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What Men Really Think About Chivalry

December 16, 2014

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

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

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

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

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



Wise Guys: When, If Ever, Is Cleavage Unsexy?

December 9, 2014

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photo via Flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: We know that men love boobs, but is there such a thing as too much cleavage? At what point — if any — does it become tacky to guys? Is it all about the situation and context?

Straight Married Guy (Matt): Yes, I guess there’s such a thing as too much cleavage. If I took a date to a wedding and she rolled up with 3/4 of her boobs out, I’d be a little embarrassed (and, okay — it’d probably turn me on at the same time). You see, my inner ape is endlessly fascinated with boobs, and seeing cleavage is always appreciated. But sometimes it’s inappropriate or tacky. I think all guys are a little schizophrenic about this. It’s like, man, that is a ridiculously cheesy outfit… but I wish I could see the rest of those boobs.

Straight Single Guy (Colin): I fall in love all over again with cleavage each day, but I guess when you really get down to it, there are a few specific contexts when it’s time to cover up. The scenarios are hard to distinguish. If you’re meeting my family, it’s a no-go on breast exposure, whereas if you’re meeting my co-workers, it’s totally okay. If we’re going to dinner, take them out, but if it’s Sunday brunch you might want to keep them concealed. If you’re a woman with real class, you’ll always find a way to pull it off. But please, double check with a friend who’s not afraid to hurt your feelings before you try something like J-Lo’s 2000 Grammy dress. Read the rest of this entry »



How to Determine Whether Your Dating Age Gap Is Embarrassing

December 2, 2014

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Advice from three of our guy friends. This week, a straight woman asks, “How much younger than them do you think most guys are comfortable dating before it becomes embarrassing? Or is there no limit as long as the youngster in question is legal and not a complete airhead?” To ask the guys your own question, click here.

Gay Single Guy (Jay Dyckman): Yes, there is an age too young for anyone to date. But I think it happens only after you hit 35. Any dating combo of two people both under 35 (provided both are over 21…yes, 21, not 18) is probably not a big deal. No one really considers themselves that old before hitting 35.

After 35, all bets are off.  If you’re over 35 and you date someone more than 10 years your junior, you will — and rightly so — be mocked (and silently envied) by your friends and enemies for such dating hubris. It will put you squarely in the “oh please” zone. And this goes for both men and women: Dating much younger than yourself connotes a power dynamic that is creepy yet totally gender non-specific.  Both sexes look entirely ridiculous parading their toy around, be it male or female. But if you’re over 35, you can date anyone  — of any age disparity — who is also over 35.  A 65-year-old and 37-year-old?  Sure, why not.

This might seem arbitrary, but age designations exist for a reason. The good people of corporate America have decided that once we’re older than 35, we are no longer a desirable marketing demographic.  That’s real science, people. After 35, big age differences are obviously apparent, but both parties have fully exited the nubile stage so no one really cares. You are no longer hip, cool, or capable of dating someone who had a “The Voice”-themed Bar Mitzvah. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do it.  Hell, if someone of the Gen Next persuasion wants to tap your old bones, consider yourself lucky. Besides, anyone who mocks you, well, your old ears won’t be able to hear them anyway, so who cares.

Straight Single Guy (Tyler Barnett): For guys in their twenties, like me, up to guys in their mid-thirties, I think the lowest we should go is 21. If I cannot legally have a glass of wine or cocktail with a girl, I don’t want to date her. It’s not that I am some sort of alcoholic or can’t have a good time sober, but there’s something sexy and intimate about sitting in a bar that cannot be substituted by Starbucks or Jamba Juice. It also makes me feel like an old man if I am with someone that has to use a fake ID to buy a beer. Besides, if the girl in question is still in school, the conversation will usually leave something to be desired due to her lack of life experiences and responsibilities — it’s hard to listen to tales of college papers when I’ve got bills to pay and employees to manage, you know? There is a lot to be said for being in the same place in life, age-wise at least.

But generally, I think women a good five years younger (so long as they aren’t under 21) work well since women tend to be more mature than us guys. For an older man, say in his forties or fifties, a fifteen year age gap is socially acceptable and generally comfortable. And I think once a woman passes the age of thirty, up to a twenty year difference with an older guy is just fine.

