I must admit, I am an alpha woman. We are savvy, stylish, walk-into-the-room-and-glow-all-over-the-atmosphere women that is as multi-faceted as we are multi-layered.
We are powerful without gesture and all-encompassing without effort. We are the conductor in the orchestra that is presence and will sway the melody to our liking.
We're the power movers. The one that must have everything in a certain order to ensure that what we want happens the way we want it, when we want it. The one that has to be in total control of every situation or else we will be met with discomfort and anxiety because, well, people cannot do what we do the way we do it.
And for the most part, it is the exact description of a lot of women that I am close to or gravitate toward. We all have this sixth sense to be bold, ambitious, driven, and exacting in order to live our best lives. Or do we?
Deep down, we all have that undercurrent of longing for balance. A balance that I have learned can only be gained if we are willing to relinquish control. Yes, even the most powerful of alpha female women need to give up the ghost and loosen the reins to let our hair down.
And that power move can only be mastered in the bedroom.
For the past ten years, I have been living in my single season. That's 3650 days of dating, courting, situationships, celibacy, abstinence, self-pleasure, sexual boredom, and bouts of just throwing in the relationship towel altogether. It is enough to make me question my sanity at times! I felt like I missed out on prime relationship conversions because I have been chasing my ultimate life. A life, by the way, that is a constant work in progress. To cope with the droughts and sporadic periods of activity, I rethought my approach to sex.
Sex is very selective for me.
The bedroom is holy ground where power roles can be reversed or inverted. In there, I needed to be extra careful what energies I brought in and how it would affect me because I refused to let negative energy into my safe space. So, I compartmentalized sex. I separated the intimacy from what I desired and became motivated by something completely primal and basic. It worked, or so I thought.
A few years ago, I met this guy who changed my life.
He was the epitome of the Type A, alpha male. He checked all of the boxes on my list; handsome, ambitious, driven, and a gentleman. In my world, I lucked out! My spidey senses were tingling and I was excited about a guy for the first time in a long time. He and I had a great connection, but we never hit the mark. Wrong time, different paths, different sacrifices.
All things considered, I think I pretty much set myself up for the challenge of an alpha male. They are as every bit powerful as we are, but without the nurturing quality. Which meant I had to dig deep just to get the emotional responses that I required to function. He had requirements, too, and needs that translated into my doing something I never quite wrapped my head around:
Submitting to the power of someone else.
With him, it was easy to be sexually expressive and it was freeing.
His magic hold over me was his ability to get me to open my mind about what I truly desired and what I was willing to do to get it. I'm the girl that likes spanking and erotic asphyxiation, among some other hot and heavy things. But he upped the bar in just how much I enjoyed it. That's how I knew he pulled something new out of me. He was a dominant spirit; more than I had had before, and it was thrilling to be able to release the submissive side of myself without being degraded or judged for relaxing into it. The thing is, if he didn't require it, I never would have found the power to do it.
Full disclosure, the Alpha and I never had sex.
Never. Not once, nope.
What we did was more intimate than intercourse could ever create.
The boundaries we expanded through touch, physical experience, and vulnerability was intense. But not Fifty Shades of Grey intense. The entire affair depended on whether or not I trusted myself to be in the moment. Trusting him was not an issue, myself on the other hand? Not so much.
For the woman whose plans have plans, and whose lists have lists – deviating from what was my norm and willingly letting someone else take charge, that was the struggle that I had to conquer. A struggle it was. It took me some time to get to the point where I was ready.
Gratefully, I found my inner Wonder Woman and discovered the true power in submitting and allowing yourself to be on the receiving end.
Let me tell you, I still haven't recovered from the experience! Learning my exact limitations and what it takes to get me there was truly liberating. He did that for me. He allowed me the room to give myself permission to grow.
It wasn't about his need to lord his sexual fetishes or desires over me.
Despite what people think, there are rules of engagement when it comes to sexual submission. There was no moving forward if I was the least bit wary. It was all I about what I permitted myself to allow; what I submitted to. Through him, I did the one thing that I have been trying to perfect my whole life: I let go.
The notion is this: if I could let go of my own hang ups about what I desire in the bedroom and let someone else lead me to figuring it out; then what would happen if I did that in every aspect of my life?
What if I submitted to my creative processes? Or to my free spirit? Or to not driving myself absolutely insane trying to chase the American dream (which doesn't exist actually)?
What if I submitted to myself and allowed myself to live rather than shuffle through my existence on hyperdrive with peripheral blockers on?
The what ifs are endless, as well as the possibilities. Submitting to those possibilities and learning your limitations leaves you with two choices: push past those limitations or hold onto them for cautionary measure.
Those are the only two choices we have. To be fearlessly transparent, submitting to my own healthy desires and letting whatever happens happen is far more thrilling and fulfilling than forcing things to happen. That may mean that my single season goes on a little longer but I'm finally secure in that.
Living my best life means knowing it is filled with uncertainty and variables I cannot plan or create lists for. Power moves are all about having the upper hand in situations and making decisions that propel your life into the direction you want it to go into. Submission is going to get you there. Sex is amazing when you're open to new possibilities; so is life.
And life for me got a little more robust once I gave myself the permission to surrender and let go.
Can you say in full honestly that you are living your best life? Have you fully opened your mind and heart to experiences that both scare you are cause growth? Are you submitting to yourself and your desires and pushing past the limitations that you have set on yourself?
Chances are, if you said "no" to any of those questions you may need to shed some control. Luckily for you, that brand of liberation can be found in your bedroom.
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.
Watching Angela “Blac Chyna” White’s transformation in real-time has truly been a sight to see. It wasn’t that long ago that she announced that she was reversing her cosmetic surgeries in an effort to go back to who she was before the world came to know her as Blac Chyna. In previous interviews, she stated that she was dissolving her facial and lip fillers, removing her breast implants, and getting a butt reduction, as well as removing the dimple piercings that enhanced her fame and controversial tattoos.
In a recent Tamron Hall interview, the mother of two said that she has “fully recovered” from the procedures. She is also celebrating one year of sobriety and opened up about being worried about how her new journey would be received by others.
“I’ve been in the entertainment industry for so long, right, and of course, like, you know, coming out, I’m like young, I’m gonna do wild things as we all have,” she said.
“...I feel like by me being vocal and showing everybody you can change your life and things can get better, like through myself, that right there is an accomplishment, and that’s a part of freedom, too.”
But as she started on her journey, many people have shown her grace, which is something she’s grateful for. “And then the fact that people have been showing me grace, it’s like amazing,” she said. “And I feel like when I did it, I just did it. It was more so like spiritual thing and I feel like people see that, and I’ve always been like my authentic self, so what you see is kinda what you get with me, and that’s just kinda what it is.”
Chyna, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Sacramento Theology Seminary and Bible College, has also repaired her relationship with her mom, Tokyo Toni. The social media celebrity surprised her daughter on the Tamron Hall Show. Prior to the sentimental surprise, Chyna dished on the reconciliation and having a better understanding of her mom.
“I must say, some of the things I have to take accountability for because, like my actions. As a mother, you don’t want to see your daughter doing certain things ‘cause it’s like it doesn’t matter what my past was or what we’re going through, I didn’t raise you that way,” she admitted. “So, it’s like, okay, maybe I was a little bit wrong. Maybe I was acting out a little bit. But I feel like as we grow older, I kinda see more, and I understand more.”
Chyna will be starring in season two of Fox's reality competition show Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.
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Feature image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images