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The Three Make-or-Break Issues In Every Relationship

April 9th, 2014

Reader Blah Blah Blacksheep (best username ever, by the way!) said the following in response to our post Your Call – He’s Kinky, She’s Vanilla, Is the Relationship Doomed?

Money, sex, and kids are the three make-or-break things in every relationship. A spender will have a hard time being with a saver. Two dominants or two submissives will have a hard time getting along in the bedroom. A breeder with a non-breeder usually won’t work out. And … a vanilla will have a hard time being with a BDSM’er.

If you are not happy in all three of those major categories (money, sex, kids/parenting style) then there will be major clashes and it won’t last.

It’s better to break it off early, amicably.

Find someone else you click with on those 3 things. Everything else you get along on is just icing on the cake.


Is “I Love You, But…” Always a Dealbreaker?

April 9th, 2014

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


Dear Em & Lo,

What do I do when a guy says he loves me, but he won’t commit to being my boyfriend? Does he really love me?

– Miss Interpreted

Dear M.I.,

Here’s your short answer: Run away! No, he doesn’t really love you!

Here’s your long answer: Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you!

Okay, seriously, we can think of maybe a handful of reasons why somebody may really actually honestly love you but be unable to commit to being your boyfriend:

1. He’s already taken. In which case, like, we said: Run away!

2. He loves you like a sister. In which case: Run away! Because you’ll never get out of the sister zone.

3. He’s gay and loves you like a beard. (Er, do we even need to say it?)

4. He’s in the C.I.A.

5. He’s in jail.

More likely, however, that he just wants to screw your brains out, and he thinks that the sex will be better — or at least, more available to him — if he tells you he loves you. Love is complicated, sure, but it’s not that complicated.

Love ya!

Em & Lo


April Is STI Awareness Month – Want Some Free Condoms?!?

April 8th, 2014

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Prepare to have your mind blown by these stats (and check out the infographic below):

  • There are 65 million people in the U.S. who are living with an incurable STI
  • Each year, STIs lead to infertility in more than 24,000 women in the US
  • One in two sexually active persons will contact an STD/STI by age 25
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are more than 110 million STIs among men and women in the U.S. This includes both new and existing infections.
  • YET – only 1 in 3 sex acts among singles includes a condom

WHAT?!?! That’s outrageous. Especially since we’ve been promoting condom use and other safer sex acts since forever! Have we even made a dent? Help us make more of one and win some awesome condoms in the process!

We’ve teamed up with Trojan to offer one lucky winner:

  • 2 10-count boxes of Trojan’s NEW Double Ecstasy Condoms
  • 1 Midnight Collection package (1 vibrating ring, 4 Pure Ecstasy condoms, 4 lubricant packets)

All you have to do is one or more of the following between now and EOD EST on April 21st, 2014. The more you do, the greater your chances of winning!:

* (Let us know you’ve retweeted/shared by mailing us a screenshot of each FB post/Tweet: on a Mac, Command+Shiftshift+4 lets you drag and capture an area of the screen; click here for instructions on taking screenshots on either a PC or a Mac)

In the meantime, brush up on your condom knowledge and start wrapping up!:

  • How To Use A CondomThis brief, informative how-to video gives viewers a fun and interesting look at the exact way to get it on before you “get it on.”
  • How Condoms Are MadeThis exclusive factory tour takes viewers on an unprecedented look “beneath the sheets” at a Trojan condom factory, and a condom’s journey from the conveyor belt to your nightstand.
  • History of CondomsThis short documentary includes expert commentary on the history and creation of the condom, starting from its humble beginnings, to the innovations we see on today’s shelves.
  • New Condom iPhone AppTrojan is adding a little protection to everyone’s “hardware” with a new iPhone app, which includes sexual health trivia and a condom selection tool.


Top 6 Worst Kind of Kisses

April 8th, 2014

photo via Flickr

Violet Blue is one of the most prolific sex writers we know — we’ve literally lost count of how many books she’s written — and yet she’s not the slightest bit annoying, so we can’t hate her for this. The latest in her grand oeuvre — we’re pretty sure she’s going to tip the scales into a full-on genre soon — is called Kissing: A Field Guide. It will tell you everything you need to know about smooshing face, from timing to style to tension and technique.

In this excerpt, Violet details the six most hazardous kinds of kisses you might encounter in the field:

1. The Fish Tank Kiss:
Every girl’s nightmare. He’s totally cute, funny, the conversation is good—but then you kiss and it feels like he’s trying to clean the inside of your mouth as if it was a fish tank. As the minutes pass more slowly than you ever thought possible, you wonder if he’s actually looking for treasure. His tongue is too hard, and it darts about quickly and all pokey. You are usually too stunned to decide whether you should wait it out or hold up a “send help” sign. Toss this one back into the sea.

2. The Chewing Gum Kiss
You’ve seen these before—a couple joined at the mouth, lips locked in a deep French-kissing session that looks like they’re about to gnaw each other’s head off. Don’t worry, everyone will be fine, but this combination of French Kiss and Fish Tank Kiss with extreme jaw movement looks pretty scary if you watch too many horror movies.

3. The Limp Noodle
So sad, the Noodle. When you lock lips and start to French, and his lips just hang there and his tongue lies there like a slug, you have a Limp Noodle on your hands. No matter how much you push, massage, and prod his tongue to bring it back to life, it plays possum, dead in the middle of the road. There is nothing you can do—you’re basically giving mouth-to-mouth to this guy.

4. Mercy Kisses
Sometimes you kiss for fun, and sometimes you just have to give a kiss out of pity—hence the Mercy Kiss. You give these kisses when you feel bad about something, want your date to look good (even though you aren’t into him), or just feel sorry for the poor sap. Only in the movies do these kisses turn into a blazing romance. If you end up on the receiving end of a Mercy Kiss, just enjoy it and then excuse yourself to go wash your cat.

5. The Zombie Kiss
Another nightmare kiss many of us have experienced, which seems to come from beyond the grave. It’s as if all the life drains out of him as he comes in for a kiss: the eyes flutter, clamp shut, or roll back into his head. His face goes slack and lifeless. And the most horrifying part of all: his mouth opens up into a gaping maw, threatening to swallow you whole. Sometimes the Zombie Kisser comes at you like a lost extra from Night of the Living Dead, mouth agape, with a shiny pink sluglike tongue pointing out at you. Scream! Run! Barricade the doors and windows!

6. The Zoolander Kiss
Ever wonder what it would be like to kiss an international male model? The Zoolander makes you feel like you’re a pretty prop designed to make him look good as he poses, shifts, and gives his “sexy” face to the world while kissing you. Would he notice if you were gone? Probably not. The Zoolander Kiss is meant purely to compliment the physical beauty of the man kissing you—it’s not for anyone’s actual physical pleasure. It’s used when trying to impress others or to make someone jealous.

Violet Blue, author of Kissing: A Field Guide


Your Call: How Can I Get Her to Let Me In?

April 7th, 2014

photo via Flickr

We get a lot of 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 respond to a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your deep thoughts in the comments section. 

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



I have been dating this gal for about 18 months now and recently she said we were getting too familiar. She was widowed seven years ago and when she feels she is falling for me, then she closes up and drives me away. She wants to be friends but does not want to go out and do things friends do. We play cards twice a week but she barely talks to me (though she does chat with others). Any suggestions as to how to get things on the right track again?

– The Outsider

What do you think T.O. should do? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below. 


Your Weekly Horoscopes: 04-07-14

April 7th, 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)
Whoever you’re currently with is going to hate us for this one (you yourself may even be a little bummed), but we recommend having the “Let’s just be friends” conversation with you-know-who. Hey, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles when you realize that what you want and what you’ve got are two different things. If you wait, you could very well be on the receiving end of a conversation like this.

taurus (Apr. 21st-May 20th)
This week is going to kick tushy for Tauruses (Tauri?) everywhere! Maybe you’ll meet the man or woman or your dreams! Maybe you’ll win the lottery! Maybe you’ll hit inbox zero! Maybe you’ll just feel so irrationally cheerful that you’ll use exclamation points all day!

gemini (May 21st-June 21st)
You’re interested in an a-hole. Get over him or her and move on. Have a nice day.

cancer (June 22nd-July 22nd)
If we had to describe you as an article of clothing this week, you’d be a pair of sexy fishnet stockings. Or those really skinny metallic jeans that will be in style for the next ten minutes. If we had to describe you as an animal this week, you’d be a fox. If we had to describe you as a stock, we’d say, “Buy, buy, buy!” If we had to describe you as an egg this week, we’d say, you’ll get laid. Often.

leo (July 23rd-Aug. 22nd)
You’ve been laying the foundations for weeks; it’s finally time to lay some – oh, don’t make us actually say it. Go get ‘em, tiger!

virgo (Aug. 23rd-Sept. 22nd)
Robert De Niro has made like five hundred movies. But do you ever hear him gush to Us Weekly about the importance of date nights or his wife’s pet name for him or how he likes to keep the fires burning? We wouldn’t say that this reticence has improved his success rate at relationships (how many different baby mamas does he have, again?), but we have a feeling that — for Bobby, at least – discretion, is in fact what keeps the fires burning. Think about that next time you get tipsy during office happy hour.

libra (Sept. 23rd-Oct. 23rd)
We’re so sick of these cheesy, formulaic Hollywood-machine movies with their pat lessons on love and life: Follow your heart, Julia Roberts/Sandra Bullock/Reese Witherspoon insist. In real life, that’s exactly what leads to being left at the altar with a bun in the oven and no money. Think with your head this week. Heck, think with your willie/weegeena if you have to. Just be sure to ignore your heart.

scorpio (Oct. 24th-Nov. 22nd)
Your independent and confident approach to life will attract any lover you want this week. Choose wisely and it could turn into a long-lasting relationship. Choose poorly and you’ll spend an excruciating evening hearing about the nasty fungus infection your date contracted at the public swimming pool. But look on the bright side: we don’t think fungus infections are contagious.

sagittarius (Nov. 23rd-Dec. 21st)
If you wouldn’t buy a car from a fast-talking salesman, why would you buy a line from a fast-talking pick-up artist? Be a smart booty consumer and shop around for the best deal out there.

capricorn (Dec. 22nd-Jan. 20th)
There’s nothing wrong with playing the field. You’ve been training hard and you’re at the top of your game. Just make sure everyone is playing by the same rules.

aquarius (Jan. 21st-Feb. 18th)
You’ll want to get out and party this week. Heck, don’t we all? If you’re going to be snarky with all your co-workers and too hungover to get any work done because you raged on a school night, you may as well make it worthwhile. So go some place you’ve never been before. If that’s shaking things up a bit too much for ya, at least visit your local hangout on a different night (we hear Tuesday is the new Thursday) so you’ll encounter a different group of regulars.

pisces (Feb. 19th-Mar. 20th)
Normally we hate to resort to cliches when it comes to telling your horoscope (ahem). But this week, nothing says it better: getting lucky will be like shooting fish in a barrel, as long as you get out of your La-Z-Boy and interact with a few people. And hey, if you’re really that lazy, we know a phone number or two you could call to get laid right in that comfy ol’ chair.


The Whisper App Will Make You Despair for Humanity

April 4th, 2014

photo via flickr

All the buzz right now about anonymous secret-sharing apps like Whisper, Secret, and Yik Yak makes us feel really old — after all, PostSecret has been doing this for almost a decade already. The main difference, of course, is that PostSecret requires you to put some thought into your secret: You mail a homemade postcard to the website, and they publish a selection of their favorites.  Apps like Whisper open up the secret sharing to anyone with a smart phone and two working thumbs. (PostSecret launched an app a few years back, but they pulled it after only three months because there was too much abusive content.)

The other difference is more subtle: While the curation at PostSecret makes us feel like the Internet is a Good Thing and that anonymous secret-sharing can make the world a better place, the diarrhea-style secret-sharing on the apps just depresses the shit out of us. It makes us think that the whole world cheats or lies or is hampered by loneliness or regret. We’d like to think that it’s just the people who use these apps who are cheaters and liars and regretful and lonely, but the more people who sign onto the apps, the less reassuring this becomes. Here are the ten most depressing Whisper secrets we found today (just today!):

  1. I know cheating is wrong, but it saved my marriage. It made me realize how amazing my wife truly is.
  2. I don’t intend on marrying my gf. She’s nice, great in bed, and less hassle than finding someone new. I haven’t told her and don’t plan on it. Been together almost 4 years. Is that wrong?
  3. Whenever I am angry with my husband for not working out, I give him more food to make him feel fat the next day.
  4. I like having conversations with random women on the Internet, because it makes me feel like I’m rebelling against my wife’s controlling nature.
  5. Sometimes I wonder if I got married to him because it’s comfortable not because we are meant to be.
  6. My boyfriend of 4 years told me he didn’t want to get married until he has a lot of nice clothes and shoes. Clothes and shoes? He’s 27, with dreams of a 13 year old boy. I’m so embarrassed and ashamed. Maybe it’s me.
  7. I wish they didn’t feel like they were dating my wheelchair too.
  8. I set up a private P.O. Box so I can order sex toy and porn without my wife knowing.
  9. Hookup culture in the university is making me feel lonelier than ever.
  10. I think I love my dogs more than anyone else.



Did the Ghost of My Dead Husband Visit Me in My Dreams?

April 3rd, 2014

Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about love or sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty and/or romantic 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 dreamed that my first husband, who passed away in 2007, was lying next to me, holding me from the back, whispering something into my ear.  I was trying to turn around because I didn’t know who it was. I’m currently divorced from my second husband as of last September.  When I turned around and saw his face, he smiled, but I knew that he was gone and started crying and woke up.  Once I woke up I really cried like a little baby.  What did this dream mean?  I haven’t dreamed about him in a long time, and that situation threw me off. What do you think?  

Lauri: Aw, I am so sorry for your loss. I know this dream was difficult. I hope I can bring some comfort and clarity to you.

Now, I take a very practical approach to analyzing dreams and believe that everything and everyone in your dream represents a part of you or a part of your life. However, when we dream of a deceased loved one, I can’t help but feel that sometimes it may be them, certainly not every time, but sometimes. And those dreams usually feel different than other dreams. You wake from the dream still feeling their presence, sometimes even smelling their cologne or perfume. Is it wishful thinking on my part? Perhaps. But that is also coupled with research that seems to suggest dreams are a possible means of communication. So I am going to approach your dream from both schools of thought.

Psychologically speaking, what is behind you in a dream often represents your past. Your late husband is indeed a part of your past, that which is “behind” you. In the dream you try to turn around because a part of you probably wishes to go back to a happier time and to a more loving partner. He then gives you a smile. In dream psychology receiving a smile in a dream is a sign of self approval, which would mean your deeper, intuitive self feels you have done the right thing and that everything will be okay.

Spiritually speaking, who’s to say it wasn’t the spirit of your late husband coming through to you during a difficult time in your life when you feel most alone and letting you know he is still with you? In my heart I believe it is possible.

Either way, the crying you did afterwards was definitely needed and this dream served the purpose of helping you cleanse your psyche, bringing you comfort.

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.




A Love Poem for National Poetry Month

April 3rd, 2014

photo via Flickr

APRIL IS National Poetry Month. So to have your new book of poems be named one of the Books of the Week by Publishers Weekly this week has got to feel doubly good. Thus, a big congrats to our friend Mark Bibbins, whose new book is called “They Don’t Kill You Because They’re Hungry, They Kill You Because They’re Full.” A few weeks ago we featured his “Poem that Wants to Use Revelation 3:16 as an Epigraph.” Below is another great one from his new book. Enjoy!


By the Number 3

Can we back up and read
that sign again, the one

trying to tell us about a band
playing on a beach lined

with pine trees, very old.
If the internet doesn’t work

there you have to build
your own. Let’s rewrite

the constellations
so they read as all kinds

of fruits: here we see
the Grape Cluster reclining

just above the indigo treetops;
Can of Lychees keeps tampering

with my weekly horoscope
but I don’t know how.

Thus magic shuffles reluctantly
toward us and if you claim

you can organize it you should
be making a joke. Look

at a 3 the wrong way
and all you see is your own

wretchedness. If you look at 3
in a different way you might

see a fortunate mouth getting
ready to kiss. You used to

feel like you were always
going to the same place

but it didn’t hurt and other
times the ocean glowed

so blue it broke
half your bones.


Mark Bibbins’ “They Don’t Kill You Because They’re Hungry, They Kill You Because They’re Full” is available on Amazon.com.