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Is Sex with a Condom Really All That Bad for Guys?

March 11, 2015

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photo via Flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Okay, so how different is intercourse with a condom? What does it feel like? Do different kinds of condoms make a difference?

Straight Married Guy (Fred): It’s different.  It’s not as good.  Think pancakes without the syrup.  Scratching an itch with the palm of your hand.  A foot massage while wearing slippers.  “American Idol” without Adam Lambert.  It’s still okay, just not great.  It can be frustrating for guys because everything else about the experience is vivid but where it really counts it is dull.  And we know what it feels like au natural.  Different types of condoms definitely make a difference.  Anything that says super-thin, ultra-thin, sensitive, etc., are usually waaaay better than your regular, cheap, vending-machine rubbers.  Sometimes you have to use them.  If you’re dating, it’s obviously a must.  Ladies, if you’re buying, do him the favor of getting the thin, high quality ones.  And remember, the more excited he is, the less he’ll be distracted by the lack of feeling, so getting a little naughtier than usual can really help.

Gay Engaged Guy (Joel Derfner, author of Swish): I’m an exclusive bottom, so I had to e-mail hundreds of — er, a few past sexual partners to ask them.  The general consensus was that it’s different but not by a whole lot.  With a condom you have less sensation (“33% less,” said one when I asked) but you last longer (I didn’t ask, but the obsessive-compulsive in me has decided that it’s 33% longer), so it’s kind of a trade-off.  Thin condoms are better, apparently, and polyurethane condoms are by far the best (though they’re more expensive).  All the men surveyed said that condoms felt better when they were having sex with me than with other partners.

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Can You Talk a Guy Into Having an Open Relationship?

March 4, 2015

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photo of open marriage fan Anais Nin via Wikimedia Commons

Advice from three of EMandLO.com’s guy friends. This week they answer the following: I want to have an open relationship, but my boyfriend doesn’t want to open up the relationship. I don’t want to break up, what should I do?” To ask the guys your own question, click here.

wiseguy_benStraight Married Guy (Ben)Easy answer — if you don’t want to break up, then you can’t have an open relationship. But really it sounds like it’s time for you and your boyfriend to do a yes / no / maybe list — a kind of sexual proclivities inventory where you see what each of you definitely are up for, what you might want to do if conditions are right and what things are total out of bounds. You each fill out the list on your own and then compare your answers. Whatever you both answer Yes to, go for it. Maybes mean it’s up for negotiation. And No from either of you means No for both of you. There’s a pretty great Yes / No / Maybe list on my Adult Parlour Games site.

Gay Single Guy (Justin Huang): First off, you’re my type of lady friend. We should hang. Second, to be perfectly blunt, you should break up with this guy because the two of you don’t belong together. And there are two different explanations as to why:

1) You and he have fundamentally different views on romance. It takes a certain type of person who wishes for an open relationship. You’re polyamorous (which is a fancy academic word for “slutty”). We polyamorous people should really only date each other, not because we’re better than the monogamous, but because we just view love differently, as something fluid and evolving. Even if you don’t want to hurt him, you should realize that eventually, you will. You should let him find someone for whom he is enough. Or, there’s an entirely different scenario…

2) This whole “open relationship” is just really the beginning of a slippery slope that ends with you leaving him, because you’re lying to yourself when you say that you want to stay with him. He’s not fulfilling you in some way, whether it’s sexually, romantically, intellectually, spiritually, whatever. Don’t string him along.

Both possibilities have the same solution. You need to be honest with him, but more importantly, with yourself.

anonymous_suitStraight Single Guy (Max): If you find yourself constantly looking elsewhere, why don’t you just break up? Comfort breeds laziness, which I think can be dangerous to a relationship — you may not want to do the work it takes to keep things going. Look, if you want to sleep with other people, do it. It’s up to you to figure out if you want to be dishonest and cheat, or honest and break up with your partner. If you truly love your boyfriend, you’ll stay with him and be honest about things. But — and I hate to say it — I know for a fact that sometimes a little infidelity can make you realize how much you value your significant other. It just causes a lot of pain and has the potential to destroy everything. Regardless, tread carefully!

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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; our Gay Guy is Justin Huang, an LA-based freelance film editor, producer, certified personal trainer and the voice of IAmYellowPeril.com; and our Single Straight Guy, Max, is a recent college grad in New York City. To ask the guys your own question, click here.



How Do Men Feel About PDA?

February 24, 2015

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photo via Flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: “What’s the general guy consensus on PDA?”

Straight Married Guy (James Glazebrook): For some reason, I only clock public displays of affection in nightclubs or on the London Underground. I have no idea what’s so sexy about these squalid subterranean Victorian spaces. Maybe it’s the heat or the filth or the drugs or the angry-commuter tension… but whatever it is, it drives couples to that kind of necking when you can’t make out where one tongue ends and the other begins, and it sounds like they’re actually eating each other. Personally, I prefer my PDA a little more, well, girly. I like to hold hands. I also like to hug and lock eyes with the woman I love, and give her the occasional peck on the check. She likes it too. So it works for me, but the fact that just admitting this makes me feel less of man leads me to believe that I’m far from typical — and maybe even more of a freak than those horn-dogs dry humping on the dance floor of a soulless super-club.

