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The 8 New Habits of the Modern Single

February 19, 2015


by Stephanie Castillo for YourTango  |  photo via flickr

Match.com’s latest survey reveals new dating rituals and rules for today’s modern single.

Bad news bears, singles: Match.com has released the results of a new survey¬†that shows that¬†dating¬†rules and habits have changed. Again. But even though the playing field has become a bit of uncharted territory, some traditional dating dos and dont’s still apply.

“It’s important for singles¬†to know that the¬†dating rules¬†have changed,” says Whitney Casey, relationship expert for Match.com. “This study finds that dating¬†behaviors drastically differ between the ages. Younger¬†singles are more likely to friend their date on Facebook, communicate¬†by text after a date, and be evasive about their availability if they’re not interested in a second date. Whereas older singles are more cautious when it comes to dating¬†in the digital era.”

That said, here are the eight dating habits ‚ÄĒ new and old ‚ÄĒ you need to know about.

1. He asks, he OR she pays.¬†The one traditional dating¬†”do” that still stands is the general belief men are supposed to make the first move. However, Match.com found 41% of women would offer to pick up the check on a¬†first date. You hear that guys? If you ask us out for dinner, we might just foot the bill.

2. All it takes is 15 minutes to determine if you have chemistry.¬†Thirty-one percent of both men and women agree that 15 minutes of a date is all it takes to decide. Worried your next date will bail if he’s not into you? Don’t, because Match.com found only 12 percent of singles would actually leave before the night was over.

3. Honesty is (still) the best policy.¬†Not enjoying your time out with what’s his name? Tell him. The survey found 52 percent of singles think it’s best to politely tell your date if you’re not interested – and we agree. Neither party gets anything out of being dishonest and you never know when you’ll run into him or her again later in life. Remember: manners matter.

4. Don’t go all the way on the first date.¬†Eighty percent of singles agree that you shouldn’t have¬†sex¬†on the first date. Holding out on your date builds mystery, and if your date can get it all in one night, they’re less motivated to call back for round two.

5. It’s OK to follow-up -¬†it’s just a matter of when.¬†Forty-eight percent of women like to follow up after a first date within 24 hours where as 68 percent of men like to “play it cool” and extend the follow-up to almost three days after your date.

6. Classic phone communication is best. In this digital era, there are hundreds of ways to follw up on a date: text, e-mail, instant message, etc. But surprisingly enough, the survey found 80 percent of singles prefer to talk over the phone.

7. Yes, you can Facebook-friend your date.¬† ust not too quickly. Ah, the social media dilemma that plagues all singles.¬†As far as friend requesting your date goes, 21 percent of young singles say it’s OK to request a friend after 2-3 dates while 11 percent of older singles wait until the relationship is exclusive to do so. These low percentages mean keeping your add-friend trigger finger under control while in the early phase of dating.

8. Introduce your new man/woman to your friends. Sometimes your friends get a bad rap when it comes to dating, but 50 percent of men and 35 percent of women will introduce their dates to their friends within the first month of dating, regardless of how old they are.

This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: The 8 “Golden Rules” Of Modern Dating You NEED To Memorize

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The Kurdish Feminist Revolution…with Assault Rifles

January 23, 2015


Itai Anghel, an Isreali Jewish news correspondent and filmmaker with the balls the size of pumpkins, recently wandered into Syria and Iraq with a camera and not much else (no helmet, no bullet proof vest) to capture the front lines of the Kurdish fight against ISIS. (Apparently the Kurds are the only ones confronting ISIS on the ground.) “No Free Steps to Heaven” is an eye-opening, stomach-turning, bone-chilling account of the horrors currently taking place in the Middle East in the name of fundamental Islam.

We actually couldn’t watch the beginning of this 45-minute documentary, which includes excerpts of ISIS propaganda video featuring disturbingly brutal executions. But if you start at minute 20, and go to about 38:22, you’ll get an amazing (and not too graphically violent) story of the young female soldiers fighting ISIS. Some of them just teenagers, they renounce their former lives, go to boot camp and then go to battle. And they’ve got labes the size of watermelons.

When asked about why she’s fighting, one young woman, while sitting around a campfire with her fellow female and male soldiers, explains so eloquently:

I joined the YPG to protect my people, and to protect women especially….In the distant past, women were deemed sacred and in time, men in general, and in this region in particular, deprived us of our rights. We became an object that can cook, raise children and serve. So now, we’re retrieving the status we deserve. By enlisting the guerilla forces, my friends and I are proving that a woman can do everything a man does. So our struggle is not only for Kurdish women but for women the world over.

