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 email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.
The couple met years ago at their alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, when they were still working to create the life they have now, and if you had told them then that they’d eventually tie the knot, the pair probably would’ve laughed in your face.
Today, they’re new parents, flourishing in their careers, and each others’ “teammates.” When desiring love, Dalen recommends not looking to other couples for advice. And Stacey advises staying true to what you want. “Don’t put age or limitations on love and children. If God could do it for me, why can’t he do it for you?”
Here's How We Met.
How did you meet?
Dalen: We met in 2005 when she was advising the Greek sororities and fraternities in college. She was old as hell in college, and I was a young buck (laughs). Everybody had a crush on her, but I didn’t think much of it. Then, in 2007, we were in the same grad school class, but she still wasn’t trying to see me then either. I had to catch her five years ago; I was very patient.
Stacey: Yeah, everybody in our grad school class called him Young, Fresh to Death because he was always dressed in B-school (what CAU affectionately refers to as business major classes), and we’d just wear sweatpants (laughs).
So, I know Dalen was always attracted to you. But what about you? Did your attraction to him develop over time?
Stacey: So 2006-2008 – all the years went by. I don’t think we were really thinking about each other at all back then. Years later, I had an event in Dallas, and I booked him to be a speaker. Then, a few years ago, Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: "If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you." But I still thought he was too young at the time, and he started pulling receipts. Taraji P. Henson was dating someone young at the time, Gabrielle Union–
Dalen: First of all, I didn’t do that. You did that.
Stacey: Okay, I did. I thought he was a cutie pie, but that age thing was on my mind!
"Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: 'If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you.'"
Talk to me about the first date. How did he change your mind?
Stacey: Our first date was at Tin Lizzy's in Atlanta. During that time, he was living in Dallas, so it was long-distance. But he came into town, and we just had a good time. We talked a lot, which we still do. It wasn’t anything fantastic.
Dalen: Don’t downplay our first date.
Then, walk me through your courtship. How did you get to the next level? What was that conversation like?
Stacey: I think he knew at age 43 or 44 I wasn’t playing around. But also, I think it just naturally progressed.
Dalen: Yeah, it just happened naturally. And I’m going to be honest, I don’t think initially either one of us thought it would be as serious as it was. She thought I was too young and I wasn’t ready for marriage, kids, and all that. I think we both thought we were just hanging out. But after spending so much time together, a lot of stuff started happening. Like, she had to have surgery early on. It wasn’t just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That’s why we still don’t have an anniversary date because we never really asked.
"It wasn't just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That's why we still don't have an anniversary date because we never really asked."
What made you want to commit to each other?
Dalen: The moment I knew Stacey was for me was from a phone call. I don’t really like talking on the phone, and I can be really blunt sometimes. But we were talking, and I said, ‘I don’t really feel like talking anymore.’ And she was just like, okay, and hung up. I wasn’t trying to be rude, and she understood that. It sounds bad, but that’s how I knew she just got me. I felt like she could get my random awkward moments, and she does to this day.
Stacey: For me, I liked him as a person. Even when times get rough and tough, I could still like him as a human. He is my best friend. We have time. We laugh until we cry, and it’s just always like that. Even when we get pissed at each other, something happens, and we fix it. Also, how he treats his mother. That’s a momma’s boy, but I’m a daddy’s girl – so I get it. I know how I want to be treated, and I see how he is with her and that’s beautiful.
What are some important lessons you’ve learned about yourself through loving your partner in this relationship?
Dalen: I grew up an only child and she grew up with siblings. So, when you have someone who is used to doing things by themselves, there is definitely a learning curve when you get into a serious relationship. It’s funny now, but it was definitely a process.
Stacey: I agree – definitely the only child thing. There’s times I look at him like, did you ever live with anyone else? That comes from being momma's baby, too. I have to say, my “mother-in-love” spoiled him. But also with Axel (their daughter), that brings another level of patience.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
What was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome together?
Dalen: We’ve gone through a lot within the years we’ve been together. We suffered two miscarriages – I’d say that’s the biggest.
Stacey: Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me. I was wondering if I can’t carry [a child] what that looks like for us. We had very real conversations pretty early in our relationship.
"Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me."
What do you fight the most about?
Dalen: Nagging. Stacey nags; she’s a complainer. She’s that momma that will look in a room and just hunt for something to complain about. Like, I’m worried for Axel when she's in high school.
Stacey: It’s because I like things to be in place. He leaves stuff all over the place. I can tell where he’s been in the house because something is left around. So he says I’m nagging – but it’s like, just get your stuff.
What are your love languages?
Dalen: Stacey is gifts all day.
Dalen: We’ve talked about this. xoNecole is about to cause problems in our home (laughs).
