If there was anyone who could hold a master class in aging backwards it's Hollywood heartthrob Larenz Tate. Just one look at his timeless face is enough to have you scouring the internet for the secret of all secrets to his skincare routine. (By the way, it's: aloe vera, African Black soap, and Shea butter. You can thank me later.) The Chicago native has been making women everywhere swoon both on- and off-screen since the days of O-Dog and Darius Lovehall, and it doesn't seem like he has plans of letting up anytime soon.
And if you needed further proof of that, look no further than his latest indie film, Business Ethics. In it, Tate (who also doubles as Executive Producer) stars as Zachery Cranston--an ambitious and morally flawed hedge fund manager whose drive to be successful leaves him deaf and blind to the concept of ethics. Fresh out of business school, Cranston seems to have all the necessities to succeed in the finance world. That is, until his ambition lands him smack-dab in the middle of a dramatic, yet arguably illegal business opportunity that shapes up to shake the lives of everyone around him. "As we take the journey with this character, the main guy, he begins to find himself questioning, is this morally right?" Tate explains to xoNecole on a midweek afternoon. "It's something that I thought was kinda dope. Because rarely do I find scripts that come across my desk where you have a black man in the center of a predominantly white business that's dealing with financials."
He continues spiritedly, "I'm always looking for challenges. I see myself as a bit of a chameleon in terms of acting, [I want to do] a little bit of it all. And this speaks to the kinds of things that I want to do as a leading actor, as a leading male in a film."
We recently got the chance to catch up with the Power star about how he's been powering through the pandemic, the love legacy he hopes to leave behind, and how exactly he's been keeping things spicy in his marriage.
xoNecole: You've played a myriad of interesting characters over the course of your nearly 30-year career. So I’m curious: which character has been the closest to Larenz or has been your favorite?
Larenz Tate: For me, if I can just find or add a little bit of myself in each of the roles I play, in the character, then I've accomplished that. You got to put a personal touch on something, whether it's Menace [II Society], Dead Presidents, Love Jones, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, or currently the Power universe, in the spin-off show with Councilman Tate. I just try to find something that--whether you love or hate a character--I want to find human qualities that allow you to either relate to the person, or you don't want to take your eyes off the person and what they're doing. So if I can find ways to do that by bringing a little bit of my own personal touch to it or a lot of it, it's really good.
But, you mentioned what are some of my favorite characters. I think it's the movies themselves. I've been fortunate to have movies that become classics based off the fans and the quality. Take Love Jones, for instance. Such a great storyline, the characters are rich. It was refreshing to see something that we as Black folks hadn't seen before. And I think it was unique because Black people were telling the story. When we tell our stories, there's a level of authenticity that we bring to it if we are allowed to.
"When we tell our stories, there's a level of authenticity that we bring to it if we are allowed to."
I couldn’t agree more. You know Larenz, you always seem so joyful and full of good energy in almost everything I see concerning you. With the pandemic and everything going on, how have you been affected personally and mentally? If at all.
You know anytime I share interviews, my story or some of the things I want to talk about--obviously, I want to be able to inspire, to motivate through the conversations and the energy that I put out there. But by all means, I do find things to be challenging just as everyday folk that are dealing with this pandemic and a shutdown. And having to now alter what we're used to doing in our everyday lives, it's a bit of a challenge.
But for me, I always try to find my center and this is something that's always been instilled in me very early. Define your center [so that] anytime that you're thrown out of it, you can find ways to do it. Whether that's from a spiritual standpoint, whether it's from a conscious standpoint, just to be able to utilize the same tools that I've had growing up to kind of get through the tough times [is necessary]. Because these are moments where people are really being tested.
As we can see, the day-to-day routines of the pandemic can sometimes suck the magic right out of our daily lives. Especially as it relates to marriage. So, have you found any new or unconventional things that help keep you and Tomasina’s marriage spicy and exciting?
That's a very good question. You know, it's one of those things that, it's kind of like a roller coaster. There's times where things are super spicy and it's good. And it's like, all new--especially because you have the time, you know what I mean? But you have to understand when you're in a situation like mine: wife, four children, especially when they're little, trying to keep the spice can be a little challenging because there's ALWAYS children around. And it's not like we can leave them at home and go break away to a hotel or go away for days at a time because we don't really want to leave them with anyone. So you got to find different moments. For me, my wife is big on massages. So I'm giving back rubs, foot massages, you know. There's ways to kind of keep being intimate in that way. So you don't completely just go untouched, you don't want to stay disconnected.
