So, here's the deal about store-bought lubricant. Oftentimes, when people think about using it, it's in reference to "treating" vaginal dryness or making sex easier post-menopause (when our vagina walls tend to be thinner and our natural lubrication isn't as much as it once was). However, as you're about to see in just a few minutes, it really doesn't matter how wet you're naturally able to get or how old you are, everyone should have at least a few tubes of lube in their possession — an oil-based kind for non-penetrative sexual stimulation; a water-based one for sexy toys (or if you or your partner's genitalia is naturally sensitive) and a silicone-based one for intercourse.
And just how can lubrication bring you hours of intense pleasure? I've got 10 ways, off the top of my head, below.
1. Massage Each Other with It
In the article, "12 Different Massage Types. How To Know Which Is Right For You.", something that I touched on is the benefits that come with couples massaging one another. For now, I'll just say that if you're looking for a way to de-stress while getting into the mood at the same time, pulling out some lubricant and rubbing each other with it is certainly a top way to go. In fact, an oil-based brand is great for this because of its texture and how easily it glides on skin, so definitely give it a try.
(Heads up, lube-based massages are really amazing if you put the bottle into a bowl of warm water first [microwaving lube isn't a good idea, no matter what kind you use]; that way, the cool temperature of the lube, straight out of the tube, won't get either of you temporarily out of the mood.)
2. Put It Inside of a Condom
Unless you're in a long-term committed relationship and (if you don't want to get pregnant) either he's had a vasectomy or you're on some form of birth control, there really is no reason to have sex without a condom (check out "10 Things You Should DEFINITELY Know About Condoms"). Not ever. And before you come at me with he doesn't like the way that they feel, I've got you covered on that too because, earlier this year, I wrote "10 Ways To Make Using A Condom So Much More Pleasurable" for the platform.
As far as lube goes, one of the ways to make condoms better is to put a little bit of lubrication inside of the condom before your partner puts it on. Not only will it make things wetter for him but, if you go with a brand that creates a bit of a tingling sensation, that can make him see wearing a rubber in a whole 'nother light, in the absolute best way possible, chile.
(By the way, for this tip, go with a lube that is silicone-based. Oil-based ones can melt condoms and water-based ones will usually dry out during acts like shower sex; plus, you constantly have to reapply them to in order to get more "slip".)
3. Give a Hand Job with It
One of the things that I adore about having male friendships (especially the kind of male friends that I have) is I can ask them, just about anything. When it comes to their feelings about hand jobs, most of them have told me that when it's not solely a substitute for fellatio and their partner uses quite a bit of coconut oil, it can be pretty pleasant. My vote would be to go with some silicone-based lube instead. It can be less messy and the slip is better, which means less friction for him, which means more pleasure for him too.
4. Dip Your Sex Toys into It
Speaking of slip, when's the last time you put some lubrication on your sex toys before you, umm, applied them? That can definitely make them feel more comfortable (especially if you've got any that require penetration). Just make sure that, in this case, you go with water-based lubricant instead of silicone. The reasons why are silicone (or oil-based) lubricants can make your toys feel greasy, can be difficult to clean off and can sometimes damage your toys over time.
5. Treat Flavored Lube Like Ice Cream
OK. I'm thinking that most of you were able to read in between the lines with this one. Anyway, there's a website called Let's Talk Sex that published an article last year entitled, "12 Best Flavored Lubes – Lick, Suck, Eat and Repeat". Whether you're new to giving head, it's not your favorite thing on the planet (if that's the case, check out "Sooo...What If You HATE Oral?") or you just want to switch things up a bit, putting some flavored lube onto his member can make licking it — or whatever you plan on doing to it — a lot more…pleasurable to your palate.
6. Ask Him to Put It on His Lips Before…Going Down
Speaking of pleasurable licking, if you've got a good lover on your hands (no pun intended), he's going to want to give, at least as much as he receives. This might mean that he's an eager kind of person, though. If that's the case and he's trying to "dive in" before you're as "ready" (eh hem, wet) as you want to be, have him put a little bit of favorite lube onto his lips before he gets ready to kiss your lower ones. He'll like the way the lube tastes and that will definitely speed up the process of getting things wetter, in a quicker amount of time, down below.
7. Put a Dollop on Your Erogenous Zones
In short, an erogenous zone is a part of your body that gets you aroused whenever it's stimulated on any kind of level. What's interesting about them, to me, is they really do vary, based on the individual (check out "So, What If 'Typical Erogenous Zones' Annoy TF Outta You?").
