I have an ex who used to say, "If you've got to rely on condiments to make your food taste good, it wasn't prepared right in the first place." Say that. And you know what? When it comes to sex, on many levels, I would apply this very point. I mean, when I get the right medium-well steak, it doesn't need Worcestershire sauce marinade; sometimes, I just want it. And when two people are in sync and have good chemistry and sex technique, a sexual condiment isn't required. It is simply the icing on the cake. Quite literally.
Since a condiment is technically defined as being a spice, sauce or particular way a food is prepared in order to enhance its flavor and since what I'm gonna share today are 12 different ways that you can incorporate certain condiments into sex — look at all of these as a way to "enhance" whatever you and your partner already have going on in the bedroom. Because "cake" is already delicious. "Icing" just makes it that much sweeter.
Ah, the icing on the cake. Did you catch the pun (icing? CAKE?). Anyway, frosting can serve as a really cool sex condiment for a couple of reasons. One, it comes in boatloads of different flavors. Two, because it's a much thicker texture than some of the other things that I'm about to discuss, it tends to be easier to clean up because it provides a clean, umm, lick. So, if it's been a minute since you've had frosting on, well, anything, pick up a jar or two at your local grocery store. It could make for a really fun night.
2. Chocolate Syrup
Out of all of the condiments that I plan to shout-out today, I'm thinking that the most predictable one is probably chocolate syrup. Unlike frosting, while it can make for a somewhat messy event (so be careful where you use it), it works because a lot of people like the taste and texture of it. Matter of fact, if you're someone who hates giving oral sex (check out "Sooo...What If You HATE Oral?"), it's the kind of condiment that can make everything so much easier to, well, handle.
3. Caramel Sauce
And what if you are one of the weirdos — sorry, I mean rarities — who loathes chocolate? A great substitute is caramel sauce. While it tends to be thicker than chocolate, if you warm it up a bit and add some butter (more on butter later), that can thin it out. Plus, the warmth can make going this route a little something extra special too.
While I doubt meeting dietary needs is the main focus when it comes to sex condiments, if you're curious about which one is probably the healthiest, I would have to say that it's honey. It's full of antioxidants. It's able to lower your blood pressure. It can even help you to sleep at night.
And while it is super sticky — like SUPER sticky — it tastes wonderful; plus, a little bit goes a really long way. So yeah, for all of these reasons (and more), this sex condiment definitely deserved a shout-out.
5. Whipped Cream
Something that a lot of movies promote, when it comes to sex scenes, is whipped cream. It makes sense on a few levels because it's got a delicate kind of sweetness to it and, if you don't want anything that tastes super heavy, it's light in texture too. Plus, in this case, you've got two options because you can either go with whipped cream that comes in small tubs and goes in the freezer or whipped cream that's in a can. Personally, I think it's more of a fun factor than anything because whipped cream does get sticky once it dries and it has a tendency to leave a milky scent on your skin until you wash it all off. Still, it's another option and definitely not one to turn your nose up about.
Personally, I think it's kind of crazy that prepared fruit, in the form of jelly/jam/preserves, doesn't get more love in this kind of sex space. If you look for jelly or jam at your local grocery store, there are plenty of different flavors, you can apply it at room temperature or put it in the fridge for a couple of hours first to make it chilly, and it's got a texture that is unlike anything else on this list. If fruit is one of your favorite things, using jelly/jam/preserves (that you can also make at home, by the way) is something to definitely incorporate into one of your other…favorite things.
7. Fruit Puree
At the end of the day, all fruit puree has in it is fruit and some sort of sweetener. You know what this means, right? You can stop by the store, pick up a favorite fruit along with some honey, brown sugar or whatever your sweetener of choice is, throw it all in a blender and you're good to go.
I actually like fruit puree a lot because you're able to customize the taste and texture and, to a certain extent, the temp too. I know this particular sex condiment doesn't typically come up in conversation. Stick with me. I'll take you places. #wink
8. Condensed Milk
Bet you didn't see this one coming; at the same time, whoever bakes on the regular can probably get exactly where I am coming from. While you do indeed need to like the taste of milk and not mind it being way thicker and super sweet in order for this to tantalize you, don't sleep on condensed milk. If you dip it into your favorite fruit and then rub it on each other — your life will never be the same, sis.
