Em & Lo: Sex. Love. And Everything in Between. » News http://www.emandlo.com Your daily dose of advice, news, and stories about sex, love, and other important stuff. No yoga mat required. Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:55:45 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 8 Reasons Science Gives For Sleeping Nude http://www.emandlo.com/2015/04/8-reasons-science-gives-for-sleeping-nude/ http://www.emandlo.com/2015/04/8-reasons-science-gives-for-sleeping-nude/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 18:04:09 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=32824

by Aly Walansky for YourTango

So lose the PJs and put on your birthday suit!

Had a hot date and fell asleep naked? Dragged yourself out of the shower and don’t have the energy to put pajamas on? It’s happened to all of us — and turns out it’s fine. Whatever your reason, there’s a lot of reason to consider making a habit of sleeping naked!

1. You’ll Have Better Skin.
It’s good for your skin, which likes to breathe, says Jenny Block, author of Oh Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm. Especially if you tend to sweat at night, sleeping sans clothes can be a great idea. Wet, constricted skin leads to breakouts and fun stuff like athlete’s foot. (Just consider the tragedies we see at the gym!)

2. You’ll Regulate Your Hormones.
Sleeping naked can help regulate your cortisol levels because your body remains cooler than when it’s clothed, says Block. Cortisol can creep up when the body gets too warm, leading to anxiety, food cravings, and weight gain. It can also manage your melatonin and growth hormone levels — again, by keeping you cooler — which helps to keep you younger longer.

3. You’ll Give Your Vagina Room to Breathe.
The vagina has a climate much like that of a tropical rain forest. Constantly being closed up and covered is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, says Dr. Laura Bennett-Cook, clinical sexologist.

4. More Comfortable in Your Own Skin = Better Self-Esteem.
The more time you spend naked, the more comfortable you’ll feel in your skin overall, says Bennett-Cook. Walk around naked more often, it may make being naked so comfortable you won’t feel shy next time you are with a partner!

5. You’ll Get a Better Night’s Sleep.
Not getting tangled up in clothing makes for a more comfortable night’s rest. A better night’s sleep makes for a better day ahead, Bennett-Cook says.

6. You’ll Feel Happier.
For those who don’t sleep solo, enjoying skin-on-skin contact with your partner on a consistent basis increases the release of oxytocin. “Oxytocin is the feel good hormone which boosts our mood and make us happier overall,” says Bennett-Cook.

7. You’ll Reduce Stress.
Sleeping naked regulates cortisol, a stress hormone, lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and lessening PMS symptoms, says Katrina “Rainsong” Messenger.

8. You’ll Repair Your Body.
Sleeping in clothes prevents the release of HGH, the growth hormone. This hormone is responsible for doing body repairs like stimulating all your vital organs (even your brain!) in the middle of the night, says Messenger. This lowers your risk of everything from heart disease to diabetes. It also stimulates the immune system, meaning you’ll wake up healthier — and stay healthy longer.

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Take This 10-Minute Penis Survey, Get a Free E-Book! http://www.emandlo.com/2015/04/take-this-10-minute-penis-survey-get-a-free-e-book/ http://www.emandlo.com/2015/04/take-this-10-minute-penis-survey-get-a-free-e-book/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:57:07 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=32817

Our friend and colleague, Ian Kerner, the most famous man in sex therapy, founded Good In Bed to help people get better in bed. The site is currently sponsoring a survey (which has been designed by and given IRB approval through the University of Kentucky — i.e. it’s legit) focusing on penis perceptions.

So if you are a man or woman over the age of 18 and have a few minutes to answer these questions honestly and thoughtfully, take the survey here. It should take you less than 10 minutes, responses are entirely anonymous, it won’t collect any identifying info, and — best part — at the end, they’ll offer you a coupon code for one eBook from Good In Bed’s wide selection (normally $5.95)!

The offer is good through May 5th. Results will appear on the Good in Bed site as a report, and their findings will also aid in developing the informational resources and advice available on the site.

