When it comes to the topic of oral sex, I can tell you, off the rip, that if there's one thing that both men and women can agree on, it's the fact that far too many people think that so long as they've got their mouth somewhere in the vicinity of their partner's genitalia, they are actually doing something. Absolutely not. Not even close.
At this point, I'm not sure I can be too "TMI" when it comes to the things that I share about my own life, including my sex life (check out "14 Lessons I've Learned From 14 Sex Partners"). So, when it comes to oral sex, specifically, I'll just put on out there that I actually asked my second sex partner to give me some lessons on how to do it in a way where he would be more than happy that I was "down". Personally, I was on a mission to take him to heights that were pleasurable beyond measure. He was a great teacher. I'll just leave it at that. #wink
It's because of him and all that I learned that I am a huge fan of folks not settling for less, yes, even when it comes to oral sex. So, if you happen to have a partner who is ready and willing to please, yet he's not really "hittin' on all cylinders" (if you know what I mean), I've got a few tips on how you can get him to perform cunnilingus, just the way you like it, without making him feel embarrassed, self-conscious or uncomfortable in the process.
Know What You Like
How in the world can someone please you if you don't even know what you like? And if the first thing that you want to say to me is, "I mean, so-and-so did it right", my first reply is, "Your current partner is not so-and-so" and my second is, "OK…and what does 'right' mean?". While there is so much to be said for sexual chemistry and the fact that some people just automatically gel, when that doesn't happen with the next person, that doesn't (automatically) mean they are a bad sex partner (check out "Is There REALLY Such A Thing As 'Bad Sex'?"). Sex is an ultimate form of communication, so it's important that you know what really turns you on and gets you off so that you can articulate all of that to him. Otherwise, expecting him to read your mind makes you a part of the reason why you're not getting what you want — and need. Straight up.
Play Some Music
I remember once reading that, from a scientific standpoint, R&B music has a way of putting us in a romantic mood while calming our senses at the same time. I definitely have no objections there and that's why I recommend putting on some R&B music during the act. For one thing, dead silence could potentially make you nervous while leaving your partner feeling self-conscious. Plus, when you're both listening to some of your favorite jams, that can put everyone involved at ease, making it easier to let loose and go with the flow.
Bring in Some Condiments
A couple of months ago, I wrote, "12 'Sex Condiments' That Can Make Coitus Even More...Delicious" for the platform. Hmm, that reminds me. Do any of y'all remember the restaurant The Cooker from back in the day? They used to sell a pie that was beyond wonderful. Anyway, if you got it to-go, all of the condiments would come on the side — stuff like chocolate syrup, whipped cream and caramel sauce. One of my favorite past sex partners, we took that back to the hotel room I was staying in and as I put some down around "her" (again, #wink), I remember he exclaimed, "Thank you. THANK YOU!" followed by, "my favorite two things in one!".
Yeah, sex condiments are dope on a few levels. They can make sex more fun and delicious (literally). If it's your partner's first time with you (or maybe first time, period), it can make them less "anxious" about entering into that space. And because — let's be honest — if things are going well, there is quite a bit of bodily fluid going on, it can make it easier for him to take it all in. For instance, you can put the condiment where you especially like to be licked and, believe you me chile, he will eat it right on up (pun intended and not intended at the same time) without hesitation.
Kiss His Lips…the Way You Want Yours Kissed
Ever been with someone who acts like they're trying to literally lick the Black off of you during oral sex? Like sir, relax. Sometimes men think that just because they want fellatio with a certain level of intensity that we are the same way when that oftentimes isn't the case at all. A way to get him to be a little more gentle is to take his face into your hands and let him know that the way you are about to kiss him up top is the way that you desire to be kissed down below. I know this is pretty effective because I've recommended it to some of my married clients and it improved things tremendously. One husband told me that it was because men like to be shown more than told what to do (sexually) a lot of the time. Makes sense. This actually brings me to my next point.
