No matter what your personal views may be on marriage (or even sex, for that matter), there is still plenty of data out in these internet streets (like here and here) that says marital sex is the best sex. Things like sexually interacting with someone who is fully committed to you, removing the self-consciousness that can come with new partners, and the convenience of being able to get it in easier than if you were seeing someone who doesn’t live with you all factor into why.
And that’s why I thought it would be a good idea to sit down and ask some married couples about what they do in their own sex lives to keep it hot — consistently so. Because whether you’re married right now, are in a relationship, or have no plans on jumping somebody’s broom but do enjoy spicing things up in the bedroom, these 12 couples (I asked both the husband and wife for insights) can give you some solid food for thought about things that can keep smiles on you and your partner’s faces each and every time you decide to get down.
Believe that, chile.
1. The Wilsons. Married 11 Years.Giphy
Husband: “We’re students of sex in our home. What I mean by that is we pick different things that we want to learn more about and act like students. A couple of weeks ago, we went down the rabbit hole of how to make our own lubricant. A couple of months ago, it was about finding condoms that my wife liked the taste of. One night last week, it was all about which positions made her c-m the fastest. People who say sex is boring are lazy. There’s too much to learn to think that way.”
Wife: “Yep. I remember one time, we devoted two weeks to me doing nothing but Kegels and him learning about how to increase his stamina. Then we did a compare-and-contrast to see if sex actually improved. We even offer prizes for those who complete their ‘homework.’ Being a student is how you become an expert — and you should definitely be an expert at pleasing your partner.”
2. The Jemesons. Married 7 Years.
Husband: "Here's a tip, ladies — a lot of us aren't 'bored' with our partner; we're drained. If we're constantly being complained to or picked on, that's gonna put us mentally out of the mood. We're big fans of having 'marriage business meetings' once a week where we talk about deep stuff and then kind of keeping it light the rest of the time. Sure, life will come up, but stressors all of the time is definitely how to keep a penis limp, especially if you constantly want to have deep conversations in the bedroom."
Wife: "It's actually something that you mentioned in a session, Shellie, that's done a lot for our sex life. Remember when you talked about having sex based on love languages? He likes dirty talk (words of affirmation), and I like a clean kitchen (acts of service). Doing what makes us feel seen and desired, even when it comes to sex, has made sex so much better."
Shellie here: Yep. I wrote an article for the platform about it. Check out "Are You Ready To Apply Your Love Language To Your Sex Life?" when you get a chance.
3. The Aldersons. Married 4 Years.
Husband: “One night a month, we stay in bed for 24 hours. Except to shower or use the bathroom, we don’t get out at all. We order food. We stay naked. We don’t even turn on the television. We either have sex or sleep — that’s it. Try it, and you’ll see why we always look forward to it.”
Wife: “There is too much information on the internet to not take advantage of it. Just like you will look up natural ways to cure a cold or how to keep your natural hair moisturized, it’s a good idea to learn about sex tips too. One of my [wife] friends had a video from a sex expert. A Black sista named Goody Howard. It was a workshop that’s all about how to give head. She invited some girlfriends over to watch it, and it was one of the best things that I had seen in a while. Knowledge is power.”
4. The Baileys. Married 11 Years.Giphy
Husband: “We go on sex dates no less than once every couple of months. It’s an actual date that’s about having sex at the end of it. Sometimes I’ll book a local hotel reservation. Sometimes she’ll plan a road trip that’s a drive away. It’s exciting because it builds anticipation and adds spontaneity.”
Wife: “I have a lingerie budget. Both my hubby and I contribute to it, and I try and make purchases every month. My man is big on seduction, but even if yours prefers you naked with not many bows and whistles, he'll still do a double-take if you’re wrapped up in something sexy — and it’s not the same thing that you’ve been wearing for years.”
5. The Jacksons. Married 20 Years.
Husband: "I once heard a quote that said something along the lines of 'If you're bored with life, you don't have enough goals.' We tie this to our sex life. Basically, we set goals that we want to achieve and then top from foreplay to sexual pleasure to doing things that we've never done before. For the most part, we try and set between 1-3 goals a month, and it's not failed us for two decades."
Wife: "Every couple needs a sex box or sex kit. Have some blindfolds, cuffs, sex toys, condiments, lube, massage candles, edible panties, and whatever else you can think of in there. I try and change our box up every season with new scents and colors of things just to keep things fresh. When he sees the box on the bed, he knows it's on!"
6. The Kings. Married 6 Years.
Husband: "My wife is my best friend, so we talk about everything — and I do mean everything. One of my favorite things about her is she's very self-confident, which means she doesn't really have a jealousy streak. And since we both had a past before each other, we're able to talk about it. When it comes to sex, what comes up is our 'best' moments — the best sex, the best head, etc. Names and sh-t like that aren't necessary, but we will talk about technique and preferences. And since I don't have to suppress that kind of stuff, she's been able to top every woman from my past…all because she's always open to talking about it."
