I don’t know about y’all, but this is definitely the time of year when a lot of people in my world sound like a hot ass mess. Since springtime is the season when trees, grass, and flowers like to show out (literally) as far as pollen goes, it’s pretty common for folks’ immune systems to go haywire in response to it.
Not only that but neighbors are walking their dogs more often (dander), bugs are making an appearance (eye roll), and dust mites and mold spores are kicking up due to all of the spring cleaning that is going on. All of this can lead to sneezing, watery eyes, an itchy and/or runny nose, coughing, headaches — and so many other bodily reactions that my crew would rather do without.
First, a quick tip: while there are polarizing studies on how effective local honey actually is (due to the pollen that’s in it, it can serve as somewhat of an all-natural antihistamine for the local allergens in your area), there are enough solid studies (like this one here) around to at least give it a try if you don’t want to fill your system up with a ton of allergy medication.
Okay, but what if it’s your vagina (I’m going to be speaking of it interchangeably with your vulva, by the way) who is currently going through it? If you’ve never even thought to consider that Ms. Thang down below can have reactions to certain allergens as well, take a few moments to check this article out. Trust me, “she” will thank you that you did.
The Word for a Vaginal Allergy Is Vulvitis. Now What Exactly IS That?
Something that oftentimes happens whenever an allergic reaction transpires is our body goes through some level of inflammation. Well, when our vaginas experience their version of an allergy, inflammation happens down there too. The technical word for it is vulvitis.
Vulvitis is what happens when the skin of your vulva (the outer parts of your vagina) ends up experiencing some level of inflammation (typically when your vagina’s pH level is thrown off) that can lead to irritation, swelling, itching, a shift in the type or amount of discharge, redness and sometimes even white patches and “scales.”
Although sometimes these symptoms can be due to things like an STD (which is why you should get tested every six months if you are sexually active), vaginal atrophy (due to menopause), eczema, or a yeast infection, oftentimes it’s due to common stuff that can be cleared up by making a few minor adjustments.
Now I will say that if it’s your first time experiencing these symptoms and/or you’re not exactly sure what the heck is going on, make an appointment with your physician ASAP. A urine and/or blood test will help to get to the root of the matter.
However, if you get a clean bill of health in those departments, your doctor may go through a process of elimination which will probably include the following seven things and how your vagina has been responding/reacting to them.
1. Fragrance-Based Body Wash
Body washes. Even though a lot of them smell absolutely divine, the reason why your vagina may not like them very much is that many contain chemicals that can definitely cause your vagina’s pH balance to go haywire.
Does this mean that you can’t or shouldn’t use anything that could help to make your vulva smell better? Not exactly. The key is to find products that are as natural as possible, along with one that will cater to your vulva’s sensitive skin.
Treatment: As far as commercial brands of cleansers go, Healthline’s “The 11 Best Vaginal Soaps and Cleansers Approved by Gynecologists” and Cosmo’s “14 Best Feminine Washes, According to a Gynecologist” can help to point you to the right direction. If you’d prefer to make your own body wash, I’ve got you covered on that tip too. Check out our article, “Love On Yourself With These 7 All-Natural DIY Vaginal Washes,” and, as far as tips on which great-smelling essential oils are also pretty vulva-friendly, also read “10 Essential Oils That Are Great For Feminine Hygiene (And A Few Other Things).”
2. Period Products
If there’s one thing that we can’t avoid, it’s our period (lawd, lawd). And while typically, vaginal irritation that comes from tampons is due to them remaining inside of you too long and pads are due to not changing them enough, some brands also contain chemicals that can be “vaginally triggering.”
Treatment: That’s why it’s always best to go with tampons and pads that are fragrance-free (especially if you have uber-sensitive skin). Or you can go with brands that are organic (a list of tampon suggestions is located here, and a list of organic pad options is here).
