While doing an interview not too long ago, I was asked how I come up with some of the topics that I write about. The interviewer described them as "Things that folks think about but never really get to read about." Personally, I take that as a high compliment because that is exactly what serves as my inspiration. As a writer, I spend a heck of a lot of time reading and, when I can't find what I wish I could, I usually say to myself, "Shoot, I'll write it then." And when it comes to the topic of sex, I can speak from once-upon-a-time very personal experience what it's like to enjoy a sexual partner for the most part and yet sometimes, not really want to have sex with them because he's always trying to put me in a position that I'm simply not interested in.
If you just did a double take and then heard yourself say, "That part", I'm glad that this resonates with you in some way because sex needs to be great on every level. And since sexual positions play a huge and pivotal role in the act itself, let's do a little exploring on how to handle it if you truly are sick and tired of trying to maneuver your way out of sexual positions that you really don't like all that much to begin with. For whatever the reason.
Have You Always Hated Those Sex Positions? If So, What’s the Reasoning Behind It?
The thing that's interesting about sex positions is there truly is not a one-size-fits-all to them. Meaning, that they are totally up to the individual. That's why I find myself sometimes rolling my eyes whenever I read articles that say that doggy style is a must-do or throwing your legs over your partner's shoulder is the absolute bomb. TMI maybe, but it's whatever. Doggy style is cool to me, but in all honesty, I can live without it. Traditionally, I like eye contact and the penetration from that angle isn't actually the way I would prefer to feel it. And legs pinned all back 'n stuff? The older one gets, the more challenging that can be (and shoot, I used to be on a gymnastics-like team!). So, while I wouldn't say that I hate either of them, I can't say that I'm gonna write a ton of articles singing their praises either.
However, there are some other positions that I kinda loathe. Like the wheelbarrow. So, you really want me to hold up my own body weight while you're moving all around and you think that I can focus on that and climaxingat the same time? What in the world, dude? Or caboosing (when a man is sitting up and you back your body into him while also sitting up). OK, maybe it seems good in theory, yet I feel like I'm just gonna break, umm, something if I'm—well, we're—not careful.
I could go on, yet I think you get my point. You might hate a sexual position for reasons similar to what I just shared. Or maybe it's something a little deeper like you have bad memories of one from a past relationship or experience. Perhaps certain positions cause you to feel more self-conscious when it comes to your body image.
The reason why getting to the root of your disdain is so important is because it's not good enough to take on the "I dunno. I just don't like it" stance, especially when your partner feels the complete opposite. The reality is that none of us hate something for absolutely no reason. Knowing the trigger cause can bring about some clarity, some resolve and maybe even some compromise.
This brings me to the next point.
Most Sex Positions Can Be Modified. Have You Tried?
Lawd. It seems like every partner I've had has wanted to throw my legs to the back of the wall. I recall asking one of them why that seemed like such a big deal. You know what's a trip? He said that he assumed all women liked it that way because men could get in deeper in that position. See, this is the reason why sexual communication is so essential. If you're out here doing stuff to me out of comparison or assumption, that's a definite way to misfire, more times than not. On the other hand, when I find out that a guy likes a position that isn't my favorite and it's for his own sake and pleasure, typically what I'll do is try and modify it. Back to doggy style. Although I do prefer eye contact positions, there are a couple of exceptions. Like, have you ever seen two cats have sex? It's basically just like doggy style only they tend to be on their stomachs rather than their knees. Some folks call that position the flatiron. Whatever it is, it feels awesome (to me) and it's definitely a modification of going the doggy route; only now, I don't have to keep fidgeting with my arms and/or worrying about if my arch is just right. Or say that your partner really likes sex while you're standing up and you would prefer to take a hard pass on it. If you get up on the edge of a counter or the dryer (while the cycle is on in order to catch the vibrations), that could be a happy medium for you both.
The bottom line here is the best lovers know how to compromise. Not only that, they're not interested in doing something solely for their own benefit if their partner isn't getting fulfilled, on some level, by it. So, while you shouldn't continue to do anything that isn't satisfying (and definitely not something that is painful or uncomfortable), do consider how you can "meet him halfway" on some positions by making a few adjustments. Doing so might end up catching you off guard, in some of the best ways possible.
Don’t “Fake Tolerate” Positions You Don't Like. Discuss.
Just this morning, a friend of mine and I were talking about the importance of authenticity. At the end of the day, being authentic is about being real and a woman by the name of Janet Louis Stephenson once said, "Authenticity requires vulnerability, transparency and integrity." Show you right. I am a huge fan of being authentic which is why I am absolutely not a fan of faking it, on any level, when it comes to sex. A couple of years back, I wrote an article for the platform about why (you can check it out here). One of the main reasons is that faking it is not being honest with your partner and if you're not telling the truth, how is sex supposed to get any better? And sex—it should always be improving upon itself.
That's why, I don't care if it's because you feel self-conscious, talking about it seems "awkward" or you think it will hurt your partner's feelings or that he'll take it too personally—if you keep having sex in positions that you don't enjoy, don't fake it and act like you do. What tends to happen via that approach is you end up resenting him for not pleasing you and he either keeps on thinking everything is fine or he starts to feel some sense of detachment because you don't seem to be as "into it" as he is.
While we're on this point, I really want to make sure that couples in long-term relationships keep this in mind. I've worked with some wives who've been faking sexual pleasure for most of their marriage. They fake an orgasm, wait for their man to fall asleep, and then go somewhere else to masturbate. Uh-uh. You deserve to be just as sexually elated and fulfilled as your partner. Still, he's not a mind-reader. He shouldn't be expected to figure out if it's "all good" or not. You need to speak up and tell him (check out "9 Sex-Related Questions You & Your Partner Should Ask Each Other. Tonight.").
Yes, You Can Grow to Like Certain Positions in Time.
Aight. You know what I think can nip a lot of this in the bud? Trying new sexual positions. I will never stop saying that one of the biggest challenges when it comes to sex (especially in long-term relationships) is making sure that you and yours don't end up being bored to tears. Well, when it comes to sexual positions specifically, even if there are some that he likes and you don't, who said that the focus needs to remain in that sexual cul-de-sac? I don't know any man who isn't down for adventures of the sexual kind, so why not make the time to check out articles like Women's Health's "This Is What Your Sex-Position Bucket List Should Look Like" (which features 46 positions and illustrations) or the book "Sex Positions: Sex: The Top 100 Sex Positions to Try Before You Die"?
Another tip? Pardon the pun but, stay open. Because a lot of us came into our current sexual situation with our own level of baggage, sometimes we take on the attitude that what we don't like, we never will, when the reality is that sometimes, a different partner can make the same experience totally different. You simply need to relax, not overthink or be willing to explore how your present could end up being very different from your past.
Sexual positions need to be about discovering which ones bring the most mutual pleasure, the most consistently. This requires trial and error, patience and again, a willingness to compromise. Life is too short to be out here hating positions and ultimately, not liking sex as much as you could—and should. Hopefully, these tips will make it all a lil' better. Or at least help you to have more fun trying. #wink
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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.
Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood.
We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
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This Is Why Your Bright Under-Eye Technique Is Not Giving
If you are a fan of the bright under-eye, then you have the legendary makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin to thank. The bright under-eye is only one of the major techniques that Aucoin brought to the forefront of the makeup industry in the ‘90s. The purpose of concealing the under-eye area is to hide blemishes and discoloration, redness, dark circles, and under-eye bags. However, according to Aucoin’s techniques, its main purpose is to lift and sculpt the face adding a new level of dimension.
The bright under-eye can be difficult to achieve. These are some of the common mistakes that are holding you back from sculpted bright under eyes that are giving!
1. You are not using the correct concealer shade.
Using two concealers makes a huge difference. Start with a shade 1-2 shades lighter than your skin tone. Followed by a shade that is 3-4 times lighter and placed closer to the inner eye to do the heavy lifting and give the bright effect.
Two shades diffuse well into each other and give a cohesive result.
2. You are not blending enough.
Don't underestimate the power behind a complete blend-out! Blending your concealer fully is a make-or-break step for the bright under-eye look. Fully blending allows for a seamless transition between the areas of the face meant to be highlighted, and the areas meant to create depth and shadows. So take your time and make sure there are no harsh lines.
3. You are not properly setting the under-eye area.
Set the under-eye using a loose setting powder or brightening powder. The key here is to choose a powder complementary to your skin's undertone and proper placement to prevent creasing. Focus the majority of the powder on the inner eye and defuse the remaining powder to the rest of the powder under the eye.
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