Not too long ago, while having a conversation with a wife that I know about marital intimacy, she shared with me something that her husband isn't even aware of. It's two things, actually. The first is that she's been faking orgasms with him, pretty much since they met (which is close to 25 years at this point; they've been married for almost two decades). The other thing is, the only man who has been able to make her climax, is a boyfriend from back in the day; someone she still talks to from time to time (chiiiiiile).
"Shellie, when you get married, you'll see that it's not all about sex or orgasms. There are more important things to focus on." Hmph. Spoken like a woman who doesn't have orgasms, right? Yes, I agree that sex is a part of a marriage and not the entire shebang. But what I absolutely disagree with is the fact that good sex—the kind that should include mutual climaxing as much as possible—does not play a pivotal role in a couple's happiness and satisfaction.
A while back, I penned a piece entitled "Can't Climax? 10 Questions You Should Ask Yourself". If you're someone who also has a challenging time "getting there" with your partner, those questions might help you to get to the root of the matter. But before you dive into that, maybe check out this list first. Although the biggest sexual organ is our brain—which means that making sure we feel safe and secure in our relationship is paramount—there are also some semi-weird and quite random things that could be keeping you from gettin' yours as well.
Here's something to think about before you head off to your next spin class. There's a study that revealed that 7 out of 10 consistent female cyclists have either experienced pain or numbness in their vaginal region. And here's the thing—not only do both of these transpire right after they get off of the bike; they can last for up to a week. Now tell me, who do you know who has earth-shattering orgasms when they are experiencing discomfort or numbness down there? Sounds like there's no time like the present to go running or to do a little yoga instead, huh?
2. Your Diet
You can read articles like "How To Eat Your Way To Better Sex" to discover some foods that are proven aphrodisiacs. But did you know what there are foods that can work against you climbing the walls as well? Caffeinated drinks can pose a challenge because they have the ability to make you anxious. Processed foods (like fast food) aren't the best because they can destabilize your hormones. Please push back from soy more often; it mimics estrogen (you can read more about that here and here) which can also put your hormones on a roller coaster ride. Too much sugar can affect the dopamine levels in your system, resulting in delayed orgasms or (gasp!) not having one at all (sugar can trigger vaginal dryness too). Also, while I know this is a weird one, try not to have cantaloupe every morning. It naturally contains a carbocyclic polyol called myo-inositol; in women, it can decrease testosterone levels by as much as 75 percent. Low testosterone, less orgasms.
3. Being Too Quiet
So, what are the conversations like in your bedroom? From what I've read, 81 percent of women actually wish their partner would talk dirty too them more often. It makes sense because there is tons of data to support that that kind of communication, relaxes the body, stimulates the mind and inspires both men and women to take more sexual risks. Case in point—I know someone who absolutely loathes the word "p—sy". But when she is ready to cum, that is the main thing she wants to hear.
There's something about dirty talk that gasses us up to attempt truly great things. If your bedroom is silent or y'all are up in there talking about bills during coitus, I'm actually impressed if the orgasms are high on the shook-meter. Real talk.
4. High Heels
On one hand, high heels can make your butt look amazing. On the other, it can cause your orgasms to tank. How in the world can that happen?
Well, when you wear your favorite pair of pumps, they tend to put stress and strain on your psoas muscles (those are muscles that are close to your spine and also line your hip and thigh bones). When they become deformed, that can hinder your body from receiving the message that orgasm arousal is taking place.
I know some of y'all are like "What the hell?!" but sometimes you've gotta make hard decisions—is it gonna be non-stop Stilettos or earth-shattering orgasms? Report in the comment section, please. I'm dying to know.
