Body Confidence in 3 Steps

Body Confidence in 3 Steps

Sassy is a performer with Capital Tease Burlesque, one-part of the production duo Frisque Femme, and a burlesque emcee who enjoys gently scandalizing her audience with her pretty pout and her trucker’s mouth. Sassy can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Sassy’s 3-Step Plan to Body Confidence

Step 1: Give yourself permission to be proud.

I talked a lot about myself and the things I’ve done and the obstacles I have overcome. It feels weird when we do this, because we are all taught that it is rude and it is better to be humble. That kind of thinking works against you, and you have to re-learn how to think about yourself and your accomplishments.

There are many ways to do this:

  • You can take a few minutes to think about the things you have done.
  • You can write them down for yourself in a journal.
  • You could just take out your resume and go over it and really think about all of the accomplishments on it.
  • You can look at your children, or your friends and family – the people and the community that you have supported.
  • You can think of hard times and difficult situations that you have risen above or worked through.

These are all things to be proud of, and they all contribute to making you a better you.

Bonus! When you are happy with yourself, and you know how to recognize and celebrate your own accomplishments, you will actually be able to be more supportive of others. You’ll have more energy to be cheerleaders for friends and families, and you will expend less energy being jealous or envious.

Step 2: Take Care of Yourself (or pretend you like yourself).

There is a reason flight attendants tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first.

Bam.

Think about that.

Educate yourself on nutrition. We have so many free resources available online – use them. Try things until you find what works for you. Focus on eating more of the good things, and don’t worry about your indulgences too much. Drink water (everyone says it, because it is true!).

Join a dance class. Go for walks. Lift weights. Walk/jog/run. Find what works for you and compete against yourself. The only thing that matters is that you are better at it than you were yesterday (and this applies to pretty much everything in life).

When you get dressed in the morning, make sure it is in something that makes you feel good. Set aside the clothes that don’t make you feel good, and wean them out of your wardrobe. Replace them with feel good items (and trust me – this does not have to cost a lot of money – stay tuned for my shopping / bargaining / trading / altering strategies in another article).

Wash your face at night, moisturize and wear sunscreen.

Step 3: F*ing Fake it.

You’ll get there, eventually. But, until then, fake it. One day, you’ll wake up, and mid-stretch you’ll realize how lucky you are to be you.

My Corset Training Experience – Part 2

My Corset Training Experience – Part 2

Busty Woman In Corset

Photo By: Brian Rouble of Shuttered Moments

Aka ‘Can I Really Lose Inches Using A Corset?’

After tons of research (click here to check out part 1 of this series) I made my decision on which corset to buy. I chose a size 22 (5.5 inches smaller than my natural waist) black satin underbust corset with 24 flat and spiral steel bones. Although there were cheaper options, all my research had lead me to realize that if I was serious about waist training then it would be difficult to find a corset that was going to be effective for under $100 USD. So, I invested.

Here is what happened over the next two weeks (including before & after photos and a special Free Your V discount code from Alter Ego Clothing for those of you who are in the market for your own corset!):

Day One:

When I first tried on the corset I immediately saw a difference in my figure. I had a 27.5 inch waist at the time, and I saw my figure reduced instantly before my eyes. Although the difference appeared to be drastic while looking in the mirror, it was actually only a 1.5 inch difference when I measured my waist in the corset.

corset seasoning scheduleI had to fight the urge to do up the corset as tight as I possibly could, but during my research on corset training I had learned that it was important not to tighten my corset past 2 inches of reduction during the first 2 weeks of corset training. The first 3 weeks of wearing your corset is referred to as seasoning and it protects your new corset from being damaged. I found this fantastic graphic detailing the corset seasoning process in Waist Training 101 group on Facebook.

The easiest way to explain the seasoning process is to equate your new corset to a new pair of stilettos. When you first put them on, they look fabulous and you feel sexy! However, if you were to wear them for the next 12 hours straight, on your feet, with no breaks, chances are you would end up very uncomfortable, with big blisters on your heels, and no interest in putting your stilettos on again the next day. The same idea applies to a new corset.

I thought that the first would not be difficult, but I will admit, that I was happy to take the corset off that evening. Although it was not uncomfortable to wear in general, I spent that evening at a hockey game, alternating between sitting and standing up to cheer, while stuffing myself with popcorn. The restriction of the corset made the overeating process less appealing, which was likely a good thing. Who needs an extra large bag of popcorn to themselves anyways?

IMG_3766Days Two-Five:

I wore my corset for 2-3 hours each day, while working. I managed to hide it under my clothing, without anyone noticing (as far as I know). What they did notice is how ‘fit’ I was. I got a ton of compliments on my figure (from men and women) and felt particularly confident.

When I took my corset off each day there were slight indentations in my skin, but nothing more than a tight part of pants would cause on my thighs.

Although I had been a healthy eater before starting to wear my corset, but wearing something tight while eating made me more aware of how much I was eating. There was no question that I was eating less during the meals when I was corseted, than the ones when I wasn’t. I also tended to choose items that were lighter; I was more likely to go with additional veggies on my plate then rice.

I will be honest, my lower back started to hurt near the end of the max seasoning time each day. I was concerned at first, as the pain would go away almost as soon as I took off the corset. The pain was only happening when I was sitting down. By the end of the first week I realized that was happening… I had better posture while wearing the corset and that was making my back muscles fight against the new position. As the days went on this discomfort began to fade.

IMG_3759Days Six-Thirteen:

The more I wore my corset the more comfortable I found it to be. The constant compliments from friends, colleagues, and strangers helped me to forge onward on the days where I wanted to take it off early. Although the lower back pain was almost gone by this point, I did began to notice other small annoyances, the worst of which was the increased gas and burping that I would get after meals when I wore my corset.

However, I also began to notice some really exciting changes. I lost an inch off my waist in the first 2 weeks. Although I did exercise (but NOT while wearing the corset- that’s just dangerous!), I did not exercise any more often than I did before wearing my corset. I did eat less during the meals when I was wearing a corset, but those meals were only once or twice a day, so I don’t think that the reduced diet alone can be to blame for the inch loss. Overall, I think that the combination of diet, exercise, and corset wearing had equal benefits.

