Sex and Relationships
Answers to questions about sex therapy and sexuality
Copyright (C) 1998, 1999 William F. Fitzgerald, Ph.D.
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Answer page #19
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A: Friendship relationships are discretionary -- you can choose them and choose to change or terminate them. For any relationship to persist, the rewards must outweigh the liabilities. Because you are continuing the relationship I infer that you are getting sufficient reward from it.
I suggest that you have a talk with her about the way she treats you in front of other people. It sounds to me like she is insecure and compensates by putting you down. Draw a line in the sand: tell her that you enjoy the time you spend with her but that this put-down behavior must stop, and that if it doesn't, you will choose to not be with her in front of other people (or at all).
In regard to the sexual tension, it sounds like you need to think through the possible options and possible consequences. Everybody has a mother, and most men and most women have recall of being consoled by mother when hurt. Many men and many women experience a crush on a member of the same gender at some point in their lives. Some of those develop into sexual experimentation. Of those who do experiment sexually, the reaction ranges from "so what? It's no big deal" to "That's the most shameful thing I have ever done. To the former I say "Good for you!" and to the latter I say "Puhleeeze! This is extremely common, not pathological, and no big deal unless you make it one."
So, either you'll sexually experiment with her or you won't. If you do, you'll either like it and want to do more (until a guy with great muscles and a cute ass comes along), or you won't like it and won't do it again, older but wiser. If you don't experiment sexually with her, you'll either be glad you did because you'll say to yourself that you are not "queer," or you'll continue to be curious and maybe later kick yourself in the butt for not having the guts to make a move.
That having been said, you need to know that some men and some women in HER circumstance are ambivalent and in conflict, and want to experiment but are homophobic, and entice people like you to make the first move, then pretend to react in horror and threaten to tell the whole school that you are a lezzie (slang for lesbian). It's a put-down power trip that must be neutralized by pointing out what you and she have already done and that you are no more of a lezzie than she is. OR: you both might discover that you really like it and your make out sessions will be your secret, bonding you two closely. Many women have had their first sexual experiences with another woman, to later, become disinterested when they learn how to interact more amiably with boys (and, at the risk of sounding sexist, after they feel a hard penis inside them when they have an orgasm -- something to squeeze against internally.
Please let me know your reaction and what you do.
I am sending you an e-mail not necesarrily along the lines of sex. But
am so impressed with your answers i am hoping you may be able to help me
out. I have been married for 11 years and recently have had sex with
another man. The problem is i am finding myself having feelings for this
other man, but i'm not sure how he is feeling at this moment. He is at
this moment in a long distance relationship and when his girlfriend is
not visiting he and i spend alot of time together. We have engaged in
sex on several occassions. But besides that we are very, very open in
our conversations and have become wondeful friends. He has three
daughters which are at the teenage years right now and they are
continuosly wanting to be with me and calling me and they makes me feel
absolutley wonderful because i love them very much.When his girlfriend
is visiting he still calls me to visit which i find a little difficult
to understand. i am not sure if i am reading more into this than i
should be or if he really does have feelings for me and doesnt know
which way to go. I had mentioned to him several months ago that i was
beginning to have feelings for him and he told me that would put a stop
to everything including the sex but it hasnt. If you could pass on some
advice to me, should i try and stick this out and see if he really does
want anything out of this or do i get out now before i get really hurt.
A: Dear Lost,
That you have been married 11 years yet when his girlfriend is not there you and he spend a lot of time together speaks volumes. Do you not work? Do you see your lover when your husband is at work? It sounds as though you and he are at least superficially, emotionally incompatible. He claims that he wishes to have an emotionally shallow relationship, yet he doesn't stop things when he is (must be?) aware of your developing feelings for him and his daughters.
If you and he presented to me for therapy, I would focus on "values clarification," a process of bringing forth each of your deeper values and goals, so that a most candid comparison could be made. In a sense he has the best of both worlds: a girlfriend when she's there and you when she's not.
I think it is premature to "call the question" (Robert's Rules of Order) of stick it out or get out now. The best thing would be for you two to seek therapeutic intervention to better assess his motives and emotional availability, and your marital satisfaction and possibility of better getting your needs met by your husband. If your husband has become insufficiently rewarding and fails to improve, and if this guy is willing to consider an emotional, financial, and legal commitment, you might find that your quality of life (and your lover's and your possibly ex-husband's) might improve dramatically.
And, if he really is emotionally incapable of intimacy (listen carefully to what he says happened in his relationship with the girls' mother), protect yourself by not getting too attached. If that means terminating the relationship, so be it.
I know this hasn't "told you what to do" as far as staying or leaving. You need to dig deeper to assess more data to make that decision.
PLEASE send me an update when you make progress with this one (and remind me that it is posted in #19 at 12/28).
My husband and I went to [a foreign country] two years ago for pleasure.
Then my husband offered to get a male therapist to do a "sensual massage"
me, (alone but in his presence). He said he enjoys watching me being
massaged by another male.
I must admit I enjoyed it myself. In fact we did it again the
And we experienced heightened excitement having sex together after each
massage. I feel our sexual relationship is better now that we learned to be
open to each others sexual urges.
Although we agree and both enjoy this, I am concerned about the moral
that goes with having a male doing a sensual massage on me. Although there
is no intercourse, the sesion includes the therapist touching my very
private parts. Of course for pleasure.
Could there be something wrong with the two of us. Or is this
a lot of people emjoy doing?
A: Dear [her name], from about 1850 to about 1920, and in some locations, until the early 1950's, women who were "hysterical" went to a doctor, who massaged their private parts to achieve a "paroxysm" (orgasm). The husband wasn't present, but the practice was dropped because the "cure" didn't seem to work -- women kept on coming back for another "treatment."
There is nothing psychologically wrong about what you are doing. If your boundary is "topical touch with no genital contact from the masseur and only with husband watching" it could be additionally stimulating because you are doing something "naughty" and additional stimulation turbocharges your sex life.
12/28/99 She writes back: Dear Dr. Fitgerald,
What do you mean by "no genital contact with the masseur".
The masseur was massaging my breast and vaginal lips while I am totally
naked, which my husband and I mutually enjoy the most. And I was touching
And only thing we did not let the masseur do is insert anything, not
his penis, into my vagina.
