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Once More with Feeling: Why He Didn’t Call

December 19, 2014

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cat_phonephoto via flickr

Dear Em & Lo,

I am interested in this man and I think he is interested in me.  I will call him if I am in his area and ask him to grab a drink with me and my friends.  This is usually last minute.  The past two times he was busy and it seemed legit.  However, he doesn’t ever make alternate plans.  I feel if he really wants to see me, he should try to see me no matter what.  What gives?

– Hung Up

Dear H.U.

Argh, don’t make us say it! Your letter is like a trap just to get us to write that stupid catchphrase! We really wish we could think of a more original response. Oh screw it, we’re just gonna go ahead and say it: He’s just not that into you.

Man, that feels good to just let it out. Overuse be damned, sometimes the commercialized old chestnuts say it best. Still, why do we feel so dirty? The only reason we’re being unoriginal is that so many daters — both male and female — are unoriginal in their lameness.

Um, are we supposed to pay someone royalties now?

We’d like to break it down for you and explain the nuance in our answer, but really, there isn’t any. You call; he’s busy; he doesn’t make alternate plans. There are a million things that could be going on… like, for example, he dislikes last-minute plans, he’s a very busy guy, he doesn’t like alcohol, he doesn’t like your friends, he doesn’t have your number, he’s just letting you take the reins, he broke his dialing finger. But every single one of these million things could be easily overcome if he was really into you.

Just not that into coming up with our own catchphrase,
Em & Lo



Dream Interpretation: I’m Christian and Chaste But Masturbate in My Dreams

December 18, 2014

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photo via WeHeartIt

Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means. Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it (18 and older only, please). This week, a reader asks Lauri:

I’ve been having the same recurring dream for a while about masturbating myself. Keep in mind I’m only 18, I have no intentions at all to masturbate, unless for my future husband’s pleasure, I’m not dating anyone, and on top of that all I’m a Christian. In the dreams I’m finding weird objects around my house that are straight and long, such as perfume bottles, bathroom items, and anything that resembles that part. My last dream was me not really masturbating, but weirdly taking pots out of my private part in my mom’s bathroom.

Lauri:  There may be a physiological as well as a psychological reason you are getting these dreams. Physiologically, the body needs sexual release. If that release is not provided while awake, the brain will instruct the body to release while in REM, resulting in sexual dream content. It is a healthy and natural thing, so don’t let it upset you. It’s perfectly normal.

Now let’s talk about the psychology behind these dreams! Masturbation dreams can also be the result of being pleased with oneself in waking life, hence the act of “self pleasure” in the dream. Have you accomplished anything lately or received accolades from others? If so, this is one reason why you have these dreams.

Now let’s talk about those pots. Rather than inserting them, you are removing them from down below… the opposite of masturbation. I think that dream reflects your aversion to sexual acts of any kind until marriage. Pots are used to heat things up, get thinks cooking, which is kind of what sexual activity does to our nether regions. You are removing the pots because your convictions dictate that there should be no heat in your little lady. I believe that dream is just trying to help you stick to your decision, so again, worry not.

Finally, remember that sexual content in a dream doesn’t mean you are cheating on your convictions! Rather, it is your mind and body working together to keep you on that path.

 

Visit Lauri’s site, WhatYourDreamMeans.com, for even more dream interpretations! If you want to be able to figure out your own dreams every morning, then check out her latest book, Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, which will give you the tools you need to become a dream expert, too. Check out all of Lauri’s books here.

 

 

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What Romance Novels Taught Me About Love (and Lust)

December 18, 2014

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by Aly Walanksy for YourTango | photo via WeHeartIt

Some people criticize the romance drama, but there are things you can learn from it.

Boys get their first taste of sexy times through Internet porn and nudie magazines—but ladies, we have erotica. Or, as the publishers like to call them, romance novels.

Now, I’m not knocking romance novels. In fact, my adolescent dream (tells you a lot about me) was to grow up and be a romance novelist. As early as junior high, I’d go to the library to “study”—and find myself in the Harlequin corner, looking for the latest enticing bodice ripper.

Not to say I had a dirty mind. I didn’t. I don’t. I don’t think, at least. But  much like my fascination with soap operas, romance novels opened my eyes into a world of fantasy, and romance. And obviously, sex.

For the uninitiated, most romance novels are fairly formulaic.  Every book has a central love story, which will undergo some sort of major conflict and be resolved by the final chapter in a way that is simultaneously sexually and emotionally satisfying.

While the overwhelming theme of romance novels is romance—as per genre classification, obviously—any worthwhile one is going to have a whole lot of sex. And chances are, it’ll be pretty darn explicit.

