All posts by Em & Lo

Make Your Valentine Melt with the Perfect Last Minute Gift

Our friends at “Melt: Massage for Couples” are offering some great Valentine’s Day Deals — perfect for a last minute gift! 

Melt MasterClass + Foot Rub Videos
$123 $99

Between now through the end of Valentine’s Day, you’ll get instant access to streamable video content that teaches you exactly how to give the absolute best back, neck and foot rubs in the privacy of your own home. The videos are clean and stylish — no nudity or awkward moments.  There’s even a 60 day money back guarantee!

Read our review of the Melt massage tutorials here.

50% OFF Melt Massage Oil

Melt has just launched their own brand of massage oil on Amazon. It’s already an “Amazon Choice” product, with a 5-star rating based on 100 reviews. Ideal for couples, this sensual oil helps calm the mind and body with soothing scents. It’s almond carrier oils deliver a soft, non-greasy feel with efficient absorbency and no build-up. And their formula is cruelty free; safe on dry, oily and combination skin; and paraben-free. Get 50% OFF the huge 16 oz bottle that comes with 3 different types of caps for only $12.95 right now. It’s prime, so you can overnight it!

Extra Secret Sale!
Get an Additional $20 OFF the Massage Video Bundle:
Only $79 Total

An Em & Lo Reader exclusive: If you buy the Melt Massage Oil and send a screenshot of your purchase to Melt here, they’ll email you a coupon code within minutes (a couple hours max) for the Massage Video Bundle above so you can receive a total of $44 OFF! Instead of $123 for the MasterClass and Foot Rub Videos, they’ll be yours for only $79.

But you’ve got to hurry! These sales only last through Valentine’s Day. And this will be Melt’s last sale for quite a while.


Extra tips from Melt:
5 Sensual Massage NO-NOs

10 Things We WON’T Miss from the Fifty Shades Franchise

We finally got closure on our seriously unhealthy relationship with the Fifty Shades juggernaut this past weekend. Fifty Shades Freed, the third and final cinematic adaptation of E.L. James’ best-selling erotica trilogy, was released on Friday — much to the chagrin of hardcore fans and to the relief of movie critics everywhere.

The success of the series — the maddeningly written books and the all-too faithful films — should have been a neon-orange warning sign that a Trump presidency was all too possible. How could a billion dollar industry be built upon blatant misogyny, crass consumerism, and a 3rd grade reading level? With the willing culpability of an undiscerning, uncritical population of lazy thinkers and aspiring millionaires who just want to be entertained — that’s how. It’s why America can’t have nice things.

Before the first movie, we had hoped the film versions would right some of the books’ wrongs. But with E.L. James as a producer on all the adaptations, we were left frustrated like a punished submissive. And we don’t think having a male director with James Foley’s particular schlock-erotic sensibilities helm the last two films helped much either.  Add to that the #MeToo Movement, which has already dated much of Freed, and what felt like a guilty pleasure just a few years ago now feels more like a guidebook for assessing and avoiding toxic masculinity.

Fortunately, this particular pop-culture nightmare in the Red Room is over. Wish we could say the same about America’s abusive boyfriend in the White House.

10 Things We Won’t Miss from the Fifty Shades Franchise

1. Lack of Communication:
Fifty Shades Freed is basically one long episode of “Three’s Company” with high production values: it revolves around the lies, miscommunications and secrets of the main characters, resulting in ridiculous, unbelievable hijinks. Christian doesn’t tell Ana about the threat her ex boss poses, that he’s put a security detail on all his family members, that he’s discovered his helicopter crash was no accident, and that he’s kept the gun his old sub tried to shoot Ana in the face with. Ana fails to mention to Christian that his sister’s been kidnapped and she’s taking a cool 5 mil to pay off the madman. These two even get married before they’ve ever discussed whether they want to have kids! Honest, open communication is a requirement for a healthy relationship — especially one that involves kink.

2. Lack of Chemistry: You can feel it in the chill between the two actors in their joint interviews and public appearances. You can see it in the way Dornan looks at his costar with those dead fish eyes.  He can’t hide his disdain for his coworker or the series (see #5); he’s just not that good an actor. We’d almost rather watch the sex scene from Howard the Duck. Almost.

3. Jamie Dornan’s Hair Pie: When the first film came out, we rued the Irishman’s styling: How could they make hot Jamie Dornan not hot? But then in Fifty Shades Darker, they made his hair worse! And in Freed, they did the impossible: gave him the same cut that every middle American Republican mother gives her 2nd grade son. During the cheesy montage of all three films at the end of this third one — an homage to/rip-off of the final Twilight movie’s ending — we found ourselves longing for his luscious locks from the first film, back when they were longer and his face wasn’t jacked up on protein shakes. If only we had known and appreciated what we had back then!

4. Metal Handcuffs, Cable Ties, Etc: The Red Room of Pain has some nice, quality, leather handcuffs that won’t pinch, chaff, break skin or cause nerve damage. The same cannot be said for cable ties (from the first film) or metal handcuffs (from the third). Maybe some pros could use these as sexual restraints safely, but the average Fifty-Shades moviegoer is not schooled in the intricate safety protocols of BDSM play. Featuring them is irresponsible. Newbies to kink: buy our beginner’s guide, 150 Shades of Play, and proceed with caution.

READ MORE: Questioning the Kink in Fifty Shades

5. Trite Dialogue: You can barely hear Jamie Dornan sputter “Laters babe” under his breath as he kisses his costar goodbye in one scene from Freed. So cringe-inducing are the catch phrases like this one from the books, the actors can hardly get them out! Just before the first Fifty was released, Dornan told the Guardian, as if in a pre-emptive apology, “No matter what happens in my career, I’ve always got The Fall.”

