As a relationship writer and a marriage life coach, a part of my job is to ask questions; sometimes, it's really intimate questions. And, after hearing a few couples that I work with express some of the things that they wish their partner would change in the bedroom, that got me to thinking that it would be a great piece for the site. Because, after all, sexual dissatisfaction—or sexual pet peeves—on some level, is pretty much something that 98.9 percent of us can relate to. The challenge was, finding a group of people who were ready and willing to bear their coitus gripes out of front street, on such a public platform. Oh, it took some doing, believe you me. But after getting a few referrals from friends of friends and agreeing to share people's middle names instead of first ones, I got it. I got 8 men and 8 women to share with me what they wish their partner would stop doing in bed.
Many of them actually said that, just by voicing their concerns, it felt sexually liberating in a way; it made them want to discuss their issues with their partner more. And honestly, that's what I'm hoping that reading this will do for you. Nothing really goes away by internalizing your frustrations or hoping that someone will catch the hints or side-eyes that you throw. Besides, great sex is all about healthy and consistent communication, right? If you want your partner to stop—or start—doing something, you've gotta let 'em know.
So, without further ado, here are 16 individuals sharing some of the things that they wish their partners would quit doing in the sex department, based on eight different categories. Get a glass of wine. This should be pretty good.
1. When It Comes to Initiating Sex
According to a survey of 4,000 Americans, 22 percent of women say that they rarely, if ever, initiate sex while 13 percent of guys fell into the same category.
Janelle, 26. "I bet a lot of women can relate when I say that I have no problem getting my hubby to initiate sex. Problem is, he misses signals about when I'm initiating or not. Don't let a sistah put her head in his lap while watching a movie or kiss him on the neck while he's cooking. Automatically, that seems to be his cue for 'it's on'. Don't get me wrong, the sex is unmatched. But if there is anything that I wish I could get my husband to stop doing, it's thinking that affection automatically means sex. It doesn't."
Isaiah, 42. "Women can send some of the most mixed signals, I swear. They want to be treated as equals and I totally get that. But then it should be automatic that a man pays for every date, proposes and initiates sex because 'that's a man's job'? So, when do we lead and when don't we? Aren't there some double standards here? I've been in a relationship for a couple of years now and, while she's 'a boss' in every way, when it's time for sex, she thinks that it's a given that I should initiate because 'I'm the man'. What the hell? Guys want to feel wanted just as much as women do. And, nothing turns us on and actually shows that a woman is taking control more than when she initiates sex."
2. When It Comes to Kissing
"Interestingly and perhaps depressingly, people in monogamous relationships were less likely to kiss their partner during their last sexual encounter: just 61% of coupled-up people said they kissed their partner the last time they had sex."—"Why Some People Don't Like Kissing During Sex (Yes, It's Normal)"
Alexis, 31. "I can't tell if [name omitted] is a good kisser or not. Sometimes he comes off as being passionate, then sometimes it's like he's trying to put his whole tongue down my throat. I'm not trying to put him out there or anything. Most times, I think I like how he kisses. But I do wish that he would pick up on my cues more. Like if I grab his face, that means I need to pull back or if I'm dead silent, that usually means this isn't working…or I can barely breathe." (LOL)
Roosevelt, 40. "I don't know where my partner came from, but she's one of those women who hates to kiss. I'm the kind of man who is all about it so, while her sex game is super on point, this 'no kissing thing' that she's got going on could end up costing her our relationship."
3. When It Comes to “Presentation”
Did you know that,reportedly, 86 percent of men care what a woman's underwear looks like, most of them prefer when bras and panties match, and only 12 percent of men actually dig thongs?
Melina, 45. "My man is great with hygiene and manscaping. But I'd like it if he'd wear something sexy more often. Some boxer briefs in my favorite color would be perfect. Girl, I don't even know if that man knows what my favorite color is…I'll have to ask him."
Karu, 24. "What we think is sexy isn't always what y'all think is. Like, I'll get my lady something that I want to see her in and she might wear it once or twice. But then she's always coming to bed in the same T-shirts and boy shorts or something that was leftover from her bridal shower [they are newlyweds by the way] that doesn't really turn me on. Maybe I don't get the whole lingerie thing, but are you guys wearing it for you or for us? If it's supposed to be for us, let us pick it out more. We know what turns us on."
