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Your Call: Should I Have a Fling with My Long-Distance Boss?

April 13, 2015

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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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Dear Em & Lo,

I recently got out of a 3 1/2 year relationship. For the last year, our sex-life was basically non-existant, so now that I am “free” I am horny as hell.

A couple of weeks ago I got back from a business trip where I met a fascinating guy. He works in another branch of the company and lives 400 miles away, but technically he is my boss/ superior at work. Lots of flirting occurred and was followed up by a heavy make out session on our last evening. However, nothing more happened because I was still in the middle of my breakup.

Since I got back, we have been emailing or texting almost daily, and now he has invited me to come visit him for a few days in summer. He has made it quite clear that he is not the relationship type, needs his space and generally doesn’t do long distance, but that is fine by me. Right now, I am not interested in a relationship and am actually enjoying being “just me” for a while. I just love the way he makes me feel…

Most of me really wants to go and just have an amazing sexy weekend together, but I can’t help thinking that I am playing with fire here. In the fall we will be going abroad on another business trip together for six weeks to work on a project that is very important for my career. Am I being incredibly stupid, putting my career at risk with this fling? What if the chemistry we felt fizzles once we spend some days one on one? Is there a way I can avoid future awkwardness with a pre-emptive conversation? What do I say? “Promise me whatever happens this weekend won’t affect our professional relationship” sounds pretty lame and I doubt it will change anything…. On the other hand, backing out now seems pretty awkward as well, and I’m not sure how to do it elegantly…. 

I don’t feel I can talk to my friends about this because my breakup is so new and everybody loved the ex… Please help me solve this mess!

– Boss or Bail?

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

 

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What to Do When You Like a Guy… Until You See His Penis

April 10, 2015

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photo via flickr

Yes, yes, we know. This advice question will make a lot of people — especially men — mad. We almost didn’t publish it for this reason! But we felt it our duty to set this woman straight. Feel free to weigh in below, in the comments section, but let’s keep it classy, people! And if you have your own question to ask us, submit it here.

Dear Em & Lo,
About six months ago I broke up with my boyfriend of 18 months and have recently met someone new. The other day the new boy and I were engaging in some hands-on action which led me to discover that he nowhere near measures up to my ex. The new boy was around 4-6″. My problem is that I’m really worried about having sex with him because my ex was over 8″. I feel really disappointed and I know that 8″ is a high bar that’s been set. Am I bad person or should I go looking for something more? Why can’t good-looking men come with the measurements of their penis tattooed onto their wrist or something? The problems and surprises that would solve..
–Sizeist

Dear Sizeist,

We almost didn’t print your letter because of the emotional damage it might inflict on insecure men everywhere. It’s the secret fear that everyone — male and female — experiences at some point in their hook-up life: Am I being compared to their ex(es)? And if so, am I failing to measure up?

But on behalf of all the average-sized men out there, i.e. the vast majority of men, we think you should give Mr. 4-6″ a chance. It’s not like you’ve dated a string of 8″ men and have discovered that only a super-sized schlong can satisfy you. (In fact, you need to understand that, statistically speaking, 8 inches is freakishly long). No, you just had one great experience with one 8″ penis. And this is by no means a guarantee that sex with a 4-6″ penis will feel only 50-75% as great.

For a start, men with big swinging dicks can get lazy in the sack, assuming that size is the only thing that matters. They may also assume that intercourse is the only thing that matters — and we all know how few women climax from intercourse alone; remember, orgasm achieved through non-penile means still counts as sex! Not to mention, you may suddenly discover new penetration positions that you really enjoy — positions that perhaps were not so comfortable with a larger specimen. Oh, and don’t forget that, when it comes to size, most women agree that girth is a lot more important than length, since the majority of sensation is felt in the outer third of the vagina, thanks to the extensions of the clitoris, the g-spot, and the pelvic floor muscles around the lower part of the vaginal canal (and also since a lot of women don’t enjoy having their cervix rammed).