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Some Early Sexist Tweets About Hillary Clinton’s Campaign http://www.emandlo.com/2015/04/the-most-sexist-early-tweets-about-hillary-clintons-campaign/ http://www.emandlo.com/2015/04/the-most-sexist-early-tweets-about-hillary-clintons-campaign/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 19:27:20 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=32778
image via Earl of Taint

Yep, we totally live in a post-feminist world, where gender doesn’t matter, everyone’s on an equal playing field, and sexism has been stamped out. And can we get a pony, while we’re at it? Maybe a unicorn? Because that’s just not the reality we live in. Below are just a handful of the charming tweets in response to Hillary Clinton’s official campaign announcement that she’s running for president. There have been plenty of attempts at humor surrounding various perceptions of her qualifications (“none”) and her history (“scandalous”) which are totally fair game. But when people put the focus on gender, they just prove how much farther we still have to go when it comes to equality for women.
 

Hyperbolic much? Sure, there’s some legitimate excitement about the potential for a first female president, just as there was justified excitement about a first black president — after a long, sole history of white male presidents, this was to be expected. But the excitement would not be so profound were it not for people’s genuine belief in her ability to get the job done well, based on her experiences as a lawyer, a senator and a Secretary of State — experiences she certainly could have had with a penis.
 

They both went to Yale Law School. They both had impressive careers before Bill Clinton was elected president. They’re both smart, motivated, ambitious people. You can’t dismiss all of her accomplishments just because Bill got into the White House first.
 

When you really want to dismantle a woman’s credibility and undermine her authority, just start talking about her looks — after all, that’s the most important thing about her. In this world, it’s the ONLY thing.
 

Right-wingers using the term “shrill” for Hillary are like climate change deniers saying “the science is inconclusive.” You automatically prevent yourself from being taken seriously.
 

If calling a woman ugly isn’t working for you, the next best way to undermine her power is to call her old. On men, age equals experience; on women, age equals sadness.
 

Or you can just go straight for the big guns with the C word, if you really want to take yourself out of any serious political discussions (and the human race in general). If it’s not okay for white people to call Obama the N word, should we really be so blase about white guys calling Hillary the C word? Sexism — the last socially acceptable prejudice.
 

Ditto.
 

We love how this one’s personal Twitter image manages to incorporate homophobia (by [mis]appropriating the Human Rights Campaign‘s logo) into the tweet right alongside its inherent sexism.
 

Attempts at slut-shaming are such an easy giveaway of sexism.
 

“Cunt, whore, skank.” Translation: How dare you try to rise up from your lower status and try to claim power that rightfully belongs to men and men alone!
 

Ditto.
 

A man who’s powerful, opinionated, and motivated is a good leader; a woman with those same qualities is just a bitch. Read “Lean In” for more.
 

No, with traditional reproduction, you can’t really choose what kind of sperm (male or female) fertilizes the egg and thus determines your sex. So, you’re right, being born female is not an accomplishment. But becoming a successful lawyer, senator and Secretary of State in a sexist world where women make 70-some cents for every dollar men make — that’s an accomplishment.
 

Saying you’re not racist or sexist by admitting that people think you’re racist and sexist doesn’t make you not racist or sexist.
 

Ha, ha, see? Even though she’s been in all these powerful political positions, she’s still just doing dirty housework…because, deep down, she’s nothing but a little woman.
 

It especially sucks when democrats resort to using the C word. Just like it sucks when women cut other women down by calling them names.


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Sign More Petitions: White House Endorses Ban on Conversion Therapy http://www.emandlo.com/2015/04/why-you-should-sign-more-petitions-white-house-endorses-ban-on-conversion-therapy/ http://www.emandlo.com/2015/04/why-you-should-sign-more-petitions-white-house-endorses-ban-on-conversion-therapy/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 14:22:37 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=32723
17-year-old Leelah Alcorn, in a selfie she posted to her Tumblr account

Earlier this year, transgender teen Leelah Alcorn committed suicide and said, in her suicide note, that her family had forced her to see Christian therapists who told her that she was  ”selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help.” Soon after, a White House petition was launched on Change.org, calling for a national ban on so-called “conversion therapy” for gay and transgender youth. The petitioners want a new law, called “Leelah’s Law” to enforce this ban.

Just in case you think that signing all those Change.org petitions doesn’t do anything: Yesterday the White House responded to the petition, agreeing that conversion therapy is a very bad thing. (In related news, the White House also warned against running with scissors and staring into the sun.)

According to a release by White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett: “The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that conversion therapy, especially when it is practiced on young people, is neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm. As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this Administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors. … Negative family reactions to LGBTQ+ youth can be perceived as rejection by children, often contributing to serious health issues and inhibiting a child’s development and well-being. And when it comes to LGBTQ+ youth, some actions by family and caregivers can be harmful, despite even the best intentions.”

