Toppings

Something just about 98% of the people out there can get behind? Food is wonderful… amazing… even life sustaining. Yes, we need it to live, but we also, in just about every culture, find great pleasure in eating. But… there’s also finding GREAT pleasure in our food… or rather, having our food help us achieving the greatest pleasure… sex.

We all know the traditional concepts of licking your partner up and down, kissing their tender spots and even smelling them heightens arousal. But adding in things like flavored dust, honey or whipped cream? Wow! Right?

But… there’s some tips… yes, including some healthy and safety ones… I’d like to share with you to help you with ideas, some new concepts as well as maybe even save you from a bit of after effects that might not be wanted.

  1. Keep it sweet and light….

Whether using food on the tongue or body (more on this later) food foreplay is an appetizer, but sex is the meal. So hold the savory and spicy (which can burn skin or eyes), and stick to sweets for your sweet.

If you’re into healthier sweets, try pieces of fresh seasonal fruit, like cherries, strawberries or mango slices. If you’re more of a candy craver, play with ice cream toppings, like caramel sauce or marshmallow creme. Or go crazy and combine the two! You can gently hand feed each other or use each other’s bodies as plates.

Just remember that a little goes a long way. Eating too much before getting intimate will only make you and your partner feel sluggish, give you a sugar crash later, and may even lead to motion sickness. Besides, if your partner’s hungry enough to ask for seconds, you two should probably eat lunch first.

  1. Keep food away from your private parts.

Private parts and food don’t mix for various reasons, including possible infections, skin irritation, and let’s be real, sticky pubic hair. If you’re using plain ice, feel free to explore all over. Otherwise, the safest way to stimulate your partner is to keep all the food action above the waist. But don’t worry: there are plenty of erogenous safe zones.

  1. Engage all your senses.

Bringing food into the bedroom engages the senses and we don’t just mean taste. Use foods that smell and feel good on bare skin. (Sorry, stinky cheese lovers. Save that for a real meal!) To keep things hot, try foods you can heat up, like chocolate or honey. Or you can go the opposite direction with popsicles, frozen grapes, or just plain ice.

Play around with these items, hot and cold alike, running them over sensitive zones like the neck, earlobes, nipples, and lips. At the same time, don’t forget to use your hands to stroke, caress, and massage your partner, especially below the waist, where food is off-limits.

  1. Get creative with your mouth.

Good oral sex is about varying the amount of pressure and speed with your tongue and mouth. Good foodplay works the same way. Instead of simply licking food off part of your partner’s body, try sucking cream off his finger or gently nibbling honey off his body. (Yes, getting toothy’s okay, as long as your partner likes it.) Or start with simple lip touches and work your way toward completely enveloping skin in your warm mouth.

  1. Come prepared.

You wouldn’t go to a picnic without napkins, but you wouldn’t take your 10,000 thread count sheets either. So don’t forget to pack some appropriate gear for your naked picnic.

Lay down towels or sheets that you don’t mind getting dirty. Bring napkins or even baby wipes for clean-up. Using tools, like a drizzle bottle for chocolate and honey, can make foodplay a little tidier and keep your hands clean. Ideally, licking fingers (or other parts) clean will suffice before you get busy. And don’t forget to keep the usual sexy stuff nearby — condoms, lube, and any toys.

  1. Have fun.

“Play” is a key component of “foreplay.” Be creative in the way you use food during sex with your partner. Tease each other with little bites. Dribble honey onto each other and slowly lick it off. Share a lollipop. Make a whipped cream bikini with cherry nipples on top a la Varsity Blues and make him beg for a taste. And don’t be afraid to laugh at each other. You might be surprised at how something that starts off silly can end up sexy.

  1. Clean each other off afterward.

You set the table and devoured your partner. Now don’t forget to wash up! Gather any plates, utensils, leftovers and food-splattered clothing or bedding, so you don’t have a big mess to worry about later. Then hit the shower and help your partner clean those hard-to-reach spots.

Great advice? no? Thanks Your Tango for that! BUT… how about some creative items to suggest that just might dive you in a bit deeper?

Very Naughty Things to Do With Candy…
Turn a candy necklace into an edible garter. Wear it underneath a skirt or dress, give your guy a sneak peek while you’re out, then have him eat it off you slowly when you get home.