6. Luxury Brand Beatings: This franchise just bends you over and relentlessly pounds you with luxury product placement after luxury product placement. Okay, we get it: Christian Grey is obscenely rich. Having a big-ass rock on your finger makes it okay to finally try butt plugs. Even girls can drive Audis like Monaco Grand Prix racers. Everyone should have their own private jet…and a pony. For us plebs, the only realistically attainable purchase and worthwhile investment featured in the movie is a lovely pleasure object from LELO, because everyone deserves a quality sex toy (whether you keep it in a custom-made, hand-carved, solid oak, Italian credenza in your penthouse playroom, or in a shoe box under your futon).

7. The Movies’ Male Gaze: They’re on the French Riviera, for god’s sake: can we get a speedo up in this bitch? The main audience for this series is straight women: we don’t need to see another close up of Dakota Johnson’s erect nipples or butt goosebumps for as long as we live! Johnson said, “There is a lot more of my body that’s shown than Jamie’s actually, but weirdly he’s the one doing all the push-ups.” The director even admitted they shot full frontal of Dornan for Freed, but said that “would have been a kind of deliberate cut, to see that for no reason.” No reason? The entire series is about sex with a man whose penis Ana absolutely loves — and whose penis loves her back. How about some equal opportunity objectification for once?

8. Unbelievable plot points: Grey crashes his helicopter and walks away with just a nick on his forehead. A madman bent on revenge — who their security detail knows to be on the lookout for — is able to break into both Grey headquarters and their penthouse. Within minutes Ana is able to withdraws 5 million in cash from the local bank with Christian’s approval without offering him — or the bank — any reasonable explanation.  And, perhaps most unbelievably, Ana graduates college never having dated, fucked or masturbated.

9. Abusive Behavior: We don’t care how much money you have, how much you’re into BDSM, how many crunches you’ve done: you can’t treat a woman you’re having sex with, dating, or married to like your property, a sex doll, or a piece of shit. If she wants to go out with her friends, she damn well will. If she wants to keep her maiden name for businesses purposes, deal with it. Better yet, change your last name to hers! Don’t tell her what she can and cannot eat, don’t decide how she should dress, and don’t break into her apartment (if these are not parts of predetermined roleplaying scenarios). Love — and kink for that matter — are not about controlling, emotionally abusive behavior. They’re about responsible negotiations between enthusiastically willing individuals who trust and care for one other.

10. Those Cheesy Ripped Jeans: They might as well have been high-waisted mom jeans.

Movie Review:
Fifty Shades Blah-er

The movie versions aren’t ALL bad:
How the “Fifty Shades” Movie Is Better Than the Book

Read the actually informative & intentionally funny book on kink:
“150 Shades of Play”



What Should My First Sex Toy from LELO Be?

We just had two different friends ask us, independently from one another, on the same day, “What should I get for my first sex toy?” Neither had really ever invested in a quality sex toy before; one had a novelty lipstick vibe, that’s it. Both moms — one single, one married — suspected peri-menopause of making them feel broken sexually. “I need help beyond using my phone on vibrate and asking my wife to call me… multiple times,” said one friend, before she crawled away to die of shame.

We told her, “Nothing to be ashamed of!” No matter our age, our relationship status, or our parental status, we all have a right to enjoy our bodies and experience pleasure. Orgasms are good for you! They reduce stress, help you sleep, and keep your nether regions in good working order.

We always recommend LELOs — and not just because they’re sponsors. LELO pleasure objects are high quality, long-lasting, smartly designed, and very elegant. All are body-safe, come with instruction manuals in sleek packaging, are rechargeable and often waterproof. We’d recommend them even if we didn’t get a commission!

And right now, many of them are on sale for Valentine’s Day! Order by the end of this week and you’ll get them in time for February 14th, even if you’re celebrating solo! Use code VDAY18 for extra savings.

Of the LELOs that are on sale, here are the ones we recommended to our friends as the best introductions to the world of sex toys:

The Intent Gift Set for Her — It comes with 2 different vibes and lube (good if you’re feeling dryer than usual), so you get some variety.

The Ina 2 — It’s like the classic Rabbit vibe (think “Sex and the City”). Get the Ina Wave if you want more internal motion.

The Mona 2 — It’s the same thing as the Ina, sans the external clitoral stimulation (and thus little more affordable). Get the Mona Wave if you want more internal motion.
The Gigi 2 — Great if you like G-spot stimulation (turn it around if you like PS-spot stimulation).

The Elise 2 — If you like a filled-up feeling, this one’s got girth (good if your pelvic floor muscles are shot after childbirth).
The Ora 2 or the Sona — Perfect if you don’t require penetration, just external clitoral stimulation. For bonus features, get the Sona Cruise.
Each toy’s individual page has a lot of explanation of how they work. When you narrow it down to a few you like, you can then look on YouTube for instructional videos or reviews, which might help you decide on the perfect one.

Good Luck &
Happy Shopping!

10 Steps to Winning Valentine’s Day (with Just 1 Trip to the Grocery Store!)

Short on time? Don’t want to spend a lot of money? But still want to acknowledge your undying affection on Valentine’s Day? All it takes is one trip to the grocery store, a little effort, and a lot of love.

1. NO Red Roses!

Go with their favorite flower instead — it’s less cliche, more personal.  

2. Do Your Partner a Favor

Fix something they need help with, organize their junk drawer, wash their car, fold their laundry, mow their lawn . . .

