Fixed My Nipples

Just like snowflakes, no two nipples are the same. (Not even the ones in a matching set.) Let’s just say that if variety is the spice of life, then nipples make livin’ real tasty. But did you know that there are actually, like, clinical categories of nips? The size and color of the areola, the amount of Montgomery glands and the shape and appearance of the teat itself all contribute to the aesthetic of the nipple.

Another thing I’ve learned/noticed is that normally my nipples react to temperature and also when I’m aroused, or maybe even if it’s just whenever anything touches them. But what causes nipples to get hard?

Fun fact: During puberty I thought my nipples were broken. For whatever reason as a child all of the adult nipples I had seen had been erect, so when mine weren’t erect all the time I assumed that they were defective and spent a lot of time in the locker room strategically changing to hide them. Nowadays, I not only realize that my nipples only being erect some of the time is completely normal, but also that nipples in whatever form are nothing to hide or be shy about.

Another thing I was weirded out when I realized the massive difference in the size of my areola when my nipples are erect versus when they’re not. It turns out that’s not unusual, but I still didn’t understand how it could be such a huge change. I also noticed that my nipples are wrinkly… WTF! Apparently: “Epidermis in the unerected nipple shows wrinkles that increases the surface area. This wrinkles enables the surface to expand and becomes flat during erection (Over the last couple of days I have learned so much about nipples: Thanks Google!)

Sometimes I realize my nipples are erect at a moment I wouldn’t expect, because they’re reacting to something the rest of my body isn’t aware of. But I’m not going to question it–instead of being embarrassed or hiding them behind thick clothes, I’m ready to let them out. They’re completely natural and it’s not my job to hide them, or is it.

Question: Whats the best way to handle erect nipples?

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Itchy Nipples…

Have you ever been walking along, having a totally normal day, and suddenly your nipples feel itchy, it’s like you’re wearing a bra made of a 1000 nipples.

If your nipples are anything like mine, they don’t usually cause much trouble — they go along to get along, trooping around quietly in the bra until you need to unleash them for practical and/or recreational purposes — which might be why, when your nipples feel strange, it can sometimes be kind of terrifying.

That terror can easily turn into full-tilt panic: My first thoughts are ALWAYS could my itchy, dry nipples be a sign of something serious? Are these random hairs going to be here for the rest of my life? Why hast thou betrayed me, beloved headlights!

The shock of having a nipple feel weird is usually much worse than whatever’s actually going on with your nipple — because, for the most part, nipple weirdness is not a sign of a serious health problem. Anything having to do with my breasts can send me into breast cancer panic mode.

The most common nipple-related breast cancer symptoms are tenderness, dimpling, a change in skin texture on the nipple, and a suddenly inverted nipple (inverted nipples are common and harmless — a sudden inversion is the only cause for alarm.)

So what I’ve learned is that anything else that you feel: random itch, tingle, or drip — is most likely nothing to worry about.

If your nipples look or feel different than they usually do for a prolonged period of time, or if you’re just freaked out, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor. 

First of all, itchy nipples are almost never a sign of a health problem. In rare cases, itchy nipples can be a symptom of inflammatory breast cancer or Paget disease of the breast, but itching is almost never the only symptom.

Run-of-the-mill itchy nipples have more benign causes: sometimes the itchiness is created by a skin condition, like eczema, but if you’re not experiencing a rash or other symptoms, odds are that your nipples are itchy because they’ve become irritated — by the laundry detergent or soap that you use, by friction in an ill-fitting bra, or by dry weather that’s making all of your skin dry and itchy.

Itchy nipples can also be a side effect of pregnancy-related breast growth — as a pregnant woman’s breasts expand, the stretching of the skin can irritate the nipple, leading to drying, cracking, and a persistent nipple itch.

Fortunately, itchy nipples are easy to treat, for pregnant and non-pregnant folks alike — just massage some non-irritating moisturizer into your nipple, especially right after you come out of the shower. The moisture should keep your nipples calm. But no matter how itchy your nips get, don’t put calamine lotion on them — that lotion can actually dry the skin of the nipple, and make the itching worse.

Question of the day: How do you handle the itchy nipple?

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The Ex

I like designer bags but I don’t necessarily like baggage. Not the “ex” kind of baggage. At my age, it’s more likely than not that anyone I would date/end up with has baggage. It’s a term I don’t like because when you find the right guy, his baggage doesn’t seem so much like “baggage” as it does a “pretty package.”

For example, before I met the man I’m now dating, I made it perfectly clear to any man I went out with that I come as a package. If you date me, you’re also, for lack of better description, dating my kid. Meaning, you have to get along with her, she has to like you, and you almost certainly will be my second priority.

When you have a kid, it’s easier to date someone else who has a kid or even children. They usually understand if you have to bail at the last minute because your child is sick, they like children (because they already have them), and they understand why a child can turn from an angel into a sobbing heap on the floor within 10 seconds.

But what I’ve never quite understood is the baggage that is known as “the ex.” Rather, I understand it; I just don’t like to deal with it.

One of my exes had an ex-wife who acted as if she were still his wife. They had no children and it was hard for me to fathom why this woman would still want to go out of her way to decorate his place, ask him to drive her to the airport, and buy him flowers. There is nothing worse than an ex who doesn’t realize she is an ex (at least for the person dating the man/woman.)

The man I’m dating now has gorgeous, kind and sweet children. I thought God was looking down on me, finally, when I fell in love. Plus, his ex lives a 40-minute drive away, is not in my social circle, and we didn’t have any friends in common.

But of course, I was a little naïve. I recently found out that this ex is following my every move on Facebook — which is fine, but, it makes me uncomfortable, especially when exes of the man I am dating, or the men I have dated, check me out. My boyfriend and I are serious, to the point where we both would like to be included in every aspect of each other’s lives. This includes school plays (which he attended with me when my daughter was recently in one) to birthday parties. One of his children has an upcoming birthday party. As we slowly blend our families together, I don’t want there to be any drama.

My ex’s ex-wife (the one with no children) actually wanted to meet and hang out with me. My response was, “Why?” But if I do plan on being a stepmom with my new man, I do understand why I may have to meet my boyfriend’s ex-wife. Do I want to do this? No. Do I think if we can get along at least politely it will be best for the children? Absolutely. Does she have to like me? No.

But if my ex was/is dating another woman who could possibly be my daughter’s stepmother, I would for sure want to meet her, at least once, to make sure that my daughter is safe. My daughter, her safety and her happiness, will always be my first priority, just as I’m sure that’s my boyfriend’s ex-wife priority.

Question: If you have any ex-partner/parent advice… I’d really like to hear your thoughts.

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Saggy Breasts

As a 20 something I would have never thought saggy boobs represent some sort of canonistic experience for women of all ages regardless of social-economics, and or demographics. See unless you saw me naked, you would never guess I have saggy boobs. Yes I said it. I have saggy boobs.

It’s like one morning I woke up, rolled on my back and my boobs just didn’t follow with the rest of my body. I’m not kidding, when I lie down, 80 percent of my breasts fall into my armpit. It’s really cute.

At the ripe age of 23, they’re completely deflated. I thought boob sag would only come after pregnancy, but I was wrong. Gravity is a law. My body has abided.

Sometimes I wonder what I did to gravity to deserve this boob sag. Sometimes I’ll lift them up, look in the mirror and gawk at how much of my body they cover up. My upper ribs are constantly in the shadow of my under-boob.

When I hit puberty, my ta-tas were a size D. I even had stretch marks in high school because my chest was #blessed. But at around age 20, my overwhelming D-cups deflated to modest C-cups.

Another thing I noticed my boob sag is my biggest insecurity when it comes to hooking up. They look great when they’re tucked up into a bra, but once that comes off, they’re just going to flop out. It’s like opening a bag of chips only to find more air than chips.

Then there’s the gym… OMG!!! Has anyone else gone to the gym, attempted to do some crunches and all of the sudden notice half your boob is leaking out the side of your sports bra? Just me? OK.

If you have saggy boobs, sports bras work their magic by reinforcing everything, but your boobs just get flattened against your chest in the most unflattering way. They do this droopy, separation thing as you run on the treadmill. It’s just not cute.

No matter what bra cup size you have, you probably struggle to find bathing suits that fit well. I laugh when I look at string bikinis because they’re just something I’ll never be able to wear. Ever since I grew these damn things, bikini tops have been my worst enemy. Either I’m busting out of them, forming an attractive quad boob (when they spill out the top) or there’s no support whatsoever. That’s when I contemplate just avoiding beaches altogether.

My cleavage used to be difficult to cover up. Now, I can only create Victoria’s Secret-worthy cleavage when there’s a gravity-defying push-up bra involved.

So I wrote all of this to say, you are not the only woman to deal with boob sag.

Question: Have you ever experienced boob sag?

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Is Barack Obama the Face of America

When you look in the mirror do you see an image staring back at you that reflects your ideal image of beauty? Take a moment to describe the ideal woman’s physical features. What color skin tone does she have? How much does she weigh? What do her eyes look like? What does she wear when she goes out on the town? How is her hair styled?

Now take another moment to figure out the answer to this question: Where did your idea of beauty come from?

Because think about it, even though Donald Trump is now President of The United States, the world still sees Barrack Obama as President–so if the woman you described as ideal does not look like the woman you see in the mirror, chances are along your life journey you were bamboozled by someone’s impression of what a woman or beauty should look like.

Now don’t be upset. In our quest to decipher our purpose and mission in life we often adopt the beliefs and expectations of those around us in order to gauge whether we are living life correctly.

Suppose you were taught at an early age that you were expected to finish high school, go to college, get married, have children and retire by age 55. Those seem like reasonable life expectations don’t they? Well, how do you know that those expectations were the right path for YOU?

Now go back to the woman you described as your ideal image of beauty. Chances are you’ve met her before and it caused you great distress. Where did you meet her? Was she the woman who stole your first boyfriend? Was she the little sister who came along and stole all of the attention away from you when you were a child? Was she the most popular girl in high school? Was she the woman all the boys drooled over as she crooned pop music on television? Was she the girl who won all the awards at school without ever trying?

The point I am making is simple. If the ideal woman you imagined does not look like you, somewhere along the line you compared yourself to another woman and felt that you fell short. Somewhere along your life journey, you decided that there was another woman in existence who had something special that you did not. Somewhere along your life path, you listened to opinions about what is right and wrong and you decided not to decide for yourself.

Question: When is the last time you said to yourself… “I look good.”

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Her Value

It’s not a secret men can’t — and won’t — commit. Trust funds and Instagram have made them troubled, or rather I should say trouble. But as I sit here watching my pizza fizzle in the microwave, I’m wondering does a fear of commitment give a person the right to disappear or reappear whenever they like?

This topic has randomly popped up over the past couple of years. I have a mentor (Amy Goldenberg, Consumer Research Analyst, SurveyStud, Inc) who constantly tells me I should date older man and forever pushes the lyric of “It’s better to be an old man’s sweetheart, than a young man’s fool.” I have friends who will only date older men. There is plenty of evidence that supports dating someone who is older, but is it truly worth it?

A nod must be given to the knowledge that women mentally develop faster than our counterpart. In this scenario, a woman is looking to date a man around her age. Depending on her standards, most men end up coming up short, whether in maturity level, finances, emotional intelligence, etc. Older men have the appearance of experience, wisdom, and theoretically are more stable when it comes to relationships. However, Im sorry but mentality I can’t get over seeing saggy balls… gives me the creeps.

For men, dating and older woman is sometimes the ultimate goal. I feel as though men tend to date women who are younger, but when get upset that she’s more immature than he thought. The older woman has the appeal of being more grounded, willing to hold her man down and/or can provide for him in ways that he can’t provide for himself.

On the flip side, older people in relationships can be more controlling. They can demand more of you than you have to give and force you into situations you weren’t ready for.

I’ve dated men who were younger than me, and I would be lying to say that at the time, it didn’t bother me. When I was younger, I looked older, and now that I am getting older, apparently, I look younger. Placing an emphasis specifically on someone’s age does not always mean that he/she is the one for you. If you were born in the Millennium generation, look to your left and look to your right. We are beginning to understand that there is no age to maturity, or stability, or experience. We are the generation learning to express ourselves while at the same time learning that life can not be placed on conveyor belt and handled in an orderly manner.

It doesn’t bother me as much anymore if I date someone younger than me. I still place a cap at a certain age for my own purposes. But I implore you, my fellow brothers and sisters, to look for more in a person than what year they were born compared to yours. What matters is how you connect with the person and where you can see yourself going with that person. What matters is how that person makes you feel, or how much your face hurts because they can’t stop making you smile.

If everyone thought deeper about who they were with, why they were with them, and were more self assured, we all wouldn’t worry about the woes of dating someone older or younger than you.

Question: How do you feel about dating someone elder?

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Accepting Yourself Being Happy

The most dominant feeling I carry around with me is one of extreme social awkwardness. Which is strange, because most people who know me, would described me as a confident woman.

I’m aware that outwardly I am very skilful at presenting a positive and socially pleasing demeanor, while on the inside feeling anxious and exhausted from keeping up the act. Not just at work or at parties, but in my closest relationships too—with my friends, my family and, most bizarrely, with my fiancée.

Perhaps the reason I am/was so well liked by so many is because I would agree with just about everything anyone said, so I was no bother to them. In disputes, I’d take both sides. I was always the first to offer a hand when someone needed help, but not because I felt charitable; I just wanted them to like me more.

If I got angry or frustrated, which I did often, you would never have known it. You would have seen someone who appeared unflappable, regardless of the circumstances. If I was hurt, let down or disappointed, my lightening reflex was to smile and say, “That’s okay!” Somewhere along the line I had developed the philosophy that my happiness was dependent on the approval of others.

This meant that my level of contentment was proportionate to how pleased I thought others were with me moment to moment. Of course, the problem was that I rarely thought they approved of me enough, so I was rarely happy.

Now that I think about it, some of my earliest memories involve me trying extremely hard to be a “good girl,” to do what I was told, and how lonely it felt to fall out of favor with my parents. I never thought about what I wanted from life, only what would make others want to have me around.

The ultimate price I paid was my self worth, which I now know is fundamental to a truly satisfying and fulfilling life. Not only is authenticity vital for your relationships with others, but more importantly for your relationship with yourself.

Isn’t it funny how the strategies we use to protect ourselves from our deepest fears are often the exact same strategies that manifest our fears into reality?

Anywho I want to share with you three of the most important principles that I’ve learned about authentic happiness. I hope they inspired you:

1. We live the feeling of our thinking.

As William Shakespeare famously wrote, “Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” Being authentically happy starts with the realization that you are both the source and the cause of your own well-being.

We never get to experience the world as it really is; we only get to experience our thoughts about the world. It wasn’t actually other people’s disapproval that made me unhappy; it was my mistaken belief that happiness is something that comes from outside of me in the form of approval. Even when it looks as though your emotional state is being dictated by your circumstances, that is never true. Your thoughts are the root of your emotions. Just get curious and ask yourself, “If I weren’t thinking this way, how might I feel differently?”

2. Everything good is inside.

We each walk around with two versions of ourselves. One is our unconditioned self, which is innocent, flawless, and untouched by any trauma, criticism, or injustice we may have faced in life. The other is a learned self, more commonly known as the ego.

The primary role of the ego is to separate you from the truth of who you really are—a human being who is already complete, whole, and mentally and spiritually healthy. The ego believes that happiness is attained through material success, achievement, striving, earning, and deserving. I’ve often heard it described as “everything good outside.”

But your unconditioned self is the much bigger, wiser you. It already knows that you are what you seek; that real happiness is what naturally happens when you dare to show up unedited.

All the happiness you have been looking for outside of you can finally be yours when you stop chasing and start choosing.

3. Our relationship with ourselves determines our relationship with everything else.

One of the standout moments on my journey of self-discovery was hearing Dr. Robert Holden say, “No amount of self-improvement can make up for any lack of self-acceptance.”

Think about it…

SurveyStud: In the App Store