If you've been following my byline, as it specifically relates to sex, then you already know that I like to break sex down into themes. You know, like Christmas sex. Fall sex. And today? Summer sex. After all, y'all, summer is the hottest season of the year, so it would be an absolute shame if your sex life didn't reflect that very fact.
So in honor of June through September, I wanted to put you on to 12 things that you and yours can do to take things up a couple of notches in the bedroom. I'm doing so in hopes that, when you look back on this summer, you'll have some of the best—and by "best", I mean sensual, erotic, provocative, nasty, totally mind-blowing—sex memories yet.
1. Take Advantage of the Extra Sunlight
Even if you're not the sappiest or most sentimental woman on the planet (I'm shouting that particular demographic out because I personally know some), a little bit of romance never hurt nobody. Matter of fact, the older I get, the more I find dates to be an ultimate act of foreplay. And since the days are longer during the summer season, that gives you and yours more time to do things like have an evening picnic, enjoy a bottle of wine on your back deck, eat outside at your favorite restaurant—things that, any other time of the year, you might rush to do after work before it gets dark. Quality time is a wonderful seducer. Use this summer to take full advantage of it.
2. Buy Some Yellow Lingerie
A burlesque dancer and businesswoman by the name of Dita Von Teese once said, "Lingerie is not about seducing men. It's about embracing womanhood." Personally, I find it to be some of Column A and some of Column B but either way, embrace your body image and sexual self-esteem by treating you (and your partner) to a couple of new lingerie items. This time, though, instead of going the traditional black or red route, go with something yellow. For one thing, I don't know one Black woman who isn't KILLIN' IT in that color. Also, yellow is a popular summertime hue; one that conveys warmth, excitement, optimism, joy and open communication—all things that make sex so much more enjoyable.
3. Serve Up a Couple of Ginseng Martinis
Winter before last, I wrote an article about aphrodisiac foods that can help to get your juices flowing. But if you and yours like to indulge in a drink together every now and then, something that you might want to try is a ginseng martini. On the health tip, ginseng does everything from improve your brain function, reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar and shorten the life of colds and the flu.
Sexually, not only does ginseng provide you with a boost of energy, there is a good amount of data to support that it can help men who struggle with erectile dysfunction too. Also, if you're trying to make a baby, that's one more reason to make your man a couple of these martinis because, word on the street is that, ginseng improves sperm quality as well.
You can find a pretty easy recipe here.
4. Invest in a Cooling Mattress Pad
There's hot sex and then there's sex when you're hot. I hate the latter. If you don't want to run your electric bill up higher than it probably already is, just so that you're not dripping wet once your romp is over, something that you can do is to invest in a cooling mattress pad. They're designed to keep you cooler as your body temperature fluctuates as you sleep. Oh, and while we're on the topic of your bedding, you might want to get the kind of sheets that can assist in cooling you down too. Ones that are made out of organic cotton or bamboo always top the list.
5. Freeze Your Sex Toys
Along the lines of what I just said, if sex toys are always a part of your sex life, why not throw those in the freezer for a minute or two? The ones you've got that are made out of glass or metal are able to hold cold (and hot) temperatures really well. All you need to do is let them freeze for 15-20 minutes and they'll be ready to take you and your partner's arousal levels to whole new heights!
6. Bring in Some Popsicles
Whenever I think of ice and sex, the first thing that comes to my mind is the ice scene between Mookie and Tina in Do the Right Thing. Incorporating ice in this way can be super erotic because the changes in temperatures can be stimulating AF. But rather than going with regular tasteless ice, opt for some popsicles instead. That way, you can get your favorite flavor which can only take the fun and exhilaration up a notch (or you can pour juice into an ice tray in order to basically get the same result).
7. Apply a Little Piña Colada Lube
Feel free to check out the article "If You've Always Wanted A 'Lubricant Cheat Sheet,' Here Ya Go" on why lubricant can be your very best friend when it comes to having really hot sex.
In sticking along with the summer theme that we've got going here, if there is a signature flavor that typically goes along with it, piña colada is what comes to my mind. So, why not cop some piña colada lubricant?
If you're down, you can get some here.
