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Comment of the Week: Top 4 Reasons Why Guys Turn Down Casual Sex

July 9th, 2014

Our MVP, reader & contributor Johnny, does it again — this time in response to our post “Wise Guys: Do Men Ever Turn Down Casual Sex?” What we really like is how the genders in this comment could be switched and the points would still be relevant (just switch “prove our manhood” to “prove our attractiveness”):

Sure, men turn down casual sex. We do it because:

  • We’re being faithful to a partner
  • We’re not attracted to the woman
  • We like the idea of casual sex, but the reality fills us with fear and anxiety (something most men won’t openly admit).
  • We already hit that and aren’t interested anymore.

Much more shocking is how frequently men accept casual sex despite being almost totally disinterested. We do that:

  • To prove our manhood
  • Because we’ll take what we can get in times of scarcity
  • To momentarily forget our pain over another woman
  • Because we just can’t stand to see a woman’s sad face when we reject her.

Guys should really turn down casual sex more, if anything.

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Top 10 Things We Will Tell Our Daughters About Sex

July 9th, 2014

The two of us accidentally bred on the same schedule, which means we both have six-year-old daughters. We have long joked about the hazards of being both sex writers and parents (and in a small town, too, no less): What will they say at the P.T.A.? What if our daughters stumble across one of our books? What if one of their friends does during a playdate, and then tells her 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?!)

But writing about sex for the past fifteen years has also given us plenty of time to think about how we’d like to raise our daughters, and how we will talk to them (and in some cases, are talking to them) about sex. Here are the top ten things we want them — eventually — to know and understand:

1. Your virginity is not a “gift” to bestow on someone.
Your virginity is not even a thing to be objectified or glorified. In fact, penile intercourse, whenever you do it (if ever you do it), should not be put on a pedestal while handjobs and oral sex are demoted to meaningless freebies. All sexual acts are intimate and meaningful, and should be approached with thoughtfulness, deliberateness and respect. And when you have any kind of sexual relation for the first time, it should be because you want to — not because you like someone sooooo much you just want to do something nice for them, not because everyone else is doing it, and not because someone is pressuring you to.

2. Your body is beautiful and it belongs to you.
You will probably hear dumb guys talking about “meat curtains” or “fish tacos” or “gaping axe wounds.” These guys have no idea what they’re talking about, and are merely covering for the fact that they don’t know their way around a woman’s body. Your vagina does not smell like tuna fish, it smells like a vagina, and as long as you eat well and shower regularly with soap (no douching!), any guy who likes you will like the way it smells. And your labia do not look like roast beef slices. They look like labia, and they come in all shapes and sizes (sometimes even different shapes and sizes on the same woman), with different hairstyles — don’t believe the myth of sexual “norms” perpetuated by porn! (And stay away from anyone who does.) Oh, and you do not have a hoo-ha or a coochie or a vajayjay. You have a vulva. You have a vagina. You have a clitoris. (Okay, you can give your genitalia cutesy nicknames, but only if you can first name all your genital parts correctly and without shame.)

3. Masturbation is a great way to love and learn about your body.
Before you get intimate with someone, you should get intimate with yourself. You should learn what you like when you’re on your own, because once you’re with another person, it will be really easy to just focus on what they like and what works for them (especially if that person has a penis, which, generally speaking, is a much simpler machine to operate). Try lube, try a little vibrator, try closing your eyes and listening to music. And don’t worry if you can’t bring yourself to orgasm at first — these things take time.

4. If you have to get drunk to have sex, then you’re not ready to have sex.
When you get drunk you might not have safer sex. You might get talked into doing things you’re not comfortable with. You might sleep with someone you don’t even like. You might get date-raped (which wouldn’t be your fault, but drunkenness certainly increases the risk of it happening). Have all your wits about you when it comes to sexual situations so you can make smart, informed decisions and can give 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. If a guy tells you that sex with a condom feels awful, he’s lying. Sure, it feels better for him without a condom, but it’s still sex, and it’s the only kind he’s getting. You can tell him that sex with a condom feels better than sex with his own right hand. 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 also a great idea to 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?!?!??! P.S. The HPV vaccine is not about sex, it’s about protecting your body. It’s about saving your life. You will get it.

