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Does Enjoying Anal Play Mean You’re Gay?

May 16, 2014

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Something we here an awful lot around these here parts is the concern many straight men have with receiving — and, heaven forbid, enjoying — a little backdoor attention. Just this week we got another comment on the topic:

My boyfriend has recently discovered he likes me lubing him up and fingering his anus, rimming him, and pleasuring him with sex toys. I think it’s amazing and I really enjoy doing it to him, and knowing that he has been so open about it is great. The only thing ruining it a little is that he feels it’s wrong because of so many people making comments about it being wrong and that enjoying it must mean you’re gay. That is utter rubbish, and completely ignorant of some people. I have found in the past that most of the men who think it’s wrong and gay are most commonly the ones that actually enjoy it and only deny it because everyone else does. It doesn’t make you less of a man for doing it, all it proves it that you’re close enough with your partner to be that open and comfortable to explore new things with them. I have reassured my boyfriend and we will be continuing to do this.

We couldn’t agree more! So let’s review one more time what enjoying anal play is (and is not) all about:

  • A well-adjusted person’s pleasant, consensual¬†and safe sexual experience — whatever that may be — with another well-adjusted adult is is good thing. If we’re specifically talking about anal play, then engaging in it with someone you trust is well within the realm of healthy sexual experimentation, no matter your sexual orientation.
  • Nerve endings aren’t gay or straight, people are. Sex is all about context, which is why almost no women get turned on by tampon insertion. You engage in sexual activities with people you are attracted to — that’s a large part of what makes them enjoyable. If you’re not attracted to the person on a primal level, you’re not going to enjoy the sex. So if you’re not into guys, you’re not going to enjoy one of them intimately massaging your prostate. But if you’re into girls, then you very well may like having one travel down your hershey highway, because it’s chock-full of nerves that respond to stimulation (the¬†right¬†kind of stimulation, whatever that is for you).
  • Speaking of the right kind of stimulation, the prostrate and its surrounding nerves play an important role in male orgasm, so stimulating them through anal and rectal stimulation can actually increase sensation and thus pleasure, whether you are gay or straight.
  • If you think being penetrated is feminine, then you’re sexist. If you think enjoying anal play is gay, then you’re a homophobe.
  • Women who encourage their male partners to accept a little anal attention or who enjoy wearing strap-ons are ¬†not sexual manipulators stripping men of all willpower and masculinity without a care for anything but their own sexual fantasies and satisfaction. It takes two to tango. If a guy doesn’t want his backdoor knocked on, there’s no way his girlfriend is somehow sneaking in a strap-on dildo. Even if his girlfriend is Angelina Jolie. (Okay, maybe he’d make an exception…)
  • Some suggest that bum-loving is a ride you can never get off. We will happily admit that some people may try a sexual activity, enjoy it thoroughly, and then want to include in their repertoire on a regular basis from then on. Everyone has their preferences. But the suggestion that once you go “back” you can never go back — no matter who you are — is ludicrous. Plenty of people are happy to try new things, enjoy them, but then can take them or leave them. Again, the average person could certainly go without, due to a breakup or an unwilling partner they really cared about.
  • Some people argue that a decidedly straight guy who enjoys anal play but suddenly finds himself without a female partner might rebel against every sexual instinct he’s experienced since childhood and suddenly “go gay.” Bullpucky! If some people were so desperate for a specific sex act after a break-up — let’s say, oral sex — then by this argument, there would be many more cases where otherwise well-adjusted people felt compelled to turn to their golden retrievers for their similar licking abilities. We’re not saying this hasn’t happened in the history of sex and pets, but that’s not a legitimate, reasonable or logical reason for people to avoid cunnilingus or fellatio altogether with partners they care about. And let us not forget: one can can simply choose from a plethora of butt-safe toys to replicate the sensation during masturbation when they’re in between partners.
  • Plenty of guys will try being on the receiving end of butt sex and not like it. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not gay!
  • All this is not to say that for some people sexual orientation is not fluid. Many people are bisexual, of course. And there’s nothing wrong with experimenting with partners you trust, whether they fall in line with your current sexual orientation or not. Would that make you gay? Only if you want it to. The range of sexual activity is so wide that we believe you should define yourself however you see fit, even if it’s not neatly black or white. It’s your sexual identity — own it. You’re free to¬†play around with sexual roles. That’s usually where one can broaden their horizons, see how ridiculous some of the assumptions they have about sex or gender roles are, and have the most fun!

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Dream Interpretation: My Ex and I Get Back Together and We’re…Happy!

May 15, 2014

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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:

My ex and I have been broken up for a year and I dream about him often. The dreams come and go but they mostly consist of us getting back together. Which I know will never happen any time soon because I messed that up when we broke up. But in these dreams I am so happy and on another level because we are finally together. This dream occurs twice a month. Any thoughts?

Lauri:¬†It is actually very common to dream of getting back together with a recent ex, even for those whose exes were horrible and abusive. In your case I believe there are two layers to this dream; one is the obvious one… your dreams are an honest expression of your desire to be back with him and happy again.

The other layer is that your deep inner mind is trying to help you come to peace with the whole thing. This is why people who were in horrible relationships get this dream of being back and happy with the terrible ex — it’s all about coming to terms and being at peace with what happened. We humans have a really hard time letting the past be in the past and we allow it to stay alive and in our present mind, so our wiser dreaming mind tries to help us be at peace with it.

So for you I say, don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. Actually, I think Dr. Seuss said that… or maybe it was Bryan Cranston.

 

Visit Lauri’s brand new 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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The 5 Stages of Sexual Grief

May 15, 2014

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photo via Flickr

Making huge stupid mistakes in bed — we’re talking, like, of epic proportions — is a universal experience. People from all walks of life do dumb things they regret in the morning — it’s an inevitable part of life and love. But while there is no right way to mourn your sexual indiscretions, please know that one thing is certain: as long as you have a support network of good friends who have short attention spans, private access to reliable erotica, and the ability to move to a new city, you will get through this.

1. Denial and Isolation

The first reaction of a terrible sexual experience is to deny the reality of the situation. “It only seemed like I lasted 30 seconds because it was such good sex, surely it was longer.” Or: “There’s no way my boss will figure out I masturbated in her office. Now where did I put those monogrammed panties?” Or: “There was so much moaning going on, there’s no way she heard me call her ‘mommy.’” It is a normal defense mechanism that eases the bad blow (job). Rest assured, this is a temporary response that gets you through the first wave of humiliation, embarrassment and/or regret.

 

2. Anger

You can only lie to yourself for so long; eventually reality must dawn on you. But when it does, you still probably won’t be ready to wake up. Rather than emotionally processing the¬†humiliation, embarrassment and/or regret, you deflect it and express it as anger:

  • Your mother is to blame for your inability to get naked without crying…
  • The angle of your boyfriend’s stupid penis is what caused you to queef, which in turn made you try to blame it on the cat…
  • It’s your roommate’s fault that he found you naked with the dog and a jar of peanut butter because he’s the one who insisted on getting a pet in the first place!

You may lash out at these people, or at total strangers…strangers who happen to be making out on your bus home from a long, shitty day at work…throwing the fact of their healthy sex life in your face…until you throw the wadded-up wrapper from your tasteless Big Mac at them while running off the bus at your stop, screaming “GET A ROOM!!!” Or you might take out your frustrations on inanimate objects, like violently shoving your Magic Wand down the garbage disposal.

 

3. Bargaining

The normal reaction to feelings of sexual inadequacy, ignorance or stupidity is often a need to regain control:

  • If only I hadn’t drunk dialed him that fifth time the other night‚Ķ
  • If only I had deleted my browser history‚Ķ
  • If only I had worn a condom that last time (never mind all the other times I somehow skated by without them)‚Ķ
  • If only I hadn’t used a dick slap as my opening move…

Secretly, you might try to make a deal with some higher power — God, your spouse, your Internet service provider — in an attempt undue what’s already been done. Sorry, sucker: it ain’t gonna happen.

 

4. Depression

This is when it really hits home: you realize how royally you fucked up with the fucking. And it makes you want to lock the front door, turn off your phone, and curl up in a ball with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and a Tori Spelling marathon on Lifetime. Go ahead and do it, because, let’s face it, you really shouldn’t be showing your face in public right now. But don’t worry, Pookie, it won’t always be this bad (see number 5 below).

