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Oral Sex Skills: How to Go Down on HER

Cunnilingus is one of the most daunting sexual tasks a person can undertake. It’s one of those unfair facts of life: there’s much more variation in what “works” among the gals than the guys, so there’s no sequence of moves guaranteed to result in her orgasm. But don’t think of her orgasm as being high-maintenance; we prefer the word individual. Keep reading to hone your oral sex skills and impress even the finickiest of lovers. 

Don’t Stress

In recent decades there’s been a much-welcomed focus on oral sex as the key to a woman’s orgasm. But that’s put a hell of a lot of pressure on the givers. And frankly, there are plenty of women out there who could take or leave the cunnilingus. (Sure, it feels nice, but so does a neck massage and they’d prefer one of those, thank you very much.) So lower your expectations, cut yourself some slack, and just enjoy yourself. This is one of those sex acts that’s more about the journey than the destination.

You’ve Got to Want It

You’ve got to get in the right frame of mind: remove selfishness from your vocabulary, cover all the clocks, and become a rainy-day New-Age sensualist (no ponytail necessary). This is the twenty-first century, and all equally-created people are entitled to a little oral. If you’re one of those people who just doesn’t like to give it, then you can’t expect to get it — unless you happen to be dating one of those women who’d always choose the neck rub. Get your head in the game. Become a giver.

Reassure Her

Assuming you’ve jumped on the muff bus, then the next thing to do is make sure her head is in the game, too, otherwise all your efforts will be for naught. If she tends to stress out about reciprocation, then try heading south when there’s no time for her to respond in kind (like, right before a movie) — that way she’ll know she’s off the hook for now and can just enjoy the servicing. Or tell her that for the next half hour you are her love servant and will be attending to her every sexual need, with no thought of your own. Make sure there is no possibility of interruption or distraction. And if she still can’t seem to stop worrying about your nether regions, then tie her up (with her consent, of course) so she’s got no choice.

Prep

If you think she’s worried about hygiene (or you are), then shower together or run her a relaxing bath beforehand. That’ll also help establish a we’ve-got-all-the-time-in-the-world mood.

If you’ve got a pubic hair preference, don’t heighten her insecurities with ultimatums or demands. Instead, phrase everything in positives (“It would be so hot if…”), offer to do any trimming yourself as a sex game, and be willing to sport the same kind of pubic hairstyle on yourself. (And remember, contrary to widespread belief, the French and 70’s porno styles can be pretty sexy, too.)

Speaking of trimming: guys, you might want to check on your beard situation. A few-days-old soft growth might feel kind of good when you get your face in there, but a mean 5 o’clock shadow will probably just sandpaper her labia.

cut peach with pit

Take a Stance

If you’re attempting to deliver an orally-induced orgasm, then chances are you’re going to be here for a while. So the most important thing is that you’re both comfortable. Most likely this will mean she lies back on a bed, maybe with a pillow under hips, and you lie between her legs. Or she sits in comfy chair while you kneel (a pillow under your knees will improve stamina, too). But if control (rather than relaxation) is what gets her to her happy place, then she might want to straddle your face or even stand over you.

For something a little novel, try approaching her from behind (ask first!). She can still relax and moan into a pillow and you’ll have an all-areas access pass. Though you’ll probably need to bring in your fingers or a toy to properly address the clitoral head.

Fluff Her Up

Nuzzle, kiss, nibble, lick, and suck in the outlying areas — her mouth, her breasts, her stomach, her inner thighs, her mons — gradually closing in on your ultimate target. Gently spread her legs as your fingers inch closer and closer. Lightly run your hands over her vulva and through her pubic hair (if she has any). Cup your arms under her thighs or bum to pull her in close to you. Breath over her entire vulva (but never blow into her orifices — it’s dangerous).

Communicate

Besides telling her how good she tastes and smells, don’t be afraid to ask for some direction. We know, we know: some people hate asking for directions. But every woman is different, and even your own partner’s likes and dislikes may vary according to her mood, the time of the month, the weather, etc, so you can’t go on auto-pilot. Pose quick and easy questions, like “harder or softer?” or “more of this…or more of this?”

That said, she’s not a GPS, so don’t expect her to give you instructions at every turn — especially if she needs to close her eyes and fantasize a little. Learn to read her moans and non-verbal cues, too. If she pulls back that means “go a bit softer please” or “not directly on the clitoris, please” When her breathing gets heavier and her labia and clitoris look larger and/or darker that means “I could get used to this.” If she pushes into then you’re doing a good job. If she really pushes into you that means “harder!” When grips the sheets or arches her back then you know you’re doing superbly. If she grips her head in your thighs then don’t change a thing. And when she squeezes her thighs and holds your head in with her hands that usually means she’s about to climax.

A note to recipients: if you don’t want your fantasy or focus on the pleasure interrupted with too many questions, then get moaning!

Lick the Lolli

When it’s time for tongue, start by French kissing her vulva. Bury your face. Use your nose as a stimulation tool (this move is also a good one to return to later, when your tongue may need a break).

Then get everything really wet with a wide, flat, soft tongue. Keep your jaw relaxed and lick slowly from her vaginal opening up to her clitoris — or even longer, from her perineum up to her pubic bone. Lick up the center then down again, lick up and down either side, and go side to side, too. Spread her labia with your lips or tongue. Hold each set of her lips between your lips and run your tongue between the inner and outer labia, first one side then the other. Or pull her lips into your mouth and suck on them.

You may graze the clitoral head with these broad strokes, but don’t pause just yet: she’ll probably need to be much more aroused for that.

Go Inside

You’re not painting a wall here, so you’ll probably need a little more in your arsenal than a soft wide tongue, no matter how well the two of you “communicate”. But wait until she’s pushing into you, physically begging you, before you go any deeper with your tongue.

During your long, slow tongue strokes, start dipping your tongue inside as you pass over the vaginal opening. Remember, the majority of the vagina’s nerve endings are in the outer third, so you don’t need to pull a muscle trying to get in there. Just circle your tongue around the opening and move it in and out.

If she seems to want a little more in terms of penetration (there we go again with that communication), bring in a finger or three while your tongue continues on the outside. Move your fingers in and out using short but firm strokes, or keep them inside, rubbing against her G-spot. Move your tongue and fingers in sync if you can.

Come in Contact with the Clitoris

The closer you get to the clitoris, the more women are going to vary in terms of the kind of stimulation they enjoy and how long they’ll enjoy it — so the more techniques you’ve got to try out, the better. 

Keep in mind what a sensitive little thing the clitoral head is and be gentle, at least at first. Some women never want direct stimulation of the clitoris, while others can’t seem to get enough of it, literally. Remember that the more you tease and the more turned on she is, the more stimulation she’ll be able to take. Keep your licking very light until she pushes into you for more.

Some women prefer to have their clitorises attended to over the hood, so ask first if she’d like you to try pulling it back a bit for more exposure. Experiment with what feels best to her over and around her clitoral head: a soft, wider tongue technique or a stiff, pointy one. Don’t let the area get dry. Feel free to roam, but keep coming back to this focal point, taking cues from her all along the way. Ultimately, she’ll probably want you to stay put once you’ve found something that works.

For some tongue-specific moves that address the clitoris, try these:

• Lick around it in circles, up and down either side, then up and down over it, or from left to right.

• Try tracing the alphabet over her clitoris with your tongue if it helps keep you focused.

• As with the labia, you can suck on her clitoris, too. Pull it into your mouth and suck and lick gently, maybe flicking your tongue over and around it while you hold it.

• Place the tip of your tongue on the hood and move your tongue in circles without moving off the clitoral head.

