I got my start as an entertainment writer. Let me tell you, if you're someone who's super caught up in celebrity culture, do not get into the celebrity business—in any realm. You will learn quick, fast, and in a hurry that many celebs can be a real trip in ways that you would never imagine (girl…girl). If you add to that gig, my current role as a marriage life coach, I'm really not keen on speaking super confidently about people I don't personally know; especially not ones who are famous. I don't care what their IG posts look like or what some article said—unless you know them…you don't.
What I will say is sometimes, if you pay really close attention, what you can feel is a vibe. And y'all, when I watched Barack and Michelle Obama at the inauguration for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, I won't lie—one of the first things I thought was, "Now that's a couple that seems to have a sexy marriage." Again, I don't know them yet their energy just seemed to exude excitement (sexy), appeal (sexy), and that they probably, let's say really enjoy spending quality time together (you feel me?).
That's what we're going to explore today—how to have a sexy marriage. Because, when two people make the decision to cultivate a covenant and spend the rest of their lives together, let's be real—yes, the union should be rooted in things like love, respect, and honesty, but y'all, it should be one that is also super sexy—hot, inviting, mature, seductive and sensuous—too.
1. Make Your Bedroom a Sacred Space
My married friends know that I have a personal rule when it comes to their bedroom—I try my hardest to never go into it. It's not that I've been asked not to (by anyone, ever). It's just that, I feel like if there's one place where a couple should feel is totally theirs, the bedroom would be it. And since I totally agree with interior decorators who say that bedrooms are only for sex and sleep—why do I need to be in their boudoir just casually chopping it up or laying across where folks "engage" when there are plenty of other rooms in the house?
Whenever I do my counseling sessions with engaged or married couples, I share this point. Even when it comes to your kids, why do they need to be all up in that area all of the time? If you treat your bedroom as a sacred and sexy space, one that is just for the two of you to share, it will be easier to have that kind of attitude and energy whenever you walk into it.
See, the problem is, a lot of folks don't feel sexy in their bedroom much because it's also an entertainment room, the children's playpen, and a mini-office. Try and switch that up by only sleeping and sexing in there—then decorate your space in a way that conveys that point. I'm pretty sure your sexual desire will go up a few notches once you do.
2. Refuse to Separate Your Sexuality from Your Spirituality
Something that I personally think makes sex so powerful is it involves every part of you—mind, body and spirit. On the spiritual tip, that's why I've written articles on the site like "7 Signs You're Spiritually Compatible With Someone" and "Bible Verses That Remind Married Couples To Explore Their Erotic Sides"—they're both reminders that the more spiritually connected you feel with your partner, the better the sex will be. Pretty much, automatically.
Back when we published the article, "Ashley Graham & Her Husband Say Prayer Is The Ultimate Form Of Foreplay", some people made fun of it. Me? I was totally down because I am someone who believes that marriage is a spiritual union and since I also believe that a Higher Power plays a role in the relationship and since the Bible shouts out sex quite a bit (Genesis 2:24-25, Proverbs 5, I Corinthians 7:5 and all of the Song of Solomon, for starters), why wouldn't it be smart to incorporate sexuality and spirituality? If that's in the form of "thank you for what we are about to partake of", so be it. If it's spending time in nature with your partner, so be it. If it's coming up with your own rituals, so be it.
Sometimes sex is treated so casually and flippantly that folks struggle with seeing copulation as a spiritual act. Ask married folks who have a fulfilling sex life and I'm willing to bet good money that they absolutely do. Sex can be so powerful that it transcends the physical. Can I get an "amen"? Exactly.
3. Cultivate a “Sexy” Morning Routine
I already know. Some of y'all are like, "Girl, please. I'm good to get out of bed and get to work on time without adding something extra on my plate." I hear you, but setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier, at least three times a week, can make it easier to engage in pillow talk, devotional time, orgasmic meditation, a quickie or even a shower together. And I don't know ANYONE who doesn't have a better day when it doesn't start off with some form of intimacy. Don't knock it until you've tried it, chile.
