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Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the question, If your partner gave you a serious striptease with a serious striptease face and cheesy music, would it really be the best present ever or would it be kinda weird and uncomfortable?:

Straight Single Guy (Max):
A serious striptease requires two things. First, there cannot be cheesy music. Barry White makes me laugh. He does not turn me on. Traditional "sexy" music like that isn't very serious. Using it would probably just be weird and uncomfortable. Give me my favorite music, or perhaps our favorite music. Second, just like a strip bar, I cannot be allowed to touch. This means that I must be tied down, pinned down or somehow unable to simply grab her once she begins to undress. (Unlike a strip bar however, bouncers are a bad idea). The whole appeal of stripping is the tease, and we men have very little self control. You know this: Once one piece of clothing comes off, we're prone to rip the rest of it off as well. A striptease where the timetable is entirely decided upon by the girl stripping... Yeah. That could actually be the best thing ever.

Gay Committed Guy (Terence):
I gotta go with an emphatic no on the partner striptease. I feel terrible about it. I should be thrilled by the idea, right?. Then I think, what if my neighbor did one for me? Oh yeah, that'd be hot. So my rudimentary scientific method tells me that stripteases get me going when I don't know the person all that well. Then again, when I think of my boss and a couple co-workers whom I don't know all too well, I come up with a  revised theory: stripteases get my juices flowing when I don't the person all that well, but want to get to know them in bed. That's it. With my partner I'd be, like, oh please. But now here's a little twist. If my partner were to seriously strip my clothes off me with or without a serious face and cheesy music, I'd probably cream my pants before my socks got pulled off.

Straight Married Guy (Matt):
I think it depends on the partner. If my partner was super embarrassed, I would probably find it super embarrassing. If they felt empowered and just went with it, it could be hot, I guess. The biggest problem with these things--for me, anyway--is that it immediately makes me think of something women learn from daytime know, "10 Sure-Fire Ways to Spice Up Your Ice-Cold Love Life" and so on.  An ex-girlfriend of mine once dressed up in lingerie to surprise me with a little routine, but it was during a very depressing point near the end of the relationship, and the whole thing just felt a little sad and contrived. So maybe that experience has soured me on the concept, but it's not a fantasy I'm particularly yearning to live out.

Our "guys" are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week they're all a little shy.

12.17.2008  BY EM & LO
Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the question, Do you have any tips on phone sex?

1. Straight Single Guy (Chris): Just one tip: Know your audience. It is very simple: like a good joke, you have to know who you are talking to and how far you can push it. It is just a completely counterproductive activity if you have phone sex with somebody and accidentally say something that turns them off and prevents you from having real sex with them ever again. For example, I don't care if you liked fucking your last boyfriend in the ass with a strapon. That's great for you. But it's not great for me. If I was having phone sex with you and in the heat of the moment you blurt out, "I want to fuck you in the ass with a strap-on," I am done. Period. Sorry baby, you went to far.

In answering this question, I thought of a list of sexual actual acts you might want to double-check on before screaming out. Mind you, this list is not complete:

1. I want to fuck you in the ass with a strap-on.
2. I want to piss all over you.
3. I really want to take a crap on your chest.
4. I think your mom is hot.
5. Beat me with a coat hangar.
6. Choke me until I pass out.
7. I dream about being with you, a midget, a monkey, and a toy robot.

Anyway, you get the point. Figure out how far you can go, before you go. Else you might not get the real thing anytime soon...

12.17.2008  BY EM & LO

malefemalesymbols.jpgWe've said it before, we'll say it again: Sex is not intercourse. So stop using the two words interchangeably! When we as a society do this over and over again, it gets into the collective unconscious and starts limiting how we imagine the possibilities of pleasure, especially for women. A majority of women (that's more women than not!) don't climax from intercourse, so why rush to get there when you can spend time on more rewarding acts? But make no mistake: it's not like you gentlemen out there can't enjoy the variety that comes from taking intercourse off its pedestal--hey, if the destination is orgasm, how could anyone complain about the journey there? (Indeed, how could anyone NOT call that "sex"?!) Here, some how-to tips for 5 sexual activities guaranteed to improve both of your non-intercourse sex lives.

1. Talking
Whispering dirty nothings to each other is one of the best forms of foreplay out there--it can really get the mental side of things stirring, which is so important for gals. Now, if you're cringing and blushing and thinking, "Oh no, please don't make me talk dirty!": relax. Bedroom banter doesn't have to sound like porno dialogue. Tell each other what you're about to do, just before you do it. Sounds innocent enough, but just you wait...and once you've got that part down, you can start telling each other over dinner what you'd like to do later. #1 Must-Do Tip: Feeling tongue-tied? Then buy an erotica anthology (check out the selection at and read it aloud to each other in bed. For more specifics on what to actually say, read our post dedicated to the topic.

2. Kissing
Remember your first few kisses? The sensation was so novel it literally made you weak in the knees! Get that feeling back by making a make-out session an end in itself. Rather than rushing through the motions to get to "better" things, focus on every lick and pucker, in fact, perfect them. Remember: Two tongues at a time is overrated. Gentle lip-biting is hot; gentle tongue-biting is not. #1 Must-Do Tip: Just like any form of sex, kissing doesn't always have to be romantic and lovey-dovey--try pulling your partner's hair instead of stroking it during a kiss sometime. For more specifics on how NOT to kiss, read our post dedicated to the topic...

Hopefully you caught our Impertinent Question video earlier today about what people know, don't know and NEED to know about HPV. But we couldn't fit it ALL into a few short clips, so for those responsible souls who'd like to further school themselves on the ins and outs of HPV, here's an even more detailed rundown of the virus. (Italicized text indicates info NOT included in the video.)

What does HPV stand for?
Human papilloma virus

How common is it?
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection there is. The CDC says most sexually active people in the United States (U.S.) will have HPV at some time in their lives. It is estimated that 80 percent of all women -- and 50 percent of men and women combined -- will get one or more types of sexually transmitted HPV at some point in their lives.

Who can get it?
Both men and women can catch, spread and show symptoms of HPV. It just depends on what strain of HPV you get -- more on that in a minute. Keep reading...

Advice from three of our guy friends. A few weeks ago, they answered the question Do guys like their backdoor knocked on? This week, they tackle the follow-up How best to go about getting a reluctant boyfriend to "open up" his backdoor?

Straight Married Guy (Ben): Appeal to his ego. Really, I think that most guys' reluctance comes from the "penetration" part of it--not the "anal." We're so used to doing the fucking, to being on top of the sexual dynamic, and you're asking him to get fucked. It's all wrapped up in notions of power and machismo, so tell him how hot he'd look with your fingers (or dildo) in his ass. How crazy you'll go for him. How he'll be the biggest, baddest, most macho stud alive. How it will make his dick look bigger. Whatever. Then--and this is crucial--continue the positive power talk both during the act and afterwards. He's going to feel vulnerable, so follow though. Make him feel powerful, sexy, virile--so manly--and he'll probably never notice how much you've opened up your sexual dynamic.

Straight Single Guy (Colin): I don't think your guy's bum is ever going to be ready for a full-on sneak attack, but if you take baby steps to anal play during some other interaction he's more likely to go with the flow. Play with his balls and after a while find your way to massaging his perineum. The next step is the risky one, but it's time to start playing with his anus. As long as you're doing a good job up front (with your mouth or hand) the back is only going to add a new level of sensation. But to really get in there you're going to need to lubricate your finger, ideally with your favorite brand of lube. You're going to have to get it pretty slippery before he's going to like it stuck anywhere it hasn't been before. If he's hesitant let him know it turns you on and that it's supposed to feel really good for him. And know of course, that there should be reciprocation if he pleases.

Feeling down in the dumps because you're going to be single for Christmas and New Year's?

You're not alone. Well, sure, you're alone in the sense that you don't have a cutie to go ice-skating with while clad in matching striped scarves from the Gap. But you're not alone alone. Despite the onslaught of trailers for overly sentimental flicks featuring inspirational sports teams/family reunions/elf costumes, all those extra Kay Jewelers commercials (that actually make us pine for the Coors twins), and the music about love and joy that's piped into every pharmacy--despite all that, love is not, actually, all around. There's war and infidelity and existential crises and depression and recession and people in those pharmacies fighting and pushing to get to the front of the line with their gift wrap, emergency box of tampons, and prescription meds. It only feels like love's all around because single people don't spend as much money on holiday gifts and activities, so as far as Madison Avenue is concerned, you're persona non grata. You might as well be an elf. So you and the other single people start hibernating--drinking Coors in dive bars, most likely--which makes you feel even more alone.

