Aight. Today, I'm going to tackle a topic that, while it may not be discussed a lot, it definitely needs to be. I say that because, when it comes to a lot of the couples that I work with, it never fails that sex is a leading challenge. And when it comes to what the issues are concerning sex, there are plenty — and I mean, PLENTY — of times when someone (usually the husband, I'm just gonna be real) will say that their partner is moody as hell in the bedroom. Hmph. And just what is that supposed to mean?
While there are layers of answers to that question, in this case, I think a surface-level definition of moody will more than suffice. To be moody is to be someone who lacks consistency to the point where your feelings and behaviors can literally switch up without any heads up — shoot, sometimes without any clear cause (like hormonal shifts or stress) either. And here's the thing about that — whether a lot of us choose to accept it or not, we can control our emotions (especially how we express them) so much more than we tend to do.
In walks sexual mood swings. One minute you're down for whatever. The next minute, you're irritated AF at the mere thought of your partner even touching you. And again, while there could be some physical reasons behind why this is the case (and I will touch on a couple of those here), what I also want to explore today are things that are more about mere attitudes and expectations — things that we can get a hold on very quickly…if we would simply choose to.
Keeping all of this in mind, if you know that you are quite the roller coaster ride — and not in a good way — when it comes to copulation, here are some reasons why that could be the case. Because once you get to the root of why you're feeling the way that you do, it can be so much easier to bring things back into balance. Including in the bedroom.
Do You Have Unrealistic Sexual Expectations?
Again, since I counsel married couples, sex tends to come up quite a bit (that's a part of the reason why I write so much about sex too; on some levels, it's an occupational hazard). And when one or both spouses tell me that "meh" is basically how they would describe how things are sexually going for them, I will sometimes say what I don't think is said enough — just like people can have super unrealistic expectations when it comes to their relationship overall, the same thing can be applied to their sex life.
And just how can you be "sexually unrealistic"? If you require hours of sex every time. If you're damn near demanding multiple orgasms — or shoot, even one or two — every single encounter. If you want your current partner to be like a former one (check out "You Love Him. You Prefer Sex With Your Ex. What Should You Do?"). If the sex needs to seem like some outtake from your favorite movie or song every time you do it…these are all examples of not taking a practical approach to coitus.
Don't get me wrong, you deserve for sex to be consistently pleasurable. I'm just saying that sometimes that means learning how to just relax and embrace the closeness and intimacy of being with your partner rather than always expecting Independence Day level fireworks. If you're someone who believes otherwise, this could be the reason why you are sexually moody as all get out. Whew, chill out a bit.
Do You Rely Too Much on "Making Love"?
I've shared, multiple times before, that I'm not a huge fan of the phrase "make love". Personally, I believe that when two people are committed to one another and then they come together physically, they are celebrating the love that already exists; they aren't making love happen. Chile, believe you me — if you're out here looking for sex to make love evolve, you are definitely setting yourself up to be on an emotional roller coaster ride.
Hmph. It makes me think of something that Tank once said in an interview (I would link it, but it was a bit…much). He stated that he can barely know a woman, have sex with her and make her feel like he's been in love with her for years. He's not the only person who thinks way and it really is a cautionary tale; it's a reminder that the physical act of sex can be bomb yet that doesn't automatically or necessarily mean that a solid and reliable emotional connection has been established.
This is why it is oh so very important that you are clear on your own motives for having sex with someone, that you articulate them with your partner beforehand and that you're honest with them and yourself about what you desire beyond the act up the pike. Otherwise, you could find yourself feeling confused, becoming disillusioned or needing to read "Don't Mistake A Great Sex Partner For A Great Life Partner" over and over again. And all of these options are a lot on the emotional tip.
Do You Know Exactly When You’re Ovulating?
Since I've been doing this "no sex thing" for a while now, it's not uncommon that I'll be asked for some "abstinence hacks". One of my top ones is to put a period tracker on your phone. The reason why is so you'll know when you're ovulating. And just why is that relevant? Well, that's the time of the month when you are the most likely to get pregnant and, as nature would have it, that's usually when we are the horniest too. So, if there's a part of you that is always wondering why, oh, about two weeks since your last period, all you can think about is getting some, the fact that you are dropping an egg probably plays a really big role in that. Shoot, even the women I know who kinda have the "I can take it or leave it" attitude about sex will turn around and turn into a real maneater when they're ovulating. And it makes totally sense why that would be the case.
