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Your Call: Does a Blowjob Still Count, Even If You “Finish” with Intercourse?

May 27, 2015

1 Comment

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. 

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I prefer to give head for a while, and then hop on to finish the deed. Is it still considered a blow job if he finishes during intercourse? I guess I’m mostly interested in the male perspective. 

– Breeze Job

What should BJ do? Leave your advice in the comments section below.


Men Who Hate Receiving Blowjobs: Yes, Reader, They Exist

May 22, 2015


Dear Em & Lo,

I’m a guy and I hate getting blowjobs. Maybe it’s because I had a few too many bad teeth-to-johnson experiences or I’m just a little too sensitive down there, but when a girl starts kissing me all the way down, I grit my teeth and prepare for the worst. It’s finally to the point where I simply flat-out tell the woman whose head is drifting that way to save the energy for other things. The only problem is, now I’m in a committed relationship and my girlfriend feels like it’s her fault I don’t like it, which is entirely untrue. She says she feels guilty when I go down on her and she can’t get me off in return. I’ve been very clear about it but occasionally she will try to surprise me with a “gift” BJ, and I don’t have the heart to tell her no, even though it usually ends up leaving my johnson useless and uncomfortable without any of the pleasure I’m sure other guys get from it. How can I keep her from going down on me? And please don’t tell me to count my blessings because every guy would love it. I’m a guy and I do not.

– Sam I Am

Dear Sam I Am,

Wow. Consider us speechless. We hate to make generalizations when it comes to sex, but if we were forced at gun-point to make just one generalization about sex, it would probably be that every guy enjoys receiving oral sex. And we’re pretty sure that our Wise Guys would have our back there.

But then here you are, and you do not like them, Sam I Am. Not in the dark! Not in a tree! Not in a car! You let me be!

Sorry, we’ll stop now. We’re sure that a useless, uncomfortable johnson is no laughing matter to you. It’s just that, as Julia Roberts once said, very few people surprise us. [Editor's note: Em inserted that Pretty Woman reference; Lo takes zero responsibility for it.]

As far as our advice goes, we’re afraid it’s pretty simple: You’ve got to be blunt and tell your girlfriend, Dr. Seuss-like, that you don’t like BJs ever. Anywhere. On any occasion. You’ve got to be even more clear than you’ve already been. Keep repeating, over and over, that (a) you’re extremely sensitive and it actually hurts, and (b) this has always been the case for years and years. Reassure your girlfriend that the lack of oral in your life doesn’t bother you at all, and that you don’t feel like you’re missing out. Oh yeah, and make sure she knows that you actually like going down on her — it’s no duty, and you don’t feel like you need to be “repaid” for all your hard work down there.

That said, perhaps you can think of a different nice thing she can do for you in bed, for those times when she really wants to treat you. We understand how the lack of oral sex reciprocity might bother her — bless her, she’s obviously internalized the golden rule of sex! But explain that there are other things she could do that would make you much happier and more turned on. Like, for example…well, that’s your department. Perhaps it’s a back massage or a light spank on the bum or a nipple tweak or just a certain position you really dig. Basically, you need to let her know what sort of “gift” you’d enjoy.

Your only other option is to take advantage of this opportunity of being in a committed relationship and make double-extra-sure, via experimentation, that you really don’t like any blowjobs. If it really is a matter of too many bad teeth-to-johnson experiences, then perhaps you can coach your girlfriend toward a BJ that works for you. After all, one of the upsides of a committed relationship is that you have plenty of time to practice and communicate your needs. Perhaps you could tell your girlfriend that you’re super-super-sensitive and have never enjoyed oral in the past, but if she’s willing to try a few different techniques, you’d be willing to lie back and be her lab rat. (And yes, we realize that 99.9% of the male population is currently laughing out loud at how preposterous this scenario sounds.) Tell her to steer clear of the extra-sensitive head, and to start with soft kisses and gentle licks around the outside, not even attempting to put your sensitive specimen in her mouth yet. Take small steps together and maybe you’ll start to enjoy them a little more. We say this simply because, from what we hear, BJs are a pretty fantastic experience for most men, and it’d be a shame if a few bad experiences in the past caused you to miss out on them for the rest of your life.

But, then again, no pressure. There’s no rule that says you have to like blowjobs. Plenty of women could care less about receiving cunnilingus, though they seem to have an easier time skipping it — perhaps because their partners aren’t quite as giving as your girlfriend. And, of course, plenty of women don’t like giving blowjobs (and would probably line up to date you should things not work out between you and your current GF). So while we’ll resist telling you to count your blessings because your girlfriend wants to give you a BJ, we will tell you to count your blessings because you have an awesome partner who wants to please you in bed. Now it’s up to you to let her know how she can do it. And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed.

