All posts by Em & Lo

10 Steps to Winning Valentine’s Day (with Just 1 Trip to the Grocery Store!)

Short on time? Don’t want to spend a lot of money? But still want to acknowledge your undying affection on Valentine’s Day? All it takes is one trip to the grocery store, a little effort, and a lot of love.

1. NO Red Roses!

Go with their favorite flower instead — it’s less cliche, more personal.  

2. Do Your Partner a Favor

Fix something they need help with, organize their junk drawer, wash their car, fold their laundry, mow their lawn . . .

3. Make Dinner Together

No need for reservations at a fancy restaurant (they’re too late to get now, anyway). Get the ingredients for a favorite meal, turn on some good music, and heat things up in the kitchen. Set the table with the good dishes, light some candles, use cloth napkins. 

4. Skip the Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates

But that doesn’t mean you forgo the sweets altogether. DO have something decadent & elegant. 

5. Write a “Love List

Love letters can be daunting. But a detailed list of everything you adore about your partner will just flow. And it’ll have the same heart-warming impact. (You can find more detailed instructions HERE.)

6. Or Just Crib from Classic Poetry

Borrow from the best — they won’t mind (they’re dead): Walt Whitman, Edna St. Vincent Millay, e.e. cummings, John Donne, Christina Rossetti… Check out our curated collection of sexy, romantic poetry HERE

7. Draw Your Partner a Bath

Use bubbles, oils or salts. Light some more candles. Wash their hair for them.

8. Give a Great Massage

Who doesn’t love a good body rub? Put on some relaxing music, use oil, and make sure the room is warm. You can learn all the best techniques from our friends at Melt: Massage for Couples (they always have a Valentine’s Day Sale!). 

9. Try Something New in Bed

Like a new toy (LELO.com makes all the best ones), a new technique (know where the PS-spot is?), a new position (have you mastered the C.A.T.?), a new lube, a new condom, anything! Just make sure it’s something you’re absolutely sure they’ll like (because Valentine’s Day is not the time to introduce strap-ons into your relationship). 

10. Cuddle

For longer than usual.

 

For more details on all of the above, read
Our Special Valentine’s Day Issue

5 New Things to Try in Bed on Valentine’s Night

We know that it’s pretty traditional on Valentine’s Day to share a candle-lit dinner which concludes with some kind of dessert involving chocolate and strawberries, and then you go home for face-holding, teary-eyed sex together. Well, in case you hadn’t noticed, we’re not exactly the traditional type around here. So here are five better ways to spend Valentine’s night in bed, inspired by our book 150 Shades of Play:

  1. Find something in your house to spank each other with — a slipper, a ping-pong paddle, a wooden spoon, a spatula. Just remember to stick to spanking fleshy parts only (and if you have no fleshy parts, go back for a second helping of that strawberry and chocolate dessert). Here are some more spanking tips.
  2. Talk dirtier than you ever have before. If you’ve never talked dirty, then try just narrating what’s happening as it’s happening — here are a few other tips on talking dirty without being dirty. If you’re a dirty talk pro, then make it your goal to go one step further. Make your partner blush! (FYI, check out our Wise Guys on dirty talk.)
  3. Experiment with sensory deprivation. Blindfold your partner and then make them guess what you’re touching them with, or make them wear headphones so they can’t tell when you’re getting close.
  4. Share a fantasy with your partner. This will be a little easier if you’ve had a few glasses of wine during your candlelit dinner. In fact, if you can do this without the aid of a little Dutch courage, then you’re a stronger person than either of us! Tell your partner something you’ve always wanted to try, or something you never want to try but you still love fantasizing about. Before you tell them, make them promise to tell you something, too. Hint: It’s Valentine’s Day, people! Make sure your partner has a starring role in this particular fantasy.
  5. Fine, go ahead and do it missionary style. But here’s a way to turn up the heat in this position: Finally figure out the Coital Alignment Technique. Here’s why:  full-body contact with a focus on the clitoris and a Buddhist-like repetition of steps that may very well get her closer to Zen (i.e. orgasm) better than any other hands-free intercourse position out there. Aw yeah.

For many many more ideas on how to spice up your Valentine’s night, anniversary night, birthday night, every other Sunday night…check out our book 150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink.

The 15 Best Romantic Dramas Streaming on Netflix

 
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s time to get in the mood for love. These 15 films currently streaming on Netflix can help. All are highly rated, with each getting a better rating than the next!
 
 
1. Blue Jay (2016)
If you like the prolific Duplass brothers, chances are you’ll fall for their black & white flick about high school sweethearts reuniting as adults and strolling down memory lane. Metascore: 69


2. Amelie
(2001)
An adorable French film full of happy magic that will make feel all lovey-dovey. Metascore: 69 (aw, yeah)


3. The Way He Looks
(2014)
A coming-of-age film from Brazil about a blind boy, his female best friend, and the new kid in town whom they both fall for. Metascore: 71


4. Remembrance
(2011)
A woman’s marriage is thrown into crises when she finds out the long-lost love who rescued her from a concentration camp 30 years ago is actually alive. IMDB: 7.2


5. Summertime
(2015)
The French daughter of rural farmers escapes to 1970s Paris where she’s exposed to feminism and Sapphic love — not exactly the kind of things an old-fashioned family will welcome with open arms. Metascore: 72


6. Everything Before Us
(2015)
Two couples — one broken up, the other brand new — try figure things out in a world where the government monitors and rates everyone’s registered relationships. IMDB 7.2


7. Omar
(2013)
A Palestinian Romeo must scale an Isreali-built border wall to visit his Juliet. Winner of the 2013 Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard category at Cannes. Metascore: 75


8. Adventureland
(2012)
A recent college grad gets a crappy summer job at the local amusement park where he finds love in the disaffected arms of coworker Kristen Stewart. Any kids of the 80s will appreciate the time warp. Metascore: 76


9. Jane Eyre
(2011)
Love is hard when your hunky Victorian groom already has a crazy wife locked away in his creepy mansion. Metasccore: 78


10. Beginners (2010)

Mike Mills, of “20th Century Women” fame, directs this story of a recently out father and his lost son, both trying to figure out love fairly late in life. Metascore: 81


11. Weekend
(2011)
A quiet, realistic portrait of two gay people spending an intimate weekend together — and they’re not lesbians! Metascore: 81


12.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
If Wes Andersen’s 1998 film Rushmore were streaming, we’d pick that, but his quirky 2012 film about two young runaways in love will do. 
 Metascore: 84


13. Atonement
(2007)
An epic love totally ruined by a jealous little brat. Metascore: 85


14. Shakespeare in Love
(1998)
Ugh, do we have to nominate a Gwenyth Paltrow film? It’s a charming love story with British accents, beautiful costumes and seven freakin’ Academy Awards to its name, including Best Picture! So while it pains us to do so, we guess we have to. Metascore: 87 


15. Blue Is the Warmest Color
(2014)
This critically acclaimed film about young, imperfect love from France took a lot of heat for its treatment of lesbian sexuality by a straight, male and some say tyrannical director.  Metascore: 88

 

Want to go beyond streaming?
Top 10 Rom Coms Guys Will Actually Dig

 

What’s More Important to People: LOVE or LUST? (Survey Results)

Our friends over at LELO surveyed 1000 people from all around the world asking what was more important to them: love or lust? Here are the results!

Overall, love is more important than lust for both women and men, except when they’re in open relationships:

No matter people’s age, love still trumps lust, but surprisingly, the older we get, the more important lust becomes:

All countries represented in the survey placed a higher value on love, except for those naughty Greeks (would Dionysus have anything to do with that?):

LELO gift boxes are on sale right now!
Use code EMANDLO17 for an extra 15% OFF! 

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10 Reasons to Become a Submissive (If Only for a Night)

 

1. You want a little freedom from all your daily responsibilities.

2. You’ve been with your partner for a while and things are getting a little routine.

3. You kinda like being held down and tickled.

4. You’ve thought about downloading our incredibly affordable book, “150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink.”

5. You don’t want to over-think things in the sack, you just want to get caught up in the moment.

6. You enjoyed acting in high school and want an excuse to be more theatrical.

7. You’re sick of having to make decisions.

8. You’re shy and you have a hard time taking initiative in bed.

9. You’re not shy, you always take the initiative, and you’re ready for a change.

10. You think you could do a hell of lot better job than Anastasia Steele.

You don’t have to adopt a new permanent “lifestyle” just because you’re a little curious about BDSM. You can simply choose to spend an evening being submissive and let your trusted partner call all the shots for a change. By being (temporarily) submissive in the bedroom, you don’t have to do anything…except what you’re told. Which is not to say that you’re passive; you are receptive, responsive, appreciative, grateful. And no, there’s no correlation between social, economic, or mental status and your power preference. Being dominated isn’t demeaning; it’s fun! So set some ground rules, set a time limit, come up with a safeword that means “time out,” and then take it and like it.

