OK, let me put something right on out here first. The "extra sweet" that is in this title is more like a play on words when it comes to the next holiday that's on the horizon. We all know that it's Valentine's Day. The reason why I think it's important to get that out into the open is because I am so over all of these articles that try to imply that there is something that we can do to make our vagina taste like a pineapple smoothie or chocolate ice cream. Anyone who has told you that lied. BIG TIME.
However, there are definitely things that you can add to your daily routine that will cause your vagina (and vulva) to be fresher, less acidic and can provide a hint of sweetness. That's what we're gonna get into on this fine day.
So, if your plans for V-Day is to be your partner's sweet thang, here are some easy hacks that will make your partner enjoy you, on a whole 'nother level. Ready?
1. Avoid the Following Foods
Who hasn't heard that pineapple juice can make your vagina taste sweeter? Yes and no. Again, the reality is that our hot pocket wasn't created to taste like a fruit salad, no matter what we do—so it won't. With that said, it is true that our discharge/natural lubrication can somewhat shift in how acidic or salty it is, based on our diet. That's because what we eat does affect our mucosal secretions.
That's why it's a good idea to avoid foods with sulfur in them like onions and garlic (for self-explanatory reasons, I'm sure); sugary foods (because it can throw off your pH balance); dairy (it can suppress your immunity and also throw off your vagina's pH); asparagus (it makes urine and sometimes discharge smell) and red meat (it tends to be high in saturated fat which can lead to bacterial infections). Avoid them for how long? Eh, if you're planning on a lot of oral action for Valentine's Day, going without these, starting the Tuesday prior, is a safe bet.
2. Drink More Water
We're made up of 60-65 percent water which is why we need to drink it on a daily basis. Water is good for us because it flushes out toxins; regulates our body temperature; helps to keep us regular; strengthens our immunity; helps to keep us in a good mood; keeps us hydrated; reduces breakouts and helps us to produce more saliva and lubrication—both are important when it comes to fellatio and cunnilingus.
Also, since water helps to remove bacteria, this is another way to keep your vagina extra fresh from the inside out. It can only get better if that water has a few mint sprigs in it or if you decide to consume some infused water from time to time.
3. Try Some Kefir
I think I've shared before that I've got a fungal sensitivity. As a result, I have had a few more yeast infections (not just my vagina either; one time I had one underneath my breasts that was hellacious) than the average person, along with a couple of bouts of tinea versicolor. Anyway, the last time that I had a yeast infection and got prescribed an antibiotic, I knew that I needed to take some sort of probiotic because drugs tend to wipe out good and bad bacteria; probiotics restore the good that was lost (so that you don't end up with a yeast infection all over again).
Something that can help you with this is kefir which is basically a low-fat fermented milk. Before you turn up your nose, at the end of the day, it's pretty much drinkable yogurt. What makes kefir so good for you is it can help to control your blood sugar levels, lower your cholesterol, improve digestion, control your weight and, it's got antibacterial and antifungal properties that will keep your vagina in great health. Since adding kefir to my regular diet, I've noticed that my vagina smells even more pleasant. Some other consumers have told me that their partners can taste the difference, in the best way possible, too.
4. Lay Off of the Coffee and Alcohol
No matter how much you like java or wine, about 48 hours going into Valentine's Day, you should probably lay up off of both of them. As far as coffee goes, the caffeine in it can actually deplete vagina of the vitamins and minerals that it needs to remain healthy. Not only that but it has a way of altering the odor of your genitalia—and not in a good way. Alcohol? While on one hand, it can increase your libido, it also has a way of dehydrating your system as well. No one wants a dry va-jay-jay. So, try and chill on the liquor in the days leading up to V-Day. Have it on the actual day instead.
5. Snack on Some Celery
Celery doesn't taste like much of anything. I think we all can agree on that. Still, it's a really good idea to have some in your fridge so that you can chomp on a few stalks, at least a couple of times a week. On the health tip, it's 95 percent water (which means it can help to keep you hydrated while flushing out toxins). Plus, celery contains a good amount of vitamins A, C and K. Also, the magnesium, iron and calcium in it can neutralize acids within your system. Plus, celery has a good amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. As far as your vagina goes, because celery does contain Vitamin C, it's able to keep the bad bacteria at bay. Also, the chlorophyll in celery will make your va-jay-jay smell more pleasant too.
6. Take Some Cran-Cherry-Apple Shots
Nothing can make your vagina taste just like it. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. That said, there are some fruits that contain nutrients that can make our vagina a little more delightful and appealing. Cranberries are loaded with potent antioxidants that will keep your pH levels balanced. Bing cherries also have antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory compounds. Apples are awesome because the phytoestrogen phloridzin and its antioxidants help to increase blood flow to your vaginal region while also increasing lubrication. Just imagine what a combination of this is (go with 100 percent juice; the extra sugary kind will work against you rather than for you).
7. Play with Some Frozen Grapes
Something that is super stimulating when it comes to sex is playing around with temperatures in the sense of going from warm to cold. On the cool tip, how about bringing some frozen grapes into the mix? Because grapes have a thin skin on them and they are made up of 82 percent water, your partner can tease you with them, all over your vaginal area, without worrying about whether they will irritate you days later.
I'm telling you, a frozen grape on your clitoral hood will feel amazing for you. Then you both sharing the grape will taste unbelievable to you both.
8. Don’t Forget About Coconut and Cinnamon Oil
Back when I was gettin' it in, you couldn't get me to not have a mixture of coconut oil and cinnamon oil on a bed stand somewhere. Coconut oil is dope because it contains properties to keep your vagina drama-feeling-free and it's able to safely dilute the potency of the cinnamon oil. Cinnamon oil is awesome because it provides a warming effect and the oil itself is cinnamon-y and sweet. For the skeptics, no it doesn't burn. Just make sure to keep the "less is more" approach in mind. Anyway, if you want a gift that keeps on giving, this is a combo that is pretty unmatched.
9. Cop Some Flavored Lube
If you're not ready to take the step of basically DIY-ing your own tasty lubricant, there are plenty of flavored ones on the market that are safe to use whether you're planning on using it for oral sex or…all things sex. If you want a lil' help choosing a brand that best suits your personal needs and desires, Let's Talk Sex reviewed 12 different ones. You can check 'em all out here.
10. Add Some Rosewater…to Your Bath Water
Did you know that rosewater has the ability to enhance the flavor of things? This is why it's sometimes an ingredient in different kinds of sauces and desserts. Since the properties in rosewater are also really good for you when it comes to things like treating infections, soothing your skin, and improving your mood, I bet you can see why I added it to this list of ways to make your vagina sweeter.
Adding some rosewater to your bath water allows you to gently cleanse your vagina. Then, if you add a little bit of it to your outer labia before slipping into something sexy, your vagina will smell feminine and inviting—the perfect combination for a pretty sweet 'n sexy Valentine's Day evening, if you ask me. Enjoy. Both of you. #wink
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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.
Many have wondered if one time is ever enough to see Queen Bey. Some argue yes. However, many of us on the opposite end of the spectrum, including myself, would disagree. Beyoncé's "Renaissance World Tour" is a universal yet varying experience for everyone who attends. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, the concert is "transcendent." For millennials, we have over two decades of her catalog that has served as the soundtrack for many of our lives and painted a personal portrait of our most coveted thoughts. Her music provides mental clarity and self-expression by serving as a universal language that has united fans from all walks of life through community, fashion, self-acceptance, and healing.
With a multi-layered approach to her artistry, just as she did on that winter day in December 2013 with the infamous digital drop of her self-titled album, she changed the game again on February 1, 2023, when she announced her world tour in support of Renaissance, her seventh studio album. Her cultural impact set the internet ablaze, with everyone trying to gather their coins, barter for presale codes, and figure out which cities to attend. The group chats were lit, and the Beyhive was stressed trying to get their hands on tickets.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
Unfortunately, I was in that number. As the concert dates passed by and the one in my city drawing near all roads led to disappointment. With time ticking on the day of the Miami show and less than two hours to spare, my wallet bit the bullet, and I purchased three last-minute tickets, costing roughly $700.00 a piece (including fees) for me, my 9-year-old and 16-year-old nieces in Section 121 at the Hard Rock Stadium. With 10 minutes before showtime, we eagerly awaited the Queen to take the stage. A sea of metallic fringes, cowboy hats, disco fans, and western boots were in full effect and filled the entire stadium.
As the lights dimmed, a flood of emotions instantly overtook my body. It continued with each note she belted, along with nearly 50,000 roaring fans. The reverberating sound of the music through the stadium transported me from one era of my life to the next. As a teen girl in her bedroom daydreaming about her first love to blossoming into an unapologetic Black woman who is still on a road of self-discovery while learning to lean into the power anthem of "You won't break my soul." For over two hours, and with each set, I felt joy, love, peace, and a commanderie with fellow concertgoers. It was therapeutic as I danced like no one was watching and sang as if I were alone in my bathroom mirror.
There were no bars held, and I realized at that moment, "Nobody can judge me but me." The "Renaissance World Tour" proved to be so vast, and my Black girl joy was re-invigorated. It was magnetic and liberating, and I had to attend again, but this time, I needed to be up close and personal; I needed to be on the floor. In the days that passed, I watched more social media clips in different cities and asked myself if I would really splurge again to attend another Renaissance show.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
After all, this would be my thirteenth time (maybe more because I lost count) seeing Beyoncé live, whether she was on tour with Destiny's Child, as a solo artist, or doing a live appearance. I contemplated for a while, but it worked itself out on its own. I was gifted two tickets and the next thing I knew, I was off to LA to attend another Renaissance show with floor seats at SoFi Stadium during Beyonce's 42nd birthday weekend! This time, things were different: no kids were allowed. It was adults only this go round.
Although the energy at the Miami and Los Angeles shows was empowering, infectious, and a celebration of life, happiness, and identity, they each provided their own unique experience. However, both concerts were what I needed for my well-being, leaving me with sore feet from dancing the night away, on vocal rest for the next few days from screaming at the top of my lungs, and on an indefinite high on life.
My introduction and love for Beyoncé began in 1996, while my older sister lived in Houston, TX, right before Bey hit the scene in 1998 with "No, No, No" as a budding R&B member. Her evolution twenty-seven years later as an international superstar and into womanhood has been an incredible journey to witness. As Mrs. Carter reminds each of us in the audience every night before the curtain closes, "I want you to remember this moment, where you're standing, who you came with, and take it with you. I hope you feel inspired."
I truly felt inspired, so thank you, Queen Bey. You awakened my inner child, and I will definitely remember these moments and take them with me.
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Feature image by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood