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Archive | 2010

Blog Snog: Christmas Presents That Won’t Get You Laid

December 17, 2010



Naked News: DADT, Plus Scientists Prove the Obvious

December 17, 2010


photo by MrsMinifig

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered

Your Call: Should She Dump Him Before or After Xmas?

December 17, 2010


photo by .:[Melissa]:.

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call by leaving your advice in the comments section below:

Dear Em & Lo,

I’ve been dating this guy since the summer but it’s just not working out, and that’s become abundantly clear to me in the last few weeks — we’re just too different, I’m not into it, and I don’t have any hopes for the future. He’s not a bad guy, he’s just not for me. I know I have to break up with him, but my question is whether I should do it before or after the holidays. Christmas and New Year’s is right around the corner. I know he’s bought me at least one present and we were planning on going to a friend’s New Year’s party together. Is that just heartless to dump him only days before Christmas, or does prolonging the inevitable somehow patronize him and make it worse?

– The Grinch

What should the Grinch do?


December 16, 2010


Our friends, Em & Nora (who we like to call “Em & No”), recently launched a site for grown-ups about young adult literature called LoveYALit.com*, since (according to the New York Times) more and more people 18-and-over are enjoying books originally intended for the 18-and-under set. Of course, books about teens, the most hormonal among us, often deal with issues of first romantic relationships and sexual awakenings — and reading them as adults can emotionally transport us back to our own teenage years, when those things were really new and exciting, dramatic and traumatic. So we asked Em & Nora to give us a sampling of the good, the bad and the complicated of YA love and sex. We published the good and the bad earlier, here’s the complicated:


Just like in real life, sex and relationships in Young Adult Fiction don’t usually fall into either the “good” or “bad” categories. They’re usually a mix of both, and can’t be easily pinned down.

  1. The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer (2005-2008) – There’s no denying the boatloads of otherworldly passion in these four fast-paced novels. But the ultimate message — “Don’t do it ‘til you’re married and even then you’ll end up with the horrors of childbirth” — sucked (pun intended).  Plus, after the first three thick books tease the reader with relentlessly frustrating sexual tension, the post-wedding union in book four is a total let down in the details department!  Also, vampire Edward and werewolf Jacob come across as controlling, possessive lovers while narrator Bella is an insecure, indecisive damsel in distress who needs a lot of rescuing (at least in the first three books).
  2. Gossip Girl Series by Cecily von Ziegesar (2002-2009) — Most of the sex in these books is casual, devoid of any real emotion, and without consequence, which is a big negative for the majority of people who believe shared sexuality — especially among young adults — should be a little more meaningful. On the plus side, it’s good old-fashioned trash! And, refreshingly, some of the characters are gay, bi, and/or questioning.  (We are truly hoping that Chuck and Dan will also explore their bi sides on the TV show; they already hinted at Chuck’s penchant for dudes, but it looks like network TV is only willing to show girls kissing girls at this point.) Check out our full review on LoveYALit.
  3. 100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed by Melissa P. (2003) — This book is sick!  It’s a totally readable crossover title (in this case, adult fiction with Y.A. appeal) about a young girl’s sexual awakening that’s based on the teenage diaries of the author who was only 18 when the book was first released in Italy. While the pleasure from the sex itself can be seen as empowering, the men she has it with are often older, more experienced, and more powerful than she is. Statutory rape, anyone?
  4. Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick (2009) — When Holly loses her virginity to a popular boy at school, she assumes it to be a one-night-stand but they continue to have secret sex in her bedroom late at night.  The sneaking around is exciting, but their relationship is complicated: he’s got a girlfriend whom Holly actually likes, he’s becoming increasingly creepy and controlling, and she seems to be using sex to fill the emotional void left after her mother’s death. Plus, she would do so much better for herself by dating her buddy Nils. Check out our full review on LoveYALit.
  5. Every Time a Rainbow Dies by Rita Williams-Garcia (2000) – After chasing off her rapists and helping her home, Thulani becomes fascinated with Ysa and seeks her out.  His desire for her is complicated by the fact that his dreams of her are more vivid due to his having seen her naked body following her rape. When Ysa and Thulani finally have sex, he worries that he will hurt her.  She does feel pain, but it is a pain rooted in desire and consent, as opposed to the pain of violence and oppression. Check out our full review on LoveYALit.

*As adults writing about sexuality in YA, Em & Nora of LoveYALit.com want to make it clear that they believe if a young adult does have sex, it should be safe, sober and consensual with another young adult.

