It is as old as society itself. In fact the good book chronicled how David and Bathsheba created their own version of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ behind Uriah’s back. In Shakespearean times, it was called “pouring treasure into foreign laps” or being ‘cuckolded’; fast forward to present times, the English refer to it as “doing the dirty on”. In the United States, they call it ‘creeping’; Trinidadians call it “horning” while back a yard, it is just good old fashioned ‘bun’…and if you bright or bare faced, you serve it with cheese!
Yes, there are many a slang term for infidelity but not matter the phrase, it does not make the act any easier on the ‘bun-ee’ or offended party. In fact many a relationship do not survive when the cat is let out the bag or the skeletons spill from the closet. I sought to explore if ‘giving bun’ was as prevalent as some believe or is it just a few sordid stories blown out of proportion. In the end you be the judge.
So the real question is twofold: is bun a way of life for many and if so, who does it more, men or women? Some sociologists may argue that ‘bun’ is culturally expected as historically, our men were socialized during slavery to ‘drop seed’ in as many fertile wombs as possible to populate the master’s plantation. The black male was a stud, a breeder, a man who had no rightful woman or wife because at any time, the one he loved as well as his children could be sold off if he displeased his owner and he could do absolutely nothing about it. This meant most fostered no deep ties to the women they procreated with and largely living a carefree, ‘Casanova’ lifestyle. How then do we expect for monogamy when for hundreds of years our men have been programmed to have sex and walk away from his bed mate? However fast forward almost two hundred years after slavery was abolished, is this theory good enough for the behaviour we see today?
In an age of secret apps, dating, hook up sites and smart phones that require facial or voice recognition to open and spill the beans, it is increasingly easy for an individual to cheat and not get caught. Gone are the days of love letters and wooing woman with cards, flowers and serenades as now a man will simply tell a female to “slide into his DM” (direct message) and leave her number. It is unfortunately as simple as that. I once left a friend talking to my former co- worker for a minute to wash my hands and boom! They were soon hooking up and I was only made aware where she started complaining that he talked a good game but could not ‘deliver’ in the bed room! Talk about ‘TMI’!
To further cement the point, if you are into social media and on instagram, the hottest person to follow is ‘Dream’. No she is not an artiste, a producer or an athlete, Dream’s page is where people go to spill the tea on cheating from the starter pack to the professional level. Each day people are hooked on scrolling through her ‘Bunnaman series’ and ‘side chick chronicles’ as the tales are hilariously funny at times. But in retrospect what it clearly demonstrates is that our society does not value monogamy much anymore. Having someone on the side is almost expected. Some bury their head in the sand and pray that their partner does not have an ‘outside baby’or worse, bring home an infection, but most seem resigned to the inevitability of ‘bun’.
In order to tackle the second part of the question, let us examine some facts. Research conducted and corroborated with data obtained from the United States Embassy in Jamaica report that DNA evidence revealed that least one thirds of children born to Jamaican men are said to not be biologically theirs. This in slang term is called ‘jacket’. Now this is a serious incitement against our women as this figure is incredibly high, hence the now popular saying “Jamaican men give bun…but Jamaican women fling jacket”.
So why is ‘bun’ so commonplace in our society? According to writer Ankush Bahuguna, in a 2016 article on relationships, it is not that we have become inept at making relationships work; it is that we do not care to try. We are not like Crystal Gayle said, looking for a long and lasting love, but more fun, excitement and thrill and once the initial thrill is gone, we move on to the next person instead of working to sustain that spark in our primary relationship.
We unfortunately seek individuals to party and “kick it with” and not someone who understands us even in our deepest silences. We see stability as being ‘boring’ and do not believe in the beauty of simplicity because we are often too blinded by the thrill of adventure. So we spend time with a partner (or partners!) but we do not make any real connection or commitment. Instead of a partner for life, we keep searching for individuals who can make us feel good right now, in the present, this very instant and when that feeling goes away, usually so do we, hence ‘bun’ continues as we move on to the next person searching for sometimes in others that we have not even identified in ourselves. And while you may laugh at some one’s else’s situation, be mindful that it is all fun and joke…until the person being hurt is you.