Sex and Relationships

Sexual Dysfunction

Answers to questions about sex therapy and sexuality

Copyright (C) 1999 William F. Fitzgerald, Ph.D.

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10/7/99 Q:  Dear Sex Doc,

I've learned so many things on your site.  However, I cannot find an answer to what I need to know!

My current boyfriend likes for a girl to be on top and take control.  I have a slight problem, I have no idea what to do when I'm there.  All of my exes were very "in control" kinda guys and always wanted to be top.

I'm at a loss.  What do I do?  I want to please my boyfriend while on top of him.


Miss "How do I?"

A:  It sounds like he wants to be submissive.  I suggest that you tie him spread eagle, blindfold him, then tease his penis with your hands and mouth.  Take your time.  Let him beg for relief from the sexual tension.  Mount him while facing him, leaning over to graze your erect nipples against his mouth and face,  allowing a few sucks.  Lift off his penis and walk on your knees to lower your by now very wet labia to his lips.  Command him to lick your clitoris.  If he does this well, in a future such session, after you take a shower and wash "everywhere," turn around while your pelvis is over his face and command him to lick you "around the world" (from an inch above your anus to your bellybutton), rotating your pelvis to present the relevant anatomy to his tongue and lips.  While he is licking you, lower your upper body to rub your breasts against wherever on his body they touch, and suck, then blow on his moistened penis.  The contrast between the warmth of your mouth and the coolness from the evaporation will drive him wild.

When you both can't stand it any more, re-mount his penis and lift your hips up and down (or hold yourself up a bit and command him to thrust up and down).

More extreme future activities could include inserting a well-lubricated vibrator (dildo or egg) in his ass, or in yours while being vaginally penetrated by him, or getting his penis very wet then replacing your vagina with your anus (but once you do this, DO NOT then re-insert his penis into your vagina because his penis will then have rectal bacteria on it.  If you are having your period or otherwise don't want to be penetrated, or just want a variation on the play theme, masturbate him while fucking his ass with a dildo.  If he is a true "sub" (submissive) he will be your sex slave and worship the ground you walk on.

Was this more of an answer than you expected?


10/5/99 Q:  Hi there, Doc--
  I am writing again because you are the only one who
seems knowledgeable enough to answer my questions (and
I thank you).

   I am deeply in love with my boyfriend and around
May we started making love to one another.  And--I'm
not going to lie--it was THE BEST thing I had ever
experienced in my whole life!  Ya, it hurt at first,
but the connection I felt between us made me so
content, and I felt so happy that we shared our
virginity with eachother.  Now, in October, I'm
wondering if I have a problem. The last week or two,
we've been making love as much as two times a day.
I've read on other websites that in America 2-5 times
A WEEK is the norm.  There have been a couple times
when I have asked him to make love to me, and he has
turned me down gently by saying something like "I'm
feeling alright right now, can we just keep this up?"
or "Maybe in a little while, baby.."  It is his right
(and mine) to decline, but I feel bad because I'm
wondering if I'm a Nymphomaniac.  I love sex.  And
it's not just for the pleasure.  I feel so close to
him, and I love watching, and feeling, and being held.
It's not that he doesn't love me or hold me normally
either. He shows affection to me constantly and
whispers all the loving things that I love to hear so
often....I don't understand exactly what I'm trying to
get to here..Maybe you could help?  Maybe I'm just
feeling guilty because my sex drive is stronger than
his?  The strange thing is, I have orgasmed only about
four times from intercourse alone (I know that only
40% of women can come, so I guess I should count my
blessings), but I like to have as much sex as I can
get.  As a child, I was molested by a relative--could
this be why I love him to make love to me all the
time?  The last couple of times we've made love I've
ended up hiding my tears because I was so close and
ready to come and I simply couldn't (I felt like a
defect), and he could hold back no longer.  I don't
even understand why I cry.  He's not a
disappointment--he tries to "hang on" and "hold off"
as long as he possibly can for me, but it seems when I
start to get "up there" and muscles start to squeeze,
he can't hold back.  He has pulled out and given me
oral or manual pleasure so he has time to calm down so
he can last for me, but while he calms down, so do I.
ANy advice here?
  Sorry to make this so long, but I have one more tiny
question for you--sometimes my boyfriend gets a sharp
pain around the rim of his glans when I am pleasing
him manually or orally.  He says it's NOT because I am
scraping with my teeth (I know I'm not), and that it's
not because I'm sqeezing to hard or anything.  He
doesn't know where it comes from or why it happens.
Could it be because he is having sex to much?  I'd do
anything to make him happy--I think what I would love
to do is calm down my sex drive so I can quit feeling
guilty--but I've tried, but I just can't seem to
succeed. I'm afraid that, although I love making love,
he will get bored of it.  I'm sorry I'm asking so
much, but I really love him, and don't want him to
think that I'm basing the large part of our
relationship on sex--I wish he could understand that
it's so much more than that.(I don't know-maybe he
does understand..)...Thanks for any
comments/suggestions/advice you may have, and thank
you for listening.....
 J-the sex addict :(

A:  Two times a day?  You're a teenager, right?  I have had couples in therapy whose practice was intercourse every morning and every evening 7 days a week, plus an hour mid-afternoon Saturday and Sunday for a wild sexual feast of toys and "non-traditional" sexual expression.  For ten years, like clockwork (you guessed it -- no kids).  So twice a day is not "excessive."  You are NOT a nymphomaniac!  Nymphomaniacs (very rare) are dissatisfied and perpetually hopeful that the next sexual encounter will fill the void (but they're trying to fill an emotional emptiness by filling a physical cavity).

Yes, it sounds like your sexual appetite is stronger than his.  So?  You are auditioning and understanding what is important to you so you can catalogue it to use as a benchmark for finding a compatible mate.  Be gentle with yourself!

Sacrifice yourself to science:  try the experiment of stimulating your clitoris during intercourse to see if you can achieve orgasm before, or around the time of, his.  Let me know what happens.

I cannot comment on the sharp pain around the rim of his glans.  That needs evaluation by a Urologist, in person.

And PLEASE don't "calm (your) sex drive down!"  Break out of the debilitating myth that "the only REAL sex is penile-vaginal intercourse."  If it's OK with him, when he doesn't want to engage in intercourse, straddle his thigh and rock your pelvis until you have an orgasm, or touch yourself on the clitoris and labia while he watches.  It's a win-win.  Either you will get off exhibiting yourself to orgasm, or he'll get so turned on he'll join you (I hope you're good at sewing shirt buttons back on).

Let me know what happens.


10/3/99  There is a nice update to a 9/28/99 Q/A

10/2/99 Q:  Dear Sex Doc:

What are sexual fantasies? I am married to a wonderful man and I love him
very much, but Iím not attracted to him sexually.
I always have had a very active imagination since my childhood, I had a lot
of imaginary characters in my dreams as much as the real ones and even I
wrote a novel when I was 14 years old and then I stopped, because I thought
I gradually was happier with the day dreaming than the day life and it
wouldn'tít seem right to me.

Before I get married, like a lot of other girls, I had a dream about a
hansom prince and of course when I met my husband he wasn'tít exactly what I
had in my mind. He had a bold spot and a big belly, but perfect in every
other way.
since my childhood, in my family and friends circle, beauty was a hot talk
and us (me and my brothers and sister) the beautiful children of a beautiful
parents, used to say ď Iím going to marry a man like Paul Newman or a woman
like Liz Taylor and of course he or she would have replaced by another hot
man or woman of the time, but I really got in to it and took it seriously.

I could see my friends have married to hansom men and they were not as happy
as they could  be. I knew the facts and I thought Iím getting older and
wiser and I shouldn'tít let this little detail keep me from reaching the
So I thought I have to grew up and be realistic and leave the fantasy out of
this one. I told myself all the sayings, like ďlove is blindĒ and the  ďreal
beauty is insideĒ andÖ..

So I said yes and we got married but even on our wedding night I had to
close my eyes and imagine Iím making love to the man of my dream. I felt
like a cheat and I couldn'tít concentrate completely on any of them (my
husband or my dream man) and after wards I felt really bad.
And still after six years I have to do the same thing every time to enjoy,
other wise I canít get in to the mood. I thought I will grew out of it, but
it isn'tít happening.

My married life is very precious to me and I donít want to hurt my husband
in any way, I even asked my friend to use her computer because I didn'tít
want him to see this.  Heís my best friend and this is my only secret from
him because I donít want to hurt him. There is nothing he can do.

Heís a very gentle and experienced lover and even my friends say heís a very
sexy man and I have seen some beautiful women are clearly attracted to him.
We have kept our romance alive (lots of roses and candle dinners and privet
times and a lot of fantasy sex playing ) but at the end Iím making love to a
stranger from my imagination.

It isn'tít always one face or one particular person. It could be any actor
that I have watched his movie, last night on TV or a hansom face from a
picture that I have seen or straight from my imagination which some times
heís blond and some times dark .

