All posts by Em & Lo

Dr. Kate, Can the NuvaRing Cause UTIs?

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in Boston who lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health.  She regularly (and generously!) answers your health questions here on EMandLO.com — this week, it’s on “Can th NuvaRing cause UTIs?” To ask her your own med question, click here.

Dear Dr. Kate,

Does the Nuvaring cause UTIs [urinary tract infections]? Or is it from mistakenly putting it in or taking it out without washing hands. Or from sex? Could the Nuvaring be causing pain that mimics the feeling of a UTI for some reason?

— Pain in the Patootie

Dear PP,

The Nuvaring is known to cause an increase in vaginal discharge, and some women feel discomfort during intercourse with the ring in place. But there are no reports of the ring causing urinary tract infections. (Spermicides and diaphragms, on the other hand, can increase your risk of a UTI.) And while you should always wash your hands before placing them anywhere inside your body, inserting or snagging the ring with less than clean hands shouldn’t cause a UTI, either. And if the Nuvaring is properly all the way inside your body, it shouldn’t hurt at all.

The biggest risk factor for UTIs in a young, healthy woman? Sexual activity, specifically intercourse. Our urethra is so short, it’s easy for bacteria to be pushed up into the bladder during sex. The best way to prevent this is to pee both before and after sex. It may not feel sexy to hop out of bed after orgasm to head to the loo, but if you tend to get UTIs often, it’s worth it.

If you’re having multiple UTIs diagnosed by tests and they don’t seem to stay away long, you may actually have a kidney stone. If your doc is sure that you’ve been taking the right antibiotics, ask her about the possibility of a stone — it’s usually diagnosed by an ultrasound or a CT scan.

All of that said, there are rare reports of women placing the ring into their bladder (through the urethra) instead of their vagina (OUCH). So if you’ve had a painful ring insertion, your bladder is very irritated…and you can’t find the ring inside your vagina, get yourself to your gyno pronto for an exam.

Dr. Kate

Let Dr. Kate halt the hurt:
How to Make Sex Less Painful

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.
Do It Tonight! Get Speakers for Your Sex Life

No, we’re not talking about broadcasting the dying-cow sound of your orgasm for all your neighbors to hear. We’re talking about getting some decent speakers for your sex life, i.e. to put in your bedroom so you can do it to decent-sounding music.

Tunes can really help set a mood. (There’s a good reason why movies always set the sex scene to surround-sound music.) But having those tunes come out of a tinny little alarm-clock radio or your wafer thin iPhone on your night-stand can work against that mood when you’re acting out your own sex scene.

You don’t have to go big or pricey. Get something like Cyber Acoustics 2.1 Computer Speaker with Subwoofer: put a speaker on either side of the bed (for balanced sound) and — now this is essential — put the subwoofer under the middle of your bed by the headboard. Then just plug your smartphone or mp3 player into the system and you’re good to go. If you don’t have a gift for making cool or appropriate playlists, try Pandora.com or Spotify, two of the greatest inventions of the 21st century: you create your own “station” by plugging in a song or artist you like into their database, and they automatically and immediately create an endless playlist of similar stuff — all for freakin’ free (though it’s worth paying to avoid the distracting and mood-killing commercials)!

For perennially good dramatic sex music, try entering “Massive Attack” (but only if it’s dark out and you’ve lit some candles). Fucking a Fifty Shades fan? Plug in the soundtrack. You can also try some emo love songs for your inner angsty teen. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with Prince’s sexiest songs.

This post has been updated.

Get the full experience:
6 Ways to Stimulate Your Senses During Sex

Rethinking Intercourse: 8 Ideas to Improve the Old “In-Out”

The definition of sex is not “intercourse”. You won’t find terms like “going all the way” on this site, because intercourse is not the last lap you complete to win a medal — in fact, it’s not even a requirement for “winning” at sex. No, intercourse is one of many ways to engage in sexual pleasure — sometimes it’s on the agenda, and sometimes it’s not.

Intercourse is also more than a series of steps: Insert tab A into slot B, thrust, repeat as necessary. At least, mutually satisfying intercourse is. Mastering the technical skills of various positions is the easy part. The hard part, as it were, is making style, flow, grace, and equality a sexual priority when it comes to intercourse. It’s what separates us from the animals. 

Which is not to say that sex shouldn’t be animalistic: some of the best sessions are rough-and-tumble romps driven by instinct and punctuated with lots of back-of-the-neck biting. But as anyone who’s ever watched a nature show can tell you, sex in the wild often lacks creativity, stamina, romance, birth control, and, perhaps most importantly, orgasms for the female of the species.

While many a poo-poo-er will claim that sex should come naturally (and not from one of our manuals or this advice site), we would suggest that anything (or anyone) worth doing is worth doing well. The difference between just getting by and excelling — at anything, but especially sex — is a willingness to learn, to open your mind, to try new things. And we would suggest that no other sexual activity is in need of more horizon-expanding than intercourse. 

There are more ways to move than what you’ve seen in Hollywood blockbusters and skin flicks. The fast-paced, bum-clenched, two-dimensional humping of four-legged creatures is not the all-around winner these movies claim it to be. What looks “normal” and what feels good are often two very different things. The following 8 elements of style that reframe intercourse will help you tell the difference.

Women, study closely: It’s time to welcome your clitoris to the intercourse party! And men, study even closer: It’s time to find out just how good intercourse can be when your partner enjoys it as much as you do.

1. Not the Be-All End-All

MYTH: Simultaneous orgasm during intercourse is the highest sexual ideal you can attain. This is an old-fashioned fairy tale, a late 20th-century (sub)urban legend. Sure, it’s nice work if you can get it (and yes, some couples can). But for many women, the intercourse-centric view goes against their very biological nature (have you noticed how far away the clitoral head is from the vaginal opening?). It sets up unreasonable expectations for both men and women (she thinks, “What’s wrong with me that I can’t come from his dick?” and he just thinks, “What’s wrong with my dick?”). And more often than not it leads to serious — but often unspoken — sexual disappointment and frustration for her. How many men do you know who’d put up with an orgasm-free sexual relationship?

For women who don’t get off on intercourse alone, intercourse is a dish best served after they’ve enjoyed at least one orgasm of their own by whatever means necessary: intercourse just feels better on a full vagina. And, let’s be honest here, most men find it, shall we say, challenging to sustain interest once they’ve been satisfied. (Which is not to say that they shouldn’t try, but “ladies first” tends to put everyone in a better mood.)

2. Safety First

If intercourse is on the menu, then barrier protection and birth control should be too. The majority of STDs can be spread with minimal genital-to-genital contact (i.e. no penetration necessary!). And pre-ejaculate can include enough leftover sperm from a previous ejaculation to result in pregnancy. So if you’re planning on bumping beauties with someone with whom you haven’t A) been tested, B) jointly agreed to be monogamous, and C) established a birth-control plan, then at the very least wrap up his cookie with a condom before going anywhere near her cookie jar — because the five-second rule that applies to sweets dropped on the floor does not apply here. 

3. Willing and Able Doesn’t Always Mean Ready

You wouldn’t think of attempting intercourse in the absence of a man’s erection. So don’t try it without a woman’s either. Her genitals should be engorged with blood, aroused, and just as “ready” as his. The best way to achieve this is to give her the kind of genital attention she likes best: manual sex, clittage, g-spotting, and/or oral sex. Or perhaps she prefers more teasing attention, like being being tied up, tickled with feathers, or titillated with naughty words.

By the way, willing, able, and ready won’t necessarily mean wet — arousal is no guarantee of lubrication. In this case, a liberal dose of a store-bought lubricant isn’t a replacement for her arousal but rather a happy accompaniment to it. Even if she is slick herself, adding a dab of the man-made stuff can extend her staying power. Oh, and it feels pretty excellent for him, too.

4. Must-Have Accessories

Did we mention the importance of lube? After condoms, lubricant is the next most important bedside accessory for intercourse. But don’t close your nightstand drawer just yet! There are now wonderful, high-quality, beautifully designed, ergonomic vibrators and love rings and vibrating love-ring combos made specifically for heterosexual intercourse that can enhance sensation for both partners and help keep the clitoral head from feeling left out. Wearing cute little butt plugs can spice intercourse up for both of you, too. And don’t forget strategically placed pillows or even made-for-sex bed wedges that can help support your neck, back, bum, and legs to make trickier positions more comfortable for you two. None of the above is cheating; it’s evolving.

5. Going Deep?

Don’t always have tunnel vision, so to speak. Penetration can be more than a means to an end — it can be its own independent sexual activity. Build up to it. Draw it out. The majority of nerve endings in the vaginal canal are concentrated in the outer third, so don’t go racing to the cervix: hang out in the shallow end, too. In fact, shallow penetration is great for targeting her g-spot with the penis and positions like the coital alignment technique. Which is not to say that deep penetration doesn’t have its own rewards: he’ll most likely enjoy the lengthening of the in-out motion and she may like having her cul-de-sac, enlarged from arousal, filled up. 

6. The Motion of the Ocean

Continuing with this theme of “out with the old, in with the new”, we’d like you to throw out the “old in-out” move as the intercourse standard. Jack-hammering, piston-thrusting, oil-pumping, old-fashioned screwing, whatever you want to call it — let’s try something different for a change, shall we? Swivel your hips, rock side to side, slide up along each other’s bodies and back down, squeeze and pulse your pelvic floor muscles, use your pubic bone to create more overall genital pressure… (And, ladies, don’t make him do all the movement work.) Basically, find a cadence and a motion that might not look like stereotypical intercourse, but that feels right to both of you. And if one of you likes leisurely pelvic squeezing while the other prefers it fast and furious? Take turns, people: some of what she likes, some of what he likes, and everyone goes home happy.

7. Intercourse Is Not a Hands-Free Zone

The majority of women enjoy — and often require — clitoral stimulation to gain and maintain arousal. Unfortunately, too many o them don’t ask for it during intercourse (or at all). Ladies, speak up! Guys, step up! Don’t hesitate to keep attention on the clitoris with a finger, hand, or sex toy should the clitoris in question want it and the position engaged in logistically allow for it. (For example, clittage ain’t gonna happen with “The Wheelbarrow“, which is just another reason why that position is kind of useless for most of the population.) 

And don’t forget about all the other fun outlying areas that can be manually handled during intercourse: probe the mouth, tweak the nipples, tickle the testicles, massage the perineum, circle the anus, rub the tummy, scratch the back, squeeze the bum, lick the earlobes, nibble the neck, and, of course, kiss.

8. The Tortoise or the Hare?

Sadly, there’s a lot of pressure on men to break stamina records during intercourse. But we’re here to relieve that pressure, because an extra fifteen minutes of fast, deep pumping rarely translates into orgasmic bliss for her. So don’t worry about that sort of perseverance — you’re off the hook, gentlemen. Instead, earn your stamina points early in the game, with what’s traditionally considered foreplay but which you should now consider “sex.”

When you get to the actual intercourse, take your time during slower, subtler, more rocking and repetitive moves. Conveniently, you should find that this approach naturally extends your endurance anyway. Or try pulling out and offering some oral or manual sex before going back in. Ultimately, when it comes to timing, you just want to make sure you’re dedicating equal time to the techniques that work for each of you, whether they fall under the category of “intercourse” or “other.”

Take intercourse off its pedestal:
The Art of Everything But for Straight People

 

10 Reasons Your “Ugly Vagina” Is Normal and Gorgeous

There’s no such thing as an “ugly vagina.” Here’s why…

Dear Em & Lo,

A male acquaintance recently started a conversation about “ugly” vaginas with my friends and me. He said that some vaginas resemble “kebabs” and that a lot of guys are really put off sex when they get a hot girl naked and find that her vagina isn’t as “neat” as they imagined it would be. It made me feel really self-conscious about my own, even though I never have been before.

Anyways, as I have never really seen many vaginas before, I decided to Google “ugly vaginas.” I was curious about what an ugly vagina actually is, and whether mine was one of them. Oh my god! I was shocked. What I thought was normal is actually “kebab-like”!!!! There were images of “beautiful” and “ugly” vaginas. The Vagina Institute in particular compares the two. The “beautiful” ones have plump outer labia and you can’t see the inner labia poking out from them…but the ugly ones are just like mine, when you can see the inner lips slightly.

It has made me feel so self-conscious. I hate to think of my ex and future partners being turned off by my vagina, especially as I try to keep it neat by trimming and waxing! Now I feel like growing a bush to try and hide my lips! The horrible things is, I think when I was younger my vagina was more beautiful (I’ve seen the pictures of me running around naked on the beach as a child)…at least it looked more like the beautiful vagina pictures. It looked more like a little bottom than an adult vagina.