6. It’s not “bossy” to ask for what you want in bed.
Someone might think they know how to please you in bed, but they don’t. Every woman is different, and even the same woman is different on different days. Maybe your partner has hooked up a hundred times and this is your first time — you are still the expert on your own body. (Especially if you masturbate!) Show and tell them. Guide them with your hands. Encourage them when they get something right. If it doesn’t feel good to you, switch things up. Now, you know what is bossy? When someone pushes your head towards their crotch. Your ears are not a steering wheel! And oral sex is sex. It’s a big deal, and you should only go there when you’re ready. (In fact, if you’re not comfortable letting someone go down on you, then why would you feel okay going down on them?)

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. You never “owe” a person sex.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been dating, or how long you’ve been naked together, or how blue their balls/labia are. It doesn’t matter if you two have had sex before. It doesn’t matter if they just treated you to dinner (or to oral sex). It doesn’t even matter if you’re half-way through some sexual act, including intercourse, and suddenly change your mind. You can stop at any time. You don’t even have to start.

9. Sex is not just intercourse.
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. Oral sex is sex. So is manual sex. So is using a toy together. So is frottage! And given how far your clitoris is from the vaginal opening, intercourse alone will probably not lead to an orgasm for you. In fact, the majority of women need clitoral stimulation in order to climax, and a penis simply can’t reach that far. But you know what can? Your partner’s hand. Your hand. A small vibrator. Even then, your orgasm is not guaranteed — that will take time, and practice. If your partner doesn’t care about your orgasm, or gets impatient with your orgasm, you need to dump them immediately. (Then tell your mom and we’ll go out for ice cream…or a stiff drink.)

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 asking for what you want. Good sex requires practice. It requires knowledge about your body (we happen to have a few books you might want to read…). 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, and what you’re comfortable with.

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

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Wise Guys: What Do Men Think About When They Masturbate?

July 8th, 2014


photo via flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. A while back, one woman wanted to know “Why do men masturbate in relationships, even when the sex is good and regular?” In his response, Max (one of our Single Straight Guys) said, “Trust me: You don’t want to do the things that we’re thinking about when masturbating.” So we wanted to know “What DO guys think about when they masturbate?” Ironically, of all three guys’ answers to this follow-up question, it’s Max’s that we thought was the most tame:

Straight Single Guy (Max): In order to masturbate, I have to have some kind of scenario in my head. It can be past experiences, girls that I’ve been with and (perhaps most often) girls that I want to be with. It might be the girl that was making eyes at me earlier in the day (though the likelihood is that I was making eyes at her and just misinterpreting her look of “what are you staring at?”) or perhaps stranger subjects, such as fictional girls from dreams, co-workers, or women that you might consider out of your age range but still attractive (there’s a reason that MILF is a household word).

Oftentimes, the male mind is most interested in the forbidden. For instance, the girlfriend that wouldn’t try anal? It’s only going to happen in your head. Already have a girlfriend but have the hots for her friends? Save everyone the heartache. You really want to break into your workplace late at night and pour champagne all over each other and do it on your boss’s desk? You won’t get arrested if it’s just a dream. Bisexual fantasies? Go for it. Essentially, I view masturbation as a time for completely uncensored fantasy. Whatever comes to mind and turns me on, I go with it. And as far as girls’ fantasies go? I’m amazed when I talk to my girl friends and they all say that they don’t think about much of anything… just concentrating. Weird.

Gay Committed Guy (Mark): As a very private person who sticks to a fairly small collection of gay vanilla porn for solo gratification, the specifics of this one are probably out of my league.  Fantasies are boundless and infinitely various — that’s sort of the point, right? — regardless of whether one is a man or a woman.  (Although I’d like to ask Max, a.k.a. “you don’t want to know” what could be so bad.  Violence?  Unsanctioned excrement?  Pets?) That said, some educated guesses as to what some straight guys might be thinking of while wanking:

1) Women who are not their wives/girlfriends.

2) Their wives/girlfriends doing really degrading stuff (see above).

3) Men.

