Recently, while having a conversation with a 50-something-year-old friend of mine, she brought up something that somewhat inspired me to write this piece. As we were discussing subtle (and not-so-subtle) changes that we were noticing about our bodies, because she knows that I am pretty much a research addict, she asked me (almost in a blaming tone of voice), "So, how come you didn't tell me that as we get older, we lose our body hair? I haven't needed to shave my legs in a couple of months now and…" Right when "and" came out, she pointed down to her vaginal area and opened her mouth into a wide "o" position.
Yes, ladies, it is indeed true. As we go through menopause, keeping our bikini line clean becomes less and less of an issue or necessity. In fact, as we age and experience different things in life, our vaginas can go through all sorts of changes. Birth control and menopause tend to produce less lubrication. Pregnancy can cause vericose veins on our vulva. Rises and dips and weight (along with the loss of collagen over time) can result in the vulva (the outer part of our vagina) sagging. Constant shaving can alter the pigment and texture of our vulva too.
Believe you me, I'm not sharing all of this with you to totally stress you out. I'm sharing it because, all of these facts of life, are a blaring reminder that our vagina (and vulva) deserve just as much TLC as the rest of our body does. I also brought up this info because, as much as we may not want to think about it, vaginas age like the rest of us does. That's the "bad" news. The good news is there are all sorts of things that you can do, starting today, that will make your vagina both look and feel like a fountain of youth. Yes, literally.
1. Stay Hydrated
They say that 75 percent of Americans are not only dehydrated but chronically dehydrated. Considering that we're made up of about 60-65 percent water, it's easy to see why dehydration causes all sorts of health issues. Not only does not having enough water make you thirsty, it can cause toxins to build up in your system, affect your mood, mess with your attention span and can even cause your brain to become depleted of the fluid that it needs. Another problem with dehydration is it can cause your blood to become more concentrated which can do a real number on your kidneys.
As far as your vagina is concerned, the more water you have, the healthier your discharge will be, the more lubrication your body will be able to produce and, the more moisturized and yes, youthful-looking your vulva will appear.
So, what are you waiting for? Drink up!
2. Swap Out Your Office Chair for a Fitness Ball
Something that could be making your vagina "lazy" is that office chair of yours. Before getting into why I say that, although not all scientists agree with the saying "sitting is the new smoking", what they and medical professionals can get on one page about is constant sitting without taking breaks isn't good for your health. For this reason alone, it's a good idea to get up every 30 minutes or so to stand at your desk or walk around the office for a couple of minutes, just to get your legs moving and your heart rate up a bit.
Another smart thing to do is ask your boss if they are cool with you bringing a fitness ball to sit on. Even if you don't sit on it all day long, a good 30 minutes or so will help to strengthen your core, improve your posture and also give your vagina a bit of a workout, without you even noticing.
3. Cycle Differently
It might sound weird, but if you like to ride your bicycle a lot or you take a regular spin class, while it's doing wonders for your heart, it is actually working against your vagina; at least it is if your bike's seat doesn't have enough cushion on it.
A hard seat not only causes extra friction and can cut off your blood's circulation down there, it can stretch your labia majora and labia minora (your vulva's inner and outer lips) over time too.
So yeah, it's important to look for a seat that has as much cushion as possible, and to position your handlebars up higher than your bike's seat. That will result in less pressure being placed on your body's lower region.
4. Try Some Salvia Sclarea and Ghee Butter
What the heck is Salvia sclarea? It's basically another word for clary sage. If you get clary sage in the form of an essential oil, it contains antibacterial properties that can help to fight off vaginal infections. It's also the type of oil that balances hormones, increases blood circulation (which means intensified orgasms), decreases menstrual cramp pain, reduces hot flashes and improves the appearance of your vulva skin overall. If you add a few drops of it to some ghee butter, the fatty acids in the ghee will deeply penetrate your skin, making this the ultimate anti-aging combo. Even for your va-jay-jay.
5. Or Apply a Little Vulva Lipstick
I know, right? Who woulda ever thought that there was such a thing as vulva lipstick, but indeed there is! Although I never really thought about it until I read what the manufacturers said, it is true that sometimes my vulva lips look and feel a bit dryer than other times. And dry skin? It always looks older than it should.
If you can relate and you want to try something that's a little outside of the box, a company named VMagic makes a literal vulva lipstick that is 100 percent organic. It comes in a lipstick tube and everything. It definitely serves as my "something new" for the day. How about you?
6. Do More Than Kegels
You've probably read at least a dozen articles before that talk about how kegels can help to strengthen your pelvic floor which can also weaken as we age. A strong "floor" can prevent incontinence and also keep orgasms going strong. But it's not only kegels that will keep your vagina in good shape. Investing in a pair of Ben Wa balls (or a Yoni egg or vaginal cone) and/or doing squats and vertical scissors (also known as scissor lifts) are also ways to give your vaginal area the total workout that it needs.
7. Dye “Her” Hair
As far as my vagina (the "inner tube" that leads to my uterus) and vulva (the outer part of my vagina) go, I think what I've had to adjust to the most are the grey hairs that are popping up more and more, with every passing year. I keep things trimmed pretty low down there, so dyeing it hasn't been something that I've felt the need to do. But if you've also got some greys and you (and/or your man) like your hair to be on the fuller side, coloring it is an option. While I wouldn't recommend you going the traditional box brand route, there is a dye called Black (or Brown) Betty that is specifically designed to color your pubic hair. It's got pretty good customer reviews too so, hey, it's worth a shot.
8. Do the "Cowgirl Position" (Be on Top) More
They say that if you want your breasts to naturally remain firmer for longer, you should sleep on your stomach as little as possible. The reason why is doing that can stretch your breast tissue and that can lead to mild drooping over time. I thought about that when I also discovered that while the missionary position is great on so many levels, it's not always the kindest to your lower lady parts. Constantly being on your back during sex can result in your vaginal walls getting stretched out.
You can counteract that by riding cowgirl more often. It will give you more hip control and, it's actually the kind of sex position that will make it easier to do your kegels while you're having intercourse; something that both of you will benefit from, no doubt!
9. Get Your Nutrients In
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on here about some of the foods that will make your vagina especially happy. But even if you don't prefer the ones on the list, it is important to get in lots of Vitamin C (it's loaded with antioxidants); Vitamin E (it's great for your libido); some fresh rosemary (it fights bacteria and infections); probiotics (it keeps your digestive tract and vaginal health on track) and ginger (it contains potent anti-inflammatory properties).
There's no way around the fact that a healthy diet is another key to keeping your vagina looking, smelling and even tasting good. Don't skimp on this.
10. Climax. Often.
All you have to do is click on the "love" and then "sex" portion of our site to know that there is no way that I could pen a piece on how to keep your vagina young without mentioning that orgasms will always work in your favor. Whether you get them via penetration or clitoral stimulation, every time that you climax, blood rushes to your vagina which gives its tissue the nutrients that it needs. Plus, orgasms are one of the most effective (and enjoyable) ways to develop the muscles in your vaginal area too.
So, if you want your vagina to be a fountain of youth—by the way, I say "fountain" because your lubrication is proven to be the ultimate probiotic for your partner—for years to come, have sex and a lot of it! "She"—and all of the rest of you for that matter—will be oh so grateful that you did.
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Feature image by Getty Images
Originally published August 14, 2019
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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. ;)
How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.
The couple met years ago at their alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, when they were still working to create the life they have now, and if you had told them then that they’d eventually tie the knot, the pair probably would’ve laughed in your face.
Today, they’re new parents, flourishing in their careers, and each others’ “teammates.” When desiring love, Dalen recommends not looking to other couples for advice. And Stacey advises staying true to what you want. “Don’t put age or limitations on love and children. If God could do it for me, why can’t he do it for you?”
Here's How We Met.
How did you meet?
Dalen: We met in 2005 when she was advising the Greek sororities and fraternities in college. She was old as hell in college, and I was a young buck (laughs). Everybody had a crush on her, but I didn’t think much of it. Then, in 2007, we were in the same grad school class, but she still wasn’t trying to see me then either. I had to catch her five years ago; I was very patient.
Stacey: Yeah, everybody in our grad school class called him Young, Fresh to Death because he was always dressed in B-school (what CAU affectionately refers to as business major classes), and we’d just wear sweatpants (laughs).
So, I know Dalen was always attracted to you. But what about you? Did your attraction to him develop over time?
Stacey: So 2006-2008 – all the years went by. I don’t think we were really thinking about each other at all back then. Years later, I had an event in Dallas, and I booked him to be a speaker. Then, a few years ago, Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: "If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you." But I still thought he was too young at the time, and he started pulling receipts. Taraji P. Henson was dating someone young at the time, Gabrielle Union–
Dalen: First of all, I didn’t do that. You did that.
Stacey: Okay, I did. I thought he was a cutie pie, but that age thing was on my mind!
"Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: 'If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you.'"
Talk to me about the first date. How did he change your mind?
Stacey: Our first date was at Tin Lizzy's in Atlanta. During that time, he was living in Dallas, so it was long-distance. But he came into town, and we just had a good time. We talked a lot, which we still do. It wasn’t anything fantastic.
Dalen: Don’t downplay our first date.
Then, walk me through your courtship. How did you get to the next level? What was that conversation like?
Stacey: I think he knew at age 43 or 44 I wasn’t playing around. But also, I think it just naturally progressed.
Dalen: Yeah, it just happened naturally. And I’m going to be honest, I don’t think initially either one of us thought it would be as serious as it was. She thought I was too young and I wasn’t ready for marriage, kids, and all that. I think we both thought we were just hanging out. But after spending so much time together, a lot of stuff started happening. Like, she had to have surgery early on. It wasn’t just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That’s why we still don’t have an anniversary date because we never really asked.
"It wasn't just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That's why we still don't have an anniversary date because we never really asked."
What made you want to commit to each other?
Dalen: The moment I knew Stacey was for me was from a phone call. I don’t really like talking on the phone, and I can be really blunt sometimes. But we were talking, and I said, ‘I don’t really feel like talking anymore.’ And she was just like, okay, and hung up. I wasn’t trying to be rude, and she understood that. It sounds bad, but that’s how I knew she just got me. I felt like she could get my random awkward moments, and she does to this day.
Stacey: For me, I liked him as a person. Even when times get rough and tough, I could still like him as a human. He is my best friend. We have time. We laugh until we cry, and it’s just always like that. Even when we get pissed at each other, something happens, and we fix it. Also, how he treats his mother. That’s a momma’s boy, but I’m a daddy’s girl – so I get it. I know how I want to be treated, and I see how he is with her and that’s beautiful.
What are some important lessons you’ve learned about yourself through loving your partner in this relationship?
Dalen: I grew up an only child and she grew up with siblings. So, when you have someone who is used to doing things by themselves, there is definitely a learning curve when you get into a serious relationship. It’s funny now, but it was definitely a process.
Stacey: I agree – definitely the only child thing. There’s times I look at him like, did you ever live with anyone else? That comes from being momma's baby, too. I have to say, my “mother-in-love” spoiled him. But also with Axel (their daughter), that brings another level of patience.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
What was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome together?
Dalen: We’ve gone through a lot within the years we’ve been together. We suffered two miscarriages – I’d say that’s the biggest.
Stacey: Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me. I was wondering if I can’t carry [a child] what that looks like for us. We had very real conversations pretty early in our relationship.
"Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me."
What do you fight the most about?
Dalen: Nagging. Stacey nags; she’s a complainer. She’s that momma that will look in a room and just hunt for something to complain about. Like, I’m worried for Axel when she's in high school.
Stacey: It’s because I like things to be in place. He leaves stuff all over the place. I can tell where he’s been in the house because something is left around. So he says I’m nagging – but it’s like, just get your stuff.
What are your love languages?
Dalen: Stacey is gifts all day.
Dalen: We’ve talked about this. xoNecole is about to cause problems in our home (laughs).
Stacey: Obviously I love you. *thinks again* It’s words of affirmation.
Dalen: That’s it.
What’s your favorite thing about each other?
Dalen: I’ve always respected her business-mindedness. That may sound superficial, but it’s not because I’ve never been with someone who thinks like me. It’s one of my most treasured things about her. I remember one day, I was just running through ideas with her, and each time Stacey had a suggestion on how I could make it better. It’s just very comforting. She takes whatever I’m doing and elevates it – including me.
Stacey: I love Dalen’s hustle and creativity. He’s been on multiple shows, and he continues to create, produce, and reinvent himself and the product he’s putting out. I love that we can create together and bounce things off each other. Even though we may be in different arenas, there’s nothing he can’t offer me great advice about. I love that drive.
Finally, how did you know it was love?
Dalen: Well – she said it – first. (laughs)
Stacey: And he looked at me and smiled! He didn’t say it back. We were on a trip, out of the country.
Dalen: We were arguing when she said it, and she just threw it out.
Stacey: But we continue to do that. We’ve spent holidays and everything outside of the country.
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Feature image courtesy
Porsha Williams And Simon Guobadia’s Marriage Has Ended: Here’s A Look Into Their Relationship Timeline
Porsha Williams and Simon Guobadia have called it quits.
After a 15-month-long marriage commenced with two elaborate wedding ceremonies, PEOPLEexclusively reports that the former Real Housewives of Atlanta star has filed for divorce from the Nigerian businessman on Thursday.
With online rumors around Guobadia's citizenship status coinciding with the announcement of their separation, a source informed PEOPLE that the divorce is "unrelated to recent allegations involving Simon's past" and is an “ongoing matter.”
In November 2022, the ex-lovebirds tied the knot in Atlanta during a show-stopping, 350-guest Nigerian traditional native law, with a traditional American wedding to follow.
Ahead of their wedding, Williams told PEOPLEexclusively, “I am ridiculously excited. I am just so ready. I'm not even nervous. I know I'm marrying the love of my life, and it's going to solidify our relationship and our family bond. I'm calm and excited."
Although their relationship has come to a sudden conclusion, their whirlwind romance was one to watch; or in this case, look back on. Here’s a breakdown of the moments that made Williams and Guobadia’s relationship one to remember.
2020 - Porsha and Simon's First Encounter
Porsha Williams and Simon Guobadia first crossed paths in 2020 on the set of Season 13 of Real Housewives of Atlanta. Guobadia was then married to friend of the show, Falynn Pina.
May 2021 - Their Surprise Engagement
In May 2021, Porsha Williams surprised fans by announcing her engagement to Simon Guobadia shortly after he reportedly declared his divorce from Falynn Pina. Williams shared on Instagram that their relationship started a month earlier, and Guobadia had initiated divorce proceedings in January 2021, which had been resolved.
Williams took to Instagram to dispel rumors around the overlap in Guobadia’s prior relationship.
“Our relationship began a month ago—yes we are crazy in love,” she wrote in the caption. “I know it’s fast but we are living life each day to its fullest. I choose happiness every morning and every night. Tuning out all negative energy and only focused on positive wishes.”
November 2021 - Porsha Clears Up Rumors Around Their Relationship Timeline
On an episode of Watch What Happens Live, Andy Cohen looked to “nail down some dates” in connection to alleged overlaps with Porsha, Simon, and his ex-wife. She shared that she reached out to Guobadia to express her sympathy for his divorce, having experienced the weight of divorce herself.
“I actually told him, ‘I’m sorry for your divorce,’ and all of that because I know what that feels like,” Williams shared. “I know what it feels like to go through betrayal and hurt.”
She continued, "A little birdie had told me that [Falynn] was pregnant, so I knew what he was about to go through." Porsha noted that his ex-wife’s pregnancy announcement prompted her to offer support to Simon, which opened a door for their connection to deepen and eventually fall in love.
November 2022 - Williams and Guobadia Tie the Knot
The couple spared no expense for their not one, but two wedding ceremonies. On Nov. 26 and Nov. 27, the two celebrated their love in front of 350 wedding guests at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The first ceremony celebrated Guobadia's Edo culture, while the following day featured a star-studded American wedding. Williams told PEOPLE that the double-wedding was a "true fashion extravaganza," as a nod to her numerous outfit changes.
November 2023 - A Diamond-Studded Declaration
To celebrate their one-year anniversary, the couple exchanged extravagant dazzling diamond rings — a stunning emerald cut for her and a stylish band for him.
February 2024 - The Two File for Divorce
Williams filed for divorce from Guobadia on Thursday, Feb. 22 2024, after nearly a half of marriage. While the cause of their divorce is still unknown, sources close to Williams confirmed that the divorce is an “ongoing matter.”
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Featured image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images