Do you think that I have made it look worse by having lots of sex or something? Or is it just where I am older (I am 22 now). Can you have surgery on your vagina? I really want my inner lips to be made smaller. Is it possible?

— “Ugly” Betty

Dear U.B.,

Oh man. Where do we start? We could write an entire book on this topic. And it would involve a lot of ranting and swear words. Let’s try for the abridged version.

First of all, the bad news about your “ugly vagina”:

We hate to say it, but yes, there are plenty of guys out there who, like your pal, use terms like “roast beef” or “kebab” to describe what they consider to be “ugly vaginas.” (Ignoramuses! The correct terminology for external female genitalia is vulvas, not vaginas, so we’ll be using that from here on out.) We wish we didn’t live in the kind of world where sexist idiots come up with insulting names for female anatomy, but damn it, we do, and much as we’d like to lie to you and tell you that all guys are just happy to get access to any vulva, no matter what it looks like, we can’t.

These same guys will probably tell you (if you ply them with enough drinks) that a so-called “ugly vagina”, where the inner lips protrude beyond the outer lips, looks that way because the woman has had too much sex. And this is why they find “imperfect” genitalia a turn-off — it makes them think the vagina has too much “mileage.”

What the double-standard fuck? Know this: they’re flat-out wrong. Sex does not make your labia “grow.” Let’s say that one more time: The size and shape of a woman’s labia has nothing to do with the number of notches on her bedpost.

But now the good news:

Just because some guys think this way, doesn’t mean they all do. Nor does it mean you have to put up with it. Say no to vulva prejudice! Here are ten things you should know that may help you fight the good fight.

1. There’s no such thing as abnormal.

Even though seedy quack operations like the Vagina “Institute” (no link for them, they’re assholes) will tell you that vulvas like yours are “abnormal,” they’re not. There’s no such thing as abnormal when it comes to labes. (Okay, maybe if you could play hackysack with your inner labia, that would be a bit abnormal.) Labia come in all shapes and sizes. Most women’s aren’t symmetrical, and it’s incredibly common for a woman’s inner labia to protrude beyond the outer labia. (It’s for this reason that we always use the terms “inner labia” and “outer labia” rather than “labia majora” and “labia minora,” which falsely represent the scale).

2. Blame porn.

You know the only place where the vast majority of vulvas do look “perfect” (i.e. the same)? Porn. And it’s for the same reason that most of the ladies in porn have big boobs: It’s a job requirement, so if they weren’t born that way, they go under the knife to get that way. It stands to reason, therefore, that guys who watch a ton of porn are more likely to have strong (and wrong) opinions about your labia. Check out this Australian (NSFW!) report on how porn is responsible for the rise in labiaplasty operations.

3. Labiaplasty schmabiaplasty.

Yes, you can have surgery on labia. And NO, YOU SHOULD NOT EVEN CONSIDER DOING THIS. If you don’t believe us, Dr. Kate says the same thing. Your labia are full of nerve endings. Every day we are inundated with letters from women saying they can’t orgasm — and you want to lessen your chances?!! Labiaplasty (that’s the “technical” term) to trim your inner lips definitely won’t make sex feel better for you, and it definitely could make sex less pleasurable or even painful.

4. Love (and often mere lust) conquers all.

The more a guy is into you, the less likely he is to give a shit what your vulva looks like. Sure, there are some guys out there who have an unbending aesthetic preference, love be damned, just as there are some women out there who can’t imagine sticking it out with a guy who’s less than average-sized. But just as most women will overlook a man’s size if they’re in head over heels for the man attached to that penis, so too will most men be a-ok with your labia. Hey, it’s not the worst thing in the world to hold off on getting naked with a guy until you’re sure he likes you for more than just your genitals.

5. Can you say “nerve endings”?

Some of our best friends have classic “ugly” vaginas. And you know what? Anecdotally speaking, some of them may enjoy sex a little more because of it. Like we said, the inner labia are chock-full of nerve endings, and they encase the clitoral head, which means that during intercourse, there’s a whole lot more friction going on. Friction = stimulation = Big Os for her. So there, you vulva fascists.

6. Beauty standards are arbitrary.

You know what we think is ugly? That plucked-chicken look a vulva gets a few weeks after a full Brazilian (or sometimes even a few days after). Sure, maybe that makes us vulva fascists, too, but we’re just saying is all: Back before people started taking it all off down there, nobody stressed out about their “ugly vagina”, so far as we know. We don’t think you should necessarily opt for re-growth to “hide” your vagina — you’ve got nothing to be ashamed of — but you should know that nobody’s adult vulva looks like a little girl’s, with or without pubic hair. So stop trying!

7. Girly-looking vulvas are for little girls.

And you know what? We’re kind of glad that nobody’s adult vulva looks like a little girl’s. Who wants their vulva to look like a 7-year-old’s? Or a little mini tushy on a kid? That’s some fucked up shit!

8. The internet is NOT your friend.

Next time you’re feeling self-conscious about a body part, do NOT Google it. The Web is overrun with horny 13-year-olds who have unlimited access to porn and very limited knowledge of real women.

9. People and their body parts are diverse AF.

Libraries are supposed to be “neat.” Office cubicles are supposed to be “neat.” A lawyer’s side part is supposed to be “neat.” Your labia are not.

10. There are plenty of unfussy fish in the sea.

If, like us, you wish we didn’t live in this kind of world, then start changing it, one man at a time: Educate your guy friends. Don’t date with men who use the term “ugly vagina” and make you feel self-conscious about your vulva. Do date men who are respectful of women and seem genuinely happy to be given access to your genitals. Educate your female friends. Love your vulva.

Yes, we just lit a patchouli-scented candle.

Em & Lo

This post has been updated.

Now that you love your “ugly vagina,” here are 
10 Easy Ways to Keep Your Vagina Healthy

If You Challenge Gender Stereotyping, Prepare to Be Vilified

Our journalist friend Diane Stopyra recently penned an excellent piece for MarieClaire.com entitled “Dear Parents-to-Be: Stop Celebrating Your Baby’s Gender,” which argued that gender-reveal parties are misguided attempts at fun which reinforce harmful gender stereotypes (and, let’s face it, are just a tad narcissistic). Why pigeon-hole you’re kid before they’re even out of the womb?

Makes total sense to us, but many readers were outraged, especially once Cosmopolitan.com reprinted it. Several reactionary pieces have since been written, with sentiments like this:

…alas, the Humorless Feminist Brigade has to come along and sling a rotten tomato into the reveal-party punchbowl.

