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5 Ideas for a Grownup Games Night with Your Partner

March 18, 2015


photo via flickr

Who says games nights are just for bored kids and drunken singles hoping for a threeway? There’s no reason why committed monogamists shouldn’t have some fun, too. Here are five D.I.Y. ideas for playing together… it’s like foreplay, except with dice!


1. Spin the Sex Manual 

>Grab a couple pairs of dice, toss them at the same time, whatever number you get total, go to that page in a sex manual and try out whatever’s on that page. Our two latest books work particularly well for this: SEX: How to Do Everything and, for the really adventurous, 150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink. This will take the element of control away from the two of you, so neither of you needs to feel coy or embarrassed about making new suggestions.

2. Sexy Simon Says

Take it in turns being “Simon.” When it’s your turn, tell your partner things you’d like them to do to you — or to themselves. “Simon says kiss my neck”; “Simon says take off your pants“; etc; The first person to mess up — i.e. moving without hearing “Simon Says” first — has to massage their partner for 15 minutes. (Or whatever “punishment” you decide on… perhaps you favor something a little more Christian Grey!)

This game is awesome for the same reason teachers favor it with little kids: because it forces you to really LISTEN to your partner! Plus, being forced to call out commands really quickly will encourage you to blurt out things you might normally be a bit embarrassed to ask for. In “Simon Says,” you’re MEANT be bossy!


3. Guess the Sensation

One partner is blindfolded and the other partner gathers a selection of potentially sensual items: ice cubes, a feather duster, a clean hairbrush, hand cream, a massage candle (for warm wax). The blindfolded person lies down naked and has to guess what item their partner is using on them. Then switch places! This will teach you to pay attention to bodily sensations, which is a great way to shut out the outside world and really focus on sexual pleasure.


4. Hand Over the Remote 

And no, we’re not talking about the remote control for your television. Invest in a small, discreet, high quality remote-controlled vibrator (we like LELO’s Lyla 2). Then hit the town with one of you secretly wearing the strategically placed toy and your partner tucking the wireless control in their pocket. That way you can get some sensual kicks anytime, anywhere — you being at your partner’s mercy is all part of the fun!


5. Sexy Task Box

This is a game that can begin one evening and last all year long. Each person in the couple writes down on a little piece of paper 5, 10, or 15 things they’d like to try (this could be as simple as, “kiss with tongue for 5 full minutes with no expectation of sex,” or more daring, like, “let me tie you up and blindfold you”). Fold them up, throw them in a hat or box, and then set up a schedule — every day for a month, or once a week for an indefinite amount of time, or whatever you’re comfortable with. Then on your allotted days, take turns pulling out a slip of paper in the morning with the understanding that you’ll have to complete the sex task before you go to sleep that night.

This will encourage you to try new things, help you fulfill each other’s fantasies, and get you thinking about sex all day long, i.e. extended foreplay! Here are the ground rules: both people must approach things with an open mind, there can be no derisive laughing at anyone’s suggestions, and both parties have full veto power over anything they’re truly uncomfortable with.




Why You Should Ditch Tinder and Give Out Your Number Instead

March 17, 2015


photo via flickr

We’re normally pretty skeptical of the click-baity headlines in Men’s Health magazine. 4 Week Fat Shredder! 12 Scientific Ways to Look Smarter! How Listening to Your Mom Can Make You Fat! But we really loved the recent article by David Amsden, called “Give Her Your Number.” (Amsden is the author of the novel Important Things That Don’t Matter, which we also liked.) The article feels real, and it’s missing all that “negging” bullshit propagated by self-titled “pickup artists.”

Here’s the idea in a nutshell: The author was failing miserably at modern dating techniques like Tinder. Despite this, he had become completely reliant on such technology. This is his first thought upon seeing a beautiful woman walk into the bar:

Straight-up hitting on women seems uncouth to me. Thanks to the ultimate wingman (my smartphone), I prefer a lazier, no-risk way to reach out. I’ll scroll through Tinder, hoping that now that we’ve seen each other, we might also right-swipe to bypass some small talk. Or take a little trip through Instagram to see if she geo-tagged a selfie that I could comment on. (Think that’s weird? Go tweet about it, pal.)

So he decides to go cold turkey from all the seduction technology and adopt an old-school approach instead:

Pulling a pen and notepad out of my back pocket, I jot down my number and head on over.

“Hey, I’m David,” I say as I hand her the slip of paper. “You’re compelling. Call me.”