Wife: "He's right. We chose each other, so the past isn't a threat. Too many women keep their man in fear of bringing up real needs because, God forbid, it's tied to something that happened without them. What's crazy is I think, more than anything, our sex life is so good because there are no secrets or walls. We both want to be whatever each other needs, so we both will listen to what's required to make that happen. Unconditional sharing is the ultimate foreplay."
7. The Hoffmans. Married 10 Years.Giphy
Husband: “My wife and I do sex dares a lot, and it’s just like it sounds. We’ll take turns ‘daring each other’ to try something that we’ve either never done before or haven’t in a while. Stuff like, ‘I dare you to find the wildest sex toy on the internet and ship it to your job’ or ‘I dare you to make me c -m with your feet.’ Sometimes it’s a crazy dare. Sometimes it’s a funny one. Sometimes the goal is to get off. Sometimes it’s just to have a laugh. It makes sh-t exciting, though.”
Wife: “If you don’t have a sex fantasy box somewhere in your house, you should. A lot of couples fall into a rut because they figure out what works, and they don’t do anything else. It’s been ten years, and we’re still learning about each other as far as what our imaginations are capable of. Write down your fantasies and rise to the occasion. Your sex life will never get old.”
Shellie here: Check out “This Is How To Create The Best Kind Of ‘Sex Bucket List’” for tips on how to create your own.
8. The Cages. Married 3 Years.
Husband: “Learn what gets your partner in the mood and do it. Don’t do it just so they will have sex with you; do it so they will feel sexy and safe in your space enough to want to more often. That has always been my focus with [my wife], and it has paid off in a million ways.”
Wife: “Did y’all see that swallowologist who was onLove & Marriage: DC a couple of weeks ago? It tickled me because there is actually a friend in my circle who we all consider to be one — and yes, she comes to our homes and gives us tips on how to be better at fellatio. What a lot of my married girlfriends have said is they don’t dislike doing it; it’s more that they are self-conscious that they aren’t doing a good job. If you can relate, at least ask your partner how to please him. He’ll be more than willing to break it down.”
9. The Mavericks. Married 20 Years.
Husband: “Learn your partner’s ‘spots.’ It’s not just gonna be their genitals either. My wife knows that I have a spot on my neck that will get whatever she wants out of me. I know she’s got a spot on one of her shoulder blades that brings out another side of her. D—k and p—y are predictable. Find those secret spots that only you should know about.”
Wife: “My man never knows what I’m gonna do! I might blindfold him and put different condiments on my body for him to lick off while guessing what they are. I might make a meal of nothing but aphrodisiacs and serve them naked. I might summon him to come home for lunch…so that he can eat. Keeping a man on his toes is what keeps you satisfied when you’re on your back.”
Shellie here: On the condiments tip, I’ve definitely got you covered. Check out “12 'Sex Condiments' That Can Make Coitus Even More...Delicious”.
10. The Waters. Married 17 Years.Giphy
Husband: “We always work on topping what works. Like, my wife enjoys the spooning position. What I do is try different scents, different touch points, different kinds of kisses to see what can get a different kind of rise out of her. I like head. Who doesn’t? But she will bring in ice one day, peppermint candy another — who knows? The stuff that always works only gets boring when you don’t try and find ways to make it work…better.”
Wife: “I like it when we play sex game night. There are so many sex board and card games that are out these days that they’re easy to find. One of my favorites, I stumbled on, on Etsy. It’s a sex scratch-off game [here]. We even put wagers on it like, ‘Whoever loses pays for the next date’ or ‘Whoever wins gets their sexual requests met without hesitation for the next three days.’ Married sex is the best sex when you get creative with it.”
11. The Nichols. Married 9 Years.
Husband: “Quickies are the ultimate stress release, so we’ve committed to be each other’s stress reliever. Since we both work from home, it’s nothing for my wife to shoot me a text to be like, ‘Bae, I need it,’ and I will put my calls on hold to give her some mouth or sex action. Ten minutes can totally change the trajectory of someone’s day. Don’t underestimate quickies — all forms too.”
Wife: “We also don’t get to travel as much as we’d like, so we’ll do destination themes in our bedroom. Like for Valentine’s Day, we created a winter escape with fake snow, a YouTube sound video of a snowstorm, and some candles that smell like snow. Then we turned on a fan and snuggled underneath a big comforter and some flannel sheets. Little things that change the atmosphere can be the biggest turn-on.”
12. The Baileys. Married 31 Years.
Husband: “We usually say grace before sex. Sometimes my wife looks so sexy that all I’ve got for God is ‘Good food, good meat, good God, let’s eat!’ Seriously, though, we believe that God is a huge part of our connection and that he doesn’t wait outside of the bedroom door until sex is over. People have a lot of shame about the spirituality of sex. We don’t. Asking God to bless what he gave us makes it better.”
