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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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (email@example.com) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
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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.
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