Read the rest of this entry »

Top 5 Love Lessons from “The Bachelorette” (Andi on Hometown Dates)

July 8th, 2014

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  1. When wooing someone — especially someone with an intellectual career — avoid these decidedly unsexy words and phrases: “it’s hard work,” “don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty,” “gumption,” “there’s no limits for a woman on a farm,” and “homemaker” (even if the person wouldn’t mind being a stay-at-home parent, there’s something so negatively old-fashioned about that word).
  2. Be aware of your “tells” on a date, e.g. a frowny-mouth relationship-barometer (the deeper the frown, the more turned off/disingenuous/full of it you are). Don’t give away your true feelings before you’ve given things a real chance. And if you have figured out your true feelings, then divulge them, don’t hide them behind your liar’s scowl.
  3. Don’t talk about your relationship like you’re doing a post-game interview: “I’ve worked hard for this, I’m ready for it, and I’m gonna give it 110%” (Josh).
  4. When you look exactly like your date’s mom and sister, consider that a HUGE red flag.
  5. Another HUGE red flag? When a close relative of your date tells you that his habit of “over-caring” can be totally “annoying.”  Cut bait asap, just like Andi did.

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Your Weekly Horoscopes: 07-07-14

July 7th, 2014

grandcentral_ceiling_421photo by Simply Schmoopie

Each week, we at EMandLO.com predict the course of your love life for the week with our own version of irreverent horoscopes — ignore our advice at your own peril! (Hyperbole intended for dramatic effect.)

aries (Mar. 21st-Apr. 20th)
Anxiety is about as sexy as spinach in your teeth, bad breath and a root canal. (Don’t even try to figure out what all the mouth imagery means. ) If you want to hook up anytime soon, do whatever it takes to remove the sources of anxiety from your life.

taurus (Apr. 21st-May 20th)
Sure, go right ahead and open your heart to that hottie you just met. Tell them all your hopes and dreams; admit to your deepest, darkest secrets; invite them home to meet your weird parents; leave a toothbrush in their bathroom; ask them their opinion on joint checking accounts. Just don’t come crying to us when that hottie departs so fast they leave skid marks.

gemini (May 21st-June 21st)
Someone you meet this week could turn out to be Mr. or Mrs. Right. But our lawyers insist that we also mention that this Mr. or Mrs. may also have any of the following: a criminal record (don’t worry, it’s probably just forgery or something); an affinity for fart jokes; a naive belief in email chain letter good luck charms; body odor; mother “issues”; weird hair; and/or a tendency to overuse the phrase “pardon my French.”

cancer (June 22nd-July 22nd)
Unclench your fists, stop grinding your teeth, and quit squeezing your butt cheeks. Take a yoga class. Drink some herbal tea. Do something. This tense organizational energy may have helped you trap a hottie, but keep it up and they’re going to start gnawing their own leg off just to get away from your uptight ass.

leo (July 23rd-Aug. 22nd)
You have free reign this week. You can do whatever you want and you’ll pretty much get a favorable response. But let’s not take this too literally, people. Picking your nose in public and without shame on a first date probably won’t guarantee you a second, even though the stars are shining on you right now. However, accidentally tooting in front of a new partner will most likely only endear you to them. Appreciate your power, don’t abuse it.

virgo (Aug. 23rd-Sept. 22nd)
So you’re tired of being lonely? Welcome to the club — you get a special hat and everything. The rules of Lonely Club are as follows: 1. You don’t talk about Lonely Club (especially to unsuspecting bartenders after one too many white wine spritzers). 2. You don’t try to leave Lonely Club by sleeping with someone, unless said person is also a member of Lonely Club. 3. You don’t talk about Lonely Club (except to your therapist, priest, or best friend).

libra (Sept. 23rd-Oct. 23rd)
The stars say pleasant surprises are in the air if you just go on that online or blind date this week. They say if you go with the flow you will find yourself in a very interesting position regarding love. We would add: like doggie or the wheelbarrow.