4. When It Comes to Foreplay
According to a study that consisted of 152 heterosexual couples, most women said that they wanted 19 minutes offoreplay (but would settle for seven) while most men said they desired 18 minutes of foreplay (but would settle for eight).
Krysten, 37. "It's like having pizza every day. Pizza is one of my favorite foods. Eating it every day is eventually going to make me hate it. My husband is foreplay pizza. The foreplay is long and sensual and passionate, but he needs some new tricks in his bag. I just don't have the heart to tell him and, I'm definitely not gonna forward him this article."
Fredrick, 28. "I don't know if a lot of women know just how bad they are at foreplay. It's like Valentine's Day. Everyone assumes that the guy should get his lady something but it's cool if she does nothing. Just because we cum quicker, that doesn't mean we just want to be kissed on the mouth and then put it in. I've been with my current girlfriend for about six months now. She wants 20-30 minutes of foreplay. Meanwhile, she thinks that if she licks my dick for 30 seconds, she's done something. We have erogenous zones too. Damn."
5. When It Comes to Oral Sex
"Performing oral sex has long been a sign of intimacy and trust between lovers and the importance of oral sex in a relationship hasn't wavered. 72% of women and 85% of men say they think oral sex has a place in every bedroom and the performance of it shouldn't taper off as the years go on."—"The success of an affair depends on the amount of oral"
Jelena, 30. "Why do guys assume that, just because they are down there that they are actually doing something? Or worse, that what works with the chick before me is gonna work on me? My guy is great when it comes to intercourse but he kinda sucks at oral. Whenever I try and guide him with my sounds or words, his ego takes over and he acts like the faster his tongue moves, the quicker I'll cum. I hate fast tongues. Slow the f—k down. Ugh. Like, for real."
Thomas, 48. "I wish that sometimes my wife would swallow. We've been married for six years now and I think it's happened, what, five times? She's tried to explain to me that between the speed of it coming out and its texture, she just can't get into it, but I wonder how she would feel if I declined going down on her for similar reasons. Women talk about how selfish men can be in bed but some of you can be a real trip too."
6. When It Comes to Intercourse
LELO's "Are You Satisfied With Your Sex Life Survey" (which consisted of 10,000 participants), 31-40 year-olds are having the most sex; doggy style (50.1 percent), cowgirl (38.24 percent) and then missionary (34.66 percent) are people's favorite sex positions; 32.46 percent of individuals would like a dominant sex partner and, 29.26 of people said that their sex life is good.
Zipporah, 24. "Is it just me or is slow and deep so much better than that fast jerky movement stuff? And why do so many men think that all Black women love doggy style? I don't. My man thinks that because his dick is big that is stroke is hot. It's a crap shoot, honestly. What I do like is he's gonna make sure that I get mine, even if it's just with oral. But you asking me this is giving me the courage to tell him that ramming me 60 miles per hour while asking me if I like it ain't the business. I'd take off about two inches of his dick if it would make him switch his stroke up a bit."
Phelan, 40. "Faking it is stupid. Only young boys and selfish assholes can't tell when you are doing it. You do know that your muscles actually contract in there, right? I've been having sex for a long time now and, only one of my girlfriends never faked it. We had the best sex too. The woman I'm with now? I think she's too tense to not fake her orgasms. She's also super self-conscious, so I'm trying to figure out how to either get her to stop [faking it] or get her to cum. Preferably both."
7. When It Comes to Afterplay
In a study that consisted of both men and women discussing the importance of foreplay, intercourse and afterplay, women found foreplay to be most essential while men valued intercourse the most. At the same time, women desired more foreplay and afterplay overall.
Enara, 33. "OK, this is hilarious right here. Do guys even know what afterplay is? While my man is good for some spooning after sex, I already know not to expect much more than that. It kinda pisses me off, but since the sex is straight fire, I figure it's the concession that I have to make."
