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August 31st, 2014

photo via Flickr

Writing about sex and relationships is hard work: all the Eyes Wide Shut balls we’re required to attend, all the whips and chains we need to inspect, all the pillow fights we have to have in our lingerie. It’s exhausting! So we’re taking Monday off (and hope you are too!). We’ll be back on Tuesday refreshed and ready to take on all your pressing romantic inquiries.

Why Women Cry After Sex

August 29th, 2014

eye_cryingphoto via flickr

Dear Em & Lo,

I’ve been in a serious, committed relationship with a gorgeous woman for almost a year. We first met as friends and then somehow found ourselves being more than friends after 9 months or so. During that time, we learned much about what makes the other tick. We have found our personalities, including our sexual appetites and interests, to be very compatible. We communicate well and have been very good about helping each other understand one another. Our lives together have been great including the sex (frequent with lots of O’s).

Here’s how she’s stumped me during sex: a couple of times after she has orgasmed strongly during vaginal intercourse, she’s then bursts into tears. As a guy, I’m a bit freaked (did I do something?) but she tells me that it feels chemically triggered. We take the time to settle back into the groove (she doesn’t want to stop) and then continue almost as if nothing has happened. Do you have any idea what could be going on?

–Tears in Heaven

Dear T.i.H.,

Wow, let us count the ways that your life is totally awesome:

  • You fell in love with a good friend. Meaning, you like each other’s company (almost) as much as you like each other’s genitals.
  • Okay, so you’re great friends, but you don’t just like playing Scrabble together; you also have awesome, orgasmic, communicative sex.
  • You really listen to each other.
  • Basically, you’re so freakin’ happy you make Pollyanna seem like a downer.

Oh, and one more:

  • Your girlfriend feels so close to you, and her orgasms feel so intense with you, that sometimes, after she has one, she cries.

Which is totally normal, by the way. The orgasm is a sudden release of this intense hormone build-up in your body — a few blissful seconds (or more) of rhythmic muscle contractions which let all that pent-up sexual energy flow back into the universe, like a whistling teapot from Xanadu. (Aw yeah.)

So it is chemical, in a way — think of it as a very miniaturized, very fleeting version of PMS or post-partum depression. When this happens, some women moan, some sigh, some laugh, some tear up, and many, many women cry. (Apparently some men do, too, by the way.) It’s just the body’s way of putting a period at the end of the sentence. Or rather, in a woman’s case, a semi-colon — lucky ladies get to keep going after an O! Now that’s the kind of run-on sentence we approve of.

Sure, this isn’t always the reason that all women cry after sex. Sometimes women cry because of some issue they’re dealing with — depression, past abuse, negative body image, unhappiness in a relationship, etc. If you suspect that any of these may be the case, that she’s keeping something from you, then you can very gently bring it up outside the bedroom by telling her you care for her very much and just want to make sure she’s alright and is she sure there’s nothing else going on here…? If there is, then maybe she needs some professional help to work through it.

But from everything you say, it doesn’t sound to us like your girlfriend is distressed or traumatized or sad in any way — it’s just her body reacting to all those crazy love chemicals. And if you are really confident that she is telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth about this “chemical trigger,” then the only advice we have for you is to keep doing that thing you do. And always keep a box of Kleenex on your night-stand!

Big girls do cry,

Em & Lo

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Dream Interpretation: I Had Sex with a Masked Man

August 28th, 2014

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 dreamt that it was Halloween and I was walking next to a house with a really big display and haunted house when someone runs at me wearing a mask and yelling so I run away. They grab me laughing and take off their mask and it turns out that it’s a man that I know from high school that I’ve previously had sex with and he had a small crush on me. He invites me into his house to hangout. We end up in this barn type enclosure full of hay and we start kissing and have very sweet but intense sex on top of the hay. Then someone walks in on us and my dream is over.

Lauri: Unless this guy has been on your mind or you’ve interacted with him right before this dream, he is probably not playing himself. Instead, he represents some part of yourself that you have masked.

Have you been putting on a front, putting on a display or an act that is not how you truly are? Maybe even putting on a false image of yourself on social media? Whatever the case, your dream seems to be telling you that it is time to remove the façade, put on a brave face and be yourself.

I think your dreaming mind chose to use the guy that used to crush on you to show you that you are totally likeable exactly the way you are; no need to behave in a way that is not true to yourself. The barn and the hay are all about simplifying your life and ridding yourself of unnecessary complications. And the way your dream ends is always where the most important part of the message is… you have a fear of getting caught, getting found out. Come clean before this situation “haunts” you!

