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Dear Em & Lo: My Boyfriend Doesn’t Want to Go On Dates Anymore

February 12, 2014

4 Comments

If only all couch potatoes looked like this

Dear Em & Lo,

I have been married and divorced and only just started to date again. Been with this guy for 8 months now. No problems with him lying, cheating, etc. Started off great. Going out, spending time with each other. But of recent months the spending time with each other has dwindled. Barely go to cinema, clubs, or any kind of outings. He still drops and picks me up from work, takes me to classes, is still very affectionate and introduces me as his girlfriend. But we go do errands together and that’s that!

He seems to think that with all those things I just mentioned, there is enough time spent with me. During the week he’s tired from work, which I get. But every weekend he goes fishing with his buddies in the morning and at nights he goes and plays poker.

I don’t mind him having his friends. But if I ask to go movies or somewhere his response is, “I’m busy,” or he has a problem with a place. Ask him for alternatives and his answer is always “home.” I feel like I am 50 yrs old — and ¬†I have “been there done that,” so it’s not necessary anymore.¬†What should I do?

– Homebody

Dear Homebody,

Like you said, you’ve been there, done that. Which means that you know this kind of situation only gets worse as the years go on. If he’s like this after eight months — that’s barely out of the honeymoon phase! — then imagine what it’s going to be like after eight years. Unless you step in.

This guy seems to have misunderstood the whole idea of “being yourself” around a long-term, serious partner. Sure, one of the best parts of monogamy is not having to put on a show and impress someone 24-7… but that doesn’t mean you get to treat your partner like a pet (albeit a beloved pet).

Explain to your partner that you need at least one date a week (or however often you can live with). Explain that errands do not count, nor does your daily commute. And staying home only counts if you guys make it special in some way — eating Chinese take-out off the best china, trying out a new couples’ sex toy together, etc. (For the record, you should also make an effort to make “home dates” special, too.) Explain that being comfortable with each other is only one part of a long-term relationship — and compromise is another. If he’s not familiar with the term “compromise,” then offer him up this example: Sometimes Saturday nights mean poker with the guys, and sometimes they mean a date.

We’d recommend avoiding the slightly sarcastic, condescending tone we’re using here (sorry, occupational hazard). Your guy sounds like he has the potential to be one of the good ones, and thus he deserves a chance to get things right. After all, he’s affectionate, he drives you to and from work, he doesn’t lie or cheat, and he’s clearly not commitment-shy. In fact, he’s the opposite of a commitment-phobe — he leap-frogged directly to the kind of relationship you end up in after decades of marriage together!

If your boyfriend listens and changes his behavior accordingly, then make sure he receives positive reinforcement for this. (And we don’t necessarily mean oral sex! We just mean, he should be able to see how actually dating your partner improves a relationship.) And if he doesn’t? Then we guess he’s going to have a lot more time to play poker in his future. After all, you’ve got some movies to catch up on… with someone else.

Nobody’s Homebodies,

Em & Lo

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Your Call: I Was Bitchy, Now He Won’t See Me

February 10, 2014

7 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.

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

Dear Em and Lo,

Dear Em & Lo,

I’ve been seeing this guy for more than a year. We used to get along perfectly, share laughs, get crazy. Of course I had my down moments here and there: I was a little bit depressed and I have a tendency to wallow. Anyway, now my hyper-sensitivity has turned into anger and irritation. If he’s late for our date, I ruin the date by pointing out how not nice it is to be late. I¬†love the guy, I think he’s nice, but now the fact that I’m a yeller creeps him out and turns him off¬†completely. And then¬†he started¬†not being nice to me. ¬†Now he’s refusing to see me, saying I’m stressing out. I¬†don’t know what to do. Should I continue to try to see him? Or is it too late and I’ve already lost him? If he ends up sticking around, will it only be because he hasn’t found anyone else worth leaving me for? ¬†I’m desperate …

– Untamed Shrew

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

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Your Call: Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater?

