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A New Take on Online Dating: “Jess Meet Ken”

February 14, 2014

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Once upon a time, Ken’s best friend, Adele, created a witty and honest profile on a [now defunct dating] site…Jessica, a pretty, funny, smart girl lookin’ for love, had just created a profile for her co-worker, Jared. Jessica spotted Ken’s profile and reached out to Adele to find out his deal. Adele knew Jess was perfect for Ken the moment she got her very first email. In fact, she immediately forwarded it to Ken with the subject, “Holy $#!& it’s your wife!” True story. (Click here to read the whole, real email chain!) Needless to say, Adele was right. They got married four years later and now have a happy family including three beautiful little girls.

Ken, Jess and Adele (along with someone in charge of tech & development) have just launched the first Beta stage of their new site “JESS, MEET KEN,” where women can post ads on behalf of their great single guy friends and/or post ads for themselves (those that do so now during Beta1 will receive a free subscription once Beta2 launches in the near future, when they’ll start matching people and making introductions). We asked Ken Deckinger — whom we knew way back from his days as founder of HurryDate  – a few questions about his new endeavor:

So JESS, MEET KEN is still in pre-launch mode – when do you think you’ll launch?

We’re doing it this way so that we can really understand what our users want in our product and also so that we start to build a userbase of men and women before turning on all of the features (an online dating site is only as good as its users so we want to come out of the gates with fabulous people).  We’re not exactly sure when that will happen and won’t really be able to set a date until we get a bit more data. We don’t anticipate it being too far out because we’re way ahead of where we thought we’d be by now.  Either way, the site’s open for women to post themselves and guys now – if they do, they get a first look for free once we go to Beta2.

How is JESS, MEET KEN different from the site you and Jess met on? 

That was a site that allowed users to post on behalf of other people. It was not a traditional dating site.  It existed and was eventually sunsetted out of existence – we don’t know why (although we have theories).  Ours is conceptually similar but very different technology wise – FB and other social functionality that we’ve implemented to make our product rock didn’t even exist at the time so the technology and approach is very different.

Today, there are a lot of sites and apps that introduce you to friends of friends via Facebook. Some are good, some are not. But I don’t think that introducing friends of friends to each other via FB solves the real problems found in online dating.  It’s certainly a big step in the right direction but a strategy that has many holes, and raises new questions, in my opinion.

What was the name of the site you met on?

We don’t tell anyone that. ;-)

How do you ensure that the people posting guys are women and not, say, the men themselves in disguise? And why have users sign in solely through Facebook (rather than giving the option of signing up with traditional email and password)…Or did we just answer our first question ourselves?

The first reason is to help ensure that men and women aren’t gaming the system, that men are men and women are women.  The second reason though is to ensure that people are who they say they are – for the safety of our users.  Third would be because it makes our on boarding process simpler for the user.  We are immediately able to get the basic information about a person without having to ask them for it.  It’s a much better user experience because profile creation has fewer steps than a traditional online dating site.

And finally, traditional online dating sites are plagued with scammers, the biggest being the 419 Scam, “Hi, I’m a rich man. My uncle is holding my $15 million. If you can give me $1000 to release the funds, I will give you half the money when I get it.”Facebook plays a big role in helping us address that issue.  Right off the bat we can cut out a significant portion of the scammer noise.  We then have other mechanisms (did I just say “mechanisms”?) to catch people that slip through the cracks.

You give people the option of changing their age – why?

Ha! Great question!  So, that option is there not so people can change their age but rather because in some cases, we’re unable to get a person’s age from their FB profile. Privacy settings allow a FB user to tell us if they want us to have it or not.  So, in the cases where we don’t have a woman’s (or their guy’s) age we give them the option to select it, because we need to know age.  The ability for any user to change their age is actually a bug that we’re fixing right now — it’s just one of those silly beta bugs that we’re correcting.

When someone posts a guy, do they need to get their permission first? 

We ask women to ensure that the guy they are posting knows he is being posted. It’s up to our users to make sure the guy knows.

And how much work will it be for the a woman who posts a guy – do they have to go through all the interested parties themselves first, responding to their questions? Seems like a big commitment for someone who may not even be single herself.

We deliberately made the user experience very simple and straight forward, keeping in mind that in many cases a woman will be making a time investment for someone else, not just herself.  It’s a pretty painless process. FB helps a lot with this.  We’re not a simple as a quick flick like Tinder – we believe that our users want a little more color around who they are meeting.  On the other end of the spectrum though, we’re much more straight forward and have fewer hoops to create a profile than say a Match.com. It’s really pretty quick and easy.

So this is just for heterosexuals right? Or could a woman post an add looking for another woman or could a woman post an ad for her gay female friend?

Right now it’s only heterosexual.  We’re doing only heterosexual because we want to be laser focused on one market segment coming out of the gates.   We have gay/lesbian on our radar and have discussed rolling it out but we’d only do it once we’ve mastered the model with the “Girl post guy” heterosexual market first.

Is it weird to run a site about dating when you are so far removed from that world (now that you’re married with three kids)?

Ha!  Another great question!  Weird – No.  Different than when we started HurryDate and were 100% single – Yes.   It’s not weird because we absolutely love what we’re doing. It comes natural to us to meet great people and introduce them to each other – so we love it.  And I love the technology side of the business – It’s so much fun to build the product that we’re building.  The big difference is that I’m now focused on providing an amazing service whereas before I was also interested in checking out the product. ;-)  I no longer use the product that I sell.

Have you ever worked with your spouse before? Do you worry about not getting enough quality time apart now?

I haven’t but since we’re not really working together in an official capacity (Jess has a pretty cool full time job so she’s mostly on the periphery offering advice and guidance), I’m not worried about getting enough QT apart.  The time that we do spend together on Jess, Meet Ken is usually very engaging and exciting to us because we love to talk about it so much.  It brings us closer together because we’re so passionate about it.

Ladies, post your own ad or an ad on behalf of a great single guy friend before the second Beta stage of JESS, MEET KEN launches in order to get your free subscription.

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Fifty Shades of… Vanilla?

February 13, 2014

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photo via flickr | sponsored post

Back in January we wrote about new research from LELO showing that the kinky sex revolution is waning: Sales of toys such as whips and teasers reached a plateau in the last quarter of 2013, compared with a 50% increase over the same period in 2012. Meanwhile, sales of premium couples massagers and vibrating couples’ rings worn during intercourse increased by 82%, compared with the same period last year.

Anyway, we promised at the time that even more research was forthcoming from LELO, with some initial findings from their 2014 Global Sex Survey. One of our favorite stats so far: One in five women has been involved in a threesome — double that of 2012’s findings — but a whopping 80% of women said that making their fantasies real didn’t live up to their expectations. One to grow on, folks.

In case you were worried that this trend toward “vanilla” sex means we’ll all end up lying back and thinking of England, fear not! This is fifty shades of vanilla (with a cherry on top), which includes everything from threeways to love rings to clitoral vibrators. In other words, this might not be Christian Grey territory, but it’s certainly not your parents’ vanilla sex life, either.

The survey is open for the rest of the 2014 — click here to take part yourself (and you’ll get 20% off your next LELO purchase!). In the meantime, check out the infographic below for even more stats from the LELO sex survey so far…

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And the LELO for Best Oral Sex Haiku Goes To…

February 4, 2014

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Thank you for your many, many entries into our LELO Oral Sex Haiku Contest! You guys sure do like oral (or oral sex simulators… or LELO pleasure objects of any kind). And thank you especially for heeding to our wishes to leave the explicit stuff on the cutting room floor. Instead, you used beautiful images (from petals unfurling to hummingbirds descending), clever metaphors (from the tide’s arrival to a good book), and a sense of humor (blatant pandering, “FaceTime”) — and one of you even submitted a haiku in Japanese, with an English translation. Now that’s the way we like to haiku about oral sex!

