In my opinion, New Year's is the best time to start over. I love the first of the year because it inspires me to dream big again and to recommit to goals I didn't achieve the previous year, like getting back into the gym, eating healthier, and reading more books. New year resolutions help us become better versions of ourselves. But how about our sex lives? We rarely think of including our sexual lives in our new year resolutions.
A study by EdenFantasies found that one-third of Americans in relationships are unhappy with their sex life, which tells me more people should make sex a part of their resolutions. Sex resolutions are just like regular resolutions. You make them after reflecting on the past and deciding how you want things to be different in the future. A good sex resolution is one that makes sex more comfortable, pleasurable, and exciting. This could mean taking a whole new approach to the bedroom or just swapping out some old toys for new ones.
This year along with my usual New Year, New Me resolutions, I’m including resolutions that deal specifically with improving my sex life and I want you to add some too. Here are some sex resolutions we all can incorporate this year to have a better more fulfilled sex life this year and for years to come.
1.Stop faking orgasms.naked orgasm GIFGiphy
In the name of everything sacred, please don't fake it anymore. If you do nothing else on this list in 2023, promise yourself and me that this will be the one thing you’ll do. In truth, faking orgasms causes more harm than good, because it's a lie. Your partner won't be able to improve if you're constantly lying to them. Rather than faking it, talk about it instead. Talk with your partner about your needs and/or what you dislike about sex and work together to improve it.
2.Have more sex outside the bedroom.
This year, have more sex outside the bedroom. A simple change in location can spice up your old routine and make sex feel exciting again. According to research from House Method, sex outside the bedroom may even help your relationship and sex life. They conducted a survey and found that people who were having sex outside the bedroom reported having more sex, more relationship satisfaction, and more sexual satisfaction.
3.Explore your fantasies.Fantasy Ludacris GIFGiphy
Sex in public? Threesomes? BDSM? Fantasy is not just for children. Whatever your fantasies are, there are healthy ways to explore them. Exploration is a great teacher that reveals who we are, what excites us, and how colorful our imagination can be. Fantasies don’t have to be taboo secrets that we keep hidden away, rather they should be embraced. Repeat after me: It’s okay for me to pretend.
4.Buy a new sex toy.
The new year is the perfect time to try something new—why not try a sex toy? Whether you have a penis or vulva, there is a sex toy designed solely for your pleasure. Sex toys are meant to be used in collaboration, not competition. Although, most sex toys can be used solo, adding them into the mix with a partner can bring added excitement.
5.Take a sex class.ciara dancing GIFGiphy
Any skill you want to learn can be taught in a class. For example, if you wanted to learn how to speak Chinese, you would enroll in a Chinese class. As teenagers, when we wanted to learn to drive, we took driver’s ed. The same applies to sex as well. Truth is, we all have room for improvement, and what better way to brush up on our skills than with a sex class? Contrary to popular belief, people do not just “know” how to have great sex, they are taught. Great sex is more practice than skill. So, just like a cooking class to improve your kitchen skills, sex classes improve your bedroom skills. Fortunately for all of us, there are plenty of sex classes available IRL and online to help improve our performance.
There are SO many health benefits to masturbation. Stress reduction. Better sleep. Fewer headaches. And of course orgasms! Masturbation isn’t just for single people. In fact, regular masturbation can bring back your sex drive, whether you're exploring on your own or with someone else. Masturbation strengthens the pleasure pathways in your brain, which make it easier to locate them.
7.Get tested at least once a year.safe sex condom GIF by 89.7 BayGiphy
This is the most important resolution on the list. As sexually active adults, whether married or single, it’s important for us to know our status and get tested yearly. As long as you're sexually active, you should be tested for STDs at least once a year. If you have more than one partner, share intravenous (IV) needles, or don't always practice safer sex by using a condom each time you have intercourse, you should be tested every three to six months. Don’t put your sexual health in the hands of someone else this year, get tested!
Featured image by blackCAT/Getty Images
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Whether it was your group chat, social media feed, or your favorite media outlet covering the spectacle, I’m pretty sure you’ve come across the viral Black wedding between actress KJ Smith (Sistas, Raising Kanan) and actor Skyh Black (All the Queen’s Men, Sistas). From their grand entrance to Jay-Z, Kayne West, and Beyoncé’s song “Lift Off” to KJ’s standout dance routine and the endless celebrity appearances, it’s an addictive TikTok scroll you can’t help but delve into.
But what many people would be surprised to know is that the couple’s original wedding plan was nothing like what it grew to be. What started as her simply scrolling through posts to get ideas eventually transformed into what the internet knows now as #TheBlackExperience. In an exclusive conversation with xoNecole, KJ walked us through her planning process, the morning of her wedding, and what she thinks of the online response.
