Y'all, you don't even have to say it. With as much time as I devote to studying the topic of sex, on a pretty consistent basis, even I have moments when I will stumble across a concept that leaves me a bit stumped. Although it has indeed been a while since I've partaken of the beautiful act known as coitus, my memory is still quite keen. And while some sex was better than others (see "What Exactly Does It Mean To Be Sexually Compatible?"), I generally didn't have problems achieving orgasms (also see "Why You Should Stop Faking Orgasms ASAP"). Annnnd, from what I can recall, all of them were pretty damn good.
That's why, when I checked out an article that was recently featured on Health's website and I noticed that it was exploring the entire concept of what a "bad orgasm" actually is, you know a sista was super intrigued. I'd be baffled if at least a few of you aren't too. So, just what is a bad orgasm, you ask?
What in the World Is a “Bad Orgasm”?!
OK, so there is a study that was published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, right? If you want to read it in its entirety, you can do so by clicking here. Just a heads up, it's long and technical, so if you want a general concept of what it revealed, it's this. After surveying approximately 726 different people, the researchers came to the conclusion that we are capable of having orgasms that aren't all that pleasurable. And, if we continue to have them, they are able to create negative impacts on our relationships, our psychological health and our sexuality overall.
For the record, while the study did also delve into what happens to people when they have orgasms during sex when it is not consensual (because sometimes our bodies mechanically respond to sexual stimuli no matter how much our minds and emotions aren't into it), the part of the study that was featured in Health's article is referring to the kind when both parties agree to "do it".
And just what kind of sex is consensual, brings forth an orgasm and still the orgasm is considered to be bad? That's a really good question. Let me answer that by offering up more questions. Have you ever had sex with your partner in order to avoid having a difficult conversation or disagreement that you didn't want to get into? Have you over "pushed yourself" to climax in order to give your partner the impression that you are just as satisfied as they appear to be? Have you ever had an orgasm with someone, whether it was via oral sex or intercourse, and the overall experience felt kind of empty because the emotional connection simply wasn't there (whether that's ever or at a particular time)? Perhaps you don't have a problem with "getting there", but the sex and climax ends up being borderline painful because you're not wet enough or the way that you are being penetrated isn't as comfortable as you are generally accustomed to. Has that ever happened to you before?
Dayum. When you look at it this way, you're probably thinking, "Whoa. I've been having way more 'bad orgasms' than I ever should have been." The researchers agree and that is the overall purpose for why they are trying to get us to grasp on to the concept of what a bad orgasm is. They want us to realize that, when it comes to having truly great sex, there needs to be more focus on "great" and less on "orgasm"; especially since, for the most part, orgasms are merely a physical reaction to sexual stimulation.
Not to say that our minds and hearts can't help to make climaxing easier (especially for women), but if after you "reach the mountaintop", you basically feel like you actually would've preferred doing something like clean your fridge, clip your toenails or even just avoided your partner altogether…does that sound like good sex to you? Exactly. That technically would qualify as being a bad orgasm. (Bad sex too when you really stop to think about it.)
How Do Good Orgasms vs. Bad Orgasms Compare to One Another?
The more I gave bad orgasms some thought, my mind went back to a lot of the conversations that I've had with women—both online and off—about how sex for them is "just OK". It's not because they aren't attracted to their partner or that he is lacking in his abilities; it's because they just don't feel as into the experience as they want to be. One woman, in particular, she recently shared with me that, while she climaxes on a very consistent basis, she wants no kissing, no cuddling and she actually wants to get the heck up out of dodge within 10 minutes of the act being over. Not just some of the time. Pretty much most of the time. Yeah, now that I know what a bad orgasm is, I think that she definitely falls under the umbrella of it.
Adding to her sexual experiences, because word definitions are a big deal to me, I revisited what "good" and "bad" mean. When something is good, it's high quality. It's also morally excellent, kind and beneficial. Some synonyms for good include positive, satisfying, wonderful, pleasing, welcome, gratifying and agreeable. Sit on those for a moment, would you?
Taking all of this into account, I then thought about a guy I know who tells me all of the time that, during the act of sex, he keeps walls up with his partners because—and this is a direct quote—"I am not there to bond with them. I am there to perform a service." Bless his heart. He said that, not because he's a jerk; it's basically because he goes into the act with "make them cum" on the brain—that is all that he's really focused on. That is all that he is actually trying to achieve—you make me orgasm, I'll make you orgasm. Have a nice day. It's not a connection. It's merely transactional. A lot of casual sex is just like this. Whew. This concept of bad orgasms is getting bigger and bigger the more I think about it.
And that, that made me think about what the word "bad" means. I don't know about you but, whenever I usually think about it, I think about something (or someone) being wicked, evil or morally void. But did you know that something that is defective is also bad? So is something that is deficient, inferior in quality or—get this—"lacking skill or talent". Some synonyms for the word "bad" include cheap, blah, amiss, careless, substandard, offensive and just plain off.
So, in putting all of this together, if an orgasm is truly good, it's going to come from having a positive, satisfying, welcome and beneficial experience. You will be able to look back on the act and the climax about being able to apply all of these words. On the flip side, if the orgasm is bad, it's going to feel like the experience was deficient in some way. It might also feel cheap, blah…maybe even something went down that was amiss or slightly offended you.
Or, after your partner got off of you (or you got off of him), in your mind you thought, "I mean I came and, while I can't quite put my finger on it, something is…off." If you can say that, my dear, you've just had what is known as a bad orgasm.
