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Your Call: Is He Still Mourning…Or Just Not That Into Me?

January 20, 2014

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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
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Dear Em & Lo,

My boyfriend and I have been together for four years and I live with him. His sister died a couple of months ago and his mother died five years ago and I have seen a change in him, and it’s starting to affect our relationship. He has conversations with other girls and I feel he doesn’t accept me as his girlfriend as I want him to. I love him but I don’t feel the love as often as I used to and I am confused. Is he still dealing with his sister’s death? Or is it that he can’t deal with me anymore?

– Out in the Cold

Leave your advice for Out in the Cold in the comments section below.

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Hot & Cheap: How to Make a Home-Cooked Meal for a Dollar!

January 17, 2014

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Being able to cook is traditionally seen as sexy, but frugality? Not so much. But when you save money on food, think of all that leftover moolah you can apply to romantic dinners out, just-because gifts, and sex toy upgrades!

When we think of sexiness and frugality, we think of Jack Murnighan. We used to work with him back in the early days of Nerve.com. He was a PhD student of medieval literature who penned the column “Jack’s Naughty Bits,” in which he would eloquently introduce the raunchiest bits from the cannon. His voice was deep and smooth like butter. He danced at all those fabulous late-90s internet-boom parties with the sensuality of Sally Rand. And he drank four-day old coffee without shame — indeed, with pride.

Lo and Jack were roommates for five minutes and he would come home from Chinatown with a bag overflowing with exotic (or frightening, depending on your sensibilities)…ingredients? Yes, let’s go with ingredients. All for less than a dollar! No exaggeration. Then he’d make magic in our teeny tiny kitchen and have himself a feast within minutes. As an undaring vegetarian, I was spared many of his zanier experiments, but I could still appreciate the game he was mastering way back when: making interesting, satisfying, home-cooked meals for next to nothing.

Jack is now an executive at Disney (Nerve.com > Babble.com > Disney) where they’ve¬†helped him launch his own online video series called DOLLAR MEALS, which he describes as “gourmandise on the super-cheap.” It’s been a long time coming. He’s as cute as ever, with a voice that’s still as smooth as butter, and he can cut the fat off pork with the sensuality of Sally Rand. Watch, learn, eat, enjoy!

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Dream Interpretation: My Boyfriend Switched Bodies with Me

January 16, 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. This week, a reader asks Lauri:

A few months ago my boyfriend described a dream he had. He said that he and I were having sex and it was really amazing. And then he said that right as he was about to orgasm in the dream he sort of got this tunnel vision, and the moment he orgasmed he said that he was in my body, but with his own thoughts. He was looking with my eyes and my body. I also wanted to know more about this switching bodies dream… and is this a common dream? (Not necessarily this specific details or even the sexual aspect of it being common, but the aspect of being in someone else’s body.)

Lauri:¬†Your boyfriend’s dream is actually a really great example of what sex dreams are really about; it’s not so much about the sex but about the joining together, the merging of ideas, opinions or qualities. Your boyfriend’s dream seems to show us that, not only is he really into you, but that he also really seems to understand you. Seeing through your eyes is symbolic of “seeing your point of view.”

Also notice how he had tunnel vision just before he could see through your eyes. That’s a common phrase we use to describe someone who typically sees things only one way. Prior to his dream, do you recall having some sort of intimate conversation where you were able to open his mind or change his opinion? Did something happen that allowed him to be more understanding of you? It’s a cool dream and a great sign that he’s — ahem — “coming” from a really good place.

As far as switching bodies in a dream, it’s not one of the more common dream elements we get, but it certainly does happen as it has been reported to me quite a bit. Depending on the context of the dream, it most often means that you are now walking in someone else’s shoes, so to speak, or are gaining a greater understanding of them. Again, it all depends on the context of the dream.

Hope this helps clear things up for you! Also? I think your boyfriend, after hearing about this dream of his, deserves a mind-blowing orgasm — so get to it!

Want to be able to figure out your own dreams every morning? Lauri’s latest book,¬†Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, 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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Dear Em & Lo: Where Did My Sex Drive Go?

January 15, 2014

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photo via flickr

Dear Em & Lo,

When I was in my teens, I had a perfectly healthy (if not overzealous…) sex drive. Now, in my mid 20′s, I find myself totally disinterested 95% of the time.

I am trying to figure out if perhaps it could be due to hormonal birth control, as I am now on the P.O.P, or due to the fact that I am in a long-term relationship of the “love but not IN love” kind (that’s its own issue entirely,) or if I am just …dysfunctional. Really hoping it’s not the latter because I seem to remember that sex was kind of fun at one point.¬†It makes me feel weird and broken and sad. I sometimes suffer from depression and this just makes it worse. The most terrible part is that I feel pretty resigned to it.

Help! It shouldn’t be this way, I’m a young, healthy, mostly well-adjusted human. What’s going on?

– Lukewarm

Dear Lukewarm,

The short answer goes something like this: 1) Maybe; 2) probably; 3) probably not. To expand a little…

1) As far as your birth control goes, you really should discuss this with your own doctor. Tell them your concerns and see what they suggest. While the progestin-only pill does tend to have fewer side effects than other forms of the birth control pill, there’s still a chance it could be affecting your libido. In some women, the pill increases libido, in others it decreases it, and in still others it has no effect at all. It couldn’t hurt to try something else! (But, like we said, please do this in conjunction with a medical professional, which we are not.) By the way, when you discuss birth control with your doctor, you should definitely mention that you sometimes suffer from depression, as this will very likely affect their recommendations, too.

2) Er, you love your partner but aren’t in love with him? DING DING DING DING! You can’t expect to stay in a relationship that is flagging and still expect your libido to be in blooming health. The two are kinda connected, ya know? If we were betting women, we’d say that this is at the heart (or other vital organ) of your problem.

3) As we said above, we think your birth control might be dysfunctional, and we definitely think your relationship might be dysfunctional, but we see no evidence to suggest that you, dear, are dysfunctional. So don’t resign yourself to this state of affairs! Don’t even let yourself think about #3 until you’ve done all you can to clear up #1 and #2 first.

– Your Young(ish), Healthy, Mostly Well-Adjusted Sex Writers,

Em & Lo

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Top 5 Love Lessons Learned from The Bachelor: Juan Pablo, Ep 2

January 14, 2014

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photo courtesy of ABC/Todd Wawrychuk

  1. Sensual massage and talk of the dearly departed do not mix.
  2. If someone on a date is pressuring you to do something that you don’t feel comfortable with, that goes against your values, and that you simply don’t want to do, then stand up for yourself and don’t do it! Knowing yourself and your boundaries is way sexier than being a wishy washy weakling. (Bonus tip: If you have a job that requires you to use debate skills — like, we don’t know, say, a trial lawyer? — then there’s no shame in employing some of those skills on a date to make your case. This does NOT, however, mean you should, under any circumstances, roleplay that you are actually doing your job — like, we don’t know, say, a local news reporter? –¬†in the middle of a date in an attempt to be playful, especially if you have not yet mastered the skills of said job.)
  3. Don’t be Drunk Girl from SNL: KNOW YOUR ALCOHOL LIMITS! Always. But especially on a first date.
  4. When you’re going to dump someone, don’t string them along with extended kindness, concern, and sympathy — it will only give them false hope. Be nice and gentle, but get to the point quickly. It’s like taking off a Bandaid: the longer you take to remove yourself fully from the relationship, the more it’s gonna hurt.
  5. If you do something dumb on a first date, don’t dwell on it on the second date. In fact, don’t even bring it up. Forget about it and move on…to the totally normal and not-at-all awkward rose ceremony portion of your second date.

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Your Call: Can I Expect Pleasure If My Wife Is in Pain?

January 13, 2014

8 Comments


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
*PRIVATE* Advice Service!

 

Dear Em & Lo,

My wife has a condition that basically when she has an orgasm she has very uncomfortable pain in her chest and coughs for a period of time. Now this is not that she is unable to have an orgasm its that she currently doesn’t feel that an orgasm is worth the pain and discomfort that it will cause. ¬†So obviously that means no sex. This has been the case for the last 3 months.¬†

I have been patient but I want to feel the connection that sex brings. I am ok with not having vaginal sex so that she doesn’t have an orgasm, but there are many things that she can do with me that would make me feel that same or at least close-to-the-same connection that the intimacy of love-making brings. I have said that I would be ok with just having her lie next to me while I masturbated (she would not even have to touch me) just so I can feel close to her in an intimate way.

So my question is: am I out of line and unreasonable to ask some kind of intimate replacement for vaginal sex from her or should I not expect to have an orgasm if she isn’t as well? I am willing to do whatever she wants and is willing to do in order to achieve the intimacy, but she does not want to do anything.

– Neglected

What advice do you have for Neglected? Leave it in the comments section below.

