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5 Ways to Spice Up a One-Night Stand

August 22, 2014

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photo via Flickr

One-night stands are inherently pretty spicy, what with all the excitement of the unknown. But they offer a unique opportunity to expand your sexual repertoire without the possibility of being judged or shamed (at least not by someone you know and love). Next time you take a beautiful stranger back to your place for a one-night stand, take advantage of that opportunity to experiment with acts that you would consider out of character. (And no, we don’t mean letting them tie you up — remember, kids: don’t stare at the sun, don’t run with scissors, and don’t let strangers or vengeful exes tie you up in bed!) Whatever you end up doing, your one-nighter won’t think it’s out of character and therefore unusual — because you’ve only just met! One-night standers who fail to get it on a little naughtier are missing out on half the fun.

  1. If you normally let your partner take the reins in the bedroom, be bossy for a change. Or vice versa.
  2. If you and your previous partners’ clothes always quickly ended up in a pile at your feet, be a little bit more deliberate in the undressing this time around: undress your partner before you let them take off your clothes, or have them lie back and watch you strip ever so slowly, or you could even dare to do a little strip tease!
  3. If your usual dirty talk is limited to “don’t stop” and “oh god,” then try to expand your naughty vocabulary and verbalize a bit more (if the lights are out, they won’t see you blush).
  4. Try that ridiculous position you’ve always been curious about: the wheelbarrow, the jackhammer, doggy-style (remember, “kinky” is a relative term).
  5. If you’ve always wanted to role-play but were worried your ex-partners would laugh at you, tonight’s the night to embrace your inner superhero/farmhand/spanking professor.

Remember, it’s important to practice safer sex — even more so with one-night stands: always carry your own quality condoms and oral sex dams, discuss sexual history beforehand, let a friend know where you’re going and who you’re going with, and go with your gut (i.e. if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it).

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What Are the Rules for Dating Your Friend’s Exes?

August 15, 2014

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As a general rule, we think it’s bad manners — not to mention bad taste — to date or sleep with a friend’s ex, a.k.a. “dating the floor model.” Why ruin a perfectly good friendship for a hook-up that, let’s face it, probably won’t last the season?

The ONLY way we think it’s acceptable to move in on a friend’s ex is to:

(a) wait until that friend has reached some kind of relationship closure;

(b) give the friend a heads up first so they’re not blindsided by the news; and

(c) only do this if you’re convinced that there’s some kind of deep love connection and that you’d be defying Cupid to ignore it.

Obviously the ex in question also bears the same responsibility, but whatever — we expect exes to act like assholes. That’s why they’re exes, after all.

By the way, before you swear up and down that this is Cupid-defying love: Make sure it’s not just a matter of the forbidden being all the more tempting, of obstacles standing in the way of love (or lust) –thereby making it all the more appealing?  We get it, we really do — that’s the nature of the beast. But there’s Romeo and Juliet, and then there’s Gossip Girl.

Remember, dating is hard enough on the heart when you and your friends have each other’s back. But when you don’t? It’s soul-destroying.

Want to get advice on your own love life? Click here to ask us a question!

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10 Quick Ways to Spice Up Masturbation

August 13, 2014

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We know that masturbation feels like an easy lay, but just because you’re a sure thing, doesn’t mean you always have to treat yourself that way. Here are 10 simple ways to spice up your old routine:

  1. Dim the overheads and light some candles
  2. Pour yourself a drink
  3. Take a long bath (with a nice waterproof accessory, perhaps)
  4. Moisturize your entire body
  5. Play that album you’d never admit actually turns you on
  6. Read the dirty parts of Anne Rice novels
  7. Watch an erotic film (if porn is a usual part of your wanking habits, try something a little different than you normally would)
  8. Fantasize about your Fed Ex delivery person
  9. Use the really nice lube you save for special occasions
  10. Take your time and tease yourself


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Top 10 Things We Will Tell Our Sons About Sex

August 6, 2014

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Remember how we said we accidentally bred on the same schedule and both have six-year-old daughters? Well, we weren’t kidding about that breeding schedule — we also each have three-year-old sons. So it’s only fair that, after publishing the Top 10 Things We’ll Tell Our Daughters About Sex, we should write a follow-up list for our sons.

Granted, right now they’re mostly interested in Lightning McQueen, but their time will come soon. And then we will ask the same questions: What if our sons stumble across one of our books? What if one of their friends does during a playdate, and then tells his parents? (And what if it’s the unnecessarily detailed chapter on fisting in our first book, when we were still trying to prove how brave and unshockable we were?!)

We’ve already spent plenty of time thinking about how we’d like to raise our sons, and how we will talk to them about sex. Here are the top ten things we want them — eventually — to know and understand:

1. Don’t buy into macho sexual stereotypes.

First, losing your V-card doesn’t make you more of a man, so don’t rush it. When you have any kind of sexual relation for the first time, it should be because you and your partner both want to — not because you want to get it over with, not because everyone else is doing it, and not because you’re trying to prove something to your friends. Remember, guys who talk the loudest about sex either have the least experience with it, or the worst skills at it.

Those same guys may try to tell you that women who like sex or who’ve had more sexual partners than you are sluts. They’re wrong! And for the record, guys fall in love and want relationships as much as women do. So don’t engage in any so-called battles of the sexes: men aren’t from Mars and women aren’t from Venus — we’re all earthlings who should treat each other (and the sex we have with each other) with thoughtfulness, deliberateness, and respect. And if you hear anybody demeaning women or their bodies (e.g. with talk of “meat curtains,” “fish tacos,” “gaping axe wounds”), slut-shaming them, or pressuring them to have sex, then you have an obligation as a decent human being to step in and set them straight (not with brawn, with your brain). Oh, and real men wear pink with style, cry when they’re sad, and aren’t afraid to use lube and sex toys in bed, either.

And if we ever hear you use the phrase “That’s so gay” for anything other than describing light and merry pop culture from the fifties and earlier, we’re taking away all your screen privileges indefinitely.
 

2. Real sex is nothing like most porn.

Watching porn is not obligatory. Porn is a fantasy, and most of it caters to the assumed and narrowly defined tastes of a limited audience. In other words, what might turn men on visually in porn (jackhammering, facials, gang bangs) won’t necessarily feel good, either physically or emotionally, to your partner in real life. You should know that most women don’t look anything like porn stars — ditto for the guys…especially their equipment. Don’t try to measure your partners, or yourself, against what you see on screen. Women in porn (and men too!) get implants and cosmetic surgery (on their junk) and spray tans and full body makeup and anal bleaching and laser hair removal to look that way. In real life, labia come in all shapes and sizes (sometimes even different shapes and sizes on the same woman), in different shades, with different hairstyles. And the men in porn represent a small percentage of the population — they’re outliers in the size department, which is why they got the job in the first place! And those orgasms? More fake than not — even the guys, sometimes (Pina Colada mix, we’ve heard).

Basically, porn is a terrible place to learn about how to have great, satisfying sex, and what that kind of sex looks like. It’s an especially terrible place to learn about what women like in bed. A much better place to learn about sex — and we can’t believe we’re saying this — is one of our books! Fine, fine, if you just can’t go there (we get it), then we’ll find you another.

 

3. Oral should be reciprocal.

Other oral sex commandments, if you’re on the receiving end: Never push anyone’s head downtown. Never use their ears as a steering wheel. “Deep Throat” was the nickname of the Watergate informant — and that’s it! Basically, the basic rules of being a good person in general don’t end with oral: be respectful, communicate, and don’t have double standards.

 

4. If you have to get drunk to have sex, then you’re not ready to have sex.

Same goes for your partner — if they have to get drunk to have sex, then they’re not ready to have sex. In fact, if you suspect someone is drunk, zip your fly and go home. When either of you is drunk, you might not have safer sex. You might talk someone into doing things they’re not comfortable with — or you might do more than you’re comfortable with. You might sleep with someone you don’t even like. Have all your wits about you when it comes to sexual situations so you can make smart, informed decisions, and can give and receive consent.

 

5. If you’re not comfortable enough with someone to talk about safer sex, then you’re not ready to have sex with them.

Talk about your partner’s sexual history — and yours. Ask them if they always use barrier protection (condoms, oral sex dams) — and if they don’t, then don’t go there. And we don’t care if sex with a condom feels slightly less awesome than the alternative — it’s the only kind you’ll be having. But please know that condoms will not protect you from every S.T.I. — some infections exist on the surrounding skin, and sometimes condoms break. This, however, is no excuse to forgo barrier protection all together — they’re like seatbelts: they don’t prevent every accident, but they make driving a hell of lot safer (so make sure you always use both seatbelts and barrier protection!). It’s great if any female partners also use a back-up form of birth-control, like the Pill (but the Pill et al does not mean you can forgo the condoms!). Have we used enough exclamation points to make ourselves clear?!?!??!

 

6. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for directions in bed.

And it’s not “bossy” if a woman (or a man) gives you directions in bed. After your first few times, you might think you know how to please anyone in bed, but you won’t (even after years of sex, you won’t). Every partner will be different, and even the same partner will be different on different days. This is especially true of women, whose orgasms tend to be a little more elusive than men’s. But whoever you end up dating, guy or girl, you should be open and receptive.

