Laken Howard
NU/Medill alum; Brooklynite; sex/dating/relationships contributor; win my heart with cat pictures and eggs benedict

Latest Articles

Hookup Culture Is A Myth — Here's What Millennials Are Actually Doing On Dating Apps

People love to talk about how bad Millennials are at dating and relationships. Their argument, essentially, is that our dating app fixation is causing us to become too hookup-driven and afraid of comm...
By Laken Howard

7 Signs Someone Is Negging You

As a former dating app enthusiast, I've been on the receiving end of my fair share of backhanded compliments, like the fan-favorite 'you're way too pretty to be on a dating app!' Uhh, thanks? If you'r...
By Laken Howard

8 Questions To Ask Your Partner To Help You Communicate Better

Any happy, healthy, long-term couple will tell you that one of the building blocks of a good relationship is figuring out how to communicate better with your partner. No two couples are the same, but ...
By Laken Howard

15 Excuses To Leave A Bad Date Early

Sadly, not every date is destined to be a good one, and no matter how experienced at dating you are, being stuck on an awful date never gets any easier. No one enjoys having to endure hours worth of u...
By Laken Howard

2,000 Singles Say *This* Is The Biggest First Date Dealbreaker

If you're single, having an idea of what people's biggest date dealbreakers are can be super helpful in your search for love. We all have different ideas of what makes a good first date, just like we ...
By Laken Howard

Here's The Truth About Vacation Sex

Even as an adult, when "summer break" is no longer a thing, there's something romantic and magical about summertime that makes us want to find love (or at least have hot sex). At some point, everyone'...
By Laken Howard

25 Women Reveal Their *Biggest* Dating Profile Dealbreakers

Online dating is one of those weird things that is somehow simultaneously exciting and frustrating. In theory, the ability to find a significant other with one simple swipe is great, but in practice, ...
By Laken Howard

This Is How A Grown-Ass Woman Handles The "Slow Fade"

There's almost nothing worse than feeling like you're slowly drifting apart from someone you're dating. The only way the situation sucks more is if it's totally one-sided: you're still into them, but ...
By Laken Howard

19 First Date Ideas That *Aren't* Dinner & Movie

Coming up with creative first date ideas can be super tricky. If you're like me, you automatically default to grabbing drinks, just because it's an easy and seemingly foolproof choice. You also have t...
By Laken Howard

7 Sample Texts To Send To Someone Who's Breadcrumbing You

The practice of breadcrumbing — aka when someone gives you just enough attention to keep you around, when clearly they're not really invested in you — is an unfortunately common way of fading out on a...
By Laken Howard

5 Types Of Toxic People To Cut Out Of Your Life ASAP

Not every relationship is a healthy one. Although it would be great if every person in your life made you feel happy and supported all the time, the reality is that many of us have had to figure out h...
By Laken Howard

These Are The *Green* Flags To Look For Early On In A Relationship

It's always good to be aware of potential red flags in a new relationship, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't also be on the lookout for green flags, aka the early signs that a new relationship is go...
By Laken Howard

The Best Amazon Prime Day Deals For Your Sex Life

It's the most wonderful time of the year: Amazon Prime Day, aka the perfect opportunity to impulse-shop to your heart's content. Every year, people hunt for the best Amazon Prime Day deals among the s...
By Laken Howard

7 Positions You Should Try In A Hotel Room

There's no better time to try out some hot new sex positions than during summertime — especially if you're lucky enough to have a romantic vacation planned. According to a recent study by online sex t...
By Laken Howard

How To Get Free Ice Cream At McDonald's This Weekend

On their own, "free" and "food" are two of my favorite words — but when they're paired together, that's a whole new level of exciting, especially if ice cream is involved. Just in time for everyone's ...
By Laken Howard

13 Millennial Women On How Trump Has Affected Their Friendships

A lot has changed in the six months since Donald Trump was sworn into office, both on a political level and a personal one. Bustle’s State of Our Unions series looks at how millennial women's relation...
By Laken Howard

17 Weird Topics Every Couple Should Discuss Before Marriage

If you're in a long-term relationship, you might think you know everything about your partner, but in reality, you might have barely scratched the surface. Getting engaged is a huge step — you're hitc...
By Laken Howard

How To Use Backdrops On Snapchat

If you were getting tired of using the same old dog-eared filter on all your Snaps, you'll be thrilled with Snapchat's new feature called backdrops — a fun, artsy new way to jazz up your Snaps. But ho...
By Laken Howard

Here's Where Everyone's ~Doing It~ This Summer

It's officially summer, and that can mean only one thing: 'tis the season for steamy summer sex! It's a no-brainer that hookups get hotter under the summer sun — even if you're *technically* stuck in ...
By Laken Howard