When the filmmaker says, “You know ISIS will kill in order for you not to implement this idea,” she responds:

I don’t care. I’m not afraid. They should fear me. I know very well what ISIS is. They are merely human beings. I am a human being too. They know how to fight. I know how to fight too. They have guns. I have a gun too. What I have and they don’t is a purpose worth fighting for. This empowers me. I’m here to protect my existence. I am fighting to live, they are fighting to die.

Later on in the segment, we hear from two captured ISIS fighters who say that they¬†happily¬†(their term) beheaded heretics and¬†believe if they’re killed in battle they’ll go to heaven and receive 72 virgins. But here’s the colossal irony: if they’re killed in battle by a woman, they believe they won’t go to heaven. Explains one:

We saw women fighters and we were told to stay away. So we retreated. So the Kurdish women wouldn’t kill us.

No free steps to heaven – The fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. December 2014. Itai Anghel from itai anghel on Vimeo.

An interesting side note: The following is the 20th footnote to the chapter “The Problem with Islam” in Sam Harris’s book, The End of Faith:

Christopher Luxenberg (this is a pseudonym), a scholar of ancient Semitic languages, has recently argue that a mistranslation is responsible for furnishing the Muslim paradise with “virgins” (Arabic hur, transliterated as “houris” — literally “white ones”). It seems that the passages describing paradise in the Koran were drawn from earlier Christian texts that make frequent use of the Aramaic word hur, meaning “white raisins.” White raisins, it seems, were a great delicacy in the ancient world. Imagine the look on a young martyr’s face when, finding himself in a paradise teaming with his fellow thugs, his seventy houris arrive as a fistful of raisins. See A. Stille, “Scholars Are Quietly Offering New Theories of the Koran,” New York Times, March 2, 2002.



STIs Are on the Rise. You Can Thank Tinder.

January 21, 2015


by Amanda Chatel for YourTango | photo via flickr

“Thanks to Grindr or Tinder, you can acquire chlamydia in five minutes.”

When Grindr hit the online¬†dating¬†scene, it seemed too good to be true. An app that you have right in the palm of your hand that can pinpoint just how close your next potential hookup is? Um, yes please! So the gay community went nuts for it, while straight singles sat around, twiddling their thumbs, wondering when it would be their turn to get their hands on such technology. They didn’t have to wait too longer, because¬†Tinder¬†soon followed, and then everyone was happy.

But the problem with these apps is that maybe they’re a little¬†too¬†convenient. I’ve known people who have discovered people on these apps who were actually in the same apartment building and yet had never met before until a sweep to the right on Tinder put them in touch ‚Ķ in more ways than one. While that’s all well and good in a society that thrives on instant gratification, where it’s not so great is that, according to some¬†doctors, these apps are to blame for a rise in STIs.

“Thanks to Grindr or Tinder, you can acquire chlamydia in five minutes,” says Peter Greenhouse, of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, and based on stats he’s not exactly exaggerating.

In England, both gonorrhea and syphilis cases have increased. From 2012 to 2013, cases of gonorrhea have gone up by 15 percentand cases of syphilis have gone up by 9 percent. Considering we live in a time where we should all not only know about the importance of safe sex, but have easy access to it, these numbers are pretty depressing.

In fact, according to Public Health England, the apps were the direct cause of six outbreaks of syphilis. Keep in mind, that’s not six cases of syphilis, but six outbreaks, meaning each outbreak affected a lot more than must one person. The apps, as Dr. Ian Simms of the Public Health England points out, were enabling “hyper-efficient transmission” of the infections. In other words, it was spreading like wildfire.

Having an active sex life is awesome, but not using protection during all this activity is just stupid. If you’re smart enough to know how to download an app, use it effectively enough to find some action, then you’re certainly smart enough to know where to get some condoms and how to use them. Seriously. If you can’t be responsible enough to have safe sex every¬†single¬†time then maybe someone needs to take away your phone. That’s right. We’ll just take that phone right away from you. Then how will you feel?

But in all seriousness, gonorrhea and syphilis are not STIs to treat lightly. Both gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to infertility, and syphilis, can result in blindness, madness, and even death.¬†You know who had syphilis? Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Idi Amin just to name a few‚ÄĒnot exactly the most stellar example of humanity. So, do yourself and every person you sleep with a favor, and use a condom. Every. Single. Time.

This article originally appeared on YourTango

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Em & Lo Named Among the Best 15 Sexperts of 2015!

January 14, 2015



Yes, we just referred to ourselves in the third person. We can do that now, because apparently we’re officially among the Top 15 Sexperts of the Year! (And we’re only 14 days into it!) We’re rubbing virtual elbows with the likes of Dr. Ruth, along with long-time friends and respected colleagues Jamye Waxman and Ian Kerner. Now we know what it must feel like to be recognized by the Academy, except in our case the Academy is DatingAdvice.com, a site surely looking for a little free publicity. But hey, we’ll shamelessly give it to them, because whether they truly believe we’re in the top 15 or they just give out these awards every other Wednesday, it’s nice to be recognized. They like us, they really like us!

Though we’ll admit: comparing our “social media clout” — i.e. the DatingAdvice.com stat given to their 15 faves — to the others’ on this list, we’re having a bad case of social media envy. It’s a miracle we made the cut considering our weak media showing. Can you, dear reader, help us bury this digital shame by following us on Twitter and Liking us on Facebook (and getting your mom to, too)? It’s a small effort to make in exchange for all this free, kick-ass content we slave to give you every damn day! Then we’ll know you don’t just like us, you love us, you really love us!

Thanks & kisses,

Em & Lo

P.S.¬†Don’t think for a second that the life of a sexpert is charmed: That bathtub was freezing and we didn’t even get to enjoy the champagne!

A Dating Site That Matches Your DNA

January 8, 2015


By Amanda Chatel via YourTango.com | photo via Flickr

Let your DNA do all the work for change while you just sit back and enjoy the benefits.

When it comes to chemistry, it’s all about DNA. As we’ve learned with¬†microbes, what’s going on in the inside of our bodies has a direct effect on what’s going to go on with the rest of our life, too. While looks and wit may initially win you over in the¬†dating¬†department, that’s just superficial stuff. If there’s no chemistry, then you can’t expect it to last‚ÄĒno matter how much he may look like Idris Elba.

Enter:¬†SingldOut‚ÄĒYes, that’s right, no E in there, so as not to be confused with that MTV game show of the 90s. Singldout came to be when matchmaker, Elle France, met up with client, Jana Bayad, to discuss finding her a possible match. What the two women ended up discussing instead were the pitfalls of dating, the disappointment that comes with meeting someone in person who isn’t who they claimed to be online, and how there had to be another way to match people. Because, really, is¬†online dating¬†as good as it gets? I should hope not.

So the women went the route of science, several levels above your average online dating site that chains you to your computer with hour-long questionnaires and clothing catalogue type searches of one photo after another, to match people at their core, literally. Because, as France points out, when you have actual chemistry involved in the dating process, it makes for a “more enjoyable ride.”

SingldOut is the first site of its kind. As their site explains, they’re the “first in the online dating industry to bridge the gap between the digital and biological world of¬†Love.”

Those looking to give SingldOut a try sign up through LinkedIn (so you know you’re dealing with other professionals), then you’ll get your DNA kit in the mail. Once you swab your mouth to retrieve your saliva sample, you send it back to SingldOut. Next up, you’ll complete a personality assessment while scientists match you both genetically and psychologically to those who will actually be compatible in more ways than one.

Can you imagine the possibilities? And all the free time you’ll have by not wasting your precious minutes on dates with people who just aren’t for you? It’s like a world of opportunity has unfolded unto your lap and the fun is just getting started!

Elle France and Jana Bayad have certainly come up with something revolutionary. They took the good ol’ fashioned¬†“sweaty t-shirt” experiment¬†a couple steps further to really insure that you can weed out the wrong ones and get to the right one quicker and with less hassle. They’re also the only women out there in the online dating industry at the helm of a company, and, if we’re being honest, women are instinctively more nurturing by nature, so you know you’ll be in good hands.

“It’s everybody’s right to love,” Bayad told YourTango, and she couldn’t be more right. So if you can skip the disillusion and discouragement that comes with your usual brand of online dating, wouldn’t you? Let your DNA do all the work for change while you just sit back and enjoy the benefits. You deserve a break after all those past dating experiences.

This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: How A DNA Test Can Lead You To Your Perfect Match


Happy New Year!

December 29, 2014


photo by andrewcparnell

We hope you have a great New Year‚Äôs Eve, a very mild New Year‚Äôs Day hangover, and a nice long weekend off! We‚Äôll be back with our regularly scheduled program on Monday. In the meantime, don’t forget to make your New Year’s Resolutions with the help of our kinky guide. A great way to help you fulfill those resolutions is to buy our book — now in Kindle e-book form! — 150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink. Start 2015 off with a bang! More importantly, get prepped for the release of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” — it’s right around the corner!

Thanks for a great year on EMandLO.com!

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We Wish You a Merry Kinkmas!