4. Give Each Other Random Sex Love Language Presents
It's pretty common for couples (especially wives) to say that after a couple of years of marriage, they don't feel "wooed" anymore. You know what's really a trip about that? Many spouses never really make a point to sexually woo their partner at all. While some are great at foreplay (and praise the Almighty for that!), the art of seducing their boo, well before it's time to get it on and in, tends to be a rarity. One way to make yourself exceptional in this case is to randomly send your partner sex gifts/tokens in their own love language. It doesn't have to be anything expensive or super extravagant. It's just a way of letting your partner know that they still turn you on and oftentimes, you're thinking about just how much.
For instance, if their love language is words of affirmation, maybe it's a blank card with all of the things that you find sexy about them being written inside. If it's quality time, plan a sex date. If you check out the article, "Are You Ready To Apply Your Love Language To Your Sex Life?", hopefully it can provide you with some additional clarity and inspiration. The best lovers can entice their partner, well before they step foot into any bedroom. That's not an opinion. That's a straight up fact.
5. Have Annual Couple Photos (Professionally) Taken
Not too long ago, I was looking at some pictures that a Black photographer took of a Black couple. Whew.Black love? There is absolutely nothing like it. Anyway, what tripped me out is the man and woman were a rich velvety chocolate complexion and while they were fully clothed, the way that they looked at each other was intense AF which made the photos really sexy.
Sadly, some couples don't have any formal pictures other than the ones that they took on their wedding day. Being intentional about having some professional shots taken, on an annual basis if you can, it can help to document your love journey. And, if you blow a few of 'em up and display them, they can remind you of why you and yours fit together so well. And how can you not be turned on by that?
6. Dress Up and Go Out Sometimes
When's the last time that you and your man dressed up for a date? I don't mean that you put on some business casual attire for some random work event where your partner was your plus one. I mean dressing up to the nines and having a date that consists of next-level romance? Something that can cause a lot of sex lives to suffer is the lack of excitement and anticipation. One way to build that back up is to dress up and go out sometimes. I mean, really dress up. Sexy undergarments. Garter belts. Expensive heels. Your very best freakum dress. Him in that suit.
Years ago, I interviewed some men about what really turns them on. Something that many of them agreed on was they like the layers of us—even when it comes to an outfit. Being able to be totally turned on by something we have on and then fantasize about what we look like after each piece is removed was extremely hot to them. At the same token, us being out with our man when he's in a tailored suit, with a manicured beard, fresh haircut and he's talking seductively to us while we're having a candlelit meal or slow dragging on a dance floor? How can that not be sexy? Stop playin'.
7. Create (and Grow) a Sex Drawer
I'm pretty sure that one of those nightstands in your bedroom is full of nothing but junk. Let this be the year when you throw all of those old rollers and random paper clips out so that you can make room for a full-on sex drawer. These are dope because they make having spontaneous sex (which is also a way to make your marriage sexier) easier. And just what should go in said drawer? Flavored condoms (for oral sex). Some throat spray (also for oral sex; click on a popular brand here). Lubrication. Sex toys. Fragrance-free baby wipes (if you wanna do a quick clean-up). A few water bottles (sometimes our breath is a little tart, simply because our mouth is a little dry). Some breath mints. A blindfold and some wrist ties (and/or handcuffs). Massage oil (check out "Blow Your Man's Mind By Giving Him This Tantalizing Massage"). A sweet sex condiment like maybe a small jar of honey (did you know that honey never expires?) or chocolate syrup. And anything else that your imagination can come up with (that will fit in there). Then all you've got to do is reach over, pull something out and you're all set.
8. Foreplay Flirt
It takes men five minutes (on average) to climax? For us, it's around 20. You know what that means—the longer the foreplay, the greater the chance is to have an orgasm and to have an intense one, once it happens. However, the key to having a sexy marriage isn't just about participating in foreplay a few minutes before sex goes down. Flirting around with it is an art form too. Sext your partner in the middle of the day. Drop little random notes with inside jokes in them. Wear your partner's favorite color or scent. Go commando sometimes on dates. Send them a sexy photo. You know…flirt. And since it's your man, take it up a notch on how risqué you get with the flirting. My favorite OG couples can still get a hearty "eww" outta me because they are gonna pinch each other's butts and make sexual gestures whether I'm in their presence or not. There is something that is really sweet about that. Nasty (in the best way possible) too.
9. Cook Aphrodisiacs-Only Meals Together
Cooking at home on the regular is not only healthier and more cost-effective, it can do wonders for your relationship too. Cooking together gives you and your man time to get some quality time in. It helps to de-stress the both of you as you cultivate some special memories. And, depending on what you decide to prepare, the atmosphere that you set—along with what you choose to have on while you cook your meal—it can definitely make the experience pretty damn erotic too.