February 3, 2014

9 Comments

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 and Lo,

I’ve been in a loving 18-month relationship, about half of which is long distance. My boyfriend was unfaithful a prior girlfriend, a few years before me. His infidelity resulted in the birth of a child, who lives in another country with the child’s mother. I found this out about about his son five months into our long distance relationship.

When I confronted him, he immediately confessed and explained that he was scared to tell me when we first met –and the omission spiraled out of control. This revelation was very distressing, but he throughly explained the reasons for his lie and infidelity to his past girlfriend. I made the choice to forgive him. I also confessed to him that my prior serious relationship ended in a rampage of cheating, leaving me feeling foolish and deeply hurt. I don’t think I have fully recovered. I know that I have trouble trusting and opening up.

Since then, our relationship has been much stronger and I feel he is someone I want to continue loving… possibly for a long time. He makes me feel like I can have a healthy relationship again. We challenge and compliment each other well.

Unfortunately, during my last visit I came across some old flirtatious text messages (yeah I was snooping, old habits die hard) on his phone. From what I gather nothing physical happened, but his flirting really hurt me. We throughly discussed it and I forgave him. I thought we moved past it, and we started to heal again.

I went to live with him for four months, met his parents, friends and relatives. But every couple of months I bring it up and I rage at him; he has not betrayed my trust since the texts. My gut is screaming at me that history is about to repeat itself. But I know my past issues make my gut rather faulty.

– Gutless or gullible?

What should Gutless-or-Gullible do? Leave your advice in the comments section below.

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Dear Em & Lo: My Boyfriend Uses Dating Sites for “Conversation”

January 29, 2014

3 Comments

photo via flickr

Dear Em & Lo

I’m in a different city from my boyfriend of 3+ years, studying for a degree. On my last visit home I discovered he has profiles on several dating websites, and his inbox is full of messages with attractive strangers. I confronted him about it twice, and both times he assured me he’s never met any of these women and he’s just in it to meet people and start conversations. He also promised to delete his accounts, but he hasn’t.

I’m very conflicted about what to do. My head tells me his actions are an obvious sign he’s not that into me and our not-so-long-distance relationship isn’t working out. But my heart still believes him when he swears I’m the only one he wants to be with. He’s a smart, sweet, sensitive and caring guy, but he does have some growing up to do.

Am I blowing this out of proportion? What can I say to him that will convince him this behavior hurts me? Or is it time for me to say goodbye?

– Sucker (Punched)

Dear Sucker (Punched),

We guess we’ll have to take you at your word that this dude is a “smart, sweet, sensitive and caring guy,” because we fail to see any evidence of this in your letter. You’ve told him this upsets you, he’s promised to stop, and yet he continues to do it, thereby doubling the wrong — using dating sites behind your back and lying about it. (Not to mention the fact that we really find it hard to believe anyone joins an online dating site for the “conversation.” That’s like reading Penthouse for the articles.)

How about we give you a list, to pass onto your boyfriend, of ten appropriate ways for someone in a serious relationship to “meet people and start conversations”:

1. Attending Happy Hour drinks with co-workers.

2. Facebooking with old classmates, second cousins, etc.

3. Getting involved in Twitter (we’re pretty sure there’s a hashtag for whatever he’s going through).

4. Joining a gym.

5. Volunteering at the local soup kitchen or old people’s home.

6. Taking a cooking/tennis/juggling (etc.) class.

7. Becoming a regular commenter on a website that interests him.

8. Hosting a potluck dinner party and/or kegger.

9. Starting a regular poker night.

10. Visiting you and meeting all of your fascinating friends.

Perhaps he didn’t understand quite how upset you were the first time. We suggest you try one more time to make your thoughts crystal clear (feel free to print out the above list for him), and if he still doesn’t stop it, then tell him to go find a new girlfriend on one of those dating sites he’s so attached to.

– Em & Lo

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Your Call: Is He Still Mourning…Or Just Not That Into Me?

January 20, 2014

3 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.

