OK, so when I sat down to write this, there were two songs that immediately came to mind — "Wanna Make Love to You All Night Long" by Lillo Thomas and "One Minute Man" by Missy Elliot (feat. Ludacris). If you're familiar with either one (preferably both), I'm sure you can get, from the title alone, why my memory was triggered by them. Because you know what? Due to my own sexual experience, the clients I work with, the random conversations that I've had and all of the reading and research that I do on the topic of sex, if there's one conclusion that I've confidently come to, it's that women don't a man who can physically have sex all night long nor do we want someone who lasts for only a couple of minutes. The ideal sex partner lands somewhere in between — and actually a lot closer to the "minute man" side than many would care to admit.
And just how much closer are we talking about? From a study that I read, you just might be surprised. Let's unpack this just a little bit further, shall we?
What’s Up with This “All Night Long” Ish?
Anyone who is a true R&B fan knows that there are literally countless songs that talk about having sex/making love all night long. Yet unless you've actually been with a partner who's attempted to make this happen, you'll never get how much something can sound great in theory and yet be annoying AF in real-time. While it might be TMI if any of you read my article "14 Lessons I've Learned From 14 Sex Partners", you already know that I kinda get down that way, so it's whatever. That said, one of those 14 is who introduced me to the revelation that some people really can go on forever…and ever…AND EVER. He wasn't small in size (check out "BDE: Please Let The 'It Needs To Be Huge' Myth Go"), he was freaky as all get out and pretty aggressive too. While when we first started having sex, it was like a true adventure, after a few months, it was more vaginally irritating and a bit like Chinese water torture, the sex version, if I'm to be completely honest. I think it was because he was so focused on going on forever that it stopped being all that pleasurable.
Hmph. Come to find out, ole' boy had a low-key cocaine habit that I didn't know about which connected the dots for all of those things. Oh, but he wasn't the only one who was like this. Another ex of mine would pull out and wait, go back in and rinse and repeat. After about an hour, I was ready to bring things to some sort of conclusion while he was acting like he had something to prove — in his mind, the longer things took, the more memorable, in the best way possible, he would be.
Yeah, you've gotta watch those guys who may not bring drug (or heavy alcohol) influence into the bedroom but instead, they go with their ego — oftentimes, they aren't having sex with you at all; they are having sex at you so that they can tell themselves how good they were…regardless of what your opinion may be.
Does that mean that I am totally against all-night-long sex? Eh. I'm not much of a fan of the literal notion of that. Meaning, I don't think I would ever want to have sex, without stopping, for more than 60 minutes or so. Now, having sex, spooning for a catnap, going at it again, spooning for a few more hours, and going at it again — oh, I think there should be a holiday for that. But thinking that a man being able to go for a billion minutes plus tax is the sign of a good lover really needs to be left in the movies — and even those are only a couple of hours long. The bottom line here — it's not only unrealistic to want a man to go all night but, if we're really honest with ourselves, a lot of us don't like it when it comes even close to happening anyway. So, what exactly is the timeframe that brings us pleasure and joy? Good question.
How Long Do Most of Us Actually Want Sex to Be?
I write about sex quite a bit on here, so while I can't recall exactly which articles, I know I've shared, on more than a few occasions, that when it comes to how long it takes a man to climax, he can do it in five minutes while it generally takes us around 20 minutes (including foreplay). Well, according to a study that was conducted last year, the time that we need has gotten down to something very specific. Apparently, what we need in order to reach a full-on orgasm are 13.41 minutes.
OK, but that's how long it takes to "see the mountain." Based on what a different study revealed, how long do most of us actually want sex to last? 25.51 minutes (do you agree?). Here is what's interesting about that, though. Another study that was published byThe Journal of Sexual Medicinestated that there is actually an ideal time for vaginal intercourse to transpire and it's shorter than both of the times that I just stated — between 7-13 minutes. Yep, according to the journal, we all should be able to get the job done (and feel all the better for it), in less time than it takes to watch half of an Insecure episode.
