On the sex tip, I'm a huge supporter of couples gettin' theirs whenever and wherever they want. But let's be real—most people are going to opt to "engage" inside of their house and, more specifically, inside of their bedroom. And that's what got me to thinking.
In my sessions, I hear couples talk all of the time about how they wish their partner came to bed looking like sex might be on the menu rather than like they are on a sex fast—or worse, a sex strike. But when it comes to creating the right kind of ambiance, shouldn't it be about more than lingerie and sexy boxer shorts? Why is it that, when it comes to being at home, some of us really aren't in the mood to get down, but then when we're at a hotel, it's on and poppin'? Some of it, I think, is because there are certain things in our home that aren't sensual, exciting, alluring, epicurean—sexy.
This coming weekend, do you, your partner and your sex life a favor by conducting a quick inventory of your house. See if the following 15 things could be what's keeping you from treating your home like the hot and passionate love den that it should be. Shoot, with all that you're paying in mortgage or rent, you should be getting as much out of your home—especially your bedroom—as possible. And sometimes, just a little tweaking is all that you need to take your sex life up a notch or two. And what exactly are some overlooked household sexual turn-offs?
1. Poor Curb Appeal
This point might sound really weird, but first impressions are important. If it's your first time bringing someone over to your place, you might be surprised by how much they'll appreciate a well-manicured lawn, a porch that's been swept and fingerprints not being on your glass screen door. A good lover is totally into the details. Well, if you care about what your curb appeal looks like, you're quietly conveying the message that you have the tendency to be quite meticulous in some of the best ways possible.
2. A Messy House
OK, hopefully we all know the difference between "messy" and "nasty". But whether it's your first time bringing someone over to your place or you've been married for five years now, something that can be a real libido-killer is a messy house. Dishes in the sink. Clothes on the bed. Clutter all over the place. A home that is clean—or at the very least, straightened up—makes it easier for people to relax in. The more relaxed someone is, the more willing they are to have sex. So yeah, if your place is a total wreck, that is definitely working against your sex life.
3. An Old Mattress
Off top, if your mattress is more than seven years old, it's probably time to replace it (definitely don't wait past year 10). Also, if you've not been able to have the best sex of your life because you've had to worry about things like your mattress squeaking or it not being able to absorb the "shock" from all of the positions that you and your partner want to try, make sure that you select a mattress that is great for doin' the do. Ones with gel memory foam are able to offer a lot of support. Natural latex ones are made out of hypoallergenic and antimicrobial material that not only keeps stored-up bacteria at bay, but it's basically noise-resistant too. Finally, hybrids mattresses offer a cooling layer. If you're curious about how certain mattresses rate in the sex department, check out "Best Mattress For Sex 2019", "The 6 Best Beds for Sexually Active People – 2019 Reviews" and "Best Mattress For Sex: 39 Sex Therapists Share Their Tips". A great mattress is one of the most underrated tools for an awesome sex life.
4. A Bed That’s Too Big
I was just having a conversation with a wife who shares a king-sized bed with her husband. She was telling me that, whenever she tries to cuddle with him, it's like she has to reach all the way over to get to him; sometimes, she's too tired to do it. There are a ton of interior decorators and even some marriage therapists who will say that, if you want your bedroom to be a haven of intimacy, you need to have a queen-sized bed. Anything bigger than that and well, I just gave you an example of why that could end up being a really bad idea and intimacy enemy of yours.
5. Family Photos Near Your Bed
This point is something that you might have not given a lot of thought to before, but really—who wants to be in the doggy-style position, look over to their right and see their grandma and auntie staring at them from their nightstand?
Who wants to be in the middle of cunnilingus or fellatio and see their little brother or young child giggling on the dresser? Yes, everyone knows that people have sex. That doesn't mean your family is who you want to be thinking about while you're doing it, though.
Interior decorators have said for years that bedrooms should be used for sex and sleep only. Anything in your bedroom that doesn't foster those kinds of feelings and actions, they really should go someplace else.
6. Not Having a “Kink Drawer”
Massage oil. Vibrators. Handcuffs. Satin ties. Blindfolds. Edible body butter. Cockrings. Condoms. Whatever else and your partner's little hearts' desire. It's a lot easier to roll over and pull something out of a drawer that's next to you than to get up and have to walk someplace to get your sex toys 'n things. So, if you don't already have nightstands, having access to kink drawer or two is a great reason to get some.
7. Unsexy Sheets
When it comes to old-school jams, a lot of us would put "In Between the Sheets" by the Isley Brothers on the top of our sexy song list. Unfortunately, our bedding doesn't express how much we agree with its lyrics, though. While organic cotton sheets are typically the best idea overall, when you want to feel like the sexiest woman ever as you're rolling around all over your bed, opt for sheets that a 100 percent Egyptian/Prima cotton that comes with a 600-thread count. Oftentimes, they'll run you between $150-200, but they'll also keep you from getting too hot or two cold. Plus, they're super comfortable and really durable. If you happen to be on a tight budget, the next best thing are some cotton-polyester blends; they're cheaper and they don't wrinkle.
As far as colors go, a fun fact is whenever there's a linen sale, 90 percent of the sheets are white, ivory, light brown or beige. That's because a lot of people associate light neutrals with feeling fresh and luxurious (which is why most hotel sheets are white). But, as far as color psychology goes, shades of red will make you feel passionate; shades of pink will make you feel loving, and shades of purple will make you feel warm and elegant—especially if it's (pardon the pun) the color of eggplant.
8. Non-Aphrodisiac Scents
The best sex will appeal to all five of our senses—sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. I don't know about you, but there have been times when I've walked into a man's place and, if it smelled really good, I was already "down". Yeah, when it comes to setting the scene, scent is as important and relevant as anything else.
That said, sometimes, no matter how clean a house may be, it can still smell stale if windows aren't opened up every once in a while; so, make sure you do that. Also, if you want to set the mood, get an oil diffuser or buy some soy candles that come in aphrodisiac scents like—vanilla, jasmine, rose, cinnamon, sandalwood, patchouli, orange, pumpkin, lily of the valley and/or ginger. It'll get you and your partner in the mood every time.
9. No Mirrors
Mirrors are sexy—and functional. On the functional tip, if you place them on a wall that is directly across from a door, it can make your rooms look bigger. On the sensual side, while mirrors on the ceiling can seem a bit corny, a well-placed full-length mirror against a wall can be really hot if you're a visual person who likes to watch you and your partner without actually putting anything on video.
10. Bright Light Bulbs
Something else that interior decorators tend to frown upon is bright light bulbs and overhead lighting, in general; especially in the bedroom. In order to create a romantic atmosphere, go with dimmers or, at the very least, three-way light bulbs. Or, if you want to add a little color to your place, another option is to get some remote-controlled and color-changing LED RGB light bulbs. They're affordable and, a lot of them can change up to 12 different hues.
11. A Nasty Bathroom
I remember, back in my college days, there was a guy who I kicked it with for a couple of years. While he was still in school, he was an athlete, so he stayed in one of those quad dorms. Now that I've got some "love nephews" who are college athletes, some of them talk about bringing girls to their place. Whenever they tell me about it, one of the first things I say to them is, "Ugh. I remember those days. I hope you clean that nasty bathroom first."
When it comes to sexual activity, there's a pretty good chance that someone is going to need to use the bathroom and/or take a shower. That's why, aside from the bedroom, the next room that needs to be clean is the bathroom; especially when it comes to the sink and the toilet. And ladies, if you think that this is something that only guys should keep in mind, there is a scene (at around the 18:58 mark) from a great Black web series Mind of a Single Male where a woman leaves her make-up all over a guy's bathroom counter. And yes, it totally turns him off.
I once heard a comedian explain sex to her young daughter as being an amusement park and toxic waste dump all rolled into one. No one wants to think about that when they are in the mood. Oh, but they will if they happen to walk into a nasty ass bathroom.
I know. It's kind of ironic that something called a "loveseat" is a no-no for sex. But if you've got one, you know that while they are cute and save up space, they aren't the most comfortable or durable piece of furniture on the planet. That's why, if you like to have sex in your living room, den, office or man cave, you should invest in a couch instead. Make sure it's one that is—eh hem—deep and long, and that it doesn't have those thin little arms on the side. Oh, and avoid leather. It's just gonna make things slippery and/or sticky.
By the way, if you're tempted to overlook this tip, check out GQ's "Couch Sex Is the Best Sex" and Women's Health Mag's "The 18 Best Sex Positions For Doing It On The Couch". Then you'll get why I had to bring this whole couch thing up.
13. No Plants and/or Flowers
Who doesn't like Quincy Jones' throwback joint "The Secret Garden" featuring Barry White, James Ingram, Al B. Sure, El DeBarge? Now that is a sexy song right there. Speaking of sexy, there is an entire book in the Bible that has all sorts of sexual references in it as well; that book is the Song of Solomon and one of my absolute favorite lines in it is, "Behold, you are handsome, my beloved! Yes, pleasant! Also, our bed is green." (Song of Solomon 1:6—NKJV)
Green is a color that symbolizes life, energy, safety, nature, fertility, harmony and growth. So yeah, why wouldn't you want some plants and flowers, not just in your bedroom, but all over your home?
If you've got a green thumb, why not have a Hooker's Lips plant next to your bed (it really does bloom red lips, y'all)? Or, if you want to go the sexy flower route—passion flowers, roses, dahlias, orchids, roses and lavender top the sexy list. There really is something about walking into a "green space" that is very sensual and alluring. Plus, plants can calm you down and pull pollution out of the air which makes them a "win", all the way around.
14. Electronics in the Bedroom
Again, the bedroom is for sex and sleep, so no, your bedroom does not need to look like your personal office or even an entertainment center for that matter. In fact, if you've got a television in your bedroom, there's a study (of four million people) that says it will reduce the amount of sex that you have by around six percent. Another study that I checked out cited that the use of smartphones is the reason why 25 percent of women have lower libidos. So, if your sex isn't as turnt up as you'd like, there's a chance that it could be because you need to unplug more often.
15. An Empty Fridge
I can't count how many times I've given my all to a sex partner, felt famished and all they had in their fridge was a box of baking soda and some Gatorade. Listen, if you want to go a couple of rounds, it always works in your favor to have some food in your kitchen. Ones that work in you and your partner's libido's favor include watermelon, avocado, pesto, dark chocolate, potatoes, bananas, red meat, blueberries, spinach and red wine. Foods that are a no-no include canned soup, cheese, fried foods, microwave popcorn, shrimp, asparagus, deli meats, anything made out of white flour or soy and, if you're trying to make a baby, bottled water. So basically, opt for snacking on something fresh rather than ordering a pizza on Postmates and you should be good…to go. Just one more reason to go grocery shopping this week…right? #yourewelcome
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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. ;)
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
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Leos rule the heart in Astrology, and they are no strangers to love. They love big, they love bright, and they love with all they have within them. A Leo's love can be akin to a romantic comedy. They take on this type of dramatic flair in life in general, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Leo is all about the theatrics, and a relationship with them is full of fireworks. Leo protects, nurtures, and enlivens their relationships, and a Leo in love is a sight to see.
Who Is a Leo Most Compatible With?
When it comes to who Leo is most compatible with, it’s essential to know that Leo is looking for an equal, someone who can match their energy and their loyalty. Leo is a fixed fire sign and takes love very seriously. It might be the area of their life they take the most seriously. They will have their fun and dance the night away, but at the end of the day, a committed partnership is what this sign is looking for. If you can match Leo's drive and excitement for life with their ability to love fiercely, you might be the perfect person to rule alongside this royal.
How a Leo Pairs With Each Sign of the Zodiac
Leos are known for their strong sense of self and are one of the more self-confident signs. They do not like to have their egos bruised and can entertain bouts of jealousy in love if they are not getting the attention they feel they deserve. A Leo gives their all, and if you aren’t giving the same, they will take this personally. If you are willing to pour your entire heart into the relationship and receive this same type of devotion in return, then a Leo is a good match for you.
LEO + ARIES
Leo and Aries make a great match. This is a happy duo and one that can stand the test of time. Both Leo and Aries are on the same wavelength, and they feel this right away from each other. They similarly approach life, and they are the type to make the best out of anything. This type of energy is precious to them to have in their lives, and they create a passionate relationship together. However, these are two people who love hard but fight even harder, so the love will be strong, but if disagreements arise, it could overpower it. This relationship will only work if egos are kept in check and there is unconditional love.
LEO + TAURUS
Leo and Taurus are a unique pairing because you can’t see it at first. Taurus wants to enjoy life at home, and Leo wants to be outside. This is a relationship that grows with time and one where it either works or it doesn’t. From outsiders, this couple seems like an odd pairing, and it’s the type of relationship where they will often tell others, “It works for them.” Where this relationship thrives is in the fact that they are both fixed signs, and once they are in it, they are in it. They are loyal to the relationship and also put each other on a pedestal. However, at the end of the day, their stubbornness may get in the way of what the relationship could be. They will not easily give up on each other, but there also may not be enough to keep them together.
LEO + GEMINI
Leo and Gemini make good friends and lovers. They value each other's perspectives, and at the end of the day, they have each other’s backs. What makes this relationship work is that they are both so different and don’t step on each other's toes or interfere with each other's personalities, which is important to both of them. They let each other be themselves, and there is an underlying energy of unconditional love here. This is a couple that stands out at an event or party due to their cool aesthetic, PDA, and friendly banter between everyone in the building.
LEO + CANCER
Leo and Cancer are an underrated duo. Leo, ruled by the Sun, and Cancer, ruled by the Moon, have a deep respect for each other that is not talked about enough in Astrology. Although very different from each other, they each have their place, their purpose, and this feels good to them. However, this is a more moody relationship than most. Since these two are often on different wavelengths, wanting to do different things, there could be a lot of ups and downs here with emotional storms. Depending on the place these two are at in their lives, this could work if they are both willing to commit.
LEO + LEO
A Leo and Leo combo is more common than you may think. It makes sense, though, a sign that is known for loving themselves and having strong self-confidence, falling in love with someone who is just like them. Leo loves a good mirror, and it’s not hard to fall for someone who reminds them of themselves. This will be a very dramatic relationship, however, and this isn’t for the weak. They will have a lot of fun together but will also push each other’s buttons and may try to take each other's crowns. Power struggles are likely with this pairing, and the only way this will work is if they act on their heart rather than their egos in the relationship.
LEO + VIRGO
Leo and Virgo are like two peas in a pod. This relationship may be better off as a friendship in the long run, but overall, with these two right next to each other on the Zodiac Wheel, they both have a lot to learn from each other. Virgo finds Leo intriguing and even somewhat mysterious. Leo appreciates the way Virgo looks at them, and they have this same type of attraction and interest toward Virgo as well. Virgo is an attentive lover, and this is especially beneficial to Leo, who loves attention. These two often find a perfect place for each other in their lives, but as far as romance and chemistry, that is something that may not come right away here and will be unique to each pairing.
LEO + LIBRA
Leo and Libra are an iconic duo. The love they have for each other is undeniable, and this is a couple that has a lot of fun together. They share similar interests, they are both beautiful, and they both love a little drama in love. Fire and air signs are notorious for being compatible, and Libra is the best air sign match for Leo. This is a social couple who will love to spend time together and to be out on the town. This relationship could be borderline superficial, however, and as long as they are doing the work to build a strong foundation aside from aesthetics and vanity, then this is a pairing that can be an endgame for the both of them.
LEO + SCORPIO
A Leo and Scorpio relationship is not for the faint of heart. Leo and Scorpio are more similar than most fire and water signs, as they both share a passion and zest for life, but this relationship is more so like a volcano exploding than anything. Exciting, once-in-a-lifetime, and terrifying all in one. The strength of this relationship is their sex life, as this is one for the books. Their downfall, however, is that both of these two have an instinctual need for power, and oftentimes this will be at the other’s expense. Leo may be the one who ends up more hurt than anything, and it may be too late before Scorpio realizes the effect they have upon them.
LEO + SAGITTARIUS
Leo and Sagittarius are an adventurous, more progressive couple. This is the type of relationship that is high energy and high reward for both of them. Leo does well with other fire signs as they feel like their energy is reciprocated and not shunned, which is important to them. Leo needs to shine, and Sagittarius does too, and they are willing to share the spotlight here, which they are not willing to do with everyone else. With Sagittarius ruled by Jupiter, the planet of blessings, and Leo, the Sun, the star of vitality, this is a happy couple. They don’t ask too much of each other, and their presence is enough to build a passionate love.
LEO + CAPRICORN
Leo and Capricorn are a power couple that will either rule together or take each other down. This is a relationship where they are both striving for greatness and one where they will try to build a life together from the ground up. They both want the best of the best out of life and will see each other as someone to help them get there. Capricorn, being the devoted and loyal lover they are, is easily respected by Leo, who feels the same way about their relationships in life. However, where other signs don’t mind boosting the confidence of Leo and giving them that attention they crave, Capricorn is no brown-noser and will not feed the ego of Leo. Leo may find Capricorn too emotionally distant, and Capricorn may find Leo as just too much altogether.
LEO + AQUARIUS
Leo and Aquarius are opposite signs in Astrology, otherwise known as sister signs. They are very different from the outside, but once they unpack, they both realize there are many layers to both of them, a lot of them similar to one another. Leo and Aquarius both value authenticity in life, and in a relationship, they will take on this type of energy and will see their pairing as a unique one. Challenges arise, however, when it comes to determining who is going to take the lead. Leo is a leader, and Aquarius is anything but a follower. They can often feel like they are stepping on each other's toes, not knowing where they stand with each other. If they are willing to find balance with one another, this will be a dedicated, lifelong partnership.
LEO + PISCES
Leo and Pisces are an odd pairing and may just be Leos' least compatible match. The problem here is that Leo doesn’t understand Pisces. Pisces, on the other hand, can fall in love with just about anyone. Pisces is more willing to put aside differences to get to know their partner, whereas Leo is looking for that immediate spark they don’t typically get right away with Pisces. The positives to this pairing, though, are that they are both creative, fun, and warm souls who make life a little better. This is a dynamic duo, but at the end of the day, Leo may overpower Pisces, and this can lead to resentment and disparity.
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