On a final note: Maybe he was nervous and not fully inflated, as it were. Basically, you have no idea what sex is going to be like with this man. So if you dig him (and we surely hope the handwork you exchanged means that you do), why not find out whether the motion of his ocean can get the job done?

Of course, we can’t discount the fact that you may simply be less attracted to him (or not attracted to him at all) now that you’ve scoped out his unit — you like what you like.  This doesn’t make you a bad person, though you are severely limiting your dating options — at least until your tattoo idea catches on. We suppose you could post a personal ad specifying that only 8″-penis-owners need reply, but something tells us that’s not exactly the way to find the next Boyfriend of the Year. Here’s a better idea: Why not just spend some quality time with an average-sized penis and see if the experience converts you?

Here for the little people,

Em & Lo

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I’m Straight, But in My Dreams, I’m a Sexually Frustrated Lesbian

April 9, 2015

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photo via flickr

Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means. Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it (18 and older only, please). This week, a reader asks Lauri:

Hello, I have had a wave of dreams that I do not understand at all. In my dream I am a masculine lesbian and regardless of what faceless woman I’m trying to sleep with I always fail. Sometimes we have just got married and keep getting interrupted on our honeymoon. Most recently I dreamt that I was all over this woman and as soon as I think I’m getting somewhere my husband comes in the room and steals her away. I never get to achieve orgasam or even get wet. Why all the sexually frustrating lesbian dreams?

Lauri: The dissatisfaction and inability to complete orgasm in these dreams is connected to something in your real life that brings about the same feelings of dissatisfaction and incompletion. Let’s start with the obvious… everything okay in the bedroom? If not, then your dreams are an extension of this and may suggest you wish your husband understood what the female body wants and needs during sex… hence the lesbian action in your dream.

However, if everything is A-okay in the bedroom then these dreams are connected to some other area of your life that is causing you to feel frustrated lately. You have a couple clues in these dreams that will help us narrow it down. In some of the dreams you have just gotten married. That tells us that these dreams are connected to some sort of commitment you have made in real life. Again, it could be your real life marriage, but I want you to look at other commitments such as a diet or exercise regimen, a project or something at works, etc. Does something keep interrupting a waking life commitment just as your honeymoon keeps getting interrupted in the dream?

Also, your husband keeps stealing your wife away. This may mean that your husband is somehow taking away your ability to commit to this project or diet or whatever it is… or at least you feel he is to blame. Does he keep bringing home chips and cookies? Or does he complain about the time you’re spending on some project? Anything like that?

Bottom line is, once you are able to pinpoint this waking life issue that you can’t seem to stick to or complete, you need to find a way to COMMIT to correcting it. These dreams will continue to nag you to death until you do. I really hope I was able to help you figure it out.

Response from Dreamer: Lauri, thank you so much for getting back to me.  I am shocked at how spot on you are about a few certain things. Between bedroom issues and duty and work issues you are exactly right.  Thank you again.  Very kind of you to do this.

 

Visit Lauri’s site, WhatYourDreamMeans.com, for even more dream interpretations! If you want to be able to figure out your own dreams each morning, check out her latest book, Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, which will give you the tools you need to become a dream expert. You can see all of Lauri’s books here. And hey, if you want your very own pin-up painting of you or your luvva (either vintage or modern), Lauri can do that, too! 

 

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5 Good Reasons Not to Fake Your Orgasm

April 9, 2015

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by Amanda Chatel for YourTango

You’re really not as good at it as you may think you are.

It has long been one of those discussions that comes up both in and out of the bedroom: are you faking it or not? Faking an orgasm, that is. Sadly there are actually those out there who end up faking it quite a bit.

Whether it’s to please their partner, convince themselves they’re enjoying it, or they want to speed up the whole process, because sometimes you just don’t have the time, faking it happens pretty often. You may think that your fake orgasms are so great that they’re worthy of an Academy Award but, and I’m sorry to tell you, you’re really not as good at it as you may think you are.

