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.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
Feature image by Giphy
- Valentine's Day: A Sex-Positive Advocate's Worst Nightmare? ›
- Valentine's Day Sex Playlist — The Daily Campus ›
- Do you have great 'sexpectations' for Valentine's Day? - CNN ›
- Sex Therapists Reveal Their Best Valentine's Day Tips – SheKnows ›
- How Many People Have Sex On Valentine's Day? It's The Biggest ... ›
- 13 Valentine's Day Sex Positions To Try For Hotter, Romantic Sex ›
- 11 Valentine's Day Sex Positions ›
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. ;)
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.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and felt so deeply connected to them? Everything about the relationship was intense – good or bad? Then you might be in a part of a soul tie.
The concept of a soul tie binds individuals on a level beyond a relationship's physical and emotional aspects; it’s more than a mere connection. You can form a soul tie with anyone – lover, friend, colleague, etc.- but we are discussing romantic partners for this article. Think of you and your partner as an intensely burning flame. The flame can burn passionately to light the relationship’s way or chaotically burn everything in its path. Either way, it leaves an indelible mark on the souls involved.
A soul tie should not be confused with the term “soulmate.” The main difference is that a soul tie can be positive or negative, while a soulmate is a mutual, harmonious connection. Unlike a soul tie, a soulmate relationship is generally characterized by mutual understanding, support, and shared values.
However, the more we learn about soul ties, the more it becomes evident that they are not monolithic; they vary in nature and intensity. As someone who has experienced a negative soul tie, it is crucial to discern whether they contribute positively to personal growth or hinder you from flourishing.
If Your Soul Tie Is Positive
A positive soul tie creates a deep and affirming connection between individuals. One key indicator of a positive soul tie is effective communication. If you’re experiencing a positive soul tie, a shared understanding fosters open and honest dialogue, contributing to a sense of connection and support.
Mutual growth is another hallmark of a positive soul tie. When individuals in a relationship encourage each other's personal development and evolution, it signifies a positive and uplifting connection. This mutual support leads to an environment where both parties can thrive individually and together, contributing to the overall health of the soul tie.
Emotional security is a crucial element in identifying a positive soul tie. In such connections, individuals feel a deep sense of trust and comfort with each other. This emotional security forms a stable foundation for the relationship, allowing both parties to express vulnerability and foster a strong, positive bond. These three indicators—effective communication, mutual growth, and emotional security—underscore the positivity inherent in a healthy and affirming soul tie.
If Your Soul Tie Is Negative
A negative soul tie manifests as a detrimental and draining connection between individuals. One clear sign of a negative soul tie is the presence of emotional turmoilwithin the relationship. When the connection becomes a source of constant distress, causing emotional upheaval and hindering personal development, it indicates a negative soul tie.
Codependency is another red flag for a negative soul tie. In such connections, individuals may become overly reliant on each other, impeding their ability to thrive independently. Codependency often leads to unhealthy dependencies and can result in a toxic dynamic that hinders both individuals' growth and well-being.
A lack of effective communication is a third indicator of a negative soul tie. When there is a breakdown in communication, misunderstandings and unresolved issues can fester, contributing to a strained and unhealthy connection. In negative soul ties, the absence of open and honest dialogue can perpetuate a cycle of negativity and prevent the resolution of underlying issues. These three indicators—emotional turmoil, codependency, and poor communication—point to the negativity associated with an unhealthy soul tie.
Putting Out The Fires And Breaking Your Soul Tie
Unfortunately, my deep, intense connection only caused destruction. And despite the obvious red flags, it took a minute before I broke the connection. Why? Because I was addicted to the relationship, we both were. But it is possible to break a soul tie if and when you are ready because if you are not, pretending you are when you are not is a waste of your time.
Breaking a soul tie requires intentional and purposeful actions. Establishing clear and firm boundaries is a fundamental step in severing the connection. By limiting contact and emotional engagement with the person involved, individuals can gradually weaken the tie and create space for personal growth.
Seeking professional support is another effective strategy to break a soul tie. Guidance from therapists or counselors provides valuable insights and coping strategies. Professional assistance can help individuals navigate the emotional challenges associated with breaking a soul tie, offering a structured and supportive environment for healing.
Redirecting energy toward personal growth is important in breaking free from a soul tie. Engaging in activities that promote individual well-being and create a sense of independence allows individuals to refocus their attention on their own growth and development. This redirection of energy is essential for breaking the emotional bonds of a soul tie and moving towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.
The last step I advise everyone to go through is the mourning period. My partner and I did our song and dance for years before I walked away. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that I mourned our relationship while I healed.
Recognizing the presence and nature of a soul tie in your relationship is crucial to understanding its impact on your well-being. Whether positive or negative, the intensity of a soul tie can shape the course of your personal growth and happiness. Breaking free from a negative soul tie demands intentional efforts, from setting clear boundaries to seeking professional support. Redirecting energy toward personal growth and allowing oneself a necessary mourning period are vital steps toward healing and liberation from the intricate ties that bind.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by JD Mason/ Unsplash