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I've Got 7 Hacks To Get You More Of What You Need In The Bedroom

Hey, we've all got needs...right?

Sex

Sexual needs. Lawd, they are so real, y'all. This is something that I try and get through to the head of some of the clients that I work with — that when it comes to sexual activity, there are some things that each and every one of us deem to be necessary, an urgent want or something that's essential when it comes to experiencing true pleasure. And when those needs aren't met? Boy, that can lead to all kinds of sex-related issues including a disconnect between partners, less sexual frequency or even resentment over time.


Hopefully, you're getting all of your current sexual needs met. But if you happen to be someone who is out here feeling some type of way because you and your partner are not getting more of what you and/or they desire, I've got seven things that many people have told me they wish they received more of in the sex department, along with some insight on how to get these particular kinds of needs met.

Romance

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Whenever I'm talking to married couples about what they wish they received more of, as far as bedroom action is concerned, it never fails that wives will usually say "romance" while husbands typically say "spontaneity". As far as what's behind Door #2 goes, I'll get more into that in a sec. For now, I'll touch on romance. Personally, I think it's so important when it comes to sexual activity that I wrote "What Does It Truly Mean When Someone's 'Romantic'?" and "Tonight's The Night For A Really Romantic Sexual Experience" for the site. One of the main things to keep in mind about romance is the fact that it needs to happen way before even stepping one foot into your boudoir. You know, I've been working with couples for many years now and I find it to be no surprise that a lot of people whose sex lives are ho-hum and subpar are also people who don't spend a lot of quality time together — going on dates (including sex dates), taking weekend road trips, going for walks after dinner, cooking together, dancing to their favorite R&B jams in the living room…you catch my drift.

If you wish you could get more scented soy candles on your nightstand and rose petals on your bed, start with getting together with your partner to plan some dates together, even if you've got to get super creative and have them at home (check out "10 Romantic Dates You Can Go On (In Your Own Home)"). The more thoughtful and attentive the two of you are outside of your bedroom, the easier it will be to act that way inside of it.

Spontaneity

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I'm working with three couples right now where the husbands are pretty close to being pissed and shutting all the way down. Why? Well, when they were dating their wife, sex was random, fun and it happened all of the time. This was pretty much the case during the first year of their marriage as well. Yet as time has gone by, morning sex a few times a week has now become sex twice a month — and that's if they are lucky. Oh, but not right now. Now it's like their wives wanna screw like rabbits. Why? Because they are trying to conceive a child. Getting pregnant, each husband is fine with. What's got them triggered to high hell is the fact that if these women can muster up all of this sexual adrenaline to get pregnant, why can't they do that just to enjoy being with their partner?

These men have a point. Besides, sex shouldn't be treated as a "means to an end". When you're married, it first needs to be honored as a priority and staple in your relationship (because if there is one thing that should separate everyone else from you and your spouse, it's that you have sex with your husband), along with being a very intimate way to get closer to your partner — to bond with them on spiritual, emotional and physical level. And while there are times when life may require that you schedule it in order to make it happen, there still needs some spontaneity up in that mug too. Again, I didn't say it — most of the men I know, married and single, say it, on loop, all of the time.

And why is spontaneity such a big deal? It's impulsive. It's passionate. By definition, it doesn't require a ton of effort or premeditation. Some synonyms for the word include simple (dig that!), automatic, free-spirited, unavoidable, uncontrived, off-the-cuff and inevitable (dig that one too!).

Being spontaneous is meeting your partner at the door, butt ass naked. Being spontaneous is joining your partner in the shower while they are in it. Being spontaneous is sending random texts about all of the things on your sex bucket list that you want to check off over the next couple of weeks. Being spontaneous is walking into his office and engaging in some oral action, regardless of what he's doing. Being spontaneous is letting him know, out of the blue, that you want to make the kind of movie that only the two of you can watch together.

It's kind of crazy that if spontaneity is the main thing that you and/or yours is missing, it's important to talk about it first. However, if you remember the synonyms "simple" and "inevitable" while you're having the discussion of how to bring more into the sexual part of your relationship, it really can remind you both to come up with ways to make each other feel desirable…just because…with absolutely no agenda other than cultivating pure pleasure on a dime.

Seduction

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Ah. The art of seduction. If anyone is bored when it comes to their sex life (check out "7 Signs You're In A 'Sex Rut' & How To Get Out Of It"), I'd venture to say that a lack of seducing and/or being seduced is playing a major role in it all. Shoot, I'll take it even further and say that some people aren't getting what they need in this area because it's been so long since it's happened that they have lost sight of what seduction even entails.

Flirting is an act of seduction. Dressing seductively on dates is an act of seduction. Wearing lingerie is an act of seduction. Extending foreplay (including mental foreplay; check out "Mental Foreplay Hacks That Ultimately Takes Intercourse To New Levels") is an act of seduction. Taking off each other's clothes, ever-so-slowly, before sex is an act of seduction. Bringing in sex condiments (check out "12 'Sex Condiments' That Can Make Coitus Even More...Delicious") is an act of seduction. Doing anything with the intent of enticing your partner to lust you? That is what it means to seduce him.

