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


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