3. Make Dinner Together

No need for reservations at a fancy restaurant (they’re too late to get now, anyway). Get the ingredients for a favorite meal, turn on some good music, and heat things up in the kitchen. Set the table with the good dishes, light some candles, use cloth napkins.

4. Skip the Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates

But that doesn’t mean you forgo the sweets altogether. DO have something decadent & elegant. 

5. Write a “Love List

Love letters can be daunting. But a detailed list of everything you adore about your partner will just flow. And it’ll have the same heart-warming impact. (You can find more detailed instructions HERE.)

6. Or Just Crib from Classic Poetry

Borrow from the best — they won’t mind (they’re dead): Walt Whitman, Edna St. Vincent Millay, e.e. cummings, John Donne, Christina Rossetti… Check out our curated collection of sexy, romantic poetry HERE

7. Draw Your Partner a Bath

Use bubbles, oils or salts. Light some more candles. Wash their hair for them.

8. Give a Great Massage

Who doesn’t love a good body rub? Put on some relaxing music, use oil, and make sure the room is warm. You can learn all the best techniques from our friends at Melt: Massage for Couples (they always have a Valentine’s Day Sale!). 

9. Try Something New in Bed

Like a new toy ( makes all the best ones), a new technique (know where the PS-spot is?), a new position (have you mastered the C.A.T.?), a new lube, a new condom, anything! Just make sure it’s something you’re absolutely sure they’ll like (because Valentine’s Day is not the time to introduce strap-ons into your relationship). 

10. Cuddle

For longer than usual.


For more details on all of the above, read
Our Special Valentine’s Day Issue


Up to 50% OFF Select LELO Pleasure Objects!


Only a couple of days left to take advantage of

LELO’s Valentine’s Day Sale!

Save 20%, 30%, in some cases 50% OFF the best sex toys around. These aren’t cheap novelty toys — LELO pleasure objects are gifts of beauty and love that will do your Valentine’s Day justice.

All LELO products come in sleek, elegant packaging, with helpful instruction manuals for use, care and cleaning. They’re all beautifully designed to elicit ooohs and aaahhs rather than eeeeews. This is why LELOs are pretty much the only sex toy we endorse — we’re confident you’ll always get high style with high quality.

And LELO is giving you FREE Express 3-Day Shipping!

To get these big discounts, use the code:


on the full-price items;
discounted items already have savings deducted.
Happy shopping!

My Platonic Love for the Philadelphia Eagles

We don’t cover sports much around these here parts, for obvious reasons, but we were so moved by our friend Michael’s heartfelt post-game wrap up, that we just had to share it. This is love

Thank you all so much for watching the game at our house. And thank you for your emails of support and congratulations. I am so happy you were able to share the happiness and excitement last night. What fun! Though next year: you have to eat more food. Seriously. I threw out 5 large pieces of KFC this morning!

Philly sports have always been a constant in the lives of many of my friends and relatives, and especially my dad and two brothers. They’ve bonded us and helped us through the ups and downs of life.

The emotional roller coaster of this Eagles season fit right in with the long legacy of Philadelphia sports teams, who through the years have established a well-tread pattern of turning doubters into believers…just  before reversing course, delivering crushing disappointments to the newly inspired.

A lot of national media like to focus on the boorish behavior of some Philly sports fans. But this is misunderstood. That behavior is an outlier. The real story is the passion Philadelphians have for sports relative to other parts of the country.

When I lived in LA, I’d watch Eagles games while eating breakfast at a bar, then go to the beach in December when it was 80 and sunny. Philadelphia doesn’t have that – life is short, dark and miserable (not a metaphor but a relative statistical fact). Despite having Ben Franklin and our history, Philadelphians today live in the cultural shadow of Boston, NY and DC. As a result many people’s pride stems from their sports teams and many relationships are based on that mutual love. When I was a kid, I’d sit on my dad’s lap at games, surrounded by elderly pipe smoking South Philadelphians, and longshoremen who spent much of their discretionary income for the opportunity to sit out and freeze alongside their union buddies, while drinking watered down beer, and cheering the Eagles (and booing the Cowboys, of course!).

This year, the Eagles were not even expected to make the playoffs, with Vegas projecting the team to win just 7 games. But under the leadership of new QB Carson Wentz, they built camaraderie and  chemistry. Unlike most NFL locker rooms, filled with prima donnas, these guys genuinely liked each other and had good character. Defying the early odds, the Eagles won 11 of their first 13 games of the season, and became a favorite to go to the Super Bowl. But in December, they tragically lost Wentz, who at that point was the favorite to be the league’s MVP, when he tore his ACL on a heroic dive for a first down. (Amazingly, after the injury, Wentz actually stayed in the game, and threw a touchdown 2 plays after the play that had broken his leg).  Though momentarily inspiring, for weary Eagles fans, this injury was just the latest reminder that Philadelphia can’t have nice things, and that optimism is futile.

The final 3 games of the season did little to inspire confidence in the outlook under Nick Foles, Wentz’s backup QB. Due to Foles’ weak play, the Eagles limped backwards into the playoffs, becoming the first team ever to earn the best regular season record to then become a Vegas underdog in each of its playoff games. But the Eagles’ players used national doubts as motivational fuel, embracing the underdog role by wearing Halloween greyhound dog masks in media interviews, which, of course, were then sold out within minutes on Amazon due to fan demand.

In the first game of the playoffs, the underdog Eagles beat the Atlanta Falcons at home on January 13th, winning on the final play of one of the coldest football games in Philadelphia history. A week later, the Eagles faced the favored Minnesota Vikings, and overcame fans’ sense of classic Philly dread when the Vikings jumped out to an immediate lead, coming back and beating the Vikings by five touchdowns.  Despite this playoff success, and the surprising play of Foles, who delivered two of the statistically best QB performances in NFL playoff history in these two games, the Eagles entered the Super Bowl against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots as heavy underdogs.

When it was all over, Destiny prevailed over Dynasty, and the rest is history. The Eagles defeated the Empire, and Foles was named Super Bowl MVP. If you need evidence of whether this was deserved comeuppance, this morning it was reported that Giselle (Brady’s wife) helped her children reconcile their father’s loss, telling them that “you have to let someone else win sometimes.”

After the last play, I got to scream into the phone at my relatives and oldest friends, while waking up the kids. I received over 50 text messages in the 30 minutes after the game, some from old friends who I’ve not spent more than a couple hours with in person in 20 years. Though tempted to head for our small town’s traffic light to start a local riot, I restrained myself.  I slept terribly, woke up exhausted and happy, and listened to WIP sports talk radio before work, like I often did before school. Three of the three callers I listened to were crying.  It was glorious. Thank you for being a part of it.

Go Birds!


How to Have Phone Sex in 10 Easy Steps

You’re away on business, you don’t know a soul in this town, you’re holed up in your hotel room, alone and lonely (read: horny) and because you are a not a cheating scumbag and this isn’t Up in the Air, you pick up the phone to call your honey at home in the hopes of a little cellular nookie, a.k.a. phone sex.

But it goes something like this: “I just called, to say, I… um… uh, I was thinking that we could, you know…oh, never mind. How’s the weather where you are?”

There’s nothing like phone sex to make you feel like a gawky teen all over again. Regular sex, you’ve got down cold: pour two glasses of wine, play smooth soundtrack, get naked, get busy, orgasms all around, rinse, repeat. But fiber-optic relations? The person on the other end of the line could be fully-clothed and watching “Top Chef” on mute for all you know. They could be faking, or smirking at your clumsy attempts at dirty talk.

Without being in the same room together, performance anxiety is practically inevitable. It can feel like auditioning for a casting director who demands, “Say something sexy!” So here’s how to “reach out and touch someone” successfully:

  1. Plug in your headset to free up your hands and avoid neck cramps.
  2. Hold all calls. Answering call-waiting while tele-sexing—even during tele-foreplay—suggests you’ve got better things to do, or worse, better people to do.
  3. Once you’ve dialed the digits, use the “I wish you were here” line as your “in.”
  4. Don’t immediately break out into your best phone-sex-operator impression. If your partner knows you as the quiet type, suddenly spewing forth a string of obscenities that would make the Osbornes blush might not have the erotic effect you’re going for. You also want to assess how in the mood your partner is first — them being on deadline or elbow deep in diapers definitely won’t align with your current sexual aspirations. As with any lust-driven encounter, getting enthusiastic consent is essential. In other words, DON’T pull a Louis CK!
  5. Dead air during phone sex can dampen the mood, but some heavy breathing, the occasional moan, or simply whispering their name can fill the awkward silences. Whatever you do, make some noise! Otherwise your partner will think that you’re watching TV or doodling on the hotel notepad.
  6. If you’d like to graduate to full sentences but don’t know where to start, try reading something sexy over the phone. Tell your partner, “I read this today and thought of you.” Then, as long as they’re into it, start articulating your desire. The most basic approach is to think of this articulation as narration: you’re simply talking about what you’d like to do to them or what you’re doing to yourself while you’re doing it.
  7. Start with the most basic of terms for each other’s genitals and gradually up the ante. Don’t worry about creative vocabulary, at least not at first. Once you become more fluent in the language of love, you can get more colorful. As a general rule, the more words a term for the genital contains, the more likely it is to induce giggles or a wince.
  8. To get your partner in on the action, ask them what they’re doing. Ask exactly how it feels. Ask what they’d do to you if you weren’t a thousand miles away. If your partner is on the shy side, get them talking with a few yes or no questions: “Are you undressed?” “Does that feel good?”
  9. Whatever you do, don’t laugh at anything your partner says, ever; not only will it ruin the mood, it will make them forever self-conscious and inhibited in the verbal sex department.
  10. Whatever you end up saying, say it with confidence and don’t censor yourself: If you’re embarrassed, then your partner will be embarrassed for (and by) you. Commit to the dirty talk, and you should have an eargasmic experience.

Dear Em & Lo,
Is “Cunt” an Appropriate Word for Dirty Talk?

I Dreamt My Husband Had Another Family and *I* Was the Side Chick

Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex & relationships. If you’ve got a good one, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg just might tell you what it means! Click here to submit yours (18 and older only for dream interpretations, please). This week, a reader asks Lauri about dreaming of her husband’s love child:

Last night I continued to have the same dream over and over. No matter what I did, every time I woke and went back to sleep, the dream continued from where it had left off. In the dream, a woman walks up to me with a little boy who’s younger than my daughter, saying that my husband is her child’s father. And in the dream, my husband acts as if it were nothing. There were also times in the dream where he put her before me and made me feel like I was the side woman.

Lauri: When you have a series of dreams like this, throughout the night, that pick up where the previous one left off, it means your subconscious is laser focused on one particular issue that is really bothering you. The clues in your dream will let us know what that issue is.

In your dream, your husband has another child from another woman. No doubt this was very alarming for you but don’t take this literally! The child in the dream symbolizes a project or something that your husband would consider “his baby,” something he brought forth through his ideas and efforts, something he is nurturing so that it can continue to grow and develop and reach its full potential.