But then again not everyone can pull off the Katz’s Deli scene with Meg Ryan’s famous faux orgasm in When Harry Met Sally.

According to research by Erin Fallis, a Ph.D. student at the University of Waterloo in Canada, your partner is far more “in the know” than you realize when it comes to your sexual satisfaction. As Fallis explains, “We found that, on average, both men and women have fairly accurate and unbiased perceptions of their partners’ sexual satisfaction.”

So there. It doesn’t matter what you might be trying to convey with your moans or even your words, if your partner knows you well enough and can read your emotions, then you’re secret is out.

We asked both men and women what lessons, if any, they had learned from faking it.

Lesson 1: When You’re Caught Lying, It’s Awkward.
“It was a casual thing I had going on with a guy that I never orgasmed with,” says Edie, who claims she usually doesn’t fake it. “But then one night I felt really bad for him and proceeded to moan as if I was having the greatest orgasm of my life.

Afterward he asked me if I had come, and I said yes. He rolled over, looked at me and said, ‘You’re such a liar. Do you really think I could fall for that charade?’ I only saw him once more after that … where I didn’t orgasm and I didn’t fake it.”

Lesson 2: When You’re The One Being Lied To, It’s Even More Awkward.
As Aaron realized, it’s pretty “lame,” to use his word, to be on the other side of that lie.

“Sorry, but I just don’t like lying, especially when I can tell. I called out one girl on her lie, but she just kept denying it over and over until we got into a huge argument about it. It was really pathetic. I know how the female vagina works! Being honest is far sexier.”

Lesson 3: Slightly Faking An Orgasm Can Actually Be Appreciated.
Although Chandra doesn’t believe in faking a full orgasm, as she calls it, she doesn’t mind throwing her partner a bone in the noise department. “Once I acted more into it to help my partner out. It worked. I can’t say he was exactly upset when I told him.

If anything, he thanked me, then helped me reach my climax. Faking it just keeps people from being honest and having a good sex life.”

Lesson 4 Faking It With A One-Stand Is OK.
While Caitlyn agrees that faking it with your partners is just setting up your sex life to be a bummer by reinforcing “the behavior that’s causing you not to get off,” when it comes to a one-night stand things change a bit.

“I’ve only ever faked it with someone I never intended to sleep with again. Why waste time on communication if it’s a hit and run situation? Besides, I’ve found that one-night stands don’t really care anyway.”

Lesson 5: People Are Actually More Concerned With Their Partner’s Pleasure Than Their Own, So Lying Gets Both Parties Nowhere.
Natalie, who’s been in a serious relationship for the past few years, just can’t wrap her brain around why someone would fake it. “I’ve learned that people care more about their partner’s pleasure than their own, so why lie?

Sorry, but if you fake it, you’re just an idiot.

I have never understood this about other women and it makes me really angry that such a concept even exists. I’ve just never even tempted to, and straight-up don’t understand the psychology of it. It seems to be a self-hating psychology, and I’m not comfortable with that.

Just tell him you didn’t—and that can be okay! Because you’re a woman and it’s harder! Duh.” She also continued, “I’m totally convinced that the faking people probably hate their partner. Why would you do that to someone you love? In my experience, they want to know if you’re satisfied or not.”

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10 Ways to Avoid the E.R. – A Sex Toy Safety Review

April 8, 2015

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LELO’s Ina 2 and Ida (sponsored post)

Recently, the Washington Post reviewed data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and found that sex-toy-related injuries have been on the rise, dramatically spiking after the whole Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon. (WP has a great chart.) Despite easier access to higher quality toys and a lot more helpful info on how to choose and use toys effectively and safely these days (a la sites like yours truly), people obviously don’t do their homework and often take the cheap and lazy route. Go, Amerrca! Just goes to show, Fifty Shades IS NOT A SEX MANUAL.

