Meeting Nicole “Coco” Austin may have been love at first sight for her husband, iconic Hip Hop star and actor Ice T, but the same could be said for Coco’s legion of fans around the world. Ask anyone who has met her, and they’ll tell you that the 32-year-old model/actress is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.
Coco recently allowed people into her world in a big way with the E! Network reality show Ice Lives Coco, which debuted on June 12, 2011. In the past year she also relaunched her website CocosWorld.com, launched her Licious clothing line, and recorded her official first single “Shoe Freak,” all with support from her business-minded hubby.
The couple celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary in June to air on the show (official date is December 31), and it truly seems as though things are picture-perfect in Coco’s world. But how does she live and work with her man, and still keep romance alive?
After waiting patiently for her hectic schedule to clear, Coco’s super-publicist, friend and Ice Loves Coco co-star Soulgee connected UrbLife.com to gather some secrets for marriage success from the curvaceously petite entrepreneur. What are her favorite couple activities? Does age difference affect communication? What is the one thing she always keeps next to the bed?
Read on as Coco offers up her Top 7 tips for relationship bliss!
What is the best advice you’d give anyone to keep their marriage happy and successful?
1. Foster the friendship with your mate
Ice and I, we have a really extreme relationship. For so long we tried to explain to people in public how we are together, but this show gave us the opportunity to show people how we really are. It’s not just words. We always say that we are a fun loving couple but now you actually get to see it. We bring out the best in each other and I think that anybody can do that in a relationship.
You just have to find the right person and that person has to be your best friend before you get married. Period. A person you don’t want to live without, and you always want to do something with. Really a marriage is a companionship through life. People want companions. You want someone to go to the movie with, someone to go to the grocery store, someone to hang out at the house with. That’s what marriage really is.
People put on it: “Oh my God it’s so official and it’s written down!” There are ways that you have to work a marriage. It’s just another best friend in the room.
2. Take time to dedicate yourself to home and family
For myself, I can’t really talk for Ice, but I am a very old fashioned relationship type of chick. We might be a modern type of couple in what we do and how we work it, but when I say old fashioned, I mean cook, clean, and dedicate yourself to the fam.
Even though I might be so busy, I try to make my man a meal when he’s hungry. He doesn’t really know how to cook or work the kitchen. How long does it take to make a sandwich? It could be something as basic as that. Feed your man. That will make someone happy!
3. Create a peaceful environment
I’m really into making sure that he feels good and peaceful at home. Guys need peace, they want peace. When they get home from work, even girls, they want peace. When you get home, don’t bring up arguments, don’t try to nag each other. Just come home and be peaceful.
When there is a peaceful setting in the house, the man will be with you forever. That’s all they want, a non-stressful life. There are times you can bring up things you have issues with, but you want to wait until those times come up. Don’t always try to argue with your man.
3. Communication is key!
That brings in communication. Communication is the number one thing you have to bring in a relationship. I was that girl that used to hold things in. When I had a problem with what he did, I would always hold it in and it would blow out of control six months later. Women have a tendency to do this, it’s not just me. Well, I figured out that you can’t hold it in.
Whenever something happens, work within that 24 hour period to bring it up… your man will either change it up or not, but at least speak about it. That’s the number one thing I learned on my side is to just open up about how you feel. Simple as that. Even if it does turn into an argument from it, at least you got it out. Free your soul from whatever you’re thinking. It really helps you sleep at night.
4. Use the power of touch
I use massage techniques. I know that my man loves massages. He’ll take massages over sex, that’s how much he loves massages! I actually went to massage therapy school when I was 18-years-old and got my degree, so I actually know what I’m doing.
Massages are a great way to get your man at peace. I know that he’s into deep tissue, so I try to really release him and get that tension out of him. Just start from a really nice vibe and he appreciates that a lot. I pull out my little massage chair and I say, “Hey hun, do you want me to get into your muscles right now?” or I’ll wait until at night when we’re watching TV and that’s when I’ll massage his shoulder or something.
Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, just try to think about one massage move and use that. If they like a foot massage or hand massage. I love scalp massages, so he does that for me.
5. Tune into what makes your partner happy
Figure out what that person loves. Figure out what he loves the best, or vice versa. What he loves, you have to do it the best that the person has ever had. For instance, if a guy likes head, you have to learn to be the best at it. Therefore you have to get into it. You may not like it or may not like what he likes, but you have to put your feelings aside, and he has to do the same for you.
The thing is, you still want it and [if you don’t get it], you’re going to wander off in your relationship and still want to get it somewhere else. So if your man does it the best, you’re not going to want to do anything else outside of the relationship. That’s just an instance.
There are a lot of other things in a relationship that you can be the best at that your man loves. It may be a scalp massage – think of the best way to do that scalp massage. If that guy likes his elbow licked, think of the best way that you can lick those elbows. [laughs] I don’t know, it may be some quirky things. There are a lot of crazy people out here!
What I’m saying is that you have to think, “Ok this is my man, he’s going to be with me for the rest of my life hopefully, and I’m going to think of the best way to do this.” You can’t shun it away, it’s something you want. Being open minded is always good in a relationship.
