Whether still dealing with the aftershocks of the pandemic, not being able to get enough time off or money being a little on the tight side is what's preventing you from going on a romantic vacation this summer, who's to say that you can't do a sexy staycation instead? If the mere thought of that feels like a poor man's — or woman's — consolation prize, I promise you that it absolutely does not have to. Opting to stay at home while possibly throwing in a couple of day trip adventures (which is a classic definition of a staycation, by the way) can be loads of fun, super romantic and also really cost effective without feeling mad cheap.
All you need is an open mind, this article and a willingness to put a plan into place as soon as possible. Ready to get started?
1. Tell Everyone You’re Going to Be Away
When it comes to putting a staycation together, one of the biggest mistakes that people make is not announcing that they are going to be away for a little while. Listen, even if you're gonna do nothing other than camp out at your home for a week, it's important that family, friends and co-workers don't treat you like you're just a phone call or stop by away.
A staycation is still a form of a vacation, so make sure you let everyone know that you won't be available (unless it's an absolute emergency) once you've got some dates in place.
2. Order Breakfast in Bed
OK. Personally, I like to cook. I also think that cooking dates can be kind of sexy. Here's the thing, though. When you're on a staycation, it's important to deviate from your usual routine, as much as possible, even when it comes to how you get down in your house. A huge benefit that comes with being on vacation is sleeping in, right? So, when it comes to the most important meal of the day, avoid the urge to cook or settle for nothing more than a bowl of cereal. I'm pretty sure you've got some great breakfast/brunch restaurants in your area. Support local businesses and treat yourself by ordering breakfast to be delivered to your house, at least a couple of times, instead.
3. Dine at a New Romantic Restaurant
Not too long ago, someone asked me in an interview if going out for dinner can get old for a couple. My answer was, "No. Not if the restaurant requires dressing up and you're not constantly going to the same one." Unfortunately, when it comes to eating out, a lot of us seem to only treat it as a functional outing rather than an uber romantic experience. Avoid being that kind of statistic by finding an upscale restaurant and dressing to the nines. Good food, good ambiance and good company can never be boring; especially when you're on a staycation.
4. See If ‘Let’s Roam’ Works in Your City
When I take staycations, I promise you that I can never leave the house and be just fine. For those of you who end up feeling a little stir crazy after a day or two, be a tourist in your city — only with a romantic twist. In 300 different cities to-date, there is an app called Let's Roam. The cool thing about it is, for under fifty bucks (for both of you), you can go on a scavenger hunt throughout your city. It could be a unique way to create some new memories. If you're interested in learning more, go here.
5. Upgrade Your First Date
Whether your first date was super extravagant or it consisted of meeting at a coffee shop, there are few things more romantic than revisiting the moment when you and yours officially made a "formal" connection. Thing is, for many of us, as great as the experience may have been, we secretly wish that some tweaks could've been made to make things that much better. During your summer staycation, seize the opportunity by redoing your first date…by upgrading it a bit. If you wish the date had been earlier and longer, make that happen this time. If you would've preferred a quieter restaurant or one with a different cuisine, find a place that fits the bill and go there. If the connection was awesome but the location/venue could've used some work, change the place and wear the same outfit. You get the drift. Upgrading a first date while reminiscing about the actual first date is a form of mental foreplay like no other.
6. Redo Your First Night Together
Speaking of foreplay, chile…while we're in the spirit of redoing things, how about replaying your first night together too? The key here is to not make either one of you feel self-conscious by critiquing what could've been done differently or better. It's more about first discussing all of the amazing memories you recall from your first experience with each other and using that as a way to mentally go back to that time, in order to enjoy each other all over again.
The mind is the biggest sex organ we've got. You'd be amazed how merely discussing the first time you were one with each other in that way can take sexual pleasure to a whole 'nother level.