The question, I guess is, is doing all these okay since we mutually
to it? And both agree that those incidents stimulates our sexual
relationship together as husband and wife.
Hoping to receive your professional advise.
A: Dear [her name],
I apologize for not being more precise. I meant that if the focus was on your pleasure (and that of your husband) that your boundary was to prohibit the masseur's genitals from coming into contact with your body.
Once you break out of the Judeo-Christian concept that the only purpose of sex is to create babies, and you embrace the idea that it's OK if sex is recreational and entertaining, you need to shift your criteria from religious permission or prohibition, to relationship, emotionality, and hygiene considerations.
If the activity is not damaging to your primary relationship, and if it does not cause either of you emotional distress, and if it is safe from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, then why not? Seriously. The problem that comes up is that your crystal ball is sometimes cloudy. If, for example, the penis of the masseur was larger when erect than your husband's, and if your husband inferred that you were stroking that penis more enthusiastically than you stroked his, he could be threatened by that. Similarly, if you experienced a violent orgasm at the hands of your masseur, which could happen from novelty, by the way, and it was more of a response than you ever had with your husband, that, too, could cause problems (competitive men like to compare these things). If either of you regretted what you did, that would be an unpredicted negative emotional response. That often happens in three-ways. And if you were infected with a virus I predict that you would regret doing it.
The other problems that come up are 1) if one of you wants to repeat the show and the other doesn't, and 2) if "some is good then more is better" you want to escalate. There are upper limits to thrill seeking, and I guarantee that if you do this masseur thing "too many" times, it will become less appealing.
So, if you both agree, and it is safe, and neither of you regrets it, and it is not a violation of your relationship commitment, enjoy. Be clear with each other about things like is it OK for you to do this without your husband present? How about turn-about. How would you feel if next time your husband wanted a hooker to give him a hand job or a blow job while he fondled her breasts or fingered her vagina? My suggestion is that you think through the permutations and combinations and anticipate how you might feel. Does this help?
1/10/00 Q: Dear Dr. Fitzgerald,
I just read a recent question from a couple who enjoyed hiring an erotic
masseur and were hoping it was morally okay. I am a 26 year old female who
is single and waiting until she is married to have sex. Unfortunately I
have a high sex drive and have also experienced a few pleasurable incidences
as a child from being sexually abused so am eager to be physically intimate
with someone. I have often fantasized about getting a sensual massage (with
no penetration or exchange of touch) from a professional. Does anything
like this exist in America and if so, where might I find such a person? Any
information or advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated or any
suggestions on how to diminish my sex drive? (I do masturbate).
(please do not use my name)
A: First I feel compelled to comment on parts of your question. At the risk of sounding like I am picking nits, please be clear that you are not waiting until you are married to have sex. You are saving penile-vaginal intercourse for marriage -- you want to have sex now. I do not accept your preface of "unfortunately" regarding your high sex drive. Please take my word for it: it is much better to have too much than too little (I get 100 times more pleas for help from women with a low drive than I do from folks like you).
Also, readers note what she says about childhood sexual experiences: My re-phrasing: "I have also experienced a few pleasurable incidents as a child from being sexually stimulated so am eager to be physically intimate with someone."
The contradictions in terms are "sensual massage" in the same sentence as "professional" (depending on your definition of professional). In states where massage therapists, physical therapists, and others legally controlled in their contact with human bodies, most if not all have strict prohibition on sexual contact. I am sure that there are masseurs and masseuses who have steady clients whose understanding is that orgasm is the goal; it's just that the matter has to be handled delicately -- if someone could lose their livelihood if discovered, expect them to walk on egg shells. Your better bet is a consenting partner. I'll bet you would have many dozens of qualified candidates if you placed a personal ad in a local paper that carries such personals:
Woman seeking lover to use only hands to take me to the heights; no
reciprocation and nothing deeper, physically or emotionally.
That having been said, the sex therapist in me suggests
that you find a lover with whom you have an ironclad understanding that
penile-vaginal intercourse is absolutely out of the question, but that
you wish to gain sexual knowledge and experience by trading stimulation.
In return for him (or her) bringing you to orgasm, with you giving explicit
feedback on what feels good, you will reciprocate. It could be seriously
educational for both of you (and many people would call it "petting like
everybody did in High School"). In case you came here from page 20,
here is a link back. Link back to Page 20
I am a 27 year old single male. I have been reading, studying,
asking questions, etc. my whole life. I don't have a Dad to turn
to for these things. I started seeing a sex therapist about a year ago.
I've seen him probably 6 or 7 times. I have no physical impairments,
in fact, I masturbate no less than once a day, up to three times.
I use different methods to keep it new and interesting, and I enjoy pornography
and toys. I am completely comfortable with my sexuality (hetero)
and am not bothered by guilt or any other associated feelings with masturbation.
Here's where the problem(s) start. I never had a strong male influence
in my life throughout childhood. There was no book or pamphlet on
how to score with a girl, what to say, what to do, ... My first sexual
experience was when I was 18. I was on a group trip and we were paired
up in the hotels, four to a room. There was a married couple
in one bed and myself and a 28 year old man in the other. The others
had been asleep for over an hour when we got back to the room. We
went to bed and after 20 minutes I felt him put his hand on my back.
I didn't know what to do. I just froze. Then he grabbed my hand and
put it on his shorts, I could feel his erection. He then stuck his
hand in my shorts and grabbed my penis. I don't know what surprised
me more, that he grabbed it or that I became erect. ( later I read that
the penis will become erect at almost anything) He proceeded to take off
his shorts and mine. I never protested, I think I was curious, for
one,and scared to death that the others would find out, for two.
He continued massaging me, then began to perform oral sex, a first again.
I have to say that I enjoyed the whole thing more than it bothered me at
the time. We fully masturbated one another, it lasted almost an hour.
