April 30th, 2008
Getting creative in the bedroom isn’t just for Valentine’s Day or honeymoons. If you want to spice up your sex life, you’ll need to lose your inhibitions and experiment with props, positions and different environments all year round. From the vault of articles at Cosmopolitan online to blog posts, games and illustrated guides from Men’s Health, Oprah and more, use these 50 resources to your — and your partner’s — advantage. Getting Fired Up Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. Learn how to break the ice, lose your inhibitions and jump start your libido by following this advice.
- How Do I Lose My Sexual Inhibitions?: Oprah’s Relationships page offers advice from Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll. She recommends having a "goddess day," using blindfolds and role playing.
- Strip Her Inhibitions: Men’s Health publishes this guide to help men put their partners’ nerves at ease and help them get in the game.
- Get in the Mood for Love: This interactive guide offers up tips like adding a mirror to the bedroom, taking advantage of mood lighting and more to help lovers get in the mood.
- Feel in the Mood for Sex (Even When You’re Stressed) Learn tricks for getting aroused even when you’re stressed out.
- Have Sex for Dessert: This clever "menu" is full of foods that act as aphrodisiacs, including red wine, shrimp cocktail, and file mignon.
- Self Esteem, Hot Sex & Peace on the Planet Podcast with Dr. Judy Kuriansky: Watch this podcast to learn how to use Kama Sutra energy to ease stress, raise your libido, and banish "the four uglies:" shame, embarrassment, guilt and fear.
- Top 10 Natural Ways to Boost Libido: Discovery Health lists techniques like taking gingko biloba and experimenting with massage to boost libido.
- Recharge Your Sex Life!: Read this article from Kaboose to find out how you can get more creative and spice up your sex life…even if you’re a busy parent on the go.
- Ways to Enjoy Sex While Helping Your Back: Having a bad back isn’t a valid excuse for skipping sex. Doing yoga with your partner and getting massages will help you get in the mood.
- Sex Over 50: Keeping Your Sex Life Fun and Active: If you’re over 50, read this guide to help get you find new ways to experiment with sex.
Pleasing Her Check out these resources for tips and tricks that will really impress your woman.
- How to Get Her in the Mood for Sex: Learn new ways to arouse your woman with this detailed guide.
- 15 Sex Tips from Women: Sexually satisfied women let guys know what works in the bedroom.
- A Man’s Guide to Knowing Her Sweet Spots: Really get to know your partner’s body by fully understanding a woman’s sensitive spots and how to work them.
- What Your Woman Wants in Bed: Learn new foreplay techniques and more when you check out this sexy article.
- Drive Your Woman Wild: Tips like "communicate" and "take your time" will make you a better lover.
- Give a Sensual Massage: This very detailed guide gives directions for creating the mood for massage, mixing your own massage oils and giving your partner a massage she’ll never forget.
- 10 Foreplay Tips: How to Better Satisfy a Woman in the Bedroom: The title of this piece speaks for itself. Read on for tips like "take your time before undressing her" and more.
- 14 Oral Sex Tips: If you want to mix things up in the bedroom, start by mastering these tips.
- Romantic Ideas: Old-fashioned romance goes a long way. Get simple but effective tips here.
- Signs She’s Faking It: Find out for sure whether or not your partner is faking the big O by evaluating these signs.
Pleasing Him It’s not just about the woman! Wow your man with these fun, sexy tricks.
- 4 Sex Secrets That Keep Any Guy Interested: iVillage’s Michael Jeffrey lists four sexy "musts" that teach women to please their men in bed.
- His 9 Pleasure Triggers: Find out a man’s nine pleasure points by checking out this hot resource.
- Planning a Hot Night: Seduce your man by teasing his senses.
- Striptease 101: Have fun planning out your outfit, using props and choreographing a sexy little dance when you read this article.
- The Oral Factor: Women wanting oral sex tips to please their man can find them here.
- Sex Tips from Guys: Find out what real guys have to say about their favorite off-the-wall sex experiences here.
- 3 Surefire Ways to Please a Man in Bed: iVillage lists dirty talk, using a hands-on approach, and going oral as their top three tips.
- Guys Tell All: Learn about sex from a guy’s perspective by doing some research on this site.
- Foreplay for Men: Men need foreplay too. Check out this guide for help turning on your man.
- 10 Ways to Have Fun With Your Boyfriend–If you Stay Indoors: If you’re sick of watching TV, try out these creative ways to inspire romance.
Creative Ideas From kinky sex to living out your partner’s fantasies, these ideas inspire creativity.
- Cosmo’s Most Creative Sex Positions Ever: From the "Kitchen Encounter" to "On the Level," these creative positions will quickly become new favorites.
- The Art of Kinky Sex: Try out these simple little tips to make a romp in the bedroom full of unexpected surprises.
- The Art of Role Playing: Get ideas for role playing scenarios here.
- Living Out the Top 3 Female Fantasies: If your love life is stuck in a rut, try acting out one of these sexy fantasies in the bedroom.
- 10 New Places to Have Sex: Who says you have to have sex in the bedroom? Try out some of these secretive and taboo hot spots for a change.
- Surprise Sexy Scenarios: From playing hide and seek to surprising your partner with a mid-dinner snack, you’ll find sexy little inspirations here.
- How to Spice Up Your Sex Life: Forbes’ list of the thirteen steps to better sex includes new drugs, exercise, gene therapy and other innovative ideas.
- Play strip anything: If you’re no good at poker or don’t have any cards, turn any chore or activity into a game…that ends up with at least one of you naked.
- Creative Passion: This article is meant for women, but anyone can use these sex tips to wow their partner in bed…or in the rain…or anywhere else.
- Watch a sexy movie with your partner: If you’re squeamish, try something R- or PG-13 rated. Watching a steamy movie will get you in the mood, and you can reenact the scenes later, play by play.
Go-to Guides Use this list to connect to expert advice, ultimate how-tos and online archives full of ideas and instruction that will benefit your performance in the bedroom.
- Spice up your sex life: Doctor G. gives the Miami Herald ten tips for spicing up your sex life, from flirting with your partner to sleeping naked.
- Kama Sutra Positions: This illustrated guide will introduce you and your partner to new, satisfying sexual positions.
- How to Be a More Sensual Couple: This Reader’s Digest article has a lot of great advice for couples who want to add more passion to their lives.
