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Dream Interpretation: My Husband Went Down On Another Woman

January 8, 2015

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Showtime’s The Affair

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:

My husband spends a lot of time doing extracurricular activities that he and I used to do together, but now I’m working 12 hour shifts 5 days a week. Recently I’ve started having dreams of him being unfaithful and having oral sex with someone else, where he’s the giver. He tries to kiss me but I can smell it. We’re with a group of people and everyone starts to laugh at me. What does this mean?

Lauri:  If you’ve been reading my column here on EMandLO.com, you are probably aware that the cheating dreams you are getting are caused by your feelings of being “cheated” out of all the fun you and hubby used to have. Rather than the activities being something the two of you share, they now feel like a third wheel. Although, understandably, you must be wondering about the oral sex aspect of the dream.

Typically, anything oral in a dream can be connected to communication. Does he tell you all about the fun he had on those days he goes out and you have to work? If so, THAT is what is causing the jealousy and THAT is why he is the giver of oral in the dream. His trying to kiss you is also about communication. When he sees that you are getting upset about the fun he is telling you about, does he try to sweeten you up and make you not feel so bad? That’s not unlike a verbal kiss… and might even feel like “he’s rubbing your face in it,” so to speak. But you still smell the remnants of the oral in the dream because you can’t let the jealousy go. And I don’t blame you… it stinks! (Get it?)

You must feel like he isn’t being sensitive to the fact that you are feeling left out of all the fun. He probably feels like there is no reason he shouldn’t still be able to do these activities. Relationships require compromise. You aren’t in it for yourself; you’re in it for each other. As long as he keeps up all this fun without you, your dreams are going to continue, because the jealousy and animosity will continue. Hopefully a compromise can be reached. My advice… don’t nag. Don’t be accusatory. Sweeten the pot. Be creative. Good luck!

 

Visit Lauri’s site, WhatYourDreamMeans.com, for even more dream interpretations! If you want to be able to figure out your own dreams every morning, then 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, too. Check out all of Lauri’s books here.

 

 

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Your Call: How Can I Get Past My Boyfriend’s Bisexuality?

January 7, 2015

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photo of Alan Cumming 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. 

Dear Em & Lo,

So, I’ve been with my lovely boyfriend for around 4 months. Not long but we’ve fallen absolutely head over heels for each other.

He told me recently that he’s also attracted to men/’cock’.

He has kissed a couple of guys kind of as a joke whilst drunk at parties but never done anything more, sexually, with another guy. Yet he is certain he is bi.

I am not homophobic. Well, at least I don’t think I am. I’ve had plenty of gay friends and never had a problem with it/felt uneasy about it what so ever. Yet when my boyfriend told me he felt that way I instantly felt repulsed. If I think about it, the thought makes me feel ill and anxious. I’m not worried he will cheat, I just hate the thought of him feeling that way.

I know this is my problem/issue. I know it’s fantastic that he felt comfortable enough to tell me and that I shouldn’t feel this way. But… I do. I don’t know why. Any insight as to why I feel this way, and, most importantly, how to move past it?

– Bi Shy

Share your advice with Bi Shy in the comments section below.

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What Guys Really Want to Do on a Date

January 6, 2015

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Boyhood image via IMDB

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: What is a guy-friendly date?

Gay Engaged Guy (Joel Derfner, author of Swish): Seriously?  Anything that doesn’t involve talking about feelings.

Straight Married Guy (Fred): If he’s into you, anything is a guy-friendly date.  Okay, maybe not ballroom dancing for a football guy.  But then again, with ballroom dancing, he gets to put his hands all over you, so that could still be good. Watching “Dancing With The Stars,” that would be unfriendly to guys (note to wife).  To make a date really enjoyable for guys, food and sex is really all it takes, but let’s just focus on the entertainment portion of the evening. One of my favorite dates was driving mini-race cars.  Another was going to Coney Island in NY.  Another was when my car broke down and we had to wait for hours in the closest bar for the tow truck.  I would guess sporting events would be an enjoyable date for most guys, but I’m not a sports guy so that wouldn’t work for me. I know a man who’s into vintage hot rods and floral arranging (I did not make that up), so it’s difficult to narrow in on what will please guys in general. Everyone’s different. But again, if he’s into you, you are the main attraction.

Straight Single Guy (L.A. Chris): I’m tempted to say something macho like a football game or a Demolition Derby, but actually I’d rather do that kind of guy stuff with my guy friends. On a date, I want to get to know a girl but at the same time have a little fun, so a guy-friendly date would be something fairly brief (we don’t need a lot of time to figure out if we like someone), not too expensive (are we telling the truth here or what?), and of course the best dates are the ones that end up, well…between the sheets. (Hey, don’t blame me — guys are just made that way.)