December 23, 2014


We hope you’ll get to spend at least part of this week eating too much, drinking too much, and maybe even having post-t(of)urkey comfort sex (assuming you’re not sharing a bedroom with your nerdy eight-year-old cousin at an over-stuffed family reunion). We’ll be taking the rest of the week off, back for a bit next week, then off again for some serious New Year’s partaying. If you want to make our year — what’s left of it! — then you can buy our award-winning book 150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink to keep you company while we’re gone: the beautiful fully illustrated print book is less than 10 bucks, and the new Kindle e-version let’s you flip from topic to topic with the touch of a finger from any page — for only $4.99! In the meantime, don’t forget to enter our #LoveResolution Contest for the chance to win a shiny new INA WAVE from LELO. You can count down to the holidays with our 12 Days of Kinkmas. And you can catch up on any holiday posts you might have missed at our Naughty and Nice Issue. Now… get thee to some mistletoe and make out like a teenager!


34 Better (Swedish) Terms for Female Masturbation

December 10, 2014


photo via WeHeartIt

We’ve long known that the Swedes do pretty much everything better when it comes to sex. They actually believe that comprehensive early sex education is important, and they even have impressively low rates of teen pregnancy and STDs to back up this crazy “theory.” And they even invented a gender neutral pronoun, hen.

But this time, they’ve really outdone themselves. The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (known as RFSU over there) is holding a national competition to find a better term for female masturbation.¬†‚ÄúWhen it comes to masturbation, people mostly think about just men doing it and we don’t think of it as common for women,” says RSFU rep Kristina Ljungros.¬†”If we don’t have a word in the language, how can we even talk about it?‚ÄĚ

And she means a real word, one that respects the act as much as men respect their own me-time — not some old-school term that is steeped in frat-boy humor or sexism or shame (or all three). And the search was specifically for a single word — not a phrase or analogy. The organization first held an open competition seeking nominations, and then narrowed the entries down to the following 34 terms. And it turns out that you don’t need to speak a word of Swedish to appreciate how much better they are than anything currently in vogue…

  1. Pulla
  2. Klittra
  3. Vibba
  4. Fittra
  5. Muffa
  6. Runka
  7. Scrolla
  8. Slirva
  9. Filla
  10. DJ:a
  11. Lippa
  12. Smicka
  13. Jingla
  14. Rilla
  15. Gniffa
  16. Fibba
  17. Hattla
  18. Onka
  19. Glimsa
  20. Fappa
  21. Rappla
  22. Mippa
  23. Viggla
  24. Selfa
  25. Jaxa
  26. Klira
  27. Laba
  28. Mimma
  29. Ryttla
  30. Ponka
  31. Stimla
  32. Klimra
  33. Rullva
  34. Glitsa

The RFSU ultimately narrowed the above list down to five finalists, using feedback from Swedish voters, and will choose the winner from these five — to be announced in June 2015.

1. Klittra
2. Pulla
3. Runka
4. Scrolla
5. Selfa

In the meantime, we thought we’d give you, dear readers — both Swedish and non-Swedish readers alike — the opportunity to vote on your own favorite, from the five finalists:


Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

November 26, 2014


This Thanksgiving, we are giving thanks for turkey porn, addictive podcasts, our awesome and innovative BFF sponsors LELO, ¬†good friends who are not embarrassed when they accidentally leave their Diva Cup behind at a dinner party, reproductive rights (while we still have them, at least…), the “All About That Baste” parody video,¬†husbands who shop for feminine hygiene products, and six-year-old daughters who ask questions like, “Why do all the girls get saved by boys in Disney movies?”

We’ll be taking a break from this site for the rest of the week to appreciate all of the above. In the meantime, but sure to check out our Thanksgiving Issue: Love in the Time of Turkey for everything you¬†need to survive this holiday — except the recipes! We’ll be back to our regular schedule on Monday.

Vote Today!

November 4, 2014


No excuses! On this day — today,¬†Election Day, Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 — you’ve got to get out and vote to, among other things, protect women’s rights, including access to birth control, safe abortions, good sex ed, and equal pay for equal work. Even if it doesn’t seem like there’s any difference between Republicans and Democrats these days, there is — Democrats act in favor of the issues we’ve mentioned above, Republicans don’t. So when in doubt, go Dem!

Planned Parenthood has a great Voter Guide: You just enter the zip code you vote in, and PP gives you the state and federal candidates they endorse. Enter your full address and they’ll even give you your polling place!

Feminist Campus and Feminist Majority Foundation have a state-by-state list of all the sketchy ballot measures to watch out for today.

So if you haven’t already, find out where to vote, make a plan to get there or go right now! Help ensure we move forward, not backwards, when it comes to reproductive freedoms and women’s rights.