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10 Reasons Why a Dirty House Is Good for Your Marriage

October 15, 2014

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photo via flickr

For the record, we both love a tidy house. We love a clean, well-lighted place in which to read a book or work on a hilarious and/or enlightening post for this blog. Dirty, messy houses can be annoying, stressful, and, yes, smelly. But sometimes, it simply can’t be helped. And when it can’t, stressing about your messy house just makes a bad day worse. So here, to make your bad day just a little bit better, we offer up ten reasons why your dirty house might just be good for your marriage.

And just to clarify: When we say that a dirty house is “good for your marriage,” we mean that it’s good for any long-term cohabitation situation. But you try fitting that into a snappy article headline!

1. You Avoid Chore Imbalance Resentment

There’s something incredibly peaceful and almost zen-like about falling asleep in an immaculate and pristine bedroom. Unless, of course, you cleaned the entire house yourself and have done every day since you said “I do” and your spouse never so much as puts their socks in the laundry basket or comments on how nice the place looks. That sort of resentment can keep you up all night, and in all the wrong ways!

2. You Have Time and Energy Left Over for Each Other

Cleaning is hard labor, even harder, often, than convincing your three-year-old to eat green vegetables. (There’s a reason, after all, that cleaning services often cost way more than childcare!) And climbing into bed after a day of office work followed by a few hours of cleaning — or after a day of cleaning on your so-called “day off” — can feel like the finish line in a race you never signed up for. If you instead skip the cleaning and leave all the dirty dishes in the sink, even occasionally, you might just feel like knocking boots… or even simply having a conversation about something more meaningful than deciding which show to watch.

3. You Feel Young and Reckless

Remember the kind of squalor you lived in during college or your early twenties? (If you’re the kind of person who baked cookies and owned a dusting cloth in college, then this article is probably not for you!) Letting your house return to that state sometimes can be freeing. You’ll feel like you’re embracing life and what’s important in it — namely, people over dust bunnies. And that can be pretty sexy.

4. You Can Have Messy Kitchen Sex

What’s more fun: Lying back on your immaculate and empty kitchen table for some by-the-book sex because you know you’re supposed to do it outside the bedroom sometimes… or pushing aside dirty dishes and pushing silverware to the floor and having screw-it-we’ll-clean-up-later sex?

5. It’s a Bonding Experience

Marriage can sometimes devolve into a kind of ping-pong game where you take it in turns being annoyed at each other for tiny, domestic infractions — like forgetting to remove muddy shoes before entering the house, or forgetting to pay a bill, or forgetting to put the wet laundry into the dryer. But if you agree, together, to let the house go for a day or a week or whatever, this messy state of affairs will mask all the other stuff you normally get annoyed at.

6. You Realize Some Things Can Wait

Living with a messy house gives you perspective. You’ll realize that the earth does not stop spinning on its axis simply because  you left a pile of unfolded laundry in the middle of the TV room, or you didn’t empty the trash and the house smells like tuna casserole the next morning. Life goes on, and on your deathbed, you will definitely not think, “I wish I’d emptied the trash cans more often.” This kind of revelation can do wonders for the way you treat your spouse.

7. You Gain a New Appreciation for What You Each Do

Taking some time off from domestic chores will make you each realize how much you do around the house. Even if you feel like you do, say, 90% of the household chores, we’re pretty sure there’s a lot your spouse does that you simply don’t notice anymore. (And vice versa, of course!)

8. You Can Stay in the Moment

A clean house can be just as stressful as a messy one. Imagine this: You’re sitting in your supposedly spotless kitchen, trying to listen to your spouse tell you about their day, and you suddenly notice a dust bunny you missed earlier, or a glass you forgot to put in the dishwasher before turning it on, or a pile of newspapers you forgot to put out, and — hold everything — tomorrow is trash pickup day. You find yourself multitasking, finishing these little tasks, and only half-listening to the love of your life. Hey, how about you sit down and really listen, instead? Sure, sometimes you can show love by making your love nest cozy and clean — but other times, it’s more important to sit down and simply be there.

9. You Might Lose Your Cellphone or the TV Remote

And then think of all the meaningful conversations you’ll be forced to have!

10. You Won’t Invite Friends Over

When you’ve been with someone a long time, it’s really easy to over-schedule your social life — to plan dinner parties and football-watching parties and book clubs and playdates and Tupperware-style sex toy parties and… well, you get the idea. But when your abode is verging on squalid, shame makes you hole up together and enjoy each other’s company.  Let’s hope you still have something to say to each other besides, “Have you seen the remote?”

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How to Make Masturbation Feel More Intimate

October 10, 2014

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photo via flickr

We often hear women complain that masturbation just doesn’t do it for them, simply because there’s no man or woman attached to the end of the sex toy. In other words, they want masturbation to provide not just sex, but also intimacy. So, how do you make masturbation feel more intimate?

Okay, first things first: You are masturbating, right? Because if you’re not, then our job is simple: You’ve got to start self-loving! Every time you feel the itch, scratch it! (Not literally, of course, unless that’s your thing.) The better you get at masturbation, more natural it will feel, and the more comfortable you will feel pleasuring yourself. And there is a kind of intimacy to this level of comfort with your own body and your own desire.

But if you want to turn the intimacy up to eleven, then you have to treat masturbation like sex, rather than treating it like brushing your teeth (or like scratching an itch). Sure, you could just grab your vibe, place it where it counts, and let it do its thing. And sure, you might even climax that way. But there are more intense experiences to be had if you seduce yourself first: take a long bubble bath with a glass of wine, dim the lights, play some sultry tunes. You know, everything that you’d do if you were about to have romantic anniversary sex with the love of your life.

And don’t neglect your fantasy life. Vibrators are so powerful these days, so freakin’ reliable, that it’s easy to get lazy about fantasizing and just let the mechanics take over. After all, a work-horse like the Hitachi Magic Wand can sometimes get the job done whether you’re in the mood for it or not! But that’s no excuse not to get in the mood. That’s where the romance novels et al come in:  Spend some quality time with a romance novel/graphic novel/erotica collection/episode of Masters of Sex/porno/whatever your favorite turn-on is.

Also, if you’ve always relied on a toy, maybe try experimenting with just your right hand and some lube — that might help things feel a little more, well, personal. Or treat yourself to a subtle, pebble-like vibrator that sits in the palm of your hand and complements your masturbation session, rather than taking charge of it completely. We can’t think of a better reason to splurge on a proper, grownup pleasure object by Lelo!

If you have a partner and your masturbation sessions are simply an extracurricular addition to your sex life (perhaps you’re long-distance, for example) maybe your partner would be willing to provide some fantasy material for you. (How could they object? We think that everyone, men especially, secretly wants to be objectified!) Ask your partner to write you a love and/or lust letter. Look at a photo of your partner, scantily clad.

If you’re currently single, then use photographs of people you once slept with and recall fondly, or people you’d like to sleep with (Face — or, hell, even celebrities! There are no rules in your fantasy life.

And write your own dirty letter, too — it doesn’t have to be addressed to anyone specific. In fact, you don’t ever have to show it to anyone at all. But writing down everything you wish that someone was doing to you right now, and everything you wish you could do to that person, will help get you in the mood. Especially if you imagine someone specific reading it (or, what the hell, imagine the letter getting into the wrong hands if that turns you on!). Then stash the letter in your night-stand for those special alone moments.

Remember, the better you get at masturbation, the more intimate it will feel. And the more intimate your masturbation sessions, the more likely you are to demand more from your real, live, human partners. And the less likely you are to take crap from someone, just because they turn you on. And there you were thinking masturbation was just a way to scratch an itch! It’s actually revolutionary, therapeutic… and, yes, intimate, when you do it right.

