Blog Posts by Marie Claire

  • Does Hooking Up Hurt You?

     C. Steinhausen/Getty Image C. Steinhausen/Getty ImageYou Bet…says Laura Sessions Stepp, after spending a year entrenched in the sexually charged world of single 20-something women.

    Question: If women don't want a relationship, shouldn't they be able to have no-strings-attached sex as easily as men?

    Answer:
    They can. But just because they can doesn't mean they should. The way chemicals are released in the brain during intercourse is very different in men and women. In women, oxytocin is released. It's a chemical that makes women want to nurture their young and stay close. Men get a huge jolt of testosterone, which suppresses oxytocin, and that's nature's way of saying, leave the nest and go sire offspring somewhere else. So when women think they can have sex and walk away just like guys do, they're having to suppress thousands of years of evolution that tells them to cuddle, stay in bed, and look forward to tomorrow. When they get up and walk out, they feel depressed and don't know why.


    Question: Besides the commonly known risks of

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  • Which Birth Control Method Fits Your Life?

     Leah-Anne Thompson/iStock Images Leah-Anne Thompson/iStock ImagesSingle and hooking up
    With your work-all-day/party-all-night life, you can barely keep track of your cell phone, much less the name of that shag last week. You'd rather die than be tied down - by a guy or a baby - heck, you don't have health insurance.
    You need: Cheap, reliable birth control and protection from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Latex condoms are a must. Consider backing up with the Pill, the patch, or the implant.

    Between partners
    You're in a dry spell, but who cares? You've got that whole group you bike with, brunch with, blog about. You're cautious about things (you don't even send personal e-mails from work). You want to be ready, but a daily pill feels like overkill - though a baby would be worse.
    You need: Condoms for STD protection when the time comes. Also consider the ring or a diaphragm/cervical cap as backup.

    Happy (and horny) together
    You boinked on the kitchen table, on the fire escape, in the hallway - and that was just last night. Celebs stay off

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  • Why Facials Are Not a Beauty Routine Must

    Alexandru Verinciuc/iStockAlexandru Verinciuc/iStockQUESTION: Are facials a must to maintain great skin? If so, how often should I go? And is a fancy spa better than the cheap salon?

    ANSWER:
    I don't think a facial is a necessity if you follow a good, regular skincare regimen: Cleanse twice daily, moisturize, wear SPF, and exfoliate a few times a week. That said, if you feel like your skin is looking dull or a little uneven, a facial is a good way to freshen up. The most expensive facials aren't always the best ones, though you do want to see someone who is very experienced. You don't want a novice doing painful extractions on your skin that could lead to scarring. Ask your friends for recommendations - or just go to a local spa and ask to speak to the facialist. Ask as many questions as you'd like - about the procedure and the products used; you want to feel comfortable with this person. In terms of frequency, once every six to eight weeks is generally enough.

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  • What To Know Before You Move In Together

    Living together ends badly for half the people who do it. Will you beat the stats? There are two kinds of shacking up (make sure you choose right!)

    The happy kind: Prenuptial cohabitation is where you've already got a ring and a wedding date, or at least the shared understanding that marriage - to each other - is in your not-so-distant futures. There is no proof that cohabiting during a finite period hurts your chances of living happily ever after, and the benefits are obvious: half-price rent and cable, sex on demand, and time to see whether he's evolved enough to put the seat down before you say "I do."

    The kind that leads to splitsville: Long-term living together with no clear idea of where the relationship is heading is the type to avoid. Why? You move in on an impulse ("My lease is up; can I move in with you?"), and it's comfy. But once your CDs, finances, and families become entangled, breaking up can resemble a mini divorce. As a result, you may spend years in relationship limbo

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  • 5 ways you're sabotaging your relationship

    Getty ImagesGetty Images
    1. BODY INSECURITIES
    You know you have this problem if...

    You cringe and cover up when your partner sees you naked.
    Compliments make you nervous and defensive.
    Thinking about his positive attributes makes you wonder what he's doing with you.

    Why is it a problem?
    When we are ashamed of our bodies, we "withdraw sexually" and have trouble "being playful and free," says relationship expert Dr. Alice Pisciotto. Many people resort to substances to deal with their insecurites (for example, drinking in order to have sex), which can ruin a sense of closeness.