Some women have their whole wedding planned out, from the bridal gown and venue to the bridal party and playlist. However, KJ was not one of those people. “I didn’t foresee a wedding in my future,” she reveals. “I was just gonna be the boss chick, rich auntie. I didn’t force love in my life until recently. I never had an idea of what a dream wedding would look like, it was easier for me to elope.”
Photo by Stanley Babb/ Stanlo Photography
And to many people’s surprise, that was their original plan – until Skyh brought up a valid concern. He was raised by his grandmother and thought she should be at the wedding, and naturally, that led to KJ wanting her grandmother to be there as well – then her mom – and later her sister – and, you’ve gotta invite the besties too, right? From there, the guest list continued to blossom. Much like the updo and pop of color bold red lip, she wore on her special day, which was initially on her Pinterest board as a soft glam look with her hair hanging on her shoulders, KJ is okay with changing her plan if it brings her and her loved ones happiness.
So let’s get into the wedding, which took place in Malibu, CA. The first thing you should know about the celebrity couple is that they’re non-traditional. They know, and they don’t care. So, in true unconventional fashion, they shared the morning of the wedding together.
“I woke up with Skyh, we walked our dog, had black coffee, and said good morning to the people who stayed at the venue with us,” she says.
Now, it was time for hair and makeup. While she was getting glammed up, she had Black-owned McBride Sisters wine and champagne (which ties into The Black Experience theme) on deck with her mom and friends, had her besties help rework her vows, retried on every outfit (sis is very Type-A), took photos, and ended the early-celebration with prayer and meditation. It seems very non-Bridezilla, I said.
“Yeah, I was the most unbothered bride ever. Everyone was just so supportive. As entertainers, we go on red carpets all the time. We actually have a production company,” she explains. “The get-ready process was like a day at work, but with people we love the most. Being entertainers, we didn’t feel stressed at all, but my excitement was so high.”
Things moved quickly, and before she knew it, it was time to line up to walk down the aisle.
“Yeah, I was the most unbothered bride ever. Everyone was just so supportive. As entertainers, we go on red carpets all the time. We actually have a production company. The get-ready process was like a day at work, but with people we love the most. Being entertainers, we didn’t feel stressed at all, but my excitement was so high.”
KJ Smith and her bridal party
Photo by Stanley Babb/ Stanlo Photography
Since everything started with their grandmothers, the couple wanted to ensure they honored them and planned to keep an element of their wedding traditional. Although we’ve all seen the reception videos and photos online, you may have noticed visuals from the wedding itself are harder to find.
“We planned for it to be traditional, but we’re not like that, so we tried to create those moments. We jumped the broom and had a salt ceremony (where the bride and groom individually pour salt into a glass container, symbolizing their lives becoming one.) But honestly, still, nothing was traditional about it.”
She goes on to explain that her mom caught the holy ghost coming down the aisle, her glam team was on deck, and she became so nervous with excitement that she had an anxiety attack – something she struggled with for years, she explains tearfully. Her friends had to literally cheer her down the aisle because of how overwhelmed she felt until she eventually calmed down.
“Skyh was standing there with his hand on his heart; we have our own little language, and I could feel the support,” she shares.
It was surprising to hear all these emotional moments happened before the party we saw online. That is until she once again got into the backstory.
“As a Black woman actress, for so long, it was popular to be mysterious and secretive, but that’s not who I am or what I like. Plus, we both wanted to create an experience for everyone there. We are the people who always host family and friends,” she says. “Like for me, the first order of business was getting sandals for the women so they can dance all night long. We had oxtail, D'ussé, and a coffee and sativa lounge – which is part of Skyh and I’s lifestyle and routine. We wanted to bring them into our world.”
Skyh Black (L) and KJ Smith (R)
Photo by Stanley Babb/ Stanlo Photography
She went on to discuss the dance routine she did for her husband at the reception, which has taken over the internet. Apparently, that’s another thing that didn’t go according to plan. According to KJ, she had promised a performance at their joint bachelor/ bachelorette party, but her outfit got stolen from her car. So, Skyh ended up performing for her – complete with a strip tease. Still, she never forgot her promise to dance for him.
So, she hired her friend as a choreographer, learned the routine, made friends and family watch it endless times, and attended Beyoncé’s Renaissance show a few days before for a confidence boost. It ended up being a show to remember. But that wasn’t all the night offered. Lil Mo performed, and the guests received special goody bags featuring their favorite Black-owned products like journals, hair care, and more.
“We made sure everyone was taken care of all night. That kind of stuff makes us happy. I wanted everyone there to experience the joy and love I have for myself, my partner, and for them. I wanted them to feel full and whole, and they had the time of their lives,” she says.
But naturally, the internet is going to internet, and while there were countless people praising the event and applauding the newlyweds, some thought it was too over the top. I was curious to know her thoughts on some of the criticism.