… I made a pact with myself: Whenever I noticed an attractive woman, I would simply stop and give her my number. Then I’d be standing in front of her and could make another game-time decision: Head for the exit, or see if she wants me to stick around.

To Amsden’s complete and utter surprise, this actually works. Like, really well. Even some women who initially balk at his bold approach often end up texting him a day or two later. In fact, more than half call or text eventually. And here’s why: with Tinder, Match, OKCupid, et al, there’s very little opportunity for face-to-face rejection. You’re not putting yourself out there for potential humiliation. So when someone is bold enough to put themselves in this position — and to do so in a casual, no-pressure way, without any negging — it’s both endearing, and, yes, attractive.

Note that he hands out his number, by the way — he never asks for hers. The ball’s in her court. He’s not collecting digits to make himself feel more manly, he’s simply putting himself out there. It means he’ll be the one sitting there waiting for the phone to ring.

Here’s another reason why it work: It takes a lot of balls (or labes) to do something like this, and as everyone knows, people like balls (or labes). Even if you’re faking this confidence so hard that your asshole actually aches (from all the stress-induced clenching), the person you’re approaching will respond to it.

Remember, though, that those online sites — not to mention skeevy pickup artists — get one thing very right about dating: it’s a numbers game. And we’re not talking about phone numbers. We mean the number of people you approach or scroll past or even go on a first date with. So if you’re going to pull an Amsden, you can’t just do it once. Do it like your sex life depends on it, and maybe you’ll get lucky, too.


Can You Sleep Over If You Just Want to Cuddle on an Early Date?

March 17, 2015


 photo via flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week a straight woman asks, “What do you guys think of a new date who wants to sleep over but doesn’t want to have sex?”

Straight Single Guy (Max): Personally, I say bravo. The longer you make me work for it, the better everything will be. This applies to both the sex and any possible relationship. Girls, who so often seem only interested in those who aren’t available or interested, should know this. If you really like a guy, make him work for intercourse. Make him get creative. If he can’t take it, then ditch the dude. It shouldn’t be just about “sex right now.” As a great man once said, “The best part of the affair is the walk up the stairs.” Too many times I’ve gone all the way with a girl and then immediately lost interest. This is, believe it or not, frustrating for guys too. Mystery is good. So please, come on over and tease me. Don’t be cold, and please let me try to pleasure you in other ways, but always feel free to say “wait.”

Gay Committed Guy (Mark): I once dated a guy who had recently broken up with someone, and we were ostensibly cool with sleepovers — kissing, with shirts off, but the boxers stayed on. I wanted more; he wasn’t ready; we split after a month. But whatever the gender(s), and assuming one person isn’t sleeping on the couch, there’s so much gray area between snuggling in jammies and fucking — yes, the ever-elusive definition of “sex” — that it’s only fair for you and your “date” to be totally up front with each other about boundaries and expectations before hopping into bed. Let’s face it, though: most guys are going to try to push that boundary sooner or later (usually sooner — I did, and I tend to be too scared of rejection ever to make a move).

However, if by “new date” you mean some theoretical dude you meet at a party some night, do yourself a favor and splurge on a cab home (your own, alone), then worry about who calls whom in the next couple of days.

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Your Call: My Husband and I Don’t Care That We Don’t Have Much Sex. Should We?

March 16, 2015


photo via Flickr

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section. 

Submit Your Own Question to EMandLO.comTry Our New
Advice Service!



Dear Em & Lo,

My husband and I have been married for ten years. Three kids later, we don’t have sex very often — nothing compared to our pre-married life. But neither of us seems that bothered by it. He doesn’t initiate that often and isn’t asking for more. I’m fine with the occasional sex we do have. I know we both occasionally masturbate, him I’m guessing more (we don’t advertise it to each other). I feel like we have a close, trusting relationship. But I’m always hearing about how sex is such an important part of a relationship. If it isn’t for us, should we be worried? Should I be worried?

– Libidoless in Los Angeles

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




What to Do When You Say “I Love You” Too Soon

March 13, 2015


Hi Em & Lo,

I just started dating this guy and recently we were making out, it was going well, he started to go down on me. I wanted to tell him “I love it when you go down on me” but it came out as ” I love you..when you do that.” He paused for a second and just continued. I felt like such a dork!  The thing is, I know I don’t love this guy. We’re a new thing and I like him, but not that way. What do you when you get yourself tangled up in situations like this?

