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Sorry is often the hardest word to say. For men who struggle finding the words to apologize, they often make a grandiose gesture with flowers. So what’s a girl to do when she wants to show her man a little TLC without having to utter... Read More
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Friends With Benefits: Can It Work for You?

Friends? Lovers? Or somewhere in between?

At one time in our lives, most of us have contemplated entering into an infamous "friends with benefits" agreement. If you've seen recent rom-coms including Friends with Benefits or No Strings Attached, you know just the type of dynamic we're talking about. It's the old filler -- relying on a close friend for sexual stimulation until the right person comes along.

It sounds far too simple. And it can be -- for some people. Here are tried-and-true guidelines for keeping things clear cut between you and your new FWB (friend with benefits). Maybe you can have the best of both worlds. {relatedarticles}

Friends with Benefits: The Rules

People who have casual sex with a friend must follow certain rules to make the situation work well.


Rule #1: Set Clear Expectations

You must discuss what you expect out of the sex you have with your friend. That includes telling him that you do not want to be his girlfriend, and you do not want to feel obligated to do anything for him. The sex will only be about the sex, and not about the friendship or it turning into a relationship.

Rule #2: Pay Attention to Emotions

Many women can't help but attach themselves emotionally to their sex buddy. While this is perfectly normal, it's a disaster in the making for the situation. It's important to keep your emotions in check when you have a friend with benefits. As soon as you feel yourself growing fonder of him, it's time to re-evaluate your friendship status.

While it may not seem likely now, many people start as friends with benefits, and then embark on a full-blown, committed relationship. So don't completely discount it as a possibility.{relatedarticles}

Rule #3: Avoid Jealousy

Your friend with benefits can be interested in someone else. He can go on dates, and he can have sex with other people.

The meaning behind, "no strings attached" means you hold no right to him. He is not yours, and he doesn't have to do anything before considering what you might think or feel about it.

This is one of the reasons why many people don't make it far with this type of arrangement. They can't cope with the person they are sleeping with having sex with someone else or going out on dates with other people.


Rule #4: Breaking It Off When Someone Else Comes into Play

As soon as one of you finds someone else to be with in a committed relationship, the arrangement you and your friend have must cease. It's not fair to the new person you or your friend is dating, and it's considered cheating.

Some people have a difficult time stopping the arrangement when it becomes a habit and a normal part of the friendship. However, if you keep this rule in your mind the entire time, it should prepare you for letting go when the time comes.

Rule #5: It Needs to Feel Right

You may want to have sex with your friend, but if you feel guilty or uncomfortable about it all the time, it won't work. You need to feel like it's truly what you need in your life, and it's the best solution to your circumstance at this time.{relatedarticles}

Having a friend with benefits doesn't make you a slut, and it doesn't make you a bad person. You and your friend have come to an agreement about the type of sexual relationship you will have, and it's between the both of you. If you feel confident in the agreement, you won't feel as though you are doing something shameful.


Rule #6 Discuss How Much You Should Talk About It

Some friends won't tell a soul they are having sex with "no strings attached,'' while others tell everyone because they think it's the best thing they have ever had in their life.

Whether or not you tell anyone should be discussed with your sex buddy beforehand. He may want you to keep your relationship secret because it may ruin his reputation in finding someone to have a committed relationship with someday.

Rule #7: Have Protected Sex

Do not have unprotected sex with your sex buddy. You don't want to get pregnant with someone who is just a friend.{relatedarticles}

Pregnancy shouldn't be the only reason you use protection, though. You should also use protection to shield against sexually transmitted diseases. Just because he's your good friend who says he's told you everything doesn't mean he's told you he may have an STD. Also, if he's having sex with other people, you never know if he may have contracted something from one of those women. Protect yourself.


Rule #8: Don't Leave Belongings at His House

You are just a drive-by sexual encounter. You should never leave your personal belongings at his house because you cross into the girlfriend zone when you do that. Keep sex as the only reason why you are there, and do your grooming at home.

Rule #9: Set Times for Booty Calls

If you're open to a booty call anytime of the day or night, then you don't have to worry about this one. However, if you don't want to be bothered at 3 a.m., you need to tell him that.

Setting rules on when sex is appropriate and when it's not can stop the frustration of being rejected at certain times because it's inconvenient.{relatedarticles}

Rule #10: Keep It as a Benefit

Having a sex buddy should always be a benefit to you, not just to him. If you ever start to feel as though you need to have sex with him because this is the arrangement you made and you need to keep him happy, end it. You should never have to feel as though it's your responsibility to relieve his sexual tension. You both need to want to have sex to make this work out for both of you.


Will It Work for You?

Whether friends with benefits will work for you depends on if you are able to follow the rules. If you are unable to control the situation and your emotions, it's not something you want to get wrapped up in because it will only hurt you in the end.{relatedarticles}

The goal of this arrangement should be satisfying a temporary need until someone else comes along. As long as you see it this way from beginning to end, you should be able to make having a sex buddy work for you.


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4 Hottest Movies to Get You Going

Ask your man about his idea of a hot movie to get you in the mood, and it's likely you'll get a one-word answer: porn. The notion makes many of us ladies wrinkle our noses, but why is that? It probably has something to do with the way we're wired.