    How To Fix It
    The first step is awareness: realizing, for example, that when he says, "you look beautiful in that dress" and you hear, "go to the gym," it's not because he's being sarcastic, but because you feel ashamed of your body. The second step is to learn to talk about it in an open, honest way. Explain your insecurities to him, why you think you have them, and how they make you feel. Then, pledge to yourself to throw the

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  • 4 ways to take advantage of the slow economy

    Karin CattKarin Catt1. Budget Wisely
    "Live within your means," says senior financial adviser James E. Law of Law, Chemtob, and Associates. "Why carry around credit card debt from a dinner you had four years ago that you can't even remember?" Let the current atmosphere of fear and frugality inspire you to get your finances in order. Set a budget for yourself and stick to it. Some tips for doing so? To begin with, make sure you have a cash reserve, health, and life insurance. Once that's taken care of, "pay yourself first," says Law. Meaning, when you divide up your paycheck, treat the funds you set aside for a long-term goal like another bill you have to pay each month. Once you have some money saved up, be it $100 or $100,000, there are all kinds of smart ways to spend it now.

    2. Take Stock
    "Now is a great time to invest," says Law. "Although the market's not going to go up right away," buying stocks or mutual funds now, when they are less expensive, is like "buying a dress from Banana Republic for $50

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  • 3 foods you should eat every day

    Jeffrey WestrbookJeffrey WestrbookStop focusing on consuming less of the "bad" foods. Instead, aim to incorporate more of the good foods into your diet. Not only will you feel less deprived, but you'll also end up being too full to crave the junk. Try these nutritional superstars for a result that's even greater than the sum of its wholesome parts:

    1. Apples
    Eating an apple a day can keep all kinds of doctors away, from physicians to dentists. Apples contain both insoluble and soluble fiber, which not only make them filling, but also work double time to reduce cholesterol. Some doctors even recommend drinking apple juice after eating a fatty meal to reduce the food's negative effects on your body.

    Apples have been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. And if that's not enough to make you bite into a Fuji or McIntosh, consider this: Chewing apples stimulates saliva, which scrubs stains off your teeth and freshens breath instantly.

    Serving ideas: Spread peanut butter on sliced apples for a yummy taste of

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  • 7 cheap date ideas

    Digital Vision/Getty ImagesDigital Vision/Getty ImagesA lighter wallet is no excuse to turn date night into a luxury. Get out of your sweatpants, put down the cold pizza, and check out these budget-friendly date ideas that will get you off the couch and into each other's pants.

    1. Get on thin ice. Depending on the weather, head to an indoor or outdoor ice-skating rink - it's the perfect excuse to hold hands, "accidentally" fall on top of each other, and grab a cup of hot chocolate and cozy up to each other to keep warm.

    2. Grab a cup of coffee and check out a local coffee shop's open mic night. You might luck out with a great show, or you may find a mixed bag of angsty guitar solos and bad poetry - either way, you'll have something to talk (or laugh) about on the way home.

    3.
    Check the play and musical schedules at local colleges and high schools. Schools usually have a spring and a fall show, and it's a great way to see a version of your favorite plays and musicals for a fraction of the cost.

    4. Look into the future. Go together for a

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  • 8 Things You Don't Know About Jessica Simpson

    31 Things You Don't Know About Jessica Simpson31 Things You Don't Know About Jessica SimpsonThat hair, the romances, the stage dad, those sky-high platform heels, and the football jinx - you probably think you know the whole Jessica Simpson story. So we asked her family, colleagues, and most important, her hairstylist for the things you don't know about the indomitable pop star-turned-country crooner.

    1. SAX APPEAL: "Jessica played the saxophone for three years in junior high school. It was when The Simpsons had just come out, and she would stand in the kitchen and play 'Do the Bartman' on her saxophone, while Ashlee would dance. It was pretty hilarious." - Tina Simpson, mother

    2. CRY BABY:
    "Her tears in 'I Belong to Me' were real, not makeup." - Matthew Rolston, video director

    3. TRUNK SHOW: "A few years ago, we were going to Eva Longoria's house for dinner, and Jess said, 'I don't want to go to Eva's house for the first time and bring the paparazzi with us! That's so lame!' I was like, 'Fine, then get in the trunk.' I don't know if her blonde hair was sticking out of the

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  • New Trends in Home Security

    In California, private-security companies have reported a spike in the purchase of "safe rooms" - chambers that protect owners from nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks - that can include pizza kitchens, movie theaters, and putting greens, so leisure time won't be held hostage to the apocalypse.

    An epidemic of kidnappings has led affluent Mexicans to pay $4000 to have secret transmitters implanted in their arms, which can pinpoint their location by satellite.

    Harrods now sells bulletproof shirts, blazers, raincoats, leather jackets, and ties, and a $12,000 polo shirt that can resist shots from a Mini Uzi.

    Russian oligarchs are buying up houses in a walled compound outside Moscow (prices start at $13 million), with a security team and housing for residents' bodyguards just outside the gates.

    Thanks to widespread fear of robberies and violence in Brazil's cities, in the second half of 2007, an estimated 7500 bulletproof cars were sold in that country.


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