I really enjoy talking to married folks about their relationship. For instance, when I was discussing with a husband I know about why he thinks married couples don't have as much sex as they did when they were single (if they had sex while they were dating), he simply said, "It can be hard to be in the mood to have sex with your business partner and when you're married, you become that. You've got to be intentional about shifting gears." Along those same lines, that's what both husbands and wives have said can make sex after having children a struggle too—that you go from being sex partners to co-parenting partners, and between trying to get on the same page with raising children, finding time for one another and also making sure that you've got even a little bit of energy to make coitus happen…whew…it can be absolutely overwhelming, at times. And that's putting it mildly.
Still, if you ask any reputable relationship therapist, counselor or coach, they are going to tell you that if you want to keep your relationship healthy and thriving, you've got to make time for sex. Sex can't be seen as a luxury; for so many reasons and on so many levels, it is most definitely a necessity.
If you know all of this in theory, yet as a parent, you still struggle with how to make it all go down, I'm hoping that at least a couple of these tips will make it easier—and more enjoyable—to have sex with your partner. No matter how many children may be running around your house.
1. Have the “Sex Talk”
If there is a huge mistake that I think a lot of parents make, it's waiting until a child is basically going into junior high before having "the talk" with them. I believe a part of the hold-up is because people automatically assume that sex education includes graphic discussions and/or exploring sex prevention. The reality is, sex is what brought your son or daughter into the world and, if you're a Bible follower, plenty of Scriptures speak to the fact that God made it (Genesis 2:24-25, Proverbs 5:15, I Corinthians 6:16-20, and all of the Song of Solomon, for example), so there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.
And here's the thing—the earlier your children have an age-appropriate grasp of what sex is and that it's a way that mommy and daddy express love for one another, the easier it will be to have some "steal away moments". Also, you won't have to freak out as much internally, should your children happen to "catch you" in the act. They are already aware of the backstory. Everyone can recover and be just fine.
2. Create Sexy Code Words
There's the general concept of sex and then there's…sex. Listen, just because I'm all for kids knowing the mechanics of sex, along with its purposes (mostly, to "one yourself" with your partner, to share a profound level of intimacy with them and to procreate; in that order too), that doesn't mean I think that your children should be fluent in you and yours "dirty talk". Coming up with code words, so that you and yours can discuss sex without your kids knowing, is another cool hack. Pet names for body parts. Cute words for sex acts. These kinds of things can make it easier for you and your partner to flirt with one another, without worrying about whether or not your children are catching on.
3. Download a Sex Scheduling App
If the challenge that you and your partner have is making time to have sex—not because you don't want to but because both of your schedules are really off the chain—something that you should consider doing is downloading a sex tracking app. It's literally an app that can help you to keep track of how often (or little) you have sex; it can help you and yours to schedule sex too. While it might not seem like the most romantic hack on the planet, I'm a firm believer that scheduling sex is far better than going weeks or months without any sex at all. A popular sex tracking app for iOS is called the Nice Tracker. A list of some other options (some that work with Android phones as well), is listed here.
4. Pull Your Bed Away from the Wall
Something that a lot of my married clients say that they miss about sex prior to having kids is being able to be as loud as they want. Understood (check out "Ever Wonder What The Sounds You Make During Sex Mean?"). First up, there are things that you can do to help to soundproof your room. Installing thicker carpet. Sealing your door. Putting up a ceiling-mounted drape (a drape that covers one of your walls in order to drown out some of the sound). You can read more about this and other tips here.
Another wise idea is to invest in a mattress that nixes a lot of the squeaking that may come from your bodies moving around (you can check out a list of some of the best mattresses, for sex, in 2020 here). On the other hand, if money is tight and you're looking for something that you can do tonight, try pulling your bed a few inches away from the wall. Chances are, it's the headboard banging against the wall that is making a lot more noise than the mattress is. If it's not hitting the wall, it will significantly lower the chances of your kids hearing you—well, y'all.
5. Turn a Sex Schedule into a Sex Game
Back to scheduling sex. If you and/or your partner are all about being spontaneous, turn your schedule into a bit of a game. It can be a guessing game that consists of both of you trying to figure out which day and time works best for each of you beforehand and then having some sort of "prize" for the one who guesses right. It can be a sex flirting kind of game where, once the two of you pick a day, you surprise each other with a sexy text, a massage or some new lingerie (or boxer briefs or boxers in his case). It can be a truth or dare game where, after the date is set, answering a truth makes one sex thing happen while taking a dare results in something totally different. There really are all kinds of ways to make sex on a schedule fun. I mean, look at it this way—kids know that their birthday and Christmas come at the same time every year; they're still excited to see what awaits them. Catch my drift?
6. When They Nap, You Sex
So, what if your kids are really young (like under five) and it seems like, no matter what you do, they are always up and needing something? Perhaps you remember when your little one was first born and the advice that you were given was to sleep whenever they did. The same tip can easily apply to sex. If your children are in a daycare, this tip isn't really relevant. However, if they are at home with you and either you and your partner both work from the house or even one of you does, make an appointment to have sex while your kids are napping. You can use the lunch hour to get it in and, with any luck, that could easily mean that you can have a sex session for no less than 30 minutes or so. Consider it to be a "sex date", if you will.
7. Have Your Own Toy Chest
Whether it's to boost you or your partner's level of sexual confidence, you're looking for a way to bring more spicy into your boudoir or you desire tools that will help to intensify your orgasm, you can never go wrong with having your own toy chest—a sex toy chest, that is. As far as the kinds that are considered must-haves—a vibrator, some handcuffs, a few massage bars, a cock ring, a sex pillow, a waterproof vibrator and lots of bottles of lubricant are all things that can get you off fast, if there isn't a lot of time for foreplay (you know, because of the kids 'n all).
