Recently, while being interviewed for a podcast, I was asked about some of the topics I was currently writing about. When I shared this title, in particular, one of the hosts said, "Wow. That sure is specific." Indeed. Sometimes, a man can come along and make his mark on your libido in a way that can rock you to your very core. If you let him.
Although it's possible that I could be the only one on the planet who has been with one person, loved the snot out of them, and still felt all tingly inside whenever my mind wandered over to an ex (or two)—somehow I seriously doubt that. And since I like to do all that I can to help others to either avoid what I've been through (or sent myself through) altogether or help them get past it sooner, I felt like this was as good a time as any. Time to do what? Time to provide some tips on how I was able to work through loving one man while still preferring (or missing) sex with another. It ain't (always) easy, but if you really want to move on (because you do want to…right?), it is indeed possible.
Here's how I did it.
So, You Know Good Sex Is Accessible Other Places, Right?
Some of y'all might be triggered by what I am about to mention. But you know how grandma (at least southern ones) used to say, "Hit dog will holler"? This might just be the case right here. Personally, I've never really been the person who subscribes to the whole "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" thing. We're human beings. At the same time, what I do, most definitely agree with, is the saying, "If two people are just alike, one of them is unnecessary". To be honest, this applies to gender differences too. Debate it all you want, but there is irrefutable evidence that there are certain things that make men and women different. For instance, like it or not, we produce more estrogen than guys do, and there are studies to support that the more estrogen that is in your system, the more likely you are to be emotional—and to emotionalize. That's not right or wrong. That's just the way it is.
Where am I going with all of this? Whenever I ask my male friends if they can recall the best sex (and/or head) they've ever received, basically all of them can call up a name, pretty much right off of the bat. But when I dig deeper to see why they aren't still "dealing" with that individual, they mention things that have absolutely nothing to do with the sex itself. Then they follow that up with, "Good sex ain't worth the headache. You can find good sex lots of places."
Yep. You sure can. Yet because a lot of us, as women, tend to tie our emotions into the act of sex, oftentimes separating the two issues isn't as easy for us. Even if our ex was a complete ass, if the sex was off the charts, some of us will still find a way to rationalize sleeping with our ex or, still remaining in some form of communication, just so the possibility of sleeping with them—or even getting back together with them—again can remain intact.
But if there's one thing that we can takeaway from a lot of men's mentality on this topic is, no matter how good sex with an ex may be, our ex doesn't have a monopoly on sexual satisfaction. Other men can please us too. Besides, the older and wiser we become, we tend to realize that good sex isn't just about what a man can do to our parts; it's about how well he "handles matters" across the board (see "What GROWN Women Consider Great Sex To Be").
It's a low bar to hold onto someone who really isn't good enough for you, simply because he can make your toes tingle. Besides, the sooner you move that joker out of the way, the sooner you can give yourself fully to the man who is in your life now. The one who is a part of your present—not your past.
You Also Know That Your “Feenin’” Ain’t Just About the Sex…Right?
On the heels of the point that I just made, if you're already in a relationship with someone else, but Jodeci's "Feenin'" keeps running in the back of your mind, as far as your ex is concerned, you know that it's more than just being a-dick-ted, don't you? No matter how good he may have been at hittin' the right spots, unless you are a love-addict-in-denial (which leans to being extremely delusional when it comes to how you process romantic relationships), you are probably still longing for him for reasons that have little to do with what went down in the bedroom. So that leads me to asking you if you are completely over your ex, on the emotional tip? And if you're not, why aren't you?
Is it because he ended it and you didn't it? Is it because you weren't able to get the closure that you needed? Maybe the new guy that you're with is more of a rebound relationship than anything else. Perhaps, while you may love your current boyfriend, you feel like you are still in love with your former one (it's pretty difficult to be "in love" by yourself, by the way. Check out "Like, Love & In Love: How To Really Know The Differences" to get what I mean by that). Maybe you need to do something similar to what I did and go on a "heart pieces tour" in order to get the part of you that you still feel like belongs to your ex back. Whatever the case may be, please don't give your ex so much credit that you think the reason why you are still fantasizing about him and/or putting yourself in the position to potentially sabotage what you've currently got going on, is all because of how many orgasms he could give you. If you really stop to do some processing, I promise you that there is so much more going on with you than that. And the sooner you can get down to the bottom of it all, the better—for you and your current situation.
If You’re Still Dealing with Your Ex, Stop. (At Least for Now)
Personally, I'm not what I would call "friends" with any of my exes. Not friends in the way that I've grown to honor the word (check out "10 Things You Should Absolutely Expect From Your Friendships"). Hmph. Come to think of it, if I had actually understood more about what true friendships require from the jump, they probably wouldn't have become a boy-friend in order to become an ex. But that's another Ted Talk for another time. Still, what I have made sure of is that there is peace between us. I don't think of them and instantly become pissed. I can run into them and ask, "How are you?" and genuinely mean it. If they needed something, including their own closure, and it didn't put me out of my own boundaries in order to help them out, I would. I'm healed and that's a good thing.