There’s a long road ahead, of course. So far, only California, New Jersey, and Washington, DC have banned conversion therapy for minors. There are bans pending in other states, but Republicans continue to vote them down — as happened in Virginia recently. Still, people spoke up, via a petition, and the White House listened. And that, people, is what we call a very good start.

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10 Ways to Avoid the E.R. – A Sex Toy Safety Review http://www.emandlo.com/2015/04/10-ways-to-avoid-the-e-r-a-sex-toy-safety-review/ http://www.emandlo.com/2015/04/10-ways-to-avoid-the-e-r-a-sex-toy-safety-review/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 20:23:24 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=32711
LELO’s Ina 2 and Ida (sponsored post)

Recently, the Washington Post reviewed data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and found that sex-toy-related injuries have been on the rise, dramatically spiking after the whole Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon. (WP has a great chart.) Despite easier access to higher quality toys and a lot more helpful info on how to choose and use toys effectively and safely these days (a la sites like yours truly), people obviously don’t do their homework and often take the cheap and lazy route. Go, Amerrca! Just goes to show, Fifty Shades IS NOT A SEX MANUAL.

Below are some of the most common (and not so common) toy injuries that required hospitalization in recent years and how they could have easily been avoided. You’ll be happy to know, no one died (which makes them kind of hysterical).

1. “PUT METAL RING ON PENIS, UNABLE TO REMOVE”
Metal penis rings (aka cock rings) are only for the very experienced or the very stupid. This is one of the most common toy-related cases in ERs, just behind FBRs (see below): the blood rushes in during arousal, but it can’t get out because the metal’s so unforgiving. If you get your dick and/or balls stuck in a metal ring, we see bolt cutters in your future — and do you really want bolt cutters so close to your junk? Best to opt for a love ring (our preferred gentler-kinder term) that can either be undone (with a velcro strap, buckle, snap or tie) OR stretched easily enough to get around excessive engorgement (such as a silicone ring).

2. “CUT ON THE METAL EDGE OF A VIBRATOR”
Yikes! No decent sex toy will have sharp edges or rough seams. Those are cheap novelties “not intended for actual use.” Here’s where investing in your sex life comes into play. Pay a little more for a high quality toy made with body safe materials and designed ergonomically for your most sensitive bits — you’re worth it! For your money, you can’t go wrong with a LELO.

3. “NECKLACE CAUGHT MASSAGE MACHINE DX: ASPHYXIATION, CARDIAC ARREST”
Oh dear. Please familiarize yourself with your “massager” before you get jiggy with it: know how to turn it off quickly, in the dark, by feel alone. And consider taking off any jewelry that might get in the way: rings, necklaces, big earrings. By the way, this incident happened to a 61-year-old man: good for him for experimenting with toys at his age, but a necklace? Remember: Keepin’ it classy could save your life.

4. “RECTAL PAIN … AFTER USING PLASTIC TOY PENIS”
Again, let’s avoid cheap plastic items when it comes to our treasured family jewels. Invest in 100%, waterpoof, non-porous silicone toys.

5. “CAME TO ED WITH PENIS SLEEVE STUCK IN VAGINA”
If a sex toy is reputable, it will come with instructions for use (as well as care and cleaning tips). Make sure you get one with those kind of instructions (again, LELO is a winner here) and then follow them. Don’t use in a way it wasn’t intended. For example, penis sleeves are meant to go around penises, not inside vaginas. If this was one of the rare sleeves that can be used as a penis extender with a partner, then there’s no way it should have gotten stuck (see #7).

6. “VAGINAL TEAR WITH PAIN AND BLEEDING AFTER SELF STIMULATION WITH DILDO”
Here’s where knowing your own body comes into play. If you’re a petite 100-pound professional ballerina, then a mammoth, unrealistically sized dildo called “The Pounder” is not for you. Another great sex toy to use in conjunction with vibes and dildos? Quality lube. It will help keep things going smoothly and prevent rug burn. (And it’s not cheating — there are many reasons why your desire may not match your own wetness — so give yourself a helping hand.) At the risk of sounding like a broken record, high quality toys made of body-safe material will help you avoid the pitfalls of cheap novelties: rough seams, toxic phthalates, allergic reactions, etc. Finally, you may like it rough, but avoid doing serious damage. There’s the line: don’t cross it.

