Whether you ever intended on watching Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? and Why Did I Get Married Too?, for better or for worse, BET doesn't really give you much of a choice. It seems like at least once a week, one or both films are airing on that channel. And, if there's a couple that is truly memorable, it's Marcus (played by Michael Jai White) and Angela (played by Tasha Smith).
To call them "dysfunctional" would be a major understatement. They have serious trust issues, their communication sucks, there's little to no respect given, they seem to find extreme pleasure in throwing each other under the bus in front of their friends (especially Angela) and they appear to get on each other's last nerve, more times than not.
I've seen clips of both movies so much that they both seem to run in together at this point. But I do know for sure that, in one of them, there's a scene where Marcus is asked why he keeps putting up with all of the crazy. His response? "The make-up sex is insane!" (or something along those lines).
That's not just a line from a movie. If you put "make-up sex" in any search engine, you're gonna see articles about why so many of us like—no, LOVE—it. From the research that I've done on the topic, a lot of us are super into make-up sex because it tends to be wilder, more exciting and more intense than so-called "regular sex" is. That's cool. But like most things in life, there is such a notion as too much of a good thing.
How can you tell the difference between make-up sex being a hot way to conclude a fight vs. something that is masking a layer of issues that sex alone really can't solve? I've got five points that can at least get you on the path of seeing what's really going on in your bedroom—and ultimately, your marriage.
Is Make-Up Sex How You Always “Resolve” Arguments?
Personally, whenever a couple tells me that they never argue, whether they say it directly on my face or not, I'm giving them the side-eye. While I don't think that every couple has ugly knockout drag-outs, I find it very hard to believe because if two people are being open and honest with one another, sometimes boats are gonna get rocked. And there's nothing wrong with that. We all have our own way of seeing things and oftentimes, looking at another's perspective is just what we need in order to grow as individuals.
The problem with arguing is when a couple has no idea how to resolve their issues when they arise. If there is a lot of grudge-holding, deflecting, hitting below the belt, yelling and screaming or even a ton of passive aggressiveness, not only does this reveal poor communication skills, it will only make matters worse over time.
What really needs to be addressed is the fact that some couples are either so used to arguing that they don't realize how unhealthy their communication is or they are so accustomed to having sex to "fix matters" that, ironically, nothing really ever gets fixed.
I'm big on saying that sex shouldn't be about "making love" so much as celebrating it.
Along these same lines, make-up sex shouldn't be about avoiding resolutions but the celebration of actually coming to one. Which is it for you and yours?
Is Make-Up Sex a Stress Coping Mechanism?
Life has its stress-filled moments. There's no doubt about that. And when it comes to the health benefits of sexual activity, the reduction of the stress hormone cortisol is a strong one. So yeah, I totally get why couples would resort to having sex in order to release a little anxiety and tension. That's not why I'm bringing this point up, though.
It's one thing to have a few days when your schedule has you feeling overwhelmed or to receive some news that's got you a little more than just irritated. It's another to be sick all of the time, an insomniac or noticing things like body aches and hair fall. If these things are transpiring, they're usually red flags that you are too stressed for your own good and all sex is doing is masking a deeper issue.
Sure, sex can distract you for a few minutes (or, if you're lucky, a couple of hours), but the problems are gonna still be there when you're done. If all you really do to handle your stress is having sex, that's something else to really look into; preferably with a therapist and/or physician.
Is Make-Up Sex the Only Time That You Truly Feel Connected?
So, there is such a thing as arousal transfer. What's that? In a nutshell, it's when our bodies go from one kind of stimuli to another and then we pass it on to someone else. In the context of make-up sex, it's basically going from an emotion like anger to another like excitement. Then, when pleasure is brought into it all, it can create the illusion that reconciliation has happened when really all that's gone down is you connected on a physical level (and the oxytocin calmed you down a bit).
Arousal transfer is normal, but if it's the only time you and your partner truly feel like you're on the same page, it's also an illusion. Healthy relationships have mental, emotional and spiritual connections not just physical ones. Healthy couples are able to feel close to one another, whether sex comes into play or not.
Is Make-Up Sex What You Do When You Don’t Know What to Do?Giphy
A lot of us were not fortunate enough to grow up in a two-parent household and/or one that consisted of two people who loved and respected each other and communicated well. Because this was lacking, we didn't really get the foundational skills required to deal with conflict in a romantic relationship.