Below are some of the most common (and not so common) toy injuries that required hospitalization in recent years and how they could have easily been avoided. You’ll be happy to know, no one died (which makes them kind of hysterical).

1. “PUT METAL RING ON PENIS, UNABLE TO REMOVE”
Metal penis rings (aka cock rings) are only for the very experienced or the very stupid. This is one of the most common toy-related cases in ERs, just behind FBRs (see below): the blood rushes in during arousal, but it can’t get out because the metal’s so unforgiving. If you get your dick and/or balls stuck in a metal ring, we see bolt cutters in your future — and do you really want bolt cutters so close to your junk? Best to opt for a love ring (our preferred gentler-kinder term) that can either be undone (with a velcro strap, buckle, snap or tie) OR stretched easily enough to get around excessive engorgement (such as a silicone ring).

2. “CUT ON THE METAL EDGE OF A VIBRATOR”
Yikes! No decent sex toy will have sharp edges or rough seams. Those are cheap novelties “not intended for actual use.” Here’s where investing in your sex life comes into play. Pay a little more for a high quality toy made with body safe materials and designed ergonomically for your most sensitive bits — you’re worth it! For your money, you can’t go wrong with a LELO.

3. “NECKLACE CAUGHT MASSAGE MACHINE DX: ASPHYXIATION, CARDIAC ARREST”
Oh dear. Please familiarize yourself with your “massager” before you get jiggy with it: know how to turn it off quickly, in the dark, by feel alone. And consider taking off any jewelry that might get in the way: rings, necklaces, big earrings. By the way, this incident happened to a 61-year-old man: good for him for experimenting with toys at his age, but a necklace? Remember: Keepin’ it classy could save your life.

4. “RECTAL PAIN … AFTER USING PLASTIC TOY PENIS”
Again, let’s avoid cheap plastic items when it comes to our treasured family jewels. Invest in 100%, waterpoof, non-porous silicone toys.

5. “CAME TO ED WITH PENIS SLEEVE STUCK IN VAGINA”
If a sex toy is reputable, it will come with instructions for use (as well as care and cleaning tips). Make sure you get one with those kind of instructions (again, LELO is a winner here) and then follow them. Don’t use in a way it wasn’t intended. For example, penis sleeves are meant to go around penises, not inside vaginas. If this was one of the rare sleeves that can be used as a penis extender with a partner, then there’s no way it should have gotten stuck (see #7).

6. “VAGINAL TEAR WITH PAIN AND BLEEDING AFTER SELF STIMULATION WITH DILDO”
Here’s where knowing your own body comes into play. If you’re a petite 100-pound professional ballerina, then a mammoth, unrealistically sized dildo called “The Pounder” is not for you. Another great sex toy to use in conjunction with vibes and dildos? Quality lube. It will help keep things going smoothly and prevent rug burn. (And it’s not cheating — there are many reasons why your desire may not match your own wetness — so give yourself a helping hand.) At the risk of sounding like a broken record, high quality toys made of body-safe material will help you avoid the pitfalls of cheap novelties: rough seams, toxic phthalates, allergic reactions, etc. Finally, you may like it rough, but avoid doing serious damage. There’s the line: don’t cross it.

7. “SMALL VIBRATOR USED BY PT & HUSBAND,INSIDE VAGINA; BECAME STUCK, UNABLE TO REMOVE”
Again, to get a little Greek on you: know thyself. Learn the basics of genital anatomy and examine yourself. The vagina is only a few inches long. Without a doctor going in, or a baby coming out, nothing’s really getting past the cervix into the uterus. A small vibrator, ben wa balls, or a piece of a cheap broken vibrator may nestle into the crevice between the cervix and the very back of the vagina; but by bearing down and reaching in, most women should be able to retrieve it themselves (just get over your silly heebie jeebies — it’s your own body, fer chrissakes!). If your fingers are stubby, hopefully your lover’s are longer. As long as you go with a modern, quality toy made for the vagina, nothing’s getting “lost.”

