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Comment of the Week: Normal Schmormal!

May 28, 2014

2 Comments

Reader Dave wrote the following in response to the Your Call “Is It Normal to Not Want Sex?”, but it’s so spot on we think it could apply to almost any sexual preference:

I think you are asking the wrong question.  The question should never be “Am I normal?”  The question should be “Are you happy the way you are?”

I don’t care if you are into girls or into guys.  I don’t care if both sexes turn you on or neither do.  If you are happy with your life then there is no reason for you to change.

Only if you are unhappy should you change and don’t let “normal” affect your happiness because if we were all normal the world would be a really boring place.

Find what makes you happy.

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Comment of the Week: Top 10 Naughty Pic Tips

May 21, 2014

0 Comments

photo via flickr

Reader Gerald Massey wrote the following in response to our oldie-but-goodie post, “Top 10 Tips for Taking Naughty Pics” (we couldn’t resist annotating a handful of them!):

I am a hobbyist photographer of basic themes — landscapes, architecture, events — but I have been studying naughty photography, as I have come to know it, for some time on my own. Here are my pointers:

1. No vagina at all in the picture — cover it with clothing, a ball or other object, a towel, or even other body parts like a leg pulled up.

2. For breast shots, even when clothed, gravity can destroy a shot. Do not lean or lay flat: When standing or sitting, lean forward about 10-20 degrees. [ED: We guess this all depends on the kind of look you're going for...]

3. High heel shoes are a must — ear jewelery also. [ED: Er, we beg to differ!]

4. No cell phone shots — you don’t have good controls with a cell phone.

5. A digital camera with a self timer and a tripod is a have to requirement.

6. Someone else should always take the pictures.

7. Basic photography rule of thumb: Don’t take just one picture, take many shots — several hundred is okay.

8. Completely nude is not a good shot . Try covering body parts, or shooting from behind.

9. Mr. Google is great for tips and suggestions and ideas of views and angles.

10. I repeat: Use clothing! [ED: Yes, a tease is usually sexier than full frontal.]

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My Wheelchair Isn’t There to Make You Feel Better About Your Breakup

May 12, 2014

0 Comments

photo via flickr

We recently published a post titled, “10 Things That Feel Better Than Getting Revenge On An Ex.” It was meant to be a feel good, git ‘er done kind of list, to help you move on from a crappy, undeserving ex. Entry #2 on our list was “Be a Better Person,” and we explained it this way: “Volunteer somewhere. Because nothing puts your own problems in perspective like helping out people who are even less fortunate than you are. You know, people who fought for their country and ended up in a wheelchair…”

Reader J. correctly took us to task, in the comment published below — instead of a Comment of the Week, consider this our Mea Culpa of the Week (though we hope this won’t be a weekly occurrence!). Our sincere apologies, we never meant to imply that people in wheelchairs exist simply to make the recently heartbroken feel better about their loss, or to provide some kind of sorely needed perspective. We’ll work on locating that missing sensitivity chip…

As a wheelchair user, I have to say, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, serving our country benefits those who are injured, because the insurance is amazing. Lots of people in wheelchairs have great lives and can feel just as sorry for you as you would for them. Either way, it gets you nowhere.

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How Open Relationships Cure Jealousy

May 7, 2014

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Reader Kristinopolis (who has written in other posts on our site about her experience with open relationships) said the following in response to our post, “Can Open Relationships Cure Jealousy?”

I know why it works. When you are committed to one person, everyone else becomes ‘unattainable’ or maybe ‘unloveable’ in a way. Then there’s the typical wanting what you can’t have, which will breed jealously. If you are open, you can have big trust, because you know if they didn’t want to be by your side, they wouldn’t be. And you also allow them to pursue and focus on their own happiness. In this game, honesty and communication is key. It’s like an investment and a beautiful gamble all in one.

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Every Straight Guy Should Be Sexually Harassed by a Gay Guy Once

April 30, 2014

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photo via Flickr

Our Comment of the Week is from MVP Johnny, in response to the question asked by a gay man, ”How Do I Subtly Find Out My Straight Friend’s Penis Size?“:

Can I presume that sexual attraction, rather than locker-room bro curiosity, has piqued your interest?

Don’t do it, dude. That’s the sort of thing that makes open-minded straight guys not want to be friends with gay guys anymore.

