Today is a sacred day. The first Monday of May has always been the day that fashion lives its best life. It is the one day a year that is devoted to getting rich people to help fund the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City. By gathering the best, brightest, and most importantly, the most fashionable in the industry, The Met Gala, it has become the party of the year. Picture Cardi B at a table with Anna Wintour – that conversation has to be most interesting on the planet. But of course, Big Rona said, "Not up in here!" this year.
I never thought I would mourn an event the way I have with the Met Gala. Good thing I am not alone. Vogue has curated something special for us in remembrance of this event, "A Moment with the Met". The intimate celebration is set to happen on May 4 at 6 p.m. EDT via livestream exclusively on YouTube. The virtual turnup will feature an address by Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, a special live performance by Florence and the Machine, and a DJ set from Virgil Abloh.
To keep hope alive, we assembled some of our favorite looks of all time. Check them out!
Rihanna at the 2018 Met Gala
Robyn Rihanna Fenty is a certified Met Gala killer. It was hard to choose just one look from this multi-hyphenate icon because she gives it every single time. But this lewk from 2018 was one for the books. 2018 was actually full of hits with celebrities nailing the theme, "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination".
Rih came through in a matching jewel encrusted robe, dress and papal mitre looking like the best dressed pope EVER. The entire lewk was designed by Margiela accessorized with Cartier jewelry and Christian Louboutin heels. It was her first time wearing Margiela and she definitely left a lasting impression. We also think she came this hard because she co-hosted the gala this year.
Zendaya at the 2018 Met Gala
Saint Joan of Arc has a new name and her name is Zendaya the queen. We know Zendaya is no stranger to slaying red carpets but she absolutely demolished the steps of the Met in 2018 with this iconic outfit. The custom Versace gown could not have been more perfect for the theme with the armor, chainmail and glimmering sequins. From her accented jewelry to the famous Maid of Orléans' bob, we stan.
Janelle Monae at the 2019 Met Gala
Last year, Janelle Monae proclaimed that Camp, the designated motif for the gala, was embedded in her DNA. She strolled onto the carpet in an intricately, structured Christian Siriano design with a motorized blinking eye provided by Smooth Technology. This was not only a nod to Picasso but also to her love for science and fiction. Janelle wanted to specifically pull inspiration from Picasso's work as it related to tribal masks and shattered portraits. The stack of hats were also perfect for Janelle's infamous aesthetic.
Beyonce at the 2015 MET Gala
We distinctly remember the Queen showing up late but still shutting sh*t down! The year was 2015 and Beyonce arrived to the gala in a barely-there Givenchy dress. She had us all saying, "Heyyyyyyy, Mrs. Carter!" We gave her a pass for being on CP time because there's no way this getup could have an error. One jewel out of place could make for another time Bey made the world stop. We were also living for this super high pony because it enhanced the levels of snatch-dom.
Diana Ross at the 1981 Met Gala
Giving us shoulders and cheekbones, the legendary Diana Ross looked amazing at the 1981 gala dedicated to "The Eighteenth Century Woman". Her gown, made completely of feathers, has been on every iconic Met Gala list ever created. The dress was so fly, she pulled it out of hiding and rocked it again at the 2012 American Music Awards.
Naomi Campbell at the 1990 Met Gala
The black Barbie herself, Naomi Campbell owned the "Thêatre de la Mode — Fashion Dolls: The Survival of Haute Couture" theme in 1990 in a mini couture dress splattered in colorful art. Her debut to the event was nothing short of groundbreaking. The supermodel's runway presence was undeniable so her attendance at this specific gala was a requirement.
Solange at the 2018 Met Gala
First off, we don't deserve Solange. We definitely did not deserve this lewk she donned to the 2018 Met Gala. Like always, she paid homage to her culture with a braided halo and a durag that read, "My God wears a durag." What accompanied this already flawless situation? A sculpted and textured Van Herpen creation. The "Don't Touch My Hair" songstress carried Florida Water and a piece of obsidian to protect her energy because we know our homegirl ain't got time.
Iman at the 1981 Met Gala
Wearing Calvin Klein with the designer himself on her arm, Iman stunned in a golden getup. The acccented body chain and gold earrings were it for us because it complimented her melanin so well. Seeing her in this space back then is so important because had it not been for her, Diana Ross and Naomi Campbell, there wouldn't be room for the other brilliant black women on this list.
Whitney Houston at the 1999 Met Gala
A rock style queen if we have ever seen one. Whitney Houston wore a diamond-encrusted outfit designed by Dolce & Gabbana. It was the end of a decade and the beginning of Whitney's presence at this illustrious event. She was gearing up for her My Love is Your Love World Tour and she was all about reinventing herself.
Lena Waithe at the 2018 Met Gala
Lena Waithe, the first black woman to win an Emmy for writing in a comedy series, lives to make a statement. The 2018 Met Gala's theme of "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" wasn't ready for her statement in her Carolina Herrera ensemble made perfect with a rainbow cape. That evening the creator told Complex Magazine, "You talk about church and Catholicism, it's about—you were made in God's image...The theme to me is be yourself." It was something about the beat paired with the suit that made us fall in love with her feminine masculinity even more.
Cardi B at the 2019 Met Gala
Her nipples are literal rubies valued a $250,000. Chile. I'm obsessed. Cardi's Thom Browne regalia goes down as one of the most massive trains ever. It required 10 people to guide it down the carpet which created the perfect photo opportunity on the steps of the Met. We also learned that the intricate gown was composed of 30,000 feathers that took 2,000 hours to create by 35 people.
Billy Porter at the 2019 Met Gala
The name Billy Porter rings bells, hunty. The actor, singer and all-around entertainer extraordinaire entered the scene on a pedestal carried by six shirtless men. And his outfit? A catsuit designed by The Blonds accompanied with a 24-karat gold headpiece and wings that were high enough to touch heaven. Lest not forget the custom gold-leaf Giuseppe Zanotti shoes and fine jewels he wore from Andreoli, John Hardy, and Oscar Heyman.
Migos at the 2018 Met Gala
The trio we all love blessed us with matching Versace suits in 2018 and we can never say thank you enough. Migos is wildly known for their flamboyant but fly attire so we loved that these black men came ready to kill it. The colorful blazers overlaid with religious pictures and iconography brought a much-needed sauce to the carpet. Of course, the Atlanta rappers had to complete their fits with jewelry that could pay off the entire world's student loans.
Jaden Smith at the 2017 Met Gala
Oh, Jaden, how we adore thee. Only he could walk a carpet with his trademark dreads in his hands like flowers. The rapper wore man heels and a perfectly tailored Louis Vuitton suit keeping up with his unapologetic vibe. Word on the street is he also walked on the carpet with a speaker blasting his own music. We love to see it!
Andre Leon Talley at the 2004 Met Gala
Get into this fashion king's cape of all capes. Andre Leon Talley is undoubtedly an unsung hero of the Met Gala. In 2004, with the theme of "Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century", the former Vogue editor-at-large gave us 6'6'' glory. Seeing him on a carpet back then means so much for the queer community because he always showed up authentically and fabulously. We can't wait for his new novel as he may spill some Met Gala tea.
Ciara at the 2019 Met Gala
Ciara's "costume" at the 2019 Met Gala has to be one of her best looks of all time. The larger than life hair coupled with the emerald green Peter Dundas dress made this look an absolute head-turner. The fact that she also twerked with Big Freedia at this distinguished gala gave us so much life.
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Joce Blake is a womanist who loves fashion, Beyonce and Hot Cheetos. The sophistiratchet enthusiast is based in Brooklyn, NY but has southern belle roots as she was born and raised in Memphis, TN. Keep up with her on Instagram @joce_blake and on Twitter @SaraJessicaBee.
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15 Hot Tips Giving The Missionary Position The Upgrade You Crave
Ah, yes, the missionary position. If there’s one sex position that pretty much everyone off top knows what it consists of, the missionary would have to be it. So, where does the name exactly come from? Oddly enough, even though it’s probably the most common sex position there is, there’s conflicting information about how its name actually came to be.
Some say that the Catholic church deemed it to be the only “non-sinful” position, and folks followed suit. Others believe that it’s tied into “patriarchy” since a man being on top puts a woman into a submissive receiving position (I mean, the Bible does tell wives to submit to their husbands, and sex is referenced for married couples, so that tracks — Ephesians 5, Colossians 3:18, I Peter 3:1-7, Genesis 2:24-25, I Corinthians 6:16-20). There are even stories about missionaries teaching people of African, Native American, and Chinese ethnicities that any other position is wrong and so those people came up with the term “missionary position” to make fun of the missionaries (chile).
Whatever the actual backstory is, what we know for sure is the missionary position continues to be super popular (although leave it to millennials to knock it out of first position and replace it with doggystyle these days), a great way to cultivate emotional intimacy (more on that in just a sec) — and it is oftentimes perceived as hella boring.
That last point is what I’m gonna address today. Because since it is indeed a great way to connect with your partner, it makes it easier to hit “your spot” (the G-spot, to be exact), and it’s also easy on your body (you know, if the desire is there but your limbs are not exactly cooperating), in my eyes, the missionary position needs to receive the proper respect that it deserves — and the best way to do that is to give it a few, perhaps much-needed, “upgrades.” Here are 15 of ‘em.
1. Do Some Eye Gazing Before Anything Else
Recently, I was talking to a male friend of mine who told me that he doesn’t do casual sex in the missionary position. After asking him how he is subtly able to even pull that off (another article, another time), I then wanted to know the method behind his madness: “It’s too intimate and vulnerable. I need to be in something serious with you to be that…into you.”
One might say that literally putting your member into a woman’s vagina is “into her,” yet I digress. Instead, I’ll just focus on the fact that when they say that eyes are the windows to the soul, there is definitely some truth to that. And when it comes to cultivating intimacy with your partner, there is a practice known as eye gazing that can help to connect the two of you in a very special way.
In fact, there are studies to support that you can analyze how someone feels about you by looking into their eyes, you can increase your level of attraction to them by looking into their eyes, and you and your partner can go up a new level in trust if you look into each other’s eyes as well.
How long should the eye gazing last? Some experts say that the goal should be for five minutes while taking deep breaths in between. While doing that might feel awkward at first, look at it this way — y’all are gonna be face to face for a while anyway, right? Why not take the exchange of energy to another level while you’re doing it? And why not get into this mind of headspace by eye gazing as a form of emotional foreplay?
2. Bring Some Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang or Lavender and Vanilla
One of the best things about the missionary position is it encourages you to shut out the rest of the world, ignore any distractions and really focus on your partner. Matter of fact, a sex therapist once told me that one of the perks of this particular position is it significantly decreases your chances of you and/or your partner fantasizing about other people during coitus (hey, it happens…way more than people care to admit too).
Something that can help to keep you and your partner centered on one another only is the scent of jasmine, ylang-ylang, and a combo of lavender and vanilla. As a bonus, all are also sensual, calming, and relaxing too. You can add a few drops to a carrier oil (like sweet almond or grapeseed) and create a DIY massage oil. You can sprinkle some of them onto your bedding. You can also add a few drops into your sexual pressure points for a nice surprise as far as your partner’s sense of smell goes.
3. Pull in (More) Pillows
For some reason, I can’t find it now (sorry!), but a few weeks ago, I was cracking up at a video of a guy who was challenging his girlfriend to get into the position of being on top like a man and pushing for more than a minute straight. She failed miserably (it really was hilarious!). After I sent it to a few male friends, one wrote back and said, “Y’all have no idea what being on top can do to a brotha’s back sometimes.”
A workaround that will make everyone happy? Bring in some more pillows. It will elevate your body so that he won’t have to bend over quite so low. Plus, it will help him to penetrate you more deeply, which is almost always a good thing.
You can use the pillows that you already have (they should work just fine). Or you can invest in a sex pillow. They tend to be a bit firmer so that you don’t have to be slippin’ and slidin’ all over the place. Glamour did you a solid by providing a list of some of their favorite sex pillows here; Self did the same by providing their best-of-the-best list here.
4. Light Some Candles
Back to the eye thing real quick. Yeah, I don’t know how y’all are gonna be able to stare deeply into each other’s eyes if it’s pitch black in the room. And here’s the thing about letting some light shine in; there was a study conducted that said when a light box (like the kind that’s used to treat depression) is brought into a man’s space, it can increase his levels of sexual desire. The reason why is it has a way of boosting his testosterone levels.