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

 

Dear Em & Lo,

My boyfriend and I have been together for four years and I live with him. His sister died a couple of months ago and his mother died five years ago and I have seen a change in him, and it’s starting to affect our relationship. He has conversations with other girls and I feel he doesn’t accept me as his girlfriend as I want him to. I love him but I don’t feel the love as often as I used to and I am confused. Is he still dealing with his sister’s death? Or is it that he can’t deal with me anymore?

– Out in the Cold

Leave your advice for Out in the Cold in the comments section below.

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Dear Em & Lo: Where Did My Sex Drive Go?

January 15, 2014

0 Comments

photo via flickr

Dear Em & Lo,

When I was in my teens, I had a perfectly healthy (if not overzealous…) sex drive. Now, in my mid 20′s, I find myself totally disinterested 95% of the time.

I am trying to figure out if perhaps it could be due to hormonal birth control, as I am now on the P.O.P, or due to the fact that I am in a long-term relationship of the “love but not IN love” kind (that’s its own issue entirely,) or if I am just …dysfunctional. Really hoping it’s not the latter because I seem to remember that sex was kind of fun at one point.¬†It makes me feel weird and broken and sad. I sometimes suffer from depression and this just makes it worse. The most terrible part is that I feel pretty resigned to it.

Help! It shouldn’t be this way, I’m a young, healthy, mostly well-adjusted human. What’s going on?

– Lukewarm

Dear Lukewarm,

The short answer goes something like this: 1) Maybe; 2) probably; 3) probably not. To expand a little…

1) As far as your birth control goes, you really should discuss this with your own doctor. Tell them your concerns and see what they suggest. While the progestin-only pill does tend to have fewer side effects than other forms of the birth control pill, there’s still a chance it could be affecting your libido. In some women, the pill increases libido, in others it decreases it, and in still others it has no effect at all. It couldn’t hurt to try something else! (But, like we said, please do this in conjunction with a medical professional, which we are not.) By the way, when you discuss birth control with your doctor, you should definitely mention that you sometimes suffer from depression, as this will very likely affect their recommendations, too.

2) Er, you love your partner but aren’t in love with him? DING DING DING DING! You can’t expect to stay in a relationship that is flagging and still expect your libido to be in blooming health. The two are kinda connected, ya know? If we were betting women, we’d say that this is at the heart (or other vital organ) of your problem.

3) As we said above, we think your birth control might be dysfunctional, and we definitely think your relationship might be dysfunctional, but we see no evidence to suggest that you, dear, are dysfunctional. So don’t resign yourself to this state of affairs! Don’t even let yourself think about #3 until you’ve done all you can to clear up #1 and #2 first.

– Your Young(ish), Healthy, Mostly Well-Adjusted Sex Writers,

Em & Lo

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Your Call: Can I Expect Pleasure If My Wife Is in Pain?

January 13, 2014

8 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.

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

 

Dear Em & Lo,

My wife has a condition that basically when she has an orgasm she has very uncomfortable pain in her chest and coughs for a period of time. Now this is not that she is unable to have an orgasm its that she currently doesn’t feel that an orgasm is worth the pain and discomfort that it will cause. ¬†So obviously that means no sex. This has been the case for the last 3 months.¬†

I have been patient but I want to feel the connection that sex brings. I am ok with not having vaginal sex so that she doesn’t have an orgasm, but there are many things that she can do with me that would make me feel that same or at least close-to-the-same connection that the intimacy of love-making brings. I have said that I would be ok with just having her lie next to me while I masturbated (she would not even have to touch me) just so I can feel close to her in an intimate way.

So my question is: am I out of line and unreasonable to ask some kind of intimate replacement for vaginal sex from her or should I not expect to have an orgasm if she isn’t as well? I am willing to do whatever she wants and is willing to do in order to achieve the intimacy, but she does not want to do anything.

– Neglected

What advice do you have for Neglected? Leave it in the comments section below.

