Monthly Archives: March 2012

Divorce Camp




Last week on THE SPARK, a radio program produced rather locally by Martha Woodroof for public radio station WMRA, the goest was Victoria Godfrey.  Godfrey and a couple of other friends started a website last year called DIVORCE CAMP which is all about what to do if you are going through a divorce, have recently gone through a divorce or are even thinking about divorce.  This being a topic I know a little something about having gone down that path twice in my life, I decided to check it out.

There is some free advice and also more advice if you wish to plunk down a $25.00 per month you use it membership fee.  I enjoyed the free advice and learned that for the fee you get access to tips from professionals that would cost you tons more if you sought them out individually (think lawyers fees alone).  I had one of the smoothest divorces ever – the second time around – and attribute this to the lessons I learned the first time I divorced (which was a classic disaster) and the discovery of yoga (staying calm and centered really helped get me through the process fairly gracefully).  Despite my own revelations about easeful as possible divorce, I think this site has a lot to offer so you might want to check it out.

Martha Woodroof interviewed me a few weeks ago about my adventures as a freelance writer.  The interview will be broadcast today at noon on WMRA for anyone who is iterated in some funny stories. (click here for a link)  Martha was particularly intrigued by my insider pole dancing story for STYLE WEEKLY.

Posts may be a bit spotty next week as it is spring break and I will be traveling with my daughter and visiting my son.  While I am away, I would love to have your feedback on any advice  for recovery you would give a post divorcee.

Chat soon,




Who should call whom? Is this a valid question in today’s dating world?









The other day I read a blog post by Suzy Weiss a dating coach for women over 40.  In her blog, WHAT MEN REALLY WANT IN A WOMAN Suzy discusses the “calling issue” where she suggests that women should not call men until a relationship is established.  She relates the story of a woman named Patty who called a man after the first date to invite him to a concert for which she had tickets and what happened next when the man didn’t call her.  Suzy suggests that by calling the man, thus “chasing” him, the woman ruined her chances with him.  I thought, maybe it was her having sex with him on their third date that killed that one but what do I know?

I am unsure how I feel about this topic of whether or not to call a man.  I tend to lean towards getting to know someone as a friend before considering a romance (not that I have done that before but it is why I am working on that now) and so calling him seems just fine.

What are your thoughts?  In the middle of life what should be one’s policy for calling?  And for you coupled people:  What is your story?  Was there some sort of “chasing” thing set up to facilitate a “catch” or not.  Please share your thoughts and stories.

Going Brazilian Part VI: Trends in Bikini Waxing


Just when you thought the subject of bikini waxing was done, you are surprised by one last post regarding trends.  Yes, there are trends.

Creating shapes with the hair  at the top of the labia is a current trend according to Sue Ismiel, Executive Chair of Nad’s Natural Hair Removal. “Some of the most poplular shapes are the heartbreaker, the thunderstruck, the landing strip and the Bermuda triangle.”

Click here for a link to her video.

“I have had people request initials but that is really hard to do,” says Kimberly Austin of Bombshell salon in Richmond.


Heartbreaker:  heart shape design of pubic hair

Thunderstruck: a lightening bolt design of pubic hair

Landing strip: a small rectangle shape from the bottom of the underwear waste band to the top of the pubic bone or shorter

Postage stamp: a very small landing strip on

the pubic bone

Bermuda Triangle:  a triangle shape with the top points facing the hips and the bottom point at the top of the labia

For more on trends click here for an article in Glamour Magazine.

Thank you for bearing with me during this exploration.  Hopefully it has been informative at the very least.

I had my wax this morning and I feel great!  Looking forward to wearing a bathing suit over spring break next week without worry.

What is something that you do that helps you to feel confident and current?

Going Brazilian Part V: Tips for Bikini Wax Virgins




Tomorrow is the big day.  I have an appointment at Simple Spa in Charlottesville and in preparation for spring break I am going Brazilian. Though it is far from my first bikini wax experience, I couldn’t help thinking about women who might try this for the first time and how nice it would have been if someone had told me what to expect.  If you have been reading this series up to now you know how to prepare for your wax, what to look for in a salon.  Now it is time to get an idea of the procedure itself.

I remember being a bit intimidated at first.  I mean aside from my most recent wasband (remember I have two of them) and my gynecologist, that area of my body had remain unseen by another human being for 12 years or so.  The purpose of all this is to give you an idea so you can decide if this sort of  update to your look is for you.

So here is an outline of the procedure:

You should be escorted to a private treatment room in the salon where you will be asked to undress from the waist down (remember to keep some socks on unless you have neat, clean feet).

If you are shy (like I was when I started bikini waxing) the salon should offer a one -size -fits -all paper string bikini you can wear during the wax process.  You may also bring an extra pair of older panties to wear if you like, but be warned they will probably get wax on them. If the salon fails to offer the panties you may ask for them.

Once you are disrobed to your satisfaction, you will be asked to lie on the table.  Many salons use towels to cover up vulnerable areas if you like similar to how a massage therapist will use a towel to cover your breasts during a massage.

The wax should be warm rather than scalding and applied with something like a popsicle stick.  Audrey Nell Smith from Bombshell explains why the first time you wax is the worst:

“The first time is the hardest time but it gets easier each time you wax. Before you wax the first time the hair is pulled from the body the hair folic le is strong and the hair is strong making the pull effect of waxing the worst it will ever be. Once that bond is broken it takes less effort to remove the hair from the folicle and often after years hair stops growing all together. The pain is similar to quickly ripping a band aid off.”

You may be asked to put your legs in some interesting positions in order to get to some hard to reach places.

After your wax, your esthetician my apply some special cream and should advise you on how to deal with ingrown hairs.

Then you get dressed and go home to take a shower as you may feel a little sticky afterwards.

First timers should avoid sun exposure to the waxes area for a couple of days.

Audrey also suggests taking ibuprofen before your first wax to help control swelling or pain issues.

Tomorrow: trends in bikini waxing- you won’t want to miss that one!

Are there any other beauty topics you are interested in exploring?



Going Brazilian Part IV: Etiquette


Thank you for staying on this journey with me.  Just one or two more posts on this subject and it will be done.  If you are just signing on to Dating by Committee you will notice that this is the fourth installment.  If you are interested in the previous related posts, please click here for the most recent which has links to the other two as well.  We have already discussed some definitions for types of bikini waxing,  and what to look for in a salon.  Proper etiquette is the subject today.

You see, the positions that one must get in in order to properly remove hair in the bikini area and the very nature of the act call for a prescribed level of cleanliness.  In order for the experience to be as pleasant as possible (possible being the operative word in this case) for all parties involved, there are certain things one can do.

In order to get the perspective of the “other” person involved in bikini waxing, I called upon Audrey Nell Smith, an esthetician at Bombshell Salon in Richmond, Va.  Audrey has performed “a few thousand Brazilians,” she says, and one day allowed me to interview her while I was literally on the table

Proper Bikini/Brazilian Wax Etiquette According to Audrey:

  1. Be clean.  Shower the day of your wax and make sure all areas “down under’ are clean. Schedule your wax before your workout rather than after.  If you must workout before your wax, either shower afterwards or at least make an effort to wash the area to be waxed.  Audry suggests “being clean from front to back, cleaning the whole area.”
  2. Be on time.  Waxes are usually booked fairly tightly together so tardiness on your part may result in loosing your appointment.
  3. Have clean, neat feat or wear clean socks. Just a point of consideration for your waxologist.
  4. Exfoliate.  Exfoliation the night before helps to loosen the hair and rids the skin of excess skin cells which may effect the “grab” factor of the wax.
  5. Take an Ibeprofin beforehand.  If your skin is sensitive and you tend to get really pink after a wax, an ibeprofin will help reduce the swelling quicker.
  6. Get the No Scream Cream by Relax and Wax available online at  If you are highly sensitive to pain using this special cream will help.
  7. Inform your Waxologist.  If you are having your period or have any medical conditions going on down “there”, let your waxologist know so she may be prepared.  If you are on your period you should wear a tampon or choose to reschedule your wax.

Can you think of anything else you might do that would constitute good manners in this situation?