- Cosmo’s 20 Favorite Sex Tips Ever: Get tips for creative foreplay, sensual massages and more here.
- Secrets to a Long and Happy Sex Life: Just because you’re not in your 20s and 30s anymore doesn’t mean you can’t have a fulfilling sex life. This article from Time gives tips to keep the passion alive.
- 18 Simple Rules for Becoming a Better Kisser: Even if you think you’re already a good kisser, review this list to make sure you’re puckering up right.
- Cosmopolitan Sex and Love: Visit Cosmopolitan‘s online website for sex tips, new positions, romance quizzes and more.
- Men’s Health: Men’s Health online has "tons of cool stuff" that guys need to know about sex. Watch relationship videos, read about threesomes and check out the interactive "Position Master."
- Tantric Sex: This guide to tantric sex from the Discovery Health website will take your pleasure to new heights.
- AskMen.com: This website has lots of resources and tips for men wanting to learn more about sex and improve their own sexual techniques and experiences.
April 29th, 2008
Keeping your love life and relationships active, on track and in the game is tough these days. Distractions for you and your mate are around every corner, so how is it possible to avoid arguments, jealousy, infidelity and even break-ups? Whether you're single, in a relationship or even married, it takes a lot of work to maintain a fulfilling love life. For tips and advice on everything from dealing with break up grief to sex addictions, check out this list of 100 of the best blogs for relationship advice. From the True Experts Doctors and licensed counselors guide you in the right direction in their expert blogs.
- Sexual Health: Sex Matters: WebMD writer and Ph.D. Louanne Cole Weston uses her Sex Matters blog to discuss everything from how depression, cancer and infidelity affect sex and relationships.
- Counseling Blog: Cynthia McKenna, LPC, NCC, is a National Board Certified Counselor and Episcopal priest. Read her relationship advice here.
- Healthy Relationships: Revolution Health writer and licensed practitioner of psychotherapy Mira Kirshenbaum posts about how to have better sex, work on personal and professional relationships, and more.
- CounselCare Connection: CounselCare Connection employs several licensed counselors and social workers to blog about relationship advice, from premarital and marriage topics to conflict management to sexual abuse.
- David Wygant: David Wygant is "America's most quoted dating expert" and posts about networking, seduction, dating products and jealousy, among other topics.
- The Great Mate Debate: This blog features different guest bloggers, all qualified to give dating and relationship advice about speed dating, arguing, "trying too hard," and more.
- Advice from a Single Dating Expert: Evan Marc Katz maintains he's a great source for dating advice "because who knows more about dating than a guy who's still dating?"
- The Nature of Love: Dr. Helen Fisher writes about the chemistry of love, drugs and love, adultery, brain science and more in this relationship blog.
- AOL Coaches Love and Sex: Browse titles like "Bad Boy Gets Dumped," "Survive Your In-Laws" and "Romance on the Job" for a versatile selection of relationship posts.
- Love Sessions: This site dispenses professional love and sex advice. Special features include love and relationship tests, kissing lessons and posts about flirting, seduction, cheating and marriage.
Relationship Therapy From family therapy to sex addiction, these blogs will help you work through even your most troublesome relationships.
- Couples and Family Therapy Arena: Turn to this blog for therapy, advice and encouragement when trying to improve all of your relationships.
- Marriage Counseling and Family Therapy: This site is a great resource for archived posts about abusive relationships, Christian counseling, group therapy and more.
- The Next 45 Years: Check out this comprehensive blog that dispenses advice on how to "improve relationships, sustain happiness and create lasting success."
- Good Therapy: This network of counselors and therapists blogs about sex addiction, adolescent relationships and more.
Faith-Based and Spiritual Blogs These blogs give relationship advice based on spiritual or religious teachings.
- Living Life Counseling: Find Christian-centric advice for improving relationships with your spouse, family members, friends and yourself.
- Jewish Dating Blog: Jewish singles looking for dating advice can turn to The Matchmaker at the Jewish Dating Blog.
- Christian Singles Radio Blog: This blog also serves as a network for Christian singles. Read about dating according to Christian values and principles here.
- Marriage Victory: Marriage Victory is a Christian blog devoted to making marriages work. Categories include anger management, parenting, forgiveness and anxiety.
Sex Find sex tips and sex therapy advice in these blogs from hot magazines, counselors and other sites.
- Bedroom Blog: Cosmopolitan dishes up sexy bedroom tips online on the Bedroom Blog.
- Center for Healthy Sex: This blog delivers "straight talk, up-to-date information and resources for individuals and couples about sexual addiction, cybersex addiction, sexual anorexia, sexual desire and sexual dysfunction."
- The Dinah Blog: The Dinah Blog shares "thoughts on healthy sexuality," from quickie sessions to condoms.
- Dr. Dick's Sex Advice: Dr. Dick delivers "sex advice with an edge." Submit your own questions or browse categories like fertility, sexual enrichment and more. Warning: not safe for work!!!
- Low-Carb Love: Women will enjoy this relationship and sex advice blog from iVillage.
- Kinsey Confidential: Kinsey Confidential is the blog for The Kinsey Institute. Posts are generally directed at a college-aged audience, but everyone can benefit from the advice about HIV and AIDS, orgasms, condoms, and general sex tips.
- Sexuality: About.com's Cory Silverberg posts about sexual identity, addictions, Sex 2.0 and more.
- Women's Sexual Health: AOL's resource for women's sexual health covers everything, from sex therapy, to sex tips and advice to relationship help.
- Dr. Natasha: Dr. Natasha fosters a "super sex positive environment" online. Her site has tips and advice, audio recordings of radio interviews and more.
- Doctor Cockney — International Sex Therapist: Tune in to Doctor Cockney's podcasts for videos and tips on topics like phone sex, menage a trois, and how sex is viewed around the world.
For Women These relationship and dating blogs are geared towards women who want advice on sex, dealing with ex-boyfriends, finding a mate and more.
- Love Bytes: Sex expert Tracey Cox posts about break-up sex, ex-boyfriends and more on iVillage.
- DearSugar: The Sugar network's DearSugar blog is the go-to relationship and sex advice site for modern women.
- Marie Claire Dating Blog: Popular women's magazine Marie Claire publishes this dating blog about love, sex, and everything in between.
- Hot and Bothered: Redbook Magazine's Hot and Bothered blog posts about marriage, sex, dating games, swingers and more.
- Dating Daze: Los Angeles-based "Cherie Amour" uses her dating life as an inspiration for this blog.
