Have you ever been on the verge of pouring your feelings out to a sexual partner because of how good he and his dick were making you feel?
By "good", I don't just mean him dicking you down so well that he makes your legs shake, your toes curl and your vagina pulse. I also mean him making you feel so feminine and comfortable in your skin that you can't remain spiritually unaffected by such an encounter. Well, I have.
It happened during my post-Spring Break vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, with a man I met in Coco Bongo, a famous night club. Let's call him Jermaine.
Normally, my rule is to avoid one-night stands and any other kind of dick appointments. Not that I've made some type of celibacy commitment or anything, but my sexual appetite is so strong that I'm afraid casual sex would easily make it on the list of my unhealthy addictions. And considering that, before that night, I used to take a lot of pride in my low body count, I didn't really mind being on a no-sex diet. Moreover, a part of me always liked to think that sex is only worth it if it involves two people who are in love with each other... Anyway.
Just like any other diet that I've been on, it wasn't easy and required me to remain focused on and committed to my goal at all times. Thankfully, it doesn't always have to be that hard, considering that being on a diet also means that you're allowed to have a good cheat meal from time to time. And back in Mexico, I was craving one.
I hadn't had a cheat meal in 753 days.
Needless to say, I could unfortunately relate to any of those hilarious #dayswithoutsex memes. To be fair, it's my insecurities that allowed me to last for so long. My insecurities – these negative beliefs that I used to have about myself after a severe weight gain. These negative beliefs that led me on a hateful, unstoppable self-body shaming journey that's done nothing but damage my self-esteem.
These love handles? Hate. Those back rolls? Hate. Those flabby arms? Hate. This fat belly making my breasts look even smaller? Hate, hate, hate.
The 45 pounds that I gained two years ago transformed my body so much that it had me dreading the day I wouldn't be able to resist my thirst for sex. I'd pictured this scene in my head so often... Me letting a man touch and see the parts of me that I hate the most, only for him to end up hating them just as much. It turned into one of my fears.
Oh, I wish someone had told me sooner that it could also go the other way around... That I could also let a man touch and see the parts of me that I hate the most for him to teach me how to love them more. That man was Jermaine. Jermaine taught me.
When Jermaine and I met, I knew that if I was to bring things further, it wouldn't be for us to just play cards. He confirmed my thoughts when he licked his way up from my collarbone to my ear and whispered, "I've been on you all night. You're so sexy."
His words of affirmation immediately caused a waterfall between my legs. I must admit, it made me feel a little more confident, but I still believed that it was going to be all fun and games until he'd want to take off my shirt. Which is why, despite how I deeply wanted to have sex with him, I still made the decision to leave it at that for the night and promised I'd call him the next morning like he asked me to. I went to bed smiling like an idiot, eager to wake up a few hours later to see whether or not Jermaine and I would meet again.
His resort's beach was within a walking distance from mine, so we agreed to meet each other halfway. Although I was thrilled to see him, it didn't take a minute before I started feeling nervous. The night before, Jermaine and I met in a dark room and alcohol was involved; I wasn't sure he'd still be attracted to me in the daylight and the tropical weather only made things worse. Clearly, it was way too hot and humid to wear any kind of clothes or makeup. What Jermaine was about to get was the rawest version of me. But our short little beach date went better than I thought it would: no awkward greetings, the conversation flowed naturally and there was a lot of laughter.
Honestly, I didn't even think of the way I looked once. I was being myself and it felt good. I guess that's what happens when you date someone 12 years older than you; you don't really have time for that insecure ish.
As it was already late in the afternoon when we met, we headed back to my resort straight away. By the time we arrived, most vacationers had left to start getting ready for dinner. Soon, it was just Jermaine and I, and what was left unfinished in the club continued unabated on the beach. I sat on him as he was laying on a sunbed and pressed my forehead on his. His arms were wrapped around my waist and mine around his neck. As our tongues were swirling around each other's, his hands moved down to my butt cheeks. He squeezed them and pulled me closer. He slightly took off my bikini top and started licking my breasts. I gasped. Hurting him was my way to show him how thirsty I was, so I bit him hard in the neck. I couldn't contain myself anymore and risking being seen by anyone made everything even more exciting.