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Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Gay Engaged Guy is Joel Derfner, author of Swish.To ask the guys your own question, click here.



Top 5 Love Lessons from “The Bachelor” (Prince Farming’s Season Premiere)

January 6, 2015

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photo via ABC’s The Bachelor

It’s been a long, grueling wait, but last night we finally got our fix with the live season premiere of ABC’s “The Bachelor”! This season features “Prince Farming” and Bachelorette runner-up, Chris Soules — a guy who’s so deep in the Iowa boondocks, the closest Starbucks is over an hour away! Absolutely bone-chilling. But somehow, the producers were able to find not 20, not 25, but 30 brave women willing to marry him and move there, basically sight (and site) unseen. Let the dating mistakes begin, be made, and be learned from!:

  1. Never admit in public, let alone to your date, that as an adult you shamelessly live with your mother, don’t know how to cook for yourself, and are effing crazy. In fact, forget about admitting such things, don’t DO such things in the first place if you want to be even remotely dateable. (Ahem, Amanda.)
  2. Baby Voice + Vocal Fry = an incredibly short shelf life for any potential relationship. Even if this is how you talk naturally (and we are NOT convinced that this sound occurs spontaneously in nature), you must take measures to correct this unholy mutation: vocal coaching, vocal chord surgery, testosterone treatments, etc. (You know who you are.)
  3. Using gimmicks on a first date to make yourself memorable often seems desperate and pathetic, rather than creative and quirky. Don’t try so hard to separate yourself from the pack, just be your sincere, genuine self. If a situation naturally arises for you to demonstrate your singing ability, your breakdancing skills, or your cadaver tissue excavation, great! But don’t force it. Quick rule of thumb: if you require props for first dates, you’re doing it wrong. Exception to the rule: small, heartfelt tokens may — we said, may — endear your date to you, but the bigger the prop or the more performative it makes you, the worse off you’re going to be perceived by said date (and the rest of the nation, if they happen to be watching).
  4. We’ve said it a thousand times before, we’ll say it again: Alcoholically speaking, pace yourself on a date! A drink or two — or even three when the date lasts until the freakin’ sun comes up — is fine to calm your nerves, slightly loosen inhibitions and give yourself a little liquid confidence. But please don’t get sloshed on your dates. It’s not safe: you could get sexually assaulted, you could fall from a high height, you could embarrass yourself on national television, you could suffer the wrath of 29 judgy women all vying for the attention of the man you’re dating who will happily and publicly flatten your character with a steamroller!
  5. The limit on dirty jokes you can tell on a first date is ONE. Even then, we highly recommend testing the waters first before you drop the bomb, i.e. don’t let it be the very first thing out of your potty mouth. We’re all for a good crotch joke, but knowing when, where and how often is key. As with alcohol and first-date tongue, moderation rules.

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How to Organize Your Ex Out of Your Life

January 6, 2015

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The two of us basically share a brain when it comes to this blog, and we are one hundred percent united on all the important issues in life, love, and dating: safe sex, orgasms for everyone, the superiority of flat-front pants, etc. But every now and then we have to resort to the first-person singular for a post — not necessarily because we disagree, but because one of us has a particular interest that the other just doesn’t quite get. Which is why today’s installment, about the joy of tidying up, comes from Em. Lo can certainly appreciate a tidy, well-organized house, but for her, there’s no joy in this process. Em, on the other hand…

For people like me — i.e. people who relish the idea of spending an entire weekend organizing their house — the arrival of Marie Kondo’s new book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, was kind of like hearing about a brand new religion… one that promises eternal life and free ice cream. The book, which is a massive bestseller in Kondo’s native Japan (where she’s a bona fide celebrity) as well as throughout Europe, and is fast becoming one in the U.S., takes an approach to home organization that is both drastic and zen. Also, kind of quirky. (How often have you thanked your socks for the hard work they do?!)

The basic gist of the KonMari Method is this: If you try to organize everything you currently own, you will fail, time and time again. Instead, you have to purge and then organize. And when purging, you should get rid of any object in your house that fails to “spark joy.” Oh yeah, and you’re supposed to thank these objects for the service they provided you before finding them a new home, too! (The Salvation Army, a friend, the trash, whatever.) The moment I heard about this philosophy, I knew I had my resolution for 2015: Purge my house of all items that fail to bring me joy.  All sweaters that itch, all spoons that are both too big and too small, all paperwork, all superfluous kitchen equipment.