For more BDSM tips, check out our latest book “150 Shades of Play“.

MORE LIKE THIS FROM EMandLO.com:

How to Tell a Vanilla Partner About Your Kink

Top 10 Things the “Fifty Shades” Movie Could Do Better Than the Book

How to Introduce Kink Into Your Relationship (Esp If You’re a Dude)

 

This post has been updated. 
10 Journal Prompts to Help You Get Over a Breakup

Two articles in the New York Times (here and here) discussed the benefits of writing things down to help you move on from a difficult situation. An aversion to exercise, for example, or trouble fitting in at a new job, or — the situation we hear about most often at EMandLO.com — inability to get over a breakup. The latter is the one we will discuss here.

You may call it writing in a diary, or “journaling” (assuming that word doesn’t make you feel funny inside!), but researchers call it “expressive writing.” And there is actually a lot of scientific research showing the benefits of expressive writing — studies have shown it can improve mood disorders, boost memory, increase happiness,  improve general health, change behavior, and even reduce symptoms among cancer patients. Holy shit! If expressive writing can punch cancer in the face, just imagine what it can do to your asshole ex.

The idea, according to the NYT, is “based on the idea that we all have a personal narrative that shapes our view of the world and ourselves. But sometimes our inner voice doesn’t get it completely right. Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way.”

But how the hell do you edit your narrative and change the story? Below are ten prompts that you can follow to do exactly that. Buy yourself a notebook (or do it on your laptop if you prefer, but we like the old-school nature of using a pen). Each day, or every other day, follow one of the prompts below. When you get to the end of the list of prompts, take a few days to read over what you wrote in response to each prompt. Then, start over with prompt number one, and go through to number ten again. When you’ve completed all ten prompts a second time, take a few days to read and compare your two different sets of responses. Repeat, and repeat, as necessary.

Here’s the thing: It may not seem as if you are moving forward, in real time. But journaling in this way is kind of like time-lapse photography — in a month or two or three, you’ll be able to step back, look at the big picture, and see how you really are moving on. And the more distance you have from your ex, the more honest, and more helpful-slash-healing, your responses are likely to be.

Without further ado, here are our ten prompts. Respond in a hundred words, or five hundred, or a thousand, whatever feels right*:

1. Describe what your ex looks like, including at least one physical defect (come on, even supermodels have at least one body part that is less than perfect, even if it’s just an oddly shaped pinkie toe).

2. What do you miss about your ex?

3. What don’t you miss about your ex?

4. Why did you two break up?

5. In what ways were you a better person around your ex?

6. In what ways did your ex make you a worse person?

7. What are you looking for in your next partner?

8. When did you first realize you guys were headed toward a break-up?

9. What was sex like with your ex?

10. What did you do today?

* Warning: According to the NYT, too much journaling might not be right for everyone: If your problem is that you tend to ruminate too much on your feelings after a breakup, then you should limit yourself to a certain word count each day (say, 500 words), and limit yourself to journal entries only every three days.

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:

How to Organize Your Ex Out Of Your Life

How to Get Over a Breakup in 10 Easy Steps

10 Things That Feel Better Than Getting Revenge on an Ex

Our 45 Favorite #GirlPower Signs from the #WomensMarch

View & share video via YouTube here.

I took a lot of pictures of signs today. This might be my favorite.

A photo posted by Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelenpetersen) on

💪#womensmarchonwashington

A photo posted by Melissa Benoist (@melissabenoist) on

🍎❤🌈👩🏻‍🎓#womensmarch #womensmarchmn

A photo posted by Stacey Burns (@wentrogue) on

this beautiful, brilliant, bold friend of mine, @sarahkreykes #womensmarchmn #nastywomen

A photo posted by Coryn Petersen (@corynpetersen) on


How to Bridge the Erotic Chasm in a Sexless Marriage
by Dr. Margaret Paul for YourTango


Don’t give up.

Research indicates that over 55 percent of married women are not interested in having sex with their husbands. I’ve worked with many men who also are not interested in sex with their wives.

The problem is generally not a lack of sexual desire in the marriage — it’s that they are not interested in sex with their partner.

Why?

Sexuality in long-term relationships is the result of loving energy flowing between two people. If something is blocking this loving energy, the sexual energy between them often gets blocked as well.

There may be many reasons for the loving and sexual energy being blocked, but the most common is what I call the “pull-resist relationship system.”

