Just in time for Valentine's Day, welcome to our sixth annual Lust Issue and the fourth annual Live & Lust Poll. Over the years, you've told us about the delineations of love and lust, about your favorite songs to set the mood, the best sex in books and cinema, how you keep sex safe (or sometimes don't), love 'n' lust lessons you'd like to share, and more. This year we asked again — with mostly new questions — and another hundred-plus of you shared still more: details about intimate nooks and crannies of your lives we suspect you otherwise share only with intimate friends, therapists and (as a few exhibitionists admitted) websites where you act out for the world to see. The question we forgot to ask is what we should have asked. But you can send your ideas for Live and Lust Poll V to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love, Lust & Lucre — Have the ups and downs of the economy affected your libido? Quality or quantity in your love life?
For the better
It's made my love life better! It makes me appreciate my mate and that fact that we don't need to go out on the town to have a great time! Date nights have become "go to bed early" nights — yum.
No, sometimes it's the only thing I can count on.
I've been having more sex to kill time.
No. Fuck that. If anything, the economy gives me and my boy an excuse to stay in and have romantic nights at home together more often.
For the worse
My boyfriend has a super crappy $10 per hour job which leaves me, and my really good job, responsible for all of the bills and rent. He is 46 and calls his mom for money. This has put a damper on anything relating to sex, as I have zero respect for him and I no longer view him as a man.
Yes — the cost of a BJ has risen sufficiently. I do not share the same enthusiasm.
Yes. Lost my house and had to move back to mom's. Talk about a damper on a heathy sex life!
No, I'm single and regardless of the economy I'm almost always in the mood to have sex.
Windfalls and prosperity can be fun, turning things up a bit ... but being in a slump has no affect on my boogie. It's all you've got sometimes.
Mysteries of Eros — Are there some things about love and lust you're still trying to figure out? If the Greek god Eros offered to answer one question, what would yours be?
I'm almost 50 and have the drive of an 18-year-old. Is that normal? —Mr. Happy, straight, 48 years, 5 lifetime partners
Why did lust begin to rule over love in this world? —Minky, bisexual, 48 years, 40 partners
Why can't the sexy, lusty, spark laaaaast? Why does it have to fade? —ShawnaPurrrr, 41 years, 100-plus lifetime partners
I'm actually taking a human sexuality course this semester, so I'm sure all of my questions will be answered there. —Lucy, bisexual, 21 years, 3 partners
How do you get your wife to take it in the back door? —Male, straight, 58 years, 5 partners
Why is it so different for men and women? Why is it just sex for men and love and sex for most women? —Beatrice, bisexual, 28 years, 26 partners
Is society ever going to reach a point where girls can finally act like they want to get laid without being sneered at? I'm so sick of having to act innocent and bored to get guys into bed! It's no fun! —S'il Vous Plaît, straight, 24 years, 19 partners
I want to learn all I can! I would ask Eros exactly how to squirt. As in "show me." —sexpot, bisexual, 34 years, 10 partners
Why can't I just fit my whole body in her hoo-hah? —Bobo Brasierre, straight, 39 years, 15 partners
Why is it that when someone has an excellent relationship with the perfect mate, they are willing to risk losing it all for a one-night stand with a piece of no-good trash? —Agent 005, straight, 58 years, 10 partners
Yes. Why didn't you teach me about intense multiple orgasms when I was younger? —onewoman, straight, 41 years, 12 partners
Why don't I get wet when I get turned on!? —Janet, straight, 21 years, 5 partners
As a man in my 30s, I am still trying to figure out how I can't turn a woman on when I want to but it seems effortless sometimes when I least expect it. —Wonger, straight, 33 years, 18 partners
Why do I come so fast? It sucks! I do my best to get her off regardless of what happens to me, but it just isn't the same. —Raymond, straight, 24 years, 1 partner
For AAA Romance — What's your favorite sex toy and why? How do you introduce your toys to a new partner for the first time? Or do you only play with toys alone? Or not at all?
I used to be a representative for an adult toy home party company, so I had to actually own one of everything. When I stopped doing the parties, I was left with all kinds of goodies! I was always very liberated in the bedroom, and thought nothing about whipping out whichever prop I was in the mood for. I frightened a few wuss guys off that way, but those were the ones I wouldn't want in my bed anyway!! —ShawnaPurrrr, straight, 41 years, 100-plus partners
My bullet, life would be dull without it. LOL. First time, I have to explain to them my difficulty with orgasm, which usually does not happen right away. —Female, bisexual, 30 years, 30-plus partners
My favorite is my new Lelo vibrator from Paris Intimates. However, when I am with partners (as I usually am), I really love my violet wand electrostimulation device! It has an attachment that makes my body into the conductor, which allows for electrifying oral sex!! —Lady Pain, bisexual, 35 years, haha partners
I <3 vibrators. I like it when a man uses the vibrator on me as he pleases. —Lucy, bisexual, 21 years, 3 partners
Strap-on. Bending my hubby over turned me on, alot. I'm still surprised he likes it. —ErahRose, straight, 27 years, 5 partners
P-Spot Stimulator. My lady got it for me, and we started using it together, and now I use it alone. —Graham, bisexual, 23 years, 15 partners
One guy, though, was dumbfounded by a little "bullet" toy I had and actually asked "What do I do with it?" I said, "Uh, well it goes on me." He was retarded. If you're reading this, M. from South Lyon, you're a jerkoff. —B~Nasty, Straight, 30 years
You can never go wrong with a colorful piece of rope. —Futzy, straight, 33 years, 6 partners
For the Eyes of Strangers — Have you ever uploaded sexual content to the Internet — vids, pics, text (other than filling out this survey)? What was it? Have you ever recognized anyone you know on display in cyberspace?
Yes, just some cleavage shots. I am not worried about them affecting me. I do not care what people on the Internet think of me. LOL. —Bisexual, 30 years, 30+ lifetime partners
I have uploaded slightly sexual pics to FetLife before. They weren't explicit, though. —Lucy, Bisexual 21 years, 3 partners
I personally haven't, but know that there are some photos out there of me. Least my face isn't in it! —Crazy Irish Girl, straight, 36 years, 23 partners
Yes ... lots of pics. Faceless, of course. —sexpot, bisexual, 34 years, 10 partners
I have uploaded photos. I've never recognized anyone and no one has said they saw me. —Nataschaslut, straight, 42 years, 25 partners
Yes, erotic literature. —Sarah, straight, 26 years, 3 partners
I have blogged about my sexual encounters. My girlfriend wasn't too fond of it though. —Alex, straight, 24 years, 16 partners
Yes. Videos of the wife sent to me by her. Dirty texts and pictures all the time. I have a friend that likes to "do" some professional women and is always secretly videoing them and uploading them to sites. —Jimmyhat, straight, 45 years, 6 partners
On the Detroit Eros site I saw a girl I work with! —Hussy_Tras, straight, 22 years, 25 partners
Yes. Have found an ex-GF giving webcam shows online. —Futzy, straight, 33 years, 6 partners
Once high off x, me and my boo made a movie with his phone, while outside his house in the open. A few weeks later I started receiving e-mails: I was on the Internet. Oh, well! —what, straight, 30 years, 32 partners
Yes, pics of my wife in lingerie. I have never seen anyone I know online, except one girl at the Jobbie Nooner site. —Jkrubz, straight, 57 years, 15 partners
Desire Has No Mercy — Describe your most embarrassing or fulfilling sexual encounter?
I was taken to a real S&M bar in NYC and trotted around collared as a slave — very Anne Rice-esque. I was carried into the bar on the back of a "pony boy." I was with a girlfriend I trusted, and she took me through some amazing public experiences that really freed me. One included being put into a large cage, blindfolded, as others touched me through the metal. All as a slave and unaccountable for my actions. —Minky, bisexual, 48 years, 40 partners
My current boyfriend and I were making love for longer than we ever had before. It kept going and going until I reached my climax and became so overwhelmed that I couldn't stop myself from crying and laughing hysterically. —Libeled Lady, straight, 22 years, 3 partners
I once had sex in a bank in Panama. It was in one of those rooms specifically for ATMs, where you have to swipe your card to open the door. Needless to say, we were both pretty drunk, while we were walking down the street we decided it would be a good idea and just ducked in and started making out. After a few minutes we heard knocking on the door. It was three Panama City police officers equipped with guns, pepper spray and who knows what else, shining a flashlight in at us. They said someone saw us on a security camera and called them. I ended up giving them a $60 bribe so we wouldn't have to go to jail and so I wouldn't be kicked out of my study abroad program. Good times. —S'il Vous Plaît, straight, 24 years, 19 partners
Met someone online and went out one night for drinks. He was cool, so I took him home, and we proceeded to have the most intimate, passionate sex ever, and it went on for hours. I've never had that kind of connection, not even with a boyfriend. He also agreed that it was the best, it was something out of a book, totally unreal! —The single one, straight, 33 years, 19 partners
On my wedding night, the wife and I were on our way back to the hotel and just couldn't wait to start, so she went down on me and then got on me while I was driving — well, we were all over each other and the road, got pulled over, and my wife, who had way too much to drink, told the lady cop to wait, 'cause she wanted to come. She waited. Best ticket ever. —jimmyhat, straight, 45 years, 6 partners
Unable to sneak out of my grandmother's house due to security bars on the windows, I gave a boy that had rode the bus all the way to her house in the middle of the night head through the bars on the window while he stood on something. My grandparents were upstairs asleep. That was pretty exciting. LOL. —Lynn, bisexual, 22 years, 50 partners
When a younger man approached our table at a club my boyfriend and I were at and asked if he could sit and buy us a drink, then asked my boyfriend if he could touch my legs, 'cause I was the only girl wearing a skirt 'n' heels and he was turned on by them. After being granted permission, he began exploring my legs and thighs all the while we were in the very public, crowded club, slowly making his way up to my private areas, both of them knowing it was making me very hot. We left the place, followed him to his place, and had a night of hot, sweaty sex while I kept my thigh-highs on so he could play 'n' rub them. Oh là là. —older-n-bolder, bisexual, 64 years, 9 partners
Dealing with erectile dysfunction immediately after prostate cancer surgery — embarrassing, humiliating and very frustrating. —Smutty Bear, straight, 54 years, 1 partner
A girlfriend and I were trying anal sex in the middle of the night in my parents' living room (in the dark), and we were going to town when we heard footsteps hurrying down the stairs. We both freaked out and tried to get dressed even though we knew we had only about three seconds. Turned out it was only the dog. —Nick, straight, 28 years, 3 partners
Once, I flew half way across the country for a weekend romp and couldn't perform.—Pentup2, straight, 44 years, 15 partners
It was so short that I couldn't feel it when he stuck it in, and I didn't even know he came. I walked away unfulfilled and never answered the phone or spoke to him on campus again. —Thick Lover, straight, 28 years, 4 partners
Never Too Early, Never Too Late — Which are better, older lovers or younger?
Younger is better
My husband is 16 years younger than me. It's perfect. I am patient and a good teacher and he is totally into it.
I like younger female lovers, they want more.
With a younger lover they usually have more stamina and interest
Younger women are more free to love, lust and enjoy sex more.
Older is better
A little older, more experienced.
Older men are better because they know they have to keep up.
I don't want to have to teach a young one.
Older lovers are much better. They listen, talk intelligently. Their bodies have filled out.
Older ones, the attraction to an older woman is magnetic!
Older are better for taking you out to breakfast the next day.
Pagan Encounters — Has anybody proposed a fetish that was too out-there for you? Or proposed a fetish that you embraced? Do tell ...
Well, this really sweet and wonderful guy I was dating for three months begged me to punch him in the face as hard as I could while I was riding him. ... I asked him how much money he had (that's a job for a professional, and I wasn't above making a buck). He thought I was joking, and never spoke of it again. Although, he did request that I allow him to do something with his fist that I wasn't really comfortable with. I ended up suggesting he pick up a Metro Times and call one of the lucky ladies in the classifieds. —ShawnaPurrrr, straight, 41 years, 100-plus partners
I was snuggling with this super cute neuroscientist after a date. We were looking at videos on his iPad, and up pops tranny porn! Can't say I share the interest, but his openness and honesty was a turn-on! —Celeste HAHAHAHAHA, straight, 24 years, 19 partners
I embraced bondage when it was proposed to me. Nothing has been proposed to me that is too out-there. —Beatrice, bisexual, 28 years, 26 partners
Yea, this one chick wanted me to give her a rusty fishhook, and I was like, "What the hell is that?" ... She told me and I was kinda blanked up! —Male, straight, 31 years, 60 partners
One guy wanted me to piss on him. I said, "What the hell," and tried it in the shower. He loved it, but it was too weird for me. It took too much concentration and kind of ruined the mood. —S'il Vous Plaît, straight, 24 years, 19 partners
One of my partners wanted to collar me (which I was not opposed to), but then wanted to lead me around while I was on all fours and make me drink water from a bowl on the floor. That's not even all that weird in the grand scheme of things, just not my cup of tea. —Male, straight, 33 years, 37 partners
I don't like being the object for some woman's black-guy fetish. —Bobo Brasierre, straight, 39 years, 15 partners
A girl wanted to tie me up and whip me once. I told her ass no! —Alex, straight, 24 years, 16 partners
I've learned to love woman in vintage undergarments: girdles, garters, stockings, bullet bras, etc. —Graham, bisexual, 23 years, 15 partners
I was with someone who wanted to be put in a diaper. She wanted me to take it off and clean her (pretend). She wanted me to coddle her like a baby. —TT, straight, 32 years, 10 partners
I'm not sure what's too out-there for me. Maybe furries. Those people are strange. For the most part I'm pretty open to trying new things. —Pickle, straight, 33 years, 360 partners
The foot fetish isn't so bad. Lots of foot rubs! —Hussy_Trash, straight, 22 years, 25 partners
Yes, here's what was too much for me: He wanted to eat my on my period, I couldn't do it. —carameldelight79, straight, 31 years, 10 partners
Oh, yes!! When we first started dating he asked me to dominate him. I'd never done it before, but we have had lots of fun learning, and I really like being in charge of my slave.—Female, straight, 39 years, 11 partners
I've led a pretty vanilla sex life so far. Dan Savage would be ashamed. —Raymond, straight, 24 years, 1 partner
Never Enough — Clinton, Woods, Winehouse, Sheen ... who can keep tabs on all our supposed celeb sex addicts. (Wait, that's what National Enquirer is for.) But what do you think? Is there such an addiction? What are the signs? Have you seen them?
Heck, yeah, there can be addictions. Nasty old men! Case closed! —What, straight, 30 years, 32 partners
My ex was a sex addict — it absolutely exists. Sex addicts are very needy, are never faithful, compartmentalize their life (like separate groups of friends), lead double lives, etc. When they travel for their career, it is even worse, because they have sex with someone in each venue. —TT, straight, 32 years, 10 partners
After hearing all the details of Charlie Sheen's life, I do believe there is a real problem. Seriously, who watches porn for longer than five minutes to begin with, let alone memorizing entire scenes? The signs? Too much power and money apparently. —loudshoesXD, straight, 30 years, 15 partners
Yes. I have two friends who are self-proclaimed hos. And, just like most addiction cases, insecurity causes this behavior. —Natasha, straight, 28 years, 17 partners
I think that "addiction" comes from something much deeper than a need for sex. The Tiger Woodses of the world seem to get a bigger dick as the paycheck increases. I mean ... does Mr. Sheen really lure women with his sexual abilities? Come on! —Mink, bisexual, 48 years, 40 partners
Money adds to the weirdos; more money more weird. —huh?, straight, 33 years, 127 partners
I actually think it's more of a mental illness. It absolutely requires treatment. Of course there are the ho men who use the addiction thing as an excuse ... pussies. —ShawnaPurrrr, straight, 41 years, 100-plus partners
Some people are just hornier than others. I am probably one of those people. —Lucy, bisexual, 21 years, 3 partners
I would say I have that addiction. The signs are the same as any addiction. Sex controls a huge part of my life. I have little to no control when it comes to sex. And I see the signs in myself every day. —Beatrice, bisexual, 28 years, 26 partners
I think some people are addicted to re-enacting porn scenes and it makes them forget to stay in tune with their partner. —Sarah, straight, 26 years, 3 partners
I've been in a situation where I thought I was a sex addict because of the amount of women I had been through over a week's period. But I realized it was just a function of a manic episode I was having. So, maybe that's what they have. —Joker 78, straight, 33 years, 12-plus partners
Don't believe there's any such thing as too much sex. Those guys just have more money and get caught. Sex is awesome, and if I can get it in a car, hotel, pool or dirty basement, then I'm all good. Bring it on. —Jimmyhat, straight, 45 years, 6 partners
I know it's real. I am one. The signs are that of any addict ... when you have a vice that starts affecting other areas of your life and causes you to make bad decisions, then you have an addiction. —Lynn, bisexual, 22 years, 50? partners
A ho is a ho. Sex addict is a new term to justify it and seek sympathy. —MoreLust2, straight, 52 years, 9ish partners
Dangerous Harbors — How safe is your sex? How important is protecting yourself and partners from STDs and unwanted pregnancies? What do you do? How do you talk about it?
Safe sex? I'm married, boo-boo ... —SSDD , straight, 29 years, 6 partners
Before the sex happens, I always say, even though I'm on the pill, nothing happens without a condom in the picture. —Lucy, bisexual, 21 years, 3 partners
I am only sleeping with one person and he is only sleeping with me, but we should probably still use protection. —Beatrice, bisexual, 28 years, 26 partners
Right now, I don't protect myself because we're both clean and we're trying to get pregnant. To be honest, it's the best sex I've had! But before this, protection was very important to me. I was always prepared, although I can't say I wouldn't go along with it if I didn't have protection. I was never one to turn down sex. My first time was unprotected. —Nic, straight, 28 years, 3 partners
Open and frank: Either wear it or don't get it. —Crazy Irish Girl, straight, 36 years, 23 partners
It doesn't matter how lonely or horny you are, be honest about your STDs. You don't know if your partner has health insurance or not, or if they have other medical conditions that could make getting an STD a serious problem. Obviously, I have an STD, and as awkward and humiliating as it is, I tell every partner, regardless of how well they know me and how many of my friends and acquaintances they might know. OK, rant over. —S'il Vous Plaît, straight, 24 years, 19 partners
You just gotta tell that bitch, "No glove no love." Trojan ultra thick. —Alex, straight, 24 years, 16 partners
Before me and my fiancee got together intimately, we went together to the clinic to get tested. We were both single for a while before. We've been each other's only partners for five and half years now and she is on birth control. No babies or AIDS for me, please. —Graham, bisexual, 23 years, 15 partners
There's nothing to talk about, I hand them a condom and if they don't want to wear it then they can leave. —The single one, straight, 33 years, 19 partners
Boyfriend of two years. I've had an abortion. Taken Plan B twice. Off and on birth control. —Janet, straight, 21 years, 5 partners
I've learned it's much better to be safe, ask questions and get tested than to be sorry by not speaking up or making bad choices. —AlwaysAmative, straight, 24 years, 11 partners
It is very important. I am married and have a lover and we usually use protection but not always. —monica's lover, straight, 57 years, 15 partners
Being responsible and talking about protection is not as hard as people make it out to be. If you are uncomfortable having a conversation about birth control, you should not be having sex in the first place. —DOC8677, straight, 37 years, 27 partners
Dreams of Desire — Have you ever fantasized about a celebrity or someone from your daily life — co-worker, neighbor, delivery person? Who? What happened? If you've done both, which was better?
Yes, I still have fantasies about Shaggy 2 Dope from ICP. It's better to fantasize about those you cannot meet. Then it's not too tempting. —ErahRose, straight, 27 years, 5 partners
Tom Arnold. —SSDD, straight, 29 years, 6 partners
Believe it or not I just fantasize about my wife ... and have been told that is weird. —Mr. Happy, straight, 48 years, 5 partners
I have fantasized about an older guy (50 years old) from church. He fucking looks like George Clooney. So sexy. Everything happened, if you catch my drift. There's been some mutual flirtation lately too. —Lucy, bisexual, 21 years, 3 partners
I had a crazy dream about 50 Cent, and, boy, was it amazing. I woke up pretty darn happy. —Thick Lover, Straight, 28 years, 4 partners
I usually fantasize, at least to a small degree, about almost every attractive woman I see. —Male, straight, 33 years, 37 partners
The celebrity I fantasize the most of is Jack White. He is always the object of my erotic dreams. In most of them, I dream of him seducing me. —AlwaysAmative, straight, 24 years, 11 partners
With every girl I've ever had sex with, I always have to picture my best friend riding me (she is female). Sadly, I have never had sex with my best friend — the person I truly love and want to be with. —TT, straight, 32 years, 10 partners
Fantasies aren't very useful. Reminiscing about someone I've had good sex with is much more effective. —Bobo Brasierre, Straight, 39 years, 15 partners
Passions Unruly — What turned you on — and surprised you?
How much men love women that squirt. —Becca-Booty, straight, 37 years, 9 partners
That he was just as much as a freak as I was. —Female, Bisexual, 30 years, 30-plus partners
Gang rape — in fantasy only and only with the girl totally into it. —Minky, Bisexual, 48 years, 40 partners
Gay porn. I'm a female, but I love it!!! I'm talking guy on guy, not girlie action (unless it's real) ... but guys going at it makes me crazy! I especially like all homemade porn ... that surprised me! —ShawnaPurrrr, straight, 41 years, 100-plus partners
Before it happened, I never realized how much I would enjoy being tied spread-eagle to a bed. —Lucy, Bisexual, 21 years, 3 partners
This gentleman I've been dating since October, we've kissed and rubbed but have actually taken it quite slowly. Then the other night I came over to his place, we're kissing and playing on his couch, when he just turns me around, legs off couch, peels off my pants, throws my legs back and starts going down on me like it was nobody's bit-ness! God bless him. Guys these days, either they go downtown, or they don't, and when they do it with enthusiasm you know they was just raised right. —B~Nasty, straight, 30 years
Having my toes sucked on was something I never thought would turn me on, but it's rather nice. —Male, straight, 33 years, 37 partners
A finger up my ass. I was young. I am no longer surprised by a finger up my ass. Being picked up and screwed against the wall. He held me up the entire time and made it seem effortless. Harder than it sounds do it well. —Sweetsocks, straight, 39 years, 50 partners
Kegels! —Bobo Brasierre
The size of one lover's clitoris; it was big and a lot of fun. Easy to find and fondle. —Rascal, straight, 64 years, 12 partners
Choking — a guy did it unexpectedly, and I was surprised how much I liked it. —AlwaysAmative, straight, 24 years, 11 partners
When I was in high school, everything turned me on and it was always a surprise. —Graham, bisexual, 23 years, 15 partners
When women just grab me and start kissing me because they're sick of waiting around for me to do so, that both turns me on and surprises me. —Pickle, straight, 33 years, 360 partners
Nipple-pinching. —Janet, straight, 21 years, 5 partners
Watching a man check his e-mail and how his legs were spread. Totally exposed a wonderful opportunity. I wanted to climb under the desk and suck him off right then and there. He wouldn't let me, even though we were alone. Go figure. —MoreLust2, straight, 52 years, 9ish partners
Having a woman use a strap-on on me. —TT, straight, 32 years, 10 partners
Penetrating a man with a dildo. At first I was like, wow, then I was like, eww. We don't talk anymore. —What?, straight, 30 years, 32 partners