Is there anything that alters this conclusion? Sure. Things like the state of two people's health, what their personal preferences are and even the current state of their connection with one another could result in sex being much shorter or longer than — rounding off here — 10 minutes long. However, the bigger point (at least to me) is this kind of data is important because the belief that good sex — or a good sex partner — is someone who has to be the Energizer Bunny — you know, going on…and on…and on — is wrapped up in fallacy. Sex doesn't have to be long in order to be good. Not by a long shot.
Remember That It Should Always Be About Quality over Quantity
And this is why I think quickies should get more respect than they oftentimes do. If sex, for us, is typically preferred when it's between 7-13 minutes long, that means that morning sex, shower sex, and pulling stuff up and down when you've got a few minutes to spare in the kitchen or car— these things shouldn't be seen as sexual consolation prizes. In fact, after reading all of what I just said, there should be more reasons to treat them as top-tier activities because what all of this intel revealed, more than anything else, it's that more women are into quality sex than how much time someone takes in the bedroom (quantity).
In fact, dare I say, that the reason why those of us who want more time push for it, it's so that "he" will get more minutes (or hours…geez) to figure out what we need to get where we want things to go (if you catch my drift). Meaning, if he hits it right, we don't need an hour; we're actually extending an hour so that he can — and will.
Again, just so we're clear, I'm all about having more than one round in a night. All of these studies and what I've shared aren't talking about that. But that on…and on…AND ON one round of sex stuff? If a man says he's doing it for us, share with him this article because, according to the sourced data, something in that buttermilk ain't clean. We'd rather have 10 minutes of really good intercourse than an hour of subpar pounding. Words to live by. Lie down on too. #wink
For more love and relationships, sex, dating tips and tricks, and marriage advice, check out xoNecole's Sex & Love section here.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.
The couple met years ago at their alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, when they were still working to create the life they have now, and if you had told them then that they’d eventually tie the knot, the pair probably would’ve laughed in your face.
Today, they’re new parents, flourishing in their careers, and each others’ “teammates.” When desiring love, Dalen recommends not looking to other couples for advice. And Stacey advises staying true to what you want. “Don’t put age or limitations on love and children. If God could do it for me, why can’t he do it for you?”
Here's How We Met.
How did you meet?
Dalen: We met in 2005 when she was advising the Greek sororities and fraternities in college. She was old as hell in college, and I was a young buck (laughs). Everybody had a crush on her, but I didn’t think much of it. Then, in 2007, we were in the same grad school class, but she still wasn’t trying to see me then either. I had to catch her five years ago; I was very patient.
Stacey: Yeah, everybody in our grad school class called him Young, Fresh to Death because he was always dressed in B-school (what CAU affectionately refers to as business major classes), and we’d just wear sweatpants (laughs).
So, I know Dalen was always attracted to you. But what about you? Did your attraction to him develop over time?
Stacey: So 2006-2008 – all the years went by. I don’t think we were really thinking about each other at all back then. Years later, I had an event in Dallas, and I booked him to be a speaker. Then, a few years ago, Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: "If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you." But I still thought he was too young at the time, and he started pulling receipts. Taraji P. Henson was dating someone young at the time, Gabrielle Union–
Dalen: First of all, I didn’t do that. You did that.
Stacey: Okay, I did. I thought he was a cutie pie, but that age thing was on my mind!
"Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: 'If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you.'"
Talk to me about the first date. How did he change your mind?
Stacey: Our first date was at Tin Lizzy's in Atlanta. During that time, he was living in Dallas, so it was long-distance. But he came into town, and we just had a good time. We talked a lot, which we still do. It wasn’t anything fantastic.
Dalen: Don’t downplay our first date.
Then, walk me through your courtship. How did you get to the next level? What was that conversation like?
Stacey: I think he knew at age 43 or 44 I wasn’t playing around. But also, I think it just naturally progressed.
Dalen: Yeah, it just happened naturally. And I’m going to be honest, I don’t think initially either one of us thought it would be as serious as it was. She thought I was too young and I wasn’t ready for marriage, kids, and all that. I think we both thought we were just hanging out. But after spending so much time together, a lot of stuff started happening. Like, she had to have surgery early on. It wasn’t just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That’s why we still don’t have an anniversary date because we never really asked.
