Ah, afterplay. I'll be honest with, y'all—while I am indeed impressed by a man who brings his "A" game in the foreplay department, I am totally enamored with a man who is a master at afterplay. If you're not exactly sure what that is, it's basically when you've got the kind of sex partner who doesn't simply climax, immediately roll over and fall asleep (ugh). It's when you're with someone who is attentive enough, intuitive enough and into-you-enough to want to provide a little extra attention, affection—or perhaps even something more than that—once the deed is "done".
To me, not only is an afterplay man the mark of a great lover, it also shows a man who has some pretty impressive stamina and staying power too.
Why do I say that? It's because I know that men falling asleep after sex isn't something that they just came up with, all on their own; there is actually a science to it all. Long story short, when a man ejaculates, he releases norepinephrine, vasopressin, nitric oxide, serotonin, oxytocin and prolactin. Prolactin is not only tied to sexual satisfaction, it is also heightened during sleep. Meanwhile, oxytocin and vasopressin are two other chemicals that are at their peak during orgasms; plus, they are associated with relaxation and catching z-z-z's. So basically, when a man cums and those chemicals are triggered, it's like he's receiving a huge boost of pleasure and the ultimate sleeping pill at the same time. So yeah, when you take all of this into account, if a man is able to muster up the effort and energy for afterplay, he definitely deserves a round of applause.
But what if your man is, eh, lacking in this department? Honestly, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Chances are, all he needs is a little motivation to stay up, just a bit longer. My hope is that these tips will inspire him—and you—to do just that. Because if you've ever experienced real afterplay before, you know that sex only gets better—and you and your partner only get closer—whenever you get some of it.
7 Ways to Easily Incorporate Afterplay into Your Sex Routine
Kissing is hot. Lord knows that it is. But sometimes, in the moment, we lose our lover's lips in exchange for deep breathing, dirty talking and sometimes, even screaming at the top of our lungs. Something that you and yours can do to reconnect at the end of an orgasm is to kiss each other. Because kissing triggers the "love hormone" oxytocin in our system, it can immediately create a feeling of warmth, safety and even sentimentality. That way, should your man start to drift off to sleep, at least you will feel like he is present; that he didn't simply "check out" once he "got his".
I've got a girlfriend who hates to cuddle after sex. Meanwhile, her husband absolutely adores it. In the beginning of their marriage, them not being on the same page in this area wasn't that much of a big deal. Oh, but as the years have passed, it has become more and more of an issue for him. Because my friend isn't very physically affectionate, in general, her husband looks for sex as a time to be able to hug up, spoon and get close in a way that they aren't able to do as much when they are, say, watching a movie on the couch. I get that too because cuddling is a way to create, not just physical, but emotional intimacy with your partner.
Plus, cuddling is also able to reduce anxiety, lower bodily inflammation, ease chronic pain, strengthen your immune system and, ironically, make it easier for both of you to fall asleep.
So, if your man is like, "Baby, I'm trying to hang in there, but it was so good that I've got to at least take a cat nap", ask him to meet you halfway by agreeing to spoon with you. It's a classic afterplay move that tends to satisfy everyone involved.
Although the findings on this kind of run the gamut, on average, it takes a man around five minutes to have an orgasm while it takes us women around 14 minutes. This is why the best male lovers know that 1) foreplay is paramount because it slows them down while giving their partner time to "warm up" and 2) it's best if they focus on their partner getting off before they do. Shoot, since a man can cum in five minutes, it's pretty much a given that he—with the help of you, of course—will find his "sweet spot". But if he puts himself before you and then he's exhausted or even needs 30 minutes or so before the next round, that could, at the very least, leave you irritated—if not mad frustrated.
If there are moments when your game is so good that he simply can't stop himself from "running ahead of you", another awesome afterplay move is to get him to fondle or even finger you. If the foreplay was there and the sex felt great, sometimes all you need is a little extra stimulation to take you right over the edge in a matter of a couple of moments.
4. Engage in Oral
A pretty much surefire way to get yours (or get yours again) is to have your partner engage in a little cunnilingus. Come to think of it, since both men and women are (reportedly) comfortable with oral action only lasting between 10-11 minutes, unless your partner is the most selfish man on the planet (which would require me penning a totally different kind of article), he can muster up enough energy for some licky-licky, even if he is too tired (at the moment) for some sticky-sticky.
5. Watch a Movie
There's a married couple I know whose schedule is so tight (partly due to the houseful of children that they have) that, the only time they are really able to get any alone time together is after 11pm. They try and make a point to, at least three times a week, stay up and hang out for a couple of hours around then. If you can relate, another way to incorporate afterplay is to watch a movie together. There's something sweet and totally stress-free about being able to curl up with your partner in bed so that you can check out a favorite past film or check out a new one together. And yes, it counts as afterplay because it cultivates intimacy. All good afterplay does.
I know that guys read a lot of the content on our site too. So yes, fellas, I know that this particular point is probably causing some of you to roll your eyes (in the most masculine way possible, of course). But from what my male buddies have told me, they are not opposed to pillow talk following sex. No, what they hate is "deep" pillow talking. So ladies, the whole "Where is this going?", "Are we ready to take it to the next level?" or, if you're married, talking about the bills, in-laws or work-related stuff is not even remotely what consists of giving good afterplay. Reserve this kind of talking for affirming one another, laughing together and seeing how you both can talk each other into going at it…again…at some point.
If you're someone who loves to work out then you can probably relate to how good food tastes after you do it. Well, sex is the ultimate form of exercise, right? A way to refuel and get some extra quality time in with your partner is to have sex and then enjoy a snack together. Now, I'm not saying that you should have a five-course dinner. But a bowl of strawberries (they remove bacteria and boost the libido), a spinach salad (spinach increases blood circulation), a couple of bananas (they will replenish the iron, potassium, and calcium that may have been lost during your romp) and—get this—pizza all top the list of being great afterplay cuisine.
And why pizza? Aside from the fact that it's pizza, there's a study that revealed that many people (2,000 millennials, to be exact) immediately felt closer to individuals who happen to like the same foods that they did. And 46 percent of the people polled liked it when their partner liked pizza. So, if you want to gas your partner up to go another round, try the strawberries, spinach and bananas. But if you want simply want to get some bonding time in and you bask in the afterglow, order a pizza.
They're all awesome afterplay moves. The kind that will make you and yours the ultimate afterplay pros.
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- Mental Foreplay Hacks That Ultimately Takes Intercourse To New Levels - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Want Him To Come Inside You? Read This. - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Is Foreplay Important To Sex? Here's Why It Matters - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
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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Over 6 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's, and it is anticipated that by 2050, this number will almost double. With staggering rates of this disease impacting senior citizens and the families caring for them, the need to boost awareness around this neurological condition is greater now, more than ever.
November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month, which presents an opportunity to educate the public about Alzheimer's disease and increase understanding of its causes, symptoms, and impact on individuals and families with loved ones who have or could develop the condition in the future.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
According to the CDC, Alzheimer's disease, the most prevalent form of dementia, is a progressive condition starting with mild memory loss and potentially advancing to an inability to engage in conversation and respond to the surroundings.
The disease impacts areas of the brain responsible for thought, memory, and language, significantly hindering a person's capacity to perform daily activities.
The exact cause of Alzheimer's is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
The warning signs of Alzheimer's disease can differ among individuals and typically emerge gradually. While Alzheimer's is not a normal aspect of aging, age is the best-known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Memory problems commonly represent one of the initial indicators of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, especially if they worsen over time.
In addition to this, Healthline notes that symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease may show up as one or more of the following:
- Alterations in mood, personality, or behavior.
- Disruption of daily life due to memory loss, like becoming disoriented in familiar surroundings or repeating questions.
- Difficulty in accomplishing routine tasks at home, work, or during leisure activities.
- Diminished or impaired judgment.
- Misplacement of items with an inability to retrace steps to locate them.
Who Does Alzheimer's Affect?
The prevalence of Alzheimer's in the United States is rapidly increasing, with an estimated 6.7 million among those aged 65 and older in 2023. Approximately 73% of individuals with Alzheimer's are aged 75 or older, and the overall rate for those aged 65 and older is 1 in 9 (10.7%), according to the Alzheimer's Association.
One out of every three seniors passes away with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, surpassing the combined mortality of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Elderly Black Americans have approximately twice the likelihood of experiencing Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia compared to elderly white individuals.
Prevention and Support of Alzheimer's Disease
The exact cause of Alzheimer's disease remains unclear, and scientists believe it is likely influenced by multiple factors such as age and family history, but genetics do not determine one's fate or outcome.
There is no cure for Alzheimer's, and caring for a loved one with the disease can take a financial, mental, and emotional strain on the family as the disease progresses. Caregivers face daily challenges, adjusting to changing abilities and behaviors, and as the disease advances, more intensive care is often required.
As more research and awareness spreads around Alzheimer's, taking the proper measures to improve and manage brain cognition is essential. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity, a nutritious diet, limited alcohol consumption, and not smoking, may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Raising awareness helps reduce the stigma associated with Alzheimer's and related dementias and can foster a more supportive and compassionate community for individuals affected by the disease.
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