I think massages are severely underrated. They’re definitely clutch.
Yeah, they are but we got to pick and choose our fun times. You know, I bought my wife this professional massage table, right? And all the things that a professional masseuse would have. I got the oils, I got the lavender candles and the smell-goods and all this stuff. I got all the sheets and the blankets. So we have that and I set up this really cool gazebo in the backyard that can close up. So every now and again, you know what I'm saying, I'm going to give my wife the little massage. It's happening and it's good. But my kids, man! They like, 'What's going on, what's going on behind the curtain?' (laughs).
Like, yo--y'all gotta let us live. I'm trying to break that massage table in, bruh.
How did you know Tomasina was the one?
I think it was just over time. She and I just got along. It was one of those things [to where] we just balanced each other out. [We were] compatible. And as a friend--we were very good friends. And, of course, in our dating, she was just like a solid person through and through. And I felt like I found somebody that I truly can grow with and that I'm willing to really share a life-long experience with. It was a combination of different kinds of things. She just always was solid. I saw how she was and not only how she treated me, but how she treated people that weren't around me or people in my circle.
My wife and I dated for six years before we even got married and we were just working on our friendship and our relationship. There was a certain kind of normality that was present in our relationship that didn't feel like it was under a microscope of the media or Hollywood. It was like a normal relationship. And we don't have normal lives, so if you create normality--that was important.
"My wife and I dated for six years before we even got married and we were just working on our friendship and our relationship. There was a certain kind of normality that was present in our relationship that didn't feel like it was under a microscope of the media or Hollywood. It was like a normal relationship. And we don't have normal lives, so if you create normality--that was important."
You've spoken previously on the importance of maintaining and putting friendship first in your relationship. And you kind of just touched on it again a little bit ago. What advice would you give to married couples who've lost the foundation of friendship in their marriage?
Well, I'm certainly not one to give any advice but one of the things that I realized is that friendship is really important because friends are family that you choose, right? Usually what you want to have [in your relationship] is based on unconditional friendship. So no matter what, you accept their flaws, you accept their greatness, you accept their shortcomings and missteps, but also their victories. And I feel like when you are in a relationship and that friendship is tested, it's one of those things that you have to then look back on. And for me, that was something that I always kind of, we kind of had. Our relationship just gradually grew. When you have that friendship, you are usually dealing with the true essence of the person.
And I want to add this too. One thing that I also learned was that even though your lady is your friend, your wife is your friend--she can even be your homie. She AIN'T your boy. Like, at all. You know what I'm saying? That's not her. You're wiping that. She can be your homie, she can be all that, but she ain't your boy. And you gotta keep that in mind. She's wired differently.
"Usually what you want to have [in your relationship] is based on unconditional friendship. And I feel like when you are in a relationship and that friendship is tested, it's one of those things that you have to then look back on. And for me, that was something that I always kind of, we kind of had. When you have that friendship, you are usually dealing with the true essence of the person."
How important is it to showcase the positive and the realness of Black Love to your kids?
Oh, it's important. But I got to say that, our children need to see all of us--all of who we are. You know, they're gonna see the fun couple. They're going to see the responsible couple. They're gonna see the silly couple, but they're also gonna see the couple that's very strong in terms of being disciplinary. They're going to see us talk about spirituality, they're gonna hear us cuss every now and again. Just all the facets of us. But the one thing that we make sure our children do see is that real Black love. I think it's important for my sons to see black women as the standard of beauty, as queens, as the standard of real love and just the kind of connection you should have and the respect. And the uplifting, they see me trying to be uplifting, and saying positive things. And it's the same thing with their mother towards me. There's always hugs and kisses, there's always love in this house.
We made it very clear when we start having children, we're not dealing with the nonsense and we're not going to perpetuate the kinds of things that we saw. The negativity that's passed on from couples to couples, to generation after generation.
Thinking forward to another 20 years from now, when you look back at your marriage, what love legacy do you hope it leaves?
I would love for my children and their children's children to say that our father and mother, grandfather and grandmother--tried to set an example for us. To give us the tools, to give us the principles, to give us the standards and to give us the roadmap we needed to live up to our full potential. And so I hope that in 20 years, we could continue to build on that legacy of being the best versions of ourselves.
Business Ethics is available to stream now via Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and iTunes. And for more of Larenz, keep up with him on Instagram.
Featured image via Larenz Tate/Instagram
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.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Giphy