Two things typically happen because of this. One, we (internally) freak out whenever relational issues arise and/or two, we either think that running from the relationship or doing whatever makes our partner feel better is the solution. And oftentimes, that feel-good-remedy is sex.
The problem with that is even the best (and most realistic) sex only lasts a couple of hours. Once it's over, the problems still exist. If you and yours are always having sex during or immediately following a fight because you don't know what else to do, this is another reason to strongly consider getting into some marital counseling. Just so the two of you can learn how to hash things out and "fight fair" in the process.
Is Make-Up Sex How You “Handled” Relationships When You Were Dating Too?
There is a lot of baggage that many of us bring into our current relationship, oftentimes not realizing it until we get triggered or a particular pattern is brought to our attention. That said, if you can relate to all of what I shared here and a part of you is wondering where it came from, take a brief walk down memory lane to see if make-up sex is how you handled issues with your boyfriends as well.
A huge mistake that a lot of people make in relationships is assuming that what they did in their dating situations won't creep into their marriage. The only way you can be sure of that is by taking the time, as a single person, to do some self-evaluating and healing. If you're just now seeing that make-up sex has been your modus operandi all along, ask yourself two things—1) how did it work for you back then and 2) if it wasn't a big deal, why aren't you still with your exes? Hmm.
Again, make-up sex isn't a bad thing. Not at all. But if you're dependent on it in order to get through the hard/bad times in your marriage, be careful. You might look up and discover that it didn't fix anything. It just bought you more time to not deal with the inevitable—some real serious problems in your relationship.
You might discover that sex was more like icing on a garbage lid than anything. Sweet for a second but what was underneath? Eww.
Featured image by Getty Images.
Maintenance Sex Could Be The Key To A Successful Marriage - Read More
8 Things You Should Do Daily To Keep Your Relationship Strong – Read More
7 Things Married Couples Do To Damage Their Sex Lives – Read More
- Learn To Fight Fair In Your Marriage - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- How To Argue In Healthy Way In Relationships - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Sex Is Great But The Relationship Is Bad - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
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. ;)
In xoNecole's series Dope Abodes, we tour the living spaces of millennial women, where they dwell, how they live, and the things they choose to adorn and share their spaces with.
Annisa LiMara has called this space her home for two years. Her Atlanta sanctuary, which she aimed to give the look and feel of something you'd see in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest, embodies her vision of "stunning, yet functional and cozy."
"My home is a reflection of my brand, The Creative Peach Studios, and I am the 'Creative Peach,'" Annisa explains. "It was so easy to reflect who I am and my personal story in my space. When you walk into my home, you know that it is Annisa’s home. I’m so proud of that. So grateful."
On the journey to becoming a homeowner, Annisa looks back on her experience as a "rough one," detailing that she officially started house hunting in March 2020. It had become so expensive to rent, and the 30-something lifestyle influencer decided she would rather invest the money she spent renting into owning a home. However, nine days into house hunting, her search was put on hold for a year. The following year, in 2021, the process of finding the right home and going under contract took a total of four months.
"The resell route didn’t work out, so my realtor suggested a new construction home, which turned out to be the better option," she tells xoNecole of her experience. "Although it requires more patience, it turned out to be a much easier process and a lot easier to maintain since it’s brand new."
As it turns out, the open floor plan three-bedroom two-and-half-bath would prove to be a blank canvas for Annisa to flex her creativity and design skills.
As a new construction, she watched the townhome get built from the ground up, and due to the "cookie-cutter" nature of new builds, Annisa knew immediately that she would change everything about it. The best part about it? All of her updates were cosmetic, so transformation could occur without having to do major renovations to achieve the look and feel she desired.
"The first things I updated were all the lighting, adding built-ins around my fireplace, and installing wallpaper in my bedroom, office, and dining room! I also had board and batten installed in the upstairs loft to make a statement and the kitchen island," Annisa details.
"Lastly, we painted the loft a soft blush pink, the kitchen island is a gorgeous terracotta, and added contrast with black on the doors, fireplace, and stairwell banisters."
In total, she spent $15K in renovations (plus the cost of furniture and decor). And although she says the second level of her home is a "work-in-progress," two years in, she considers the transformation nearly done.
