February is all about manifesting the life of your dreams! Aquarius Season is underway, Mercury is officially out of retrograde, and there is a Full Moon in Leo as the month begins. Magic is what we are walking into as we move through February, and this is the time of being an active creator of your life. Think about your hopes and dreams and how confident you are in seeing them come to fruition. The Leo Full Moon is on February 5th and is the Snow Moon of the year. This Full Moon is about recognizing the progress that you feel in your life right now, owning your successes and who you are, and understanding sometimes growth needs to be felt within before it manifests without.
Mercury enters Aquarius on February 11th, and Mercury in Aquarius puts communication, community, and logic to the forefront. Mercury will be in this air sign until March 2nd, and communication channels flow with inspired ideas, unique perspectives, and progressive conversations. This is the month to use your voice, speak up about what you are passionate about, and also be willing to learn something new. Pisces Season begins on February 18th, and this Pisces Season is a time of new beginnings and having compassion for yourself and others. Pisces Season is a time of the year when emotions are heightened, and transparency prevails.
The New Moon of the month occurs in Pisces on February 20th, and this New Moon is bringing about an influx of passion and opportunity with Venus entering Aries on the same day. This New Moon is all about setting your intentions, believing in them wholeheartedly, and allowing unconditional love into your life. While Venus is in Aries until March 16th, love takes on a more independent tone, and Venus in Aries doesn’t settle for anything less than excitement, passion, and authenticity. February overall is a time of believing in yourself, creating from the heart, and allowing a new beginning to take place in your life.
AriesAriesKyra Jay for xoNecole
February is a time of tapping into your inner power, Aries. You are coming to some important conclusions and insights and are supported on your path toward self-discovery. Some big changes are happening for you in February, and with the Sun in your 11th house for most of the month, you are feeling an ease of connection, community, and understanding in your world.
On February 5th there is a Full Moon in your 5th house of romance, and love is blooming for you. Your relationships are coming full circle, and you are seeing the truth of the connections in your life right now. Before the month ends, Venus, the planet of love, enters your sign and will be here from February 20th - March 16th. The love in your life is here to stay, and this month is about recognizing yourself as worthy of that.
TaurusTaurusKyra Jay for xoNecole
This month is all about nurturing your world, Taurus. You are rising above and doing what needs to be done to maintain your peace. You have created a good environment around you to nurture yourself and others and thrive, and you are enjoying the gifts of the present moment. In February you are showing up.
With the Sun moving into your house of friendship on February 18th and a New Moon here a few days later, your people are coming in. You are recognizing the soulmate connections in your life right now, and this is a month to open your mind to new possibilities and connections as well. Venus enters your 12th house of endings before the month ends, and it’s all about releasing the past and creating a new path forward for yourself.
GeminiGeminiKyra Jay for xoNecole
February is a breakthrough month for you, Gemini. This is a month where you are feeling positively moved by the transformations that have been playing out for you, and you are flowing in synergy. This is the month to spend more time on the things you love, take care of your energy, and do what makes you happy.
Your ruling planet Mercury is officially direct in February, and communication channels clear up. Mercury moves into your 9th house on February 11th and you are exploring your options right now. You are inspired by the open horizons that are presenting themselves to you this month and enjoying where you are. The Sun moves into your house of career and goals before the month ends, and you get in serious mode moving into March.
CancerCancerKyra Jay for xoNecole
The universe has your back, Cancer. This month is about remaining patient with what is becoming for you and trusting the divine timing of your life. Success is there for you this month and it’s about recognizing the true gifts in your world while creating the space for more. You are in the perfect position to receive blessings, and you can trust the path that you are on right now.
Mercury moves into your 8th house of rebirth on February 11th, and you move into the month going through a time of rejuvenating your mind, releasing fears and restrictions, and diving deeper into the connections and commitments in your life. There is a New Moon in fellow water sign Pisces before the month ends on February 20th, and you are feeling the excitement in your life as new doors open for you.
