The 90s is my favorite era of R&B (fight me, if you wanna). There's no time or space to get into all of the reasons why. For now, I'll provide a song example of why it's unmatched. As I was sitting down to write this piece, a song that came into my mind is the 1990 jam, "Show Me" by Howard Hewett. While the song certainly stands on its own, what I really like is the fact that his wife (at the time), Nia Peeples was in the video. His lead was his spouse. He used his visual to not only honor her but his marriage. To me, that is beyond dope infinity. And because I've always been aware of the fact that the video featured a husband and wife pairing, I always revered it with a kind of honor and, even sacredness, than a lot of other songs and visuals.
For many reasons, I see married sex the same way. When two people make the conscious choice and commitment to share the rest of their lives with one another, it just makes me respect their sex life on a whole 'nother level. That's why, as a marriage life coach, I am such an advocate for husbands and wives to participate in as much coitus as possible…as often as possible.
One time, while in a session with a couple, they asked me if there was "just one way to have sex". They weren't speaking of positions and technique. Nah, what they were referring to is should there be different ways to approach that type of intimacy with their partner. I found that to be a very insightful and profound question. While there are probably a dozen more ways than the eight that I'm about to share, I do think that in order for a husband and wife to feel truly fulfilled in their sexual intimacy with one another, there are the "kinds of sex" that need to happen on a consistent basis. If that doesn't make sense to you now, I'm hoping that it will by the time this piece is done. (Oh, and feel free to throw on some 90s R&B in the background, while you're reading, if you'd like.)
1. Morning Sex
I can't tell you how many married couples have sang the praises of morning sex to me before.
There is one husband, in particular, who cracks me up, every time I think about what he digs so much about it. "I'm telling you, if I'm able to get some head before the day starts, my wife can hit me up about wanting a new pair of shoes, her mom coming for dinner, or her maxing out a credit card and I'm basically going to be like, 'Yes Dear'."
What is it about morning sex that is so…refreshing? For one thing, since men, on average, have five erections that last 25 minutes each throughout the night, if they wake up with morning wood, sex is a fantastic release. Also, for both men and women, morning sex is an awesome way to de-stress, reconnect and also get an energy charge before the day begins. So, if you're married and you can't remember the last time you let your genitalia rather than an alarm clock awaken you, try and be more intentional about participating in a lil' bit of morning coitus. It beats the hell out of a cup of java. No doubt about it.
2. Quickie Sex
Whenever I think of quickie sex, necessity is what comes to mind. Although I'll be the first one to say that married sex serves a myriad of purposes (check out "10 Wonderful Reasons Why Consistent Sex In Marriage Is So Important"), let's not act like sometimes we just don't need to "get that thing off". Quickie sex isn't (always or necessarily) about being romantic or engaging in a lot of foreplay. Quickie sex is more in the lane of, "I'm horny and I need to handle this so that I can relax and/or focus and/or get on to the other stuff that I need to do."
Unfortunately, because some people think that all sex needs to look like something out of a chick flick, they don't allow themselves (or their partner) to enjoy quickies as often as they should. If you're one of those individuals, I'd encourage you to look at quickies from another angle. Shouldn't one of the benefits of being married be that sex is more convenient? Because your partner is easily accessible, you don't have to do a lot of planning and preparing. Plus, (hopefully) you both know how to get each other off, so pleasure is a surefire thing with them. Since this is the case, while brushing your teeth, sitting on the couch or preparing dinner, you can pull stuff down (or move it over), handle your business and go on with your day. To me, that is not a "problem"; that is a blessing, chile.
3. Scheduled Sex
While some people hate the idea of scheduling sex, I don't. In fact, whenever the topic comes up, what I usually say is all scheduling sex is about is prioritizing it. While it would be nice if all sex could be "random" and "spontaneous" (more on that in just a sec), the reality is that most of us have pretty tight to-do lists. So, if we don't make it a point to plan certain things out, they would never happen. Now, no one is saying that scheduled sex means that you've got to be as tight and rigid as Mrs. Elena Richardson (Reese Witherspoon) was in Little Fires Everywhere (in her house, sex only happened on Wednesdays and Saturdays; her poor husband). But if you and yours have so much going on that scheduling sex is gonna be better than having no sex at all, pull out your Google calendar and designate when your private parts can get some quality time in. 10-15 percent of all marriages are sexless ones. I'd venture to say a big part of the reason why is because couples aren't prioritizing their sex lives nearly as much as they need to or should.
4. Spontaneous Sex
Everything in life is about balance, right? While scheduled sex certainly serves its purpose, so does spontaneous sex. The thing that I like about this kind of copulation is, another word for spontaneous is, impulsive. To be impulsive is to participate in something that is almost involuntary. In a sexual context, it's like you want your partner so bad that you don't even think about where you are or if it's a good time or not to get some; you've got to have them and so you're gonna make it happen. If it's a public place, so be it. If it's in the middle of the day, it's all good. While life might not make it possible to be spontaneous in this way all of the time, partaking in this type of sex is a great way for your partner to feel loved and lusted (which is "a passionate or overmastering desire or craving"). It also can keep a married couple's sex life spicy and interesting.
