There are indeed no games to be played when it comes to Sarunas J. Jackson, the star of BET's newest original series. There are no facades, no smoke screens, no gimmicks. What you see is most definitely what you get with this 6'8'' Philly native.
He's refreshingly transparent, not shy to speak his mind, but at the heart of it all--he's just a downright honest guy. Whether you want him to be or not. Which is something he feels people have come to know and love. "They should know that I'm going to be unapologetically me at all times," he tells xoNecole on a quiet midweek afternoon. "I'm not going to switch up for nobody. And that seems to be something that people appreciate when they meet me."
But even if you haven't met Sarunas, you've probably seen his face on the critically-acclaimed series Insecure or on the recent Freeform favorite Good Trouble. And now in his new role on BET's Games People Play, fans and followers alike will definitely appreciate the additional screen time for this undeniably sexy yet sheisty character.
We got the chance to catch up with him where we talked about his new role, why it's important to fall in love with the process, and why good communication is king.
xoNecole: Describe your character Marques King.
Sarunas J. Jackson: He's a young man who's kind of launched into this professional high-life but he's a bit immature in how he handles things. He's a father, he's a professional athlete, he's just trying to figure out how to balance through this life of having so much access or power in a sense. I feel like it's easy to judge a character like this, especially when nobody has really been in that position of making hundreds or millions of dollars. He's trying to see as the episodes go by if he can repair some of the damage he's caused and created.
What do you want fans to take away from this show?
First and foremost, with this type of content you want to entertain. You want to entertain the people that are watching this show, that are hanging out with us every week. But I'd want them to understand the complexities that come with a character like Marques King. It's easy to judge a guy like him, but nobody knows when you're in that journey, there are things that come along with that.
I'm not saying the behavior is right or is acceptable. But I think when you look at the show and the people in these positions, it doesn't excuse their behavior, but I hope it helps people to better understand the complexities of what they have to deal with.
Courtesy of Aaron/@underground_nyc
You mentioned the rashness of people being quick to judge something they don’t directly understand. I’m sure you’ve seen or maybe experienced a lot of the judgement that comes with being a millenial. So I want to know, what’s something you feel personally that our generation misses or gets right?
It's always funny when I hear critiques about this generation. Because if you look at each generation, they're generally better than the one before it because they learned from their mistakes. Nowadays though, you have people who have a lot of opinions and not enough qualifications. But when it comes to things like holistic healing and manifesting and visualizing things, I feel like our generation implements that more. I think we are the most aware, the most accepting of all types of people, very high on self-care. We're all trying to get our mind, body, and spirit right. I feel like we care about that a lot more now than ever.
I think with all generations though, some people are aspiring to do something but they want the results but not the process. Some people aren't ready to run that marathon, they want to sprint to the finish line. These days, with instant gratification and social media and all that, they want everything to happen fast. People don't want to put that work in. They don't want to put the hours in, you get what you give. If we could mix the old generation's work ethic with our working smarter, then we could make amazing strides.
Courtesy of Aaron/@underground_nyc
"I think we are the most aware, the most accepting of all types of people, very high on self-care. We're all trying to get our mind, body, and spirit right. I feel like we care about that a lot more now than ever."
Let’s switch gears a bit and talk relationships. How do you go about dating nowadays? Are DMs acceptable? Dating apps?
There's no certain way I guess, but DMs are kind of the norm these days. Majority of the time I don't [slide in DMs]. But whoever I'm involved with, I like to keep it private. I'm very private about it but that's just a preference of mine. Just because I might be able to handle public opinion more than my counterpart might be [able] to.
Has fatherhood affected how you approach dating?
Not necessarily, it's always taken into consideration but the type of person I am, there was a certain journey I started before I even had a daughter, which made me ready for fatherhood. If anything, it (fatherhood) puts everything I was working on in myself into practice. But the thing is, I feel like I'm in an interesting position where before I even know who you are, you might know who I am so you're going to know I have a daughter.
