Men Don’t Notice or Care

Years back I woke up to find my wife, Chantel, in front of the mirror, examining her stretch marks. She asked me whether I thought she should try using cream to get rid of them. I told her the truth, if she wanted to improve her appearance, she should get more beauty sleep before our kids came in to rob us of whatever remains of our youth.

What I didn’t tell her—but should have—is this: I pretty much never notice those stretch marks.

Like most guys, I’m too busy paying attention to the stuff that makes the female body so awesome. We do, however, see your obsessing and attempting to compensate for what you perceive as flaws. Want to save yourself a whole bunch of angst and money?

WHAT MEN DON’T NOTICE

1. Cellulite, bellies, etc. When I go to the pool in the summertime, I get sad when I see beautiful women covering up their bodies because they’re self-conscious about a few jiggly parts here and there. Who cares? Everybody’s got a little jiggle; it’s a sign of good times. A woman who is confident enough to show you that she knows how to eat and laugh, who is willing to let a little muffin top rise over the edge of the pan, is a lot sexier than someone who hides herself in big, billowy clothing. As for getting physical, these bits don’t bother guys either: A little extra bounce and slap here and there is never a bad thing in bed.

2. Breasts that don’t bounce to attention. Men love boobs. Some guys are “boob men” and have specific tastes, but most of us are excited by life’s rich tapestry of breasts. After two kids and 10 years together, I think my wife’s pair of aces is just as incredible as when she first taught me how to play Texas hold ’em. (Worst poker metaphor ever? Yup.) Luckily, Chantel still loves her girls too, and proudly displays them despite all the changes they’ve undergone in the last decade. An appreciated boob is a sexy boob, whether it’s an A cup or a double D, whether there is a little sag or one’s bigger than the other. If you love your breasts and think they’re hot, so will your guy.

3. What you’re doing with your hair down there. Sometimes I trim my beard, sometimes I don’t. Feel free to take the same approach, because I’m not really paying attention. I’ve had this discussion with friends, and we all agree that the product is a lot more interesting than the packaging. So grow it out, trim it, make a funny design like a lighting bolt or an arrow, just have fun with it. One personal caveat: I’m not a fan of totally waxed pubic hair. I think it’s creepy and weird to fetishize the look of prepubescence. And regrowth is no fun for either party. Besides, people who take pubic hair for granted are destined to wear a merkin.

4. Split ends. What are these things? I see so many commercials about split ends, and the women in those commercials seem very concerned. I couldn’t identify a split end if it robbed me at gunpoint.

WHAT MEN DO NOTICE

5. When you fake the color of your skin. You know what freaks me out? Women spending money on products and treatments to make their skin darker. You know what’s equally crazy? Women spending money on products and treatments to make their skin lighter. The end results always seem to hover around “orange” or “E.T. when he’s sick.” Natural is hot: I love dark skin. I love olive and caramel skin, and Gothy pale white skin. Sick alien and Creamsicle orange I don’t dig so much, and I don’t know any guys who do.

6. Lips that have been injected with a foreign substance. So creepy. Take it from me: Collagen injections don’t make a woman look like Angelina Jolie; they make her look like she’s just had invasive dental surgery.

7. Frozen face. (Are you detecting a trend?) Why do men despise it when you inject your wrinkles away? Let me see, maybe it’s because it robs you of the ability to convey human emotions like surprise or worry. Husband: “Honey, you seem strangely unmoved by the fact that the dog just ate a carving knife.” Wife: “I’m furrowing my brow with concern… on the inside.”

8. Scars. And so we come back to the stretch marks. At one point Chantel’s were red and unmissable, along with her C-section scar, but they don’t, and never did, bother me. I don’t think other guys mind them either, as evidenced by the fact that many strippers out there have obvious C-section scars (don’t ask me how I know this). In Chantel’s case, they are physical evidence of our shared history and of the pain Chantel was willing to endure for our family. They show just how tough my wife is.

Just my thoughts… I normally don’t write for this blog but today I thought I would.

George T.

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Sleeping In A Comfortable Bra

Bras can be restrictive cages of doom. And even though they can offer much needed support, sometimes they just gotta go (especially when trying to relax). But if you like the security of sleeping in a bra, but maybe don’t like all that underwire cutting into you while you catch some Z’s, should you sleep in a sports bra instead?

The answer is a little complicated.

First of all, there isn’t really any scientific evidence that sleeping in a bra of any kind will help your girls defy gravity. That is, if you’re looking to keep your breasts from sagging, wearing a bra to bed every night is not the magical solution, Cosmetic surgeon Angelica Kavouni told The Daily Mail. However, if you are looking to just have a more relaxing rest and maybe prevent some stretch marks (especially if your breasts are a 34D or larger), a soft, comfortable bra may help. “Soft, comfortable bra” sounds a lot like a sports bra, eh? And for good reason. If you do choose to sleep in a bra, a sports bra is a much healthier choice than say, an underwire, push-up bra.

Amy Goldenberg, Consumer Research Analyst, SurveyStud, inc research supports the idea that “sleeping in a bra with a wire can give you cysts or irritate your breasts.” Uh, no thanks.

Of course, a soft-cup bra will work similarly to a sports bra. But don’t commit to spending all of your nights in one of these just yet. Just because underwire bras have some risks associated with sleeping in them doesn’t mean all soft-shape bras are alternatively risk-free. In the same way that too-tight traditional bras could cause reduced circulation, a sports bra that is too tight could cause similar problems. Furthermore, overheating and sweating could be an issue with a sports bra that is too tight or made from synthetic materials. So if you do choose to sleep in a sports bra, make sure it’s a breathable, cotton one.

Keep in mind though, that these risks are not all guaranteed from spending one or two nights in a sports bra. Rather, one would have to wear a bra or sports bra that is too tight and of the wrong material for too long and too often before worrying about these side effects. So if sporting a sports bra to sleep is what keeps you comfortable and happy, no worries! Just make sure that it’s breathable and non-constricting. But it still wouldn’t hurt to let your girls roam free every once in a while.

Question: Is a comfortable “sleep” bra important to you

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When Ur Best/Good Bra Rips

First don’t judge. On an average month after bills, my bank account may have $600 in it. So with that said, every dime counts.

Anyway, don’t you hate spending $50+ for a bra, only to have the underwire poke through, stabbing you with every move you make? Ugh. In the past, I’ve thrown away these bras without a second thought, thinking that was the end of the bra. Wrong! I finally got smart and decided to fix my broken underwire bra myself this time!

Don’t throw away those $50, $80, $200 bras, just spend 5 minutes and $2 to fix them yourself! I spent about 5 minutes yesterday repairing a bra, and now it’s back in business- so much better than throwing it out!

I bought the upholstery thread at Joanns for around $2 (regular price is around $3- 40% off coupon), and you can find it with the regular thread. I used the upholstery thread because it’s much much thicker and stronger than regular thread, and I only want to have to repair this bra once 😉

You’ll also need a teeny tiny piece of duck tape.

Directions:

1. Pull out the underwire a little bit through the hole it is poking through. Use a teeny little piece of duck tape to cover up the sharp end of the metal underwire, so it will be more difficult for it to poke through again. Be sure you don’t use too much tape, or it won’t fit back through the hole! Push the underwire back down through the hole as far as you can.

2. Thread your needle with the upholstery thread, and start stitching under the hole, and all the way up and over the hole. I used more stitches than I probably needed to, but I’d rather do a really good job once than have to do this multiple times! I stitched under the wire, and then up and over. Tie a knot at the end when you are finished.

3. Apply some fabric glue or clear nail polish over the entire stitched surface. This will give the thin material some extra protection from the wire poking through again.

Not too bad, right? Definitely worth saving $50 – $200 for 5 minutes of easy work, don’t you think?! I fixed my bra yesterday and it’s working just like before- no sharp stabbing for me!

Now you know…

Question of the day: Have you ever had to throw away a “good / favorite” bra because it ripped?

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The Puzzle of Bra Shopping

I’m obsessed with having a quality bra. Through extensive interviews, I’ve learned that a good bra is tantamount. Think of it the way an artist would think of a clean palette: Invest in your undergarments and the rest of your clothing will look great. So bra shopping should be as important as buying that new pair of boots. You probably know your size, right? Wrong. It turns out that most women don’t know their true band and cup size, and that’s just one of the mistakes that women make when shopping for bras.

I reached out to Amy Goldenberg, Consumer Research Analyst, SurveyStud, Inc and I was amazed by the amount of information she had on undergarments.

According to SurveyStud’s database, there are five imperatives when purchasing and caring for bras.

1. Work with a professional.
If you can, go to a lingerie store and be fitted. Amy says, “You go to a lawyer for legal advice and a doctor for medical queries, go to a bra professional for the right undergarments.” It’s a more efficient experience with a properly trained fitter: They can measure you and help you navigate the over 250 brands and styles of bras out there to determine which is best for you. If you can’t make it to a specialty store, find an  online or app measuring tool and professionals who can talk you through the process of choosing and purchasing a bra over the phone, online or even via skype.

2. All cups are not created equal.
Know your back-size-to-cup-size ratio. The bigger the back size (and thus the band of the bra), the bigger the cup size should be. For instance, a 38D is one cup size bigger than a 36D. Amy says, “I’m a 30DD. If I were a 32, I’d be a D. The back size and band are where you get the support. Women go down in the back and up in the cup size. The mistake most women make is wearing band sizes that are too big. And they don’t know the cup size.”


3. Shop small if you can.
Small lingerie-focused boutiques that is, where the salespeople are more likely to be experts. One of the reasons that women are wearing the wrong size is that they are shopping in stores that only carry sizes A to D. Amy calls this limited range of sizes “department store sizing.” She explained the disconnect between women’s needs and what the lingerie industry is selling: “We offer bras in sizes up to a N cup. But most bra manufacturers aren’t bra fitters. The female body has changed, and department stores haven’t caught on yet, which is why they offer such a limited size run.”


4. Hand wash your bras.
Wash them every four to five times you wear them. Hand wash, air dry and use special garment soap to save the elastic. Use soap for silken lingerie: Put a capful in a basin and let them soak for 30 minutes to an hour. This will help them last longer.


5. Invest in your bras.
Amy says, “You can buy bras for 10 dollars, but they won’t last very long and they won’t do their job of properly supporting your breasts. Good bras are between $55 and $80. The best-selling bras are $89 and $250.  Most of the time the cost difference is the material and the design, and a cheaper bra may not last as long. Bras are completely made of elastic.” $50+ is a good goal to spend on a bra.

Question of the day:  How often do you wash your bra?

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Air-Dry Your Bra

Stats show that most women (94.8%) chuck their bras in the washing machine along with the rest of their clothes. It’s just life! They have dates to go on and friends to see over brunch, and entire seasons of Netflix shows to catch up on. And you know what? That’s fine.

I spoke with Amy Goldenberg, Consumer Research Analyst, SurveyStud, Inc about the best way to preserving the bra, and this is what she said:

1. Choose Your Washer Cycle Wisely

The gentle or delicates cycle on a washing machine will come the closest to replicating hand-washing, so that’s the one you should use. (Quick lesson: Washing machine cycles are based on the speed of the wash and spin cycles. The slower the speed, the less abrasion and agitation the clothes are subjected to. In the case of your bras, slower is better because the elastic and any embellishments on the bra benefit from dealing with less stress.)

2. Use the Right Detergent

Specialty detergents designed for use on bras and other delicate garments like shapewear or cashmere sweaters are a great choice whether you’re washing your bras by hand or in the washing machine. You can find delicates detergents in a range of prices, from the wallet-friendly Ecover Delicate Wash to the pricier Delicate Wash by The Laundress.

If you want something more multipurpose, opt for an eco-friendly detergent, like Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergent, or one of those “free and clear” options that most of the major laundry detergent brands offer (like Tide Free & Gentle or Wisk Free & Pure). Those detergents will be gentle enough for bras but effective enough for use on less delicate items of clothing.

3. Put Your Bras in a Bag

One of the problems with machine washing bras is that the straps and hooks can easily become tangled or snagged on other garments during the wash and spin cycles. Putting bras into zip-up mesh bags will protect the straps from winding around larger items and becoming stretched out. They will also help to keep hooks from snagging materials like fine cottons. Just be sure not to overstuff the bags, which will prevent the bras from getting fully clean.

4. Wash Like With Like

Even if you’re diligent about putting bras in protective mesh bags, you should still avoid machine-washing delicates with heavy items like jeans, sweatshirts, or towels. Those things are likely to cause damage to elastic, and metal or plastic underwire.

5. Always Air-Dry — Always, Always, Always!

Here’s where the hard line comes in: Never put your bras in the dryer. You should always hang your bras to dry or lay them flat. If you opt to hang a bra to dry, do so by the center gore (the piece in between the cups) rather than by the straps, which will get stretched out because the wet cups will pull the garment downward. That mesh bag will come in handy for this purpose — you can just pluck it right out of the wash and set it aside before transferring the rest of the load to the dryer.

6. Rinse in the Shower

Somewhere in between hand- and machine-washing lies this neat trick, which will buy you a few more wears in between washings: Shower-rinsing! It is exactly what it sounds like — take your bra into the shower with you and rinse it with water, which will help to wick away body oil and skin buildup, then hang it by the center gore to dry. Frequent rinsing will help you cut back on the frequency with which you need to launder your bra, which means it won’t be subjected to the potential damage machine-washing can cause.

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