• Apply a firm, pulsating pressure with a wide tongue.

oral sex skills can make a peach juicy

Try Some Advanced Oral Sex Skills

Whether you’re covering the entire vulva area or honing in on the clitoris, anything you do with your fingers can be tried with your tongue here. You can also:

• Keep your tongue still and slightly stiff and shake your head back and forth.

• Nibble…with caution. And if she loves it, then nibble with slightly less caution. You can try the inner thighs, the labia, the mons, even, eventually, the clitoral head (gently).

• Try some deep, guttural moans while you’re down there — the resulting vibration may have a pleasing effect. Plus, you’ll convey just how happy you are to be there. Humming may be pushing it, however.

• And don’t forget that your fingers can do more than just penetrate. Dip them into her mouth. Play with her labia while your tongue is elsewhere. Gently tug on her labia and any pubic hair. Pull up on her mons or rub it in a circular motion. Let your hands stray to her nipples, her perineum, or her anus. Remember, once any fingers have been in the back, do not reintroduce them in the front or in her mouth (obvs), otherwise you risk giving her an infection.

Add Props

Cunnilingus can be a hard day’s night, and there’s no shame in turning to props for some help. The wetter everything is, the better it will probably feel to her. So help things along with a little edible lube, either flavored or, if you don’t have a sweet tooth, tasteless. A hint of strawberry or pineapple may just help her relax about her own personal flavor, or lack thereof. (Just make sure you choose a glycerin-free product if she’s prone to infection.)

A vibrator can give your tongue a break, either internally or externally. Try bullet vibes, finger vibes, a vibrating dildo, or a G-spot vibe if that’s her thing. You can even try a gimmicky oral vibrator that goes in your mouth while you perform cunnilingus. Though the teeth-rattling effect it has on you may not be worth it (to say nothing of the choking hazard!).

If she likes a little backdoor action during oral sex and you don’t want to have to “reserve” a lubed finger for that purpose, then insert a small, lubed-up butt plug instead.

For novelty purposes, try a mint in your mouth or a sip of hot tea or ice water before starting or during the session.

Feel the Rhythm

The key to good cunnilingus is patience and a steady stroke. In general (though we hate to generalize), women tend to like firm pressure and a repetitive motion. You can build up speed and pressure slightly as she gets more turned on. But if she pulls back, then so should you. Chances are, quick, sporadic tongue flicking is not going to push her over the edge. And when she moans, that’s not necessarily a cue to speed up.

If you’ve figured out the rhythmic key that unlocks her orgasm, then during build-up you can sometimes even go in the opposite direction: get her almost there, then back off, then repeat, so that when she does finally climax, it’s really *&$#!**. However, if her orgasms are more elusive, then don’t play coy: keep doing what you’re doing, without changing direction or rhythm, until she’s yelling *&$#!**.

Give Her a Happy Ending

With any luck, all this oral attention will lead somewhere very good. But if it doesn’t, don’t feel too disheartened. While some like you to go all the way with it, others prefer cunnilingus as foreplay.

At this close range, you should have a pretty good idea when she’s climaxing. Remember, her orgasms may last a lot longer than yours usually do, so don’t stop until she releases you. She may want you to keep up the exact same motion all the way through her final shudder. Or she may just want you to pull her in tight and provide firm pressure rather than motion. If you forget to ask how she likes it, don’t worry. Chances are she’ll grab you with her hands and guide you exactly where she needs you. If she doesn’t, encourage her to do express herself next time around.

And if you can’t seem to achieve the desired effect, be prepared to throw in the towel when she suggests it, rather than stubbornly staying down there like it’s a boxing match you’re determined to win. Because if you’ve applied all the above advice to improve your oral sex skills, then — no matter the orgasmic result — you’ll have secured your place in the Partner Hall of Fame.

Some of the above has been adapted from “SEX: How to Do Everything

You’ve got the moves, but do you have grace & style?
12 Golden Rules for Going Down

Oral Sex Skills: How to Go Down on HIM

Plenty of people hesitate to go down on a man, either because they’re insecure about their skills or they just don’t enjoy it. But many, many guys would give their non-dominant arm for a regular dose of oral — a lot of them would even choose it over intercourse. (Though, despite conventional wisdom, there are a few souls who actually hate it. Really, it’s true! They may be rarer than the white rhino, but they do exist!) Assuming you’re most likely with one of the fans in the majority, the tips below are designed to improve your skill set and your enjoyment level. Soon, you’ll like giving BJs as much as he likes receiving them! (Okay, almost as much.)

Initiate

The best oral sex comes out of the blue: a blowjob that is offered up rather than requested, begged for, or traded for a favor always feels better. As a bonus, initiating will make you feel like the boss. And the more confident you feel, the more fun everyone will have. Think of making the first move as a way to gain instant points in the skill department. It sure beats trying to master impossible techniques that may result in lock jaw.

Get in the Right Headspace

You may feel vulnerable when you go down on him, but remember, when he’s in your mouth, who’s really in charge?  It’s all about getting into the right headspace, because a timid blowjob isn’t a good time for anyone. And besides, the more you get into it, the faster he’ll probably climax. So learn to love his penis at least a little. Fake it at first, if you must. With any luck, you’ll eventually start to believe in your own enthusiasm. Assuming you actually enjoy sex with this person, surely there are lingering feelings of affection for the guy downstairs? Let those feelings flow!

Take Time to Prep

Think fellatio is dirty, and not in a good way? Don’t like the way he tastes? Hop in the shower together first — or stay there. (Pretty soon “Why don’t you take a shower?” will sound as sexy to him as “I want to suck your cock”.)

Wherever you end up, make sure you’re hydrated so you don’t get cotton mouth (keep a glass of water handy). And brush your teeth beforehand, too: when you’re dealing with that much of your own saliva, fresh breath makes things more pleasant for you (and potentially tingly for him!).

Finally, and most importantly, if this is a new partner with whom you are not exclusively body-fluid bonded post-STD testing, then you’ve got to use a condom and avoid any mouth-to-genital contact on exposed skin (e.g. testicles, perenium, anus), even though we might be recommend it below. Try some of the many flavored condoms available. Or use a non-lubricated one and add your own sauce, like honey or jam (just nothing oil-based, as oils can degrade latex). 

go down on a strawberry ice cream cone

Get in Position

For high comfort and control, have him lie back on the bed while you kneel or lie down between his legs (kneeling offers more maneuverability). If you’re feeling lazy, both lie on your sides and place a pillow under your head. If you’d like him to do some of the work, you trust him not to get carried away, and it doesn’t make you panic or gag, then he can kneel or hover over you, supporting his weight on his arms, as you lie on your back, maybe with a pillow or two under your head. You’ll get great access to his balls and bum, not to mention your own naughty bits.

Going for a worship-the-penis vibe? He can sit on a chair or stand and you can kneel on a pillow at his feet. Remember, so long as he respects you, there’s nothing demeaning about getting on your knees — and if he doesn’t respect you, then what are you doing down there in the first place? In a happy, loving relationship, kneeling for oral is just a bit of fun roleplaying. Plus, if you’re inexperienced, the naughty factor of this position may compensate for any lack of artistry.

Start off standing and move to the bed when his legs or your knees start to ache. In fact, it’s always acceptable to adjust positions to stay comfy. And if he’s been very good or he’s had a very bad day, push him against the wall the moment he walks through the door, pull down his pants and go down. A note to gentlemen: if you even think of pushing your partner’s head down as a “hint”, karma will ensure that these sorts of good deeds never ever come your way!

Charm the Snake

Assuming this isn’t a quickie in an airplane bathroom, tease him first. Before his boxers come off, run your fingers inside the waistband, run your hands up his thighs, caress under his butt cheeks. Once he’s naked, graze everywhere but his penis with your lips and fingers: thighs, bum, stomach, chest, pubic hair, balls, back of his knees, behind his ears. Or just breathe on him. And don’t forget that guys like to be complimented, too: profess your ardor for his love unit and tell him you love the way he tastes.

