I don't care if you've been with someone for several weeks or many years, if there's one thing that should be made a top priority for the entire duration of the relationship, it's both individuals, being extremely intentional, about keeping the romance alive. One way to do that is to cook together.
So, what if you hate to cook? So much, in fact, that there isn't one single thing that you find to be even remotely attractive or appealing (let alone romantic or sexy) about doing it? That's where today's article comes in. Whether you want to save money, stay in for a weekend and/or come up with a quality time date that is both healthy as well as seductive, I've got 10 tips that can make spending a little time in the kitchen hotter (and easier) than it's been in a really long time.
1. Go Grocery Shopping Together
I know I might be the rare one here to be saying this but I'm actually someone who enjoys grocery shopping. A part of the reason why is because I actually like to cook. Plus, for some reason, I'm able to get some deep thinking accomplished as I'm strolling from aisle to aisle. Yet even if you're someone who kinda loathes the idea of going to your local grocery store, something that can make it more bearable is to take your partner along with you sometimes.
There are a few benefits that come with doing this. One, you both can get what you want (rather than relying on each other to get what each of you truly desires). Two, it's an effective way for both of you to stick to a budget (which means, one less financial conversation that will need to be had). Three, look at it as a quality time date and a way for you to plan a sexy meal together. I'm telling you, shopping with your boo can be more fun than you might think. Try it before totally shooting the idea down.
2. Cultivate Some Ambiance
Once you get home and all of the groceries are put away, make sure that you create the right kind of atmosphere to make a dinner for two. Turn off your phones and the television. Light some scented soy candles (soy candles burn cleaner and last longer). Play some R&B music or load up your favorite playlist (just make sure that it's sexy and/or romantic). If your blinds or curtains are open, close 'em (I'll explain why in a bit). Pull out a bottle of your favorite wine. Light one up too, if that's your thing (check out "7 Proven Ways Weed Makes Sex So Much Better").
Sometimes, what makes people hate the thought of cooking is it seems more like a chore than a fun activity. By cultivating a chill environment, it can take some of the stress out on the front end which can make it so much more of a pleasurable experience on the back end.
3. Go All Out on the Décor
Question. When's the last time you pulled out your really good dishes? Your fine china or the plates that you totally fell in love with; you know, the ones that you can count on one hand that you've eaten off of. Cooking and dining with your man is as special of an occasion as any, so make sure to pull those out. While you're at it, don't forget about some champagne flutes, a pretty centerpiece for your dinner table (Taste of Home has some cute DIY ideas that you can check out here), some rose petals for the floor around your table and a linen or lace tablecloth.
When you're not eating food on paper plates while sitting on the couch and instead, you're taking things up a few notches even in your dinnertime approach, that can get you all excited about preparing a meal together too.
4. Wear Very Little
Now let's talk about the two of you. While sometimes, dressing to the nines is what the occasion calls for, this time, how about wearing as little as possible instead? I've shared before that several men have told me that while lingerie is definitely appreciated when sex is about to transpire, what they really like is when a woman is in a teddy, baby doll, corset, body stocking or matching bra and panty set — just because.
He can pick out what he'd like to see you in as you do the same for him. Watching each other cook and then eat in your favorite alluring wear can be a visual aphrodisiac all on its own (it also explains why I recommended closing your window treatments).
5. Cook Together
Cooking together can be very romantic; erotic even (as you'll see by the time you finish reading all of this). Plus, there are plenty of articles to support the fact that it's a great way to spend quality time with your partner; it helps to create positive and lasting memories; it helps the both of you to get back to enjoying the simpler things in life; it helps the two of you to sharpen your cooking skills and, it can actually de-stress you both because it gives the two of you the opportunity to discuss things — things that you may not have time for any other way.
6. Keep Things Simple
Even if all of this sounds great but you're reading this like, "OK. But that doesn't change the fact that I still hate to cook," I totally hear you. The idea is to keep your menu simple. Lobster Mac and Cheese. Scalloped Portobello Mushrooms. Eggplant Parmesan. Baked Pineapple Salmon. Chicken Curry. 15-Minute Jacket Sweet Potatoes. Herb and Garlic Cauliflower Orecchiette. Ravioli with Creamy Mushrooms and Asparagus. Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wraps. Mustard-Crusted Lamb.
All of these are dishes (that I hyperlinked the recipes too; you're welcome) that may seem like they'll take all day to prepare but are actually pretty easy to make (even if you're an amateur) and are in quantities for two. When you realize that not everything requires blood, sweat and tears, it can make you feel better about making meals from scratch.
7. Make Fruit the Appetizer
If you and your partner want to truly impress yourselves, your sexy menu needs to consist of an appetizer and a dessert. And since, if all goes well, the dessert may be something that you don't have to cook at all (if you know what I mean), go with a fruit appetizer. It's sweet. It's refreshing. And it's typically light, so that you're not too weighed down for, umm, dessert later.
8. Experiment with Condiments
After you've enjoyed your appetizer and the meal that you planned, it's now time to pull out some condiments because guess what? Technically, the cooking is now over and again, once you review the recipes that I shared with you, you'll see that it really wasn't as much work as you probably anticipated (especially since you're only doing half of the work because you've got your partner in the kitchen with you).
And just what are the condiments gonna be for? I'll let your imagination run wild with this one. What I will say is if you check out "12 'Sex Condiments' That Can Make Coitus Even More...Delicious", you might be surprised how many condiments are sexy AF. Straight up.
9. Come Up with Some “Special Rewards”
Although I do enjoy cooking, depending on what I'm making, sometimes prepping the ingredients can get on my nerves. Don't even get me on clean-up.
So, if it's not so much that you hate cooking altogether, it's just that there are certain parts of it that you and/or yours can do without, come up with some sort of rewards incentive that will keep the both of you engaged. It could be deep kiss in between bites of chocolate-covered strawberries for every task that's completed or something checked off of y'all's sex list (check out "This Is How To Create The Best Kind Of 'Sex Bucket List'") if one of you agrees to do something that you loathe (like maybe peeling veggies or putting dishes away).
When there's an incentive to do something, that always makes it easier to do and more worthwhile.
10. BE THE DESSERT
By definition, dessert is defined as being something sweet that is served up after the final course of the meal. You know, men find it sexy when a woman can cook. Women find it sexy when a man can cook too. Since you and your boo watched each other do it, there's already been some mental foreplay that's gone down. Now it's just time to take all of that sexual stimuli into the bedroom (or stay in the kitchen, if you please).
If you want some tips on how to make that extra special too, check out "15 Simple-Yet-Kinda-Buck Items To Take Sex To Another Level", "15 Sex Hacks To Take Your Bedroom Action To The Next Level", "12 Absolutely Bomb Sex Techniques To Try Tonight", "So, This Is How To Make Shower Sex So Much Better", "What In The World Is 'Prostate Milking'? And Chile, How Do You Do It?" and "How To Have Mind-Blowing Multiple Orgasms. Tonight, Chile."
All of them can help you and yours end the night off with things being extra sweet. So sweet that you'll want to repeat all of this sooner than later. Promise.
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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. ;)
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.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masturdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masturdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masturdating All About?
Masturdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masturdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masturdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masturdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masturdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masturdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masturdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masturdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masturdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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