Straight Married Guy (Jim): Come on, give us guys some credit: most of us know there’s a huge difference (emotionally, intellectually, maturity-wise) between someone around our own age and an 18-year-old with AP credit.  She’d have to be a Rhodes Scholar studying quantum physics if the difference in their ages was more than about 25% of his. So, what does he teach?

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When It’s Okay to Invite a Guy Home for Thanksgiving

November 25, 2014

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One of our favorite Thanksgiving movies, Pieces of April 

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: “When will a guy feel comfortable being invited to his partner’s family’s place for Thanksgiving?” To ask the guys your own question, click here.

daniel_100Gay Single Guy (Daniel): Each guy is different with regards to when he would feel comfortable, and frankly, there isn’t a formula that goes, “I’ve been with this guy for X amount of time and it is then correct time to introduce him to my family on the holiday most often reserved for blow-outs and confrontations.” Why guess and why worry about whether or not it’s the right time? Be direct. Communicate. You’re not psychic. Ask for what you want. If you feel like you want to introduce him to your family, then tell him so and tell him why you want to. He’ll either agree that it’s “appropriate” and be cool with with the idea, or he may balk and reject going for his own reasons, which I’d hope he’d articulate. But most importantly, don’t guess when is right, find out by just asking him.

mark_luczak_100Straight Married Guy (Mark Luczak): For the most part, I’d say the family Thanksgiving comfort level is reached when there’s a firmly established exclusive relationship. If it’s serving specifically as the Meet The Family (gasp!), that’s always a big benchmark — while the pageantry of any holiday can be an additional pressure, on the other hand it may be as good an opportunity as any to get the big introduction over with, if both partners feel ready (kind of pulling the band-aid off all at once, heh).

But in the case where some family has already met him, mutual comfort between one’s relatives and one’s partner usually mirrors the seriousness of the relationship to begin with. If your family has been gradually getting to know the guy and starting to recognize that things are perhaps becoming more serious, then it’s likely it’ll be identified as a situation where you’d want to bring him, and he’d equally want to be your plus-one.

james_glazebrook_100Straight Married English Guy (James Glazebrook): It depends — is he Native American? Is it cool for me as an Englishman to joke about this stuff? I’m not clear on the history of it all. In fact, everything I know about Thanksgiving comes from that Friends episode when Joey gets his head stuck in a Turkey — and I’m thinking that’s no basis for relationship advice.

Over here, the equivalent is probably being invited over for Christmas dinner. In which case, unless you’re just “having fun” or in that weird hinterland between dating and being boyfriend and girlfriend, then go for it. There’s going to be free food and drink, gifts and great TV (I’m not sure you get presents at Thanksgiving, but you’re definitely blessed with football), and your family will be at their drunkest and therefore their most entertaining. The only uncomfortable feeling should be heartburn, and that’ll soon pass.

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Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors. This week’s Straight Married English Guy is James Glazebrook; our Gay Guy is one-time stripper and sex columnist Daniel; and our other Straight Married Guy is Mark Luczak. To ask the guys your own question, click here.



When It’s Okay to Ask a Guy to Buy Tampons for You

November 18, 2014

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Judd Apatow in the feminine hygiene aisle, via iwatchstuff.com

At what point in a relationship is it acceptable to ask a guy to go buy tampons from you? Our Wise Guys weigh in…

Straight Single Guy (Max): Ok. So there you are. Your girlfriend, who may already be SUPER cranky, has run out of tampons. At this point, I can dig the need to “go to the store” and get a breath of fresh air, but who is stupid enough to tell their girlfriend NO when they’re in such a state? MAN UP and buy the girl her tampons. I understand that a lot of guys are grossed out by a girl’s period, but seriously, get over it. How can you be so opposed to a product that keeps your girlfriend’s sacred nether regions from looking like a viking battlefield? (That was a little extreme, but you know what I’m saying.) I myself am an advocate of just putting a towel or two on the bed. In fact, I’ve always found it frustrating when girls won’t have sex on their period because they’re too self conscious about the blood. Assuming you take measures to protect against the transmission of STDs, what’s the problem with a little vampire role playing?

Gay Committed Guy (Mark): If he won’t do that for you, let him figure out how to suck his own damn cock.