Still, at the same time, when I broke up with each of my exes, the perks that came with being a part of my world, they ended too. So, there's no need for any of them to get the benefits of still interacting with me if we've agreed that they aren't going to handle the responsibilities that come along with it as well. All that does is keep one or both of us stuck in the past instead of moving forward with our future.
That's why, while I do think that it is possible for exes to be cool and maybe even friends (someday), if you're currently still preferring anything about your ex to the point where you can't seem to let those thoughts go or it's affecting/infecting your current relationship, you need to break ALL forms of communication/interaction with that guy. No phone calls. No texting. No slick stalking him on social media. No listening to Heather Headley's "In My Mind" on loop. None of that.
Sometimes, when we're in a relationship with someone but we're still struggling to get over our ex, on any level, it's not about how much we are tied to the past of the relationship. The relationship sucked and we know it. But since we keep staying in the same place, emotionally, with that individual, we can make the need for them in our lives far bigger than it needs to be. In the bedroom and out of it.
In This Case, It Is Beneficial to Do Some Comparing
While typically, I'm not the biggest fan of making comparisons, especially when it comes to comparing past and current loves (talk about falling down a rabbit hole), if you're still sexually hung up on your ex, I will make an exception and recommend it in this case. Now, I'm not saying that you should compare body parts and sexual styles (sometimes, that's an unfair match, from the start). What I am saying is that you should really think about the pros and cons of both men and both relationships. The best way to do that is to take sex, totally out of the equation.
I'll give you an example from my own sexual past. There is one guy who was really good in bed. You know what else he was? A total ego maniac. I remember one of the last times that we had sex, it was in a hotel and there was an entire wall made out of a mirror behind the bed. Did you know that at least 80 percent of the time, this ninja was looking at himself in the mirror while we were doing it? It was right at that moment when I was like, "Oh…my orgasms aren't about me. They're about your narcissism and how it makes you feel to make me feel good. Got it." And when that ding, ding, ding finally settled into my psyche, it was easier to separate how good the sex was from how much of a jerk he was (and he was a Grade A jerk, chile).
When it comes to the guy who you are currently with, while he might not be able to make you sexually feel like your ex did (at least, not yet), if you separate the sex from the relationship, what does he do that your ex was never able to quite master?
Does he treat you better? Is he more attentive? Does he take proactive measures to make you feel wanted, appreciated and adored better than your ex did? Is he more honest and faithful? Maybe, unlike your ex, your new love desires the same things that you do in life. Perhaps, unlike your ex, he complements your life more, improves you rather than tries to change you and, with him, you just don't have to try so damn hard to make it work.
Sometimes, when trying to get over sex with an ex, we underestimate the foreplay that comes before the actual act. I don't mean sexual foreplay. I mean how a man treats us that makes us feel cherished, honored and closer to him. Even if you do prefer the act of sex with your ex (again, for now), when it comes to your current and present man, does he treat you better? Outside of the bedroom? Because if he does, that is going to prove to be of far more value. Trust me.
Great Lovers Aren’t (Always) Born. Sometimes They’re Taught.
You know something that my past 14 sex partners (and an almost 14-year bout of abstinence) has taught me? That sometimes, when it comes to who we qualify as being our best in bed, they are able to hold that position because we're lazy. Now hear me out here. What I mean is, there are some people who semi-rocked my world when it came to sex because there was either an already-established strong emotional connection or because our energy and chemistry were indescribable. It wasn't so much about "skills" or "technique" as it was that our synergy was so on point. This meant that we didn't really have to go out of our way to blow each other's minds. Honestly, that had already transpired before even touching.
Coming to this resolution meant that I could let go of the belief that no man would be able to make me feel that way again. It wasn't so much that the greatest lovers that I've ever had were naturally that way. We just "fit" differently than I did with other guys. The good news about that is, once I accepted that they weren't great lovers "just because" but it was more about how we worked together, I could accept that I really could move on. This meant that while the next guy may not be as "automatic" as men in the past, if we are willing to work together to please each other, we can have some pretty amazing sex too. It might not be the same—no two people ever are—but it can be its own kind of amazing. In a different way.
Do I think that it's possible to love one person and still desire someone else? Yep. But if you discover that is what's going on with you, I don't think you should just stew in that resolve. You can't change the past, but what you can do is give your present a fighting chance by not giving your ex so much power that you can't open yourself up to all of the possibilities that you can experience with your new man.
Because I promise you one thing. No matter how good your ex may have thought sex was with you, once he's ready to move on, he will do just that. He will be fine with you being a memory and cultivating some new ones with the next. So really—why not also do the same, sis? Sooner than later too.
