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Your Weekly Horoscopes: March 30th, 2015

March 30th, 2015

photo by Simply Schmoopie

Each week, we at EMandLO.com predict the course of your love life for the week with our own version of irreverent horoscopes — ignore our advice at your own peril. (Hyperbole intended for dramatic effect.)

aries (Mar. 21st-Apr. 20th)
This week, your sex drive and your sexual opportunties will be completely in sync. Don’t you just love it when that happens?

taurus (Apr. 21st-May 20th)
If you can share your intellectual dreams with someone, they may be The One. If you can only bear to talk to them for more than an hour at a time, they might do nicely for a spring fling.

gemini (May 21st-June 21st)
Put on the full-body armor: Someone is about to take you for a ride and then throw you out to the sidewalk without slowing down.

cancer (June 22nd-July 22nd)
The spotlight will flatter you this week, so do whatever it takes to get into it. (Doing “The Tuck” à la The Silence of the Lambs at parties does not count.)

leo (July 23rd-Aug. 22nd)
I can’t hear you! Na na na na na na! I’m not listening! . . . Get used to it: You’re going to be hearing that a lot this week.

virgo (Aug. 23rd-Sept. 22nd)
One of your friends is teetering on the more-than-friends line. One little breeze and it’ll be all over — you’ll have a low-grade stalker on your hands. Don’t fall for the attention.

libra (Sept. 23rd-Oct. 23rd)
If there was a recommended daily allowance of sexual energy, then you’d be eating fifteen bowls a day of Booty Flakes this week. Don’t O.D.

scorpio (Oct. 24th-Nov. 22nd)
Commitment is catching up to you fast. Put on your running shoes if you don’t want to get bit in the ass (though ass-biting is an oft underrated pleasure).

sagittarius (Nov. 23rd-Dec. 21st)
You may feel like you have more than enough lovin’ to go around, but your partners won’t always agree. Make sure everyone’s in the loop before you start being an oversharer.

capricorn (Dec. 22nd-Jan. 20th)
Finally! This week you’ll actually make a mental connection with someone you’re getting busy with. So you might want to stick around for cuddle time for a change.

aquarius (Jan. 21st-Feb. 18th)
You’ll be in the driver’s seat all week. And you may well receive head from the hottie in the passenger seat. Sometimes, life’s just that simple.

pisces (Feb. 19th-Mar. 20th)
Confucious say, He who talks too much eats shoe before too long.

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Why You Have to Tell Your Partner If You Have HPV

March 27th, 2015


 photo via flickr

Many experts, including doctors, will tell women that they don’t need to inform their male partners if they have HPV. The reason given is that 80% of sexually-active adults have or will acquire HPV — in other words, basically everyone — and also, the virus is much less likely to harm a guy’s health.

Our own medical expert, Dr. Kate, happens to disagree, and you can read her professional explanation here. And our man-parts doctor also has something to say about men and HPV — it’s not guaranteed smooth sailing.

And we happen to disagree too! Here’s our laywomen’s response to why you should fess up if you have HPV:

Everyone has the right to know what they’re getting into when they’re getting into bed with you. It doesn’t matter how pervasive an STD is, how inconsequential it might turn out to be, or how likely it is that you’ll eventually get it (or that you already have it) — everyone deserves to know the truth. So if you know you’ve got something, you’ve got to come clean (as it were). Fucking is not a right, it’s a privilege, and you’ve got to earn that privilege via honest communication about your bod and where it’s been. We’re pretty sure any one of the New York Times ethicists would have our back on this.

If more people fessed up to their sexual health status, then we’d all know a little more about the pervasive STDs that affect us — and probably not be so freaked out. Knowledge is power, and power is sexy. The more we all talk about it, the more it will become clear that it’s not only dirty, promiscuous, evil people who get STDs (such a tired yet stubborn cliche) — many totally cool, super nice and very good-looking people get sexually transmitted infections, too.

Unfortunately, honest communication isn’t always the quickest route to sex or even love. So people get scared into concealing an STD out of fear of loneliness (or horniness). Don’t fall into this trap: Even though it doesn’t feel like it when you first get diagnosed with something, you will have sex again. You will fall in love and you’ll probably get married, have a couple kids, the whole nine.

