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Why He Didn’t Call or Text When He Said He Would

August 19, 2014

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Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Why didn’t he call  (or text/email/Gchat/et al) when he said he would?

Straight Married Guy (Matt): There’s a simple answer to this one: it doesn’t matter. Most women I know get very worked up over this, and it never helps anything. It could be one of ten thousand possible reasons, and there is no chance that sitting and discussing it with your friends ad infinitum or stressing about it is going to help anything. It might just be some reason that has nothing to do with you (family problem, work problem, some other unrelated problem), or hey, maybe he likes you and he scared off the last woman he liked, so he’s forcing himself to pull back a little — or maybe your worst fear is true, and he isn’t actually into you.

You won’t figure any of this out by sitting there and worrying about it or analyzing every tidbit of your last conversation or email exchange looking for clues, so what’s the point? My advice is to do everything possible not to obsess over the guy’s delay in calling. Distract yourself with whatever you can, even a date or flirtation with someone else if that’s what it takes. And if he never calls back, fuck him. At least you can feel good about not having wasted all that time sitting by your phone.

Straight Single Guy (Colin): Let’s be optimistic for a moment. Maybe he was debating how long he should wait to call so that he wouldn’t seem desperate. But now he’s waited too long and feels silly calling so long after the fact. Okay now let’s be realistic. Most likely this guy fell into the trap we all do sometimes, saying what we think we should say instead of what we actually think. Maybe the sparks weren’t there and he didn’t have the heart to tell you. Try to get in touch with him if you can. But if he’s still flakey, give him a quick kick to the curb and move on.

Gay Committed Guy (Terence): While tempted to say, “He’s just not that…” I think not calling is more likely because the alcohol has worn off and/or another woman is already on the side. When a guy wants to get laid, and let’s face it, if he’s asking for your number, then he’s that kind of into you, the first question running through his head after getting your number is why didn’t we just go home then? Calling sets up a whole ‘nother time-consuming process that sometimes just doesn’t seem worth it.

Personally, I think not calling takes real balls — not the good ones. Either you’re an over-confident prick, or you’ve got a girlfriend. You’re over-confident thinking you can get someone better (easier), or you know you may get a little somethin’ started and then have to emergency bail out of the situation. Solution: always, always take his number even though it’s just as shitty to wait around for him to return your calls.

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Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week they’re all a little shy.



What Are the Rules for Dating Your Friend’s Exes?

August 15, 2014

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As a general rule, we think it’s bad manners — not to mention bad taste — to date or sleep with a friend’s ex, a.k.a. “dating the floor model.” Why ruin a perfectly good friendship for a hook-up that, let’s face it, probably won’t last the season?

The ONLY way we think it’s acceptable to move in on a friend’s ex is to:

(a) wait until that friend has reached some kind of relationship closure;

(b) give the friend a heads up first so they’re not blindsided by the news; and

(c) only do this if you’re convinced that there’s some kind of deep love connection and that you’d be defying Cupid to ignore it.

Obviously the ex in question also bears the same responsibility, but whatever — we expect exes to act like assholes. That’s why they’re exes, after all.

By the way, before you swear up and down that this is Cupid-defying love: Make sure it’s not just a matter of the forbidden being all the more tempting, of obstacles standing in the way of love (or lust) –thereby making it all the more appealing?  We get it, we really do — that’s the nature of the beast. But there’s Romeo and Juliet, and then there’s Gossip Girl.

Remember, dating is hard enough on the heart when you and your friends have each other’s back. But when you don’t? It’s soul-destroying.

Want to get advice on your own love life? Click here to ask us a question!

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Dream Interpretation: I Keep Dreaming About My Old Classmates

August 15, 2014

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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:

All of my life I went to school with the same people, up until high school, when my family moved. So for eight years I had almost every class with the same 20 people, and these people from my childhood keep coming up in my dreams.