When it comes to steamy flicks to get us in the mood, having an in-depth story line definitely helps, anything to give that emotional connection. Then again, if you're looking for a film that gets both going, you don't want anything that is borderline sappy chick-flick.

It's a fine balance, finding a movie that will appeal to his basic instincts and your need to connect and stimulate all senses. Luckily, some of the major movie studios haven't let us down. There's a little bit of something for everyone here, with some tempting options spanning the '80s, '90s, and 2000s. Here's our take on the top 4 hottest movies to get you going.

{relatedarticles}

Wild Orchid

What it's About: When Emily accepts a job with an international law firm, it comes with 1 condition: She must be able to fly out the next day to Rio de Janeiro to help the firm's top executive, Claudia, close the sale of a hotel. A turn of events pulls Claudia away to Buenos Aires, and Emily is encouraged to take her boss' date, James Wheeler, for the night.


Emily is instantly drawn to Wheeler's quiet and intriguing personality. After a slew of sexual encounters (including one with a masked stranger at Carnival and heated conversation with Claudia and a surfer in their hotel room) the sexual tension Emily feels for Wheeler comes to a breaking point.

Why it's Hot: The scent of wild orchids like the ones Wheeler gave Emily can all at once be both overwhelming but beautiful, much like the intoxicating cloud that seems to envelope the setting for this movie with lustful undertones.

Add the steaminess of Rio with the intrigue of Carnival and the allure of Mickey Rourke (in 1989, pre-surgery of course) and it's no wonder that Emily was swept along on a wave of lust and desire that even she couldn't seem to control.

Tasty Tidbit: The original cut was edited to be suitable for an R-rating. Look for the uncut version, with a love scene between Claudia and Wheeler that is rumored to this day to be more than merely acting.

{relatedarticles}

9 1/2 Weeks

What it's About: This mid-80s flick could be described as borderline "S&M in the City." A chance meeting at a Chinese grocery store in New York City is the location where their eyes first locked. And then, as luck would have it, Elizabeth (played by Kim Basinger), a Soho art gallery assistant, and John, a commodities broker, meet again at a local flea market.


This time, John presents her with a stole, and after taking her back to his houseboat, offers an experimental sexual relationship. She accepts, and in the weeks that follow, Elizabeth is swept up in the eroticism. As the sexual journey unfolds, the movie comes to an unexpected conclusion.

Why it's Hot: In everyday life, it seems there is a routine, a familiarity with relationships and intimacy. From the start, Elizabeth and John do not follow the traditional path of romance. After all, John blindfolds her during one of their first sexual encounters - a foreshadowing of what is to come.

As the movie unfolds, John calls Elizabeth at random times, encourages her to experiment with her sexuality, pushing her to the brink of her limits. As the two fall deeper into their sexual obsession, Elizabeth spends her workdays in a haze, perhaps partly from lust and partly from lack of sleep.

{relatedarticles}

Once again, it doesn't hurt that John is played by a 1980s Mickey Rourke, the decade's hottest commodity.

Tasty Tidbit: One scene to watch for is when John blindfolds Elizabeth and feeds her an array of foods, tantalizing the senses. Want to see what makes this scene perhaps the most talked about from the entire film? You'll have to watch and find out.


Basic Instinct

What it's About: This movie has some of the most alluring facets of a Hollywood film. It has a little rock 'n roll, mixed with murder and of course - sex. The stage is set with the murder of rocker Johnny Boz. When San Francisco detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) is assigned to the case, he immediately suspects crime novelist Catherine Trammel (Sharon Stone) and, coincidentally, Boz's girlfriend viciously killed him. The murder weapon: an ice pick.

Interrogating her turns out to be harder than he could have imagined. Catherine is not only intense and seductive, she's also clever. What follows next is a mind game first fueled by lust and then lived out in wild sexual forays the likes Curran has never experienced.

Why it's Hot: Nick and Catherine's relationship begins as a cat-and-mouse game of sorts. The mind games build anticipation for the torrid sexual relationship to follow. Mixed in is a sense of danger. Catherine says she'll base her next novel's main character on a cop who falls in love with a woman who eventually kills him. This flick is truly a thriller with explicit sex scenes thrown in, for good measure.

{relatedarticles}

Tasty tidbit: Director Paul Verhoeven must have done something right, because the thriller turned out to be one of the top grossing films of the 90s, raking in more than $350 million. The original version was originally rated NC-17, but after cutting nearly a minute of explicit sex scenes, it was dropped back down to its mainstream R-rating. If you want to see the film in its entirety, look for the director's cut.


Secretary

What it's About: Meet Lee, a subdued young woman who has just gotten out of a mental hospital for her masochistic habits and returned home to Florida. She takes a job as a secretary at Edward Grey's law firm. Edward has a unique management style. Typos and other office errors call for a firm spanking, where Lee must place both hands on the desk while he hits her lightly until her skin is reddened.

While this may sound borderline abusive (not to mention violating all sorts of sexual harassment laws), it's presented in a deliciously fun way as Lee begins to crave her boss' hard hand of discipline. As she begins to purposely fail just to receive more spankings, sexual fantasies ensue.

