A Cozy Holiday Giveaway From Pure Romance

After writing this post about my impending retirement from sex blogging, I’ve more or less hung up my adult product reviewer hat. So, when Pure Romance contacted me about reviewing their new holiday line, I was hesitant. Would the company that’s known for its at home sex toy parties (I’ve been to a few in my day) have anything suitable for my new blog direction? It turns out that yes, yes, yes they do!

As I’ve mentioned before, I love a great pair of pajamas (so much so, that my family had to stage a pajamavention at one point). Well, as it turns out, Pure Romance carries some of the comfiest ones I’ve ever had the pleasure of working sleeping in (freelancer win!) They also have a bunch of body products that they sent me to try….and, because there are all about spreading the wealth, I also have a Pure Romance holiday gift set to giveaway to a reader. Here’s the skinny…

Behold the most comfiest pajamas known to humankind! The Vega V-neck Chemise and Leto Lounge Pants are both made with bamboo fibers to feel as soft as silk while naturally adapting to your body’s temperature and wicking away moisture. I know I’ll definitely be wearing the Leto Pants to work and write lounge around the house. Also, is it just me or does the Vega V-neck Chemise look cute enough to wear outside of the bedroom? I’m kind of tempted to wear it as a beach dress next time I travel somewhere warm.

The folks at Pure Romance also included some Flirt Conditioning Shave Cream and Coco Glow Sunless Tanner, which to be honest I haven’t had a chance to try yet.

They also included some Euforia Shea Butter, which judging by the first application is something I’m going to be using on my chronically dry legs all winter.

If you’d like to win your very own Pure Romance holiday gift, simply leave a comment on this post.

An extra entry will be given if you also follow me on Instagram. If you follow me on the ‘Gram, make sure you mention your handle in the comment so I know who you are.

I’ll choose a winner Wednesday, December 19th, 2018.

Don’t want to wait to see if you win? Enjoy a 10% discount on all purchases, excluding tax and shipping, when you use the exclusive promotion code SkinnyDip10. To redeem, just enter it in the COUPON CODE box and hit “APPLY” and the discount will be shown.

Good luck & happy holidays! xx

A Good Mattress Can Help Your Sex Life

 

This post was brought to you by ChooseMattress.com. Thanks for supporting the posts that support Skinny Dip.

I found a sex related topic I haven’t written about yet: mattresses! I never considered the impact mattress comfort had on my sex life until I moved in with my ex-partner. I went from sleeping on a reasonably comfortable spring mattress to spending my nights atop of an Ikea foam mattress that I’m pretty sure was designed by Satan himself. Every morning I’d wake up with a sore back and achy muscles. I have a back injury and when my back doesn’t feel good, my libido suffers. When we finally made the switch and invested in a super comfy mattress, it had a positive impact on our sex life. (It’s amazing how much sexier you feel when you’re no longer living in a real-life version of the sofa bed episode of Seinfeld.)

So, without further adieu, here are a few pointers on how to choose the right mattress so your sex life never has to suffer.

Comfort

When choosing a mattress for sex, comfort is one of the things you don’t want to mess around with. Anyone who’s ever had the unfortunate experience of having sex on a futon only to wake up the next day feeling like their body was put through a trash compactor, knows exactly what I’m talking about. The last thing you want is to strain your body while making love (this is especially true if you already have an injury like I do.) Some mattresses will strain your knees, buttocks, or hands, and other areas of your body that offer support during sex. When these are strained, you will get tired out more quickly and may even wake up to body pain. Look for a mattress that’s comfortable and supportive so that sex can be as pleasurable as possiblesomething that’s more difficult to achieve when you’re worried about your mattress giving you shin splints.

Noise

While most people have differing preferences when it comes to noise during sex, I think most of us can agree that there’s nothing sexy about a creaky, squeaky mattress. This is especially true if you live with other people and want to keep things, um, discreet. Instead, aim to create an environment that allows you to focus on your partner with minimal distractions. By providing comfort and discretion, a quiet mattress will help increase performance and pleasure for both of you.

Bounce effect

To maintain rhythm and endurance you’ll want to make sure your mattress offers sufficient bounce. A rigid base may not offer this. When you don’t have enough bounce, your partner will feel like they’re being pressed into the mattress — and not in a good way. So, make sure you find a mattress with sufficient bounce for maximum pleasure.

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Edge support

When choosing a mattress to bolster your sex life, you also need to think about edge support — the encasement around the frame that spring mattresses require to support the springs. A good mattress will offer sufficient edge support to ensure safety and comfort, and will be designed to accommodate weight and pressure, without collapsing (I’m not sure what that would look like, but it doesn’t sound fun). Instead of worrying about stuff, a  good mattress allows you to focus on what’s important: great sleep and satisfaction from sex.

So, there you have it. If you’re shopping for a mattress with sex in mind, these tips should help. Think about it: the average person sleeps for one third of their life (if you sleep approx 8 hours a night and live for 75 years, that’s 25 years or 9,125 days that you spend asleep). You owe it to yourself to create the perfect refuge and playground for you and your partner(s) with a good mattress.

Guest Post | On How to Be Single

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Going through a breakup? Our intern Kaitlyn bravely shares her story today about what it’s like to find yourself single after being in a relationship for 7 years. Take it away Kaitlyn! (illustration credit: Erick Davila)

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I‘ve realized that I do not know how to be single. Not just single –  but independent.

I knew this year was going to be filled with challenges. I’m attending a school where I don’t have any friends and my lover is attending a school two hours away. I knew what I was up against from the beginning. Or so I thought.

The first three months of college were great. I had my own little group of friends, something I’ve always wanted. It was a huge self-esteem boost, because thinking back to high school, I didn’t really have friends there either. In hindsight, it was my fault. My lover didn’t approve of my preference for guy friends over girls. When I finally did make a really good girlfriend, I heard rumors about how some of her life choices weren’t the greatest. I distinctively remember thinking “it’s her life, I’m not going to let it affect mine” and I didn’t. I remained her friend for as long as I could, but eventually time and distance pulled us apart.

Going to college was the fresh start I needed. I woke up every day and actually looked forward to going to school. It was my little group against the world. We were constantly going out and making the best of everything and anything. However, as the saying goes, “don’t cross oceans for people who won’t cross puddles for you.” Gradually, my little group got smaller. Three amigos turned into two. Can you even have two amigos? Can my dog count as the third?

Now it’s just me and my roommate.

And of course I still had my lover. Key word had.

As my group got smaller, I found myself back at square one. I hated waking up every morning to go to school. The thought of it made me sick to my stomach to the point I would cry myself to sleep every night because it felt like I just couldn’t continue. All the independence I had gained when I moved was gone. Just. Like. That.

I dragged my roommate to my lover’s college. I was hoping that I could convince her to leave with me and start over at a new school.

That weekend, we toured the college and living arrangements. But, when I met up with my lover he told me, “I don’t want you to start over. Also, we can’t live together because I need to live with my friends for assignments and I don’t think they would be okay with you being there.” So yeah. Ouch.

Now is a good time to mention that I have been struggling with depression since grade six. My lover had rejected me. I was pretty close to failing half of my classes and I didn’t have a support system at school. Cue: depression.

I slowly began cutting myself off from life. First was my school and the teachers. I had no motivation to be in class and just felt was numb. I was a zombie. Wake up. Go to school. Go home. Sleep. Repeat.

And then something happened. More so like someone.

An old high school friend that is one of my roommates.

We’ve experienced similar yet different challenges that have defined who we are today.

As much as I hate to admit it, I live in the past. I’ve carried the past with me because I thought I needed a constant reminder that “this is the shit that got you here” or “this is how things were back then and how they need to be now.” My past hurt was my anchor. I thought that if  I let go of it, then I might fall backward. The irony being, that hanging on to this emotional baggage is what’s kept me from moving forward.

I was bullied and a bully. I was abused emotionally and physically. Because of this, I feel like I carry this incredible weight on my shoulders to get everything right; to be the kid in the family that has the “perfect” life. You know the one where you go off to school, get a kick ass internship (thanks Simone!) find the love of your life, settle down, get married and have babies. Just kidding re: the babies. I don’t want human babies. Or do I?

My roommate is one of the happiest people I know despite everything life has thrown at him. He’s inspired me to not only to let my bygones be bygone, but to grow as a person and to be the best that I can be.

Remember when I said I “had” my boyfriend? As of a week ago I am officially single for the first time in seven years.

I loved him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, to the point where we were talking about engagement rings and future plans. But, he was a crutch. He was my crutch. Someone for me to lean on. I depended on him to tell me what I needed to do, even though I didn’t always agree.

We skyped. I cried, he cried and then we were free.

A weight has been lifted off my shoulders. My lover and I both had very different priorities this year. His top three priorities were: school, money, friends, job. Mine on the other hand, was our relationship. I wasn’t on his list of priorities and for some reason I thought this was okay. Now I know that it’s not.

I told him I need time for me. I need to figure out what I am meant to do and how to do it. I knew that if I stayed in the relationship any longer I wouldn’t have the strength for the soul searching I so desperately need to do in order to begin the process of healing and moving on from my past.

“You have to hurt to heal,” a wise man once told me.

So here I am in the first time in seven years, single, on a journey of self-discovery and learning how to be independent. Wish me luck!

When a Whisper Turns To a Yell

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Whether it’s going to your first music festival or finally writing your first book, one of the things I’ve learned over the past year is that good things happen when you push past your comfort zone. When I started this blog in 2009 I chose the name “Skinny Dip” because I thought “skinny dipping” was a good metaphor for writing about your life online – it’s naked, it’s scary but also a hell of a lot of fun.

While writing about pretty things & sexy goodies is definitely enjoyable, lately I’ve been feeling a little too comfortable around here – and not in a good “hey I’m wearing silk pyjamas” kind of way. It’s more like, “hey, I’ve been sitting around in these silk pyjamas so long that now there’s a bum shaped imprint on the couch.” It’s time for a change.

I want to use this space for it’s original intention: to tell the truth – about dating, about sex, about bodies, about the challenges of being a (now) 30-something woman & writer. I want to talk about it all, in the most honest way possible.

So, in an effort to strip things down, I’ve decided that every week I will write and post one short personal essay about something that is currently ‘true’ in my life. There’s a very good chance I’ll still post things in-between these mini-essays, but in the meantime I’m really looking forward to more writing and real talk. I hope you are too.

Here’s the first of those “truth-bombs” if you will.

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When I was in college, I was an avid “recycler” of relationships (Al Gore would have been proud!) My love life mostly consisted of a rotating cast of 3-4 different guys that I’d keep getting back together with even though all the signs were there that none of these relationships would ever work out, no matter how many times I revisited them.

This has always been one of my favourite quotes from Maya Angelou (she has so many.)

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At the time, I understood on an intellectual level what Angelou was getting at, but I just couldn’t put it into practice – not really. So, I continued to recycle my hookups and date my exes even though we’d “broken up.” I justified my behaviour in two ways:

“If I’m recycling relationships then it means I’m not adding any more notches on my bedpost.” (I was very concerned back then at being perceived as a slut. Now, as a 30-something, I couldn’t care less.)

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“If we keep coming back to each other, it must mean there’s something there.” (What I know now: there’s always something there. That doesn’t mean it needs to be revisited.)

I’d keep up this pattern until something would happen that was so hurtful and ridiculous that it would be impossible for me not to walk away (i.e. discovering the person I was dating had a secret family stashed on the other side of the city.)

The whispers were always there, quietly guiding me towards the knowledge that these people were wrong for me. But, I needed that whisper to turn into a yell before I’d pay attention. I can’t help but wonder how much pain I could have spared myself if only I’d really listened to what the people I dated were telling me.

(For example, “I don’t want a relationship right now” doesn’t translate to “I just need the right woman to change my mind.” Trust me.)

I’m much better now. I’m becoming better at listening to those whispers and I don’t let things linger like I used to. I favour clean breaks and moving forward. Yet, in order for that clean break to happen, I still need definitive answers. I need to know that a situation is unequivocally wrong for me so I can eliminate it once and for all from my psyche – or, as my Mom likes to say, “Simone, you can’t just leave well enough alone.”

Since I broke up with The Secret Agent, I’ve been turning over stones looking for answers. This is how I ended up on a date with someone I hadn’t seen in 14 years.

I fully, 100% blame Adele’s Hello for everything that happens next (only kind of sort of kidding.)

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I met C. in 2001 through a friend. He was everything that the guys I had dated previously weren’t:

Big hearted. Sweet. Cheerful. Devoted. Tall. (Although he’s made it clear that he wants to be played by Idris Elba in the movie of my life, I envision him as more of a approachable, Pooch Hall type.) He’d do nice things like make me tapes with remixes of all of my favourite Prince songs – just because. He was the kind of guy I should have been dating all along – that I’d be super excited to date now. However, unfortunately,  at the time I was still attached to the immature and misguided notion that a relationship needed lots of hot and cold drama to be “real.” I thought C. was “too nice.” So, a month or two into dating I broke things off (something I’ve always felt bad about.)

Now, flash-forward fourteen years. I’m browsing through my OkCupid matches when low and behold, I’m matched with C.

As it turns out, he’d recently moved to the West Coast from Toronto. Messages were exchanged, texts were sent, but it didn’t go anywhere. A few months later, I met & fell in like with The Secret Agent.

Flashforward 8 months and I’m single again. I reached out to C. to say “hello” (cue Adele.) A few weeks later, I found myself sitting across from him at a sushi restaurant in Vancouver, laughing and having a really great time. This lead to a second date, a third date and a four day weekend spent together.

I like myself a whole lot more than I did when I was 21. Consequently, I like the 2015-2016 version of C. better too. He’s the same friendly, affable, cheeky guy that I initially got to know – but better. He also still does sweet things that I like (ie. records the Soul Train Awards and doesn’t “cheat” & watch them until we’re together.)

But, here’s the thing about those whispers. Once you become attune to them, they become impossible to ignore. Although C. and I connected in ways that were new and pleasantly surprising, there were a handful of little things that pointed towards the fact that long term, we’re probably not a good match. I spent years thinking that the reason that we didn’t work out the first time was largely due to my own immaturity, but really, the whispers had been there all along. Once I noticed these things, I couldn’t un-notice them. Before I knew it, the whisper had turned to a yell.

I called things off. Again.

We talked and agreed that neither of us regret reconnecting. And I truly don’t – regret it that is. In this case, I’m glad that I revisited the past but I’m also glad that I listened to my gut.

This is all to say that sometimes we need to turn over those stones. You might not always get the answer you were hoping for, but if you pay attention, you’ll always get the answer you need to move forward.

Dating Confessions: I Married a Russian Women I Met Online

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(photo: buzzfeed)

Welcome to a new series on the blog called “dating confessions.”  I get a lot of emails from readers wanting to share their stories, so I thought this might be a fun experiment. As I’ve written before, online dating within your own city can be an… interesting experience. But, what if you meet someone from another country? What if you decide to marry them? What if you don’t know each other that well yet?! This is exactly Brent from Texas’ story & he volunteered to write about it. Got a dating confession of your own? Email me at skinnydipblog AT gmail.com. 

Since I have married my Russian wife, people never stop asking me why have I chosen a Russian girl for dating. The answer is simple – she is my soulmate and my destiny. I’ve never thought of marrying a Russian woman, however by a strange quirk of fate I have found  my wife in Russia. So, here is our love story.

Our story started in 2002, the year when I got divorced with my first wife. That was a painful separation, I felt down and depressed. Though I lived with my grownup daughter, we didn’t have very close  relationship. She was a student who lived her own life and I was a lonely divorced guy who didn’t know how to change his life for better.

To ward off loneliness, I’d often spend my evenings online. One night, as was surfing the Internet, I came across a dating site. I decided to try my luck there and shared my plans with my daughter. She was skeptical about that decision, as didn’t believe it was possible for find true love online. Frankly speaking, I didn’t  have high hopes for this endeavour, but I was tired of feeling lonely and decided to give it a try. So, I registered with a dating site, wrote a couple of ladies and even had several dates, but unfortunately not very successful ones.

Despite several failures I didn’t lose hope and continued looking for someone to date and perhaps even build relationship with. Six months in, I came across a profile of a woman named Nadia. I liked her unusual name, but I didn’t pay attention to her nationality. I was just charmed by the women in the photo and looked through her profile about ten times before deciding to write her.

Every day I was impatiently checking my incoming messages, hoping to see a message from Nadia. That long-awaited message appeared in three days. Nadia thanked me for my message and told me a little bit about her life (that is when I found out she was from Russia). She asked me to tell her more about what I wanted out of life. That question puzzled me greatly and I started thinking about how I would like to live the rest of my life. My daughter was pretty independent at that time, she was finishing university, working part-time and was engaged to a nice guy. This when I realized that I didn’t want to be lonely anymore and that I was open to new relationships.

We had been in touch for about two months, when I really wanted to hear her voice. When we finally spoke on the phone, our first real conversation lasted for two hours and it was amazing! I can’t describe what a great pleasure it was talking to Nadia. We had a few more phone conversations. The next move was meeting her in person. Nadia agreed to come to Texas and I was very excited about that.

The moment I saw Nadia at the airport, I knew I couldn’t let her go back to Russia. I presented Nadia to my family and asked her to marry me. Luckily, she agreed without any hesitations. We have been married for two years already and we are both very happy. Moreover, my daughter and Nadia became friends very quickly and our relationship is now better than ever. 

Today, I can safely say that finding true love online is possible, so don’t lose your chance of being happy.

Thanks for sharing your story, Brent! Thank you also for supporting the posts that keep Skinny Dip going. xo

 

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