The dreams follow the same story line, where all 20 of us go on a field trip at our current ages (19/20). I always end up around my first ex and my first huge crush (J and B) and I always end up making myself look stupid somehow. (It may be important to note that I was always extremely nervous around J and B and I had a years-long on and off thing that wasn’t resolved before I moved).

Recently, there was a new addition to my dreams where, after the embarrassment, I find my old best friend, E, and we end up having sex somewhere quick, like a bathroom cubicle (I’m asexual and she’s bi). I just want to know why, after six years of not speaking to or seeing any of those people, I keep having dreams about them.

Lauri: It’s very common to dream of people from our past, even decades after the last time we saw them. The reason why this is, is because these various people leave an impression on us and become a symbol for some part of our self.

These people were a big part of your “coming of age.” So you may find that you dream of them whenever the idea or the question of getting into a relationship enters your mind.

The way you keep embarrassing yourself in front of them in the dream suggests that you are feeling embarrassed about some part of you in real life. Do you have a lot of concern about how being asexual may look to others? Is that something that is hard for you to share or explain? I would imagine that being asexual, whether it is something you are embarrassed about or not, could be a difficult thing from time to time, because of the societal pressure that you’re supposed to be in a relationship or at least looking for one.

What I think this dream is trying to show you is that the most important relationship you can have is being your own best friend (so many of us are way too hard and critical of ourselves, rather than being forgiving and supportive of our selves). That’s what your old best friend E symbolizes, the friendship you need to have with yourself: like yourself, enjoy your own company, forgive yourself, encourage yourself, etc. just as a good friend would. You have sex with her in the dream because sex symbolizes the merging of someone else’s qualities into yourself.

I think the fact that she is bi is also important. She’s attracted to both sexes, while you are not attracted to either. Society may be causing you to feel pressured to take on some sort of preference. I say for now, just focus on the friend quality that she represents and start working on liking all the wonderful, unique and even quirky things about you! When you like yourself, others can’t help but like the hell out of you, too!

 

Visit Lauri’s brand new 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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10 Quick Ways to Spice Up Masturbation

August 13, 2014

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We know that masturbation feels like an easy lay, but just because you’re a sure thing, doesn’t mean you always have to treat yourself that way. Here are 10 simple ways to spice up your old routine:

  1. Dim the overheads and light some candles
  2. Pour yourself a drink
  3. Take a long bath (with a nice waterproof accessory, perhaps)
  4. Moisturize your entire body
  5. Play that album you’d never admit actually turns you on
  6. Read the dirty parts of Anne Rice novels
  7. Watch an erotic film (if porn is a usual part of your wanking habits, try something a little different than you normally would)
  8. Fantasize about your Fed Ex delivery person
  9. Use the really nice lube you save for special occasions
  10. Take your time and tease yourself


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Dear Em & Lo: Can I Have an Orgasm in My Sleep (If I Haven’t Had One Awake)?

August 13, 2014

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photo via flickr

Dear Em & Lo,

It’s recently come to my attention that women can have orgasms while asleep, similarly to how men can have wet dreams. I was wondering: is it possible to have them before you’ve had an orgasm? As a 19-year old, I sometimes get turned on, but don’t do anything about it for fear of tearing my hymen and was wondering if I could at least experience an orgasm before I actually start having sex.

O-Curious

Dear O.C.,

First of all, why are you afraid of tearing your hymen? Often times the hymen gets stretched or further broken* long before intercourse for reasons that have nothing to do with sex: tampon use, gyno exams, lots of enthusiastic horseback riding, etc. This is no big deal. A hymen isn’t something that should be “preserved” or saved as a present for your husband to open on your wedding night. It’s vestigial tissue that you usually grow out of, with or without intercourse — the same way you grow out of crustless sandwiches and playing with dolls without really having to think about it.