7. “SMALL VIBRATOR USED BY PT & HUSBAND,INSIDE VAGINA; BECAME STUCK, UNABLE TO REMOVE”
Again, to get a little Greek on you: know thyself. Learn the basics of genital anatomy and examine yourself. The vagina is only a few inches long. Without a doctor going in, or a baby coming out, nothing’s really getting past the cervix into the uterus. A small vibrator, ben wa balls, or a piece of a cheap broken vibrator may nestle into the crevice between the cervix and the very back of the vagina; but by bearing down and reaching in, most women should be able to retrieve it themselves (just get over your silly heebie jeebies — it’s your own body, fer chrissakes!). If your fingers are stubby, hopefully your lover’s are longer. As long as you go with a modern, quality toy made for the vagina, nothing’s getting “lost.”

8. “USED A PENIS PUMP AND IT GOT STUCK ON PENIS”
Just say no to penis pumps. Instead, learn to work with what you’ve got and become an exceptional lover so size truly doesn’t matter (here’s a great place to start).

9. “VIBRATOR/DILDO STUCK IN RECTUM”
The overwhelming majority (like 83%, according to the Washington Post) of injuries happen when people — and not just guys, plenty of gals too! — put something up their butts that they shouldn’t. The official terminology is “foreign body removal” (FB Removal). That can’t feel good, for your ass or your pride. We’ve said it a thousand times, we’ll say it again: when it comes to your anus, only use made-for-play sex toys that are non-porous and have a flared base. Otherwise, your butt will act like a greedy Dyson and you’ll have to go to the E.R. and sites like ours will invariably make fun of you for it.

1o. “PAIN TO TOE AFTER DROPPING HER BACK MASSAGER ON FOOT”
Um, just try to be less clumsy…?

 

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20 Rand Paul Quotes That Tell You Everything You Need to Know http://www.emandlo.com/2015/04/20-rand-paul-quotes-that-tell-you-everything-you-need-to-know/ http://www.emandlo.com/2015/04/20-rand-paul-quotes-that-tell-you-everything-you-need-to-know/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 17:12:36 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=32700
photo via Wikimedia Commons

So Senator Rand Paul is running for president. The good news is, there’s no need to do any hard-core investigative reporting in order to figure out if he’s the man for the job. His own oh-so-quotabe quotes tell you everything you need to know. You know, whichever way you’re planning on voting.

1. “My opponents call me a libertarian but I want to assure you that I am 100% pro-life.”

2. “I’m not going to change who I am or what I believe in. I am an old-fashioned traditionalist. I believe in the historical definition of marriage. That being said, I think contracts between adults — I’m not for limiting contracts between adults. In fact, if there are ways to make the tax code more neutral where it doesn’t mention the word marriage, then we don’t have to redefine what marriage is. We just don’t have marriage in the tax code. If health benefits are a problem, why don’t we not define them by marriage? Why don’t we say, you have another adult who lives in the house, and a kid who lives in the house can be part of family coverage? Then you don’t have to redefine, and have people like myself, and people who live in the southeastern part of the country, we don’t have to change our definition of what we think marriage is, but we allow contracts to occur so there is more ability to [make] the law neutral.”

3. “I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.”

4. “The coarsening of our culture towards violent death has more consequences than war. Tragically, this same culture has led to the death of 50 million unborn children in the last 40 years. I don’t think a civilization can long endure that does not have respect for all human life, born and not yet born. I believe there will come a time when we are all judged on whether or not we took a stand in defense of all life from the moment of conception until our last natural breath.”

5. “As a doctor I will make it my mission to heal the nation, reverse the course of Obamacare and repeal every last bit of it.”

6. “If we have no laws on [gay marriage] people take it to one extension further. Does it have to be humans?”

7. “The Life at Conception Act [proposed by Rand] legislatively declares what most Americans believe and what science has long known — that human life begins at the moment of conception, and therefore is entitled to legal protection from that point forward. The right to life is guaranteed to all Americans in the Declaration of Independence and ensuring this is upheld is the Constitutional duty of all Members of Congress.”

8. “The First Amendment says keep government out of religion, not religion out of government.”

9. “With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have to realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses.”

10. “I never, ever cheated [at med school]. I don’t condone cheating. But I would sometimes spread misinformation. This is a great tactic. Misinformation can be very important.”

11. “Maybe we have to say ‘Enough’s enough, you shouldn’t be having kids after a certain amount.’ … “[Being] married with kids versus unmarried with kids is the difference between living in poverty and not. We should sell that message. Not in a mean way to tell people who already have made a bad decision, but if you’ve had one child and you’re not married, you shouldn’t have another one.”