 

5. Acceptance

Most people with at least an ounce of self-awareness will eventually come to accept the fact that they did something sexually stupid, the world didn’t end, and they were able to emerge from their Lifetime cocoon (fairly) unscathed. Acceptance will come quicker if you proactively try to learn from your mistakes and vow to never commit them again: we’re talking to you, bare-backer / never-called-backer / porn-liar / point-and-giggler / best-friend’s-partner-fucker. If you need help fully achieving this stage, write to us for advice — our tough love can be quite soul cleansing.

 

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We’re Full of Advice, May We Give You Some?

May 14, 2014

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The inbox for our Q&A advice column goes through phases: Some months, we barely have time to read all the advice questions that come into EMandLO.com — though we do read every single one, we promise! And other months, like this one, the flow is more of a trickle, and we find ourselves with all this advice burning a hole in our pocket and nowhere to spend it.

So, please, won’t you send us your questions? We promise we are unshockable — we have been ever since that woman asked for advice on getting her Labrador to give her consensual cunnilingus (or perhaps ever since that guy who worked in a morgue asked which STDs, if any, he could get from sleeping with a corpse). And right now, your odds of getting your dilemma answered — either by us, or by the EMandLO.com community at large, in our Your Call feature — are incredibly good. If you don’t send us your anonymous questions, we’ll be forced to start answering each other’s advice questions, and that could get messy fast.

If you over-share, we promise to be kind, unless tough love is called for, in which case, we promise to be fair.

Click here to submit your anonymous advice question to EMandLO.com

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Dream Interpretation: Hubby Cheated on Me with His Assistant

May 8, 2014

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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 have had numerous dreams of my husband cheating on me, but none quite as realistic as this last one. I dreamt he was cheating and I had found out just by asking if he was cheating and he said yes and proceeded to tell me that it was with his assistant. What do I make of this? It feels so real!

Lauri: Cheating dreams do feel extremely real, and because of this, countless men are slapped in the face first thing in the morning! It’s such a common dream that it’s practically an epidemic.

Getting the obvious out of the way, has he cheated before? If so, this dream could be your intuition at work, alerting you to the possibility — or it could be a sign that you have a big old fat trust issue in the relationship that needs to be addressed and not ignored. This could also be the case if you had been cheated on before, but not by him.

If there are no trust issues and this dream seemed to have come from left field, then it is most likely connected to a waking life feeling of being left out. Something is causing you to feel “cheated” out of the time and affection you really want with your husband. So ask yourself, of all the things he spends time doing, what is it you wish he could spend less time on? Fantasy Football? Hanging with his buddies? Work?

Whatever it is, it is something that he is very open about since he came right out and told you in the dream. Since he said he was cheating with his assistant, my money is on work being the culprit. Hopefully that is all it is, and that you aren’t jealous or suspicious of the assistant in real life. Because if that is the case… oy!

If it’s simply that work — or some other project — is taking up so much of his time, use this dream as a conversation starter to let him know you’d really love for him to find a way to spend more quality time with you… and promise that you’ll make it worth his while!

 

Visit Lauri’s brand new 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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The Top 10 Love Lessons of “Sixteen Candles”

May 8, 2014

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This week marks the 30th (!) anniversary of Sixteen Candles, one of the greatest teen movies of all time (right next to John Hughes’ other classic, The Breakfast Club). At a time when most high school/college movies were raunchy, sexist tales of young men’s pursuit of sexual conquests — think the¬†Porky’s franchise, Losing It, The Last American Virgin, Class, Revenge of the Nerds, etc — Hughes upended the genre by focusing on romance and the female perspective (e.g. the obligatory secret shower scene is from Sam and her friend’s POV). And while some of the politically insensitive aspects of the film certainly don’t fly today (the racist portrayal of Asians, use of the word “fag” and “retarded”, the drunk driving, all the date-rape-y stuff), it still holds up as a realistic portrayal of love and longing in the time of hormones and high school — and serves as a guide for young people navigating the world of sex and romance:

  1. It’s worth it to set high standards for yourself when it comes to ideal partners — you actually have a chance, even if you feel like a snowball in hell (Sam crushing on Jake, The Geek crushing on Caroline).
  2. Teenage boys aren’t interested solely in sex: they’re just as interested in relationships as girls are. Neither gender should buy into the macho stereotype.
  3. Don’t get so wasted that you can’t remember whether or not you had sex (i.e. date raped someone OR got date raped) the night before — we’re talking to you Caroline and Farmer Ted.
  4. At sixteen, you should have a decent understanding of reproduction, intercourse, and safer sex to be able to answer the question “Have you ever done it?” confidently and accurately (e.g. “I don’t think so” should not be an option).
  5. Never do sexual charity work, i.e. giving your underpants to someone out of pity so they can pretend they hooked up with you.
  6. Don’t return someone’s panties to them as a romantic gesture, especially at the dinner table — it’s not romantic, it’s creepy.
  7. Violating your passed-out girlfriend ten different ways is not a hilarious, enviable option — it’s rape.
  8. If you need to take four muscle relaxers to get through your period and/or your wedding, you should probably go see a doctor and/or not get married.
  9. “That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call ‘em something else.” — words of wisdom spoken by Sam’s awesome dad.
  10. Fedoras are (still) hot.

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Dear Em & Lo: Are There Any Good Ones Left Out There?

May 7, 2014

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photo via flickr
Submit Your Own Question to EMandLO.comTry Our New
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Dear Em & Lo,

I am a woman from Mumbai, India. I fell in love with Sam when she was in India and we spent 6 months together, bundled up in her apartment mostly. Once she left India she became extremely obsessed with our relationship, and I was more than ever in love with her too — we made future plans and even DOMA was right there in support of our relationship.

We decided to live together in the U.S., but as my days to leave India came closer I found out she had lied to me and spent a weekend at her ex-crush’s place for her 30th b’day. Sam had been in love with this classmate for 2 yrs and I helped her move on. Her crush (Jess) was also in India for two weeks during which Sam tried to get her attention as much as she could but instead was let down and came back to me. Sam cried in my arms and I helped her heal and move on. (Jess is now engaged to a wonderful guy.)

After I reached the U.S., I tried to make Sam understand that a relationship will not work on a foundation of lies. We had some steamy fights and she eventually knocked me down! Beat me up black and blue and choked me until I almost passed out. I left the U.S. the next day to save my life. I am in India and still not recovered from what happened to me in America. Kindly help me understand there are better people I will meet and that this too shall pass!

With great spirit (a lil broken in places),

– Ms. Doma

Dear Ms. Doma,

Yes, there are better people out there! And yes, this too shall pass.

The silver lining to dating someone who is emotionally and physically abusive is that they’ve set the bar pretty low. In contrast, everyone else you ever date will seem like Princess Charming. Of course, this silver lining is simultaneously a potential problem: After being treated so terribly by your ex, there is the risk that you’ll fall fast and hard for anyone who is remotely nice to you — even if they’re completely wrong for you, even if they’re just a spineless bowl of Jello.

So, how can you balance these two competing forces?

We published a reader’s comment a few weeks back about the four early warning signs of a toxic relationship (isolation, pressure, non-consensual physical contact, loss of sense of self) — we think reading the post is a good start in terms of separating the Good Ones from the crazy violent lying heartbreakers. But we’d like to add to this list. So here are our top four warning signs of a bad relationship, tailored for you and based on your letter:

1. Your Partner Has Major Ex Baggage

If you’re consoling your partner about their past relationships or crushes, then they’re not ready to be in a relationship with you. Friends help someone heal and move on from a breakup, this is not the job of the next partner. Sure, you can talk about exes with your current partner, and there are even times when a little sadness is appropriate (e.g. dating a widow or widower, or someone who shares kids with their ex). But you are not the shoulder to cry on!

2. Your Partner Is a Control Freak

There are many different ways to control a partner — for example, Sam controlled you by becoming “obsessed” with the relationship once you were long-distance. You got sucked deeper in, thinking it was more serious than she ever intended it to be. Any time you feel that you are a puppet whose strings are being tugged on, it’s time to look seriously at the relationship.

3. Your Partner Lies to You… About Anything

In our experience, someone is either a liar or they’re not. In other words, someone who lies about small, meaningless matters will lie about big, important matters, too. So be wary at the first sign of dishonesty, even if it’s about something you don’t particularly care about. (Unless, of course, it’s in response to the question: Do you like my new haircut?)

4. Your Partner Dominates You Physically (Non-Consensually)

You ran all the way back to India, so clearly you understand that beating someone up and choking them are indicators of a bad relationship (not to mention a crime!). But did you see any warning signs of this tendency early in the relationship? Did she grab you or woman-handle you or physically manipulate you in a way you were uncomfortable with?

Most of all: Hang in there! You will love again, and you will find someone who is worthy of you.

Hugs,

Em & Lo

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Your Call: Do All Young Men Shave Their Chests Now?

May 5, 2014

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photo via Flickr

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. 

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

 

Dear Em & Lo,

Are all men in their 20s (and maybe 30s) expected to shave/wax/remove their chest hair these days? Same goes for pubes? What percentage of the population does both these things?

– Fur-ious

Leave your response to Fur-ious in the comments below.

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5 Reasons to Wear Lingerie (Especially If You’re Not the Type)

May 2, 2014

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LELO’s Halter Camisole (on sale now for half off)

We are not ones to put more undue pressure on women (or men for that matter, though they could use some more time in high heels) to live up to some unrealistic ideal of style and beauty. If you’re comfortable in an old worn oversized cotton t-shirt, awesome! But if good sex is often about trying new things, pushing your boundaries, breaking taboos, making yourself blush, and avoiding habits and ruts, then switching things up every once in a while in the bedroom is essential. And dressing up for sex is a simple and easy way to do just that.

  1. Fantasy: Why do we watch big Hollywood blockbusters and read epic novels? Why do we watch porn and read erotica? To temporarily escape to other worlds that are more dramatic, more exciting, and sexier! Why do we dress up for Halloween? So we can pretend we’re someone we’re not for an evening. Lingerie and sexy sleepware can work the same way, especially if wearing it is not something you normally do.¬†It’s the mildest, least embarrassing form of roleplaying there is.
  2. Modesty: Yes, you read that right. If you tend to be a little shy when it comes to being naked, or are insecure about a part of your body (even though you shouldn’t be!), then lingerie can actually embolden you by giving you a bit of cover or support. Remember, a lot of sexy stuff can happen without the lingerie ever coming off.
  3. Generosity: It’s nice to be a giving lover, to think about what your partner would enjoy and then give it to them (even if it’s not your number one favorite thing to do). We’re not saying you should ever do anything you don’t want to do, but something you think is merely silly might be the ultimate in sexy to your partner. Would it be so bad to make their day in that way every once in a while? And we’re not just talking to the ladies. A nice pair of boxer briefs instead of those baggy boxers (or whatever Ryan Gosling wears to bed)¬†might be a nice change of pace.
  4. Confidence: Like any piece of clothing, if you find something that fits well, isflattering, feels good against your skin and thus makes you feel good, you’ll have more confidence in bed. And when you have more confidence in bed, you have a better time in bed — and so does your partner.
  5. Ceremony: By dressing up for sex, even if it’s just on special occasions, you honor the sex as a sacred event. You’re a goddess (or god) who deserves to be worshipped, body and soul. What you’re sharing is important and meaningful. By wearing something nice, you’re expressing your respect for the union at hand.

Check out LELO’s Sussurra Collection of¬†silk intimate apparel, including exquisite¬†kimono robes, delicate¬†silk baby-dolls¬†and even a¬†French Maid Set. Everything in the collection is 50% off now!¬†

 



Dream Interpretation: I Delivered My Baby All By Myself

May 1, 2014

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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:

I had a  dream after two months of my marriage in which I saw myself giving birth to a baby without the help of anyone.  After I gave birth I called a medical practitioner to help me with the cleaning up. What does this mean?


Lauri: ¬†It’s very possible this dream is a sign that you are ready to start a family. When our biological clock starts ticking, all our conscious mind and subconscious mind can think about is baby, baby, baby. Often the subconscious mind will start giving us hints in our dreams before our conscious mind catches up. This could be why you gave birth in the dream by yourself, because hubby may not be “with you” yet as far as the idea of starting a family, which is usually the case. For example, I was more than ready for a baby a good year before my hubby was. We gals have a bit more of a time limitation than men.

If you are absolutely not ready for children and this dream seemed to come completely from out of the blue, then the birth would be symbolic of something new that has recently developed in your life, something that requires a lot of attention and nurturing from you, like a new job, going back to school, a new business or project, etc. It would be something that is all of your own doing and your own responsibility in real life since you gave birth all by yourself in the dream. Hopefully it is NOT a sign that you are already feeling alone in your marriage. Oy!

The cleaning of the mess is an interesting element and may be connected to your need to straighten out a situation that got “messy” in real life or a need to organize yourself so you can better care for this new development.¬† Whatever the case, it seems to be a good dream pointing to new beginnings for you!

 

Visit Lauri’s brand new 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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