Pressure and Expectations 

As a woman I find or feel I have a lot of pressure and expectations put on me without a vote in the process.

It’s like I’m expected to get married, I’m expected to give head, I’m expected to have kids, expected to do so so many things, I’m not sure I want to do. When do I get a say in what I want to do, instead of having the pressure(s) of expectations thrust upon me.

I’m 23 soon to be 24, and you know sometimes I don’t feel like giving head, and marriage… OMG, really, I can’t freak’n pop popcorn without burning it–never less being a wife.

I just want to do what I want to do. I want to walk around in sweats with no bra and/or makeup, and watch Orange is the New Black or whatever, and not feel pressured to do anything. I want to flat out say NO, without feeling inconsiderate or sitting for hours wondering if my text response was rude. I just want to be me.

As a child women are drunkened with the “this is how you should behave,” attributes–however, I feel somewhere along the generations, someone forgot to tell/teach me/women its ok to be who you are. Its ok.

Now I’m not saying I dont want the family thing, because I do–not now, not just yet. I want to live with out feeling I got to do X,Y, and Z. I want to say I have to pee without feeling trashy. Oh another thing I want to do… I want to tell or say excuse me (within 2 seconds) to the person standing in the middle of the isle at the grocery store.

OMG OMG this may seem strange but guys do it all the time. But me, no I freak’n stand there like forever without saying anything, because I don’t want to seem rude.

But guys like my dad or brothers, man they will say excuse me, keep it moving and its done.

Question: Do you feel woman have unwanted Pressure and Expectations?

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SurveyStud: In the App Store

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Venting…

I remember the first time I tried to describe the physical sensation of menstrual cramps to my dad. His face twisting into a horrified grimace.

Yes. Yes, it can be. And many of us deal with it every month. But unless you’re our SO or close friend, you’ll probably never know about it. Because we still manage to get sh*t done.

There are a lot of similar struggles that women experience all the time — some silly and small, some alarmingly big — that many men might not be aware of or understand. For example we’re always expected to look nice. And to look happy and have a pleasant demeanor. Seriously, sometimes we want to go outside with frizzy hair and no makeup and sweatpants and not talk to or smile at anyone. I also hate white I go to sleep on white sheets, with a white pillow, and wake up with sheets that look like a 1st grader just colored all over them… uggggghhhh.

OMG what about thinking about your safety ALL the time… Where you walk, how dark it is, where you park, who is in your general vicinity at all times. Parking at the mall? Don’t park near a van! Want to stay late studying? Better have someone walk you to your car. It’s exhausting honestly.

See guys dont have these type of thoughts and or problems.

Then you have the petty stuff i.e… painting your nails with the non-dominant hand–how about going-upstairs boobs. Sleeping face down boobs. Hello I’m going to hurt for no reason today boobs. Boob bra knot boobs. We’ve fallen out and going to do our own thing today boobs.

Don’t judge me, I’m venting…

If I happen to run a few errands or God forbid go to school or work without makeup on and I run into someone I know, I get ‘hey are you okay? You look sick.’ And then when I do wear makeup and I look all cute and presentable, I’ll hear, ‘yeah guys definitely like the natural look better.’

Then there’s the stress of an unexpected period, but then also the stress of an unexpected not-period.

Then theres shaving my kneecaps. Twenty-three years of practice and I’m still awful at it.

Finally because I don’t want to bore you with my problems, but ANYTHING and everything you do with the opposite sex can ([and] probably will at some point) be interpreted as being a tease or leading him on.

I could go on-and-on. Sorry, thanks for reading 🙂

Question: What’s something you want to vent about but for whatever reason have not let it out?

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SurveyStud: In the App Store

Bikini Wax

So today I took my best friend to get a Bikini Wax, and I learned something I did not know i.e… there are many types of wax–OMG where have I been.

From a landing strip to a love heart, the front fluff is a thing to be cherished. Here’s how to have some fun with yours, if you fancy:

Before we get all waxy with ya, let’s be clear, there is nada wrong with leaving things down there 100% au natural. There’s no pressure to play around with your pubes if you don’t want to, but if you do, these are some of the best styles and shapes to try.

Ideal for a first time waxer, the bikini line touch up is exactly as the name would suggest, a tidy up around the edges. A good option if you want to keep things on the natural side, but prefer a little more definition. Hair is removed from anywhere outside of a modest panty line – so around the tops of thighs and any hair above your panty.

Similarly to the above, the full bikini wax is still nice ‘n’ natural, but with a little more of a neaten up around the top and sides of your pubes. This is usually referred to as a standard bikini line on most salon menus. You can keep your knickers on when you have this one done.

A French wax differs from other styles like a Brazilian as most of the hair is taken from around the front and sides, but the middle (labia) and around the back is left alone.

If you want down there to be smooth and clean of hair, without feeling too bare, French is the way to go.

The shape of the hair at the front is totally up to you, but the landing strip is a classic option. Other popular shapes include a tiny triangle and a postage stamp, but feel free to ask for whatever style you prefer.

Now if you want to feel super clean, Brazilian waxes are one of the most popular options when it comes to primping ya pubes. Unlike the French version, when you go Brazilian they take the hair off the top and sides of the bikini line, but also all the way under and around the back, too. 

If you want to feel totally smooth and hairless, go Brazilian.

Just like with a French wax, when having a Brazilian you can ask for whatever shape you like, many people opt for a landing strip, but another popular option is the Bermuda triangle. It resembles a traditional bikini line wax (with just a neat triangle of hair left) but minus the fluff on your labia and ass.

Question: What’s your thoughts on waxing?

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SurveyStud: In the App Store 

Kissing A Guy With Bad Breath

Looking back at a specific relationship, I am a little surprised I was down for the sh*t breath for so long. I think that had we not been cool and pretty good friends before we tried dating for a while, I probably would’ve nipped that in the bud early. But it’s amazing what you’re willing to look past when you genuinely like someone.

I’m writing this is because during a brainstorming meeting my boss (Amy Goldenberg, Consumer Research Analyst, SurveyStud,inc) said she wanted someone to explain the psychology behind being able to date someone with tart breath (to put it mildly) and never tell them about it. Before I knew, it I was opening my big mouth announcing, “Oh I did that.”

In my defense, I was 20, I had known the guy nearly all my life, and we didn’t date that long. Still, the joke to end all jokes on him was that his breath smelled like some sort of horrid combination of rust and metal. And there I was putting my tongue all up in and through the danger zone. Gag me. Literally.

Any time I was about to meet up with Yuck Mouth (YM,) there was anxiety in my stomach, worrying just what level of stank his mouth was going to reek of that day.

In all seriousness, gum was my lifesaver. I’m never one to leave home without it anyway, but I made sure to double up when I knew we’d be hanging out. And just in case any of you are finding yourself in the unfortunate position of slobbing a yuck mouth, know that the flavor must absolutely be wintergreen, green mint, winter mint, peppermint, or anything in that category. Messing around with that wildberry, bubble mint mess with have feeling like you just stuck your tongue in a field of strawberries that mother nature defecated on. Learn from me, don’t do it to yourself.

Being careful not to stand too close when talking also helped. Like with anything else, the longer you think about something the less likely you are to do it. If I would have been up in his face for too much time before we had one of our cheesy makeout sessions, I’m pretty sure I would have eventually ran the other way and pulled one of those curfew copouts or fake phone calls to get myself up out of that sticky spot. But when the odor doesn’t overcome you until right about the time that you’re ready to start exchanging pecks, those teenage hormones are already in overdrive and you figure eff it. What doesn’t make me throw up, only makes my stomach stronger.

As for why I didn’t tell YM about the atrociousness spilling from his oral orifices. Simple: I wouldn’t be telling him anything he didn’t already know or that would make a difference. The thing is, gum was like a band-aid over his breath. Heck, toothpaste was a bandage over that putrocity (yeah, I made that up). I was convinced my summer fling/friend thing had a serious case of halitosis and what I knew for sure, like Oprah says, is that simply saying “your breath smells” didn’t even cover the half and was surely not going to remedy that ailment

Question: Is it appropriate to tell someone their breath is tart?

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SurveyStud: In the App Store

O-Shot

First off, let me just say that my vagina is A-OK as is. She looks fine, she tastes fine, she smells fine.

I’m a firm believer that God makes each beautiful clamshell perfect just the way she is. I still remember telling a male friend in my younger, more image-conscious days that I shaved my pubic hair off because it just seemed “more sanitary.” To which he responded, “It’s a vagina, not a hospital.”And he was right — it’s not a hospital, nor is it one of those Philosophy bath sets that come out around Christmas with shower gels named “Sugar Cookie” and “Holiday Spice.” It’s OK if it just looks and smells and tastes like, you know, a vagina. I long ago stopped trying to achieve a smooth, plasticized Barbie crotch and now just keep things sort of tidy and contained down there, when I’m not too lazy.

First of all, I love the phrase “vagina spa,” it just sounds clean. Anywho, I decided to take my vagina to a spa, I was left with the task of deciding what vagina service to avail myself of. Should I get the vagina steam, designed to “cleanse, tone and nourish the cervix, uterus, and vaginal tissues”? Nah, too Goop. Or the V-Lift, which promises to “plump and smooth out wrinkles” and, I kid you not, give my va-j-j that “Kylie Jenner-esque lips … on my lips”? Intriguing, but the service required a clean pap smear in the last 6 months, and my most recent was from 9 months ago.

That left me with The O-Shot, described as a “simple procedure that uses your own blood plasma, which is injected into the vagina, to enhance sexual pleasure.” OH, IS THAT ALL? You’re just going to take blood out of my arm and use a needle to inject it into my clitoris and G-spot? No biggie.

The O-shot is supposed to work by isolating plasma-rich platelets (PRP) from the blood, then injecting them back into the body, where the growth hormones within set to work rejuvenating the vagina, treating incontinence, looseness, dryness and lack of sensation.

That O? It stands for “orgasm.” As in crazy-strong, “blow-a-hole-through-the-roof” orgasms. So the first few days afterward, I wasn’t sure if I was feeling much. I thought I felt a little more aware of my clitoris (but not CONSTANTLY AWARE, whew), and it seemed like my orgasms might be a little different. In fact, the first thing my fiancé said when I had my first post-O-short orgasm was, “That seemed different.”

What…? Did I make a mistake–I mean what do you mean “different?”

It definitely seemed a little different, but I hadn’t gotten off for awhile before that, so I wasn’t totally sure it was the shot. And I felt the same way about the next few orgasms — yeah, they seemed a little different, but was it really the shot, or was this just an “I want to believe” situation because I let someone put a needle in my vagina?

But then there was a distinct turn. By the third week, I started feeling much more sensation during sex. I was more quickly aroused, and it was much easier to orgasm once we got started. A few times I even got myself off with my hand during intercourse. My hand. I hadn’t gotten off without the horsepower of the Hitachi Magic wand in ages.

Having an orgasm felt like tipping the ball into the hoop from the rim gently, as opposed to shooting a 3-point shot from half-court. And the orgasms just seemed to get stronger and better, until they were lasting for what felt like minutes. (But were probably actually, like, 15 awesome seconds.)

“That seemed different,” became a regular post-orgasm commentary from my fiancé. In fact, I asked him this morning what specifically had changed about my orgasms, and he said that before I acted “kind of like a woman who’d just had a cat jump on her stomach,” and now I act like “that moment when the devil is inside you and they dump holy water on you.”

Overall, I’m about twice as likely to feel stimulated during sex and achieve orgasm, and those orgasms are stronger and better every time.

Question: What do you think about the O-Shot

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SurveyStud: In the App Store

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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SurveyStud: In the App Store

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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SurveyStud: In the App Store

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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SurveyStud: In the App Store

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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SurveyStud: In the App Store

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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SurveyStud: In the App Store