It’s time we have a talk with our yoni.
Before we ever knew she had a name, our yoni has been a beloved companion. She ushered us into womanhood with our menstrual cycle and nudges us in the right direction through the voice of our intuition. Through her, all life flows, and with that kind of power, doesn’t she deserves a lot more love, care, and protection?
“Everything comes [from the] womb,” says Dorisa King, Minister of Holistic Feminine Healthcare and Pennsylvania’s first Certified Yoni Steam Practitioner. “Our deepest fears, desires, and goals — that woman's intuition that we feel is really our womb talking to us. The womb is the brain of the woman's body.”
Dorisa’s calling came to her in a dream on her 30th birthday in 2018. While she had never heard of Yoni steaming before, the vision set her on the path to seek further education about the practice and inspired her to rewrite the womb history in her family. “I've always been into herbs and eating clean, so the fact that a lot of women in my family had hysterectomies and suffered from fibroids — and with me having painful periods — I wanted to reverse the curse on the womb history in my family.”
Part 5| Yoni Specialist, Dorisa King is back with some more natural birth control tips! In this clip, Dorisa talks about a natural herb you can use as birth control. If you’re tired of using hormonal contraceptives push that + for more tips! #naturalbirthcontrol #contraception #tiktokhealthtips #viral #blackseedoil #birthcontroloptions
After a clip of Dorisa sharing a list of natural birth control options went viral, many women in the comments were left amazed (and even skeptical) of the discovery. From black seed oil to tangerine juice, these alternatives to hormonal birth control have left many of us wondering: why didn’t anyone tell us about these before? But according to Dorisa, it’s an insight that our ancestors have made available to us all along.
“I like to take things back to our roots and ancestors. We've only been in this country for about 400 years, but these plants and herbs have been here forever,” she tells xoNecole. “We weren't able to practice these things then, but if you claim to be a child of God, you should take God's medicine.”
The connection we have with our womb is sacred. And with natural methods to enhance our feminine care and secure our reproductive health, we can ensure that the care of our vagina remains where it should be: in a woman’s hands.
Dorisa tells us all about how natural birth controls work, how to up our Yoni care routine, and why a natural approach to birth control is worth trying.
xoNecole: You’re a big advocate of good Yoni care — could you share what a proper Yoni care routine entails?
Dorisa King: I want to talk about vulva care, and that's: washing, toning, exfoliating, and moisturizing your vulva daily.
It's really important to wash your vulva with a safe plant-based wash. We use our hands only because rags carry bacteria, and the detergent that we use can be harsh. A rag is too harsh of a material to use on this soft sensitive skin, so I always recommend using your hands to clean your vulva, the clitoris, the small lips, and the big lips.
If you're getting waxes, I really recommend toning with a nice plant-based toner or rose water and exfoliate the skin to keep it clean from dead skin cells. Lastly, apply a good moisturizer like flaxseed oil or coconut oil.
xoN: How can Yoni steams help to the regulation of our flow and/or relieve menstrual discomfort?
DK: Everything that we eat must go through our womb before it exits the body. The way yoni steaming works is by cleaning out the womb space and the vaginal canal. The steam goes through the canal and kind of whispers around the reproductive organs to pull out anything that's unwanted — a lot of stagnant energy [from] a spiritual perspective. Anything backed up in there is just going to expel. I like to think of it as when we have a congested nose, we steam our face, and the snot comes out. Well, it's the same thing when we steam our yoni.
xoN: Let’s talk about natural birth control. What are some natural birth control methods that women can use to prevent pregnancy, and how do they work?
DK: They work by getting into the bloodstream. Everything's all about the blood, especially when it comes to women. There are four different birth controls I’m going to share, and they all can be used at the same time and work effectively together.
- Black seed oil: Black seed oil should be taken in the a.m. and the p.m. around the same time, daily. Black seed oil is great for keeping the immune system boosted and rid of excessive mucus in the body.
- Organic coconut oil, organic: Unrefined coconut oil is actually a spermicide. It can be used as a lubricant on the penis and all over the yoni. Every time before sex, you want to apply this because the properties in coconut oil and antifungal and antimicrobial, keeping infections at bay.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C keeps your immune boosted, and it should be used after sex or before sex. We want to keep these herbs and minerals inside the body so the blood knows how to recognize [them] and then let [them] do [their] job. You can use vitamin C like in capsule form like Emergen-C, or you can use other liquids like tangerine and grapefruit juice.