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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. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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If you are looking to bring a little spice into your life, dating a fire sign is the way to do it. These bold lovers are confident enough to take the lead but may surprise you with how generous they are as well. Fire signs are the heat, the passion, the charisma, and the heart of the zodiac. They are often the initiators in love, and don’t mind making the first move. The three fire signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, love uniquely in their own way, but all have a lasting impact on those they meet.
You can feel a fire sign’s energy from a mile away, and getting close to them on a romantic level is a whole other type of heat.
Fire Signs in Love: What Is It Like To Date a Fire Sign?
Dating a fire sign is exciting, heartfelt, intense, and sexy. Fire signs are some of the most independent of the zodiac signs, yet they are also some of the most loyal. Their inner fire will warm your heart, but treat them badly, and it can just as easily burn. Due to fire signs' nature of feeling everything a little more heightened, they make empathic lovers, but they can also let their feelings overwhelm them and become easily irrational or agitated.
Fire signs can get heated quickly, and dating an unevolved one can get messy as they love to put on a show. They need a partner who is a good balance to their fierce nature, but someone who isn’t going to put out their inner fire in the process.
When it comes to who fire signs are looking to date, they look for partners who can love just as passionately as they can, and expect an unwavering type of loyalty. They are also looking for confident lovers, as they aren’t one to play games or beat around the bush. They are the type of partner to be your biggest cheerleader and will support you in all your endeavors, building up your self-esteem in the process.
These lovers are ready to risk it all when it comes to their relationships and love, and dating them is a fun adventure, to say the least. These are creative, confident, romantic, and heart-warming souls, and dating a fire sign is inspiring.
Dating an Aries
Aries are independent lovers. They are free spirits that are a little hard to settle down with, as most fire signs are, yet you will know how much they are willing to give and put into the relationship through their efforts. You have to be going at the same pace as them in life, and they need to see you as someone who can keep up with them to gain their respect and commitment. Aries have a vision when it comes to their life and love, and are looking for a partner that aligns with their plans or goals that they have for themselves.
Aries, at their best, are loyal and exciting; at their worst, they are competitive and brash.
When it comes to dating an Aries, they want to do things that keep their energy moving and stimulate them. They are fun lovers and are constantly doing things as a young soul does, fueling their spirit. Aries doesn’t want to feel restricted or limited in any way and seek relationships where there is a certain amount of freedom, which in turn sometimes leads them into emotionally unavailable relationships. An evolved Aries seeks their balance and finds themselves in long-lasting partnerships where they can still feel authentically themselves.
Dating an Aries is a compelling adventure.
Learn how an Aries pairs with each sign of the zodiac in love here.
Dating a Leo
Dating a Leo is like entering a rom-com movie. Leos are bold, outspoken, and dramatic lovers. They tend to prefer a spotlight on them, but when it comes to love, they are usually willing to share the stage. Leos want a grand love. They are all about outrageous romantic gestures, complete and utter loyalty, and a little spice. Leos want to be adored, and when you are dating one, they want all of your attention to be on them. Evolved Leos understand they cannot be the center of everyone's world, but Leo’s still going through their love journey may find themselves entertaining drama and controlling the scenario.
Leo’s, at their best, are playful and loving; at their worst, they are irrational and disruptive.
All in all, however, Leos can make some of the best partners to date as they rule the 5th house, the house of romance, dating, love, and flirtation. They are fun partners and are often the ones planning the dates or outings, and creating an atmosphere that is happy and inviting. They are the type to create an uplifting energy in their relationships, and you can expect a lot of laughs in this pairing. Leos don’t hold back when it comes to most things in life, including love. They will express their love and admiration for you often and will expect the same respect in turn.
Dating a Leo is a statement.
Learn how a Leo pairs with each sign of the zodiac in love here.
Dating a Sagittarius
Sagittariuses are hard to grasp, but if they decide to let you into their world, you’ll find a space of wonder, adventure, and magic. There are many different stages a Sagittarius moves through in love, and as much as they like to do things quickly in all other aspects of their lives, when it comes to dating, they tend to take it more slowly. They are not the type to be in a rush to define the relationship and take their time when opening their heart. You will feel their love, their personality, and their attention, but getting to know their deepest selves, their goals, and their dreams is going to take time for Sagittarius, and they prefer to have some fun with you while they get there.
Sagittarius, at their best, are warm and hopeful; at their worst, they are harsh and disingenuous.
Being ruled by abundant Jupiter, Sagittarius lives larger than life. They want a love that feels like it was destined by the stars, and it needs to make sense and fall into place for them with ease. They are looking for all types of synchronicities and signs when dating you, and once you make it past this stage, they truly have their eyes open to you. Sagittarius wants to go on adventures, learn, travel, and explore the world and you while dating. This is a spontaneous sign, and if you can match their energy of passion and wanderlust, then this is a good match for you when it comes to love.
Dating a Sagittarius is a journey.
Learn how a Sagittarius pairs with each sign of the zodiac in love here.
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