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An Open Letter to Our Readers About That Football & Rape Piece

October 21st, 2014


photo via Flickr

Dear Readers (Robert in particular),

Our recent post, Is Football More Important Than Rape, syndicated by us from YourTango and written by Charles J. Orlando, ignited one of the most spirited and thoughtful debates EMandLO.com has had in a long time. The first response came from Robert, a long-time reader, now (sniff) no-more:

I come to Em and Lo to read articles that are fair and interesting. I like reading about empowering women, gender equality, and sexual exploration. BUT I will not do it at the expense of my beliefs in due process, racial equality, and just being [a] good human free of hate.

The incendiary piece puts forth Orlando’s opinion that FSU football player Jameis Winston is guilty of the date rape he’s been accused of (despite a lack of trial or conviction) and that the police, the FSU Athletic Department, and Winston’s friends are all accomplices by not reporting it, not investigating it properly and essentially covering it up — and that these people did this because money, football and winning are more important than the victim.

In all honesty, we were not that familiar with the Winston case when the piece came to us. We skimmed Orlando’s post, thought it was relevant to all the recent revelations of football industry cover-ups, and posted it without much thought and without any intro or commentary from us. Admittedly, not ideal.

We agree with Robert that the open letter format and the tone of the post did not subscribe to the “innocent until proven guilty” presumption our justice system affords every citizen; it was definitely judgmental and condescending. We also agree with Robert that if Orlando had instead written a calmer, more general piece about what’s wrong with football culture, it would get less attention, generate less discourse. And we just appreciated — perhaps a bit myopically — a man expressing outrage over the larger, very real institution of sexism in our culture which keeps sexual harassment and assault, rape, and domestic abuse against women at epidemic levels despite this being the 21st century. We think it’s important to keep these topics — the football industry’s cover ups of crimes, America’s rape culture, issues of money and power and (in)justice, etc —  open for discussion and debate. And we trust our smart readers to be able to engage with this kind of piece, even when they don’t agree with it 100% (or at all). Finally, while our justice system is a model for the world, it doesn’t always get things right, and sometimes gets things very wrong, so people are free to form opinions that may not square with judicial outcomes. For all those reasons, we just went with it.

Other thoughtful readers chimed in, including our MVP commenter Johnny (natch):

Robert’s right that everyone should just stay out of this and let the law run its course. Dave is right that the law needs to actually step up and do just that. Which they might have if the accuser had aggressively pursued the issue.

But this is talking about an ideal world, not the real world. In our current situation, the law is not adequately dealing with this and other related cases because of so many issues: sexism, secrecy, shame, power imbalance, advertising dollars, etc. Let’s take another example: Should African Americans be profiled by the police? No. Are they? Yes. Should football players get special treatment when it comes to crimes committed? No. Do they? Yes. So people can’t and shouldn’t stay out of these things (even the reactionary loudmouths).

We will say this: we definitely did not decide to run this rant because a black man had sex with a white woman, or because we believed this fueled Orlando’s motivations for penning the piece in the first place. We didn’t even know what color Winston’s skin was until after we had decided to post it and went looking for an image of him. Nor did we know what color the alleged victim was until Robert mentioned it in the comments. What this makes us guilty of, at most, is not being very responsible or professional bloggers. As a feminist site about sex and love, EMandLO.com’s first concerns with this story are sexism, sex crimes, and sex just gone horribly, horribly wrong. Both racism and sexism are alive and well in this country; the focus of this site happens to be on the latter. And as anyone who’s ever read our site  (Robert?) knows, we are big supporters of love in any combination of colors, orientations, and numbers, so long as it’s safe, sane, respectful, and consensual.

We’re sorry we disappointed you, Robert, and we hope you’ll reconsider your decision to break up with us. Not everything we post by someone else — be it a writer or a commenter — perfectly represents our own views and philosophies. We appreciate your detailed response, and are grateful for the conversation it generated and the questions it has raised (even if we don’t have the answers!). Please consider coming back every once and a while and helping to keep things interesting and challenging around here.

Sincerely,

Em & Lo

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What It Means When a Man Won’t Cuddle or Hold Hands

October 21st, 2014

photo via flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: “If the guy I’ve started dating recently isn’t into cuddling or hand-holding, is that automatically a sign that he’s just not that into me, or are some guys just not into private or public displays of affection, no matter whether they’re in love or not?”