scorpio (Oct. 24th-Nov. 22nd)
According to the stars, you’ll be so sensual this week that it will be difficult for anyone not to notice you. Apparently now is the time to make your move if someone interests you. That’s great news, but can we make a few requests while you go about being all sensual? Try not to overdose on the musk fragrance, try not to be “sensual” in a crowded elevator (personal space, people!), and if you’re going to have sex to Kenny G, will you at least play his most recent album? That’s our favorite.

sagittarius (Nov. 23rd-Dec. 21st)
You will be full of great ideas this week. If you are on the go all the time, however, it will be difficult for those interested in you to keep up. Stop and smell the rose-scented shampoo in your lover’s locks.

capricorn (Dec. 22nd-Jan. 20th)
Be eager to please this week. Not in a mushy, where’s-my-self-worth kind of way — more like a helpful, polite, unselfish kind of way. Because we don’t care what the reports say: mushy, where’s-my-self-worth people don’t get laid; helpful, polite, unselfish people do.

aquarius (Jan. 21st-Feb. 18th)
Hmmm. The stars say that you will attract any lover you want this week. But frankly, we think that’s going a bit too far. Any lover you want? Come on. We doubt you’ll be able to hook up with, say, a Calvin Klein model or Pat from Marketing — way out of your league. But perhaps the stars meant to say that the person or the thing that you’ve been craving recently can finally be yours this week if you just try to grab it. That sounds much more reasonable, don’t you think?

pisces (Feb. 19th-Mar. 20th)
You’re on the verge of a whirlwind romance. Lucky you!

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Our Song of Summer: “Everyone Is Gay”

July 7th, 2014

We’re guessing the official Song of Summer this year is going to be Ariana Grande’s “Problem” featuring Iggy Azalea (though it could be Ed Sheeran’s “Sing,” or the adorable “Rude” by Magic!, or maybe Lana Del Rey’s “West Coast”, though Sia’s Chandelier would be a nice surprise, hopefully not the panderingly named “Summer” by Calvin Harris or the too slow “Stay” by Sam Smith…). But if we had to vote, we’d go for something totally unexpected: A Great Big World’s “Everyone Is Gay.” Sure, the video (which is really quite sweet) was released last year, but their megahit “Say Something” with Christina Aguilera is only dying down just now, finally. It’s about time another song off their 2014 album “Is There Anybody Out There?” got it’s day in the sun. There’s nothing particularly summery about “Everyone Is Gay” — it’s timeless and universal — but it’s upbeat, catchy and makes you want to do flips off the diving board:

“Everyone Is Gay”

If you’re gay then you’re gay
Don’t pretend that you’re straight
You can be who you are any day of the week
You are unlike the others
So strong and unique
We’re all with you

If you’re straight well that’s great
You can help procreate
And make gay little babies
For the whole human race
Make a world we can live in
Where the one who you love’s not an issue

‘Cause we’re all somewhere in the middle
And we’re all just looking for love to change the world
What if the world stops spinning tomorrow?
We can’t keep running away from who we are
If you’re gay then you’re gay
If you’re straight well that’s great
If you fall in between that’s the best way to be
You’ve got so many options
Every fish in the sea wants to kiss you

Awwww…

‘Cause we’re all somewhere in the middle
And we’re all just looking for love to change the world
What if the world stops spinning tomorrow?
We can’t keep running away from who we are
And we’re all here in it together

We’re one step closer to breaking down the walls
Everyone is gay

 

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How to Give a Great Couples Massage

July 5th, 2014

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When Denis Merkas, founder of “Melt: Massage for Couples,” asked us to review his online video series, we admit we were a bit trepidatious: images of sensitive ponytail men came to mind, the sound of cheesy tantric sitars filled our imaginations, and we thought we could suddenly smell a hint of patchouli in the air. But it turns out, we had nothing to worry about!

CouplesMassageCourses.com offers an informative, beautifully shot, sophisticated series of easy-to-follow instructional videos that can inspire couples to touch each other a little more deliberately and thoughtfully to make their lives together better (seriously, just watching the 2-minute promo below made us both want to be better partners). In each video, massage therapist Merkas — who has 13 years experience and has been perfecting these techniques for mass audiences since 2006 — tells you clearly what to do and why. His assistant in the videos is his own wife Emma — but before you start to worry the two are some HBO-ish “Real Sex,” hippy-dippy, swinging couple, rest assured, they’re adorable. And within the first minute of the quick intro video (see below), they make it clear their clothes are staying on: they provide the perfect back-rub techniques, then you can take it from there.

