I know. You probably think that since I used the word "haunting" that I'm referring to something eerie like a ghost or spirit. Nope. If your sexual past has you seeing things, I gotta be honest and own that I'm not qualified to help you out with that. Naw, when I'm talking about your past sexual experiences being able to haunt you, I'm coming from the perspective that, no matter how much you try to shake some of them off, they keep coming into your mind and heart, almost like they are taunting you and keeping you from getting on with your life. It could be a particular man, it could be the sexual experiences that you had with a few men or, it could be the act of sex itself.
The reason why I do feel like I can speak on this kind of haunting is because, for many years, I was haunted by different forms of my sexual past. It seemed like no matter what I did or how hard I tried, certain partners and experiences, I just couldn't seem to shake. Because of that, it was very hard for me to emotionally heal and move forward. And trust me, staying stagnant is a surefire way to set yourself up for some pretty unhealthy—or at least totally counterproductive—approaches to life and relationships with other people.
Time is precious; far too precious for sex to be haunting you instead of blessing you. So, if you're reading this and there's something tugging you to not click off of this page, I'd say that's the first sign that something in your past may be taking up way too much of your present. Just to be sure, here are seven spot-on signs that you may be sexually haunted.
You’re Always Making Comparisons
Knock virginity if you want to but waiting until marriage does have its benefits. For instance, there's someone I know who's been married over 15 years now, who used to say all of the time, "I don't know if my husband is great in bed or not. I know he's great to me because I don't know any different."
Those of us single gals who won't have her same testimony on our wedding night might find it to be a little sad that she didn't get to "kick it" before saying "I do". But you know what? I've dealt with my fair share of couples who have some pretty sucky sex lives and, a big part of it is because, their spouse isn't as good as someone from their past. Sure, they love their husband or wife but if they had to pick someone to join them in the bedroom, some other names would come before them.
You can't control the past that you had or even the memories that come from them. But if you're currently sexually involved with someone and you can't enjoy them because you're always comparing them with someone else, this is one sign that your sexual past is definitely haunting you. Not just haunting you but having way too much power over you too.
You Keep Going Back (to the Sex not “Him”)
There is someone from my past who I had sex with, off and on, for years. For a myriad of reasons that are about a book-length long, we knew that being together, long-term, wasn't gonna work out. But that sex was sooooo good (WHEW!) that we kept coming back for more. Then one day, out of the blue, he told me that I was like crack to him and he chose to no longer be addicted. I never heard from him again.
A few years ago, I looked him up to see what he was up to. I discovered that he was doing very well. I left a message on his work phone saying, "This is crack" and I asked him to give me a call if he got a chance. He called that night and we spoke for about eight hours straight. Y'all, he still looks and sounds just as fine as I remembered him. Anyway, when I asked him what made him blindside me with that phone call almost 20 years ago, he said that he was so caught up in what we had going on that it was sidetracking him—"Shellie, I was literally considering leaving college and moving to Nashville, just so we could have sex all of the time. It was getting out of control." He tells no lies there.
The moral to this story—sex is a part of a relationship but anything that is all-consuming isn't healthy. If there is someone you keep going back to and the only reason you've got is because the sex is good, while I hate to say it, that reason isn't good enough. Believe it or not, there are men in this world that can offer you the complete package. Don't remain in a dead-end situation just because the orgasms are good.
You Carry Past Sexual Guilt
I've always been really candid about my sex life. I'm not sure why; I think it's because I'm a pretty open person overall. That doesn't mean that I haven't done some things that I regret (regret means remorse so, it's a good thing to have regrets sometimes). An example is I was once the wedding planner for a couple and I was sleeping with the groom at the time.
How can I share something so low-down? Because, while I am repentant, I don't carry any guilt (or shame) about the situation. It was years and years ago. I apologized to both parties. I've forgiven myself. I've moved past it.
If you have a sexual past, chances are, you've done some things that you're not exactly proud of either. While a certain amount of initial guilt can be good so that you'll learn your lesson and not repeat it, remaining in a state of guilt is bad for your mental health and emotional well-being (check out "10 Things You Didn't Know About Guilt").