 

7. Maybe you’re gay. Maybe you’re bisexual. Maybe you don’t know yet.

And it’s all good. Be yourself. And don’t worry too much about labels.

 

8. Nobody ever “owes” anyone else sex.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been dating, or how long you’ve been naked together, or how blue your balls are. It doesn’t matter if you two have had sex before, or if you partner has slept with ten people before you. It doesn’t matter if one of you just treated the other to dinner (or to oral sex). It doesn’t even matter if you’re half-way through some sexual act, including intercourse, and suddenly one of you changes your mind. Sex can stop at any time. It doesn’t even have to start.

 

9. That whole baseball thing is a terrible metaphor for sex.

Sex acts don’t exist on a checklist. Foreplay isn’t some discrete event that can be rushed through before the “main event.” Sex isn’t a linear set of steps. It’s not about keeping score or rushing to home plate. Sex is an amorphous conglomeration of hormones and touching and adoration and lust and pleasure and imperfection. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it (a million times) again: sex isn’t just intercourse, and intercourse shouldn’t be considered the culmination of sex. Oral sex is sex. So is manual sex. So is using a toy together. So is frottage!

 

10. Sex is awesome!

When you do it with the right person, at the right time, sex can be amazing. It can feel, like, really good. It can be fun and exciting, it can bring you closer to your partner, it can reduce stress, it can make you love a person more than you thought possible (though to be sure, love is not a requirement for sex — mutual respect, however, is). But sex isn’t usually awesome at first. Even when you’re head over heels in love and one hundred percent ready to do the deed, sex exists on a learning curve. That said, the better you know someone before you have sex, the more comfortable you will probably be figuring out what each other wants. Good sex requires practice. It requires knowledge about your body, and your partner’s body. It requires experimentation, and play. And it requires a sense of humor so you can both laugh it off when someone farts or queefs or gets an elbow in the face. Remember, there is no such thing as “normal” in bed — there is only what you like, what your partner likes, and what you’re both comfortable with.

Have fun, be safe, and remember: You can ask your mom anything. We’re, well, unshockable.

 

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Straight Guys: How to Respond to Being Hit On by a Woman

August 1, 2014

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photo via Flickr

A note to straight men: We’re constantly hearing you guys complain that you still have to do almost all of the pick-up leg-work. But then when a woman does attempt to hit on you in a bar, a lot of you turn around and call her “desperate” — even in 2014! (Er, who made off with your self-esteem, anyway?)

Admittedly, you don’t get hit on nearly as often as straight gals do, so you don’t have nearly as much practice at (politely) rejecting an unwelcome advance. Which means that when a brave lady does attempt to buy you a drink or engage you in conversation, you have a tendency to be awkward and weird about it. But what’s so “desperate” about knowing what you want and going for it? She shouldn’t be made to feel like she fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down just because she asked you to dance. It’s not like she’s asking you to bear her children. You never know, she may actually just want to use you for sex. So be nice to the women trying to even the playing field!

Oh, and ladies? Keep asking! And try not to take it personally if a guy is a douche when you ask him how he likes his eggs in the morning. He’s just had less practice than you.

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Top 5 Rules of Engagement for Backdoor Toys

July 30, 2014

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photo via flickr

We’re always thrilled to hear about people opening themselves up — as it were — to new sensual experiences in the backdoor area. Unfortunately this particular region seems to encourage experimentation with D.I.Y. sex toys — and it’s the last place you should be going D.I.Y.! Our E.R. nurse friend confirms that those stories about deodorant sticks/cucumbers/action figures stuck up patients’ butts are not merely urban legends.

D.I.Y. solutions can be great when it comes to home improvements, NOT when it comes to your tushy time. The anus and rectum are delicate body parts that need special care, or else — you’re right — things could go horribly wrong. The area is prone to tearing if mistreated, it’s not self-lubricating, and it’s got curves that can’t accommodate certain shapes (like, say, rigid action figures) easily.

Instead, you should use only high-quality toys designed specifically for the rear, like LELO’s Bob and Billy, Tantus’s L’il End butt plug, the Tantus vibrating ProTouch, or Booty Beads’ Silicone Anal Beads. (If your tush doesn’t get out of bed for less than $10K, then check out LELO’s gold-plated Earl anal plug.)

Here are the five things you should look for in a high-quality, purpose-made butt toy:

1. It should have a flared base so as not to get sucked up into your black hole, lost for all eternity.

2. It should ideally be made of non-porous material like 100% silicone so it can be sterilized thoroughly (i.e. so it won’t harbor microscopic fecal bacteria).