Wife: “Besides…if it bothers you to factor in the spiritual side of sexuality, you should probably rethink either what you’re doing — or who you’re doing it with.”
See…I told you that they were going to have some gems. If nothing else, let their proven insights serve as a reminder to plan to make sex better with your own partner. Because, as the old saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. And who wants to do that when it comes to sexual pleasure, especially now that you can see how easy planning can be? Exactly.
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Featured image by Giphy
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. ;)
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.
Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and felt so deeply connected to them? Everything about the relationship was intense – good or bad? Then you might be in a part of a soul tie.
The concept of a soul tie binds individuals on a level beyond a relationship's physical and emotional aspects; it’s more than a mere connection. You can form a soul tie with anyone – lover, friend, colleague, etc.- but we are discussing romantic partners for this article. Think of you and your partner as an intensely burning flame. The flame can burn passionately to light the relationship’s way or chaotically burn everything in its path. Either way, it leaves an indelible mark on the souls involved.
A soul tie should not be confused with the term “soulmate.” The main difference is that a soul tie can be positive or negative, while a soulmate is a mutual, harmonious connection. Unlike a soul tie, a soulmate relationship is generally characterized by mutual understanding, support, and shared values.
However, the more we learn about soul ties, the more it becomes evident that they are not monolithic; they vary in nature and intensity. As someone who has experienced a negative soul tie, it is crucial to discern whether they contribute positively to personal growth or hinder you from flourishing.
If Your Soul Tie Is Positive
A positive soul tie creates a deep and affirming connection between individuals. One key indicator of a positive soul tie is effective communication. If you’re experiencing a positive soul tie, a shared understanding fosters open and honest dialogue, contributing to a sense of connection and support.
Mutual growth is another hallmark of a positive soul tie. When individuals in a relationship encourage each other's personal development and evolution, it signifies a positive and uplifting connection. This mutual support leads to an environment where both parties can thrive individually and together, contributing to the overall health of the soul tie.
Emotional security is a crucial element in identifying a positive soul tie. In such connections, individuals feel a deep sense of trust and comfort with each other. This emotional security forms a stable foundation for the relationship, allowing both parties to express vulnerability and foster a strong, positive bond. These three indicators—effective communication, mutual growth, and emotional security—underscore the positivity inherent in a healthy and affirming soul tie.
If Your Soul Tie Is Negative
A negative soul tie manifests as a detrimental and draining connection between individuals. One clear sign of a negative soul tie is the presence of emotional turmoilwithin the relationship. When the connection becomes a source of constant distress, causing emotional upheaval and hindering personal development, it indicates a negative soul tie.
Codependency is another red flag for a negative soul tie. In such connections, individuals may become overly reliant on each other, impeding their ability to thrive independently. Codependency often leads to unhealthy dependencies and can result in a toxic dynamic that hinders both individuals' growth and well-being.
A lack of effective communication is a third indicator of a negative soul tie. When there is a breakdown in communication, misunderstandings and unresolved issues can fester, contributing to a strained and unhealthy connection. In negative soul ties, the absence of open and honest dialogue can perpetuate a cycle of negativity and prevent the resolution of underlying issues. These three indicators—emotional turmoil, codependency, and poor communication—point to the negativity associated with an unhealthy soul tie.
Putting Out The Fires And Breaking Your Soul Tie
Unfortunately, my deep, intense connection only caused destruction. And despite the obvious red flags, it took a minute before I broke the connection. Why? Because I was addicted to the relationship, we both were. But it is possible to break a soul tie if and when you are ready because if you are not, pretending you are when you are not is a waste of your time.
Breaking a soul tie requires intentional and purposeful actions. Establishing clear and firm boundaries is a fundamental step in severing the connection. By limiting contact and emotional engagement with the person involved, individuals can gradually weaken the tie and create space for personal growth.
Seeking professional support is another effective strategy to break a soul tie. Guidance from therapists or counselors provides valuable insights and coping strategies. Professional assistance can help individuals navigate the emotional challenges associated with breaking a soul tie, offering a structured and supportive environment for healing.
Redirecting energy toward personal growth is important in breaking free from a soul tie. Engaging in activities that promote individual well-being and create a sense of independence allows individuals to refocus their attention on their own growth and development. This redirection of energy is essential for breaking the emotional bonds of a soul tie and moving towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.
The last step I advise everyone to go through is the mourning period. My partner and I did our song and dance for years before I walked away. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that I mourned our relationship while I healed.
Recognizing the presence and nature of a soul tie in your relationship is crucial to understanding its impact on your well-being. Whether positive or negative, the intensity of a soul tie can shape the course of your personal growth and happiness. Breaking free from a negative soul tie demands intentional efforts, from setting clear boundaries to seeking professional support. Redirecting energy toward personal growth and allowing oneself a necessary mourning period are vital steps toward healing and liberation from the intricate ties that bind.
Feature image by JD Mason/ Unsplash