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How to Tell If Your Partner Is Emotionally Abusing You

October 7, 2014

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by YourTango  |  photo via flickr

Is it possible that you are being abused and not even know it? Abuse is not always as obvious as being hit or shoved, called degrading names or cussed out. In fact, it can very well be underhanded or subtle. You may find yourself feeling confused about the relationship, off balance or like you are “walking on eggshells” all the time. This is the kind of abuse that often sneaks up on you as you become more entrenched in the relationship. I am talking here about psychological abuse, which is also known as mental or emotional abuse.

Psychological abuse occurs when a person in the relationship tries to control information available to another person with intent to manipulate that person’s sense of reality or their view of what is acceptable and not acceptable. Psychological abuse often contains strong emotionally manipulative content and threats designed to force the victim to comply with the abuser’s wishes. All abuse takes a severe toll on self-esteem. The abused person starts feeling helpless and possibly even hopeless. In addition, most mental abusers are adept at convincing the victim that the abuse is his/her fault. Somehow, the victim is responsible for what happened.

A more sophisticated form of psychological abuse is often referred to as “gaslighting.” This happens when false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity. Examples may range simply from the abuser denying that previous abusive incidents ever occurred to staging bizarre events with the intention of confusing the victim. I listened to a client tell me that her husband denied an affair after his she found a racy email to another woman on his computer and confronted him. The husband vehemently denied this and when so far as to send an email to his tech guy asking how his account could have been hacked and to fix the problem!

Read the full article at YourTango:  21 Signs Emotional Abuse Is Happening In Your Relationship



Top 10 Tips for Erotic Spanking

October 3, 2014

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photo via Flickr

Hand-to-bum contact, if you can pull it off without cracking up (heh, we said crack), is a great way to add some kinky flavor to your next sesh. It’s intimate, it’s saucy, and — when compared to, say, a whip or a flogger — it’s safe for newbies to try out. Also, one study found that it can actually bring couples closer. Now that’s something we can get behind (sorry…). Try a few spanks during a particularly passionate bout of intercourse, or make spanking the main goal. If you’re keen on the latter, then follow these important guidelines:

  1. Have the spankee lie across your lap, kneel on a bed, stretch out stomach-down, or bend over something they can put their full weight on for comfort.
  2. Remove all your bracelets and rings.
  3. Start with a bum massage to warm things up.
  4. When it comes to actually spanking, start slowly and build up intensity gradually with your partner’s permission, varying your pressure and strokes. You may even want to begin over jeans or underwear first. Keep checking in with your partner to make sure the pain is pleasant — you’re going for a rosie glow, not an imposed inability to sit down for three days.
  5. Contain your spanking to the lower, fleshier halves of each cheek and the backs of the upper thighs (even if you’re just having a spanking snack during sex, this area should be your target) — avoid the lower back, tailbone, and back of the knees.
  6. Follow each love pat with a short massage, too, to spread out the pain and keep things nice and warm.
  7. A woman might like particular attention paid at the intersection of bum crack and crease, with the vibrations reverberating throughout the vulva, but definitely steer clear of his family jewels.
  8. Remember that, because of your close proximity to your partner, spanking is especially great for pleasantly diddling their front side while patting their backside.
  9. If you don’t want your hand to get numb, let a paddle do the work. It’s easy to control the aim and the force (way easier than whips, which are too dangerous for dabblers). Made-for-play paddles are available at any sex toy shop. However, there’s really no need to invest in a pricey paddle when you’ve got a variety of household items that’ll do the job: a wide plastic spatula, a rubber-soled slipper, and, of course, a ping pong paddle.
  10. Need spanking inspiration? Check out Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z by Rachel Kramer Bussel (there’s even a volume two if you can’t get enough spanking!).



10 Worst Things About Married Sex

September 30, 2014

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Before Midnight

Before all the married people out there take offense, we should note that we are both married, and happily so. We’re not curmudgeons; we already listed the 10 Best Things About Married Sex – and for the record, those ten things were way easier to come up with! – but we believe firmly in looking at both sides of the picture (not in a Fox-News-climate-change-denier-”scientists” way, but in a realistic way). Also, the stuff below is just plain true, at least sometimes. In reality, though, there’s no contest: we’ll take married sex every time. So consider the list below a warning not about how bad married sex is, but about how bad it can get if you don’t pay a little attention.

