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Is Football More Important Than Rape?

October 17th, 2014

by Charles J. Orlando for YourTango  |  photo via flickr

It’s time to actually #blamejameis and those who enable him.

Mr. Winston:

I’ve been following your college football career at Florida State University as quarterback for the Seminoles. You have an incredible arm, and your insight into a defense’s secondary is enviable. You’re a Heisman Trophy winner—the youngest ever, actually—and have been expected to be the top pick in the 2015 NFL draft. You should be proud, as your accomplishments on the field have been amazing. And just think: All you had to do to achieve your goals was work hard, practice every day, stay focused on your prize and … sell your honor and humanity.

Just in case you’ve been hiding behind the FSU Athletic Department’s deafening silence—or your lawyer’s rhetoric—you were accused of sexual assault in December 2012. Your accuser was a student at FSU and, according to witness accounts, she allegedly met you at Potbelly’s—the campus bar—and headed back to your place with your roommate Chris Casher and friend Ronald Darby, both FSU football players, too. And then … well … things get murky there, don’t they? (Although Walt Bogdanich at The New York Times did an outstanding job earlier this year outing the colossal legal joke-of-an-investigation.)

It would be easy to take cheap shots at you for your alleged* actions … your sick, pathetic, cowardly alleged* actions that are devoid of any form of humanity or masculinity, and which may have stolen the smile and the future from a female FSU freshman. But as I consider the entirety of what has transpired, I can’t (and won’t) blame you solely for what allegedly* took place. Not because you aren’t a predator—which I’m of the opinion you are––even though you have not been convicted (or even charged, for that matter). Not because you need help—which, if the accusations are correct, you most assuredly do (and I mean real mental help, not the legal shield you hide behind nor the buried ostrich heads of the FSU Athletic Department). And not because you deserve forgiveness—which you don’t, as you are responsible for your actions. It is because you were assisted in your efforts.

You see, Mr. Winston, you might be an alleged* rapist, but the cowards in your immediate circle may actually be worse than you. These enablers, in my opinion—the police, the FSU Athletic Department, and your friends— bore witness (even admitting that they recorded the alleged* assault as it happened), and received damning information (perhaps even proof) of the acts that shattered the pride, mental integrity and physical security of a young woman. These people in your circle went home night after night for months with a clear conscience, apparently placated by the notion that they were keeping what mattered most (in their eyes) safe—the athletic department, the economic viability of the surrounding businesses that count on revenue from FSU students, and their own personal interests. You were surrounded by people who may have known what you were doing … and due to them suckling at the power teat, worried for their jobs, in complete denial, or (at the worst) completely indifferent about your activities, they not only accepted what you allegedly* did, they seemed to lower their heads in cowardice,  offering their silent, willing approval. It looks like they embraced silence and feigned innocence so they didn’t upset the proverbial apple cart. They ensured their own well-being on the back of a woman potentially violated … and they did it without missing a night’s sleep, and without considering that they were sacrificing their very humanity.

The scariest thing to me, Mr. Winston, is that you are hardly alone in your actions. Not that you care, but according to the United States Department of Justice (in “The Sexual Victimization of College Women”) nearly 1 in 20 U.S. college women will be the victim of a completed or attempted rape. As such, it would seem that you are the tip of the iceberg in a subject that colleges and college towns would rather ignore, thus ensuring enrollment and revenue. No matter how many young women are violated and forced to look in the mirror knowing that someone entered and stayed inside their bodies without permission, the truth will seemingly be buried under an ever-growing pile of sports politics, pretension, alumni support, and denial.

