Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Behind the Pastie Pop

With my good friend Jason Kamimura. We did a few like this.
If you've been in the burlesque game long enough, chances are you've popped at least one pastie. I've popped a single onstage at least twice, a double onstage once, and a double backstage last night. I'm sure you all know I have nipples by now. You've probably even seen them. I think the restrictions on the right to bare lady nipples are stupid. Whatever. I work in an industry that requires pasties.

I like getting booked and I recognize producers don't want to lose their venues. It's my responsibility to do my best to keep my pasties from popping. Some of you don't want the world to know about your secret nipples, so you can follow this ol' dancer's discoveries to find tips to hide your nips.

Inspect your pasties. Are they slick inside? Plastic or starchy buckram isn't very tacky. I think most pasties I've popped were untreated buckram inside. The pasties were new and didn't have a bunch of residue built up around the edges. The tape doesn't stick to slick very well. Glue a layer of fabric or felt inside the pastie. You can treat the inside edges with Mod Podge or glue so your spirit gum doesn't bleed through the outside surface of a fabric-covered pastie. Try your adhesive on the lining and see if it helps.

Check your nipples. If you lotion yourself up when you're getting ready for a show, don't lotion your nipples. Are you sweaty or oily? Pasties don't stick to sweat, oil or lotion. Get some alcohol wipes and use them before you put on pasties. Clean off the entire nipple and the area around your areola. Let it dry before applying your pasties. Make sure your hands aren't covered in lotion before applying the pasties because that will get all over your adhesive and keep it from sticking. Use an alcohol wipe on your fingers.

Examine your adhesive. What works for your burlesque best friend may not work for you. I used spirit gum in my early days. I found out I had a pine allergy and stopped using spirit gum. I can't use liquid latex or eyelash glue for my pasties because I sweat and laugh/cry my lashes off all the time. I use toupee tape or garment tape. Some folks use medical adhesive. Give yourself enough curing time for any adhesive you use. I have the best success with tape when I press it into the pastie lining before applying it to my nipples. Is your adhesive working for you? Try something else. I advise against spray adhesive (used for crafting and school displays) and carpet tape.

Feel the inside of your bra and the outside of your pasties. Anything catchy inside that bra that wants to hold onto your pasties more than your adhesive does? Any embellishment on the pasties that acts like a hook on the inside of your garment? The first time I lost two pasties, they were embellished with glitter and had direct contact with a ribbed undershirt. I was screwed. I didn't wear fancy pasties because the act had fake blood. The glitter and shirt stuck together better than the pasties stuck to my nipples. You may have to line your bra with something that isn't catchy or invest in embellishments that won't catch on your bra.

After you've popped or almost popped a pastie, examine how it happened so you can take preventative measures for your next performance. Check it against the above and remedy so you feel confident when you perform and keep your producers happy.

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