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Your Call: How Do I Give Women a Heads Up About My Penis?

February 23rd, 2015

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. 

Hi Em & Lo!

Women’s advice on my situation would be much appreciated.

Imagine this: You like everything about a man, you get to the bedroom, you don’t like what you see as the undies come down.

So… I would like to know if anyone has any ideas on how I can let a girl know, ASAP, that I have a small (in my eyes, and hands!) penis. I measure an average L: 5.5 G: 4.5-5.

I understand that a lot of girls would be happy with this size, but I also understand that a lot of women will not. How do I let her know, so that she can make her mind up to go or stay ASAP, so that neither of us get hurt or, in her case, disappointed. I think it would be best for us to not waste each other’s time, so that we can both find someone who appreciates us.

Thanks!

– Average Joe

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Top 10 Signs You’re Reading Bad Erotica

February 20th, 2015

Years ago, we popped our sex-writing cherries at Nerve.com, the online magazine about sex that featured impressive original fiction by the likes of Jay McInerney and Rick Moody. As young, naĂŻve, and underpaid Internet employees, one of our duties included trudging through the slush pile—that four-foot-high stack of unsolicited submissions by amateur writers who thought they grasped what Nerve’s “literary smut” was all about.  Alas, they did not. Long before the excessive adverbs of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” we got second-hand embarrassment from poorly written erotica trying so desperately to be compelling lit via Nerve. So we soon developed a battery of criteria to quickly identify the runts. Never again would we struggle for long through prose so cheesy it came with crackers (except if we were having a bad day and needed a good chuckle). Now, neither will you:

  1. The text is sprinkled with “creative” euphemisms for the penis, in particular those that call up manly pursuits such as cars, the great outdoors, or weaponry: lust log, love muscle, rod of steel, love gun, etc. Bonus negative points if the adjectives “engorged,” “pulsing,” “throbbing,” or “glistening” appear before such synonyms.
  2. Meanwhile, the word “pussy” is used exclusively and without restraint.
  3. She’s running her fingers through his waist-length locks.
  4. He has a 13-inch penis (and it’s not Sci-fi erotica).
  5. It’s Sci-fi erotica.
  6. “Come” is spelled with a “u” and no “e.”
  7. You note excessive use of fire imagery, as in: “The candles flickered and the fireplace roared as he stoked the flames of her burning desire with his fireman’s pole until she was so hot and bothered, the fire alarm rang and the sprinklers busted a nut all over their smoldering lust.”
  8. It reminds you to make an appointment with your urologist/gynecologist.
  9. It contains at least one metaphor or simile that tries a little too hard, such as: “His hands roamed like blind rattlesnakes searching for shelter in a dark, moist cave,” or “Her love juice was the finest wine he had ever tasted, the ambrosia of the gods, the center of a Cadbury’s Creme Egg.”
  10. She has an orgasm just from giving a blowjob.

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The 8 New Habits of the Modern Single

February 19th, 2015


by Stephanie Castillo for YourTango  |  photo via flickr

Match.com’s latest survey reveals new dating rituals and rules for today’s modern single.

Bad news bears, singles: Match.com has released the results of a new survey that shows that dating rules and habits have changed. Again. But even though the playing field has become a bit of uncharted territory, some traditional dating dos and dont’s still apply.

“It’s important for singles to know that the dating rules have changed,” says Whitney Casey, relationship expert for Match.com. “This study finds that dating behaviors drastically differ between the ages. Younger singles are more likely to friend their date on Facebook, communicate by text after a date, and be evasive about their availability if they’re not interested in a second date. Whereas older singles are more cautious when it comes to dating in the digital era.”

That said, here are the eight dating habits — new and old — you need to know about.

1. He asks, he OR she pays. The one traditional dating ”do” that still stands is the general belief men are supposed to make the first move. However, Match.com found 41% of women would offer to pick up the check on a first date. You hear that guys? If you ask us out for dinner, we might just foot the bill.

2. All it takes is 15 minutes to determine if you have chemistry. Thirty-one percent of both men and women agree that 15 minutes of a date is all it takes to decide. Worried your next date will bail if he’s not into you? Don’t, because Match.com found only 12 percent of singles would actually leave before the night was over.

