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Dear Em & Lo: How Great Should First-Time Sex with a New Partner Be?

April 24, 2014


photo via Flickr

Dear Em and Lo,

I was married for 20 years and now I am not.¬† I’m not crying in my soup (is that the term?). I’ve learned a lot about what makes for a crappy relationship and bad sex. And I have gained a sense of humor, sexual confidence and a pretty good idea about what makes for great sex and good relationships. I’m ready to give it all a go. I’ve dated a couple of guys since becoming single six months ago (the relationship was over long before it was over, so the grieving has been done). Recently, I met a guy that I have come to REALLY like. We’ve both expressed to each other in many ways, including some pretty suggestive and fun flirting, that we are really into getting to know each other even better.

So here’s the question: How great should the sex be the first time if I want this guy to stick around? Do I pull out all the stops? Should I plan on maybe just one of the little ideas we’ve flirted around? What about role-playing and/or dress-up the first time? I kind of wonder if I should steer things in the direction of just pure romance the first time, or is jumping right into what is fun for me — and apparently him too — a good idea? I feel pretty comfortable with my decision to not introduce any toys or gadgets the first time. But what if he suggests or comes up with one? Should I say that I’d prefer au natural at first and promise we’ll get to the toys on another occasion? Or, should I let him show me how creative he is and what he likes to do?

I might not have these questions if our circumstances were different but here’s the deal: His wife died, after a long illness, ten months ago. He was happy with her. He has dated a little but I’m pretty sure no or not much sex. I’m desperate for some great sex and a great connection. He’s really hot for me but has mentioned he wants to take things slowly, which, even though I’m itchin’, I think is a good idea. Still, I don’t want him to be disappointed once we finally do get around to it. I’d love to know what you think about this.

– (Almost) Back in the Saddle


Okay, let’s get one thing straight before we go any further: This man is not going to be disappointed! You’re full of sexual confidence and excited to have fun in bed, you guys have great chemistry, and he probably hasn’t had sex in a loooooong time. Just plain old vanilla sex is going to melt him like butta! Chances are, in fact, he’s more nervous than you are (especially if he hasn’t had some good online friends regularly encouraging him like you have). So take a deep breath and just try to enjoy the fact that you’re about to have sex with your new crush. It’s been a loooooong time since you had sex with someone new, and half the fun of this is the anticipation!

As to what you should do in bed the first time, there are no hard and fast rules, it really all depends on what you’re both comfortable with. You don’t want to act like someone you’re not in bed, just to please or impress your partner. If what really gets you off is whips and chains, you don’t want to keep that a secret from your partner for an entire year — just in case that’s not their cup of tea at all. If, on the other hand, you enjoy role-playing about as much as a root canal, there’s no point in pretending you love it in the beginning, just to be agreeable — because then you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of sweaty latex nurse outfits. It’s better to find out if you’re sexually compatible before getting in too deep.

That said, being willing to try some new things earlier rather than later can set the right tone for a relationship: it establishes the fact that you’re always going to be willing to experiment, at least a little. If you wait until you’re in a rut to break out the blindfold and switch positions, it’s likely to feel a lot more awkward and out of place. So we’re thrilled to hear that the two of you have already talked about role-playing and dress-up! We see great things for the two of you in bed.

But there’s a difference between first-time sex and early-relationship sex. We tend to think that first-time sex — assuming it’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship and not a one-night stand — doesn’t really need any accessorizing. (Except for condoms, and perhaps some¬†lube, which is always welcome.) First-time sex with a new partner is serious sensory-overload. For example, this will probably be your first view of each other’s O-faces! You don’t need to bend over backwards in some Kama Sutra position because the basics still feel brand new and exciting. Plus, you’ll probably both be nervous, which isn’t really conducive to pulling off complicated bondage knots or the wheelbarrow position or nurturing your inner saucy librarian/naughty farmhand. There’s also something to be said for having at least a little experience in bed with each other before making sex technical or theatrical. The better you know each other, the more likely you are to know when it’s the right time to whip out the spanking paddle.

That all said, we don’t think you should necessarily rule out anything. Go with the flow and if something feels right and good and sexy in the moment, then do it! If he suggests a toy (though we doubt he will, given that he’s nervous and wants to take things slowly) and you think that sounds like a fantastic idea, then buzz away (just make sure you put a condom on that too if it’s not fresh out of the box!). But even if you don’t break out any toys, your new-found sexual confidence will still come into play whenever you have sex. It takes a lot of confidence just to ask for what you want in bed — and that might be being led around like a pony, or it might just be a certain manual technique that really does it for you.

