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Em & Lo:
Advice From Near Experts

by Emma Taylor & Lorelei Sharkey

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Write to Em & Lo for advice, tips, words of wisdom, recipes (or just to tell us nice things) — once a week, we'll answer your cries for help here. We won't publish your email address or send you spam.

October 2, 2003
The Birds and the Bees
Everything we needed to know about sex, we learned in kindergarten.

We should have known when Lo "bad touched" herself on her mat at naptime and Em's first books were Jackie Collins novels, that we'd grow up to be sex writers. Penning this column for the past three and a half years has certainly added to the sex education that began so long ago in grade school. During our first year of Q & As here on Hooksexup, we placed the emphasis on "near" in the subtitle "Advice from Near Experts." Now, with tens of thousands of questions from troubled readers in our inbox, a researched book under our belt, and countless conversations with doctors conducted, we still don't know what we're talking about half the time. And it's at those times when we think back to kindergarten: then, everything becomes so simple, so clear.

Share everything. Except secrets you swore you'd never tell, sex toys you've used on another partner, and STDs.

Play fair. Don't lie, don't cheat. And don't ask us how to be adulterous and get away with it.

Put things back the way you found them. When over at a one-night-stand's house, do not rifle through their medicine cabinet, raid their refrigerator or forget to flush.

Don't hit people. Unless you're in a consensual BDSM scene and a safeword has been determined. Spanking the fleshy part of someone's ass during the throes is also permissible.

Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. Unless you're in a consensual BDSM scene.

Clean up your own mess. If you shoot your wad on someone's back, stomach, chest, or face (especially their face), wipe it off lovingly and thoroughly. Similarly, if you wet someone's 600 thread-count sheets with female ejaculate, offer to launder them.

Don't take things that aren't yours. If someone is married or in a committed relationship, don't pursue them as a "challenge."

Wash your hands before you eat. And by "eat," we mean "eat someone out," "finger fuck" or "anally diddle."

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seeds in the plastic cup all die, and so do we. So have sex like it's your very last time, 'cause it very well may be.

Don't pick your nose. That's just not sexy.

Eat your vegetables. They'll help keep you regular, which means more pleasurable anal play.

"Free to Be You and Me" is a kick-ass album. Seriously, if you have kids now or in the future, buy this record for them. Instilling a sense of gender equality should be done at an early age. Plus, "Brothers and Sisters" has a good beat that you can dance to.

Don't take your pants off in the sandbox. Sand gets in all your crannies and is a bitch to wash out. Sex on the beach is a way better drink than it is an activity.

Cousins make great make-out partners. Okay, second cousins do.

Masturbating in public will get you in trouble. If you're over 18, it will get you arrested.

Head lice is gross. Pubic lice is even grosser.

Don't take candy from strangers. You don't know where that lollipop has been before. Ask questions and get tested.

Keep learning. The minute you think you know everything about sex is the minute your sex life is over. And who are we kidding, the sex we had in kindergarten sucked. So we're going to continue this miseducation on our new website, That's where you'll find us from here on out. Come over and play!

We're audi 5000,
Em & Lo

About Em & Lo
Em and Lo (Emma Taylor and Lorelei Sharkey) are contributing editors at, where they created the weekly sex and relationships column, "The Em & Lo Down: Advice from Near-Experts." Launched almost four years ago, it's one of the most popular features among the site's two million readers and is now syndicated nationally. In addition, they write weekly horoscopes for Hooksexup and a monthly advice column for Men's Journal magazine. Their first book, The Big Bang: Hooksexup's Guide to the New Sexual Universe, is now available wherever books are sold (click here to order your copy today). Em & Lo both live in New York City where they spend far too much time together.