Like xoNecole on Facebook
You know what? Sometimes, you've got to push a few coins aside and determine in your mind that you're going to invest into your sex life (if you had a sex jar, this would be easier to do, by the way. You can read more about what that is all about here). If you're someone who is totally down to do that, but you don't have a clue where to begin, boy have you come to the right place! Between the joy of being a writer who sometimes gets samples sent to me, the constant research that I do for the couples I work with and having folks shout-out certain items semi-often, I've compiled a list of 12 sex-related items that may seem random AF (a pun is kind of intended there) and, at the same time, can make sex so much better between you and your partner. Where's your pad at? You're definitely gonna wanna take note.
1. Jenga PDF Sexy Couples - Erotic Adult Party Game for Adventurous Couples
Something that's cool about sex games is they can help to bring some laughter and lightness into the atmosphere. While having that kind of goal might seem odd on the onset, it's always important to remember that sex doesn't have to be sober-minded and serious. It's actually supposed to be a lot of fun! So, if you want to bring some extra light-hearted-with-a-touch-of-horny foreplay into your space, this is a PDF that you can purchase and immediately download with instructions, including numbers to put on your Jenga pieces and naughty questions that you can ask your partner. (It's on Etsy. You can cop it here.)
2. Melting Rose Petals
If there's one thing that can hinder a lot of us from going all out when it comes to "setting the stage" for a romantic evening, it's the thought of how much clean up will be required on the back end (sigh). That's a part of the reason why this particular item caught my eye.
If you and yours adore nothing more than soaking in the tub together, rose petals can definitely help to cultivate the right mood. The dope thing about these, in particular, is they slowly melt into your bathwater while leaving a smell of fresh stems. This means no worry about having to scoop petals up when you're done. Excellent.
(Pink Cherry is the site that sells them. Go here to buy a batch.)
3. Earthly Body Edible Massage Candle
What I personally like about this product is it combines the soft glow of a candle with the convenience of a massage oil that you can easily lick off — a win all the way around, y'all! What makes this edible massage candle even better is it's vegan-friendly, has apricot and coconut oil in it (which makes it nourishing for your skin) and it comes in three different flavors — strawberry, watermelon and vanilla. Since it's a 4 oz. candle, it should last you, shoot, at least a couple of rounds, right? Here's hoping. (Adam & Eve has got you on this one. Get it here.)
4. Edible Candy Lingerie Gift Set
There are times when, while I'm perusing the internet, I'll see something that is simply cute. That's how I felt when I noticed what looked like a string bikini set (top and bottom) that's made out of edible candy. Pretty sure there's no need to break this one's possibilities all the way down, right? Anyway, Walmart sells both pieces at a reasonable price. You can check it out here.
5. Sensuva Ice Cube Flavoured Cooling Nipple Balm
For some, nipples are a peak erogenous zone. For others, not so much (check out "So, What If 'Typical Erogenous Zones' Annoy TF Outta You?"). That said, whether you are trying to experience (or experience more) nipple orgasms or you're with someone who is a "breast person" and you want to learn how to enjoy getting aroused in that area more, something that could help you out is nipple balm. This particular kind will help to harden your nipples while providing a cooling sensation. Plus, the chocolate mint flavor will definitely help to put an even bigger smile on your partner's face. Lovehoney carries it. Get it here.
6. System Jo H2O Flavored Lubricant Collection
The wetter, the better, right (check out "The Wetter, The Better: 10 Creative Ways To Use Lubricant")? Yeah, my sentiments exactly. Flavored lubricant can be a lot of fun, especially when it comes to oral sex, because it provides a way for you to do what you're doing while enjoying a flavor that you really like. Something that I dig about this brand is it's got a ton of different flavors to choose from including Cherry Burst, Cotton Candy, Green Apple, Peachy Lips, Juicy Pineapple and so many others (the company boasts of a whopping 17!). Dear Lady is a site that has a good amount of different ones (go here). Yet if you want to go to the System Jo H2O site to see what other merchants carry this product, you can do that by going here.
