Blog Posts by Liz Brody

  • Love, Sex & Pink Slips (not the lacy kind)

    You know "the three words"? The ones that can re-spin a whole relationship?

    Sorry, Cupid. They're not, "I love you." Let's try, "I got fired."

    I don't need to tell you that unemployment is hardly an aphrodisiac. Rat poison to romance is more like it. And talk of recovery is a bad joke for the 15 million Americans still out of work, along with their mates. In Nevada, which has the second highest unemploymentrate in the country (13.2 percent), Gerald Weeks, PhD, at the University of Nevada has launched a program that specially helps partners struggling with job loss (check out a video). In fact "couples unemployment counseling" may be the next therapy trend.

    I could use the advice. Just this morning as I left for the office, I looked back to see my newly let-go partner standing in the door barefoot and unshaven. "What?" I asked. "What?" Finally, he goes, "It's just that I hate seeing you go to work while I'm stuck here holding the vacuum." I kind of know what he means. Six months ago I

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  • Guy 101: What really turns men off? (Straight from the dudes at Details)

    One day at Shine, we got to confabbing about how we endlessly write about men-without actually, um, talking to any. (I mean, we adore you, Rich Santos, but you're kind of a lone wolf.) So we called Details-that lovably cheeky guy magazine, served straight up like a dirty-martini with a smart-alec twist.

    The editors were game to answer our questions. So take it from "the Details Debriefer." Here are...

    Despite what you may have been led to believe, we men are not sex machines. We are not made of wires and metal with hair-trigger sensors that can be tripped by the mere presence of a woman in our bedroom, resulting in Viagra-worthy physical arousal. Just like you, our libido can be killed by poorly chosen words, awkward gestures, and ill-timed actions.

    The biggest offenders?

    1. Treat Me Like a Stripper Pole: Don't get me wrong-unleashing your inner porn star in the bedroom is not a bad thing. But shrieking like a banshee while whipping around

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  • Instant Skinny: 8 Ways to Look Thinner, like, NOW!

    Sure, diet and exercise are key to making pounds disappear. But while we're waiting for the results, why not depend on the kindness of illusion? As in: "Now you see it. Now you don't!"

    Personally, I'm clueless as far as fashion and beauty go, so I'm pretty chuffed to bump into former colleague Charla Krupp, whose book, How To Never Look Fat Again: Over 1,000 Ways to Dress Thinner-Without Dieting, just came out and made a beeline for the bestseller list. According to Charla (and a few other style wizards), short of Photoshop, there's a lot of trickery to be had...

    NOT SO HOT: Chunky platforms, flats, round- and square-toed styles all make your legs look heavier, says Charla. As for high-heeled gladiators? "I think they're horrible. If you've got fat feet or cankles, having a lot of straps is not a pretty picture."
    INSTANT SLIMMER: "What you want to do is keep the front of your foot free," Krupp says. "I love a nude pump. It lengthens your leg. If you wear a color that

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  • Is She Asking For It? Cracks in the rape shield laws

    A young woman goes to a party on a Navy base and is raped by a sailor. No way, the sex was consensual, he tells her boyfriend. She reports the incident to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and texts the sailor asking him to admit he raped her. The Navy's Region Legal Service Office declines to prosecute.

    This is one of 3230 sexual assault reports documented in the military last year-an 11 percent increase over 2008, according to data just released by the Department of Defense.
    As I scan through case after similar case, it makes me think about how many woman, in and out of uniform (including myself), have been to that party, or maybe it was a bar, and found ourselves with a guy we vaguely know, or who's a friend of a friend... No gun, no stranger in an alley. He just overpowered us, and forced us into having intercourse-a violent, traumatic trespass, nonetheless, sometimes physically damaging, often emotionally disabling, and most important, a crime. Yet the thought of

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  • Tampon Revamp! Have you seen the new ads?

    In the past few years, we've watched most intimate areas in life get the star treatment: Vaginas got monologues, erectile dysfunction products sponsored our favorite shows, and Dr. Oz discussed bowel movements on Oprah. So it should come as no surprise that now, girls, it's period time. As far as I can see, menstrual couture is about to go viral, and if we don't get in the conversation, we'll be left out of it. Have you seen the new U by Kotex commercial?

    Forget the airy-fairy art direction of yore that wrapped the whole messy topic in a diaphanous twirl of euphemism. The new ads are making fun of themselves, and with salted snark. As the New York Times reports about the spot above, "the clips mocked ...are actually from Kotex commercials, some shown within the last year." The U by Kotex campaign, the paper continues, has more self-parodying ads to come, and is trying to position the brand as the leader in frank talk about a long-secreted topic. One of the new print ads shows a woman

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  • When Men Don't Want Sex: America's Best Kept Secret

    Listen to you, Shine sisters! You sure know how to rock a sex poll.

    When we wrote about low libido in women, you set us straight on who's got the "sorry, not tonight" problem.

    Pwsgirl writes: "Why do these articles/researchers always assume it's the WOMAN who deosn't want sex as much as her partner? In my relationship, it's the other way around."

    Tadakatsu1600 says "I want sex more than my boyfriend does and I find it so humiliating. I cry myself to sleep sometimes."

    In fact according to our poll, the majority of you-49 percent-say you're more turned on than he is. (Only 14 percent report the reverse is true, and 9 percent don't really care about sex at all.)

    There's nothing worse for the ego than when you work your naughtiest, most seductive, vixeny vavoom, and he just gives you a blank look with, "Um, I've got a big work day tomorrow." Now come on, what are you supposed to think? Is he pulling a John Edwards? Is he on the down-low? When Robin Williams joked, "God gave men both

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  • What Husbands Really Think About Sex (Listen up!)

    Is he bored? Disappointed? Wishing you were one of The Shannon Twins, now that they've moved out of the Playboy mansion? Or better yet, both of the Shannon Twins?

    What's a man thinking while he's having sex with you for the 1,027th time? Let's just ask:


    The Guy's Eye View: Actually, not. Their desire ebbs and flows. Work pressures, in particular, hit them below the belt. They're counting their lucky stars if the dry spell ends.

    * "It's definitely cyclical with us. Sometimes I get so involved in work, and intimacy is just being with her. I guess that could be too much of a comfort zone so maybe you need do push it. But we always start up again."-Jim, 44, who's in the information technology field and married almost 14 years.

    * "The cliche about long term marriage is that the sex wanes, and that's that. But it waxes, too, and gets more interesting-and that's been a real shock for both of us."- John, 47, a writer and father of two, married

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  • Would You Tell Your Guy If You Had a Girl Crush?

    The latest lesbian alert over Kim Zolciak (if you blinked, it was about whether The Real Housewife of Atlanta had come out with DJ Tracy Young or was still with boyfriend Big Poppa) got me thinking about real housewives who really have girl crushes.

    Here we are celebrating our newfound sexual fluidity-the rather recent understanding that women can be attracted to one another without meaning we're gay, or bi, or the least bit un-hetero. How fun! But what's it doing to the guys? From a quick check on planet dude, I'd say everything from causing confusion to devastation. (Read "Flirting with Disaster" for a little taste.)

    Russ Chapman has a story, for example. Here's an outgoing guy, a chef at an Irish pub in New Jersey and father of two. One night, he tells me, he was out with his wife of 12 years. He remembers putting his arm around her, and her pushing it away. It happened twice. He knew something was up, and sure enough, a few days later he discovered a handwritten love letter.

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  • POLL: How active is your sex drive?

    About 25 percent of Americans are often just too tired for sex, reports a survey released this week by the National Sleep Foundation. Big news? Hardly. But the little-known fact that the foundation is partially funded by companies that make insomnia drugs reminds me of another pharmaceutically-pushed reason we're not in the mood: No desire.

    Oh, it's true that plenty of women would rather have a date with their Ty-D-Bol than sex with their husbands-some 33 percent typically come out in studies as having low libido, which has been dubbed "hypoactive sexual desire disorder." But is there something wrong with you? Or is there something wrong with your life? Drug companies are working off the former idea, racing to come up with a female Viagra, eyeing what could be a $2 to $4 billion a year market.

    In her documentary Orgasm, Inc., Liz Canner goes inside the business of "female pleasure," starting with a job editing erotic videos to test an orgasm cream. "I like the people I worked with,"

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  • The Wedding Dog—5 Things to Know About The Latest Celeb Craze

    Have you noticed how many stars are walking their dogs...right down the aisle? All I can say is, Hollywood must be selling a lot of four-legged tuxedos.

    As we speak, wedding plans are in full swing for two American Idol-spawned phenoms, Carrie Uderwood and Jennifer Hudson, both of whom have announced they'll be hitched with their Best Dogs in tow. (Underwood's rat terrier, Ace, will be ring bearer while Hudson's three Pomeranians-Oscar, Dreamgirl, and Grammy-await orders.) True Blood actress Anna Paquin, too, has said there'll be no "I do" without her "alpha" border collie, Slash. (Could the fact that fiancé/costar Stephen Moyer calls him "a grumpy little sod" have something to do with why they haven't set a date?)

    The trend was started, "no doubt," by Gwen Stefani in 2002, when her groom, Gavin Rossdale, proceeded to the altar with his Hungarian sheepdog, Winston. The following year, Adam Sandler doubled the doggage-his mutt, Meatball, wearing a yarmulke as the ring bearer,

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