There is not enough time to get into just why I am so thankful for the male side of my tribe. What I will say, for now, is it's my personal belief that a lot of women struggle in their relationships because they spend more time listening to other women about how men think and what men want/need than men — and that can lead to all kinds of problems. This faulty approach has also cultivated a lot of myths about the male species; ones that many of the men who I interviewed for this piece (middle names were used) have said that they don't usually make time to debunk because all it typically leads to is unnecessary debates and arguments — and a lot of men don't care to do either (there goes a debunked myth right there).
This time, they get the floor, though. As I thought about some of the most common beliefs about men — especially Black men — that exist out in these streets, 20 guys took a moment to share their gut reaction to them. Hear them out.
1. Men Prefer Younger Women
Chris. Single. 26.
"Who's that guy who says that all men want women under 30? Kevin, something? That's a joke. A lot of these young women have young minds. What I will say is when you first go out on a date with a guy, you should ask him if he wants to have children or not. I mean, his own children. That is the biggest factor when it comes to the age thing. An older woman can be fine as hell and bring a lot to your life. But if a man wants to build a family, he's gonna factor in that the older a woman is, the more challenging that will get."
Richard. Dating. 32.
"I've always preferred older women. They're sexier. They're smarter. They cut to the chase a lot quicker. Anyone who tells you that younger is better is probably intimidated by what older women bring to the table. A 40-year-old ain't playin' with us. Most men know it."
2. Men Only Have Sex on Their Minds Most of the Time
Raynard. Single. 23.
"I think I read somewhere that men think about sex around 20-25 times a day. That breaks down into roughly one time an hour. Are women trying to say that they don't do the same thing? Whatever. I think women confuse us being visually stimulated with thinking about sex. Yes, when we see a good-looking woman, we're going to take notice. To say that means we automatically think about having sex with her — what are we? In the eighth grade? Men have several erections during the day and I think that can cause us to think about sex. Or, if we're in a relationship and we connect with our lady, sexual thoughts will typically happen. But when you're a Black man in America, trust me, you've got way more to [be] contemplating [about] than sex. It doesn't cross our minds as much as most women assume."
Anthony. Married. 40.
"If you do some of your own research, men naturally have more testosterone and that is what causes a lot of us to have a higher sex drive. If you've got a problem with that, take it up with God. But the notion that all we think about is sex is ridiculous. Some of y'all have been so sold on everything masculine being toxic that you think something is wrong if we're not just like you. Again, take the differences up with God."
"But no, we don't think about sex all of the time and we definitely want a woman to bring more to the table than that. And contrary to what a lot of women may think, sex really is better to us when there's an emotional connection. It's the difference between sex for a couple of months and us wanting to stroll through life with you."
3. Men Repel Marriage
Dontay. Dating. 37.
"I'm not afraid of marriage. What I'm not gonna do is be pressured into doing it before I'm ready. I think it's crazy how a lot of women talk about wanting a man to lead and yet they are trying to push us down the altar at the same time. You will never get to ultimatum me into a wedding ring. All that does is show me that you will try and take over once we're official. That is unattractive as hell. And it has nothing to do with a wedding. Or being married."
Xavier. Single. 31.
"I've been wanting to be married since I was a freshman in college. I think what a lot of women don't realize is they seem to be open to getting married over and over again when things don't work out. Men aren't wired that way. We want to meet the right one and stay with her forever. And we'll take as long as we need to feel secure that we made the right decision. A grown man doesn't fear marriage. What guys have y'all been dating?"
4. Men Don’t Like After-Baby Bodies
Charles. Married. 41.
"Remember when you said to me [Shellie] a while back that a lot of people out here aren't being 'shamed'; they are projecting? I felt that big-time. I don't know any men personally who think that a woman's body after having a child is unattractive. Sometimes the weight that remains, years after, can take some getting used to. But a woman being able to bring life into the world is sexy as hell. We don't care about no damn stretch marks. We want to get up in there, more than ever, actually. Let's make another one!"
Brenden. Engaged. 30.
"Why is it rare to see two big people together? I mean, women are always talking about how they shouldn't be fat-shamed and a lot of them do it to us. Anyway, I have two kids by two different women. Their bodies did change after giving birth, but it was the lack of sex, because they were so self-conscious, that bothered me more than anything their body was going through. A lot of y'all are super self-critical and try and put that on us. It's annoying because a lot of what you assume we're thinking about, hasn't crossed our minds at all. And what's really crazy is you wouldn't know because you haven't asked. You just assumed."
5. Men Have a Problem with Women Making More Money Than They Do
Eugene. Married. 47.
"My wife and I have had seasons where I made more money and seasons when she did. I've been married 16 years now and I'll just say that men aren't nearly as threatened by or impressed with what you've got going on in your bank account. What can be annoying sometimes is the attitude that comes with it — that you don't need to listen to any of our thoughts or input if you make more bread. So, do we have a problem with you making more money? Hell no. Do we have a problem with a funky ass attitude if you do? Hell yes."
Stephen. Dating. 39.
"We want a partner. And not a financial consultant. It's like when women talk about what they bring to the table, it's a laundry list of accomplishments and money records. I recently watched a TikTok where a woman said that men simply want a woman who brings them peace. That's what I'm talkin' about. If you make more money than we do, that's cool. If we can't have a peaceful relationship whether you do or not, I can't tell you how much we don't care."