On a final note, we know we said that the anticipation is half the fun of first-time sex, but we also want to caution you not to go in with overly high expectations. While sex with a brand new partner is rarely dull or boring, it can sometimes feel awkward or clumsy — and for a woman, it’s not always particularly orgasmic. Sometimes it takes a guy a while to find his way around a new partner’s body, or it takes her a while to become comfortable and relaxed enough with him to climax. (Or it takes her a while to become comfortable and relaxed enough with him to explain how exactly he can get her to climax.) In other words, don’t sweat it if the Earth doesn’t move the first time around. It doesn’t mean you’re destined to have bad sex together and it definitely doesn’t mean you’re not meant to be together. Just think of it as having something to look forward to.

Have fun storming the castle!

Em & Lo


Dear Em & Lo: How Can I Find a Man to Love My Enlarged Labia?

April 23, 2014


photo via flickr

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Dear Em & Lo,

I was reading a little about my problem on this website: I have an enlarged labia, which I’ve heard referred to as beef curtains, roast beef, etc. I felt better after reading some of the comments men and women alike posted, but it doesn’t really alleviate my insecurities. It’s such a problem that I can’t have a relationship, and I refuse guys to the point where they think I’m frigid.

I really want to be with someone and be able to have sex without stressing on it so much that it ruins the whole experience. I am in recovery, and the only way I’ve ever been able to have sex is by getting so wasted that I wouldn’t care — and then being too ashamed to continue correspondence.

I feel like this is ruining my life and my confidence. I’m 23 and I feel like none of the guys in my generation would understand, considering the things I hear my male friends say. If it weren’t for this problem, I’ve been told I would be a great catch. I can’t afford surgery — if I could, I would get it in a heartbeat!

What can I do? Or where can I find a guy that will like me anyways? Do they make chat rooms or meetings for this sorta thing?! I feel like if I found a guy who liked that sorta thing and knew up front, it might not be so bad.

– Blushing Flower

Dear B.F.,

The first thing you should do is read our post, “10 Reasons Your ‘Ugly Vagina’ Is Normal and Gorgeous.”¬†

The second thing you should do is read it again.

The third thing you should do is print it out and keep it on your nightstand.

Okay? Okay! Now, onto your letter. You know what they say about silver linings? Well, here are two for you:

1) How awesome that you no longer allow yourself to get wasted in order to have sex! No more morning-after regret and humiliation, no more sleeping with a toxic ex or unsuitable suitor, no more being too drunk to insist on a condom. Instead, you are being forced into having mindful, conscious, sober sex. If it makes you feel better, we think a lot more people would be freaked out about their naked bodies if they had sober sex more often. It’s a scary freakin’ thing to get naked with someone — especially someone you don’t know very well. Which is why we think you should take things very slowly with any new partners. Date slowly. Enjoy kissing and making out. Build up to nudity slowly. Build up to sex even more slowly. If a guy can’t handle the wait, then he’s not worth sticking around for anyway. And here’s a handy bonus: The more patient a guy is about waiting for sex with you, the less likely he is to be one of those douches who make roast beef curtain jokes.

2) How awesome that you’re too broke to get labiaplasty! Seriously, there will come a day when you will be so grateful that you couldn’t afford the surgery you so desperately want right now. We promise you that this day will come! You will find a guy who will love you for who you are, labia included, and you’ll realize you don’t give a hoot what anyone else thinks about your lips. You might even think, “Em & Lo were so right, surgery would have been a terrible idea!” (Don’t believe us?¬†Read why here, point #3.)

Are you still thinking your labia are unsightly? Then go back and read our list again! Please. And remember, the loud-mouth idiot guys who make those jokes are in the minority — they just seem like the majority because they’re so loud and annoying. That’s the thing about douches and Tea Partiers — they manage to convince you they speak for everyone just by yelling (we bet there’s a rather large Venn diagram overlap between labia joking douches and Tea Partiers, actually) . And probably half those douches are just joining in with the labia jokes to seem “cool.” In fact, we bet most of your guy friends have already slept with women who have larger than average labia — and we bet not one of them ran for the door when they saw those labia.