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Bad Boob Day? Here’s What Normal Breasts Really Look Like

January 10, 2014

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photo via Flickr

Chances are, you’re pretty familiar with your own breasts, and you’ve probably had fleeting glimpses of breasts belong to your mother/sister/close friend in a fitting room. But the breasts you get to spend the most time staring at — whether you want to or not — belong to movie stars and Victoria’s Secret models and pop stars and various other female celebrities who are paid to look stunning. In other words, women who were blessed with genetically “perfect” boobs (which, sad to say, no doubt contributed to their success) or women who paid to get genetically-enhanced “perfect” boobs.

It’s no wonder so many women feel shitty about their own boobs. But imagine if you could walk down the street on your way to work one morning and could magically see the breasts belonging to every other woman you passed? No push-up bras or surgically enhanced boobies allowed. We have a feeling you’d suddenly feel a whole lot better about your own pair. You’d realize that the concept of “normal,” when it comes to breasts, is incredibly broad (as it were). And you’d realize that the concept of “perfect” is about as real as Heidi Montag’s jugs (and yes, those are “jugs” she has — Ms. Mongtag long ago forfeited the right to refer to those monstrosities as breasts).

Well, in lieu of X-ray vision, this gallery of hundreds of pictures of “normal breasts” may help (you can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post for some NSFW examples). Hosted by 007B.com (a rather militant breastfeeding site, it should be noted — just a heads up in case you go clicking around to the rest of the site!), these images are all submitted by women who have neither been pregnant nor breastfed — we guess the site’s message is, don’t blame the nursing babies! Whatever you think about nursing, you can’t argue with the site’s philosophy on boobage:

A huge proportion of American women are not happy with their breasts. The media images make them believe the ideal is big and perky breasts with a small nipple and areola.

But, in reality female breasts come in all kinds of sizes and shapes. These breast pictures are here to let you see normal breasts — big, small, sagging, asymmetrical; big areolas or nipples.

In fact, having asymmetrical breasts, where one is bigger than the other, is very very common. Most women have one breast slightly larger than the other. Sagging is very common also, because due to gravity, the breast naturally assumes a hanging position.

Also as we all know, size varies a lot. Some women have practically a flat chest, some have small breasts, some have much bust that the mere weight of them can cause them backaches. according to the bra industry, the most common bra cup size in the US used to be B, but has now become C probably due to the increasing obesity. Of course, the size is not constant but varies with pregnancy, breastfeeding, and during the menstrual cycle.

Many young people growing up never see what normal natural breasts look like, and influenced by the media, think that pert big breasts are ideal. Many end up opting for breast implants to “correct” their breasts ‚ÄĒ when their breasts were normal all the time!

In fact, MOST teenage girls worry and fret over their breast development, some even to the point of suicide ‚ÄĒ which is a very sad comment on how American culture is influencing young people.

Preach it, sisters! We’re happy that so many women were willing to share pictures of their, yes, normal breasts. You might want to bookmark the photo gallery and return to it next time you’re having a Bad Boob Day. We’ve included a few examples below — caution, NSFW, though we hate to have to say that! — so scroll down past the asterisks if you’d like to see.

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Dream Interpretation: I Had a Hot Threesome with an Ex and Her Ex

January 9, 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. This week, a reader asks Lauri:

My dream is about a threesome. It starts off with me (female femme lesbian) going on a trip to some musical theater on a blue bus. There are a whole bunch of people on the bus. I guess that it’s a college trip of some kind. There is a girl (stud lesbian who I’ll call Alex) who I went to high school with and had a huge crush on. We both talked and flirted before in real life but now we’re just friends. Another person on the bus I recognized was Alex’s ex (bisexual girl who I’ll call Mia). In real life, there’s bad tension between Mia and me — we don’t talk.

In the dream my sketch pads started falling out of my bag. It seemed like I was stressed out and in a hurry. After I got all my stuff together I went to the bathroom to put it all in my bag. When I looked up I saw Alex and Mia talking. They both came to me and Alex said, “I wish I could have both of you.” We all put our arms around one another. I made out with Mia while Alex felt around both of us. Did I mention the bathroom was blue? We all had sex and rushed back to the bus. The three of us sat next to each other, laughing and smiling, putting a huge blanket over all of us. I fingered Mia while Alex kissed my neck and shoulders, touching my breasts, and then she fingered me.

When I woke up I remembered Alex had to do my hair this weekend and I got really nervous because I realized that Alex and Mia just broke up and I would love if this happens in real life. I feel horrible that I want this. I’ve always really wanted Mia to like me but she doesn’t because I flirt with Alex. They’re both gorgeous and it seemed like a dream come true.

Lauri: We tend to dream about what is on our mind the most, and through the dream we try to work out the issue. While the idea of a threesome with these two ladies is something that excites you, I think the dream is more about your desire to get rid of the tension and have harmony with them, which is why you were headed to a musical in the dream.

