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 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.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masturdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masturdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masturdating All About?
Masturdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masturdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masturdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masturdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masturdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masturdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masturdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masturdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masturdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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