Trust us: You are a great catch! Labia included! Some women actually learn to love their enlarged labia… they find them incredibly sensitive and helpful in stimulating the clitoris, for example. You may not think this is possible, but we can guarantee there is a guy out there who is going to fall in love with you… and with your labia, too.

Please don’t try to find a guy who loves big labia and then hopes he loves you — that’s ass-backwards, and guaranteed to fail. Here’s why: It’s so much harder to find love than it is to find a guy who expresses some kind of labia preference. Imagine trying to pick a guy based on pictures of his penis alone?! The chances of you actually connecting with a guy whose penis picture you liked is miniscule. Human beings fall in love with brains and faces and personalities and, yes, sometimes body type and bank balance — but genitals alone? Hardly. Those are just part of the, er, package.

Anyway. What we’re trying to say is: You’re normal! Your guy friends are assholes and wrong! You shouldn’t date any of them! But you should date other guys — now, often, lots, slowly. And when you get naked, don’t apologize for a thing, because you’re normal and you’re gorgeous and any halfway decent man who is lucky enough to see you naked will think the same thing.


Em & Lo


What the Pets In Your Online Dating Photo Mean

April 22, 2014


Scientific research about whether you should include a pet in your online dating profile pic is, not surprisingly, rather flimsy. So we decided to put together our own report on featuring pets. The following guide explains the message conveyed by different kinds of pet in your online dating pic. Depending on the image you want to present, consider posing with your pet, cropping your pet from the pic, or borrowing a pet from a friend.


Man with Dog (Regular Size)

“I’m rugged and manly but can be tender and caring with the right woman. Every woman except the right woman, however, comes second to my dog.”


Man with Dog (Miniature)

“I like pink shirts, skincare products, and cunnilingus. And yes, I’m perfectly secure in my manhood, thanks.”


Woman with Dog (Regular Size)

“I take five minutes to get ready in the morning and I’ll never order a salad (dressing on the side) when we go out to eat. And no players, please: The only games I like are those I play with my dog.”


Woman with Dog (Miniature)

“I take more than an hour to get ready in the morning and I’ll order a salad (dressing on the side) even when you insist the restaurant serves the best steak in town. Also: be prepared for mind games.”


Man with Cat

“I honestly don’t give a shit what you think about my cat. Also, go ahead and bring your vibrator to bed — it’s all good. I’ll probably write a poem about it, if that’s cool with you.”


Woman with Cat

“My bed is strewn with my stuffed animal collection. And, ew, please don’t put your finger there. Like, gross!”


Man with Horse

“I’m rich as fuck.”


Woman with Horse

“Are you rich enough to be my man?”


Man with Rabbit

“I love to spoon. No, seriously, I love to spoon.”


Woman with Rabbit

“Will you hold me?”


Man with Bird

“I’m a control freak with a jealous streak.”


Woman with Bird

“I don’t like to make noise in bed. Would you please keep it down?”


Man with Snake

“I have an enormous penis.”


Woman with Snake

“I like kinky sex and big penises.”



The 10 Types of Sex Dreams

April 17, 2014

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Freud, Schmroid. If you’re looking for a good book on the interpretation of dreams, check out the one by our very own Lauri Loewenberg, dream interpreter extraordinaire! Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life (published by St. Martin’s Press) features hundreds of real dream interpretations and a comprehensive dream symbol dictionary to help you understand and make the most of your nocturnal visions, especially the sexy ones. There’s an entire chapter dedicated to sex dreams, which Lauri says are often “not about a physical union you want, but rather a psychological union you need!” There are 10 kinds of sex dreams; below are 5 of them; check out Dream On It for the other five archetypes (The Friend, The Same Gender, Oral Sex, Family Members, and Masturbation):

