Em & Lo: Sex. Love. And Everything in Between. » Sexual Health http://www.emandlo.com Your daily dose of advice, news, and stories about sex, love, and other important stuff. No yoga mat required. Fri, 19 Sep 2014 17:26:28 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 EMandLO.com Is Giving Away Free Trojan Condoms! http://www.emandlo.com/2014/04/emandlo-com-is-giving-away-free-trojan-condoms/ http://www.emandlo.com/2014/04/emandlo-com-is-giving-away-free-trojan-condoms/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 05:24:53 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=28172
sponsored post

In honor of STI Awareness Month, we’ve teamed up with Trojan to offer one lucky person:

  • 2 10-count boxes of Trojan’s NEW Double Ecstasy Condoms
  • 1 Midnight Collection package (1 vibrating ring, 4 Pure Ecstasy condoms, 4 lubricant packets)

YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING ARE GREAT RIGHT NOW!

All you have to do is one or more of the following between now and EOD EST on April 21st, 2014. The more you do, the greater your chances of winning!:

* (Let us know you’ve retweeted/shared by mailing us a screenshot of each FB post/Tweet: on a Mac, Command+Shiftshift+4 lets you drag and capture an area of the screen; click here for instructions on taking screenshots on either a PC or a Mac)

 

In the meantime, brush up on your condom knowledge and start wrapping up!:

  • How To Use A CondomThis brief, informative how-to video gives viewers a fun and interesting look at the exact way to get it on before you “get it on.”
  • How Condoms Are MadeThis exclusive factory tour takes viewers on an unprecedented look “beneath the sheets” at a Trojan condom factory, and a condom’s journey from the conveyor belt to your nightstand.
  • History of CondomsThis short documentary includes expert commentary on the history and creation of the condom, starting from its humble beginnings, to the innovations we see on today’s shelves.
  • New Condom iPhone AppTrojan is adding a little protection to everyone’s “hardware” with a new iPhone app, which includes sexual health trivia and a condom selection tool.

Prepare to have your mind blown by these stats (and check out the infographic below):

  • There are 65 million people in the U.S. who are living with an incurable STI
  • Each year, STIs lead to infertility in more than 24,000 women in the US
  • One in two sexually active persons will contact an STD/STI by age 25
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are more than 110 million STIs among men and women in the U.S. This includes both new and existing infections.
  • YET – only 1 in 3 sex acts among singles includes a condom

WHAT?!?! That’s outrageous. Especially since we’ve been promoting condom use and other safer sex acts since forever! Have we even made a dent? Help us make more of one and win some awesome condoms in the process!

We’ve

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April Is STI Awareness Month – Want Some Free Condoms?!? http://www.emandlo.com/2014/04/april-is-sti-awareness-month-want-some-free-condoms/ http://www.emandlo.com/2014/04/april-is-sti-awareness-month-want-some-free-condoms/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 18:21:00 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=28007
sponsored post

Prepare to have your mind blown by these stats (and check out the infographic below):

  • There are 65 million people in the U.S. who are living with an incurable STI
  • Each year, STIs lead to infertility in more than 24,000 women in the US
  • One in two sexually active persons will contact an STD/STI by age 25
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are more than 110 million STIs among men and women in the U.S. This includes both new and existing infections.
  • YET – only 1 in 3 sex acts among singles includes a condom

WHAT?!?! That’s outrageous. Especially since we’ve been promoting condom use and other safer sex acts since forever! Have we even made a dent? Help us make more of one and win some awesome condoms in the process!

We’ve teamed up with Trojan to offer one lucky winner:

  • 2 10-count boxes of Trojan’s NEW Double Ecstasy Condoms
  • 1 Midnight Collection package (1 vibrating ring, 4 Pure Ecstasy condoms, 4 lubricant packets)

All you have to do is one or more of the following between now and EOD EST on April 21st, 2014. The more you do, the greater your chances of winning!:

* (Let us know you’ve retweeted/shared by mailing us a screenshot of each FB post/Tweet: on a Mac, Command+Shiftshift+4 lets you drag and capture an area of the screen; click here for instructions on taking screenshots on either a PC or a Mac)

In the meantime, brush up on your condom knowledge and start wrapping up!:

  • How To Use A CondomThis brief, informative how-to video gives viewers a fun and interesting look at the exact way to get it on before you “get it on.”
  • How Condoms Are MadeThis exclusive factory tour takes viewers on an unprecedented look “beneath the sheets” at a Trojan condom factory, and a condom’s journey from the conveyor belt to your nightstand.
  • History of CondomsThis short documentary includes expert commentary on the history and creation of the condom, starting from its humble beginnings, to the innovations we see on today’s shelves.
  • New Condom iPhone AppTrojan is adding a little protection to everyone’s “hardware” with a new iPhone app, which includes sexual health trivia and a condom selection tool.


 

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EMandLO.com Ranked 6TH in STDcheck.com’s Top 100 Love Blogs! http://www.emandlo.com/2014/02/emandlo-com-ranked-6th-in-stdcheck-coms-top-100-love-blogs/ http://www.emandlo.com/2014/02/emandlo-com-ranked-6th-in-stdcheck-coms-top-100-love-blogs/#comments Thu, 20 Feb 2014 18:54:01 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=27407 sponsored post

In 2012, GetSTDtested.com released their list of the Top 100 Sex&Love&Dating Blogs, and our little ol’ humble home site EMandLO.com not only made the top 10, we were ranked third! This year, STDcheck.com has done their own TOP 100 SEX, LUST & LOVE BLOGS and we made their top 10! (Excuse us while we do The Running Man.) But this time we only got 6th place (we wererobbed!). Like before, we know this is just a clever marketing technique by STDcheck.com to drum up some buzz and get some shout outs, but we don’t care — we’re suckers for flattery! We’re also suckers for safer sex, regular STD testing for the sexually active, and open communication about one’s health history.

So hell yes, we’ll happily give STDcheck.com a shout out. And yes, we’ll put their badge of honor on our site. And damn straight, we’ll shamelessly collect the 10 $50 bribes gift card prizes to STDcheck.com they’re handing out to all the winners (to be dolled out to friends and readers in some TBD fashion).

But first, we had some quick questions, which STDcheck.com quickly answered:

Are you guys affiliated with GetSTDtested.com (they did almost the same thing two years ago)? And if not, how are you different?

We are not affiliated with getSTDtested.com, but we are also a health services provider. We provide STD testing that can be purchased online, but our services are more affordable than our competitors, our testing is more comprehensive (we’re the only service offering Hepatitis A in our complete panel), and we are able to offer an RNA test for the early detection of HIV that can actually identify the virus itself (not just HIV antibodies) as soon as 9 days after exposure. We try to provide the absolute best testing available. We also focus a lot more on awareness. We have a non-profit program that gives free HIV tests to any college student in the country, we partner with activists and organizations that focus on prevention and education.

How does the gift thing work? Do we have to put up the button or will a post about the contest and your site work too? What are the gifts? How can you offer that to so many bloggers?

The gift cards are sent out once the badge is on your site. Part of our goal with the Top 100 list is to increase awareness about the importance of getting tested among a wider audience than what we currently have, so we do ask that the badge be displayed, although blog posts are awesome, too. We allocated funds to do this because we felt that the long term results were worth it — increased awareness of why it’s important to get tested, an open dialogue among an audience who is comfortable with sexuality, a way to let people know how convenient and private the STD testing process can be, and (hopefully) new customers who can benefit the services we offer.

MORE FROM EMandLO.com:

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Teen Sex? Planned Parenthood Has an App for That http://www.emandlo.com/2013/11/teen-sex-planned-parenthood-has-an-app-for-that/ http://www.emandlo.com/2013/11/teen-sex-planned-parenthood-has-an-app-for-that/#comments Tue, 19 Nov 2013 17:00:38 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=26268

Actually, make that nine apps. Planned Parenthood knows better than anyone that most teenagers in this country don’t get the sex ed they need. Some schools continue to preach abstinence-only education, despite the fact that research has shown this leads to less safe sex, when the sex finally occurs (and in most cases it doesn’t eventually occur), and others offer a kind of lackluster, outdated program that’s easy for teens to tune out because it seems so irrelevant to their own lives (flour and egg babies are cute and all, but…).

Figuring that teens like (a) mobile apps and (b) learning about sex on their own, with no one present to giggle at how little (or how much) they know, Planned Parenthood designed nine apps for a range of ages: “Awkward or Not?” encourages teens to talk to their parents about dating and sex, complete with a pre-written prompt at the end of the quiz to send directly to their parents… which promises to be both truly mortifying and ultimately incredibly helpful, possibly even life-saving.