8. Do Some Crisscrossing
Hopefully, even if you don't naturally sleep naked (which you should because it's really good for your health and well-being), you're doing it a bit more during the summertime. Well, if you and yours happen to wake up in the middle of the night, wanting to have sex but it's a little warmer in the room than you'd like, try doing it in the "crisscross" position. This position consists of you turning over to your right side, with your partner then straddling your right leg and while wrapping your left leg around him. Doing this will allow for deep penetration without your sticky and sweaty body parts constantly ramming into each other.
9. Do It in an Adult-Size Inflatable Pool
Not everyone is going to be able to get to a beach or pool this summer. Shoot, even if you can, you might not be down for taking the risk of having sex in either one. A cool alternative is to purchase something like a Intex Family Lounge Pool or Intex 57191WL Swim Center Family Lounge Pool. They are large enough to hold 2-3 adults and are designed in a way where you can comfortably get into pretty much any sex position you want to be in. Because really, who said that kids are the only ones who get to have fun in backyard inflatable pools? Exactly.
10. Play ASMR Videos of Ocean Waves
When I say that I am an ASMR fan? Whew! I wish I hadn't waited as long as I did to fall asleep to the sound of thunderstorms. Anyway, when you're gettin' it in indoors, something that can make you feel like you are at a beach house is listening to sounds of ocean waves. YouTube has a ton of them. All you've got to do is go to the site and put "ocean waves sounds" in the search field. Oh, and if you want to take all of this summer-like ambiance to another level, get yourself a portable fan and point it into the direction of your bed. Then, cop yourself some plug-ins; ones that have tropical scents. How could you not feel like you are on vacation? Even if it's more like a sex staycation?
11. Feed Each Other Some Watermelon
Watermelon is in season from May through September, so of course, it's the ultimate summertime fruit. Health-wise, although it's made up of 92 percent water, watermelon is still packed with vitamins A and C that can help to improve your heart health, relieve muscle soreness, prevent cancer cells from developing and, thanks to the fiber that's in it, watermelon is a sweet way to stay regular too.
Sexually, it's earned the nickname "natural Viagra" due to the amino acid citrulline that is also found in the fruit. The awesome thing about it is citrulline helps to relax and dilate blood vessels. What that means is more intense orgasms for you and longer erections for your partner. Yep. Definitely get you some as soon as possible.
12. Go “Sex Glamping” (in Your Backyard)
Something that I want to do, at some point in my life, is go glamping. If that's on your sex bucket list too but it's just not a feasible option right now, if you're a homeowner, how about just camping out in your backyard? A tent. Some of your favorite foods. A flashlight (to do a little "body searching" with). You might be surprised how those three simple things might be all that you need to have some of the best summer sex that you've had in a really, really long time. Have fun, y'all!
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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. ;)
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.
The face of tennis is changing, and it’s about time. Over the years, if you were asked to name any Black tennis player, two would come to mind: Serena and Venus Williams — and rightfully so. But as new tennis sensations like Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka rise to fame for their athleticism and tenacity, it’s clear that there’s a new era of tennis taking shape to bring forth a fresh take on representation and reclamation on the courts.
For that reason alone, there’s no better time than now for Black Girl Tennis Club co-founders Virginia Thornton and Kimberly Selden to lead the charge of making tennis more accessible to Black women and girls so the next Serena and Coco can emerge.
What began as your everyday lunch chat between friends to discuss their mutual dream of owning a boutique hotel turned into a proposition to start a tennis club together. With Virginia being a tennis player since adolescence and Kimberly entering the sport as a hobby in her adult life, the two jumped at the idea of making a space where Black women could discover a new hobby and not feel like the “only one” on the tennis court.
“The club kind of started for selfish reasons, but not in a bad way,” Virginia tells xoNecole. “We realized that there was actually a need for this.”
Kimberly adds, “Now we're literally disrupting a whole industry. We didn't plan it, but it felt divine; like we were called to do this. Black Girls Tennis Club has been a catalyst for personal growth in all areas of life, and we would have never anticipated that.”
Since establishing the Black Girl Tennis Club in 2022, the two have made it their mission to cultivate a space for “Joy Equity and Radical Wellness.” Their platform serves as a means to inform, inspire, motivate, and reshape the narrative around Black women and girls in the tennis world while highlighting the transformative power of sports and play for liberation.