  1. The Mystery Lover – This is the most common of all sex dreams. Many of us wonder if this dream is actually a glimpse of our soul mate who might be out there somewhere waiting for us.¬† Alas, t‚Äôis not so.¬† But what is so is that the unknown, faceless man or woman that often appears in our dreams does indeed hold significance….Our dreams have a cool way of showing us the different parts of our personality in the form of a person so we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and what makes us tick. That being said, the mystery lover in your dreams is the embodiment, the personification of the qualities we tend to associate with that gender….Throughout life we struggle to incorporate the right balance of each [gender] into our personalities and behavior.¬† A man wants to be caring and understanding, yet he doesn‚Äôt want to be a sissy.¬† A woman wants to assert herself, yet she doesn‚Äôt want to be labeled the B word!¬† Our mystery lover dreams are guiding us towards that perfect balance of firm and gentle, bold and caring, yin and yang.
  2. Cheating — These dreams can be infuriating, worrisome and the cause of many a slap across the face first thing in the morning.¬† In fact, in a recent survey I conducted with over 5000 participants, the cheating dream came in as the #1 most common dream! As upsetting as these dreams can be, the good news is that they rarely indicate that your mate is getting his or her pleasures elsewhere.¬† They do suggest, however, that something rather than someone is taking the time and attention from your mate that you feel you deserve.‚Ä®…[If] you are the one straying in your dreams you need to ask yourself what you may be doing that is taking your attention away from your mate.¬† The guilt you feel in the dream is a tell tale sign that, deep down, you are aware that this may not be sitting well with your significant other….Once you can pinpoint what it is your mate is ‚Äúcheating on you‚ÄĚ with, or what you may be guilty of giving too much time to, it‚Äôs time to compromise.¬† Offer to give up or cut back on something your mate isn‚Äôt a big fan of if he or she promises to cut back on the activity that is causing you to feel left out. If you both stick to the compromise, you‚Äôll find that the dreams will stop.
  3. The Ex — Past lovers are very popular characters in our naughty dreams. Even though it may be light years since you were with this person, he or she STILL continues to appear in your dreams, bringing those old feelings back to the surface that leave you wondering if you still may be holding a flame.¬† ‚Ä®‚Ä®Most often, the ex we dream about the most is our first love.¬† Strangely enough, we continue to dream of our first loves, even if we’ve moved on into a happy marriage.¬† Don’t worry, it’s not that you want the ex back, it’s that you want what he or she represents back: excitement, bubbles, passion!¬† You are likely to get these dreams when you are in a dry spell or when your marriage or current relationship gets a little too routine and humdrum, as all relationships do from time to time.¬† Your dream is using your ex to remind you of the passion that is still alive inside of you.¬† These dreams are actually good for you and are alerting you to the fact that the passion department doesn‚Äôt want to become a thing of the past.
  4. The Co-Worker – This dream can make work a very uncomfortable place to be. Unless your co-worker causes your heart to skip a beat and your mind to wander into naughty, naughty land, then your sex dream(s) about him or her are nothing to cause you concern.¬† However, understanding the dream is well worth your while because odds are, that dream is actually trying to help you improve yourself at work.¬† Your dreaming mind may be telling you that you need to ‚Äúcome together‚ÄĚ on some level with your co-worker, for the sake of work, that you need to have a meeting of the minds in order to make co-existing and co-working more efficient.¬† ‚Ä®‚Ä®But what if you don‚Äôt really have much to do with a particular co-worker during the day but you find yourself knocking boots at night?¬† All you need to do is ask yourself what stands out about that person.¬† Is he really good with computers?¬† Does the boss seem to favor her?¬†¬† Maybe he‚Äôs easy going and doesn‚Äôt seem to have a care in the world.¬† There is very likely a quality he or she possesses that your dreaming mind feels you would do well to take on as your own.
  5. The Boss РShagging your employer at night can sure make it difficult to come into work the next day.  If this is the case with you, remember, sex dreams are not necessarily about the person but rather about what he or she represents.  In the case of your boss it is most likely power, authority, management skills, decision making, et cetera that you need to merge into your own life.
 Do you need to take on the role of boss at home and better manage those unruly kids?  Are you facing a tough decision?  Do you need to fire or get rid of a certain element, person or behavior in your life?  Or perhaps you simply need to merge with your boss psychologically in order to deal with a client or project. Whatever the case may be, your boss dream is telling you that it’s time to take charge! Being decisive and authoritative would suit you well now.

For more on the 5 sex dreams above and to discover the meaning behind the other 5 most common sex dreams — The Friend, The Same Gender, Oral Sex, Family Members, and Masturbation –¬†check out Lauri‚Äôs book¬†Dream On It, available everywhere!¬†Check out all of Lauri’s books here.

Wise Guys: What If Her Libido Is Bigger Than His?