However, if you don’t want to feel like you’re standing — well, lying — in a room that has the ridiculous lighting that is in department store dressing rooms, go with candlelight instead. A soft glow can still help him to see your shapes and curves and the two of you to look at each other yet because everything with candles is way more subtle, it can help you to feel less self-conscious if you’re not as confident in the sex department as you would like to be (check out “10 Sensuous Ways To Boost Your Sexual Self-Esteem”).
5. Add Some Flavored Lube
Although pretty much all of us have heard the saying, “The wetter, the better,” at this point, this tip is a shout-out to the safe sex crowd (since reportedly, only one-third of men and one-quarter of women actually use condoms. SMDH). If you want to make bringing rubbers into a mix a much more pleasurable experience, go with some flavored lubricant. Although you might only think of its use in the context of oral sex (more on that in a bit), dabbing some on your neck (so that he can taste something sweet-er when he kisses you there) or on your wrists or forearm (so that he can lick them while your hands are pinned back) can be a truly welcome surprise.
And what are some of the best-tasting ones on the market these days? No worries. I got you:
6. Modify the Position…a Bit
As we continue, I will be — no pun intended — deep diving into some tweaks that can be made to the standard missionary position in order to intensify sexual pleasure. For now, I’ll just say that spooning face to face, allowing your partner to pin your legs back, having sex while standing up, letting him ride cowboy (which means he’s literally in the position that you are typically in during the cowgirl) and your partner lying horizontally over your body instead of vertically — these all are twists to the missionary that could cause you to hear “missionary position” with new levels of excitement.
7. Apply the Coital Alignment Technique (CAT)
Speaking of modifying positions, what do y’all know about the Coital Alignment Technique (CAT)? If you’re staring at your screen like, “What in the world is that?” it’s when your partner gets into the downward-facing dog yoga position while you’re on your back in the missionary one. This causes your partner’s penis to stimulate your clitoris as they are entering you and sometimes as they are going in and out. The (main) benefit is if you’re someone who finds experiencing a vaginal orgasm challenging, you significantly increase your chances of experiencing one since your clitoris will be stimulated during the act of intercourse.
Another bonus is “doing the CAT” can help a man to last longer if premature ejaculation is something that he is prone to experiencing.
8. Get Out of the Bed/Bedroom
The older we get, the more bedroom sex makes sense. After all, beds were specifically designed to support our bodies. Still, if you’ve been in a long-term relationship for quite some time, just like approaching the missionary position the same way every time can get old, so can always being in your bed — or bedroom.
You’re paying good money to utilize more than just one room in your home, so why not maximize each one’s potential? And as far as the best room in the house to get busy, I recently read an article that said bathrooms and balconies are fan favorites, followed by closets and utility rooms. Personally, I’m with what a Men’s Health article stated, which is the living room is probably the most comfortable (and common) — yet whatever you do, just try and think outside of the box sometimes. In this case, think outside of your bed and bedroom to see what other places are comfortable for you both.
9. Or…Get on the Edge of the Bed
So, what if you're like, "I hear you, but it's gonna be the bed for me, more times than not?" I hear you. There's a way to upgrade the missionary position and how you use your bed at the same time — have him pull you to the edge of the bed and either penetrate you by lifting your legs over his shoulders, or the two of you can just have "regular sex" that way (so long as he's good at maintaining his balance and keeping you from falling off at the same time).
The perks? For one, if his penis is more on the average side (check out "Sex Hacks For Different Kinds Of Penises (You Heard Me Right)"), he will be able to penetrate you more deeply. Another benefit is if you like to bring vibrators into the mix, it will be easier to do (especially if your legs are up). Another is this is one way to get your clitoris, vagina, and cervix all stimulated all at the same time — in fact, this is why another name for the edge of the bed is "the edge of heaven" (makes sense).
10. Keep Your Bra on — Kinda
As a doula, whenever new moms talk to me about easing back into sex, it's very common for them to talk about how "conflicted" they are when it comes to their breasts, especially if they are breastfeeding. It makes complete and total sense when you think about the fact that first, our breasts are ours alone, then men come in and use them as foreplay, and then here comes a baby who uses them as a food source. A top suggestion that I give is that moms invest in some super sexy nursing bras. That way, if they want to still keep their breasts covered up, there is something pretty for their partner to look at.