Whatever this is, it is something that may be causing you to feel left out, hence feeling like the side chick in the dream. He also acts like this is no big deal in the dream. That is because in real life he must not realize you are bothered by this project or whatever it is he is giving his time to… or he thinks you shouldn’t be bothered by it.

But the dream continued all night long so you clearly are.

My suggestion is to bring this up to him, but do so gently. Remember, he hasn’t actually cheated on you! You can open the conversation with this dream — that’s a good way to break the ice. Then let him know that you are feeling a bit left out. Offer to cut back on something of yours if he can cut back a little on his project or “baby.” Together, find a way you two can spend more quality time together… something that will make you both feel like you are each other’s priority. Do this and these sort of dreams will stop!

Visit Lauri’s site:

Get Laurie’s Book!

Dream On It

Have Lauri Make You a Pin-Up
(Mention Em & Lo for 10% OFF!):

You As a Pin Up

The 20 Most Disturbing Sex-Themed Movies

We were going to do a top ten list but there are so many disturbing sex themed movies made, we had to bump it up to 20. Let us know if there are any others you think should have made the cut.

    1. Irreversible

      If you can get through the first ten minutes of hard-core sex and violence at the gay club (subtly called “Rectum”) in this brutal movie about rape and revenge, then you’ve got a stronger constitution than we do.


    1. Breaking the Waves

      The simple-minded wife of a newly disabled man misinterprets his desire for her to find the pleasure he can no longer deliver elsewhere and engages in riskier and riskier behavior until she (spoiler alert) ends up killed via gang bang. The feel good movie of 1996!


    1. Black Snake Moan

      The moral of the story: Chaining a young, skimpily dressed, drug addicted, abuse victim to your radiator against her will in order to cure her of her raging nymphomania is the right thing to do. Jesus would be proud.


    1. Spanking the Monkey

      Five words for you: sex with your own mother. Ew!!!! (And with a title like that, it’s not exactly Oedipus.)


    1. Black Swan

      The issues around bodily control and sexual repression aren’t so much disturbing as they are unintentionally hilarious. For example, when the main character finally gets round to an intense bout of self-diddling, only to discover her mother sleeping in the corner or her room, we could have sworn we were watching a clip from Funny or Die.


    1. Happiness:

      The easiest way to describe this follow-up to Todd Solondz’s first flick “Welcome to the Dollhouse” is to say it’s the exact opposite of its title. Failed marriages? Check! Sexual harassment? Pedophilia? Check!


    1. Dead Ringers:

      Scary gynecological tools and sexual hangups don’t mix. That goes double for creepy twins (played by Jeremy Irons).


    1. Boxing Helena:

      The only thing more disturbing than the premise of this movie (a man keeps his love interest dependent upon him by removing her limbs) is the absolutely atrocious acting. How could Julian Sands have gone from “A Room with a View” to this steaming pile of dog poop?!


    1. The Piano Teacher:

      She’s a sexy librarian-type with a domineering mother and an insane institutionalized dad who has some peculiar requests of her love interests (e.g. tie me up, sit on my face, and punch me in the stomach hard to force my tongue up your bum). Students beware.


    1. Exit to Eden

      How did a movie about BDSM starring Rosie O’Donnell ever get made? The podcast “How Did This Get Made” needs to discuss.


    1. Kissed

      Don’t you hate it when the only way you can get off is to screw a corpse?


    1. Downloading Nancy

      It’s a psycho-sadomasochistic love story: she wants to die and he’s willing to help. See, Internet personals really do work! (Now we’re just waiting for the film version of that German cannibal who, via the Internet, found, killed and ate his willing victim…after they had sex and then tried to dine on his dismembered penis together — any festival submissions yet? No? Oh wait, they did make that movie. And it won some awards!).


    1. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover

      Peter Greenaway’s weird, arty and kind of nauseating take on the relationships between eating and sex, love and death. It may just make you a vegetarian.


    1. Savage Grace

      Mothers can have such high expectations, like when they expect you to orgasm during intercourse with them. And when you don’t, they give you that aggressive I’m-so-disappointed-in-you handjob. Thanks a lot, Mom.


    1. Towelhead

      This flick, about the sexual awakening of a 13-year-old Arab-American girl, proves the world would be a much better place if all pubescent girls were given a vulva puppet to love and cherish, a box of tampons, and a copy of Are We Having Fun Yet: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Sex.


    1. Little Children

      A movie about the depressing consequences of misplaced affection. Especially disturbing are Kate Winslet’s eyebrows.


    1. Teeth

      Your first time should be special, romantic, and, most of all, consensual. If it’s not, then you have every right to bite off your assaulter’s penis with your sharp vagina dentata. (Makes us cross our legs just thinking about it.)


    1. Last Tango in Paris

      Worst line of dialogue in cinematic history: “Go get the butter.”


    1. 9 and 1/2 weeks

      Initially the affair looks like something straight out of Cosmo — there’s the playful stripteases and the blindfolds and strawberry feedings. But when you date a man without a sense of humor, don’t be surprised if he eventually makes you crawl around on the floor like a dog and watch him get it on with a prostitute.


  1. Sex and the City 2

    Downright scary.

This post has been updated.

Feeling chilly?
13 Snowy Movies to Watch Together

When Is It Okay to Ban Books from Prisons?

We were amused when we received a letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections informing us, as the founders of our imprint Better Half Books, that our beginner’s guide to kink, “150 Shades of Play,” had been denied to all their inmates:

prison letter

We had so many questions! Had a loved one brought an inmate a copy to while away the days? Did the prison library get a donated copy and decide to put it on their list of no-no’s? Had an inmate requested the library get a copy?