Gay Married Guy (Jon Ross): I always find seeing someone else perform PDA mildly distasteful and it usually makes me want to throw up a little bit in my mouth. But to each his or her own. It’s a free country. Serious canoodling and make-out sessions in plain view are excusable only if you are a teenager or highly intoxicated, and even then, please, just get a room. But I’m not a soulless monster. I know the feeling of wanting to show the world your love. Do whatever feels good, just know people will be disgusted by you. Personally, I engage in minimal amounts of PDA with my husband, and that makes the occasional and spontaneous hand-hold or sidewalk kiss all the more enjoyable.

Straight Single Guy (Chris): I probably am not speaking for the whole single male population, but I am not a huge fan of public displays of affection. Of course I hold hands, or hug or kiss now and then, but I am definitely of the opinion that making out should be done in private.

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.



What Men Really Think About Bitchy Women

February 17, 2015

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Advice from three of our trusted guy friends. This week they answer the following: Do men really love bitches?

Straight Single Guy (Colin Adamo, author of Hooking Up & Staying Hooked): Guys love a challenge. That’s why we’re always trying to fix cars, throw the perfect spiral, or look cool with really awful facial hair. If we’re ever with a bitch, it’s only because we want to overcome her militant manner and make her swoon for us. We want to find her soft spot and turn her around to show the world she’s not all bad — that way we look great, too, for having cracked her stone cold exterior. Don’t feel like playing the B-Card is ever going to help you out, though. Most of us tire of silly games like this pretty quickly — and even if we do love bitches from time to time, the good ol’ American sweetheart will always win out.

Straight Married Guy (Matt): I don’t think so. Maybe some guys like getting treated like shit and pushed around, but that was never my thing. I mean, if a girl is attractive and a real bitch, in my single days, I’d probably have wanted to have sex with her. But that’s just because there’s this idea that the sex would be more charged. Sometimes it was, sometimes it wasn’t. I don’t think bitchiness equals hot sex on its own. But beyond sex: dating (or falling in love with) a bitch? Forget it. Life’s dramatic enough on its own — I don’t need to fall in love with a pain in the ass.

Gay Committed Guy (Terence): That’s a big can of worms. I might be old-fashioned, but I’m having trouble typing the word bitch. When did this word become commonplace, or even acceptable? As I’m trying to think of how to characterize a b****, I can only think of that show Bridezillas. So let’s use the terms girlzilla and boyzilla instead. I think a man who claims to love a girlzilla has as many issues to work through as the girlzilla. His willingness to accommodate a difficult and unpleasant woman is saddening and self-destructive. In fact, it’s a mutually destructive cycle of immaturity that wouldn’t know love from a can of worms (I had to squeeze in my worm metaphor one more time). There ain’t no love for a zilla.

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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. Colin Adamo is the author of Hooking Up & Staying Hooked; the other two are a little shy.



Wise Guys: Are Blue Balls Real?

January 28, 2015

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photo via Flickr


Advice from three of our guy friends. This week a straight woman asks, “What do blue-balls feel like… is it really that painful, or that big a deal? Is it even a real physical phenomenon?”

Straight Single Guy (Tyler Barnett): Blue balls are the testicular equivalent of a migraine headache. They are very real and can be very painful: pressure builds up due to sexual excitement from direct stimulation and has nowhere to go. Imagine having to sneeze, getting right to the second before and holding it for 15 minutes. Now, to be clear, I’m referring to situations where sexual activity has already begun (i.e. handjobs, oral, whatever) and then stopped in the middle for some reason. Mere kissing doesn’t cause blue balls, and those guys who claim otherwise are probably pigs. (To suggest a romantic situation that starts with kissing HAS to end with an orgasm is not only absurd, it’s borderline abusive.) But in those situations where physical contact with the johnson has been initiated by a second party and then arbitrarily withdrawn, it can be not only physically frustrating, but emotionally frustrating as well. It’s like, Why would she do that? Why??? My work ethic has always been to finish what I start, and I recommend this philosophy be applied to the bedroom as well. Of course, guys who find themselves in this situation have a very easy solution: masturbate! Much like Excedrin cures a headache, masturbation will cure blue balls. It’s really quite simple.

Gay Single Guy (Jay Dyckman): Truthfully, I had to look this up.  Wikipedia claims it is “the condition of temporary fluid congestion in the testicles and prostrate region caused by prolonged sexual arousal in the human male.”  I say no way.  Total urban legend.  “Prolonged sexual arousal?”  What kind of oxymoron is that?  I don’t know any guy who “prolongs” sexual arousal.  Sexual arousal in men is like Superman: it’s up, up and away, end of story.  Maybe it existed in the ’50s, when people would just “neck” for hours and it wouldn’t go anywhere. But those days are looooong gone.  Hi Bristol Palin!  And gay-wise?  Uh, never an issue. However, if I’m wrong and there really is such a thing, I would sincerely hope they look like Smurf balls — because that would be kind of cool.