Anyway, whether it's your first time with someone, you're on a mission to charter some undiscovered erogenous zone territory (which is always fun) or you and your partner live by the motto "the wetter, the better," even during foreplay, pouring a little bit of lubricant onto your hands before touching on an erogenous zone is one way to cause non-penetrative orgasm or at least intensify foreplay, that much more.
8. Put It in Between Your Breasts and…
I'm a 36H. So yes, I've certainly had my fair share of men who've wanted to put their penis in between my girls. When I asked one of them what the thrill was, he said that it's more of a visual turn-on than anything. If that's how your partner feels too, this is another place where oil-based lubricant can be of service because it will provide the kind of slip that will significantly reduce his chances of experiencing any uncomfortable friction — if you know what I mean.
9. Give Him a Prostate Massage with It
Ah yes, the prostate massage. A couple of months ago, I wrote about it (check out "What In The World Is 'Prostate Milking'? And Chile, How Do You Do It?"). For now, I'll just say that if you — and he — are down to give it a shot but you'd prefer to use a finger cot (which is another name for finger condoms; Best Reviews Guide has a list of some of the best ones that are currently on the market here), apply some water or silicone-based lube onto them first and it should help to put everyone's mind should be at ease. Or, if you'd prefer to ease into the idea by giving your partner a lingam massage (check out "Blow Your Man's Mind By Giving Him This Tantalizing Massage"), that's another way to make an oil-based lube work for you.
10. Smear Some All over Prior to Intercourse
Why would anyone want to put lubricant all over their body? I mean, if you like shower sex, isn't that pretty much the same thing — only wetter? Personally, I can totally get the point of slathering some lubricant on and slip-sliding away in between the sheets. It's definitely a lot safer than risking falling down in the tub. Just make sure that you go with water lubricant (on the outside) because it's easy to clean up and won't stain your sheets. Now, what are you waiting for? Open up another browser and cop some lubricants, sis!
Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.
Featured image by Giphy
- I Tried Cannabis Lube - Here's Why You Should Too - xoNecole ... ›
- Best Lube for Sex - Self Pleasure Lubricants - Sex Toys Lube ... ›
After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (email@example.com) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
Take Our 2-Minute Wellness Quiz To Up Your Self-Care Game!
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
Here's Why Very Few Relationships Can Actually Be 'Platonic'
Recently, while in an interview, someone asked me if I think that men and women can be just friends. I didn’t even hesitate to answer; my response was immediate, “Absolutely.” What I followed that up with is what intrigued them — “Life has taught me that not a lot of male/female dynamics are ‘platonic,’ though.” When they asked me to expound, the interview ended up taking a whole ‘nother turn.
As a writer who really pays attention to word meanings, something that can be a bit frustrating about our culture is the fact that based on whatever is popular at the time, folks will just up and change the original definitions of words to suit a particular agenda or whim — and the word “platonic” 1000 percent fits into this category. And perhaps that’s why we seem to continue to go in circles about whether or not people of the opposite sex can (and should) be friends and what that even can (and should) look like.
Let’s talk about it for a bit. Because as a word-literal type of individual, while again, I absolutely believe that men and women can be friends, at the same time, I think it’s about as rare as a red diamond to truly find yourself in a friendship that is…platonic.
It’s Time (More) Folks Knew What ‘Platonic’ LITERALLY MeansGiphy
So, let's do first things first — let's define what it literally means for something to be platonic. If you go to your favorite search engine and put something along the lines of "What does platonic mean?", the first thing that you're (probably) going to see is a ton of dictionary definitions that say something along the lines of "of, relating to, or being a relationship marked by the absence of romance or sex" (Merriam-Webster), "designating or of a relationship, or love, between a man and a woman that is purely spiritual or intellectual and without sexual activity" (Your Dictionary) and, my personal favorite, "purely spiritual; free from sensual desire, especially in a relationship between two persons of different sexes" (Dictionary). Yeah, bookmark that last one; I'll be circling back.