And this:

This utter nonsense isn’t palatable to the average person. Cosmopolitan used to be about lipstick and beauty tips. Now, it’s on a feminist rampage that frankly isn’t relatable to the average woman. Women who aren’t even political are replying their displeasure with this article. Who takes aim at happy parties celebrating babies? Liberals.

The worst of it came from angry, anonymous readers who sent her hateful social media messages like this:


It was enough to convince Stopyra to post a follow-up to Facebook:

My story on gender reveal parties has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times since July 5. Since then, people have sought me out to call me every iteration of “cunt” imaginable (jealous cunt, bimbo cunt, joyless cunt, demon cunt, etc.). I’ve had stories written about me and what a terrible person I must be. And I’m inundated every day with hundreds of messages, some telling me the world would be a better place if I died. On my own Facebook feed, acquaintances have joked about “cutting” me.

So let me say this: I get it.

As a kid, I didn’t question why, on birthdays and holidays, girls got party dresses and glitter, while boys received simple engineering tools, like Legos and train sets. I assumed when I got married, I’d be the one doing all the cooking and cleaning, And to be honest, I still feel a (super annoying) twinge of guilt if my husband does the dishes. Like a lot of children, I think, seeing a clearly defined set of gender roles helped me navigate the world around me. I definitely never heard the world “intersex” until I was an adult person. Even then, I didn’t understand how it differed from “trans.” So yeah, the idea that sex and gender aren’t black and white — that’s out of my comfort zone, too.

But the way I see it, there are two ways to deal with things that make us uncomfortable — we either get angry each time they cross our path, or we get educated. I’m glad I chose to get educated, and I’ll continue doing so, because that’s my job as a journalist.

I believe women who bring new life into this world are awesome. If it makes me awful to think our derivative pregnancy celebrations — with their reductive stereotypes and demeaning games — aren’t worthy, so be it.

And if this post makes you want to unleash a Tweet storm of insults, for Pete’s sake, at least come up with something I haven’t yet heard this week.

The world is a complicated place. We as humans are hardwired to make sense of it all by putting everything into categorized, labeled boxes. The problem with that is most things don’t fit neatly into separate, narrowly defined boxes. Gender stereotypes ignore the fact that there is a lot more overlap between the sexes than there are differences. Pointing out the folly in assigning character traits before even birth is just one way to highlight these stereotypes and call bullshit on them.

Diane Stopyra did just that, with class and facts. And she was rewarded for it with attempts at character assassination, assumptions about her personal politics, and a barrage of threatening hate mail. Why do people feel backed into a corner when you try not to back them into a corner? When you try to give people the space and freedom to become who they want to be, whether that’s a female construction worker or a male nurse, regardless of whatever anatomy they happened to be born with?

Easing up on the whole “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” routine will only make Earth a more diverse, tolerant and happy planet.

Here’s how to fight gender stereotyping after the birth:
10 Lessons from “Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue”

 

“I Fought For Your Freedom to Hate Me” — A Trans Veteran Speaks Out

Thanks to President Trump, trans veteran Carla Lewis must endure a tragic case of déjà vu:

Each morning when I wake, I hit social media and the news. Sharing something profound or humorous is how I like to start my day. Believe me when I tell you, I was in complete shock when I read a series of tweets by President Donald Trump exclaiming:



What started as shock immediately turned to seething anger. I have witnessed our president spew hyperbole and untruths for the past seven months. But this latest statement has lowered the bar for presidential discourse to an all-time low.

For my own part, his announcement is a shadow of my own discharge when, in 1991 while serving in a Top Secret unit in the United States Air Force Space Command, it was discovered that I was transgender when I applied for my Top Secret clearance. My career plans were destroyed, as was my ability to pay for my continuing education.

There are so many unanswered questions right now. The Department of Defense is part of the Executive branch. In addition, as head of the Executive branch and Commander-in-Chief of the military, Donald Trump, I assume, does have the power to make policy.

However, his Twitter statement is so broad as to defy a narrow interpretation. For instance: ”…will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” Does he also mean that government employees that support the military will lose their job? Does this mean that private contractors that employ transgender people will have to let those people go?

Moreover, ”…cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs…” is a complete misrepresentation of reality. Currently, the Williams Institute estimates the number of transgender service members at 15,000, while the RAND Corporation estimates the number to be 1,320-6,630 and estimates increased medical costs for transgender soldiers to be 2.4 to 8.4 million dollars.

However, if 6,630 soldiers are involuntarily separated, the cost to replace them will be tremendous. According to a 2002 study by the Lexington Institute, the cost to recruit, train, and equip a marine was around $45,000 while the cost to do the same for a West Point graduate fighter pilot was around $340,000.

If you were to assume they all cost the same as a marine, that would work out to $298,350,000. It would appear that the cost burden to retain transgender soldiers is much, much less. In addition, the new recruits will not have the years of experience the transgender soldiers already have.

President Trump also believes that having transgender soldiers will be a “disruption” or affect military readiness, but our transgender soldiers have been able to serve openly since July 2016 and there have been no reports of their service having an adverse effect on military readiness or unit cohesion.

It is a cruel reality that some transgender soldiers, close to retirement, came out when open service was announced last year. Now they stand to lose the years they have invested. Likewise, many career soldiers do not have job skills that will easily translate to the civilian workforce.

For a president that publicly claims to value loyalty, he fails to comprehend that the ultimate loyalty is to voluntarily put one’s self in harm’s way for the service of their country.

All around the world, right now, soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines are defending this country. And they are wondering when their country is going to stand and defend them.

— by Carla Lewis for YourTango.com

 

Could it get worse?
10 Guesses for More Trump Policy Changes


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My Ex Is Over Me, But I’m Not Over My Ex — Help!

Dear Em and Lo,

My ex boyfriend and I were together for a little over 4 years (I’m in my 20s). For the first three years I loved him so much. I put in so much effort. He was the most beautiful, funny and wonderful man.

But then things got a little rocky. I felt like he took me for granted in so many ways. He lied about little things. He was on Tinder and claimed it was because his mates ran out of swipes (he deleted it, after my best friend found it). While he wasn’t willing to do the same little things for me, I felt resentful and stopped appreciating all the little things he did do for me. I also wasn’t the most amazing girlfriend and made plenty of mistakes myself.

