All Articles Tagged "sex"
There are few conversations about sex that actually make me want to punch a wall — even three years later. But one conversation in particular has had that effect.
It was an office Christmas party, and a circle of women was engaged in animated chit chat about work, pop culture, and all the sorts of things you discuss at Christmas parties. We worked at a magazine that covered books, so I mentioned a new nonfiction title coming out called The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant.
The second the title left my mouth, one woman, a 50-something with a blonde bob and photos of her two kids plastered around her office, snorted so loud she nearly dropped her drink.
“Oh PLEASE,” she guffawed. “Is it just the words ‘Have lots of sex’ repeated for 200 pages??”
Modern women (and men) are blessed with an excellent body of knowledge on how to get pregnant. From middle school on, we learn precisely what activity winds up getting a girl knocked up. And so we spend the first 10, 20 — even 30 years of our post-puberty lives doing anything possible to not wind up pregnant.
And then, when/if we eventually choose to reverse gears and produce some babies, we think we know what’s in store: sex, and tons of it. Nonstop orgies of pill- and condom-free sex. The flowing river of sex you always wished you could have. A wild circus of erotic wonders and orgasms galore!
What no one mentions is that there’s a perfectly good chance that you won’t get pregnant on the first go-round. Or the second. Or the third. And that before you know it, the one activity that has been your go-to for pleasure in life has become a ceaseless, soul-crushing chore.
Yes, you read that right: Sex to conceive can be a miserable, pleasureless act that makes you question why anyone does the deed at all.
The fact is, getting pregnant can be very easy. Or it can be impossible. Some women slip and fall on a penis, and look! They’re ready to give birth nine months later. Others spend years, thousands of dollars, and a good portion of their sanity on pills, injections, painful and uncomfortable procedures and more pills, only to wind up with absolutely zero results.
Modern medicine knows very little about the differences between these two types of women. Much of the time, doctors and science can’t tell you which type you are. Your ability to get knocked up when you want to all depends on a million things going right at any one time (to the point that it’s almost remarkable that anyone ever gets pregnant at all). And the kicker is, you won’t have any idea which side of the spectrum you fall on until you actually leap in and start “trying.” (See? Even the word we use for sex when it’s supposed to result in pregnancy — “trying” — is unsexy. Trying.)
Personally, I’ve ventured pretty far into “meds, injections, and more meds” territory. After 13 years of dutifully taking my pill every day, I went off birth controll full of optimism and enthusiasm. Bought new lingerie, started taking prenatal vitamins and read every book and website on conceiving that I could get my hands on. The key, all this literature said, is the timing. Getting pregnant is all abouthaving sex when you ovulate. Which sounds obvious. Except when you actually try to do it.
The good news is that an entire industry of tools has been developed to figure out precisely when your ovaries release an egg. You can buy sticks to pee on and thermometers to stick in your mouth (or other places) and charts to fill in. And then you have to find that one 48-hour window, and have as much sex as possible during it.
Read more about sex and pregnancy at YourTango.com
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.
- What new experiences and adventures do we yearn to have with each other?
- What do we want to create together as a couple?
- 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
From Single Black Male
As of late, stories of side chick pregnancies and simultaneous engagements have become commonplace. I personally know a woman who was sexually involved with a man who later told her that around the same time they were sexually involved, he had gotten engaged to another woman. The latest story from Ebony editor, Jamliah Lemieux, compelled me to write about this issue.
Long story short, Lemieux was in a relationship with a man for two years. Although their relationship was “on the rocks,” they continued to engage in intercourse. Five months into her pregnancy, he became engaged to another woman. Can you say messy?! This story, coupled with my friends’ stories (more than one of my friends has experienced this), and Gabrielle Union’s and Eudoxie’s stories beg the question, is this the new normal?
These situations also led to further questions like…
1) If a man is in a relationship with one woman that he feels will lead to marriage, why not break it off with the other?