Keeping this in mind (and please do), where does the word "platonic" actually come from? From what I've researched, the philosopher Plato once penned something entitled "Symposium." In it, he addressed the topic of two people sharing the kind of love that is free of any type of sensual desire, one that is based on divine love alone. An author from the 1800s broke it down this way: "Platonic love meant ideal sympathy; it now means the love of a sentimental young gentleman for a woman he cannot or will not marry." A write-up on Merriam-Webster's site stated that "The term platonic was initially used to mock non-sexual relationships, as it was considered ridiculous to separate love and sex, but eventually this connotation faded away leaving us with today's notion of close friendships." Yeah, we used to live in a culture where love and sex were not separated. Hmph, that's another article for another time, though (check out "We Should Really Rethink The Term' Casual Sex'").
Anyway, as with many things (especially in our culture), the word "platonic" is kind of used in "broad strokes" these days (bromances, female friendships, etc.). However, because there continues to be this forever discussion — and oftentimes debate — about whether or not men and women can be "just friends," I'm going to tackle this topic strictly from that angle — from the place where platonic actually originated.
Yes, Men and Women Can Be Just Friends. But…Giphy
At this stage in my life, I'm pretty sure that I have more male friends than female ones. There are layers of reasons why, yet I think a huge one is because I like the balance that masculinity brings to my femininity (especially as I'm learning to embrace different aspects of my femininity, intentionally even more). And while every single one of my male friends is respectful and is a super safe space in my world on every single level that I can imagine (and have been for years now), there are probably only a couple who I would say 100 percent qualify as being…trulyplatonic.
Why would I say that? Well, I'll illustrate this point with something that one of my male friends once said to me. He's super cute. He can sing his ass off (and definitely has one of my favorite speaking voices). People see us out together often, and some have told us that they assume that we've had something going on at some point. Anyway, after hearing someone share their theory about us, I told it to him.
Me: "I told him, 'He's my brother. We would never mess around.'"
My Friend: "Correction, you are like a sister. You are not my sister, though. Under the right conditions, you could still get it."
When I shared that exchange with another male friend of mine, he basically cosigned on the sentiment: "Shellie, I have never approached you like that because I really respect you. I want to be good for you for the rest of our lives." (That reminds me: check out "Question: Is The Man In Your Life Good 'TO' You? Good 'FOR' You? Or...Both?" when you get a chance.)
Then I went to one more guy homie and ran both statements by him: "Girl, yeah. If I didn't want to keep you in my life long-term, I would've tried to holla a long time ago!" And he and I have been friends for almost 20 years at this point. When did he get around to telling me this? Eh, maybe two years ago. LOL.
So, my takeaway from all of these "for real?!" exchanges is even though men and women can be just friends, there is a certain level of intention, self-control, and ability to see into the future (on some level) that must go into account — because, just because something more-than-friends-like may not have gone down, that doesn't mean there isn't a "dormant seed" lying around somewhere…whether it's one-sided or on both sides of the friendship dynamic.
As you can see, I just provided you with three instances where the male friends in my life; we've had nothing sexual or even physically intimate beyond a hug when we greet each other in nature — although things aren't exactly platonic if there is some sort of attraction or sexual/romantic curiosity that simply never got explored. Because again, according to Plato, a platonic relationship is free from all of that kind of…tension — or possibilities. Zero. Nada. Zilch.
And now you probably get why I entitled this article in the way that I did…right? I mean, just think about it — out of your male friendships, where is there NO sensual desire or dormant romantic interest…on your side and/or on his? If you're not sure about "his"…have you ever asked him? Or them? Because again, once I really let the definition of platonic sink in, I think maybe two guys in my life totally fit the bill.
This brings me to my next point.
Are You Platonic? Or Are You Friend-Zoning?Giphy
Now that you know that probably 70 percent of the people you know (both online and off) have been using the true meaning of platonic all the way wrong, let’s go about deeper: when it comes to your friendships with men, are they genuinely platonic or…is it more like you’re friend-zoning them?
A few years ago, I penned an article on the topic entitled, “Before You 'Friend Zone' Someone, Read This.” If you’re skimming this on your lunch break, I’ll summarize friend-zoning as knowing that a guy has so-much-more-than-platonic feelings for you, yet because you basically want to keep the benefits of the friendship or even his emotions around, you will string him along on some level.
Personally, I can’t stand friend-zoning. I think it’s selfish, with some sprinkles of manipulation and wasting someone’s time. Don’t agree? How would you feel if a guy was friend-zoning you? (Yeah…exactly.)
This all needs to go on record because, knowing that a guy wants to “take it there” with you (whether sexually or romantically), you not full-on addressing it and/or giving him just enough hope to take you out, listen to all of your stories about other men and give you the attention that you need knowing that he doesn’t have a shot in hell — that is NOT a platonic friendship and honestly, you’re not being a good friend at all. Friends protect each other’s hearts, not abuse them.