– Mortified

Dear Morty,

You dig a hole in the sand and bury your head in it for a few weeks until the humiliation wears off. At least, that’s what you wish you could do when you get yourself tangled up in a situation like this. Here are four real-world options for people in these circumstances (though, sadly, since the moment has no passed, they won’t all apply to you):

  1. In the moment: You could laugh it off right then and there. Joke that you swear that wasn’t a Freudian slip, just an innocent slip of the tongue. “Oh my god, total slip of the tongue! Nothing to worry about, carry on, carry on.” Pros: You allay any of his fears right then and there, so they don’t snowball into bad sex or a premature breakup. Cons: You interrupt the sexual moment, which might throw some people (or their penises) for a loop, and risk protesting too much, turning an already awkward situation into a painful one (painful like the answering machine scene in Swingers).
  2. Immediately after the sex: As you’re both lying there, catching your breath, or putting your clothes back on, you lightheartedly say, “Remember what I said when you were going down on me? Yeah, that was just a genuine slip of the tongue — I meant to say ‘I love it when you go down on me’ — so you don’t have to worry about me wanting you to meet my parents or move in anytime soon.” Pros: It doesn’t interrupt the sex, and you nip any concerns in the bud pretty quickly. Cons: Again, you run the risk of sounding defensive, as well as insincere, like you got caught up in the moment and spoke your heart’s true feelings but now that the emotion and hormones of sex aren’t as intense, your brain is trying to rewrite history.
  3. Several dates later: You randomly bring it up when you’re in a non-sexual situation, laughing about how funny and awkward that slip of the tongue was: “Oh man, do you remember on one of our first dates, when I was trying to say ‘I love it when you do that’ and it came out ‘I love you when you do that’? Yeah, that was pretty funny. So glad you didn’t take that to heart.” Pros: Getting some distance from the event allows you to reminisce about it as if you both realized in the moment that it was an awkward slip of the tongue. In this case, you almost can rewrite history. Cons: He may have forgotten it by now, so reminding him just makes things awkward all over again. Or maybe what you said really warmed him up to you and now you’re almost insulting him by telling him you don’t love him and suggesting you never will.
  4. Now to eternity: Just don’t bring it up ever. Let him think that he misheard you and let sleeping dogs lie. And from now on, choose your words more wisely. Pros: You don’t really have to do anything. Cons: He may continue to think that you’re in love with him.

Any of these options could work, so long as they’re employed with a good sense of humor and an air of lightheartedness. Act like it’s not that big of a deal, and it won’t be.

We’re the best…Uh, we mean, we wish you the best,
Em & Lo


Dream Interpretation: My Boyfriend Impregnates Someone Else

March 12, 2015


photo by 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:

I dreamt a woman that I didn’t know told me my boyfriend was cheating on me and that he was very excited because the girl was pregnant. Then the woman who my boyfriend cheated on me with appeared and said she was happy to meet me. I thought she was very unattractive but nice and that made me angry. She introduced herself as his girlfriend, she thought we had broken up. When I said he is my boyfriend, we live together and have 2 children she looked surprised and said she lives with him also in his room. The scene then changed and I was confronting my boyfriend in our car. He admitted that the woman was pregnant by him and at that moment Arnold Schwarzenegger drove by with a crazy look on his face (I did not see anything featuring him prior to falling asleep). Then I woke up…I’m so confused!!! What does it mean!?

Lauri:  Cheating dreams run rampant through our minds at night yet they are rarely connected to an actual affair. These dreams are so common because there is typically something our mate is involved in that he or she gives an awful lot of time and attention to, causing us to feel “cheated” out of the time and attention we want. In my research I have found that it is usually work that becomes the third wheel in the relationship. But it could be anything that you feel preoccupies him.

In your cheating dream, your boyfriend has impregnated his mistress. This indicates that in real life, whatever this thing is that your boyfriend is focused on, is now beginning to grow. The other woman also tells you that she lives with him, in his room. Besides you, what would you say your boyfriend “lives with?” Is he “living with” remorse or depression? Anything like that? Or is he so focused on some project that you feel he is practically married to it?

Whatever it is, I believe Arnold Schwarzenegger represents your desire to “Terminate” the issue.

Response from Dreamer: Lauri you are amazing! Everything you said makes perfect sense!! He has been preoccupied with work but spending a lot of his free time with his friends…one friend in particular who I have actually argued with my boyfriend over telling him he spends more time with the guy than me as if it’s his boyfriend! They hang out in the “man cave” in our house which I think is the “I live in his room” part of my dream. I absolutely love the Arnold Schwarzenegger meaning I want to terminate it part…very fitting!