1. The old-fashioned notion of romance.
When I was growing up, romance novels were fairly traditional in their mindset. Yes, there was explicit sex—but it was never graphic. (i.e. He would thrust into her welcoming warmth with his turgid length, but never would any body parts be called BY ITS NAME), and there were certain old-school conventions that were never avoided.

Generally, while the man may possibly have more than one partner throughout the course of the book, the woman would only be with this one male protagonist, and usually, after they declared their love for each other in some big climactic way. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Ultimately, by the end of the book, they got married—or at the very least were engaged. Because, obviously. That’s totally what always happens, right?

This isn’t reality, but it was the reality of what publishers portrayed 15 years ago. As time went on, the new normal set in. But my mind was shaped by this bizarre erotic fairy tale view of romance and never quite escaped it.

2. Porn vs. Erotica is determined by presence of “feelings”.
I think the logic in the romance novels was that the development of the emotional relationship between the hero and heroine of the story made the sex an erotic portrayal of their feelings and not the porn it sort of was anyway. So what do we learn from this, ladies? Romanticize your torrid encounters. The better the sex, the more destined you are for a meaningful connection.

Movies, TV, romance novels—all have long subscribed to the notion that we are very susceptible to the seductive nature of the characters we fantasize about. And it’s true. My greatest fictional TV loves include Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Angel and The Tudors‘ King Henry VIII. They are powerful, controlling men with absolutely possessive seductive qualities. It doesn’t go away. And it’s a version of this man that I’m attracted to in real life.

3. The forever love of fantasy.
I’ve always also been very into historical romances, or those set in the supernatural realm. Those that involve queens and kings and vampires and ladies, all involved in deeply sexy (err…romantic!) situations. For these, we’re obviously suspending our sense of reality. But we’re also bringing our own reality into the fantasy. We may not fantasize about a vampire falling in love with us one day (at least I don’t, personally)— but those characteristics of the hero in that novel, it’s going to follow you into your dreams, and your alone-time fantasies for some time to come. And that’s great— maybe even some role-play ideas will come out of it!

4. Romance novels could be female porn.
But not in that way—obviously, we know men react to the visual while women react to the emotional. Erotica plays into this. Have women (and men, I bet!) gotten off to these novels? Absolutely. But I think it’s also about bringing the ideas of the fantasy into their own romantic reality. And that’s a whole other story. And maybe not a good one. If your mind is shaped by the fantastical sexual non-reality— can real life ever live up to it?

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This article originally appeared on YourTango.com



Dear Em & Lo: I Need a Gynecologist But I Can’t Tell My Mom

December 17, 2014

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Dear Em & Lo,

I have a BIG issue. I have been with my boyfriend for about a year and a half and something traumatic has happened three times now. On occasion, when the sex has gotten extremely heated and we are going at it, his member will slip out and pretty much stab me right above my vaginal opening. The first time this occurred there was so much blood and pain that I almost passed out. Now that this has happened three times (with about 3 months in between) I’ve noticed a large tear forming above my vaginal hole and I’m afraid its ripping my urethra. Even though I’m 20 years old I’m STILL not comfortable enough to tell my mom I need to visit the gyno because she is very anti-premaritial sex.

PLEASE help.

Thanks,

All Torn Up

 

Hi ATU,

We’re not doctors, so we’re not going to touch your genital problem with a ten foot speculum. But we will say this: You should definitely go to the doctor asap! You’re a sexually active adult, you deserve to see a gynecologist privately, and you have to take care of yourself.

As a 20 year old woman, you should have a gyno you’re seeing regularly, whether you’re sexually active or not — you have ovaries and a uterus and breasts that are all prone to disorders that have absolutely nothing to do with sex. Getting regular gynecological check ups at your age is just good sense, even if you’ve never been kissed! So making an gyno appointment does not automatically equate with sex — if your mother assumes so, she’s mistaken (she’s also mistaken about premarital sex, but that’s another article).

Frankly,  it’s none of your mother’s business what you’re doing (or not doing) sexually. What is discussed between you and your doctor is also none of her business. We normally wouldn’t condone lying, but if you’re mother is standing in the way of you getting the medical help you require and you need a cover, tell her you’ve been getting bad, heavy periods lately with lots of cramping. We’re assuming you can keep her out of the examination room with you? This will give you the chance to be honest with your doctor. And remember, there this thing called doctor-patient confidentiality: your doctor can’t discuss your situation with your mom if you don’t want her to (so make that clear!).

You could also go on your own, avoid your parents health insurance (and thus your mom’s involvement), and visit a Planned Parenthood near you; if you don’t have your own insurance, they can offer you services based on their discount fee scale, which many patients find very reasonable, especially when compared to other doctors’ offices. Good luck — and get thee to a doctor, stat!

