It's my personal opinion that oral sex doesn't get discussed nearly enough. And that's pretty much my starting and finishing reason for why I'm writing this. C'mon. It's not like most of us don't indulge or engage and yet, when it comes to finding ways to make the experience more enjoyable (because a mouth simply being on another's genitalia is a really low bar), we don't seem to do as much research as we should.
It's no secret that more women climax from cunnilingus than intercourse itself (I'll expound in a moment). And it's definitely no newsflash that fellatio tends to put huge smiles on most men's faces. Still, there's nothing like going from good to great in your oral sex game, right? Something tells me that if you incorporate the following 12 tips, that is exactly what will happen.
1. Treat It Like an “Appetizer.” Not the “Meal.”
Let's start with where our, umm, heads should be about oral sex—whether we're giving or receiving. For starters, if it's gonna be grand, it'll be both. Anyway, while I do know some people who tend to take a hard pass on oral sex for a variety of reasons (by the way, religious married folks should check out Proverbs 5:15) and I certainly say to each their own, gone should be the stigma that there is anything "wrong" or "nasty" about doing it. Besides, 75 percent of women aren't able to have a vaginal orgasm. Oh, but do you know how they can climax? Some good old-fashioned cunnilingus! The main reason is that there is so much direct clitoral stimulation during the act.
Speaking of the stigma and the "ick attitude" that so many still seem to have about oral activity, that's a part of the reason why I think that cunnilingus and fellatio should be seen as appetizers (foreplay) more than the actual meal (intercourse). Think about it. How big of a deal is kissing? Especially in an intimate relationship, it's basically a given, right? Well, oral sex is a form of kissing...kissing genitalia, that is. And when you look at it from the perspective of stimulating your partner and building up excitement for what is to come, that can take a lot of pressure off of doing it. The acts can relax you, significantly so, as you're heading into intercourse. Appetizers are dope. They get the palate ready and prepare us to sit back and enjoy our meal. I think oral sex should be seen in a very similar fashion. How about you?
2. Shower Beforehand. Possibly Together.
I'll tell y'all what, if there's one thing that 2020 did, it got me super up close and personal with streaming apps. Not the ones you've gotta pay for (some of y'all have so many of those that you might as well have cable, chile)—the free ones. One of them being Tubi. Anyway, a series on there that I started watching not too long ago isSecret Diary of a Call Girl. It's…interesting. At times. Anyway, I'm bringing that up for this piece because Belle (the call girl) tends to give tips throughout each episode. One of her first was this—make sure that your partner showers from the moment he steps in your door.
I promise y'all that when I see movies or television shows where folks are all sweaty or are even just coming in from work and oral sex is simulated, I semi wanna gag just like an 80s valley girl. No, no…NO. Oral sex is so much more pleasant when you know that everything is super clean and fresh down there. You can even up the excitement by taking a shower together. Whatever you do, just make sure that hygiene is a top priority. For everyone's sake. And pleasure.
3. Create the Ambiance
Whether you adore oral sex (giving and receiving), you low-key loathe it or you merely tolerate it, the overall experience is going to be so much better—and far less awkward—if the atmosphere is sexy. Use candlelight or colored LED light bulbs. Turn on some slow R&B music. Dress sexy. Bring a few pillows into the mix (when you're "propped up", oral sex can be so much more comfortable). Hit a few other erogenous zones. Maybe give each other a massage (with hands and/or with tongues).
Sometimes oral sex can feel stressful at first, usually because we're rushing into it way too fast. Slow down. Set the mood. Enjoy each other. You've got time. If you're doing it right, you do, anyway.
4. Mutually Discuss What’s Desired. Each Time.
If you don't get anything else out of this, please hold on to this one particular point. Sometimes, we can be in a mood to receive oral sex in a different way than we did the time before. We might want more pressure applied or less. We might prefer it to be wetter or less wet. Sometimes 69 sounds like a good idea while other times, it's the absolute last thing that we want to attempt. But if we don't discuss all of this with our partner and instead, we put the expectation on them to be able to read our minds, that can make us frustrated with them—and ultimately, the act itself.
No one is saying that you have to present a—pardon the pun—full-on oral presentation about what you expect all of the time. I'm just saying that whispering in his ear what you are in the mood for (followed by asking him what he would like) can never hurt. It can only help, actually.
5. Incorporate a Favorite Flavor
I know all of us have heard that if you and your partner drink pineapple juice, everything will be right with the (oral sex) world, but that's not a complete truth. What is a fact is your diet plays somewhat of a role in how your natural lubrication as well as your partner's semen taste. This means that if pineapple juice is a part of your daily diet, it can knock some of the acidity out of both of your fluids, making them an itty bit sweeter. But if you're looking for everything to taste like a piña colada, you're only setting yourself up for failure. No food can do that.
The flip to this is if you bring a favorite sweet condiment into the mix, that can make you less—what would the word be—apprehensive, about diving in, head first (with the pun totally intended). Chocolate syrup, honey, whipped cream, frosting, flavored lubricant—all of these can be super seductive and a delicious distraction, if you happen to like the act but you'd prefer to avoid the taste of the "natural flow of things" as much as possible.
6. Use Some Ice Cubes
Here's the sexual version of IcyHot (LOL). While you may have never thought about "pulling a Mookie" in the bedroom (the real ones know what I'm referring to), it's something that you definitely should take into some serious consideration when it comes to oral sex. For you, the person on the giving end, it can help to produce a lot more wetness which can take off the pressure to produce more saliva. Then, when it comes time to receive, the combination of hotness (from your partner's mouth) and cold (from the ice) can actually stimulate you in a way that nothing else can. It doesn't have to be plain ice either. Popsicles or some Buko Ice Candy (a Filipino kind of icy treat; there's an easy-to-make recipe here) can easily be added to the mix too.
7. Perfect the “Build-Up”
One time, while in a session with a married couple, surprisingly, they both had the same complaint when it came to giving oral sex. It wasn't that they didn't like doing it so much as they felt like their partner took FOR-E-VER to orgasm. When I did a bit of deeper digging, I realized that, when it came to the act, there really isn't any wooing or seducing that was transpiring. They both would just take off their clothes and start. Not only is that not very sexy but this approach means that you have to not only "warm your partner up" with your mouth but then keep going until completion (because most of us go until completion…right?).
That's why I'm all about folks learning how to perfect the build-up. All I mean by that is there should be all about lots of kissing and caressing before oral sex begins. Shoot, even once they get to the genital region, there should be some seductive teasing by kissing/licking the hips and/or inner thighs. Again, if everyone slows down and relishes in the anticipation, by the time the act itself goes down, climaxing shouldn't be too difficult and definitely shouldn't take three television programs long. Not at all.
8. Switch Up Positions
I don't know what makes people think that oral sex always has to consist of being in some variation of the missionary position. It. Does. Not. If you'd like a little bit of a breakdown on how certain positions can prove to be most beneficial, a few years back, we published "6 Oral Sex Positions That'll Elevate You Even When You're On Your Knees." I also like the his-and-her positions that the site Your Tango took on. You can check it out here. Sometimes, just a change in angles can make all the difference in the world.
9. Yawn. Kinda.
Not all penises are created equal (check out "Sex Hacks For Different Kinds Of Penises (You Heard Me Right)"). That's a good thing. That said if you happen to have a partner who has the kind of penis where you find yourself repeatedly experiencing a gag reflex, try fake yawning during fellatio. This simple hack will help your throat to open up and your tongue to flatten, so that it's easier to…take everything all in.
10. Bring in Some Lubricant
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we simply can't produce enough saliva or we need some help to keep our hands from causing the oral sex version of rug burn on our partner. Something that can help both of these things from being an issue is lubrication. A recipe that you might want to try consists of coconut oil and margarita flavoring. Now please keep in mind that since oil-based lubes can actually semi-melt latex condoms, this should be used when it comes to oral activity only (and after being STD-cleared because you can get one from oral too). Still, if you're looking for a way to bring more "slip" into your second or third round, an easy and tasty recipe is right here.