1. It’s Sex with the Same Person… For the Rest of Your Life

We suppose we may as well get this one out of the way with first, seeing as, for many people, this is the only thing you need to know about married sex. Even if you’re in an open relationship and get to throw other people into the mix, you’re still sleeping with one person — your spouse — over and over and over again. All the chemistry and communication in the world can’t match the occasional boredom this will cause.

2. It’s Easy to Go On Autopilot

As we noted in our list of superlatives about married sex, marriage means having an advanced degree in each other’s bodies. It’s great to know each other’s sweet spots so well, but this also means that it’s all too easy to check out during sex and go on autopilot. You get lazy about paying attention to the way your partner’s body responds to something, and you get lazy about staying in the moment. Sure, it’s great not to have to concentrate so hard during sex, but it’s not so great when you find yourself thinking about what you’d like to eat for dinner.

3. You Rely On Old Routines

When you find something that works in bed, it’s easy to turn to it again and again and again. For example, if you’ve figured out how to have simultaneous orgasms in bed, then it takes a team effort to agree to try something else that might not have such a happy ending, at least not the first (or first hundred) times. When you first start sleeping with someone, every sex session feels like an opportunity to learn more about your partner, but with married sex, it’s easy to plateau and not realize it (or simply not care).

4. You Put Off Trying New Things

Remember Scarlett O’Hara’s famous quote at the end of Gone with the Wind?  Well, when you’re married, tomorrow is always another day. And you can find yourself putting things off endlessly because you figure, hey, we’ll be having sex for decades, there’ll be time later. Time later to try a new position, time later to try something kinky, time later to work on living out that fantasy together.

5. You Hold Old Grudges

The longer you’ve been with someone, the more things they’ve likely done over the years to annoy you. Perhaps it’s the way they spray the mirror with toothpaste every time they brush their teeth, or the way they load the dishwasher, or the way they sneak glances at their phone during mealtimes. Big or small, these grudges can pop up when you least expect them — and being reminded of one of them right before, or even during sex can seriously spoil the occasion.

6. You Know Each Other Too Well

We’re constantly saying that communication is the key to good sex, but the problem with all that communication is that it develops a real bond. Don’t get us wrong, bonding with your spouse is pretty awesome — that’s the essence of modern marriage, after all. But intimacy can be at odds with eroticism in the bedroom. Desire requires some kind of distance, which can mean that the closer you get to your partner, the harder it is to step back and truly desire them. We burp, we fart, we might even poop when the other person is in the room. We ask each other to check our bodies for tick bites, or apply ointment to a hard-to-reach mole that the dermatologist removed. Having someone around to check your butt crack for tick bites is one of the many advantages of marriage — who else is going to do that for you, after all? — but these things do tend to eat away at the mystery, which can lead to sex that feels companionable rather than steamy. Comfort sex like this, at the right time, can be just what the doctor ordered — but it’s hard to transition from comfort sex into, say, Japanese rope bondage or roleplaying doctor and nurse. It’s too easy, in this mode, to resort to laughter rather than taking the kinky scenario seriously — you’ll be more likely to crack each other up than turn each other on. Of course, cracking each other up in bed is one of the benefits of married sex, but it’s nice to get kinky every now and then, too.

7. Everything Is a Quickie

If you can climax quickly together, sometimes it’s hard to see the point in taking the scenic route instead, especially when sex ends up at the very bottom of your to-do list — after taking the kids to dance class, packing their school lunches, watching some awesome new show on Netflix, etc, etc. So the quickie ends up becoming your new baseline. Which can sometimes feel like you’re nothing more than a human masturbatory aid for your spouse.

8. You Have No New Material

Unless you commit to learning new things together (er, may we politely suggest one of our books?) or decide to open your marriage, once you stop sleeping with other people, there are no new partners to bring new ideas to the table (or, rather, to the bedroom). So your repertoire is now permanently limited to the things you two knew when you first met. Which is a very good reason to keep reading EMandLO.com daily!