This is probably too drastic for most people, but while contemplating my year of purging ahead (with, yes, glee), it occurred to me that Kondo’s approach would be an excellent way to move on from an ex. She has an evangelical fervor when she talks about the benefits of the KonMari Method. Her clients, she claims, experience life-changing benefits from a de-cluttered, well-organized house: They start businesses, they divorce neglectful spouses, they lose weight, they reconnect with partners, they get promotions. As Kondo writes, “When you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too. As a result, you can see quite clearly what you need in life and what you don’t, and what you should and shouldn’t do. … Not only will you never be messy again, but you’ll also get a new start on life.” Which sounds like an excellent post-breakup remedy to me.

So if you’re stuck in a post-breakup rut and finding yourself unable to move on, start with The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Go through your clothes, your books, your makeup, your apocalyptic stock of Q-tips, your photographs, your tchotchkes, your office supplies, your kitchen equipment. “Joy” may be a strong emotion to apply to these objects when you’re in a depressive funk, so here’s a better way of thinking about it in your state of mind: Discard anything that makes you feel even worse. Especially anything that reminds you of your ex. And for those items that remind you of your ex, go ahead and get quirky, Kondo-style: Thank these objects for how they served you during your relationship, and then let them go. Optional soundtrack: Idina Menzel belting out “Let It Go.” (According to this Times writer, Lucinda Williams or George Jones may also work.) Hint: Kondo says you can’t simply assess objects as a group, i.e. “All my clothes/books/tools bring me joy.” No, you have to assess each item individually. This slow, methodical process will be therapeutic in and of itself, you’ll find.

Once you have reduced the contents of your home to only those objects that don’t depress you further, organize the shit out of them. Learn to fold a shirt using the KonMari method. Don’t stack anything in drawers: Every item in a drawer should be visible when you open it. Hang clothes by color. Don’t force books onto a shelf, damaging their spines; purge until there is open space on your shelves. This way, you are open to new acquisitions that will bring you joy.

And yes, that’s a metaphor for your love life.

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Once More with Feeling: Why He Didn’t Call

December 19, 2014

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cat_phonephoto via flickr

Dear Em & Lo,

I am interested in this man and I think he is interested in me.  I will call him if I am in his area and ask him to grab a drink with me and my friends.  This is usually last minute.  The past two times he was busy and it seemed legit.  However, he doesn’t ever make alternate plans.  I feel if he really wants to see me, he should try to see me no matter what.  What gives?

– Hung Up

Dear H.U.

Argh, don’t make us say it! Your letter is like a trap just to get us to write that stupid catchphrase! We really wish we could think of a more original response. Oh screw it, we’re just gonna go ahead and say it: He’s just not that into you.

Man, that feels good to just let it out. Overuse be damned, sometimes the commercialized old chestnuts say it best. Still, why do we feel so dirty? The only reason we’re being unoriginal is that so many daters — both male and female — are unoriginal in their lameness.

Um, are we supposed to pay someone royalties now?

We’d like to break it down for you and explain the nuance in our answer, but really, there isn’t any. You call; he’s busy; he doesn’t make alternate plans. There are a million things that could be going on… like, for example, he dislikes last-minute plans, he’s a very busy guy, he doesn’t like alcohol, he doesn’t like your friends, he doesn’t have your number, he’s just letting you take the reins, he broke his dialing finger. But every single one of these million things could be easily overcome if he was really into you.

Just not that into coming up with our own catchphrase,
Em & Lo



Dream Interpretation: I’m Christian and Chaste But Masturbate in My Dreams

December 18, 2014

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photo via WeHeartIt

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’ve been having the same recurring dream for a while about masturbating myself. Keep in mind I’m only 18, I have no intentions at all to masturbate, unless for my future husband’s pleasure, I’m not dating anyone, and on top of that all I’m a Christian. In the dreams I’m finding weird objects around my house that are straight and long, such as perfume bottles, bathroom items, and anything that resembles that part. My last dream was me not really masturbating, but weirdly taking pots out of my private part in my mom’s bathroom.

Lauri:  There may be a physiological as well as a psychological reason you are getting these dreams. Physiologically, the body needs sexual release. If that release is not provided while awake, the brain will instruct the body to release while in REM, resulting in sexual dream content. It is a healthy and natural thing, so don’t let it upset you. It’s perfectly normal.

Now let’s talk about the psychology behind these dreams! Masturbation dreams can also be the result of being pleased with oneself in waking life, hence the act of “self pleasure” in the dream. Have you accomplished anything lately or received accolades from others? If so, this is one reason why you have these dreams.