7. Like A Virgin Tightening Pleasure Gel
So, before we even get into this one, check out an article that I wrote on this topic last spring entitled, "What Science Says About A So-Called 'Loose Vagina'". The bottom line is your vagina doesn't "overstretch" from sex (remember, we can push babies out through there!). So, more than anything, the name of this product is probably more of a marketing ploy than anything else. Still, it gets a shout-out here because it creates a tingling feeling as it helps the muscles within your vaginal walls to slightly contract (in the best way possible), of course. Restoring you to virgin status is pushing it yet providing a nice sensation during intercourse is something that it certainly can do. (Another Adam & Eve gem. Cop it here.)
8. GLYDE Organic Flavored Condoms
There's no way around the fact that the best way to proactively prevent contracting an STD or an unplanned pregnancy is to use a condom (check out "10 Things You Should DEFINITELY Know About Condoms" and "10 Ways To Make Using A Condom So Much More Pleasurable"). Here's the thing, though — a lot of people seem to forget (or is it blatantly ignore?) that you can get a sexually transmitted disease or infection from oral sex too. This is where flavored condoms come in and if you're not in an exclusive relationship where both of you get tested regularly, you should definitely have a box of these in your stash.
What I like about this brand is 1) the condoms are organic; 2) they are ethically made; 3) they're made out of latex and are ultra-thin (which your partner will definitely appreciate) and 4) they come in a variety of flavors. In fact, I recommend getting a variety pack (vanilla, strawberry, licorice, wildberry and blueberry) to see how you like 'em.
GLYDE is the company. The page for the variety pack is located here.
9. High on Love Chocolate Body Paint
Have you always been curious about whether or not weed ultimately makes sex better? If so, check out "7 Proven Ways Weed Makes Sex So Much Better". After doing that, getting yourself some chocolate body paint (the kind that has hemp seed oil in it) just may pique your interest. Some perks about this particular brand of body paint is it's water-based (so it won't jack up your sheets), it smells and tastes like chocolate and, since hemp seeds are full of protein and amino acids that can help to boost your energy levels, at the very least, you'll be in for a night of sensual experimentation and longevity. (EdenFantasys sells it. Get it here.)
10. We-Vibe Melt App Controlled Rechargeable Clitoral Stimulator
A couple of years ago, I wrote an article for the platform entitled, "How To Experience Amazing Foreplay (When You and Yours Are Apart)". The main reason why is because statistics show that at least 14-15 million people within the United States alone are currently in a long-distance relationship. If you happen to be one of them, hey, I don't have to tell you how challenging it can be when it comes to "scratching that itch", each and every time the mood hits. A work-around that can at least help things to become more bearable is a clitoral stimulator.
What intrigues me about this one is it comes with 12 different sensations, is waterproof and USB-rechargeable and you and your partner can connect it to an app so that he can help to get you off (yes, literally) no matter where he may be. The main hack to keep in mind is this one works best with some water-based lube. And while it's not the cheapest thing on the block (it currently retails for around $150), can you really put a price tag on consistent sexual pleasure? I mean, relatively-speaking? #wink (Get this at Lovehoney. Find it here.)
11. Wonderful Honey
Something that I kept hearing about the past few months, to the point where I did some investigating with some of the men in my world, is Wonderful Honey. Word on the street is it's a natural way to increase testosterone levels and build stamina and endurance. Each shipment contains 12 packets at 15 grams a pop. Like I said, men are huge fans. Couldn't hurt, right? (Medallion Mercantile is just one site that sells it. Check it out here.)
I don't think there's a better way to round up this sex-themed shopping list than to share with you something that I think every woman should own.
It's called a Dripstick and it's currently the only stick on the market that is able to remove excess fluid from your vagina following sexual activity. It's medical grade (a sponge is what you'll be using). The packaging is solid. It's also really easy to use (instructions are here).