So, for me, I don't have to change anything when it comes to dating. Whoever's trying to pursue me is either going to have to change their ways or not change at all. Just know that when it comes to me, me and my daughter are a package deal.
Courtesy of Aaron/@underground_nyc
What are your top three must-haves when it comes to your next relationship?
Communication, number one. Respect, number two. Honesty, number three. And I'm going to give you four--sex. There has to be good sex, that's just how I am. In reality, sex is important to everybody but people like to fake the funk be like 'it's not all about sex.' And it's not, which is why it's number four but it's up there. But if the sex isn't good, let's be real, people are going to tap out.
Courtesy of Aaron/@underground_nyc
"There has to be good sex, that's just how I am. In reality, sex is important to everybody but people like to fake the funk be like 'it's not all about sex.' And it's not. But if the sex isn't good, let's be real, people are going to tap out."
Speaking of sex, I know you’re a big R&B fan. What’s your go-to song or album to put your woman in the mood?
I pick and choose from a lot of different artists. I like to give shine to artists I feel deserve more respect. I like talent, you know? And I know what pops off today and that's cool but real artists that have the talent--I like that. Lucky Daye, Victoria Monet, Pink Sweat$, Kyle Dion. H.E.R., she's probably my favorite artists. 6lack, Daniel Caesar, PJ Morton. That's the playlist I'm going to put on and if I do, that means I'm focused and I'm trying to do real work. And I also want you to listen to this good music while you get this good work.
What do you do to make your woman feel special?
Honestly, to me it's nothing special but, I know how to express myself and put my thoughts into words very clearly. I can communicate very clearly and I've found that that's something that separates myself from a lot of the other men that the women I'm involved with have dealt with. Even when I do things like this and in other interviews, I'm just very candid and clear. And I've seen a lot women comment on that but to me that should be the norm. But I think because I am very clear on my thoughts and speaking on my feelings and being very open, I think that has been the thing. They know how I feel, that they can come to me, and that they can feel comfortable speaking to me--because I'm gonna listen and we can have conversations about all types of things.
So because of that, I think it transcends into a lot of different things. Whether it turns them on or makes them respect me more or whether it makes them feel more secure; it goes into all areas. There's no need for guessing games, we're too grown for that. That's childish, I'm a grown man. You won't have to guess 'cause I'm going to tell you what it is from the beginning. What you see is what you get so there won't be any surprises down the line.
"There's no need for guessing games, we're too grown for that. That's childish, I'm a grown man. What you see is what you get so there won't be any surprises down the line."
Describe for me your ideal date.
I feel like there are two ways to answer this so I have two answers for you. On a simpler level, because I am very simple--I LOVE going to the movies. But not everybody loves that. I hate going to the movies with somebody that doesn't really care or doesn't want to have open dialogue about what we just saw. So I just won't go with those people. I'd love to just go eat and catch a movie.
But on the fun side, I'd want it to be something different. I like going to intimate concerts--not necessarily sold out at Madison Square Garden or Staples Center. But a more intimate setting where you can appreciate the artists and there's more of a connection. I love [arcade bars], you know those bars with arcades--those are cool. I love going somewhere we can relax, have a drink, have good conversation and joke around. I like to laugh a lot, so things like that are good.
What are some major life lessons you’ve learned so far?
Communication, good communication, makes life easy. Whether it be with your friends, family or loved ones, closed mouths don't get fed. A lot of times I think communication is scary for people, maybe because of how some of us were raised. And also I've really learned that it's a marathon not a sprint--whether you're trying to find love or you have this set plan for your life or career. There's no certain age, your time is your time. And once people accept that philosophy, they'll go about things more differently in a way that's hopefully beneficial for them.
For more of Sarunas, follow him on Instagram. Check him out in BET's Games People Play on Tuesdays at 9.
Featured image courtesy of Aaron (@underground_nyc)
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.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy