These Black Women Have Everything You Need To Make Your Dreams Of Living Abroad Come True
It was 2018 when I realized working in a toxic work environment and pursuing a high-stress career in Corporate America wasn't for me. But at the time, resources on how to take a career break were scarce. I researched, googled, and scrolled through Pinterest. I read blogs and listened to podcasts about other women who traveled and eventually made a career switch. But there wasn't a platform dedicated to strategizing an exit plan from the American lifestyle. At least, not for women of color. I was left to make these life-altering decisions on my own with little to no help or substantial resources.
I managed to execute my plan, and here I am still curating this new life of mine. I still dream of living life overseas too. It's going to happen, but I'm just not quite there yet. And in 2021, more and more American Black women have realized hustle culture or Black Excellence is not where it's at. Two years ago, it was highly uncommon for a Black woman or any woman of color to quit her job, sell her house, give up everything she owns, and catch a flight to a destination unknown and start a whole new life. It was just completely unheard of.
It went against everything our parents and the generations before us taught us about building the American dream. Life for an American Black woman embodies hard work.
Oftentimes, this means demanding and stressful careers. It's a constant state of chaos and, the thing is, most Black women don't realize this until they are forced to. And there is no telling how chaos decides to show up, but it usually manifests in unhealthy vices or underlying health problems. The idea of "taking a break" or moving abroad isn't a part of what we consider Black Excellence to be. So, we entertain the idea of a relaxed lifestyle only when we are eligible for retirement.
But in case you haven't noticed, we are no longer waiting until 65 to truly live. We are deciding to be present and live our best lives now.
The pandemic showed us what a life with balance and freedom can look like. It gave more and more Black women the permission to discover new ways to find joy. Even if that joy looks like leaving their homes and everything they know. Whether that is through a career break or a more permanent move, Black women have come to realize a life of constant burnout and mental health problems isn't a life at all. And Stephanie Perry and Roshida Dowe came to this same realization too.
Together, through their company Exodus Summit, they help other black women navigate the ins and outs of taking a career break or living abroad. "The idea for Exodus Summit started in the summer of 2020. Stephanie and I thought this would be a good way for us to collaborate and serve more women than we could serve individually," Roshida explained. "This year, we have invited back women who attended the summit last year to be speakers at this year's Homecoming. These women are coming back to share their roadmaps for how they made the transition abroad happen for themselves."
Meet The Creators Of Exodus Summit
Stephanie is a digital nomad. She has visited 12 countries in 12 months all at $1200 per month. Before making the leap overseas, she was a hospital pharmacy technician. Now, she's a year-round house sitter and pet sitter who helps Black women take a career break to travel on a budget through her websitevaycarious.com.
Roshida, aka "Shida D", is a passionate proponent of career breaks, sabbaticals, and grown-up gap years. In her previous life, she was a lawyer in high-pressure tech companies. It wasn't until a decade later that Roshida realized she wasn't in love with the life she built.
Stressed, tired, and burned out, Roshida decided to take the leap and travel the world for a year. It was then that she discovered her purpose. Roshida decided to help other women experience the freedom she had found on her own career break. She now coaches women on how to plan satisfying and sustainable breaks from their careers and leave burnout behind.
xoNecole interviewed Stephanie and Roshida on their personal experiences with taking career breaks and living abroad. Here's what they had to share.
Leaving The American Life
It's never an easy decision to leave the life you're accustomed to for an unconventional life. There are so many what-ifs, risks, and issues that come up. Not to mention self-doubt and limiting beliefs. It's an internal battle of:"Can I really do this?""Am I making the right decision?" and "What are people going to say?" Especially for Black and brown women. Our function in the United States is to work and take care of other people so that others can live out their dreams. To seek a desired of level freedom is almost considered unattainable and too far-fetched in our culture. But says who?
Stephanie and Roshida share their reasons for leaving this American life.
Stephanie: "I decided that I wanted to spend a year traveling full-time and I thought that one year was going to be enough. And I was going to return from that year and be like, 'I did it. I saw it all. Now, I'm ready to go back to my old life.' It turns out, that once I was out for a little while, it made me put my life and work in perspective. I started to see how other people in other countries don't make work their priority and try to fit other things in. They get to enjoy a full life. They get to live it 360 degrees and not just work most of the time and then hope and pray when they get to that magical retirement age that they are still able to do the things that they have always wanted to do. So, being able to experience life in other cultures for those 12 months changed the idea of what I wanted my life to look like."
Roshida: "I got laid off from my job when the company I worked for went out of business. The thought of getting a new job was overwhelming (I was totally burnt out from the last job). So, I did some quick math and realized I had enough money saved to travel for a year, and I was off exploring the world less than a month later."
Challenges Of Living In A Foreign Country
When you finally decide to build a life in a different country, there is no question there will be a few challenges. And it seems scary at first when you don't know how another country operates or how to establish residency, let alone get a job. But we live in a digital world. We have a variety of resources that allow us to educate ourselves about other countries and their cultures. From social media, YouTube, language and travel apps, blogs, and Google, we can easily travel to another country well-prepared. I mean, I did. While external challenges exist to living in a different country, most of the challenges are internal. It comes down to adopting a new way of thinking and allowing yourself to say "yes."
Stephanie: "Living in another place is simpler than what most people think it is. It's 2021 and there is a lot of information out there. You don't have to go into a place blind. There are communities of people, especially if you're a Black woman. There are communities of Black women all around the world that are sharing information so that you can get to places and know what neighborhoods you want to live in, the good doctors, and the good service providers in the area. So, you're not moving to a place with no clue.
"The real hurdles are in yourself. How do I reject everything I was told that I was supposed to be living for? We are stuck on the idea of Black excellence, which is a trap. It's doing things for outward appearance and forgetting about what you really want. You have to be these things so that other people can look at you and respect you. But what about how you feel about yourself?"
Roshida: "Beyond not being fluent in the language, getting used to the local customs can be a challenge. But when you find the perfect place for yourself (for me, it's Mexico City), those challenges seem like learning opportunities."
Earning An Income And Finding Work In Another Country
Stephanie: "Because I like to go to inexpensive countries, finding work overseas would not benefit me. I would be paid in their currency, and it would be worth less than the U.S. dollar. So, I instead make money in U.S. dollars online and stay, visit, or live in these other places. It turns out that I have a skill set that people were willing to pay me for that I had been doing for free. I'm a house sitter and people used to ask me all the time how to get started with house sitting and I would give them information for free. Now they pay me for it. That's my business. I make a living helping people become house sitters. Most of my clients are Black women from the U.S. and the Caribbean. I found a skill set that supports me so that I don't have to have a traditional job."
Roshida: "During my career break, I started helping other Black women take breaks as well, and that turned into a business. Building my own business, I get to set my own hours, work with who I want, and work from wherever I want."
Misconceptions About Living Abroad
Stephanie: "Misconception number one is that it's dangerous. I spend six months out of the year in Mexico and people always want to know how safe it is or what about the cartels. But if you don't have cartel business, you don't have to think about the cartels. Another piece of American propaganda is that we are better than other places. Especially when it comes to certain things like safety. I am not safer in the United States compared to when I'm in a different country. Mexico is a place where people just mind their business. There is not a group of people in Mexico who are waiting to harass you. If you have an interaction with the police in Mexico, it's not going to be a negative interaction. In the cities we live in, in the United States, we are probably in more danger than in any place that you're going to want to go to in the rest of the world."
"It's also not as expensive as people think. People price places based on what they see when they go on vacation. When you live someplace, it's a lot less expensive than when you are just visiting. It was less expensive for me to travel full-time, than it was for me to live in Wilmington, Delaware."
"Loneliness. When you are a solo traveler, you will meet people if you want to. It's so much easier to meet new friends when you travel solo. I have friends now that I would not have met if I traveled with other people, and we are still friends today."
Life Abroad Vs. The Black American Lifestyle
Stephanie: "When I'm abroad, it's the only time I get treated like an actual American with all of the rights and privileges that come with being an American. I also don't have to fear for my safety as a Black woman abroad. Dating is better for me as a Black woman abroad too. My self-care is better. We think self-care is manicures and pedicures, but not like actual rest. I have free time to do creative things and daily spirituality practices. All of those things are things I have time for because I don't work and live in the United States."
Roshida: "Living outside of the U.S. gives me a sense of freedom that I didn't experience in the U.S."
On Why Black Women Are Adopting A Life Overseas
Stephanie: "I think that we have gotten tired of living the life of other people. We want to feel that freedom, that right now, it's only felt when we leave the country. Also, it's helpful that the internet exists and that Black women are sharing what they have been doing so new people can be introduced to it. I have a YouTube channel, and people are like, I didn't even know that I can do this. I think the communities of people who are out sharing information are very helpful."
"And I think that we've hit a breaking point where either you're going to make a big change, or this environment is going to kill us. We are fighting for our lives. It's a fight for our peace of mind, for our safety, for children's safety, and our joy. There's a new emphasis on Black joy that has not existed in the past. It prioritizes what you want or what life you want to live. All of these have converged to make it so much easier and so much more realistic for us to go."
Roshida: "Life abroad comes with significantly less stress and a sense of joy and ease that is hard for Black women to achieve overseas. It's not a stress-free life, but most other cultures have a more relaxed way of life, and it's nice to get to enjoy that abroad."
Exodus Summit 2021 starts this weekend, from September 24-26. Learn more about the virtual event here.
Featured image by Getty Images
Camille is a lover of all things skin, curls, music, justice, and wanderlust; oceans and islands are her thing. Her words inspire and her power is her voice. A California native with Trinidadian roots, she has penned personal essays, interviews, and lifestyle pieces for POPSUGAR, FEMI magazine, and SelfishBabe. Camille is currently creating a life she loves through words, self-love, fitness, travel, and empowerment. You can follow her on Instagram @cam_just_living or @written_by_cam.
Amber Riley Is In Her Element
Amber Riley has the type of laugh that sticks with you long after the raspy, rhythmic sounds have ceased. It punctuates her sentences sometimes, whether she’s giving a chuckle to denote the serious nature of something she just said or throwing her head back in rip-roarious laughter after a joke. She laughs as if she understands the fragility of each minute. She chooses laughter often with the understanding that future joy is not guaranteed.
Credit: Ally Green
The sound of her laughter is rivaled only by her singing voice, an emblem of the past and the future resilience of Black women stretched over a few octaves. On Fox’s Glee, her character Mercedes Jones was portrayed, perhaps unfairly, as the vocal duel to Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), offering rough, full-throated belts behind her co-star’s smooth, pristine vocals. Riley’s always been more than the singer who could deliver a finishing note, though.
Portraying Effie White, she displayed the dynamic emotions of a song such as “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going” in Dreamgirls on London’s West End without buckling under the historic weight of her predecessors. With her instrument, John Mayer’s “Gravity” became a religious experience, a belted hymnal full of growls and churchy riffs. In her voice, Nicole Scherzinger once said she heard “the power of God.”
Credit: Ally Green
Riley’s voice has been a staple throughout pop culture for nearly 15 years now. Her tone has become so distinguishable that most viewers of Fox’s The Masked Singer recognized the multihyphenate even before it was revealed that she was Harp, the competition-winning, gold-masked figure with an actual harp strapped to her back.
Still, it wasn’t until recently that Riley began to feel like she’d found her voice. This sounds unbelievable. But she’s not referring to the one she uses on stage. She’s referencing the voice that speaks to who she is at her core. “Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind,” the 37-year-old says. “It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women. I got so comfortable in [doing so], and I really want other people, especially Black women, to get more comfortable in that space.”
“Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind. It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women."
If you ask Riley’s manager, Myisha Brooks, she’ll tell you the foundation of who the multihyphenate is hasn’t changed much since she was a kid growing up in Compton. “She is who she is from when I met her back when she was singing in the front of the church to back when she landed major roles in film and TV,” Brooks says. Time has allowed Riley to grow more comfortable, giving fans a more intimate glimpse into her life, including her mental health journey and the ins and outs of show business.
The actress/singer has been in therapy since 2019, although she suffered from depression and anxiety way before that. In a recent interview with Jason Lee, she recalls having suicidal ideation as a kid. By the time she started seeing a psychologist and taking antidepressants in her thirties, her body had become jittery, a physical reminder of the trauma stacked high inside her. “I was shaking in [my therapist’s] office,” she tells xoNecole. “My fight or flight was on such a high level. I was constantly in survival mode. My heart was beating fast all the time. All I did was sweat.”
There wasn’t just childhood trauma to account for. After auditioning for American Idol and being turned away by producers, Riley began working for Ikea and nearly missed her Glee audition because her car broke down on the highway while en route. Thankfully, Riley had been cast to play Mercedes Jones. American Idol had temporarily convinced her she wasn’t cut out for the entertainment industry, but this was validation that she was right where she belonged. Glee launched in 2009 with the promise of becoming Riley’s big break.
In some ways, it was. The show introduced Riley to millions of fans and catapulted her into major Hollywood circles. But in other ways, it became a reminder of the types of roles Black women, especially those who are plus-sized, are relegated to. Behind the scenes, Riley says she fought for her character "to have a voice" but eventually realized her efforts were useless. "It finally got to a point where I was like, this is not my moment. I'm not who they're choosing, and this is just going to have to be a job for me for now," she says. "And, that's okay because it pays my bills, I still get to be on television, I'm doing more than any other Black plus-sized women that I'm seeing right now on screen."
The actress can recognize now that she was navigating issues associated with trauma and low self-esteem at the time. She now knows that she's long had anxiety and depression and can recognize the ways in which she was triggered by how the cult-like following of the show conflicted with her individual, isolated experiences behind the scenes. But she was in her early '20s back then. She didn't yet have the language or the tools to process how she was feeling.
Riley says she eventually sought out medical intervention. "When you're in Hollywood, and you go to a doctor, they give you pills," she says, sharing a part of her story that she'd never revealed publicly before now. "[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that's not fixing my problem. If anything, it's making it worse."
“[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that’s not fixing my problem. If anything it’s making it worse.”
Credit: Ally Green
At one point, while in her dressing room on set, she rested her arm on a curling iron without realizing it. It wasn't until her makeup artist alerted her that she even realized her skin was burning. Once she noticed, she says she was "so zonked out on pills" that she barely reacted. Speaking today, she holds up her arm and motions towards a scar that remains from the incident. She sought help for her reliance on the pills, but it would still be years before she finally attended therapy.
This stress was only compounded by the trauma of growing up in poverty and the realities of being a "contract worker." "Imagine going from literally one week having to borrow a car to get to set to the next week being on a private jet to New York City," she says. After Glee ended, so did the rides on private planes. The fury of opportunities she expected to follow her appearance on the show failed to materialize. She wasn't even 30 yet, and she was already forced to consider if she'd hit her career peak.
. . .
We’re only four minutes into our Zoom call before Riley delivers her new adage to me. “My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway,” she says.
On this Thursday afternoon in April, the LA-based entertainer is seated inside her closet/dressing room wearing a cerulean blue tank top with matching shorts and eating hot wings. This current phase of healing hinges on balance. It’s about having discipline and consistency, but not at the risk of inflexibility. She was planning to head to the gym, for instance, but she’s still tired from the “exhausting” day before. Instead, she’s spent her day receiving a massage, eating some chicken wings, and planning to spend quality time with friends. “I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’m not going to talk down to myself. I’m going to eat my chicken wings, and then tomorrow I’m [back] in the gym,” she says.
“My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway."
This is the balance with which she's been approaching much of her life these days. It's why she's worried less about whether or not people see her as someone who is humble. She'd rather be respected. "I think you should be a person that's easy to work with, but in the moments where I have to ruffle feathers and make waves, I'm not shying away from that anymore. You can do it in love, you don't have to be nasty about it, but I had to finally be comfortable with the fact that setting boundaries around my life – in whatever aspect, whether that's personal or business – people are not going to like it. Some people are not going to have nice things to say about you, and you gotta be okay with it," she says.
When Amber talks about the constant humbling of Black women in Hollywood, I think of the entertainers before her who have suffered from this. The brilliant, consistent, overqualified Black women who have spoken of having to fight for opportunities and fair pay. Aretha Franklin. Viola Davis. Tracee Ellis Ross. There's a long list of stars whose success hasn't mirrored their experiences behind the scenes.
Credit: Ally Green
If Black women outside of Hollywood are struggling to decrease the pay gap, so, too, are their wealthier, more famous peers.
Riley says there’s been progress in recent years, but only in small ways and for a limited group of people. “This business is exhausting. The goalpost is constantly moving, and sometimes it’s unfair,” she says. But, I have to say it’s the love that keeps you going.”
“There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman,” she continues. “We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
"There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman. We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
Last year, Riley starred alongside Raven Goodwin in the Lifetime thriller Single Black Female (a modern, diversified take on 1992’s Single White Female). It was more than a leading role for the actress, it also served as proof that someone who looks like her can front a successful project without it hinging on her identity. It showcased that the characters she portrays don’t “have to be about being a big girl. It can just be a regular story.”
Riley sees her work in music as an extension of her efforts to push past the rigid stereotypes in entertainment. Take her appearance on The Masked Singer, for instance. Riley said she decided to perform Mayer’s “Gravity” after being told she couldn’t sing it years earlier. “I wanted to do ‘Gravity’ on Glee. [I] was told no, because that’s not a song that Mercedes would do,” she says. “That was a full circle moment for me, doing that on that show and to hear what it is they had to say.”
As Scherzinger praised the “anointed” performance, a masked Riley began to cry, her chest heaving as she stood on stage, her eyes shielded from view. “You have to understand, I have really big names – casting directors, producers, show creators – that constantly tell me ‘I’m such a big fan. Your talent is unmatched.’ Hire me, then,” she says, reflecting on the moment.
Recently, she’s been in the studio working on original music, the follow-up to her independently-released debut EP, 2020’s Riley. The sequel to songs such as the anthemic “Big Girl Energy” and the reflective ballad “A Moment” on Riley, this new project hones in on the singer’s R&B roots with sensual grooves such as the tentatively titled “All Night.” “You said I wasn’t shit, turns out that I’m the shit. Then you called me a bitch, turns out that I’m that bitch. You said no one would want me, well you should call your homies,” she sings on the tentatively titled “Lately,” a cut about reflecting on a past relationship. From the forthcoming project, xoNecole received five potential tracks. Fans likely already know the strengths and contours of Riley’s vocals, but these new songs are her strongest, most confident offerings as an artist.
“I am so much more comfortable as a writer, and I know who I am as an artist now. I’m evolving as a human being, in general, so I’m way more vulnerable in my music. I’m way more willing to talk about whatever is on my mind. I don’t stop myself from saying what it is I want to say,” she says.
Credit: Ally Green
“Every era and alliteration of Amber, the baseline is ‘Big Girl Energy.’ That’s the name of her company,” her manager Brooks says, referencing the imprint through which Riley releases her music after getting out of a label deal several years ago. “It’s just what she stands for. She’s not just talking about size, it’s in all things. Whether it’s putting your big girl pants on and having to face a boardroom full of executives or sell yourself in front of a casting agent. It’s her trying to achieve the things she wants to do in life.”
Riley says she has big dreams beyond releasing this new music, too. She’d love to star in a rom-com with Winston Duke. She hasn't starred in a biopic yet, but she’d revel in the opportunity to portray Rosetta Tharpe on screen. She’s determined that her previous setbacks won’t stop her from dreaming big.
“I think one of my superpowers is resilience because, at the end of the day, I’m going to kick, scream, cry, cuss, be mad and disappointed, but I’m going to get up and risk having to deal with it all again. It’s worth it for the happy moments,” she says.
If Riley seems more comfortable and confident professionally, it’s because of the work she’s been doing in her personal life.
She’d previously spoken to xoNecole about becoming engaged to a man she discovered in a post on the site, but she called things off last year. For Valentine’s Day, she revealed her new boyfriend publicly. “I decided to post him on Valentine’s Day, partially because I was in the dog house. I got in trouble with him,” she says, half-joking before turning serious. “The breakup was never going to stop me from finding love. Or at least trying. I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness, and you enjoy it and work through it.”