Various other apps let teens discover their “love personality”; give them tools to avoid peer pressure and postpone sex until they’re ready; help them set life goals, both short-term and long-term (everything from sex to career); and, finally, give them the tools to approach sex safely, when they’re ready for it. Because, yes, contrary to what the abstinence-only movement would like you to believe, even Planned Parenthood wants teens to wait to have sex. And it gives them real reasons to wait: Because sex feels better, both physically and emotionally, when you’re ready. Because an unwanted pregnancy could impact your short-term and long-term life goals. Because safer sex requires a cooperative, educated partner that you trust.

Sure, we know that teens are bound to roll their eyes at some of this stuff, but that’s what teens do — especially when the subject is sex. But where a parent may give up — out of embarrassment or frustration or ignorance — the app just keeps on going, and nobody but the teen needs to know that he or she is actually paying attention.

Got a teen in your life? You can check out all nine apps here.

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:

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What Is the C-Spot? http://www.emandlo.com/2013/09/what-is-the-c-spot/ http://www.emandlo.com/2013/09/what-is-the-c-spot/#comments Tue, 24 Sep 2013 16:00:52 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=25230

This is the final part of our series on Top Body “Spots” that any self-respecting, shall we say, “anatomy enthusiast” should be familiar with. Even if this is old news to you, it’s always a good idea to brush up

The C-Spot

a.k.a. The Clitoris, a.k.a. the female penis

Yes, some people actually call the clitoris the C-spot, but if you ask us, that seems to be pushing it (no pun intended). There’s no shame in that word — own it!

Contrary to popular belief, the clitoris is more than just that little nubbin you see or feel protruding near the top of the labia – that’s just the tip of the iceberg. No, the clitoris is actually a complex organ of nerve-rich erectile tissue (just like the penis) extending throughout the genital area. We’re talking four inches long (one inch shy of the average penis, but proportional to her body size) in the shape of a wishbone. During arousal, this tissue becomes engorged and erect, just like the penis – it’s just more difficult to notice in women because most of the erection occurs internally. Another difference in erections: a woman’s has a much better chance of lasting long after orgasm, hence her ability to achieve subsequent orgasms more easily than a man.

Below are the various parts of the clitoris — study up because there will be a quiz!

clitoral head, tip, or glans: The little “handle” of the wishbone which protrudes externally at the junction where the top of the labia connect – what most people usually think of when they think “clitoris”. Some clitoral heads extend out like an erect nipple, while shyer ones hide under the hood. (The more aroused she becomes, the more retracted the clitoral head may become as the ligament supporting it tightens with sexual tension.) One of the best ways to arouse the entire clitoris is to provide stimulation to this head/tip, not only because it’s external, but because it has more nerve endings than any other part of the body, male or female. (See clittage, p TK.)

clitoral hood: The female equivalent of foreskin: the clitoral shaft runs under it and the clitoral head sticks out of it. The hood is created by the junction of the outer edges of the inner lips meeting above the clitoral head.

clitoral shaft: You can often feel the short (i.e. less than an inch long) shaft of the clitoris underneath the hood as it burrows into the genitalia, first in the direction of the pubic mound, before it turns sharply back downward and splits into two long wishbone legs.

clitoral legs: The two slim prongs of the clitoral wishbone which run underneath the labia and flank either side of the urethra, the urethral sponge, and the vagina. Like the clitoral head and shaft, the legs are made of erectile tissue which stiffens during arousal.

clitoral bulbs: In addition to the wishbone, there are two eggplant-shaped bulbs that run along the inside of the clitoral legs, beneath the inner labia and around the sides of the urethra, the urethral sponge, and the vagina. This erectile tissue also becomes engorged during arousal, puffing up even more than the legs, and causing the inner labia to balloon.

Further Reading on the Clitoris from EMandLO.com:

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Sex After Miscarriage & Stillbirth http://www.emandlo.com/2013/09/sex-after-miscarriage-stillbirth/ http://www.emandlo.com/2013/09/sex-after-miscarriage-stillbirth/#comments Thu, 19 Sep 2013 14:00:29 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=25560

Reconceiving Loss is a new online resource for people coping with losing a pregnancy or an infant. There are articles on health and wellbeing, yoga and meditation suggestions, and opportunities for healing through creative expression (e.g. writing, photography, even playlist compilation). One of their contributors, clinical psychologist Dr. Julie Bindeman, recently wrote about sex after loss for the site, which we’re reposting here with permission. Be sure to check out Reconceiving Loss and recommend it to any friends who may be in need. Miscarriage and stillbirth happen more than most realize — addressing this reality openly is good step forward.