This post is a part of Sundance Channel’s Naked Love Blog
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Sensual Holiday Gifts for That Special Someone

December 16, 2010

1 Comment

Boa Pleasure Ties from Lelo.com

With a love interest, socks just won’t cut it when it comes to holiday gift-giving; it’s nice to give a present that shows you consider them a sex god/goddess. But don’t give something that’s obviously a present to yourself, like polyester butt-floss lingerie that may look good to you but feels terribly uncomfortable to the person you’re supposed to be pampering. (Make requests for that kind of thing on your own birthday.) And make sure the present you’re giving is appropriate to the person: A leather whip for the vegan pacifist in your life or PVC underwear for a beloved environmentalist probably won’t be well received (you may as well get them fruitcake while you’re at it). So here’s a quick guide to sexy gifts for specific types:

For the art appreciator: The beautiful hardcover photography book LoveSong: The Erotic Photographs of Arnold Skolnick.

For the sensualist: Jimmyjane.com‘s pristine collection of ergonomic massage accessories all in classic white.

For the hippie feminist: Anything — jewelry, art, pillows — that celebrates the female form from the Vulva Love Lovely store on Etsy.com.

For the quiet kinkster: Lelo.com’s beautiful new line of sensual accessories, including deep red suede cuffs and silk blindfolds.

For the nature lover: TheBodyDeli.com‘s extensive line of body products that incorporate raw, fresh, natural and organic ingredients, including yogurt, amino acids, fresh fruit and vegetables, and all-natural plant oils.

For the comedian: A copy of the new sex manual parody Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk, available at most book stores.

For the person who has everything: The $7000 chess set that doubles as 32 different love toys designed by Aruliden for Kiki de Montparnasse.


This column also appeared in print in Metro

Audio Erotica for Women: Because Oscar Wilde Said So

December 15, 2010


This post is sponsored by FacelessVoice.com

Oscar Wilde once said, “Men love with their eyes, women love with their ears,” and the folks over at FacelessVoice.com have taken this sentiment to heart (amongst other organs) — it’s even posted on their site as a mission statement of sorts. They offer sensual and sexy audio stories for women, which you can download and listen to on your computer, smartphone, or mp3 player. Because some stories are just better told out loud. And some — okay, many — women find themselves too distracted by the bad acting and cheesy costumes in traditional porn to ever get turned on. Audio stories let women imagine those details themselves — while keeping both hands free, heh.

Some FacelessVoice stories are sweet and romantic while others are dirty enough to make you blush, depending on the mood you’re in — the offerings are broken down into three categories: GoodGirl (e.g. Tutoring Christy), BadGirl (e.g. Favorite Patient), and NaughtyGirl (e.g. Alyce in Wonderful Land). And within those categories, you get to choose whether you want a male or female reader for each story (a first in the audio publishing industry). Their featured narrators are Duane Dale and Lucy Blue.

The stories are currently $3.99 for one, $5.99 for two, and $7.99 for three — that’s a 20% discount for the holiday season. Consider treating your partner to a selection as a stocking stuffer (guys, think of it as a helping hand in the foreplay department). Or treat yourself, to make up for all those fruitcakes and pairs of socks you’re going to get from distant relatives. Just remember this: the polite erotica listener always uses headphones when indulging in the workplace.

This post is sponsored by one of our partners, FacelessVoice.com. We only accept sponsorships from brands, products, and services that we feel will be relevant and interesting to EMandLO.com readers. Click here for more information on site sponsorship.

Comment of the Week: Don’t Go Chasing Orgasms

December 15, 2010


photo by The World According to Marty

Best snarky indictment ever [in the post "A Guide to Orgasm Etiquette"]: “He approaches handwork like weeding (‘Must. Dig Up. Orgasm!’)”

I used to be so obsessed with “giving” my partners orgasms. And while I’m pretty good at it (the upside of obsession) I also turned a lot of very promising sex into little more than chores. For both of us. Then, way too late, I was on one of those orgasm-killing medications for a little more than a year and… it mildly disappointed my partner that I never came but otherwise my sex life was at least as good as ever and maybe better.

At which point it finally penetrated all the bone in my head and I realized that if it was still great for me it was probably still great for others too. Whereupon I finally, for the first time in my life, stepped off the “she comes first” obsession.

It doesn’t mean “she comes first” isn’t still great advice, and for the reasons you mention. But “great advice” is often mistaken for “absolute rule that must never be broken or she’ll never want sex with you again.” And that turns sex into survival.

Another best point: “In fact continued attention may result in multiple orgasms for a few lucky bitches…excuse us, women.”

Yes! Yes! If men turn women’s orgasms into the holy grail then “multiple orgasms” become the fountain of youth. No, wait, “squirting” becomes the fountain of youth. But you know what I mean: it’s something extra special guys “know” every woman could and should do… but only if he deserves it. In reality I’ve noticed only around half the orgasmic women I know are ever able to have the endless crescendo orgasms Cosmo, Esquire, and porn insist all women should. And only maybe half the remainder have second ones. And expectations notwithstanding, most have been perfectly happy with the ones they have.

figleaf, responding to the post “A Guide to Orgasm Etiquette”

How Great Sex Starts WITHOUT Your Partner

December 15, 2010

1 Comment

If you want to start eating healthy, you know that changing your relationship to food is more effective than a crash diet. The same is true with your sex life. Concerning yourself with just the act of sex is like only counting calories. There are numerous aspects of your daily life that affect sex in ways you may never have thought about before: stress levels, diet, (mis)conceptions about sex, and how your body and libido work. It’s all connected. Follow these steps to create a lifestyle and environment that foster a healthy sense of sex.

• Explore your genitals with your eyes and hands before, during, and after arousal. Yes, we’re talking mostly to the ladies here. And no, we’re not talking about masturbation yet. We’re talking about getting an up close and personal view of your parts. Women are often brought up to be ashamed of their anatomy, so they avoid all exploration and thus understanding. Finally get rid of the unknown! Use a hand mirror for the visual exam, but then supplement this with a tactile exam. You’ll be surprised how liberating and educational this can be. Just like the penis looks and feels really different depending on whether the guy is aroused, you’ll find that so too do your parts. While you’re at it (well, not literally), browse the web (start with www.the-clitoris.com) or the sexual health aisle at your local indie bookstore, because stuffy old anatomy text books don’t do the female genitals justice.

• Replace fatty snacks with foods rich in fiber. You already know that a well-balanced diet high in fiber and low in fat is important for good health. But it’s great for your sex life, too. Lowering your cholesterol by cutting back on foods heavy in fat will increase blood flow to your genitals, which increases sensation down there. But don’t over-do it. If you don’t get enough healthy calories, you won’t have the energy or stamina for sex. So feed your sex life, just feed it well. Replace your morning bagel and cream cheese with a bowl of bran flakes in skim milk, some prunes, or a low-fat bran muffin. That fiber will also do wonders for your digestive process, so you’ll feel more confident having your nooks and crannies intimately explored. We’ve lost count of how many readers have thanked us for introducing them to Fiber One cereal — they tell us it’s revolutionized their sex lives!

• Feng shui your bedroom.
Who feels sexy surrounded by a week’s worth of dirty laundry? Your bedroom should be a sacred space for rest, relaxation, and rolling in the hay. Any reminders of everyday stresses — CNN on the TV, papers you brought home from the office, stacks of unpaid bills, your cellphone — can fill your room with distracting negative energy. And that distraction becomes an excuse for not getting in the mood: “It’s not that I don’t love the sex, it’s that I just have so much to do!’” So get rid of the excuses by getting rid of the clutter. Dim the lights, or at least install low-wattage bulbs. Play a sexy CD on your bedroom stereo or iPod. Invest in some nice high-thread-count sheets. And hey, if you’re not in the mood for sex in a sacred space, you can always do it on the kitchen table.

• Compliment your partner at least once a day. If you’re in a new relationship, this shouldn’t be difficult: You’re constantly being surprised and awed by the things you learn about each other every day. But exchanging compliments daily is a good habit to get into early on, because if you end up in a long-term relationship or marriage, you might find yourself taking your partner for granted. When you remind your partner how awesome they are, you’re also reminding yourself. Regularly recount all the things that made you first fall in love — taking those trips down memory lane can reignite that spark.

• Masturbate regularly solo. Just because you have a partner doesn’t mean you should stop with the self-love. Having quality me-time can actually help keep your libido in shape — because if you don’t use it, you can lose it. It’s especially important for straight women to keep in mind what gets them off, since intercourse doesn’t result in orgasm for most of them. And ladies, don’t pack up your toys when you’ve got someone special in your life, because studies have shown that women who use bedroom gadgets report experiencing higher levels of sexual desire, higher levels of sexual satisfaction with their partners, and higher rates of success when it comes to achieving orgasm.

• Schedule a friends’ night out and talk about sex. We’re not suggesting you disrespectfully dish the dirt on your partner. Instead, simply use your friends as a great source of sexuality information. Despite our sex soaked culture, sex is still considered such a private matter — too private to talk about honestly. But if you don’t talk about it, then you’re totally on your own. And you’re potentially missing out on some good tips and tricks. Just remember not to let these show-and-tell sessions pressure you into feeling like you’re not orgasmic/limber/daring enough. Think inspiration (“Maybe I should try that some day”), not intimidation (“How come that’s never happened to me?”).