Just imagine the administrator charged with reviewing the material to determine its appropriateness, skimming past the “Adult Baby” and “Bondage Mittens” entries (complete with illustrations!) to discover on page 70 directions for using a pillowcase for light erotic flagellation!

While we don’t love the idea of censorship, we get the potential problems for prisons of material that teaches inmates how to tie handcuffs with found fabric. But we were bummed to learn that nudity and even just sexually explicit material is often a total deal breaker for prisons. The now defunct’s excellent article “What Are Prison Libraries Really Like” explains:

…there are extreme restrictions on reading materials. Books with references to homosexual relationships, for example, are often banned. Victoria Law, author of Resistance Behind Bars and cofounder of Books Through Bars, cites women’s prisons in Gatesville, Texas as examples of institutions which outlaw homosexuality in reading material. There is also a fear that prison libraries might serve as a “gay space,” explains Sweeney; at one prison where she conducted research, women had to sign-up for library time in advance and were only allowed up to 30 minutes there to ensure that it didn’t become a “gay bar.” . . . And women feeling the effects of often sub-par medical care won’t get much help much help from the library either, as medical textbooks that can teach them useful skills, like how to check for breast cancer, are often banned for nudity.

And now we’ve just learned our home state of New York just applied a new directive to three state prisons (perhaps eventually more or all) which limits packages that incarcerated people can receive to items purchased from just six vendors (two more are expected to be added). NYC Books Through Bars, a volunteer collective that has been sending free books to people in prisons across the United States for more than twenty-one years, reviewed the catalogues of the first five vendors (the sixth is unknown) and found that only 77 books would be made available — 11 of which are coloring books! In a letter to Governor Cuomo, they write:

Directive 4911A limits incarcerated people to a few dozen books and magazines, purchased at a premium from a handful of favored businesses. The approved vendors’ catalogs are currently limited to the following books: five romance novels, fourteen bibles and other religious texts, twenty-­four drawing or coloring books, twenty-­one puzzle books, eleven guitar, chess, and how-to books, one dictionary, and one thesaurus. No books that help people learn to overcome addictions or learn how to improve as parents. No Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, Maya Angelou, or other literature that helps people connect with what it means to be human. No texts that help provide skills essential to finding and maintaining work after release from prison. No books about health, about history, about almost anything inside or outside the prison walls. This draconian restriction closes off so much of the world to thousands of people.

This is New York. Cuomo is a democrat. But this directive is some seriously Trumpian bullshit. Prison inmates may not need “150 Shades of Play,” but they do need a wide array of other books to help educate and inspire them.  To steal a quote from the painter Gerhard Richter: Art, including literature, is the highest form of hope.

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Sex & Gender Book Topics

Make at Least 1 of These 6 Sex Goals Your New Year’s Resolution

There are some promises that are never meant to be kept:

I’ll meet you at the bar later after I’ve had a nap.

I’m going to hit the gym during my lunch break.

I’ll take a look at these materials you’re handing out door-to-door and get back to you. 

These promises are empty by design, intended only to fill the gaps between sentences, never meant to be taken literally. They’re like filler promises.

And then there are promises that deserve to be kept and observed. “To have and to hold, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health” is one. “I promise I’ll go to the doctor” is another. New Year’s resolutions are the collective strengthening of promises― we’re all in them together. It’s a communal commitment, and as such, they deserve to be upheld. Especially when it comes to sex.

Goals help us direct our energy and keep ourselves organized, so it’s good to start the year with a new collection of them. And if you set yourself clear goals now, the easier it will be to achieve them later. Here’s what a conventional list of resolutions looks like:

  1. More gym
  2. Read more
  3. Drink less
  4. Be more assertive
  5. Go to bed earlier

That’s pretty much a standard list, right? Now, what we’re suggesting is to replace at least one of those with something sex-related. Because, well, sex is good and good for you, and it shouldn’t be forgotten when you’re trying to improve the way you’re living.

It’s too easy and too vague to simply say “have more sex” though. That’s not specific enough to be an attainable goal. So we’ve made some suggestions for sex goals below that might help you enhance your sex life this year…but only if you stick to them.

1. Take Stock of Your Sexual Life

We all have a sense of our sexual identity, but we rarely stop to consider it. Few of us, when put on the spot, would be able to describe what defines us sexually, but this is such a crucial step towards knowing exactly what we enjoy and having the ability and confidence to pursue it. Take a mental inventory every now and then. (You could even write a list of sexual things you’ve experienced, or things you’ve desired but never asked for, just don’t leave it hidden around in a drawer unless you want it eventually found.) Just familiarize yourself with your sexuality, refresh your memory on some of the things you’ve really enjoyed or think you might enjoy, and then revisit it often to keep the memories crisp.

2. Make a Commitment to Spoil Yourself

Taking the time to enjoy your own sexuality―privately, just for yourself―is the perfect way to better understand your sexual identity. We’re not necessarily talking about ‘getting back in touch with yourself’ in a spiritual sense, we’re talking about something much more grounded: treating yourself to a new toy on payday and spending a night in with your phone turned off and your INA WAVE, for example, turned on once a week will make you love yourself that little bit more.

3. Try That Thing You’ve Been Too Scared to Ask For

This is easier said than done, but hey, sometimes our reach has to extend beyond our grasp. It’s like this: if you stick to your other resolutions, most of which are essentially likely to be different ways to improve confidence and self-esteem in one way or another, then the confidence that’s required to ask for something you’ve never asked for before will come naturally anyway. Resolutions are a complete package: when you feel like you’re satisfying one, you’re more likely to continue fulfilling it. Sex is the same: the confidence it takes to ask for something new is augmented by asking for it. It’s a virtuous circle, and the worst that can happen is that you won’t get whatever it is you wanted.

