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Blog Snog: First Pic from “Fifty Shades Darker”

April 24, 2015


photo via Access Hollywood

30th Anniversary of One of the Most Romantic Movies Ever Made

April 22, 2015


This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Merchant-Ivory production, A Room with a View, which won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay in 1985 (along with best art direction and costume design) and introduced many of us to the possibility that mainstream movies could, in fact, have full frontal male nudity. Based on the 1908 novel by E.M Forster, it follows Lucy Honeychurch (a young Helena Bonham Carter) as she travels abroad to Italy and back home to England, as she denies her heart and resists the unorthodox advances of free thinker George Emerson (played by Julian Sands before he ruined everything with Boxing Helena) — perhaps not a ringing endorsement for taking women at their word about their own desires and preferences. But when taken in the context of the time it was written, along with the full confidence that we know Lucy’s true inclinations (even if she’s not yet permitted in uptight British society to admit them to herself), A Room with a View actually promotes the idea of women having the freedom to think their own thoughts and follow their own hearts, tradition and good manners be damned. We dare you to (re)watch it and not swoon a little.

Below are some of the best — and most romantic — moments in the film in chronological order, collated from IMDB and this copy of the screenplay:

Mr. Beebee (local English reverend): May I say something – rather daring?
Lucy: Oh, Mr. Beebee: you sound like Miss Lavish. Don’t say you are writing a novel, too.
Mr. Beebee: If I were, you should be my heroine and I would write: “If Miss Honeychurch ever takes to live as she plays, it will be very exciting – both for us and for her.”

Mr. Emerson (George’s fathter): I don’t require you to fall in love with my boy, but try and understand him. My poor young lady, I think you’re muddled, too — you’ve let other people muddle you.
Lucy: Is that what’s happened to him? Has he let other people -
Mr. Emerson: No, in his case he’s done it himself – with all this brooding on the things of the Universe. I don’t believe in this world sorrow. Do you?
Lucy: No. Oh no. I don’t, Mr. Emerson. Not at all.
Mr. Emerson: Well there you are! Then make my boy realize that by the side of the everlasting Why there is a yes! And a Yes and a Yes!

After witnessing a murder in a piazza together and George catching Lucy in a faint:
Lucy: How quickly these accidents do happen and then one returns to the old life.
George: I don’t. I mean, something’s happened to me… and to you.

Miss Lavish: …I have a theory that there is something in the Italian landscape which inclines even the most stolid nature to romance.

From the screenplay:
COACHMAN stops to pick some violets and presents them to LUCY. She takes them with real pleasure. They walk on. The view is forming — LUCY sees the river, the golden plain, other hills.
Coachman: Eccolo!
Lucy gives a cry — the ground has given way and she falls on to a little terrace, covered with violets from end to end. It is like a sea of violets, foaming down the hillside.
Standing on the brink of this sea, like a swimmer about to five, is Geoge.
Georg contemplates Lucy – who appears to have fallen out of heaven into this sea of violets which beats against her dress in blue waves.
The Coachman watches them from behind the bushes, a violet between his teeth.
George steps forward quickly and kisses Lucy (on the cheek).
[In the movie, there are no violets, the coachman is silent, he simply points to where she’ll find George contemplating the landscape, she approaches, doesn’t fall, George notices her, and briskly walks up to her, grabs her face with one hand, wraps the other arm around her and plants one long kiss squarely on her lips. Still, the screenplay description is quite beautiful to imagine.]


Mr. Beebee: Does it seem reasonable to you that she should play so wonderfully — play Beethoven with such passion — and yet live so quietly? … I suspect that the day will come when music and life will mingle, and then she will be wonderful in both.

Freddy Honeychurch (Lucy’s brother): How d’ye do? Come and have a bathe.
George Emerson: I’d like that.
Reverend Beebe: [laughs] That’s the best conversational opening I’ve ever heard. “How do you do? Come and have a bathe.”


George Emerson (to Lucy): He’s the sort who can’t know anyone intimately, least of all a woman. He doesn’t know what a woman is. He wants you for a possession, something to look at, like a painting or an ivory box. Something to own and to display. He doesn’t want you to be real, and to think and to live. He doesn’t love you. But I love you. I want you to have your own thoughts and ideas and feelings, even when I hold you in my arms.


Mr. Emerson: You love George. You love the boy body and soul, as he loves you.
Lucy Honeychurch: [crying] But of course I do. What did you all think?