8. “USED A PENIS PUMP AND IT GOT STUCK ON PENIS”
Just say no to penis pumps. Instead, learn to work with what you’ve got and become an exceptional lover so size truly doesn’t matter (here’s a great place to start).

9. “VIBRATOR/DILDO STUCK IN RECTUM”
The overwhelming majority (like 83%, according to the Washington Post) of injuries happen when people — and not just guys, plenty of gals too! — put something up their butts that they shouldn’t. The official terminology is “foreign body removal” (FB Removal). That can’t feel good, for your ass or your pride. We’ve said it a thousand times, we’ll say it again: when it comes to your anus, only use made-for-play sex toys that are non-porous and have a flared base. Otherwise, your butt will act like a greedy Dyson and you’ll have to go to the E.R. and sites like ours will invariably make fun of you for it.

1o. “PAIN TO TOE AFTER DROPPING HER BACK MASSAGER ON FOOT”
Um, just try to be less clumsy…?

 

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Who Do Men Think Should Pay on a Date?

April 7, 2015

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photo via flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Who should pay on a first date?

Gay Committed Guy (Terence): A general rule that you can’t go wrong with: whoever asked their date out should pay. Real simple, eh? Now if you want  to be real smooth, then if A asked B out, then A should pay for the dinner, movie, show, ski trip, whatever, but B should offer up a scoop of gelato after the dinner, popcorn at the movies, or hot chocolate on the slopes. That’s what gets you both to the second date.

Straight Married Guy (Matt): I know feminists get all hot and bothered over this one, but I always liked to pay on the first date. It’s not like I expected anything in return or made any kind of big deal about it, but I just think it’s a nice thing to do. I usually asked the girl out on the date in the first place, so I felt like I should pay. If a girl insisted on paying half, I’d say, hey, you can buy me a drink later on. I think it’s okay to believe that women are 100% equal and still enjoy holding the door open for a woman, pulling out her chair, and paying for a first-date dinner. Read the rest of this entry »



Your Call: I Almost Climax Just Thinking About a Date, Is This Normal?

April 6, 2015

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We get a lot of 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 respond to a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your thoughts in the comments section. 

 

Dear Em & Lo, 

I’m a 22-year-old female and I find it very strange that every time I plan to see my boyfriend, I experience near climaxing experiences on my own without anything initiating it. They begin one after the other, and I physically have to stop them. Is that normal? This has happened with every guy I dated, even if we are not going to have sex.

– Eager Beaver

Do you have any words of wisdom for, or stories to share with, Eager Beaver? Leave your suggestions for her in the comments section below. 

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My Boyfriend and I Separately Dreamed of the Same Shadowy Man

April 2, 2015

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 photo via flickr

Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means. Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it (18 and older only, please). This week, a reader asks Lauri:

Last night my boyfriend and I slept apart at our respective houses. We both had a dream of a very tall “shadow man” watching us. In his, he was go-karting and the man was part of the crowd watching, but taller than the other people and quite distinctive. But in mine, my boyfriend and I were both in my bed and I woke up and my boyfriend was sitting cross-legged on the bed looking out the window. When I woke up he asked, “Are you expecting someone?” And I replied “No…” and rolled over and sat up to look outside also.

I saw a very tall shadow figure standing on the driveway, and even though it did not have discernible eyes, I knew it was looking into my window. I did not look away and my boyfriend said, “You should go down and say hi since he’s your friend.” And my boyfriend was being very nonchalant and almost cheery as if it was a friend of mine just stopping by. I got scared and started saying to him I didn’t want to and I didn’t want him to make me go down there and asking how we should make it go away. I didn’t stop looking out onto the driveway and it didn’t move or stop staring and it TERRIFIED me. What does this mean? Also how is it possible that we both had a dream of the same figure on the same night in two different houses?

