All posts by Em & Lo

Dear Em & Lo, I Love Him But He’s Already Got a Girlfriend

Hi,

I would like advice. I am single mother and I met someone on a dating website. When we met he told me he didn’t have a girlfriend. After a while, we were emailing each other every day. After 6 months, I finally met him face to face and we liked each other. But then he started telling me that he has a girlfriend and that he loves her.

So I asked him to stay away and to stop texting me, but he insisted that he liked me and he continued texting me and asking me to be only friends with him. So he used to text me and talk to me more than he did with his gf, and so we started meeting each other and ended up as friends with benefits. He was so romantic with me, he cared about me, so I did fall in love with him. And he knew that.

I asked him many times to let me go because it was hurting me, to love him knowing he had a gf. Last time I texted him to stop texting me, but as usual he didn’t stop. When I ignored his text messages then he texted me that he loved me and he can’t let me go. So we started to see each other again and hanging out together, but only places that his gf won’t know about.

Every time I ask him to do something to prove to me that he loves me he will do it, except he won’t leave his gf. So our relationship has been more than one year and half, and recently he found out that his gf is pregnant. I am lost, hurt, and I stopped talking to him but he keeps texting me that he loves me and he wants to keep his relationship with me but he won’t let his gf go.

What do you think? Is he lying on me because he is using me?

— Lostgirl

Dear LG,

In a word, yes. You already know he’s a liar, because he’s cheating on his girlfriend (and you’re aiding and abetting his cheating). We wouldn’t be surprised if he’s already married to this woman!

The fact that he wants to have non-monogamous relationships is not the problem; the fact that he’s lying to his “GF” and stringing you along (despite your protestations) to make these non-monogamous relationships happen is the problem. It sounds to us like you’d prefer an exclusive relationship with him. And it’s clear that’s never going to happen with this guy. He keeps telling you what you want to hear — that he loves you — just so he can keep having an exciting, secret, sexual affair with you. Even if you’re okay with an uncommitted, non-monogamous relationship, you’re still participating in a dishonest one because his girlfriend is in the dark.

End it. For good this time. Block his number if you don’t have the self-control to resist his sweet, seductive texts. You’re not Romeo and Juliet, kept apart by a tragic family feud — he’s just a cheater who’s kept you two apart because he’s not interested in a committed relationship with you. And now, considering this pregnancy, his primary focus should be on his future child — don’t be his distraction. Find someone who’s willing to put you first.

Found Girls,
Em & Lo

When someone tries to defend cheating
We Shut Them Down

“Magic Mike Live” in Las Vegas

The live cabaret version of the “Magic Mike” movie franchise officially premiered at the Hard Rock Cafe (natch) in Las Vegas (where else?) this past week. Magic Mike Live was conceived by Channing Tatum, who starred in and produced the movies, and is co-directed by him and Alison Faulk, the films’ choreographer. They worked together with Tatum’s wife Jenna to create a show that asks and tries to answer the question “What do women want?” A show where straight women could be “appreciated very, very hard.”

Photo Credit: Erik Kabik Photography/ erikkabik.com

From the looks of things from a distance (sadly, we were not flown to Vegas to attend the premiere), Magic Mike Live seems to combine erotic female fantasy with Tatum’s sense of humor, but (thankfully for most) without much Chippendale cheese or seedy Vegas raunch.

Photo Credit: Erik Kabik Photography/ erikkabik.com

USA Today reports a lot of toned abs and little skivvies, but no complete nudity. The 360 degree stage features 13 diverse dudes who dance, sing, perform acrobatics, and of course strip — sometimes as a group, sometimes with female performers, sometimes during one-on-one lap dances with audience members. The female host creates a safe space with the safe word “unicorn” and a lot of girl power talk. You don’t throw dollar bills but the pink “thank you” slips provided (after all, tickets are like 130 bucks a pop!). The performers give out just as many compliments as they do rolling pelvic thrusts. There is a lot of eye contact. This is male stripping with love.

Photo Credit: Erik Kabik Photography/ erikkabik.com

In the new venue, there’s even a “Pleasure Bar” featuring toys from our friends at LELO, to help promote the idea of embracing female sexual pleasure without shame.

Photo Credit: Erik Kabik Photography/ erikkabik.com

According to “Ellen,” they’ve already sold over $3 million in tickets. Which hopefully means it’ll still be going strong the next time you get a weekend away in Vegas. Start dropping the birthday party/bachelorette party/anniversary/Mother’s Day hints now!

Photo Credit: Erik Kabik Photography/ erikkabik.com

Until then, you can live vicariously through the following videos.
 

The hilarious teaser video
(the best part of this is Tatum’s insistence on spelling come WITHOUT a U):

 

The audition process:
 

Opening night:
 

Stripping in the rain:
 

The most naked it gets:
 

Whether you’re a man or a woman:
The Top 10 Striptease Tips

How to Put on a Condom (A 12-Point Refresher Course with Video)

 

April is STD Awareness Month!


Consistent and correct condom use reduces the risk of HIV transmission by as much as 10,000 times (the studies that reported the HIV virus leaking through latex were done using particles 100 million times smaller than the HIV found in semen). And while condoms admittedly do not cover all the genital skin through which some infections can be passed (such as herpes and HPV), they do cover the areas of the penis where the majority of sexually transmitted diseases and infections hang out. In fact, failure to use condoms has been shown to be one of the highest risk factors for contracting the HPV infections that can cause cervical cancer.

By reducing the exchange of the bodily fluids most likely to carry sexually transmitted infections (ejaculate, vaginal secretions, saliva, sore discharges), condoms are pretty much the only form of birth control that can help protect against said STDs. (Diaphragms and spermicides might help with some infections, but they don’t hold a candle to condoms.)

When your worries about STDs and pregnancy are reduced, you can better focus on the matter at hand: You and your partner’s pleasure. Condoms are readily available, inexpensive, disposable, and cause few side effects, if any. Goooooooo condoms!

1. Invest in quality.
If you’re one of those annoying people who whine about condoms, could it be you’ve been using non-lubricated, inch-thick, five-cent prophylactics from a vending machine all your life? Today there’s a whole slew of available materials (e.g. polyurethane), sizes and shapes (balloons and and studs and ribs that actually work) designed not only to protect, but to provide pleasure. Seek out thinner varieties for a warmer, more natural feel — as long as they’re FDA approved, they’ve passed the same safety requirements the thicker brands have. And if your budget allows for it, pay a little extra. These are your family jewels, after all. Don’t they deserve the very best? 

2. Get the size right.
Studies suggest that the better the fit, the safer and more comfortable the condom will be for both partners. Resist the temptation to get the “extra large” condoms just to feed your ego. If it’s too loose, it will slip off more easily. If a condom is too tight, not only will it break more easily, it’ll choke the nerve endings in the penis, reducing sensitivity. And if it’s too short, it’ll leave more skin exposed to possible infection and slip off more easily (though this is usually only a problem for men of the most porno proportions). Learn your size, then experiment with different lengths, widths, and shapes to get the right fit — a millimeter or two could make all the difference. 

3. Don’t carry them around jammed in a pocket or wallet.
They get worn down that way. Get yourself a carrying case to keep them in good, working condition. 

4. No genital-to-genital foreplay.
You must introduce condoms into the love scenario before any genital contact is made — bareback poking around increases your chances of STD transmission (whether through skin-to-skin contact or bodily secretions) and getting pregnant (yes, there can be traces of semen in pre-ejaculate from a previous ejaculation, for instance, if he hasn’t urinated since said ejaculation). 

5. Make it part of the act.
If you make putting on a condom an integral part of sex, it’s inherently sexy. What could be hotter than kneeling above your partner, staring them straight in the eye, tearing the wrapper off a condom like a mini striptease, and oh so slowly unraveling it over the throbbing specimen in play? As Yogi Berra once said, “Half this game is ninety percent mental.” If you think it’s hot, then it will be.

6. Open the package carefully.
Once you’ve got the right condom in hand, open its wrapper along one side of the foil with relish. You might be tempted to use your teeth, but you’ll have better control with your hands (which means fewer chances of accidental damage to the condom). Remove the condom gingerly from the package, taking care not to poke the material with fingernails or jewelry.

7. Make sure you’ve got it right-side-round. 
To quickly determine which side of the rolled up condom should be placed against the erect penis, you can blow gently into the reservoir tip — this will help you determine if the roll is on the outside (it should be).

8. Add lube.
Add two or three drops of water-based or silicone lubricant (never use oils, which degrade latex!) into the reservoir tip. This will make it easier to roll down, and increase sensation for him. Do not skip this step! (We’d avoid condoms with Nonoxynol-9 and desensitizing creams.) Once the condom is on, lovingly add more lubricant to the outside for the receiver’s pleasure.

9. Leave some room at the top, none at the bottom.
Pinch out the air from the receptacle end or top half-inch of the condom with your thumb and forefinger. Hold it against the head of the penis, leaving some space for any future fluids to collect, and roll the condom all the way down the shaft to the very base — as far as it will go — smoothing out any air bubbles along the way. Remember to make sure this feels good.

10. Deal with the foreskin.
If there’s foreskin involved, pull it back first, then put on the condom. Once on, push any foreskin toward the tip, while holding the condom bottom in place at the base, to allow for more F.S. mobility.

11. If it breaks…
Should the condom roll up a bit during play, immediately put it back in place. Should it come off, remove entirely and begin again with a brand new one (no skimping!). And in the unfortunate but unlikely event that the condom breaks, don’t panic. Remove the broken condom and put on a new one immediately. The jury’s still out on whether inserting spermicides after a mishap can reduce the chance of pregnancy — just don’t douche, or you might actually increase that chance by pushing sperm further up the egg trail. And as far as STDs go, while spermicides have been found to kill some bacteria and viruses, they can also cause irritation which may actually promote the spread of some infections (like HIV). Talk to your doctor within a day about emergency contraception and STD testing, because the sooner you act, the better off you’ll be. 

12. Once you get a happy ending, don’t linger.
While it may be tempting to hang around inside for a while, don’t — you’ll run the risk of slippage, undoing all the good of the condom. Before any softness sets in, hold the bottom of the condom in place at the base of the penis while it withdraws. Wrap up discreetly (no one likes to look at used condoms) and throw in the trash — do not flush!

Some of the above has appeared in our previous books, “The Big Bang” and “SEX: How to Do Everything

 Think pulling out is just fine?
5 Reasons Why Withdrawal Is Not as Good as Condoms

 

 

Happy Spring: Fuck Like Bunnies!

It’s finally Spring! A time of chocolates, pastels, persistent urges, and adorable rabbits fucking like bunnies. As Mark Twain said, “It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” So here’s a collection of heart-achingly cute Getty Images to put a smile on your face, a spring in your step, and the idea of the birds and the bees into your head.
 


This post has been updated.

Want more foul?
The 10 Best Bird Kisses

How to Use Tinder — A Complete Guide

There’s always a first time for everything.

Tinder is a popular (if not the most popular) dating app that matches adults based on their Facebook profiles and locations, allowing mutually interested parties to chat anonymously (until, perhaps, they decide to exchange phone numbers and/or meet up for coffee or casual sex). Though it’s often criticized as a product of an attention-challenged, image-conscious, addiction-prone generation, it’s still basically obligatory if you’re single and under 35 (even if you’re focused, deep and don’t have an addictive personality).

The Pros of Tinder

Fast-Paced: Unlike trying to meet someone single who’s right for you at a bar or club, Tinder is quick and targeted. And you know everyone there is interested in at least meeting new people. If you’ve got a decent profile (and don’t live in the middle of Bumblefuck USA), then your chances of getting several matches in a few days (if not a few hours) are pretty high. 

Fun: Show your friends the pictures of your matches while sipping on some wine. Message a few of your matches if you’re feeling flirty. It can be a rush just to see who you match with, even if you don’t pull the trigger with any of them!

Convenient: Pull out your phone and you can check Tinder anytime, anywhere, wearing anything, including sweatpants.

The Cons

Unpredictable: Tinder can be a hit or miss. You can’t control who shows up when. And though you can control who you like, you can’t control likes you, obvs. On one day, you might hit the jackpot with a bunch of profiles you’re interested in; the next might feel like a dating desert. 

Misleading: Just like any other form of social media or online dating, people only present the best, most polished version of themselves. With creative lighting, angles, Photoshopping, and Kardashian contouring, people might be less hot in RL than they appear on Tinder. And some folks are just better on paper.  To avoid disappointment when you finally meet, lower your expectations — even if, or especially if, their profile seems too good to be true.

Cis/Hetero-focused: Tinder is catered towards cisgendered, straight men and women. Though you can choose what gender you would like to see (men, women, or both), the environment itself could be more LGBTQ friendly. According to one college student who identifies as bisexual, “Bi erasure is real on Tinder. Even if I have it in my bio (or Bi-o?), people will still make assumptions about my sexuality.” DatingAdvice.com suggests LGBTQ users will probably have a better time elsewhere.

Shallow: The nature of the Tinder beast means a lot of emphasis is placed on looks. And the suggestion of a surplus of available people may make commitment less desirable (see Professor David Buss’s explanation here.)

Undeterred? Then download the app to your smart-phone and get started! Here’s how:

How Tinder Works

The (In)Famous Swiping:

  • Swipe LEFT on a profile if it’s a “NO GO” for you. They won’t show up again in your feed (unless you’ve upgraded to Tinder Plus, which lets you “rewind” any accidental or overly hasty left swipes).
  • Swipe RIGHT for “YES.” That person will not know you’re interested unless they also swipe right, in which case you will match! Pay extra attention to those at the top of your feed, since anyone who’s swiped right on you will tend to appear there.
  • Swipe UP for “SUPER LIKE” (or just tap the blue star icon on someone’s profile). Unlike a right swipe, a super like means that person will see the blue star when they come across your bio, so only do this if you are okay with them knowing you’re really into them.
  • “Discovery” is the swiping process, which you can remove yourself from — let’s say, if you start dating someone with serious potential — by turning Discovery off in your settings (you can turn it back on and throw yourself back into the mix at any time).
  • You can unmatch anyone you’ve already been matched with at any time, blocking them from future contact. But once you’ve unmatched someone, it’s a permanent done deal.

Location Settings:

  • Your location will automatically adjust depending on where you are.
  • You can set a maximum distance, so that your matches will be as close or as far as you want them.

Age & Gender Preferences:

  • You can set an age range so that the profiles you see are not too old or too young (ages range from 18-55+).
  • Under settings you can set it to see just men, just women, or both.

Messaging:

  • Once you’ve been matched to someone (i.e. you’ve both swiped right on each other), you can send them an anonymous message to get the conversation started.

Boosting:

  • Boosting your own profile makes you one of the top profiles in your area for 30 minutes, for a price.
  • To purchase Tinder Boost, tap the purple lightning bolt on the main screen (Boost button) and follow the instructions.

Tinder Plus:

  • For an additional price, you can sign up for the Tinder Plus subscription, which give you extra features: rewinding on swipe lefts, extra Super Likes, one free “Boost” a week, matching all over the world (not just your immediate vicinity), no ads.
  • Controversially, Tinder Plus costs more for older users.

– How to Survive a Blind Date in 6 Easy Steps –

Picking the Right Photos for Yourself

Like it or not, this is the single most important element of your Tinder profile. Make it count:

Reflect reality: This doesn’t mean you have to post a photo of yourself without makeup on. It means don’t post one from 15 years or 15 pounds ago. Flatter yourself, but don’t delude yourself.

Elevate your pics: There’s no excuse for shitty pics when Smartphone cameras are so good these days. If you’ve got a terrible eye, have a friend snap some pics with flattering, natural light and a non-distracting background.

Post the maximum number of pics Tinder allows. This will give you an opportunity to show the various sides to yourself — and prove that the ridiculously good-looking shot of you was not a fluke.

Avoid excessive shirtless pictures & mirror selfies: While one shirtless picture at the beach is totally fine (and often welcome), nothing but a sea of pecs can scream “Self-absorption!” Same goes for the mirror selfie, which seriously lacks aesthetic and stylistic considerations. A range of realistic pics will advertise that you’re grounded — and human. 

Go easy on the group pics: While it’s nice to show you actually have friends and aren’t a loner, make sure viewers can easily pick you out from the crowd.  Also make sure your friends are cool with you putting their face on Tinder!

Consider using “Smart Photos”:  You can have Tinder employ its mathematical algorithms to determine which photo of yours is the most effective and automatically set it as your main photo. Just use their “Smart Photos” option.

Creating a Compelling Bio

It’s optional, but well worth it. It shows you give half a damn. And at a maximum length of only 500 words, it’s doesn’t take much strain. In fact, you may want to come well under that word-count, lest you come across as trying too hard:

Have fun with it! This isn’t therapy, it’s a light-hearted dating app. Let your sense of humor shine through. Crack a joke or two (just avoid overdone ones). Be your best silly self, ’cause Tinder ain’t so serious. 

Offer specific details: Being vague will only make you sound generic and boring. Specific details give people conversational ins with you. Favorite foods, current obsessions, origin stories, political leanings — decent bios with details like these means you’re both not starting from absolute scratch (which can make for painfully awkward first encounters). Mentioning your love of tacos means your chances of getting stuck on a taco-less date are greatly reduced. 

Express your intentions:   People use Tinder for casual hook-ups, dating and, yes, even finding new friends. So you should convey your expectations, either explicitly or implicitly. For example, if you’re looking for something super casual, your bio can be more mysterious. But if you expect to be wined and dined, or are only interested in people looking for a committed relationship, best to be more forthright about it (don’t be coy) — this will help with those who wrongly assume Tinder is still just a casual sex app. E.g. “no ONS” = no one-night stands. And hey, if you are just looking for a single night of meaningless sex, you can certainly say so, too! I.e. “No strings.” At millions of monthly users, Tinder is big enough for you to find a fairly decent match. 

Don’t be too negative, picky or sleazy: Better to express positively all the things you’re looking for, rather than negatively complain about all the things you’re not. But a laundry list of impossible-to-meet standards won’t help your cause either. And do we really need to tell you to keep it classy? Even if raunchy sex is on your mind, start slow and respectfully, to make sure you’re dealing with a like-minded dirty bird.

Tinder Do’s & Don’ts

Don’t use pickup lines (especially un-ironically): Overused, generic lines reflect a lack of effort, creativity and genuine interest in the person as an individual. 

Do be honest: Be honest with what you want, what you like, what your expectations are, and so on. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Don’t lie. Just because you might be interested in something casual, doesn’t mean you should be casual with the truth or someone’s feelings. 

Don’t swipe right on everyoneIf it’s taking a while to get matches, you may be inclined to start swiping right indiscriminately — but all this does is increase your chances of meeting someone totally incompatible, which is unfair to both of you.  Better to work on improving your profile (or yourself!). 

Do be the first to message: We’re talking to you, ladies. This is the 21st century! Hey, they swiped right on you too, and if for whatever reason they don’t respond, then screw ‘em. Whatever you do, for the love of all that’s holy, come up with an opener that’s more inspired and personalized they “Hey.”

Don’t immediately request digits: Basic Tinder etiquette calls for at least one exchange or conversation via the anonymous safety and privacy Tinder offers before phone numbers, Snapchat handles, and other social media accounts are put on the table. Remember, once you give those out, there’s no going back — so be selective. 

Don’t be afraid to change your mind: If you think you are into someone at first but then realize you aren’t, that’s perfectly fine. No one expects you to make a final decision about a potential partner after just reading a short bio and seeing a couple pictures.

Don’t take any bullshit: If someone says something you don’t like, then unmatch them so you don’t see them again. And if you think what they said was inappropriate (or worse), then report them, i.e. go to their profile, hit the menu icon (ellipsis icon) and hit report.

Do meet in public: Just as you would on any blind or online date, drive separately and go somewhere with lots of people, like a coffeeshop, bar or restaurant. This way, if you begin to feel uncomfortable (or they’re certifiable), there are witnesses and you’re not trapped. Even if you are both just interested in casual sex, it’s best to meet up somewhere public initially should you immediately or eventually have a change of heart — so the hotel bar, NOT the hotel room. And be sure to tell friends or family your plans (where you’ll be when and with whom, not necessarily what you’ll be doing).  

Don’t have unsafe sex: Thanks to Tinder, STDs are on the rise. Know your sexual health status; share your status. Use condoms and dental dams correctly always. Don’t let anyone you don’t know well tie you up. Duh.

Good luck in this Brave New Tinder World!

Additional reporting by Miranda Levy.

 The 8 Guys You’ll Find on Tinder
(And the 1 You Won’t)

Planned Parenthood’s National #PinkOut Day (Wed Mar 29th)

From Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

Anti-women’s health members of Congress haven’t given up their aim to “defund” Planned Parenthood health centers and block patients from accessing care. But we’re not letting them threaten Planned Parenthood patients’ health care.

That’s why on Wednesday, March 29, we’re fighting back with Pink Out Day. The day will be a show of strength for our movement that will turn the whole internet Planned Parenthood PINK. No matter where you turn on #PinkOut Day, you’ll feel the groundswell of support from the majority of Americans who oppose Congress’ dangerous scheme to “defund” Planned Parenthood.

How to #PinkOut for Planned Parenthood Online

It’s up to us to turn the nationwide support for Planned Parenthood into action. Help us flood social media channels with messages of #IStandWithPP on #PinkOut Day. Go to istandwithpp.org/supporters to learn more.

Here are the highlights:

  • Join the Thunderclap: Amplify our #IStandWithPP message on social.
  • Wear Pink: Check out the Marketplace for pink swag.
  • Share a #PinkOut selfie using #IStandwithPP. (Don’t forget to wear pink!)
  • #PinkOut your Profile: Add a special filter to your profile picture.
  • Take the Pledge: Sign on, and we’ll share your #IStandWithPP petition with Congress.

How to #PinkOut In Person

Hundreds of Planned Parenthood supporters are coming to DC on March 29 to cover the U.S. Capitol in Planned Parenthood pink. They’re flooding Hill offices to confront decision makers. There also will be dozens of events and rallies in states across the country. Find an event near you.

Together, we’re going to make Pink Out Day as huge as possible — and make sure there’s no way legislators and their staff can ignore us.

Why #PinkOut Day

The threat to Planned Parenthood patients is urgent. That’s one reason why millions came to the Women’s March, and thousands flooded town halls to tell their elected officials. Reproductive rights supporters told their electeds to stop attacking people’s health care, and we need to keep the pressure on.

So, why #PinkOut? A whopping 75% of Americans oppose the effort “defund” Planned Parenthood health centers. That’s not a big surprise given the millions of patients who count on Planned Parenthood health centers for quality, supportive care.

By Pinking Out the internet and in public events, millions of Americans are sending a message to Congress: Do not block access to care at Planned Parenthood. Not now. Not ever.

10 more ways you can
Join the Rebel Alliance & Fight the Galactic Empire! 

How to Deal with Late-Life Virginity
The following advice has been updated:
  1. Get yourself a therapist. If you do nothing else, do this. You’ve got some issues that you need to work through — trying to resolve them on internet forums won’t work. If you’re insurance covers therapy, then you’ve got no excuse — carve out the time and commit to this. If you don’t have insurance, here are some suggestions for still getting the treatment you deserve.  Additionally, read some decent, well-reviewed self help books. In short, do the hard work of self improvement.
  2. Just get sex over with. Johnny suggested below that people in this position get a prostitute and while we agree that sex need not be such a big deal and you should perhaps just try it with no strings attached (if you’re so inclined), a sex surrogate may be the better way to go. Surrogates take a more therapeutic approach to help clients work on their sexual issues. While anyone can call themselves a surrogate, the International Professional Surrogates Association seems to be the leader in setting guidelines and offering certification, so check out their site.
  3. Consider embracing celibacy. Sex can be emotionally and physically risky and complicated. Plenty of people find peace in eschewing all sexual encounters. While sex is necessary for some people, others find it a burden they prefer to live without. There’s no shame in either approach.
  4.  Try dating.  A lifetime of avoiding romantic relationships may have perhaps left you a bit socially awkward; but being charming, having a sense of humor, initiating and maintaining stimulating conversation — these are the things that are far more important in (and effective at) attracting partners than sexual experience or bodily perfection. If you can retrain yourself socially and eventually muster up the nerve to try dating (see #1, master #1), there are certainly steps you can take to avoid getting your heart (and ego) totally smashed to bits. For example, don’t try to date the youngest, hottest, most sought after single in the (real-world or online) room. Get to know the person’s values early on so you know they align with yours (i.e. they’re kind, understanding, sympathetic). Read up on how to be a good lover (SEX: How to Do Everything is a fabulous guide, if we do say so ourselves). And should sex look like it might be a possibility, give your by-then trusted partner a heads up about your concerns and (in)experience to avoid any surprises. There’s no guarantee you end up with a serious partner, but chances are you won’t experience true naked devastation in the bedroom.

 

Are you an adult virgin?
10 Considerations for Adult Virgins Who Date

Top 20 Ways NOT to Kiss (VIDEO)

Sometimes it’s easier to impart sexual technique by focusing on what NOT to do — especially when it comes to something as variable as kissing, where there are so many different styles, techniques and preferences that many people enjoy. So by focusing on the negative — the things almost all people DON’T enjoy — we hope to help you osculate with style.

Whatever you do, DO NOT…

1 … have bad breath or unclean teeth — it’s the equivalent of hooking up in underwear with skid marks.

2 … lick your lips before going in — this is not dinner.

3 … drown your lips in gloss or lipstick.

4 … tongue jab.

5 … have chapped lips.

6 … aim for their uvula with your tongue.

7 … slobber all over your partner’s face — spit is cold and nasty when it gets outside your mouth.

8 … make your tongue hard and pointy.

9 … head straight for the boobs, the ass or the crotch as soon as the kissing commences.

10 … immediately ram your tongue inside.

11 … open your mouth as wide as possible, like you’re attempting to eat the other person’s head.

12 … kiss with a cold sore (i.e. oral herpes).

13 … fail to mention that you have oral herpes, even if you’re currently asymptomatic, as there’s still always a chance — albeit slight — of transmission.

14 … run your tongue along their gums.

15 … sneak up on someone so they don’t have a chance to deflect the incoming kiss.

