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Monday, March 30, 2009

Back To Basics: How To Choose A Bra

How To Choose A Bra Hands up those who had themselves measured the last time they bought a bra! If you did, give yourself a pat on your back. Many women make the mistake of buying lingerie that's too small, which is not only uncomfortable but can cause breathing difficulties. A woman's figure is constantly changing, and by measuring herself every time she buys lingerie, she can be sure of buying the right size and type. When correctly fitted, lingerie should:

» support your body

» flatter your figure

» buffer your body from heat and cold

» help protect your clothes

Buying lingerie isn’t something that should be rushed, simply because you need time to try out several different styles before deciding what is best for you. The first step is to get a trained expert to take your measurements whenever you buy a bra. All lingerie outlets should have someone who is trained to take your measurements. A woman's body is distorted when she measures herself, and the expert who does this countless times a day is more likely to get a more accurate figure. She will measure your bust (the highest part of your breast) and your underbust (the area just below your bust). Armed with these figures, you can start trying on items. Once you have the bra on, raise both arms, and try moving to see how comfy it is. No lingerie store should have a problem with you trying on bras; if they do, go elsewhere.

Here's a rundown of some of the types of bras that are available

» Plunging: This type of bra has a deep front centre-cut, suitable for plunging v-necks, so that your bra won't play peek-a-boo.

» Strapless: Like its name, it comes without straps so it's suitable to wear with spaghetti straps or tube tops/dresses. You'll need to choose your strapless carefully. Let's just say, it's far less embarrassing to be caught jumping up and down in the dressing room to test the strapless, than to have your bra slip down... in the middle of a crowded bus or train.

» Push-up bra: There are people who swear they can spot a push-up bra from across the room, then there are others who can't live without them. At worst, they can look, well... exactly like what they are; but at best, they can help fill out the tight sweater look.

» Underwire: Contrary to belief, underwire bras aren't just for the better-endowed girls. The underwire cradles your breasts and provides definition for the more petite girls too. What is important in an underwire bra is getting the right fit, or it may pinch - ouch!

» Minimizer: Regular-sized girls may be wondering what this would be used for. But those of us who are generously endowed know certain clothes look better when your assets are minimized. T-shirts and singlets for one, and luckily minimizer bras not only starting to have more sex appeal but, with wider straps, they support better as well!

The Bra: Where It All Began...

Here's a brief look at the tumultuous evolution of the bra in the last century.

1900: The painful, unhealthy corset began losing favor and a less restrictive undergarment named "brassiere" appeared. The word was derived from the old French word for upper arm (yeah, we don't get it either!).

1914: Birth of the first patented brassiere. Invented by a New York socialite, Mary Phelps Jacob, it was called the "backless brassiere".

1917: The US War Industries Board requested women stop buying corsets in order to free up metal for the war! Thus the bra gained ground.

1920s: This was the era of the "Flapper", and the flat-chested boyish look was all the rage. The function of the bra became to flatten breasts.

1930s: The return of the bust. The bra's function once again is holding and supporting breasts.

1950s: This was the decade of decadence Ds (cups, babe)! "Falsies" were hot property! The heavy padding evolved into push-up bras and bras with stiffened cups with underwire. Strapless bras also became popular at this time.

1960s: Time to burn those bras. The women's liberation movement saw many bra-burning rallies as bras were seen as a symbol of conformity and servitude.

1990s: Bras are back, and they're baaad! From Madonna and her Jean-Paul Gaultier outfits, to Elle and her lace numbers, underwear is increasingly used for self-expression. And the Wonder Bra appears, the ultimate push-up.

Bare Necessities

Keeping Abreast

» Go braless if your outfit calls for it (i.e. something backless, bikini-cut, halters, etc), but do wear a bra under outfits that you can fit one under, as often as possible. It provides support against gravity, plus, you'll get fewer rude stares from men on the public transport.

» Use stick-on breast support cups if you're uncomfortable about your nipples showing through, or for support if you're a C cup and over.

» Good strapless bras are few and far between. So when you find one that fits, buy in bulk. You'll need at least one each in nude, black and white.