11. “Seesaw It” All
There are some partners who've told me that the way oral sex happens for them is extremely compartmentalized. They do that—and then they have intercourse. There is no overlapping. What in the world? Do you know how hot it is to seesaw it? What I mean by that is to go five minutes with oral, have intercourse to the point of edging, and then go back to giving—or receiving? Whew.
It's always important to remember that sex isn't supposed to be regimented. Learn to go with the flow and do whatever feels good at the moment. It'll turn you on more and make oral sex so much more erotic. And that's always a good thing.
12. Watch It All Go Down (Pun Intended)
I know. Sometimes it all feels so good that you couldn't keep your eyes open if you tried. But a lot of times, we don't make eye contact during any kind of sex act because we simply don't think it's that big of a deal, one way or another. Oh, but it is. Eye contact during physical intimacy conveys that you want to make a deeper connection with your partner. And, when you do it during oral sex, they are able to get more turned on by either watching what you are doing to them or seeing all of the nuances of your facial expressions while they are gracing you with their skills.
Oh, and if you really want to take things to another level, you can even tape your partner during the act. Or, if a tape, to you, is too risqué, the next best thing is to watch with the help of a full-length mirror that's directly in front of you.
As you can see, these aren't "oral sex hacks" so much as they are tips to remind you to relax your mind, stay in the moment and—again, pun intended—take it all in. Oral sex can be unbelievable. You've just got to open up and let it be.
Featured image by Getty Images
Originally published February 19, 2021
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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 email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Over 6 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's, and it is anticipated that by 2050, this number will almost double. With staggering rates of this disease impacting senior citizens and the families caring for them, the need to boost awareness around this neurological condition is greater now, more than ever.
November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month, which presents an opportunity to educate the public about Alzheimer's disease and increase understanding of its causes, symptoms, and impact on individuals and families with loved ones who have or could develop the condition in the future.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
According to the CDC, Alzheimer's disease, the most prevalent form of dementia, is a progressive condition starting with mild memory loss and potentially advancing to an inability to engage in conversation and respond to the surroundings.
The disease impacts areas of the brain responsible for thought, memory, and language, significantly hindering a person's capacity to perform daily activities.
The exact cause of Alzheimer's is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
The warning signs of Alzheimer's disease can differ among individuals and typically emerge gradually. While Alzheimer's is not a normal aspect of aging, age is the best-known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Memory problems commonly represent one of the initial indicators of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, especially if they worsen over time.
In addition to this, Healthline notes that symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease may show up as one or more of the following:
- Alterations in mood, personality, or behavior.
- Disruption of daily life due to memory loss, like becoming disoriented in familiar surroundings or repeating questions.
- Difficulty in accomplishing routine tasks at home, work, or during leisure activities.
- Diminished or impaired judgment.
- Misplacement of items with an inability to retrace steps to locate them.
Who Does Alzheimer's Affect?
The prevalence of Alzheimer's in the United States is rapidly increasing, with an estimated 6.7 million among those aged 65 and older in 2023. Approximately 73% of individuals with Alzheimer's are aged 75 or older, and the overall rate for those aged 65 and older is 1 in 9 (10.7%), according to the Alzheimer's Association.
One out of every three seniors passes away with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, surpassing the combined mortality of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Elderly Black Americans have approximately twice the likelihood of experiencing Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia compared to elderly white individuals.
Prevention and Support of Alzheimer's Disease
The exact cause of Alzheimer's disease remains unclear, and scientists believe it is likely influenced by multiple factors such as age and family history, but genetics do not determine one's fate or outcome.
There is no cure for Alzheimer's, and caring for a loved one with the disease can take a financial, mental, and emotional strain on the family as the disease progresses. Caregivers face daily challenges, adjusting to changing abilities and behaviors, and as the disease advances, more intensive care is often required.
As more research and awareness spreads around Alzheimer's, taking the proper measures to improve and manage brain cognition is essential. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity, a nutritious diet, limited alcohol consumption, and not smoking, may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Raising awareness helps reduce the stigma associated with Alzheimer's and related dementias and can foster a more supportive and compassionate community for individuals affected by the disease.
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