The most fascinating thing is what I think you must believe about yourself. You probably think you have power. You’re under the assumption that because you can steal soda, shoplift seafood, destroy property, or scream misogynistic obscenities without the slightest consequence, that you are an important figure. Let me explain the truth: You’ve been afforded that power because of your talent. You don’t actually have power; the people who are making money off your talent have the power. They allow your transgressions to keep you on the field winning games. They don’t care about you; they care about your next win … and their next title. Perhaps you’ve already figured that out. Maybe you discovered how weak you actually are as a man and attempted to validate yourself by violating an innocent woman. Most studies say the same thing: Rapists don’t commit the act for sex … they rape for power, using sex as a weapon to inflict pain, violence and humiliation. In essence, you probably weren’t even into her … you may have been trying to validate yourself as a man.

Many of your fans and defenders have taken a hardline stance declaring your innocence, ignoring the fact that nearly 12 months passed since the allegation of rape initially came to light—and the evidence of video and witness memories were fading. In the absence of evidence, your supporters’ defense is simple: She didn’t say no and there’s no proof. According to your accuser, she did tell you to stop (as she stated in the official police report). But even if she didn’t, please allow me to educate you on something basic: Not saying “no” doesn’t mean an implied “yes”. This implied yes is indicative of a sickness in people who are accused of these kinds of acts; in our very culture, in fact. In some situations, begging for forgiveness later instead of asking for permission first denotes initiative and foresight. However, when it comes to sex, that’s never the case. If the allegations are true, you were an smug, egotist who felt that the world around you was yours—including a freshman’s body—and it seems you were given that permission by those around you … like-minded cowards who lie-in-wait and who look away from injustice so they can protect their own interests—a pure reflection of the selfie mentality that seems to run so rampant in today’s world.

I need you to know something: You and your allies haven’t just potentially ruined the life of your alleged* victim; you have lowered the bar on what the term “man” means. In your position, people will look to you for guidance and leadership. You are trusted. With these allegations, you and your silent cohorts seemingly betrayed everything that is good and decent about being a man. I am sickened and repulsed that I have to be put into the same gender category as you. However, as I am not now, nor will I ever be, like you—not even in the remotest sense of comparison and with the most metaphorical hyperbole—I will continue to take the high road and leave the insults and sarcastic, cutting blasts to the trolls of the Internet, as they now have unlimited fodder for discussion when it comes to the likes of you.

Mr. Winston, I consider you a Harbinger of Awareness for humanity. You have been a test of humanity’s willingness to release selfish wants on the backs of others and err on the side of decency … of what is universally right … of justice. This is a test that was failed by so many in your situation, but I’m hopeful those observing will see this for what it is: A wake up call that someone else may NOT take care of what is right … of what is just. It is up to those who know to do something.

There are great people in universities and in college sports departments, but your situation and the way it has been handled has people questioning everything at this point. Colleges and sports departments that enable and ignore crimes against others—with help from the outside world—are destined to become finishing schools for the male sociopath-in-training … the abuser … the man-without-scruples … the rapist. With men like this waiting for our daughters, I not only weep for women, but also for the perception women have of men in positions of leadership and power.

I would offer, Mr. Winston, that you are (perhaps unintentionally) leading the charge to show women of the world that they, their sexuality—and by extension their personal power—are negotiable and expendable. That poor treatment is what they should expect when money and influence are at stake. That men in power will do anything to keep it, and that women are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. You show it through your alleged* actions, complete disregard for common decency, lack of self-awareness, and absence of basic humanity and humility. But I see past the falsehoods. I see past your clownish persona. I see beyond what seems to be an orchestrated legal defense.

I see you for what you are. I see you as you should be seen: as nothing.

In condemnation,
Charles J. Orlando

*I’m going to ensure that alleged follows my words. Wouldn’t want you (or anyone) to think that you actually faced a court of law where justice might prevail.

This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: An Open Letter to Jameis Winston 

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Dream Interpretation: I Cheated on Hubby with My Abusive Ex

October 16th, 2014

Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means. Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it (18 and older only, please). This week, a reader asks Lauri:

Yesterday while taking a nap, I found myself dreaming that my ex-boyfriend showed up at my home and I proceeded to cheat on my husband with him. (Side note, my ex-boyfriend was both emotionally and physically abusive and cheated on me several times during our relationship. Plus, we broke up nearly 6 years ago and I’m now happily married with two beautiful daughters.)