Straight Married Guy (Ben): He HAS to get you tampons if one of two criteria are met: 1) you’ve been a couple for three-and-a-half years* OR 2) you’ve gone through some traumatic experience together. If it’s case number one, then you are right to require him to get over himself and pick up tampons at the store. He can hide the tampons in beer and magazines, with a whole load of groceries if he likes – coping mechanisms are fine. If he loves you at this point, he loves ALL of you, including your period. If it’s case number two and you’ve endured some kind of trauma together (getting in a bad car crash, terminating a pregnancy, being held hostage on a speeding bus that can’t go below 60 miles per hour or else it blows up)  – even if it’s in your first month as a couple – he should do anything you ask, no question, whenever you want, forever. Because after something like that, things get put in perspective real quick.

*Note from Em & Lo: For the record, dudes, we think 3.5 years is about 3 years too long to be feeling squeamish about buying tampons for someone you’ve been seeing seriously.

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Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Straight Married Guy is Ben, a writer and artist living in Los Angeles who runs. Our Committed Gay Guy, Mark, is a writer and teacher in NYC and our Single Straight Guy, Max, is a recent college grad in New England . To ask the guys your own question, click here.



The Real Reason Why Guys Love Blowjobs So Much

November 4, 2014

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photo via flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: What’s the big deal about blowjobs — seriously, what makes them so special?

Gay Single Guy (Daniel): On the physical level, it’s simple: they feel fucking amazing. They provide physical sensations so desirable that a straight man would let a queer guy suck him off, either for the right amount of money or with the lights out. It’s that real. But aside from that, I recently asked some straight female friends whether or not they actually enjoy giving head, or do they really just do it because they know the guy will like it. Unanimously they said the latter, and that’s why blowjobs are indeed quite special. For many women (and certainly not all), blowjobs aren’t about the immediate satisfaction of their physical wants, but rather, the pleasure gained from satisfying someone else’s desires. There is an element of selflessness. A woman might even think giving blowjobs is downright nasty, but might continue to blow her man because she gets off on getting her man off. Some guys know this and thus know just how lucky they are for getting one.

Straight Single Guy (Mark): My first reaction is an overwhelming, “What isn’t the big deal about blowjobs?!”  But there’s more than just the primal, physical, when-they’re-good-they’re-freaking-amazing aspect. Of course there’s the stereotype that the appeal of BJs is about some sort of control or domination/submissiveness, but I think there are deeper factors involved, like trust and acceptance, that truly make them so great. Oral sex — in both directions, by the way — can in many ways be even more intimate than the regular ol’ in-n-out.

We don’t always acknowledge the more emotional aspects of oral, but — even if partly subconsciously — those elements probably get closer to the heart of what makes this expression of affection so special.  To be face-to-face and naughty-bits-to-naughty-bits is one thing.  But for your partner to be so into you that s/he would go downtown and get up-close-and-personal to provide pleasure exclusively to you (okay, there are those of us who derive almost as much from giving as receiving, but that’s another story)…well, I think that’s a pretty gosh darn “big deal”!

Straight Married Guy (Figleaf): Blowjobs used to be really, really stigmatized and therefore really, really rare. Even for couples in long-term relationships.  In a few states in the U.S. it might still legally be sodomy, even for heterosexuals, and in the past it’s been strongly associated with “latent” homosexuality, porn, and prostitution — and strongly not associated with “good girls.”  Something else contributing to the stigma:  blowjobs break the gender rule that sex is something for men to do and women receive. And all those insults with the word “suck” in them?  Some of those used to be taken deadly seriously.

Nowadays, not so much. But add up the little bits of historical taboo, the little bit of gender-bending for both men and women, and the fact that blowjobs feel very good and… well, that’s enough to make them seem pretty special.  Which, incidentally, I think they ought to be.  Special. Instead of, oh, say, obligatory.  Not least because when they start feeling obligatory, men’s partners start wondering, well, what makes them so special?

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What Straight Guys Really Think About Backdoor Play

October 28, 2014

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Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Do most straight guys secretly want to have their bums explored by their girlfriends/wives? Like, even if they don’t admit it, and they’d never ask…deep down, are they curious?

Straight Single Guy (L.A. Chris): When they’re together, straight guys tend to avoid anything that could sound even remotely homosexual. Not even a metro guy will tell his buddies how much he enjoyed the ass-play he got last night. This makes it hard to gauge how many butt-buffs there really are out there, but for me I can easily say no. No curiosity, no secret enjoyment. I’m probably in the minority here, but to me it’s sort of like a stray finger up the nose while making out: not terrible, but not particularly exciting either — just off-target.

