Hands down, sex is one of the greatest things that life has to offer. Anyone who's had some great sex before can 1000 percent vouch for that. And while the act itself is fantastically bar none, all on its own, if you've been with your partner for a while and/or you're someone who likes to be sexually spontaneous as much as possible, it can only help your bedroom (or wherever you prefer to have sex) experiences to be intentional about finding ways to make things feel exciting and new.
That's why, every time a new season rolls around, I try and find a way to give some sex tips that directly applies to it. This time last year, I wrote, "Here's How To Have Some Really Great Fall-Themed Sex". This year, since Halloween is one of the two main holidays that autumn has to offer, I thought I'd share a few ways to incorporate it into your sex life—whether you plan on going trick-or-treating this year or not.
1. Send Trick-or-Treat Texts Throughout the Day
Something that most men and women are able to agree on is sex isn't just about the meshing of bodies. It's also about connecting on a mental level. One way to flirt with your partner, in the hours leading into Halloween, is to send them some trick-or-treat texts; only, make sure they come with a bit of a twist. Customarily, Halloween tricks come in a form of some sort of mischief, so you can ask your partner a trivia question about your relationship or even about your sex life or particular turn-ons. Treats are traditionally given in the form of candy or money. So, if your partner gets the answer right, you can reward them with either or both.
For instance, you can shoot a text during their lunch hour asking them, "trick or treat?" If they say trick, respond with, "What's my favorite sex position?" If they get the answer right, let them know that they're favorite candy will be placed…on a very intimate part of their body, in order for you to lick off. If they get the answer wrong, they have to "treat you" instead.
2. Get Some Pumpkin-Scented Soy Candles
It's kind of hard to imagine Halloween without a pumpkin being around somewhere. Well, here's the thing about pumpkins as it specifically relates to sex—I've shared before that there are studies to support that when a man catches a whiff of the pumpkin scent (especially when it is mixed with lavender), he gets aroused 40 percent faster than other smells. So, why not turn off all the overhead lighting and light up some pumpkin-scented soy ("soy" because they burn longer and cleaner) candles?
If you want to create an authentic Halloween theme, you can even put the candles inside of a jack-o'-lantern or two. And if you really wanna set off the Halloween theme right, you can make some edible webs outta cotton candy too (click here or here for step-by-step instructions).
3. Also, Get Some Pumpkin (and Lavender) Essential Oil
If it's been a minute since you and/or your partner has had a nice and soothing massage, create your own massage oil by adding some pumpkin and lavender essential oil to a carrier oil like sweet almond, avocado or jojoba oil. Put between 5-7 drops of each oil, per 1/3 cup of carrier oil, and zap the combo in your microwave for around 15-20 seconds. Things will be popping up, all over the place, the moment you apply the oil…if you know what I mean. #wink
4. Make Some Liquor-Filled Chocolates
What would Halloween be without bringing some chocolate into the mix? Not only does it taste great, but since it's a food that has phenylethylamine and serotonin in it, and since those are chemicals that are considered to be mood boosters and sexual stimulants, chocolate also makes the list of being an aphrodisiac; especially if it's dark chocolate.
This year, rather than just eating a Kit-Kat and calling it a day, surprise your partner by making some liquor-filled chocolate candies (you know, since alcohol is one way to totally turn up the dial on a lit sexual evening). While it might sound a little complex at first, after checking out a couple of recipes (here and here), you might find that this is something you'll wanna do year-round.
5. Serve Up a Lil’ Jekyll & Gin Glowing Cocktails
In sticking with the Halloween and alcohol theme, how about making a couple of Jekyll & Gin Glowing Cocktails? They're super easy to make. All you need is some gin, grenadine, lemon juice, lemon/lime soda and ice. What I like about this particular drink is, if you shine a black light on it, it'll literally glow in the dark. As far as where to find a blacklight, your local Walmart is one of the many places that carries them.
6. Dress Up
Something that Halloween and people who have a healthy sexy life tend to have in common is fantasy is incorporated quite a bit. This Halloween, bring some newness into your boudoir by dressing up. It can be in a costume or it can be simply taking your lingerie game to a whole 'nother level. While you're at it, ask your partner about a fantasy they have that has yet to be fulfilled. You rolling up, as fine as you wanna be, with you both having a mutual desire to make a couple of sex fantasies come true, could easily turn Halloween into your favorite holiday of all-time!
7. Do Some Neck Biting (Well, Kinda)
When it comes to getting and keeping you and your partner in the mood, enough can't be said about foreplay. A part of being a foreplay master is making sure to hit the right spots which are oftentimes known as erogenous zones or pressure points. Well, a place that is especially sensitive is the neck. In fact, if you Google other articles on this particular topic, you're gonna be hard-pressed to not see the neck come up. It's sensitive. It's sexy. And it's one of the true hot spots for arousal for both men as well as women.
And since vampires are something that often come to mind during this particular holiday, don't just kiss the neck—do some light nibbling too. If you add a little bit of cinnamon oil to the area first, it will provide a warm tingle for your partner and a hint of spicy sweetness for you.