9. You’re Not Always Particularly Attracted to Each Other

It’s simply not possible to be hot and heavy for your partner, every day, til death (or divorce) do you part. Attraction between spouses waxes and wanes over the years, and this is totally normal. You might find yourself stuck for months in one of these valleys and wondering if you’ll ever desire your partner again — and then, suddenly, you do. But when you’re stuck there, having sex with your mate can feel a lot like homework (or worse).

10. You Take the Sex for Granted

One of the great things about getting married is that you’ll never again have to stay out til three a.m. drinking vodka-Red Bulls and hoping that your creative dance moves will get you laid. Sex is right there waiting for you two, even when you’re both sitting on the couch in sweats. Besides, the level of obsessive primping and polishing you do at the beginning of a relationship cannot realistically be maintained 24/7 over a lifetime together, when kids/illness/aging happens. So it’s easy to take married sex for granted, and stop trying to impress each other, which only exacerbates the lack of mystery. And, of course, the more often you take married sex for granted, the more likely you are to turn around one day and find yourself suddenly no longer able to take it for granted after all.

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5 Ways the Meyer Briggs Test Can Improve Your Relationship

September 25, 2014

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by YourTango  |  photo via flickr

Having different personality types affects your relationship more than you realize. Are you like me? In a relationship with someone vastly different from you?

Whenever I am planning a trip, I start thinking about what I am going to pack at least three weeks ahead of time. I have created a master packing list of necessities for travel that I keep on my computer. That way I can modify the list depending on the time of year, climate at my destination, length of time I will be gone and purpose of the trip. About five days before “lift off,” I begin to set aside what I will need. I usually feel excited as I get ready and make sure that I am 100 percent prepared by the time I zip my suitcase closed before departure.

My husband, on the other hand, is a last minute packer. He doesn’t seem to give any thought to preparation until the day of the excursion when he often throws some clothing into a suitcase an hour before we leave home. Meanwhile, I stand by on the verge of a panic attack in fear that we will miss our flight. One November when we traveled from balmy California to blustery Canada, as we were gathering our belongings to disembark from the plane, he realized that he had forgotten to bring his winter jacket. As a result, he was chilled to the bone until we made it to a nearby mall to purchase a new one.

Read the rest over at YourTango.com: Driving Each Other Crazy? It’s In Your DNA



How to Make Your Ravishment Fantasy Come True

September 25, 2014

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There is perhaps no sexual fantasy that disturbs people more than the rape fantasy.  Even people in committed, loving relationships who have successfully navigated such a fantasy with massive amounts of communication and trust can feel weird about it. Readers often ask us, “What’s wrong with me that I’m into this?” Well, as we have written before on this site: Nothing! The ravishment fantasyas we prefer to call it — is one of the most common, especially among women. (Here’s why.)

So if you’d like to make your own ravishment fantasy come true tonight, here are a few tips:

1.  Be in Love

Fantasies in general, but in particular ravishment fantasies, are best acted out with a long-term partner that you love, someone you can talk to about anything. Negotiating this kind of roleplay requires a boatload of communication and trust. Sure, some people like to act out rape fantasies with near strangers, but that’s crazy risky behavior, and not the sort of thing we’re talking about — or condoning — here.

2. Be Committed to the Role

Some people get all giggly and self-conscious at the thought of role-playing. While retaining the ability to laugh at yourself and the absurdity of sex is usually a good thing, a case of the giggles is really going to make it hard to get or stay in this particular mood. Try to remain in character.

3. Be Equally Committed to the Fantasy

Both parties have to be 100% on board with acting out this fantasy. This is not the sort of thing you should attempt to talk your partner into. Playing around with power dynamics in the bedroom can be heavy stuff, and if one person is unsure, serious damage can be done to a relationship in terms of trust.