You know another great way to “break” your hymen before sexual intercourse? Masturbation! If you sometimes get turned on, then you have every right to do something about it on your own. But even if you buy our argument against hymen preciousness preservation, we have a feeling you, O.C., might have some other issues with self stimulation: shame, guilt, prudishness, squeamishness, misinformation…Are we getting warm?

Well, we’re here to tell you there’s nothing wrong with a little quality alone time. In fact, there are only right things: satisfaction, stress-relief, bodily education, sexual confidence and autonomy, boredom abatement…the list goes on. As long as you don’t get so addicted to masturbation that you never leave the house and forget to eat (an incredibly unlikely scenario), then there’s no reason a healthy 19 year old shouldn’t do something proactive about her horniness, no matter what state her hymen is in.

As to whether or not you could have a sleeping orgasm before you’ve had an orgasm awake, the answer is yes. In your case, it’s possible to have so much sexual tension built up because you’ve refused to do anything about it, that your body might take advantage of your mind (and all its issues with sex) shutting down at night in order to get some much-desired sexual relief. Think of it as your body just going on auto-pilot.

As to whether or not you can experience orgasms (awake or asleep) before you’ve started having sex, the answer is another resounding YES! Yes, yes, yes, yes, oh, yeeeeeesssssssss! Again, we’re getting the feeling you’re under the impression that your sexuality doesn’t get ignited until some other person has sex with you. Not true. YOU are the owner of your own sexuality, and you write the manual for it. YOU are holder of the key that unlocks your libido. YOU are the master of your domain!

Women who masturbate regularly have more sexual agency in their relationships (once they choose to be in them). They know what they like, and aren’t afraid to ask nicely for it. They have open minds but know where their boundaries lie and aren’t afraid to defend them. They enjoy partner sex more, because it’s less intimidating and mysterious when you know your own body and how it works. In fact, their chances of having an orgasm with another partner are greatly improved! (Female orgasms from intercourse alone are not as common you might think — in fact, for a lot of women, those types of Os are non-existent. After all, the way a lot of guys have intercourse is often very different from the way a lot of women get off…but that’s a whole ‘nother column!).

Here’s what we suggest: Forget about your hymen, forget about Prince Charming coming to save your sexuality, get yourself a nice “my first vibrator” (for internal use or — if you’re still a little hymen-phobic — external use only), and have some sweet dreams while you’re wide awake!

Nighty night,

Em & Lo

*Hymens come in all shapes, configurations and thicknesses. The notion of an “intact” hymen is bogus, because most of them already have one or more holes in them naturally.

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Wise Guys: Do Men Ever Appreciate a Handjob?

August 12, 2014

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photo via flickr

Advice from four of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: I’ve heard that it’s not worth giving a guy a handjob because he can just do it better himself. Is that true?

Straight Married Guy (Jamie): Sadly, yes.  But I think the problem is just one of misconception on the part of most women.  In my opinion many women think, perhaps due to their lovers’ penchant for hard and fast intercourse, that a handjob needs to be a vigorous yank-a-thon.  Ladies, please, you’re not trying to inflate a bicycle tire here!  Despite popular opinion, the penis is a very sensitive organ.  And, with improper handling, and without lubrication, it can chafe.  The truth is, we’re just really good at it all by ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, we love it when you touch us and we appreciate the thought but, beyond a little foreplay grabby-grab, leave the heavy lifting to the professionals.

Straight Single Guy (Chris): The handjob is the single most underrated and underused sexual skill in the mix. I suppose it’s a self-fulfilling prophesy, that guys don’t like handjobs because they are generally bad, and girls don’t give them because guys don’t like them, so they never get any better at them. Well, I for one protest. A good, thorough, properly lubed, and sufficiently practiced handjob can be an amazing and deeply fulfilling sexual experience.

Let me be somewhat specific while trying not to be too crude. First of all, you have a range of options of position and technique, grip, pressure, lubricant, and speed. In my opinion, far more than with any other “technique.” You have significantly more control, drawing out the orgasm and the, how shall I put it, location of completion? All of the best blowjobs involve significant participation of the hands, so why would anyone believe the hands aren’t a good option on their own?

