I ain't gonna lie. Whenever I hear a married person say that sex isn't that big of a deal in a relationship, I immediately think, "So, what's up with your sex life?" For one thing, the Bible says it's a big deal (Genesis 2:24-25, Proverbs 5, Hebrews 13:4, I Corinthians 6:16-20—Matthew). It should be one of the main things that separates the kind of relationship you have with your spouse from the one you have with other people. Plus, there are way too many benefits that come from doing it (including it de-stresses you; makes you feel closer to your partner; boosts your immunity; lessens any body aches and pains you may have; lowers your blood pressure, and increases your longevity, for starters). And that's just some of the reasons why sex actually is something that should be a top priority in any marital union (that is physically capable).
We're at the top of a new year, so I figured that now would be as good of a time as any to share some of the things that husbands and wives should focus on, specifically, as it relates to their sex lives. Because while sex shouldn't be seen as the "cake" of a marriage, it should definitely be an ingredient that makes the cake good—I also think it's the icing too, chile.
1. More Prayer and/or Meditation Time Together
If you grew up in a religious household, you probably prayed, simply because that's something that you were taught to do. But did you know that there are proven health benefits that come from doing it? Praying can decrease your stress levels, put you into a better mood, make you feel more positive about life and even help you to communicate better with those around you (because once you talk it out with God, you can oftentimes gain a greater perspective with others). You know, there's a Scripture in the Bible that basically says that where two or more are joined, God is in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20). So, when you stop and ponder what prayer can do for you alone, why wouldn't you want to join into this activity with your spouse?
As far as meditation goes, it's also a practice that relieves stress and anxiety, increases your attention span, helps to make you kinder and more sympathetic towards others, helps to control pain levels and can improve your quality of sleep as well. So, if you do a form of couple's meditation, not only can it serve as a way to get more quality time in but if you it's orgasmic meditation, it can do wonders for your libido and sexual satisfaction too. If you've never heard of orgasmic meditation before, check out "What Exactly Is 'Orgasmic Meditation'?". If you want a little proof that prayer before sex goes hand in hand, check out "Ashley Graham & Her Husband Say Prayer Is The Ultimate Form Of Foreplay". Amen? Amen.
2. Sex Dates
When you're single, a big part of the reason why you go on dates is to get to know the other person better and, if you're interested in getting married, deciding if someone is a good fit for your life. After you're married, dating is about getting off of the roller coaster called life so that you and your partner can really focus on nothing but one another.
That's why I'm such a big fan of sex dates. They are dates that are super romantic and yes, have a sex theme/focus to them. While I once read that more than a date per month can turn out to be too stressful and/or expensive for married folks, who said that dates always had to be over the top? You can always plan dates at home (check out "10 Romantic Dates You Can Go On (In Your Own Home)")—and if they're sex dates, all you need is a little horniness and creativity to make at least a couple of nights a month, super unforgettable (check out "When's The Last Time You And Your Man Had A 'Sex Date'?"). How about opening up a bottle of wine this week so that you and your man can put some sex dates on your schedule. Who knows what the chat alone might lead to?
3. Bedding Upgrade(s)
While I hope that your sex life includes spontaneity (which would include getting out of your bed from time to time), since the bedroom is the most common (and oftentimes comfortable) place to get it in, make sure that you upgrade your bedding this year. For instance, when it comes to looking for sheets that will get the job done, they need to be durable (a good set should least you between 2-3 years), comfortable, able to "breathe" (so that you're not literally burning up, in the worst way possible) and easy to clean.
In a word, organic cotton. As for thread count (if you're into that sort of thing), a 400 count will feel amazing. As far as color, believe it or not, white remains the popular choice because it gives the feeling of being crisp and clean (which is why hotels use them). If you're like me and you prefer darker hues overall, there's certainly nothing wrong with that. Just remember that the darker the sheets, the easier it will be for bodily fluids to show.
4. Midday Quickies
Speaking of being spontaneous, really do your best to make 2021 the year of the quickie. Not that long passionate sex isn't the total bomb (oh, it most certainly is); it's just that there's something about hitting your partner up in the middle of the day to ask if they've got a few minutes that conveys how much you still desire them—and who doesn't want to be lusted in the absolute best way possible? I don't care if you both work from home or not, make it happen. If you do happen to be home, it only takes a man about six minutes to climax and be honest, it probably takes you longer to get a glass of juice and drink it (am I wrong?). If one of you works from an office, I'm pretty sure there's a lunch break, right (if not, that's illegal, so it's time to get a new job this year too)? Schedule a quickie in, at least once a month. It will help to relieve tension and stress, will put you in a much better mood, can actually make you more productive when you return back to work and, it can help to keep the spice alive in your relationship. All good enough reasons to strongly consider having quickies more often than you probably already do.
