All Articles Tagged "relationship"

10 Tips For Amazing Pregnancy Sex

April 29th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From HelloBeautiful 

Pregnancy is an exciting time!  With the all the changes and anticipation, it can be hard to maintain your regular life, much less your sex life. Fortunately, your love life doesn’t have to slow down during pregnancy. In fact, sex during pregnancy can bring you and your partner closer together.

Don’t believe me? That’s ok. I have 10 tips to tell you otherwise!
Here are 10 tips for keeping a healthy sex life when you’re pregnant:

1. Don’t be afraid to have sex if you want to.

For most women, sex is perfectly safe during all trimesters of a normal pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about sex while you are pregnant.

2. Try something new.
Many women experience an increased sex drive as they enter their second trimester, which can be a great time to experiment with different positions or adding a little kink to the mix. Check out this blog post for some great information on safe kink during pregnancy.

3. Make sure you are comfortable.

Your body goes through a lot of changes during your pregnancy. Positions or touching that you enjoyed before may suddenly cause irritation or discomfort while you are pregnant. Be sure to talk to your partner about anything that feels uncomfortable, so you and your partner enjoy your time in the bedroom.

4. Be intimate.
If sex doesn’t feel good, there are lots of other ways you can still remain intimate with your partner. Kissing, cuddling, sensual massages or hugging brings you and your partner closer together and can help fulfill your sexual desires even if you don’t feel like having intercourse. Receiving oral sex can offer release without the discomfort from penetration and often due to the increase in sensitivity can feel more pleasurable than before.

5. Find the best positions.
Know which sex positions work best for the different stages of your pregnancy. Missionary and other positions where you are lying on your back can be uncomfortable as your pregnancy progresses, and can even be unsafe after the fourth month of pregnancy, because they put pressure on major blood vessels. Avoid putting weight and pressure on your abdomen by using positions like woman on top, spooning, or side by side. Experiment and find what works best for you and your partner. This doesn’t have to be a chore, it really can be exciting! Consider using this as a chance to have adventurous sex on a different piece of furniture or in a new room of your house.

Read more tips at HelloBeautiful.com 

He Says He Can’t See Any Wife Of His As A Pole Dancer, Should I Break Up With Him?

April 29th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From Essence 

Dear Abiola,

For a long time, I felt out of touch with my body and myself. I hated my dark chocolate complexion, the way I looked and everything about myself. I even hated sex because I never thought anybody could think someone who looked like me was sexy.

Then my friend invited me to a pole fitness class two years ago. Everybody knows me to be conservative. Doing something like this isn’t “me!” I was reluctant but I went and it changed EVERYTHING! Now I feel sexy and beautiful. My body is fit and toned, I feel in control of myself and I love who I see in the mirror. My friends even say I move differently.

With my new attitude I met a new man. He is very successful and says that one day he wants me to be his wife. We’ve been dating for almost 2 months. The problem is that the thing that most turns me on to myself turns him off. He says he can’t see any wife of his as a pole dancer or “pole ho,” his words.

He knows that I work in a bank and I’m not a pole dancer; this is just the workout I prefer. He goes to the gym everyday so I don’t see the difference. No one sees me except the 7 or 8 other women in my class. I invited him to come see me dance. I said I would rent a private studio so he can see what I’m doing but he said no.

He said that I need to choose and if I’m going to be serious with him I need to find another way to work out ASAP. He feels that any woman who gets with him needs to uphold a certain image. I think the truth is he finds it a little threatening. He always wants to know who was there, what I did, etc. For the last couple of weeks, I had to lie and say I was doing zumba. Nothing against zumba but I really feel a healing connection with pole fitness.

Am I bugging? Should I just give up the dumb pole fitness classes for my man? Is pole dancing something shameful for a wife? Pole fitness is like my therapy. He doesn’t know that this sexy, new me that’s been turning him out in the bedroom is a benefit of my pole classes.

