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 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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