8. Go Apple Bobbing (Again…Well, Kinda)
Here's some of y'all's something new for the day, I'm sure. Did you know that apple bobbing (you know, when folks put their head into a bucket of water, in the attempts of getting an apple out) is tied to a female fertility ritual? Not only that but, on the sex tip, apple bobbing can be another way to refer to fellatio. Plus (get this), it can also be when a man inserts a piece of an apple out of a woman and tries to get it out with his mouth. While I'm all for folks having a true adventurous time, putting actual food into your vagina can be a bit risky (especially if you're unable to get it all out). However, a nice alternative is to get your hands on some apple-flavored lubricant that you and your partner can put on your genitalia. Consider it apple bobbing—with a twist.
9. Incorporate Favorite Candies into Foreplay
If you don't have a massage oil candle, why the heck not? There is something that is super sensual about dripping hot wax onto your partner and having them return the favor. For Halloween, rather than going with a candle, how about bringing some of your favorite candies, along with a lighter, into the mix? Whether it's a Starburst, a Snickers bar or (ugh, why Lord, why?!) some candy corn—it's a sweeter take on the massage candle theme. It'll open your eyes to enjoy candy in a totally erotic kind of way.
10. Surprise Your Partner in the Middle of the Night
Halloween is alright in the day, but it's not until after the sun sets that things really get mysterious…fun…interesting. Even if you and your partner go around before turning in at night, go for a surprise second round in the middle of the night. Whether it's full-on intercourse, a quickie or oral sex, it'll be the kind of treat that will make you both glad that you decided to put a sexual twist onto Halloween this year. No doubt about it. Happy Halloween, y'all. Enjoy it to the (sexual) fullest!
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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. ;)
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.
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Over the last few years, the upkeep of my nails has become a top priority. I’ve explored different lengths, tested out a range of designs and colors, and have gone from gel-x to acrylic and, currently, Russian manicures. As assured as I am about my signature nail look, one thing that I will always be open to is a new trend that sparks inner confidence — and the “black nail theory” is the latest to do just that.
If you’ve been on TikTok lately, you may have noticed that manicure lovers are putting new concepts surrounding their nails to the test. Last fall, the “red nail theory” took the internet by storm with promises to evoke male attention, compliments, and even a date or two on a subconscious level. And now, just a year later, a deeper and more mystic hue is being spotlighted for its alluring appeal.
#blacknails💅 #boldyblooming #blackspiritualists
What Is “Black Nail Theory”?
The concept of “black nail theory” is centered on the idea that applying black nail polish can significantly influence an individual's inner confidence and overall lure. Black nails are thought to possess a distinctive quality that communicates a sensual and captivating energy, bringing forth boldness and mystery. On a psychological level, black is said to be symbolic of “power, elegance, and sophistication.”
Personally, red has never quite been my color; so when I saw the black nail theory making its rounds, I immediately knew it could be an internet trend that I could get behind and try for myself.
Testing Out The Theory
Deciding on the approach that I would take with my black nails came fairly easy. I’m a French tip girl to my core, so if I was going to commit to such a bold color like black, I’d have to take it gradually, and not commit to a fully blacked-out nail look.
Leaving the nail salon with my new set, I instantly felt myself channel my inner baddie. The black French tip complimented my complexion perfectly, and I was even able to test the theory out while on a date later that evening.
Throughout the night, I was complimented by both my date and the waitress on my nails, and I felt an inward motivation to share just enough about myself while leaving more to be discovered.
The following week, my friend and I went out to a party with the sole purpose of being cute and having fun, only to find a handful of men stopping to get my name and make conversation. One even went as far as to take my hand and examine nails that were adorned with gold rings.
On a more personal level, my time with black nails has been my handy reminder to trust my intuition and enter every room with confidence. Having my nails done naturally gives me an extra boost of confidence, but with the added touch of having them painted black, I’ve seen myself tap into the sultry and captivating "dark feminine" energy that I desire to embody.
Would I Try This Again?
If all it took was a change in my nail color in order to attract love and confidence into myself, I would probably be married by now. But testing out black nail theory has been insightful to explore interpersonally.
How I present myself to the world and what I feel like I deserve all matters, and that doesn’t just start or end when my nails are freshly done.
Confidence is a full-package deal that comes wrapped in self-care, self-concept, and self-esteem. I get my nails done because that’s what makes me feel good, and whatever attention that draws in, I know that it’s a part of what I’m putting out into the world.
If I’m feeling fiery, I’ll test out a red design. If I’m in a girly mood, I’ll test out pink or ask for painted bows. And if I’m going for something more standout, I’ll let my nail tech take an idea and freestyle from there. All in all, nails are just another form of self-expression and should be a chance to showcase your inner world on the outside.
So yes, if red nails are the flashy antidote to drawing in attention, then black nails are the look to channel a “quiet” confidence that keeps them wanting more.
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