Not too long ago, I saw an article that had a title that made me chuckle—"Eighty-Four Percent of Families Plan to Be Together this Christmas, even Though Two-thirds Predict an Argument with Relatives, According to New International Survey". Goodness. If you just read that and shook your head because you can totally relate, perhaps, "This Will Keep Your Family Off Of Your LAST Nerve This Holiday Season" might be the better read for you than this one (good luck and hang in there).
On the other hand, if you're someone who has decided to totally buck the system and forego all of the holiday travel, family bonding and potential drama so that you can have a nice quiet time at home with you and your boo—first of all, congrats. I salute anyone who chooses to do the holidays their own way. Secondly, I've got a few ideas the two of you can do together; things that will help to turn your home into an unforgettable romantic winter wonderland for you and yours—whether it snows outside or not this year or not.
Decorate Your Tree (or Go with a Tree Alternative)
As far as decorating your tree goes, this is probably already something that the two of you do. But the reason why it tops the list is because, what I mean is, to make a ritual out of it. Turn on some of your favorite music; break open a bottle of wine; once the lights are on the tree, dim your overhead lighting; turn off the television and silence your smartphone—shoot, put on some sexy lingerie and then decorate the tree. Maybe even take out this time to make a couple of ornaments; it's a great way to have fun with your partner and create memories at the same time (check out some DIY links here, here and here).
Or, if you'd prefer to spare a live tree this year or you want to go with more of an avant-garde look in your home, you could make—a tree display out of copper and wood (here); a wooden tree to display your Christmas greeting cards from (here); a wall-mounted tree out of velvet fabric (here); a tree that's made from yarn (here), or you can get a couple of faux tabletop trees to put on your nightstands and call it a day.
Cook (or Bake) Christmas Childhood Favorites
As a marriage life coach, something that I think can help couples to understand each other more is to discuss their childhoods more often. For instance, there is someone I know who doesn't miss a Christmas without watching The Wizard of Oz; like they get low-key irate if they miss it. When I finally asked them why, they explained that while growing up with an alcoholic parent, watching that movie was the only time when there seemed to be peace in the house. Someone else told me that big Christmas breakfasts are a must-do tradition because it reminds them of their home before their parents broke up.
Cooking with your partner is already a wonderful (and effective) way to spend quality time with them. But if you both are intentional about preparing some Christmas childhood favorites, the stories that you both share can shed some enlightenment and, in turn, bring the both of you closer together too.
Watch Your Favorite Throwback Christmas Episodes
Pretty much any throwback program that you can think of has a Christmas episode. If you can't find them on your favorite streaming service, sites like Dailymotion and YouTube may have them. It could be a lot of fun to watch a Christmas episode of A Different World, Living Single or Moesha in between some of those sappy Christmas movies that are in heavy rotation right about now. I know I always dig them when I see them.
Slow Drag—then Make Out—to Christmas Classics
In this ever-shifting culture, one thing that never gets old is slow dragging. I think it's because, whether you can actually dance or not, it's something that you can pull off. Plus, you're able to get all close 'n cuddly with your partner. Yeah, the slow drag continues to be undefeated. That's why I say that, in between all of the things on this list, take out at least 30 minutes to put on some of your favorite Black Christmas music classics while slow dragging underneath a mistletoe. If you do it right, the dance could turn into a make out session and…who knows what that could lead to?
Make S’mores in Your Fireplace
Dark chocolate is quite the aphrodisiac. If you're fortunate enough to have a fireplace, create your own mini bonfire by making some s'mores in it. You can find a classic recipe, along with over a dozen more creative ones, here. Or, if you still like the s'mores idea but all you've got is an oven, you can still make some bomb ones by following this recipe.
Have an Indoor (or Outdoor) Picnic
Something that couples can actually have year-round are picnics; it doesn't have to be indoors either. Yeah, I already know that some of y'all are looking at me like I am crazy, but I personally know some couples—yes, Black ones—who have had some really romantic Valentine's Day picnics outdoors with the help of some chicken noodle soup, hot chocolate and chunky knitted blankets.