Credit: Ally Green
"I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness and you enjoy it and work through it.”
With her ex, Riley was pretty outspoken about her relationship, even appearing in content for Netflix with him. This time around is different. She’s not hiding her boyfriend of eight months, but she’s more protective of him, especially because he’s a father and isn’t interested in becoming a public figure.
She’s traveling more, too. It’s a deliberate effort on her part to enjoy her money and reject the trauma she’s developed after experiencing poverty in her childhood. “I live in constant fear of being broke. I don’t think you ever don’t remember that trauma or move past that. Now I travel and I’m like, listen, if it goes, it goes. I’m not saying [to] be reckless, but I deserve to enjoy my hard work.”
After everything she’s been through, she certainly deserves to finally let loose a bit. “I have to have a life to live,” she says. “I’ve got to have a life worth fighting for.”
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15 Women Share Their Personal Hacks For Better Orgasms (And Sex Overall)
I’m pretty sure that I’m basically being redundant when I say that I write about sex quite a bit which means that I spend quite a bit of time doing research when it comes to sex-related intel, tips, and hacks. Yet I have to say that when it comes to getting some much-needed information in the realm of coitus, it’s been my clients (along with random interviews that I do with people because I don’t mind talking to complete strangers about intimate ish) who have garnered me some of the best takeaways.
Take orgasms, for example. Since I’m well aware of the fact that vaginal orgasms (especially) can be a real challenge for a lot of women, I’m constantly on the hunt for what can help to “bridge the gap” in that arena.
And that’s why I decided, this time, to forego science articles, vlogs, and online data and instead ask some women for myself about some of the things that they do to make having an orgasm, improving their orgasms, and their sexual experience overall something that is so much better for themselves.
So, grab yourself a light aphrodisiac snack (check out “Eat Your Way To Better Sex With Aphrodisiacs”) and dig into what 15 Black women told me gets them off, in a mighty big way, just about every time.
*As always, middle names have been used so that everyone can feel comfortable giving up the goods…umm, so to speak*
1. Rochelle. 37. Married for 11 Years.Giphy
“While y’all be out here talking about some kegels, what I’m into is my man giving me a hip massage. The key is to make sure you use some sort of massage oil that has menthol in it. Between the tingling of the menthol and him rubbing on your hips, not only is it really relaxing, but the ‘minty feel’ opens your body up so that once intercourse begins, you’re less tense, and that makes having an orgasm so much easier to do.”
2. Karmyn. 27. Single.
“Kiss him the way you want him to penetrate you. Literally, use your tongue as if it were a penis and move it in his mouth like you want him to move inside of you. The kissing will turn you both on, and if he follows your instructions, you should be able to orgasm with no problem."
"I learned this trick when I asked an ex of mine to explain what p — sy feels like, and he said the best way to explain it is what a tongue feels like inside of [the] mouth. He should’ve never told me that, boy! It’s been hell in these streets ever since!”
3. LaChelle. 43. In a Serious Relationship for Two Years.
“If you’re self-conscious about your body, get some lingerie that has cutouts in them. There is a lot of sexy stuff out here that can have you covering up the parts you’re not comfortable with while still giving him access to the ‘main events.’ My man loves one of my lace one-piece teddies that has no crotch, and it’s easier for me to orgasm because I’m not overthinking the entire time.”
4. Trinitee. 27. Married for One Year.Giphy
“We’ve only been married a year, but we weren’t exactly abstinent when we were just dating. So, we like to find ways to keep it fresh. One thing that we do is go ‘hotel hopping’ once a month. We find a new hotel and meet each other there. We try and do different hours of the day and come with a surprise in hand. Like he might bring a new sex toy, and I might have on some lingerie that he’s never seen before. Then we text each other beforehand to talk about the best part of the sex we had from the last hotel we visited. The anticipation is foreplay.”
5. Wren. 33. In a Serious Relationship for Six Years.
“What works for me is doing afterplay as foreplay. What I mean by that is, taking a nap naked with my boo before any sexual activity is one of my favorite things. Being up under him, especially if he’s spooning me, feels really good, sleeping together is very intimate, and — there’s something about being awakened outta my sleep with kisses on my neck and back that almost makes me want to cum right then and there.”