“It’s cool. We did what we wanted to do. I’ve decided to share my world with people. Just how I went on social media platforms and found inspiration, I want people to do the same,” she explains. “I don’t think it's fair to my supporters not to give that out. There’s so much I wanna share with brides, specifically Black brides. I love that people are adding it to their Pinterest boards."
"I wanted everyone there to experience the joy and love I have for myself, my partner, and for them. I wanted them to feel full and whole, and they had the time of their lives."
Photo by Stanley Babb/ Stanlo Photography
“I’m happy with it because we did what we wanted to do. They can do what they wanna do. Don’t be cruel, though, because you will get blocked,” she said, laughing.
The more I spoke with her, the more her sense of freedom shined through. People are always going to have their opinions, but at the end of the day, it’s you who has to live your life, and it seems like the couple realizes that and embraces that power. She also stressed the importance of not living for others and the lessons life has taught her.
“I’ve been to countless weddings, and I’ve been in countless weddings. I’m a generally older bride. So when women in my demographic get married, and you and your husband are busy working people like us, you deserve to have the one you want to have,” she shares.
“This is what we wanted to do. Our loved ones love and support us. We did so much to honor them, but we also wanted to start our own tradition, legacy, and creation. I'm not going to be pulled back into ideas of the past when I’m trying to create a future with my partner. “
If you’d like to see more of the couple, you probably won’t have to wait long. Although no content is planned yet, she admits to being an oversharer. “Me being open and transparent about my experiences lets people know it’s okay to have flaws; it makes you human, and for many years, I didn’t believe that was okay. I had pressure to be perfect, and I’d crumble every time,” she explains to xoNecole.
Now, she owns her flaws and uses them as a superpower to connect with her community and feel and express her love.
“Some people give us [Skyh and KJ] a hard time because they say we just seem too perfect. I’m like, why is that a bad thing? I love the people I love. From my man to my mama, to my friends - unabashedly. We move through time and space how we want to move. If we did it another way, we’d let ourselves and our union down.”
Feature image by Stanley Babb/ Stanlo Photography
Take it from us: If there’s anything we can do to make our periods more seamless and hassle-free, we’ll do it. That time of the month has a way of making our entire world and routine revolve around it. From the self-conscious feeling of needing to “check” yourself after sitting down for a long period of time to the “whoopsie” spotting that may come after a good laugh, navigating your period confidently isn’t always as easy as finding the right pad.
But if you could give yourself one less thing to think about during your period, unwanted leakage is at the top of the list — and period undies are here to save the day.
Period panties are underwear designed to be worn during menstruation to absorb menstrual flow and provide a comfortable, discrete, and leak-proof alternative to traditional menstrual products like pads or tampons. Not only are they absorbent and fit light to heavy flows, but most period panties are made to be reusable, making them a cost-effective and eco-friendly option compared to disposable menstrual products.
From briefs to boy shorts and more, we've got the best period undies that will have you feeling confident and protected all day (and night) long.
Aisle period underwear boasts a unique design that incorporates their cutting-edge Truetex™ technology with a leak-resistant layer, ensuring you stay comfortably dry and confident. They offer eight times the absorbency of typical disposable products, and when worn alone, their underwear can absorb as much fluid as four tampons. Kiss your leakage worries goodbye.
Experience unparalleled confidence with the Full Coverage Cotton Modal Super Leakproof Bikini. The undies offer comfort and unmatched absorbency, capable of absorbing the equivalent of eight tampons' worth of liquid. Crafted from a naturally breathable and luxuriously soft Cotton & Modal blend, these bikinis are sure to become your most adored companion during that time of the month.
If you find yourself waking up with a spot or two on your sheet during your cycle, you just might have the panties of your dreams. Cora’s sleep shorts provide up to ten hours of leak protection, equivalent to the absorption capacity of six regular tampons, all without causing discomfort, bunching, or sticky pad mishaps. As reusable shorts, you can wash them, rinse them, and wear them again. So, save your sheets and sleep more peacefully with these underwear.
If you’re looking for an overnight panty alternative that’s within your budget, try these overnight underwear from Always for a leak-free night.
Bambody believes that period protection should be both affordable and kind to the environment. Their range of comfortable and reusable bamboo period underwear keeps you feeling fresh and protected while reducing waste. And with the absorbance of four tampons, their period underwear will give you ultimate assurance when you need it most.
When it comes to all-day protection, Thinx has you covered. These high-waisted, vintage-inspired panties give you an elegant flare while delivering top-level absorbency.
From light, medium, to heavy flow days, Goat Union provides you with moisture-wicking, extra absorbent (equivalent to 3-4 regular tampons), leak-proof, and breathable briefs that are perfect for overnight use — eliminating the need for tampons, pads, or cups for a hassle-free period.
Featured image by jacoblund/Getty Images