9. Cinnamon Oil
Remember how I said in the intro that condiments are sauces or spices (or a kind of preparation) that are meant to give something a specific taste or enhance the flavor of it? Back in my gettin'-it-in days, I was a huge fan of cinnamon oil. It's sweet. It's spicy. And it provides a bit of a natural heat sensation that can stimulate both parties simultaneously. Whenever I suggest this to couples, something that they will ask is if the oil burns. Well, for one thing, none of these condiments need to be going up inside of folks (for a myriad of reasons). Secondly, no. However, if you want to dilute the oil with a bit of coconut oil, just for safe measure, I totally get it.
10. Flavored Butter
Butter is a trip because, while I don't personally know anyone who just eats spoonfuls of it at a time, I do think that most of us can definitely vouch for the fact that butter makes everything better. Sex ain't exempt. The key is to make sure you go with a flavored kind. For instance, Land O' Lakes has butter that comes in honey and cinnamon spice flavors. They're tasty. They're smooth. And they melt semi-slowly. All three points are big wins. Or, if you'd prefer, you can make your own flavored butter from the comfort and convenience of your house. If this is something that you'd like to try, Happy Money Saver has three sweet recipes that you can test out for yourself right here.
11. Sweet Spice
This condiment is awesome; then add tax. The reason why I say that is because you can make it at home, put it into a jar that has a sprinkle lid and lightly sprinkle it onto your partner and lick it off — no muss, no fuss. And just what is in sweet spice? Stuff like vanilla beans, cinnamon, ginger, dried orange peels and nutmeg.
Out of all of the condiments on this list, it's probably the most drama-free in the messiness department. Anyway, if you wanna test it out for yourself, you can cop a recipe here (feel free to add or remove ingredients to your liking).
12. Ice Cream
Something that can really turn you and your partner on is switching up drastic temperatures during oral sex and intercourse. A really amazing and delicious way to do that is with the help of ice cream. The combination of the warmth of your mouth and the coolness of the creamy dessert can make for a truly unmatched experience. Just keep in mind that ice cream melts fast, it's also sticky and it will definitely require you washing your sheets immediately after. But if you're down, it's a sex condiment that can make for an unforgettable evening. Undeniably so.
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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. ;)
How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.
The couple met years ago at their alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, when they were still working to create the life they have now, and if you had told them then that they’d eventually tie the knot, the pair probably would’ve laughed in your face.
Today, they’re new parents, flourishing in their careers, and each others’ “teammates.” When desiring love, Dalen recommends not looking to other couples for advice. And Stacey advises staying true to what you want. “Don’t put age or limitations on love and children. If God could do it for me, why can’t he do it for you?”
Here's How We Met.
How did you meet?
Dalen: We met in 2005 when she was advising the Greek sororities and fraternities in college. She was old as hell in college, and I was a young buck (laughs). Everybody had a crush on her, but I didn’t think much of it. Then, in 2007, we were in the same grad school class, but she still wasn’t trying to see me then either. I had to catch her five years ago; I was very patient.
Stacey: Yeah, everybody in our grad school class called him Young, Fresh to Death because he was always dressed in B-school (what CAU affectionately refers to as business major classes), and we’d just wear sweatpants (laughs).
So, I know Dalen was always attracted to you. But what about you? Did your attraction to him develop over time?
Stacey: So 2006-2008 – all the years went by. I don’t think we were really thinking about each other at all back then. Years later, I had an event in Dallas, and I booked him to be a speaker. Then, a few years ago, Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: "If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you." But I still thought he was too young at the time, and he started pulling receipts. Taraji P. Henson was dating someone young at the time, Gabrielle Union–
Dalen: First of all, I didn’t do that. You did that.
Stacey: Okay, I did. I thought he was a cutie pie, but that age thing was on my mind!
"Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: 'If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you.'"
Talk to me about the first date. How did he change your mind?
Stacey: Our first date was at Tin Lizzy's in Atlanta. During that time, he was living in Dallas, so it was long-distance. But he came into town, and we just had a good time. We talked a lot, which we still do. It wasn’t anything fantastic.
Dalen: Don’t downplay our first date.
Then, walk me through your courtship. How did you get to the next level? What was that conversation like?
