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Dear Em & Lo: How Do I Tell a Guy How Inexperienced I Am?

November 20, 2013


photo by Balakov

Hey Em & Lo,

I’m currently 26 and, yep, a virgin. I haven’t been “saving myself” and have no reason for this phenomenon other than I’ve never had the opportunity! (I had low self-esteem in high school, I was involved with theatre in college and all my crushes were gay in college, blah blah blah.)

I’ve never been in a relationship, and since I don’t want to lose the v-card to a random guy or someone I don’t trust, I haven’t done the deed yet. Here’s the tough part: I also haven’t done anything with a man past making out and a little first base. Again, this has not been by choice, the opportunity just never presented itself! Luckily, I may start dating a guy really soon, and I’m excited to see where it goes….

Here’s my problem: while I’m perfectly comfortable telling him that I’m a virgin and that I’ll gladly and willingly have sex with him sooner than later, how/do I tell him that I’m way more inexperienced than most women my age? I have no history with giving a blowjob, receiving oral, or even giving a handy!! (Ugh, sad, I know). I’m so afraid that 1. It’ll turn him away and I’ll never gain that experience or 2. That he’ll be okay with it but I’ll be TERRIBLE at all of it. It’ll be like being with an inexperienced teenager!

Do I come clean when the situation arises? Do I practice at home? Or am I doomed to live forever as a sad, sexless spinster? Help!

– The 26-Year-Old Virgin

Dear 26-Y.O.V.,

First of all, can we just say how happy we are to hear that your low self-esteem in high school translated to zero sex? For many girls, low self-esteem at that age translates to lots of unsatisfying, even dangerous sex or years of unreciprocated oral sex with assholes. Consider yourself incredibly lucky that instead, all of your low self-esteem lead to the theatre and some unreciprocated crushes on gay men. You clearly weren’t ready to have sex back then, and because you managed to avoid it (or because sex managed to avoid you!), it’ll be all the more fun now that you are ready.

And the reason we say you’re ready is not because you’re twenty-six, but because you get that, while the guy doesn’t need to be “The One,” he does need to be someone you trust — more than just some random guy looking to collect V-cards. And if he’s someone you trust, then you can tell him everything: That you’re a virgin, not just in the technical sense, but in the truest sense of all.

If he likes you, we’re pretty sure he’ll find this confession endearing, possibly even a turn-on. You can make it clear to him — to avoid freaking him out — that you haven’t been saving yourself for “The One,” you just never got around to getting lucky. You could even joke about it, and ask him if he’s willing to be your guinea pig and let you practice on him — who could say no to that?

In terms of being prepared, you could do worse than read (ahem) one of our books, like Sex: How to Do Everything. (The links below may also help.) Some advance reading will help familiarize yourself with all of your own and his anatomy, as well as the sort of activity you might encounter in the bedroom. But don’t feel like you have to memorize the whole thing: Browse the book on your own first, and then return to it throughout the relationship — the more you do with your boyfriend, the more the book will make sense. Hey, you could even suggest reading it with your boyfriend. When we wrote Sex: How to Do Everything, our goal was for it to be the kind of book that a couple could read together in bed, i.e. it reads more like foreplay than an instruction manual. Ask your boyfriend — when you make him your boyfriend! — with your best cheeky grin, to help you with your “homework” (Britney Catholic schoolgirl outfit optional).

And here’s the thing: If you like the guy and you want to please him and you want him to please you, then you’re not going to be terrible in bed. We promise you! Good sex is simply a matter of communication: Ask him what he likes, tell him what you like — you don’t need to know in advance, just tell him what feels good when he does it — and learn as you go. Every body is different, every penis is different, every clitoris is different, so we’re all learning on the job anyway, whether we’ve had sex a hundred times or just once. In fact, you might even be better in bed due to your inexperience, because you won’t be hampered by any false assumptions about what works for guys.

Remember, above all, to be honest, be safe, and have fun! And if you’re ever not having fun or not feeling safe, then it’s okay to slow down or even stop, no matter how much you promised your boyfriend you were up for.


Em & Lo


Your Call: My Boyfriend Won’t Put in Any Effort

November 18, 2013


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. We seem to be getting a lot of bad boyfriend letters lately — maybe these women just need to hear your Greek Chorus in order to do what needs to be done. Say it in unison in the comments section below. 

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My boyfriend and I have been dating for 7 months and I confronted him about him not putting any effort into hanging out or spending time with me. I live 45 mins away, and I’m the only one who drives for us to hang out. He said that he wants to see me more, that once a week is not enough, and that he wants me to challenge him because if I don’t he will walk all over me. What does this mean and what do I do?

– Driving Me Insane

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




Your Call: Can You Downgrade 3-Year Relationship to “Casual”?

November 12, 2013


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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*PRIVATE* Advice Service!

Dear Em & Lo,

I have been in a relationship on and off with a guy for 3.5 years. The longest break we have had was our last break up which has lasted 5 months. There was no contact during that period of time. We bumped into each other a couple of months ago on a night out and ended up hooking up that evening and seeing each other a couple of times in the last two months.

Our break ups were always down to him. One minute everything was amazing, we never argued, had lots of quality time together, and the next minute he was gone saying “my feelings have changed,” “I dont know what I want.” Within a month or two he would be back again wanting to “try again.”

After this happening a number of times, my patience wore thin, and each time it happened the break up “aftermath” got worse and worse. My reaction to it got angrier and angrier, and this resulted in huge fights during each break up period. The ironic thing is that we only argued when we WERNT together.

The position I am in now is this. He tells me he loves me, enjoys spending time with me but is frightened and reluctant to commit for fear of “getting cold feet again” and having the fallout from me that that would cause. He says he doesn’t know what he wants but knows he doesn’t want to lose me from his life entirely either.

He has suggested that we start a “casual relationship” with no expectations or goals as he doesn’t know what he wants because of his track record for jumping ship, so he can’t give me any commitment or reassurances of where it could lead.

I really don’t know what to do. Having a history with him and having feelings for him makes a “casual” agreement difficult. I don’t understand his reluctance to commit to a relationship on the grounds of him fearing he will jump ship again, because at the end of the day he can do that anyway in a casual relationship.

I question if his desire to have a “casual relationship” is his way of absolving himself from any guilt of hurting me if he did jump ship again. After all, if I agree to a casual setup he is then able to say, ” Well, it was just casual, free of commitment with the freedom of changing my mind any any point.”

– Woman Overboard

Leave your advice for Woman Overboard in the comments section below.


Quickie Advice: I’m a Woman Who Orgasms in Her Sleep…?

November 8, 2013


photo via Flickr

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Dear Em & Lo,

I have been having orgasms in my sleep since I was a small kid. I have always thought there was something wrong with me because you only really hear of men having wet dreams, not women. And now I’m 26 and I still have them at lease once or twice in a month, sometimes multiples in one night. What the hell causes this? I ain’t mad about it of course, just curious as to why. Please help?

Yours truly,
Sweet Dreams


Dear S.D.,

This is what we like to call a good problem. Plenty of women enjoy nocturnal orgasms — not as many as men who do, which is why we generally think of this as a guy thing — but believe us, this is a normal occurrence for gals (similarly, it’s totally normal not to have them). There are several possible reasons for this: a sexy dream, good genital blood flow, sexual tension, a healthy sex drive… Nothing that needs to be “fixed.” As long as you’re not literally losing significant sleep over this, then just enjoy it — and be grateful you probably don’t have to clean up afterwards like the guys do!


Em & Lo


Why Does My G-Spot Feel So Good… Then Hurt So Bad?

November 4, 2013

1 Comment

photo by liz_noise

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Dear Em & Lo,

When my partner stimulates my G-spot, it starts off feeling incredible. I then slowly feel how it becomes more and more sensitive (even while becoming more sensitive it feels nice), however I eventually come to a point where the sensitivity becomes almost too much too bear. And I feel I need to pull away. It goes from feeling nice, to incredible, to incredible but sensitive to too sensitive. What does his mean? I have never experienced an orgasm before, so I don’t know what it is supposed to feel like. But the sensitivity I feel is to the extreme that I cannnot bare it.I  have tried relaxing and going past the point, but it’s just so sensitive. I don’t understand.

– G-Spotter

Dear G-Spotter,

This is absolutely 100% normal. Some women love having their G-spot stimulated from start to orgasmic finish. Others don’t feel anything at all when their G-spot is located. Others find G-stimulation annoying or even painful from the get-go. And still others — and you obviously are in this category — find it both pleasurable and painful. It’s just part of the way your body works.