- Single-ish: Glamour's new dating blog serves up dating advice, trends and personal anecdotes.
- Single in the Suburbs: Divorced mother of two Sara Susannah Katz blogs for MSN about dating in the 'burbs.
- girls gone MILD: Wendy Shalit writes about how "young women reclaim self respect and find it's not bad to be good." Posts include stories and statistics on birth control, college hook ups and the hotness factor.
- Ex in the City: Smart, savvy women flock to this site for dating, sex and relationship advice, from divorce to breaking it off with ex-boyfriends to getting back in the game.
- Understanding Men: The Relationship Doctor writes this blog "for every woman how has longed for the [r]elationship of her dreams." Recent posts include "What Am I Doing Wrong With Men?" and "3 Things Men Can't Resist."
- Oprah Relationships: Oprah isn't just for women, but this lots of terrific resources on sex, caring for parents, understanding money and relationships, and dating.
- Ask April: This blog is written by relationship expert April Masini, who "writes what Dear Abby never will print and what your shrink doesn't have the guts to tell you."
: This network includes a Dating and Love feature filled with articles and posts about bedroom manners, dating, sexual health and more.
For Men Men can turn to these guides for help pleasing their woman, navigating relationships and taking a girl out on a date.
- All About Dating and Romance: Recent posts on this blog include "HOw to Start a Conversation with a Girl Easily" and "4 Tips to Date a Gorgeous Woman."
- Joe Hottie's Dating Blog: Joe Hottie shares "the dirt on his dating life" on his Cosmopolitan-sponsored blog.
- Ask Men Dating and Love Channel: Recent articles include "Meeting Women Online and More," "Getting Mixed Signals," and "How to Flatter Women."
- Sex Drive Daily: Wired's blog Sex Drive Daily covers topics relating to dating, romance, erotica, education and more.
- The Love Blog: The Love Blog is generally geared towards men, giving them tips on spoiling girlfriends, and humorous love- and sex-related posts.
- The Men's Place: This blog is the "place where men receive practical advice about relationship issues, parenting and life in general."
- Dating for Men: Recent titles on this blog include "3 Keys to Finding the One for You" and "How to Achieve Success With Women."
- WebMD Men's Health: Check out the Sex and Intimacy blog and archives for posts about sexercise, penis enlargement pills, vasectomies, relationship queries, and porn.
Wedding and Marriage From engagement quibbles to newlywed disagreements, these blogs help marriage-minded couples build up their relationships, not tear them apart.
- Marriage Advice: This blog covers relationship topics ranging from finances to romance to sex to communication.
- A Marriage Therapist's Blog: Couples counselor Jay Slupesky includes therapeutic exercises, counseling tips and other great advice on his personal blog.
- Marriage Blog: Familes.com hosts the Marriage Blog, full of relationship advice, anecdotes and more helpful resources.
- Marriage Secrets: Discover new ways to communicate, find your own personal space and respect your spouse from the posts on this blog.
- Marriage: About.com's Marriage blog is written by Sheri and Bob Stritof. Recent posts include "Activities to Help Deepen Your Marriage Relationship" and "Are You Stressed in Your Marriage?"
- Couples Support: Dr. David Sanford's couples therapy and marriage blog includes posts on relationship skills, everyday love, communication and healing.
- Newlyweds: Newlyweds should check out this blog to understand that little fights and arguments are normal, even in the early stages of marriage.
- The Modern Woman's Divorce Guide: Divorced women and women going through a divorce can turn to this blog for relationship advice for dealing with the ex, meeting new people and more.
- Ferocious Flirting: Making Marriage Wonderful: Recent posts on this blog include "The other 364 days a year," "Kids tell it like it is," and "Life is romantic." Read on for everyday tips that make marriages last.
- Divorce Support: Couples going through a divorce can find legal and emotional advice here.
LGBT Blogs These blogs are geared towards the LGBT community and offer up lots of smart advice.
- Gay Dating Tips: Gay men will find dating tips and relationship advice here.
- Lesbian Dating and Relationships: This blog posts "a variety of stories, links, tips, news and advice, all related to the world of Lesbian Dating & Relationships."
- Gay and Lesbian Relationship: From lesbian activism to coming out, this relationship blog covers all the news and trends in the lesbian and gay communities.
- Gayquation: The dating service Gayquation sponsors this blog, which posts about dating books, dating tips and more.
For Teens Teenagers and college students can access relationship advice and dating tips just for them on these blogs.
- 17 Dating: Seventeen has quizzes, dating tips and a special Guys Talk page to give teen girls insight into the dating world.
- GLBT Teens: The GLBT teenage community gets its own blog at About.com, thanks to writer Ellen Friedrichs.
- The Daily Kiss: Cosmo Girl! hosts this blog, with everything from dealing with best friends to having "textmances" with your crush.
- Your Mind: TeensHealth from KidsHealth.org uses this blog to post about teenagers' relationships with their parents, their friends, girlfriends and boyfriends, and themselves.
- Advice from the Love Lady: About.com's Teen Advice blog Advice from the Love Lady helps teens deal with cheating boyfriends/girlfriends, summer romances and more.
- Discovery Health Teen Relationships: From STDs to love and marriage questions, this "teen center" from Discovery Health covers it all.
- Adolescent Sexuality: Dr. Karen Rayne writes about safe sex, sex education, discovering sexuality in this professional blog.
- Go Ask Alice: This Q&A resource isn't just for teens, but it introduces sex and relationship tips from buying a vibrator to hiding hickeys to talking to your kids about sex.
- Teen Advice: This network of blogs and articles help teens tackle relationship questions from "surviving the first fight" to being jealous to seeing things from your partner's point of view.
Dating Turn to these general dating blogs for tips on building an online dating profile, working on a long distance relationship and more.
- Bright Lights, Date City: This blog appears on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer website and includes a dating dictionary, posts about crushing, and deal breakers and dating in the big city.
- The 15 Minute Dating Blog: Find hysterical — but realistic — dating dos and donts from this blog, which posts "true dating horror stories and tips from real people."
- Dating: From single parents' dating advice to online dating questions, this blog tackles all kinds of dating issues.
- Online Dating News Blog: Find out online dating site launches, general dating tips, online dating warnings and more.
- Ask Lynn: Advice on Love: Lynn Harris answers questions for MSN readers about long-distance relationships, dating Mr. Wrong, and more.