LeoLeoKyra Jay for xoNecole
February is all about honoring the cycles of love and your life, Leo. You have been moving through some new personal changes recently that have made you look at love in a new light. You are moving toward greater connection and understanding in your relationships, and are feeling all the feels in February. With the Full Moon of the month happening in your sign on February 5th, you enter the month with a sense of confidence, closure, and trust.
The Sun is in your 7th house of love until February 18th, there is a lot to be grateful for this month. Relationships are filled with new growth and passion, and you are communicating from the heart. The New Moon on February 20th is occurring in an area of your life having to do with commitments, shared finances, sensuality, and transformation; and you are seeing the benefits and manifestations of your intentions both financially and emotionally right now.
VirgoVirgoKyra Jay for xoNecole
February is all about moving forward and switching things up, Virgo. You are getting things together, creating new experiences for yourself, and valuing your time and energy. There are positive reflections, communications, and creations happening for you this month and you are moving forward and the leader of your destiny. Know that you are divinely protected every step of the way.
With your ruling planet Mercury in your 6th house of health, work, and daily routine for most of the month, you are being the busy bee that you are and taking care of the added responsibilities on your plate this month. Don’t overstress, and take it day by day or thought by thought. Pisces Season begins on February 18th and the energy moves from the mind to the heart. You are moving through the end of the month with love on the brain and relationships moving through a new beginning.
LibraLibraKyra Jay for xoNecole
You are paving a new path for yourself this month, Libra. February is a month of creating new opportunities for yourself instead of waiting for them. This is the month to put some plans into motion and to create the future you intend for yourself. There is a Full Moon on February 5th that is all about recognizing your hopes and dreams and the people that want to help you get there.
Your guidance for the month is to recognize your gifts, talents, and knowledge in life, Libra. Mercury, the planet of communication, moves into your 5th house of self-expression and romance on February 11th, and it’s all about expressing who you are and allowing love and support into your life. Something is enticing and hopeful about the path you are walking on this month, Libra.
ScorpioScorpioKyra Jay for xoNecole
February is a month of endings, transformation, and personal growth, Scorpio. You are moving through some major closures in your life and seeing past intentions coming to fruition right now. This month is teaching you all about letting go, and about not forcing what is out of your control. February is a time of getting clearer on your truths and understandings and about unwavering self-love.
The New Moon on February 20th happening in fellow water sign Pisces is allowing you to begin anew with your creative projects and visions, and you are clearing from your life what doesn’t support your growth. The end of the month is a good time to set intentions for happiness, love, and self-confidence. February overall is all about valuing who you are and letting go of what takes you away from your center.
SagittariusSagittariusKyra Jay for xoNecole
February is all about working together with others and putting aside differences, Sagittarius. This month is highlighting where in your life you can experience a coming together, and what relationship dynamics need a change. The Full Moon in Leo on February 5th is happening in your 9th house of travel and adventure, and this is a good time to let go of mentally restricting thought patterns, reflect, and get away.
With Venus being in your 4th house of home and family for most of the month, February is also a good time to spruce up the home, nurture your inner world, and connect with family and loved ones. You are overall in the process of learning from the dualities in your life, releasing the challenges of the past, and owning your light in the process.
CapricornCapricornKyra Jay for xoNecole
February is a time of healing the inner child, connecting with what makes you happy, and not being afraid to communicate and open up emotionally, Capricorn. You are awakening to some new emotions and inspirations this month. The Sun is in your 2nd house for most of February and you are creating new plans for yourself and your finances, putting some goals into motion, and knocking off your to-do lists.
Moving further into February there is a New Moon in your 3rd house of communication where the Sun will also now be at that time, and you are experiencing communication breakthroughs. Divine insight and important messages are coming in, and the clarity you are finding now is easing up the pressure on your shoulders. This month is your time to be, love, and use your voice.
AquariusAquariusKyra Jay for xoNecole
Support is coming in for you, Aquarius, and this is your time to shine! February is a time of divine intervention for you, and you are spending time in gratitude and appreciation for all that is. With the Sun in Aquarius for most of the month and Aquarius Season in full swing, gifts are coming into your life and they are coming through from your patience, determination, and attention to detail. You have been moving through a time of self-mastery and creating new beginnings for yourself.