Seussily yours,

Em & Lo


Your Call: What Porn Will Get the Girlfriend Seal of Approval?

May 18, 2015


For two women who make their living writing about sex, we know surprisingly little about porn. We certainly have a lot of opinions about it — about compromising on it in a relationship, for example. But when it comes to the specifics — names of directors, recommended titles, decent actors and storylines, etc. — we mostly come up blank. It’s just never really been our thing. And if porn is not really your thing, then it’s incredibly hard to sit through more than a couple of minutes of it. You know, if you’re just in it for the writing or the acting or the plot points.

But we’re always being asked to recommend porn to people — especially to couples. Guys want to know, okay, so if my girlfriend and I are compromising on porn, what movies might my girlfriend be okay with. And women often want to know, okay, so if we’re compromising on porn, what movies might be fun for us to watch together?

So, dear readers, help us out! What porn movies have you seen that might pass the wife or girlfriend seal of approval? (We’re thinking decent plot lines, equal opportunity objectification and sexual satisfaction, not-too-terrible acting, etc.) And what movies might be good for couples to watch together? Speak up, porn aficionados! Leave your suggestions in the comments section below. We promise not to judge…


photo via flickr

Your Call: Why Won’t He Get to Know Me?

May 11, 2015


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. This woman asked her question in the comments section of the post How Often Do F-Buddies Become Girlfriends? Tell it to her straight in the comments section below. 

Dear Em & Lo,

So I started talking to this guy on a dating app. He seemed so interested at first. Conversations could have been a bit inappropriate looking back now, but at the time they were so exciting! We went out on our first date to a members only club. Which made me think “Ok, it’s good that he’s not hiding me.” We had three other dates but they were very spaced out and all three he would invite me over and cook for me. We spoke about our families, he’d talk to me about his friends like I knew them, we spoke about our ex’s for a minute or so, I learnt that he had got out of a one year relationship 3 months prior to us talking. We slept together on the fourth date. I really like him and we clicked so well when we were together, but then he wouldn’t talk to me until the next week when he’d want to see me.

One day he tried to make a joke out of wanting to sleep with me, I took it the wrong way and said I wasn’t only looking for someone to sleep with and if that was the case maybe I should take a step back. His response was “I hadn’t thought that far ahead!” What does that even mean?!

I tried to call him to explain what I meant, as I wasn’t looking to rush into something, I just wanted to go out and do different things. He picked up but said he was in the middle of something and would call me back… Of course he didn’t. I took the advice of a guy friend of mine and sent him a message the next evening to diffuse the situation. I said [things] got a bit lost in translation and there was no drama and I asked what his plans were for the evening. He responded the next day… Basically just saying that he was ill but was going to an event he had to attend that night but was just going to lay low. I took that as he was only going to invite me over if I was going to see him. I told him to enjoy his evening!

He texted a couple of days later saying that he was at work and was going to chill and watch a movie at home after work and said I was welcome to join. I told him I was not up for that but I didn’t mind going out for a drink! He said he would text me once he finished work. He texted me later than when he said he would to say that he was running late and let’s rearrange.

Of course I was annoyed but just said perhaps after I’m back from my trip. His response was “sure x.” Thing is he hasn’t asked about me or contacted me since. I don’t know how to deal with this guy, I don’t get why I’m not being given a chance, I’ve never been in a situation where a guy hasn’t wanted to get to know me. I think about him a lot but I don’t want it to just be about sex!

I’d love to hear your advice.


What advice do you have for LouLou? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Your Call: How to Tell Your Husband It’s Okay to Ravish You (a Little)

May 4, 2015


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. 

Submit Your Own Question to EMandLO.comTry Our New
*PRIVATE* Advice Service!


Dear Em & Lo,

I’m just about as open as u can get when it comes 2 sex w/ my husband. I’m the one pushing toys, anal play . . . I’ve noticed that it turns him on when I say “ouch” or “please.” His arm creeps around my neck and I go w/ it, biting him, feeble “faux” struggling.

I trust him. How can I tell him that it’s ok if he likes to fantasize about these things? I wouldn’t mind a little pain at the right moment, but he has 2 learn when I’m ready. I was raped and I think he is afraid of pulling that up but we’ve been together 15+years (since 16) & I know he will never do anything I don’t want him to.

