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Sex and Dating Advice from Matthew McConaughey

February 21, 2014

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There’s been a lot of talk lately about how Matthew McConaughey has reinvented himself as a Serious Actor, launching himself out of the chick flick ghetto (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past et al) and into Oscar-nominated territory with Important Movies like Dallas Buyers’ Club. But what we want to know is, how has his characters’ approach to love and sex changed over the years, and over the movies?

Turns out, it’s not just McConaughey’s Rust Cohle in HBO’s True Detective who has a bit of a philosophical bent. It was there from the start — it’s just been honed over the years, you might say. So here is a chronological timeline of McConaughey’s advice on love and sex over the years, according to his characters.

 

1993: Dazed and Confused

“Man, it’s the same bullshit they tried to pull in my day. If it ain’t that piece of paper, there’s some other choice they’re gonna try and make for you. You gotta do what Randall Pink Floyd wants to do man. Let me tell you this, the older you do get the more rules they’re gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin’ man, L-I-V-I-N. ”

“That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.”

 

1997: Contact

“Is the world fundamentally a better place because of science and technology? We shop at home, we surf the Web… at the same time, we feel emptier, lonelier and more cut off from each other than at any other time in human history.”

 

2001: The Wedding Planner

“[My fiance] is great. But… what if what I think is great really is great, but not as great as something greater?”

 

 

 

 

2003: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

“Andie: True or False: All’s fair in love and war.
Ben: True.
Andie: Great answer.
Ben: Good question!”

“Andie: Does Princess Sophia want to come out and play?
Ben: Who’s Princess Sophia?
[Andie points at his crotch]
Andie: Little, big, little, big… I don’t know… we will find out!
Ben: You can’t name my member… Princess Sophia.
Andie: Yes, I can!
Ben: If you are gonna name my… member, you have to name it something hyper masculine. Something like Spike, or Butch, or Krull the Warrior King!”

“Guys, a woman’s purse, alright, it’s her secret source of power. Alright? There are many dark and dangerous things in there, that we, the male species, should know nothing about.”

2006: Failure to Launch

“I’m not afraid of love. I love love. Look, I’ve had a lot of girlfriends, right? And sometimes I’m the rebound guy. Other times, when I get lucky, I’m the “explore new areas of your sexuality” guy. But every single time, we have fun. Thank you. I have fun, they have fun. It’s good for me, it’s good for them. And I would argue that it’s damn good for civilization as a whole.”

[You're going to let her walk away?] “I’m giving her space, Mr. Axelrod. Now, I’m going after her.”

 

2009: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

“Someone once told me that the power in all relationships lies with whoever cares less, and he was right. But power isn’t happiness, and I think that maybe happiness comes from caring more about people rather than less.”

“Get over [him cheating on you]. It was years ago! With some slutty friend of yours! A friend, incidentally, that you’re not even mad at. And you know why? Because you don’t actually care. You love Paul so much you forgave him the second you heard, and that’s what scares you.”

“I’ve been in your shoes. You know what? It scared the hell out of me too. What if she hurt me? What if she left me? What if she died? It would have been the end of me. So I cut it short, before she ever could. And you know what? It was the biggest mistake I ever made. And you’re making the same mistake right now, and I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to sit by and watch. You’ve got to risk love, Sandra! I didn’t and look at me! I’m a lonely ghost of a man. It doesn’t mean that you’re never going to get hurt, but the pain you feel will never compare to the regret that comes from walking away from love. And from someone who’s felt a lot of both, trust me, regret beats pain every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Don’t run away. Don’t do it… Now. Do you still want to get married?”

“When did casual sex become a crime? Really? I mean, now a days being a single means, what? You’ve lost your way? That something is missing? Never mind that every night I swim in a lake of sex, and they fall asleep in each others arms, spooning.” [Spooning is nice.] ”Yeah, not as nice as forking.”

2012: Magic Mike

“You are the husband they never had! You are that dreamboat guy that never came along!”

 

 

 

 

2012: Mud

“People just sometimes forget why they fell in love in the first place.”

“Don’t judge your life on all of our mistakes.You’ll make plenty mistakes of your own, no need takin’ on everybody else’s.”