Stacey: Obviously I love you. *thinks again* It’s words of affirmation.
Dalen: That’s it.
What’s your favorite thing about each other?
Dalen: I’ve always respected her business-mindedness. That may sound superficial, but it’s not because I’ve never been with someone who thinks like me. It’s one of my most treasured things about her. I remember one day, I was just running through ideas with her, and each time Stacey had a suggestion on how I could make it better. It’s just very comforting. She takes whatever I’m doing and elevates it – including me.
Stacey: I love Dalen’s hustle and creativity. He’s been on multiple shows, and he continues to create, produce, and reinvent himself and the product he’s putting out. I love that we can create together and bounce things off each other. Even though we may be in different arenas, there’s nothing he can’t offer me great advice about. I love that drive.
Finally, how did you know it was love?
Dalen: Well – she said it – first. (laughs)
Stacey: And he looked at me and smiled! He didn’t say it back. We were on a trip, out of the country.
Dalen: We were arguing when she said it, and she just threw it out.
Stacey: But we continue to do that. We’ve spent holidays and everything outside of the country.
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I'm a wellness founder who currently has no therapist. Now, don't judge me; I'm being vulnerable with you.
A few years back, I felt like my life was shifting and that I wanted to find a new therapist to help me get to the root of what I was experiencing but didn't exactly have the language for it. Almost a decade ago, I was a depressed, socially anxious Black girl in an abusive relationship with practically no friends in college. Fast-forward to now and I'm a grown woman thriving and the founder of one of the largest wellness organizations for Black women.
The shy girl I once was (and still am at times, if I'm being honest) has now led meditations at Coachella, worked with Taraji P. Henson's brand, and produced her own content on mental health and Black women's healing with Foot Locker Women! But can I tell you that deep down, there are days when I still felt like that girl who thought she was broken and unloved?
That realization made me angry; I felt like I had done so much self-work and work in therapy that feeling like that girl again as a grown-ass woman made no sense.
It felt like I was going backward, and I didn't understand why, so I figured the best thing to do was discuss this in therapy. After switching insurance, I was on the search for a new therapist, and I specified to her what I was experiencing and asked if we could work through it together. She seemed kind and supportive, and she was a Black woman, something I wanted in this next chapter of therapy and womanhood as I started therapy in my early twenties and I was now approaching my thirties.
A few weeks into our sessions, she flat-out asked me, "Why are you here?" She couldn't understand why someone as successful as me needed therapy and said to me multiple times during the sessions to follow in so many words, "You don't need to be there, I think you're fine."
Yvonne Orji Therapy GIF by Insecure on HBOGiphy
Her words immediately triggered me because I felt like it was her way of saying as a Black woman, seeing me doing well made her wonder why I needed this support. I left and never went back following that session.
That was almost two years ago. There have been times when I wanted to go back, but I'd tensed up at the thought given the traumatic experience, life will always send us experiences the way that challenge us, and I don't think that never returning to therapy is the answer. Before I even began searching for a new therapist, I processed my sessions with the former therapist and, as best as I could, sent empathy her way.
We can often think that our therapists are going to be perfect and not misstep, but they're human and flawed just as we are. Whether we admit it or not, we all walk have our own biases and ways that we see the world. Perhaps she looked at me and thought, This woman is thriving; what problems could she have? She could have gone through life with no one supporting her once she began to succeed.
As I go back into therapy, I've sat with myself, and I feel confident enough to express myself again and share what I need from them in this season as I interview new therapists. There are many articles to support how to find a therapist, but I want to support you if you're heading back to therapy after taking a much-needed break.
Figure Out Your "Why"
You want to know why you're going back and ask yourself if there is something you may need from therapy now that you didn't need before. Your needs could be the same, but as time goes by, we change along with our needs. It helps to prepare a script as you approach therapists to share, for example: "Hi, my name is ______, and I'm looking for support in ______ in therapy at this point of my life."
In this post-pandemic era, Black therapists and therapists overall are overwhelmed and overworked. I can't even begin to tell you how many therapists I know personally that have stopped seeing clients due to burnout. You might not find the therapist you're looking for overnight, and you could very well be scrolling through potential therapists, getting excited at the idea of a conversation with them, and then discovering they are no longer accepting new clients. Do not be discouraged; your therapist is out there.
Don't Be Afraid To Be Vulnerable
I like to look at therapy in many ways like I look at love. And what I mean by that is much like dating; you are not going to get the experience you're looking for without vulnerability. I challenge you to be transparent with your therapist, they will only be able to help you get to the root of what you need support with if they get to know who you really are, and what you need.
I am rooting for you as you head back to therapy. Know that I am supporting you and cheering you on from the sidelines as we go back and do this healing work together.
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