Anyway, in the dream we had amazing sex (he wasn’t that good in real life). Shortly after, however, my husband, a friend of ours, and some other people showed up. I wasn’t caught by anyone, but I felt horrible. I kept saying over and over, “I can’t believe I cheated on him. I would never do something like this. I love my husband.” I really felt horrible, and wanted to keep this a secret, but I knew my husband would find out, regardless of whether I told him or not. Of course, our friend saw my ex there and wondered why he was there.

I finally yelled at my ex and told him to get the f*** out of my house. He left, and I felt terrible. I woke myself up and was extremely thankful it was just a dream. I don’t like thinking about my ex, but this dream has disturbed me significantly. Usually when I dream about him, he is always trying to get back with me (which he did in reality for years after we split), and I always tell him to leave me alone, I’m in love with my husband. I just want to know what this dream means, so maybe I won’t have this dream anymore.

Lauri: Unfortunately, when you get out of an abusive relationship, you are never fully out of it, because the emotional scars remain and will show up in your dreams. The element of feeling horrible about cheating on your hubby with your abusive ex is a tell-tale sign that remnants of that relationship show up every now and then and affect your marriage.

Do you still have trust issues? Do you have a difficult time handling arguments with hubby? What sort of behaviors do you sometimes exhibit that stem from when you were in the abusive relationship? Odds are, around the time you had this dream something must have happened, you must have said something or behaved in a manner that made you feel guilty, which is why you had so much guilt in the dream. Just as you said, “I would never do this to my husband” in the dream, what did you do or say in real life that is not like you? Did you sneak a look at his phone? Did you get irrational in an argument? Whatever it is, you are fully aware that were it not for that abusive relationship, you never would have done it.

The way you tell him to get the f*** out of your house in the dream is really you demanding that he get the f*** out of your psyche because clearly, as evidenced by this dream, he is still “screwing” with you psychologically rather than physically. He’s not in your life anymore but emotional scars from him are.

If this is a frequent thing, I would urge you to get help with it. Far too often past relationships continue to play an unhealthy role in current relationships because we haven’t been able to fully let go of the pain, the fear, the distrust, etc. I have partnered with a psychologist and we specialize in this sort of issue. If you are interested in getting help, we can help you in just one to three sessions, as opposed to months of therapy. You can find out more at DreamingtoHealing.com.

 

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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Comment of the Week: Blow Jobs Aren’t an Inalienable Right

October 16th, 2014

In an impassioned response to our post, “Your Call: She Doesn’t Like Going Down,” reader Sara doesn’t pull any punches when discussing those who prioritize sex acts over actual people. She really gets going in the fourth paragraph!:

You know what makes it easier to like something? Being able to choose freely whether to do it (or have it done to you). That means being pressured is not helpful. Whether it is “but everyone else loves it” peer pressure, some jackass saying you owe them, or some well-meaning person telling you to try try again.

I found this thread seriously f*cked up. The amount of guilt tripping and the suggestion to the OP that there’s something wrong with her, she needs to get over it, that she’s being “unfair” – what the actual FUCK?

Do you people realise that coercing someone into a sex act they are not willing to do is a form of rape? That people are different and some people just don’t like certain things, and it’s not your right to tell them they are abnormal because they’re different to you? Threatening to find sex elsewhere or leave someone if they don’t give you oral sex is emotional manipulation of the most insidious, despicable kind. My man doesn’t like giving oral sex much and even if I loved it (I don’t) I would NEVER coerce him into it because it’s sick to make someone you’re supposed to love do something sexually that they are not willing to do.

