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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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
2023 has become the year of celebrity breakups with headlines breaking left and right about celebs filing for divorce or ending high-profile relationships. The latest couple to announce their dissolution? British actress Jodie Turner-Smith. TMZ reported that Jodie has filed for a divorce from her husband, Dawson Creek alum Joshua Jackson.
As far as her reason for calling it quits, Jodie cited "irreconcilable differences," according to TMZ, and has requested joint custody of the couple's daughter, Janie. Late last year there were rumblings of there being "trouble in paradise" for the couple after the media realized they were no longer following each other on Instagram.
Those rumors were more than laid to rest when Jodie and Joshua went to the 2023 Oscars together earlier this year, and even more recently, when they celebrated her birthday together last month during the September unveiling of the Lotus Emeya.
Jodie Turner-Smith celebrates her birthday with husband Joshua Jackson at the unveiling of the new fully-electric Lotus Emeya on September 07, 2023 in New York City.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Lotus
Despite seeming particularly happy and in love, perhaps the writing was already written on the wall even then. In the past, Jodie has been very celebratory publicly about her love for her estranged husband, even boldly recounting their love story for the books in a 2021 interview with Seth Meyers.
When Jodie and Joshua met, it was while at his birthday party in 2018. Their relationship was hot and heavy from the start, with Jodie openly noting that they began as a "one-night stand." During her 2021 interview with Seth Meyers, she jokingly referred to their love story as a "three-year one-night stand." She shared:
"First of all, I saw him before he saw me and when I saw him, I was like, 'I want that.' And then when he saw me, I just pretended like I didn't see him. He had to yell across the room to me, and I was wearing this T-shirt from a movie called Sorry to Bother You and [actress] Tessa Thompson plays a character called Detroit, and she has this T-shirt that says, 'The Future Is Female Ejaculation.'
"And so, he shouts across the room, 'Detroit!' He comes over and… does this really cute, charming thing that he does and just all night -- he just basically followed me around the party."
The couple were together from that moment forth, and even made things "Instagram official" less than two weeks later while on a dinner date. Joshua would later clarify to Insider that the night they met in 2018 was not a 'one-night stand' or a 'three-year one-night stand' like his then-wife joked but instead, it was "technically a three-night stand."
"It was sealed with a kiss that night and then we didn't leave each other's sides for, well, three years now," Joshua continued at the time.
In a July 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Joshua dropped more details about the why behind getting married. He revealed that he didn't know he wanted to get married to Jodie until "the moment she asked me."
"She asked me on New Year's Eve. We were in Nicaragua. It was very beautiful, incredibly romantic, we were walking down the beach and she asked me to marry her."
He added, "I did not know [she would propose], but she was quite adamant and she was right. This is the best choice I ever made."
Joshua Jackson Reveals Jodie Turner-Smith Proposed To Him
Jodie received quite a bit of flack for proposing to Joshua because it goes against tradition and what society sees as acceptable for a woman to do to a man, and proposing isn't one of them. No matter how much time has passed, the viewpoints around who should do the proposing and who should be proposed to are still very traditional.
After being on the receiving end of such backlash, Joshua would later clarify to the media in a separate interview that it wasn't just Jodie's proposal to him that sealed the deal of them getting married, he proposed to her too. She might have initiated it, but Joshua followed through.
"I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn't give the full context and holy Jesus, the internet is racist and misogynist," he explained to Refinery29 that same year. "We were in Nicaragua on a beautiful moonlit night, it could not possibly have been more romantic."
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
He continued, "And yes, my wife did propose to me and yes, I did say yes, but what I didn't say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I'm still old school enough that I said, 'This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too].'"
"She has a biological father and a stepdad, who's the man who raised her. [I said], 'You have to give me the opportunity to ask both of those men for your hand in marriage.' And then, 'I would like the opportunity to re-propose to you and do it the old-fashioned way down on bended knee.' So, that's actually how the story ended up."
Joshua and Jodie would eventually marry in December 2019. Shortly thereafter, Jodie gave birth to the couple's first child, Janie, in 2020.
In a recent interview with Elle UK, Jodie shared the ways becoming a mother to Janie helped to heal her of her wounds from colorism she experienced in the past. "It's interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother and, throughout my life, I always said if I were to have children, I wanted to have Black, Black babies so that I could affirm them as children with the love that I felt I needed to have been affirmed with by the outside world," Jodie shared with the outlet.
She continued, "Then I fell in love with my husband and we talked about having kids. I did have this mini pause, where I was like, 'She's going to be walking through the world not only having an experience that I did not have, but looking like people that, in a way, I'd always felt a little bit tormented by.' Now that I've got this little, tiny, light-skinned boss, I feel like it’s the universe teaching me lessons. I've been given a daughter who looks this way to heal my own conversations around colorism."
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