By the way, thank you so much for the advice you give. I have been reading your Intimacy Interventions for a long time — but never thought I would be writing in. I am too embarrassed to talk to anybody else about this. Help!

Signed,

Pole-isha

Read Abiola’s response at Essence.com 

3 Secrets To Help Couples Communicate Better

April 17th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango

Have you ever tried to convince a man to do more in your relationship, only to see him pull further away from you? There’s a smart way to communicate with a man and motivate him to invest in your relationship — without any convincing at all.

When you’re frustrated that you’re doing more than your fair share in a relationship, do you feel the need to take action and try to talk the man you’re with into giving more? Sure you do — most women react the same way. And you don’t need me to tell you that most men will resist your efforts.

That’s because of something I call “the convincer”. When you try to talk a man into doing what you want, he will naturally become “the resister”. It’s human nature.

Your convincing is a turn off for him, because he’ll feel like he’s being forced rather than making his own decision to invest in the relationship. If you really want to get a man to start putting in more effort, memorize these three key elements.

COMMUNICATION SECRET #1:  Truly Listen
In order for a man to respect your feelings and needs, he needs to feel safe to share his true feelings with you. And the way to do that is to show him you’re not just venting your feelings but rather truly interested in what he has to say.

Men — just like women — need to feel like it’s okay to have their feelings, and that they will be heard and respected. And when they realize their partner isn’t really listening or interested in who they truly are or how they truly feel, they will start to shut off bit by bit.

So, approach difficult conversations with a spirit of negotiation. Understand that he has his own reasons for feeling the way he does, and listen with the intent of reaching an agreement that pleases both of you. This kind of listening makes a man feel most comfortable to open up and respond with a deeper level of thought, care and honesty.

Read more about communication at YourTango.com 

“Where Is This Going?” 4 Signs Your Relationship Is Ending

March 20th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango 

Maintaining a relationship is one of the things that many people are not very good at. It’s not because relationships are really not meant to last forever, but people are often unaware of what they should — and shouldn’t — do to have a lasting relationship. What’s worse is that we hardly notice our relationship is failing until it’s too late.

Since it’s hard to tell when things aren’t going well from afar, you may as well look at your own actions to know if you’re doing a good job of building a strong relationship or not.

So you can be more aware of where you’re heading, see the various ways you’re actually ruining your relationship below.

1. You’re Taking Your Partner For Granted
One of the best things you can do to rush the end of your relationship is to think that your partner will always be with you to make your life better and easier. You may think it’s not too much or too hard to cook dinner, do some grocery shopping, or clean the house but all these can become burdensome to your partner.

It’s important that you acknowledge and appreciated whatever it is that your partner is doing to make your life together as comfortable as possible. A simple “Thank you” can mean so much to the person who willingly does things for you. You wouldn’t ignore a visitor in your home, so you don’t have any reason at all to treat your special someone worse.

2. You Don’t Have Anything To Say … All The Time.
Looking back, you would see how much you enjoyed talking to each other when you were in the early stages of your relationship. In fact, you may have spent so many hours at night talking on the phone or whenever you had the chance to be alone together. Talking or communicating is an essential aspect of building a strong relationship.

When you notice that you hardly talk to each other already, you may as well expect your relationship to die eventually. Take note also that talking here doesn’t just mean exchanging words. What couples need is to have some real and sincere conversations where they could learn more about each other. It’s true that the fading of honest conversations between couples is a natural process that relationships go through overtime. But still, you need to make a conscious effort to spend time with your partner to talk about the important things in your lives.

Read more about relationships at YourTango.com 

What Is On Your Relationship Bucket List?

February 28th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango

Since the film Bucket List came out in 2007, most of us haven’t just heard of bucket lists, we’ve got one. Mine includes: traveling internationally, getting over my irrational fear of karaoke, and finishing a book I started writing years ago.

