Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Feel the Bra

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It’s been a year and a half since Sophia and I separated, and I haven’t gone on one date.  Today I talked about this with Sophia.  I told her I was a little scared of getting intimate with another woman.

“You know what I’m talking about,” I told her.  “I have that little problem.”

“Ah, yes…”

For years, Sophia has been very understanding of this problem I have in the bedroom.  I’m surprised she even agreed to marry me because of my problem.  But gradually, she learned to take care of it herself and we accepted the status quo.

“But what if some new woman isn’t as understanding?” I pondered.

“Then you have a problem.  A big problem.”

I’m a little embarrassed to bring this up in a public forum, but my motto here is “always be honest with your beloved readers.”  So, here it goes:

I am terribly inept in undoing bras.

When I was younger, I used to play the clarinet in the school band.  I used to practice so much, that I think I must have injured something in my fingers to the point that it has given me poor dexterity in the handling of  complicated buttons and latches.  For years, I avoided women because of this problem.  Luckily, Sophia accepted me despite my handicap.  Once, before we were married, Sophia and I were making out, and she fell asleep waiting for me to undo her bra.

“What am I going to do?  What woman is every going to want such a poor bra un-doer as a lover?”

“You can always look for a woman who doesn’t wear one.”

“What about some of my readers like Brooke, who have nice racks.  I’m sure she wears a bra.”

“Well, maybe you need to ask them first if they wear a bra, so you’ll know to cross them off the list.  Or ask them to go bra-less on the date.  Or maybe they’ll still accept you despite it all.  I did, most of the time.”

“Be honest with me, Sophia.  Is this why we separated?”

“No comment.”

“There’s only one solution.  I need to practice.”

“Practice?”

“Yeah, you know like Rocky before the big match.  Or the Karate Kid.  I need to practice undoing bras.”

“How are you going to do that?”

I smiled knowingly at Sophia.

I opened up her “‘bra” drawer and took out an assortment of various bras of different colors and textures:  Bali, Wacoal, Maidenform, Cross Your Heart, Victoria’s Secret, Frederick’s of Hollywood and even some fancy expensive French stuff that I couldn’t pronounce.

“Start putting ’em on!” I said.

“Oh, you owe me big for this.  And I mean big!” she replied.

Sophia gathered up her breasts into the Bali No-Slip Strap Floral Brocade bra and latched up the hooks.  She took out a stopwatch.  

“OK, ready?  3-2-1, come and get em’!”

I rushed over to Sophia bra as she turned her back to me.  I tried to pull out the hooks but it was held tightly against her back.  Sophia’s ample bosom wasn’t helping things out either.   I was having trouble already.  I started to sweat.

“C’mon, Neilochka.  It’s not that complicated.”

“It is for me.”

“Come in from the top, place one finger under the hook and squeeze the hooks together.  You can do it.  Then just keep squeezing while you twist it.”

I place my finger under a hook and unlatched it.

“Got it!”

Sophia shook her head, sadly.

“Neilochka, you have to undo all four hooks to get it off.  Keep on going.  The clock is ticking.”

Finally, after much struggling, I undid all the hooks, and after some trouble untangling the bra straps caught in Sophia’s hair, the project was a success.  Well, not to Sophia:

“Ten minutes for one bra is absolutely pitiful.”

It was a low blow.  I hadn’t felt so inept since I failed woodshop in eighth grade for accidentally cutting the head off of my “duck-shaped” wooden memo holder.

“Aw forget it.”  I said.  “I’m just no good at this.  I’m never going to touch another woman’s breasts… ever.” I said disappointedly.

“No!” she shouted sternly.   “I care about your future.  What if we never get back together?  I want you to know this.  No women respects a man that can’t take off a bra.  You’re NOT going to give up.”

Sophia always had a way of inspiring me.  A way of pushing me to achieve greatness.

I lifted up the Maidenform. 

“Let’s do it!”

