If you’ve read enough content with my byline on here, you already know that I am definitely all about people having healthy, thriving, and consistent sex lives. One example of this is an article that I wrote a couple of years back entitled “10 Irrefutable Reasons To Have An Orgasm A Day.” When you get a chance, check it out because it serves as a pretty solid reminder that, although sex feels absolutely amazing, there are some practical benefits that should convince you to partake as much as possible too.
Today, though, we’re gonna dive into what happens specifically to your body while you’re in the process of climbing walls and hanging off of chandeliers. Because although you may get in theory that quite a few things are transpiring during coitus, you might be surprised at just how involved different parts of your body are in the act — not just how but also why.
1. Your Breasts Get BiggerGiphy
Although you probably don’t usually give it much thought, the next time you’re getting in or out of the shower, look at your breasts. Do you notice that they contain a significant amount of veins? Well, when you become sexually aroused, those veins fill up with blood, and that can cause your breasts to increase in size by as much as 25 percent. Not only that, but some medical professionals say that your areolas (the darker-colored skin that surrounds your nipples) also produce pheromones; these substances can help to improve one’s mood and heighten one’s attraction to their partner.
2. Your Vagina Gets Larger and Darker
Although the exact length can vary a bit when it comes to the size of your vagina, it tends to be somewhere around 3” when you’re not aroused and between 4”-5” when you are. This makes a lot of sense considering the fact that the average size of a penis when it’s erect is 5.5”. However, it should go on record that no amount of sex or no size of a penis can permanently “stretch you out.” So, if there’s some man in your world who believes that, send him this article ASAP.
Another thing that happens to your vagina (the inner tube that goes from your outer opening to your cervix) is it gets darker due to all of the vessels in it that also fill up with blood. As far as your vulva (the outer part of your vagina) goes, while it might look a little flushed after climaxing, for the most part, it remains the same in appearance.
3. Your Clitoris “Leaves” YouGiphy
You know the saying, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it? Believe it or not, this actually can apply when it comes to your clitoris (check out “10 Things I Bet You Didn't Know About Your Clitoris”). That’s because if you go long periods without sexual activity, that can cause your clitoral skin to become thin and dry and even shrink (crazy, right?). This can also happen during menopause as your hormone levels go through a significant shift.
And while it does usually get larger during foreplay, another time when your clitoris will probably get smaller is when you’re on the brink of climaxing. For whatever the reason, when you’re about to orgasm, it prefers to disappear inside of your clitoral hood (check out “7 Reasons You Should TOTALLY Be In Love With Your Clitoral Hood”) and snuggle up next to your pubic bone. This actually may be why your partner becomes a bit more aggressive (in a good way) during cunnilingus. He might not say it, but he very well could be looking for your clit — which would make total sense.
4. Your Cervix Tilts
One kind of orgasm that some women are able to have during penetrative sex is a cervical orgasm. Although your cervix (the tube/canal that connects your uterus to your vagina) can’t exactly be penetrated, it can be stimulated. It should go on record that while one woman may find cervical stimulation pleasurable, others actually find it to be close to painful. So, if you happen to fall into category B, aim for another kind of climax; there are plenty of others to choose from (check out “U-Spot Orgasm, Fantasy Orgasm & 6 Other Orgasms You Should Try Tonight”).
That said, when you’re aroused, it’s pretty common for your cervix to pull back closer to your uterus in order to accommodate a penis (or sex toy). It’s also normal for it to tilt — in other words, to rock back and forth. If you’re wondering if you’ll notice…eh, probably not.
5. Your Body Temperature IncreasesGiphy
This one is probably the least surprising of all when you stop to think about the fact that sex is a form of exercise and cardio tends to cause your temperature to go up. In fact, this is probably why so many say that wearing socks during sex can improve your chances of experiencing the Big O.
Some studies claim having socks on can increase your chances of climaxing by as much as 30 percent. Why? Well, one reason is due to the fact that wearing socks increases one’s blood flow and body temperature. Not only that, but it can help you to feel cozier when it comes to being intimate with your partner.
Personally, I hate wearing socks to bed (for any reason), and I hate feeling hot even more. But if you’re just the opposite, here’s a hack that could make sex even better for you. Report back if it does.
6. Your Brain “Lights Up”
When it comes to this one, I am absolutely not exaggerating. When you’re having sex (and especially when you’re on the brink of having an orgasm), there are different parts of your brain that light up, just like a Christmas tree — the genital sensory cortex, hypothalamus, thalamus, motor areas, and the substantia nigra. All of these parts work together to send information to different body parts, trigger the production of various hormones (that work to make sex more pleasurable) and help you to focus on what’s happening in the moment.
7. Your Brain Also “Turns Off”Giphy
LAWD. If you don’t get anything else from this lil’ read, please take this point in. While on the one hand, there are parts of your brain that become more active, there is another part that actually decreases during sex. It’s called your lateral orbitofrontal cortex, and it’s responsible for things like your reasoning capabilities, your judgment calls, and your decision-making process(es).
This is DEFINITELY reason one billion why you shouldn’t rely on sex to help you decide if someone is a good fit for you or not. Hmph, let your lateral orbitofrontal cortex tell it, it doesn’t have a clue (check out “What If The Sex Is Great? But The Relationship Sucks.”).
8. Your Pain Threshold Increases
If you really stop and think about how it can sometimes take a bit of maneuvering and finessing to get a tampon or a menstrual cup into your body, doesn’t it make sense that your threshold for pain would increase during sex? I mean, a penis is a lot larger than either of those, and between the penetration and all of the thrusting — yeah, like I said, it makes all of the sense in the world.
So, exactly how much does your threshold tolerance go up? I once read a science-based study that said the threshold skyrockets to almost 40 percent more while pain detection is somewhere around 53 percent. (This might explain why BDSM engagers experience pleasure when you really stop to think about it, huh?)
9. Your Immunity StrengthensGiphy
Well, here's a solid reason to ramp up your sexual activity. Did you know that people who have sex more than three times a month have a significantly stronger immunity than those who engage less than that? That's because something else that sex does is increase your body's ability to fight off pathogens. In case you're wondering, pathogens are organisms that literally cause disease.
Speaking of immunity, something else that can help you out is giving fellatio. Hey, roll your eyes if you want to, but there's plenty of data out there on that, too (check out "Do You Swallow? The Unexpected Health Benefits Of Sperm").
10. Your Skin Looks Younger
To be honest with you, during copulation, there really isn’t one part of your body where blood flow doesn't increase. When it comes to your skin, specifically, the more blood it gets means the more oxygen that it receives. This is a real win because oxygen helps to increase the production of collagen in the body — and collagen is something that we all need to keep our skin clear, supple, and younger-looking. That’s why it’s actually not just a saying that sex can get rid of blemishes and give you great-looking skin. There is science to totally back those claims up — as you just read.
11. Your Desire to Bond with Your Partner Significantly GrowsGiphy
Until the cows come home, I’m gonna stay on-repeat about the fact that oxytocin is one hell of a drug (well, hormone) when it comes to sex. And since the late philosopher Thomas Hobbes once described hell as truth being seen too late, this is something else to keep in mind when it comes to using solid discernment as it relates to sex.
I say that because a huge part of the reason why oxytocin has earned the nickname “the love hormone” is it has the amazing ability to make people feel very close to their partner during things like kissing and cuddling — and especially during sex.
This can be a good thing when a secure relationship is already established. It can also put you on quite the emotional roller coaster ride if you’re not sure where things stand, yet oxytocin is somewhere in your body yelling, “Don’t worry about it! If it feels right, it must be right.”
Yeah, don’t fall for that. It’s another article for another time, yet there is something to be said for things like logic, common sense, emotional intelligence, and paying attention to patterns — no matter how good a man can make you feel in the bedroom. In other words, please make sure that once oxytocin boosts have calmed down that you notice what’s happening outside of the bedroom too. And then act accordingly.
12. Your Vagina “Bounces Back”
Even if your vagina appears a bit larger right after sex, that’s nothing to be concerned about. After all of that back-blowing (wink), the friction can lead to a bit of swelling initially. However, what you can be absolutely sure of is things will return to their normal/regular size after a few moments. Listen, we’re capable of pushing out baby heads. Ain’t no penis in the world gonna cause you to lose your elasticity. Always remember that.
Let Your Partner Know: Your Vagina ContractsGiphy
Whenever women brag to me about how good they are at faking orgasms (check out “Why You Should Stop Faking Orgasms ASAP” and “So, 10 Women Sat Down And Told Me Why They Fake Orgasms...More Times Than Not”), I’ll usually say something along the lines of, “Then your partner isn’t paying close attention to what’s going on” because, unless you’re pulling off hella kegels as you’re acting like you’re seeing the mountaintop, he should notice that your vaginal walls aren’t contracting.
Yep — it doesn’t matter how much screaming and hollering you might be doing, something that transpires for a woman during an orgasm is the muscles in her pelvic region start to involuntarily contract (this happens to your anal muscles during anal sex as well).
So when it comes to concluding this article and debunking the myth that faking it is hard to detect — unless some wall-shaking is going on, the jig is up.
The good news on that is now you both need to figure out how to make your body do all of this stuff — without you having to try and act like it’s happening. Feel me?
Something tells me that you absolutely do.
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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. ;)
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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