It's crazy out here. That's a full stop statement but today, what I'm specifically referring to is, when it comes to the dating scene. And if you're someone who is sick and tired (then tired some more) of dating the same kind of guy over and over…and over and over again, or you're simply tapped out of options of where or how to meet someone new at the moment, a very valid option is to let some of your friends set you up. Now before you pull out your phone to ask one of them "What's good?", there are a few points that I wanna hit first, just so, if you do decide to take this dating route, you and your friend are able to survive it.
So, if you're tired of online dating and/or you are finally ready to leave your ex (or exes) alone and/or you've already got a friend who's been hinting around about hooking you up, here are the things that you need to seriously consider before you let them play matchmaker in your life.
Does Your Friend Know Your Type?
One of the reasons why getting set up by my friends is a personal no-no for me is because, well, you should see how my birthday goes. I've got some pretty quirky taste, no doubt about that. So, these days, my peeps are more in the lane of, "Shellie, just tell us what you'd like and we'll cop it"—and I sincerely appreciate that. Indeed, it is one thing to think you know what someone would like vs. being absolutely sure. So when it comes to men, while I do have a bit of a type (most of us do), it's kind of multi-layered and hard to explain once you get past the, please be well over 6' and chocolate, if possible.
There's no time to get into my personal preference list, but what I will say, as it pertains to you is, if you're open to letting a friend set you up with someone, make sure they know at least the "surface layer" of what you're interested in/looking for. Not just physically, but the kind of ideals and values you're down with and even the type of dating situation you'd like to get into at this particular season and stage of your life. Because wouldn't it suck to meet a man who checks all of your boxes, only to find out he's a commitment-phobe six months down the road—and your friend had an inkling but thought that you could be the woman to change him around? Whew. Talk about a potential fall-out. We'll get more into that in a little bit, though.
What Kind of Connection Do They Have with Him?
Lawd. So much drama can be avoided in life if, we simply don't make assumptions about, pretty much anything. That said, if you've got a friend who's excited about hooking you up with someone, aside from processing how close you and said-friend are (check out "According To Aristotle, We Need 'Utility', 'Pleasure' & 'Good' Friends" and "Always Remember That Friendships Have 'Levels' To Them"), there is nothing wrong with inquiring about their relationship with ole' boy too. Is he an ex? Were they ever intimate? Is he a relative (friends take it personally when things don't go well with someone in their bloodline)? If he's a co-worker or someone they go to church with, how well do they know the guy beyond just sharing the same space on any given day? Whatever the case may be, if they're presenting him to you as being so awesome, what makes him that way in their humble opinion?
There are people I personally know who hooked up a friend, simply on the basis of thinking that someone was a nice guy, only for him to turn out to be an individual who should've had a starring role in a Lifetime movie. The psycho guy didn't get blamed nearly as much as the friend did. So yeah, make sure that you've got a little bit of history on the relationship between your friend and "him" before agreeing to go out. It could shed some light on a few things that you wouldn't know otherwise.
Is This Their First Attempt?
If you want to see how the future will go, it can never hurt to look at the past. Case in point. I've got a family member who, every time they recommend someone to me, I'm looking at them, not side-eye but dead in the eye like, "Do you know me at all?!" There is absolutely no way that I would go out with anyone they suggested because 1) every single guy they think would be a good idea, I am not even remotely attracted to or interested in and 2) their own track record with their own relationships is less-than-stellar.
That second point? That too can play a role in whether you should let a friend set you up or not because, oftentimes, the mindset that a friend has when it comes to trying to connect you with someone tends to mirror the headspace they've been in when it comes to getting in their own relationships (or situationships).
For instance, love addicts are consumed with people being together—whether it's good, healthy or right—or not. So, if your friend is a love addict, they will probably want to hook you up, for no other reason than, they think everyone should always be in some sort of relationship. Plus, if they are a love addict, there's also a pretty good chance that they've either tried or did set you up before. And yeah—how did that go? Matchmaking ain't an exact science. Lord knows that it's not. But if you've already gone down this road with a friend of yours before, and things didn't go so well, you aren't being overly skeptical if you'd rather take a pass. Honestly, it could actually protect your friendship in the long run if you do.
Can It Be Something Casual Before Something…BIG?
So, what if this is your friend's very first attempt, you totally trust them, you've conveyed your type and the guy they're describing sounds like a good fit? What now? Well, unless you just adore blind dates (which kind of makes you a unicorn), who says that the initial set-up has to be some grandiose event? Something that can take the pressure off of, shoot, everyone who's involved, is if your friend has you and the guy over for brunch or dinner, or something casual along those lines. That way, it's not just you and him in the initial meeting, and you can get to know each other in a more casual setting. Then, if you both do hit it off on some level, the two of you can decide to take things further. Or, if there is no chemistry (whether that's one way or both ways), everyone can call it a day and go home with no drama.
Are Either of You Gonna Take the Situation Personally?
I know of a couple of matchmaking attempts that have worked out really well. Thing is, the person who did the matching up brags about it, every chance they get, even all years later. For the record, if there's anything to be proud of, it's bringing two people together, successfully. That still doesn't change the fact that there's some ego involved. And that's the last thing I'll say that you should keep in mind when it comes to letting your friend hook you up.
If only a couple of "light" dates occur and nothing materializes, that's not a big deal. But if the guy is an ass or you do end up dating and he graduates from ass to asshole or—God forbid—you end up being the one who hurts him, you and/or your friend could end up feeling some type of way. Super disappointed is one thing, but if it grows into hurt or pissed, that could affect your friendship in ways that you didn't quite predict. So yeah, also factor in your sensitivity levels as well as theirs. If you already feel in your gut that this could put more stress and strain on your relationship, either share that with them on the front end to see where their head and heart are at or, politely decline the offer. Then remember that the universe is huge. There are other ways to meet a man than through a friend. If it's meant to be that way, it needs to go smoothly. If it's not, let it happen another way—so that you and your friendship can remain intact.
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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 email@example.com. 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.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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