 

 

 

2013: The Wolf of Wall Street

“You gotta stay relaxed. Do you jerk off?” [Uh, I don't know, like two, three times a week?] “Okay, you’re going to want to raise those numbers. You’re in the fucking minor leagues. Me, I jack it twelve to fifteen times a week. Twice a day. Once in the morning after I work out, once after lunch. If you don’t do it, the stress of this job, it’ll make you explode. Or worse, you’ll implode. You don’t wanna implode. … I want to jerk off, but that’s not why I do it. I do it because I need to.”

 

 

2013: Dallas Buyers Club

“Watch what you eat and who you eat.”

 

 

 

 

 

2014: True Detective

[Can you imagine if people didn't believe? All the things they'd get up to?] “Exact same thing they do now, just out in the open.” [past]

“I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.” [present]

 

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R.I.P., Maggie Estep

February 19, 2014

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We were introduced to Maggie Estep‘s work more than ten years ago, when Nerve.com, where we were both editors at the time, published her fiction. Here are the opening lines to her short story Devil in Her Eye, published on Nerve in 2002:

She wasn’t the kind of girl to make a bishop kick in a stained glass window, but she got to me all the same. Her name was Sylvia. Dirty blonde. Five-foot-four, 122 pounds, thighs just shy of ample. She was quiet. Seldom looked at you straight on, but once she did, you never forgot it. Which is what happened. She looked at me. Right into me.

And I melted. I’m not the kind of guy to go around melting, mind you. I’m pushing thirty-five. I’ve been locked up a few times, and when I wasn’t Inside, I worked on the back side of racetracks. Mucking horse shit and what have you.

I’m not a melter. But Sylvia got me.

Her writing sticks with you, and this stuck with us. (You can read the story in full here.) Neither of us ever met her, but then last week, Em went to a reading at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, NY — it turned out Maggie Estep lived just one town north of us, and had contributed to an anthology about writers leaving New York called Goodbye to All That (hey, we did that, too!). She was charming, hilarious, brilliant, vibrant, and sweet, and Em departed the reading with secret plans to friend-stalk her. And then two days later, she had a heart attack, and two days after that she was dead. At fifty.

Estep was best known as a slam poetry performer — she helped bring the genre into the mainstream, performing on MTV, HBO, and PBS… and how often does a poet whose work is ”characterized by gritty honesty, black humor and a post-punk brand of feminism”  (NY Times) get to do that? One of her most famous poems is the blisteringly sarcastic “Happy”, which she performed on the HBO show “Russell Simmons’s Def Poetry Jam” (watch her perform it in the video above, it’ll make you happy, no sarcasm):

To hell with sticking my head in the oven
I’m happy
I’m ridiculously, vengefully happy
I’m ripped apart by sunshine
I’m ecstatic
I’m leaping
I’m cutting off all my limbs
I’m doing circus tricks with forks

But the poem that we want to share in full today is the one that Beavis and Butthead poked fun at Estep for (not that she cared). The poem is called  ”Hey Baby,” and the topic is pretty appropriate for this site:

Hey Baby

So I’m walking down the street
minding my own business
when this guy starts with me
he’s suckin’ his lips goin’
Hey Baby
Yo Baby
Hey Baby
Yo

and I get a little tense and nervous
but I keep walking
but the guy, he’s dogging my every move
hey Miss, he says,
Don’t miss this!
And he grabs his crotch and sneers ear to ear
so finally, I turn around
Hey Buddy, I say
I’m feelin’ kinda tense, Buddy
I got a fuckin’ song in my heart
so come on,
Let’s go

I got a huge bucket of non-dairy creamer
and some time to kill
so let’s do it
we’ll make some foul-smelling artifical milk
and drink gallons and gallons and gallons of it

Get our bladders exceedingly full then
sit on the toilet together and let
the water run in the shower
and torture ourselves by not letting ourselves urinate
as the water rushes loudly
into the bathrub, okay?

We’ll do it together
writhe in utter agony
Just you and me
and I’ll even spring for some of that blue shit
for the toilet bowl, all right?
I mean, that’s my idea of a good time
so how bout it, you wanna?

The guy backs up a bit
Whatsa matter, Baby?
You got somethin’ against men?, he says
No, I say
I don’t have anything against men
Just stupid men

R.I.P., Maggie Estep., you were one of the good ones.