5. A Sex Library
The main reason why we read is to gain more knowledge and insight on different topics, right? That said, it's kind of crazy that a lot of married couples don't have more books that directly deal with the topic of sex in their house. If I were to recommend one right off the top of my head, it would beSacred Sex: A Spiritual Celebration of Oneness in Marriage (Tim Alan Gardner). Yet whether it's a sex book or maybe even a collection of sex-themed podcasts, you can create your own book or podcast club for two by choosing something to read or listen to each month (or every other month) and then having a dinner when you both discuss your takeaways from what you processed. It's just one more way to engage in quality time while also strengthening your sexual relationship.
6. Sex-Shifting Discussions
The reason why I've written articles for the site like "How Your Man Can Adjust To Your 'Sexual Growth Spurts'" and "9 Sex-Related Questions You & Your Partner Should Ask Each Other. Tonight." is because I deal with way too many couples to not get that one of the greater challenges that happen in a marriage is couples outgrowing one another while still being in love with each other. And sometimes, this happens in their bedroom. As it specifically relates to relationships, one of my favorite quotes is "people change and don't tell each other". Before long, you look up, realize you're strangers and wonder if you should get a divorce.
When you stood before your spouse and vowed (vows are promises, y'all) to be with them "for better or for worse", sometimes the "worse" is being patient throughout each other's evolutions. You won't know where each other are, sexually, without talking things through. Being more mindful of this in 2021 could save your sex life and ultimately, your marriage as well.
7. Monthly Sex Goals
If your only sex goals are to give your hubby enough to keep his mouth shut while hopefully having at least a few orgasms from time to time in the process, your bar is super duper low. Personally, I know married couples who have some really amazing-to-the-point-of-being-envious sex lives (check out "10 Married Couples Share The Keys To Their Totally Off-The-Chain Sex Life", "How To Have Mind-Blowing Multiple Orgasms. Tonight, Chile." and "What Is A Super Orgasm & How Can I Have One?"). One thing all of them say is a key to that is being intentional about having great sex.
A part of what can make this a reality for you is to set goals—ones like be more creative in February, buy some more sex toys in March and fulfill a couple of fantasies in April. While putting down some sex goals might initially seem like nothing other than one more thing for your to-do list, actually, if you break a few plans down, it can take some of the pressure off when it comes to taking your sex life to another level by making sure that both of you are fully satisfied.
8. Your Own “Position of the Month” Club
I once read that there are only six basic sex positions; that everything is some variation of those. The six include missionary, cowgirl, reverse cowgirl, doggy style, spooning and standing up. While there may be a lot of truth to that, there are books that claim there are at least 100 different twists to those positions to choose from and also articles that profess that there are close to 50. There are only 12 months in the year, so why not you and your husbands get a book and/or check out an article and select at least 12 positions that you've never tried before and add them to your monthly sex goals. It can be fun to try some new ones out, it can help to keep you and yours from getting into a sex rut and it can definitely help you both to discover new and exciting ways to get each other off.
9. Going to Bed at the Same Time
Did you know that as much as 75 percent of married couples don't go to bed at the same time? For some, it's because they have opposite work schedules (which is totally understandable). Others don't because if their spouse goes to be earlier than they do, that gives them a few precious moments alone. I get that too. But if you and yours aren't doing so "just because", you might wanna rethink that in the new year. Putting forth the conscious effort to turn in together, at least three times a week, gives the two of you the opportunity to engage in pillow talk, to cuddle and perhaps, well…who knows what that could lead to?
Another interesting article that I read said that it's right around the three-and-a-half year mark that husbands and wives start to take each other for granted; this includes not sleeping together (in the literal sense). It's hard to stay anywhere where you're not appreciated, no matter how sincere you were when you took your vows. So again, turning in together is something that should be made a top priority in 2021. It could help to prevent a sexless marriage or worse—a divorce up the road.