(start “Theme from Rocky”)

Da, da, daaaaaaah… da, da, daaaaaaah
Da, da, daaaaaaah… da, da, daaaaaaah

Statistics:

Playtex Cross Your Heart® Lightly Lined:  9 minutes

Wacoal’s Signature Support™  Sealmess Tailored Underwire:  7 minutes

Lily of France Be Sexy™ Demi Balconette:  12 minutes!

I was getting worse!

“I can’t do it!  I can’t do it!”

“What is the problem here?  What is holding you back?”

“I don’t know.”

“What are you thinking about while you do this?”

“Duh!  What do you think?  Your breasts!  You know, holding them… looking at them…”

“Maybe that’s your problem.  You’re too interested in the results.  Right now, you’re still on the bra stage.  Try to make that a sensual moment in and of itself.”

“A sensual moment… with the bra?”

“Sure… women have a very close relationship with their bra.  Try to feel the bra while you take it off.  Feel the material.  Feel the way it’s been made.”

I examined the Victoria’s Secret Second Skin Satin bra.

“The label says it was made in China.”

“Just close your eyes and feel the bra… feel the hooks as you open them…”

Within 2 minutes the bra was flying off.

“Jeez, I think I got it!  It’s all a mental thing.  You have to FEEL THE BRA.”

I told Sophia to put on the fancy French bra and to get ready with the stopwatch.  I was ready for STAGE TWO!

(start Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger from Rocky III)

It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the cream of the fight
Risin’ up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watchin’ us all in the eye of the tiger
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Statistics after several attempts with bra:

Off in one minute…
Off in fifty five seconds…
Off in forty-seven seconds…
Off in thirty seconds… a personal best.

“Ten seconds, Neilochka.  From first contact to bra on the floor.  I’m so proud of you!”

“Thank you, Sophia.  I now feel I’m ready for anything.”

“You can buy me some dinner as my teaching fee.”

“Sure.”

Sophia went to her “bra” drawer and pulled out this odd-looking “corset.”

“Then, afterwards, we can start your advanced class.”

We never made it to dinner, because I fainted.

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99 Comments

  1. I played the clarinet, bassoon and bass clarinet and I can’t manage bra clasps either. It’s sad really. Takes me forever to get dressed.

  2. You totally still owe her dinner.

  3. Are the lyrics to Eye of the Tiger REALLY “cream of the fight”?! All these years I thought it was “thrill of the fight”! Christ!

    I have come to accept there is some fiction to your work, Neil; but if Sophia even let you practice with THREE bras, she is a saint.

    I am afraid I could never go braless, by the way.

  4. Ashbloem, I checked out some “lyrics” sites online and there seems to be some confusion over whether it is “cream” or “thrill” of the fight — with “cream” in the lead. Is anyone a “Survivor” expert out there or just a plain geek who knows for sure?

  5. Sophia you are my hero. Wow, Neil looks like you are off to a running start. Now for those damn corsets. Shite, we women have problems with corsets. Don’t feel bad. Better luck next time and yeah you definitely owe Sophia an expensive dinner..

  6. Bra’s, no problem.
    Getting out of a corset myself, no problem…
    I always need an extra set of hands getting into on though. Kinda sad being a 32 yr old who can’t dress themself.

  7. I’d also just like to add that never in my life have I ever been with someone who was able to take off my bra one-handed.

    I may have missed my window with this. In high school was the only time I wore bras that only had one or two hooks, which I suppose is a requirement for one-hand removal. Unfortunately, high school boys haven’t learned this yet, and there was much fumbling.

    Now, my rather ample bosom requires too many hooks. The one-handed technique will not suffice.

    Looking at those photos, I feel I missed out on something.

    Sigh.