April 16, 2014


photo via Flickr

Advice from three of EMandLO.com’s guy friends. This week they answer the following: “What would most guys think about dating a woman whose sex drive was higher than his? Would it be awesome? Annoying? Lead to insecurities? Make you think less (or more) of her? All of the above?” To ask the guys your own question, click here.

mark_luczak_100Straight Single Guy (Mark Luczak): Not possible, right? (What sex drive is higher than wanting it all the¬†time?) Actually, as awesome as this sounds at first glance for the¬†stereotypical hornball guy, in reality any dissonance in sex drive can¬†be challenging on many levels (I’ve been on both sides of it to at least¬†some degree). Feeling attractive and desired is unquestionably¬†wonderful, but if someone simply happens to be in the mood less¬†frequently, it can be uncomfortable for all involved. In the gender¬†roles here, the guy might feel that he’s perpetually disappointing,¬†while the girl might easily start to feel insecure emotionally and¬†physically over why every opportunity isn’t taken.

With a strong enough couple and commitment, though, a variance in sex drive is hardly insurmountable. Communication and genuine willing flexibility can certainly overcome the challenges and leave everyone more than fulfilled.

daniel_100Gay Single Guy (Daniel): Most guys would probably love it if the woman they were dating had a high¬†sex drive. I mean, isn’t that part of the fantasy of women in porn? A¬†hyper-sexualized woman? I think it would only lead to insecurity if the man¬†himself were insecure.


Straight Married Guy (David Felsen):

A) First of all, that’s just impossible. No. Wait. There was this South African woman who nearly broke me. Serves me right for dating a rolfer. I still get panic attacks whenever I hear a voo voo zela.

B) Trust me, there‚Äôs nothing ‚Äúawesome‚ÄĚ about a dislocated sacrum, a desiccated scrotum, and a deviated vas deferens. If you see a guy hunched sideways at a urinal or a tree holding a right angle and two golden raisins, it‚Äôs me. And yes, it‚Äôs ‚Äúannoying.‚ÄĚ I can‚Äôt say her libido ‚Äúlead to insecurities,‚ÄĚ as that started when my sister told me I was adopted.

C) ‚ÄúThink less of her?‚ÄĚ I wouldn‚Äôt dare. I hope she‚Äôs found another guy to love…to death.

D) ‚ÄúAll of the above.‚ÄĚ

Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors. This week’s Straight Married Guy is NY writer-comedian David Felsen; our Gay Guy is one-time stripper and sex columnist Daniel; and our Straight Single Guy is Mark Luczak, a tech geek at Carnegie Mellon University. To ask the guys your own question, click here.



Top 10 Relationship Tips from the IRS

April 15, 2014


photo via Flickr

We’ve taken this year’s Top 10 Tax Time Tips from the IRS and tweaked them for your dating life (the original document is at the bottom of this post). Because sex is valuable, and money is pretty sexy. ¬†Plus, the IRS likes to refer to itself in the third person, just like we do!

  • Gather your records.¬†¬†Collect all¬†the evidence from your previous relationships.¬†This includes photos, love letters, and sex toys. Store them in a safe place, one that any new partners will never, ever find.
  • Report your health status.¬†¬†You will need to¬†report your sexual health status¬†from all of your previous relationships¬†when you start a new relationship. This includes the results from the last time you got checked for STIs, if ever. Remember, April isn’t only tax time, it’s National STI Awareness Month.
  • Get answers.¬†¬†Use¬†your best communication tools¬†to get answers from a new partner about income, future goals, sexual health,¬†bathroom habits,¬†and family baggage.
  • Weigh your dating options. ¬†You have several options for dating. You can venture out on your own or get professional help from an online dating site¬†or a matchmaker. You may be eligible for free, face-to-face help from friends you respect who have a good dating record and won’t blow smoke up¬†your ass. Weigh your options and choose the ones that work best for you.
  • Consider online dating (seriously).¬†¬†Electronic dating¬†is one of the best ways to meet someone new. It‚Äôs quick, easy and relatively safe (if you’re smart about the way you use the system). Last year, more than 5 million people used¬†online personals. If you own a computer, you have the option of avoiding the dating scene in depressing, overcrowded sports bars.
  • Use Em & Lo’s Private Advice Service. ¬†You can have your online dating profile maximized for a small fee using our Private Advice Service, available exclusively on EMandLO.com. If you’re unsure about the quality of your personal or have trouble expressing yourself in words, you¬†qualify to get our best, most honest advice. If you‚Äôre comfortable airing your dirty laundry, you can submit a draft of your online personal ad — or any love-related advice question you might have — to our public forum, where we may answer it online or ask our readers to give their own suggestions in a column called “Your Call.” Visit EMandLO.com to check all your options.
  • Be direct.¬†¬†Combining honesty¬†with straightforwardness¬†is the fastest and safest way to get a new compatible partner.
  • Visit EMandLO.com 24/7.¬†¬†Our site is a great place to get everything you need for a satisfying love and sex life. Visit “Advice”¬†for how to’s,¬†tips on technique, answers to frequently asked sex questions, and contact forms to submit your own questions. Get them all anytime, day or night.
  • Check out “SEX“.¬†¬†Our second to last book,¬†”SEX: How to Do Everything“,¬†is a complete sex resource. It contains helpful information such as whether¬†you need find the G-spot and how to choose your favorite positions.
  • Review your own merits as a partner.¬†¬†Mistakes¬†made by you¬†slow down the receipt of true love. Be sure to check all your own shortcomings and psychological issues, as it takes two to tango. If you run into a problem, remember Em & Lo are here to help. Start with EMandLO.com.

