The Simple Pleasure Of A Good-Fitting Bra

It was time. I simply had to go bra shopping again – an annual-ish experience that is inevitably less than satisfying. As an erotica writer, I have an affinity for beautiful lingerie. However, like so many artists, my budget does not necessary match my tastes. Off to the sales rack as usual!

A life-changing day for me happened last year, when at an embarrassingly old age I was finally told what my actual bra size is. So many women go through their lives wearing bras that simply do not fit – until last year I was one of them. Poor souls! It just isn’t worth it. I can honestly say, having a good-fitting bra makes all the difference. My size happens to be an unusual one, and for years I made do with “good-enough fitting” bras that just didn’t do the trick, one size up or down here or there, cups puckering in odd places and the band riding up toward my shoulder blades. Silly to think how I let it go on so long. Now, at least, I know how a perfectly fitting bra should look and feel. Here for you now: Fionna’s tips for finding the bra that could change your life, the way my first properly-fitted bra did for me.

Step 1: Go to a REAL lingerie shop and find your size. Don’t pass out at the sight of $500 lingerie; just go inside, try on some beautiful things, and let the lovely saleswoman help you find your just-right size. Believe me, it is worth it. And also, you will probably be surprised at what your size actually is.

Step 2: Now go to the sales rack at your favorite normal-priced store and pick out all the bras in your size. You are looking for ones that are cute and pretty, but also functional.

Step 3: Try them on. This is the part when you really need to know how a good-fitting bra looks. The wire should not squish or pinch your lovely breasts in any way, but rather skim across the bottom curve, laying flat against your body all the way. Most of the support should come from the band, not the straps. If those straps are holding everything up, it’s not a good fit! The band should sit low on your back, not pulled upwards at all. And – here’s something I recently learned – it should fit just right on the loosest hook, not the middle or the tightest. Those perfectly-fitting bras should feel comfortable, supportive, and not have gaps in the cup or the straps. Double-check that band, make sure it lies straight across your back – no pulling!

Step 4: Pick the cutest ones.

Step 5: Buy some matching panties. You should always have some gorgeous underwear on hand.

Step 6: Celebrate! You survived bra-shopping for yet another year. (In my case, and I hope in yours, you should model said underwear for your partner of choice… that’s how you know it’s REALLY a good fit.)

Oh, so THAT’S what “Literary Fiction” is!

One of the most mysterious genres out there is so-called literary fiction. Indie authors like myself are familiar with the publishing rigmarole of stuffing our hard work, favorite ideas, and excruciatingly-well-edited books into the boxlike list of genres provided when taking that final step toward publishing. I’m a bit shy, I suppose, since I tend to play it safe: what genre? Fiction. What kind of fiction? Erotica. That’s all you really need to know in order to read my work without feeling falsely advertised; it’s pretty clear what “erotica” means. But I’ve always been curious about the label of literary fiction. What is it, actually? How do you know you have just stumbled across a work of true literary fiction?

Well, folks, I found it. The book that opened my eyes to the difference between literary fiction and general fiction has arrived. Obasan, by Joy Kanagawa. It’s a wrenching novel, telling the story of a young Japanese-Canadian girl’s experience during WWII. I hadn’t know this, but Canada exiled its Japanese-Canadian citizens from the West Coast, similarly to what the United States did with its Japanese internment camps. The story comes through in many ways, but in particular through the careful imagery the author uses. Each scene has multiple layers of meaning. Even if a scene might be about a day at school, that’s only the surface; it’s also about betrayal, and death, and hopelessness. Somehow, the author brings together dozens of ideas in a single page, through word choice, achingly specific descriptions, and especially symbolism.

Reading Obasan made me realize how literal I am as an author, and how literal so many authors are. Despite those torturous days of high school English class when we had to interpret what the author might have meant that “the curtains in the room were blue,” (Because let me tell you, if I write that, it’s because the curtains are simply blue! That’s it!) the reality is that as a reader and an author, I have little experience looking at writing as something deeper than the story itself. Literary fiction, I’ve discovered, gets my brain working on many levels. I had to slow down, reread, think carefully, and make connections I hadn’t expected. In short, reading literary fiction is hard work. I’m still thinking about it now, rethinking and re-evaluating the experience of finishing that book.

Obasan. Worth it? For sure. But I definitely won’t be grabbing a work of literary fiction to relax before bed! That’s what erotica is for. 😉