Straight Married Guy (Fred): I’ve heard that some men just aren’t into displaying affection.  That’s lame and I think they are idiots. But I suspect there really aren’t that many of them.  If a guy doesn’t want to cuddle he probably doesn’t want you to feel like he’s your boyfriend.  He doesn’t want you to get too close, too fast.  Similarly, he could argue that he doesn’t want to lead you on.  Hand-holding for many guys is reserved for monogamous relationships.  It is a public signal that he is taken.  But, I also suspect that if Jennifer Lawrence or Scarlett Johansson wanted to hold his hand he’d be very willing and happy to display to the world “I’m doing her!”  So… he’s not that into you.  But he may only need more time to get where you are.

Gay Married Guy (Jon): Me, I’m a touchy-feely kind of guy. If I’m digging someone, I let them know it, physically, in as many ways as possible.  After some good, or even mediocre sex, there’s nothing better than a nice cuddle to cap off the experience. However, my hubby isn’t so lovey-dovey. He gets hot very quickly and basically endures it for my sake for as long as he can, which usually amounts to about 45 seconds. It used to bother me, but I’ve realized it’s just a quirk of his and really has no bearing on how he feels about me. So I wouldn’t read too much into it if your man isn’t a cuddle bug or or happy hand holder. Ask him, or just give him some time. There are dozens of reasons why he may be just not that into it, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not into you.

Straight Single Guy (Chris): It is entirely possible that your guy is not ever going to show affection for you in public no matter how much he thinks he likes you. Unfortunately, though, this is more often the conscious or unconscious manifestation of him just not being that into you. So you have to look for other signs. Give it some time and try hard not to confuse love with lust. New relationships are often mostly lust disguised as love. Sometimes love follows, and sometimes it doesn’t, but you should give it a chance. If he treats you fantastically all the time and simply isn’t holding your hand or kissing you in public, it may be genuine shyness. But if the public displays of affection are just one more thing in the list of affectionate things he isn’t doing, then it may be time to look elsewhere… That is, unless the sex is fantastic.

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Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Straight Single Guy is Chris DiClerico, and our Gay Married Guy is Jon Ross. To ask the guys your own question, click here.

28 “Pretty Woman” Quotes to Use When Online Dating

October 20th, 2014

We loved the Buzzfeed experiment where a woman sent Tinder guys the emails from You’ve Got Mail, but we found a movie that’s even better suited for online dating. Here are the top 28 lines from Pretty Woman that could come in handy when online dating. Use if you dare!

 

The Pickup Line Approach

“Hey yo, baby!”

 

The Fishing for a Compliment Approach

“People put you down enough, you start to believe it.”

“The bad stuff is easier to believe. You ever notice that?”

 

The Here’s-Your-Compliment Approach

“I think you are a very bright, very special woman.”

“I think you have a lot of special gifts.”

“Very few people surprise me.”

 

The Small Talk Approach

“Don’t you just love Prince?”

“What’s your dream?”

 

The Trivia Approach

“Did I mention, my leg is 44″ from hip to toe?”

 

The Princess Approach

“I want the fairy tale.”

“When I was a little girl, my mama used to lock me in the attic when I was bad, which was pretty often. And I would- I would pretend I was a princess… trapped in a tower by a wicked queen. And then suddenly this knight… on a white horse with these colors flying would come charging up and draw his sword. And I would wave. And he would climb up the tower and rescue me.”

 

The Warts-and-All Approach

“My special gift is impossible relationships.”

“I don’t want to be alone tonight.”

 

The Stalker Approach

“That’s my favorite name in the whole world.”

“I called and called, where were you last night?”

“I’d like you to spend the week with me.”

“In case I forget to tell you later, I had a really good time tonight.”

 

The Booty Call Approach

“I appreciate this whole seduction thing you’ve got going on here, but let me give you a tip: I’m a sure thing.”

“I got red, I got green, I got yellow… I’m out of purple, but I do have one Gold Circle coin left… the condom of champions… the one and only… nothin’ is gettin’ through this sucker. Whaddya say, hmm?”

“I could just pop ya real good and get outta here.”

 

The Highbrow Approach

People’s reactions to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic; they either love it or they hate it. If they love it, they will always love it. If they don’t, they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul.

 

The Sugar Daddy Approach

“I’m gonna treat you so nice, you’re never gonna let me go.”