While we’re at this portion of the program, if you used to be a Honey Pot supporter but you never got down to the truth about where the company stands between being Black-founded vs. Black-owned (now), AfroTech (which is a great Black business news site) covered that around this time last year: “Did Beatrice Dixon Sell The Honey Pot Company? — Co-Founder Responds After Social Media Goes Into A Frenzy.” I’ve got friends who still use it and are huge fans. Anyway, just make sure you check the article out before making a final call — either direction.
3. Skinny Jeans
Although all that I listed here are skinny jeans, anything that’s so tight that it causes a lot of friction and keeps your vulva from breathing can qualify, including thongs, synthetic underwear, spandex workout clothes (especially if you don’t take them off immediately after your exercise session) and wet swimsuits.
Treatment: If you’re like, “I hear you, but I’m gonna keep the tight stuff anyway,” at least make sure to take them off as soon as you get home and make it a practice to sleep naked as much as possible so that your vulva can get a break. Also, cotton underwear is better than synthetic; at least compromise in that department, please.
If a guy tells you that he doesn’t wear latex condoms because he’s allergic to them, while it might initially sound like game (and might be), it’s actually not a ridiculous notion (although stats still say that it’s lower than 10 percent).
So, how do you know if condoms could be the reason why your vagina is acting up (i.e., itching, swelling up, feeling dry during or after sex, and sometimes even hives or a runny nose?)? If your vagina is just fine until a condom enters you or until you are done having sex, that’s a pretty solid indication.
Treatment: Does this mean that you have to go raw? Unless you’re in a committed, long-term, monogamous relationship, please don’t. Thankfully, there are other kinds of rubbers that will get the job done. Polyurethane is a type of plastic that serves as a great latex alternative. So does polyisoprene, which is made from a synthetic polymer (it is more expensive, though; just an FYI). Then there’s the throwback, lambskin; although, because their spores are larger than other condoms, they’re not as great as the other options when it comes to preventing STD transmission.
As far as some of the best non-latex options that are currently on the market, you can do some of your own research by going here, here, and here.
Oh, and while we’re on this topic, it’s not unheard of to be allergic to spermicide, either. And while you should run this suggestion by your doctor before trying it, there is a vegan kind of spermicide that some people are fond of. It’s called ContraGel. You can read more about it here, and Walmart sells it here.
5. Certain Types of Bedding
Believe it or not, something else that can bother your vagina is your bedding. One, because you might be using a laundry detergent that’s too harsh for it. Or it could be that the bedding you’ve chosen doesn’t breathe enough (especially if you’re someone who happens to sleep naked). Fabrics like polyester and rayon may be cheaper as far as your sheets are concerned, but they also trap in heat more which can cause you to sweat, which could trigger a yeast infection.
Treatment: When it comes to the laundry issue, look for the kind that is either eco-friendly or specifically made for sensitive skin (both contain a lot less chemicals). Another route that you could take is you can make some of your own; some recipes are located here, here, and here. Also, your bedding will feel cooler if you go with something along the lines of organic cotton, silk, or bamboo.
Something that your vagina contains is bacteria — some good, some bad. Usually, your vagina’s pH keeps the bad bacteria in check; however, when you consume too much sweet stuff, that can suppress your immunity and cause bad bacteria to take over, which could result in vaginal inflammation and a full-on yeast infection.
Not only that, but if you don’t get your sugar consumption under control (check out “Ever Wonder If You've Got A Low-Key Sugar Addiction?”), you could end up with a chronic yeast infection because just like your taste buds really like sugar, so does yeast. That’s why it’s a good idea to consume sweets in moderation. Many researchers say that men should have no more than nine teaspoons of sugar a day and women should have no more than six.
Treatment: As for how to deal with the sugar that may have already “taken over” your body — I’m pretty sure you know what needs to happen. A temporary detox can do wonders at restoring the balance in your system. So can reducing your intake of fast food, processed foods, and white foods like white pasta, white bread, and of course, white sugar.
This one is interesting because, yes, there are some people who are allergic to sperm/semen (the fluid that carries sperm). However, what is more common is your vagina/vulva needing some time to get used to new sperm if you’ve recently switched to a new partner (a new partner can temporarily change the way that your vagina smells too).
That said if you do notice that after the first few times of engaging in unprotected sex with a new guy, your vagina is still itching and/or burning and/or swelling up (kind of like a yeast infection minus the thick discharge), it could be that you’re experiencing what is technically known as seminal plasma hypersensitivity; it’s when your body does not respond well to the proteins that are in someone’s sperm/semen.
Treatment: Even if you mildly suspect that you’ve got a sperm/semen allergy, you shouldn’t self-diagnose it; ask your physician. If they confirm it, they might recommend that you use condoms more often or even that you take an antihistamine (no joke) about an hour before coming into contact with sperm. Sometimes having an EpiPen nearby can help matters too.
There’s no way around the fact that your body having an allergic reaction to something can suck because the symptoms are typically super unpleasant. Just make sure that if what’s bothering you is your vagina (or your vulva), you don’t ignore it. A reaction is letting you know that something isn’t quite right. Hopefully, now you know what needs to be done in order to fix it.
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Featured image by IRINA KROLEVETC/Getty Images
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.
Amber Riley Is In Her Element
Amber Riley has the type of laugh that sticks with you long after the raspy, rhythmic sounds have ceased. It punctuates her sentences sometimes, whether she’s giving a chuckle to denote the serious nature of something she just said or throwing her head back in rip-roarious laughter after a joke. She laughs as if she understands the fragility of each minute. She chooses laughter often with the understanding that future joy is not guaranteed.
Credit: Ally Green
The sound of her laughter is rivaled only by her singing voice, an emblem of the past and the future resilience of Black women stretched over a few octaves. On Fox’s Glee, her character Mercedes Jones was portrayed, perhaps unfairly, as the vocal duel to Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), offering rough, full-throated belts behind her co-star’s smooth, pristine vocals. Riley’s always been more than the singer who could deliver a finishing note, though.
Portraying Effie White, she displayed the dynamic emotions of a song such as “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going” in Dreamgirls on London’s West End without buckling under the historic weight of her predecessors. With her instrument, John Mayer’s “Gravity” became a religious experience, a belted hymnal full of growls and churchy riffs. In her voice, Nicole Scherzinger once said she heard “the power of God.”
Credit: Ally Green
Riley’s voice has been a staple throughout pop culture for nearly 15 years now. Her tone has become so distinguishable that most viewers of Fox’s The Masked Singer recognized the multihyphenate even before it was revealed that she was Harp, the competition-winning, gold-masked figure with an actual harp strapped to her back.
Still, it wasn’t until recently that Riley began to feel like she’d found her voice. This sounds unbelievable. But she’s not referring to the one she uses on stage. She’s referencing the voice that speaks to who she is at her core. “Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind,” the 37-year-old says. “It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women. I got so comfortable in [doing so], and I really want other people, especially Black women, to get more comfortable in that space.”
“Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind. It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women."
If you ask Riley’s manager, Myisha Brooks, she’ll tell you the foundation of who the multihyphenate is hasn’t changed much since she was a kid growing up in Compton. “She is who she is from when I met her back when she was singing in the front of the church to back when she landed major roles in film and TV,” Brooks says. Time has allowed Riley to grow more comfortable, giving fans a more intimate glimpse into her life, including her mental health journey and the ins and outs of show business.
The actress/singer has been in therapy since 2019, although she suffered from depression and anxiety way before that. In a recent interview with Jason Lee, she recalls having suicidal ideation as a kid. By the time she started seeing a psychologist and taking antidepressants in her thirties, her body had become jittery, a physical reminder of the trauma stacked high inside her. “I was shaking in [my therapist’s] office,” she tells xoNecole. “My fight or flight was on such a high level. I was constantly in survival mode. My heart was beating fast all the time. All I did was sweat.”
There wasn’t just childhood trauma to account for. After auditioning for American Idol and being turned away by producers, Riley began working for Ikea and nearly missed her Glee audition because her car broke down on the highway while en route. Thankfully, Riley had been cast to play Mercedes Jones. American Idol had temporarily convinced her she wasn’t cut out for the entertainment industry, but this was validation that she was right where she belonged. Glee launched in 2009 with the promise of becoming Riley’s big break.
In some ways, it was. The show introduced Riley to millions of fans and catapulted her into major Hollywood circles. But in other ways, it became a reminder of the types of roles Black women, especially those who are plus-sized, are relegated to. Behind the scenes, Riley says she fought for her character "to have a voice" but eventually realized her efforts were useless. "It finally got to a point where I was like, this is not my moment. I'm not who they're choosing, and this is just going to have to be a job for me for now," she says. "And, that's okay because it pays my bills, I still get to be on television, I'm doing more than any other Black plus-sized women that I'm seeing right now on screen."
The actress can recognize now that she was navigating issues associated with trauma and low self-esteem at the time. She now knows that she's long had anxiety and depression and can recognize the ways in which she was triggered by how the cult-like following of the show conflicted with her individual, isolated experiences behind the scenes. But she was in her early '20s back then. She didn't yet have the language or the tools to process how she was feeling.
Riley says she eventually sought out medical intervention. "When you're in Hollywood, and you go to a doctor, they give you pills," she says, sharing a part of her story that she'd never revealed publicly before now. "[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that's not fixing my problem. If anything, it's making it worse."
“[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that’s not fixing my problem. If anything it’s making it worse.”
Credit: Ally Green
At one point, while in her dressing room on set, she rested her arm on a curling iron without realizing it. It wasn't until her makeup artist alerted her that she even realized her skin was burning. Once she noticed, she says she was "so zonked out on pills" that she barely reacted. Speaking today, she holds up her arm and motions towards a scar that remains from the incident. She sought help for her reliance on the pills, but it would still be years before she finally attended therapy.
This stress was only compounded by the trauma of growing up in poverty and the realities of being a "contract worker." "Imagine going from literally one week having to borrow a car to get to set to the next week being on a private jet to New York City," she says. After Glee ended, so did the rides on private planes. The fury of opportunities she expected to follow her appearance on the show failed to materialize. She wasn't even 30 yet, and she was already forced to consider if she'd hit her career peak.
. . .
We’re only four minutes into our Zoom call before Riley delivers her new adage to me. “My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway,” she says.
On this Thursday afternoon in April, the LA-based entertainer is seated inside her closet/dressing room wearing a cerulean blue tank top with matching shorts and eating hot wings. This current phase of healing hinges on balance. It’s about having discipline and consistency, but not at the risk of inflexibility. She was planning to head to the gym, for instance, but she’s still tired from the “exhausting” day before. Instead, she’s spent her day receiving a massage, eating some chicken wings, and planning to spend quality time with friends. “I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’m not going to talk down to myself. I’m going to eat my chicken wings, and then tomorrow I’m [back] in the gym,” she says.
“My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway."
This is the balance with which she's been approaching much of her life these days. It's why she's worried less about whether or not people see her as someone who is humble. She'd rather be respected. "I think you should be a person that's easy to work with, but in the moments where I have to ruffle feathers and make waves, I'm not shying away from that anymore. You can do it in love, you don't have to be nasty about it, but I had to finally be comfortable with the fact that setting boundaries around my life – in whatever aspect, whether that's personal or business – people are not going to like it. Some people are not going to have nice things to say about you, and you gotta be okay with it," she says.
When Amber talks about the constant humbling of Black women in Hollywood, I think of the entertainers before her who have suffered from this. The brilliant, consistent, overqualified Black women who have spoken of having to fight for opportunities and fair pay. Aretha Franklin. Viola Davis. Tracee Ellis Ross. There's a long list of stars whose success hasn't mirrored their experiences behind the scenes.
Credit: Ally Green
If Black women outside of Hollywood are struggling to decrease the pay gap, so, too, are their wealthier, more famous peers.
Riley says there’s been progress in recent years, but only in small ways and for a limited group of people. “This business is exhausting. The goalpost is constantly moving, and sometimes it’s unfair,” she says. But, I have to say it’s the love that keeps you going.”
“There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman,” she continues. “We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
"There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman. We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
Last year, Riley starred alongside Raven Goodwin in the Lifetime thriller Single Black Female (a modern, diversified take on 1992’s Single White Female). It was more than a leading role for the actress, it also served as proof that someone who looks like her can front a successful project without it hinging on her identity. It showcased that the characters she portrays don’t “have to be about being a big girl. It can just be a regular story.”
Riley sees her work in music as an extension of her efforts to push past the rigid stereotypes in entertainment. Take her appearance on The Masked Singer, for instance. Riley said she decided to perform Mayer’s “Gravity” after being told she couldn’t sing it years earlier. “I wanted to do ‘Gravity’ on Glee. [I] was told no, because that’s not a song that Mercedes would do,” she says. “That was a full circle moment for me, doing that on that show and to hear what it is they had to say.”
As Scherzinger praised the “anointed” performance, a masked Riley began to cry, her chest heaving as she stood on stage, her eyes shielded from view. “You have to understand, I have really big names – casting directors, producers, show creators – that constantly tell me ‘I’m such a big fan. Your talent is unmatched.’ Hire me, then,” she says, reflecting on the moment.
Recently, she’s been in the studio working on original music, the follow-up to her independently-released debut EP, 2020’s Riley. The sequel to songs such as the anthemic “Big Girl Energy” and the reflective ballad “A Moment” on Riley, this new project hones in on the singer’s R&B roots with sensual grooves such as the tentatively titled “All Night.” “You said I wasn’t shit, turns out that I’m the shit. Then you called me a bitch, turns out that I’m that bitch. You said no one would want me, well you should call your homies,” she sings on the tentatively titled “Lately,” a cut about reflecting on a past relationship. From the forthcoming project, xoNecole received five potential tracks. Fans likely already know the strengths and contours of Riley’s vocals, but these new songs are her strongest, most confident offerings as an artist.
“I am so much more comfortable as a writer, and I know who I am as an artist now. I’m evolving as a human being, in general, so I’m way more vulnerable in my music. I’m way more willing to talk about whatever is on my mind. I don’t stop myself from saying what it is I want to say,” she says.
Credit: Ally Green
“Every era and alliteration of Amber, the baseline is ‘Big Girl Energy.’ That’s the name of her company,” her manager Brooks says, referencing the imprint through which Riley releases her music after getting out of a label deal several years ago. “It’s just what she stands for. She’s not just talking about size, it’s in all things. Whether it’s putting your big girl pants on and having to face a boardroom full of executives or sell yourself in front of a casting agent. It’s her trying to achieve the things she wants to do in life.”
Riley says she has big dreams beyond releasing this new music, too. She’d love to star in a rom-com with Winston Duke. She hasn't starred in a biopic yet, but she’d revel in the opportunity to portray Rosetta Tharpe on screen. She’s determined that her previous setbacks won’t stop her from dreaming big.
“I think one of my superpowers is resilience because, at the end of the day, I’m going to kick, scream, cry, cuss, be mad and disappointed, but I’m going to get up and risk having to deal with it all again. It’s worth it for the happy moments,” she says.
If Riley seems more comfortable and confident professionally, it’s because of the work she’s been doing in her personal life.
She’d previously spoken to xoNecole about becoming engaged to a man she discovered in a post on the site, but she called things off last year. For Valentine’s Day, she revealed her new boyfriend publicly. “I decided to post him on Valentine’s Day, partially because I was in the dog house. I got in trouble with him,” she says, half-joking before turning serious. “The breakup was never going to stop me from finding love. Or at least trying. I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness, and you enjoy it and work through it.”
Credit: Ally Green
"I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness and you enjoy it and work through it.”
With her ex, Riley was pretty outspoken about her relationship, even appearing in content for Netflix with him. This time around is different. She’s not hiding her boyfriend of eight months, but she’s more protective of him, especially because he’s a father and isn’t interested in becoming a public figure.
She’s traveling more, too. It’s a deliberate effort on her part to enjoy her money and reject the trauma she’s developed after experiencing poverty in her childhood. “I live in constant fear of being broke. I don’t think you ever don’t remember that trauma or move past that. Now I travel and I’m like, listen, if it goes, it goes. I’m not saying [to] be reckless, but I deserve to enjoy my hard work.”
After everything she’s been through, she certainly deserves to finally let loose a bit. “I have to have a life to live,” she says. “I’ve got to have a life worth fighting for.”
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15 Women Share Their Personal Hacks For Better Orgasms (And Sex Overall)
I’m pretty sure that I’m basically being redundant when I say that I write about sex quite a bit which means that I spend quite a bit of time doing research when it comes to sex-related intel, tips, and hacks. Yet I have to say that when it comes to getting some much-needed information in the realm of coitus, it’s been my clients (along with random interviews that I do with people because I don’t mind talking to complete strangers about intimate ish) who have garnered me some of the best takeaways.
Take orgasms, for example. Since I’m well aware of the fact that vaginal orgasms (especially) can be a real challenge for a lot of women, I’m constantly on the hunt for what can help to “bridge the gap” in that arena.
And that’s why I decided, this time, to forego science articles, vlogs, and online data and instead ask some women for myself about some of the things that they do to make having an orgasm, improving their orgasms, and their sexual experience overall something that is so much better for themselves.
So, grab yourself a light aphrodisiac snack (check out “Eat Your Way To Better Sex With Aphrodisiacs”) and dig into what 15 Black women told me gets them off, in a mighty big way, just about every time.
*As always, middle names have been used so that everyone can feel comfortable giving up the goods…umm, so to speak*
1. Rochelle. 37. Married for 11 Years.Giphy
“While y’all be out here talking about some kegels, what I’m into is my man giving me a hip massage. The key is to make sure you use some sort of massage oil that has menthol in it. Between the tingling of the menthol and him rubbing on your hips, not only is it really relaxing, but the ‘minty feel’ opens your body up so that once intercourse begins, you’re less tense, and that makes having an orgasm so much easier to do.”
2. Karmyn. 27. Single.
“Kiss him the way you want him to penetrate you. Literally, use your tongue as if it were a penis and move it in his mouth like you want him to move inside of you. The kissing will turn you both on, and if he follows your instructions, you should be able to orgasm with no problem."
"I learned this trick when I asked an ex of mine to explain what p — sy feels like, and he said the best way to explain it is what a tongue feels like inside of [the] mouth. He should’ve never told me that, boy! It’s been hell in these streets ever since!”
3. LaChelle. 43. In a Serious Relationship for Two Years.
“If you’re self-conscious about your body, get some lingerie that has cutouts in them. There is a lot of sexy stuff out here that can have you covering up the parts you’re not comfortable with while still giving him access to the ‘main events.’ My man loves one of my lace one-piece teddies that has no crotch, and it’s easier for me to orgasm because I’m not overthinking the entire time.”
4. Trinitee. 27. Married for One Year.Giphy
“We’ve only been married a year, but we weren’t exactly abstinent when we were just dating. So, we like to find ways to keep it fresh. One thing that we do is go ‘hotel hopping’ once a month. We find a new hotel and meet each other there. We try and do different hours of the day and come with a surprise in hand. Like he might bring a new sex toy, and I might have on some lingerie that he’s never seen before. Then we text each other beforehand to talk about the best part of the sex we had from the last hotel we visited. The anticipation is foreplay.”
5. Wren. 33. In a Serious Relationship for Six Years.
“What works for me is doing afterplay as foreplay. What I mean by that is, taking a nap naked with my boo before any sexual activity is one of my favorite things. Being up under him, especially if he’s spooning me, feels really good, sleeping together is very intimate, and — there’s something about being awakened outta my sleep with kisses on my neck and back that almost makes me want to cum right then and there.”
6. Bevalyn. 40. Living with Her Partner for Four Years.
“Get on your back and have him kneel in front of you."
"Put your legs over his, and when he penetrates you, ask him to use one of his hands to apply pressure on your pubic bone — the area right above your clitoris."
"As he’s gently pushing down while he’s inside of you…if you don’t cum from that, I don’t know what else to tell you, sis.”
7. Sophia. 38. In a Serious Relationship for Two Years.Giphy
“Shower sex can be a bit much, and I don’t trust a used jacuzzi. What we do is fill up our own inflatable pool and get it on inside of it. It’s perfect during the summer, late at night, because we have a tall fence. Just make sure that you bring some silicone lube to keep things slippery down there. An inflatable pool has been one of the best sex investments that we have ever made!”
8. Averie. 35. Single.
“Wanna know if your man is as into giving you head as he claims? Right after he goes down on you, ask him to immediately penetrate you. If he’s hard, he’s totally into it, and if he catches you soon enough, you’ll be in the perfect position to have a multiple orgasm. Don’t say I didn’t give you the ultimate cheat code.”
9. Victoria. 40. Married for 11 Years.
“Shellie, you actually got me on the cinnamon kick when I read one of your articles that talked about applying cinnamon oil to my clit before oral sex. Since [then], I’ve been doing some research, and it says that cinnamon is also an aphrodisiac because it stimulates blood flow. So, I’ll also drink cinnamon tea throughout the day or share a cinnamon cocktail with my husband. Works like a charm.”
Shellie here: She’s right. I did say that. LOL. You can read for yourself: “Here's How To Have Some Really Great Fall-Themed Sex.”
10. Daniela. 28. Engaged for Six Months.Giphy
“Ever been fingered backward? What I mean is, get on all fours and have him insert a finger or two from behind with his palm being flat. That way, the space in between your anus and your vagina will get a massage while your vagina gets penetrated. There’s nothing quite like it.”
11. Saven. 32. Single.
“Ice. Have him rub a little bit of ice on your clitoris and then immediately warm it up with his tongue. There is something about the drastic changes in temperature that gets me every time. And I mean, EVERY time.”
12. Ferynn. 30. Living with Her Partner for Five Years.
“I don’t know about you, but my man loves to put my legs up in the air. It was never really my favorite move until I read that behind the knees are an unsung erogenous zone. Whoever found that out was onto something because if he rubs back there while talking real crazy to me in a deep voice? Here I come…HERE I COME!”
13. Vivienne. 30. Engaged for One Year.Giphy
“Never underestimate the power of a foot massage. Just make sure that he applies pressure in the middle of your foot where your arch is. It instantly makes me wet. I asked my doctor why and he said that it’s probably because foot massages tend to increase blood flow, including where the vagina is. Either way, it’s always a good night if I get a foot massage first.”
14. Michelle. 24. Single.
“I’m a doula who owns my own exercise ball…for sex. When I first started showing couples the positions that women can get into to make labor easier, it got me to thinking that some of those positions could work for sex too — and they do."
"Something about the movement of the ball takes the pressure off of the back for both men and women. It also makes getting into certain positions a lot easier so that you can enjoy sex for a lot longer.”
15. Carol. 31. Married for Five Years.
“My husband and I have bets. If he wants me to make some of his favorite meals five days in a row, he’s gotta make me cum five times in a row. If I want him to get me something that’s not in our budget, I’ve gotta attempt one of his sex fantasies. We’re both competitive as hell, so it works for us because honestly, even when we ‘lose’…we win!”
Listen, I don’t know about y’all, but this was definitely worth my while. After all, ain’t nothin’ like some Black women who can speak from very-personal-and-up-close experience about what makes them happy — especially if it can increase the odds of bringing some sexual satisfaction your way too.
Speaking of, if you want to share the wealth, drop some of your own orgasm-related tips in the comment section. The more of us who can woosah on the regular, the better, chile. Straight up. #havefun #lotsofit
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Featured image by Giphy