So, if wet spots irk you, you and your partner like quickies but you hate the after-romp clean-up or there's some other reason why you've always wondered why something like this doesn't exist — Merry Christmas (LOL). It finally does. Awkward Essentials is the company. Get yourself at least one 20-pack box here. Enjoy!
Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.
Featured image by Giphy
Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine about someone who once told me that they had an annual week-long summer rendezvous that lasted for over 15 years with someone else. Yep — this individual would meet up with another person who lived in a different state, solely to have sex for a week straight, and then return to their city as if nothing ever happened. According to them, the only reason why this ritual romp eventually came to an end is because the other person decided to get serious about someone else; however, it wasn't until it ended that the person who told me the story realized how attached they actually had become to their sex partner (a cautionary tale). After I completed my lil' tale, my friend simply said, "Oh, I do that s — t every cuffing season. There are some people who I only talk to around this time of year, we f — k around and then that's that until the season comes around again."
Interesting. I mean, it's not like we don't all know what cuffing season is about at this point. By definition, it consists of linking up with someone (or a few individuals), for short-term partnerships (if you want to call them "partnerships"), in order to get through the bitter cold that is well on its way. Still, I can't help but to think that cuffing season has become such a big part of our culture these days, that when someone comes back into our life, solely and only for that purpose, that we may not be thinking things all the way through — that we may not be actually pondering if it truly is a good thing or if it's potentially a total waste of time or…even the beckoning of a potential unforeseen heartbreak. Or, if it could be blocking what really has the potential to be something more.
That's why I wanted to write about this. If, like clockwork, there are one or a few folks who like to pop up in the name of dear ole' cuffing season and you're just not sure if that's something that you want to put your precious energy into this year, I've got a few points for you to reflect on. Ones that will hopefully help you to make the decision that is ultimately best — for you.
Remember, Cuffing Season ALWAYS Has an Agenda
An author by the name of Lauren Weisberger once said, "Focus on yourself — do what you want, when you want, without having to consider anyone else's agenda." Agendas are interesting because, while it simply means having a list of things to do, if there is someone who ONLY hits you up around this time of year, the thing to keep in mind is that you're "something to do"…only right now. What I mean by that is, I'm a firm believer that we make time for what's important — that "being busy" is a kinda nice way of saying, "You're not a priority to me right now." So, if that guy has made the time to reach back out to you now yet hasn't any other time in the year, it's not really about your needs; it's all about his wants.
I don't care how he finesses it, romanticizes it or spins it — ole' boy could've just as easily hit you up in June as he did in September or October. So, if there is a large part of you that's considering letting him back in (pun intended and not intended at the same time), please keep in the forefront of your mind that there is definitely an agenda attached — and building something solid, I'm 89.9 percent sure, has very little to do with it.
Are You Horny, Lonely or Just…Bored?
So, what if you read all of what I just said and you're like, "I hear you. I'm still gonna answer his text, though." OK, then my follow-up point would be, "why?". So much is always revealed in the why of what we do what we do. Are you going to entertain this guy because you're horny? And if that's the case, were you not horny a couple of months ago or sometime even before that? What did you do to "ease your cravings" then? And why can't whatever-it-is-that-you-did work now?
Or maybe you didn't find a way to "scratch your itch" because you knew that fall would be rolling around, soon enough, and "he" is the one you wanted to, umm, spend your time with. If that's the case, it's important to also remember that cuffing season tends to be more about achieving physical goals than emotional ones. So, if getting back involved with him is about getting some and getting through the loneliness of the holiday season, don't forget that this is all a temporary fix; that he's gonna ease on out just as easily as he eased back in because, for him, it's not about him feeling lonely too. More times than not, it's probably about him wanting to link back up with someone who is more dependable instead of having to go through the trouble of having to find someone new. In other words, it's about you being less work than anything else.