Stacey: I think he knew at age 43 or 44 I wasn’t playing around. But also, I think it just naturally progressed.
Dalen: Yeah, it just happened naturally. And I’m going to be honest, I don’t think initially either one of us thought it would be as serious as it was. She thought I was too young and I wasn’t ready for marriage, kids, and all that. I think we both thought we were just hanging out. But after spending so much time together, a lot of stuff started happening. Like, she had to have surgery early on. It wasn’t just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That’s why we still don’t have an anniversary date because we never really asked.
"It wasn't just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That's why we still don't have an anniversary date because we never really asked."
What made you want to commit to each other?
Dalen: The moment I knew Stacey was for me was from a phone call. I don’t really like talking on the phone, and I can be really blunt sometimes. But we were talking, and I said, ‘I don’t really feel like talking anymore.’ And she was just like, okay, and hung up. I wasn’t trying to be rude, and she understood that. It sounds bad, but that’s how I knew she just got me. I felt like she could get my random awkward moments, and she does to this day.
Stacey: For me, I liked him as a person. Even when times get rough and tough, I could still like him as a human. He is my best friend. We have time. We laugh until we cry, and it’s just always like that. Even when we get pissed at each other, something happens, and we fix it. Also, how he treats his mother. That’s a momma’s boy, but I’m a daddy’s girl – so I get it. I know how I want to be treated, and I see how he is with her and that’s beautiful.
What are some important lessons you’ve learned about yourself through loving your partner in this relationship?
Dalen: I grew up an only child and she grew up with siblings. So, when you have someone who is used to doing things by themselves, there is definitely a learning curve when you get into a serious relationship. It’s funny now, but it was definitely a process.
Stacey: I agree – definitely the only child thing. There’s times I look at him like, did you ever live with anyone else? That comes from being momma's baby, too. I have to say, my “mother-in-love” spoiled him. But also with Axel (their daughter), that brings another level of patience.
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What was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome together?
Dalen: We’ve gone through a lot within the years we’ve been together. We suffered two miscarriages – I’d say that’s the biggest.
Stacey: Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me. I was wondering if I can’t carry [a child] what that looks like for us. We had very real conversations pretty early in our relationship.
"Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me."
What do you fight the most about?
Dalen: Nagging. Stacey nags; she’s a complainer. She’s that momma that will look in a room and just hunt for something to complain about. Like, I’m worried for Axel when she's in high school.
Stacey: It’s because I like things to be in place. He leaves stuff all over the place. I can tell where he’s been in the house because something is left around. So he says I’m nagging – but it’s like, just get your stuff.
What are your love languages?
Dalen: Stacey is gifts all day.
Dalen: We’ve talked about this. xoNecole is about to cause problems in our home (laughs).
Stacey: Obviously I love you. *thinks again* It’s words of affirmation.
Dalen: That’s it.
What’s your favorite thing about each other?
Dalen: I’ve always respected her business-mindedness. That may sound superficial, but it’s not because I’ve never been with someone who thinks like me. It’s one of my most treasured things about her. I remember one day, I was just running through ideas with her, and each time Stacey had a suggestion on how I could make it better. It’s just very comforting. She takes whatever I’m doing and elevates it – including me.
Stacey: I love Dalen’s hustle and creativity. He’s been on multiple shows, and he continues to create, produce, and reinvent himself and the product he’s putting out. I love that we can create together and bounce things off each other. Even though we may be in different arenas, there’s nothing he can’t offer me great advice about. I love that drive.
Finally, how did you know it was love?
Dalen: Well – she said it – first. (laughs)
Stacey: And he looked at me and smiled! He didn’t say it back. We were on a trip, out of the country.
Dalen: We were arguing when she said it, and she just threw it out.
Stacey: But we continue to do that. We’ve spent holidays and everything outside of the country.
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In 2024, there’s tons of thought and strategy that can go into dating online. While dating apps offer a convenient space to find potential partners, it’s become more complicated by the day to know just how to land a worthwhile match at all. With paywalls, roses, and Super Likes to push past while using dating apps, a common sentiment among singles is: do these apps really want us to find love at all?
Dating hopefuls are taking time to reevaluate their approach to dating as many discussions surrounding online dating are significantly influencing user behavior, particularly among Black singles. According to Jonathan Kirkland, Head of Brand and Marketing for BLK, these conversations shape the thoughts, expectations, and actions of singles and how they engage with dating platforms.