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Your Call: My Route to Orgasm Is Too Complicated for Husband

January 6, 2014

4 Comments

Antique map via Flickr

We get a lot of¬†advice questions¬†coming in at¬†EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can‚Äôt answer them all. Which is why,¬†once a week, we turn to you to¬†decide how best to advise a reader. You can leave your advice in the comments section below — for this question in particular, we thought that a group answer might help. We figured, the more suggestions, the better, especially as she’s tried so much already!¬†

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

 

Dear Em & Lo,

Here’s another “I can’t orgasm with my partner” question, but if I hear one more suggestion about relaxing, more foreplay, show him how you do it, experiment… I’m going to scream!

I’ve been with my now husband for over 8 years, and despite being EXTREMELY close to orgasm countless times, I am just unable to get over the edge. I started masturbating at a young age — before I even know what it was. During my teens I was a pretty habitual masturbator. I used to only masturbate on my stomach with both hands over my underwear, and often with even more material for added friction. Now I am able to masturbate on my back or in a reclined position, and even with one hand directly touching myself (though this is harder). But I always have to either watch pornography or fantasize in order to orgasm.

My husband and I have always been very open sexually and I’ve tried so many times to guide his hand in all kinds of positions to try and help me orgasm. In the end he has never been able to execute the exact sequence of moves/pressure/location that I need in order to reach orgasm.

I feel like I’m some kind of freak that needs such a specific sequence of stimulation (that changes each time, mind you), that there’s no way I will ever be able to experience an orgasm that isn’t my own doing. I’m so sick of reading advice that suggests showing him what to do or having him stimulate my clitoris during sex or whatever other generic uselessness there is out there on the internet.

Is there some way that I can train my body to orgasm with a different form of stimulation than I’m used to? I currently need clitoral stimulation, but not direct, then clitoral and G-spot stimulation but from outside, not inside the vagina, then just G-spot pressure from outside… it’s ridiculous. It’s completely impossible during intercourse, so forget that idea, but is there any way I can learn to orgasm from his manual stimulation at least?! Help!

– Searching for Orgasm 2.0

What should Orgasm 2.0 do? Leave your advice for her in the comments section below.

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The New Year’s Issue

December 19, 2013

0 Comments


A Refresher Course for Your New Year’s Kiss
Brush up on your midnight pucker up.

 


20 Naughty New Year’s Resolutions
Screw the gym membership.


What’s a Man’s Ideal New Year’s Eve?
Good wine. Good food. Good friends. And maybe a disco beat?

 


One More Time: What’s a Man’s Ideal New Year’s Eve?
Three more of our Wise Guys lay it out for you.

 

vintage_couple_bed_love0003
Your Sex-Related New Year’s Resolutions
More great ideas for the brand new year.

 


Is Your New Year’s Resolution to Be Single? Hello, D-Day!
January is the season for divorce, but don’t blame it on office holiday party nookie.

 


Top 10 Kinky New Year’s Resolutions
Which includes buying our book 150 SHADES OF PLAY, of course! (Now on sale for less than ten bucks so as not to conflict with your any budget-conscious resolutions!)

2013 According to Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Lawrence

It’s a year-end quote-off between 2013′s mouthiest twenty-somethings!



Your Call: How Do I Set Limits in a New BDSM Relationship?

December 18, 2013

3 Comments

photo via Entertainment Weekly
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. You can leave your advice in the comments section below (for a reader who appears to be dating a Christian Grey wannabe). 

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

 

Dear Em & Lo,

Do you have any advice for setting limits in a new BDSM relationship?

My boyfriend is a dom and wants few limits. I’m new at this and don’t really know where my limits are other than the obvious of no kids, no animals, don’t kill me. So we’re kind of at a stand off. Any guidance would be appreciated! Thank you!

– In a Vanilla-Chocolate Swirl

What should Vanilla-Chocolate Swirl do? Leave your advice for her in the comments section below. (And in case no one else mentions it, we’d like to point out that Fifty Shades of Grey is NOT a how-to manual for kink. But this book is!)

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