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, 22 May 2015 16:08:02 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 Happy Memorial Day Weekend http://www.emandlo.com/2015/05/happy-memorial-day-weekend/ http://www.emandlo.com/2015/05/happy-memorial-day-weekend/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 15:47:04 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=33259 photo via flickr

We’re off for a long weekend (and hope you are too!). We’ll be back with our regularly scheduled regimen of sex, love and everything in between on Tuesday, May 26th). Until then, don’t forget to raise an ice cold one to all the service men and women (the gay ones too!) who gave their lives in service so you could have the freedom to get drunk and stuffed on BBQ on U.S. holidays. FYI: a moment of silence is observed at 3pm local time on Monday wherever you are.

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6 Ways Technology Has Altered Your Love Life http://www.emandlo.com/2015/05/6-ways-technology-has-altered-your-love-life/ http://www.emandlo.com/2015/05/6-ways-technology-has-altered-your-love-life/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 15:26:29 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=33133
by Kylie M. for YourTango | photo via Flickr

Behold, the wonders of the Internet — changing your love life one social network, dating site and app at a time. Communicating with partners is more instant than ever before — but possibly also more complicated.

According to our recent Dating In The Digital Age survey, 75% of you have experienced lovers’ quarrels caused by miscommunications through technology. Sound familiar?

Even how we share news about our love lives has been greatly altered from our new devices. Just signing onto Facebook, you can find out an acquaintance from middle school is engaged or your 15-year-old cousin is newly single.

Take a peek at just how technology has revolutionized your relationships, from how we meet people to how we tell the world we’re getting hitched.

 

1. Flirting

Then: You actually had to leave the house.

Going out
imgur.com

Now: A hot date is just a click away.

before and after tech
reactiongifs.com

 

2. Hearing From Your Crush

Then: After a few months of waiting, you’d finally get a response from a deeply personal love letter you mailed him.

Oh goodie
reactiongifs.com

Now: He’ll respond to your message a few seconds later, possibly via SnapChat.

before and after tech
Reddit

 

3. Getting Ready For A First Date

Then: You’d freshen up in the bathroom in front of the mirror.

getting ready
imgur.com

Now: Selfies are new way to check yourself out — and so are the friends you send them to.

before and after tech
reactiongifs.com

 

4. Talking To A Cute Guy

Then: You had to muster up the courage to make small talk … can you imagine?

I like you a lot
imgur.com

Now: You text him things like…

reactiongifs.com

 

5. Realizing The Guy You’re Seeing Is Also Seeing Someone Else:

Then: “I’ll never find another man like that.”

sad in rain

imgur.com

Now: You realize you have 10 new matches on Tinder.

before and after tech

 

6. Letting The World Know You’re Engaged

Then: They’d read about it in the newspaper a few weeks after he proposes.

newpaper
giphy.com

Now: Your ring’s on Instagram (with hundreds of comments) before you’ve even said “yes.”

before and after tech
Tumblr

This article originally appeared on YourTango.com as “6 Ways Technology Has Altered Your Love Life.”
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Vienna’s Same-Sex Crosswalk Signals Make Us Feel Warm and Fuzzy http://www.emandlo.com/2015/05/viennas-same-sex-crosswalk-signals-make-us-feel-warm-and-fuzzy/ http://www.emandlo.com/2015/05/viennas-same-sex-crosswalk-signals-make-us-feel-warm-and-fuzzy/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 16:23:23 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=33111

When’s the last time you thought about true love or marriage equality while crossing a street? When’s the last time you looked up and smiled at a sign telling you not to cross yet? Here in the States, most of us stand impatiently, one foot half off the curb, thinking about how much we have to do while pressing the walk button over and over again, as if this will make the light change sooner.

City planners in Vienna are hoping to make things different there. The city has introduced new same-sex and opposite-sex themed crosswalk signals. Instead of a single gender-neutral person, the new light-up signs feature couples, both gay and straight, holding hands as they wait or walk, a little heart between them.

Of course, we’re sure that there are plenty of homophobic people out there who will now find themselves even more irritated while they wait to cross the street. Not only do they have to stand there for an entire twenty seconds, they also have to spend that twenty seconds being reminded that the world is changing and there’s nothing they can do to stop it. Just like pressing that crosswalk button a hundred times doesn’t change a thing.

According to the mayor of Vienna, the new signals, which have been installed at forty-nine crosswalks throughout the city, are “a sign of openness and tolerance.” We’ll drink a dark and yeasty Austrian beer to toast that!

Here are two more signs…

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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.

More like this from YourTango:

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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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