4. Be Okay with It

Domination and submission fantasies are extremely common (hello, Judith Krantz novels?). And they aren’t automatically indicative of past abuse or some issue that needs to be worked out. Remember, what you two are doing isn’t actually rape: you are in control of the situation and the person in the submissive role is being dominated by someone they want to be ravished by, by someone they’ve given consent to. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: Just because you like to be tied up, spanked, and called “bitch,” doesn’t mean you’re a bad feminist. This type of fantasy can just be a fun/creative/intense way to add spice to a sexual relationship, especially long-term ones.

5. Have a Plan

You need to talk through this fantasy in advance and in detail: What exactly you each have in mind, what is okay, what is definitely not okay, etc. Go into specifics: Is hair-pulling okay? How about being tied up? Name-calling? How much pain do want to inflict/enjoy? Etc, etc. The more you discuss things in advance, the more you can lose yourself in the moment.

6. Have a Safeword

A safe word is a signal that either of you can use in the heat of the moment that means “stop” or at least “time out,” just in case things get too uncomfortable, either physically or mentally.  Don’t make it “stop” or “no,” because when you’re acting out a scenario — and you are acting — you want to be able to use words that heighten the drama. So go with something like “red light” or “taco night,” or, our fave, “babyfishmouth.”

7. Be Safe

A little bruise here or there is okay: a bit of safely inflicted pain can feel kinda good when you’re in a heightened state of arousal (as anyone who’s been spanked on the tush during sex can attest). Just be careful not to get too much into character: you certainly don’t want to end up with a broken wrist or a kick in the nuts! Genuine damage — physical or mental – should not be the goal here.

8. Debrief Afterwards

Cuddle, hold each other, express your love for each other, and then have a little post-play analysis: What worked, what didn’t, what you could do better next time, if you could go even further next time, if there will even be a next time… Remember, the more you communicate before and after this sort of fantasy, the more you can disappear into your respective roles during the fantasy itself.

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10 Best Things About Married Sex

September 17, 2014

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Married sex is like the redheaded stepchild of the booty world — at least, according to TV and movies. In that world, married sex is overly lit and played for laughs, whereas all the other kinds of sex — casual sex, new sex, cheating sex, ex sex — get the sultry soundtrack and rumpled sheets.

So we are here to remind you of ten reasons — yes, we managed to come up with ten — why married sex is awesome.

1. You Have Advanced Degrees in Each Other’s Bodies

You know where to let your hands wander — and where not to. Your partner knows exactly what you like — and what you can’t stand — so you won’t ever again have to figure out a nice way of saying, “What is that weird thing you keep doing with your nose during oral sex? And can you please not do it ever again?”

2. Good Sex Can Happen Fast When You Need It To

Those advanced degrees mean that sex doesn’t always need to take an hour. Because five minutes of getting the job done is better than forty-five minutes of ineffectual dilly-dallying, especially when you have to be up with the birds the next morning. Also, it’s okay to say, ”Wanna have sex as soon as my show is finished?” In fact, sometimes that’s all it takes to get in the mood.

3. Sex Can Be Hilarious

All the stuff that used to mortify you when you were single and dating is now more entertaining than a reel of news bloopers: unexpected bodily emissions (a well-timed queef can be entertaining for days); trying and failing at a complicated position; accidentally getting certain substances in your ear during the money shot; a pillow that keeps getting in your way like an unwelcome third wheel; etc., etc.

4. You Can Be Fully in the Moment

Yeah, yeah, we know there are kids and work problems and dirty laundry and all the usual life stuff that can distract you from good sex. That’s life. But you’re not distracted by thinking, Does this person really like me? I wonder if I’ll ever hear from them again? I wonder what they think of my boob size/penis size/oral technique? Should I stay the night? Will I climax? Did my partner climax? Did they just wince when I got near their nipples? Where did my nose ring go? And so on and on and on and on.

5. You Make Your Own Normal

Forget about the Joneses, they’re not sleeping in your bed. When you’re married, you’re each other’s yardstick for what’s “normal.” If you like sex once a month — and the two of you agree on this — then that’s your normal. If you both like a strict diet of missionary, then that’s cool too. You swing every other Friday with the neighbors? Then it’s just your typical Friday night. Whatever positions, whatever schedule, whatever approach — whatever works for the two of you is all good, and screw everyone else.