 

Visit Lauri’s brand new site, WhatYourDreamMeans.com, for even more dream interpretations! If you want to be able to figure out your own dreams every morning, then 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, too. Check out all of Lauri’s books here.

 

 

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The Best Underwater Kissing Photos from Getty Images

August 28th, 2014

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. As the summer swimming season winds down, today’s installment highlights some of the best underwater kisses (who knew this could be a whole category?).

Comment of the Week: How to Really Talk About Sex with Your Spouse

August 27th, 2014

photo via Wikimedia

Reader Nikki dropped some serious wisdom this week in response to our post, “BDSM Saved My Life, But Is Ruining My Near Perfect Marriage” (we’re thinking we may have to start a Kinksters Anonymous support group to help out all these kink-stressed marriages):

Oh, damn. This is a tough situation. It sounds like you two are sexually incompatible and have some communication problems.

Some of what isn’t working sexually for you is a kink issue and part of it isn’t a kink issue. I’m going to address these separately, because I think they are distinct issues. The non-kink issue first. It sounds like you are missing things from the “vanilla” part of the menu, like more foreplay.

First, what I’m reading in your letter is that your wife hears requests for more of what you like as failures on her part. That needs to stop. The two of you need to work out a way to communicate about your sexual needs and desires without it becoming a source of tension or argument.

Second, it sounds like your wife is being rather sexually selfish. She refuses to have more foreplay, or allow you to go down on her, and only wants the kind of sex she likes? Relationships are about compromise. If the BDSM stuff freaks her out, that’s one thing. But would a little more vanilla kissing, touching, or oral sex really be all that difficult for her to indulge you in once in a while? I think not. Again, this is a communication issue.

For these issues, I suggest having an honest conversation about your sexual needs, and perhaps seeking a marriage counselor. Again, I reiterate that it’s important to separate out your kink from your vanilla sex life because there are distinct issues going on here.

The kink issue is a little less complicated and a little more complicated. It sounds like your wife just isn’t into BDSM, while you really miss it. If she’s just not into it, doesn’t like it, and it actually upsets her, you can’t expect her to do it. I say this as a kinkster myself. So you have three options: (1) resign yourself to giving up BDSM for good (which sounds unrealistic, given your fears about cheating); (2) end your marriage and search for a kinky partner; or (3) open the relationship on terms that you are both comfortable with. If your marriage really is as good as you say it is, it doesn’t sound like it’s worth blowing up your home for the sake of monogamy. You don’t even have to break monogamy to open your relationship sufficiently to satisfy your kinky needs. Lots of BDSM doesn’t involve what most people consider to be sex.

These issues might also be best addressed with the help of a therapist, because again, I think you guys have communication issues. If you do want to talk about the kink aspects of this problem with a therapist, I suggest you find a kink-friendly one, because otherwise, the therapist may fixate too much on the “pathology” of your kinks (despite the updates to the DSM). The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom has a Kink Aware Professionals directory you can use to search for therapists and marriage counselors in your area who are BDSM-literate and sex positive.

Best of luck to you. I hope you and your wife can reach a solution that makes you both happy and gets your relationship into a better place.

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Top 10 Sex Tips for College Students (Especially First-Years)

August 27th, 2014

For many young women and men, the end of August marks the start of a new chapter of life — one of higher learning, critical thinking, problem solving, horizon broadening, and lots and lots of casual bonking. It’s a whole new world of unchaperoned independence and freedom combined with 18-year-old hormones — which can result in a lot of really bad life decisions. If you are the kind of wise-beyond-your-years person who only has sober sex with people you’re in a committed relationship with, more power to you! If not, follow these rules to save yourself  from (at least some) sex-related humiliation and regret up in your ivory tower.

  1. Keep your condom shelf fully stocked at all times. Whether you’re a man or a woman, make sure you keep a healthy supply of condoms on hand, for you, for your friends, for friends of friends. Invest in decent ones, with lubrication (but not spermicide), because everyone could use a little rehydration after a night of drinking (and, good or bad, many of you will have been drinking…heavily – see tip #3). Replace the condoms when they get close to their expiration date — because the only thing worse than not having a condom is having one that breaks mid sesh.
  2. Carry a condom on you at all times. Do you see a theme here? (And we don’t want to hear about how we’re living in a “post-AIDs/HPV-vaccine world” in which condoms are no longer a requirement; STDs still exist!) You never know when nookie is around the corner, especially on nights out. Keep a condom (more if you can manage it) cool and dry in a purse or loose pocket, not crammed in an overstuffed wallet or squeezed into the back pocket of your skinny jeans.
  3. Don’t do it drunk. Chances are, you will get drunk. Too drunk. Way too drunk. Probably on more than one occasion. We’re not talking about a good, healthy buzz — because let’s face it, that’s the most likely time sex is going to happen for you this year — no, we’re talking completely sloshed. And when that happens, when your balance starts to fail and your voice gets really loud and the room spins a bit, try with all your might NOT to hook up. Have a friend or three on hand who’ve got your back (and will tell you when to “turn back/back off now”). Because the chances of it not going well are exceedingly high. Think: poor sexual performance, blackouts, accusations of date rape, actual date rape, mid-sesh vomiting, forgotten birth control, accidental pregnancy, viral videos, the list goes on.
  4. Have a no hook-up zone. Ground zero is your dorm room and the zone radiates out from there. The closer anyone lives to ground zero, the less advised you are to hook up with them. So: students in other dorms = fair game. Students in same dorm = proceed with caution. Students on same floor = enter (or be entered) at your own risk. Immediate neighbors = turn back now! Roommate = NO!!! And while we’re on the topic of roommates, have respect for yours — don’t keep locking them out while you’re showing someone your dorm room etchings, especially on nights before exams.
  5. Don’t sleep with anyone to get them to like you. This will not work. Sleep with someone because you are attracted to them and would like to have sex now, but only if you can do so without any expectations of a future relationship. If you think sex tonight means you’re dating tomorrow, think again.
  6. Avoid having sex in a fraternity/sorority house. But especially a fraternity house. Because in close-knit community living like that there are no boundaries: people will walk in on you while you’re doing it. Sometimes they’ll stay. They might try to take pictures.
  7. Don’t hook up with your friends’ exes. We know college is inherently incestuous. But you’ve got four more years with your friends. Don’t make it awkward.
  8. Be open and honest about STDsYou’re jumping into a pool of smart, well educated, fun, attractive, decent people — many of whom have sexually transmitted diseases. Hell, you probably have one right now too! There’s nothing shameful about that — it’s just statistics. But that doesn’t mean you can shirk your civic responsibility to be honest about anything you’ve got that might be transferrable — oral herpes counts too! The more people talk about it, the less stigma there will be, and the smarter everyone can be about protecting themselves and the ones they lust.
  9. Don’t schtupp your professor. It’s so cliche. The affair might feel naughty and transgressive, but ultimately it’s an abuse of power on their part. Plus, it’s not worth it for the inevitable mediocre B you’ll get.
  10. Get familiar with your health center, campus security, and your school’s policy related to sexual assault.  The health center is your friend: a good one will have free condoms, STD information and check-ups, Plan B and pregnancy tests. Familiarize yourself with campus security: put their number in your phone and memorize it, call them if you need to be picked up or any other kind of help, and know where all the emergency phones are on campus. Finally, now that schools are being forced to actually do something about the on-campus sexual assault epidemic (according to a 2007 study funded by the National Institute of Justice, one in five women will become the victim of an attempted or complete sexual assault during college), review your own school’s current policy so you know your rights and whether you need to insist your school do more.

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Why You Should Lie When He Asks About His Penis Size

August 26th, 2014

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: If a guy asks me how I think his penis ranks size-wise, and I honestly think it’s a little on the small side or perhaps too skinny, what do you think the best approach is?

Straight Married Guy (Fred): I’ll start answering this question with another question:  If I honestly think a woman is on the big side or perhaps a little chubby and she asks me if she’s fat, what do you think the best approach is? Of course I tell her that she looks great. But there’s a difference between these two situations: she can eat a healthier diet and exercise but he can’t do anything about his size. She may even be looking for a little motivation with the question, but it’s still polite to fib in this instance. Which means it’s imperative to fib in the other instance. Tell him that you think his size is great. You can add that you’ve seen bigger and, more importantly, you’ve seen smaller, and that he’s just right.  Adding that too big can be uncomfortable is always a good tidbit as well.  Being honest in this case will only serve to make him forever self-conscious or even more self-conscious than he already is (men hear all the time that “It’s not the size of the boat but the motion of the ocean,” but men also see the widening eyes and devilish smiles when women talk about sizable, girthy man-sausage). A finessed answer can give him the confidence that most women find attractive and will more than make up for his tiny dick.

Straight Single Guy (Chris): This is an easy one: Lie. If you tell the truth (“It’s kind of too skinny…”) his penis may never again work for you, ever. Put yourself in his shoes, “Are my boobs big enough for you? You seem to always look at girls with big boobs when they walk by…” Would you really want him to say “Well, honey, your boobs are cute, but they are much smaller than I prefer. If I could use magic to change you, I would give you natural 34DD’s.” So lie. But before you do, you need to know is that if his penis is small-ish, he already knows. He is already sensitive about it, and he is just hoping you haven’t been with any well-endowed men. So if you overcompensate with an outright fabrication such as, “It’s huge. It’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen,” he will know you are lying to spare his feelings and he will feel even worse. So just say, “Honestly, it’s not the biggest one I’ve ever seen, but it works great for me and you are fantastic in bed. Let’s do it right now!” Trust me, this is the only answer that can work.
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Your Call: Should My Fiance Throw Out Memorabilia of His Ex?

August 26th, 2014


We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section. 

Submit Your Own Question to EMandLO.comTry Our New
*PRIVATE*
Advice Service!

 

 

Dear Em & Lo,

I hate that my fiancé keeps so many photos of his ex-girlfriend. They aren’t framed on the wall or anything, but he has hundreds of photos of their time together — beach vacations where she’s wearing a bikini, cute couple shots, etc etc. He also keeps love letters she wrote for him and things she made for him. I hate the idea that I sometimes come across this stuff when I’m hunting for an envelope or a pair of scissors, but he says he shouldn’t have to pretend that part of his life never existed. What do you think?

– Domestic Censor

What should Domestic Censor do? Leave your advice in the comments section below.

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Your Weekly Stars: 08-25-14

August 25th, 2014

grandcentral_ceiling_421photo 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)
We all have our fantasies of becoming the people we want to be — by working out like Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow, wearing only the hippest rags from obscure Japanese designers, reading classics like Anna Karenina, volunteering at the local home for orphaned supermodels — all in the hopes of getting laid by Mr./Ms. Right. But you can’t pretend to be someone you’re not. So just be yourself. Unless, of course, “being yourself” involves breaking any kind of law or mixing plaid with stripes.

taurus (Apr. 21st-May 20th)
This week, you will be prone to saying things that hurt your partner’s feelings. Let them know how much you care by going parking with all the local teenagers — make out until the windows get all steamy and/or the cops show up.

gemini (May 21st-June 21st)
Don’t take on more than you can handle when it comes to love. You may feel like a John Deere, but your relationship hasn’t reached farm-truck status yet. If you try to take on too much cargo you’ll end up with a flat tire, three hundred miles from the nearest tow-truck. And wouldn’t that suck?

cancer (June 22nd-July 22nd)
The stars tell us that you’ll find yourself “in a difficult situation” if you start schtupping a married friend. No kidding. But apparently you need a little reminder this week not to go parking your minivan in someone else’s parking spot.

leo (July 23rd-Aug. 22nd)
Being high maintenance may have looked cute on Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally, but on you, it just clashes with your hair and makes your butt look big.

virgo (Aug. 23rd-Sept. 22nd)
Shut up and do us, cowboy. Uh, we mean, do whoever it is that you’re doing these days. The only talk we want to hear from you is pillow talk.

libra (Sept. 23rd-Oct. 23rd)
Sometimes (okay, almost all times) honesty is the best policy. Take Jennifer Lawrence talking to Vanity Fair about her career: “Not to sound rude, but [acting] is stupid. Everybody’s like, ‘How can you remain with a level head?’ And I’m like, ‘Why would I ever get cocky? I’m not saving anybody’s life. There are doctors who save lives and firemen who run into burning buildings. I’m making movies. It’s stupid.’” Take a tip from JLaw this week and say how you really feel.

scorpio (Oct. 24th-Nov. 22nd)
Easy there, Tiger! Woah, Nelly! Hang on, Sloopy. You know how dogs are all cute and funny until they start humping your leg? Take a cold shower, you dirty leg-humper, you.

sagittarius (Nov. 23rd-Dec. 21st)
These transportation metaphors are getting flat . . . like a tire! Okay, Sag, we’ll spare you any more locomotion similes (see your friends Capricorn, Pisces, and Aquarius) and get straight to the point: Your reputation is hanging in the balance. Don’t do anything — or anyone — stupid this week.

capricorn (Dec. 22nd-Jan. 20th)
Things are not likely to go your way in the romance department this week. If love is a battleship and sex is a fast car and going on a date is a bicycle — well, let’s just say you should be walking everywhere for the next few days.

aquarius (Jan. 21st-Feb. 18th)
Public transportation is often cheap, dirty and boring. Sex with strangers is often the same way. Travel in (and with) style this week — hell, this year.

pisces (Feb. 19th-Mar. 20th)
This week, you’ll have to grease the wheels, rev up the engine, and kick it into high gear to get the affection you crave. You may even want to splurge on super unleaded gas and an E-Z Pass. Who knows, you may end up getting lucky in the back seat.

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