- Online Dating Insider/strong>: Learn about what's new in the social networking and online dating circuit on this blog. Readers will also find tips and stories about dating as a single parent, creating a profile and dating software.
- Dating Support Center: Find lots of dating tips and worthy relationship advice on this blog.
- Interracial Dating Central Blog: Couples in interracial relationships can find unique advice here.
- Dear Kathy's Relationship Blog: From surviving the holidays as a single to analyzing adultery, Dear Kathy provides advice, tips and encouragement for all types of readers.
- Direct Answers from Wayne and Tamara: Submit your love and dating questions or read others' relationship queries to get great advice on sexual misconduct, relationship regret, arranged marriages, commitment phobia, emotional abuse and more.
- Consum-mate: Consum-mate is a dating coach's blog devoted to helping singles find love and have lasting, healthy relationships. Categories include dating tips and date ideas, a dating advice column, relationship quizzes, and a separate dating news blog.
- Cupid's Dating Blog: Cupid's Dating Blog discusses the news and trends surrounding the modern dating world, as well as offering advice, insight and online dating connections.
Relationship Abuse Those suffering from abuse in a relationship can find support and advice on these blogs.
- Home Sweet Home: Home Sweet Home is "a blog about crimes within relationships." Readers can find tips on dealing with an abusive ex, abusive parents and more.
- Color Me Butterfly: The writer of this blog talks about her own experiences and recovery from an abusive relationship, offering advice and helpful links along the way.
- Domestic Violence and the Workplace: Find out how to appropriately manage workplace relationships, including damaging or even abusive ones.
- The Anger Coach Blog: If you need help controlling your anger or abusive tendencies, read this blog to healthily critique your relationship behavior.
- Sanctuary for the Abused: This blog is a great resource for those involved in abusive relationships. Recent articles include "Getting Out," "Repeating the Same Mistakes? Read This" and "8 Ways to Spot an Emotional Manipulator."
Miscellaneous Advice From sustainable love to sexual health, these blogs round out our list of the top 100.
- Sylvia's Long Distance Relationship Blog: In her blog, Sylvia is "helping to make long distance relationships more enjoyable and meaningful."
- Savage Love: Savage Love appears on TheStranger.com. Recent posts include "Lez Be Friends," "She's a Very Kinky Girl," and others.
- SexySmart: Get smart about your relationships, sexual health and dating life by reading the posts on this fun, informative blog.
- Making Love Sustainable: Wendy Strgar's blog rests on a green relationship philosophy in regards to keeping love sustainable. Categories include healthy sexuality, loveology, romance, and more.
- Ask Him Ask Her: This blog is written by a couple that aims to "answer questions and help bring connection and peace" to others wanting sex and relationship advice.
- SargeNation: SargeNation is a reader-driven site that lets users submit and rank the best dating and sex stories from blogs around the Web.
- Safer Sex Blog: The Safer Sex Blog shares information about health studies, STD statistics and more, to spread the word about sexual health.
- Relationship Advice for Relationship Bliss: This blog has lots of positive advice for singles and couples.
- Relationship Advice: This blog is "your source for relationship advice." Read on for tips on communicating, understanding your partner and more.
- Larry James' Celebrate Love Blog: Relationship coach and speaker Larry James blogs about relationships, intimacy and marriage.
- Addiction, Recovery and Relationships Blog: Sober.com's blog about addiction and relationships helps recovering addicts nurture healthy, positive relationships.
April 25th, 2008
When you’re going through a dry spell, and those weeks start to become months and those months start adding up, it can start to feel like it will never end. However, there may be things you’re doing that are hindering your sex life. Making a few subtle changes can be just what you need to getting back on track to finding the satisfaction you desire. Here are some things to consider if you’re not getting any lately.
There’s no way around it– how you look is a big part of making or breaking your chances of getting laid. Here are some ways you could be sabotaging yourself before you say a word.
- You make a horrible first impression. First impressions count for a lot and if you’re making a bad one, it’s pretty unlikely that’s going to lead to anything good. Take care of how you look and present yourself when meeting anyone for the first time. You never know when it could lead to something more.
- Your standards are ridiculous. If you’re not exactly the greatest catch in the world, why are you expecting to only date women or men that look like runway models? If your standards are unrealistic, you’re just setting yourself up for failure and making yourself look like a jerk in the process. Aim for people on your attractiveness level and you’ll have a much easier time sealing the deal.
- You smell weird. This doesn’t always mean you smell like you just finished running a marathon, though if you’re not showering regularly you can probably assume this is a large part of your singledom. Slathering on too much aftershave or perfume can be just as overwhelming and can cause even the most tolerant of dates to hold their breath in your presence. Keep yourself smelling good but not like you just dipped yourself in a vat of eau de toilette.
- You don’t take care of your appearance. You’re not going to impress many members of the opposite sex if you don’t shave, shower at at least attempt to dress like you haven’t spent the last week stranded on a desert island. You don’t have to go overboard, but make the effort to clean up before attempting to get intimate.
- You have terrible dental hygiene. Let’s be honest, teeth are a big deal when it comes to finding someone attractive. You’ll have much more luck putting your mouth near someone else’s if it isn’t disgusting. Chew gum, brush your teeth and get regular check ups to ensure that your pearly whites stay that way.
- You spend too much time on your appearance. On the flipside of not paying enough attention to your appearance is paying too much attention to it, at the price of your date. You don’t need to spend 4 hours prepping for a date and no one expects you to have every hair perfectly plucked. Find a happy medium and you’ll make the opposite sex happier too.
- You’re too superficial. If you’re totally focused on your own appearance and that of others you’re setting yourself up for some superficial encounters as well. Some people thrive on having their egos stroked but others will find you and your attitude incredibly off-putting. Try to see beyond the surface and you may find yourself attracted to and sleeping with someone you never thought you would.
- You draw attention to your flaws. Everyone has flaws and there’s not really much we can do about them. But there’s no reason to make your big nose or awkward gangliness the center of attention. If you focus on it, so will others, so play it off like you don’t even notice.
- You draw attention to his/her flaws. It should be pretty obvious why this is a deal breaker. Even if you only make a joking passing reference to their big ears, this can destroy their confidence and maybe even make them think you’re kind of a jerk. It can also serve to make them too self-conscious to take off their clothes, which is exactly what you don’t want. Even if you’re thinking it, don’t say it.
