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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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. ;)
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.
The face of tennis is changing, and it’s about time. Over the years, if you were asked to name any Black tennis player, two would come to mind: Serena and Venus Williams — and rightfully so. But as new tennis sensations like Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka rise to fame for their athleticism and tenacity, it’s clear that there’s a new era of tennis taking shape to bring forth a fresh take on representation and reclamation on the courts.
For that reason alone, there’s no better time than now for Black Girl Tennis Club co-founders Virginia Thornton and Kimberly Selden to lead the charge of making tennis more accessible to Black women and girls so the next Serena and Coco can emerge.
What began as your everyday lunch chat between friends to discuss their mutual dream of owning a boutique hotel turned into a proposition to start a tennis club together. With Virginia being a tennis player since adolescence and Kimberly entering the sport as a hobby in her adult life, the two jumped at the idea of making a space where Black women could discover a new hobby and not feel like the “only one” on the tennis court.
“The club kind of started for selfish reasons, but not in a bad way,” Virginia tells xoNecole. “We realized that there was actually a need for this.”
Kimberly adds, “Now we're literally disrupting a whole industry. We didn't plan it, but it felt divine; like we were called to do this. Black Girls Tennis Club has been a catalyst for personal growth in all areas of life, and we would have never anticipated that.”
Since establishing the Black Girl Tennis Club in 2022, the two have made it their mission to cultivate a space for “Joy Equity and Radical Wellness.” Their platform serves as a means to inform, inspire, motivate, and reshape the narrative around Black women and girls in the tennis world while highlighting the transformative power of sports and play for liberation.
With approximately 78% of tennis players being white and only 6.8% being Black, and the average cost of a private tennis lesson being $60 per hour, racial and economic disparities within the sport are vast. To help close this gap, the two founders have banded together to develop free tennis instruction clinics for girls aged 8-18 and local tennis events that bring adult offerings through programs like the Self Love Tennis Club and Cardio Tennis Classes to HBCU campuses in Virginia.
Both Virginia and Kimberly understand the power of their mission and believe that they were brought on each other’s path to execute it together. “It’s the power of alignment,” Kimberly says. “I think when you're doing the right thing and you're obedient, and answer the call, that’s when things start to happen, and the universe conspires to make them happen.”
We caught up with the founders to discuss their mission, the importance of representation, and how they plan to disrupt the tennis industry one court at a time.
xoNecole: Could you talk a little more about your CARE pillars with change, access, representation and exposure?
Kimberly Selden: As we started to do the work, we saw that there were so many equity issues. Although we knew from our own personal experiences that there are barriers to tennis being an expensive sport, we just acknowledged it as the culture of tennis. Because it's predominantly white, that transfers over to the fashion, the dynamics on the court, the attitudes, and the mindset. And so we knew this required a culture shift for us to ever really feel comfortable.
We were exposing kids to tennis, and then after the clinics, they're like, "Okay, now what?" It's still expensive, and they still may or may not have had access to it if they're not with us. We don't want to just pop in like, "Hey, here's a clinic, bye!" So, the culture change is just a reflection of what our existence looks like. Access is about being able to access the sport through courts, programs, or a coach. Representation is that we can't believe it until we see it.
Granted, there are a lot of pro Black women tennis players taking off, and we love that. But we think about media representation as well [as] representation within the USCA, in the boardrooms, and the people that are making the rules around the game.
xoN: Why do you all think it’s important for Black women and girls to reclaim their space on the tennis court?
Virginia Thornton: It's rare, at least in my world, where you're in a space and see nothing but women who look like you. But it makes me feel great when I can be my authentic self, especially on a tennis court. Just shedding all the weight of pretending to be anything else. You feel at home when you're around nothing but Black women. Even small things like seeing a young Black girl being okay with how God made them is amazing.
KS: [In] the Atlanta clinics we did, everyone was crying. It's just clear how desperately we need it. Connection is the key to a long life. So many of us — especially from the pandemic and working from home — are isolated. With every clinic, it's just fun to be there, and it just fills you up. I think people need hobbies. I think a lot of people, especially people in big cities, feel that way and were confronted with that during the pandemic.
xoN: How did sports play a role in helping you two find your voice and confidence both on and off the court?
VT: I think what people don't realize is that tennis is such a mental sport. You could be a 4.0 player and have a bad mental day, and you will play like you've never picked up a racquet before. So, the mental piece is super important. For me, it's like ‘you against you,’ even though you are playing somebody.
If you're able to work through those mental pieces with yourself on the court, that will translate off the court. I had an issue on the court where I have a habit of saying, "Sorry," — I think a lot of Black women do, honestly. Then I realized that they wouldn't say sorry or they’d use my kindness as weakness. I've learned a lesson in that because everything translates on and off the court.
"If you're able to work through those mental pieces with yourself on the court, that will translate off the court."
KS: It's easy for me to do things that I'm good at, but it's not easy for me to do things that I'm not good at. Tennis is still challenging for me, but it pushes me. It’s a reality check for me; I know when things are aligned, and when they're not. It feels like a big metaphor for me because it's pushing me to do something that's uncomfortable and makes me work for myself more.
xoN: What do you hope the long-term impact of Black Girl Tennis Club will be?
VS: We want to have a space for people who might be workaholics or might be going through depression. It's always great to have a hobby, whether that's knitting, sewing, or what have you. For me and Kimberly, it’s about creating hobbies for Black women and girls but also knowing that it’s okay to not be amazing at it. You don't have to be amazing at tennis; you could hit around the court, and that's okay.
The next Serena or Venus might come from Black Girls Tennis Club.
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