It's kind of funny—in an ironic sort of way—that this article is coming right on the heels of us publishing some pearls of wisdom that Niecy Nash shared in a recent Essence feature. If you didn't catch our write-up on it, the title basically says it all: "Niecy Nash Says 'A BJ A Day Keeps The Divorce Lawyers Away' & We Believe You Sis".
If you think that Niecy is just "being Niecy" (because she's always pretty candid about her marriage which is something that I personally adore about her), I'll just say that I've had many a husband and wife co-sign on that very sentiment. Husbands have told me that morning sex that consists of fellatio is not only a big-time stress reliever, it also makes them think about their wife and her dopeness all throughout the day. And the wives? They say that everything about communicating with their man is easier to do—from kids to bills to them wanting to buy something that may not exactly be in the budget—once a BJ has been had. Well, given.
But here's the thing about all of this. I must admit that oftentimes, when the topic of marital coitus comes up, it does seem like the focus is placed on pleasing the man. Hmph. Like we as women don't have needs. Double hmph. Like a lot of wives don't have stronger libidos than their hubbies.
This sentiment was clearly expressed in the Facebook comments that popped up underneath our Niecy Nash post. Here are just a handful:
Sarai Pa: I feel this stuff can be fine and dandy and work but I wished there were more articles that talked about doing things for BOTH partners to help make a marriage work…I just want things to be equal and less one sided type of things.
Jay Millz: But I mean.... what about eating out a day too. Eating out a day can also keep the divorce away. What I'm saying is it should be 100/100 . If your spouse if you're not receiving the same effort from your spouse as much as you given to them, then what's the point of being with someone?
Kara Gershon: Wrong I have been married 12 years. I don't.
Victoria Pulley: So he ain't got to do nothing? She just suck his d*ck and boom successful marriage? Girl bye. It's a give and take.
Joy D. Byrd-Taylor: It goes both ways and we're real good over here.
Personally, one of my favorite comments was by Lisa-Renee Halliburton: "Well Damn reading these comments does anyone just want to please your spouse?? Of course, It's not only about him however.... you should want to cater to his every need and vice versa or someone else will with no Problem!" Right. And amen.
Since we peeped how passionate so many of you are about making sure that there was a level playing field on this particular topic, we figured that today was a perfect time to share what some couples—husbands and wives—have told me keeps it on-and-poppin' in their bedroom (oh, and because everyone agreed to be so forthcoming, their names have been changed for courtesy's sake; some did ask if they could pick the names, though. I wonder if they're pet names. Hmm.).
Eric and Evelyn. Married for Three Years. Have Sex About Twice a Week.
Eric: "I promise you, I don't know when my wife finds the time, but she's always coming up with something new—a new position, a new toy…something. I can't speak for all men, but I'll say for myself that it's a gross assumption that we get bored easily and want a new woman. We do get bored, but it's from doing the same thing, the same way, all of the time. If a woman has a creative mind, she can keep a man monogamous. Mine does."
Evelyn: "My husband is the best kisser. Everywhere. That's all I have to say. But isn't that enough?"
Marcus and Jasmine. Married for 10 Years. Have Sex About Three Times a Week.
Marcus: "I think what keeps our sex life so good is that I'm not the one who has to initiate all of the time. Men want to feel wanted just as much as women do. Real talk, sometimes I have to spend extra time in the gym to keep up with my wife's drive. I love that about her, though.
Jasmine: "My husband wants me to cum. A LOT. If I haven't had at least three orgasms, he doesn't feel like his job is done. A man like that will keep you coming back for more…for the rest of your life, in my book."
Michael and Rachel. Married Six Months. Have Sex Once a Week.
Michael: "Let me just put it on out there that the reason why we're newlyweds who only have sex once a week is because of our work schedules. Well, that and the fact that we're not fans of quickies. If it's not gonna last for a few hours, why do it? And my wife? That dirty mouth of hers alone is worth not rushing. It's funny because she doesn't even curse in real life. But behind closed doors, I've never seen anything like it. S—t."
Rachel: "I've been with selfish men before. The kind of guys who would wink at themselves in the mirror while they're doing you if one was around. My husband treats me like a full-course meal. He takes forever on my neck, forever on my breasts. My mama told me not to tell other women the specifics about your man, so I won't even get into what he can do with a clit. I ain't goin' nowhere. There's absolutely no need."
Anthony and Cynthia. Married for 13 Years. Have Sex Every Day.
Anthony: "I think it's funny whenever people think that we're exaggerating about having sex every day. You eat every day. You might work out every day. You probably sit in front of the TV every day. What's the big deal? We make time for what matters, and my wife and I look forward to connecting that way. Sometimes it's for 10 minutes. Sometimes it's three or four rounds. It's our quality time and what I love most is I never get tired of her. She's my masterpiece."
Cynthia: "My girlfriends ask me if I'm always in the mood to do it all of the time. The short answer is 'yes'. Remember in the movie Love Jones when Nia Long's character said that his dick talked to her? Girl, when your man has something good to say, you're always in the mood to listen."
Quinton and Allison. Married 16 Years. Have Sex a Few Times a Month.
