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 email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.
The couple met years ago at their alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, when they were still working to create the life they have now, and if you had told them then that they’d eventually tie the knot, the pair probably would’ve laughed in your face.
Today, they’re new parents, flourishing in their careers, and each others’ “teammates.” When desiring love, Dalen recommends not looking to other couples for advice. And Stacey advises staying true to what you want. “Don’t put age or limitations on love and children. If God could do it for me, why can’t he do it for you?”
Here's How We Met.
How did you meet?
Dalen: We met in 2005 when she was advising the Greek sororities and fraternities in college. She was old as hell in college, and I was a young buck (laughs). Everybody had a crush on her, but I didn’t think much of it. Then, in 2007, we were in the same grad school class, but she still wasn’t trying to see me then either. I had to catch her five years ago; I was very patient.
Stacey: Yeah, everybody in our grad school class called him Young, Fresh to Death because he was always dressed in B-school (what CAU affectionately refers to as business major classes), and we’d just wear sweatpants (laughs).
So, I know Dalen was always attracted to you. But what about you? Did your attraction to him develop over time?
Stacey: So 2006-2008 – all the years went by. I don’t think we were really thinking about each other at all back then. Years later, I had an event in Dallas, and I booked him to be a speaker. Then, a few years ago, Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: "If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you." But I still thought he was too young at the time, and he started pulling receipts. Taraji P. Henson was dating someone young at the time, Gabrielle Union–
Dalen: First of all, I didn’t do that. You did that.
Stacey: Okay, I did. I thought he was a cutie pie, but that age thing was on my mind!
"Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: 'If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you.'"
Talk to me about the first date. How did he change your mind?
Stacey: Our first date was at Tin Lizzy's in Atlanta. During that time, he was living in Dallas, so it was long-distance. But he came into town, and we just had a good time. We talked a lot, which we still do. It wasn’t anything fantastic.
Dalen: Don’t downplay our first date.
Then, walk me through your courtship. How did you get to the next level? What was that conversation like?
Stacey: I think he knew at age 43 or 44 I wasn’t playing around. But also, I think it just naturally progressed.
Dalen: Yeah, it just happened naturally. And I’m going to be honest, I don’t think initially either one of us thought it would be as serious as it was. She thought I was too young and I wasn’t ready for marriage, kids, and all that. I think we both thought we were just hanging out. But after spending so much time together, a lot of stuff started happening. Like, she had to have surgery early on. It wasn’t just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That’s why we still don’t have an anniversary date because we never really asked.
"It wasn't just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That's why we still don't have an anniversary date because we never really asked."
What made you want to commit to each other?
Dalen: The moment I knew Stacey was for me was from a phone call. I don’t really like talking on the phone, and I can be really blunt sometimes. But we were talking, and I said, ‘I don’t really feel like talking anymore.’ And she was just like, okay, and hung up. I wasn’t trying to be rude, and she understood that. It sounds bad, but that’s how I knew she just got me. I felt like she could get my random awkward moments, and she does to this day.
Stacey: For me, I liked him as a person. Even when times get rough and tough, I could still like him as a human. He is my best friend. We have time. We laugh until we cry, and it’s just always like that. Even when we get pissed at each other, something happens, and we fix it. Also, how he treats his mother. That’s a momma’s boy, but I’m a daddy’s girl – so I get it. I know how I want to be treated, and I see how he is with her and that’s beautiful.
What are some important lessons you’ve learned about yourself through loving your partner in this relationship?
Dalen: I grew up an only child and she grew up with siblings. So, when you have someone who is used to doing things by themselves, there is definitely a learning curve when you get into a serious relationship. It’s funny now, but it was definitely a process.
Stacey: I agree – definitely the only child thing. There’s times I look at him like, did you ever live with anyone else? That comes from being momma's baby, too. I have to say, my “mother-in-love” spoiled him. But also with Axel (their daughter), that brings another level of patience.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
What was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome together?
Dalen: We’ve gone through a lot within the years we’ve been together. We suffered two miscarriages – I’d say that’s the biggest.
Stacey: Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me. I was wondering if I can’t carry [a child] what that looks like for us. We had very real conversations pretty early in our relationship.
"Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me."
What do you fight the most about?
Dalen: Nagging. Stacey nags; she’s a complainer. She’s that momma that will look in a room and just hunt for something to complain about. Like, I’m worried for Axel when she's in high school.
Stacey: It’s because I like things to be in place. He leaves stuff all over the place. I can tell where he’s been in the house because something is left around. So he says I’m nagging – but it’s like, just get your stuff.
What are your love languages?
Dalen: Stacey is gifts all day.
Dalen: We’ve talked about this. xoNecole is about to cause problems in our home (laughs).
Stacey: Obviously I love you. *thinks again* It’s words of affirmation.
Dalen: That’s it.
What’s your favorite thing about each other?
Dalen: I’ve always respected her business-mindedness. That may sound superficial, but it’s not because I’ve never been with someone who thinks like me. It’s one of my most treasured things about her. I remember one day, I was just running through ideas with her, and each time Stacey had a suggestion on how I could make it better. It’s just very comforting. She takes whatever I’m doing and elevates it – including me.
Stacey: I love Dalen’s hustle and creativity. He’s been on multiple shows, and he continues to create, produce, and reinvent himself and the product he’s putting out. I love that we can create together and bounce things off each other. Even though we may be in different arenas, there’s nothing he can’t offer me great advice about. I love that drive.
Finally, how did you know it was love?
Dalen: Well – she said it – first. (laughs)
Stacey: And he looked at me and smiled! He didn’t say it back. We were on a trip, out of the country.
Dalen: We were arguing when she said it, and she just threw it out.
Stacey: But we continue to do that. We’ve spent holidays and everything outside of the country.
Feature image courtesy
In 2024, there’s tons of thought and strategy that can go into dating online. While dating apps offer a convenient space to find potential partners, it’s become more complicated by the day to know just how to land a worthwhile match at all. With paywalls, roses, and Super Likes to push past while using dating apps, a common sentiment among singles is: do these apps really want us to find love at all?
Dating hopefuls are taking time to reevaluate their approach to dating as many discussions surrounding online dating are significantly influencing user behavior, particularly among Black singles. According to Jonathan Kirkland, Head of Brand and Marketing for BLK, these conversations shape the thoughts, expectations, and actions of singles and how they engage with dating platforms.
“The Black conversation shapes up the online dating world big time. We’ve seen how discussions around inclusivity, authenticity, and cultural relevance have driven more users to [dating] platforms, where they feel represented and understood,” Kirkland tells xoNecole. “But hey, it's all about personal vibes. Instead of buying into the hype, we're all about our community creating their own stories and shifting the narrative.”
How Online Dating Discourse Shapes Gen Z and Millennial Dating Preferences and Behaviors
Ilka & Franz/Getty Images
Across different age groups, distinct shifts in dating preferences and behaviors have been observed. Kirkland tells us that Gen Z prioritizes authenticity, social awareness, and online connectivity, while Millennials are focused on sharing values, pursuing their aspirations, and authentically representing their cultural identity.
These changes are not only shifting how singles are approaching the app, they’re influencing the flexibility in what was once seen as “non-negotiables" in long-term desires that are now becoming plausible considerations.
In a recent survey conducted by BLK, 100% of Gen Z and Millennials who participated in the study said they'd be open to starting a family with a friend. “It’s like, life's throwing them curveballs, and they're flipping the script on what family means,” Kirkland explains.
“Gen Z sees this whole platonic co-parenting thing as a game-changer for how we do families, making things more flexible and diverse. Millennials say it's all about building up your chosen family and locking down those intentional connections. Times are definitely changing.”
As culture evolves and social norms shift, these findings show that daters across generations are embodying a sense of adaptability in order to create the life they desire and love they deserve. That’s why we’ve tapped BLK’s Johnathan Kirkland to put us onto the 2024 dating trends that will help you win at love.
On the top trends singles can look forward to in the 2024 online dating space:
“One trend is ‘dawn dating,’ where you squeeze in dates before your workday kicks off. This offers a new level of convenience and efficiency,” he explains.
“And since it's an election year, get ready for 'partisan dating.' That's where singles prefer connecting with someone who's vibing on the same political wavelength. And with so many young voters more into the issues rather than the candidates, expect some real deep convos over policy matters.”
“Plus, we’re going to see more of a focus on looking after your mental health while you're dating. Platforms are rolling out initiatives to help you build solid relationships, while also prioritizing your own wellbeing,” he adds.
On the best icebreakers to hit a conversational flow with new matches:
Kirkland says that while breaking the ice can be difficult, one way to break the ice is to throw out questions that show your genuine interest. “Ask about their passions, where they love to travel, or maybe something cool they've experienced culturally lately.”
“It’s also nice to toss in a fun pop culture question, like, ‘So, are you #TeamMegan or #TeamNicki?’ It's all about getting that convo flowing.” he suggests. "BLK recently rolled out new profile prompts in our app last year to help spark these conversations. They're little conversation starters you can display on your profile, written or even voiced, so people can slide into your DMs without any awkwardness.”
On the best practices for users looking to connect with men who have aligned dating goals and avoid hookup culture:
“Be crystal clear about what you're after. And when you're scoping out potential matches, keep an eye out for those little signs that they're ready for something serious, too. Look for hints in their profiles, like if they're talking about their future goals or if your interests and values seem to click. But it's not all about what's written down. When you start chatting, keep it real and open. Lay it all out on the table early on—no beating around the bush.”
"Be crystal clear about what you're after. And when you're scoping out potential matches, keep an eye out for those little signs that they're ready for something serious too."
He continues, “Whether it's long-term love, a casual vibe, or just making new pals. No more wasting time on matches that aren't on the same page as you.”
On the advice he’d give to users who want to give dating apps another try, but are discouraged to do so:
“Let’s be honest. Dating apps are like any other technology —they're constantly evolving. So that app you checked out last year may have added new features, cool filters, and better ways to connect,” Kirkland says.
“If you're feeling a bit anxious about diving back into the dating app world, remember this: every swipe, chat, and date is a chance to learn something new about yourself. It's all about growth and discovery. Keep an open mind, but don't forget to set some boundaries and stay true to yourself. And if it all gets a bit overwhelming, take a breather.”
He adds, “Focus on some self-care, hit up your friends for a pep talk, or even chat with a pro if you need to. Because hey, who knows? The perfect match might just be a swipe away — so keep swiping.”
Featured image by blackCAT/Getty Images