And if it's because you're bored, I get that too. I used to do all kinds of bullshishery back in the day in the name of boredom. To that, I'll just say this — sex always comes with a certain amount of risk. STD risk. Pregnancy risk. Unnecessary drama and/or heartache risk. Hell, even if the "cuffing" that you're considering has nothing to do with copulation (make sure he knows that on the front end, by the way), like I say often when I publicly speak, "There is no condom for your heart." Countless nights being on the phone for hours on end, being booed up on the couch watching throwback Black movies, cooking together, hanging out, kissing and spooning — whatever it is that you want to do — that still cultivates a bond and cuffing season has a short shelf life.
So again, before moving full speed ahead, it's also a good idea to figure out the WHY behind what you are contemplating getting back into the cycle…again.
When’s the Last Time Your “Past” was in Your “Present”?
A motto that I personally live by is "life is meant to be lived in lines, not circles." In other words, have you ever watched a hamster, running nonstop, in his/her's cage before? Sigh. All of that work and getting absolutely nowhere. That said, something that amazes me about cuffing season is very few things that center around cyclic behavior gets the kind of praise that it does. Imagine going to a job once a year that never promotes you. Imagine getting back involved with a toxic friend, simply for old time's sake, once a year. Imagine returning to a habit that has proven to only temporarily please you and oftentimes comes to some unpredictable consequences, once a year. And yet, how is cuffing season any better than this? Especially when you're considering sharing it with someone you've already done all of it with before? In your past.
If you're someone who lives by "the past is the past" in virtually every area of your life, then a former cuffing season partner is probably not going to serve your best interest. At the very least, how about finding a new boo thang this year? And if what you're about to say is, we're getting down to the wire, so how can that happen? That brings me to my next point.
What’s the Better Alternative? (If You Think Hard, There Is One)
I've got a divorced client that I work with who, quite frankly, makes some of the dumbest relationship decisions that I've ever seen. It's mostly because he gets involved with women who he's barely even interested in, wastes months at a time, ends it and then after a few months have gone by, he finds a way to justify getting back involved with them again…only to "rinse and repeat" the same pattern — and then complain about it. Goodness, y'all, there are far too many people out here in the world who you've never met before to be out here settling for what's familiar, just for familiarity's sake.
While it can't be stressed enough that if you like all that cuffing season has to offer, you are grown and should go with it; if you know that deep down it is something that you constantly settle for — what alternatives are there? How about taking a trip to see some friends who are out of town? How about setting up an online dating profile? How about going on the blind date that some of your peeps have been trying to get you to go on for the past two cuffing seasons (at least)? How about going out with that guy who you keep saying isn't "your type" but you can't seem to get off of your mind? How about asking the guy out who you've been waiting to ask you out (I mean, y'all say you hate patriarchy, so what's the problem? Check out "What A Man Should Expect If YOU Ask HIM Out?")?
While cuffing season doesn't really rock my spirit one way or another, I will say that sometimes, always going for what's predictable and routine can hinder the newness that is trying to come into your life — if you would simply open yourself, your schedule and your life overall to doing something different (or differently). If deep down, you know that you're only considering cuffing season because it's what you're used to, at least jot down some other things that you could be doing instead. Your impromptu list just might surprise you — and proof to be better off if you follow through on it.
Never Forget: This Too Shall Pass
OK, so technically, as far as cuffing season goes, September is the beginning of "recruiting season". We're already in October. From what I've been told, the "championship games" end on Valentine's Day (chile). My point is this — if there's any time of the year that seems to fly by, it's cuffing season, mostly because the holidays transpire around this time too. This means that if you are a little bit tempted to give in to ole' boy, between Hallmark movies, holiday parties, days off and hanging out with friends and family members, it can be easier to avoid DMs, texts and midnight calls. Then, before you look up, it'll be late February and he'll be on to doing…whatever he was doing when he wasn't hitting you up (I know that's an "ouch"; I said it for a reason).