10. A Wedding Night Do-Over
As I said in the intro, from a spiritual perspective, sex is important. The Good Book says that it is a physical act that makes two people one (Genesis 2:24-25, I Corinthians 6:16-20—Message). From a legal angle, you're not even considered to be "all the way married" until you actually consummate. Yet guess how many couples (on average) DON'T have sex on their wedding night? A whopping 52 percent. Amazing how the color of napkins at the reception can be prioritized but coitus, for whatever the reason, for so many, isn't.
If you happen to be someone who didn't have sex on your wedding night or, you did but it honestly wasn't as great as you thought it was going to be, the beautiful thing about the present is, while you can't change the past, you can create a bit of a do-over. Get together and plan to have a wedding night do-over. Even if you can't get to the exact location where you spent your first night together, you can recreate the atmosphere with a few decorations and some sexy lingerie. A lot of couples feel much closer after taking a walk down memory lane. By wanting to add more to this particular memory, it can be very sweet, very thoughtful and hot AF too (by the way, even if your wedding night was fab-u-lous, you can still get in on this). Here's to a new year of some of the best sex possible, married folks. ENJOY!
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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.
There are moments on our health journey when our bodies are bugging us to hit the reset button.
With life, we can start to see slips in our diet, irregular exercising, and inconsistent sleep schedules, and our mental health can suffer because of it. But what many people come to find is that with just a few adjustments — as opposed to restrictions — being made to their food intake, we can see a focus more on eating “the right” calories and less on being on a restrictive diet.
"Raw Till 4" is a dietary concept and lifestyle associated with the raw vegan and high-carb, low-fat vegan (HCLF) movements. Created by Australian blogger and YouTube star known as 'Freelee the Banana Girl', the method suggests eating raw, uncooked plant-based foods until 4 p.m. each day and then having a cooked, vegan meal in the evening.
The Raw Till 4 lifestyle follows the guidelines of vegan and rawist eating and involves consuming fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains in an uncooked, natural state until the designated time of 4 p.m. or around one’s typical dinner time. After 4 p.m., a cooked vegan meal is consumed, which may include foods like steamed vegetables, grains, legumes, and plant-based sources of protein like tofu or tempeh.
On TikTok, creator Adina Yaffa is repopularizing the trend, sharing how it’s helped to improve digestion, boost energy levels, and support weight loss.
Replying to @🌜kat🌛 here is what I eat in a day on a raw till 4 lifestyle. I eat with the sun and according to the circadian rhythm that out bodies follow on a typical day. Where i drink liquids during the first 8 hours, then juicy fruits, then smoothies, more dense building fats, proteins and veggies! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass #rawtill4
“During the hours of 4 a.m. and 8 a.m., your body is in an elimination phase and needs all the help it can get,” Yaffa says in the clip. “So what you’re going to do is drink coconut water, citrus juices, and green juices during this time, and around 8 a.m., you can break your fast with some fruit. I suggest juicing fruits, and then after that, I suggest having a smoothie or a bowl with berries and granola so you can get your fats and healthy proteins in.”
Raw till 4 has so many benefits including better digestion, nutrients, belly fat and bloat elimination, snatched waist, more energy and so much more! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass
On the official Raw Till 4 website, Freelee the Banana Girl shares tips on how to get the best outcomes of this lifestyle change, which include:
- “Stay hydrated! You should pee about 8-12 times per day, and your urine should be clear. Drink 1 liter of water when you wake up in the morning, and 1 liter of water about 30 minutes before each meal for optimal results.”
- “Fragmented sodium (salt) should be kept to a minimum. Use herbs, lemon juice, etc. wherever possible in place of salt.”
- “Eat unlimited calories at every meal, no restriction. The majority of your calories each day should come from fruit. Don’t under-eat on fruit during the day or 'save up' your calories for dinner time. RT4 is about abundance at every meal.”
- “Move your body daily. Find an activity you love and make it your playful exercise.”
- “Make sure to get lots of rest, relaxation, and good sleep. Learning to incorporate good rest, early nights, and regular sleeping patterns into your life will greatly improve your overall health.”
- “Practice gratitude and peaceful emotions at mealtime, and get a vision book started! Be sure to enjoy this journey. Focus on long-term health instead of short-term results.”
Critics argue that it can be challenging to get all the necessary nutrients from a raw vegan diet and that it may not be suitable for everyone, especially over the long term.
As with any diet, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making significant dietary changes to ensure that it meets your individual nutritional needs and health goals.
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