Good luck with your taxes and your love life!


The above was inspired by the Top 10 Tax Time Tips from the IRS:

  • Gather your records.¬†¬†Collect all¬†tax records¬†you need to file your taxes. This includes receipts, canceled checks and records that support income, deductions or tax credits that you claim on your tax return. Store them in a safe place.
  • Report all your income.¬†¬†You will need to¬†report your income¬†from all of your Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statements, and Form 1099 income statements when you file your tax return.
  • Get answers.¬†¬†Use the¬†Interactive Tax Assistant tool¬†on the IRS website to get answers to many of your questions about tax credits, deductions and many more topics.
  • Use Free File.¬†¬†You can prepare and e-file a tax return for free using IRS Free File, available exclusively on IRS.gov. If your income was $58,000 or less, you qualify to use free tax software. If your income was higher, or if you‚Äôre comfortable doing your own tax return, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. Visit¬†IRS.gov/freefile¬†to check your options.
  • Try IRS e-file.¬†¬†Electronic filing¬†is the best way to file a tax return. It‚Äôs accurate, safe and easy. Last year, more than 122 million taxpayers used IRS e-file. If you owe taxes, you have the option to file early and pay by April 15.
  • Weigh your filing options.¬†¬†You have several options for filing your tax return. You can prepare it yourself or go to a tax preparer. You may be eligible for free, face-to-face help at a¬†Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly¬†site. Weigh your options and choose the one that works best for you.
  • Use direct deposit.¬†¬†Combining e-file with¬†direct deposit¬†is the fastest and safest way to get your tax refund.
  • Visit the IRS website 24/7.¬†¬†IRS.gov is a great place to get everything you need to file your tax return. Visit ‚Äė1040 Central‚Äô for online tools, filing tips, answers to frequently asked questions and IRS forms and publications. Get them all anytime, day or night.
  • Check out number 17.¬†¬†IRS¬†Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, is a complete tax resource. It contains helpful information such as whether you need to file a tax return and how to choose your filing status.
  • Review your return.¬†¬†Mistakes¬†slow down the receipt of your tax refund. Be sure to check all Social Security numbers and math calculations on your return, as these are the most common errors. If you run into a problem, remember the IRS is here to help. Start with IRS.gov.


Your Call: I Finally Escaped a 13-Year Toxic Marriage. Now What?

April 14, 2014


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,

I am 30 years old and a single mother of 4. I just got out of a very toxic relationship of 13 years. I got married when I was 18 to a man eleven years my senior — yes, I was young and dumb. But I also grew up in poverty (my parents got sponsored to the United States just before I was born) and when I was growing up I was not educated enough to understand what a good man is.

Long story short, I accepted so many wrong things and allowed so much wrong doings in my last relationship that I almost want to become anti-social, and just do everything at home, no matter if it’s school, work, or even shopping. During my 13 years of marriage, I became oppressed and stopped everything that kept me happy and devoted my life to this man.

Now that I finally got out of the relationship, I am ready to live again, I am back in school, socializing, just engaging with society — I feel like I’m 18 again and doing everything that I stopped doing when I got married. I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing, but it really feels like I am catching up with everything I missed out on.