Believe you me, I know what it's like to have a blast-from-the-past-who-hit-THAT-spot ring your bell. I also know what it's like to feel pretty empowered after telling him, "Nah. I think I'm good" because here's the other thing to remember about cuffing season — guys from the past hit up people who they are pretty certain that they can do what they've always done to get what they want. Sometimes, it can do them some good to throw a wrench or two into their plans. And by "plans", what I mean is EGO.
Cuffing season is here and in full effect — no doubt about it. If the spirit is willing (to pass on it) but the flesh is weak, just remember that, as with all things in life, this too shall pass. Sooner than later in this case. He won't text forever. Just until he gets that you're not down. This means that this ho-hum ritual can end immediately or…eventually. It's totally up to you. Just remember your power. Either way. Whether you choose to get "cuffed up" or…not.
For more love and relationships, features, dating tips and tricks, and marriage advice, check out xoNecole's Sex & Love section here.
Featured image by Getty Images
How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks about love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
When it comes to sexuality, there have always been societal limitations centered on what is "acceptable." However, with more honest conversations about how fluid sexuality and sexual expression can be, now there are so many more opportunities for self-exploration and taking back ownership of our identities again. One couple that is living their truth and being sexual beings unapologetically while living and loving their lives are Jasmine Johnson and King Noire.
For some background, this husband and wife have been in a relationship for 10 years. Jasmine Johnson, aka Jet Setting Jasmine, is a psychotherapist and a Master Fetish Trainer, along with her husband, King Noire. Jasmine has over 20 years of experience in the industry. King Noire is an accomplished writer, artist, MC and global activist. As a couple in love and in business, Jasmine and King are owners of their award-winning adult entertainment company, Royal Fetish Films. Through their work, Jasmine and King have combined their talents and passions to produce erotica that stimulates audiences to explore their sexual boundaries.
In this installment of xoNecole's How We Met, Jasmine and King shares how their love continues to grow through intentionality, selflessness, and finding strength in baring it all.
How They Met
Jasmine Johnson: King and I met on a radio show. I was interviewing him on a podcast and the focus was porn and relationships. It was mainly about how people in the porn industry find relationships. We connected outside of the podcast and, when we did, we shared our personal bios to each other. We let each other know, 'This is what I've been through, this is where I'm at, and this is where I'm trying to go.'
King Noire: Yes, so we met on the podcast and I was very interested in getting to know Jasmine more. Jasmine was super straightforward and direct with her questions. I liked that. So I slid into her DMs and asked if we could work on our 'talents' together. At the time, Jasmine was teaching pole dancing and I was doing erotic touch massages. We both were very intentional about getting involved with each other.
King: After connecting outside of the podcast, Jasmine booked a session with me [for an erotic touch massage]. For me, that let me know that she respects what I do. When I saw her in person, I thought she looked better than her pictures. The first thing I noticed is that she has a very vibrant, illuminating smile. Jasmine's smile makes me want to smile.
Jasmine: Wow. How am I supposed to follow that? Before I met King in person, what attracted me to him was that he is a multi-dimensional man. The way that he is very in tune with who he is. I liked how he was not trying to shut off any of those dimensions. At the time, I was learning about all the dimensions of myself. So I thought, 'Well, here is a man who is educated, cares about his people, and likes to have a good time.' I also liked that he had a business pleasing women. I enjoyed my time with him, the conversation that we had, and the experience overall. He did not disappoint at all.
"What attracted me to him was that he is a multi-dimensional man. The way that he is very in tune with who he is. I liked how he was not trying to shut off any of those dimensions. I also liked that he had a business pleasing women. I enjoyed my time with him, the conversation that we had, and the experience overall. He did not disappoint at all."