Now let’s talk about those pots. Rather than inserting them, you are removing them from down below… the opposite of masturbation. I think that dream reflects your aversion to sexual acts of any kind until marriage. Pots are used to heat things up, get thinks cooking, which is kind of what sexual activity does to our nether regions. You are removing the pots because your convictions dictate that there should be no heat in your little lady. I believe that dream is just trying to help you stick to your decision, so again, worry not.

Finally, remember that sexual content in a dream doesn’t mean you are cheating on your convictions! Rather, it is your mind and body working together to keep you on that path.

 

Visit Lauri’s site, WhatYourDreamMeans.com, for even more dream interpretations! If you want to be able to figure out your own dreams every morning, then 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, too. Check out all of Lauri’s books here.

 

 

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What Romance Novels Taught Me About Love (and Lust)

December 18, 2014

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by Aly Walanksy for YourTango | photo via WeHeartIt

Some people criticize the romance drama, but there are things you can learn from it.

Boys get their first taste of sexy times through Internet porn and nudie magazines—but ladies, we have erotica. Or, as the publishers like to call them, romance novels.

Now, I’m not knocking romance novels. In fact, my adolescent dream (tells you a lot about me) was to grow up and be a romance novelist. As early as junior high, I’d go to the library to “study”—and find myself in the Harlequin corner, looking for the latest enticing bodice ripper.

Not to say I had a dirty mind. I didn’t. I don’t. I don’t think, at least. But  much like my fascination with soap operas, romance novels opened my eyes into a world of fantasy, and romance. And obviously, sex.

For the uninitiated, most romance novels are fairly formulaic.  Every book has a central love story, which will undergo some sort of major conflict and be resolved by the final chapter in a way that is simultaneously sexually and emotionally satisfying.

While the overwhelming theme of romance novels is romance—as per genre classification, obviously—any worthwhile one is going to have a whole lot of sex. And chances are, it’ll be pretty darn explicit.

1. The old-fashioned notion of romance.
When I was growing up, romance novels were fairly traditional in their mindset. Yes, there was explicit sex—but it was never graphic. (i.e. He would thrust into her welcoming warmth with his turgid length, but never would any body parts be called BY ITS NAME), and there were certain old-school conventions that were never avoided.

Generally, while the man may possibly have more than one partner throughout the course of the book, the woman would only be with this one male protagonist, and usually, after they declared their love for each other in some big climactic way. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Ultimately, by the end of the book, they got married—or at the very least were engaged. Because, obviously. That’s totally what always happens, right?

This isn’t reality, but it was the reality of what publishers portrayed 15 years ago. As time went on, the new normal set in. But my mind was shaped by this bizarre erotic fairy tale view of romance and never quite escaped it.

2. Porn vs. Erotica is determined by presence of “feelings”.
I think the logic in the romance novels was that the development of the emotional relationship between the hero and heroine of the story made the sex an erotic portrayal of their feelings and not the porn it sort of was anyway. So what do we learn from this, ladies? Romanticize your torrid encounters. The better the sex, the more destined you are for a meaningful connection.

Movies, TV, romance novels—all have long subscribed to the notion that we are very susceptible to the seductive nature of the characters we fantasize about. And it’s true. My greatest fictional TV loves include Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Angel and The Tudors‘ King Henry VIII. They are powerful, controlling men with absolutely possessive seductive qualities. It doesn’t go away. And it’s a version of this man that I’m attracted to in real life.

3. The forever love of fantasy.
I’ve always also been very into historical romances, or those set in the supernatural realm. Those that involve queens and kings and vampires and ladies, all involved in deeply sexy (err…romantic!) situations. For these, we’re obviously suspending our sense of reality. But we’re also bringing our own reality into the fantasy. We may not fantasize about a vampire falling in love with us one day (at least I don’t, personally)— but those characteristics of the hero in that novel, it’s going to follow you into your dreams, and your alone-time fantasies for some time to come. And that’s great— maybe even some role-play ideas will come out of it!

4. Romance novels could be female porn.
But not in that way—obviously, we know men react to the visual while women react to the emotional. Erotica plays into this. Have women (and men, I bet!) gotten off to these novels? Absolutely. But I think it’s also about bringing the ideas of the fantasy into their own romantic reality. And that’s a whole other story. And maybe not a good one. If your mind is shaped by the fantastical sexual non-reality— can real life ever live up to it?