4. Vow To Talk More

It’s healthy to talk. If you’re in a relationship, promising to talk more about your sexual wants and needs is the best way to make sure you’re both getting the most from your sex lives. Sex is a conversation, and the better you are at communicating, the more satisfying your sex will be. But keep in mind: sex should be more about compromise and understanding than ultimatums.

5. Do Something Entirely Different

It is entirely possible to try something new without taking any risks. You can invest in a new pleasure product, for example. That’s a safe option. But hey, this is YOUR resolution, so why not aim a little higher? Take a risk and enjoy the ride. If you’ve never had sex outdoors before, that’s something you should definitely experience this year. If you’ve ever had a craving to explore different roles in the bedroom, erotic submission or domination for example, then now is the time to pursue it.

6. Read More Good Erotica

If you’re into watching porn, give your eyes a break and exercise your imagination. With erotica, you fill in the gaps with your own preferences, rather than having some director micromanage your fantasies. Plus, don’t have to worry that any actual human beings were ever coerced, humiliated or drugged during a scene (not to say that includes all porn, but it happens). And if you’ve never consumed any erotic material, well then the written word is a great, fairly non-threatening introduction.

Any one of these, or any combination of them, should help pave the way for a more sexually fulfilling 2018. Happy Screw Year!

Need some ideas for a new year treat?
What Every Woman Should Have in Her Nightstand Drawer

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13 Snowy Movies to Watch During a “Snowmageddon” (Video)

A snow day for the two of us means repeated sing-a-long screenings of Frozen with our respective kids. But for all of you who are lucky enough to enjoy a snow day (or at least a snow night) without kids, here are thirteen fun movies to cuddle up with. Pour a little whiskey in your hot cocoa, grab a blanket and a loved one, and think about how superior the East coast is to the West. It’s the American version of Norwegian “koselig”!


1. Fargo (1996)

Forget about yellow snow — in this movie, the snow is blood red. The Coen Brothers’ small town murder movie is gory, funny, gorgeously exacted, and, you betcha, snowy. And the famous wood chipper scene is a great excuse to jump into someone’s lap and hold on tight.


2. The Shining (1980)

Think you’ve got cabin fever? Then you don’t know Johnny. And you’ve never been a snowed-in janitor at an isolated hotel. After watching Stanley Kubrick’s snow-white horror movie, drenched in both blood and snow, your own home will feel extra warm and cozy.


3. Alive (1993)

It’s amazing the random supermarket items people feel the need to stock up on before a snowstorm. Yesterday, Em saw a woman with only a loaf of bread and a pineapple in her cart, yet she felt she somehow was supposed to be at the supermarket before the blizzard. Anyway. We digress. This true-story survival pic, about the Uruguayan rugby team’s plane crash in the Andes, will make you think twice before complaining about how little you have left in the fridge because you forgot to stock up before the storm.


4. Dumb and Dumber (1994)

Nineties Aspen ski fashion, poop jokes, and three memorable life lessons: Never steal your best friend’s girl; never travel on a scooter in winter; and never, ever lick anything frozen. This movie is an awesome palate cleanser after some of the bleaker titles on this list.


5. Planes Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Those aren’t pillows! In another hilarious palate cleanser, John Candy and Steve Martin bond in cheap motels and burnt out cars during their very own snowmageddon.


6. Frozen River (2008)

A single mother earning minimum wage and struggling to survive in a mobile home in freezing temperatures? Not so many fart jokes in this one. It’s bleak, but brilliant, taking place near a border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec. The frozen river is a tempting but dangerous smuggling route, and (spoiler alert) OH MY GOD THE BABY!


7. Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1997)

Smilla Qaavigaaq Jaspersen (just saying that name makes it snow harder) is a 37 year-old woman of Eskimo origin living in Copenhagen. When her 6-year-old neighbor (a boy from Greenland) dies in a suspicious accident, she decides to investigate. With bonus sexy tension between Julia Ormond and Gabriel Byrne.


8. Groundhog Day (1993)

Imagine this snow day over and over and over again. Then imagine being a weatherman experiencing this snowy day over and over again. You wouldn’t think that hilarity would ensue, but, as we all know, it certainly does.


9. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Even Jake Gyllenhaal’s smoldering gaze can’t warm things up when global warming spawns a new ice age. He and a bunch of other people who manage to look attractive even while dying hole up in the New York Public Library and burn books to stay warm. (How warm do you think your Kindle wold keep you in the next ice age, huh?!)


10. Misery (1990)

You may be a tad annoyed at your loved one by the end of snowmageddon, but it could be worse: You could be a novelist who just killed off an obsessed fan’s favorite fictional character. And you could just happen to crash in the snow and get trapped inside, at the mercy of this pissed off, obsessed fan. Yeah, it could be a lot worse.


11. Hanna (2011)

Saoirse Ronan plays Hanna, a 16-year-old who never has to deal with mean girls and teen acne and boys who don’t like her back because she has been living in snowy isolation and being trained to be an assassin. And all you managed to do during the blizzard was bake cookies.



12. Snowpiercer (2013)

This is what happens when people don’t take climate change seriously. A lone few end up surviving on a high speed train traveling around the world. Hint: you don’t want to be in one of the back cars. Super violent, super exciting, super silly, with perhaps one of the best (read: unintentionally hilarious) lines in movie history (spoiler alert!): “I know that babies taste best.”


13. Frozen (2013)

Fine, fine, we’ll admit it: It’s a good freakin’ snow movie! It makes fun of the whole fall-in-love-in-a-day trope, and the ultimate message is one of sister love. Just let it go, people! If you don’t have kids, there’s always the Frozen drinking game.