Courtesy of King Noire and Jasmine Johnson
Making It Official
Jasmine: There wasn't exactly a clear moment for me. Our relationship grew gradually and the shift had a nice slow incline. We talked about each step along the way, so it was very thoughtful. For example, one of us would say, "I'm thinking about you all day long and I wish you were here with me." Instead of saying, "I wish you here with me and I want you all to myself."
King: It has been gradually growing and I think that is the best way to put it. We continue to grow together and how we express our interests and admiration in each other.
Dismantling Myths Around Polyamory
King: The biggest myth about polyamorous relationships is that people think it is always sexual. It is so much more than that. My expression for love is just different and it is not solely about having sex with people. When it comes to Jasmine, how we connect and share with one another makes us stronger. So being honest about how we may like to do certain things differently or we have separate interests is important. With polyamory, it's recognizing that you can't be everything to anybody.
For example, Jasmine wants to go to a certain event and the event is not really my thing. If I'm there, I am not going to have as much fun as she will have. To me, I would be taking away from her enjoying it if I told her that I didn't want her going with someone else. When you truly love a person, you want them to experience all of the things that they enjoy. So I want her to enjoy herself, do her thing, and tell me how it went when she comes back home.
Jasmine: I completely agree with King about the sex part. I know a question I get asked a lot is, "Oh, do you get jealous when your husband sleeps with other people?" Truly, when I think about King and I's relationship, it is about the quality time we spend with each other. Also, when people think about polyamory, people assume that both of the individuals have to be polyamorous. There can be mixed styles of orientation in one relationship.
We both tried different relationship styles and chose what worked for us. I was oriented towards monogamy when I met King. Now I am not saying I just threw in my monogamy card, because I didn't. I just became more open to the possibility and explored what other ways of being together would look like. For years, we have been able to have a sustainable and beautiful relationship in love.
"The biggest myth about polyamorous relationships is that people think it is always sexual. It is so much more than that. My expression for love is just different and it is not solely about having sex with people. When it comes to Jasmine, how we connect and share with one another makes us stronger. With polyamory, it's recognizing that you can't be everything to anybody."
The Fears Around Different Relationship Styles
Jasmine: King was really certain about who he was and his relationship style. For me, the fear was if I reject this, then I miss the opportunity to experience life with this man. I also had a fear of "failing" at being good at being poly or exploring what our relationship could look like. I questioned if it would possibly jeopardize the bond we had. Both of these fears, either way, the outcome was not going to be him and I. So I leaned into those fears and I'm glad we figured it out.
King: I didn't have any fears from her specifically, but in general. I only had one experience before Jasmine where I felt I was able to fully be polyamorous. But it still felt limiting because I was still learning myself. I think the fear was as we got down the road, is she (Jasmine) going to change up on me? That fear of her not trusting me. This happens whether you are in a monogamous relationship or a polyamorous relationship. People were trying to tell me what my love was for my partner and I felt boxed in. But Jasmine was that person I wanted to dive into, get to know, and share all of myself with her. At the same time, I don't want to compromise who I am because of a relationship. I want to enhance myself because of the relationship.
King: I don't know how cliche this will sound, but Jasmine really helped me express and find myself. With Jasmine, she is very confident in who she is and how she defines herself. She confirms that I also have the space to do that for myself. Those fears that I just spoke about were fears from past relationships and she made me realize that that is not a part of who she is. People say everyone comes with baggage and that shit is real. You realize you have to check your luggage somewhere else, because this is a new trip right here.
Jasmine: To love yourself is to take a hard look at a lot of aspects of yourself. You have to love the parts of yourself that you are not quite finished with yet. So much of King and I's relationship is helping others, but more importantly helping ourselves. A lot of the trauma work [I've done], King has been front and center.
Really doing that healing and processing it all, we really did it together and figured out how to make it pretty for y'all. How to express our sexuality to the world was really digging into the why's and meanings of who we are individually. From being in a relationship with King, I have also learned how to love myself differently. I don't have to do everything by myself anymore. When you have a partner to really appreciate the moments when life slows down, it's beautiful.