- You don’t like your body. It can be painfully obvious to people you meet when you don’t feel good about how you look. Self-depreciating comments and attempts to cover up every flaw will make you feel awkward and uncomfortable and won’t give you the confidence you need to make a move. Learn to accept your faults, work with what you have and love your imperfections.
Even the hottest people can drive away potential lovers by having the personality equivalent to nails on a chalkboard. Here are some tips on what not to do if you want to get to romancing.
- You lack confidence. Most men and women will tell you that one of the things they find most attractive in potential mates in confidence. If you’re constantly putting yourself down or seem too shy to make a move, you may be putting off people who would otherwise be interested in you. Change your mindset and your attitude so that you project an air of confidence (though not arrogance) to those around you.
- You don’t seem genuine. Few things are more off putting than someone who seems like a big old fraud. Don’t give over the top compliments or put on a show for the lady or gentleman you’re wooing. Instead, keep your cool, be yourself, and try not to act like you’re selling them something.
- You’re a fraidy cat. No one wants to get rejected, but the fact of the matter is that it’s going to happen from time to time if you put yourself out there. Cowering in a corner and simply looking at other people in the bar isn’t going to get you in anyone’s pants except maybe your own, so stop being a wuss, get up and talk to someone. You might find that it’s much easier than you thought.
- You’re being too nice. This is by no means an instruction to act like a total jerk and treat the women or men you’re interested in like crap. But you should recognize that there is a difference between being nice and being too nice. If you’re starting to sound a little too syrupy sweet, you may be putting out the signal that you’re a pushover and that your date can walk all over you. So be nice, but not so nice you seem like a human Care Bear.
- Your friends aren’t helping you out. This isn’t so much about your own personality as the personalities of those you choose to surround yourself with. You may be a fine, upstanding gentleman or lady, but if you’re hanging out with a bunch of frat boy idiots, you’re likely not exactly setting yourself up for success. Choose who you go out on the prowl with carefully, and try to make sure its someone who’ll be an asset instead of a liability.
- You’re too intense. Ever been on a date with someone who stares you down or seems dead set on professing their love for you at every available moment? Does this sound like something that would be fun? You may be an incredibly intense, tortured soul, but the interest and tolerance that most people have for this kind of attitude wears off pretty quickly and then you just become a creep. Keep the life and death discussions until at least a few dates in to avoid scaring off your dates.
- You’re being someone else. Unless you’re a masterful con artist, chances are pretty good that you’ll come off as a little awkward and forced if you try to be someone else when meeting new people or on a date. Do yourself a favor and just be yourself. Whether it works out or not, at least you didn’t have to fake it.
- You come across as a sleaze. Most dates will know within a few minutes of meeting you whether or not you’re genuinely interested in them or if you’re just trying to make it to home plate. Unless your date is just as sadly desperate as you, this isn’t going to go over well. Keep the sleaze factor to a minimum. This means no taking dates to strip clubs, pinching butts or very clearly trying to get them drunk.
- You’re not honest about what you’re looking for. If you’re truly not looking for a long term relationship, don’t tell women or men that you are just to bed them. This can cause a lot of trouble later, and most people will appreciate honesty up front. Who knows, you may even find someone else who’s just looking to have a good time as well.
- You’re an idiot. While in the long term this simply can’t be helped, in the short term you can help downplay the effects of your total cluelessness by keeping your conversations short and sweet, not saying anything rude and by employing subtle flattery. It may disguise your true identity long enough for you to score some digits or more.
- You seem desperate. If it’s clear you’re eyeing the room like a starving animal, you may be driving all your potential prey as far away as possible. Slobbering on every available person that comes your way isn’t going to win too many hearts, minds or bodies. Relax and let things happen naturally instead.
- You talk about exes. No new girl or guy wants to hear about your ex so shut up about it no matter how fresh it is in your memory. It makes you seem like you’re stuck on the past and not ready to move forward with them.
- You have no sense of humor. Few people like to hang around with sourpuss types who never seem to get the joke and take life as seriously as possible. Lighten up already. You may have serious concerns about the plight of starving children in Africa, and that’s fine, but learn to take and make jokes as well to keep your date entertained.
- You come off as a loser. Still living at home? Unemployed? Publicly shamed? Try to keep these details about yourself on the back burner at least in the short term. Once someone gets to know and like you they may be more willing to accept your imperfections and may not see them as automatic deal breakers.
- You’re creepy. Ever seen a forty year old at a frat party? How about the types who make kissy noises to ladies who pass by? These kinds of people get labeled pretty quickly as creeps and they’re not doing themselves any favors. Act like a normal person, be reasonable with your expectations, and don’t oversexualize yourself and you will likely be fine.
- You’re condescending. Being a know-it-all may be useful in some situations, but dating is not one of them. Acting like you have nothing to learn from your date and that you are infinitely more intelligent than they are probably isn’t going to make them throw their arms around you. No one likes an arrogant person, so cut out the condensation and try to see what your potential love has to teach you.
- You act like a child. Kids can get away with needing help cutting their meat and throwing temper tantrums because, well, they’re kids. No one expects them to be mature. You, on the other hand, are an adult. Acting like a petulant five year old when things don’t go your way is one of the quickest ways you can drive away any interested partners. Learn to act your age, don’t whine and don’t expect your partners to mother you.
- You have annoying habits. Perhaps you laugh loudly after everything you say or constantly tap the table. You may not even notice you’re doing these things, but your date sure will. In the superficial early stages of dating these can be real mood killers. Ask your friends if you have any annoying habits, they’re sure to have noticed, and try to reign them in around the opposite sex.
- You’re needy. Babies, puppies and kittens are needy but totally adorable. If you’re needy, it’s completely unattractive. Most people like independent, confident individuals when looking for a mate. Your potential mate isn’t your parent and doesn’t want to have to bend over backwards to make sure your every need is met. Take care of yourself and the magic will happen on its own.
- You come off as stupid. Maybe you are stupid but that doesn’t mean you have to sound or appear to be stupid when talking up someone you’re interested in. Keep up on current events and don’t pretend to know about things you haven’t got a clue about. Let your date tell you about them instead. It will keep you from sounding like an idiot and make them feel smarter and more special in the process.
If you’ve taken it from the initial meeting stages to a real date there are still tons of ways you could be preventing yourself from taking it any further. Consider these things and your sailing may be a little smoother from here on out.