Anyway, if you totally dig the picnic concept but indoor is more your speed, here are some of the things that you will need to totally set it off:
- An indoor tent
- Some candles (or twinkle lights)
- Some throw pills
- Background music
- Some finger foods
- A Christmas-themed dish
- A bottle of bubbly
After a little time in an indoor picnic tent, there's no telling how much you might end up prefer it to your own bed (if you know what I mean).
Play a Christmas Music or Movies Drinking Game
So, earlier this year, I read an article that addressed if sex when you're drunk or high is better, strictly from a scientific perspective. Long story short, if you wanna take more sexual risks, get drunk; if you want sex to feel better, get high. But if, for whatever the reason, weed ain't your thing, go with red wine. It's proven to boost the libido of men and especially women which can make for a really good time.
Make the drinking even more enjoyable by having your own Christmas pop culture drinking game. Ask each other questions about some classic Black Christmas movies and music and take a shot every time you get an answer wrong. Shoot, take the game up a notch by also taking off a piece of clothing too. A game that ends with some red wine-induced sex is a game worth playing (a few times), if you ask me.
Give Each Other a Love Language Present
Over this past year, we touched on the importance of love languages in relationships quite a bit (check out "I Discovered My Husband's Love Language ...And It Changed Everything", "Your Love Language, According To Your Zodiac Sign", "Knowing Your Partner's Love Language Can Transform Your Relationship" and "15 Date Ideas Based On Your Love Language").
One way to convey to your partner that you not only know what their love language is, but you understand how to speak it is to give them a Christmas present that is based on their love language.
For instance, if their love language is quality time, give them a reservation to a bed and breakfast in the next city. Or, if their love language is acts of service, offer to use your gifts and talents to help them get an idea off of the ground in the new year. Love language gifts are cool because, not only are they thoughtful, they can make you and your partner feel seen, heard and felt which is always a really beautiful and beneficial thing.
Also, Give Each Other a “12 Dates of Christmas” Date Jar
Speaking of spending quality time together, if you and yours have big plans in 2021, make sure that the romance in your relationship doesn't fall by the wayside. One way to avoid that is to plan ahead when it comes to going on future dates. One way to do that is by giving each other a "12 Dates of Christmas" Date Jar (not to be mistaken by the sex jar that every long-term committed couple also should have in their possession as well). In it, put pieces of paper that have cool date ideas for the next 12 months. Both of you hand each other a jar come Christmas morning. It can be exciting to see what the two of you have come up with. Plus, you can both have the assurance that you'll be going on at least two dates a month until 2022 rolls around.
If you and yours are serious about having a quiet and romantic Christmas, let those close to you know that you'll be falling totally off of the grid, at least from December 24 thru December 26. Then put your cell phones on vibrate and in a room where you won't be spending a ton of time. Keep your computers off, period and only have your television on to watch movies and television programs—no news (including entertainment news).
When you make a point to totally disconnect from technology, a day away can seem like an entire week. Plus, it can give you and yours time to really relax and reconnect with one another. Out of all of the suggestions I've shared, this is what could end up being the very thing that could result in you having the very best Christmas yet!
Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!
Featured image by Shutterstock
Originally published on December 12, 2019
- Christmas Sex For The Holidays - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- How To Create A Romantic Picnic For Two - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- How To Have A HOT Romantic Staycation - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Cooking With Your Partner, Sexy Tips - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Holiday Boyfriend: Wanting A Relationship For Wrong Reasons - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Best Christmas Gifts For Boyfriends Gift Ideas - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Here's Why You Should Visit Christmas-themed Bars - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (email@example.com) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
Take Our 2-Minute Wellness Quiz To Up Your Self-Care Game!
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
15 Hot Tips Giving The Missionary Position The Upgrade You Crave
Ah, yes, the missionary position. If there’s one sex position that pretty much everyone off top knows what it consists of, the missionary would have to be it. So, where does the name exactly come from? Oddly enough, even though it’s probably the most common sex position there is, there’s conflicting information about how its name actually came to be.
Some say that the Catholic church deemed it to be the only “non-sinful” position, and folks followed suit. Others believe that it’s tied into “patriarchy” since a man being on top puts a woman into a submissive receiving position (I mean, the Bible does tell wives to submit to their husbands, and sex is referenced for married couples, so that tracks — Ephesians 5, Colossians 3:18, I Peter 3:1-7, Genesis 2:24-25, I Corinthians 6:16-20). There are even stories about missionaries teaching people of African, Native American, and Chinese ethnicities that any other position is wrong and so those people came up with the term “missionary position” to make fun of the missionaries (chile).