All this teasing says you don’t care if this takes a while, even though it’s okay to want the serious, energetic up-and-down work to last less than 7 minutes. Plus, building up tension will now will shave minutes off your up-and-down time later.  

Talk to Him

If at any point you don’t know how he likes it or what to do next, just ask. As long as you’re not in the crucial homestretch and orgasm is imminent, it won’t spoil the mood. In fact, it proves you’re not on auto-pilot.

Begin Licking the Lolli

Now you can start kissing and licking his penis all over — refraining from any oral envelopment just yet. Keep your tongue flat and soft like you’re licking an ice cream cone (cliched, but useful). Or use the pointy tip of your tongue in a paisley pattern. Keep your tongue in constant motion, mixing moves. Lick all the way from the base to the head, either in one long smooth stroke, or in lots of little upwards licks.

Dry friction is the blowjob’s worst enemy, so you want to get the shaft good and wet before you start any fancy moves. If neither of you are neat freaks, feel free to slick up the balls and perineum too. Though keep in mind that wet balls get chilly fast — so warm them with your hand, the sheet, or a soft towel. And if you’re truly dirty birds, you can even spit on the general area.  If you find the sloppy wet sounds off-putting, you could always put on some tunes — though chances are, he finds those sloppy wet sounds a turn-on.

Kiss, lick, suck on the balls — don’t bite. Play grownup Operation and see if you can get his shaft in without touching the sides. Finally, save the sensitive head and frenulum until last. Take just the head in your mouth and swirl your tongue around the rim, lick and press your tongue into the frenulum. Repeat as necessary until he’s raring to go.

Envelope Him

Once he’s completely hard, you can start to get a bit fancy. There are two schools of thought here: some people say, always go down in one fell swoop to announce your presence dramatically, while others think you should tease him by going down a little bit further on each downward stroke until you make it to the bottom. We say, why choose?

Offer the Essential Up-and-Down

At its most pared down, the blowjob is just moving up and down on the shaft with your mouth, and this is where you should start (and finish). Place one or both hands at the base of his penis so your thumb and first finger form a C that holds him steady. Some people like to stretch their lips over their teeth to avoid scraping sensitive flesh at all costs, but holding this facial expression for long is quite difficult, not to mention a little funny looking. As long as you’re careful, then soft, slightly puckered lips against the shaft will be fine — in fact, ideal. Try to keep your lips in constant contact with the penis. You might find loose on the way down and slightly firmer on the way up works well.

Gradually get into a rhythm. Go slowly for now and keep the suction at a minimum, breathing through your nose if possible. Inhale at the top, exhale on your way down. The sucking action isn’t nearly as important as the steady up and down movement, especially at the beginning. And besides, too much suction makes it hard to get into a groove and keep your teeth out of the way. At some point, bring your tongue into play, stimulating the shaft and head as you bob up and down. Take the penis out every now and then to lick the top and sides.

go down on a chocolate mint ice cream cone

Extend Your Mouth

Deep throating is by no means a prerequisite for an excellent blowjob. It’s a gimmick. And one that most women can’t master for purely physiological reasons: there’s that inescapable, naturally-occurring gag reflex about three inches inside your mouth — much shorter than your fella’s penis (we hope!)…so do the math. Stop dreaming the impossible sword-swallowing dream and instead work with what you’ve got.

Add one hand around the shaft as an extension of your mouth, while the other supports the base. This will increase sensation for him and give you more control over his thrusting. At first, you can delicately hold the shaft with light fingertips (the way Celine Dion might hold a microphone). Then, you can move on to a loose grip that glides up and down in sync with your oral up-and-down.

Eventually, you’ll use a firmer grip and keep your hand connected to your lips as you move up and down. On the upward stroke, you can take your mouth off the penis entirely, closing your lips as you do, followed by your hand gently squeezing his head. You can even continue the upward motion until your closed fist is just resting against the very tip, but don’t lose contact completely or linger there: initiate the downward motion — hand then mouth — immediately.

You can even get your other stabilizing hand in on the motion, creating one, seemingly never-ending orifice. And if he’s the kind of guy who enjoys deep throating because of the sensation of his penis hitting a dead end, then try making him hit the roof of your mouth or the inside of your cheek instead while using this grip.

Add More Handwork

When you have a free hand or hands (usually during the earlier stages of a blowjob or once you’ve mastered the above mouth extension with just one hand), let your fingers wander to his thighs, balls, bum, nipples. Use your hand(s) in a sweeping motion across his abdomen toward his penis, as if you’re drawing in all bodily energy to the center of his universe. Give him your fingers to suck on. Switch to a full-on handjob to give your jaw a break. Rub or press firmly on his perineum with a fingertip or two, a knuckle, or a thumb.

Circle the surface of his anus with a well-lubed finger, and if he’s amenable, slip it inside for stimulation at both ends of his shaft (i.e internally with your finger at one far end and externally with your mouth at the other). Stating the obvious: Do not give him your fingers to suck on after this move.

Dealing with Foreskin

If he’s uncircumcised, you can put your mouth on his foreskin and move it up and down — though once you get into the swing of things, you’ll want to pull it back to expose the sensitive head. Once he’s really hard, it should just stay out of the way on its own.

Master Trickier Techniques

The key to an excellent blowjob is variation. You don’t want him to be able to predict exactly what you’re going to do next, except, of course, when he’s “coming to a head” (see below). So mix things up with any of the following:

• As you reach the head during the basic up-and-down with one hand, remove your mouth, glide your palm over the head, twist it like you’re screwing and unscrewing a lid (but oh-so gently!), then glide it back down the shaft, followed by your mouth.

• Never stop moving your tongue. Run it up and down along the raphe (the ridge running along the underside of the shaft ). With the head in your mouth, take the underside of your tongue back and forth across the frenulum. While you’re going up and down, trace your tongue around the head on each upstroke. Or take a break from the up-down and concentrate on just the head with little flicks of your tongue or concentrated sucking.

• Try getting tactile with your teeth. No, seriously: some guys actually like a hint of tooth as you go up and down the shaft. Go very slow and be prepared to back off if he hates it. If he loves it, try delicate nibbling, too: underside of the shaft, the foreskin, the head, inner thigh, scrotum (not the actual balls).

Kink Up While You Go Down on Him

Nothing wrong with employing tried and tested porno techniques when you go down on him, especially if your partner is a porn enthusiast. Hump his leg while you’re down there — not only to prove this turns you on, but also to give yourself a little more physical satisfaction. Rub or smack his penis against your cheek or breasts. If you can bring yourself to moan or just say “mmm” while you’re down there, he’ll feel special and he’ll enjoy the vibrations (hey, it’s better than humming).

Remember, anything that can be licked can be sucked, too: perineum, just the head, balls (one at a time or two if you’re feeling heroic). And don’t forget eye contact: the occasional dirty look reminds him you’re there for him, you’re not just getting on with a job. You could even tell him you want him to watch you.

Add Props

No need to go it alone: edible lube (plain or flavored) can help keep things wet and even tasty if you run out of spit. Or DIY food-lube on him is fine, too: whipped cream, heavy cream, olive oil, your favorite liqueur… Just be sure he pees afterward to flush out his urethra, and showers before intercourse or anal sex, because such leftovers can lead to infection. Sucking on mints or sipping hot tea or ice water are tricks that’ll work on him, too.

And if he’s a fan of backdoor play (you’d be surprised what a little Pavlovian conditioning can accomplish during a blowjob), then try a small butt plug or anal beads instead of your finger.

Finally, he might like a vibrating ring or a mini vibe held against his balls or shaft as you go down on him, or one of those novelty oral vibes you hold in your mouth — then again, this may just annoy him or rattle your teeth.