We were incredibly torn when it came to picking a winner, but in the end it came down to Monica A., because she submitted so many wonderful haikus — thirty-seven in total, and any one of them could have been a winner. Congratulations to Monica, she wins a LELO Ora! (And not just because she managed to get “Em and Lo dot com” and “Ora” in a single haiku!) Monica, we hope you receive many years of pleasure — and not a single broken heart or complaint about “high-maintenance demands” — from  your oral sex simulator.

Below Monica’s winning entry, you’ll find our Thirty-Three Honorable Mentions. Yes, thirty-frickin’-three: You guys rocked this one!

THE WINNER:

Mouth on my pistil
I feel like a loaded gun
Lick lick, bang bang boom
– Monica A.

TOP 33 HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order):

How about you go
first and then do me…ok
fine, we’ll sixty-nine.
– Colleen

Pages of my book
Read in detail by your tongue
The perfect bookmark
– Erin D.

Em and lo dot com,
Oral pleasure makes me smile
Ora should be mine!
– Monica A.

I am the quiver
Of sixty thousand starlings
Pulsing as they soar.
– Karah

Kimi no uta,
Yume no kaze desu,
Subarashi yo.

Your music,
The wind in my dream,
It’s wonderful.
– Heather

Who cares about size
Does your tongue work properly?
If so, we’ll be fine
– Monica A.

Peering through the moss
You discover, of all things,
A pearl to be kissed
– Inness

iPhones make me smirk;
“FaceTime” just means something else –
Him pleasuring me
– Monica A.

Eager, lustful wolf
Approaches my flowing stream
Longingly takes sips
– Anna Nicole

What do you mean you
don’t do that? Seriously,
you’re kidding right? Next!
– Colleen

A love note for you –
Spreading you across my desk,
My tongue is the pen…
– Monica A.

ocean waves seduce
lapping at forbidden shores
high tide is coming
– Chris

You’re taller than I,
So it’s a unique pleasure,
Gripping your thick hair
– Inness

Waves lap swollen shores
Until the levee explodes,
Chasing back the sea.
– Karah

wave washed stones, polished
and smooth, as a love song from
the lovelorn ocean.
– Colleen

My lover descends:
A velvet-tongued hummingbird,
Earning my nectar.
– Karah

flickering so fast
flickering woodpecker, oh
wood dont stand a chance
– Tawana

glistening pink rose
peel back each lovely petal,
slowly, rise with sun
– Amy

drowning in a sea
first a ripple, a wave, crash
then floating in bliss
– Amy

A ring of Saturn
Continues to spin nonstop
beautiful colors
– Tawana

Explore the ocean
Search for the man in the boat
Ahoy! you found him
– Tawana

Just a few quick flicks
And I’m where I need to be
Just Ora and me
– Monica A.

Fire passes through me
Underneath love’s canopy
Eat, live, be happy.
– Monica A.

Two is a party
Ready to rock my body
Just Ora and me
– Monica A.

Tongue play is heaven
She touched me once and I learned
Girls do it better
– Monica A.

I have a secret
It’s locked up inside of me
Your tongue is the key
– Monica A.

Her petals unfurl
Under gray dawn’s humid kiss.
The dew drops quiver.
– Karah

Your tongue like an oar
Row my boat faster, harder
Make me come ashore
– Monica A.

A haiku or two
To get me off without you –
Don’t mind if I do.
– Karah

I moan, “Oh my God,”
Bless my body with your tongue
I am no angel.
– Monica A.

Taste my galaxy…
Celestial chaos builds,
Eyes closed… stars explode
– Monica A.

With closed eyes I see
The shimmer of distant suns
Lit by my pleasure.
– Karah

I’m a slip’n’slide,
But don’t slip inside. That’s right –
Stay down there and lick!
– Karah

Read more about the Ora by LELO here

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Last Chance to Haiku Your Way to a Lelo ORA!