Please, please ignore the naysayers and their, “If I wanted a handjob, I’d give it to myself.” Practice, practice, practice, and cultivate this skill. Feel free to practice on me if you need to…

Just please consider the following:

1. Never, ever, ever do it dry, under any circumstances.

2. Consider aiming at yourself (anywhere, but some places are better than others) rather than at our belly buttons.

3. Try from behind and underneath. Trust me.

4. Control it. Bring it to the edge and back again. And again.

5. Don’t forget the surrounding area.

Straight Single Guy #2 (Joe): Absolutely, unequivocally, 100% NOT TRUE!  Any guy would much rather have a handjob from you than from himself. First of all, guys do it by themselves ALL the time, so having you do it makes it a special treat. Imagine running your fingers lightly over your own skin: it feels nice.  Now imagine someone you are attracted to doing it.  Much better, eh?  The physical act might be identical, but having someone else’s body heat / touch / scent / sounds / smile there and then not knowing exactly what they’re going to do adds so much more to it.

Gay Married Guy (Jon Ross): Nothing could be further from the truth, because there is nothing better than having someone do your work for you. While it’s true that guys can technically give themselves better handjobs than anyone else, it’s the thought — and effort — that counts. Gay guys don’t have a huge advantage over women here either: while having a dick does give you some insight into what works and what doesn’t, every guy is different and what blows my load may not get my man off. Personally I like a nice handjob to lead to a great blowjob, but if that’s not in the cards for whatever reason, a good handjob is wonderfully satisfying.

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Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Straight Married Guy is Jamie, a film editor in NY, our Straight Single Guy #1 is Chris DiClerico, and our Gay Married Guy is Jon Ross. To ask the guys your own question, click here.



BDSM Saved My Life, But Is Ruining My Near Perfect Marriage

August 11, 2014

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Okay, so this letter below from one of our readers is super long, and it’s not nearly as memerific as Kickstarter potato salad or photos of celebrities without makeup. But trust us, it’s worth the read. It’s from a man who is married to the woman of his dreams — they love each other’s company, they make each other laugh, they still have sex multiple times a day (even after six years), they can talk about anything, they have helped each other deal with past trauma… and yet something is still missing. We’ll give you a hint: It begins with K, and it’s the opposite of vanilla. Yep, once again, a kink imbalance threatens to ruin a near-perfect relationship.

If you have any advice or thoughts to share with this reader, you can leave them in the thoughts below. But we’re guessing you’re more likely to learn something yourself by reading this letter: What it means to compromise; what it means to really listen; the power of kinky sex to heal… and the power of kinky sex to divide.

I was reading these posts and had to drop in. I’m kind of sad and broken feeling right now. I have a wife who is a beautiful lady and best friend — seriously the one person in the world I can decompress with. But I have been spending all night researching divorce and psychology of dysfunctional relationship sites.

We’ve been together 6 years and honestly we always had sexual incompatibility problems but she is such a baddass that I stuck with it and compromised. I have had a lot of power play in my past as well as “vanilla,” though I hate that term.

I don’t need power play all the time, nor do I want it. I think there’s a time and a place. I don’t want to beat my wife or have her do what I say. I’d say 90% of the time in day to day life, I just defer to her judgment on things cause I love seeing her smile; the other 10 I instantly get my way cause she appreciates me giving her the rains most of the time. We don’t have kids, though we’ve tried. Stress for another day. Due to trying we have a ton of sex, and she’ll try almost anything I want.

When we started I was clear on my past. I was abused as a child. Not sexually, just choked out, bottles broken on my head, tossed down stairs. You know the usual… sorry, bad joke. I inappropriately joke a lot, wife does, too…we like it. Anyway.