And please, if any of you happen to be on the receiving end of a conversation like this, be cool about it. Honest Abes should be rewarded for their behavior — not with unprotected genital-to-genital contact, natch, but at least with a polite, considerate, and sympathetic response. Of course, it’s your right to walk away (just don’t run). But know this: Many STDs are either curable, or at least manageable. So if you choose to turn your back, you could be turning it on your one true soulmate and walking into a future of eternal solitude.

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I’m Straight, But in My Dreams I’m a Sexually Frustrated Lesbian

March 26th, 2015

photo via Flickr

Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means. Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it (18 and older only, please). This week, a reader asks Lauri:

I have been having these exotic sex dreams about my best guy friends, and I do not know what they mean. My guy friends are not unattractive. These dreams been going on for a while and sometimes O wonder what do they really mean. I am a straight guy, but having gay dreams.

LauriYou are also very brave and I commend you for owning up to your “guy on guy” dreams. Lots of straight guys have them but are too embarrassed to discuss them.

Of all our dreams, the sex dream seems to be the most polarizing: either we are absolutely delighted when we wake up, still bathing in the glow of the amazing experience with our dream partner — or we wake up horrified, disgusted and very, very concerned.

You must remember that the dreaming mind speaks in a symbolic language and should not be taken literally, which means sex in a dream really isn’t about sex at all! Instead, sex is more about connection, communication and/or a merger of energies.

Since these are your best buddies that you are dreaming about, I would bet the farm your dreams are happening because you are really connecting with them in some way. Maybe you’ve recently been finding out that you have a lot in common with them. Maybe you’ve been having deep political or other meaningful conversations that is bringing you closer to them psychologically. Or maybe you all are “coming together” — ahem — on some idea or project.

Whatever the case, it’s all good! So let not your heart be troubled. Also? Let not your friends know. As benign as these dreams are, they could totally freak your friends out!

Response from Dreamer: Lauri, thank you so much for getting back to me.  I am shocked at how spot on you are about a few certain things. Between bedroom issues and duty and work issues you are exactly right.  Thank you again.  Very kind of you to do this.

Visit Lauri’s site, WhatYourDreamMeans.com, for even more dream interpretations! If you want to be able to figure out your own dreams each morning, check out her latest book, Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, which will give you the tools you need to become a dream expert. You can see all of Lauri’s books here. And hey, if you want your very own pin-up painting of you or your luvva (either vintage or modern), Lauri can do that, too! 

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An Open Marriage Can’t Fix Something That’s Already Broken

March 26th, 2015

A new memoir called The Wild Oats Project: One Woman’s Midlife Question for Passion At Any Cost is giving a lot of committed monogamists the chance to say “I told you so!” about open marriage.

Here’s the book in a nutshell: San Francisco-based magazine editor Robin Rinaldi felt like her marriage was in a rut, and convinced her husband to open their marriage for a year in an effort to save it. He said okay, and she went on to sleep with eight men and two women in a year, while he had a lengthy affair with just one woman. Then, soon after she returned to him, they decided to divorce. It turned out she’d fallen in love with one of those eight men, and she’s now married to him. It’s like a morality tale for the Nerve.com generation!

Except that what Robin and her husband were going through was a little more intense than a rut. Here’s Rinaldi writing in the New York Post:

Stuck in a rut — our once-a-week sex life was loving, but lacked spontaneity and passion — I was craving seduction and sexual abandon. I was having a midlife crisis and chasing this profound, deeply rooted experience of being female.

Before then, starting a family had felt like one route to this elusive state of feminine fulfillment. But Scott had made it absolutely clear he never wanted a baby, and even had a vasectomy.

I broke the news to Scott that I wanted an open marriage in early 2008, a few months after his vasectomy. “I won’t go to my grave with no children and four lovers,” I told him repeatedly. “I refuse.” [She'd had only three partners before marrying at 26.]

In other words, “once-a-week sex [that] was loving, but lacked spontaneity and passion” wasn’t even close to being the whole story. The inspiration for opening their marriage sprung more from a kind of deeply emotional and fraught tit-for-tat: If you won’t give me children, then you have to give me more sexual freedom. We’re not saying that this is a bad reason to want to open your marriage, — her reasoning actually makes complete sense to us — but the fact that Robin Rinaldi’s experiment failed to save her troubled marriage shouldn’t be considered a failure of open marriages in general.

Open marriages may very well be able to get you out of a rut — if that’s all you’re experiencing. Of course, as The Wild Oats Project demonstrates all too clearly, the risk you take when opening your marriage is that one of you will fall in love with one of the pinch hitters. (Rinaldi limited herself to three dates per partner, to keep things light and casual, but who hasn’t fallen in love within three dates before?!)