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Top 5 Love Lessons from The Bachelor (Juan Pablo, Ep 7)

February 18, 2014

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photo courtesy of ABC/Michael Fullana

  1. If you’re looking for an “intellectual connection” with a potential mate (like Sharleen), don’t go on “The Bachelor.”
  2. If your date makes you wish you were a little dumber (like JP makes Sharleen wish she were), then that is a clear sign this relationship should be kept squarely in the booty call zone — a marriage of intellectual equals just ain’t in the cards. After all, the ideal relationships exist when both parties think the other one is by far the smarter of the two. (By the way, Sharleen, nice subtle dig on the brain capacity of all the other ladies vying for JP’s affections — zing!)
  3. If you’re going to check out someone’s rack, be subtle about it (see Juan Pablo at the very end his date with Sharleen — at minute 26 on TiVo — for what NOT to do).
  4. Calling someone your “boyfriend” doesn’t make it so (Nilki).
  5. If you dump someone, don’t let them make you feel better about it. You can outwardly feel bad about it, but don’t play the hurt victim who needs to be taken care of and told how wonderful you are by the person you just dumped (Chelsea). This is a time to be gentle with their feelings, buoy their spirits with compliments, be self-deprecating about what a jerk you are — don’t let the dumpee take on that role (even though it makes them seem — and probably feel — like a much better person than you). We originally wrote this rule with Chelsea (as the dumpee) in mind, but suppose it could apply to Sharleen (as the dumper) too.

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Blog Snog: The Best Romantic Comedies to Stream on Netflix

February 14, 2014

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Top 5 Love Lessons from The Bachelor (Juan Pablo, Ep 6)

February 11, 2014

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screenshot from ABC’s The Bachelor

  1. Everyone has their patented move (e.g. gently curling your date’s hair behind their ear). Just make sure your move doesn’t become an automatic, robotic gesture when a) you’ve run out of things to say, b) you’re not interested in the words coming out of your date’s mouth, and/or c) you’ve taken a paternalistic view of your dates and are treating them like children whose hairdos — indeed whose whole beings! — need to be tamed.
  2. We said it once, we’ll say it again: If you’re going to explicitly lay down ground rules and set up boundaries about the way you date — which we are all for (yay, open and honest communication!) — then you’ve got to follow and respect them consistently. Don’t break the rules when it’s convenient for you. For example: there is NO moral difference (at least from where we’re watching) between getting all hot and heavy in your bathing suits in the ocean and getting all hot and heavy in your bathing suits in a waterfall. Same diff.
  3. If you’re going to dump someone, do it before a major event, like a holiday (Xmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day) or a 22nd birthday. Don’t wait until right after, and certainly don’t do it on the day of!
  4. Using the sad story of your abandonment issues (perhaps created by an alcoholic, absentee father, let’s say) as a thinly veiled plea for another date will always backfire.
  5. Don’t steal other people’s partners (or their column ideas: a week and a half after @BachelorTV liked our Tweet about one of our Top 5 Love Lesson columns, they penned their own 5 — count ‘em, five! — tips gleaned from watching called “Love Advice from the Bachelor,” including our tip about being honest about your desires. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but payment would feel pretty good too).

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Blog Snog: Old People Sex Is the Hottest Sex

February 7, 2014

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10 Problems with the Sex Scenes in “Captain Phillips”

February 6, 2014

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1. We know that when a movie is literally swimming in strong female roles, it’s tempting to include gratuitous lesbian sex scenes, but we simply didn’t feel they added much to the story.

2. Okay, okay, we get it. Sailors stranded at sea masturbate. A lot. But did we really need the close-up on that industrial-sized vat of lube shared by the crew?

3. We read Captain Phillips’ memoir, and we’re fairly sure that he didn’t, in fact, secure his release from the pirates by trading in sexual favors.

4. Yes, everybody loves tight white sailor pants, but we think that tight white sailor hot-pants was a step too far.

5. What happened to the Navy SEAL striptease?! We were told there would be a Navy SEAL striptease.

6. Sorry, but we simply don’t buy that a seasoned, responsible, safety-conscious man like Captain Phillips would choose to indulge in kinky sex without a safeword.

7. For any viewers who may take this movie at its word: No, dunking your dong in seawater immediately after sex does not protect you from STDs.

8. Tom Hanks used a prosthetic penis for this role?! WTF!

9. We love the idea of dirty-talking pirates roaming the seas with their two-way radios, but we’re not convinced that pirates, even the Somali kind, would use the term “throbbing python of love.” Something maritime-themed, perhaps, like “deep-V diver,” would have been less likely to take us out of the moment.

10. Why does Hollywood feel the need to sexualize every single story it takes to the screen? If any movie needed more sex this year, it was The Wolf of Wall Street. Leave poor Captain Phillips alone.

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New Movie Encourages Open Discussion of Pregnancy & Infant Loss

February 5, 2014

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There’s a new movie set to come out in 2014 starring Minnie Driver called “Return to Zero,” about a successful couple who lose their first child in utero. Its award-winning writer/producer/director, Sean Hanish, has teamed up with ReconceivingLoss.com to help break the silence surrounding the topic, calling for submissions of stories, essays, poems and other artistic expressions about this type of loss for a digital archive intended to help foster healing, with the best being featured in the Return to Zero Story Archive here.

According to the press release, it is estimated that 25% of pregnancies result in loss annually; in the United States, the number of stillborn babies, estimated at 36,000, is equivalent to the number of automobile-related fatalities each year. If you’ve been affected by these numbers in some way, you can submit your story for consideration in the Return to Zero Story Archive here. Below are three short excerpts from featured selections in this Story Archive:

Miscarriage lays an odd kind of grief on the table. My body, once buzzing with hormones that announced an undeniable presence, now echoes like an empty mausoleum. One moment I was pregnant with the future, the next moment that future disappeared in the shades of gray image on the doctor’s sonogram screen.
– from Cheryl Dumesnil’s ReconceivingLoss.com submission “Ex Utero, A Post Partum Notebook

That’s what still trips me up: I learned to be thankful because I lost Liam. I don’t have the regret of not having taken advantage of our time when he was in utero. That regret would kill me, but I only have this appreciation because I don’t have Liam. I don’t want this lesson. I want one moment with my son. I want to know the color of Liam’s eyes.
– from Nancy Mendez-Booth’s post “With Deepest Gratitude

I cannot shake the sense that someone existed, something beyond myself, beyond my hopes and fantasies, even if it was just the slightest phantom of a person, a shadow of a ghost. He has a name, he has a grave. We saw his face. These things were real. He has left his trace on me, like a fossil embedded in my flesh. He never existed – but he still exists. I have nothing to remember, and yet I can’t forget.
– from Michael Ravitch’s submission “The Neverknown

Learn more about the project, share a story, or read other’s stories, including New Yorker contributor Daniel Raeburn’s essay on writing as therapy, at ReconceivingLoss.com.

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Top 5 Love Lessons from The Bachelor (Juan Pablo, Ep 5)

February 4, 2014

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screenshot from ABC’s The Bachelor

  1. Your date being interested in hearing about your career is not “AMAZING!”, it does not make him an extraordinary human being with mystical qualities that make him the perfect guy for you. Asking you about your job and him actually listening to the answer should be the bare minimum for any date. It’s not proof that you should immediately marry him, it’s just the foundation for possibly agreeing to a second date.
  2. Headbands (the kind that go across your forehead) = don’t.
  3. If you’re going to explicitly lay down ground rules and set up boundaries about the way you date — which we are all for (yay, open and honest communication!) — then you’ve got to follow and respect them consistently. Don’t break the rules when it’s convenient for you, while expecting your partners to follow them 24/7 to the letter. And while we’re at it, don’t paternalistically decide what’s best for your date, when you hypocritically turn around and do the opposite: your date is an adult, she can make her own decisions (like deciding when and where and with whom she’s ready to make out).
  4. If you do something on a date willingly and wholeheartedly that you later regret, don’t blame your date. You can gently admit that you think it might not have been a good idea to do whatever you did, that you think it was a mistake on your part, but remember that it takes two to tango: you could have used better judgment in the moment. Don’t make the other person feel like a predator, the lone gunman, a skanky ho, when in fact you couldn’t get your swimsuit on and your tongue out quickly enough.
  5. When you’ve hurt someone’s feelings and they are crying, please don’t tell them to stop crying. Especially not over and over and over again. Even though they may be acting like a child, they are not a child, so don’t talk to them like one (again with the paternalism). You must acknowledge their feelings and accept that this is the way they are expressing themselves. It may not be the way you express yourself, it may not make you feel comfortable, but you’ve made your water bed and now you’ve got to lie in it.

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Blog Snog: 10 Valentine’s Day Ideas That Aren’t TOTALLY Cheesy

January 31, 2014

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