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Kissing is such a fascinating thing — to me. The reason why I say that is because, if the person you are exchanging a kiss with is someone who is good at it, it can be the sexiest, most special and most exhilarating thing ever. On the other hand, if they aren't so good — it's just gross. I don't know about y'all, but kissing is such a big deal in my world that I once broke up with someone, in part, because they totally sucked at doing it. It was like, no matter how hard I tried to explain to them what I needed in order to feel like we were in "kissing sync", they would continue to go off and do their own thing. All over my face (yuck).
Hmph. One day, maybe we'll talk about how a lot of people's kissing techniques can explain how they get down when it comes to communication and connection, in general (chile). For now, I'll just say that if you've got someone who is a great kisser in your life (the "Usher kind" and otherwise #wink), don't take them for granted because not all kissers are created equal. Oh, and if you're looking for an orgasm hack that has quite a bit of scientific proof to back it up, that's another reason to kiss more often because, from what I've read and researched, a gateway to more climaxing is definitely more kissing.
How Kissing Emotionally Improves Sex
Can people have great sex without an emotional connection? It's been known to happen. Still, even with the individuals I know who are huge casual sex fans, whenever we engage in semi-deep chats, something that they all have told me is that sex is so much better when there is an emotional bond between them and their partner. Something that emphasizes that kind of bond and even helps to cultivate it is kissing. I've actually checked out a study that said the frequency that two people kiss can actually reveal quite a bit when it comes to how relationally and sexually satisfied they actually are with one another.
While I do think it's interesting that this study also stated that men find kissing to be more essential in the beginning of the relationship as well as it being an act of foreplay while women believed that kissing is important all throughout, when you really stop to think about it, how could kissing not help to cultivate a stronger emotional bond which could make sex so much better in the long run? You've got to get close to kiss and, if you do it all of the time, there's got to be some strong chemistry, good energy and a real connection that you feel with your partner. Otherwise…why would you do it?
How Kissing Physically Enhances Sex
When I was in college, I used to hear quite a bit of people (men and women alike) talk about how they could have sex and not kiss during the act. Then I wrote an article for this platform where some people told me that they could do the same thing (check out "Umm, What's Up With These People Who Hate Kissing?"). Chile, I can't even remotely relate because, to me, kissing is what arouses me to want to get closer and go deeper…if you know what I mean. Science backs these sentiments too.
For one thing, kissing triggers the brain release of natural "feel good hormones" like oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. And when I mean "feel good", I mean that they can make you hornier and even cause you to feel somewhat euphoric. Kissing also reduces your cortisol levels and I think we all can vouch for the fact that the more relaxed we feel, the more we're literally able to take it all in (pun intended) which makes for a much more pleasurable sexual experience. Also, kissing increases your heart rate. As a direct result, your blood vessels dilate, all over your body, which can result in more sexual stimulation and more intensified orgasms.
Also, because one of the things that saliva has in it is testosterone and that is a sex hormone booster, when you're kissing your partner, it can trigger its level as well. Oh, and if you've got a headache? One way to ease it is to kiss because kissing lowers your blood pressure which results in less head tension.
Gee, if you put all of these things together, how could it not be extremely obvious that kissing is an activity that can physically get you interested in having sex and keep you totally and sensually involved before, during and after the act is done?
How Kissing Can Make Orgasms More Possible and Intensifies Them
Here's a point that just might be your "something new" for the day. OK, so a man's penis has around 4,000 nerve endings in it. Your clitoris? About twice that many. Bookmark that. Interestingly enough, when I was asking a male friend of mine to explain to me what an orgasm felt like to him, he said that rubbing my tongue along the inside of my cheek was the closest he could come to defining it. And looka here — word on the street is that our lips are 100 times more sensitive than say, our fingertips. In fact, I once read that, according to the Kama Sutra, our lips "mimic" our vagina with our lips representing our labia, the "dip" of our upper lip representing our clitoris and the palate above the top of our front teeth representing our G-spot (very interesting). If you add to all of this the fact that kissing involves, shoot, all of our five senses, on some level (taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing), I totally get how kissing can make an orgasm happen — or that it can cause the ones that are happening to go to even greater heights!
Matter of fact, I can raise my hand in this class and say that there have been a few men in my past who were such kissing masters (and our connection was so "there") that I was able to have an orgasm, just by kissing alone. And boy, is it something to behold. BE. HOLD. And again, that would make complete and total sense if our lips are way more sensitive than some of the other parts of our body — parts that we may even consider to be erogenous zones.