Unlike spontaneity, seduction is something that is extremely premeditated. You've got to think about what kind of scent he adores on you and where he likes you to put it most (check out "8 Natural Aphrodisiac Scents, Where They Go & How To Make Them Last"). You've got to ponder whether you should go out with him with a lace thong or with no panties at all. You've got to really reflect on what kind of atmosphere to create that will make him want to climb the walls. That's the cool thing about seduction, though — the more thought you put into being the ultimate seductress, the more excited you will probably get about the day or night that lies ahead.

Affirmation

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I am a words of affirmation kind of gal. I'm pretty sure that's a big part of the reason why I'm also such a fan of dirty talk — and indeed, like other sexual activities, it is a skill; it's not something that comes automatically or easily for everyone. OK, but I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself here. Let's first touch on why affirming your partner is such an important thing to do. While actions are definitely important, words are too. When you affirm someone, you're letting them know that you see them, that you value them and that you appreciate having them in your life. Affirming someone can help to boost their self-esteem, to make them feel closer to and safer around you and it can remind them of why you chose to be with them in the first place.

While it's not discussed, nearly enough, dirty talk can definitely be a form of verbally affirming your partner because when you're telling them what you're physically attracted to, what you enjoy about the act itself and what they can do to get you to get there — it's like participating in a sex-themed pep rally of sorts. Besides, the best kind of sex incorporates all five senses (sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing) and when you are telling your partner what you adore about them and what pleases you most about sex, in your absolutely sexiest voice, how can that not inspire them to give you more of what you need and want? Exactly.

Oral Action

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There are a few people in my world who have pretty high sex drives and yet, at the same time, they aren't big on kissing (check out "Umm, What's Up With These People Who Hate Kissing?") and/or giving (or sometimes even receiving) oral sex ("Sooo...What If You HATE Oral?"). While I personally can't relate to either stance (chile), if you happen to be someone who falls into either category, something that can help in the oral sex department is flavored lubrication. Hey, I'm not playing. These days, there are all sorts of brands that taste so good that it can make going down or being gone down on a lot more pleasant if you or yours happen to be someone who is hesitant because it's just not something that you can wrap your head around (no pun).

Also, if you happen to be someone who is self-conscious about if you're doing it well or not, well, I'll put it to you this way — you're probably gonna lick an ice cream cone way better than an empty spoon. In other words, sweet skin is gonna make you way more enthusiastic and passionate than plain skin will. Feel me? Anyway, as far as letting-lube-lead-the-way goes, check out "The Wetter, The Better: 10 Creative Ways To Use Lubricant". It's a little hack that really can make a huge difference. HUGE.

Pampering

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Is it just me or does it seem like pampering and sex don't go hand in hand as much as they should? When I think of "treating with extreme care" in the context of coitus, to be honest with you, what comes to my mind is more afterplay (check out "Sure, Your Foreplay Game Is On Point. Now What About The 'Afterplay'?") than anything else because, if we're gonna be real, it's a lot easier to want to act "excessively indulgent" towards your partner when you're trying to get some. Oh, but it's next level to do it after you've already "been to the mountaintop" and nothing sounds more appealing than a nap.

So, how can you and your partner sexually pamper one another after sex? A massage. Soaking in the tub together. Giving each other a handwritten note or card that you had prepared beforehand. Feeding each other aphrodisiacs like strawberries, chocolate and watermelon. Surprising each other with "favorite thing" tokens.

Basically, by making sure that the "end" is just as sweet, special and satisfying as the beginning, that can make each sexual experience that much more endearing and memorable. It can also make both of you really excited about being with one another again…very, very soon.

Pillow Talk

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I've shared before that if you've got a man who happens to fall asleep right after sex, you really shouldn't get mad at him; that's how he was created. There is a biochemical called prolactin that's released when men ejaculate that typically results in them feeling drained and tired. Not much can be done about that. However, what I will say is a lot of the guys who I've discussed this with have told me that falling asleep is a lot easier to do when their partner decides that she now wants to talk about where the relationship is headed, what bill needs to be paid or what chore needs to be done around the house.

In other words, guys are already tapped out after sex and so, a boring or emotionally draining conversation definitely doesn't inspire them to want to keep their eyes open. So, if more pillow talk is what you're after, try and keep the topics light, crack jokes or ask if he's down to watch something fun on the tube. While there is a time and place for "deep" pillow talk, right after sex usually isn't one of them. However, if you relax and try and stay in the flow of the moment, many men are down to spoon and chat for a while. Hell, 5-7 minutes, at least. #wink

For more love and relationships, features, dating tips and tricks, and marriage advice, check out xoNecole's Sex & Love section here.

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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