A platonic friendship means that you both have no interest in each other, and, as Plato put it, while you may have a strong and solid bond, it’s spiritual love that connects you. And what exactly does that mean? Spiritual love also deserves its own article, yet the gist would be that you recognize there is a purpose in your friendship, yet it’s about wanting what’s best for one another and even helping each other to get there.
For instance, a platonic friend of yours may know that you desire to be married one day, so he has no problem setting you up with a good guy in his life. And if things go well, he would have no problem standing up as your own best man (without feeling like he’s dying inside) because he never saw you beyond anything but a friend. A guy in the friend zone doesn’t move like this; he likes you too much to help you move on with someone else. See the difference?
Why Relationships Should Start Off As NON-PLATONIC FriendshipsGiphy
Before I end this with some tips on how to properly care for the few platonic friendships you may actually have, since the use of the word may require a bit of mental reprogramming, I do think we should also address that if you've got a good guy in your life, who right now is a friend and either you've never thought of him in that way or the topic has never come up — he's someone that you may not want to brush off.
What I mean by that is, it's one thing for there to be absolutely no interest in someone vs. never considering it before — and the reason why you might want to give it some thought is because, ask any healthy married couple who's been together for more than five years and I'll bet you my next rent check that they will say that the best relationships are birthed out of friendship (check out "Are You Sure You're Actually FRIENDS With Your Spouse?").
Yeah, just because you've filed someone in the "I see him as a good guy" category, that doesn't automatically mean that y'all's friendship is platonic. For instance, I have a male friend who is fine and I adore on many levels, yet the reason why it would never work on my end is because there are certain relational standards that I have that he does not meet. However, don't get it twisted — I've considered him because, on so many levels, we "fit." So, the mere fact that I ever seriously thought about him on that level means that we are "good friends," yet it's not exactly platonic.
I'm not free of potential sensual desire…I just choose not to act on it. Yet because I get the value of having friendship as the foundation for my own future marriage (should life play out that way), I am wise enough to know that I would've been a fool to not at least…ponder him and the possibilities.
So yeah, if there is a male friend in your life that the thought of dating or having sex with him doesn't make you want to throw up in your mouth, there's a pretty good chance that it's not a classic platonic dynamic — and you might want to consider if it could/should go to the next level — if not immediately, eventually. Because there's a pretty good chance that if you are thinking that way, he probably is as well.
Protect Your Genuine Platonic Friendship(s) At All CostsGiphy
Let me end this with how one of my platonic friendships rolls. We both think that the other is attractive, yet neither of us is attracted. We both give each other opposite-sex insights. We both have said that the mere thought of dating each other makes our noses turn up like there’s an odor in the air. And even when I try to imagine us together, my mind goes blank. I love, love, LOVE this man — oh, but it is absolutely nothing more than platonic — and he feels the same way. It’s as close to familial love without being blood relationships. It’s a rare dynamic, and that is what makes it so special. There is definitely a spiritual type of love there; no more, no less.
If you’ve got someone in your life who you feel the same way about (again, it’s got to be mutual; he must feel that way, too), you’ve got a gem of a situation going on because there is nothing like having the kind of friendship where you and a guy can hang out, exchange perspectives and thoroughly enjoy each other’s company, knowing that’s all it is and will ever be. Things will never get weird. No one’s feelings are gonna get hurt (from the whole friend-zoning thing). You don’t have to walk on eggshells. You can just be.
And that’s why I’m all for platonic friendships. And listen, if you’re blessed enough to have even one in your lifetime, be fiercely protective of it. Don’t take it for granted. Nurture it in a way that your male friend needs (because it probably won’t be the exact same as your female friendships). Y’all, platonic friendships are so bomb because, if it’s honored and protected correctly, it’s the one male friend that you can probably keep for life because even your romantic partner will not find it to be a (true) threat — hell, they honestly could probably end up becoming (some level of) friends with your platonic homie as well.
I hope that I broke this all down enough to where, when you decide to use a word to describe your opposite-sex friendships, perhaps you will pause and ask yourself, “Wait, is this a platonic friend or a good or close friend?” Because the clearer you are on the differences, the easier it will be to know how to maintain your friendship — and feel about your friend. Feel me? Cool.
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.
Featured image by Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images