I dunno. Maybe British Black women do things a bit differently. I'll explain what I mean.
While doing my usual cyberspace perusing last weekend, there was an article that immediately caught my attention. I'm thinking that once you see the title, you'll totally understand why—"Why You Should Think Twice Before Touching a Black Woman's Hair During Sex" (it was a Cosmo UK piece).
The majority of that statement, I'm quite familiar with. Although I'm a naturalista who isn't bothered by someone touching my own hair, I get that it is a personal space issue and totally respect women who would prefer if folks did not. In fact, I'm starting to think that my neutral ground on the topic probably makes me the exception, not the rule:
However, it's one thing to have a random stranger approach you in the mall to ask if they can touch your hair. But shouldn't it be totally different if the person you're being intimate with wants to? I mean, they can be literally in you but it's a no-no for them to have their hands your hair simultaneously? Really?
To be fair, unlike a lot of articles that try to pass off as a true voice for our people (don't get me started), this particular piece did actually feature Black women who don't want their hair touched. Case in point, Dami Olonisakin is a 28-year-old sex and relationships blogger who wears wigs. According to her:
"I've never experienced my hair coming off during sex, but I've had it shift or change position which obviously isn't ideal. Thankfully there's never been a situation where everything has come off and I'm left embarrassed. When I'm intimate with someone for the first time I usually let them know beforehand not to touch my hair or do anything crazy. Just keep away from my hair."
Don't "do anything crazy" during sex? No disrespect, but what's the point in having it then?
The article went on to share that the only reason why hair pulling is even on the sex menu for Black women at all is because we've watched white women getting their hair pulled in porn (huh?!). Oh, and then there's this:
"Other sex acts that are common in porn are just not relatable to black women, including anything involving water. 'Even shower sex for me includes a shower cap a lot of the time. I wet my hair probably once every 12 days, so unless you catch me on wash day we're not having wet hair shower sex. My partner has to be flexible in understanding that with me hair is not a part of the seduction. Tossing my hair, putting your hands in it, or me running around with it wet isn't going to happen. I have so many other sensual, awesome parts about me that you can engage with."
So, no shower sex either? Chile.
I was so stumped that I asked some of the xoNecole team to help me out. They sent out a social media APB to y'all to see if it's true that hair pulling while doing-the-do is off indeed totally limits.
Although there were a few women (shoutout to @missemonique) who agreed that Solange was on point when she penned the song "Don't Touch My Hair" (although something tells me that Solange wasn't thinking about gettin' it in when she wrote it), most of you were all for coitus-coif-yanking.
@rockstarr_naturally: I'm natural do your thang
@womanistwonder: Pull my hair. It's real long & healthy!!!
@spicydevi: You betta pull that hair and let me feel that blood flow from the scalp to the toes…how else would I be submissive if you don't control the root to the toe
We even spoke in-depth with a few readers to get their raw and unfiltered consensus on the hair pulling during sex discussion:
Hair pulling adds to intimacy...
"During sex, I prefer aggression, so hair pulling is a major 'go' for me! I don't really have limits to it. But there is a form of delicacy that is needed for it to still remain sensual versus turning into being distasteful. I wouldn't consider hair being a complex for me now. There was a time it took a while for me to appreciate my natural hair because I didn't care for its density (I have fine hair). But I will say that I prefer to have it in some sort of style at all times. I think generally as women hair means so much to us no matter the race. There is a level of sensuality in hair and I think many men love being able to run their fingers through it during sex. I prefer my hair to be pulled during doggy style or reverse cowgirl! I don't have a preference in pulling but I enjoy having my partner pull my hair while talking dirty, smacking my bum is a go too! A little neck grabbing never hurt anyone either!" - @itssimplyjackson
Hair pulling is a part of my sensuality as a woman...