Eventually, my hands ended up in his shorts, which forced us to get a room. Everything about him and his attitude made my entire being feel beautiful and respected. He was calm, peaceful and wasn't trying to rush into it. He kept talking to me as he took off my shorts and bikini top, making eye contact. Every part of my body that he touched, he nicely complimented, starting from my lips to, well... my private parts.
When he penetrated me, it was as if he had entered a sacred temple. A sacred temple that he somehow helped me rediscover with every one of his kisses and caresses.
That night, Jermaine taught me that people don't view you the way you view yourself. The truth is, people can even be more comfortable with your body than you are. And for the first time in years, I felt enough. I felt wanted. I felt desired. The sex was amazing and overwhelming. Along with every stroke came waves of emotions. The kind of emotions that you feel when your soul heals: elevation, lightness and passion. Perhaps, it's the fact that I knew that there was going to be no tomorrow, perhaps it's the fact that he gave my body the appreciation it's been seeking, but what I'm sure of is that I didn't fear him seeing my body anymore. The more pleasure he was giving me, the more pleasure I wanted to give him. And I wanted him to be able to witness that. I wanted him to see how wonderful he was making me feel. I turned the lights on.
Alexa, play "Rocket" by Beyoncé.
Sometimes, dick with no complications is what you need.
If this piece isn't about reconsidering wrong beliefs and limiting thoughts, then I don't know what it is. Remember when I told you that my low body count mattered and that sex is only worth it if it involves two people in love with each other? I didn't know what I was talking about. The only reason I wanted to keep a low body count was because I didn't want my (nowhere-to-be-seen) future husband to marry someone perceived as "promiscuous". Announcement: men that are husband material don't care. Ask them.
Bigger announcement: our value as women don't decrease based on the number of sex partners we've had.
It's our right to explore our female sexuality, gain the experience we're looking for and take pleasure in doing so. I'm no scientist, nor a psychologist, but I know for a fact that allowing outside determinants to prevent you from living and enjoying your sexuality on your own terms will cause you a lot of frustrations. As for the part of me that liked to think that sex is only worth it if it involves two people in love... that drives from me being a spiritual person. Making sure that my soul is abundantly nurtured on all the things it needs is essential to me, and I know that it's real love that it craves, not sex.
However, I'd been missing the fact that taking care of my soul includes taking care of its house. And while my sole purpose was to relieve my sexual appetite that night, I discovered that sleeping with a stranger exceeded by far all the ways I could've learned how to properly worship my body. Jermaine and I were definitely not in love. But was it worth it? Heck yes.
Would I do it again? Absolutely.
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Featured image by Savannah Taider/Instagram
The most Gemini woman you'll ever meet. Communications & community enthusiast, I run a media platform centered around spirituality, and I'm always looking to connect with fellow creatives. Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @savannahtaider
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.
2023 has become the year of celebrity breakups with headlines breaking left and right about celebs filing for divorce or ending high-profile relationships. The latest couple to announce their dissolution? British actress Jodie Turner-Smith. TMZ reported that Jodie has filed for a divorce from her husband, Dawson Creek alum Joshua Jackson.
As far as her reason for calling it quits, Jodie cited "irreconcilable differences," according to TMZ, and has requested joint custody of the couple's daughter, Juno Rose Diana Jackson. Late last year there were rumblings of there being "trouble in paradise" for the couple after the media realized they were no longer following each other on Instagram.
Those rumors were more than laid to rest when Jodie and Joshua went to the 2023 Oscars together earlier this year, and even more recently, when they celebrated her birthday together last month during the September unveiling of the Lotus Emeya.
