Earlier this spring, I wrote an article about the several reasons why marriage is quite different from dating. One of the things that I mentioned was sex. Listen, I know that you've probably heard that the leading causes of divorce center around things like poor communication and financial drama and yes, while that is certainly true, intimacy challenges rank right on up in there as well.
It makes a lot of sense when you stop to think about the fact that, for most of us, when we say "I do," we're publicly declaring that we're entering into a state of monogamy. And if you're going to sleep with just one person, for the rest of your life, you had better be prepared for all that comes with doing just that.
So, let's tackle this today, straight from the mouths of married women. While the mechanics of sex are basically the same regardless of the kind of relationship that you're in, when it comes to the responsibilities, expectations and commitment level that married sex entails, baby, that takes intimacy to a whole 'nother level, chile. 10 wives break down how.
Gayle. 33. Married Four Years.
"I was very selfish when it came to sex before I got married. I didn't know it until about six months after marriage, though. When you're single, everything is on your terms. When you're married, you've got to take your husband's needs and, to a certain extent, expectations into account on a whole 'nother level because something that marriage means is that you're making your spouse a top priority and that you both are agreeing to only have sex with each other. I wish our marriage counselor had really driven this point into my head. Seeing sex as a staple in my relationship and not just something to do 'randomly' or 'whenever' has honestly taken some real getting used to. Maybe the past year have I really settled into it."
Jemise. 42. Married 11 Years.
"I grew up a good church girl. I wasn't a virgin when I got married but I had only been with two guys and my husband and I waited until we jumped the broom to consummate the relationship. Because I was taught that sex before marriage was wrong, sex when I was single brought a lot of guilt and shame and, although I was proud that my husband and I waited until marriage for sex, it took a long time for the guilt and shame from my past to go away. That caused me to struggle with certain positions, sex toys and even oral sex, to an extent. My advice to women who want to get married is to make sure you know what your spiritual and emotional views on sex are. Discuss them with your partner. Make sure you're on the same page.
"Sex isn't just a physical act. Marriage will definitely teach you that."
Erika. 25. Married Two Years.
"The reason why it's really easy to find your husband handsome and not always sexy is because, once you're married, you get to discover EVERYTHING about someone. Their nasty habits. If or how they clean the bathroom. Hell, if they've got skid marks! When you're dating, usually, a guy will withhold these things from you because they are trying to impress you. After marriage, that all goes out of the window. Even if he's the cleanest guy on the planet, you're gonna see a log he forgot to flush or something that can definitely spoil the mood. It takes some real maturity and finessing to be able to accept that the person you know everything about is the one you've got to remain sexually attracted to. It takes some doing. At least it did for me."
Aryn. 29. Married 10 Months."Being married is all about not letting the little things become huge. For me, it's the fact that I'm a morning person while my husband is a night owl. As far as sex goes, he wants to do it at 2 a.m. while I'd prefer 6. That four-hour window may not seem like that big of a deal. Girl, get married, though. At 2, I am dead to the world. At 6, he is. For a long time, this meant only really having sex on the weekends. Both of us have a fairly high [sex] drive so it made us resentful. We both had to compromise and make some adjustments. That's what marriage is all about. If you're not ready to compromise, DON'T DO IT."
Regina. 44. Married 12 Years.
"If you're engaged, listen to me. You've got to prepare for how much you and your man will change over the years. You will change physically. You will change hormonally. Your lives and schedules will change. And this means that your sex life will change too. Sometimes, when you're married, you can find yourself living in the past of what your dating relationship was like. Yeah, don't do that. Marriage brings a new normal, even when it comes to sex. And once you get used to that normal, another one will come. Be flexible. Not just physically. That's my advice."
Rochele. 30. Married Two Months.
"I had to get used to going to bed differently. You ever see that A Different World episode when Whitley would wake up before Dwayne to brush her teeth and do her hair? That was me for the longest. When my man would stay over, my hair was laid, flavored lip gloss was on and I had on some cute stuff. When I slept alone, girl it was all about the bonnet, granny panties and a ratted T-shirt. The first time I came to bed looking like that in my marriage, my husband about freaked out!
"It wasn't because he didn't find me attractive. It was because he had never seen me that way and it wasn't exactly sexy. We've been working on finding happy mediums. Like I have been getting some boy shorts that are one size too small and he's been learning how to do a woman with a bonnet. Ladies, that bedtime attire is important. You don't have to look like you're going to the prom. Don't be out here looking like a total train wreck either."
Blaire. 27. Married Six Years.
"I'm glad that you're going with middle names because I'm pretty sure that my hubby and mama don't want me going on and on about my single sex life! To protect the innocent and guilty, I'll just say that when I was out here, I was doing my thing and the sex was good. I mean, GOOD. Now that I'm married, I won't lie and say that my man has the biggest d—k I've ever experienced or that the head is the best or anything like that."
