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Comment of the Week: The Only Thing You Can Control Is Yourself

February 5, 2014

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photo via Flickr

Reader Michael wrote a HUGE response to the post, “Your Call – Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater? It was a little meandering, and we weren’t sure we were quite down with all of his advice, so we took the liberty of gently editing it a bit with the Em & Lo red pen:

There is NOTHING you can do to ensure you don’t get hurt. NOTHING. Not if you intend on dating and being with someone. There are no guarantees, period. It doesn’t matter if you completely submit, or try to control every aspect of this situation — it has little to no effect on the situation. All you can control is you and your reactions. That’s all. You need to focus on how to deal with your fear, and mistrust of others, and try minimizing it’s grip on you, a little each day….

The best you can do is give your best to someone. If they betray that or force a situation in which you must leave, you have nothing to look back on with regret. I’m not saying to be a doormat, not at all, I’m simply saying that you must forget the idea that you can control this situation. You must come to terms with the idea that you are a great person, worthy of love and trust, and if you are with someone and they want that, they have to act accordingly. [But] hold on too tight, and you surely will not get where you want to be….

So how to start? Stare fear in the face and don’t flinch. Period. Tell him how you feel about him…. Engage him in talk about other women. Allow him to tell you if they are attractive to him, and you do the same, tell him if you think someone is good looking. Create an atmosphere of choice and not ownership. “Yeah, they’re hot…” but you are with the person you want to be with. The purpose of this is bigger than it seems. You not only draw in the other person with your ability to overcome fear, but you also show that it’s ok to be human with you, to think others are attractive, to have emotions and feelings and at the end of it all to be able to choose and make [make each other] feel chosen.

Even if it doesn’t last forever with that person, if you develop this ability you will find future relationships to be more open, understanding, and less scary…. Be the person he never thought he’d meet. Be the person you never thought you could be. Focus on you. It’ll work to your favor in the end…..

We only have this life, enjoy it. The happier you make yourself, the better your relationships will be. If something is not acceptable, then move forward. Not because of fear, because of your standards. But don’t take that fear with you from relationship to relationship…it’s a losing fight.


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Comment of the Week: TOO Equal in a Relationship = No Spark

January 29, 2014


Reader AndySea wrote the following in response to the post, “Your Call – He’s Kinky, She’s Vanilla, Is the Relationship Doomed?” What do the rest of you think: Is it true that in a relationship of equals, “the sexual spark is never as strong”? (For the record, AndySea is speaking of any kind of power dynamic in a relationship, either man or woman taking the lead.)

D/s relationships are a very amplified version of the sexual polarity that *usually* exists in intimate relationships anyway. The masculine partner in a vanilla relationship is still typically more assertive, conquering, and providing while the feminine is more acquiescent, feeling, and nurturing. It’s the interaction between these opposites that generates attraction as by their very natures they tend to seek each other out.

Forgive me if I speak in generalities here. The world is full of all kinds and more power to us all. I’m generally speaking of the 80% or so of relationships between masculine (usually men) and feminine (usually women) partners. Also, there are egalitarian relationships of equals out there, but the sexual spark is never as strong; the attraction there has been established above the neck. And that’s great… if that’s your thing and all you need in life.

But consider the similarities between vanilla and kinky folk:

A Dominant, a good one — just like a good vanilla man (or whatever gender is the partner who generally takes the “masculine” roll) — is assertive, trustworthy, honest, attentive, caring, and focused on the needs of his partner. A good sub, just like a good vanilla “woman” (again, YMMV regarding gender) is yielding (generally-except when it’s time to push back a bit for good measure ), a beautiful magnet for his desire, craving of the Dominant’s or “man’s” strength, conquest, and steadfastness.

The “yen/yang,” opposites attract magic that happens here is something to be cherished. And the kink, or any other type of relationship for that matter, can happen or even strengthen the bonds of the relationship where trust is built and honored constantly. Hard limits should be respected and soft ones should be pushed in a measured way that simultaneously demonstrates the The Dominant’s power and his care, the two of which have earned “her” submission.

Sorry for the essay on D/s vs vanilla sexual polarity, but I get a sense from your post that you’re giving kink very short shrift here, possibly holding it at arms length. Clearly going into a committed relationship involving marriage and a family is a bad idea if it’s something you just can’t work out. But ask yourself: Is he a good man? Is he’ just another instance of bad choices on your part? Does he truly understand and can he demonstrate his responsibility to care for you in your submission? And can YOU – this will heavily depend upon how you answered the questions above – trust him enough to truly and openly submit?

Leave no topic undiscussed between you. Be clear on all your understandings of hard/soft limits, safe words, etc… and how your interaction will take shape. But I think you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t do some exploring and experimenting and see what power and beauty a D/s or BDSM relationship might have to offer.


Comment of the Week: I Love EMandLO.com!