Em & Lo

 

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What Men Really Think About Chivalry

December 16, 2014

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Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: “What do you think about traditional gestures of chivalry like holding open a door for a woman, holding out her chair at the restaurant, etc? You know, is it just the polite thing to do, are you annoyed you’re expected to do these things as if the woman’s a baby, does it make you feel good to feel like a caretaker, etc?”

Straight Single Guy (Chris): I don’t know how I compare to the rest of the world of single, straight guys, but I still open doors, hold chairs (though less often than the door), and buy dinners. I’m not exactly sure where in the realm of online dating and pornhub.com chivalry died, but it seems to me that all of my girl friends are going dutch or paying for meals on their dates. I’m not a rich guy, but if I can’t afford a nice dinner, I cook one. And if I can afford dinner, I pay for it. I hold doors open because it is the polite thing to do, not because I am stronger than my frail little trophy dates. Sometimes I help old ladies cross the street or out of a taxi. I carry stuff for people, men and women, and I say, “Thank you, sir” and “Can I help you, ma’am?” Maybe that makes me old fashioned, but I think it makes me fucking cool.

Gay Married Guy (Jon Ross): For me, at the heart of chivalry is respect and consideration and therefore it does play a role in gay relationships. However, chivalry does have very specific gender connotations that would be a little bit ridiculous applied to a gay relationship. I would be extremely put off if, for example, a date held out a chair for me at a restaurant. However, small gestures like holding a door for me, offering me a seat on a bus or train, or even offering me his jacket if I’m freezing would all be appreciated. In that respect both gay and hetero relationships are the same. However, guys can easily overdo it. No one should be treated like a frail and helpless object, rather with the respect and consideration everybody (well, most people) deserves.

Straight Married Guy (James Glazebrook): Yes, chivalry is antiquated but just like sonnets, bodices and horse-drawn carriages, it’s also romantic. I’ll always hold the door open for my wife, or carry stuff for her, or give her my coat when it’s cold — not because she’s a woman, but because I love her <sigh>. As for other women, I’ll hold the door open — I afford even men that courtesy — but, apart from that, they’re on their own. Pretty much all of the social conventions we haven’t done away with by now are those designed to get us what we want. Just like a salesman will shake your hand and say “nice to meet you”, the average guy is only going to lend you his coat if he wants to get in your pants.

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Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors. This week’s Straight Married Guy is James Glazebrook of Manflet, our Straight Single Guy is Chris DiClerico, and our Gay Married Guy is Jon Ross. To ask the guys your own question, click here.



Your Call: How Can I Enjoy Sex When I Was Taught Not To?

December 15, 2014

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photo via flickr

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

Dear Em & Lo,

I am a 26-year old-woman who lives in a country where women are under much more pressure, where rape rates are quite high, and street harrassment is common. My parents are very nice people and not that close-minded, but still — I have been raised with myths like sex hurts, you bleed, you become a wh… etc, etc. Still, I have to hide that my boyfriend sleeps over from my mom & from the neighbors.

Well, my problem is, I tried to have sex for the first time when I was 19, and it hurt soooo much that I couldn’t do it. I realised it was called “vaginismus” and I tried to get over it, trying to have intercourse attempts with different men (all end up with pain and tears), going to doctors etc. Recently, I discovered feminism and their sex tips, I bought an external vibrator, and had my first orgasm. I also could insert (once) a dildo with lots of lube. But only once you see. And I still have this problem where I even can’t insert a tampon.

Now, my problem is, I have a boyfriend who is really nice, but he is a really big guy, and he is a little bit hyperactive and impulsive, even when I say that what he does is hurting me, he sometimes doesn’t stop. He’s very keen to show his physical strength or whatever. Knowing I have lots of sexual dysfunction issues, that leaves me very angry and frustrated and closes me up even more.

On the other hand, maybe I could enjoy his enthousiasm if I was able to have sex. I really, really want to have a fullfilled, regular, good sex life and I know that deep inside, I can be that grown up girl who enjoys sex in every way. And I love this guy, so I want to continue my sex life with him. But you know, it is so ridiculous to ask this seeing I am 26, but I am afraid of his “size” and, more concerningly, his “rapey” manners.

How can I get myself to be normal and get rid of these issues? Thank you, and have a nice day!

– Love Hurts (But Sex Hurts More)

What advice do you have for L.H.B.S.H.M.? Share your thoughts in the comments area below.

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How to Write a Love Letter Like Georgia O’Keeffe

December 12, 2014

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“Blue Flower,” 1918

We’re not surprised in the slightest to discover that Georgia A-Flower-Is-Never-Just-a-Flower O’Keeffe was quite the steamy letter writer. Her love letters to the (ahem, married-at-the-time) photographer and modern art promoter Alfred Stieglitz were published as part of an exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art  a few years back. The two married eventually, and Stieglitz cheated on O’Keeffe eventually, too, so we guess karma already did all the judging for us. Which is not to say that you shouldn’t learn from (and take notes on) the passion conveyed in the following letter — it’s good stuff. We would just argue that, though more challenging, the same kind of intensity can be found in loving relationships that don’t have stakes-raising, taboo-tingling adultery at their core. We would also argue for better grammar and punctuation.