With approximately 78% of tennis players being white and only 6.8% being Black, and the average cost of a private tennis lesson being $60 per hour, racial and economic disparities within the sport are vast. To help close this gap, the two founders have banded together to develop free tennis instruction clinics for girls aged 8-18 and local tennis events that bring adult offerings through programs like the Self Love Tennis Club and Cardio Tennis Classes to HBCU campuses in Virginia.
Both Virginia and Kimberly understand the power of their mission and believe that they were brought on each other’s path to execute it together. “It’s the power of alignment,” Kimberly says. “I think when you're doing the right thing and you're obedient, and answer the call, that’s when things start to happen, and the universe conspires to make them happen.”
We caught up with the founders to discuss their mission, the importance of representation, and how they plan to disrupt the tennis industry one court at a time.
xoNecole: Could you talk a little more about your CARE pillars with change, access, representation and exposure?
Kimberly Selden: As we started to do the work, we saw that there were so many equity issues. Although we knew from our own personal experiences that there are barriers to tennis being an expensive sport, we just acknowledged it as the culture of tennis. Because it's predominantly white, that transfers over to the fashion, the dynamics on the court, the attitudes, and the mindset. And so we knew this required a culture shift for us to ever really feel comfortable.
We were exposing kids to tennis, and then after the clinics, they're like, "Okay, now what?" It's still expensive, and they still may or may not have had access to it if they're not with us. We don't want to just pop in like, "Hey, here's a clinic, bye!" So, the culture change is just a reflection of what our existence looks like. Access is about being able to access the sport through courts, programs, or a coach. Representation is that we can't believe it until we see it.
Granted, there are a lot of pro Black women tennis players taking off, and we love that. But we think about media representation as well [as] representation within the USCA, in the boardrooms, and the people that are making the rules around the game.
xoN: Why do you all think it’s important for Black women and girls to reclaim their space on the tennis court?
Virginia Thornton: It's rare, at least in my world, where you're in a space and see nothing but women who look like you. But it makes me feel great when I can be my authentic self, especially on a tennis court. Just shedding all the weight of pretending to be anything else. You feel at home when you're around nothing but Black women. Even small things like seeing a young Black girl being okay with how God made them is amazing.
KS: [In] the Atlanta clinics we did, everyone was crying. It's just clear how desperately we need it. Connection is the key to a long life. So many of us — especially from the pandemic and working from home — are isolated. With every clinic, it's just fun to be there, and it just fills you up. I think people need hobbies. I think a lot of people, especially people in big cities, feel that way and were confronted with that during the pandemic.
xoN: How did sports play a role in helping you two find your voice and confidence both on and off the court?
VT: I think what people don't realize is that tennis is such a mental sport. You could be a 4.0 player and have a bad mental day, and you will play like you've never picked up a racquet before. So, the mental piece is super important. For me, it's like ‘you against you,’ even though you are playing somebody.
If you're able to work through those mental pieces with yourself on the court, that will translate off the court. I had an issue on the court where I have a habit of saying, "Sorry," — I think a lot of Black women do, honestly. Then I realized that they wouldn't say sorry or they’d use my kindness as weakness. I've learned a lesson in that because everything translates on and off the court.
"If you're able to work through those mental pieces with yourself on the court, that will translate off the court."
KS: It's easy for me to do things that I'm good at, but it's not easy for me to do things that I'm not good at. Tennis is still challenging for me, but it pushes me. It’s a reality check for me; I know when things are aligned, and when they're not. It feels like a big metaphor for me because it's pushing me to do something that's uncomfortable and makes me work for myself more.
xoN: What do you hope the long-term impact of Black Girl Tennis Club will be?
VS: We want to have a space for people who might be workaholics or might be going through depression. It's always great to have a hobby, whether that's knitting, sewing, or what have you. For me and Kimberly, it’s about creating hobbies for Black women and girls but also knowing that it’s okay to not be amazing at it. You don't have to be amazing at tennis; you could hit around the court, and that's okay.
The next Serena or Venus might come from Black Girls Tennis Club.
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