  8. My man can’t unhook a a bra either – care to give him lessons now that you’re a pro?

  9. Ashbloem, don’t give up on your dreams just yet. I bought myself a mannequin and I’m practicing as we speak. Although the salesgirl at Bloomingdale’s looked at me funny when I asked her to give me an assorted “baker’s dozen” of different types of bras to practice on. I know when I buy bagels, they always throw in an extra one when you order twelve. Why are department stores so cheap?

  10. Where you come up with this stuff? Brilliant once again. It’s time that I invest in a Neilochka T-shirt.

  11. I once had a boyfriend who – though right-handed – could only undo bras with his left hand. I always thought that was a great quirk.

    In any case, practice makes perfect – go get those bras!

  12. What about the front clasp bra’s…those are even harder.

  13. Brilliant post! Fortunately, my husband played sax in school, and he has Great Skills at bra-removal (even many different types of clasps, front & back)! Good luck with your studies, we’re rooting for you!

  14. hmmm, no comments from haven’t-had-over-a-year’ crowd…Neil, you risk losing part of your fan club!

    Me, all I can say, under-the-dress bra removal by property owner herself, highly praised in some quarters, is a grave mistake.

  15. Gee, Sophia, and I thought I was nice in medical school since I let people practice drawing blood on me. You are my hero!
    Namaste.
    ~HDJ

  16. ROFLMAO!!! OK, this one is now one of my Neil Favorites! 🙂
    Buy Sophia dinner. You owe her BIG TIME.
    ;-)3T

  17. I’m moved at the dedication and selflessness this post displays. To tears, almost.
    You’re very kind to Neil, Sophia.

  18. Heck, sometimes I can’t even get my bras on and off without a major struggle – all of those hook and eye closures are intimidating!!!

  19. The guy who wrote “Eye of the Tiger” went to my high school. We could look up his English grades and see if it is more likely that he wrote “thrill of the fight” or something that makes no sense whatsoever.

  20. I really am impressed by the improvement in your time. With a little more practice, you could be unhooking the women of America with your very mind. A scary thought, but also quite titillating.

  21. This is why carrying a razor knife in your shoe is a good idea. Zip, snip, and you’re home free. And they usually don’t notice you cut it off instead of undoing it until after.

  22. Ok, that evil bra at the top has to go. It hurts just to look at it.

    That thing on the bottom is just sexy. I wish my waist could get that squashed. I would have fainted too.

    Bra un-doing is highly overrated. You are a part of the majority if you can’t undo one… Believe me.

  23. I’ve always found it to be far more awe inspiring if I take it off myself with my shirt still on. I always get a thumbs up for that.

  24. Well, JJ, if you don’t mind your first encounter being the last one – sure, cut it off.
    It’s a $74 cut you dummy!

  25. I am seriously missing that struggle — it would be great to have somebody fumbling around to unhook my bra…*sigh* — doesn’t look like that’s happening anytime soon…

  26. Melissa, see my first comment.
    Missing on the fun.

  27. Ah..you have done well, young grasshoppa!!
    I inserted my own sound effects for your statistics..
    Schwing!
    Wha-pow!
    Ping!!
    ~L.

  28. You could always just carry around a pocket knife and cut the bras off on the sly. Then afterwards, when they discover the saw marks in their bra strap, tell them you’re not looking for anything serious right now.

  29. To me there’s nothing sexier than when a woman, slightly frustrated with her partner who is unable to unhook her bra on his own, reaches back and undoes it herself.

    There’s something about this blog that makes me say things I would NEVER say in real life, or on my own blog, for that matter. But I do find this your most erotic post ever: “Sophia gathered up her breasts into the Bali No-Slip Strap Floral Brocade bra and latched up the hooks…Sophia’s ample bosom wasn’t helping things out either…I started to sweat.” OY, I am a happily married man, will you please stop making me visualize your wife in compromising positions? Is this still part of your appeasement plan for your male readers?