» Please leave those see-through plastic straps where they belong - at the back of your cupboard. They're tack. And yes, everyone can see them.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

#18: Work It Out

Work It Out We all have some body bits that need more work than the others. And aerobic classes may not hit the target area enough to make a difference. Here's how to tailor your workout to your problem spots.

Best for shapely legs...
In-line skating
What it does: In-line skating (or rollerblading) works virtually every muscle from the hips down, to give you a shapely, toned legs and a firm, tight butt. Unlike single-plane activities such as walking, running, jogging and cycling, in-line skating is two-plane: that means there's a side-to-side movement as well as forward motion, so those hard-to-isolate inner and outer thighs are given just as much of a work-out as the backs and fronts of your legs. Blading up and down hills helps tone the bottom and quadriceps: long, fast rides strengthen the back of the legs and burn up more kilojoules. Carry small hand weights when you're blading to increase upper-body strength. Rollerblading is also said to be a terrific mood enhancer.

Sweat factor:
In-line skating will work up a good sweat, so wear clothing that is cool and comfortable. A slow ride burns around 900kJ for each 30 minutes; whereas a fast ride including hill work burns around 1200kJ each 30 minutes and gives a reasonably vigorous cardiovascular work-out to boot.

How do I get started?
As well as blades, you'll need a helmet, wrist guards and knee and elbow pads.

How often should I do it?
Aim for at least three 30-45 minutes sessions a week to really tone up your thighs, calves and bottom fast. Try to alternate long, fast, flat rides with spurts of uphill work.

Tips: Squeeze your buttocks slightly as you blade, and concentrate on using your legs. Keep your head high and look forward, rather than down at the ground. For best results, keep your back straight and bend from hips and knees when you want to pick up speed.

Best for trim, toned arms...
What it does: It's the best way to build shapely shoulders and it increases upper-body strength without lifting weights, especially if you add hand paddles. Swimming may seem easy and effortless, but water offers 12 times the resistance of air, so it's good for the cardiovascular system too. Work your legs by doing a few laps of the pool with a kickboard. Better still, take up scuba diving - not only does it offer the same upper-body benefits as swimming, but the kicking action exercises the fronts and backs of the thighs, as well as the hips and stomach muscles.

Sweat factor: You won't sweat much in the water, but you will get a vigorous workout, burning between 800 and 1500 kJ per 30 minutes!

How do I get started?
Lessons are held at most pools, just ask around your local swimming pool.

How often should I do it?
Swim at least three times a week for 20 minutes; dive as often as practicable (try taking a holiday to a destination with great dive sites).

Tips: Vary your strokes so that you work out all the muscles in your arms, back and chest; trying doing 10 laps freestyle, 10 breaststroke and finally, 10 backstroke. It's also important to keep your head in the water to avoid back strain, so try breathing in on one stroke, then exhaling over the next four.

Best for upper body...
What it does:Hook, jab and uppercut your way to a super-strong and toned upper body. Working out on the heavy punching bags builds arm, chest and back muscle, while speed balls (the small ball-like bags on springs) plus footwork are excellent for co-ordination and concentration skills. A boxercise work-out also includes a session of skipping to increase speed and cardiovascular fitness, and to burn off those kilojoules, so it's an excellent total body workout.

Sweat factor: A 45-minute class will have you in a lather of sweat. Both concentrated punching and skipping burn up around 1200kJ per 30 minutes.

How do I get started?
Most gyms provide boxing gloves, but if you don't fancy wearing someone else's sweaty mitts, buy your own. It's best to get medium weight gloves that can be used for both heavy bags and speed bags.

How often should I do it?
Two 45-minute classes a week are enough, but you should also skip for at least 20 minutes, three times a week, at home.

Tips Learn how to punch correctly or you could end up hurting your hands, wrists as well as shoulders.

Best for smaller butt...
What it does: Cycling is a great toning workout for the gluteals (buttock muscles) and hip flexors, as well as the thighs and calves. It tones and build muscles, is excellent for cardiovascular fitness and can help to increase lung capacity. If you find road-traffic too daunting, try working out on a stationary bike at the gym. To get the best bottom work-out, adjust the bike seat so that the balls of your feet just reach the pedals at full stretch, pedal on grass rather than a hard surface for more resistance, and lift your butt off the seat as much as possible when you ride.

Sweat factor: The more hilly the route you choose, the more sweat you'll raise. An easy flat cycle will burn around 700kJ per 30 minutes, while a very fast ride burns around 1500kJ per 30 minutes and gets the cardiovascular rate jumping.

How do I get started?
On a mountain bike - they're sturdy, easy to ride and the upright body position when riding them means there's less stress on your back.

How often should I do it?
For best results, hop on your bike for half to one hour, three times a week.

Tips: To prevent back problems, don't wiggle from side to side when you ride. Remember, long, flat rides tone muscles and hills help to build muscle.

Best for a flat stomach...
What it does: Pilates exercises are based on the premise that the stomach is the center of bodily power and that all strength and balance flows from there. If the stomach isn't strong, other muscles will clench up to compensate. In every Pilates exercises - there are around 500 of them, plus variations - the stomach is held in tightly and the shoulders are relaxed. Pilates is designed to stretch and elongate muscles, rather than bulk them up. Classes are often silent to assist concentration, and Pilates is good for mental energy as well as physical strength and flexibility. It's also said to improve your sex life.

Sweat factor: While the exercise do not appear difficult, they can be extremely strenuous when performed correctly. Pilates is designed to change the shape of your body, rather than give you a vigorous cardiovascular workout, so you'll only burn around 500kJ for every 30 minutes.

How do I get started?
Because special equipment is used, you will need to attend a Pilates studio. Pilates usually involves one-on-one instruction so it's a little more expensive than most other exercise sessions.

How often should I do it?
To get the full body-shaping benefits of Pilates, you'll need to attend a minimum of three sessions per week. Each session lasts from one to one-and-a-half hours.

Tips: Do not be put off by the equipment... even though it looks as though it belongs in some kind of medieval torture chamber!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wanna Be A Sex Bomb?

Wanna Be A Sex Bomb? Mars N Venus... Actually asked (anonymously) 30 men to tell us their most explosive sexual experiences. Here are their suggestions for making the best bed-rocking moves known to man.

Once you've been in a loving relationship for a long time, the sex can become a little, well, routine. It'll be OK, good even, but nothing either of you would describe as the missing chapter of the Karma Sutra. In fact, it's probably similar to the time before, and the time before that... So we thought we'd ask some sexpert guys for advice on how to spice things up. Once you've read the article, you'll be thinking: "I can't do that." Well, we're not suggesting you incorporate every single one of these tips in your bedroom book of tricks. What we are saying is that - and studies back us up on this - making one small variation to your standard routine can make sex an unforgettable experience all over again, because no doubt he'll want to reciprocate in kind. Just remember that you should try something new at least three times - the first time you'll be worried about whether you're doing it right, the second time you'll be thinking about how to make it work for you as well, and by the third, you'll be able to make it your own. So, here we go:

1 My ex used to flash parts of her body at me when we were out in pulic, like a bit of inner thigh. It used to get me so horny.

2 Guaranteed to get me hot is a phone call at work from my wife telling me exactly what she wants to do to me that night - or what she wants me to do to her. I have to pretend I'm talking to a client, so I try to act all cool and collected, but by the time I meet her, I'm almost ready to burst.

3 If she decides to swallow, it's best if she doesn't make a big deal out of it by groaning or quickly wiping her mouth on the pillowcase or the sheet. She should extend the moment instead, by slowly making her way up to my face with little kisses. That way, I can also feel her breasts brush against my body.

4 I used to love it when my ex would spiral her tongue up and down the side of my torso. I wish more women would do it.

5 Tell him you're not wearing underwear when you go out. I guarantee that he won't be able to think about anything else.

6 This move doesn't have a name, but it's a real treat watching my partner rub herself with oil, and then use her naked body to massage mine by rubbing up and down it. I'm instantly ready for business.

7 Don't underestimate the power of a good hand job. Even if she's not sure how fast or how slow, when to loosen her grip and when to tighten it. I'm more than happy to show her how. Just remember, we don't produce a natural lubricant, so make it smoother with a bit of saliva.

8 Men are visual creatures, so I love it when my partner strips for me, teasing me by taking each item off slowly and sexily. I just go wild.

9 You know how multi-tasking is about doing two or more things at once? Well, I like a woman who can do that in bed. So, if she's sucking on my nipples, she might also be cradling my balls, or, if we're having sex, she'll continue to kiss me. It's hot.

10 I don't know many women who like the way they look, but that doesn't mean sex should always be in the dark. So me tip is: let us leave the lights on occasionally. It's great to see her body and it's even better to watch her react to what I'm doing.

11 My nipples are incredibly sensitive, so there's no better sensation than having them licked and then gently blown on - alternating between hot and cold just sends shivers up my spine.

12 Ear-piercing orgasms and creaking beds are great but, for a change, I occasionally like to try doing it as quietly as and with as little movement as possible. It reminds me of sneaking girls into my bedroom when I was young and hoping my parents wouldn't hear. It still has the same illicit thrill.

13 You know what's cool? When my baby wakes me up in the middle of the night because she's gotta have it and she's gotta have it now.

14 Nothing gets me hornier than a woman undressing without saying anything. My partner once did that while I was on the phone, and I just kept losing track of the conversation.

15 My partner once pretended it was her first time, saying we could do anything but 'the deed'. We were so hot and sweaty by the end of it, we both reached orgasm - without intercourse.

16 You know that line of hair from the belly button to the pubic bone? Well, it's called the 'happy trail', and nothing makes me happier than having my wife licking it quite hard down to the base of my penis, before moving back up again.

17 One night I'll never forget is when my partner rubbed some strawberry-flavored lubricant on my nipples. She blew on them and it felt like I was on fire from them being all hot and tingly. Even now, when I smell strawberries...

18 Bring me to the edge then stop, then doing it all over again. It's like taking two sensual steps forward and one back, but I know my final climax will be incredible.

19 Look at me in the eye just as I'm about to orgasm.

20 It's simple: ask for seconds. That tells me how much she wants me.

21 I'm not vain, but a compliment now and then doesn't go astray. Sure, it's no whizz-bang move, but it always make me feel great.

22 Most girls don't realize how good it feels but, if she can squeeze her vaginal muscles when I'm inside her, it just blows my mind - especially when she starts out squeezing slowly, and then gradually speeds up.

23 Women are paranoid about how they smell but I don't want to taste soap and perfume when I'm down there, especially as her natural flavor is so incredibly sexy.

24 It may sound weird, but I melt when she licks, tickles and darts her tongue in and out of my ear, and it's great when she alternates the tempo and stops what she's doing and I can hear how excited she is from her heavy breathing.

25 I love it when my partner keeps her clothes on. Feeling something smooth and soft graze my body makes me desperate to get underneath it. Every now and again, she even keeps her G-string on. I pull it aside and we just go for it.

26 There's nothing better than a woman who's willing to take complete control and direct every one of my moves, telling me exactly what she wants me to do, when and who. It's really sexy to feel like I'm some kind of extra in our own personal pleasure show.

27 It's not just the foreplay and sex for me... what happens afterwards is just as important. When we're just lying there and she runs her fingers over me really gently. It keeps that loving feeling lingering for just a little bit longer.

28 My partner once put a ribbed condom on me inside out, and the sensation of those ridges along my penis during sex was absolute heaven. I've got a warning though: I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a back-up form of birth control, because unless you're ready to embrace parenthood, it's not a risk you want to take.

29 A woman who can make putting on the condom part of foreplay has my vote. My wife has even mastered the technique of slipping it on with her mouth by using her tongue to unroll it over my penis. It gets me hot just thinking about it.

30 Trim each other's pubic hair. The sensation of an electric clipper against my skin does amazing things a little further south.


Made by Grumpy Cow