Jodie Turner-Smith celebrates her birthday with husband Joshua Jackson at the unveiling of the new fully-electric Lotus Emeya on September 07, 2023 in New York City.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Lotus
Despite seeming particularly happy and in love, perhaps the writing was already written on the wall even then. In the past, Jodie has been very celebratory publicly about her love for her estranged husband, even boldly recounting their love story for the books in a 2021 interview with Seth Meyers.
When Jodie and Joshua met, it was while at his birthday party in 2018. Their relationship was hot and heavy from the start, with Jodie openly noting that they began as a "one-night stand." During her 2021 interview with Seth Meyers, she jokingly referred to their love story as a "three-year one-night stand." She shared:
"First of all, I saw him before he saw me and when I saw him, I was like, 'I want that.' And then when he saw me, I just pretended like I didn't see him. He had to yell across the room to me, and I was wearing this T-shirt from a movie called Sorry to Bother You and [actress] Tessa Thompson plays a character called Detroit, and she has this T-shirt that says, 'The Future Is Female Ejaculation.'
"And so, he shouts across the room, 'Detroit!' He comes over and… does this really cute, charming thing that he does and just all night -- he just basically followed me around the party."
The couple were together from that moment forth, and even made things "Instagram official" less than two weeks later while on a dinner date. Joshua would later clarify to Insider that the night they met in 2018 was not a 'one-night stand' or a 'three-year one-night stand' like his then-wife joked but instead, it was "technically a three-night stand."
"It was sealed with a kiss that night and then we didn't leave each other's sides for, well, three years now," Joshua continued at the time.
In a July 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Joshua dropped more details about the why behind getting married. He revealed that he didn't know he wanted to get married to Jodie until "the moment she asked me."
"She asked me on New Year's Eve. We were in Nicaragua. It was very beautiful, incredibly romantic, we were walking down the beach and she asked me to marry her."
He added, "I did not know [she would propose], but she was quite adamant and she was right. This is the best choice I ever made."
Joshua Jackson Reveals Jodie Turner-Smith Proposed To Him
Jodie received quite a bit of flack for proposing to Joshua because it goes against tradition and what society sees as acceptable for a woman to do to a man, and proposing isn't one of them. No matter how much time has passed, the viewpoints around who should do the proposing and who should be proposed to are still very traditional.
After being on the receiving end of such backlash, Joshua would later clarify to the media in a separate interview that it wasn't just Jodie's proposal to him that sealed the deal of them getting married, he proposed to her too. She might have initiated it, but Joshua followed through.
"I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn't give the full context and holy Jesus, the internet is racist and misogynist," he explained to Refinery29 that same year. "We were in Nicaragua on a beautiful moonlit night, it could not possibly have been more romantic."
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
He continued, "And yes, my wife did propose to me and yes, I did say yes, but what I didn't say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I'm still old school enough that I said, 'This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too].'"
"She has a biological father and a stepdad, who's the man who raised her. [I said], 'You have to give me the opportunity to ask both of those men for your hand in marriage.' And then, 'I would like the opportunity to re-propose to you and do it the old-fashioned way down on bended knee.' So, that's actually how the story ended up."
Joshua and Jodie would eventually marry in December 2019. Shortly thereafter, Jodie gave birth to the couple's first child, Janie, in 2020.
In a recent interview with Elle UK, Jodie shared the ways becoming a mother to Juno helped to heal her of her wounds from colorism she experienced in the past. "It's interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother and, throughout my life, I always said if I were to have children, I wanted to have Black, Black babies so that I could affirm them as children with the love that I felt I needed to have been affirmed with by the outside world," Jodie shared with the outlet.
She continued, "Then I fell in love with my husband and we talked about having kids. I did have this mini pause, where I was like, 'She's going to be walking through the world not only having an experience that I did not have, but looking like people that, in a way, I'd always felt a little bit tormented by.' Now that I've got this little, tiny, light-skinned boss, I feel like it’s the universe teaching me lessons. I've been given a daughter who looks this way to heal my own conversations around colorism."
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