Whatever the actual backstory is, what we know for sure is the missionary position continues to be super popular (although leave it to millennials to knock it out of first position and replace it with doggystyle these days), a great way to cultivate emotional intimacy (more on that in just a sec) — and it is oftentimes perceived as hella boring.
That last point is what I’m gonna address today. Because since it is indeed a great way to connect with your partner, it makes it easier to hit “your spot” (the G-spot, to be exact), and it’s also easy on your body (you know, if the desire is there but your limbs are not exactly cooperating), in my eyes, the missionary position needs to receive the proper respect that it deserves — and the best way to do that is to give it a few, perhaps much-needed, “upgrades.” Here are 15 of ‘em.
1. Do Some Eye Gazing Before Anything Else
Recently, I was talking to a male friend of mine who told me that he doesn’t do casual sex in the missionary position. After asking him how he is subtly able to even pull that off (another article, another time), I then wanted to know the method behind his madness: “It’s too intimate and vulnerable. I need to be in something serious with you to be that…into you.”
One might say that literally putting your member into a woman’s vagina is “into her,” yet I digress. Instead, I’ll just focus on the fact that when they say that eyes are the windows to the soul, there is definitely some truth to that. And when it comes to cultivating intimacy with your partner, there is a practice known as eye gazing that can help to connect the two of you in a very special way.
In fact, there are studies to support that you can analyze how someone feels about you by looking into their eyes, you can increase your level of attraction to them by looking into their eyes, and you and your partner can go up a new level in trust if you look into each other’s eyes as well.
How long should the eye gazing last? Some experts say that the goal should be for five minutes while taking deep breaths in between. While doing that might feel awkward at first, look at it this way — y’all are gonna be face to face for a while anyway, right? Why not take the exchange of energy to another level while you’re doing it? And why not get into this mind of headspace by eye gazing as a form of emotional foreplay?
2. Bring Some Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang or Lavender and Vanilla
One of the best things about the missionary position is it encourages you to shut out the rest of the world, ignore any distractions and really focus on your partner. Matter of fact, a sex therapist once told me that one of the perks of this particular position is it significantly decreases your chances of you and/or your partner fantasizing about other people during coitus (hey, it happens…way more than people care to admit too).
Something that can help to keep you and your partner centered on one another only is the scent of jasmine, ylang-ylang, and a combo of lavender and vanilla. As a bonus, all are also sensual, calming, and relaxing too. You can add a few drops to a carrier oil (like sweet almond or grapeseed) and create a DIY massage oil. You can sprinkle some of them onto your bedding. You can also add a few drops into your sexual pressure points for a nice surprise as far as your partner’s sense of smell goes.
3. Pull in (More) Pillows
For some reason, I can’t find it now (sorry!), but a few weeks ago, I was cracking up at a video of a guy who was challenging his girlfriend to get into the position of being on top like a man and pushing for more than a minute straight. She failed miserably (it really was hilarious!). After I sent it to a few male friends, one wrote back and said, “Y’all have no idea what being on top can do to a brotha’s back sometimes.”
A workaround that will make everyone happy? Bring in some more pillows. It will elevate your body so that he won’t have to bend over quite so low. Plus, it will help him to penetrate you more deeply, which is almost always a good thing.
You can use the pillows that you already have (they should work just fine). Or you can invest in a sex pillow. They tend to be a bit firmer so that you don’t have to be slippin’ and slidin’ all over the place. Glamour did you a solid by providing a list of some of their favorite sex pillows here; Self did the same by providing their best-of-the-best list here.
4. Light Some Candles
Back to the eye thing real quick. Yeah, I don’t know how y’all are gonna be able to stare deeply into each other’s eyes if it’s pitch black in the room. And here’s the thing about letting some light shine in; there was a study conducted that said when a light box (like the kind that’s used to treat depression) is brought into a man’s space, it can increase his levels of sexual desire. The reason why is it has a way of boosting his testosterone levels.