5. Not Kissing Enough
Back when I was in college, I always found it to be, "odd" is the word I'm going to go with, whenever a woman would say to me that they were offended when a man would have sex with them without kissing them. Personally, a man wouldn't be able to get to base 2, 3 or anywhere else without a smooch session going down but, at the time, I chalked it up to youth. Then, about three months ago, I spoke with a man in his late 30s, who also said he was not big on kissing. About two sentences after that, he then boasted that he satisfies all of his partners. Eh. The jury is out on that because I haven't polled those ladies. What I do know is if he's as "bomb" as he claims, he can only make sex better if he would do more kissing—on the mouth.
Yep. Another reason why some people struggle with climaxing is because there's not enough mouth-to-mouth kissing going on. When saliva is exchanged, a boost in oxytocin occurs. When oxytocin is surging throughout our system, it stimulates and relaxes us simultaneously. And that sets the "perfect storm", as far as orgasms go.
6. Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol is weird. On one hand, while it can get you in the mood to have sex, there are also studies which indicate that it can pose all types of barriers when it comes to how your genitalia responds to sexual stimuli. A part of the reason is because it can inhibit your central nervous system (you need that in order to have an orgasm). Another reason is because it can dehydrate you (you need to be hydrated in order to get wet). As far as guys go, alcohol can also delay ejaculation (which could be a good or bad thing, I guess).
So if, for some reason, you thought that getting drunkety drunk drunk was what you needed in order to have a great night, push the bottle back and think again. Drunken sex may start off cool, but it usually doesn't result in the kind of fireworks you're probably looking for.
If you're someone who hates aging with a passion, maybe this will give you a reason to look forward to putting another candle onto next year's birthday cake. According to a medical expert who shared a study on climaxing as it relates to age, the older you get, the easier it is to have an orgasm. How easy? Reportedly, 61 percent of women between the ages of 18-24, and 65 percent of women in their 30s claim to have had an orgasm the last time they had sex. Meanwhile, a whopping 70 percent of women in their 40s and 50s did. With age comes wisdom and experience. This data confirms that that is more than just a popular saying.
8. Being a Control Freak
OK. How many of y'all remember the early 90s movieStrictly Business? It started Halle Berry, Tommy Davidson, Samuel L. Jackson and a woman named Anne-Marie Johnson who was dating a character played by Joseph C. Philips. Anyway, there's a scene in it where Anne-Marie and Joseph were having sex and she was shouting out instructions. Literal instructions—"left…right…move…there." Ugh.
If you're a control freak in other areas of your life, there's a chance that you could be one in the bedroom. No one wants to have sex with a drill sergeant. And you know what? When you're all tense from overthinking and bossing your partner around, you significantly decrease your chances of having any real or lasting pleasure too.
9. Condoms and Lube
By no means am I saying that you shouldn't use condoms. If you are not in a mutually exclusive relationship and both you and your partner aren't getting tested on a regular basis, you most certainly should. All I'm saying is, not every man—including Black man—in America needs a Magnum brand. In fact, since the average size of an erect penis is a little over 5", it's important for a man to know what size condom he can comfortably wear. Otherwise, the condom could be too tight, preventing him from having an orgasm or too loose, resulting in it coming off (condoms that are too thick can hinder climaxing too).
As far as lubrication goes, I'm pretty sure you know that the wetter, the better. If there's not enough foreplay for natural lubrication to flow and/or you're not bringing some other form of lubrication into the mix, not only do you decrease your chance of having an orgasm, but intercourse can become really uncomfortable as well. So yeah, make sure you're using the right condom and that there's enough lubrication.
10. A Non-Jealous Man
Nobody is saying that you should go out here and get a raging lunatic stalker. Please don't. But there isn't anything wrong with being with a man who keeps his guard up, just a bit, around your male associates. Don't take my word for it. There are studies to support that when men perceive other guys are potential rivals, they tend to up their sex game, just to make sure their partner is fully satisfied and stays put.
So, if your man isn't bringing the fire like you want him to, perhaps introduce him to a fine male co-worker. According to the research I've done, that just might be what he needs to get you to climaxing—over and over and over again.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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