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And we thought the Dial-a-Lash was stupid. Splendora just introduced us to Estée Lauder's Turbolash--yes, it's a freaking vibrating mascara. And as far as we can tell, it vibrates even with the cap almost all the way on: "Twist mascara cap at middle to open. The motor will automatically turn close, twist cap tightly until motor shuts off." The tag line should be "Turn it on. And it turns you on." Or how about "Auto-powered, vibrating brush gives you: Volume. Length. Curl. Separation. Orgasms. All at once"?

There seems to be some confusion lately--especially by the current administration--about how exactly the birth control pill works. Em & Lo started the discussion, but I wanted to weigh in with the medical point of view. The birth control pill prevents pregnancy in several ways:

  • Primarily, the pill prevents ovulation. No egg, no chance of pregnancy. Most months, a woman taking the pill won't release an egg.
  • The pill changes your fallopian tube motility. If an egg is released, the pill makes it harder for it to travel to the uterus.
  • The pill thickens your cervical mucus. This thickening makes it difficult for sperm to get to an egg if one is there.
  • The pill alters your uterine lining. So if an egg was released, and if it manages to get through the fallopian tube, and if sperm were able to get to the egg, and if the egg was then fertilized--and that's a whole lot of ifs--the different lining makes it harder for a fertilized egg to implant. So at no point does the pill interfere with a fertilized egg: it just makes it less likely that the egg will land and become a pregnancy. It is this function of the pill that causes such a ruckus among those who hold that disruption of implantation is the same as an abortion--even though this function of the pill rarely comes into play.

This week's bucket list edition goes out to reader Mandy, who really wants to have sex in a taxi. Here's how to do it right...

Top Ten Tips on Having Sex in a Taxi

1. Wear a skirt and no underwear. For this reason, we don't recommend attempting this act in the middle of winter--that's the last place you want frostbite.

2. Get in a bit of foreplay before you hail the cab so you're both raring to go when you get in: make out on a street corner, sit in the back row at the movies, exchange some dirty text messages...

Our intern Maddie Phillips, a senior at SUNY Oswego, thinks she has the secret to a perfect GPA: find the perfect boyfriend! (Or girlfriend.) Ah, if it only it were that easy...

So, you're going to college and you're writing up a list of supplies. One thing that probably isn't on the list--but should be, in my opinion--is that brand spankin' new college boyfriend/girlfriend. That is, if you really want straight A's.

When you're a single freshman, what do you do? A) Study 24/7--you're totally just there for the degree! or B) Go to parties, meet new people, stay up all night, and make out in the corner of the under-age drinking party with the cutest frat boy you can find. Well, if you're like most freshman (read: me), then B) is the only viable option. It sounds like a great time--and don't get me wrong, it is, at least for a little while--until you're explaining to your parents that their tuition money is funding not only drunken nights of cheap beer and cheaper conversation but something far worse: academic mediocrity.

We've been known in the past to be fairly skeptical of sex surveys (too often they just seem like an excuse for nerdy grad students to interview strippers "for research purposes"). But we have to say, we love the Durex Global Sex Surveys--who knew that annual surveys conducted by a condom company would turn out to be more substantial than a lot of the so-called academic field work? Seriously, they poll thousands of people hailing from everywhere from Nigeria to New Zealand, and their results invariably help to keep sex in perspective. Take the latest findings, for example, which show that while 63 percent of men climax every time they have sex (that's it?!), only 32 percent of women do. And while most of the men polled preferred to orgasm with company, the majority of the women polled said they could achieve an orgasm more easily on their own. So there you have it: you're not alone. Except when you really want to be and it's just you and your right hand, of course...

After hearing what advice women had about sex, the men now get a chance to give the ladies some tips for the bedroom.; sex; Dailyi Bedpost; pleasure; impertinent question; foreplay; men; Women; advice; em & lo; After hearing what advice women had about sex, the men now get a chance to give the ladies some tips for the bedroom.


Dear Em & Lo,

I've been going out with my girlfriend for almost three years (I'm 24, she's 21). We were both virgins when we first had sex early on in our relationship. Our sex since then has been great, and the fact that we love each other makes it even better. We never used condoms because we've never had previous partners, we were serious about our relationship, and we always used other forms of birth control (e.g. the Nuva Ring).