Melted Chocolate…
Warm up a chocolate bar in the microwave for 15 seconds or until it’s gooey around the edges but not totally melted. Stand in the tub without the water on or on top of an old sheet and have him use the bar to draw a trail down your body. Ask him to lick it up without lifting his tongue off of your skin.

Sex Syrup…
Pour on the lovin’ with tasty sex syrups, made by various companies. Just like your pancake syrup, these add sweetness to every taste, and many come in snap-closed containers for freshness. By many, consider lickable massage oils, they are non-sticky, non-staining, and very delicious!

Candies….
Take some of your favorite candies and lay your partner out, naked, positioned in a sexy position on the bed. You can use one kind of candy or various. Place them in trails that cover the length of their body. Then… tell them they can’t move as you lick and kiss the candies up, and they aren’t allowed to respond until you’re finished.

Now… go and get creative. Add a bit of sweet and savory to your sex!

*Thank you Your Tango for your bits of advice! Credited: https://www.yourtango.com/2013181036/food-foreplay-101-7-tips-using-food-bedroom

Boosting Your Stamina – The Natural Way

It’s true when they say, “you are what you eat.” If you have bad diet, filled with nasty fried foods and greasy burgers, your whole body (include your genitals) will not perform at peak levels. If you want to be a better lover, and really rock their world, start in the kitchen.

The right foods can not only turn you into a better lover, but they can also make you last longer in bed. Eating the right kinds of food raises your testosterone, increases blood flow, raises nitric oxide levels and a variety of other bodily reactions that help you perform better.

Read through thoroughly. Some of these are best for men. Some are best for women. And some have benefits for both!

So, get your grocery lists and recipe books handy. You won’t want to forget to add these foods to your meals from now on!

☞ Oysters

Oysters are one of the greatest natural testosterone boosters in the world. They are full of zinc, which is one of the building blocks of testosterone (It’s also a great supplement for lasting longer) The opposite is true, too. If you eat a lot of soy and burgers, you lower your testosterone, lose circulation, and, for the guys, end up with a limp dick (or worse, premature ejaculation).

Oysters have another awesome side effect besides boosting your testosterone (and thus allowing you to last longer). Because they are so full of zinc, they also increase your sperm volume and give you the ability to shoot sperm. Now, you don’t need to eat buckets or anything – eating just a few of them will suffice.

Oysters are brimming with zinc, a mineral that elevates testosterone while simultaneously boosting growth factor hormone—both of which enhance muscle growth and physical performance (in and out of the bedroom). Research has also shown deficiencies in zinc to be a risk factor for infertility caused by low testosterone levels.

☞ Salmon

Not only is salmon great for your brain (because of the omega 3 fatty acids), it’s also great for your penis. It contains L-arginine, which is an amino acid that acts like a natural Viagra. Eating salmon is much better than taking the little blue pill just to get an erection.

Cook salmon and pair it with other superfoods. One blogger says he likes to cook the salmon on the grill, then squeeze some lemon on it, and serve it over quinoa. This combination is packed with antioxidants and vitamins, and is also, as he says, delicious. He suggests you test this recipe out on your next date night.

☞ Pineapple

Eating any kind of fruit or vegetable is great for you because they unclog your arteries and improve blood flow to your genitals. This, in turn, for men, allows you to last longer in bed and have better, stronger erections. Fruits and vegetables are essential if you want to be healthy enough to last long in bed.

Where the pineapple really shines is the effect it has on your sperm’s taste. In short, it makes it sweet.

☞ Garlic

It’s not just useful for defending yourself against vampires. (Haha, just kidding.) Garlic contains allicin, which is a compound that increases testosterone and burns fat. In fact, it’s so useful in increasing testosterone that bodybuilders use it to promote muscle growth.

Now, you don’t need to be a bodybuilder to enjoy the benefits of higher testosterone and increased sexual stamina that garlic will bring you. If you don’t want to eat garlic by the clove, you can get garlic extract from a nutrition shop for just a few dollars.

According to historians, ancient Egyptians used garlic to boost their stamina. While they didn’t have modern day science to confirm that it actually worked, they were most certainly onto something. Researchers have confirmed that consuming the plant helps stop the formation of new fatty deposits, called nanoplaques, inside arterial walls. Yes, that includes the arteries leading to your genitals, too.

Keep your heart healthy and your erections strong by adding some of the kitchen staple to your weekly dishes. Bear in mind though, garlic won’t make your breath smell particularly seductive. So, keep it out of your date-night diet or have breath freshening items handy. Or… date someone that loves it as much as you do.

☞ Pomegranate

In a recent study, scientists found out that drinking pure pomegranate juice for two weeks increased testosterone levels in male subjects by as high as 24%. So, adding a daily pomegranate to your diet seems like a smart thing to do.

You know what they say: A pomegranate a day keeps premature ejaculation away.

Not to mention that pomegranate juice is delicious. You can even feed your partner seeds by hand to combine feeding and foreplay.

☞ Grass Fed Steaks

Hands down, steak is one of the best foods for increasing testosterone. Think about the last time you saw a man eating steak, did he look more like James Bond or Kevin James? Just thinking about a nice bloody steak makes my testosterone go up.

So why steak, and why grass fed steak?

First of all, steak is high in saturated fats. Why do we want saturated fats, I thought they were gross? Cholesterol. I know that doctors are on the anti-cholesterol wagon right now, but their efforts are completely misdirected.The truth is that unhealthy foods like sugar, fried chicken, and these other foods will hurt your performance more than cholesterol.

One blogger said, “I consulted one of my scientist friends, and he said that cholesterol is actually necessary for the production of testosterone.” So, more steak, more saturated fat, more cholesterol, more testosterone. Winning.

If you want to make sure your steaks are healthy and contain good fats, make sure you eat grass fed steaks. All the bad fats and pollutants from farming are actually from the livestock feed, not the cow itself. You might ask, what do non-grass fed cows eat?

Normal cows eat corn and soy. Both of these are highly estrogen based and contain many pollutants, which are passed onto you. Avoid corn and soy by eating grass fed steaks.

If your crazy-busy schedule is to blame for your lack of libido, you’re not alone. “One of the primary reasons couples stop having sex is because they’re tired, fatigued and stressed. But sometimes, there’s a biological component at play,” says Nelson. One of the causes of fatigue in women is iron deficiency. The condition can sap energy, which may result in a low sex drive, explains Nelson. Bjork concurs, adding, “Iron deficiency is common and can result in feelings of exhaustion, weakness and irritability, which doesn’t make anyone feel like getting intimate.”

☞ Broccoli

Broccoli is special first of all, because it’s high in fiber. Fiber will aid your digestion and make everything run smoothly.

The real reason broccoli made this list isn’t fiber, it’s indole-3-carbinol (try to say that three times fast). Indole-3-carbinol (I3C for short) is a chemical found only in broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, and has been found in multiple studies to decrease estrogen in males of all ages.

If you don’t like eating broccoli, here’s Big Mike’s secret recipe:

Broccoli + Cheese = Delicious

Make some broccoli, then put cheese on top. Melt the cheese in the oven or microwave, sprinkle salt, pepper, and maybe some spicy seasoning, and enjoy.

Cheese is also high in Vitamin K and Zinc, so it’s a win win. Just make sure you use cheddar cheese and not American singles. Those processed slices are filled with preservatives and estrogens, so it defeats the purpose of the broccoli.

☞ Eggs

Make sure you eat the yolk.

Why?

Well it’s full of:

Vitamin D
Saturated Fat
Zinc, choline, selenium
Complete protein
Iodine

…those are all good things.

Protip: chop up some broccoli, mix it with cheese and eggs for a testosterone scramble.

☞ Spinach

Turns out Popeye was right – if you want big muscles, you gotta eat your spinach. The main reason spinach is so powerful is because of magnesium. Magnesium is a necessary mineral that powers hundreds of the body’s biological processes. You could supplement, or just eat spinach.

1 cup of spinach (which really isn’t that much) contains about 160mg of magnesium. This is the equivalent of one or two magnesium supplement pills, just from spinach. Ditch the pills and get back to eating spinach.

Spinach is great for lasting longer because the magnesium help you sleep. When you sleep better, your mood is better, and your body performs at a much higher level. All of this combines to make you last longer in bed.

Come to think of it, Popeye and Olive Oyl were always chasing one another around. Eating spinach puts you in the mood by increasing blood flow below the belt. “Spinach is rich in magnesium, a mineral that decreases inflammation in blood vessels, increasing blood flow,” explains Cassie Bjork, RD, LD of Healthy Simple Life. “Increased blood flow drives blood to the extremities, which, like Viagra, can increase arousal and make sex more pleasurable,” says psychotherapist and sex expert Tammy Nelson Ph.D. “Women will find it is easier to have an orgasm, and men will find that erections come more naturally.”