2) If a man is in a relationship that will lead to marriage, does he think it is ok to have sex with other women until or unless he is married? Does he not consider this cheating?
3) What makes a man decide to marry one woman and not another if he still obviously has the strong desire to be in relationship with both?
To put it simply, this is not ok. Men often justify this behavior by either saying the man was obviously not feeling the girl he did not propose to, or that the other woman wasn’t his “girlfriend.” What does a title have to do with it if the “other” woman is getting girlfriend privileges? Furthermore, simply avoiding a title doesn’t change anything in terms responsibility.
Many female commenters attacked Lemieux for not knowing she was the side chick, or that her ex was that serious about someone else. It is likely that Lemieux wanted to be pregnant by her ex, but if the ex did not want the same, why continue to have unprotected sex with her and give her false hope? He knew she was in love with him , so why not have enough respect for her (and your new chick) to say, “you’re not the person I want to be with,” and bounce?
Read more about men and condom less sex at SingleBlackMale.org
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
Love! Ain’t it grand! In each stage of love, there are positives and negatives. Yet, despite the negatives, people continue to try and get it right, make their love last, with the hope of creating and maintaining a healthy relationship. All this while understanding, accepting, and honoring individual differences. Dynamic and ever changing, relationshipspresent people with some of life’s greatest challenges.
The Romantic Stage. This first stage of love lasts from two months to two years. Think champagne and rose colored glasses! A common word used to describe your loved one – “perfect”. The feel good neurotransmitters that are fired off at a rapid rate, during this stage of love, go to the same place in our brain as drugs do – increasing attention and focus, obsessiveness, a strong and powerful desire to be with our new love, and thinking of nothing else. It’s difficult to get any work done. We are high on love! All is wonderful in your world. You think, “Where have you been all my life?” There is a great emphasis on similarities and “sameness”. “You like to bike? That’s great! I love to bike, too!” Even differences between the two are viewed as strengths. You think – who wants to be the same anyway? Boring!
The downside? You might have neglected other relationships in your life to spend time with your new partner – sometimes to excess. An overly enmeshed relationship prevents maintenance of your own identity and for some, codependency. Boredom may occur if you realize that beyond the initial feelings of lust, there are no common interests.
Then, after months of going full speed at 80 mph, there is a shift. It feels like you have hit the brakes and have come to a screaching halt! The drugs have worn off! You are no longer high on love! You have moved into the Power Struggle Stage.
Power Struggle Stage. The rose colored glasses have become a little less “rose colored” and more clear. The illusion that romantic love will last forever disspates and is replaced with anger and disappointment. This is a challenging times for couples. There is a shift in focus from your similarities to your differences. Behaviors that were once “cute” have become little annoyances. Sometimes we try to change the person back to what we thought they were or created them to be in our own mind. Arguments or disagreements may increase and miscommunication occurs due to different communication styles. Clarity in communication is vital at this stage as this will determine if the relationship can survive.
Some couples don’t survive this stage and break up. To prevent this, importance is placed on accepting and appreciating your differences, learning to share power, relinquishing your fantasies of constant harmony, and recognizing the strengths of your relationship. Clear boundaries are reinforced and mutual respect is prevalent. The relationship becomes more realistic, rather than idealized and a “fantasy.”
Read more on the stage of love at YourTango.com
Last year, Susan Patton, alum and mother of two Princeton sons, shared her dating tips on finding a husband while still in college in the Daily Princetonian newspaper. Her opinion on how coeds should spend more time looking for love than working on career sent shock waves through women of all ages.
This year, the rewritten op-ed piece appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Valentine’s Day. As a dating coach for women over 40, I can see what caused the fury. Here are six of Susan’s most annoying points for college girls:
- Insinuates that women should marry early. Over 30, single gals will likely compete with younger women and fail to land a decent husband
- Don’t fall for the old P.C. feminist line that educated ambitious women can’t have it all — great jobs and a family.