Mercury moves into your sign from February 11th until March 2nd, and people want to hear what you have to say. You are being given a platform to express yourself, channel positive energy, and connect with like-minded individuals- use it wisely. Your unique self is worthy of a seat at the table, and you are pulling out the chair this month. There is magic flowing through your world in February, Aquarius.
PiscesPiscesKyra Jay for xoNecole
Your guidance for the month is to be flexible and allow love in Pisces. The changes you’ve been wanting to see in your life are coming about for you, but you may have to open your mind to some new possibilities of what that looks like. The past, present, and future are all coming together as one and creating a new path for yourself this month. Walk through new doors opening with grace.
Pisces Season officially begins on February 18th, and the spotlight is on you right now. This is your time to free yourself from self-imposed restrictions and live confidently in your truths. You have been moving mountains in your life and deserve to enjoy more of your successes and freedom. There is a New Moon in Pisces on February 20th, and this is the time to set intentions for your emotional well-being, self-love, and personal progress in life.
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- Your January 2023 Horoscopes Are All About Trusting The Timing Of Your Life ›
Tayler Barakat is a Mystic who has studied Astrology for over a decade. She does intuitive astrology and tarot readings for people all over the world, and her work focuses on healing and empowering individuals. Follow her on Instagram @taylerbarakat_ and check out her website www.listentothevirgo.com.
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.
I’ve always enjoyed movies. Since forever, I used to really like going to the movie theater, yet maybe it’s just me, but since the pandemic, it seems like the quality of films has gone down. That’s why, these days, I watch a lot of indie stuff at home. Not too long ago, I checked out this movie called She’s Lost Control; between it and a conversation that I had with a friend of mine, who also works in the mental health field, I was inspired to pen this piece.
There are a few reasons why I thought it was important to tackle this topic. One is because, as a life coach, I think it’s important that people learn about as many avenues as possible that are available to them when it comes to professional support for their overall mental (and emotional) health and well-being. Two, if you hang out on this side of cyberspace on a fairly consistent basis, you know that I talk about sex quite often. And three, lawd, if there is one thing that I think a lot of people have a TOTAL MISCONCEPTION about, it’s sex therapy.
So, if sex therapy is something that you’ve always been curious about and/or you’re wondering if it’s something that could benefit you and/or your partner, I’m going to try and share some facts and also debunk a few myths about it, so that you can gain about more clarity about an ever-evolving form of sex-and-relationship-related treatment.
Let’s Talk About What a Sex Therapist ACTUALLY Does
So, let’s jump right on in. Before getting into the actual “sex” part, it should go on record that, like any other therapist, a sex therapist is someone who is a licensed healthcare provider. The thing that sets them apart is they specialize in the mental and emotional aspects as they directly relate to sex. What does that mean exactly? Well, say, for example, that you’re currently in a sexless marriage and, even though you and your spouse have been seeing a marriage therapist, counselor, or even a marriage counselor, it doesn’t seem like your sex life is improving — that is when a sex therapist might be able to be of assistance to you. That’s because they are specially trained to deal with things like:
- Sexual trauma
- Sexual incompatibility
- Poor sexual communication surrounding sex
- Religious and cultural differences about sex
- Poor body image issues (as they directly relate to your sexuality)
- Sexual anxiety
- Sexual orientation and gender identity
A sex therapist is also trained in how to help you connect any “blocks” that you may have as it relates to how your mental and emotional state may be directly affecting your sexual appetite or even your ability (or inability) to have an orgasm or when it comes to your partner, his ability to get or maintain an erection.
When it comes to that last part, does that mean that sex therapists get sexually involved with their clients in any way? Ah, I’m so glad that you asked.