Dear doc, I am a very successful woman in my social life. I know my
responsibilities and I have a lot of friends around me, so Iím not a dreamy,
high and out of the world person, who lives by her dreams but meanwhile, I
am a high- flying person and I like it. I think itís a part of my character
and my motive in life. I donít want to loose it.

I think for me, wanting some man with special features as my partner is as
normal as some bodyís tendency to become a doctor. (correct me if Iím wrong)
I am famous to be stubborn and insistent about my whishes and I have made a
lot of them come through but I guess I am late for this one.

Is there any alternative for me? I feel really guilty and like a cheat and
even if itís not physically or  morally wrong, I would really like to make
love to my husband and only him. I want to be able to open my eyes and enjoy
from the real moment. Is there any thing I can do? Please help me.

Thank you for the wonderful site.

Iím looking forward to your reply.

A:  Dear Jane,

97% of men and women fantasize about someone else and the other 3% are lying!

Seriously, there is absolutely nothing wrong with fantasizing and it serves many useful purposes!  People bored with sex are encouraged to play fantasy games, like naughty school girl and stern headmaster, etc.

Take a deep breath, relax, close your eyes, and imagine your husband is anyone you want.  Just don't call him by the wrong name!  (Why do you think God invented words like  "honey" and "sweetie" and "darling" and "lover?"

9/30/99 Q:  Please explain in detail what is meant by the term "frigid"? Please tell me exactly what is the behavior of a woman who is considered "frigid" sexually.

"Frigid" is a slang term, not a medical diagnosis.  It is most often used by men as an insult to women who have not responded to their advances.  It is also used to refer to a woman who needs more time to reach orgasm than her lover is patient to provide.  And finally, just as some people are taller, and some shorter, people range from very sexual to uninterested in sex, and frigid could be used to describe the latter.

On average, women take longer to reach orgasm than men do, so a woman who comes quickly is "hot" while a guy who comes quickly is a premature ejaculator.  A guy who "lasts" a long time is a "stud," and a woman to "takes" a long time to reach orgasm is called, by some, "frigid."

Does this address your interest?

9/28/99 Q:  Hi,
    I searched the bank, and didn't see anything matching my question closely enough. The problem is, whenever my boyfriend realizes we're about to have sex, he loses his erection. He has no trouble staying erect any other time, for oral sex etc. Sometimes all I have to do is look at him a certain way and it springs up, no problem. We decided it must be psychological. Its not that it's bending because its not erect enough, it just completely disappears. He is a virgin, and he is very ashamed about this, and confused. He says he's just nervous. I tell him if he thinks it will happen again, it will. Any suggestions? Any advice would be appreciated!  S.

A:  Dear S.  Because it is situational, it is definitely psychological.  Something is making him anxious enough to lose the erection; the question is what.  It could be fear of pregnancy, fear of failing to please you enough or of "performing" satisfactorily.  Some rural boys were told that there were teeth in there, and that a woman could bite it off if they wanted ("vagina dentata").  The solution is to sneak up on it by making many shades of gray, not black and white foreplay then intercourse.

You need to engage in behavior modification therapy with each other, taking baby steps -- oops -- small steps, forget I said "baby."  Bring yourself to orgasm while he watches intently, making mental notes of how you do it.  Have him bring you to orgasm that way next time (so he'll develop confidence that he can bring you at least to orgasm if he loses the erection).  Same for him -- he brings himself to orgasm while you watch (so he disinhibits from orgasm with you), and you bring him to orgasm manually and/or orally.  Then, you stimulate his penis getting it closer and closer to your vagina, with no goal of penetration.  When you can rub the tip of his CONDOM COVERED penis along your labia and on your clitoris, without his losing the erection,  you are ready for gradual penile insertion.  On one event, while manually stimulating him, you insert only 1/2 inch and for 3 seconds -- two or three times if his penis stays erect.  On the next occasion, try for an inch for 6 seconds.  Gradually increase depth of insertion and time until you are having intercourse.  If (when) he loses the erection, drop back to the previous event's parameters.

It's slow, tedious, and frustrating, but that's how it's done.  Think of learning to swim or ride a bicycle.  Bit by bit, building on the previous behavior.

10/3/99 she writes again:

   Hi, this is what happened. We had already experimented with bringing one
another (or ourselves) to orgasm, and that was always fine. After my
boyfriend read your reply to me, he must have felt a little better. The
other night after about an hour of foreplay, and he had brought me to
orgasm, he told me he was ready, and he put on a condom and penetrated. It
was fine at first but half way through he got nervous and lost his erection.
The next time we tried, I was on top and it worked! Now he has had sex to
the point of orgasm and seems okay with it now. He has also been on top now.
I guess he was just fixed on it too much, and when he realized nothing was
wrong with him, the barrier dissolved. He is really happy now and I am too!
We both want to thank you very much, Dr. Fitzgerald.


9/27/99 Q:  Although I am a 17 year old virgin, I have masturbated my whole life. Before I even knew what sex was, I was masturbating.  I didn't understand why I did this, I only knew that it was pleasurable.  Not only am I wondering whether this is abnormal, but I was wondering whether it is a turn-off to many men to have sex with a woman who is menstruating.  I find that my sex drive is highest around that time of the month, but I'm not sure if a man would feel the same way.

A:  Dear J.,  Sexually uninformed men who erroneously believe that a woman cannot become pregnant if she has unprotected intercourse while having a menstrual flow have a false confidence and are happy to be sexual then.   While women are deconditioned from the sight of blood on their genitals, many men associate blood with trauma, and the Freudians say that blood on the penis evokes castration anxiety.

Menstrual fluid often interferes with vaginal lubrication, and can cause friction or excessive slipperiness.  If you're in a place where you both can shower afterward, that is less discouraging than the back seat of a car -- especially if it's your parents white leather upholstery.

All of this having been said, it's a matter of personal taste.  If you are a sexual tiger during your period, that might easily compensate for the inconvenience.  So it really boils down to personal taste and all the assets and liabilities weighed.

9/24/99 Dear Readers,

The postings here have been few in the past few weeks because I have been spending almost all "free" time finishing the first book.  I have answered almost all e-mails, though.  I'm about to prepare the index, then it's printer shopping -- no, I don't mean Hewlett Packard.  This is a time consuming process, but I now know how to be much more efficient in preparing ALL successive books.

9/21/99  Q:  Dear Sexdoc:  My boyfriend and I are both 17.  I canít get birth control pills without parental permission, which I donít want to do, and my boyfriend canít afford condoms.  We want to have sex.  What should we do?

Answer:  This is like saying "Iíve got a car and gas money but I can't afford insurance, and I want to drive it.  What should I do?  If he canít afford condoms, how will you and he afford the expense of a child (or of  terminating the pregnancy)  if you get pregnant?  You canít drive an uninsured car without jeopardizing your, and probably also your parentsí financial assets.  And you would be foolish to gamble with pregnancy.  Do all the other sexual things available to you two EXCEPT what could result in pregnancy!

9/20/99 Q:  I am 56 yrs old, male, married,4 children,2 grandchildren.  Happily married for 33 years.  I still indulge in solitary masturbation on a regular basis since the age of 9.  I feel guilt. I do it anyway.  I have never been caught to my knowledge.  I'm not sure why I still do this. Can you give me some advise on this subject?
Thanks Fred

A:  Dear Fred:

It feels good, it strengthens your immune system, and it keeps your prostate healthy.  Plus, people who have more than 300 orgasms a year live three years longer than those who don't.

The guilt likely comes from archaic and misinformed religious, societal, and/or parental messages.

Enjoy and live longer!


9/17/99 Q:  I have been with my husband for 7 years. I love him to death!!! For the first few years I was very much attracted to him and got excited just kissing him. Now I feel that I am hurting him and making him sexually frustrated because I don't have a sexual drive like he does. He wants it every day, but not me. It used to be that we would. But in these last few years it has been hard for me. I don't know what is wrong. I still love him. He also thinks that I am weird or something because I just
don't want to be "messed" with at night. He tries to please me, if you know what I mean, but during the week, especially, I just don't want to do anything. I stay tired most of the time because of work, but I also want to please him. What can I do to change the way I feel towards sex?

A:  Some men and some women are not going to like reading this, but in the same way that you sometimes eat in a fancy restaurant, and sometimes in a fast food place, and sometimes because you are hypoglycemic, not hungry, sex needs to be treated sometimes as physical therapy, not romance.

If your husband said that his back ached, and that he would really, really appreciate it if you'd rub his back for a few minutes, wouldn't you?  Wishing not to be penetrated is perfectly understandable, but I suggest that at a minimum, you put some slippery stuff between your thighs close to your pubic hair, and invite him to thrust his penis there, using the fingers of one hand to stimulate the tip of his penis while the other holds a facial tissue ready to contain the ejaculate.  It may be fast food sex (I know, I know, McDonalds will never be the same after I said that), but it addresses his immediate sexual needs.  Many men have justified sex outside of the home because they weren't "getting any" at home.

If you are uncomfortable or unwilling to do even that, I suggest an assessment by a good relationship therapist to see if something else is going on.


9/9/99 Q:  Hi Doc,

    About three months ago my girlfriend presented the idea of a threesome to me.  She thought it would be exciting to bring another woman to bed with us.  She secretly told me that the idea of being with another woman really got her going and that she would like to pursue this, and include me in on it.  I was reluctant at first, but slowly I found myself thinking about it more and more and I began to want to pursue the idea.  I've thought about the jealousy, the fact that it might not be as good as the fantasy, etc and have discussed it with my girlfriend and we both still want to do it.  So my question is how do we go about finding another woman?  We don't want to pick a good friend yet don't want a complete stranger either.  Do you have any suggestions or tips on how to find another woman that would be interested in this?

Thank you,

A:  As I have written elsewhere on the web page, I have never known a three-way to be assessed as "glad we did that."  Women compare breast and butt size; men compare erections, staying power, and ejaculation distance.  Very often someone feels left out or jealous.

In  your e-mail, when I read "the idea of being with another woman really got her going," the first thought I had was whether this was a case of a woman who is aware of being attracted to women as well as men, and who would like to experiment, but to avoid confronting her own feelings of homosexuality is using the three-way as a way of keeping it heterosexuality.  The logic goes something like:  "I'm attracted to women as well as men.  I am curious to know what it would be like to be sexual with a woman.  If it was just me and another woman, and I like it, I would have to label myself "bisexual."  Because that label feels uncomfortable for me, how can I experiment with being sexual with a woman without feeling homophobic anxiety?  If my boyfriend and I include another woman in our lovemaking, that makes it a three-way, not queer."

Please be clear that I am neither unaccepting of by sexuality nor diagnosing your girlfriend as homosexual.  I am encouraging the two of you to discuss all the dynamics before engaging in the activity.  More than one man has lost his girlfriend after a three-way because she discovered that she liked women better than men, or she concluded that he was more turned on by the other woman than by her, or because she felt deficient compared with the other woman's sexual behavior.  Because it will absolutely have some effect on your relationship, my advice is "do it only if you are totally prepared that it may terminate your current relationship."  Of course, if this is a burning curiosity for your girlfriend, she may take the position "if you won't join me in doing this, I will find a man who will."

Between "a good friend" and "a total stranger" you have "acquaintances."  I suggest that you find someone by dropping ambiguous hints leaving the door open to back out that you were "just kidding" in case somebody has an adverse reaction.

Please let me know what you decide to do and what happens.

He wrote back to say he valued his friendship and respectfully declined to participate.

9/9/99 Q:  Dear Doc,
I am 44, my wife is 35. We have 2 children ages 51/2 and 21/2. I took her
virginity 16 years ago, we have been having sex regularly since then. We
were married 10 years ago. We are both healthy.She is frustrated that she
never had an orgasm. I am unhappy about this also. I have made women climax
before so I know how to do it. I am a normal man, physically with a normal
functioning penis (uncircumcised). We have tried many positions, licking
and sucking everywhere, anal sex, talking through fantasies of a sexy
vacation trip while having intercourse (this increased her stimulation),
using a carrot in her combined with me orally stimulating her clitoris. I
believe some of these activities do bring her very close, but she just does
not have an orgasm. Maybe she is looking for too much, or trying too hard.
I believe we are begining to start with a feeling of defeat. We are both
very concerned. We need help. Please advise, literature, books to read,
something!!. There are no sex therapists around here.
Need Help.

Please go to my web page, click on the faqtory link, there click on the search tab in the upper-right corner, and in the text window type in


If she hasn't had a hormone assay, I suggest firmly requesting one from her OB-GYN or getting a referral to an endocrinologist.

If hormones are OK, most women can bring themselves to orgasm using a vibrator.

The most efficient route is for her to learn to bring herself to orgasm, then to teach you.

If that doesn't work, or if there was a history of childhood abuse (sexual, emotional, physical, or neglect) she may be psychologically unable to have an orgasm without psychotherapy.

Tell me what happens.


9/5/99 Q:  I am 52 yrs old.  Recently divorces and in a new relationship, I want to be sure I have vaginal muscle tone to accommodate a younger male.  Attending a sex toy party (tasteful treasures) I was fascinated with a product called "BenWa Balls". The sales gal said The chinese women use them to tighten there vaginal muscles.  You put them in the vagina and hold them there as you go about your daily chores or job.  It made sence to me so I purchased a set,  sight unseen (She had none at the party) and when I received them they were smaller then I had anticipated (about the size of a binge cherry- maybe  1inch in diameter).  They are solid and heavy, like lead but shiny gold in color.  There was no directions with the purchase.  Now that I paid over $20 for them I am affraid to use them.  I have read too many books about things women (and men) put inside of them and can not get it back out, that I'm afraid to take a chance and use them.  I have never put any thing in side of me before that was not extended out of my body.

  My question is... What is the chance that I would put these in side of me to use as a muscle strengthener and they would slip through the cirvex and I would have to go get them surgically removed or even have a doctor take them out.  This would be very imbarrassing to say the least.  After recieving the purchase I called the sales gal. She had no idea.  Said no one that purchased them ever asked and she never used them herself. She only tells the guests what the party people tell her the product is used for and its origin.  I really want to try this but am afraid I won't be able to remove them.

I tried to look up under 'chinese', 'Benwa', 'benwa balls', etc.  I could not find anything that was even similar in 'toys' or sex catagories.  Please Email an answer as to how safe (or dangerous) these are. And in fact if it would be of benefit or if these are just a novelty type and I was scammed.

Thank you, in advance for your advice.  It is greatly appreciated.

A:  Many women have told me that they used Ben Wa balls and none has reported any trouble "losing" them up them.  One woman reported recently that her Ben Wa balls had a string about 2 inches long connecting one ball to the other, and another string about 8 inches long for ease of retrieval.  While walking with her lover outside one day she sneezed particularly hard expelling the balls, which now hung one on each side of her panty crotch.  If only she hadn't been wearing short shorts ...

The allegation that they will strengthen pelvic muscles comes from the reminder to clench to hold them in.  Kegel exercises work much better (and if I weren't in final production on a manuscript I would take the time to describe them BUT:  search the web -- some descriptions are out there).

9/2/99 Q:  My best friend and her husband are having a debate. The subject of discussion is semen. He says that, as its primary nutritional value I suppose, semen is a significant source of Vitamin C, and (as a joke, I hope) that it would make a good facial exfolliant. She says, and I completely agree with her, that for one, semen is protein based, and for two, that's gross:)!

So, since she doesn't have internet access, and since I've raved about this site so much, she requested that I find a good doctor to settle the argument, so...

What do ya' say, doc:)?

Thank you for your time,

The composition of semen varies from man to man based on simple (hydration) and complicated (sperm production and hormone, etc.) factors.

As a generalization:

      5%  200 to 400 million sperm
    30%  Fluid containing nourishing sugars
     65%  Alkaline fluid (to neutralize acids in the urethra) and prostaglandins (to promote uterine contractions that help transport the sperm).

As a facial liniment?  I doubt there is any benefit.  Plus, Vitamin C is water soluble and excess is voided in urine (which is why guys who tank up on too much burn a hole in their underpants.

8/31/99 Q:  Hello,

Generally speaking, do men like virgins (women)?

Thank you in advance

Some men LOVE to be the first either from macho-ism or from nurturant tutelage.  Other men hate it -- whether from a sense of "deflowering" a pure thing or fear that it will be painful and bloody if she has enough of a hymen to rip.

In general, there are many more of the former than the latter.

8/30/99  Dear Reader,  I have been spending as much time as possible on the books, and as soon as the manuscript is off to the printer, I'll be back adding more Q/As to the web.  These came in today and I thought they were important enough to post:

I am a 25 year old straight male. Despite being intelligent, sophisticated, not unattractive and with many female friends ( who all tell me how intelligent, sophisticated and attractive I am :>), it's virtually impossible for me to find women who have any interest in me as a sexual or romantic partner.

This has always been my experience - I am sure that it isn't very different from those of most other men my age. The reasons may be complicated, but one thing is for sure - whatever happens and whatever I do, it's going to be a >long< time before I find this part of me in a different, better place.

Until now, I masturbated daily. In the past year or so, it has often become difficult to masturbate, for periods lasting several weeks or a few months. While I may feel very much in the mood (like, several weeks in the mood), I will go limp as soon as I touch myself - it is difficult to conceive that sexual relationships are possible in my near future, and this is a bit of a downer (pun intended). I start losing lots of sleep and become irritable and moody. Sooner or later, however, I'll meet a few new people, I'll start feeling better, and I can pretend that everything will soon be all right, for a while, but this is happening less and less :<

If I could be free from my sex drive, for a while, I would be a happier person for it. I could get on with the parts of my life that do provide me with pleasure, and hopefully find out ways of making my sexuality a fullfilling experience.

Naturally, I've tried a lot of distractions, (as you would assume, pretty much everything I can think of :>) I don't have any illusions that reducing my sex drive would fix anything, but it >would< take the edge off the pain and give me some room to sort out a long-term path to happiness. Is there anything I can do?

Thank you for providing this wonderful resource.

A:  Because you say that you go limp as soon as you touch yourself, I infer that you start with a good erection.  If you do not have erections hard enough for intercourse when you wake up, during the night, or when you are eroticized, you may have some systemic compromise and need to see a urologist.  If you do have hard erections sometimes, and lose it every time you attempt masturbation, it's a psychological problem.  Once again, folks, the reptilian brain, with an IQ of 20 has struck!  You can condition it to sexual responsiveness or to depression and apathy.

I suggest distracting yourself with a porno video or erotic literature, and strive to return to an orgasm a day.  If you can't do it on your own, please seek professional intervention!  And, if you think you might be depressed, seek help now because that could be doing it.  The longer this goes on the longer it takes to recondition the reptilian brain.

8/30/99 I'm 22 years old and have been dating my boyfriend for about a year and a
half.  Before him, I had two serious boyfriends, both of whom I was sexually
active with. I've always enjoyed oral and vaginal sex and prior to my current
boyfriend, would have sex about 5 times a week.
At first, sex with my boyfriend was good.  Mostly, we'd have vaginal sex.
About once a month, we'd have oral sex.  After dating for a few months, he
initiated anal sex which I enjoyed and we now do about once a month.
I'm worried because he hasn't performed oral sex on me since January.  I
mentioned it to him several months ago very tactfully and expressed that I
would really like it if he would please me this way.  Since then, we've
gotten into arguments about it several times, and have come close to breaking
up.  I'm very much in love with him, and feel selfish for thinking this could
end our relationship.  However, I want to be with someone who cares about
pleasing me and is passionate about making love, in all it's forms.
In addition, his sex drive is lower than mine, and we only have sex once or
twice a week.  This is OK for me, because if he's not in the mood I'll just
masturbate (which he knows about).
I haven't brought the oral sex issue up to him in well over a month now, but
find myself wondering what could be wrong.  I'm extremely open with him, and
have told him that whatever the problem is (if anything), to talk to me so we
can fix it.  But he replies with, "I'm just not into it" or changes the
I'm an attractive and fit person.  Recently, he's put on a few (just a few)
pounds.  I've told him that I still think he's beautiful.  This factor hasn't
altered our normal sex habits, as far as I can see, but I wanted to give you
every possible thing that might be involved.
He's such a wonderful boyfriend and if it weren't for this one problem, I'd
have no doubt about our future.  I don't think I'm wrong for wanting to be
pleased by the man I love and I see lovemaking as an intimate way of showing
each other you care.  What can be done to better the situation?
p.s. thanks so much for taking the time to help!

A:  It's not the oral sex, per se, it's about what it stands for.  If he had a face injury and giving oral sex was painful for him, I hope you wouldn't give a second thought to expecting cunnilingus (at least until the pain went away).  In the sense of "It's not so much what you do but how you feel about it" it's not the oral sex, it's the attitude that he isn't responding to what you say is meaningful pleasure to you.

There is a chance that he is avoiding oral sex because there is something distasteful -- a taste or odor of which you are unaware -- and he doesn't know how to say it without embarrassing you.  Ask if he would do it right after you shower.  That would be diagnostic.

But in the "easy for you to say" department, I think there is a message here regarding your sexual compatibility.  My suggestion is that you assess whether you could go a lifetime with this state of affairs (frequency and activity).  If that would leave you feeling not loved enough, why settle? Learn from this and search for someone with whom you are more compatible.

8/30/99 Q:  Dr. Fitzgerald,
   Hello there, I have asked your advice before and now I am asking for
your smarts again.  First I want to thank you for being available for
all of us who need our questions answered.
   My boyfriend and I have been serious for quite a while.  I love him
deeply and would do anything to make him happy.  When it comes to
making love to him--there's nothing else I'd rather dp:  the
communication between us is amazing and it is the best bonding
experience in the world.
  One problem:  he feels he cannot please me because he is not
porn-start (size-wise) material.  He is 6 inches and he hates it. To me
he is the most beautiful human I have ever seen.  His proportions are
perfect and he rocks my world (in more ways than one)...:) I have tried
telling him that it feels right and good and that the woman's vagina is
made to fit just about any size penis anyway--but I love HIS size.  I
don't know how to make him understand.  As a result--he gets
performance anxiety sometimes trying to get me to climax faster than
him.  I love making love, and I don't want to be in the position to
where I HAVE to come.  SOmetimes I don't-and I FEEL JUST FINE!!!He
doesn't understand this and I need your help.
   He also doesn't understand why he have INTERCOURSE for 2 hours
straight and come, and then a couple hours later he will get hard, but
will go soft soon thereafter.  Isn't 2 hours considered excellent
stamina anyway?  I wish I could make him happy and more at ease with
himself.  He wants to be one of those "fantasy"  guys in the porn
movies that can last for hours and come 3 or 4 times and make his girl
come a million times.  He is way to hard on himself and this takes away
from his enjoyment.  Please, what do I do here?

Thanks a lot,   J

A:  When guys watch porno videos and masturbate, it's not "bad" because they achieve orgasm alone.  It's bad because the porno videos are horrible role models!  Testosterone encourages competition, which makes winners, losers, and comparisons.  He needs to get his self-confidence calibrated!  I'd bet that three therapy sessions (max) would straighten him out.

In the sense of men touching a clitoris too hard, and women stroking a penis too softly (each judging others by themselves) one of the most difficult things for guys to comprehend is being sexually stimulated without orgasm.  So-called "blue balls" -- pelvic vasocongestion -- is obviously more painful for guys than for women.  Lots of women like the affection and intimacy of intercourse and are not orgasm-driven, like guys are.  And, there is a powerful social message that a guy who comes and then ignores his lover is a pig, so a "good" lover makes his woman come and come and come.  If she does not, he thinks that he has failed ("Have you come yet?  Did you come?  Huh?  Huh?  Huh?).   That's why women fake orgasms!

So tell me, J, what's his reaction to this reply?

In the "I couldn't make this up" department:

8/22/99 Q:  I am 42 and my  husband is 51.  He is a heavy smoker and drinker, and does not like taking prescription medications.  He is now experiencing erection problems.  Are there any herbs or natural foods that will address this erection problem?

A.  The best thing he could do is to cut out the tobacco and alcohol.  Those are causing damage faster than any medicine, herbs, or foods good repair.

8/22/99 Q:  I have been in a relationship with this man for 7 years.  I noticed almost from the begining that he showed some violent tendencies during sex.  I myself in the begining of our relationship was very cold to sex, which I believed added to his frustration.  Now 7 years later on occassion he feels the need to tie me up and sexually abuse me, especially if he feels I have to pay for something I have done to him.  I don't know what to do I am emotionally drained from this behavior.  I want to add also that he finds fault in everything I do...I can't say that I am not absent minded, but I feel like I am constantly walking on eggs for him...He calls me an Idiot at least once a day.  I am losing self-esteem by the second...I didn't start off with much to begin with.  Once when I wouldn't do something sexually for him...he got enraged and almost trying to choke me to death.  I want to help him I just don't know how ...I especially want to help myself.

I'm sorry this letter is so mish mashy..I just don't know how to comunicate how I am afraid and scared all the time wondering when this time bomb of a boyfriend will explode.  We can go for some short periods of time without any trouble...just when he feels pressured about something...I have to watch out.

Please help me if you can.
Thank you for your time.

A.  Run, do not walk, to the nearest exit.  Your failure to set better boundaries on this problem makes it predictable that it will escalate.  If it comes to the attention of the authorities, and if domestic violence is a crime were you live, he would likely be mandated to an anger management class, which I predict would enrage him.  I respectfully suggest that the only circumstance under which it would be acceptable for you to continue to live with this man is if he was in intensive psychotherapy and did nothing angry toward you again.  You are in great jeopardy and need to take better care of yourself.

8/22/99 Q:  Dear Dr. Fitzgerald,

I have a problem that I would appreciate some advice on.  I am very glad to
have come across your website.

I am a 23 year old woman, and have been with my boyfriend for 6 months.  We
have recently moved in together and it is a monogamous and very loving
relationship.  My partner is extremely affectionate and is always
considerate in bringing me to orgasm.  However I  find myself very easily
sexually excited when I am around him.  It almost could be described as an
overwhelming, primal, animalistic desire.  I could easily orgasm every day,
and I adore making love, giving oral sex and 'indulging' in the whole
experience.  I consider myself a very faithful and sexual person.

A problem arises however when I find myself  repeatedly initiating sex or
initimate acts.  Sometimes he is 'not in the mood' which is understandable,
as I know now that I have a high sex drive.  I am aware of this because I
have been sexual since I was a teenager, masturbating regularly from an
early age.  This imbalance has occurred between myself and my previous
partner also.   When I feel like I have been initiating things, I reach a
point where I feel upset and frustrated.  I know it's because I don't give
him an opportunity to advance on me, but I have difficulty in controlling my
desires.  Sometimes I feel 'like the man' - and I want to be 'taken' by my
partner sometimes.  He loves me very much, finds me very attractive and we
enjoy a loving exciting sex life.  Sometimes I guess I feel like I can't get
too much of a good thing!

Am I a 'Nymphomaniac'?  Am I 'abnormal'?   How can I maintain more of a
balance in my relationship and learn to control my desires?  I haven't been
able to discuss this with  female friends as they do not understand the way
I feel.  I find it highly ironic that society seems to long after women with
unusually high sex drives, yet being like that myself I can find it too
disruptive and overwhelming.

I look forward to hearing from you.   Thank you for taking the time.
Sydney, Australia

A:  Dear A.  Women range from a very low sex drive to a very high sex drive, and so do men.  I take the position that one purpose of premarital dating is to determine compatibility in all areas, sexuality being one of most important.  You are experiencing a sexual desire discrepancy, and it is predictable that you are going to initiate being sexual more often than he does.  It would be helpful if you were to communicate and negotiate, such as to let him know that at least once every ten days (for example) it is important to you that he initiate sex and that he be the aggressor.  Some people complain that if you have to tell somebody what you want, it takes to the fun out of it.  In my experience, sexuality is seriously enhanced by both initiative (I would enjoy it if you would suck on my nipples while you are touching my clitoris) and responsive (please touch my clitoris more lightly; when you touch it that hard it gets tender and starts to hurt) communication.

No, you are not to a nymphomaniac, and you are not abnormal.  You are on the high end of the sexual desire continuum.  In brief, the protocol I have found to be the most effective as an alternative to disappointment and frustration is the following.  Either of you announces that he or she wishes to make love.  The respondent has three choices.  No. 1 Great let's do it (now or later).  No. 2 I really don't feel like penetrating or being penetrated right now, but I will join you and do something else to bring you to orgasm.  No. 3 This really is not a good time for me right now.  How about if you retire to the bedroom and take care of yourself, and we will both know what you're doing and it's okay and I will hold your phone calls.

Most folks who are able to put that in place report that it's a lot better than frustration and disappointment.  What you think?  The other alternative is to find a partner with whom you are more compatible.

8/30/00 She writes again (a year later):  Dear Dr. Fitzgerald,

I asked a question on the above date, signing it 'A' from Sydney, Australia.

Admittedly, I haven't been visiting your website all that often (and now
having done so wished that I had), and was surprised to notice that a year
has now gone past since I asked for your advice!  You did say to let you
know how I got on.  So, briefly...we are still happily living together, and
our love for each other is stronger than ever.  The 'sexual discrepancy' has
prevailed - I still feel a need to orgasm more frequently.  However we have
worked on minimising that discrepancy using your suggestions - discussing
different options through good communication, such as him helping me to
orgasm if he isn't in the mood.

There have been moments (especially just before my period when I am even
more horny, but also more emotional) when I have expressed my frustration,
and I believe that as long as we are together, there will always be the
occasional moment of tension like that  because of our differences.  However
I have learnt, and am still learning, to accept those differences, and
sometimes even just masturbate when he's not around - I actually now see it
as 'indulgence' time for myself (rare these days)!

Lately as I have been very busy with work, I have not really been focusing
on sex as much, and, without meaning to, just not given as much fellatio as
I normally would.  Funnily enough I noticed a real difference in his
attitude, he became more assertive and sexual, and ended up asking for oral
sex and intercourse several times (usually I don't give him a chance to).
He has also been orgasming quite quickly now also.  Is it a case of missing
something when it's gone, I wonder?

All in all though, over the year we've invested in some sex toys, videos,
lingerie etc to enhance things if need be, and I have to say that, even
though he may not feel a need to orgasm when I do, he is always there for me
and keen to 'help out' such as inserting fingers or a vibrator inside me or
kissing my breasts and neck, which I really love.

Hopefully in another year it will be even better!

Kind Regards,

8/22/99  Q:  Is oral sex important in having an excellent sex life with married spouse?
What should be my attitude if she shies away from engaging in oral sex?

A:  Dear Sam,

Prior to World War II, oral sex was something done only by  prostitutes and sluts.  It was the GIs returning from the war who had experienced oral sex mostly in France, who gently but firmly succeeded in getting their wives to perform it.

A variety of sexual behaviors is important to combat sexual boredom in any  long-term monogamous relationship, but both parties have to be willing.  What would you do if she asked you to engage in a behavior that you found to be quite distasteful.  For example, many people engage in rimming and anilingus, and others think that that is absolutely filthy, disgusting, and perverted.

I suggest pursuing the exact reason why she wishes to not do this.  If it's a matter of odor or taste, you can negotiate to receive oral sex only after you have immediately taken a shower.  If it is her fear that you will ejaculate in her mouth, then you need to put some mechanism in place to make sure that you don't do that.  And if it causes her TMJ pain, you can't let her do it.

If she refuses to give you oral sex under any circumstance, I suggest that your stance be that you are  thankful for what she does do, and not to expect her to do absolutely everything you want.

What you think?


8/21/99  Q:  Dear Dr. Fitz,
 I am a 33 year old woman who has had 4 long-term relationships since age19.  My problem is, that after about 6 months I find sex a boring and monotonous chore, much to each partner's predictable frustration, feelings of sexual inadequacy and personal rejection.  There is nothing I have repressed, that is, I have never been interfered with sexually as a child, I have never had sex forced upon me, and nor am I gay.  My parents have been tumultuously married for 40 years, yet continue to enjoy a healthy
sex-life.  They have each explained sex (when they have discussed it at all) as just another normal, natural way of expressing love and affection for your partner...(I say, sure...).  Nevertheless, my sexual "hang-ups" are not in any way derived from them.  Basically, I do not understand what is "wrong" with me, (if there is in fact anything wrong with me at all), seeing as societies universally sell the supposedly natural wonders and joys of sex in every type of media, it seems, every day of the year.  So,
firstly, what's the big deal...with sex I mean?  Secondly, why do men seem to become irritable if they aren't "getting any?"  Surely relationships are about more than sex!  Thirdly, (and please believe this letter to be sincere), do you think it unreasonable to ask a man to have a relationship without sex?  In all honesty, why is my question, when posed to the particular men concerned, met with such disdain??  I have heard all the "Sex is just a natural desire" arguments.  I mean no disrespect to your profession, nor to the multitude who actively engage in sexual activities worldwide, but sex to me is a dirty, smelly, "animalistic" act.  And no, I am not a member of some narrow-minded religious organisation.  That is, I do not believe that participating in sex is the work of the devil.  I also have to admit that I find sex incredibly amusing.  What happens to people's faces when they're supposedly in the midst of sexual desire?  What ARE those facial contortions AND, those damned annoying grunts and groans?
It's all so...well...cliched.  Like really bad acting in an even worse B-grade porno flick.  Yuk!  Furthermore, I find suspicious, anyone who believes that male and female genitalia is attractive.  Come on!  If they were such attractive parts of the body, why do we wear clothes to cover it all up?  Modesty and the weather...  And finally, who honestly enjoys oral sex?  First of all, who can navigate through all of that coarse, disgusting pubic hair that always ends up in our mouths?  Which woman hasn't dry
reached (I think she means retching, as in throwing up) while sucking on some man's penis that hasn't seen soap for hours? (Phew!)  And which man really doesn't believe that women smell...and smell badly????  I'll put it another way Dr. Fitz, which man would wear a woman's "scent", (and yes, I use the term disparagingly), as aftershave?  Nada I bet.  Yes I read about the woman who puts her vaginal "juices" behind her ear for her partner to enjoy...I almost keeled over with nausea.  I'm sorry, but to me that's just sick.  So, like I said, this letter is completely genuine.  I reiterate this because there have been more than a few people in my life who think my attitudes towards all things sexual are either completely misguided, and/or a con.  Neither is true.  Consequently, and I say without a trace of sarcasm Doctor, what should I do?  I ask because these same people, once recognising my sincerity, have suggested I seek help from a professional sex therapist.  I am more than a little reluctant to see someone in person at this point, because I admit I am more than a little skeptical that one would be able to help me.  Moreover, do
you actually perceive that I need any help?  Thanks, J.

A:  Dear J,  I am fond of using the analogy of height when talking about sexual desire.  So easily we accept that some people are taller and some are shorter, but there is this predominant emphasis in American society that everybody should be rampantly sexual.  We see clear illustrations that some men are less masculine than others, and some women are more feminine than others.  It sounds to me like you are way to the left on the normal curve of sexual interest.

I was contemplating what I would say you if we were face-to-face,  and if we were, I would further explore your comment "sex to me is a dirty, smelly, 'animalistic' act"  up to that point, it sounded like low sexual interest.  After that comment, it sounds like sex is more disgusting that it is pleasurable for you.  Considering your focus on hygiene, I wonder what you're reaction to sexual activity would be if both you and your lover were freshly bathed.

Because people vary dramatically in their interests in sexual activity, I think that acceptance and tolerance of diverse expressions of sexuality and idiosyncratic preferences for frequency of sexual contact are in order.  To those who label one woman a nymphomaniac because she likes to be sexual more often than they do, and who label another woman as "frigid" because she is interested in sex less than they, I say "accept what other people feel is right for them, so that they might see you as a role model and accept your sexuality.

And so, J, if I saw you in therapy, I would want to make sure that your attitudes toward sexuality were based on an assessment of what good, affectionate, loving, and passionate sex was like, in which you were free to negotiate frequency and activities (and hygiene).  If that serves as the basis of your current attitude, you have assessed the data and you have drawn your conclusion.  And you are certainly entitled to that.  If most of your experience was based on sex that was dirty and smelly, you do yourself a disservice if you don't find out what good sex is really like.

To address your questions briefly: the "big deal" about sex is that for most people, sexual activity in general, and orgasm in particular, results in the internal release of endorphins which are  extremely powerful and rewarding chemicals.  Most folks want more endorphins as soon as possible because they make them feel so good.  Men (and women too) get irritable when they aren't "getting any" because they get "horny" -- a psychologically complicated state, probably triggered in part by a low serum level of endorphins.

Is it reasonable to ask a man to have a relationship without sex?  That depends of the nature of a relationship.  If you are "just friends," that's fine.  But if you wish to have a significant other monogamous relationship with a man and expect him to be sexual with no one but himself, you will need to find a man who is similar to you in his interest in sexuality.

Most people use themselves as a "norm reference."  They figure that if sex is a powerful reward and motivator for them, that it "should be" for you also.  People who do something sexual two or three times a week characterize both those who are sexual daily and those who are sexual once a month as "weird."

If your position is that you have engaged in a wide variety sexual behaviors, you know what you like and what you don't like, and under what circumstances (hygiene), and you don't want to repeat those experiences, that's your choice.  But if you think there is any chance that this reflects disguised anger, bad experiences, or retribution,  (etc.) you owe it to yourself to sort it out with an experienced sex therapist.

What you think?

8/18/99 Q:  I'm 21 years old and have never had sex (though I've had sexual experiences). I think I have a fear of it because my parents have always been very embarrassed in regards to the subject. I've dated quite a few men but have never really had a long-lasting relationship, and when I date someone, I refuse to bring them home because I don't want my parents even wondering if I'm having sex (or have even kissed a man). It's the cause of a lot of anxiety. Right now, I'm trying to start a relationship with someone who is European and older than me (he's 30 years old). I'm convinced that he's slept with at least 30 women, though right now he seems to be sincerely looking for something more substantial and commitment-oriented. I've avoided having sex and he's been very understanding, but I know that he doesn't know that I'm a virgin. I'm afraid to bring it up because I don't want to scare him off (how do -older- men view women who have never had sex?) but it's probably eventually gonna come up. I'm also concerned with the contrast between our experiences, with me at zero and him with a figuratively whittled bedpost. If I have sex with him, I'm afraid of possible STD's (I've never been with anyone who has slept with more than 7 women). Is there a tactful way of asking him about sexual history (I casually asked once how many women he's slept with and he said that he wanted to be a gentleman and declined to answer, saying that despite whatever was in his past, he's looking for love and something more substantial than a hedonistic experience)? Is there a tactful way of asking someone if they've ever had an STD or if they've been tested? Is there a way to get over my fear of sex? Thanks for your help

A:  Honesty and the direct approach are the best policy.  I suggest that you forget being tactful and focus on honesty and a complete answer.  How about something like "because I really hope we will become lovers, it is important that we know some important things about each other's sexual history.  Have you ever had a sexually transmitted disease?  Have you engaged in unsafe sex?  How recently have you had an HIV test?  Have you had any unprotected sex since that test?

Sexually experienced men vary in their thoughts about the prospect of being sexual with a virgin.  The reaction ranges from being delighted to be the first to "pop the cherry" (or "plow the field"), to dreading the experience because the woman probably won't know what to do or what to expect AND, if her hymen is fairly intact, there is the pain and blood of it ripping.  Many men are distressed at knowing that their lover was sexual before them, and many men especially love making love with a virgin so they can "train" her to do the sexual things they like.

Basically, you get over a fear of sex the same way you get over a fear of swimming or a fear of public speaking.  You start with the basics and slowly and gradually do more and more things.  Usually, the pleasure of the current activity and the anticipation of the next activity is quite motivating.

8/17/99 Q:  Is oral sex wrong.  My wife does not like to perform oral sex becasue she thinks it is wrong.  How do I convince her that this is a natural part of love making.  Any advice would be aprreciated.

A:  "Wrong" is a moral/religious concept, not a sexual one.
I suggest negotiation.  Identify what she likes and offer to trade it for oral sex.

She might be inhibited and respond to sex therapy.

She might be disguising her objection to the taste or smell of your penis (or what she thinks it must taste and smell like).

Some women refuse to give oral sex because when they  do, the guy insists on coming in her mouth and/or insisting that she swallow.

Search/probe for the specific reason and see if you can address it (washing, chocolate sauce, withdrawing before you come, etc.).

AND tell me what happens.


News Release:  One of my patients just informed me that my interview last week with appeared on 8/6/99.  Here is a link to it (about high tech guys and sex):

ALSO:  An article in which I was interviewed regarding erotica for women:

A Favor:  I have no idea how long these articles will be available, so if these links become dead, please let me know by e-mail and I will remove them.  Thanks in advance.

8/10/99 Q:  Dear Dr. Fitzgerald,
  I am a woman of 20 who has never had a sexual relationship with another
person.  I masturbate on a regular basis, but other than that, I have had no
one person touch my genitals.  On a more shaming note, when I was younger,
10 or 11 years old, I let  my dog lick between my legs, bringing me to
orgasm several times.  Recently, I noticed that I have these tiny white
bumps on my labia, both inner and outer skin.  I also have a few on my mouth
(lips) that are flatter and harder to see.  None of them bring me pain or
discomfort.  They only reason I noticed them was because of my own curiosity
to check my body out.  My questions are:
1).  Could this be genital warts?
2).  How in the heck did I get them?
3).  Is it possible that I got them from touching someone else's hand who
had warts, and then I touched myself and contracted them?
4). I used to have warts on the shins of my legs, and I used to scratch
them.  I never washed my hands, and I always touched my genitals a lot.
Could I have contracted them this way?
I read up on the subject and several sources said that it is impossible to
contract an genital warts from an animal.  I've been embarassed to go to a
gynecologist and tell them that the only sexual contact I've had was with an
animal.  Please relay any info you could spare?  I would really appreciate
it. This really is a serious inquiry that's been scaring the hell out of me.
Thanks in advance,

A:  Gee, in over 35 years of doing this I have never heard of a woman getting licked genitally by a dog (just kidding).  RELAX!  This is EXTREMELY COMMON!  If you are easily grossed out, stop reading here.

With reactions ranging from cavalier ("So what's the big deal?") to intense shame ("This is the hardest thing I have ever told to anyone; I deserve to die for this"), people have described to me sexual contact with all sorts of dogs.  A woman who drizzles honey on her clitoris and labia every time the dog stops licking (presumably because the dog had licked up all the current honey); a guy who explains that he takes a shower, lies on his back, holds his knees up, applies dabs of peanut butter to his anus, and strokes his (by now very erect) penis while the dog licks off the peanut butter (I cautioned you to bail if you were squeamish!).

Specifically: First, please do not trust ANY comments you get from the internet or e-mail about tiny white bumps or ANY physical condition.  These things MUST be examined in person by a medical doctor.

Second, your guilt is showing.  If you did contract any disease from a dog it could have been through getting the dog's saliva (innocently) on your hand, then your wiping yourself after urinating.  Having a dog lick your labia is not an exclusive delivery system!

Third, your guilt is showing again based on the lapse of time.  You got licked by a dog at 10 or 11 and some canine disease stayed dormant for 9 or 10 years before showing up?  It doesn't happen that way.

Fourth, on an affirmative note, and everybody with sexual guilt take notice:  There are a few things that health care practitioners pick up on as indicative of sex.  Semen in the vagina during a gynecological exam is pretty clear  (OB-GYNs dislike that -- they think it is disrespectful).  If you have given a blow job within the past 2-5 days and the head of the penis impacted the back of your mouth, you could have petechiae (tiny burst blood vessels) in a particular pattern on the back of your throat (we know what you were doing, neiner neiner).  And you wondered why your dental hygienist blushed the last time you had a prophy!  Also, there are 4 strains of strep, and strep throat is the most common.  But, there is also streptococcus faecalis (fecal means waste matter discharged from the intestines through the anus) which exists in the rectum, so if you had anal intercourse followed by vaginal penetration without cleansing, you could get a strep infection vaginally.  Of course, you could also have wiped from back to front after a bowel movement, but most females know about that (anyone not know that?).

8/10/99 Q:  My boyfriend of 4 years doesn't understand that I don't enjoy "sex without feelings". Sometimes he wants to  just have sex, but this does nothing for me & causes problems because I need the feelings attached. How do I deal with our differences in this department when it causes a fight?

A:  If he were 5 feet 6 inches tall and you wanted a taller boyfriend, what would you do?  It sounds like he has grown as much as possible emotionally.  Your choices are to accept it or find a boyfriend with whom you are more emotionally compatible.  Because you're having fights it sounds like you have gone as far as possible with this guy.