- You could marry a man who isn’t your intellectual equal if you wait, but what will you talk about if he doesn’t know Norwegian playwrights or medieval tapestries?
- Don’t have casual sex with a guy who could become your husband because men still don’t buy the cow if the milk is free.
- College is an environment teeming with like-minded, age appropriate single men and you’ll never find this concentration of single guys again.
- Women invest more in planning for their careers than their personal happiness.
Point #1 — Marry Early Or Else
Huffington Post shared an angry rebuttal written by Emma Gray who, at 26, says, “Thanks, but no thanks”. Like most of the response pieces, Emma’s hackles were raised by the idea that eating sushi and watching Downton Abby shouldn’t be enough for today’s young, career-minded women. Instead, they should work on getting a husband.
Emma goes on to point out that young women like her are looking for love, working on careers that are not a waste of time, enjoying sex without preventing them from finding love, and still value marriage and motherhood. As a dating coach for women, that’s good to hear. Of course you can find love and marry after college! Women do not have an expiration date. See point #5 below.
Read more about dating advice at YourTango.com
From Single Black Male
Black women are destined for a life of singledom. Haven’t you heard?
It’s been estimated that 42 percent of us haven’t married. That’s twice that of white women. Eeeekkkk!
And if we wanted to get married, 1 out of 12 of us wouldn’t, even if every black man in America married a black woman today.
While there are a myriad of reasons attributed to this bleak outlook (i.e. black men don’t make enough, aren’t tall enough, aren’t out of county jail long enough), one that is not often explored is girl code.
Girl code is that asinine set of rules that preclude a woman from dating a man. A friend woman I’ve spoken to twice in the last year dated had a few sexual encounters with over the course of the month a man five years ago; therefore, he’s off limits to me. Feeling pressured, women avoid pursuing relationships with men that have a past – and limited – history with friends of friends or even a close friend for sake of a code that leaves them desiring a relationship.
Why voluntarily sabotage a chance to have a meaningful relationship for the sake of a rule that is nothing more than a cockblock in disguise?
While I don’t advocate dating your friend’s ex-fiancé or baby daddy, everyone else has the potential to be fair game. Rules are meant to broken, and here’s when you should consider breaking the girl code:
1. The person is an acquaintance, not a friend.
Yes, there are levels to this sh*t. I often loathe quoting rappers, but if the shoe fits…wear it. There’s a difference between an acquaintance and a friend, and all too often we use the two interchangeably. Attending happy hours at the local bar and grille and discussing the latest episode of Love and Hip Hop qualifies one as an acquaintance. Eating Sunday dinner at one another’s home and helping plan one’s pending nuptials qualifies one as a friend. Therefore, if an acquaintance dated a man a few years ago or even a few months ago, you are perfectly well within your dating rights to also date this man. Allowing someone you have no depth of a relationship with to significantly impact your dating life is a missed opportunity if you truly desire to be in a serious relationship.
Read more about Girl Code at SingleBlackMale.org
Get this: 43 percent of women suffer from sexual dysfunction (low libido, infrequent orgasms, painful intercourse) and, according to a new study published in the journal Sexual Medicine, it may be a result of their personality.
Previous research has shown poor health and diseases, like diabetes, can contribute to sexual dysfunction or disorder. Yet there’s little known about the influence a person’s personality and her reactions to stressful situations can have.So researchers surveyed 50 women who, at the time, were receiving treatment for sexual dysfunction. They were given personality tests to see the kinds of characterics they identified with most — extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to experience — and then asked to rate their coping mechanisms, e.g., acceptance versus venting. Depending on how we cope, the study says, we can either increase or decrease the stress of a situation.
Read more about sex and personalities at YourTango.com
Yup, we’re talking about this again: the idea that it is women’s job to make men work for sex, and unless we all do it together, all that “I’m making him wait” crap is just that, a bunch of crap.