However, if you don’t want to feel like you’re standing — well, lying — in a room that has the ridiculous lighting that is in department store dressing rooms, go with candlelight instead. A soft glow can still help him to see your shapes and curves and the two of you to look at each other yet because everything with candles is way more subtle, it can help you to feel less self-conscious if you’re not as confident in the sex department as you would like to be (check out “10 Sensuous Ways To Boost Your Sexual Self-Esteem”).
5. Add Some Flavored Lube
Although pretty much all of us have heard the saying, “The wetter, the better,” at this point, this tip is a shout-out to the safe sex crowd (since reportedly, only one-third of men and one-quarter of women actually use condoms. SMDH). If you want to make bringing rubbers into a mix a much more pleasurable experience, go with some flavored lubricant. Although you might only think of its use in the context of oral sex (more on that in a bit), dabbing some on your neck (so that he can taste something sweet-er when he kisses you there) or on your wrists or forearm (so that he can lick them while your hands are pinned back) can be a truly welcome surprise.
And what are some of the best-tasting ones on the market these days? No worries. I got you:
6. Modify the Position…a Bit
As we continue, I will be — no pun intended — deep diving into some tweaks that can be made to the standard missionary position in order to intensify sexual pleasure. For now, I’ll just say that spooning face to face, allowing your partner to pin your legs back, having sex while standing up, letting him ride cowboy (which means he’s literally in the position that you are typically in during the cowgirl) and your partner lying horizontally over your body instead of vertically — these all are twists to the missionary that could cause you to hear “missionary position” with new levels of excitement.
7. Apply the Coital Alignment Technique (CAT)
Speaking of modifying positions, what do y’all know about the Coital Alignment Technique (CAT)? If you’re staring at your screen like, “What in the world is that?” it’s when your partner gets into the downward-facing dog yoga position while you’re on your back in the missionary one. This causes your partner’s penis to stimulate your clitoris as they are entering you and sometimes as they are going in and out. The (main) benefit is if you’re someone who finds experiencing a vaginal orgasm challenging, you significantly increase your chances of experiencing one since your clitoris will be stimulated during the act of intercourse.
Another bonus is “doing the CAT” can help a man to last longer if premature ejaculation is something that he is prone to experiencing.
8. Get Out of the Bed/Bedroom
The older we get, the more bedroom sex makes sense. After all, beds were specifically designed to support our bodies. Still, if you’ve been in a long-term relationship for quite some time, just like approaching the missionary position the same way every time can get old, so can always being in your bed — or bedroom.
You’re paying good money to utilize more than just one room in your home, so why not maximize each one’s potential? And as far as the best room in the house to get busy, I recently read an article that said bathrooms and balconies are fan favorites, followed by closets and utility rooms. Personally, I’m with what a Men’s Health article stated, which is the living room is probably the most comfortable (and common) — yet whatever you do, just try and think outside of the box sometimes. In this case, think outside of your bed and bedroom to see what other places are comfortable for you both.
9. Or…Get on the Edge of the Bed
So, what if you're like, "I hear you, but it's gonna be the bed for me, more times than not?" I hear you. There's a way to upgrade the missionary position and how you use your bed at the same time — have him pull you to the edge of the bed and either penetrate you by lifting your legs over his shoulders, or the two of you can just have "regular sex" that way (so long as he's good at maintaining his balance and keeping you from falling off at the same time).
The perks? For one, if his penis is more on the average side (check out "Sex Hacks For Different Kinds Of Penises (You Heard Me Right)"), he will be able to penetrate you more deeply. Another benefit is if you like to bring vibrators into the mix, it will be easier to do (especially if your legs are up). Another is this is one way to get your clitoris, vagina, and cervix all stimulated all at the same time — in fact, this is why another name for the edge of the bed is "the edge of heaven" (makes sense).
10. Keep Your Bra on — Kinda
As a doula, whenever new moms talk to me about easing back into sex, it's very common for them to talk about how "conflicted" they are when it comes to their breasts, especially if they are breastfeeding. It makes complete and total sense when you think about the fact that first, our breasts are ours alone, then men come in and use them as foreplay, and then here comes a baby who uses them as a food source. A top suggestion that I give is that moms invest in some super sexy nursing bras. That way, if they want to still keep their breasts covered up, there is something pretty for their partner to look at.