"What I will say is knowing that your lover is permanent and not transient can cause you to experience some of the most pleasurable and intense sex because you're totally relaxed and at peace with your situation. Is my husband the best sex I've ever had? No. Is he the best lover I've ever had? No one else even compares. Get married and you'll learn what I mean by that."
Zen. 40. Married Eight Years.
"Don't expect your partner to make you feel good about your body if you don't. The stretch marks. The tummy. Body acne. Cellulite. Whatever you've got going on, sometimes we as women will think that it's our partner's job to compensate for where we don't love ourselves. That is too much of a burden for any one person to carry. My sex life suffered after my second child because my body wasn't the same. And the more self-conscious I was, the less I wanted to have sex and the more uncomfortable my husband was because of it.
"I made a big mistake by thinking that if he made me feel beautiful, our sex life could get back on track. He didn't have the problem with my body. I did. I had to get into a good headspace. Once I made peace with me, our sex life got back on track and it's honestly been better than ever. Loving yourself doesn't stop in marriage. You should actually need to do it more, in my opinion because the relationship requires that you be mentally well to endure all that comes with it."
Lavell. 36. Married Five Years.
"This is what my ass wasn't ready for. A ninja who had a lower drive than I do. Don't get me wrong. When my hubby and I were dating, because we were in two different cities and four hours apart, whenever we would see each other, it was non-stop sex. But we only got together 1-2 times a month. Anyway, because we had so much sex, I thought that it would surely be 5-6 times a week after marriage. This ninja might give it to me 2-3 times a week. Yes, I've been salty about it for all of our marriage. Check the libidos, sistahs. Your man may not be as 'down' as you'd assume."
Crystal. 46. Married 20 Years.
"Married sex is a bit of a roller coaster ride. Some seasons, you can have it every day. Some seasons, weeks will go by and you didn't even notice. It's still my favorite kind of sex because it's with someone I love, someone I'm closer to that anyone else and someone who totally accepts me and I totally except them.
"Married sex is for grown folks. Don't attempt it if you're not ready to be selfless, mature and intentional about it. Oh, and nothing can fully prepare you. Like marriage itself, you learn so much once you're in it. It's worth it, though. If the marriage is worth it, the sex will be even better, even years later."
Featured image by Giphy
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.
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Exclusive: 'Praise This' Stars Chloe Bailey And Anjelika Washington Talk Acceptance And Their Favorite Scenes
There's nothing like a feel-good movie that you can watch with friends and family, and that's exactly what Praise This is. The film, executive produced by Will Packer and directed by Tina Gordon, stars Chloe Bailey, Anjelika Washington, Quavo, and many more, and it tells a story about how one's struggle with their faith can ultimately lead them to find themselves and appreciate the people around them.
In the Peacock original film, Chloe's character Sam has aspirations of becoming a singer, but her mom's death sends her down the wrong path, which puts a strain on her relationship with her dad. In an effort to help her, her dad sends her to live with her aunt and uncle in Atlanta, where she is introduced to the praise team thanks to her cousin Jess, played by Anjelika.
While this may sound like a fit, Sam is very resistant and continues doing things her way, further complicating her relationships with others. However, her undeniable talent breaks through, and she learns a valuable lesson in the end. Praise This isn't your typical church movie. While the story focuses on faith, the church shade throughout the movie is hilarious, and if you grew up in the church, relatable, and the fire mashups of secular and gospel songs will surely keep you entertained. I spoke with Chloe and Anjelika about the film, their characters' dynamic as "cousin-sisters," and the hijinks that happen throughout the film.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 03: Quavo, Tristan Wilds, Janora McDuffie, Jekalyn Carr, Anjelika Washington, Chloe Bailey, Tina Gordon, William Packer, Druski and Big Tank attend the "Praise This" World Premiere at Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University on April 03, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Photo by Terence Rushin/Getty Images
"I think my favorite scene filming with her would have to be our handshake because we made that up early on, and when Tina was like, 'okay, this is the scene where you pull up to Ty's house, you know, with the little handshake you guys do, you can do it right here,'" Chloe says. "We were like, 'oh.'""
For me, I really loved the scene in the house where I'm showing her my world and everything, and I get to sing for her," says Anjelika. "That was also my scariest day on set was because I was like singing for Chloe Bailey, like the singer. So, anyways, it was like a crazy moment, but I got through it. Chloe sat there [and] was like, 'this is great, this is funny.' She was laughing genuinely the whole time, which made me feel good 'cause then I was like, I'm doing a good job."
Praise This is available on Peacock.
See more from the interview below:
Stars Chloe Bailey and Anjelika Washington Reflect On Their Bond and Secret Handshake
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Feature image by Nykieria Chaney/WireImage