Here’s what we really liked about “Melt”:

  • Style: The website is beautifully designed. The videos are tastefully shot. Even their interstitial graphics are cool.
  • Charm: As host and instructor, Merkas seems like a genuinely nice guy who takes his job — and his wife’s pleasure — very seriously. But not too seriously. There’s a fine line between sophisticated seriousness and cheesy earnestness, and Merkas never crosses over to the dark side, even when he uses terms like “mushy mushy yum yum.” His cute Australian accent certainly doesn’t hurt!
  • Humor: We are automatically big fans of anyone who uses a Mr. Miyagi “wax on, wax off” reference when talking about massage do’s and don’ts.
  • Ease: Rather than one long daunting video that’s too intimidating to begin, Merkas breaks up the instruction into short, easy-to-process vids that are meticulously organized so you can ease into things, jump around, and review any specific technique you like at your own pace. Every technique is broken down and explained well with cute, easy-to-remember terms like “Train Tracks” and “The Cat Walk.”
  • Insider tips: No need for a massage table or other fancy props, just some useful tricks to make a sensual massage even better (for example, who knew the best place for a couples massage is not on the bed?!).
  • Choreographed routines: Included in the package are three massage “routines” — one 5 minutes, one 15 minutes, and one 30 minutes — that you can follow along with after you’ve mastered the various individual moves. Best part: Merkas offers each routine with or without commentary (hey, blindfold your partner and use the vids as a sort of silent cheat sheet!).
  • Effectiveness: Just ask Lo’s husband, who’s been in a zombie-like state of total bliss since she used him as her guinea pig.

Lifetime access to these 3 massage routines and 17 technique videos is usually $99. But from now until July 23rd, 2014, EMandLO.com readers can get Lifetime Access for ONLY $29, that’s more than 70% OFF! Use coupon code EMandLO to get the videos for ONLY $29. That’s certainly way less expensive than a date night out. So turn down the overheads, light some candles, and plan a great date night in with “Melt: Massage for Couples.”

 

Dream Interpretation: I Hooked Up with My BFF’s Crush

July 3rd, 2014

 photo via flickr

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:

Last night I had a dream about hooking up with this guy my best friend likes. I don’t feel anything about him and I can’t tell my friend — she might think I want him.

LauriYes, it is a good idea not to tell your friend about this dream. Even though it doesn’t mean what you might think, she still might get bent out of shape. Remember, dreams are symbolic, so this dream may not be so much about him, but rather about what he represents. And hooking up isn’t so much about a physical union you want but rather a psychological union you need.

That being said, what qualities stand out about this guy to you? Is he really funny? Is he easy going? Does he have strong opinions? Even though you may not be into him as far as chemistry is concerned, there is something about him your subconscious mind is attracted to and wants to unite that quality into yourself and make it your own.

We’ll also hook up with certain people in our dreams when we have “come together” with them on some level in real life… or when we NEED to come together on some level. Did you and this guy recently have a conversation where you connected in some way? Or maybe odds are good he’ll be dating your friend soon, so your subconscious mind is urging you to connect with him on some psychological level. Whatever it is, it’s all good!

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.

 

 

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Comment of the Week: How to Know If Porn Is a Deal Breaker

July 2nd, 2014

Reader misspiggy said the following in response to our post, Wise Guys: My Girlfriend Says Porn Is a Dealbreaker, Is She Right?

I think the guy should talk it through with his girlfriend and find out if her issue is with the ethics of porn production, or the whole concept of porn itself.

If it’s the former, she needs to educate herself, starting with a thorough read of Stoya’s Tumblr. There is plenty of porn, and plenty of areas of the porn industry, which are not misogynistic. It may be possible for the boyfriend and girlfriend to agree some parameters for porn which does actually meet her feminist standards.

If it’s the latter – she’s grossed out by the idea of porn – he needs to make it clear that her negative view of male sexuality is a deal breaker for him.

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