I love it when he pulls my hair/bites my neck/shoulder. So how do I bring this up so we can set up cues 4 when I’m ready and when it’s 2 much?

– Take Me

What should T.M. say to her husband? Leave advice for her in the comments section below.


Your Call: How Much of a Factor Is Height in Male Attractiveness?

April 27, 2015


photo by Ranjit Laxman Photography

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. 

Submit Your Own Question to EMandLO.comTry Our New
*PRIVATE* Advice Service!


Dear Em & Lo,

I read a study that said 71% of women will not look at a guy if he is under 6 foot tall. I read another study that said men who are 5’9 and under have more sex than men who are 6 foot and up. Any idea on who’s lying here? If women are attracted to men who are only 6 foot plus, then why is the average U.K height for a man 5’9? Surely, shorter and/or weaker men, should have died out by now…?

- ISO Perspective

What should ISOP do? Leave advice for him in the comments section below.



Why You Should Dump Someone Who’s Perfect for You

April 24, 2015


Dear Em & Lo,

I am 23 years old and A, my boyfriend of four years, and I are currently four months into a long-distance relationship until I graduate from my university this summer and move across the country to be with him. I recently connected with J, a guy that I was seeing five years ago. Back then, J and I never went any further than making out and never dated, since he graduated from our university soon after we met. We reconnected and I am really into him. I spend more time talking to J than A and we have a lot of things in common. One night and several drinks later, J and I ended up making out.

I have never cheated on my boyfriend before, but instead of feeling guilty about cheating on him, weeks later I can’t seem to get J off of my mind. I’ve been in two long-term relationships since I was 15 (the first boyfriend was for 3 years) and I haven’t been single for more than a few months since the time I’ve been allowed to date. A wants to propose and I’m not ready for it, but I don’t know how to tell him this without hurting him.

Overall, he is everything I want in a man, but he doesn’t know how to satisfy me sexually anymore and has gotten really lazy in the bedroom despite the fact that I tell him about this a lot. I also feel really inexperienced because I’ve only been with two guys my entire life.

How do I know my current fling with J isn’t just lust? Do I just have expiration dates on guys of about three to four years? How do you know if you should end a long relationship to move on?

– Torn

Dear Torn,

Let’s just review:

  • You’re 23.
  • You’re in college.
  • You’re in a long-distance relationship while you’re 23 and in college.
  • You feel like being with only two people makes you “inexperienced.”
  • You’ve never really been single.
  • Your boyfriend, who we’re assuming is also in his early 20s, has gotten lazy about sex?!?
  • You cheated and can’t stop thinking about the other guy.

This is an easy one: it’s time to break up (or at least take a break). You’ve got a lot of living to do and you certainly aren’t ready to get married. We’re not suggesting that there’s something inherently wrong with getting married young or with only being sexually intimate with two people — for some people, that works. But if the tone of your email is any indication, it’s not going to work for you…

Don’t feel pressured to stay in this relationship because you feel guilty about cheating, or because you feel like you’ve already invested so much time in this relationship, or because A is a great guy. He’s just not great for you — at least not right now.

The only fair thing to do — for both you and A — is to tell him you need to take a break from the relationship (which means the possibility of seeing other people, for both of you). He may break up with you right then and there. You guys may break up permanently in a few months. You might get back together ten months or ten years from now, when you’ve both dated other people and realized that you were in fact perfect for each other. Or maybe you’ll meet someone who convinces you that breaking up with A was the best thing you could have ever done. Maybe just being alone for a while will convince you of this. Just give yourself a chance to try something new.

Tough love,
Em & Lo


photo via flickr

Knowing When to Talk to Your Partner… Or Your Therapist

April 20, 2015

1 Comment

The following letter from a reader is really long. Like, really long. (And this is the abridged version!) But we’re publishing it here because we think it raises a really interesting, important question about relationships: How can you tell when you’re talking too much? And how can you tell when you need a therapist as well as just a partner to talk to?

For people who were blessed with a functional, happy childhood and/or stable mental health, the question probably doesn’t come up too often. But for people who are in therapy, or think they might need therapy, or who have come a long way in their life thanks to therapy, it’s an important question.

It’s easy to use a partner as a therapist. They’re free, for one thing! And they love you (one would hope), they have your back, and, unlike your therapist (again, one would hope), they can spoon you, too. But is there a line you shouldn’t cross when it comes to talking through problems? And how do you know where that line is? Is it a matter of content? Or is it simply a matter of how much time your partner spends listening vs talking?