You’re going to creep the guy out. Just whack off to your straight friend, and in your fantasies, his dick can be whatever size you want it to be.

… There is a silver lining to situations like this, though: getting creeped on by gay guys teaches straight guys a valuable lesson in what it’s like.

Thanks to a small handful of inappropriate gay guys, I know what it’s like to be sexually harassed. I know what it’s like to get a totally out-of-line sexual proposition from a grown man. Sometimes when you’re alone, sometimes when it’s dark out.

It’s disgusting and potentially scary. It taught me a lot about what women must go through. Think it’s flattering when you make comments about her body, or how horny she makes you? Think she secretly likes the attention when you hit on her for the tenth time, or when a guy looks her up and down, sneers, and goes, “daaayuum, dat asssss…”? Think again. It makes your skin crawl.

It’s something every straight guy should go through at least once, as sensitivity training. You know what? Fuck it. Ask your straight friend about his dick. It may end your friendship, but you’ll be doing a public service by enlightening the guy.

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4 Early Warning Signs of a Toxic Relationship

April 23, 2014

4 Comments

Reader Pigeon said the following in response to our post, “Your Call: I Finally Escaped a Toxic 13-Year Marriage. Now What?” What warning signs of a toxic relationship would you add to this list?

Have a bit of time to enjoy your freedom — just remember that you are still young and you don’t have to be married. Find new hobbies and just really get to know yourself in every sense of the word! And take some time to write down what you would consider “warning signs” for a new partner… things like:

1. Isolation: Feeling separated from friends and family.

2. Pressure: Feeling like you’re being pressured into anything, either by force or guilt.

3. Physical: Any form of non-consensual physical contact. This could be a range from actually hitting to grabbing and manipulating you into sex.

4. Sense of Self: If you feel like you’re being made to do what he wants all the time and that you’re losing your own interests just to keep them happy.

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Comment of the Week: A Cautionary Tale About Shame

April 16, 2014

0 Comments

photo via Flickr

An Em & Lo reader told the following cautionary tale in response to our post “Dear Dr. Joe, Can You Break Your Penis During Sex?” Just one more reason why we need be better, shame-eradicating sex education in this country:

Dr. Joe, very informative post. I’ve always heard that you cannot break it; however, early in high school, I had an injury on a band trip: short version, this girl, an older classmate, started holding my hand and I became so hard, with tight pants on, something broke/popped. I had to be carried off the bus and just said I had stomach pain. The pain was excruciating. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone, including my parents, so I wasn’t examined or treated in anyway. I spent the next several years trying to gradually straighten my penis back to normal. It finally healed back to maybe 80%-90% straight. Unfortunately, my erect penis size since that accident has remained maybe 3/4, at most, what it was before. It may be even more like 1/2 but too long ago to really remember.

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The Three Make-or-Break Issues In Every Relationship

April 9, 2014

0 Comments

Reader Blah Blah Blacksheep (best username ever, by the way!) said the following in response to our post Your Call – He’s Kinky, She’s Vanilla, Is the Relationship Doomed?

Money, sex, and kids are the three make-or-break things in every relationship. A spender will have a hard time being with a saver. Two dominants or two submissives will have a hard time getting along in the bedroom. A breeder with a non-breeder usually won’t work out. And … a vanilla will have a hard time being with a BDSM’er.

If you are not happy in all three of those major categories (money, sex, kids/parenting style) then there will be major clashes and it won’t last.

It’s better to break it off early, amicably.

Find someone else you click with on those 3 things. Everything else you get along on is just icing on the cake.

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What Made Your Marriage Fail?

April 1, 2014

2 Comments

Are you separated, divorced, or on your way there? If so, we want to hear from you. (We promise complete anonymity!) We’re working on a new project about happy-ever-afters… and not-so-happy-ever-afters… and we want to interview couples, over email, about the thing that caused their marriage to fail.

If you’re interested in sharing your story anonymously — it’s a chance to vent, or to put it all down for posterity, or to help others avoid the same pitfalls — then send us a message via our contact form here. And we’ll tawk!

Oh, and if your marriage is a gloriously happy one? Or at least reasonably satisfying? No discrimination: We want to hear from you, too. Again, anonymity is guaranteed. Just send us a message via our contact form here.

Thanks, as always, for sharing…. and over-sharing.