For example, how about dressing up in some lingerie (you) and silk boxers (him) and eating an aphrodisiacs-only meal? Or, you can make dessert the aphrodisiac focus by maybe cooking up some chocolate fondue, baking some pomegranate tarts or making a cheesecake with fig slices on top? You serve that with the right libido-boosting warm drink and how could cooking not be a sexy delight?
10. Toast Each Other with Body Shots Every Once in a While
In a few articles, I have shouted out the importance of couples toasting each other. I dig a good toast—not just because it's an opportunity to drink a little alcohol (wink) but because it can be an "official" way to salute your partner and publicly declare what you appreciate about them. That said, if you want to take things up a notch sexually, swap out the champagne flutes for shot glasses. State something that turns you on about your hubby. Then pull out some Patrón (or whatever your favorite kind of tequila is), slice up some limes, let him pour a little salt on whatever erogenous zone he chooses (so long as it's not his genitalia; that could sting!) and then you lick off the salt, take the alcohol shot and take the lime slice from his mouth. Make it an erotic game by seeing who can come up with the most affirmations while also being able to consume the most shots without getting too woozy. Anyone who knows about how Patrón works can vouch for the fact that you're in for a pretty wild night if you keep it up!
11. Be Open to Taking Sexual Risks
Hey, no risk, no reward. Some of us struggle with the idea of taking a risk, even in the bedroom, because what immediately comes to mind are words like "danger" or "injury". Yet remember, you're not with some random dude off of the street—this is the man who you love and who wants to enjoy pleasing you and being pleased by you. So yeah, talk about your fantasies, make a sex video sometimes, do "that thing" you've always wondered about but have always been too shy to try. Taking risks can oftentimes boost one's confidence (including sexual confidence) and the more confident you are, the better sex always is. And a healthy sex life plays a huge role in a healthy marriage.
12. Don’t Forget About Your Sex Jar
I remember when I first got introduced to the concept of a sex jar. I saw a picture of one on Pinterest and immediately, I was like, "Now, that is the business!" If you've never heard of one before, the long short of it is, for every time you and your partner have sex, you put money into a jar. After six months to a year, you then decide to spend it on something that is specifically for you and yours like a romantic vacation, a night at a hotel or a really high-end date—something along those lines (for more info, check out "5 Reasons Why Every Married Couple Needs A Sex Jar").
One of my favorite things about the sex jars is what you can do with your earnings, really does depend on—you know what it depends on. Investing in your own sex jar is a cool way to hold you and your partner sexually accountable. Wanna find more money to hang out? Get into that bedroom, drop a couple of dollars each time and watch your dreams come true. The dream of spending more time together and, hopefully, the dream of doing even more to make that marriage of yours…even sexier.
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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. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Victoria Monét has had an incredible year. Thanks to the success of the widely popular “On My Mama” that went viral, the singer/ songwriter’s Jaguar II album debuted in the top 10 of Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart. She also went on to headline her own sold-out tour. So, when the MTV VMAs happened in September, everyone was surprised to learn that Victoria’s team was told that it was “too early” for the “Smoke” artist to perform at the award show. However, a couple of months later, the mom of one received seven Grammy nominations, including “Best R&B Album” and “Record Of The Year.”
Victoria is currently in London and stopped by The Dotty Show on Apple Music and shared how she feels “validated” after being dismissed by the VMAs.
“It really does feel nice and validating because, in my head, the reason why I wanted to be a performer at the VMAs or award ceremonies like that is because I felt like I am at the place where I should. I would work really hard to put on the best show that I could, and I was excited to do so,” she said.
“And I guess the best way to describe it for me is like when you're like on a sports team, and the coach is like, ‘No, you gotta sit this one out.’ When they finally put you in, and then you score all these points, and it feels like that feeling. You're like, yes, I knew it wasn't tripping, but I knew I worked hard for this, and so it's been super validating to just have these accolades come after a moment like that, and I know the fans feel vindicated for me.
While her fans called the VMAs out on their decision, the “Moment” singer kept it cute and is still open to performing at the iconic award show. “I feel no ill towards them because it's just maybe that's just truly how they felt at the time, but I hope their mind has changed,” she admitted.
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