I’ve never hit a woman though I have remodeled a couple walls next to them under extreme provocation. I met a Dom in my early 20’s and that was my first adventure into the world of kink. She was kind and cruel. Heartless and all encompassingly caring. Over time, she broke me down to the point I snapped and regressed to that scared little kid in a corner with the 300 lb gorilla cracking his bones over and over. But she’d bring me back. And did that over and over. One day I didn’t cry. Another I didn’t scream. Another I didn’t flinch and magically I lost my fear. I have not once even had to fight back rage since then.

See: My rage was really fear of being powerless. I thought power was either given or taken with no in-between. Now I know true power is restraint, courage, and conviction. The man who takes 5 to the gut but still defends his family and friends ignoring the pain, not the shooter. My dad had no power, just fear dumped onto a little defenseless child and his mother. My Dom gave me this gift and set me free.

I went back to vanilla — no, I’ll just call them straight relationships. I’m still friends with my Dom. We’re both doing awesome in life, kicking ass and taking money. Confidence and a lack of fear is awesome! All that said, I wouldn’t have married her. We just weren’t compatible in other ways. So back to the now.

At first my wife would try anything, but she isn’t into kink at all. In fact she loves sex but only quickies. Takes her maybe five min tops to get off then she’s done. She’ll let me finish but it’s all me at that point. She can have more but they hurt her — 3 or 4 and she’s hating life. She just seizes up too hard when it happens. Me, I’m an all-night man. Quickies are fun, but I love foreplay. She is getting better, but honestly doesn’t see the point. Her hitting on me is turning and saying we should fuck. I like dirty talk, and she tries that too but basically I need to tell her what to say most of the time and she always feels and sounds awkward.

But the biggest thing is the BDSM thing. We used to try. Couple times she started crying. I’d stop but she’d say keep going, get what you need. Sometimes I was like, fuck this (not out loud!), and tried to cool her down. She was broken for days thinking she failed. Couple times I was like, ok, I got this, and pushed her through it. No dice either. She basically said you’re an asshole and locked herself in the bathroom to cry… I don’t like feeling like I actually raped my wife.

I eventually stopped trying. I want her to smile. She doesn’t like blowjobs, or even me going down on her. All she wants is missionary or doggy quickies constantly. 2x a day on average. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

We fought a lot at first which for us is calmly talking — we don’t yell. And almost split, but settled on me going slow and her having time to grow into it. But she just instantly gives up and makes me feel it’s hurting her. Well that’s supposed to happen, but not that way, a bad way. This made me stop trying to push her and stop trying. But we stayed cause we’re as close to soulmates as I’ve ever even met in a woman anywhere. The best friend ever out of everyone.

But 6 years later our sex is stagnant. I have trouble keeping it up sometimes and mostly just get her off then just tell her I’m tired and we stop. It’s starting to distance us. I don’t even know how to talk about it anymore cause we have, over and over, and she always just says sorry, I’ll try harder, and nothing happens.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I can’t see BDSM as evil or an addiction: It saved my life. and I have friends that have entire play rooms dedicated to roleplay that have wonderful kids and happy compromising lives. To me, it’s a physical statement of love, saying, I want to control every aspect of you, you beautiful person. Or, I want to give myself to you cause you are the one I chose to control my everything.

I don’t think I can meet anyone like her again… but I know on this road I might eventually cheat, and I hate cheaters. Or I’ll just continue to die inside. Which I feel like I’m doing. Shriveling into slow isolation cause I can’t express myself the way I need to, to the only person I care to express myself to. I just can’t lose her but I can’t stay this course.  I can walk from anything but I can’t walk from her… or myself.

Share your thoughts on kinky sex vs. vanilla marriage in the comments section below.

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Dream Interpretation: Are My Dreams Telling Me He’s Cheating Again?