3. Honesty is (still) the best policy. Not enjoying your time out with what’s his name? Tell him. The survey found 52 percent of singles think it’s best to politely tell your date if you’re not interested – and we agree. Neither party gets anything out of being dishonest and you never know when you’ll run into him or her again later in life. Remember: manners matter.

4. Don’t go all the way on the first date. Eighty percent of singles agree that you shouldn’t have sex on the first date. Holding out on your date builds mystery, and if your date can get it all in one night, they’re less motivated to call back for round two.

5. It’s OK to follow-up - it’s just a matter of when. Forty-eight percent of women like to follow up after a first date within 24 hours where as 68 percent of men like to “play it cool” and extend the follow-up to almost three days after your date.

6. Classic phone communication is best. In this digital era, there are hundreds of ways to follw up on a date: text, e-mail, instant message, etc. But surprisingly enough, the survey found 80 percent of singles prefer to talk over the phone.

7. Yes, you can Facebook-friend your date.  ust not too quickly. Ah, the social media dilemma that plagues all singles. As far as friend requesting your date goes, 21 percent of young singles say it’s OK to request a friend after 2-3 dates while 11 percent of older singles wait until the relationship is exclusive to do so. These low percentages mean keeping your add-friend trigger finger under control while in the early phase of dating.

8. Introduce your new man/woman to your friends. Sometimes your friends get a bad rap when it comes to dating, but 50 percent of men and 35 percent of women will introduce their dates to their friends within the first month of dating, regardless of how old they are.

This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: The 8 “Golden Rules” Of Modern Dating You NEED To Memorize

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Jumping on the “Fifty Shades” Meme Bandwagon

February 19th, 2015

Okay, we know we said we’d stop with the “Fifty Shades” posts once the movie came out, but we can’t stop! We’re addicted. We’ve been enjoying the Shades meme wherein Christian Grey reveals his curiously singular tastes, and they turn out to be….an interest in, say, computer servers. So we thought we’d come up with a few of our own (there are 13 in all). If you can stand it, enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »

What It Means When You and a Friend Have the Same Dream

February 19th, 2015


Lena Dunham in “Girls”

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:

I had a dream that I was spending time with a young male child in a room. From the other side of a door, I could hear my best female friend talking to another child. The weird thing is: she had the same dream from her point of view. We tried a relationship a while back, but there were some issues. I live in Ohio, and she lives 500 miles away in Illinois. We’re not sure what it means. We assume the children in the dream are our own.

Lauri:  We’ve been getting an onslaught of people writing to Em & Lo claiming they had the same dream as someone else. It’s called Shared Dreaming and it happens more often than you might think. The reason why it happens is because the two people who experienced the same dream are often both involved in the same issue and therefore dream about the issue in a similar manner.

The issue you share with your friend is a romantic relationship that didn’t work out. The door in your dreams probably symbolizes that you two have closed the door on that aspect of the relationship and are now just friends. But it could also symbolize what came between the two of you, besides the distance. Were either of you not open enough?

The children in the dream, rather than being your own children, are more likely the childish part of yourselves. Did the relationship end due to childish behavior?

Our dreams help us to figure out our issues and it seems that, through your shared dream, the two of you have figured out why the romantic part of your relationship didn’t work out… and sometimes people are simply better together as friends.

 

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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Top 10 Reasons Why “Secretary” Is Better Than “Fifty Shades”

February 18th, 2015

Okay, so yes, the Fifty Shades movie was better than the Fifty Shades book. But, like we said, the bar wasn’t exactly set high for that. And yes, the movie may help to make BDSM even more mainstream, just as the book did. (Now everyone and their grandmother knows what a safe word is!) It will also likely increase sex toy sales, and hopefully improve the sex lives of at least a handful of long-married couples who could use a little more kink in their lives. And lovers all over the world may now find themselves associating the smell of buttered popcorn with handcuffs and paddles. On the other hand, the movie may also create tension in relationships… a woman finds herself suddenly annoyed that her man doesn’t own his own helicopter… or a man is suddenly annoyed that his woman doesn’t bite her lip and say “sir.”

