Actress and TV host, Jada Pinkett Smith has responded after she was criticized for admitting in the most recent episode of her Facebook show “Red Table Talk” that expressing her sexual needs to her husband “has been a journey.”
Oscar-winner and Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow was a guest on the episode — and because Paltrow’s new Netflix series “Sex, Love, & Goop” revolves around sex, the recent episode of “Red Table Talk” talked about the topic.
Pinkett Smith and her mother, “Red Table Talk” co-host Adrienne Banfield-Norris, were most interested in discussing the topic of developing a healthy sexual relationship through communication.
The trio chatted openly about how many women have trouble clearly expressing their sexual needs to their partners due to taboos or shame, with Paltrow admitting that even though she facilitates conversation on the subject, she is “still shy to talk about my sexual stuff.”
Paltrow said that one thing that helped her become more open with her partner was realizing that as a woman, she was conditioned not to speak up for herself when it came to her sexual needs.
“What happens when you don’t speak up for yourself, you’re also not accountable,” Paltrow said. “You’re not saying ‘Hey, this is my half of this,’ or ‘This is where I feel lacking’ or ‘Here’s my insecurity.’”
When a person is vulnerable with their partner and takes accountability “for our sexual selves,” she continued, the conversation becomes less combative and it’s easier to breach the topic.
Pinkett Smith agreed with Paltrow, suggesting that taking accountability must be working for her and her husband of three years, Brad Falchuk, because “we read about you having some of the best sex these days.”
“But I’m a newlywed,” Paltrow replied. “I’m cheating maybe a little bit.”
Pinkett Smith jokingly responded with: “Me, on the other hand, down and dirty in it, 26.” And when Paltrow noted it was an “amazing” accomplishment that the two had been together so long, Pinkett Smith responded with a groan.
“It’s hard,” Pinkett Smith said. “The thing that Will and I talk about a lot is the journey. I mean, we started [our marriage] at a very young age.”
“I think that’s why the accountability part really hit for me, because I think you expect your partner to know, especially when it comes to sex. It’s like ‘Well if you love me, you should know [what I need].’ You know what I mean? ‘If you love me, you should read my mind.’ That’s a huge pitfall.”
Pinkett Smith said that after years of marriage, she outgrew that mindset.
“You tell me what you need. Tell me what you want, and on top of it, I know that I have to be accountable to do the same … I really try. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s deeply healthy.”
Pinkett Smith’s comments quickly generated ridicule online, with people expressing that they felt she was oversharing or revealing that her marriage was in shambles.
Some tweeted that Pinkett Smith was embarrassing her husband.
Jada eventually responded to the backlash she received online.
“Only because I got time today. Stop making up headlines. Watch the @RedTableTalk I did with @GwynethPaltrow for yourselves. Will and I have NEVER had an issue in the bedroom. Thank you.
The couple’s marriage has always been a hot topic, but it has gained even more exposure recently. Last year, Pinkett Smith admitted she had an “entanglement” with singer August Alsina during an awkward episode of “Red Table Talk” with her husband.
In September this year, Smith was candid about the unconventional nature of the couple’s marriage during an interview with GQ, saying in part:
“We have given each other trust and freedom, with the belief that everybody has to find their own way. And marriage for us can’t be a prison. And I don’t suggest our road for anybody. I don’t suggest this road for anybody. But the experiences that the freedoms that we’ve given one another and the unconditional support, to me, is the highest definition of love.”