If you're having a hard time being in a relationship or having a satisfying sex life and you know it's tied to some sex-related guilt that you're holding onto, I'll share with you one of my favorite definitions of forgiveness that I once heard Oprah share—"Forgiveness is accepting that the past cannot change."
Guilt keeps us looking backwards. Release it so that you can move forwards.
Or You Hold onto Past Sexual Fear
When I speak of fear, I don't mean the kind of fear that may be connected to sexual trauma. If your sexual past is haunting you due to something like that, you are warranted and I encourage you to see a professional and reputable therapist. Counseling or even trauma healing can be life changing; they really can.
Actually, where I'm coming from is the acronym for fear—False Evidence Appearing Real. Another indication that your sexual past may be haunting you is a past partner may have made you feel self-conscious about your body or sexual performance or, a sexual experience that you built up in your mind ended up not being all that you fantasized and that has hindered you from fully enjoying sex now. You don't want to show your body, you prefer to have sex in the dark and/or you build up a wall so that you won't be disappointed…again.
Your current partner is not your past one. Unless he gives you reason to think that things will be like before, make a conscious decision to give him the benefit of the doubt. When fear knows that we don't believe what it's telling us, oftentimes, it tends to fade away.
You Constantly Use Sex as a Way to Move On
I've shared before that a saying that is truly like fingernails on the chalkboard to me is, "The best way to get over someone is to get underneath someone else." It files right up there with "If you like it, I love it." (Because we usually say that when someone is doing something stupid or self-destructive. So no, I don't love it.) Anyway, if you're someone who believes that rebound sex is the best way to move on from someone who turned you out and/or broke your heart, do your future a favor and check out "We Should Really Rethink the Term 'Casual Sex'". The oxytocin that surges throughout your body during sex has no idea if you're doin' it and doin' it well (shout out to LL Cool J) with someone you're in love with or someone you just met.
And since oxytocin is designed to bond you to your sex partners regardless, well…if your way of getting over someone is to be with someone else, I hate to break it to you, but all you're actually doing is adding more men to the list that you'll have to get over—one way or another. You're setting yourself up to remain sexually haunted for a long, long time.
Sex Is Your (Main) Self-Esteem Booster
Who doesn't want to be told that they are good in bed?! Anyone who says they don't care is LY-ING. However, I'll raise my hand in this class and admit that when it comes to about half of the 14 sex partners that I've had (I break all of them down in "Each of My 14 Sex Partners Taught Me Something New"), a part of the reason why they were able to "get in" at all is because I had seasons in my life where I thought that the only thing that would draw—and hopefully keep—a man was my sexual performance. The problem with that is 1) all of us have more than one thing that makes us special and relationship-worthy and 2) that is a lot of power—too much power—to relinquish to one particular aspect of your life.
Take it from me, if you are in the habit of using sex—or your sexual performance—as a way to feel good about yourself, there are a ton of men who are just waiting to manipulate that breakdown in your psyche. Not only that but, during your sexual dry seasons, you could find yourself in mild bouts of self-hatred or depression because you aren't able to rely on your "fix". And since you've convinced yourself for so long that sex is the only way to remedy the issue…do you see the vicious cycle that you've created?
Sex Is Your Coping Mechanism
Speaking of sex being a "fix", if you run to sex, because you don't know how else to deal with a bad situation or difficult emotions, that's a sign that you're misusing sex more than you're actually embracing it. Sex is proven to reduce stress and make us happier, but if you don't know any other way to handle what's transpiring in your life, not only are you setting yourself up to have "haunting feelings" about sex itself but you could send yourself on the path to becoming a diagnosed sex addict.
So, what should you do when life seems to be a little painful or out of control? Get still and don't be afraid to feel what you're feeling. Do something like take a bath, listen to some relaxing music or even take a nap in order to give yourself a bit of a break. Then try and come up with a plan of what to do next. Then actually follow through with said plan.
I know this isn't the kind of topic that gets explored a lot. But it should be. Sex is too awesome for it to be out here haunting you. Exorcise the past so that you can openly and freely get on with your sexual future!