January 22, 2014


Okay, this isn’t a comment, it’s a private email we got this week, but it warmed the cockles of our hearts and stroked the nooks of our egos, so we just had to share. At first, upon cursory scan, we were afraid this might be some mildly creepy love letter from a reader with stalker potential, but it turns out it’s from a kindred spirit who just appreciates what we try to do around here. Posting it here is the equivalent of us sticking it up on our refrigerator doors for daily inspiration:

I love you. No, really. As a 41 year old lesbian feminist sex activist (or sextivist), I love you. As a woman, I love you. As a teacher in a small liberal arts college for women, I love you. As a professional photographer, I love you. As a sister of brothers, I love you.

It is through voices like yours that women learn that their sexuality fully belongs to them, to be expressed by and owned by them — that they deserve and are in possession of the same. Because when women take care of themselves, everything is taken care of – from Congress to the Congo.

So, thank you.

- J

No J, thank you.



Comment: My Neighbors Judge Me But This Site Doesn’t

January 15, 2014

1 Comment

The following letter broke our hearts a little, while also making our week. In the spirit of the new year, we have both been attempting to catalog the things we are grateful for, and this letter made us grateful for the following things: 1) Readers who like us, who really like us! 2) Husbands and neighbors and friends who support what we do for a living (“living” being a fairly euphemistic term, sometimes). 3) Prostates. 4) This reader’s awesome wife.

hi em and lo. i am so glad that some one is lifting the lid on taboo subjects regarding sex. i am married with two kids and a number of years ago my name was damaged due to a devious brother in law who made up stories and caused a lot of pain and suffering in my life. many friends turned their backs on me and a majority of people felt I was living a double life assuming I was gay.

I have no problem with people being gay but if your straight then there is a problem.I was reading about the male orgasam and decided to try prostate massage and somehow this got out. you wouldn’t believe what I have to put up with and still to this day. my whole life has changed now and not many people bother with me. i used to have a great social life…used to. The ignorance around this topic is unreal.

i know this is normal but others haven’t figured this out yet and label you in the wrong. my wife tells me to take no notice and forget about it but its not easy sometimes.i would like to say thanks for the wonderful work that you are doing. every little helps to change the consciousness of the planet.

– #1 Fan of Em & Lo & Prostate Massage


Comment of the Week: Booty Calls Require Good Communication

January 8, 2014


Another incredibly eloquent proponent of the well-negotiated booty call: Typhimurium in response to our post,  “Your Call: Will Ground Rules Scare Off My Booty Call?” 

So I recently had a really successful friend-with-benefits relationship, and if it’s all right I’d love to share what was key for me in building it.

My friend and I were pretty attracted to each other, but it wasn’t healthy to date each other (for various reasons that we both agreed on). So we talked about it, openly, with clothes on. I pretty much said, “I think you’re pretty cool and wouldn’t mind doing a weekly sexy thing, with dinner and booty calls.” We continued to negotiate it over the next month, and decided that the arrangement should only continue if were were exclusive. At the same time, we agreed not to hold out for each other. This went on for three months or so.

I had to initiate a lot of the communication (why aren’t dudes taught to talk feelings) but it was well worth it! He started dating someone else a couple months ago, which he told me about before it really heated up. After a couple weeks for a break, we’re having lunch and coffee every week like, well, normal friends. I’m not feeling hurt about it, although sometimes I’m a little masochistically curious about his new cutie.

So I would say you should DEFINITELY communicate about what relationship you would like. There’s no way you can get the kind of relationship you want if you don’t bring up the option. Without talking, I wouldn’t have known that he only wanted to continue if our FWB was exclusive. And by making it easy to talk, he was able to tell me about his  new girlfriend, instead of feeling ashamed of it. At the end of the day, both of us had loads of fun, explored more kinky stuff, and separated with minimal heartbreak.

And if your booty call can’t handle any sort of negotiation, I don’t think he’s worth your time. These sorts of rules protect both of you from getting hurt.


Comment of the Week: The Risks of Making Your Fantasy a Reality

December 3, 2013


Reader Dave posted the following cautionary tale in response to our post, “Your Call: I Want My Wife to Have an Affair; She Thinks I’m Nuts”:

I think you need to tread very carefully here… just to give you my experience…

My wife and I often talked about her being with another guy while we were making love and it really heated things up and she would often get really turned on by the idea (during sex) but afterwards not so much.

One day we were at a nudist beach and walking through the dunes, this guy with a towel wrapped around him flashed his semi-erect penis at my wife. She stopped dead and could hardly believe her eyes, we talked about it for a few secs and decided we would pitch our beach shelter and have some fun with this guy. Once set up, the wife and I started to make love while he watched on, he gradually came closer and touched my wife’s breasts.

She seemed ok with this so we kept going, then I got too horny and had a disconnect between my brain and the rest of me, I took her hand and placed it on his balls. She didn’t really react and started to do more with him.

Eventually, he came on her hand and breast. I was in heaven still making love to her. However, not long after she told me to stop, that she couldn’t continue, and started crying. We packed up said goodbye to the guy and left.