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Here’s how it works in a sexless marriage:

One partner, I’ll call him Bill, ‘pulls’ on his wife, Jan, for time, approval, attention, appreciation, as well as for sex. Bill may pull with niceness, caretaking (giving in order to get something back), gifts, withdrawal, anger, blame, or threats.

These behaviors are a ‘pull’ when Bill is coming from an empty place within, a vacuum-like black hole that wants to get filled through approval, validation, and sex.

In fact, sex may be the main way, aside from work, that Bill’s worth as a man gets validated and his inner emptiness gets filled up. It may be the main way that he feels loved.

Jan, rather than feeling loved by the niceness, gifts, withdrawal, anger, or blame, feels objectified. She feels that Bill is being nice or angry to manipulate her into having sex — not because he genuinely wants to give to her and express his love for her, but because he wants to get love from her.

He comes to her like a needy little boy, wanting to get validated, filled or released. She ends up feeling used and drained when they have sex rather than loved.

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She doesn’t want to be used and controlled by Bill, and because she is not attracted to him when he is being a needy little boy, her whole body goes into resistance and she no longer feel sexually attracted to him.

Of course, it could be the other way around, with the woman pulling and the man resisting being used and controlled by her. The same pattern commonly exists in same-sex relationships as well.

In this pull-resist system between Bill and Jan, a number of changes need to occur for the passion to come back in their relationship.

Bill needs to stop trying to control Jan. He needs to learn how to take responsibility for his own feelings and wellbeing — for validating himself and filling himself with love, rather than always trying to have control over getting something from Jan.

Jan needs to learn to speak her truth rather than either complying (having sex even when she doesn’t want to) or resisting. She needs to tell Bill that she is not turned on to him when he is pulling on her for sex, or for anything else such as time, attention, appreciation or approval.

Until she is ready to speak her truth, without blame or judgment, about his emptiness and neediness, Bill cannot understand what the problem is. He will think it is just because she is frigid or has some other sexual problem, and will not understand his responsibility in their marital system.

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Most women are turned on by a man when he is in his power, feeling good about himself. Neediness is not a turn-on. Men, too, are often not turned on to a needy woman, a woman who needs him to make love to her for her to feel safe, worthy and lovable.

The same holds true in same-sex relationships. In our society, it’s more common for men to attempt to get their validation through sex than it is for women, which is why more men than women pull for sex.

In either case, both partners need to do their Inner Bonding work so they can become strong enough to be truly loving with themselves and each other.

Dr. Margaret Paul is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, and educator. Join her for her 30-Day at-home Relationships Course: “Loving Relationships: A 30-Day at-Home Experience with Dr. Margaret Paul —  For people who are partnered and people who want to be partnered.” 
This article was originally published at Inner Bonding and YourTango: “Why Marital Sex Often Dies A Very Slow Death (And How To Fix It)”

MORE CONTENT FROM YOURTANGO:

The Art of “Everything But” for Straight People

Many, many, many, many women don’t climax from intercourse, so why rush to get there when you can spend time on more rewarding acts? Here, the how-to tips for everything from soul-stirring kissing to mind-blowing oral sex, guaranteed to improve both partners’ non-intercourse sex life.

1. Talking

Whispering dirty nothings to each other is one of the best forms of foreplay out there — it can really get the mental side of things stirring, which is so important for gals. Now, if you’re cringing and blushing and thinking, “Oh no, please don’t make me talk dirty!” then think again. Bedroom banter doesn’t have to sound like a porno dialogue — in fact, anything you say while rubbing your half-naked bodies against each other sounds dirty, especially if you whisper it. Tell each other what you’re about to do, just before you do it. Sounds innocent enough, but just you wait… And once you’ve got that part down, you can start telling each other over dinner what you’d like to do later. Pro-Tip: Feeling tongue-tied? Then buy an erotica anthology, like something from editor Rachel Kramer Bussel, and read it aloud to each other in bed.

2. Kissing

Remember your first few kisses? The sensation was so novel it literally made you weak in the knees. Get that feeling back by making a make-out session an end in itself. Focus on every lick and pucker — in fact, perfect it — rather than rushing through the motions to get to “better” things. Remember: Two tongues at a time is overrated. Gentle lip-biting is hot; gentle tongue-biting is not. And macking on street corners is not just for teens and new couples. Pro-Tip: Just like any form of sex, kissing doesn’t always have to be romantic and lovey-dovey — try pulling your partner’s hair instead of stroking it during a kiss sometime.

3. Massage

We’ve all heard the statistic that 90% of back rubs lead to sex…well, a half-hearted squeeze of the shoulder blades during a commercial break of “So You Think You Can Dance” isn’t going to get anyone in the mood. But a full-body, well-oiled, dimly lit massage that lasts at least 20 minutes — with no immediate expectation of reciprocation — is the best damn thing you can do for your nerve endings. Plus it gives whoever is on the receiving end an excuse to start moaning. The giver should save the naughty bits for last: by then, they’ll be good and ready for any kind of attention. Pro-Tip: Both of you should be fully naked to amp up the teasing potential of the massage — just remember, the receiver can’t touch back until the full 20 minutes are up.

4. Handjobs

Hand work has been much maligned as a poor man’s (or poor woman’s) route to orgasm. This is probably because back when you were first experimenting with sex, you poked around with clumsy fingers, never thinking to add lube (for both of you), go slow, tease, and show each other how you like it. But there are things the hands can do that mouths and penises will never be able to accomplish (just try to imagine writing your name while holding a pen in your mouth…) — which is why for many women handwork is the only way they can climax. So stop fighting it, and start enjoying it! Pro-Tip: When you were teens, hand jobs weren’t all bad — recreate a bit of that puppy lust by putting your hands down each other’s pants next time you’re at the movies (though good manners would dictate that you make sure you’re at a drive-in).

5. Oral Sex

Okay, so maybe your tongue isn’t the most dexterous of organs, but it has a few other things in its favor (being naturally lubed, for one). Plus, getting up close and personal with your partner’s genitals like this is a pretty heady (heh) experience — one that can feel even more intimate than the old in-n-out. And like handwork, oral for many women is the key that unlocks the door to their orgasms (while intercourse just knocks on it). Pro-Tip: While we don’t necessarily think that a 69 is the Shangri-La some people claim it to be, we will say this: the head of your partner’s penis and the head of your clitoris (i.e. the bean) are homologous organs, which means that you can play do-as-I-do with your tongues to show each other exactly how you like to be pleasured down there.

Think about your genitals differently too:
Reconceptualizing Male & Female Anatomy

You As a Pin-Up

 

Artist & Dream Analyst Lauri Loewenberg

Our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg is living a double life: not only does she interpret your dreams here and all over the world, she now also creates custom pin-up portraits for people at her site, YouAsAPinUp.com. We recently asked her about how these two career paths emerged (and if they overlap), what the process is for ordering your very own pin-up, and why her latest business is booming:

 

E&L: What is the appeal of the pin-up?

 

Lauri: The appeal of the pin-up, quite frankly, is the beauty of the female body: S shapes and curves are very aesthetically pleasing (that’s why we also love curvy cars), and no matter her size, the female body has tons of them: the curves from the heel of her foot to her ankle to her calf, the breasts, the hips, the the waist, the arch of the back. It’s all very beautiful. Add to it what the female body is capable of, and you’ve got a very impressive machine. 

The female body has been a favorite subject of artists since the beginning of time, but the “Pin Up girl” became popular in the 40’s because she represented the girl waiting for the soldier when he got home, the girl worth fighting for. During World War II they were painted on the noses of bombers (hence the term “bombshell”) and posters were pinned up in the barracks (hence the term Pin-Up) to boost morale and detract from the horrors of war. Again, another example of the power of the female form.

How did you go from dream analysis to pin-up painting?

I’ve always been an artist. I came out of the womb drawing! I was actually just starting my career as an artist, designing T shirts and painting murals in people’s homes, when I took a course in Dream Psychology back in ’96. I was so impressed with what I learned about the subconscious mind and the practical application of Dream Analysis that I put my art aside to build a career in dream work. The funny thing is, during all those years of working as a professional dream analyst, my dreams kept nagging me to go back to my art! 

I would have recurring dreams of going back to my childhood bedroom and discovering several fish tanks of dead and dying fish that I had neglected for years. I would wake up as I was frantically trying to save what fish were still alive. I knew those fish represented my art, my ideas that used to thrive in my creative juices, the part of me that I had neglected… but I never did anything about. I was too busy with clients and writing books and doing radio and TV interviews.

But I would see some of my artist friends display their creations on Facebook, one old high school friend in particular – folk artist Kimberly Dawn Clayton – and I would get jealous! One night I had a lucid dream (a dream where you realize you are dreaming). In the dream I was again back in my childhood home and there was a short square-shaped woman standing there. Her facial features were nondescript, just indentions where here eyes, nose and mouth should be. Knowing this was a dream I did what I advise everyone to do while in a lucid dream… I asked her a question. “What do I need to know?” She answered (your lucid dreams will always give you an answer when you ask, btw) “You need to paint and I need to sew.”

I woke up immediately and knew exactly what my dream was telling me. I need to paint and that will “sow” the seeds for a productive future. So I did.

My first art piece after 18 years was a Marilyn Monroe painting. She had been my favorite thing to draw since I was 10 years old. And for having retired my paint brushes for so long, it actually wasn’t so bad… and it felt great! I began painting more celebrity portraits, Heisenberg from Breaking Bad, Katniss from Hunger Games. I then did a series of pin-up fairies. At this point, I was painting for me. I was enjoying reacquainting myself with my old friend. And I would post my creations on Facebook.

Within only a few months of painting again, a friend asked me to paint her as a pin-up girl for a wine label she and her husband made. It was my first commissioned piece. I was excited. I painted the hell out of her and shared it on Facebook. And so did she. Her friends saw it and I got more commissions… to the point I had a waiting list! So I started my new business, YouAsAPinUp.com.  This was over two years ago and to this day I still have a waiting list of clients. Thank you subconscious!!

Do you find that your work as an artist and your work as a dream analyst overlap, especially when dealing with people’s fantasies?

You could say they do in that both help us to become what we wish to be. Our dreams guide us, every night, towards being who we are meant to be and a pin-up portrait gives us a fun visual of who we wish to be. 

How does the process work? (Is it all done via emailed photos? Are you ever in person? Do they tell you the costume, theme, level of nudity, pose, etc that they want — or do you take some artistic liberties and they get what they get and they don’t get upset?)

All I need to work from is a couple good, high-res photos of your face and then I create the body for you. Before I begin, I will ask you what you have in mind. Most of my clients already have an idea of what they want, “I want you to put me in short shorts on top of my boyfriend’s favorite car,” for example. Some clients have no idea at all. So I help them come up with the perfect, customized pin-up portrait. I ask if they want a vintage look or modern. Do you want to be fun and flirty or sultry? How naughty do you want the pin-up? What body part do you want me to accentuate. Do you want the typical pin-up body or do you want me to celebrate your body as it is? What aspects of your personality do you want me to include? 

Once we’ve got all the details nailed down, I draw up a sketch, which you can approve or make changes to. You get to keep the sketch, by the way. Once the sketch is approved, I begin. I email or Facebook you the progress so you get to watch your pin-up come to life! The whole process is a really fun experience and in the end, you have a great piece of art that you or your loved one will treasure always.

How much does it cost?

They start at just $150. That’s for an 8″ x 10″ black and white. Prices go up from there depending on size, if you want color pencil or oil,  if you want something additional in your pin-up like a car or motorcycle.

How long is the turn around from someone ordering to the time it’s delivered? And how is it delivered?

Turn around time depends on the length of my waiting list. Once you put down the 50% deposit, which holds your place in line, the turn around can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. So if you want this for a Valentine’s gift we need to get you on the waiting list immediately. Once I begin, a pencil pin-up can be completed in 2 – 4 days and an oil pin-up can be completed in 4 – 8 days. I ship via USPS Priority. You receive a tracking number once your pin-up ships. Pencils come in a tube, oils come in a flat box. 

Are they all cool with being featured on your site? Is that part of the deal, or can people get a pin-up without you showing it off (like if they really want to keep it private?)

Most of my clients are totally cool with being featured on my site as well as the process being shared on Facebook (that is how I get most of my business). I have had only three clients – so far – ask that I not share on Facebook or be displayed on my site and that is 100% okay with me. For some this can be a very personal, private thing.

How many have you done so far?

Just over a hundred.

How many liberties do you take with people’s bodies? Do you try to reflect reality or do some people want to be 50 pounds lighter, or have boobs they don’t have, in the painting?

Most of my clients allow me to take liberties with their bodies. They want the fantasy of the tiny waste and the long legs and fuller breasts. I’ve had a couple clients who love their larger size (or their wife’s larger size) and what me to capture that beauty. I am happy to give you whatever you want. It is all beautiful. It is the face, however, that most of my clients need me to get just right. They want to see themselves in this form so if I don’t get the nose just right or the jawline, etc. I will rework it until you see yourself.

Do you have a “typical” customer? Are your pictures usually for someone’s significant other, for themselves, or for something else? Basically, why are people interested in this? 

Most of my clients are female and I would say, among my female clients, more of them are getting the pin-up done as a gift for their partner. But I have a lot of clients who get the pin-up as a gift for herself… to be a reminder to her self that she is a gorgeous creature, to empower herself. I had one client who told me her pin-up to herself empowered her to get out and date again after escaping an abusive relationship. I had another client who is 70 and she did it as a reminder to herself that beauty is ageless.

And then I have male clients who want to give this to their partners to let them know how sexy they think they are and to keep the flame alive. I just got a new male client last week who is having me create his deceased wife as a Playboy Bunny because he always wanted to do something to remind him of “how she stirred his heart.” 

There is so much more to a custom pin-up portrait than tushies and ta tas.

Many of the pictures include nudity or show a lot of skin, but others are completely covered up. How do you make the decision on how much is revealed in the picture?

Whatever my client wants, my client gets. Whether they want something sexy but classy or naughty with nipples, your wish is my command.

We imagine many of your clients find their pin-up empowering. Why? 

Basically, when you look good, you feel good. My clients know that the typical pin-up body is unattainable and it’s just art but it’s a lot of fun to see yourself that way. It’s the same reason so many adults love Halloween: escapism, pretend, fantasy… it’s fun. And they think to themselves, “I know I don’t really look like that but I sure feel like that!”

We also imagine some people could criticize it: It’s a total vanity project for clients OR it’s based on the retro objectification of women for the male gaze. How would you respond to those charges?

I get that some may think I am contributing to the objectification of women, but I’m not forcing this on you. If you don’t want a pin-up of yourself, don’t get one. For the women that do, that’s their right and their decision. Let’s remember, the whole “pin-up” genre of art and photography actually came about in the late 1800’s with The Gingham Girl, which was an escape from the oppressive restrictions put on women and how they were forced to cover up by a male dominated society. Women weren’t allowed to show ankles back then. In the 20’s the swimsuit police would stop women on public beaches and make sure their suits were not more than 6 inches above the knee! The female body is not to be shamed but celebrated. Free the nipple!

Best background or story about one of your clients? 

There are so many. One of my first clients had a pin-up portrait done to remind herself of how she looked and felt before her legs were covered in scars from surgeries.  She loved her pin-up so much that she is going to have another done WITH her scars. I love that!

What’s been the best reaction to one of your paintings so far?

Well, one that made me laugh until I almost peed myself was from a woman who received her pin-up portrait as a gift from her long time boyfriend. When he commissioned me, he wanted me to put her in this purple night shirt she wears because he loved how her nipples poked through it. He was very specific about her nipples! After she received the pin-up she emailed me and said, “Thank you so much for my pin-up, love it! Fun to hear Bryan talk about the process and how he described me. Nice to know after 23 years he still likes my nipples and knows which side I part my hair on. It’s beautiful, thank you!”

What’s been the worst?

One of my earlier clients had me paint her in a long emerald green evening dress sitting on a piano. It turned out absolutely beautiful and I was particularly proud of the way the gown cascaded down the piano like a waterfall. After I shipped it to her she messaged me and told me she was very disappointed because she thought the head was too small. OUCH! That hurt for a very long time. A few months later she messaged me and said she actually loves it now and couldn’t be happier. That made my day.

Out of all the portraits you’ve created, which one is your favorite and why?

Oh that’s a hard one. Aesthetically… I’d say the logo I did for Vintage South Productions, a TV casting company.  I love that they stuck with the vintage pin-up look and I am very very please with the TV! I don’t enjoy painting or drawing inanimate objects like TVs or cars (even though they certainly add to the pin-up) but this vintage TV set turned out soooooo good!

What do you enjoy most about creating pin-up art?

As much as I love drawing and painting the female form, my favorite part of it is my interaction with my clients. I make them feel beautiful. I tell them they are beautiful or that their wife/girlfriend is beautiful. Because they ARE beautiful. I love to uplift my clients and make them have a smile on their face for the rest of the day because they feel good about themselves. We women can be so catty and jealous of each other. Let’s build each other up and celebrate ourselves. I love being a woman. It’s magical and I want other women to not feel angry about it but empowered by it.

Where do people hang them usually? Seems like the kind of thing that might be awkward hanging over the dinning room table at a dinner party! 

The naughtier pin-ups are usually hung in the bedroom but most are proudly displayed in the living room or man cave. And some are used as business logos or on business cards and hung in the office. A pin-up portrait is actually a very versatile piece of art.

Get yours done!
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How to (TRY TO) Female Ejaculate

Okay, before we tell you how to ejaculate, we have to set a couple things straight:

First, yes, women can ejaculate.

