I've had the honor and pleasure of being a regular feature writer for xoNecole for a little over a year now. And something that I've noticed—really without even planning it—is I've been really into penning sex-themed articles. Last fall, we explored how to have some great "fall sex". Christmas, we got into how to have some ho-ho-ho (c'mon, you know what I mean) sex. So, how in the world could Valentine's Day roll around and I not offer up some tips on how to have some cupid-themed coitus?
What got me even more excited to pen this is the fact that this year, Valentine's Day is on a Friday. This means that if you plan it out right, you've got the entire weekend to put these 15 tips into play. So, are you ready to make Valentine's Day the best day of the year when it comes to getting freaky-deaky? Read on, sis. Forward it to your man while you're at it.
1. “Edge” in the Morning Before Work
A poet by the name of Sylvia Townsend Warner once said, "Anticipation of pleasure is a pleasure itself." Yep. What she said. And when it comes to sex, one of the best ways to create the feeling of anticipation is edging. I'm assuming that a lot of y'all already know what that is, but just to be safe, edging is when you get you and your partner to the point of having an orgasm, but you don't allow yourself to completely climax. Why would someone "torture" themselves in that way? It's because the build-up only intensifies the orgasm once you actually do have it. So yeah, start off your Valentine's Day by at least getting a little foreplay in. Just make sure that neither of you "complete the act". It will drive you both crazy in the best kind of way. You'll be thinking about your partner all day long and since our brain is our biggest sex organ, edging really is one of the best kinds of sexual stimulation that there is.
2. Send Your Partner Something “Naughty” to Work
When's the last time you send your boo thang something at work? Since Valentine's Day is a day when bouquets and other cutesy stuff tends to be in abundance at the office, use this as a time to have a courier send your partner a very special well-wrapped package. It can be some lace panties, a hotel room key, a sex toy or some sensual massage oil. Anything that makes the message abundantly clear that today some ish is going down—just as soon as your partner walks through the door.
3. Have Their Favorite Meal Delivered to Their Job Too
If you and your partner were considering having a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day, while that's certainly a sweet gesture and all, it's not really the wisest thing if you want to have sex afterwards. Aside from the fact that it can definitely set you up for getting the "itis" and being too tired to have sex, heavy meals prevent us from feeling very sexy.
Plenty of nutritionists and dieticians recommend eating high-calorie breakfasts or lunches and following that up with a light dinner. So, if you want to treat your loved one to a nice V-Day meal, meet them for lunch or have their favorite mid-day meal delivered to their place of work. Eat something lighter later that evening (more on this in a moment).
4. Pick Up a “Sex Pillow”
I was recently talking to a wife about how her husband is constantly trying to put her legs over his shoulders. For years, it wasn't her favorite position because, well, everybody ain't a gymnast, ya know? But once she invested into a sex pillow that supported her back while elevating her body, it became an instant go-to for her as well. Moral to the story, you'd be amazed what you can do if you've got a sex pillow of your own in tow. If you need a few referrals,Cosmo andRefinery 29 has a few recommendations.
5. Get Some Red (or Purple or Orange) Light Bulbs Too
A part of what makes sex great is the ambiance, right? If your man loves looking at you during sex (and a ton of men do) but you're a little on the self-conscious side, swap out the bulbs in your bedroom (or wherever it is that you plan on getting it in) to red, purple or orange ones. These are the hues that make a room feel warmer and make us feel sexier. This one tip alone can totally bring out another side of you. Trust me.
6. Order In
Who wants to cook for hours and then stay up all night having sex? If you don't want to go out to eat because restaurants are going to be crowded but you don't really feel like cooking either, order something for dinner to be delivered to your house. On the heels of what I said earlier, just make sure that it's something light like salmon, sushi bowls, Indian dishes, veggie risotto, elaborate salads—something that is delicious and won't leave you starving but also something that won't make you want to immediately fall asleep afterwards either.
7. Put Together an “Emotional” Spotify Playlist
Something that I'm so glad is back is All Def Digital. Anyway, some of the team recently did a Great Taste episode entitled "Best Sex Position". Aside from it being pretty funny, I must say that I don't know what KevOnStage was talking about (at the 5:45 mark) when he said that he prefers sex without any music. What in the world? Although I do get how "the sound of belly smacks" (his words, not mine) can be erotic, going without a playlist sounds a little cray-cray if you ask me. Besides, there is plenty of evidence to support that music during sex triggers the production of the feel-good hormone dopamine.