Avoid Being an “Oral Nazi”
Not too long ago, I did an interview where I was asked if I ever get triggered in counseling sessions. Chile…CHILE. You don't have the time and I don't have the writing space to get into all of that. What I will say is what tops the list is listening to someone who can dish criticisms — if not all-out berating — all day long and yet can't take it from their partner one bit. Where I am going when it comes to this particular topic is, how would you feel if "he" thought you sucked at giving head…and not in a good way? As a direct result, the entire time you were doing it, he barked directives at you? Well, you know what the Golden Rule says — a variation of it is don't dish what you can't take. Spending the entire time saying "do this" or "don't do that" is not only a little demeaning, it also doesn't make him want to continue…or return. There are other ways to get your points(s) across. One way is right below this.
Guide Him via Your Body Language
I'm pretty sure that you've heard somewhere that around 90 percent of communication is non-verbal. What a lot of experts are now saying is it's more like 55 percent of communication is body language, 38 percent is tone of voice (a lot of people underestimate that part) and seven percent are actual words.
Either way, the greatest takeaway is that body language is huge when you're trying to convey something to someone else. Pulling his head into you. Guiding his fingers. Moving your pelvis either towards him (signaling "good") or away (signaling "not so good"). Slowly gyrating when you like something and slowing significantly down when you don't. Opening yourself up with your fingers so that he can get right where you want him to be. All of these are ways to get him to do — and not do — the things that you like…each without saying a single word.
Be His “Motivation”
To this day, I don't think there's a song (or visual) by Kelly Rowland that I like more than "Motivation". And listen, if there is ever a time and place when a man doesn't mind hearing "go, go, go…GO", it's during the act of sex. While I'm not the biggest fan, overall, of egos being in the bedroom, being your partner's ultimate cheerleader while he is doing all that he can to make you happy? I am definitely all about that. If dirty talk inspires him, do it. If he's hitting the right places, let him know. If you're on the brink of climaxing, find a way, verbally, to make that abundantly clear in order to boost his confidence to bring you to completion. Far too many fellas have told me that even if cunnilingus isn't their favorite thing in the world to do, hearing their partner get super hype makes it something that they look forward to…just on sheer hype-ness alone.
Stay in the Moment
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to sex — any kind of sex — is being so caught up in the end result that they don't take out the time to just…be in the moment. While there are very few things in this life that will ever top an earth-shattering orgasm, if you are overly preoccupied with getting to one, that can tense you up which could stress the both of you out, because the less relaxed you are, the harder it is for even the best lover to please you. So, instead of taking on the mindset that you want your partner to improve in order to make you climax, think more in the lane of you wanting your partner to learn how to please you so that you can enjoy just…being with him. That way, the pressure will remove itself and pleasure unspeakable can surely have its will and its way. Wheeeeew.
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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. ;)
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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Victoria Monét has had an incredible year. Thanks to the success of the widely popular “On My Mama” that went viral, the singer/ songwriter’s Jaguar II album debuted in the top 10 of Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart. She also went on to headline her own sold-out tour. So, when the MTV VMAs happened in September, everyone was surprised to learn that Victoria’s team was told that it was “too early” for the “Smoke” artist to perform at the award show. However, a couple of months later, the mom of one received seven Grammy nominations, including “Best R&B Album” and “Record Of The Year.”
Victoria is currently in London and stopped by The Dotty Show on Apple Music and shared how she feels “validated” after being dismissed by the VMAs.
“It really does feel nice and validating because, in my head, the reason why I wanted to be a performer at the VMAs or award ceremonies like that is because I felt like I am at the place where I should. I would work really hard to put on the best show that I could, and I was excited to do so,” she said.
“And I guess the best way to describe it for me is like when you're like on a sports team, and the coach is like, ‘No, you gotta sit this one out.’ When they finally put you in, and then you score all these points, and it feels like that feeling. You're like, yes, I knew it wasn't tripping, but I knew I worked hard for this, and so it's been super validating to just have these accolades come after a moment like that, and I know the fans feel vindicated for me.
While her fans called the VMAs out on their decision, the “Moment” singer kept it cute and is still open to performing at the iconic award show. “I feel no ill towards them because it's just maybe that's just truly how they felt at the time, but I hope their mind has changed,” she admitted.
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Feature image by Amy Sussman/WireImage for Parkwood