Share your thoughts on this topic in the comments section below. Also, we highly recommend reading this letter we received, which does a great job of illuminating the way that this issue can rear its ugly head in relationships.

Dear Em & Lo,

A year ago, my first long term relationship of five years ended very badly. In retrospect, the relationship had a number of red flags early on. Both my partner and I had emotional issues due to abusive parenting. However, I now believe that my openness to explore these issues and receive therapy whilst in the relationship lead me to become the scapegoat for his problems, on top of trying to deal with my own. 

Towards the end it got very bad. I was trying hard to receive more help with my emotions, with a growing sense that “everything was my fault,” an idea that was supported by my ex-partner, who would diagnose me with mental health conditions that the doctor did not agree with. My ex once showed me a letter he’d written to his dad in which he declared himself to be a “full-time carer to a partner with clinical depression.” This was a couple of years after I had got back to living life following acute OCD and depression (due to two abortions I’d had, encouraged by my ex). My doctor had just clarified that he did not feel I was suffering with clinical depression. My ex-partner was definitely not a full-time carer for me.

Since our breakup I have found such reserves of strength in myself that I didn’t know existed. I have developed some amazing friendships, the kind that were belittled by my ex, and I have just completed my second course of CBT. The therapy was aimed at food-related psychological problems, however, we ended up talking a lot about boundaries, assertiveness and my unwritten rules developed as a child in an abusive environment. I can see that many of these issues had become huge problems in my last relationship, as I had little understanding of boundaries, and experienced a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty throughout the relationship. I have been working to instil the belief that my feelings are important too, as survivors of abuse can typically learn to overlook their own feelings in order to navigate the feelings of their abusers, in order to check for signs of danger, or other people’s mood changes. This has been all been helpful, and I feel stronger, more positive and able to care for myself in a way that is new and exciting for me. The therapy ended last week, and my therapist has discharged me with a recommendation to my doctor that I would be suitable for further therapy, as we couldn’t go too deep in our sessions. She has praised me for working hard and making progress by using the sessions well, which is heart warming, as she has correctly identified how much of an important journey it is for me to work towards self-love and self-support.

Recently I decided to open myself up to dating again, and over the past two months I have been building a new romantic relationship. Early on we were very open about our emotions and history, which feels really good to me, and he has observed my need to be open and talk about how I feel in great detail. We do have a lovely time but he has explained that he feels like he is in therapy with me, and that he can’t feel as many moments of effortless joy and relaxation that he would like in a relationship. It is early on in this relationship and I feel I have been displaying an excess of hyper-vigilance because the foundations are not set. I do have anxiety about not looking after myself, ending up in an abusive dynamic and not reading signals properly, which I am beginning to regard as hyper-vigilance. This can come through in behaviours such as being hot-headed and reactionary, even though I am aiming to be calm and assertive. Talking really helps, as when I can understand little things that my partner is experiencing that affect his mood, I can relax to know that it is not my fault. 

It is becoming clear to me that I would like to be with a partner who is comfortable with the level of work that I have done and will continue to actively do with myself. In my mind, this is beginning to translate as someone who has a good understanding, or experience of, self-awareness, or therapy, and is someone that is working towards their most positive self, with whatever issues they might harbour. I would like to be with someone who shares and understands my need to communicate, yet I would also like to pursue strategies for myself in how to deal with my hyper-vigilance, and to manage healthy boundary awareness, in order to minimise over-communication, emotional exhaustion and burn-out, which I feel I may be guilty of.

For the time being, I am not afraid of being alone in order to do more work on myself, however, I am also aware, since this recent relationship, that some of the work I would like to do on myself might only come up in a close intimate relationship. Right now I plan to keep loving myself, being kind, journaling thoughts and feelings, taking care of my body and continuing to apply the boundary and assertion ideas recently taught to me.

Is my dream of finding a partner who can accept me as I am unrealistic? How do I navigate the issues that I experience, and my history, with a partner? Should I seek more therapy now, or wait until I “need” it? Which kind of therapy might be best for the issues I have raised?

– Saffy

What do you think: How can you tell when you’re talking too much in a relationship? And how can you tell when you need a therapist as well as just a partner to talk to? Have you been on either side of this situation yourself? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


Your Call: Should I Have a Fling with My Long-Distance Boss?

April 13, 2015


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. 

Submit Your Own Question to EMandLO.comTry Our New
*PRIVATE* Advice Service!


Dear Em & Lo,

I recently got out of a 3 1/2 year relationship. For the last year, our sex-life was basically non-existant, so now that I am “free” I am horny as hell.