- You live in the wrong city. Let’s face it, some places just give you better odds at meeting someone of the opposite (or same) sex. New York for example has many more single ladies than men, while the west coast is chock full of single men looking for a lady. You don’t have to move halfway across the country to meet someone, but perhaps a little vacation could be just what you need to skew the odds in your favor.
- You act like too much of a player. Whether you’re a man or a woman, acting like the person you’re on a date with is just one in a long string of mates isn’t going to win their heart anytime soon. When you’re on a date the person you’re with should be the only thing you’re concentrating on. Making them feel special can win trust, endear them to you, and increase the chances they’ll stick around long enough for a little hanky panky.
- You’re trying too hard. Being around someone who is trying so hard to impress and charm someone they’re interested in is one of the most awkward situations possible. It not only makes your potential mate and everyone around feel uncomfortable, but it also makes you look like a sad, pathetic sap. Try to keep your conversations casual and keep things friendly. You don’t have to go out of your way to impress or flatter anyone, especially not right off the bat.
- You’re not trying hard enough. On the flipside, your date is going to be pretty miffed if you show up looking like you just rolled out of bed, you’re late, and you don’t seem to have put any thoughts into plans for the evening. Unless you’re a rockstar, this kind of performance isn’t going to land you any kind of action anytime soon. If your date is making the effort to look presentable and spend time thinking about you, at least have the decency to return the favor.
- You come on too strong. If you’ve made it clear within the first five minutes of the date that all you’re doing is picturing the person naked or figuring how best to get them actually naked, you’re probably not going to have a chance of doing that anytime soon. While in actuality you may be a desperate, sex-starved person, don’t let your date onto this fact and keep the sexual commentary to a minimum unless it’s reciprocated.
- You don’t listen. Your date can tell when you’re not really listening to what he or she is saying. This lack of interest just makes you seem rude and isn’t going to win you any brownie points. Listen carefully. Your recall of details could be key later on to impressing your date.
- You’re not that nice. While conventional wisdom tells us that people love to date those who are huge jerks the reality is that people also love to date people who are genuinely nice. Don’t put down your date, be rude, or act like a know-it-all. You may be acting like a rebel without a cause, but you likely won’t be impressing anyone but yourself.
- You don’t know how to have a conversation. Awkward silences on a date can be pretty miserable and they’re only exacerbated by poor conversational skills. If you don’t have anything to talk about, chances are you haven’t been listening to your date or you’ve bored them by talking too much about yourself. Make an effort to boost your conversational skills in everything you do and to learn about what makes your date tick.
- You’re late. While later on in a relationship tardiness can become an endearing and quirky part of your personality, early on it’s just rude. It makes your date feel like you can’t be bothered to be on time and that you don’t care that much about them. Not exactly the impression you want to make. Give yourself plenty of time before going out to get ready and to get to your destination. The extra effort can definitely pay off in the end.
- You’re not focused on him/her. Guilty of a wandering eye? Don’t think that your date hasn’t noticed, they sure as heck see every time you check out the waitress or cute boys who walk by. Focus your attention on your date and save the browsing for later.
- You talk too much about yourself. It’s fine to tell someone that doesn’t know much about you what you like, where you work and what you do in your spare time but if you’re going on and on about yourself, your date is likely starting to care less and less about what you’re saying. Make a concentrated effort to ensure that both of you are participating in the conversation. You’ll both have more fun and there’s a much better chance of things going further.
- You’re boring. Maybe it’s not your fault. Maybe you work in a boring office with boring people and you live alone and never leave the house. Well, that kind of is your fault. If you don’t do anything you don’t have anything to talk to people about. Get out there, have fun, take up a hobby, read a book, anything that gives you something to talk about that doesn’t bore the crap out of everyone else around you.
- Your compliments are smarmy. Most people love getting compliments but when you’re idea of a compliment is "wow, your ass looks great in those jeans" you may be crossing the line from nice to sort of creepy. Keep the compliments nice, genuine and preferably something you wouldn’t be embarrassed to have your mother hear and save the sexy stuff for later.
- You act like a salesperson. Essentially you are selling yourself, but no one wants to feel like they’re getting swindled by a used car salesman when they go on a date. Keep the sales pitches to a minimum and stick to talking about the basics. If the person is interested, the pitch is unnecessary anyway.
- You use stupid pick up lines. Pick up lines rarely work and if they do its usually because they’re so stupid they’re funny or the person you’re using them on is too inebriated to realize just how stupid they are. Cut out the cheesy lines and just stick to small talk when you’re meeting someone new.
Sealing the Deal
If you can make it to the home stretch but just can’t seem to quite get over that last hurdle, you may be sabotaging your own efforts by doing one of these things.
- You are afraid to make the first move. Everyone has been in a situation where they’re not sure if they should put the moves on their date or not. The thing is, you’ll never know if your date is up for it if you don’t try. If you feel uncomfortable invading his or her personal space you can ask first, but whatever you do, take the initiative or opportunities could just be getting away from you.
- You’re too drunk. If it takes you three beers before you can even get up the nerve to talk to someone you’re interested in, you may be blowing it before you even get out of the gate. Unless your lovely lady or man is also inebriated, your drunken blatherings aren’t going to get you too far. Even if you do manage to bring someone home, you likely won’t make it a memorable experience for them or yourself in your state. So have a drink if it helps loosen you up, but don’t get drunk if you’re looking to score a date or sex you’ll actually remember.
- You make things awkward. Don’t put your date in a position where they feel they have to do things they may not yet be comfortable with. If they don’t feel comfortable with you they’re not going to go out on another date and you’re sure as heck not getting laid. Try to keep the awkwardness to a minimum and don’t put him/her in situations you know might lead to uncomfortable silences.
- You’re rude to his/her friends. One of the quickest ways to blow a good thing is to be a jerk to your potential mate’s friends. If you’re rude to them, chances are you’ll be rude to him/her too and that’s a big turn off. Even if you find their friends to be beyond annoying, keep your thoughts to yourself.
- You’re a slob. Bringing your date home to the disgusting mess you have at home isn’t going to impress anyone, nor will it set the mood for romance. Wash the dishes, pick up your dirty clothes and change the sheets if you think you’ll be bringing anyone home. Even if you don’t, it doesn’t hurt to clean up now and again.
- You’re too nervous. So you’ve finally got the chance to get some and you’re shaking in your boots at the prospect. Don’t let your nerves ruin it for you. Relax and realize there are few things you could do to really mess things up at this point.