☞ Dark Chocolate

Chocolate increases both serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, making us happy and lowering our stress level. These being “mood”… boosters if you know what we mean. Cocoa also increases blood flow through the arteries and relaxes blood vessels, sending blood throughout your body… including your genitals.

Serotonin and dopamine are the chemicals released in the brain that are… well? Basically? They’re your own built-in happy drugs. Truth be told, they’re what actual drugs trigger for your highs.

☞ Peppers

The hotter they are, the better. Hot peppers increase your metabolism and stimulate endorphins, making you sweat, plumping your lips, and speeding up your heart rate. That gets the blood flowing to all the essential areas. The net result? Better sex and a more memorable finale.

*Note: If you are going to handle peppers, prepare and touch with gloves. And no matter what you do, do NOT lay any skin or glove you’ve allow to come into contact with the pepper to touch your genitals or other sensitive areas. The oils in peppers cause severe burning. That is… unless you’re into that sort of thing.

☞ Green Tea

The secret to a healthier life and a hotter nightlife starts with a hot cup of tea. Green tea is rich in compounds called catechins, which have been shown to blast away belly fat and speed the liver’s capacity for turning fat into energy.

But that’s not all: Catechins also boost desire by promoting blood flow to your genitals. “Catechins kill off free radicals that damage and inflame blood vessels, increasing their ability to transport blood,” says Bjork. “Catechins also cause blood vessel cells to release nitric oxide, which increases the size of the blood vessels, leading to improved blood flow,” she explains.

You can make the most of the benefits from green tea with what many people call The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Test panelists lost up to 10 pounds in one week!

☞ Ginger

ginger root and powder

If you like your food like you like your lovers, sweet and spicy, you’re in luck. Ginger is another food that can improve your sex life by aiding blood flow and improving artery health. According to a study in the International Journal of Cardiology, consuming a mere teaspoon of the stuff a few times a week is all you need to reap the heart-healthy benefits. So go ahead and place that second order of sushi this week—just don’t leave the ginger on your plate.

☞ Pumpkin Seeds

That Pumpkin Spice Latte may be on your mind first thing in the morning, but before bedtime, getting some sustenance from a real pumpkin might lift your spirits more effectively. In fact, pumpkin seeds are like crunchy little nuggets of Prozac. They’re one of the best food sources of an amino acid known as tryptophan, which helps the production of serotonin in your brain. Antidepressants help the brain to circulate serotonin, so if you’re taking them now, these little pumpkin pick-me-ups may make them even more effective. They’re also one of these 50 Best-Ever Snacks for Weight Loss!

☞ Bananas

Bananas are one of the top sources of potassium, which helps to counteract the effects of foods high in sodium. Salty foods can not only diminish blood flow to the genitals, which can make it more difficult to reach orgasm, but they can also make you bloated. And we all know how feeling bloated can make you feel on an emotional level… and how emotions can effect your performance.

☞ Potatoes

Whether they’re the white or the sweet variety, potatoes are a great source of potassium as well. This nutrient counteracts salt’s bloating effects and boosts circulation, which can help you look better in bed and also boost your bedroom pleasure. It can also improve your mood. Studies have linked low potassium levels with depression.

☞ Fatty Fish

It’s no secret that oily coldwater fish like wild salmon, sardines, and tuna are overflowing with omega-3 fatty acids, but here’s something you may not know: The nutrient not only benefits your heart but also raises dopamine levels in the brain. This spike in dopamine improves circulation and blood flow, triggering arousal, Bjork and Nelson explain.

There’s more: “Dopamine will make you feel more relaxed and connected to your partner, which makes sex more fun,” adds Nelson. Just make sure you buy the right kind!

☞ Coffee

It turns out all those Starbucks daters may be on to something—coffee may just be the best libido booster around. It contains a stimulant that has been shown (in animal studies) to put females in the mood.

☞ Red Wine

If you’re looking for a way to simultaneously boost your libido and calm those pre-date jitters, pour yourself a glass of red wine. Women who drank one to two glasses of these fermented grapes had heightened sexual desire compared to ladies who didn’t. Just be sure to cut yourself off before you get too tipsy.

What makes the elixir so beneficial is a rich antioxidant profile that triggers nitric oxide production in the blood, which relaxes artery walls. As with many of the foods on this list, that increases blood flow down south.

☞ Watermelon

Wind down your date with watermelon. Watermelon has even more lycopene than tomatoes, and lycopene rivals Viagra in its ability to relax blood vessels and improve circulation to certain, ahem, areas of the body.

☞ Blueberries

Blueberries make things harder, but in a good way. According to a joint study from the University of East Anglia and Harvard University, eating flavonoid-rich foods is associated with a reduced risk of erectile dysfunction in men. Of the six main types of flavonoids, three in particular—anthocyanins (found in blueberries), flavanones and flavones (both found in citrus fruits)—offer the greatest benefits in preventing ED.

☞ Shelled pistachios

Here’s how nuts can boost sexual stamina: Pistachios, peanuts, and walnuts all contain the amino acid L-arginine, which is one of the building blocks of nitric oxide—a naturally occurring gas that helps guys maintain their erections. Plus, nuts also help reduce cholesterol levels. The less cholesterol you have in your system, the easier it is for blood to circulate throughout your body and down to your penis, which can help you maintain a firmer erection longer.

Now, I know I mentioned having cholesterol earlier is a good thing. Yes… be sure you know the difference between good and bad cholesterol. And know your levels. You want a healthy level of good cholesterol. For clarification, be sure to ask our physician.

☞ Oats

If you want to go long enough to help your date reach the big-O (hint: you should), reach for some oatmeal. The popular breakfast cereal is a good source of l-arginine, an amino acid commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction. Plus, whole grains like oatmeal also help lower cholesterol levels. Having high cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis, a condition that clogs and narrows arteries, impairing blood flow. This could eventually lead to heart problems, but you’ll likely notice issues below the belt first.

The arteries surrounding the genital area are narrower than coronary blood vessels, so they’re more susceptible to clots. Simply put, the better your cholesterol levels are, the better your erection will be, too!

So, now… don’t all ambush the local grocery store. But be sure that your pantry is stocked when you do go next!

Noir Blac Ball Flop

The Fundraiser on behalf of the Clifton Forge Clinic was an event many residents had looked forward to with great expectations. However, what they were treated to was little more than an open bar and a room full of people in expensive clothes and a stuffy atmosphere of anxiety and pomposity. But worst of all, there wasn’t even any music to dance to. Our reporter has never in his entire career attended a ball without a trace of music. This was a first.

Article by Caspian Douglas

The Three “L”s… Leather, Lace & Latex

Hello there Clifton Forge!

Welcome to a new column for us… Tips Noir. That’s right, a whole column dedicated to learning a bit about the things that generally happen only behind closed doors… or in locked quarters in the back of seedy clubs. And no, I don’t mean evil. I mean those deep, sheltered, taboo parts of your brain that only you (or very few) know that you enjoy.

In these recesses of your mind, there’s a simple little closet… okay, maybe not so simple… that houses a variety of clothing you wouldn’t be caught wearing to your family holiday party. It is those beauties that you’ve bought from those shops where you’ve worn a wig and trench coat to go into or looked all ways before entering or simply ordered off the Internet? Yes those unique articles, I want to talk to you about those today.

Caring for – cleaning and storage that is – these items are key. That is, unless you’re super rich and can afford a new outfit every session. But for those of you that are looking to have your items last? Here’s a few tips to help you ensure your outfits won’t end up permanently on the floor.

Now… lets see about the three “L”s… Leather, Lace and Latex…

→ Leather ↘
While it’s tough as nails, we must also remember that leather is in fact skin. It can dry, crack, stain, warp, etc. So today I’ll walk you through the various options for treating and taking care of leather so that whatever form it takes can be passed down your family line.

The first task in deciding how to treat and care for your leather is simply asking what you want it to look like, and the role it plays in your life. It comes down to taste. Some men want a clean, polished look for their outfits, while others are okay with scratches, blemishes, and natural wear and tear. Dave Munson, founder of Saddleback Leather Co., prefers to minimally treat his own personal bags and allows them to have the beaten-to-hell look that tells tales of adventures (and sometimes misadventures).

So, lets start with polishing. Some of you want that clean, shiny look to your leather goods. On its own, it’s mostly about the actual shine of the product rather than protecting it from the elements. Having said that, many polishes have a moisturizing element, so you really have to look at the product description and user reviews to know what you’re getting and what it does. If this is the goal, be sure you’re picking a product that is both effective and appropriate.