Coming to a Head

He’ll almost definitely want more speed as he nears the finish line. And he’ll probably enjoy or even need a bit more suction and a firmer hand grip, too — though again, you’ll have to ask (unless you’re the penis whisperer). Definitely don’t slow down or suddenly change anything at this point, unless you want to tease him and drag things out. If you’ve both got the time and the stamina, this may only increase the intensity of his eventual orgasm; but you may also risk losing his orgasm for good, due to frustration and rawness.

Don’t worry about what you look or sound like as you go harder and faster. He’ll probably be too busy making his own funny noises to notice (it’s safe to say he’s in a pretty self-focused place right now).

The Happy Ending

Sometimes a blowjob is just a prelude to penile penetration — especially if you’re still learning his likes and dislikes. But if you decide to make this the main (or at least final) course, you’ll need to decide between swallowing, spitting, or handworking. Each has its pros and cons:

If you’re forgoing the condom, then swallowing is neat, tidy, very intimate, and very dirty, but many women find ejaculate tastes worse than castor oil and is just as hard to get down. Spitting allows you to complete the BJ without interrupting the all-important, orgasm-inducing sensation and without having to force ejaculate past your gag reflex, but you end up holding it in your mouth three times longer and guys may feel rejected by your spit-take. Switching to manual sex right at the end allows both parties to enjoy the visual without any aftertaste, but the dramatic change in physical sensation may be jarring, disappointing, or even orgasm-defeating to him (though if you’re already using your hands like you should, the climactic finale should be in your grasp, literally).

As with dildo selection, the one with the receptive orifice has final say: how you end things is entirely up to you, as long as you keep applying sensation all the way through his orgasm and then stop as soon as he does. And as long as you do it all with love (or at least respectful lust).

Some of this text has been adapted from “Sex: How to Do Everything.”
Photos via Pixabay.
My Husband, a Selfish Lover, Won’t Even Try to Give Me an Orgasm

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

Help! I’m Married to a Selfish Lover!

I am 25 and been with my husband for 8 years and married for 1 1/2 (we also have a toddler). First let me say that I enjoy/love pleasing him. I get off by seeing him pleased which I think is how it should be. I’m not a selfish person in bed for sure. But he is a selfish lover.

He wants sex right away, no foreplay whatsoever, and when he’s done apparently we’re both done. I have told him many times you need to be patient and get me ready for you at least! And he does for the next couple times, but then it just stops. He rarely goes down on me and it’s so frustrating! I want to be touched everywhere and be caressed from head to toe, which I know is normal! But he doesn’t touch me. I don’t understand how he doesn’t want to fully satisfy me.

After having sex yesterday he climaxed and rolled over while I just lied there craving more. I called him selfish for not making me orgasm and he said, “Well gosh, you just feel so good!” (So pretty much I made him climax fast, so I get punished by not climaxing myself.) Then he turned the other way and the snoring started.

What Should I Do?

So what do I do? I finish myself off alone while he’s in bed, which makes me feel like a teenager. I know he is turned on by me,  I definitely know that. He has a high sex drive but in a very selfish way. I don’t know if he’s scared to touch me or not sure what to do…? I tell him if he’s not sure what to do I’ll guide him, but it always goes straight to sex and that’s it. We have sex around 2 to 3 times a week. The actual sex is great but I feel so unsatisfied.

Woman with a selfish lover ends up alone.

I have actually started to think I need to get satisfied elsewhere and that scares me since I am a married woman. Part of me wants to threaten him when I’m mad about this issue, but I guess that is the wrong approach. I just wish he WANTED to do all of this naturally. It boggles the mind: after 8 years I can count on one hand the times I have received oral sex and the times he has really said “This is about you tonight,” and made me orgasm several times.

Is This My Fault?

I kind of feel bad for myself, but then I wonder, “Did I do this to myself? Is it my fault for letting this go on so long?” I feel I look good, I’m young and have a decent body and fix myself up daily, which he seems to love. But slowly, by him not going down on me and not being totally all over me, it’s making me get a bit insecure when I know I shouldn’t be.

It’s hard when I see guys looking at me and hitting on me and I have this husband at home who is afraid to make me climax! I mean, is it really that hard?

— Frustrated & Forlorn

What should F&F do about her selfish lover? Let her know in the comments below.

 

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 This post has been updated.
Why ALL Women Should Masturbate (Even When They’re in a Relationship)

We once met a woman who claimed (quite proudly, we might add), “I’ve always had dick, so I don’t need to masturbate.” Our eyes bulged, our jaws dropped, our ears began to bleed a little. How could she utter such scandalous words in the 21st century? Women should masturbate! We tried desperately to explain that it’s not about “need” but about “want”. Take responsibility for your own sexual pleasure and be your own sexual agent. Figure out for yourself what you like instead of always leaving it up to somebody else. We begged her to see the light, and then we begged her to buy a vibrator. (See: 10 Toys Every Girl Should Have in Her Treasure Chest.)

Why Some Women Don’t Masturbate

There are myriad reasons why this particular lost soul might cling to such an antiquated notion:

  • Maybe her mom caught her touching her “naughty place” when she was little, freaked out and told her to “Stop that right now!” And from then on she always considered masturbation to be a social no-no, like stealing someone else’s doll or picking her nose.
  • Maybe no one ever taught her how to do it . Most sex education is pretty inadequate when it comes to making women feel comfortable with and knowledgeable about their own bodies. (Lesson #1: the sexual equivalent of the penis is not the vagina, but the wonderful clitoris!)
  • Or worse, maybe someone passed onto her some “wisdom” from the previous century, like these misconceptions: That masturbation is an uncivilized, animalistic endeavor that is beneath refined human beings. That clitoral stimulation is a poor woman’s substitute for the “perfect” pleasure of a man’s inserted penis. That “excessive” masturbation could damage the vagina, nerve endings or even reproductive capabilities. That any kind of sexual act that can’t result in reproduction is a sin. That women don’t have sexual needs or desires quite like men. Or that masturbation is for single, sad, desperate, lonely losers who can’t get a date on Friday night.

The list of possible reasons for this woman not getting to know herself intimately goes on and on…

Sensual Woman in Tall Grass

Why ALL Women Should Masturbate

But still, there are so many more reasons why she, and all those like her, should get it on with themselves:

  • First of all, it’s just plain good for you. The World Association for Sexual Health, an international organization of sexologists dedicated to sexual rights, has stated, “Sexual pleasure, including autoeroticism [masturbation], is a source of physical, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual well being.”
  • In fact some studies suggest that denying yourself can do more harm than good. (We’ll refrain from making any tasteless Catholic priest jokes here).
  • According to one study, women who do the electric boogaloo with sex toys achieve higher levels of sexual desire, higher levels of sexual satisfaction, and higher rates of success in achieving orgasm!
  • Masturbation also releases endorphins, those chemicals that create an all-natural high and help fight the blues.
  • And orgasms can relieve menstrual cramps and PMS.
  • Plus, the involuntary workout your pelvic floor gets from regular stimulation will only aid future genital health.

So trade in your an apple a day for a diddle a day.

Woman on a bed (she should masturbate!)

Why All Women Should Masturbate Even When They’re in a Relationship

And the benefits of masturbation don’t suddenly disappear once you’re no longer single. You don’t give up the morning paper, ladies’ nights, or going to the gym when you’re in a relationship, so why would you sacrifice self love?

  • First of all, getting to your happy place on your own is the first step toward orgasming with a partner: the better you know your body, the better directions you can give. And chances are, he’ll have more luck following your instructions with his fingers than with his penis.
  • Secondly, self-loving provides a booster shot to your libido, making you want partner sex more.
  • It develops your sexual sensitivity and trains your nerves to respond more efficiently.
  • Finally, while masturbating alone, you may feel more comfortable indulging in some of your naughtier fantasies. Especially those that don’t include your current partner. And especially if you feel at all guilty about those fantasies. (For the record, you shouldn’t. But acting on them? Now that’s a different story).

