If you've ever wondered where the word "aphrodisiac" actually comes from, you can pretty much thank the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. Because food and sex are pretty much the strongest appetites that we have and since they both appeal to all five of our senses — sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing — the belief is there are foods that can intensify our desire for physical intimacy. And yes, these foods are called aphrodisiacs.
Because fall is my absolute favorite season of the year and also because I'm all about encouraging everyone in earshot to go to their local farmers market to get some produce when it's in season (because that's when fruits and veggies are their freshest and you can get the most nutrients out of them), I thought it would be cool to share a list of some fruits and veggies that are currently in season and, as you soon will see, also qualify as being deliciously stimulating aphrodisiacs too.
While apples are clearly available all throughout the year, it might surprise you to know that their actual peak season is early fall thru late winter. So, if you're all about homemade apple crisp or apple cheddar soup, this would be the ideal time to make either or both. Health-wise, apples are good for you because they are a great source of Vitamin C and fiber. Plus, they're able to help to keep you regular, lower your cholesterol levels, support your immune system, give you good gut health (due to the prebiotics that are in them), reduce your chances of becoming diabetic and, they even contain compounds that help to fight asthma.
And just why are apples an aphrodisiac? Well, two other things that this particular fruit has in it are polyphenols and antioxidants. Both of these can help to stimulate blood flow, including to your genital region. There are also studies that say apples can improve the sex quality of young women. So, if it's been a minute since you've snacked on one, what are you waiting for, sis?
Apple Recipe: The Best Cheddar Apple Soup
I don't know about y'all but a question that irks me is, "What do you know how to cook?" Not because I mind discussing the kitchen and what happens in it, but what kind of general question is that? What I will say is one of my favorite DIY dishes is eggplant parmesan. Due to its texture, it's a great meat substitute. On the benefits tip, this is a fruit (yes, fruit) that contains a good amount of fiber and protein. It's also pretty cool as far as manganese content goes. If you're wondering what else makes it so good for you, eggplant contains antioxidants that fight off free radicals and it's known to keep blood sugar levels in check.
Sexually, it really should come as no surprise that eggplants are on the list (I mean, considering the emoji meaning and all), but if you're wondering exactly why this is the case, the potassium that's in it helps to lower one's blood pressure which can help your partner to maintain his erection. Eggplant also has Vitamin B6 which is awesome when it comes to boosting sexual performance overall.
Eggplant Recipe: Baigan Chokha
Of course, pumpkins are on here! They are the quintessential fall food. Tons of fiber and protein, a huge amount of Vitamin A, some Vitamin C, potassium, copper, manganese and iron are all reasons to get in on this seasonal fall fruit. As a bonus, the antioxidants in pumpkin help to keep chronic diseases from forming, the beta-carotene in it can strengthen your immune system and it even contains compounds that are really good for your skin.
As far as your sex life goes, the focus needs to mostly go into the seeds of the pumpkin. That's because they are full of omega-3 fatty acids which are lipid compounds that help to keep your sexual health intact. Also, pumpkin seeds are known to support prostate health and, thanks to the zinc that they also have in them, pumpkin seeds can improve sperm quality if you and your partner are currently trying to conceive.
Pumpkin Recipe: Spiced Pumpkin Latte Cheesecake
Pears are one of those fruits that I have to be in the mood to eat yet I never regret it whenever I bite into one. Let me tell you, thanks to all of the fiber that's in it, it really is one of the sweetest ways to stay regular. Straight up. Aside from that, pears are good for you because they've got a fair amount of Vitamin C and copper. Pears also help to keep your gut in good shape, contain the compounds lutein and zeaxanthin which are good for your vision, are able to lower your diabetes risk, can help you to lose weight and are rich in flavonoids which ultimately reduce your body's chances of experiencing any inflammation.
Maybe it's just me but pears look kinda sexy, thanks to their feminine curves yet I digress (LOL). Because this fruit is full of anthocyanins, flavones and flavanones, it's got a pretty good reputation for naturally treating men who may deal with erectile dysfunction on some level.
Pear Recipe: Caramelized Pear and Bourbon Turnovers
Did you know that kale is a part of the cabbage family? While it's another food that you probably don't think about having a peak season, it is mostly harvested between the early fall and late wintertime. Since it happens to be a dark leafy green, I'm pretty sure that you know that, health-wise, kale's benefits are pretty much off the charts! Y'all, the daily value of Vitamin A in kale is 206 percent, in Vitamin C, it's 164 percent and in Vitamin K, it's a whopping 684 percent. The antioxidants quercetin and kaempferol in kale help to prevent the kind of oxidative damage that can lead to cancer. Kale also helps your system to build calcium and is a pretty good source of minerals like magnesium which can help to de-stress you.
It's actually the magnesium in kale that makes it a great food for sex. For one thing, it helps your body to produce the hormones that help to keep your libido intact. Magnesium also makes it easier for testosterone to flow freely throughout the body of men and women which results in your sex drive going up a couple of notches. And finally, because Vitamin A deficiency plays a direct role in fertility issues among so many women, if you want to make a baby, a kale salad or some kale chips can help you out — naturally.
Kale Recipe: Sautéed Kale
Figs are a bit of an acquired taste; still, I can get down with them when it comes to certain dishes. Health-wise, they are a good source of fiber. They're also known for boosting digestive health, improving blood fat levels, managing blood sugar levels and, in extract form, figs are pretty great at helping to boost collagen, strengthen skin cells and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Remember how I said earlier that I think pears are kinda sexy in their appearance? This is how many people feel about figs; they even think its smell is a bit of a turn-on. When it comes to your actual sex life, though, the amino acids in this fruit can help to trigger your libido. Also, it has magnesium and potassium that can help to balance your body's electrolytes, decrease your body's blood pressure and increase your libido and stamina.
