The first time you decide to do a BDSM scene can be nerve wracking.
You’ve (hopefully!) done all the preliminary things, negotiated what you want to do, chosen your safe words or chosen not to use them. You and your partner are likely anticipating play, much like waiting for christmas when you were young. You both likely have some expectations about how things will play out, which may or may not be realistic.
Often people whose only experiences with kink have been adult material (books, video, the internet, etc), will have ideas that aren’t terribly feasible. Remember, you and (maybe) your partner are going into this without previous experience, you’re probably going to make some mistakes. Lets talk about some of the most common ones that people experience in their first few scenes.
Often there are complaints from one or both partners about going too far or not far enough. This can result from mismatched expectations and ideas, which is where more thorough negotiation is needed. It can also result from simple inexperience - partners who haven’t done something before may hold back for fear of making mistakes or push too hard due to overconfidence.
In both cases, clear and honest communication is the answer. If we check in with our partners during play, making sure that they are enjoying things, we will have a better chance of scene success.
Many people use the ‘traffic light’ system to communicate during play.
It’s fairly simple and ties into the use of traffic signals for safe words. The Top will ask the bottom “What’s your colour?” and the bottom will reply with “green” to mean good, “yellow” to mean they are getting close to a limit, or “red” to express the need to communicate further, stop the particular activity or stop play entirely.
Another way for a Top to get a feel for where a bottom is at is using the 1-10 scale.
Again, the top can ask “what number are you at?” and the bottom can reply with a number between one and ten. Generally for play that involves pain, it is good to keep the bottom around a seven. Going above that point is reserved for more intense masochists or scenes where you’ve negotiated a pushing of limits. Ending the scene before the bottom gets to a seven can result in the bottom not feeling satisfied with play.
Of course those are just general guidelines, everyone is different and play should be tailored for your individual partner.
When playing with a new partner, I would much rather have a scene be not intense enough, rather than too intense. I can always go harder or more intensely the next time we play, but I can’t take it back if I’ve pushed too far, if a bottom didn’t feel comfortable telling me when they were at their limit or other similar issues. I explain this to all my new partners, and most appreciate my caution - those who don’t aren’t a good fit for me.
Playing Above Your Skill Level
This isn’t a mistake reserved only for Tops, bottoms can overestimate their abilities as well.
As Tops, if we play above our skill level, we can have many problems. We could, as a worst case scenario, do something that causes injury to our bottoms. We could harm them in ways that they did not consent to and that we didn’t intend. Much of BDSM is potentially dangerous, and it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our bottoms.
We can also lose the trust of our bottoms - especially if we cause injury, but also if they feel that we put them at risk because of our lack of skill. Finally, in playing above our skill level, we can have an awkward and unfulfilling scene.
Bottoms playing above their skill level risk getting hurt. The hurt could be physical in nature, if the bottom exaggerates their skill or experience in an area such as rope bondage, which can be physically taxing. Unskilled bottoms who exaggerate experience can risk nerve damage, since they don’t know when to tell the rigger about issues and may think that the issues they are experiencing are normal.
They can also be harmed emotionally, if a top doesn’t know about hidden triggers or other problems. Finally, they risk losing the trust of their Top, who has to rely on them to be honest about desires and limits.
Often, in our excitement over a scene we will not prepare properly. We have a super hot scenario running through our minds, but lack the skill to prepare for it or just get too wrapped up in the fantasy to do the mundane parts.
Before starting, it’s always wise to gather all your supplies, practice anything you need to and be sure you have things there ‘just in case’. This can include a way to cut rope for bondage, a first aid kit and even condoms, in case you’re both in the mood after or sex is a negotiated part of the scene.
Too Focused on the Details
Being too focused on the details can result in a scene that can feel scripted and mechanical. If you’ve fantasized about a scene for so long that you and your partner have to learn lines before you start, you may want to re-think things. While it’s best to go into a scene having a good idea of what you want to do, be sure to leave some room for creative thinking. Sounding like the Dominatrix from a bad porno is definitely not sexy!
Finally, the one thing that can often get in the way of a good scene are nerves! If this is something you’ve been fantasizing about forever, you may feel nervous when the time comes to actually live it. Try to relax - just don’t get into the ‘liquid courage’, you need to be sober and thinking for this kind of play.
Doing something for the first time is nerve wracking, but we’ve all been there.
Keep things simple, you can always get more elaborate later on.
You may feel more comfortable doing your first scene in the privacy of your own home, or you may want to play at a dungeon, where there are others you can ask questions of. It’s your choice, do what makes sense to you.
Now that you know some of the common pitfalls, you can hopefully avoid them. It’s really important to have a good, honest idea of your skills, be prepared (for the scene and for emergencies) and do your best to relax. After all, this is supposed to be fun!
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.
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.
What My Introduction Into the Swinging Lifestyle Has Taught Me About Myself and About Love.
The definition of “Swinging” courtesy of Dictionary.com:
a person or thing that swings.
Slang. a lively, active, and modern person whose activities are fashionable or trendy.
a person who indulges in promiscuous sex.
a person who engages in the exchanging of spouses for sexual activities.
Swinging seems to be the buzz these days, or maybe it’s just because I am newly aware of the lifestyle. It’s like when you buy a new car, suddenly you are hyper aware of all of the cars out there that look JUST like yours.
Unfortunately, as you can see from the definition above, there are some definite misconceptions about “swinging”, the least of which is that it means a person indulges in promiscuous sex. My opinion and definition of swinging is mine alone, and anyone can free free to disagree with me, but I’d like to tell it how I see it, and I don’t see it at all the way that the dictionary does.
It’s important for you to know that swinging can mean different things for different people. Some couples see it as an avenue to strange sex. Others might see it as an avenue to act out their fantasies in the safe company of their partners.
I’m a 30 something professional woman with a very healthy sexual appetite, and until recently I had very little outlet for my libido.
In the throes of the divorce of a 2nd marriage gone horribly wrong (for a multitude of reasons, but one big one was a complete lack of sexual compatibility) I had one of those moments where you fall head over heels in love with someone you never expected to meet, let alone fall in love with and dream about a future with… Tim.
Life happens. What are you going to do, flip the birdie to the Universe and say, “Sorry, not what I had in mind for my life”? Not this girl. The Universe and I are buds, it always gives me exactly what I need at exactly the right moment, whether I realize it or not.
So in the process of committing to and getting to know each other, and getting more and more personal about ourselves Tim and I established that we both enjoy sex more than maybe the majority of our friends, and that we were both proponents of a life theory similar to “free love”. The world would be such a happier, more peaceful place if people could just love each other, free from judgement, jealousy or self imposed dogmatic “truths” about the way life is supposed to be.
If you want to be monogamous, fine, no judgement here, but I’m guessing that if you chose to click on the topic of this post and you’re still reading, there is a part of you that’s interested in the lifestyle. Don’t be shy, it’s human nature to be curious.
It took me some time to understand some things: (To be clear, I’m still learning and adjusting, and there are still “I wonder what he/she is thinking” moments)
How does a couple keep things “fair and balanced”
Are there rules?
How will my partner feel after I’ve been with someone else?
How will I feel after my partner has been with someone else?
Will I be able to watch? Do I want them to watch me?
My Experience with Swinging
Now sit tight, I’m going to break down my experience for you, including the epiphany I had when my first “date” was over, but first I want to dive into the emotions around swinging a little bit. These are the emotions and thoughts that my partner and I have, they are certainly not gospel. (I wonder if there IS a gospel on swinging?)
My situation is special, in that my partner and I have a long distance relationship. With long distance love affairs, things can be really stressful and emotionally taxing at times. My swinging became a way for me to fulfill some emotional need as well as physical. Sometimes you just need to be held, am I right?
Tim’s view is that he wants me to have everything and anything that I need to make me happy. He knows he can’t be here now to fulfill my emotional and physical needs, so he encourages me to seek them elsewhere. We always discuss the potential “friends with benefits” that I am considering, but 10 times out of 10 he will tell me “If this feels good to you, go for it and enjoy yourself”
We spent hours over the course of our budding relationship talking about what we were ok with and what we were not. Some things were easy, like no sleeping over: that’s too intimate (I know, sounds crazy right?). Most couples who swing have rules, some refer to them as preferences.
- Never have intercourse without a condom
- No swallowing of bodily fluids
- No separate rooms during a party
- No lone dates (meaning they always play together)
Some of those rules or preferences (or maybe all of them!?) will change, develop and evolve over the period of a couples swinging “career”. The most important factor in a relationship like this, is communication.
Not every couple can take a trip down the swinging trail…it’s not for the faint of heart, it’s not for the couple without a rock solid foundation or at the very least, an epic strength of love and commitment to each other.
Couples will swing together, or for all intents and purposes, you can change the verb from swinging to cheating, which isn’t fair to anyone involved.
My first experience and my light bulb moment.
For the purposes of anonymity I’m going to refer to my first connection as Jack. I met Jack on a website called Swing Lifestyle . It’s much like any matchmaking website, you create a profile, upload pictures, search for people, window shop, or connect via their platform email, or instant messenger. (With video capability too)
I signed up at SLS upon the encouragement of my partner who had already been a member for some time. He was not new to the lifestyle. I found a couple of people (or couples) I found interesting, and decided to message them.
Jack messaged me back and we had a nice chat, volleying back and forth a few times. Then I had a little bit of doubt, and lack of clarity about what our rules were, so I put everything on hold for a while. After more conversations and more reassurances, I decided to reach out to Jack again after a few months had passed.
We decided to meet for lunch near my office and we hit it off right away. There was a physical attraction, and an ease of conversation. After a few more emails and phone calls, we set a date to “play”.
You’ll have to use your imagination about the details of our playdate, but the important thing that happened, was on my way home when I got this message from my partner:
“Thank you for trusting me enough to do this for yourself”
Wow. Bells and whistles went off in my head. Like a 2×4 between the eyes, I finally understood with complete and total clarity what this swinging thing was all about.
I had been really worried in the back of my mind, that he was testing me, testing our relationship, and as soon as I left that date, he would be letting me know that I had failed, I couldn’t be trusted, and he was through with me. (Hangups much? I know, I’m a work in progress)
For my partner and I, swinging is about being able to fulfill physical (and on some level, emotional) needs with other trusted people, without worrying or wondering about how your partner looks at you or feels about you.
Is it about fulfilling sexual fantasies with your partner? Yes.
Is it a free for all to fuck as many people as you’d like? It shouldn’t be.
Is it the same experience for everyone? No way Jose.
Since my first experience I have gone on to become really good friends with Jack, and another couple that he introduced me to. In the emotional difficulty that has surrounded my long distance relationship as of late, they have been of great comfort to me as friends, who sometimes play together. They have also gotten to know Tim from a distance which is of some comfort to both of us.
I’m still learning about swinging, I read the forums on SLS and talk to people who have been in the lifestyle for a long time.
I don’t claim to be an expert.
There are things I’m not yet comfortable doing such as attending the big parties where you can wander into private or semi privates rooms and play with strangers. Eeeek…..not there yet. That’s like the deeeep end of the pool, and I’ve still got my sexy toes in the shallow end.
Swinging for me is about freedom. Freedom to be who I am, do what feels good, and be surrounded by people doing the same.
Contracts are sometimes used in BDSM and have become quite famous after their mention in the 50 Shades series. So let’s talk about what contracts are, if you need one, when you may want to use one and how to create one.
In any discussion about BDSM contracts, it has to be said that they are not legally binding, just a bit of kinky fun for people to indulge in. Some people take their contracts very seriously - in that a breach of contract by either (or any) party results in the relationship being dissolved. Like so many things in the kink lifestyle, you can pick and choose what works for you in this department - contracts are totally optional.
Not every couple (or triad, quad, etc) in a BDSM relationship has a contract. In fact, I know very few players who make use of them - and I know a lot of kinky folks! Contracts are often a part of more protocol heavy kink, and are more likely to be found in those types of communities.
With that said, many people do enjoy having a contract - for both erotic and practical reasons.
It is a tangible symbol of power exchange, much like collars, and can emphasize the feelings of ownership within a relationship.
Many people who use contracts view signing one as a profound sign of commitment (again, much in the way that collars are regarded by some). Contracts can also be very practical - the people involved have clear expectations of their partner(s) and know what is expected of them in return.
If you want to design a contract that stipulates a power exchange relationship on weekends only, go for it! If you want a contract with precise details about what is expected from partners, to apply 24/7, have at it! Kinky contracts can cover as much or as little as you see fit, you just need to sort out what works for your relationship.
Things to consider when creating a contract
- The slave/submissive’s responsibilities: What will they be responsible for in the relationship? Will they do all the household chores? Will they be sexually available to the Owner/Dominant at all times? Will they obey all commands or face punishment? Will they give up financial control? Worldly possessions?
- The Owner/Dominant’s responsibility: What will they provide to the slave/submissive? It is generally assumed that they will lead the relationship, but will they have power over all decisions? Financial, career and household? Will they provide financial support? Will they punish transgressions? Generally, Owners/Dominants are expected to care for the safety and wellbeing of the slave/submissive.
- Safewords: Will there be a safeword? Will the slave/submissive have the chance to say no to a command without consequence? Under what circumstances (breaking the law, bodily or psychological harm, etc)?
- Will punishments be used or will partners talk about disobedience? What are the punishments or consequences to disobedience? Will breach of contract dissolve the relationship?
- Will there be consensual non-consent (CNC)? Will the Owner/Dominant be able to order the slave/submissive to do something they wouldn’t normally want?
- Limits: What are the hard limits of all parties? Soft limits? Under what circumstances may those limits change (for instance, when the person who has the limit decides to reopen negotiation)? Can hard limits be added as time goes on?
- Activities: Do you want to list specific activities that are required from any party, or leave it more open ended?
- What will be public and private protocols? (for instance, slave/submissive nude at home, dressed in a way that pleases the Owner/Dominant while out of the house)
- Relationships: Will the people under the contract be allowed to have kinky or sexual play with others? Under what circumstances? Will the Owner/Dominant be able to lend out the sexual or kink services of the slave/submissive (act as a waiter at a party, be used as a demo bottom, sexually please others, etc)
- Under what circumstances can the contract be dissolved?
- How will you handle it if someone’s (Owner/Dominant or slave/submissive) needs aren’t being met?
- How often will you sit down and evaluate the rules and other specifics of the contact, if ever? How will changes to the contract be made? Who can initiate changes?
- How will switching (people who enjoy both Dominant and submissive roles) be handled (if applicable)?
- Will there be a trial contract? How long will it last?
Those points should be enough to get you started on writing your own contract, or at least give an idea of what to think about when doing so.
You don’t have to cover all of those points or you can add any that are important to you. While there are many pre-made contracts available online, I suggest creating your own. Not only will it be more personal, but the act of designing it from scratch can be a wonderful bonding experience.
A contract generally comes later in a kinky relationship, not at the beginning.
It takes time to build trust, to know your partner’s limits and how total you would like your power exchange to be. Many people regard BDSM contracts in the same way as a marriage contract, not something to rush into. Of course, if you find the concepts of contracts erotic, you can have a play contract, that outlines the timing, style or types of play that you will engage in with your partner(s).
BDSM contracts, while not needed, can be fun, intimate and useful for some people. Don’t think you need to have one before you start playing, but if you enjoy the idea, have fun with it. The best thing about BDSM is that there is no ‘one true way’ (we often joke about people who preach ‘true BDSM’) - everyone is free (or not) to play and engage in whatever way they choose.
Using Anal Toys
Anal sex can be a treasure trove of pleasure. Maybe you’ve already explored anal sex (and if you haven’t, check out our article!). Maybe not. Maybe you’re just curious about ways to go about anal play - beads, plugs, vibrators, dildos… there is certainly a lot of choice. Butt plugs are a popular first toy for anal play beginners.
So, what exactly is a butt plug?
A butt plug is a toy that is specifically designed to be inserted into the anus: it has a smaller tip that increases in size to the base, with a flayed end. That flayed end is crucial - that’s what stops the toy from going too far into your butt - yes, that is possible! They can be made with a variety of material: silicone, glass, rubber, vinyl, etc.
How do you choose a butt plug?
For beginners, it is recommended that you start with a small size. Many stores sell “kits” that come with plugs of various sizes that you can work up to as you get more comfortable.
As mentioned above, plugs come in various materials, but we recommend that you purchase a toy in a soft, smooth material like high grade silicone that is both soft and easy to clean. Make sure there are no rips, tears, or sharp edges that could tear the delicate lining of the anus.
We recommend the Little Flirt Butt Plug by Tantus - billed as the least intimidating butt plug for beginners!
For more advanced anal play, consider adding some vibration to your plug.
Tips for Using a Butt Plug
- Lube: Just like with any other kind of anal play, lube is absolutely crucial. The anus does not self-lubricate, so apply your lube of choice liberally. Apply more before removal, since things can get dry quickly. (We recommend this lube.)
- Lots of foreplay: As we discussed in our article on anal sex, the anus is designed to stay tightly closed. Get good and horny before attempting to insert a butt plug.
- Leave it in for only as long as you’re comfortable: Some people like to have a butt plug inside them for the entire duration of sex (or even throughout the day), while others prefer it only for a minute or two. Do whatever is comfortable for you.
Have fun. If you’re not having fun, or it hurts, or you decide you are uncomfortable halfway through, stop. This should be a pleasurable and exciting experience for both parties. If it isn’t, don’t do it.
Body Confidence Brought to you by Burlesque
The question I get asked, more than anything else, is some version of “how do you do what you do?” I’m asked this by women mostly, and clearly, they are asking me how I get on stage and reveal my plus-size / curvy / extra everything and a side of fries body to an audience full of people I have never met before.
Well, here’s the secret: I just do it.
The secret is not a deep well of healthy self-confidence (though I do have that – more on that later).
The secret is not a perfect body (I do not have that). I think there is nothing wrong with eating a whole wackload of bacon and sausages before performing. In fact, I encourage it. And you should also do suggestive things to the sausage while making strong eye contact with someone else – preferably a stranger.
The secret is not a love of money (definitely not!).
The secret is not booze (I almost never drink).
The secret is camaraderie.
I create acts that celebrate my body, but I never hide from its truth. I’ll pull a funny face while squeezing out of a skirt – that is joke between you and me (us). It is an experience I can share with you, and we can laugh at it together.
The secret is community.
The burlesque community is incredibly diverse. We have our struggles, but we are always striving to be better for each other, and for the world that we are reflecting. There is an incredible amount of support and positivity. There are also many opportunities to see all sorts of naked bodies – and the more you see, the more you appreciate others and the kinder you are to yourself.
The secret is knowing that some people won’t like it, but that someone who needs it will love it.
The secret is you.
I do it for you. I do it so that you can come up to me after a show, and ask me how I got up there. So that I can tell you, with complete confidence and understanding, I am you. This could be you, and you deserve the stage and a spotlight as much as anyone else. Your body is beautiful. It is creation and art at its finest. It is magic and it is strong. It is comfort and warmth. It can be different, silly and strange – but it is always beautiful.
I also do it because – damn boo, have you seen my ta tas? They are a national treasure, and I have a moral obligation to share them with the world. If you haven’t met them, you should come out to a show and introduce yourself. Frank and Bob (the twins) love meeting new people.
Body Confidence Brought to You by You
The other key to body confidence actually has very little to do with your body, and everything to do with your mind. The majority of my confidence comes from my achievements, from the things that I have done and accomplished with my life. It also comes from my happiness with myself, and my ability to stand up for the things that I believe are important to me and to my communities.
I have taken risks in my life, and they have paid off. I moved across the country without a job to pursue graduate studies and hopes of continuing my career in the public service. I worked hard to get the job I dreamed of, finished my Master’s degree while working too many hours, and started shaking my money-maker (my brain, you pervs!). I am very successful in my line of work (though as a young woman, it definitely comes with its own challenges – more on that in another article).
I’ve set goals, and I have worked hard to achieve them. I have been given challenges, fought through set-backs. I have been disappointed in myself and in others. But I have grown from these experiences, and I have chosen (this is key!) to learn to be better.
In my heart and in my mind is where I grow my confidence.
Loving Your Body
All those lovely things being said, sometimes I just do not feel good about my body. I struggle like everyone else.
Sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed, let alone go on stage.
My weight is not something I have felt very in control of, it is a constant source of personal struggle. However, I have learned to appreciate my strength. Every day I am grateful for my abilities and for my health.
As I learn to appreciate myself more, it becomes easier to take care of myself and make self-care the priority it should be. For me, this does mean going to the gym. At the gym I can test myself and compete against the person I was yesterday. At the gym I can lift heavier than last week, stretch further than yesterday, and run longer and harder than I ever have.
When I’m taking care of myself, putting good things into my body, and giving myself time to marvel in its strength, I feel better about how my body looks. I don’t need to achieve a perfect form (and I know there isn’t one – I’ve seen so many nudes now – it really does help!). I can have a soft belly, and thunder thighs, and be strong and healthy.
And yes, if you are on the elliptical/treadmill/rower next to me, we are racing. You can pretend you don’t know it’s happening, but it is. I’ll set the resistance level to 20, I’ll gasp and pour sweat. I’ll turn purple. I’ll beat you. And it’s okay if you lose to a chubby girl.
Want more sass? Check out Sassy’s other articles for FYV!