When’s the Last Time You Got Your Hormone Levels Checked?
Listen, I don't care how old you are (because some people only attribute this point to PMS, pregnancy or menopause), it can never hurt to get your hormone levels checked, at least on a biannual basis. There are a billion reasons why this can prove to be so beneficial for you; however, as it relates to this particular point, if your hormones are all over the place, this could explain why you are pretty unpredictable as far as sex is concerned. For instance, if you happen to have an elevated level of testosterone, your libido may be higher. On the other hand, if your estrogen levels aren't where they are supposed to be, you could end up with erratic mood swings, jacked up sleep patterns and less interest in coitus.
At the end of the day, no one is really moody, "just because". More times than not, it's a sign that something is off kilter on a mental, emotional or physical level. Getting your hormones checked on a fairly consistent basis can help you to stay balanced on the physical tip. It can help to ward off sexual mood swings too.
Do You Rely on Sex to “Make It All Better”?
A couple of years ago, I wrote an article for the platform entitled, "Make-Up Sex Might Be Doing Your Relationship More Harm Than Good". You know, a part of the reason why I discourage people from having sex too soon is because it can cloud your judgment in the sense that it can cultivate a bond with someone (which is what oxytocin is designed to do) without really getting to know if the two of you are a good fit outside of sexual activity. And so, as you get closer to one another, you could find yourself in the cul-de-sac of always having sex to fix your problems or communicate without drama, all the while avoiding the reality that the relationship may not be the best fit for you.
I've seen a lot of people — too many, in fact — stay in some pretty toxic situations because, instead of getting some therapy, they will jump (back) into the sheets, believing that good sex will make everything all better. Now, am I saying that make-up sex is a bad thing? No. What I am saying is sex is best applied when you've resolved a matter and then engage instead of always running from a problem and then using sex as a distraction. Bottom line, if make-up sex is the only remedy that seems to work for you and yours, your sexual mood swings make a lot of sense because, if you're really honest with yourself, things only fully "feel good" when sex is transpiring. This means that when sex isn't going down, there's no telling when bullshishery is going to hit the fan.
Is Sex Usually ALL About You?
When it comes to sexual mood swings, some of the most unpredictable people are those who are selfish lovers — and yes, those totally do exist. I can't tell you how many times I've sat in sessions with couples where wives expect to receive oral sex yet the thought of giving it is "gross" or husbands think that being married means that sex should happen whenever they feel like it, regardless on if their partner is truly in the mood or not. The reality is the couples who have the most productive and fulfilling sex lives are the ones where each partner gets off the most from pleasuring the person they are with; this results in both people feeling desirable, a priority and totally open to sexual satisfaction.
If you're not this kind of person, sex is going to be up-and-down for you because no one wants to be with someone who is solely focused on what they can receive over what they are willing to give (do). Make sense?
Are You Naturally Moody, Anyway?
The older I get, something that I like more and more is consistency. As a result, what I desire to have less around me is moodiness. Moody folks can be draining AF because you never really know who — or shoot, even what — you are dealing with at any given time. And what's really a trip is some folks are so used to being in a state of internal chaos that they don't mind being emotionally all over the place and wreaking havoc on others.
It makes me think of a husband I know who's been married to his wife for a couple of decades now yet seriously considers ending their marriage, at least a couple of times a year. His main reason why? "Dealing with her is the ultimate gaslight because if I'm not walking on eggshells, I'm having to play a guessing game of what she's feeling and thinking. Sometimes, on an hourly basis," is what he says. His wife? She takes on the "Well, you signed up for being with me, so deal with it." Yeah, that's a pretty jacked up way to look at it.
There's no way that you can be a "naturally moody individual" and it not affect your sex life on some level. Whether it's hormones, substance abuse, internalizing issues, taking on an entitled attitude (I promise you that I'm gonna circle around to doing an article on entitlement one of these days) or just not exhibiting self-control, it really doesn't serve you well to "just be moody" all of the time. Set up an appointment with your physician and/or a reputable therapist/counselor/life coach, so that you can get your life back on track. You'll be all the better for it. So will your relationship and your sex life. Promise you that.
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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. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and felt so deeply connected to them? Everything about the relationship was intense – good or bad? Then you might be in a part of a soul tie.