Fig Recipe: Fall Fig and Chicken Sandwich
7. Butternut Squash
You can also find butternut squash all of the time, but it is known to be best around this time of the year. What I really like about it is it's the kind of veggie that is, oddly enough, both sweet and nutty at the same time. And if you're looking for something that is pretty much a multivitamin-food, butternut squash has totally got your back because it's rich in fiber, protein, vitamins A and C and tons of other vitamins and minerals while being a low-calorie food too. The carotenoids (which is what gives the squash its color) help with cell growth as well as eye and bone health. It's also a food that's pretty good at supporting digestion and boosting your immunity.
OK, aside from the fact that in the sexual position world, there is something known as the "butternut squash" (chile…CHILE. You can read about it here), this is another food that is high in omega-3s which can also help to increase dopamine levels. This is a good thing because dopamine is a natural hormone that helps our system to detect when we experience feelings of pleasure and sex definitely falls under that category. Amen? Sho' you right.
Butternut Squash Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash
Cranberry sauce. I'm pretty sure that at least half of y'all are gonna make or eat some before this year is out. Although, in their purest form, cranberries lean towards the tart/bitter side on the taste tip, they actually contain about four grams of fructose per serving. They also have a lot of fiber, a little bit of protein and some Vitamin B, C, E, manganese and copper, along with some pretty powerful plant compounds and antioxidants. I'm pretty certain that cranberry's most popular health benefit is it has phytonutrients in it that help to prevent and health UTIs (urinary tract infections). It's also got compounds that can help to prevent stomach ulcers and liver disease.
So, what can cranberries do for your sex life? The Vitamin C in them helps to synthesize sex and fertility hormones like androgen, estrogen and progesterone. The Vitamin E in them increases blood circulation from head to toe. The Vitamin Bs in them can relax you and stimulate your libido at the same time.Cranberry Recipe: Cranberry Smoothie
If you've ever eaten arugula before, you know that it has a bit of a bitter and peppery taste to it. Vitamins A, C and K, potassium, folate and calcium are just some of the nutrients that it contains. Because it's also a dark leafy green, it's a good source of fiber, it helps to improve bone and teeth health, it supports your muscles working properly and it helps your cells to stay healthy and strong.
Between the nutrients that I just mentioned and the antioxidants that are also in arugula, it's a valid aphrodisiac because the properties in it also help to fight off free radicals — the kind that play a direct role in causing your libido to tank, if you're not careful.Arugula Recipe: Thai Steak and Noodle Salad
10. Passion Fruit
One more. How could something with the name "PASSION fruit" not be an aphrodisiac? Fiber, vitamins A and C, antioxidants and potassium are plentiful in this fruit, and they all work together to help to reduce your diabetes risk, boost your immunity, support your heart health and decrease any anxiety that you may be experiencing.
Because the potassium in this fruit helps to keep your blood pressure where it needs to be while its medicinal alkaloids and several phytonutrients help you to sleep well and the Vitamin A in it helps to produce testosterone (which you and your partner's libido absolutely need), this is why it can never hurt to bring a few slices of passion fruit into your boudoir. It's sweet. It's sexy. And it bona fide in-fall-season aphrodisiac. Eat up and enjoy!
Passion Fruit Recipe: Pan Fried Salmon with Passion Fruit Sauce
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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I didn’t think much could get better about the blissful high that comes with oral. That was until I came across the Kivin Method.
As someone who was never a huge fan of oral sex and could largely take it or leave it, I must admit that I have started to come around in recent years. With my head thrown back, hands gripping sheets and hair, and toes curling from the intense sensations of the work my partner is putting in at my center, I now give myself over to the pleasurable act wholly and unapologetically.
When I came across a way to maximize the pleasure I receive from cunnilingus (already), I had no choice but to tap in. Who knew the key to taking oral sex to new heights was giving it a sideways twist? For those of you who might also be interested in ways to spice up the way you do oral, experience faster and stronger orgasms, or simply want to indulge in something new with your partner, the Kivin Method could definitely be the oral sex technique for you, too.
Keep reading to learn about the method that is sure to have you writhing in ecstasy in no time at all.
What Is The Kivin Method?
For the uninitiated, the Kivin Method is an oral sex technique that focuses on stimulating the clitoris from a different angle. Dubbed “sideways oral” by some, this method involves the action of giving head from a side-to-side movement as opposed to the up-and-down motion that people typically perform when giving head. (If you need a visual, this illustration is helpful.)
The difference in approach as you’re receiving head can be a game-changer in how you receive pleasure. Not only does the giving partner have access to the clitoris, but they can also access more easily the vulva and the labia, which are objectively a bigger focus in this version of cunnilingus. More access means wider coverage, and that, plus the new sensation of oral from a different angle, can heighten the way you experience oral sex that much more.
Where more pleasure flows, intense orgasms are sure to follow.
How To Do The Kivin Method
If you want to know how to do the Kivin Method, it’s actually pretty straightforward. The receiver lays on their back while the giver positions themselves perpendicular to the receiver. Their head will be facing the vulva, but instead of vertical, their face will be horizontal to the vulva.
From there, the giver can get to business, ensuring that they keep their head perpendicular to the receiver’s vulva while working on their craft. Because this technique can be more intense for some receivers, start slowly by stroking the vulva and clitoris sideways with the tongue, and allow sensations and communication from the receiver to be a guide of what you need more or less of with the Kivin Method.
Ultimately, the Kivin Method allows experimentation and unlocking what pressure, rhythm, and tricks work best for the giver and the receiver. Try implementing a finger or two, or adding a sex toy to the mix to intensify the act even further.
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