 

Re-conceiving Intimacy

by Dr. Julie Bindeman, Psy-D

 

Among the many losses couples face when they lose a pregnancy or an infant is the feeling of being sexually safe. Prior to a loss, sex and expressions of love occurred naturally and spontaneously.  Intimacy is no exception to a “before” and “after” designation as so many other things become post loss.

Primary to sex and intimacy being such a loaded arena is that this particular act is directly causal in bearing children.  Even the nursery rhyme specifies the order: “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage.”  For some, having sex after a loss is petrifying as it might create a pregnancy, which might end up in another loss.  In a lot of instances, a woman’s body might not feel comfortable to share due to surgery, childbirth, or her self-perception of what her body looks like. Many baby-loss moms feel as if their bodies have betrayed them by not being able to hold onto the pregnancy, thus they punish themselves by not seeking out anything that might feel good to that body.

Grief is a winding road, so for some, sex feels too normal, and not “right” for a grieving couple to engage in.  Ironically, for others, sex is the language that the couple is able to speak to one another, especially if talking about the loss is too painful. The gulf that can be expanded for a grieving couple can seem unbridgeable and exponential, so the very concept of sexual relations again can appear to be almost foreign.

How do couples bridge that gap? How do they enjoy one another again?  The answer, to most things in grief, is slowly and with time. How much time depends on the individuals in a couple as there is no set amount.  For many women, sex and arousal is not a switch that can be turned on and off.  Rather, it has to be nurtured. This can be done by starting slow. Talking. Dating. Recommitting to one another as a couple. Build intimacy from there.  Hormones can play a part in emotions in addition to the grief feelings, so if both decide to try for lovemaking, use lubricant, go slow (again), and communicate.

Eventually, sex for enjoyment might shift to sex for baby making. The idea of “trying again” is also scary as it can feel as if you stop caring about the baby that you lost, or that you are “over it”. Know that you are not forgetting your baby if you enjoy yourself. You are not forgetting your baby by trying to expand your family.  Many families wonder when they should start to try again. A basic rule of thumb is that when the fear of loss is outweighed by desire to have a child.

 

Reconceiving Loss is a resource center for coping with pregnancy and infant loss. 

 

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Angelina Jolie’s Boobs http://www.emandlo.com/2013/05/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-angelina-jolies-boobs/ http://www.emandlo.com/2013/05/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-angelina-jolies-boobs/#comments Tue, 14 May 2013 12:00:42 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=24030

photo via Flickr

Angelina Jolie wrote an op ed in the New York Times today about her decision to have a preventive double mastectomy in order to greatly reduce her risk of breast cancer, which she had an almost 90% chance of getting due to a “faulty” gene (BRCA1) which greatly predisposes carriers to the disease.

Her acting career — indeed her celebrity career — has often revolved and relied on her otherworldly beauty (which includes bodily proportions more akin to Barbie than the average woman). Case in point: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was basically a vehicle for her boobs. Her body has been a fantasy and jealousy maker for both men and women (and not just respectively speaking). And as is the case with any celebrity, but especially one who’s part of an elite power couple known for their physical beauty, her body has been something we feel we own in some way with our Us Weekly ogling.

Which is why this op ed comes as such a shocker. How could she willingly remove these money-making, awe-inspiring assets? Especially without consulting us? She’s taken away the essence of her identity!

Which of course she hasn’t. Jolie could have quietly undergone the procedure, gotten the reconstruction and moved on. But by going public, she’s teaching us several valuable lessons:

- Celebrities aren’t superhuman. Even though being filthy rich can often help with medical matters, celebrities are still just people made of cells that can be prone to illness and disease. They get old (try as they might to fight it) and they die, sometimes accidentally, sometimes prematurely, sometimes naturally. We won’t find double mastectomies featured in Us Weekly’s “Celebrities, They’re Just Like Us” column, but maybe we should.

- Boobs don’t make the woman. We are not defined by our body parts, no matter how much pop culture and porn insist we are. Breasts aren’t just for show — they’re for feeding our babies, for our own pleasure, and sometimes they’re for nothing and nobody. (What woman hasn’t wished them away during a jog or on a hot day or when walking past a bunch of construction workers?) A woman’s worth is comprised of so much more: her intellect, her personality, her accomplishments, her career, her family, her values. Just as “being a man” should not be defined by penis size. (For instance, most people are familiar with Jolie’s enhanced curvature in Tomb Raider, but few know that it was her work abroad on that movie that led her to become involved in important humanitarian causes around the world — priorities, people!).