Along these same lines (kinda sorta), consider keeping your own bra on during missionary — well, kind of. Either get one that is extremely sheer or pull your breasts out so that they are hanging out over the front of your bra. Why? Well, a lot of men have told me over the years that while nothing really tops a woman in her birthday suit, the peek-a-boo effect of breasts over bras and crotchless panties turns them on in a way that they can't fully articulate. Plus, if you're a bit insecure, this can help you out like it can a new mom (believe it or not), especially if you're going to bring some lighting in (like I suggested earlier).
11. Enjoy His Nipples
Speaking of breasts…although not everyone finds their nipples to be the ultimate erogenous zone (check out “So, What If ‘Typical Erogenous Zones’ Annoy TF Outta You?”), don’t automatically assume that your partner is one of them. The reality is men have the same glands and nerve endings that we do when it comes to their nipples which means a lot of them find their nipples getting some TLC to be super erotic and enjoyable.
A husband client of mine once told me in a session that he wished that his wife would lick on his nipples more, especially during intercourse, because it takes his orgasms to a completely different level. When his wife heard that, she asked, since she’s not a contortionist, how could she possibly pull that off in a comfortable way? This actually brings us to the next point.
12. Try Some Kama Sutra Piercing
On the heels of what I just said, what do you know about the Kama Sutra approach known as piercing? It’s kind of similar to CAT, only with a twist. This time, a man should position his shoulders to where they are directly over your head — that way, as he is moving in and out, you can get direct clitoral stimulation.
How is this any different from the CAT? Well, with that position, his arch is backed farther away from you. Plus, it tends to feel the most amazing upon entry only. On the other hand, piercing makes it possible for you to do the whole nipple thing that we just talked about while he’s able to stimulate your clitoris more intentionally the entire time. A win/win for everyone, wouldn’t you say?
13. Engage in (Some or More) Edging
Another way to almost guarantee that your orgasms will be next level is to engage in a bit of edging. If you're familiar with the word, yet you've never exactly researched and/or tried it before — let's just say that it's the kind of act that requires some stamina (on his part) and some self-discipline (for you both). The reason why I say that is because edging is all about having intercourse, your partner stopping for 15-30 seconds, and then you both starting back up all over again.
And why would someone want to send themselves through this mind of, in a way, mind f-ck? It builds anticipation and excitement, which can actually make your orgasms super intense. Hell, it could even lead to multiple orgasms if y'all play your cards right. Anyway, you can learn more about edging by reading "All About Edging: The Ways Prolonging Pleasure Makes For Mind-Blowing Orgasms" on our platform.
14. Stop. And Switch.
As I was in the process of penning this piece, I asked a few people to share why they felt that some people take a ho-hum attitude about the missionary position. The general consensus was if that’s all you do the entire time, things can get old really quick.
Good point. That’s why it’s also a good idea to keep in mind that, just because you start off in missionary, no rule says that you have to stay there (unless you happen to live in Florida because, apparently, only the missionary is legal there; Florida stays wilin’ out). No rule says that once you start having sex that you can’t do some other, eh hem, activities in between positions too.
My vote? Be down to get into some oral, especially if you want to increase your chances of having an orgasm. A “good giver” is gonna get off so much on pleasuring you that you probably won’t have to worry about him needing to maintain an erection even if he spends a few moments downtown (cue SWV’s song). Oral sex intermissions are so unsung. Whew, chile.
15. Moan ‘N Whisper
The last and final point. "Dirty talk" is always gonna be a winner when it comes to sex, period; however, when you're in the missionary position, it's really amazin' considering you're both right next to each other's ears.
And what if dirty talk isn't something that you've exactly mastered (yet)? The key is to not overthink it. Moan. Whisper the things that you like being done to you (or that you want him to try). Ask him what he likes (or wants more of). When he's got it right, praise him. If he's got a pet name, use it. If you want to go with his government name, he probably won't mind that either.
The main point here is to remember that great sex incorporates all of the senses — touch, taste, sight, smell, and hearing. And since words are our most effective form of communication, you can't go wrong with using some in the bedroom…especially when you're giving it all that you've got in the missionary position…especially as you're adding in some of these upgrades that I just shared.
Enjoy, sis. EN-freakin’-JOY!
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Giphy