• Let go of a grudge. For example, if your partner is being cheap with you and that makes you mad, then you might become cheap with your love and affection in the bedroom in retaliation. Let go of any anger you may be harboring against your partner, and definitely don’t let it fester. Instead, talk about hurt feelings and resolve the issues before they seep into your bedroom.

• Lead a sensual life. You don’t expect your partner to ignore you all day until it’s time for sex, so why would you treat your body’s sense receptors that way? Pampering, whether your a gal or guy (and want to call it something else), can get you in the mood. The next time you have an hour or two to spare before your partner gets home, get naked, then take a hot shower — or even better, soak in the bath tub — then moisturize. The warm water relaxes you and increases the blood flow to your skin, which increases sensation, while rubbing the lotion in wakes up the nerve endings. It’s all foreplay. (You can do the same thing with a partner, too!) Here are some other things you can do: wear a scent to the office that you equate with sexiness, wear your nicest pair of underwear, wear an outfit to expose an area of skin that doesn’t normally feel the breeze, or just go commando. If you really want to up the ante, treat yourself to a massage or pedicure, or, for the more hardcore among you, get a piercing in a private place.

This article also appeared in EdenFantasys’ Sexis

The Best Sex and Love News of 2010

December 14, 2010


photo by WTL photos

Yesterday we told you about the sex and love news from 2010 that most pissed us off and/or depressed us — dubious studies, dubious reporting, and rampant STDs, et al. Today we hope to put a smile back on your face with some of the love and sex news that most inspired us. You’re welcome.

  1. A kink study finds that the majority of men are open to fetishes once you get them behind closed doors. Just don’t expect them to dish about it over Monday Night Football.
  2. College gals finally close the marriage gap — new research shows that white women with college degrees are just as likely to marry as those who didn’t graduate from college.
  3. Okay, so yesterday we told you that the web is “luring” more women into porn addiction — but there’s a silver lining. We finally have proof that women are visual creatures too!
  4. One-night stands can so lead to beautiful relationships.
  5. Kids of lesbian parents may fare better than their peers.
Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered

Wise Guys – Do Men Suffer More from Heartbreak Than Women?

December 14, 2010


photo by KellyB

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: People always assume that women are the emotional ones in relationships. However, one fairly recent study showed that the male broken heart may be worse off. What do you think?”

Gay Single Guy (Angelo Nikolopoulos): The results of this study are about as surprising as discovering gay porn on Reverend Tom Brock’s hard drive. Let’s face it: women (and gay men) are remarkably adept at emotional outpouring. During tumultuous times, we listen to Sade, Skype with our confidants, and blog; we burn purifying sage sticks, enlist the help of advice columns, and look to the sky for omens. We embrace the deluge. Men’s coping strategies, on the other hand, are as effective as calculating your tax returns with an abacus. As the study indicates, in lieu of verbally expressing their emotional distress, men are more likely to seek solace in substance use and withdrawal. So should we pity the fool nursing his beer and his tears? I’d prefer to offer him this, instead, Shakespeare’s steeliness: “The patient must minister to himself.”

Straight Committed Guy (Johnny): No surprises there. I’ve long considered women the emotionally tougher gender. I don’t know if I speak for men in general here, but all of my relationships – from sex-friend to BFF – are meaningful to me. Friendships tend to end after both parties gradually drift apart. It’s relatively painless and not always noticeable. But sexual relationships freakin’ end; there’s an explicit break up, after which you rarely or never see each other again, at least not on the same terms. I’m deeply saddened when that happens. It hurts my man-feelings. I’m a crybaby bitch about it, is what I’m trying to say. So yeah, me personally? I support that research.

Straight Single Guy (Mark Luczak): I definitely buy the handful of hypotheses put forth in the article — that men tend to be most intimate with their partners while women might maintain closeness with many friends and family (and thus kind of an emotional safety net if the romance ends); that a breakup can really shake a man’s pride and confidence in himself in general; and that stereotypical repression of emotions can ultimately come up and really sock a guy in the nose in extreme situations when he can’t compartmentalize anymore — and I can even corroborate some from personal experience.  One the one hand, I’ve always tended to throw myself fully into my romantic relationships, and a consequence of that complete investment is being pretty shattered after a breakup.  But all the same, I’m proud of the degree I’ve grown in-touch with my emotional side, and I cherish the strong relationships I’ve developed with some of my female friends, so I feel lucky and grateful that those things have helped me navigate the post-heartbreak waters perhaps better than the average guy.

Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Gay Guy is Angelo Nikolopoulos, host of an NYC queer reading series The White Swallow; Straight Single Guy is Mark Luczak, a tech geek at Carnegie Melon University; and our Straight Committed Guy is regular EMandLO.com commenter, Johnny. To ask the guys your own question, click here.