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Top 5 Love Lessons from “The Bachelorette” (Andi, Ep 2)

May 27, 2014

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photo courtesy of ABC/Todd Wawrychuk

  1. Don’t let your snowboard instructor (ballroom dance instructor, pottery instructor, etc) touch your date more than you.
  2. Don’t show your date your anus on your second date, whether accidentally or not.
  3. You can ask your date “What’s the worst thing about your parents?” as long as A) you’re not wasted, B) you’re not being filmed, and C) you seriously want to know and it wasn’t just the first question that popped into your drunk head.
  4. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: don’t get blotto on an early date. That said, in the same vein, don’t be such an uptight wet-noodle that you poop all over the party when someone who’s had a stressful day (becoming a professional stripper competing with some of the most ripped torsos in America¬†on national television) overindulges at said soiree (where he’s being plied with drinks and underfed while continuing to compete with these Adonises) — you don’t have to give a bro a rose, but give a bro a break.
  5. Date Fashion-Don’ts: A) Don’t get dressed up fancy when the majority of people where you’re going will be wearing sleeveless tees, camo shorts and sneaks. B)¬†Don’t wear anything you don’t feel comfortable in. Case in point: Andi was walking around with shoulders hunched up like Quasimodo in an attempt to avoid a wardrobe malfunction at her rose-ceremony cocktail party. And finally C) Don’t over-mix-and-match. For example, you can mismatch your shirt and tie, and you can mismatch your shirt and socks, but you can’t mismatch all three (that’s overkill, Marquel).

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Dream Interpretation: My Dreams Make Me Want to Contact My Ex

May 22, 2014

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vintage album cover 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’ve been having lots of dreams lately of me cheating or wanting to cheat on my boyfriend. In the most recent one I was “hooking up” with someone that I had dated before my current boyfriend, but that he knows of, and we were hiding within the same house and we didn’t get caught. Then I wake up with this really bad anxiety to contact my ex. Does that probably mean I’m not happy anymore with my current partner?

Lauri:¬†Dreaming of hooking up with the ex is reeeeeeeeeeeally common. Typically, the ex isn’t playing himself (or herself) but instead represents something from that relationship that you wish to bring into your current one. Was there more excitement and passion? More friendship? Whatever it is, it seems that you aren’t speaking up about it but are keeping it to yourself, hence the hiding in the dream.

Contacting your ex is not the best idea. Remember, he is an ex for a reason. These dreams aren’t urging you to get back with him, but rather are enlightening you to what you feel is missing in your current relationship. So don’t keep it to yourself, if something isn’t right, if something seems to be missing, communicate that to your boyfriend. A good relationship is always under construction. Communication feeds the relationship. Keeping things to yourself will only starve it.

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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Dear Em & Lo: I’m 21 and Tired Of Being Single

May 21, 2014

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Dear Em & Lo,

I am 21 years old. I am currently single and not dating anyone. I have only been in love once in my life, but unfortunately the relationship did not work out. It’s frustrating being the single one in my group of friends. I am constantly wondering how they find relationships so easily, and I have the hardest time finding a guy I can connect with. I can go months without meeting anyone, then when I do finally meet a guy either he turns out being a jerk or I just don’t feel a connection.

At this point in my life, I really want a committed relationship. I have been told that I have to put myself out there more. I have also been told that it will happen when I least expect it. At this point I am tired of waiting, but I also do not think I should make finding a relationship a mission. So my main question is: Should I take a more active role in my love life? Or should I just let things happen?

Sincerely,

Miss Connection

Dear Miss Connection,

One of our favorite lines in movie history is when Demi Moore, coked out and lonely and broke in St. Elmo’s Fire, says, “I never thought I’d be so tired at 22.” It was funny when we were 22, and it’s even funnier now. (Okay, so we’re not completely heartless: In the context of the movie, it’s pretty bleak, but as quotable lines go, it’s pretty funny.)

Not that we’re laughing at you, of course. But to hear a 21-year-old complain about how tired she is of being single, well… get used to it. Or, rather, find a way to be okay with it. Right now, getting comfortable with being single is a hundred times more important than finding someone to date.

You actually shouldn’t find the person you want to marry right now — what a bummer that would be, in fact! You’re way too young to think about marriage, kids, mortgage, divorce. (Yes, we said divorce: If you head toward marriage at 21, then you better be ready to head toward divorce, too.*) What you should be doing instead is enjoying being single, and all that entails — casual dating, ladies’ nights, not dating at all, booty calls (if that’s your thing), TV marathons, reading marathons, one-night stands (again, if that’s your thing), “finding yourself,” finding your G-spot, staying out late, sleeping in late, and all that jazz. If you find The One right now — and, for the record, we think the concept of The One is B.S. anyway — you’ll miss out on everything that’s fun about your twenties.

If you’re wondering why your friends find relationships so easily, we’re guessing it’s that they’re less picky. You’re doing it right: You’re steering clear of relationships with guys who are jerks, or with guys where there’s no connection. Congratulations, it takes some people until their forties to figure this out! Your friends aren’t lucky or blessed; rather, they’re still learning — or maybe they just hate to be alone (again: still learning).

You’re right, you shouldn’t make finding a relationship your mission. Right now, at 21, your mission is yourself. Your career, your finances, your body (including the many and varied routes to your own orgasm), your hopes and dreams for the future. Yes, those hopes and dreams can include a partner and children, but just not yet. Let those things happen. Continue to be picky. (Oh, and for the record: Some people only fall in love once or twice their entire lives, so to have experienced that once by 21 is pretty good!)

Stay picky, Ponyboy,

Em & Lo

* And yes, we realize there are exceptions to this rule. Two of our most happily married friends got married and had their first kid in college. But not everybody gets to be an exception to the rule, and it’s probably not you.

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Top 5 Love Lessons from The Bachelorette (Andi, Ep 1)

May 20, 2014

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photo courtesy of ABC/Rick Rowell

  1. When on a date, follow the same rule of the writer: show, don’t tell. Do not say “I have a lot to offer” as your opening gambit. Prove it by being charming, smart, funny, compassionate and so on.
  2. Do not refer to your date as “ma’am” at any point, even if you’re just trying to be polite (we’re talking to you, “Yes ma’am” Marquel).
  3. Don’t have a type. As Andi wisely noted, she’s always been attracted to a particular type of guy but she’s still single, so it’s probably time to mix things up. Keeping an open mind when it comes to dating will only increase your chances of finding love.
  4. Know when to stop drinking on a first date. Did you notice all the guys drinking tea and coffee by the end of the evening? Now that’s refreshing.
  5. If you have to explain your name by saying “It’s ‘anal’ with an ‘m’,” have your name legally changed (we’re talking to you, Emil).

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Your Call: Is It Normal Not to Want Sex?

May 19, 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,

Almost one year ago I had sex for the first time. Since then I haven’t had the urge at all, is this normal? No matter how hot a guy is I just don’t care make conversation (it also doesn’t help that I’m an introvert who is terrible conversing with the opposite sex anyway). Do you have any advice?

– Meh.

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

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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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