Annisa defines her decor style as "organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho," and with thoughtfully placed touches like plants, warm tones, and organic textures, her perspective can be felt throughout. "I found my point of view as a designer in my work and as I worked on my home, so it all came together organically based on what I was naturally drawn to."
"The organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho' is definitely my signature style. You’ll always see greenery, warm tones, brass, and rattan or wicker in just about every room. My color story is based on my brand [The Creative Peach Studios] colors: blush pink, ivory, olive and sage green, terracotta, and nudes," she adds.
It was her brand colors that would be the jumping-off point for her approach to decorating and styling her space. That, and a picture she had of what would become her sofa from Albany Park. She recalled her decor decisions, "It was their olive Park Sectional Sofa, and I knew instantly I wanted it, and it aligned with my brand colors naturally, so it was a no-brainer."
By drawing inspiration from Pinterest, favorite design brands like CB2, Arhaus, and Souk Bohemian, and through her work, Annisa allowed herself to be guided by her signature style as well as her instincts when making decor and color choices for her own home. "Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason; it just feels right."
Some of the aspects of her home that she regards as her favorites include her bedroom and its little nook where her bed is positioned, the open upstairs loft, and the open concept because "it really allows you to see all of the details I put into the design all at once." Another of her favorite finds is a purchase she copped from the thrift store years ago.
"I have this little brown and gold chair that I picked up for $6 at a thrift store in Jersey six years ago. I couldn’t afford much in my little studio, but the chair was beautiful and unlike anything I had ever seen."
In addition to accent walls featuring blush pink and terracotta tones throughout the space, her gallery wall is another element that immediately draws the eye of any guest who enters. Annisa recalled a fond memory of a fine art piece she purchased from a Black woman artist when she first moved to Atlanta that she now prominently features in her living room. "It was a Black villager from her travels in Africa, and I fell in love with it because it felt like an ancestor I never met. I later found out that she was the sister of one of my very first design clients two years later," she shares. "Talk about a full-circle moment!"
Cultivating a space takes time and patience, and that is a sentiment Annisa echoes when advising people who are looking to infuse more of themselves into their own dope abodes through design. "It is not a race, and you’ll spend more money if you rush into designing without really being intentional about the vision for your space," Annisa concludes. "You just need creativity and patience to do it! And most of all, make sure you feel like it’s an oasis for you!"
For more of Annisa, follow her on Instagram @annisalimara.
Tour Interior Designer Annisa LiMara's Modern Meets Midcentury ATL Home | Dope Abodes
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Kanobi Pollard/xoNecole
'Act II': Beyoncé's Country Era Is Paying Homage To Black Artists & Daring Us To Exist In Any Space We Choose
Super Bowl Sunday Queen Bey struck again, snatching all our edges and keeping us in the same chokehold we’ve been in for the past couple of decades. After her Verizon commercial, where she alluded to her power to break the internet, Beyoncé essentially broke the internet with her announcement that Renaissance Act II would be released on March 29, 2024. The final drop in this marketing masterpiece was the release of two new singles, “16 CARRIAGES” and “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM,” which have both soared to number one and two in the iTunes country music category.
However, despite the pure excitement by the BeyHive to follow Beyoncé wherever she leads them, there has already been pushback in the country music arena to deny the Queen access. Oklahoma station KYKC 100.1 FM denied a listener's request to hear Beyoncé’s new songs on its station because “We do not play Beyoncé' [sic] as we are a country music station," it responded via email.
This isn’t the first time Beyoncé has been dismissed in the genre. In 2016, when she released "Daddy’s Lessons" on Lemonade, she not only was met with backlash from country music fans but was also denied by the Recording Academy’s Country Committee after she submitted the record for a Grammy.
Beyoncé (2nd R) performs onstage with Emily Robison, Natalie Maines, and Martie Maguire of Dixie Chicks at the 50th annual CMA Awards in 2016.
Rick Diamond/Getty Images
We saw a similar response to Lil Nas X’s "Old Town Road" in 2019 when the original single was removed from the Billboard Country charts because it didn’t “embrace enough elements of today’s country music.” Lil Nas X went on to win a Grammy with Billy Ray Cyrus for the song’s music video but was only accepted into the category after Cyrus joined for the remix.
Though the origins of the country music genre are an extension of Black culture and African ancestry, Black artists have been essentially erased from the genre's existence. Examples of this are the modern-day banjo – featured in many country songs – which is a descendant of the West African instrument, the Akonting. As with most things in American history, once white audiences were introduced to the banjo in a more “acceptable” manner through racist minstrel shows of the 1850s-1870s, it was quickly appropriated.
This unintentionally led to the creation of the 1920s Hillbilly music, which at the time was mainly popular in the South and later evolved into the country genre we know today. Hillbilly music drew its inspiration from slave spirituals, field songs, hymns, and the blues, which all originated within the Black community, and up until the end of World War I when major record labels rebranded it as country, the genre was successfully integrated.
In fact, in Patrick Huber’s 2013 essay, "Black Hillbillies: African American Musicians On Old-Time Records, 1924–1932," he details the vast diversity in the genre. In the time period chronicled, approximately 50 Black artists were featured on commercialized records within Hillbilly music. Huber’s essay was part of a larger work edited by Diane Pecknold, "Hidden in the Mix: The African American Presence in Country Music," which focused on the large contributions Black musicians had to the industry.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Despite the huge success Hillbilly music had, record labels couldn’t fully capitalize on it while remaining diverse because of segregation throughout America. In order to market the music and artists to “mainstream” America, music executives not only segregated the genre but promoted it as “white music” and as white southerners migrated throughout the country, they took with them the ideology that country music was solely theirs. This eventually led to the erasure of Black artists and their contributions to their artistry and history.
These artists include DeFord Bailey, who was the first Black musician to play the Grand Ole Opry, and Charley Pride, the first Black person to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Many of us know musical legend Ray Charles for his contribution to soul music, but it isn’t common knowledge that his ability to blend country, R&B, and pop music greatly influences country music to this day. Additionally, Gus Cannon made jug bands (an ancestor to country music) popular in the 1920s and taught Johnny Cash, who is a country music icon.
As we make efforts to honor and acknowledge the Black musicians who helped mold country music into what it is today, we must also acknowledge how the intersectionality of Black womanhood has practically left this demographic out of the country music fabric completely.
As Black women face both racism and sexism (a.k.a. misogynoir), their denial of entry has been easier to maintain in this genre. Linda Martell, the first Black female solo artist to play the Grand Ole Opry, released her debut album, Color Me Country, in 1970. Though still considered a pioneer to many, her career was short, and she faced relentless discrimination and violence within the industry that eventually led her to leave country music altogether. The documentary, Bad Case of The Country Blues: The Linda Martell Story, chronicles her experiences from 1969-1975.
Though there are many up-and-coming Black country music artists, Beyoncé's entrance into this arena creates a clear and imminent threat to the genre’s marketing strategy that it is “white music.” She might be one of the most unapologetically Black artist of our times, penning lyrics such as, “I like my baby hair with baby hair and afros” and “I like my negro nose with Jackson 5 nostrils.”
Argue with me if you like, but for the past decade, Beyoncé has been uplifting and celebrating Black culture and history.
She has made it clear that she has no desire to assimilate herself or her music into mainstream white culture. She is proud of who she is and where she comes from, which is why her making a country music album is a natural progression. Beyoncé's roots are in Texas, she often talks about her love for her state and her upbringing, and just as we heard in Act I of Renaissancewith the inspirations pulled from Chicago house, funk, soul, gospel, and New Orleans Bounce music; we will be serenaded by another layer of her upbringing and soul in Act II.
Beyoncé’s Renaissance is her unabashed way of not only using her stardom to prove that Black people are not a monolith but also paying homage to the Black artists who paved the way for her but are seemingly erased from history.
She highlights the multifaceted nature of Black culture and ignites conversations that force the full history of these genres to be represented and told. As a Black woman who grew up in Alabama and isn’t ashamed to share her love for country music, I was thrilled to hear "Daddy Lessons" in 2016 and I can’t wait for Act II of Renaissance to come out on March 29.
Whether you’re a member of the BeyHive or not, I hope you can see how Beyoncé’s musical evolution is allowing space for Black people, and moreover, Black women, to exist in whatever space they choose to pursue without feeling the need to diminish, readjust, or mold themselves into what someone else says you should be.
Through her art, she is creating a space for us all to live and exist in our fullness, or in short to live in true liberation.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by GIF