So, you and your partner aren't on the same level sexually...what do you do? Well, it depends. There's isn't one answer to this, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Ordinarily, when we talk about not being on the same level sexually, it is in reference to sex drives not being in sync. But sexual incompatibility can go beyond sex drives. In fact, two people can be sexually incompatible for a variety of reasons. Things like experience, patience, communication, love language, and even who your partner is to you and how you define that can come into play.
While some people might be able to drop the situation like a bad habit, others might find themselves in more committed partnerships like a long-term relationship or a marriage. If that's your reality, what's the solution? To further shed light on the conversation around being sexually incompatible, I asked four people who have experienced being on different levels sexually than their partners, and it went like this.
When it came to Angie's experience, she felt like she didn't have enough. She had been dealing with a sexual partner who treated sex like a chore and got straight to it — no foreplay, kissing, or any physical build-up to sex. "He would call me, we would smoke and that was everything that gave me that feeling," she explained. "I wanted foreplay. I wanted everything and I didn't know how to come out and say I need more sexually."
As a solution, she brought the issue to his attention. She explained that she needed more to get her in the mood so that she could fully enjoy the experience. Unfortunately, he never made any improvements or attempts to fulfill her needs and she felt like it was starting to affect her sex drive.
"You just need that energy to feed off of and if us just smoking is the only thing giving me that drive, I can't give you anything else. If he gave me that energy back, it could have been a really good experience. Why would I give you all of this and you're giving me the bare minimum?"
With Donny, he experienced this in two different situations. The first time it happened, he was dealing with someone who wasn't on his level sexually. He felt prior to leading up to sex it had been overhyped and when it finally happened he was disappointed because the talk didn't match the action. "Sometimes women talk their sh*t like, 'You're not ready for this' or 'I'm going to put it on you' and when the time comes you don't know what you're doing. She was off her game."
"Maybe we weren't flowing, but the second time around you need to bring your A-game. It didn't happen and I just chalked it up to maybe she didn't have that many sexual partners."
As for a solution, he never found one. It goes back to what I mentioned earlier about the solution depending on who your partner is. For both, this was a casual thing, so he didn't care to tell her or try to resolve it. However, there were cases where he saw things could be better and sent suggestions. He explained, "I'll send some links and gifs that will spice it up. I'll say, 'This looks fire, you think we could try it?' or something like that before I tell you it's wack. We all have the internet and I've learned how to use it to my advantage."
On the other hand, when he was dealing with someone who was older and more experienced, he found it fun and it made him appreciate the experience even more. "It was exciting and exhilarating because shorty went into at least two or three positions that I wasn't really ready for. She kind of wrapped her legs around my waist and did like a handstand but was still throwing it back. I was somewhere in between trying not to nut because it's so lit and figuring out what I can do to challenge this because I didn't really have any moves."
With this, there wasn't a solution either. He couldn't keep up with her and didn't pursue the sexual relationship any further.
"She bodied me. She definitely told me about myself and had every right to. She was like, 'I don't know if I can give this to you again.' This is why I don't do the bragging and I keep it super humble."
Ron also experienced not being on the same level as his previous partner. At the time, he was younger and less experienced than his partner. During their sexual relationship, he wasn't quite comfortable with all of the things his partner wanted. She wanted things that he didn't know if he was ready for. "It became an uncomfortable situation because she wanted oral, anal, and all these different things, and I was just on the first step. So it can feel like the person is taking the lead or you're not pleasing them and it becomes more of a chore instead of an experience with one another. It was definitely uncomfortable. I think that that definitely ruined the relationship."
Before things went south, he did make an effort to salvage the relationship while trying to find a solution that would please both of them. When Ron brought up the issue, his partner started to compare him to her other partners. Unfortunately, things continued to get even more uncomfortable and they ended up going their separate ways. Although they didn't find a solution, he learned a lot from the experience. Ron explained:
"If there was more patience, more of a gradual growth towards things, and open-mindedness about the situation in the first place before anything occurred, I think that I could have understood more of where she was and she would have understood where I was instead of having expectations for one another."
He also learned that when it comes to sex and dealing with people, there's so much that correlates with it and people's sex drives. If you really want to make things work, you may have to sacrifice some things, be understanding to your partner, and have a level of patience if finding a solution is important to everyone involved.
Last but not least, I was able to speak with Monet and she highlighted the importance of listening to your body. She emphasized that being spiritually aware and attuned with your body and vagina allows you to get a better sense of what your vagina wants. She continued, "I'm a very spiritual person and I do a lot of meditating with my vagina, so me and my vagina are on the same page. I can literally hear when she's not interested in something and so she will literally tell me, 'Yo, this is not where I want to be and this is not what I want to be doing'."
In a time where she was sexually incompatible with her partner, she felt one of the reasons was because she rejected what her vagina was telling her. She explain the experience like this, "We were really cool, we had a great relationship as far as being able to communicate [and have] great energy. It was like a best friend relationship but there was chemistry. So we did decide to try to make it into a sexual relationship, but the energy when we started to get intimate was thrown off. There was no chemistry, it was awkward, and it became a forced situation."
Monet ended up ending the sexual relationship and because she realized this is not what her vagina nor body wanted. She ignored what her body was telling her and learned that she need to be more disciplined with what her body was telling her and try not to force anything.
"We can be spiritual our whole lives, have that intuition, and a voice within us but until you become spiritually aware with that voice, able to really listen to it, and be disciplined enough to listen to that voice, a lot of decisions that put you in situations you don't want to be in can be avoided if we just listen to our intuition and voice."