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Wise Guys: How Can Women Pick Up Men in Bars?

January 21, 2015

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photo via flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: What are the best ways for a woman to pick up a man in a bar?

Gay Single Guy (Daniel): Well, what kind of bar is it? If it’s a sports bar, talk about the game of course! I’m going out on a limb here as a queer man, but most straight men lurve women who are into sports. And why is that? Because it’s a pleasant surprise that keeps giving pleasure. Imagine meeting someone attractive that happens to share an interest with you that you can talk almost endlessly about. Wouldn’t your heart just melt if you met a genuinely straight guy who loved shopping for clothes and talking about it? It’s the same kind of surprise and euphoria for a woman and sports! But outside of the sports bar, I know the absolute best way: walk up to the man and offer to buy him a drink. Why is this frakkin’ brilliant? 1) Totally unexpected; 2) Demonstrates both a cleverness and a sense of humor; 3) Shows independence and adventurousness; and 4) It’s also an open door to a smart discussion on male-female dynamics, role-reversals, feminism, etc. See, it’s perfect!

Straight Married Guy (Figleaf): You’d think the best way would be to ask for his phone number and say, “Can I call you later.”  Unfortunately that seems to make men nervous if they’re not already pretty interested.  That’s not as unfair as it sounds, though, because chances are good that unless you’re already pretty interested, it makes you a little nervous when men try to pick you up!  Here’s what I’ve seen work pretty well no matter who’s asking: make or permit eye contact without making a big production out of it.  Then go back to doing what you were doing before.  Try for eye contact again every now and then.  Smile back if he smiles.  If he seems interested, find your way over to him (if he doesn’t come over to you first) and find a way to say “hi” without making him feeling cornered.  You can both probably take it from there.  One important point though: don’t be shocked and, especially, don’t be hurt if he declines your overtures.  We’re used to thinking of men as always interested, but that’s more a function of men traditionally initiating.  If he gets to know you a little better he might change his mind… or even ask you out himself.  Good luck.

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Wise Guys: Do Men Ever Choose Masturbation Over Sex?

January 13, 2015

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photo via Flickr 

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week a straight woman asks, “Do guys ever choose masturbation over sex? If so, why?”

Straight Married Guy (Ben): Sure. Plenty of times. Sometimes my wife isn’t around and I don’t really feel like waiting. Or sometimes she is around but really tired, or stressed, or pissed off at me. Sometimes, she wants to watch me do myself. Sometimes, I have a fantasy I’ve been working on and having another body with me would actually be a little, um, distracting. Sometimes, I just want to look at porn. Basically, I have lots of different moods and I find myself in all different types of situations and masturbation is just one tool I can use to be sexually expressive. It’s a good tool. I like it.

Gay Committed Guy (Mark): Ever? Sure, nothing wrong with that, or with a woman making the same choice. It also depends on one’s definition of “sex” — I don’t think I need to remind anyone reading this column that there are plenty of ways to get off besides penetration. But given the opportunity, whatever form the sex might take, I’d say it’s a rare guy who prefers to go it alone. So if we’re talking mutual masturbation with a partner: cool. But if he’s having a wank in the bathroom every night before hitting the hay, leaving his lady lacking: uncool.

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What Guys Really Want to Do on a Date

January 6, 2015

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Boyhood image via IMDB

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: What is a guy-friendly date?

Gay Engaged Guy (Joel Derfner, author of Swish): Seriously?  Anything that doesn’t involve talking about feelings.

Straight Married Guy (Fred): If he’s into you, anything is a guy-friendly date.  Okay, maybe not ballroom dancing for a football guy.  But then again, with ballroom dancing, he gets to put his hands all over you, so that could still be good. Watching “Dancing With The Stars,” that would be unfriendly to guys (note to wife).  To make a date really enjoyable for guys, food and sex is really all it takes, but let’s just focus on the entertainment portion of the evening. One of my favorite dates was driving mini-race cars.  Another was going to Coney Island in NY.  Another was when my car broke down and we had to wait for hours in the closest bar for the tow truck.  I would guess sporting events would be an enjoyable date for most guys, but I’m not a sports guy so that wouldn’t work for me. I know a man who’s into vintage hot rods and floral arranging (I did not make that up), so it’s difficult to narrow in on what will please guys in general. Everyone’s different. But again, if he’s into you, you are the main attraction.

Straight Single Guy (L.A. Chris): I’m tempted to say something macho like a football game or a Demolition Derby, but actually I’d rather do that kind of guy stuff with my guy friends. On a date, I want to get to know a girl but at the same time have a little fun, so a guy-friendly date would be something fairly brief (we don’t need a lot of time to figure out if we like someone), not too expensive (are we telling the truth here or what?), and of course the best dates are the ones that end up, well…between the sheets. (Hey, don’t blame me — guys are just made that way.)

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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 Swish.To ask the guys your own question, click here.



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 »