Straight Married Guy (Jamie):
I really think this has to do with the guy’s own level of homophobia.  If the guy is open-minded and comfortable in his masculinity, then it’s just something else to try in the bedroom.  However, I personally know a few guys who are otherwise pretty sexually adventurous, but who feel that any attempted ass play from their partners is a deal-breaker.  Of course, these are the same guys who still think it’s funny to make “fag” jokes about each other in public.  I think, for guys like this, asking for some anal attention would be too big of a threat to their warped sense of masculinity.

Gay Engaged Guy (Joel Derfner, author of Swish): Let’s face it: The prostate is the prostate.  Your nerve endings don’t care whether you like to have sex with boys or girls; when something feels good, it feels good.  It’s possible that even ten years ago I would have answered differently, but twenty-first century porn has changed my mind: Porn sites where supposedly straight men have sex with other men are wildly successful. And I do think that at least some of these porn actors are straight, or at least straighter than they are gay. So this makes me think that there has to be something intriguing enough to them about the idea to overcome what’s left of the taboo. And this is with other men! So if very experimental straight men are willing to let other men explore their bums, then yes, I suspect that your average straight man is definitely interested in having his female partner explore his bum — even if he won’t admit it.

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



What It Means When a Man Won’t Cuddle or Hold Hands

October 21, 2014

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photo via flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: “If the guy I’ve started dating recently isn’t into cuddling or hand-holding, is that automatically a sign that he’s just not that into me, or are some guys just not into private or public displays of affection, no matter whether they’re in love or not?”

Straight Married Guy (Fred): I’ve heard that some men just aren’t into displaying affection.  That’s lame and I think they are idiots. But I suspect there really aren’t that many of them.  If a guy doesn’t want to cuddle he probably doesn’t want you to feel like he’s your boyfriend.  He doesn’t want you to get too close, too fast.  Similarly, he could argue that he doesn’t want to lead you on.  Hand-holding for many guys is reserved for monogamous relationships.  It is a public signal that he is taken.  But, I also suspect that if Jennifer Lawrence or Scarlett Johansson wanted to hold his hand he’d be very willing and happy to display to the world “I’m doing her!”  So… he’s not that into you.  But he may only need more time to get where you are.

Gay Married Guy (Jon): Me, I’m a touchy-feely kind of guy. If I’m digging someone, I let them know it, physically, in as many ways as possible.  After some good, or even mediocre sex, there’s nothing better than a nice cuddle to cap off the experience. However, my hubby isn’t so lovey-dovey. He gets hot very quickly and basically endures it for my sake for as long as he can, which usually amounts to about 45 seconds. It used to bother me, but I’ve realized it’s just a quirk of his and really has no bearing on how he feels about me. So I wouldn’t read too much into it if your man isn’t a cuddle bug or or happy hand holder. Ask him, or just give him some time. There are dozens of reasons why he may be just not that into it, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not into you.

Straight Single Guy (Chris): It is entirely possible that your guy is not ever going to show affection for you in public no matter how much he thinks he likes you. Unfortunately, though, this is more often the conscious or unconscious manifestation of him just not being that into you. So you have to look for other signs. Give it some time and try hard not to confuse love with lust. New relationships are often mostly lust disguised as love. Sometimes love follows, and sometimes it doesn’t, but you should give it a chance. If he treats you fantastically all the time and simply isn’t holding your hand or kissing you in public, it may be genuine shyness. But if the public displays of affection are just one more thing in the list of affectionate things he isn’t doing, then it may be time to look elsewhere… That is, unless the sex is fantastic.

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Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Straight Single Guy is Chris DiClerico, and our Gay Married Guy is Jon Ross. To ask the guys your own question, click here.



Why Guys Are So Obsessed with the Twin Thing

October 14, 2014

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Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: What’s the deal with fantasizing about twins? (Coors Lite twins, Hef’s twins, etc.) How come the whole implied incest thing — a.k.a. “Twincest,” thanks, Gone Girl! — isn’t a turn-off?

Straight Single Guy (Colin): I think, for some men, having a set of twins is the American Dream. An international friend once told me that you can make anything American by just adding more. With this perceptive logic, a fantasy of one beautiful girl instantly becomes as epic as the untamed West, as landing on the moon, as the California Gold Rush, as soon as you add a second copy of the same girl. I think we all understand that most threesomes we fantasize about involve some enjoyable spectating of girl-on-girl, but when it comes to twins, the fantasy is strictly about us-on-them (or vice versa). They’re seeing each other naked, but I think we can all get over that if it means living the life our forefathers fought for. It’s a patriotic fantasy really.

