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Dear Em & Lo: I Got My Period During Sex and Am Mortified

March 5, 2014


photo by greenchartreuse

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Dear Em & Lo,

I recently hooked up with a guy from work, but unfortunately things did not end up well. While we were having sex I got my period and it was brutal. I was so embarrassed that I didn’t want to finish. He was generally nice about the whole situation but things just haven’t been that same. I quit responding to his texts and now things more awkward than ever. I have to go back to work but I don’t know how to act. How should I handle this unfortunate situation?

– Red

Dear Red,

You yourself turned a little spill into a scene from “Carrie.” He was nice about it, it sounds like he would have been happy to keep going, and he continued to text you. But you? You freaked out, stopped responding to him, and have probably been acting all weird at the office. All unnecessarily!

Look, you have nothing to be embarrassed about. Accidents happen. You cannot set your watch by your period — sometimes it shows up a little early, sometimes a little late. If you were at his place, you could feel a little bit bad about staining his sheets and could have apologized for that. But it’s nothing a good soak in a bucket of ice water can’t fix (plus, he should probably be washing his sheets more often than he does, anyway). And if you were at your place, then don’t sweat it!

The natural and normal occurrence of menstruation is nothing to be ashamed of or grossed out by. You’re having sex: you’re already dealing with mucous membranes and bodily fluids and semen! And do tell us exactly how semen is so much better/less gross than menstrual blood…? Oh, that’s right, you can’t, because it’s not. They’re either both gross or they’re both no biggie. As a sexual creature who has to live with her reproductive system for the rest of her life, we suggest you embrace the latter perspective.

Actually, we insist on it. Because you are responsible for helping teach guys this lesson, too. While your coworker sounds like a cool, accepting, well-adjusted guy, your overreaction only served to suggest to him that there is something gross and unnatural and shameful about women’s real bodies.

Unfortunately, the way you handled the situation was way worse (i.e. more off-putting) than the situation itself. You could have set the tone by admitting embarrassment but ultimately laughing it off and moving on together. But instead you freaked out and your freakout may have driven him away. The best you can do is work hard on getting rid of this guilt and shame, accepting your body — and sex — as inherently imperfect, and not taking it all so seriously. Then maybe someday you’ll be able to laugh about it with your coworker.

Your bloody valentines,

Em & Lo



Your Call: Why Are Younger Guys Suddenly Hitting On Me?

March 3, 2014


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. 

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Dear Em & Lo,

Ever since I’ve turned 35, I’ve been getting a LOT of attention from guys 25 and under. Should I be flattered because, as I’ve been told, I “give off confident sexy older woman vibes”? Or horrified that an older woman is just something on their “to do” list? What is the real appeal of an older woman?

– Accidental Cougar

What do you have to say to Accidental Cougar? Is this attention personal, or just a matter of guys wanting to check off a box? And what is the age-old appeal of an older woman?


Dear Em & Lo: My “Friend” Tried to Get Frisky with Me

February 27, 2014


photo via Flickr

Every week or so we answer queries from you, dear readers, about your love lives. You can submit your own question — anonymously! — via our contact form here.

Dear Em & Lo

I believed that I had met a wonderful man who became a friend. About a year ago, he was going through a very bad breakup with his girlfriend. We saw each other off and on as friends. He mentioned to me that he was getting “those needs met” by other women, and to be honest, I really did not care — that was his personal business. Granted, we were very attracted to each other, and we were affectionate towards each other — holding each other, kissing each other, and flirting. I expressed to him that I have boundaries that I will not cross.

Just recently we got together to hang out and have dinner. I told him that it was my treat because he had paid for the last two times. The dinner went great, and he took me home and in my driveway he leaned over and started to kiss me. It was fine until he started to get “Roman hands and Russian fingers.” I had to stop him, I told him that I could not just give my body like that (and in all places in my driveway!!). I said that my heart and my body are one, and besides, we did not have a close friendship, it was a distant one.

I thought he was single — he had not mentioned that he was in a relationship. It turned out that he was, and needless to say, I was madder than the left corner of hell! When I called him on it, he said that none of my business, and I “should not be jealous.” Well excuse me, it is my business, especially when he was trying to get to the “holy of holies.”

I realize that there are some women that “get down like that,” but I’m not one of them, and I told him this before. I liked him, and I wanted to give him space to deal with his breakup so we kept in touch with each other. I really did not expect this. It’s now been five months since I’ve seen him. I admit that I’m sad, because in time maybe we could have had something, but not now because I can’t trust him. Whatever he is doing to these other women, I know he will do to me. Why is it so hard for a good women to find a good man? And what is the deal with men??

– Crossed Boundaries

Dear C.B.,

What is the deal with men? What is the deal with women, more like it. Actually, what is the deal with people, period.

Newsflash: If you hold each other and kiss and flirt, you are not just friends.

Question: How could he know that your heart and body were one if you held him and flirted with him when you were barely friends, let alone dating?

Newsflash: Your boundaries are confusing to us, so they’re probably confusing to him, too.

Question: What were you waiting for with regards to this guy, exactly? For him to date a few other women before he noticed you were still there? For him to grow up? For him to get desperate? And if you were waiting, why were you making out with him?

Here’s the thing: If you want to meet a good man, then hang out with a good man. If you want a man to respect your boundaries, then choose boundaries that make sense, and convey them clearly. If you’re going to have fuzzy, confusing boundaries, then you need to pay extra special attention with regards to conveying them clearly. Also, if you want to be just friends with a man, then don’t kiss him or snuggle him or hold him — that’s just confusing to all parties involved. And if you want to date him, then make sure he knows this.

In short, vagueness leads to more vagueness. Fuzziness leads to more fuzziness… which may or may not involve¬†Roman hands and Russian fingers in the driveway. If you want clarity and simplicity and goodness, then set those standards yourself, and kick anyone to the curb who doesn’t play by your rules.

Crossed women,

Em & Lo


Your Call: Do Bigger Penises Lead to Different Orgasms for Women?

February 18, 2014


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,

Are the G-Spot orgasm and vaginal orgasm the same thing?

Assuming they’re different: I have an average penis size of 6 inches in lenth and 5 inches girth — am I able to give a woman a G-Spot or vaginal orgasm?

I have read about women saying only above average penises (8 inches mentioned the most) can reach certain spots in the vagina to produce these orgasms. I wouldn’t say I am insecure about myself or my size, but I would just like to know if this is true.

And let’s face it: Even if it is true, there isn’t much I can do to get to 8 inches anyway is there! I would just concentrate on trying to please through the clitoris instead.

– Average Joe

What advice or insight do you have to share with Average Joe about G-spot vs. vaginal orgasms and penis size? Leave your comments in the feedback section below.


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

February 12, 2014


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


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

February 10, 2014


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.



Your Call: Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater?

February 3, 2014


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.



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

January 29, 2014


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



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

January 20, 2014


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.


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

January 15, 2014


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