Quinton: "I'm glad you're not using our real names in this, because we're the couple who doesn't have more sex because of my libido, not hers. It's not that I don't desire my wife. It's that I take medication for my blood pressure. Anyone who does knows what that can do. But what it has caused us to do is become foreplay experts. When I was single, foreplay didn't matter much. Now, it's something that I really look forward to."
Allison: "My husband and I had sex before marriage. His stroke was mean back then, but I felt really disconnected; like he was having sex with himself more than with me. I'd like to have more intercourse, but his mastering how to kiss my breasts and go down on me makes it worth it. It's not like we're not working to get him off of his meds, so I can only imagine what's in store. We're married. I can wait."
Chris and Donna. Married 11 Years. Have Sex Twice a Week.
Chris: "I read the Niecy interview. I'll just add that it's not the blow job that's effective; it's a good one. We don't want obligatory head. But a woman who acts like it's her favorite thing ever and sounds like she's gonna cum harder than you before it's over? That is the kind of head that is unforgettable. That right there is my wife. She's mad me cry and I'm a true groupie. I'm not ashamed to say it either!"
Donna: "My husband is a freak. He likes to go down just because, and he's everywhere down there. But what I really like about him is the five words that he says, almost every time, before we get started—'How can I please you?' So many men assume that if they've got a big dick or even that they can make us orgasm that that should be enough. One night, I might be in the mood for romantic missionary while another, all I might want is for him to eat me. A good lover doesn't tell you what you should want, they want to cater to you. My husband is the best lover I've ever had. 100."
David and Monica. Married 20 Years. Have Sex Every Day.
David: "When you've been married as long as I have, you qualify different things as 'having sex'. Do we have full-on intercourse every time? No. But I'm going to get head or she's gonna get it. I may wake her up with a nipplegasm or she might give me a hand job if we're riding in together to work. 20 years in, you want to make sure your spouse is satisfied, even if you don't need anything at the time. The sooner you young folks learn that, the better."
Monica: "Wow. This is awkward. Our names are changed, right? OK. My man is passionate. My man is unselfish. My man makes love to me like he's grateful for the opportunity. He is present. I know they say that all married people are tempted to cheat at some point, but I've never considered it since I've been married. When you get a partner who is, I think 'aggressive' is the right word, about your every need, you just don't think about stepping out. I know I don't."
Greg and LaToya. Married 10 Years. Have Sex 3-4 Times a Week.
Greg: "My baby and I were virgins when we got married. 10 years later, I think what makes the sex so good is because we've been working with a blank slate. To me, she's the best ever because I don't have anyone else to compare her to. I also like that we were virgins because we could customize our likes. We aren't trying to get the other to be like someone else. Even now, we're just taking our time to explore and when we find a new 'favorite', that makes the sex even better."
LaToya: "We were abstinent for religious reasons, but we don't have the church anywhere in our bedroom! Have you read the Scripture about a man drinking from his cistern? (Proverbs 5:15) That is an almost daily practice in our home. Amen."
Justin and Cheryl. Married 13 Years. Have Sex Once a Week.
Justin: "Y'all can call it weird or whatever but this is my marriage and it works. When my wife and I were still dating, we asked each other about our best—our best sex, our best oral, stuff like that. Then we asked what made it that way. No general s—t; details. Then we worked through how to top those individuals. And we have. Folks are only insecure about each other's sexual past when they don't think they measure up. You can easily fix that by having open discussions about what you liked and even miss about your past."
Cheryl: "My husband is competitive. Not just when it comes to my past sex life, but with himself. That's sexy to me because he's like, 'If you thought last night was good, wait and see what I come up with next time!' He is never satisfied with my satisfaction. What I mean is he always wants to exceed himself. I never know what to expect and I really like that."
William and Anastasia. Married Four Years. Have Sex 1-3 Times a Week.
William: "My wife is animalistic. She really is. Sometimes, I can't even get all the way in the door without her wanting to get it on right there. I'm glad that I'm getting to share this—and that she's letting me—because it's a poor assumption that all women are docile or passive. Sometimes, I feel a little emasculated because she's hard to keep up with. But what I love about that is she always wants me, she never gets tired of me. That does wonders for how I feel about myself as a man. As her man."
Anastasia: "I'm not sure if I've ever told my husband this before, but I will now. I do have a high sex drive, I always have. And I do tend to be the aggressor. But what makes me jump him all of the time is because I have never been treated so well. I honestly can't think of one need that has gone unmet since I agreed to marry him; not just monetarily but emotionally. He truly takes care of me…and since he does it every day, I basically want to f—k him every day. I don't know what else to tell you." #whew
There you have it, y'all. Straight from the mouth of married folks.
Personally, what I think is cool about all of these responses is it's a reminder that there is no "one right way" to have sex or please your partner—that a part of the fun of being a committed couple is figuring out what works for you.
As far as Niecy's stance, I honestly can't see how any man would want to turn down a daily BJ. But, I also think that a good husband can't feel right about himself if he's not tryin' to get his wife right too.
If I were on social media, that would've been my comment yesterday. I would've said that, as these husbands and wives shared, it's mutual pleasure that (hopefully) keeps the divorce lawyers away. And who can argue with that?
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masturdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masturdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masturdating All About?
Masturdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masturdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masturdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masturdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masturdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masturdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masturdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masturdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masturdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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