The Importance of Negotiation in BDSM Play
Negotiation isn’t really a word that a lot of people associate with sexuality. It’s something you do in business or when buying a new car, not when you’re trying to get hot and heavy with someone sexy.
In BDSM, negotiation is very important and one of the first steps in arranging an encounter.
While kinky negotiations will look different for everyone, there are some basics that you should cover. We discussed in our conversation about consent that only a yes means yes, and negotiation is how we get to that yes. We will begin by discussing things that are important in negotiating a play scene.
I always encourage people to be very thorough in negotiating with new BDSM partners - even if you’ve been married for years. If this is a new area of exploration, it’s best to be rather explicit in what you want to get into. As you gain experience with your partner, you may find that you don’t need the same level of negotiation, knowing each others likes and limits means you don’t have to discuss them every time, unless something changes.
No matter how experienced in BDSM you or your partner are, if you are new to each other, detailed negotiation can save a lot of trouble down the road.
The first thing we will talk about are limits. This is a word you will hear often in kinky circles, as people talk about what they are and aren’t into. There are two kinds of limits, hard and soft, and it’s important to communicate these to your partner before any kink activities get started.
Hard limits are things you will not do.
You may not have any interest in the activity, you may find it repugnant or too dangerous. There are a million reasons for an activity to become a hard limit - your reasons are your own and you don’t have to explain them to anyone, unless you want to. If something is listed as a hard limit, by either the Top or bottom, Dominant or submissive, it needs to be respected.
Partners should not beg or harass, pushing to do things on your hard limit list - it is incredibly disrespectful to hound someone about limits, often grounds for the ending of kinky relationships.
Soft limits are things that you may not enjoy, but would be willing to do for the right person.
They could also be an activity that you do enjoy, but that you will only do with people you trust or know well. They could be activities that take a high level of skill or energy, so you won’t engage in them with just anyone. Again, activities on your soft limit list can be anything you want them to be, but let your partner know if they are things you’re interested in exploring with them at this time or not.
Everyone is allowed to have limits - they aren’t just for bottoms! Dominants/Tops can have limits for the same reasons that submissives/bottoms do - they aren’t into an activity, it makes their skin crawl, they don’t have the skill set, etc. No one should ever be shamed for having limits, there are no activities that make one a ‘true’ Top/Dominant or bottom/submissive that everyone must engage in.
Keep in mind that your tastes can change over time and so can your limits.
There may be things you see at the beginning of your kinky journey that freak you out, that after a few years you come to regard as hot. You may fantasise about an activity for years, but after actually trying it, find it’s not what you thought or that you hate it. Think of it like food - many things we hated when we were young are now things we love - our tastes change over time. If or when your limits change, be sure to let your partner(s) know, so that they can adjust their expectations of play accordingly.
A discussion about safe words should also happen - decide if you want to use safe words or plain language to communicate during the scene. If you do want to use safe words, you should agree on which word or words to use and what they will mean for you. Everyone has a different interpretation of safe words, so again, it’s much better to talk about it so you’re on the same page. It can save unwanted pain, both physical and psychological, for everyone involved.
Deciding on which activities you do want to engage in looks different for everyone. Some people choose to fill out BDSM activity checklists (google that phrase to find many examples to use or make your own). Where ‘likes’ overlap you have an idea of what you may want to do together.
Some people will negotiate every activity they want to engage in for a particular scene - covering each implement or action to ensure their partner is consenting. I suggest this type of negotiating with new play partners. Again, once you get to know someone’s play style, you can shift to less detailed negotiation.
One way to do this type of negotiating is to agree on a type of scene - let’s say an impact play scene - then allow the bottom to choose which implements they would like used. The top doesn’t need to use all of those implements, but at least has a general idea of what the bottom is hoping for. This also helps with misunderstandings that can happen.
For instance, if someone agreed to playing with floggers, they may have meant only fur and suede floggers (anticipating a more sensation focused type of play), where I may take it to mean they are ok with all the floggers in my collection - including the metal weighted falls that make even the most eager masochist think twice.
With more established play partners (someone you’ve played with many times and have a good idea of their likes and limits), you can simply negotiate a theme for the scene - impact, sensation, etc. Just be sure to negotiate anything new; toys, limits or anything else that may have changed since your last play time.
Communication is essential to a good relationship and this is especially true when it comes to BDSM relationships. Without consent, our play becomes assault or abuse. While talking about what we want to do or have done to us may be uncomfortable in the beginning, it is an essential skill that those who want to engage in kink should develop. It gets much easier the more you do it and those improved communication skills (and the confidence in them) can have a positive impact on more than just your sex life!
Yes, you are a professional woman. You shine in your career. You have a solution for every problem. You have a plan for every situation. You ARE Superwoman.
However, you feel a void in your life.
Sure, you are successful. Your bank account looks lovely. Those Red Bottoms look absolutely Fab on your feet, but how’s your heart holding up?
You feel as though you are the perfect catch, but no one’s baiting for you OR maybe they are baiting, but it’s the wrong type of fishermen. You know the ones! The ones that aren’t worth the time or aggravation that they bring into your life. Yea those!
So, what’s really going on here? Why would a total package type of lady, such as yourself, be single?
Well, me in my infinite wisdom would like to share 5 THINGS KEEPING YOUR SOUL MATE AWAY.
DISCLAIMER: Anyone who knows me, has participated in a webinar or group I’ve led, or has been in a 1:1 session with me knows that I am NOT a sugarcoat type of girl. I’m real and totally uncensored. What I’m about to give you is PURELY the real. Read at your own risk! This is a NO BULLSHIT ZONE. ENJOY!
1) You don’t know WHO the HELL you are!
Plain and Simple! You have not discovered who you are in this world. Sure, your business is spot on. You have found success in your work. You are active in your community. You are an excellent mother.
But, who are you as a woman?
Allow me to get all clinical on you for a second. Erickson’s Stages of Development notes that individuals between the ages of 20-40, experience an Intimacy vs Isolation Crisis. Intimacy is described as a manifestation of true identity as the individual shares his or her identity with others; isolation becomes the result when interpersonal relationships do not adequately address the individual’s need for intimacy.
Hmm…..I know I just went all EXTRA clinical with that one, right?
The young person who does not have a clear understanding of his or herself cannot achieve TRUE intimacy. Because of this, the result is isolation brought on by the unwillingness to risk true intimacy because of the potential impact on identity.
With all of that wonderfulness being said, is it safe to say that if your identity is not discovered (BY YOU) or is unclear, the risk is that you will take on the identity of another individual OR that your identity could be easily shaped or molded to fit that of your partner?
How often have you heard that you are a different person in a relationship? How often have you FELT like a different person in a relationship? How many of us have shied away from being in a relationship because you feel as though you “lose yourself” in the relationship? Are you truly losing yourself?
Or have your truly found yourself?
This BS about “losing yourself” is just that! True Bull Shit. When you know YOU, you don’t lose that! You are strong. Your standards are there. Your morals are there. Your likes, dislikes, wants, and desires are STILL there!
2) You don’t know what you want
Yea, that white picket fence, sexy hubby, 2.5 kids, and a little furbaby named Jack looks awful nice from the outside doesn’t it? But, are you ready for the work that comes along with maintaining a committed relationship?
Sex, love, affection…these are basic human needs that need to be nurtured. That’s a given; however, there are times that we mistake HORNY for LONELY. We also mistake BOREDOM for LONELY.
How many of us have gotten into relationships and then VERY soon after, we are ready to break up. The partner is now a bother. That’s because they feed a momentary need. You were bored and needed something to do OR you were horny and needed someone to screw.
This is especially true for women too afraid to acknowledge that they are sexual beings outside of a committed relationship. These women are horny but don’t want to have sex outside of a relationship, and instead of taking a step back and examining the pros and cons, they jump into a relationship simply to feed that urge.
As a sex coach, I caution women to have more control of their sex. I’m a firm believer that women should be allowed to be sexual, have fun…but on their terms. Settling with a mate simply because you are horny, in my opinion, is a form of losing your power.
3) Your Circle
Take a long hard look at the people with whom you surround yourself. Are these people TRULY a representation of you? I’d advise you to do this for EVERY PART of your life. Are the people around you supportive? Are they positive? Are they looking up to you? Looking down on you?
I don’t know about you, but I refuse to be the biggest and baddest in my group. I surround myself with intellectuals that are just as hungry for success and abundance as me. We support one another. When the world (and possible suitors) sees us, they see our light in unison, but when one light dims it ruins the whole show. Is this your circle?
When you are on a journey towards your soul mate, you need people around you that will build you up and encourage your excellence. You need people around you who are making the right decisions in their lives to keep you motivated in your life.
I’ll take it a step further.
You don’t need to be surrounded by a bunch of catty, ratchet, messy women who do nothing but man bash, gossip, wreck homes, and complain about how fucked life is! PERIOD!! De-clutter your life from THAT shit! Positive things happen to positive people. Those types of “friends” are blessing blockers.
Some of us, I’m looking at myself, have what I like to call the “Wounded Bird” Disease. I think I can nurse anyone back to good moral health. LIES!!! I meet people where they are and make my decisions from there…after countless heartache, of course. Keeping someone in your circle because you want to heal them is very noble, but what’s the affect that it’s having on you and your progression? Think about it!
4) You Have NO STANDARDS or you DON’T STICK TO THEM
Ladies, I preach this to my individual clients DAILY. I always ask, “What are your standards?” I normally get these long, cute little drawn out answers that sound rehearsed and BORING.
Because it sounds good, and they don’t want me to think they are picky.
Honey, you need to be picky…VERY PICKY. You want a LIFE PARTNER, meaning someone to spend all of this life with….meaning everyday…Of. Your. Life. I’d say you have the right to be pretty flipping picky.
Make a list of your standards! What do you want your mate to be? I’m talking real shit. What does your mate like to do for fun? Where does your mate hang out? Think of your mate as you would your ideal client or your target audience.
Here’s my list:
A tall man, with big beautiful eyes, goatee or full beard, big hands, and a sex drive that matches mine. My man will share my understanding of WHAT A RELATIONSHIP IS and WHAT WE WANT OUR RELATIONSHIP TO BE. He is a single father who sees his children regularly and is very active in their lives. He will have a M-F job with Weekends and Holidays off, with a salary that begins at 50,000 a year OR he has benefits that compensate for the difference. My man will only drink socially and doesn’t smoke or use recreational drugs of any kind. My man loves PDA (Public displays of affection) and Spontaneous sex in very odd places. My man will have an appreciation of all music but share my love of jazz music. My man will know who he is and be willing to share himself with me without seeking to mold me into him. My man will love my son and allow me to love his children as my own as well. My man will love God and believe and love Christ. My man is strong, courageous, and funny as hell. My man will support me in all things. My man is humble. Most importantly, my man is a people person who is considerate of others and doesn’t discriminate against his fellow man.
Picky enough? Good.
Your ideal mate should BE EXACTLY who you want. Do you NOT deserve that? Now, here is the kicker. Try NOT to have a particular man in mind when you are developing your list. You will be starting at a disadvantage. Think for yourself FIRST and then determine if THAT gentleman meets your standards.
*Disclaimer….I’m not in the business of telling women WHAT to add to their lists, but I caution you to let SINGLE be within the first 2 sentences or rows.*
5) Your Appearance
Yes, ladies. NEWSFLASH: Your potential suitor needs to be physically attracted to you at some point! Your appearance is important.
Do you LOOK approachable? Do you look like the type of woman that YOUR POTENTIAL mate would want to be with?
VERY IMPORTANT….please read that again.
Do YOU look like the type of woman YOUR POTENTIAL MATE would want to be with? If you potential mate is active in the community and is a public figure type of guy, it would be in his best interest to pass up the 30 year old who still shops in the Teeny Bop-per Juniors Section of the local outlet mall. I’m just saying…
No. It’s not all about what you wear or how much makeup you are wearing. It’s also about how you are being perceived. Are you harsh? Do you make it your mission to criticize everyone around you for their decisions?
Cool beans, if you are.
I encourage you to know who you are and understand why you are that person. After self evaluation, if you are still comfy with yourself, then baby girl rock on, but don’t go looking for your ideal mate to be hanging out in the land of warm and fuzzies where critical people are the devil. Know your target audience, lovelies!
Good Shit, Ladies!!
I hope you were able to look within and see how some of these things may be keeping you from meeting your SOULMATE.
Is sex better than Midol?
Many women have cramps during their period that make them feel anything but sexy. We investigate the question: does orgasm relieve menstrual cramps?
But in order to answer that questions, we have the understand what causes cramps in the first place.
What Causes Menstrual Cramps?
Most of us know that our periods are the result of the uterine lining being shed. The lining is created in preparation for a fertalized egg to attach- if none appears, then the lining must be shed.
As the cells in the uterine lining start to break down, compounds called prostaglandins are released. These molecular compounds stimulate the uterine muscles to contract. As the muscles contract, they restrict the flow of blood to the lining - without the blood flow and the precious oxygen it carries, the cells starve and begin to die.
However, particularly vigorous contractions can lead to the uterus pressing against the nearby blood vessels that deliver blood to the uterus itself – the pain is caused when those muscles briefly lose their supply of oxygen. (It’s similar to when you get cramps in your side during a run - your muscles aren’t getting the oxygen they need.) Severe menstrual cramps are actually called primary dysmonorrhea.
Additional compounds promote inflammation of the uterus, which can also lead to constriction of blood flow to the uterus, and more pain.
As the uterus contracts, the lining is pushed through the cervix and out through the vagina. If a woman’s cervix is particularly small, the passing of larger clots may also cause pain.
So How Could Orgasm Relieve Menstrual Cramps?
As you might already know from our “30 Day Orgasm” challenge, orgasms have a lot of benefits:
Orgasms are natural pain-relievers: oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin levels surge during climax. This both significantly increases your pain tolerance, and acts as a pain-killer.
Those pain-killing endorphins don’t just disappear after orgasm - they stay in your system, dulling your pain response long after the fact.
Some sources also claim that the smooth muscle contraction of the uterus that occurs during orgasm expedites the shedding process - which means more prostaglandins are shed as well. Less prostaglandins means less contracting, which means less pain.
In fact one study found
that [women] with less dysmenorrhea had higher coital frequency and nearly twice the frequency of orgasm as that of [women] suffering severe pain
So there is clearly evidence to suggest that orgasm (not necessarily penetration) could potentially relieve the symptoms of menstrual cramps - unless the cramps are caused by something like endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease. If you have persistent and debilitating cramps, see your healthcare provider.
Aka Spring Cleaning Your Sex Toys
Sex toys are wonderful things. (In fact, here are 6 toys that we think are particularly wonderful.)
But they can also be very, very bad.
Toys that aren’t kept nice and clean can harbour all kinds of bacteria. That makes sense - they go into some pretty juicy, flora-filled places. By not paying attention to the hygiene of your toys, you or your partner could end up with a yeast infection, UTI, and STI… not so sexy. So, clean your sex toys!
But before you bust out the bleach, you should make sure you’re using the best cleaning method for your particular toy. (Which, by the way, is NOT bleach.)
If you use lube with your toys, be aware of what type of lube you use.
- Water-based lube (like this one): Can be used on any toy! Easy on, easy off. It doesn’t degrade toys, is totally body safe, and still keeps things slick.
- Silicone-based lube: this can be used on toys made of hard substances (like glass, marble, and hard plastic). DO NOT use on silicone or jelly based toys - the silicone molecules will want to join together, resulting in the lube and toy melting together like goo.
- Oil-based lubes: Do not use on toys. Getting oil off of the toy will require using harsh, alcohol-based substances that not only degrade the toy itself, they aren’t good for the body!
The material of your toy will determine the best way to clean it.
- Jelly: Since jelly is extremely porous, jelly toys can’t be totally disinfected. Wash with lukewarm water (not boiling water, which can sort of melt the jelly), and mild soap with no fragrance. We definitely recommend using a body-safe sex toy cleaner.
- Rubber/Latex: Lukewarm water and mild soap. Ensure you get the soap off, because soap will degrade the toy if left on for long periods.
- Cyberskin: Same as jelly toys.
- Silicone: Wash with mild soap and pat dry - these toys are easy keepers.
- Stainless Steel or Pyrex: if the toy doesn’t have batteries, you can throw it in the dishwasher (just make sure you don’t use dishwasher soap, since that’s usually pretty harsh. The hot water is good enough!) Honestly, any cleaning method works for these babies.
Maintain your toys in good condition.
Cracks, chips, and scratches in your toys can turn into prime habitat for harmful bacteria. Inspect them regularly to make sure sure there isn’t any damage.
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!)
1: 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.
2: 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.
3: 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.
4: 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.
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
I will be documenting my waist training journey for Free Your V. Click here to check out the other articles on corset waist training!
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.”
aka Now You’re Actually Going to Have Anal
You thought about it, you prepared for it (but you didn’t douche, right?!), and now it’s actually time. It’s actually time to put something (a penis, a toy, whatever) into your butt. Obviously you want to make sure this goes well, that it is actually pleasurable for both parties, and that no one is hurt.
The outer anal sphincter (the one you can control) is in a constant state of contraction, designed to keep the anal canal closed. That means that you need to be extremely relaxed and comfortable for those muscles to release. How do you relax? FOREPLAY. Kissing, stroking, petting, whatever gets you to your happy place. This is not a quick operation. Unless you’re relaxed, those muscles are going to want to stay nice and tight.
Your anus isn’t like your vagina: it isn’t designed to stretch and lubricate when you’re aroused. The specialized tissue that lines the anus and anal canal has no hairs, sweat glands, or oil glands, and it contains a larger number of sensory nerves than skin. So without lots of lube to make the area very wet, that tissue is very easily torn (and that will hurt much more than cutting your skin).
If you need more lube, more foreplay, or need to slow things down, SAY SO. This obviously applies to any kind of sexual interaction, but because this may be unfamiliar territory for one or both partners, and because the risk of injury is greater, communication is even more key here. Definitely discuss boundaries before hand. Maybe you even want a safe word!
Don’t Do it Doggy
When most people think of anal sex, they think of getting down on their hands and knees and thrusting their ass to the sky. Sure, that can work. But for the first time, that’s very overwhelming. You’re putting yourself in a very vulnerable position, which may make you nervous. And remember, nervous = tight anus = pain. Try a position where you have equal control of the depth and speed of penetration: spooning, or good ole missionary with your hips lifted (by a pillow, for example.)
Vaginal flora is very particular (which is why we don’t douche, remember?). Introducing things from the anal canal to the vagina is likely to lead to infections. Bacteria that is perfectly healthy in the anal canal is not meant to be in the vagina. So once you’ve put something in your butt (toy, penis, fingers, whatever), avoid putting it in your vagina.
Have fun. If you’re not having fun, or it hurts, or you decide you are uncomfortable halfway through, stop. This should be a pleasurable and exciting experience for both parties. If it isn’t, don’t do it.
Sex and motherhood is totally possible: you can be a sexy woman AND a Mom!
No one ever tells you the truth about what it’s like to be a mother. You hear all the ooey gooey love and butterflies stuff, but people tend to leave out the less than favorable things when talking about motherhood. Maybe they forget. Maybe it’s selective amnesia. Yea. That’s what I’ll say.
When I became a mother, I was given so much unsolicited advice that I could have thrown up the entire first 5 chapters of WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU ARE EXPECTING. Everyone had a tip to share or an experience to give or an opinion to shove down my throat. Trust me, it got old fairly quickly. However, with me being a first time mother, I felt inclined to listen. Most information was helpful. Some…well… not so much.
For example, my baby was VERY colicky. I was told by SEVERAL older in-laws to “smoke” my baby. I can just feel the look of confusion when you read that. Yes! I was told, on several occasions, to “smoke” my infant son by inhaling cigar smoke and blowing the smoke on his back. Yea, no thanks crazy Uncle Edgar. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed, confused, stressed out and just down right tired.
After a few months, I began to get a routine and a sense of normalcy in my new found title of “mommy”. I worked day in and day out ensuring that my baby was healthy, feed, and happy. My home was spotless. My THEN husband was well feed. I was a regular little Suburban Suzy, living the American dream. There was only one little thing.
I was ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE.
A perfectly roasted chicken does not define you!
In the mist of all the mothering and wife-ing, I completely lost myself. With every passing day and every perfectly roasted chicken and perfectly laundered cloth diaper, I died slowly inside. I was a shadow of my former self. I forgot how to be a woman. I let my love for my son, my maternal obligations, and my new found love of sweatpants overtake my responsibilities to myself.
I neglected myself. I was always tired. I was never horny. No, that’s a lie. I was always horny, but too engulfed in mommy mode to feed my needs. Sure, I had that Mommy glow. I was in absolute LOVE with my baby boy. I shined as a new mommy. I had a solution for every problem and a binky for every cry. I was a well oiled maternal machine, but that machine was headed for a major breakdown. I was one lost binky away from being on an episode of SNAPPED.
You see, everyone was giving me great information on how to be a mom, but no one was giving me the one thing I truly needed, a guide back to me!
I was so wrapped up in my son and my new title as mom, alongside my THEN title of WIFE, that I totally lost who I was as a woman. Bridgetta no longer existed. I was Brady’s wife or Braylon’s mom. I was invisible. I was existing in a world built around me. No one was giving me any advice on how to maintain my sexy or how to maintain a healthy balance. I was either MOM or BAD MOM. Everyone was so concerned with helping me be a knowledgeable cookie cutter mother, but no one was advising me on how to be a WOMAN with a baby. Did you catch that? I wanted to be a WOMAN with a baby, not just a Mom.
So, what did I do? I started talking. I started asking other moms about their interests OUTSIDE of parenting.
I got crickets.
It was as though I was asking about the damn Illuminati or something. I got the feeling that the world would only see me as one of two things: Mom or Bad Mom . “Mom” did not have FUN written in the job description. Sure. I’m a KICKASS mother with an absolutely beautifully active ball of pure 3 year old unfiltered fire who drives me absolutely crazy…in love, of course. BUT, I am a WOMAN, damn it. I feel like I should ROAR now, huh?
I love to drink, watch reality tv, gossip with my friends about my other friends, watch porn, have hot sex in completely inappropriate places, listen to jazz music until I fall asleep and dream about Ryan Gosling and Shemar Moore playing Eiffel Tower with me on a desert island somewhere far far away…….sighs…oh Shemar how I LOVE THEE!! Anyhooo…Yea…That’s me!! That’s who I am and what I love. Why the hell should I have to apologize or feel guilty because of it.
I dusted my shoulders off, adjusted my boss hat, and remembered WHO THE HELL I WAS. I started living. My son was NEVER a burden. I never saw him as such. Honestly, half of the time, he was my tag along. I traveled, I interacted with other likeminded moms who were sick and tired of being basic! We had our own little MOMMY POSSE. We had book clubs and crochet clubs complete with books and crochet hooks that looked and tasted an awful lot like wine. Hmmmm….good times, good times.
Just because I brought a life into the world didn’t mean that my world had to end. I made that decision to love and nurture me and you know what, I’m a much better mother for it. Here are some tips on how to be a sexy woman and mother:
#1 REMEMBER YOU
Don’t lose sight of what makes you a healthy happy sexy force to be reckoned with. Stand firm in your Light and refuse to dim your bulb. Don’t get lost in a title.
#2 GET OUT OF THOSE DAMN SWEATPANTS
I can’t speak for everyone but I just feel so much better when I look like I’m headed to meet Channing Tatum for dinner and dancing. I don’t give a hot damn if you are only going to the mailbox, go put on your sexy. Your sexy is anything that you feel fierce in! It can even be as simply as your favorite red lipstick. When you look good, you feel good! GO GET YOUR SEXY, GIRL!!
#3. MAKE TIME
No excuse, ladies. We make time for everyone else, including our children. Do the same for yourself. My little hellion has NO CHILL. On his really “active” days, he runs circles around me and will stay awake until about 10pm ; however, no matter how late we stay up, I have committed to writing in my journal, and listening to my jazz music at night to wind down. It’s my ritual. I just do it! No matter how late it is. I do it FOR ME. It make me feel good and helps me shed my entire day and frustrations.
#4. USE YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEMS
I must admit. This is one I struggle with, even now. Ladies, seek the help of trusted family and friends. There is NO SHAME is saying that you need a break. Give yourself some “me” time. Call up those grandparents, co parents, god-parents, babysitters, church folk, and friends. You need a mental break. In my case, I live quite a distance from family and have only a few friends in my area; however, I am a people person. I’ve made such beautiful and lasting friendships simply out of putting myself out of my comfort zone. My Mommy Pose’ is actually composed of a few ladies in my city that frequented the same park as me
#5. HAVE ORGASMS
Hey, I’m a sex coach; you had to know this was coming at some point. Seriously, I recommend having as many as possible. Start with committing to having at least one a day. Watch how much liveliness you will welcome into your world with this one task. Ever notice how aware you are after an orgasm? You feel everything inside of your ecstasy. That’s no accident, honey. You feel alive and present during an orgasm. That same feeling of euphoria can be transferred into other areas of your life allowing you be think clearly and honestly be more attractive both physically and emotionally. It’s an art, really.
Quick Sex Tip from the Queen of Kink…that’s me by the way…Orgasms are HEALTHY for you. Natural Sleep aids, natural pain relievers, natural anti-anxiety, and just plain good!
Remember, it’s NEVER selfish to love and nurture yourself. The greatest lovers are those who love themselves first!
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
In the spirit of Friday the 13th, we thought we’d share 3 of the weirdest sex superstitions out there.
Stormy weather ahead
According to one apparently Korean superstition, babies who are conceived during stormy weather will have stormy, problematic lives - so the idea is, don’t have sex during a storm.
However, it appears many North Americans do not share this superstition, since “storm babies” are a common joke in labour and delivery departments.
Interestingly, in a paper entitled “The Fertility Effect of Catastrophe: U.S. Hurricane Births” from 2007, it was determined that
…low-severity storm advisories are associated with a positive and significant fertility effect and that high-severity advisories have a significant negative fertility effect. […] most of the changes in fertility resulting from storm advisories come from couples who have had at least one child already.
So maybe it’s alright to have sex in a “minor” storm, but not a big scary one.
No sex, period.
If women aren’t consciously monitoring their sexual arousal, they may actually feel more aroused during the later days of menstruation, according to one study. Those women will just have to suck it up then, because apparently, those who have sex with a menstruating woman will either a) lose all their hair or b) become infertile.
(Some brave souls have suggested that this superstition came about because ancient women became particularly enraged during certain points of their menstrual cycle, and might therefore have been prone to ripping out their partners hair or cutting off their genitals. But this is pure heresay, and comes dangerously close to stereotyping, so we call bullshit.)
Big mouth, big “lips”
We’ve all heard the superstition that men with big feet often have big …shoes (which is really just a euphemism for penis, right?). What about women: are there any telltale signs of genital size or condition? According to the Encyclopedia of Superstitions, women with big mouths have big lips… vaginal lips, that is (see what we did there?). Now, it isn’t clear if “mouth” is meant in a literal or figurative sense - are they implying that loud women have big labias? Or that woman with pout’s like Angelina have big labias?
I guess we’ll never know.
Although these superstitions are far more interesting than black cats and broken mirrors, they are all just that: superstitions.
So feel free to have all kinds of stormy period sex.
The last thing you’re probably thinking of during “the act” is whether or not your lube or sex toys are eco-friendly and body-safe, however that is a question you should definitely ask yourself and here’s why:
Here’s the thing about lube…
Parabens, petrochemicals, DEA, Glycerin, methylisothiazolinone and fragrance (yes, fragrance) are commonly found in lube. If feeding your “V”s mucous membrane a chemical soup was a good idea, you’d be reading about that instead of this article. Many of these ingredients are linked to cancer, hormone balance disruption and skin irritations among other things. One particular study has even found parabens in biopsies of breast cancer tumors.
Now we’re not telling you to throw away everything you own, but maybe take a look and see for yourself. You’ll find that many sensual products on the market today contain ingredients that are not benign.
Two of the most liberally used ingredients in lubes today are glycerine and petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly is also known as mineral oil, liquidum paraffinum and petrolatum. Not very eco-sexy - not only because it’s derived from petrol but also because it stops the vagina’s ability to clean itself. You see, we are cleverly designed and feature a self-cleaning mode you may have not known anything about.
