can sleep with a lot of women and still not be judged on such a higher extent than a woman would be judged,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t agree with the double standard, but at the same time, I know that I’m the type of person that if I found out how many partners she had — and it’s an extensive amount — it’s going to bother me.”
Sonya Newland heard of this event through a friend and thought it would be a good opportunity to participate in a discussion surrounding relationships.
“It’s important to see people of color doing positive things; I thought there were some very relevant and important topics raised.” Newland said. “It was important to get the perspectives from people in committed relationships, the male and female side of things and those that are single as well.”
Carr continued to moderate discussion with the panel, while touching on the importance of communication in a relationship. Anthony noted how well his girlfriend communicates with him and how it leaves no room for confusion.
David Alston, Carr’s childhood friend since the age of seven, was happy to support Carr and engage in conversation. Alston feels he learned a lot about the perspectives of women.
“One of the key things was the perception of women — their questions, their issues, things they are bringing to the table for men to step up to the plate,” he said.
Succeeding the panel discussion, Carr closed discussion with sharing his personal experiences. He covered the importance of safe sex and healthy, honest relationships. He was pleased with the outcome of the event and plans to host upcoming events, including “single mixers.”
“I wanted it to cultivate a conversation representing men and women,” he said.
Carr has made a name for himself as a “dating coach” especially through his work for Essence magazine, where he writes articles giving relationship advice that is published on the magazine’s website, Essence.com.
While he shared his best dating tips for a predominately female audience, he certainly had the approval from an important female recipient — his girlfriend.
“I think everything came together well,” said Breena Green, Carr’s girlfriend. “I’m very happy with him. Kevin’s the bomb.”