CorsetSample

Conclusion:

Corset training clearly works, but it is certainly not easy. It takes self control to not over tighten or wear your corset for too long during the seasoning process. You need to be disciplined in order to wear the corset on a daily basis. Corset users also have to be willing to deal with a degree of discomfort (but this does reduce over time). And, like all forms of weight reduction, you need to be patient for the effects to occur. .

I am quite happy with the results that I achieved in 2 weeks and am looking forward to what will happen to my waist as I continue to train!

Hey lady! Where is that special Free Your V discount code from Alter Ego Clothing that you promised us?!?

Here it is: all you have to do it put in the code freeyourv when you go through the check out process on Alter Ego’s website. Be sure to check out their signature product, the Waist Trainer Steel Boned Corset.

Alter Ego Clothing Discount Code Corset Waist Training

Alter Ego Clothing Discount Code Corset Waist Training

I will be documenting my waist training journey for Free Your V. Click here to check out the other articles on corset waist training!

 

*Disclaimer*

This guest poster is not a doctor, nor is she advocating that anyone try corseting before weighing the decision with a medical professional. While some medical professionals say that wearing a corset has no risks, others say that the risks are the same as wearing other constrictive devices, such as Spanx or skinny jeans; skin irritation and restriction to the area. Free Your V decided to post this series after reading Dr. Ann Beaumont‘s take on modern corset use:

“The corset controversy spans centuries, as it had defenders in both camps. Opponents cited that dislodged organs caused various health issues, and proponents who claimed that even the most extreme forms of lacing were without consequence for health. As evidence was never gathered in a scientific manner, it is difficult, but not impossible, to find a relationship between the two.”

Introducing Sassy Muffin – Burlesque Performer

Introducing Sassy Muffin – Burlesque Performer

Introducing Free Your V’s latest guest poster: Sassy Muffin!

Sassy Kat

Sassy Muffin’s bureaucratic alter ego moved to Ottawa in June of 2008 from the deep wilds of northern BC to complete her Master’s degree while pursuing her career in the federal public service. Through classes at a local dance school, she discovered Ottawa’s glittering and sparkling underbelly.

Armed with her Master’s degree and suitably bodacious body, this bureaucrat-by-day and show-pony-by-night brings cheeky character-driven acts to the stage to taunt, tease, and celebrate art and the bodies that make it. Inspired by the likes of Mae West and Joan Rivers, Sassy’s worships the saucy confidence of curves that will not be avoided, often with a sweetly biting comedic edge. As the “Naughtiest Lips in the Capital”, Sassy strives to remind everyone that our nation’s capital is not boring, but is full to the bursting with talented people and features a vibrant performing arts community.

Sassy is a performer with Capital Tease Burlesque, one-part of the production duo Frisque Femme, and a burlesque emcee who enjoys gently scandalizing her audience with her pretty pout and her trucker’s mouth.

Sassy can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!


On Sunday, April 12, the second annual Capital Burlesque Expo came to a close in a sunny explosion of bacon and legs at Maxwell’s Bar and Bistro. Sassy Muffin (that’s me!) had flounced about the wooden stage dressed as a saucy 1960s airline stewardess, and spun airplane inspired tassels (otherwise known as ‘assels’) on her buttocks. Monday morning dawned too soon and too bright, as Miss Muffin’s bureaucratic alter ego dragged herself from bed, across the river into Gatineau, and up many flights of stairs to her, unfortunately for this particular Monday, well-lit cubicle.

As a bureaucrat-by-day, I (Sassy) live the office 2.0 reality of the majority of public servants in Ottawa. I know a few individuals who meet every stereotype of the ‘public servant,’ and I know many more who break the mold – who are intensely focused, who work long hours, who are devoutly committed to serving Canadians, and who lead interesting lives as athletes, activists and artists.

In this column on Free Your V, I will be sharing with you, dear reader, some of my experiences as a career oriented woman, a committed public servant, and a member of the exclusively inclusive Ottawa glitterati. It will sometimes be shocking (at least to me – I’m pretty ‘vanilla’), sometimes informative (but not too much – that would be boring), and sometimes hilarity will ensue (but I hope you will laugh along with me!).

So, let’s start at the beginning(s).


A Born Bureaucrat

I was born and spent my childhood in northern BC, in a community that, to this day, does not have cable television, still has some homes without their own telephone line, where cell phones do not work, and internet and TV is only really available via satellite. We had chickens and pigs (they were both cuddly and delicious), and I had a horse of my own. I often ate wild strawberries as I walked to the school bus stop where our dirt road met the only paved road that wound its way through rolling hills dotted by tiny unincorporated villages much like my own.

I looked up to my Aunt, who had moved away from the small remote village, attended college, and was working for the federal public service. It all seemed very glamorous and cosmopolitan to young me, and I adored visiting her each summer. I had every intention of growing up, and being just like my Auntie.

Later, I moved around the Okanagan and the Shuswap, graduating high school in Kamloops before going north again for university. After I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Studies, I made the move to Vancouver, working in the private sector before entering the public service. While I was happy to be in the public service, I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do, and I knew I would have a better opportunity to grow my career if I moved to Ottawa. And so I applied to a Master’s program in Ottawa, was accepted, packed my tiny car full, and drove across the country to start my new life.

Beginner Burlesque

Sassy MuffinAt some point, I began to feel uncomfortable in my body. I felt like I was constantly in my own way. I couldn’t bend that way, or this way, because some part of my body was always in my way. I was out of breath, tired and defeated.

I knew I needed to do something different, and I thought back to my first trip overseas. I had tried belly dancing in Egypt, and loved the diverse women (and one overly enthusiastic French man) who I had the opportunity to see perform. I began looking for a belly dance class. What I found was a small dance school that offered belly dance and burlesque at a price even a poor graduate student working as a barista could afford.

I signed up.

Our instructor was Bambi Van Boom. She entered the dance room with swift graceful movements, and commanded our attention immediately. She was strikingly beautiful, with colourful tattoos on her fair skin, cropped dyed black hair, and full lips painted a deep red. I looked nervously at her petite frame, and worried about all my voluptuousness spilling over onto everything.

However, Miss Van Boom quickly had her school for wayward girls gleefully bumping and grinding, quivering and shimmying through her intricately beautiful choreographies with her seemingly inexhaustible patience – and her absolutely mesmerizingly taunt and tiny but beautifully jiggling butt-cheeks.

Yeah, I stared. A lot.