Featured image via GIFS
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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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Featured image by Westend61/Getty Images
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This Is How Geminis Pair With Each Zodiac Sign In Matters Of The Heart
Diving into the compatibility of Gemini is a unique one because a Gemini has no restrictions when it comes to love. They are open-minded enough to get along with everyone, and their charming and talkative nature attracts many to them. Geminis are notorious in Astrology, and not always for the best reasons. They are talked about the most regarding their relationships and how they are as partners. So what is it about this air sign that intrigues some and irritates others? Is Gemini a good partner to be with, or are they a walking red flag?
Who Are Geminis Compatible With?
Well, there is something to be noted about Gemini that is often not known. In Astrology, Gemini is represented as The Twins, and in Tarot, Gemini is represented as The Lovers. They do have a deep connection to relationships, love, and partnerships, and this energy is not talked about enough when it comes to Gemini.
Geminis make good partners as they know what it takes to be one. They are the type to support their partners unconditionally and to see their partners in the best light. This is why so many are attracted to Gemini in the first place because they make others feel like being themselves is enough and is worthy of love and affection. They are also extremely fun partners to be around, and nothing is ever dull in a relationship with a Gemini.
The challenges that arise with a Gemini relationship and where they get their bad rap from, however, have to do with Gemini’s flighty and inconsistent energy. Being a mutable sign, you never really know what you are going to get with a Gemini, and not in a good way. They are very impulsive and can be irrational when it comes to love.
Love is often where they feel the need to take the most risks, often at the expense of someone else. If they feel smothered or controlled in any type of way in a relationship, they tend to run, and sometimes that’s into another person’s arms.
Geminis need a lot of mental stimulation to feel connected and need a partner who has this same type of spark. It may take a while for a Gemini to commit, and they tend to go through many trials and errors in love, however, if they get into a relationship with the perfect balance of love and spontaneity, they will not have a challenge being devoted to that person. You will never forget a relationship with a Gemini.
GEMINI + ARIES
Gemini and Aries are soulmates. This is a relationship the two find easy and comfortable, and like they get each other on another level than most. Gemini and Aries have a similar energy, and their curiosity and excitement for life make this a fun couple that everyone loves to be around. This is the type of relationship to have funny banter and who loves to joke around and not take life too seriously. They both value their freedom and independence and won’t put too much pressure on each other, which makes this a relationship that can go the distance. They respect each other, they put good energy into the relationship, and this is a dynamic couple.
GEMINI + TAURUS
A Gemini and Taurus relationship is not the worst of the worst, but it’s also not the best of the best for Gemini. Being that these two are next to each other on the Zodiac Wheel, there is a unique connection and familiarity these two have together that can’t go unnoticed. Gemini can learn a lot from Taurus and vice versa, and these two are usually willing to learn and grow with each other. What makes things work here is they both value relationships in life, so the two of them will like to spend time together. Although, there tends to be a lack of basic chemistry in the relationship between Gemini and Taurus that is needed in order to lead to a committed relationship.
GEMINI + GEMINI
A Gemini and Gemini relationship is wild. This is a relationship that is like a roller coaster ride for both of them, and the potential for longevity is slim. However, a lot of fun will be had, and communication between the two will be this relationship’s strength. The challenge with an air sign and air sign couple is that the relationship is often flighty, and unless there are other factors in the birth chart, it can be difficult for these two to settle down. This relationship may seem like a good idea in the beginning, but it may eventually become a burden to one or the other. Nonetheless, they will have a good time together.
GEMINI + CANCER
Gemini and Cancer is a rare type of relationship that you don’t see often. Although Gemini is typically the initiator in their relationships, Cancer will most likely be the one to make the first move here. Cancer finds Gemini intriguing and interesting, and Gemini senses this from Cancer and wraps them in their web effortlessly. Over time, Cancer may find Gemini too hard to grasp, and Cancer is the type of lover who needs more constant devotion and love than Gemini is willing to give. Both of them tend to act on impulse, and this relationship is typically one with a lot of emotional and mental upheavals.