Now, here's the problem: recently she was diagnosed with hepatitis. Amazingly the doctor didn't tell her what hepatitis is (we had to look it up on the Web) or what kind of hepatitis she has (she says she's going to check with her doctor to find out for sure). The first day she was told she had hepatitis she called me crying, accusing me of getting her sick and lying about being a virgin and cheating on her--instead of calling to warn me that I could also have the sickness. I have never been with another woman but her in my life. I felt so shocked.

To make matters worse, both our parrents don't approve of us being together. Hers don't think I'm worth a nickel because I'm not a religious freak like them. And now my parents think that if she loved me, she would've told me to check myself to see if I had hepatitis as well, instead of blaming me for it--so they think I should move on.

I did get tested this last Friday and this week I'm going to know the results. But besides that, I had the vaccine done when I was a kid. And in February of this year, I had urine and blood samples taken for my car insurance, and I came out negative on hepatitis. So I'm pretty sure I'm not sick.

I know my parents are right about her reaction, but I love this girl very much and she was very sorry afterwards. She thinks she's the worst woman in the world for treating me like that, but she still loves me. I forgive her and love her. But I don't know if I should take this as a sign to finish this relationship. Should I forgive her and make the best of all this or dump her?

Hep Help

Photo via Splash

No shit, Sherlock, you're probably thinking. But that's because you're wicked smaht and would never attempt to pick up a hottie by asking them how they like their eggs in the morning. And yet, scientists in white lab coats (okay, anthropologists) spent two years studying the role of humor in seduction to come up with a theory that the rest of us figured out during our first Hugh Grant movie: women like it when men make fun of themselves. Men like it too, according to the survey, but women like it more.

The report is called "Dissing Oneself: The Sexual Attractiveness of Self-Dep-Humour" (jee-zuz, they make seduction sound about as exciting a stereo instruction manual). But before you go "dissing" yourself on the pickup scene, the report includes a dire warning that actually made us kinda sad: these methods should not be wielded by someone who is already unpopular. Apparently this could make "low-status individuals" appear "more pathetic" than they were before. In other words, just because it's cute when Hugh Grant does it, doesn't mean we can all pull it off.

07.29.2008  BY DR. KATE
Dr. Kate,

I'm currently on a 21/7 pill, and it's working beautifully for me, but I have a question about the placebo week's effect on the body. After reading the post about the different lengths of placebo weeks, I'm wondering: Is a placebo week even necessary? Is that withdrawal bleed an actual period? Would you recommend skipping the placebo week several months in a row, or is it healthier or safer to take that week and have the subsequent withdrawal bleed each month? Okay, that was three questions!

Puzzled by Placebos

Dear Puzzled,

I'll take your second question first. The withdrawal bleeding is just that--your body's reaction to the withdrawal of hormones; it's not a true period. Once you start manipulating your cycles with hormones (that sounds so diabolical!), you no longer have what gynos consider "periods"--just regular, hopefully scheduled, bleeding.

So the placebo week isn't truly necessary. When the pill was first manufactured in the 1960s, its creators came up with the 21/7 pattern to mimic the natural cycle, hoping it would be more acceptable to both women and the Catholic Church. The pope didn't buy it, as we know, but many women have felt reassured by seeing bleeding every month. But as I've posted before, that bleeding isn't necessary for good health. 

In the end, it's totally fine to skip the placebo weeks whenever you want (it's not healthier or safer, it's simply another option), with a few caveats:

We were just checking out the forthcoming site, (officially called Bedpost), not least because we wanted to make sure something with such a similar name to ours wasn't about XXX Bed Bath & Beyond porn or something.  And to our relief it looks like Bedposted is going to be a stylish way to track your sexual activity; it loftily aspires to "give you some insight into your sex life" (in the tradition of My Black Book). With a tag line like "It's business time," we have high hopes. (More details on Shake Well Before Use.)

But what we found more interesting than the beta countdown was a line in their privacy policy posted on the homepage: "We understand that this is potentially the most personal of data-sets you will ever keep outside of financial records." Which got us thinking, which is more personal info: the details of your sex life or your bank statements (we're not talking passwords and pins, but income and savings, etc.)? Would you be more offended if someone asked you about your sex life or your finances at a dinner party?

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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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