Afterwards we talked about it and it turns out she was happy to be watched but never wanted to touch the guy and after I made her touch him she was upset and just wanted it to finish quickly, which is why she pulled him to make it end as soon as she could. If I hadn’t rushed her in to touching him, she said that she thinks it could have happened naturally when she was ready but that now she no longer wants to think about it or try it again.

That was several years ago and it still causes problems in our relationship and sex life.

Please do not rush in to anything and don’t push her in to doing anything she doesn’t want. Anything you agree to do should be talked about well in advance and clear boundaries set so everyone knows what everyone else is comfortable with.


Comment of the Week: You Don’t Have to Accept His Porn Habit

November 27, 2013


photo via flickr

Reader Kendra said the following in response to our post, “Comment of the Week: How to Get Past His Porn Habit.”  We have to admit to a little mea culpa upon reading this. Yes, we do tend to tell female readers to find a way to compromise when it comes to their male partners’ porn habit, and perhaps that’s not always the best answer. Anyway, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re posting one reader’s very different take on the issue here, just to prove that you don’t have to kiss our asses in order to get featured here!

Why is no porn not an option on this list, which was created for someone who is not exactly in favor of porn. I find this to be very un-feminist and quite frankly, totally male-dominated advice. Basically, you’re telling the person who’s uncofomfortable with porn use to force themselves to become okay with it. Tell him to “cover his tracks?!” So, hide it and pretend the problem does not exist? Yep, that’ll make for a great relationship. And when he’s out screwin’ someone else, just make sure he covers his tracks well there, too, right?

Why was “if you’re uncomfortable with it, you DON’T HAVE TO PUT UP WITH IT” not an option on the list? That should’ve been first on the list. Nobody should have to make themselves deal with something that hurts them. Nobody should. It’s not okay.

How about some better advice: Don’t put up with it! Know that you are better than that and that you’re better than being second best or even having to share! IMO, it’s either all me and only me (because I’ve realized that I’m that good. I’m worthy and I’m plenty good enough) or no me at all. I don’t do sharing. Some people can stifle the porn pain, others cannot, but advice should include options to not put up with it if you are very, very upset with it.

It makes you feel badly? You told the reader that it was THEIR problem to deal with!? Noooo! That is terrible advice. In a relationship, problems are BOTH parties’ problems to “deal with.”

If you don’t like pornography, you can ask your partner to figure out which is more important — you or porn. If he chooses you, fabulous! If not, there are plenty out there who do not need pornography to be turned on.

Plus, why should anyone be told to put up with second best or sharing when there’s a big possibility they could have what they really, really want — to be their partner’s ONLY? Yes, there are plenty of men out there who love their partner enough not to have desires for other’s.

Take it or leave it, but NEVER settle like this awful advice says for you to.



This Site Is Better Than Therapy (Also: Yay, Strap-Ons)

November 20, 2013


Reader P warmed the cockles of our hearts when she said the following, in response to our post, “Strap-on Sex Won’t Turn You Gay (If You Aren’t Already)”:

The reason I found this site is because I was watching different types of porn to see if I could be stimulated and I found very few did. I am bi, and lesbian porn does little for me, gay porn I love, straight porn is boring all the same. Today I discovered women fucking men with strap-ons, and I am not dead down below.

The reason I looked this up and found this site is because due to sexual emotional and physical abuse, I am very submissive, but have never enjoyed sex with men or women. Watching porn has made me realize that the reason is, I want to do the fucking. I have not been with a man or woman for over fifteen years because of my issues.

Reading your comments make me feel less of a freak. Thanks, you have done more for me than all the therapists I have seen.


Comment of the Week: Dump Him!

November 13, 2013


photo via Flickr

Sometimes you just need a bunch of total strangers to tell it to you straight. So far everyone agrees that the subject of this week’s “Your Call” query should end things once and for all with her deadbeat dude. Lisa Lisa’s was our favorite delivery of this tough love:

Delete his number; block him on facebook; tell any mutual friends, and your family what a jerk this guy is.  Get rid of him.  You deserve real–even if real for you is polyamory and a farm with goats (or whatever). You deserve better, and odds are, it’s out there for you.



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Comment of the Week: Friends with Benefits Starts with Friends

November 6, 2013


Reader Anathema said the following in response to our post, “Your Call: Is This a FWB Situation or Something More?” We’re pretty sure she’s the most well-adjusted friend-with-benefits we’ve ever heard of!

I had a wonderful FWB thing with a guy for 2 1/2 years. He and I were both in open relationships (which is why it ended–his fiancee decided to change the rules which, fair enough, though sad). B

But when we were first talking about the possibility, he was very nervous because he’d had an FWB thing in the recent past that went very, very badly–basically with a woman who wanted sex and sex only and was just weird and mean to him, didn’t respect his boundaries, etc. I told him that “friends with benefits” starts with “friends” as far as I’m concerned.

We had a lot of great sex but we also went snowboarding, did geeky gaming together, lunch in the park, shopping at Target, etc. He really did become one of my best friends, and blessedly, after some awkwardness and readjustment, that seems to be holding. We already have our ski passes for this winter!