Bucket lists reflect our unique dreams and desires, which makes them deeply personal. They’re also inspirational: They remind us of what we want to accomplish and of the qualities we hope to honor more fully before we die. In my case, we’re talking about adventure, creativity and overcoming challenges, to name but a few. Viewed through the lenses of doing  (what we want to experience) and being (who we aspire to be) bucket lists aren’t just a boon to our personal growth. They also benefit our romantic relationships.

Research shows that trying new things together reinforces relationship happiness. Novelty not only provides more ways for us to connect, it gives us a new, and renewed, perspective on our partners.

For couples, creating and checking items off a bucket list energizes your relationship.

How do you go about creating a couples bucket list? Start with these three questions.

  1. What new experiences and adventures do we yearn to have with each other?
  2. What do we want to create together as a couple?
  3. Who do I most want to be in our relationship?

Feel free to answer these questions jointly. Or you can respond separately and then compare notes, highlighting areas of overlap. Focus on the big picture if you notice differences. For example, don’t assume that your wish for more romance and your partner’s interest in a course on Tantric sex mean you don’t agree. My guess is you share a desire for more intimacy, maybe passion, too. So ask yourselves:

What might be possible for me, and for us, if I tried what my partner suggests?

Unlike items on our most common to-do list — buy milk, pay bills, etc — it’s easy to defer our relationship bucket list (and our individual one, too) to some vague future. “We’ll explore our sensuality after our kids leave home,” we tell ourselves, or “we’ll take a cross-country road-trip after we retire.”

Read more about relationships at YourTango.com 

How Much Do You Tell Your Friends About Your Relationship?

February 25th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From Essence 

Last night on Blood, Sweat, and Heels, Mica’s mother found out that Mica’s boyfriend Terry was still in another relationship when he started dating her daughter. After talking about it, Mica’s mother admitted that she’s glad she wasn’t told from the beginning because she wouldn’t have given him a chance or grown to like him the way she does.

Mica is not the first woman to keep the messy details of her relationship from family and/or friends. Some women only share the good because they want their friends to like the guy and/or don’t think it’s their business.

Read more about relationships at Essence.com 

I Didn’t Make My Boyfriend A Priority So He Dumped Me

January 28th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From HelloBeautiful 

Dating Kevin was one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve ever had. He was the one that hated my vices and I was faced with a decision to make a life change or go back to being single. I chose single life, but it wasn’t the vices that broke us up–well, sort of.

During the time that I dated Kevin, he’d lost the job he held for over eight years. He was feeling very down on himself and I think because I am a career-minded woman, he was always bothered by any and everything that had to do with my career. Kevin was no longer a working man, his only job was to worry about what I was doing and he did that very well. At first, I took his attention as devotion to me and getting to know me was high on his priority list. As a person in the media, my job is neverending, so there would be times, while we were on a date, or chilling at my apartment, that I would have to pick up my phone, address an email or worse, write a quick story. When we first started dating, Kevin was so enthralled with my demanding career, he even helped me write an op-ed. But that thrill was short-lived.

One busy Tuesday at work, I watched my phone buzz and light up with Kevin’s name and I made a promise that I would respond quickly, but after four hours, another call came through and I slapped my palm to my face. “Hello,” I picked up, trying my best not to sound irritated because I was swamped.

“Hey babe. How’s your day? You saw my message and call?” Kevin said with a bit of desperation in his voice.

“Yes sweetheart, just swamped today, but we’re still on for tonight, no worries,” I said, trying to tackle his intention for calling before he could complain more.

Kevin sighed, “Yeah, I figured. I just really wanted to hear from you.”

“That’s sweet,” I said, checking my attitude before I responded. But then, I did what I normally do when I am irritated; I slathered my comment in sarcasm, “Would it work for you if I designated a 10-minute window everyday that we could chat and just catch up. I know you hate texting,” I smiled, knowing that I was kidding.