The next night we did it again. I've since felt no need to rush out
and be with a man, but I have had trouble with moving on to that level
with a woman. I've spent the last 4 nights reading through your site
and have learned a lot, but I haven't found my exact issues. My first
sexual experience with a woman was an unwanted one. I was Jan. 4
1996, a black day for me. A distant cousin, ( it sounds bad and gets
worse) was visiting from several states away. We had only communicated
via mail for years and not much at that. They were visiting all the
family here and staying with various relatives, it came my turn to host
someone for a night. I found out later she had developed an enormous
crush on me early in their visit. I wasn't feeling particularly well
by late evening and went to bed, my head seemed foggy, unclear and it was
hard to concentrate as best I can describe. I went right to sleep,
I awoke, about 1 am, to what I thought was a dream, but was in fact her
in my bed, with my clothes and hers off. I still couldn't completely
"wake up". She had managed to put a condom on me and was on top of
me, fully penetrated. I couldn't feel it, though. When I "came
to" well enough I faked an orgasm rolled over and hoped she would go away.
She did. I discovered the condom on the floor the next morning, it
was dry, so I knew what little I remembered happened. The rest of
the day was an emotional wreck for me, they left the following day.
I went to my pastor with this, he was very cool about it. I went
through a sort of rape counseling for about 4 months. It was almost
a year before I started wanting to have sex with a woman again. Then
I locked up. I would start dating someone but would never let sexual
relations begin, no kissing, no fondling, so talking about it. Needless
to say I've lost some great women in the last four years from this, I know
they've told me the reason, that I never made a move on them, I don't how.
I began seeing the sex therapist in February of this year.
He is in his late 50's -early 60's and I have no problem talking to him.
After the 2nd or 3rd visit when he felt he could really start making suggestions
and he had discerned that I was not a closet gay or bisexual, he started
telling me to go out to places where I could encounter women who would
be interested in sex or dating. I froze upon entering these places
(bars, book stores, etc.) I couldn't talk to women. Outside of this
setting 3 out of 5 friends of mine are women my age or close to.
He then later suggested that if all I wanted to do was "get laid" he could
give me the number of an escort service that could take care of that, if
that was an option I wished to consider, which it was. I've thought
about that a lot. A lot. To have sex with someone without the risk of emotional
confrontation, performance expectation, etc. to prove to myself that I
can enjoy sex with a woman without tragedy. Of course the brain starts
thinking for a moment- AIDS, STD's, Is it Legal? Will lightning strike
me? Lots of the questions which being raised in the midwest brings up.
After reading some of your other questions in similar areas to this I still
didn't find what I was looking for, I did read about dating services and
local chat lines, perhaps meet someone through that. I'm very frustrated
with this. It has gotten worse. It occupies 30 to 40% of my thoughts
a day. I don't have another appointment with my doc until Jan 14.
One of my many questions for you is how to proceed with him. I haven't
been to see him for over 4 months. I would like to be able to have a fully
enjoyable sex life with or without long term commitment. I just don't
seem to be able to get started. Please help if you can, If you need
more info I' ll be glad to provide. Thanks,
A: Wow! That was quite a story.
It seems to me that you are focusing on sex out of context. While masturbation takes care of the need for physical release, I consider respectful sex to exist in the context of an affectionate loving companionship relationship. Escort services and prostitutes are masturbating with a vagina or mouth instead of your hand. Instead of focusing on something that a man and a woman build up to by dating and making progressively more intimate progress, I suggest that you focus on enhancing your social skills so you can be an equal, rewarding partner in a relationship. I think of it as sort of "I want a medical degree but I don't want to take the time and expense of going to medical school."
p.s. Having sex with a prostitute is a "hollow victory" if you want affection and validation as a person. That's why I assert that it is masturbation with a vagina.
I had started to correspond with someone I had met casually at a conference
about two years ago (our companies were working on the same type of projects)
and we found that we were very attracted to each other. Small travel
problem, she lives in Russia. So I made plans to see her in Mid November. I
really liked this woman and I knew sex was in the cards so you can imagine my
concern. I had a lot invested in this trip (emotionally and financially) so
this part had to go well. I contacted a company that sells Viagra over the
phone and discussed this problem with the doctor who said in cases like this
the Viagra reaction was so strong it overcame any physiological induced
hesitation. I am 45, a runner and in top physical condition. Boy was he
right! I took half a pill the first night and we had sex five times. Half the
second night, same as before and none the third night ( sorry, only 4 times)
so I guess it did overcome this trauma and re-programed my sex drive. The
next 10 days were heaven! I'm heading back over in 6 weeks and this could be
serious! Your advice was to "reprogram" yourself and I did this. However, I
suppose this was a little unconventional. Anyway I thought you may want to
know I'm back in the world of the sexually active!
My girlfriend and I are in our 30's, we're both educated, white and
silicon valley. She is a virgin and we are planning on having sex in a
few weeks; after I get my HIV test results back to prove to her that I'm
clean (extremely LOW risk). She's been stretching the membrane inside
her vagina to loosen it up before sex as instructed by her OBGYN.
Besides stretching is there anything I can do to make the experience
less painful and more pleasurable for her?
Unfortunately, she gets no sexual stimulation from her nipples.
tried playing with them over the years but can't feel them at all, she
say's that they're just kind of numb. Any suggestions on how/if we can
"wake them up"? Could this have anything to do with her still being a
virgin? my guess is no. We're really baffled about this.
Many thanks for your time and any comments you may have.
A: This might sound bizarre but some women use three dildos graduated in size to stretch their hymen, and some (the bizarre part) use a wine bottle with a progressively wider neck. That gives them a tight correlation between depth of insertion and diameter of dilation. And yes, some do use condom-covered cucumbers.
My strong encouragement is that you engage in sexual intercourse in gradations, not as a binary "all or nothing" event. Rub your condomed and lubricated penis up and down her labia and on her clitoris. Press gently with just the tip, and then maybe rub her clitoris by hand to achieve orgasm. On the next event penetrate a little more deeply, with her controlling the depth (female superior or spooning positions with her in charge of pushing back, work best).
Always make sure her body gets rewarded by orgasm -- use clitoral stimulation.
Most women complain that they don't get enough foreplay, so make sure she is very excited and hopefully lubricating profusely. If she is not very slippery, use KJ liquid or Astroglide.
IF you run into any problems, and you can't get around them, DO NOT repeat them over and over. They get entrenched that way. Because you are local, call for an appointment; problems that just start can often be reversed in one therapy session.
I have heard complaints from women that their nipples were either insensitive or hyper-sensitive, but I have never heard of ways to make them more sensitive.
A: Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with anyone under the age of consent in your state. In most states, oral sex and anal sex are called "sodomy" and sodomizing a minor by having consentual oral sex is treated like raping her butt (very harsh penalties).
There are other charges, like lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor, child endangerment, pedophilia, child molestation ... so you could be hit with lots of charges. Our society is wacky in reaction to young sexuality!
That having been said, millions of 18 year old guys are being sexual in a variety of ways with 17, 16, 15, and 14 year olds.
It's a risk.
12/21/99 he e-mails: Thanks for the information, it's given
me a lot to think about. She and I
have really been discussing this lately, including discussions about it with
her parents (yes, we're being very open and honest about our feelings toward
each other and what we'd like to do). So far things are going well, her
parents are very understanding and helpful. We're all still going to do a lot
of discussing before anything is decided, though. I'll let you know how things
turn out. Thanks again for the information, it's good to have someone out
there who knows a lot about the subject and can give honest answers in a
The sexdoc's comment: I am very suspicious of her parents' motives if the four of you are discussing explicit sexual behavior between the two of you. At a minimum that is a "boundary violation" blurring the generation gap. She can discuss with her parents what activities they think are acceptable, and her parents can take you aside and inform you of their limits, but for the four of you to discuss it is voyeuristic and smacks of vicarious participation -- the parents getting sexually stimulated by the thoughts and discussions of what their daughter and you will be doing together. IF the four of you discuss this and IF at some point this gets known to the authorities, you could be charged with the Mann Act (crossing state lines to have illicit sex) and her parents could be charged with reckless endangerment or neglect (failing to protect a minor from "harm").
The USA is weird about sex and some prosecutors believe that anything with a penis is dangerous and that every sexual contact before the age of 18 is damaging (and magically, on her 18th birthday a woman is undamaged by consentual sex). You are safer dealing with a female of legal age in your state.
I think you misunderstood me in my last reply. I didn't mean that
the four of us
were talking about it openly, rather that she was talking to her parents and
letting them know that she would like to have some form of intimate contact with
me, and they were explaining to her what would be okay and what wouldn't be.
There's no way I'd never consider sitting down and going into detail with them
about something like that, that'd be way too weird for me.
I think that, after hearing all of the information you have given and
from my own
personal concerns, I have decided to hold off on any extremely intimate
experiences until she is 18. I know that I care enough about her to wait, and I
know she cares enough about me, so it doesn't really bother me all that much. I
wanted to let you know of my decision and again thank you for your help. I'll be
sure to keep you updated if any thing else comes up. Thanks again for providing
me with open and honest answers.
I know you've said that there is no safe way to enlarge your
penis, but I
ran across a website that talks about 'natural excercises' to 'deveolp' the
penis to increase in length up to 3 inches and girth as well.
They also had 'before and after' photos that looked pretty convincing to
me, as well as testomonials.
This interested me, my penis isn't extremely small but I'd just as soon be
The website is www.gethung.com
if you're interested in checking out what I'm talking about.
What are your opinions on the subject? Is it legit?
A: Thank you for calling this to my attention. The top two photos look to me like non-erect penises -- like how it gets smaller in cold water -- then the guy's regular erection. In the third I speculate that there is a stick glued to the top and he is making it stick out like that. And in the third after picture it looks like he is pushing pretty hard at the base of his penis, to make it look longer.
I am quite confident that with all the discussions
I have had with urologists and all the reading I have done and stuff I
have seen, and patients I have had, that if there were
a safe way to enlarge the penis I would have heard of it.
PLUS, men have been doing all kinds of exercises with their penis and pelvic muscles for years, and none of that has increased the length or girth of their erection.
PLUS: They have misspelled and incorrectly described the Corpus Spongiosum -- a pretty serious accuracy and professional breach, in my book.
I have been very busy lately and you have noticed that postings are less frequent. Yesterday I changed my Auto Reply message to indicate that for the first time in 31 months I am finally asked more questions than I have time to answer. One of the reasons I have posted fewer in the last several weeks is that I was using my time available to answer the questions directly to those who e-mailed to me, and not taking time to post the most interesting ones. I thought you'd like to know.
In the Holiday Spirit of "It's a wonderful life," I wish to share the wording of a Christmas card that made me cry. Months ago I received an e-mail from a woman in Chicago, and after I replied to her message, I sent a second e-mail explaining that while I was at the University of Chicago I occasionally played the carillon (Schiller's Ode to Joy from Beethoven's Ninth) and I taught change ringing. Yesterday I received a Christmas card with the following:
Dear Dr. Fitzgerald,
It's odd how things strike us sometimes, but today I saw this (she enclosed a laser bookmark with bells and musical notes on it) and thought of you of all people. Many months ago I e-mailed you for advice, and you mentioned in an additional response that you used to lead and co-lead change ringing here at the University of Chicago. This is a bookmark that I saw at the Museum of Holography of notes, bells, and the Rockefeller Chapel (where the bells are located). It is a very small token of my appreciation to you. You were the very first one to help me begin on this road to recovery that I am on. And I shudder to think where I would be today if not for your advice and the subsequent help from so many other people.
Thank you. And I wish you a beautiful holiday season, and much luck on your future endeavors.
Take Care, (her real name)
Some of my colleagues think that this web site is "overly generous," but folks, when I get rewarded with gratitude like this, I am deeply touched. As I state in my book "SEX: What Every Young Woman Needs to Know," if the effort prevents one unwanted pregnancy or one abortion, it will have been worth it.
Best Wishes to All for the Holiday
from the Sexdoc
A: Dear LD,
I presume you're talking about the rhythm of the penis sliding in and out of the vagina?
Most people prefer to do little in and out motions
inserting deeper and deeper. Then, when full depth is reached, a
slow pace of all the way in to almost all the way out, then all the way
in, etc., increasing the tempo as orgasm approaches. Is this what
you were asking?
A: The great untold secret: Starting anywhere between 40 and 65, the penis needs continuous stimulation to stay erect. It may get hard all by itself, but if neglected will deflate and even vigorous stimulation will not restore it.
Just make sure that it gets SOME continuous neurological touch once erect. If that doesn't address it, he needs to get checked by a Urologist. And if the Urologist doesn't find anything, see a sex therapist.
A: I strongly suggest that you pre-warn the doctor. Some docs are weird about sex and others are especially comfortable around the topic. I suggest calling in advance, and announcing that you want a private brief meeting with the doc before you disrobe and have a nurse take your weight and blood pressure.
Explaining that this has happened several times in the past will relieve the doctor of feeling singled out or that she is doing something inappropriate.
Hopefully you'll find one with a sense of humor.
By the way, I get similar questions from women who are very embarrassed when the doctor performs a pelvic exam and they lubricate copiously (and some have orgasms).
A: You MUST see the Playboy Advisor in the December issue. There is a great Q/A about this.
It is extremely common and if your therapist is at all experienced, she will take it in stride.
If you are on your stomach and it is not painful, just lie still. If it is painful, tell her that you have to turn over. She will notice the flagpole and if she begins to massage vigorously near your upper thighs, pulling the sheet or towel over your penis repeatedly, just close your eyes, think sexy thoughts, and have an orgasm.
The cardinal rule is to NOT ask a professional masseuse for erotic stimulation, but to not refuse it if offered.
I am a 50 year old female and a survivor of sexual abuse. I am
lesbian and have a concern about what I refer to as premature orgasm.
When I make love to my partner, I get extremely easily aroused and I
have an orgasm with no direct stitmulation. It occurs around the same
time as when my partner shows extreme arousal from my carresses or she
I am extremely embarrassed by this, so she is unaware of it.
partner has been satisfied and wants to reciprocate, I am already
satisfied and unable to have another orgasm. She gets very frustrated
with me because she thinks I do not cum. I find it difficult to tell her
the truth. And if she is the first to initiate sex and is aggressive
towards me, I really have difficulty climaxing. I am unable to have an
orgasm when she stimulates me manually or performs oral sex on me. My
clitoris feels as if it becomes too sensitive because I am so easily
turned on, and then I get sort of stuck in that preorgasmic stage and
cannot orgasm. I have had sexual difficulty in the past and am usually
only able to have orgasm from stimulation if I masturbate and am alone.
Is there something I can do to prevent this over-arousal I experience
when I touch my lover or is this just an immature sexual response, such
as premature ejaculation in the male? It is not because sex is new to
me, as I have had several partners, and my current partner and I have
been together for three years or so. Please let me know your thoughts
Thank you for your help.
A: Dear M,
Because it sounds like your partner is loving, caring, and considerate, and wants to please you as much as possible, I strongly urge you to discuss with her exactly what your body likes and what the effect is from different stimulation.
If she didn't care about you and your sexual response to her ministrations, she wouldn't get frustrated.
I suggest two experiences that would helpful to repeat several times:
1) Take turns masturbating in front of each other with the observer studying the self-pleasurer for the purpose of simulating that when pleasing the partner.
2) Both of you take neck-down showers (forget the hair), then spend 20 minutes or so (you adjust up or down as you both wish) with the receiver dictating erotic touch commands, and the pleasurer following behavioral mandates to the best of her ability. Tell her exactly what you like -- location, pace, and type of touch. After the first receiver has her orgasm (and has caught her breath), switch roles. If you do that several times I expect you to get progressively more disinhibited and hopefully, wild, crazy, and inventive.
Let me know what you do and what happens.
P.S. I'm posting this on Answers page 19 -- HETEROSEXUAL readers: This is good for you, too.
p.p.s. It sounds like you are having simultaneous
A: Abnormal? How insensitive!
The tip offs are 1) any scratches or irritation in the bowel itself, and 2) ability to relax the anus for easy penetration, and 3) penile erection, vaginal lubrication, and/or that grin on your face (or deep breathing). That is unless you had an orgasm.
I suspect that the colonoscopy doctor was tipped by something but projected his or her own hang ups onto you.
Your guilt is showing! Both doctors could be told that you were sensitive about "soiling" so you took an enema before the procedure even though it wasn't prescribed for the prep. Or, that you took one at home before coming to the office so you'd know what it felt like in case they "sprung one" on you in the office.
A: I endorse behavioral simulation for this. Find a variety of cylindrical objects with a rounded tip. Toys in sex shops are perfect for this but women have told me that they use condom-covered vegetables, cigar tubes, and wine bottles (etc.).
All by yourself, stimulate your clitoris and gently and very slowly gradually insert the smallest object. Do Kegel exercises (go to
and find my description of the Kegel exercise there) so you can differentiate squeezing from relaxing.
With the smallest object (well lubricated) in you, squeeze and relax 10 times while breathing slowly and deeply. If possible, bring yourself to orgasm.
2-3 days later repeat this but after a few minutes remove the smallest and replace it with a larger one. If you do this slowly and gradually and bring yourself to orgasm each time, by the time you are able to insert the largest -- same size as your husband's penis -- your fear of pain caused by his penis SHOULD be gone.
Please tell me what you think and what happens.
As you read this most articulate summary, please keep in mind my consistent advice that COMPATIBILITY is overwhelmingly more important than what you actually do.
11/11/99: Hello, Dr. Fitzgerald.
You had asked for an update an I though it honorable that I comply.
husband and I have chosen to get a divorce.
My husband and I have come to the realization that we are both of a
different mind-set. So much so that we greatly respect the differences in
each other but at the same time are incompatible. For a long time we have
chosen to blind ourselves to that truth.
The human mind can manifest pain in a variety of ways. By divulging
following information I hope you can help others. After serious reflection,
logical reasoning, etc... we came to the understanding that we are best
friends - siblings almost. We are not helping each other to grow. We have
become stagnant and we both deserve better. What I need from a mate is not
in his nature to give. His ego is damaged by knowing he is unable to fulfill
me on the many intricate levels I 'm wired with.
I am a highly passionate, intuitive, intelligent and perceptive person
a huge desire to grow and learn and bond with my mate. My husband is of the
thinking variety, using judgment and settling in to a stagnant level of
contentment. Not much drive there. Nor has his sex drive ever matched the
intensity of mine. We are the best of friends and that is what we should
I do not wish to feel disappointment or resentment or pain of this magnitude
anymore. Additionally, my husband does not deserve those feelings being
directed at him. We are what we are. We cannot change ourselves and wish
not to force change upon each other.