“The Black conversation shapes up the online dating world big time. We’ve seen how discussions around inclusivity, authenticity, and cultural relevance have driven more users to [dating] platforms, where they feel represented and understood,” Kirkland tells xoNecole. “But hey, it's all about personal vibes. Instead of buying into the hype, we're all about our community creating their own stories and shifting the narrative.”
How Online Dating Discourse Shapes Gen Z and Millennial Dating Preferences and Behaviors
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Across different age groups, distinct shifts in dating preferences and behaviors have been observed. Kirkland tells us that Gen Z prioritizes authenticity, social awareness, and online connectivity, while Millennials are focused on sharing values, pursuing their aspirations, and authentically representing their cultural identity.
These changes are not only shifting how singles are approaching the app, they’re influencing the flexibility in what was once seen as “non-negotiables" in long-term desires that are now becoming plausible considerations.
In a recent survey conducted by BLK, 100% of Gen Z and Millennials who participated in the study said they'd be open to starting a family with a friend. “It’s like, life's throwing them curveballs, and they're flipping the script on what family means,” Kirkland explains.
“Gen Z sees this whole platonic co-parenting thing as a game-changer for how we do families, making things more flexible and diverse. Millennials say it's all about building up your chosen family and locking down those intentional connections. Times are definitely changing.”
As culture evolves and social norms shift, these findings show that daters across generations are embodying a sense of adaptability in order to create the life they desire and love they deserve. That’s why we’ve tapped BLK’s Johnathan Kirkland to put us onto the 2024 dating trends that will help you win at love.
On the top trends singles can look forward to in the 2024 online dating space:
“One trend is ‘dawn dating,’ where you squeeze in dates before your workday kicks off. This offers a new level of convenience and efficiency,” he explains.
“And since it's an election year, get ready for 'partisan dating.' That's where singles prefer connecting with someone who's vibing on the same political wavelength. And with so many young voters more into the issues rather than the candidates, expect some real deep convos over policy matters.”
“Plus, we’re going to see more of a focus on looking after your mental health while you're dating. Platforms are rolling out initiatives to help you build solid relationships, while also prioritizing your own wellbeing,” he adds.
On the best icebreakers to hit a conversational flow with new matches:
Kirkland says that while breaking the ice can be difficult, one way to break the ice is to throw out questions that show your genuine interest. “Ask about their passions, where they love to travel, or maybe something cool they've experienced culturally lately.”
“It’s also nice to toss in a fun pop culture question, like, ‘So, are you #TeamMegan or #TeamNicki?’ It's all about getting that convo flowing.” he suggests. "BLK recently rolled out new profile prompts in our app last year to help spark these conversations. They're little conversation starters you can display on your profile, written or even voiced, so people can slide into your DMs without any awkwardness.”
On the best practices for users looking to connect with men who have aligned dating goals and avoid hookup culture:
“Be crystal clear about what you're after. And when you're scoping out potential matches, keep an eye out for those little signs that they're ready for something serious, too. Look for hints in their profiles, like if they're talking about their future goals or if your interests and values seem to click. But it's not all about what's written down. When you start chatting, keep it real and open. Lay it all out on the table early on—no beating around the bush.”
"Be crystal clear about what you're after. And when you're scoping out potential matches, keep an eye out for those little signs that they're ready for something serious too."
He continues, “Whether it's long-term love, a casual vibe, or just making new pals. No more wasting time on matches that aren't on the same page as you.”
On the advice he’d give to users who want to give dating apps another try, but are discouraged to do so:
“Let’s be honest. Dating apps are like any other technology —they're constantly evolving. So that app you checked out last year may have added new features, cool filters, and better ways to connect,” Kirkland says.
“If you're feeling a bit anxious about diving back into the dating app world, remember this: every swipe, chat, and date is a chance to learn something new about yourself. It's all about growth and discovery. Keep an open mind, but don't forget to set some boundaries and stay true to yourself. And if it all gets a bit overwhelming, take a breather.”
He adds, “Focus on some self-care, hit up your friends for a pep talk, or even chat with a pro if you need to. Because hey, who knows? The perfect match might just be a swipe away — so keep swiping.”
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