Along these same lines (kinda sorta), consider keeping your own bra on during missionary — well, kind of. Either get one that is extremely sheer or pull your breasts out so that they are hanging out over the front of your bra. Why? Well, a lot of men have told me over the years that while nothing really tops a woman in her birthday suit, the peek-a-boo effect of breasts over bras and crotchless panties turns them on in a way that they can't fully articulate. Plus, if you're a bit insecure, this can help you out like it can a new mom (believe it or not), especially if you're going to bring some lighting in (like I suggested earlier).
11. Enjoy His Nipples
Speaking of breasts…although not everyone finds their nipples to be the ultimate erogenous zone (check out “So, What If ‘Typical Erogenous Zones’ Annoy TF Outta You?”), don’t automatically assume that your partner is one of them. The reality is men have the same glands and nerve endings that we do when it comes to their nipples which means a lot of them find their nipples getting some TLC to be super erotic and enjoyable.
A husband client of mine once told me in a session that he wished that his wife would lick on his nipples more, especially during intercourse, because it takes his orgasms to a completely different level. When his wife heard that, she asked, since she’s not a contortionist, how could she possibly pull that off in a comfortable way? This actually brings us to the next point.
12. Try Some Kama Sutra Piercing
On the heels of what I just said, what do you know about the Kama Sutra approach known as piercing? It’s kind of similar to CAT, only with a twist. This time, a man should position his shoulders to where they are directly over your head — that way, as he is moving in and out, you can get direct clitoral stimulation.
How is this any different from the CAT? Well, with that position, his arch is backed farther away from you. Plus, it tends to feel the most amazing upon entry only. On the other hand, piercing makes it possible for you to do the whole nipple thing that we just talked about while he’s able to stimulate your clitoris more intentionally the entire time. A win/win for everyone, wouldn’t you say?
13. Engage in (Some or More) Edging
Another way to almost guarantee that your orgasms will be next level is to engage in a bit of edging. If you're familiar with the word, yet you've never exactly researched and/or tried it before — let's just say that it's the kind of act that requires some stamina (on his part) and some self-discipline (for you both). The reason why I say that is because edging is all about having intercourse, your partner stopping for 15-30 seconds, and then you both starting back up all over again.
And why would someone want to send themselves through this mind of, in a way, mind f-ck? It builds anticipation and excitement, which can actually make your orgasms super intense. Hell, it could even lead to multiple orgasms if y'all play your cards right. Anyway, you can learn more about edging by reading "All About Edging: The Ways Prolonging Pleasure Makes For Mind-Blowing Orgasms" on our platform.
14. Stop. And Switch.
As I was in the process of penning this piece, I asked a few people to share why they felt that some people take a ho-hum attitude about the missionary position. The general consensus was if that’s all you do the entire time, things can get old really quick.
Good point. That’s why it’s also a good idea to keep in mind that, just because you start off in missionary, no rule says that you have to stay there (unless you happen to live in Florida because, apparently, only the missionary is legal there; Florida stays wilin’ out). No rule says that once you start having sex that you can’t do some other, eh hem, activities in between positions too.
My vote? Be down to get into some oral, especially if you want to increase your chances of having an orgasm. A “good giver” is gonna get off so much on pleasuring you that you probably won’t have to worry about him needing to maintain an erection even if he spends a few moments downtown (cue SWV’s song). Oral sex intermissions are so unsung. Whew, chile.
15. Moan ‘N Whisper
The last and final point. "Dirty talk" is always gonna be a winner when it comes to sex, period; however, when you're in the missionary position, it's really amazin' considering you're both right next to each other's ears.
And what if dirty talk isn't something that you've exactly mastered (yet)? The key is to not overthink it. Moan. Whisper the things that you like being done to you (or that you want him to try). Ask him what he likes (or wants more of). When he's got it right, praise him. If he's got a pet name, use it. If you want to go with his government name, he probably won't mind that either.
The main point here is to remember that great sex incorporates all of the senses — touch, taste, sight, smell, and hearing. And since words are our most effective form of communication, you can't go wrong with using some in the bedroom…especially when you're giving it all that you've got in the missionary position…especially as you're adding in some of these upgrades that I just shared.
Enjoy, sis. EN-freakin’-JOY!
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