The fact that food provides the fuel that our body needs in order to even have sex, that honestly should be enough of a reason to care about the kinds of food that we put into our bodies…right? But when you add to that the fact that foods also play a significant role in balancing our hormones, keeping our moods in check and boosting our libido, you can probably see why I thought it would be a good idea to share what you can eat to make your sex life better. But that's not all. If you're actually feeling more lethargic than usual, you're not in the mood to get some or your sex drive seems lower than it's been in the past, it could be because you're eating some things that work against your sex drive rather than for it.
While this list doesn't cover every food on the planet that is either "for" or "against" you having a happy and consistent sex life, if you pay attention to the following 12 foods—including why some are good for you and some aren't—it can make your next run to the grocery store the kind that can help to either make your sex life even better or to get it back on track.
6 Foods That Improve Your Sex Life
Salmon is a fish that is high in vitamins A, B, D, potassium, selenium, calcium and antioxidants—all of which are needed in order to stay healthy and strong. But what really makes it a top food for maintaining your libido is it's a fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids; they work to remove plaque build-up in your arteries which can increase the blood flow through your system, making it easier for blood to rush to your genitalia and intensify your orgasms as a direct result.
2. Citrus Fruits
If you like to snack on slices of an orange or a grapefruit that's been cut in half, that's awesome because, whenever you eat citrus fruit, it's like consuming a multi-vitamin per serving. Nutrient-wise, citrus fruits have phosphorus, magnesium, copper, potassium, folate, fiber, antioxidants and several B-vitamins in them.
However, the reason why citrus fruits make this list, specifically, is because they (especially oranges) also contain the phytonutrient hesperidin which increases blood flow through your system. Also, thanks to the fructose (fruit sugar) that citrus fruit has, it can provide a boost of energy, not to mention the fact that the Vitamin C that's in it has the ability to help to improve the sperm quality in your partner.
3. Whole Grains
I could do an entire article on how and why whole grains should be a part of our daily diet. Specifically, as it relates to sex, whole grains can help to raise testosterone levels in a man who may have a low amount of it. Whole grains can also help to promote healthy digestion which can remove toxins and keep your hormone levels balanced. Plus, if you opt for foods that are 100 percent whole grains (like bread that says it's made out of that on the package), you'll be getting a good amount of zinc; having zinc in your system is one of the best things you could have when it comes to maintaining a good and healthy libido.
4. Black-Eyed Peas
Fiber. Folate. Copper. Magnesium. Zinc. Iron. These are just some of the nutrients that black-eyed peas have in them. Well you look at them from a health perspective, it's no wonder why so many folks eat them as a symbol of good luck at the turn of every new year! Actually, it's the folate that's in them that make black-eyed peas one of the best foods that you could add to your diet, if you're looking to take your libido up a few notches. For one thing, folate can help to reduce any depression-related symptoms (if feeling low is keeping you out of the mood). Another benefit is, since folate is also able to regulate the production of histamine in your system—and histamine is a chemical that is naturally released during orgasms—you can probably see how a serving of black-eyed peas could very well help to take your climaxes to the next level!
Believe it or not, the scent of basil alone is enough to get your juices down there flowing. Aside from its fragrance being able to arouse you, basil also has antioxidants, contains anti-inflammatory properties, is able to strengthen your immune system, reduce stress levels and also help to keep your blood vessels in tip-top shape too.
As if that's not enough to keep you and your partner in great sexual shape, basil can also increase blood circulation, boost fertility levels and help your sex drive to last longer as well.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are actually considered to be a perfect food. They are high in vitamins A, C and E, magnesium, choline (which reduces body inflammation) and antimicrobial properties. Thanks to the high amount of Vitamin E that's in them, they can help to keep you in the mood while the magnesium that's in them can help to keep your stress levels at bay. Vitamin A is great at keeping your fertility health in check. Not only that, but all potatoes have potassium in them; potassium also elevates your moods and keeps your blood flowing throughout your system. The better your blood circulation is, the more intense and satisfying your orgasms will be.
6 Foods That Can Wreck Your Sex Life
1. Processed Foods
What is exactly wrong with processed foods? Let me count the ways. More times than not, they are loaded with sugar, filled with preservatives, stripped of fiber, plus they raise your sodium levels, wreck your sleep patterns, can put your moods on a real roller coaster ride and are full of empty calories and very little nutrients—none of these things sound like a boost for your libido, do they? One example of how many processed foods are the enemy of your sex drive is when whole wheat flour is turned into white, it removes 75 percent of the zinc that's in it. Zinc helps to increase arousal in both men and women and can maintain an erection in men. So, if you want to have a strong and consistent sex life, try and avoid eating a ton of food that requires you going through a drive-thru to get it or you need five minutes to try and pronounce the ingredients on the back of its label.
Soy isn't good for us. That's a full on, full stop sentence. You can click here to read a study on how soy can totally tank your partner's libido (thanks-but-no-thanks to the phytoestrogens that soy contains).
Soy also has isoflavones which also mimics estrogen in your system. Too much estrogen not only increases your breast cancer risk, it can lead to bloating, nausea, thyroid dysfunction, extreme fatigue and a sluggish sex drive. And since edamame is quite high in isoflavones, you can see why I placed it on the no-no side of this food list.
3. “Edible Skin” Produce
Strawberries. Blueberries. Cherries. Tomatoes. Zucchini. Peaches. Apples. All of these are kinds of produce that have the type of skin that you can eat. Especially when it comes to the fiber than they all contain, eating the skin can actually be good for you. The reason why they are on the bad list, though, is they oftentimes contain some pretty off-the-charts levels of estrogen-mimicking pesticides in order to keep them on the produce aisles for longer. As I've already shared, too much estrogen isn't good for you or your partner, as far as your sex drive goes. Does this mean avoid these edible skin foods altogether? Of course not. But it's wiser to look for organic produce. Better yet, pick some up from a farmer's market or grow some of these "edible skin" foods in your own backyard. That will ensure that you're getting less of those nasty pesticides into your system.
Coffee—and by coffee, I'm more specifically speaking of caffeine—is a bit of a wild card; not just when it comes to overall health benefits but what it can (and can't) do to your sex drive as well. While, on one hand, coffee can help to protect your heart, actually lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes (so long as you're not adding a ton of sugar or creamer), it can also increase the flow of blood to your genitalia while also reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction in your partner. All of that is good stuff. The challenge is, if you take in too much caffeine, it can also cause your estrogen levels to spike (which, as you already know, can actually cause your sex drive to tank). Also, if you drink some of it within 1-2 hours of having sex, coffee can make you too anxious and jittery to fully enjoy it. Basically, when it comes to java, extreme moderation (no more than 1-2 cups a day) is key. Oh, and if you do want to consume coffee in a way that will help and not hurt your libido, I happened up on a "sex coffee" recipe that contains a few extra ingredients (like cinnamon and cocoa) that can do wonders for your libido. Again, if it's consumed in moderation.
5. Cruciferous Vegetables
It might seem odd that veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts are on a list of foods that aren't exactly great for your sex life; still, hear me out for a sec and it'll make perfect sense.
While cruciferous vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals, consuming too many of them in one sitting can not only make you bloated and gassy (which can be a total turn-off to your partner, for obvious reasons), they can also cause semen, vaginal fluids and even sweat to lean towards the unpleasant-tasting side.
So, if broccoli or cabbage is your absolute fave, try and eat it on the days when you're not planning on having sex. Your body—and your partner's sense of smell—will be glad that you did.
Sugar might taste great (clearly, being that sugar addiction is actually considered to be an epidemic in this country) but there are a billion reasons why too much of it really isn't good for us. Since we're focusing on sex drives, I'll just stick to that (for now). If a man consistently gets more than nine teaspoons a day and we take in more than six teaspoons a day, a consequence of that can be that could be testosterone and estrogen levels being all over the place, not to mention weight gain and a loss of muscle mass. One way to test if sugar is indeed infecting your sex life is to eat considerably less of it over the next seven days. If you notice that you've got more energy and a stronger desire to get it in—well, there you have it. More salads and less shakes might be all that you need to have a more fulfilling sex life. Enjoy, sis!
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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.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masturdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masturdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masturdating All About?
Masturdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masturdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masturdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masturdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masturdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masturdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masturdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masturdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masturdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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