From New York

13 June 1918
You will be here in a few minutes I guess but I have to get up and write you – its necessary – I must – I’ve been lying here listening for you in the dark – my face feels so hot Aching for you way down to my finger ends – an actual physical ache –
As I came up the street into the sunset after supper – I wondered – can I stand it – the terrible fineness and beauty of the intensity of you – I do not know – may yet have to run away – it seems almost too much –
…
And lying here – wanting you with such an all ache – not just wanting – loving – feeling – all the parts of my body touched and kissed – conscious of you
A volcano is nothing to it
No words I know say the hotness – consumingness of it
Still I some way feel I can be quiet when you come can control myself
Feeling it grow though—I seem to feel that the moment will come when I cant control myself when I’ll be blind and mad
…
The woman you are making seems to have gone far beyond me – Almost out of sight

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Four Things You Need to Know About Casual, Anonymous, Tinder-esque Sex

December 12, 2014

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by Aaron Kaplan for YourTango  |  photo via Flickr

Just as people were becoming more cautious about casual sexual encounters like anonymous sex and one-night stands, Tinder blew up on the “dating” scene, and people stopped being quite as cautious about risky rendezvous.

No one is saying you have to be a total prude when dating these days. Just because you’re being careful doesn’t mean that you have to take a vow of celibacy. You just have to use some common sense. For instance …

1. Skip the drugs and booze. These include such things as drug and/or alcohol filled parties where you don’t know a lot of people. While raves are usually attended largely by teenage and college-aged kids, there are many adults that like to pretend that they’re still teenagers. A lot of drugs are mood enhancers and act as aphrodisiacs. When you’re high and horny, you’re not going to be thinking about such things as condoms.

2. Wrap it up. Pregnancy isn’t the only thing you have to worry about when it comes to casual sex. There’s also the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). These run the gamut, from minor tempororary discomfort (like crabs) to infections that never go away (herpes). Some are even deadly, like human papillomavirus (HPV). Your random romp in the sack is the equivalent of playing Russian roulette.

3. Know thy partner. Anonymous hookups can be exciting and even fun, but it can also be one of the more risky behaviors anyone can engage in. You have no clue about the person you’re having sex with, and a lot of the encounters don’t even involve condoms. Worst-case scenario: Your hookup is a rapist or a a serial killer.

3. Bottom line: If you decide that your type of sex simply has to be kinky and risky, use some sort of protection against exchanging bodily fluids, even though it may not be 100 percent effective at protecting you against an STD, it’s better than nothing. And always make sure someone knows where you’re going. You certainly don’t want to become a victim of something simply because you wanted a little excitement.

This article originally appeared on YourTango: “The Tinder Factor: The REAL Risks Of Risque Rendezvous”

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Wise Guys: When, If Ever, Is Cleavage Unsexy?

December 9, 2014

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photo via Flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: We know that men love boobs, but is there such a thing as too much cleavage? At what point — if any — does it become tacky to guys? Is it all about the situation and context?

Straight Married Guy (Matt): Yes, I guess there’s such a thing as too much cleavage. If I took a date to a wedding and she rolled up with 3/4 of her boobs out, I’d be a little embarrassed (and, okay — it’d probably turn me on at the same time). You see, my inner ape is endlessly fascinated with boobs, and seeing cleavage is always appreciated. But sometimes it’s inappropriate or tacky. I think all guys are a little schizophrenic about this. It’s like, man, that is a ridiculously cheesy outfit… but I wish I could see the rest of those boobs.

Straight Single Guy (Colin): I fall in love all over again with cleavage each day, but I guess when you really get down to it, there are a few specific contexts when it’s time to cover up. The scenarios are hard to distinguish. If you’re meeting my family, it’s a no-go on breast exposure, whereas if you’re meeting my co-workers, it’s totally okay. If we’re going to dinner, take them out, but if it’s Sunday brunch you might want to keep them concealed. If you’re a woman with real class, you’ll always find a way to pull it off. But please, double check with a friend who’s not afraid to hurt your feelings before you try something like J-Lo’s 2000 Grammy dress. Read the rest of this entry »



Your Call: Is My Boyfriend Secretly Gay?

December 8, 2014

4 Comments


photo via Flickr

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

Dear Em & Lo,

What are signs that your boyfriend may be secretly gay?

– Beardy

What should Beardy do? Leave your suggestions in the Comments section below.

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