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Confession: The Problem with Bisexuality

April 1, 2014

0 Comments

Yesterday, Nathaniel Frank gave us a male perspective on bisexuality; today, we’re getting a female perspective. In honor of the culmination of Bisexual Awareness Month yesterday, our long-time contributor Ariel E.M. Servadio wrote the following article on her recently relaunched Cephaloblog about her own bisexuality, which she’s graciously allowing us to reprint here today. 

 

Make up your mind already.

My problem with bisexuality is not that “they just can’t decide.” My problem is not that “they’re confused.” My problem is not that “they’re being greedy”. My problem is that “they” are me, and you probably didn’t know that.

Really, it’s just not fair – bisexuals can live under the guise of being straight, and therefore conform more nicely into society somewhat unintentionally, if they just happen to only meet and date people of the opposite sex. I know this, because it’s what I’ve done all of my life.

 

It makes me feel guilty. In a culture where LGBTetc. rights are finally getting the respect and legal recognition that they deserve, and more people than ever are truly “out and proud,” I am hiding in plain sight. I guess I’m not out – but truthfully, I was never really in. Because I’m gay. And I’m straight. Once, in complimenting my outfit, my friend told me “You kind of look like a lesbian”1 and I replied, “that’s funny, because I am kind of a lesbian!” Jokingly, I’ve described myself as half-lesbian, or half-gay.

Growing up, I just thought I was very open minded. I felt that for me personally, it was more about the person inside than their genitalia. I realize that’s not the case for everyone and that’s fine – that’s just how I’ve always felt. But it never really occurred to me that that person would ever be a woman, because I was only ever attracted to and dated men. Although I occasionally found myself sexually attracted to women throughout my post-pubescent life, no one needed to know about it, because I had no intentions of acting on it. I never met a woman I wanted to date. It just didn’t happen. Once, much later, I finally did meet a woman that I wanted to date, and we ended up becoming great friends instead.2

And this is really where the problem with bisexuality comes in: the truth of the matter is, I have a choice.

Let me affirm that I do not believe sexual orientation is a lifestyle choice in any way, shape or form. To quote Lady GaGa, “I was born this way, baby.” But I do, perhaps to the detriment of our already quavering reputation, think that bisexuals have a choice in the way they live their lives. Regardless of whether I’m born with an attraction to both men and women or not, if I only seek romantic relationships with the opposite sex out of societal conditioning, convenience, fear or utter cluelessness, I can live an easier, more socially acceptable, straight life.

I could spend the rest of my life choosing not to pursue romantic relationships with the same sex and live as a heterosexual, as far as everyone else knows. If federal and state laws don’t go my way and don’t respect homosexuals as human beings that deserve the same rights as all other human beings, no sweat – I can marry a man, adopt a child with him, whatever I want, and everyone will be 1) none the wiser and 2) never disgusted by how I live my life.

And that’s just not fucking fair.

You can’t help who you fall in love with, that is true – I mean, hey, I’m as big a fan of Chasing Amy as anyone. But is it unrealistic to think that I can, and have, influenced my sexual orientation over the years by unconsciously not considering women dateable? Being straight is so easy, so smiled upon, so normal – who would choose to live any other way?

No one would, and that is why it is a certainty that sexuality is inherent. I guess in a sense, we all do have a choice when it comes to sexuality: to be happy and live as who we truly are, or to be unhappy and socially acceptable. And anyone who chooses unhappiness, despite how much society shits on you otherwise, is choosing wrong. Your happiness is everything. The entire point of life is to be happy – why choose anything else?

What my problem ultimately comes down to is this – if I never date and fall in love with a girl, I could live the rest of my life as a straight woman. But I’m not going to. Because whether I ever end up doing so or not, I know that I would, and I won’t limit myself with a binary label. I’ve made up my mind: I’m bisexual.

1. She sincerely meant this in the best way possible – she loves lesbians. 

2. This can be a problem with women, I’ve found – real crushes can turn into friend crushes which can turn into incredible friendships with no romantic possibility, ever. Sigh, the sapphic life. 

Craig Ferguson perfectly articulates my feelings about coffee, tea and bisexuality:

Craig, where do yo come down on the tea vs. coffee debate?
There is no tea vs. coffee debate!
You're making it up!
I like tea, I like coffee!
I like milk chocolate, I like dark chocolate!
I like penises, I like vaginas!