August 7, 2014

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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 am in a relationship of 4 years and have just had another one of these stupid dreams: I dreamt that my boyfriend is with someone else and I am seeing them together and then I’m going up to them trying to hurt him and he’s carrying on fine and doesn’t feel anything, like I’m invisible. Everything’s sad and loud for me — shouting, etc. Could this be my fear, and something to do with me? Or, as it’s happened before, or is it trying to tell me something else?

Lauri: This has everything to do with you and, in fact, this dream (which seems to be one of many) is trying to be brutally honest with you. Even if your boyfriend is being faithful right now, even if in his heart he knows he won’t cheat again, your dream is trying to make it clear to you that YOU have not healed.

In the dream you want to hurt him (I’m assuming physically) because in real life, deep down, you want him to understand the emotional hurt you still have. You are invisible in the dream because in real life you must feel like your concerns are invisible to him, or perhaps he is acting like his cheating in the past is now invisible. You are shouting in the dream because in real life you don’t feel you have been heard.

Since you keep getting these dreams, your waking life pain needs to be addressed. If the two of you can’t reach a place in your relationship where you are comfortable again, you may want to seriously consider if this relationship is worth continuing. A relationship should feel comfortable and your dreams are showing you that you are not. The dreams won’t stop until this is taken care of. Dreams do not lie and they try to help us be honest with ourselves. Good luck to you!

Visit Lauri’s brand new 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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Top 10 Things We Will Tell Our Sons About Sex

August 6, 2014

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Remember how we said we accidentally bred on the same schedule and both have six-year-old daughters? Well, we weren’t kidding about that breeding schedule — we also each have three-year-old sons. So it’s only fair that, after publishing the Top 10 Things We’ll Tell Our Daughters About Sex, we should write a follow-up list for our sons.

Granted, right now they’re mostly interested in Lightning McQueen, but their time will come soon. And then we will ask the same questions: What if our sons stumble across one of our books? What if one of their friends does during a playdate, and then tells his parents? (And what if it’s the unnecessarily detailed chapter on fisting in our first book, when we were still trying to prove how brave and unshockable we were?!)

We’ve already spent plenty of time thinking about how we’d like to raise our sons, and how we will talk to them about sex. Here are the top ten things we want them — eventually — to know and understand:

1. Don’t buy into macho sexual stereotypes.

First, losing your V-card doesn’t make you more of a man, so don’t rush it. When you have any kind of sexual relation for the first time, it should be because you and your partner both want to — not because you want to get it over with, not because everyone else is doing it, and not because you’re trying to prove something to your friends. Remember, guys who talk the loudest about sex either have the least experience with it, or the worst skills at it.

Those same guys may try to tell you that women who like sex or who’ve had more sexual partners than you are sluts. They’re wrong! And for the record, guys fall in love and want relationships as much as women do. So don’t engage in any so-called battles of the sexes: men aren’t from Mars and women aren’t from Venus — we’re all earthlings who should treat each other (and the sex we have with each other) with thoughtfulness, deliberateness, and respect. And if you hear anybody demeaning women or their bodies (e.g. with talk of “meat curtains,” “fish tacos,” “gaping axe wounds”), slut-shaming them, or pressuring them to have sex, then you have an obligation as a decent human being to step in and set them straight (not with brawn, with your brain). Oh, and real men wear pink with style, cry when they’re sad, and aren’t afraid to use lube and sex toys in bed, either.

And if we ever hear you use the phrase “That’s so gay” for anything other than describing light and merry pop culture from the fifties and earlier, we’re taking away all your screen privileges indefinitely.
 

2. Real sex is nothing like most porn.

Watching porn is not obligatory. Porn is a fantasy, and most of it caters to the assumed and narrowly defined tastes of a limited audience. In other words, what might turn men on visually in porn (jackhammering, facials, gang bangs) won’t necessarily feel good, either physically or emotionally, to your partner in real life. You should know that most women don’t look anything like porn stars — ditto for the guys…especially their equipment. Don’t try to measure your partners, or yourself, against what you see on screen. Women in porn (and men too!) get implants and cosmetic surgery (on their junk) and spray tans and full body makeup and anal bleaching and laser hair removal to look that way. In real life, labia come in all shapes and sizes (sometimes even different shapes and sizes on the same woman), in different shades, with different hairstyles. And the men in porn represent a small percentage of the population — they’re outliers in the size department, which is why they got the job in the first place! And those orgasms? More fake than not — even the guys, sometimes (Pina Colada mix, we’ve heard).