A couple of weeks ago I got back from a business trip where I met a fascinating guy. He works in another branch of the company and lives 400 miles away, but technically he is my boss/ superior at work. Lots of flirting occurred and was followed up by a heavy make out session on our last evening. However, nothing more happened because I was still in the middle of my breakup.

Since I got back, we have been emailing or texting almost daily, and now he has invited me to come visit him for a few days in summer. He has made it quite clear that he is not the relationship type, needs his space and generally doesn’t do long distance, but that is fine by me. Right now, I am not interested in a relationship and am actually enjoying being “just me” for a while. I just love the way he makes me feel…

Most of me really wants to go and just have an amazing sexy weekend together, but I can’t help thinking that I am playing with fire here. In the fall we will be going abroad on another business trip together for six weeks to work on a project that is very important for my career. Am I being incredibly stupid, putting my career at risk with this fling? What if the chemistry we felt fizzles once we spend some days one on one? Is there a way I can avoid future awkwardness with a pre-emptive conversation? What do I say? “Promise me whatever happens this weekend won’t affect our professional relationship” sounds pretty lame and I doubt it will change anything…. On the other hand, backing out now seems pretty awkward as well, and I’m not sure how to do it elegantly…. 

I don’t feel I can talk to my friends about this because my breakup is so new and everybody loved the ex… Please help me solve this mess!

– Boss or Bail?

What should BoB do? Leave advice for her in the comments section below.



What to Do When You Like a Guy… Until You See His Penis

April 10, 2015


photo via flickr

Yes, yes, we know. This advice question will make a lot of people — especially men — mad. We almost didn’t publish it for this reason! But we felt it our duty to set this woman straight. Feel free to weigh in below, in the comments section, but let’s keep it classy, people! And if you have your own question to ask us, submit it here.

Dear Em & Lo,
About six months ago I broke up with my boyfriend of 18 months and have recently met someone new. The other day the new boy and I were engaging in some hands-on action which led me to discover that he nowhere near measures up to my ex. The new boy was around 4-6″. My problem is that I’m really worried about having sex with him because my ex was over 8″. I feel really disappointed and I know that 8″ is a high bar that’s been set. Am I bad person or should I go looking for something more? Why can’t good-looking men come with the measurements of their penis tattooed onto their wrist or something? The problems and surprises that would solve..

Dear Sizeist,

We almost didn’t print your letter because of the emotional damage it might inflict on insecure men everywhere. It’s the secret fear that everyone — male and female — experiences at some point in their hook-up life: Am I being compared to their ex(es)? And if so, am I failing to measure up?

But on behalf of all the average-sized men out there, i.e. the vast majority of men, we think you should give Mr. 4-6″ a chance. It’s not like you’ve dated a string of 8″ men and have discovered that only a super-sized schlong can satisfy you. (In fact, you need to understand that, statistically speaking, 8 inches is freakishly long). No, you just had one great experience with one 8″ penis. And this is by no means a guarantee that sex with a 4-6″ penis will feel only 50-75% as great.

For a start, men with big swinging dicks can get lazy in the sack, assuming that size is the only thing that matters. They may also assume that intercourse is the only thing that matters — and we all know how few women climax from intercourse alone; remember, orgasm achieved through non-penile means still counts as sex! Not to mention, you may suddenly discover new penetration positions that you really enjoy — positions that perhaps were not so comfortable with a larger specimen. Oh, and don’t forget that, when it comes to size, most women agree that girth is a lot more important than length, since the majority of sensation is felt in the outer third of the vagina, thanks to the extensions of the clitoris, the g-spot, and the pelvic floor muscles around the lower part of the vaginal canal (and also since a lot of women don’t enjoy having their cervix rammed).

On a final note: Maybe he was nervous and not fully inflated, as it were. Basically, you have no idea what sex is going to be like with this man. So if you dig him (and we surely hope the handwork you exchanged means that you do), why not find out whether the motion of his ocean can get the job done?

Of course, we can’t discount the fact that you may simply be less attracted to him (or not attracted to him at all) now that you’ve scoped out his unit — you like what you like.  This doesn’t make you a bad person, though you are severely limiting your dating options — at least until your tattoo idea catches on. We suppose you could post a personal ad specifying that only 8″-penis-owners need reply, but something tells us that’s not exactly the way to find the next Boyfriend of the Year. Here’s a better idea: Why not just spend some quality time with an average-sized penis and see if the experience converts you?

Here for the little people,

Em & Lo