Next: no, not all women ejaculate. So if it doesn’t happen for you, please don’t stress about it or feel like your parts aren’t working properly. The last thing we mean to do is set up an unrealistic sexpectation. And partners, please don’t make it your “mission” to turn your gal into a geyser. It’s okay to give it the ol’ college try, but know when to give up.

Some women squirt across the bed, others barely trickle, still others find G-spot stimulation so painful or annoying that they never get far enough to find out, and many may not have the kind of equipment that would allow them to ejaculate at all. And that’s okay. But seeing as we’re always being asked how to make it happen, we thought we’d at least tell you how to try.

So, without further ado, here are our top ten tips for nurturing your inner female ejaculator:
1. Go for the G. Most women who ejaculate say it happens as a result of direct, firm, prolonged G-spot stimulation. Remember, while all women have a G-spot, not all women enjoy having theirs stimulated. If you’re one of those women, we recommend you give up now and try learning a new position or something instead. If you’re not, locate your G-spot on the upper, or front wall of your vagina, about two inches in. Curve your finger in a “come hither” gesture, toward the belly button.

2. Fly solo first. There’s less pressure and you can take as long as you want without worrying that you’re boring anyone. Not that this is boring, of course.

3. Use a tool. Once your partner’s involved, they might want to try a toy specifically designed for the G-spot, like the G-Swirl from GoodVibes or Lelo’s Mona. But really, any toy with that “come hither” hook is good–because most G-spots respond well to firm, steady, prolonged stimulation. And not all fingers can provide that.

4. Let it go. You’re going to feel like you’ve got to pee, but don’t worry about wetting the bed–if you’ve gone to the bathroom beforehand, there shouldn’t be a problem. But even if there is a little pee, is it really a problem? We’re all grownups here.

5. Bear down. Take “letting go” a step further by actually pushing out when you feel the urge to pee, like you’re in a pee-off and you’re about to take the lead.

6. Don’t block the exit. A large toy, a penis or a hand might cut off the urethral opening (and that’s where female ejaculate comes out — though as we’ve said before, it’s not actually pee). Keep up the stimulation, just get them out of the way as best you can.

7. Get hot and bothered. Being super sexed-up, overcome with lust, and engulfed in the flames of desire means a number of things: a) Your G-spot is easier to find and can take more pressure, which means more experimental poking. b) Your pelvic muscles are more relaxed, which makes it easier to let go. c) You’re more likely to have an orgasm, causing pelvic contractions which help expel the fluid. d) You’re super sexed-up, overcome with lust, and engulfed in the flames of desire!

8. Have an orgasm first. Ejaculating might be easier after your groin has already been warmed up and relaxed by an explosive O.

9. Make clean-up a cinch. Put down towels or a waterproof pad (you’ll find them in the incontinence aisle at the pharmacy) or a fitted vinyl or PVC sheet (available at most sex shops) so you’re not stressed about wetting the bed. Or do it in the bathtub; if you actually run a bath, the warm water will also help you relax.

10. Drink water. When you’re dehydrated, your body gets retentive with all its fluids, including female ejaculate. Just make sure you pee before you attempt any of the above in order to avoid having an accident.

RELATED LINKS:

This post has been updated. 
2016: The Year in Bad Sex

This year sucked — and not in a good, consensual, non-transactional, mutually satisfying way. Here are the top 10 worst sex- and gender-related events, trends, crimes and tragedies of 2016. Good riddance!

1. Trump Admits to Sexual Assault on Tape, Still Gets Elected:

 

2. The New Jared: Glee Star Indicted on Child Porn Charges:

 

3. Anthony Weiner Can’t Keep It in His Pants, Helps Trump Win the Election:

 

4. Yet Another Christian TLC Star Is Unsurprisingly Charged with Child Rape:

 

 

5. Brock Turner, Convicted of Sexual Assault, Gets Only 6 Months, Serves Only 3 for Good Behavior:

 

6. 20 Women Accuse FOX Exec Roger Ailes of Sexual Harassment, He Gets Position in Trump Campaign Without Having to Pitch in a Penny for the $20 Million Settlement:

 

7. Sexism Is Alive & Well, As Lame Attacks Against Hillary Clinton & Her Campaign for the Presidency Prove All Too Clearly:

 

8. Still Not Convinced? Sexist-Troll Outrage Over the All-Women Reboot of “Ghostbusters” Was a Real Thing:

 

9. Gender-Bending Pop Icons Like Prince, Bowie & George Michael Die:

 

10. Icing on the Coming-Apocolypse Cake: London & Geneva Get Blowjob Cafes:

 

Check Out Our Other 2016 Wrap-Up Posts!