"I do love when my hair is pulled. I love when it's pulled because of the sensation it gives me (I'm turned on), but also for the submissiveness it gives to my guy. I like for him to feel in control, too. What I don't like is pulling too hard. I don't want to feel like my neck is about to be yanked off my head lol. As a black woman, hair definitely means something different to me. Not only is it my strength, it's also my confidence. Whether I wear weave or my natural tresses, I pride myself on making sure that if nothing else looks put together, my hair is. I do feel as though it plays a part in my sensuality whenever I engage in sex. Whether we are doing doggy style or I'm riding him, a strong grip/pull that pulls my head back ever so softly is all I need. Remember a strong grip and a soft pull/tug goes a long way." - @heyyychanelle
Hair pulling is a must for hitting it from the back...
"Yes, I like my hair pulled. Preferably when I have a protective style, like braids or a good weave. I don't mind when it's my real hair, but it's short so there's not much to pull lol. I like for my man to be in control so pulling my hair makes me feel like he's taking charge and control. It turns me on. I feel like we as black women have been told for YEARS how we should wear our hair, that it's ugly if it's a certain way, etc, so we may not see our hair as something to accentuate our sexuality. But lately, with the natural hair movement and us embracing our hair, whether natural, relaxed, braided, wigs/weaves, I think it might start to shift. With my boyfriend now, I love it when he pulls my hair slightly back and kisses me. Also, while he's hitting it from the back, I like for him to yank it a little bit and whisper some naughty/nasty things in my ear." - @twerkinforgas
Hair pulling turns me up even more during sex...
"For the most part, yes! Depending on the style though. It turns me on to be honest. It makes me want to turn up even MORE during sex. It makes me feel wanted, it's very sensual. [However] I'm all for comfort so if I have fresh braids or a fresh sew-in or even a silk press, I don't like my hair being messed up. My hair is a form of self-expression. I always feel sensual and powerful when my hair is done. I like firm but gentle tugs. Don't pull my shit like you're tryna rip my hair out, then it's a problem. And honestly, just ask." - @kiasmithwrites
Hair pulling is about the passion behind what's being done...
"I like that it's very dominating and sensual. I'm in so much control over my life that when my hair is pulled, it allows me to feel and just be in the moment. Hair is just hair. The passion behind why it's being done is what's more sensual than anything. My preference is don't be scared and don't pull too hard. Being intimate is energy and vibes. So, do what you feel in the moment, listen to your lover's body and moans, that should let you know what to do more or less of. Intimacy is a rhythmical captivating moment, and hair pulling is just a simple pleasure added to the melody of two." - @Mocha_chelle
Whew! I must admit that I was relieved to hear that most of us are not so consumed with our hair that it's actually preventing us from engaging in more passionate uninhibited sex; that while we do love our hair—including our wigs and extensions—we love sexual pleasure even more.
And for the women who haven't had hands in their hair during sex? If you happen to agree with Ms. Olonisakin and @missemonique, I'd like to pitch a little reading material your way.
Black Woman, Just Get Your Hair Wet! is a book that came out earlier this year. The premise is centered around how much the author missed out on swimming as a child because she (and her mother) was so consumed with not getting her hair wet; as a direct result, she developed somewhat of a complex and didn't have a ton of fun (during the summertime). She went on to share how that has served as a metaphor for a lot of risks she didn't take in life; how we as Black women could stand to "get our hair wet" more often—both personally as well as professionally. (That really is something to think about…isn't it?)
From the swimming pool to shower sex, there is so much you're missing out on if you're avoiding these things simply because you don't wanna mess up your hair. Just something to think about, sis.
How do you feel about hair pulling during sex? Let us know in the comments down below!
Featured image by Getty Images
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and felt so deeply connected to them? Everything about the relationship was intense – good or bad? Then you might be in a part of a soul tie.
The concept of a soul tie binds individuals on a level beyond a relationship's physical and emotional aspects; it’s more than a mere connection. You can form a soul tie with anyone – lover, friend, colleague, etc.- but we are discussing romantic partners for this article. Think of you and your partner as an intensely burning flame. The flame can burn passionately to light the relationship’s way or chaotically burn everything in its path. Either way, it leaves an indelible mark on the souls involved.
A soul tie should not be confused with the term “soulmate.” The main difference is that a soul tie can be positive or negative, while a soulmate is a mutual, harmonious connection. Unlike a soul tie, a soulmate relationship is generally characterized by mutual understanding, support, and shared values.
However, the more we learn about soul ties, the more it becomes evident that they are not monolithic; they vary in nature and intensity. As someone who has experienced a negative soul tie, it is crucial to discern whether they contribute positively to personal growth or hinder you from flourishing.
If Your Soul Tie Is Positive
A positive soul tie creates a deep and affirming connection between individuals. One key indicator of a positive soul tie is effective communication. If you’re experiencing a positive soul tie, a shared understanding fosters open and honest dialogue, contributing to a sense of connection and support.
Mutual growth is another hallmark of a positive soul tie. When individuals in a relationship encourage each other's personal development and evolution, it signifies a positive and uplifting connection. This mutual support leads to an environment where both parties can thrive individually and together, contributing to the overall health of the soul tie.
Emotional security is a crucial element in identifying a positive soul tie. In such connections, individuals feel a deep sense of trust and comfort with each other. This emotional security forms a stable foundation for the relationship, allowing both parties to express vulnerability and foster a strong, positive bond. These three indicators—effective communication, mutual growth, and emotional security—underscore the positivity inherent in a healthy and affirming soul tie.
If Your Soul Tie Is Negative
A negative soul tie manifests as a detrimental and draining connection between individuals. One clear sign of a negative soul tie is the presence of emotional turmoilwithin the relationship. When the connection becomes a source of constant distress, causing emotional upheaval and hindering personal development, it indicates a negative soul tie.
Codependency is another red flag for a negative soul tie. In such connections, individuals may become overly reliant on each other, impeding their ability to thrive independently. Codependency often leads to unhealthy dependencies and can result in a toxic dynamic that hinders both individuals' growth and well-being.
A lack of effective communication is a third indicator of a negative soul tie. When there is a breakdown in communication, misunderstandings and unresolved issues can fester, contributing to a strained and unhealthy connection. In negative soul ties, the absence of open and honest dialogue can perpetuate a cycle of negativity and prevent the resolution of underlying issues. These three indicators—emotional turmoil, codependency, and poor communication—point to the negativity associated with an unhealthy soul tie.
Putting Out The Fires And Breaking Your Soul Tie
Unfortunately, my deep, intense connection only caused destruction. And despite the obvious red flags, it took a minute before I broke the connection. Why? Because I was addicted to the relationship, we both were. But it is possible to break a soul tie if and when you are ready because if you are not, pretending you are when you are not is a waste of your time.
Breaking a soul tie requires intentional and purposeful actions. Establishing clear and firm boundaries is a fundamental step in severing the connection. By limiting contact and emotional engagement with the person involved, individuals can gradually weaken the tie and create space for personal growth.
Seeking professional support is another effective strategy to break a soul tie. Guidance from therapists or counselors provides valuable insights and coping strategies. Professional assistance can help individuals navigate the emotional challenges associated with breaking a soul tie, offering a structured and supportive environment for healing.
Redirecting energy toward personal growth is important in breaking free from a soul tie. Engaging in activities that promote individual well-being and create a sense of independence allows individuals to refocus their attention on their own growth and development. This redirection of energy is essential for breaking the emotional bonds of a soul tie and moving towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.
The last step I advise everyone to go through is the mourning period. My partner and I did our song and dance for years before I walked away. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that I mourned our relationship while I healed.
Recognizing the presence and nature of a soul tie in your relationship is crucial to understanding its impact on your well-being. Whether positive or negative, the intensity of a soul tie can shape the course of your personal growth and happiness. Breaking free from a negative soul tie demands intentional efforts, from setting clear boundaries to seeking professional support. Redirecting energy toward personal growth and allowing oneself a necessary mourning period are vital steps toward healing and liberation from the intricate ties that bind.
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