On a recent episode of her show, Red Table Talk, known hot person Jada Pinkett Smith was candid about the pressure and awkwardness that goes along with maintaining a healthy sex-life with her husband, Will Smith.
In the episode, Jada was joined by her mom, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and Gwyneth Paltrow, a woman so comfortable with her own sexuality that she developed a candle to honor her crotch. Jada’s 20-year-old daughter Willow Smith was present for an earlier part of the convo, but ducked out so she wouldn’t have to hear about her parents doing it. Stars, they’re just like us, in that they prefer to, in most cases, fashion a life for themselves that doesn’t include their parents having genitals used for anything other than bathroom stuff.
As one half of a 23 year marriage that’s played out largely in front of the judging eyes of a vast public, Jada admits that she sometimes finds the awkward pressure of having to communicate what she wants sexually a bit difficult. Throughout the totality of their marriage the couple have been under the firm hold of the rumor mill, and have been forced to be held accountable for whispers of infidelity, homosexuality, and most everything else under the sun.
In the case of infidelity, both Jada and Will have been frank in recent years, confirming instances where they both shared a bed or two with someone who they weren’t contractually wed to. For Jada specifically, monogamy wasn’t always a given for her, but was something she chose for herself in this specific scenario of being partners with Will. It’s along those same lines of 23 long years of open communication, and checking, and re-checking boundaries, that can lead to the opposite of a panty drop.
“It’s hard,” Jada said in the episode. “The thing Will and I talk about a lot is the journey. We started in this at a very young age, you know, 22 years old. That’s why the accountability part really hit for me because I think you expect your partner to know [what you need], especially when it comes to sex. It’s like, ‘Well, if you love me, you should know. If you love me, you should read my mind.’ That’s a huge pitfall.”
The assumption that a partner, even one who’s shared a bed with you for two handfuls of years, can intuit what will get it done for you sexually on any given night/day is both foolish as well as incredibly stressful, on both sides. But on the other hand, having to open up your mouth and tell someone with audible words “I want you to pull my hair five times and call me The Grinch” takes a lot of guts. But, it seems like this charismatic duo have a surplus of guts. So much in fact that they’ll go on record as saying “yeah, we both slept with other people, and we refuse to divorce because of it.”
In a September interview with GQ, Will chimed in on the subject saying: “Jada never believed in conventional marriage … Jada had family members that had an unconventional relationship. So she grew up in a way that was very different than how I grew up. There were significant endless discussions about, what is relational perfection? What is the perfect way to interact as a couple? And for the large part of our relationship, monogamy was what we chose, not thinking of monogamy as the only relational perfection.”
You just gotta love this for them. For someone [me] who tried to grapple with their one and only open relationship by buying a copy of Ethical Slut and then throwing it, unopened, into the trash a day later, open relationships seem like an unclimbable ouchy mountain. But for these two, they’ll do what they want, when they want, and they’re fine with talking about it to whoever. Even if that whoever is their own parents and Gwyneth Paltrow. Bless this mess.