"It wasn't just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That's why we still don't have an anniversary date because we never really asked."
What made you want to commit to each other?
Dalen: The moment I knew Stacey was for me was from a phone call. I don’t really like talking on the phone, and I can be really blunt sometimes. But we were talking, and I said, ‘I don’t really feel like talking anymore.’ And she was just like, okay, and hung up. I wasn’t trying to be rude, and she understood that. It sounds bad, but that’s how I knew she just got me. I felt like she could get my random awkward moments, and she does to this day.
Stacey: For me, I liked him as a person. Even when times get rough and tough, I could still like him as a human. He is my best friend. We have time. We laugh until we cry, and it’s just always like that. Even when we get pissed at each other, something happens, and we fix it. Also, how he treats his mother. That’s a momma’s boy, but I’m a daddy’s girl – so I get it. I know how I want to be treated, and I see how he is with her and that’s beautiful.
What are some important lessons you’ve learned about yourself through loving your partner in this relationship?
Dalen: I grew up an only child and she grew up with siblings. So, when you have someone who is used to doing things by themselves, there is definitely a learning curve when you get into a serious relationship. It’s funny now, but it was definitely a process.
Stacey: I agree – definitely the only child thing. There’s times I look at him like, did you ever live with anyone else? That comes from being momma's baby, too. I have to say, my “mother-in-love” spoiled him. But also with Axel (their daughter), that brings another level of patience.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
What was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome together?
Dalen: We’ve gone through a lot within the years we’ve been together. We suffered two miscarriages – I’d say that’s the biggest.
Stacey: Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me. I was wondering if I can’t carry [a child] what that looks like for us. We had very real conversations pretty early in our relationship.
"Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me."
What do you fight the most about?
Dalen: Nagging. Stacey nags; she’s a complainer. She’s that momma that will look in a room and just hunt for something to complain about. Like, I’m worried for Axel when she's in high school.
Stacey: It’s because I like things to be in place. He leaves stuff all over the place. I can tell where he’s been in the house because something is left around. So he says I’m nagging – but it’s like, just get your stuff.
What are your love languages?
Dalen: Stacey is gifts all day.
Dalen: We’ve talked about this. xoNecole is about to cause problems in our home (laughs).
Stacey: Obviously I love you. *thinks again* It’s words of affirmation.
Dalen: That’s it.
What’s your favorite thing about each other?
Dalen: I’ve always respected her business-mindedness. That may sound superficial, but it’s not because I’ve never been with someone who thinks like me. It’s one of my most treasured things about her. I remember one day, I was just running through ideas with her, and each time Stacey had a suggestion on how I could make it better. It’s just very comforting. She takes whatever I’m doing and elevates it – including me.
Stacey: I love Dalen’s hustle and creativity. He’s been on multiple shows, and he continues to create, produce, and reinvent himself and the product he’s putting out. I love that we can create together and bounce things off each other. Even though we may be in different arenas, there’s nothing he can’t offer me great advice about. I love that drive.
Finally, how did you know it was love?
Dalen: Well – she said it – first. (laughs)
Stacey: And he looked at me and smiled! He didn’t say it back. We were on a trip, out of the country.
Dalen: We were arguing when she said it, and she just threw it out.
Stacey: But we continue to do that. We’ve spent holidays and everything outside of the country.
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In 2024, there’s tons of thought and strategy that can go into dating online. While dating apps offer a convenient space to find potential partners, it’s become more complicated by the day to know just how to land a worthwhile match at all. With paywalls, roses, and Super Likes to push past while using dating apps, a common sentiment among singles is: do these apps really want us to find love at all?
Dating hopefuls are taking time to reevaluate their approach to dating as many discussions surrounding online dating are significantly influencing user behavior, particularly among Black singles. According to Jonathan Kirkland, Head of Brand and Marketing for BLK, these conversations shape the thoughts, expectations, and actions of singles and how they engage with dating platforms.