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, Lauri can do that, too! 




A Professional Escort’s 10 Rules for a Threeway That Won’t Backfire

March 12, 2015


by Miss Jolene Dubois for YourTango

I’m a professional prostitute. Personally, I’ve had at least 15 to 20 threesomes with different couples as well as my own boyfriends, plus one drunken gang-bang.

In short, I’m quite experienced with the more popular version of threesomes (two girls, one guy), which gives me ample expertise on sharing with you, the reader, the 10 major rules you MUST abide by if you’re going to have a successful threesome:

1. If your partner is pressuring you (either aggressively or passive-aggressively) to have a threesome, don’t feel obligated out of fear they’ll leave you.

To draw a comparison, it’s unlikely I’ll ever be able to have anal sex with a partner; I’ve tried several times and was practically doubled over in pain. If your unwillingness to try a threesome (or anal or whatever) is a deal-breaker, they don’t deserve you and should be kicked to the curb anyway for disrespecting your boundaries.

2. Agree on boundaries beforehand. 

Is the other woman allowed to give him oral? If so, is she obligated to use a condom or dental dam? Is he allowed to penetrate her? How much lesbo action is the man looking for? There’s a spectrum from just kissing and rubbing to girl-on-girl oral and double-ended dildos. If you’re the third person, be sure to establish boundaries before starting (I usually consult the woman).

3. Set realistic expecations. 

Just how much are you two comfortable doing with this other person? Is one of you getting the short end of the stick? Is your partner expecting too much out of it because they’re getting carried away with the fantasy? If it’s your first time, acknowledge that cold feet could occur (a glass of wine might help break the ice).

Usually, the couples I’ve seen discuss ahead of time whether it’s going to be “all about him” (let’s say as a birthday present) or “all about her” (she’s bi and he wants to let her play with that side of herself without cheating). Of course, it’s not always about one person or the other, either, in which case both people get something equal out of the experience.

4. Consider the emotional and physical ramifications.

Threesomes are a great way to spice it up and enjoy sexual acts with someone outside your partnership without cheating. However, what if one or both of you gets jealous? What if one of you ends up seeing the third person again but alone and in secret? This happens all the time. (Trust me, I know.) And it’s usually the man who gets a bit addicted and wants to do 1-on-1s on the side.

5. Make sure the third person has some idea of the tone because they aren’t as familiar with your sexual preferences.

Are you going for soft and sensual? Rough and tumble? Amateur porn crazy? The other person deserves to know, especially if you want to play rough, role-play or have a dominant/submissive tone of degradation.

When a couple I saw as clients were talking dirty to each other, they’d say, “You like watching me f*ck this whore?” It hurt my feelings to the point I almost hit the time-out button, but I let it go, assuming it was heat of the moment dirty talk meant more to turn themselves on rather than degrade me.

(Plus, I am a whore! I just command respect and won’t see — or re-see — clients if they are genuinely disrespectful.)

6. If you suspect your partner is secretly bi or gay, this could be a good litmus test.

Just think about how you will handle it if this truth comes out.

7. If you are the man, make DAMN sure you attend to your woman during the threesome.

Don’t over-emphasize and overly-focus on the other person. Always remind your lady via eye contact, verbal validations and physical actions that she’s your #1 and this isn’t going to threaten your relationship.

If she’s comfortable and turned on enough to watch you bang someone else or focus on the third person more, you will likely know this going in; if not, assume she’s your primary focus. Same goes for gender reversal.

8. Have a dignified and realistic parting of ways.

Don’t do the fake “let’s do this again!” bad first date cop-out. Try and end on a high note, but also be fair and realistic to each another in a way that all parties feel respected.

If the chemistry is good, definitely entertain the thought of doing it again, and if the chemistry is off (or you want to uphold your boundary as a couple not looking for someone getting clingy), it might be best to make clear it was a one time only episode.

9. Don’t get too addicted and carried away once you’ve popped your threesome cherry for the first time as a couple. 

Discuss as a couple how often you want to have threesomes and whether you want the same person to join or whether you want to mix it up. Establish rules about whether each of you are allowed to see the third party on your own and, if so, whether the boundary is a friendly coffee (fully clothed) or some sexual activity within agreed upon boundaries.