12. “Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so.”

13. “I’m not in favor of any discrimination of any form; I would never belong to any club that excluded anybody for race. We still do have private clubs in America that can discriminate based on race. But I think what’s important about this debate is not written into any specific “gotcha” on this, but asking the question: what about freedom of speech? Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent? Should we limit racists from speaking? I don’t want to be associated with those people, but I also don’t want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that’s one of the things freedom requires is that we allow people to be boorish and uncivilized, but that doesn’t mean we approve of it. I think the problem with this debate is by getting muddled down into it, the implication is somehow that I would approve of any racism or discrimination, and I don’t in any form or fashion.”

14. “[It is a] moral crisis that allows people to think that there would be some sort of other marriage.”

15. “A Tea Party tidal wave is coming.”

16. “I believe life begins at conception and it is the duty of our government to protect this life…. I have stated many times that I will always vote for any and all legislation that would end abortion or lead us in the direction of ending abortion.”

17. “As humans, yeah, we do have an obligation to give people water, to give people food, to give people health care. … But it’s not a right, because once you conscript people and say, ‘Oh, it’s a right,’ then really you’re in charge, it’s servitude, you’re in charge of me and I’m supposed to do whatever you tell me to do. … It really shouldn’t be seen that way.”

18. “Unless you want a government that can enter your house at will, check to see if you have trigger locks, measure the length of your guns and rapidity of their ability to fire, you must oppose violations of the Fourth Amendment like the PATRIOT Act.”

19. “I don’t think I’m really open to having Washington change me.”

20. “I read all of Ayn Rand’s novels when I was 17.”

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Thanks for Listening, Time Warner Cable http://www.emandlo.com/2015/03/thanks-for-listening-time-warner-cable/ http://www.emandlo.com/2015/03/thanks-for-listening-time-warner-cable/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 14:00:06 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=32374

You may recall that in a post last week, we called out Time Warner Cable for their ridiculously out-of-touch animated WiFi-Denti-fier tool (pictured above). The tool basically assumed that you were straight, with no options for letting users select otherwise. Because apparently, gay and transgendered people never have problems with movies endlessly buffering, which is one of the many annoying device overload problems this tool was meant to help you solve.

Well, we are thrilled to report that within days of this post going up, we got the nicest letter back from Time Warner Cable. Here it is in full:

Dear Em & Lo:

I’m writing in response to your “Time Warner Cable Is for Straight People Only, Please” post yesterday.

The Time Warner Cable Wi-Fi Dentifier Tool was designed as an interactive way to get users engaged and in no way intended to offend anyone. We’ve taken a closer look at the tool and understand how the characters and family composition used are not a true reflection of the diverse communities we serve so we have temporarily pulled it down and are revising the tool. We have a strong record in promoting, supporting and serving the LGBT community and are proud of consistently receiving the top score of 100% in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index. We appreciate your feedback and are always looking for ways to do better as a company.

Sincerely,

Evelyn Galarza
Time Warner Cable

So, there you go! We’re still a little bit non-plussed about how this tool made it by so many levels of approval before going live, but we guess that’s one of the problems with not having enough women in the corporate workplace.

And now a mea culpa of our own. Here’s a letter we received from a reader in response to our original post on Time Warner Cable. It turns out that not only did the tool force you to select a “straight” option, it also showed only white avatars — something we unfortunately failed to notice.

 Hey guys! I read your blog about time warner excluding gays from their animation set-up, ugh! Like they can’t get proper recognition like everyone else does! It’s really great to see people speak up on behalf of gays. But you cant choose to be black, either. But they’re only concerned about getting shot and killed by cops, recieving longer prison sentences (20% on average) than whites for the same crime, and desire equal oppurtunity in legal matters, employment etc. But who cares you can’t choose another race besides white, this is a gay issue and you stand up for them all!…. by getting sad u can’t choose a gay partner in an animated avatar. Good day :)

Ouch! But, hey, it’s good to have our readers keeping us on our toes, lest the speedy response from Time Warner Cable go to our head. Here’s how we responded to that reader — and if you visit the original post, you’ll see we made changes there, too:

Point taken. We guess our only excuse is that as sex and relationship writers exclusively, we always focus on issues of sexuality, orientation and gender issues. But we should have mentioned the lack of choice when it comes to race too — not sure if we can update on HuffPo, but we’ll update on our site.

