You know it and I know it. There is a ton of information, both online and off, about sex. That's why I do my best to try and conduct some of my own unofficial polls to get insight that isn't typically discussed. Recently I asked some people I know, "What can make sex a not-so-great experience, even if the sex itself is good?" It might seem like seem like an odd question initially, but when you see what most people said, I think it'll make more sense to you. What they said was "predictability".
One man said to me, "The sex that I have with my partner is amazing, except for the fact that she's not very creative. When I recommend things that are a little 'off the cuff' or 'outside of the box', she usually politely declines because she claims that knowing what to expect is what relaxes her enough to have the kind of sex that we do."
Hmph. When you really stop to think about that, to a certain extent, that makes sense. So, how can two people find a happy medium when one wants to try new things and the other—well, not so much? I say ease into newness slowly.
Take this beautiful season that we're currently in, for example. If you are the actual partner who wants to switch things up in the bedroom, how about incorporating some things that scream "fall's here!", are uber romantic, but can still spice things up a bit at the same time. If you're down to try—and you think you can convince your partner to be down as well—I've got a few fall-themed tricks up my sleeve.
1. Make Out in a Maze, While Apple Picking or in Some Leaves—First
Maybe it's because autumn is absolutely my favorite season that I also find it to be the most romantic. It's definitely the time of year when you and yours can walk through a corn maze together, do some apple picking, attend a harvest festival or simply rake up a pile of leaves in your front yard. Then, while you're at it, like they used to say in the 80s—make out.
Sometimes, the best sex is all about building anticipation before the act. Going out on a date together and doing a lot of hand holding and kissing while you're all caught up in the autumn atmosphere is a great "appetizer" before the main course (if you know what I mean).
2. Get Some Velvet Bedding
If you don't own any velvet bedding, do yourself (and your sex life) a favor and cop some this year. Not only is it super soft and luxurious, it's an opulent way to keep warm this fall and winter season. Just think about how plush and pampering this type of material is; how sensual you and yours will feel as you're rolling all around in it.
If a part of you is hesitant about making this type of purchase because you think that velvet fabric leans on the side of being high-maintenance, it's actually not. For the most part, you can treat it just like you would any of your other sheets or bedding; just make sure to turn everything inside out so that the part that you lay on doesn't attract a lot of lint (you can read more about all of this here).
3. Light Some Fall-Scented Soy Candles
Apple-Cinnamon. Vanilla. Amber. Cranberry. Pumpkin. Pine. Butterscotch. Patchouli. Caramel. Fig. These are just some of the signature scents of fall; something that most of them have in common is they are aphrodisiacs too. Since it's been scientifically-proven that the better our sense of smell is, the greater our sexual experiences tend to be, why wouldn't you want to fill your sexual space with smells that will only heighten your sensuality?
Plus, the glow of candles flickering in a dark room is really sexy. And, if you go with soy ones, they last longer and burn cleaner. A great "fall sex addition" all the way around, if you ask me.
4. Turn on Some “Fall Sounding” ASMR
I don't care what y'all's president thinks, climate change is real and I'm proud of all of the young people who've been protesting around the world about it. So, what does this even remotely have to do with what we've been talking about? Well, even though it's officially fall, as I'm sitting here and typing this, it's in the high 80s with plenty of sunshine in Nashville; not even close to being classic autumn weather—cool, cloudy, rainy with harsh winds.
Thanks to ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), via sound machines and even YouTube, you don't need to wait for a perfect fall day in order to set the mood. To make your room extra dark, hang up some blackout curtains. Then play sounds of rain or wind. On the YouTube tip, all you need to do is go the search field and put "rain sounds" or "wind sounds" and you're all set.
5. Play the “Fall Game” with Each Other
Sex isn't all about physically connecting. It's about emotionally connecting too. One way to feel emotionally close to your partner is to play a sentimental "fall game". Share some memories of the first time you fell for each other's looks or fell for each other's personality orfell in love overall. Based on what each of you recall and the circumstances surrounding everything, it can bring a lot of laughs as well as sentimentality into the atmosphere.
6. Do a Little of Your Own Version of “Trick-or-Treat”
Have you ever checked out the true origin of Halloween? It's creepier than a lot of people realize. But if you want to lighten up the mood a bit, put your own twist on trick-or-treat indoors this year. You and your man can dress up in costumes (or roleplay) or you can simply get candies that have a bit of a sexy theme to them. Some that I saw on Etsy include Sex on the Beach fudge and real-sized chocolate penises. You could make some cookies with a Kama Sutra rolling pin (that literally has sexual positions on it) or a sex position cookie cutter. Or how about some chocolate that's infused with the aphrodisiac damiana? Talk about candy (or cookies) that's sweet to the lips…on a few levels.
7. Dip Various Body Parts in Apple Cider or Cocoa
Our inner thighs. Our fingers. Our palms. Behind our knees. His nipples. His inner wrists. His navel. The small of his back. These are some of the erogenous zones that don't get talked about—or explored—as much as they should on women and men. The way I see it, there's no time like the present. So, as you're in the process of getting a little foreplay action going on, bring in some signature fall drinks—warm apple cider and cocoa—to pour onto these parts of the body, so that you both can lick them off. It's something that everyone involved will richly enjoy. I'll bet good money on that.
8. Give Your Man a Ginger Oil Massage
I'll give you two dollars if you can tell me what "figging" is without looking it up first. I'll tell you what, it was definitely my something new for the day when I happened upon it on the 'net. Figging is what it's called when you put a piece of fresh raw and peeled ginger either into your vagina or anus or your partner's anus in order to create a tingling sensation.
Please hear me when I say this—I am an avid ginger user, so when I think of a raw form of it going into any orifice of my body, it's a hard pass (ginger is pretty strong). But what I do recommend is giving your man a nice ginger oil massage.
Ginger is in season right now; it's a natural way to increase blood circulation to his lower region and heighten the sensitivity of his erogenous zones.
If a ginger oil massage is something you've never tried before, there's a great recipe for the oil here. (By the way, it's also a great oil for sore muscles after a workout too.)
9. Use Cinnamon Oil on Each Other’s Genitalia
Me? I'm always gonna be a cinnamon oil fan! It's a true fall season scent, it tastes good and the warming sensation that it provides is perfect for fellatio and cunnilingus. All you need to do is put a little bit of it into your mouth and, well, go to town!
A word of caution—if one or both of you have sensitive skin, put a dab on the back of each other's hand, just to make sure it's not too strong for either one of you. As far as the kind of oil you should try, the one that I recommend, across the board, is Sun Essentials Oils. No need to warm it up; cinnamon is naturally hot, sensation-wise, all on its own. It'll quickly become a fan favorite.
10. Cuddle Before. Cuddle After.
Maybe it's because it's colder outside than during the spring or summer season, but when I think of having sex in the fall, cuddling definitely comes to mind. Whether it's before or after sex, after checking out Health's "5 Sex Positions to Heat Up Chilly Fall Nights", turn on (or up) some of your favorite slow jams and—snuggle face-to-face, let him lay on top of you while you wrap your legs around him, do some extra tight and long spooning, or hold hands while one of your heads is on the other's stomach.
Cuddling is a wonderfully sweet and sentimental way to emotionally connect, feel safe and relax yourself after all of the mind-blowing sex you're about to have. It's one of the best things, I think, about "fall sex". Here's to three months full of PLENTY of it, sis.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
Feature image by Giphy
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.
In the crazy world of dating, so much attention is placed on the behavior during actual dates. Whether it is choosing the right outfit or making a good first impression, the focus tends to center on the in-person time spent together. But something that often gets overlooked is the significance of "between date behavior (BDB)." BDB is not just generic good morning text messages (that can be sent to 10 women in one minute), but rather text check-ins during the day and even nightly phone calls. This is the time when two people are apart but still find time for connection.
It is during these in-between moments that the foundation of a truly meaningful relationship is often built. A glaring example of what happens when there isn’t BDB is the early relationship between Carrie and Big from Sex and the City. At the beginning of the series, she was so hyper-focused on the time she spent together that she ignored that Big wasn’t calling or texting her often between dates. Instead, he would reach out and send cars based on his convenience… and not hers.
When it comes to dating, don’t be Carrie!
BDB in Dating
BDB in Dating #datingtips #datingadvice #singleblackfemale #singleblackwoman #blackfemininity #femininityforblackwomen #blackdatingadvice #blackdating #singlelatina #singlelatinas
Please realize that 80-90% of your time will NOT be with your partner while seriously dating, so the BDB will also be a significant part of your relationship. Here are some other reasons why what happens when you're not together is just as, if not more, significant than the hours spent face-to-face…
One of the key factors that makes BDB so crucial is authenticity. When we are with someone on a date, it is easy to put on a front (show one’s representative), showcasing our best qualities and concealing our flaws. But it is in our day-to-day interactions, the text messages and phone calls, that our true selves shine through.
Consistency in behavior is an indicator of authenticity. And authenticity builds trust. And trust is the cornerstone of any meaningful relationship.
Speaking of trust, it is one of the foundations of a successful relationship. Building it doesn't happen in a single evening. It's the consistency in behavior between dates that solidifies trust. When your person consistently communicates, shows interest, and keeps it respectful in the moments between your dates, it is reassuring that your potential partner is seriously interested and invested in the relationship.
Also, in between dates, the channels of communication become lifelines that connect two people and nurture emotional intimacy. How you communicate and what you choose to communicate about can significantly impact a growing relationship. Consistent, thoughtful messages and meaningful conversations like sharing your thoughts, dreams, and vulnerabilities can help create a strong emotional bond. Being supportive and understanding during difficult moments can bring you closer together.
While the time spent on a date is super important, the BDB, I would argue, should not be slept on. It's the glue that holds the connection together, builds trust, and sets the stage for a healthy, long-lasting relationship. So, the next time you find yourself waiting for that next date, remember that the journey between those dates is just as significant, if not more so, in the grand scheme of building a meaningful connection.
Hope this helps!
Coach Anwar is a certified dating and relationship coach who has 13 years of experience helping Black and brown women date with strategy, meet relationship-ready men, and get into the best relationship of their lives.
Featured image by Dimensions/Getty Images