16 … hold their head in a headlock or press too hard, especially if beard stubble is involved.

17 … withhold tongue altogether.

18 … conduct the oral equivalent of a limp handshake — it’ll make your partner feel like they’re kissing a dead fish.

19 … look around or over your partner’s shoulder during the kiss. (Some people like to kiss with their eyes open, but we recommend keeping your peepers shuttered during a first or early kiss, as wide eyes can freak some people out.)

20 … kiss with gum or food in your mouth.

 

MORE LIKE THIS FROM EMandLO.com:

8 Short Poems Hot Enough to Sext Tonight

Happy World Poetry Day!
(March 21st)

A few years ago, then U.K. Education Secretary Michael Gove got teased mercilessly all over the Internets for his suggestion that teenagers should text amorous poetry to each other instead of nude pics. There’s an even an app for it! The Love Book App not only has celebrities reading sexy snippets (we dare you not to be charmed by Tom Hiddelston reading Derek Walcott), it also lets people record poetry and then text the recording to the object of their desire. “It [the app] will allow children to make sense of their own feelings in a way that is more graceful, expressive and beautiful [than sexting],” Gove said. “Technology does not have to mean that expression becomes clumsier.”

You gotta love a mainstream attempt to elevate hormonal teenage love.  And it should inspire us adults to occasionally aspire to sexual greatness. While there may be a time for raunchy photos exchanged between mature consenting grown-ups, there is also a time for even raunchier words. So here are eight scorching poems (or excerpts from poems) that you might want to text to your hot cross bunny tonight…

1.

These are the lips, powerful rudders
pushing through groves of kelp,
the girl’s terrible, unsweetened taste
of the whole ocean, its fathoms: this is that taste

— Adrienne Rich, from “That Mouth”

2.

Lady, i will touch you with my mind.
Touch you and touch and touch
until you give
me suddenly a smile, shyly obscene
(lady i will
touch you with my mind.) Touch
you, that is all,
lightly and you utterly will become
with infinite care
the poem which i do not write

— e.e. cummings, “lady i will touch you”

3.

Love-looks, love-perturbations and risings,

Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and tightening,

The skin, the sunburnt shade, freckles, hair,
The curious sympathy one feels when feeling with the hand the naked meat of the body,
The circling rivers the breath, and breathing it in and out,
The beauty of the waist, and thence of the hips, and thence downward toward the knees,
The thin red jellies within you or within me, the bones and the marrow in the bones,

O I say now these are the soul!

— Walt Whitman, from “I Sing the Body Electric”

4.

They do not snatch, they do not tear;
their massive blood
moves as the moon-tides, near, more near
till they touch in flood.

— D.H. Lawrence, from “The Elephant Is Slow to Mate”

5.

please master drive me thy vehicle, body of love drops, sweat fuck
body of tenderness, Give me your dog
fuck faster
please master make me go moan on the table
Go moan O please master do fuck me like that
in your rhythm thrill-plunge & pull-back-bounce & push down

— Allen Ginsberg, from “Please Master”

6.

Did you miss me?
Come and kiss me.
Never mind my bruises,
Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices
Squeez’d from goblin fruits for you,
Goblin pulp and goblin dew.
Eat me, drink me, love me.

— Christina Rossetti, from “The Goblin Market”

7.

Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life.

— Andrew Marvel, from “To His Coy Mistress”

8.

Roses are nice,
Violets are fine,
I’ll be the six,
If you be the nine.

— Various, from “The Internet”

 

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:

10 Steps to Orgasming Without a Vibrator (VIDEO)

Dear Em & Lo,

I’m a 22-year-old woman who has only become sexually active over the last six months or so. I’m enjoying myself and being safe, but it’s starting to annoy me that I can’t have an orgasm without a vibrator. This really bothered my last boyfriend, which of course made me stressed out, self-conscious, and even LESS likely to get off. I’ve talked to my girlfriends about it, and they keep telling me “practice makes perfect…eventually it’ll just happen…etc.” but I’m impatient! I know it’s not uncommon for women to be unable to orgasm through intercourse alone, but I can’t even get myself off without a (strongly vibrating) toy. Hands? No. Oral? Nope. Penetration? Nada. All of those things are awesome, just…not quite awesome enough. So I guess my question is, is there any way I can “learn” to orgasm without a vibrator?

— Manual Laborer

Dear M.L.,

First of all, congratulations on your incredibly mature approach to sex! We know we are constantly making fun of abstinence-only education, but we do think that there are some serious benefits to postponing sexual activity. At 22 years of age, you are in a much better position to know your own body and you are more likely to demand what you want and need in bed. In our experience, 22 year olds just tend to be a lot more thoughtful about sex than your average high schooler.

Also, congratulations on all those orgasms! Just because they’re battery-powered, doesn’t make them any less awesome — we hear from plenty of women who have trouble orgasming, with or without a toy. They’d be delighted to have your so-called problem.

That said, we don’t want to diminish what you’re feeling, because we do understand the desire to climax unplugged. Especially if the sex toy that does it for you is a really strong vibrator — those vibes aren’t always the most discreet. Sometimes it can seem like you’re sharing a bed with a birthing cow. (However, we think that your last boyfriend sounds like a total douche for selfishly pouting about it. Geez. Everyone knows that the fastest way to make an orgasm run for the hills is to put it under pressure and stress it out.)

Unfortunately, we don’t have as many tips as we do congratulations. Your girlfriends are right — it really is a matter of practice and time. And fortunately you’ve got plenty of that — especially now that the pressure-cooker boyfriend is out of the picture. But here are 10 things that might help improve your self-love sessions:

  1. Create ambiance: Set the scene for yourself as much as you do with a partner — dim the lights, play some sexy tunes, turn off your phone, etc. Check out our post about getting yourself in the mood for more tips.
  2. Try a change of scenery. Don’t always do it in the bedroom — strike while the iron is hot, whether that’s when you’re in front of the TV, working late at the office, or cooking in the kitchen. Or take a long bath or shower and have some silicone-based lube handy (it’s waterproof).
  3. Fantasize: When you’re using a super-strong vibrator, it’s easy to get lazy about stimulating your mind, as the Hitachi Magic Wand (etc) is doing all the heavy lifting. Help things along in your head — try erotic short stories, graphic novels, porn or just plain old fantasies. Check out the advice we gave this reader, who lamented the fact that her vibrator didn’t kiss or cuddle, on how to improve masturbation this way.
  4. Warm up. With a vibrator and then switch to your hands — or vice versa.
  5. Lube up: When you’re using your hands, be sure to use lots of lube, since a well lubed clitoris (and labia) can handle a lot more, and a lot more varied, stimulation.
  6. Wean yourself (but don’t call it that). Give your favorite vibe a little less power by using it over clothes or a blanket, using it on a lower and lower setting, or replacing it occasionally with a totally different kind of stimulation. For example, if your fave is an external stimulator like the Nea then try an internal G-spotter like the Silky G. Or use your thumb or squeeze your legs around your wrist or have your partner do whatever he can to at least try to replicate your vibe’s sensations….in a word: experiment! But don’t think of it as weaning yourself off the vibrator, think of it as teasing yourself, building up sexual tension that will hopefully eventually find it’s way out.
  7. Lower your expectations: Don’t say “Okay, today is going to be the day I do it on my own and I’m not leaving this bedroom until it happens.” It ain’t never going to happen that way. Instead, set aside a certain amount of time just to stimulate yourself, try new things, take notice of your bodily response — and when time’s up, allow yourself to go the ol’ faithful route. Each consecutive session, extend that time little longer. There could be times when you occasionally don’t allow yourself release, just to help with that teasing we mentioned above, but fasting until it happens “naturally” is just cruel and unusual punishment.
  8. Use toys for couples. Experiment with vibrators that can be used harmoniously during other sex acts, e.g. a vibrating penis ring during intercourse or a vibrating finger extension during manual or oral stimulation.
  9. Practice, practice, practice. Hey, it’s not math, it’s masturbation!
  10. Don’t stress about it too much. The odds are good that eventually, if you hang in there, you’ll be able to go it alone. It might be a matter of time, or practice, or the right partner, or the right mind-set, or the right age — you never know. But in the meantime, there’s no point NOT enjoying all those awesome orgasms available to you at the flick of a switch.

Wax on, wax off,

Em & Lo

Do you find it hard to have any kind of orgasm in bed?
“10 Steps to Crossing the Finishing Line in Bed Tonight”

 

This post has been updated to include video.
13 Snowy Movies to Watch During a “Snowmageddon”

A snow day for the two of us means repeated sing-a-long screenings of Frozen with our respective kids. But for all of you who are lucky enough to enjoy a snow day (or at least a snow night) without kids, here are thirteen fun movies to cuddle up with. Pour a little whiskey in your hot cocoa, grab a blanket and a loved one, and think about how superior the East coast is to the West. It’s the American version of Norwegian “koselig”!

 

1. Fargo (1996)

Forget about yellow snow — in this movie, the snow is blood red. The Coen Brothers’ small town murder movie is gory, funny, gorgeously exacted, and, you betcha, snowy. And the famous wood chipper scene is a great excuse to jump into someone’s lap and hold on tight.

 

2. The Shining (1980)

Think you’ve got cabin fever? Then you don’t know Johnny. And you’ve never been a snowed-in janitor at an isolated hotel. After watching Stanley Kubrick’s snow-white horror movie, drenched in both blood and snow, your own home will feel extra warm and cozy.

 


3. Alive (1993)

It’s amazing the random supermarket items people feel the need to stock up on before a snowstorm. Yesterday, Em saw a woman with only a loaf of bread and a pineapple in her cart, yet she felt she somehow was supposed to be at the supermarket before the blizzard. Anyway. We digress. This true-story survival pic, about the Uruguayan rugby team’s plane crash in the Andes, will make you think twice before complaining about how little you have left in the fridge because you forgot to stock up before the storm.

 

4. Dumb and Dumber (1994)

Nineties Aspen ski fashion, poop jokes, and three memorable life lessons: Never steal your best friend’s girl; never travel on a scooter in winter; and never, ever lick anything frozen. This movie is an awesome palate cleanser after some of the bleaker titles on this list.

 

5. Planes Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Those aren’t pillows! In another hilarious palate cleanser, John Candy and Steve Martin bond in cheap motels and burnt out cars during their very own snowmageddon.

 

6. Frozen River (2008)

A single mother earning minimum wage and struggling to survive in a mobile home in freezing temperatures? Not so many fart jokes in this one. It’s bleak, but brilliant, taking place near a border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec. The frozen river is a tempting but dangerous smuggling route, and (spoiler alert) OH MY GOD THE BABY!

 

7. Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1997)

Smilla Qaavigaaq Jaspersen (just saying that name makes it snow harder) is a 37 year-old woman of Eskimo origin living in Copenhagen. When her 6-year-old neighbor (a boy from Greenland) dies in a suspicious accident, she decides to investigate. With bonus sexy tension between Julia Ormond and Gabriel Byrne.

 

8. Groundhog Day (1993)

Imagine this snow day over and over and over again. Then imagine being a weatherman experiencing this snowy day over and over again. You wouldn’t think that hilarity would ensue, but, as we all know, it certainly does.

 

9. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Even Jake Gyllenhaal’s smoldering gaze can’t warm things up when global warming spawns a new ice age. He and a bunch of other people who manage to look attractive even while dying hole up in the New York Public Library and burn books to stay warm. (How warm do you think your Kindle wold keep you in the next ice age, huh?!)

 

10. Misery (1990)

You may be a tad annoyed at your loved one by the end of snowmageddon, but it could be worse: You could be a novelist who just killed off an obsessed fan’s favorite fictional character. And you could just happen to crash in the snow and get trapped inside, at the mercy of this pissed off, obsessed fan. Yeah, it could be a lot worse.

 

11. Hanna (2011)

Saoirse Ronan plays Hanna, a 16-year-old who never has to deal with mean girls and teen acne and boys who don’t like her back because she has been living in snowy isolation and being trained to be an assassin. And all you managed to do during the blizzard was bake cookies.

 

snowpiercer

12. Snowpiercer (2013)

This is what happens when people don’t take climate change seriously. A lone few end up surviving on a high speed train traveling around the world. Hint: you don’t want to be in one of the back cars. Super violent, super exciting, super silly, with perhaps one of the best (read: unintentionally hilarious) lines in movie history (spoiler alert!): “I know that babies taste best.”

 

13. Frozen (2013)

Fine, fine, we’ll admit it: It’s a good freakin’ snow movie! It makes fun of the whole fall-in-love-in-a-day trope, and the ultimate message is one of sister love. Just let it go, people! If you don’t have kids, there’s always the Frozen drinking game.

 

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:

 

Dear Em & Lo, Is “Cunt” an Appropriate Word for Dirty Talk?

Dear Em & Lo,

Hello there. This morning for the first time, my new boyfriend and I fucked. It was going okay until he came out with the word “cunt.”  I froze. Maybe it’s just me, but, I always blush at this word. Now, he wants me to use it when, or rather if, we have sex again. Am I normal? Is “cunt” an okay word to use? Thanks!

— Virgin Ears

Dear V.E.,

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet . . .

So said Shakespeare’s Juliet when trying to convince herself that Romeo’s last name didn’t matter. Of course his name did matter. The fact that they were from two rival houses — that one was named Capulet and the other named Montague — is what got them both killed!

But it’s also, in large part, what gave their relationship such emotional weight and psychic significance.  Their love was forbidden, taboo. The obstacles they tried (and ultimately failed) to overcome to be together is what made their connection all the more special.

And so it often is with sex. The forbidden, the taboo, can make sex all the more erotic. When getting down and dirty, we do and say things that just aren’t polite or proper. It’s the nature (and the fun) of the beast!

So it’s really not surprising that your boyfriend would pull out an “off-limits” word like “cunt” to raise the sexual stakes. In an age of trigger warnings, it’s an easy way to be bad, to be naughty. Especially if you believe that what happens behind closed doors should stay behind closed doors, that your fantasies shouldn’t be dictated by political correctness. After all, there are plenty of feminists who like to be spanked and called “bitch” in the bedroom who would never stand for such assault or disrespect outside of it. How hot something is can be determined by how verboten it is.

Then again, the lines between the private and public are never that concrete. The personal is often political. Men calling women derogatory names during sex, perhaps inspired by degrading or down-right misogynistic porn, reflects a larger problem our patriarchal society has with sexism. (Yes, this prejudice is still alive and well — see Trump’s election as exhibit A).

And so, when it comes to sex, very rarely are there automatic rights and wrongs (except when it comes to consent and safety — those are non-negotiable). Asking what’s appropriate for sex is tricky when sex itself is often considered, by definition, inappropriate. Everyone has a line, but it’s not universal —  it ebbs and flows depending on the person, their past experiences, and their political persuasion. One person’s go-to dirty talk may be another person’s boner killer.

You’ve got to decide where that line is for you. Does the word “cunt” cross it? That’s fine if it does — you’ve just got to communicate that to your partner. Just think of it as another sexual preference. Maybe you can’t stand having your nipples pinched. You are totally within your rights to explain to your boyfriend, “Hey, I’m not really into having my nipples pinched/hearing the C-word during sex, let’s find something else we can do/use that works for both of us.”

Perhaps whether you can get behind your boyfriend’s erotic vocabulary will depend on how he uses it. There’s a big difference between him simply using it as a euphemism for “vagina” and him angrily screaming “dirty, filthy, whoring cunt!” at you in the middle of sex (though we’re sure there are at least a few women who’d be fine with, if not delighted by, the latter). The line “I want to fuck your cunt” could be interpreted as either worshipful or hostile — it really depends on the delivery.

How you use it matters, too. You say you’re embarrassed by the word, but you could choose to embrace it. That’s the entire thesis of Inga Muscio’s book “Cunt: A Declaration of Independence.” That’s what a whole nation of women did with the word “pussy” after Trump was caught on tape spewing it in a decidedly un-erotic, unloving way (read our post “Why You Shouldn’t Be Offended by the P-Word Anymore”). Maybe you could try pushing your own boundaries by giving the word a whirl and delighting in your own embarrassment (shame can be a pretty powerful erotic tool). 

Just be sure you find — and use — an equally offensive term for his penis.

Your potty mouths,
Em & Lo

Need more encouragement?
5 Easy Ways to Talk Dirtier Tonight

 

VIDEO: 7 Steps to Gender Equality…IN THE BEDROOM!

 

View & share video via YouTube HERE

Every year, March 8th is International Women’s Day, a political holiday that honors the struggles, achievements and hopes for women worldwide. Since its first observance in 1908, we’ve come along way, baby! But we’ve got a hell of a long way to go:

  • In 2014 the World Economic Forum predicted that total global gender parity would be achieved in 2095.
  • In 2015, they bumped that to the 22nd century: the year 2133.
  • TODAY, they’re guessing that the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186! (We’re calling that the “Trump Bump.”)

In addition to this year’s campaign theme #BeBoldForChange, which calls on everyone to take bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity in their own way, the organizers of the Women’s March also organized “A Day Without Women” today, calling on freedom fighters everywhere to do one, some or all of the following:

  1. Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
  2. Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
  3. Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman

Being a dating & mating advice site, our own focus is, not surprisingly, on gender parity in the bedroom. So here are 7 steps any gal can take to make sure her bed is an even playing field:

1. Orgasm equity.

Everyone deserves equal amounts of pleasure. Make sure your partner at least tries to give you an orgasm for every one you help give them. If they can’t, go ahead and give yourself one! And if they won’t even put in any effort, again give one to yourself and then get a new partner.

2. Thumbs Down Slut-Shaming.

Don’t talk trash about women with enthusiastic sex drives. Don’t make yourself feel bad or guilty about your own enthusiastic sex drive, whether solo or with partners.  Don’t get hung up on body counts (i.e. the number of people you’ve had sex with compared to the number of people your partner or your friends have). And stand up for yourself when someone tries shame you for being a sexual creature. Like our loyal reader Bklynbug once commented, “I refuse to be labeled by others. I have sex with whomever I choose, whenever I choose. I am empowered by my sexuality.”

3. Know Your Body.

Love your body. Don’t be ashamed about your body. Explore it with your hands and your eyes — externally and internally. Don’t leave it up to someone else to figure out how your body works and what makes it tick! Masturbate regularly, whether you’re single or in a relationship. And be sure to communicate your body’s desires to any partner.

4. Take Control of Your Sexual Health.

And we’re talking both physically and mentally.  Carry your own barrier protection, whether condoms or dental dams. Use a back-up form of birth control correctly (e.g. no skipping any Pills, if that’s what you use). Get yourself checked regularly for STDs; and speak up with your doctor about which tests you want done (a pap smear won’t catch everything). Talk with your partner openly, honestly and without shame (see #2) about your and their sexual history — that doesn’t necessarily mean the number of partners, that means STD test dates and results. Never do anything you don’t want to do; say no clearly and confidently if you’re ever uncomfortable — whether you’re tipsy on a first date or you’ve been married for 30 years. If you’re sexually assaulted or raped, report it to the authorities immediately and see a doctor. And if you see someone who can’t take control of their own sexual health — because they’re impaired or being controlled or manipulated — step in (safely, of course).

5. Invest in Your Pleasure.

You and your body are worth it. And studies have shown that women who masturbate and use sex toy experience higher rates of sexual satisfaction both alone and with partners. The right toy — like a small, remote-controlled vibrator worn during intercourse — might just be the key to unlocking a stubborn orgasm. A well-made rabbit can improve masturbation, giving you more sexual confidence. Even something as simple — and affordable — as lubricant or a blindfold can transform sex for you. Avoid cheap novelty toys; instead, go for quality design, body-safe materials (no phthalates, BPA-free), recharge-ability, care & cleaning instructions and warranties. Try to find erotic materials that appeal to you, whether that’s female-produced porn by someone like Erika Lust, sexy graphic novels, short fantasies on LELO, erotica anthologies, bodice-ripper paperbacks, or even just something steamy on Netflix like old episodes of “The L Word.”

6. Promote Decent Sex Ed.

Fight for comprehensive sexuality education and against abstinence-only programs in your local schools. If you’ve got kids, talk to them regularly about anatomy (use the correct terms!), sexuality (awkward but important!), safety, consent and respect. Get them copies of Cory Silverberg’s amazing “What Makes a Baby” (6 yrs old & younger) and “Sex Is a Funny Word” if they’re between 7 and 10 (stay tuned for his forthcoming teen book). Until then, get them “Sex: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College.” Get yourself your own adult sex ed books, manuals and guides –you can always keep learning about sex! And brush up right here on how bodies work. After all, a high sexual I.Q. will give you more confidence and pleasure. Talk to your friends of all orientations and genders about sex tips, sexual politics, feminism, and gay & gender issues to broaden your — and their — horizons (try to refrain from being judgmental).

7. Fight for Your Reproductive Rights.

They’re in serious jeopardy right now: as of last year, 288 abortion restrictions had been passed since 2010 — and it’s only going to get worse under Trump and the Republican Congress! When reproductive rights are taken away, women lose. We lose privacy, autonomy, financial security and self-determination. Make no mistake, when you can’t make decisions about your own body, you are disempowered. And we’re not just talking about access to safe abortions, we’re talking about access to affordable birth control, family planning information, and cancer screenings. We can’t afford to go backwards. So follow Planned Parenthood Action and Reproductive Health Reality Check (aka RH Reality Check) on Facebook to get important updates on threats to women’s rights and how you can fight back — locally, nationally and internationally.

This post has been updated.

Want more health-positive tips?
Top 10 Unsexy Things That Can Improve Your Sex Life

Dear Em & Lo, How Risky Is Oral Sex for STD Transmission?

I’m a teenager who was kinda pressured to give a guy oral (he’s my age) and though it was only for 3 minutes tops, I don’t know anything about his medical history except that he has had sex before. I myself had never done that before, nor have I had sex (I am a virgin) and didn’t even think about a condom or anything.

I am worried a bit and don’t know what to do. My mom would straight up kill me so I can’t ask her to take me to a doctor to get tested. And if i can go with my older brother, I don’t know when would be best to go. The guy didn’t do anything in my mouth (sorry for the graphics) but I’m still kinda scared a bit. And I can’t know if their is a symptom bc I have braces, so I’ve gotten a lot of sores in my mouth before because of them.

If you know anything, that would mean a lot. It was something I shouldn’t have allowed or done, especially without knowing things that could happen, especially at my age.

— Orally Fixated

Dear O.F.,

First, you should be commended for your conscientiousness and your efforts to learn more. Most young people erroneously assume STD risk from oral is next to nothing, that it’s only genital-to-genital contact they’ve really got to worry about (perhaps it’s the double-whammy risk of pregnancy and STDs that makes heteros take bumping uglies more seriously).  But oral sex is still inherently risky. Just as condoms should be used for all intercourse to greatly reduce (though not totally eliminate) STD-risk, dental dams should be used for all cunnilingus and condoms for all fellatio — at least until both partners have been tested together,  know each other’s health status, and have committed to be mutually monogamous (an unlikely hat trick for most teens).

It’s hard to quantify exactly how risky oral sex is, since it often goes hand-in-hand with other sex acts (which may be the source of infection), but various studies have found certain factors can increase risk when dining downtown. One big pro for your situation is that he didn’t ejaculate — that can significantly increase the likelihood of transmission. Two cons are that 1) you often have cuts in your mouth from the braces and 2) it was fellatio performed instead of cunnilingus (yet again girls get the short end of the stick, as it were).

While almost any STD can theoretically be spread via genital-to-mouth contact, all is not lost. According to HIV InSite from the University of California San Francisco, “most scientists believe the risk is relatively low” when it comes to getting HIV from fellatio. While herpes can still be spread when carriers are asymptomatic (on a few days of the year when they “shed” the virus invisibly), your chances of contracting it when there are no active sores is greatly reduced. Cases of oral HPV have risen over the past three decades, but men are more likely than women to have it, and only about 1% of the population has the strain of HPV associated with throat cancer. According to Medicinenet, “many people that develop oral gonorrhea never develop symptoms and spontaneously clear the infection without antibiotics.” And as is the case with any infection, the fewer partners you and your partner have had, the less likely you are to be exposed to STDs.

Then again, all it takes is one. So we commend your desire to go see a doctor and get checked out. It’s too bad you can’t confide in your mom, but if you’ve got a cool brother who will take you, find a way to work that out. When you go, explain your situation and that you’d like to be tested for all oral STDs (they might allay your fears and recommend forgoing certain tests). Before your visit, you might want to make sure how the visit and tests will be paid for — will your mom get a health insurance bill? Planned Parenthood is a great resource for discreet, affordable testing, usually with weekend hours. Consider giving your nearest one a call.

Chances are, you’re fine. What’s more concerning to us, actually, is that you caved to the pressure to perform a sex act you obviously weren’t ready for. For reasons we can’t fathom, BJs have become an expected obligation for young women in casual hookups — a risky, often un-arousing (at least for unenthused giver) sex act that almost always goes unreciprocated. Why do girls put up with this? You deserve mutual pleasure with someone who respects your boundaries, who cares about you and your body.

You wrote that you never had sex, but guess what? Now that you’ve engaged in fellatio, you’ve had sex! Virginity is an old-fashioned, out-dated, religious-based concept that is ridiculously, singularly tethered to penis-vagina penetration, disregards same-sex relationships and, most significantly, ignores mutual pleasure and orgasm. Oral sex is an intimate act that involves both physical and emotional risks. Sure, it can be great fun, but it shouldn’t be given or taken so lightly, especially when you’re both so new to it all. You’ve obviously grasped its gravity, or else you wouldn’t have written.

We hope in the future you will feel empowered enough to articulate your own desires, outline your boundaries, be prepared with your own protection (no, that doesn’t make you a slut, it makes you smart), and only do what you want to do — all with someone you fully trust.

Kisses (with barrier protection),
Em & Lo

The information contained here and throughout EMandLO.com  is provided for your entertainment purposes only. Any advice, guidance, prediction or other message that you receive is not a substitute for advice, programs, or treatment that you would normally receive from a licensed professional such as a doctor or psychiatrist. Read more about our Disclaimer.

For other newbies:
How to Tell a Guy How Inexperienced You Are