"From being in a relationship with King, I have also learned how to love myself differently. I don't have to do everything by myself anymore. When you have a partner to really appreciate the moments when life slows down, it's beautiful."
Courtesy of King Noire and Jasmine Johnson
Blended In Family, Love & Legacy
Jasmine: We have a blended family. We started co-parenting two to three years into our relationship. I think there is a huge stigma around blended families, where people think that when you have a blended family, it is going to be lacking something. I used to think this and it honestly took a while for me to believe that King could father all of my children. It wasn't necessarily about him expressing himself as a man and a father. It was really these preconceived notions and judgements of, 'No one is going to love your kids like you.'
The idea that someone in a blended family is not going to love your kids as much as if they were the biological parent is the furthest thing from the truth. My children have a full and complete family. Black families work hard and we continue to work while also through the expression of love. Black love does not have to look like that traditional Eurocentric idea. Black love can look like whatever it needs to look like for people as long as values are respected and aligned.
King: Building off of that, when you think about it, African-American family units don't just make lemonade out of lemons. We make everything with lemons]! History has shown us that the Black family has been broken up since we got here. People try to create this negative narrative around the Black family to make us feel bad. But I look at how we have created our definition of what family looks like, blood or not. We have always said it takes a village to raise a child. Family is more about who you love, how you love, and the responsibility of how you show up for your loved ones.
King: I think just finding more ways to love each other. What I mean by that is, how can I show you that I love you more within moments that we share? Within the Black love story, I believe we are afraid to expose the bareness of our souls. The more you expose yourself to somebody, we call it vulnerability. But I think of it as more of a strength. When you have a partner, if there is an area that you lack, your partner always has your back. They fill that space for you. So when we are able to show the totality of who we are, we are also able to fill in each other's blank spaces.
Jasmine: King has this motto for his music, which is, "Freedom, Justice, and Equality." I feel these three principles really cover every aspect of our lives. They make a really easy formula for our love. There is freedom in our love and I am not talking about sex and relationships. Freedom to respect our interests and support each other through them. The second one is Justice. There's a lot of accountability in our love. No one just gets away with anything around here. In terms of Equality, I have been able to see it as we come as equals to the table. We may not agree on everything, but we show up as humans and no one is inferior to the other.
If one wins, we all win.
Featured image courtesy of Jasmine Johnson and King Noire
I'm so excited because one of my favorite unscripted shows is back. OWN's Ready to Love is a dating series that follows professionals over 30, looking for long-lasting relationships. Hosted by Nephew Tommy, it follows singles who desire true connections and are grouped together to find them.
Each week the power shifts between the men and women in a process of elimination. In the end, three couples remain that will hopefully find love. Past seasons were in Atlanta and Houston, but season four takes place in Chocolate City, Washington, D.C. xoNecole got the opportunity to attend the show's media roundtable, where we got a bit of tea about the season, singles, and their journey to finding love.
And as Camille, one of the participants, put it, "This season is spicy, with Mambo sauce."
But it wasn't easy, the singles dealt with a lot of issues before and during the fast-paced dating series. "There is one point where I literally almost came to tears. I couldn't go anywhere or hide, and the situation was right in front of my face," said Corey, 40.
The women reflected on what it's like living in a city where the ratio of women to men is 17:1, and how many guys in the area feel like they're the prize. Also, the men talked about the importance of substance over physical appearance and how difficult it was to see women who they were interested in dating other men. "If you like a good popcorn situation, this is the show for you. You're gonna get a little bit of everything. All types of flavors visually and many of us have very strong personalities and viewpoints," said Mumen, 36.
One thing Ready to Love always gives is realness, and by the personalities and clear intent, you can tell that's at an all-time high this season. These singles have gone to therapy, raised families, branched careers, and now they're not playing any games about finding their soulmate. "One thing I know for certain is that I am worthy of love. Throughout this self-discovery, I realize I have a lot of good love to give. And I do look forward to that next partner, that twin flame who can add to my life as opposed to taking away from it," added Libba, 44.