Going Brazilian Part III: Tips for finding a Salon


I am happy to report that the “wax” blogs are generating some interesting conversations and I am excited to bring in an expert today to help out.  To view the previous blogs on Going Brazilian simply click here and here.  Otherwise, find out what a shmancy salon in NYC has to say about cleanliness.

So, before going to get a wax of any kind, it is important to understand what hygiene the salon practices for your safety.  Below is some information sent from Shobha Salon of New York– experts in the field.

Shobha(r) Bikini Waxing Safety: Pre-care Pointers

1. Observe Your Surroundings – Similar to preventing infection during a manicure or pedicure, waxing facilities must be clean and strict sanitary processes must be followed to provide uncontaminated supplies, eliminating the potential for infection during the treatment process. Your practitioner should always:

a. Use clean, disposable implements or hospital grade disinfectant for any tools that are reused.

* Wear gloves.
* Clearly wash hands before and after each client.

2. Steer Clear of Double Dipping – The nauseating truth is that double-dipping is common practice in wax application. This method uses the same spatula for the entire treatment, re-dipping the used applicator back into the vat of wax. This contaminated wax is then reused for treatments on other individuals. “Unfortunately, this technique can increase the chances of potentially harmful bacteria spreading from one client to another, which is particularly disturbing when dealing with the bikini area. That’s why we follow our strict No Double Dip Policy (SM) for all sugaring and waxing treatments at Shobha,” Shobha Tummala, Founder and CEO of Shobha says. If the facility does not offer such a policy, request a new can of wax at the start of your treatment to avoid contaminated supplies that have been used on other clients.

3. The Truth About Tweezers – Many aestheticians place tweezers, typically used to remove stray hairs after a bikini wax, in their pockets, drawers or even leave them lying around, causing them to be susceptible to various types of harmful bacteria. Plus, they are not likely to be sanitized between every client, which can increase the potential for contracting an infection during a treatment. “Tweezers should always be sanitized with a hospital grade disinfectant every time a service is completed. Here at Shobha, we only thread to remove stray hairs to avoid this potential safety hazard entirely. Our thread is never reused and is completely sanitary. While our Specialists may hold the thread taut in their mouths for better accuracy, this part of the thread never comes in contact with your skin.” says Shobha Tummala, Founder and CEO of Shobha.

4. Know Your Professional – By law, your wax practitioner must be licensed with the state to perform professional treatments. This license should be displayed in the place of work. For New York State, you can check online to make sure your practitioner is current with his/her paperwork online (This licensing requirement may vary in Canada; your local department of commerce should have more details).

5. Be Menstruation Free – Generally, it is best to get a bikini wax at least a few days before or after your period. The closer the treatment is to your actual period, the more sensitive your body becomes because your immune system is lowered, making you more susceptible to infection.

6. Try a Patch Test – Before undergoing a full treatment, if you have never waxed previously it is best to try a small area (known as a patch test) first. Wait 48 hours between the test and full treatment to see if you have any adverse reactions.

Shobha, New York City’s celebrated hair removal expert, is known for its consistent quality and client sensitivity embodied in its line of products and all-inclusive treatments for the brows, body and bikini. Shobha also caters to its clientele via its online presence


137 Fifth Ave, 8th FL
New York, NY 10010

Thanks Shobha for the information!

What other things might you want to know about a salons before waxing?


Disclaimer:  I have not received any services or been offered any services paid or otherwise from Shobha salon at the time of this writing. MB

Going Brazilian Part II: The basics


Two days ago I started blogging about bikini waxing and how this has become a normal part of grooming that many women entering the dating scene following a long term relationship may want to explore.  (To see my introduction to bikini waxing click here.) I pointed out in the post that if you have had only one sexual partner for the last 15 to 25 years you may be out of the loop on the trends because way back when you started dating that man bikini waxing was reserved for strippers and hookers.  Now it is a mainstream activity and the expectations of grooming “down there” may be a bit different than the last time you thought about it.