Stefan, 29. "Are deep talks about feelings a definition of afterplay because that is my girl's go-to every single time. Listen ladies, after we've had a good orgasm, all we want to do is sleep. You know that teacher from the Charlie Brown cartoons? That's how you sound when you come at us about where the relationship is going and how we feel about your commentary. We can't hear what you're saying. The sex was great. Let's talk about it when we're not naked and in this wet spot, please." (By the way, if you don't get his Charlie Brown reference, you can check out a clip here.)
8. When It Comes to Frequency
"According to a Kinsey Institute study from 2017, 34 percent of married couples are having sex two to three times per week; 45 percent a few times a month; and 13 percent only a few times a year."—"But Seriously, How Often Do Couples Have Sex?"
Oni, 36. "I want to have sex more than my partner does. While he's down for 2-3 times a week, I'd prefer to double that number. I've told him that the compromise should at least be that I get more head. We're negotiating that."
Donnie, 40. "A lot of men want sex as much as they can get it, but you know what? If we just know that our partner wants to more than a once a week, that can tie us over, even if we can't get any. That's a secret from the man cave, ladies. Use that wisdom wisely."
Welp. There you have it. 16 people sharing what they would like to be done differently in the bedroom. Whether or not you can relate, use this as the inspiration you need to praise your partner where they are great and to open up where you'd like to see some improvement. Again, communication is key to totally off-the-chain sex. Make sure that you use it.
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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. ;)
In xoNecole's series Dope Abodes, we tour the living spaces of millennial women, where they dwell, how they live, and the things they choose to adorn and share their spaces with.
Annisa LiMara has called this space her home for two years. Her Atlanta sanctuary, which she aimed to give the look and feel of something you'd see in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest, embodies her vision of "stunning, yet functional and cozy."
"My home is a reflection of my brand, The Creative Peach Studios, and I am the 'Creative Peach,'" Annisa explains. "It was so easy to reflect who I am and my personal story in my space. When you walk into my home, you know that it is Annisa’s home. I’m so proud of that. So grateful."
On the journey to becoming a homeowner, Annisa looks back on her experience as a "rough one," detailing that she officially started house hunting in March 2020. It had become so expensive to rent, and the 30-something lifestyle influencer decided she would rather invest the money she spent renting into owning a home. However, nine days into house hunting, her search was put on hold for a year. The following year, in 2021, the process of finding the right home and going under contract took a total of four months.
"The resell route didn’t work out, so my realtor suggested a new construction home, which turned out to be the better option," she tells xoNecole of her experience. "Although it requires more patience, it turned out to be a much easier process and a lot easier to maintain since it’s brand new."
As it turns out, the open floor plan three-bedroom two-and-half-bath would prove to be a blank canvas for Annisa to flex her creativity and design skills.
As a new construction, she watched the townhome get built from the ground up, and due to the "cookie-cutter" nature of new builds, Annisa knew immediately that she would change everything about it. The best part about it? All of her updates were cosmetic, so transformation could occur without having to do major renovations to achieve the look and feel she desired.
"The first things I updated were all the lighting, adding built-ins around my fireplace, and installing wallpaper in my bedroom, office, and dining room! I also had board and batten installed in the upstairs loft to make a statement and the kitchen island," Annisa details.
"Lastly, we painted the loft a soft blush pink, the kitchen island is a gorgeous terracotta, and added contrast with black on the doors, fireplace, and stairwell banisters."
In total, she spent $15K in renovations (plus the cost of furniture and decor). And although she says the second level of her home is a "work-in-progress," two years in, she considers the transformation nearly done.
Annisa defines her decor style as "organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho," and with thoughtfully placed touches like plants, warm tones, and organic textures, her perspective can be felt throughout. "I found my point of view as a designer in my work and as I worked on my home, so it all came together organically based on what I was naturally drawn to."
"The organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho' is definitely my signature style. You’ll always see greenery, warm tones, brass, and rattan or wicker in just about every room. My color story is based on my brand [The Creative Peach Studios] colors: blush pink, ivory, olive and sage green, terracotta, and nudes," she adds.