The concept of a soul tie binds individuals on a level beyond a relationship's physical and emotional aspects; it’s more than a mere connection. You can form a soul tie with anyone – lover, friend, colleague, etc.- but we are discussing romantic partners for this article. Think of you and your partner as an intensely burning flame. The flame can burn passionately to light the relationship’s way or chaotically burn everything in its path. Either way, it leaves an indelible mark on the souls involved.
A soul tie should not be confused with the term “soulmate.” The main difference is that a soul tie can be positive or negative, while a soulmate is a mutual, harmonious connection. Unlike a soul tie, a soulmate relationship is generally characterized by mutual understanding, support, and shared values.
However, the more we learn about soul ties, the more it becomes evident that they are not monolithic; they vary in nature and intensity. As someone who has experienced a negative soul tie, it is crucial to discern whether they contribute positively to personal growth or hinder you from flourishing.
If Your Soul Tie Is Positive
A positive soul tie creates a deep and affirming connection between individuals. One key indicator of a positive soul tie is effective communication. If you’re experiencing a positive soul tie, a shared understanding fosters open and honest dialogue, contributing to a sense of connection and support.
Mutual growth is another hallmark of a positive soul tie. When individuals in a relationship encourage each other's personal development and evolution, it signifies a positive and uplifting connection. This mutual support leads to an environment where both parties can thrive individually and together, contributing to the overall health of the soul tie.
Emotional security is a crucial element in identifying a positive soul tie. In such connections, individuals feel a deep sense of trust and comfort with each other. This emotional security forms a stable foundation for the relationship, allowing both parties to express vulnerability and foster a strong, positive bond. These three indicators—effective communication, mutual growth, and emotional security—underscore the positivity inherent in a healthy and affirming soul tie.
If Your Soul Tie Is Negative
A negative soul tie manifests as a detrimental and draining connection between individuals. One clear sign of a negative soul tie is the presence of emotional turmoilwithin the relationship. When the connection becomes a source of constant distress, causing emotional upheaval and hindering personal development, it indicates a negative soul tie.
Codependency is another red flag for a negative soul tie. In such connections, individuals may become overly reliant on each other, impeding their ability to thrive independently. Codependency often leads to unhealthy dependencies and can result in a toxic dynamic that hinders both individuals' growth and well-being.
A lack of effective communication is a third indicator of a negative soul tie. When there is a breakdown in communication, misunderstandings and unresolved issues can fester, contributing to a strained and unhealthy connection. In negative soul ties, the absence of open and honest dialogue can perpetuate a cycle of negativity and prevent the resolution of underlying issues. These three indicators—emotional turmoil, codependency, and poor communication—point to the negativity associated with an unhealthy soul tie.
Putting Out The Fires And Breaking Your Soul Tie
Unfortunately, my deep, intense connection only caused destruction. And despite the obvious red flags, it took a minute before I broke the connection. Why? Because I was addicted to the relationship, we both were. But it is possible to break a soul tie if and when you are ready because if you are not, pretending you are when you are not is a waste of your time.
Breaking a soul tie requires intentional and purposeful actions. Establishing clear and firm boundaries is a fundamental step in severing the connection. By limiting contact and emotional engagement with the person involved, individuals can gradually weaken the tie and create space for personal growth.
Seeking professional support is another effective strategy to break a soul tie. Guidance from therapists or counselors provides valuable insights and coping strategies. Professional assistance can help individuals navigate the emotional challenges associated with breaking a soul tie, offering a structured and supportive environment for healing.
Redirecting energy toward personal growth is important in breaking free from a soul tie. Engaging in activities that promote individual well-being and create a sense of independence allows individuals to refocus their attention on their own growth and development. This redirection of energy is essential for breaking the emotional bonds of a soul tie and moving towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.
The last step I advise everyone to go through is the mourning period. My partner and I did our song and dance for years before I walked away. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that I mourned our relationship while I healed.
Recognizing the presence and nature of a soul tie in your relationship is crucial to understanding its impact on your well-being. Whether positive or negative, the intensity of a soul tie can shape the course of your personal growth and happiness. Breaking free from a negative soul tie demands intentional efforts, from setting clear boundaries to seeking professional support. Redirecting energy toward personal growth and allowing oneself a necessary mourning period are vital steps toward healing and liberation from the intricate ties that bind.
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