(If you'd like some other sex toy referrals, check out the articles on our site like "8 Crème De La Crème Sex Toys You Can Buy On A Budget" and "Intensify His Pleasure With The Help Of These Sex Toys").
8. Make Their Movie Night Your Quickie Time
Earlier this year, when I wrote "8 'Kinds of Sex' All Married Couples Should Put Into Rotation", one of the kinds that I mentioned was "quickie sex". Quickie sex is dope because it's spontaneous (which can make sex sexy as hell). Also, it doesn't make either one of you feel like every sex session has to be an all-night romp. Well, if you've got some early mornings in the week coming up but you really would like the release that comes from an orgasm or two, don't underestimate the power of putting your kids in one room to watch a movie one afternoon or evening, while the two of you go into another for a quickie. Shoot, if the movie is good enough, you should be able to get a couple of sessions in before they come looking for either one of you.
9. Don’t Limit Yourself to the Bed
I've got a friend who believes that her children are conspiring to keep her and her husband from ever having sex. "It's like if they even sense that we're touching our bed, they're at the door knocking. Doesn't matter what time of day it is either." If you can totally relate, one way to get around this is to remember that, while sex in the bedroom is certainly comfortable, who said that it always has to happen there?
For instance, while I know that some kids don't care if you're in the bathroom either, if there does tend to be at least one place where they'll give you at least 10 minutes of free time, it's in that space. So, consider engaging in some shower sex or telling them that you're going to do something like clean out your closet while they're doing their homework and have your quickie in there. Hey, a hack like this might not earn you a lot of time, but at least you can get off. Besides, if you follow my final point, you can significantly up the chances of having some long, passionate sex…later.
10. Go to Bed at the Same Time
Here's something that you might find interesting (especially if you're engaged). If there's one thing that a lot of the troubled married couples that I work with have in common, it's the fact that they don't go to bed at the same time. While the reasons why are typically pretty innocent—one is a morning person while the other is a night owl or going to bed at different times helps them both to get some "me time" in—the reality is there's solid data to support the fact that couples who don't go to bed at the same time tend to have far more marital conflict while feeling emotionally disconnected from each other.
While I totally get that going to bed at the same time, each and every night, may be somewhat impractical, it's important to try and do it, at least three times a week. It gives you and yours time to bond, have some pillow talk and maybe get a little you-know-what in before falling asleep—and doing the whole mommy and daddy thing all over again the next day. Try it. You just might like it.
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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.
Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood.
We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
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Viola Davis On Beauty Standards Changing In Hollywood: 'We Are Beyond Male Desirability'
Actress Viola Davis is shedding light on beauty standards and how it has transformed throughout the years.
The 57-year-old has touched on this topic numerous times throughout her career, which spans over three decades. In the past, Davis revealed that she felt inadequate because of her physical appearance due to constantly being told she wasn't beautiful or enough.
Since then, the EGOT winner has overcome those insecurities and used her platform to share a positive message to those who need them. In a recent interview withPEOPLE magazine while attending the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, Davis shared that the shift is because many now know that beauty is "beyond male desirability."
Viola On Beauty Standards
During the discussion, the How To Get Away with Murder star also mentioned that another factor contributing to the transformation is that people associate beauty with mental health, which she claimed inspired her partnership with makeup brand L'Oreal.
"I think beauty standards have changed. I think that what's shifted is that whole idea of mental health being associated with beauty [and] of understanding who we are beyond male desirability. It's really a huge part of why I decided to become a part of L'Oreal, that whole statement of 'I'm worth it,'" she said.
Further in the interview, Davis recounted her past experiences of being told she wasn't beautiful and mentioned how it destroyed her because, growing up, she knew that beauty was tied to worthiness.
"What destroyed me was people constantly telling me that I was not beautiful. [You might think] why would you be upset with that? Because beauty is attached with worth and value. And I refuse to believe that I'm not worth it just based on a sort of idea and perception of what people think classical beauty is," she stated.
The Woman King star added that since the shift in beauty standards, women are now being "encouraged to speak their truth a little bit more" in certain situations such as one's goals, sexual assault, mental illness, etc. With that, Davis explained that people are now seeing the beauty within others and applauding them for it.
"Now women are encouraged to speak their truth a little bit more. We see that with sexual assault, with mental illness, with being burnt-out mamas, with following our dreams and our hopes that we have for our lives," she said.
"Back in the day, we hid our pain behind perfectly applied lipstick and wax floors. Now we don't do that anymore. We're saying this is who we are, beyond the makeup and the hair. I see that. I see that with my daughter's generation."
Viola On The Message She Shares With Her Daughter
As the conversation shifted to the advice Davis gives her teenage daughter Genesis Tennon --whom she with her husband, Julius Tennon-- when it comes to beauty, the star disclosed that she motivates Tennon to become the "love" of her own life.
Davis said she shared these sentiments because she wants Tennon to advocate for herself in various situations when others disappoint her and cross her boundaries.
"I told my daughter this morning that she has to have a love affair with herself. That she is indeed the love of her life. I said, 'I love you, but it's not me, it's not some boy. At the end of the day, you can't disappoint yourself. You have to advocate for yourself," she stated. "You have to show up for her.' And it's not just spa treatments and a glass of wine. It's in showing up when someone hurts you. Creating boundaries and when someone crosses it."
Davis wrapped up her remarks by saying she spread positive messages like this to Tennon and the world because she was not "taught" that loving oneself meant being one's supporter.
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