8/10/99 Q:  Hi Doc!
I have a question for you, sir. I am a 27 year old male who just had my
very first sexual encounter (I was previously a virgin) 2 weeks ago with
a 39 year old woman.
It was a nightmare because I am a large guy. I weigh around 300 pounds
and my penis is around 5 inches long. She is around 180 pounds and is
rather large herself.
My problem is that I cannot get close enough to her to allow for a good
Do you have any suggestions? Are there any positions that work better
for larger people. I was so humilited. I am so lucky that she is very
patient and understanding. Any advice you could give would be greatly

A:  Imagine making a "V" with the index finger and middle finger of each hand.  Rotate one 90 degrees and have them approach each other, meeting crotch to crotch.  That's the closest position for penetration.  Have her lie on her back and draw her knees half-way up.  You lie on your side and plant your hip bone close to her butt.  When erect you penetrate and achieve in and out motion by rotating your pelvis, pivoting on the lower hip.  One of her legs is over your higher hip and the other is between your legs.

Please let me know what happens.

8/6/99 Q:  Hello.

This is a difficult problem for most of us to discuss, let alone admit to.
With that said... I have been married to my husband for 7 years and having a
sexual relationship with him for 8 years.  At the beginning all was
wonderful and mutually satisfying.  Only occasionally did he not satisfy me.
I was content, sexually and emotionally.

Over the past four years or so, his desire for sex decreased steadily.  I
noticed that his masturbating in the shower decreased significantly.  Within
the past year we've had sex twice and he stopped right in the middle (with
in 10 minutes) and went to the bathroom.  There is almost no foreplay
anymore.  His erections aren't the same either.   To my knowledge, as of the
past year he doesn't even masturbate anymore.  The man is 35!

In trying to educate myself, I've found data that suggests regular alcohol
consumption and smoking can cause impotence.  He drinks 1-3 drinks almost
daily and smokes a pack a day.  I have brought up the discussion of our lack
of sexual relations on several occasions, but can't get anything out of him.
I use the word "we" and "what can we do to liven up our sexual relationship
again", but he won't talk about it for very long and seems very depressed
during the discussions.

I am a very sensual and sexual being.  I have a reasonably healthy sex
drive, or so I believe.  I am not undesirable either.  I am attractive, fit,
healthy and feel good about myself.  Now, I know my husband well enough to
know he is not having an affair.  Besides, he's always home.  I massage his
ego regularly.  I've always done that, so that's not the issue.  His work is
mildly stressful, but nothing that would cause this.  He is reasonably well
rounded with above average intelligence and a great, slightly sarcastic,
sense of humor.  We very rarely have reason to argue, and when we do, we
mutually work things out.  Is there something I'm missing here?  Possibly
there is a reason staring me in the face and I'm too close to see it?

I haven't been even remotely fulfilled by him emotionally (in the sexual
sense of the word) for 2 years.  If he really is impotent, how do I bring up
the suggestion without hurting him?  I've indirectly set the stage for him
to discuss this possibility a few times.  Denial is a powerful thing.  I
love and respect him, and I know that is mutual.  We are the best of
friends.  This is the first thing we've ever had difficulty discussing.
Thank you for listening.  I would greatly appreciate any advice you have to

Sincerely,  C.

A:  From your description I can't tell how much of the reduced erection function is systemic (physical) and how much is psychological.  In my experience, though, the longer this goes on the longer it will take to correct.

There is an elephant in the living room neither of you is talking about.  You have set the stage and created the vacuum, but the "gentle" approach isn't working.  I suggest role-modeling direct honesty.

It is clear to me that he needs assessment by a sex-comfortable Urologist.  He could be dragging his feet on this because he KNOWS that alcohol and smoking diminish sexual function, and he might be unwilling to give them up!

Also, I suggest a check-up because the erection problem could signal the onset of diabetes or a cardiovascular condition.  I wish not to alarm you, but it could be that the discretionary sexuality pales in comparison.  But even if it turns out to be "only" the sex, it is very important.

If I had that problem, with all I know about all the possible treatments, I would obtain erections by penile injections of Prostaglandin E1 (letter "E", number "one").  Ask the Urologist about that.

And, please send me an update about what you do and what happens.


8/5/99 Q:  Since I told my boyfriend (ex-boyfriend now) that I've been raped I suddenly
became authority on the issue in his eyes. He is very personable, easy to
talk to and very cute. I assume that is why girls like his shoulder to cry
on. So to the point now, he frequently tells me that one of his female
friends has had a negative experience with sex and wants to know if it's
rape. In some cases it's pretty obvious, in others not so much. I am not
asking for legal definition since few if any of these girls would even
consider pressing charges. So my question is what is rape? And another
question is it better (psychologically) to seek retribution from the guy
legal, or reporting to the dean or such, or just to deal with it with or
without help of psychologist?? I forgot to mention that I am a 21 yrs old
college students and so are the people I am talking about.

PS thank you so much for providing this page, otherwise people are stuck
with asking people like me who are completely unfit to help in any way. And
I already mentioned your site to all of my friends including my ex boyfriend
so hopefully now you will be getting these questions instead of me :)

A:  Rape is a legal term, but psychologically it occurs when it is sex against one's will -- through physical force or fear thereof, or psychological coercion (have sex with me "willingly" or I'll kidnap your baby).

It is ALWAYS better to report it and to accept rape crisis counseling!!!!!  The longer the woman goes without professional intervention, the more psychologically damaged she becomes (and the longer it takes to fix in therapy).

The longer the rapist goes without being reported the more time and opportunity he has to rape again, and the more empowered he is to do it again.

Please tell all your friends or post this on a women's dorm bulletin board!

8/5/99 Q:  I am a female who has begun dating a man who has an uncircumsized penis,
which is something I have never experienced before. I have always had sex
with circumsized men.   We have had sexual intercourse twice which was
rather basic in nature, meaning we haven't really discussed our pleasures
and desires. He has been the one to insert his penis.  I haven't really
explored his penis much because I feel embarrassed that it is not familiar
to me. I want to contribute to the foreplay and sexual experience but  I am
not sure what to do with an uncircumsized penis. All I know is that you have
to pull the foreskin back, which the solution could be that simple, I don't
know.   I realize I will probably need to discuss his desires at some point
but I was wondering if there is any help you can provide, before I discuss
this with him, to make me feel more comfortable about it?  Thank you for
your consideration and assistance.

Feeling Stupid

A:  There are substantial individual differences from one uncircumcised man to another.    I suggest that you treat his penis like a new species of animal you, as a research veterinarian, just found.  Tell him you have no experience with it and want to get to know it; that you're a little embarrassed but would appreciate his feedback.

The worst that can happen is that he has not washed under the foreskin recently enough, and it might smell and taste bad because of smegma (cheesy build-up of sloughed off skin and natural penis oils).  If so, wash it, then explore it with your tongue.  It might drive him wild if you circumnavigate the tip of his penis from inside the foreskin (or it might be too stimulating for him).

The "morning after" pill:  NOT RU-486    An article in the San Jose Mercury News on 8/3/99 described "How to handle a contraceptive emergency".  As a public service, I am posting information sources.

    To get the name and phone number of emergency contraceptive providers nearest you, call the national Emergency Contraceptive Hot Line toll free at 888/NOT2LATE.

    Planned Parenthood also has prescriptions and some have "kits" you can take home in case of a contraceptive mistake.  For the office nearest to you call 800/230-7526

    Their emergency contraceptive web site is:

    Information about the PREVEN Emergency Contraceptive Kit is available from the company at 888/773-8362.  The web site is

    Additional information on "morning after" pills can be found on the Emergency Contraception web site operated by the Office of Population Research at Princeton University.  Their web site is:

8/3/99  Q:  Dear Sexdoc,

This letter is about sex but probably more about my relationship.

My wife and I are 38 and have been married for almost 10 years.  We have
three beautiful kids and what I consider to be a very solid relationship.
My wife and kids are out of town to visit her family.  Before she left, my
wife asked if I would take some time to organize the garage since I would
have alot of free time on my hands without the kids around.  Of course I
agreed.  It was a huge job of not just organizing but also weeding through
stuff and throwing alot of stuff out.  I was going through boxes of papers
and books I came across a book that was not marked or titled.  I opened it
to determine if it was trash or a keeper and quickly realized it was an old
diary of hers. When I realized what it was I immediately closed it and put
it in the keeper box.

As time went on I found myself drawn to that box and the diary and Before I
knew it I was sitting on the floor of the garage reading away, my heart
pounding.  I couldn't stop even though I knew that I was violating her
privacy.  I have a ton of respect for her and her privacy so this was really
out of character for me to do this.