10. Practice safe sex.

This should be a no-brainer, but even if the third in your threesome is a trusted friend, either use condoms and other protection or agree to get rapid testing prior to the encounter to rule out all STDs. Never assume someone’s clean. Many people selfishly claim to be STD-free to avoid condom use and other precautions that can diminish the pleasure level.

More from YourTango:

Is It Wrong NOT To Tell My Boyfriend That I’m A Prostitute?

10 Harsh Truths Your Husband’s Prostitute Wants You To Know

How Does An Affair Start?

Is Sex with a Condom Really All That Bad for Guys?

March 11, 2015

1 Comment

photo via Flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Okay, so how different is intercourse with a condom? What does it feel like? Do different kinds of condoms make a difference?

Straight Married Guy (Fred): It’s different.  It’s not as good.  Think pancakes without the syrup.  Scratching an itch with the palm of your hand.  A foot massage while wearing slippers.  “American Idol” without Adam Lambert.  It’s still okay, just not great.  It can be frustrating for guys because everything else about the experience is vivid but where it really counts it is dull.  And we know what it feels like au natural.  Different types of condoms definitely make a difference.  Anything that says super-thin, ultra-thin, sensitive, etc., are usually waaaay better than your regular, cheap, vending-machine rubbers.  Sometimes you have to use them.  If you’re dating, it’s obviously a must.  Ladies, if you’re buying, do him the favor of getting the thin, high quality ones.  And remember, the more excited he is, the less he’ll be distracted by the lack of feeling, so getting a little naughtier than usual can really help.

Gay Engaged Guy (Joel Derfner, author of Swish): I’m an exclusive bottom, so I had to e-mail hundreds of — er, a few past sexual partners to ask them.  The general consensus was that it’s different but not by a whole lot.  With a condom you have less sensation (“33% less,” said one when I asked) but you last longer (I didn’t ask, but the obsessive-compulsive in me has decided that it’s 33% longer), so it’s kind of a trade-off.  Thin condoms are better, apparently, and polyurethane condoms are by far the best (though they’re more expensive).  All the men surveyed said that condoms felt better when they were having sex with me than with other partners.

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Your Call: How Do You Know If It’s Settling or Being Smart

March 10, 2015


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. Leave your suggestions in the comments section below. 

Submit Your Own Question to EMandLO.comTry Our New
Advice Service!

Dear Em & Lo,

How do you know the difference between being discerning and being too picky? I hate the Princeton Mom but I’ve read smarter articles about not waiting too long to settle down, especially if you want a family. To go with the person who’s just good enough, rather than perfect (since no one’s perfect). But my last few relationships haven’t been with people I can see making it long term with. They had many pros but a few cons that just felt like deal breakers to me. I can compromise, but I don’t want to betray myself or my values. Still, I’m in my late thirties and am starting to get worried. At what point do you just settle and hope for the best?

Fence Sitter

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



3 Easy(ish) Steps to Sharing a Fantasy with a Partner

March 6, 2015


Sharing a fantasy with a partner can be a cheap and easy way to foster intimacy, build trust, and kink things up. But it takes a lot of courage to do. What if you think yours is too mundane to put into words (remember Meg Ryan’s faceless stranger fantasy in When Harry Met Sally?). Or what if you’re afraid your partner will be jealous of or even deeply disturbed by what you share? Or, worst case scenario: What if they just laugh? Try these tricks to make things a little smoother:

  1. Set the Stage for Safe Sharing: Ask your partner to tell you one of their biggest/darkest/strangest masturbation fantasies, explaining that it’d be such a turn-on to get in their head. Promise them you won’t judge or giggle (and keep that promise). If they’re reluctant, set a brave example by offering up one of your own (you can insist that they honor the no-giggling rule, too).
  2. Just Start Talking: The next time you’re having regular old comfort sex, start talking about something you’d like to try now, something you’d like to try eventually, or something you’d never ever want to try but are simply turned on by in your mind. Then suggest that your partner do the same (no pressure though!). Or just recount a dirty story you recently read. The fact that you’re having sex at the time will mean any awkward pauses can be filled with moans. And when you’re both distracted by physical pleasure, there’s less pressure for your fantasy to make narrative sense. Just a sentence or two here and there will get the point across.
  3. Know When to Hold Them: There’s no rule that says you have to share every single dirty thought that crosses your mind. Maybe that fantasy you enjoy during your self-love sessions is hot precisely because nobody knows about it. Or if your partner’s the jealous type, then they don’t need to know that you occasionally imagine their best friend naked.