The G-spot is actually the area of the urethral sponge (or female prostate) that can be felt and stimulated through the top wall of the vagina, a few inches inside and up toward the navel or the back of the pubic bone. Because the G-spot actually sits behind the vaginal wall, and because G-spot stimulation basically involves pressing on the urethra (and in the vicinity of the bladder), it makes sense that the sensation is annoying or even painful to some women (and just makes others think they have to pee, even when they don’t).

If you’re really interested in exploring the G-spot further, you might try having your partner reach it via intercourse instead — perhaps this will cause less painful sensitivity. You want to focus on shallow penetration and positions that direct the penis toward that spot on your vaginal wall (doggie style often works). Oh, and make sure you pee first, too!

But it could be that you’re simply not built for extended G-spot pleasure, and that clitoral stimulation is the way to go instead. Don’t worry, despite what Freud said, these kind of orgasms are far from inferior! Try experimenting with clitoral stimulation instead — hands, tongue, toys, etc — both during intercourse and outside of intercourse, and see how that works out. The good news is that with clitoral stimulation, you can add man-made lube to help ease any sensitivity issues.

Have any other readers out there experienced something similar with G-spot stimulation? Please weigh in below if so!  In the meantime, you can explore the links below for even more information about G-exploration. But don’t bum yourself out trying — remember, there’s more than one way to float your little man in the boat!


Em & Lo


Dear Em & Lo: Should I Stay with a Cheat for My Newborn Baby?

October 29, 2013


photo via flickr

Dear Em & Lo,

I am engaged to the father of my child. Since I met him, it has been one problem after another. He has brought debt into my life; there is a rumor that goes around that he is sleeping with my co-workers; I just found out that any time he goes on a trip, he sleeps around; and he is still in communication with his ex-girfriend, though he claims he has not spoken to the girl for a long time. What surprises me is that he lies so much. I would love to break the engagement, but am feeling sorry for my six-months-old baby. I am confused — I have tried to forgive, but I can never trust him again. Will things work out?

– Love Wears Blinders

Dear L.W.B.,

Oh, we hate the hard ones!

If we were a Magic Eight Ball, we would answer your question, “Will things work out?” with the succinct: “Outlook not so good,” or “My sources say no,” or “Don’t count on it.” Actually, screw that — the Magic Eight Ball is not nearly blunt enough. Here’s our short answer: Get out now.

This is based on the assumption that he is cheating on you during trips, that you are absolutely not okay with an open relationship, and that his good points do not outweigh his money problems or his chronic lying. You said it yourself: You would love to break the engagement. There’s your answer.

We know your head must be foggy in a newborn haze — caring for a six-month-old baby is more than enough for one woman to handle with a supportive partner. But add in the lying, the cheating, the philandering, and the debt, and it’s no wonder you’re unable to think straight.

Will things work out? Maybe not in the exact way you’d like them to, but they’ll work out for you and your baby if you’re proactive about insisting on certain standards for your lives. You need to sit down with your partner and confirm that all of this is, in fact, true. Assuming it is, call off the wedding (at least for now) and explain clearly what you want and need out of a relationship and a partnership. Tell him that he needs to meet these needs and earn back your trust before you can even consider getting re-engaged — and if he trips up again, you’re out of there for good. (His relationship needs may include being able to get a little somethin somethin on the side, in which case: case closed.)

Of course, if you know deep down in your heart that he won’t change, then move out and move on now.

We feel terrible for your six-month-old baby, and we feel terrible for you, too, but you both deserve better. This is no environment in which to raise a child. You do not need to stay with this guy for the sake of your baby. You are a strong woman — you’ve made it this far, after all! Turn to friends, turn to family, turn to people who you can trust. Those are the kind of people you and your child need in your life right now.

Be strong, and know that, in this case, doing what’s best for you is doing what’s best for your baby.

We’ve got your back,

Em & Lo


Your Call: Is This a FWB Situation or Something More?

October 28, 2013


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 currently in a FWB relationship. We both broke up with long term partners about 3/4 weeks ago. After chatting on a night out, he asked me back to his place, he called me beautiful etc, and we got intimate. I know the alcohol helped, but he said he was glad I was single and that he was really attracted to me.

Anyway, a few days later he said he wasn’t looking for a relationship, which is understandable — the same was true for me. However, after work a few days later, I drove him home and instead of sleeping together we just chatted for nearly four hours in my car. Nothing happened, he just gave me a hug (not typical of a FWB relationship).