But none of this means that the Fifty Shades movie is even close to the best cinematic depiction of a BDSM relationship out there. In fact, the 2002 indie film Secretary, a Sundance favorite, blows Fifty out of the water, if you ask us.  Here’s why:

10.
Grey was here first. E. Edward Grey is the name of the dominant boss played by James Spader in Secretary. Almost ten years later, E.L. James names her dominant lover Christian Grey — and three years after that, Jamie Dornan gets the worst haircut ever to play Christian Grey on screen. Perhaps it was an homage.

9.
It’s actually good. The Fifty Shades books may be a record breaker (it’s the fastest-selling paperback of all time) and a crazy money maker (E.L. James’s net worth is apparently a cool $80 mil), but they’re never going to win any literary awards — and, likewise, while the movie broke all sorts of records for advance ticket sales and drunken women renting limos for screenings, we don’t see any Oscars in its future. Secretary was nominated for a Golden Globe (best actress in a musical or comedy) and three Chlotrudis Awards (best actor, actress and adapted screenplay), among others; and it won an Independent Spirit Award (best first screenplay) and a Gotham Award (breakthrough performance, Maggie Gyllenhaal), among others. Sorry, Jamie and Dakota, don’t start working on any awards speeches… unless it’s for the Razzies.

8.
More likable protagonist. Yes, Dakota Johnson is about a hundred times more likable than Ana-Steele-on-paper, with all her Oh my!s and the countless Holy shit!s and that irritating inner goddess. But Dakota Johnson’s Ana is nevertheless a bit of a lip-biting blank space who submits a little too easily to the whims of her controlling stalker boyfriend. (She doesn’t even ask him how he managed to break into her apartment!) The flaws of Secretary‘s Lee Holloway, on the other hand, are not only believable, but relatable (to a certain extent), and make her a sympathetic, grownup character.

7.
More believable love interest. A 27-year-old gazillionaire with impossible abs and a million obsequious employees who has time to get a pilot’s license and shop for his own hardware supplies? Who deflowers a virgin and wins her over with extravagant gifts like rare books, a new computer, and a new car? (Who does he think he is, Oprah?!) Yeah right. Much more realistic is the socially awkward, emotionally sensitive Lee and her creepy-seeming and ultimately conflicted love interest — both of whom are pretty normal looking. Plus, this Grey actually does sit-ups. And he has way better hair than Jamie Dornan in the movie.

6.
We actually see Grey working in Secretary. Over the course of the entire film, you see Christian Grey take a single “urgent” business phone call, and when he talks into his phone he sounds like a little kid impersonating his working father. Or like a trust fund baby who is allowed to pretend that he runs a business, while the real grownups actually get the work done. (Sure, we see Ana working in the hardware store, but it’s just a setting for her to blush and stammer.) Admittedly, it’s been a while since we saw SECRETARY, but we’re pretty sure some actual work takes place there, along with all the kinky dictation.

5.
More honorable origins. Secretary was based on a short story by literary power house Mary Gaitskill. Fifty Shades, on the other hand, was based on the cliche-ridden book of the same name, which in turn was originally online fan fiction, based on the Y.A. Twilight series by Stephanie Meyers.  Yup.

4.
A sense of humor. Erotica and romance, almost by definition, have to take themselves extremely seriously. The sex is earnest to keep up the fantasy, and the Fifty Shades books are as earnest and unfunny as it gets. As an indie film, Secretary didn’t have those restraints, and therefore could wade into the waters of black comedy. Can you imagine a scene in Fifty Shades where Jamie Dornan covers his desk in hay and has Dakota Johnson kneel upon it on all fours with a carrot in her mouth and saddle on her back? Didn’t think so. But that’s the kind of scene that made Secretary awesome — and funny. There are a smattering of funny moments in the Fifty Shades movie, but most of the humor is unintentional.  Sadly, we have a feeling that director Sam Taylor-Johnson would have included a lot more humor, if it wasn’t for the heavy hand of “consultant” and earnest erotica peddler E.L. James.