Every woman should know how to get herself off. It’s a basic life skill that ranks right up there with boiling an egg, writing a CV and using a diva cup.

At the very least, it’s the easiest way to get sex whenever you want it, however you want it.

What more reason do you need?

10 Steps for the Perfect Father’s Day Massage

The following is a low input, high impact Father’s Day plan, especially for those of you who haven’t done shit yet for this Sunday (yes, Dad’s Day is THIS weekend!). With a little finagling, you can prepare a relaxing, pampering evening for the father-fella in your life that he won’t soon forget!

1. Set the mood.

Pick the nicest carpeted area in your house/apartment (not necessarily the bed, as you won’t necessarily need that, at least not until later) and tidy it up — there should be no clutter on the floor, as that’s where you’ll be doing most of your massaging. Light a scented candle with an aroma you know he likes, dim the lights, and put on some of his favorite laid-back music.

2. Purchase some high quality oil.

You don’t have to get fancy, just a plain base oil will do: they’re simple and natural, made from just one product, such as almonds, apricots or grapeseeds (if you’re allergic to nuts, use apricot or grapeseed oil). Check out  Kusala Life Sweet Almond Oil , Primitive Sweet Almond Oil, or Beauty Aura 100% Pure Grapeseed Oil.

3. Sign up for “Melt: Message for Couples.”

Melt offers an informative, beautifully shot, sophisticated series of easy-to-follow instructional videos, available to stream online. And it’s on sale through this weekend! Receive a free head massage tutorial with the series. We promise you won’t get second-hand embarrassment watching this married couple, you’ll just be inspired to touch your partner a little more deliberately and thoughtfully to make your lives together better.Melt: Massage for Couples - A Great Father's Day Gift

4. Have a hand towel at the ready.

It’s good for wiping oil off hands or taking care of any excess or accidental spills.

5. Get rid of the kid(s).

Either send them to the grandparents or tuck them in for the night.

6. Pour some wine/whiskey.

It’s a special occasion, so dip into the good stuff!

7. Watch Melt’s tutorial videos together.

In each video, massage therapist Merkas — who has over 15 years experience and has been perfecting these techniques for mass audiences since 2006 — tells you clearly what to do and why.

8. Get rubbing!

Follow along with whichever tutorials tickles your partner’s fancy: neck, shoulders, back, feet. Don’t worry, all the videos are clean and tasteful, with no nudity or awkward moments.

9. Take it to the next level.

Pick up where Melt leaves off by letting your hands wander to various erogenous zones. Because if Father’s Day isn’t the perfect time for some extra loving touch, what is? Just remember, oils degrade latex, so if you’re still using condoms, beware!

10. Don’t expect your own massage on Father’s Day.

This is his day. You can ask for payback next weekend.

MELT IS ON SALE through Sunday, June 18th — you’ll receive a free head massage video with the purchase of the Melt Video Series for $99 (otherwise $123).

sponsored post
6 Rules for Outdoor Sex (Video)

Now that the weather’s turning warmer, many people are overcome by two urges: to get outside and to get it on — two great tastes that taste great together! And so the season of outdoor sex has begun — is there anything more all-American worth celebrating this July 4th? But it’s not all fun and games like naked Slip n’ Slide — there are some practicalities to consider before you answer the call of the wild:

1. Be discreet.

Outdoor sex, a subset of public sex, by definition includes the perpetual potential danger of being discovered — that’s part of its thrill. But most people don’t want to see you doing it. Therefore, you must calculate the risks and unless the chances of being discovered are next to nil, don’t do it.

2. Avoid nudity in public places.

Unless you’re at a nude beach, at college or in Europe. Wear a skirt or dress or elastic-band pants and forgo the underwear. Your partner will have easier access to some of your fun bits, while being able to maintain a modicum of discretion. Plus, you can make a faster getaway if you’re not caught with tight jeans around your ankles!

3. Bring a blanket.

…to lay down over dirt, rough ground, sand or itchy grass. Poison ivy on your butt is no picnic.

4. Use sunscreen.

Protect any flesh that doesn’t usually see the sun (e.g. your pasty bum), making sure not to get any in or around your very private parts.

5. Use condoms.

If intercourse (vaginal or anal) is on the agenda, use a condom (even if you two don’t usually) – it’ll keep everything tidier, especially when there’s no running water near by.

6. Pack out what you pack in.

You know, like all good campers! Don’t leave any unsightly evidence of your tryst for innocent hikers or beachcombers to stumble upon.

Pro Tip: If it’s a chilly night, hop in a sleeping bag (or two zipped together) in the missionary position — the close quarters might increase your body contact ratio, which many women find helpful in their orgasm endeavors.

This post has been updated.

Have the will but not the stamina?
How To Increase You Energy for Sex

 

Relax, Then Do It! How to Decompress for Better Sex

Good sex is no endeavor for the weary — especially, it must be said, for the women among us. Alas, the world — a frenetic, kinetic, frantic, and frenzied place — often makes you so. Your senses are bombarded daily by unpleasantries (can you say rush hour commute?), so you’ve got to take care to heal them with beautiful sights, soothing sounds, aromatic scents, delectable tastes, and rejuvenating touch. Not only do you deserve regular respite, you require it. After all, it’s only when you care for yourself that you’re truly able to care for the one you love.

So here are 6 surefire steps to total pre-sex relaxation:

1. First, give yourself the time and space to relax. If you can steal an hour or two (an entire day if you’re lucky) for yourself, embrace the opportunity without guilt. No time spent caring for your body and soul is wasted. Scout out or create a reliable sanctuary that you can retreat to whenever you need it: a meditation space, a chaise lounge by a window with a view, a spacious bathtub, a neighborhood spa, a gym sauna, a favorite country inn amenable to last minute reservations…hell, even a quiet broom closet where you can chill out will do.

2. Unplug. Wherever you are, learn how to shut out the sounds around you that threaten to drag you back into the stresses of the day: turn down your phone, turn off the news, and drown out the outside world with music that clears your mind of to-do lists (death metal is probably not ideal for sensual relaxation rituals).

3. Indulge your senses. Next, light a votive lavender or jasmine candle and breathe deeply like you do in yoga class. If that’s too precious for you, pick up some freshly cut gardenias from the florist on the corner, put them in water, and let their subtle scent fill the room (guys, your girlfriends will love that you’re secure enough in your masculinity to appreciate fresh flowers). Even something as simple as freshly baked rosemary bread from the corner bakery slowly warming in the oven can fill your space with the scent of comfort and well-being. Put on a pot of hand-crafted blended tea, break open a pomegranate, or indulge in a few French chocolate ganaches. Soon your senses will remember their primary purpose: to be indulged.

4. Loosen up. If you can, seek out the healing touch of a professional – massage therapy can do wonders for your stress levels. Or turn to your partner for a very unprofesssional erotic massage, which is an even better form of pre-sex relaxation (click here for massage tips). Or simply soothe your muscles with a ritualistic hot bath, filled with rich bubbles or soothing scented oils, or a pulsating shower that has no time limit (until the hot water runs out or your inner Al Gore starts berating you for waste). Not only will a warm washing ease tension, it’ll make you feel more confident to eventually have all your nooks and crannies intimately explored (hey, the less you have to worry about, the better the sex).

5. Anoint yourself as an act of love. Afterwards, when you’re calmed yet invigorated, moisturize all over, lightly perfume or apply a nice deodorant, mist or dust yourself with the balm of your choice.