I think the sketch pads falling out of your bag symbolize the “falling out” that Mia and Alex had. Is there something “sketchy” about that breakup or about Mia? If not, then the sketch pads would symbolize your ability to create an ideal situation out of this.

Going into the bathroom is another sign that you wish to relieve yourself of the tension and perhaps even the emotional angst of not having Alex for yourself after all these years. What Alex says in there — “I wish I could have both of you” — is really coming from you. This is a thought you generated. So again, this is about your desire to have harmony among the three of you, your wish to have them both on your side. And sex acts in dreams are often about the need to “come together” on some level in waking life.

All the blue in this dream suggests you have been “blue” about the situation… or about something. It seems your dreaming mind is urging you to take this as an opportunity to finally create harmony. Let us know how it goes!

Want to be able to figure out your own dreams every morning? Lauri’s latest book,¬†Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, 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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10 Requirements for a Sexy Bedroom

January 8, 2014

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photo via Flickr

In case your bedroom has been a little worse for wear lately, here’s a quick reminder of the basics of bedroom beautification. Because a beautiful bedroom is much nicer/more inspiring/less psychically distracting to make beautiful music in.

  1. Invest in sheets with a decent thread count–there’s nothing sexy about your bare skin against the equivalent of burlap.
  2. Only have plants/flowers in the bedroom if you can keep them alive and thriving. Dead things aren’t sexy.
  3. Make sure your bed gives you proper support, because if you’ve got a bad back, you’re not going to feel much like pelvic thrusting. Make sure that the headboard is secure, that the bed’s wheels don’t roll (even better: no wheels!), and that nothing squeaks. The only weird noises you hear should be coming out of your mouths or other orifices; the only movement you feel should be coming from each other’s bodies and the Earth (get it? feeling the Earth move…?).
  4. Get rid of the bright overheads and decorate with some soft, flattering, low lights in various corners — even better if you put them all on dimmers. The occasional candle or two is nice, but don’t get all satanic ritual-y with 50 red fire hazards lining every surface of your bedroom.
  5. Even if you have minimal space, don’t put one side of your bed against a wall — that’s for kiddies and college students.
  6. Place some kind of bedside table on both sides of the bed so each person has a place to call their own within arms reach (for water glasses, lube, condoms, sex toys, etc). You get bonus points if the tables have drawers for maximizing discretion and organization.
  7. No dirty clothes on the floor, office papers cluttering your dresser, or overflowing closets. One of the main reasons hotel rooms are so sexy is because they’re neat and clean!
  8. Give your sex playlist the presentation it deserves: for minimal cost, you can invest in some small but nice speakers to surround your bed (you can even put a subwoofer under it).
  9. Save the family pictures for other rooms in the house. You don’t want your Mom smiling at you while you’re doing it.
  10. No television sets — that’s for the den. And needless to say, no stuffed animals!

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Top 7 Love Lessons Learned from The Bachelor (Juan Pablo, Ep 1)

January 7, 2014

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photo courtesy of ABC/Rick Rowell

Now that Juan-uary has begun, each week we’ll be bringing you the five most important love lessons you can learn from each episode of The Bachelor on ABC. With each episode guaranteed to be the most dramatic EVER (per usual), this season should prove to be a wildly educational ride. And since last night was the long-awaited premiere, chock-full of hot messes and rock-hard abs, we’ve got two bonus tips for you today!

  1. On a blind date, don’t open with your jilted-at-the-alter sob story. And while we’re at it, don’t open with talk of your recent unemployment, your brother who’s in jail, your raging case of genital herpes, or your small vestigial tail. Duh.
  2. On a date, never give out the equivalent of a pity rose, be it a pity compliment, a pity phone number exchange, or a pity kiss. You might be trying to be nice, but they’ll smell the condescension wafting off you like too much Drakkar Noir. And all you’ll probably get in return is a limp “Uh…sure.”
  3. If you’re dating a single parent, you can discern quite a bit about the quality of their parenting by assessing how properly — or in Juan Pablo’s case, how improperly — the child’s car-seat straps have been adjusted.
  4. To be sure an exotic accent is not impeding your judgment, imagine them speaking in a Pee Wee Herman voice, like this. If they still seem even just half as smart/hot/witty, then you’ll know it’s the real deal. Otherwise, you’ll realize you’ve been duped by the rolling Rs.
  5. On a blind date, give a man a stiff drink, NOT a teddy bear.
  6. We don’t care if you’re a professional massage therapist — no sensual massages may be given until at least date number 3 (when sex either is impending or has just concluded).
  7. When all else fails, take your shirt off.

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