  30. Sports Bra, Neil…Sports Bra….bras for Dummies!

  31. a lot of men have a similar problem neil. you aren’t alone in that. and really, sophia is right, it matters if you can do it! if you stop thinking of the “prize” and focus on the sensuality of the moment, you will be fine (and win the prize!).

    you could always keep practicing by putting a bra on a pillow and doing the unhook over and over and over.

    who knows? it could manifest into real tits! 😉

  32. Sizzle — are you saying that if I do this enough with my pillow, it will actually grow real tits? Which brand pillow is this and where do I buy one immediately? And will it grow anything else interesting?

  33. And where can I get one of those pillows? The boy version, that is?
    ~HDJ

  34. Heh.

    I have one sports bra I wear horseback riding, but that’s it. I’m on the petite/perky side, so I’ve always found it easier to have my clothes tailored to be worn without a bra.

  35. Don’t just “FEEL THE BRA,” Neil. You will achieve faster speeds and an even greater level of success if you go one step further and BE the bra. Also, someone should invent an easy-off bra for the bra-removing impaired.

  36. Anne — Although I’ve never gone horseback riding, I think I might enjoy the sport better if I went with a woman who DIDN’T wear a bra.

    Lynn — Be the bra? Actually, I was hoping to come back as a bra when I’m reincarnated.

  37. what about those suction cup bras that are made of some kind of jelly?! I’ve never tried wearing one myself, but I bet THOSE are a real bitch for a guy to try to peel off!

  38. I wouldn’t ditch a guy for lack of bra removal skills, I’d just whip it off myself! However, I have broken up with someone for smelling like chicken soup and living with his mother.

  39. Yo! I wonder if Rocky had problems of this nature…

  40. Neil, have your mother and other various relatives and family friends started to worry about you? I mean, your mom reads your blog — what could she possibly think about her son? “My Neil, finally a Houdini in the bra removal department. I’m so ferklempt…”

  41. I know a guy who can do it with his toes.

    Aw.

    Yeah.

  42. ahhh, its time for the two finger and thumb technique, like a crane picking up a fragile lotus……

    cheers!

  43. Screammmmmmmmmmmm!!!! lol! This is a real good way to start the day: One spoon of PC, add in some log in on the blog, sprinkle with some Citizen of the Month! Bon Appetit!

    I have trouble with bras too. My own I mean. Not that I can’t unclasp them. My hands don’t reach the hook at the back. Am lazy. Just pull the staps down, get my arms off it,turn it around my waist so that the hook is in front and unclasp! Easy! But don’t try the technique, not romantic at all!

    Sophia is one cool gal!

    Fitèna

  44. That corset-business was a crime really. Makes me wonder sometimes at the extents some women would go to to appear slim-waisted. Many of them died further to suffocation. The Corset did it.

  45. hmm, I had a guy take off my bra once with his mouth….
    but most of the time, I prefer to go bra-less.

    My issue is belts on guys jeans… need help with those, maybe I need to practice, like you did…

  46. Years ago, as a response to protest the convoluted process of freeing a woman from her bra, I took to wearing ten layers of drawers.

    It has yet to work out the way I had hoped.

  47. M — some guy did it with the toes

    Bella — some guy did it with the mouth

    You women are really setting the bar high. If someone tells me that some guy undid your bra with his penis, I’m just quitting!

  48. All you need is some time with Mr. Miyagi.

    Bra On, Bra Off, Bra On, Bra Off

  49. I’ve only been with one guy who could do that one handed bra removal thing. And I have to admit it was sexy as hell.

  50. I’m sorry, but I am obviously missing the point here; is there some reason why Sophia cant take her own bra off? I would have thought that underwear removal is one of those life skills you learn before going to kindergarten, or in this case, the ninth grade.

  51. Love that corset! Have you worked on the front clasps? Better get to work:)

  52. Akaky,
    you need to read the post again.

  53. so funny…um, what is brocade?

  54. Amanda, google is your friend; how do you think Neil got the brand right?

  55. By the way, I agree with Heather–that bra at the top of the post is a horror. I have to quickly scroll down whenever I log on to your blog for fear of seeing that thing again and destroying every fantasy I’ve ever had about bras. And to think of all the hot, sexy bra photos you could have stolen. What, you never heard of Jane Russell?

  56. My current boyfriend is the first guy I’ve met that can do it one handed and usually really fast. The first time he did it I was so impressed! Maybe he could teach you, Neil.

  57. Neil – I’ll take off my bra for you any day. Except Tuesdays. Never on Tuesdays.

  58. Attention: Blogging community. There will be no new posts today as I will just read Brooke’s last comment to myself over and over again until my eyes hurt.

    I can give up blogging now and still be a happy man. Except on Tuesdays, of course.

  59. I think corsets are super sexy… but I always unhook my own undergarments, it’s part of the seduction “dance.”

  60. My goodness. I’m so glad I found your blog (though I’m not sure how I got here)!

  61. You know, you could just ask /tell (depending on your policies) Thirty seconds is long enough to lose the plot – sorry Neilochka, it’s just not good enough.

  62. I have come to the conclusion that, despite the fact that I love you like the Jewish penis-talking brother that I never had, you must be destroyed because you write so well.

  63. You know there are front hook bras that are so simple to undo that I’ve been told by some women that they sometimes fly open while they’re walking down the street – I remember when I got my first steady high school boyfriend, I immediately switched to front hook bras and front button shirts. Oh, yeah, I was a bad girl in his parents’ buick…

  64. Sandra, I used to wear the front hooks and that always happened to me. They would just fly right open!

    Neil, I’ll wear the front hooks on Tuesdays.

  65. Damn it’s too bad velcro never caught up for bras.

  66. Neil, you say you want to come back as a bra when you are reincarnated. But wouldn’t it be better to come back as a pair of panties?

  67. Brooke, you wouldn’t happen to have one of these outfits. It just would be a whole lot easier for me.

    http://www.citizenofthemonth.com/2005/09/13/fall-fashion/

  68. Hi, Neil.
    Thanks for stopping by 86 tips. 🙂
    I LOVE citizen of the month. I’ve just added it to my blogroll.

    You’re right–bras are tricky. Good for you for learning. You are now in the eye of the tiger for sure. 🙂

  69. Wow I am talented at something, I can remove my wife’s bras one handed.

  70. Keep ’em coming with your I LOVE WOMEN posts!!

  71. I love it when my husband has a hard time undoing my bra. I’ve always thought the process was sensual. Nothing like a guy who multitasks…kissing while trying to undo my bra. But after reading your post, maybe it’s not as fun for him as it is for me. Here he is struggling to get them off and I’m distracting him by kissing and doing other stuff. Hmm.

  72. show me a guy who has trouble unhooking bras and I’ll show you a chick with a neck full of hickies (to distract her while fumbling)

  73. MQ – that is so awesome! Now I get it!

    Neil – I don’t have those outfits. If you want me to wear topless haute couture I suggest you get a better paying job.

  74. I still dont get it; if it’s that much trouble and she won’t help, buy some scissors and just cut the thing off.

  75. Neil, I just went over the post again and scanned the multitude of comments.
    Something is definitely wrong — the “point” made (and not the photo of the bra atop the post) that has not been picked up by others or really dealt with by you is this line:

    “It’s been a year and a half since Sophia and I separated, and I haven’t gone on one date.”

    Neil, that deserves a blog in itself — what’s wrong with you, man? Getting it on with a blog and with cyberchicks is not the way to go. A year and a half?
    B…a…d, very b…a…d!

  76. My guy can’t undo a bra either. As soon as his hands get back there I reach up quick and PING! I unlatch it in seconds (one-handed). Of course, I let him think he has a magic touch that makes my bras somehow fall off my body. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.

  77. Neil –
    Found this on the web and thought of this post. Thought you’d find it funny!

  78. Betty — thanks. Sexy. Made me want to upgrade my computer software.

  79. On the other hand, if that was an advertisement for some easy program they’d come up with to remember your many passwords, it would have been brilliant!

  80. Interesting discussion. Although I’ve never had that problem with the front hook bras flying open randomly on the street…. hmm.

    But I’ve always thought it’s just good dating etiquette to choose a bra that has a skinny strap in back, the kind that only needs one little hook. It’s less work for the guy.

    Those big old cross-your-heart Playtex 18-hour deals with three or four hooks are just plain rude.

  81. I’m not an expert here, Sunshine, but I’m assuming the one hook wonder is more for the medium-and small size women than “fuller” woman. Am I correct? And why exactly am I having this converstation with a bunch of women?

  82. Great video:) The fronts clasps are always just one hook, aren’t they? I wouldn’t know about the fuller sizes though.

  83. Thank you, Neil!
    We women in the C-plus-plus category need a bit more support than those flimsy one hookers.

    Thankfully, there are other options besides the old Playtex standby: Aubade makes gorgeous underthings and sizes to DD. Certain styles of La Perla fit a DD as well. Huit also has beautiful pieces that fit and give great support.

    The best thing a well-endowed woman can do is to go to a lingerie store and have a bra fitting by an expert. Victoria’s Secret offers this but I’ve found that their products lose support after a few washings.
    Namaste.
    ~HDJ

  84. Thank you ladies for the info. If I ever do any online dating, I will write about my “special needs” for bra-opening in my profile, so the woman will show up dressed appropriately with the one-hook. This way, there will be less problems all around.

    By the way, for more bra-fitting info, go to my new friend and guru — Oprah Winfrey!

    http://www2.oprah.com/tows/pastshows/200511/tows_past_20051115_c.jhtml

  85. Neil, it’s always better to consult an expert.

  86. Date women with smaller chests. My bras only have two little clasps. Four! Wow.

    Also, the front clasp jobbies might be easier…

    Ah…the corsets are meant to be kept on during sex, in my sassy opinion.

  87. The one-handed-unclasp..!

    Way to go, Neil!

  88. Definitely thrill of the fight…

  89. Feel the Bra* climbs up off the floor where she was laughing so much* *wipes a tear from her eye* I think every woman out there is just sniggering at this point, and most men should be taking notes. Oh, and no, I won’t be sharing any of my own bra stories today. Last time didn’t end too good. Way to spoil everyone’s fun, anonymous

  90. is 10seconds good?
    I usually do it within 3 seconds (One handed) n thats when the bra straps/hooks are knackered!
    Ive always been told i hav to do it within 5 seconds to even be classes as qualifying for being able to undo a bra successfully!?

    Not bragging, coz its nothin to brag about but stil, how long is the norm?

  91. I need to learn how to undo a front clasp bra badly. Because whenever me and my girlfriend are together in a sensual experience she wears one. I’m not far enough in my relationship to take it off yet, but i don’t want to look like a dunce. Any tips?

  92. Just keeping on looking her in the eyes and telling her she’s beautiful, and maybe she’ll just take it off herself. It’s much easier that way.

  93. Unhooking a DD Cup Bra Without Fumbling is the title of a 60,000 word lipogram novel (written without the letter E) by Adam Adams. It contains a range of conundrums that also exclude the letter E.

  94. I LOVE THIS!!! So funny and informative. Being female and gay – I can get a bra off in seconds. You’re right – it’s all about closing your eyes, not thinking about it, and presto!

    Happy dating – unless the new bra skills brings a reconciliation 🙂

  95. pamela — do you offer lessons to men?

  96. i realize this is a pretty old post, however i played clarinet, tenor sax, and bassoon and i can handle a bra just fine, i’m also a woman, so maybe that has to do with it? and yay for sophia being so nice to you and helping you out there…my hubby isn’t exactly the greatest at the bra thing either, and he’s a guitar player and his fingers are rather nimble…

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