January 30, 2014

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sponsored post

*** THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED ***

The deadline for our LELO Ora haiku contest is end of day Friday, January 31st — a deadline specially chosen so that we can get the winner’s toy out before V-Day! So here’s your last chance to wax lyrical about oral sex and win yourself or your sweetie a LELO Ora. Because whether you’re all coupled up for this Hallmark holiday season* or you’re planning on spending V-Day solo, LELO’s brand new oral sex simulator is guaranteed to improve your evening (especially because this oral sex simulator is actually elegant and sophisticated… which isn’t at all surprising in a LELO toy, but is hugely surprising in an oral sex simulator) . To refresh your memory:

We have ONE of these gorgeous pleasure objects to give away, and all you have to do is woo us with your best haiku on oral sex! We’ll publish our favorite haikus here on EMandLO.com, and our very favorite of all will win an Ora by LELO. Here are the rules:

1. Post a haiku in the comments section below, or submit via our contact form here – enter as many times as you like! Just remember to follow the 5/7/5 syllable format.

2. Deadline is end of day Friday, January 31st (so we can get the winner’s toy out before V-Day!).

3. Bonus points for any haikus that are 100% metaphorical.

4. Bonus points for any haikus that feature images from nature.

5. Automatic disqualification for anything too graphic.

6. You must be 18 or over to enter.

8. When you fill out the comment section below or send us a haiku via our contact form, make sure you include a viable email address (which we will keep private) so we can contact you in case you win.

9. Winners who do not claim their prize by responding to the private email from Em & Lo within seven days forfeit their prize, at which time another best haiku will be chosen.

Happy Haiku-ing!

* We have a dream that, a few years from now, people will refer to V-Day is the “vibrator holiday” or the “LELO holiday” or the “pleasure object holiday.”

Read more about the Ora by LELO here

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Wax Lyrical About Oral, Win a LELO Ora!

January 24, 2014

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sponsored post

*** THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED ***

Earlier this week, we introduced you to the Ora, LELO’s brand new oral sex simulator. (And it’s actually elegant and sophisticated! Which isn’t at all surprising in a LELO toy — but it’s hugely surprising in an oral sex simulator.) Anyway, we have one of these gorgeous pleasure objects to give away, and all you have to do is woo us with your best haiku on oral sex! We’ll publish our favorite haikus here on EMandLO.com, and our very favorite of all will win an Ora by LELO. Here are the rules:

1. Post a haiku in the comments section below, or submit via our contact form here — enter as many times as you like! Just remember to follow the 5/7/5 syllable format.

2. Deadline is end of day Friday, January 31st (so we can get the winner’s toy out before V-Day!).

3. Bonus points for any haikus that are 100% metaphorical.

4. Bonus points for any haikus that feature images from nature.

5. Automatic disqualification for anything too graphic.

6. You must be 18 or over to enter.

8. When you fill out the comment section below or send us a haiku via our contact form, make sure you include a viable email address (which we will keep private) so we can contact you in case you win.

9. Winners who do not claim their prize by responding to the private email from Em & Lo within seven days forfeit their prize, at which time another best haiku will be chosen.

Happy Haiku-ing!

Read more about the Ora by LELO here

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Will Roe V. Wade See Another Anniversary?

January 23, 2014

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Yesterday was the 41st anniversary of Roe V. Wade. Will there be a 42nd?

Since abortion has been legal in this country for the entire lifespan of progressive women under 41 years old, they — we — have perhaps come to take Roe V. Wade for granted, to assume that this right is inalienable and can’t be taken away. Wrong!

Read and watch the following important stories on the religious right’s well-funded stealth war on abortion and how they’re trying — and succeeding! — in rolling back reproductive rights in scary ways all across this country:

Rolling Stone’s
“The Stealth War on Abortion”:

 

Rachel Maddow’s
“GOP Bets on Abortion Issue Despite Gender Gap”

ALSO: Rachel Maddow’s
“Potential 2014 Backlash Against Abortion Rights Rollbacks”

 

Al Jazeera’s
“The Abortion War”:

 

Don’t just get mad, get motivated, get moving! Here are some places you can start:



Top 5 Reasons Why Sex Makes You Smarter

January 14, 2014

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photo via flickr

Recent research straight from the lab demonstrates that sexual activity in adults may improve mental performance and help produce new neurons in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain where long-term memories are formed. So much for doing crossword puzzles and sudoku! A separate study found that sex can counteract the kind of chronic stress that screws with the ability to remember things. (The first study was conducted on “middle-aged rats” and the second on mice. We wonder how midlife crises manifest themselves in middle-aged rats?!)

Of course, this may not be enough evidence to convert all those crossword and sudoku addicts to midlife sexual activity, so we thought we’d expand the news into a own nifty five-part list. Here are our Top 5 Reasons Why Sex Makes You Smarter:

1. Sex Helps You Grow New Brain Cells

If we were having more sex, we might be better equipped to explain this to you, but as we said above, in middle-aged rates, sex improves mental performance and long-term memory.

2. Sex Reduces Stress… Which Makes Your Memory Work Better

“Stress is one of the most potent inhibitors of hippocampal neurogenesis,” the scientists say, and we nod seriously and pretend to totally understand this. What we do understand is that sex can help fix this!

3. Sex Releases Endorphins…. Which Makes You Smarter

Endorphins are the “feel good” chemical — it acts as a natural painkiller, lessens anxiety (see #2, above), and helps you sleep better. All of which helps your brain, Einstein. More specifically, endorphins have been found to help calm and focus the brain.

4. Energetic Sex Boosts Circulation and Blood Flow… to the Brain

Energetic sex is a form of exercise, which boosts the blood flow to your brain… which makes it work better. Studies have found that both attention and focus improve for several hours after exercise — so hop on top, Pop!

5. Sex Builds Emotional Intelligence

Sex — or, at least, good sex — requires tuning into another person so completely that you know as much as they do (if not more!) about what turns them on. That’s a kind of focus we could all use more of, whether at home or work.

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2014: Year of the Vanilla Revolution?

January 7, 2014

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Image via Flickr | Sponsored Post

The Fifty Shades of Grey movie may not be scheduled for release until February 13, 2015, but according to LELO, the kinky sex revolution is already waning. According to sales figures of LELO toys, tracked across their top 20 leading markets, sales of BDSM accessories such as whips and teasers reached a plateau in the last quarter of 2013, compared with a 50% increase over the same period in 2012. Meanwhile, sales of premium couples massagers and vibrating couples’ rings worn during intercourse have increased by 82%, compared with the same period last year.

This is not your parents’ “vanilla sex,” it should be noted! According to research, 58% of global toy owners expected to use premium personal massagers with their partner up until September 2013, compared with 72% in the last 3 months of 2013. In other words, if their buying habits are to be believed, it would seem couples are less concerned with reenacting their Christian Grey and Ana fantasies, and more concerned with intimacy and equal-opportunity pleasure in bed. We’re clearly talking full-fat, homemade, creamy vanilla, here — not your generic supermarket brand.

LELO defines “couples’ sex toy” as “an intimate massager suited specifically to enhance foreplay or intercourse.” This kind of toy typically does not feature “the phallic designs typical of so many sex toys currently on the market.” In other words, it’s not the pink plastic penis that got tossed around the room at the last Bachelorette party you attended.

Examples of couples’ toys include the Ida, LELO’s newest release, a couples’ massager that is worn by women during lovemaking to increase pleasure for both partners, and the remote-controlled Hula Beads, worn by the woman during foreplay to provide gentle vibrations within the vagina.

More research on trends in sex is due from LELO later this month, when they will release the results of the 2014 LELO Global Sex Survey.

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Happy New Year!

December 30, 2013

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We’re still on holiday, and hope you are too! We’ll be back in full swing on Thursday, January 3rd. 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 award-winning book 150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink. Start 2014 off with a bang!


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We Wish You a Merry Kinkmas!

December 19, 2013

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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 week off — except for your weekly horoscopes, which will continue to appear Monday mornings — and returning with fab new posts for 2013 on Wednesday, January 2nd. 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. In the meantime, don’t forget to make your New Year’s Resolutions with the help of our kinky guide. 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!


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