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Sideshow Performer Heather Holliday Teaches You How to Swallow a Sword

Learn to slide steel down your throat with the super sexy pro!


Photographed by Ben Goldstein


Desensitize
"Repetition is key. Your throat is naturally sensitive, but if you keep sticking things back there it loses its sensitivity."

Make Mouth Lube
"I hate comparing it to sex, but that is the best way to explain it: If you try to stick something into a dry area, it’s going to be harder to fit. Chewing and eating get your saliva going, so I always snack beforehand to help the sword slide in easier."

Master Your Insides
"
I’ve learned to psych myself out of needing to sneeze or yawn. By now if I need to puke, I can just use my throat muscles."

Respect the Blade
"Accidents happen when performers get cocky. A lot of people have a scar under their Adam’s apple from forcing swords past the second gag reflex without warming up—or from performing drunk."

Sharpen Your Wit
"I wish someone would come up to me and not say, ‘I’ve got something for you to swallow.’ I’m like, ‘I’ve graduated from four-inch pocketknives.’ Comebacks are easy."

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