If you’ve checked out my byline here, even for a little while, you have probably caught on to the fact that I thoroughly enjoy researching random information (I get it from my daddy). For instance, I can’t explain what exactly prompted the search but, not too long ago, I was curious about what place is currently considered to be the sexiest in the world. It’s actually one of my favorite cities — London (NY and LA are in the top 10). That got me to looking up some of the sexiest hotels in the world as well (some ones in general are here and here; some cool Black-owned joints are here). And that got me to wondering about currently popular sexual trends — you know, stuff that is super popular in the realm of all things sexual activity right now.
Let’s just say that when it comes to 2023, they pretty much run the gamut. Anyway, if you have a natural curiosity for random intel like I do, here are 12 sex-related things that could make coitus even better in your neck of the woods.
1. Sex Outside of the BedroomGiphy
Recently, while in a session with some married clients, a wife helped to prove a point that I’ve been making, on repeat, for a few years now — a lot of people are leaving their marriage, not due to abuse or cheating but sheer boredom. Because as shallow as that sounds, when things become tedious, they can almost start to feel almost like torture. Sex is not exempt here either.
That said, let’s not act like the reason why most of us prefer to have sex in a bed is because, when the bed/mattress is hella comfortable, it makes getting into (and out of) positions so much easier; plus, falling asleep right after is super convenient in that spot. However, if you want to spice things up, getting out of the bed can be a wise move.
Some current favorite spots (according to what I’ve read and some folks that I’ve interviewed have shared):
- Dryers (when it’s on)
- Kitchen Counters
- Walk-In Closets
- Work Offices (when no one’s there)
- Tents in Backyards
- Hotel Balconies
- Fitting Rooms
At the very least, this should get your imagination going. So, whatcha gonna try?
2. All-Natural AphrodisiacsGiphy
It’s kind of wild that, even though aphrodisiacs have been around since FOR-E-VER, probably until the end of time, folks will debate on if they are actually “real” (as far as their effectiveness goes) or not. Personally, I think that if supplements (which we’ll get into later) can help to give your libido a boost, foods that contain said supplements will probably do the same.
Anyway, something that keeps coming up in sex-related content these days is all-natural aphrodisiacs. Food-wise, I penned a couple of articles for the platform a while back (check out “Eat Your Way To Better Sex With Aphrodisiacs” and “10 In-Season Fall Foods That Are Incredible Aphrodisiacs”). Scent-wise, read “8 Natural Aphrodisiac Scents, Where They Go & How To Make Them Last” for a variety of essential oils that can help to take things to another level (especially if you apply them to the right pressure points) too.
3. ASMR Sound EffectsGiphy
For years (and years…and then some more years), I’ve slept in silence and slept just fine. Yet over the past several years, I’ve gone to bed to the sound of rain (YouTube has a ton of channels that will play it for hours on end; just put “rain sounds for sleeping” in the search field) and it has taken my quality of sleep to a whole ‘nother level! From what I’ve read and researched sounds like rain, ocean waves, and even a blowing fan can help you to rest better and more; that’s because certain ASMR sounds activate the part of the brain that releases dopamine and oxytocin — both of which help you to feel calm and more relaxed.
On the sex tip, you might want to crank up some ASMR sounds too because it also helps to decrease your stress levels. Not only that but when your hearing is stimulated in this fashion, it can actually intensify your other senses (sight, taste, smell, and touch).
I mean, a lot of y’all went wild over H.E.R’s song “Damage” and whether you realized it or not, it’s, in part, because she referenced the sexy ass classic “Making Love in the Rain” by Herb Alpert ft. Lisa Keith and Janet Jackson. And doesn’t it now make even more sense that those kinds of songs make sex even better?
Hell, don’t wait for a rainy day. Put on a YouTube video. Do it ASAP too — the sounds and the sex, if you can.
4. Remote-Controlled VibratorsGiphy
Since it’s been reported that somewhere around 14 million individuals are in a long-distance relationship, there’s no way that we could talk about sex trends without addressing one that’s growing in popularity among couples who don’t get to see each other as much as they would probably like.
One of them is remote-controlled vibrators. If you’re not familiar, it’s basically a vibrator that can be controlled by someone else. Although the possibilities are clearly — eh hem — endless with this, just make sure to keep in mind that you typically need a strong Wi-Fi signal. Also, you should read as much fine print on the product you’re considering because sometimes there are data and privacy issues.
Don’t let that last point freak you out too much, though. Honestly, these kinds of vibrators have been around for a long while now. Personally, I think the pandemic has brought them back into the sex spotlight. Anyway, Allure (here) and Self (here) did you a solid by providing a list of some of the best ones around. At least do a lil’ bit of window shopping, if you can.
5. Multi-Purpose LubeGiphy
There used to be a time when people thought that lubrication was pretty much for women who couldn’t get “wet enough.” These days, as folks are getting more creative when it comes to sex, they know that wetter truly is better. That’s why I wrote articles like “If You've Always Wanted A 'Lubricant Cheat Sheet,' Here Ya Go” and “The Wetter, The Better: 10 Creative Ways To Use Lubricant” for the site.
So, when you get a chance, check those out and then determine in your mind that you will invest in a couple of bottles of lube (if you haven’t already). If you’re not sure which brands to go with, a good (no pun intended) entry brand is Astroglide because it’s water-based (which means it will feel natural and won’t compromise condom use or damage your bedding), it’s super affordable and you can find it in just about any drugstore around.
Just for the record, if you like to engage in activities like shower sex (check out “So, This Is How To Make Shower Sex So Much Better”), go with a silicone-based lubricant like Wet Platinum. A water-based lube while you’re in water is not gonna do you much good. Stuff is a lot more slippery with silicone in there.
6. At-Home STI/STD TestingGiphy
While I’m over here irritated that so much data supports the fact that ONLY one-third of men use condoms (eye roll), I think that’s why I’m never shocked whenever I see that STI/STDs continue to increase with every passing year (SMDH).
This is why, if you are sexually active, you need to get tested annually (no exceptions). And if you happen to have multiple sex partners, this needs to go from every 12 months to every 3-6 months (no joke).
And what if you “don’t have time”? Yeah, that won’t fly because, these days, you can get tested from the comfort and convenience of your own home (you can read about a list of some of the best that are currently out on the market here). Even though a lot of at-home tests aren’t exactly the cheapest things in the world, nothing is more valuable than your health, so…budget for them. It’s worth it.
If you just read this heading and thought it was a typo, I get it. When I first read about it, so did I. Basically, menstrubation is period sex — only with yourself: menstrual masturbation. And why would someone want to do that? Well, the reality is that it’s not so much the sex (or touching) itself that helps bring menstrual pain-related relief but the orgasms that can come from it.
According to science, when we climax, it causes a burst of endorphins that can ease uterine discomfort. Some say that it can even be just as, if not more, effective than ibuprofen. The more you know, chile. The more you know.
8. (Black) Sex InfluencersGiphy
Currently, I’m getting certified to go another level in my life coaching work. One of the classes that I tiptoe in sometimes explores all things sensuality. While one of the other students and I were discussing the class (well, actually the instructor), we both talked about how surprising it was to learn that something as simple as breathing deeply can totally change how you feel about your looks, your sexuality and how you cope with stress.
That’s a big part of the reason why I personally think that, no matter how conservative or totally-out-of-the-box you might be about sex, being open to listening to a sex educator or influencer could prove to be beneficial on some level — and when it comes to our particular platform (and who it serves), particularly if they’re Black. Because if there’s one thing that the majority of us participate in, in some way, it’s sex. So, the more insights, perspectives, and tips that we’re given in this area, the more the experiences, overall, are able to potentially improve — and who doesn’t want that?
If you’re interested in checking out some sex influencers, last year, BuzzFeed published an article entitled “These 22 Black Sex Educators Are Changing The Way We Think And Talk About Sex” that can serve as a cool starting point.
9. Eco-Friendly Sex ToysGiphy
It’s pretty much irrefutable that sex toys continue to grow in popularity. In fact, one more report says that by 2026, it will gross close to $55 billion bucks. So, if those are totally your thing and you want to be on-trend, make sure that you go with ones that are good for the environment. This would basically mean sex toys that are made from an ethical standpoint and with vegan ingredients. One company that carries those is The Natural Love Company.
Everyone here’s grown and can do whatever they want. However, while we’re on this topic, I just want to say that I was chatting it up with a friend of mine who said that one of his female friends told him that she had to basically go into detox over one of her vibrators. Why? Basically, because it caused her to orgasm so quickly and consistently that she found herself getting mad at her actual partner.
Yeah, that’s how “too much of a good thing” can turn around and bite you in the ass (no pun intended). While using sex toys to enhance intimacy is one thing, if it’s causing you to have a disconnect from actual human connection, think twice about adding more to your collection.
10. Libido-Inducing SupplementsGiphy
A lot of us don’t eat as healthy (or consistently healthy) as we should. That’s just a fact of life. Thankfully, there are things like supplements that can help our systems to get the vitamins and minerals that we’re not receiving from our diet alone.
For whatever the reason, this year, supplements that can help to increase your sex drive are all the rage. Ones that top the list include:
Fenugreek: it increases testosterone levels in both men and women
Vitamin D: it can decrease vaginal dryness; especially in menopausal women
Saffron: it can improve your sex drive if you happen to be on an antidepressant
Magnesium: it can put you in a better mood, so that you can enjoy sex more
Zinc: studies show that a lack of it can result in lower testosterone levels
Those are just for starters yet have enough data to back them to give them a try. Just make sure that if you’re currently on a prescribed medication that you run adding a supplement into your diet by your doctor and that you follow the instructions on the label when it comes to taking them. Supplements can be pretty potent, sometimes not in a good way, if you’re not careful.
11. Emotional IntimacyGiphy
I live in Nashville (shout-out to Music City!) and so, I’ve been making it a point to try and entertain — although on some levels, it feels more like tolerate — the current season of Married At First Sight. Airris? Yeah…AIRRIS. I actually know some people who know him and they’ve been able to give me some insight on why it seems like he only has two channels: arrogance and horniness (and Twitter’s been letting him have it for it too).
Anyway, I didn’t even need to know the late bloomer scoop to catch that he hasn’t even begun to know how great sex can actually be because not only (according to him) has he never been in love before, he seems to not establish the greatest emotional connections with his sex partners either.
I hate that for him because, even the guys I know personally who are, let’s just say, quite active in these streets, they will vouch for the fact that sex is so much more fulfilling when it’s with someone you are emotionally connected to. And just for the record, let me run down seven signs that an emotional connection — mutually so — actually exists between two people:
- A strong chemistry is mutually there
- You know each other beyond the surface level
- You are open to meeting each other’s needs (not just in the bedroom either)
- There’s some sort of friendship established
- You enjoy each other’s company (even outside of sex)
- You’re consistently curious about each other
- Reciprocity is present
With articles and videos touching on the fact that hookup culture is getting really old (even I once wrote about how I’m not a fan of casual sex based on what “casual” actually and literally means; you can read it here), perhaps we’re seeing a turning of the tide. Maybe we’re remembering that sex is fun yet it can also be something special that transpires between two people. Hmm…just maybe.
12. Sexual MindfulnessGiphy
Last one. In the holistic wellness space, a word that comes up pretty consistently is “mindfulness.” The simplest way to define what it means to be mindful is you’re intentional about doing whatever is necessary to stay in the moment, be self-aware, and stay almost hyper-conscious of what’s around you.
If you really let all of this sink in, it makes perfect sense that sexual mindfulness would be quite effective and beneficial when it comes to sex because, the more in tune you are with your own body, your partner, and the space that’s around you, all without overly concerning yourself about time, that can make for a much more intense and satisfying sexual experience.
So, how can you do things that will make you more sexually mindful? When it comes to yourself, sex journaling (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”) and vaginal mapping (check out “Why 'Vaginal Mapping' Needs To Be Part Of Your Healing Journey”) are great starting points. When it comes to amplifying sexual mindfulness with your partner, orgasmic meditation (check out “What Exactly Is 'Orgasmic Meditation'?”) is a powerful way to go.
Whatever you choose, try and slow down, get still and really take each other in without any electronics around. Being fully “in” with your partner can tap you into an energy field that will take sex to a whole ‘nother level. Yeah…out of all of the sex trends for this year, this might be the best one. #wink
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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. ;)
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.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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