Why it's Hot: This quirky play on the secretary-boss stereotype takes the notion of dominance and submission role-playing to the extreme. While we tend to stray from an attitude of subservience in our everyday lives, this film has fun with the concept in a purely sexual way.

{relatedarticles}

Throughout most of the film, Edward and Lee don't actually have sex, but instead fantasies build the anticipation. It doesn't hurt that Edward is played by James Spader, already known for his TV role as a charming, quick-witted lawyer, and that Lee (Maggie Gyllenhaal) appears so sweet on the surface but is ready to do most anything - no matter how deranged - to get sexual release.


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10 REAL Reasons You're Sick of Sex
If you're sick of sex, you needn't feel alone. At some point in life, it happens to everyone. Why are you tired of sex? The reasons vary, and rest assured, whatever they are, there are ways to recapture or boost your interest in sex. Here are some effective ways to re-light your fire.

1. The exhaustion that accompanies many of life's events can cause a wane in your sexual desire. Whether you're working more hours, have a new baby in the house or have recently moved, it is normal that you are going to feel extra tired or too exhausted to have sex. Perhaps what you crave more is sleep!

To regain the spark, try re-framing how you think when it comes to sex. Rather than seeing it as perhaps one more "chore" to get out of the way, look at it as a wonderful way to relax, recharge your batteries and renew your energy. If you and your partner trade massages, bathe or shower together before getting intimate, play some soothing background music -- the experience of making love will relax and rejuvenate you both.

2. Check the emotional temperature between you and your partner. If the air is full of tension, if unresolved anger and resentment lie between the two of you, sex is not going to appeal to you! Choose a neutral moment when you both have time and are in a relatively good mood to calmly air grievances, communicate unspoken resentments and discuss what can be done to resolve or make peace with the situation.

When done with mutual respect, this kind of communication may be all that is needed to reignite that spark. If things are beyond what you can resolve without help, consider couples counseling for guidance.


3. Chronic illness and medications can drain a person of sexual desire. This is definitely an issue to discuss with your doctor. There are almost always solutions -- so don't wait to bring this up. The more time that passes without sex or the desire for it, the more apt you are to just accept the situation. Why deprive yourself and your partner of the joys of sex if you don't have to?

4. Sometimes, people run into a predictable pattern when they make love. Eventually, the pattern can become a boring rut. Time to shake up the routine if you want to regain your passionate spark for one another. Try new positions, new rooms in which to have sex, a few toys, or a weekend away every couple of months. A change of the how and where and even when you make love can make a positive difference.

5. Distractions can make you feel sick of sex when the real problem is being tired of the interruptions. This can lead to a "why bother" attitude. Turn off the TV, phones, and computers. If you have young children, perhaps grandparents would love to have them for a sleep-over on occasion. If your kids are older, keep a lock and a "do not disturb" sign on your bedroom door. Explain to them every couple's need for some alone time.

6. Too much busyness and not enough alone time can make sex less appealing. If you and your partner feel like strangers who just share an address, create opportunities and time to connect outside the bedroom. Make a kiss and hug several times a day the new rule. Go on a date several times a month. Set aside a chunk of time each day to do something together, even if it is to share the household and yard chores. Communicate and catch up with each other's lives during this time. Sit beside each other on the sofa like you did when the attraction was brand new.


7. Taking each other for granted is a sure libido killer. Have a chat with your partner or just plain set the example. As elementary as this may sound, use good manners. Say please and thank you. Smile often. Do thoughtful and unexpected things on a regular basis. Write your partner a short letter and send it snail mail. Imagine the surprise! If either of you is busier than usual, pick up the slack at home for each other. Take turns!

8. Poor body image can sap your desire for sex. If this describes your partner, offer reassurance that he or she looks good to you. Point out, with honesty, your partner's attributes in personality, talents, and physical assets.

If this describes you, get reacquainted with your own body. You are more than your perceived flaws. Look for your attributes instead. When there are changes either of you want to make in the realm of appearance, be supportive and accepting. Cuddle, hug, kiss, caress, and relearn how to enjoy one another on a deeper level than physical appearance.

9. If your partner is practicing anything but good hygiene, this can definitely make you sick of sex. Bring it up gently, but firmly. Put hygiene in the realm of good health. Clean teeth and skin are healthier teeth and skin. Body odors carry bacteria. Dirty clothes worn routinely are a turn-off to most people. Suggest a shower or a bath together. This form of contact can often lead to intimacy.


10. If you're sick of sex because your partner's ways in bed are awkward, lacking rhythm or even painful, speak up. Don't be afraid to say, "I love this, but that doesn't do anything for me." It is perfectly okay to speak out when you need more time or when you're getting sore from intercourse that drags on too long.

The next time you find yourself thinking that you're so sick of sex, replace those thoughts of memories of the times when sex with your partner was over the top, exciting, revitalizing, and left you wanting more. Rekindle your own sexuality by trying new ways of thinking, new healthy ways of taking care of yourself.

It will be like the first time all over again and again and again.


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