6. Bevalyn. 40. Living with Her Partner for Four Years.
“Get on your back and have him kneel in front of you."
"Put your legs over his, and when he penetrates you, ask him to use one of his hands to apply pressure on your pubic bone — the area right above your clitoris."
"As he’s gently pushing down while he’s inside of you…if you don’t cum from that, I don’t know what else to tell you, sis.”
7. Sophia. 38. In a Serious Relationship for Two Years.Giphy
“Shower sex can be a bit much, and I don’t trust a used jacuzzi. What we do is fill up our own inflatable pool and get it on inside of it. It’s perfect during the summer, late at night, because we have a tall fence. Just make sure that you bring some silicone lube to keep things slippery down there. An inflatable pool has been one of the best sex investments that we have ever made!”
8. Averie. 35. Single.
“Wanna know if your man is as into giving you head as he claims? Right after he goes down on you, ask him to immediately penetrate you. If he’s hard, he’s totally into it, and if he catches you soon enough, you’ll be in the perfect position to have a multiple orgasm. Don’t say I didn’t give you the ultimate cheat code.”
9. Victoria. 40. Married for 11 Years.
“Shellie, you actually got me on the cinnamon kick when I read one of your articles that talked about applying cinnamon oil to my clit before oral sex. Since [then], I’ve been doing some research, and it says that cinnamon is also an aphrodisiac because it stimulates blood flow. So, I’ll also drink cinnamon tea throughout the day or share a cinnamon cocktail with my husband. Works like a charm.”
Shellie here: She’s right. I did say that. LOL. You can read for yourself: “Here's How To Have Some Really Great Fall-Themed Sex.”
10. Daniela. 28. Engaged for Six Months.Giphy
“Ever been fingered backward? What I mean is, get on all fours and have him insert a finger or two from behind with his palm being flat. That way, the space in between your anus and your vagina will get a massage while your vagina gets penetrated. There’s nothing quite like it.”
11. Saven. 32. Single.
“Ice. Have him rub a little bit of ice on your clitoris and then immediately warm it up with his tongue. There is something about the drastic changes in temperature that gets me every time. And I mean, EVERY time.”
12. Ferynn. 30. Living with Her Partner for Five Years.
“I don’t know about you, but my man loves to put my legs up in the air. It was never really my favorite move until I read that behind the knees are an unsung erogenous zone. Whoever found that out was onto something because if he rubs back there while talking real crazy to me in a deep voice? Here I come…HERE I COME!”
13. Vivienne. 30. Engaged for One Year.Giphy
“Never underestimate the power of a foot massage. Just make sure that he applies pressure in the middle of your foot where your arch is. It instantly makes me wet. I asked my doctor why and he said that it’s probably because foot massages tend to increase blood flow, including where the vagina is. Either way, it’s always a good night if I get a foot massage first.”
14. Michelle. 24. Single.
“I’m a doula who owns my own exercise ball…for sex. When I first started showing couples the positions that women can get into to make labor easier, it got me to thinking that some of those positions could work for sex too — and they do."
"Something about the movement of the ball takes the pressure off of the back for both men and women. It also makes getting into certain positions a lot easier so that you can enjoy sex for a lot longer.”
15. Carol. 31. Married for Five Years.
“My husband and I have bets. If he wants me to make some of his favorite meals five days in a row, he’s gotta make me cum five times in a row. If I want him to get me something that’s not in our budget, I’ve gotta attempt one of his sex fantasies. We’re both competitive as hell, so it works for us because honestly, even when we ‘lose’…we win!”
Listen, I don’t know about y’all, but this was definitely worth my while. After all, ain’t nothin’ like some Black women who can speak from very-personal-and-up-close experience about what makes them happy — especially if it can increase the odds of bringing some sexual satisfaction your way too.
Speaking of, if you want to share the wealth, drop some of your own orgasm-related tips in the comment section. The more of us who can woosah on the regular, the better, chile. Straight up. #havefun #lotsofit
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Featured image by Giphy