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The Valentine’s Day Issue

January 30th, 2015


The Best Valentine’s Day Present Ever!
The top 10 reasons why our new book 150 Shades of Play
makes the best Valentine’s Day present ever!

 


10 Easy Ways to Be More Romantic
Romance is contagious. So the best way to get your partner to
be more romantic is to be more romantic with them first.

 


How to Write a Love List
It’s kinda like Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet #43:
How do you love your partner? Count the ways!

 


Wise Guys: Does Valentine’s Day Have Any Appeal to Men?
Three of our guys give you the cold, hard truth.

 


What Do Men Really Think About Valentine’s Day?
These three Wise Guys have a kinder, gentler answer.

 


Valentine’s Day Cards That Don’t Suck
Someecards: “Sorry the only ring you’re wearing this
Valentine’s Day is a contraceptive in your vagina”

 


What’s the Best Gift for a Man?
Three of our Wise Guys give you some good ideas.

 


What’s a Good Valentine’s Day Present for a Guy? Part 2
Some more suggestions from other Wise Guys.

 


The Science/Poetry of Kissing
Are we the only species that kisses?

 


How to Treat Her on Valentine’s Day
Some good advice from an Em & Lo reader.

 


Your Call: What Should He Do for Valentine’s Day?
If you’re in a new relationship, our readers might inspire you.

 


Poll: What Do You Think of Valentine’s Day?
Tell us how you really feel.

 


How Can You Get Him to Be More Romantic?
Our Wise Guys enlighten.

 


Top 10 Classic Rom Coms
We defy you not to watch and enjoy these movies with
your honey-bunny when they come on TNT on Sundays.

 


Top 10 Alternative Rom Coms
A.k.a. Chick flicks guys dig.

 


Top 10 Overlooked Rom Coms
Lesser known romantic comedies that never became classics, cult
or otherwise, but that nevertheless deserve our attention and affection.

 


Top 10 Old School Rom Coms
These are the ones you feel like you should get around
to Netflixing at some point, but often don’t.

 


Top 10 Overrated Rom Coms
The movies on this list all break the cardinal rule of
rom coms: the protagonists must actually be likable.

 


The Worst Rom Coms Ever
Must Love Dogs? Must Hate Dumb Movies.

 


The 7 Worst Rom Com Actors of All Time
Put down the rom com script and back away!

 


The Best Naughty Valentine’s Gift Sets
Get just the right kit for your kind of cutie.

 


150 Shades of Play
The only Valentine’s Day present you’ll ever need to give.

What to Do When You Have Zero Sex Drive

January 30th, 2015

woman_jeans_undiesphoto via flickr

Dear Em & Lo,

I’m a 23-year old woman in a relationship with a wonderful guy — we’re celebrating two years together this month. We’re pretty serious about each other, but we have a serious hangup:  I have very little sex drive.  I’m not sure if he’s got an average drive or if he’s got a high drive, but he wants it a lot and I’m not usually wanting any part of it. I don’t think it’s him, because I don’t even want it when I’m not around him. We are close to each other and open, we experiment a lot with toys and have tried just about everything short of heavy bondage and adding in other partners. I just have no drive at all.

Even masturbating, once it’s over, I just think to myself, “Okay, moving on…”  I don’t really enjoy it. I read that having orgasms promotes sexual interest, and so I figured that if I masturbated more, it would jump-start my drive. I mostly masturbate out of a sense of obligation to myself/us, as opposed to my own personal interest.  I could live without it easily.

I climax most of the time we have sex thanks to clitoral stimulation, but I find that sex is fun for five or ten minutes, then I orgasm, and I feel like I could have just as easily used that time for something else (non-sexual).

Lately I’m not even interested in us focusing on me once we’re done with him.  He feels very badly that I don’t pursue my “ends.”

Please give me some advice, because I feel broken inside for this lack of interest.

–Just Not That Into It

Dear J.N.T.I.T.,

We very nearly skipped your question, as we are tempted to do whenever we get a letter that makes our heads hurt. But you sound so nice and you’re clearly trying so hard to do the right thing that we feel obliged to answer — even if we’re not sure that we have a simple answer for you.

One thing we will say is that there are two kinds of desire when it comes to sex: there’s a physical desire to get naked, and then there’s an emotional desire to be close to your partner. You clearly have the emotional desire. And you know what? Maybe that’s all you’ll ever have. Or maybe you’ll feel emotional desire most of the time and once in a blue moon your physical desire will show up.

But that doesn’t mean you’re “broken inside.” To think that way is to take a very male-centric approach to libido. Just because your physical drive doesn’t match your boyfriend’s, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It just means you’re different.

We commend you for being so open to trying new things! You may not think it, but your boyfriend is a lucky guy. That said, we don’t think you should force yourself to do anything that doesn’t feel good. But five or ten minutes of fun in bed is nothing to sneeze at — maybe you two should just compromise at regular quickies. Plenty of women are happy with ten minutes of sex at a time, there’s nothing strange about that. In fact, most women who masturbate regularly can climax in just two or three minutes — so don’t get hung up on this idea that you should enjoy hour-long sex sessions. For some people, that’s heaven — and for others, it’s just plain annoying.

There are a million more things we could say on this topic — because it’s not a simple question, and there’s no simple answer. Rather than try to wrap up this letter with a snappy one-liner, we’d like to reprint an article we wrote a few years back for Red magazine in the U.K. It was inspired by an excellent memoir on this very topic called I’d Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love My Low Libido by Joan Sewell. The article begins below — at the very least, we hope it will convince you that you’re not broken inside. You can also click here to read everything in our archive related to libido.

Big love,

Em & Lo

The Libido Cure
by Em & Lo

Can you imagine any of the men you know “working on” their libido? Do they linger in a bubble bath to awaken their nerve endings, do they hit the treadmill to get their juices flowing, do they insist on a backrub to help them warm up to the idea?

Not so much, right? In fact, a strong breeze gets most guys in the mood. So how come it can be such hard work for the rest of us?

According to recent research, 33 percent of American women and 32 of the ladies over here have “low libidos.” Of course, the astute reader will notice that therefore 68% of British women don’t have sagging sex drives (just hope your best friend isn’t one of them when you finally get up the courage to confide your libido woes!). But still, how is it possible that a third of all women experience this so-called sexual dysfunction? Are we that screwed up? Or could it be that what’s really screwed up is our concept of “normal”?

“The gold standard is men, that’s what we’re being measured against”, says Joan Sewell, author of the new memoir I’d Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love My Low Libido. [read an excerpt here] “It’s politically correct to say that we have equal libidos because we want to feel equal to men socially, but anthropologists and socio-biologists all agree that, across all cultures, women have a far lower libido than men.”

Pity the poor woman with a low libido — these days she doesn’t even have cultural stereotypes on her side. Once upon a time it was pretty much assumed that women weren’t as sexual as men, or weren’t even sexual at all. Then along came feminism, the discovery of the clitoris, and decent sex education, all of which gave women permission to embrace their sexuality. But now, thanks in part to shows like Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives, and Footballers’ Wives, having anything less than a hyperactive sex drive is considered, well, kind of uncool. “It’s become a point of pride,” says Sewell. “Women brag about their libidos and talk about men as if they’re consumables, and if you don’t feel that way, you’re branded as inhibited or sour grapes.”

Don’t get us wrong: We think it’s brilliant that women are now comfortable dishing about their sex lives over tea or cosmopolitans. But sometimes all this openness results in inflated expectations that can make sex feel like a competition. And those women who aren’t “winning” may experience a double-dose of anxiety: They worry “How is my partner is coping without a regular roll in the hay?” and they wonder “What the hell’s wrong with me?”

“My libido is really, really low and I hate it,” says Francesca, a 35-year-old mother and business owner who is still head over heels for her husband — but that love just isn’t translating to lust right now. “I feel guilty, not just on my partner’s behalf, but on my own, too, in a way.”

Unfortunately, thinking that you’re somehow defective in bed can be a self-fulfilling prophecy: Nothing squashes an already anemic libido quite like diagnosing yourself — based on a particularly moving episode of Oprah, perhaps—as sexually dysfunctional. In other words, if you can’t beat that 32 percent, then join them.

Dr. Patti Britton, PhD, author of The Art of Sex Coaching, thinks we shouldn’t give in so easily. “There’s this trend toward the medicalisation of sexuality,” she says. “The model is: There’s something wrong with you, we can diagnose and name it, and then we can give you a pill or a cream to cure it.” Like Sewell, she believes that our approach to what is normal in the sack is problematically male-based. “We are not bags of raging hormones who are horny around the clock,” she says. “That’s just not how female desire works.”

The traditional model for sex has five phases: desire, excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. And, sure, sometimes it happens in this order for women, especially in a new relationship or after a week apart or a few vodka tonics. But not always — which doesn’t mean these women are out of whack, it just means they have a different natural order.

“Many women need to actually be aroused and move up that scale and feel excitement and maybe even plateau in order for desire to kick in,” Britton explains. “They don’t initially have desire, they have an openness and a willingness, and then, lo and behold, that desire shows up as a desire to continue.” In other words, what looks like low libido might just be a delayed start — and a so-called low libido doesn’t necessarily mean that a woman enjoys sex any less.

In fact, almost every woman we interviewed who claimed to “suffer” from a low libido said that when her partner initiates and she just goes along for the ride, she typically ends up having a good time: “I often have sex when I’m not in the mood,” says Amy, a 39-year-old divorced writer. “But it’s with the full knowledge that the mood will kick in — and it usually does.”

“Women need to understand that they’re not usually going to feel like they’re about to explode in the groin like their male counterparts,” says Britton. “And men need to understand that the reason she doesn’t ever initiate is that she’s not itchy, so she’s not going to scratch it.”

“My husband can never understand how I can happily have sex with him five nights a week, but then if he goes away for two weeks on business, I won’t think about sex once!” says Melanie, a 34-year-old TV researcher who’s been married for two years. “He’ll masturbate every night in his hotel room, and he can’t believe that it never occurs to me to do the same.”

Often, a woman won’t even realise that her partner is the one making all the first moves. We asked a couple who have been married for nine years who typically initiates sex. “It’s about 50-50,” reports the Missus. “Um, it’s actually more like me 90 percent of the time,” says her husband. “Oh!” she replies. “Well, I love it that you’re always asking me to have sex.” In her mind, the ratio is 50-50 because she figures she’s enjoying the sex at least as much as her husband. But no one could blame him for thinking that his sex drive is nine times as powerful as his wife’s.

Of course, waiting for your guy to initiate and then lying back, thinking of England, and hoping for the best is not exactly a proactive (or particularly healthy) way to get what you want in bed. That’s where Britton’s holistic M.E.B.E.S. (Mind, Emotions, Body, Energy, Spirit) approach to sex comes in. Understanding that the libido often manifests itself differently in men and women is only the first step in this plan (“Mind”). Step two, “Emotions,” involves dealing with all the guilt, shame, and fear that are part of the package. The panic can set in: If I don’t lust after him, maybe he’ll turn to someone else who does. “Many times, it’s in her imagination,” says Britton. “If she talks to her partner, those fears are often stilled. He might say, I have no intention of leaving you, I just wish we could have sex a little more often!” And then at least your worst-case scenarios are dismissed. Because giving a blowjob just so your husband’s secretary won’t isn’t exactly the number one way to get in the mood.

“We used to have lots of long chats about our sex life,” says Maggie, a 34-year-old floral designer who got married a few years ago. “It involved lots of crying, hugging, sympathizing and apologizing. Now, we giggle about it and make it part of our daily conversation, like, You know, we haven’t had sex in about a month, and I feel very distant from you these last few weeks, wanna go away for the weekend and reconnect?”

Next comes the all-important “Body” step. A research presentation at the most recent gathering of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality showed that body image is now the single most important component of a woman’s sex drive. “If a woman doesn’t have a good image of herself, she probably has low desire,” says Britton. “It’s almost a correlate you can count on.” So accepting the things you can’t change (aging) and courageously changing the things you can (with decent nutrition and regular exercise) is essential.

But it’s not just a matter of how you feel about your boobs or your belly: It’s what you (or your partner) can (or can’t) do with that body, too. If you think you’re not good in bed or at giving head — or if you know that your partner is skilled at neither — then it’s no wonder you’re not giddily rushing into the bedroom. Britton’s recommendation? Educational DVDs about sex: “Watching people being sexual is the best teacher of all.”

But all the blowjob skills in the world won’t matter if you’re just too tired to get down there (the “Energy” factor). “With email and texts and P.D.A.s, we’re always in demand and on tap,” says Britton. “There’s not a lot of energy left to be sexual.” Her suggestion is to allocate time when you’re not on-tap: turn off the phones, turn down the lights, use scented oils. And don’t pressure yourself into feeling that this is supposed to be “sexy time.” It’s simply “me-time” — and you may have to bank quite a bit of it before you’re ready to invite someone else along.

Finally, there’s “Spirit,” which basically just means not losing your sense of self in the process. We live in such a fix-it culture that it’s tempting to approach something like a low libido as if it were simply a matter of changing the batteries or oiling the parts. But this step is about figuring out what works for you. “Most women don’t use sex as a way of recharging,” says Britton. “Whereas for men, sex is often their de-stressing zone. It’s their discharge and their recharge!” For you, maybe it’s a day at the spa, maybe it’s tantric sex, maybe it’s a little masturbation before hubby gets home — and maybe it is a bubble bath, the treadmill, or a backrub.

Heidi Raykeil, author of Confessions of a Naughty Mommy: How I Found My Lost Libido, went searching for her sex drive after the birth of her daughter, and along the way addressed all five of Britton’s steps without even knowing it! First, she got her head straight: She tells us, “I just accepted that I have my own, sometimes fickle, sometimes feral sexuality — not some TV version of sexuality.” Second, she and her husband dealt with their emotions: “In the process of writing about what was not going on with us, we actually started talking about it. Not fighting, or blaming, or guilting — but really communicating.” Third, she got medical help with a thyroid problem that was negatively affecting her libido. Fourth, she found more “me-time” with her husband’s help: “He realized there was a connection between me feeling sexy and getting time away from the baby, so he would take her more or arrange childcare he knew I trusted. Also, as lame and old-school as it sounds, he started cleaning more and helping out around the house.  Not as a trade for sex, but because he realized that walking past a stack of dirty dishes on the way to the bedroom doesn’t do much for my mood.” And finally, they figured out what they each needed to feel sexy individually (sleep, time alone, exercise, de-stressing), and what they needed to do to stay feeling sexy as a couple (turn off the TV, have fun outside the house, communicate better). Raykeil says, “When we connect emotionally and spiritually, the door opens a lot wider for us to connect physically.”

But Raykeil’s story may make a libido-makeover seem easier than it is. Sewell, the author of I’d Rather Eat Chocolate, tried everything: therapy, thongs, naughty thoughts, dirty talk, quickies, slow sensual sex, chocolate icing (for his penis), housework (by him), instructional videos, initiating, masturbation, romance, role-playing, and just going along for the ride to see if she’d get in the mood (she didn’t). None of this changed the fact that she just couldn’t imagine wanting sex more than three or four times a month — and even then, she’d always choose chocolate or a good book over the boot-knocking. Her husband, given his druthers, would like it five to six times a week.

It wasn’t until Sewell’s relationship was headed for divorce court that she finally hit on something that worked. She did it by figuring out what she dreaded most about sex (soldiering through it no matter what) and what she didn’t mind so much (dressing up in lingerie, doing stripteases, and, luckily for her husband, giving blowjobs). So they came up with a kind of sex contract: “I agreed to sexual contact three times a week, so long as I could determine both the pace and the content of these sessions,” says Sewell. This meant her reserving the right to take a break in the middle of sex if she needed to — maybe she’d grab a can of Coke from the fridge, stretch her legs, have a Kit-Kat. It also meant that on some nights, there’d be full-on sex or a blowjob, while on others, she’d just entertain him with a lapdance while he rubbed one out.

Now, she no longer dreads sex — in fact, most of the time she kind of enjoys it. (And trust us, if she can, then almost anyone can.) Oh yeah, and her marriage got a lot better. “Kip became a more loving, attentive, and communicative man,” she writes. “Our marriage became more intimate in other areas. He became more affectionate, happier. To me, it was impossible to fathom that sex could make such a difference, but it did.”

While Sewell’s plan is intricately tailored to her relationship, her approach can be generalized to anyone’s situation: Be honest with yourself and then your partner about what you like most and least about sex, and then work your love life around that. Maybe your only problem is that six nights a week doesn’t give you enough time to miss sex — and chances are, your partner would rather have you gagging for it once a week than going through the motions night after night. Or perhaps the rapid-fire jackhammering so fancied by men (and most pornos) doesn’t appeal to your sensibilities.

“My husband and I have much better sex when a bit of time has passed between our seshes,” says 34-year-old Anne, whose husband usually waits for her to initiate so he knows she’s really in the mood. “Still, he’d like it more. So I’ve told him, If you want it more, then the onus is on you to get me in the mood and do it the way I really like.” For Anne, that means building up slowly with lots of teasing, occasionally tying her up, and limiting actual thrusting time to ten minutes.

Finally, after all the self-exploration and self-improvement and mutual compromise, remember that it’s okay to just say no. After all, consistently having sex when you don’t want to can lead to bad sex, which can lead to not wanting to have sex even more. Explains Heidi Raykeil, “Saying No, I don’t want to do it tonight without hemming and hawing or lying or making excuses is a lot more empowering and feels a whole lot better.” And if you go to sleep feeling good, then who knows? Maybe you’ll wake up in the mood for a little morning nookie.

Five Easy Ways to Feel Really Good
Have you heard of oxytocin? It’s known as the body’s feel-good hormone (not to be confused with the infamous feel-good drug OxyContin), and studies show that when we don’t have enough of it, we’re not going to feel much like reaching out and touching someone. “Oxytocin won’t necessarily increase your sex drive,” says Dr. Laura Burlen, M.D., Ph.D., who has studied the role of hormones in women’s sexual health for decades. “But it does make you more receptive to touch, it helps with increased vaginal lubrication, and it makes the climax better.” We’ll take that for starters! Burlen recently founded the Balencia Wellness Spa, where she often prescribes her low-libido clients oxytocin in the form of a pill or nasal spray. But she also prescribes simple human touch, which can naturally boost oxytocin levels. This is why a low libido is often a vicious circle: The more oxytocin we have, the more we crave touch, so touch begets touch — and no touch begets, well, no touch. But the good news is that this touch can come from anyone. Here are Burlen’s favorite D.I.Y. tips for upping your oxytocin levels this week:

1. Get a facial or a mani-pedi during your lunch break.

2. Make an appointment to have your hair straightened—and then spend the night in.

3. Have lunch with your girlfriends. Who knew that scientists actually studied this stuff? But yep, a good natter with good friends can up the feel-good factor, too.

4. Snuggle up on the couch together for Dancing with the Stars.

5. Get a professional massage, either alone or with your partner.

And if you’re wondering why you often crave the massage or the pedicure instead of sex? “The massage is just bringing you up to the normal level of oxytocin,” says Burlen. “Then you need more touch, like foreplay, to get the surge you need before sex.” So the ideal date night, according to Burlen? “A facial, then a massage from your husband, and then sex!” Just tell your bloke it’s what the doctor ordered.

[article orginally appeared in Red magazine (U.K.)]

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Dream Interpretation: My Boyfriend and I BOTH Dreamt About Demons

January 29th, 2015


“The Nightmare” by John Henry Fuseli

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 tells Lauri:

My boyfriend and me had a dream about demons! His was he was killing demons and mine was helping my cousin while she was possesed by one. Two cats appeared in my dream, and bit my cousins neck.

Lauri:  It’s actually pretty common for two people, who are close, to have the same dream or very similar dreams on the same night. If you scroll through this column, you’ll see I have answered questions about this before. In a nutshell, the reason why this happens is because the two individuals who have the same or similar dream on the same night are likely dealing with the same issue and their subconscious minds respond to the issue in a similar fashion resulting in a similar dream experience. Pretty cool, huh?

So, these demon dreams are most likely connected to the same issue. Demons in dreams tend to symbolize a negative force in your life, a bad situation or behavior or something that you have “demonized.” Your boyfriend was killing the demon in his dream, which suggests that, in real life, he is actively working on putting an end to this negative situation or behavior. Your dream demon possessed your cousin, which tells us you view this negative element in your life as all consuming to the point that you may not be yourself lately… that is, unless your cousin is actively involved in your relationship or actively opinionated about it then you may feel SHE is not being herself lately.

The cats in your dream may point to catty behavior. So again, is your cousin giving you a hard time about your relationship? Whatever the case, these dreams indicate you and your boyfriend are both aware that a negative force looming about and it is time to put up a united front!

 

Visit Lauri’s 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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11 Ways to Spot the Narcissist in Your Bedroom

January 29th, 2015


by Elizabeth Stone for YourTango  |  photo via Kim Kardashian’s Instagram Feed

Among the types of people who can really muck up your life, there is the toxic narcissist.

Narcissism exists on a spectrum. These self-centered folks can simply be more focused on themselves, or it can cross over into an actual personality disorder. Either way, narcissists are legendarily difficult to have relationships with. So, if you are truly coping with one it might be time to make some hard decisions about the relationship.

Here are some signs that you might be dating a narcissist:
1. He lacks personal responsibility.

It is never, ever his fault. The narcissist can’t see the other person’s side of an issue or admit that he had a part in something that went wrong. He denies the reality that he cause a lot of his own problems.

2. When confronted with your feelings, she lacks remorse.

This is particularly hard to deal with in romantic relationships because it’s essential to be able to work through problems with your partner.

Since narcissists don’t believe they’re at fault in disagreements or misunderstandings, coaxing a sincere apology out of them is difficult and hollow.

They’ll argue in such a way that causes you to feel guilty even though they’re actually at fault.

3. They manipulate you to get what they want.

Since the most important person on the narcissist’s list is himself, he sees the people in his lives as means to an end. If he needs admiration, attention, or to borrow $100, he’ll find a way to get it from you.

4. Preoccupied with perfection.

Narcissists likes their outer appearance to match their elevated perception of the world. Surface appearances are extremely important to them.

Since in their eyes their partner reflects upon them, they’ll often try to control the image that their partner and family projects.

This often involves micromanaging your appearance and decisions. They’ll often make their partners feel like they should be striving to reach their imagined idea of perfection.

5. Their life is secretly in shambles.

While they may strive to appear perfect on the outside, things are not what they appear underneath.

Because narcissists can even convince themselves that their lives are going perfectly, they gloss right over “hard work” and “persistence.”

That, combined with the fact that they treat others like crap, leads to messy breakups and rocky relationships.

6. They have charisma.

A narcissist can be magnetic … at first. Frankly, putting on a repellent self-centered attitude would run contrary to a narcissist’s goals — namely, creating admiration and attention in others to get things from them.

As a result, they usually have a carefully crafted public persona.

7. They steer the conversation toward themselves.

It doesn’t matter what’s happening, narcissists can make it about themselves. They seek out praise and validation from others and are drawn to flattery to support their oversized self opinions.

8. They don’t care about problems that don’t directly involve themselves.

Narcissists are the wrong people to confide in since they’re so self-absorbed and rarely consider the needs of others.

They’ll make you feel like you’re boring or inconveniencing them or change the subject to something that they are interested in, usually themselves.

9. They can’t stand criticism.

While they may be adept at cutting you down with criticism, narcissists don’t handle criticism (constructive or otherwise) well. They may hit back or lash out.

10. They have less empathy.

Recent research suggests that while narcissists have lower levels of empathy as a whole, their ability to empathize with others depends on the individual’s level of narcissism. Either way, this characteristic makes them uncaring partners.

11. Your relationship revolves around their needs and wants.

When the going gets tough, narcissists will often check out completely. Because they’re so low on empathy, narcissists have a hard time putting the needs of others above their own.

As a result, narcissists make difficult, uncaring parents and lovers. As the partner of a narcissist, your needs won’t likely ever cross their radar, let alone come first.

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What the Song “Honey, I’m Good” Song Gets Right About Marriage

January 29th, 2015

On first listen, the country-ish pop hit “Honey, I’m Good” by Andy Grammar shouldn’t appeal to us in the slightest: Some douchey pop star with a pompadour calling the waitress “Honey” and commenting on her amazing ass and how much he’d love to go home with her, while, in the same breath, telling her he’s happily married. Yeah, we’ve heard that pickup line before. So you might expect us to take down this song, just as we have “Blurred Lines,” “Rude,” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in the past.

And yet. If you can get past all the “Honey”-ing and the ass/legs comments, it’s actually kind of a genius comment on what it means to work at marriage and monogamy. Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

Nah nah honey, I’m good
I could have another but I probably should not
I’ve got somebody at home

It’s been a long night here, and a long night there
And these long long legs and damn they’re everywhere
(hold up now)
You look good, I will not lie
But if you ask where I’m staying tonight
I gotta be like oh baby, no baby, you got me all wrong baby
My baby’s already got all of my love

So nah nah Honey, I’m good
I could have another but I probably should not
I’ve got somebody at home, and if I stay I might not leave alone
No, honey, I’m good
I could have another but I probably should not
I’ve got to bid you adieu
To another I will stay true
(oo oo I will stay true)
(who who I will stay true)

Now better men, than me have failed
Drinking from that unholy grail
(Now check it out)
I’ve got her, and she got me
And you’ve got that ass, but I kindly gotta be like
Oh baby, no baby, you got me all wrong baby
My baby’s already got all of my love

In other words, monogamy is not something that should be put to the test — it’s something that should be protected and guarded over. No matter how much you love your spouse, if you’re drunk as a skunk and in a strange town and a beautiful stranger wants to take you home, no strings attached, it’s really hard to say no. Of course, it’s still hard to say no when you’re sober, but it’s a hell of a lot easier.

And why would you put yourself to that test? It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person if you’re afraid you’ll be tempted. As Andy Grammer sings, ”Better men, than me have failed / Drinking from that unholy grail.” Good people do bad things — like cheat on their spouse — when they’re under the influence. You may be completely satisfied on the home front, but the temptation for something different is hard to resist. And monogamy is a vulnerable thing, despite that rock solid circle of gold on your left ring finger.

And you know how we know that Andy Grammer gets all this? Because the video for his song (above) features not a single guy in a bar attempting to pick up a woman. Instead, it features real-life couples (or at least, real-seeming married couples) lip-syncing the song and holding up signs stating how long they’ve been together. It features straight couples, lesbian couples, gay male couples (there’s even a gay male cheek kiss!). Some couples are fresh-faced, others have kids, and still others are wrinkly and old. The one thing they have in common? They’re all still into each other. Yes, even the oldies — the old age pensioner ass grab is our favorite part!

So, whatever you think about guys with hipster pompadours and men who refer to waitresses as “Honey,” think about this song next time you’re out past midnight, without your other half, and someone tries to convince you that one more drink couldn’t hurt.

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Wise Guys: Are Blue Balls Real?

January 28th, 2015


photo via Flickr


Advice from three of our guy friends. This week a straight woman asks, “What do blue-balls feel like… is it really that painful, or that big a deal? Is it even a real physical phenomenon?”

Straight Single Guy (Tyler Barnett): Blue balls are the testicular equivalent of a migraine headache. They are very real and can be very painful: pressure builds up due to sexual excitement from direct stimulation and has nowhere to go. Imagine having to sneeze, getting right to the second before and holding it for 15 minutes. Now, to be clear, I’m referring to situations where sexual activity has already begun (i.e. handjobs, oral, whatever) and then stopped in the middle for some reason. Mere kissing doesn’t cause blue balls, and those guys who claim otherwise are probably pigs. (To suggest a romantic situation that starts with kissing HAS to end with an orgasm is not only absurd, it’s borderline abusive.) But in those situations where physical contact with the johnson has been initiated by a second party and then arbitrarily withdrawn, it can be not only physically frustrating, but emotionally frustrating as well. It’s like, Why would she do that? Why??? My work ethic has always been to finish what I start, and I recommend this philosophy be applied to the bedroom as well. Of course, guys who find themselves in this situation have a very easy solution: masturbate! Much like Excedrin cures a headache, masturbation will cure blue balls. It’s really quite simple.

Gay Single Guy (Jay Dyckman): Truthfully, I had to look this up.  Wikipedia claims it is “the condition of temporary fluid congestion in the testicles and prostrate region caused by prolonged sexual arousal in the human male.”  I say no way.  Total urban legend.  “Prolonged sexual arousal?”  What kind of oxymoron is that?  I don’t know any guy who “prolongs” sexual arousal.  Sexual arousal in men is like Superman: it’s up, up and away, end of story.  Maybe it existed in the ’50s, when people would just “neck” for hours and it wouldn’t go anywhere. But those days are looooong gone.  Hi Bristol Palin!  And gay-wise?  Uh, never an issue. However, if I’m wrong and there really is such a thing, I would sincerely hope they look like Smurf balls — because that would be kind of cool.

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Why I Told My Boyfriend He Could Marry My Daughter

January 28th, 2015

Something’s Gotta Give: Jack Nicholson chooses mother over daughter

Reader Momma wrote the following in response to our post, “Your Call: When Your Partner’s Fantasies Are Seriously Disturbing.” Before leaping to judgment, dear readers, consider this: The couple below can talk about anything. They trust each other completely, and this has led to them being completely honest with each other… which has led to a stable, solid, awesome, committed, enjoyably sexual relationship. They get that fantasies are just that: fantasies. Sure, we don’t exactly condone the idea of offering up your blessing regarding your adult daughter’s marital state — but, hey, it works for them! So long as everything is honest and ethical and consensual and legal, who are we — and you, too, reader — to judge?!

My boyfriend of more than a decade admitted to me that he has fantasized about being with my adult daughters. Yes, they are extremely beautiful. Yes, we love each other. No, he would never ACT on those fantasies. Yes, we have openly discussed the fact. No, it is not a “taboo” fetish. Yes, it apparently does have something to do with the fact that my daughters are part of me.

He has never been an iota’s worth of disrespectful towards my children. He has always been immensely supportive and loving and careful to maintain appropriate boundaries.

We communicate about everything sexual, including our fantasies without filters and without judgment.

After he told me this I asked him if he preferred a younger woman. He emphatically denied that. I told him that if that was so, since my adult daughters were single (at the time), and if they so chose, I would bless their union should one of them wish to marry him. That did not (and will not) happen, and he never mentioned it again other than to once say how deeply touched he was that I loved him enough to say that…and that he never wants to lose me.

Men!

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Top 5 Love Lessons from “The Bachelor” (Camping, Not Glamping)

January 27th, 2015


photo via @BachelorABC (the caption read: “One of these virginities will be taken tonight.” Brilliant.)

The fourth episode of ABC’s “The Bachelor” featured more Emmy-worthy editing, from the tiny violins playing over Ashley “Kardashian’s”s tragic princess soliloquy to the close-up shots of her weave to the sad, foreboding music behind Jillian’s tasteless “Who Would You Rather” inquiry. That said, we would revoke all Emmys for the misleading season teaser they made a few weeks ago which suggested premature pre-fantasy-suite humping happened in a tent. Lying liars!

While the catty interpersonal drama we’ve come to love and expect is a little lacking this season, and Prince Farming’s personality is nowhere to be found, we can still glean some important life lessons about love and dating from “The Bachelor”:

  1. It’s 2014. Can we please dispense with the retro myth that virginity = value? Just because you’ve never experienced the presence of a penis in your vagina does not make you “marriage material.” (And while we’re at it, let’s dispense with that old-fashioned “marriage material” term, too!) Respect given should not ebb and flow in relation to the number of partners a person has had. (Chris: “It makes me respect her more.” Say wha?!) Are you in touch with your sexuality and enjoy sex with open and honest communication? Great! Are you abstaining until you’ve found the right person? Great! But please don’t whip out your V-card and flash it around like it’s a Black Amex.
  2. Lipstick, concealer, bronzer, and contour makeup have no place on a camping date. It’s okay to get glammed up for special occasions (though we’d reconsider the fake, tarantula-leg eyelashes), but a quick run to the corner store to pick up croissants and the Sunday New York Times for you and your lovie should not require three and a half hours of prep in front of the vanity.
  3. Little girls under the age of six can get away with calling themselves “Disney Princesses” — just barely. But if you are an adult woman, you should not consider yourself a princess, expect to be treated like one, or refer to yourself as such in public with zero shame. This is the real world, not Far Far Away; you are a grownup, not a spoiled brat. Self-infantilization is not attractive.
  4. Before this becomes the official Poop on Ashley I. Parade, let’s switch gears: It’s your life and your body, do with it what you want — but when revealing past personal choices, consider the nude modeling slightly more potentially scandalous than the called-off engagement.
  5. It is a HUGE red flag when you gently ask the person you’re dating a legitimate, challenging question and they become so enraged that they cannot form a complete sentence — indeed, they cannot even finish a single sentence. (Verbatim: “I guess, ah, I see two sides, like, a, Kaitlyn has a lot of different facets that are, not, and I don’t, those aren’t, I see the Kaitlyn that’s just, you know what I mean? I mean obviously, I mean if you like her or dislike her, I don’t see, I don’t look at Kaitlyn like being some really, I mean I’m not rewarding inappropriate behavior, you know, by giving roses to people that are, and I, if you view it as that, um…”) When the expression on your date’s confused face reads “Can’t talk, must punch,” it’s probably a good idea to back up slowly and then briskly walk away.

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12 Snowy Movies to Watch During Snowmageddon

January 27th, 2015

A snow day for the two of us means repeated sing-a-long screenings of Frozen with our respective kids. But for all of you who are lucky enough to be enjoying a Winter-Storm-Juno-related snow day without kids, here are twelve awesome movies – all of them better than 2007′s Juno, by the way – to cuddle up with. Pour a little whiskey in your hot cocoa, grab a blanket and a loved one, and think about how superior the East coast is to the West.

 

1. Fargo (1996)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forget about yellow snow — in this movie, the snow is blood red. The Coen Brothers’ small town murder movie is gory, funny, gorgeously exacted, and, you betcha, snowy. And the famous wood chipper scene is a great excuse to jump into someone’s lap and hold on tight.

2. The Shining (1980)

Think you’ve got cabin fever? Then you don’t know Johnny. And you’ve never been a snowed-in janitor at an isolated hotel. After watching Stanley Kubrick’s snow-white horror movie, drenched in both blood and snow, your own home will feel extra warm and cozy.

3. Alive (1993)

It’s amazing the random supermarket items people feel the need to stock up on before a snowstorm. Yesterday, Em saw a woman with only a loaf of bread and a pineapple in her cart, yet she felt she somehow was supposed to be at the supermarket before the blizzard. Anyway. We digress. This true-story survival pic, about the Uruguayan rugby team’s plane crash in the Andes, will make you think twice before complaining about how little you have left in the fridge because you forgot to stock up before the storm.

4. Dumb and Dumber (1994)

Nineties Aspen ski fashion, poop jokes, and three memorable life lessons: Never steal your best friend’s girl; never travel on a scooter in winter; and never, ever lick anything frozen. This movie is an awesome palate cleanser after some of the bleaker titles on this list.

 

5. Planes Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Those aren’t pillows! In another hilarious palate cleanser, John Candy and Steve Martin bond in cheap motels and burnt out cars during their very own snowmageddon.

6. Frozen River (2008)

A single mother earning minimum wage and struggling to survive in a mobile home in freezing temperatures? Not so many fart jokes in this one. It’s bleak, but brilliant, taking place near a border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec. The frozen river is a tempting but dangerous smuggling route, and (spoiler alert) OH MY GOD THE BABY!

7. Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1997)

Smilla Qaavigaaq Jaspersen (just saying that name makes it snow harder) is a 37 year-old woman of Eskimo origin living in Copenhagen. When her 6-year-old neighbor (a boy from Greenland) dies in a suspicious accident, she decides to investigate. With bonus sexy tension between Julia Ormond and Gabriel Byrne.

8. Groundhog Day (1993)

Imagine this snow day over and over and over again. Then imagine being a weatherman experiencing this snowy day over and over again. You wouldn’t think that hilarity would ensue, but, as we all know, it certainly does.

9. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even Jake Gyllenhaal’s smoldering gaze can’t warm things up when global warming spawns a new ice age. He and a bunch of other people who manage to look attractive even while dying hole up in the New York Public Library and burn books to stay warm. (How warm do you think your Kindle wold keep you in the next ice age, huh?!)

 

10. Misery (1990)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may be a tad annoyed at your loved one by the end of snowmageddon, but it could be worse: You could be a novel who just killed off an obsessed fan’s favorite fictional character. And you could just happen to crash in the snow and get trapped inside, at the mercy of this pissed off, obsessed fan. Yeah, it could be a lot worse.

 

11. Hanna (2011)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saoirse Ronan plays Hanna, a 16-year-old who never has to deal with mean girls and teen acne and boys who don’t like her back because she has been living in snowy isolation and being trained to be an assassin. And all you managed to do during the blizzard was bake cookies.

 

12. Frozen (2013)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fine, fine, we’ll admit it: It’s a good freakin’ snow movie! It makes fun of the whole fall-in-love-in-a-day trope, and the ultimate message is one of sister love. Just let it go, people! If you don’t have kids, there’s always the Frozen drinking game.

 

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