7. Take a Day Trip
Remember how I said that a staycation doesn't mean that you've got to stay cooped up in your house or even in your city the entire time? Going on a day trip can be romantic too because the time in the car can give you the opportunity to catch up in a way that you may not have been able to in a while. Plus, there's nothing like finding some romantically random bed and breakfast in some quaint little town. If you'd like some help finding one within a 150-300 mile radius to you, bnbfinder and BBOnline can be of some great assistance.
8. Make a Different Cocktail (or Mocktail) Every Day
Whether you and your boo decide to stay in bed all day or you stroll the mall, take in a movie and dine outdoors, very few things are more relaxing and delightful than a cocktail or, if you don't consume alcohol, a mocktail (which is basically a virgin cocktail). In the spirit of keeping things sexy, check out "8 Summer-Themed Alcoholic Drinks That Can Boost Your Libido". For some mocktail ideas, go to your favorite search engine and put "mocktail recipes" in the search field.
9. Play Some ‘Monogamy’ or ‘Fog of Love’
Do you and yours like to play games (the good kind) when you're able to spend some quality time together? If so, two that you may really like are the sex-driven conversational board game Monogamy (you can get it here) and Lovehoney Oh! Sexploration Vouchers 52 Weeks of Adventures (you can get it here); it consists of a deck of romantic and raunchy cards to pull from. If you put on some sexy music, pull out a bottle of wine and make sure that you don't have much on, you'll be sure to have a super entertaining evening.
10. Then Go for a Round of ‘Truth or Drink’
While you've got that bottle out, something else that you might want to do is play a round or two of Truth or Drink. Now, I'll be the first to say that super sensitive or even potentially insecure couples should probably steer clear of this one (especially as the drinks get to flowing). But if your relationship is based on a solid friendship and you both are very open with each other anyway, this game can be a lot of fun because there's no telling what you'll find out about your partner.
As the title of it goes, it's pretty self-explanatory. Each of you gets to ask a question and the other person gets to choose whether they want to answer or take a sip (or shot). If you want to raise up the ante a bit, throw in some sexy dares too. If you'd like some help coming up with some questions, Scary Mommy's site has 145 to inspire you. Check them out here.
11. Enjoy a Night of ‘Movie Strip’
What the heck is Movie Strip? It's another thing that one of my blasts from the past and I used to do.
We'd each pick a favorite movie, watch it and then quiz each other on the details in the film. For every time we got an answer wrong, we'd have to take off a piece of clothing. I'm pretty sure it goes without saying that whoever ends up naked first loses.
Well, sorta. #wink
12. Try to Literally Have Sex All Night
Anyone who knows me knows that very few things make me happier than listening to 90s R&B for hours on end. However, if there's one thing that really does tickle me about a lot of R&B music is the lies, lies…LIES it tells about people when it talks about having sex all night long. C'mon now. Who has the time, the energy or the natural lubrication required to make that happen? Chile, please. Still, when you're on a sexy staycation, it can be enjoyable to see how close to that goal you can actually reach. Shoot, to serve as extra motivation, some sort of prize can be offered to the partner who doesn't "tap out" first. It could be doing a household chore for a week that one of you hates, running errands that one of you likes to avoid — something that makes winning really worthwhile, even after your staycation is over.
13. Have an Orgasm Competition
Speaking of being up all night long…back when I was sexually active (le sigh), one of my partners and I used to literally compete to see who could give each other the most orgasms in one sex session (well, one night but you know what I mean). It was actually a strategic kind of "game" because while it can be pretty easy to get the first one off, it requires a bit more finessing, technique and intentionality to enter into the multiple orgasms lane. Nothing beats trying though. Wheeeeeeeew-whee.
14. Stay Naked Most of the Time
Whenever I'm in a counseling session and the topic of improving a married couple's sex life comes up, it never fails that women want more foreplay while men want visual stimuli to go up a few notches. For some, that means they wish that their partner would play dress up in more lingerie. However, what I tend to hear even more than that is men wish that their lady would be naked way more often than right before it's time to "get it in". Surely y'all are not shocked by that. Still, there's no time like this article to encourage you to disrobe more than usual. I mean, you're on a staycation and you want to make it as HOT as possible so — why the heck not?
Being naked is not only alluring and appealing as hell, it's a great way to keep your body temperature stabilized, decrease your stress levels, make you feel more comfortable with your body image, give your vagina the time and space it needs to "air out" a bit and, it definitely is an entry way to more intimacy.
I live alone, work from home and even I can't tell you how many days you can find me in nothing but a blanket for most of the day. There is something very freeing about nudity. There's also something erotic about it when you're that way with your partner. Even if it's just for a couple of days, take it off, TAKE IT ALL OFF, while you're on your staycation.
15. Pitch a Tent
If you've got a private backyard, there really is something sweet about pitching a tent, bringing a few snacks outside, along with blanks and pillows and cuddling up while looking up at the stars until you both fall asleep. It's a super relaxing and very sentimental way to culminate what will hopefully be one of your best vacations ever — a super hot staycation.
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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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
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.
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'Power Book II: Ghost' Star LaToya Tonodeo Talks Breakout Role And Shooting Her Shot At 50 Cent For An Audition
Actress LaToya Tonodeo demonstrated the power of speaking up as she recently recalled how she secured her breakout role in Starz's Power Book II: Ghost.
The hit show, a spinoff of the original series Power, follows the journey of college student Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.) as he tries to escape his father's tainted image while running a drug operation.
In Power Book II: Ghost, Tonodeo portrays the role of Diana Tejada, the daughter of former kingpin Lorenzo Tejada and Monet Tejada, played by Mary J. Blige.
The series debuted in 2020 and became an instant hit as viewers were glued to the screen weekly due to its captivating storylines. Power Book II: Ghost is currently in its third season and has been renewed for a fourth.
Although Tonodeo has been a part of the entertainment industry for over a decade by appearing in various television shows and films, the 26-year-old's star shined a lot brighter after landing a role in Power Book II: Ghost.
In an IG Live with xoNecole, Tonodeo opened up about how her dream opportunity came to fruition and the rumor that she boldly asked Power's executive producer, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, to participate in one of his projects.
LaToya On Previously Working With 50 Cent
In last month's discussion, Tonodeo revealed that before landing Power Book II: Ghost, she was already working alongside Jackson for his Sony/Crackle series The Oath.
In the show, the actress played the character Tara Byrd. Tonodeo shared that as the red carpet premiere for the first season of The Oath occurred in 2018, she missed her opportunity to connect with Jackson because she was working on another project. But as fate would have it, The Oath was renewed for a second season.
In 2019, as Tonodeo reprised her role in the show and attended the red carpet premiere for the second season, she briefly chatted with Jackson, who at the time acquired the rights to the BMF story.
"Well, what's crazy [is] I was already on a 50 Cent show. So at that premiere, it's called The Oath. It was the season two premiere of The Oath on Sony/ Crackle, and he was there," she said. "Season one, there was a premiere, and 50 Cent attended. I wasn't there because I was doing The Fosters, and I'm like, 'man.' When I got to go to the season two premiere, I saw him, and it was around the time when he got the rights for the BMF story."
The Bold Move That Helped 'Powerbook' Star LaToya Tonodeo Land the Role
LaToya On Asking 50 Cent To Audition For a Role And Landing 'Power Book II: Ghost'
Tonodeo explained that during her conversation with Jackson, she congratulated the mogul on obtaining the rights to the BMF story and expressed her interest in wanting to be a part of the project.
Tonodeo added that although she is unclear if Jackson remembered their encounter or "if it meant anything," when a Power Book II: Ghost role came along, she auditioned and landed the job.
"I was like, 'Oh my God, like I want to be a part of it.' But I don't know why I did it. I just walked over there, and I was like, 'Hey, congratulations on getting the rights. I would love to audition.' I don't know why I did that. I don't even know if it meant anything or if he remembers or not. I do know that I did my thing in the audition, so yeah, we are here now," she stated.
Either way, with that story, Tonodeo has displayed the perfect example of "closed mouths don't get fed."
Power Book II: Ghost is now streaming on Starz.
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Feature image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for STARZ