I don’t like giving blow jobs and there is NOTHING wrong with me. There are a lot of unpleasant things about having a dick in your mouth. Even freshly washed, it doesn’t taste or smell great. Seeing as my tongue happens to be covered in taste buds and my nose full of olfactory receptors, there is little I can do to block this out. Putting food of any kind on genitalia makes it even more gross. Getting your gag reflex stimulated is massively unpleasant too – it can be painful if it’s violent, my eyes water, and I don’t feel very sexy with tears streaming down my face. After about 2 minutes my jaw aches unbearably. I find the idea of bodily fluids hitting the back of my throat disgusting, and every time I’ve ever swallowed I’ve felt sick and mildly traumatised for a couple of hours afterwards, and if you think there’s something wrong with me for that how about you take a swig of your girlfriend’s period blood and see how it makes you feel. Most people can’t even handle the idea of drinking human breast milk and that’s actually supposed to be food, so why am I supposed to enjoy the salty bitter slime that comes out of a man’s penis?

Couples can have great sex that both partners enjoy without throwing their toys out of the pram when they don’t get everything they want. I like anal but I also recognise that it’s not for everyone, and I’d never accuse another girl of being weird or uptight or somehow at fault for not enjoying it. Similarly my man has no interest in being penetrated anally by me, and though I’d quite like to do it it would be messed up to coerce him into something he’s clearly not comfortable with, and even more messed up to suggest that him not being comfortable with something I want is some sort of personal failing.

There should be more to a relationship than getting pleasured. If you care more about getting your dick sucked than you do about the girl who’s doing it, then you probably don’t deserve a relationship anyway. Fuck… this thread has seriously depressed me.

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Your Call: Should She Stay or Should She Go?

October 16th, 2014

photo via Flickr

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. We seem to be getting a lot of bad boyfriend letters lately — maybe these women just need to hear your Greek Chorus in order to do what needs to be done. Say it in unison in the comments section below. 

Submit Your Own Question to EMandLO.comTry Our New
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Readers,

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 4 years. Our relationship has been quite rocky from the start and he treated me really badly in the beginning.
Our relationship initially started as a long distance one and I had to move countries and give up my studies to be with him. Before moving I asked him about his past and very specifically asked him all the things that I considered a deal breaker – being gay was one of them, so I asked him if he had ever been into guys and he told me he was absolutely straight (which later turned out to be a lie).

Because of the difficulties of integrating our lives together after me moving to be with him, we fought a lot and he was incredibly mean and verbally abusive (at times he pushed me around too. At that point I hated him and wanted to get away from him. He would pester me for sex, but I refused because of the way he treated me. I still don’t want to be intimate with him because I have son underlying anger towards him.

A year ago we moved to London and our relationship improved a bit after me establishing firm boundaries – I still struggle with intimacy though (I also struggle with this because I have been raped in the past). One evening my boyfriend came home drunk and blurted out that he is bisexual and wants to have sex with other men. I had a sneaky suspicion that he had a crush on a guy at work and was trying to get me to have a threesome with another guy, which I obviously found as a shock.

The next day we chatted about this and as it turns out he had a year long relationship with another guy (before we got together). I asked him how he managed to have sex with another man and he said that it was very pleasurable and that he was attracted to both men and women, but wanted to be in a relationship with a woman. I felt really betrayed that he lied to me. I uprooted my entire life to move to the opposite side of the world to be with him. I told him everything about my past and gave him the option of leaving if he didn’t feel comfortable with MY past, but yet he couldn’t afford me the same honesty.

I have tried to talk to him about this, but he constantly changes his story and refuses to speak about this. We very nearly broke up.

Then he started talking in his sleep sexually about other men – I heard him say:’I wanna fuck your arse full’ and started nattering about a tall, blonde elegant guy…I was traumatized by this. He was having either a physical or emotional affair with some guy. He denied this flat out saying that I was going mad. I’m really struggling with this and don’t know whether I should hang around.

We love each other and have been through a lot to be together, but I don’t know whether to trust him or not. He has told me that he isn’t gay, but I know I’m running a massive risk by staying with him.

I’m so sad and angry. I have no idea how to deal with this. When I think of him with another man I feel quite disgusted (I’m not homophobic – I just don’t want to deal with this confusion).

He tells me that he loves me, but is this enough?

Ps: This is a wonderful thread and everyone’s input has been thought provoking and intelligent, hence me reaching out to you all. Please help me cope with this. I don’t know what to do and my heart is struggling terribly with this.

Thanks so much,

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

 

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

 

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10 Reasons Why a Dirty House Is Good for Your Marriage

October 15th, 2014


photo via flickr

For the record, we both love a tidy house. We love a clean, well-lighted place in which to read a book or work on a hilarious and/or enlightening post for this blog. Dirty, messy houses can be annoying, stressful, and, yes, smelly. But sometimes, it simply can’t be helped. And when it can’t, stressing about your messy house just makes a bad day worse. So here, to make your bad day just a little bit better, we offer up ten reasons why your dirty house might just be good for your marriage.

And just to clarify: When we say that a dirty house is “good for your marriage,” we mean that it’s good for any long-term cohabitation situation. But you try fitting that into a snappy article headline!

1. You Avoid Chore Imbalance Resentment

There’s something incredibly peaceful and almost zen-like about falling asleep in an immaculate and pristine bedroom. Unless, of course, you cleaned the entire house yourself and have done every day since you said “I do” and your spouse never so much as puts their socks in the laundry basket or comments on how nice the place looks. That sort of resentment can keep you up all night, and in all the wrong ways!

2. You Have Time and Energy Left Over for Each Other

Cleaning is hard labor, even harder, often, than convincing your three-year-old to eat green vegetables. (There’s a reason, after all, that cleaning services often cost way more than childcare!) And climbing into bed after a day of office work followed by a few hours of cleaning — or after a day of cleaning on your so-called “day off” — can feel like the finish line in a race you never signed up for. If you instead skip the cleaning and leave all the dirty dishes in the sink, even occasionally, you might just feel like knocking boots… or even simply having a conversation about something more meaningful than deciding which show to watch.

3. You Feel Young and Reckless

Remember the kind of squalor you lived in during college or your early twenties? (If you’re the kind of person who baked cookies and owned a dusting cloth in college, then this article is probably not for you!) Letting your house return to that state sometimes can be freeing. You’ll feel like you’re embracing life and what’s important in it — namely, people over dust bunnies. And that can be pretty sexy.

4. You Can Have Messy Kitchen Sex

What’s more fun: Lying back on your immaculate and empty kitchen table for some by-the-book sex because you know you’re supposed to do it outside the bedroom sometimes… or pushing aside dirty dishes and pushing silverware to the floor and having screw-it-we’ll-clean-up-later sex?

5. It’s a Bonding Experience

Marriage can sometimes devolve into a kind of ping-pong game where you take it in turns being annoyed at each other for tiny, domestic infractions — like forgetting to remove muddy shoes before entering the house, or forgetting to pay a bill, or forgetting to put the wet laundry into the dryer. But if you agree, together, to let the house go for a day or a week or whatever, this messy state of affairs will mask all the other stuff you normally get annoyed at.

6. You Realize Some Things Can Wait

Living with a messy house gives you perspective. You’ll realize that the earth does not stop spinning on its axis simply because  you left a pile of unfolded laundry in the middle of the TV room, or you didn’t empty the trash and the house smells like tuna casserole the next morning. Life goes on, and on your deathbed, you will definitely not think, “I wish I’d emptied the trash cans more often.” This kind of revelation can do wonders for the way you treat your spouse.

7. You Gain a New Appreciation for What You Each Do

Taking some time off from domestic chores will make you each realize how much you do around the house. Even if you feel like you do, say, 90% of the household chores, we’re pretty sure there’s a lot your spouse does that you simply don’t notice anymore. (And vice versa, of course!)

8. You Can Stay in the Moment

A clean house can be just as stressful as a messy one. Imagine this: You’re sitting in your supposedly spotless kitchen, trying to listen to your spouse tell you about their day, and you suddenly notice a dust bunny you missed earlier, or a glass you forgot to put in the dishwasher before turning it on, or a pile of newspapers you forgot to put out, and — hold everything — tomorrow is trash pickup day. You find yourself multitasking, finishing these little tasks, and only half-listening to the love of your life. Hey, how about you sit down and really listen, instead? Sure, sometimes you can show love by making your love nest cozy and clean — but other times, it’s more important to sit down and simply be there.

9. You Might Lose Your Cellphone or the TV Remote

And then think of all the meaningful conversations you’ll be forced to have!

10. You Won’t Invite Friends Over

When you’ve been with someone a long time, it’s really easy to over-schedule your social life — to plan dinner parties and football-watching parties and book clubs and playdates and Tupperware-style sex toy parties and… well, you get the idea. But when your abode is verging on squalid, shame makes you hole up together and enjoy each other’s company.  Let’s hope you still have something to say to each other besides, “Have you seen the remote?”

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A Personal Trainer for Your Orgasm: Luna Smart Bead

October 15th, 2014


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Your pelvic area muscles are like any other muscle: you use them or you lose them. They need regular workouts, especially as you get older, especially if you’re a woman who’s procreated. After all, stronger pelvic muscles mean more intense orgasms that are easier to come by, as it were. You just need to be motivated to work them out — and there’s the rub (or should we say, there isn’t the rub?).

Now there’s a personal trainer for your naughty bits (that won’t yell at you): the LUNA Smart Bead™ by LELO! With touch-sensors that respond to your every squeeze, the LUNA Smart Bead™ measures your orgasm-potential and sets a routine that’s right for you, so you can enjoy longer, stronger orgasms in no time. Here’s how it works:

  • The touch-sensors measure your power from your first squeeze for a perfectly tailored workout.
  • Follow the vibration-guided routine by squeezing when you feel the pulse and relaxing when it stops.
  • As you become stronger, progress through its 5 vibration-guided levels.
  • Each routine lasts just 5 minutes and regular use will return fast results.

Other features include:

  • Intelligent memory function that remembers your progress
  • Continuous vibration mode for immediate pleasure
  • Up to 200 routines from a single AAA battery
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  • Available in pink or deep rose

For only about $100, you may never need Kegels again! Check out this beautiful (and very relaxing) video below and LELO’s nice dedicated website for more info on the LUNA Smart Bead™:

Why Guys Are So Obsessed with the Twin Thing

October 14th, 2014

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: What’s the deal with fantasizing about twins? (Coors Lite twins, Hef’s twins, etc.) How come the whole implied incest thing — a.k.a. “Twincest,” thanks, Gone Girl! — isn’t a turn-off?

Straight Single Guy (Colin): I think, for some men, having a set of twins is the American Dream. An international friend once told me that you can make anything American by just adding more. With this perceptive logic, a fantasy of one beautiful girl instantly becomes as epic as the untamed West, as landing on the moon, as the California Gold Rush, as soon as you add a second copy of the same girl. I think we all understand that most threesomes we fantasize about involve some enjoyable spectating of girl-on-girl, but when it comes to twins, the fantasy is strictly about us-on-them (or vice versa). They’re seeing each other naked, but I think we can all get over that if it means living the life our forefathers fought for. It’s a patriotic fantasy really.

Straight Married Guy (Matt): This isn’t a fantasy I ever really think about, but when it’s brought up — sure, hot twins sound great! And because it’s a fantasy, we don’t care about the implied incest, or the implied next-morning awkwardness or anything else other than the sex. I guess in this case I think less about the fact that they’re sisters as much as I’m thinking two identical hot girls catering to my every whim. What’s better than that? (Besides hot triplets, of course.) Read the rest of this entry »

Your Weekly Horoscopes: 10-14-14

October 14th, 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)
If we had a dime bag for every time the stars told us to convey the message “Get out and strut your stuff and you will attract all sorts of interesting attention,” we’d be stoned out of our minds. Fortunately the stars don’t deal in narcotics, so we’re still clear-headed enough to be able to tell you this: Get out and strut your stuff and you will attract all sorts of interesting attention.

taurus (Apr. 21st-May 20th)
Your attention span for relationships currently rivals that of the average “Girl Meets World” Disney viewer. Consequently, don’t dabble in anything too serious — instead, surround yourself with a poo-poo platter of mini-flings to suit your tastes. Maybe next week you’ll grow up a bit. . . uh, we mean, be ready to make a few important decisions.

gemini (May 21st-June 21st)
You wouldn’t happen to have feelings for more than one person, now, would you? Come on, you can tell us. Maybe you’re feeling just a little tug from someone in another direction. . . We knew it! We have no advice for you, we just wanted to see if we were right.

cancer (June 22nd-July 22nd)
You won’t have any trouble finding love this week, but if you are too accommodating and decide to spread yourself around, you may hurt someone’s feelings. There is something to be said for monogamy. And that’s not even coming from us monogamy whores — that’s coming straight from the stars!

leo (July 23rd-Aug. 22nd)
We talk a big game here about not assuming exclusivity in a relationship until you’ve had “the talk,” but dating in a plural sense is not for the faint of heart. No matter how honest you are with everyone involved (you have been honest with everyone, haven’t you?), you can only keep it going for so long before someone starts to get upset, pouty, jealous, or psycho. We’re only human, after all, and “thanks so much for the great head, I have to go shower for my next date” doesn’t make anyone feel warm and fuzzy. It might be time to make like the Bachelor/ette and start kicking some of your followers to the curb. If you can arrange to have them picked up in a limo, that would be a nice touch.

virgo (Aug. 23rd-Sept. 22nd)
Put a collar on yourself and hand your date the leash. Let them lead the way. Better to see where they’re going rather than taking off for the nearest fire hydrant and embarrassing yourself. (We don’t intend for you to take this advice literally, unless you’d like to dabble in a little BDSM role playing . . . in which case, don’t use a real dog collar but a made-for-play one, and always lead from the front!)

libra (Sept. 23rd-Oct. 23rd)
Sitting around worrying will not solve all your problems. Neither will yoga. There, we said it: There is such a thing as a problem that yoga can’t solve, despite what all the celebrities claim. (And who believes them, anyway? When they say that yoga gives them that special glow, it’s just Hollywood code for bulimia, plastic surgery, and a three-hundred-dollar facial.) But anyway, you’re too broke for the facial, and too smart for surgery or an eating disorder. So hit the town with some good friends, instead; it’s twice the therapy and doesn’t leave scars or rot your teeth.

scorpio (Oct. 24th-Nov. 22nd)
You should consider wearing one of those “keep back fifty yards” t-shirts this week. Proximity to hotties will get you all flustered, and not in an endearing way — we’re talking pit stains and clammy hands. If you don’t want someone to see you lose your cool this early on in the seduction process (and trust us, it won’t be pretty), then keep your distance. And wear deodorant.

sagittarius (Nov. 23rd-Dec. 21st)
Apparently “talk will get you exactly what you want” this week. So we recommend setting your sights a little higher than simply using your new-found oratorical skills to order a particularly complicated sandwich at the deli.

capricorn (Dec. 22nd-Jan. 20th)
Ironically, staying very busy this week will be the key to finding someone to lie around in bed with all day.

aquarius (Jan. 21st-Feb. 18th)
Don’t just sit there thinking about your love life (that’s our job) — get out there and do something about it. Like what, you ask snottily? Well, let’s see, things that won’t get you a date include: whining to us, whining to your therapist, whining to your goldfish, trimming your toe nails. Things that might get you a date include: going to your ten/twenty-year high school reunion, joining a community service group, actively using the Personals, becoming rich and famous. Oh, and if you do get a date, trim your toe nails first.

pisces (Feb. 19th-Mar. 20th)
You’re looking for that special connection who makes your face flush, your heart pound, and your genitals. . . well, let’s not get into that. Get involved in a physical activity you really enjoy and it might just lead you to that special someone. And if not — hey, at least the physical exertion will make your face flush and your heart pound. Like Meatloaf said, two out of three ain’t bad.

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How to Make Masturbation Feel More Intimate

October 10th, 2014


photo via flickr

We often hear women complain that masturbation just doesn’t do it for them, simply because there’s no man or woman attached to the end of the sex toy. In other words, they want masturbation to provide not just sex, but also intimacy. So, how do you make masturbation feel more intimate?

Okay, first things first: You are masturbating, right? Because if you’re not, then our job is simple: You’ve got to start self-loving! Every time you feel the itch, scratch it! (Not literally, of course, unless that’s your thing.) The better you get at masturbation, more natural it will feel, and the more comfortable you will feel pleasuring yourself. And there is a kind of intimacy to this level of comfort with your own body and your own desire.

But if you want to turn the intimacy up to eleven, then you have to treat masturbation like sex, rather than treating it like brushing your teeth (or like scratching an itch). Sure, you could just grab your vibe, place it where it counts, and let it do its thing. And sure, you might even climax that way. But there are more intense experiences to be had if you seduce yourself first: take a long bubble bath with a glass of wine, dim the lights, play some sultry tunes. You know, everything that you’d do if you were about to have romantic anniversary sex with the love of your life.

And don’t neglect your fantasy life. Vibrators are so powerful these days, so freakin’ reliable, that it’s easy to get lazy about fantasizing and just let the mechanics take over. After all, a work-horse like the Hitachi Magic Wand can sometimes get the job done whether you’re in the mood for it or not! But that’s no excuse not to get in the mood. That’s where the romance novels et al come in:  Spend some quality time with a romance novel/graphic novel/erotica collection/episode of Masters of Sex/porno/whatever your favorite turn-on is.

Also, if you’ve always relied on a toy, maybe try experimenting with just your right hand and some lube — that might help things feel a little more, well, personal. Or treat yourself to a subtle, pebble-like vibrator that sits in the palm of your hand and complements your masturbation session, rather than taking charge of it completely. We can’t think of a better reason to splurge on a proper, grownup pleasure object by Lelo!

If you have a partner and your masturbation sessions are simply an extracurricular addition to your sex life (perhaps you’re long-distance, for example) maybe your partner would be willing to provide some fantasy material for you. (How could they object? We think that everyone, men especially, secretly wants to be objectified!) Ask your partner to write you a love and/or lust letter. Look at a photo of your partner, scantily clad.

If you’re currently single, then use photographs of people you once slept with and recall fondly, or people you’d like to sleep with (Face — or, hell, even celebrities! There are no rules in your fantasy life.

And write your own dirty letter, too — it doesn’t have to be addressed to anyone specific. In fact, you don’t ever have to show it to anyone at all. But writing down everything you wish that someone was doing to you right now, and everything you wish you could do to that person, will help get you in the mood. Especially if you imagine someone specific reading it (or, what the hell, imagine the letter getting into the wrong hands if that turns you on!). Then stash the letter in your night-stand for those special alone moments.

Remember, the better you get at masturbation, the more intimate it will feel. And the more intimate your masturbation sessions, the more likely you are to demand more from your real, live, human partners. And the less likely you are to take crap from someone, just because they turn you on. And there you were thinking masturbation was just a way to scratch an itch! It’s actually revolutionary, therapeutic… and, yes, intimate, when you do it right.

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