Female Orgasm looks like Fireworks

•November 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Check out this impressive video animation of MRI scans of the female brain building up to and during orgasm.

The colours change from reds, oranges, yellows then up to bright white to show high activity.

“We’re using orgasm as a way of producing pleasure. If we can learn how to activate the pleasure regions of the brain then that could have wider applications,” said  Professor Barry Komisaruk, Rutgers University, New Jersey. The orgasming women is Nan Wise, a PhD student and sex therapist in Komisaruk’s lab. Pleasure for everyone!

Via The Guardian

Be a Pleasure to Yourself,

Sophia x



The BAPTY Interview: Sophie Holloway, Holloway Smith Noir

•November 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment
The ‘Be a Pleasure to Yourself’ Interview – Sophia and Emerald bring you interviews with their favourite people. Today we have an interview with Sophie Holloway, from BAPTY favourite’s Holloway Smith Noir. Holloway-Smith Noir is the collaboration between sisters Alice Holloway-Smith (technical prowess) and Sophie Holloway (va va voom). Together they create unique and limited edition pieces of up-cycled lingerie.

Sophie Holloway - mask and corset by Holloway Smith Noir

What is your favourite quality about yourself? Being able to talk to people. I like making people feel at ease.
What is your idea of pleasure? An evening in my favourite café Momo’s, in good company. I’d go there everyday if I could. They make the best pork dumplings!
How do you make pleasure a part of everyday life? By applying a beauty spot. People always comment on it. When people ask me if it is real. I always say, no, it’s my beauty spot, I’m really ugly with it!
How did you start on your current path? I came round my sisters house, she was getting fed up not being paid for her lingerie. I said to my sister, I’ll sell you pasties, I’ll go to clubs, parties and sell your stuff. Let’s have a business, let’s do it. We spend quite a lot of money on parties and champagne, but that’s not a bad thing hey?
Which historical figure do you most admire? I’d have to say, Elizabeth I or Queen Victoria because they are strong, feminine characters. Ambitious women. I’m an ambitious woman. Queen Victoria for her philanthropy. Lizzie the 1st was so strong. Of course, they did not have a choice. I have a choice, but I feel I was destined to create my own business, be my own boss, create my own future.
If you could invite 5 people to a dinner party, who would you invite? Mel B – during Spice mania. I would say Geri, but she turned out not to be so feisty. When she lost heaps of weight, became a yogi, she kinda lost it for me. She lost the girl power! David Attenborough – a younger David Attenborough. That’d be hot. I’d love to talk to him. Richard Branson, I’d love to pick his brain. Gypsy Rose Lee. I’d love to know everything about what it was like being a performer back then, back stage. Lil’ Kim. She is one of my idols. I think she smashes it. She doesn’t give a fuck what people think of her. She uses her sexuality as overtly as possible, but while giving the fingers. I think her music is amazing. It’s not expected. I think she is holding the torch for a lot of women. It was really interesting in the Notorious B.I.G film and Biggie wanted her to rap softly, which she did really well, but after they fell out, she went back to her harsh spit. I love it!
What is or has been your biggest extravagance? Spending £500 in clothes, shoes and a tea set whilst backpacking. Then having to carry an extra bag with me when backpacking for 6 weeks around Asia. When at Ton Sai, I had to walk waist deep in water to the shore with my stuff above my head.

Polly Rae modelling HSNoir's decadent pasties. Photograph by Mark Sherratt.

What is you proudest achievement so far? Having my own business with my sister is pretty up there.
What is your motto? ‘Feel good about being naughty’ is our business motto. Mine is ‘Be good to those around you, you never know’. I feel like a really lucky person, but not in a shamrock way, but just that I have sown good seeds in a lot of places so when good things happen to me, I feel really positive. If you are kind and positive and happy, you get that back.

Cocktail of the Week: The Sazerac

•November 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I decided about four years ago, I was going to travel to New Orleans – a place which has always filled me with great excitement, but above all the one place you can go to discover great jazz. I was going to do my very best to fit in and not become the classic tourist at all costs! Apart from all the fabulous things New Orleans has to offer, I was going there to drink…I mean really drink, in the company of New Orleans finest Jazz musicians. From the moment I had made this decision, I decided I was going to learn to drink bourbon, the way it should be drunk. Neat. The thought of ordering a fruity cocktail whilst sitting with musicians definitely was not an option. I was already a dry gin Martini girl with an olive, so I had no problem starting with the Manhattan (which is now my favourite drink of choice), and then I moved to the Old Fashion. Slowly but surely I became the girl with my flask of bourbon in tow.
You may now be wondering why I’m telling you this story. Only very recently I discovered the Sazerac, by a friend who is a frequent drinker of this cocktail. It also seems to be the bartenders drink of choice with it’s bourbon, brandy and sugar syrup.  I do have to say the Sazerac was a drink which took courage to order as it contains absinthe, however when I discovered where this drink originated from (New Orleans) I took the plunge.

New Orleans and Jazz!!!

I always like to write a little history about how the cocktail came to be, I didn’t want to shorten this story so I’m using the words of Simon Difford, one of the worlds greatest bartenders to tell it.

The rounded, distinctive flavour of this classic New Orleans cocktail is reliant on the essential ingredient: Peychard’s bitters created by one Antoine Amedee Peychard. His story starts in 1795 when he arrives in New Orleans as a refugee after his father is forced to flee the island of San Domingo, where his family owns a coffee plantation, after the slaves rebelled. Antoine grew up to become a pharmacist and bought his own drug and apothecary store. It was here he created the ‘American Aromatic Bitter Cordial’ now widely known as Peychard’s bitter, and marketed it as a medicinal tonic. Such potions were fashionable at the time and there were many similar products.
Antoine Peychard advertised his bitters in local newspapers and many New Orleans bars served and prepared them. One such bar was the Sazerac Coffee House. It was here, sometime between 1850 and 1859, that a bartender called Leon Lamothe is thought to have created the Sazerac. A decade or so later, one Thomas H Hardy took over the coffee house and during this time, Antoine Peychard fell on hard times and sold this pharmacy store, along with the formula and brand name of his bitters. Due to an infestation of insects in the vin yards (which devastated wine and cognac production) and the American Civil War , cognac became hard to obtain. Hardy was forced to change the recipe of the bar’s now established house cocktail. At this point rye whiskey was incorporated replacing the brandy, (a dash was all that was added),he still used the all important Peychard’s bitters but did add the newly fashionable absinthe. Hense, the familiar combination of spirits are recognisable to the cocktail we have to this present day.

The Sazerac

Now on to the Sazerac…

12.5mls shot of Absinthe
40mls of Brandy ( My choice would be Courvoisier)
25mls shot of Bourbon
6mls of sugar syrup
3 dashes of Angostura bitters
3 dashes of Peychard bitters

Pour absinthe into a iced filled glass, top with water and leave to stand. In a cocktail shaker separately stir bourbon, brandy, sugar and bitters with ice. Discard contents of glass (absinthe, water and ice) then fine strain cocktail into absinthe coated glass. No garnish for this drink just a lemon twist spray.

Please don’t be concerned about chucking expensive absinthe down the drain, it’s flavour will be very evident in the finished drink.

Maybe a Chocolate Sazerac…

12.5mls of absinthe
50mls of Bourbon
12.5mls of white chocolate
6mls of sugar syrup
3 dashes of chocolate bitters

The chocolate Sazerac is made the same way, but I like to dust the rim of the glass with dark chocolate powder. Pour a little chocolate powder onto a plate, then with a little sugar syrup around the rim of glass press the top of the glass onto the powder. It should stick and you will be left with a lovely chocolate rim for your cocktail.

Sophia & Emerald enjoying their chocolate Sazerac's

Enjoy Ladies!

Be a Pleasure to Yourself

Emerald. x

A ‘Be a Pleasure to Yourself’ Event

•October 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment

We had so much at our first public ‘Be a Pleasure to Yourself’ event. Up until this point, we had put on events for private parties such as hen do’s and birthday bashes but for this event. Our guests arrived to the fragrance of our signature scent – elegant, regal rose with sultry, spicy black pepper – wafting through the air and a soundtrack of tunes such as Ronnie Magri’s ‘Last Call‘. Our chocolate and cherry ‘Pure Pleasure’ cocktail in our 1930s glassware went down such a treat we didn’t even get a chance to snap a picture. We started with a group of quiet, yet enthusiastic women. Emerald and I shared all our best tips on wearing stockings, suspender belts and corsets and we discussed why we love Je Joue toys. At the end of the event, we had a group of lingerie and adult toy savvy women. If you are interested in future Be a Pleasure to Yourself events, please check out our website beapleasuretoyourself.com or email us hello AT beapleasuretoyourself.com

Be a Pleasure to Yourself, you hear!

Sophia x

Raspberry Ripple Roses

Flick through glamourous books at your leisure

Emerald lacing a BAPTY participant and first time corset wearer into a corset.

BAPTY Hostesses Sophia & Emerald

‘A good man always remembers’

•October 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This month I decided I was well over due a new set of lingerie. I had my heart set on the new Agent Provocateur range and there was no contest, it was ‘Edith’. To justify this purchase (don’t get me wrong ladies, you should never have to justify a lingerie purchase but I know we all do) I decided it would be part of my new costume for the double act I perform with Sophia. I have to say, I think it went down a treat when we performed last Saturday. There is nothing more unexpected than a full glimpse of peachy bottom cleavage, especially when the front of the knickers looks like a chaste yet full brief…good girl from the front, bad girl from behind!