A petroleum-based product will take anywhere from three to five days to be properly flushed out on its own. Meanwhile, all kinds of things could be growing in there! As for glycerine, it is more commonly known that it may lead to yeast infections in women, especially if you are prone to them. So if you’re wondering what’s up? Well, maybe this is it! This may also cause damage to mucous membranes in the long run.
Finding eco-friendly sex toys and lubes isn’t that hard when you know what to look for. I’d recommend a product like Sliquid - H2O Lube. This lube is a paraben-free, glycerin-free, gentle water-based lubricant. Unlike most other personal lubricants out there, it has no sugar derivatives and is thickened with plant cellulose. It is safe for all sexual activity, is condom, toy friendly and will never cause yeast infections and UTIs. Sliquid H20 is 100% vegan, is unflavoured, unscented, non-staining and easy to cleanup.
Not everyone loves Valentine’s Day. In fact, a lot of people hate it. That’s fine. If you’re one of those people, pretend this post is called “5 Realistic Gifts to Buy Yourself/Your Partner On Any Day You Like”.
Honestly, we just wanted an excuse to browse the internet for sexy products. This post justifies all the afore-mentioned browsing.
We decided on these gifts using 3 very scientific criteria:
- Would we want it? (For ourselves, our partners, or both!)
- Is it easy to send? (No giant sex swings…Those don’t fit in the mail really well.)
- Do I have to re-mortgage my house to purchase it? (The answer should be no.)
So, without further ado, we present 5 realistic Valentine’s Day gifts you might actually buy.
- Naked Fragrance Free Massage Oil
What Is it?: Vegan friendly, paraben free, unscented massage oil made with certified organic ingredients.
Why We Love It: If you have sensitive skin, massage oil can cause a reaction. Not this stuff!
Even Better!: Currently 35% off (only $14.99) at Pink Cherry!
- Pride and Promiscuity: The Lost Sex Scenes of Jane Austen by Arielle Eckstut
What Is It?: A short collection of deliciously funny erotic stories about Jane and Darcy, Emma, and Mr Collins and Charlotte.
Why We Love It: It’s fun and different and wickedly smart, and yes – sexy.
Even Better: Only $12.99 USD at Coco de Mer !
- Silky Sash Restraints
What Is It?: Silky ties perfect for tieing up or being tied.
Why We Love It: These soft ties make bondage play accessible to anyone! There is nothing harsh about them, so the ties are easy to use if you’ve never done this kind of thing before.
Even Better!: The ties are current 40% off at Pink Cherry!
- Love and Pride Jewelry
What Is It?: JEWELRY! … but that’s a cop out, so we picked 2 actual pieces-a gorgeous Pink Titanium Ring with Pink Sapphire, and a linked diamond pendant.
Why We Love It: Because it isn’t just jewelry. Love and Pride stands for equality, diversity, and tolerance – and they stand behind that message: a portion of all proceeds from Love and Pride is donated to non-profit organizations that support full equality and civil rights for our community (like gay marriage!). It really is statement jewelry, in the best possible meaning of the word.
Even Better!: Free Your V Readers get 20% off the Valentines Collection
- “After Fun” Cooling Lotion from Coco de Mer
What Is it?: A lotion that contains menthol and aloe and other wonderful ingredients to soothe a red bottom.
Why We Love It: Because sometimes your ass needs a little love after a little too much… er… love.
Even Better!: Currently 70% off!
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
- 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.)
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
aka So, you want to try anal sex.
That’s great. Toys, fingers, penises… all can result in wonderful feelings and much satisfaction when placed correctly (or not, that’s fine too. No one says you have to like it, or even want to try it. But, you’re here, so you probably do.)
We’ll just state the obvious, here. Everybody shits. Despite the many products out there to mask the evidence of said bodily functions – the most hilarious of which being Poo-Pourri – it doesn’t change the truth. You obviously already know this.
But there is no shame in wanting to stay as far away from the accidental shit-under-someone’s-fingernails dream that leaves you in a cold sweat. Every advice column ever will tell you that you need to relax to enjoy anal of any kind, so clenching your ass in fear of fecal matter ending up on your butt plug will ensure the experience is less than enjoyable.
So, what’s the solution? How do you prepare for anal sex so you aren’t busy worrying about poop?
DO. NOT. DOUCHE.
“But it’s only water!”
Don’t do it. Even using “only” water carries too many risks to make it worth it. Your rectum has a mucous lining that is CRUCIAL in maintaining bowel health, and douching, can wreck that lining and open the door for infection. Not to mention the potential for tearing – yeah, just think about that for a while.
We know that lots of people swear by douching, but we honestly can’t, in good faith, tell you to do it. (And likely, neither will your health professional)
So how do you “prepare” for anal sex? You wash your butthole with a warm washcloth.
That’s it, that’s all. Use a mild, unscented soap in the shower if you want, but you really don’t need to do much more than that.
If you have a healthy bowel, your rectum empties totally every time you poo. Feces doesn’t enter your rectum until it is about to be expelled, so unless you hold it in for too long, or aren’t getting enough fiber, there shouldn’t be much left in there after you poop.
Ok, so you bused out the washcloth and feel fresh as a cucumber.
Now on on to part 2 - having anal sex!
So, you prefer to remove all (or some) of your pubic hair – your body, your choice. AWESOME. And we hear you: you love feeling smooth. Makes sense. So you shave or wax or sugar your pubic hair away for a soft-as-a-baby’s-butt vulva. Then… disaster strikes.
A painful red bump, marring the smooth expanse of your freshly hair-free genitals.
The audacity, honestly…
What exactly causes an ingrown hair? It’s literally the hair growing back or sideways into the skin into the skin. Sometimes the hair follicle gets infected and you get those angry red “razor burn” type bumps.
Here’s a really gross picture of some ingrown hairs. BOOM.
How do you prevent ingrown hair?
There really is no way to totally prevent them unless you just don’t remove any hair. But since we’ve already established that you prefer to remove hair, that point is moot.
So what we try to accomplish instead, is to do everything possible to ensure the hair doesn’t start going back into the skin:
- Exfoliate (gently!) after hair removal: this ensures that there are no dead skin cells blocking the hair follicle. If it’s blocked, it grows in the only available direction: down, or sideways. But don’t use a loofah (too much bacteria): use a gel based cleanser with some abrasion.
- Salicylic acid: Usually used in acne products, there are some toners that contain this – use a few days after hair removal (not right after, or you’ll feel the burn). This is basically chemical exfoliation.
- Keep it clean: if you wipe down the bikini area with a clean washcloth after using sunscreen, or sweating a lot, it’ll help prevent stuff from blocking the follicle. (Normally we fully advocate for being dirty but… just don’t, in this case.)
- Shave properly: use shaving cream and go IN THE DIRECTION OF HAIR GROWTH. Avoid applying too much pressure to your razor – applying too much pressure may cut the hair shorter than the outer dermis layer, making it easier for it to grow sideways
So you didn’t listen to our fantastic advice and you now have an ingrown hair… what now?
Get it out.
Not the entire hair, just the end that’s stuck.
- Apply a warm washcloth to the area for a few minutes -DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. (Caps locks means we’re serious.)
- Bust out the tweezers and try and dislodge the stuck end – don’t use your grubby fingers or you’ll make it worse.
So, now you know.