3.
Better writing. Actually, there is something kind of funny about the Fifty Shades books — the writing! The repetition of phrases, the cultural anachronisms, the offensive overuse of adverbs, the misuse of the word “subconscious.” If you didn’t laugh you’d cry, because you’d be so sad about the fact that you couldn’t put down something so poorly written. And while, happily, most of those adverbs didn’t make it into the Fifty Shades screenplay, a lot of the bad dialogue did. You can almost see Jamie Dornan cringe when he has to utter the line, “I’m fifty shades of fucked up.” Secretary, on the other hand? It won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.

2.
BDSM is freeing, not the other way around. In Fifty Shades of Grey, both the book and the movie, Grey beats the shit out of women because he had a literal “crack whore” for a mom who didn’t love him enough — it’s an obsession that haunts him and that he feels great shame about (okay, so in the movie he calls her a “crack addict”… but still). In Secretary, Lee is a troubled self-cutter, but it’s the BDSM relationship that frees her. Production designer Amy Danger said of the story: “With this S&M material, we could go into a dark place… Steve [Shainberg, the director] and I wanted the total opposite: that the nature of this relationship freed [the characters] to be their natural selves.”

1.
Secretary didn’t need wealth to make the kink acceptable. One of the reasons, in our opinion, that so many millions of readers and, now, viewers find the Fifty Shades kink acceptable is that Christian Grey is a billionaire. It’s the same with luxury high-end sex toys encrusted with diamonds: for some people, the more they spend on a sex toy, the less dirty it feels. Sure, it’s okay for Christian to spank Ana and ask her to do unspeakable things, so long as he also takes her out in a glider and buys her a new car. Secretary, on the other hand, manages to make the BDSM totally relatable — romantic, even! — without a single helipad in sight.

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Comment of the Month: Do NOT Try This at Home!

February 18th, 2015

We’ve gotten some outrageous letters over the years: one from the guy asking us if he could get STDs from the corpses he was having sex with at the morgue; another from a couple inquiring how they could get their German Shepard to have consensual sex with the woman while the man watched. We try to make this a judgment-free zone, but sometimes it’s impossible. Once in a while, the occasional reader seem just plain nuts. Are they for real? Who knows. Are they crazy in one way or another? Most definitely. 

It’s been a while since we’ve gotten a genuine, draw-dropping head scratcher. But the following comment from the dubiously named “Mystery Tomcat” deserves a space in our Hall of Infamy. Is he for real? We hope not. Is he insane? At least a smidge. Either way, our publication of his comment is intended for entertainment purposes only. By featuring his letter, we are not endorsing or condoning his behavior. This is NOT an instruction manual for would-be DIYers! Medical procedures should always be done by actual, trained doctors.

Despite his “happy ending,” we still think this can be read as a cautionary tale about focusing too much on one’s perceived “imperfections” instead of appreciating and working with what you’ve got:

“Way down under in Melbourne, Australia is the story of a tightly done male adult circumcision of the ultimate kind. You’ll never believe the story … or will you?

Around 17 years ago, I became aware that circumcision was of interest to me. How to go about it ? What an embarrassment, how to sneak into a Doctor cost etc. I became more and more frustrated, as I knew I wanted it done. Australia is a hot climate too and I wanted a slick model penis, not a sock, at half mast. I had learnt from school that I was bisexual, I would use the odd opportunity to check out and occasionally talk another classmate into pulling down his pants and letting me give him oral sex. Both circumcised and uncircumcised, although I didn’t know what circumcision was then, I was only ten ! We start pretty early in Australia !

Anyway back to circumcision. I became more and more, frustrated and there didn’t seem to be a way of resolving the issue. Then I had a bereavement in the family. If I couldn’t solve this simple problem… It was a question of honor.

So what I did may surprise many. I am an everyday kind of bloke, a family now, job and the rest of it. So don’t be too shocked. Where there is a will there is a way.

I had been researching on the net at the time and I was reading and seeing pics of tribal and African circumcisions. There are great stories of the Tuli in the Philippines and also teens putting their penis on a log with a piece of twine and the elder slicing off the foreskin, high and tight, leaving a terrific red patched scar.

I decided after much viewing and research that this is what I wanted. I was a bit far from the Philippines and Africa, so this is what happened.

One long weekend when there was a Public holiday, I decided to have a go myself. This is not for the faint hearted.

On the Friday night, I did the usual, a few beers then came home. I opened a bottle of white wine and proceeded to watch an x-rated video. Of course with a long ring barked cock or two. After a while I was ready. A bit of popper amyl and I was more or less ready to have a go. At circumcision.

I knew the skin would be sensitive, so I had purchased from an adult store, delay spray. This I think had lidocaine like when you get Suntan mozzie burns cream from the supermarket only stronger. I applied it to my foreskin until the end of my cock felt number, than usual. Another drink and some poppers, a look at the tightly taut scarred cocks on the TV screen and it was time. Time to join the rest of my male brothers on the planet with a permanently forever nude glans and a stripped pointed helmety penis. Intention purple glans to always lead the way, from that night on or else.

I sized and drew a line working out where to cut and checked this out numerous times. Another drink, more amyl and an inspection of the video playing and I was ready.

I took a very sharp pair a medium size sewing scissors and sat down. Carefully lining them up, I very slowly, and I mean really really slowly, put them through the line on the foreskin I had drawn. I had already pulled the foreskin as hard as I ever could in front of my glans.

Slowly but surely I got the job done. Everything dropped back behind my glans and my foreskin lay on a tissue. A dream come true. I couldn’t believe my absolute relief and satisfaction.

All this time later nearly two decades on, I am still happy. A couple a days later, I consulted a friendly doctor and some stitches were added on the quiet to complete the job.

Result is I have a very tightly circumcised penis, with absolutely no frenulum or foreskin.

The absolute tightest male circumcision possible, for myself and any partner I should choose, whether it be female or male. Amazingly there is no two tone scar and the circumcision join is one color and height. No different levels of skin height or misalignment.

Nature really does like male circumcision.”

What Men Really Think About Bitchy Women

February 17th, 2015

Advice from three of our trusted guy friends. This week they answer the following: Do men really love bitches?

Straight Single Guy (Colin Adamo, author of Hooking Up & Staying Hooked): Guys love a challenge. That’s why we’re always trying to fix cars, throw the perfect spiral, or look cool with really awful facial hair. If we’re ever with a bitch, it’s only because we want to overcome her militant manner and make her swoon for us. We want to find her soft spot and turn her around to show the world she’s not all bad — that way we look great, too, for having cracked her stone cold exterior. Don’t feel like playing the B-Card is ever going to help you out, though. Most of us tire of silly games like this pretty quickly — and even if we do love bitches from time to time, the good ol’ American sweetheart will always win out.

Straight Married Guy (Matt): I don’t think so. Maybe some guys like getting treated like shit and pushed around, but that was never my thing. I mean, if a girl is attractive and a real bitch, in my single days, I’d probably have wanted to have sex with her. But that’s just because there’s this idea that the sex would be more charged. Sometimes it was, sometimes it wasn’t. I don’t think bitchiness equals hot sex on its own. But beyond sex: dating (or falling in love with) a bitch? Forget it. Life’s dramatic enough on its own — I don’t need to fall in love with a pain in the ass.

Gay Committed Guy (Terence): That’s a big can of worms. I might be old-fashioned, but I’m having trouble typing the word bitch. When did this word become commonplace, or even acceptable? As I’m trying to think of how to characterize a b****, I can only think of that show Bridezillas. So let’s use the terms girlzilla and boyzilla instead. I think a man who claims to love a girlzilla has as many issues to work through as the girlzilla. His willingness to accommodate a difficult and unpleasant woman is saddening and self-destructive. In fact, it’s a mutually destructive cycle of immaturity that wouldn’t know love from a can of worms (I had to squeeze in my worm metaphor one more time). There ain’t no love for a zilla.

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Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. Colin Adamo is the author of Hooking Up & Staying Hooked; the other two are a little shy.

Guess the Quote: “American Sniper” or “Fifty Shades”?

February 17th, 2015