My two cents would be to come up with a playlist that doesn't only consist of sex jams. Find ones that take you back to your first kiss, the first time you said, "I love you" and, if you're married, your wedding day. Most people will agree that sex that comes with an emotional connection as well as a physical desire is the best kind of sex that there is. Music is a fabulous way to "merge the two lanes" and make you feel that much closer to your partner.
8. Make a DIY Chocolate Strawberry Sugar Scrub
When we think about Valentine's Day, a signature thing that comes to mind is chocolate. It's a traditional gift. It tastes good. It's also an aphrodisiac. The reason why chocolate makes us horny is because it contains tryptophan and phenylethylamine; both of these things help to stimulate sexual arousal. If you want to feed each other chocolate candy, feel free. Or, if you'd like to take a more amatory approach, make a chocolate-covered sugar scrub. If bathing together is on the agenda, it's probably the most delicious way to exfoliate that I can think of. You can cop a fairly easy DIY recipe here.
9. Get Creative with Rose Petals
Roses are nice. But who said that they always have to be used in the traditional—and predictable—kind of way? Take a bath with your man in some rosewater (you can DIY it by clicking here). Give each other a sensual massage with some rose essential oil. Sprinkle rose petals all over your bed. Or purchase something that straight up tickled me—a rose blunt wrap. Not only are roses super sweet, sentimental and romantic, but the scent of roses is considered to be an aphrodisiac too. A part of the reason why is because the smell of this particular flower has a way of calming down your nervous system while heightening your sensitivity to touch. All of these are good enough reasons to definitely make roses a part of your Valentine's Day sex night plan, whether they are your favorite flower or not.
10. Put Some Fantasies in a Jar—then Pull Two (or More) of ‘Em Out
I try and convey, as often as possible, that there are three jars that I think every couple should have in their possession—a date jar, a sex jar and a fantasy jar. Fantasy jars are important because they encourage you to tap into your imagination in order to get some of your sexual creative juices flowing. One way to learn more about each other's wilder sides is to get out a piece of paper, cut it into long pieces and have each of you write a fantasy on each one. Then put the pieces of paper in a jar, shake the jar around and pull two out. Whatever it says, agree to do (or at least consider doing). Chances are, both of you will discover a new "kink" that neither of you was aware of. Fantasies are always a surefire way to breathe new life into anyone's sex life.
11. Toast Each Other with Red Wine
Since this year, Valentine's Day falls on a Friday, you can actually turn it into a staycation sexcation if you want to. You know what else you can do? Toss a few extra drinks back. If you're planning to be home all weekend and you want to get drunkety drunk, why not? For the record, what I will say is if you want alcohol to actually enhance your sexual experience, it's best to go with red wine.
It is proven that the plant flavonol quercetin that's in it will not only increase testosterone levels in men, but it will increase blood flow to women's erogenous zones too.
Put a romantic spin on gettin' crunk by toasting your partner with words of affirmation and love. It's a great way to emotionally connect while getting horny at the same time. Just sayin'.
12. Replace the Grapefruit with a Chocolate-Glazed Donut
I read and research the topic of sex a lot, so I honestly can't tell you where I happened upon this, but it stayed in my head. What is "it"? Well, although many people didn't know about "the grapefruit" until the movieGirls Trip, those of us who are self-professed oral sex connoisseurs are fully aware that there is someone else to thank. The originator (at least to my knowledge)? Her name is Angel. You can watch her video here. It is totally NSFW, so make sure your earplugs are in or you watch it once you get home.
Anyway, I read somewhere that an, umm, different variation to this is to swap out the grapefruit for a chocolate-glazed donut. That's right. Actually slip the donut onto your partner's shaft and see how much chocolate you can get off of it without actually eating the donut itself. I'm thinking this is a great "win" for folks who hate how grapefruit tastes. Plus, since chocolate is an aphrodisiac, it can only make giving fellatio that much…well, sweeter.
13. Get Your “Vagitarian” to Do Some Light Blowing
A few months back, when I wrote about sexual deal-breakers, something that I should have mentioned was being with a man who is not a vagitarian. I'm pretty sure you can guess what that is, right? How anyone can be with someone who isn't down with cunnilingus—cough, cough, DJ Khaled—is beyond me, chile. But to each their own…I guess. Anyway, something that a couple of women say makes them want to climb the walls is when their man lightly blows on their clitoris right when they are about to cum. They say that it creates a tingling sensation that is bar none. Since that little organ houses 8,000 nerve endings, I can see why that lil' trick is a fan favorite. Try it and report back.
