Not too long ago, while being interviewed, someone asked me how (or maybe they meant why) I was so comfortable talking about sex. More specifically my own sex life. That's kind of a layered answer. One, I'm pretty open, in general. Two, it's been a billion years since I've had sex. And three, when you're a relationship writer, it's kind of par for the course that the more, let's go with the word "authentic", your content is, the easier it is for folks to receive it. Where exactly am I going with this?
Well, in the effort to really drive the point home with this piece, I'm gonna provide you with a bit of a TMI tale. Recently, I watched a video from a YT channel called Cey & Jai (Jai is actually Joycelyn Savage's younger sister, by the way). The channel features a couple who pranks each other from time to time. On this one, Jai is pretending to talk to a friend of hers about Cey having a "shrimp" (talk about triggering somebody and Cey was indeed triggered!). Anyway, it caused me to reflect on a past sex partner and the first time I saw his, uh member.
Y'all, I didn't mean to yet back then, I had far less of a filter than I do now. Anyway, when I looked at it for the first time, the first thing that came out of my mouth was, "So, that's it?" I promise that didn't mean to yet oh, the devastation that was on his face. The real tripped out part is when it comes to vaginal orgasms, I've had the most with him to-date. Moral to the story—sex shaming someone is super foul and two, check out "BDE: Please Let The 'It Needs To Be Huge' Myth Go" sometime. A married friend of mine is quick to say that a big d—k ain't always all that it's cracked up to be.
So, let's talk a little bit about sex shaming, shall we? Personally, I think it's something that doesn't get discussed enough which is fascinating because I deal with couples all of the time who do it to their partner on some level—and it's costing them the kind of great sex that both of them truly deserve.
If you're curious to know if you're someone who is a bit of a sex shamer (or if your partner may be slick sex shaming you), here are a few questions that can help you to get down to the bottom of things, so that you can switch up your behavior. Because if there are two words that should absolutely never go together at the end of the day, it's "sex" and "shame".
Are You Making Comparisons?
I believe I've shared before that there's a couple that I know who were virgins when they got married (yep, both of them). They are going on two decades at this point. Anyway, one time I asked the wife if she's ever wondered if her husband is actually good in bed. She simply responded with, "I mean, he's great to me. I don't have anything else to compare it to." If you're a virgin reading this, that's a great incentive to wait until you meet "your one" because when you've had multiple partners, not—pardon the pun—sizing everyone up is actually pretty difficult to do.
I mean, a part of the reason why I said what I did to ole' boy is because I had already seen quite a few penises that were much larger than his was (check out "14 Lessons I've Learned From 14 Sex Partners" and "Sex Hacks For Different Kinds Of Penises (You Heard Me Right)"). And because, on the onset, I had a bit of a bias, it caused me to assume that just because he wasn't "packin'", he wouldn't be able to provide me with pleasure. That absolutely wasn't the case.
Again, if you've got a sexual past, making comparisons kinda comes with the territory. Still, if you're doing it so much that it hinders you from being open to what your current partner can do to make you happy, low-key, there is some sex shaming happening, for sure.
Do You Nitpick When It Comes to Their Body?
Listen, I'm a woman and I'll still be the first one to say that oftentimes, we are notorious for hypocritical double standards. Let a man "rate us" (like y'all ain't seen a Kevin Samuels YouTube video before) and it's an unforgivable sin. Oh, but we'll be the first in line to say we don't like short men, men with small(er) penises or we'll clown a man if he's got a gut or something else that's not appealing when it comes to our personal likes and preferences. How is that any different?
Is there something wrong with having a type? No, there isn't. Yet the point here is if you want to avoid being a sex shamer (and hopefully, you absolutely do), it's important that you practice the golden rule. If you don't want to feel judged or that your partner is being overly critical about your looks/body, don't be that way towards them.
And what if there is something about them that is a total turn-off like maybe you didn't realize that they are hairier than you can handle or there's some type of hygiene/personal upkeep issue that's going on? First, definitely don't bring it up during the act and secondly, still deliver your thoughts in a way where they can receive it. Be kind. Be considerate. Don't bark directives; make suggestions or requests. No one wants to feel constantly critiqued by their sex partner. The good news about this point is you have control over if this happens or not, a lot more than you initially might think.
Are Your Expectations Unfair or Unrealistic?
I like checking out what YouTube calls "the manosphere". Contrary to the assumption of a lot of women (insert eye roll here), women cannot speak for men—only men can do that. Well, something that several of them have brought up as of late is how a lot of thick women don't seem to date men similar to them. It's like guys get ridiculed if they don't desire a woman of a certain size while those same women ignore men who are larger themselves (that's a checkmate, whether we want to accept it or not).
Personally, I'm not trying to cram any preference down anyone's throat. You like what you like and I'm too beautiful to try and convince you to see me that way. All good. At the same time, though, I do think that we should be realistic when it comes to what we expect from someone. On the looks tip, why would you feel entitled to someone being in better shape than you are? And on the sex tip, it's totally unfair to want a guy to look or act like someone else from your past or to mimic someone who you may be currently fantasizing about. It's also ridiculous to think that every sexual experience is going to be like some sex scene you saw in a movie or music visual. Or like what you experienced with someone prior to your current situation.
Real talk, the best sex isn't even just about the mechanics of the act. It's about having a great chemistry, a good connection and a willingness to learn each other's bodies—including what makes each other tick—together. Expecting stuff to work out perfectly or immediately is about as unrealistic as they come. It can also cause you to put unnecessary pressure onto you as well as your partner. And that could cultivate certain feelings of shame; especially on your partner's end.
Do You Embarrass Them When You Discuss Them with Other People?
Sex is private. It's intimate. And honestly, it's really not anyone else's business. Not the extreme details of it all, anyway. And here's the thing—something that I find to be interesting about both men and women is when they don't really give AF about their partner, they will call up their friends and TELL IT ALL. Oh, but when they truly care about the individual, they seem to have very little to say. Know why? Because they value the person's feelings and the relationship a whole lot more than they do when it comes to some…random.
I talk about sex, pretty much for a living. I know for a fact that some of my past partners couldn't care less if I even mentioned their name (because we've discussed it before). Maybe it's because some of them know that they would receive the highest praise. I dunno. Still, even with as candid as I am about this topic, I'm not out to humiliate anyone.
This is definitely something to think about if you're good for giving play-by-plays with your homies about your sexual encounters. If whatever you're about to say, you know for a fact would embarrass your partner if they were present, maybe rethink bringing that up. Because sometimes shame can boomerang. In this case, I mean you might end up with someone who puts your business out in the streets too. Pretty sure that's not something that you want to ever transpire. Because…see paragraph one of this particular point.
Do You Fake Orgasms?
I know some of y'all are team "faking it". I absolutely am not. I don't know how in the world that anyone can get better in their performance if they already think that they are killin' it because I am lying the entire time. And while this might seem like an odd thing to mention when it comes to sex shaming, here's where I'm going with it. I work with couples where the wife (usually more than the husband) is sho 'nuf faking it. Some of them have been doing it their entire marriage. Others do it in order to rush their partner (because he is the opposite of a minute man, if you know what I mean) or because they aren't really in the mood. Whatever the motivation is, if you do it too long, it can cause you to become resentful and that is what can lead you to start shaming your partner—saying slick ish, making excuses not to have sex, avoiding afterplay so that you can go somewhere else and "handle yours" (again, if you know what I mean).
Besides, while orgasms are awesome (no doubt), sex can still be really good without having one (or several) every single time you engage. If you make sex more about enjoying your partner (as they enjoy you) rather than reaching a climax all of the time, both of you can feel more at ease and that can make orgasms easier to achieve. Full circle.
Are You Freezing Them Out?
You know, it's interesting that some of the synonyms for shame include confusion, irritation, degradation, self-disgust, guilt, contempt and humiliation. And honestly, I think this is the best way to end this particular piece. One of the worst ways to sex shame your partner is to say or do things that would cause them to feel any of the words that I just said—and oftentimes, it's freezing them out (making excuses to not have sex, pushing them away, neglecting their needs on a continual basis) that can cause that to happen.
At the end of the day, sex is a top tier form of communication. And great communicators strive to make the people they're interacting with feel heard and felt. No greater goal should happen in the bedroom, don't you think? Be intentional about affirming your partner. Express your desire for them to do the same for you. It's a surefire way to avoid sex shaming—on so many levels, sis.
Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.
Featured image by Getty Images
- Do You Lie About Your Body Count? Here's Why You Shouldn't ... ›
- Do You Know the Difference Between Sex and Intimacy? - xoNecole ... ›
- How To Communicate Sexually - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Penis Size That Gives Women The Most Orgasms - 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 email@example.com. 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.
Many have wondered if one time is ever enough to see Queen Bey. Some argue yes. However, many of us on the opposite end of the spectrum, including myself, would disagree. Beyoncé's "Renaissance World Tour" is a universal yet varying experience for everyone who attends. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, the concert is "transcendent." For millennials, we have over two decades of her catalog that has served as the soundtrack for many of our lives and painted a personal portrait of our most coveted thoughts. Her music provides mental clarity and self-expression by serving as a universal language that has united fans from all walks of life through community, fashion, self-acceptance, and healing.
With a multi-layered approach to her artistry, just as she did on that winter day in December 2013 with the infamous digital drop of her self-titled album, she changed the game again on February 1, 2023, when she announced her world tour in support of Renaissance, her seventh studio album. Her cultural impact set the internet ablaze, with everyone trying to gather their coins, barter for presale codes, and figure out which cities to attend. The group chats were lit, and the Beyhive was stressed trying to get their hands on tickets.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
Unfortunately, I was in that number. As the concert dates passed by and the one in my city drawing near all roads led to disappointment. With time ticking on the day of the Miami show and less than two hours to spare, my wallet bit the bullet, and I purchased three last-minute tickets, costing roughly $700.00 a piece (including fees) for me, my 9-year-old and 16-year-old nieces in Section 121 at the Hard Rock Stadium. With 10 minutes before showtime, we eagerly awaited the Queen to take the stage. A sea of metallic fringes, cowboy hats, disco fans, and western boots were in full effect and filled the entire stadium.
As the lights dimmed, a flood of emotions instantly overtook my body. It continued with each note she belted, along with nearly 50,000 roaring fans. The reverberating sound of the music through the stadium transported me from one era of my life to the next. As a teen girl in her bedroom daydreaming about her first love to blossoming into an unapologetic Black woman who is still on a road of self-discovery while learning to lean into the power anthem of "You won't break my soul." For over two hours, and with each set, I felt joy, love, peace, and a commanderie with fellow concertgoers. It was therapeutic as I danced like no one was watching and sang as if I were alone in my bathroom mirror.
There were no bars held, and I realized at that moment, "Nobody can judge me but me." The "Renaissance World Tour" proved to be so vast, and my Black girl joy was re-invigorated. It was magnetic and liberating, and I had to attend again, but this time, I needed to be up close and personal; I needed to be on the floor. In the days that passed, I watched more social media clips in different cities and asked myself if I would really splurge again to attend another Renaissance show.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
After all, this would be my thirteenth time (maybe more because I lost count) seeing Beyoncé live, whether she was on tour with Destiny's Child, as a solo artist, or doing a live appearance. I contemplated for a while, but it worked itself out on its own. I was gifted two tickets and the next thing I knew, I was off to LA to attend another Renaissance show with floor seats at SoFi Stadium during Beyonce's 42nd birthday weekend! This time, things were different: no kids were allowed. It was adults only this go round.
Although the energy at the Miami and Los Angeles shows was empowering, infectious, and a celebration of life, happiness, and identity, they each provided their own unique experience. However, both concerts were what I needed for my well-being, leaving me with sore feet from dancing the night away, on vocal rest for the next few days from screaming at the top of my lungs, and on an indefinite high on life.
My introduction and love for Beyoncé began in 1996, while my older sister lived in Houston, TX, right before Bey hit the scene in 1998 with "No, No, No" as a budding R&B member. Her evolution twenty-seven years later as an international superstar and into womanhood has been an incredible journey to witness. As Mrs. Carter reminds each of us in the audience every night before the curtain closes, "I want you to remember this moment, where you're standing, who you came with, and take it with you. I hope you feel inspired."
I truly felt inspired, so thank you, Queen Bey. You awakened my inner child, and I will definitely remember these moments and take them with me.
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.
Feature image by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood