Fairly recently, I saw a tweet that cracked me up. Not because of the tweet itself but the comments (Black Twitter’s comment section is king!). I’ll let you peep the tweet for yourself and then guess what men said underneath it before actually looking to confirm your suspicions:
i love an \u201ci got it\u201d ass man. you know what else you finna get?— MS. LEO (@MS. LEO) 1638576156
Take it how you want but I’ll be the first to stand in solidarity with my brothers that women who expect all of the finer things in life (I’m speaking to the ones that come with a price tag), only to turn around and only offer up sex on Christmas, Valentine’s Day, their anniversary and their man’s birthday are slightly scamming. Anyone who wants to give pushback, how would you feel if your man did that to you? That’s why I said that while I do think that sex is quite precious (extremely so), if you’re going to take the “Merry Christmas” approach to it without giving much else this year, there needs to be a lot of pre-planning and effort put into it in order to make things extra special.
So, whether money is a little on the tighter side right now or you want to present some holiday sex in a very special way, here are 15 things that will definitely keep your man from being like those dudes in the comment section were (if you catch my drift).
1. Stuff Some Stockings
Stockings are a signature symbol for Christmas and since a “sexy Christmas” is the theme of this particular article, why don’t you and yours purchase a couple of ‘em and then fill them up with things like flavored condoms, DIY sex coupons, handcuffs, body paint, blindfolds, sex dice, massage candles, edible undies, a new sex toy, flavored lubricant and whatever else y’all’s sweet little hearts’ desire? If you like to move discreetly, virtually all of this stuff can be found online if you just put the name of what you’re looking for into the search field of your favorite search engine.
2. Play a Few Rounds of ’12 Sex Games of Christmas’
A cool way to spend some quality time with your partner is to play a couple of games. In the spirit of getting all hot ‘n bothered, one that you might want to purchase is called 12 Games of Christmas. With game titles like Please Go Down for Christmas and Rudolph the Romantic Sex Slave, how can it not, at the very least, pique your curiosity in the naughtiest way possible? You can get it here.
3. Cop Some Peppermint-Flavored Lubricant
Remember how I mentioned lubricant in the stocking suggestion? If there is a signature scent (and flavor) for Christmas, peppermint would definitely have to be one of them, so why not get a tube of some peppermint-flavored lube? A fan favorite is Aloe Cadabra Natural Organic Personal Lube Edible Vegan Peppermint Tingle because it’s water-based (which makes it safe to use with latex condoms), it doesn’t mess with our pH and it tastes great although it’s sugar-free. If you’re interested, you can get it here.
Oh, and if you really want to take things to another level in the oral sex department, put a little lube where you want it and then put some oral sex pop candies into your mouth (you can find some here). Remember Pop Rocks from back in the day? Same thing. Different purpose. #wink
4. Bring in Some Mistletoe
What would a sexy Christmas be without at least one mistletoe, right? As far as where to get some, local home improvement stores, some arts and crafts stores and usually Walmart and Target carry them. Since we all know that the tradition is to kiss underneath it (and also since no one said that the kissing had to only be done on the mouth), how about putting your mistletoe in a place where you want a lot of the action to go down? Over your bed. On your showerhead (check out “So, This Is How To Make Shower Sex So Much Better”). In your kitchen. On top of your washing machine (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!). On your bra. In your underwear. The possibilities are endless.
Just know that if your partner sees a mistletoe somewhere, there will absolutely be no confusion about what you want to transpire.
5. Get a Mini Christmas Tree and Hang Some Dirty Date Night Tokens from It
Whether you get a big tree every year or this year, you want to scale things down a bit, make things festive in your bedroom by investing in a miniature Christmas tree that you can put on your dresser or nightstand. Then hang some “naughty” tokens from it or put some around it. Etsy is my joint and I found a merchant who sells some wooden ones that say things like “Oral Sex,” “Wild Card,” and “Fantasy Fulfilled”. You can get a set of them here if you’d like.
6. Customize Some Wrapping Paper (Then Wrap Yourself Up in It)
I can’t tell you how many husbands have told me that sex with one woman doesn’t get old, so long as the sex itself doesn’t get boring (check out “10 Men Told Me Why They're Fine Having Sex With One Partner”). Because men are visual creatures, one way to prevent that from happening is by “wrapping up the gift” (the gift would be “you” in this case). If you literally want to wrap yourself up in paper, a fun approach is to hit up the site Gift Wrap My Face so that they can literally put your face on some wrapping paper.
Or, if you’d like to take the lingerie approach, this is the time of year when a lot of shops sell teddies that look like a big red bow. An example of what I’m talking about is located here, here, here, here, and here.
7. Give Your Bedroom a Christmas/Winter Wonderland Theme
Some bedding in traditional Christmas colors like red, green, or silver. Some cranberry garland on your bedposts (that you should be able to find at your local arts and crafts store). A Christmas wreath on your bedroom wall. A string of twinkle lights. Little red bows everywhere. White faux fur throw pillows. Snowflake art. A big basket filled with scented pine cones. Bedding that is slate grey and light blue (a dope Christmas color scheme). Lots of candles in Christmas scents like vanilla, pine, frankincense and myrrh, clove, or pomegranate.
There are all kinds of simple and pretty inexpensive ways that you can totally transform your bedroom into a Christmas winter wonderland so that it literally feels like you and yours are enjoying each other in a different kind of space.
8. Have Fun with Some Fake Snow
What is a winter wonderland without snow? These days, you can create the illusion of having some, even inside of your house, thanks to different kinds of fake snow that’s currently on the market. One brand that a lot of people like is Buffalo Snow. You can get some snowflakes here and some flurries here. A bed full of snow? Pardon the pun but how cool is that?
9. Turn on Some Blizzard ASMR
Although I’ve never really struggled with sleeping well, something that has absolutely changed my life over the past few years is sleeping with rain ASMR on. It just makes the quality of my rest so much…sounder. If you like nothing more than feeling like you are trapped in a snowstorm during your Christmas time off yet it looks like you’re not even going to get flurries this year, one way to work around that is to turn on some blizzard-sounding ASMR videos.
YouTube has quite a few of them and the windy sound really does make you feel like you’re in eight feet of snow. One of my favorites (that lasts for 10 hours, ad-free) can be found right here. Sex in a blizzard? C’mon now.
10. Bring in Some Christmas-Themed Edible Aphrodisiacs
In the article that I wrote, “12 Traditional Christmas Items That Are Low-Key Aphrodisiacs Too” a couple of years ago for the platform, a few edible things that I mentioned included eggnog and candy canes. Some other foods to add to that list includes a full-on entrée like a leg of lamb (it’s got carnitine which is great for men and their fertility), a “cozy drink” like apple cider (it can help to get you wetter), and a dessert, like a pumpkin pie (it’s high in zinc which increases sexual desire). Pick your pleasure.
11. Share Some Hot Chocolate Shots
There really is no telling how often I’ve shouted out dark chocolate when it comes to it being a great food for your sex life. A top reason is because serotonin (a hormone that stabilizes your mood and helps you to feel good) and phenethylamine (a natural chemical that offers up a stimulant effect) in dark chocolate can help to boost your libido. Keeping all of this in mind, what is Christmas without hot chocolate, chile?
To make things extra spicy in the absolute best ways possible, serve up some Mexican hot chocolate shots (recipe is here). The cinnamon will increase blood circulation to your genitalia and, if you decide to go with tequila instead of vodka, well — if you’ve ever had a tequila shot before, you already know what kind of night you’ll be in for. #wink
12. Light a Gingerbread Candle
One of the best things about sex, if it’s good (and I mean, REALLY good), is it involves all five senses — sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. As far as scent goes, there is plenty of scientific data to support that one of the reasons why what we smell can strongly affect our mood (good or bad) is because of what we associate a particular scent with. If you used to eat or bake gingersnaps or make gingerbread houses around this time when you were a kid, that can “trigger” feelings of safety and warmth.
So, to smell something that resembles gingerbread while being intimate with your partner, that can make sex “sweet” in the best way possible. Gingerbread candles are not usually very hard to find this time of year. Yankee Candle, Big Lots, DW Home, Kohl’s, and Michaels are just some of the places where I noticed them online.
13. Play a Sexy Round of “Guess Your Gift”
Even if you do plan on going all out in this way, still try and get something that goes in a box or gift bag. Whether it’s a tradition for you and your partner to open presents up on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, make foreplay extra fun by playing a couple of rounds of something that I call “Guess Your Gift.” You each will give a super vague hint. Whoever guesses correctly can make a specific foreplay-related request (kissing a certain erogenous zone, giving a five-minute massage, etc.) If they don’t get it right, then the other person can make their foreplay request known. Talk about making the curiosity as awesome as the gift itself. Whew.
14. Put Poinsettia Petals All Over Your Bed
I’m pretty sure that it comes as no surprise to you that the December birth flower is the poinsettia. That’s pretty cool because they represent things like love, hope, good cheer, and success. Also, a nickname for it is Mexican flame flower. I don’t know about you, but all of these sound like good vibes to have in your sex life.
Although red rose petals are pretty popular when it comes to flowers to sprinkle on your bed, in your bathtub, or on your floors in order to set the mood, since all of this centers around a Christmas theme, why not go with some red or white poinsettias this year? It’ll be just as seductive and a lot more holiday-themed.
15. Fulfill a Fantasy
Want your partner to feel like they were blessed in a mighty way this Christmas? Ask them what their fantasy is and (so long as it doesn’t compromise your core because some people’s fantasies are next-level) do your best to fulfill it. It brings spontaneity into the relationship. It adds newness to the dynamic. And it definitely sets the two of you up to have a pretty unforgettable Christmas in the sex department. A great way to make sex feel like an actual Christmas gift. Straight up.
Featured image by Giphy
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and felt so deeply connected to them? Everything about the relationship was intense – good or bad? Then you might be in a part of a soul tie.
The concept of a soul tie binds individuals on a level beyond a relationship's physical and emotional aspects; it’s more than a mere connection. You can form a soul tie with anyone – lover, friend, colleague, etc.- but we are discussing romantic partners for this article. Think of you and your partner as an intensely burning flame. The flame can burn passionately to light the relationship’s way or chaotically burn everything in its path. Either way, it leaves an indelible mark on the souls involved.
A soul tie should not be confused with the term “soulmate.” The main difference is that a soul tie can be positive or negative, while a soulmate is a mutual, harmonious connection. Unlike a soul tie, a soulmate relationship is generally characterized by mutual understanding, support, and shared values.
However, the more we learn about soul ties, the more it becomes evident that they are not monolithic; they vary in nature and intensity. As someone who has experienced a negative soul tie, it is crucial to discern whether they contribute positively to personal growth or hinder you from flourishing.
If Your Soul Tie Is Positive
A positive soul tie creates a deep and affirming connection between individuals. One key indicator of a positive soul tie is effective communication. If you’re experiencing a positive soul tie, a shared understanding fosters open and honest dialogue, contributing to a sense of connection and support.
Mutual growth is another hallmark of a positive soul tie. When individuals in a relationship encourage each other's personal development and evolution, it signifies a positive and uplifting connection. This mutual support leads to an environment where both parties can thrive individually and together, contributing to the overall health of the soul tie.
Emotional security is a crucial element in identifying a positive soul tie. In such connections, individuals feel a deep sense of trust and comfort with each other. This emotional security forms a stable foundation for the relationship, allowing both parties to express vulnerability and foster a strong, positive bond. These three indicators—effective communication, mutual growth, and emotional security—underscore the positivity inherent in a healthy and affirming soul tie.
If Your Soul Tie Is Negative
A negative soul tie manifests as a detrimental and draining connection between individuals. One clear sign of a negative soul tie is the presence of emotional turmoilwithin the relationship. When the connection becomes a source of constant distress, causing emotional upheaval and hindering personal development, it indicates a negative soul tie.
Codependency is another red flag for a negative soul tie. In such connections, individuals may become overly reliant on each other, impeding their ability to thrive independently. Codependency often leads to unhealthy dependencies and can result in a toxic dynamic that hinders both individuals' growth and well-being.
A lack of effective communication is a third indicator of a negative soul tie. When there is a breakdown in communication, misunderstandings and unresolved issues can fester, contributing to a strained and unhealthy connection. In negative soul ties, the absence of open and honest dialogue can perpetuate a cycle of negativity and prevent the resolution of underlying issues. These three indicators—emotional turmoil, codependency, and poor communication—point to the negativity associated with an unhealthy soul tie.
Putting Out The Fires And Breaking Your Soul Tie
Unfortunately, my deep, intense connection only caused destruction. And despite the obvious red flags, it took a minute before I broke the connection. Why? Because I was addicted to the relationship, we both were. But it is possible to break a soul tie if and when you are ready because if you are not, pretending you are when you are not is a waste of your time.
Breaking a soul tie requires intentional and purposeful actions. Establishing clear and firm boundaries is a fundamental step in severing the connection. By limiting contact and emotional engagement with the person involved, individuals can gradually weaken the tie and create space for personal growth.
Seeking professional support is another effective strategy to break a soul tie. Guidance from therapists or counselors provides valuable insights and coping strategies. Professional assistance can help individuals navigate the emotional challenges associated with breaking a soul tie, offering a structured and supportive environment for healing.
Redirecting energy toward personal growth is important in breaking free from a soul tie. Engaging in activities that promote individual well-being and create a sense of independence allows individuals to refocus their attention on their own growth and development. This redirection of energy is essential for breaking the emotional bonds of a soul tie and moving towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.
The last step I advise everyone to go through is the mourning period. My partner and I did our song and dance for years before I walked away. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that I mourned our relationship while I healed.
Recognizing the presence and nature of a soul tie in your relationship is crucial to understanding its impact on your well-being. Whether positive or negative, the intensity of a soul tie can shape the course of your personal growth and happiness. Breaking free from a negative soul tie demands intentional efforts, from setting clear boundaries to seeking professional support. Redirecting energy toward personal growth and allowing oneself a necessary mourning period are vital steps toward healing and liberation from the intricate ties that bind.
Feature image by JD Mason/ Unsplash