During this season, you might find yourself lingering in the self-help aisle at your local bookshop, fingering titles like If I'm So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single? and Healing Your Aloneness: Finding Love and Wholeness Through Your Inner Child. (We wish we could say we made those titles up.) This extended holiday season is a romance pressure cooker guaranteed to make you feel like the kind of loser who might actually buy one of these books. ...

Who wouldn't want an orgasm as a present? Well, you'd be surprised. Some people's greed is not properly directed. In order to avoid offending their delicate sensibilities, follow these ten rules of gift-giving etiquette this holiday season:

1. If the recipient is a sex-toy virgin, go with a kit since they tend to be nicely packaged and are typically beginner-friendly.

2. If the gift is for your partner, toys you can share--like bath accessories, massage oils, little love rings, and finger toys --are a pretty safe bet.

3. If you're worried the recipient won't be totally amenable to the idea of a sex toy as a present, try an undercover toy like a vibrating lipstick--that way, they can always choose to accept it in jest, if they're embarrassed. And they can secretly use it without anyone ever accidentally stumbling on their sex toy, since it's not a sex toy, it's just a lipstick!

4. You can never go wrong with a high-end toy that comes in a beautiful box, is shiny and/or sparkly, and usually looks nothing like a sex toy, e.g. Lelos, Jimmy Janes, the Mk. I, etc.

5. Don't give a "gift" that's obviously a present to yourself, like polyester butt-floss lingerie that may look good to you but feels terribly uncomfortable to the person you're supposed to be pampering. (Make requests for that kind of thing on your own birthday)...

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the question--and, in a Man-Handled first, they all agree on the answer--Who should pay on a first date? (Is there any man out there who disagrees with them?!)

Gay Engaged Guy (Joel Derfner, author of Swish): The guy should pay. I mean, strictly speaking, the person who issued the invitation should pay, but since the most effective way for a girl to ask a guy out is in such a way as to make him think he's actually asked her out (in order to spare the straight male's delicate ego when it comes to issues of masculinity), it amounts to the same thing. Obviously, if the girl wants to go dutch, then that's a perfectly acceptable arrangement, and the "insist twice on paying before acquiescing and allowing the guy to pay" approach is also particularly gracious (though it does create the risk that he'll actually accept). But we're long past the age when if the guy pays it's because he thinks the girl's place is in the kitchen. The guy pays to show that the food/movie/miniature golf was completely beside the point and that his real pleasure has come from the opportunity to spend time with his date.


Dear Em & Lo,

I have an awesome boyfriend and we have extremely good sex. We even have simultaneous orgasms 75 percent of the time. I love him, he loves me. I couldn't be happier.

My problem is this: I cannot fall asleep when we're together. We've tried having sleepovers at his place and my place. We've tried switching what side of the bed we sleep on. I will be up all night long, and not in the happy fun way. One of the main problems is he's a cuddler. I know, most men don't like to cuddle. Well, not this one. And he grips me in a vice grip as he sleeps without even realizing it, not to mention, takes up more than half my double bed. He's not a huge guy, but he's no shorty either. He snores, but not rhythmically, and only sporadically. He also twitches and moves around when he dreams, sometimes almost sleep talking. Let's just say, he's not a quiet sleeper.

I think I could get used to most of that, but when I try to wake him up and get him to move over so I'm not falling off the bed or to stop squeezing me in his sleep, he pouts. During the day time, its fine, he says he doesn't care and I should just shove him over. But he turns into a hurt puppy dog when I wake him up and he's still drowsy and then I feel like a terrible person for not wanting him touching me while I try to sail off to dream land. But honestly, I think part of my problem is I really prefer to sleep alone, which I also feel kind of guilty for. Is there any way I can relax when he stays over. I hate to resort to a prescription for sleeping pills.

--Wide Awake

Our inbox is overflowing and we'll never get to all the lonely hearts, so each week, one reader's fate will be left up to the masses. Answer this reader's question by filling out the poll after the jump:

Dear Em & Lo,

I have been with my boyfriend for about a year now, and during the course of our relationship, I came to terms with my bisexuality. He has been very loving and accepting throughout this process, and our relationship is the healthiest one I've ever been in. I love him, and I don't have any complaints sexually--except that now that I am no longer denying the attractions I feel toward women. I would be lying if I said I didn't feel frustrated by not being able to experience that part of my sexuality. I don't know how to deal with this frustration without damaging this relationship or having to devise some sort of awkward, complicated arrangement.

Please help,
Looking Both Ways Without Crossing the Street

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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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