What I read absolutely blew my mind. It covered about 10 years of her life
from the age of 16 to 26 or so. I met her when she was 27 so this covered a
huge part of her life just prior to our meeting.  I found out that she was,
what I would call, extremely promiscuous.  Sometimes having sex with as many
as three or four different guys a week.  Guys she had just met.  The more I
read the more distraught I became but I could not stop.  I'm not judging her
for the number of sexual partners that she had, I had many in my youth, too.
  What I read saddened me to my core - yes, reading about my wife with all
these guys was not pleasant but that was not what tore me up the most.  It
seemed she was in a lot of pain - that she was using sex to fulfill her
desire for love and security.  I'm not just shooting in the dark here - she
periodically touched on her feeling unloved and needing security in the
diary.  It's like she couldn't get enough sex - but sex was not what she
really needed.

I have many questions!  Knowing what is in this diary, why would she keep it
around?  I definitely would not want my kids reading graphic accounts of
their mom having sex with as many strangers as possible even if it was prior
to our having met.  And what about me, her husband, finding it?  Is this
stuff she would want me to know about? I find myself questioning everything
right now.  What if, God forbid, she began feeling insecure in our life
together.  Can I expect her to default to this behavior in a quest for
security?  I know I shouldn't have read it. I gladly would take
responsibility for my actions and come clean about reading it but I have
concerns for her well being in doing that.  I am aware that this is all in
the past.  If I bring it up to her she may be deeply embarrassed about it.
If I don't bring it up to her then what of the diary. I won't have it laying
around so my kids could find it. And if we're lucky enough to grow old
together, when we die our kids have to deal with the stuff we leave behind -
well let's just say this is not how I would want our kids to remember their
mom.  Also, if I don't bring this up to her, then what of my own concerns.
She apparently had a voracious sexual appetite before we met.  As long as I
have known her she has had a moderate to low sex drive, much less than my
own.  This is all very confusing to me.

I have rambled on long enough. Thanks for your time in reading all this,
Doc.  Maybe it's time for some therapy!
Best wishes!!!

A:  I am publishing this mostly to encourage empathy and consideration.  The first thought that strikes me is "how inconsiderate of her to have left the diary for him to find; could this have been a plea for his understanding and acceptance?"  Maybe she felt very bad about her behavior and unconsciously is hungry to be accepted "for better or for worse".

People have diverse reactions to their spouse's sexual behavior prior to their current relationship.  In this case, buffering, modulating, and moderating by a sex therapist can be not only orderly -- versus chaos -- but a way to use this apparent adversity to best advantage.  That is, what can we learn from this and what is the best we can get out of it.

7/31/99 Q:  Dear Sex doc,
    I am a 17 year old virgin and my boyfriend of 8 months is 16...he is
also a virgin. We have talked numerous times about having sex, but we have
decided to wait. The question I have for you is this: we have been "dry
humping" for the past two months or so.....we started doing this fully
clothed, but now the last couple of times, we have been doing this in just
our underwear. Everytime we do this, it brings him to climax, and what I
want to know is can I get pregnant like this?
any advice would be welcomed
thank you,  S.

A:  Dear S., You can become pregnant if ANY of the liquid that comes out of his penis gets into your vagina.  That includes the clear secretion from the Cowper's Gland -- so-called "pre-cum" -- that often oozes out of the penis during sexual excitement and prior to ejaculation.  Sperm are tiny critters, and underwear leaves holes the size of the Grand Canyon to them.

7/31/99 Q:  I am a 24 year old male engineer. I have a problem of very high libido, if I may call it that. I often get turned on very easily and need to masturbate very often, usually till ejaculation. I continually try to stop or at least reduce these 'activities' but with little success.
One time I was at a hotel room with a girlfriend and I rubbed my penis against her vagina but i couldn't get it completely hard, only semi. I attributed it to nervousness, but I also fear that it may be the result of me masturbating almost everyday. Do my concerns have any foundations at all, and would it, if at all, have any effects, in future, on my ability to have children through the natural method of sex?

A:  Masturbation is good for you and for your penis.  It oxygenates penile tissue, stimulates the prostate to produce liquid, and strengthens your immune system through the consequence of endorphin release.

It is unhealthy to have an erection for a prolonged time (more than 10 - 15 minutes) without having an orgasm.  It causes pelvic vasocongestion.

The ONLY effect of masturbation on pregnancy is if you exhaust your sperm supply by yourself, then soon (hours) thereafter expect to have enough sperm to maximize the probability of impregnation (only the strongest survive so you need lots).

You most likely had performance anxiety.  And in the hotel, if you had masturbated to orgasm within the most recent 30 minutes, you might have been in your refractory period, but I doubt it.  Next time take it slow and be pleasure-oriented, not intercourse-focused.


p.s.  Analogous things happen for women who achieve orgasm frequently.  (Everybody needs AT LEAST two orgasms per week to keep the plumbing working properly.  According to a recent report by a Gerontologist, those who have more than 300 orgasms per year live three years longer on the average than those who do not.)

7/31/99 Q:  I am 22 and have been married for almost 4 years now, and I lived with my
wife for a year before that. I have a serious problem, but for financial and
other reasons, I feel a therapist is not an option.  I have always been
resourceful at solving problems, and I have researched this one extensively,
but depending on the source, there never seems to be a right answer that
Here is the problem-- just about every night, I wake up aroused, and though I
masturbate regularly (once a day, on average), I still feel the desire to
have sex with my wife.  My wife has expressed to me several times that I am
not to wake her up just because I am aroused, as she is a very grumpy person
when waking, so I usually end up masturbating.  The troubling part is that
masturbating is not all I do.  I have, for more times than I care to admit,
used her sleeping body as a sexual aid, a couple of times committing full
sexual penetration with my erection, instantly achieving orgasm (within
seconds).  I know many other stories from friends and acquaintances (with
both sexes being the perpetrator), and even know off an arrest.  I am fully
aware the act is illegal, and I do it nonetheless with both never ceasing
guilt and pleasure in doing it.
Though my wife's sex drive is somewhat less than mine, I've found that the
acts happen regardless to how much sex we are having. She has found me doing
this to her several times, and by sheer devotion, or love, she has not
reported me to the police, though she hates the acts as much as I hate the
way I feel when I'm done.  I love my wife very much and I don't like
betraying her like this, as sex should always be mutual.  I hope you have
some advice on how my wife, myself, and many others can deal with this

A:  Readers of this question  and answer please let me know:  Is this illegal?  Please educate me on this one.

I have dealt with dozens and dozens of sexual offenders, reviewed lots of training material on how to treat them, attended courses, seminars, and training programs, and read extensively, and I have yet to come across penile-vaginal penetration of a non-objecting sleeping spouse as illegal.

I take issue with your assertion that sex should always be mutual.  Consenting, yes, but passivity is not a violation!  I have had numerous couples in which one wanted sexual contact more often than the other, and clitoral stimulation to orgasm, or thrusting a penis between lubricated thighs with no sexual stimulation of the man in the first case, and woman in the second, was perfectly acceptable (and often a relief to both parties!).

So if you rubbed the tip of your erect penis in the crevice of her buttocks and ejaculated it would be OK but if the tip of your penis enters her vagina, it's a crime?  I hope that the arrest to which you refer was for more than this!

All readers with hard information on this:  Please contact me.  This sounds too much like a street rumor to me.  And I found nothing even close in the California Penal Code.


7/31/99 Q:  I have a quick question about sex.  I was wondering how long, on average, it takes for a man to have an ejaculation.  It takes my boyfriend about 30-45 mins, and from my prevoius experience, it seems sort of long.  I was just wondering if this is normal, or if maybe it has something to do with my body.  If possible, could you suggest some way that I might help to increase the speed for him.  It doesn't really bother me, it's great, but after such a long time of him trying so hard, it begins to hurt a bit for me.

   Thank you.  "T"

A:   Dear T,

Well conducted confidential surveys indicate that on the average -- all respondents averaged -- the length of time between penetration and ejaculation is 90 seconds!  (I always get claims of disbelief when I quote this.)  There is a slim chance that it has to do with you or your body if he is excessively worried about pregnancy or your introitus (opening of the vagina) is large and/or your pelvic muscles are seriously out of tone.

Just as only about 40% of women achieve orgasm from penile-vaginal thrusting alone, and the rest either don't have an orgasm or augment the penile thrusting with clitoral stimulation before, during, or after intercourse, there are some men who need manual stimulation before, during, or after vaginal penetration to create enough stimulation to have an orgasm.

I suggest that you or he vigorously stimulate his penis by hand before penetration,  as an interruption during intercourse, or before it hurts, when you have had "enough".

7/29/99 Q:  Dear Dr. Fitz,

Firstly, thanks so much for your website.  it's really great.  I want
to ask you an oral sex question.  I have been dating my girlfriend for
over three years.  I love to go down on her and give her oral sex.  She
says that she wants to do the same to me, but can't because she has a
small mouth.  Also, she has a very strong gag reflex.  Is there
anything that we can do so that she will be able to give me a blow job?

Thanks a lot.

A:  The usual solution to this is for her to put her hand on the shaft of your penis at the point where she can take as much of your penis in her mouth as possible, then use that hand position as a guide to prevent the tip of your penis from triggering her gag reflex.  Now if her mouth diameter wide open is smaller than your penis head, all she can do is lick the outside.


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