Lauri: Very interesting! This shadow man that you both dreamed about symbolizes some sort of dark, negative presence in your relationship. In both of your dreams he was watching you so that’s a clue as to what it is. Are there people around you who look down on your relationship, such as family members or an ex?

What I find particularly interesting is that, in your boyfriend’s dream, the shadow was very distinctive, but in your dream his eyes were indiscernible. This shows us that your boyfriend has a clearer perspective or opinion on this negative element in your relationship than you do. And just like in your dream, he probably wants you to confront the issue and appease the situation.

In your dream he tells you that shadow man is your friend. This could mean that the negative element is coming from your side (your friends, family or ex or even your issue). Or your dreaming mind is encouraging you — through your boyfriend’s voice — to not worry so much about it. In your real life, what is it that you want to go away but that your boyfriend thinks isn’t such a big deal? That’s what the shadow man is, and you both dreamed about it the same night because it is an issue you probably discussed or dealt with that day. I have to go along with your boyfriend on this; you can’t wish this negative thing away, you have to confront it.

Visit Lauri’s site, WhatYourDreamMeans.com, for even more dream interpretations! If you want to be able to figure out your own dreams each morning, check out her latest book, Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, which will give you the tools you need to become a dream expert. You can see all of Lauri’s books here. And hey, if you want your very own pin-up painting of you or your luvva (either vintage or modern), Lauri can do that, too! 

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6 Tips for How to Date Without Drinking (Plus Tips for Drinkers Dating Teetotalers)

April 2, 2015

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by Laura Barcella for YourTango  |  photo via flickr

Single and sober? Stay healthy with advice and tips on dating without alcohol.

You don’t want to know the ludicrous number of possible love connections I’ve squashed by getting sloshed on a first or second date. The things that have come out of my mouth—both figuratively and literally—on nights out with strangers make me want to crawl into the cozy cocoon of my bed and stay there.

So it’s probably—no, definitely—smart that in 2006 I decided to give up drinking. I’d had enough embarrassing nights out; I’d woken up beside more than my fair share of unattractive strangers, and was, in turn, more than ready to bid farewell to the drunken rants, crying jags and battles with lovers, friends, cab drivers, cashiers and waiters. I also thrilled at the notion of never having another hangover. (Seriously, my hangovers were baaaaaad.)

I’m not sure whether I classified as an alcoholic. I didn’t have to drink every day, though most days I did. Sometimes alcohol helped me relax and have fun. Sometimes it turned me into a yelling, crying beast. And there was no way to tell, when I was tossing back a vodka soda, which me would emerge that night.

But when I said goodbye to alcohol and its commensurate drama, I didn’t intend to bid farewell to dating. I saw my romantic future shimmering atop a cotton candy cloud of contentment and stability. Once I was sober and ready, Mr. Right would surely be waiting for me, albeit at the local coffee shop instead of the next bar stool.

It sucked to discover that alcohol-free dating was still, well, dating: an ouchy dance of anticipation, expectations and artifice. And for those of us who don’t drink, dating can be even more of a mixed bag. Why? Because in case you missed the memo, most Americans are all about alcohol. We meet for happy hour at 5 p.m., dine with wine at 7 p.m., meet lovers at a bar later on, and make every excuse to have another round. And we don’t always do it gracefully—about 18 million Americans have alcohol problems, but only 1.5 million have been treated for them. Yes, it’s depressing; almost makes you want to hit the bottle. Just kidding.

So here are some tips to help you navigate the wild world of dating without drinking. If nothing else, you’ll remember the sex afterward—and, hopefully, actually like the people you wake up with the next morning.

1. Find folks worth dating.

You’re sober, stable and on the prowl. Problem is, you have no clue where to meet potential love connections now that pub-crawling isn’t an option. Where to find cuties who are cool with your new lifestyle? Try asking supportive friends whether they know any awesome, eligible bachelor/ettes who aren’t big drinkers. Like attracts like. You can also try the ever-evolving world of sober online dating: not only can you search for non-drinkers on all the usual dating sites, there are also sober-only services like soberseek.com, sobersocial.com, recoveringmates.com, and soberkiss.com. If a date has difficulty grasping the fact that you don’t drink, drop him and move on. There are too many options out there to waste time with someone who won’t support your attempts to live your happiest life.