Around our second or third class, Miss Van Boom asked us to start thinking about our persona – who was our inner burlesque queen, and what did she want to be called?

I looked, and I found:

Sassy Muffin.

Lelo Mona 2 Product Review

Lelo Mona 2 Product Review

A good vibrator is like a good pair of black pumps: a necessary (and sexy) investment.

I have found my Louboutins of the sex world, sans the excessive price tag: the Lelo Mona 2

The Mona 2 is a G-Spot vibrator, but it is oh, oh, oh so much more.

lelo mona 2 view 1

Reasons to Love It

Mona 2 is a gorgeous little number. It has all the basics covered:

  • It’s waterproof: baths are now 100% more fun. Who needs bubbles when you can have orgasms?
  • It is rechargeable: no cords needed.
  • It is decently quiet, even on the most powerful setting.
  • It is made of body safe, medical grade silicone: easy cleaning and safe for use with water-based lubes.

But the Mona 2 is so much more than that.

The Shape

The shape is contoured perfectly to work either for either clitoral or G-Spot stimulation: the slight curve means you won’t get carpal tunnel massaging your G-Spot, and it hugs you deliciously on your insides. It has a very satisfying girth, which gives you an intoxicatingly full feeling when inserted - there is slight resistance as you start to slide it in, then the smooth shaft slips perfectly into place.

The smooth, rounded tip is just narrow enough to provide pinpoint stimulation on your clit - but with a slight tilt, it is easily angled to provide fuller, surrounding vibrations.

The Vibrations and Power

lelo mona 2 controls

The controls of the Mona 2

It has 6 vibration patterns - I can honestly only speak to the first 4, since I never make it long enough to test the last 2. There is the standard straight vibration, several variations of pulsing vibrations, and several vibration patterns to ramp up the intensity only to bring it back down.

The patterns take all the effort out of having shattering, phenomenal clitoral orgasms: they combine intense pulsing vibrations with escalating, ramped rumbles to bring you right to the brink, then bring you back again. The buttons on the grip end are effortless to press and cycle through.

The Mona 2 has serious power: cranked up to the highest level, I can feel the vibrations throughout my whole body when it is inside me. I don’t even have to move the Mona 2 - the powerful vibrations stimulate my G-Spot in ways I didn’t think were possible. I would describe the vibrations more as rumbles that echo to every sensitive nerve ending possible.

This vibe is also great for couple play - it isn’t bulky enough to get in the way of anything, and it is intuitive to hold and control.

The Downsides

The only issue I’ve had with this toy is that it can be prone to slide just past my G-Spot if I don’t keep a firm grip on it. I think it has something to do with the shape: it naturally wants to slide in to the narrowest part, which puts the curved head just past the sweet spot. But if you keep it firmly in hand, it doesn’t slide.

The price may seem high to some at $160 - but it is worth every single penny.


Rating: 4.75/5
This is a high quality toy that you will get many, many sessions about. It is the kind of toy you can’t wait to get home to.  Keep it in your bedside table, you’ll want it close by.

Purchase the Mona 2 here.


 

My Corset Training Experience – Part 1

My Corset Training Experience – Part 1

How To Choose A Corset

I first came across corset training several years ago when researching ways to have better posture. I work at a computer all day and find myself sitting slumped over more often than not. During the course of researching how to choose a corset, I learned that corsets can also be used to reduce the size of your waist.

I can be skinnier?!?!

 

That settled it; I was going to give corset training a try! But where to start? This article outlines considerations to make when buying a corset, as well as a special Free Your V discount code from Alter Ego Clothing for those of you who are in the marketing for your own corset!)

 Coco De Mer Corset1: Buy a good quality corset:

Corsets have come in and out of style since the Victorian age, so it was no surprise that there were thousands of options to choose from.  Attractive and well reviewed corset choices ranged from $130 to over $1500. While I admit to spending quite a long time fantasizing about the $1450 USD Sian Hoffman Cleo Slave Suspender Corset, I decided that my first corset should likely be more practical.

Many of the lower priced corsets did not have the steel bones that my research told me was necessary to achieve waist slimming, so I focused my attention on brands that did. Amidst the thousands of reviews online, Northbound Leather, Alter Ego Clothing (ACE) and Coco De Mer emerged as top contenders.

sample2: Choose a Style:

An overbust corset covers the breasts, while an underbust corset stops just below them. Underbust corsets are far easier to buy off the rack than overbust corsets as they go by the waist measurement only, rather than waist and bust. If you are planning on wearing your corset underneath your clothing an underbust corset is far less obvious than an overbust corset.

Personally, I decided to go with an underbust corset, since they seemed less restrictive, in terms of both movement and what I could wear with it.

corsetback3: Look For a Steel Busk:

Look for a steel busk in the description of the corset, as they can stand up to the pressure created by drawing in your waist.  Steel busks are stronger than zippers or hook and eye tape. They are metal hardware fasteners consisting of loops and knobs sewn inside the corset which open and close the center front of the garment.

 

MEASUREMENTS_original4: Choose a Size:

I was told that a corset to be used for waist training should be around 6 inches smaller than your natural waist. My waist measured at 27.5 inches, which meant that I was to buy a size 22 corset (they only came in even numbers). I suggest posting in Waist Training 101 on Facebook to get some help from their mods when choosing a size for the first time.

Instantly upon putting it on I looked small in my waist. I whipped out the measuring tape, only to be shocked that my waist now measured 26 inches. The reflection in the mirror seemed so much slimmer, but the reality was the difference was of just over a single inch.

I started to get really excited, because, to me, this meant that I would be able to achieve drastic results. I already loved how my 1 inch smaller frame looked, and I had heard many stories about women losing several inches off their waist within a few months.

Free Your V has a special discount code from Alter Ego Clothing so you can save when buying your own corset!

 

Here it is: all you have to do it put in the code freeyourv when you go through the check out process on Alter Ego’s website. Be sure to check out their signature product, the Waist Trainer Steel Boned Corset.

Alter Ego Clothing Discount Code Corset Waist Training

Alter Ego Clothing Discount Code Corset Waist Training

 

I will be documenting my waist training journey for Free Your V. Click here to check out the other articles on corset waist training!

*Disclaimer*

This guest poster is not a doctor, nor is she advocating that anyone try corseting before weighing the decision with a medical professional. While some medical professionals say that wearing a corset has no risks, others say that the risks are the same as wearing other constrictive devices, such as Spanx or skinny jeans; skin irritation and restriction to the area. Free Your V decided to post this series after reading Dr. Ann Beaumont‘s take on modern corset use:

“The corset controversy spans centuries, as it had defenders in both camps. Opponents cited that dislodged organs caused various health issues, and proponents who claimed that even the most extreme forms of lacing were without consequence for health. As evidence was never gathered in a scientific manner, it is difficult, but not impossible, to find a relationship between the two.”


FREE ’50 Weeks Of V’ Sex Challenge

FREE ’50 Weeks Of V’ Sex Challenge

Vaginoplasty and Labiaplasty: Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery

Vaginoplasty and Labiaplasty: Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery

Most people have heard of cosmetic surgery for your nose, your tummy, your boobs… but what about your genitals?

There are actually several types of cosmetic surgery available for women wanting to modify their genitals in some way.

Vaginoplasty 

Purpose: To tighten the vagina.

What Does the Surgery Entail?: Incisions are made to the vulvovaginal muscle structure (either with a laser or, more traditionally, a scalpel) in order to knit the muscles and soft tissue together, and shorten them. The vaginal opening can be made smaller by removing excess “vaginal lining” (the mucosa layer). The surgery is typically done in an outpatient facility as a “day surgery” - patients are usually sent home the same day.

Average Cost: $3500 - $5000+

*To see a labeled photo of female genital anatomy, click here!

Labiaplasty/Labioplasty

Purpose: To reduce the size of the labia,, or to “correct” asymmetry in the lips

What Does the Surgery Entail?: Through various techniques, a section of tissue is cut out from the labia - generally the labia minora, although the tissues is occasionally taken from the labia majora. The tissue can be taken from the edge, or the thickest part of the lips.The loose edges are stitched up. Some clinics offer the“Barbie” treatment, where most - or all - of the inner lips are removed, in order to create a single, tight line. Labiaplasty can be performed under general or local anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the procedure.

Average Cost: $4000+

Vagionoplasty and Labiaplasty are the two most common procedures. But there are more procedures out there:

  • Hymenoplasty: “restoring” the hymen - with a membrane created from a flap of existing tissue with its own blood supply, or an artificial membrane without its own blood supply
  • Clitoral hood reduction: reducing the amount of tissue covering the head of the clitoris
  • Labia puffing: injection of artificial filler into the labia tissue, or grafting of fat from other parts of the body to inject into the labia lips

Risks of Genital Cosmetic Surgery

The The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada produced a policy statement on female genital cosmetic surgery in 2013. Below are five of the more troubling  revelations in this comprehensive document:

  1. Evidence is currently lacking for the safety and efficacy of FGCS procedures, most of which have no clearly accepted or consistent definitions.

  2. The labia continue to remodel with childbirth and can again undergo significant change with menopause… No data exists that tracks outcomes through these life transitions

  3. During the normal female sexual response the vagina must be able to dilate and “balloon.” This capacity can be adversely impacted by both physiological processes such as menopause and iatrogenic causes such as cancer treatments, radiation, and surgery.

  4. Urethra, bladder, and bowel are intimate with the vagina, and surgery to the vagina carries inherent risks of compromise of these important structures

  5. Women considering these surgeries should be informed of the risks of the procedure, including bleeding, infection, scarring, dyspareunia, alteration in sensation, pain, wound dehiscence, decrease in sexual pleasure, and possible dissatisfaction with cosmetic or other results. There are no available long-term data on the safety or efficacy of these procedures.

“The SOGC’s position does not support non-medically indicated female genital cosmetic surgery procedures considering the available evidence of efficacy and safety.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a document with similar warnings.

The risks are serious, and the cosmetic benefits are not well-documented, nor well-studied. The field is not as highly regulated as other cosmetic procedures, and the results are not often clear - especially in the case of “vaginal tightening”.

Obviously, women’s motivations for desiring such cosmetic surgery are varied, and we would never judge a woman’s choices. We respected and appreciated the choice of our previous guest poster to get a breast augmentation. And we recognize that a woman may make a fully informed, conscious decision to undergo elective surgery.

There are risks involved in any elective surgery. But genital cosmetic surgery is a relatively new field, and complications abound.

We aren’t doctors, so if you have questions about surgeries like this, talk to your health care provider.

 

The Art of Body Paint

The Art of Body Paint

What is Body Painting?

First of all, body paint is art.

It is sensual creativity expressed on a naked body: the focus is on the art, the paint, not the naked body beneath it.

In fact, the goal of body painting is either:

  • not to be aware that what you are seeing is painted on (a corset, shorts, etc.) OR
  • to be very aware that what you are seeing is painted on (a blue alien, a mermaid, etc.).

Either way, the focus is not on nudity, but on the incredible illusive power of paint.

At events and shows, models typically wear nipple pasties, which must be applied when the nipple is hard, or they might fall off at an inopportune moment. To provide an additional layer of coverage, flat colour is not used on the nipple area: instead, layered colours and patterns are applied, so the nipple is entirely invisible. The pubic area is also typically covered with underwear, although the amount of underwear coverage on the butt varies from model to model.

Companies like The Wild Rooster and A Little Bit of Bling do body painting for all kinds of occasions:

  • bachelorette parties
  • boudoir photography
  • model portfolios
  • maternity photos
  • special events (like Sexapalooza)

They have even painted models with company logos, and special black light paint that can up the ante of a regular club night.

The sky is the limit to what can be painted. Everything from abstract geometric shapes, to realistic booty shorts and corsets, to creatures from the world of fantasy.

What Does Body Painting Have to do With Body Image?

Although models are mostly nude, the paint offers a shield. One model explains:

“As soon as the paint goes on, you stop feeling so self-conscious about standing there naked. Even though people stare at you, which normally would probably make you really uncomfortable or self-conscious… you know they are looking at the paint, not at you. They don’t really care what your body looks like underneath the paint, they are just super impressed that they thought that really beautiful corset you’re wearing was real. It kind of makes you realize that all those flaws on your body you thought were really noticeable, aren’t really that noticeable.”

The artists use shadows and colour to emphasize parts of the body that their clients love, and to diminish parts that they don’t. Brilliant colours make different sized breasts look symmetrical, shadows and contouring give the illusion of curve where there is bone, and patterns hide scars from a difficult cancer treatment.

It is empowering.

The owner of A Little Bit of Bling herself got painted after having her third child. Her body had been through the trials and tribulations of birthing three children, and she felt little love for her appearance. Yet somehow, after the paint went on, she felt transformed. The looks she drew were ‘of admiration for a living canvas, not disgust for an imperfect body’.


 When painted, the body is on display, but not the focus. The body becomes the medium, the canvas, on which the art is created. It is beautiful, and it is hard to feel self conscious in the presence of such beauty.


Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction

aka Why I Wanted To Make my Boobs Smaller

**disclaimer: This post contains real pictures of breasts, including scar tissue.

FYV spoke to a woman who wanted, and got,  breast augmentation surgery. But what about the opposite?

“B” was 20 years old when she decided to get a breast reduction. She was not happy with her breast size, and just like our other guest poster, decided to do something about it. It’s been 30 years since her first reduction, and FYV had the chance to interview her about her experience.

Why did you decide to get a breast reduction?

I had my first reduction at age 20. I developed very early and was extremely self conscious. By 20 I was a 36D and nothing fit properly. I was also a runner and even the best sports bras at the time didn’t help.

How did you select the surgeon?

I was fortunate in that I had had a plastic surgeon do an abdominal scar revision for a surgery I had when I was 10. I really liked him and felt that he would be a good fit for me.

What was the whole process like?

The initial consultation involved the surgeon looking at and touching my breasts. We discussed why I wanted a reduction and what the expected results could look like. There was a photo album of patients before/during and after. He drew out on paper where the incisions would be. We discussed recovery times.

After the initial consultation his office submitted the paperwork to the provincial insurance system to see if I was eligible. I waited about 6 weeks before they came back and I was approved to have the procedure paid for by the provincial insurance system. My only cost was for the anesthesiologist and 30 years ago it was $300.

I visited the surgeon about one week prior to the surgery to go over again the procedure, expectations and what he thought would be the optimal size for my body type. We also discussed the possibility that I would not be able to breast feed should I ever have children and that there was also the possibility that I would lose nipple sensation either temporarily or permanently. My reduction was also combined with a mastopexy or breast lift. I am not a great healer so there was also the possibility that I would form keloids - raised, red scars.

The surgery took place in a hospital and was to be day surgery. When I woke up in the recovery room the surgeon explained that I had lost a lot of blood during the procedure and would be spending the night in the hospital as a precaution. I had a binding garment on that had to remain on for a few weeks - to keep the swelling down. There was a fair amount of pain for the first week but subsided after that. The incision was like an anchor - under the breast in the crease, straight line from the middle of the crease to the nipple and around the areola. The areola was actually removed and re-positioned when the breast was lifted.

What was recovery like? (Any lasting scars or pain?)

Recovery was pretty good. I did end up developing keloids but even with that I was thrilled with the results.

How did you feel about your body after the reduction?

It definitely improved my self confidence and made me less self conscious.

I did all of this without my parent’s knowledge - even though my father was a physician. I had tried to discuss the option with my mother (who is a double A) and she dismissed it as unnecessary and ‘silly’. They found out a few weeks after and it was never discussed.

Do you have any regrets?

Absolutely not. While I still have scars, I was able to breast feed and though I lost some sensitivity it was well worth it. I had a second reduction 9 years ago - different surgeon - and was equally happy with the results.

Buying The Right Bra When You Have Big Boobs

Buying The Right Bra When You Have Big Boobs

My bra size measures at 30G.

Yes, G as in Gigantic!

 

Okay, that is likely not what it really stands for, but it sure feels like it does when I have to buy a new bra.

I want you to take a moment to think about what what you think someone who has 30G breasts looks like. If you’re like the majority of people (men and women) you’re likely picturing a buxom pornstar-esque Barbie type who has trouble standing up straight because of her giant funbags. Well, I can assure you that they look nothing like the world’s largest breasts, which are 32Z and belong to German nude model Beshine. They actually look just like this:

They look pretty normal don’t they? I bet your even beginning to question if they are even that size. Well, that’s because I am wearing a bra that fits properly!

Studies say that 3/4 women are wearing the wrong size bra.

 

I was one of them, and chances are that you are too. I first suspected that my 34D bra might not be quite right when I got the photos back from a boudoir photoshoot. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the photos, but when I started to take a closer look, I noticed a few odd things.

Photographer: sLavi Photography

The band was too big. See that sneaky thumb that is in the middle of the bra? It’s not some attempt at a sexy hand position, it’s there to hold that bad boy down! Without the thumb, when I tried to pose, my bra would lift away from my rib cage, giving the photographer a view of a lot more than I intended (sorry!).

The cups were too small. Looking at this photo now, I am surprised that I did not end up with a nip slip. The cup is barely covering my nipples. That was just an accident waiting to happen.

No seriously, the cups were way too small! Do you see all the boob out the side of that bra? That’s definitely not how a bra is supposed to look.

I was one of the 40% of women that were wearing both the wrong band size AND the wrong cup size (the other 40% are only making one of those mistakes).

Even though Free Your V is a big fan of boudoir photos, I am not saying that everyone should go get them done in order to get an objective look at your bra. Instead, head to your local specialty bra shop. I chose Marianne’s boutique in Ottawa, Canada after reading some rave reviews. I was surprised when the bra consultant gave me a bra to try on without measuring me. All of my experiences at the big chain retailers (where I my got my totally wrong sized bra in the first place) had involved a tape measure being used over my clothing (and over the bra that I already had one). Thinking back now, it’s no wonder the measurements were so far off! Still, I asked this consultant why she was not going to measure me and I was pleasantly surprised to here the following response:

“At Marianne’s, we’ve always understood that finding the right bra is about more than knowing your measurements. It’s about fitting your shape.”

 

And she certainly knew my shape. The first bra she gave me was nearly a perfect fit, and the second one fit like a dream. When I informed her I was hoping to find a bra that wasn’t beige (let’s be honest, ‘big’ bras don’t have the best reputation for being cute not sexy) she inquired about my budget and the types of clothes that I wear before presenting me with some beautiful choices.

Photographer: Shuttered Moments

While I was shocked to see that my purchases were all size 30G, I eventually got over the shock of that size and focused on the fit. For weeks I had been going to the well known lingerie stores, only to leave empty handed when I found that I was continually busting out of their bras. But, that day, I left the boutique with a big smile and a positive attitude towards buying a bigger sized bra. The next few days were the first time in a long time that I happily wore a ‘real bra’ all day, rather than switching to a sports bra as soon as possible in order to be more comfortable. It turns out, wearing the right size makes wearing a bra significantly more comfortable.

My advice, to both big busted ladies and their smaller chested sisters, is to go to a specialty lingerie store for a fitting. Maybe you’ll still end up fitting into the typical sizes that the chain stores carry, but at least you’ll know what size is truly right for you.

50 Shades of Mr. Charette

50 Shades of Mr. Charette

There is no doubt that 50 Shades of Grey is an international phenomenon. The books, and now the movie, has brought BDSM into the bedrooms of many more people than ever before, but how can you act out these fantasies? We have been exploring the safety surrounding this topic with our BDSM 101 series with Ms Morgan Thorne, but we thought that you could use a little inspiration. We scoured Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram before we came across this sexy photography series from a team in Ottawa, Canada; how could we not share it with you?

Presenting 50 Shades of Mr. Charette:

 

  The Team Behind The Images:

Isabelle Perrier

Isabelle Perrier

Model

I discovered my passion for photography thanks to my father; I admire his work enormously.  I decided to explore the dimension photographer in January 2015 when I went on a trip to cuba and voila! I became an avid photographer! Also, I discovered my dimension as a model during the last 4 years. I love organizing photoshoots; I am very artistic and always full of ideas. Photography, for me, is passion!

Dominic Charette

Dominic Charette

Model and Photographer

I have been a photographer since 2007; I specialize in event and sport photography. Occasionally I model, but I prefer to be behind the camera!

Steve Tran

Steve Tran

Photographer

The joy of photography it allows me to express myself—my opinions and beliefs. “Everything has its beauty, everybody has its secret, everyone has its littlThe joy of photography it allows me to express myself—my opinions and beliefs. “Everything has its beauty, everybody has its secret, everyone has its little miracle to reveal. I’m always trying to capture that.” from the present momente miracle to reveal. I’m always trying to capture that.” from the present moment

Mélanie Tremblay

Mélanie Tremblay

Photographer

Freezing the present moment in the form of photography is a real pleasure for me. I have been taking pictures for two years and for me; this is a real passion of mine.
Annie Faubert

Annie Faubert

Art Director

Me a visual art That leaves the bodies Expression about a thousand and one being white as an artistic person I always loved the photo and picture The picture is payable on all forms . Me servant of my visual asset I get a FIND DIFFERENT angles For Models That Which Adds new opportunities for photos.

The Plus Size Model Debate

The Plus Size Model Debate

aka Why We Need to Stop Using the Word Normal

Everyone struggles with body image – even the people you think might not struggle.

Compounding this struggle with body image is the fact that the media tends to include one particular body type.

The recent inclusion of model Ashley Graham in an advertisement in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition has caused quite a stir.

The cover model, Hannah Davis, has also caused quite a stir.

 

Let’s examine this more closely.

Hannah Davis has the body type that we are used to seeing on magazine covers. We think she’s gorgeous. She is receiving quite a bit of criticism for pulling down her bikini bottoms – this was seen by some as unnecessarily sexual or demeaning, depending on the person. (We do wonder if Ashley Graham had posed in the same way, if she would have received the same criticism as Hannah did, but that’s another story.) The magazine Hannah was on the cover of routinely receives criticism for not featuring “normal” sized woman.

Enter Ashley Graham. Ashley does not have the body type that we are used to seeing on magazine covers. Like Hannah, we think Ashley is gorgeous. She received criticism for not representing a “real” plus-sized woman, despite being touted as such. “They call size 12 a plus size?! HA!” However, there were also plenty of people who applauded the magazine for including her (although we will point out that it was an ad by a company who sells plus sized bathing suits – it isn’t like they are doing anyone but themselves a favour by using Ashley as their model).

 

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all, Ashely gets shamed for not being “plus sized” enough.

Should she be ashamed of her body because it isn’t “normal” enough? Because she doesn’t really represent the average North American woman?

Now replace Ashley’s name with Hannah’s in the above paragraph.

See? Same shame, different target.

We can’t win here. If we happen to have a body type similar to the current “ideal”, we are shamed for it, aren’t “healthy”, or are told we don’t have a “normal” body type. If we happen to have a body that is considered “plus size”, we either aren’t “normal” enough (ie we aren’t plus size enough), or we are fat and unhealthy.

NO ONE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEIR BODY, PERIOD.

Why is it okay to claim that men prefer curves, but not okay to say that men prefer small thighs? Why is it okay to refer to Ashley Graham as a normal and healthy woman, but assume Hannah Davis isn’t healthy or normal?

“Fat” shaming is not okay, but “skinny” shaming is? Why should Hannah Davis feel bad about her body because it doesn’t represent a “normal” woman? Why should Ashley Graham feel bad about her body because it doesn’t represent a “normal” woman?

When are we going to learn that NEITHER ONE is ok?

When can we stop talking about “normal”? What IS normal? If it isn’t Hannah Davis, but it also isn’t Ashley Graham, what is it?

Oh, that’s right.

We can’t define normal because it doesn’t exist. Not only that, it is counterproductive to even try and pinpoint “normal”. There is far too much diversity to try to focus on one type.

Both Ashley and Hannah are beautiful women. One isn’t necessarily more normal or healthy than the other (and we certainly can’t judge that based on a photograph). We need to stop using the word “normal”, or “plus size”, because then we reduce these beautiful women to their body shape alone. Ashley is just a model, not a plus size model. Hannah is just a model, not a skinny model.

Instead of shaming one body type, and pushing for another, let’s push for variety.

One body type isn’t better than another, it’s just different.

And different is awesome.

 

Boudoir Photography Tips and Tricks

Boudoir Photography Tips and Tricks

Taylor did her first boudoir photoshoot in December 2014 with sLavi Photography . She has such a great time that she wrote this guest post for us to offer other woman who are considering doing boudoir photos some tricks and tips for the shoot.

Stripping down to your Victoria Secrets in front of a relative stranger and then posing half naked on a bed may sound more terrifying than titillating, but doing boudoir photos is beyond rewarding. Many women have never had professional photographs done at all, but if you’re going to get some done, make them boudoir photos! (And no, you don’t have to be a bride to do these)

What are Boudoir Photos?

Really “boudoir” is just a fancy word for a lady’s private room – typically it means a bedroom, but could be a “sitting” room (because people still have those?!). The word actually comes from the French verb “bouder” which means “to sulk”. So boudoir basically means a private room where ladies can pull a Disney princess move and throw themselves on a surface to cry. However, in the modern age, “boudoir” tends to be used to describe a particularly sensual style of photography.

Boudoir photos are really just suggestive photos set in an intimate environment such as a bedroom or hotel suite. Nudity tends to be implied rather than explicit: sheets strategically draped over the body, a hand tugging at panties, etc. It isn’t overtly erotic or pornographic, and is actually quite glamourous.

Lighting tends to be soft, and makeup is sultry. Typically, women wear various forms of lingerie: silky baby dolls, matching bra and panty sets, thigh high stockings and garters, corsets, sheer tops, even things like men’s shirts, fur stoles, or sexy pajamas. That being said – anything that makes you feel like a sexpot is fair game.

Why You Should Get Boudoir Photos

First of all, the experience itself is fun: romping around in sexy outfits is quite enjoyable when you have someone there whose sole purpose for the duration of the shoot is to make you look and feel fantastic – it is quite a confidence boost. Things you hate about your body suddenly become gorgeous.

Or you realize the muffin top you thought you had, or the weird birthmark, or the fact that you have thin hair – none of that is all that noticeable.

In fact, you end up looking like a freaking movie star. If you get the photos printed in a photo book, whenever you’re having a “gross” day, just whip out the book and you’ll remember just how stunning you are, especially half-naked. It’s like getting to see what your partner (potential or otherwise) sees when the jeans come off.

Tips for Your Boudoir Photo Shoot

  1. Make sure you are very clear with your photographer about where these images are displayed. Technically photographers have the rights to your photos, but any half-decent photographer will allow you to keep these photos totally private (i.e. no posting them on their website unless you specifically sign a release giving them permission to do so.)

 

  1. Meet your photographer before the shoot: you’re going to be half-naked in front of this person. Make sure you have a rapport with them!

 

  1. Bring as much as you can cram into a bag: lingerie or outfits you thought would be perfect might not end up working, so bring a variety of options.

 

  1. Get your makeup done professionally. Unless you yourself are a professional makeup artist, it will look better if a pro does it. You’re sinking money into the photo shoot, make it worth the money.

 

  1. Remember to eat – don’t skip a meal before the shoot in the mistaken belief that you will feel “skinnier”: what you will feel is and light headed and hangry, and it will not be enjoyable (for anyone).

Looking for some great boudoir photography tips for your shoot, check out our Pinterest page:

 

My Breast Augmentation Story – Part 3

My Breast Augmentation Story – Part 3

Part 3 of my breast augmentation story…

Or, as I like to call it: ‘I Can’t Believe That I Actually Got a Boob Job’.

*WARNING*This post is a true breast augmentation story and contains nude images of a woman’s breasts, including nipples.

The first few days following my surgery were not as painful as I expected them to be. I had pictured laying in bed, on tons of painkillers, feeling like I had been hit by a bus, but it was significantly less dramatic than that (I guess my breast augmentation story isn’t a drama!). I was quickly weened off of the pain medicine (it made me throw up, which I will tell you is significantly more painful than the post-op pain without drugs was). My boyfriend was able to take several days off work, which was a blessing; I couldn’t get much of anything done myself for the first few days.

Want to put a shirt on? Nope! You can’t pull things over your head.
Want to sleep comfortably? Nope! You gotta lay on your back all night long.
Want to take a shower? Nope! Good luck reaching up to wash your hair.
Want to nap on the couch? Nope! You must be propped up at all times.
Want to make food? Nope!! You can’t use your arm muscles for anything.

Breast augmentation story breasts after surgeryThe same day as my surgery I was able to get a glimpse at what my chest looked like. Although the incisions were bandaged up, I could certainly see that I was no longer sporting a pair of A’s! As I stared at ‘myself’ (at this point, it was still hard to believe that they were MY boobs in the mirror) I realized how lucky I was. Prior to getting my surgery I had read hundreds of accounts from girls that HATED how their new boobs looked, some of them for up to 3 months post-op. Sure, mine were a little more ‘pointy’ than I would have expected, but I had been many times by my surgeon ‘don’t worry, it will take several weeks for them to settle into their final position’, so I was not worried.

Over the next few days my positive attitude started to wane. Although I still felt that I had made the right decision, I was tired of ‘being in recovery’. I have always been a very active and independent person, so it was a trying experience for me (and likely for those who had to deal with me) to be taken care of for so long. In the spirit of being open and Breast augmentation story breasts after surgerysharing my full experience with everyone, here were the main issues:

1: All surgeons have their own set of rules and suggestions. Through Google searches, I was able to find many people who had different ‘allowed activities’, but I did not want to risk following the instructions of anyone but my surgeon. My mantra became ‘I need to protect my investment’. At first it was easy to sit back and let my man pamper me, but the feeling of uselessness began to wear on me after a few days. I found myself repeating my new mantra more and more often, as I was tempted to try and do things for myself.

2: I had to wear sports bras for the 4 weeks following surgery. Since I have always been active in athletics, wearing a sports bra was nothing new to me, but being forced to wear one made me dream about ‘real bras’. Every time I would pass a La Senza or Victoria Secret I would stare longingly at their selection. I also had to sleep in the sports bra, which meant that my skin wouldn’t get a break from the material. Hello back zits! Not exactly something that makes you feel sexy.

3: I have always been one to sleep on my back, but ‘not being allowed’ to sleep any other way made me want to do exactly that. I am obviously too stubborn for my own good.

4: As nice as it was to relax for the first few days, sitting around all day gets old fat. No gym, no sex, no taking my dog for a walk… I got really bored of watching The Price Is Right and Dr. Phil

Alas, none of this compared to the excitement of looking at myself in the mirror and seeing what I had been dreaming about for years. I’ve taken a week off of work, and will be heading back tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

Follow along with my journey! View the full series here:

My Breast Augmentation Story – Part 2

My Breast Augmentation Story – Part 2

Or, as I like to call it: ‘Holy Shit, I Am Actually Getting a Boob Job’.