I knew D.C. was gonna bring the heat, and I'm excited to add Ready to Love back to the weekend kickoff routine! Make sure you tune in as well!
Season four of Ready to Love premieres Friday, October 15 at 8 p.m. EST on the OWN Network.
Featured image via Ready to Love/OWN
- Ready To Love Season 3 Premiere, Recap - xoNecole: Women's ... ›
- XOMAN: Ready to Love Men Season 2 Cast - xoNecole: Women's ... ›
- Meet The 20 Eligible Singles Of The 'Ready To Love' Season 4 Cast ... ›
Social media influencer and actress Tabitha Brown has garnered viral fame through her inspirational and vegan videos on Instagram, thanks to her cheerful personality and infectious smile. Now, she is entering a new phase in her life as an author. The 42-year-old released Feeding the Soul on Sept. 28 and recently shared an emotional video of herself after finding out her book was number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list.
The vegan influencer spoke with Yahoo! about what led her to make the lifestyle change to vegan, which helped her mental health and ultimately led her to be successful. Tabitha reflected on her "lowest moments" that influenced her decision to go vegan and the result of that.
"One of the lowest moments for me was during the time when my mom was sick. It was really hard to focus on anything other than her and the thought of, Oh my God, how am I going to live without her? I think I had my first panic attack when my mom was sick and I realized [that it was] really weighing heavy on me. But then living through that with her, it taught me that life is so short, I have to pursue my dream."
Her mom passed away from ASL, which is a disease that affects the nervous system, weakens the muscles and limits physical function.
The actress also began to experience more panic attacks and chronic pains.
"I got really sick. And when you're sick and you don't know what's wrong with you, it really messes with your head. And for me, it caused me to be very depressed along with being sick in my body. I think that was the lowest point of my life, and the darkest time. And I always just prayed, 'If I come out of this, I'm always going to choose light.' And thank God, I did come out of it, and I've been choosing light and joy ever since. We all have times that are a little bit dark, but the thing that we must remember is: They're always temporary and they will pass."
And light is what her Instagram page is full of. The mother of two shares relatable content involving her family as well as words of encouragement to her fans. She also uses her social media platforms to share her vegan recipes and recommendations. The Chi actress credits her vegan diet for bettering her overall health.
"I was having major anxiety and panic attacks and I was suffering from depression. And after going vegan and starting to feel better, it's like I stopped having panic attacks. I mean, I was having severe, manic panic attacks, like 50 a day sometimes, where I just couldn't breathe. That disappeared, and the depression just lifted. Light just overtook the darkness."
"Honestly, one day I was in prayer and it was like God reminded me of the old saying 'you are what you eat.' And I thought about the animals. And I don't usually talk about this because I never want people to feel like I'm judging them or making them feel bad about their choices, because that's not my intention ever. But I thought about all the animals. And they have so much anxiety because they're afraid and they know they're going to die. And I was eating the depression and I was eating the anxiety.
"And when I stopped eating that, [and] I started eating life and plants and things that don't have those emotions, my depression and my anxiety went away. And when I heard God say, 'Remember, you are what you eat,' I was like, Oh my goodness. It made so much sense to me, and it definitely changed everything, so it did play a huge role in my mental health. And when you feel better, honey, your mind feels better too. When your body feels good, your mind feels good as well."
While Tabitha is an advocate for veganism, she also says that she doesn't want to put veganism on others, ('cause that's your business), but she does enjoy helping people by sharing her journey.
"I never say you need to go vegan. No, absolutely not. I would never do that to someone. But our minds can all be open and we can all try something. Even if it's one meal a day, we've done something."
Featured image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
In this exclusive, the actress dishes on executive producing the reboot, and balancing business and motherhood.