- Neem oil: This kills sperm in 30 seconds, tops. Now, the smell is very offensive, but it works, and it has been used for hundreds of years. A way to use neem oil is after penetrative sex, you'll pour the neem oil inside an applicator, insert it up to your cervix, and abstain from sex for 24 hours to allow the herb to do its job.
xoN: How long after sex should someone wait to utilize these natural contraceptives?
DK: I would do it immediately, but I want to treat this just like you would with Plan B — that 24-72 hours after sex.
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Featured image by Prostock-Studio/Getty Images
Aley Arion is a writer and digital storyteller from the South, currently living in sunny Los Angeles. Her site, yagirlaley.com, serves as a digital diary to document personal essays, cultural commentary, and her insights into the Black Millennial experience. Follow her at @yagirlaley on all platforms!
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.
Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
What would you do if you just got laid off from your corporate job and you had a serendipitous encounter with someone who gave you the opportunity of a lifetime? Tamara Taylor was faced with that decision in 2013 after she was let go from her sales profit and operations coach job in the restaurant industry and met a then-up-and-coming stylist, Law Roach, on a flight to L.A. She and Roach struck up a conversation, and he shared how he was looking for someone to run his business and was impressed by her skills. While she took his business card, she was unsure if it would lead to anything. But, boy, was she wrong. Two weeks later, after packing up her home to move back to her hometown of Chicago, she called Roach; he asked if they could meet the following day, and the rest is herstory.
Taylor founded Mastermind MGMT, an agency that represents some of Hollywood’s best “image architects” like Roach, Kellon Deryck, and Kollin Carter, who are responsible for creating unforgettable style and beauty moments for celebrities like Zendaya, Megan Thee Stallion, Taraji P. Henson, and more. Taylor and her company possess an array of functions, but her biggest role is to be her client’s advocate. We hear endless stories about how creatives aren’t paid or underpaid in the entertainment industry, but Taylor ensures that her clients get their piece of the pie. The entrepreneur opened up about her company and her non-profit, Mastermind Matters, in an exclusive interview with xoNecole.
“I always say that I'm an artist advocate first, deal closer second. So my primary focus is to just make sure that the artist is getting everything that they deserve, whether it's compensation or, you know, certain accommodations, but just making sure that they have everything that they need to be able to show up and provide the best service that they're hired for,” she explained.
“So you know, in the beginning, it was hard because I didn't have any experience, and the artists who I was working with at the time–we were learning together, meaning neither of us had assisted anyone. We didn't have mentors in our specific fields. So every deal was like a new learning experience for us from the styling side and also from the business side, and so it took, you know, doing some research, using some very creative tactics, to find out information in the industry and just starting to request accommodations that I knew other artists were granted, who maybe didn't look like my artists.”
Photo courtesy of Tamara Taylor
Ten years later, there’s still not many people who are doing what Taylor is doing. However, things have gotten easier thanks to the research and connections she made in the beginning. During Mastermind MGMT’s ten-year anniversary celebration, she announced her non-profit, Mastermind Matters, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that focuses on helping young entrepreneurs through a 12-week program. The program is divided into “two routes.” The first route is for aspiring creative artists who want to start a business from their talent and all the things they need to learn about business, such as taxes, life insurance, etc. The second route is for practicing creative artists who are already in the industry but need resources such as how to plan for retirement or how to sustain themselves if they can’t work for a short amount of time, i.e., the pandemic.
“I just feel that I'm able to have a business and be successful because of their art as well. And so there are things that I know, I tried to teach it to them but understanding that I can only do so much because I'm not a subject matter expert in those fields,” she said. “So I at least want to be able to provide the resources, and then if they make their grown decision not to do it, then that's on them. But you know, I could be guilt-free and taking advantage of the resources that I'm also providing to them.”
Taylor continues to be an innovator in her industry by always pushing the boundaries of creativity and thinking one step ahead of everyone else. The Chicago-bred businesswoman is moving into the tech space thanks to a new invention created with her clients in mind, and she is looking forward to bigger collaborations in the future. Follow Mastermind MGMT on Instagram @mastermind_mgmt for more information.
Feature image courtesy of Tamara Taylor