 

I feel like I have been waiting forever for this day to come. Ever since I booked my surgery date (3 loooooooong months ago!) it has felt like time is going…. so…. slowly! But, today’s the day! Today is the second installment of my breast augmentation story.

For the most part, I am keeping the news of my surgery to myself. Although I have told my family and close friends, I haven’t broadcast a Twitter message saying:

‘brb! Gotta go to the hospital to get my A’s turned into C’s!  #BigBoobiesOrBust’

 

A cloth bra without any implants is part of my breast augmentation story.

A cloth bra without any implants. The front zipper makes it easier to take on and off after surgery.

Speaking of which, I will let you in on exactly what I opted to do for my surgery. I am getting 380 cc round silicone implants placed under the muscle using the breast crease incision. (Can’t make heads or tails of what that means? Check out this article on breast augmentation FAQ). I am hoping that this will bring me to either a big C cup or a small D cup; as long as it looks natural I will be happy!

The process of choosing your implant size was nothing like I expected. For some reason I envisioned a shelf full of different sized bras to try on until you found the one that you like best. This is not the case. Instead, the plastic surgeon meticulously measurs every part of your existing breast tissue and chest. From there, he/she provides you with a few different options to try on, and you put them inside of a cloth bra to simulate what you will look like with the implants. I considered 3 different sizes, and finally selected the middle one.

For the most part, the people close to me are accepting of my decision. The vast majority even seem genuinely excited for me. Now and again, someone says something critical. These statements almost always fall into two categories:

1: A comment about my body image, such as don’t you think that you’re already good enough the way you are?. I always answer this question the same way; ‘I am proud of my body. I work hard at the gym and eat a healthy diet in order to stay fit. However, I was happiest with my body when I had larger breasts. No amount of yoga classes or spinach is going to be able to increase their size, so I feel that this is the best option for me’. (Read the full story in part one of this series)

2: A comment about the financial implications like wouldn’t it be better to put a down payment on a house?. To be honest, I’ve caught myself a few times thinking about what else I could be buying with $13,500 CAD. A better car? A higher end condo? A couple more vacations per year? The thoughts never last long, because I always come to the same conclusion; ‘I am debt-free, gainfully employed, and still have an emergency fund. I have been saving for this surgery for 2 years and I will be able to save up again for the next milestone (which may or may not be a down payment on a house)’.

At the end of the day, the only opinions about this surgery that matter are those of myself and my surgeon. I am really looking forward to my surgery today… I can’t wait to share the next step of this adventure with all of you!

I am so excited!

 

Follow along with my journey! View the full series here:

My Breast Augmentation Story – Part 1

My Breast Augmentation Story – Part 1

Or, as I like to call it: ‘So, I’m Getting a Boob Job’.

 

In true Free Your V style, I am not here to try to convince you to get a boob job. Hell, I’m not even saying that it’s a good idea for everyone. But I chose to do it, so I am going to bring you all along for the ride: this is my breast augmentation story.

I’ve been thinking about getting a breast augmentation since I was in high school. I was extremely athletic, so I had very little body fat, which meant very small breasts (I know, ‘boohoo, poor you!’).

Typical cheerleader body is tight abs and big breasts: that's part of the reason I started this breast augmentation storyAt this point in time, I was a competitive cheerleader. As I watched the routines of professional cheer teams, I began to see a clear trend. If there was two things that it seemed like every cheerleader had it was abs and big boobs.

I had the abs down pat… but my barely B chest certainly wasn’t going to fill out a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader’s outfit any time soon. I was proud of my athletic body, but I couldn’t help but wonder if I would look better with larger breasts.

Within the first few months of university I found myself packing on the famous freshman fifteen. Although a decent percentage of those extra pounds went to my thighs, the remainder found a home in a place that I had never dared to dream was possible; I had boobs!

I had never had body image issues, but my new found curves gave me an added boost of confidence. My tops became more low-cut, my bikinis smaller, and I dared to wear only a sports bra as a top at the gym. Ironically, I was more confident than ever, yet I had a higher body fat percentage than ever before. For me, having a pair of big, round D’s was more important than tight thighs and visible abs. My body stayed pretty much the same over the next 4 years.

After graduating university I began to notice the pounds (and therefore the size of my chest) slowly slipping away. Although the exact culprit is unclear, I suspect a combination of being able to cook for myself, having a regular sleep schedule, and getting back to the gym for the first time in years. Within a year I was back to wearing a B bra. I was also wearing size 2 pants again, but that fact was greatly overshadowed by the fact that I ‘no longer had boobs’. I still liked my body, but I didn’t love it anymore. I missed my big breasts. The thoughts from high school about breast augmentation started to creep back in…

Breast augmentation is second most popular surgery in US in 2013

Over 313 000 women had breast augmentation in the USA in 2013. This year, I am going to be one of them.

I I I spent an obcene amount of time researching breast augmentation online. When I felt ready to take the next step, I made an appointment with a plastic surgeon to discuss the options. During the consultation I asked the doctor question after question after question. I left that day feeling well informed and confident that this was the right choice for me.

And then I waited.

I continued to look up ‘the best plastic surgeons’ online and booked another consult for 6 months later. Even though my first appointment went perfectly, I wanted to get a second opinion. And, eventually, I got a third one. I also started to save. Although the exact amount for the surgery varied between the surgeons, I knew that I was going to need between $10,000 and $13,500 CAD. As a recent graduate, that was not going to come easily.

It took me 2 years to save enough money. As I watched my friends splurge on shopping trips, I worked extra hours to add to my stockpile. Soon enough, it was all going to pay off.
And ladies, that time is now! Today is my final pre-op appointment before my surgery. Although we have discussed it before, today is when I will be deciding on the size, incision location, type of implant, and placement (more on that in this article). My breast augmentation story is one step closer to being complete.

Wish me luck!

 

Follow along with my journey! View the full series here:

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50 Weeks of V Sex Challenge

Whether your sex life is scorching or burning out, whether you're single or taken, everyone can use a little motivation to keep the fire alive in the sack.

 

Sign up for '50 Weeks of V' and get an exclusive (and FREE!) sexy challenge every week.

You will receive a confirmation e-mail shortly. Be sure to click that confirmation link or you wont receive the challenge (oh no!).