But what open marriage can’t fix is a marriage that is broken because one partner wanted children and the other didn’t. It’s the reason that most people discuss this subject before getting married, after all. Here’s Rinaldi talking about her experiment on British TV:

I got into my early 40s and my husband got a vasectomy and I knew the discussion of having a baby was over, which kick-started this experience. I looked forward to my death bed and thought, What will I have? I won’t have children and grandchildren. Will I at least have lived fully? If I couldn’t have one I wanted the other. Like a lot of women at that age I was hitting my confidence and sexual peak and suddenly realized very dramatically that I wasn’t going to have children. It was the perfect storm.

So, sure, maybe Rinaldi’s marriage wouldn’t have ended if she hadn’t opened her marriage — but then she would have been trapped in a marriage that had a lot more wrong with it than lackluster sex once a week. And you can’t blame the swingers for that!

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Why I Won’t Ever Regret Getting My Tubes Tied at 28

March 26th, 2015

by Chelsea Hottovy for YourTango  |  photo via flickr

What I want is to be happy.

I’m often told that I’d make a good mother. Depending on my relationship with the person making this wildly incorrect statement, I have one of two reactions: either a small, insincere smile and a “mmmm” response that does not invite further discussion or a hearty laugh followed by a firm “NO.”

Don’t get me wrong: I love kids. They’re hilarious, they’re adorable, and I (mostly) enjoy spending time with them. But without a doubt, I do not want them. And here’s why.

I don’t want to worry about diaper rash and “tummy time” and I don’t want to know what colic is.

I don’t want to put a kid on a Kindergarten waiting list and I don’t want to decide between public and private education. I don’t want to coordinate basketball practice drop-off with ballet lessons pick-up, I don’t want to help with trigonometry and darling, I will not deal with your teenage angst because you best believe I invented that sh*t. I’d rather have bamboo shoots shoved under my fingernails than try to figure out how to pay for my child’s college while I still owe roughly twelve kajillion dollars for my own degree. I’ve more than once done something “just to tell the grandkids about it,” but I never actually planned on there being any grandkids.

It amuses me to tell people I don’t want children because no one ever quite knows how to respond. I’ve gotten “Well, when you meet the right guy, you’ll change your mind,” which is basically suggesting I’m incapable of making decisions regarding my own life without consulting a nameless, faceless FutureMan and is, by the way, astonishingly offensive. Others immediately ask what I do for a living, as though my employer holds the key to my womb and has locked it up until I retire. I don’t really consider myself a career-minded kind of girl; I’ve always worked to live, not lived to work.

Two mothers have actually said to me, “I didn’t know what love was before having a baby. You should reconsider.” I’m happy they’re happy now but “not knowing love before kids” is one of the most acutely sad things I’ve ever heard. Occasionally, I get a hearty “F*ck Yeah!” from like-minded women, some of whom will eventually become mothers and some of whom will not. I appreciate the support.

But at this point, it doesn’t matter how much anyone tries to change my mind because the decision’s been made – permanently.

Last October, I spent a wonderful morning with my doctor, during which he performed a tubal ligation on me.

Yep, I got my tubes tied at 28.

I admit that once my doctor agreed to perform the surgery, I had a moment of panic. It immediately crossed my mind that maybe everyone was right and I was wrong and I would wake up at 30 and want a baby more than anything in the world or that maybe my “hard pass” on kids was a rebellion against expectations simply for the sake of a rebellion.

Maybe I would love the complete upheaval of my priorities and schedule and life in general. Shortly after these hysterical thoughts raced through my mind, though, I regained my sanity. I picked a date for the surgery. Done. Tubes tied.

Here’s the thing: I’ve spent years carefully crafting the most amazing life I can.

I’m surrounded by people I love very much, who love me in return. I’m well-educated and well-traveled. I have endless time to learn about things that interest me and to see wonderful things and to meet the greatest people on earth. I leave piles of library books all over my bedroom and plan fabulous trips all over the world. I stay up until 6am watching Sons of Anarchy because I know no small person is relying on me to feed them in a few short hours. I occasionally eat chips and salsa for breakfast and drink beer for dinner and feel no guilt that I’m teaching anyone horrific eating habits. I spend my days finding my bliss, like all the inspirational posters beg of me.

All this being said, I can’t wait to be an auntie. Whenever my friends start popping out kids, I’ll be there with inappropriately loud and expensive presents. I’ll be the aunt who slips them a vodka martini on their 16th birthday and I’ll rant and rail with the best of them whenever they feel slighted by other kids.

And when I’m off for six months teaching SCUBA in Venezuela, I promise to send lovely postcards. 

I get the reasons people want kids. I do. I’m not such a heartless, selfish monster that I’m incapable of understanding the appeal of a small person who loves you unconditionally and relies on you to guide them safely through a scary world. Parents are brave and strong and incredible people. But so are astronauts and brain surgeons and I don’t want to be those things, either.

What I want is to be happy.

And I’m doing that. I’m there, I’m living that dream. I’m happiest not being a mom, but hey … call me if you need a babysitter. I’m great in a pinch.

More from YourTango:

Is It Wrong NOT To Tell My Boyfriend That I’m A Prostitute?

10 Harsh Truths Your Husband’s Prostitute Wants You To Know

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In Defense of Sex Toys, Feminism and Trolls

March 25th, 2015

For the most part, we tend to ignore the trolls. But every once in a while, outlandish claims need to be addressed to ensure that reality-based facts win over fear, insecurity and hate. In response to a post about a woman whose inability to orgasm without a sex toy was hurting her boyfriend’s feelings, one commenter recently made some particularly ridiculous, utterly unhelpful statements — we break them down, one by one, below (without his, shall we say, colorful language).

Claim: Sex toys make women loose.
Reality: It’s pretty much the opposite. The vagina is not a cheap sock that goes limp with repeated use. It expands and contracts with arousal. The perineal muscles which surround it help maintain its integrity. So the more pleasure the area receives, with say a sex toy, the more workout those muscles get, the stronger they’ll be, and thus the more supportive they are of the area, the tighter they can contract, and the more responsive they become to stimulation. Win-win-win!

Claim: Men don’t want to be with women who use sex toys.
Reality: Smart people know that women who use sex toys are comfortable with their own sexuality, better understand how their bodies are built and work, know what they like, and are more successfully orgasmic — all things that make for better partner-sex. Men who are comfortable with their own sexuality will use sex toys with their partners for variety and fun without feeling threatened. Which is not to say that dangling a toy with “realistic” aesthetic details but “unrealistic” proportions in front of one’s self-conscious male partner is polite — in fact, it’s the epitome of insensitive rudeness. But a woman who uses her favorite toy, discretely if feelings require it, while finding some other accessory she and her partner can both enjoy can only improve their sex life.

Claim: Your vulva/vagina is your male partner’s property. AND: Men only like women for their genitals.
Reality: Do we even have to address this? It’s so tiresome, so transparent. We get it. You long for a time when men ruled the world, and women were their sex slaves. And now it kind of sucks that you have to deal with this upwardly mobile class of people who now have rights and power, often more power than you. And so, in a desperate attempt to slow down the inevitable rise of this group, you try to take them down a peg or two by insulting them. Are you twelve? It’s been quite a while, at least in this country, since women were married off as property. Yes, human rights are actually a good thing. Please acknowledge all the happy, well-adjusted grown-up men around you who interact, work, fall in love and/or have sex with women they view, value and respect as equal human beings. Both men and women are multi-dimensional — it’s not all about intercourse.

Claim: Sex toys make it harder for women to reach orgasm.
Reality: Many women require clitoral stimulation in order to reach orgasm. Unfortunately, it’s another of Mother Nature’s cruel jokes that the jackhammering many men prefer during intercourse avoids contact with the clitoris altogether. Add to that the great variability among women with how their genitals operate and respond to stimuli; the atrocious state of sexual education in this country; the pervasiveness of male-centric, unrealistic porn; the still-rampant sexism in our country which shames women’s sexuality and limits their sexual agency (Exhibit A: your comment) – and it’s a miracle women can orgasm at all! They need all the help they can get; sex toys offer that help. And often times, once a sex toy can finally get them to their happy place, they’re better equipped to experiment with other ways to find satisfaction, both alone and with a partner.

Dear Commenter, we condemn the straight woman (or women) who hurt, belittled or shamed you. They are not representative of our entire gender. Just as they should not speak ill or dismissively of the male member (as we’re assuming they did), neither should you speak so ill of women’s genitals. Both men and women, gay or straight or transgendered, are so much more than the sum of their sexual body parts. The more we all start thinking about sex with our heads instead of our junk, with our hearts instead of our hatred, the better we’ll all get along, both in and out of the bedroom. Here’s hoping you find someone who can love you for you, and vice versa.


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Comments of the Week: Sexuality Is Fluid

March 25th, 2015


photo via flickr

We loved these two responses this week to our post, “Your Call: I Was Bi, But Now I’m Not Attracted to Men. What Happened?”

The first is from reader (and frequent Comment-of-the-Weeker!) Nikki:

You should look up “fluid.” That might be you. Some people’s sexual orientation shifts over time. In fact, some people identify their sexual orientation as fluid. There is research out there suggesting that fluid sexuality may be far more common than we think, especially among women.

I am sorry you are dealing with depression. As far as your attractions go, I think pointing to the depression is a red herring, or an attempt to pathologize your current lack of attraction to men. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not being attracted to men, even if you used to be. You might become attracted to men in the future, or you might not. You might still be bi, or you might be a lesbian. But don’t let anyone tell you who you should or shouldn’t be attracted to.

And the second is from Dave, another regular around these parts:

Disclaimer: I am not Bi.

However, I know I go through sexual phases. Sometimes I’m more interested in butts & sometimes I’m more interested in boobs. Sometimes I’m thinking about oral sex and sometimes I just want vaginal sex. Sometimes I’m interested in the same thing for a month or two and sometimes I want as much variety as possible.

I think it would be perfectly normal for a bisexual to go through phases as well and a couple of weeks is too short of time to lose your status as bisexual.

To be perfectly honest, after my son was born I was so tired that I barely thought about sex in any way for a month or two and that didn’t make me asexual because I’m back to a fairly normal sex life now.

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New Web Series: “Swipe Click Bang”

March 24th, 2015

The new web series from director Michael Sasso called “Swipe Click Bang” is about the mating habits of Millennials in the age of Tinder. Each webisode focuses on one couple who’ve just met through a hookup app and are either about to do it, are doing it, and/or just did it. According to Sasso, the show is an official selection at the HollyWeb and LA Webfest festivals and is nominated for 4 awards, including Outstanding Series.

Swipe Click Bang” is pretty safe for work, at least in terms of nudity (there is none). And, with only six episodes less than 7 minutes each, the show already feels incredibly inclusive: There are gay couples (both male and female), interracial couples, and some average body types. Topics covered include safer sex, body insecurity, casual sex etiquette, virginity, and the potential dangers around meeting strangers. Some moments are funny, some are painful, some are awkward, and some are painfully awkward — just like real sex. We didn’t have high hopes — the production values are pretty modest — but thanks to the clever writing (“talons”!) and decent acting (save maybe for #3), we got sucked in and happily watched all five. Below, you can too. (Short on time? Check out #2 and #6.)

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The Amount of Sexual Attention Testicles Should Be Given

March 24th, 2015

photo via flickr
Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Should I pay more attention to my boyfriend’s balls?

Straight Single Guy (Mark): Well, at least don’t forget about them.  Getting past the generic notion that everyone’s preferences are different, and thus communication with your partner is key — absolutely true of course — I’d imagine that some guys rather enjoy the attention there, others could take it or leave it, and still others might even be quite averse to any focus there.  It could even vary from session to session depending on the mood.  I’d probably most equate it to nipples for gals — certainly an erotic component of the sensual buffet that shouldn’t be completely neglected by any means, but bottom line, they’re not the feature attraction.  Pay attention to them to the extent that they’re a complementary ingredient to an exquisite main course, and accordingly, season to, um, taste.

Straight Married Guy (Figleaf): I’m sure it’s not what you meant, but if you don’t pay attention, you can accidentally hurt him.  Which brings up the most important thing about paying attention to his balls: even if you’re careful, he still might flinch until he’s sure you won’t hurt them.  The great news is the skin covering balls is marvelously sensitive.  And responsive!  Most women have had partners who can’t get enough of using a light touch to crinkle their nipples…and then to soften them again by cupping or mouthing to warm them back up again.  You can do much the same thing to crinkle his balls and then relax them again.  It won’t hurt him, the combination of sensations will feel good to him, and you may find it just as fascinating.  Final hint?  It feels wonderful to have one’s balls lightly tickled or scratched during orgasm.

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