If you were to ask a lot of sex therapists what a sex date is, they would probably say they are the kind of date that is strictly for the purpose of having sex—no more, no less. To me, that sounds like the calls that I used to get at midnight when I was in my 20s. Come to think of it, I used to know a man who would call those "the blue light special" because the person would come in after dark and leave before dawn. I certainly don't knock those (to each their own, chile). At the same time, because I know that the biggest sex organ is actually our brain, it can help to plan the kind of date where it's mutually understood that sex is at the culmination of the date without it being the only thing that transpires while being on it. To me, a sex date isn't just about having sex. It's more about…extending the foreplay a bit longer. It's about doing something with your partner that is erotic, sexy—something that makes you both feel desired…craved for, even.
Sounds hot, right? If a sex date is something that you and your partner could definitely use right about now, I've got 10 ideas to, at the very least, pique your interest in exploring some of your own naughty thoughts and sexual creativity.
1. Throw a “Wine and Senses” Party
Something tells me that I already had you at "wine". From a scientific standpoint, a part of the reason why red wine is considered to be an aphrodisiac is because the ethanol that's in it tends to stimulate the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the part of your brain that regulates things like your body temperature, your hormones, your hunger levels and yes, your sex drive.
If you pair a bottle of red wine up with a blindfold, it can make for a really sexy date because as you and your partner take turns covering up your eyes and exploring different parts of each other's bodies while verbally affirming each other, it can heighten certain senses.
For instance, without being able to see, your sense of hearing will automatically increase (dirty talk, anyone?). Or, if you pair up the red wine with some dark chocolate, not only will the chocolate stimulate your sense of taste on another level, but it will increase blood circulation throughout your body, ultimately intensifying your orgasms as well.
2. Meet Up for Some Midday Sex
When is the best time of the day (or night) to have sex? That answer is kind of multi-layered. On one hand, it's been reported that men's peak of sexual desire tends to transpire between 6-9am while women's are highest between 11pm-2am. However, another scientific study says that men and women's bodies are most (sexually) in sync at around 3pm (with a close runner-up being at 7:30 in the morning). While I am a huge fan of morning sex, there is something that I really like about that 3pm block. To me, it just screams spontaneity. I mean, who wouldn't get excited about receiving an email or text from their partner asking them to meet them at home, a hotel or, umm, somewhere for a lil' sumthin' sumthin'? Especially since science says that the afternoon is almost guaranteed to make sex better.
3. Design Your Own Erogenous Zone Pleasure Maps
Everybody's body is different. This means that while there are some erogenous zones that fall into the "general population" category, there are others that are specific to the person you are currently with. Make a date out of discovering what your partner's favorite hot spots may be by having them strip down to their underwear and then using your hands (and mouth) to figure out where their customized erogenous zones are. Make it even more fun by turning on some slow jams from their favorite music era (that will help to relax them). Then "mark the territory" with some lipstick. To make things even more enjoyable for you, I actually found a line that creates edible chocolate lipsticks. You can cop a tube or two here.
4. Shop for Sexy Items Together
Lingerie. Sex toys. Massage oils. Aphrodisiac foods. A lil' alcohol. Bedding. Whatever works for you and yours, make a date to either order some of these things online or while you're out shopping together. For one thing, it's probably been a while since you've upgraded your sex stash. Secondly, getting these kinds of items together can help you both to get a better grasp of what turns the two of you on—and what doesn't.
5. Make Your Own Fondue. And Then…
I'm thinking that most of us know what fondue is. It's when you melt one food into a dish and then dip other foods into it (like bread into cheese). You can totally put a sexual twist on this by having the fondue be made out of chocolate and the "food" be your various body parts instead. If you're all down for this but (Lord forbid) you hate chocolate, no worries. There's a butterscotch recipe here, a strawberry one here, and a salted caramel recipe here.
6. Create a Sex-Themed Scavenger Hunt
Something that can bring an element of curiosity into your sex life is to create a scavenger hunt that has a sex theme to it. You can leave notes in your partner's briefcase, car and throughout your house with riddles, hints or instructions of where to go next.
Some people like the notes to include directives to take off certain articles of clothing. Others prefer to "reward" their partner if they get an answer right to a question about a certain sexual memory that they can recall with their partner. Or, you could let all of the items that you bought on your other sex-related outing to serve as clues to your "grand finale".
The details are totally up to you, but a sex-themed scavenger hunt is definitely a way to bring some real fun back into your boudoir.
7. Have an Electrical Outage (on Purpose)
Earlier this year, Mashable posted a video sharing some of the reasons why having sex with the lights on is better than in the dark. One of the reasons it shared was it makes us feel more exposed to our partner; by them accepting us "in that light", it can, in turn, create a stronger connection. I totally get and support that. At the same time, no one said that the lighting had to be a neon light in your bedroom. There's something that's both sexy and mysterious about being alone with your partner in the dark. So, for one night, pretend that you've got absolutely no electricity, light up some scented soy candles, pull out your massage oil and give each other an erotic rub down. Don't even turn any music on. Enjoy the silence and sounds that the both of you make—before, during and after sex happens.
8. Enjoy a Romantic Dinner with Aphrodisiac Appetizers and Dessert
A romantic dinner is always a classic move. Spare yourself all of the work that comes with preparing everything; instead, order your favorite main dishes from a restaurant. Then, focus on creating the right ambiance with some vanilla-scented candles (and/or fairy lights), some rose petals, some 90s R&B playing and absolutely no phones. Next, pull out your good dishware and a fancy pair of glasses. The sexy twist here is to make your own aphrodisiac-inspired appetizers and dessert, along with a signature libido-boosting drink. Perhaps some avocado egg rolls (with sweet chili sauce), a little Mexican chocolate mousse or homemade honey ice cream and, for the drink, a blueberry martini. You'll be tipsy, horny and full by the end. A "perfect store" for a sexual rendezvous.
9. Become a Shibari Master
If you are saying to yourself, "What the heck is that?", consider this to be your something new for the day. Basically, shibari is the word for Japanese rope bondage. You tie your partner up (or let them do that to you) via different types of rope patterns that are designed to stimulate various pressure points throughout their body. I did some digging around for beginner's tutorials and chile, this ain't as easy as you think. But if you want to step out there and give it a shot, click here to learn how to create single and double-column ties.
10. Go on a Monthly Hotel Room Tour
There aren't going to be too many articles written by me where the topic of sexual suggestions come up and I don't mention a hotel room. Hmph. Just because it's been a while since I've gotten any, that doesn't mean that many of my memories aren't still crystal clear when it comes to the pleasure of sex on a bed that has a mattress that costs a few thousand dollars in a room that is somewhat unfamiliar that I don't have to clean up afterwards. Pretty much every city is known for having at least one really sexy hotel. Have you and yours ever tried it? If you really want to get buck wit it, use your sex jar to go on a regional, national or even international hotel tour. You can get some inspiration by checking out articles like "20 Sexy Hotels That Make Banging Better", "The Sexiest Hotels in America" and "13 Naughty Hotels That Aren't Afraid of a Little Nudity, and More…". Out of all of these date suggestions, I'm not sure a sex date gets any sexier than this!
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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. ;)
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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Over 6 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's, and it is anticipated that by 2050, this number will almost double. With staggering rates of this disease impacting senior citizens and the families caring for them, the need to boost awareness around this neurological condition is greater now, more than ever.
November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month, which presents an opportunity to educate the public about Alzheimer's disease and increase understanding of its causes, symptoms, and impact on individuals and families with loved ones who have or could develop the condition in the future.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
According to the CDC, Alzheimer's disease, the most prevalent form of dementia, is a progressive condition starting with mild memory loss and potentially advancing to an inability to engage in conversation and respond to the surroundings.
The disease impacts areas of the brain responsible for thought, memory, and language, significantly hindering a person's capacity to perform daily activities.
The exact cause of Alzheimer's is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
The warning signs of Alzheimer's disease can differ among individuals and typically emerge gradually. While Alzheimer's is not a normal aspect of aging, age is the best-known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Memory problems commonly represent one of the initial indicators of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, especially if they worsen over time.
In addition to this, Healthline notes that symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease may show up as one or more of the following:
- Alterations in mood, personality, or behavior.
- Disruption of daily life due to memory loss, like becoming disoriented in familiar surroundings or repeating questions.
- Difficulty in accomplishing routine tasks at home, work, or during leisure activities.
- Diminished or impaired judgment.
- Misplacement of items with an inability to retrace steps to locate them.
Who Does Alzheimer's Affect?
The prevalence of Alzheimer's in the United States is rapidly increasing, with an estimated 6.7 million among those aged 65 and older in 2023. Approximately 73% of individuals with Alzheimer's are aged 75 or older, and the overall rate for those aged 65 and older is 1 in 9 (10.7%), according to the Alzheimer's Association.
One out of every three seniors passes away with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, surpassing the combined mortality of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Elderly Black Americans have approximately twice the likelihood of experiencing Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia compared to elderly white individuals.
Prevention and Support of Alzheimer's Disease
The exact cause of Alzheimer's disease remains unclear, and scientists believe it is likely influenced by multiple factors such as age and family history, but genetics do not determine one's fate or outcome.
There is no cure for Alzheimer's, and caring for a loved one with the disease can take a financial, mental, and emotional strain on the family as the disease progresses. Caregivers face daily challenges, adjusting to changing abilities and behaviors, and as the disease advances, more intensive care is often required.
As more research and awareness spreads around Alzheimer's, taking the proper measures to improve and manage brain cognition is essential. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity, a nutritious diet, limited alcohol consumption, and not smoking, may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Raising awareness helps reduce the stigma associated with Alzheimer's and related dementias and can foster a more supportive and compassionate community for individuals affected by the disease.
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