6. Give your partner the gift of relaxation. If you’re not convinced you need to retreat to any kind of “special place” to get in the mood for sex, don’t be so sure about your partner — maybe the art of seduction in this case is creating that place for your partner (hello, spa day) and joining them a few hours later. And, of course, any or all of the above can be done with a partner — you’ll be relaxing two birds with one pumice stone.

For more tips like these, check out
SEX: How to Do Everything

10 Requirements for a Sexy Bedroom (Video)

In case your bedroom has been a little worse for wear lately, here’s a quick reminder of the basics of bedroom beautification. Because a beautiful bedroom is much nicer/more inspiring/less psychically distracting to make beautiful music in.

  1. Invest in sheets with a decent thread count — there’s nothing sexy about your bare skin against the equivalent of burlap.
  2. Only have plants/flowers in the bedroom if you can keep them alive and thriving. Dead things aren’t sexy.
  3. Make sure your bed gives you proper support, because if you’ve got a bad back, you’re not going to feel much like pelvic thrusting. Make sure that the headboard is secure, that the bed’s wheels don’t roll (even better: no wheels!), and that nothing squeaks. The only weird noises you hear should be coming out of your mouths or other orifices; the only movement you feel should be coming from each other’s bodies and the Earth (get it? feeling the Earth move…?).
  4. Get rid of the bright overheads and decorate with some soft, flattering, low lights in various corners — even better if you put them all on dimmers. The occasional candle or two is nice, but don’t get all satanic ritual-y with 50 red fire hazards lining every surface of your bedroom.
  5. Even if you have minimal space, don’t put one side of your bed against a wall — that’s for kiddies and college students.
  6. Place some kind of bedside table on both sides of the bed so each person has a place to call their own within arms reach (for water glasses, lube, condoms, sex toys, etc). You get bonus points if the tables have drawers for maximizing discretion and organization.
  7. No dirty clothes on the floor, office papers cluttering your dresser, or overflowing closets. One of the main reasons hotel rooms are so sexy is because they’re neat and clean!
  8. Give your sex playlist the presentation it deserves: for minimal cost, you can invest in some small but nice speakers to surround your bed (you can even put a subwoofer under it).
  9. Save the family pictures for other rooms in the house. You don’t want your Mom smiling at you while you’re doing it.
  10. No television sets — that’s for the den. We’d even recommend a no-screen policy (ok, except for ebooks). And needless to say, no stuffed animals!

 

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Dear Em & Lo, How Can I Get Back at My Boyfriend for Dumping Me So Cruelly?

Dear Em & Lo,

I thought my boyfriend and I had a good relationship: we lived together, I took care of him, I took care of everything.  He said no one took care of him like I did, even though he’d had plenty of women before me. I thought we were happy. But he found another girl. 

I was really upset. He didn’t respect me. Everything he’d said before about me, and our relationship, meant nothing to him now.

He still wants to keep in touch with me but I am so tired. I want to take revenge on him for all the insults he gave to me with this breakup. What can I do to give him a taste of his own medicine?

— Fury Road

Dear F.R.,

You should dream up all the creative ways you could get back at him. Putting up “Wanted” posters of him all over town that charge him with the crimes of heartbreak, stupidity and bad breath. Scrawling his phone number on every dive bar bathroom stall with the line “For a good time calll…” Leaving a flaming bag of poop on his doorstep, ringing the bell and running. The possibilities are endless.

Write down your favorites in lurid detail, describing the pain he’ll endure and the regret he’ll surely feel when he realizes how he wronged you, the only person who has ever truly loved him, the only person who ever truly will.

And then crumple those pages up, light a match, and watch them burn. Say goodbye to him forever as you watch the little ashes dance in the air and you test the batteries of your smoke detector.

Everybody wants to return the pain and humiliation of a heartless dumping by someone whom we thought loved us and whom we (thought we) loved back. You get punched in the gut, you want to punch back! But revenge is a dish best served in your fantasies. Immediately after a breakup, indulge in them, embellish them, write them down. But ultimately, you’ve got to let them go, lest you risk growing bitter, losing your dignity,  and/or becoming a stalker.

The best revenge you can have on an ex is to become a better version of yourself than you were with them. Learn from the mistakes of this relationship. Consider it a stepping stone on the way to the better relationships you deserve. Was communication a problem in this one? Then vow to work on that in your next one? Did you lose yourself in this person? Make sure you hang onto your identity the next time you start falling for someone. You can even try to be the bigger person by thanking him (in your head, let’s not go crazy here) for the good times you had together that you’ll cherish, for the bad times he caused you that will make you stronger, and even for the mistakes you made that he’s given you the chance with this breakup to acknowledge and learn from. (If your feelings are still too raw  for this kind of highly evolved spiritual stuff,  feel free to opt instead for drawing devil horns and silly mustaches on all your framed pictures of your ex.)

Figure out the practical changes you can make in your own life that will make you feel better about you, from the micro to the marcro, such as:

  • Get a new, cool haircut
  • If you’ve been wanting to lose some weight, do it!
  • Retail therapy is not a thing, unless you’ve just been dumped, so indulge.
  • Volunteer
  • Adopt a new hobby
  • Pursue old passions
  • Go back to school or take some adult ed classes
  • Proactively take the next steps to find your dream job

Basically, become the person that will make him rue the day he dumped you, should you ever randomly run into him at the grocery store a few years from now. (Please note: you should not be trying to run into him, you should not be doing these things for him, you should be doing them for yourself — his hypothetical rueing would just be icing on the cake.) For more details, see our post “10 Things That Feel Better Than Getting Revenge on an Ex.

You can certainly use all your current boiling hatred for him as fuel for pursuing these self-improvements, but only initially. As you start to grow as a person, you should feel less inclined to give a shit about this obvious loser who clearly didn’t know how good he had it. In fact, the ultimate goal should be not to care about where he is and how he’s doing — you may even wish him well one day, but you certainly won’t have the time or energy to spend wishing herpes and hemorrhoids on him. After all, you’ll have bigger and better things to concern yourself with than old what’s-his-name.

Hmmm, what is his name? Oh, can’t remember? Good! That’s the point.

Love,
Em & Lo

Writing really helps:
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8 Potty Habits That Will Improve Your Sex Life

Let’s talk about poop, baby — the most ordinary of bodily functions, yet the one most mired in shame and lame Freudian stages. We’re all victims of evolution’s big cosmic joke: the placement of the body’s waste disposal system right next to its biggest pleasure receptors. No wonder sex is often considered dirty!

One of the keys to great sex is body confidence, which you certainly won’t have if you’re worried about toots, ill-timed poops, or skid marks (yes, we’re talking about adults here). There are 8 simple steps you can take to keep your pipes clean and in good working order for whenever your two worlds of  plumbing and pleasure collide (yes, we’re talking about butt play here, though really any sexual genital endeavor can benefit from the below).

 

1. Up Your Daily Dose of Fiber

It’s not something that young people often consider, but it can revolutionize your bathroom experience. You’ll make personal works of art that are firm and solid, which means less road kill on your Hershey Highway and a clean exit. It’ll also make you more regular — so no more surprise bombs right when you’re ready to slip into something more comfortable. You can up the fiber in your diet with foods like bran flakes, broccoli, raspberries, avocado and beans (though the latter may create other problems, see #2). But if you want real results in just 24 hours, add a tablespoon of psyllium husk powder to your morning orange juice (shaken, not stirred).