He went to the Doctor and found his impotency may stem from a number of
factors. Consistent alcohol consumption, smoking 1+ packs per day and poor
eating and sleeping habits as well as psychological factors in our
relationship. There was no indication of any notable cardiovascular
condition nor adult onset diabetes, however, he was told that he is at great
Getting the "elephant out of the livingroom" as you stated earlier, has lead
to the reality that our relationship as we know it must come to an end. We
are not bitter nor are we resentful. We have learned so much about
ourselves and each other in the past few months. We have chosen to remain
the best of friends and move on with our separate lives with honor and
Facing reality doesn't always provide the outcome one is looking for.
always takes courage to take that big leap forward. I believe that with the
complexities of society and relationships today there are so many
psychological factors that produce medical symptoms which are our warning
lights. My husband hopes to come to terms with his addictions. He is on
the right path. At the very least, he is cognizant of them in the conscious
I trust this information will prove helpful to others. Thank you so very
much for your genuine concern for people and their trials through life. Sex
is a deep energy that is intertwined in all that we become. Having found
you, inadvertently, on the internet was the first step in allowing our
spirits to grow and become... Your insight gave me the courage to do so.
You are very much appreciated.
My Sincere Regards,
I have 3 questions for you, and I would be SO grateful
if you would answer them:
1) My boyfriend frequently fondles and sucks on my breasts and nipples when we're in bed. The problem is that I feel absolutely nothing when he does this. Not only am I not stimulated, it doesn't even feel like he's doing anything at all -- I can't feel his tongue or lips or anything, no feeling whatsoever, as if I were numb. I was wondering why this might be the case. I do have slightly large breasts, a DD cup size, and I was thinking that this might have something to do with the problem. I continue to let him do this because it seems like he enjoys it, although if neither of us are getting any pleasure out of it I don't really understand what the point would be. Also, if there is anything I could do to increase sensitivity, that would also be great.
2) I'm pretty inexperienced when it comes to sexual stuff, and I don't really know that much about what a guy likes/doesn't like. When my boyfriend is fingering me, he will frequently take my hand and place it on his penis, suggesting to me that he also wants to be stimulated. The problem is, I'm not really sure how to do that. Usually I just take the palm of my hand and rub it up and down the shaft of his penis, or cup my hand around it and rub, but I'm not sure if he really likes that and I don't enjoy doing it, either. I would ask him about it but I'm supershy when it comes to that kind of stuff, and the other problem is that I've led him to believe that I'm more experienced than I really am, so I would feel retarded if I asked him a stupid question like that. I know that its bad to lie to him like that, but he's 21 and I'm 18, and I'm still a virgin and he's not, so I feel like I should measure up to his experiences somehow so he doesn't feel like he's with a totally ignorant and incompetent person when it comes to being intimate with me. But that's really not the issue, the issue is how I can give him a decent hand job. Also, as a side note, how does a guy get hard? What is it that physiologically causes that to happen?
3) I'm really eager to have my boyfriend go down on me, but he says that he "can't" because he had a bad experience in the past and apparently it was pretty traumatizing, because he won't tell me what happened and refuses to do it anymore. What can I do so that he can get over this hangup and pleasure me the way that I want to be pleasured?
Thank you so much for answering my questions. I know that there's a
lot I want to know, and I would be extremely grateful for your help.
A: Dear K,
Some women are tall, and some are short. Some have extremely sensitive nipples and it sounds like yours are on the insensitive end.
If they start out "feeling" then go "numb," he's stimulating them too much. Does it feel good and sensitive if you stimulate them?
Different guys like hand jobs done different ways! If mess is not a problem (clean-up) I suggest using ALBOLENE moisturizing makeup remover -- a truly great makeup remover that starts out as a paste then liquefies at room temperature -- and wrapping your hand around his penis like it's a baseball bat, and squeezing quite tightly, sliding your hand all the way to be base and then all the way back up.
Some guys like it if you relax the squeeze slightly on the way to the base, then squeeze harder when sliding to the tip.
It's OK to urge feedback. Role model it by telling him: Harder, slower, faster, softer, in smaller circles, etc.
The single-most common reason guys won't go down on a woman is because sooner or later, a woman he was eating out had smegma -- cheesy fishy smell around the clitoris -- or a vaginal infection that she got "used to" smelling, but which grossed the guy out.
If you both take showers, and you are careful to gently wash around your clit, and make sure you don't have any vaginal infection, see then if he would be more willing.
Tell me what happens.
Thank you in advance.
A: It could have been part of her menstrual cycle or mid-cycle spotting (mittelschmerz), but EVEN IF it was her hymen, that does not constitute a loss of virginity.
Her hymen might absorb back into the vaginal wall all by itself, regardless of what you do.
"Loss of virginity" is EXCLUSIVELY the presence of
a penis in the vagina, regardless of anything to do with the hymen.
11/5/99 Q: I would like an honest answer. ... I have recently
found condoms in my
husbands toiletry bag. We have a very active and great sex life and have
only been married 1 year.
I happened to find these after he had been on a one week work trip.
never been more shocked. His explanation after stammering for a bit was
that the condoms were for his personal pleasure. In other words he uses
them when he masturbates. I cannot find anything on the web that remotely
refers to this under that pretense. When exclaiming that this sounds so
unrealistic and unbelievable he has said that he's sure he's not the only
man that does it.
Can you please shed some light on this. Am I losing my mind.
I want to
believe, but I seriously don't want to be in the dark....
I appreciate your comments.
A: Dear D,
Condoms are relatively expensive, decrease sensation, and the only conceivable possible explanations are that 1) he prefers the different sensation without the neural feedback from his hand (why some men purchase silicon or latex "artificial vaginas"), 2) his masturbatory style and preferences result in his making a wet spot because he doesn't want to interrupt the stimulation for tissue etc., to catch the ejaculate, 3) he is adjusting to the commitment of marriage and it soothes him to have condoms available "just in case." Many men feel less "tied down" with just the knowledge that if they WANTED to, they could (and never do) because they're "prepared with protection." It's a sort of macho entitlement: "I can do what I want. No woman can tell me what to do (or not to do). Many of those men felt controlled by their mother (sorry, females, but it's my opinion). 4) He's dissatisfied with something and "planted" the condoms to get a rise out of you and to open dialogue about what he wants that he feels like he is not getting. And finally 5) he has been sexual with someone and was sloppy in covering it up -- yes, if this is the case, you should be insulted that he didn't care enough to protect you from finding them. But if this is the case, after you get your emotions under control, figure out why it happened and determine if he is just unethical (and thank him for letting you know this early in your relationship) or if there is something besides variety in lovers that he is missing and that you could provide.
The point I wish to make loud and clear is that finding condoms is NOT proof positive that he has committed adultery. Many guys in category 3, above, would rather have their spouse think that they might be cheating than admit that they are having a commitment adjustment problem. And some are out of touch with their emotions and don't have a clue! I am reminded of the expression: "Some women fake orgasms, but some men fake entire relationships!"
All of that having been said, were you snooping in his toiletries case or do you routinely restock it for him before a trip and re-stow his toothbrush and hairbrush after each trip?
If the two of you can't settle this to the satisfaction of BOTH of you, I strongly urge you to deal with this with an experienced relationship therapist before it smolders, festers, and comes back to bite both of you you-know-where.
I encourage you to print my comments and your question and ask him to discuss them with you. Look for sincerity. If he seems truly embarrassed and confused, he could well be in category 3. If he seems too eager to embrace possibilities 1 - 4, he might be valiantly trying to get off the hook.
Please, if you appreciate these comments, let me know what develops.
My name is NL, I hope you can help. I've been married for 18
months and have 8 month twin sons. My husband has just told me that he has
been thinking about sexual activity with men for the past few months. He
swears to me that he is not gay as he still find women attractive and he is
still very sexually attracted to me. His problem is that he constantly
thinks of having oral sex with and masturbating another man. He is very
upset saying that he does not want to feel this way and he wishes the
feelings would go away. The fact that he is looking at pictures on gay
websites and masturbating to them while I am out of the house and chatting
with other bisexual/bicurious men online is not helping. He thought that by
chatting to others in the same position that it would ease his tension and
help him to deal with these feelings. I am not so sure. It seems that he has
become obsessed with this. As soon as he comes in from work he is in a chat
room and the same thing after we have put our babies to bed. He has
recently met up with a few guys that he met online for a night out. I knew
nothing of this until now. He is obsessed with getting e-mails from one of
them and I am wondering if he is attracted to this man. He swears he will
not do anything behind my back and that he does not want to be in a
relationship with a man. He swears that all he wants is to get through this
and lead a normal life with me and our sons. We still love each other very
much and both know that we want to spend the rest of our lives together.
But this is so difficult for me to accept. I really thought we were happy.
My biggest problem is what if these feelings don't go away. Would he be
better having a sexual encounter with a man, live out his fantasy and let it
go, or would this only confirm that he needs gay sex, something I obviously
cannot give him. We are hoping to see a marriage guidance counsellor on
Monday. Will this help? What is your advice doctor. I'm in terrible
turmoil. Please help. Many thanks. NL
A: If he is primarily gay, he will find sex with a man wonderfully fulfilling and much "better" than sex with any woman -- and feel "at home." If he is "just" bisexual, meaning really comfortable and responsive to both genders, I invoke a challenge to your commitment to each other. If that is monogamy, it literally doesn't matter whether he is seriously eroticized by men, blond caucasian women with huge breasts, or animals. Monogamy is intolerant of sex with any other living organism!
Some men and some women claim status to bisexuality so they can have an excuse to be sexual outside of their primary relationship. If you think of it as his wanting your permission to have sexual contact with another woman, does that make a difference? If the answer to that is "no, we vowed monogamy," why should the gender matter? The obfuscation comes with the idea that YOU, his wife, can't "compete" with a man. Well how about "you can't compete with someone who gives, or gives better, oral sex, or with someone who isn't tired from taking care of 18 month old twins (my hat is off to you on that one)?
Men and women are powerfully attracted to people outside their marriage/primary relationship. Just because they are turned on doesn't mean that they have your permission to act on it, does it?
Your marriage guidance counselor may be able to help if he or she does not sit on a moral or religious high horse, but strives to uncover the underlying psychodynamics. Please let me know what happens.
Whatever your answers to my questions are, I would like to stress
women out there, and men too, to do the "science thing" that my lover did,
and spend atleast one night where learning about one another's bodies is the
key issue, and not sex it's self. Hell, to do it frequently I would think
would be a highly adviseable thing, considering that our bodies, and tastes,
change over time. Education about sex, is obviously, rewarding.
Something to Smile About
A: Dear Smiley,
My standard answer to "I can't achieve orgasm" is:
The most effective way to become orgasmic is to learn
what you have to do to yourself to achieve the orgasm, then teach your
lover(s) what to do. Also, a number, surprising to me, of women do
not know what an orgasm is. The absolute sign of an orgasm in both
genders is involuntary pelvic muscle contractions approximately eight tenths
of a second apart. There may be 3 or 30 and there could be some,
then a pause, then more. Most women can achieve orgasm from
clitoral stimulation, either by finger or by vibrator. You can feel
these contractions with one or two fingers either in your vagina or in
your rectum. Only about 40% of women achieve orgasm from penile thrusting
alone. Please go to
there click on the search tab in the upper-right corner, and in the text window type in
(end of "standard answer")
My colleague, Dr. Barbach, encourages self-examination and all kinds of reassurance.
Most women can teach a lover to bring them to orgasm using my above advice. But because your brain is your biggest sex organ, having an affectionate, knowledgeable, patient, and skilled lover is a major contribution both mentally and physically.
Some of my patients are horrified when I suggest that they take turns masturbating while their partner studies the behavior with great precision.
And, see my suggestions about the "other exploration" below.
Thanks for a great story. I KNOW that some women who read your tale will cry with joy for you (and wish mightily that they had a lover like yours. So yes, he is rare.
AND I agree with your assertion that men and women need to assertively instruct their lover in what he or she wants! Your lover might say "Yuck -- I don't want to do that," but I am frequently pleasantly surprised when I send a couple on a fishing expedition and they both discover an activity that they both enjoy and each was afraid to bring it up for fear of a negative reaction of the other!
A: It depends totally on the emotional overlay you put on it. Some people interpret the add-ons to indicate that they are not attractive enough, sexy enough, stimulating enough, etc. Others just accept them as part of the partner's love map.