What People Oftentimes Mistake a Sex Therapist for Is a Sex Surrogate
One day, while I was talking to a friend of mine (the one whom I referred to in the intro), the topic of sex therapy came up. He asked me if I would ever consider becoming a sex life coach since sex is something that I talk about so often/much. When I told him that it was certainly something worth considering, his immediate response was, “How are you gonna do that if you’re abstinent?” Dude what? At first, I didn’t get where he was going with that; then, I realized that he thought a sex therapist and a sex surrogate were the same thing. In fact, he argued me down about it for about 15 minutes (SMDH). I came to realize that a lot of people confuse the two. If you’re one of them, here’s the deal about sexual surrogacy.
Okay, so the movie that I also talked about in the intro? It’s about a woman who was a sex surrogate. Long story short, she ended up getting emotionally caught up in one of her clients, and that caused things to get…strange. And yes, she was someone who slept with those she worked with (at least, some of them).
Why would she do that?
Well, a sex surrogate is someone who works alongside a licensed sex therapist to assist a client with certain types of sex-related issues.
For instance, if the therapist thought that talking wasn’t enough for someone, they might bring a surrogate in to assist in the realm of things like:
- Body mapping (check out “Why 'Vaginal Mapping' Needs To Be Part Of Your Healing Journey”)
- Sex-related mediation (check out “What Exactly Is 'Orgasmic Meditation'?”)
- Senate focusing (which is an intensified form of sexual communication)
- Elevated sex education
- One-way or mutual nudity
- One-way or mutual touching
- Genital-genital contact — which, yes, can involve sex
Typically, what happens is a client will meet with a sex therapist for an hour and then their assigned sex surrogate for 1-2 hours following that session (sometimes the same day or later in the same week). That way, the therapist can help to monitor the progress between the client and the surrogate.
And who does sex surrogacy benefit the most? While there is still quite a bit of research that’s being conducted to thoroughly answer that question, those who are unable to climax, who deal with erectile dysfunction, or those who experience some sort of discomfort during sex (that isn’t health-related), especially if they are sexual trauma survivors, they all tend to top the list.
Now, something else that should go on record is sexual surrogacy is still a pretty controversial form of therapy and is currently considered to be unethical for those who are psychotherapists to practice. However, since a lot of sex surrogates aren’t actually licensed therapists (again, they are people who work with those who are professionals in the field of therapy), that tends to be their “workaround."
Anyway, if sex surrogacy is something that you would be interested in learning even more about or exploring at some point, speak with a sex therapist. If they are reputable, this is a topic that they should be pretty well-versed in.
What You Should Strongly Consider Before Seeing a Sex Therapist
Now that, hopefully, you know the very clear differences between a sex therapist and a sex surrogate, if a sex therapist is something that you would like to invest in, you might be wondering if there are any additional things that you should know before actually booking an appointment.
I’ll say this — as a marriage life coach, sex comes up quite a bit in my sessions. If you’re someone who is shy around the topic of sex, although a sex therapist is trained in how to make you feel more comfortable, you should know upfront that you’re going to have to be prepared to be very open when it comes to things like your childhood; first sexual experience; any sex-related trauma that may have transpired; some of your deepest/hidden sexual thoughts; your sex partners (both past and present); your sex habits, and sex-related goals.
Yep, they are gonna be all up in your business, so if that’s not something that you’re even the least bit cool with, it’s probably best that you go with a relationship therapist/counselor/life coach — at least initially, to see if your issues can be resolved in that type of setting or so they can “ease you into” seeing a sex therapist.
It's also important to keep in mind that you don’t have to be in a relationship to see a sex therapist — they are equipped to work with you by yourself or with your partner (or both at some point). And if you’re wondering if something “deep” or “super complex” has to be happening for you to see a sex therapist, absolutely not. The main thing to keep in mind is if you want to see someone who deals in the realms of all things sex, a sex therapist is what you’re looking for.
So, how do you go about finding a sex therapist? Good question. If you are already in relationship-related counseling, your therapist/counselor/life coach may be able to refer you. Or you can check out the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) database.
At the end of the day, sex therapy is like any other form of therapy — you’re just honing in on your sex life. That’s it.
I hope you can breathe easy now. Oh, and please spread the word.
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