And when we wrote back to Time Warner Cable, we mentioned the reader’s point, too:

Dear Evelyn,

Wow, thank you for taking our concerns so seriously. We appreciate the effort that went into building that tool and would love to see it reflect more diversity. While our focus as sex and relationship writers is on issues of gender and sexuality, we should also mention, while we have your ear, that the avatars being all white is also problematic. Again, thanks for your consideration. And congrats on the 100% rating by the HRC!

Sincerely,
Em & Lo

All of which is to say: Speak up when you see something that isn’t right! Even when you’re the little guy (or gal) and it’s the big guy (or gal) doing the thing that isn’t right. Because, sometimes, the big guy just needs a little nudge to do the right thing. Also: We’re not perfect, and we want you to tell us when we’re not! But feel free to tell us when we’re being awesome, too.

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Love Has No Labels http://www.emandlo.com/2015/03/love-has-no-labels/ http://www.emandlo.com/2015/03/love-has-no-labels/#comments Fri, 06 Mar 2015 19:11:15 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=32365

“Before anything else, we are all human. It’s time to embrace diversity. Let’s put aside labels in the name of love.”

No, it’s not skeleton porn. #LoveHasNoLabels is the new diversity and inclusion campaign by the Ad Council.  There’s a dedicated website with a quiz, stories, tips, resources and the obligatory adorable video that will melt the iciest hearts (even Lo’s). The stunt, filmed on the 3rd Street Promenade in L.A. (a place guaranteed to have offered a warm reception), features a giant X-ray machine, behind which couples engage with one another as humans — we, the audience, can’t tell their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, or (dis)abilities. All we see is the love.

Here’s the Ad Council’s description of the campaign and its point:

Most Americans agree that people should be treated respectfully and fairly. Yet many people in the United States still report feeling discriminated against. For example, one in five LGBT people report feeling there is little or no acceptance of their community. Six in ten Latinos report that discrimination is a major problem and a majority of African Americans report that they are not satisfied with the way they are treated in society.

The reason might be that we’re actually discriminating unintentionally–some call this implicit bias. Implicit bias influences how we treat people and how we interact with each other. More broadly, it can perpetuate disparities by impacting someone’s ability to find a job, secure a loan, rent an apartment or get a fair trial. To end bias, we need to become aware of it. And then we need to do everything within our power to stop it in ourselves, others, and institutions.

The Diversity & Inclusion campaign encourages everyone to reconsider the biases that we don’t even know we have. Visit lovehasnolabels.com to find ways to challenge bias in themselves and others.

 

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Time Warner Cable Is for Straight White People Only, Please http://www.emandlo.com/2015/03/time-warner-cable-is-for-straight-people-only-please/ http://www.emandlo.com/2015/03/time-warner-cable-is-for-straight-people-only-please/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 12:00:06 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=32266

 

*** UPDATE: Within days of the following post going live, we heard from Time Warner Cable! They have pulled the tool down while they revise it. Read their response here. ***

According to Time Warner Cable’s WiFi-Denti-fier tool (which is linked from Time Warner Cable’s homepage), only straight white people use WiFi and Time Warner Cable. Since our site’s focus is on issues of sexuality, we’re just going to discuss one half of this problem:

Apparently, gay and transgendered people never have problems with movies endlessly buffering, which is one of the many annoying device overload problems this tool is meant to help you solve. What this ridiculously out-of-touch animated tool won’t help you solve: your gender identity crisis. The first page begins with the instructions, “Let’s start with an easy one: Are you a guy or a girl?” Wait, what? Do movies buffer differently for guys and girls? Do women need their tech advice given in a pretty pink font?! If you wait too long to select your gender — because, you know, maybe that’s a complicated issue for you that you don’t feel like discussing with an animated tech tool — the animated woman, wearing a pink shirt, naturally, cocks her hip and shimmies her shoulders a little. The dude, meanwhile, scratches his leg in a manly way (at least they stopped just short of ball-scratching). On the next page, you’re asked who else shares your WiFi with you. If you click the “My Better Half” option, then TWCC immediately places a person of the opposite sex next to your gendered icon on the couch. The only other option is to select “a few roommates,” as if it’s still the fifties and you’re still lying to your parents about who that gorgeous hunk is who shares your apartment and your answering machine. Apparently people who choose to marry or even just cohabit with someone of the same sex don’t use Time Warner Cable. (Actually, after discovering this, maybe they won’t!) Oh, and we’re guessing we don’t even need to tell you that if you select the “Our (Big) Family” option, the animated nuclear family on screen is fully compliant with the Tea Party’s “family values”… TWCC obviously invested an incredible amount of time and money into this tool, animating the characters, coming up with cheeky copy, etc. It’s not like it was a single, unthinking line of text or code. And it’s not like these are intentionally retro figures — the women wear skinny jeans,  and the men have hipster facial hair, pompadours, and tattoos. It’s like Williamsburg or Silver Lake, except without any gay people. We cannot believe that not a single person in the entire process spoke up and said, “Hey, remember that time when Ellen came out on Oprah’s television show and said she was gay and oh yeah that was 1997 and also probably a bunch of people were watching courtesy of Time Warner Cable.” And we haven’t even covered the complete whiteness of all the avatars involved! What’s up with that, TWCC?