- Your timing sucks. It could be that you’ve done everything right but when the time comes (or so you think) to finally get to the lovemaking, your intuition is all wrong and you blow it. Before putting the moves on your date ensure that they’re in a good mood, that they reciprocate your feelings and that the situation isn’t horribly, horribly awkward for them.
- You suck at kissing. Many people base how well you’ll perform in the sack on how well you kiss, and if you’re doing a crappy job of that things are unlikely to go much further. Don’t shove your tongue down their throat, keep the sloppiness to a minimum, and follow your partner’s lead and you’ll be better off already.
- You make him/her uncomfortable. If you’ve gotten an attractive someone to come home with you the last thing you want to do is to make them feel uncomfortable with you. Whether that’s because your apartment is decorated in taxidermied animals or because you’re pushing too hard, making your date comfortable is entirely up to you. Do what you can to ensure they feel taken care of and you’re much more likely to score big.
- You ruin the moment. You’re just about to cross the line from desperately seeking to satisfied when you open your big mouth and say something completely stupid. There’s nothing worse than ruining it at the last moment, so keep your commentary to yourself and make sure you have all the necessary preparations to take it all the way.
- You have no idea how to take it to the next level. While what is comfortable for each person differs individually, in general its not too hard to figure out how to take your relationship to the next level. Just do it. Simple as that. If your date isn’t ready he or she will tell you so.
- You’re most interested in meeting your own needs. It can become abundantly clear to someone that you’re dating that you have no regard for their needs and that you’re only trying to meet your own. You won’t be meeting anyone’s needs if you make this too clear, so ensure that you’re making things enjoyable for both you and your partner. The more fun they have, the more likely they are to return for more.
April 25th, 2008
Love is work, sometimes a lot of work. But finding and knowing love is worth the effort. Sometimes it’s necessary to evaluate where you stand in your relationship so that you can determine what can be done to make it better. Here are 50 tips and ideas to help you become better at loving.
- Listen. Show your partner that you’re engaged by actively listening. Reaffirm what your partner is saying by summarizing what you have heard.
- Talk. One way conversation is not effective communication. In order to show that you are invested in the relationship, be willing to give of yourself emotionally and mentally, by sharing your thoughts and needs.
- Tough it out. During uncomfortable or difficult conversations, tough it out. Regardless of the topic or how much you hate talking about it, finish the discussion. If the problem is not resolved, it will fester in other areas of your relationship.
- Argue Effectively. Two intelligent individuals cannot agree on everything, all the time, no matter how compatible they may be. Sooner or later there will be something that leads to an argument or a difference of opinion. This should not be viewed as a problem. The important thing is how such arguments are handled. Here are a few rules that will help you to deal with arguments in a positive way.
- Keep your arguments private, between you and your partner only. Avoid having arguments in front of family members or friends.
- Never go to bed angry. Settle every argument before going to sleep if at all possible. Stay up late if necessary. It is best to get things settled and not let them fester for days.
- Do not allow arguments to escalate into shouting matches and name-calling. Even if you are in complete privacy, keep the tone natural and as friendly as possible. Consider who you are talking to and avoid any shouting or unpleasantness.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
- Be a friend. The foundation of a good relationship is a solid friendship. A successful relationship has to be founded on the qualities found in a friendship – trust, respect, a desire to spend time with each other, and the ability to lean on each other.
- Know your partner’s needs. Once you know what they are, work every day to meet them. Each day when you wake up, think of something you can do to make your partner’s day better, even if it’s just making his favorite meal or doing a load of laundry so she doesn’t have to.
- Take responsibility for yourself. Don’t focus on what your partner has to work on to be better, look inward and figure out what you can do to make the relationship better.
- Find the positives in your partner. If you remind yourself of all of the good qualities he has, it will be easier to get past the bad times when his less than good qualities are showing through.
- Forgive. In order to move forward, you have to let the past go. It doesn’t mean you have to forget, but forgive your partner so that you can move forward.
- Get away from your partner. Spend plenty of quality time together, but remember to allow each other to have ample time alone. Even though you are a unit, and you will want to spend time together enjoying your favorite activities, or just sit together and relax at home, each of you is still a separate individual with certain likes and dislikes. You both need time alone to enjoy hobbies that you might enjoy, but your partner doesn’t. Don’t think that because you are married, that you are joined at the hip and cannot do anything on your own. You both need equal time alone to think and organize your own thoughts or simply to wind down.
- Evaluate personal traits. Evaluate a potential partner as you would a friend; look at their character, personality, values, their generosity of spirit, the relationship between their words and actions, their relationships with others.
- Respect, respect, respect. Inside and outside the relationship, act in ways so that your partner always maintains respect for you. Mutual respect is essential to a good relationship.
- Teamwork. View yourselves as a team, which means you are two unique individuals bringing different perspectives and strengths. That is the value of a team–your differences.
- Don’t Assume. If you don’t understand or like something your partner is doing, ask about it and why he or she is doing it. Talk and explore, don’t assume.
- Solve problems as they arise. Don’t let resentments simmer. Most of what goes wrong in relationships can be traced to hurt feelings, leading partners to erect defenses against one another and to become strangers, or enemies.
- Learn to negotiate. Modern relationships no longer rely on roles cast by the culture. Couples create their own roles, so that virtually every act requires negotiation. It works best when good will prevails. Because people’s needs are fluid and change over time, and life’s demands change too, good relationships are negotiated and renegotiated all the time. Don’t judge. Listen, truly listen, to your partner’s concerns and complaints without judgment. Much of the time, just having someone listen is all we need for solving problems. Plus it opens the door to confiding. And empathy is crucial. Look at things from your partner’s perspective as well as your own.
- Don’t judge Listen, truly listen, to your partner’s concerns and complaints without judgment. Much of the time, just having someone listen is all we need for solving problems. Plus it opens the door to confiding. And empathy is crucial. Look at things from your partner’s perspective as well as your own.
- Try something (someone) different. If you have not had success finding someone special, then perhaps consider going on a date with someone who you think is not your type. Sometimes opposites attract, with differences complementing eachother.
- Laugh. Successful relationships develop the ability to take a light approach to conflicts. Recognizing that arguments are inevitable and normal versus catastrophic is helpful. One way to do this is to practice taking a step back when involved in a dispute. See if you can view your contribution to the situation with a sense of humor. Perhaps you can even laugh at yourself. You will also be more open and responsive to your partner’s feelings. This approach can help couples that are struggling as well as strengthen healthy relationships.
- Accept yourself. A large part of how we view other people is based on how that person presents him or herself. If you view yourself as sexy, and act that way, then others will perceive you as sexy. Truly look at and appreciate your own body. Sure, it has faults, just like every body does. Accept the faults, and accept yourself as a work in progress, and flaunt what you have. You´ll find that people react positively to your positive self image.
- Encourage growth. Two individuals in a couple are indivduals, and each person grows at a different rate and in different directions. You want to encourage each other to grow, appreciate how your growth helps you both become better people, and your relationship better because of it.
- Body language speaks volumes. Be aware of body language, both good and bad. Eighty percent of communication is nonverbal. Body language can be flirty and fun, but by the same token it can show frustration and annoyance, which can be counter-productive when trying to work through a problem.
- All business. Approach family finances as if you were running a business. Create a budget, track spending, save money where possible and don’t bend the rules whenever it feels convenient.
- Talk about it. Discuss finances when there is no emergency. If you talk about it regularly and when there is nothing to argue about, then you will be better prepared when there is a crisis or misunderstanding.
- One for us, one of you and one for me. Set up one joint account and two separate spending accounts. Men and women spend differently. Instead of having one person who oversees all spending, and will likely not agree with the partner’s spending, have one joint account to pay bills from, and then two individual spending accounts. You will have to decide together how much should go into the individual spending accounts, but there should be less arguing over eachother’s spending.
- Handle debt as a couple. Make a plan to pay off existing debt. Drawing a line in the sand and saying that your spouse’s debt isn’t your problem is not going to work because even if the debt existed before you married, your credit rating can be negatively impacted as well as the bottom line of how much money the two of you are paying monthly in interest charges.
- Make a fitness date. If the couple that plays together stays together, turn play time into an exercise routine that raises your endorphins and makes you both feel good about yourselves and each other. If the gym doesn’t work, try biking, rock climbing or just walking.
- Love notes are under rated. And today you can use technology, leave a voicemail or send a txt message to say "I love you" just because.
- Avoid calendar conflict. Place a "community" calendar in a public place (the refridgerator) to help avoid conflicts and miscommunications. It helps to have individual calendars, but for anything that will affect both schedules, make sure it goes on the community calendar so it can be checked often.
- Get energized. Find a new hobby (that you can do together), plan a vacation, do something you’ve never done before like go skydiving or take a wine tasting tour. Spice up the relationship by adding some energy and excitement.
- Read. Form a book club of two. If you really, absolutely, truly don’t have time to read, then make time. Okay, okay, you could both pick a TV show to watch together. But keep in mind, a book provides the use of imagination, and therefore allows for a lively discussion of your individual thoughts, whereas a TV show is usually pretty transparent.
- Make a fitness date. If the couple that plays together stays together, turn play time into an exercise routine that raises your endorphins and makes you both feel good about yourselves and each other. If the gym doesn’t work, try biking, rock climbing or just walking.
- Start a new project Approaching a procrastination-inducing task together makes it less intimidating, plus you can divide and conquer. And think about it: Making decisions and compromises about a more neutral situation–such as, what color to paint the living room–is great couples therapy practice for when the more serious judgment calls need to be made.
- Get out of here already. It sounds obvious, but many people find it hard to get away for a weekend. Go online, book some inexpensive last minute travel, and drop everything else to go enjoy some time together.
- Make a love list. Ask your partner to write down what makes him/her feel loved and special. Do the same for yourself. Exchange lists. Then, every day, no matter how you feel about him or her, do one loving/caring behavior for your partner!
IN THE BEDROOM
- Redecorate the Bedroom. Spice up your sex life by making some changes at home. Transform your bedroom into something new. Get rid of the piles of laundry, the kid’s toys on the floor, the pile of magazines on the nightstand and add some dim lights, candles, and sexy scents. Make it a place for romance and relaxation.
- Slow down. The fastest, most efficient route is definitely not what you want in the bedroom. Focusing on the destination — and only the obvious parts of the anatomy — is the worst thing you can do. Make sex leisurely and playful, with no definite direction. Explore and take your time, try something new, make it a whole body experience.
- Take a sexual inventory. Write suggested sexual activities on two sheets of paper, then each of you rates them from hot (would love to try) to warm, lukewarm and cold. Add your own, but choose from things like spanking, role-playing, semipublic sex, tie-up games, blindfolding, talking dirty, anal sex and watching or making erotic films. When you’re done, make note of the activities that scored high(-ish) for both of you. Try one every two weeks or once a month.
- Don’t focus on imperfections. If your body is imperfect, don’t let it get in the way of enjoying your sexuality and expressing your desire for your partner. If you find it hard to let go of anxious thoughts about your flaws, you may want to try a few sessions of therapy to work on this issue.
- The most sensitive sex organ: the brain. Sexual stimulation starts with sensory inputs that trigger mental associations. Only then do the other parts of the body get involved. For each person, the sensory inputs that trigger this reaction are different. Seeing an attractive person, feeling loved, hearing a whispered word, experiencing a certain kind of touch, all can set off the human libido.
- Sex and intimacy are intertwined. Many people have trouble feeling sexually interested in someone until they have had time to know one another, learning to trust through words, actions, and nonverbal communication such as facial expressions and body language.
- Make a sex date box. Get together with your lover and each of you jot down a steamy date idea on a piece of paper and agree that each time you go on a hot steamy date, you’ll pick a card from your special sex date box.
- Make eye contact. The eyes are a powerful part of our body language cues and can express everything from sexual interest, to annoyance, to happiness and pain.
- Get busy in the kitchen. Make cooking a team sport. Plan and prepare a gourmet meal together.
- Buy some toys. Sometimes sex can become regular and boring. Explore something new to rev up a mundane bedroom experience. Add some spice by going together to a sex toy store and buy something you might both enjoy.
- Get all dolled up. Schedule a night out somewhere that requires you to get all dressed up, whether it’s a black tie fundraiser or an evening out at a 5-star restaurant followed by the Opera. Looking good often equates to feeling good.
- Do some housework. Do a chore that your partner is typically responsible for. Fill up a gas tank, mow the lawn, fold the laundry – surprise your partner by taking one job off his/her plate for the week.
April 22nd, 2008
More to come shortly…