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While long distance love may make for lonely nights and the need to keep a few extra batteries on hand in the nightstand, living and loving from a distance is a common arrangement in the modern, globalized world. As more people connect through online dating, new relationships are often separated by hundreds of miles from the onset. And though the distance may prove challenging at times, smart couples are taking advantage of all that long-distance love has to offer.

On the plus side, absence not only has the potential to make the heart grow stronger, but it can also make the libido soar. While intimacy may be cultivated through comfort and closeness, raw sexual desire is often fueled by unpredictability, risk and the unknown. So sex in long distance relationships can be very hot — as long as you don’t let a little space get in the way.

Phone sex, Skype sex (hooray for webcams) and sexting are not only the perfect foreplay to let the tension build until your next in-person tryst, but these forms of safer sex can be more than satisfying on their own. Once you get pass the awkwardness of learning the lingo of a little dirty talk, phone sex provides the perfect opportunity to let down your guard, forget about any body image issues and allow your imagination run wild. If you’re uncomfortable with full-on phone sex at first, you can start with some sexy phone flirting and work your way up to mutual masturbation and over-the-airwaves orgasms.

Sexting also provides a titillating prelude to later in-person or on-camera hook ups. To protect yourself when sexting or emailing sexy pics, never include your face in any photographs and bear in mind that there is always a risk of unintended exposure when you send anything electronically. Close-ups of body parts can make for hot messages while ensuring enough distortion to protect your identity. And be sure to double-check the sender’s phone number before hitting send, because once you do, there is no going back. Aunt Enid definitely doesn’t want to see a close-up of those.

Do bear in mind that anything you send via email, text or other social media network will be eternally published in the online world, so there is always risk in electronic flirting. One of my clients who is an avid sexter taught me this trick: add a temporary tattoo to your body when you take close-up pictures. If anyone were to come across the photos, no one will suspect you since your tattoos don’t match!

Since meaningful relationships are about more than just sex, open communication, honesty, trust and emotional check-ins can also help your love to continue to grow from a distance. And while planning for a future in which you’ll likely live in closer proximity is exciting and relevant, try to spend some of your time enjoying the present and embracing the unique exhilaration of longing for your love.

Until next time, have fun, experiment and always practice safer sex.

Dr. Jess (Jessica O’Reilly) is a sought-after sexologist with a PhD in human sexuality. She maintains a private practice in Toronto and travels the world to teach workshops that promote healthy and deliciously pleasurable sex. From hosting a reality show on PlayboyTV to coordinating retreats in the sunny Caribbean, she relishes in every moment!

By Samantha Fayman

Whenever you want to add a little glam or drama to your look there is no better way than a set of falsies – they widen and enlarge the appearance of the eye and create a focal point for your face.  The challenge with false lashes is applying them.  Most people just aren’t comfortable doing that on themselves.  And don’t fret; this is a challenge even for professionals!   As a professional makeup artist applying false lashes on myself is the thing I dislike most about doing my makeup.  But like the old saying goes, practice makes perfect.  So don’t be afraid to experiment and have some fun.

Lash & Glue Product Talk:

Truly you do not need to spend a small fortune. There are several brands of lashes available in the drug stores that you can get that are inexpensive and great for practicing and trial runs, however I personally do have a preference to MAC lashes.  They are a little bit more expensive but in this instance I believe you get what you pay for.  They are handmade and top quality and are a bit heavier feeling but as a result they adhere to the lash line much easier because they aren’t as flimsy.

false-lashes-300x844When choosing your lashes you want to take into consideration your natural lash length.  If you are going for a natural look and you don’t have very full lashes to begin with then you wouldn’t want to get very long dramatic lashes. However if you are going for drama then go big or go home, enjoy it and have fun with it.

In terms of glue, my favorite is DUO Surgical Adhesive.  It stays on but also doesn’t take any lashes with it when taking off lashes.   This can be purchased at MAC, beauty supply stores and various drug stores.

Tools you will need to have:

Eyelash curler

Glue

Set of lashes

Mascara

Liquid or gel eyeliner (and angled brush)

Eyebrow scissors

Tweezers

Lash comb

Inexpensive synthetic eyeliner brush

Step 1:

Carefully remove lashes from the container using tweezers.  You will need to measure the false lash to your eye, in some instances you will need to trim the false lashes to fit. If so use eyebrow scissors and carefully trim from the outside longest portion and only do a tiny bit at a time.

Step 2:

Curl your natural lashes using a lash curler. This will help to mimic the look of the false lashes.

Step 3:

Apply your eye makeup as usual and apply a line of black liquid or gel eyeliner to the top lash line. Make this line a bit thicker than usual; this is so that it will disguise where the false and natural lash lines meet.

Step 4:

Apply mascara to natural lashes.  If you want to re-use the lashes then it is better to only apply mascara to your natural lashes.

Step 5:

Here is a tip that I picked up from MAC makeup artist Victor – to help the lashes blend in with your natural lash line you can blacken the lash band of the falsies with your liquid or gel liner.

Step 6:

Now it is time to apply the glue. Apply a line of glue to the outside of your lash container and then finish your blush and bronzer and by the time you have done that your glue is getting tacky; which is the consistency that you want when you are ready to apply the lashes as it helps them adhere.  If you decide to just apply the glue first then you will need to wait at least 15 seconds for it to get tacky, please do not blow on them especially if you will be applying them to someone else.  When applying the glue to the lashes less is more, you don’t need to over do it but remember to be a bit more generous on the outer and inner corners as those are the areas that will tend to lift.  Once you have glue on the lashes hold the lashes in a bent position to form an arch shape to help get the lashes ready.

Step 7:

You can use tweezers or your fingers to apply the false lashes.  Start by laying down the center first and then securing the ends doing the outer edge first over to the inner edge.  You can use the end of a makeup brush to push down the lashes to get them as close to the lash line as possible or use your thumb and index fingers to press them together.  Another tip is you could use the curved part of a lash comb to press down into the lash line.  Just be sure to use one of these techniques prior to the lash glue drying.

Step 8:

The glue will be clear once it has completely dried.  At this point you can fluff up your lashes for a flirtier look or you can fluff them downward to achieve a more sultry look.  If you find that there is any lifting you can apply a little bit of glue to the end of a cheap synthetic eyeliner brush and place it on the area that is lifting.  Then use the back of the brush to press it in place.

Removal:

When removing lashes use pre-moistened makeup wipes such as Yes To Cucumbers Natural Glow Facial Towelettes which are available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart – I place the towelette on my lids and hold in place to help dissolve or moisten the glue to make it easier to remove the lashes.  You never want to pull them off, just lightly lift them as you go to ensure that you don’t damage or remove any of your natural lashes.  Once they are off use a regular makeup remover to get rid of any other residue.

Samantha Fayman

Samantha Fayman

So bat those beautiful eyes and until next time, stay fabulous!

If you didn’t have a good reason to exercise before…this might get you off the couch.

Exercise can help to reduce depression. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, moderate or intense exercise is the same as using a secondary anti-depressant drug, which is often used when an initial medication isn’t working.

Over the four-year study, participants 18 to 70 years old, whose average length of depression spanned seven years exercised on treadmills and cycle ergometers. Groups were created in regards to the degree of intensity of exercise sessions-moderate and intense.

The results were that 30 per cent of both groups were in full remission from depression, and another 20 per cent showed a marked improvement. Moderate exercise was more effective for women with a family history of mental illness, while intense exercise was best for women whose family did not have a history of the disease. And for men, the higher rate of exercise was more effective regardless of history.

“Many people who start on an antidepressant medication feel better after they begin treatment, but they still don’t feel completely well or as good as they did before they became depressed,” said Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, professor of psychiatry and the study’s lead author. “This study shows that exercise can be as effective as adding another medication. Many people would rather use exercise than add another drug, particularly as exercise has a proven positive effect on a person’s overall health and well-being.”

The results also show that the type of exercise and exercise programs would need to be tailored to each individual based on their personal history.

Maybe its time for health benefit providers to include a personal trainer or gym membership as options if they haven’t already.

It’s time to get off the couch, if you are depressed; it costs nothing to go for a walk. If you aren’t depressed think of it as preventative medicine. The side effect is that you look great while feeling better.

A couple of weeks ago, a close male friend suggested we do a piece on pubic hair. Yes: pubic hair or lack there of. Because there has been quiet discussions and lively debates between the boys on boys night;  women with their hair stylists, BFF’s, and over cosmopolitans. Also a week prior to his suggestion a female friend spoke of the vajazel she had tried on her vajayjay; that’s when you glam it up with a little bling. I thought that was sexy, maybe I would try it one day – which lead to the discussion of bare or hair. And because I don’t believe in coincidences I took it as a sign that maybe it was time to take the pubic public.Although interesting, I thought it maybe just a little too risqué to write about. Today we live in a world where nothing is private;  I’m a little old school, and I think some things should be left behind closed doors. However I was excited about the piece because it’s always interesting to get different perspectives – quite frankly, it has been an on going discussion with my girlfriends over the years on what they think is right and pleasing for their men. Plus, how else are we going to learn if not by opening up and speaking about stuff. On the same note, this is for mature audiences only.

While it’s a topic we would usually cover in Love and Relationship by our esteemed sexologists, I figured I would do my own little non-scientific research, especially since it is really based on preference.

I have to admit, my friend’s reaction was the same as mine and his words were pretty close to ones I uttered the first time I heard a man say he liked it bare. “What are you – a pedophile?” He thinks that it’s sick and he wouldn’t want his woman to be bare. He says a little hair is sexy and womanly. And I have to agree, not that it is sick but that is a womanly body.  Now don’t get me wrong, I think you should be groomed everywhere, edges nicely trimmed and lawns nicely manicured.

On the other hand I have another friend who likes his woman to be completely bare. He thinks it is cleaner. In fact, he also shaves his area bare. He is completely turned off, if there is hair. He thinks all sorts of “things” get trapped in there.

I decided to do an informal survey with more of my male and female friends to see if the reactions were all so extreme. The questions were short and slightly different for the males. I asked what they preferred (bushy, some/ neatly trimmed or completely bare) and why and whether bushy would be a deal breaker. I also asked age to see if that had any relevance. This is what I found out …drum roll please… the names have been changed to protect the not so innocent!

His side

Absolutely bare. Find it sexier. Sorry babe can’t deal with the bush. Let’s compromise for landing strip. John, 36 yrs. old

I prefer bare. It looks and is cleaner. I also like to go down on a woman and I prefer it smooth, nice and soft. The area around the sweet spot has to be bare.   It wouldn’t be a deal breaker however I won’t tolerate that 1970′s bush, there would have to be some kind of compromise. The nice trimmed hair on top is also pretty hot. Antonio, 43

Now that I’m in my 40’s I’m ok with bare. Prior to this stage I preferred hair, neatly trimmed. A bare vagina is definitely more inviting and lends itself to the joyful experience of oral sex. At times, hair if not maintained has a tendency to retain odours that limit the possibility of performing oral sex.  But hair isn’t a deal breaker. Ron, 43

I like neat and trimmed but I love bare. The reason is some women carry odours which may be trapped in the area due to all that bush. Not that they smell bad, but I don’t need to carry smells around for days. As well as I have friends who love the smell of others and consider it a turn on. For me personally a shaved or well-groomed pubic area says a lot about a woman. Roger, 41

I like neatly trimmed or bare. Sean, 46

I doubt that my opinion, on something I can only vaguely remember, is relevant, but always happy to donate my nickel. As you know, I am 71, so not getting as much as I used to (although the spirit is willing, and the flesh isn’t that weak). I don’t like it hairless – it’s not that pretty – but I also don’t like getting it caught in my teeth when exploring for the Girlz in the Hood, so a good haircut is always appreciated. Like most men, if we can cope with a little bouquet, some hirsutism is unlikely to be a deal breaker. Tom, 71

Her side

The ladies were also asked the above with an additional question: Have you gone against your preference to please your partner?

I prefer some hair neatly trimmed. I am an adult woman and I think it’s natural to wear some hair in my pubic region.  I like keeping it trimmed because I don’t want any hair peeking out when I’m wearing high-cut or thong underwear or a bathing suit. I was asked by a partner to shave it all off but I refused, primarily because the thought of having in-grown hair all over my pubic region was not particularly inviting and also I was not comfortable as an adult woman to be requested to shave it all off. I was asked by another partner to let it grow in all bushy, but I did not comply because I don’t like it that way. Lillian, 43

I prefer some hair neatly trimmed, because it is easy and fresh. I have never done any other way to please a partner, but I have friends that have.  Carla, 41

I prefer neatly trimmed. It seems unnatural for a grown woman to have her vagina look like a school girls should. I have tried bare for my boyfriend. Pam 45

I prefer bare. It’s a healthier look. Ann, 58

I think bare is down right ugly. It’s like looking at a hairless animal. I think a little hair, low and neatly trimmed is sexy. I have tried bare  for an ex but it was very uncomfortable growing back. Arielle, 32

The results of this rather scientific study shows that most men prefer it bare however  don’t mind it trimmed but there doesn’t seem to be any love for  that “70′s bush”. Most of the ladies like it low and well kept.

Preferences aside, health is always top of mind and so I wondered if there might be any health implications to baring it all. So I went a little further and scoured the Internet  to see if there were any medical/scientific studies on whether hair served a purpose. After all, if women grow hair naturally, isn’t it because it has a biological function? Are we harming ourselves if we remove it? Or is it useless? It’s best to be armed with the info…because I know some of you ladies, will go bare to please your man (nothing wrong with that) but it’s always good to have the info. to base your decision.

My non-scientific, extremely superficial research gleaned the following: As far as the biological function for pubic hair, there doesn’t seem to be a deliberate known function. However,  the arguments made by medical experts for being bare or having hair supports both sides.

Cleanliness:

Pro hair: Hair may stop daily bacteria from entering vagina

According to a study by Columbia University, the function of  pubic hair may include sexual attraction, it is believed that they may play a role in pheromones: the odours produced by the body to attract the opposite sex. They may help to emit the odours into the air.  As well hair may provide comfort, so that there isn’t friction and it prevents chaffing on the skin.

Pro bare: Hygienic reasons, smelling and feeling clean and fresh

The con of a Brazilian wax or shaving to bare is that it can cause ingrown hairs, itching that can be very uncomfortable – especially if you have kinky or curly hair. But you know what they say: beauty is pain.

There you have it ladies and gentlemen-the choice is all yours! Whether you like it bare, trimmed cute and sexy, or bushy – group consensus is : Keep it clean!

Would you like to contribute to my non scientific research? Check out the polls below…they are completely anonymous! The top poll is for men and the bottom for the ladies.. Go ahead share and contribute to affecting the moral fabric of our society!

The Big Debate: Do you prefer hair or bare? (Men)

The Big Debate: Do you prefer hair or bare? (Women)

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