3. It should be soft, yet firm, with a little give to it so it’s easy on your bod.

4. It should be ergonomically shaped (e.g. it should have a tapered end and possibly a curve that targets his prostate gland, a.k.a. the P-spot or the male G-spot).

5. It shouldn’t have rough seams or anything that might break off inside of you, duh.

And while you absolutely must use lubricant — and lots of it — it’s probably best to avoid anything oil-based, like Vaseline or Crisco, since oils degrade the latex in condoms, they’re a bitch to clean off, and they can lead to infection in women (should the oil in question somehow make its way to her vajayjay). Instead, go for a water- or silicone-based lube, at least when you’re playing together.

Remember: Be smart (or would that be smart-ass?) when it comes to anal play. It’s like what your mom used to tell you about your nose: just because you can stick anything up there doesn’t mean you should.

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6 Kinds of Lube & 6 Reasons to Use Them Every Time

July 25, 2014

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LELO’s Personal Moisturizer (75 ml) 

Lube gets a bad rap, so we’d like to clear its name here once and for all: Store-bought personal lubricant is not a “crutch” for people with faulty machinery. And reaching for the wet stuff doesn’t mean you’re “not into it,” “frigid” or “kinky.” It just means you like to make sex even better:

  1. For women, natural lubrication doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with sexual arousal. You may be ready mentally, but your body could use a little catching up. It can happen any time, but it’ll be more common the older you get.
  2. Smoking, caffeine, booze, weed, stress, certain days in your menstrual cycle, and cold medicine can all dry you up. Lubricants can help combat these Saraha culprits.
  3. Adding extra lubrication means your sensitive parts can take more and more kinds of stimulation without getting over-sensitive.
  4. It helps prevent chaffing and the condom from breaking.
  5. With so many different kinds to choose from, you can find one that’s perfect for you (i.e. you like the consistency, the scent, maybe even the taste).
  6. It just feels good — even better than it does without!

But don’t even thinking about pulling a Marlon Brando and reaching for the butter (not even the olive oil, yuppie). Oils can degrade latex (i.e. break the condom!) and can also encourage vaginal infections. So when you’re a friend in need, manmade lubricant is a friend indeed.

Don’t have any on your nightstand? Here are 6 popular brands to check out:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 New Routes to Your Orgasm

July 23, 2014

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photo via Flickr

Most people have that one, fail-safe way that gets them from point A to point O quickly and directly, scenic lookout points be damned! And when you’re busy or tired (read: every minute of every day), it’s easy (and understandable) to resort to that surefire route on the rare occasion you do get around to doing it.  But tonight, whether you’re alone or with a partner, give yourself at least 30 minutes — okay, 20 — to try to have an orgasm in a different way. Because the more ways you can train your body to have an orgasm, the opportunities for pleasure you have at your disposal and the less chance your orgasm has of ever getting old (not that that is a huge risk or anything). Here’s how:

  1. Use a new hand technique: If you always stick with external stimulation with your (or your partner’s) digits, go deep. If you always hit your G-spot, try your PS-spot (which is directly opposite the G-spot in the vaginal canal).
  2. Get in a different position: If the missionary, for example, is the position you always end with during partner sex, then try to avoid it entirely one night (or at least give yourselves a good ten minutes with doggy style, cowgirl, or whatever).
  3. Try a new toy: If you usually like, say, a Magic Wand, why not try something designed to be used internally for a change, like a Rabbit-style vibe.
  4. Just try it without your toy for once: Attempt to recreate the sensation of your vibrator with your hands, your partner’s hands, or even your partner’s mouth. It won’t feel the same, but it won’t necessarily be worse — just different. And variety is the spice of your sex life!

Don’t worry if you haven’t gotten to O-town before time’s up. Remember, the journey is 90% the fun!

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How to Choose Your Very First Vibrator

July 18, 2014

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LELO’s Nea vibrator

So you’re ready to purchase your very own My First Vibrator? Good for you! And you came to the right place, because yours truly, Em & Lo, happen to be your very personal shoppers.

Exploring on your own is the best way to start learning the pattern of your sexual response — especially if you’ve had fairly limited sexual experience, or have yet to experience an orgasm. Too many straight women wait for a fella to come ’round to show them the way — but those dudes often don’t have a map (or else they don’t care if you get left behind). But if more women took the initiative, we’d probably get a lot fewer letters from gals saying they can’t orgasm during sex with a partner. After all, doing it on your own means you’re much more likely to be able to do it with a partner — and you’re much more likely to be able to ask for what you want when you’re with that partner, too.

