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So here's a question: If you suspected that maybe your husband had slept with someone during his bachelor party, or if you thought that perhaps your boyfriend had had a holiday fling when you were first long would you wait for him to fess up before finally asking him about it point-blank? Could you live with those suspicions for years? (Perhaps not knowing for sure means that maybe he didn't do it, which is better than finding out that he did?)

And here's a follow-up question: When you finally decided to confront your man, would you invite along Jerry Springer and his handy-dandy lie-detector? (Not to mention the cameras and a live studio audience, of course.) Yep, it's the latest in U.K. reality TV, sure to hit these shores soon (Update: It's here already!): Nothing But The Truth, in which contestants strap themselves to a lie-detector and answer a bunch of questions picked out by their spouse. If they tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, they win 50,000 pounds.

Oh yeah, so there's the third question: How many pounds is your marriage worth to you?

01.31.2008  BY DR. KATE
We talk about it all the time here at the Bedpost: One of the best ways to improve your sex life is to add a lubricant.  Did you know that lube may help prevent condom breakage while increasing both your comfort and his sensitivity (a good answer if he's whining about using a condom)? Lubes are especially important for rear play, when you're more at risk of tears in your tissue. You want to find a lube that's effective for your needs and non-irritating. Fortunately, there's a multitude of options in the stores or even in your kitchen. In general, you'll need to try out a few with your guy to see what's most comfortable. To help find the one that's best for you, use the handy guide below (you can also refer to this great table of lubes, complete with brand names).

Nancy Redd is a former Miss Virginia, a former cheerleading captain--and also a Women's Studies Harvard graduate and author of the uplifting and hilarious book Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers. (See? We told you not to judge ex-cheerleaders.) The book features a vulva centerfold that would make Hugh Hefner turn in his grave (oh wait, that's right, he's not dead yet, just irrelevant), and is pretty much guaranteed to make you feel better about your least favorite body part, whichever part that may be. We decided to chat to Nancy about one of her favorite crusading topics, pubic hair. (Actually, it's one of ours, too...come on, Nair for pre-teens?!)

E&L: New York mag accused your book of having a bit of an anti-waxing slant, though we actually thought you presented all the pubic hair styling options fairly evenly. Why do you think we're so obsessed with manicuring our hair down there these days?

NR: First and foremost, I don't care what you do as long as you do it for you and not because you think future sexual partners will think you're gross if you don't get rid of your body hair. 

Bikini waxing is big business with a huge profit margin.  A few marketing geniuses in the 1990s started touting it as the newest, coolest, modern and sexy thing to do, and we believed them. In 1999, as I struggled to fit in with my classmates my frosh year at Harvard, getting my first Brazilian was like a rite of passage, right up there with buying a pair of Tiffany earrings, a Bobbi Brown lipstick, and a Coach handbag. Having only ever wielded a razor down there with not-so-hot results, the smooth feeling afterwards, as well as the powerful feeling of maturity, got me hooked. That Christmas break, when I asked an esthetician in my hometown in southern Virginia for a "touch up," she looked at me like I was crazy. No one outside of big cities was doing them then. Today, bikini waxing has become popular everywhere, even in tiny southern towns. 

What started as an interesting whim for a few women has now, sadly, become mandated by many sexual partners (and bathing suit cuts) across the country. American guys, while sporting full bushes down there themselves, often have the gall to proclaim women unclean to their face if there's hair down there, which is ridiculous and hypocritical.


When I was fourteen, I was obsessed with green M&Ms, under the impression that the green ones? They made you horny. I wasn't really certain what the whole "horny" thing was, if I was or was not horny at any one time. I had a boyfriend. He had shown me his penis, alert and spry in his brand new thatch of blond pubic hair. I wasn't really sure what happened during our major makeout sessions, when I got all twisty and twirly feeling in my pants and apparently was sweating a LOT because my underwear were always soaked. (Moms and aunties, you might do well to get your girls a subscription to Playgirl so things like this aren't quite so surprising, ok?) So yeah, the horny thing. I was down with that.