*This* Might Actually Be Able To Ease Your Pain

When you're having a rough day, there's nothing better than a long hug from your partner to bring you comfort. Physical affection in a relationship is super important, but what if your partner's touch...
By Laken Howard

How To Use Snapchat's Cool New Paintbrush Tool

On Tuesday (and just in time for the holidays), Snapchat rolled out new features in its latest update that will help users get even more creative with their selfies. In the midst of all the buzz about...
By Laken Howard

7 Sex Resolutions For Grown-Ass Women

I'd like to think there's a somewhat universally shared feeling in that every year, without fail, tons of us confidently tell ourselves "new year, new me," only to be majorly disappointed (though not ...
By Laken Howard

Why It's Better To Break Up *Before* The Holidays

The holidays might be the most wonderful time of the year, but if you're in an unhappy relationship during this season, it can turn you from Buddy the Elf to the Grinch in no time flat. Going through ...
By Laken Howard

Why The Holidays Are The Best Time To Meet Someone

The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year: there's no shortage of festive music, scrumptious food, whimsical decorations, and most important of all, holiday cheer. Everyone seems to b...
By Laken Howard

The Best Sex Toys For Long-Distance Couples

The holiday season is in full swing, which means an increase in the number of people frantically googling 'last-minute gift ideas' every time their boss turns the other way. If you've so far procrasti...
By Laken Howard

15 Holiday Breakup Excuses To Borrow This Year

If you're in a long-term thing or even just casually seeing someone, one thing is certain: The warm and fuzzy feelings associated with the holidays can definitely make us re-evaluate our relationships...
By Laken Howard

The 40 Most Influential Women Of 2016

It's that time of year again: the list of TIME's Most Influential People 2016 has been released, so we can reflect on how people made their mark this year. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Donald Trump took th...
By Laken Howard

This Service Delivers Birth Control To Your Door

I don't really remember how old I was when I first started taking oral contraceptives — probably in my late teens — but I do recall how irritated I was to have to remember to renew and refill my presc...
By Laken Howard

The Sexiest Stocking Stuffers To Buy This Season

I'd like to think that a major milestone of adulthood is finally admitting to yourself that your favorite part of the holidays isn't the music or the pretty lights or the whole spending-time-with fami...
By Laken Howard

What It's Like To Do An STI Test With Your Partner

If you're sexually active, there's a pretty solid chance that at some point, you'll get some sort of sexually transmitted infection. According to the American Sexual Health Association, more than half...
By Laken Howard

The Funniest Dirty Talk Fails Ever

It may seem weird, but the best dirty talk isn't always the smoothest. It would be awesome if we always knew exactly the right thing to say to turn our partners on, but in reality, there will be times...
By Laken Howard

5 Intimate Sex Positions To Try Over The Holidays

The holidays are actually the most wonderful time of the year — you get to eat delicious food, give, and receive presents, spend time with family and friends, and blast "All I Want For Christmas Is Yo...
By Laken Howard

What Women Really Think About During Sex

Admit it: at some point, you've totally thought about your grocery list (or worse, your grandma) during sex. While it would be nice if our brains let us fully commit to sexy thoughts while we're doing...
By Laken Howard

5 Mistakes It's OK To Make In A Relationship

As pop culture icon Hannah Montana once sang: everybody makes mistakes. Although it's easy enough to recognize that nobody's perfect, that doesn't stop us from feeling disappointed in ourselves when w...
By Laken Howard

Here's How Dating Apps Have Changed Post-Election

Things in America have definitely changed in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Since Trump's win became official, there have been protests and pushback, both on social media and IRL. Some people hav...
By Laken Howard

Let's Not Tell People How They Should Feel Today

For every American who hoped that love, tolerance, and respect would prevail in the 2016 election, this outcome may feel like an electric shock — and it's understandable that many of us are having tro...
By Laken Howard

The Real Reason We Like People Who Aren't Into Us

If there's one thing that everyone can agree on, it's that getting over unrequited love isn't easy. No matter how old you are, having one-sided feelings for someone is a sh*tty experience. From your e...
By Laken Howard

What To Bring Up Instead Of Your Dating Life

It's almost Halloween, which means that Thanksgiving and Christmas are basically tomorrow. Because the holiday season is upon us, it's time to mentally prepare for those messy semi-annual family get-t...
By Laken Howard

7 Sexy Scenes That You Should NOT Recreate IRL

I have to admit, one of my all time favorite things to Google is 'awkward sex scenes in movies,' because the results are packed with hours of cheesy, cringe-worthy entertainment. As much as I lament t...
By Laken Howard

7 Hot Movie-Inspired Positions To Try IRL

As a kid, watching sex scenes in movies was equal parts fascinating and awkward (especially if you accidentally sat through one with your parents in the room). Naturally, we're all curious about the h...
By Laken Howard