 

2. Lay Off the Gassy Foods

At least in the 24 hours before any hot dates. Because the only thing worse than passing gas during rigorous intercourse, is passing gas while enjoying oral attention. According to webMD, here are the big culprits:

  • Beans and lentils
  • Asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and other vegetables
  • Fructose, a natural sugar found in artichokes, onions, pears, wheat, and some soft drinks
  • Lactose, the natural sugar found in milk
  • Fruits, oat bran, peas, and other foods high in soluble fiber, which gets digested in your large intestine
  • Corn, pasta, potatoes, and other foods rich in starch
  • Sorbitol, the artificial sweetener
  • Whole grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat

You might also consider taking lactase enzymes if you have trouble with diary products or “Beano” if you consume a lot of legumes (we’re looking at you vegetarians).

 

3. Wipe with Water

One of our favorite internet gems of all time from over 10 years ago (sadly our 5 second search for it turned up nothing) asked readers to imagine the following scenario: you go to some friends’ dinner party and, after the meal, watch the hosts clear everyone’s dishes, wipe them off with just some dry paper towels, and then put them away in the cabinets. You’d be horrified! You wouldn’t consider those dishes clean. And you certainly wouldn’t want to eat off them again. So why don’t we have the same standards for our butts? (Here’s another article that comes close to the first, and may just be an update of the original).

Dry toilet paper is certainly fine initially — it’s how you end that’s crucial. Water delivered in some fashion or another is essential. Here are your options:

The final option is the most affordable. Just be sure to replace with fresh water every day, no double dipping (obvs!), and invest in strong toilet paper that won’t deteriorate into dingleberries when wet.

 

4. Soap Your Starfish

Washing just your cheeks when you shower is not an option. You really gotta get in there. And we mean IN there. Suds your hands up with some natural soap and gently stick a finger (with a well-filed nail!) where the sun don’t shine — just one knuckle in is all you need. Repeat with water.

 

5. Use a Squatty Potty

You’ve probably seen the best commercial ever made:

The Squatty Potty is cheap and totally effective in reducing straining, increasing full elimination, and decreasing total time on the pot. You don’t want anything left inside you when you commence any hot monkey lovin’. Plus, hemorrhoids are not a fun sex accessory. So unkink your colon and squat when you go!

 

6. Use the Latest in Air Fresheners

Don’t ruin the mood with any unsexy smells wafting from the bathroom like an evil, green fog.  Tackle the problem before you go with a spray that creates a film over the toilet water to trap the smell of your “kids” once you drop them off at the “pool.” The first to make a name for itself was Poo-Pourri, quickly followed by Squatty Potty’s own Unicorn Gold. Poo-Pourri has an entire of arsenal of online ads (crass but clever), but the Squatty Potty Prince pushing poo-prod will always have a special place in our hearts.

 

7. Put Down the Lid Before You Flush

Yep, microscopic fecal bacteria can be dispersed in aerosol plumes created by flushing (the more roiling the water, the bigger the invisible poo spray). More research needs to be done on whether this can really transmit any disease, but all scientists agree that it’s just plain gross. Don’t ruin your pre-sex shower with a post-shower open-lid flush (though really, you should be doing your business before your shower).

 

8. Wash Your Hands for Chrissake

Always, every time. Even if it’s just for pee. At least 20 seconds of scrubbing with soap and hot water. Your partner wants an animal in bed, but not anywhere else.

 

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Mother’s Day Gifts That Scream “I LOVE YOU!”
by Shannon Ullman for YourTango

The best gifts for the best mom ever.

Celebrate the mother of your children by really treating her right. She may have pushed a baby out her vadge, so you better make her feel special. Mother’s Day is May 14th, giving you just enough time to start making dinner reservations and getting her Mother’s Day gifts. Having trouble deciding what to give her this year? Here is your Mother’s Day gift guide that will help you pick the perfect present.

1. Monogrammed Gold Tags

These gold tag necklaces are a great way for her to show off how much your family loves her. Get tags engraved with all her children’s names or get her one that sports her own pretty name.

(Tiny Tags, $755)

2. Yummie Leggings

Moms deserve to look hot when they head to Pilates classes or the gym. Grab her a pair of these sassy leggings so she can feel confident while she works out, runs errands or just lounges at home.

(Yummie Life, $60)

3. Away Luggage

Whether she travels or not, she deserves a good piece of luggage. From carry-on to extreme packing, Away has durable and long-lasting luggage that will ensure her trip will be easy and convenient. If she’s not a big traveler already, just having this luggage in her closet may inspire her.

(Away Travel, $295)

4. Pretty You London Slippers

Make her feel like a queen, even when she’s bumming around the house. Pretty You London offers an entire line of lounge clothing from robes and pajamas to slippers and shorts. Let her indulge in luxury at home.

(Pretty You London, $27.75)

5. Soap & Paper Perfume

All women like smelling good, which is why a new perfume may be just what she needs. Try the Pearl Eau de Parfum, as it smells like citrus and floral and is endlessly feminine.

(Soap & Paper Factory, $46)

6. Homesick Candle

These clever little candles are sold according to U.S state and are perfect for a mom who lives far away from the place she grew up. Get one that represents her home state to make her a little less homesick.

(Home Sick Candles, $30)

7. EO Grapefruit & Black Pepper Bubble Bath

Soaking in a good bubble bath with a book and a glass of champagne is every mom’s dream. Inspired by the warmth of black pepper and the soothing oils of lemon, this bubble bath is the perfect addition to any soak.

(EO Products, $12.99)

8. Lululemon All Day Tote

Like most moms, yours is probably on the go a lot. So, give her the gift of a reliable tote bag so she can always be prepared for wherever she needs to be.

(Lululemon, $128)

9. Kiehl’s Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream

This cream can help her feel and look her best. Give her a Mother’s Day gift that will help fight the damage done by time so she can feel young and vibrant every day.

(Kiehl’s, $60)

10. Malin + Goetz Mojito Candle

Just the word “Mojito” sounds fancy, and this candle will make her feel that way every time she lights it. It’s earth friendly too, which might make her feel even better about keeping it around the house.

(Malin+Goetz, $18)

11. An Espresso Maker

She deserves to feel like superwoman without having to leave the house for her morning pick-me-up. A personal espresso machine will be her new best friend every morning. Plus, she can feel super-fancy when she entertains her friends for brunch.

(Amazon, $152)

12. Korean Snail Face Mask

It might freak her out at first, but this collagen-boosting face mask from Korea is all the rage over there. She can give herself a spa treatment with an added touch of culture that will give her sparkling results.

(Amazon, $6.99)

13. Turkish Coffee Set

Is she a coffee addict? If so, this Turkish coffee set is not only adorable but cultural and interesting. It’s perfect for a woman who loves to travel.

(Etsy, $41.10)

14. Personalized Wine Rack

A personalized wine rack will allow her to display her collection in style. It’s cute and will give her easy access to her favorite bottle when she’s feeling in the mood (i.e. 5pm).

(Etsy, $29.80)

15. Coffee Scrub

It’s all natural and will leave her skin feeling super silky. The best part about it? It smells just like fresh roasted coffee.

(Etsy, $13.99)

16. Drip Coffee Brewing Pitcher

I hope she likes coffee, because there’s a lot of it on this list. Not only are these handmade coffee jugs adorable, but she can brew herself a fresh pot from anywhere in the house.

(Etsy, $95)

17. Me and Momma Whale Sweatshirt

Because whales are awesome and this sweatshirt is adorable. It’s simple, but it gets the point across. (Though hopefully she doesn’t think this means you’re calling her a whale.)

(Etsy, $40)

18. A Custom Printed Family Portrait

Because she probably has enough photos around the house. Get her this printed version of your family instead.

(Etsy, $40)

19. Best Mom Ever Spoon

Help her remember just how awesome she is with this engraved spoon. Whether she’s stirring sugar into her coffee or eating her oatmeal, she will know that her family thinks the world of her.

(Etsy, $16)

This article was originally published on YourTango.