6. Every Man Wants a Big Ass
Matthew. Dating. 33.
"Hell. This is a trick question because you know how y'all are — damned if we do, damned if we don't. This is gonna be on you because they don't know how to find me! No, all of us don't like these huge asses. Know what else? We can tell when they're fake and a lot of us hate fake anything. I like a woman whose body is real and proportioned. A little something in the back is cool. But so long as I don't have to worry about something sinking or inflating, I'm blessed."
Kenny. Single. 30.
"I think women listen more to other women about what they think men want. I like a nice ass. I do. But the past two women I've dated were pretty straight-up-and-down and they were still fine as f—k. Take good care of your body, whatever your shape is. That is what will catch our eye. Sure, men have preferences but if you're fine, we're gonna be interested. Ass or no ass."
7. All Men Agree with Kevin Samuels
Walter. Married. 45.
"I'm going to say something that a lot of women don't like."
"It's mighty interesting that when all of these women coaches out here are telling you what we think that you're fine with it. Then when a man says, 'Actually, that's some bulls — t', you're mad. Kevin is spot-on when it comes to how entitlement is unattractive, we don't care about your resumè more than your actual personality and we do factor in raising other people's legacies [children]. That brotha isn't on the mark about everything, though."
"We don't all want a size 6 and I personally don't think you should stay with a man who cheats. Bottom line, he's got some good and bad to say. Most of us think for ourselves, though…just like you do."
Terry. Single. 31.
"I'm a man and I'll say that it's a trip how men weren't trying to hear Kevin when he was telling men to pull their pants up but are all about him telling women to take their bonnets off. It's hysterical! Kevin is just the big thing right now. It'll pass. I do think him saying that we're tired of women thinking they can run all over us is on-point. We've been sick of that. But if you think most of us live on his every word, Kevin Samuels isn't your issue. You not knowing us as well as you think is."
8. Men Are Threatened by a Strong and/or Powerful Woman
Willis. Married. 44.
"Nope. Men aren't attracted to women who think they need to dominate men in order to appear strong and powerful — big difference. A man who is secure in who he is wants a woman who is a solid partner. Strength and power are two traits that can complement him really well. Some women watch too much Lifetime television."
Omar. Single. 32.
"Where do y'all get this stuff from? I swear. A strong and powerful woman, especially a Black woman, is amazing. What we don't like is a woman who thinks that strength and power means that she needs to emasculate us at every turn. If you want to 'be the man' in the relationship, get with a woman. But to think that success, money and popular platforms intimidate us, most of the women I know are like this and the men they are with think it's hot. Because it is."
9. Black Men Prefer Black Women…Who Look Like White Women
Jerrel. Single. 34.
"I've got a question. Why is it that when Serena Williams married a white man, sistahs were all 'Yes, girl!' Then when a Black man chooses a white woman, he's a sellout? Y'all bars can be all over the place sometimes. Personally, I am more attracted to dark-skinned women. Always have been. But beauty is beauty. I don't know why so many people are hung up on if someone is light or not. To me, it's if they are attractive or not — skin tone should have nothing to do with it."
Zeke. Dating. 40.
"Looks like a white woman. It's like a lot of Black people need to take a history class on what genetics look like in our culture. So, if a Black woman is light and has curly hair, she 'looks white'? There are women in Africa who look just like that and they are just as African as dark-skinned women with kinky hair. I like Black women. I've dated all kinds of Black women. They're all beautiful to me. To me, because I am pro-Black, dating someone who isn't Black isn't an option for me. So no, I don't want someone who 'looks white'. I do accept that we vary though and if the lady I settle down with has light skin and loose curls, so be it."
10. All Men Cheat
Gerald. Married. 28.
"I read somewhere that women cheat almost as much as men do, so I feel like this question needs to be presented to you guys more often too. When I was single, I wasn't always upfront with women about the fact that I was seeing other ladies. It's because I was single. I've been married for three years now and although I see beautiful women all of the time, y'all don't get how we feel when we've met our one. Cheat on her…for what? She's my best friend. The sex is amazin'. And I don't even connect with other women like I used to. All men don't cheat. The wrong ones do."
Vince. Engaged. 39.
"Do women realize how much work it takes to juggle multiple relationships? And what's crazy to me is, even though the stats continue to say that what, only 30 percent of men do it, we still get the 'all' word attached to us. A man who is about his business doesn't have time to cheat."
"I know men who have done it. I know guys who've never done it before. I cheated back in college. I haven't in my 30s at all. I'm out here trying to make money. What I will say is the guys who keep telling you that they don't want a relationship? They are prone to cheating if you keep pushing them because, what they are essentially conveying is, they like lots of women and exclusivity isn't their thing. Proceed with caution with them. But you're generalizing, big time, to think that all of us roll like that. And I thought women hated to be generalized."
There you have it. If there's any pushback, run these up the flagpole with your own male friends. For now, I'll just conclude with, if we spent a lot more time asking instead of assuming, we could probably communicate with the opposite sex a lot better. That is if we want to…which is another article for another time, chile.
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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 email@example.com. 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’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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