Whether you thought losing your virginity was beautiful and sentimental, or awkward and regrettable, it's an experience that few women forget. Over the years, sex gets better and somewhat less awkward and sentimental, but I can honestly say that one of the best things about getting my back blown out as an adult is the fact that I can openly talk to my mom about it. Now that may sound strange to some, but I'll give you some back story.
I lost my virginity to my high school sweetheart at 17 at The Mississipi River levee in Baton Rouge. While that may sound sweet and romantic, I can assure you that it absolutely was not. My first time wasn't about love or commitment, it was an act of rebellion that would ultimately send me and my mother's relationship into a downward spiral.
During my teenage years, I was constantly at odds with my family. My senior year, I discovered that I had gotten accepted to my dream college, and I was ready to let go of childish things, emancipate myself from all authority and finally become a woman (LOL). At the time, I thought sex would be my golden ticket into adulthood, but as that wildly horny teenager hoisted me on top of a dirty garbage can and thrusted to his heart's desire, I felt like anything but… a woman.
My mom didn't find out about my wildly regrettable lifestyle choice to become sexually active until months later at the doctor's office, who suspected I was having a miscarriage. My mom (understandably) lost her shit, and I felt like I had betrayed her on the deepest level possible.
While she was never the type of parent to preach that sex equals death, I knew that I violated her trust in me on so many levels that I wondered if she would ever look at me the same. Now, nine years later, I'm proud to say that my mom is my bestie. I seek her advice about everything, from bad sex to blowjobs, and she's even equipped me with some knowledge you won't find in a typical Google search.
While in the black community, talking about your sexuality with your mother may be taboo, writer/producer Keyaira Kelly and her mom, Tarawoner Kelly think these conversations are necessary and have launched a new podcast, Talk To Your Mom, which will feature intimate conversations between the mother-daughter duo about raw topics like love, trauma, healing, spirituality, and sex.
Keyaira explained that she and her mother created the show with hopes of challenging other women to have tough conversations with the women in their lives, even if they're a little bit uncomfortable at first.
"My goal is that these episodes will inspire other moms and their kids to get to know each other on a deeper level. I really feel where there is vulnerability, there is healing."
In the first episode, Keyaira and Mama Tarawoner jumped right into awkward waters with an emotional discussion about popping cherries, and with a more than 20-year age distance between the two women, it's safe to say that their experiences were worlds apart. While we now live in a world where sex education and preventative methods are passed out like candy, Tarawoner said that things were much different 30 years ago.
In the '70s, a time where sex before marriage was still considered gravely immoral, there were little to no resources for youth who decided to become sexually active. Today, we have organizations like planned parenthood that help women understand reproductive health, but Keyaira's mom explained that unlike her daughter, she went into her first sexual encounter with little to no information about how to protect herself. This lack of resources and sex education, Tarawoner explained, was what led to the conception of her first child the day she lost her virginity.
Keyaira, on the other hand, explained that growing up with mother who was real about vaginas, safe sex, and everything in between helped her navigate her own sexuality in a healthy way.
Although me and my mom's first version of "the talk" involved a whole lot of screaming (on her part, might I add), from that point on, our relationship would blossom into one based on truth and understanding; both factors that Tarawoner thought were imperative to instill in her relationship with her daughter:
"Shame is very powerful. Guilt is very powerful. It will keep you in bondage. I think it's important to talk. I think every woman should have a safe haven where they can feel like they can shed all the layers of bondage that's against them so they can be whole again."
In the podcast, Keyaira also dropped a few gems pertaining to selectivity and discernment, and lawd. 17-year-old me felt that in her spirit. According to her, one of a woman's biggest missteps can be falling for a f*ckboy in potential suitor's clothing. To remedy this easily-made mistake, Keyaira told her mother that she lives by this philosophy:
"Never f*ck anybody you wouldn't want to be. For me, if I look at a man and I would not feel comfortable being that man, walking this world and existing as that man, his energy can't be in my body."
Lovers of the millennial age have coined sex as something that can be deemed as strictly physical, but according to science, that's not true, sis. When a man is knee deep in your guts, that thang might just hit your spirit in a way you weren't prepared for and Keyaira challenges women to ask themselves a tough question. Is that man is someone who you'd wanna be, or is it just somebody that you're OK being with? She explained:
"I think it was just transforming the conversation in a way that resonated with my spirit. Just saying 'you gave yourself away' or 'you gave them something you can't get back,' all of that was so disempowering for me. And so I said okay, well how can I own this? Because at the end of the day it's my body my spirit. And when I started looking at who I wanted to exchange energy with, when I met a man who carried himself with dignity, self-love, power, gentleness, and patience. So I'm like okay if I can walk in this man's shoes then he can get it."
While Keyaira and Tarawoner had some key differences in their ideologies on sex, their conversation is proof that talking with your mom about navigating some of the more intimate moments in your life isn't as crazy as it sounds. If I could go back in time, would I have opened up to my mom about my curiosity concerning sex and told her about the day that I lost my virginity? No, probably not. But I know I'll use all the time I have now to learn everything she has to teach me, even if it makes me cringe sometimes.
Our devastating trip to the doctor's office may have temporarily strained our relationship, but now, my mother and I communicate better because of it.
Talk To Your Mom is the conversation most young women wish they could have with their mothers, and a necessary dialogue for women of color. To hear more, check out the full episode on Spotify or Apple and catch up with Keyaira on Instagram!
"Talk To Your Mom" Podcast Hosts Tarawoner & Keyaira Discuss The Purpose Of Their Platformwww.youtube.com
Featured image by Keyaira Kelly/Instagram.
- A Mother's Confession: I Regret Having My Child - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
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.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masturdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masturdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masturdating All About?
Masturdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masturdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masturdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masturdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masturdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masturdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masturdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masturdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masturdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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Featured image by FOTOGRAFIA, INC./Getty Images