14. Try the Goodnight Kiss, Clapper and/or Pretzel Dip Sex Position
I think that special days are a great time to break out a new sex position. This Valentine's Day, how about the Goodnight Kiss, the Clapper or the Pretzel Dip? The Goodnight Kiss is basically just like it sounds, with a twist. Face one another, kiss passionately and then participate in mutual masturbation while you're kissing. From there, you can transition into the Clapper. Get on your knees and lean forward, making sure to stretch your arms past your head. Then have your partner come behind you with his arm holding him up and his legs outside of your hips as he penetrates you. From there, how about the Pretzel Dip? For this one, I can show you easier than I can tell you. Relatively speaking, of course (click here).
15. Sleep in and Have Some Morning Sex Too
Again, Valentine's Day is on a Friday this year so, where you got to go on Saturday? If you have kids, set up a sleepover at one of their friend's house and make plans to sleep in until at least noon. And by "sleep" what I mean is have lots and lots of morning sex. Is there anything better than sex, then sleep, only to wake up and have some more sex? Exactly. Happy Valentine's Day. Make it a really, really good one. Whew, chile.
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- Do you have great 'sexpectations' for Valentine's Day? - CNN ›
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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.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
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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The conversation about sex and intimacy often neglects the experiences of individuals with disabilities. Society's misguided notion that individuals with disabilities are devoid of desires for love, intimacy, and sexual fulfillment is not only preposterous but also damaging, but one disability activist is here to challenge that narrative.
"Society's perception of disability has greatly influenced my own understanding and expression of my sexuality," said author and disabled influencer Tylia L. Flores. "The stigma associated with my disability made it difficult for me to express myself freely, leading to self-esteem issues during my teenage years."
Born with Spastic Cerebral Palsy, Flores refuses to let her condition define her love life or limit her aspirations. As a passionate advocate for her community, she's on a mission to shatter misconceptions and pave the way for a more inclusive understanding of sexuality within the disabled community.
Misconceptions About Sexuality for the Disabled Community
Ableist misconceptions cast shadows over romantic pursuits for disabled individuals. These misunderstandings can lead to assumptions and judgments that hinder their ability to explore and experience love fully.
For instance, Flores revealed that most believe her caregiver, her mother, or another abled-bodied individual has total influence over her decisions with a partner. Contrary to popular belief, Flores wants the world to know she has complete control over her emotions and decisions regarding her dating and sex life.
"By educating others about sexuality and disability, I challenge these stereotypes and break down barriers. By being open about my experiences and advocating for inclusivity, I hope to inspire others to see beyond misconceptions and embrace diverse experiences within the disabled community," Flores stated.
Another misconception is disabled characters in movies, shows, or books cannot be the main character of affection or have sex. Media representations often portray disabled characters as either asexual or objects of pity, reinforcing harmful stereotypes and perpetuating that disabled individuals are not sexual beings.
"The only way we could create a more inclusive world for Black women with disabilities is to have more Black women come out and voice their truths in the mainstream media and literature, and that's my whole goal as an author," said Flores. "I want to see more disabled characters have sex on TV screens and express themselves sexually like abled-bodied characters."
Ignoring The Suggestion of ‘Limited Romance’ in Partners
The stigma surrounding disability and sexuality finds its roots in deeply ingrained societal biases and stereotypes. Throughout history, people with disabilities were systematically marginalized and desexualized, relegated to the fringes of society. This pervasive attitude stems from a misguided belief that disability diminishes one's humanity, erasing desires and needs deemed as "normal" for able-bodied individuals.
"As a Black woman with cerebral palsy, I have faced challenges in navigating intimate relationships. One challenge has been the lingering belief among many that individuals with disabilities should be limited in their romantic choices by only dating or being intimate with other disabled people," Flores explained. "This suggestion is based on assumptions that individuals with physical disabilities are not capable of having fulfilling relationships."
She overcame this by putting herself out there and actively sharing her life and experiences with others. The author also noted that she doesn't have a "type" limited to African Americans or disabled. She prioritized finding love based on shared values, compatibility, and sexual desires. Additionally, she recommended showing yourself without fear of judgment or prejudice when it comes to dating or having a sexual relationship. The right person will value and respect you, disability and all.
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