2. Coffee, coffee, coffee

You’ve been flirting online with Mr. SexyPants via SnookFinder.com for a week when he asks if you’d like to meet up. You say yes. He asks where. You freeze, cough, check your work email, Google your high school sweetheart again and put away the computer. Now take a deep breath and break that laptop back out. When someone who doesn’t know you’re alcohol-free asks where you’d like to go on a first date, it’s best to suggest a quiet spot where alcohol isn’t readily available. Meeting for coffee or tea is a great first date option; there’s no lengthy dinner service to endure, so if s/he doesn’t float your boat, you’re free to bail post-latte.

What if Mr. HotBuns doesn’t request your input about where to meet and instead asks, point-blank, “Want to meet for drinks on Thursday?” Now is the time to tell him you don’t drink. Offer these three words: “I don’t drink,” followed by something you will do, i.e. “I don’t drink, but I’d love to meet you for coffee on Thursday.” Or, if you’re cool with watching him imbibe, say that—”Sure, although I don’t drink, but I don’t mind watching you while I sip a Diet Coke.” No need to explain further.

3. The dinner option

If you choose to meet McHottie for dinner, you’ll probably have to handle the Weird Wine Hurdle. This occurs when the waiter asks whether you have any questions about the wine list, you say “no,” your date orders a glass of something and then either the waiter or Yummy asks whether you’d like a glass too. What now?

My friend Kelly, a 33-year-old makeup artist and recovering alcoholic, suggests keeping it simple: “No, thank you—water [or whatever I'm drinking] is fine.” Then, quick-like and before your date has time to notice, ask a question to steer the conversation to something more interesting than alcohol.

If you find that sipping on something other than water helps distract from first date awkwardness, nurse a Shirley Temple, Diet Coke or ginger ale. You’ll feel like less of an oddball, and your probably date won’t notice s/he’s the only one getting buzzed. If s/he does notice—or if you feel uncomfortable with your date drinking around you—you have every right to cut the date short and walk away. One of the healthiest things you can do for yourself as a dry dater is learn how to leave when you’re in an awkward situation. Remember, you don’t have to stay anywhere, or with anyone, that makes you feel anxious. Your mental health comes first.

4. If s/he asks why you don’t drink, be coy.

Unless you want to pop open a can of inappropriate, be evasive when your date asks why you don’t drink.

My friend Michelle, a 29-year-old recovering alcoholic, tells guys she dates that she’s a “reformed party girl” or an “ex-bad girl.” She doesn’t explain further, and they usually don’t ask. If they do, she just says “long story” and changes the subject.

Kelly tells dates that she’s “allergic to alcohol” (an idea that’s common among recovering alcoholics, because drinking makes them sick). Remember, it’s just a date—you have the right to reveal personal details about yourself as slowly as you want.

5. Relax already.

For me, the hardest part of dating sans drinking is the lack of lubrication to calm my nerves. It sounds corny, but taking some long, deep breaths before a date both centers you and settles the ever-spinning “what if?” thought loop. Inhale the essence of serenity, confidence and sex appeal; exhale the anxiety.

6. Learn subtle flirting techniques. 

It’s harder to feel uninhibited when you’re not tipsy, so get used to the idea of subtle, grade-school style flirting techniques, like frequently patting your prey on the knee or arm, maintaining steady eye contact, and smiling and laughing at his or her better jokes.

You might feel too shy to bust a move without the help of vodka’s loosening properties, but if you let your interest and intentions be known subtly, your date should get the hint.

If the chemistry is kicking and you feel like you’ll explode if s/he doesn’t touch you, take the initiative and invite Boytoy upstairs for tea or hot cocoa at the end of the date. Remember, “come upstairs” is pretty clear in any language—drunk or not.

The Other Side Of The Table: You’re A Drinker Who’s Dating Someone Sober

What if you’re not a recovering alcoholic, but you’re dating someone who is? Generally speaking, sober folks want support and encouragement. You don’t have to abstain from drinking all the time, but refraining from imbibing around them is always appreciated. “I try to date women who don’t find it weird that I’m sober,” says Craig, who’s been clean for three years. “The worst thing a woman can do is get wasted around me, or try to push me to have some. I need someone who really supports my recovery.”

Jeannette, a sober alcoholic who hasn’t has a drink in 10 months, agrees. “I don’t necessarily feel tempted if I’m someplace where people are drinking, but it’s just not that fun to be around a guy who’s throwing them back.

Don’t question your date’s decision not to drink. Respect her sobriety, don’t push her, and—if you want to make a really good impression—don’t drink in her presence. If, heaven forbid, your partner relapses, the best thing to do is give her time and space to get her proverbial sh*t together. Don’t disappear on her—your support is necessary in times like these—but give her leeway to work through her feelings.

More from YourTango:

10 Dating Tips I REALLY Wish I’d Followed While I Was Single

How To Flirt With A Guy: 7 Powerful Tips

10 Heartbreaking Truths Single People Never Talk About



6 Fun Ways to Seduce Your Husband

April 2, 2015

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photo via Flickr

Let’s face it: seducing straight guys ain’t that hard. A little cleavage and some footsie is pretty much all it takes. The challenge comes after 10 years of marriage, when a lot of the mystery is gone and Internet porn never has a headache. What follows are six classic approaches to seduction that you can make your own, even when you know your fella’s a sure thing.

  1. The Detective: It’s the quintessential seduction technique: Show up at the door (the front or the bedroom) or pick him up somewhere (work or the airport) in a trench coat, heels and not much else. It’s a bold move that takes nerve and confidence. But before you bust it out, just be sure you’ve got a backup outfit handy in case of emergencies. And don’t feel obligated to wear the traditional lace garter-belt ensemble underneath. An oversized “Go Mets!” T-shirt, especially if he’s a fan, might work just as well. What’s sexier than a sense of humor?
  2. The Anais Nin: In an email, text or–get this–a handwritten lust note (yes, they still make nice pens), tell him what you want to do to him right now in great graphic detail, preferably sent to him when he’s in the middle of an important business meeting. This also works whispered in his ear in the middle of a crowded party, a movie theater, or a restaurant.
  3. The Centerfold: No need to have bleach blonde hair, fake boobs or access to an airbrush. A softly lit digital pic taken from a flattering angle will do the trick. Send him one on your camera phone, leave one in his briefcase, or slip one under his pillow, etc. When you take it yourself, you can art direct so as to leave something (including your identity) to the imagination. Note: Only for the man you really, really trust…Not recommended for marriages on the rocks.
  4. The Julie McCoy: Plan a guy date: take note of his likes (e.g. microbrews), hobbies (e.g. fly fishing), and interests (e.g. politics) and then plan a surprise date around them. For example, pack a picnic with a six pack of his favorite ale and have him teach you how to fish while you debate the merits of the electoral college system. From then on, he’ll be happy (okay, willing) to go shopping with you and hold your purse.
  5. The Mrs. Robinson: You take erotic control: make the first move, tell him what you’re going to do to him, have him lie back while you call the shots (you can even tie him up so he complies), you undress him, then yourself (or not)…guaranteed he’ll be putty in your hands (again, unless he’s one of those aforementioned meatheads).
  6. The Pretty Woman: Creating the illusion of variety can help spice things up. Like Julia Roberts, don a blonde bobbed wig and some thigh-high boots (or whatever outfit or Halloween costume makes you look and feel like a new person) and have fun with a little light role-playing: “Hey there, stranger…”

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