Maybe it's just me, but whenever I hear someone say that they'd rather have a hot fudge sundae or to watch something on Hulu over having an orgasm, I can't help but wonder if they've ever actually had an orgasm before. Sure, there are other things that bring joy and pleasure in life, but I firmly believe that you'd be hard-pressed to find something that even comes close to a good old-fashioned climax.
The crazy thing is, if someone offered me $100 to describe what one feels like, I'd be stumped. I guess it's kind of like…going downhill on a roller coaster as you try and catch your breath. It makes you feel warm and tingly all over. Adding to that, it's the ultimate kind of release that is erotic, electric and totally satisfying. Actually, I've read authors who describe it as a glimpse into what heaven is like. Shoot, if that doesn't motivate you to live right in preparation for the afterlife, I don't know what will!
The way I see it, the only thing better than an orgasm is having multiple orgasms or a really intense one. As far as multiple ones go, we'll have to get into that at another time. But if you want a few tips on how to increase, deepen and strengthen your orgasms, here are some that are female-specific and proven. (You're welcome.)
Do Some KegelsGiphy
If you are a self-professed sex connoisseur, you probably read this first tip and thought "Duh." I hear you, but I would be totally irresponsible to talk about how to take your orgasms up a notch and not mention the benefit and power that comes from doing kegels on a regular basis.
Kegels not only strengthen your pelvic floor, they also improve blood circulation to your vaginal region, increase lubrication, relax your vaginal muscles and help you to control your vaginal contractions better. If you want some tips on how to do kegels properly, pull out your exercise ball and then click here.
Take a Hot Bath
It's hard to not feel super sexy after soaking in your bathtub. If the water is hot, it will increase blood flow to your vagina. Something else it will do is make your vulva a lot more sensitive in the best way possible (why do you think some of us have orgasms while taking a bath or a hot shower?).
Have a Warm Cup of Saffron MilkGiphy
If you're having trouble falling asleep, have a cup of warm milk. Although recent studies reveal that drinking it has more of a psychological effect than anything else, milk does contain small amounts of tryptophan which can definitely soothe your body, relax your mind and make going to sleep so much easier to do.
If you want to get a couple of rounds of sex in before catching some zzz's, put the spice saffron into your milk. Not only does it have the ability to increase your lubrication and intensify your arousal, but if you have a low libido due to depression symptoms, saffron can help to alleviate that too.
Eat a Spinach Omelet
Wanna have an earth-shattering orgasm? Try eating a spinach omelet an hour before gettin' it in. Eggs are sexually beneficial because they contain protein and choline. Protein helps to give you energy and choline triggers nitric oxide in your system so that blood circulation will increase to your genital region. Spinach is a nice addition because it's rich in manganese, magnesium and zinc. Manganese naturally helps your body to produce estrogen, magnesium improves your fertility and zinc boosts testosterone and lowers the production of prolactin in your body. That's a good thing because prolactin is sometimes linked to sexual dysfunction.
Fun fact: Something else that produces nitric oxide is evening primrose oil. It also balances hormones, relieves PMS and increases fertility as well.
Make Some Lube Out of Sweet Almond Oil and Peppermint OilGiphy
Pretty much any sex therapist will tell you that a golden key to powerful orgasms is lube, lube and more lube! If you want to create a slippery tingling sensation, make your own lubricant by combining sweet almond oil with peppermint oil.
Here's your warning. Pure peppermint oil is STRONG. If you're gonna put it anywhere near your vaginal region, a little bit goes a really long way. 1-2 drops in a half-cup of sweet almond oil is really all you need. Even then, test it out on the outer part of your labia (the outer folds of your vulva), just to make sure that it stimulates you instead of irritates you.
(By the way, if you'd like to add some lube to your sexual experience but you're also in the process of trying to conceive a child, Pre-Seed is a brand that will get you what you need without affecting your man's sperm in the process.)
Pay Attention to Your Nose (Vanilla/Black Licorice)
Did you know that women with a keen sense of smell have orgasms more often and more intensely? Two scents that are definitely an aphrodisiac for your nose are vanilla and black licorice.
Vanilla is the ultimate kind of seducer because it improves blood circulation throughout your body, has a euphoric effect on your brain, calms your nervous system and increases muscular energy. Black licorice works because it creates feelings of arousal in women.
You can get even more excited before and during sex if you apply vanilla or black licorice to some of your pressure points. Your breasts, your neck and, believe it or not, your ankles are three places where not only will the scents turn you on, but they can stimulate you easier and quicker too.
Become an Edging MasterGiphy
Orgasms happen in four stages— excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. In order for edging to work, you and your partner need to build up to the second stage and then pull back a bit. If you do this at least 3-4 times, you'll be so mentally excited and your genital region will be so off-the-charts stimulated that when you finally do get to stage three, the climax will be truly something to behold!
By the way, two other benefits of edging is it can help men to last longer in bed while giving our vulvas more time to warm up. Yep, edging brings new meaning to good things cum—umm, come—to those who wait.
Apply the “Coital Alignment Technique”
Sooooo…what do you know about the mons Venus (also known as the mons pubis)? In a nutshell, it's the fatty tissue that lays right over your pubic bone. When you and yours decide to get into the coital alignment position, it's a 2.0 version of the missionary position. Instead of your legs being open, they're closed; instead of his legs being closed, they're open. This not only makes it easier for him to move around, but it also makes it possible for him to "grind" on your mons Venus more, which makes it easier for him to reach your clitoris and your G-spot (yay!). The more clitoral and G-spot stimulation you get, the better your orgasms will be.
Make Sure He Can Make You Laugh
If you ask pretty much any woman to share five traits that she wants in a man, a sense of humor is probably gonna be on this list. I like to do research on this kind of stuff rather than just take it at face value and according to some scientific data that I happened on, the reason why we're drawn to funny guys is because it gives us insight into how complementary we are with someone. Not only that but humor is respected as a qualification for a healthy relationship and, we also like being around people who can relieve tension, anxiety and stress from us. Humor has the ability to do that.
The calmness and security that a sense of humor provides outside of the bedroom also works well inside of it because research also reveals that when we're in a relationship with a funny guy, it makes us want to initiate sex and have sex more. It also makes our orgasms that much better. How funny—I mean sexy—is that?
Have More Blended Orgasms
Since we've been talking about how to make your orgasms more intense, let's end on an orgasm note. Blended orgasms are dope because they're all about receiving clitoral and vaginal stimulation at the same time (heaven, right?).
Off top, a sexual position that makes this easy to do is spooning. But if you want to do some more experimenting in this area, you can find a whopping 100 different Kama Sutra positions here. Through a little trial, error and practice, you should be able to find at least 15 different sexual positions that will make it possible for you to get your blending—and intensifying—on.
(Don't say a sistah never gave you anything!)
Featured image by Getty Images
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10 Things You Didn't Know About The Male And Female Orgasm
Self-Pleasure Changed How I Experience Sex
I Only Have One Rule In The Bedroom: I Come First.
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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
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Here's Why Very Few Relationships Can Actually Be 'Platonic'
Recently, while in an interview, someone asked me if I think that men and women can be just friends. I didn’t even hesitate to answer; my response was immediate, “Absolutely.” What I followed that up with is what intrigued them — “Life has taught me that not a lot of male/female dynamics are ‘platonic,’ though.” When they asked me to expound, the interview ended up taking a whole ‘nother turn.
As a writer who really pays attention to word meanings, something that can be a bit frustrating about our culture is the fact that based on whatever is popular at the time, folks will just up and change the original definitions of words to suit a particular agenda or whim — and the word “platonic” 1000 percent fits into this category. And perhaps that’s why we seem to continue to go in circles about whether or not people of the opposite sex can (and should) be friends and what that even can (and should) look like.
Let’s talk about it for a bit. Because as a word-literal type of individual, while again, I absolutely believe that men and women can be friends, at the same time, I think it’s about as rare as a red diamond to truly find yourself in a friendship that is…platonic.
It’s Time (More) Folks Knew What ‘Platonic’ LITERALLY MeansGiphy
So, let's do first things first — let's define what it literally means for something to be platonic. If you go to your favorite search engine and put something along the lines of "What does platonic mean?", the first thing that you're (probably) going to see is a ton of dictionary definitions that say something along the lines of "of, relating to, or being a relationship marked by the absence of romance or sex" (Merriam-Webster), "designating or of a relationship, or love, between a man and a woman that is purely spiritual or intellectual and without sexual activity" (Your Dictionary) and, my personal favorite, "purely spiritual; free from sensual desire, especially in a relationship between two persons of different sexes" (Dictionary). Yeah, bookmark that last one; I'll be circling back.
Keeping this in mind (and please do), where does the word "platonic" actually come from? From what I've researched, the philosopher Plato once penned something entitled "Symposium." In it, he addressed the topic of two people sharing the kind of love that is free of any type of sensual desire, one that is based on divine love alone. An author from the 1800s broke it down this way: "Platonic love meant ideal sympathy; it now means the love of a sentimental young gentleman for a woman he cannot or will not marry." A write-up on Merriam-Webster's site stated that "The term platonic was initially used to mock non-sexual relationships, as it was considered ridiculous to separate love and sex, but eventually this connotation faded away leaving us with today's notion of close friendships." Yeah, we used to live in a culture where love and sex were not separated. Hmph, that's another article for another time, though (check out "We Should Really Rethink The Term' Casual Sex'").
Anyway, as with many things (especially in our culture), the word "platonic" is kind of used in "broad strokes" these days (bromances, female friendships, etc.). However, because there continues to be this forever discussion — and oftentimes debate — about whether or not men and women can be "just friends," I'm going to tackle this topic strictly from that angle — from the place where platonic actually originated.
Yes, Men and Women Can Be Just Friends. But…Giphy
At this stage in my life, I'm pretty sure that I have more male friends than female ones. There are layers of reasons why, yet I think a huge one is because I like the balance that masculinity brings to my femininity (especially as I'm learning to embrace different aspects of my femininity, intentionally even more). And while every single one of my male friends is respectful and is a super safe space in my world on every single level that I can imagine (and have been for years now), there are probably only a couple who I would say 100 percent qualify as being…trulyplatonic.
Why would I say that? Well, I'll illustrate this point with something that one of my male friends once said to me. He's super cute. He can sing his ass off (and definitely has one of my favorite speaking voices). People see us out together often, and some have told us that they assume that we've had something going on at some point. Anyway, after hearing someone share their theory about us, I told it to him.
Me: "I told him, 'He's my brother. We would never mess around.'"
My Friend: "Correction, you are like a sister. You are not my sister, though. Under the right conditions, you could still get it."
When I shared that exchange with another male friend of mine, he basically cosigned on the sentiment: "Shellie, I have never approached you like that because I really respect you. I want to be good for you for the rest of our lives." (That reminds me: check out "Question: Is The Man In Your Life Good 'TO' You? Good 'FOR' You? Or...Both?" when you get a chance.)
Then I went to one more guy homie and ran both statements by him: "Girl, yeah. If I didn't want to keep you in my life long-term, I would've tried to holla a long time ago!" And he and I have been friends for almost 20 years at this point. When did he get around to telling me this? Eh, maybe two years ago. LOL.
So, my takeaway from all of these "for real?!" exchanges is even though men and women can be just friends, there is a certain level of intention, self-control, and ability to see into the future (on some level) that must go into account — because, just because something more-than-friends-like may not have gone down, that doesn't mean there isn't a "dormant seed" lying around somewhere…whether it's one-sided or on both sides of the friendship dynamic.
As you can see, I just provided you with three instances where the male friends in my life; we've had nothing sexual or even physically intimate beyond a hug when we greet each other in nature — although things aren't exactly platonic if there is some sort of attraction or sexual/romantic curiosity that simply never got explored. Because again, according to Plato, a platonic relationship is free from all of that kind of…tension — or possibilities. Zero. Nada. Zilch.
And now you probably get why I entitled this article in the way that I did…right? I mean, just think about it — out of your male friendships, where is there NO sensual desire or dormant romantic interest…on your side and/or on his? If you're not sure about "his"…have you ever asked him? Or them? Because again, once I really let the definition of platonic sink in, I think maybe two guys in my life totally fit the bill.
This brings me to my next point.
Are You Platonic? Or Are You Friend-Zoning?Giphy
Now that you know that probably 70 percent of the people you know (both online and off) have been using the true meaning of platonic all the way wrong, let’s go about deeper: when it comes to your friendships with men, are they genuinely platonic or…is it more like you’re friend-zoning them?
A few years ago, I penned an article on the topic entitled, “Before You 'Friend Zone' Someone, Read This.” If you’re skimming this on your lunch break, I’ll summarize friend-zoning as knowing that a guy has so-much-more-than-platonic feelings for you, yet because you basically want to keep the benefits of the friendship or even his emotions around, you will string him along on some level.
Personally, I can’t stand friend-zoning. I think it’s selfish, with some sprinkles of manipulation and wasting someone’s time. Don’t agree? How would you feel if a guy was friend-zoning you? (Yeah…exactly.)
This all needs to go on record because, knowing that a guy wants to “take it there” with you (whether sexually or romantically), you not full-on addressing it and/or giving him just enough hope to take you out, listen to all of your stories about other men and give you the attention that you need knowing that he doesn’t have a shot in hell — that is NOT a platonic friendship and honestly, you’re not being a good friend at all. Friends protect each other’s hearts, not abuse them.
A platonic friendship means that you both have no interest in each other, and, as Plato put it, while you may have a strong and solid bond, it’s spiritual love that connects you. And what exactly does that mean? Spiritual love also deserves its own article, yet the gist would be that you recognize there is a purpose in your friendship, yet it’s about wanting what’s best for one another and even helping each other to get there.
For instance, a platonic friend of yours may know that you desire to be married one day, so he has no problem setting you up with a good guy in his life. And if things go well, he would have no problem standing up as your own best man (without feeling like he’s dying inside) because he never saw you beyond anything but a friend. A guy in the friend zone doesn’t move like this; he likes you too much to help you move on with someone else. See the difference?
Why Relationships Should Start Off As NON-PLATONIC FriendshipsGiphy
Before I end this with some tips on how to properly care for the few platonic friendships you may actually have, since the use of the word may require a bit of mental reprogramming, I do think we should also address that if you've got a good guy in your life, who right now is a friend and either you've never thought of him in that way or the topic has never come up — he's someone that you may not want to brush off.
What I mean by that is, it's one thing for there to be absolutely no interest in someone vs. never considering it before — and the reason why you might want to give it some thought is because, ask any healthy married couple who's been together for more than five years and I'll bet you my next rent check that they will say that the best relationships are birthed out of friendship (check out "Are You Sure You're Actually FRIENDS With Your Spouse?").
Yeah, just because you've filed someone in the "I see him as a good guy" category, that doesn't automatically mean that y'all's friendship is platonic. For instance, I have a male friend who is fine and I adore on many levels, yet the reason why it would never work on my end is because there are certain relational standards that I have that he does not meet. However, don't get it twisted — I've considered him because, on so many levels, we "fit." So, the mere fact that I ever seriously thought about him on that level means that we are "good friends," yet it's not exactly platonic.
I'm not free of potential sensual desire…I just choose not to act on it. Yet because I get the value of having friendship as the foundation for my own future marriage (should life play out that way), I am wise enough to know that I would've been a fool to not at least…ponder him and the possibilities.
So yeah, if there is a male friend in your life that the thought of dating or having sex with him doesn't make you want to throw up in your mouth, there's a pretty good chance that it's not a classic platonic dynamic — and you might want to consider if it could/should go to the next level — if not immediately, eventually. Because there's a pretty good chance that if you are thinking that way, he probably is as well.
Protect Your Genuine Platonic Friendship(s) At All CostsGiphy
Let me end this with how one of my platonic friendships rolls. We both think that the other is attractive, yet neither of us is attracted. We both give each other opposite-sex insights. We both have said that the mere thought of dating each other makes our noses turn up like there’s an odor in the air. And even when I try to imagine us together, my mind goes blank. I love, love, LOVE this man — oh, but it is absolutely nothing more than platonic — and he feels the same way. It’s as close to familial love without being blood relationships. It’s a rare dynamic, and that is what makes it so special. There is definitely a spiritual type of love there; no more, no less.
If you’ve got someone in your life who you feel the same way about (again, it’s got to be mutual; he must feel that way, too), you’ve got a gem of a situation going on because there is nothing like having the kind of friendship where you and a guy can hang out, exchange perspectives and thoroughly enjoy each other’s company, knowing that’s all it is and will ever be. Things will never get weird. No one’s feelings are gonna get hurt (from the whole friend-zoning thing). You don’t have to walk on eggshells. You can just be.
And that’s why I’m all for platonic friendships. And listen, if you’re blessed enough to have even one in your lifetime, be fiercely protective of it. Don’t take it for granted. Nurture it in a way that your male friend needs (because it probably won’t be the exact same as your female friendships). Y’all, platonic friendships are so bomb because, if it’s honored and protected correctly, it’s the one male friend that you can probably keep for life because even your romantic partner will not find it to be a (true) threat — hell, they honestly could probably end up becoming (some level of) friends with your platonic homie as well.
I hope that I broke this all down enough to where, when you decide to use a word to describe your opposite-sex friendships, perhaps you will pause and ask yourself, “Wait, is this a platonic friend or a good or close friend?” Because the clearer you are on the differences, the easier it will be to know how to maintain your friendship — and feel about your friend. Feel me? Cool.
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Featured image by Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images