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  • The Top 3 No-No's for a Straight Woman on a 1st Date

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    Advice from three of's guy friends. This week they answer the following: "
    What are the top 3 no-no's for a woman to do on a first date?" To ask the guys your own question, click here.

    Committed Gay Guy (Dwayne):
    1. talking about ex boyfriends
    2. planning the wedding
    3. crying

    Married Straight Guy (Jake): This is the kind of thinking that we need to break away from. There are no three top things, three best things, three worst things that will make your first date the best. Checklists that other people create for you can cause neurosis, unnecessary worrying and sweaty palms. This is a battered and bruised cliché, but seriously, just be yourself. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by acting, talking, eating and laughing naturally. Anything else is a waste of time.

    Single Straight Guy (Megan): My most recent first date turned into four dates in the same day with the same woman. She broke quite a few rules from my style manual. She made fun of my cardigan. (I still

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  • 5 Reasons to Leave the Lights On

    light bulbIn the movie Manhattan, Diane Keaton says to Woody Allen that he's the kind of man she could see herself have kids with - naturally, he tells her to hit the lights. It's common in movies for the dimming of the lights to be a signal for getting it on (I suppose it helps them steer clear of NC-17 ratings). Like most movie sex, I tend to disagree. I'm not saying you need to see each other under the unappealing cast of florescent lighting - just use a dimmer switch or light some candles. Here are five reasons why:

    1. Sex is considered very much a physical activity - let's get physical, Olivia Newton John sang. Touching each other makes us feel good. However, I think humans are more complicated than that: visuals can make us feel good too. Let's get visual!
    2. Seeing your partner and having your partner see you brings a new level of intimacy to the experience.
    3. Not only does it allow you to better get to know your partner, but you'll also know where you're going. Going down on
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  • Do Men Have Elaborate Fantasies like Women Do?

    Bunny maskAdvice from three of's guy friends. This week they answer the following: "Do guys ever have elaborate fantasies (Riding a white horse to a naked maiden? Being captured as a porn star's slave?), or do their fantasies tend to be more prosaic?" To ask the guys your own question, click here.

    Straight Engaged Guy (Mark Luczak): Guys' fantasies probably tend to be less Fabio-covered romance novel-esque, but that doesn't mean they necessarily lack in poetic beauty (yes, I had to double-check the definition of "prosaic" - I thought it was an antidepressant). Since we're stereotypically more strictly visual and to-the-point, our fantasies can run the wide range from "hot co-worker spontaneously jumping our bones" to "hot neighbor spontaneously jumping our bones" to "hot girl walking down the street spontaneously jumping our bones." If we really want to get elaborate, we'll mix in a porn star, or two.

    Gay Single Guy (Daniel): I think guys can have very elaborate fantasies, but that

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  • How to Stay Healthy Down There

    flowers in a meadowEvery few weeks, Dr. Vanessa Cullins , a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist and vice president for medical affairs at Planned Parenthood , answers your questions on . To ask her your own question, click here .

    Dear Dr. Vanessa,

    What should I be doing (or not doing) to have the healthiest vulva/vagina? (Foods, cleaning, etc.)

    - Spring Cleaning

    Dear S.C.,

    Treating your lady parts to a little TLC by backing off the multitude of vulvar and vaginal cosmetics that stack drugstore shelves is a great place to start. A lot of women don't understand what is best for the good health of their vulvas and vaginas. They get all kinds of conflicting ideas from friends and relatives. Many women, for example, douche. Douching can cause vaginitis, so the first rule is: don't douche unless your doctor or nurse advises you to do so.

    Nobody wants a stinky bottom. Wipe well, always from front to back, after urination and bowel movements. Always make sure that you

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  • Top 10 Worst Things to Hear on a First Date

    teddy bears

    Consider this advice on what NOT to say on a first (or second or third or fourth or fifth...) date:

    1. You remind me of my ex.
    2. I can't stay out too late tonight -- the season finale of "The Bachelorette" is on.
    3. Cutco knives are so awesome.
    4. I only cry during rom coms...and right after sex.
    5. I should warn you, my penis is unusually large.
    6. Contraception is not okay. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.
    7. I can't wait to show you my teddy bear collection.
    8. Just a sec, I have to text back my mom.
    9. The last novel I read? That one by Snooki.
    10. It's chilly, I should have worn my cape.
    Like this? Check out for more!Read More »from Top 10 Worst Things to Hear on a First Date
  • The Hair Down There: Why I like it Both Ways

    Hairless cat

    For three consecutive years, I participated in my university's production of The Vagina Monologues. The piece I performed was entitled "Hair." The moral of this story? You have to love hair in order to love the vagina - you can't just pick the parts you want! For the first two years, I made the case for pubic hair while proudly sporting a nice little bush of my own. But that third year, while I praised the mighty pube at the top of my lungs, I was secretly rocking - and loving - a vulva as bald as Kojak.