Twitter’s Best Reactions to Trump’s “My Button Is Bigger” Nuclear Threat

Writing the title of this post just created the most unsettling cognitive dissonance: on the one hand President Trump‘s recent tweet boasting about the size of his nuclear button is pure, laughable, infantile, sexual insecurity; on the other it’s a casual threat to the lives of millions of real people living on this planet, indeed a threat to the very planet itself!

Our world is at the mercy of the whims of an unstable narcissist with whom Freud would have a field day: Trump’s daddy didn’t love him enough, he’s insecure about his sexual prowess, he wants to fuck his daughter…

While we don’t think penis size is something to be focused on or ridiculed, we do know that insecurity about physical “manliness” can wreak havoc on a man’s mental state. And when the “leader of the free world” (again: Does. Not. Compute!) is so obviously tormented by his own insecurities and insists on displaying them for all the world to see in such blatant, un-self-aware ways, well, people are gonna talk shit.

And that’s exactly what people did on Twitter, using dark, sometime inappropriate, humor (including, we hate to admit it, ourselves). Here are some of the best (or perhaps worst) reactions. Please try not to give up on all hope for humanity:































Em & Lo’s Trump Files

I Dreamt I Happily Married a Mystery Groom

Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex & relationships. If you’ve got a good one, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg just might tell you what it means! Click here to submit yours (18 and older only for dream interpretations, please). This week, a reader asks Lauri about a mystery groom in her dream:

I had a weird dream where I was getting married. In this dream world, I was in love with the guy and was happy to marry him. I saw his face. In real life, I haven’t really seen anyone like him nor know anyone who looks like him. The wedding was kind of a mess because it had a lot of problems (shortage of flowers, etc.). But I was happy and looked happy.

Lauri: This is actually a fairly common dream for women: “The Mystery Groom” dream, as I call it. It’s fun to think that it could be your subconscious or the universe showing you your future husband but the truth is, dreams are symbolic, not literal, and they show you the here and now, not the future.

Unknown men in women’s dreams often symbolize her own energy that’s typically considered masculine, i.e. her ability to stand up, “grow a pair,” be assertive, etc.  (“Female” qualities/energies are typically considered to be sensitivity, creativity, intuition and nurturing). Anyhoo… You are marrying this dream man and are in love with him because your subconscious is urging you to unite with and “commit” to your assertive side. What is going on in your life right now where you could utilize this energy for your benefit?

Next, the problems at the wedding are directly connected to current waking life problems. See if you can correlate the different wedding problems to your current waking life problems. For example, the shortage of flowers in the dream may reflect a shortage of happiness in real life.

Bottom line, this dream came at a time when you need to take charge and handle a particular issue… and commit (hence the wedding) to seeing it through.

Visit Lauri’s site:

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The Top 10 Most Romantic Holiday Movies

We’re suckers for Christmas. The bright lights, the gingerbread houses, the cheesy music, the British “crackers,” the ability to eat and drink to excess without being considered a glutton or an alcoholic!  We especially love that cozy feeling that comes from watching favorite movies with a wintery vibe — not necessarily official Christmas movies, but just ones that honor love and family with some cold weather thrown in. Here’s our top 10. (If you’re wondering why “Love, Actually”, the assumed definition of “romantic holiday movie,” didn’t make the cut, it’s because Lo thinks knows that sexist movie sucked reindeer balls.)


1. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Creepy Christmas-obsessed dolls in a macabre parallel universe singing to each other in minor chords under a giant full moon: “My dearest friend, if you don’t mind, I’d like to join you by your side, where we can gaze into the stars, and sit together, now and forever. For it is plain as anyone can see, we’re simply meant to be.” No Disney romance can hold a candle to that sweetness.


2. When Harry Met Sally
The holiday scenes in the city automatically qualify it for inclusion on this list. It’s the kind of movie you can happily watch for the third or fourth time while hungover with friends and loved ones after a blow-out holiday party the night before.


3. The Family Stone
It’s not the greatest movie, but what it lacks in believable plot points (come on, an engaged man and woman each fall for their partner’s sibling overnight?), it makes up for in awesome Christmas decorations, awkward family dinner conversations and the always awesome Diane Keaton.


4. It’s a Wonderful Life
That iconic telephone scene is one of the most dramatic, romantic, sexually tense movie-moments ever made.


5. Moonstruck
New York City at Christmas-time is one of the leading characters in this classic romantic comedy. Makes you want to buy some Christmas cookies from a Brooklyn baker and then have hot monkey sex with them (i.e. the baker, with or without the cookies).


6. Dan in Real Life
We’re not even sure whether this movie takes place around the holidays, but it’s got a big family gathering in a cozy house with lots of kookie characters who sing and dance and fall in love, so that’s festive enough for us.


7. Holiday Inn
Its complicated romance has a bit of a Three’s-Company vibe to it, plus the blackface scene taints the whole thing, but if you compartmentalize enough,  it’s hard not love the Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire vehicle that introduced Irving Berlin’s White Christmas to the world as a sort of yearning love song.


8. Bridget Jones’ Diary
See When Harry Met Sally above.


9. Edward Scissorhands
Johnny Depp is Jesus, Winona Ryder is Mary Magdalene and the townspeople are the Romans. See, very Christmas-y! Actually, we just like the kitschy holiday decorations in this one.


10. The Sound of Music
It’s always nice when true love wins out over organized religion.


Want more excuses to cuddle in front of the TV?
13 Snowy Movies to Watch During a Snow Storm