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Dear Em & Lo,

I recently lost my virginity to my boyfriend. The first few times we had sex all I felt was pain, but now the pain is finally gone. The problem is, I don't feel anything. I can feel him inside of me, but that's about it. He could just as easily be shaking my hand--it would probably have the same affect. Why is this happening and can I do anything about it?

--"Sorely" Disappointed

When a government official announces that it's possible to reduce AIDS with certain vegetables, you could throw in the towel and decide your country's just not ready for sex ed for grownups...or you could make a hilarious ad promoting your genius new condom, as Pronto Condoms of South Africa just did. In other making-lemonade news this week...

• Do you have a humiliating habit of throwing yourself at men? Then make like Lilly McElory and turn it into an art project.

• Stuck on a double date with a cloying couple who claim, "We never fight"? Comfort yourself in the knowledge that they're either lying or suppressing their anger--in which case, you and your bickering BF are sure to outlive them.

• The one who got away was probably a douchebag, now that you think about it.

Claire Cavanah at Babeland teams up with Em & Lo to tell you about all the different kinds of lube on the market.; Babeland; Claire Cavanah; advice; condoms; em and lo; lube; lubricant; sex toys; Claire Cavanah at Babeland and Em & Lo team up to tell you everything you need to know about lube.

01.30.2008  BY EM & LO
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A group of lesbians in Australia is attempting to launch an international campaign to change the name of their sexuality to "gayelle" (i.e. "gay" plus "elle," which is French for she). Apparently they feel that a brand new word would provide a clean slate and would mean they would no longer be identifying with a term that is frequently used in a derogatory manner. Which doesn't make a lot of sense to us, given the relative obscurity of the phrase "That's so lesbian" vs. "That's so gay."

According to one pro-gayelle website, "Lesbian does not sound cheerful and fun, nor does it mean merry, like the word gay does; rather, it sounds more like loner, loser, and less. Gay females deserve more, not less." Well, we won't argue with that...but gayelle? Really? That just sounds ripe for junior high playground abuse.

01.29.2008  BY EM & LO
Lo was a cheerleader in high school, which she's not particularly proud of--though it does go to show that you can't spot an ex-cheerleader just by looking at her. (Em, meanwhile, doesn't even have the coordination necessary for step aerobics, and was therefore relegated to the marching band in high school.)

It turns out that sometimes, former cheerleaders grow up to be banner-waving feminists-slash-sex writers. And sometimes, they grow up to be lawyers for the National Organization for Women-slash-Supreme Court judges. Yes, we're looking at you, Ruth Bader Ginsberg (we shit you not).

Let's play Cheerleader/Not a Cheerleader! After the jump, find out which of the following celebrities pom-pommed their way through high school or college. (Thanks to WMUR's "They Started as Cheerleaders" slideshow for the answers. Via boingboing.)

1. Madonna
2. Paula Abdul
3. Lindsay Lohan
4. Michael Douglas
5. Jessica Simpson (Okay, so this one's a gimme)
6. Samuel L. Jackson
7. George W. Bush
8. Halle Berry
9. Dwight D. Eisenhower
10. Aaron Spelling
11. Mandy Moore
12. Cameron Diaz
13. Katie Couric (Another gimme, duh)
14. Meryl Streep
15. Jamie Lee Curtis

I think the media may have been reading my posts, because they just reported some positive birth control news for a change! A new study from Britain released this week shows that using the birth control pill can protect you against ovarian cancer for 30 years or longer, even after you stop taking them. And the longer you use the pill, the greater the amount of protection--you can cut your risk of cancer in half by using the pill for 15 years. Another study has shown an 80% reduction in ovarian cancer risk with ten years of use. And that's ten years of total use, not in a row.

Many of my patients stop using the pill between relationships--they don't want the hassle, or "the daily reminder I'm not having sex," as one of them put it. But the pill has a lot of other health benefits, and studies like this one may give my patients a reason to stay on the pill, even for non-birth-control reasons.

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Do Before You Die
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Anonymity always honored!

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Em & Lo, more formally known as Emma Taylor and Lorelei Sharkey, are the self-proclaimed Emily Posts of the modern bedroom.

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City.

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