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What to Do When You Get Your Period on a Booty Call

January 16th, 2015

Dear Em & Lo,

For the past two weeks I have been sleeping with a guy I met here at college. The boundaries of our relationship have been well-established: late night phone calls for no-strings-attached sex. We’re having a great time, and I want to keep this thing going. However, the last time we were together I had one of my most embarrassing moments: I got my period during sex. Although he seemed to handle the situation relatively well, he hasn’t called me since. I am worried that what happened was more of a girlfriend-type situation than a booty-call type situation. Was that a deal breaker for him? This is an incredibly awkward situation for me, as we know many of the same people and I fear that he has given up on me and that this can only reflect badly upon myself. Should I contact him? Apologize? Buy him new sheets? Help!

– Crimson Tide

Dear C.T.,

We have so many questions…

First, how does you unexpectedly getting your period reflect badly on you? We’re sure you didn’t plan to turn his bed into a crime scene, right? Sometimes these things happen. Your period is part of life. Heck, it’s part of your sexuality. And have you seen the stuff that comes out of the end of his dick when he ejaculates? Not exactly flowers, either. If you wanted to win the Nice Booty Call of the Year award, you could have offered to either help him clean the sheets (he may not have the experience we ladies do with getting out blood stains) or buy him new ones. But how many guys do you know who offer to clean a woman’s sheets when he spills his seed all over them, huh? It’s just not that big a deal.

Next, if this is a mutually understood, agreed-upon, and pleasurable booty call situation for both of you, why are you waiting around for him to call you? If you want to keep making sex appointments, call him. If you want to find out if this is a big deal for him, just come right out and ask him. You guys are getting naked and poking each other’s holes, for crying out loud. That’s pretty intimate stuff, menstrual blood or not. We think your relationship, however casual, can handle a frank discussion about the functions of those bodies that get undressed and roll around together.

Finally, assuming it turns out that he does think it’s a big deal, why would you want to be with him? He doesn’t have to lap it up like Edward Culllen from Twilight, but if he’s so grossed out by your period that he’s willing to give up a good booty call arrangement, then he’s an unsympathetic, immature baby who doesn’t understand the first thing about female anatomy (which probably makes him suck in the sack, anyway) and he doesn’t deserve your amorous attention. But rather than giving him bloody hell (which would be our first instinct), we guess you could rise above it all and try to gently explain why it’s just not that big a deal, making him a better future booty call and boyfriend for girls to come. After all, he is still in college. Maybe he’s never had a good woman tell him this before.

Of course, you need to consider the possibility that his not calling has nothing to do with your period at all. You’re in college, you’ve known each other only two weeks, you’re having casual sex, he’s a guy — it’s kind of a miracle that you’ve gotten together more than once! He might have just moved on to have casual sex with someone else, period.

Seeing red,

Em & Lo

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Dream Interpretation: My Fiancé Dreamed He Stabbed Me

January 15th, 2015

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 fiancé dreamed that he stabbed me in front of our kids. What does this mean?

Lauri:  Provided your fiancĂ© does not have a violent background, don’t let this dream worry you. In fact, I think there are two good signs here:

1. The fact that he told you this dream shows that he is honest is with you.

2. The content of this dream shows he has a great deal of concern for you and for the kids.

You see, typically, stabbing in a dream can be connected to verbal anger in real life. Around the time of this dream, do you recall the two of you having an argument, and in particular, do you recall him criticizing you or saying emotionally wounding words to you? We often use the term “cutting remarks” when referring to harsh and painful words. That suggests that he is aware of any emotional pain he may have caused you and since the dream took place in front of your children, he is aware that your arguments may have an impact on them. I also believe it shows a bit of guilt on his part.

So thank him for sharing the dream with you. And I would also recommend that you two make a habit of sharing your dreams with each other every morning. My hubby and I do this over coffee. It’s a great way to start the day because you’ll laugh at the absurdity dreams often provide, and you’ll stay plugged in to each other.

 

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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4 Ways to Make Your Marriage Last in the 21st Century

January 15th, 2015


by Gwendolyn Bond-Upson for YourTango | photo via flickr

Did you know that the rate of infidelity in American marriages has not increased in 20 years, even though attitudes toward adultery have loosened in the past 40? More facts, in addition to tips for success are included in the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project’s annual report “The State of Our Unions: Marriage in America 2009.” You can click through the project’s welcome page to read the 116 page report—or just get the abbreviated version here.

Our friends at The Huffington Post have thoughtfully pared the report’s findings down to a few key points as an entry point into more advanced-level marital strategy.