You may not have to end every relationship, but knowing when to say when is paramount. Additionally, with each interview, communication has proven to be key when overcoming a situation with sexual incompatibility. It's important to communicate what you're feeling (or not feeling) with your partner and determine if sexual incompatibility is something you both are willing to work through.
If sexual incompatibility is something you want to work on with your partner, here are a few things to consider:
You'll need to understand that finding a solution won't be easy and it will take some time. You have to have patience and move at a pace that both of you are comfortable with.
Exploring other forms of physical intimacy
If getting in the mood is an issue, there are many ways to feel stimulated aside from penetrative sex. You can explore different types of physical intimacy like kissing, cuddling, massaging, etc. to reinforce sexual activity. Start with this and add more once the time feels right.
Creating a sex menu
You can also explore different sex postions and activities. Whether this be solo or together, there are ways to improve sex and find a happy medium where both partners are satisfied.
If none of these options seem to work, you may also want to consider rethinking monogamy. There are several options like polyamory, open relationships, or even inviting others to the bedroom (threesomes). Be open-minded when it comes to finding a solution that works best for you and your partner.
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Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and felt so deeply connected to them? Everything about the relationship was intense – good or bad? Then you might be in a part of a soul tie.
The concept of a soul tie binds individuals on a level beyond a relationship's physical and emotional aspects; it’s more than a mere connection. You can form a soul tie with anyone – lover, friend, colleague, etc.- but we are discussing romantic partners for this article. Think of you and your partner as an intensely burning flame. The flame can burn passionately to light the relationship’s way or chaotically burn everything in its path. Either way, it leaves an indelible mark on the souls involved.
A soul tie should not be confused with the term “soulmate.” The main difference is that a soul tie can be positive or negative, while a soulmate is a mutual, harmonious connection. Unlike a soul tie, a soulmate relationship is generally characterized by mutual understanding, support, and shared values.
However, the more we learn about soul ties, the more it becomes evident that they are not monolithic; they vary in nature and intensity. As someone who has experienced a negative soul tie, it is crucial to discern whether they contribute positively to personal growth or hinder you from flourishing.
If Your Soul Tie Is Positive
A positive soul tie creates a deep and affirming connection between individuals. One key indicator of a positive soul tie is effective communication. If you’re experiencing a positive soul tie, a shared understanding fosters open and honest dialogue, contributing to a sense of connection and support.
Mutual growth is another hallmark of a positive soul tie. When individuals in a relationship encourage each other's personal development and evolution, it signifies a positive and uplifting connection. This mutual support leads to an environment where both parties can thrive individually and together, contributing to the overall health of the soul tie.
Emotional security is a crucial element in identifying a positive soul tie. In such connections, individuals feel a deep sense of trust and comfort with each other. This emotional security forms a stable foundation for the relationship, allowing both parties to express vulnerability and foster a strong, positive bond. These three indicators—effective communication, mutual growth, and emotional security—underscore the positivity inherent in a healthy and affirming soul tie.
If Your Soul Tie Is Negative
A negative soul tie manifests as a detrimental and draining connection between individuals. One clear sign of a negative soul tie is the presence of emotional turmoilwithin the relationship. When the connection becomes a source of constant distress, causing emotional upheaval and hindering personal development, it indicates a negative soul tie.
Codependency is another red flag for a negative soul tie. In such connections, individuals may become overly reliant on each other, impeding their ability to thrive independently. Codependency often leads to unhealthy dependencies and can result in a toxic dynamic that hinders both individuals' growth and well-being.
A lack of effective communication is a third indicator of a negative soul tie. When there is a breakdown in communication, misunderstandings and unresolved issues can fester, contributing to a strained and unhealthy connection. In negative soul ties, the absence of open and honest dialogue can perpetuate a cycle of negativity and prevent the resolution of underlying issues. These three indicators—emotional turmoil, codependency, and poor communication—point to the negativity associated with an unhealthy soul tie.
Putting Out The Fires And Breaking Your Soul Tie
Unfortunately, my deep, intense connection only caused destruction. And despite the obvious red flags, it took a minute before I broke the connection. Why? Because I was addicted to the relationship, we both were. But it is possible to break a soul tie if and when you are ready because if you are not, pretending you are when you are not is a waste of your time.
Breaking a soul tie requires intentional and purposeful actions. Establishing clear and firm boundaries is a fundamental step in severing the connection. By limiting contact and emotional engagement with the person involved, individuals can gradually weaken the tie and create space for personal growth.
Seeking professional support is another effective strategy to break a soul tie. Guidance from therapists or counselors provides valuable insights and coping strategies. Professional assistance can help individuals navigate the emotional challenges associated with breaking a soul tie, offering a structured and supportive environment for healing.
Redirecting energy toward personal growth is important in breaking free from a soul tie. Engaging in activities that promote individual well-being and create a sense of independence allows individuals to refocus their attention on their own growth and development. This redirection of energy is essential for breaking the emotional bonds of a soul tie and moving towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.
The last step I advise everyone to go through is the mourning period. My partner and I did our song and dance for years before I walked away. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that I mourned our relationship while I healed.
Recognizing the presence and nature of a soul tie in your relationship is crucial to understanding its impact on your well-being. Whether positive or negative, the intensity of a soul tie can shape the course of your personal growth and happiness. Breaking free from a negative soul tie demands intentional efforts, from setting clear boundaries to seeking professional support. Redirecting energy toward personal growth and allowing oneself a necessary mourning period are vital steps toward healing and liberation from the intricate ties that bind.
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