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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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. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports