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Your Weekly Stars: 08-11-14

August 11th, 2014

grandcentral_ceiling_421photo by Simply Schmoopie

aries (Mar. 21st-Apr. 20th)
For all you Aries out there who aren’t in a long-term relationship, but want to be (even if you don’t want to be, you have no choice): You will meet someone who will factor into the equation for quite a while if you attend organized events that interest you: jazz concerts in smoky dives, book readings at local bookstores, volunteer house-building for the less fortunate, industry conferences at Howard Johnsons, “Latin Groove” classes at fitness clubs, etc. Don’t say no to things to do this week, or you risk inadvertently saying no to people to do for weeks to come.

taurus (Apr. 21st-May 20th)
Opportunity knocks this week when it comes to love. Open the door quickly and screw the living daylights out of it.

gemini (May 21st-June 21st)
The stars say to play hard-to-get this week. Hey, we don’t condone playing head games with your partners; in fact, we think honesty is always the best policy. But what do we know? We’re nothing but insignificant pawns in the universe’s game of astrological checkers. So maybe you should cool it off a bit this week and stop being so aggressive. That’s the message and we’re delivering it. (If it doesn’t work out, don’t blame us. Blame heaven.)

cancer (June 22nd-July 22nd)
We’re not familiar with your boss’s stance on vacation days, but we suggest taking a Libido Day sometime soon. ‘Cause you’re just too damned sexy (and sexed up) to get any work done! Besides, your colleagues are starting to get a little grossed out by the way you rub up against the water cooler. As long as you remember to incorporate a little romance into your approach, you should find your needs satisfied this week. And if not, at least the water cooler won’t hurt your feelings or break your heart.

leo (July 23rd-Aug. 22nd)
Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and even the most grotesque fashion trend (high-waisted, flat-bottomed mom jeans, anyone?) is groovy every few decades. And even you, our friend, will have days when you sizzle more than a side of bacon in boiling fat. This week, take advantage of all the heat and energy and good bacon smell to turn that special someone into your own little piggy.

virgo (Aug. 23rd-Sept. 22nd)
Stories about your old flame are like dreams and vacation photos — no one wants to hear about yours unless they’re in them. Especially not your current partner. It’s time to close the ex-files for good.

libra (Sept. 23rd-Oct. 23rd)
Sometimes looking back to find your future and giving love (and old lovers) a second chance works. Sometimes living in the past just keeps you from moving ahead. It depends on the movie. The first would be something like Grosse Point Blank, while the second would be our old stand by, Swingers. This week, you’re in Swingers. (And yes, we sometimes miss the nineties. Is that so wrong?)

scorpio (Oct. 24th-Nov. 22nd)
You can have it all if you follow your heart and let your charismatic personality take over; you should have nothing to worry about and you’ll be hard to resist. Of course, if your heart has no sense of direction and you have the personality of a lima bean, you still might find yourself alone and utterly resistible.

sagittarius (Nov. 23rd-Dec. 21st)
Things that you can slow down: the way you eat, the way you drive, the way you talk, the way you jump to conclusions. Things you can’t slow down: public transportation, the way you pee, Pete Sampras’s serve, the pace of your love life. You’re going to have to make decisions faster than a center court player if you don’t want to end up a big fat loser, uh, runner-up.

capricorn (Dec. 22nd-Jan. 20th)
You’ve got a secret horoscope this week. In order to decode this very important message, you’ve got to crack the code. Hint: take one step back and two steps forward.

aquarius (Jan. 21st-Feb. 18th)
All talk and no action will lead to confrontation with the one you love. So will all action and no talk. Be sure to practice what you preach and preach what you practice or lose the one you love. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

pisces (Feb. 19th-Mar. 20th)
Love will unfold in the strangest ways this week. Kind of like origami.


How “Fifty Shades” Has Changed Sex Over the Past 3 Years

August 8th, 2014

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As if the whole Internet going gaga over the first trailer for the movie adaptation of E.L. James’ erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” wasn’t evidence enough, our friends over at LELO have actually quantified just how influential the story of Ana, Christian and his woven tie have been on the world’s sexual habits. They surveyed over 10,000 women from 8 countries over the past few years and discovered that the interest in kinky accessories inspired by “Fifty Shades” served as a gateway to enjoying other intimate objects and activities:


The Year Vanilla Turned Grey

(click for infographic)

Women were becoming more adventurous. Sex out of the bedroom was on the increase, sex toys were on the increase and kinky liaisons were on the increase too. Sales of whips and teasers increased by more than 50% and sales of Pleasure beads increased by more than 200%. Fifty-eight percent of global sex toy owners were expected to use premium personal massagers with their partner.



The Kink Continues

(click for infographic)

The kinky liaisons between the sheets continued throughout the first two quarters of 2013 with women everywhere feeling a new sense of sexual empowerment. But by the end of 2013 LELO witnessed a shift in how women wanted their pleasure.  Sales of BDSM accessories, like whips and teasers, reached a plateau in the last quarter of 2013 compared with sales of premium couples’ massagers and vibrating couples’ rings worn during intercourse, which increased by 82%. By the end of 2013, 72% of sex toy owners used massagers or rings with their partner.



The Year of the Vanilla Revolution

(click for infographic)

LELO’s Global Sex Survey revealed women emerged from their kinky ‘Fifty Shades’ phase with liberated attitudes, finding ways beyond novelty and kink to enhance intimacy with their partners.

In 2014 LELO shows that 1 in 5 women have been involved in a threesome (double that of 2012’s findings). Similarly more than half of women in a relationship have made a home movie, and over a third have had sex in a public place. More women have lived out their fantasies over the past 2 years but a whopping 80% said their fantasy didn’t live up to expectations. Either women have become more sexually confident since “Fifty Shades,” or they’ve become more confident talking about their sex lives.

Kinkier ‘novelty-based’ products like whips and hand cuffs have still plateaued, but are expected to take a sharp rise around the release of the movie. However, sales of couples’ massagers, vibrators worn during intercourse, like IDA and Tara have increased by as much as 82% this year and are expected to continue to rise.


2015: Predictions for the Future of Sex

We would guess that immediately after Valentine’s Day next year, when the “Fifty Shades” movie premieres, LELO will be absolutely pummeled by increased requests for handcuffsblindfolds and teasers, not unlike Christian Grey on Ana’s bare bottom. Sales of kinky accessories will plateau (until the next movie in the series comes out), but by then even more women will have become comfortable buying and using bedroom accessories with their partners. A regular visit to LELO will be as normal as a dental checkup — but certainly much more pleasurable (unless, of course, you’re into pain).


Dream Interpretation: Are My Dreams Telling Me He’s Cheating Again?

August 7th, 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:

I am in a relationship of 4 years and have just had another one of these stupid dreams: I dreamt that my boyfriend is with someone else and I am seeing them together and then I’m going up to them trying to hurt him and he’s carrying on fine and doesn’t feel anything, like I’m invisible. Everything’s sad and loud for me — shouting, etc. Could this be my fear, and something to do with me? Or, as it’s happened before, or is it trying to tell me something else?

Lauri: This has everything to do with you and, in fact, this dream (which seems to be one of many) is trying to be brutally honest with you. Even if your boyfriend is being faithful right now, even if in his heart he knows he won’t cheat again, your dream is trying to make it clear to you that YOU have not healed.

In the dream you want to hurt him (I’m assuming physically) because in real life, deep down, you want him to understand the emotional hurt you still have. You are invisible in the dream because in real life you must feel like your concerns are invisible to him, or perhaps he is acting like his cheating in the past is now invisible. You are shouting in the dream because in real life you don’t feel you have been heard.

Since you keep getting these dreams, your waking life pain needs to be addressed. If the two of you can’t reach a place in your relationship where you are comfortable again, you may want to seriously consider if this relationship is worth continuing. A relationship should feel comfortable and your dreams are showing you that you are not. The dreams won’t stop until this is taken care of. Dreams do not lie and they try to help us be honest with ourselves. Good luck to you!

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.




The 25 Best Frog and Toad “Sex” Photos from Getty Images

August 7th, 2014

When you do a search for “sex” on Getty Images, you get a lot of interesting results — so many, in fact, that we were compelled to create a superlative series of Getty “sex” search images. Frogs and toads turn up quite a bit. And what’s most striking is that they, unlike the lions, all look supremely bored.



























Comment(s) of the Week: Be Smart About Respect

August 6th, 2014

It’s a tie between two responses to our Your Call post Is Intellectual Inequality a Deal Breaker? – both of which are great advice for any relationship. First, Dannie said: 

This is a question that ultimately only you can answer, because only you know your priorities.  Is intelligence the most important thing to you?  On the flip side, can you handle her mistakes with grace, rather than condescension?  Also keep in mind that intelligence is not as quantifiable as we tend to think it is.  What is she better than you at doing?  I’m willing to bet that there are still a few things that she can teach you, even if she repeatedly uses the wrong “your/you’re.”  The bottom line is, can you focus on those aspects of her, or will they be lost in your frustration?  Keep in mind that you’re not perfect, either, and you might be able to be a great team.  If you prioritize her ability to Sudoku in under a minute, however, then she deserves to be with someone who will appreciate her completely, not someone who will resent or even look down on her year after year.

Then Ralphie said:

My wife and I are “intellectual equals.”  We both have many letters that follow our names.  She will still occasionally make “cringe worthy comments” that cause me to raise my eyebrows.  You can believe me when I say that I too have made my share of “cringe worthy comments.”  Unless she has some type of disability, I’d be hesitant to question whether she is as “smart” as you.  Maybe she has not acquired as many facts, or has not thought through issues/problems as much or as quickly as you, but that probably is not a question as to how smart she is.  The real question is whether the differences in your intellectual curiosity (and possibly educational background) is a deal breaker.  People of different backgrounds come together all of the time.  You need to decide whether the differences between the two of you is enough to be a deal breaker.


Top 10 Things We Will Tell Our Sons About Sex

August 6th, 2014

Remember how we said we accidentally bred on the same schedule and both have six-year-old daughters? Well, we weren’t kidding about that breeding schedule — we also each have three-year-old sons. So it’s only fair that, after publishing the Top 10 Things We’ll Tell Our Daughters About Sex, we should write a follow-up list for our sons.

Granted, right now they’re mostly interested in Lightning McQueen, but their time will come soon. And then we will ask the same questions: What if our sons stumble across one of our books? What if one of their friends does during a playdate, and then tells his parents? (And what if it’s the unnecessarily detailed chapter on fisting in our first book, when we were still trying to prove how brave and unshockable we were?!)

We’ve already spent plenty of time thinking about how we’d like to raise our sons, and how we will talk to them about sex. Here are the top ten things we want them — eventually — to know and understand:

1. Don’t buy into macho sexual stereotypes.

First, losing your V-card doesn’t make you more of a man, so don’t rush it. When you have any kind of sexual relation for the first time, it should be because you and your partner both want to — not because you want to get it over with, not because everyone else is doing it, and not because you’re trying to prove something to your friends. Remember, guys who talk the loudest about sex either have the least experience with it, or the worst skills at it.

Those same guys may try to tell you that women who like sex or who’ve had more sexual partners than you are sluts. They’re wrong! And for the record, guys fall in love and want relationships as much as women do. So don’t engage in any so-called battles of the sexes: men aren’t from Mars and women aren’t from Venus — we’re all earthlings who should treat each other (and the sex we have with each other) with thoughtfulness, deliberateness, and respect. And if you hear anybody demeaning women or their bodies (e.g. with talk of “meat curtains,” “fish tacos,” “gaping axe wounds”), slut-shaming them, or pressuring them to have sex, then you have an obligation as a decent human being to step in and set them straight (not with brawn, with your brain). Oh, and real men wear pink with style, cry when they’re sad, and aren’t afraid to use lube and sex toys in bed, either.

And if we ever hear you use the phrase “That’s so gay” for anything other than describing light and merry pop culture from the fifties and earlier, we’re taking away all your screen privileges indefinitely.

2. Real sex is nothing like most porn.

Watching porn is not obligatory. Porn is a fantasy, and most of it caters to the assumed and narrowly defined tastes of a limited audience. In other words, what might turn men on visually in porn (jackhammering, facials, gang bangs) won’t necessarily feel good, either physically or emotionally, to your partner in real life. You should know that most women don’t look anything like porn stars — ditto for the guys…especially their equipment. Don’t try to measure your partners, or yourself, against what you see on screen. Women in porn (and men too!) get implants and cosmetic surgery (on their junk) and spray tans and full body makeup and anal bleaching and laser hair removal to look that way. In real life, labia come in all shapes and sizes (sometimes even different shapes and sizes on the same woman), in different shades, with different hairstyles. And the men in porn represent a small percentage of the population — they’re outliers in the size department, which is why they got the job in the first place! And those orgasms? More fake than not — even the guys, sometimes (Pina Colada mix, we’ve heard).

Basically, porn is a terrible place to learn about how to have great, satisfying sex, and what that kind of sex looks like. It’s an especially terrible place to learn about what women like in bed. A much better place to learn about sex — and we can’t believe we’re saying this — is one of our books! Fine, fine, if you just can’t go there (we get it), then we’ll find you another.


3. Oral should be reciprocal.

Other oral sex commandments, if you’re on the receiving end: Never push anyone’s head downtown. Never use their ears as a steering wheel. “Deep Throat” was the nickname of the Watergate informant — and that’s it! Basically, the basic rules of being a good person in general don’t end with oral: be respectful, communicate, and don’t have double standards.


4. If you have to get drunk to have sex, then you’re not ready to have sex.

Same goes for your partner — if they have to get drunk to have sex, then they’re not ready to have sex. In fact, if you suspect someone is drunk, zip your fly and go home. When either of you is drunk, you might not have safer sex. You might talk someone into doing things they’re not comfortable with — or you might do more than you’re comfortable with. You might sleep with someone you don’t even like. Have all your wits about you when it comes to sexual situations so you can make smart, informed decisions, and can give and receive consent.


5. If you’re not comfortable enough with someone to talk about safer sex, then you’re not ready to have sex with them.

Talk about your partner’s sexual history — and yours. Ask them if they always use barrier protection (condoms, oral sex dams) — and if they don’t, then don’t go there. And we don’t care if sex with a condom feels slightly less awesome than the alternative — it’s the only kind you’ll be having. But please know that condoms will not protect you from every S.T.I. — some infections exist on the surrounding skin, and sometimes condoms break. This, however, is no excuse to forgo barrier protection all together — they’re like seatbelts: they don’t prevent every accident, but they make driving a hell of lot safer (so make sure you always use both seatbelts and barrier protection!). It’s great if any female partners also use a back-up form of birth-control, like the Pill (but the Pill et al does not mean you can forgo the condoms!). Have we used enough exclamation points to make ourselves clear?!?!??!


6. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for directions in bed.

And it’s not “bossy” if a woman (or a man) gives you directions in bed. After your first few times, you might think you know how to please anyone in bed, but you won’t (even after years of sex, you won’t). Every partner will be different, and even the same partner will be different on different days. This is especially true of women, whose orgasms tend to be a little more elusive than men’s. But whoever you end up dating, guy or girl, you should be open and receptive.


7. Maybe you’re gay. Maybe you’re bisexual. Maybe you don’t know yet.

And it’s all good. Be yourself. And don’t worry too much about labels.


8. Nobody ever “owes” anyone else sex.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been dating, or how long you’ve been naked together, or how blue your balls are. It doesn’t matter if you two have had sex before, or if you partner has slept with ten people before you. It doesn’t matter if one of you just treated the other to dinner (or to oral sex). It doesn’t even matter if you’re half-way through some sexual act, including intercourse, and suddenly one of you changes your mind. Sex can stop at any time. It doesn’t even have to start.


9. That whole baseball thing is a terrible metaphor for sex.

Sex acts don’t exist on a checklist. Foreplay isn’t some discrete event that can be rushed through before the “main event.” Sex isn’t a linear set of steps. It’s not about keeping score or rushing to home plate. Sex is an amorphous conglomeration of hormones and touching and adoration and lust and pleasure and imperfection. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it (a million times) again: sex isn’t just intercourse, and intercourse shouldn’t be considered the culmination of sex. Oral sex is sex. So is manual sex. So is using a toy together. So is frottage!


10. Sex is awesome!

When you do it with the right person, at the right time, sex can be amazing. It can feel, like, really good. It can be fun and exciting, it can bring you closer to your partner, it can reduce stress, it can make you love a person more than you thought possible (though to be sure, love is not a requirement for sex — mutual respect, however, is). But sex isn’t usually awesome at first. Even when you’re head over heels in love and one hundred percent ready to do the deed, sex exists on a learning curve. That said, the better you know someone before you have sex, the more comfortable you will probably be figuring out what each other wants. Good sex requires practice. It requires knowledge about your body, and your partner’s body. It requires experimentation, and play. And it requires a sense of humor so you can both laugh it off when someone farts or queefs or gets an elbow in the face. Remember, there is no such thing as “normal” in bed — there is only what you like, what your partner likes, and what you’re both comfortable with.

Have fun, be safe, and remember: You can ask your mom anything. We’re, well, unshockable.



Wise Guys: Why Do Men Like Strip Clubs?

August 5th, 2014

photo via Flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Why are some guys so into strip clubs? Do most guys buy into the fantasy that the stripper is actually enjoying herself — or don’t they care?

Straight Single Guy (Colin): Lots of guys aren’t into strip clubs. Probably more are kind of weirded out by them than you might think. For the ones who do enjoy an outing to the nearest nudie bar, it’s usually about the visual overload of the body parts we fantasize about all day long. Finally we can be praised for overtly staring at a woman’s breasts. We might imagine what women around us look like naked and a strip club is an opportunity to live the dream. It’s fun to pretend the stripper is enjoying herself, and some are at some times, but in the end it’s just pretending and most of us probably know — like a twelve your old who still plays into his parents leaving milk and cookies out for Santa Claus.

Gay Married Guy (Joel Derfner, author of Lawfully Wedded Husband): I’m not sure I’m really in a position to answer this, because I’ve worked as a stripper, and I kind of loved it. This is one way in which it’s much easier to be a gay man than a straight man:  you don’t have to worry that you’re objectifying female sex workers.

That said: I think the fantasy that the stripper is enjoying herself is exactly what makes strip clubs so exciting. Your average Joe is not the kind of guy at whom a gorgeous, scantily clad woman is likely to hurl herself. He’s just not attractive enough, or manly enough, or sexy enough, or powerful enough, or whatever enough. But the moment he walks into a strip club, gorgeous, scantily clad women start hurling themselves at him — a thing that couldn’t happen unless he were incredibly attractive, manly, sexy, powerful, and whatever. In a way the excitement isn’t about the woman in front of him at all; it’s about how she allows him to see himself.

Stripping has its own psychological rewards, by the way, at least for men who do it; these too come from how it allows the stripper to see himself. I have to imagine that stripping offers at least some of the same rewards to women who do it.

Straight Married Guy (Matt): Guys are into strip clubs because it’s not only visual stimulation, but it also changes the dynamic of who’s pursuing whom. In any strip club you’ll see the fattest, baldest middle-aged guy there being approached by women, each one asking if he wants a lap dance, with him waving off busty 19-year-old after busty 19-year-old, not giving most of them the time of day. Sure, most guys like seeing naked women, plain and simple, but it’s the flipping of the power dynamic that creates the strip club “regular” — the guy who gets blown off the most out in the real world and gets off on turning girls down (as well as having a 19-year-old ass grinding his package when he eventually gives one of them the nod).

Do we believe that the strippers are enjoying themselves? I think it’s a suspension of disbelief while you’re on the premises. So no, most guys who are inside the strip club don’t care in that moment if the strippers are enjoying themselves, and don’t allow themselves to think about it too much, or they’d lose their erections and head for the door.


Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Gay Engaged Guy is Joel Derfner, author of Swish.To ask the guys your own question, click here.

Your Weekly Stars: 08-04-14

August 4th, 2014

grandcentral_ceiling_421photo by Simply Schmoopie

aries (Mar. 21st-Apr. 20th)
Does anyone ever enjoy listening to someone else’s cry for attention? That’s one rhetorical question to grow on this week.

taurus (Apr. 21st-May 20th)
Well, if you were looking for an excuse to avoid any decision-making this week, here it is: according to the stars, this is not the time to get your lover to do things your way. Better to play the submissive role. Whether that includes gimp masks and big man-diapers is up to you. Actually, that’s up to your master.

gemini (May 21st-June 21st)
Chill out, dude. You’re scaring us.

cancer (June 22nd-July 22nd)
You know those people who seem oh-so-casual and relaxed about hooking up and hanging out with you, so much so that they’re willing to go along with just about anything without much fuss? Chances are they aren’t casual and relaxed at all, but rather enamored and whipped! When you’re not that interested, it’s easy to underestimate how interested others actually are in you. One person’s meaningless fling is another person’s beginning of a beautiful relationship. Make sure the people in your immediate sexual circle all say “tomato” the same way, lest you have to call the whole thing off.

leo (July 23rd-Aug. 22nd)
This week, you’ll have to apply a skillful technique in order to get your partner to agree with you. And no, we don’t mean oral sex. Okay, maybe we do.

virgo (Aug. 23rd-Sept. 22nd)
Remember that scene in Naked Gun where Leslie Nielson says, “Everywhere I look, I see reminders of her” — and then the camera pans to two massive concrete bunkers that look like boobies, right next to a sky scraping phallus? That’s what you’ve got to look forward to this week. But don’t go humping cold, hard, unfeeling concrete structures just to scratch that itch: Warm human flesh may be easier to come by than you think. You just gotta ask. (Just don’t ask them to come over and watch Naked Gun on DVD.)

libra (Sept. 23rd-Oct. 23rd)
You will meet someone who will bring out the best in you. You will become best friends very quickly. This person will be generous and giving and smart and funny and you will experience mutual respect and appreciation. This person will be hotter than asphalt in August, but — alas — will find you “cute,” “cuddly,” “the best drinking buddy ever,” and “just not my type, sorry.”

scorpio (Oct. 24th-Nov. 22nd)
There’s a reason they call it sexual tension. Your current relationship (or “situation,” if you prefer) is like a tautly stretched rubber band: One flick in the wrong place and you’re gonna get a latex smack in the face. But maybe you like it like that.

sagittarius (Nov. 23rd-Dec. 21st)
There’s a fine line between a soulmate and a stalker. Make sure that the person who knows so much about you is using that knowledge for the greater good. If they suddenly bring you flowers, that’s a soulmate. If they suddenly know the names, phone numbers, and favorite sexual positions of all your exes, that’s stalking.

capricorn (Dec. 22nd-Jan. 20th)
You will make a strong romantic connection this week. You will feel helpless against this powerful attraction. You will feel in tune with this person’s every thought. You are getting very sleepy. Your eyelids are feeling very heavy. You are drifting off. You are dozing . . . zzzzzz. When you wake up, on the count of three, you will do everything this horoscope tells you to do. You will tell all your friends to read their horoscope here, and only here, every week. You will send us nice gifts when your horoscope is a sunny one. You will not blame us when it is a cloudy one. One . . . two . . . three!

aquarius (Jan. 21st-Feb. 18th)
You will be unusually stimulated by someone you meet this week — and we don’t mean like with a spatula or an egg beater or anything. No, an intense emotional compulsive attraction will make it difficult for you to resist one particular hotcake. Unfortunately, this flapjack is buttered on the jealous side.

pisces (Feb. 19th-Mar. 20th)
Adoring fans are all well and good while they keep their distance, but they can be kind of annoying up close and personal. Beware of shagging any groupies — you never know which of your dirty secrets may show up on a blog a week later. (That thing with the teddy bear? Yeah, you know what we’re talking about.)