Last year our relationship became long-distance. I had to move for a year and instead of coming with me, he decided to move to a different city all together. Six months into the long-distance situation, I grew tired of him making promises he wouldn’t keep (like saying he would call then never calling, or just not calling me back). I was so scared, but I asked for a break. While really upset, he agreed. I said three months; he asked for six.

I messaged him once after that and he never replied. During the break I felt okay, but looking back I can see I was self-destructive: sleeping with arseholes and burying myself in my work. Four months into this break he changed his relationship status to single and didn’t tell me. I messaged him asking why and he said, “We haven’t spoken in so long, I just assumed we weren’t together anymore.” When I called him, he coldly said he was at work and would call me back — it took him two months.

Basically when he did call he said, “I don’t love you anymore, I haven’t for a long time.” He then said it took him only a month to get over me. This still hurts now.

We finally got to see each other and talk properly around six months ago. Cool, calm and collected, he said he was happier single and wanted to get to know himself. Meanwhile I cried on the inside the whole way through the conversation. After we parted, he messaged me saying I was still so gorgeous and that I was always welcome to talk to him. This fucked with my head.

He moved on so quickly, he seems so happy. I recently found out he is with someone new. I am not angry, but it hurts. It sucks knowing he likes her or maybe even loves her. After a year, he deleted all of our photos together off Facebook, basically erasing completely. I shouldn’t care but I do.

I still struggle. It’s been over a year since we went on the break and six months since we finally broke up properly. I still think about him everyday.

He broke my heart little by little.  I haven’t contacted him in six months (self preservation) and he hasn’t messaged me either. How can you be with someone for so long and not even think about them? I wish he had just acknowledged that I meant something and still do.

I guess I just want some reassurance that I’m not crazy!

— Pity Partier

Dear P.P.,

You’re not crazy — breakups totally suck! Especially when the split feels like a run-in with a mack truck to you, but seems like a flitting little butterfly to your ex. But while it’s totally normal to pine for an old boyfriend, staying hung up on one is not great for your mental health or your romantic life.

If he had just acknowledged that you meant something to him and still do, we imagine that would have only given you false hope now about the possibility of an eventual reunion. Even though you might be fantasizing about that scenario right now — saying over and over to yourself “If only…” and “What if…” — we think deep down you know this is not the right person for you.

Just listen to your own letter! He made promises he wouldn’t keep, he took you for granted, he lied to you, he officially broke up with you without telling you, he told you he didn’t love you anymore and hadn’t for a long time, he has a new girlfriend and he says he’s happy. 

Why are you still hung up on this guy? Whatever great times you once had — and we’re sure you did — he has clearly moved on from them. Don’t blame yourself for saying you needed a break: it sounds like he basically forced your hand. The relationship was already strained, and the long distance didn’t help. Chances are, if you hadn’t made the first move, he eventually would have. Your ex ultimately decided this was not a relationship he wanted to be in and, from your account, got out of it in a fairly douchey way. In the end he was admirably clear with you that it was definitively over, but the cold, unnecessary turns of the knife along the way — changing his status without a word, saying it was easy to get over you, erasing all your old photos — are revelatory of his character. You deserve better. 

That said, could you have been better about communicating your frustrations with the relationship before you moved apart? Most certainly. Rather than using the “break” as punishing incentive for him to be a better boyfriend, should you have instead had an honest face-to-face sit-down (at least over Skype) about the state of your relationship? Fer sure. But the fact that he chose to move to another city entirely suggests that the relationship was already over by then. Think about it: a long-distance fizzle can seem a lot easier and more gentle than a clean break out of the blue, especially after so much time together. So maybe he’s not a total douche, just three-quarters of one.

Try to cherish the fond memories you have of him — when he was beautiful, funny and wonderful to you. But understand that people change. That most relationships aren’t forever, especially when you’re in your 20s. If you can try to learn and grow from past relationships, they’ll make all your future ones even better. And that’s the direction you should be looking in: towards the future. 

Not looking back,
Em & Lo

Need more help?
5 Ways to Get Over Your Ex

In Honor of National Orgasm Day, 7 Simple Things You Can Do To Improve Yours!

July 31st is National Orgasm Day! While orgasms are like apples — one a day will keep the doctor away — it’s still nice to have one day of the year dedicated to their celebration. Especially if you’re not getting them as often as you’d like or as often as you should be. (Maybe it should be called “National Female Orgasm Day.”) Let today be a reminder that you deserve regular pleasure: if you’re not getting them from your partner, work it out with them; if you don’t have a partner, work it out yourself. Either way, starting today, promise yourself not just more Os, but better Os with these quick and (fairly) easy tips for both women and men: 

1. Use fantasy as a booster shot.

Getting your mind in the gutter with outside sexual stimuli, like erotica or porn, can be a great arousal trigger. It can help get you from zero to sixty much faster, helping rid your brain of distracting thoughts like “How am I going to finish that report in time?” or “Did anyone walk the dog?”

2. Lose the routine.

Once you’ve developed a tried and true method of climaxing, alone or with a partner, it’s hard to muster the patience or willpower to give up that direct route between A and Oh for a less traveled, meandering path that may turn out to be a dead end. After all, having just one way to climax is far better than never having an orgasm at all. Plus, some people just have very specific arousal and orgasm patterns. So don’t stress that you “should” be doing it differently – that may just have negative consequences on the orgasms you already do have.

That said, if you believe there’s only one way to climax, then you’ll always climax that one way. And just like a strict diet of Cadbury’s and red wine would eventually lose some of its appeal, so too can your orgasm. So experiment: go slowly, make sure you’re fully aroused before you try something new, and add the kind of stimulation you want to learn to appreciate to the kind that you already do.

But don’t put yourself on an orgasm diet just for the sake of learning a new trick: there’s nothing wrong with ending in the same position every single time, so long as you don’t always start in that position, too.

3. Delay gratification.

If James Joyce could make Molly Bloom’s orgasm last for 45 breathtaking pages in Ulysses, you can probably hold out for an extra minute or two, right? So the next time you’re having fun on your own, don’t go straight there. Bring yourself to the brink (or rather just before the brink), stop, take a breather, switch positions or techniques, resume and repeat. And then try this with a partner, too.

Guys can experiment with more slow and shallow alternatives to pelvic thrusting (which she may actually prefer), alternating intercourse with offering oral sex, gently pulling the testicles away from the body, and perhaps even wearing a love ring.