Your biggest sex organ is your brain, and that is good news if your partner does things that turn you on (role-playing, light bondage, etc.), and bad news if they are somehow insulting or diminishing.
That having been said regarding "making love one on one," I suspect that he has low sexual desire in the first place and that you're not going to convert a guy who makes excuses about being sexual, and who ONCE mentions garters and stockings, into a twice a week guy even if you swing from the chandeliers!
If you conclude that the two of you are sexually incompatible and that you are not getting your sexual needs met I suggest that you search for a partner who you screen -- audition -- for compatibility.
A: Yes. Break away from the myth that the only "real" sex is penile-vaginal intercourse and offer to trade 20 or 30 minutes of exclusively pleasuring her for the same amount of time with her pleasuring you. She might want back, thigh, and feet rubs followed by oral sex or fingering her clitoris, and you might want prolonged manual penis stimulation speeded up at the end to have an orgasm. Search for variety!
The trade must be equal in time and the recipient gets to dictate how and where he and she is touched.
Tell me what happens.
If she won't do that you have a negotiation and cooperation problem, not a sexual problem.
A: Guys are visual and reality creatures. Keep in mind that you don't actually have to do what you are saying, so make it graphic and use four letter words.
A whole narrative is beyond my time and typing speed but something like:
"just thinking of you makes me soooo wet. I just have to slip my hand under the band of my panties and touch myself. I'm putting my middle finger in me and getting it so nice and wet. Now I'm rubbing it in circles around my clit. Of God I wish your big hard cock was in my pussy right now (breathe hard on the phone).
And, to focus on him:
"On second thought, before I'd let you fuck me I'd tie your hands and feet to the four corners of the bed and I'd lick you from your mouth to the underside of your balls. I'd flick my tongue around the tip of your cock making you beg for relief. Then I'd suck in as much as I could take while cuddling your balls with my hand.
If you want to get really adventurous, go more "extreme" like:
--- SEE my web page www.sexdoc.com near the top of page 18 where I describe what to do to a submissive.
If this helps, get back to me with what happened and his reaction!
A: Sodomy refers to oral or anal intercourse. Because you indicate she prefers it to vaginal intercourse I will assume you are referring to anal intercourse. The term "normal" does not apply here. For some folks, everything sexual except making babies is perverted -- oral sex, anal sex, homosexuality, masturbation, using a vibrator or dildo, bestiality, S&M, videos, magazines, enemas, etc. If you embrace the ideas that you are committed to NOT get pregnant and to experience as much pleasure as possible, what feels good is in the mind (and the body) of the individual.
As a broad generality, many women who are really into anal sex usually have one or more of the following circumstances. Just as some people are tall and some are short, women have a more or less sensitive clitoris and a more or less sensitive anus. Both are richly enervated. Some women are on the low end of clitoral sensation and on the high end of anal sensitivity and prefer anal intercourse because it feels better. Some women report that the anal sphincters "seem to aim the penis" so that the angle of thrusting causes the tip of the penis to push against the thin tissue separating the rectum from the vagina, and against the G-spot. They cite as evidence that if they angle their pelvis just right, they get a facial flush (or other sensation of pleasure) when the penis is inserted as deeply as possible and moving. Because the anus gets stimulated by the dilation and motion, one would expect continuous pleasure, not a "spurt" when the tip of the penis pushes on something inside the vagina. And, unfortunately, some women have anxiety about vaginal intercourse because they were badly emotionally traumatized by religion (a Jezebel [wicked, shameless woman], slut, whore, harlot, sin, hell, etc.) or by their parents ("If you get knocked up we'll disown you for bringing such shame on our family and publicizing what rotten parents we are!").
And finally, many women are just into anal sex as a
variation on the same old, same old, or because it turns their lover into
a sex slave.
A: This is a common practice, but be sure that there are times you masturbate to other things as well (pictures, stories, etc.) so you don't get to where you can ONLY masturbate when smelling her panties.
A: It sounds like performance anxiety. I'll wager that if your lover takes your penis in her mouth, then after you are erect she rolls the condom on with her lips, that you'll stay erect.
Alternatively, put the condom on as much as possible while you are flaccid, and roll it down as you get more erect. If you rush, the chances that you'll lose the erection are greater.
A: Continue to make it safe for him to be totally honest. Ask what sexual behaviors he would like to engage in.
Many men who are anally erotic are conflicted because they think that their pleasure response to anal stimulation "means" that they must be gay or bisexual. Not true.
He might thoroughly enjoy having you strap on a dildo harness and behave dominantly. This is well illustrated and "normalized" in the videotape "Bend Over, Boyfriend" available from Good Vibrations (in the USA 1-800/289-8423).
I am penis niave! I do not know what to do with it while my husband
performing oral sex on me. I suck on it, but after a few minutes my jaw gets
tired and I have to stop....what do I do with my hands?????? My husband says
it won't be exciting if he has to teach me what to do, and suggested I go on
the internet for advice. Please can you help at all??? I would appreciate
any help you can provide!
An excerpt from "SEX: What Every Young Woman Needs to Know: (link to more excerpts)
Question on the internet: Dear Sexdoc: my boyfriend’s penis is much too long for my small (short?) mouth. What is the best way to give him head (oral sex) considering this problem?
Answer: Both to give his penis maximum stimulation and to serve as a position marker to keep the tip of his penis from banging into the back of your throat, curl your fingers around the shaft of the penis and move your hand up and down while your mouth is busy on as much of the penis as you are comfortable taking into your mouth. This allows you to provide oral stimulation to the tip of his penis, which is most sensitive, while giving greater stimulation to the penis by squeezing firmly with your hand.
That having been said, please contradict your husband's erroneous assertion that "it won't be exciting if he has to teach me what to do..." WRONG! Each person has a slightly different "love map" and you can hunt around in the dark for forever trying to find some things. Masturbate in front of each other! Describe in precise detail how you want to be pleasured (I will expand on this a great deal in my up-coming (no pun intended) book on "SEX: What Every Woman Needs to Know."
AND: If your jaw hurts, just lick and rub the tip of his penis on your wet lips while moving your hand wrapped around the shaft of the penis vigorously up and down.
Link to Answers #18
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