And just in case you’re still “curiously debating,” here’s one more reason to go for it: Studies have shown that more than a third of women own vibrators, and that those who use them experience higher levels of sexual desire and more orgasms than those who don’t.

Okay, so now you’ve got to choose your weapon. There’s a lot of crap out there, and though we know it might be tempting to go bargain-basement shopping in the middle of a recession, you do have to pay a little bit extra for a quality toy. And by quality, we don’t mean “Swarovski-crystal-encrusted,” we just mean one that’s actually meant to be used as a vibrator, and not “for novelty purposes only.”

The most important quality in a sex toy is that it’s phthalate-free (pronounced “thay-late”) — and if the shop you’re browsing in doesn’t know what you’re talking about when you ask whether a toy contains phthalates, then you don’t want to spend your hard-earned money there! Phthalates are plastic softeners which have been shown to be bad for both your body and the environment — they’re banned in kids’ toys and even in pet toys in most countries, and yet manufacturers continue to use them in sex toys! Shocking, we know. Pure silicone is phthalate-free and always a great option for a sex toy, though there are other newer materials on the market that are also phthalate-free and worth checking out.

For newbies, we think that Fun Factory — a German toy manufacturer — is a great place to start. We’d recommend any of their toys, in fact! We love their Laya ($50), which is for external use. Or, if you want something slightly more phallic (and insertion-friendly), check out the G-spot friendly G-Swirl Smartvibe ($82). For even more choice, check out GoodVibes, which stocks a whole range of Fun Factory toys.

Our friends at LELO also offer some fab — and gorgeously designed — sex toys for beginners. If you want a small smooth toy that fits in the palm of your hand like a well worn pebble, try their Siri, their Lily, or their Nea (all rechargeable).

If you’re looking for a kitchen-sink vibrator — i.e. one that provides simultaneous internal and external stimulation while paying attention to the G-spot — then a Rabbit-style vibrator is your friend in need. But again, beware of cheap knock-offs! Ever since the Rabbit made a guest appearance on Sex & the City, companies across the globe have been attempting to cash in on the trend. LELO makes a rechargeable Rabbit-style toy called the Ina 2 ($159). Sure, it’s a little pricey, but most of you have probably spent more than this on a pair of jeans. And when’s the last time a pair of $159 jeans got you off? Never say that money can’t buy you a little love!

If all of the above are still a bit too pricey, you can always go with the ol’ standby: The Pocket Rocket. It’s only meant for external use, but at least the hard plastic it’s made of won’t leach phthalates. For $30, you can get a similar style vibe that’s waterproof made by dependable Vibratex, called the Water Dancer.

When you’re ready to expand your toy collection — you can’t have just one! — just make sure you’re shopping at a decent, well-lighted sex toy outlet. We trust GoodVibes with both our credit cards and our genitals, and we trust them to steer a newbie in the right direction.

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5 Reasons Why Sea Sex Sucks

July 16, 2014

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photo via Flickr

It’s that time of year. The temperatures go up, the clothes come off, and you’re at the beach/by the pool/in the hot tub with your honey. Things can easily get frisky quickly. Come on, who doesn’t want to recreate that pool scene from Showgirls? Well, we don’t. We hate to rain on your already-wet water-sex parade, but here are five reasons why we don’t endorse it:

1.

Condoms can malfunction. Much more easily than usual. Suction issues lead to slippage and then it’s unsafe city from there on out.

2.

Spermicide can be washed away. Not that we’re big fans of spermicide to begin with, but if your birth control of choice happens to include some, water will dilute it and decrease its efficacy.

3.

It also washes away natural lubricant, which makes penetration more difficult and possibly painful.

4.

Chemicals or bacteria in the water can be pushed into the vagina or butt, causing irritation or infection. Not exactly how you want to be spending your beach vacation.

5.

 Finally, it’s just not very polite to ejaculate all over a public place. People peeing in the ocean — or worse, the pool — is bad enough. Don’t muddy the waters further with your own love juice.

Sorry to be wet noodles, but intercourse in the sea, pool or jacuzzi is just not a safer sex option. However, if you and your partner are body fluid monogamous, if one of you is on hormonal birth control like the Pill (if you’re a straight couple), and if you really want to swim at your own risk, then we suppose you could try applying a water-resistant silicone lubricant to both of your naughty bits to make for easier underwater entry. However, we’d just recommend some external fondling beaneath the waves as a form of foreplay, rather than any kind of penetration. Save that for the nice summer-vacation hotel room.

Disclaimer: Em & Lo are not doctors, and the information contained in this column should not be considered a substitute for a discussion with a medical professional — e.g. your OB-GYN or physician — about safer sex.

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