6. Kink Works Better

Really naughty sex requires negotiation, communication, and trust. When you’re married, you (should) have these things in spades, and they’re not buzz kills, either! So you can experiment with bondage, power roles, sharing fantasies, even pain, and it’s much less likely that someone will end up in the emergency room (or in tears)! Plus, the more intimate and domestic and settled your day-to-day life is, the hotter it is to break out the handcuffs at night.

 7. STDs Are a Thing of the Past (If You’re a Monogamous Married Couple)

So long, condoms. So long, crabs. So long, douchey partners who lie about their sexual history. So long, that late-night panic of, “Is that herpes or just a really big pimple?!”

8. Simultaneous Orgasms

Sure, these aren’t guaranteed with married sex, but the more times you sleep with the same person — someone you love and trust and are committed to — the more likely this is to happen. You know each other’s timing, each other’s bodies, each other’s hot spots, and you’ll be comfortable bringing vibrating toys to bed to help even the orgasmic playing field. (You are comfortable doing that, yes? Because if you’re not, then you’re not doing married sex right!)

9. You Can Take Each Other for Granted

Not that you should do this all the time, but you’re allowed to do it some of the time.  Assuming you have a healthy marriage and you communicate well and often, sex will probably be there for you when you need it — at least at some point, even if it’s not as often as you’d like. You don’t need to hit the town and hope you get lucky. You don’t always need to shave your legs. You don’t need to suck in your stomach and present your good side. Warning: If you take married sex (or your married love) for granted too often, you may find married sex less reliable than it used to be!

10. You Can Get Better

Sex doesn’t automatically get better over time, but it does if you want it to! And having sex doesn’t necessarily make you better at sex — after all, everyone is different in bed — but having sex with the same person, over and over again, absolutely makes you better at having sex with that same person. In other words, married people have no excuse not to be sex gods and goddesses — at least in the eyes of their spouse!

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10 Reasons to Become a Submissive (If Only for a Night)

September 12, 2014

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LELO’s Etherea Silk Cuffs

  1. You want a little freedom from all your daily responsibilities.
  2. You’ve been with your partner for a while and things are getting a little routine.
  3. You kinda like being held down and tickled.
  4. You think our book on the topic “150 Shades of Play” is fascinating.
  5. You don’t want to over-think things in the sack, you just want to get caught up in the moment.
  6. You enjoyed acting in high school and want an excuse to be more theatrical.
  7. You’re sick of having to make decisions.
  8. You’re shy and you have a hard time taking initiative in bed.
  9. You’re not shy, you always take the initiative, and you’re ready for a change.
  10. You think you could do a hell of lot better job than Anastasia Steele.

You don’t have to adopt a new permanent “lifestyle” just because you’re a little curious about BDSM. You can simply choose to spend an evening being submissive and let your trusted partner call all the shots for a change. By being (temporarily) submissive in the bedroom, you don’t have to do anything…except what you’re told. Which is not to say that you’re passive; you are receptive, responsive, appreciative, grateful. And no, there’s no correlation between social, economic, or mental status and your power preference. Being dominated isn’t demeaning; it’s fun! So set some ground rules, set a time limit, come up with a safeword that means “time out,” and then take it and like it.

For more BDSM tips, check out our latest book ”150 Shades of Play“.

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Top 10 Sex Tips for College Students (Especially First-Years)

August 27, 2014

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For many young women and men, the end of August marks the start of a new chapter of life — one of higher learning, critical thinking, problem solving, horizon broadening, and lots and lots of casual bonking. It’s a whole new world of unchaperoned independence and freedom combined with 18-year-old hormones — which can result in a lot of really bad life decisions. If you are the kind of wise-beyond-your-years person who only has sober sex with people you’re in a committed relationship with, more power to you! If not, follow these rules to save yourself  from (at least some) sex-related humiliation and regret up in your ivory tower.