Delaying gratification will not only ensure that she’s fully aroused (i.e. prepared for orgasm), it will help build sexual tension in both of you, which can intensify eventual orgasms. Plus, when you know your body and have control over when you climax, you can attempt to synch up your orgasms.

4. Spread the love.

Just before, during, and just after your orgasm, you can draw that energy up through your body, rather than keeping it one place, simply by using concentration, focus, and the power of your mind. But if that’s too Eastern for you, you can use a free hand or two (yours or your partner’s) to help sweep waves of pleasure throughout your body, using long, smooth strokes up your belly or your back.

5. Add an accessory.

You know that feeling when you get a new outfit that fits just right, or when you open your new iPhone box? You can replicate that excitement in the bedroom with a new toy! Accessorizing with a pleasure object — like a love ring, a vibrator, a blindfold, a feather tickler, or even just some quality lube — can introduce you to new or more intense sensations that you never knew existed. 

6. Just breathe.

Lots of people, especially women, hold their breath when they feel they’re getting close to an orgasm. But that can sabotage your orgasm by throwing your body into self-preservation mode. So let your breathing reflect the intense feelings you’re experiencing and you may find all that heavy huffing in turn makes those feelings even more intense.

7. Build up your pelvic muscles.

This isn’t a quick in-the-moment fix, but rather a daily (or at least weekly) exercise regimen that over time will yield improved orgasms. Yes, we’re talking Kegels. With every day or year that passes, the importance of doing them only increases. Like any other muscle, the pelvic floor muscles can atrophy with age and lack of use. So start contracting and relaxing — on your daily commute, in line at the grocery store, while watching TV…. Soon you’ll notice stronger pelvic contractions during your climax. Click here for more details for both him & her.

 Can you only O with the help of a vibe?
10 Steps to Climaxing Sans Sex Toy

10 Predictions of Future Trump Policy Changes Via Twitter

On July 26th, 2017, President Trump announced a regressive and frankly hateful roll-back of an Obama administration policy which allowed trans service members to serve openly. The Trump policy announcement went like this:

It was a diversionary tactic employed by a president embattled by the Russia Probe, failures on healthcare, and record low approval ratings. It sacrificed an at-risk minority just to serve up a little red meat to his culturally-retro base. We can only imagine in our darkest nightmares the other “brilliant” Trump policy changes to come down the pike as his administration continues to go up in flames…

10 Trump Policy Changes
in Our Future Dystopia

 

Can’t get enough of that constant low-level nausea?
Read all our pieces on Trump!

How Our Long Distance Relationship Makes Us a Better Couple

 

If you thought I was crazy to sign up for an extreme long distance relationship, you were wrong.

I live in Orlando. He lives in Australia. At any given moment, there are 9,349 miles (plus, one hell of an expensive airplane ticket) separating me from my boyfriend. In fact, our time zones are so far apart that he technically lives “in the future” (because, right now, it’s already tomorrow in Sydney).

Let me be clear, this man is the greatest love of my life. He’s on my mind and in my heart constantly, but I only physically see him four times a year for 2-and-1/2-week visits, and you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Our relationship is pretty close to perfect, though naysayers give us an earful about it all the time. “You’re crazy.” “It will never last!” “How long can you sustain a long-distance relationship like that (and why would you even bother)?” “What kind of future can you possibly have?”

Actually, we have a rather bright, exciting, and beautiful future, thank-you-very-much. We’re two years into this global romance of ours and it’s the happiest, sexiest, and most meaningful relationship either of us have ever experienced. And while we certainly miss each another, we’ve discovered that far-flung love comes with some surprising (and pretty darn spectacular) benefits.

So, naysay all you want, cohabitating couples! When it comes to true relationship satisfaction, you might be the ones missing out.


1. Romance movies? Pshh, we put them to shame.

He’s tall, dark and handsome and has a sexy Australian accent. I’m a woman who was previously lost in a loveless marriage who’s finally blossoming into herself post-divorce.

We board planes and fly halfway around the world just to be together. Get dressed up and go on amazing dates with twinkling city skyline backdrops. Kiss in public (often and unabashedly). Lay on picnic blankets in the park. Stay up talking and laughing all night. Every moment together feels darling and sexy.


2. The best part of our long distance relationship: this is our real life.

I’m just an ordinary person. He’s an ordinary person. But we’re building a beautiful relationship together because, for us, a life of passion trumps a life of cohabitating proximity.

Naysayers always focus on the hardship of time spent apart (and I confess, it is definitely hard). But we choose to focus on the heartfelt joy and deep connection that comes from time spent together, which (precisely because we haven’t seen each another in awhile) is always exciting, full of love, full of romance, and spent exploring new adventures together.

Heck, after three months apart, even ordinary moments like grocery shopping or doing laundry together feel sweet and oh-so-romantic.


3. Tons of alone time? Yup, and I love it.

Waking up next to the man I love is a beautiful thing, no doubt. But sorry dude, I can’t miss you if you’re never gone. Just because I’m madly in love with my guy and adore his company, it doesn’t mean I want him in my personal space 24/7.

It seems like once couples move in together they’re not “allowed” to take true chunks of alone time ever again. An hour or two? Sure. A whole weekend? Only if your partner has something else to do. More than that? It’s an issue.

Sorry, that kind of all-up-in-my-space commitment is not for me. Not at this stage of my life anyway. I work from home, so right now I love — and desperately need — my privacy. And my boyfriend works ridiculously long days and is pretty fond of his alone time, too.

Our long-distance dynamic regularly gifts us with three-month chunks of guilt-free alone time. This space and solitude help us each stay tethered to ourselves, recalibrate our energy, and creates space to plow through deadlines and take the time to just relax — all without worrying about neglecting the other person. When it’s time for one of our quarterly visits, we show up recharged and ecstatically happy to share space with each other again.

5. I don’t have to parent his kids.

Let’s be real, no matter how much your kids like your new boyfriend, they still don’t want their time alone with you intruded upon. One of the great perks of a long-distance relationship is that our children have a new loving and nurturing adult in their lives without having that adult invade permanently.

My boyfriend and I incorporate time with our kids into our visits for a few days (we hang out with his boys when I’m in Australia and with my daughter when he’s in America). We dub that “kid time” so the children are the priority and focus. It’s a super fun, super loving time when everyone gets to bond without pressure, and our children get to see a beautiful example of what a healthy, loving adult relationship looks like.

The rest of our 2-and-a-1/2-week visit is kid-free (thanks to our exes) and my boyfriend and I focus entirely on “us.” You know what? Our kids truly appreciate this arrangement. We all get along wonderfully and enjoy our time together.

They are glad to see me and my boyfriend in love and happy together. However, at the end of the two weeks, our kids are relieved to have their sacred space with us as individuals restored.

6. We have more sex than you (for real).

Let’s debunk one myth, shall we, naysayers? If you’re thinking you could never go that long without sex, well, I’m here to tell you that despite big gaps in time spent apart, my boyfriend and I most likely have way more sex than you. Impossible, you say?

Well, research shows that the average cohabitating couple has sex twice per week (that’s 24 sex acts over 3 months). During our 2-and-a-1/2-week visits every three months, we easily average sex 2-3 times a day (you do the math). Sure, the daily number of romps is less when the kids are around, but far more when they’re not.

With that said, I have to tell you — the long-distance perk here isn’t in the quantity of sex; it’s the quality! Even though we steadily grow and deepen our emotional connection while apart by communicating daily (Skype date, anyone?), the one thing we can’t share while separated is physical touch.

Our bodies forget each other just a little bit, but enough to make that initial intimate contact at the start of every visit feel like we’re having sex for the very first time (over and over again). Senses are heightened, the intimacy is both soulful and primal, and the anticipation of every subtle touch is downright thrilling.

In the days that follow, our sexual rediscovery ranges from passionate and erotic adventures at night (please, don’t hate us, upstairs neighbor), to sweet sleepy lovemaking at dawn and wonderfully playful sex in the afternoon. Yeah, you can keep your infrequent maintenance sex, cohabiters, the I-missed-you-so-much reunion sex is so much better.

7. We fight for each other every day.

One of the biggest relationship insecurities people have is the fear that the person they’re with might only be sticking around because it’s easy and convenient. Well, ladies and gents, I don’t have to worry about that for a second.

This is not a worry one has when your relationship is anything but convenient. Attraction, chemistry, or excitement might bring long-distance lovers together initially, but you have to reallllllly love someone to stay in a relationship like ours.

While the dynamics allow for some pretty wonderful perks, our relationship is not without its challenges and hardships. The day-to-day logistics of navigating a 9,349-mile distance, a painfully expensive cost to fly back and forth, a 16-hour time zone difference, and entirely rearranging your schedule to accommodate the 2-and-a-1/2-week visits, on top of not being able to see the person you are madly in love with whenever you want … well, it can be incredibly hard.

It was an amazing leap of faith when my boyfriend got on a plane and flew halfway around the world to meet me for the first time. It has been a beautiful leap of faith every step we’ve taken toward each other ever since.

Once someone has seen you at your best and your worst (in person and over a Skype screen) and they keep showing up no matter the odds that seem stacked against them, well, that’s love, people. A true, deep, earth shattering love that’s worth fighting hard for every single day.

And you’d be a straight up fool not to fly halfway around the world for something (or, rather someone) like that.

— By Cris Gladly for YourTango.com

I Miss My Long-Distance Husband —
So Does My Libido

MORE CONTENT FROM YOURTANGO:

The Do’s and Don’ts of Vacation Sex (Video)

Going on vacay with your partner? Here are 14 quick rules to follow to turn up the heat and make your tropical or summertime vacation sex great! Details are below the video:

1. Don’t stress about your bathing-suit body.

You don’t go on vacation with the body you want, you go on vacation with the body you have. There’s nothing you can do about it now. The only person concerned with your imperfections is you. No one on the beach is giving your body a second thought, except for your partner, and all they’re thinking is they can’t wait to rock it later.

2. Do make sunscreen application an art form.

Think of it as foreplay. Take some tips from a professional massage expert and make rubbing lotion onto your partner’s hard to reach spots not only thorough, but thoroughly enjoyable.

3. Don’t have intercourse in the water.

It’s really not the safest sex. Here’s why.

4. Do engage in PDA.

Whether you’ve been together for five weeks, or five years, vacations bring out the snugglies in everyone. Just go with it: Hold hands on the beach, kiss underwater, make googly eyes over romantic, candle-lit dinners.

5. Don’t go overboard with the PDA.

Remember to be respectful of your fellow vacationers. Not everyone wants their beach views to be NC-17.

6. Do give your summer a scent.

Bring along a new deodorant, perfume, or travel candle. With your sense of smell tied so powerfully to your memory, this new scent will forever transport you back to this sensual, tranquil vacation every time you get a whiff of it.

7. Don’t have sex on the beach.

Sand in your delicate nooks and crannies does not make for a pleasant sensual experience, unless you’re a masochist.

8. Do drink sex on the beach.

Vacation is really the only time you can drink ridiculously-named umbrella cocktails without shame. When you loosen this inhibition, others will follow.

9. Do bring travel-friendly sex toys.

There are lots of small, compact sex toys that won’t take up a lot of room in your suitcase (a.k.a. high impact, low weight): Lube packets, love rings, small vibrating bullets and eggs, waterproof pocket rockets, wrist cuffs, etc.

10. Don’t pack them on your carry-on.

You’ve been spared the humiliating naked-under-your-clothes body scans by the TSA. Don’t add your own indignity by packing a favorite vibe in your purse which is sure to raise some red flags, thus inconveniencing your fellow passengers as they wait for all the TSA employees to get a good giggle in at your expense.

11. Do sleep naked.

Especially if you don’t normally back home. Tropical breezes feel nice on bare skin.

12. Don’t do it on the hotel bedspreads.

You’ve heard the horror stories about how dirty hotel bedspreads are. If you get “dirty” on top of the bed, not only are you exposing yourself to cooties, you’re compounding the problem!

13. Do get a couples massage.

On the beach, if possible. Vacation is one of the best times to splurge on this ridiculously indulgent experience: afterwards, you’ll both feel relaxed, chilled out, and physically stimulated — the perfect time to get it on. If the couples massage is outside of your budget, just smoke some local pot.

14. Don’t forget to pack the birth control.

Nothing’ll ruin your vacation like scrambling to get a prescription for Plan B in a foreign country.

This post has been updated.

Want more hot & heavy tips?
Read our Summer Lovin’ Special Issue!

Will Eric Bigger Be The Next Bachelor? He Probably Should Be.

