Raising Awareness of Ontario’s Growing Gender Wage Gap Through Equal Pay Day 2016
April 19th, 2016 marks a day we’d rather not celebrate; it’s Equal Pay Day in Ontario.
Equal Pay Day is the day of the year when women in Ontario have worked enough to earn what men earned by the end of 2015. In other words, at a 31.5% gender pay gap, women have to work for 15.5 months to equal what men make in 12 (that’s an additional 3.5 months). The gender pay gap is even greater for women who are racialized, Indigenous, immigrants or temporary migrants, disabled, or LGBTQ.
Equal Pay Day in Canada
Across Canada, six provinces–Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, and Quebec–have enacted specific pay equity legislation while Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and British Columbia have developed policy frameworks for negotiating pay equity. All provinces and Territories across Canada have human rights legislation which prohibits discrimination in employment. Federally, Canada’s first pay equity legislation was enacted in the federal jurisdiction in 1977 under section 11 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA). In 2004, a federal Task Force released a report with key recommendations including a new stand-alone equal pay legislation, but no such law has been developed.
Meanwhile, in Ontario…
In Ontario, the gender wage gap in 2011 (the most recent year of available data) was 31.5% and up from 28% in 2010. That means women made 68.5 cents to every dollar a man made in 2011, down from 72 cents in 2010. For that same period, men’s average annual earnings in Ontario rose by $200, while women’s average annual earnings decreased by $1,400. The wage gap is highest for women ages 35-44 (38.5%), while women who are racialized, first generation immigrants, or aboriginal fair worse than their male counterparts (24%, 27%, and 40% fewer earnings respectively). Taken over a lifetime, this means that women must work an extra 14 years and retire at 79 to retire with the same income as would a man at the standard retirement age of 65!
Wearing Red, and Other Awareness-raising Activities
In April 2014, the Ontario government agreed to hold Equal Pay Day on an annual basis to draw attention to the gender wage gap crisis in Ontario. Since 2013, Equal Pay Day has come exceedingly later, from April 9th, to the 16th in 2014, and now the 19th this year. There are many Equal Pay Day activities happening across Ontario and online. Supporters are encouraged to wear red to demonstrate that discriminatory pay gaps keep women “in the red,” and to share the hashtag #EPD2016 on social media.
In Ottawa, supporters will be gathering at the corner of Albert and Metcalfe Streets at 4:30pm - 5:30pm to hand out stickers and buttons. Further details about Equal Pay Day and the gender wage gap in Ontario can be found at http://equalpaycoalition.org/
Sexy Christmas Gift Guide
Christmas might not be the best time to give a partner a big ole dildo - especially when gifts are opened in front of the family - but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck giving gift cards and hand knitted sweaters. There is a way to be subtlety sexy with your gifts. We’ve rounded up the best sexy Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers that are the gift giving equivalent of a wink and a raised eyebrow. Feel free to conveniently leave this page open for your lover to find.
It looks like a candle, but it is so, so much more. No one will raise an eyebrow at a simple little candle, unless they happen to turn it over and read the suggestive name - our favourite is “Vanilla Fetish” by Shunga ($21.99). It burns nice and slow, giving you lots of time to get in the mood. And as the candle burns, not only does it waft a deliciously lush vanilla scent onto the air, it also melts into yummy, silky massage oil.
Screaming O “My Secret Vibrating Mascara”
Mascara is a staple in most women’s make up case. So buying a woman mascara would not arouse (ha!) any suspicion…but this little vibe will certainly arouse something. The little silicone tip seeks out all the right places, and packs a big punch for its size. Perfect to toss in a purse “just in case”! And at only $14.99, it’s a win-win.
Click here to purchase.
Body Spa Vibrating Mesh Sponge
It looks just like an average loofah. And it could be - at least according to any prying eyes. Even the packaging is deceivingly generic. But hidden inside the fluffy mesh folds is a little pouch that perfectly fits the included bullet vibe ($19.95). The mesh adds an interesting textual element to a standard favourite: the shower orgasm.
Click here to purchase.
A robe is the perfect way to gift your lover “lingerie” without the embarrassment factor. Silk is undeniably sexy - not only does it drape the body seductively, it also feel fantastic against the skin. Match the style to the receiver - lace details or florals for a girly girl, darker colours for a more masculine touch, or an animal print pattern for the wild child. Check out Nordstrom’s for cute colorus and patterns.
Sex Toy Jewelry
This looks like a gorgeous pendant… and it is! But it also double as a clit vibe. The vibration is intense along the tip, and just enough to tease along the length. Wearing your sex toy might seem strange, but it is oddly titillating (pun intended). It even comes in a 24k gold option, for extra luxury ($69-149). Purchase through Babeland to get the real deal.
What Are Ben Wa Balls?
If you’ve read 50 Shades of Grey, or ventured into an adult store, you might have encountered “Ben Wa Balls”. (Or maybe you haven’t and you’re wondering what in God’s name they are…)
Essentially, they are small balls meant to be inserted into the vagina (NOT the butt!!) They often contain weights to encourage the balls to roll around within the vagina, increasing stimulation. They are more of a “slow burn” toy, meant to gradually build pleasurable sensations.
Although some women report reaching orgasm through the balls alone, most women enjoy them as a teasing foreplay method - the balls can be left in for an extended amount of time, held in place by your pelvic floor muscles. In fact, some women routinely wear Ben Wa balls to strengthen their PF muscles.
Like other sex toys, Ben Wa balls can be made of a variety of materials including glass, medical grade silicone, and metal. Some varieties are attached by a tether, with a string that remains outside the vagina to make retrieval easier, while others remain loose. The type of material may influence the difficulty of keeping the balls in place - stainless steel or glass balls will require more muscle strength to keep in place, while silicone balls are easier to “grip”.
How Do You Use Ben Wa Balls?
Because the balls are held in place by your pelvic floor muscles, we recommend starting with smaller sized balls.
Before inserting them, lightly coat the balls with your favourite body-safe lube (we reccommend this). Too much lube may make it difficult to keep the balls inside you - yes, they can slip out. Lie horizontally on a comfortable surface, and grib the balls between your thumb and forefinger. Press against the vaginal opening until the balls “pop” into place. You may want to experiment with the depth of insertion.
Although certain novels (*ahem* 50 Shades) may imply that you can immediately wear the balls in public, we suggest wearing them around the house before venturing outside. Because they are held in place by your muscles, if you aren’t used to constantly using those muscles, the balls may slide down. Wear them for as long as you like! Wear them while you partner stimulates your clit, or just sit in a rocking chair for a bit (yeah…. it’s much better than it sounds.)
Just like tampons, the balls cannot get lost in your vaginal canal. To remove tethered balls, simply tug gently on the removal string. If you use un-tethered balls, insert your thumb and forefinger into your vagina and grasp each ball. If that proves difficult, try lying or squatting and bearing down on your diaphragm.
Make sure you clean them well before and after each use - the cleaning method depends on the material (check out our article on how to clean your sex toys for more info).
The “Luna” beads set from Lelo is perfect for beginners - it comes with 2 sizes, allowing for gradual advancement in strength.
“Luna Beads” from Lelo
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.
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!
Introducing Free Your V’s latest guest poster: Sassy Muffin!
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.
At 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:
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.
AKA ‘Vagina Farts’ & Why They Happen
You’re in the heat of the moment, legs in the air, writhing around in pleasure when the unthinkable happens: you fart. Except… it doesn’t come from your butt. It comes from your VAGINA.
What the hell was that?!
That, my friend, was a queef.
According to Dr. Jen Gunter, OB/GYN, there are only 2 reasons air would be expelled from the vagina:
1. The air that is normally in the vagina is pushed out (because of a cough, or because another object is inserted into the space and the air has to “make room”).
2. There is a “fistula”, or a connection between the bowels and the vagina that allows actual gas from the bowels to move into the vagina.
Reason #1 is absolutely nothing to worry about. In many women, air is normally in the vagina. The vaginal canal isn’t a smooth tube, it has wrinkles and folds, so there are lots of pockets for air to become trapped. And what goes in, must comes out!
Reason #2 is a serious condition. So if you notice you emit air from your vagina with an audible noise on a very frequent basis, you may want to go to your doctor to rule out a fistula. A fistula can be caused from sexual violence, inflammatory bowel disease, previous surgery, some types of bowel infection, or even childbirth.
Unless there is a fiscula, the air that is expelled is just that: air. It is not “gas” in the technical sense, since it hasn’t been expelled from bacteria, and it isn’t the result of a chemical reaction to break down waste (like the “gas” from fecal matter). It is just plain, non-smelly air.
In other words, there is NO reason to be embarrassed about queefing.
Nor are there any solid, scientifically-backed studies that suggest ways of preventing queefing. Doing Kegel exercises to improve your pelvic floor muscles likely won’t hurt you, but it also won’t stop you from queefing (despite what some people may claim).
So, queef away. Pay no attention to the harmless air being forced out of you, and continue to get your sexy on!
What is Body Painting?
First of all, body paint is art.
It is sensual creativity expressed on a naked body: the focus is on the art, the paint, not the naked body beneath it.
In fact, the goal of body painting is either:
- not to be aware that what you are seeing is painted on (a corset, shorts, etc.) OR
- to be very aware that what you are seeing is painted on (a blue alien, a mermaid, etc.).
Either way, the focus is not on nudity, but on the incredible illusive power of paint.
At events and shows, models typically wear nipple pasties, which must be applied when the nipple is hard, or they might fall off at an inopportune moment. To provide an additional layer of coverage, flat colour is not used on the nipple area: instead, layered colours and patterns are applied, so the nipple is entirely invisible. The pubic area is also typically covered with underwear, although the amount of underwear coverage on the butt varies from model to model.
Companies like The Wild Rooster and A Little Bit of Bling do body painting for all kinds of occasions:
- bachelorette parties
- boudoir photography
- model portfolios
- maternity photos
- special events (like Sexapalooza)
They have even painted models with company logos, and special black light paint that can up the ante of a regular club night.
The sky is the limit to what can be painted. Everything from abstract geometric shapes, to realistic booty shorts and corsets, to creatures from the world of fantasy.
What Does Body Painting Have to do With Body Image?
Although models are mostly nude, the paint offers a shield. One model explains:
“As soon as the paint goes on, you stop feeling so self-conscious about standing there naked. Even though people stare at you, which normally would probably make you really uncomfortable or self-conscious… you know they are looking at the paint, not at you. They don’t really care what your body looks like underneath the paint, they are just super impressed that they thought that really beautiful corset you’re wearing was real. It kind of makes you realize that all those flaws on your body you thought were really noticeable, aren’t really that noticeable.”
The artists use shadows and colour to emphasize parts of the body that their clients love, and to diminish parts that they don’t. Brilliant colours make different sized breasts look symmetrical, shadows and contouring give the illusion of curve where there is bone, and patterns hide scars from a difficult cancer treatment.
It is empowering.
The owner of A Little Bit of Bling herself got painted after having her third child. Her body had been through the trials and tribulations of birthing three children, and she felt little love for her appearance. Yet somehow, after the paint went on, she felt transformed. The looks she drew were ‘of admiration for a living canvas, not disgust for an imperfect body’.
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When painted, the body is on display, but not the focus. The body becomes the medium, the canvas, on which the art is created. It is beautiful, and it is hard to feel self conscious in the presence of such beauty.
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.
There is no doubt that 50 Shades of Grey is an international phenomenon. The books, and now the movie, has brought BDSM into the bedrooms of many more people than ever before, but how can you act out these fantasies? We have been exploring the safety surrounding this topic with our BDSM 101 series with Ms Morgan Thorne, but we thought that you could use a little inspiration. We scoured Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram before we came across this sexy photography series from a team in Ottawa, Canada; how could we not share it with you?
Presenting 50 Shades of Mr. Charette:
The Team Behind The Images:
I discovered my passion for photography thanks to my father; I admire his work enormously. I decided to explore the dimension photographer in January 2015 when I went on a trip to cuba and voila! I became an avid photographer! Also, I discovered my dimension as a model during the last 4 years. I love organizing photoshoots; I am very artistic and always full of ideas. Photography, for me, is passion!
Model and Photographer
I have been a photographer since 2007; I specialize in event and sport photography. Occasionally I model, but I prefer to be behind the camera!
The joy of photography it allows me to express myself—my opinions and beliefs. “Everything has its beauty, everybody has its secret, everyone has its littlThe joy of photography it allows me to express myself—my opinions and beliefs. “Everything has its beauty, everybody has its secret, everyone has its little miracle to reveal. I’m always trying to capture that.” from the present momente miracle to reveal. I’m always trying to capture that.” from the present moment
Freezing the present moment in the form of photography is a real pleasure for me. I have been taking pictures for two years and for me; this is a real passion of mine.
Me a visual art That leaves the bodies Expression about a thousand and one being white as an artistic person I always loved the photo and picture The picture is payable on all forms . Me servant of my visual asset I get a FIND DIFFERENT angles For Models That Which Adds new opportunities for photos.
Orgasms are fantastic.
We could just leave it at that, but you already know that. Let’s go a little deeper; there are some pretty convincing studies out there about the health benefits of orgasms
Orgasms help calm you down, which can lead to better sleep. Climax is followed by the release of certain endorphins that help you to relax.
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. Certain types of headaches seem to be reduced after orgasm, and this is likely why.
Orgasm can help prevent cervical infection and UTIs: during orgasm, the cervix “tents” open - this pulls the mucous lining within the cervix into the vagina. This essentially flushes out the old lining and gets rid of anything trapped in the mucous that shouldn’t be there.
This classic study found the following:
…masturbators had significantly more orgasms, greater sexual desire, higher self-esteem, and greater marital and sexual satisfaction, and required less time to sexual arousal
Who doesn’t want to be calmer, better rested, in less pain, with a healthier cervix and more self esteem?
With those benefits in mind, we are creating:
THE 30 DAY ORGASM CHALLENGE.
- You must orgasm every day, at least once, for 30 days.
That’s it. We honestly don’t care how or where, just that you orgasm at least once a day; It can be a quick thirty second jaunt with a vibrator, or an hour long love fest with your partner. We would love if you kept track of your orgasms: how you felt before, during, and after, how you were brought to orgasm, any other effects you notice during the 30 days.
For those who struggle with climaxing, we will totally accept any kind of sexual pleasure - whether self-love or with a partner - as part of the challenge.
Sometimes it feels like sex (solo or not) takes a back seat to the rest of life. There is hardly enough time in the day to breathe, never mind get aroused (that takes work), and orgasm. But that’s an important part of embracing your sexuality: realizing that you deserve to orgasm. It isn’t just something to do when you have a spare moment.
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!
aka Why We Need to Use the Word Vagina.
Vajayjay. Vadge. Hoo-ha. Cooter.
Sorry…I don’t speak the language of embarrassment. You are referring to female genitalia, correct? More specifically, you are speaking of the
There. Glad that’s over with.
Guess what? It isn’t a dirty word. Why can Grey’s Anatomy use the word penis 17 times in 1 episode, but when script writers wanted to use the word vagina, network exes did this:
What did they do instead? They used the word “vajayjay”. That’s right, the original script said “vagina” (because the character is a freaking MEDICAL DOCTOR), but it was changed to a word that doesn’t exist to avoid saying the word vagina.
I guess I can understand the confusion, since “vagina” technically means the canal that runs from the uterus to outside the body, so if you want to be clinically accurate when you describe the outwardly visible female genitalia, feel free to say
Whatever word you chose, just use an actual word. (For the record, despite Oprah Winfrey’s usage of it - vajayjay is not a real word.) For some reason, there is still a great amount of hesitation to use the word vagina (or vulva, for that matter). When we try and “cute-ify” the word, we are implying that there is something gross/dirty/shameful about what we are talking about that needs to be hidden behind a giggle-inducing gibberish word.
Even a tampon company was told they couldn’t use the word vagina. A tampon company. Let’s think on that one for a moment.
The vagina is LITERALLY where a tampon goes.
I know where I came from – I came from a vagina. Where did you come from? Wait, wait, I know this one:
That’s right, there is an actual word for it. This isn’t a new word. What words do we use instead?
Vajayjay: Right up there with “pee pee” for level of juvenile
Vadge: Adding the “D” is necessary for correct pronunciation. (“Adding the “D”… yeah. I’ll just leave that right there.)
Hoo-ha: It isn’t a donkey.
Snatch: This word was created by an inexperienced individual who mistakenly thought that the vagina had teeth and would “snatch” their penis/finger/dildo away. Let’s not mock their fear any further by continuing to use this word.
Pussy: aka Porn’s Favourite Word.
Why do we care what people call it?
For one thing, using the proper terms for female genitalia facilitates communication, which facilitates knowledge. In this study, 78% of women surveyed said that the “vagina taboo” contributes to women’s ignorance. We shouldn’t be ignorant about our own bodies. But it’s hard to get solid, real information when your search terms or opening dialogue includes the word vajayjay.
We’re all intelligent women here, so can we just agree to not beat around the bush (pun intended) and call our genitalia by a real word?
VAGINA.Or vulva. Or clitoris.Whatever floats your boat.