It doesn’t have much to do with love or sex, but it being New Year’s Eve and allÂ we couldn’t resist pointing out art directorÂ Phillip Niemeyer’s “op-chart” from Sunday’s New York Times called “Picturing the Past 10 Years.” Read each row from left to right and you get a quick graphic recap of the decade’s evolution in one particular area (e.g. business, fads, culture, sports, etc.) OR read each column from top to bottom and get a recap of one entire year (e.g. the 2002 zeitgeist was defined by flag pins, Guantanamo, Craigslist, the D.C. snipers, Al Jazeera, the New England Patriots, American Idol, collagen injections, HBO’s “The Sopranos”, and “freedom fries”).
We hope you have a great New Year’s Eve, a very mild New Year’s Day hangover, and a nice long weekend off! Our post load will be light the next few days, but weâ€™ll be back with our regularly scheduled program on Monday. Thanks for a great year on EMandLO.com! In the meantime, here are some NYE/end-of-year-themed posts to ring in the new year…
Adventureland: Sex in a car is never as private as you think it is.Â Neither is sex with a married man.
American Teen: When you’re in the cool clique in high school, life isÂ totally like a chick flick. Even when you’re not cool, life is stillÂ sometimes like a chick flick. But in real life, the jock is always goingÂ to dump the rebel punk filmmaker for the ditzy cheerleader. Bring onÂ college!
An Education: A romantic weekend in Paris is much better with a peer whoÂ owns a bicycle than with a mentor who drives a cool, fast car.
Saved! In the entire history of human beings, no gay man has ever beenÂ ”turned straight” by being seduced by a woman (even when that woman hasÂ Jesus on her side). And remember, even though you’re gay, you can stillÂ get her pregnant. Oh, and if you don’t want your mom to find your stash ofÂ gay porn, then find a better hiding place than under your bed. Jeez.
I feel the same way about the guys that hold this double standard [when a guy looks at other women but gets jealous if his girlfriend ogles men] as the girls who read romance novels and watch chick flick marathons and freak out when their guy uses porn to masturbate. It all boils down to insecurity.Â The problem here isn’t with the girl who looks, it’s the guy who can’t handle her looking, just like the aforementioned problem isn’t the guy who uses porn, it’s the girl who can’t handle the guy looking.
Everybody has fantasies; some people just try to make themselves feel better by pretending their partners don’t. From a rational standpoint, the idea that you can fantasize about someone else but your partner can only fantasize about you is patently ridiculous, but so many people, men and women, adhere to this kind of faulty double-standard. And they only do it because they can’t handle knowing that they personally are not the be-all end-all of their partner’s existence. It’s selfish, childish and extremely insecure; guilting your partner into not looking only makes them less likely to share themselves with you, it drives a wedge of delusion between yourself and your partner. That’s the kind of wedge that grows with time, and I would bet has ended many promising relationships. All because one person couldn’t recognize that the other one was human too.
I wish people didn’t just assume that thought — that everybody is human — was common sense. Although, perhaps I just wish this common sense were a little more common.
We’ll be the first to admit that “science” is a generous word to use when it comes to some of the sex research out there — and thatÂ if a sex study sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t kernels of truth to be found in even the flimsiest of surveys. So here are our top 10 new year’s resolutions inspired by the year in sex research.
Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: “My boyfriend claims it means nothing when he looks at other women, and yet he gets jealous when I look at other men. Why is that?“
Gay Engaged Guy (Joel Derfner, author of Swish): It’s a combination of insecurity and a double standard. When your boyfriend looks at a woman who isn’t you, chances are he’s really just appreciating her, like you might appreciate a strawberry-rhubarb pie on the table — even though you’re really enjoying the piece of red velvet cake you’re already eating. But when you look at someone who isn’t your boyfriend, he can’t see that you’re probably just appreciating too, because he’s terrified that you might decide the other guy is better — that you might realize the strawberry-rhubarb pie is smarter than the red velvet cake, or makes more money, or has a bigger penis — and dump him, half-eaten, in the trash, so you can ride off into the sunset with the pie.
Straight Married Guy (Figleaf):Â Funny you should mention that. I’ve got a woman friend who flirts shamelessly but almost blacks out with jealousy when her partner so much as asks another woman to pass the salt. Her answer for the double standard is a lot like men’s: Â She knows she’s not looking to change relationships, so it’s okay for her, but not having the same insider information about what her partner’s thinking, she sees it as a total threat. Something similar is probably going though your partner’s head.
But that’s just the general case — there’s a more specific case related to what we “know” about men and women in relationships. We “know” that women are all “naturally” monogamous and men are just as “naturally” promiscuous, right? And so all your boyfriend’s cultural messages are that it’s really harmless for him to eye other women. He’d at most want a one-night stand, but we all “know” he wouldn’t want an emotional attachment. Meanwhile, though, all the cultural messages about you as a woman say that if you’re looking, it’s because you’d rather be with them. Forever! So he “knows” you’d really “only” want an emotional attachment and not a one-night stand. Read the rest of this entry »
We should have known fromÂ Daphne Merkin’s NY Times Sunday magazine cover story last week on Nancy Meyers and her new film “It’s Complicated” not to have high expectations: she never really came out and called it a winner. Still, we were so inspired by Meryl Streep’sÂ recent exclamations about over-fifty sex scenes (“The whole idea that you have to look a certain way and be a certain age to earn love is ridiculous. We love what we love. It doesnâ€™t matter what shape it is. Itâ€™s thrilling to see real people on screen”), we got hopeful. And how could we not root for a movie made by that rare species — the female director — that casts a beautiful, successful, funny, desirable middle-aged woman without plastic surgery (another rare species in Hollywood) as the protagonist? And so we found ourselves watching “It’s Complicated” over the long holiday weekend . . . only to be deeply disappointed.
Other peopleâ€™s dreams are never interestingâ€¦except when theyâ€™re about sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means. This week, a reader asks Lauri:
Last couple of weeks I have been having dreams about strangers having sex, or about to have sex. I am in no way involved in the sexual act, but somehow happen to be at the place. In one instance it was at the place where I live, the other was somewhere else, but I happen to be there.
Lauri: Interesting. These dreams seem to reflect a waking life sense of being left out. Letâ€™s start with your social circleâ€¦ are you single while everyone around you is attached? Or do the people around you seem to have stronger connections to one another than you do? How in your waking life are you feeling like a third wheel or the odd man out? We should also talk about how you felt when you watched these people have sex in your dream. Did you enjoy it and want in on it? Or did it seem awkward and embarrassing for you? Take the way you felt in the dream and try to connect it to how you feel about something in your waking life. Who or what is causing you to feel ignored? Or have you recently been put in an awkward situation? Whatever the case, it seems that these dreams are calling upon you to make yourself and your thoughts knownâ€¦ either that, or itâ€™s time to start that porn stash youâ€™ve been thinking about!