Straight Married Guy (Matt): This isn’t a fantasy I ever really think about, but when it’s brought up — sure, hot twins sound great! And because it’s a fantasy, we don’t care about the implied incest, or the implied next-morning awkwardness or anything else other than the sex. I guess in this case I think less about the fact that they’re sisters as much as I’m thinking two identical hot girls catering to my every whim. What’s better than that? (Besides hot triplets, of course.) Read the rest of this entry »



What Men Really Think About Fake Boobs

October 7, 2014

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Advice from three of our “Wise Guy” friends. This week a straight woman asks, “So what’s the deal with fake boobs — are straight guys into them or not? Does it make a difference whether they’re just looking (e.g. porn, strip club, Hollywood star) vs. touching (e.g. a hook-up)? And does it make a difference whether the hook-up is casual or relationship material?”

Gay Single Guy (Jay Dyckman): Here’s the thing about fake boobs. They work. It’s the same for gay guys. Just substitute silicone for steroids. I know plenty of guys who have gone from Plain Jane to Ripped Rita via syringe, and rollicked in all the dating perks that come with that.  It is lame, they look ridiculous, but it truly, truly works.  To be totally fair, though, the real equivalent would be penile implants, which are currently as effective as supergluing Play-doh around the member so it appears larger.  And let me tell you, if they ever perfect the art of penile enhancement, every guy you know will have an eleven-inch penis.  Let me repeat:  Every.  Guy.  You.  Know.  At that point, glance waist level in a locker room and it would look like something Tarzan used to traverse the jungle. Which is why it amazes — and inspires — me that every woman doesn’t have humungous breasts.  You are the stronger sex.  Like I said, if men were in that position, this would be a nation of Pamela Mandersons. (Oh, and indulge a gay guy:  Why are “A-cup” boobs small and “D-cup” boobs big?  Shouldn’t it be the reverse?  As in, “Look at those grade A boobs!  She’s stacked.”  And flat girls are in danger of socially failing with a “D”?  I mean, this is classic grading on a curve, right?)

Straight Single Guy (Tyler Barnett): As a guy in my twenties, I have basically grown up surrounded by breast implants, so they don’t tend to faze me. I can recall on more than one occasion pointing out a beautiful girl, and hearing an older guy say, “But she has fake boobs,” and I’m like, “So what?” To me, fake boobs usually look better than their natural counterpart (which is not to say I haven’t seen horrendous, overdone and very strange looking fake breasts). But admittedly, much like artificially flavored food, no matter how close to the original they get, the real thing always tastes better. Saline boobs tend to feel like water balloons, which can take away from the heat of the moment. I’ve felt silicone ones that were so close to the real thing it didn’t matter, but at the end of the day a soft real breast is as sexy as it gets — and I think most men would agree. Besides, bigger isn’t always better. While I appreciate a large set of melons as much as the next guy, I also think small breasts can be very sexy. Another concern is if my future wife could breastfeed. (Didn’t China just recall baby formula because it contained Melamine? No thank you.) Ultimately, though, men love breasts — big, small, real, fake, we usually are just happy to see them, feel them, sleep on them. The decision to get implants should be the woman’s without any outside influence. Whatever you decide, like the bra you wear, we men will support you.

Straight Married Guy (Jim): There’s definitely a difference between looking and touching. The only time I’ve ever (knowingly) handled fake breasts, they felt like the knees of a Shaq-sized newborn: velvety-soft but concealing a hard, round mass.  (That means they were cheap, right?)  I have never heard my straight male friends say anything negative about the sight of fake boobs (or about the individual woman for having a surgically enhanced bust, for that matter), but displeasure has been expressed with the feel of stony fakes.  Most men wouldn’t avoid a hook-up based on bust fakery, unless they’re reading into your personality through your bra.  It’s still a hook-up, right?  But as with anything else in the bedroom that can’t be changed through intimacy and patience alone, if it’s a turnoff for this theoretical guy, it might sink the relationship.

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Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Straight Married Guy is Jim from New York, our Gay Guy is Jay Dyckman, an LA copywriter, and our Single Straight Guy is Tyler Barnett, owner of the LA PR firm Barnett Ellman. To ask the guys your own question, click here.