Honestly, I don't know what else to tell y'all other than, if you either struggle with climaxing or you want the ones that you do experience to go another level, kissing more often, more intently and more intensely could be the solution that you've been looking for. So, next time that you're about to get it on and in, focus on kissing more — not just as a way to get things started but to keep things going. You might just be surprised how it makes you feel…head to toe. Quite literally.
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We have witnessed Halle Berry go through many ups and downs in love, but it seems like she may have finally found the one. The Bruised star is dating R&B singer Van Hunt and she spoke with ET about the love in her life during ELLE Women in Hollywood Celebration at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, which took place on Tuesday.
"I mean because it's my time. It was finally my time and the right one finally showed up," she shared.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ELLE
Halle and Van made it Instagram official last September after the actress shared a photo of herself wearing a t-shirt with his name on it. She captioned the photo, "now you know… 🖤🦶🏽."
However, the photo came after Van posted an image of Halle kissing him on the cheek in August. "Kisses land softly," he wrote.
In April 2021, the couple finally made their red carpet debut at the 93rd Academy Awards.
When the Grammy award-winning musician was asked about his relationship with the Academy award-winner, he revealed that she influenced his music. He said:
"I could show you rather than I could tell you, and I will show you really soon, I promise...The inspiration for our relationship goes across everything, even in my parenting. I'm a completely different person, I can say it like that, and I think that it's improved every aspect of my life."
But not everyone was on board with their love. In May, Halle hit back at critics after someone commented under a photo of the couple which said that she loved him more than he loved her. "ummmm don't think so…not this time," Halle responded.
The father of one's personal life seems to be private in comparison to Halle's. The John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum star has been married three times and had very public divorces that followed.
Halle was married to former professional baseball player David Justice from 1993-1997, R&B singer Eric Benét from 2001-2005 and actor Olivier Martinez from 2013-2016, with whom she shares an eight-year-old son, Maceo.
She also has a 13-year-old daughter named Nahla with model Gabriel Aubry, who she had a nasty child support battle with.
Featured image by Amy Sussman/Getty Images
Money Talks is an xoNecole series where we talk candidly to real women about how they spend money, their relationship with money, and how they spend it.
Samari Ijezie is the creator of The Female Economist, a platform created to challenge and disrupt the stereotypical gender norms within the financial industry while educating millennials of financial literacy. However, before founding this financial literacy company for women and marginalized millennials, she had a career in fashion and style as a model that started in her preteen years. Though she briefly kicked off her modeling career at the age of fourteen, it was short-lived because soon after high school, Ijezie decided to go off to college but later had to drop out during her freshman year due to not receiving financial assistance in the next term.
After reigniting her determination to excel, Ijezie eventually pursued getting her degree once more and later earned her dual degrees in Economic and Political Science from University of Massachusetts Amherst. Though crunching numbers and secretary duties were never easy to her due to her dyslexia, the current New York resident overpowered her disability to become an expert in finance as leverage to escape poverty. After multiple jobs in finance and accounting from a Massachusetts state agency to Spotify and Publicis, the Boston native eventually launched The Female Economist platform where users can learn through articles, courses, webinars and is soon creating a tool that matches individuals with their own certified financial advisor.
In this installment of "Money Talks", xoNecole spoke with Samari about splurging on much-needed vacation time, her alternative definition of wealth and success and having a scarcity mindset.
On how much she makes in a year and how much she saves:
"Each month, I try to save at least $5K. Because my monthly income varies each month from trading and brand gigs, I always ensure that I have at least $5K coming in on a monthly basis. I do have a Roth IRA. I like having this account because I can see the companies I have in my index fund."
On her definitions of wealth and success:
"Wealth has no dollar amount. Wealth is the amount of time that you can sustain with the amount of money that you have. In other words, how many days can you survive without working; living off your savings. I define success by someone accomplishing their goals and dreams."
Courtesy of Samari Ijezie
"Wealth has no dollar amount. Wealth is the amount of time that you can sustain with the amount of money that you have."
On the lowest she’s ever felt when it came to her finances and how she overcame it:
"The lowest I've ever felt with my finances is when I was in college. I personally was not making any money but also was acquiring loans to put myself through school. I was ignorant when It came to understanding money and personal finances. I overcame this by fully taking the time to understand personal finance. I worked on building my credit score. I used websites like Credit Karma to find the best credit cards to set myself up with to help build credit. I consolidated my loans and started paying them off on a monthly basis. After I fully took control over my personal finances, expenses and savings, I then began to invest."