Read more on this dating story at HelloBeautiful.com 

No Romance? Evoking The Romantic In Your Boyfriend

December 20th, 2013 - By Nicole Akoukou Thompson
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Music plays from outside of your bedroom window, resonating against the late evening backdrop. You then drop whatever misleading but enthralling romantic novel you are currently invested in and you approach the window. You see your beloved below: stereo held high above his head, his body adorned in a trench jacket, and there’s love written across his handsome face.

OH, wait….rewind. That’s not your boyfriend, that’s John Cusack (See: Say Anything), and that couldn’t be your life, because your man does not have a romantic bone in his body.

For some reason, your boyfriend can spend his existence splurging on video games, but never on jewelry; bringing home a dozen donuts, but not a dozen roses; and sitting through three hours of basketball, but not two hours of Broadway.

He’s unromantic and it’s frustrating, but before you kick his adorable but oblivious butt to the curb, consider some subtle and not-so-subtle tips to help your man be the romantic that you always knew he could be.

Dr. Phil Who? Holiday Gifts That Will Improve Your Relationship

December 12th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango 

Ah, marriage. You weren’t kidding when you vowed “for better or worse,” and sometimes that “worse” seems pitifully trivial. Lack of sleep, a silly spat over lost keys, or even dirty dishes can sometimes make you feel like throwing in the towel. But never fear. You chose each other for a reason, and these devices will help you stop sweating the small stuff, and get back to what’s most important: enjoying each other.

From an app that wakes you up silently and let’s your partner sleep in to a DVR that allows you to watch two live shows or record up to six at once, here are 10 products that will squash fights before they start.

1. He’s Hogging The Remote
He wants to watch the rest of the football game and you refuse to miss the newest episode of Homeland, especially knowing you’ll see spoilers the second you sign onto Facebook. Sound like a familiar Sunday night? TiVo’s all-new Roamio Series DVRs will put an end to your usual TV tug-of-war. With this epic DVR, you can record and live stream up to six shows at once. And not just on your TV. You can stream shows on your iPad or iPhone, and take them to go. Holding up to 450 HD hours of recordings, you’ll both get your way — and your favorite shows — anytime, anywhere. (Starting at $199, TiVo, for a list of specifications by model, click here)

2. He Lost His Keys… Again
He’s constantly misplacing those great sunglasses you got him for his birthday, but that doesn’t stop him from getting annoyed with you when the keys disappear in the abyss that is your purse. Now you can both get over your anger quickly with the Stick-n-Find Bluetooth Location Tracker. Simply stick a quarter-sized tracker on any item you are likely to misplace, and you can find it using an app on your smartphone (just make sure you don’t lose that!). The app can track up to 20 items within a 100-foot range, and will alert you when an object moves outside of (or into) tracking range. The stickers buzz and glow in the dark to make finding easy in any conditions (from $49.99, brookstone.com).

3. It’s Gotten Boring in the Bedroom
You need to spice things up, and sometimes a few extra candles or a slinky negligee won’t do the trick. If you’re nervous to suggest your deepest sexual fantasies, let Kindu do it for you. Inspired by a sexual health course, the app aids intimacy by making communication easy and embarrassment-free. It suggests ideas to try in the bedroom (or not), ranging from new positions to exhibition to activities that will make you feel the love, and you can rate them “definitely,” “no thanks,” or “maybe.” Your partner does the same, and then Kindu records. But don’t worry, you can rank that fetish a “definitely,” and you’ll never know if they ranked it a “no.” All that’s left is the good stuff ($1.99, kindu.us).

Read on to learn of more devices that will help cherish your relationship this holiday season at YourTango.com 

People You Don’t Need To Talk To About Your Relationship

December 12th, 2013 - By Ashley Page
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Most women love talking about their relationships, especially when things are either going really well or really badly. We tell the real details in hopes of getting opinions and advice from those we talk to. But, no matter how much you want to talk about your relationship, there are definitely some people who don’t need to hear all about it. Here are 14 people you don’t need to talk to about your relationship.