With hometown dates complete, we all said a sad goodbye to “Bachelorette” favorite Dean Unglert and wrapped our brains around the fact that one of the remaining men might be Rachel Lindsay’s future husband (or at least a temporary boyfriend). But more importantly (sorry Rach), one of the men will probably be the next “Bachelor.” Dean is out, since he’s slated for “Bachelor in Paradise.” So we’re left with Bryan Abasolo, Peter Kraus and Eric Bigger — and Twitter has made their selection. 

Giphy

Fans of Bachelor Nation took their thoughts online after the hometown episode and campaigned for Eric to be the next “Bachelor.”

Though he got off to a rocky start by getting into it with other men in the house, Eric rightly refocused his attention on Rachel and became one of the strongest contestants on the show.

Giphy

His hometown date was waaaaay better than any of the other men’s, and we’re all hoping his Aunt Verna will make more cameos. While we’d love to see Eric and Rachel end up together, we all know this show has a way of breaking our hearts.

Besides, wouldn’t being the man that 30 women put their lives on hold to date be the real win?

Here are five things we know about Eric Bigger:

1. He once created a motivational messenger app. 

Eric attempted to break into the app market with his own motivational message app. This is no surprise since fans love the contestant because of his positive personality.

The app was called “Eric Bigger: Successful Living,” and from what I understand, the app would deliver daily motivational messages to inspire people to live better lives.

Soon after, he found success as a fitness instructor and shaved the stash.

2. His Aunt Verna once gave a powerful TED talk.

Aunt Verna, aka Vernā Myers, is a diversity and inclusion expert, speaker, author and founder of The Vernā Myers Company, a consulting group that offers expertise on diversity and inclusion in law offices. She once gave a TED Talk asking people to embrace and walk toward their biases.

So it’s not a surprise she was so popular on the show — or that she talked about Rachel being the first black Bachelorette. I mean, she is an expert.

3. He used to be one of those hot guys that worked at Abercrombie & Fitch. 

Instagram

While it’s unclear if he was a sales associate or one of the models who stood shirtless outside with cologne samples, Eric posted a farewell to his Abercrombie gig on his Instagram a few years ago. He sweetly called his manager “boss lady,” and used the hashtag “good times” to describe his experience.

4. He actually is super motivating. 

 


Eric frequently tweets out the kind of inspiring messages that make you want to do more than just Netflix and chill all day.

5. He wrote a book!

After he graduated magna cum laude from Hampton University, he became a published author. Eric wrote “100 Days of Wisdom,” and “Quotes To Shape Your Life.” Motivational speaking is something Eric has been very vocal about wanting to pursue.

 This article by Emily Blackwood was originally published on YourTango.com
Why Men Ask You About Their Size (& How You Should Answer)

Pete had some interesting (and some potentially controversial) thoughts in response to our post “If He Asks About Size, Can I Tell Him the Truth?“:

When a guy asks this question, there could be a lot of reasons for asking:

1. He might want to compete against other guys (“Am I better than other guys?”)

This is him seeking a straight up ego-booster. Here, he is wanting to feel more manly. If your man is seeking this, you might need to pad the truth a little for him to receive this.

2. He might need validation on his manliness (“Is my size attractive enough for you?”)

This is him seeking comfort for his insecurity. He wants to know if he is desirable. He wants to feel sexy. Here the truth may hurt a little but if you speak the truth with love and address the deeper issue, he’ll feel a lot better. Sizing is not the only thing that can make him sexy. [If you] give him bad news, tell him how he may be able to be sexy for you. This could be how he plays with your body in foreplay, or the way he looks into your eyes, etc.

3. He might want your judgement on its efficacy (“Can my tool satisfy you?”)

This is him wanting to know how to please you. Size is an easy way to verbally summarize his performance to get you there. But we all know that there are so many variables to getting you to climax. It could be the speed, the skin-to-skin contact, the sounds, your mood, how much you trust him, his attention to certain body parts, etc. Here I would still be honest. But again, don’t leave it at a “it’s too small/skinny/etc.” Tell him why it’s important. It could be that you would like the depth of penetration or the stretch that it makes. This gives him more things to go on and helps him understand what you actually like.

Do you agree with Pete’s advice?
How would you improve it?
Let us know in the comments below!

5 Reasons Why Sea Sex Sucks

It’s that time of year. The temperatures go up, the clothes come off, and you’re at the beach/by the pool/in the hot tub with your honey. Things can easily get frisky quickly. Come on, who doesn’t want to recreate that pool scene from Showgirls? Well, we don’t. We hate to rain on your already-wet water-knooky parade, but here are five reasons why we don’t endorse sea sex:

1. Condom Problems

Condoms can malfunction. Much more easily than usual. Suction issues lead to slippage and then it’s unsafe city from there on out.

2. Sea Sex Sucks for Spermicide

Spermicide can be washed away. Not that we’re big fans of spermicide to begin with, but if your birth control of choice happens to include some, water will dilute it and decrease its efficacy.

3. Bye Bye Lube

It also washes away natural lubricant, which makes penetration more difficult and possibly painful.

4. Bugs in the Butt

Chemicals or bacteria in the water can be pushed into the vagina or butt, causing irritation or infection. Not exactly how you want to be spending your beach vacation.

5. Seaweed, NOT Semen

Finally, it’s just not very polite to ejaculate all over a public place. People peeing in the ocean — or worse, the pool — is bad enough. Don’t muddy the waters further with your own love juice.

Don't go in the water! Sea sex sucks.

Sorry to be wet noodles, but sea sex — i.e. intercourse in the sea, pool or jacuzzi — is just not a safer sex option. However, if you and your partner are body fluid monogamous, if one of you is on hormonal birth control like the Pill (if you’re a straight couple), and if you really want to swim at your own risk, then we suppose you could try applying a water-resistant silicone lubricant to both of your naughty bits to make for easier underwater entry. However, we’d just recommend some external fondling beneath the waves as a form of foreplay, rather than any kind of penetration. Save that for the nice summer-vacation hotel room.

Disclaimer: Em & Lo are not doctors, and the information contained in this column should not be considered a substitute for a discussion with a medical professional — e.g. your OB-GYN or physician — about safer sex.
This post has been updated.

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Have a Great Independence Day Weekend!

We’re off for the long holiday weekend (and hope you are too!). We’ll be back with our regularly scheduled regimen of sex, love and everything in between on Wednesday. Until then, enjoy this Onion article: Nation’s Dogs Vow To Keep Their Shit Together During 4th Of July Fireworks. Happy Independence Day!