Agent Provocateur 'Edith'

I began thinking who we buy our lingerie for. Ourselves? The men in our lives? Recently I dated a man who could only remember seeing me in one set of lingerie. Needless to say, I aired my full lingerie repertoire over the course of the relationship. Although I will concede we all have our favourites and certain lingerie only coordinates with specific outfits.

‘If you are extremely rich and refined, your underclothes might match the colour of your outer ensemble… when you dress, think always that later on you will be undressing and in front of whom. After all, nothing betrays a woman more than her lingerie; it is infinitely more revealing than a thousand hours spent on a psychiatrist’s couch.’ (Genevieve Antoine Dariaux, A Guide to Elegance, 1964)

The moral of this story? Always buy for you and only you. This is truly being a pleasure to yourself.

Be a Pleasure to Yourself

Emerald xx

NAKED by Mari Sarai

•October 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Stuck for what to do this weekend? If you are mooching around Shoreditch, make sure you check out Mari Sarai’s exhibition Naked showing at Doors Showcase: 20 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3DU until 13th October. Sarai’s models are strong, confronting and mischievous, she comments “I wanted to express that the nudity of a woman is not limited to fulfilling men’s erotic desires. She is worthy of respect. A naked woman can possess her own style, independence and strength.” Amen! Apart from the images themselves, I really like the way the work is presented as chaotic collage, beckoning the viewer to interact with the work – whether that be getting up on your tippy toes or crouching down to take in all the images. Highly recommended by Emerald and I.


My favourite picture from Naked. Copyright Mari Sarai

You can get your hands on Mari’s book Naked here.

Be a Pleasure to Yourself this weekend!

Sophia xx

(all images used with permission by Mari Sarai).

Cocktail of the Week: The Manhattan and The Old Fashion

•October 5, 2011 • 50 Comments

Last week Sophia was the model for a bridal shoot which was inspired by the early sixties. This prompted me to re-watch the Mad Men series, which lead me to this weeks cocktails of choice – The Manhattan and The Old Fashion. If I’m ever in two minds about what to drink I will always go for a Manhattan, my  favourite drink without question. Like myself, Frank Sinatra was fond of a Manhattan, but Frank preferred his ‘dry’ and I like mine ‘perfect’… all will be explained in due course.

Frank Sinatra

Researching the history of cocktails for this blog it has been made very clear to me the origins of a classic cocktail are like  ‘Chinese Whispers’ there are many stories about how a cocktail came to be. I’ve decided I’ll share my favourite story instead of becoming a boring history teacher.

The most popular story is: The Manhattan was created in 1874 at New York City’s Manhattan club for Lady Randolph Churchill, while she was celebrating the successful gubernatorial campaign of Samuel Jones Tilden. However, the banquet in question was held in November 1874 when Lady C was otherwise engaged in England, giving birth to Winston! You can see how cocktail history can become fuzzy (probably due to cocktail consumption!).

Sophia at The Town Hall Hotel with a Manhattan. Copyright http://www.kat-hill.com

When it came to researching the Old Fashion there was just too many stories and none of which in my opinion where very interesting, so I thought I’d spare you a dull story and just tell you how it’s made instead. In Mad Men, the Old Fashion is Don Draper’s drink of choice throughout the series. There is a scene in which Don makes his own Old Fashion, swinging himself over the bar to do so. However when watching him make it I am rather puzzled, it’s not at all how the drink is made – with mashed up cherries and soda. But classic drinks do have lots of variations, so if when watching the scene it takes your fancy then do try it out.

The Old Fashion


50mls of Bourbon
12.5mls of sugar syrup
3 dashes of Angostura bitters

Stir a shot (25mls) of Bourbon with two ice cubes in a rocks glass (this is just a short glass). Add sugar syrup, bitters and two more ice cubes. Stir some more and add two ice cubes, stir again and add the rest of the Bourbon. Add more ice cubes and keep stiring. The idea with this drink is to build the drink, dilution is essential. Please don’t rush this drink, it’s well worth the patience. Garish with an orange twist and you can also add a maraschino cherry. I find the combination of bourbon and sugar syrup sweet enough, so I do not add a cherry, but Sophia likes a slightly sweeter drink than me, so she has her Old Fashion with a cherry – try with both and see what you prefer.

The Manhattan


60.5mls of Bourbon
25mls of dry Vermouth
3 dashes of Angostura bitters
Garnish with a lemon twist

60.5mls of Bourbon
12.5mls of sweet Vermouth
12.5mls of dry Vermouth
3 dashes of Angostura bitters
Garnish with an orange twist

60.5mls of Bourbon
25mls of sweet vermouth
Bar spoon of maraschino syrup (from cherry jar)
3 dashes of Angostura bitters
Garnish with an orange twist and maraschino cherry

Add all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice, stir until slightly diluted and chilled. Fine strain into a chilled Martini glass.

Now you can sit back and relax à la Mad Men.

Manhattan, image copyright http://www.kat-hill.com

Be a Pleasure to Yourself

Emerald x