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This article originally appeared on YourTango.com



Dear Em & Lo: I Need a Gynecologist But I Can’t Tell My Mom

December 17, 2014

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Dear Em & Lo,

I have a BIG issue. I have been with my boyfriend for about a year and a half and something traumatic has happened three times now. On occasion, when the sex has gotten extremely heated and we are going at it, his member will slip out and pretty much stab me right above my vaginal opening. The first time this occurred there was so much blood and pain that I almost passed out. Now that this has happened three times (with about 3 months in between) I’ve noticed a large tear forming above my vaginal hole and I’m afraid its ripping my urethra. Even though I’m 20 years old I’m STILL not comfortable enough to tell my mom I need to visit the gyno because she is very anti-premaritial sex.

PLEASE help.

Thanks,

All Torn Up

 

Hi ATU,

We’re not doctors, so we’re not going to touch your genital problem with a ten foot speculum. But we will say this: You should definitely go to the doctor asap! You’re a sexually active adult, you deserve to see a gynecologist privately, and you have to take care of yourself.

As a 20 year old woman, you should have a gyno you’re seeing regularly, whether you’re sexually active or not — you have ovaries and a uterus and breasts that are all prone to disorders that have absolutely nothing to do with sex. Getting regular gynecological check ups at your age is just good sense, even if you’ve never been kissed! So making an gyno appointment does not automatically equate with sex — if your mother assumes so, she’s mistaken (she’s also mistaken about premarital sex, but that’s another article).

Frankly,  it’s none of your mother’s business what you’re doing (or not doing) sexually. What is discussed between you and your doctor is also none of her business. We normally wouldn’t condone lying, but if you’re mother is standing in the way of you getting the medical help you require and you need a cover, tell her you’ve been getting bad, heavy periods lately with lots of cramping. We’re assuming you can keep her out of the examination room with you? This will give you the chance to be honest with your doctor. And remember, there this thing called doctor-patient confidentiality: your doctor can’t discuss your situation with your mom if you don’t want her to (so make that clear!).

You could also go on your own, avoid your parents health insurance (and thus your mom’s involvement), and visit a Planned Parenthood near you; if you don’t have your own insurance, they can offer you services based on their discount fee scale, which many patients find very reasonable, especially when compared to other doctors’ offices. Good luck — and get thee to a doctor, stat!

Em & Lo

 

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What Men Really Think About Chivalry

December 16, 2014

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Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: “What do you think about traditional gestures of chivalry like holding open a door for a woman, holding out her chair at the restaurant, etc? You know, is it just the polite thing to do, are you annoyed you’re expected to do these things as if the woman’s a baby, does it make you feel good to feel like a caretaker, etc?”

Straight Single Guy (Chris): I don’t know how I compare to the rest of the world of single, straight guys, but I still open doors, hold chairs (though less often than the door), and buy dinners. I’m not exactly sure where in the realm of online dating and pornhub.com chivalry died, but it seems to me that all of my girl friends are going dutch or paying for meals on their dates. I’m not a rich guy, but if I can’t afford a nice dinner, I cook one. And if I can afford dinner, I pay for it. I hold doors open because it is the polite thing to do, not because I am stronger than my frail little trophy dates. Sometimes I help old ladies cross the street or out of a taxi. I carry stuff for people, men and women, and I say, “Thank you, sir” and “Can I help you, ma’am?” Maybe that makes me old fashioned, but I think it makes me fucking cool.

Gay Married Guy (Jon Ross): For me, at the heart of chivalry is respect and consideration and therefore it does play a role in gay relationships. However, chivalry does have very specific gender connotations that would be a little bit ridiculous applied to a gay relationship. I would be extremely put off if, for example, a date held out a chair for me at a restaurant. However, small gestures like holding a door for me, offering me a seat on a bus or train, or even offering me his jacket if I’m freezing would all be appreciated. In that respect both gay and hetero relationships are the same. However, guys can easily overdo it. No one should be treated like a frail and helpless object, rather with the respect and consideration everybody (well, most people) deserves.

Straight Married Guy (James Glazebrook): Yes, chivalry is antiquated but just like sonnets, bodices and horse-drawn carriages, it’s also romantic. I’ll always hold the door open for my wife, or carry stuff for her, or give her my coat when it’s cold — not because she’s a woman, but because I love her <sigh>. As for other women, I’ll hold the door open — I afford even men that courtesy — but, apart from that, they’re on their own. Pretty much all of the social conventions we haven’t done away with by now are those designed to get us what we want. Just like a salesman will shake your hand and say “nice to meet you”, the average guy is only going to lend you his coat if he wants to get in your pants.

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Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors. This week’s Straight Married Guy is James Glazebrook of Manflet, our Straight Single Guy is Chris DiClerico, and our Gay Married Guy is Jon Ross. To ask the guys your own question, click here.