6. Hotel Sex
Not too long ago, I watched All Def Digital's Squad Cast talk about why they prefer to have sex at home over having sex in a hotel room (it's at the 1:25:07 mark). To be fair, a lot of them are touring comedians, so they spend a lot of time in hotels (even KevOnStage said that hotels have lost their allure because of it). But as someone who used to have quite a bit of hotel sex (back when I was having sex) and also as someone who puts married couples in hotels, free of charge, from time to time, I am a HUGE FAN of hotel sex. Hotels provide a change of scenery. If it's a quality one, the beds tend to feel amazing. And, you can oftentimes find little "perks" to make you feel pampered (like room service, couples' massages or jacuzzi tubs). While I do think it's healthy for couples to plan romantic trips at least once a year, sometimes budgets and other life demands make that a close to impossible feat to pull off. But something that almost every husband and wife can do is spend at least one night in a hotel room. I personally haven't met one couple who doesn't come back from hotel sex feeling renewed. If you've never done it, at least try it. I'd be shocked if you didn't like—no, absolutely love—it!
7. Comfort Sex
I remember once going to a bridal shower and someone asking everyone to offer up sex advice for the bride-to-be. When it came time for a senior elder's (of a church) wife to speak, she said, "Don't deny your husband unless you're deathly ill." When some of the women turned up their nose at her response, she simply said, "I've been married almost 50 years. A lot of you are divorced." (Geeze.) While I'm definitely not the woman who thinks that people should have sex when they don't feel like it, I do think it's important for married people to treat sex like it's a staple in their relationship and not just a…hobby.
However, the reason why I'm even bringing all of this up is because I think it's important to remind some wives that when you don't feel like doing it, oftentimes it's how you refuse your husband that can potentially put a wedge between the two of you. It's so important to remember that a lot of men feel totally vulnerable when trying to initiate sex, so when they are turned down in a flippant or cold way, that can cause them to feel rejected—not just physically but as if all of them is being dismissed.
It's not talked about enough that sometimes husbands want to be with their wives, not because they are "horny" so much as they want to feel loved, accepted and yes, comforted. Listen, I am all about Black love and it's hard for Black men and women out here. If there's one place where any spouse should feel soothed, consoled and reassured, it's within their marriage. Sometimes that comes in the form of being as close to their partner as possible. Comfort sex isn't talked about, nearly as much as it should be. It's needed though. A lot.
7. Reconciliation Sex
Reconcile is a dope word. One of my favorite definitions of it is "to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent". While I'm not a huge fan of the phrase "make love" (because, as I oftentimes say, sex should celebrate love not create it), I do think that choosing to love someone, each and every day of your life, (hopefully) for the rest of your life, requires extreme time, effort and energy. Because a marriage consists of two flawed human beings, there are going to be times when husbands and wives are not "walking in agreement", when they aren't exactly in harmony with each other. Sometimes, one of the best ways to get back in sync with each other is to partake in what I call "reconciliation sex".
While, on the surface, that might seem like make-up sex, it's not 100 percent the same thing. Oftentimes, make-up sex is relied upon as a diversion or a coping mechanism when couples don't know how to properly communicate and/or resolve their issues. Reconciliation sex is more like…what a couple does to reward themselves once they have figured out how to get back on the same page about something. It is a physical act that affirms and confirms that they are back in agreement and harmony again. Because sex is such a beautiful, powerful and intimate thing, when two people feel like they have mentally and emotionally reunited, it can do wonders for the relationship to acknowledge that by engaging in physical intimacy. Hot, steamy, sexy, "nasty", totally mind-blowing sexual intimacy.
8. "Holy" Sex
I picked this GIF on purpose. It's from the 1940s classic filmCabin in the Sky starring Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Eddie Anderson and a host of others. If you've never seen it before, the love that Petunia (played by Waters) had for her husband, Little Joe (played by Anderson) was nothing short of spiritual and supernatural. That woman prayed for that man to break his bad habits as if her very life depended on it. It's a cinematic reminder that marriage has a sacred component to it; and so does married sex.
That's why, to me, whenever two people are married, I most definitely believe that sex is an act of worship. What I mean by that is there is a reverence in the act that is very special within a marital union. It's because of that that articles on our site like "Ashley Graham & Her Husband Say Prayer Is The Ultimate Form Of Foreplay" make complete and total sense to me and lyrics like "You're the blessing that I never thought I would get/And to the Lord I humbly bow my head" from Usher's "Here I Stand" seem like they would be the perfect kind of background music for a sex session.
If you're someone who believes that marriage is a spiritual union, then surely you must believe that the Most High is a part of it. To me, "holy sex" is about remembering the foundation and Source of your love. It's about approaching intimacy in a spirit of pure sacredness and gratitude. It's about acknowledging that, so long as your spirits are in sync, your bond is close to invincible.
Hmph. Let me tell it, if there's any "kind of sex" that a husband and wife should have the most often, this one would definitely top the list. Let the Church say, "Amen", y'all. Now what kind of sex are you and yours gonna have tonight?
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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.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masterdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masterdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masterdating All About?
Masterdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masterdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masterdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masterdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masterdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masterdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masterdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masterdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masterdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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