 

The Home Comforts Approach

“Let’s watch old movies all night… we’ll just veg out in front of the TV. Be still like vegetables. Lay like broccoli.”

“You and I are such similar creatures.”

 

… And Finally, When an Online Dater Blows You Off, Take the High Road

“It must be difficult to let go of something so beautiful.”

“Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.”

“You’re forgiven.”

“I say who, I say when, I say who.”

 

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Your Weekly Horoscopes: 10-20-14

October 20th, 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)
Anger and resentment will follow if someone becomes too clingy too fast. Just be sure you’re not mistaking true love for clingy-ness, because someday people will stop clinging and then you’ll die all alone.

taurus (Apr. 21st-May 20th)
What you want and what you get may be two different things. Try to be honest about who you are and what you are looking for. If you aren’t interested in someone, don’t lead him or her on. In other words, if you’re not really a firefighter or a Good Person, don’t dress like one on Halloween.

gemini (May 21st-June 21st)
Consider yourself warned: There are some people who will assume that just because you’re dressed as a doormat this Halloween, you want to be treated as such. So be prepared to point out the line between fantasy and reality. And practice saying the word no… and meaning it.

cancer (June 22nd-July 22nd)
If your partner has been sneaking around a lot lately, don’t assume they’re having an affair. Maybe they’re planning a surprise Halloween costume ball, a la Eyes Wide Shut. And if that’s the case, don’t be surprised when the only people who show up are wrinkly old men draped in cloaks.

leo (July 23rd-Aug. 22nd)
Being needy will be a problem. If you try too hard you will end up with someone who will take advantage of you. You are probably better off spending time alone with a good book. Like one of ours. They’ll help kill the time until you finally find someone cool to knock boots with.

virgo (Aug. 23rd-Sept. 22nd)
Go to bed without brushing your teeth for once. Hit the snooze button a third time. Leave on the conditioner for a minute longer than the bottle tells you to. You know: go nuts. Most of all, let your heart rule your head. Remember, it doesn’t have to “make sense,” it just has to be legal and consensual. If anyone questions your state of mind, just tell them that if loving this way is wrong, you don’t want to be right.

libra (Sept. 23rd-Oct. 23rd)
Let’s work on our indoor voice, shall we? This whole social butterfly thing you’ve got going works fine in the bar (or on line at the DMV), but in one-on-one situations, it’s a little much. Tone it down a tad once you hit the bedroom, lest you scare away the hotties (or piss off their neighbors).

scorpio (Oct. 24th-Nov. 22nd)
Don’t believe the lies of the person trying to seduce you right now!

sagittarius (Nov. 23rd-Dec. 21st)
If your mind’s in the gutter but your ass is on the La-Z-Boy, chances are the only person you’re goind to be talking dirty to is your teddy bear. If you’re looking for a more interactive experience, as it were, you’re going to have to get out of the house every once in a while. Though, if your dirty talking skills are a little rusty, practicing on your teddy bear is not the worst idea in the world. But if you do any more than talk, we don’t want to know about it.

capricorn (Dec. 22nd-Jan. 20th)
The more passionate you are about something that you are involved in, the more likely you are to meet someone who is attracted to you, as well as everything you believe in and stand for. Are you really interested in being a married Evangelical pastor, or did you sign up just because it seemed like the thing to do? Find a cause you actually care about, one you can get behind with gusto, like Free Beer Fridays or Anal Fisting Education. Besides, that rumor you heard about pastors getting a free pass on gay sex with prostitutes is not true. Total urban legend, man.

aquarius (Jan. 21st-Feb. 18th)
Just because you’re in a good mood, that doesn’t mean everyone else you pass should “smile — it can’t be that bad!” Just because you’re in a bad mood, doesn’t mean you have to poo poo everyone else’s good time. Just because you think it’s a brilliant idea, that won’t mean your colleagues will too. Just because you want to do it, doesn’t automatically mean your partner wants to stop watching TV. Just because your dog wags its tail when you do that thing, that doesn’t make it right, you sick, sick bastard.

pisces (Feb. 19th-Mar. 20th)
You are likely to run out of steam when you need it the most this week. Pace yourself, drink lots of water, and think about baseball.

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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. 

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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
  • Smooth Silicone 100% waterproof
  • 1-year Warranty and 10-year Quality Guarantee
  • 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™: