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There's no doubt that there's about a 50/50 chance of a marriage ending in divorce - but the main reasons why couples divorce these days may surprise you. A 2011 British study found that the number-one reason for couples divorcing was not... 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Different Strokes: 15 Soft Spots That Drive Him Crazy

Have you been wishing lately that your honey had more yin than yang or was more like a babbling brook instead of rushing rapids? You are not alone. If your fellow is suffering from too much testosterone lately, then maybe you need to help him ease up on the accelerator by teaching him about getting in touch with his softer side.

What better way to reach his softer side than to awaken the soft spots in his erogenous zones that will leave him tingling instead of tumbling? Here is a list of all-time favorite soft spots that will drive him crazy from top to bottom.

The Scalp

Containing numerous glands and hair follicles, the scalp protects his busy brain when working overtime. To calm his mind, body, and soul, begin by running your hands through his hair with gentle circular strokes.

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This works well especially in the shower. If your partner doesn't have enough hair to work up lather then just squeeze your fingertips all along his scalp until you feel his stress slip away.

The Temple

With modern day hassles come modern day headaches, especially stress headaches that pound our temples like a set of drums. He might not even realize how tense is he until you start massaging his temples with soft tender strokes.


The Cheeks, Chin and Jowls

The cheeks are one of the softest and fleshiest parts of our bodies. However if your fellow shaves, his cheeks, chin, and jowls are under attack every day. Your gentle fingers along the jaw line and under the chin can make him forget about his 8 rounds with the razor that morning.

The Ears

The ears are a very sensitive area of our bodies, especially the soft and delicate ear lobe. The ears can be gently teased with kisses, licks and gentle tugs. For a more aggressive play, try thrusting your tongue into his ear and then perk up your ears to hear his reaction.

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The Neck

One of the most erogenous zones for men and women, the neck is also a place where we carry a lot of tension and baggage of the day. If your fellow is hunched over a computer all day, he may be experiencing a lot of neck pain and stiffness. A gentle message in this area can transform your growling tiger into a gentle pussycat.

The Elbow

If you can trigger the funny bone with a light tapping, you will create a sensation that will give your guy an experience that is strange and amusing. This one might be used best on someone you would like to start stroking more often that you don't know so well.


The Fingers

His fingers are another soft spot to focus on because they are quite sensitive. If you have any doubt, ask him to close his eyes and then place something of yours in his hands and see how he reacts. For a little more intensity, try suckling his fingers one at a time; he will soon make the connection that his fingers are standing in as double for another part of his body.

The Abs

Whether your fellow is sporting a six pack or has already gone a little soft around the middle, a gentle leisurely stroke along the abdomen may get him to suck in his gut with unexpected pleasure.

The Chest

Massaging his chest is another substitute for stroking his manhood and another opportunity to wrap your fingers around some more curls-if he is well endowed in this area. For a little more spice, focus on his nipples which are filled with nerves. Think of your caresses as a role reversal exercise to help him get in touch with his more feminine side.

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The Navel

The navel is where life began and is the soft spot where he first bonded with his mother. You can continue that special bonding feeling by touching his navel and the region around it with your finger or the tip of your tongue. He should experience a tingling feeling deep inside while experiencing a déja  vu moment.


The Back

Professional masseuses earn very good money for their services. You will better understand why they are in such high demand after you see, hear, and feel the reaction of your man, after you have become his personal masseuse. Begin with a gentle rub all over his back and then concentrate on a problem area. The lower back or shoulders are good choices. To bring on a "gotcha reaction," try navigating your tongue along the center of his back and listen for the gasp of surprise and delight.

The Inner Thigh

Soft, smooth, and near and dear to his "yin" the inner thigh is a perfect area to caress with elongated strokes. You rhythmic movements will be a delightful tease.

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The Back of Knee

Similar to the elbow, the unique sensations from stroking the back of his knees with both confuse him and amuse him. It's the strangeness of this area that makes it a winning soft spot.

The Feet

Reflexology is an ancient healing technique that involves the message of the feet used to relieve tension and treat illnesses, based on the theory that there are reflex points particularly on the feet linked to every part of the body.


Since we tend to abuse our feet daily from hitting the pavement, a gentle massage will do wonders. For the best effect, place the palm of your hand on the sole of his foot and start rubbing, then branch out and rock the top of his foot back and forth until he starts to coo like a baby.

Between the Toes

Toes, like the fingers are highly sensitive, and also suffer from being confined by our shoes. To stimulate the toes, try gently separating them to create a special tingling effect.

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His Heart

This is the soft spot that truly is important and the one that you want to touch the most. To soften his heart, caress each of his soft spots while whispering softly a melody in his ears of how much you love and appreciate him.


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