Aight, y'all. Are you ready to try and tackle this topic? Where to begin…where to begin? Oh, I got it. Not too long ago, I checked out a clip from OWN's Black Love series. The couple that I was watching was Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Dondré Whitfield. As they touched on the topic of infidelity, something that Salli stated was, "Well, I said if you did something, I don't know. I'm committed. I'm just gonna have to be mad at you for a long time, torture you. As long as you didn't have another family [I would stay]." Both she and Dondré seemed pretty light-hearted about the topic, but check it—the reason why I looked it up at all is because I initially saw the clip referenced in a forum and the women were H-O-T. Salli was called everything from stupid to desperate while the assumption was made that infidelity probably already happened which is why Dondré was laughing about it. (Goodness, y'all!)
Meanwhile, I'm over here on a totally different side of the fence. One, although they were speaking in total hypotheticals, Salli and Dondré have been married 16 years so, kudos to them for even accomplishing that in Hollyweird. Two, I couldn't help but wonder how many of the commenters have never been married before because it's real easy to say what you will or won't put up with until you are in the situation—or need to be forgiven yourself for cheating (ouch). And three, as a marriage life coach, I'm here to tell you that infidelity—which oftentimes includes surviving infidelity—actually happens a lot. Shoot, at least half of the couples I've dealt with have experienced it. Sometimes it's the husband who cheated, sometimes it's the wife—many times it's both. And, a lot of them have worked through it and have thriving marriages now.
Whenever I'm asked what I think about cheating, there are three things that I typically say. One, traditional marriage vows don't only consist of "remaining faithful so long as you both shall live". Sticking it out when your partner is broke and sick, holding them down during good times and bad, remaining until death parts you are up in there too. So, when a spouse doesn't do that, is that also a form of vow-breaking (just sayin')?
Two, we all should take a moment to think about how we'd want our partner to treat us if we cheated on them; sometimes we won't extend the forgiveness and mercy that we wish to receive. Three, what I would advise a married couple vs. a dating one is very different; married people took vows, they signed on a dotted line—it's far more serious. And four, cheating has layers and perspectives. What I mean by that is actor Olivia Wilde once said, "I think that women are more sensitive to emotional infidelity than men. I think men are more scared of physical infidelity." (I think it depends on the man or woman that you ask.) Author Susan Forward once said, "When your lover is a liar, you and he have a lot in common, you're both lying to you!" Dr. Shirley Glass once said, "The new infidelity is between people who unwittingly form deep, passionate connections before realizing that they've crossed the line from platonic friendship into romantic love. Infidelity is any emotional or sexual intimacy that violates trust."
What all of this screams out is you've got to figure out where your line is. With that said, micro-cheating is a form of cheating that can help you to know exactly where your line is.
So, What Is Micro-Cheating, Anyway?
Cheating is a form of betrayal and betrayal hurts. There's no doubt about that. And just how many people are betrayed via infidelity? When it comes to cheating in a marriage, it's been reported that 23 percent of husbands have cheated while 12 percent of wives have. But I'm thinking that 1) some folks didn't tell the truth and 2) that must be related to sex because another study reveals that 45 percent of men and 35 percent of women have owned up to participating in an emotional affair. As far as micro-cheating goes, it's what I consider to be the "gateway drug" to physical and emotional infidelity. It's when you basically ride the pencil-thin line of faithfulness and unfaithfulness.
But where it gets tricky is different people have different definitions of where that line actually is. So, how about I pose some situations and scenarios and you tell me if you think that it's crossing your line or not:
- Your significant other texting members of the opposite sex
- Your significant other going out to lunch or dinner with a female friend or co-worker
- Your significant other buying a woman you don't know a present or paying one of their bills
- Your significant other communicating with women that they don't reveal to you
- Your significant other responding to non-professional or strictly platonic DMs
- Your significant other still remaining in touch with their ex (or exes)
- Your significant flirting with other people
- Your significant other dancing with other people (whether they personally know them or not)
- Your significant other exchanging PG-rated pics to another woman
- Your significant other giving their phone number to someone of the opposite sex
When you see it in black-and-white like this, now do you see why micro-cheating has the "micro" in front of it and, based on how you define cheating, it can be a bit of a hard call? That's the entire point. Sometimes, it's the itty-bitty-seemingly-harmless acts that can put a person on the path to doing some real damage to their relationship.
When It Comes to These Actions, Check the Motive and Intent
If you go to your favorite search engine and put "micro-cheating" into the search field, you'll see a good amount of articles on the topic (a pretty good one is "Micro-Cheating Could Be Ruining Your Relationship. Here's What to Do About It."). I've read—or at least skimmed—a good amount of them. The conclusion that I've come to is it's all about motive. Well, motive and if your partner is sneaking or not. What I mean by that is (for instance) not everyone who is still friends with an ex is still trying to get with them (see "Why Staying Friends With An Ex Is Okay (& Healthy)" or heck, check out Erykah Badu and Common performing together at the 2019 Black Girls Rock! show). Same point applies to your man telling a female co-worker that she looks nice or him interacting with people on his socials that the two of you haven't had a detailed conversation about.
Where it gets tricky—and by "tricky" what I really mean is shady—is if something or one comes to your attention, you address your man and he blows it off, deflects or gets defensive (also check out "This Is How To Tell If Someone's Lying To You"). Because if everything is innocent, all good and totally above board, what is exactly the problem with you asking (not accusing but asking) and him answering what's up?
But here's the deal—if he does take an issue with your inquiry, that's when we've just entered into the totally uncomfortable world of micro-cheating. And if micro-cheating goes on long enough, there's a good chance that it could transition into full-blown cheating.
What Should You Do About a Micro-Cheater?
OK, so what exactly should you do if you find out that your man is a bona fide micro-cheater? Well, it can't be said enough that it's important that you both discuss a topic like this before you get to cussin' and delving out punishments—I'm sorry, I mean consequences. Because again, sometimes cheating looks different ways to different people. While you may make it a habit to block any ex or person who flirts with you online, don't assume that everyone else processes social media interaction the same way. It's when you and he have come to a mutual decision of what micro-cheating is and he violates it that things get…strange. Because if you've both decided to not do certain things and he does, that is a form of disrespect as well as a violation and, as a novelist by the name of Patti Callahan Henry once said, "Cheating and lying aren't struggles, they're reasons to break-up."
I agree—if you're dating. Because to me, dating is a lot like interviewing someone for a position; if they are showing you that they aren't qualified, it's best to end things before getting more involved. If you're married? I'm not saying to sit and take it by any stretch. But what I would encourage you to do is at least go to counseling first. I know many people who have been disappointed by their spouse, immediately left and went on to regret it whether it was a month later or 10 years down the road (I'll be writing about that soon; in the meantime, an article that address this is "4 Reasons You Might Regret Getting Divorced Down the Line"). Marriage isn't something to enter into lightly or leave without really thinking it through. Speaking with a therapist, counselor or coach may be able to offer up an "outside looking in perspective" so that you can make a decision that you can have complete and total peace about—now and years from now.
OK y'all. It's blatantly obvious that micro-cheating is something that could be discussed for days on end. But for now, at least if it comes up in the break room at work, you'll know what folks are referring to. And, if you want to find a way to "cheat proof" your relationship, you can forward this onto your boo so that the two of you can discuss what you both think micro-cheating is—and come to a mutual conclusion, moving forward.
A wise person once said that one snowflake is the beginning of an avalanche. Apply that here and it's more one act of micro-cheating could possibly become responsible for infidelity. Now that you know what it is, don't let it. Both of you…don't let it.
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Feature image by Giphy
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy