We Tried It | Pole Dance Fitness at Brass Vixens

Pole fitness class

I’ve been dying to try a pole fitness class for a couple of years now. I have a friend who is a pole fitness enthusiast & she’s in amazing shape. Also, the classes look like a lot of fun! So, when Brass Vixens in Toronto invited me to come try one of their classes for free I was tickled pink. Brass Vixens is one of  Toronto’s leading destinations for poledancing, aerialfitness, twerk, burlesque & all things awesome. The problem? I no longer live in Toronto. So, I decided to send my friend Vendredi Mounsey to check out one of their classes and report back. So, for those of you who are curious, here’s what it’s like to attend your first pole fitness class!

Maybe you’re like I was – you’ve heard of pole fitness, and you find it intriguing, but you have no idea what to expect out of a “pole dance” class. When Brass Vixens invited me to pay a visit to one of their three downtown Toronto studios, I was a little skeptical at first as I’m not the greatest dancer. I definitely do not have moves like Jagger. In fact when I do dance I often get asked if I’m in pain… as it most certainly looks as if I am. Nevertheless, I wasn’t going to be deterred by my lack of dance skills…and so this week off I went to Brass Vixens’ Yonge St. studio.

I took Pole Beginner 1 with instructor Lady Kori – a great class for beginners where expert dance skills aren’t required. The warm up playlist started with “Get that Dirt Off Your Shoulders” by Jay-Z and “Drunken Love” from Beyoncé – and I knew this was going to be a different kind of fitness class. I am used to warm ups that consist of high intensity cardio to upbeat music; not gyrating to slow jams. The dynamic routine included squats and flexibility stretches from yoga and Pilates to get our muscles and core warmed before hitting the pole. We were told that we would be learning four basic pole moves which are critical to building a routine: how to work the pole, the flamingo, ballerina and the fan spin/windmill.

Working the pole I found to be relatively easy. I did learn, however, that there is a lot more to it than just walking around in circles (who knew?!). Maintaining proper form (which includes keeping your body at a 90 degree angle from the pole) is crucial as it’s the foundation for all basic moves It’s also a killer tri and bicep workout – no wonder exotic dancers all have amazing guns! The small class size and basic moves (which were admittedly much more difficult than I had anticipated) left me feeling sexy and sore, and challenged muscle groups I would have never expected were going to be used.

All moves really honed in on upper body and core strength in a way that is much different from simply lifting weights and doing crunches. And because the moves got progressively harder, it was a bonus to have the class move at a relatively slow place. This allowed time for Lady Kori to focus on teaching us proper mechanics: breaking down each move and ensuring everyone was doing the moves properly. She even demonstrated modifications to meet differentiating skill levels and fitness levels. Even though it was my very first class, I felt like I got the help I needed to keep up, and to really enjoy myself.

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One quick word of warning to the pole dance virgins: pole fitness isn’t for the shy or bashful. If sultry moves like hip gyration and twerking make you feel more self-conscious than empowered, this may not be the best fitness option for you. That being said, I’d still suggest giving it a try at least once – a good attitude and a sense of humour will see you through any uneasy moments. I’ll admit I had to laugh a couple of times when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror looking rather awkward. My classmates, though, didn’t seem to notice and everyone I met was friendly and inclusive, and more than happy to help me out when I couldn’t get the flamingo quite right.

In summary – you don’t have to be an exotic dancer to take a pole fitness class. Whether you’re looking to try a new fitness routine, or maybe you’re trying to make sexy time with your partner more fun – all you need is an open mind and a willingness to try. And although I haven’t mastered any of the moves as of yet (despite Kori’s patient coaching), I still had a ton of fun, and left feeling confident, sexy and sweaty. Would I go back? Absolutely! And with all of my girlfriends in tow.

About Vendredi – 

VendrediI wrote and illustrated my first book at the age of eight for a writing assignment for Mrs. Trevor, my Grade 3 teacher. Since then, my artistry has sadly not improved, but my storytelling ability has. After completing my diploma in Public Relations from Durham College and a degree in International Studies from Glendon College at York University, I now work as a Marketing Specialist by day and juggle several part time jobs and freelance writing gigs at night.

A country girl to the core, I reside in a rural community just outside of downtown Toronto with my family. When I’m not busy writing, I can be found backpacking, camping or travelling around the globe while listening to 90s dance music and drinking Heineken.

To contact Vendredi please email vendredi.mounsey@gmail.com

About Brass Vixens

Curious about trying a class for yourself? Visit one of Brass Vixens’ three locations in Toronto, follow them on Twitter and Instagram, and like them on Facebook.

How to Create the Perfect Sexy Smoky Eye

You’ve got the sexy outfit. Your hair is bouncy, curly, and voluminous. You’ve got that perfect shade of lipstick that makes you feel fancy, fantastic, and fabulous. You’ve got it all going on, except… that perfect sexy smoky eye that you’re lusting after.

There have been many times where I’ve attempted to get that smoky eye look, only to have my makeup look more “smoky the raccoon” than “smouldering sex vixen.” Even when I do get it right, it never looks quite the same as when a makeup artist does it.

Fear not! Since many of us will be dressing up for Halloween this Friday, I thought it would be fun to do something different & bring in my friend and beauty expert Carmen Rachel to provide some tips on how to create the perfect smoky eye. She’s responsible for creating Katrina’s sultry  Bachelorette Party makeup look featured in this post, so she definitely knows her stuff.

After all, just because Halloween is the scariest day of the year, doesn’t mean your makeup has to be (unless that’s what you’re going for…then, carry on!) FYI, if you are avoiding Halloween this year, these are great tips to use when putting together a lingerie or sexy boudoir look.

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There are three things you need to take note of, when creating a smoky eye. Saturation, Shade, and Shape. Let’s start at the beginning of sexy eyes 101…

SATURATION: No patchy color here! We want our eye to be deep and smouldering all over. Carmen recommends starting your eye look with a deep cream base – think chubby eyeliner, or cream eyeshadow. Press the product close to the lash line, and blend up toward your crease with fingers or a clean concealer brush. If you blend away too much product from the lashline, no worries! Just apply a bit more, to ensure that the most concentrated amount of product is closest to your lashes. This is going to be a base for your powder eyeshadow.

Top Product picks for a saturated Base:

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Holey Smokes!

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Color in Tuxedo

SHADE: We’re no longer stuck in the 20’s. Smoky eyes needn’t be BLACK. You can create this look with any beautiful colours you choose! Carmen’s favorite shades when creating a sexy look are Deep bronzes, or Vibrant plums. Experiment with different cream bases and shadows on the back of your hand to see what you come up with! You can put a vibrant purple on top of a black eyeshadow stick for a deep, but stunning vibrant violet. Remember when you are layering your powder over your cream, you want to press the color on with your brush/finger instead of rubbing or sweeping. Pressing will ensure you get even saturation and color all over your eyes.

Top product picks for eyeshadow colors:

MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Shadow in Black Rose

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Busted

SHAPE: But where does it end!? How far, how tall, how high, how much of a dramatic cat eye?? This is one question that you have to answer yourself. It’s all about how much glam and intensity you’re looking for! Carmen’s suggestion here is to keep your eyes open while you’re applying your powder eyeshadow. A fluffy blending brush is essential here, you can blend the colour on your eyelids up and our, using light back-and-forth strokes from the inside to the outside of your eye. Keeping your eyes open will allow you to see how the make up will actually look. The shape of your eyes are considerably different when they are closed – if you do all your make up in this position, it might be a bit disappointing when you finally open your peepers!

Remember that make up comes off, and not to stress yourself out! If it gets a little bit to intense for your personal taste, you can always take down the intensity with some make up remover and a Q-tip. To give your eyes an extra lift, draw an invisible line from the corner of your eye to the tip of your eyebrow – don’t let colour go beneath here. You can also add a bit of colour on your lower lash line if you feel comfortable.

Top product pick for shape and blending:

Sephora Pro Blending Brush #27

FINAL TOUCHES:

Here is where Carmen likes to add a shimmery bright eyeshadow right below the brow bone, and in the inner corner of the eye, for a little bit of glow and contrast. False lashes are your friend, and they definitely add some foxy goodness to this look! You can also layer some shimmer or glitter on top of this look for a fun burlesque appeal.

Top Picks for Final Touches:

To Hi-light Inner corners and Brow Bone: Laura Mercier Baked Eyeshadow in Ballet Pink

Natural false lashes: MAKE UP FOR EVER Nude Eyelashes in #156

For fully, fluffy lashes: Benefit Pin-up Lash

For Shimmer: MAKE UP FOR EVER Diamond powder in #15 Smoky

For Glitter: Stila Foil Finish Eyeshadow in Metallic Merlot

The most important thing is that you have fun and you feel fantastic. Have a great time to creating the perfect colour combination to suit your style and personality!

Photo by Steph Martyniuk, Model Roxie Woudberg, Make up and Hair by Carmen Rachel

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Got a fun event lined up? To contact Carmen Rachel for her rates, with questions, or to share your own smoky eye looks –  E-mail her at carmenrachel@live.com. You can also find her on Twitter,  Facebook & Instagram

Review | Oh La La Cheri Black Lace Chemise

I’m so excited to share with you guys one of my new favourite pieces of lingerie! Everyone, meet the Black Lace Chemise by Oh la la Cheri. When the cool folks over at Lovehoney offered to send me this beauty to review I was super psyched. A lot of my sexy lingerie is super structured (think corsets and bustiers) so I was looking forward to trying a softer look. This gorgeous lace chemise definitely didn’t disappoint.

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Black Lace Chemise by Oh la la Cheri is made entirely of ultra soft, black stretch lace & mesh. Although it has a seam along the bust for definition, there is no underwire, padding or lining. It’s just soft black lace against your skin…and the effect is super sexy!

This chemise features adjustable straps that are trimmed with cute bow details, a delicate lace ruffle along the hem and comes with a black mesh thong.

photo-24Two words to describe this set: soft and comfortable.

I’m not sure where they found the lace to make this set, but I imagine it was spun by tiny faeries because it feels absolutely amazing to the touch. The material is super soft and delightfully stretchy, making for a very comfortable garment (I tried it on the other day and didn’t want to take it off!)

When it comes to affordable sexy lingerie brands, Oh La La Cheri is by far one of my favourites. I have several of their bra and panty sets which I really love. So, I’m not surprised that I love this set too.

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As I mentioned before, the set comes with a matching black thong. However, unlike previous thong fails, you can actually wear this one comfortably. It’s made of the same super soft stretchy material as the chemise, has sturdy but soft and stretchy straps and a cotton gusset.

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Giveaway | New Additions for Your Goodie Drawer

As a Sex & Relationship blogger who currently lives with her mother, life can get a little awkward sometimes. For example, like when Durex Savvy Lover sends you a very generous gift basket full of condoms, lube and sex toys right before Christmas (Thank you Durex!). The package also included some yummy David’s Tea and Lindt chocolate so it wasn’t all naughty stuff. When my Mom asked me what was inside the package I got to tell her “Condoms…but there’s also some tea!” Judging by the look on her face, I think my answer just confused her more than anything.

The crazy nice gift basket that was sent to me by Durex. Thank you!

When it comes to receiving sexy products through this blog, I’ve been really fortunate this past year. However, I didn’t realize how extensive my stash of goodies was until this past holiday season when I was invited to an impromptu dinner party and realized the only “emergency gifts” I had lying around were a couple of unopened vibrators and a jumbo bottle of lube . Because there are very few occasions where you can show up and say “Merry Christmas! Enjoy this bottle of fine lubricant!” and because sharing is caring, I thought I’d share some of the goodies with you guys.

To help you add to your own goodie drawer, I’m giving away a little gift package that includes….

1. a Doc Johnson pocket rocket! This iconic and discreet vibrator features three metal balls that deliver a powerful vibrating experience while the bottom dial controls the function and the speed of the massager. The Pocket Rocket is a great first time vibe. To get an idea of how universal this thing is, the Doc Johnson Pocket Rocket was recently featured & endorsed by Bethenny Frankel on her talk show (ha!) I gave one to my friend for Christmas and now I have one left over to give to one of you guys.

 

2. The Durex Play Vibrations Connect  Because I never giveaway anything for the guys out there, this little vibrating ring provides up to 20 minutes of shared pleasure for you both to enjoy. With a soft flexible waterproof design for lasting comfort and precision contact, you can both experience powerful stimulation at the touch of a button! Woo hoo! (I’ve tried the older model of the Connect and it’s fun!)

3. Annnnnd, to add to the fun, I also am giving away a bottle of Durex Play 2 in 1 Massage Gel and Lubricant with soothing Aloe Vera to give away curtesy of Durex (perfect for a nice romantic massage…and then some!)

To enter, please leave a comment on this post letting me know that you’d like to win. For extra entries, please follow the prompts below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! xox

Summer Fun Giveaway | The Pulse Probe Vibrator

If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, you know that this arrived on my doorstep the other day:

Yes, that’s a big box full of lingerie and sex toys. Lately, this kind of delivery has become the norm. My life is weird  (not that I’m complaining.)

It looks like I’m going to have my err, hands full for awhile. I have a bunch of sex toys that are waiting to be reviewed:  The Sqweel (yay!), the Lelo Insignia Soraya (Heaven!), The We-Vibe 3 (Pending partner to use it with. Judging by the current status of my love life, don’t expect a review any time soon) and the Doc Johnson iRide (not going to lie, I’m a bit scared of this one. It looks uh, interesting…) plus, more adult toys on the way. I also have some pretty cool lingerie reviews to share with you in the near future (panties and garters! woo hoo!).

To quote a conversation I had with my best friend the other day, “It’s going to be a busy summer. I’m wondering whether it’s even worth wearing pants?”

While I’m busy embarking on my very own sex toy safari this month, I thought I would share with you guys some of the perks that come along with blogging about all this stuff.

EdenFantasys sent me an extra Pulse Probe G-Spot vibrator that I want to give away to one of you!  The Pulse Probe is a multi-speed, waterproof, body safe, 100% silicone vibrator that can be used externally for C-Spot stimulation or internally to reach the magic G-Spot.

I haven’t tried the toy however, it’s described as “easy to use, and has enough power to make you happy. If you are experienced with toys, you should still find the Pulse Probe to be a great addition to your vibrator collection. The enlarged ball on the end gives it the feel of a larger vibrator without being hard to use.” It sounds like the perfect vibrator for a beginner or for someone who is looking to build up their collection and try something new!

For a chance to win, here’s what you have to do: 

1. “Like” Skinny Dip on Facebook (Let’s connect!)

2. Leave a comment on this post letting me know once you’ve done so!

An an extra entry will be given if you:

– Tell someone who doesn’t read Skinny Dip, about the blog (Honor system is at play here. Do it & you get good karma points!)

– Tweet “Hey @by_simone – I want to win my own pink pulse vibe! http://bit.ly/PZRttm”

Open to everyone. I’ll pick a winner Monday July 23rd! Good Luck! xox

*This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered & congrats to @kutzyballerina who is the winner of the pink pulse vibe!*

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