- Speaking of priorities, we as a culture would do well to take breasts off their pedestal, be a little more mature and less ravenous about the accidental nip slip, and not require their gratuitous display in every rated R movie. It might result in women not hating their own boobs so much. It might result in less plastic surgery, especially of the elephantine variety. It might result in more respect for women, which ultimately translates into better pay, more power, and less sexism and violence against women. You know, the little things.

MORE LIKE THIS FROM EMandLO.com:

 

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5 Reasons Why More Sex Helps Your Career http://www.emandlo.com/2012/09/5-reasons-why-more-sex-helps-your-career/ http://www.emandlo.com/2012/09/5-reasons-why-more-sex-helps-your-career/#comments Thu, 20 Sep 2012 12:00:36 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=20584

LELO created this fun infographic (included below), which could be more simply titled “5 Reasons Why More Sex Helps Your LIFE.” A few thoughts on each point:

  1. Honestly, in this recession, we think most people would take the raise over the sex (including us).
  2. Yes! Sex beats shopping every time. (Or at least it should.)
  3. Wait: Married couples having sex a little more than once a week leads to more frustration, fights and tension because that’s not enough? Seems kind of like a glass-is-half-empty analysis of the data, if you ask us.
  4. Sex cleans your pores, prevents wrinkles and age spots, and gives your skin a healthy glow? Sounds like this came from the “semen is good for your skin” study out of Teanboi University. We do, however, agree wholeheartedly that if the average woman is spending $75 on facials per month (WTF?!), she could put that time and money to much better use (e.g. in some quality alone time with our Toy of the Month).
  5. If calling sex “exercise” (admittedly a stretch) makes you do it more, then more power to you!

Infographic: 5 Reasons Why More Sex Helps Your Career

Getting On By Getting It On – LELO’s More Sex for a Better Career Infographic

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German Court Rules Circumcision a “Bodily Harm” http://www.emandlo.com/2012/07/german-court-rules-circumcision-a-bodily-harm/ http://www.emandlo.com/2012/07/german-court-rules-circumcision-a-bodily-harm/#comments Mon, 02 Jul 2012 16:00:41 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=19220 photo via flickr

This week a court in Germany ruled that circumcising boys for religious reasons is “bodily harm.” The ruling came as a result of a court case about medical complications following the circumcision of a four-year-old boy. The doctor was acquitted, but apparently the court felt like stirring up a shit-storm anyway.  The ruling isn’t binding but it certainly sets a precedent.

Also, this happened in Germany. And circumcision of newborn boys has been a tradition in Judaism (amongst other religions and cultures) dating back thousands of years. Er, guys? You do remember the Holocaust, right? Don’t you think you might want to step a little more lightly when it comes to religious freedom, and in particular the religious freedom of Jewish people?

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered

 

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Sad with Shitty Insurance? Try Online Group Therapy http://www.emandlo.com/2012/06/sad-with-shitty-insurance-try-online-group-therapy/ http://www.emandlo.com/2012/06/sad-with-shitty-insurance-try-online-group-therapy/#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2012 20:00:35 +0000 emandlo http://www.emandlo.com/?p=19025

Ever feel like you could benefit from a therapist but you don’t have the cash or you can’t travel to sessions or you just don’t wan to make the commitment? Now the magic Internet is bringing the therapists to you for only $9.99 per hour-long sesh. Talktala:_ is a brand new site (so new they’re still in the beta stage) that democratizes therapy by providing it in small groups for a low price.

You attend a group session — whether by chatting, talking, videoing or a combination of all three, your choice — with a max of 8 people including the therapist. It can be completely anonymous, if you prefer. Their projected audience is mainly women and many of the sessions are centered around relationship issues; for example, “I can’t seem to get the relationship I want” and “I want to break my relationship patterns” and “My spouse is cheating on me” and “Divorce Support.”

We haven’t tried it and can’t vouch for the experience, but we were intrigued enough by the idea — especially since we often get advice questions from people who should be seeking professional help but can’t afford it — that we asked Talktala:_ for more information:

Read our interview with Talktala:_ on SUNfiltered

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