Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Method Man has been revered as one of the sexiest men in the entertainment industry right now. While he’s always been easy on the eyes, the last few years have seen the rapper-turned-actor go viral on social media many times due to his fineness such as the time he performed with Mary J. Blige during the 2019 BET Awards and his current role as the savvy, but arrogant lawyer Davis Maclean on Power Book II: Ghost.
However, inESSENCE’s digital cover story, the 51-year-old admitted his newfound fame as a sex symbol is something that he can’t wrap his head around. “I don’t understand that sh--,” he said. “I go to the gym for my own peace of mind. I don’t do it to become someone’s sex symbol or a pinup on someone’s wall. I do it for me.”
In the same breath, he does acknowledge that he likes the attention just as long as people take him “seriously.” “I’m the same as everybody else. But at the end of the day, take me seriously, not lightly,” he said.
Not being fully comfortable with how he’s being viewed as of late may have something to do with the environment he was raised in. Method Man was born and raised in Staten Island, New York, which is where he and his Wu-Tang Clan group members began their rap careers. “Understand, I was a Black boy living in some of the worst areas in New York,” he said. “I’ve always felt like I wasn’t enough. I’ve been told that from the gate, ‘You don’t belong here.’ Sometimes even without words.”
Method Man began his workout journey almost four years ago after battling insomnia, which he talked about in an interview with Jemele Hill on her podcast. He also shared how his kids feel about him being called a sex symbol.
“The sexiest thing about being sexy to me is not trying to be. You ask my kids, my kids will say sh-t like this, they’re like, ‘where?’ Sexy where? This n–ga?” he said jokingly.
He continued, “You take it all in strides. And, I don’t know, man, I’m bashful, I guess. You try to put yourself in a comfortable space and say, ‘OK, well, I earned that.' I didn’t pine for that. I didn’t try to prostitute myself to make girls like me — take my shirt off at every show type of thing. It just happened progressively, and I like that.”
With his hard work and dedication to his body, he told ESSENCE that he’s now eyeing more roles that may show off his stamina and physique, such as an action movie.
“I’ve done the training; I’ve done the fitness; give me my Michael B. Jordan in Creed moment,” he said.
Featured image by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
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From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
Featured image by skynesher/Getty Images