The Best of #DescribeYourSexLifeInATvShow

April 21, 2015


We love it when Twitter puts its collective hive mind in the gutter: Today’s top trending hashtag is #DescribeYourSexLifeInATvShow. Here are some of the best:


Sexing Up National Poetry Month

April 21, 2015


April is National Poetry Month, which means that children across the nation will be forced to pen odes to the color grey, or to their pet, or to some other assuredly G-rated subject. Here at EMandLO.com, we prefer to steam up the windows a bit during National Poetry Month. Sure, poetry can rhyme, it can be couplet-ed, it can be beautiful, it can be impressive, it can be obtuse. But it can also get you hot under the collar, it can make you swoon, it can make you want to march for a cause, and it can make you long for something, or someone. Here is some of our favorite poetry we’ve published on our site:

photo via flickr

Blog Snog: Why the Myth of Lesbian Bed Death Persists

April 17, 2015


photo via Flickr

R.I.P. Günter Grass: A (Sexy) Excerpt from “The Tin Drum”

April 14, 2015


photo via Wikimedia Commons

The German novelist and Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass died yesterday at the age of 87. According to the New York Times, “He was a pre-eminent public intellectual who had pushed Germans to confront the ugly aspects of their history. … Many called [him] his country’s moral conscience but [he] stunned Europe when he revealed in 2006 that he had been a member of the Waffen-SS during World War II.” He was also know for his poem “criticizing Israel for its hostile language toward Iran over its nuclear program.” And when awarding Grass the Nobel Prize in 1999, the Swedish Academy praised him for embracing “the enormous task of reviewing contemporary history by recalling the disavowed and the forgotten: the victims, losers and lies that people wanted to forget because they had once believed in them.” Oh yeah, and he happens to write a pretty decent sex scene, too. (If only Em had realized this back in school when she was a German major!) No surprise, that’s how we’d like to remember him here on EMandLO.com today.

Grass’s 1959 novel The Tin Drum features a severed horse’s head swarming with hungry eels; a criminal hiding beneath a peasant woman’s layered skirts; and a child who shatters windows with his high-pitched voice. The Nobel Prize peeps called it “one of the enduring literary works of the 20th century.” We chose the excerpt below because it’s a favorite of our old pal Jack Murnighan, of Jack’s Naughty Bits fame. Of this Grass passage, Jack wrote: “The excerpt is Oskar’s first brush with sexuality (told in both first and third person), but even more it is his flash recognition of what normally takes years to realize: that mingled in every moment of sweetest joy is an ashy tinge of finitude.”

From The Tin Drum by Günter Grass

translated by Ralph Manheim

It was quite beyond me why Maria . . . should whistle while removing her shoes, two high notes, two low notes, and while stripping off her socks. Whistling like the driver of a brewery truck she took off the flowery dress, whistling she hung up her petticoat over her dress, dropped her brassiere, and still without finding a tune, whistled frantically while pulling her panties, which were really gym shorts, down to her knees, letting them slip to the floor, climbing out of the rolled-up pants legs, and kicking the shorts into the corner with one foot.

Maria frightened Oskar with her hairy triangle . . . Rage, shame, indignation, disappointment, and a nascent half-comical, half-painful stiffening of my watering can beneath my bathing suit made me forget drum and drumsticks for . . . the new stick I had developed.

Oskar jumped up and flung himself on Maria. She caught him with her hair. He buried his face in it. It grew between his lips. Maria laughed and tried to pull him away. I drew more and more of her into me, looking for the source of her vanilla smell. Maria was still laughing. She even left me to her vanilla, it seemed to amuse her, for she didn’t stop laughing. Only when my feet slipped and I hurt her — for I didn’t let go the hair or perhaps it was the hair that didn’t let me go — only when the vanilla brought tears to my eyes, only when I began to taste mushrooms or some acrid spice, in any case, something that was not vanilla, only when this earthy smell that Maria concealed behind the vanilla brought me back to the smell of the earth where Jan Brodski lay moldering and contaminated me for all time with the taste of perishability — only then did I let go.

You can buy The Tin Drum on Amazon.com


Blog Snog: 7 Signs It’s Time to See a Couples Counselor

April 10, 2015


photo via Flickr

New Book: “Come As You Are”

April 10, 2015


Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., speaks our kind of language. We read the first few pages of her new book, “Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life,” and we were sold. It tackles the tricky task of explaining women’s complex sexuality (which, hello, is different from men’s) so people can reconceptualize and recontextualize sex to unlock their pleasure potential. Why aren’t you having that much fun in bed? This book will give you the answers. Below is an excerpt from the introduction to give you an idea of Nagoski’s overall approach, which combines sound science with female empowerment to help promote positive sex education. It’s like looking in a mirror…except we don’t have the Ph.D. — so if you won’t listen to us, listen to her!


From the introduction to “Come As You Are

After all the books that have been written about sex, all the blogs and TV shows and radio Q&As, how can it be that we all still have so many questions?

Well. The frustrating reality is we ’ve been lied to—not deliberately, it ’s no one ’s fault, but still. We were told the wrong story.

For a long, long time in Western science and medicine, women’s sexuality was viewed as Men’s Sexuality Lite—basically the same but not quite as good.

For instance, it was just sort of assumed that since men have orgasms during penis-in-vagina sex (intercourse), women should have orgasms with intercourse too, and if they don’t, it ’s because they’re broken.

In reality, about 30 percent of women orgasm reliably with intercourse. The other 70 percent sometimes, rarely, or never orgasm with intercourse, and they’re all healthy and normal. A woman might orgasm

lots of other ways—manual sex, oral sex, vibrators, breast stimulation, toe sucking, pretty much any way you can imagine—and still not orgasm during intercourse. That ’s normal.

It was just assumed, too, that because a man’s genitals typically be- have the way his mind is behaving—if his penis is erect, he ’s feeling turned on—a woman’s genitals should also match her emotional experience.

And again, some women’s do, many don’t. A woman can be perfectly normal and healthy and experience “arousal nonconcordance,”  where the behavior of her genitals (being wet or dry) may not match her mental experience (feeling turned on or not).

And it was also assumed that because men experience spontaneous, out-of-the-blue  desire for sex, women should also want sex spontaneously.

Again it turns out that ’s  true sometimes,  but not necessarily.  A woman can be perfectly normal and healthy and never experience spontaneous sexual desire. Instead, she may experience “responsive” desire, in which her desire emerges only in a highly erotic context.

In reality, women and men are different.

But wait. Women and men both experience orgasm, desire, and arousal, and men, too, can experience responsive desire, arousal nonconcordance, and lack of orgasm with penetration. Women and men both can fall in love, fantasize, masturbate, feel puzzled about sex, and experience ecstatic pleasure. They both can ooze fluids, travel forbidden paths of sexual imagination, encounter the unexpected and startling ways that sex shows up in every domain of life—and confront the unexpected and star- tling ways that sex sometimes declines, politely or otherwise, to show up.

So . . . are women and men really that different?

The problem here is that we ’ve been taught to think about sex in terms of behavior, rather than in terms of the biological, psychological, and social processes underlying the behavior. We think about our physiological behavior—blood   flow and genital secretions and heart rate. We think about our social behavior—what we do in bed, whom we do it with, and how often. A lot of books about sex focus on those things; they tell you how many times per week the average couple has sex or they offer instructions on how to have an orgasm, and they can be helpful.

But if you really want to understand human sexuality, behavior alone won’t get you there. Trying to understand sex by looking at behavior is like trying to understand love by looking at a couple ’s wedding portrait . . . and their divorce papers. Being able to describe what happened— two people got married and then got divorced—doesn’t get us very far. What we want to know is why and how it came to be. Did our couple fall out of love after they got married, and that ’s why they divorced? Or were they never in love but were forced to marry, and finally became free when they divorced? Without better evidence, we ’re mostly guessing.

Until very recently, that ’s how it ’s been for sex—mostly guessing. But we ’re at a pivotal moment in sex science because, after decades of research describing what happens in human sexual response, we ’re finally figuring out the why  and how—the process underlying the behavior.

In the last decade of the twentieth century, researchers Erick Janssen

and John Bancroft at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction  developed a model of human sexual response  that provides an organizing principle for understanding the true story of sex. According to their “dual control model,” the sexual response mechanism in our brains consists of a pair of universal components—a  sexual accelerator and sexual brakes—and  those components respond to broad categories of sexual stimuli—including genital sensations, visual stimulation, and emotional context. And the sensitivity of each component varies from person to person.

The result is that sexual  arousal, desire, and orgasm are nearly universal experiences, but when and how we experience them depends largely on the sensitivities of our “brakes” and “accelerator” and on the kind of stimulation they’re given.

This is the mechanism underlying the behavior—the why and the how. And it ’s the rule that governs the story I’ll be telling in this book:

We ’re all made of the same parts, but in each of us, those parts are organized in a unique way that changes over our life span.

No organization is better or worse than any other, and no phase in our life span is better or worse than any other; they’re just different. An apple tree can be healthy no matter what variety of apple it is—though one variety may need constant direct sunlight and another might enjoy some shade. And an apple tree can be healthy when it ’s a seed, when it ’s a seedling, as it ’s growing,  and as it fades at the end of the season, as well as when, in late summer, it is laden with fruit. But it has different needs at each of those phases in its life.

You, too, are healthy and normal at the start of your sexual development, as you grow, and as you bear the fruits of living with confidence and joy inside your body. You are healthy when you need lots of sun, and you’re healthy when you enjoy some shade. That ’s the true story. We are all the same. We are all different. We are all normal.

From the book “Come As You Are” available on Amazon


Photos of the Week: I Am Lion, Hear Me Roar

April 3, 2015


When you do a search for “sex” on Getty Images, you get a lot of interesting results — so many, in fact, that we were compelled to create a superlative series of Getty “sex” search images. Lions, shall we say, come up a lot. (So often, in fact, that this is our second installment of jungle royalty getting it on.) Many of them remind us of the old joke: “My doctor asked me if I’m sexually active and I said, ‘No. I usually just lie there.’”


Blog Snog: 12 Actors Who’ve Graced Us With Full-Frontal Nudity

April 3, 2015