On her biggest splurge to date:
"My biggest splurges are on vacations. I consider splurging money on experiences and memories to be comparable to an asset. Traveling to me helps me become a worldly person, and that is something that contributes to my education and knowledge. So, I do not mind spending thousands of dollars on a vacation where I am learning about the country's culture."
On whether she’s a spender or a saver:
"I consider myself a spender. I do splurge on unnecessary items. I do enjoy shopping and looking fly. However, if I buy expensive products/materials, if I cannot afford to buy it twice, I tell myself that I cannot really afford it. I am a spender because tomorrow is never promised, I could save millions, but If I never spent it, how can I truly enjoy being a millionaire? I train myself to properly manage money by spending money on things that help better my life. I rather spend thousands on opening an investment account that can allow my money to compound rather than spending it on designer, nightlife, or any other guilty pleasures that us millennials face."
Courtesy of Samari Ijezie
"I am a spender because tomorrow is never promised, I could save millions, but If I never spent it, how can I truly enjoy being a millionaire? I train myself to properly manage money by spending money on things that help better my life. I rather spend thousands on opening an investment account that can allow my money to compound rather than spending it on designer, nightlife, or any other guilty pleasures that us millennials face."
On her savings goals and what retirement looks like to her:
"My plan is to retire by 35. I have been working since I was 14 years old. So, retiring in my thirties is very important too. I will be able to fully retire when I have enough money that can allow me to not work. I do enjoy keeping busy, so by the time where I can retire, it won't be fully retiring, but doing things that I enjoy that continue to make me money."
On the importance of investing:
"Investing is very important to me. I invest by figuring out my goals. Some of my investment accounts are short-term investment goals and others are long-term. Depending on the financial product, I have different goals. When I trade options, I have the intent that I will make a short-term investment."
On her budgeting must-haves:
"In my budget, I do allocate money to doing the things I like which include food. I am a big foodie and take pride in eating very well. As everyone knows, to eat healthy is very costly. So I do allocate a monthly spending budget for food. I enjoy seafood which can be very costly, but that is something that I will spend money on because it makes me happy to eat well."
Courtesy of Samari Ijezie
"My mindset completely changed in regards to money. I used to have a scarcity mindset where I would tell myself at times I cant afford this or complain about my financial situation. Once I started reading more books and opening up my horizon when it comes to wealth and abundance, I started making more money. Wealth is truly in the mindset of the beholder."
On her intentions behind multiple streams of revenue:
"I created The Female Economist to have six streams of revenue. The first one is through ad revenue, affiliate marketing, e-courses, brand merch, membership, and consultancy. When I created this business, the business model was only through ad revenue, but as the demand increased for more objectives, the business structure changed to adapt to that. The intention of having multiple streams of revenue was purposely so the business would be able to function with or without me."
On unhealthy money habits and mindsets:
"My mindset completely changed in regards to money. I used to have a scarcity mindset where I would tell myself at times I cant afford this or complain about my financial situation. Once I started reading more books and opening up my horizon when it comes to wealth and abundance, I started making more money. Wealth is truly in the mindset of the beholder. I stopped using words like 'can't', and instead started saying, 'How can I afford this?'
"Growing up in a single-parent home, I had a lot of unhealthy ideologies when it came to money. I grew up in a household where it was us trying to make ends meet regardless so, as I aged, I always just had that scarcity mindset of I need these now because I may never be able to attain it again. As I became financially independent and literate, that changed."
For more of Samari, follow her on Instagram.
Featured image courtesy of Samari Ijeze
Originally published on August 14, 2020
Many people love October for the new fall fashion fits, changing weather, and never-ending horror movies. And while all of those are valid reasons, there's another one that should be added to the mix, the fact that it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Like many, cancer has impacted my family personally, and I'm well aware of the forever effect it can have on individuals, loved ones, and survivors. That's why I appreciate that this month serves as a personal reminder to donate, foster community, and volunteer toward a fight that affects so many of us.
Recently, actress and Grammy-award-winning singer Mary J. Blige appeared on a women's panel entitled, "Screening the System: A Dialogue on Bias and Breast Health'' and passionately shared her conviction for prevention and education around the disease. During the conversation, the Power Book II: Ghost actress admitted that she wasn't aware of the importance of mammograms until it was time for her to get screened.
"I found out about it at the GYN. They don't discuss this when we're children. They don't say, 'Go get a mammogram.' You learn about this as you get older. So they don't speak about it, and that's why they end up in the hospital with two weeks to live, and now you know about it."