It was her brand colors that would be the jumping-off point for her approach to decorating and styling her space. That, and a picture she had of what would become her sofa from Albany Park. She recalled her decor decisions, "It was their olive Park Sectional Sofa, and I knew instantly I wanted it, and it aligned with my brand colors naturally, so it was a no-brainer."
By drawing inspiration from Pinterest, favorite design brands like CB2, Arhaus, and Souk Bohemian, and through her work, Annisa allowed herself to be guided by her signature style as well as her instincts when making decor and color choices for her own home. "Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason; it just feels right."
Some of the aspects of her home that she regards as her favorites include her bedroom and its little nook where her bed is positioned, the open upstairs loft, and the open concept because "it really allows you to see all of the details I put into the design all at once." Another of her favorite finds is a purchase she copped from the thrift store years ago.
"I have this little brown and gold chair that I picked up for $6 at a thrift store in Jersey six years ago. I couldn’t afford much in my little studio, but the chair was beautiful and unlike anything I had ever seen."
In addition to accent walls featuring blush pink and terracotta tones throughout the space, her gallery wall is another element that immediately draws the eye of any guest who enters. Annisa recalled a fond memory of a fine art piece she purchased from a Black woman artist when she first moved to Atlanta that she now prominently features in her living room. "It was a Black villager from her travels in Africa, and I fell in love with it because it felt like an ancestor I never met. I later found out that she was the sister of one of my very first design clients two years later," she shares. "Talk about a full-circle moment!"
Cultivating a space takes time and patience, and that is a sentiment Annisa echoes when advising people who are looking to infuse more of themselves into their own dope abodes through design. "It is not a race, and you’ll spend more money if you rush into designing without really being intentional about the vision for your space," Annisa concludes. "You just need creativity and patience to do it! And most of all, make sure you feel like it’s an oasis for you!"
For more of Annisa, follow her on Instagram @annisalimara.
Tour Interior Designer Annisa LiMara's Modern Meets Midcentury ATL Home | Dope Abodes
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Holly Robinson-Peete, Taylor Rooks, And More Honored Over Super Bowl Weekend For Their Work In Sports
Usher wasn't the only one getting his flowers during Super Bowl LVIII weekend. Boldyn Networks honored a number of dynamic women with its exclusive Women Raise the Game event held at the luxurious Four Seasons Las Vegas. According to the press release, the event is a "celebration of empowerment and recognition of extraordinary women who play pivotal roles behind the scenes in sports."
WRTG honorees included Holly Robinson-Peete (actress, philanthropist, and wife of retired NFL Player Rodney Peete, Philanthropist of the Year), Sammy Schuster (mother of NFL wide receiver and Super Bowl champion Juju Smith-Schuster, Visionary of the Year), Zaileen Janmohamed (president and CEO of the Bay Area Host Committee, Woman of the Year), Laura Warner (mother of 49ers Fred Warner and Buccaneers Troy Warner, Cultural Trailblazer of the Year), Taylor Rooks (dynamic and versatile sports Journalist, Journalist of the Year), and Ana Martinez (mother of LA Chargers Michael Davis, Cultural Impact Honoree).
Women Raise the Game honorees
"This event is a tribute to the women whose tireless efforts have often gone unnoticed, yet they are the pillars of success within the NFL—shaping players' careers, steering organizations, and driving impactful initiatives for the betterment of communities. Moreover, this event is not just about celebration; it's also a platform to drive meaningful change. Proceeds from the event will go towards supporting charitable causes dedicated to empowering women and fostering inclusivity within the sports industry,” said Tish Galindo, the visionary behind this initiative.
Some highlights of the special event included heartfelt speeches from Rodney Peete, who gushed over his wife Holly, calling her the "glue that kept my life and our family together.” And Juju Smith-Schuster for praising his mother for the sacrifices she made for him and his six sibilings. "My mother isn’t a normal woman she is a force of nature… for raising seven kids and helping me become the man that I am today," he said.
Grammy award-winning producer, rapper and DJ Jermaine Dupri kept the vibes going and gave an incredible performance for attendees. Other notable guests included Grammy producer Hit-boy, tech entrepreneur & diversity advocate Marilyn Booker, and Actively Black CEO Lanny Smith.
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