What Your Wife REALLY Wants for Mother’s Day
(Or ANY Day)


MORE CONTENT FROM YOURTANGO:

Planned Parenthood’s 3 Ways for Protesting the New Repeal Proposal
The following is from Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

New healthcare attack, same plan.

House Republicans just took a bad bill that would result in 24 million people losing their insurance and actually made it worse. The latest Republican repeal proposal eliminates key protections for Americans, including protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It also continues — like the original Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bill — to gut essential health care that women rely on like maternity care, prescriptions, and hospitalizations.

This legislation is simply the worst legislation for women’s health in a lifetime. How do we know?

For one thing, the members of Congress who wrote it exempted themselves from all the rollbacks. That’s right: Members of Congress would continue to get high-quality coverage and protections, while other Americans could be discriminated against, charged higher prices, and lose maternity coverage.

Infuriated? Here’s how to fight back.

  • #1: Call Your Representative
    Use our easy online form to call your U.S. representative. We’ll provide you with a script so you can tell them to protect health care and stand with Planned Parenthood.

  • #2: Tag Your Representative on Facebook
    Do you notice when somebody tags you on Facebook? Chances are,  your answer is “yes” — and that goes for your representative, too. Our simple form automatically tags your representative and gives you time to edit the post.

  • #3: Tweet at Your Representative
    Every action counts  — even if it’s just a tweet. If you have Twitter, take a moment to tweet at your representative. Our easy-to-use form automatically finds your representative’s handle and provides a sample tweet if you don’t want to write your own.

What to Say to Your Representative

Wondering what, exactly, to say when you call your representative or tag them on social media? Don’t worry — all three actions above provide automated language. If you want to drive home the point that the American people do not want this bad bill, here are two additional talking points:

  • The American people want Congress to keep the protections in the Affordable Care Act:
    A ABC-Washington Post poll this week shows that 62% of Americans want to keep national protections that cover essential health benefits, and not allow it to be varied by state.
  • The American people also want Congress to stand with Planned Parenthood:
    20 nationwide and 12 state polls show that Americans oppose blocking Medicaid patients from care at Planned Parenthood health centers, as this bill would do.

The Legislation’s Dangerous Provisions

When you call or write to your representative, always feel free to point out the most dangerous provisions of the dangerous legislation.

Here they are:

  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bill eliminates the community rating provision, allowing insurers to charge people with pre-existing conditions an exorbitant amount for coverage.
  • Despite the fact that the proposal claims to maintain the current prohibition on gender rating, it still allows insurers to once again discriminate against women and charge more for health care services that women typically rely on.
    • Eliminating the community rating provision disproportionately affects women, since insurers can claim having given birth, having had a C-section, or having been a survivor of domestic violence is a so-called pre-existing condition.
    • For example, a woman who had breast cancer could be charged more than $28,000 per year for coverage and a woman who was previously pregnant could be charged more than $17,000 per year for coverage.
  • The repeal bill removes the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits (EHB)coverage standards, which is a direct attack on women of all ages. Women disproportionately rely on every one of the 10 EHB categories that ensure people get comprehensive coverage — not just maternity coverage — and would be disproportionately affected by the elimination of these services.
  • It would prohibit women from getting preventive care like birth control and lifesaving cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood health centers.
  • It would kick millions of women off their insurance.
  • It would reduce access to birth control.
  • It would impose a nationwide ban on private insurance coverage of abortion.

Stay informed:
Sign up for Planned Parenthood’s
email alerts!

Keep fighting the good fight:
7 Steps to Gender Equality
in the Bedroom

Dear Em & Lo, What Books Are a Good Intro to Open Relationships?

Dear Em & Lo,

I would like to find literature that I can give to my wife,  on encouraging her to pursue non-monogamous relationships, as this could be good for our relationship. We are a mature couple and I think she and we could benefit from this.

Thanks kindly,

Open-Minded

Dear O.M.,

First, are you absolutely sure you think a non-monogamous relationship will benefit you both? Or will it really just benefit you? Are you sure she’s into the idea too, or is this just your wish? In other words, is this a case of “I think it’d be really great for you if you let me sleep with other people.”

If you know she is genuinely open-minded like you and willing to explore the possibility of a non-monogamous marriage, lucky you — skip to the asterisk below.* But if you harbor any doubts that suggesting such a seismic change in the status of your relationship will be met with nothing but excitement and gratitude, then you’ve got to tread carefully.

In our society, marital monogamy is still the gold standard. For many people, the idea of their partner having sexual interludes with anyone other than themselves, even if they were to be permitted their own trysts, would be a source of great jealousy, stress and anxiety, sparking questions of self worth and — not to put too fine a point on it — the nature of one’s own reality. For example:

“Is our relationship not as strong as I thought?”

“Does my partner not love me anymore?”

“Is my partner not the person I always thought they were?”

When you broach this topic, start slowly, cautiously. Feel her out. Don’t just suddenly exclaim, “I want to open up our marriage so we can see other people.” Instead, ask her about her fantasies, if she ever thinks about other people.  Gauge her response. Reassure her you won’t be hurt by her natural curiosity about others. Maybe mention something you saw on TV that made you wonder if she’s ever thought about it. Frame it first as a possibility for her, not you. And be sure you make clear that the answer to the above three questions — even if they’re not explicitly asked by her — is a resounding “No.”

If she’s initially offended or outraged, it may just be a matter of having more discussions about it over time. Though, if she’s decidedly, constitutionally against it, that nagging could gradually erode her trust and good will. You’ll have to entertain the possibility that this just ain’t her thang. It takes a particular kind of evolved psyche (and a lack of the jealousy gene) not only to try open relationships, but to make them work long-term.  If she’s not one of these rarified creatures, then you’ll have to decide if you can live happily without extracurricular flings or if you’ll have to end things — because cheating is not a viable, ethical option.

*On the other hand, if she’s open to at least considering it, then here are some great books to start with. They’ll introduce you two to positive polyamorous philosophies and give you practical tips for opening things up conscientiously. (All descriptive text is from Amazon.)

THE ETHICAL SLUT
A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures
by Janet W. Hardy

For anyone who has ever dreamed of love, sex, and companionship beyond the limits of traditional monogamy, this groundbreaking guide navigates the infinite possibilities that open relationships can offer. Experienced ethical sluts Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy dispel myths and cover all the skills necessary to maintain a successful and responsible polyamorous lifestyle–from self-reflection and honest communication to practicing safe sex and raising a family. Individuals and their partners will learn how to discuss and honor boundaries, resolve conflicts, and to define relationships on their own terms.

 

OPENING UP
A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships

by Tristan Taormino

Relationship expert and bestselling author Tristan Taormino offers a bold new strategy for creating loving, lasting relationships. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over a hundred women and men, Opening Up explores the real-life benefits and challenges of all styles of open relationships ― from partnered non-monogamy to solo polyamory. With her refreshingly down-to-earth style and sharp wit, Taormino offers solutions for making an open relationship work, including tips on dealing with jealousy, negotiating boundaries, finding community, parenting and time management. Opening Up will change the way you think about intimacy.

 

OPEN
Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage
by Jenny Block

Finally, a book about open marriage that grapples with the problems surrounding monogamy and fidelity in an honest, heartfelt, and non-fringe manner. Jenny Block is your average girl next door, a suburban wife and mother for whom married life never felt quite right. While many books on this topic presuppose that the reader is ready to embrace an “alternative lifestyle,” Block operates from the assumption that most couples who are curious about or engaged in open marriages are in fact more like her — normal people who question whether monogamy is right for them; good people who love their spouses but want variation; capable parents who are not deviant just because they choose to be honest about their desires. Open challenges our notions of what traditional marriage looks like, and presents one woman’s journey down an uncertain path that ultimately proves open marriage is a viable option for her and others.

 

For a quicker start:
The 8 Do’s & Don’ts of Open Relationships

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