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The Best (and Worst) Quotes from the 2015 Oscars http://www.emandlo.com/2015/02/the-best-and-worst-quotes-from-the-2015-oscars/ http://www.emandlo.com/2015/02/the-best-and-worst-quotes-from-the-2015-oscars/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:15:15 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=32190

Speeches about equal pay for women and gay rights…equal opportunity objectification (thanks, Neil!)…straight men being sensitive and highly emotional about their mothers…more jokes about balls than boobs…anyone would think it was 2015 out there! Here are our favorite quotes from the Oscars last night:

“I tried to commit suicide at 16, and now I’m standing here. I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage please pass the same message along.” — Graham Moore, accepting the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game

“If I may, call your mom. If you’re lucky enough to have parents or two alive on this planet…Don’t text, don’t email. Call them on the phone tell them you love them. Talk to them for as long as they want to hear you. Thank you, mom and dad.” — J.K. Simmons, accepting the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash

“To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s civil rights. It is our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.” — Patricia Arquette, accepting the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood (to enthusiastic cheers from Meryl and J.Lo. who basically stormed the stage in her support, see photo above)

“Benedict Cumberbatch: It’s not only the most awesome name in show business. It’s also the sound you get when you ask John Travolta to pronounce ‘Ben Affleck.’” — host Neil Patrick Harris

“They are four women. Plus — in accordance with California state law — Meryl Streep.” — Jared Leto introducing the best supporting actress nominees

“Our next film is amazing. I’m blown away right now myself. [tearing up] Our next nominee for best picture reveals how the visionary father of modern computing Alan Turing helps defeat the Nazis only to have his own greatness stripped away from him for his sexual orientation.” — Terrence Howard, introducing The Imitation Game (as he began to get choked up, most people assumed he was going to introduce Selma)

“Good luck charms work … tonight I am wearing the real Michael Keaton’s tightie-whities. They are tight and smell like balls.” — Alejandro González Iñárritu, accepting the Oscar for Best Director for Birdman

“I read an article that said that winning an Oscar could lead to living five years longer. If that’s true, I’d like to thank the Academy because my husband is younger than me.” — Julianne Moore, accepting the Best Actress Oscar for Still Alice (and for the record, he’s not just younger than her, he’s nine years younger!)

“Who gave this son of a bitch his green card? Birdman!” — Sean Penn, presenting the Best Picture Oscar to Birdman

“We don’t stand here alone, it’s possible through the great organisations that support us. The disclosures that Edward Snowden revealed aren’t only a threat to privacy but to democracy, when the most important decisions made affect all of us. Thank you to Edward Snowden.” — Laura Poitras, accepting the Best Documentary Oscar for Citizenfour

“Welcome to the 87th Oscars. Tonight we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest — sorry, brightest.” — host Neil Patrick Harris, in one of the rare funny jokes of the night

“Our next presenter is not only the star of the record breaker for biggest February premiere ever, Fifty Shades of Grey, she’s also the reason you had to explain to your grandmother what a spanking bench is.” – host Neil Patrick Harris, introducing Dakota Johnson

And, finally, the very worst quote of the night happened backstage:

“Fear is the condom of life. It doesn’t allow you to enjoy things.” — Oscar-winning Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu

Seriously, dude? It’s one thing to make fun of the ball-sweating properties of tight-whities. That’s funny, and also, it makes us think of balls during a night when it’s mostly golden globes on display. But don’t go giving condoms a bad name!

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