I’m pretty sure I’ve written on this subject at least twice before, the last time being when Keri Hilson posted a meme on Instagram pondering that if more girls were willing to be ladies, more guys would feel challenged to be gentlemen. And yet again the topic has been brought to my doorstep by way of a NY Post article on the economics of sex, asking: “is the price to cheap?”
The jumping off point for this particular article is a new film short from the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture, called “The Economics of Sex,” which in the Post’s opinion “should be mandatory viewing for every woman between the ages of, say, 16 and 40.” The premise is nothing new: men have a higher sex drive and connect it to love less often than women, while women are likely to have sex to express and receive love, strengthen commitment, and secure a relationship — meaning she gives up a lot more than he does when she gets it in. But, what women often forget, is “sex is her resource,” i.e. she gets to decide when it happens and that’s her most powerful tool in the dating world.
While I completely understand the idea that this and every other article/video/musing on this subject presents, something about the nature of bartering that underlies this advice just isn’t appealing. Yes, this may be a lesson a 12-year-old needs to learn in sex ed because her own mother refuses to discuss with her the emotional consequences of becoming sexually active too soon, particularly with the wrong partner, but as a grown woman do I really need to dangle my va jay jay like a carrot on a stick just to get a man to treat me with some ounce of dignity beyond our first date? Shouldn’t he be doing that anyway, like without the promise of getting some down the line?
In theory, all women would strap on their chastity belts for six months, a year, until their wedding night, and all would be right with the world. They wouldn’t be cheated on, their man would woo them on a daily basis, they’d never be left for another woman, and they’d never know the pain of being hit and quit. But the reality is it’s just not practical. Raise your hand if you’ve ever waited to have sex with a man and he still dogged you out after. Yeah. And sure, that could go back to the subject of picking the right partners, but perhaps it would also serve all of humankind to spend less time assuming women who have casual sex are suffering from low self-esteem and question why men base their self worth on what’s in between their legs? Or whose legs they’re in between.
I imagine the reason this subject is always broached from a what-can-women-do-to-fix-things perspective is because we’re the ones always crying about being alone and asking how we can get him to commit while men are basking in a sea of legs open 24 hours. But in the same token that we tell women that we teach people how to treat us, don’t we also remind them that there’s nothing they can do to make a man commit if he isn’t ready? I venture to say withholding sex falls under that umbrella. And sure, maybe if every woman in the world got together for a No-sex-before-commitment conference in the wilderness and made a pact with a blood oath this could work, but the bottom line is a man is going to commit to a woman when he’s ready to. Sure, she can show him some things that may be enticing, like she values herself sexually, but if he’s not in a space to want to shower her with love and affection it’s not gone happen, no matter how many dates you make him take you on to get some. In light of that fact, wouldn’t it be better to follow this advice for the simple fact that being promiscuous isn’t good for your mental, emotional, and sexual health, and not because you think you can use your sex as a bartering tool to make a man love you?
Since the beginning of time, there have always been ways for men to get sex without giving much in return — let’s not forget with the oldest profession in the world is — and that’s not ever going to stop. The onus isn’t only on women to decrease the supply but for someone to also talk to men about it being in such high demand. Maybe then they’d understand that it would behoove them to explore the value a woman brings to their lives outside of the bedroom and how they can miss out on all those benefits should they choose to sexually pursue a woman too aggressively too soon.
What do you think about this idea of women needing to ban together to raise the price of sex? Check out the “Economics of Sex” video short on the next page.
Brande Victorian is the Deputy Editor of madamenoire.com. Follow her on Twitter at @be_vic.
Tonight, most of you will be changing into Victoria’s Secret or Frederick’s of Hollywood to show your man some extra loving. But what’s a good romp in the hay without a great soundtrack to accompany it? Here’s our ultimate NSFW Valentine’s Day playlist to get you knockin’ those boots sooner rather than later.
Lay Your Head On My Pillow- Tony, Toni, Tone
To get in the right mood, you must be relaxed to groove that bed. Tony,Toni Tone remind us of this in their melodic tune.