Known as “Chicago’s Own Community Chest”, Cruel Valentine is an award-winning, international burlesque entertainer. A lifelong singer, actor, dancer, writer, and artist, Valentine began performing the art of burlesque in 2007. Since then, they have spent the past several years performing their way across the nation, and even abroad, racking up multiple awards and honors. Valentine is an independent performer, producer and teacher of burlesque, as well as an alt model with Zivity.com and GodsGirls.com. CruelValentine.com is your go-to for all things Valentine, including a line of professional grade pasties, vintage pin up couture, and other titillating burlesque accessories. In addition to touring and teaching privately, Valentine works as a teaching artist with JRV Majesty Productions for their annual performance series, Queer, Ill, and Okay, as well as consulting with various alternative, creative, and adult companies. With extensive experience in theatre, music and dance, Cruel Valentine is a triple threat and then some, fusing multiple styles in their performances. A dedicated story teller, they are never afraid to go there, or to make a mess with their art.
For booking, press, or other inquiries, please contact info@CruelValentine.com or fill out this handy contact form!
Cruel Valentine currently offers private burlesque lessons in your home! Curriculum is tailored exactly to fit students’ needs, abilities and goals. Whether you’re a burly-q admirer looking for a fun and basic burlesque themed workout, a novice seeking a bootcamp to prepare you for your burlesque debut, or a seasoned performer seeking strength and flexibility training or choreography consultation, Valentine can create a custom class to suit you! Rates vary by location, content, and skill level. Get a quote by emailing thecruelvalentine[at]gmail.com.
Who are you?
Hi! I’m Cruel Valentine! I am an award-winning, international burlesque performer, producer, educator, model, curator and artist. Feel free to explore my site to learn more about my career and accomplishments, and to check out my blog, photos, video, and a list of my upcoming appearances! Also, be sure to take a look around my shop, where I have all sorts of pasties, accessories, art pieces, photo prints, and other wonderful merchandise for sale. Should you have any questions, or if you’d like to reach me regarding a custom order or booking inquiry, please contact me here, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible! If you have a question about my shop or its contents specifically, make sure to check out my Shop FAQ!
When will you be performing next?
You can find my full calendar of upcoming events, including performances, vending, workshops, and more, here! I tour regularly, so chances are I’ll be coming to a town near you at some point!
How do I book you for an event?
If you would like to book me for a show, workshop, photoshoot, art modeling gig, or private event, please get in touch! If you are a fan who would like to see me in your local shows, have your favorite producers reach out to me!
Will you perform at my event, teach me burlesque, or make me things for free?
I sure won’t! My unique skillset is the product of over a decade of hard work, a college education in musical theatre performance, ongoing maintenance and innovation to my repertoire, and years and years of experience, not to mention literally millions of rhinestones. I also have living expenses just like anyone else. My work is my livelihood, and while I enjoy what I do, I don’t do it just for fun. Exposure is not a currency that my landlord accepts, so neither do I.
I want to start doing burlesque! Where do I begin?
A great place to start is by taking classes! Training is so important, whether you’re a budding performer or a seasoned professional! I currently offer private lessons, and occasional workshops both in Chicago, and while on tour. I specialize in creating fun and challenging workshops for groups, as well as custom tailoring private lessons to my students’ needs, abilities, goals, and desires. In addition to in-person lessons, I also offer virtual act consultation. Contact me for information on how to get started!
Who’s in charge here, anyway?
Hi! I’m Cruel Valentine! I am an award-winning, international burlesque performer, producer, educator, model, curator and artist. Welcome to my shop! I specialize in pasties and other burlesque accessories, as well as art, photo prints and more! Please take a look around, and get in touch if you have any questions or a custom order request. For more information on my career and accomplishments, as well as photos, videos, and other fun stuff, please check out the main section of my site here!
What are your shipping policies and delivery times?
Please keep in mind that most items in this shop are made to order, so you’ll need to consider both construction and shipping time when making a purchase. Please allow at least 7 business days for item construction. I use USPS for most shipments. First Class shipping within the United States starts at $7, with an expected shipping time of 3 to 4 business days. First Class international shipping begins at $12 USD, and shipments can take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks, depending on your country’s customs process.
What is your return/exchange policy?
Due to the intimate nature of these products, and the fact that most items are made to order, I am unable to accept returns. Please consider your buying choices thoroughly before checking out. I’m always available to answer any questions you may have before putting your order through! In the unlikely case that your merchandise is damaged or otherwise defective upon arrival, a refund or replacement will be considered. In order for your merchandise to be considered for return, you must contact me within 7 days of the item’s delivery. Any approved returns must be postmarked within 7 days of approval.
Okay, so about these pasties, what size should I get?
That is totally up to you, my friend! My sizing chart is based on the diameter of the pasties. Many people feel most comfortable with a pair of pasties whose diameter matches up the diameter of their areolas, or a little larger. Some find they like to go a little (or a lot!) smaller or larger than their areola. If you’re not sure, for your first pair, I recommend going with a size close to your areola measurement. You can always extend your collection later to include multiple sizes and styles. Additionally, I offer custom sizing in any size you can imagine. There is no “too big” or “too small”. You are perfect exactly as you are. Just send me the diameter of your areola, and I’ll be happy to tailor a gorgeous pair of pasties to your specifications.
How do these things stay on, anyway?
So glad you asked! You can purchase my signature pastie tape here! It’s my preferred adhesive for my performance life, and has gotten me through nearly 9 years of professional performance, touring, and modeling. This tape adheres more strongly as your body heat warms it, so it’s perfect for even the most active and hot-blooded of wearers. Just tear or cut off a few strips, press them around the back edges of each pastie, then remove the paper backing and press the pasties firmly to the breast area. Be sure to hold them in place for a few moments with your hands, or simply by putting on a bra, to ensure maximum hold. This tape is also a great quick fix for securing low-cut tops into place, or even to temporarily mend damaged hems and seams. Many factors can affect what adhesive will work best for any given person. Different skin types tend to favor different types of adhesives, and personal preference is a huge factor, as well. Always make sure that your breast area is clean, dry, and free of any lotions or moisturizers before you attempt to put on pasties. Some other preferred methods for adhesion include spirit gum, medical adhesive, carpet tape, and wig tape. I encourage you to experiment to find out which method works best for you!
Okay, then how do they come off when the fun is over?
My signature pastie tape stays on when you want it to, but is easily removable. Pull up the edge of the pastie and slowly, steadily peel away from the skin. For a little extra support, you may want to press down on the breast right next to the area you’re peeling back from. Some people have more sensitive breasts than others, and many factors can increase breast and nipple tenderness, such as PMS, HRT, pregnancy, nursing, piercings, etc. If your nipples are feeling sensitive, don’t worry! Sliding a moistened cotton swab underneath the edge of your pasties and gently swabbing as you remove them can help ease the process even more. Nursing balms, cocoa butter, and other nutrient rich moisturizers are great for treating sensitive areas after you take your pasties off, too!
How do I care for my pasties?
Pasties and accessories found on this site are spot clean only unless otherwise noted. These pasties are very durable and they will take care of you if you take care of them! Remove any residual pastie tape gently after use. You shouldn’t need to clean your pasties, but if something gets on them, simply wipe them down with a lightly dampened cloth. Keep in mind that certain varieties of prop liquids like fake blood may cause permanent staining on lighter rhinestones. Be sure to store your pasties somewhere safe and dry between uses.
Can I wear pasties anywhere?
If you plan on wearing pasties, thongs, g-strings, or other revealing garments for performance or any public occasion, make sure to familiarize yourself with local nudity laws first!
I want a pair of pasties that look like magical unicorns jumping over potted daisies and giving the middle finger. What section of your shop can I find that in?
My shop is mainly focused on providing a wide array of beautiful, durable essentials, however, I just LOVE flexing my creative muscles on custom orders. Get in touch here, and we’ll work together on making your ideas to come to life! In the past, I’ve tackled custom requests from the simple: hearts, stars, other fun shapes, all the way to wild and wacky undertakings like microwave pasties with operational doors. I also offer custom sizing on existing products beyond my standard sizing chart. All you have to do is ask!
What’s the deal with tassels?
My pasties can be made with swivel mounts, which all you to wear your pasties with or without tassels, and to switch different tassels (and other small baubles) in and out. My mounts allow for a full, easy 360 degree twirl. I offer a wide variety of beaded and chainette tassels here. Some specialty tassels and other clip on adornments will be made available seasonally, and can be made upon custom request.
Can I wear your tassels without buying pasties?
Probably not. If you happen to have nipple rings with small gauge jewelry, you can clip these tassels onto them, though extended wear is not recommended. If you do not have jewelry to attach your tassels to, then no. The clips on these tassels are not designed to act in place of a piercing, or to be hooked onto the nipple itself.
Vulva Art, you say? What does that mean, and is it hygienic?
Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like! I create acrylic paintings on canvas, using my vulva. All of my paintings are sprayed thoroughly with a durable, glossy clear coat for hygiene, and to extend the life of the art itself.
The lingerie you have in your shop isn’t available in my size! What gives?
The lingerie in my shop is all vintage stock that I find on my travels and bring home to improve upon by hand-dyeing, rhinestoning, adding trim, etc. Since these pieces are vintage, sizes and styles are a game of chance. I work hard to stock a wide variety of sizes, but what I find is what I find, so I can’t guarantee that your size will always be available. I accept custom orders, though, and that includes upcycling and embellishment projects! If you provide a piece, I can upgrade it for you. Just get in touch!
I love your stuff! Can you provide me with the vendors you use for your supplies, as well as detailed information on your construction methods so I can make similar items at home for free, for my own personal use, or possibly even to start my own business?
Sure can’t! My suppliers and techniques are the result of years and years of hard work, research, experimentation, trial and error. To simply hand them over to stranger would be not only detrimental to my business and livelihood, but it would also be a disservice to you and your creative process. Success is much sweeter when you work hard for it. I encourage other crafters and artists to explore and work hard toward their own unique styles. Why do me when you can do you? Get out there and make something wonderful if that’s what you want to do!
I own a shop or run a show, and we would like to sell your items. Is that possible?
Absolutely! I will happily consider all wholesale requests. Contact me for more information!
Awards & Acknowledgments
Awards & Acknowledgments
- 2015 Winner of the Burlesque Bitch People’s Choice Award
- 2014 Burlypicks Chicago Regionals Master of Tassels
- 2014 Burlesque Bitch Audience Choice Top 7
- 2014 Burlypicks International Finalist
- 2014 Unbustled at Unbridled Finalist
- 2014 Unbustled at Unbridled 2nd Place Audience Choice, 2nd Place Overall
- 2013 Burlypicks International Finalist
- 2013 Burlypicks Finals Best Improv
- 2012 Texas Burlesque Festival Audience Choice Award
- 2012 Gorilla Tango $500 Burlesque Thing Finalist
Let’s Get In Touch
For booking or press inquiries, please contact me here.