Just when you think you've heard it all, chile. I recently read an article with a title that truly needs no further explanation. Ready? "Why I Sometimes Wear My Vaginal Juice As Perfume". It's not that I'm not aware of the fact that all of us have a signature vaginal scent and, so long as we're healthy and it's not pungent, men are naturally attracted to it (which is one of the billions of reasons why douching is totally unnecessary). It's just that, the thought of reaching down in order to put some of my vaginal fluid on my neck? Maybe I'm more prudish than I thought I was (I'm a Gemini, so it couldn't be that), but it's gonna be a hard pass for me.
Still, sometimes you come across things because it ends up "connecting the dots" to other stuff, and that's just what that read did for me. As I did some digging around about the power of scent, as it specifically relates to attraction and sex, here are some of the things that I discovered.
- Scent-wise, did you know that we're attracted to people whose genes do not match our own?
- Did you know that women are naturally attracted to the smell of a man's shaved arm pits?
- Did you know that, as far as pheromones go, we actually are drawn to a little bit of funk?
- Or that there's solid research to support that foods like donuts, cinnamon buns, cheese pizza, chocolate and cola also turn us on? (Think about that the next time you have a craving for one of those things.)
- And yes, if you heard somewhere that the combination of pumpkin essential oil and lavender essential oil can increase the blood flow into a man's penis by 40 percent, that is absolutely true.
This is proof that we've been blessed with five senses—sight, hearing, touch, taste and yes, smell—and they even play a role in appeal, captivation and copulation too. So since our sense of smell matters just as much as the rest of 'em, I thought it would be a good idea to share some all-natural aphrodisiacs that men are all for—along with where to put them and how to make them last long past the first wink…or kiss…or well, you know.
I can see why vanilla would be an aphrodisiac. It's got a scent that is soft and sweet; "delicious" is another word that immediately comes to mind. And yes, men adore it. One study revealed that when they are close to a woman who has vanilla on, the smell is able to increase sexual arousal in them by as much as nine percent. Research also reveals that it has a powerful calming effect on anxiety and has an incredible ability to soothe and relax, both men and women, as well.
If you and/or your man would prefer a scent that isn't too feminine, sandalwood has totally got your back. It's got an earthy/woodsy smell that is very sexy and alluring at the same time. It's the kind of oil that's great for your skin (including acne and psoriasis), some people use it as a deodorant alternative and, it stimulates the pheromones in men and women. For women, it increases the libido and in men, it can prevent impotence from transpiring.
Back in the day, cinnamon oil used to be my complete and total jam! It smells good, it tastes great and—how do I PG this?—it makes oral sex that much more pleasurable (how'd I do?). This is one of the oils that will literally warm you and your partner up. It also increase blood circulation, treats erectile dysfunction and, if you add a little honey and sweet almond oil to it, well…kindly refer back to what I said about it and oral sex. Total. Game. Changer.
This might just qualify as your something new for the day.
I find this particular essential oil to be awesome because legend has it that men in certain parts of African used to chew on Carpolobia root an hour or so before sex in order to enhance their sexual performance (so it must be good!).
There are also studies to support that this is an herb that helps to heal male infertility while boosting the libido of men and women in the process.
As far as finding it goes, it's not nearly as easy as the rest of the oils on this list. But I did find a connect on Etsy if you're interested in giving it a shot.
5. Black Licorice
If you're not the biggest fan of black licorice, strictly from a taste standpoint, I'll just say this—it does have some pretty impressive health benefits. It's got the ability to cleanse your respiratory system, reduce stress, treat eczema, soothe the symptoms that are directly related to heartburn, stomach ulcers and food poisoning. So, if you'd prefer not to eat it, consider sipping on some black licorice tea. Or, putting it on your body. When men get a whiff of it, it increases sexual arousal in them by as much as 13 percent; that amount jumps all the way up to 32 percent if they smell licorice in combination with donuts.
An essential oil that has the ability to relieve depression-related symptoms, prevent nightmares (pretty crazy, huh?) and boost your self-confidence is the delicate feminine scent of rose. Rose is also able to help stabilize mood swings and regulate menstrual cycles. Plus, it has an uncanny way of "triggering" our body's natural sex hormones. It's another scent that increases blood circulation too. The more blood that's down below, the longer the erections and the more intense the orgasms are too.
7. Pink Grapefruit
I like to drink pink grapefruit juice. Good thing too because, on the health-tip, it's a fruit that boosts our immune system, helps to control our blood sugar levels, aids in weight loss, improves heart health and can even help to prevent asthma attacks. It makes this list because, along with increasing blood circulation and giving us more energy, interestingly enough, the smell of pink grapefruit makes us appear somewhere around 5-6 years younger. Like it or not, youth is a big turn on to a lot of guys so, there you go.
Jasmine is very sweet and romantic. It's one of my favorites, for sure. It's an oil that works as an antidepressant and sedative. It also encourages positive thoughts, and it's very sensual.
In fact, in certain parts of India, jasmine is the signature wedding flower because of its ability to enhance feelings of love and desire.
Use it as an oil to shave your legs (it reduces irritation) or a DIY massage oil ingredient. You won't regret it. He won't either.
Honorable Mention: Popcorn
Yep, you read that right. If you're someone who loves diving into a big bowl of popcorn, the fiber, whole grains, minerals and vitamins make it a healthy snack. Just make sure that you totally avoid the microwavable kind; the lining of the bag can actually decrease your libido (among other things).
And yes, if you're eating someone while sitting on the couch and watching a movie with your boo, there's a good chance that he won't be paying too much attention to what's on the screen. Popcorn is also an aphrodisiac scent. If there's butter on it, it can spike up a man's drive by nine percent (ain't that a trip?).
Where to Place Aphrodisiac Oils on Your Body
What a little trial and error (combined with some additional research) have taught me is knowing where to put an aphrodisiac scent is about as important as the one that you choose.
First, make sure that you pay attention to what is known as your "pulse points"; those are the areas of your body where your blood vessels are the closest to your skin; they produce more heat which can intensify the scent. Where exactly are some of your points? Places like your inner wrists, right where your elbow bends, the base of your neck, behind your earlobes and knees and in between your breasts are some good ones.
As far as your wrists go, just make sure to not do what a lot of us are guilty of doing—applying an oil or perfume and then rubbing our wrists together. What that ends up doing is activating too much of our natural body chemistry which could end up diluting or "crushing" the authenticity or potency of the smell.
Something else to keep in mind is, if you're using one of these oils as a way to heat up a night of passion, not all essential oils are edible (you can read more about that here). Plus, not all of them taste the best. Keep that in mind as you're contemplating where to place your favorite scent (cinnamon and vanilla taste great, by the way). One way to kinda get around the non-edible kind is to put those oils onto your hands and rub them over your lingerie; that way, your body will smell like the oil sans experiencing the bitter or icky taste of it.
How to Make Essential Oils Last for Hours on End
If you want to make an aphrodisiac scent last from the moment you put it on until the time you get it on, one way to do that is to create a mist with the essential oil in it and lightly mist your hair. Between the essential oil and your own hair's natural oils, the scent will remain on your tresses for hours.
Another cool tip is to put 10-15 drops of one of these oils into a fragrance-free moisturizer or carrier oil like grapeseed, almond, jojoba, sweet almond or avocado oil. The scent will be amazing, and your skin will be silky soft.
Something else that can make essential oils more potent is combining them. It may take a couple of tries to get exactly what you're looking for, but I'm a big fan of this too because it can create a signature scent that no one else has (and you don't have to tell anyone about).
Just one more thing. If your plan is to apply a little bit of the oil to your vaginal region, make sure to also dilute it with a carrier oil and to put it on your vulva, not in your vagina. If you want to be taken totally out of the mood, avoid this pearl of wisdom and see what happens (burn baby, burn!).
Well, there you have it. Whether it's for a hot date or a very sexy night, here's a cheat sheet on how to make you even more unforgettable—from the very moment he catches even a little whiff of your totally intoxicating scent.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
How To Eat Your Way To Better Sex
Do You Swallow? The Unexpected Health Benefits Of Sperm
Want A More Intense Orgasm? These Tips Are Sure To Make You Cream
Married Couples: These 6 DIY Recipes Will Take Your Sex Life To The Next Level
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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
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7 Sex-Related Problems That Ruin Sex (And Possibly Your Relationship)
Not too long ago, while in an interview, someone asked me to define one of the main purposes of sex in a long-term relationship: “Probably the most intimate form of communication that we have is sex because it’s an act that connects one’s physical, mental and emotional state to another human being simultaneously — and communication doesn’t get much more profound than that.”
That’s part of the reason why the term “casual sex” irks me to the billionth degree (check out “We Should Really Rethink The Term 'Casual Sex'”); it’s because, even if you think that sex with someone is next-to-nothing, there is so much going on within you (oxytocin highs, if you’re unprotected, fluid bonding, chemical reactions in your brain, etc.) that doesn’t know if someone is “the one” (in your mind) or not. So, in many ways, it acts like they are (check out this YouTube video from a Catholic woman who studies some unexpected ways that sex affects us physically here; sex goes deep, y’all!).
Yeah, sex is so much more than a notion, and that’s why I’m a firm believer that it is such a barometer for long-term relationships overall — because, as I’ve shared before, I once read that, “Good sex in a relationship is 10 percent of the relationship while bad sex in a relationship is 90 percent of the relationship because sex tends to set the tone for what’s happening in the rest of the house.”
And that’s why I think that there are certain sex-related issues that can not only damage your sex life with your partner but could also end up ruining your relationship if you’re not careful (very careful). Let’s get into seven of them now.
1. Being Unaware of Your “Body Clock”Giphy
I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve had who’ve come to me in some serious trouble, in part due to their flailing (or partly nonexistent) sex life. When I ask them if they went to premarital counseling (if you’re engaged, please do; you have a 33 percent greater chance of avoiding divorce when counseling transpires), many say “no” and the ones who say “yes” usually say that it was no more than 3-5 sessions and the topic of sex barely came up (le sigh). Meanwhile, with my premarital meetings, I try and stick with intimacy for three months if I can because there is a lot to unpack, from what you learned as a child, to your first time (or if you are a virgin), to your needs and fantasies, to how you see it from a spiritual perspective — like I said, there is a lot to unpack there.
Take the mere practicality of sex, for example — and more specifically, your body clock. Do you prefer to have sex at night or in the daytime? A lot of couples struggle with intimacy because one prefers the former while the other likes the latter. Do you keep track of when you’re ovulating? It’s pure science why you are probably hornier during that time of the month (because your body is signaling that it’s time to conceive) vs. the fact that you might not be the most interested in sex when you’re PMS’ing. Are you premenopausal? Hormones shift a lot during that time, and here’s the thing — while menopause only lasts a year, the premenopausal stage (which typically starts between 45-55) can last between 7-14 years. Even paying attention to when you have more energy (some do in the day…morning sex, anyone? While others do early in the evening) can play a role.
So yeah, getting to know your body clock (and discussing your partner’s clock with them) can play a role in how much — or how little — sex you have…and that can add life or drain it from the relationship overall.
2. Comparing Your Present with Your PastGiphy
There is a wife of almost 20 years I know who, when I asked her if she thought that her husband was good in bed, she paused for a second, shrugged her shoulders, and simply said, “I was a virgin when I got married, so I have nothing to compare him to. I mean, he’s good to me.” On the flip side, there’s a now divorced couple who I also know (who almost made it to 20 years) who had multiple partners before each other while also having a deep interest in porn who once said to me, “Sometimes, there’s as much as 15 people in our bed because of all of the people from our past and the porn that we’ve seen that’s running through our heads.” Yeah, y’all can act like body counts don’t matter, but there is so much evidence out here that says otherwise — that couple just gave one that doesn’t get talked about as much as it should.
You know, one of my favorite throwback shows is King of Queens (Kevin James, Leah Remini). A few weeks ago, I watched a rerun where Doug and Carrie were talking about the images that come up in their minds, sometimes during sex. Neither was too happy about it, and I can totally see why. I mean, if sex was just about “getting off” (and it’s not), then whatever. However, AGAIN, it’s also about connecting with your partner on a mental and emotional level, and that’s hard to do if you’re there with them in the body while you’re fantasizing about a celebrity, a porn actor (porn is usually acting, don’t let it fool you) or an ex (check out “You Love Him. You Prefer Sex With Your Ex. What Should You Do?”).
And what if that is what’s going on? I once spoke with a sex therapist about this very thing. What she said is people should be less concerned about celebs (if it’s on occasion) and more concerned about that ex because rarely is sex with an ex…just about the sex.
And that’s why this point made the list. If you’re physically with your partner and mentally or emotionally with your ex at the same time, please don’t ignore that. There are definitely some unresolved issues there that you need to work through, whether it’s with a therapist, counselor, or coach, a trusted friend (who won’t add fuel to the literal fire), or even with your ex — although you might want to run that by your partner first because…I’m pretty sure you’d want him to do that with/for you. RIGHT?
3. Not Being Clear About Your Sexual NeedsGiphy
Question — if someone were to walk up to you right now and ask you what your top seven sexual needs are, along with what your top five sexual dealbreakers are, would you be able to answer? It really is kind of wild how many people get upset with their partner for not being able to sexually satisfy them when even they can’t articulate what they need/require in order for that to happen. Yeah, it’s another article for another time about how many people UNREALISTICALLY (and yes, I am yelling it) think that someone loving them well means that they should be able to read their mind. Nope.
It truly can’t be said enough that sex — especially good sex — is about communication. Hmph. It makes me think about a clip that I saw from Tonight’s Conversation podcast (can’t find it at the moment; sorry) where a woman asked how she should tell her partner that he hasn’t been pleasing her, I believe she said for years. My first thought was if he doesn’t know that, she must be faking orgasms (more on that in a bit) which is not only lying — well, it is —, but it’s also pretty counterproductive because while he thinks that he’s “getting the job done,” she’s not fulfilled and resentment is setting in.
Please don’t let rom-coms (fiction) and social media (which is oftentimes fictitious) have you out here thinking that a good lover is someone you automatically gel with who knows exactly what to do; sometimes that is the case, and oftentimes it isn’t.
So, if the sex-related issue that you’re having in your relationship is that your sexual needs aren’t being met, first do you (and your partner) a favor by doing some sex journaling (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”) so that you can tangibly see what those needs are and then plan time within the next week or so to pour a couple of glasses of wine, put on some 90s R&B and discuss with your partner what you need. Because actually, what a good lover is, is someone who listens and retains. This brings me to the next point.
4. Minimizing Your Partner’s Sexual NeedsGiphy
A husband once told that when he and his wife were in premarital counseling, something that he mentioned was a bona fide need was fellatio. According to him, his wife told both him and their counselor that she loved giving head. Fast forward to eight years of being in their union, and guess how many times that act went down? A measly four. FOUR TIMES (check out “Sooo...What If You HATE Oral?”).
It’s another message for another time, the amount of people who will “false advertise” during the dating stage in order to get to their goal of marriage. It’s also another message for another time how much that is a form of manipulation that tends to backfire in ways that the manipulator is oftentimes not prepared for.
For now, what I will say, is never think that just because something may not be a need for you that it isn’t a legitimate one for someone else. I mean, how would you feel if that’s how someone treated you? Yeah…exactly.
Yet that is just what happens in a lot of relationships, including when it comes to their bedroom. They will think that their needs should be met, hands down, yet when their partner comes with what’s important to them, all of a sudden, there is dismissiveness, nonchalance, and/or excuses — and how could that not rear its ugly head on so many levels?
Your partner’s sexual needs are essential, even if they are not your own. Never assume that you automatically know everything about them. Also, never assume that what worked two years ago is what will “scratch the itch” now. Hmph. Come to think of it, while you’re sipping on that wine and clearly articulating to him what turns you on, use that as an opportunity to ask him to return the favor. Listen with humility, receptiveness, and intent — the best kind of relationships process their partner’s needs with this kind of vibe…across the board.
5. Taking the “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It” ApproachGiphy
Lazy lovers. When you hear that phrase, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? If it’s someone who is just lying there during sex, that would certainly qualify; however, I’m actually speaking of a different kind of laziness here. Believe it or not, some synonyms for lazy include words like apathetic, inattentive, tired, passive (cough, cough), procrastinating, neglectful, and slacking. So yeah, if you and/or your partner can use any of these words to define what sex is consistently like between the two of you — red flag, red flag…RED FREAKIN’ FLAG.