To confirm that other newly “divorced” middle aged women were interested in this topic I spoke with Kimberly Austin.  According to  Austin, a 5 year veteran “waxologist” at Bombshell Salon in Richmond, there has been an increase in middle aged divorcees waxing in the last several years. Says Austin, “Two years ago 20% of my waxing clients were over 30.  Now the breakdown is about 60% younger women and 40% older. Most of these women are coming in after a divorce.”  “Getting a wax can help you feel sexy and more vital.  It can be a factor in an older woman gaining confidence to try new things.”  says Victoria Snapp owner of Simple Spa  in Charlottesville who has had clients dramatically change their hair and try pole dancing after beginning waxing the bikini area.

It is pretty dramatic going from a full “bush” to nothing so Austin recommends starting with a standard bikini wax (tops of the inner thighs, plus a quarter inch in towards the labia and anything above the panty line) and moving inward a little more each time you wax until you are ready for none or next to none. “Most women go from a regular bikini wax and work their way up to a French wax (all hair off the back side of the buttocks, some hair on the labia) then to either a full Brazilian (everything) or a landing strip (everything except a small strip of hair from below the panty waistband to the top of the labia),” she explains.

Advice to consider:  Start out slowly and work your way up to “the full Monty”  if that is where you think you want to go.

Tomorrow I will explore salon cleanliness issues to ask about before booking your first appointment.

Do you think getting a bikini wax would make you feel sexier and more confident?

MadMen go Downton


Yes, I am among the millions of people smitten with MadMen AND Downton Abbey but rarely do the two blockbuster television series meet – or do they?

This is just for fun.  After all, a girl’s got to get her kicks somewhere:

Thanks to Slate for doing this and to Lettie for sharing it with me.

Do you have any other good pairings?

Going to Brazil: Introduction



The power of a makeover to boost self -confidence and act as a starter button for other major life changes is undisputed.  And as a middle aged woman recovering from Post-divorce traumatic syndrome I am all about feeling more vital and desirable. So I have decided to go Brazilian. I don’t mean taking a trip to South America.  I mean waxing off all the hair that a bikini would and would not cover in the crotch area. This may seem a little dramatic and odd for someone in their ah-hem 40’s, but after spending 14 years with one sexual partner, I had no idea what the trends were for hair “down there” and realized that if I ever get to the point where I am naked with a man again, there might be some different expectations of pubic hair grooming.- At the very least I would feel current and confident for myself.


But being a journalist and recognizing that there are thousands of women out there who have been in long-term committed relationships for 15 to 20 years that are venturing back out on the “market”, I couldn’t just go get a Brazilian, I had to research it.  In the next few upcoming posts I will divulge what I found out about the process, health issues, trends and etiquette of bikini waxing.


Defining “Available”





One thing I am learning is that middle aged men (i.e.: men between the ages of 45 and 60) have an interesting way of defining “available”.  Recently, I have encountered two men who  are “looking” under the guise of being available.  My definition of available is you are single – not married or in a mutually agreed upon monogamous relationship. In other words, there is no one around who assumes they are attached to you enough to get angry if you are in any way involved with someone else.

If a person was involved in a long-term relationship at some point, single means that that relationship it is over as in you are no longer living with that person if it was a long-term non-maritial situation and if you were married, you are divorced (as in papers signed and finalized).  On the outskirts of that definition is the person who is out of the marital home and has the separation agreement negotiated, signed and is waiting for the court’s final divorce decree.  A person in any other spot along the timeline of a significant relationship is   un-available.

However, I have discovered that many people disagree with my definition. Recently an acquaintance asked me if I would like to meet a nice man who is available – as in coming out of a bad marriage.  I agreed to meet him and he represented himself as available.  On out third meeting, a game of tennis at his club, he asked if I would like to go to his house for  a late dinner.  Realizing the possible implication here ( some people think there is a “third date” rule regarding sexual relations to which I do not prescribe), I asked for clarity in terms of his marital status which had previously been only vaguely defined.  It turns out that he and his wife are not yet even officially separated.  She has been staying with her mother for a few months but they have yet to engage in any negotiations of property settlement or even actually agreed to divorce.

“So, you are actually married.” I say.  “Then why are you dating?” (This man had already told me he is on

His response, “I just want conversation. I have been totally honest with you. I need a carrot to know that there are other ways to have a relationship so I can stay on track with this whole thing.”

I told him that I am not a carrot.       I am not a carrot.



What, in your opinion, is the point in the “break-up” process when someone is considered available?