  1. Keep your condom shelf fully stocked at all times. Whether you’re a man or a woman, make sure you keep a healthy supply of condoms on hand, for you, for your friends, for friends of friends. Invest in decent ones, with lubrication (but not spermicide), because everyone could use a little rehydration after a night of drinking (and, good or bad, many of you will have been drinking…heavily – see tip #3). Replace the condoms when they get close to their expiration date — because the only thing worse than not having a condom is having one that breaks mid sesh.
  2. Carry a condom on you at all times. Do you see a theme here? (And we don’t want to hear about how we’re living in a “post-AIDs/HPV-vaccine world” in which condoms are no longer a requirement; STDs still exist!) You never know when nookie is around the corner, especially on nights out. Keep a condom (more if you can manage it) cool and dry in a purse or loose pocket, not crammed in an overstuffed wallet or squeezed into the back pocket of your skinny jeans.
  3. Don’t do it drunk. Chances are, you will get drunk. Too drunk. Way too drunk. Probably on more than one occasion. We’re not talking about a good, healthy buzz — because let’s face it, that’s the most likely time sex is going to happen for you this year — no, we’re talking completely sloshed. And when that happens, when your balance starts to fail and your voice gets really loud and the room spins a bit, try with all your might NOT to hook up. Have a friend or three on hand who’ve got your back (and will tell you when to “turn back/back off now”). Because the chances of it not going well are exceedingly high. Think: poor sexual performance, blackouts, accusations of date rape, actual date rape, mid-sesh vomiting, forgotten birth control, accidental pregnancy, viral videos, the list goes on.
  4. Have a no hook-up zone. Ground zero is your dorm room and the zone radiates out from there. The closer anyone lives to ground zero, the less advised you are to hook up with them. So: students in other dorms = fair game. Students in same dorm = proceed with caution. Students on same floor = enter (or be entered) at your own risk. Immediate neighbors = turn back now! Roommate = NO!!! And while we’re on the topic of roommates, have respect for yours — don’t keep locking them out while you’re showing someone your dorm room etchings, especially on nights before exams.
  5. Don’t sleep with anyone to get them to like you. This will not work. Sleep with someone because you are attracted to them and would like to have sex now, but only if you can do so without any expectations of a future relationship. If you think sex tonight means you’re dating tomorrow, think again.
  6. Avoid having sex in a fraternity/sorority house. But especially a fraternity house. Because in close-knit community living like that there are no boundaries: people will walk in on you while you’re doing it. Sometimes they’ll stay. They might try to take pictures.
  7. Don’t hook up with your friends’ exes. We know college is inherently incestuous. But you’ve got four more years with your friends. Don’t make it awkward.
  8. Be open and honest about STDsYou’re jumping into a pool of smart, well educated, fun, attractive, decent people — many of whom have sexually transmitted diseases. Hell, you probably have one right now too! There’s nothing shameful about that — it’s just statistics. But that doesn’t mean you can shirk your civic responsibility to be honest about anything you’ve got that might be transferrable — oral herpes counts too! The more people talk about it, the less stigma there will be, and the smarter everyone can be about protecting themselves and the ones they lust.
  9. Don’t schtupp your professor. It’s so cliche. The affair might feel naughty and transgressive, but ultimately it’s an abuse of power on their part. Plus, it’s not worth it for the inevitable mediocre B you’ll get.
  10. Get familiar with your health center, campus security, and your school’s policy related to sexual assault.  The health center is your friend: a good one will have free condoms, STD information and check-ups, Plan B and pregnancy tests. Familiarize yourself with campus security: put their number in your phone and memorize it, call them if you need to be picked up or any other kind of help, and know where all the emergency phones are on campus. Finally, now that schools are being forced to actually do something about the on-campus sexual assault epidemic (according to a 2007 study funded by the National Institute of Justice, one in five women will become the victim of an attempted or complete sexual assault during college), review your own school’s current policy so you know your rights and whether you need to insist your school do more.

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