Speaking of being passive, another potentially serious sex-related problem is taking on the attitude that if something ain’t broke, you shouldn’t fix it. What I mean by that is, just because you know that getting on top and riding for exactly six-and-a-half minutes is what will get your partner off, that doesn’t mean that it should be your automatic go-to all of the damn time.
Why? Because. While a part of the fun of having sex is “reaching the peak,” another component that should never be underestimated is discovering new territory: trying new positions, creating a sex bucket list, taking (more) sexcations, playing sex-themed board games (put that phrase in Amazon or on Etsy’s site and go ham!)…you know, doing what will inspire creativity and deter either of you from becoming bored.
That said, a husband of 17 years once told me, “A man can be satisfied with the same woman. We just don’t want the same kind of sex with her.” Words to live by. Yes, indeed.
6. Using Sex as a Deflection or Coping MechanismGiphy
A few years ago, I wrote an article for the platform entitled, “Make-Up Sex Might Be Doing Your Relationship More Harm Than Good” — and with good cause. Words cannot express how many divorced (or soon-to-be divorced) women have told me that a part of what kept them in their marriage, for as long as they stayed in it, was the fact that the sex with their husband was beyond amazing…even though so much other stuff completely and totally sucked. Hey, good sex isn’t a bad thing (c’mon now); however, if it’s the only real thing that’s keeping you with someone, it can turn out to be a toxic deflector.
The reason why I say that is the purpose of sex isn’t to make love; it’s to celebrate it. And if all you’re doing with your partner is f — king and fighting or avoiding issues by stripping down or thinking that sex will “make it all better,” all the while not really knowing what the problem/issue is or what needs to be done to get down to the root of it, that is using sex as a pacifier and again, that’s not what sex is designed to be. Sex doesn’t deserve the pressure of being the end-all to “fixing” ish.
So, if what’s transpiring in your relationship lately is very little talking and a whole lot of sexing, and then once the sex is over, something still feels “off,” that’s a good indication that you’re misusing sex on some level. Get out of the bed, put on a robe, and do some talking (preferably in a room other than the bedroom; leave that space for sex and sleep only as much as possible). Because remember — as much as the wives that I mentioned said that their husbands once had them climbing the walls, those men are still ex-husbands now. Bottom line, sex is good, yet when it comes to keeping a relationship together, it will never be enough. Again, it was never designed to be.
7. Faking ItGiphy
I will never be a fan of faking orgasms. Maybe it’s because I’m a Gemini (we may be a lot of things, but “fake” isn’t really our style). Maybe it’s because I’m a very word-literal individual, and I know that fake means things like “prepare or make (something specious, deceptive, or fraudulent)” and “to conceal the defects of or make appear more attractive, interesting, valuable, etc., usually in order to deceive.” Or perhaps it’s because I don’t get how acting like you’re sexually fulfilled when you actually aren’t is doing anyone any good. Whatever it is, whenever a client (or someone in general because men fakealmost as much as women do) tells me that it’s something they do, I immediately find myself on a mission to shut that mess down (check out “Why You Should Stop Faking Orgasms ASAP”). ALL THE WAY DOWN.
The main reason is that, regardless of if the motive is to hurry things along, not hurt your partner’s feelings, or it’s something more cryptic than that (cough, cough, some form of manipulation tactic), there’s no way around the fact that fakeness is tied to deception and deception is a word that should never be connected to a healthy sexual dynamic.
Besides, one could argue that faking is a form of deflection as well because…wouldn’t it be better to just get it all out in the open WHY you are doing it than to keep pretending when life is too short and great sex is too good to not get the absolute most out of it, as much as possible?
Besides, again, chances are that if you’re faking that you’re sexually pleased, you’re probably faking something else in your relationship (or situation), and how could that possibly be good, right, or beneficial?
Yeah, when it comes to being satisfied across the board, please don’t fake it. State your case in the way that you’d like to hear something said to you, and let the chips fall where they may. If you’ve got a good man, he’s gonna — no pun — rise to the occasion. If his ego can’t handle it, well…that’s something that you should find out sooner than later — when it comes to the bedroom and outside of it? Right? #shoyouright
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