That's the bad news. The good news is this—the cool thing about this entire concept is, now we can put a name to why sometimes sex "does what it is supposed to do" in the general sense, but we're still not walking away feeling as content as we actually should. Bottom line, it's because not all orgasms are equal. Some are good. Some are bad. And that's because some benefit our entire being while others…don't.
Yeah, I can only imagine how many people you're gonna share this idea with. While you're at it, forward this article to your partner to see what his thoughts are on the notion. Sex is simply too incredible to be out here thinking that, so long as you have an orgasm, it should be enough for you. Naw sis. If that orgasm isn't good—by every definition of the word "good"—then it is bad. And you deserve more than to be out here settling for bad orgasms. Feel me? Chile, I know that you do.
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- How Can I Tell If I've Had An Orgasm - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Health Benefits Of Women Having Orgasms - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
2023 has become the year of celebrity breakups with headlines breaking left and right about celebs filing for divorce or ending high-profile relationships. The latest couple to announce their dissolution? British actress Jodie Turner-Smith. TMZ reported that Jodie has filed for a divorce from her husband, Dawson Creek alum Joshua Jackson.
As far as her reason for calling it quits, Jodie cited "irreconcilable differences," according to TMZ, and has requested joint custody of the couple's daughter, Juno Rose Diana Jackson. Late last year there were rumblings of there being "trouble in paradise" for the couple after the media realized they were no longer following each other on Instagram.
Those rumors were more than laid to rest when Jodie and Joshua went to the 2023 Oscars together earlier this year, and even more recently, when they celebrated her birthday together last month during the September unveiling of the Lotus Emeya.
Jodie Turner-Smith celebrates her birthday with husband Joshua Jackson at the unveiling of the new fully-electric Lotus Emeya on September 07, 2023 in New York City.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Lotus
Despite seeming particularly happy and in love, perhaps the writing was already written on the wall even then. In the past, Jodie has been very celebratory publicly about her love for her estranged husband, even boldly recounting their love story for the books in a 2021 interview with Seth Meyers.
When Jodie and Joshua met, it was while at his birthday party in 2018. Their relationship was hot and heavy from the start, with Jodie openly noting that they began as a "one-night stand." During her 2021 interview with Seth Meyers, she jokingly referred to their love story as a "three-year one-night stand." She shared:
"First of all, I saw him before he saw me and when I saw him, I was like, 'I want that.' And then when he saw me, I just pretended like I didn't see him. He had to yell across the room to me, and I was wearing this T-shirt from a movie called Sorry to Bother You and [actress] Tessa Thompson plays a character called Detroit, and she has this T-shirt that says, 'The Future Is Female Ejaculation.'
"And so, he shouts across the room, 'Detroit!' He comes over and… does this really cute, charming thing that he does and just all night -- he just basically followed me around the party."
The couple were together from that moment forth, and even made things "Instagram official" less than two weeks later while on a dinner date. Joshua would later clarify to Insider that the night they met in 2018 was not a 'one-night stand' or a 'three-year one-night stand' like his then-wife joked but instead, it was "technically a three-night stand."
"It was sealed with a kiss that night and then we didn't leave each other's sides for, well, three years now," Joshua continued at the time.
In a July 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Joshua dropped more details about the why behind getting married. He revealed that he didn't know he wanted to get married to Jodie until "the moment she asked me."
"She asked me on New Year's Eve. We were in Nicaragua. It was very beautiful, incredibly romantic, we were walking down the beach and she asked me to marry her."
He added, "I did not know [she would propose], but she was quite adamant and she was right. This is the best choice I ever made."
Joshua Jackson Reveals Jodie Turner-Smith Proposed To Him
Jodie received quite a bit of flack for proposing to Joshua because it goes against tradition and what society sees as acceptable for a woman to do to a man, and proposing isn't one of them. No matter how much time has passed, the viewpoints around who should do the proposing and who should be proposed to are still very traditional.
After being on the receiving end of such backlash, Joshua would later clarify to the media in a separate interview that it wasn't just Jodie's proposal to him that sealed the deal of them getting married, he proposed to her too. She might have initiated it, but Joshua followed through.
"I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn't give the full context and holy Jesus, the internet is racist and misogynist," he explained to Refinery29 that same year. "We were in Nicaragua on a beautiful moonlit night, it could not possibly have been more romantic."
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
He continued, "And yes, my wife did propose to me and yes, I did say yes, but what I didn't say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I'm still old school enough that I said, 'This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too].'"
"She has a biological father and a stepdad, who's the man who raised her. [I said], 'You have to give me the opportunity to ask both of those men for your hand in marriage.' And then, 'I would like the opportunity to re-propose to you and do it the old-fashioned way down on bended knee.' So, that's actually how the story ended up."
Joshua and Jodie would eventually marry in December 2019. Shortly thereafter, Jodie gave birth to the couple's first child, Janie, in 2020.
In a recent interview with Elle UK, Jodie shared the ways becoming a mother to Juno helped to heal her of her wounds from colorism she experienced in the past. "It's interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother and, throughout my life, I always said if I were to have children, I wanted to have Black, Black babies so that I could affirm them as children with the love that I felt I needed to have been affirmed with by the outside world," Jodie shared with the outlet.
She continued, "Then I fell in love with my husband and we talked about having kids. I did have this mini pause, where I was like, 'She's going to be walking through the world not only having an experience that I did not have, but looking like people that, in a way, I'd always felt a little bit tormented by.' Now that I've got this little, tiny, light-skinned boss, I feel like it’s the universe teaching me lessons. I've been given a daughter who looks this way to heal my own conversations around colorism."
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Featured image by Amy Sussman/Getty Images