I’m afraid to fall in love with the wrong person and be abused in every way. I’m afraid of being alone as well — I think that’s why I stayed in the relationship for so long. Taking and dealing with all this really FUCKED me up.

I need so much help! How can I move forward?

– The Not So Gay Divorcee

What do you think N.S.G.D. should do? Leave your suggestions for her in the comments section below. 


Dream Interpretation: My Boyfriend and I Had Matching Nightmares

April 10, 2014


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 boyfriend and I had been arguing all night. Sometime around 4 am, going on 5, we both had a nightmare and addressed each other about it around 8 in the morning. We weren’t in the same place, he was home and I was home. I find it so ironic how we had the same dream (when we weren’t even around each other) let alone more ironic how we woke up at the same time.¬†His dream was that he got jumped.¬†My dream was that these kids he had altercations with were outside my house begging him to come out & pulled out guns but the cops came.¬†Is this symbolizing it’s gonna come true? I’m scared, I’m thinking about visiting a fortune teller. Please help!

Lauri:¬†Oh for goodness sake, save your money! Having the same or similar dream as someone else on the same night isn’t terribly uncommon. It is called “shared dreaming” and it probably happens even more than we realize because we do not always remember nor¬† report our dreams to others in the morning. I’ve even addressed this in a previous column here at EMandLO.com. The reason your dreams were so similar is because you both went to sleep with the same issue on your mind — your fight — so both of your subconscious minds’ addressed the fight.

In his dream, he got jumped. That reflects how he felt after your fight. He felt attacked… by you, and his dreaming mind equated this to being ganged up on. In your dream the gang was begging him to come out. That probably reflects your role in the fight. When you two were fighting, were you begging him to “come out” and open up about something?

The guns are the emotional weapons you used or both of you used on each other. Guns in dreams are all about shooting off at the mouth, criticism, emotionally wounding words, etc.  The cops showing up represents that you two managed to put a stop to the fight before it got too bad.

So don’t worry, these dreams are not a warning of things to come but rather an honest expression of how you both feel about what went down in your fight. I highly recommend you both continue to share your dreams with each other, as it will help you stay tuned into one another. It’s something fresh to talk about every day, often something fun to laugh about, but most importantly, your dreams are the most pure and honest expressions you have. And in any healthy relationship, honesty is always the best policy.


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.






Is “I Love You, But…” Always a Dealbreaker?

April 9, 2014


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*PRIVATE* Advice Service!


Dear Em & Lo,

What do I do when a guy says he loves me, but he won’t commit to being my boyfriend? Does he really love me?

– Miss Interpreted

Dear M.I.,

Here’s your short answer: Run away! No, he doesn’t really love you!

Here’s your long answer: Run away!¬†Run away!¬†Run away!¬†Run away!¬†Run away!¬†Run away!¬†Run away!¬†Run away!¬†Run away!¬†Run away!¬†No, he doesn’t really love you!¬†No, he doesn’t really love you!¬†No, he doesn’t really love you!¬†No, he doesn’t really love you!¬†No, he doesn’t really love you!¬†No, he doesn’t really love you!¬†No, he doesn’t really love you!¬†No, he doesn’t really love you!¬†No, he doesn’t really love you!¬†No, he doesn’t really love you!

Okay, seriously, we can think of maybe a handful of reasons why somebody may really actually honestly love you but be unable to commit to being your boyfriend:

1. He’s already taken. In which case, like, we said: Run away!

2. He loves you like a sister. In which case: Run away! Because you’ll never get out of the sister zone.

3. He’s gay and loves you like a beard. (Er, do we even need to say it?)

4. He’s in the C.I.A.

5. He’s in jail.

More likely, however, that he just wants to screw your brains out, and he thinks that the sex will be better — or at least, more available to him — if he tells you he loves you. Love is complicated, sure, but it’s not that complicated.

Love ya!

Em & Lo


Your Call: How Can I Get Her to Let Me In?

April 7, 2014


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 deep thoughts in the comments section. 

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*PRIVATE* Advice Service!



I have been dating this gal for about 18 months now and recently she said we were getting too familiar. She was widowed seven years ago and when she feels she is falling for me, then she closes up and drives me away. She wants to be friends but does not want to go out and do things friends do. We play cards twice a week but she barely talks to me (though she does chat with others). Any suggestions as to how to get things on the right track again?

– The Outsider

What do you think T.O. should do? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below.