“The Black conversation shapes up the online dating world big time. We’ve seen how discussions around inclusivity, authenticity, and cultural relevance have driven more users to [dating] platforms, where they feel represented and understood,” Kirkland tells xoNecole. “But hey, it's all about personal vibes. Instead of buying into the hype, we're all about our community creating their own stories and shifting the narrative.”
How Online Dating Discourse Shapes Gen Z and Millennial Dating Preferences and Behaviors
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Across different age groups, distinct shifts in dating preferences and behaviors have been observed. Kirkland tells us that Gen Z prioritizes authenticity, social awareness, and online connectivity, while Millennials are focused on sharing values, pursuing their aspirations, and authentically representing their cultural identity.
These changes are not only shifting how singles are approaching the app, they’re influencing the flexibility in what was once seen as “non-negotiables" in long-term desires that are now becoming plausible considerations.
In a recent survey conducted by BLK, 100% of Gen Z and Millennials who participated in the study said they'd be open to starting a family with a friend. “It’s like, life's throwing them curveballs, and they're flipping the script on what family means,” Kirkland explains.
“Gen Z sees this whole platonic co-parenting thing as a game-changer for how we do families, making things more flexible and diverse. Millennials say it's all about building up your chosen family and locking down those intentional connections. Times are definitely changing.”
As culture evolves and social norms shift, these findings show that daters across generations are embodying a sense of adaptability in order to create the life they desire and love they deserve. That’s why we’ve tapped BLK’s Johnathan Kirkland to put us onto the 2024 dating trends that will help you win at love.
On the top trends singles can look forward to in the 2024 online dating space:
“One trend is ‘dawn dating,’ where you squeeze in dates before your workday kicks off. This offers a new level of convenience and efficiency,” he explains.
“And since it's an election year, get ready for 'partisan dating.' That's where singles prefer connecting with someone who's vibing on the same political wavelength. And with so many young voters more into the issues rather than the candidates, expect some real deep convos over policy matters.”
“Plus, we’re going to see more of a focus on looking after your mental health while you're dating. Platforms are rolling out initiatives to help you build solid relationships, while also prioritizing your own wellbeing,” he adds.
On the best icebreakers to hit a conversational flow with new matches:
Kirkland says that while breaking the ice can be difficult, one way to break the ice is to throw out questions that show your genuine interest. “Ask about their passions, where they love to travel, or maybe something cool they've experienced culturally lately.”
“It’s also nice to toss in a fun pop culture question, like, ‘So, are you #TeamMegan or #TeamNicki?’ It's all about getting that convo flowing.” he suggests. "BLK recently rolled out new profile prompts in our app last year to help spark these conversations. They're little conversation starters you can display on your profile, written or even voiced, so people can slide into your DMs without any awkwardness.”
On the best practices for users looking to connect with men who have aligned dating goals and avoid hookup culture:
“Be crystal clear about what you're after. And when you're scoping out potential matches, keep an eye out for those little signs that they're ready for something serious, too. Look for hints in their profiles, like if they're talking about their future goals or if your interests and values seem to click. But it's not all about what's written down. When you start chatting, keep it real and open. Lay it all out on the table early on—no beating around the bush.”
"Be crystal clear about what you're after. And when you're scoping out potential matches, keep an eye out for those little signs that they're ready for something serious too."
He continues, “Whether it's long-term love, a casual vibe, or just making new pals. No more wasting time on matches that aren't on the same page as you.”
On the advice he’d give to users who want to give dating apps another try, but are discouraged to do so:
“Let’s be honest. Dating apps are like any other technology —they're constantly evolving. So that app you checked out last year may have added new features, cool filters, and better ways to connect,” Kirkland says.
“If you're feeling a bit anxious about diving back into the dating app world, remember this: every swipe, chat, and date is a chance to learn something new about yourself. It's all about growth and discovery. Keep an open mind, but don't forget to set some boundaries and stay true to yourself. And if it all gets a bit overwhelming, take a breather.”
He adds, “Focus on some self-care, hit up your friends for a pep talk, or even chat with a pro if you need to. Because hey, who knows? The perfect match might just be a swipe away — so keep swiping.”
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