While scrolling online I noticed a few people criticizing Mary J., saying she should've known to do this earlier. But to me, it's like, how? If it wasn't discussed, who would make that decision voluntarily? Nonetheless, the comments did make me think, if we don't know the actions to take toward prevention, how can we work toward fixing the problem?
So, below I've listed a few diseases that disproportionately affect Black people and women and a measure we can take toward prevention. I challenge you to have a conversation with your homegirls, parents, or even a bae and ask if they've had all the necessary checks. Because, hey, if we know better, we do better, right?
Mammograms, Breast Cancer (40)
According to statistics, "About 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer throughout her life." And Black women are 40% more likely than white women to die from breast cancer. One of the best preventive care methods is mammograms. Women should start getting them at the age 40.
Mary J. Blige reflected on the importance of preventive care stating, "My health is my wealth. My health is my beauty. Beauty is healing from the inside out."
Pap Smears, Cervical Cancer (30)
Although cervical cancer rates in the US have decreased, in January 2021, the American Cancer Society estimated that over 4,000 deaths a year will come from the disease. One of the best preventive methods is to get regular pap smears. Although you can get tested earlier, at age 30, women must ask to also be tested for HPV.
Colonoscopy, Colon Cancer (45)
I know getting a colonoscopy isn't at the top of everyone's favorite thing to-do list. But according to the CDC, it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths, and screenings should start at age 45.
A1C Tests, Diabetes (45)
Now, these numbers surprised me. The American Diabetes Association states that almost one-third of the country's population is affected by diabetes. And the risk of diabetes is 77% higher among African-Americans than Caucasians. With these alarming rates, it's best to be safe and get a blood sugar test every three years starting at 45, even if you are non-symptomatic.
Featured image by Kevin Mazur/MG21/Getty Images For The Met Museum/Vogue
There's that old wives' tale that sex before a sports match is a major no-no for athletes, but when it comes to us everyday folk, consistent lovemaking does the mind and body good. In fact, sex and productivity can actually go hand in hand. A recent multiple-university study found that professionals who had sex the night before going into work had "more positive moods" that increased work engagement and job satisfaction.
Talk about sexual healing!
So sis, if you're in a work rut, finding that you're lacking motivation, or you aren't finding the inspiration to take things up a notch in the career department, you might need to get into some good old-fashioned boot-knocking and sensual stimulation.
Here are three more ways good, healthy sex---emphasis on the good and the healthy---can lead to better productivity and help you fight workplace burnout:
It can improve sleep quality.
Again, we're talking about a divine sexual experience in which you orgasm or find optimal pleasure here, so don't go comparing those times when that one-night stand or ex-bae was just a hot mess in bed and you often stayed up all night trying to figure out the why and how. Researchers have found that during orgasm, the release of oxytocin and prolactin (hormones associated with happiness) can facilitate sleep, and more than 50% of participants in this study experienced "improved sleep quality" after masturbation orgasm.
We all know that rest is a prerequisite for a better next day---period---so we won't bore you with the research to back that up. Adding a session of climaxing to your nightly self-care routine could help in that department, leaving you refreshed and ready for anything that might come your way the next morning.
It can serve as a great way to relieve stress.
Don't go too crazy with this one because we definitely want to be sure we're properly coping with stress and ensuring top mental and physical health. Nevertheless, good sex has been known to be one of many activities that can ease stress. Researchers tapped professionals to find out how sex is affected by stress, and they found that a good intimate session in a "satisfying relationship" was the move for stress and had positive effects for relieving stress.
The less stressed you are, the more likely you are able to really focus in on advancing and being your best self, so we just can't ignore how this might be a good look, especially for those of us whose jobs and titles entail a certain level of unavoidable challenges and pressure.
It can increase confidence and help lower anxiety.
When you're having a great time in bed, enjoying someone you can fully vibe with, or feeling unapologetically free to be your full butt-naked self, it's always a beautiful confidence-booster. And interestingly enough, a study of the sexual activity during pandemic lockdowns found that people who had sex experienced "lower psychological distress" and higher levels of "satisfaction" than those who didn't. Science has also suggests that embracing your sensuality can increase body perception in positive ways.
And ladies, confidence pays in the workplace, literally: Professionals who have high self-esteem and exhibit this in the workplace have been found to earn as much as $28,000 more than those whose with low self-image. So, get into a bit of pleasure to up the ante on your self-pride and line your pockets, sis!
For more productivity tips, career advice and profiles, check out the xoNecole Workin Girl section here.
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