Basically, porn is a terrible place to learn about how to have great, satisfying sex, and what that kind of sex looks like. It’s an especially terrible place to learn about what women like in bed. A much better place to learn about sex — and we can’t believe we’re saying this — is one of our books! Fine, fine, if you just can’t go there (we get it), then we’ll find you another.

 

3. Oral should be reciprocal.

Other oral sex commandments, if you’re on the receiving end: Never push anyone’s head downtown. Never use their ears as a steering wheel. “Deep Throat” was the nickname of the Watergate informant — and that’s it! Basically, the basic rules of being a good person in general don’t end with oral: be respectful, communicate, and don’t have double standards.

 

4. If you have to get drunk to have sex, then you’re not ready to have sex.

Same goes for your partner — if they have to get drunk to have sex, then they’re not ready to have sex. In fact, if you suspect someone is drunk, zip your fly and go home. When either of you is drunk, you might not have safer sex. You might talk someone into doing things they’re not comfortable with — or you might do more than you’re comfortable with. You might sleep with someone you don’t even like. Have all your wits about you when it comes to sexual situations so you can make smart, informed decisions, and can give and receive consent.

 

5. If you’re not comfortable enough with someone to talk about safer sex, then you’re not ready to have sex with them.

Talk about your partner’s sexual history — and yours. Ask them if they always use barrier protection (condoms, oral sex dams) — and if they don’t, then don’t go there. And we don’t care if sex with a condom feels slightly less awesome than the alternative — it’s the only kind you’ll be having. But please know that condoms will not protect you from every S.T.I. — some infections exist on the surrounding skin, and sometimes condoms break. This, however, is no excuse to forgo barrier protection all together — they’re like seatbelts: they don’t prevent every accident, but they make driving a hell of lot safer (so make sure you always use both seatbelts and barrier protection!). It’s great if any female partners also use a back-up form of birth-control, like the Pill (but the Pill et al does not mean you can forgo the condoms!). Have we used enough exclamation points to make ourselves clear?!?!??!

 

6. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for directions in bed.

And it’s not “bossy” if a woman (or a man) gives you directions in bed. After your first few times, you might think you know how to please anyone in bed, but you won’t (even after years of sex, you won’t). Every partner will be different, and even the same partner will be different on different days. This is especially true of women, whose orgasms tend to be a little more elusive than men’s. But whoever you end up dating, guy or girl, you should be open and receptive.

 

7. Maybe you’re gay. Maybe you’re bisexual. Maybe you don’t know yet.

And it’s all good. Be yourself. And don’t worry too much about labels.

 

8. Nobody ever “owes” anyone else sex.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been dating, or how long you’ve been naked together, or how blue your balls are. It doesn’t matter if you two have had sex before, or if you partner has slept with ten people before you. It doesn’t matter if one of you just treated the other to dinner (or to oral sex). It doesn’t even matter if you’re half-way through some sexual act, including intercourse, and suddenly one of you changes your mind. Sex can stop at any time. It doesn’t even have to start.

 

9. That whole baseball thing is a terrible metaphor for sex.

Sex acts don’t exist on a checklist. Foreplay isn’t some discrete event that can be rushed through before the “main event.” Sex isn’t a linear set of steps. It’s not about keeping score or rushing to home plate. Sex is an amorphous conglomeration of hormones and touching and adoration and lust and pleasure and imperfection. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it (a million times) again: sex isn’t just intercourse, and intercourse shouldn’t be considered the culmination of sex. Oral sex is sex. So is manual sex. So is using a toy together. So is frottage!

 

10. Sex is awesome!

When you do it with the right person, at the right time, sex can be amazing. It can feel, like, really good. It can be fun and exciting, it can bring you closer to your partner, it can reduce stress, it can make you love a person more than you thought possible (though to be sure, love is not a requirement for sex — mutual respect, however, is). But sex isn’t usually awesome at first. Even when you’re head over heels in love and one hundred percent ready to do the deed, sex exists on a learning curve. That said, the better you know someone before you have sex, the more comfortable you will probably be figuring out what each other wants. Good sex requires practice. It requires knowledge about your body, and your partner’s body. It requires experimentation, and play. And it requires a sense of humor so you can both laugh it off when someone farts or queefs or gets an elbow in the face. Remember, there is no such thing as “normal” in bed — there is only what you like, what your partner likes, and what you’re both comfortable with.

Have fun, be safe, and remember: You can ask your mom anything. We’re, well, unshockable.

 

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Wise Guys: Why Do Men Like Strip Clubs?

August 5, 2014

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photo via Flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Why are some guys so into strip clubs? Do most guys buy into the fantasy that the stripper is actually enjoying herself — or don’t they care?

Straight Single Guy (Colin): Lots of guys aren’t into strip clubs. Probably more are kind of weirded out by them than you might think. For the ones who do enjoy an outing to the nearest nudie bar, it’s usually about the visual overload of the body parts we fantasize about all day long. Finally we can be praised for overtly staring at a woman’s breasts. We might imagine what women around us look like naked and a strip club is an opportunity to live the dream. It’s fun to pretend the stripper is enjoying herself, and some are at some times, but in the end it’s just pretending and most of us probably know — like a twelve your old who still plays into his parents leaving milk and cookies out for Santa Claus.

Gay Married Guy (Joel Derfner, author of Lawfully Wedded Husband): I’m not sure I’m really in a position to answer this, because I’ve worked as a stripper, and I kind of loved it. This is one way in which it’s much easier to be a gay man than a straight man:  you don’t have to worry that you’re objectifying female sex workers.

That said: I think the fantasy that the stripper is enjoying herself is exactly what makes strip clubs so exciting. Your average Joe is not the kind of guy at whom a gorgeous, scantily clad woman is likely to hurl herself. He’s just not attractive enough, or manly enough, or sexy enough, or powerful enough, or whatever enough. But the moment he walks into a strip club, gorgeous, scantily clad women start hurling themselves at him — a thing that couldn’t happen unless he were incredibly attractive, manly, sexy, powerful, and whatever. In a way the excitement isn’t about the woman in front of him at all; it’s about how she allows him to see himself.

Stripping has its own psychological rewards, by the way, at least for men who do it; these too come from how it allows the stripper to see himself. I have to imagine that stripping offers at least some of the same rewards to women who do it.

Straight Married Guy (Matt): Guys are into strip clubs because it’s not only visual stimulation, but it also changes the dynamic of who’s pursuing whom. In any strip club you’ll see the fattest, baldest middle-aged guy there being approached by women, each one asking if he wants a lap dance, with him waving off busty 19-year-old after busty 19-year-old, not giving most of them the time of day. Sure, most guys like seeing naked women, plain and simple, but it’s the flipping of the power dynamic that creates the strip club “regular” — the guy who gets blown off the most out in the real world and gets off on turning girls down (as well as having a 19-year-old ass grinding his package when he eventually gives one of them the nod).

Do we believe that the strippers are enjoying themselves? I think it’s a suspension of disbelief while you’re on the premises. So no, most guys who are inside the strip club don’t care in that moment if the strippers are enjoying themselves, and don’t allow themselves to think about it too much, or they’d lose their erections and head for the door.

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Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Gay Engaged Guy is Joel Derfner, author of Swish.To ask the guys your own question, click here.