    Having grown up in Florida where being swimsuit-ready is a way of life, I had always been meticulous with the grooming of my bikini line. But after getting the sides waxed off at the spa, I always made sure to leave a nice, soft triangle of full-length fluff between my legs. I liked the feeling of that soft spot when I ran my hands over my body after a shower - so much better than the prickliness that comes with close-to-the-bod trimming. I also loved that I looked (and

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  • What Does it Mean to Act like a Woman in Bed?

    Cross dressingAdvice from three of Em & Lo's guy friends. This week they answer the following: "We read a lot about women who 'have sex like men.' What do you think it would mean to do it "like a woman'?"

    Straight Single Guy (Tom Miller): I think it just means liking to have your hair pulled. I kid. I think, very broadly stereotyping here, that a fella who wanted to do it like a woman would want to take things very slowly. Hours of foreplay followed by slow, rhythmic lovemaking, plenty of eye contact and scented candles. Afterwards there would be much cuddling. But, in real life, some ladies like it hard and fast and some guys want to O simultaneously and hold hands and collapse into tearful, sleepy embrasure. Allegedly, it's easier for dudes to do it without emotional connection, but who knows if that's true.

    Straight Married Guy (Figleaf): I hate it when people say that. It just means we've got really dim stereotypes about women. So I'm not enthusiastic about rising to the bait. But if I had to

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  • What to Do when Your Partner Can't Handle Your Sexual Past

    Speak Evil, Hear No Evil, See No Evil
    Dear Em & Lo,

    I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost a year now. We have known one another three total years. In the beginning of our friendship, I treated him like a best friend, and told him quite a bit about my sexual past with ex-boyfriends. It severely affected him and bruised his ego. I never had a clue that I hurt him so badly until he told me his feelings.

    We have since started to (try) and repair the damage that I did, and I have made it a point to try and nullify it. But he is still severely affected by what happened and to be honest, after quite a few months, I am wondering when he will come around. I have made a point to boost his ego. Tell him he is the best in bed, that he is very attractive, etc. He still finds himself in whirlwinds of depression and he thinks back on that time period of when he was in the friend zone. What can I do to pull him out… or can I at all?

    - Dating the Green-Eyed Monster

    Dear D.T.G.E.M.,

    This is the

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  • 7 Ways to Turn Yourself On

    Old Spice man
    Em & Lo contributor Jewely Hoxie, who is studying Human Sexuality at the University of California Santa Cruz, has a confession to make:

    I'll admit it - most of these suggestions will probably resonate more with the ladies than the gents. After all, guys don't tend to need much help turning themselves on. But most of the followingcan be universally applied. If you don't want to try something yourself, consider doing it for your partner instead.

    1. Use a male scent that you like (or, for dudes, a female scent). I was never a fan of Axe, but Old Spice does me in every time. Try wearing it on yourself - you might find it helpful conjuring fantasies. Gents, if your masculinity feels threatened by wearing a gal's scent, just spray it on something near you instead.
    2. Focus on your partner's (or your crush's) hands doing something active. When I see a guy's fingers plucking a guitar, for example, I imagine how they could be playing me.
    3. Work out. Stretching after
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  • Should You Get Tested Even If You're in a Relationship?

    kiss on the beach
    Dr. Vanessa Cullins is an OB/GYN and vice president for medical affairs at Planned Parenthood. To ask her your own question, click here.

    Dear Dr. Vanessa,

    Should you still get tested regularly if you are in a relationship?

    - Snuggling But Not Smug

    Dear SBNS,

    That's a good question. It all depends on how old you are, what kind of relationship you are in, how long you have been in it, and what you and your partner's sexual transmitted infection (STI) status is.

    Couples do not need regular screening for STIs if they have been together for years, have had no other sexual partners during that time, and know for sure that neither partner is infected with HIV or another long-term infection such as herpes. That said, women should continue to have routine Pap tests to screen for abnormal cervical cells that might lead to cancer, whether they are in a monogamous or casual sexual relationship, or are not currently sexually active.

    If you are uncomfortable with

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