Which brings me to conditioning and such. Leather conditioner or cream moisturizes the material so that it doesn’t dry out and crack. This won’t make your thigh high boots “shine,” but it will protect them. Note that in most cases conditioners don’t waterproof your leather (though some do include a water-repelling component). Leather conditioners are lotion-like, and are to be gently rubbed into the leather. The hide will soak up the conditioner, just like your skin would soak up a moisturizer.

How often you use conditioner, really depends on what you want. Most folks out there — everyday folks who haven’t founded leather goods companies — like to condition their goods every 3 months or so, sometimes more if they live in a dry climate.

Oh… and… Test first. When applying any polish or conditioner, always test a small area first.

Okay… on to Waterproofing. Waterproofing sprays or waxes provide a coating to your shoe to repel water, snow, baby drool, etc. These treatments generally only need to be done once a year, depending on your use of the product. Sprays should only be used in a pinch; they’re convenient, but create a lower quality effect. You’ll need to re-apply a spray several times over the course of a single winter or rainy season. Waxes (and sometimes creams) are much more durable, and can be applied with greater precision and control. With a spray, you’ll be coating laces, zippers, etc., perhaps unnecessarily wearing them and exposing them to chemicals.

Some more tips for leather…

Leather needs to breathe. Just like skin, leather needs some ventilation to prevent mildew and rot. Air can naturally pass through leather, leaving moisture to evaporate naturally. That can’t happen when your leather is all sealed up, though. So don’t ever store or transport it in a plastic grocery bag. Either use the storage/travel bag the item came with, or some type of breathable fabric — pillowcases are great for shoes, bags, and/or other accessories.

If your leather gets soaked or even waterlogged, it can be tempting to throw it in front of a heater or to use a hair dryer to speed the process. Don’t do that, ever. Just like skin and other fabrics, when leather gets wet and then heated right away, it can shrink and dry out too quickly. Rather, let it dry naturally, even if it takes a couple days.

Also, just generally keep leather out of direct sunlight when storing. The leather fades naturally over time, but sunlight speeds up that process. Drying and cracking can also ensue. Darker places with some humidity are preferred, although again, ensure air flow so that mildew can’t form.

Regularly clean with a damp cloth. As mentioned above, the most foolproof way to keep any leather product from prematurely aging, even if you do nothing else, is to give it a regular wipe-down with a damp cloth. Your jackets, shoes, bags — they all quickly accumulate dirt, dust, and all manner of other abrasive particles that lead to premature wear and tear. Preserve your leather by wiping them down weekly, or even after a single hard use in a winter storm, with a wet cloth or even paper towel.

To sum up, ensure that you have a good routine for caring for your leather goods. In many instances, it will look something like these 3 easy steps:
→ Wipe down leather with a damp cloth 1-2 times per week depending on use and accumulated dirt and grime. Store leather shoes on cedar trees.
→ Condition leather every 3-6 months, sometimes more depending on the environment and season.
→ Waterproof once a year, if desired, and if your lifestyle/environment calls for it.

→ Lace ↘
Delicate lace have a variety of effects on many people. After all, the fragile fabrics that are so alluring to look at and soft and smooth to wear, are the very same ones that give us so much stress and hassle when it comes time to turning our attention the washing, care and storage of these items.

The bad news: You can’t escape the need to do laundry, especially where underwear is concerned.

The good news: You can implement some small tips into your daily or weekly routine to streamline the overall process.

If your care labels have started to feel a bit like the menacing thorns that spear treacherously through the beauty of the roses, never fear. These handy tips, tricks and hints, will keep you covered!

Machine washing lace or silk is never recommended, as it exposes the fabric to harsh agitation that increases the risk of damage and reduces the longevity of your clothes. Nevertheless, if you absolutely have to machine wash your delicates, you can take as much precaution as possible by:

→ Using a front-loader washing machine, which tends to be gentler on clothes than a top-loader.
→ Washing items of like colours in delicate-specific laundry bags to prevent snagging.
→ Fastening hooks/clasps and tying down loose embellishments to prevent fabric tears.
→ Choosing a cool, gentle cycle.
→ Opting for delicate-specific laundry detergent.
→ Removing items from the washing machine immediately after the washing cycle.

This is the best option when it comes to caring for your delicates, as it’s gentler on sheer fabrics and thus reduces the risk of tearing and other damage. Hand washing is also the best way to preserve elasticity, keeping your clothes looking new and feeling fresh, many washes in. Hand washing, however, is not without its perils, so be sure to wash as efficiently and safely as possible by:

→ Separating your clothes into like colours.
→ Washing light garments first so you can use the same water for darker garments later.
→ Using cool or room-temperature water.
→ Minimizing the amount of detergent to prevent residue from building up on your clothes.
→ Abandoning scrunching, twisting and pulling actions in favour of gentle swirling motions.
→ Leaving to soak for only a few minutes.

There’s no point putting in the effort to properly wash your delicates, if you’re not willing to show them a little love during the drying process, so to get the most out of your garments, be sure to:

→ Avoid the dryer, which can shrink and breakdown fabrics, and bend wires.
→ Keep your items out of direct sunlight to help preserve colour.
→ Place wet garments on a towel and gently pat them down to expedite the drying process.
→ Use a drying rack for super delicate items that you don’t want to pat down.
→ Reshape items or dry flat when the care label instructs you to do so.
→ Avoid ironing where possible.

As far as storage. Of course, direct sunlight will cause fading of the colours. Lucky for lace, depending on the materials used, warmer, drying, more humid, cooler? Those tend not to be factors unless you’re dealing with a lace made with a specialty material. So, be sure you know the material to ensure you are giving it the best care for the longevity of the piece.

→ Latex ↘
Lots of people enjoy the feeling and look of latex, and with the proper caution, care, and maintenance, your latex clothing can last for a very long time. How about we start with how to wear your latex… Latex clothing can be tricky to put on and take off, but if you keep the following tips in mind, this won’t be nearly as much nuisance!

Pulling on latex clothing – which tends to be tight and fit snugly – can easily damage it, leaving permanent finger marks, stretching, or even rips and tears, in the material. Have patience, and use baby powder generously on the inside of your garments. Another option is to use a silicone-based shining product or a NON oil-based lubricant to make putting on your clothing easier.

Instead of grabbing the latex material with your fingers, which increases the likelihood of leaving finger indentations or causing damage, use your whole hand to pull. Use your hand to shift the latex and gradually shift until the garment is in place properly and you are comfortable. Use as much baby powder or lube as you feel you need; excess can always be wiped off once everything is in place! And lets be honest… extra lube rarely hurts anything.

Be sure to watch your fingernails and any sharp edges on jewelry or watches, as these will catch the latex and possibly cause a tear.

Then, to remove your clothing, follow this same ‘pull and shift’ method to remove garments with care.

Washing and Cleaning Latex Clothing…
Be certain to wash your latex garments after each use. When wearing latex, sweating is common and can be increased by the constriction of this type of material and snug fit. Use a small amount of soft soap in lukewarm water to rinse your garments thoroughly by hand. Do not scrub them, as this may damage the latex, but wipe with a soft cloth inside and out and rinse completely. Do NOT wring out your clothing; it is more than sufficient to gently shake the garment to shake free excess water, pat with a towel to soak up remaining moisture, and hang to air-dry in a room temperature setting. Any remaining water streaks can be gently wiped away with a soft cloth as your clothes are drying. You may also want to lightly shake some baby powder inside your garments as they are drying to prevent sticking.

Properly Storing your Latex…
It’s recommended to store your latex clothing in a cool, dark, dry space. A garment bag is perfect. Use a broad plastic hanger to help your garment keep its shape; wire hangers, thin hangers, or hanging an outfit from the straps may cause the outfit to lose its shape. DO NOT store your clothing in direct sunlight; the sun’s rays will cause the latex material to rapidly deteriorate or even turn white. GASP White? okay, I know some come white, and that’s perfectly fine. But the other effects of direct sun light still remain.

Latex is a very sensitive material, which burns easily. For this reason, you may wish to carefully avoid storing or hanging your clothing near heaters or heat sources, avoiding fire, flame, and cigarettes/cigars. Similarly, avoid storing clothing in damp spaces or fluorescent light to avoid fading and deterioration of the latex material. Metals such as copper, brass, and bronze will stain your clothing if permitted to come into contact with one another. Makeup and perfume may stain or even break down the latex material and should also be avoided. Lastly, avoid oil-based products when wearing your latex clothing and opt for non-harmful water-based ones.

↘ Alright, I hope that helps you keep those precious, expensive secret-time articles fresh and long lasting. Next week, lets see what other little secret love we can talk about. Until then… Always use your safe word!