I then went on a night out with some friends where he was working, and he seemed to watch me from behind the bar for most of the night. I ended up back at his place. We had a cup of tea and watched telly, chatted and hugged. This then led to intimacy, after which he again spooned with me and kissed the back of my neck and held me all night.

We have chatted about our personal lives and childhood stories. He has accidentally met my mum and he thinks she’s lovely blah blah. He originally said he wasn’t going to tell anybody but then yesterday I found out he had told his flatmate about whats going on.

Basically does he want more than a FWB relationship? I don’t want to ask him and ruin a FWB situation or a friendship.

– FWB?

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



Top 10 Questions We Hope Nobody Ever Has to Ask Us Again

October 17, 2013


We recently published a list of the top 25 questions we get asked over and over again. We’ll probably keep answering those sorts of questions until we’re old and wrinkly and everyone thinks it’s either cute or hilarious or gross (or all of the above) that two old biddies like us discuss porn and strap-ons and friends with benefits. Questions like those remind us why we’re here, why we’ve been doing this for nearly fifteen years, and why we keep on doing it even when it doesn’t pay as much as we’d like it to.

But there are some questions we hope we never receive again. Questions that make our hearts sink because they’re unanswerable or depressing or horrifying — or simply because they make us feel useless and unqualified. And so far as we could tell, all of the questions were sincere cries for help. In most cases, we served as nothing more than an unoccupied confessional booth — after all, so many of them qualify as a sort of Sophie’s Choice of sex — and in most cases, we were sincerely sorry about our inability to help.

Here they are, the top 10 questions that reminded us what a bad, mad, sad world it is out there:


1. Help, I’m too medicated to enjoy sex but too depressed to go off my meds.

2. I love my spouse and my children but I’m no longer in love. Should I stay or should I go?

3. I hate the way my fetish makes me feel, but I can’t feel anything in bed without it.

4. I was raped as a teen, will I ever enjoy sex again?

5. My sister and I are in love with each other. If we use birth control so she doesn’t get pregnant, is this really so wrong?


6. I work in a morgue. I’m not asking you to judge me, and I swear I’m not making this up, I was just curious if it’s possible to contract an STD from a corpse?

7. I’m cheating on my partner, but let me tell you why I am justified in doing this so I can feel better about myself…

8. My golden retriever really seems to enjoy pleasuring me. Is it okay if my husband watches?

9. Does this look infected?

10. Does this look like an average-sized penis to you?


Your Call: My Wife Won’t Try Anything New in Bed

October 16, 2013


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 and I have been together for 15 years, married for 10. We are busy parents. I feel we are equal partners when it comes to parenting and managing the house. We have even carved out time to ourselves, 1 night a week, but more often than not she is too tired for sex, let alone anything new and adventurous. I feel we have reached a plateau in our sex life. It has been vanilla for the most part but less and less frequent-10 times a year, for the last couple years. I’ve broached the subject many times and we just reach an impasse.

I’ve always focused on pleasuring her and making sure her needs are met. I am not feeling reciprocated. I’ve tried offering to indulge her in anything she wants. I bought her a collection of erotica and she rolled her eyes. I gave her a gift certificate to a female friendly sex shop a year and 1/2 ago. She still hasn’t redeemed it. There are kinkier things I’d like to experience with her but she has ZERO interest in ANYTHING new.

I have been banging my head against the wall for the past 2 years and am starting to feel resentful. I’m considering broaching the subject of an open marriage or, worse, seeking out an affair. Any thoughts?

– Taken for Granted

What advice do you have for T.F.G.? Leave it in the comments section below.


Your Call: How Does She Proposition Her Professor After Graduation?

October 8, 2013


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,

Okay, so at the risk of sounding like a basket case with daddy issues, I am seeking some major advice on a delicate approach.

I have started to develop feelings for my former professor. Yes he is older, yes he is in a position of authority. We have had several personal conversations that go beyond the role of mentor/mentee. I feel comfortable around him, I find him funny and attractive. He appears to be comfortable around me. I don’t want to approach him until I graduate (one semester left) because I don’t want him to think I am after something I am not. I also don’t want to put him in a position that could jeopardize him professionally if he were interested. I think he is interested but I can’t be certain if it is just friendly conversation or he feels the same.

How do I approach him after school is done without seeming like a harpie bimbo with daddy issues? I do have genuine feelings toward him and I am really unsure how to tactfully approach this. How do I follow through?

– Don’t Stand So Close to Me

What advice do you have for D.S.S.C.T.M.? Leave it in the comments section below.