GEMINI + LEO
Gemini and Leo make great best friends and lovers. This is a connection that is often formed from friendship in the beginning and then leads to a deeper kind of love. Leo finds Gemini sexy and intriguing, and what the other signs complain about in Gemini, Leo feels like they can handle. After a time, however, Leo may find some of Gemini’s motives and intentions too shaky for committed Leo, as they truly need someone who is all in. If Gemini is in that place and is willing to give their love and devotion to Leo and vice versa, this can be a beautiful relationship full of mutual respect and good times.
GEMINI + VIRGO
This is a relationship that is based on communication. Gemini and Virgo have a unique mental connection as they are both ruled by the planet of communication, Mercury, and they are both mutable signs. This relationship may at first seem unusual to outsiders and even to them, as they are both very different people when it comes down to it, however, the more they get to know each other, the more they like what they see. All in all, though, Virgo may not have the tolerance to make this something long-term, and Gemini may find Virgo too uptight. Both find it difficult to see each other in their futures, but both appreciate the energy of understanding and freedom in the relationship.
GEMINI + LIBRA
Gemini and Libra have a relationship that is full of love. This is a couple that likes spending time together, and they both find each other attractive on many different levels. Libra is the romantic, and Gemini is the charmer. Libra likes the flirtatious energy that Gemini gives, and this is a couple that doesn’t grow tired of each other. They are both highly intellectual, and the communication between the two of them is something special. Gemini will have to watch out for their wildcard tendencies to make this relationship work long-term, however, because Libra will begin to find all the things they thought were charming about Gemini distasteful. This relationship has a lot working for them to work, but balance will be necessary.
GEMINI + SCORPIO
This is a relationship that isn’t for the weak. The sexual compatibility between the two is there, but the mental connection, which is needed for Gemini to get into a relationship in the first place, isn’t. Scorpio needs an emotional connection in a relationship; Gemini craves a mental one. These two are both creative individuals, and they tend to have a bond over music, art, or theatre, however, personality-wise, they will often have disagreements and misunderstandings between each other that make it difficult for the relationship to grow into anything. It seems worth it at first, but these two soon realize there isn’t enough in common to keep them together.
GEMINI + SAGITTARIUS
Gemini and Sagittarius have a lot of fun and laughs together. When in a relationship, they both love to explore the world together, hang out with friends, and build a life that is exciting to live. They are all about creativity and personal expression, and they aren’t the type to hold each other back in any way. This is a couple that can spend hours talking, and that is willing to get to know each other on many different levels. Since these two are sister signs and reside on opposite sides of the Zodiac Wheel, their differences can feel too strong to bear at times, and this relationship can only work if they learn to love and respect each other’s perspective instead of changing them all the time.
GEMINI + CAPRICORN
Gemini and Capricorn are an unusual pair, but anything is possible. The main challenges that arise in this type of relationship are Gemini’s need for freedom and Capricorn’s need for stability. These two both want completely different things out of life and will have to find ways to meet in the middle to make the relationship work. Gemini and Capricorn both have very different energies, and they don’t necessarily mesh well when they come together. Gemini is known for its charm, however, and not even Capricorn can deny that type of spark, so there is a potential for something to happen. All in all, this is one of Gemini’s least compatible matches in Astrology.
GEMINI + AQUARIUS
These two are often found in both friendships and romantic relationships. They get along well, and everything comes naturally to them. Gemini and Aquarius are the type of couple to turn a fling into something more serious. They often meet on the internet or through mutual friends, and these two tend to have a lot of common interests and perspectives. This is a progressive couple who won’t be into societal norms that come with relationships, and they are more likely to do things on their own terms, making their relationship a unique one. Gemini and Aquarius have a lot of love for each other, and this is a couple with strong compatibility.
GEMINI + PISCES
Gemini and Pisces are another more common duo for Gemini. Pisces tend to see with rose-colored glasses when in love, and Gemini admires this type of fantasy world that Pisces opens up to Gemini. Gemini, being their curious selves, finds themselves lost in another world with Pisces, and they feel inspired here. However, with the different perspectives, shifts of energy, and mutable behavior, things can change quickly here, and this relationship either turns out to be a beautiful one or a complete disaster. If this relationship is built on solid ground and not empty promises, then it can work out for the best.
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