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. ;)
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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