6. Keep it sexy!
When it comes to me and what Ice likes, he likes me wearing heels. I don’t have a problem whatsoever, because I have a shoe fetish, and he has sort of a shoe fetish when it comes to me wearing heels. I keep a pair of heels by the bed just in case! To him, just to know that they’re by the bed and I’m willing to get in them, kind of put him at ease. It shows that I’m interested in him. At least I’m trying. I’m giving the effort of, “I’m doing this for you when you’re in the mood.”
7. Find common ground
Ice is into clothes just like I am. We actually will have fashion shows; well I’ll have a fashion show for him. I’ll get into three different outfits and he’ll be in his chair. He has a special red chair that he sits and reclines in, and usually watches TV while he does it. I’ll come in with a full outfit from head to toe and I’ll do a little strut in front of him and all of these cute little moves. I say, “hey hun do you like this?” Usually he picks one and we’ll go out that night.
I do it for him and only him. I’m not dressing for any other guy when I go out. I’m dressing because I want to tap into his sexuality and I want him to be turned on by me. So if he doesn’t want pants that night, of course I’m going to go for the mini dress. He fluctuates back and forth. You know guys are moody, they can be into something one day and into another the next.
What about conversations about children? What about life planning together? How do you deal with that?
Coco: The big question for us right now is the kid scenario. Some people are only together for like a year and they have like three kids. They pop them out quick! For us, we’ve been together for 10 years and people are like when is that time going to come because you guys have been so involved with each other. When are you going to have a kid? My simple answer for that is that I have been extremely selfish for myself.
I am totally career minded. I really need to get stuff done for myself. Not for Ice, not for anybody else but me. I need to do that before I have a kid because I have a little OCD, and I need things well organized and if I just became pregnant, I don’t want to just figure it out. I want it planned. Ice is like, “Whenever you’re ready baby I’m there for you.” If I decide tonight, he’s there. It’s definitely not him, it’s me, and the fact that’s so many kids in my family and so many kid issues and drama. It’s almost like I have been a part of that. I don’t really want to add that to my family right now.
Also I need to get over that selfishness sometimes. I want to leave something behind. I want to leave a little Coco behind. I would love a little girl. Maybe that’s my next adventure. I just want to get my clothing line up and running fine. I have to do this every single day. I’m a workaholic and when I have a baby, I don’t want to be such a workaholic. I’m getting there.
The [reality] show actually shows that I’m getting a little baby fever. When I delivered that child, oh my God, I want one right then. I was attached to that little guy, and I was like, “I want a little thing like that in my life.” How can someone not want one? It’s too adorable.
We’ve been talking about it, even little things like where we live right now, it’s a New York-style apartment. We don’t have room for another being at all. If we decide to then we would have to get a different place. Simple things like that I just can’t plan.
You guys have a very healthy relationship. You share a cell phone and integrate love, life, and everything. Is there ever a time when you felt that things got out of balance?
Coco: Yeah, we have done everything together, and as far as the cell phone thing, Ice hates the phone. He thinks that when people call, it’s one of his friends that need stuff, and it puts a damper on his day-to-day life. He has to concentrate on lines for Law and Order [SVU], and a simple phone call can whip him off balance. That’s why I come in handy. I don’t mind. I like the phone, I can talk.
It’s funny, because now that [Ice Loves Coco] went on, we’ve had to go our separate ways a lot these past four months because he still has to work on the set and I had to do work on my show. Ice would pop in every now and then on the show, but pretty much I worked on the show every single day.
It was the first time that we actually had to go in different directions, but we both said to each other that we know that we are a strong couple and this is not going to conflict with anything. We see each other at the end of the day even if we don’t see each other during the day and go over what we did.
It’s so nice to have a husband that supports every little thing that you do and vice versa. When I’m there with him on the set, I’ll be taking phone calls for literally 14 hours straight sometimes. He sees the time that I put in just for him, not just for me, and that I dedicate to him. That’s what makes him love me more, because I give so much to him.
It’s the little things. I can do my own thing, but I like to be around my husband. A lot of people don’t have that lifestyle, because they have to go into work and their spouse can’t come with them, so we’re fortunate enough to have that opportunity to do that and we’re taking full advantage.
I know that people ask about your age difference, but it’s more of a generational gap when you look at the times you both grew up in. Have you guys ever had a time where he’s made a pop culture reference and you’re like, “What’s that?” and he’s looking at you like, “You don’t know what that is??”
Coco: No never. Everybody always makes comments about the 20-year gap, but honestly when you’re around us, you don’t notice the age. Even I don’t notice it. Yeah, he does say to me sometimes about a movie or a song, and to me, I feel like its educational, and I’ll go, “Sorry baby, but that was before my time!” [laughs] I make comments about that and he’s like “Yeah, you are my little baby girl.”
We notice that there’s an age gap, but there’s things that I’m just not going to know, so don’t put me down for it. If it’s something that I don’t know, educate me and tell me what it’s about because, again, it’s before my time and how would I know. I have my stupid moments and weird, off the wall stuff that I say, but he just laughs it off. He doesn’t put me down for it.
Tell us what’s up for you next.
Coco: I’m still working on my clothing line [Licious], which is really a big project. You saw a little bit on the show, but you didn’t see the full extent of what I’ve been going through. Then I have my single “Shoe Freak” – there may be some more songs. We’re not going to do an album just yet but we keep coming up with some crazy fun songs we can do.
I’m the number one internet girl! On CocosWorld.com I’ll keep my blog and shoe of the week and interact with people and my fans. It’s so fun and it takes up most of my time!