So, while I was out here doing my usually online perusing, I noticed an article that basically explored if the key to great sex was love or passion. If you paid attention to the title of this article, you already know what their findings were. Yep, according to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (and the 92 couples who participated in the study), it would appear that passion—not love—is the main ingredient if you want truly fulfilling sex. Interesting.
Passion and Desire Go Hand-in-Hand
Processing this got me to thinking about two things. First, I thought about the couples that I work with. Something that about 90 percent of the ones who are unhappy with their relationship have in common is their sex life either sucks or has started to tank. Peep that I didn't say they don't love each other anymore. What I said was the sex isn't all that good. So, out the gate, maybe the study has a strong point—if you love someone but the sex isn't all that great (or all that great anymore), could the solution simply be that it needs more passion in it?
Now before we go deeper, please hear me all the way out on this. I'll be the first person to say that sex shouldn't be used as an automatic "fix it" for relationship problems. More times than not, if a couple solely depends on coitus in order to work through their issues, all they're really doing is putting a Band-Aid on a deeply infected wound (which is why I wrote "Make-Up Sex Might Be Doing Your Relationship More Harm Than Good"). Nothing good really comes from that long-term.
At the same time, this does bring me to my second point. The couples I know who have a very fulfilling and consistent sex life tend to have three things in common—good communication, a healthy sexual appetite and a deep desire to please their partner. Not just sexually either. They tend to be on the tip that actor DeWanda Wise and her husband are on. DeWanda once said in an interview that the key to satisfaction in her marriage is:
"It's like self-love for two. And that's how I think about it every day. Anything that I would like, do for myself, there's one other human being that I have to make like, another serving for, know what I mean?"
She and her husband then used making coffee as an example. If they make some for themselves, they try to make a point to make a little extra for their partner. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a great representation of not only love for your partner but respect too. But remember, the study said that passion is what makes sex great; not love. So, why in the world would passion trump love?
Again, remember what I said I found to be the three keys to great sex in a relationship are— good communication, a healthy sexual appetite and a deep desire to please their partner. It's like a trinity (three things working as one), if you will. While a lot of couples spend a lot of time making sure that their communication is on-point, I don't think nearly enough are intentional about making sure that their sexual appetite and desire for their partner are nurtured as well.
Far too many people are out here just kind of winging it when it comes to their libido (if they feel like it, they'll consider having sex; if they only feel like it every once in a while, so be it), and I can't tell you the last time a couple I worked with has used the word "desire" to describe how they feel about their spouse. Desire is a huge essential to a great sex life, though.
What Desire Looks Like
When you desire someone, it means that you not only want them; you crave them. To crave something, you eagerly desire it, you long for it, you need it in the healthiest way possible. Hmph. I don't know about you, but I think it's kind of sad that a lot of us have no problem with vocalizing and then giving in to a craving for some chocolate ice cream, but we think it's weird and/or unnecessary to do the same things when it comes to the one who we're in a relationship with. And that is why, after thinking all of this through, I'd have to agree with the findings in the study. While love may be one of the motivators for sex, if you want off-the-charts sex? Desire has to be there. And the more desire, the better.
So, how do you know if you are lacking in the passion department of your own relationship? Here are some questions to ask yourself and/or discuss with your partner after work today.
When's the last time:
- You initiated sex?
- You and your partner had a quickie?
- You and your partner had sex outside of your bedroom?
- You and your partner tried something new in the sex department?
- You and your partner met up in the middle of the day solely for sex?
- You planned a sexcation?
- You told your partner just how much you desire them?
- You sent a dirty text or photo?
- You went lingerie shopping?
- You extended foreplay?
- You learned a new oral sex trick?
- You DIY a flavored massage oil or lubricant?
- You tested out an atypical erogenous zone?
- You fulfilled a fantasy?
If you are even a little attracted to your partner and your libido has even a little bit of a spark, I would think it'd be pretty difficult to read those questions and not get all hot 'n bothered. And that's kind of my point. If I asked questions like, "When's the last time you spoke your partner's love language?" or "When's the last time the two of you went out on a romantic date?", that doesn't really trigger erotic feelings. But oftentimes, when couples are trying to figure out how to ramp up their sex life, it's those types of queries that are made. Passion isn't given nearly the voice—or credit—that it deserves.
Passion isn't just sexual desire; it's strong sexual desire. Passion isn't interest in a person; it's full-on lust. Lust is intense. Lust is enthusiastic. Lust is uncontrollable. If there are two people who feel intensely about each other, are enthusiastic about being together and can't seem to control their urges towards one another, how could the sex not be totally off the chain?
Sometimes, we make things so much more complex than they have to be. If your sex life is not currently as mind-blowing as you'd like, before doing anything else, ask yourself how the passion is in your relationship. Ask yourself if the desire is strong and if you and your truly partner crave one another.
The key to great sex ain't always about a new sex position or trick. Sometimes it's about getting back to the basics. One of which is hot, sweaty, can't-keep-your-hands-off-of-each-other passion. Whew.
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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. ;)
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 are moments on our health journey when our bodies are bugging us to hit the reset button.
With life, we can start to see slips in our diet, irregular exercising, and inconsistent sleep schedules, and our mental health can suffer because of it. But what many people come to find is that with just a few adjustments — as opposed to restrictions — being made to their food intake, we can see a focus more on eating “the right” calories and less on being on a restrictive diet.
"Raw Till 4" is a dietary concept and lifestyle associated with the raw vegan and high-carb, low-fat vegan (HCLF) movements. Created by Australian blogger and YouTube star known as 'Freelee the Banana Girl', the method suggests eating raw, uncooked plant-based foods until 4 p.m. each day and then having a cooked, vegan meal in the evening.
The Raw Till 4 lifestyle follows the guidelines of vegan and rawist eating and involves consuming fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains in an uncooked, natural state until the designated time of 4 p.m. or around one’s typical dinner time. After 4 p.m., a cooked vegan meal is consumed, which may include foods like steamed vegetables, grains, legumes, and plant-based sources of protein like tofu or tempeh.
On TikTok, creator Adina Yaffa is repopularizing the trend, sharing how it’s helped to improve digestion, boost energy levels, and support weight loss.
Replying to @🌜kat🌛 here is what I eat in a day on a raw till 4 lifestyle. I eat with the sun and according to the circadian rhythm that out bodies follow on a typical day. Where i drink liquids during the first 8 hours, then juicy fruits, then smoothies, more dense building fats, proteins and veggies! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass #rawtill4
“During the hours of 4 a.m. and 8 a.m., your body is in an elimination phase and needs all the help it can get,” Yaffa says in the clip. “So what you’re going to do is drink coconut water, citrus juices, and green juices during this time, and around 8 a.m., you can break your fast with some fruit. I suggest juicing fruits, and then after that, I suggest having a smoothie or a bowl with berries and granola so you can get your fats and healthy proteins in.”
Raw till 4 has so many benefits including better digestion, nutrients, belly fat and bloat elimination, snatched waist, more energy and so much more! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass
On the official Raw Till 4 website, Freelee the Banana Girl shares tips on how to get the best outcomes of this lifestyle change, which include:
- “Stay hydrated! You should pee about 8-12 times per day, and your urine should be clear. Drink 1 liter of water when you wake up in the morning, and 1 liter of water about 30 minutes before each meal for optimal results.”
- “Fragmented sodium (salt) should be kept to a minimum. Use herbs, lemon juice, etc. wherever possible in place of salt.”
- “Eat unlimited calories at every meal, no restriction. The majority of your calories each day should come from fruit. Don’t under-eat on fruit during the day or 'save up' your calories for dinner time. RT4 is about abundance at every meal.”
- “Move your body daily. Find an activity you love and make it your playful exercise.”
- “Make sure to get lots of rest, relaxation, and good sleep. Learning to incorporate good rest, early nights, and regular sleeping patterns into your life will greatly improve your overall health.”
- “Practice gratitude and peaceful emotions at mealtime, and get a vision book started! Be sure to enjoy this journey. Focus on long-term health instead of short-term results.”
Critics argue that it can be challenging to get all the necessary nutrients from a raw vegan diet and that it may not be suitable for everyone, especially over the long term.
As with any diet, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making significant dietary changes to ensure that it meets your individual nutritional needs and health goals.
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