1. Marriage is as much an economic, as an emotional partnership.

This is one area the recession of 2009 has helped families strengthen their bonds. Mutual belt-tightening and simple lifestyle shifts, such as more cooking and eating together at home have united families in both financial agreement and increased communication and quality time. 4 Ways To Avoid Fighting About Money

2. Switch traditional financial responsibilities.

Generally women tend to make the everyday purchasing decisions in a household and men the long-term investment choices. UVA professor Richard T. Wilcox suggests flipping the responsibilities. Women tend to enjoy shopping more and therefore spend more, getting an emotional as well as practical pay-off out of the experience. A man will typically have more spending discipline when it comes to household shopping. But as far as investing goes men are more likely to be overconfident and risky whereas a woman will seek outside advise from a professional, making more informed and prudent financial choices ultimately. 5 Ways To Improve A Marriage That’s Already Strong

3. Accumulating “stuff” does not a happy relationship make.

Getting on the same page with your family budget is a good first step toward harmony, but if you are still harboring materialistic feelings that a “thing” like a car or house or gold-plated toilet are going to make you feel more whole you will undermine the satisfaction you can get from your loved one. Now, don’t get us wrong: it’s still a hoot to watch audience members blowing their tops on Oprah’s annual “Favorite Things” episode! 10 Items Of His We’d Like To Toss

4. Define your own roles.

The idea of the man as sole or even main breadwinner has been going the way of the Dodo for decades. Now with a major increase in male unemployment and more women continuing to work post-childbirth, it is time to redefine our ideas of success and contribution in a working relationship. Men can be caregivers, women can be breadwinners and that can shift over the years as well. You get to chose how you feel about each other’s contributions so why not set them and agree that they are all valued? For A Month, I Did Everything My Wife Said

Time spent together communicating, compromising and just hanging out are a sure way to increase the return on your marriage. Lucky for us the economy is giving us just the slightest nudge to force these practices in to action! How The Recession Forever Changed Relationships

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This article originally appeared on YourTango

How to Ruin a Date in 5 Words

January 15th, 2015

Some hashtags come and go on Twitter faster than a teen boy on prom night. But #RuinADateInFiveWords is still going strong, and it’s been weeks now! That’s some stamina worth paying attention to. Here are some that have been posted just in the past hour or so: I’m not thirsty, Mr. Cosby by @JohnFugelsang and What size fursuit you wear? by @DailyFiasco. Though the winner, at least, in our opinion, is, Oh, it’s my playdoh dispenser (click on the link for key visual hint – the original poster deleted the Tweet, apparently publicity shy). Anyway, bad dates are our speciality, both professionally and personally (though, happily, the latter is now ancient history). So here are our top 20 contributions to #RuinADateInFiveWords:

1. You’re not a feminist, right?

2. My mom chose this shirt.

3. I write my own jokes.

4. You just yucked my yum.

5. Sex is better without condoms.

6. But I like to top.

7. I thought you meant ice-cream.

8. Your place? My mom’s home.

9. But my ex loved that!

10. You’re a really good person.

11. What’s wrong with baby talk?

12. But the guy always pays!

13. Do you have a sister?

14. Discussing our STDs is unsexy.

15. No, really, pull my finger.

16. I don’t bother to vote.

17. Gotta run, my soap’s on!

18. Hillary just seems so bossy.

19. Sex toys are a crutch.

20. Where is the handcuffs key?

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Em & Lo Named Among the Best 15 Sexperts of 2015!

January 14th, 2015

 

Yes, we just referred to ourselves in the third person. We can do that now, because apparently we’re officially among the Top 15 Sexperts of the Year! (And we’re only 14 days into it!) We’re rubbing virtual elbows with the likes of Dr. Ruth, along with long-time friends and respected colleagues Jamye Waxman and Ian Kerner. Now we know what it must feel like to be recognized by the Academy, except in our case the Academy is DatingAdvice.com, a site surely looking for a little free publicity. But hey, we’ll shamelessly give it to them, because whether they truly believe we’re in the top 15 or they just give out these awards every other Wednesday, it’s nice to be recognized. They like us, they really like us!

Though we’ll admit: comparing our “social media clout” — i.e. the DatingAdvice.com stat given to their 15 faves — to the others’ on this list, we’re having a bad case of social media envy. It’s a miracle we made the cut considering our weak media showing. Can you, dear reader, help us bury this digital shame by following us on Twitter and Liking us on Facebook (and getting your mom to, too)? It’s a small effort to make in exchange for all this free, kick-ass content we slave to give you every damn day! Then we’ll know you don’t just like us, you love us, you really love us!

Thanks & kisses,

Em & Lo

P.S. Don’t think for a second that the life of a sexpert is charmed: That bathtub was freezing and we didn’t even get to enjoy the champagne!

You Don’t Have to Like Men and Women Equally to Be Bi

January 14th, 2015

Reader Peet wrote the following in response to a personal essay on our site, “(My) Bisexuality Is Really Not That Complicated.” Note: The line quoted by Peet was not stated as a fact by the original author, but rather as an example of the “sloppy stereotypes” about bisexuality.

“Bisexuals must desire both genders equally or they’re not really bi; and if they desire both genders equally, they’ll never be satisfied with monogamy, because they must sleep with someone of each gender consistently to be identifying as bi.”

How can somebody take this seriously? Bi people can just be attracted to both genders. But they needn’t be having sex with both of them to be considered as bi, or to be satisfied in a relationship.

Here is an analogy: Even if you are a straight man and you are attracted to only women, you can be satisfied with one women you are in a relationship with, even if you are attracted to other women, too. Replace the words “women and men” with “person,” and “straight” to “bisexual” and it remains as true as it is in its original form.

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Wise Guys: Do Men Ever Choose Masturbation Over Sex?

January 13th, 2015


photo via Flickr 

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week a straight woman asks, “Do guys ever choose masturbation over sex? If so, why?”

Straight Married Guy (Ben): Sure. Plenty of times. Sometimes my wife isn’t around and I don’t really feel like waiting. Or sometimes she is around but really tired, or stressed, or pissed off at me. Sometimes, she wants to watch me do myself. Sometimes, I have a fantasy I’ve been working on and having another body with me would actually be a little, um, distracting. Sometimes, I just want to look at porn. Basically, I have lots of different moods and I find myself in all different types of situations and masturbation is just one tool I can use to be sexually expressive. It’s a good tool. I like it.

Gay Committed Guy (Mark): Ever? Sure, nothing wrong with that, or with a woman making the same choice. It also depends on one’s definition of “sex” — I don’t think I need to remind anyone reading this column that there are plenty of ways to get off besides penetration. But given the opportunity, whatever form the sex might take, I’d say it’s a rare guy who prefers to go it alone. So if we’re talking mutual masturbation with a partner: cool. But if he’s having a wank in the bathroom every night before hitting the hay, leaving his lady lacking: uncool.

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Top 5 Love Lessons from “The Bachelor” (Prince Farming’s First Dates)

January 13th, 2015


photo via ABC’s The Bachelor

Last night’s second episode of ABC’s “The Bachelor” proved to be quite entertaining, despite Prince Farming having the personality of a soybean. The producers seemed to pepper the episode with the kind of zany, kooky, funny stuff usually reserved for the closing credits — in order to make up for Chris Soules’s snooze-inducing flat affect, perhaps? Hey, we’ll take it, since the bloopers reel they play at each finale is the highlight of every season!  Of course, between the wise cracks and the drunken twerking, there were still plenty of love lessons to be learned!:

  1. On “The Bachelor,” as in life, there are no hard and fast dating rules. If you change your mind about someone or want to give them a second chance, that’s fine — in fact, it’s open-minded, open-hearted and quite generous. Just be sure you’re not leading them on. If you know, deep down, there’s no hope for a future relationship, quash it quickly, as Chris did with Kimberly (a.k.a. Oliver, as in “Please sir, may I have some more?”)
  2. Do not humiliate your date by parading her around town like a sex doll. For example, making her walk in public places (that aren’t the beach or the pool) wearing only a bikini — in the freezing cold, no less — while you enjoy the benefits of full length shorts and a hoodie during your stroll is Uncool with a capital U. Equal opportunity objectification, people! (And are bikini bottoms really the appropriate attire for riding on tractors and sitting on hay bales? Wethinks Prince Farmer would say no, so he should have advocated for the dignity and comfort of his dates as an expert in this field, no pun intended, and just as a decent human being.)
  3. Don’t kiss and tell (we’re looking at you, Mackenzie) — at least to people who fall into one or more of the following categories: near strangers, singles, the recently broken-hearted, people interested in the same person you just swapped spit with. Otherwise, you come across as, at best, insensitive and, at worst, mean-spirited (or else just totally clueless).
  4. We don’t care whether you’re drunk or stupid, it’s not okay to put other women down in order to try to elevate yourself into a higher dating bracket. It never works; in fact, it always backfires. No matter how pretty, in shape, or hair free you are, you will come across as a bad person. And nobody wants to date a bad person. Cheap shots — whether we’re talking personal digs or alcohol (ahem, Jordan) — are never a good idea (even though they, admittedly, make for great TV).
  5. Just because someone isn’t into you, doesn’t mean you’re unworthy of love. It just means you didn’t quite click. Buck up, cowgirl. You’re still so young! You’ve got plenty of time to sow your wild oats. Eventually you’ll find a farmer made just for you whom you can sow some serious cereal grains with.

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36 Questions to Ask a Date Instead of Playing Mind Games

January 13th, 2015

photo via flickr

Dating is so mired in game-playing and pickup moves these days that it’s amazing anyone ever ends up finding lasting love. So we’re huge fans of any approach that manages to cut through all that B.S.

For example, many years ago — before we each found lasting love, against those game-playing odds — Lo conducted a sort of social-romantic experiment: When a friend introduced her to a guy who seemed very nice and whom she was instantly attracted to, she asked him if he’d like to be her boyfriend. Standard protocol would have had her flirt with him and wait for him to buy her a drink and then pretend to be just a little bit interested and he would do the same and so on until maybe they’d manage to “hang out” a few times and perhaps, eventually, stumble into a real relationship. Instead, she asked him if he’d like to cut through all the crap and immediately go steady, kind of like kids do in grade school, before they learn how to save face. He astonishingly agreed. The hand-holding in public was immediate, as was the soul bearing. The relationship lasted only a month or two, but it was healthy and full of honest communication, and when they parted ways, it was as friends.

Em accidentally conducted a similar experiment a decade ago: After Em had two great dates with a guy, the two of us (Em & Lo) had to fly to England for nearly a month, on a book tour for the U.K. edition of our first book, The Big Bang. Em and the guy weren’t in touch during that time — the relationship seemed too new to support long-distance communication — but when she returned, they had a third date. Except it didn’t feel like a third date… it felt more like they’d already been dating a month. So they naturally, mutually, without really discussing anything, just skipped all the are-we-really-into-each-other nonsense of those first unsteady weeks. She was able to leap-frog her bad habit of being attracted to guys who just weren’t into her, and he was able to leap-frog the male version of this. And, reader, she married him.

We found a third example of this kind of “speed mating” in the Modern Love column of the Times this past week: “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This.” The gist of the piece: During a first date with a guy she’d kind of known for a while, the author had one of those flirty-theoretical conversations about whether it was possible to fall in love with anyone. (It’s the kind of conversation that’s possible to have on a first date, because you’re basically strangers, but then you can’t really talk about that stuff again until you’re in a very serious relationship.)

The author, Mandy Len Catron, recalled a scientific study she’d once read about, wherein a researcher put two complete strangers in a lab, had them ask each other a series of increasingly intimate questions — thirty-six, in all — and then had them stare into each other’s eyes for four minutes. One of the couples in the study ended up marrying (yes, the researcher scored an invite!).

Mandy and her date decided to replicate the experiment, except in a bar. They found the list of questions online and passed an iPhone back and forth between them (who said smart phones are killing romance?!), starting with questions like, “Would you like to be famous? In what way?” And “When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?” Then they progressed to more intimate questions, such as “Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common,” and, of course, “How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?” Finally, they relocated to a nearby bridge and held eye contact for four excruciating minutes.  Reader, they fell in love.

Of course, this experiment isn’t going to work with any random stranger you pluck out of your morning commute. But on a first date, where chemistry and at least a little mutual interest has already been established, we like it a lot more than all of that crappy, heartbreaking game-playing. Plus, it’s a great way to weed out selfish, one-track-minded pickup artists before you get in too deep. As the author says:

But what I like about this study is how it assumes that love is an action. It assumes that what matters to my partner matters to me because we have at least three things in common, because we have close relationships with our mothers, and because he let me look at him. … The study [gave] us a way into a relationship that feels deliberate.

If you want to try it yourself, here are all thirty-six of Dr. Arthur Aron’s questions. You should take it in turns, each answering all thirty-six questions.

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

16. What do you value most in a friendship?

17. What is your most treasured memory?

18. What is your most terrible memory?

19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

20. What does friendship mean to you?

21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “

26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.

29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?

34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?

36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

Finally, don’t forget to stare into each other’s eyes for four full, SILENT minutes — no cheating! — to seal the deal. (Set a timer on your iPhone, as the author of the piece did.) After that, feel free to seal the deal with a kiss.

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